My office computer is haunted.  There are many mornings (or afternoons) when I come into the office and my computer is on.  I make sure to turn my computer off when I leave each night, so somehow it is coming back on before I come back in in the morning/afternoon.

I’ve even noticed this happening while I’m in the office.  I’ll often shut it down only to find that it has restarted itself a few minutes or hours later.  One time my computer actually restarted itself immediately after I shut it down (no, I didn’t accidently hit “restart” instead of “shutdown”).  My officemates have commented on these strange occurances as well, so it’s not just me.

My computer also has a habit of breathing while it is off.  It will occasionally whir to life for a brief moment just so it can emit a quick sigh, and then it returns to its dormancy.

My computer is alive.  This worries me because I am typing this post on it right now, so I assume that it is aware that I know that it is alive.

We all know how this ends people:




Last night I finally got around to watching the most recent episode of my new favorite TV show, Splash.  I’m sure you are just dying to read all about it, so here’s what happened:

The show began with a very over-the-top introduction (mostly a bunch of oddly dressed divers doing syncronized/clustered diving), culminating in a belly flop from the 10 meter platform.  There were a number of syncronized swimming interludes just before commercial breaks throughout the episode as well.

The big news of the episode was that Chuy is out with a broken heal and they had to bring in an alternate, Brandy Chastain.  If you don’t know, Brandy Chastain is a famous American World Cup soccer player (she’s most famous for taking her shirt off after winning the 1999 World Cup).  She flew in a few hours before the show and no one had seen her dive yet.  Apparently she had been training on her own as an alternate just in case another contestant had to leave for whatever reason.

What I didn’t pay attention to in the first episode was the brilliant intro songs each diver gets as they enter the pool area.  Part of the lyrics to Brandy’s was “she used to play soccer, now she’s hitting the water.”  Brilliant.

When interviewed just before her dive by the host who isn’t Joey Lawrence, she said, “I have low expectations.”  That’s the attitude!  She went a bit over on her dive but, as the judges pointed out, she was the first diver in the competition to do a hurdle approach, which is a standard front approach in diving.  She got an overall score of 7 from the judges.  I’m guessing her low score was because she actually attempted a real dive and didn’t have any obvious handicaps to overcome.

After her dive they went to commercial and I saw an ad for the best new TV show, “Bet on Your Baby,” where the creators of the show have toddlers perform simple tasks and the parents of these children then bet on whether they believe their child will be able to perform the task.  Idiocracy is happening people.  This is the world we live in now.

The second diver was Drake Bell, who I’ve never even heard of.  His intro song included the line, ” You should be scared as hell.  I’m gonna ring your bell.”  Again, brilliant.

He actually did a pretty decent dive except for the entrance and got an overall score of 7.75.  He was really the first diver to point their toes and keep their legs together.    One of the judges gave him a 7.5  because he thought he could do better.  Again, it appears as if the judging is not based on what you actually did, but on your potential, which is a terrible way to judge people in a competition like this, in my opinion.

The next diver was Nicole Eggert, from Baywatch.  Just before she was about to dive they repeatedly showed her her pre-dive screw up in which she awkwardly fell off the platform.  She naturally freaked out a little bit after watching that just before she was about to attempt the exact same dive.

She did some sort of hand stand into a dive thing that’s not actually a real dive and got a 7.75 score.  The stated reason for her high score, from both judges, was her courage in getting up there after her earlier flop.  Again, because she got back up on the board, not because she dove well.

The fourth diver was Ndamukong Suh, who everyone called Suh becuase no one wanted to attempt to pronounce his name.  He plays the fooseball for the Detroit Lions.

He did the show’s first inward dive (pike position) with a pretty bad entry.  He got a 6.75.  They gave him a lower score because they though he could do better and because he dove from too low of a board.  Height matters in this competition.

The last diver was Kendra Wilkinson, who is famous for dating Hugh Hefner and having boobs.  She was very open and honest about her fame.  At one point she stated that she wasn’t sure why she is famous and admitted that she doesn’t actually do anything.  She does not get along with Greg Louganis because she has a fear of heights and he seems to think she doesn’t, but pretends to to get attention.  He’s probably right.

She actually did a pretty decent inward dive in the tuck position and got a 7.75.  She was definetely overdramatic about the whole thing.  Her score seems to be because of the fear factor and “what you went through,” according to the judges.

Brandy and Ndamukong were in the bottom two and had to do a dive off to determine who would be leaving.  By the way, these two are the only two professional athletes who dove in this episode.

Then, Joey Lawrence said “do or dive.”  Pure genius.

Brandy did a pretty good inward pike dive from the 3 meter and Ndamukong repeated his earlier inward pike dive, but didn’t really do it any better than the previous attempt.  So they both did the same dive, but Brandy’s was clearly better.

Both the judges admitted that Brandy’s dive was way better but said they saved her from elimination because she had more potential.  The Aussie judge even said that Brandy did better “purely on quality of dive” (which is how judging dives should work in a rational dive-judging world that this show apparently refuses to exist in).

Upon being eliminated Ndamukong left us with these parting words: “It’s time to go to real work.”  He will be missed.

A few of us graduate students in the Religious Studies Department are going up to Minneapolis/St. Paul this weekend to deliver papers at the Upper Midwest American Academy of Religion regional conference.  A number of us did this last year and I’m looking forward to another adventure in the Twin Cities.

We won’t have a lot of free time and we won’t be up there fore very long, but I was wondering if anyone knew of some good restaurants in the area.  Last year we went to a good deli near Luther Seminary (where the conference is being held) for lunch.  For dinner we went to a good Ethiopian restaurant.

This year I’d like to try something different.  Is there a particularly good restaurant we should try?  What is Minneapolis/St. Paul known for?  What’s a good dish to try?  What’s different/stands out?

Suggestions are always appreciated.  I’m always interested in new culinary experiences.

Answer: Yes.  Yes, it is.

There is a blood drive going on right now in the Pappajohn Business Building on the University of Iowa’s campus.  I have class in a few minutes so I can’t make it, but you should if you can.

I was able to stop by their sign up table and get more information so I can donate in the future.  They have a number of drives scheduled for the coming weeks.  Here’s the information they gave me:

DeGowin Blood Center


C250 GH University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Hours of Operation:

  • Mon — 7am to 3:30pm
  • Tues, Wed, Thurs — 11am to 7:30pm
  • Fri — 9am to 5:30pm

If anyone is interested in going to donate with me please let me know.

Finally, here’s a list of what I consider to be the top ten reasons you should donate blood:

  1. To get free cookies.
  2. To get free juice.
  3. To appease our vampire overlords.
  4. To watch someone pass out.
  5. To find out what your blood type is.
  6. To get out of work.
  7. To get a cool looking bandaid.
  8. To get an “I Donated” sticker.
  9. To help people.
  10. To get free cookies.

Honey I Blew Up the Kid

The movie title, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, is a bit misleading because the movie doesn’t deliver on what the title suggests.  Buuuuuuut, what if Honey, I Blew Up the Kid did deliver on what the title seems to be suggesting?  What I mean to say is, what if Rick Moranis’s character actually blew up (exploded) his child?  What would that movie look like?

What actually happens in the film is that Rick Moranis’s device expands or enlarges his kid.  “Blew up” is a bit of a misnomer.  “Blew up” suggests an explosion and destruction of the thing being blown up.  This might be a bit nitpicky, but I believe titles are important as concise, interesting, and accurate representations of the much larger work that the title is meant to represent.  I don’t feel Honey, I Blew Up the Kid accurately reflects what the film is about (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids works just fine).

Anyway, for whatever reason, a few weeks ago my officemate and I somehow got on the topic of what the movie, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, would look like if it was actually about what happens when Rick Moranis blows up his own child.  It wouldn’t be a comedy, that’s for sure.  Actually, it would be a dramatic trilogy.

The basic outline is this:

  • Film 1: Due to general incompetence and bad parenting, Rick Moranis’s character takes his 2 year old son to his lab where he is conducting experiments on a devise which has previously been shown to be dangerous and unpredictable.  Unsupervised children should never be left alone around this devise.  But, of course, this is exactly what happens.  Rick Moranis’s character is being absentminded and irresponsible, so naturally his curious toddler gets bored and wants to play with stuff.  He comes across the previously mentioned dangerous devise and manages to blow himself up while playing with it.  Rick Moranis’s character is obviously devastated.  He is arrested and charged with something like neglegent homicide.  The rest of the film unfolds as a courtroom drama where Rick Moranis’s character’s parenting is put on trial as well as science in general.  Throughout the trial Rick Moranis’s character’s family remains supportive of him for some reason.  There’s a lot of tearful moments and great courtroom arguments with zingy oneliners and dramatic music building to the climactic verdict.  We get some close ups of peoples’ nervous faces as the verdict is read.  Guilty!  End of film one.
  • Film 2: After his conviction Rick Moranis’s character is sent to prison.  The rest of the film unfolds as a classic prison drama…sort of.  There’s some gang of bad guys who are out to get him for some reason.  He struggles to get along and is a loner until he meets a wise old inmate (Morgan Freeman) who helps him navigate the complex world of prison life.  He struggles with inner conflicts and social dilemmas.  But, instead of overcoming his inner demons and problems with personal relationships he spirals into madness and despair.  This is not an inspirational story.  Think The Shawshank Redemption without the redemption.  Prison has clearly changed him for the worse.  He develops some crazy beliefs about how the world should work and either converts to some extreme religious worldview or develops his own (haven’t figured out the details on this yet).  His downward spiral affects his relationship with his family and they slowly disassociate from him because they feel they don’t know him anymore.  The film ends with his release from prison.
  • Film 3: This film is basically American History X but possibly more depressing and slightly crazier.

Hollywood, we will be waiting for your call.  You’re welcome.

Sarah and I (but mostly Sarah) have been trying to come up with a first dance song for our wedding.  We She came up with a number of possibilities, some serious, some not so serious.  I think she’s more concerned about it than I am.  She’s certainly spent more time and effort thinking about it.

Thus far we both like “The Air That I Breath,” by The Hollies.  However, we have not yet come to a decision and are very open to suggestions.  For those of you who are engaged, what song(s) are you considering?  For those of you who are married, what was your first dance song?  For everyone in general, what song(s) do you recommend?

Just so you know, I can’t stand country music, so don’t even bother suggesting a country song.  It will be rejected.

What other songs should we have the DJ play throughout the reception?  What are the classics?  What are some good new songs that might go over well?  What do you wish had been played at a wedding (your or otherwise) that you attended?  What songs do not work well?

Remember, the music needs to be something people can dance to.  No heavy metal or rap music.

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