Monday, March 29, 2010


Well, it's another Monday, and I have an interesting stash of geekery and what not to consider.

First, is my youngest son's apparent love of How to Train your Dragon. What happened, is that last week, I downloaded and installed the kid-friendly browser KidZui, and launched it for him. Well, they were featuring that particular movie on their home page with trailers and backgrounds and what not. So, of course he watched the trailer, and then managed to snag a happy meal toy, and is now thus inspired in his desire to see said movie.

Additionally, I'll note that I failed to perform any work on the boys' tree house this weekend, mainly because I was in the woods with the Cub Scouts. Which went incredibly well, despite my wife's intense dislike of me allowing our eldest to explore said woods with only other scouts to guide/help him.

Sunday morning, we braved the horrid weather to walk to the lake and attempt to fish. Which was something of a fail. The wind was too strong, and it was making it nearly impossible for the eldest to cast his line out, and even I was having trouble keeping it in a straight line.

Sadly, the only bite of the day was a small (~7-8 inches) spotted bass (the picture is not the one I landed). Since prior to today, I thought that a spotted bass had to be more than 12 inches long in order to be kept, we released it back into the lake.

Anyways, after fighting the wind for a bit longer, we then hiked back to the campsite, got into the truck and came on home.

Also, last Thursday was my Beloved Wife's birthday, which I did manage to make mention of on this site, but we celebrated by visiting a hibachi joint rather close by. Which served a decent BBQ eel roll, but sadly, the sushi was not quite as good as Osaka's or Nagoya's sushi offerings.

And really, that's all the exciting that happened over the week for me. Especially when one considers that last week was something of a bust, since I was down with a stomach bug smacked dab in the middle of it. Well, here's to hoping that "The Passing" DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 gets released soon. I'm excited about a new campaign in which to slaughter thousands of zombies within.

Even sadder, is that the Spring anime season doesn't seem like it's going to have anything good to watch. So far, these are the only ones that really caught my attention:

  • Angel Beats - after life fighting between groups of "angels"
  • Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou - future "Devil King" has to fight to live
  • Arakawa under the Bridge - man meets homeless girl, moves under a bridge with her
  • Mayoi Neko Overun! - it's primary setting is a candy store called "Stray Cats" I have to see at least one episode
Well, I guess 4 series isn't that bad, but when one considers that there are 34 new series starting up this spring, then one understands why I think it's not a lot.

Oh well, here's to this upcoming week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday!

It's my baby's birthday today. I won't tell you how old she is (I said I wouldn't).

So, in honor of such things, let us sing a rousing song of "Happy Birthday!" I would lead, but no one ever wants to hear me sing....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's Rambling Week In Review

Well, I for one am glad that that week is over.

After all, it displayed a number of heart-wrenching terrors. The first of course is the thought that "Squishies" the potential cartoon for kids based on the Star Wars Galactic Heroes line of figures is an actual concept. This has all the horrors of the Super Hero Squad shoved into a franchise even nearer and dearer to my heart than Marvel Super Heroes.

The second heart-rending bit of news is yet another nail in the coffin of what used to be known as the Sci-Fi Channel. We all knew that with their rebranding to the utterly horrible name of SyFy that they would be in the process of jumping and leaping and moving as quickly as possible away from science and speculative fiction. Which makes their upcoming reality shows (one is about a chef and the other is about an interior decorator) all the more despairing.

The third horror is news that Monster Squad is getting rebooted. You know, there's only so many things that actually need a reboot, and I don't think Monster Squad is one of them. Of course, I could be wrong, this could be rebooted and made a wonderful movie that young and old alike adore and spend time with one another at. That said, with the level of...dreck which Hollywood has been consistently attempting to push down our collective throats as "good entertainment" I'm betting on it being horrible. Horrible in the vein of the Land of the Lost movie.

At least the upcoming Spring anime season is gearing up, sadly there doesn't seem to be an excessive number of shows that I'm going to be interested in actually seeing (at least from the previews).

Of course, while I'm waiting for the Spring season to get here (and dodging the SNOW!) I've started my kids' tree house (take THAT! those who thought I would never get around to building it!).

The first bit to be done was the brace. It's primarily two 2x6's nailed together to make one heavy-duty 4x6. I then cut a 2x4 to generate the knee braces.

The cross beam is getting attached to the tree via a 5/8 x 6" lag screw, while the knee braces are attached to the tree with 1/2 x6" lag screws (one screw going into the tree, the other into the cross beam).

While waiting for my screw gun to finish charging (so I could drill the pilot holes for the knee brace's lag screws) I built the base for the tree house. The base is made up of 2x6's.

The part where it looks like there's a section cut out is where the steps are going to go, and the short side will be the side resting on the cross beam.

Then, once the screw gun was charged, I drilled my pilot holes, and got the lag screws, a hammer, and a ratchet. Which I then used to mount the cross beam to the tree.

What's not shown in that picture is me hanging from that cross beam to make sure it wasn't going anywhere. I'm considering climbing up on to it and jumping up and down repeatedly as well.

Well maybe not, that four inch beam isn't a whole lot to land on.

Finally, I also shimmed the knee braces with additional 2x4's just to make that join with the cross beam that much stronger. Which wasn't a step in the plans I have, but I don't see anyone complaining about those beams being extra strong.

As a side note, what this means (beyond the fact that I'm building a structure attached to a tree) is that I got new power tools! On the person who works in the tool department's suggestion, I got a Hitachi circular saw. He claimed that it worked as well as the DeWalt brand (which is what my dad uses so it was my initial gut purchase) but it's not quite as rugged (DeWalt is designed to withstand at least a 1-story drop and still function). Since I'm the only one going to be using this thing, I was fine with it not being quite as rugged as a DeWalt, and since it was something like $50 cheaper, I was even happier.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday Morning Rambling on a Tuesday

Well, that was a fun week. Due to some family things, my Beloved Wife had to go visit Baltimore leaving me with the two munchkins all by my lonesome for a week. I am proud to report that I managed to a) not blow up the house and b) not permanently scar the kids.

Thus with that week, I did manage to... well, I watched some of the original Super Defense Fortress Macross after the munchkins went to bed, but prior to that I saw Star Wars a few times, watched a couple of episodes of Avatar, and in general dealt with the kids.

That said, I did manage to pick up the latest Star Wars novel so that's... well it's a mixed blessing. I love Star Wars but it's just not been the same since they removed the franchise from the Hero's Journey and stopped providing us a clear-cut HERO to root for.

Last night though, I managed to watch the anime movie Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror. Which was actually a rather cute movie, and I'm considering letting my eldest son watch it. Which should be interesting as it is a subbed movie. I wonder if his reading skills are up to the task of keeping up with the English subtitles.

Oh well, it is now time to head for work so... until next week...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Morning Rambling for 3/1/2010

It's the first day of March, and things are interesting for a good geek in the know.

Well, at least I'm interested in things.

First, I managed to snag a big haul from the local Hollywood Video which is in the process of selling everything off. I managed to get out of there with:

  • Coraline
  • Goonies
  • Time Bandits
  • Monster House
  • Watchmen
  • Legend

A good haul of geek movies if I do say so myself. Though I was slightly saddened that I was unable to find anything such as Howl's Moving Castle or Spirited Away.

It's always sad to see a company fold in this way (especially as the only other rental place in town is a Blockbuster which I will not go to), but at the same time, cheap movies is always good.

Oh well, that's all I have for this week, as it's been a busy weekend (my eldest had a cub scout hike and worked on his pinewood derby car and my youngest was just being himself), and I must now get myself to work…

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