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Archive for 2007

Chien brule

I got a haircut Tuesday. I took Crash (Samoyed One) with because he adores the walk my stylist (got a problem with that?) adores him.

At some point, we noticed that he had a a small discoloured patch on his fur. We didn’t know if he’d found some dye or some grease under a chair or what. Then we smelled it: something smelled like it was burning.

Crash had lain down next to the electric baseboard heater and burned the fur on his left hindquarter. He doesn’t seem hurt at all, but he has some small caramelized clumps of fur. I’ll try to get a picture.

Speaking of pictures, some subset of children might get an acting job next month. Headshots are going out today.

Speaking of earning money, I sold a book to the Jewish Public Library yesterday. Now I’m in negotiations to hold a book launch there. I may have to acquire more books from he publisher, though. I’m down to fewer than 20 and that’s without any advertising. One of my tasks for today is to put up a Web page for the book and distribute banner ads for it.

Good things

The guy who fixed my TV is Harry of Harry Magic Touch TV. It cost me $80 after taxes – peanuts! Harry doesn’t have a Web page so unless you’re looking specifically for him, you won’t find him in a Web search.

He’s a nice guy and a great repairman, though. He comes right to your home, so you don’t have to schlep 75 pounds of malfunctioning electronics into and out of your car twice.

I thought I’d take adavantage of my unreasonably high Google PageRank and plug him for free. If you have a TV you need fixed, call him at 514-481-2702.

Hey, that’s pretty close to the phone number of the house I grew up in: 487-2012 (and we didn’t use area codes for local calls back then and we still used some rotary-dial phones and we liked it).

Another good thing without much of a Web presence is a tiny Oregon family farm called Gabrio’s Organic Berries. I don’t know much about their berries, but Elvi came back from Oregon with a jar of their pumpkin butter. Wow. If you have any taste for pumpkin pie, you need to get this. Actually, you need to avoid it. After trying this, all pumpkin pie will taste like ashes.

The Gabrio’s pumpkin butter is so flavourful and moist it puts all pumpkin pie to shame.

Unfortunately, there’s little point in telling you this unless you happen to be in the Eugene, Ore. greater metropolitan area because they have no Web site and presumably don’t deliver. You can call them at 541-942-3217.

Now, I have to go write more free publicity so that I can feed my children bowls of air for supper.

Still here

I’ve broken the tape on that deadline – meaning I made it – but I didn’t get the report in to Reader’s Digest (Canada) because I had a sick Child One to stay home with. No matter. I’ll bring it over in half an hour.

It was a struggle what with Wife One out of town for the weekend.

I normally don’t leave work so close to a deadline, but I couldn’t get this finished last week. Friday, I woke up in time to get Elvi to the airport at 6:15. I came home, made the kids their lunches, brought Two and Three to school, taught my own course, picked up One’s carpool (after waiting an extra half-hour because One herself never quite got me the message that she was staying late), took Child Three to hockey, made dinner for the kids, and was pretty beat by the time I got them to bed that I fell asleep myself at 10:30.

No work there, notice.

Saturday, I woke at 8:00 and did a good two and half hours of work in the morning until the schedule caught up with me again. I took Child Two to acting lessons at 12:45, made lunch for One and Three, picked up Two and dropped her off at a birthday party, took Three to a friend’s house, diagnosed and fixed a problem with the dishwasher, did something else (I didn’t actually take notes), watched the hockey game, picked up Three when he decided not to sleep over at his friend’s, went to bed.

Not much there either.

Sunday morning, I slept in a bit, but still got an hour and a half done in the morning until it was time for Child Three’s hockey. I finally got on a roll after hockey, working ten and a half hours until 3:00 am. Yes, that’s too late, but I was, as I said, on a roll.

I woke up three and a half hours later to get the kids’ lunches made and do the morning carpool shift, and finished up with four and a half hours of work in the morning. Call me the Deadlinerminator. Or not.

I pent the rest of the day working on today’s lecture and giving my 202 class a break by postponing by a week the quiz I had scheduled.

P.S. for Naila:

I said it was Lafleur. I should be an analyst or something.

Bonus mazel tov:

To Brother One (the brother next in line to me; I have two younger brothers), on the birth of his Child One, who is of course my Blood-Nephew Three and Nephew Four overall.

Still under the gun…

…but, did any of you catch Jerry Seinfeld’s very short documentary/ad for “Bee Movie” after “30 Rock”?

That was brilliant. It was a mash-up of wildlife shows, the issue of illegal aliens, outsourcing, and furries.

All that in what? A minute? Good stuff.

Someone let me know when it shows up on YouTube.

I have a few more goodies saved up for regurgitation at a later date. Cheep, baby birds, cheep!

Jerking me a round

1) The darling wife has made me lots of Alton Brown’s jerky, although she used a unitasking food dehydrator rather than Alton’s fan and air filter contraption. She also used some sort of round rather than flank steak – no matter, it is delicious anyway.

2) I don’t believe I ever finalized for y’all the fantasy baseball results. No thanks to Yorvit Torrealba’s ninth home run of the year in that extra game between the Padres and Rockies, I finished in a tie for second. That’s an adequate finish, and better than the tied for last I found the team in back in May, but I’m afflicted with a case of the woulda shouldas.

3) Our TV continues to fritz. I need to do something about that, still.

4) I have so much work to do this week: articles to correct for JOUR 202; quert letters to correct for JOUR 39; a research report due Friday for Reader’s Digest. I should stop blogging.

5) I bought Child Three some goalie pads of his very own. I could not find a properly sized chest protector anywhere, but we managed to borrow one from NDG Hockey. The toe strap on one pad already fell off, but I’ve reattached it, and secured the other straps, with locking nuts.

6) Meanwhile, lest I be accused of favouritism, Children One and Two attend acting lessons at MSOPA.

7) I continue to mull the possibility of a family road trip to Houston in December. Flying costs too much. I wonder if Brett will deign to see me after I’ve called him pink.

8) Is it possible? A decent airplane movie on the horizon? Check out this trailer for “The Red Baron“. This is how World War I fighters flew. “Flyboys” had jets in biplane livery.

Commercial break comments

How good does a show have to be when Jerry Seinfeld drags the rest of it down? “30 Rock” is magnificent.

“Pushing Daisies” was full of win, last night, too. And they say you need to avoid voice-over. Pshaw! Naila told me it reminded her of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, another show that relied on voice-over. Daisies has a great cast, witty dialogue, and the right amount of quirk.

Whoops, show’s back. Gotta watch.

A little time off

I’m overwhelmed with work for the next two weeks so don’t expect too much bloggery from my keyboard.

I wrote some propaganda for a school board commissioner election campaign today. I have a report due at Reader’s Digest on October 12. Schoolwork and grading is also starting to get heavy.

And I have to watch “Pushing Daisies” tomorrow.


Bonus congrats:

Congrats to Brett, the only Nicholl Fellowship finalist I’ve met, I think – certainly the tallest and pinkest.


I lost $3.70 at Alex’s poker table last night (photos at Facebook). I won only three hands, all in a row. Three other hands, I was set to win before getting screwed over by the river.

Compensating for the pain of that loss is a small measure of fame. A writer used my Pace Mannion Fan Club/Wikipedia story in an article about Wikipedia for You can read it here. I appear on the second page, with some tangential references later in the piece.

Elvi is up north with the choir she has joined to take the musical place of the defunct band. I’m spending the day shuttling children and, well, blogging.

My fantasy baseball team oozed its way into third place last night, thanks to Russ Springer’s win in relief. I can’t stomach following the games in progress. Maybe I’ll catch a movie tonight. I can’t stay in the house or I’ll fire up the laptop and be forced to watch.

Allow me to finish up with a great cartoon:

Bonus true fact:

One of the Donner party survivors later opened a restaurant in San Francisco.


My ex-student and fellow entertainment-industry limpet Iuliana invited me to an industry party that took place Wednesday night – and then didn’t show up.

Nevertheless, all who know me know what a people-person I am, and I found folks to chat with. I spent most of the evening with Joel (whose IMDb page doesn’t do him justice). Joel reminded me a lot of myself, if I had less hair (all over), were a bit older, and more talkative. We spent most of the night discussing key inventions in history and I think I made him change his mind on a few (he held out for the car, and I pointed out that what he meant was the internal combustion engine).

I also chatted with local comic/actor/writer Mike Paterson, whom Alex and I had auditioned last December for the short. And Joel and I gave audition advice to belly dancer/actress/Miss Universe Quebec contestant Mihaela, who thought my business card was cute.

Elvi found out today that her master’s thesis was accepted. Yay! She spent the evening entertaining a friend of her sister’s from California, and they went out to catch a Thomas Dolby concert tonight. Elvi’s sister is a friend of Rich the trumpeter in the band, also from the Bay Area.

So Elvi just came home with Adam the tromboner in the band, who apparently was going to spend the night in the airport otherwise because there are no hotel rooms in the city (thanks to the President’s Cup). He needs to get back to San Francisco for another gig while the rest of the band rides the bus. Elvi invited him to stay on our couch.

OK: chatting up a Miss Universe contestant and getting her card versus coming home with a tromboner. I think I win.

Elvi went backstage and got to chat with Thomas Dolby and – I asked – did indeed blind him with (metallurgical) science.

I still win.

Speaking of fame, please note the addition of Stephen Fry to the blogroll. His latest post discusses the advantages and disadvantages of fame, in his trademark velvety ramble.

Speaking of winning, I’m in fourth place in fantasy baseball and the team is doing nothing to make up the two points I need to finish in the money.

I’m not going to win.


“House” was awesome, “The War” found its feet, our extra Illico channels have gone away, and my visitor stats reveal that someone from the Tribune company came to this blog to find out if “suck” is OK to use in the paper:

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