Olympic Commercials

August 17, 2008 at 9:46 pm (Uncategorized)

My hope was that we would see some creative, interesting, and amusing commercials during the Olympics.  Commercials that might move me or ring an emotional note.  So far I’ve been extremely disappointed – there have been very few interesting commercials and one of the best is a Superbowl repeat!

The Visa commercials are ok.  At first I didn’t like the stylized gold tones but it’s grown on me.  I really appreciated that right after Michael Phelps tied/surpassed Mark Spitz’s record win, they played a special commercial just for him.  And I love the one of Nastia Luiken – she looks like a figurine; something designed but in reality she actually can contort her body like that.  And I bet the Visa people were relieved that nothing tragic happened to Morgan Freeman because they would have had to quickly re-voice the commercials.

I love love love the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial, but I loved it when it first debuted at the Superbowl!  Why didn’t Bud create something new and special for the Olympics?  Does the Olympics not reach just as many people, especially as often as they replay the commercial?

Now, one that I just despise – have you seen this new one with a studly guy ironing a dress while making dinner reservations for his six month anniversary?  And then it’s a CAR COMMERCIAL!  When I first saw this, I knew is had to be a play of some sort on female fantasy, but the fact that they went with an automobile just totally lost me.  It should have been something more amusing or female centric.  A fantasy commercial with a studly guy is not going to get me interested in the car.  I’m more likely to remember the cute little VW commercials with the talking Bug.  And then when the commercial cuts to the the guy on his knees scrubbing the toilet, I was like, yeah, I get it, total fantasy, let’s just move on.

They keep playing the Home Depot spot about how they support the Olympians and I really like the music but I just keep thinking “how, exactly to they support the athletes?”  Do they give them flexible time, pay them more for public apperances, or what?  I have a hard time taking a big company’s word that they do good – I want to see proof.

Overall, I’ve been very disappointed.

Just a reminder for those interested – the Dressage Freestyle finals are on Tuesday.  I think they will be on from 5-7 (CST) on Oxygen (check your local listings).  This is my favorite event – it’s where the horses do a dressage routine set to music, so everything is on beat and in sync.  It’s hard to describe, but it’s like a dance and you’ll see the horses do stuff that looks incredibly easy, like flying lead changes with every stride, when in reality that’s impossible.  Impossible for mere mortals.  Can’t even describe how difficult.  To put it in perspective, most horses have a really difficult time doing ONE flying lead change as they are heading into a corner (which helps them shift their balance).  These horses change leads on every stride on a straight line.  It looks like they’re skipping.  Awesome.

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Slipcover Decision and Olympic Update

August 11, 2008 at 5:47 pm (My Daily Life)

Thank you to everyone who offered an opinion about which slipcovers I should get.  I evaluated all the opinions and in the end, decided on these:

With this chair cover:

Yeah, I know…two options that you didn’t even see!  But after more thought, I decided that the chair is in good enough condition to withstand a stretch fabric, which meant I could go with the patterned loveseat, of which I have a swatch and am happy with.  Additionally, these two fabrics will look nice together, both are of a similar level of casualness.  Thanks!

Now, for a few brief thoughts about the opening weekend of the Olympics.  Of course I stayed home, glued to the opening ceremonies while Tom when to yet another car show.  He arrived home about the half-way point of the artistic portion.  I had very, very high expectations for the ceremonies.  This is a country that is used to forcing their citizens to participate in things and this is a country full of citizens who aren’t going to complain about the endless hours needed to practice, or their dehydration or fatigue.  And China has so much history – I was sure it wouldn’t be a cheesy re-enactment of the covered wagons making their way to Utah a mere 200 years ago.

While I don’t particularly care for NBC carrying everything on a tape delay, I really appreciated the China Analyst because without him, I wouldn’t have understood the deep symbolic meaning behind many of the numbers or the cultural significance of certain things.  His explanations were fascinating and really helped tell the story.

And I was not disappointed.  I think I can fairly say it was the most spectacular live-event I’ve ever seen, and quite possibly ever will see.  From the moment it opened with 2008 drummers, to the number depicting China’s maritime history, to all the glowing dudes standing on each others shoulders to form a replica of the Bird’s Nest, I was blown away.  If I had to choose a favorite number, I would have to say the one with all the moving blocks that represented the Great Wall, and how it was revealed at the end that there were people under there.  Oh, just thinking about all the numbers is impressive.  Loved every minute of it.

Also, I was very impressed with the costumes but specifically the dresses the ladies wore as they carried the signage preceding each country.  The red ball-gown type dress?  I thought those were just beautiful.  And the dresses the Medal Gals wear during the Medal Ceremonies, the white ones, are also very beautiful.

I have watched some of the games and the men’s relay last night was impressive.  The man who was killed on Saturday, Mr. Bachman, is from the closest town to us, Lakeville, an we pass his nursery all the time.  At the car show on Saturday night, many people were talking about him.  I guess he was well know.  Very sad to hear about that.

I doubt the closing ceremonies will top the opening, but I thought it was just fantastic.  I wish I had kids because I know if I had seen this 10 years ago, the memories would still be with me today.  I will judge every opening ceremony against this one.

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Opinion Time – I need your help

August 7, 2008 at 3:37 pm (Home furnishings, Uncategorized) ()

I’m purchasing slipcovers for the couch and chair in the living room. I have only a couple of criteria. First, it can’t be 100% cotton because that acts as a magnetic force field and sucks Spice fur from all parts of the house. Second, I don’t want stripes or plaids because the love seat is a little lumpy and if those stripes aren’t straight and even, it will drive me batty. And I would like something that isn’t terribly casual since it’s our front room.

This is the current version:

Ignore the ugly dog (and actually, this was taken last time she was trimmed so it’s a similar fugly look she’s sporting today), but this is the color we’re working with currently.  Putty colored cotton canvas.

This is what I’m thinking:

Love seat in Normandy Burgundy . I have a sample swatch and it’s an acceptable color burgundy. It’s dark but look fine in the room.

I’m thinking of pairing it with this chair, Scroll in Champagne:

I thought about this combination.  The below love seat, Scroll in Brown, with the below Normandy Champagne chair.  I have the swatch right now in Brown.

It’s a pretty large pattern.  If I went with this couch, I would go with this chair.

Then, lastly I found this couch, which is a geometric pattern, called Maxwell.  I haven’t decided on the color.  The “coffee” might be too brown, so maybe the Sable is a better option.

And the Sable one:

If I chose the Maxwell design (the above two), which chair would you chose from above?  This has been a difficult decision because there weren’t that many options that fit my criteria.  Thankfully, this isn’t a bank busting purchase, so if I don’t like it, I’m not stuck with it forever.  And I plan to accessorize with a couple of throws, maybe a blanket on the couch, if you think that would help.

So, what options do you like?  There were some chair options in a faux suede, but the only color that was going to work was taupe, and aside from it being nearly the same blah color I currently have, I think Andrea and I felt the room should have a little more punch.  If you are interested in exploring or want to see close up views of these patterns, I’m using the website Surefit.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section or email me directly.  I appreciate your help.  I’ll probably purchase on Monday, so promptness would be helpful.  Thanks!

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Weekend Car Show Results

August 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm (Chevelle) ()

Tom attended two shows this weekend and won in both shows!!

Ok, I made the comment that this looks like a mug shot.  I know that.  Also, I think I need to make him sit when I take pictures so I’m not shooting up – I think that might help with the shadows.  And not using the flash in front of a mirror.  So many things wrong, but I have a feeling we’ll have the opportunity to take more trophy pictures in the future.

The larger one on the right was for coming in 5th out of about 130.  It was a show sponsored by AutoZone, and there were plenty of nice cars there.  The plaque was for an Outstanding in his class at the show on Sunday.  That show was sponsored by a local car club and held in this really beautiful park.  He was able to snag a spot under a tree, and had it not been overcast, that would have been a lifesaver.  It was a more difficult show but he was beaten by a car that shouldn’t have been in his class.

Not surprisingly, car shows are rife with politics and the good-ole-boys mentality.  On Sunday, he was in a class for cars with three or more modifications – not stock in other words.  The car that won the class was a great car, a 1974 something that had 15K miles and still owned by the original owner.  However, it was nearly stock – it only had two very small modifications.  But, not surprisingly, the owner was friendly with the car club and was placed in this class where he could easily win as opposed to the stock class where the competition was much stiffer.  Losing is always a bummer, especially wen you know there were politics at play, but Tom has a great attitude.  He figures if he does this long enough and meets enough people, he’ll become one of the good-ole-boys himself.

We both agreed that his new display is what pushed him to 5th place on Saturday.

We created a really cool sign using the pictures I posted last week and then on the table is a reproduction sales flyer from 1971, a brochure from the same time, and a candy dish made out of an air filter.  Tom got a small portable DVD player and is going to set that on the air filter in the engine compartment and play a couple of Chevelle DVD’s.  There is a tv series called American Muscle Car and he got the episode about the Chevelle and it’s pretty interesting.  I would definitely stop and watch.  We’ve noticed that all the women stop and read everything and I commented that it’s because looking at shiny engines doesn’t hold our attention very long so we appreciate anything else to do while still car related.

And lastly, a picture of a really pretty Thunderbird for my father-in-law.

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Water Sherpa Update

August 5, 2008 at 7:44 pm (Uncategorized)

Look who got serious about her Water Sherpa duties….

Yes people, that is the back of the Pathfinder filled with 108 bottles of Walmart Clear Key Lime waters.  Last week I made 3 trips to Walmart for waters, and due to the 90+ degree weather, the waters were always out or nearly so.  It was getting pretty dicey, so I finally decided to bite the bullet and order in bulk.  Which of course means Tom will lose his interest in the flavor and stop drinking them, oh, say next week!

No, he goes through about 4 of these per day now that he’s given up caffeinated sodas.  Good bye Diet Mountain Dew, hello Walmart waters.  I tried to order a nice round 10 cases, but somehow, good ole Walmart messed up and I got 9 cases.  Should last me about 4 weeks.

I asked Tom if seeing this made his heart feel full, like how contented I am when I see a full fridge.  He just looked at me strangely.  I get that a lot.

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Spawn of the Devil

August 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm (Dog Update) (, )

Well, Lola got groomed on Friday.  Here she is:

Ok, not quite.  But she’s really short.  I took a couple of before pictures in the morning.  Look how cute they are together.  Not sure how Spice could stand the smell of Lola, but whatev.

Awww…so cute.  But it was 10 a.m. and time for their morning nap.

Lord forbid I get between them and a nap.

So anyway, I took Lola to the groomer, the same place I went before but this time there was a different groomer.  She warned me she would have to go very, very short – where the mat began about 1/4 of an inch from her skin.  Apparently, she was one entire mat.  Now, I don’t know what Diane used to do, but I would routinely bring Lola to her in this kind of fur and Diane would deliver a dog with fur still on her.  I was a bit peeved that this girl didn’t seem to want to try to leave fur on but I know this is the standard response from EVERY groomer.  I left feeling like the time has finally come for me to learn how to trim Lola myself.  Maybe it will be easier this time – she’s been to the groomer enough that she’s well behaved and if she’s shorn to skin, at least I should have a fresh canvas to start from.  Now I just need to turn to my favorite resource, Google, and figure out how to trim a poodle.

I came back two hours later and peered through the window – the gal mouthed that she needed 10 more minutes.  So I waited and came back.  She met me outside and the gal was trying not to cry!  Lola was in one piece (or so I thought) and didn’t seem traumatized, so what gives?

The damn Licky-Dog licked when she shouldn’t have licked.  The gal was terribly apologetic and I suspect she was rushing because she was backed up, but the result was that Lola licked when she was clipping near her face and she nicked Lola’s tongue.

Of course, it’s like 90 degrees outside and combined with the activity of grooming, Lola’s panting like crazy and salivating like mad which is making her tongue bleed like a son of a bitch.  And I’m wearing a cute skirt.  But I pulled it together and told the girl it was going to be fine, told her how tough Lola was, and not to worry.  I mean, I know how Lola is so licky, I can easily see how that could happen.  And Lola is tough.  Aside from all the blood, she was fine.  She wasn’t even scrambling for me.

So I toss Lola in the Pathfinder and tell her to stay the hell on her side.  I mean, she’s still living, no need to get blood on my skirt.  Then I put every air vent on her to get her to cool down and stop panting/bleeding, and I race off to the vet as it’s almost 5 p.m. on a Friday.

My first thought was “there is no way I’m going to get Lola to gargle with warm salt water” followed by “how do I hold her tongue still while I sprinkle Wound Powder on it?”.  Time to seek medical attention.  When I got to the office, the Vet Nurse looked at it, made the same gross face I did, and said we’d have to ask the vet.

Since the vet’s office is less than 4 blocks from home, I called Tom and he came to wait with us, which was really great because my arm was tired of holding the ugly mutt.  But the vet was really nice and took a look and said that she recommended leaving it alone!!  Which was what we wanted to hear because stitching was going to be expensive and I would imagine uncomfortable for the dog.  The vet said that she’s seen cows who’ve cut their tongue and it actually heals and grows back together.  She said that Lola wouldn’t be impaired eating or drinking or doing any of her routine stuff, it wouldn’t get infected, and eventually her forked tongue would grow back together.  And in the time it took to see her, the bleeding had slowed greatly, so I was happy.

It’s only fitting that Lola is now marked by the Devil, complete with a forked tounge to go with her black skin, don’t you think?

Come on, that’s still kinda gross, don’t you think?  And I’m having a really tough time because the rest of the dog is so ugly at the moment.

She has no eyebrows!  Lola completely loses her essence when she doesn’t have eyebrows to express herself with.  But the flip side is she’s much, much cooler without any fur on.  I did ask Tom if it was too warm to put one of her cute sweaters on just so I don’t have to look at this hot mess.  He said yes.  See, he does look out for her.

Friday was not the day I expected, and I have to say, a trip to the groomer followed by a trip to the vet wasn’t exactly in Lola’s plans either.  But she’s one tough cookie.  Now if she’d just keep her mouth closed so I wouldn’t get so skeeved out.  Thanks.

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Unveiling of the Chevelle

August 1, 2008 at 1:56 pm (My Daily Life) (, , )

I know!  It’s been a long time coming but finally I have pictures of Tom’s Chevelle. And not just ho-hum pictures, pictures I spent time Photoshopping so Tom could use them for signage.  Tom took the shots and I edited them.

Here is his beauty, a 1971 Chevelle.

It may appear a little sharp – I sharpened it quite a bit since that was the recommendation for auto that is going to traditional print.  Doesn’t it look pretty?  Tom got a new paint job, and a new hood, one with a cowl, and fresh racing stripes.  I think it looks great, but Tom, with his extremely discerning eye, still sees a few flaws.  But he’s buffed and waxed this thing to within an inch of it’s life, so it really does shine.

From the back doesn’t it look beefy?

We left the WA state plate on it, and sometimes people come up at car shows and ask if we brought it all the way out here just for their little local show.  I think it scares them that they might be competing with someone crazy enough to do that!

Here is his pride, the engine.  I won’t even attempt to tell you anything about it, but if you’re interested, Tom will more than share.  More than share.

Again with the super sharp-ness.  Wonder if it has to do with the fact these are 300 dpi, not my normal Web size photos?  Anyway, pretty, no?  He took that silver stuff, it comes in a tube, and encased all the black tubing to give it extra pizazz.  Or whatever the male version of pizazz is.

Someone else did the seats.  He got a good deal on those, but Tom installed the new door panels and carpeting himself.  My contribution was taping over all the dashboard and window stuff that didn’t get painted.  I suspect it was because I have small fingers and those are tight places.

Isn’t the steering wheel cool?  He picked that up in Seattle.  And he got a new radio and then put together an ipod list of good driving songs, so it’s a lot of fun to go cruising.

He’s done an excellent job on the car and has kept it vintage and in perspective.  Last week he won second place in his class and got a plaque.  This weekend there are two more shows.  It keeps him busy, but he’s meeting some cool people and it’s fun.

Hope you enjoy and if you think about it, drop Tom an email and tell him how pretty his car looks.  Pretty, ok?

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