These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Friday, March 17, 2006

simple technology

last night i went toa township meeting and later came back with a story on the township's plan to revamp their board room with new technology (i.e. audio, video, sound and lighting).

they've had th same simple 1980s high school style projector (flat with a light under the galss to reflect the document onto a white, pull-down shade thing. they have no microphone for the board members or for audience participation, no sound system or anything. it's surprising since the township is one of the fastest growing in the area. for the past 30 years, they've managed to do their job without any fancy equipment.

this past week, i, too, have had my run-in with technology. however, mine was in the opposite direction, to a more simplistic and entertaining form.

i renewed my interest in the joystick atari game thing i bought during christmas time. it has pac man and a few other games.

then i inquired about other games and dawn told me we had centipede and others on the computer. i checked, found them, and have been playing them since. it's a good relaxing tool for me, despite cursing when i get my man killed by that wretched worm or menacing spider.

i've tried my hand at super breakout and pong, both of which require the peripheral vision i have more of. it's still a challenge to play them. i don't score big points but i still get a thrill if i score 20 points in either game. centipede is my favorite of these games, though. i love shooting the hell out of the worm as it's coming for me. this, too, is fun and relaxing for me.

my favorite game of all of these old ones is galaga. we had a joystick component game but it broke. so we ordered another one and should be coming in soon. that one has ms. pac man, which is better for me visually.

i love these old games, now 25 years of old technology. the graphics are simple, the colors aren't exact and images too sharp. the sound contains the same variation from game to game. but i find these games so much more appealing than the fancy ones that are out these days. perhaps it's my eye sight. there's to much going on in the new games. the graphics are too realistic. but these old ones do the trick.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

yo, stevie's in tha house

stevie wonder was the first songwrite's songs to be heard on idol tuesday night. i don't know why the show chose him, since the judges are always ragging on people who try and sing a wonder song. nonetheless, it was his stuff for the first round of the fial 12.

simon put it best when he said there were two different shows, the first half and the second half. still, plenty of so-so performances.

here are my faves in the order that i liked them: taylor, chris, mandisa, catharine.

there were others but those stood out to me, especially the top three. the only reason i put taylor ahead of chris is because chris didn't fully make the song "higher ground" completely his own. he admited the chili peppers recorfed the song and he was going to combine both. he did an excellent job, but the peppers laid the ground work for the song.

there were a few bad performances also on the show. there were at least three i wasn't fond of, two of which were disappointing. the worst of the night was kevin, that dweed. he had no business performing "part-time lover." what does that fool know about the song? he moves stank. he appears like he's copping an attitude now that he's on tv. pleaase, american is doing him an injustice by keeping him on. vote the bastard off. he's the only one i reason think should go off first.

i was disappointed by kellie's performance. it was so bland. it needed salt and papper. it put me to sleep. too bad. ace? his, too. not a big deal and bored me. i was really disappointed with both of their performances. i put them in the bottom because i expected more from them. i even thought melissa did better. (she's my dark horse. but she could be off today.)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

the beard

for those of you who haven't seen me (or don't know me), i've got a beard going on right now. it's coming along Ok.

but, for those of you who i encounter on a regular basis, you'll notice a subtle change monday afternoon. the beard will be gone. it's back to a clean face again.

i started this process of growing the beard out and my hair (though my hair has been growing for more than six months now) in an effort to simply change my appearance. i felt it had gone too long looking the same. plus, afte being in the program now for several years, i felt, as i'd been told, that a change is good every once in awhile. so why not go for a longer hair and beard look. as i was told by one of the agents once, "you gotta mess up that purty little face of yours every once in awhile." (he was a southern boy). and so i did. for several weeks, anyway.

at first it looked as if my razor and i had gotten intoa fight and it refused to have anything to do with me. then it started filling out my face. i figure in another week, i'd be bona fide backwoods grizzly adams. or at least his teenage brother.

but i've encountered several issues that came up during this time. first my mom called and said she'd like a family portrait, especially now that my dad is sick and now that my sister will be giving birth. i thought it was a good idea, too. however, i was just getting into the beard and didn't know how she'd react to it, looking like a scruffy bastard in the picture. but, i figured they'd have to get over it some way or another.

but then dawn expressed dislike for the beard. she's never liked facial hair on me and cringes when i go more than a few days with stubble on my hair, saying it hurts her face when we kiss. so i knew going into this that she'd hate it.

i went ahead with it and she'd been patient with it. but i noticed that yes she'd stopped kissing me pretty much. we talked and she expresed that she supports anything i do but couldn't get into the beard. so she was torn between supporting me with growing it out and being reluctant to kiss me because it pricked at her face like needles, as she said.

so faced with that decision, i decided to shave it off. the alternative would be never kissing dawn. and i wouldnt' want that. plus, i could never really do something she had reservations about me doing.

i love my wife, so id' do it. plus, if she did something like stopped shaving her legs, i'd definitely express my own distaste.

so now it's back to the drawing board with my change. i am unsure what direction to take with my appearance. should i have off my head completely and get a chris daughtry look? should i pierce my nose, lip and eyebrow? should i somehow scar my face, since a scar is something that would definitely set me apart and make a diffeence in my appearance? should i wear an eye patch?

so far i've been quite successful at evading any characters from my past. i think i'll just sleep on this one for now.