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January 2004

T minus 3 days till Survivor!

January 29, 2004: Is it pathetic that I really really really love Survivor? Well, that's too bad. The show is just so great and so addicting. So anyways, the definitive Survivor article for playing the real game is linked on the preshow page. It's a lot of reading, but I swear, this is really the bible on playing the game. 3 days till fun-time!!!!

Anyways, that's all for now. I do have lots of ranting I'd like to do, but I'm not in the mood to type a novel. But if you want a laugh, Sgt Jenny's site is plenty funny. I think this weekend the ranting shall begin. Perhaps something to look forward to? Nah....
What's New? The Survivor Preshow page has the definitive Survivor article linked now. Enjoy!

Get on the All-Stars team with the mostest!

January 28, 2004: Boy, today was exhausting. We had one of those potluck lunch thingys this afternoon, and Sgt Jenny was in charge. I helped, and after it was over, I was drained. So I think I got absolutely nothing done today. GOOOOO Air Force!

Anyways, if you want to be a member of the Survivor virtual game team that I am a member of (Debbie's Nut-Eating Safety Squirrels), let me or Robbie know soon. You only have till Sunday to vote on the first episode. It should be good!!! We have met the minimum necessary to be considered an official team, but it wouldn't hurt to have a full complement of team members. I haven't seen the questions yet, but I'm sure they're not hard. Just not easy, as they ask things that honestly I'll have no idea what the answers are quite yet. We'll see how long I can go without spoilers.

What's New? The revised Survivor page of mine.

Time to Dotante (meaning check out Sgt Jenny's website)

January 26, 2004: Dotante is the latin root for dotanterificiscousness, which is a derivative of the old Spartan (Greek) verb for almost sending an email with a horribly misspelled word (original word -> donate; go figure). So whenever you're feeling blue, just think dotante, and all will be well. The person who dotante'd today? Sgt Jenny! (And she coined a new word in the process - go Sgt Jenny!) Thankfully she has a very astute former-exec who can spot a misspelling a mile away. Whew!

So the organization has begun for the next Survivor online game. I think snippet took the prize last season, but I have a feeling I'm going to kick ass this time. If anyone who wasn't a part of it before would like to join in, hurry up - the season starts Sunday and I believe the teams and questions are up this week. And then each week you can look forward to seeing your ranking on my page. Oh the joy!!!! Contact me or Robbie if you're interested!

Oh yeah - definitely give Sgt Jenny's website a look. She translates well to the Internet medium. This is exactly how she is in person.

We now return to our regularly scheduled website

January 25, 2004: So, I'm back. Wendy and Jason are on their way back to Los Angeles, and now I have the time to work on my website. Here's whats been going on.

First, here are some pictures from my living room. This is the latest on how it looks. What I intend to eventually do is create a page just on how the setup used to look and then describe what changed and what I did. Anyways, here's a view of the living room from the dining area; here's a closer view of the posters and TV.

Next, here are some shots of Wendy and Jason while they were here this weekend. It was great, as usual, to see them. They came up Friday, and we did the standard Outback dinner (gotta do that), and then watched movies (Kill Bill on bootleg DVD - I liked to see it again, but I definitely want to see KB in high quality DVD) and drank. The next day we spent lounging around (watching Blood In Blood Out - this was my first time to see this, it's one of their favorite movies; what a trip of a movie - lots of quotable lines and a lot of overacting), going to the Premium Outlets, then to Bally's and then finally back here. And now they left this morning and I'm cleaning up my apartment. So, here's Wendy on the chair, both Jason and Wendy together, and then me at the Million Dollars that is soon to be mine.

Also, I got my DVR (Digital Video Recorder) service on my digital cable. It's incredible. It's not quite as smart as I think TiVo or ReplayTV is, but it still finds those episodes of things that I want to record, and I love that. And I can record two things (Survivor and Friends are no longer a decision to be made - I can see both!) at once. Sweet.

That's pretty much it. OH, Sgt Jenny has created a website (click here for the link), so you can catch up with her at anytime now. I've retained her original post below on my site, for posterity.

Oh, finally, I have a work pager. I'm not going to post the number, but I've created a forwarding email address that will send any email messages to me (less than 200 characters) through my pager. Here's the email: pagehobie@hobiebarnes.com.

The Opposite of Cute & Fluffy

January 21, 2004: What is the opposite of cute and fluffy? That would be me, SSgt Jenny. I am not fluffy...although I am rather cute. So I guess that would just make me the opposite of fluffy. Whatever. I have managed to commandeer the website of El Capi-tan (or Capn' Crunch, as he is otherwise known.) I would like to take this opportunity to share with my soon-to-be adoring fans some of the many thoughts that go through my head.

............. ... hmm...... yeah ....

For my next act, I would like to share Jenny's List of Things That Piss Her Off:
A) Who the hell had the bright idea to put the Open/Close button for the CD Rom tray UNDER the tray itself? Seriously now, you can open the CD-ROM with no trouble at all. But when you want to close it? Think again, buddy! The button is being completely blocked by the tray. Now, I know that you can just push the tray closed with no problems, but it's the principle here. Seriously, did the genius computer inventor just get lazy and stop thinking? "RAM, ROM, Bits, Bytes, Hertz. Wow, I'm tired now! Thank God all I have left to do is decide where to put the open/close buttone for the CD tray. I'll just stick it....here. Wheew, nap time!"
2) (THAT'S AWESOME! This is Hobie, who just realized what Sgt Jenny did with this numbering thing!) Next thing: People who try to hook up ugly cars. Seriously, what's wrong with these people? I saw a truck earlier this week that was just reeeeediculous. It was this tiny little Toyota pickup, but it had those spinny rims things. The back window had a freakishly large decal that said SOMETHING, but I couldn't understand it because it was all smushed together. It's quite possible that this Pimp Mobile was rollin' on dubs, but I can neither confirm nor deny this, as I don't know what the hell Dubs are. It was painted dark purple. And I ga-ron-tee that this thing could go from 0 to 60 in three minutes. Flat. I just thought that for all the money that this guy probably spent on those spinny rims and decals and tint, he probably could have put the money aside and had a nice little down payment for a real Pimp Mobile. Like a Saturn. These are the kinds of people who pull out in front of you, then slow down. I wish I had a flame thrower built into my front bumper.
3) Next thing: When people are talking to you (talking, dictating, whatever) and they're giving you a list of reasons why they're better than you and they say "I'm better because A), blah blah blah; and 2), yackety smackety" Last time I checked, buddy, the number 2 did not follow "A" in the alphabet. But you're right. You're much better than me in every way.
4) Last thing (for now): The Jack in the Box Philly Cheesesteak commercial. I take great offense to that commercial. Not EVERYONE from Philly (my mother land) has a mullet and wears stonewashed jeans. And you can't even find high top sneakers anywhere, so you KNOW that Philly people are not walking around in HighTops. Although, I wish you could find HighTops. I would totally wear them because, lets face it, those things are effing cool. Maybe my next Thing That Pisses Me Off should be lack of HighTops in shoe stores....

And now before I go, one more list. This would be the list of Words That Are Hysterical:
1) Crotch
2) Brains
3) Ass Bandit
4) Butt Pirate (I think this one falls into the same category as Ass Bandit, but it has a different feel to it)
5) Raisins
6) Queer Bait

Until next time,
~SSgt Jenny

Buckwild at Best Buy (someone stop me)

January 18, 2004: Yep, I went back today to just look around and use my Reward Zone $10 GC (see what you get when you buy a big screen TV?!) and I started noticing all these great old movies (mostly comedies - A Few Good Men: What a laugh riot!!) that were around $10. Not bad for not previously used. But #300 was actually Spiderman, which I got at Hollywood Video last weekend. I know people were wondering what #300 was gonna be. I also ended up at Bed, Bath & Beyond and I got some poster frames for the posters I just received - the funny thing is that instead of Kill Bill, I got Sammy Sosa. Life just can be so funny sometimes.

So who else is glad that this is a three-day weekend? I for sure am. Tomorrow I meet up with Uncle Richard and Aunt Diane for our annual Craps evening at the Orleans. I'm sure you could go back to Jan 2003 and read this same entry right around this same date. But I guarantee you, I will be a winner!! Yes, a winner!!!!

In pictures, I took my camera with me when us Comm guys had to go fix something somewhere and because I had been there before and knew the view was outstanding, I remembered the camera. So there are pictures from that up now.

For those that haven't been to Robbie's site lately, please go check it out. He has been creative with pictures lately, using them in conjunction with Bud Light's creative software. You have to see it to believe it. My friend Amy had sent me a greeting card with this technology late last year, and it's incredible. Funny, embarassing, and silly, but incredible nonetheless. Here's a link to Robbie's site, and here's my plagiarized links to what Robbie created, if you don't want to surf Robbie's site for the links. Me(Stupid Losing an Eye Story) - Michancy (Aren't I wonderful) - Robbie(deluded) - Byron(Loose a Dim). Enjoy. BTW, I think they expire after a while, so see em while you can.
What's New? My new DVDs (shot right past that 300 mark), pics from high Nevada, and that's it... for now. Just a few more weeks till Survivor/Super Bowl Sunday!! Woo hoo!

Guess what's back?

January 14, 2004: Yep, I'm ready for the new season of Survivor. I've put up my page. Enjoy!!!!

Lucky to still have both eyes!!! (and other excitement)

January 12, 2004: So, I told you below about my shopping excursion. Yet I didn't tell you about my complete act of idiocy - so I was assembling the end table I purchased from Target, and realized that I had put one of the pieces in backwards.... oops. It had been tough to put this piece in (I guess maybe because it was going in backwards?), so trying to remove it wasn't easy. Yet here I was, trying my hardest, pulling that piece out as hard as I could....with the piece aimed RIGHT AT MY EYE. I was SOOOO not using Operational Risk Management (revoke my USAF Officer Card - STAT!). Well, the piece came out of the end table, quite violently actually, as my arm jerked it right up at my eye at a rapid pace. And slammed about one inch from my eye - and I have the 'bar fight' scar to prove it (that's the story I tell people who don't read my website). Anyways, after being sure that I had just lost my right eye, I realized I could still see, but boy was I in pain. That hurt!!! So, that's how I ended up hurting myself this weekend. Usually it's through gambling, but this time it was physical violence. Ah well.

So what else has happened? Well, the official Survivor website is up for the newest season starting February 1st. Robbie indicated he was disappointed, yet he did admit that he was still counting the days till Super Bowl Sunday. I won't say I'm disappointed at all - I think it'll be a great show, and I am rooting for Kathy to go far. I loved Crazy Kathy in Marquesas (Season 4), and I was shocked and bummed when she got hoodwinked at that last final Immunity. She definitely deserved to win over either Neleh or Vecepia, but that can be said for many of the contestants who ended up in 3rd place on Survivor, including Rob from the Amazon, maybe Jon from last season. Anyways, I'm interested to see that Shii Ann from Thailand is also back - perhaps she won't fall for Mark Burnett's misleading actions again? I have a feeling she'll want everything in writing before doing anything. I would.

Well, I'm getting sleepy. That's enough for now!
What's New? I am thankful to have two eyes. I miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love my living room and TV. I miss my friends from all over who aren't here in Vegas. I should probably get my car washed. (How's that for stream-of-consciousness?)

4 Movie Posters from Total Kick-Ass Movie Goodness

January 11, 2004: So I'm sitting here, in my black leather chair, watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on my widescreen TV, with my laptop and I felt like writing to the site. Writing about how cool it is to see my former living room transform into a very sweet setup, considering I'm in an apartment and can't do too much in-the-walls wiring and stuff. Yesterday I went on a shopping kick and spent all my holiday gift certificates. First I went to Target, and got some more furniture, getting an end table and storage cube/small coffee table. Then I headed to Best Buy, and got sweet speaker stands for my front speakers and speaker mounts for the rear surround speakers. Today I spent my time actually putting the stuff together, and I'm very pleased with the results. I've actually got my rear speakers mounted high and to the rear of the optimal viewing location (my chair), and I'm stoked. Oh yeah, I went to Lamps Plus after Best Buy and got some torch lights for lighting behind the Television, which provides the eyes some contrast and prevents eye strain when it's dark. I also got a really cool floor lamp/reading lamp - it's on special order, but you gotta see it. I've ordered movie posters, and I'll hopefully be getting those soon. Finally, I plan on getting slipcovers for my couch, and then I'll finally be done with this first 2004 project. Whew!!
What's New? My home theatre is nearly complete!!! Be on the lookout shortly for the new Survivor:All-Stars page to be up soon. The show premieres February 1st!!! Set your calendars.
On another note to Robbie, I really hope that Tami's grandma gets well.

Further Progress in the movie room

January 8, 2004: So my movie room is coming along nicely. I got my expansion kit to my Boltz DVD rack, and as you can see in the front photo, I'm amassing quite a collection o' the movies. Sweet!!! I ordered movie posters online yesterday - they should be arriving soon and I'll be getting them framed and then they're going up on the wall and then the only thing left is proper lighting and speaker stands. You all don't care - but I can't wait.

So I got my first completely random email from someone perusing my website yesterday. I had seen web stats on my website from the company that hosts my site, and they track how people get to the site, and amazingly, my Europe 2002 web pages and pictures are found when searching for certain hotels and cities. I'm a travel resource!!! Anyways, I got an email from them and I gave some advice and I have become world-renowned!!! Okay, one stranger does not equal worldwide success. But I'm on my way.

And by the way, remember if you're in Vegas, come by the movie house. I may even let you sit in the black chair. Maybe.
What's New? Nothing except how cool my movie room is! (Yes, I'll get over myself soon - but not yet)

Movie Rentals with Hobie

January 5, 2004: I had to write today because I just finished watching the third of my movie rentals, and something HAD to be said about it. Also, Hollywood Video told me on Saturday that I hadn't rented a movie since March of last year. How did time go by THAT fast? But you know what it was? It was when Jason & Wendy were up for some reason, and we rented Autofocus. Possibly the worst movie ever.... okay, I take that back, but still pretty god-awful. And Jason even tried tricking me to watch it by saying he had seen the end and the movie actually got better. Something told me that it didn't matter, so I didn't watch it. He later told me he had tricked me to get me to watch it - what a bastard. :-)

So, I just finished watching Frailty. I think Robbie mentioned something about it on his website, but I finally got it as I I had heard many good things about it online and in magazines. Well - woah. It's a trip - kinda scary, very suspenseful, and some twists you expect and some twists you don't. The gist of the story (boiled down heavily - the story is very well told and has a great cast and performances) is religious fanaticism and whether they could actually be right. Eeeeek. You're probably guessing the twists - you'd be right (shocker!) but also not totally right. There is more to it, but I think the movie is very involving and I do recommend it, although it is quite..... spooky?

The movie I watched on Sunday was About Schmidt with Jack Nicholson. Let's just say it was refreshing to see Jack Nicholson in a role that wasn't just Jack Nicholson being Jack Nicholson. In fact, it's kind of a bummer of a movie, with some funny scenes along the way. It basically just comes down to whether you've made a difference to the world, but more importantly, in other peoples' lives. It hit home. The end, although spectacularly cheesy, made me actually get all bitchy and sniffley. But it was really cool. Again, this isn't a feel good movie at all, and will possibly make you reflect on your own life, for better or for worse. Yet it is a movie that shouldn't be missed.

And then the first movie I watched, on Saturday, was Seabiscuit. Not a deep movie by a long shot, but highly entertaining and very well done. I really didn't know the truth about what Seabiscuit won (I think I've told many people now, before I'd actually seen it, that it's the movie about the horse that won the Triple Crown during the Depression - not quite right, although not totally in left field). It is a feel-good movie though, so if you want a pick-me-up, definitely give this a spin. And it does help to have a big screen 57" Toshiba widescreen Television to watch any of these movies on. Seriously.
What's New? Nada. Just wanted to write something. Don't worry, you won't have to read something new every day. I made no resolutions for the New Year - I really just want to make sure I follow through on the ones I've made the past couple years. Buff Hobie, here I come!

Happy New Year from Barnes Cinema

January 4, 2004: So, as you can see, the New Year has been very good to me so far. Well, I should say that I was very good to myself.... okay, that didn't sound right. But you know what I mean. On Monday, 30 Dec, I went to Best Buy on a mission. The Mission: Get the TV and Finance It through Best Buy. That second part was what was worrying me, as I knew there would be lots of hoops and stuff to jump through. But I was realizing that those hoops would be worth it, as there was 18 month no-interest financing if I bought the TV that week and I really didn't want to put it on my credit card. Why pay interest if I don't have to? So I showed up at the store, amazingly things went well with the credit department, and I bought myself a kick-ass TV and lots of cables. I had drawn up a connection diagram for all my components a LONG time ago, and so I brought this diagram with me to make the cable purchasing that much easier. After all this, I still had to wait for the TV to get delivered - not until that Friday (2 Jan). It was all right -- I had waited for so long as it was, I could wait a week longer. Plus, I needed to rearrange the apartment to make sure it was organized effectively. I ended up putting a lot of stuff that was in my living room into my office, which has now become a den. It's cool. Now my living room is arranged so that it's much more open and there's a lot less furniture. Part of the deal with Best Buy this week was a free leather chair and ottoman with the purchase of a big screen TV, and well, it's an awesome chair and has become the official Best Seat in the House™.

Guess who was in town during New Year's? Michancy and her husband, John. I was able to spend some time with them and their friends a few times before New Year's. I was originally planning to go with them to the strip, but I bailed. Yet I had dinner with them at the Outback and also lunch at BW3's on New Year's Eve. It was great to see Michancy and meet John. It was cool that it really didn't seem like we hadn't seen each other for years. I guess it helps that we do talk on the phone every month or so while at work (your tax dollars hard at work). Michancy is a very funny person to hang out with - I definitely miss hanging out with her like back at AIA.

So New Year's Eve came and went. I didn't go to the Strip or Fremont Street, which is a good thing. It's been really cold here in Vegas and that combined with the massive amounts of people do not equal a happy situation for me. I don't like that many people all in one place, and me being pretty much stuck there because all the streets are shut down. I ended up going to a friend's party which was relaxed but very fun. They even have a distant view of the strip from their backyard, so I was still able to see the fireworks display over the strip, albeit from a much farther distance than last year.

On Friday I got my TV delivered, even earlier than expected, as the delivery people were ahead of schedule. The TV is huge - in fact, it looks bigger than when I saw it in the store. And I'm stoked! It actually fits perfectly where I wanted it to, and after all my pre-op preparations, the TV was able to be plugged right in to the components and turned on for viewing enjoyment. I ended up first playing a Video calibration DVD to try to get the TV to settings that were hospitable to home viewing and longer life for the TV, as it is known that usually manufacturers have the TV default settings at a really bright level for display in a store, which kills the picture tubes that much faster. You don't need it that bright in your home, and that is what the DVD helps to adjust. Anyways, I then turned on Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring as my first official DVD on the new set. It was incredible. After losing some money at Sam's Town with Marian and Drew (no need to get in that - short version: it sucked), the 2nd DVD was Moulin Rouge. I love this TV. I have a component cable for my PS2, and that looks even more incredible than it did before, with Final Fantasy X looking like never before. It really is awesome to see things on this TV. So whenever any of you are in Vegas, give me a call, and we'll watch a movie or something.
What's New? About 6 pictures from this past New Year's weekend. Oh, and I got some more DVDs. I am just ONE away from 300!

Shoot me an email if you want to. I may respond. (okay, you know I will - what else have I got to do?)