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Archive for January, 2005

Ocean’s Twelve

Posted by BenSpark on January 29, 2005

Last night Allison and I went with Allison’s friend Jenn to see Ocean’s Twelve at the Franklin Zeotrope Theatre. It was a good movie, much better than I expected it to be. I really didn’t have great expectations for it but it was good.

Before the theatre we went to Casper’s Bar & Grill in Franklin (Formerly Goodfellas) for dinner. You gotta love the Entertainment Book for its savings. Casper’s was one of the platinum dining locations so we could get up to $13.00 off our bill. For a $20 book of coupons that is pretty good. Casper’s was a pretty typical little local restaurant with American fare on the menu. Allison had a great pizza and I had surf and turf and Jenn had a burger. There was something going on in the kitchen because the food took a long time but it was tasty and we had plenty of time to get to the movie.

The Franklin Zeotrope Theatre is a second run movie theatre in downtown Franklin. The movies are $4.50 and a large popcorn is only $4.00, so much better than Showcase’s outrageous prices. The theatre itself is so steep and the chairs are comfy. Zeotrope is a place you should go to sometime.

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The Dante Club

Posted by BenSpark on January 28, 2005

Another great book on CD from the Library. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl. This was a thriller set in 1865 with historical figures such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell and publisher J. T. Fields. The group is translating Dante’s Divine Comedy at the same time when a series of murders are taking place in Boston. The murders have a very familiar signature to them…

I found this to be a very interesting book and it was great to see some of history’s figures in a fictional account. It is a similar vein to that of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist which featured Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan. Both books are very interesting because of how the characters approached such forensic investigation that is commonplace today but was just being discovered at that time.

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Blue Hills Skiing

Posted by BenSpark on January 28, 2005

Last night I went skiing with Neil, Andy and Neil’s friend Ron. We went to Blue Hills. Its actually not that bad. It is run by Ragged Mountain now. They have 3 runs and it costs $25.00 to night ski, luckily Neil has a 2:1 pass and skiing was only $12.50 which is about what it should cost to go there. There is one double lift and not one matching seat on the whole thing. Andy and I rode up together and on one trip the lift operator told us to wait up and then turned around and held up his hand we move into position because we figured that he meant for us to wait for the people ahead of us and we were like, duh yeah we are waiting. What we didn’t noticed was that the safety bar on the chair directly after the people in front of us was down. Well I noticed it when it slammed into the back of my knees and then the whole lift stopped. Oops. Andy luckily got out of the way, thanks again for alerting me about the chair Andy. All in all a very good night of skiing.

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Which Disney Ride Are You

Posted by BenSpark on January 27, 2005

I am the Disney Railroad. Not sure how I got that one but there you are. This was submitted by Mo, who is the Parking Lot Tram, she is, I verified it.

The Disneyland Railroad
The Disneyland Railroad: A real steam powered train, like the old mighty Santa Fe, on a picturesque route like no other! You take people from the turn of the century to Frontier-era New Orleans, to the bonifide hometown of Mickey Mouse, and into then into the world of the Future, passing through the Grand Canyon, Jungles, Forrests, Fantasyland, and the ancient world of the Dinosaurs along the way. Always on time, you are steady, reliable, orderly, and a practical form of transportation for your passengers in the park. You greet visitors as they enter and say goodbye to them as they leave tonight. You have an eye for old world detail and craftsmenship, even as you represent the industrial age and the spirit of American ingenuity. An old icon of progress, you may not be the fastest ride or as sleek as your Monorail cousin, but you can rest assured that you are just the kind of magical experience that Walt Disney himself liked best.

What Disneyland attraction are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Let me know which one you were in the comments section.

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Napoleon Dynamite Quotes

Posted by BenSpark on January 26, 2005

Okay some of you may not be on the Napoleon Dynamite train yet but believe you, me, its a wicked sweet movie. And it is insanely quotable. Check out this site.

Napoleon Dynamite Quotes

This was submitted to me by Mo, who is insanely quotable as well.

Also Mo sent me this link to this quiz. Take the quiz and let me know in the comments which character you were. Mo was TRISHA, not the flippin Llama Tina. I turned out to be like Kip.

Kip Dynamite

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Movie Trailers

Posted by BenSpark on January 25, 2005

Okay so there are some movies coming out that I am looking forward to. I thought I would share them with you.

The one I am most looking forward too is Sahara. This is a movie that is based on the Clive Cussler Book of the same name. It is book 11 of the Dirk Pitt series of adventures. I sincerely hope that this movie does well because Dirk Pitt is one awesome character that would be great as a movie franchise. The trailer is great and I hope that this means a good movie overall.

The second trailer is for the Fantastic Four movie. It was being filmed in Vancouver while I was working at a site out there. I hope that this also does well, although I am not as excited about this movie.

The Third Trailer is for a Bruce Willis film. The name of the film is Hostage. I found out about this movie while at the airport bookstore in Boston. I saw the book and cover and thought, hey that looks like Bruce Willis, so I picked it up and read the synopsis. Sounds like a suspenseful movie.

The last movie is the Weather Man with Nicholas Cage, it looks like a typical quirky Cage movie. We shall see.


Fantastic Four


The Weather Man

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It’s frickin’ COLD!!

Posted by BenSpark on January 23, 2005

The Northeast is coated in a layer of white that keeps shifting all over. Dad and I cleared off the driveway around 12:00pm and finished around 4:00pm. The driveway is clear now. Here’s some pictures for you to enjoy. Notice that the post right before this one was from SUNNY 80 degree California.

Mom is clearing off the cars

Damn! That snow is high!

Clearing a way to the street.

Snow is everywhere.

Let’s see how much of the house we can cover.

Our poor redneck reindeer using its natural camouflaging ability.

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Reagan Library, Airport Rant.

Posted by BenSpark on January 22, 2005

This is an entry that I am making on my IPAQ. I am on my way home from LA in seat 17B of an American Airlines flight. Let me say first off that American Airlines is nothing like Jet Blue. For one thing American Airlines overbooks customers on old crampy buses of the sky. The Jet Blue planes are newer, cleaner and have better, wider seats. Those would really come in handy at this moment. I’m a bit squished and wet (I spilled my drink, first time ever), but luckily my headache is gone.

Today after a great breakfast, Peter and I headed to the Simi Valley to see The Ronald Reagan Library. It was a trip across the LA highways with more cars and lanes that I have ever seen. I have to apologize to Peter for the constant ‘inertia’ of my brake foot. We got to the Ronald Reagan Library around 10:00am. Have you ever seen a kid entering Disney World for the first time? That would be Peter’s reaction at seeing the library. His eyes lit up like a hundred Christmas Trees. And me being the dutiful Sherpa and amateur photographer took to my duties, well, dutifully. Below you can see the pilgrimage’s progress through the library. I have to tell you that, Peter’s enthusiasm was infectious. I was very excited to see the tribute to a man whose life had been such a part of America.

At The Ronald Reagan Library there is a piece of the Berlin wall. You’ll have to ask Peter what it feels like to touch it, though. I was to slow in capturing that Kodak moment. I did get many other photos however (see below). The library has many items of memorabilia. There are also lots of videos and displays of pieces of Reagan’s life.

Whatever your politics, Reagan was a man who earned the respect of a nation. He was steadfast in the face of adversity and his moral compass. He also made himself accountable to himself and the American people for his actions. Maybe I am looking backwards through rose colored glasses but he was certainly a man I admired. One of my favorite Reagan quotes was after he had been shot, he said, “Nancy, I just forgot to duck.” Nothing says more to me about character than how someone faces tragedy, disappointment or failure.

After the tour of the library we hit the gift shop. I got few things for the Republicans I know, plus a thing or two for myself. Peter had a great time in the gift shop. I didn’t know that one could use the value of the rental car for collateral. We both had to get jellybeans, of course. There is a portrait of Ronald Reagan made entirely out of jellybeans hanging in the gift shop. But I noticed that there were no jellybeans in the replica of the Oval Office. It is well known that Reagan had jellybeans in the Oval Office. I was disappointed in the lack of that detail.

So after the gift shop the Clandestine plan for an actual photo of Peter touching the wall did not pan out. It is ironic that a wall is now kept behind a wall.

After we left The Ronald Reagan Library we took to The Ronald Reagan Parkway (CA-118). That was a beautiful drive. Then we hit the 405. The beauty ended there. For the rest of the ride we crawled along in fits and starts. Then we got to the airport and realized that we would be in middle seats. Peter had better luck than I in getting his seat changed. Oh well it wasn’t that bad.

However, being back on the road again reminds me that some people should not fly. So many people take forever to get through security because they are so inept at following simple directions. It floors me that I may miss my flight because Beauford ain’t so good with them there book lernin’ and can’t read a simple sign that has PICTURES on it. There should be a line for folks who can prepare themselves to go through the line quickly and efficiently. That of course won’t happen but it would be nice.

All in all this week was one that was very successful. Thanks very much in part to the guidance and mentoring I’ve been receiving from everyone at work and a special thanks to Peter for taking me along on this trip.

Just landed in Boston’s Logan Airport, the armpit of air travel, and our gate is not ready, sur-FREAKIN’-prise, we are sitting on the tarmac for another 10 minutes. Ah, the efficiency with which this airport is run, it staggers the imagination.

Spirit of Freedom Statue.

Peter with a statue of the president.

Me with the same statue.

Peter at a replica of Reagan’s desk
(No signs to say do not sit.)

Peter and the Berlin Wall.
(Pre Touch, but you can see the intent is there.)

Peter and I at the Berlin Wall exhibit

Jellybean Ron

Reagan’s California Governor campaign vehicle

Oval Office, sans jellybeans.

Reagan’s Country Cafe.

Time to Leave the library

Goodbye Simi Valley

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Comedy at Hermosa Beach

Posted by BenSpark on January 21, 2005

Today I got to demonstrate Blood Bank and Pathology at a hospital in LA. It was surreal. I am going to become the master of the 20 minute Blood Bank demo. Because that is just what I had to do again today. It was crazy. Peter started off the morning and did LIS, Lab and Micro and the lab director was like, “What else you got.” And Peter told him that we had BBK and PTH to do. He then said he had to go to his office to see if there was something that he needed to get done. So we though that he was going to check his schedule and come back. One hour later he blew in with a pathologist in tow and we were off and running. I did pathology first and then it was 3:41PM and the director asked what was left and I said blood bank. He asked if we could be done by 4:00. I said 4:00, sure thing. And I buzzed right through the BBK demo, hitting the highlights and squealing the tires round the corners. It was very interesting.

After we were finished the group headed to Hermosa Beach to Sharkeez for a couple of brews and some food. Uncle Jim swung by and picked me up for the Comedy & Magic Club show. It was a great night of comedy. The headliner was Gabriel Iglesias. He has his own website called But before Gabriel came onstage we got to see the host S. Muhammad (I think it was his name.) He got the crowd warmed up and was a big hit. Then on came Felipe Esparaza. His website is . Everybody that night was very funny. After the show the guys let Jim and I take some pictures with them. Here are some pictures. Gabriel has some amazing talent with his voice, he can do so many impressions. And he was so genuine and happy to hear feedback about the show. You should catch his special on Comedy Central.

Me, S. Mohammed and Jim

Me and Felipe

Jim and Gabriel

Me and Gabriel in front of his orange H2 Hummer.

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On the Road again…

Posted by BenSpark on January 20, 2005

This week I have been back out on the road. I am travelling with Peter for the week. We’ve already been to South Bend, Dallas and now we are in LA. We went from snow to 40 degrees to bright and sunny weather and highs in the 80’s. It has been a cross country whirlwind week and I have really enjoyed it. Although we did get a flight cancelled and got a little lost in Dallas we did catch our LA flight by the skin of our teeth. So things are going well. I even got to demo today. Its a little different than my last job and I like it alot. And tomorrow I’m going to demo again and tomorrow night I’m catching a comedy show with Uncle Jim. On Friday I’ll be going to the Regan library. Pictures to follow.

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