Friday, April 27, 2007

You Might Be a Child of the '80's If...

I was just listening to the Cooper Lawrence Show on the radio (at low volume while reading a chapter about static variables, static methods, and number formatting in Head First Java) when Cooper read off a list of things that might indicate if you were a child of the '80's. I could relate to lot of the things on the list.

Cooper didn't say where she got the list, so I looked it up online. Of course, this is one of those lists that has many different versions, but I think I've found the one that's closest to the one she read.

Anyway, here's the list (as I found it online) with my comments in italics:

You Might Be a Child of the '80's If...

  • You know what a "burnout" is.
    Not positive. Is that from Breakfast Club? I'm possibly the only person on the planet who didn't see it until I went to college and haaaated when I did.

  • You owned/operated a 'Trapper Keeper'
    Oh, of course; new one every year. Always filled with Lamborghini Countach folders.

  • You know what "Psych" means. Unfortunately, yes.

  • Once, while spending hours in the arcade, you actually lined up quarters on the top panel of the game -- to "reserve" your spot.
    Lining up quarters? Probably, but isn't being in an arcade enough of an '80's indicator on its own?

  • You know the profound meaning of "Wax on, Wax off".
    How Mr. Miagi trained Daniel to block punches in Karate Kid.

  • You know that another name for a keyboard is a "Synthesizer".
    Yeah, I guess.

  • You can name at least half of the members of the elite "Brat Pack".
    Not off the top of my head.

  • You know who Tina Yothers is.
    She played Jennifer, the youngest (and later next-to-youngest) child in Family Ties. Then... She fell off the face of the planet. ;)

  • You wanted to be a Goonie. Sort of.

  • You felt ashamed when Rob Lowe got in trouble for sex with minors and videotaping it, because you liked him.
    Uh, no (I think some items on the list are geared toward women).

  • You had top-of-the-line Commodore 64s in your jr. high computer lab. Worse, TRS-80's. But, I had a Commodore *128* at home. :)

  • You know who Max Headroom is.
    Yeap. I even watched his short-lived TV show.

  • You even wore fluorescent, neon if you will, clothing. Uhm, maybe.

  • You could breakdance, or wish you could. Wish, maybe.

  • You wanted to be The Hulk for Halloween.
    Not really. Spider-Man, actually.

  • You Believed that "By the power of Greyskull, you HAD the power!"
    No, I did watch the He-Man cartoon, but I wasn't a freak about it.

  • Partying "like it's 1999" seemed SO far away. Probably.

  • You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye.
    Definitely thought they were awesome. Kept all of them in storage until just recently when I sold them on eBay. Parting with Optimus Prime, Jetfire, Metroplex, Soundwave, the Constructicons, and the Combaticons was not easy. Like selling a piece of childhood (but, I can't help it, Transformers, even out of the box, still sell surprisingly well on eBay).

  • You can, right now, hum to yourself the theme to 'Inspector Gadget'. Yeap.

  • You wanted to be on Star Search. Nooo.

  • You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off.
    Probably; did't pay much attention.

  • You wore a banana clip at some point during your youth, or knew someone who did.
    Uhm, no. Another girl question.

  • You knew what Willis was "talkin' 'bout". Yeap.

  • You HAD to have your MTV.
    As Cooper and her sidekicks stated on the radio, you're a child of the '80's if you remember when MTV played music.

  • You remember when Kramer was on a show called 'Friday's'. Nope.

  • You hold a special place in your heart for "Back to the Future".
    Oh yeah. The third movie is actually my favorite. Whenever it comes on TV, my body and mind become paralyzed, and I simply *must* watch.

  • You know where to go if you "wanna go where everybody knows your name".
    Cheers. I don't think you have to be a child of the '80's to know that one.

  • You thought Molly Ringwald was REALLY cool. Not really.

  • You actually thought "Dirty Dancing" was a REALLY good movie.
    Never saw it; never wanted to.

  • You heard of Garbage Pail Kids.
    Yes. Didn't collect them, but my cousins did. Very gross.

  • You knew "The Artist" when he was humbly called "Prince".
    Sort of. Not much into music in the '80's.

  • You actually saw Ted Danson as the MacDaddy he played "Sam" to be.
    Uhh. "Watchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?!?"

  • You remember when ATARI was a state of the art video game system.
    Yeap. In fact, it's the only one I ever owned. Never did get a Nintendo, Sega, XBOX, or anything else since then. I remember my parents becoming un-characteristicly addicted to the game Asteroids. They probably played even more than I did, to the point that my mom actually got a common '80's affliction--"Atari Thumb".

  • You own(ed) any 'cassette singles'.
    Just a few. Usually better to get the whole album on cassette, and only if you knew at least three of the radio releases were "awesome" or "radical" first.

  • You were led to believe that in the year 2000 we'd all be living on the moon.
    Not necessarily living on the moon, but where's my freakin' flying car?

  • You remember and/or own any of the Care Bear Glass collection from Pizza Hut. Or any other stupid collection they came out with.
    No, but I think I did collect the Shirt Tales stuffed animals (when I was really young). I think they were available via a restaurant; not sure it was Pizza Hut though.

  • Poltergeist freaked you out.
    The bits and pieces I saw did, when my cousins were watching at the beach on a family trip one year. In general, horror movies still freak me out (or anger me if they're just stupid).

  • You carried your lunch to school in a Gremlins or an ET lunchbox.
    Possibly. It was probably Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, or Transformers instead.

  • You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the ONLY female smurf.
    Yeah, that is a good question. What a shallow gene pool. Do you think she was responsible for birthing the entire population of the village? We never did see her pregnant. Maybe Smurfs gestate in the womb very quickly. Weren't all Smurfs adults? I wonder if they were born as adults or if they had accelerated aging. Maybe there were other Smurf villages, and there was one Smurfette per village. But, then where did all the Smurfettes come from? Maybe Smurfs did not gestate inside a Smurfette womb but instead grew in "fibrous husks" like the J'naii, the androgynous race from the Star Trek: The Next Generation fifth season episode "The Outcast". This is all definitely, very worth pondering. Don't you think?

  • You know what a Doozer is. Uhh. "Watchu talkin' 'bout now, Willis?!?"

  • You wore bike shorts underneath a short skirt and felt stylish, or knew someone who did.
    You know, not really. Neither the bike shorts nor the skirt, not in the '80's or ever.

  • You ever had a Swatch Watch.
    Don't think so, but I was always tempted to spend actual money on one of the giant size Swatch Watch wall decorations.

  • You remember when Saturday Night Live was funny.
    I was probably more of an early/mid 1990's SNL watcher. But, I do remember when Benny Hill still came on late night TV. The Benny Hill theme music never ceases to be funny. Speed up almost any video footage and set it to Benny Hill music and it's funny. As long as there's farting and Benny Hill music, comedy will never die.

  • You had Wonder Woman or Superman underoos.
    Wonder Woman, uh, no. Superman, maybe. Batman, far more likely. Spider-Man, very good chance. Robin or Aquaman, I was a kid so I didn't know any better.

  • You know what a "Whammee" is..
    I think it's a reference to the cartoon monsters that stole your winnings and made you lose your turn on the game show Press Your Luck. Is there another kind of Whammee?

If you can identify with at least half of this list then you, my friend, are a "Child of the 80's".
Of course, if you were born in America in the mid '70's to early '80's and your parents didn't keep you under a rock, you really don't need the list to prove it. ;)

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales Available for Pre-Order

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales on DVD is available for pre-order exclusively at The release date is 31 July 2007. They've set the initial cost at a discounted $16.99.

Amazon gives the option of free shipping for orders of $25 or more, so I've put in my order for Babylon 5: The Lost Tales and Babylon 5: Legend of the Rangers (something I never had gotten around to getting until now).

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales contains two stand-alone stories in the Babylon 5 universe. Main cast members of the Babylon 5 and Crusade TV shows returning for The Lost Tales are Bruce Boxleitner as Interstellar Alliance President John Sheridan, Tracy Scoggins as Earthforce Captain Elizabeth Lochley, and Peter Woodward as the Techmoage named Galen.

The DVD became available for pre-order just around a week ago, and already, within a couple days, it rose to the #6 spot on Amazon's best selling DVD list. It's now slipped slightly to #8. However, for the pre-order of a DVD collection of two stories, totally only 75 minutes, based on a low-budget syndicated science fiction show that ended it's fifth and final year on the crappy TNT network around nine years ago, I'd say reaching the top ten best sellers list in its first week is still pretty impressive--especially since its toughest competition includes Oscar-nominated The Queen, blockbuster Casino Royale, Night at the Musem, and the phenomenal documentary series Planet Earth.

Babylon 5 is just that good. It was and still is my favorite TV show. Ever.

Originally, The Lost Tales was to have three stories, but the story about Michael Garibaldi and his nemesis, Psi Cop Alfred Bester (played by Star Trek's Walter Koenig), was held back for the next DVD, which I'm thinking will surely happen now that the pre-orders for this disc have gone so well. Despite repeated success, Warner Bros. tends to be tough on Babylon 5 and always makes it prove itself before moving on to the next thing. I think this DVD has proven itself already.

Pre-order your copy of Babylon 5: The Lost Tales to help it return to the #6 spot or higher.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mike Huckabee on CBS's "Face the Nation" Last Sunday

Now that I've won an iPod in an eBay auction, I've been subscribing to a few more podcasts, including the one for CBS's Sunday morning news show "Face the Nation" hosted by Bob Schieffer. I like Bob Schieffer. Occasionally his voice sounds like gravel in a soda can, but he's a cool old guy who asks good questions, makes insightful comments, and seems overall to be a "straight-shooter."

I remember watching Bob interview former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld one time about a year or two ago. Rumsfeld was being evasive and cryptic and half nuts as usual, and Bob wasn't satisfied with some of his answers. A few times Bob called Rumsfeld on his B.S. Rumsfeld stubbornly "answered" the questions with that squinty, "why-doesn't-anyone-understand-my-craziness" look on his face. Realizing he wasn't going to get a real answer out of Rumsfeld no matter how hard he tried, Bob practically giggled and gave up on the interview. He didn't give up in a defeated kind of way, more like a "this-guy-is-wasting-my-time" kind of way.

Anyway, the show from last Sunday included an interview with Mike Huckabee, one of my currently preferred presidential candidates. The interview went much better than the one with Rumsfeld because both Bob Schieffer and Mike Huckabee are as articulate as they are candid. Unfortunately, Bob focused a lot on campaign funds and with a fair bit of pessimism, considering how low on the totem pole Huckabee is on funds. On the other hand, Bob praised Huckabee for being an interesting, refreshing, alternative candidate. In a way, Bob affirmed that Huckabee is also a worthy candidate, despite the financial challenge. I wish the interview had been longer because Bob only got to ask two questions about the issues, one about Iraq, one about religion.

Unfortunately, the "Share" links from the CBS video viewer force you to sit through a Xerox commercial first (something you don't have to do if you access video by already being in the CBS website), and I found the links directly to the videos to be a bit buggy, so here's the link for the CBS page from which you can access the Mike Huckabee Face the Nation interview (and don't be fooled by the headline at the top--the mention of Romney's misleading hunting statement is only a tiny part of the interview). The video links are in the blue section in the right-side column.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

Take the quiz to see if you're smarter than a fifth grader.

Incredibly enough, I actually got 100% correct out of the 20 questions. So, maybe I'm also smarter than a sixth or seventh grader too. ;)

I'm surprised I got them all right, though. There were several hard ones, including a couple I had to guess at after narrowing down the answers to two possibilities each.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Vote for Maddie

No, Maddie's not running for president. I don't even know Maddie.

I stumbled upon her profile at Facebook while looking at local groups. She is someone nearby in Eden who has entered the Smashbox Model Search 2007, apparently a modeling contest by a cosmetics company.

She's pretty cute and could use your support. If you think she's got a nice look and/or you'd just like to support a local Triad person, click on her photo and throw a vote her way (I reiterate, this is for a cosmetics modeling contest, so don't worry, clicking on the pic won't take you to an adult site or anything like that).


(If anyone explores the Smashbox site and finds another local Triad person or even just another North Carolinian in the contest, leave a comment with the URL of the person's profile or at least the profile ID number.)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Mike Huckabee on The Daily Show

Mike Huckabee, former Republican governor of Arkansas, is one of the lower tier presidential candidates that I like and am wanting to learn more about.

The videos below are parts 1 & 2 of his appearance on The Daily Show. He and Jon mostly talk about Huckabee's book, "From Hope to Higher Ground," (which I own but have not gotten much of a chance to read yet), and no mention is made of running for president, so this appearance must have been before he announced his candidacy.

The interview is pretty good. I like Huckabee. He has a good viewpoint on things and expresses it in an articulate way. Jon challenges him on whether what he says is rhetoric, but Huckabee seems pretty honest to me.

Huckabee is fresh on my mind right now because of an article I found online about him challenging the authenticity of a claim made by Mitt Romney's team regarding Romney's hunting experience. It prompted some clarification on the part of Romney's people, but I have to admit, it's kind of a "softball" challenge.

Anyway, here are two pieces of the Daily Show interview:

Easter Eve in God's Acre

Yesterday, the day before Easter, my family braved the chill and wind to fulfill our yearly ritual of cleaning gravestones and placing flowers on graves of family members buried in God's Acre in Old Salem and the adjacent Salem Cemetary.

Unfortunately, because of the unusual coldsnap this year, some flowers probably died last night, and some were already wilting yesterday. A few people may have even decided to skip flowers this year. And yet, God's Acre is still a beautiful site at Easter anyway.

So, I decided to take a few pictures. You can click on each picture to see a much bigger version.

Lower Section of God's Acre (in Old Salem)

Old Salem is very close to downtown Winston-Salem, so you can see some of the skyline in the background. The white, round-top building is the Wachovia Center. The roundness of the building's top is inspired by an arch, a shape utilitized on many Moravian churches. I'm not sure I've seen it before, but I've read that a marble mosaic in the building's lobby is inspired by the Moravian Star, a prevalent decoration seen during Christmas.

In the background of the photo below, you can see the back of one of the buildings in Old Salem. I believe the rear of the building is an expansion since it looks so new. You can also see a parking lot used by Salem College, which is also located in Old Salem.

Upper Section of God's Acre (much, much older graves)

Salem Cemetary (right next to God's Acre)

In the photo above, you can see how close the public Salem Cemetary is to the Moravian graveyard God's Acre. Moravians use a standard, plain white, rectangular gravestone, and arrange the dead by age and gender. In Salem Cemetary, you'll find gravestones of all different sizes and shapes, including above-ground crypts. There are, however, some Moravians buried in Salem Cemetary, and many of them use the standard Moravian gravestone, including several of my family buried there.

Graves of Family Members

My grandmother, "Mama Reid." She and my grandfather are buried, practically in opposite corners, in the lower section of God's Acre.

My grandfather.

My great great grandmother, buried in the older, upper section of God's Acre.

My great grandmother, "Nana Land." She, my great aunt, my great grand father, and my two great uncles are all buried adjacent to each other in Salem Cemetary. Three out of the five still use the standard Moravian gravestone. My two great uncles have gravestones that look similar but are smaller versions to the standard Moravian stone.

My great aunt, Barbara.

My great grandfather.

My great uncles.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Online April Fools Day Pranks

In the past few years, I haven't seen or heard as many pranks on April Fools Day, especially when it falls on a weekend. However, I'm pretty sure that the following things are just April Fools Day jokes:

1. Odd & Sudden Site Re-Design at (Transformers World) is a site that specializes in Transformers movie news & toy news. But today, their entire site looks different. All old Transformers news, info, links, directories, etc. are all gone, and there are pictures and some blog entries regarding some low-budget looking movie or TV show called TransMorphers. I don't know if TransMorphers is real or something totally made up, but either way, I'm fairly certain such an expansive site would not abandon all their old content on Transformers, the genuine & original article.

2. Transformers Movie "Sneak Peak" at

According to an April 01 enrty at , bloggers John and Doug saw a sneak peak of the upcoming Transformers movie just two hours after arriving in Los Angeles. While it's true the two are temporarily moving from Canada to L.A. soon (if not already), they made no mention of the alleged sneak peak in their live podcast Friday evening. Plus, the blog entry isn't even written by them. The alleged quotes from John are too brief and too vague compared to his usual detailed analysis, and some of the spoilers that he drops sound fake. Who knows, he might end up having the same comments when it actually comes out, but considering it's April Fools Day, I just don't think it's real.

3. Alleged Gilmore Girls Season/Series Finale Script Leaked

An entry at alleges to be spoiling the season finale -- possibly series finale -- of Gilmore Girls. The spoilers are in invisotext and allege that the whole town shows up for Rory's graduation from Yale, that Luke sells the diner to Kirk and moves to New Mexico to be close to his daughter April, and that Lorelai sells her portion of the Dragonfly Inn to Sookie and Michel so that she can re-unite with Christopher. For one thing, I doubt that the whole town would go to Rory's college graduation (only Lorelai, Luke, Sookie, Jackson, and the grandparents went to her high school graduation), I doubt Luke could stand to sell the diner to Kirk (it was probably hard enough selling his dad's boat to Kirk recently), and I think there would be riots in the streets if the series--or even just another season--ended with Lorelai and Christopher together again. Besides, this one is confirmed fake. When you click on the "Read the rest of this entry link," the next page has an April Fools Day graphic in it.