Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Girls, Girls, Girls

After watching the girls on Idol tonight, I have come to the conclusion that the six that make the finals will be the following:

1. Melinda Doolittle
2. Lakisha Jones
3. Jordin Sparks
4. Sabrina Sloan
5. Stephanie Edwards
6. Gina Glocksen

What's a shame is that 5 of those 6 could have won the whole competition in previous seasons. I truly think the final four in the competition will be the first four in that list. No guys.

Who's going home this week? Antonella and Alaina. Next week, Leslie and Nicole. I feel sorry for Leslie, because there is absolutely nothing she can do to please the judges because the rest are so good. Gina's been surprisingly strong, and I chalk this up to her studying up on AI strategy.

Best tonight was Melinda. She knows how to be strong without being loud. That's experience talking. Her years singing backup are paying off for her big-time. She's got grace under pressure that the others don't have.

What is really annoying is that nearly all of the weaker girls are singing too low. You hit lower notes in rehearsals, but when the adrenaline kicks in, your throat tightens up and you lose some of your low-range. 90% of the time when Randy says something is 'pitchy', that's what he means. The flip-side of this is that you can hit high notes better when this happens, so it's better to gamble on a high note that you can't quite reach in rehearsals to come through in crunch time.

My favorite to win it all right now is Melinda. Put that in the envelope and we'll see if it comes true in a couple of months.

This Is More Like It

Your results:
You are Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom
Lex Luthor
Mr. Freeze
The Joker
Dark Phoenix
Green Goblin
Poison Ivy
Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.

Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stuck In Idol

Tonight's Idol Analysis:

Only 10 guys left. My opinion of the field is that we don't have a belly-singer in the bunch. There are at least 6 of the girls that can blow any of these guys off the stage with just one note.

How do they rank after tonight's performances?

1. AJ Tabaldo - The kid makes it look easy. I think he could win, especially if he mixes in some Spanish lyrics once in a while.

2. Blake Lewis - I can't analyze this guy, but I like what he does. A lot.

3. Chris Sligh - His performance of 'Trouble' was better than Taylor's last season. He doesn't make mistakes. Song choices are solid, Vocals are solid as well. Plays to the crowd perfectly. He isn't capable of winning the competition, but he will be around fairly late in the contest, until he has to go head-to-head with a better performer. One of the girls will end up eliminating him.

4. Chris Richardson - He's doing a lot with a little. Nice song choices, but he has limited range and only a so-so voice. He'll last until they do a theme night outside his comfort zone.

5. Phil Stacey - Consistently OK, but weak. Mellow. No pizzazz. Not sure if he'll make the final 12. I can't even remember what he sang tonight.

6. Sundance Head - Got back in his comfort zone tonight, but he doesn't have the powerful voice that he needs to beat out the falsetto boys. If he can be more consistent, he can make the final 12. Personally, I didn't like his version of 'Mustang Sally' tonight, but it was miles ahead of his last 3 performances.

7. Nick Pedro - Everything he sings sounds falsetto. I'm getting tired of it and so is America.

8. Jared Cotter - Technically good, but...boring. I think he's got another week to figure out what it takes or get sent home. I've heard 'Let's Get It On' done better during karaoke shows.

9. Brandon Rogers - Song choice may have just sent him home. Wasn't a good technical performance, either. Only voter sentiment can save him this week. I like the guy, but he's ruining his chances with his song choices. I can't think of anything weaker than an acoustic verison of 'Time After Time'.

10. Sanjaya Malakar - Done. He should have done a Michael Jackson song. Extremely poor song choice tonight with 'Steppin Out With My Baby'. Sang it all monotone in one octave and got softer as the song went on. Borrrrrrring.

At this point, my predictions for the 6 that make the cut:

AJ, Chris, Chris, Blake, Sundance, and Nick.

Monday, February 26, 2007


OK, I'm back to normal now...

Being an IT guy, I read this article today and just about had a fit.


When the group of Raptors crossed over the IDL (International Date Line), multiple computer systems crashed on the planes. Everything from fuel subsystems, to navigation and partial communications were completely taken offline. Numerous attempts were made to "reboot" the systems to no avail.

Luckily for the Raptors, there were no weather issues that day so visibility was not a problem. Also, the Raptors had their refueling tankers as guide dogs to "carry" them back to safety.

Now, the F-22 has been in service for 14 months, officially. This software bug has apparently existed for years of test flights, plus fourteen months of normal use. If I were the USAF, I'd have some hard questions for Lockheed:

3. What sub-contractor wrote the software? (and bring me the head of the programmer!)
4. Why isn't there a manual backup for radar and navigation?

If I were piloting these planes, I think I'd stick one of those rotating compass globes on the dash, just in case.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

AI: The Twelve Guys

I just watched Idol and saw the 12 guys.

I'm not going to go into too much depth at this point of the season, but here are my impressions:

Nobody took any risks, and Simon hated that. I'm sorry to say that Simon is wrong about taking risks at this point in the competition - you just don't do it now. You let the weak ones die and you stay alive until you have to win, instead of not losing. At this point, you just want to not lose. Tonight was all about base hits, not home runs.

1. AJ Tabaldo - Did an easy song perfectly and effortlessly, showing good stage presence.

2. Phil Stacy - Did an easy song quite well in the payoff chorus. Weak in the buildup, though. Wisely milked the "new baby" schtick for sympathy votes. Sucked up too obviously to Simon, though.

3. Chris Sligh - Did a good song nearly perfectly. He's smarter than any other Idol contestant I've ever seen, too. His strategy was very good on his song choice, and he got votes by challenging Simon. This guy must have read my blog from last season.

4. Blake Lewis - Did a perfect job on a good song, but didn't show off any range or stage presence. He's a sleeper.

5. Nick Pedro - Did a decent job of an easy song. He needs to show some depth, or he'll never make it to the top 12. So far, he's Boy-band all the time.

1. Sundance Head - Geez, what was this kid thinking with that song choice? He took a big risk and it killed him. He's gone. After his poor performances in the last 2 weeks, he needed to blend in instead of being foolish. Did he sound good doing that song in rehearsals? Somehow I doubt it.

2. Paul Kim - Did an easy song poorly. Gone. The barefoot schitck works with women, not guys.

The rest were mighty boring.

Looks to me like it's going to be Chris Sligh vs. the Boy-band wannabes this season. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Who Wants to Eat Their Way Through Malaysia?

We're planning on going back to Malaysia for two weeks in August. I'm dieting and plan to lose 70 lbs before then. Then I plan on gaining them all back by eating all that wonderful Malaysian food!

Here are my best reasons for wanting to go back (pictures are not mine):

Rotiboys. These are light, fresh-baked buns topped with coffee cream. The smell is amazing. This is Malaysia's answer to Krispy Kreme.

Roti Canai. Crispy grilled flatbread with curry dipping sauce.

Siew Pao. BBQ pork on the inside of a flaky pastry. The sausage biscuit of Malaysia.

Curry Puffs.

Char Siew. Chinese BBQ Pork. Usually found hanging in a hawker stall.

Nyonya Chicken Curry. Good stuff!

Chili Crabs. You just can't believe how cheap it is to buy crabs over there in restaurants. Shrimp, too.

Char Kway Teow. You can't see the noodles in this picture but they are wide egg noodles, fried.

Beef Rendang. This is beef in coconut red curry.

Nyonya style-dining. Indian dishes served on a banana leaf.

Bak Kut Teh. Slow-simmered short ribs.

Soup with pork meatballs. I like to have wantons in it, too.

Devil's Curry. I haven't had this yet, but it is on the list. It's supposed to be hot.

Hainanese Chicken Rice.

And finally, the mobile cafeterias you find at all the markets.

OK, who wants to go with me?

First Idol Blog of 2007

I've been keeping an eye on Idol so far this season, and I have to say that i am greatly disappointed. Either the producers are deliberately keeping the talented ones off-camera, or everybody that tried out this season is terrible.

They cut it down to 40 last night, and I can't disagree with any of the cuts. If I had my way, they'd send them all home and call for new auditions.

That being said, the best of a bad group comes down to 4 singers:

1. Chris Sligh. He hasn't sung a bad note yet, has good taste in music, and seems to have some genuine talent for arrangements. I just don't see Idol being won by a Meat Loaf/Weird Al novelty, though.

2. Sundance Head. I just read today that this guy is the son of the guy who sang "Treat Her Right" back in the 60's. He's got good pipes, but he got nervous and wobbly. I'd expect better from a legacy. He's also a Meat Loaf type.

3. Jordin Sparks. We didn't get to see her at all last night, and that lends itself to my theory that the good ones are being hidden from us at this point. I read that she moved on to the next round last night.

4. Matt Blake (beat box guy). He's good, but quirky. I can't see him being able to do beat box in the finals if he makes the last cut.

So far, except for Sparks, the girls all stink out loud. The guys are extremely shaky at this point.

How the heck can a record company offer any of these folks a contract? After last season, this one looks like a big joke so far.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm a Dead Man

Okay... so my wife and her friend Fiona are watching the Grammy's. They've been looking forward to it all week and they watched the pre-Grammy show while eating dinner from TV trays. We all watch the Police perform the opening number (that seemed a little rough, by the'd think they'd sound better after rehearsing for a month).

Anyway, I get bored and I start doing our taxes. I run across the Dish Network bill and I decide to look on their site and see if our local channels are available in HD yet. WooHoo! They are! So I call Dish. They tell me that they just launched another satellite and these new HD locals are on that one, so I'll need a new dish installed - for free (SCORE!) - to get them. They can schedule it for Tuesday. Only one slight problem, though. They have to turn off the regular locals in order to add the HD locals to our programming (getting the new dish cost refunded complicated the transaction), and the HD locals won't get turned on until the work order for the new dish is completed. I say OK, I understand. Not realizing what I've done until...

Suddenly, the noise from the living room goes silent.

Ohhhhh.....crap. I'm in serious trouble now. I just turned off the Grammy's in the middle of the show.

I tell the guy 'Dude, don't do it yet! My wife's gonna kill me!'. Too late. The guy is really nice, but he can't undo it.

So at the conclusion of the call, I go upstairs and have to explain what I've done to two irate females. They are trying to figure out how to get the channel to come back. I explain, and try to get the station in on the over the air antenna. I can't. I can get 3 other stations to come in fairly clear, but not the one with the Grammy's.

I am so dead.

Anyway, I go back to doing our taxes and I'm getting a bunch of cash back. That'll pay for the Malaysia trip later in the summer. (SCORE!)

I call my Dad to tell him the good news, and the phone goes dead. I try to call back and get "your device is not registered to make calls on the network". Glitch at our VOIP provider - nice. So I hear Bernie's cell phone ringing and it's Dad calling us back. I take her phone downstairs to talk, and after I get off the phone with Dad, I call Broadvoice to find out what's wrong, and the house phone is suddenly working properly again. Apparently, the glitch was only temporary.

Well, I start surfing the net again, and just a minute ago, Bernie's cell phone rings. I pick it up and she's calling from upstairs frantically searching for her phone, which she thinks she's left somewhere. She stomps downstairs and snatches it from me.

I am sooooooooo dead.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Reaction to Current Events

1. So UNC lost to State. We then go and whip dook at dook. I'll take that trade-off.

2. Butch Davis absolutely shocks the world with his National Signing Day haul of football players. "I told Dickie Baddour that if he wanted a coach to take them to the Peach Bowl, he had the wrong guy." I'm starting to believe it.

3. Anna Nicole Smith. I've got my money on Howard K. Stern killing both her and her son in order to get his hands on $88 million bucks. He's one rigged paternity test away.

4. Bernie's friend Fiona is here from Malaysia. Fio doesn't like pets, but Trouble has completely charmed her, like he does everyone. Bernie is incredulous, even though the same thing happened to her when she first got here.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Well, we couldn't put it off any longer. The couch and chair in the living room were looking like college dorm material, so we went out and bought new furniture today to the tune of about $1600. Thank God for 2 years no interest financing. We take delivery on Tuesday.

Then some drunk guy called my cell phone this evening and shouted something incomprehensible to my voice mail. No idea what that was about.

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl. We're going to watch it (mostly for the commercials) at the 'rents in front of the 65 inch HD and eat wings and chili.

Bernie's friend Fiona will be visiting us this week, all the way from Malaysia. My friend Andy and his wife and baby will also be visiting us over next weekend, all the way from Korea. It's the week for international visitors!

Clicky Web Analytics