Davis in ’08

Posted by Jim on Feb 27th, 2008
Feb 27

If you thought Lasagna Cat was funny, you’ll love Garfield Minus Garfield, where the author (dare I say it) improves upon the genius of Jim Davis by removing Garfield from the strips.  This entry is a guaranteed lol.

The Road Home

Posted by Jim on Feb 27th, 2008
Feb 27

Nissa and I have been discussing buying a home for a long time. We’re now going ahead and hope to have a place of our own by the summer. In the first two weeks of February we attended a first-time home buyers course offered through hoMEworks. This past Saturday we met with a representative from my credit union, who referred us to a local mortgage company that they arrange their home loans though. We have an appointment with the lender on Friday morning. Since it is wise to shop around for the best deal (which isn’t necessarily the lowest interest rate), we also have an appointment with a lender from Nissa’s credit union on Saturday morning. We are hoping to get a loan that will cover the kind of house we can both be happy with. Each of us has good credit, but also a bit of debt in the form of auto and student loans. I think we are being reasonable with our home buying expectations. We certainly aren’t going to look for who will loan us the most money and then buy as much as we possibly can. We’ve determined how much money we’d like to spend each month on the house (the mortgage, home insurance, heat and taxes) and we’ll find a home that fits that budget. I’m quite confident that the amount we will qualify for will more than cover the amount we are willing to spend on a house.

Being a first time home buyer isn’t easy, but luckily there is a lot of great information out there. The home buyers course I linked to above offered a wealth of information, as well as some contacts in the banking/real estate/title law fields. The Maine State Housing Authority page has a lot of information for first time home buyers as well. I’ve begun to read the Get Rich Slowly blog for economic advice that goes beyond the home buying process. There is also good advice available the The Motley Fool. Lastly, we’ve had some fun looking at what homes are available through Realtor.com and Zillow.com.

Jesus on the Radio

Posted by Jim on Feb 25th, 2008
Feb 25

According to North East Radio Watch, the format of WCYI will soon change from the blues, as the station has been purchased by EMF Broadcasting.  It will become an Adult Contemporary Christian station, and will simulcast the K-Love broadcast that EMF plays across the country—so don’t expect to hear any local Christian bands (if we have any here in Portland).  It’s always sad to see a station that had such local influence turned into a generic cookie cutter rebroadcaster.  At least we still have WCYY.

Little Gold Bald Dudes

Posted by Jim on Feb 24th, 2008
Feb 24

It’s Oscar night!  Here’s my list of who I hope wins tonight. [At least in the categories where I have an opinion.  Once again, I managed to miss all of the best documentary shorts.]

  • Actor – Johnny Depp
  • Supporting Actor – Javier Bardem
  • Actress – Ellen Page
  • Supporting Actress – Cate Blanchett
  • Animated Feature – Persepolis
  • Art Direction – Sweeney Todd
  • Cinematography – No Country for Old Men/Assassination of Jesse James (Rger Deakins is nominated for both films)
  • Costume Design – Atonement
  • Directing – Jason Reitman for Juno (but really, I’d be happy to see any of the nominees win, they are all so talented)
  • Editing – No Country for Old Men
  • Score – Michael Giacchino (I want him to win because his work for the Bad Robot productions is so great, not because I remember the music in Ratatouille being exceptional;  if we were going for a memorable score, Dario Marianelli’s work in Atonement really stands out)
  • Song – Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for “Falling Slowly” (I think Alan Menken might suffer from overexposure with his three nominations from one film tonight, but it isn’t without precedent for him to win.  He had three nominations and took home the statue in 1991 for Beauty and the Beast)
  • Picture – Juno
  • Adapted Writing – Sarah Polley (How awesome would it be for Sarah Polley to win this?  If not here, I wouldn’t mind seeing PTA or the Coens win)
  • Original Writing – Brad Bird (I liked Juno a lot [see Best Picture], but Brad Bird is just too great to not root for)

Won’t Anyone Consider the Beer Drinkers‽

Posted by Jim on Feb 24th, 2008
Feb 24

As you may have heard, the city of Portland has began to woo NBA officials in hopes of securing a D-League team to play their home games here in town. But according to The Bollard, things have gotten much more serious than Irish step dancers. The investment group behind the movement to get the NBA to Maine has drafted a lease in which the Portland Expo building is used as the potential team’s home court. A major point outlined in the Bollard article is that the expo is already in use almost every weekend for high school sporting events, which would cause numerous conflicts with a professional team’s schedule. [And with the budget problems Portland is having, who do you think will get to use the facility, a public school or a professional team backed by wealthy investors?]

I can understand how this would upset and anger the citizens of Portland. School sports are a very important part of people’s lives. But for me, whether or not the Rams and Bulldogs can play basketball in the expo is of little consequence. The real issue here is what happens to the Maine Brewers Festival. This is by far the best beer event in Maine year in and year out. Crowding into the expo, watching the countdown clock, and getting drunk under bad lights, basketball hoops and exposed duct work has become part of the charm of the event. It just wouldn’t be the same without it. Having the festival anywhere else won’t cut it. We need the expo and the expo needs us. So the next time someone tells you getting another minor league sports team will be good for Portland, be sure to ask them if they have really thought this out. Have they considered the feelings of the beer drinkers? I’m pretty sure us beer drinkers out number the basketball fans by a wide margin. Just keep that in mind.

Sounds Inside My Television

Posted by Jim on Feb 22nd, 2008
Feb 22

I’ve been enjoying Season 4 of LOST so far. In fact, I think I’m addicted to it. From Friday mornings until the next episode airs, I’m constantly reading fan sites
for insight, information and theories. One of the more light-hearted fixes I take part in is the MySpace band “Previously On Lost,” who recap each aired episode with a funny song. Hypeful had entries on their site with links to the first two recap songs (1, 2), but have not yet posted number three and have removed the direct download links from the first two songs. All the songs are available on the band’s MySpace page though, either through streaming or through a storefront right on the MySpace page.  Very convenient!  Go support LOST obsessed independent artists and enjoy some fun music.

Previously on Lost on MySpace

Update: I’ve removed the information on getting the mp3 files per the band’s request and edited the post to reflect this.  If I hadn’t, I think the band would have fed me to the smoke monster.

The Future of Sock Monkey Art

Posted by Jim on Feb 17th, 2008
Feb 17

I just came across this on Etsy: Obi-Wan Kenobi Sock Monkey

Friends, this is where the school of sock monkey art is headed. In a few years, we’ll all be making Star Wars themed sock based creations. A piece of PEZ from my R2D2 dispenser to the first person who sends me a picture of a Sock Nien Nunb.

Coming Soon

Posted by Jim on Feb 16th, 2008
Feb 16

PlaceHolder.com is a place holder site.  That makes me very happy.

Playing Political Catch-up

Posted by Jim on Feb 15th, 2008
Feb 15

Within 3 hours, I had two new people begin to follow me on Twitter. Both accounts are for political candidates election committees. The first, novickforsenate, apparently has issues with his geography (or perhaps is actually interested in what I’m up to), because his campaign is based out of Portland, OR not ME. At least he seems to be using the service effectively, with lots of updates and links. This is in contrast to my second follower, collins4senate, which represents Maine own Susan Collins. So far, she only has two updates, both posted in the last hour or so. Isn’t this a little late to start using Twitter as a political tool? I would think that as soon as Tom Allen announced he was looking to unseat her, she would have begun active campaigning. Perhaps she’s scared of Allen’s new hold on the sympathy vote? It didn’t work for John Edwards Susan. But then again, he wasn’t in a race with one of Bush’s cronies.