Saturday, August 30, 2008

On the subject of Romantic Notions

A nice poem I like...

it's interesting why the rest of this post is gone... expecially when I live life by the poem. Oh well.

When you get what you want in the struggle for self

And the world makes you King for a day
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what this guy has to say.

For it isn't the man's father, or mother, or wife
Who's judgement upon him must pass
The feller who's verdict counts most in his life
Is the guy starring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind the rest,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum,
And think your a wonderful guy,
But that man in the glass says your a bum,
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches or tears,
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On the subject of Moving On

Improv class ended tonight. A second session of the class called 201 has reached the final curtain, with a less than great final performance from me.

Thankfully, THE performance, our showcase on Sunday night was awesome. I felt very much at home on the stage, and for some reason, the animal instinct came out in me.

In the first scene with Lauren and "the Other John," I found myself playing a lead footed cat who had lost his Tabby. When I found her, she was stolen away. That is until Tabby fed the nefarious feline a poisoned dish, allowing me to turn the cad into French Kitty Litter.

"The Other John" is an extremely esoteric gentleman who is from France, and always seems intrigued by the differences in society here and there. He says he's giving the Northwest another year and may see what else is out there. I hope he finds a place he feels welcome, but he can always call on "the other Jon" to be a friend.

Lauren is heading to Fordham to begin classes, and hopes to be a star on the stage someday. She has amazing talents, and an ability to take on a character and own it. One of her scenes reminded me of Kristen Wiig, which as readers know, makes her aces in my book.

One person with whom I did not get to play a scene in the showcase, but became one of my favorite people in class was Matt. Mr. Schmidt is a stand up comic, who happens to work behind the scenes in movies. However, now, he has a great new opportunity, joining the staff of 30 Rock in New York. Matt and I share a propencity to speak too much in our scenes, but the difference is when Matt speaks, it comes out as some genius comedy - and I believe it will take him places. Right now, it's taking him to New York, and he will be missed.

If I had to pick someone who caught my eye from the opening moments of class, it would have been Rosie. She teaches theater to younger kids, and there was that young innocence in her performances on stage. Her voices were priceless, and her kindness was worth even more. She is off to Austin, Texas where she will working at a Tiny Tots School, while hopefully chasing some improv dreams with the growing scene in the very cool city. Her midwest accent, taken from her family, will be a constant memory of a really fun person.

Showcase's final scene - forward backward - made me into a horse, which, if I had listened more carefully, a centaur. It was a fun scene with the understated Brett stating his love to ride horses and asking me if I had a cough. When our teacher, Doug, called for the scene to go backwards... off I strode back to the offstage area where I toppled onto the chairs and staging back there, with a huge crash. Might have been the biggest laugh of the night for something that no one saw. Erika's ability to saddle me up created the best on stage laughs. Fun scene.

So tonight, we all said our goodbyes. While I have to say that this class did not have the family feeling that my last class had, and still holds to this day, there are many people that I will very much miss. And to those three who leave the Northwest to chase their dreams... here's hoping they all find theirs' to come true - whether it is on a stage, or just in living a wonderful life. Thanks for making mine just that much better for having known you for this short time.

Good night Matt, Lauren and Rosie! Bon Voyage!

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Saturday, August 23, 2008

On the subject of Different Directions

Discovering yourself is an interesting process. It is a process that never seems to cease. Resolution is never near.

When I started this blog a few months ago, I was trying to examine some of the issues in life as it regarded to what this thing called cyberspace had brought to it. 

The other day, I casually said over dinner that I was up to 191 Facebook friends. It was a remark that was just a passing thought. My better half saw it differently. She was wondering why I would have so many people I would associate with on line, and felt those "friends" were taking attention away from her. A couple of months ago, I might have agreed, but now - not so much.

Real life seems to be going in so many directions that time to spend with cyberfriends is actually the time that is at a premium. Blogging is another victim. One aims to write every day, but "regularly" begins to seem "enough."

When a new school year starts, my crazy time begins. There are so many preparations to be made for multiple projects that it never seems like I can ever catch up. Then, the first game arrives. The first show goes on the air. The first event is in the books, and it doesn't seem as bad.

So when there is any time for me to be me, I cherish every minute of it and want to make the most of it. I reserve the right to be happy whenever I can. So in the midst of all this craziness, I am fortunate that events involving my improv class have allowed me a great respite from the craziness of the day. While this class did not achieve the chemistry I had with my spring class, I have again grown close to this one, and will cherish the new people I have met. I am sure I will see some of them again. Some are moving on to new adventures in new parts of the country.

Again, the magic of the class is the fact that we all come from such different backgrounds, that we compliment each other. From loud (me) to the quiet, we all have our place, and our talents. Many, again, have become Facebook friends... part of that 191. I hope that means we can stay in touch.

At the same time, my wife returned from her cruise toAlaska. We spent a wonderful evening last night at a concert with Colin Hay, former lead singer of Men at Work. We expected a night of song. We received a night of total entertainment - part music, a lot of comedy, and even some interpretive dance and kazoo (courtesy of his wife Cecilia Noel). If you get the chance to see Hay in concert... GO! The nicest part of the evening though was seeing my wife smile through the whole thing. Time so rare, time so precious.

Which brings this full circle. Facebook friends add up as people you meet and want to have a connection. What that connection brings can differ as much as east and west. Some you will write to regularly. Some will just sit there. Some will never be thought of again. But if you feel, in the smallest way, that you have some kind of connection to each member of the group, you can consider yourself blessed. So I will be happy with what I have, and what I will have. For it is that kind of happiness that I need to have right now to compliment - not replace - the real life connections I have. Each has its place. Each has its value.

So if my words seem to travel in different directions for the next few weeks, please excuse the fact that my mind actually is in need of a GPS, or as one person so aptly put it - I've turned into Larry King - Houston HELLO! Thankfully, I know where I am, and where I want to be... taking all the directions that feel right and are chock-full of adventures - both new and familiar, thanks to friends - those who I sleep next to every night and those who linger in the processors of my laptop.

Good night to you all. (even though it's is extraordinarily early as I write this.)

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Thursday, August 21, 2008

On the subject of Aaahsome

Arnold Schwarzenegger + Karaoke = Aaaahsome.

Believe me now.

At zee Copa - Copa cah bahn nah. Ze haghtest spot nawth ov Havannah.

Hasta la vista, Governator.

Yours truly,
Johnny Karaoke
PS - I'll be baaaaack!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On the subject of Soup

"No Soup for You!"

This entry is a compendium of thoughts on a rainy day in Seattle. Call it Blog Soup.

Why is it that my super fast eight core Mac working more like a Commodore 64?

Was it as much fun to play Intellivision back then as it is to play Wii now?

Does everyone start their day optimistic they will get everything done only to discover it was a lot tougher than they thought it was going to be?

When is too much too much?

Do people just not call to tell you they are not coming anymore, or do they just assume you will work your schedule around theirs?

Does everyone have to be paid for everything, or do you ever do something because it is the right thing to do?

Improv Karaoke tonight. I have to get ready for it. I don't know why it's tougher than usual. Maybe the combination of the bad karaoke experience from last week, and the upper back injury from yesterday.

Just how awesome is Michael Phelps? Just how cute is Shawn Johnson? Just how amazing is Jonathan Horton (still no relation)?

Was the opening ceremony of the Olympics still the most incredible show ever put on now that it has been discovered that the director of the show basically abused the cast, and said the only place it could have been done better is North Korea?

What would I look like as a bobble head?

The render of the video is still not done.

When it is correct to be politically incorrect?

Who won the primary for Governor here in Washington and do I care? I care that the ads are over for at least a couple of weeks (phew!)

Is the world ready for Arnold-oke (singing an entire Karaoke song as Arnold). Believe me now!

The batteries on my desk are recharged now. Hopefully I will be soon.

Hey Dave, can I plug my show? It's Sunday night in Seattle at 7 PM at the Historic University Theater. No, I don't have a clip.

Is it Theater or Theatre. This coming from a guy who spells color colour.

Render is still not done. However, I am.

Good night, Grace Kelly... all your looks were too sad. So I'll try a little Freddie. I've gone identity MAD!

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Sunday, August 17, 2008

On the subject of Small Town News

"You have to pay your dues in a small market to get anywhere in this business"
      - Every Television Teacher I ever had.

Tyler, Texas... Hagerstown, Maryland... Savannah, Georgia... Spokane, Washington. That should have been the path if my teachers were right. 

Instead my career path began in Dallas, Texas, then continued in small towns like Washington, DC, Atlanta and Seattle. If it weren't for the boycott  of 1980's Olympics, chances are that it would began at a network called NBC.

That being said, I have a lot of respect for those who do "small town news." They are the true warriors of the television news business. The lines between grunt and star are very blurred here, especially in sports where the glossy 8x10 anchor, usually right out of college, has to shoot all the high school football games, edit them and be in coat and tie to present them on the nightly news.  (Many of them are glossy 8x10 ex jocks... but some, as you will read later, don't fit into the 8x10 category... and bring something more to the table.)

As a comparison, the station that is my main client now has sports department with three anchors, an executive producer, two full time producers, one dedicated sports photographer (meaning he does sports not news) and a slew of editors and photographers from the news department. That's close to the size of the whole news department working at some stations on a particular night.

Today, I watched part of a Tivoed marathon of Making News, Savannah Style on the TV Guide Network. Savannah is located on the northern border of Georgia and South Carolina. They are the home of the SandGnats baseball team, and the closest market to Hilton Head Island, a big resort. I have been there once, and vacationed at Hilton Head. 

The market is very similar to Charleston, SC, where I spent many a summer in the 70's and 80's. There are recognizable personalities who seem to stay there forever like Bill Sharpe and Warren Peper. There are those who have left and gone on to bigger things like Steve Bartlestein (who went from there to Portland to NYC) and my former co-workers Van Earl Wright who went to CNN and now is the voice of American Gladiators, and Brad Adam, who now hosts Mariners coverage on FSN here in the northwest.

People who start in small markets usually only stay there for one contract, so turnover is huge. To get any kind of momentum, stations either have to have big budgets, or get lucky.

Making News is the story of WJCL, the Coastal Source, an ABC/Fox Duopoly in Savannah. It shows the trials and tribulations of what being the last placed station in a small market is really like. Bad equipment, staff departures, more bad equipment and resume updaters are the order of the day. Yes, I am being redundantly repetitive.

I can identify personally with "The Big Guy" - sportscaster Frank Sulkowski. He is the kind of sports guy that reminds me of Glenn Brenner, who in my opinion, was the greatest local sportscaster of all time. Both are Big Guys. Glenn looked like an old time minor league pitcher. tall with a few extra pounds. Frank looks like a former football player (and so he is, having gone to the same high school as one of my best friends, Scott Hudson, of WCW announcing fame)

Frank has a long way to go to reach Glenn, but he resonates with a kind heart, a love for sports and a love for what he does. A recent pair of episodes displayed the two sides of "the Big Guy." One was the guy who hadn't prepared a speech for a team banquet (I know the situation all too well.) He went in with nothing and came out with dozens of new friends, because he spoke from his heart, not a piece of paper. The next episode, he came in from shooting a game and found that his news team needed him. He volunteered to get a live truck out to a breaking story, even though he did not have the knowledge to get it done. Through some trial, error, and a few phone calls, he and another reporter got the station a much needed live shot, and basically saved the day.

Okay - make it three things - when he improvised his way through a St. Patrick's Day Parade broadcast with a very perky and petite co-host, doing anything to make the broadcast entertaining from holding his co-host up in the air to having his foot accidentally run over by an interviewees car.

On one of the episodes I saw today, Frank had a decision to make. Would he leave the station for a bigger market, or stay where he was a part of the family, as his own family had just started with a four month old? He chose family over stardom. He will get his big chance some day with that work ethic, and even more so, his kind heart.

I am looking forward to new episodes of the show (I have it on season pass on the Tivo). I think the reason I like it so much is I can relate to them, even though I have not been in that kind of market. Sometimes you just have to do what it takes to get it done, whether it is in Savannah or Seattle. Appreciation may be the better word rather than relation. If these people remember the toughness it takes to make it through a small market day, and work just that hard when they make it to the big market, they will be appreciated by viewers and co-workers alike. I have been thankful to work for and work with some of those types.

So best of luck to the underdogs at WJCL... from a Seattlelite who watches on Satellite, which thankfully for me, works better than their live truck.

Tomorrow, another sports anchor story... this one about a small market anchor who shot straight to the top, and decided the view was better down on earth.

Good night, Savannah!

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Saturday, August 16, 2008

On the subject of Slow Connections and Slow People

Two things are getting to me this evening.

First of all, I feel like I am using Prodigy on a 2400 modem as my DSL is more like DOA. I wonder out loud if Verizon is slowing down all the DSL customers on purpose so that they will all switch to their new Fios service. Hmmm.

I just returned from an evening out with some friends where I was able to participate in one of my favorite pastimes of karaoke. We went to a place in South Everett that was definitely a younger place. I had heard that the host there was awesome, according to the friends that recommended the place. Well, the regular host was not there... and so the challenges began.

A host is supposed to make you welcome. This host decided that he was going to run the show his way and came off as intimidating and unapproachable. There were few people in the bar when we started at 10 PM, and my friend Malia kicked off the night with a great rendition of Walking After Midnight. No one applauded except me. I wanted to do a warm up song, so I tried an improv version of Billy Joel's You May Be Right, playing it off as something fun as I can't carry a genuine tune. Many of the patrons laughed and got the joke. The host did not.

Later in the night, a very drunk guy got up and started throwing F Bombs all over the place and was warned to stop. The song he was singing was called Sober. I had put in for Mika's Big Girls but told the host that I thought I should change to my old standard Rehab as an answer to the very loud performance of Sober. He said you want to do Amy Winehouse, and I said, yes... that is why I asked.

I grabbed a cup and looked like I was drinking heavily and approached the microphone.

Those of you who don't know me well don't realize that I love doing Rehab because I don't drink, and do an improvised performance that includes some of Amy's stage show at times. 

Again, the host did not get the joke. I saw people laughing and seeing that it was a performance and not a serious attempt at singing the song. The host said something like "That was one of the strangest things I have ever seen here. Hey dude, do you dress up as her, with the heels and makeup. You need to if you're going to do that." Those might not have been his exact words... but the cynical tone told me that I was not in the right place.

So Malia and I were going to do one song, and suddenly "the host's rules" started to come out as he decided that he didn't want songs that he didn't want to play. Anything by Sheryl Crow, or Bohemian Rhapsody or Paradise by the Dashboard Light. No Summer Nights. And off he went to get a smoke and cranked up some hip hop tune and left for a break.

It was then that the strange crowd started appearing. A very drunk dude started singing a song I had never heard. My friends told me it was a big stoner song - which explains why goody two shoes me didn't know it. Then another song by a very pierced man who yelled his way through a number.

We left... it was then I realized that I was too old for the place, and that it was not Karaoke I loved to do. It is doing karaoke with people who get me, like my improv group. My friends understood where I was coming from, and felt out of place themselves.

So there are good experiences, and bad ones. The good from this is spending the evening with some people who have become friends, and that it's nice to have new friends. 

On a final note, it's less than 12 hours till my Honey comes home. The beard's gone and I am ready to be a married guy again.

Good Night, and You May Be Right - I may be crazy... but it just might be a lunatic you're looking for... otherwise, why would you hang out with me???

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Thursday, August 14, 2008

On the subject of Headaches

Boom! Boom! Boom! That's what it feels like.
Crack! Crack! Crack! The pain shoots behind my ears like a knife.

I woke up this morning with a killer headache. So I am using this space to list the possible causes.

1. I didn't drink enough water last night when we lost our softball game.
2. I am tired of my internet connection being  so slow and having a virus wall post on Facebook take me to a phishing site.
3. I feel guilty that while I have worked out a lot and have been very active this week, I have not "been to the gym."
4. I have a mountain of work to do and three weeks to finish it all.
5. My son asks a lot of questions that have already been answered.
6. I need a Pepsi. Not a diet Pepsi, a REAL BIG GULP PEPSI.
7. My new beard is taking too much blood away from my brain. (Okay, it's not a beard, it's not shaving while my honey travels - nice look eh?)
7. I miss my wife, who is on a cruise I would rather be on with her.

Okay. It has to be one of those. I don't feel any better now, but one less question is one less headache.

Good day to you, Kirkland Signature IB Tablets.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Sunday, August 10, 2008

On the subject of Taking Time

Sometimes to make the most of your time, you have to take time to make the most of you.

Nothing profound there, but tomorrow morning, I am turning off the alarm, and my son is in on the deal.

My wife and daughter are in the midst of a seven day cruise to Alaska. This morning, my wife's usual 7:30 alarm shook me out of bed. I actually needed to get up today for a long day at work, so it was okay for today.
Tomorrow is another day, and I am going to recharge. So don't call me early, the phone won't ring. E-mails will wait until 10 or so. Life will get back to full speed, after I slow down for just a night.

I am sure you have a similar story, so I hope you have some recharge time as well.

Good night, shutting off the alarm with a bang!

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Morning update:
Big time nightmare... doing windsprints in gym class... So much for the plan. 6 AM... wake up. Can't turn off. Turn on Olympics. Turn on music that my parents used to listen to (elevator music.) Dose off. Dog needs to be let out. Up again at 7:30. Give up plan. Go to see if Son wants to get up for camp at 8. He decides he wants to sleep more and rolls over. He wakes up at 9:30. Looks like he learned my lesson. And by the way, my wife's alarm clock went off at 7:30, and I don't know how to shut it off, so I just plugged in some headphones on it to silence it. Guess it's just going to be a running joke while she relaxes on her cruise.

Friday, August 8, 2008

On the subject of a Life Changing Moment

I watch and I am in awe, just as I was at the age of nine. 

It was almost 36 years ago that I was sitting in the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany for the Opening Ceremonies of the 1972 Summer Games.

For a boy of nine, there was no more beautiful or awe inspiring sight.

Watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Games of Beijing, I am overwhelmed with mixed emotions. I long for a return to the games, while I realize that the games are much different than those I attended. The competition back then was an amateur event, but with the programs of the USSR and East Germany, that could be argued.

It is a beautiful time when the world can come together, and I have to admit, the Chinese have done an amazing job with what has to go down as the most elaborate live show ever done anywhere. 

My goal is to go back to the games in 4 years in London. I am hoping that life can repeat some magic, and that I might be able to share that magic with my family. 

My trip to Munich shaped the rest of my life. My parents gave me an amazing independence. I saw what my future was to be - a life in sports and in television. A life changing moment.

So as I will watch for the next 16 days these Summer Games, I will remember what the idea of the world coming together under the umbrella of sport - and how amazing the concept truly is.

I pray for a peaceful games... and that somewhere, someone's life can be changed forever in the positive way, as mine was 36 years ago.

Good night, to the children of the world.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Thursday, August 7, 2008

On the subject of my Day in Court

I did it. I admit it. I have no defense.

Somehow, I got away with it and am now moving on with life. Happily, the man to the right was not the one holding my consequences in his hand.

Today, I was in traffic court, and from the beginning, I tried to obey all the rules. After all, not obeying, or more accurately, not realizing I was disobeying the rules was why I was there in the first place. The charge was 40 in a 35. Supposedly I was going 48, but I didn't think it was that bad. I thought it was grounds for a warning, but it was not my day... so here I am.

NO FOOD OR DRINK. NO CELL PHONES OR PAGERS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COURTROOM. So back to the car I went to put away the cell phone and drink I had brought with me.

Not wanting to look too pompous, I dressed conservatively. No jacket or tie, just a nice looking shirt and slacks. It was a stark contrast to the guy who appeared to be right off the party boat with visor, t-shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops. The bailiff came in and ordered the removal of the visor. The defendant removed it, but cockily placed the sunglasses that accompanied the look in the place where the visor once was placed.

We all rose as the Judge appeared. I chuckled to myself. He looked just like J. Jonah Jameson, straight out of Spiderman. I was not amused however, as my friend Steve said this was going to be an easy process. He told me that his experience was that the judge was really nice (his was a woman) and very funny (she would have a second career on the stand-up circuit according to Steve.) My helpful and wise friend said, "just keep your mouth shut and you'll be fine." Easy for you to say! (Friends laughing uproariously now.)

As it turns out, J. Jonah... er... the judge was extremely nice. He explained we could contend, mitigate, or defer. He said to defer is to get out of traffic court free, minus 100 bucks. No record of the ticket would be made - no reporting to the insurance company.

Well, I was relieved. He told those who wanted to defer to line up to the left "and I will have you out of here in 5 minutes." One by one, we stepped up, but now he was looking at his computer monitor checking something. He was checking our driving records before deciding on granting the deferral. It's not a slam dunk as it sounded.

Like approaching the Soup Nazi, I moved towards the bench. "Last name!?!" 

"Horton, H-O-R-T-O-N," I said sheepishly, wondering if he was about to yell, NO DEFERRAL FOR  YOU!

He looked at his monitor and said, "this is perfect." I blinked wondering what he meant. "You have nothing on your record, what would you like to do?"

In a very respectful manner I answered, "Your Honor, I believe that the officer in question was just trying to fulfill his monthly quota and was picking on me. I had people passing me right and left, and the hill I was traveling down... well it's so damn steep there is no way in hell anyone could go 45 without slamming on the brakes, let alone 35! And one more thing, the sign is barely noticeable, as the trees are covering it. Plus, it was a rainy day, and you know those radar guns don't work in the rain. So, I think you should throw this meaningless case out of court, and buy me a dinner for wasting my time to be here."

"Just keep your mouth shut and you will be fine," I remembered Steve saying.

Oh well.

Thankfully, the truth is that I said simply, "I'd like deferral."

The judge replied, "great!" and sent me on my way.

After a quick visit to the court clerk with a 100 dollar thank you card, or my Visa, one of the two, my day in court was over. No Perry Mason moment. No Matlock surprise. Just the editor of the Daily Planet sending me on my way.

I promise to be good. Really I do.

Good night, Your Honor. Now, like I was saying...

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

On the subject of Winning and Losing

I have lost way more times than I have won. I am okay with that.

So is my life in the world of competitive sports. 

Last week might have been the low though (oh?) No! (Oops - poetic loop!)

37 to 3 in Softball. 

Those who play rec softball might ask the following.

Q. What about the 10 run mercy rule after 5 innings?
A. We never made it to 5 innings, they had no mercy.

Q. How did they score so many runs?
A. I pitched, they hit. We had 9 players, and they hit it where we weren't.

Q. Was that really the score?
A. No, we only had two runs. They must have felt sorry for us when they reported the score.

Q. Did you ever think of quitting?
A. I asked our players and they said keep playing, so I moved over to First Base, knowing I couldn't hurt the team any more by playing there. I began a stand up comedy routine with each batter from that position that didn't help, but it sure didn't hurt.

Q: Will you have a better chance tonight?
A: Two of our starters and best players are out. Two more are injured. 

Well thank you for your questions, that is all the time we have before our game. I may be back with a postgame show or update. 

37-3. Sheesh.

Good day for now.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

No further runs were scored during the writing of this blog.


Hey Everybody, Biff Barnes here with your Postgame Update, and in a shocking development and recovery from the week before, the again shorthanded Flying Colours team eeked out a victory by taking a 12-0 lead, and eventually losing most of it before hanging to win 15-14 with the winning run left on base. Pitcher Jon Horton gave up 5, count em 5 home runs in the last three innings, showing his prowess after almost breaking his wrist after a line drive from the opponent's biggest hitter struck him just above the glove at about 100 mph. A big black mark now signifies the impact zone. 

Next week, a rematch with the 37-3 team. Vegas odds has given the FC team six runs with an over under of 56.

Biff Barnes, reminding you to always be a good sport, and be a good sport all ways (hey - where have I heard that before?)

Monday, August 4, 2008

On the subject of Power Outage

Fight the power. I did all day. 

It fought back, and I lost big time.

Call it a case of the Mondays. (Insert Office Space reference here.)

My usually trusty editing computer was acting like the printer in that comedy classic. Thankfully, I could figure out the problem, albeit taking two hours to troubleshoot.

I just could not get going. I have lists upon lists of things to do, and a deadline heading towards me like a train coming down the track. Right now, the train's probably in the station, just waiting for the time it will steam into my life, but it's there... oh yes - it's there.

And now I have come to the end of my day, and felt the need to put it into words. Appropriately, the power meter on my MacBook says I have just a few minutes to finish the task. I am too tired to plug in.

Perhaps a new day will bring better luck, or better energy. Less surfing, more doing. Less daydreaming, more meeting.  I am tired, yet optimistic.

I hear that train a coming!

Good night, sleep. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Sunday, August 3, 2008

On the subject of Happy Life

"Happy Wife, Happy Life" 
    - Tim Sullivan

My family was at a barbecue at a neighbor's house about a week ago. We were saying goodbye to some old neighbors who were making the moving trek from Seattle to Key West, which we figured was about the farthest anyone could move and stay in the continental US.

During a conversation between the couples, our about to move friend Tim and his wife Jean were talking about their weiner dogs. They got their dogs after meeting our dog, Bear. Tim and I have the same feeling about our dogs. They make our spouses happy, and so they are good pets. They drive me fricking nuts - one is barking to be let out as I type this. (By the way, I have a job title for my life at home - Doggie Doorman.) The dogs can be nice to have around, but they are more stress than pleasure to me.

Tim said when Jean said she'd love to have another dog, "you know what they say - Happy wife, happy life."

As hard as it is to admit, and keep my man card, it's true.

I say this as I am about to watch the finale of Design Star with my wife. 

I say this because I went to see Mamma Mia and Sex and the City as we went on "dates."

I say this as Saturday night television used to be Trading Spaces and What Not to Wear instead of College Football, Queer Eye instead of SportsCenter, HGTV instead of ESPN.

I say this as I go shopping with her.

You have to understand that I actually did enjoy all of the above, but it comes with the price of wanting to watch ESPN or a game, or some action movie. But tis true - happy wife, happy life.

She is leaving on a trip next week, so ESPN and Pro Wrestling will dominate the television once again, without a guilty moment. I can watch action movies to my heart's content. But when she returns, it will be time to adjust my viewing habits. I am not P-Whipped as many might believe. I just believe in what Tim said.

When my sweetheart is happy, my life is happy. When she laughs, it makes me feel wonderful. When she is having a trying time, we all have a trying time. I guess it comes down to the fact that we truly share one heart, and mine aches when hers hurts.

So as to that Man Card, I guess I will hold on to mine as long as they let me. Besides, I have survived driving a testosterone sucking Mini Van.

Good night, my love. Here's hoping for a happy day.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger 

Saturday, August 2, 2008

On the subject of You Never Know

You never know what will break the ice.

You never know what can turn a trying relationship into a better one.

You never know how you are going to get through the generation gap.

You never know how a night you're dreading can become a nice one.

Teach a daughter how to score a baseball game, and suddenly there is a conversation.

You never know.

Good Night, Charlotte

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Friday, August 1, 2008

On the subject of Progress so Far

Short update today.

24 hour Fitness has a cool online tool to track your calories. Sadly, it doesn't like MACS (come to think of it, it doesn't like BIG MACS either,) so I am out of luck.

In this here space a couple of weeks ago, I talked about (um, complained) about starting a fitness and nutrition program and hating it. Well, I guess I will change a tune.

It's been a little more than two weeks since starting and so far...
7 and a half pounds lost.
2 inches in the waist.
3 1/2 percent less body fat.
4 24 oz Bottles of water a day.
1 Pepsi per day (that's the hardest part)

New to me... bananas, grapes, popped potato crisps, calorie counts.

And for those who are looking for a new workout, just try to Karaoke with my group. It was quite the workout!

Good night, and good luck.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger