Fish fry time

Tom had his annual fish fry yesterday - it was a great time! There was some really good food this year, including some excellent halibut from Shelly and really good smoothies made by Courtney. It's so great hanging out with friends!

Today I helped Chris paint the walls of the GAH rehearsal space (Tom helped, too). Believe me, I'm not a fan of manual labor of any sort, but it was fun getting sweaty and spotted with paint and helping out a pal (even though I had to listen to Led Zeppelin).

Why is the weekend so short? It's so sad watching the sun go down on a Sunday night - at least I managed to watch it from my terrace while drinking wine.

Tom's Fish Fry 2002

Tom's annual party with lots of fish, batter, beer, and boiling oil - yummy!

View photos: Tom's Fish Fry 2002


Lots of Last 5

It's a Last 5 bonanza! This morning I finished the complete Last 5 area of WEBmikey by blogging Last 5 Restaurants and Last 5 Games (both of which are painfully out of date). Plus, I've been busy in the other sections, too - there are 5 new CD reviews, a new Movie review, and a new DVD review!

Ghost World : 4 of 5

Ghost World is mesmerizing, funny, haunting, sad, and really enjoyable to watch. I wasn't really familiar with the comic book (though I think I should read it now), but the plot is so simple yet so interesting. Two girls that don't really fit in graduate high school, and one tends toward a path of normalcy, while the other goes further into weirdness - both of these are characters that I can relate to, and both are acted wonderfully. It took me a while to decide what I think about the ending, which is very surreal, but it just carries out the symbolism to it's natural end - I hope Enid is happy now.


The Scorpion King : 2 of 5

I wasn't really impressed with the two Mummy movies, so I hadn't planned on seeing The Scorpion King (which is kind of a prequel) at all, but my pal Ryan was going so I tagged along anyway. It was pretty much what I expected - you have the Rock (with very few lines, thankfully) kicking everyone's ass, along with the beautiful girl, the dim-witted sidekick, and even the scrappy kid stereotypes so nothing is really a surprise. The action was OK, though I did doze off a little. The best laugh was the Harlequin Romance ending (I stole that comment from Ryan)!

Kylie Minogue / Light Years : 5 of 5

After reading a little about my dear Kylie, I had to try her previous CD before Fever, which most everyone agrees is her best. I think they are right - Light Years is incredible. I think what makes it even better than Fever is that it completely embraces the disco sound, right down to the string arrangements! The chord progressions are much more jazzy, too, especially on tracks like So Now Goodbye. There is also a way cool dancing anthem called Your Disco Needs You that's so exciting! The title track has a fun science fiction feel to it, with Kylie thanking us for flying "KM Air".


Old better than new?

It's strange, but I think I can play better DDR on my regular old RedOctane pad than on my new Ignition Pad! My guess is that the springiness of the foam in the Ignition Pad throws off my moves - I tend to use the balls of my feet to jump, and the extra spring throws me off. Oh well, at least I'm still having fun groovin' and movin'.

Yet another newly blogged section - this time it's Last 5 Sites (and I've added a new one for good measure). It's amazing how so many of the sites I listed have changed or just plain went under, but that's the web for you. I also added a new DVD review tonight.

The Very Best of E-Rotic : 3 of 5

I stumbled upon this one while reading DDR sites - as any DDR freak knows, E-Rotic performs quite a few songs in the game, including the famous Oh Nick, Please Not So Quick which cracks everyone up so often. Seeing the bizarre collection this CD had to offer, including full length versions of the DDR songs, I had to give it a try. What can I say? This is Euro-porno-pop - no kidding. Every track is hilarious, especially Help Me, Dr. Dick and Fritz, Love My Tits (you haven't lived until you've heard lyrics like that). Boy oh boy!


Before my recent trip to LA, I checked out quite a few Disneyland sites on the web (mainly to be sure my favorite rides weren't down for rehab). LaughingPlace was by far the best - it has the most up-to-date information (even more concise than the official Disney site), lots of details about the parks, plus tons of fantastic articles and news about everything Disney. I also listen to LaughingPlace radio - they have themed shows with countdowns and requests, too. LaughingPlace is the best!

Visit site: LaughingPlace

Trigun Vol 6 : 4 of 5

A huge departure from the rest of the series! After the climactic battle in Volume 5, this DVD starts off with Vash as a young boy on a ship in outer space! The truth is out - Vash isn't really human, but he spent time with the last of humanity on a "Project Seeds" ship (along with his possible brother - an evil kid named Knives). There is a touching episode about Vash's laying low with a simple family for several months, but the Priest shows up and convinces him to begin protecting people again. Finally, our favorite insurance agents are back on the case, so the series is ready to pick up where it left off.


Yummy strawberries

I love the flavor of strawberries - this evening at the grocery store they were out of strawberry preserves, so I bought some fresh strawberries just for fun. They are really tasty! I also like eating them because they came from California, which makes me think of my childhood there.

There's a newly blogged section for you, Last 5 Arts, complete with two new reviews. As I blogged this section, I realized how many things I've seen that I never bothered to review - how sad. Now that the new WEBmikey will be easier to update, I won't miss anything again (I hope)!

Disco Kandi 4 : 5 of 5

Once more a fantastic set of dance tunes - I don't even remember the song I heard on the web that got me interested in this series, but anything on here could have done it. The entire experience is cool, from the amazing packaging to the fact that these are affordable imports (from England), and of course the great music, which flows so well from one tune into the next (I almost hate to listen to these randomized with iTunes!). I really like the tracks Rise and Flawless (anything with electronic vocals gets me going).


New reviews

A busy start to the week, plus my allergies are kicking my butt! But just for you, there are four new book reviews and a new movie review (all of these are actually old and posted to the past, but I'm finally catching up!).

Disco Kandi 2 : 5 of 5

I happened to hear a cool disco groove on internet radio (I think it was Radio Free Virgin) one day, and caught that it was on a CD called Disco Kandi 4. I had never heard of the series, but I remembered the title, and eventually looked for it at Borders. All they had was Disco Kandi 2, but I bought it anyway because the cover artwork was so cool (in fact the packaging is amazing, full of clever design with a magnetic closure!). Now I am hooked on this series for sure - the tunes are amazing, from funky to retro, and all of them make me want to get off my butt and move!


Ultra Dance 01 : 4 of 5

A fantastic 2-CD set of dance tunes, all righteously mixed together into an excellent progression! I bought this on a whim since I was a fan of the Ultra Chilled set (which I just realized I never reviewed here!) and because the price was right. The first CD is "Main Floor", consisting of pop remixes, which I loved (especially Yes by Amber, by far the sexiest song I've heard in a long time!). The second CD is "Underground", full of more obscure beats, which are great to zone out to, but not as interesting in my opinion. Overall, the collection is extremely iPod-worthy!


Movie reviews

Yay! I managed to get one more section blogged this weekend - Last 5 Movies. I still have a long way to go to finish the entire site, but these past two days have been great (and I still was able to get a little time in the hot tub).

Haiku page

A good way to start a Sunday morning - the Haiku page is now blogged (and now includes two new recent ones). Look for more new pages later today!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame : 4 of 5

There are lots of breakthroughs in this amazing movie: fantastic computer-generated crowd scenes, the first Disney hero with facial hair, plus Disney really tackles some unusual themes - lust, sin, and God, which you don't normally hear sung about (you don't normally see a creepy guy sniff a girl's hair in an animated feature, either). The songs are wonderful and really carry the story like a true musical, and the voice acting is incredible, too. The only reason I can't give Hunchback a 5 is it doesn't make me cry - there are some really tender scenes, but they didn't push me over the edge.


Book reviews

I can't believe it - I've got Last 5 Books blogged, too (and a new book review)! I've had such a good day relaxing, watching DVDs, reading books, and working on WEBmikey. While you're in Last 5, be sure to read two new DVD reviews.


On 183,
Buffet Palace fills the air
With soy aroma

Dinner Club: Chefs Jonathan & Lisa

The second meal of the Dinner Club - Chefs Jonathan & Lisa prepare a hearty dinner eaten by outdoor candlelight!

View photos: Dinner Club 2

Creativity page

Even more blogged sections! Now the Creativity page is up (which used to be the former Showcase and other stand-alone pages), which means all of the major areas of the site (the "top level") use the new design. Now I just have to keep going with all of the sub-sections - the rest of Last 5 will be next!

Dinner Club Two

The second meal of the Dinner Club was last night - Jonathan and Lisa prepared a fantastic meal of pork steaks, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli and carrots, a wonderful salad, with apple cobbler for dessert. We ate it outside by candlelight and had a great time! I'm the next host for a meal in May - what in the world am I going to cook?

Trips page

Wow, it was a ton of work, but I've got the complete Trips page all blogged now, including the extended trip reports and the Japan Journal! (Wouldn't now be a good time for you to re-read Mikey's travel adventures?)

Galaxina : 1 of 5

I remember seeing production stills for this movie in Starlog magazine, thinking "Wow, a science fiction movie with a Playboy playmate!" Well, now that I've seen it, I know I wasn't missing a thing. There's basically nothing redeemable about the movie at all - terrible effects, bad acting, and the plot is just plain boring. Worst of all, there isn't even any provocative action! Generally, I like bad movies for their fun factor, but Galaxina is only a snoozer.

Jedi Apprentice 17: The Only Witness / Jude Watson : 4 of 5

Poor Qui-Gon is grieving throughout this entire story, since the love of his life Tahl was killed in the last story. There are some touching moments - Obi-Wan doesn't know what to do to comfort his master, and in the end, Qui-Gon finds comfort by helping someone who has lost her husband. The story is kind of an "evidence against the Mafia" plot, but without too many twists. It's the great character interaction that makes this book (and the series) shine.


More blogging

I've got the main Yesterday section blogged now, so you can see the combined stuff from the old Experiences page, plus some other former stand-alone pages. And now you can navigate to the Trips page from the proper place (though I still need to get the old trips blogged there)!

Tomorrow I'm planning on resting all day, since I've had stuff going on every night this week, and the same thing is going to happen next week! Hopefully I'll get lots of WEBmikey things done (unless I spend all day at the pool).

Scan it yourself

HEB has replaced their express lanes with new "U-Scan" units - basically you do all the scanning, bagging, and paying right from one station (they have folks walking around to help you if you need ice or something). It's kind of cool how everything is weighed to be sure you aren't stealing anything, and it's pretty easy to use (I just used one 20 minutes ago). Right now it's cool because everyone is afraid to try it, so you can bypass long lines, but eventually I'm afraid it will be just like ATMs - I hate being in line behind someone who pushes about one button a minute.

Dinner Club: Chef Ernesto

The inaugural meeting of the Dinner Club - if you eat, you cook! Chef Ernesto cooks up a fine meal for us at Chris &Eliza's place.

View photos: Dinner Club 1

Sleepy morning

Oh man, it's a sleepy morning after a late Stella gig - we played until 1:30 AM. It was a great show with a fun crowd - the Lounge seems to attract lots of packs of ladies (I saw a group of seven enter all at once)! Now I just have to stay awake today.


QuickTime settings

Well, I know it's obsessive, but I played with QuickTime compression even more and shaved another 2 MB from the Disneyland movie! I also discovered a trick to bump up the contrast so the colors look a little richer. Enjoy!

Beach Boys / Hawthorne, CA : 4 of 5

This is an excellent 2-CD set full of obscure tracks, many never before released. It includes things like excepts from interviews and radio shows, live tunes, plus some complete backing tracks - the music as it was recorded before vocals were added. It's fascinating to hear some of the intricate stuff going on that's usually covered by harmonies! There are also some great tracks that young Brian Wilson made by dubbing with multiple tape recorders so he could harmonize with himself (I used to make tapes like that all the time!).

LA movies

At last, after hours of messing with QuickTime codecs and other settings, I think I have the LA movies at a fairly decent size with reasonable quality. Whew! At least now I know how to compress my future mini-movies for your enjoyment! (By the way, Disney Fun is around 12 MB, and Beaches & Hollywood is under 4 MB.)


Justice League is cool

Justice League is a fantastic show - the more episodes I watch, the more it grows on me. It's really fun to have so many characters in a single show, and now they're bringing back lots of classic villains (I just saw Solomon Grundy!). I also appreciate the little Batman/Wonder Woman romantic innuendo - way cool.


New pages

Hey, I managed to get some new stuff posted! Now you can check out the main Today section - the content is pretty old since I haven't updated that section in a long time, but you can see how the former Random page and my longer essays are now part of one blog. Plus, I've started the Trips page (right now that's the only link that will get you there) so I could post links about my recent LA journey! Be sure to take a look, since there are links to photo albums plus exciting movies (I took lots of little movies with my new Canon PowerShot S40 and then combined them with QuickTime)!

One amazing thing I appreciated during this Disneyland trip was how the "face characters" (characters without masks) play their parts! Alice and the Mad Hatter were all over the park, talking in English accents and making mischeif. And Snow White (who was absolutely gorgeous) was so sweet talking with her admirers. It seems like a huge responsibility to live up to the dreams and wishes of so many little kids, but they do a great job.

Los Angeles, California

Another pilgrimage to Disneyland and more wonderful palm tree time! My pal Dae was an amazing host, and his mom cooked up some huge meals as usual. We managed to take in the breathtaking Getty Center, a full 14 hours at Disneyland, Manhattan and Newport beaches, the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, plus some excellent food at In-N-Out Burger and Pinks. And as always, Marty & Elayne at the Dresden were a blast.

View photos: Disneyland 2002
View photos: Los Angeles Fun


Seven packages

Well, I thought I could get the Trips page ready so I could tell you about LA, but I've just got so much going on this week with band rehearsals and such. Maybe I can get some new stuff finished later in the week (or by the weekend at the latest).

I had seven packages waiting for me at PostNet today! Four of them were PEZ from eBay - I'm looking forward to starting a PEZ blog on here so I can keep you informed of my latest acquisitions (doesn't that sound professional?).

Back from LA

I'm back from my trip to LA with lots of pictures, T-shirts, and great memories! I'll bring you more details as I have time to write (and to convert my Trips page to blogging format). Look for updates soon!


Me and Your Twin

This was a "courtship song" for Helen, combining an idea I had about twins living different lives along with the phrase "Never been to Tucson", which for some reason I thought was cool (in fact, for my only public guitar/singing performance with Hue, we called ourselves "Never Been to Tucson"). The twins idea flowed so well in the lyric that I think this is one of the best songs I've written.

Some say that everyone has a twin somewhere
Living another life
And if that's true, she might see things differently
Wrong could just be right
Walking the streets of a faraway town
Where the sun takes hours to go down
On a warm Arizona night

I've never been to Tucson
But I hear it's a real nice place
I wish I were there
To meet your twin face to face

She'd have the same smile that I keep seeing
Whenever my thoughts run free
She'd have the same lips that kissed me once
That seemed to care for me
Maybe she wouldn't be afraid
Of memories that haven't yet been made
In Arizona she could just be

I've never been to Tucson
But I think I could make the drive
And me and your twin
Might see things eye to eye

She wouldn't think about the future
I wouldn't think about the past
Dreams wouldn't fade in Arizona
Time wouldn't run away so fast

I've never been to Tucson
But I hear it's a real good time
If I were there
Me and your twin would shine

I've never been to Tucson
But I hope to go sometime
If I were there
Maybe your twin would be mine


More rebuilding

Well, I got a good start on rebuilding the Today section of the site, but I don't have enough finished to show to you, my dear audience, and now I have to get some sleep before my early flight to LA. See you next week, WEBmikey fans!

Dinner Club begins

Tonight my pal Ernesto was chef for the first night of Dinner Club, and he made a fantastic meal - Chicken Kiev, Lemon Rice, an excellent chilled bean salad dish and grapes. Now all of us that ate have to cook for everyone else in the future. Hope everyone likes PB&J.

I am now a baby-face Mikey! In other words, I shaved off my beard so I could look as young as I act while I'm at Disneyland on Friday. I am getting super excited about the trip, so I'm listening to Disneyland Radio to get even more hyped (they play obscure things like scream sound effects from the Matterhorn and everything!). Don't expect any WEBmikey updates this weekend - I'll be too busy partying in LA with Dae.

Swimming during lunchtime is just about the best thing ever. Today and yesterday the weather was fantastic and I've got a good glow going on my face (except where the beard used to be).


The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride : 4 of 5

Wow, now this is how a Disney sequel should look! This film was made well before Disney's decision to crank out sequels using their TV animation department, and it certainly shows that the film department knows how to do it right - everything looks great, the action is smooth, and the shading on the characters is perfect! The story is well done, also - the plot involves Scar's widow, Zira, and her attempt to get back at Simba by using her adopted son, who of course falls in love with Simba's daughter. There are some really exciting sequences, and some lovey-dovey stuff, too. Now if only all of the recent sequels looked this good!


New reviews

A couple new DVD reviews in Last 5 - it's so nice to have them on the site as soon as I write them! (You know, it's going to take me months to get the whole site blogged, so just have fun watching it evolve.)

Pics page

More redesign: I've blogged the Pics page, so now it will be easier for me to add links to my eagerly anticipated photo albums (actually, I get more searches for "photos" than anything else). My index finger feels weird from too much trackpadding on the iBook. Time to relax now - stay tuned for more redesign soon!

Visit from Mrs. Johnson

For whatever reason, I didn't like math from 1st through 3rd grade (I don't even know when we started math, but I remember not liking it). I was living in California, attending Albert Schweitzer Elementary, and had a math teacher named Mrs. Johnson. I don't think I liked her very much either, since she was kind of butch and gruff. Anyway, our house was directly next to the soccer field, so I could walk to school in two minutes. One day Mrs. Johnson "followed" me home (maybe she just looked up the address in my records), and soon after I got home, she showed up at our front door! I remember being terrified, but all she did was talk to Mom and tell her that I needed to work harder in math. I think it scared me so much that I loved math from then on, so much that I finished Calculus by the time I was out of high school. Guess I owe it to Mrs. Johnson!
I don't have a picture of the school, so here's Albert Schweitzer himself.

Samurai genius

Samurai Jack is freaking amazing! I've enjoyed it right from the first episode, but I'm even more impressed with it lately. The plots are usually full-on action, but so well choreographed that the excitement never lets up. Each episode is a work of art, too - the backgrounds are simply beautiful. I'm impressed with the pacing, too - the show I watched today had barely three lines of dialogue but it moved along so nicely. I never miss it!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2 : 3 of 5

Unlike the appalling Cinderella 2, this direct-to-DVD sequel does have a wonderful story, and even some great songs. The vocal acting is particularly excellent, with all the major actors returning from the original, plus Jennifer Boobs Hewitt (sorry, that's what I always call her) is fun as Quasi's new girlfriend, and sings a nice sappy closing credits song, too. However, the animation is such a shame, especially considering the great story that was wasted here. Everything is so 2-D that it's practically worse than 70's Hanna Barbara - too bad.

Copy, paste, repeat

I've got the main blog archives up now, and a good number of Last 5 DVD reviews blogged now. Copying and pasting tons of static text into Blogger isn't much fun, but it's well worth it - I love the results! Time to set the clocks ahead and hit the hay.


Big redesign underway

Wow, what happened to WEBmikey? The complete blog-only redesign has begun! Things will be pretty messy for awhile, with old and new style pages living together, plus some weirdness in post ordering. (I'm getting ready to subscribe to BloggerPro so I can reorder posts!) I'm really stoked about how easy it's going to be to work with, though, and I think it looks nice and readable, too. Check out the Last 5 for another example of the new design!

New bass player

Wow, what an amazing gig the Greatest American Heroes had last night! This was our first gig with our new bass player, J. Dock, and he totally kicked out the jam. We had a fun crowd and a great time playing - GAH is finally back!

The WEBmikey redesign is coming along nicely! The site is going to be quite a bit more "plain", but I think it will be clean and cool (and oh what a joy to update!). Maybe the first new stuff will go up this weekend (if the weather stays rainy, that is).


Desktop and DDR

I'm having fun using the new Palm Desktop for Max OS X - in fact, I bought a USB cable so now I can sync my Palm to both my iBook and my old, slow PC (using the cradle). I need to keep the PC synced so I can get my AvantGo content, which is the best reading material when you are stuck somewhere (waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru, and so on). It's fun to be able to download Palm apps using my iBook and sync them right away!

I received my Red Octane Ignition Pad! It's a really amazing dance experience - I passed three Maniac songs on DDR 5th Mix that I had never passed before the first time I tried it out. The arcade layout takes a little getting used to, mainly because it's easy to mis-select things when not dancing, but it's so nice to have a great new pad to continue my addiction.

Speaking of DDR, my music tastes have been leaning heavily to dance lately, and I've discovered the Disco Kandi series! These are super-cool two CD sets of fantastic dance tunes with beautiful, creative packaging - I have sets 2 and 4 so far, and I love them! (My iPod loves them, too.)


I love "golden time"
Sideways sunlight on my face
Nourishing my walk


Sleeping and swimming

Time for bed after a great, long Greatest American Heroes rehearsal. We're ready for our big gig this Friday at the Carousel Lounge!

Yesterday I went for a swim during lunch! It was incredibly refreshing - I'm hoping to take lots of lunchtime dips as the weather gets warmer. I love the smell of chlorine on my skin after a swim. (I also like the smell of some new mulch they're using at my condos - it's super strong and earthy.)