Friday, October 31, 2008

The Wedding!!!

Well, we got back from the wedding, and by all accounts it was quite a success!!!

The ceremony itself was quite a bit shorter than we had thought...our officiant had told us that she could stretch it out to about 15 minutes or so...I guess that meant she could stretch it out to about 7 minutes. It was literally one of the shortest wedding ceremonies that I have ever seen.

We then took a bunch of pictures which seemed to go pretty well. The photographer wasn't too bad, and his assistant seemed to be REALLY good. I'm interested to see some of the shots that she came up with. They seemed to be really interesting ideas.

We then came in for the started out pretty badly because the DJ HAD the song that we wanted to use as entrance music, but the file was corrupted so it wouldn't work. Luckily some quick work and an iPod allowed him to get the song going, and then we were good to go.

The reception was a blast. The food was pretty good, and the atmosphere was excellent. The masks all went over really well. So did the pumpkin center pieces. The DJ was awesome. His name was Matt and his company is T2. Simply awesome. Really good work on his part.

We just got back, and I'll try to post up some pictures at a later date...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Food Poisoning, Updated...

Well, I started to feel better...but Cathy still doesn't really seem to be feeling that great. Hopefully she'll be back to all good before tomorrow...otherwise the wedding might be a bit difficult to get through!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Food Poisoning!!!

So Cathy and I went to get some Chinese food last night...and today we both woke up sicker than dogs. Upset stomachs, headaches, muscle aches. I'm assuming that it was something that we ate...because it's just too odd that we both have the same symptoms show up at the exact same time.

Luckily we're both starting to feel a bit better now...and hopefully by tomorrow we'll be fine.

Wish us luck!!!

Special and Limited Edition Video Games

So most of the time when I buy a game...if it has a special editon, or a limited edition, or an extended edition, or whatever...I buy that special edition. I don't know why. I usually end up selling games after I'm done with them anyways, but the special editions always are so appealing. For only an extra $10 or $20 usually you get some pretty cool stuff.

With that said, I've passed on a few very special editions of games recently, due to their price. There was a limited edition of "Dead Space" sold only on Electronic Arts' website for $149.99. There was also a special "Survival Edition" of "Fallout 3" sold only on for $129.99. Both of these special editions came with some really cool swag, but I passed on them because of their high price point.

Boy, was that ever a mistake. Checking around on Ebay, it seems that these games are selling for ridiculous dollar amounts. That limited "Dead Space?" Had I bought it, I could turn around and sell it on Ebay for $450 or more. That's $300 profit, if you're counting. "Survival Edition" of "Fallout 3?" $300 or so on Ebay. That's an extra $180 profit.

Maybe it's time I start paying for and pre-ordering these ultra special editions JUST to turn around and sell them...then purchase the standard game for my own use. Had I done that with "Dead Space" and "Fallout 3," I would've spent $280 for the two special editions...then sold them for $750 total. That would have been a $470 profit. Then take another $120 away from that to pay for the standard editions of the games, and that still leaves me with $350 more than what I would have initially spent.

Seems like easy money, to me.

Fallout 3...Owns My Soul...

So "Fallout 3" came out today. I had been planning on waiting until I got back from vacation to pick it up, even though I had it pre-ordered for a few months now. I had second thoughts today and traded some things in so that I could pick up my copy.

I hate intentions to just start it out to do the character creation system...I still haven't finished "Dead Space" and I only wanted to get started on "Fallout" then go back to finish "Dead Space." Big mistake. I started the game, and it literally sucked me in. Absolutely fantastic. I haven't been this excited about a video game since "Bioshock" came out...and that's saying something.

I've been reading that the straight through quest in the game will take at least 30 hours to complete...but there are over 100 hours worth of gameplay in the game. I'm having a feeling that this game is going to be occupying the Xbox 360 disc tray for a good long time...oh, I'll still go back and finish "Dead Space," but "Fallout" has come on strong...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cooper Had a Seizure

Well, one of my blueticks has had a few seizures over the last year and a half or so, and tonight he had another one.

It's really scary when he has them. It seems as if he's completely losing his ability to stay alive. He breathes deeply but won't pant. He gets really warm then really cold. He also almost always has two right in a row, and tonight was no different.

I'm a bit used to seizures and epilepsy because my sister Keri had epilepsy her whole life...but that doesn't make it any less scary when Cooper has one.

The worst problem is, from what I can tell, there aren't really any tests that can be done to determine if he's epileptic or if he's having seizures from something else. A few months back he had bloodwork done and that came back completely I would believe that none of the other causes of seizures are present because they should have shown up during that test.

So the best I can really do for him is just remain calm when he has them. But that doesn't make it any easier.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Last Day of Work...

Well, today (Monday) is going to be Cathy and my last day of work for TEN whole days!!! The wedding is on Friday, and then on Saturday we'll be jetting off to Las Vegas, Nevada courtesy of my mother and father.

We haven't had a lot of time off of work in a row in a LONG time. Even when we went to Costa Rica in January we were only gone from work for like 5 or 6 this is going to be our first real vacation together.

The plans for the wedding are pretty much complete now. We don't really have anything left to do, which is nice because it gives us a few days to relax before the wedding. We have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off before the wedding. We get married on Friday. Then Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday we'll be in Vegas. We come home on Wednesday. We then have Thursday off as well to get back into the swing of being at home. Then it's back to work.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Life on Mars, Episode 3

This was another great episode. Sam Tyler is quickly becoming one of my favorite personalities on TV. The show is superbly acted, and the cast works together really well.

From what I can tell, this was the first episode of the American series that was completely different than the British series. It dealt with homosexuality and the fact that in the 70s it really wasn't accepted at all. In fact, when it turns out that the murder victim in the episode is gay, a few of the police officers decide to stop working on solving the case altogether.

The show continues to impress me with it's visuals and it's acting. But the thing that I love the most about it is the music. The theme songs and other music that they put to the show work perfectly with every situation, and really help give the show more of the vibe that it's actually the 70s.

We got a new idea as to what could be going on in this episode...when Tyler decides that maybe he actually IS from the 70s, and the idea of 2008 was all just a dream. This idea comes to a screeching halt at the end of the episode however, when Tyler sees himself as a boy in 1973...

Last but not least...this show has quickly become the show that I look forward to the most every week. With "LOST" not coming back until January at the earliest, this show has become my current favorite TV show...and I hope it sticks around for a good long while.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Less Than One Week...

So the wedding is in 6 days now. I'm not nervous about it. Cathy has done a really good job of getting everything put together. I think it's going to be a pretty good time.

It's also going to be nice to have a LONG time off of work. I haven't had to actually be at the airport much at all this month, but having 10 straight days off is going to be pretty awesome. I haven't had that much time off in a very long time.

It's going to be an exciting week and a half!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Motorcycles, Again.

So I was just browsing around on Craig's List and Ebay and such the other day, and I found quite a few good deals on bikes that I think would be pretty ideal for commuting. I found several 650cc and up bikes for right around $1k. Not too bad, especially considering that two of them were in EXCELLENT condition.

I'm trying to keep these types of things as open options for next spring just in case I come into a little bit of cash. I think it would be nice to have a bit larger bike for commuting to work on...and things like this would really fit the bill really well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Directional Stabilizer for the TK-1

Well, as some of you have noticed I have been back and forth on the idea of putting a skeg or directional piece onto the TK-1. I had been worried that it might teach me bad paddling habits by being a "Band-Aid" fix for the tracking of the boat.

But after thinking about it for a while and reading the comments left on my blog here by Paddlesheep, I have decided to go ahead and order the Directional Stabilizer from Sea Eagle. It will fit on the TK-1 easily and should help with straight line travel and tracking when not paddling. This should ALSO help me achieve a bit better overall speed out of the boat, because less energy will be spent correcting the last stroke. Basically the energy will be more focussed on making the boat go forward.

I'll be ordering it when I get back from Vegas in a couple of weeks, then installing it this fall. I don't know if I'll get a chance to try it out at all until next spring.

Like I said, I really enjoy the TK-1...but the one thing I wish it did a bit better was "go straight." I think that the directional stabilizer will help it do that a bit better, and that will help me enjoy the boat that much more.

On a side note...if the stabilizer really helps out with the TK-1, that may basically put a real damper (in a good way) on me looking to upgrade anytime soon. Instead of looking to upgrade, I would be looking to get another TK-1 and another stabilizer so that Cathy would have one. I think the TK-1 is a higher quality boat than the Bali...but the Bali will be good for her to try the first few times out.

On another side note...I'm still leaning towards the Sea Eagle as the next boat...regardless of whether the TK-1 stays with me for a while or not!!!!

Got My Saddle Bags!!!

Well, I got the saddle bags today. They are in GREAT shape. They were literally brand new. They even still have the tags on them. I like the way they look, and they look like they've got quite a few good features on them. Even the straps and such were all still rubber banded together like they came from the factory.

They also came with the registration card, which means I'll be able to get them registered...and that's cool because Nelson Rigg has a lifetime guarantee on their luggage.

I'm still undecided about whether I'll get the matching tank bag or not. The one that matches it is actually a bit smaller than the one I have the only plus to it would be that it actually matches the saddle bags.

Here's a picture of the luggage on my Ninja.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Put the Kayaks Away

Well, last week I put the kayaks away and got all of the stuff for them packed up and stored in the spare office in the basement. I figured that I wasn't going to get much of a chance to paddle again this year, and this week pretty much put any question of that to rest.

As I speak, it's exactly 30 degrees outside and dropping. There's supposed to be snow sometime in the next 15 or so days.

I guess it's alright that I got them put away. Cathy's Bali is still inflated. I will get it deflated and folded up sometime in the next day or so. I had left it inflated to make sure the skeg attachment fit onto it correctly.

I've still been thinking about possible kayak trips for next year, and I've got a few good ones in mind. I'm also still planning on getting that Sea Eagle directional stabilizer (skeg) to fit onto my TK-1 for next spring. I think that will help me enjoy the TK-1 just a little more than I already do, and the nice thing about that skeg is it's easy to remove if I decide that it's making me learn bad paddling habits.

I've also pretty much decided that IF I upgrade to a different kayak next year, I will be looking at the Sea Eagle lineup. I've contacted their customer service about the skeg and they were more than helpful, even after learning that I didn't own a Sea Eagle boat. The customer service, the packages, and the 3 year warranty really attract me to their products. That, and they seem to be a natural next step for me from the TK-1, as their boats seem to be almost the exact same design as the TK-1, albeit longer...and because of that they'll be faster and track straighter, not to mention they'll hold more weight. The only question I have at this point is whether I should go with the Sea Eagle 340X or the Sea Eagle 380X.

The 340X is 11'1" long and supports up to 600 pounds. It weighs 42 pounds.

The 380X is 12'6" long and supports up to 750 pounds. It weighs 47 pounds.

Compare both of these to my current TK-1.
The TK-1 is 9'9" long and supports up to 300 pounds. It weighs 30 pounds.

So the 340X is 1'4" longer than my TK-1, supports twice the weight, and weighs 12 pounds more. That weight alone makes me think the Sea Eagle boat must be made out of a bit more heavy duty materials.

The 380X is 2'9" longer than my TK-1, supports 2.5 times the weight, and weighs 17 pounds more.

The difference in price between the 340X and the 380X is only $50. So for that price difference I think I'd be better off with the 380X. It could hold me and all of the gear that I would ever possibly want it to hold. It would also track better and be faster than even the 340X. It also is at about the length that I've been told that inflatables are at their best. I have been told that 13' is the longest you'll want an inflatable to be...anything longer and they start to be difficult to paddle.

I guess the other reason to go with the 380X is because the 340X doesn't really seem like that huge of an upgrade over the TK-1. Although the TK-1 is rated at 300 pounds, I'm sure it could hold more, as it holds me (240 pounds) and my gear (10 pounds) with no issues at all and seems like it could easily hold at least 100 pounds more if I wanted it to.

But either way, the Sea Eagle boats are probably the way that I will go if I do in fact upgrade. But I'm thinking that with the skeg added to the TK-1, I won't have to worry about upgrading at all anytime soon!!! In fact, if the TK-1 works with the skeg, I'll probably order another one so that Cathy can have a little bit higher quality boat. I really hope she enjoys doing this as much as I do...

Dead Space


I've had "Dead Space" on my radar since I first read about it in Game Informer sometime last year. I thought the premise sounded pretty interesting, and I've been following the game with anticipation ever since.

Well, if you've been following my blog at all, you'd know that my Xbox broke and had to be sent for service a few weeks ago. While it was gone, "Dead Space" was released and I decided to wait to buy it until the Box came back. Well, the Box came back today, and I went right out with Cathy to Best Buy to pick up "Dead Space."

After a quick trip to The Hunt Club for dinner, we got home and I fired up the 360 and popped the game into the tray.

The next three hours were exactly what I was hoping for. The game is great.

Controls? Tight.
Weapons? Wicked.
Atmosphere? Eerie.
Story? Awesome.
Graphics? Phenomenal.
Sound? Unmatched.

The game is simply awesome. It's even lived up to the "scary" billing. While playing, I literally jumped out of my chair once. I had backed myself into a corner waiting for two Necromorphs to come around a pillar so I could have a clean shot at them, and all of the sudden out of nowhere a third one attacked me from behind...I did actually jump up out of my chair it startled me so much.

If you're a fan of action games. Get this.
If you're a fan of sci-fi games. Get this.
If you're a fan of horror games. Get this.
If you're a fan of games. Get this.

You won't be sorry you did.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Xbox 360!!!!!

Well, the tracking information from Microsoft about my Xbox 360 shows that it should be delivered tomorrow.

I have to be here to sign for it when it arrives, so that means that more than likely I'll just be hanging out at the house for most of the afternoon. It hasn't been too long really, only about 3 weeks, since I first had the problem with the console. It's been about two weeks since I actually sent it out.

From what I can tell by reading online, I will more than likely be getting a brand new console. Hopefully that means I'll get one with an HDMI plug on it, because I'd like to hook the console up HDMI instead of component video.

As soon as it gets here, I'll be heading out to get a new game..."Dead Space" has been on my radar for MONTHS, and now it's out and getting pretty good reviews, so I'll be heading out to get that one right away. It should be awesome!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Walgreen's is Awesome.

So this nasty cold that I've got...tonight I decided to head to Walgreen's to get some Vicks and some other stuff to try and help with my stuffed up nose.

I have noticed this before, and Cathy and I always joke about it...but Walgreen's is simply awesome.

They have "store brands" of almost every single medicine you can imagine...but they all use some form of "Wal" in their name.

Ibuprofen??? Not at Walgreen' Walgreen's it's "Wal-buprofen."
Acetaminophen??? Not at Walgreen''s "Wal-minophen."
Robitussin??? No way...Wal-tussin.

I imagine that Walgreen's plans on doing this with almost every product they sell...can you imagine some of them??

Trojan condoms...Wal-doms. Sounds like some kind of candy.
Bud Light. Nope, Wal-Light. Sounds like a lighting device.
M&Ms??? Wal&Wals.
Doritoes?? Wal-toes.
Peanuts?? Wal-nuts...wait...
Walnuts??? Nut-greens...

Anyways...I find it amusing.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Can't Sleep...

So I've been laying in bed for the last two hours trying to go to sleep...and it's been an absolute failure.

I don't know if it's the medicine I took before bed or what, but I simply don't feel even remotely tired. I need to get to sleep because I've got to go to work in about 7 hours...but I don't feel like it's helping by just laying there in bed thinking about how not tired that I am.

Man, being sick sucks. I'm sure it's got something to do with the medicine I took...that coupled with the fact that I've just sat around doing nothing for the past two days...either way, I'm not remotely tired, but I have to get some sleep!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008


So this is Cathy and I at Niagara Falls in September of 2007.

Cathy is pretty awesome. I met her at work back in the early part of 2007 and I decided to ask her out on a date. Surprisingly she said yes. I didn't think she would, I almost partly asked just as a humorous statement...but she said yes and we went out to dinner a few days later.

Since that day, we haven't spent a single night apart. We clicked on all kinds of levels...lots of things in common, similar interests, similar tastes, the works.

She's got a personality that complements mine pretty well. Where I'm outspoken and loud, she's quiet and thoughtful. Where I'm rude and obnoxious, she's polite and kind.

We built our relationship quickly and with no real hitches. I can honestly say that I don't think we've ever stayed mad at each other for more than a few hours...usually even less than that.

Last year we decided to get married, and we've (mostly she's) been planning the wedding for a while now. We'll be getting married in Jackson on Halloween this in exactly 2 weeks. I'm looking forward to it, I think it's going to be fun. Cathy, on the other hand, has been getting stressed out over some of the last minute details. She's been spending a lot of time feeling down and been doing a fair amount of crying the last few days...but I think it's a bit silly because she's done an excellent job of getting this wedding put together basically by herself, with a small amount of help from me and my parents. She's put together a good bit on her own, and she's done excellently at that. I don't think she should be so worried about the small details, but she is and that's how she is and that's okay.

I'm looking forward to seeing her in her "$3500" wedding gown. I say "$3500" because that's how much she kept telling me that it cost...but I found out that it didn't cost that much when I accidentally stumbled upon the receipt for the dress. I think she's going to look really gorgeous in the wedding gown.

I'm excited to be getting married to her. I've been staying here in Jackson in the house that she grew up in for almost a year now, and it really doesn't seem like that long. It'll be awesome to make it "our" house and start working on some things over the winter and into the spring next year to really make it "ours."

In closing, I have one last thing to say about Cathy...she has a spectacular ass...I like to smack it!!!

Man, This Cold is...

...kicking my ass!!!

This morning I woke up and couldn't breathe through one of my nostrils. That's the worst thing about having a cold, I think...when one of your nostrils is so stuffed up that you can't even breathe through it but the other is completely fine.

I also have been having some pretty sore muscles since the cold kicked in. My back is literally killing me. I feel like I've been lifting heavy boxes or something for hours as soon as I wake up.

I got some Sudafed from Walgreen's yesterday and it seems to be helping with the stuffy nose and such, but it's still got me down pretty well.

Hopefully I'll start getting better soon...I hate having colds!!!!

Life on Mars, Episode 2

So after watching the second episode of this show last night, I think I've found another winner of a show to watch.

This should probably keep me pretty occupied until "LOST" comes back.

I watch a lot of TV, but I try to avoid watching a ton of shows that I HAVE to watch every week or else I'll be lost. Really, "LOST" is about the only show that is an absolute must watch for me every time it's on.

But this "Life on Mars" so far has kept my attention really well, and I look forward to seeing it again next week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Getting Ready for Winter...

So today, even though I was sick, I took it upon myself to clean the garage up a little bit. I got most of the stuff that wasn't supposed to be in there dragged into the house, and all the stuff that is supposed to be in there is organized pretty well.

I BELIEVE that we will be able to get both cars into the garage now, which will be really nice. I've not gotten to park my car inside a garage on a regular basis in...well...pretty much ever.

I've had covered parking at an apartment and a single car garage at my old house, but the work schedule made it so that there wasn't really a good time for me to get my car into the garage.

So it will be nice to keep my car out of the weather for a change.

Hopefully Cathy's Civic will fit in the garage next to my car...otherwise it will be back to the driveway with my car.

I'm Sick...

In the head...of course...but no really, I'm actually physically ill.

I started coming down with a cold on Tuesday, my first day off. On Wednesday it was getting a bit worse. But now today (Thursday), it's gone into full blown can't breathe, feel week, feel blah, just want to lay around all day mode.

Over the last few years I've gotten quite a few colds. Might have something to do with working with the public like I do. But the problem is, it seems to have gotten to the point where no cold medicine does anything to make me feel any better. It's like I've grown immune to all of their active ingredients and now my body just doesn't even notice that I have medicine in me.

I called in sick to work today, and tomorrow I'm going to play it by ear. But first, today, I'm going to go and get myself some REAL cold medicine...some of the Sudafed that you have to buy from behind the counter. Maybe that will work...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


So this past summer Cathy and I bought a couple of bicycles from Riverfront Cycle in Lansing. Unfortunately, we didn't really use them very much. She used hers more than I used mine, but she still didn't use it often.

I think that this coming spring I might try to use the bicycle quite a bit more. I think I will use it when I need to run up to the store just to get some soda or something. That will be a good way to save a small bit of gas and get a little bit of exercise every now and then.

Cathy and I also will probably try to get out on the bicycles a bit more. Maybe a trip to the cottage with them would be a good idea, as we could use them to ride all around the park there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Re-Covered My Ninja's Seat Tonight.

So when I first got my 250, the seat was a little bit tattered. Nothing horrible, but it wasn't the best part about the bike. I decided to replace it with a "cowl look" cover by a company called Custom Seat Creations. When I got the cowl look cover, it didn't match the bike very well and the seat color was a bit wrong. But I decided to put it on anyways. I discovered that I wasn't very good at upholstering, and the seat cover looked pretty bad. I resolved that I would try to fix it later.
I tried cleaning it up a little bit this past week and it ended up looking quite a bit least wrinkle wise. The color of course still didn't match very well. So I decided to re-work the seat with just a normal black cover.

It took quite a bit of work to get it to look right, but I'm pretty impressed with the results.
The solid black matches the bike better because black goes with everything. I think I will work on getting the lower fairing painted black sometime this winter as well. Then I'll have green and black all more strange silver and mismatched seat cover. I MAY try to add a few green highlights to the maybe a "K" for the Kawasaki or something.

Either way, I think the bike looks better with the new cover.

Kayak Skeg...Yes, I'm Still Undecided...

So I found a great option for adding a skeg to the TK-1. It's from a company that made another kayak that I was originally looking at. Sea Eagle.

They make a directional stabilizer (skeg) for their Explorer line of kayaks that looks like it would work perfectly with the TK-1. What's better is that before 2004 their boats didn't have a mounting spot for this stabilizer, so they sell it with a glue/patch kit that mounts it to really just about any boat.

It's adjustable, removable, and seems to look pretty good. So I'd be able to put it on the TK-1 without having any kind of home made solutions that look all ghetto.

This is the stabilizer here, attached to a Sea Eagle boat.

This stabilizer that I found has turned me on to another option for my next kayak, as well. The Sea Eagle Explorer 340X seems to be virtually identical to my TK-1...only longer so it would track better and go faster. It appears to be made very well and I like the looks of it. It's more expensive than the Cordova that I had been looking at, but it seems to be more of a logical choice for a next boat. That, and it's got a three year warranty which is nice!!! Here's the 340X as sold on Sea Eagle's website, with all of the accessories that come with it.

You can tell by just glancing at it that it's design is similar to the TK-1. It can be paddled as a solo or a tandem. It also comes with the paddles and the foot pump. I already have all of those, but I guess some extra ones wouldn't be too much of an issue. The second pump would allow Cathy to inflate her boat at the same time as me, and the extra paddles would come in handy in case we damaged the ones we have now.

I may have found a winner with the Sea Eagle 340X...

Saddle Bags...Bought!!!

So I had posted before about looking for some saddle bags for my Ninja. I had been looking at Cortech Sport bags and Rapid-Transit Recon bags.

Well, on Ebay yesterday I found a pretty great deal on some Nelson Rigg bags. They are the Silver Streak series, and really look pretty nice. The ones I bought are basically brand new. The guy used them for packing clothes in then put them INSIDE of the hard bags on his big Kawasaki cruiser bike. So they have been used a few times, but never actually fit onto a bike.

I think I might end up getting the tank bag that matches it, because the set is pretty nice looking. It's also a pretty large tank bag, so the touring aspect of it is pretty nice.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kayaking...Not This Week...

So I had been thinking about possibly getting the TK-1 out this week, but I wasn't sure if I would have time.

Well, we finally got a time set to go meet the DJ for the wedding, and that's right at the time I had been planning on going, so it looks like I'll be canceling the kayak trip.

No big deal, I'm still really looking forward to getting it out again. I have begun having second thoughts about making the skeg, however. I think I might try a little bit longer to get my paddle stroke correct so that I go straighter, and not try to use the Band-Aid fix of the added skeg.

Who knows though, maybe I'll get bored and make one soon anyways!!!!

You know, the more I think about it though, the more I really don't know if I should add the skeg or not. I REALLY don't want to develop bad paddling habits that would be reinforced by something that would "correct" them like a skeg. On the other hand, I want to have the most fun possible out on the boat.

The skeg might possibly make the boat a bit more "fun" on the water...not that it isn't fun now, but it might make it just a tad bit better. But it also might have me start some bad paddling habits to begin with, which I really don't want.

I'm still planning on EVENTUALLY upgrading to a bit more expensive inflatable, but I really like the TK-1 so it won't really be anytime soon. I want to maximize the fun and usefulness of this little boat...and I'm not sure if the skeg is the way to go or not.

Maybe I should just plan on trying to get better at paddling and then if I still feel a need for something to fix the tracking next summer THEN I can go ahead and make the skeg. It's not like the design I have for it is going to be something I's pretty simple and straightforward.

Yah, I think it might be best to just focus on getting better myself...and then add the fix later if I still feel it needs it!!!

Living Dead Dolls

So the Living Dead Dolls that I ordered from Sideshow Collectibles a few weeks ago finally showed up today.

They are actually pretty cool. They're dementedly creepy. I like the packaging of them, too.

The first one that I got is a boy. It's name is Pumpkin.
The second one is a girl, it's name is Eleanor.

I have a third one on the way that I got off of Ebay, and I will have a fourth one on the way after buying the Best Buy Edition of "Indiana Jones" tomorrow. This is Judas, he's the one that I have on the way from Ebay.
This is Squeak. She's the one that I'll be ordering with the gift card with the "Indiana Jones" DVD.

Looks like I may have found something new to collect...and the good thing is they actually seem to grow in value pretty quickly after their series is over.


Well, it's supposed to be about 75 degrees on Tuesday. I have Tuesday off.

I have some things that I need to get mowing the lawn and a little bit of shopping...but it MIGHT just leave enough time for me to take a quick trip to one of the lakes around here to get the TK-1 out. I'm not sure though, because I don't really want to go to Clark Lake again...but that would be the only real option for a quick trip on Tuesday.

I have to go out and get a DVD set that comes out on Tuesday and I REALLY have to mow the lawn. The problem is, Wednesday, my other day off, is supposed to be really crappy outside. So I won't be able to mow on Wednesday which means that I HAVE to try and get it done on Tuesday.

More than likely I won't be able to get around to it...which is too bad because I really want to get out again. But if I can't get out, I will just continue going about getting some good little day trips planned for next spring. I still really want to hit Lake Ovid up. I'd love to see those Bald Eagles that live there.

I still also am planning on making a bit larger skeg for the TK-1 to help with it's tracking a little bit. I'm going to make it just out of wood and have it hook on to the boat with some bungee cords. I think it should work out pretty well. I'll take some pictures of it as I make it. I'll probably go to my dad's to have him help me with it, because I'd like it to be nice and smooth with rounded edges if possible...and I would imagine he has some tools that would help with that!!!

A New DVD Set...

I'll be adding a new DVD to my collection on Tuesday.

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" comes out with a similar collector's set to the "Iron Man" set that I got from Best Buy with the Iron Man head.

This one comes with a Crystal Skull. It's also got a $25 gift card to Side Show Collectibles. I used the $50 one to get two "Living Dead Dolls." I'll probably use the $25 one to get another "Living Dead Doll," as I am oddly amused by them.

This is the DVD set, right here.

Fantasy Football

So for the last few years I've been getting more and more involved in Fantasy Football leagues. I started with just one team because I didn't really know what I was doing. That year I didn't do so well, but I figured out HOW to play. The next year I got a couple of teams. Since then it's been 3 or 4 every season.

This year I've got four teams going. Two in Yahoo Public leages, one in a Yahoo league with some guys from, and one on CBS Sportsline with some of those same guys from I've always really liked the Yahoo leagues, but the CBS one has some interesting features that I like...but I'm not sure if I like the overall layout of the site.

This year I'm doing really well in two leagues...okay in one league...and bad in one league.

In the CBS SBN league I'm officially now 5-0-1...and tied for the best record in the league with the one guy I tied last week. I like that in that league there are divisions, and I'm going to have like a 2 game lead in the division, which means it'll be a tad bit easier trying to make the playoffs. But my team hasn't been producing like I would like it to.

In the Yahoo SBN league I'm running at more than likely 3-3 after tomorrow night's game. I'm up by 12 but the guy I'm playing has Eli Manning and Braylon Edwards, who both play tomorrow night, so I'm figuring I'll end up losing. .500 isn't bad to be at this point in the season, but I'm not scoring a ton of points so it might be tough to get back into the hunt.

In one of my Yahoo Public leagues I'm doing just plain bad. I'll be at 2-4 more than likely after tomorrow, and tied for second to last place. I'm trying in that one though, because I've got a solid just seems like every week I play against someone that has a much better week than I do.

In my last Yahoo Public league, I am officially 6-0 and two whole games in first place. That league is my best league, as not only do I have the best record but I currently have the most points...meaning that my wins have been coming when they should. I think that league is my best chance of having a solid full season.

I've won several championships in Fantasy Leagues...but last year I went without any this year I'm eager to get back on track!!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's Been a LONG Day...

So Cathy's best friend Kristen Staton got married today. That's why I was at the cottage.

I've met Kristen several times and I like her. She's a nice girl with a good sense of humor. I also get along with her (now husband) Dan Heit pretty well. He seems like a cool enough guy.

But today at the wedding Cathy was the Maid of Honor, and as such that left me alone for basically the entire thing without a single person there that I knew. It wasn't the most fun thing I've ever done.

I had to get up early to take Cathy to get her hair done. That wasn't a big deal. I dropped her off then zipped back to the cottage to try and get some extra sleep, but that didn't happen. It was simply too cold in the cottage, and when it finally did heat up it seemed to turn into an oven.

I then headed back over to Holland to the wedding. I tried to sit in a seat next to a lady that looked friendly enough, but she told me that "these seats are saved" so I ended up sitting on a bench by myself. Finally these two girls that looked like hookers showed up and sat next to me...but like about 8 feet away. I felt like I had a visible disease or something that was causing people not to want to sit by me.

After the wedding I decided to head back to the cottage to try and watch a little football. Cathy was going to be doing bridal party stuff...and it was one of those weddings that has the reception like 4 days after the actual ceremony. So I had some time to kill. I got lost a bit on the way back to the cottage due to some construction. No big deal, took about 20 minutes I think to get back on track. So when I got there I watched probably about 25 minutes or so of football then decided I should probably head back for the reception because I didn't know if the construction would effect me getting there for that. It did. The 33 minute trip turned into about an hour. Lucky I left early I guess.

When I got there I had no idea that I was in the right place. The building wasn't marked very well and I basically just drove up and down the street until I saw someone that I recognized from the wedding. So I parked and went in. I was put at a table with other unfortunate "significant others of the wedding party" who had also been tricked into going to a wedding that they didn't know anyone at. I talked to a guy...I think his name was Brian...for the most part. The other girls were all relatively annoying and kind of stuck up...even though they definitely weren't good looking enough to be stuck up.

The food was awesome. I don't think I've ever had better food at a wedding. The cake also was pretty top notch. I'm not a HUGE cake least not wedding cake type stuff because I don't like mounds and mounds of frosting...but this one was really good.

The reception itself wasn't too bad. I'm not a big dancer, but I had fun watching the two people who danced to almost every song played. It was amusing.

Then the bride and groom made their exit and I thought we would be leaving shortly there after. Well, that turned into about another hour and ten minutes of just kind of standing there while Cathy was somehow forced to help put table decorations away...into a box that nobody knew where it had been put.

Then, after all of this was said and done we had a two hour drive home. It was a pretty exhausting day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Cottage

My family has a cottage near Dorr, Michigan. It's on a lake called "Lake Monterey" and it's in a private park called "Sandy Pines."

Growing up I was there nearly every weekend of every summer. But then when I turned 16 and got my first job I almost literally stopped going there. I have probably been there less than 25 times in the last 14 years, and being there just overnight last night really made me realize how much I used to enjoy it there.

I hope that when my grandma decides that she doesn't want to go there anymore, she gives me an opportunity to purchase the lot from her. I think that I will be making an active attempt to get over there more often this next summer. Maybe once a month for at least a night.

The lake probably wouldn't be great for kayaking, but it gives me an effective "Base of Operations" for the west side of the state. Over the last 9 years or so that's about the only reason I've gone to the stay there overnight while I go hang out in Grand Rapids or Grand Haven or whatever. But it's in a prime location to get me out on some lakes over on that side of the state with the kayak.

Friday, October 10, 2008


So I know that I've been doing a lot of talking about motorcycles lately...but it's been on my mind.

Right now I'm leaning on maybe trying to save some coin up to get an "older" sport touring type of bike. I'd probably try to keep the 250 around, but use the bigger bike for touring with Cathy. Something like a Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 would be nice. They are virtually identical for nearly 15 years, so you can find older examples in great shape for pretty low prices.

You can get a new-ish one for less than $4k. You can get one from the early 90s for around $2k. Good thing about them is they are generally bikes that were owned by "mature" individuals so they are usually well taken care of.

It seems like they would be a viable option for what I'm looking for.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Life on Mars" on ABC...

So I had been looking forward to "Life on Mars" for a while now. But when I read a bit about it the other day, I got even more interested.

Seems this show is an American remake of a show that won quite a few British awards over the last few seasons.

It's about a detective, Sam Tyler, who lives in 2008. But after an accident, he "wakes up" in 1973. Sam's not sure why, and he doesn't know how to get home.

Is he dead?? Is he in a coma?? Did the accident somehow actually cause him to travel through time??

Either way, the show was pretty entertaining to me. I look forward to seeing where it goes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Still Looking at Different Kayaks...

I just wanted to mention that even though it's getting colder, that hasn't dissuaded me from looking at kayaks and potential places to kayak.

I'm still going to make one of my next trips (whether it happens this fall or next spring) be to Lake Ovid, as I really want to get out on a lake that's not surrounded by houses...seems like it would just be more peaceful that way.

I am also still planning on the Stearns Cordova as the next boat for me. If Cathy enjoys this as much as I have, maybe I will have her use the TK-1 because it's a good boat and then I'll use the Cordova. Then we can have the little Bali inflatable that she has now as a guest boat!!!

Touring Ninja...

So the thought of getting my Ninja all geared up for touring duty has got me pretty excited. I love riding my motorcycle, and I like getting things to accessorize it. So this has got some good potential to give me things to research.

First and foremost will be a new sprocket. A 15 tooth front sprocket will do a couple of things. It will lower the RPMs on the highway at cruising speed. It will also give the bike a slightly higher top speed (not that I ever actually speed). Most of all it will help with gas consumption a little bit. The lower RPM at speed will help to make the bike be a little bit more economical on gas. As it sits, the bike gets over 50 miles per gallon when riding it solely in the city. However, at WOT on the highway for 45 miles it's dipping down to the 42-45 miles per gallon range. Still good, but not as great as one would hope from a 249cc motorcycle. The lower RPM should help get the city riding up to about 60 miles per gallon and hopefully get the highway riding up to about 50 miles per gallon. That will make the bike much cheaper to operate on the highway than my car. The best part is the sprockets are dirt cheap. About $15 gets a really high quality one that will last for thousands of miles.

Second will be some new luggage for the back of the bike. I already have a pretty nice Rapid Transit tank bag. It has served me very well and is extremely useful. This is it here.

However, for real touring duty where you might need to take a change of clothes or some rain gear (like say if we used the bike to commute back and forth to work) the little tank bag isn't quite big enough to store lunches, uniforms, shoes, and anything else that we like to take to work with us (or need to take to work with us). For that, some nice saddle bags would be pretty nice additions to the bike. I was looking around online last night and found that Rapid Transit makes a couple of pretty nice sets of saddle bags. I will be stopping into one of the shops in Lansing to see if they carry them so that I can make sure they'll fit...I know they will, but I just want to be 100%. That, and there are two sizes. I'd LIKE to go with the larger ones if possible, but we'll see. Either way, it's cool that they match the tank bag. I know it's lame, but I like the fact that all of the bike luggage will lock. Here are the saddle bags here.

That should just about get the storage aspects of the touring covered. We'll have plenty of room for stuff to take with us now, and we can always load up a backpack or get a larger tank bag if we absolutely had to have a little bit more room. But with those saddle bags we should easily be able to get a weekends worth of clothing stuffed into them for a trip over to the cottage or whatever. I think a trip to the cottage a few times a summer on the motorcycle would be awesome!!!

The rest of the bike is pretty much set for touring as it is. It's got the largest windscreen that I will put on it, the Zero Gravity Double Bubble. Yes, there are larger ones out there, but they look horrible. The only other thing I will add to the bike itself will be a throttle lock, so that I don't have to "hold" the throttle all the time. The throttle lock will allow me to relax my right wrist from time to time on a longer trip.

The other things that we'll need, however, is going to be a little bit of new gear. I have...ummm...grown out of my Kawasaki leather jacket. It was never the most comfortable anyways, so replacing it was on my list of things to do sometime in the future anyways. But I've got a good idea for a replacement in mind for myself. It's the Tourmaster Transition Series 2 3/4 length touring jacket. It looks to me like it's a pretty good jacket, and "Motorcyclist" magazine just gave it 4/5 stars on a long term test. It's also relatively inexpensive at only $160 or so shipped. I actually like the obnoxiously loud "Day Glo Green" color pictured here.

I'll have to see if Cathy will allow me to have that color, though!!! Best part about the jacket is that they make a women's version, too. Cathy has been wearing my extra gear when we ride together, but it doesn't fit her and as such isn't exactly the safest. They make some more muted colors for the women, so I think she'll be able to find one that she likes. I'll also have to get some different gloves for her. I can wear my black ones which will match this jacket fine because black goes with anything...but my Kawasaki green gloves just won't match it well at fact, the clashing of the two colors might be enough to start World War III!!!!

Also, Cathy is going to have to get fitted for a helmet of her own. She can wear my extra one, but it's also too big. She probably only needs a size medium. Maybe a large. But the XL size helmets that I find fit me don't fit her good enough at all. That'll be something that she'll have to really look around at, because there are so many designs. I don't know if she'd want something girly or something crazy...but she'll have to check those out.

Lastly, we'll probably be getting some helmet-helmet communication system. I've read that there are some good Bluetooth wireless one's out there, but I don't really mind the wires. So who knows...cost will be the main concern with something like that, so who knows. HJC makes a Chatterbox for rider-passenger communications that looks like it should work just fine.

Either way, I'm looking forward to these things. It's going to be cheaper than buying a few scooters or another motorcycle...and who knows, if it works out really well, maybe we'll look into getting a bit bigger bike for touring in the next few years...can you say...Kawasaki Concours???

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Motorcycles, Part II...

Well, after talking with Cathy for a while today, I've decided that I'm probably just going to keep my Ninja 250.

She had a pretty good idea...why not just make the Ninja a bit more into what we need it to be??

So I'm probably going to be getting some nice luggage for it in the coming months, so that we'll be ready for spring of next year.

I'm looking into getting some Cortech Sport style saddlebags, and a much larger tank bag. The tank bag that I've got right now is pretty nice, but it's more for quick trips to return DVDs or whatever than actually storing anything of any adequate size in it.

Those three items will cover us as far as storage space goes...then I'm going to add a one tooth larger front sprocket to the bike to increase it's top end a tad bit at highway speeds. This will make it cruise at a lower RPM and increase it's gas mileage.

Those few additions should be enough to make the Baby Ninja a pretty adequate commuting/small touring bike!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008


As any of you that know me know, I own a motorcycle. It's a 2002 Kawasaki Ninja 250. I've done a ton of work to it in the 20 months or so that I've owned it, and it's pretty unique. I can honestly say that in all of my internet searching I've never seen another 250 just like it.

With that said, I sometimes think about having a different motorcycle. I don't know if it's just my preferences are changing or what, but I don't really view the motorcycle as a "toy" anymore, so much as I view it as a viable form of transportation.

With that said, the 250 seems a little bit small. I'm thinking that maybe it's time to sell it and move on to something a little bit bigger...and maybe a little bit more cruiserish. I don't know...I've never really been a big fan of cruisers, but the laid back riding style and generally larger engine size might help a little bit for using it as actual transportation. The problem is, the cruisers that I like the most are smaller cruisers!!!

I also wonder sometimes if a better option for me would be a dual sport style bike...something like a dirtbike for the street. Or maybe a motard. I like the idea of the dual sport...riding down the paved road and then seeing a trail that you want to tackle and are ABLE to tackle might be interesting. I also really like the motards...but man are they ever expensive!!!

I'm thinking though that maybe selling the 250 and buying something a few years older but a tad bit bigger might be the best option...whether it be a little bit older cruiser or sportbike wouldn't really matter.

I don't know though...I never do...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hurt Back

So I woke up this morning and my back hurt even worse than it did yesterday.

I pulled a muscle months ago and went to a doctor about it. He told me that it was pulled and gave me some pain pills and some heat treatment thing. It was better a few days later, but ever since then I have a pain in that same general area every few months. I'm not sure if I'm just pulling the muscle again, or what.

It sucks because it's a muscle in my back that seems to move with almost every other movement of my upper body. Turn my head, back hurts. Nod my head, back hurts. Move my arms, back hurts.

It's really painful, and even the muscle relaxer that I took last night didn't seem to help at all.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Dogs

I'm going to try to embed a video into the blog. It's of the dogs. Two bluetick coonhounds and one beagle. The beagle is Dillon. The first bluetick is Cooper and the second one is Gordon.

There's a cat around here somewhere too, his name is Presto. But he was not anywhere to be seen at the time of the video, and I couldn't find him when I looked for him. He's been hiding somewhere in the house lately and I'm not sure where it is.

No Kayak Trip Today

So I had been planning on getting the TK-1 out and taking it up to Lake Ovid for some paddling at a lake that's not surrounded by houses for a change. I've heard the wildlife at Lake Ovid can be wonderful, with some Bald Eagles taking nest there at times.

Well, a few things led to me not going.

First and foremost was the fact that when I woke up this morning my back was KILLING me. I'm not sure what I did, but I must've slept funny, because my back has hurt all day long. It's still kind of a dull throbbing pain that I'm trying to get rid of with some mild pain killers.

Second was the fact that my paycheck didn't hit my account today, and being low on funds I didn't want to take a trip that would use up most of the rest of my gas in my car.

Third is the fact that it's Saturday and there were some good football games scheduled. If you know me at all, you know I watch football whenever I get the chance.

Lastly, it simply wasn't as warm as I had anticipated it to be. It only made it up to about 57 degrees, and although I had told myself that going kayaking in over 60 degrees would be okay, that 3 degree difference seems to be more like 30 degrees. I really don't know if I'm up to the task of falling into 60 degree water when it's only 57 degrees outside just yet in my kayaking skills.

The good news, however, is that it's supposed to be up in the mid-60s and sunny on my days off next maybe on Tuesday I'll try to make a quick trip somewhere to get the TK-1 into the water again.

Take a Moment...

If you're reading this blog for whatever reason, I wanted to take just a quick second to mention that you should look down near the very bottom of the page.

Down there are a couple of gadgets that blogger allows you to use that display things. I have selected to have a different image from NASA and from National Geographic displayed.

Everyday these two images will be something new, and some of them are simply breathtaking. Especially the ones from National Geographic.

Now, back to football!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Scooter Research...

One thing that I really enjoy doing is researching things that I may potentially purchase. It gives me things to look for on the internet and things to think about.

The scooter idea that Cathy had has been in my head a lot the last few days. I like the idea more and more as I think about it, and as such I've been looking online almost non-stop for information about scooters.

I've narrowed it down to two options. Option one is to buy us a couple of used Honda Ruckuses. Cathy and I both like the styling of the Ruckus, and they seem to be fairly easy to find used for pretty good prices. This is the Ruckus.

I personally like the Ruckus because there are LOADS of customizable parts that can be purchased for it, and I LOVE to tinker with things. If it's got wheels and a motor and I own it, it won't be stock for very long. Here's an example of one that a guy spent WAY too much money on...but it gives you an idea...

The other option that I have come up with is buying a couple of new scooters from a company called "Kymco." Kymco is a Taiwanese based company that has a very good reputation in the scooter world. They make affordable scooters with good warranties. Twenty-four month parts and labor warranties aren't very common in the two wheeled world, but that's what the Kymco's all have.

The model that I like for the both of us is the Kymco Sento. It's a 49cc scooter which makes it moped legal. It's got a retro styling that I really dig. I'm not sure, but I might actually like the style BETTER than the Ruckus. It comes in a few different colors as well. I would think Cathy would like this one...

...or they also make it in a pink that might fit her. But I think she'd like the blue better...I'm not really sure why I think that, I guess maybe because I like the blue a bit better than the pink.

I, on the other hand, would definitely want this one.

I REALLY like that brown color scheme a LOT. I think that's a really classy looking scooter and I think it would be fun to have.

There is a third option, but I doubt Cathy would really like it. It involves buying a couple of early 80s actual know, the kind with pedals that look more like a bike than a scooter. I've gotten pretty handy at repairing carburetors, so I think I could nurse a couple of those old mopeds back to health for a total of under $400 each...but I don't think she'll like that because, well, they are outright ugly!!!

Now, all of this is, of course, just research and planning. Cathy has banned me from purchasing any kind of moped or scooter for us at the current time. That's okay, we'd have no use for them over the winter anyways!!! But that doesn't mean I'm not going to spend time looking at them!!!

RROD: Three Red Lights...Yes...

Well, it's official. My Xbox 360 has died and gone to Heaven...or Hell...wherever Xbox 360s go.

My box from Microsoft should be here in a few days, and I'll package it up and get it sent out right away. A guy at work (Jason Cotton) got his back in like 10 days after he sent it in, so hopefully I'll only be without my console for about 2 weeks.

RROD: Three Red Lights...Or Not???

So today a funny thing happened. I got an old issue of Game Informer the other day. Somehow my subscription sent me the October issue and then a week later I got the September issue. So I was reading through the September issue and on the last page of the magazine they always have some "Facts and Figures." These are generally made up things that are pretty amusing, and I ALWAYS read them.

Well, in this issue they had a "Fact and Figure" that said: "1--Number of people we met at E3 that still had their first Xbox 360."

At that point I decided I must have the only original Xbox 360 left in the world that has never been sent in for service. I got mine on February 6, 2007. So I've had it for ALMOST 20 months now.

So I laughed at that and then came downstairs to help Cathy get a video set up. She watched a few minutes and the screen froze. I told her to reset the Xbox so she got up and turned it off and back on...and OH NO!!!! Red Ring of Death!!! I had the three red lights, less than an hour after being amused at that "Fact and Figure."

So I called up Microsoft and they are sending me a box to put my Xbox into. They will then repair or replace it under warranty.

Well, in the process of getting it all set to send to Microsoft, I decided I'd take a picture of the RROD to send to Alex, a friend of mine, with the message "OH NOES!!!111!!!!11" with it. So I hooked everything back up to the 360 and turned it on to get the picture...and now it was working.

Cathy watched the video she had wanted to watch, and the 360 was on for well over an hour without any other issues.

Now I'm at a loss on what I should do. Do I send it in anyways?? Do I not??? I don't know...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Time Off...

Well, I've got a few days off in a row here. In a way it's going to be kind of nice not having to go to work.

I don't really have anything at all planned...other than a possible kayak excursion up to Lake Ovid on Saturday...or maybe Friday. Both days are looking like the weather is going to be pretty favorable, so whichever day I decide to go should be fine.

Whenever I go, I'll bring back some pictures to post up!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Collecting DVDs...

Cathy and I have got quite the collection of DVDs. She has TONS of different movies...literally hundreds. She collects them. Some of them have never even been opened.

I, on the other hand, don't have the nearly the quantity of movies that she has. However, I have recently been purchasing as many "Ultimate" collector's editions as I can get my hands on. Some of them come with some spectacular packaging and extras.

These are just a few of the crown jewels in my collection.

First is the newly released "Iron Man" Best Buy Exclusive Edition. This DVD set comes with the 2-disc collector's edition of the movie, a miniature bust of Iron Man made by Sideshow Collectibles, and a $50 gift card to Sideshow Collectibles. I used the Gift Card to get a couple of creepy Living Dead Dolls.

Next up is a newer version of one of my all time favorite movies: "Troy." This ultimate collector's edition comes with quite a bit of swag. A letter from Brad Pitt to the directors and producers about how he thinks the Mermidons colors aren't correct...his opinion was actually taken seriously and the movie version of the costumes are exactly what he suggests. The extended Director's Cut of the movie. Pictures from on the set. A hardcover book of photographs and concept art. And some VERY cool packaging.
Next up is the Ultimate Edition of a sci-fi classic..."Blade Runner." This was the first awesome set that I purchased, and it got me hooked on these things. This set comes with TONS of awesome stuff. It's got the 5 disc version of the movie, which includes EVERY version of the movie...from the original to the newly edited final cut. It comes with a lenticular. It comes with a Matchbox type version of the car in the movie, it comes with a statue of the origami weapon in the movie, it comes with a letter from the director, and best of all it comes all packaged in a replica of Deckard's briefcase. Simply astounding.

Next up is one of my favorites. This is the Ultimate Edition of the "Planet of the Apes." This set is even better than the "Blade Runner" set. It comes with pretty much anything "Planet of the Apes" that's ever been put on screen. It's got: "Planet of the Apes," "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," "Escape from the Planet of the Apes," "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes," "Battle for the Planet of the Apes," every episode of the "Planet of the Apes" television series, every episode of "The Planet of the Apes" animated television show, the 2001 remake of "The Planet of the Apes," loads of special features and extra discs. The best part about this thing though, it comes in a fricken ape's head!!! That's right, it comes in a bust of the Caesar who was a character in several of the films. The bust is a good size, all the discs fit inside of it, and it's got GREAT characteristics. The hair on it is hobby quality doll hair. It's very realistic, and to an extent fairly creepy. My dogs are a bit frightened of it. It's wonderful, and it was limited to only 10,000 with numbered certificates of authenticity.

Last, but definitely not least is one that Cathy and I recently purchased together. It's the "Ultimate Edition of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas." It comes with the movie packaged into the bottom of the bust. The bust is enormous, much larger than even the Caesar bust that came with "Planet of the Apes." The bust also comes with a Sandy Claws hat and beard that can be put onto the bust if you wanted to. Best part about it?? It TALKS!!! That's right, a small button on the side of the bust produces 10 or so phrases from the movie. Jack Skellington rocks, hardcore.

There you have it. That's just a small taste of the DVD collection that Cathy and I have worked on. I also have several other collector's sets that are pretty cool...including "Big Fish," "Jaws Anniversary Edition," "American Gangster," and a "Transformers" copy that comes in a transforming DVD case.

On my list of sets to get are the Anniversary set of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and coming soon the Best Buy Exclusive Edition of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.