Iron Man's House

Yeah, have you seen this movie yet? We saw it a week or two ago. Rather enjoyed the movie, enjoyed tremendously ogling the architecture of Tony Stark's house. I wondered if it was real, and if so, why I've never seen a picture of it, or where it might be.

So this leads to the inevitable internet search.

It seems the house, as you see it perched on Point Dume, is a fabrication. However, it was very reminiscent of John Lautner's Elrod House, many pictures of which you can see here, and which was featured in the Bond film Diamonds are Forever.

And speaking of retro-mod architecture, have you seen the ad for the new CBS series Swingers yet?

Interesting indeed. Besides the somewhat surprising subject matter of the network show, I am looking forward to seeing the architecture and interior design of places on the show. While shows like That 70s Show are good for remembering the pedestrian design pieces of your childhood and mine, I think this new show will be good for seeing some new interpretations of higher end 70's era design.

So, I'm setting the Tivo for that one, beginning sometime in early June. It reminds me of the HBO series that came and went right after The Sopranos went away. Tell Me You Love Me. Lots of naked bodies, not the least of which was Sonya Walger. All sorts of hotness there. Anyway, that short lived series had two architects as its main characters, and they lived in a wonderful uber-modern home where much of the show took place. Eye candy on all sorts of levels.


Conversations about things I don't like...

So, most who know me, know that I am not a big fan of the console game systems, or computer games in general. Keep that little tidbit in your mind as I relate the following conversation. This occurred, I believe, as we were either driving home from Mesquite (with me as a captive audience), or at some other time during the trip (with me as a captive audience).

Her: That Wii Fit thing looks pretty cool. I'm thinking about getting one.

Me: (with a look of incredulity) Are you kidding me? Seriously?

Her: Yeah, I think it looks good, and it has yoga, and monitoring, and calorie count, the whole thing.

Me: But it's a Nintendo GAME. You know how thrilled I am about Nintendo Games.

Her: (nonchalantly) Yeah, I know.

Me: ~some random mumbling about postliterate societies, etc.~

Her: Blank Stare (with overtones of YOU'RE A BIT OF A MORON RIGHT NOW.)

Me: (correctly interpreting said overtones) -insert cricket chirping sounds here- If you're going to do that, let's wait at least until the reviews are out, rather than just the marketing....

I thought this was brilliantly reasonable. Plus, I figured if I just ignored the conversation, it may never have actually happened. This worked for a short time.

Fast forward to Monday night when we went to pick up the kid who plays the violin. As she is getting to the car, mom says, YOU WANNA PUT THAT IN THE BACK WITH YOU, OR IN THE TRUNK? Before the sweet child could respond, I blurted, I SAY TRUNK - THAT VIOLIN CASE IS A LETHAL WEAPON IN HER HANDS, AND EVERYTHING WITHIN FOUR FEET OF IT GETS AUTOMATICALLY BEATEN TO DEATH.

And I make a move to open the trunk.

Then mom says - but now you'll see what I bought.

Yeah. You guessed it.

It's been out of the box, but not in my presence.

Now it's Thursday, and I saw this random bit of video on Teh YouToob today:

After watching this, I sent Her an email. It said: TAKE THAT THING BACK TO THE STORE. RIGHT. EFFING. NOW.

I sit there, wondering what name she'll call me, or how soon I'll be served with divorce papers.

A few moments later, I get her response back: I PROMISE I WON'T VIDEO YOU.

My response back to her: Well, I THOUGHT you were gonna say TOO LATE - I ALREADY SWEATED ON IT.

I guess we'll see how it goes from here. I love my wife dearly - and for a million reasons other than the one where she puts up with the thing that is me. So the machine will stay, we'll find a way to play Naked/Drunk Hula-Hoop, and all will be right with the world again. I'll just make sure all video recording devices are nowhere near the vicinity.


Where I've been:

So, been away from the home for a little bit. Doing stuff like this:

yes, mugging for some self-shots. We actually managed to find some relatively nice weather not too far from home over the long weekend. From what we hear, it was much better than anything around here. One of our favorite, and close, places to go is Mesquite, Nevada. Unlike many who visit there, we don't go there to gamble. Didn't even drop a quarter on the pavement.

We go for the golf. Mesquite seems to be turning into a golf vacation destination, with several high quality courses in the area. One of our favorites is Falcon Ridge. The golf is good, the food is good, and the people are way nice. And it didn't even cost an arm or a leg, being barely out of their high season.

Every time we play this course, I spend the first 16 holes trying to make sure that I have something left for the 17th and 18th holes, mentally and physically. The 17th is a par 3 hole that is all sand and green. Needless to say, you are trying for green, and not sand.

This picture doesn't show it very well, but the hole is quite protected from the wind by the houses that are along all sides of the hole. If you ever wanted to know what it feels like to play golf with an audience watching, you need to go there. Anyway, the hole is listed for the men at 170 yards on the scorecard, and on the GPS systems installed in the carts. However, you stand up there, and you would SWEAR it is only 140, at the longest. So there's a mental strain there, wondering how to hit the shot.

For me, I hit a wedge 133, a 9 iron about 145, an 8 iron 155, and a 7 iron 165. This shouldn't be an issue. But remember that I said the hole is quite protected. That's the case until the ball travels above the houses, and hits the wind you never knew was there, but seems to be there every damn time we are there. When we played on Saturday, I chose an 8 iron, thinking there was no way it was playing as long as the yardage said it was. And I hit it into the sand, leaving me a 25 yard sand shot to get up and down. Didn't happen. As we drove away from the green, I was muttering under my breath, and ThatOneWife asked about it - I said, next time we get to that hole, remind me that it's a 7 iron, please. Though I likely left off the "please" part.

So on Sunday, I get to the hole, after birdieing the par 5 16th, and she says to me, remember, this is a 7 iron. I grumbled that I KNEW that, thanks. She chuckles, and I pull out my 7 iron and tee it down so I can pinch it on the turf as it goes away, thinking that I will need some spin to stop the ball, BECAUSE I AM USING TO MUCH CLUB, AND I'M GOING OVER THE GREEN.

So, obviously, my mental game is all jumbled, and I hit the ball off the toe a bit, leaving it online, but short. Like in the sand short. Fun.

Next time I go there, I'm pulling out my 189 yard hybrid, teeing it up, and bouncing it off the back of the house at the back of the green. I can make a par that way, I know it.

Sorry this post isn't for everybody - I know several who are preplexed by the game of golf, and those who play it. On another note, I have the next subject in the occasional series called On My Hard Drive picked out, and some other banality in mind for the next couple of days, along with a special post coming up. So stick around.


On various topics of no great import:

Would you let your daughter date this kid?

Or maybe you would be okay with your son dating this one?

Those are two of our kids, graduating from high school later this month. That's #4 and #5 for those keeping score at home. And yes, they're twins....

On another note, I believe I have finally fixed my driver and 3 wood off the tee. 95% of golfers try really hard to "help" the ball off the tee by trying to lift it off and send it on its way. This is exactly the problem that short-circuits the golf swing in its main principles. The other day we were playing with a retired couple, he was an architect, now retired and he and his wife were now traveling around playing all the golf courses they could find. He was hitting the ball just fine, but was complaining to me about how I was hitting it nice. He then stood up and hit a nice one right down the middle pretty far. I remarked that he had no right be complaining at all. He turned to me and said, "yeah, but I'm swinging all the way from my asshole." We all had a good laugh at that remark. People often tell me that I have one of the smoothest swings they have seen in a very long time.

Sometimes though I get caught trying to "help" the ball too much, and lose my way. And sometimes it's the smallest little things that bring it all back to where it should be. The other day I was watching the golf coverage on TV, and they analyzed a swing and noted how he (I can't even remember who it was) was hitting down to the ball, taking a divot with even his 3 wood. The commentators noted how this is the biggest mistake most golfers make: trying to do too much for the ball in a split second of time. Just drop the club on it and let the club do the rest.

An act of faith for sure. 95% of golfers make that mistake, and it shows in funky swings where you are watching and wonder if you should be calling a paramedic to take care of the dislocated shoulders from swinging so damn hard. For me, the smoother and more controlled I swing, the farther the ball goes. 1% of golfers who get that concept are making money doing it. I sadly, am not. But at least I'm having fun doing it right most of the time.


Robert Mondavi 1913-2008

Shameless Self Promotion

I don't have much for you today, so you'll have to settle for a link farm.

I have just over 600 posts of banality, sprinkled with a healthy dose of inanity. Here you will find a Top Ten list of some of the more memorables, in no particular order. Have fun.

There are 11 - so consider the last one a bonus.

The Hinano Incident

My "I'd Do Her" list - to which I have added Angie Harmon - with the non-renewal of Women's Murder Club, I'll have to go back to watching old Law & Order reruns. Bow-chicka-wacka-wacka-wow-woooow..... Just sayin.

The story of my ear hair

The males for whom I have hair envy

Some thoughts on my most recent wedding anniversary

The group of posts I call "On My Hard Drive"

The story of how I got to be me

The 100 (other) things about me

Thoughts on a Utah state lottery

The story of my two tattoos

The battle between Apple and The Beatles, as told by Dr. Seuss


While we're on the subject...

A couple of years ago, when we finished our little fish pond area, we laid a little stone patio and put an archway leading to the area. Obviously, you don't place an archway without planting something to grow on it. So after a little thought, it was decided that a vine of Wisteria would fit the bill nicely.

Wisteria vines grow these great ponderous flowing blooms of violet colored flowers, which smell spectacular.

Upon inspection of the plant, the tag said "Wisteria (Prolific)".

That would be the understatement of the month, right there. It seemed to start growing the moment I began digging its hole, seemingly anticipating the idea that it would soon find itself planted in the cool dirt there. And no sooner had I dropped it in the hole, it picked right up and began to grow.

This first shot is an afternoon shot of the big flowers.

The second shot is an early evening shot. In our yard, this is the best time of the day, and frankly, we are looking forward to the coming weekend's warm temperatures, because we can sit outside later into the eveing after the sun goes down, enjoying our space. That is, providing the white trash neighbors (Mr. and Mrs. White) can keep their n'er-do-wells under control, and the teeny-rap songs under 100 decibels. I yelled through the fence at them a couple of weeks ago. Scared the poo out of them. If it keeps up, I'm going to go get one of those boat horns in an aerosol can. I imagine that will get some attention. For a while, anyway.


Better late than never:

Some time ago when I posted pictures of our Living room remodel I meant to follow it up with pictures of the kitchen remodel that took place around that time. It's been long enough now that I can't even remember for sure if the kitchen came before the living room, or if the living room was first.

Now that I think about it, the living room was done first because I was a little anal about worker-types draggin crap through the front door to get to the kitchen.

Anyway - I wish I had enough brains on those few days to take some "before" pictures, but I've looked through my iPhoto book and can't see any "kitchen-befores." Nevertheless, here are some "kitchen-afters" for you. He said, as if anyone cared.

So instead of fretting over the fact that there are no before pictures for the kitchen, let me offer you a nice full set of before-during-after photos from the recent bedroom re-do. But first let me explain something. In any normal family, the bedroom you are about to see would be the master bedroom. But not us. The Bedroom Normally Inhabited By The Masters is a bedroom inhabited by two boys. As a result, you will see two beds. Let me make it clear, that in the REAL master bedroom there are NOT two beds.

So, without further ado, then, here are some pictures for you to ogle.

Here are some "before" pictures. Since the room has been inhabited by aliensImeanboys, the walls here were ROTTEN. This is the last room in the house to have received attention, and now I remember WHY. Note the very lovely country fan and the Smurf sheets. Nice touch, I think.

So that's the before... here are some "during" - showing how bad the walls really were:

And here are some from the end of the weekend, when everything was finished.


I've decided to start a new gang.

I've noticed an uptick recently. Yes, I have. I've noticed more punk-driven cars toting images on their back window - it seems there are more of those Air Jordan icons/logos around, along with more of the Nike logos as well.

It's not news that young thugs seem to identify with sports teams or specific players. You've seen the "Raiders" logos out there - along with the associated morons who stick them on their cars, wear the jackets, etc. Along with the Lakers, among several others as well.

My problem with these dorks is that they have probably never played competitive sports, unless you count the weekend break-and-enters, car burglaries, or home invasions. But they're all about the Jordans, or the Raiders, or the Lakers, or the Nuggets, or the Sixers... to which I say WHATEVER.

I've decided to start my own gang in response. But my logo won't be the Air Jordan icon, or the Nike Swoosh, or a team logo. No, it'll be a cartoonish picture of Charles Barkley, and my gang will be for all older men who once thought they were really good at sports, but now are fat, bald, and opinionated, use profane language, and play golf really poorly. That's my gang, and we're going to take back the streets. And this is how we're gong to play golf:


Conversation of the day:

Co-worker: Hey, you wanna go to lunch with us females?

Me: Nah, I'm good, thanks.

Co-worker: It's Sizzler, are you SUUUURE??

Me: Nah, I'm REALLY good, thanks though.

It was as if they thought the location would be a positive factor in my decision making process. Though it did help. Barely escaped with my dignity there.

Don't understand all the hubub: Miley Cyrus

This Miley Cyrus thing has me confused as to what the big deal is. So I took a picture of my own, you know, for some perspective.

Now I understand completely. Eeek.

And it seems I've let myself go just a little bit.



A lovely whimsical vanity:

Current trend-spotting in bathroom designs has the traditional sink cabinet moving from the floor to "floating" on the wall much like the upper cabinets in the kitchen. There are some VERY elegant designs for these, and they seem like good entry-level DIY projects for a weekend warrior.

Here is something I saw today:

From here.

What a bunch of bally-hoo....

So here's a meat-and-potatoes post for all you who crave such things:

First item: What is it about the older British bands feeling a need to try their hand out at some good old USA country music? The Beatles did it, the Rolling Stones, even Elton John did it... the list is long... it's an odd practice, one that intrigues me. On a related note, I was listening to American Routes the other week, and they had Willie Nelson in the studio, just him and his guitar. I am not a lover of country music per se, and I certainly have never counted myself to be a Willie Nelson fan at all. But I can now understand those who are.

Second Item: In the last nine months or so our family has dumped 4 cylinders of combustion engine from our ownership. I went from 8 to 6, and last weekend ThatOneWife set herself up with a nice little Audi, going from 6 to 4. We're happy for the change, and I must say it's nice to look at the average mileage reading and notice it hitting close to 30 MPG.

Speaking of that, the idea of a "Gas Tax Holiday" is just about the lamest thing I have heard in a good long time. It's the result of election season pandering, and it shows Sen Clinton to be the "nothing changes" candidate she is widely regarded as being. Obama is right to not support the measure.

Think about it - the break serves to do two things: first, it rewards us for driving our big cars, and consuming just as much, if not more than we always have, and second, it penalizes those who need the break the most - they are the ones who are driving the 1987 Tercel, with three good tires and one donut-sized spare, to and from work each day, barely getting by. They drive six miles a day and walk to the grocery store. While the folks in the Excursion are packing off from Indianapolis to Disneyland for a week this summer. That's bad crap, and it's bad policy. In the US, we use as much gasoline/oil as the rest of the world COMBINED. Until that changes, we have nothing to complain about.

Third Item: We went to see The Producers last night at the PTC. I have to say that it was about the best thing I've seen there in a good long time, if ever. You need to go see it. I was a little apprehensive at first... one or two of the voices weren't the best - but as things moved along, the voices got warmed up, and it was great. The show is true Mel Brooks Over The Top Comedy, and it was funny - I was surprised at the fact that they didn't really change any of the bawdy references. I would also say that much, if not all, the Jewish humor and jokes were lost on our whitebread audience. It was friggin' funny.

Fourth Item: All this Rev. Jeremiah Wright crap is giving me a headache. The fact that the Repubs are loving the idea that the longer this battle goes on within the Democratic Party, the better it looks for them. We've all heard about democratic voters who will vote for McCain if one or the other of the two Democrats becomes the nominee, and vice versa, we hear about Republican voters who would rather vote for one of the two Democrats before casting a vote for McCain. What the self-professed independents will do is anybody's guess.

But here's the thing, see... everybody is jumping up and down about Reverend Wright and how poisionous his speech is, but from what I can tell, it's essentially this:

He preached that God doesn't like the way America has been treating blacks for the past couple centuries or so. He even went so far as to suggest that the United States hasn't always acted in the best interest of its black citizenry.

HOO-BOY, that's some pretty radical stuff right there.

Yes, the U.S. has made some progress on the civil liberties front - due almost entirely to huge sacrifices made by black civil-rights workers, and no credit can go to the white politicians and conservative opinion writers who, by and large, have strenuously resisted every civil-rights push in history.

But here's the real thing - a short time ago, McCain aggressively courted, and eventually won, the endorsement of Reverend John Hagee. Who's that, you ask? He's a televangelist from Texas (are they from anywhere else?) who runs a church called Cornerstone Church and founded Christians United for Israel (CUFI). CUFI is one of those groups that think the US must take up arms in defense of Israel (there are MANY of these groups - I've written about them before...) Their position is not one motivated out of any political policy agenda other than the simple fact that if this country was founded based on inspiration from God, as everybody likes to claim, then there is no other position to take than to simply take up arms to defend Israel as the only nation in the history of the world that was actually established by God himself.

If you REALLY want to be scared,go here. If you don't want to go there, here's a quote from Hagee:

"The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West... a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ."
Whack-job who got dropped on his head as a baby.

Hagee claims that the end of times is near, and we must take up a position to defend Israel and make peremptory strikes against those who oppose them (Iran being the most prevalent among those in the cross-hairs of their guns). I say that if the end is near, Hagee and his ilk will be its cause, and I can only hope it will be him who is the center of attention at that time - and I don't mean that in a good way either.

The point is this: which of these two lip-flapping, jaw-clacking morons gives you more cause for concern? I'll take problems in the black church over problems in Israel any day of the week, including Sunday.

Fifth Item: Eldorado Texas. Most recent reports state that at least half of the minor girls in state custody either ARE or HAVE had children. Also, they reported yesterday that there is a lot of evidence of physical or emotional abuse of many of the boys that have been interviewed by authorities as well. The news last night stated that, "This broadens significantly the list of potential victims." In fact, what it does, is broaden the list of EFFING PIG SUSPECTS. Here's a little question for you: How many of those EFFING PIG SUSPECTS do you think are still hanging out at the ranch, just waiting for the fuzz to show up again and round em all up like the scum they are? No, many of them have undoubtedly fled the scene, just like they did from Utah when our idiot AG couldn't figure out what to do, and just like their moron leader was doing when he was busted driving around the countryside in an Escalade with his inbred entourage, piles of cash, wigs, and myriad pre-paid cell phones.

It was comical watching the AG on TV the other night defending himself against Harry Reid's comments about how inept Utah was in the same type of case that put Warren Jeffs in prison. Comical I'm tellin' ya. Utah has a long and documented history of ineptitude and tolerance of polygamy, and to stand back and point to a case where you put one dude in jail on a rape charge when that was so obviously only the tip of a very large iceberg is utterly laughable. Yearning For Zion??? Right. How bout Yearning For Some Multiple Young Poon-Tang. That's a little more to the real point, isn't it?

And that, as they say, is that.