Friday, December 29, 2006

How many years does the temperature have to be above average before that becomes the average? It’s been flippin’ 50 degrees here in The Cove for the past month. Ski resorts aren’t opening, weeds are still growing and even the bugs make an appearance on the really warm days. Just today I heard again about the temperatures that have been exceeding the normal average and the forecasters are completely surprised by this. Regardless of what The Knob says the past 3 winters at least have been like this. The Knob did NOT have a 60 inch snow base this time last year. They weren’t even open yet! Luckily my blog can act like a history book and in going back three years I find myself complaining about the unseasonably warm weather around this time of year. So when do we raise the average temperature? I mean if you factor in the last 200 years worth of weather data to compute an average temperature we’ll all be dead of heat exhaustion before normal December temperatures are 50 flippin’ degrees. All I want is some snow. I feel like that really shouldn’t be too much to ask for. Stop being so greedy Denver!

Friday, December 22, 2006

This post brought to you by the new Opera web browser on my Nintendo Wii. Is there anything I can't post from?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

This post brought to you by my brand spankin' new Version XV6700 Pocket PC Phone. I wrote and sent an email today while I was driving! Probably not the safest thing in the world to do but still pretty flippin' cool.

Monday, December 18, 2006

It’s pretty funny. I’ve recently had numerous people approach me and inform me about the recall on the Nintendo Wii’s Wii-mote wrist strap. Most of these people found it entirely interesting (or idiotic) that I camped out the original eve for the Wii as word spread pretty quickly around The Workplace once certain people found out. Anywho since I gather many of my readers (Ha! As if I had many readers) are curious as to my take on the recall since I am a giant supporter and of course player of the Wii, here is my opinion.

The fact that Nintendo is doing this recall is very generous indeed. I don’t think Nintendo had ever anticipated people to actually try to throw a virtual baseball at 94 MPH or hit a tennis ball as ridiculously hard as possible. But people did because, well, basically people are idiots. Let me put it this simply. You don’t see companies recalling drinking glasses because people are stupid, get drunk and drop them on the floor to shatter into hundreds of pieces. Nor do you see companies recalling baseballs and footballs because some irresponsible children were playing catch way too close to the living room window. And the reason why you don’t see this is because we are all expected to have a certain degree of responsibility with the products that we use. Sure it’s loads of fun to throw Lawn Darts at your buddy but frankly it’s probably the stupidest thing you could do with them which is exactly why you can’t buy them anymore.

So here’s the down and dirty. I don’t plan on replacing my wrist straps because one, I don’t even have them attached to my Wii-mote, but two, I play my Wii like a civilized individual who has at least a very very basic respect for everything in my life. I’m not trying to prove to my buddies that my Mii can defy Nintendo programming and pitch a baseball faster than 94 mph, nor am trying to show my buddies up with lofting a bowling ball thru a virtual roof. It’s called common sense and just about everybody (especially gamers) has it, even blonds. Frankly I think all you idiots out there should be thankful that the Wii doesn’t get taken away from you like Lawn Darts, Sky Dancers or the Johnny Reb Cannon did1. And if you must, get yourself a wrist strap replacement to keep from breaking your $4000 TV. I’ll be continuing to play my Wii without the wrist strap because I don’t play like an out of control and utter maniac in need of a straight jacket and Ridalin.

1Lawn Darts, Sky Dancers and Johnny Reb Cannon are just 3 of the 10 most dangerous play things of all time. To read a full review of all ten of these toys (and you'll definitely want to read it), check out Pray for Coal: The 10 most dangerous play things of all time from Radar Magazine.
With the Christmas season being ripe and all right now I thought I’d take a little time and present to you one of my favorite things about Christmas; the Christmas TV specials of course! Now of course a lot of my favorites aren’t really aired anymore, but I still have a VHS tape or two hanging about that has some childhood memories stored away. So without further ado, I present to you, “Captain Jimmy’s All-Time Favorite Christmas TV Specials!”

10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) – At the number 10 spot we have the holiday classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This basically makes my list because I needed a tenth item and it isn’t near as bad as Christmas Comes to Pac-Land (1982) or The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978). It’s a nice memory I suppose but not really too much of a favorite.

9. Frosty the Snowman (1969) – Ahh Frosty! Who doesn’t know that guy?! I always liked the goofy evil magician. Maybe because as I child I delved into the art of prestidigitation, but the whole story just seemed like a nice epic. My favorite quote of the movie: “So I put these 3 eggs into my hat and ‘abracadabra’ to coin a phrase. Hahaha. And we have . . . messy messy messy.”

8. Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus (1974) – At number 7 is the little known classic Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus. The viewers of my generation probably have no idea what the crap this is and it’s only because my mom’s name is Virginia and this is her favorite Christmas special that I know of this. In this Technicolor animation, little Virginia is told by her friends that there isn’t a Santa Claus. So to prove them wrong she writes to the editor of the Chicago Sun newspaper for the real answer. I’m sure you can guess what he says based off the name of the special. Definitely a message for adults more so than children.

7. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) – Everyone’s favorite Christmas classics made its way to the number 7 spot on my list. Honestly who doesn’t like Charlie Brown and Snoopy besides serial killers and feminist Nazis? And I’m venturing to guess even some of them love A Charlie Brown Christmas!

6. He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special (1985) – Those that fall in the older-than-20-but-less-than-30 category know about the He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special, or at least they should. What little boy didn’t look up the sword welding He-Man and what little girl didn’t enjoy the likes of the sexy female warrior She-Ra (the brother of He-Man of course). In this holiday adventure Orko makes his way to Earth on a spy-glider and brings two Earth children back to Eternia where Horde Prime and Skeletor try to ruin Christmas for them. If you remember He-Man this is a must see! Yeah I'll admit it, I'm a giant loser for remembering all the character's names.

5. Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974) – You’ve got to remember the little mice that ruin and save Christmas! Of course this little animation has countless musical sing-a-longs and did I mention talking mice that interact with humans (nothing at all like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy mice though) and reference Copernicus. What’s not to like?

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) - Dr. Suess was amazing and this holiday classic was a perfect example of his work. Rhymes flowed so seamlessly that I’m sure any child could recite at least a third of the special. I haven’t seen the movie but I doubt Jim Carrey could have done half as good a job as the Doc. This holiday classic is sure to make your heart grow three sizes. And who (pun intended) doesn’t like the song “Fa Who Dor-Eh?” Eh?

3. Ziggy’s Gift (1982) – Kicking off the top 3 is Ziggy’s Gift. Such a simple special but it emphasizes the true meaning of Christmas. Sure to bring a tear to your eye, Ziggy displays to children, policemen, and thieves alike how giving and loving we should, and can all be on Christmas. If you don’t know who Ziggy is, read the Sunday Comics!

2. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (1978) - I actually just purchased myself a copy of this classic. Every kid watches Sesame Street and while the characters have changed over the years (with Elmo becoming popular and Cookie Monster now eating vegetables so I’m told) the loving spirit of the families, friends and monster that live there have not. Big Bird wrestles with the concept of Santa fitting down the skinny chimneys, Ernie and Bert shadow The Gift of the Magi, and there’s an ice-skating scene where the world was introduce to the song Felice Navidad. Sometimes I miss the good old days of Sesame Street.

1. A Muppets Family Christmas (1987) – Watch that icy patch! Nothing beats A Muppet Family Christmas. This ain’t no Christmas carol! This is a Muppet Christmas spectacular! All the Muppets are here including the Sesame Street gang, and Fraggles (along with Doc and Sproket). In this hilarious extravaganza Fozzie decides to surprise his mom by coming home to the farm for Christmas and brings his Muppet friends with him. The Sesame Street gang shows up caroling while Kermit and his nephew discover some Fraggle tunnels in the house. The Swedish Chef is hilarious as he attempts to cook the Christmas turkey until he discovers the “Ooodie birdie humungo!” aka, Big Bird. Sure to cover all the emotions of Christmas, if you haven’t seen this Christmas special then you really haven’t experienced the Christmas season, or The Captain’s list of favorite Christmas TV specials!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My luck may have just been changed forever. This past Monday was The Workplace Christmas Party. It’s held annually and I have attended annually since I’ve been employed by The Workplace. My good friend, once colleague, and now boss has also attended every year since he has been employed which is a few years longer than I. Now if you’re an avid reader, or close friend you know that Luck looks down upon me and laughs horrifically in my face whilst mocking me and punching me every so painfully in the jaw with it’s left hook. But I’ve learned to live with Luck (or lack there of) treating me that way. Said friend (who will now be reffered to as The Luckster) apparently enjoys kissing serious Luck booty along with stealing Luck’s horseshoes and cramming them up his butt. The Luckster has won everything from big cash, to printers, to Stillers tickets. Every single flippin’ Christmas party held by The Workplace he has attended, he has won a gift. Me on the other hand . . . ha ha! Dream on!

So here’s how it went down. When an employee walked into the party room he/she randomly picked a little slip of paper out of a basket that contained a Christmas word or phrase. At the end of the evening, 10 or so Christmas slips were called and the keepers of said slips were awarded prizes. My slip read, “Merry Christmas.” “Yeah merry flippin’ Christmas indeed you big loser,” I thought to myself. So knowing The Luckster’s luck (and mine) I offered a trade of Christmas slips with him. Now he was very well aware of my relationship with Luck and its left hook and still grinningly accepted my offer. I ironically took over his “Wise Men” slip and he took my “Merry Christmas” slip (now I am not lying about the phrases on these slips my friends. This only makes my story that much more entertaining). Now we both were thinking the same thing at the time of the exchange; that The Luckster was once again going to win a prize this year but it would be with the slip I had just traded him.

So the end of the night drew near and after a long, oh so very long “Entertainment” of listening to high school kids sing Christmas carols, it was prize give-a-way time! I wasn’t really optimistic about winning anything as I am a realist but I was just waiting for The Luckster to get his call. One prize was left; the grand prize. The Slip Reader read the very last phrase and to my utter amazement he uttered the words, “wise men.” For the first couple seconds I was in shock. It was like the dream I had never had. I had won! I actually won!! Ironically I deemed to be the “wiser man” and gave Luck the beat down of the century by making the trade of the millennium! Merry Christmas indeed to The Luckster! We all got a big laugh as I tour off the rapping paper of my huge box and gazed upon my brand spankin’ new 20” TV/DVD/VCR/USB combo. Oh it was sheer and total bliss! Ahhh I can still relish in it now as I type.

The drive home I couldn’t help but think what had just happened earlier that evening. Had I changed the course of my life forever with the swap of a mere piece of paper? What if it wasn’t just an evening’s luck that I had traded but a whole lifetime’s? It was like I was in that movie with Lindsay Lohan (don’t I wish!) where she kissed some dude and their luck got swapped, only my kiss wasn’t a kiss (thank goodness) at all, but a simple slip of paper. Now I can only wait and see what Luck will do for me. Was it truly just a night’s exchange or has the whole balance of the cosmos suddenly been shifted in my favor? Only time will tell. Until then I do believe this shall be recorded as this year’s first official Solstivus Miracle, “The Exchanging of the Luck!” Once it’s past by the Founding Fathers of course.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

So I played Beer Pong for the first time ever at a party on Friday. Now grant it most of you are probably thinking, “Give me a break! This guy is 25 years old and has never played Beer Pong before? Yeah right!” Yeah well that is right so deal with it. I’m a deprived individual.

Now maybe it was just my teachers but I found the game to be quite confusing. From what I gathered these are the rules to the game.
  • There are two teams of two players on opposite sides of the ping pong table trying to get two ping pong balls in 6 different cups.
  • The rules apparently can change at any time depending on the players and the variations of play style they have (or have not) played before.
  • Your teammates don’t tend to like it when you yell and mock them for playing crappie.
  • Each arrangement style of cups has a name, like the “Triangle” or my personal favorite, the “Traffic Light.”
  • Somehow there is some way for a team to just keep throwing balls without it ever being your turn.
  • Sexual innuendos are the only allowed means of communication between any players or spectators during play.
  • Teammates also tend not to like it when you make them purposefully miss by knocking their arm on the toss to prove to them they can’t really be playing any worse.
  • Did I mention the rules can change at anytime somehow?
  • Mt. Dew can give you just as much buzz as beer provided you’re drinking it like it’s going out of style.
Oh well. It was still fun…somehow. Although it was either that or watch Celebrity Eye Candy ’06 on VH1. I was told about another fun game called Flip Cup which has an even funner version called Ultimate Flip Cup, but I’m not sure I’ll even be able to comprehend those rules. Honestly how hard is it just to drink really fast if you plan on getting wasted?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Chalk up another stalker today. Only this one may require a restraining order. Something I haven't had to muster up with the other two quite yet. On a plus note, this one isn't married, but on a bad note, she may not be out of the third grade yet either.

Now that I have your attention, it's story time. So I started helping with this girl’s volleyball clinic every other Tuesday for 3rd to 6th graders. I figured it sounded like something to do, and I'm all for generating interest in volleyball. So two weeks ago we had probably close to 40 girls attend. This week it had dropped down to 30, but that's definitely okay, because if they don't want to be there, they shouldn't be there. I'm pretty sure I don't know any of their names, but they sure know mine (Coach James of course, or Dude as this other girl calls me), especially this one little ball of energy. No matter what the drill, she makes sure to follow me around to where I am coaching and "show off" or basically just draw attention to herself. This then escalates to her thinking she and I are in a personal dodge ball match, with her constantly winning. Serving time comes and the game becomes Lets Try to Hit Coach James with a Serve.

During hitting practice I sucked it up and told her that I had gotten a restraining order on her and she had to stay at least 10 feet away. I don't know why she didn't believe me. That was evident by her grabbing my arm at some point and dragging (and by dragging I don't mean literally because frankly if a 3rd grade girl could drag me across a gym floor I'd probably wet myself as she would have to be an actual real life ogre or something like that) me to the other side of the gym.

So in a few weeks I'm sure I'll see that little bundle of joy again as she has probably told her parents by this point that she wants to go to this clinic everyday, even though we don't offer it but once every couple of weeks!

What the heck is my deal? Am I really that unappealing to chicks my own age? Grant it I realize that obsessive video game playing isn't a huge chick magnet, but I'm willing to share. Or course I don't let anybody win. Not even my 6 year old cousin. And she really doesn't seem to like it when I throw my controller down to the floor then stand up with my arms thrusting to victory while shouting, "Oh yeah! I crushed you!!" Sometimes I throw in a little circular Stirring-The-Cauldron arm dance too.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Fo sizzle!It's no wonder why America is overweight these days. I just had dinner at Applebees two hours ago and apparently I took in a fantastic 1190 calories and 75.4 grams of fat from my steak entre1, and an unbelievable whopping 1086 calories and 56 grams of fat from my Sizzling Apple Pie desert2! That my friends is pure insanity! I would have to run for over 1.5 hours straight to work that crap off!! Throw in my two giant Mountain Dews and I have just eaten my entire allotment for the day as that is the typical 2500 calorie diet! And it looks like I'll be working those calories off while I lay in bed tonight. This sort of ruins my Friday Night . . .

1 Calorie-Count
2 Calorie-Count

Friday, December 01, 2006

I’ll admit it. I have some mild forms of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). If you’re curious as to what they are, just keep reading.
  • The toothpaste tube absolutely MUST be squeezed from the bottom and the cap twisted off for use, not using the pop-top. Any alteration or defilement to the tube results in me reforming and/or cleaning the tube until it is rounded and clean.
  • Outlook Inbox MUST be located in the taskbar of my computer to the very far left. If any other applications are opened before that, I close them all and re-open Outlook.
  • Non-uniform textures drive me crazy! If something has a chip in it, or a rough spot, I cannot rest until it is uniform throughout. This is why I bite my nails.
  • A stack of stapled papers needs to be perfectly aligned with the staple precisely in the upper left hand corner making an isosceles triangle with the corner. If a single paper is not aligned, or the staple is not perfect, the pack gets re-aligned and re-stapled, over and over until I’m satisfied.
  • The money in my wallet must be sorted by value lowest to highest, front to back, all right side up with the face looking toward the front of the wallet.
  • My drinking glass has to be located near the upper left side of my plate. If it’s not, I feel lost. Sometimes I won’t even acknowledge it. Like in a restaurant when they give you a water glass and a drink glass, usually the water glass goes completely unnoticed.
I have some other issues that I classify as minor annoyances mainly because they are completely out of my control. These are as follows:
  • When you’re merging in the car, get up to speed before you actually merge onto the highway!
  • Please drive at a constant speed. Constantly speeding up and slowing down makes me think there’s a woman behind the wheel (forgive me if you are a women and a good driver for there are a few of you out there).
  • How about having a little courtesy and not have a half hour conversation on the phone when you’re with your friends. Surely you can call them back at some later point.
  • You need to hold the Redi-Whip completely orthogonal to the plane of the tabletop. I don’t know why but when people don’t do this, it drives me mad (this could fall under the above category as well I suppose).
  • Stop sneezing everyone! The sound is like nails on a blackboard.
This is why I’m the way I am. You don’t like it? Too bad.