New Year's Eve

As I getting ready to get call it a day and sleep for a few hours, a thought popped up in my brain. I have nothing planned for New Year's Eve. This is the first time that's occurred in about twenty years.

Originally there were talks with some friends who live in Indianapolis about doing something. But that fell through because of few reasons. Not a big deal.

So that leaves me with three choices.

1. Go to my hometown and hang with friends - This has been the staple of mine since drinking age. A huge amount of us would get together at the local bar, get very drunk, and hang out. Over the last few years the group has gotten smaller and we've moved from the bar to someone's house. While getting drunk has been replaced by a few drinks. But this year, I've heard of nothing. And I'm not heading up there just sit around and do nothing. I've spent a lot of time in the area over the last couple of weeks doing that since my power was out for extended days.

2. Stay at home - It's cheaper. I can drink a few beers and easily go to sleep whenever I feel like it without worry. But I'd be alone, which is is rather sad on New Year's Eve, especially for a single guy.

3. Stay in Fort Wayne and head to a bar - Since I'm not one who generally frequents bars alone anyways, I highly doubt if I choose to do so on one of the busiest nights of the year when it costs more to enter the place. Still, a small part of me is tempted by the thought.

Well I have a few hours to think about it and something fun could still turn up tomorrow. Maybe's it's just getting older, but New Year's Eve doesn't seem like that big of deal to me anymore. Then again, maybe that's because I dont have any plans yet.

If you have any ideas, get a hold of me.

Horror Movies Watched and Horror Book Read in 2008

Here's a list of all the horror flicks I've watched this year. Why? Because sometimes I tabulate stupid things for no reason at all. And to be honest, the list isn't as bad as it first appears. I get bored easy and tend to fast forward though flicks if its not working for me.

I've also give my rating (out of 5), depending on who much I enjoyed the movie and if it held my interest. And on occasions, really bad movies hold my attention.

1/2 - Black Christmas (2006) *
1/3 - New Years Evil (1980) 1/2
1/6 - Are You Scared? (2006) *
1/7 - Shietan (2006) ***1/2
1/8 - The Girl Next Door (2007) ****1/2
1/11 - Solstice (2007) **1/2
1/12 - Creature Unknown (2003) *
1/13 - Art of the Devil (2004) **1/2
1/17 - Isolation (2005) ***
1/18 - The Messengers (2006) **1/2
1/19 - Antibodies (2005) ***1/2
1/21 - The Roost (2005) ***
1/22 - Time (2006) ****
1/25 - Incubus (1965) **1/2
1/26 - Happy Birthday To Me (1981) *1/2
1/28 - The Cello (2005) **1/2
1/30 - Halloween (2007) **1/2
2/4 - Perfect Creature (2004) ***1/2
2/6 - Accion Mutante (1997) **
2/7 - Wind Chill (2007) ***
2/8 - Sunshine (2007) ****
2/9 - Dead Mary (2006) **1/2
2/11 - Black Sheep (2006) ***
2/12 - Bloody Reunion (2005) **
2/16 - Burnt Offerings (1974) **1/2
2/17 - Day Watch (2006) ***
2/20 - Art of the Devil 2 (2005) **1/2
2/22 - Saw IV (2007) ***1/2
2/25 - Arang (2006) ***
2/28 - 30 Days of Night (2007) ****
3/1 - Succubus: Hell Bent (2007) 1/2
3/2 - Mr Books (2007) ***1/2
3/4 - Undead or Alive (2007) ***
3/6 - Witchfinder General (1968) ***1/2
3/8 - Death to the Supermodels (2005) 1/2
3/10 - Nightmare (2000) ***
3/12 - Doomed (2007) *1/2
3/14 - Castle of the Walking Dead (1967) **1/2
3/15 - See No Evil (2006) **
3/18 - The Eye 10 (2005) **1/2
3/20 - Spiral (2007) ****
3/22 - Nightmare Man (2006) ***
3/25 - Mulberry Street (2006) ****
3/26 - The Number 23 (2007) ***1/2
4/1 - The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007) ****
4/3 - I Bury the Living (1958) **1/2
4/4 - The Last Quarter (2004) ***
4/7 - Disturbia (2007) ***
4/9 - Them aka Ils(2006) ****
4/10 - Crazy Eights (2006) **
4/11 - Joshua (2007) ***
4/13 - Sublime (2007) ***
4/15 - The Covenant (2006) 1/2
4/16 - The Red Shoes (2005) **1/2
4/19 - Premonition (2006) **
4/21 - Wrestlemaniac (2006) **
4/22 - Nightmare Detective (2006) ***
4/24 - Children of the Living Dead (2001) *1/2
4/27 - Catacombs (2006) *
4/28 - The Lost (2005) ***1/2
4/29 - Sweeney Todd (2007) ****1/2
5/3 - The Orphanage (2007) ****
5/4 - Candy Strippers (2006) 1/2
5/6 - The Plague (2006) **
5/8 - Borderland (2007) **1/2
5/9 - Fingerprints (2006) **1/2
5/11 - The Dorm (2006) ***
5/12 - Dead Heist (2007) **
5/16 - Cloverfield (2007) ***1/2
5/17 - Die My Darling! Die! (1965) **1/2
5/19 - Perfect Witness (2007) ***
5/20 - Frontier(s) (2007) ****
5/23 - Hollow Man 2 (2006) *1/2
5/25 - This Night I Will Possess Your Corpses (1963) **
5/26 - The Boston Strangler (1968) ***1/2
5/28 - Beauwolf (2007) ***1/2
- Lost: Season 4 (2007-2008) *****
- Supernatural: Season 3 (2007-2008) *****
- Reaper: Season 1 (2007-2008) ****1/2
6/1 - A Lizard in Women's Skin (1971) **1/2
6/3 - Scarecrows (1988) **
6/5 - Cinderella (2006) **1/2
6/7 - Teeth (2006) ****
6/8 - Blood Trails (2007) *
6/9 - The Last Sect (2004) **
6/10 - Sleepaway Camp (1983) *1/2
6/11 - Jekyll + Hyde (2006) **1/2
6/12 - Eaten Alive (1971) **
6/14 - The Slaughter (2007) **1/2
6/17 - Big Bad Wolf (2006) **
6/21 - Dead Silence (2006) **1/2
6/24 - Benny's Video (1992) ***
6/26 - Tales from the Crypt (1972) ***1/2
6/29 - Final Draft (2007) **
6/30 - Inside (2007) ****1/2
7/1 - Botched (2007) ***
7/2 - Wishing Stairs (2003) **1/2
7/3 - I Know Who Killed Me (2007) *
7/6 - Snoop Dog's Hood of Horror (2007) *1/2
7/7 - The Mist (2007) ****1/2
7/8 - Diary of the Dead (2007) ****
7/10 - Weirdsville (2006) ****
7/13 - Hellboy II (2008) ****1/2
7/15 - Night of the Living Dorks ***1/2
7/17 - The Devil's Rain (1975) **
7/21 - Resurrection Mary (2005) **1/2
7/25 - Otis (2007) ***1/2
7/27 - The Burning (1981) **1/2
7/28 - House of Usher (2007) **
7/31 - The Feeding (2006) 1/2
8/4 - Noriko's Dinner Table (2005) ***
8/6 - Red Water (2003) 1/2
8/7 - Return to Horror High (1987) 1/2
8/8 - The Reaping (2007) **1/2
8/9 - Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007) **1/2
8/10 - The Ruins (2008) ***1/2
8/11 - Devil's Den (2006) **1/2
8/12 - The Red Skulls (2006) **1/2
8/14 - The Last Winter (2007) ***1/2
8/17 - Boy Meets Girl (2006)***
8/18 - Who Could Kill a Child (1976) **1/2
8/20 - The Mad (2007) ***
8/22 - Alien 3, Director's Cut (1992) ***1/2
8/23 - Return to the House on Haunted Hill (2007) **1/2
8/24 - The Eye (2008) *1/2
8/26 - Curse of the Komodo (2004) 1/2
8/27 - Driftwood (2007) **1/2
8/28 - Nekromatic 2 (1991) *1/2
8/30 - The Ghost of Mae Nak (2005) **1/2
8/31 - Angst aka Penetration Angst (2003) ***
9/1 - Jungle Holocaust (1977) *1/2
9/2 - Cutting Class (1989) *
9/3 - Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch (2005) 1/2
9/4 - Vampyres (1974) **
9/5 - Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (1973) *1/2
9/6 - The Gathering (2002) **
9/7 - The Iron Gate (1973) **
9/9 - Frostbitten (2005) **1/2
9/10 - Dr Phibes Rises Again (1972) *1/2
9/11 - The Chambermaid aka Lovesick: Sick Love(2004)**1/2
9/12 - Twisted Sisters (2006) **1/2
9/15 - Madman Marz (1982) **
9/16 - Nympha (2007) **
9/20 - The Haunting of Julia (1977) **
9/22 - The Victim aka Spirit of the Victim aka Phii khon pen (2006) ***
9/25 - Mother of Tears (2007) ***
9/28 - Rogue (2007) ***1/2
9/30 - Pathology (2008) **1/2
10/3 - Blood for Dracula (1972) **1/2
10/5 - The Locals (2003) ***
10/7 - Bloody Murder (1999) 1/2
10/10 - Horror of Dracula (1958) **1/2
10/12 - Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1983) **1/2
10/13 - Wilderness Survival for Girls (2006) ***1/2
10/15 - Death Note (2007) ***
10/17 - Ring of Darkness (2004) *
10/18 - The ReCycle (2007) ***
10/19 - Campfire Tales (1992) ***
10/21 - Hikoru the Goblin (1990) **1/2
10/22 - Deranged (2005) ***
10/24 - Blood Car (2007) ****
10/27 - Drive Thru aka Hellaburger (2006) **
10/28 - The Wisdom of Crocodiles (2000) **1/2
10/30 - Machine Girl (2006) **1/2
10/31 - Twice Told Tales (1958) ***
11/3 - Slaughter of the Vampires (1970) **
11/8 - Gangs of the Dead (2007) **
11/9 - Nightmare in Blood (1978) *1/2
11/11 - Outpost (2007) ***
11/12 - Timber Falls (2007) **1/2
11/13 - The Signal (2007) ****
11/14 - Maniac Cop 2 (1990) **1/2
11/15 - The Secret (2007) **1/2
11/18 - I, Monster (1971) **
11/22 - One Missed Call 2 (2007) **1/2
11/23 - A Dead Calling (2006) *
11/27 - Sisters (2007) **
11/28 - Day of the Dead (2007) *1/2
11/29 - The Tooth Fairy (2007) *
12/1 - Gimmie Skelter (2007)**1/2
12/2 - Dead Space: Downfall (2008) **1/2
12/4 - The Rats (2002) **
12/5 - Home Sick (2007) *1/2
12/6 - Demon Hunter (2005) **
12/7 - Midnight Meat Train (2008) ***1/2
12/8 - Pact with the Devil (2001)**
12/9 - The Marsh (2006) **1/2
12/10 - The Garden (2006) **1/2
12/11 - Slash (2003)**
- Dead Like Me: season 1 (2003) ***1/2
- Dexter: season 3 (2008) *****
12/12 - The Cradle (2007) **
12/14 - The 4th Floor (1999) **1/2
12/15 - One Missed Call (2008) *1/2
12/22 - The Maid (2005) **1/2
12/23 - Cold and Dark (2005) **1/2
12/24 - Blackwater Valley Exorcism (2006) **
12/25 - Maléfique (2002) ***
12/26 - Funny Games (2008) ****
12/28 - 11:11 Hell's Gate (2004) **
12/29 - Gruesome Twosome (1967) **
12/30 - Doomsday (2008) **1/2

The Book List
1. Rant - Chuck Palahnuik ***1/2
2. Baltimore or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire - Chris Golden & Mike Mignola ****
3. Infernal - F. Paul Wilson ****1/4
4. Riders In the Sky - Charles Grant ****
5. Anno-Dracula 1959 aka Dracula Cha-Cha by Kim Newman ***
6. Heart Shaped Box - Joe Hill ****1/2
7. Harbingers - F. Paul Wilson ****1/2
8. Hell House - Richard Matheson ***1/2
9. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Irving Washington ****
10. The Man Who Was Thursday - GK Chesterton ***
11. Insomnia - Stephen King ***1/2
12. Classic Short Horror Stories - various authors ***
13. The Body Snatchers - Jack Finney ***
14. Monster Island - David Wellington ****
15. American Gods - Neil Gaiman ****
16. House of Leaves - Mark Danielewski ***1/2
17. Demon - Hubert Selby Jr. ***
18. The Goon, vol. 0 ****
19. The Goon, vol. 1 ****
20. The Damnation Game - Clive Barker ****
21. The Keeper - Sarah Langan *****
22. The Association - Bentley Little ***1/2
23. Hellboy: Seed of Destruction - Mike Mignola ****
24. Unspeakable - Graham Masterton ***1/2
25. Infected - Scott Siglar ****1/2
26. Created By- Richard C. Matheson **1/2
27. Hellboy: Wake the Devil- Mike Mignola ****
28. Black Butterflies - John Shirley ****
29. The Long Walk - Richard Bachman ****
30. The Running Man - Richard Bachman ***1/2
31. Hellblazer: Original Sins - Jamie Delando **1/2


VEGAS, baby! - the return

It was time to leave the city of sin and head back to the good ole midwest where I could enjoy the rest of my vacation and the holiday season.

My flight left at 11:30pm (Vegas time), so I arrive at the airport around 9:30pm. It's not busy at all. The first thing I notice is my flight is not listed on the Departure screen, which in all my times of flying I have never seen. When I did the express check in nothing was said about the flight being delayed. I see the flight arriving from Cleveland is on time, so I dont think anything of it. I go wait. At about 11:15pm an announcement is made that the flight will be delayed...two hours! A lot grumbling going on amongst the passengers as many now are going to miss connecting flights. Eventually we all find out the reason for the delay. A flight attendant on an arrival flight from Newark is scheduled to be on the Cleveland flight. That's right we couldn't take off and over half of the passengers had to reschedule because of a missing flight attendant. So I wait more. We finally get boarded around 1:30am and take off. I manage to doze off for about two hours on the flight.

We land in Cleveland at 8:15am (EST) and now I have under thirty minutes to get to another terminal and catch my flight to Fort Wayne at 8:45am. I haul ass to get there only to find out it has been canceled. I go to the desk and tell them I need to be rescheduled on the next Fort Wayne flight and when that is. The lady at the boarding gate tells me the next flight is at 12:15pm but she cant process any changes here and I have to go to Customer Service. I ask why she cant change it here and she explains that they have several flight getting ready to board and she doesn't have the time (bullshit). I go to Customer Service and stand in line for two and half hours to get a ticket that took all of three minutes to process.

So I wait in again. At noon they announced the flight is delayed because of mechanical problems. They will give us an update when they know. We finally board at 1:30pm and then get the pleasure of setting in a plane for another forty minutes because the shitter is froze up and it cant be emptied.

I finally arrive at the Fort Wayne airport around 3:30pm and head to the Economy lot ($6 a day...yes). I chip away the half inch of ice from my vehicle and head out. Except I cant get out of the lot. The economy lot has no attendant and it's pay with credit card only. The card reader wont read my card. I try several times and make a call to the help center. He tells me that he'll be there as soon as he can. I keep trying as I wait and about twenty minutes later it finally takes. The attendant arrives with a police escort because he's on crutches as I exiting the lot. We straighten things out and I am on my way.

It occurs to me that I have no food at home and should make a quick pit stop at the store. Meijer is busy as hell and it takes me about an hour. It's almost 5pm and I'm close to getting home. Unload the groceries, shower, and sleep for awhile are my only goals as it's been 17 hours since I left the hotel in Vegas and almost thirty hours since I really slept.

On the way home I'm checking out the damage of the ice storm. Lots of branches down, but my neighborhood seems to have power. I pull into my driveway and notice my outside light is off. Then my garage door doesn't work. Shit. I get out and walk around to the back where I see the tree shattered in pieces sitting on top of the power line going to my house. Great.

I call AEP and they put me on the list. The estimated time of fixing the situation is December 27... and it's Monday the 22nd. Fuck. It's forty degrees in my house so I cant stay there. I call a friend, toss whats left in my fridge and freezer in with my newly bought groceries and head an hour north.

As of writing this blog, still no power.

My vacation is close to being ruined.

Happy Holidays!


VEGAS, baby! - the arrival

When Las Vegas is experiencing the coldest weather in years and gets six inches of snow the day before you leave to head out there0, then you might be in trouble. Fortunately, the flight out really wasn't that bad. It took a little longer than it was expected because of strong head winds.

Vegas. Such a unique place. Incredible buildings, all with a different theme. Enough blinking lights and sounds to make an A.D.D. suffer go into seizure mode. Lots of tourists. And nothing comes cheap. This is not the old Vegas. Those days are long gone as new casinos are constantly replacing old ones.

I really dont gamble, though I did lose $70 playing blackjack. And I've been out to Vegas a couple of times before and was able to check out the a lot sites on the strip and downtown. So what did I do this time - drank. A lot and often. I abused myself in ways that I haven't in years. After the third day of pouring different liquor and beers in my belly for 12 straight hours on little sleep or food, I was wiped out. Big time.

The whole reason for going out there was a friend's wedding, which happened on Saturday. And it went off well and all were happy. The post party was celebrated and this very upscale club called LAX in the Luxor where we had a private room over looking the jam packed club. I still hate these clubs, but scenery was nice and alcohol made it tolerable.

My final afternoon was spent walking around and feeling worn out. Then it was time to catch the red eye back to Indiana. Getting home and the weather that awaited...that's a different blog.


- Three more days until vacation. YES!!! Counting holidays and weekends, I'll be for a total of 18 days. DOUBLE YES!!!

- The troubled economy is hitting the AV market just like damn near ever other occupation. I've been at my current employer for ten years (yikes). In 2008 I traveled the least amount in 8 years, the least amount of hours I've worked in 9 years, and for the first time I am going to earn less money than the previous year. That hurts, especially when you need the OT to make decent money.

- Heading out to Vegas on Thursday for 3.5 days. One of my best friend's is getting married. It's going to be a fun time. But because of the statement above, it's really going to hurt me financially, even with the decent discounts. I've been to Vegas a couple of other times and I really dont care for it, mainly because I dont gamble and I'm not into all the tourist spots like the Strip. I'd be cool to actually go about town and check out the real city. On the plus side, it wont be 100+ degrees this time around. Actually the temperature is suppose to be kind of cold for Vegas. Only around 60 degrees, but hell that's a lot better than Fort Wayne right now. Maybe I'll get extremely lucky and toss a $20 in a machine for few thousand dollar return. That'd be sweet!

- Christmas is near. The end of the year is closing out. And in a couple of weeks I'll turn 35. Doesn't hardly seem possible.


Boob Punch

Sometimes you see a clip on the internet and what "what the hell?". Here's one of those clips.


It's A JibJab Life

Another classic made by Tom Brinsley

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Math Camp Massacre

One more classic made by Tom Brinsley

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UnnecessaryForce (JibJab)

A classic made by Tom Brinsley,who has way too much time on his hands.

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Sales, Liquidation Style

So I saw an add on TV the other day for one those Liquidation Sales. All this great stuff slashed at rock bottom prices. I've never been to one of these before, but I've always been curious about the actual quality of items sold at these events. The whole atmosphere appears to have this carny feel to it. Pay to get into a building and see our great things for sale. Maybe flea market feel is a better way to describe how it appears to me.

If you know me then you know I love a bargain. Why pay top price for an item when you can find it cheaper some place else? Until I become a multimillionaire and can stop counting pennies, I'll continue my frugal ways.

It ended up that I never went. Still I'm wondering about the quality of items. Has anyone ever been to one these?


Home Repair Saga (the Finale)

I've been putting this off for a while, but figured I'd better give the final update to whole busted water line saga which plagued me over the fall season.

Bottom line, it's fixed. The bad news is I finally gave up and called a plumber. I just could never get the darn joints to stop leaking regardless of the method used to solder. Frustrating indeed. So on top of the original $150, the plumber cost around $400 (for about 45 minutes of work). It's seems a bit high, but at least I can do laundry again without leaving my house.

I patched up the wall with drywall and put a new piece of flooring down. I still have to paint someday, which will come when I paint the entire kitchen, and put down some trim.

Hopefully my next repair project will be a little smoother.

Here's the final picture


Laguna Niguel

Went out to Dana Point, CA last week for work and stayed the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. A beautiful place on the Pacific Ocean with a great view and incredible sunsets. Too bad my camera battery died after two pictures. Here's a helpful hint - always take your battery charger with you or charge it up the night before. I missed taking a lot of pics because of this and had to use my cell phone camera instead. Naturally I have no way of getting these pictures off my camera.

Also had a chance to hit one of the best burger franchise In & Out Burger. Before we went there, my friend Eric informed me of their secret menu of which I had no idea. Find out more about it at this site:
. Animal Style!!!

Spent a lot of time at the hotel bar drinking the local flavor. It helped they had fun bartenders who loved us since we were the only guys in the place wearing tee shirt and jeans. These gals were a blast. One comment to leave you wondering about "I love hot cream". It always an attention getter, especially when a good looking lady says it.

Then the return trip home on Saturday. Long flights. I dont do well on small planes as I get motion sickness fairly easily. Dallas to the Fort was a small plane. They had the temperature too boiling hot and it was a bumpy ride. This equaled me feeling sick the entire time. I had to sleep through most of the trip.

All in all, good to get away for a couple days. It's not happening too often these days at work as we are experiencing the slowest Fall season that I can remember. I'm in danger of making less money than the year before for the first time in my career.


40 Hours of Horror

In the tradition of All Hallow's Eve, I decided to make another horror movie themed post (check out last year's 120 Essential Horror Flicks posts). This years I'm gonna mix up some of the genre's best for 40 straight hours, but over a three day period.

I dare you to try this and keep up, of course you're gonna need to have a couple of free days on your hands.

The Haunting (1961), 112m - Let's start out with something simple. Mood. If you look outside, it's not quite dark yet. This film is an excellent way to start off the marathon because it's all about mood & tension. Simply put, sometimes what you dont see is often much more frightening. This is the best haunted house movie ever.

Devil's Backbone (2001), 106m - Another haunted house flick, this one from Spain, but with a different take on the subject. You can see Guillermo Del Toro's touches in this one as it is beautifully shot and equally as eerie.

The Prophecy (1995), 98m - There's nothing more classic in horror (or religion) than a battle between Heaven and Hell. This is a good one as Christopher Walken plays one of his creepiest roles.

Henry: A Portrait of a Serial Killer(1986), 83min - Now it's time to turn it up a notch. This film is one of the most realistic feeling serial killer movies of all time. Brutal. The movie resonates on your psyche long after the credits run across the screen.

VideoDrome (1983), 87min - When you talk David Cronenberg movies, you're talking about the macabre. And this one is about as strange as it gets. James Woods in a great performance.

Near Dark (1987), 94min - Action. Romance. Vampires. This film turned the genre upside with it's take on the fanged ones. Bill Paxton and Lance Henriekson have never been better.

Oldboy (2003), 120min - Let's end the night on a classic tale of revenge from Korea. One of my favorite movies, this all about one man getting even.

Now you've made it through night one, go get some sleep. Another big day of horror movie watching lays ahead.

Carnival of Souls (1962), 78min - Let's get things started tonight with a classic creepy tale of the surreal. You never think of carnivals the same way after this tripped out nightmare.

Little Shop of Horrors (1960), 70min - A classic performance by Jack Nicholason isn't the only reason to watch this Roger Corman classic. It's a fun ride from the beginning to the end.

Dawn of the Dead (1978), 126min - What kind of horror marathon wouldn't have a zombie flick. And this one of the best of all time. Plenty of gore and a not so subtle theme run throughout this George Romero gem.

Inside (2007), 83min - Let's turn to France for one of the best horror flicks of the year. If you a pregnant, single mother to be in her third trimester then you've been warned. Sick and twisted with an ending the does right by the tale. No Hollywood gloss here.

Toxic Avenger (1985), 87min - One of the best from the land Troma. Campy fun with over the top gore and plenty of boobs. A fun horror movie to watch.

Deep Red: The Hatchet Murders (1975), 126min - Let's turn to the Italian master of giallo, for our next film. Murder and gore have never been so stylish.

Fright Night (1985), 104min - A under rated vampire movie from the 80's. Just the right amount of scares and comedy thrown in with a great performance by Roddy McDowell.

That's the end of night two. One more to go. We get an early start.

Phantom of the Opera (1925), 93min - The silent classic is one of the great Lon Chaney's best performances.

Last Man on Earth 1964, 83min - Vincent Price kills vampire mutated humans. The best version of the Richard Matheson tale I Am Legend.

The Eye (2002), 99min - A ghost story from Thailand that puts the US remake to shame. Creepy from the beginning.

Repulsion (1965), 105min - Roman Polanski makes the list with this horrifying tale of women who slowly sleeps into insanity.

Halloween (1978), 91min - Seriously. It's Halloween. How could you not watch this slasher masterpiece.

Candyman (1992), 99min - This movie still gives me goose bumps. The mood in this one is excellent as it's one of the best Clive Barker stories to be translated to the big screen.

30 Days of Night (2007), 113min - A pure slaughterhouse of a vampire film set in Alaska.

Dead Alive (1992), 104min - If you want one of the most over the top and possibly goriest movies ever made, then this Peter Jackson movie is for you. People turn into zombies and people die. Simple, right? Pure fun in this one.

The Mist (2007) 126min - Let's close the marathon with a great adaptation from a Stephen King novel. This film is fantastic all around with one of the most impressive endings in a horror movie ever.

Congrats. You've made it through this little sample of horror treats. Hope you had fun with this as I've tried to cover some of every thing.


Palin Rally

We're a currently in coming towards the end of the busiest 12 day stretch we've had in awhile. I'm not in "work shape" this days. I hurt. I'm tired. Been sitting around the office doing nothing too much this summer and it shows when I have a busy run of events.

I had work the Palin Rally on Saturday at the Fort Wayne Coliseum. We were hired to set up teleprompter and possibly run it for Hank Williams Jr., Governor Palin had her own guy run hear prompt. So basically I worked for 11 hours, but only did about 2 hours of actual work with setting up and tearing down the teleprompter system. I also got to wear the pin, which means I was one of about 4 people allowed to get within 10 feet of the stage without Secret Service jumping, tackling, or shooting you. The dont see the pin on you shirt, they attack. This is the third time I've had to wear the pin, which means the US Government does not consider me a threat to National Security. So I guess I got that going for me.

Before I go farther, let me state that I am not party officiated. I vote for the person who I believe is telling the less amount of bullshit to the American public and views fit what I believe in best. Currently I am still undecided.

The Coliseum was jammed packed, over 10,000 people. Palin is a fantastic public speaker who feeds off the crowd, which was loud and excited. I was really impressed with how she handles herself.

And I got see Hank Williams Jr play a few of his songs. That's was cool as I've been a fan of his for years. His acoustic version of "A Country Boy Can Survive" rocked the house.

After a long day, I'm tearing down equipment. My IPod is cranked as some one asks me a question. I pull the headphones from my ears and finish the conversation. It's then I notice the rubber part on my left side headphone is missing. I start looking around as this is not the first time it has fallen off. Then I notice my left ear irritated and sounds slightly muffled. The only conclusion I come up with is that the rubber end is stuck in my ear! I go to bathroom to look, but cant see that deep inside. I cant feel it either. So I finish the load out and go home. The first thing I do is check out my ear because it's really starting to bother me. I get a flashlight, tweezers, and stand in front of my bathroom mirrors, which fortunately open up to a cabinet. Sure enough I can see barely see a grey rubber piece deep in my ear. Luckily on the third try I managed to pluck it out. Thought I was going to have to head to the Emergency Room.

Just another Saturday.


- I honestly never thought gas would drop below $3 again. I'm glad it has though. Passed a gas station on Goshen Road today (in Fort Wayne, IN) and saw it at $2.78

- I'm watching too much TV this fall. I never used to watch this many shows regularly on TV. I blame the DVR. I set it and forget it - just like the Ronrico Rotessiere! Then I watch it on my own time. Because of this, not watching as many movies or wrestling.

- Halloween is my favorite as I enjoy a good scare. I'm probably heading to Indy for that weekend to hang with pals and consume adult beverages.

- I am addicted to Google Reader. I love getting hordes of RSS feeds and updates from several sites that I'd never check on a regular basis. It's becoming a great waster of time. Good thing I have plenty of it at the moment.

- Working though some more short stories. Trying to get some ready to post on here. Poems are coming every month, but there old.

- My saga of the broken water line continues. I'll go into more details in another post but the short version is I've thrown the white flag.

- Not sure why, but I'm really getting into live music lately. I think it's because I enjoy hearing familiar tunes in a slightly different way, which often happens at concerts.

- Found some great websites for trading old books, cd's, and DVD's. I highly recommend checking out these places if you have items to get rid of and on the search for new forms of entertainment.

- Also started writing some stuff now and again for a couple friends on their Russ-N-Rojo website. The link is off to the side if you care to check it out.


The Cubs Disappoint, Again

This year, the Chicago Cubs really had a shot at winning the World Series. They had a solid pitching staff, good hitters, and outstanding defense for the entire season. These traits led them to the best record in the National League.

Then the playoffs began. And it all fell apart.

In Game 1, Ryan Dempster failed to be even close to the dominant pitcher he was a Wrigley this year. He walked several batters and gave up a grand slam from which the team never recovered from. And from the first pitch, the fans at Wrigley made not a sound. How can you not get pumped up for the playoffs?

In Game 2 the defense failed. Six errors lead to many runs and again the Cubs could never catch up.

In Game 3, the Cub's bats started to wake up a bit. But they left too many men on base in scoring position and simply got beaten by the better team.

Not to take anything any from the Dodgers, who are hitting stride at the right time and played very well, but the Cubs should have done better. They have at least put up a fight.

And so the mantra for true Cubs fans goes..."Wait till next year".


James Dean Festival

Over the weekend I had to work at the James Dean Festival in his hometown of Fairmount, IN. The different type of people that congregate in this small town is fascinating. There's the local townies, fans of James Dean, classic car buffs, people caught up in the 50's, and traveling tourists from all corners of the US.

We (the company I work for) was doing wireless simulcasts from a park where activities were being held to the downtown area onto an LED wall. It was rather high tech stuff for a festival this size.

The good part of the two event was the nice weather and surprising amount of beauties in attendance. The bad, was hearing the same songs over and over, not having any protection from the sun, and living on junkfood alley (all the lemon shake ups and pork tenderloins you can handle - for an unreasonable price of course).

After two 16 hour long days, our part of the event was finished. And with the exception of our main power being pulled due to the bum rushing of the stage (yes, you read correctly), the event went off successfully. It was a learning experience for both parties. I always try to think about how to make an event easier for the techs and still get what the client expects. They are several improvements to made on this event. But the pet parade, lasso rock contest, a couple of 50's bands, and the James Dean look a like contest was now in our past. Next year, we might do even more...dual simulcasts!


good news yesterday

For those of you following along the last couple of days...

My Grandma was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. Thought she would be or Tuesday at the very latest. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure about a decade ago, and last week was the first episode in many years. They got her heart rate back to normal and now she's on medication for symptons. It appears we are in the clear for now.

Thanks for your comments and concerns.


it's continuing...

Get a call from the hospital at 9am this morning. They cant do the original test on Grandma because she is experiencing heart palpitations. They put her on meds and are going to give a full body catscan later today. The nurse assured me that every thing is still routine and they would update me if her situation changes.

Talked to Grandma, who doesn't sound like her normal self. I want to head up there but she tells me not to worry. How can I not? Called my sister and told her the change. She is going to head up to the hospital this morning. She'll feel me in later.

Between all of these conversations, I've decided to not to head up there. Going to work tonight and go in the morning. Dont know if its the right decision. If the doctors would actually figure out what's happening, my mind would ease back. My grandma is 82. You're never really ready, but I'm as prepared as you can be for the end. I went through a couple of years of this stuff when my Dad had liver problems. His death . Damn that's been almost eight years ago.

Now I'm jumping the gun a being very pessimistic. Dont know what's wrong.

It will be hard to concentrate tonight.


One of those days...

I knew it wasn't going to be a good day when the phone woke me up at 6:30am. I was informed that my grandmother went to the hospital and my uncle (her brother) would up date me on her condition later on when they found out more.

Naturally this threw my concentration off from the big set up I needed to do at work. We have large show on Saturday night (we are doing video for a client's annual meeting and I-mag for the entertainment of the evening...The Oak Ridge Boys), which I'm suppose to work. Just to be safe I inform my boss and we put back up plans in place in case I have to get up to Goshen Hospital (about 1.5 hour drive from Fort Wayne). Not having any information is much worse than dealing with known symptoms.

I work through the morning and dont hear a word. About 1pm I call my uncle to find out what in the hell is going on. He said the doctors still dont know, but ruled out any immediate danger like heart troubles. She'd been having issues with her stomach and bowels all week. The hospital was admitting her and going to run tests.

I call my younger sister (the only two direct blood relative left in the Kimmel line) and fill her in. Luckily she works in Goshen and says she'll go to the hospital when she gets off work. She does and I talk with her and my grandma. I decide not to go up there tonight. Things seem to be in check at the moment.

Back to work, and of course problems arise. Bad video lines to the projectors, a CCU with a smashed end (which means we'll have a useless camera), and the entire set up going longer than anticipated. We finally get things figured out and pack away for the day. We have to come in early on Saturday to reconnect camera cables and video cables because we dont want the sound company to smash anything. Better safe than sorry.

I try to work on my bad water line since I still dont have it fixed. I think I finally got the right pieces cut and connections. I get out the brand new tube of instant solder only to find out that it's no good and hard as a rock.

I give up on this shitty day. It wins. Naturally the rest of the night my mind is else where.


Random Thoughts

- Road construction while necessary is a pain in the house. It's been going on near my house for 4 months and there is no end in sight.

- I am not a carpenter. This fact I always knew. Carpentry takes precision. My mind is not wired this way. Exact measurements to get an exact outcome. This is also why I'm not a good baker. I tend to be more of a creator and experimentor. A "let's through things together and see what happens" type of guy.

- For the most part, this has been an awesome summer weather wise in the great state of Indiana. Not all that hot and the muggy days have been few and far between. I like this type of weather.

- I grew a garden again this year. It's been rather hit or miss and hasn't yielded as much of a return as last year's crops. I have canned a bunch of dill pickles though. And hopefully the tomatoes and various pepper plants riped before the end of the month. Then it's salsa time!

The House Repair Saga (part 1, 2, 3)



So last night, it's around 11pm and decide to finally start folding my laundry. As I walk inside my closet to hang my shirts, I smell a funk in the air. Musty. Then I notice the carpet under my feet has a damp feel to it. I get down on my hands and knees to feel around. Suspicion's damp. I run my finger across the base board and it comes back black. Great. You see my closet lies directly on the opposite wall as my utility room, which stores my washer and dryer, and on the backside of my bathroom. I know I have leak somewhere, but leave it for further inspection tomorrow.

I get home from work and directly head for the closet. It still smells musty and the carpet still has moisture. After clearing out my clothes and shoes, I once again crawl on the floor. The baseboard looks rotten. I push on the drywall and my finger goes through it (see picture #1).

I head to the utility room and pull out the dryer, followed by the washer. The drywall has water stains and some swelling, as the does the floor (see picture #2). Awesome, I now know there is a leak.

So now I have to pull off baseboards and some drywall to see how bad the damage is. Hopefully the studs and floor aren't ruined or the carpet inside the carpet. I'm expecting not to be able to salvage any of it. Then I have to find where the leak is coming from and get a plumber to repair it. When the leak is fixed, then I can start repairing the rest.

This is the first repair I've had to make since I bought my house a little over 2 years ago. It shouldn't be too costly, but right now any extra bills are not welcomed.

I only worked a half day today, so I got home and started demolishing. Get half of the wall gutted, both sides - the utility room and my closet. And some areas on the side. The drywall I took out was full of mildew. After that, I started on the floor in the utility room. Yep part of its soaked through. Onto the closet to pull up the carpet. Not as bad as I thought. The carpet is actually dry and shows no mildew. The padding underneath is a different story. The good part of the tale is that my entire floor is cement. After the wet board and drywall went away, the floor immediately started to dry out.

So that part of the repair wont be bad. A 2x4 to replace a rotted one, a couple pieces of dry wall, some mud, paint, and carpet padding. There's a bunch of extra flooring in my garage the previous owners stored away. It should be enough. However, I'm still not sure where the leak come from. My guess is the hot and cold water valves, which I have to replace. Not sure if I want to take a stab at it myself and see if that was indeed the problem or call a plumber to inspect and fix.

I'm gonna sleep on it.


About a week has passed and still no work has been done as I've just been busy. I want to get at least get the outlets changed before Labor Day Weekend. So it's the Thursday before and I dont go into work until late in the afternoon (I have an event to work that night), the perfect time to at least get the water hooked up. No big deal. Right?

About mid-morning the task begins as I shut off the water to the house. I cut into the hot water line and water instantly sprays all over the place. Suddenly I think this isn't such a good idea. I cut the cold water line with the same results. Even though the main water valve is shut off, I'm still getting water coming out from the lines. Too much water, plus the floor is covered. After cleaning up the mess, I finally got the water to stop dripping (ok drip isn't the correct word) from the lines by turning on the outside faucet which is ran from the same line.

I sand down and clean off the old lines, making sure they are dry. The outlet box goes on and gets lined up. Shit. I cut the cold water line about a 1/4" too short. The box will still fit on but now I have to shift it a bit to get the lines in place. Now it's time to solder these lines together and finish up. This aint so bad.

And that's wear this adventure really turns sour. Using a propane torch to heat the lines, the solder wont stick. It keeps breaking off and falling to the floor. I look at the time and frustration sets in. Got to head into work. The water lines aren't fixed. No water is turned on in the house. Good thing I filled the bathtub full just in case of emergency.

Friday is here and I am off work until Wed for some much needed vacation. I have the idea to get a soldering or heat gun to make the connections on the pipe and some instant solder, just in case. So I head to Menards for one first thing in the morning. This is trip #1.

I let the gun warm up and start the soldering. The gun is working better than the torch, but it's still not great. I manage a to get the hot water line crudely soldered. Now it's the cold water line's turn. The solder still doesn't want to stick. Chunks go one, but falls off after it cools. I try sanding again, then warm the line up with the torch before attempting the solder and gun. Still nothing. Well except a huge burn on my thumb from the heat gun. Now I'm getting angry. I try the instant solder and follow the directions. After heating, I let it set for a couple of hours.

I run some errands and make trip #2 to Menards for epoxy putty. Just in case there's a small leak I should be able to patch it with this stuff. I get home and turn on the main water. The seal on the cold water line does not hold and water sprays everywhere. Time to soak up the wet floor and start over. Luckily, the hot water line didn't leak. Just to be safe, I put some putty over the joints. I attempt the soldering again. This time I manage to get so pieces to hold. It looks even worse than the first one I did. Deep down, I know this wont hold but I cant get any more to stick. I cover the joint with lots of epoxy putty and wait for it to harden.

About an hour and half later, the main water gets turned on. The cold water line once again blows off and emits water all over the floor. I soak up the floor again and notice its 3pm. I got to decide something quick. I have other commitments this weekend and I need water turned back on the house. So I decide to cap the line and try again on Monday. This time I cut the line farther down (now I have to replace a section of the line but hopefully that wont be a problem). Trip #3 to Menards happens and come back with a cap. Only to find out that it's the wrong one. I am so pissed off right now. I go back to Menards for the #4 trip of the day and get the correct end cap this time. After returning home, the line in capped in about five minutes. Water is back on the house and no leaks. Still dont have the washer lines fixed, but at least I can shower for the first time in two days.


Day 6
Today will the day. I can feel it. I am confident. This water line is mine!

Or so I thought on this Tuesday. The way the line twists it's almost impossible to get everything lined up. I have to go back the hardware store. I've stopped counting how many trips I've made over the course of this project. Hell, I really dont even want to know. I grab more connectors, instant solder, and tubing. I assemble and heat and let set. Turn on the water and what happens. That's right, leakage. Not very happy.

I tear it apart, reassemble, use lots of solder, reheat, and wait for a couple of hours. Just to be safe. I know it will all be good this time. It's has to be. I've got 5 hours invested today. I turn the water on slowly. Nothing. A smile creeps upon my face as I turn the water pressure up more. Then the smile quickly disappears. Once again, a joints leaks.

I am so sick of this shit! I take it apart and put the cap back on the water line. I cant work on this anymore today. I am super fucking pissed. I'm not much of a carpenter but this is a task I should have been able to accomplish in a fairly short amount of time and in one damn day. Not this long, drawn out saga. Now it's personal. I will not call a plumber. I am still doing it cheaper myself. I will not be bested by this damn water line. I fight another day. Soon. Very soon.

I may need to go to the laundry mat though.


- On my way into work Friday morning, I passed a woman driving an SUV. In one hand there was cell phone pressed against her the ear. The other gesturing hand contained a cigarette. However, no hands were placed on the steering wheel.

- Very bored and slow at work last week. This week is even worse.

- The Dark Knight kicks serious ass.

- ButterBurgers from Culver's cant be healthy for a person to consume, but they sure are tasty.


Lazy Parking

The other day I was at a Dollar General, hey I'm a trifty shopper, picking up some items. The business in located in by a bunch of other businesses in a strip mall type setting. As I'm heading out, I see a car back out from the end of this strip mall at a coffe shop. No big deal, there was plenty of room and ample time allowed for the move. The car made it's way towards the exit only to pull in the other end of the strip mall to a hair salon into a different parking space.

WHAT? I mean the entire strip mall isn't even 50 yards long and the women who got out had zero noticeable disabilities. Now it's her right to move her car from one end to another and I'm probably just being a picky asshole, but that is sheer laziness. You cant park you car, walk to the coffe shop, walk to the salon, then back to your car?

I'm never cease to be amazed at what people do.

EDIT: She didn't park in a disabled spot, she just moved her car from one end to the other. A total of about 20-25 parking spaces.


Seven Incarnations of the Artist

The following was a passage I found in reading Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves and it really had me thinking. It's a mind wrap of a story (well actually two tales wrapped in one) and you can find out more about at

I'll give you more after the passage.


“There are seven incarnations (and six correlates) necessary to becoming an Artist:
1. Explorer (Courage)
2. Surveyor (Vision)
3. Miner (Strength)
4. Refiner (Patience)
5. Designer (Intelligence)
6. Maker (Experience)
7. Artist

First, you must leave the safety of your home and go into the dangers of the world, whether to an actual territory or some unexamined aspect of the psyche. This is what is meant by ‘Explorer’.

Next, you must have the vision to recognize your destination once you arrive there. Note that a destination may sometimes also be the journey. This is what is meant by ‘Surveyor’.

Third, yo must be strong enough to dig up facts, follow veins of history, unearth telling details. This is what is meant by ‘Miner’.

Fourth, you must have the patience to winnow and process your material into something rare. This may take months or even years. And this is what is meant by ‘Refiner’.

Fifth, you must use your intellect to conceive of your material as something meaning more than its origins. This is what is meant by ‘Designer’.

Six, you must fashion a work independent of everything that has gone before it including yourself. This is accomplished through experience and is what is meant by ‘Maker’. At this stage, the work is acceptable. You will be fortunate to have progressed so far. It is unlikely, however, that you will go any farther. Most do not.

But let us assume you are exceptional. Let us assume you are rare. What then does it mean to reach the final incarnation? only this: at every stage, from 1 thru 6, you will risk more, see more, gather more, process more, fashion more, consider more, love more, suffer more, imagine more and in the end know why less means more and leave what doesn’t and keep what implies and create what matters. This is what is meant by ‘Artist’.”

(Source: Danielewski, M. Z. (2000): House of Leaves. - Pantheon Books, New York, p. 420)


Again, this passage got my brain stirring. I get a lot of ideas for things which I usually jot down in a notebook. I take these ideas and write stories, screenplays, poems. Also I take a lot of pictures and when doing so frame objects up in a certain way. I have an urge to let of my creaive nature out that constantly battles with my need for organization and set rules. This can be frustrating as I try to form my abstract and surreal thoughts into a realism point of view.

That's not my point. What I think is more interesting about the passage is how it seperates novices, amatuers, and professional artists. The novice's only follow one or two of these steps. The amatuers follow a few more. But the professional completes all seven step. That is why they are a true artist.

This certainly doesn't mean that an artist can be successful until you reached the seventh level. Many artist have received fame and fortune with ever reaching the "Artist" level.

Of course this is just my take on the passage. Each person will find that it means something a little different to them. And I put myself somewhere between novice and amatuer.


I am terrible at updating this blog. I'm not even sure of the things I want to talk about on here most of the time. Trying to change that.

It's very hot and humid in Chicago today...or so I'm told. I've been in a ballroom at the Westin all day.

Going to a Brazilian Steakhouse tonight with a friend Eric, actually my client on this current work adventure. He tells me its quite an experience. I will gorge and eat WAY TOO MUCH. Sweet, delicious meat. Carnivoriffic!!!

EDIT --- Eric was right. Man, was that place good.


Department of that's a joke

So today, I'm on my way to work. The news reports the US Department of Energy released a report stating they believe gas prices will top out at $4.15 this summer and remain remain steady. Of course, here in Fort Wayne it had been at $4.00 for a few days.

I think nothing more about this statement...until on my way home. Then I see gas prices have once again increased. To $4.15 - that's interesting. So I'm suppose to believe that prices wont get any higher this summer. Bullshit and lies. That's all I hear.

I need to trade in my truck for something more fuel efficient.


They're Watching

We as a society are not far from "big brother" always watching and controlling our every aspect of existence. Police officer now use camera to see people run lights and automatic radar detection for speeding. Security cameras are everywhere. The government can see all, including your little web cam show. The Homeland Security basically give the ole US gov cart blanche to take away your rights as a citizen if they deem you suspect.

Maybe I sound paranoid, but you'd be wrong. I'm not trying to hide anything from people or scheming up a crime. I just think that our civil liberties are being taken advantage of by the powers that be and they are disguising as for the safety of the public. And we as US citizens are easy to let the government have its way. Before you realize what happened, it will be to late and normal people will be powerless to stop the change.

In the end, George Orwell may have been right. Only the year, 1984, was a little early.


Political Trail in Indiana

Seeing that Indiana's primaries actually mean something for the first time in years, we have seen our fair share of stops from Borack Obama and Hillary Clinton over the last couple of weeks. And with two left before our votes are tabulated, they will certainly be making more stops.

I bring this up, because the AV company I work for has been called upon several times to provide sound and lights for these events. I'm just going to say up front, these are a pain in the ass. We get about a days notice to put the show together. The person who calls in the order is not the person who is the on site contact. The on-site contact has several helpers and every one of them has an opinion. Therefore, many changes occur when you arrive but you can never really get an answer or true decision to what they want done. Too many people chiming in and no one taking charge. Then there's secret service. All equipment must be set before they can do the final building sweep and no one is allowed in. I understand that, but it adds to the frustration. The rally's are insane, packed with people.

Here are the events I have been apart of so far.

Obama at Ball State, Muncie

Obama at Wayne High School, Fort Wayne

Hillary in Mishawaka

Hillary at Sarah's Restaurant, Fort Wayne

Bill Clinton at the Elks Club, South Bend

I'll be glad when May 6 is crossed off the calander.


Wrestling #14 - Orlando Trip

This is a couple of weeks over due, but still wanted to write it up.

So I went down to Orlando for three big days of wrestling. The main reason was my favorite promotion, Ring of Honor, was debuting and holding shows there. The other was to go to Wrestlmania. The final reason was to see a bunch of people I've became friends with over the years by going to these wrestling shows and meet some new ones.

So Thursday morning I head to the Fort Wayne Airport and hop a plane to Chicago, wait because of an hour delay (freezing rain), and board the the plane to Florida. When I arrive, I check my voice mail and the two friends I was picking up already arrived and waiting. After picking up my luggage, we get the rental car (Prius). This is the first time I drove a Prius and it looked simple to start, but I couldn't do it. So I had to go ask. The chuckled and said he gets that all the time, then told me how to get the car running. For those that care, I was doing it correctly but wasn't holding the brake long enough. We head out of the parking garage to head to the hotel where many of the RoH fans are staying. I fire up my brand new Garmin GPS and have my friend do the directions. Well it lied. We drove no where close to the hotel and basically had to back track. This was the foreshadowing many drives the entire weekend as I believe aliens have GPS signals scrambled over the city. We eventually get to the hotel and get our rooms. Then we start seeing familiar faces at the hotel and phone calls from other guys going to the live TNA event. We start watching TNA and I head back to the airport to pick up a couple of other guys. We get back to the hotel about 11pm and decide to find a grocery store. We set the GPS and go. Again it lied. Frustration started. We went to the hotel in defeat, finding a closed grocery along the way, and hang out for awhile and eventually crash for some sleep.

Get up on Friday morning, grab breakfast and see more people. Gather some troops for a successful grocery run. I get back the hotel. I was going to head to the pool and hang out, but instead get talked into driving to a local brewery (more like nominated) to get beer for Beerfest (more on that later). We go, have some beers, and take back growlers. Lots of alcohol getting stocked up. Have a preshow meal with the gang and make our way to the RoH event, which is by Orlando's Basketball Arena. Still see more old faces at the event. Sat down in the cramped front row for a night of awesome wrestling action. I wont go through the matches but the entire show was good. Steen and El Generico stole the night. Back to the hotel, our room is picked for the unofficial hang out. New faced and old pals travel in and out all night while ale flows. Finally call it a night about 4am.

Saturday, do the breakfast again and the gang decides to head to the RoH Fanfest (another thing I really didn't want to do). It was rather lame. Instead of driving all the way across town to the hotel, then back to the venue, we decide just to kill a couple of hours at a local restaurant/pub. Unfortunately after driving around the venue for about 45 minutes we figured out there was nothing. Another Garmin lie. We decide just to drive one direction and see what we find. Eventually came out to a mail area and ate at some place. Went back to the venue for the show (the WWE Hall of Fame was next door). I traded up to a front row ticket thanks to a buddy having an extra one and wanting to talk with some one he knew. Once again, not going into details of the matches, but this may have been the best wrestling event I have ever witnessed live. It was phenomenal. Back to the hotel for Beerfest...a gathering of beer lovers where we sample obscure beer from across the US. Tasted several great beers I have not heard of before and a few I never want to try again. Finally called it a night about 4:30am.

I woke up and grabbed breakfast. Found out a few guys continued on with Beerfest until 7am. They had early flights and didn't want to sleep. Finally got a chance to hang out by the pool with some people and just relax. We decide to head out early to Wrestlemania and avoid the heavy traffic, which we did. After grabbing some lunch, we made our way to the Citrus Bowl. We had some time to kill and checked out the end of WWE Fanfest, which was rather worthless. Got in line to enter the arena and found out seats. We had about an hour plus to kill before the show started, so we sat back and chatted. The event was very good (WWE good anyways) and I rather impressed with the set, being the AV geek I am. I was not impressed when the lighting rig went out for about two matches and the big monitors went out for about a match as well. I'm sure the WWE wasn't happy with that either or the malfunctioning fireworks at the end of the show. It took awhile to get back to the parking lot, and a lot of traffic had thinned out by the time we left. Got back to the hotel and started making the rounds and saying goodbyes. When that was finished, I packed and got about 2 hours sleep before the alarm went off for my early flight.

Gathered the other guys who were heading out with me and started to the airport. Returned the car, parted ways with my friends, got the ticket, and waited in the long ass security line. Got through to find out the flight was delayed...shocking but I had a long hold over in Cincinatti anyways. Finally got home in the middle of the afternoon, completely wiped out from the weekend of fun.

Then had to go back to work the next day. That sucks.


Tales from the AV World (part 2)

Why does a company bend over backwards to keep pleasing clients who are a huge pain in the ass? I honestly dont know. The headache and bullshit you put up with, in long run, just is not worth the trouble. Peace of mind can be a good thing.

Basically I'm referring to this small percentage of clients who want the proper $50,000 show for $5000. OK, that's most clients. But you deal with that part. Hell I understand every event has a budget. And normally we will try to work with in that budget...if you give a clue to how much you want to spend. A ballpark figure would be better than nothing. Also, if you know how much the same event cost the previous year, and you add more people and need more AV to cover the additional bodies, then why in the hell do you think the price will go down and why is you event budget less? I wonder if catering people go through this same shit with clients.

I'm talking about the clients who no matter how much extra effort you put into their event, they are NEVER satisifed. The event could go perfect and they'd bitch about the projection not being bright enough or the ligts dimming to far down for a video cue or presenters didn't get a mic in time (even though it was some one else job to get the talent to the audio guy, so they could put a microphone on them). They always complain about some minute detail, even when you are not at fault. The damn building could lose power and they point to the AV staff and scream. You could work 20 hours straight and they dont care.

I could go on and on, but what's the use. Like every other job, you deal with the shit. So many items in our industry has become consumer friendly that most people think they can do our jobs and why should they pay the extra amount. It's just not the case and often these people get burned. Or they ruin the cross rented equipment.

I leave you today with this humble saying: "This job would be great...if it wasn't for the damn customers."


Jimmy Kimmel Show clips

I came across these skits the other day from The Jimmy Kimmel Show and damn is it hilarious.


Tales from the AV World (part 1)

It's quite a normal question. A person asks me, "So what do you do for a living?"

"I'm an Audio Video Technician." Then I see their eyes drift away or go blank as they try to process exactly what that is. So I delve deeper, trying to explain. "I travel around the nation and set up AV for cooperate events. Putting up projectors, audio systems, lighting gear for meetings and events. Then I operate for the show, tear it down, and go some place else and do something similar for the next client." This is a fairly good, yet simplistic, overview of my job description. Often the person asked the question, just nods but I see they still don't quite get it.

My close friends joke around. "You plug shit in," they say, "wish I could get paid for plugging in a DVD player." While I do plug shit in, there's a little more to my job. There's routing!

Seriously, it gets frustrating. A lot of time, the clients hiring our services don't fully comprehend what our job entails and allow us to help thier event come off better. My career choice for the last decade (and not looking like it will change anytime soon) is difficult for people to get a handle on. If you tell a person "I'm a doctor" or "I'm a chef", they understand the job. With mine, not always as clear.

AV Techs, along with stage hands and other similar positions, are the unsung heroes with in the entertainment industry. We are the ones working extremely long hours behind the scenes on little food and sleep to make sure an event goes happens. We are the ones who make the fancy color lights swirl about the room. We are the ones who have the microphone live when you walk up to the podium...and please dont tap the mic. We are the ones who make sure the blue color coming out of the projector actually looks blue. Many of us spend most of our days and nights away from our homes, families, and friends living in hotel ballrooms, theaters, auditoriums, convention center, and other various places where meetings and events take place. You can normally find us in the dark corners of the rooms pearing up from a rack of gear or behind the stage with equipment strung out all over the place or hovering in the rafters above. We are the last ones to get thanked, if at all, for a good job when everything goes exactly as planned or better, and the first ones to get yelled at when a fuck up occurs on the program.

Yes we are special breed of person. Often I think most of us have a mental abnormality and a personality dysfunction to do what we do. It's a crazy path we have chosen for ourselves. But most us wouldn't trade it in for another.

I told you we were off!


The Doctor Is In

So I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. Nothing big, just refilling my scribes.

My appointment is for 10:30am. I arrive about 10:20am. A nurse gets me about 10:35am and does the normal routine (weight, blood pressure, looking over the secret chart). I'm thinking man, this going quickly. So I wait for the doctor.

10:50am, and I wait.

11am, and I wait.

11:15am, the door opens and the doctor appears. Looks at the chart and says "Time for some blood work." Writes the note. "Any other problems," he asks. I reply "No, I feel fine." He writes the refills and hands it to me. "Unless there's something unusal in the bloodwork, which I doubt, I see you in 6 months." The doctor is off to another pateint.

Less than 5 minutes. I waited 45 minutes for less than 5 minutes of face time with a doctor who only knows me by what is written in a chart.

I understand that doctors usually have an overload of patients and they want to treat as many as possible. And yes, I know that I wasn't ill and only there for refills. But it's like this every time I go there. Three years and I bet I've talked to this man less than 20 minutes. And he is the person in which in trust to guide my health. Something seems wrong about that...even if I fairly heathly and dont contract major sickness.


Short Term

Lately my short term memory is uh...well I-a...what the hell was I talking about?

But seriously, it's not as sharp as in my 20's. I need to look into a way to improve it. Maybe that damn Brain Game would work. This problem is more frustrating than any thing as it ranges from where did I put an item to what the idea I had a few minutes ago. As far as ideas go, if I don't jot them down they will disappear. Post-it notes and small note pads are everywhere around me. Like I said. Frustrating.

And that is all for today. I cant remember what else I was going to say.

Again, I was kidding.