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December 31, 2004

Great Mash-up

Please go listen to Crazy Little Fool *right now*.

It's an amazing piece of work from Go Home Productions

Posted by aellis at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2004

Christmas CD

This is the label that I put on my annual Xmas CD.

XMAS2004CDLabel.jpg

Don't know if you can make out all the pictures. To see the originals, go to the Scared of Santa photo gallery.

Posted by aellis at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

Mid-Life Crisis

Part 1 in a series designed to catch up from the last time I updated the old journal.

I turned 40 in July of 2003. Blah blah blah. 40: the magic number that everyone gets so concerned about. People on the downside of 40 see it coming at them faster and faster, while people on the other side see it receding too quickly into the distance.

I never really cared that much about it. I didn't care much about 30 and 10 years later (imagine that) I didn't care much when I turned 40. But one of the things about turning 40 is that you are generally in a much better place financially than you were when you were 30 or younger. And you are (generally speaking again) still young enough to enjoy that finacial status a little more recklessly than you are when retirement approaches and the various threats of nursing homes, eating dog food and pauper's graves loom.

There are stereotypical ways for a man to act out a mid-life crisis. These ways include: leaving your wife for a young, blond, airhead, buying a really expensive sports car (a red one, no doubt), chucking the whole urban/suburban grind and running off to some tropical locale to run a fishing boat or paint sunsets.

But I didn't really want to do any of those things. I was (and am) pretty damn happy with a hot, intelligent, brunette. I like my big, black truck. And I don't like to fish. So what's a guy to do?

I bought a really nice guitar.

LesPaul01.jpg

LesPaul02.jpg

Yep, a black Gibson Les Paul Standard. Now I don't really play the guitar (although I've gotten much better since buying it). I can noodle around on the guitar a little bit, but why should a little thing like not really being able to play stop me from buying a really expensive guitar? Answer: It shouldn't.

I've always wanted a Les Paul. I know there are those of you out there who swear allegience to the Fender brand (Dave). But I had the Les Paul imprinted on my DNA at an early age. The first electric guitar I ever held - at the age of 14 or 15 - was a Ultravox(?) copy of a Les Paul. It was black. Around the same time, the popular band in my junior high was KISS. Ace Frehley played a Les Paul. A smoking one at that. (Note: I'm not using any cool, hip lingo here. He actually had a Les Paul that had a fake pickup on the front. Every night, during one of his extended solos, he would trigger a smoke bomb in the fake pickup and smoke would pour out of the guitar.) The real defining factor was that my first true love had a major crush on Peter Frampton. Who. Played. A. Black. Les. Paul. Sensing a pattern here? Apparently, if the girl you were crazy about was crazy about a guy who plays a certain type of guitar, that kinda thing sticks with you subconsciously through the years.

It's been a little less than year since I've gotten the guitar. And I'm happy to say that I've been getting better all the time. Not great. Just.... better.

Posted by aellis at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2004

Christmas Aftermath

ThreeFreaks.jpg

Christmas has come and gone in the Ellis household. We are slowly recovering.

I think we may have spoiled the kids a bit this year. At least the boys. We went a little crazy this year and bought the boys some instruments. Jake has been talking about playing the drums while Bobby has been interested in playing the guitar. And we were dopey enought to enable them.

BobbyGuitar01.jpg

BobbyGuitar02.jpg

JakeGuitar01.jpg

BoysBand01.jpg

BoysBand02.jpg

Stockings.jpg

Posted by aellis at 03:21 PM | Comments (1)

December 20, 2004

Firefox gaining market share

This New York Times article (may require login) talks about how the Firefox browser is steadily gaining ground in the Browser Wars Part II.

I'm not one of those computer guys who kill Microsoft every chance they get. But I'm not a staunch supporter either. In this case, Firefox is just so much better than Internet Explorer it's not even funny. I've been using it since it came out and I'm seriously thinking about installing it on all the company's computers. I'm so tired of cleaning out viruses (virii?) and worms.

Please. Give Firefox a try. You'll never go back.

Posted by aellis at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2004

I Got Nuthin'

Ok, I've got nothing interesting to say today. Today was a simple, stay-at-home, do nothing kind of day. This weekend is a call weekend. And do nothing kinds of days are usually what happens on call weekends.

For those of you who haven't remembered all the lingo from a year and a half ago, a call weekend is when Claudine is on call for her practice. So if a baby decides that it wants to come out of its mommy during this weekend, Claudine goes to the hosptial and gets that baby out. Of course, call weekend also means she has to respond to all sorts of OB/GYN calls. Theoretically, a patient shouldn't be calling the doctor off hours unless it is AN EMERGENCY. But theory goes right out the window most times. Claudine has been called at all hours of the night with all sorts of assorted "emergencies". She's too nice as far as I can tell. If a woman made my beeper go off in the middle of the night to ask questions about her constipation, I would simply hang up.

But call weekend means that Claudine can't stray too far from the hospital. And if we go anywhere as a family, it means we need to take two cars.

Posted by aellis at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2004

Getting back up to speed

I've been familiarizing myself with all the things that Movable Type can and can't do. And as you can tell, I've gone above and beyond in creating a remarkable graphic experience for visitors to the site. Hmmm, blue and grey... Ok, so I haven't done too much with the whole "graphics" thing yet.

It's kind of weird giving up on the old format. I mean, I killed myself to get those graphics and formats just right. But no matter what, I never thought it looked as good as any of the other sites I visited. And I visited A LOT of other sites. I mean, it was either that or actually get work done. Anyway, I'm coming to realize that no matter what I could have accomplished in the way of web design, I would have never been satisfied. I think that's just a problem I have.

I'm going to try to make a concerted effort to *not* have that problem here in the blog world. I need to get away from the temptation of fiddling with the design and the colors and the graphics and the fonts and the.... see? There are so many things that I could find to derail my actual posting of entries. And let's face it... no one really comes to a website for the design. People come for the content. Although this page outlines this point much better than I have.

Posted by aellis at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)