Not Cool, Mother Nature. Not Cool.
My buddy Arthur posted this pic on his Facebook, and it basically charts that snow storm North America had over the weekend.

See that random blob of green on the east coast? That would be my area. Everyone got snow except me. :(

To Quote One of My Fav Christmas Specials...
"Remember that no man is a failure who has friends."
-Clarence, It's a Wonderful Life

Awesome quote. Merry Christmas, LJ buddies!

Writer's Block: It's a wonderful life!
What's your favorite holiday TV special or movie, and why?

There's way to many to choose from, but if I had to pick just one, it'd have to be the He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special, if nothing more than for this hilarious scene involving Skeletor:

Close seconds would be the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version).

Total Lunar Eclipse
Checked out the total lunar eclipse that just took place. I'm not really into this kinda stuff, but my buddy Moe told me it was a rare one, since it fell on the Winter Solstice, and the next time that'll happen won't be till like 2094.

"Meh, why not? I'm not sleepy yet."

So around 1:45AM, I went out into the backyard and just sat in a lawn chair till just past the 3:15AM peak.

Pic Under the CutCollapse )

I'm actually quite content with the way this photo turned out, namely because it's a lame point&shoot and my hands were freezing/shaking.

I think the neat thing about the whole experience was that while watching it, one doesn't realize the eclipse is actually happening. I mean, at first it's a bright white orb with a third being shadowed, and then somehow, time magically elapses and the moon's all copper-like.

Plus, about forty minutes before the peak, I saw a shooting star; kinda cool I got to see that. Some other friends living closer to downtown DC apparently couldn't see squat, what with all the clouds and slightly polluted air...

Nice to know I had a clear night in my neck of the woods. :)

Non Sequitur Roundup
Yup, I'm behind on posting... again. Here's some random thoughts:

FIFA 2022
I am a little upset that the US lost their bid, but the same time, I'm rather intrigued by FIFA's choice to hold the 2022 tournament in Qatar. It's a peculiar choice, considering their summer weather isn't ideal. And if I'm not mistaken, consumption of alcohol isn't as accepted over there as it is in most countries. Interesting to see how that'll play out...

Harry Potter and Tangled
Went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 on opening night. I think they could have shortened the whole globetrotting part a good five or ten minutes; seemed a bit excessive in my opinion. Good movie though, and I especially loved the sequence involving the Tale of the Three Brothers, namely for the animation style—it just felt right for a narrative within a narrative. I'm still on my stance of not reading the books till all the movies are done, and if Deathly Hallows weren't split into two parts, I'd be cracking the books open now, rather than July. Comparing this to the rest of the franchise, I would still consider the fifth installment my favorite. And while I have my minor issues with this new one, I will say that it's a step up from that crapfest of a sixth movie.

As for Tangled, I've got nothing but praise for this film. I'm vaguely familiar with the actual Rapunzel story, but given that it's Disney's take, the interpretation is still a fun one. I highly recommend watching it in 3D, 'cause if you're like the little kid in the row front of me, you'll want to reach out and touch the floating lanterns. Mandy Moore was the absolute perfect choice for the lead role; I've always had a thing for her—from her pop music days to her eventual acting career—and in my opinion, Rapunzel is the best execution of her combined talents. Zachery Levi is equally perfect. I'd have to compare his role of Flynn Ryder to that of his performance in Chuck. Overall, it's got a nice balance of story and music, and this is probably my fav from the soundtrack:

Hockey Stuff
Caps traded Tomas Fleishmann to the Avalanche for Scott Hannon. I'm neither for nor against the trade; I think it makes sense. Caps had a logjam of forwards and needed a veteran D; Avs needed an experienced forward to replace an already injured front. Flash is a good player and I think he's fitting in nicely over in Colorado (though I was at the game last Saturday and it felt awkward seeing him in an Avs jersey). As for Hannon, I'll just need some time to get used to him.

As for their losing streak, I'm not bothered by it. Yeah, it sucks royally, but I think the blogosphere is blowing it way out of proportion. Lots of folks are already calling for Bruce Boudreau's head, but compare his losing streak to the likes of the last two coaches, and it's really not that bad. Fucking bandwagons, shut your mouths and accept the losses. It's part of the game!

World of WarCraft
Got back into it after scoring sweet deals for The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. Haven't mustered up funds for Cataclysm yet, but I'm managing without it. My roster of characters has exponentially grown to six, and it's kinda fun switching amongst them with Blizzard doing a mechanics overhaul. I love the that old world's terrain has been destroyed and transformed. With all the changes, it's kinda like I'm relearning how to play the game.

Fun Stats
Pulled this from doylescordy. Interesting data. Now I know which of you are actively stalking commenting my posts. :p

Who comments the most on this journal?Collapse )

I Bleed for the Capitals... Literally
Over the weekend, the Washington Capitals organization sponsored a blood drive at their practice facility, so I took time to donate some blood (I signed up for it during the Capitals Convention a couple of weeks ago). I was fine with the whole idea up until the day before. I'd never donated blood before, so the whole process kinda got nerve-wracking when it came time to do it. First time jitters I guess. :p

Once I got to the Icelpex, they had me fill out a form and then escorted me to a one nurse who gave me a mini screening, basically to test my iron levels, body temperature, blood pressure, etc. When it came to the donation part, she sat me down at one station with another nurse. Nurse #2 was already helping two donors, so to make things go faster, the nurse at the station next to her offered to draw my blood instead. After prodding both arms a few times, Nurse #3 then called yet another nurse and was like, "hey, can you help me out here? I can't find his vein." Nurse #4 eventually found one on my right cubital.

Who'd thunk that it'd take two nurses just to find one good vein to puncture. Didn't bother me much: the whole switch-a-roo ordeal humored me enough to get over the nervousness (plus, nurses 3 and 4 were kinda pretty).

As for the whole blood giving part, that took about half an hour. I think the worst part in fact the needle going in. I'm not afraid of needles, but damn, did that thing hurt! It was huge and for whatever reason, my blood was flowing slowly, so Nurse #3 kept encouraging me to squeeze the foamy pumpkin ball every so often (I would've pumped faster, but I was starting to lose feeling in my hand, lol). Once my bag filled, yet another nurse came over to bandage up my arm. :p

Sidenote: to keep up with my fun habit of randomly naming inanimate objects, I decided to nickname my blood pack "Alexis Blood-el."

When it was all over, folks at one table gave me a Brooks Laich bobblehead and corresponding player shirt. Since I already had a Brooks Laich shirt (it's basically the same shirt, only that it says "Innova Blood Donor Services" on one sleeve), I just gave it to my sister, since she offered to drive me to/from the event. In addition, she was cool enough to buy me a box of donuts (it's basically a reference to this episode of 6teen; I should also note that the nurse who did my screen test looked a lot like the nurse in this clip).

Anyway, I've just been taking it easy for the past two days, slowly getting strength back in my arm. I've also been stricken with a bit of fatigue, but that's a normal aftereffect. Here's a fun look at the whole experience.

It was a fun experience, so I may do it again when the Caps hold another blood drive in March. And hopefully next time, nurses won't play hot potato with me, lol!

Red Shirt Guy: The Internet's Newest Sensation
My knowledge of the game's lore is extremely limited, so I'll give this dude props for knowing his World of WarCraft. Basically, the guy called out Blizzard's developers on some continuity issue.

Considering I'm an on-again-off-again WoW gamer, I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, so I actually had to look this up. From what I understand, 'The Shattering' is some World of WarCraft novel canon to the video game series (and a prelude to the upcoming expansion WoW: Cataclysm), and at some point in the story, a character named Falstad Wildhammer becomes part of a council. The issue at hand is that in the game's beta, said character isn't on the council, and in his place is another character with the same last name. If it were me, I probably wouldn't have caught that; when I play, I tend to ignore a bunch of characters. :p

I thought it was kinda neat to see some fan stump developers. I think the best part was the applause he received from his fellow attendees.

Hey Blizzard, hire this guy.

EDIT: This response just came online. In it, he explains the "robotic-ness" of his voice, which was a result of his nervousness and a minor case of Asperger syndrome.

Dude just earned my utmost respect. It's one thing to nervously speak out in an exhibit hall full of people, but it's another to take that fallout and address the whole internet. And yes, I still think Blizzard should hire him.

Evolution of the Geek
Yanked this from gigli_bob's Facebook. It's an interesting take on how the term 'geek' has evolved over the years. Found it rather interesting, since I've associated myself with that term for a long time, but for the life of me, could never define it properly:

Evolution of the Geek.

Can't help but laugh with how immersed I am solely within the branches of 'Pop Culture' and 'Computer' (more so the former than the latter). To be honest, those areas of observation are somewhat accurate (save for the 'Dungeons and Dragons' portion, 'cause I just never found that game interesting—not that I have any problem if you do play D&D). As for the 21st Century 'Geek Chic' branch, I don't think I'm there just yet. The only thing I can associate clearly from it would be the 'Design' branch. Every thing else in that tier, I may have dabbled a bit, but that's all.

The Simpsons Makes Me Facepalm Nowadays
My sister showed me this earlier today. It's the couch gag from the latest Simpsons episode, created by graffiti artist Banksy.

The intro is well made, and I get the satirical humor in the approach (the unicorn part made me chuckle), but at the same time, I can't help but tag this as one example of how much I dislike the show now.

It just feels like creators have completely run out of ideas and are pulling a lot of their source material from contemporary stuff. Any while one can argue that this approach has been done in the past, it wasn't as dependent then as it is today.

Just like guest roles: every couple of weeks, they've got somebody lending their voice talent. What happened to the days when that was a rare thing for the series (and they were quality talent like Liz Taylor voicing Maggie)? Nowadays, it's like, "hey let's get some of the folks from Glee or some other show on the network that needs a shameless plug" (and I have nothing against Glee, 'cause I myself watch it every so often).

Perhaps it's just my opinion, but the series definitely went downhill after that movie from '07. In fact, since then, I have yet to enjoy a single episode. They really need to go back to stuff like the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" cliffhanger (which in my opinion, was the best thing that ever came out of that show). Either that, or just end the series all together.
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