Sunday, January 30, 2005

Worse than a sick kid

Yesterday, I posted that there's not much worse for a parent than a sick kid. That's still true, but one of the few things that is worse is having one's child die. An internet acquaintance of mine had just that happen to him recently.

Just in case he checks in here, I'd like to say to him:

Brave Sir Knight, my heart goes out to you. I can only imagine the grief you must be feeling.

Crush Groove

When I was young, I had crushes on two celebrities: Kristy McNichol and Olivia Newton-John. Today, I was able to realize that the crush on Newton-John was not silly at all. She sang "Magic" before the start of the Men's Final at the Australian Open. Even at the age of 56, Newton-John is every bit as pretty as she was when I fell in love with her in movies like Grease and Xanadu.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

A sick kid

There's not much worse as a parent than to have a kid get sick. Today, as we drove around looking at potential new houses, Calvinatorette III got sick. I don't mean cranky, fussy sick. I mean puking all over the back seat of the mini-van sick. The smell of soured milk permeated the van almost immediately.

Not a pleasant experience.

We didn't have a change of clothing for her, so we took a trip to the nearby Wal*Mart and got some clothes and some items to clean up the mess.

She seems to be fine now, and she was surprisingly good during the entire episode. It would have been even worse if she had started screaming and crying about being covered in vomit.

Thankfully, after the one bout of regurgitation, she was okay, and we were able to continue our driving around.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Another quiz about your traits

Personality Quiz

I came out this way:

You are a SRDL--Sober Rational Destructive Leader. This makes you a Mob Boss.

You are the ultimate alpha person and even your friends give you your space. You can't stand whiners, weaklings, schlemiels or schlemozzles. You don't make many jokes, but when you do, others laugh out loud. They must.

People often turn to you for advice, and wisely. You are calm in a crisis, cautious in a tempest, and attuned to even the finest details. Yours is the profile of a smart head for business and a dangerous enemy.

You have a natural knack for fashion and occupy a suit like a matinee idol. Your charisma is striking and without artifice. You are generous, thoughtful, and appreciate life's finer things.

Please don't kick my ***.

Of the 81138 people who have taken this quiz since tracking began (8/17/2004), 3.5 % are this type.

But, because I was right on the cusp on the Constructiveness factor, I am also much like this:

You are a SRCL--Sober Rational Constructive Leader. This makes you a Ayn Rand ideal.

Taggart? Roark? Galt? You are all of these. You were born to lead. You may not be particularly exciting, but you have a strange charisma--born of intellect and personal drive--that people begin to notice when they have been around you a while. You don't like to compromise, but you recognize when you have to.

You care absolutely nothing what other people think, and this somehow attracts people to you. Treat them well, use them wisely, and ascend to your rightful rank.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

About Johnny Carson

I know I am in a distinct minority about this, but Johnny Carson just never did much for me. I never thought he was funny, and I didn't like "The Tonight Show" when he hosted. I don't like Jay Leno, either.

Give me David Letterman any day. And from what I've seen of old clips, I prefer Steve Allen to Carson as well.

There's no denying the impact he had on TV and culture in general, but I, for one, just don't get it.

Getting in Shape Update 7

Still doing fine. Expect a Progress Pic next week.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 250.5

Today's Weight = 248.0

Weight Loss in past week = 2.5 pounds

= 19.0 pounds

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Friday, January 21, 2005

Facial Hair

While digging around my hard drive, I found this pic from a few years ago when I had a goatee.

me with a goatee

There Ain't No Free Lunch

Or so they say. Today for lunch, I went with some colleagues to Texas Land & Cattle. I ordered Chicken Fried Chicken with Steak Fries—I know what some of you are thinking, but my weight loss program is about eating less, not avoiding any foods. When the food came, I noticed that the breading wasn't attached to the chicken very well but didn't think much about it. I also noticed a thin layer between the breading and the meat that I assumed was the skin of the chicken. After eating about a third of the chicken, some of the breading flaked away and I got a closer look at that layer.

It wasn't the skin.

It was some sort of paper.

I called our waitress over and told her about it, and she took my food away. A few minutes later the Manager came over and explained that it was the deli paper that they put between the chicken breasts before using them, and that somehow the cook had failed to pull it off before breading and frying my meal. My meal was free, and there were no ill-effects of the foreign substance.

All in all, there are many far worse things that one could find in one's food.

Responding to a few requests

Well, I've had two requests. First, some want to see me in a Do Rag.

I'll get that picture taken soon and post it here.

Second, it has been suggested that I should post "progress" pics about every 20 pounds of weight loss. I do plan to do this, but I want to ask you, my readers, would you want to see them with no shirt (so you can better examine the progress) or with a shirt on (so you won't be grossed out at my fat, hairy torso)?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I believe the children are our future

I am sitting here waiting for the class I am teaching this semester to start. I was originally scheduled to teach two sections, but because enrollment is apparently down, another adjunct got my first class. So, now, my only section is at 8:35 pm. I have a feeling I'm going to be seeing quite a few movies this semester between the time I get off my day job (4:30) and when I have to be here for class.

Actually, I'm not as aggravated about it now that I know one of my colleagues got the class I lost. It bothered me more when I thought the class had just been cancelled.

Memo to CBS

Various sources are reporting that CBS is considering replacing Dan Rather with a "team" instead of a single anchor.

Reuters reports that the move would be designed as "a bid to lure younger viewers and boost ratings."

I have an idea for CBS that might help attract younger wiewers and boost ratings.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 6

Averaging a little over 2.5 pounds lost per week. Not a bad start, but I still have a long way to go.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 253.0

Today's Weight = 250.5

Weight Loss in past week = 2.5 pounds

= 16.5 pounds

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Monty Hall Conundrum

I've seen some recent discussion on this issue. This is a logic & mathematics problem. Most people, including some professional mathematicians, get it wrong.

Here's the set-up:

You are on "Let's Make a Deal." Monty Hall shows you three doors and tells you that behind one of the doors, there is placed a brand new car (or a large sum of cash). The other two doors conceal either an empty space or some sort of "Booby Prize."

Let's number the doors, 1, 2, & 3. After you pick your door, Monty decides (out of the goodness of his heart) to show you what is behind one of the other two doors. Obviously, the door that Monty reveals is empty or has a "Booby Prize." Monty then offers you the opportunity to switch to the remaining unchosen and unrevealed door.

Should you?

Does it matter?

Many folks come to the conclusion that it makes no difference because once Monty reveals the one "wrong" door, the odds shift to 50/50. Well, that would be true if no choice had been made prior to the reveal, so why isn't it true after the reveal?

When you made your initial choice, you had a 1 in 3 chance of being correct. You had a 2 in 3 chance of being wrong. After the reveal, that fact does not change. So, you should switch because based on statistics and odds, switching makes it twice as likely that you will win the good prize.

Still doubting?

Try this Simulation. NOTE: It is Java.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Best Years of Television

I have used a list of shows by the year they debuted that can be found at Episode Guides to pick what are, in my opinion, the 25 best years for TV Show debuts. Originally, I was going to penalize years for bad shows, but as I reviewed the lists, I realized that that would penalize recent years too much, so this Top 25 is based just on what I consider good. "Good" can mean different things as well. Sometimes, it is quality. Sometimes, it's merely entertainment value.

25) 1961—The Dick Van Dyke Show

24) 1995—Cybill; The Drew Carey Show; JAG; NewsRadio; Pinky and the Brain; Sliders; Star Trek: Voyager; Xena: Warrior Princess

23) 1981—Cagney & Lacey; Hill Street Blues

22) 2003—Arrested Development; The Joe Schmo Show; MythBusters; Nip/Tuck; Reno 911!; Teen Titans; Two and a Half Men

21) 1970—The Mary Tyler Moore Show; McCloud; The Odd Couple

20) 1999—Family Guy; Freaks and Geeks; Futurama; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?

19) 1987—Beauty and the Beast; A Different World; Full House; Married ... with Children; Star Trek: The Next Generation; thirtysomething; 21 Jump Street

18) 2001—The Amazing Race; Enterprise; Justice League; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Scrubs; The Tick; 24

17) 1994—Chicago Hope; The Critic; Duckman; These Friends of Mine/Ellen; ER; Friends; My So-Called Life; Space Ghost Coast to Coast

16) 1965—Get Smart; Hogan's Heroes; I Dream of Jeannie; Lost in Space; The Wild Wild West

15) 1960—The Andy Griffith Show; The Flintstones

14) 1996—Arli$$; Early Edition; Everybody Loves Raymond; The Pretender; 7th Heaven; Spin City; 3rd Rock From the Sun

13) 1975—Baretta; Barney Miller; The Jeffersons; Saturday Night Live; Starsky and Hutch; Welcome Back, Kotter; Wonder Woman

12) 1966—Batman; Family Affair; The Lone Ranger; Mission: Impossible; The Monkees; Star Trek

11) 1955—Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Gunsmoke; The Phil Silvers Show

10) 1990—Beverly Hills, 90210; Evening Shade; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; Get a Life; Law & Order; Northern Exposure; Parker Lewis Can't Lose; Twin Peaks; Wings

9) 1997—Buffy, the Vampire Slayer; King of the Hill; The Practice; South Park

8) 1957—Have Gun - Will Travel; Leave It to Beaver; Maverick; Perry Mason; Wagon Train

7) 1972—Bob Newhart Show; Kung Fu; M*A*S*H; Maude; Sanford and Son

6) 1989—Alien Nation; Coach; Doogie Howser, M.D.; Life Goes On; Quantum Leap; Saved by the Bell; Seinfeld; The Simpsons

5) 1993—Babylon 5; Beavis and Butt-head; Boy Meets World; Frasier; Lois & Clark; NYPD Blue; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Walker, Texas Ranger; The X-Files

4) 1959—Bonanza; Dennis the Menace; Rawhide; The Twilight Zone; The Untouchables

3) 1974—Happy Days; Kolchak: The Night Stalker; Land of the Lost; Little House on the Prairie; Police Woman; The Rockford Files

2) 1978—Battlestar Galactica; Dallas; Diff'rent Strokes; Mork and Mindy; Taxi; Vegas; The White Shadow; WKRP in Cincinnati

1) 1982—Cheers; Family Ties; Newhart; Police Squad!; Remington Steele; Square Pegs; St. Elsewhere

Honorable Mention:
1951—I Love Lucy
1976—Alice; Charlie's Angels; Family; Laverne & Shirley; Quincy, M.E.
1984—The Cosby Show; Night Court
1985—Amazing Stories; Growing Pains; Moonlighting
1988—China Beach; In the Heat of the Night; Murphy Brown; Roseanne; The Wonder Years
1998—Sports Night; That '70s Show; Two Guys, a Girl, & a Pizza Place; Will & Grace
2000—CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Ed; Malcolm in the Middle
2002—Andy Richter Controls the Universe; The Dead Zone; Monk

BTW, I know that the Episode Guides site omits some shows. If you feel there is a glaring omission that might affect the rankings, post a comment and maybe I'll amend.

UPDATE: I removed "The Avengers" from 1961 for two reasons: It debuted in the US in 1966 and it was a British Import. I didn't include any other British shows.

UPDATE 2: Added "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" to 1999 and moved that year up to 19th.

UPDATE 3: I had someone point out that I had messed up by overlooking 1957. I demoted 1995 to #11 and moved 2000 to Honorable Mention

One Could Do Worse

It's another one of those silly "What [blank] are you?" quizzes.

Which Family Guy character are you?

Brian drinks a bit more than I do, but it's probably better than most of the other possibilities.

in Praise of the 'Do Rag

Or should that be "Doo Rag"?

As you know, I have embarked on a journey to better health, and a major element of that trek has been exercising on the former clothes rack in our living room also known as our Gazelle Freestyle Elite. Excuse me, that should be Tony Little's Gazelle Freestyle Elite.

Tonight, I wrapped a bandana around my head in Do Rag fashion. Normally, I use a headband or a bandana tied in headband style. The Do Rag is definitely superior. It kept the sweat out of my eyes completely and eliminated the need to have a separate towel handy to wipe my hair & face while exercising.

Of course, I have to admit that despite the wonderful utility, it still looks incredibly stupid.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

My New Mission in Life

After abandoning my quest to eradicate the misuse of the word "like" from all speakers aged 11 and up, I have set out on my new mission: the total elimination of the word "Hoodie" from the English language.

I mean, come on, they even have these things for iPods.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 5

Feeling groovy.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 257.0

Today's Weight = 253.0

Weight Loss in past week = 4.0 pounds

= 14.0 pounds

Monday, January 10, 2005

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theatre

Tonight we had a "dance class" rehearsal to go over some basic steps. Man, I thought I had gotten in decent shape with my exercising. I was wrong. And we didn't even do any tap tonight.

Apparently, however, many there were impressed with the amount of sweat flying off my head as I attempted Chainé turns.

UPDATE: Thanks to Sarah S. for telling me how to spell Chainé.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

How to Dismantle a Maryland Terrapin

My favorite college basketball team, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, destroyed the Maryland Terrpains today 109-75. They looked great after a slow start.

I was watching I, Max on Fox Sports Southwest on the day that UNC opened againt Santa Clara. A viewer had e-mailed and suggested that Carolina might go undefeated this year. Naturally, my Heels went out that evening and lost to the Broncos.

Friday, January 07, 2005

A Friend's Comic Strip

One of my best friends has started an online comic strip with his son. Check out Casey and Scotty.

My Honey Lamb and I

I went with my mom and sister to see the touring company production of Oklahoma! in Dallas tonight. My dad was supposed to go, but he wasn't feeling well, so I went in his place. It was an enjoyable show, but it had a few major problems:

1) Will Parker was played by the understudy, who was a tremendous dancer, but who couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag.

2) I couldn't understand Laurey on "People Will Say We're in Love."

3) I couldn't understand Jud on "Lonely Room."

4) Jud was played as not just angry, lonely, mean, and maybe a bit slow, but downright demented and deranged.

Now, for the positives:

1) Ali Hakim was brilliant.

2) Ado Annie was solid and pleasant.

3) The dancing was top notch.

4) The dream sequence was the best I have ever seen it done.

In the not necessarily good or bad category, Curly's voice sounded like Will Ferrell impersonating President Bush, and he looked like a cross between Thomas Gibson and a young Robert Urich.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Whoa Nelly!

Apparently, Tony Kornheiser of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption listed what are, in his opinion, the five greatest College Football Programs of all-time. According to Kornheiser, the Fantastic Five are:

Notre Dame
Ohio State

Really, it's hard to argue with this list. I think the only schools that might be able to make a case for inclusion are Michigan, Nebraska, and as much as it pains me to admit this, Texas.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 4

Back on track.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 261.5

Today's Weight = 257.0

Weight Loss in past week = 4.5 pounds

= 10.0 pounds