Some New Postings and a Random Thought.

By:

The Dude on the Right

This is just a quick blog for some updates if you want them.  First off,
there’s a review of "King
Kong
" on the website, and I loved it, and also, now, want to stalk Naomi
Watts.  Second, there’s a

new podcast
with a quick discussion of my disappointment of two Radio Shack
stores, my analysis of how to lose a million dollars on "Survivor," and a quick
audio review of "King Kong."

There was supposed to be a big winter storm here,
in the Chicagoland region, but it didn’t happen.  I think winter weather is
harder for weather folks to forecast, but that’s just a random thought right
now.  In any case, click on the links if you want to, and see you next
time.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Radio Shack is Slipping, How to Lose A Million Dollars on “Survivor,” and a Quick “King Kong” Review.

By:

The Dude on the Right


Shopping today, I was disappointed at a couple of Radio Shacks I visited,
especially since
I
used to manage one
, and that’s my first podcast topic.  Most of the
podcast, though, deals with how to lose a million dollars on "Survivor,"
and a little bit on how much I’m in love with
Naomi Watts,
and loved "King
Kong
."

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here



Yahoo! Podcasts






Bill, I’ll Miss You Buddy.

By:

The Dude on the Right

It was a sad day at The Dude household last week as I lost one of my "kids." 
I’m really not sure exactly what caused the untimely death, but my best guess is
that it was one of my crabs.  Yes, Bill, one of my fish, died last week.

Bill was a good fish.  A Court Jester Goby by birth, Bill was actually the
third addition to my family, following the adoptions of Steve, a Clown Fish, and
then Ashley, a Blue Tang.  When I got him he came as part of an algae
cleaner pack, complete with some crabs and snails.  Immediately part of my
family, Bill didn’t seem to mind his new friends, but I saw something sort of
strange going on:  Bill was moving the coral gravel under one of my lava
rocks.  I was a little perplexed, but as I read a little bit about the
Court Jester Goby, I realized he was just building a home because my aquarium
set-up really didn’t have an instant nook or cranny for him to call home.

So,
there he was, one little piece of coral at a time, sucking it into his mouth,
then spitting it out, and ever so slowly he built himself a little cave under
the lava rock, and for a couple of years, this is what Bill called home, except
when I did a major tank overhaul, cleaning out the gravel.  Not seeming sad
or anything, he just started the home building process over again, until, alas,
he had his new little cave to call home again, at least until I destroyed it,
again.  But Bill would poke his head out every now and then, swim around
the tank, nibble on some algae, and enjoy breakfast and dinner when I served
them to the rest of the family.

But then, early last week, something didn’t
seem right.  Sure, every now and then, I wouldn’t really notice Bill for a
day or two, or maybe just catch a glimpse of him, but it occurred to me I hadn’t
seen him in a while, and I became a little worried.  So I removed the lava
rock over his home, and there was Bill, still alive, but not looking well,
especially since he didn’t swim away in fear when I removed the rock.  I
knew something was wrong, but fish-tank wise, all the levels were good, so I
decided to set up a quarantine tank for Bill so I could get a closer look at
least, and if something needed to be added to the water to help him, it wouldn’t
affect the other kids.  With that tank set up and Bill transferred over, he
still didn’t seem well, and I noticed what looked like a cut/injury to his
underbelly.  I was going to try and take him to my favorite fish store, but
sadly, by the next day, Bill’s time on this earth had come to an end.  Bill
had gone to that great aquarium in the sky, where all of the brine shrimp is
free.

With my tank quality being okay, and no visible signs of a wacky fish
disease, the only thing I could really come up with was that somehow one of the
crabs must have snagged him.  Or maybe he just died of old age.  I
really didn’t know how old Bill was, I mean, it’s not like I gave birth to him
and actually had his birth day, but he was about 2 1/2 inches long, so at least
I hope he had a fairly decent life.

I’ll
miss Bill.  Like I wrote before, Bill was a good fish.  He was rarely
skittish (Ashley still freaks out every time I walk in front of the tank), just
seemed to like to rebuild his house after I destroyed it, eat when he was
hungry, and take the occasional dump in the tank, kinda like what most good fish
do.  Steve and Ashley seem to sense something is different, but as a
parent, I really don’t know how to tell them that one of their siblings is gone,
especially since you can’t really have a funeral for them to attend (although I
suppose, I could have scooped them out of the tank into a plastic bag, and had
them see what happens to fish when they pass away), that and the fact that I
don’t speak Clown Fish nor Blue Tang.  I think Steve and Ashley will get
over it, and at least I have a nice picture of Bill to remember him by.

Goodbye Bill.  I’ll miss you buddy.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

“60 Minutes,” “Aeon Flux,” and an Ode to Bill

By:

The Dude on the Right


I’m getting frustrated by winter already, but that’s a story for another
podcast.  This podcast deals with the likes of the CBS show "60
Minutes
" and why do they insist on supposedly having it start at 7PM EST/6PM
CST during football season, especially since it is messing with my finale of "Survivor," you can listen to what I thought about "Aeon
Flux
," and listen to my Ode to Bill, one of my kids that I lost last week
in a tragic fish incident.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here



Yahoo! Podcasts






My Christmas Display is Done.

By:

The Dude on the Right

Fine, I don’t promise anymore.  Again, this blog was supposed to be about
the size of a man’s unit, with a totally unscientific study by Trash about Garth Brooks,
and the rantings of one of our staff members, Whammy, but alas, I finally
accomplished something more important than giving you dudettes supposed tools to
help you determine if you really want to get down with a dude based on, well, it
will just have to wait, because this is more important in my life right now,
especially since getting down with a dude will never be important in my life. 
What could be more important?  I finally finished my Christmas display.

If you read my

last blog
, you found out that my Christmas decorating was not going very
well.  Decorations were all over the floor, I was one track short of
completing my train set-up, I had to buy more train
track connectors, and I was
almost ready to just say "Screw it." and leave the display in total disarray
because, well, as Christmas is approaching, pretty much, every day, I go from
being filled with the holiday spirit to being a total Scrooge.  I finally
just decided to get the damn thing finished, and I finally finished it, but it
wasn’t easy.

First off, I decided I needed a couple of new additions, and on
my way back home from a weekend with old friends in Chicago, I stopped at the
first American Sales store (they sell the
village series that I started collecting) on my way back, and as I looked, on display, they had
the extra lighthouse I wanted, they had the windmill I wanted, and they had the
boat I wanted, but they didn’t have any of them in stock to sell.  Them my
obsessiveness kicked in, because, as I continued heading home,
I knew I couldn’t finish this
display without them.  So I drive closer to my house, supposedly
remembering where the next store was, but, low and behold, I forgot the powers
that be turned this store into an outlet store.  I started swearing a lot,
especially since I was in total "I have to get these pieces" mode or else I
probably wouldn’t have even been able to get to sleep.  So, yes, I drove
down the street, to the new American Sales store, and yes, they had everything I
needed;  The boat, the windmill, and the lighthouse, and I also picked up what I
hoped would be enough fake snow.

Finally back at home, safe and sound, and
over the course of a few days, I knew I needed a better game-plan than I had
before, so I formulated it.  First off, get the train track secured to the
plywood, using anything from thumbtacks to wood screws if necessary.  With
the train track finally secured, it was time for the basic layout of the
buildings and the mountain for the ski hill.  Envisioned in my head, things
started
to come together except for the fact that the new, plastic, pebble road, needed
to be straightened out (it comes in a roll), and for a change, the internet was
no help at all.  Not really sure of the best way to do this, I heated a pot
of boiling water, put the rolls of "road" in the pot, and let them simmer a bit. 
After that bit, I laid them out on the floor, flattening them with a bunch of
Pyrex baking dishes, and low and behold, this actually worked.

The next issue,
when dealing with these goofy village buildings, is getting the power to them,
but somehow that all worked out, and alas, my lighthouses were lighthousing, the
sawmill pond was sawmilling and ponding, my ski-lift was ski-lifting, my
windmill was windmilling, and my boats were, well, not really boating, just
sitting there on some blue plastic that is supposed to be water, but at least
their lights were lighting.  All that working and the train was still,
well, training.

Finally
the last project was at hand, re-hang the Christmas ornaments that fell off of
the tree at my last debacle, and then, lastly, get all of the snow positioned. 
Surprisingly I had enough snow, the ornaments all fell into place (except I do
need to get some super-glue to fix my Angel and Snoopy), but, for the most part,
other than cleaning up the rest of the mess in my living room, my Christmas
display is done.  Finally.  And just in time for the six inches of
snow that fell this afternoon and evening that gave me a nearly three hour drive
back to my dude-pad today, mostly my fault, because I wasn’t as good as a
weatherman as I usually am.  Maybe I should have called my sister, she’s
the one that really needs a "Weather Channel" Intervention, but that’s another
story for another blog, or maybe a podcast.  Merry Christmas to those of
you that are Christmasers, and Happy End of the Year to those of you who aren’t.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Christmas Decorating is Becoming a Disaster

By:

The Dude on the Right

Okay, so this, my next Blog, isn’t about a scientific study about unit size,
hopefully for you dudettes, it will be the next, but I just wanted to lament
about my Christmas decorating and how it isn’t going too well so far. 

The Dude’s Original Christmas Tree

My Christmas decorating used to be the easiest thing in the world, usually
taking about 15 minutes. It started probably about six years ago, when I finally
broke down and bought a tree. Now, me, being the generally lazy decorator that I
am, of course bought a tree with lights pre-installed. I had ornaments thanks to
my Mom ordering me Hallmark ornaments for a number of years, and so, I moved one
of my end tables in front of the front room window, assembled the tree, put on
the ornaments, and even bought some Christmas tree skirting. Bamm, that first
time it took me about 60 minutes to go from opening the box to having a lit tree
complete with ornaments.

Christmas came and went that year, and as it went, I was faced with the crappy
task of packing away the ornaments, taking apart the tree, and in all honesty,
this seemed like it would take longer than the assembly. But then a moment of
genius occurred to me. I had a spare bedroom upstairs, the tree wasn’t that
heavy (it’s only a 4 1/2 foot fake tree), so I said to myself, "Self, why don’t
you just carry the tree upstairs, ornaments and all, throw an old bed sheet over
it, and then next year, all you have to do is move the end table, carry the tree
down the stairs, and you’d be done?" And so, for years, that is exactly what I
did. I’d get back from the Old Country after Thanksgiving, move my end table, go
upstairs and remove the bed sheet, carry down my decorated tree, and
"VoilĂ !" , about 15 minutes
from start to finish, my Christmas decorating was done. I was always so proud of
the time it took me to decorate that whenever I was in a conversation about how
long it would take someone to deck their halls, and had to regale those present
with my genius.

My bare tree this year.

Then, visiting a friend of mine, I was shamed, at least in my head, at the
total lameness of my Christmas decorating. At her house they had this giant
village built, in their basement, that stretched along one wall and halfway
along another, and as proud as I was that my decorating only took 15 minutes, in
my head I decided something more needed to be done. So, after Christmas was
over, I saw an ad that the village houses and props were 75% off, so it started. 
I bought a couple of houses, a lighthouse, and the next year, my decorating
started to get more complicated. This was a few years ago. Then I added a
ski-lift, an old train set, and things got a little worse, although not as bad
as this year. In the previous year I sort of had the train set halfway done as I
didn’t have the width to make the full loop. It looked alright, but the train
didn’t work. So, this year, I calculated all of the space needed, set up the
plywood, and started to get to work. This is where things really started to go
wrong. First mistake, bringing down my ornamented Christmas tree and plopping it
on the plywood first. Yup, there was my tree, standing proud, only now I needed
to install the train track.

Ornaments strewn on the floor.

No biggy, until, well, sprawled along the plywood trying to get the
thumbtacks put in to secure the train track, my svelte body under the tree,
well, wouldn’t you know it, I lifted my back just a little too much, and then
the tree started to tumble, I caught the tree, but not before 90% of the
ornaments decided to vacate their place on the tree and onto the floor.

Great, my decorating is now starting to go horribly wrong, now I’ve got to
re-ornamentate the tree, and the angel on the top of the tree, while taking her
tumble, well she lost her wings.

But that wasn’t all.

Nope, finally settling into the fact my decorating was getting slightly more
entailed than I planned it to be, I continued laying the train track, only to
quickly realize that I didn’t have enough track connectors. So much for getting
my decorating done on that night. So, decorating not finished, I go to bed, wake
up the next day, head to the hobby store, get more track connectors, and I’m
psyched that "Yes, I can finally finish this Christmas decorating crap this
evening, it will be great, the train will work, and it will officialy be the
Holiday Season in the dude-pad." Evening comes, and begin decorating again, and
I thought I would be creative with the train by kinda loopy-looping it rather
than just having a normal oval, except there was one other problem – I
miscalculated the amount of track needed. Yup, there I was, most of the track
tacked down, getting towards at least finishing the train, when, low and behold,
I was one track short. One freakin’ track short.

A section of track is needed.

I’ve already spent way to much time on this project, I’ve got a tree with
only a few ornaments left on it, I’m sure I need more fake snow, and I need ONE
PIECE OF TRACK THAT I COULD HAVE BOUGHT AT THE HOBBY STORE EARLIER IN THE DAY
BUT NOW THE STORE IS CLOSED.

I thought of just leaving my decorating as is, tree half done, train not
finished, ski-lift still in its box, especially since I rarely entertain, so who
is going to see it anyway, and wouldn’t it be a funnier story if I had people
over with my "not done" decorating, but, after this blog, I’m going back to
work. I decided I will untack some of the train track, remove one piece,
re-assemble the train, so hopefully I can at least get the train going. Then
it’s time to unpack my village, get the skiers skiing and the boat boating, and
I can almost bet you by the end of the night, I will have one last problem, not
enough fake snow.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Thanksgiving, An Apology, and I’m Jealous of Oprah.

By:

The Dude on the Right


Well, Thanksgiving is over, and there is usually at least one story from a
Thanksgiving that is sort of entertaining, and I’m pretty boring at telling
them, but this Podcast has a story about me, my sister, and my under the age of
seventeen year old niece, going to see "Saw
II
."  Also is some talking about staying at the old homestead instead
of a hotel, and my being jealous of Oprah, especially as her "My
Favorite Things
" show came around.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here





“Walk the Line,” Weepy During “The Biggest Loser, ” and Some News.

By:

The Dude on the Right


Catching up on my television watching, I admit, and fine, call me a "puss," but
I got weepy as I was watching "The
Biggest Loser
."  I also found a couple of interesting news articles,
but for most of this podcast, I talk about the movie "Walk
the Line
," and brought some totally
high-techness
into our podcast.  I found some classic Johnny Cash music, complete with
pops, clicks, and skips.  I’ve been a fan since
I was 2 1/2
, and loved the movie, but my podcast rambles a bit and forgets
to talk about my re-found love for
Reese Witherspoon.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here





The CMA’s Seem to be About One Thing – Cutting Off The Winners

By:

The Dude on the Right


I watched the CMA Awards last night, but in the end, figured I might have been
more entertained by what was originally set to record on my TIVO, namely "The
Biggest Loser," and "My Name is Earl" (thankfully I set up my VCR for some extra
taping).  I thought Garth was great, although from a couple of the country
bulletin boards I check into every now and then, the Garth haters are out in
full force, and even though Bon Jovi is getting wailed on for being there (oh,
how they forget the soundtrack to "Young Guns II") I finally figured out who
Jennifer Nettles is.  But for this podcast, it’s about Big and Rich who
probably got the most publicity thanks to Chevy and Target, and the fact that
for this year, and least for me, the CMA Awards were all about giving someone an
award and cutting the winners off before they could actually thank everyone and
enjoy the moment.  And until there is an apology, it will be a long time,
or at least a year, until I forgive them for how they cut short Alabama’s
acceptance speach.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here





Sorry Neil, I Didn’t Buy Your CD Today.

By:

The Dude on the Right

I was faced with my first ever CD purchasing dilemma today.  I had heard of
the dilemma before, the fact that Sony music has been putting

copy protection
on some of their CD’s, but today it stared me right in the
face, at the f.y.e. store in my local mall, as I contemplated purchasing the
latest CD from Neil Diamond called "12 Songs."

It seems, unbeknownst to most
of the music purchasing public, you know, those who actually go to a store and
buy the CD with the sole intent of just listening to it on their CD player,
computer, or maybe iPod or other portable device, Sony has been encoding some
releases with a form of copy protection.  Pretty much if you put the CD in
your computer to play, the Sony player opens up, you accept their agreement
without reading it because that’s what you do, and in the background the CD
installs a copy-protection scheme on your computer so you can only rip the music
to the Windows protection scheme (sorry, no iPod installing for you), but even
worse, installs this copy protection scheme in what is known in the hacking
world as a
rootkit
on your computer.  Suddenly your computer is actually more
prone to getting a trojan horse virus, and you didn’t even plan on it. 
That’s the easiest way I can explain this issue, but for more, head to your
favorite search engine and type in the phrase "Sony rootkit" and you can
research it to your hearts content.

So, there I was, seeing that there were
actually two versions of the CD, one with 12 songs, and another with two bonus
songs, and just as I was ready to shell out the extra bucks for the two bonus
songs, I turned the CD over, and low and behold, in what really just looks like
your standard "To run the extra features on your computer you need" box, it
vaguely referenced the fact it would load this crap on my computer.  I knew
some work-arounds to this issue, but really, is it worth my time and frustration
to get Neil’s new music on my iPod?  And yes, I know I could actually save
money by just downloading it from the iTunes store, even with the two bonus
tracks, but  for me, there is something permanent about actually owning the
physical CD, a fact I realized after downloading the latest Bon Jovi CD from
iTunes rather than buying it.  I was torn, because I really wanted the CD,
but it really pissed me off with the Sony folks trying to force copy protection
on me, and not even in what was really a secure way.

So I didn’t buy the new
Neil Diamond CD.  I took a stand, and Neil, as much as I love ya, until
Sony gets rid of this copy protection crap (and supposedly from the latest news
the Sony folks are pulling the CD’s from the stores and re-issuing them without
the protection, but we’ll see), and will let me put it on my iPod, I’ve got to
take that stand, although it probably won’t matter much, and in the end, I’ll
probably just download the songs from iTunes and save a few bucks.

The record
companies, still, just don’t seem to get it.  They didn’t get it when file
sharing started, they didn’t get it when Napster exploded, and they sure as hell
don’t seem to be getting it now, especially by installing hidden software on
your computer that can actually make it more vulnerable to getting a Trojan
virus, or if you try to get rid of it, you actually f-up your computer. 
Maybe instead of just someone who is a great business person, the record folks
might actually try to put someone in authority who has a clue to the buying
public, and how technology is affecting them.  "Don’t steal our music," and
"Dammit, we want more money from Apple" seem to be the music company’s current
mantras, and all those mantras do is make the music buying public seek out the
same ways to get music they have been continually been fighting, by downloading
it free from someone who has figured out how to get around the copy protection
scheme, or at least from their friend next door.  Really, until the record
company folks actually figure out a way to stop someone, in the most simplest
terms of copying songs, from A:  Purchasing a legal version of a CD. 
2:  Playing that CD on their stereo.  III:  Having microphones in
front of their speakers, plugged into the "Mic In" on their computer sound card
and using any generic sound recording software to record each track. 
Quatro:  Making sure that the individual songs are in an mp3 format. 
5:  Sending those songs to two of their friends, who then send them to two
of their friends, who then send them to two of their friends, and so on, and so
on, and so on, the record companies have no shot at really controlling music
piracy.  But if they want my ten to twenty dollars to buy it, and I will,
all I really ask is that they don’t fuck up my computer, and they let me put it,
easily, on my iPod.

I’m stepping off of my soapbox now.  My next Blog
will be about the proposed size of Garth Brooks’ unit, not by my recollection,
but by something our crack reporter Trash witnessed at a press conference, and
our dudette, Whammy, who really loves Prince, especially since he’s back to
using his real name, that being, of course, Prince, and her scientific study on
how to figure out the size of a dude’s unit.  I’ll bet you will all be
waiting for that.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!