Sunday, August 31, 2008

Big Screen Bloggin'

I'm typing this to you through the magic of television—big screen television, Bay-bee!

The monitor I was using for the super-charged desktop PC died a little while ago so I decided to hook it up to the 46-inch screen in the living room. Add a wireless keyboard and mouse and you're ready to roll. The result isn't as perfect as I'd like but it will do until I can get another monitor for the office.

One of the more cool things I can do is watch YouTube videos and read my digital comics from the couch without the laptop battery threatening to burn a hole in my leg.

* * * * * * * *

This past Friday, I learned that I'll likely have to work some insane hours throughout the month of September. As I wait for authorization to work on the project I was hired for, I've been asked to assist in creating some training materials for another project. However, this project is already behind and I have until the end of the month to finish. Grr. Argh.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ohio Recap

This past weekend I took a trip to Ohio, a state yours truly had never visited before. The drive up wasn't too heinous save for a stop in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. I mentioned the stop in a Twitter so I guess I can elaborate now.

It had been about four and a half hours before I decided to stop for lunch. Since Hardees is nonexistent in Northern Virginia, I figured a Thickburger was appropriate. Stepping inside, the interior smelled like anger and sorrow. After ordering my Prime Rib Thickburger (which is delicious) and chocolate shake (not bad but way too small), I was witness to the manager having a friggin' meltdown. It was beyond uncomfortable standing there waiting for food as the shouting and the crying took place. A tiny employee eventually gave me my food and looked like she was afraid I was going to yell at her. I politely thanked her and told her to have a good day. I hope that tiny bit of kindness helped her through the day.

Upon arriving in Columbus, I checked into my hotel at the Extended StayAmerica and settled into my efficiency. Soon, I picked up my friend Jamie and we took a trip to Easton Town Center, the local, upscale mall which looked like it belonged in another dimension compared to the surrounding area. The rest of the area looked very depressed, reminding me a lot of Manassas if the economy was worse. Jamie and I spent a good chunk of time at the Barnes & Noble there.

Later that night, we had dinner at the local Steak N Shake. Steak N Shake is awesome! It's set up like a 1950's diner and serves up typical diner fare, the best being the signature Steakburgers. I also ordered a chocolate malt, which was served in a ginormous glass. Needless to say, I slept very well that night.

Sunday, we stopped by White Castle (see photos below) before going back to my hotel room so she could take a shower and change out of her work uniform. Soon, we returned to Easton Town Center to catch a movie. That movie was the quite excellent The Dark Knight (I'll discuss that in another post tomorrow). We had dinner afterward and then called it a night.

Driving home was a bit frustrating. I had hoped to just reverse the course I had taken to get to Ohio. However, the state of Pennsylvania has seen fit to make return trips through the state as convoluted as humanly possible. Whereas I had taken I-70 to I-68 and back to I-70 during my initial journey, that route was unavailable on the return trip. In order to continue on I-70, you had to get on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Turnpike goes on for miles and miles without very many stops along the way. Granted, taking the Turnpike took about a half hour out of my trip but I would have liked the option of going my planned original route instead of paying $5 for the privilege. I know: complain, complain, complain.

So now I'm home. I'll have all of tomorrow to unwind before beginning work Wednesday. Overall, it was a great weekend thanks to Jamie who I'm sure is reading this. Thanks for a great time, Jamie. You are the coolest and 18 shades of awesome.

De Baisch Goes to White Castle! Part 3

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After 10 Sliders, lunch is done. For this weary traveler, t'was verily the Greatest Lunch. However, there are side effects to eating 10 Sliders that tend to show up several hours later. Ask your doctor if White Castle is right for you.

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De Baisch Goes to White Castle! Part 2

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Wish me luck!

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

De Baisch Goes to White Castle!

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Behold the splendor of its majestic presence. Does a great lunch await or does the greatest lunch await?

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bye De!

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Fudgie the Whale had a message for me during my farewell lunch.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Auction Time

Over on the sidebar, underneath the Retroactive Conspirators blogroll, is a list of auctions I have going on Ye Olde Ebay. During the next several weeks, I will be auctioning off a number of items to free up a bit of space in the house as well as the storage unit. Lots of geeky goodness awaits from the seller known as embaisch.

If you see anything you like, please feel free to bid early and bid often. This week, I'm selling:
  1. A set of the 12-inch scale Young Frankenstein figures by Sideshow Toys. The set of three includes Frederick, Igor, and The Monster in their grayscale glory.
  2. The exclusive convention figures of She-Hulk and Stan Lee from last year's San Diego Comic-Con. Stan Lee comes with a jacket and pants as well as a Spider-Man and a Peter Parker head so you can switch their identities. She-Hulk is in her Fantastic Four outfit and comes with her lawyer outfit.
  3. An Elvis Presley doll with the King of Rock 'n Roll wearing his Army uniform.

There are other items as well, including a number of 12-inch scale military uniforms and accessories. More stuff is on the way so keep an eye out on the sidebar or check me out on the Ebay. The huckster posts here will be kept to a strict limit of once a week or less.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Robbie Greenberger

I just learned that Robbie Greenberger, son of Bob Greenberger, passed away last night at the age of 20.

More than a year ago, Robbie was diagnosed with leukemia. With him being strong in both body and spirit, we believed he would beat this thing. However, hopes were somewhat dashed earlier this summer when part of a lung had to be removed due to infection.

My fondest memory over the years was the Shore Leave Masquerade a couple of years ago when he participated in a gag as one of several Johnny Depp roles (he was JM Barrie). I was in another gag wearing a fairly stinky Darth Vader helmet. We spent a good amount of time goofing around as if we'd been old friends forever.

Robbie's presence at the conventions has certainly been missed this past year. His family, his friends, and his extended "con family" will miss him forever.

Last month at Shore Leave, a bone marrow drive was run in his honor. I'd like to extend that by linking to the National Marrow Donor Program's Donor recruitment page. Enter your zip code and find a donor drive. It's the least we can do for Robbie.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

From the "You've Got to be Kidding Me" Department

Evidently the San Diego Comic-Con has no policy against harrassment. That's just unimaginable considering how huge that show has become. I go to three or four science-fiction conventions a year and they all have policies against this crap.

Please read the report I linked to and spread the word. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Farewell J'onn J'onzz

Martian Manhunter 1955-2008
Heart and soul of the Justice League
Lover of Oreo cookies
You will be missed beyond words

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Isaac Hayes (1942-2008)

I just heard that Isaac Hayes passed away today at the age of 65. Usually two things come to mind for most folks when Isaac's name is mentioned: "The Theme from Shaft" and Chef from South Park. I'll always remember him as the epitome of cool with whom I shared a laugh one awesome night in DC.

My good friend Dana called one day to tell me that Mr. Hayes would be in the city signing copies of his new cookbook, Cooking with Heart and Soul. When Dana calls about that sort of thing, it typically means we're set for an evening of adventure. The night comes and we (Dana, his then-girlfriend AM, and yours truly) hightail it to the Borders after work like we're escaping from New York. We're about an hour early but we buy our books and receive the very first tickets. Soon, Isaac shows up wearing this purple African garb that only Isaac Hayes can get away with wearing (very similar to the photo above) and addresses the now-assembled crowd. He talks about growing up in Tennessee and how his mother's cooking was a big part of that. He also breaks into the Chef voice to discuss the chocolate salty balls recipe in the book. To say I was restraining myself from bouncing off the walls is an understatement.

We get in line to have our books signed and the next few moments are just magic. The tickets we received had a spot for spelling our names so I put my name down and a lyric from "The Theme from Shaft":


Isaac takes a look at my ticket, chuckles, and simply writes:



AM snaps a picture of me doing the infamous "thumbs up" as Isaac signs. Once he's finished, I tell him he rules and he initiates a handshake with a colossal grin, telling me to take it easy. Needless to say, I was walking on clouds for the rest of the night.

We lost a terrific dude today. Farewell Isaac. To me, you were truly an A-Number One guy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Time Has Not Been Kind

Crap in a hat. Another week between entries. I'll try to be better about this but work has been piling up and I'm fairly exhausted at the end of the day after doing house stuff, dealing with the kids and pets, and attempting to unwind a little bit.

So what happened this past week you may ask? Not much.

Miriya has learned how to giggle, which is very very cute. Like her father, she's great to be around when she's in a good mood but not so great when she's cranky. This should be terrific when we hit the teenage years.

Work still bites. I'll just leave it at that lest I say something I might regret (keyword being might).

The ColecoVision console arrived yesterday. The unit is in pristine condition and is modified to use regular RCA connection cables instead of the old switch box. It fired right up without a hitch. This was the greatest gaming system when I was a kid (back in the halcyon days of 1982). Maybe I'll get around to doing a write-up on the system in a few weeks (yes yes, I can hear all saying in unison, "We've heard that one before.")

Watched Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay Friday night and liked it. It was stupid, but fairly funny. I didn't love it nearly as much as Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, but that's typically the caveat of sequels. One thing that I distinctly didn't care for was the rampant recreational drug use. Sure, that happened in the first but that film also had much much more to it. I know these are supposed to be the modern-day equivalent of Cheech and Chong, but I want more from a film than marijuana jokes every 10 minutes. If that's your thing, terrific, but me, not so much.

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