Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pawn Stars, iPhones, Roller Derbies and Cryptosporidium (and other random things)

Finally got me an iPhone.  Not that I needed one... truly, who actually needs an iPhone?  I mean, if you think about it, do we really need portable phones?  I got by for 28 years without one, and sure, its nice to be able to call someone and say, "Hey, I'm on the way" or send a text really quickly to say, "Remind me again what time the movie is" or "Can you pick up some milk?" but really, do we need one?

The answer?  We do now.  Its become an intregal part of life.  We'd survive without it, but why do we have to?  That's like saying, "Well, yeah, we'd get by if every Baha Burger or Chipotle closed its doors forever" but why would we want to do that?

iPhone 3gs 8gb
So, it stands to reason that naturally, I don't have a phone tonight.  Well, technically, I do have a phone.  I have two sitting in front of me, but neither have service. 

The Lovely Steph Leann's phone has been dying for a few days, dropping calls, not connecting and so on.  It was time for an upgrade, so I went with her to AT&T to do just that, for both of us.  Initially she tried to lead me left side of the store, to the "buy one get one free" phones for like, $10.  But, of course, I'm having none of that, and found myself wandering to the right side of the store where the "smartphones" were on display.

And then, I found myself standing in front of the iPhones.  I had resisted the iPhone for a while because when they first came out, they were just so doggone expensive, and the plans were reeeeeediculous.  But as time has gone by, the prices have dropped, as with just about everything.  The 4G came out earlier this summer, which meant the 3GS was down to about $100 or so.   The Lovely Steph Leann put up a slight resistance, but I think she kinda knew it was a lost cause... kinda like me putting up a slight resistance to expensive dining room chairs.  Its going to happen.  Just go with it.

As we got in the car, The Lovely Steph Leann turns to me and says, "Okay, so we've got you caught up on technology for a while.  We're done."

She got another Nokia, her being a Nokia kinda girl, and I got an iPhone ordered. They were out, so it was to be shipped to The Cabana and delivered some time this week. And being off yesterday, today and tomorrow (Thursday), I used Tuesday as my lazy as crap day, Thursday will be my get stuff done day, and today was my for errands.  And in my errands, I stopped at the Hoover Public Library, got some audiobooks and subsequently checked my email while there... and discovered that my iPhone had been delivered this afternoon.

Racing home, I found it sitting on the end table, as The Lovely Steph Leann was home for lunch while the FedEx guy stopped by.  I tore it open like a kid tearing into a Christmas gift, pulled out the box, opened it with my teeth and picked up my black 3GS iPhone... and plugged it in.

A few hours later, I pulled it off the charger, synced it with iTunes and called the number to get it activated.  It cut off service to my old Motorola Razr.  That's fine, don't need service on two phones.   Turned off my iPhone and waited the 5 to 10 minutes it asks you to wait, then turned it on.  No service.  Turned it off again, waited a few more minutes, turned it back on.  No service. 

Went to church, as we came back, turned it on, no service.  Figured we'd go by the AT&T store, get it solved.  Well, the store closed at 7pm.  And its 754pm.  Called AT&T, and was told that I had to go back to the store upon which I purchased the phone.  So, at 9am, I have to go.  Until then, no service.  No phone.

Is this something annoying, or should I enjoy my freedom from connection? 


Watched two movies yesterday just on a whim...

"College" stars Drake Bell (from Nickelodeon's "Drake & Josh") and Chicken Little from American Idol, Kevin Covais.  Anyway, Drake plays Kevin, and he and his buddies Morris (Covais) and Carter (Andrew Caldwell) go spend a high school senior-checking-out-the-school weekend at Friedmont University, fall for some sorority chicks, get in trouble with the bad boy fraternity on campus, and hilarity ensues.

Well, not really hilarity, just a lame attempt at such, with your expected booby jokes, chick jokes, and teen humor. I laughed one single time at about the hour fifteen mark.  Terrible film, not Emmy Turnbow approved. 

"Lower Learning" stars Jason Biggs, Eva Longoria Parker and Monica Potter.  Bottom line, Biggs plays an assistant principal who is trying to stop the mean, corrupt principal (Rob Corddry) from tanking the school and getting it shut down.  Eva plays a school inspector, and Monica Potter is a teacher and... you know what, it stunk.  Wasn't nearly as crude as "College", but didn't try nearly as hard.  At least "College" gets a B for effort.


I oftne make fun of Alabama Adventure, and mostly because it kinda deserves it, but sometimes the comedy just presents itself...

So sez Fox News dot com:


No evidence that this guy spread the parasite.  Its merely
a picture.
BESSEMER, ALABAMA-- The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating reports of several people getting sick after visiting the water park at Alabama Adventure in Bessemer.

The state health department, in a statement Friday afternoon to FOX6 News, said it was investigating a, "cluster of ill persons" associated with the Alabama Adventure Water Park in Bessemer. The health department said these individuals tested positive for a parasite that causes an illness called cryptosporidiosis.

(full article is here)

"Cryptosporidiosis" is a frightening word.  So sez Wikipedia:  Cryptosporidiosis, also known as crypto,[1] is a parasitic disease caused by Cryptosporidium, a protozoan parasite in the phylum Apicomplexa. It affects the intestines of mammals and is typically an acute short-term infection. It is spread through the fecal-oral route, often through contaminated water;[1] the main symptom is self-limiting diarrhea in people with intact immune systems.

Not sure its the worst job in the whole world, but "PR Guy for Alabama Adventures" has to in the Top Ten, at least for now.


A good way to get a date is be a professional athlete.  All the rest of us had to work slightly harder... this guy made it happen, though...

OAKLAND -- Jacki Lynch walked into her first A's game Thursday night with no other itinerary than to take advantage of a free ticket and enjoy the company of some college friends.

Kevin Fennell, however, had a different plan for her, although both didn't know it at the start.

The 21-year-old A's ballboy, stationed near Oakland's bullpen throughout the game, spotted Lynch nearby in the stands and, after putting his glove on a foul ball, passed by a line of fans and handed it to her.

"He looked at me and pointed," Lynch recalled. "I said, 'Me?' and he came over and gave me the ball."

Later in the game, an eventual 4-3 Oakland win over Tampa Bay, Fennell did it again, at which point the A's television crew caught on to the act and shared it with its audience -- including those friendly with Lynch.

"People kept texting and calling me," Lynch told by phone on Friday. "I thought it was so funny. I can't believe how much attention this has all been getting."

Although video only shows Fennell handing off two balls, he admitted the count actually grew to four. Lynch, though, says she walked away with five balls, the last of which came via messenger from the bullpen, reading, "How about a phone number for our Ball Man, Kevin?"

Fennell not only received the digits, but he's also already communicated with Lynch via text message to set up a date.

"We're going to get drinks next week," he said.

(full article here)
Flipped channels just now to Jean-Claude Van Damme's 1997 epic "Double Team", co-starring Dennis Rodman.  I think I liked it when I was 22. Now?  The movie is horrendous.  First, how is Van Damme's thickly accented character even named Jack Quinn?  Shouldn't it be something slightly foriegn?  Secondly, its just a terribly acted movie.  I was actually surviving it until Dennis Rodman came onscreen, and it went from worse to catastrophic. 

I'm not sure which is worse--the acting in this trailer, or the narrator desperately sounding like he's trying not to laugh.
It was so bad that I flipped about four channels north to Steven Seagal's "Fire Down Below", also from 1997.  While a bad, bad film, its a good bad, craptastic if you will.  Kris Kristofferson as a villian, a strangely hot pre-CSI Marg Helgenberger, current in the 90s country stars Randy Travis and Mark Collie and Steven Seagal working as... an EPA agent?  Really? 
I told The Lovely Steph Leann earlier, "Over 300 channels right now.  And still... nothing on."
There's a tendancy that television has to copy.  When one show does successful, a ton more pop up just like it.  Its bad in scripted tv, with Friends being popular and "Coupling" coming the next year (and tanking).  Melrose Place was a hit, and "Central Park West" tanked.  When LOST blew everyone away, we had a ton of similiar shows like "The Nine", "Invasion" and "Threshold" that came on the next year.  And went away pretty quickly.
I love watching Rick (middle) talk about stuff
if only because he makes the same hand
motions every time, and it cracks me up.
This trend is especially bad in reality TV, with American Idol paving the way for America's Got Talent and The X-Factor.  Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes and a few other cake making shows are now on, and while midget shows tend to be a little short on character, the formula works enough to make several shows.
And Pawn Shops is no different.  Pawn Stars premiered on the History Channel... what its doing on the History Channel, I have no idea... and its one of the networks highest rated shows.  And I love it.  Last week, I had an afternoon at home and ended up watching three hours of it... everything from a star-studded autographed quilt to a airplane glider to a Lou Gerig signed jersey to vintage film of FDR, its so random and I think its great.  The guys that run the shop are hilarious, and even The Lovely Steph Leann finds herself watching and laughing, and to her caring nature, feeling terrible for those people who sell stuff cheap only for the pawn guys to find out the stuff is worth a ton of money.
And to catch the pawn craze, the channel truTV (formerly CourTV) has their own show called Hardcore Pawn.  For all the fun and entertainment that Pawn Stars provides, Hardcore Pawn is the opposite.  The guys are a little angry, they are rude to people, there are way to many bleeps in the language and the show is just not good. 
Why yes, I subscribe to this podcast.  Why do you ask?
In all the channels we get, Pawn Stars makes that short list of programs that, when I flip through and see them, I will check it out to see if I've seen the episode, and I can flip to it mid-show and its still enjoyable. That's a good list to be on.
Other shows that make that list are any Dateline NBC shows on Investigative Discovery, Mythbusters on Discovery Channel, Clean House on The Style Network, and anything with Samantha Brown in it on The Travel Channel. 
Let's be real, though.  I don't watch it often, but when I happen to catch "The Harry Reid Show", I laugh out loud every time.  Might be a guy thing.
Reason #5,499,901 of why the terrorists hate us.  Holly Madison.
Found myself watching "Holly's World" on E!, sort of like leathernecking on a freeway at a car wreck on the other side.  She just bought a house, but was careful to say that she didn't want to go too big, she wanted a house she could afford and not be a slave to her mortgage.
She then showed off her Disney kitchen.  I'm not sure how to feel about the fact that Holly Madison and d$ have the same scattered Mickey placemats.  I'm totally not kidding.
They are throwing Holly a housewarming party with cotton candy, a bouncey house and a petting zoo.  I'm sticking with it, mildly amused and then...  Carrot Top showed up.  I just lost 17 IQ points.  Gotta turn it.
Stumbled upon "Whip It" earlier. 
"Whip It" is Drew Barrymore's first shot at directing, and its all about Women's Roller Derby.  I remember watching Roller Derby when I was like, 9 or something on ESPN, back when ESPN was showing anything that possibly resembled sports in an effort to fill their airwaves.
There is actually a roller derby team locally... I keep meaning to go, if only for the blogging material
Anyway, the flick tells the story of Bliss Cavendar (I turned to The Lovely Steph Leann and suggested 'Bliss Dollar' as a girl name, but immediately dismissed it with 'nah, that sounds like a terrible stripper') who is played by Ellen Page.  She lives in Bodeen, Texas, with a well-intentioned but overbearing mom and a loving but bumbling dad, and looks for a little more out of life... and she stumbles upon the Hurl Scouts, a Roller Derby team in Austin.  She makes the team, and ends up having the time of her life.
Trouble's a brewing, though, as you'd expect her parents not to approve (they don't), her best friend to feel betrayed (she does), rivals to pop up (they do) and more. 
Overall, however, I thought this was a great film.  It was smart, it was funny, it was paced well and both The Lovely Steph Leann and I found ourselves laughing and enjoying it.  Its got a little bit of language, and a pool make out scene where nothing is shown and there's a bit of smooching, though what happens next is implied.  The Roller Derby chicks are in somewhat small outfits, but there aren't any wardrobe malfunctions to see and there's lots of skating and smashing into each other.  I recommend it.
Don't you hate it when you are driving, and you are cruising along, maybe got your cruise control set, and you are coming upon a car ahead of you that you'll easily be able to pass but there's a car coming up behind you in the left lane, traveling fast, and that's not a problem because by the time you get to the point where you'd have to move to the left lane or step on your brake and breaking your cruise control speed the car coming up behind you will be way past you because of his speed...
...but the car in the left lane slows down just enough where you can't safely get over in front of him, and the car ahead of you is driving at such a speed that you now have to break your cruise control speed so the car in the left lane will in fact pass you so you can get over in the left lane, and when you get over, to top it off, the car in the left lane speeds up again and goes really fast, leaving you to try and reset your cruise control.
Yeah, me too.


  1. Did you really say "while midget shows tend to be a little short on character" - only you, D$.

    Another one of my faves - the randomness of the undulations of gray matter. Thanks for sharing.

  2. "Pawn Stars premiered on the History Channel... what its doing on the History Channel, I have no idea..."

    My guess is because of all the historical stuff that shows up quite often. You get cool little history lessons along the way. I just wish Chumlee would spout something intelligent and shock the mess out of everyone.

    On second thought, nah. Chumlee is awesome just the way he is. :)


I want to hear your response! Click here!!