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TV [Apr. 10th, 2009|10:14 am]
Based on rave reviews by colinmcl, I checked out Better Off Ted last night and I agree with him that it a) is cooler than Coolio and b) will likely get canceled. Here's hoping there are some good extras on the series box set. If you like quirky comedy then go over to ABC's website and watch the episodes they've aired so far.

I also checked out the pilot of The Unusuals, a show centered around a NYPD police precinct, which was better than I expected. The show is quirky and funny, but the main story thread is a mystery about one of the detectives being murdered and the secrets that all of the other police detectives are keeping. The show feels like a mixture of Hill Street Blues, Scrubs, and NYPD Blue. The writing is clever, the mystery at the center of the show is intriguing, and the dialogue is funny. I'm willing to give it six episodes and see if it takes off.

How cool is it that I can check out the latest shows and yet I don't have a cable subscription. Not quite flying cars, but still pretty cool.

What's your new favorite TV show?
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Baby Girl [Mar. 27th, 2009|08:30 am]
Morgan gave birth to Rosaline Clare McFarland at 6:03 this morning. She weighs 9lb 4oz. Mom and baby are resting after a hard night's work.
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Dollhouse [Mar. 21st, 2009|04:10 pm]
So, I enjoy pretty much every pie Joss Whedon puts his finger in, but his new show Dollhouse hasn't been satisfying my pie craving. The sixth episode, however, was pie-tastic. The slow start for the series seems to be in some part due to the network's reticence to tell stories about the more complex and difficult issues the show's premise conjures up. Shocking. I assume Joss put this show on Fox because he was contractually obligated.

Anyway, I decided to give the show six episodes before I called it quits, but the sixth episode was a hail mary and now I am vested for the first season. Here's hoping the last episode's rise above mediocrity wasn't a fluke.
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Pigerick Saga [Mar. 3rd, 2009|08:58 pm]
About a week ago, my wife and I attended a conference with my eight year-old son's Target teacher. Target is a one day a week class for the smart kids, theoretically. The teacher, Mrs. Robinson, is leading a semester long unit on money, budgeting, and related subjects. Last week, the children were asked to write a rough draft of a limerick having to do with pigs and money, to keep in the theme of piggy banks and such. Liam found the Pigerik quite difficult.

Saga continues...Collapse )
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Letter [Jan. 20th, 2009|12:35 pm]
Transcription of a letter I found shortly after Christmas, written by my elder son, and folded to emulate an envelope.

On the outside:
ADRESS Noel Street / let it snow bolavard
hohoho lane Santa Works inc.

On the inside:
dear Santa,
Please bring me a new collar.

Yours truly
roxy the dog

P.S. This is a joke.
P.P.S. Woof Woof
P.P.P.S. bark bark bark!

And then a crude picture of a dog. Pure. Genius.
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Tains [Dec. 30th, 2008|01:06 am]
I've heard numerous people bemoan that Christmas this year didn't quite feel like Christmas. I suppose a drowning economy contributed; money stress fuels family stress, and being more conscious about purchasing decisions, while healthy, probably doesn't have the same feel as Christmases past.

I share the sentiment. There was something distinctly non-Christmasy this Christmas. Maybe because I worked Christmas night. Christmas spirit hit me though. Not so much on Christmas morning when the boys were opening presents, or even during a Christmas brunch of homemade eggs Benedict (which Morgan and I did a fabulous job cooking). No, my Christmas spirit was delivered by a rambunctious Donovan, up way past his bed time, on Christmas night.

I got home from work, a rather boring and listless shift, and walked up the stairs to my living room. I heard Morgan and Donovan's voices, and I called up to my son, asking him why he wasn't in bed. He replied:

"No bed Dada, pay wif tains!"

And indeed he was playing with trains. His new space station train set was still assembled next to the Christmas tree where Santa had left it for him the night before, and he rolled the wooden train cars along interconnected tracks winding like tributaries toward glow-in-the-dark space stations. He played by white Christmas tree lights, wearing his new pajamas and sitting in my lap, sharing his Christmas spirit with me for a while. Best gift I got this year.
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More Parables [Dec. 6th, 2008|02:05 am]
Water Bearer
A man used two large buckets to carry water to his house from a nearby stream. Every day, he hung the buckets on either end of a pole, and balanced the pole across the back of his neck as he walked home. One of the buckets was cracked on one side, but the other bucket was perfect and unbroken. At the end of the long walk from the stream to his house, the cracked bucket always arrived only half full. The perfect bucket was proud to deliver the most water it could hold, but the poor cracked bucket was ashamed of its imperfection and miserable that it was broken.

For two years this went on daily, with the man carrying one and a half buckets of water to his home. Finally, the broken bucket, after enduring two years of shame, spoke to the water bearer as he filled it in the stream.

"I am ashamed of myself and I apologize to you," it said.

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"For these past two years, I delivered only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. You have to do all of this work, and I only give you half of the water I should."

The man smiled, and told the bucket to look at the path as he carried water back to his house.

As they went up the hill, the cracked bucket noticed a trail of beautiful wild flowers. At the end of the trail, it still felt ashamed because it had leaked half of its water. It apologized again to the man, but the man shook his head and laughed.

"Did you not notice that there were flowers only on one side of the path?" He asked. "I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. You water my flowers each time I walk back from the stream."

And the cracked bucket decided that beautiful flowers and half a bucket of water was nothing to be ashamed of.

The Missing Money
A man lost some money he had hidden in his closet. He suspected that his neighbor's son stole the money. He observed the boy, and noticed that the the boy's mannerisms, speech, and attitude all betrayed his crime. That night, the man discovered he had just misplaced the money. The next day, nothing about the boy's behavior nor appearance suggested that he had stolen the money.
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Buddhist Parables [Dec. 4th, 2008|12:39 am]
The Wise Old Farmer
One day, an old farmer's horse escaped from the stable and ran away. The farmer depended on the horse to plow his fields. He told his neighbor, who exclaimed "Oh, that is terrible," but the old farmer was wise, and said "Who is to say what is good or bad. We will see what comes from this."

The next day, the old farmer's horse returned, and led three wild horses back to the stable. The neighbor congratulated the old farmer on his good fortune. The wise old farmer replied "We will see what comes from this."

The following morning, while attempting to tame one of the new horses, the old farmer's son was thrown and broke his arm. When the neighbor tried to console the farmer, the old man simply replied "We will see what comes from this."

A week later, a conscription officer from the imperial army arrived at the farm. When he saw the son's broken arm, he passed them by and did not draft the son into war. The neighbor hugged the farmer upon hearing the news, and shouted with relief. The old farmer smiled, and said "We will see what comes from this..."

In one of his former lives, the Buddha did something to cause terrible suffering to others and himself. His action was so awful that he was reborn into Hell. In that Hell there was another man, and a guard that pushed both of them to work endlessly, never allowing them to rest. The guard used a trident to prod Buddha and the other man in the back so they would constantly toil and suffer.

One day the guard prodded the other man brutally, causing blood to spill down his legs. The Buddha felt something rising within him, and he was compelled to speak out against the guard's cruelty. The Buddha knew that if he did, the guard would just focus the brutal treatment on him. The guard continued to torture the other man, until finally the Buddha was filled with so much anger and compassion that he turned around and yelled at the guard.

"Why do you keep hurting him? Why don't you let him rest? Don't you have a heart?"

The guard was so angry that he stabbed the Buddha's chest with the trident, killing him. The Buddha was instantly reborn as a human being with a compassionate heart.

The other man was shocked, and felt anger and loss. He also yelled at the guard, saying "My friend was right. You don't have a heart, you just hurt us and now you've killed him." The guard, enraged, silenced the other man by murdering him with the trident. The other man was also reborn as a human being.

The guard became very lonely all by himself. Eventually he realized that he was in pain, and that someone was behind him, prodding him in the back with a trident.
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Wow [Nov. 29th, 2008|01:26 pm]
Just, wow.

I expect my flying car or jet-pack by the end of next year.

EDIT: The linked site doesn't allow a specific video to be targeted, so click on the "Teen Receives New Heart" vid.
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So Cool [Nov. 15th, 2008|06:01 am]
Stop what you're doing and go check out this article about a set of mysterious puzzles built into a Manhattan apartment. A sample:

In any case, the finale involved, in part, removing decorative door knockers from two hallway panels, which fit together to make a crank, which in turn opened hidden panels in a credenza in the dining room, which displayed multiple keys and keyholes, which, when the correct ones were used, yielded drawers containing acrylic letters and a table-size cloth imprinted with the beginnings of a crossword puzzle...
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