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Archive for May, 2006

Rescue Me, Last Comic Standing is back

Posted by BenSpark on May 31, 2006

Last night brought with it the return of Last Comic Standing and Rescue Me.

First up LCS4. The worst thing about LCS4 is the two talent scouts. Ross Mark looked like he had somewhere better to be the whole entire time. He was not enthused about any of the performers and some performers whom they would have known about they clearly pretended not to know. They are talent scouts, you’d think they would have seen a Comedy Central Presents sometime in the last 8 years. Bob Read at least tries to be enthused. I think Ross is pissed that he’s no Simon Cowell, just a pissed off guy who is locked into having to watch a bunch of no talents to find those few that are actually good. His “Get the hell out of here!” is neither funny, ironic nor endearing. At least when Simon insults you he has the accent. I found myself watching the reactions of Ross Mark and wondering why he agreed to do another season, he looked so pathetic. Even when they did the judging at night he was so un-enthused.

Some good points of the show. Buck Star finally got to perform, he didn’t move on but he did get a chance to perform. I knew that he would get a chance to perform and that he would be a little funny. He had to be, he spent another year prepping for this and he followed the guys to every audition. He even has his own IMDB entry.

Gabriel Iglesias made it to the next round, this is a funny guy. It annoyed me that Ross and Bob pretended not to know who he was, they had to have heard of him.

At the Last Comic Standing 4 website you can vote for an online comedian who gets to perform during one of the later episodes. There are five different comedians each week. These are the folks that didn’t make it to the semi finals.

Rescue Me came back tonight. Tommy Gavin continues to screw up his life and those of the people around him. Some very interesting things are happening in the show however. One of the biggest things is Lenny Clark’s tremendous weight loss. Lenny Clark’s character has been in prison since the end of last season where he gunned down the drunk driver that killed Tommy’s son Connor. Rescue Me is like LOST in that when a character dies they end up still having some air time by showing up in Tommy’s hallucinations. This season looks to be just as tumultuous of the previous two. We should be seeing some good, and some tragic things coming our way.

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Photo-A-Day #417 05/30/06

Posted by BenSpark on May 31, 2006

Doing the hippy, hippy shake. Because I work for a great place that gives me some good benefits like health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield I can take advantage of some cool programs. What I am holding is a pedometer that they sent me because I am taking advantage of Fit Blue. What is Fit Blue? Fit Blue is a weight loss program by Blue Cross Blue Shield. They sent me a pedometer, a measuring tape and a food journal. I also have a health coach that I talk with every couple of weeks.

I’ve heard that many people are also doing some weight loss blogs. I’m not going to turn this into that but I will probably try and put up the number of steps I took that day. Since starting the travel thing the airplane seats have gotten tighter, stairs have gotten higher and I’ve missed the gym as few times. Well, I am trying to get back on track and hope that Fit Blue will help out with goals and keeping me honest with myself.

Current goals are walking 45 minutes at least 3 times a week, rollerblading at least twice a week and making better eating decisions while on the road. (Allison takes good care of me at home.)

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Photo-A-Day #414 05/27/06

Posted by BenSpark on May 28, 2006

Today Allison and I were at the Cape. We slept in till 9:00 for the first time since te end of last summer. Being on the Cape is very conducive to good sleep.

We went to see my cousin Nick pitch in his Babe Ruth baseball game. He was doing some very good pitching. After that we had lunch and then went to the beach where we enjoyed a very sunny afternoon and the opportunity to get some reading done. I’m reading Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen and Allison is reading Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr, I’m gonna get her hooked on this series too.

Then we went and visited my Grandparents for a little while. After that we had a backyard BBQ and enjoyed the latest backyard addition, some all weather speakers that Dad picked up and installed under the porch. So we had cheeseburgers and hot dogs to the tunes of Jimmy Buffett.

Then we went for a walk and I saw this umbrella still sitting on the beach at 8:00 at night, thought it was a nice beachy scene. And now we are going to watch National Treasure.

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Photo-A-Day #413 05/26/06

Posted by BenSpark on May 26, 2006

Tonight Allison and I drove to the Cape after work. We went to the house and got our sheet into the wash (It was our first time down for the summer so the sheets needed to be cleaned.) then we turned around and headed over to the Courtyard to have dinner with Neil and Andrea and Andrea’s mom. Dinner was very good. I think we figured out that we’ve had a meal together for each year on Memorial Day weekend for the past couple of years. But a quick check on past blog entries tells me that it wasn’t Memorial Day weekend but I know that we have had a few meals at the Courtyard each year with Neil and Andrea.

After dinner we went to Somerset Creamery for their great ice cream.

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Photo-A-Day #412 05/25/06

Posted by BenSpark on May 26, 2006

tonight Allison and I went for a walk after dinner. Something new we are trying, to stop sitting on the couch watching TV after dinner every night. It’ll be a thing, it is gonna catch on. It is a lot easier to do now that the shows are all over and the nice weather’s back. We watched the LOST season finale last night and can’t wait for next season. A lot of people are getting annoyed with the pacing of the show but I think that it has been done so well. And now next season looks to be filled with all new twists and characters. Some major revelations that occured in the finale, lots of loose ends and some tied up nice and neat. Such a great show.

Anyway when we were out on our walk the grass in certain places looked like crop circles, except they were in a straight line. Can’t say I really delivered with today’s picture. I’m still running on little to no sleep in the past few days. I did take a nap after work and was out like a light till Allison came home.

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Photo-A-Day #411 05/24/06

Posted by BenSpark on May 25, 2006

Our company’s Swans had Cygnets.

From the Plane.

The flight from Salt Lake has been good so far. The movie that was shown was Glory Road. I had forgotten that this was a movie I wanted to see. It was a very powerful movie. Josh Lucas was well cast in this as coach Haskins was very well cast. I am sure that I have seen Josh Lucas in other movies but cannot remember which ones. Now he seems to be everywhere.

I was unable to find Hunting Season by Nevada Barr. I went to every bookstore and news store in Salt Lake airport and only found 2 of Barr’s books. I found her first Anna Pigeon novel, Track of the Cat and the book after Hunting Season, Flashback. So instead I picked up the book, Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen. Carl has written many books, they are funny and interesting. I listened to his book, Tourist Season on CD a while back. It wasn’t until today that I realized that he wrote Hoot and some other kids books. Not that I have read much past chapter 2 because I keep falling back asleep.

I was looking forward to soaking in my spa tub last night after my drive but seeing those bugs squashed any desire to do that. Now I wish I had just sucked it up and grabbed the two bugs and then filled the tub. My quads are so sore. They are sore because of the walk around the hot springs. I pushed myself straight to the top, forgetting about the altitude difference. I had left the water in the car and the damage was done by the time I turned around to come down. So now on the plane I am hurtin’. Dang bugs and their ability to give me uncontrollable itchiness.

The best part of this trip was getting to see two National Parks an picking up 3 states I didn’t have on my map: Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. I’m not sure how many I have left to get but it is under 20.

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Photo-A-Day #410 05/23/06

Posted by BenSpark on May 24, 2006

I should be going to bed but I’ll have to get back up in 2 hours anyway. So I’m going to stay up. Last night I got no sleep because I found two little bugs in my bed (one was on my sheets and the other on the mattress). Oh man I thought that they were bedbugs, real honest to goodness bedbugs, but what I came to find out after some research that these tiny little bugs were not bed bugs. I probably can’t find out what they really were but they skeeved me out so bad that I called the front desk for them to change my room. They moved me to the room next door. The night guy said that they would give me a break on the room but I just got the bill and no changes were made. I’ll be writing a letter. Usually I can get more done with a simple, sternly worded, but nice, letter. But I unfortunately woke up every hour on the hour till I left for the demo. I had checked the bed and the bugs were never on me but I couldn’t shake the feeling that they were. I was thinking about soaking in the whirlpool tub but I noticed a couple of little black flecks and upon closer inspection they were actually two of the same bugs from last night. That is going with the letter too.

Enough about that, Yellowstone was awesome, I mean really I was in awe of what I was seeing. There were buffalo, elk; I even saw a bald eagle and a groundhog. The fact that these animals were so close was also inspiring. I would have really liked to have seen a bear or a wolf but they would most likely have required me to get a high powered set of binoculars or at least a telephoto lens. The landscape had so many different variations. There were mountains, Waterfalls, Forests, Rivers, and then there was this huge Canyon and the Hot Springs. Yellowstone has a very unique landscape. I didn’t even get to see any of the geysers because I ran out of time. As it stood I got out of the park just as the sun was setting.

Today’s photo is of a herd of Buffalo in the Yellowstone National Park. They were making their way from the river to the other side of the road during sunset. I was able to get about 300 yards away. It was amazing.

As I drove through Yellowstone National Park I made a couple more recordings.

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I am now back at the hotel and it is 2:00am mountain time. I have 249 pictures to go through. I am getting them set up to post into their own folders on Kodak. I edited the Grand Teton ones earlier today and they will be in their own folder.

Grand Teton Pictures

Yellowstone Pictures

Photo-A-Day didn’t go up on time today but that is okay since I posted over 100 pictures between today and yesterday’s trips..

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Photo-A-Day #409 05/22/06

Posted by BenSpark on May 23, 2006

FRom the Grand Teton’s National Park.

Written on the Plane

I’m in the air again, headed out to Idaho Falls, ID. I have a brief demo tomorrow and then it is back home for me.

On Friday, Allison’s car had to be towed to the shop. It was making some nasty rumbles and shakes. The car was towed to our Volkswagon dealer to be serviced. That left Allison with no car. I picked her up after work on friday and took her home. Good thing too because the Pike was shut down and it would have taken forever to get home that way. So when we got home I snapped a quick shot of Allison looking forlornly at an empty parking spot. We had just enough time to quickly post the photo and then head out to Amy and Ryan’s.

I just finished Nevada Barr’s book Blood Lure. It was a good read. The next book, Hunting Season seems to be one that we are missing. So I will try and find it while out on the road. I’m headed to Yellowstone when I land in Idaho. It is a 2 1/2 hour ride but should be well worth it to see sights like Old Faithful. I wonder when Anna Pigeon is going to get stationed at Yellowstone. I have the book that comes after Hunting Season, Flashback, but probably won’t read it till after I get Hunting Season. There are 4 books left, Hunting Season, Flashback, High Country and Hard Truth. I’m not sure if there is another in the works yet. I will have to check at Nevada Barr’s website.

So because I am particular about reading books in order I picked up a book from a series I read about 2 years ago. The series is by Laurell K. Hamilton and the main character is vampire hunter, Anita Blake. I’ve read all the books in that series except for the latest one, Micah, I picked up at the Borders at the airport. They did not have Hunting Season.

The flight’s movie was Hoodwinked. That is a pretty funny and clever movie. Allison and I had taken my cousins to see it when it was in the theaters. There is some great one liners that adults can enjoy.

Recorded while riding through the park.

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I took over 100 pictures in the park, these are the ones I consider the best. Enjoy.

Okay I’m done. It is 12:00 pm here. 2:00 am by my internal clock, even though the Vault kicked in about an hour ago and I’m buzzing like a hummingbird, I need to get some sleep.

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Photo-A-Day #407 05/20/06

Posted by BenSpark on May 20, 2006

I went to school long ago. Old School.

Does anyone remember this? This was R.O.B. (The Robotic Operating Buddy). With R.O.B. you could play Gyromite and Stack Up. R.O.B. is a little dusty from little use in the past 17 or so years.

I began moving some of my stuff from the basement up to the “future” office. My sister Tara began moving some of her stuff out of her room in the house and my sister Shelby will be moving her stuff from her old bedroom. And sooner or later Allison and I will be doing some remodeling of the second floor.

I moved a few boxes of Transformers and I moved my box of old Nintendo stuff. Including all of the issues of Nintendo Power magazine (actually I don’t have all the issues just the first ones from way back when, the magazine is still being published.) I’m pretty sure I have all the way back to issue ..1. My first Nintendo had serial ..000001 on it. I kid you not. Unfortunately it ended up dying and I sent it back to get fixed and get a new one. I didn’t know about things like low serial numbers and whatnot at that time.

I picked R.O.B. today because back in the day I was a huge Nintendo fan. I had about 50 games (Actually I still have all of them) and finished every one of them. I was playing X-Box 360 last night with my friend Ryan and man I just can’t play console games anymore. I’m going to have to get back into practice before I have kids because I don’t want to be that adult who can’t figure out simple maneuvers on the game. That would just be lame.

Last night Allison and I went to our friends Amy and Ryan’s house. Alison and Amy went out to dinner and I brought pizza so Ryan and I could watch a movie. We watched Lord of War. A very interesting movie. It was funny in parts, it was sad in parts, it was downright horrifying at other parts. I do like watching Nick Cage work though. I think he’s a very good actor. We just got the Wide Screen edition of National Treasure from the Disney Movie Club the other day. Looking forward to watching that again.

Also we stayed over at Amy and Ryan’s and had a very nice breakfast this morning. Amy made biscuits and gravy. Very tasty. I could have gone for about 10 of them but I was good and had 2 biscuits and a little gravy.

Amy and Ryan have an adorable little boy. He is almost 2 and is beginning to learn to say people’s names. I guess that my name was the first one outside of his parent’s that he was able to say. He said it as Allison and I were walking up to the house. He pointed and said “Drew”. Gotta love kids.

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Photo-A-Day #406 05/19/06

Posted by BenSpark on May 19, 2006

Allison is in the passenger seat looking sad. Heidi (her car) had to be towed to the shop today. We are not sure what is wrong.

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