Wednesday, December 31, 2008

LIFE: The Last of the Blogs for 2008

Well the year 2008 has come to an end and i thought id post my last blog of the year.

I've been through a lot this year, but i can't remember much of it. I got my two crested geckos back in Feb. They are both fine and still alive. I also got my second dumpy tree frog this year, he is fine as well. I found my other tree frog dried up and dead. My leopard gecko is getting close to full grown, she is 15 months right now. I did lose the rescue gecko i tried to save from petco, i bought it last December and in several months it hadn't gained any weight. Let that be a lesson to me for trying to save an animal. Our cat Peaches died this year, she had to be put down because the cancer was so bad that she couldn't swallow any more and wasn't eating. Tux missed all of the shows this year because he went into his summer shedding right when the fairs were going on, but thats ok because 2009 will be a new year. I lost my snake, he didn't die i still haven't found the little guy yet and i do expect the worst.

My cousins Adam and Michael got engaged this year, (not to eachother) and i guess im the last. My little sister got married back in May, it doesn't seem so long ago.

I started my bonsai obsession last winter and had a good growing season. I plan to do a lot more this year now that i am prepared. I will make a lot of advances in my art and continue down the road of being a bonsai master. If ANYONE is the least bit interested in bonsai, i suggest going to youtube and watching the videos of Lindsay Farr's world of bonsai. He in a man who traveled through Japan and China showing different masters and styles and techniques, as well as bonsai farms, pots, gardens and historical places of interest.

The Pens almost won the cup this year, just a few games shy so we will all be looking forward to their progress this year. The seahawks had 12 starters out this year and did horrible. First time they lost the division in 5 years. It was a shame because i had them picked to go far this year and i really believe they would have been able to. Poor Detroit lost every single game, the first time that has ever happened since the league went to a 16 game schedule. I do feel bad for them and their fans, but that city won the cup so its not all bad. The steelers have the second seed and a first round bye in the playoffs and their defense has been outstanding so we are all waiting to see what happens in a few weeks. I'm sure something happened in baseball but who cares?

I had a good Christmas, a good Thanksgiving, a good Easter, Mitch Day was disappointing, ill admit that. I plan to have a good New Years. I'm never sure if thats the last holiday of the old year or the first holiday of the new year? Either way 2008 is over, can you believe it has been 20 years since Batman came out? Good bye 2008, you have been a pretty good year and like every year that has come before you, ill miss you. So for the last time this year you just heard my two cents.

LIFE: People we have lost in 2008

These are a few famous people who died in 2008 that i believe need to be remembered. Sir Edmund Hilary died, he was the first to climb mount Everest. Suzanne Pleshette, the actress from the Bob Newhart Show and was in The Birds, i met her on a cruise and she was a wonderful person. Tom Poston, who was married to Suzanne Pleshette also died, he was also awesome and im so glad i got to stalk him on that cruise. Although i was too star struck to say anything to him, we had many special moments together that i will always treasure. Heath Ledger died right before the new Batman came out, i still think his best role was in Ten Things I Hate About You. Roy Scheider died, he was Chief Brody in Jaws, great movie and a great actor, ill never forget his delivery of my favorite line from Jaws, "SMILE YOU SON OF A BITCH!" Myron Cope, the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers, on the radio he made us all smile as he broad casted every Steeler game and many people do not know this but he also invented the Terrible Towel, before him NO ONE ever waved a towel at a professional sporting event. Myron Cope is responsible for that, any time i see a towel being waved at any game it makes me think of him. Charlton Heston also died, they say he was gay but i don't care. He was a GREAT actor and the Planet of the Apes is one of the best movies ever made. Who can forget what is known as the greatest twist endings to any movie ever? Harvey Korman died, he was on the Carol Burnett show but he was my favorite character in Blazing Saddles. Everything he did or said in that movie makes me laugh. Paul Newman also died, he has so many great movies but for me he will always be Cool Hand Luke. In the movie when he bluffed in a poker game because he had nothing it was remarked about him, "sometimes no hand is the coolest hand of all." The movie is great because its about a loser that tries to make it, and doesn't, if you haven't seen it i suggest you do.

Everybody has to die at some point or another and there were many more who died this year that i didn't add but as long as we took something from their lives then they are never truly gone, i guess a person doesnt have to be famous for us to do that either....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

LIFE: Turkey Bowl 15, part 2



This is how the game went. The teams were Me, Uncle Tony, Uncle Carl, Nicki, and Erica. The other team was Adam, Michael, Larissa, Katie, and the other Katie. Rachel played center for both teams due to her fractured spine. (yes, and she still played)

Our team had the ball first and we started to drive with a few passes from Uncle Tony until he threw an interception to Adam who ran it back for the game's first touch down. 7-0

They kicked off to us and i became the quarterback, i passed to Uncle Tony, Uncle Carl, Erica, anyone who was open. We gained a first down and continued to drive down the field, i saw Erica open in the end zone and i threw it, she caught it for our first touch down. 7-7

When they got the ball they tried a few short passes and then i was covering Adam and a pass i believed to be over thrown and out of his reach was caught by him and ran in for the touchdown. 14-7

We got the ball back and after a few short passes i saw Uncle Carl break free of the defenders so i threw a long bomb which he caught and ran into the endzone tying the game again. 14-14

We kicked off and Michael was able to run the kickoff back the entire way for another touchdown, the score was now in their favor. 21-14.

After a few short passes and driving steadily down the field i found Uncle Carl deep yet again for another touchdown. 21-21

The next drive failed for the other team and they went for it on 4th down, when they didn't make it we knew it was our chance but Uncle Tony was intercepted again and our drive stopped. Another interception by Erica gave us the ball back. I found Uncle Carl deep again, this time he was run down by Adam but we were very close to the End Zone. I found Uncle Carl again for my 4th touch down. 28-21

Their next drive stalled and the ball was turned over on downs, an interception gave them new life and as they were driving down the field on what was to be the last possession of the game they were driving to what seemed to be fate and a tie for the 15th Turkey Bowl. A pass to Katie Carl was bobbled and fell into my hands, the interception sealed the win for our team.

One of the highest scoring games of all times, and arguably the closest and most fun, Turkey Bowl 15 will go down in family history as one of the best.

LIFE: Turkey Bowl 15


On Thanksgiving for the last 15 years we have all gathered on the field to play a football game. This year was Turkey Bowl 15. This will go down as one of the best games we have ever played. The score went back and forth the entire time. I threw 4 touchdown passes and ended the game with an interception for my team as we won 28-21.

Besides the score, the stats, the most important thing was that we all had fun playing it, just as we do every year, just as we have and just as we always will. The Turkey Bowl is a tradition in my family, although we dont have many, this is one of our more sacred ones. I already can't wait for next year so i can play it again.

If i had to sit down and come up with a list of my top ten most fun moments of my entire life, several of the Tukey Bowls would make that list. I know its just a game of football between family and friends and we laugh more than anything else, no one gets hurt or cries or gets mad or upset. Ill never stop playing this game, ill lace up my spikes when im 80 if i have to.

Friday, November 21, 2008

LIFE: the mystery of KIRBY, solved...


Wednesday, February the 21st, 2007 i brought home my first Dumpy Tree Frog, also known as a White's tree frog. (pictured left) I named the little guy Kirby because like the video game cream puff when he saw food he opened his mouth and lunged at it, swallowing it whole. One day i came in to find little Kirby had found a way out of his tank. I saw little dirt marks left behind on the tank top and down the side and on the desk. I looked for days and never found him, wherever he was i knew he must be dead when a week had gone by. FLASH FORWARD

Friday, November the 21st, 2008 i was cleaning my turtle tank and decided to add my old fish filter to help clean the water. It hadn't been used in years but i knew it still worked so i took it to the bathroom to give it a good cleaning up. As i took it apart something fell out that shouldn't have been in there, it was strange looking and i couldn't tell what it was at first but as i saw something that looked like long bones, i knew what it was. "Kirby!" I gasped.

And so after all this time i finally solved the mystery of the missing tree frog. Poor little Kirby died the way he lived....as a frog. I gave him a proper burial at sea, (toilet) and i have closure.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

POEMS: untitled

I hate a cloudy night.
Covered in darkness are the hopes and dreams of many.
A bight night sky is for the imagination.
I would give it all to you.
I could catch a comet with my bare hands,
I could move the moon and the stars if you wanted.
I can ride the milky way forever and a day.
I will whisper the secrets of the universe as I fly.
The heavens and the cosmos bow when I go.
For they know the will of just one can make it so.
Star dust to my back, never ending galaxy to the front.
One who has touched a super nova,
One who has felt the solar wind through his hair,
One who has been burned by a solar flare.
Space, in all of its vastness can never outlast me...
Still I am the midnight star jockey.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

GAME: The hobo game

So here is a new game i played today. Its a computer game, pretty simple moves and keys, not hard to play, i beat it on the first try BUT IT IS FUN!!!

You are a hobo on a mission, whats the mission?? You wont find out until the end, but you have all the powers of a bum, spitting, burping, farting, puking, blowing snot, and shitting. You can also throw things such as beer bottles and trash cans. Go through the town after waking up and being thrown out of the city dump. Beat anyone you find, including cops, women, teenagers, garbage men, hippie punk kids and even other bums. Punch and kick your way through the mean streets as you pass each level gaining new hobo moves until you win the game!

I laughed so hard at this game for many reasons, if you are bored and want something to do, PLAY THIS GAME!!! You'll have a lot of fun and you'll also learn what its like to be a hobo trying to make his way in life! Here is the link so you can try it out, which i think you should but thats just my two cents. http://www.friv.com/x/hobo/game.html

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

LIFE: My fourwheel ride

See what its like to ride with me on my fourwheeler!
video

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Life: MY POTATO GUN PROJECT, part three


The first shot was a success, launching the potato at least 325 feet out of my yard, past the neighbors field and smashing off of another neighbors fence post. (see video)

And so my potato gun project is done and the SPUD BUSTER CANNON is now fully operational!

videoThis was the test shot for the Spud Buster Cannon, as you can see i load it, aim and fire! You can't see the potato land or should i say burst off of a fence post, but it did happen. If you listen at exactly :29 seconds you can actually hear faintly the potato hitting the wood.

Life: MY SPUD GUN PROJECT, part two




The first thing i did was change the name from the "Tater Decimater" to "The Spud Buster Cannon." I cut the barrel and the gas chamber. I filed the end of the barrel, (if its sharp the apples or potatoes go in a bit easier.) Next i used the primer around the parts i wanted to glue, you can see some of the purple color it left behind. I then glued all the parts together. You're supposed to let it dry for 24 hours but i really can't wait that long. I assembled the trigger which is a grill igniter, i then cut a hole in the cap and glued it in place. Most potato guns have their push button triggers sticking out of the gas chamber, but i know when spraying in fuel it can get the metal wet and then there is no spark. With my trigger in the cap there should be no problems with it getting wet.

SPECS:
Name: The Spud Buster Cannon
Barrel length: 33 inches
Chamber length: 22.5 inches
Over all length: 55.5 inches
Chamber diameter: 4 inches
Barrel diameter: 2 inches
Ignition system: Hot-Shot Performance Push Button
Fuel: Right Guard Deodorant
Ammo: Potatoes and Apples
Distance: Approx 325 feet

Life: MY SPUD GUN PROJECT part one


For years i have fond memories of my uncles shooting off their "spud gun" while being drunk. This is a gun made out of PVC piping that can shoot apples or potatoes by using hair spray or WD40, really any aerosol product will work. I always dreamed of having my own and NOW that dream is a reality.

I was so bored today i had nothing to do, then it came to me, MAKE A SPUD GUN, also known as a potato gun, spudzooka, spud launcher and other cool names! I knew the general design from the huge one my relatives had so i researched a bit to find out exactly what id need. I went to Lowes and bought all the stuff and came home for the assembly. As you can see in my picture this is everything you will need to make one, (not pictured is the PVC glue which holds the parts together.) So far production is coming along and by tomorrow it should be complete. I will update the gun on here as i finish it. Soon i will revel...THE TATER DECIMATER.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Youtube: Three year old doing Thriller

So i came upon this adorable video clip today while watching all the Thriller videos on Youtube. It really is one of the cutest things i've ever seen. Please watch this one, i laughed the entire time. Besides, its so nice seeing little kids enjoying classic Michael Jackson like we all used to, anyway here is the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GweUjzhUwNw

Holidays: HALLOWEEN

So its Halloween again, did you get candy? Lets face it this is the REAL reason for the holiday. Many haters out there and pussy parents say that it is an evil day for devil worshipers and to go against God. That may be, but unless that is what your child is doing instead of ringing your neighbors doorbell to mooch candy don't worry about! I mean come on, how many Halloweens have you been through in your life and how many deaths have you heard about, NOT caused by kids getting hit by cars or the unfortunate old man who took his kids out and died of a heart attack? NONE. Lets count them again, ZERO. If there are devil worshipers i haven't seen any around, and no kid i ever grew up with or knew got killed by one or ran into one. Besides even if these crazy people exist do they need Halloween to do evil things? Hell no.

I understand the whole, I'm a Christian and dressing up as the devil is wrong for any reason, excuse. But let me just let you hear what most kids go as for this holiday. SUPER HEROES. Yes thats right, the best selling costume for kids are super heroes and cartoon characters. Sure we get a vampire or Jason or devil in there but come on once a year is too much?? Kids don't get it by the way, they don't make the connections that crazy parents do. Dressing up like the devil means one thing to them, I GET CANDY. Thats it, thats all, if more is read into it its not by the one wearing the costume. I have NEVER heard (and neither have you btw) a kid dressed up as a devil or demon say, "Now i must worship the devil and do evil things because i am evil and this is a day just for me to be as evil as i can be, HAHAHAHA!!!!" Come on, kids are too stupid and all they want is candy, its true, kid's lives revolve around getting things handed to them for doing nothing and Halloween is the greatest of these.

In the first grade class i am in these were the costumes i heard the kids say they were going to be, Cinderlla, a pirate, sponge bob, batman, spider man, Dracula and a cowgirl. Holy shit lock your doors and hide in the basement, those kids mean trouble!!! For the older kids the costumes do get scarier but lets face it, its just because they don't want to be picked on by their friends or even older kids, as we know kids can be so cruel. Most teenagers would go as spider man but they'd get the shit kicked out of them so they dress up as Jason and egg a house or two.

So why take Halloween away from the children, the ones who don't even understand the point of the whole thing....hey can ANYONE tell me the point of Halloween while we're on the subject?? Heres an idea, THE FUCKIN' CANDY! Thats it, I'm sorry, i'll defend the point of Christmas and Easter as Christian holidays, but this one is just a joke, its for the kids to dress up and get candy, end of story. If you think its more than YOU are the one who is making it out to be more. The real day was originally known as All Hallow's Eve, which if you notice is the EVE of the real day, not even the real day so come on!!!

Sure some kid will get hit by a car or trip and break a bone or two but other than that no harm really comes to kids. I know i know we've all heard the story of the razor blade in the apple but ya know what? I'm not sure that ever happened. I think its just an urban legend. It really sounds like some crazy neurotic parent thought that up and said, holy hell this COULD happen! And so the story got blown up into IT REALLY DID HAPPEN TO A KID. Besides how do you NOT know something was stuck into your apple? Check the damn thing before you eat it, besides if you live in a good neighborhood and you only go to houses of people you know then what is the harm, honestly what is the harm? When the kids in my first grade class room were told there would be no Halloween party and that they could not dress up they all hung their heads and moaned WHHHHYYYY???? It sure was sad. I wanted to tell them the truth, "You see kids, some parents are pretty big pussies and they think some of you are big pussies just like them and some of you idiot kids can't handle the holiday either, so they outlawed it so nobody's feelings would be hurt." Cause come on, that IS the truth right? If not you tell me why there was no party? Poor kids can't afford costumes? Ever hear of an old sheet, they make great ghost costumes. These kids were bombarded by tv specials and commercials and ads of every kind promoting Halloween and then they can't even enjoy it! Its a crying shame i tell you.

In closing just give the kids the real meaning of Halloween...candy. There is no need to make a big deal of the evil people out there who are just waiting all year for today to kill stuff....i guess?? If a kid wants to dress up as the devil ok so what, he isn't doing it because he LOVES the devil or because he is now a servant of the devil, hes doing it cause hes a kid and he doesn't know better! Besides did he MAKE that costume? Did he buy that costume all by himself?? Did he give himself permission to wear that costume??? No, YOU DID, the parent! So be more responsible. Please have a safe and happy Halloween and if you have a problem with that holiday then you can go fuck yourself, and thats just my two cents.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pets: Missing Boa


So i decided to get my first snake ever. This is a pic of the little guy, he's a cutie, ANYWHO, after only two days i came in to find he was gone from his bin cage. Beats me where he slithered off to, i searched everywhere and no sign of him. My room is so messy he really could be anywhere, maybe even in another room. I've talked to a lot of people who have lost snakes and a lot of them say they found theirs months later, which is a good sign it might be able to survive that long, but not that great that it might be months before i see it again! I will keep everything updated but for as hard as i looked and didnt find him, i dont know what to do. I don't regret getting it though, before he escaped he really made me happy, Rosy Boas are really cool snakes, but thats just my two cents.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Life: Apple Cider

Today i made my first apple cider ever. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work went into it which somehow makes the cider taste better.

Apple cider, for those who wonder what the difference is between apple juice and cider is that apple cider is pressed apples which have the skin, stems, core, seeds and anything else still on the apple. Where as apple juice is just the fruit part of the apple and then it is pasteurized. My apple cider came from all the apples that i hand picked from my grandfather's apple trees. I picked them and stored them and today i took them to my uncles place where he has an apple press.

First you have to grind the apples because the more an apple is chopped up the more juice you will get out of it. The apples are poured into the grinder and they fall into a bucket. The bucket is slided forward and stops directly under the press. A board is put over the bucket and the press is turned down squeezing the cut up apples, which are called pomace. You can see the juice coming out and it runs down into a collection pan which is then strained and pumped into jugs. And thats all there is to it! There is no need to boil the cider or strain it again, some do this but it is not necessary. Some add sugar if the apples are too sour but this year the apples i use were very sweet and the cider came out perfect.

Out of 3 bushels of apples, (60 pounds is roughly a bushel), we got a little over 8 gallons of cider. A few gallons i will save to turn into hard cider which is when you let the cider ferment its sugar into alcohol. If you let it ferment even longer you will end up with apple vinegar. I made the cider especially for everyone at Thanksgiving and i hope they enjoy drinking it as much as i enjoyed making it. I think everyone should try to make cider once in their life, but thats just my two cents.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Website: My shirt design


Designbyhumans.com is a website where mainly artistic type people can submit ideas for shirts, in a contest style poll, a winner will be chosen and that design will be made into a shirt. I have wanted to submit something for a while now but i never had a good enough idea. If you go to the site you will see some of the great ideas and great shirts that people have come up with, there is a lot of talent on that site. You can buy the shirt winners and I personally could spend a ton of money on that site.

So today in school i came up with a great idea. I don't know where it came from, i don't know why i thought of it and i don't even know what it means. I just stood up to go to another class and the image popped into my head and i knew the name at the same time. i sketched it six times until i felt i had it right then i came home to work on a really good sketch and the final copy.

My shirt idea is called, "Gorilla Monsoon." Don't ask me where i got the idea from because i don't really know. It has two gorillas on it in the rain with one holding a leaf over the others head. I'm not sure what this stands for, i suppose it can be taken a few different ways. Loyalty, friendship, hardship, love, something cute, something inspiring, something funny, any one can see this picture and assume it means one of those things. Gorillas have always been such a cool animal for me, maybe because they are a lot like us or maybe because they look so cool, either way i decided to try this idea. I don't really care if it doesn't get any votes, I've enjoyed making it. It is only the first of many shirt ideas i hope to work on and submit to the site. People might look at it and say, worthless crap and horrible idea but i like and I'd buy it and thats my two cents.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Story of my Birth

The birth of Andrew Lucas happened in this way.
The year is 1982, not quite the 80's and not quite the 70's anymore, that strange transition time. Fairbanks Alaska, the Great Interior. It was a cold dark fall day in late September. My mother went into labor. Rushing to the hospital she was worried she wouldn't make it....but would she??? Yes she would, but it was a close call. She told the doctor he needed to hurry because the baby was coming, I was that baby. The doctor laughed and scoffed at her saying, "Ma'am don't worry, these things take hours, we have plenty of time." She reminded him that she had one before and she knew it was on the way. She was right, as lightening flashed and thunder crashed in the background I came roaring out of the womb and into the world. The doctor raised me high in the air and yelled, "ITS A BOOOOYYYYY!!!" The first Lucas male of the new generation born on the 26th. The world would never be the same now that there was an Andrew Lucas in it. My body temperature was lower than normal and to this day the cold doesn't bother me, I enjoy it. A name was needed but what would it be? My mother and father couldn't agree on anything, horrible names were tossed around like Boris, Igor, Vladimir, and crap like that. My mother, fearing I would get beat up on a daily basis, suggested more normal non-geek names. My dad didn't like any of these. Several days passed and the nurse came in to demand a name. My hospital bracelet and birth certificate needed a name desperately. Feeling frustration my dad told my mom to just pick something. She said, "um, er..uhh, um, ANDREW" My dad then said, "OH THATS A STUPID NAME!" But it was too late the nurse said, nope thats what it is, thats what I'm using. And so being named and being yellow due to jondus my parents took me home where I would start my life and someday end up writing this in a blog 26 years later.

Friday, September 19, 2008

FALL TIME POEM

Due to the fact that we had our first frost today and that Fall officially starts in a few days i thought i would post this poem. I love the fall and its my favorite time of the year, but thats just my two cents.

The autumn wind is a pirate.
Blustering in from sea, with a rollicking song
he sweeps along, swaggering boisterously.
His face is weather beaten.
He wears a hooded sash,
with a silver hat about his head,
and a bristling black mustache.
He growls as he storms the country.
A villain big and bold.
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
as he robs them of their gold.
The autumn wind is a raider,
pillaging just for fun, he'll knock you 'round
and upside down and laugh when he's conquered
and won.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Game System Review: Nintendo Wii


Not since the very first nintendo entertainment system have i enjoyed a game system so much as the Wii.

The wii makes fat lazy gamers have to get up to get involved in the game. You can spend hours and hours playing with this thing and never be bored. Using the controllers to actually move your characters is revolutionary and people better get used to it because the next Xbox that comes out will surely have a similar feature.

People complain about the graphics on the Wii, saying they aren't very good. Compared to what?? The xbox 360 or playstation 3? Those systems have SLIGHTLY better graphics, basically graphics are highly over rated. Games, if they are good, don't need to have good graphics to be fun. Besides all of the Wii games are in 3D so what is the problem? I don't see one here.

Applaud Nintendo for using the same characters and reoccurring games because this is the part of gaming that has remained the same since i was in first grade. Everyone still knows who Mario is, who Link is, and why not use them over and over again? We all loved them the first time, so why not over 20 years later as well? Although playing with a Wii is like playing with a futuristic toy when you're Mario it gives a familiar feel that we all enjoy.

The Wii is not for fat people or lazy people. I imagine if someone was fat and or lazy they would complain about the Wii or even sell it. This system made me sweat today as if i was playing outside, thats how much i got into it and thats the workout it gave me. While playing boxing i was punching the air and sweating so much i thought, how much of this can i take?? Its nice to know the Wii will never give up or get tired of playing, even if i do. Wii also has a game that is just for exercising, that's a great idea but the normal games give you a workout as it is.

All in all i rate the graphics a 9 out of 10 because yes they could be better but again i say graphics are as good as they're going to get for a long, long time. (Face it PS3, your graphics are just as good as the PS2's.) For all of the games that i have played so far i give it a 10 out of 10. Each time i played a new game i said, this was the best game! For the game play itself you have to give it a 10 out of 10 due to the fact that we have never played with something like this before. The list of games out there is only growing each day. For choice in what to play i give it another 10 out of 10. Getting used to using the nun chuck or steering wheel does take some time, but thats the fun of it, besides once you get it, you go from horrible player to expert just like that. I give the ease of play a 9 out of 10 for that reason. All in all the Nintendo Wii is a revolutionary gaming system and will only continue to get better with age. Its no wonder why these things cant stay on the shelves at any store in the US. I give the Wii a 10 out of 10 for overall system.

You may hate the Wii, you may have bad mouthed it or even sold it or given it away but i really do think its the best system to come out SINCE the original NES, and thats saying a lot. But thats just my two cents.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life: Princess the Dwarf Hamster


Princess, one of my many dwarf hamsters is slowly dying. Old age will do that to a hamster, they all have short life spans anyhow. Having 17 at one time, I am now down to just 2.

Seen here, Princess with 3 of her babies, one of them being the only one to have ever escaped. (he was later caught)

Princess has had 16 babies total, that weren't eaten or died. She was the first of my opal gene created by her father Jester and mother Queen. She had my first albino baby, Angel Eyes and then later with him had a litter of 3 albino babies. She is also one of my oldest living hamsters and one of two left from my entire line, Angel Eyes being the other.

I was there when she was born, she was part of a litter that was an ACTUAL planned pregnancy. I was there when she took her first steps and when her eyes opened. I gave her her first broccoli and i remember the day i realized she was pregnant. I was there for her first litter and she gave me my first Albino. I was there for all of her litters and she was a good mother, not the best i ever had, but a decent one. I was there for her 100% albino litter. Soon i will be there for her death, she will be buried next to all of my special hamsters.

Losing a hamster isn't what bothers me, I've lost a ton, they don't live long its just how it goes. But she is one that i created, all of my hamsters were bred from a single pair and I added Queen because the gene pool was getting thin. Once she dies ill be down to one, I've never been down to one since i started this whole hamster breeding thing. Angel Eyes, my albino male, her son will be the last of my dwarf hamsters. Part of me would like to see a hamsterless room, no more buying the food or bedding or cleaning the cages or worrying about the smell. Yet...after generation after generation of hamsters being bred to just end all of a sudden is hard to face. Part of me hates the idea of all of my work coming to an end. Angel Eyes, (named after a character from the good the bad and the ugly, also due to his bright red eyes) is so old that I'm not even sure if he can produce any children so even if i get another female it may be for nothing.

Five generations could end very soon or I could keep it going. I have always wanted to work with a solid black dwarf hamster and the mottled are pretty cool looking. Continuing it or ending it, either way Princess played a major part in my breedings. She was a good breeder, a good producer and a good hamster. She is going to be missed.

NOTE: A day after this was posted Princess was found dead.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Life: Tom Brady, out for season.

Turns out on opening day, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots got hit and went down. He got up and left the field and didn't return for the rest of the game. News stories say Tom Brady will now need knee surgery and will not play for the rest of the season.

I'd just like to say, HA HA!!! Serves you right, what goes around comes around, and you got what you had coming. That team had 16 wins last year, only to blow it in the Super Bowl, becoming the biggest choke of all time but they still got to be in the Super Bowl. Now they'll be lucky to be 500 by the end of the year. Pats fans I'm sorry, but you've had enough of the Patriots winning, its someone else's turn. As you can see below this i picked them to win their division but NOW, I'm sure it will be wrong! I never like to see anyone get hurt but Tom Brady getting hurt was just plain funny. Say what you will but i was getting down right sick and tired of hearing about the perfect Tom Brady and the perfect....haha i mean, ALMOST perfect Patriots. Now after a few weeks of Tom news we can finally be rid of those pesky Pats. And that's my two cents.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Life: My 2008 NFL picks!

Every year i pick all 32 teams and where i think they will end up and then see if i was right at the end of the season. My cousin Adam and i started doing this years and years ago and we do it every year. We also pick the playoff teams and the Super Bowl Match up. One year i did get it right, the year Seattle and Pittsburgh went. So here they are, my 2008 NFL picks! THESE ARE JUST GUESSES AND PREDICTIONS, MOST WILL BE WRONG.

AFC East
1.New England-They aren't as good but this division sucks, so they'll win it but wont go far once in the playoffs. Their Super Bowl days are over now.
2.Buffalo-This is their year, they will turn it around and end up being a number two.
3.New Jersey-Brett Favre won't save you, besides i refuse to call a team that plays in New Jersey, New York. I hate this team with a passion and it was VERY hard for me to give them this much credit as a number 3. I hope they have one win all year, and thats too much.
4.Miami-Sorry, there are too many problems for this team to do any better.

AFC West
1.San Diego-You'll see this team finally break through and it will all come together this year.
2.Denver-Good enough to be a number two in a rather weak division.
3.Kansas City-Good but not great, playoff hopes will be dim.
4.Oakland-Sorry Raiders, not this year!

AFC North
1.Pittsburgh-It has to be somebody, and this year its the Steelers. They have the hardest schedule in the NFL, a weak division will allow them to at least win it.
2.Cleveland-For the last few years i've been watching the Browns, they are on the move. If they win this division i won't be surprised at all.
3.Baltimore-A lot of problems and unknown, they will be inconsistent week after week.
4.Cincinnati-Major problems for this team, the basement is where you can find them.

AFC South
1.Indianapolis-As long as Manning plays this team will win.
2. Tennessee-A lot of young talent will help this team make the playoffs but inexperience will keep them from doing much.
3.Jacksonville-Maybe a number two and three mismatch but only time will tell.
4.Houston-Not this year Texans, not this year although you will do much better, in fact you'll have the best year of your short existence.

NFC East
1.New York-The Super Bowl swagger goes a long way.
2.Dallas-Overrated this year but who else in this division can give them a run for their money?
3.Washington-Still problems, still close but not close enough.
4.Philadelphia-Its football season again, time for Mcnab to get hurt!

NFC West
1.Seattle-A weak conference and a weak division will help this veteran team go far.
2.San Francisco-An up and comping team that will hold their own in this division.
3. St. Louis-I can't name anyone good on your team.
4.Arizona-With all the talent in the world and you'll still suck because you're Arizona, your quarterback can't even win his job and your coach should be in Pittsburgh anyway.

NFC North
1.Minnesota-Young talent and a very weak division will get these guys to the playoffs.
2.Detroit-Good for you Lions, this year you'll shock us and make us clap...i hope.
3.Chicago-Take a seat Bears, you aren't going anywhere.
4.Green Bay-Get used to this slot Green Bay, you're gonna be here for a while.

NFC South
1.New Orleans-A crappy year won't happen twice with this much talent...will it?
2.Tampa Bay-Won't have to worry about the teams below you.
3.Carolina-I don't know anything about this team, highly doubt they'll do much.
4.Atlanta -No Vick, no wins.

The division winners will go to the playoffs but i think the AFC Championship will be the Colts against the Chargers with the Chargers going to the Super Bowl. From the NFC the Vikings will make it as a very young and talented team. They'll face Seattle for the NFC Championship but the Seahawk's veteran team and experience in the playoffs will win the day and they'll go to the Super Bowl, where they will fall to the San Diego Chargers.

These are just my guesses based on what i know about the teams and how they did last year. Sometimes i'm pretty close but a lot of the times i'm waaaaaay off. Thats the fun of the NFL, you never know whats going to happen! I'll repost this in December and see how right or how wrong i was but for now, thats my two cents.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Life: Soapstone Carving




As an Alaskan ive seen a lot of soapstone carvings in my day. Its a hobby that the Inuit have been doing for years and years. I was feeing very artistic lately and i wanted to do something new, something i could really sink my teeth into and while looking up Inuit art for inspiration i discovered soapstone carving and wanted to try it.

I won a box of soapstone from eBay, we don't have soapstone just lying on the ground here in PA, which sucks for me, so i have to order it online. I got the box today and i dug right in, i couldnt wait. I saw a rock that would make a good seal. I wanted to stick to Inuit style and make the animals they usually make, bears, seals, walrus, Inuit people, fish, whales, stuff like that. So after reading a ton about this online i went to work to see what i could do.

As you can see i went from normal looking rock to seal-type creature. This isn't done of course, i need to do the detail and more fine sanding then polishing. But isn't it cool how the rock's true colors come out after a lot of filing and sanding?? Id say this isn't so bad for my first try and only a few hours of work, if that, to complete this sculpture. I plan on getting more tools and taking my time for my next project. I'll keep you updated, and as for soapstone carving? Its a really fun rewarding challenging hobby, but thats my two cents.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

MUSIC: the band, Vanilla Mood



So i stumbled upon a new band today. Its four Japanese girls playing the piano, violin, cello and flute. These four are AMAZING! They play anything and everything! Give yourself a chance to get to know this quartet and their unique yet familiar sound!

Some of the songs i've heard that they do include, the theme from Never-Ending Story, Mission Impossible theme, Fur Elise, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Swanee River, The Four Seasons-Spring, the Saber Dance, theme from Rocky, We Are The Champions, theme from The great Escape, Take Me Home Country Roads, Stand by Me, theme from Pink Panther, Mrs. Robinson, The Locomotion, Imagine, Puff The Magic Dragon, Pretty Woman, Top Of The World, Like A Rolling Stone, What A Feeling from Flashdance, Over The Rainbow, Sir Duke, theme from E.T., Tequila, Mambo Number 5, a ton of Disney songs and classic hits plus many, many more! They put their own twist on all of these classics and I haven't heard a bad one yet!

They do something for everyone basically, go to Youtube and look up, Vanilla Mood, then just listen to a song you like, you wont be disappointed. Their style is peppy and cheery as well as beautiful and mellow. Without using lyrics they make for a GREAT background band. Wait i take that back, they all yelled, TEQUILA in that song, but other than that no words.

I've never had a favorite band in all of my life because i never could sit down and love each and every song a particular band did, this is as close as I'm going to get. Vanilla Mood is just down right spectacular. I think the key board player might be retarded or something but this group is just outstanding. So Keiko, Mariko, Yui and Waka here's to you! Please look them up because i love them and its only been 20 minutes and thats my two cents.

NOTE: Heres a cool fact, Keiko was born just two days after me!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blast from the Past Blog:The Littles cartoon series


The 80's gave us many, many cartoon series, some were good, some were great and some you just watched because it was a cartoon. The Littles was produced by DIC and if im correct it was their first cartoon, it aired on ABC Saturday mornings from 83-85 but its reruns ran for years and years. The Littles were tiny people who lived in the walls. They had tails and pointy ears and big teeth, kind of like mouse people. I believe the idea was taken from the novel, "The Borrowers." In the cartoon Henry Bigg, a normal boy finds the littles one day and befriends them. He is the only human that knows about them and is friends with them. The series was focused on Grandpa Little, his two grandchildren Tom and Lucy and their cousin Dinky, which i always thought was a hilarious name. In season three the episodes took place in a new location each week. The story goes that Henry does a ton of traveling and the Littles with their, "massive fascination," just wanted to come along. They go from distant country to distant country with a new adventure each episode. This time the only characters that were littles were Grandpa, Dinky and the two grandchildren, their parents and the rest of the little society had been written out of the series. There was also a feature film but it was just a big episode basically. A common reoccurring joke was Grandpa getting all pissed at Dinky and trying to hit him or chase him or just mess him up. Dinky was always screwing stuff up for everybody else, a sort of Little Gilligan.
The theme for this show really stood out for me, not only were the lyrics great but the tune was very catchy. By its last season in 85 you can hear an attitude in the girl's voice who sang the theme, a slice of pop culture for the time period. If i had no clue about the show or when it was made i could tell you mid 80's based only on hearing the theme.

Season 1 lyrics start out with Henry Bigg telling us about the Littles. They go: "I have a very special secret, im the only one who knows about tiny people living in our walls called, THE LITTLES." We are the littles, tails wiggle to and fro, we are the littles, we are living with you don't you know? We keep the secret from the outside, from Mr. Bigg we gotta hide, we use a pencil for a slide. Here come the littles so you better watch out! With their massive fascination, in almost every situation, everyday is a celebration, you cant top the littles cause the littles don't stop!

Season 2 starts out a little different. This time Henry Bigg doesn't narrate the story and the actual story of their meeting is revealed. The music and tune and some lyrics are the same but the music has just a tiny bit more of an attitude, you can hear the established cartoon demeanor. They go: Here come the littles, always running to and fro, here come the littles, they're living with you don't you know? One day when Henry went away the littles fell inside his suitcase, he later found his castaways when he opened his luggage and the littles jumped out! They've been the best friends ever since, hes got to secret their existence, inside the walls they've always been. He patched up the littles cause the littles don't stop!

Finally in season 3 the singer busts out some real attitude. This time the lyrics tell us the littles will be going around the world. Most of it is the littles themselves talking and getting into trouble so there is a big break in between the singer's lines. The theme shows them going to the jungle, to Egypt, to Japan, to Mayan ruins, a Scottish castle and even in space. They go: Here come the littles. Traveling around the world, they'll go from one land to the other, they know theres so much to discover, here come the littles so you better watch out! The littles massive fascination in almost every situation, here come the littles so you better watch out!

although the three season openers changed the end credits always remained the same. As the credits rolled, the littles would be running around the screen getting into trouble. These lyrics were different from the beginning themes but the tune was always the same. They go: We are the littles, tails wiggle to and fro. We are the littles, we're living with you don't you know? We keep a secret from the outside, from Mr. Bigg we gotta hide. We use a pencil for a slide, you cant top the littles cause the littles don't stop!

This wasn't a spectacular cartoon that was beloved by millions of kids such as He-man, Thundercats or Ducktales but i do believe everyone my age watched it just the same. That to me is worth noting. I remember when they made a live action movie of the borrowers i remember saying, thats bullshit, thats just the littles and you ripped them off. Haha, turns out the littles could have been the rip offs either way i'll always like that show. Check out the themes on youtube or retrojunk.com

They also owned a tiny turtle named Slick. I told myself i would name my next turtle Slick for the one on the Littles. I forgot all about it and didnt name my turtle Slick, im kicking myself in the ass for it everytime i think of the littles. All in all this was a show you could just sit down and watch and you know it was going to be good. I never turned the channel but i never remember saying, YES, THE LITTLES ARE ON!!! Watch a few episodes, i know it wont be the same but if you remember it will surely take you back and thats my two cents.

Review of the movie, TROLL, 1986

Above Noah Hathaway (left) as we know him from the Never Ending Story. Below Noah Hathaway after getting thrown into the wall. (Now thats good wall hitting acting!!)

I watched the movie, "Troll" from 1986 today. One of the worst movies i have ever seen, yet pretty good. It stars Noah Hathaway, (Atreyu from Never Ending Story), June Lockhart, (mom from Lassie), Sonny Bonno, (married to Cher for a while), and Julia-Louis Dreyfus, (Seinfeld). Its all about a family who moves into a new apartment in San Francisco. Its funny that the people wanted the movie to take place in such a distinguishable place because it was really filmed in Italy and you could tell. Haha, although they did put the golden gate bridge up in the background of one of the shots, it was horribly fake looking but still a nice try. The father's name is Harry Potter, which i just thought was hilarious, Noah's name is Harry Potter Jr. Not very original for the writers but could they sue the author of the Harry Potter books??? Odd that this movie is about wizards and magic and stuff like that, makes you think.....
So in the first two minutes of the film the little sister goes into the basement of their building to chase after a ball, she soon gets attacked by the troll who for some reason lives there. Being able to look just like her, he moves in with the family to mess around. At first you think hes just causing some mischief but later discover hes there to take over the world. (good plot!) There are a lot of zany and wacky characters who live in the small apartment building just perfect for attackings, such as Sonny Bono who plays a sex crazed swinger who hates children and flips out on the dad because he is afraid he wont be able to, "score," as he says. There is also an x marine, Julia-louis Dreyfus, a midget professor and a witch who knows all about the troll and his stuff.
The troll is out to change the tenants of the apartment building into his troll type creature friends. If he manages to change all the people into his troll folk, he will rule the world i guess. They don't give any kind of time frame other than, "soon." He has some stupid ring that changes people into trolls. I looked this movie up on IMD and the plot they have is so wrong i can't believe someone wrote that out.
This movie puts in a lot of swearing where it just doesn't need to go, maybe that was the Italians idea, beats me. Noah puts in an admirable performance even though he was surrounded by talentless wash ups...he is one too so you get the idea of how bad it was. Noah starts to wonder if his sister is messed up when she eats a hamburger like a pig then runs around the building screaming, later she throws him against the wall. He soon learns that June Lockhart is a witch, who used to be a princess, who used to be in love with the troll, who used to be a prince elf, who both used to live thousands of years ago. Also she owns a mushroom that used to be a wizard. *rolls eyes* A poorly designed puppet i might add, NOT A JIM HENSON thats for sure!
The creatures in this movie were down right freaky as shit. In fact thats Sonny Bono's line when he first sees the troll hiding under his couch, "SHIT!" Now for the 80's, puppets that looked like that were perfectly normal, there were a ton of movies of this genre that had freaky monsters like that but by todays standards it was a 10.0 on the erie meter. The story line was less that solid and the acting was just down right bad, keep in mind i have seen a lot worse, A LOT worse! Also it was more than obvious that the guy in the troll suit was the midget, he played duel roles, i mean hey, why pay two 3 feet people when you can pay one right?
This was the only other movie i have ever seen that had Noah Hathaway in it, when it came on i thought id watch a few seconds of the movie but when i saw his name first in the credits i just had to sit back for the entire thing. This was post never ending story and you could tell, it was definitely Atreyu but his voice had since changed. He also had his hair cut short which was hard for me to get used to.
Some notable scenes in the movie were, well when the troll turned Julia-Louis Dreyfus into some sort of sex elf and she ran around her apartment bare assed to lure her boyfriend into the fantasy world to kill him. When the little girl who was the troll threw her brother into the wall. When the dad turned on some 80's cover of "there ain't no cure for the summer time blues" and then did the worst dancing i have ever seen. When Sonny Bono falls down the stairs and exclaims, "shit." And when the troll goes into the swinger's apartment and as he is killing him and waiting for him to die, picks up a playboy and starts to look at it. ( i don't think he was reading the articles) Also when the witch shoots a troll with her magic staff and says, "that should teach you, you little creep."
I'd like to note that at the end of this movie everyone who got transformed into a troll creature doesn't come back. I really thought everything would be restored to normal but other than the little girl coming back, that was it, everyone else must have stayed dead. There were many holes in this movie like that.
I give the actors in this movie an A just because of Noah. I give the dialog a C. I give the story line a D and the idea a C because it was original but not that well developed. I give the acting a D, and only because i have seen worse, which is hard to believe. I give the special effects a D because the puppets were poorly done, freaky as they were and the computer animated magic stuff was just horrible, i know i know it was 1986, but still. Over all i give this movie a C- it is worth seeing and the more the better because its just one to sit down and laugh at and thats my two cents.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hearts Tournament

The date has been set, Thanksgiving 2008 we will host a Hearts card tournament. Four tables of four players each. The top two scores go on to make up two new tables. The top two from those two tables will go on to be the final four of the winner's table for one last championship game. This should be a lot of fun, it was my idea and I'm glad everyone really liked the idea and is willing to participate. I can't wait now. The tables are pretty evenly matched but although hearts takes a lot of thinking, card counting and decisiveness it still comes down to luck of the draw sometimes so anyone can come away a winner...or loser. I'm real excited for it, i dont think ill make it to the winners table but its going to be fun no matter how far i go. The surprise for everyone will be a very special deck of cards. I found a site online that customizes decks for people so im going to make a special Lucas hearts tournament deck just for the occasion. Either way i cant wait to play its going to make Thanksgiving even better, if thats possible. Hearts is an all around great game, i like it so much more than poker. I think everyone should learn to play because it comes on computers and thats my two cents.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Inukshuk


Inukshuk, not sure how that is pronounced but i believe its, (in-ook-shuck). This is an Inuit word meaning "in the image of a man." Inuit is what many people would call an Eskimo, but they don't really like that term. These are stacked rocks to look like a person, but very general. The 2010 Olympic games in Canada are going to use an inukshuk as their symbol. People think they were landmarks because on the tundra there aren't many. Others believe they were used for direction, an early road sign i guess you could say. Some say they were for a food cache. Although it is unknown they still stand today and many artists are making them on a much smaller scale for the sake of art.
As an Alaskan i felt like more people should learn about these stone men so on Tuesday i decided to go and make some along fourwheeler paths. I assumed some punk kids would drive by, see them, and get off to kick them over but either way i wanted to do it. These things are hard to make! They look simple and for the most part are, but rocks are heavy and stacking isnt easy when the rocks arent flat. Needless to say i finally erected one. It probably fell over by now but i know for a fact two other people got to see it before it did....perhaps its still there? I wanted to make a bunch of them at different points in hopes that maybe someday they would be considered landmarks like their northern giant cousins of the Arctic. While transporting some big rocks i went down a hill and they rolled off the back of the fourwheeler and into my legs, it hurt like hell and i gave up. But not on the idea! I will make more sometime, better ones, bigger ones, i may even add some concrete so they cant fall apart.

My First Fourwheeler

So i decided to finally get a fourwheeler. Ive wanted one for just about as long as i can remember. I saw a used one for sale, thats the kind i wanted because if it were too new, i would baby it too much. A fourwheeler needs to get dirty, it needs to get banged up, it needs to go where it wants to. I found a 1995 Polaris 400 Sport. Sounds old but in fourwheeler years its pretty young, these things last forever even if you dont treat them right. I plan on treating this one right and plan on having it for another 15 years or so.
I went ahead and got it, our other Polaris fourwheeler is a 250, and another is also a 250 so a 400 is a pretty big change....a NICE change! This thing goes where it wants and it gets there fast. It has a ton of power and speed, more than you really need but its fun to have. I took several rides on it and spent this tuesday just riding around. Its white, red and black so i attached a Thundercats logo which i feel is a good fit. Either way i feel everyone should get a fourwheeler at some time in their life, you wont regret it! And thats my two cents.