31 January 2007

January 2007 Music Reviews

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by Smashing Pumpkins (bought on iTunes): (This was one of my CD's that was stolen out of my office when I worked at Cox Cable.) I fear that I am ordinary, just like everyone... Billy Corgan and I grew up 35 miles apart and have some interesting comparables in our backgrounds. Although it is true I am NOT in the same place now that I was in 1995 when this came out, it was amazing how it spoke to me then, and is a good reminder of where I was then. Without a doubt, Muzzle is the song I am after here, it may still be in my top ten for songs, it is one of three songs I keep the lyrics for laying around on my computer. To me the entire song offers the best insight into the empty rage that comes from trying to be validated by the world...


Heard by me on the radio this morning:

Bears player Tank Johnson, who is facing weapons and probabtion violation charges, responded to a question about the pending accusations by saying (about the press) "...they'll talk about you when you get pulled over for a parking ticket."


30 January 2007

Super Bowl Bound

Okay, for the long overdue SuperBowl posting, first off


Secondly, I predict the Bears win 34-24. I cannot see the Colts scoring at will on a pumped up Bears defense playing with a chip on their shoulder. The Bears offense plays much better loose than with the pressure on it. The X-factor is the Bears defense and return teams which scored 9 touchdowns in the regular season, but none so far in two post season games. The offenses play to a draw, with the Bears special teams and defense winning the game.

Now for some amatuer analysis. Maybe I missed this part in all of the hype about the superior Indianapolis Colts offense. I did some crack research, and found out that during the regular season, the Bears scored 427 points, and the Colts scored 427 points. Hmmm, that seems fairly even to me. Yes, it is true that the combined records of the Colts opponents (128-128) was better than the Bears opponents (110-146), but it averages out to just a little more than one game better (Colts 8-8, Bears 7-9), not too overwhelming. During the regular season the Colts scored an average of 26.7 points per game and allowed 22.5. The Bears also scored 26.7, but only allowed 15.9. The overall league average was 20.6 points per team per game. The Colts opponents scored an average of 20.9 points per game and allowed 20.5 points per game, very close to league average. The Bears opponents were obviously not as good, with 19.2 scored, and 21.7 allowed. Taking these differences into account, the Colts opponents were on average about 3 points per game tougher than the Bears.

Simple scoring analysis (CHI Points scored + IND points allowed)/2 vs. (IND Points scored + CHI points allowed)/2 would indicate the Bears should come away with a 25 to 21 point victory. Even allowing the Colts the 3 points for their tougher opponents, although closer, still favors the Bears.

Feel free to blast my simplified math analysis, but it got 8/10 playoff games correct so far, and as a Bears fan here is to making it 9 of 11.

Midwest Balboa Festival

Yes! It is almost time for another Omaha Jitterbugs event! The Midwest Balboa Swing Festival is at the end of March, and I've jumped through hoops a plenty to get myself off of work to attend.

midwest balfest

For those of you who aren't familiar with balboa as a dance, balboa is like eating perfect fudge to other dances being like chewing on raw sugar cane. The only other dance I've seen that compares in it's intimacy is tango (which I can't do). When I took my first balboa class, Billy said it would become my favorite dance, and he is right. The connection, the feel, the closeness, it is true that pure balboa is not as exciting to watch as some other dances, but when you dance it, particularly with someone you are comfortable with, you KNOW you are dancing. It is SWEET!

Live bands, great dancers from all over the country, heck, just listening to Peter Loggins talk about the history of dance is worth the price of admission.

Sign up today!

It's a cartoon world... v0003

The post that just won't go away, Gingerkid has this take and description of me:

Onionboy doing all his favorite things (including sleeping)

You can see Gingerkid's "southparkerized" versions of her, her boy Michael, and me here.

26 January 2007

My fifteen minutes, cartoon style

Check me out! I'm famous! Thanks to the super-talented Cornstalker, and his web comic, Cortland. Click to see my premire on the comic.

23 January 2007

The token male

Last night was the baby shower for Robin and soon to be Daniel (or Danielle). I was the token male. It was the usual, games, gifts, and food ... just cause it was the usual doesn't mean it wasn't fun, it was very fun. It will be nice when Robin is no longer pregnant and blaming her forgetfulness on the baby. The most entertaining part of the evening was when Conner stood up and did a little song and dance routine about motherhood. She is very good.

shower 11
Daniel's representitive opening his gifts from Conner.

shower 02
Melissa did a great job organizing.

shower 08
Finally the food, hey Viv, is that cheese???

You can see all 17 photos in this set here.

It's a cartoon world... v0002

Sure, you can have too much of a good thing, and I'm heading in that direction!

I know this hair is not orange enough. Gingerkid can't pitch yet, but she sure can hit.

Everyone has a secret superhero identity... It's MintyMae! Boldly saving the day with her purse of power, making the world safe for coconutty drinks everywhere!

Justsmilechild here right before she hits the stage in front of 40,000 screaming fans!

I really wanted to do "kung-fu-hustle" Spanky. Click here to see what Mae thinks he looks like.

Who knew a chick like this could swing dance?

Anyone else want to be SouthParked? ReportWriter? Jittercliff? Insane Elf?

edit: we have takers!

The Insane Elf as she looks in the morning after another up too late night at college. (She wishes she was in the coed dorm so she'd have a good excuse.)

It's JennyJitterbug (aka double J) heading out the door into a Nebraska winter. She's probably going somewhere to dance.

You don't want to be a member of a goat rodeo when ReportWriter is behind the wheel of her Jeep. Who knew?

Other people who've done themselves:

The original post: It's a cartoon world...

20 January 2007

It's a cartoon world...

Okay, I am not the biggest south park fan, but this thing was just too much fun to resist goofing off with. Much thanks to Jannaverse for this delightful little diversion.

Me! I hope my hair is sufficiently messed up.

Seriously, this is exactly what Viv looks like with her hat on.

This was a half serious attempt of Venche from the picture on my desk.

If you have to ask who this guy could be holding a sword & shield and wearing a wedding dress, well you just don't know, do you.

The Cornstalker here, why don't they just have the right hair color???

Hmmm, it looks like Maegmariel is doing some last minute studying after another late night playing Wii

Yes, MistyJoJangles, you are so tough with your cute little teddy bear!

And what collection of 'photos' is complete without a picture of my piratey twin, OnionBeard? Arg!

For sure I wish they had one of these for the Order of the Stick *sigh*. You can get your own at: South Park Studio v2. Thanks to them also.

edit: if you make one of these of me, i will post it - call it fan art!

19 January 2007

Happy Birthday Gingerkid!

I love having friends at work! Especially ones with a sense of humor AND a birthday. Happy Birthday Gingerkid! (Actual birthday Jan 20)

17 January 2007

NFL playoffs Bears watching

Okay, I haven't jinxed the Bears all season long. I have patiently watched them go 13-3 during the regular season, and watched a tight team win their first playoff game. I haven't bragged, I haven't really gloated, I've just been patient, knowing the entire season was really about that first playoff game. Despite putting a lot of pressure on themselves, they won it. Now I am going to write about them.

Go Bears!

First off I know this was a uptight team. All the mistakes that were made by the players and the coaches, they just looked bad, and at times stupid, but that is what you do when you are trying not to blow it instead of trying to win it. When they did win it, they celebrated like they won the little league world series, it was probably a huge relief to get the monkey off of their back.

Although it was an overtime win, I never really felt like Seattle was much of a threat to win the game. I felt the same way when I saw the Southern Illinois vs. Creighton mens basketball game last year in Omaha. Creighton kept giving it their best shot, and the Saluki's just rolled with the punches, didn't get too excited or hyped, just kept playing until they won. The Bears played like that this past Sunday, only many of the punches they took were self inflicted, however they made plays when they needed to make them. Linebacker Brian Urlacher defending a pass 40 yards down the field was a spectacular example of that and the Bears talent on defense... as Gregg Easterbrook said in his ESPN TMQ column:
...painful sequence for (Sea)Hawks fans: Chicago ball, and Rex Grossman throws a 68-yard touchdown strike to Bernard Berrian, who runs the deep post with no safety in sight. Now it's three snaps later, and Matt Hasselbeck throws the deep post to Darrell Jackson. Brian Urlacher, the middle linebacker, is in position deep to break up the pass...

I think the second half of the season was more about not blowing it than aggressively winning. Despite playing like this for months, they still won more games than they lost. Hopefully now they can take a collective sigh of relief and go out and take a game instead of playing not to lose.

One of my big complaints about the NFL and sports in general is that team management would rather have the questionably motivated star than the guy who hates to lose. I think Chicago has a bunch of players who want to win, and they play as a team. When the offense struggled, the defensive leaders were out front of the media supporting their teammates, when the defense struggled, they offense did the same. Yes it is nice when you have a guys who are both fantastic and hate to lose, like Urlacher or center Olin Kreutz, but I would take a good player who likes to win over a great player who doesn't care any day. It's working in New England.

So onto predictions about this weeks NFC championship game. I think the Bears will win, and handily so, playing well on both sides of the ball and special teams. The shoe comes off of the Cinderella Saints, as usually happens with 'teams of destiny' in the championship round. This puts the Bears into the Superbowl (can I say that without paying the NFL something) ... and gives the background & color scheme on my blog at least two more weeks of life.

When you get around to reading this one...

There is a procrastination test web site: click here

I scored a 38 out of 100 (100 begin the worst) on the "Measure My Attention" test, and also a 38 out of 100 on the "Measure My Procrastination" test. That is 100% consistency by me! I am kind of surprised on both, I mean come on, I have a reputation for having atten ... hey look, a chicken! ... where was I? Oh yeah, for someone supposedly being so A.D.D., I did pretty well on the attention section. I was slightly surprised I was not lower on the procrastination scale than I am. I tend to get things done (finishing my kitchen not withstanding) now, and goof off on the back side.

15 January 2007

16 months later

At least for the time being, I can fill up for right around $20.

I'm not big on conspiracy theories, I think that powerful people just do what they want right out in front of everyone with a minimum of trying to hide it. In mid-August 05 I published this post about how oil company execs and toadies would get their money back from the collapse of Enron and the Katrina mess ... they would just raise gas prices until they got it back from us, and afterwards, gas prices would come back down to near their pre-Enron, pre-Katrina levels. Oh look, gas is under $2.00 again in the Omaha area. I figure I contributed around $650-$700 during the last sixteen months. Enjoy it now, Mr. & Ms. Empty Suit, I think it will be tough to take with you when you divest yourself of this mortal realm.

No snow blower, no problem...

For those of you who live in no-snow areas, this is a "fluffy" snow. That means when you shovel it, you only get sweaty instead of getting sweaty AND throwing out your back.

This window actually has plastic on it, but I still have this beautiful artwork by Jack Frost.

12 January 2007

What a dork!

Flashback to last June, I just found this picture floating around on the internet. This is one of those times when you should get a notice back that says something like "sorry, your picture could not be uploaded, the internet is full..."

Hey, Michaela, who is the biggest dork around? It's me!

Much thanks to Terri (424U) for allowing me to borrow this picture (unknowingly), you can see all 53 photos in her set here.

11 January 2007

Random Thoughts v0002

Gruel And Unusual...
For the past couple of days I have had oatmeal for breakfast. This happens every so often I just get in the mood for it. When I eat it I can't help having the following words run through my head "this is rib sticking food", and even at my weight I don't like that thought.

Adventures At The Grocery Store...
I remember my iPod, but of course the batteries are completely drained. Welcome to classic rock, No-Frills style.

Grocery lists are a must for me, I still bought three things not on the list, but it was of the I forgot to put this on my list variety.

Yeah! My cart rolled straight and I didn't have to wait in line.

$116?!?!?! I just wanted to buy groceries, not the whole store.

No One Is Innocent...
Has there been a slimier collection of people than those involved with the Duke lacrosse (alleged) rape case? The accuser, the accused, the D.A., all have the ethical capacity of cockroach.

I feel like I need a shower just reading about it.

Those who have known me a long time know this is my worst day to day struggle. I very often (unrealistically) feel like I am about to lose my job, my friends, my whatever. Probably this is an (emotional?) abandonment issue. Anything that goes wrong can set it off. I recently realized that I would have to do something pretty stupid to get Viv off of my side, and today I had some similar feelings expressed by another friend.

I often say the golden rule swings both ways. I don't believe that you abandon your friends at the first sign of trouble, yet I have trouble believing that people feel that way about me despite reassurance and evidence.

Denial Looks Like...
US Government policy on global warming. Regardless of the cause, consequences, and solution, it is just unfathomable how you can look at the facts and not see an obvious trend.

Better Than Homemade Ice Cream...
My friends, you gals and guys are the best ever, I can only hope to be more like you are.

What's The Delay Here???
It has been almost six months since Apple announced you could buy movies on iTunes. I checked today, and there are a grand total of 235 movies available, and a whole lot of those are B movies and video only releases. If it weren't for their relationship with Disney, there would be virtually no 'big' movies at all, except for those piratey movies. I know I don't have a reputation for being a movie fan, but I do like some, and I like the idea of having them at my finger tips to watch at my pace and leisure.

I feel like I am at a crossroads with my dancing. I do well enough as a social dancer, but I feel kind of stuck with it. I want to be more creative, and I am finding it difficult to be so with a couple of exceptions (follows). I suppose it is my brain that is stuck and I can be more creative with almost anyone I dance with, but I am still feeling jammed into a dancing crevice.

So you are all warned, I might try something unexpected on a dance floor near you soon.

A Brain The Size Of Half A Walnut...
As I unloaded the groceries, I left the back door open. I usually let the cats get out and play in the back yard for :15 minutes or so. Here are Sierra's activities for the last :05 before I chased her in:
Run outside
Run inside
Run outside
Run down the deck stairs
Run up the deck stairs
Run inside
Run outside
Hide behind the shovel
Run down the deck stairs
Roll in dirt
Run up the deck stairs
Run down the deck stairs
Go outside the fence
Go inside the fence
Go outside the fence
Run under the car
Run out from under the car
Go inside the fence
Run up the deck stairs
Run inside
Run outside
Run down the deck stairs
Roll in dirt
Run up the deck stairs
Hide behind the shovel
Run inside
Run outside
Run inside
Run outside
Hide behind the shovel
Go inside to stay - I'm worn out just writing about it.

Zeke's activities:
Slink outside.
Jump off of the deck
Circle the shed once
Hunker down in the dirt and sit
Get picked up and carried in.

10 January 2007

Help Wanted

Hey Jitterbugs (et al), looking for something to do on Saturday, January 13? Friends of the Omaha Jitterbugs, Great Adventures Ministries, is leasing the basement of the building at 1316 Jones Street in Omaha, and is the process of doing some (de)construction in the basement.

They have supported the Jitterbugs consistently over the last couple of years by putting people on the dance floor at JNO and using our DJ's and instructors for lessons. There has even been talk of them putting a dance floor in their space and allowing us to use their facility in case we ever, you know, were pre-empted by something else going on at the Eagles Club... Let's return the favor.

This will be hard, dirty, heavy work, but should be emotionally satisfying. They are asking people to bring leather gloves, socket set, work clothes & boots, cleaning supplies, cleaning gloves, fiberglass ladders (not an extension ladder), hammers, crow bars, cordless screw drivers, old sheets. Not mentioned but definitely needed are safety googles and plenty of fluids for you to drink.

The times are 0900-1400 (that's 9am to 2pm for those of you 24hr clock challenged). See some of you there!

There have been some edits containing updated information and corrections.

04 January 2007

Hey! Spanky! What were they thinking?

From the "if you're not guilty" department: taken from the police blotter of the Bellevue Leader online edition 01/02/07.
Three goons tried to make a run for it from the Kwik Shop at 502 W. Mission Ave. last Tuesday night.
Cops pursued the vehicle and cornered it at College Park Apartments, 401 W. 19th Ave. Officers arrested all three men and wondered why the trio fled since the car they were driving wasn't stolen and they were guilty of no major crime - until they tried to run from police of course.

02 January 2007

Happy New Year 2007 Style

Happy New Year to all. The visual evidence of this year is much less incriminating than that of the past few years, in fact, my activities of the night were more restrained also. Enough yabbering onto the pictures.

new years 2007 01
Didn't anyone tell Spanky I was on the wagon? Spanky drank his with a straight face, however, Mae, Michaela, and I didn't fare so well, yuck. Bonus points for you if you can guess from the picture which one I drank.

new years 2007 04
Fortunately, Spanky is a way better cook than bartender. This was all super-tasty, including the cookies and bread made by Viv and I.

100_2344 (cliff) new years 2007 09 new years 2007 25 new years 2007 06
In addition to food and drinks, there was plenty of dancing, beautiful people, games, and friends!

new years 2007 03
Too cool for 2006.

100_2330 (cliff)
Mae says "Hey, look, Schmendrick is back from California! The snow didn't keep him away, darn it ... I mean good."

100_2317 (cliff)
Whatever Matt just said, it had to be funny.

new years 2007 10 100_2291 (cliff)
Andrew loves it when you take his picture! "What! You're going to put it on the internet?"

100_2317 (cliff)
Timmo & Dave sporting two great hairstyles!

100_2259 (cliff) 100_2283 (cliff) 100_2301 (cliff)
I danced WAY more than I drank, cause dancing is more fun.

100_2300 (cliff)
Jinx disagrees, well, she probably doesn't like drinking either.

100_2323 (cliff) 100_2329 (cliff)
Woohoo! It's midnight! Okay ladies line up to get your official new years kiss from The Onionboy! Hey! Where did everyone go?

new years 2007 23
A New Years Resolution for everyone ... never ever tickle this.

Much thanks to Cliff for allowing me to borrow pictures, you can see all 104 photos in his set here. You can see all 26 photos in my set here.

editors note: I am trying something new to make my page load faster. Thanks for reading The Onion Skin News.