The house my brother Blake and soon-to-be wife, Kristen were looking at buying failed inspection. :( There are more fish in the sea, some that aren't so fishy...
The housing market out here is really tough for first-time buyers. Everyone send good luck vibes to them!
* Mountain Dew has announced that due to "overwhelming response" they will be making "Live Wire" a permanent member of the Mountain Family. For those not in the know, it's a pretty good orange sody-pop except with caffeine. And Dregs, I haven't heard if there will be a diet option.
* Dishwasher/Disposal delayed - install is now set for Valentine's Day. I'll have to get a big, red bow for it. Ok, so a dishwasher may not be romantic, but having one makes more time for romance...at least in theory.
* My friend's Lee and Faith have a blog about their experiences living in Egypt. They are teaching there for a year. Very interesting stuff!
* One of the best blogs I read is by my friend Stacie although this blog by Slip Whitsun is quite a trip. I have covered a few of his songs and last year we co-wrote a few. I am sort of his "Rick Rubin" I guess.
* As you may have noticed, I now know how to include links in my blog updates. Here is one of my all-time favorites: StrongBad!
I am not responsible for anything you may find offensive on these links. Read them at your own risk.
Thanks to Sears' generous financing offer we are moving up our purchase of a new dishwasher. Heck why not get a garbage disposal too? It's been really hard to keep up with the dishes (the new house didn't come with one) and PJ can now reach almost any dishes left on the counter...not a good thing...so keeping them out of little hand's way is a...good thing.
Ok, so this post was pretty lame. And I don't have enough time to spice it up.
Maybe I'll post about the first wash. Maybe pictures?
So we had a lot of snow over the weekend. Not really that much really, but for our recent years - quite a bit - 8" or so. It snowed all afternoon and evening last Friday and we heard the neighbor John start up his big ol' John Deere blower. I think he was very happy to get to use it; pretty soon he started up our sidewalk and even driveway! We have 2 cars but only a one-car garage (not complaining mind you) but he worked around it really well.
By Saturday morning there had been some drifts. I spent about a half hour digging the car out to get it into the street just in case John came by with his blower again - sure enough!
He has a dog named Mickey which is short for Michelobe...so I took that as an indicator and took him over a six pack. He invited me in for a beer and we had another nice conversation, but this time not over the fence. I tell you I have great neighbors!
They have a webstream etc. My friend John describes them as "Post-Graduate College Radio" which just about sums it up I think. I love it so far - eclectic adult alternative with emphasis on the local MN music scene. I've been waiting for them for a long time! Oh, and no commercials!! Sort of like a poor man's i-Pod...except with good DJs...
One thing I hope everyone agrees on here is the need for living wills. Personally I feel the family needs to let this woman die with dignity and that the spouse should have the power of decision in this case all along. Shame on Jeb Bush for exploiting the issue in an effort for political gain - Leave the government out of this stuff! It would have been better if the Supreme Court would have made a difinitive judgment here - her family keeps jerking her around. What an awful way to live all these years - a sad story all around. I don't have a living will yet, but I have discussed my wishes with several folks - but I need to clarify it the best I can.
My wife Jody who works in medical research has proposed a survey for the members of the HMO she works for to find out if people have living wills and if not, what the obstacles are that prevent them from doing so. Isn't she a smarty?
When he left late night there was a huge void that has never been filled and I don't think it can be. For one, the talk show hosts of today are either terrible listeners who are really only in it for themselves (setting up the next joke, not trying to bring out the best in their guests), or they are not funny: The greatest current talk show host is Charlie Rose, but I would hate to sit through one of his monologues. Even if there was a great host out there, the nature of TV has changed dramatically - 3,000 channels. Everyone's got a show now. I think that Carson made a mistake by choosing Leno - he really is an awful talk show host. He is a very hard worker and can be funny, but as I said, not a good listener at all. Why ask a question if you aren't going to listen to what the guest says? He has improved. Letterman is hilarious but same thing - not a good listener. He is better than Leno at it though - he has improved the most. I think Letterman would have been better than Leno in the Tonight Show format - I think he understood that would have given him a chance to grow and get out of the rut he felt he was in. He's moved on though and has done some of that anyway. It's common knowledge that he was hurt by Carson's decision. I think I understand why Carson went the way he did with those two options but in hindsight it was a mistake, in my opinion.
It has been announced that Conan O'Brian will replace Leno in what, the year 3012 I think? He's improved a lot in his interviewing, but still, not really that great an interviewer.
Carson had the perfect mix of good interviewer and funny man. Some of my favorite times on his show were when he had real people on - like old ladies. He would bring them out and let them impart their wisdom or make us smile. He could bring on kids and he was great with them. Have you seen Letterman interview a real person? I saw a show once when he had this 80 year old on and he made fun of her and made her so nervous she couldn't do whatever it was she was supposed to be doing. I was actually livid. When I calmed down I thought what an opportunity he lost by not letting us see this woman at her best. And I really missed Carson.
He lived out the rest of his life in relative seclusion...very comfortably. Lots of time on the boat. Every now and then he'd send a joke in to Letterman and he'd do it in his monologue - I guess Carson got a big kick out of that. RIP Great One.
Here's the Reuters bio:
Famed TV Entertainer Johnny Carson Dead
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Johnny Carson, the king of U.S. late-night television as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" for nearly 30 years, died on Sunday at age 79 after a long battle with emphysema.
"Mr. Carson passed away peaceful early Sunday morning. He was surrounded by his family," Carson's nephew, Jeff Sotzing, said in a statement, adding that their loss will be immeasurable.
Carson hosted "The Tonight Show" from the fall of 1962 to the spring of 1992, dominating the late-night TV scene and helping launch the careers of dozens of entertainers, including Joan Rivers, David Letterman and Carson's successor, Jay Leno.
Aspiring comedians knew that being motioned over to the guest couch by Carson after performing their stand-up routine could instantly transform them from virtual unknowns to stars.
"This is the end of an era," Rivers, a frequent guest host on the show, told Reuters. "With Carson you went on once. You had his blessing, and the world knew you were funny."
Carson's first guest was Groucho Marx, and the show steadily gained stature as a pop-cultural touchstone. One memorable evening in 1969 included the widely watched on-air wedding of Tiny Tim to Miss Vicki.
Carson's final "Tonight Show" broadcast aired on Friday, May 22, 1992, and was seen by 55 million viewers. He was replaced the following Monday by Leno.
Sidekick Ed McMahon introduced Carson nightly with the rallying cry of "Heeeeeeere's Johnny!" and the show's blend of humor, music and conversation was the last thing millions of Americans saw before drifting off to sleep.
"I am one of the lucky people in the world. I have found something I liked to do, and I have enjoyed every single minute of it," a teary-eyed Carson said as he closed the show for the last time. "I bid you a very heartfelt goodnight."
In later years, Carson became something of a recluse in his Malibu, California, home, rarely venturing into the public eye.
After a 1999 quadruple bypass heart operation, Carson cut back on his tennis and discontinued his annual treks to Africa, the French Riviera and the Wimbledon (news - web sites) tennis tournament. According to friends, he had battled emphysema for years.
He was third permanent host of "The Tonight Show," following in the footsteps of Steve Allen and Jack Paar.
Born in Iowa and raised in Nebraska, the tall, lanky comedian became renowned for his everyman charm and made political humor a staple of his late-night opening monologue.
Politicians could test their popularity by Carson's monologue -- a joke about them might set people laughing and spell trouble -- as Richard Nixon found out when Carson started making Watergate jokes. Carson stopped the Nixon jokes when the president resigned and took a helicopter ride into exile.
President Bush (news - web sites) felt the Carson's sting when he reneged on his "Read my lips, no new taxes" pledge, inspiring the comedian to say Bush's next step would be "Read my lips, no new promises."
The family said there would be no memorial service.
(Additional reporting by Sarah Tippit from Los Angeles)
The owner of IKEA is now the world's richest person - he just edged out Bill Gates:
Sunday April 4, 11:54 PM
IKEA founder overtakes Gates as world's richest - TV
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Ingvar Kamprad, the Swede who founded furniture retail chain IKEA, has overtaken Microsoft's Bill Gates as the world's richest man, Swedish TV news reported on Sunday.
Citing next week's edition of the Swedish business weekly Veckans Affarer, public service SVT2 television said Kamprad, 77, has a personal fortune of 400 billion crowns ($53 billion).
Gates's fortune is put at $47 billion, according to the latest list of the world's rich in U.S. Forbes magazine, SVT2 said.
Kamprad, known for frugal habits such as flying economy class, lives in Switzerland and no longer takes part in the daily running of IKEA, but has kept ownership of the company with more than 180 stores in over 30 countries in the family.
SVT2 said the dollar's slide against other currencies is the main reason why Kamprad has now overtaken Gates.
Here is a picture of PJ's "cousin" JW (he is the son of Jody's neice) and his adventure in the cupboards:
I for one hope this rumor is true. He has let small far-right religious groups have too much power over his decisions. Although I doubt W would put in anyone more moderate. I know there are moderate Repubicans out there and one of them must be good for the FCC, but I am sure there is a wish in the administration to keep the heat on the entertainment industry in regards to even the most bland sexual references - "all the violence you want is fine, no matter how graphic, but we must crack down on the sex!"
Man, am I behind on updates! I am probably going to forget a thousand different things - so much is happening right now on the PJ front. Where to start?
PJ got to meet some cousins and see the rest of the family in Rapid City. I had hoped to try and hook up with my friend Steve and his family, but I had some fun sinus thing and with two families to visit (my folks are divorced), we were really wiped out. If you are reading this, sorry Steve! We were lame.
He had a developmental growth spurt while out there, probably with all the new things to see and all the attention he got. He started talking more - can't understand what he's saying most of the time yet, but he'll tell jokes and little stories and then laughs or waits for a reaction. He can say a few new words, like "doggie" - he says doe-gee (his favorite Target dog stuffed animal "Gus") and "eow" for cat, "ahh" when he wants a drink, etc. He added some more dance moves: a sort of chicken walk, some sort of belly slapping dance, the hands in the air or flapping dance, the crazy spinner - he started that one when he was playing with my cousin's kids Jaclyn and Josie - he runs in a circle until he gets dizzy. Most kids would stop and rest a bit I would think, but he starts crawling in a circle. He got so wound up that night, it was hilarious. Probably has a little sugar buzz too...
He started doing this thing when he eats sometimes and gets really excited, he puts his hands up almost like a "I don't know" gester and then lets out a squeal that sounds sort of like, "Stella!" I guess it's his young Brando impersonation or something.
We were poopt by the time we got home. He does really well in the car, especially considering it's about 10 hours each way. I wish there were more playlands at restaurants. Sometimes he'll sit and "read" for a half hour or so; flipping through the pages and gabbering.
We may actually have enough snow and it may be warm enough to break out the little sled some friends gave him. His friend Faith and he may go sledding this weekend on the little hill behind our house - just the right size for their age. Speaking of Faith, "she" invited PJ to a Valentine's Toddler Dance - that should be too cute. I'll post some pics. I think he has a thing for 5-6 year old girls though. He gets a huge kick out his friend Emma - that's probably where he learned his jokes - she's quite the jokester! He got a big kick out of Jaclyn too.
When people come over he is really shy for about 15-20 minutes and wants to be held or near mommy or daddy. Even his uncles that he sees almost every week. Usually he warms up after that though and if you get down on his level he'll play with you. He plays ball and can even throw it a bit - catching the ball is another matter. He has discovered the kitchen cupboards which meant reorganizing things a bit...don't want breakables on his level! We had already childproofed the cleaning cupboard, so that's no biggie.
Some toys he got included an alphabet song toy with a different song for every letter, an E-L-M-O! Elmo from Grandma Hunter, a Peef teddybear (from Santa), a little drum and drumsticks from us - he's really good at it - he does different patterns already including this beat beat beat pause repeat pattern (what's that 3/4? I haven't taken my theory class yet), cool books and puzzles, cute clothes, more Little People, etc!
Well my lunch break is almost over so I better post this. More later!