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Your Momma’s So Skinny

Who doesn’t remember the “Your momma’s so skinny…” and the “Your momma’s so fat…” jokes from grade school? Some of them were funny, some of them not so much. (I’m pretty sure there might be some political correctness issues here but indulge me.) I’ve been thinking of one of them in particular as of late:

Your momma’s so skinny she has to run around in the shower just to get wet.

Why would I be remembering this particular joke from childhood? This story actually starts when we last moved. For the first few weeks I would never have enough hot water to take even a quick shower. Also the pipes squeal something terrible and the water pressure wasn’t the greatest. The hot water issue we were able to take care of: one of the elements in our hot water heater was out. So we were left with squealing pipes and less than desirable water pressure, though it was almost decent.

Except for the past few weeks. Some days I get lucky and I have amazing water pressure, but those days are becoming fewer and farther between. Now it seems that I’m lucky to get enough water pressure for the water to even get to the shower head. It has gotten so bad that I now have to ‘run around in the shower to get wet.’ Not because I’m the size of a toothpick but because the water barely makes it a foot past the shower wall, if that much. Good water pressure in the shower is definitely at the top of my ‘want’ list for a new apartment.


One day my co-workers and I were talking about movies. This has happened several times and usually derails us for some time. A month or so back the topic was movies we hadn’t seen yet. I mentioned that I hadn’t seen Batman Begins yet, even though I’ve intended to and have heard it’s a great movie. I was assured that yes, it’s a good movie and yes, I need to watch it. I made note of it but still never bothered to rent it. Then The Dark Knight came out in theaters. Well, before it ever came out there was the hype. I can’t remember the last movie that had this much hype, if any. I wanted to know if the movie really was up to the hype. (Sue me, I have a rather strong curious streak.) There was, however, a problem. The Dark Knight is a sequel. What fun is watching a sequel before you’ve ever seen the movie that came before it?

So Thursday night we rented Batman Begins. And I really enjoyed it. The movie was very visually appealing. The villains were well portrayed, Scarecrow in particular. I’m not familiar with all of the ins and outs of Batman lore but Scarecrow was, well, scary. Mind you, I usually can’t abide any type of horror or overly suspenseful movie. I should also say that when Ducard was first introduced I kept thinking “Where do I know that voice from? What else has he been in?” because I didn’t recognize his face. I resisted the urge to look it up until after the movie and wasn’t very surprised to learn that the familiarity was due to that character being played by Liam Neeson, the voice of Aslan in the most recent Narnia movies. Batman and his gadgets were impressive as expected. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire, after all. I did find it amusing how Batman disguised his voice to keep from being recognized.

Renting the movie was, of course, a ploy to get Michael to go see The Dark Knight with me. So we did just that Friday evening. I’m not going to write a full blown review; you can find countless reviews online. My first thought when entering the theater (we were a tad late so the previews were already over) was that it was entirely too loud. I know, I know: If it’s too loud, you’re too old. Whatever; I felt that the volume was actually distracting from the movie itself. Also distracting were the occupants of the row behind us. When we sat down I knew that there were small children behind us. And, as small children do, they talked. At some point (it may or may not have been the people directly behind us), someone’s cell phone kept going off. Added to the chatter it became really annoying.

What was most annoying was knowing that these children who were probably around 6 and 10, if not younger, had been brought to see this movie by a ‘responsible adult’ or two. The Joker’s appearance alone is rather frightful, not to mention his maniacal and sadistic behavior and countless violent acts. So many people are shot, blown up, or knifed to death. Don’t get me started on the disappearing pencil trick. All of this doesn’t even touch the violence performed by other characters, including Batman himself. What were these people thinking? That a PG-13 movie is going to be equivalent to the Batman cartoons shown on TV and so is suitable for a 6 year old? That it really doesn’t matter if their child sees a man who has had half his face burned off, exposing bone and muscle? That what these children see in the theater isn’t going to affect them in any way whatsoever?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not part of the crowd that will blame movies and video games for every act of violence done by kids. My point is that kids don’t always know the difference between fantasy and reality. Until they have the ability to recognize that difference and to know that it is “just a movie” they shouldn’t be allowed to watch things like this. But I can’t blame the kids. They couldn’t drive themselves to the theater and buy the ticket. One might be tempted to blame the media; I really don’t agree with trailers for PG-13 movies being shown on kid-oriented channels. However, I don’t think the full blame lies there. It is the parent (or guardian) who I blame. They are ultimately in charge of what their children see. It all starts at home.

Was The Dark Knight a good movie? Yes. Maybe a bit too violent for my taste, but still good. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight a second time. Do I recommend taking children to see this movie? Absolutely not. I wrote this post earlier today and have been thinking about it for a while. My opinion hasn’t changed. I’ve thought before that the lines of what is age appropriate have been moving in the wrong direction. I would expound further but I’ll save that for another day.

My Computer: Part III

On July 13th I found out that my replacement motherboard was faulty. Yes, the one that was sent as a replacement for the first one.

While my other computer is ‘in the shop’ I’ve been trying to work on my laptop some. I really want to avoid formatting it because that just seems like too much of a hassle, particularly without my other computer there for easy file transfer or even an external hard drive. So far I’ve defragmented it and used the Disk Cleanup utility. I remember a while back it seemed like my hard drive had filled up overnight. Mind you, the thing has a 40GB hard drive. I didn’t have many large files on it or anything. I got rid of some things but could never figure out where all the extra stuff was coming from. I found out when I ran disk defragmenter. It had found 2 files that it couldn’t process. Both were in \WINDOWS\Temp and both had to do with Lord of the Rings Online. When that game first came out I signed up to be a beta player and actually got in. Sadly my poor little laptop didn’t have the hardware to run in. Anyway, both of these files were ridiculously large: over 400MB each though I can’t remember exactly. So I took a little snoop through the Temp file and found similar files. Since I’ve had the game uninstalled for ages I decided to delete all of them. In doing so I freed up over 4GB of space. These weren’t game files, mind you. These were files that had been left sitting in the Temp folder. I really don’t get it. Shouldn’t Windows periodically clean out the temporary folder if the files stored there are, well, temporary?

Today I finally heard some news. The second replacement motherboard arrived. However, it arrived without a mount for the cooling fan for the CPU. Michael’s friend has since contacted the company and a mount is supposedly on its way. I don’t suppose if he knows if this new motherboard will resolve the issues or not because, well… it’s missing pieces. Such is the story of my life.

CMS Ramblings

WordPress 2.6 was released a few days ago. I’ve upgraded my installations for echodrift and 365 but I have other installations for projects that are rather dormant. It’s made me think: why do I have to upgrade each and every installation? Wouldn’t it be much more efficient for me to be able to manage each of these with a single CMS? To my knowledge that’s not a feature that WordPress has (but it can run multiple installations from one database; that’s not what I’m looking for). And so I began to search for a CMS that would do just that. One installation, multiple sites.

I’ve recently learned about Expression Engine. However, you have to purchase a license to use their multiple site manager. I’m not quite ready to dish out $100 for a non-commercial license, much less $250 if I ever decided I did want to do something commercial. -chop chop- It’s gone from the list.

Several years back I ran a few sites using Movable Type. I decided to look them up and see what’s changed since then. While it does support multiple blogs/sites it’s still Perl based. Since I’d prefer to work with PHP (aka I’m too lazy not motivated to learn Perl right now) -chop chop- It’s also out.

There were others. Many others, actually. I had no idea that there were so many different CMSs out there. Then I found out that Drupal can handle multiple sites with one installation. After looking at more of the features and some of the available modules (akin to plugins for WordPress) I thought hey, this might not be so bad. I found that I could install it from my CPanel so voila. I have it installed. I spent a bit of time yesterday making test posts and attempted to familiarize myself with the system. Then I decided it was time to start reading the docs about creating my own theme. Then I thought… what have I done. It seems to be slightly more complex than theming for WordPress. At least, to me it does. I know that it’s going to take more than a day to learn how to configure everything so we’ll see. I don’t know enough about it yet to make the commitment to change everything over but I’m hopeful. Besides, I’ve been needing a reason to learn something new for a while. It seems that I get bored when I don’t.

The Perfect Zombie Town

This weekend Michael and I went back to visit my family in VA. One town that we pass through is memorable for several reasons, but mostly because Michael insists that it is the perfect zombie town.

When he first said this I just laughed. But then he started listing all of the things that made it a perfect zombie town. First off are the gates. Each end of town that we pass through has large flood gates. Some time back a flood hit the city and apparently caused a lot of damage. The gates are part of the measures they’ve taken to prevent that from happening again. There’s also a large wall along the side of the road. All perfect elements to control a zombie outbreak. On one end of town there’s a hospital. Michael says it’s the perfect place for a basement laboratory for a mad scientist to create the virus that will turn the town’s inhabitants into zombies. Or, if it’s not actual people that are turned into zombies, it’s the corpses from the rather large graveyard that is right next to the hospital. Once again, a perfect location. Add to this to the fact that the town is out in the middle of the country and it becomes the perfect zombie town.

In more personal news my right hand has been bothering me quite a lot lately. I thought a few days away from a computer while visiting family would help alleviate some of the problems but that doesn’t seem to be the case. For now I’ll be limiting my computer usage to see if it just needs more time off. Maybe I just need a different mouse as my hand doesn’t fit well with the one I have at home or the one I use at work.

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