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Area 51: Information or disinformation?

May. 6th, 2009 | 03:25 pm
mood: Fascinated

The LA Times has a really interesting story talking about area 51 and giving some insider information on what happened there and why the legends of studying UFOs arose around it. 

I tend to believe this account, but I know that there's no proof that would convince die-hard skeptics.  In fact, those are the people that would claim that this is just the kind of cover-up story the government would generate if they wanted to cover up.

In any case, the stories are worth reading and are fascinating.  Feel free to make up your own mind as to the truth or misleading nature of the claim.

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Changes

May. 6th, 2009 | 09:19 am
mood: accomplishedaccomplished

I've been working hard at losing weight in recent months.  I'm down about 35 pounds so far, with another 15 to go.  To mix things up, I've also grown my goatee, and I think that it's looking pretty good so far.

Apparently, these changes are pretty significant.  One of the people that I've worked with in the past came looking for me this morning.  He looked at me and asked where Sam Hozman sits.  As I smiled, he did a double take, and told me how different I look.

Additionally, just about every day someone tells me how good I'm looking, how the weight loss is attractive, or how the beard really looks sharp.  All this makes me feel like really I'm making some significant changes to my appearance, and that my efforts are paying off.  It's been a while since I've been happy with my looks and felt like I am physically attractive the way I'd like to be.  I'm now starting to feel that I'm a good looking man, and that's a really pleasing feeling.

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Dracula

May. 5th, 2009 | 03:04 pm
mood: satisfiedsatisfied

It can be a drag to sit down a read a whole book.  Yet there are so many good books out there -- especially the classics -- that you really should find time to read.  How can you make room in your hectic schedule for that?

I'm glad you asked!  There is now a Dracula blog, posting each entry from the book on the day that the book has it happening.  So you can read the whole book for no more of a daily time investment than other blogs!  It just started up a couple of days ago, so it shouldn't be too tough to catch up.

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Car Wash

Apr. 29th, 2009 | 07:19 pm
mood: happyhappy

This weekend, my car was filthy inside and out, and I decided that it was finally time to do something about it.  I emptied out all of the clutter inside, returned a bunch of the kids' toys and books to their rooms, and drove the car over to the local gas station of vacuum out the interior.  That just left the matter of the dirt on the hood, doors, and windows.

Luckily, I have two kids who think that dealing with that sounds like fun!  We got the bucket, sponges, hose, and soap out, and set to work.  They did a great job soaping up the whole car (well, at least everything 4 feet and lower).  I'd help wash, then rinse a section while they kept begging to be squirted.  It took about 20 minutes, we all got pretty wet, and we had some good fun.  Enough fun, in fact, that the kids begged mommy to wash her car, too.

I think we'll try to do this every couple of weekends from now on.  It's good for the car, and it keeps the kids out of trouble.
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Karaoke

Apr. 28th, 2009 | 10:06 pm
mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Recently, I've come to the realization that I've let myself avoid chances and play it safe far too often.  At the same time, I've fallen in with a rough crowd at a local karaoke bar.

The first time I went, I was just sizing up the situation, and getting my mind around the idea of singing in public.  The second time, I was ready and committed to singing.  My voice had other ideas, and was really weak, on the verge of giving out.  If I sang, I'm certain that I would have lost my voice for a few days.  But the third time was a charm.

So last night, I got to the Mint, ready to sing.  And was immediately informed by my so-called friends that the Mint now has a webcam and people all around the globe can see and hear those on stage.  That shook my resolve slightly, but I took a deep drink of my water (no booze yet -- I'm still working on losing weight), and put in my song request.

20 minutes or so later, I Lost on Jeopardy (by good ol' Weird Al Yankovic) came on, and I found myself jogging up to the stage.  It wasn't a perfect performance, but I also didn't get booed off the stage.  Nerves were pretty noticable to me, but I don't think I let them show too much.  I made it to the end, and had fun doing it.  People even applauded and asked if I was gonna sing again (and they didn't seem to be asking so that they could plan their escape).

I didn't do another song, but I am planning on heading back next Monday and doing one or more additional songs.  Not sure yet what I will pick-- maybe something by The Monkees, or The Beatles, or some other classic group.  Suggestions are appreciated.  Feel free to check out the link above sometime after 6:00 PM (Pacific) next Monday.  If I'm going to die of humiliation from a poor voice, you all might as well get to enjoy!

Stay tuned to hear of more crazy, wacky things coming from me.  I'm stretching myself, and it feels good.  This is the beginning of my doing new and unfamiliar things, and challenging my assumptions about what I like and what I want.  And I'll talk about many of them here

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Mixing it up in the morning

Apr. 24th, 2009 | 03:32 pm
mood: happyhappy

Usually, Spence and I start the day by playing a game in the EA game room and then heading off to his class.  After dropping him off, I'll come up to my desk, check on what's going on, and then hit the gym (which is right next to Spencer's classroom).

Today, I decided to do something different.  I suggested to Spencer that we start out by going up to my desk.  He LOVED that idea, so up we came.  He played with toys that I have while I set up my computer and checked in on what the morning status looked like. 

Then, we went over to the kitchen where we put my lunch in the fridge.  Fridays are bagel day, and I decided that I was going to pass today to contribute to my weight loss efforts.  However, I offered to let him get one (because it's hard for me to completely pass up free food!), and he was really excited by that.  He closely examined them, and decided that he wanted a poppy seed bagel.  He then chose strawberry cream cheese to top it off.  While I was starting to spread that, he saw blueberry cream cheese, and was excited by that, too. 

So we walked down to the game room with him holding and happily eating a bagel with 1/2 strawberry and 1/2 blueberry cream cheese.  He excitedly told everyone that he passed that he got to go up to daddy's desk and get a bagel.  I suspect that we've added a new routine here.

After a quick stop for a game of Centipede, we went up to the day care, and he took a moment to decorate bags that we are giving to each of the teachers.  He had fun drawing a picture on each of the bags, and made some pretty good art on some of them.

Not the normal way we start the day, but it was fun and I know it was special for him.  And, I was able to head right into my workout after leaving his classroom, which was a nice change for me, too.

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Spence's songs

Apr. 24th, 2009 | 03:19 pm
mood: pleasedpleased

As I documented here in the past, Spencer often has trouble staying in his room and falling asleep.  Gwen is very successful at listening to music, reading, or doing artwork, but Spence can't read, isn't always interested in coloring, and has strongly resisted some of the CDs we've tried out in the past.

Earlier this week, I decided to take another shot at finding music for his to enjoy as he goes to sleep.  The thought came to me when I heard him singing the Indiana Jones theme at the top of his lungs in his room.  I put the Indy theme, the Star Wars theme, several other Star Wars pieces (Imperial March, et al.), music from Disney's Pocahontas and Robin Hood (music that he always loves), and various calming/bedtime songs at the end to hopefully lull him to sleep.

I brought the CD up last night, and started to put it in his player, only to hear his objections.  Apparently he remembered that he wasn't happy with previous bedtime music choices. 

I quickly stopped his protests, and told him that I had music he liked on there.  Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Robin Hood, Pocahontas, and others.  I smiled as I saw his eyes start to get wide, his smile start to grow, and his resistance rapidly fade. 

Then, as the music started, he excitedly said "Indiana Jones!"  I knew he was hooked, and that my plan was a success.  Amazingly, after having already come out of his room a half-dozen times, he didn't leave it again for the rest of the night.  We'll see what happens tonight, but it seems like this plan is off to a great start.

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Oldies can be Goodies

Apr. 22nd, 2009 | 09:34 am
mood: pleasedpleased

The other day, Jennie picked Spence up from Day Care with Gwen in tow.  She let them have some time in the EA game room, and the kids discovered a classic arcade game that they really enjoyed: Centipede.  Sure, the graphics aren't quite up to the level that we are now used to, but the gameplay is simple, yet captivating.  And it's a perfect difficulty level for two game-savvy kids.

When they got home, Jennie remembered that we have some old PS2 Midway Classics titles that have Millipede and other games on them.  The kids are loving playing this at home, and they've been going through the others on the disk.  This morning, they discovered Gauntlet, and had a blast playing it.  That warmed my heart, as Gauntlet is an al-time fav of mine.

As Spence and I walked from the car this morning, he wanted to pretend we were in Gauntlet.  He was a Wizard and I was an Elf, and we were shooting the bad guys.  Oh, and he also had us shoot the food, since, in this game of pretend,  there was no spectral admonition saying "Don't shoot the food."

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Earth Day

Apr. 22nd, 2009 | 09:29 am
mood: Proud

As Spence and I were walking over to Day Care this morning, he stopped and said "there's a piece of trash on the ground" and proceeded to pick it up.  When I told him that it was dirty and he should drop it, his response surprised and pleased me:  "But we have to save the Earth."

Yes, I let him pick it up and we then found a trash can right around the corner.  Guess what they've been talking about in Day Care this week?  It's good to know that he takes his lessons seriously.  It's a good sign for August 2010 when he starts Kindergarten!

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Great president or greatest president?

Apr. 20th, 2009 | 02:00 pm
mood: amusedamused

There are many differing opinions that reasonable people have about our current president and the job that he is doing.

A co-worker of mine recently sent out a graph that I'm sure we all can agree shows one area in which President Obama is clearly outperforming other presidents.
Pirates Killed

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