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October 27, 2009

Where Did My Morning Go?

By: The Dude on the Right
For the life of me I was having a hard time figuring out why I didn't have time to exercise in the morning. There I was, waking up around 4:30 (and sure, hitting the snooze pushed things closer to 5AM), but by the time I was trying to get out the door at 7:00 to head to morning meetings, well, I was rushing.  What in the hell was I doing for nearly 2 1/2 hours, and why in the hell wasn't part of it being spent on my exercise bike? Something was going on, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, and then it occurred to me, even as I thought I was trimming things down:

Facebook, and more specifically Facebook applications, have destroyed my morning productivity.

I thought I had it licked when I was going to switch from Mafia Wars to Café World but it was yesterday, when I started trying to analyze my morning schedule, and as I sat there "training" my virtual fish in my Happy Aquarium, checking on my café, and still trying to take over the Moscow Mafia, that a bell went off over my head, sort of, and it simply rang out "What are you doing?"  So this morning, being the dorky engineer I can be, I started my morning as I normally have been, up and at 'em at 4:45, into the kitchen to empty the dishwasher, making my Count Chocula with chocolate milk, and heading to my computer bunker that isn't really a bunker anymore, to see what was happening in the world.  I fired up Firefox on the main monitor, opening a list of tabs to places like the Chicago Sun Times, The Drudge Report, The Weather Channel, Google Reader, and The Lorain Journal, just getting myself ready to rediscover the world after a night of broken sleep (broken sleep and the urge to drop-kick a dog out the window will be a topic for another blog), and on my secondary monitor, another Firefox window was opened, this time to my Facebook page.  I scanned the world, not really paying as much attention to things as I used to (something my fiance made me realize the other day), and quickly shifted my focus to my Facebook world, or should I say worlds, because after not coming up with anything witty for my status and seeing that my friends haven't done much in the past six hours, I pulled out the stopwatch on my iPhone to do a statistical analysis of part of my morning.

And so, I headed to...

  • "Café World" - I didn't do anything crazy, and by crazy I mean I didn't send any of my neighbors any gifts, visit any of their cafés, nor do any redecorating (which I could, because I have 200,000 café coins to spend), instead I'm concentrating on serving my pot roast and then cooking up some voodoo chicken salad.

That wasn't so bad, but other work needed to be done so I'm off to my:

  • "Happy Aquarium" - Here I start by sending the gift of fish food to my aquarium neighbors.  Damn, I'm a good neighbor! Of course my fish tank has gotten dirty overnight so I scrub it clean, and then my fish are hungry so it's time for their morning feeding, but as I'm also trying to make my fish smarter, what the heck, let's train a couple of them! Sadly I can't get one fish (I'm not sure which one it was, mostly because I have eleven different fish, all with different names) through the training program, but another made it safely through, so he, or maybe she, can now do some kind of special trick.  Not done yet, I'm feeling helpful and greedy so I visit my seven neighbors' tanks, do some cleaning at each of them, and click on the various treasure chests to get myself some more coin!

But my coup de gras awaits, the game that has taken what must amount to months in lost productivity - I'm off to Moscow in:

  • "Mafia Wars" - Yup, I head to New York City to bank some money from my properties, and I now have over $110,000,000,000 in fake, United States currency.  But I've built my mafia over the months, and Cuba needs me, or at least my businesses in Cuba need me, so it's time to sell off a bunch of product and bank my money there as I eclipse the C$11,000,000 Cuban peso mark!  But as my Mafia domination is growing, well, I'm off to Moscow.  I easily level up to 351 with the energy I've acquired while I slept, so I'm eager to spend my new, 2,190 units of energy doing something, although I'm not really sure what, even though there is some sort of story going on, but there I am, clicking my mouse insistently to earn more cash, finish the job, and move on, but my energy level is now too low to continue! Oh no!  Ahh, but no, I'm not done! Thankfully my sister sent me an energy pack so I recharge, it's time for another energy drain, I'm up another level, and I quickly scan that I'm going to need about R$40,000,000 rubles to get the items necessary so I can work on the next job in Episode 4.  Not being able to continue with any jobs for now, and since I got an energy pack from my sister, I decided I should return the favor so I click on my giant mafia of 34 members and send energy packs to those people that I know are still playing the game.

With the breakfast hours slipping away I'm done with my café, my fish tank is clean, I've blackmailed a secretary in Moscow, but I notice, in the upper right corner of my Facebook main page, that I've got gifts to receive. I click and there they are, lots of little goodies from my friends, so what the hell, it's a click here and new screen there, an "Accept more gifts" click here, another screen there, and REQUEST/GIFT TIME ELAPSED: 4 MINUTES.

I looked at my stopwatch realizing that this morning, in just "maintaining" and "advancing" in three Facebook games, I wasted nearly 30 minutes.

Now, mind you, I didn't do any bowling with my buddies, happily I stopped playing Pirates of the Caribbean although I haven't deleted the app yet,  in Farm Town I have set up my farm with a lovely message for my BFF, a message that as long as my farming neighbors "water" it looks great so I don't have to do anything, my Roller Coaster Kingdom is stalled, and I haven't tried to increase my word vocabulary, but just heading to one of those would have meant being late for my first appointment this morning.

I wondered where my time went in the morning, and now I found out.  The question now is what to do about it because people are hungry and my Voodoo Chicken Salad is almost ready to be served, my "fish" are hungry and I really would feel bad if I "flushed" them down the toilet, and after investing so much time, "money," and building a reputation as a mafia kingpin, well, I really hate to rat people out and go into witness protection.  Then there is the feeling that I'm going to let all of my "neighbors" down if I can't be, well, their neighbor. In the end, I guess my exercising might just have to wait, although if someone were to make an "Exercise World" for Facebook, maybe I wouldn't feel so bad.

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

Posted by Rightdude at 8:01 PM | Comments (2)

October 26, 2009

Paranormal Activity, Hair Cuts, To H1N1 or Not to H1N1, and The Bears Still Suck.

The Dude on the Right wasn’t cold nor frightened, and tells Stu Gotz why not during their “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast.  In other news Stu has troubles securing a cheap haircut for the Gotz clan thanks to being a little late for Pat the barber.  Both boys see lots of movies with “Paranormal Activity,” “Milk,” “I Love You, Man,” “Imagine That,” and “Caroline” being topics of discussion, Stu thinks the H1N1 vaccine manufacturers should watch “Star Trek,” The Dude unpacks, and leave it to Mama Gotz to ruin “Toy Story,” or maybe it was “Toy Story 2.” – Stu can’t remember.

Posted by Rightdude at 6:30 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2009

Paranormal Activity

The Dude on the Right wasn't freaked out by the movie, but during his review of "Paranormal Activity," we find that the dude-pad and the movie set have something in common. As far as the movie goes, though, The Dude gets how the movie folks were going, even liked some of the "creepy" factor, but he doesn't scare easily and thought the movie was too predictable. He also thought the ending ruined it by putting the movie over the top instead of leaving you with a "that could be my wife/girlfriend" the next time she sleepwalks. At least there wasn't any gore.

Posted by Rightdude at 5:17 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2009

I deleted "Mom and Dad" from my iPhone Favorites. I suppose it was just time.

By: The Dude on the Right
I didn't know when to do it but in the end it turned into a simple thing, just three presses on my iPhone screen, but I guess for a year I wrestled in my head if it meant I was forgetting, or moving on, or just because it made sense because still there, on the "Favorites" of my iPhone contacts, was "Mom and Dad." At times it seemed weird being there when I would see it, what with both of them dying last year, but until this morning I just wasn't able to delete them from that screen. I guess this morning I just decided that one year after Mom died (although I will always consider her death anniversary as October 18th) it was time to well, just decided it was time.

The thing is, after my dad died back in January of 2008, I wrestled with changing the "Mom and Dad" to just read "Mom," even changed it for a few days, but when I went to make my Saturday morning call to Mom back then, and I went to press the "button," it just didn't seem right so I changed it back.  I mean, it was always "Mom and Dad," hell, they ended up married for over 40 years, and I would love to say they were always the best of years, but I'm going to bet that 99 times out of 100, if you ask anyone married for over 40 years, they will tell you there were some "not so best of" years. And as I was moving on, dealing with Dad's passing as you have to do, Mom was there in her way to keep things in perspective.

Then it was Mom's turn to pass a year ago, and luckily, by then, I had re-met the girl who would become my fiance, and they were able to meet before Mom died, which was nice because I know it made mom happy I had met someone so special, and she really liked my BFF. But it's been a weird year since then, in reflection, and sometimes you don't always look back, but over the last couple of days I've made some mental rememberings of things she, and dad (although I have to be honest that dad and I weren't always the best of conversationalists) would have had many thoughts about.  Simple thoughts entered my head, like how I so wish I could have called mom the morning I proposed to my BFF because she would have been so ecstatic.  She'd be concerned, yet so supportive of my BFF's change of careers; she would liked to have gotten the pictures of when I went on vacation; and she would be so proud of her granddaughter graduating from high school, yet wishing she could have been there.  There would be some great disappointment in some family matters that are going on right now, I know because I can still see the hurt in her eyes when I unfortunately had to give her the news when it sort of all started, and although somewhat selfish, she would have loved the fact that I would have had to make decisions on which family to spend which holiday with.  It would have been a winter, last year, of talking about how bad the Browns were and how she would know that the Cavs would blow it in the end.  I would have kept telling her how promising the Indians seemed, but she would have told me that they will always suck until they fired Eric Wedge - she never liked him, and I can't even print some of the things she said about him - and I would have loved to have made that call to her the minute I found out he got canned. There would have been Saturday morning talks about work, wedding plans (damn you WGN!), our American Idol e-mails, that even she was finished watching "Dancing With the Stars," and maybe we both would have finished the project we started of labeling hundreds of old, old pictures.

I do know that it is okay to reflect on things sometimes, but I suppose it’s also time to move forward a bit, and I guess I realized, that in the end taking "Mom and Dad" off of my Favorites didn't mean they weren't my favs, it just meant that their phone number didn't work anymore.  It's funny, because I think I "talk" to them more now than I ever did when they were alive, looking for advice or just knowing what they would be thinking, but I guess, sometimes, it would be nice to hear their voices on the other end of that call, although, for the most part, I know what they would say, especially mom watching the Browns this year: "They suck.”

I love you Mom and Dad! I hope you're not mad that I deleted you!

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

Posted by Rightdude at 7:45 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2009

Staying in Bed, Management, Toy Stories, Not Being Prepared, and Balloon Boy!

The Dude on the Right and Stu Gotz wanted to both be in bed, only not together, and for different reasons, and they explain why during their “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast.  Neither reason had drinking to excess involved, just klutziness and flu-ness, but they both had some movieness with “Management” and the 3-D versions of “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2.”  The boys also discuss Balloon Boy and the hoax that is ensuing, a topic that somehow shifts into the musical styling’s of The 5th Dimension and Monty Python.  All of that, plus some Chicago Bears’ talk, some Sweetest Day talk, and chocolaty goodness of Count Chocula.

Posted by Rightdude at 6:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2009

The Proposal

The Dude on the Right liked "The Proposal" in the theater, so for this Blu-ray review of the movie it's no surprise that he still likes the movie. What he doesn't like is the lackluster effort at "extras" for the DVD. Pretty much he felt he wasted his time watched the deleted scenes, the outtakes, and all he got out of the "alternate" ending was the fact that he was happy with the original ending, although the alternate ending did reinforce that some filming did not take place in Alaska. He still thinks it's a good "snuggle on the couch with your honey" kind of movie, so dudes, suck it up because you do get Sandra Bullock almost naked.

Posted by Rightdude at 8:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2009

A Peace Prize, Couples Retreat, Where's My Sidekick Stuff, and Stupid People!

Stu Gotz doesn't really tell The Dude on the Right much about his weekend during their "Weekend Wrap-Up!" Podcast, but that's okay because there is enough stuff going on that even if Stu did have a boring weekend, the boys have lots to talk about. It seems The Dude did do something this weekend, namely seeing "Couples Retreat," so he tells Stu if it's a movie to take Mama Gotz to see, but Stu is more interested in what The Dude thinks about President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, if he knows what is wrong with people's Sidekicks, and if he ever saw Alyssa Milano naked. The both have TV woes, the dude wonders about the flu shot, and Stu sees stupid people, but what else is new?

Posted by Rightdude at 8:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2009

Couples Retreat

The Dude on the Right isn't like most critics, and he thinks that the fact that he enjoyed "Couples Retreat," as you'll find out in this review, is another reason supporting this fact. Sure, he didn't find anything groundbreaking in the film, wonders if they just shot the movie in Bora Bora to have a vacation in Bora Bora, but did enjoy the characters, the jokes, and he's not ashamed to say it, but some of the women in bikinis were cute. The movie didn't preach too much, it had a peeing child, and women get to ogle the yoga instructor. What else do you want from a romantic comedy?

Posted by Rightdude at 1:40 PM | Comments (0)

October 9, 2009

I Didn't Win a Million Dollars at McDonald's. Crap.

By: The Dude on the Right
My gumption meter is on "Low" this afternoon, and as much as I want to blame the weather here in Chicago, I think I have to blame McDonald's.  I know, I'm sorry, I shouldn't blame Ronald for anything, but as I didn't pack a lunch today I decided to try to win a million dollars.  Yup, the Monopoly Game is back at McDonald's, and back in the day I was a big supporter of the game, as well as bigger, especially as breakfast, lunch, and every now and then a dinner, would be supplied under the Golden Arches when there was the suspense of little pull-tags off of the cups and containers with the dream of never having to work again at every visit.  But lately I haven't had the taste for a quarter pounder with cheese that much because, for whatever reason, the White Castle Crave seems to hit me harder, although I must admit that Lent was a good time to re-up my Filet o' Fish quotient. Today, though, I thought I would take a chance, roll the dice, or rather pull the tabs, and see what would happen.

So there I was late this morning, in the drive-thru at my local McD's, knowing that to get the coveted game pieces I would probably have to go "large" for the fries as well as my Diet Coke, but little did I realize that instead of getting my "Big Mac" fix I would have to get one of their new "Angus" burgers.  With dreams in my eyes of what I was going to do with my million, or at least the $50,000 a year for 20 years, I sucked it up and ordered the Mushroom & Swiss Angus Burger, gave the nice lady my money, took my bag of riches, snuck a few fries on the drive back, and got ready to scream with joy.

Then I opened the bag.

Sure, there were the fries, and I could see the game pieces attached; I had already pulled the pieces off of my large pop; And there, nestled under the napkins, was the burger box. "Hmmmm!  Mushroom & Swiss Angus Burger, with game pieces!"  Only I took out the napkins and "Doh!", no freakin' game pieces. "What the hell?  How am I supposed to win with no game pieces?" I could have gotten my favorite burger, a quarter pounder with cheese, but no, I wanted the game pieces, and I get no game pieces.  I mean, the game just started three days ago and my local McDonald's is already out of the Angus burger game pieces? Ugh!

Well, you can probably tell that I'm a little upset, especially since I didn't really want the Angus burger, and then, to top it off, after peeling off the game pieces I did have, I realized why I stopped playing the game in the first place because along with not getting all of the game pieces I was supposed to get, I ended up with a Marvin Gardens and a Pennsylvania Railroad, but the kicker in my butt, TWO BALTIC AVENUES.  Sure, I could probably figure out the odds, but what the hell are the odds of, at a random stop to McDonald's to play the Monopoly Game, and not getting all six game pieces, do you end up with TWO BALTIC AVENUES out of the four?  McDonald's, your Monopoly game sucks, that is unless I win some kind of internet prize that I really don't understand after I plugged my codes into the website.  In that case, McDonald's guys, you will rock.

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

Posted by Rightdude at 5:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2009

I think I'm done with Mafia Wars; Now I'm Running a Café.

By: The Dude on the Right
Like many a people on Facebook I sometimes get wrapped into various application games.  There was a time I was collecting eggs, and sure, they were pretty when they hatched, but then came the feeding them, trying to collect more, and "special" eggs.  I was done with eggs.  Then I started farming with "Farm Town," growing a nice farm which again, just seemed to take too much time to do too many things, and I bailed on that just about the time "FarmVille" came into being, which looked remarkably like "Farm Town." So now my farm is just a testament to my BFF, and it only requires watering every now and then.

The game, however, that I've stuck the most with has been "Mafia Wars," which, in terms of many things, is quite a boring game because it doesn't have animated people, or plants you have to tend to. Nope, it's mostly just a narrative game, with, I suppose, some semblance of strategy in order to develop a strong mafia. My problem is that from the beginning I only cared about a few things: One was that I kept trying to get a level ahead of our staff member, Big Cooter, and I was finally able to overtake him because he went on vacation and then seemed to lose interest.  After that I was just trying to finish the various jobs, hoping to get to the highest boss masteries, and then, wouldn't you know it, the bastards at Zynga opened up new areas, developing a Cuba area, and now Moscow (I was about two days from finishing when they opened Moscow).  So now I keep wondering why I am still playing because all I find myself doing, since I don't really care about fighting anyone, is "doing a job" until I run out of energy and then wait for the energy to regenerate or for one of my few mafia members to give me an "Energy Boost." When I get "Skill Points" to spend, every one of them goes to my "Energy" level.  Now with a Profile of: Energy - 1999, Attack - 33, Defense - 46, and Stamina – 17, I have a measly mafia size of 35, of which 16 are hired guns and not even "real" friends, so I think I might just be the lamest, Level 320+, mafia member with nearly $100,000,000,000 in the bank in the New York area. Every morning I find myself saying "Self, what the hell are you doing wasting 5 minutes just clicking your mouse button, doing that 'job' and not seeming to accomplish anything?"  So, yea, I think I'm just about done with Mafia Wars, and just in time.

Because now I'm a chef.

Yup, damn you Zynga and your Facebook games because now I'm playing Café World, where sadly this game is more my style.  Why?  Because I can actually incorporate my day into it and it doesn't have insanely long times to "Plant" a farm like "Farm Town" did.  Yup, I have my little café, I get to cook things, and they have specific lengths of time they take to get done.  I have found I'm planning things like "I know I won't be checking Facebook for about 4 hours, so if I start cooking some French Onion Soup I can finish it up and get it served when I come back," and I even have a chicken that is roasting and will be conveniently ready in 14 hours so I don't have to worry about more things on that stove.  I don't have a lot of neighbors, yet, so I can't grow my café that much, but my "Buzz Rating" is up to 43, and I don't know if that's good or not, but I seem to get a lot of people giving me a thumbs up!

So I think I'm hanging up my guns for an apron, and I'm sure there will be a time that the apron will need washing, but for now I've got to get back because my fruit salad is just about ready and I've got patrons to please, although I think I have just enough time to make a little more money in Moscow so I'm a little closer to be able to "Rob The RossijaBanc Central Repository."

I guess I'm not done with Mafia Wars just yet.

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

Posted by Rightdude at 6:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 5, 2009

Chicago Sucks, A Movie Weekend, and Wiping Your Ass.

The Dude on the Right and Stu Gotz are a little sad that Chicago didn't get the 2016 Olympics, but Stu tells The Dude, during their "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast, that he was more bummed when he had trouble wiping his butt. The Dude at least had some fun by seeing "Zombieland," "The Invention of Lying," and even "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," while Stu learned something interesting about a little Gotz, and has his idea for the perfect wedding gift. The Dude now wonders if Stu will get an invite to his wedding. Time will tell.

Posted by Rightdude at 9:19 PM | Comments (0)

October 3, 2009

The Invention of Lying

The Dude on the Right explains, in his review of "The Invention of Lying," that sometimes it is scary when people tell the truth. For example, who really wants to know that they have absolutely no chance of sleeping with someone after their date, or that they will be fired in two days. But that's not to say that The Dude didn't like the movie, because he did, thinks Ricky Gervais is a hoot, and is liking Jennifer Garner who does a great job in her role. It's a great date movie, but after seeing it you might have an idea what she is really thinking, and what she did before you showed up at her door.

Posted by Rightdude at 9:49 PM | Comments (0)


The Dude on the Right was torn at the time he was going to see "Zombieland" because the decision for the 2016 Olympics were pretty much at the same time as the movie. Happily for him he went to see the movie because the result of the movie was much better than the result of the Olympic city as Chicago got shut out right off the bat, but The Dude really liked "Zombieland." Don't worry because this isn't a serious zombie movie, nope, you get fake-looking blood and guts, and over-the-top Woody Harrelson, and Bill Murray as a very funny, well, Bill Murray. The Dude's full review gives you the full scoop.

Posted by Rightdude at 9:32 PM | Comments (0)


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