Thoughts from the mountains of my mind. Sit back and relax for awhile.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Best Birthday Gift Ever!

Yes, today is my birthday. Even if I had forgotten my own b-day, I would have been reminded by the 10 dozen automatic emails in my account from all the message boards and groups I'm part of that sent out a congratulatory message to me. At least I know the computer servers care. ;-)

But what is the best birthday gift I mentioned in my header? Well...remember back a handful of weeks ago when I found out my company was switching health care providers? And neither of my two choices carried the fabulous, new doctor I had found? Read it HERE. Well, I decided to check once more, but this time I went to their website (this Doctor has her stuff together - a comprehensive website with all the info you could want). I got the email address of the woman in charge of insurance, and I emailed her yesterday asking if they take my new insurance.

And guess what came in my inbox this afternoon? Her email saying they now take my insurance! WooHoo! and how does this grab you for great customer service? She said she noticed that a number of their patients were no longer covered because they had to go with the same company I have, and instead of losing them, picked them up so we could all stay. I tell you, I feel incredibly lucky to have found them.

I've been busy all this morning on a project at work. Two of us are trying to get the new master image out to all the counselor's PC's in the call center. We have about a third of it finished. We'll be working on it each morning up through Saturday morning (unless we get it done by Friday or better yet Thursday, and then no need to come in on the weekend).

The 'spike' in my forehead is gone so that's a big plus. I also got the neatest b-day gift from M. who works in the call center. She's kinda goth and loves Nightmare Before Christmas like me, and other Disney stuff. I'll try and get shots of it to post here. Mark told me where my present from him was (he's out of State right now) and I opened it this morning. It was a trivia game I had my eye on. Can't wait to get together with our friends to play.

And finally, I'm giving a review of the new HBO comedy, Extras. I'm not too sure if HBO started with the second season, or it's in the second season (it's filmed in England) and HBO is starting with the first season....but....I honestly had to keep myself from trying to turn it off, I was that uncomfortable...and it's only a half an hour show.

Now let me preface by saying I love British humor, from the PBS 'Brit-coms' to Ab-Fab (possibly one of the best comedies to ever come out of the UK) to Monty Python. But I just didn't get the humor. If it was supposed to be funny, it was the very mean type, like Andrew Dice Clay comedy where you laugh at someone because you aren't the target of the mean jokes.

Ricky Jervais is Andy Millman, an actor who has some how fallen from the graces of the BBC, and is trying to work his way back to the top from the ground level.

Maybe the episode I saw was just not that good but I cringed all the way through it and didn't laugh once. Now the American version of The Office (which Ricky Jervais created the British version) is cringe-inducing, but you still laugh, and care for the characters (I just love when Jim and Pam are playing pranks on Dwight and they knowingly smile at the camera). Andy just doesn't act like a real person. He sits there and lets people basically take a dump on his character/his job/his career, and he just looks at them and doesn't fight back/make a nasty comeback/break down in tears and run away/etc. He gets this slack-jawed look as if to say, 'If I don't say anything or react, maybe they'll stop being mean to me'. The rock-God, Mr. Bowie, was on this episode and Andy gets he and his girlfreind in a bar's VIP area where Mr. Bowie is. Then Mr. Bowie just suddenly sits down and makes up a song on the spot singing about the 'pug-faced, little man who sold his soul' (referring to him making the worst sitcom ever for money - briefly glimpsed at the start of the episode). God, it was just embarrassing. Not that it was badly down...the acting is good...but just that it was pointless. If Andy was a mean nasty guy and deserved what came to him, then OK (think Rowan Atkinson as The Black Adder - or hell, the Coyote as he chased the RoadRunner), but he's just this actor who just goes along with life and wants to be famous. I would honestly love to hear someone else's take on this program. Am I wrong here? Did I catch a bad episode?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Heffalumps and Woosels

My little 'under the weather' spell from last week turned into a full on sinus infection Friday night. I spent the weekend miserable, and on Saturday worried about Logan because he threw up twice that evening. I had taken him to the vet Saturday morning for a shot but don't know if that would have caused it. He's been perfectly fine all day Sunday.

But by Sunday I was not going to chance trying to get in to see a doctor on Monday so I went to the clinic just down the street from me. It was deserted, which was nice, and they take my new insurance. Only the co-pay for the visit was higher, and that was a bargain if I could get on some drugs that day.

Any of you have the problem that when you start taking something you get the weirdest dreams? And this was lucid dreaming for me...I knew I was awake at times, I could influence what was happening and the dream just went on and on. I can remember every detail crystal clear but won't write it down because it was so f-ing bizarre! Golden weapons, dwarf bread, spirits, white magic.... But the lovely part was about 4 AM when I realized someone had driven a railroad spike through my forehead! It still hurts and it's 12:30 here at work. If one of my co-workers didn't have today off I'd have called in.

I did watch Another Gay Movie last night. Totally raunchy and very funny. It's a low budget gay version of American Pie about 4 gay boys trying to loose their virginity before college starts. And there's hint of a sequel in the movie, too. It was totally more enjoyable than The Dukes of Hazzard movie which I also watched. That film was a steaming pile of dog crap.

That's it for me. Gonna try and look busy until 3 when I can get home and go to sleep.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Making An Appearence

It's almost the end of my work day and I'm so happy. I get tomorrow off (instead of Monday) so I can sleep in and try and get over this sinus/cold thing I have. Our company's Board of Directors are here for the next few days but, luckily, my co-worker has been placed on 'BoD' duty. He has to fix or deliver the computer related items they want for the next few days. If I don't feel any worse I hope to catch a movie. I still haven't seen Dreamgirls.

Everyone have a safe weekend!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I am still here. Work has been very busy. Add to that I am fighting a cold and feel awful so I'm not posting much. I'll return when I can. At least my co-worker bought me lunch today. Left over Macaroni Grill for the next few days.

On the same subject, my back has been hurting (be quiet, Spider!) the past few weeks and I haven't been doing any major lifting or hauling of equipment. So I'm going to see a chiropractor at the office where my brother's wife works. She talks about the folks who come out of the sessions feeling so much better. It couldn't hurt. :-)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Things That Make You Go 'Hmmmmmm.....'

Harvard Confirms Rising Nicotine In Cigarettes

And people keep smoking cigarettes why...?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Gotta Love My Town

Let's take a little trip to the area of my town. It's located on Highway 27 right where the Highway 192 ends.

And there are a few sights I need to tell you about that you will see if you drive past this area.

The first is the boobie bar, formerly know as Roxy's. It's new name is Fantasy Gentleman's Club. Catchy title, huh? It's been there since before I moved to Clermont so at least 6 years, but probably more. But you can't tell by the building because it just got re-stucco'd! I'm still waiting on what color they will repaint it...or maybe they'll leave it cement gray. We had so hoped this place would get torn down when they started widening 27, but no such luck. For the Christmas and New Year season the owner had two electronic marquee signs in front of it (one facing north and one facing south), but they are gone now. He must have gone over budget renting them and couldn't keep them. Stripper sparkles and pasties are expensive!

Across the street we have this 'L' shaped wooden building. It was once a large citrus stand that must have done big business back when there was nothing out there but orange groves, and customers driving down to and back from Miami stopped for souvenirs and citrus. Now, the fruit stand occupies about a third of the building.

But what of the rest of this building? Well, early last year, Homer's BBQ opened up at the other end of the building. They even got a fancy painted sign with a smiling pig on it shortly after opening. They were open only on certain days, but the operating hours expanded and then they were 7 days a week. Sadly, Homer's closed last month. The marquee announced they were closed and restaurant equipment was for sale. But don't fear. It's now used for Catholic services on Sunday! They even have plastic film over the windows to make it look like real stained glass!

It goes so well with the pool supply store and the florist that have recently taken up residence between it and the fruit stand section. Definite proof that hope springs eternal.

Then there's the abandoned gas station right past it. It changed hands several times but finally breathed it's last in 2006. It's abandoned, but don't worry. You can get gas at the station right next to it. They even sell 'Cuban Sandwishes'!

Yes, it's all for real. Come by and check it out sometime.

Friday, January 12, 2007

3 Reviews, Oh My

Yes, I have three quick movie reviews for you.

The first is Shock Treatment, the semi-sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This film was just recently released in a double DVD set along with RHPS. I had seen it only once but love the music from it. Mark and some friends of ours had never seen it. So after dinner out we all went to our place to watch it.

The reason it's sort of considered a sequel is because it has the characters of Brad and Janet in it (it also has Betty and Ralph Hapschatt who are in the opening scene of RHPS, too). The story revolves around a TV studio in Denton where Brad and Janet become 'contestants' on a marriage program. Brad ends up being committed (to another program, in fact) and Janet is wooed and coerced into becoming the next be star for the mogul who runs the studio.

The film did not succeed for several reasons. First, it was specifically made to be a cult film, following Rocky. What the creators didn't realize is you can't purposely make a cult film...the following has to form itself. It was also shown only at midnight showings (like RHPS is now) so no real public exposure.

Secondly, the script is hard to follow. It could have benefited from some better editing and rewriting. I think part of this problem was due to the fact that the film was supposed to be shot in the actual town of Denton, Texas, but a film strike in the States forced it to be filmed in England. The writers had to do a rewrite and set it all inside a television studio (no American location shots needed), which lead to one of the best parts, though. Read on to see my explanation.

Third, the only actor to return from RHPS to reprise their original role was Jeremy Newsom (Ralph Hapschatt), the other three returning characters (Betty, Janet, and Brad) are played by different actors. But to make things stranger, 4 actors from the original movie are different characters! It all is quite strange. But you do get to see Barry Humphries not dressed up as Dame Edna, and I love me some Jessica Harper as Janet! (See the pic above) She has the most wonderfully deep singing voice.

The movie really is not that great. The music is it's saving grace. But watching it today you will get this very eerie feeling. This film actually predicts reality television! This is the bit I mentioned earlier: that perhaps the sudden re-write to place all the action inside a TV studio adds this different facet to it. All the 'programs' at the studio are basically real people just being manipulated and filmed for the studio audiences's pleasure.

Richard O'Brien did write an actual sequel to RHPS entitled 'Revenge of the Old Queen' back in the 80's, but due to the failure of Shock Treatment, and the age of the original actors he says there is little hope it will ever get filmed.


Movie review #2: The Haunting (the 1963 version)

What an awesome horror film! I read the original novel by Shirley Jackson some years ago and found it interesting. I think this film is better than the novel! The acting is first rate. The house it was filmed in is wonderfully creepy. And you never really see anything scary, it's all implied by sound effects and the actors' reactions to everything...and it does the trick!

A group of people are invited to a house that is thought to be haunted (it has a history of people dying from accidents in and around it). This is the story of their stay there. If you like a good ghost story, this one you will really like.


Movie review #3: Videodrome

A bizarre horror film that preaches about the dangers of new technology and those who abuse it.

James Woods (looking really sexy in his younger days), runs a public access channel that shows soft-core porn movies. But his technician comes across a pirate feed that shows snuff films. When he watches the video tapes he start hallucinating weird things. As he investigates who is broadcasting this signal, he finds he's been turned into a guinea pig and an assassin for the broadcasters of this strange program. It really turn bizarre when a giant gaping wound appears in his stomach and he becomes this living VCR where when the Videodrome recordings are inserted he is at their mercy. And Deborah Harry (aka Blondie) is one masochistic lady in this film. Some interesting effects too. I really liked the one where Deborah Harry is on the tv screen and it begins to bulge out of the set, and James Woods starts making out with her. It's a simple effect that still looks impressive by today's standards (this was filmed long before CGI was used in movies).

If you don't mind some gore, some torture, and some trippy visuals, then give Videodrome a try.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

School Days

I had my second class today, and it's my favorite of the two I'm taking. I've had Professor R. before and he's a lot of fun. He has a very easy teaching style and is geared towards real-world knowledge, not book learning necessarily. Professor N. from class #1 seems OK (never had him before this class) but he's not a loud speaker and seems to ramble a bit.

The interesting news is the school will be offering a Security Systems Analyst degree in August. I'm going to get more information on it, and at least take some of the classes as course electives that I still need to take.

Work is really hopping today once I got back from class so I'm off to complete more tickets. Later!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Saying Goodbye

I received an email yesterday that really effected me. I won't go into details but it had to do with a dear friend of mine and his state of health. Even though I've only known him for a handful of years, and only saw him usually once or twice a year, he became a good friend to me. Most of our communication was through emails or discussion boards we moderated on.

I am 37 years old and have never had to deal with the death of a friend until now. I went home and wrote him an honest email while crying over the keyboard. His email said that saying goodbye over the phone would have been too much and he had to do it in an email. So I called our mutual friends and spoke with them - all of them as shook-up and stunned as I was.

I admire him for his strength and intelligence. He never takes crap from anyone and always tells it like it is. I wish I could be more like him. He also has the best stories to tell. He always teases me about the Broadway productions he has seen with the original cast members.

I know there will be some more days of tears we all will shed for him. Definitely more tears when I see the gang again next time and we start reminiscing. And his partner, B., has the hardest job of all. I just hope he can handle this, and know that he has friends who will help him through it.

On Saturday I think I'll go to the Magic Kingdom and go ride our favorite attraction, the one that brought me into his circle of friends, and think about him.

T., I love you man. I know I said this in my email to you, but just know you touched my life, and I am better for it. I'm gonna miss your wit and wisdom, but will always cherish our friendship.


Your friend, Reid

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Yawn Yawn)

Did ya' miss me? Yesterday was just a really busy day at work (add to that not really having a subject come to me I wanted to blog about). And now staying later at work (more on that in a bit) and being the only one at home for a few weeks I had very little free time.

First, a movie review:

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - I had hopes for this film. It was nominated for a GLAAD Award in 2006 for Outstanding Film - Wide Release, though did not win. I thought if GLAAD nominated this, there's got to be something 'gay-worthy' in it. There really wasn't. Val Kilmer's private eye character is gay, but he isn't the main character, and his sexuality was not really necessary except for the 'tied-to-the-chair' scene. Otherwise, it's a quirky murder mystery where the writers decide it would be great to have Robert Downey Jr get his finger cut off by a slamming door and have a dog eat it. Watch it if it's on cable, but unless you are a huge RDJ or VK fan, I wouldn't waste your money on renting it.

As for the story-line, a private eye, a small-town girl in Hollywood, and a thief-turned-actor get embroiled in a murder plot. A few chuckles but mostly uninteresting.


Today was the first day of class. Something to do with Server 2003 for Windows. Thursday's class is, too. I really like the little USB drive I bought. We can plug them right into the monitor! Neat-o! I also type my notes as the teacher talks and save them right to the drive.

After spending $237 on school books yesterday I am glad to find out I can return one of them that we aren't going to use ($48.70 back on the credit card! WooHoo!)

But because of my day classes, I am staying later at work to make up the time. And some changes will have to be made to that. I was at work until 5:30 yesterday. The worst part about that is I don't get home until the sunset, so the kids have been alone during the daylight hours. To make it up to them I let them run around the front yard (they race each other between our house and Serge's house, back and forth). I let them do this until they both needed to take a dump on his lawn. Hey, he doesn't pick up after his dog, so I'm just paying him back.

Well, to get back on track, I am going to adjust my time to 5 PM. I'll shorten my lunches to 30 minutes (or skip all together) to make it all work. But I am really psyched starting school again. I checked out my degree chart and it looks like I'll need only 6 more classes after these two are done. I know I won't be able to take 3 classes over the summer, and unlikely even 2 classes will be available I need, so I foresee me getting my degree in 2008.

Well, lunch is over so back to work for me. Everyone have a great week.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Work Decisions

If you've read my blog over the past few months you'll know about the unrest we've been through at my place of employment. First, we were told of our financial instability so raises and bonuses were on hold for two years (could change depending on how our business improves). Then we laid off almost a dozen people, some of them directors (IE-executives). I was not worried about my job because I'm infrastructure. They simply can't keep the place running with less people at the Help Desk. Was this the job I wanted to stay at? Stuff like this can really beat your morale down.

It has come to the point where I've been putting my resume out and seeing what jobs might be available. Nothing fabulous has appeared. But something has happened that has me thinking I'll stay a while longer.

When my boss allowed me to take day classes for the upcoming semester, I thought how lucky I am to work in a company that is small enough where we all know each other, and one of my bosses would have my educational interests at heart. The place may not be perfect, but there are some really good benefits that I shouldn't overlook right now. I start next week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I can't wait to see the 'difference' in day-class and night-class students.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Rainy Days and Tuesdays

Yes, a cloudy, rainy day today in Orlando. But that didn't stop the day from being hectic. One employee suddenly decided this morning to take a week off (she emailed us this morning to tell us that), and another co-worker is already that leaves two of us to cover both buildings. Thanks...

So I decided that I'm making bread tonight. I make the dough in my bread machine, and then cook it in the oven. I follow the bread stick recipe in the manual and end up with delicious, hot bread for dinner. But the best part (besides eating it) is the smell of the dough as it rises. It makes the house smell so good.

Now I have to decide what to make for the main course. This might entail a stop at Public to see what catches my eye.