Thursday, December 31, 2020

Anabelle's Christmas Calculus Song

Hi all!

Anabelle had another assignment to write a Christmas song parody for math and once again she chipped off the old block her way into geek hilarity.

Happy new year everyone!

Ode to Integrals
By Anabelle McGinley  19 Dec 2020
(To the Tune of “Silver Bells”)

Monday, December 28, 2020 Star Wars: Episode II

Attack of the Clones is kind of a mess, to put it bluntly.  That happens when the core is built around a romance, but the cast chemistry has serious issues. Ewan McGregor's Jedi swagger is a sight to behold, though.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Village 2020

America's Daring, Highly Trained, Special Mythion Force
Fights for Folklore Wherever There’s Trouble
It’s fitting that 2020 marks the lucky thirteenth version of this foolishness.  

With what everyone is going through, we could all use a little fantasy in our lives.

As an introduction, Anabelle presents the Marvel Legends version of the Nutcracker, starring:

Monday, December 21, 2020 Star Wars: Episode I

Yes, I saw all of The Mandalorian season 2.  It's going to take a couple of weeks to process that ending without it being a constant stream of "WOO HOO!!!!"  
In the mean time...

I maintain my position that The Phantom Menace is the best of the prequels.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Childhood Australia Flashback

Some things aligned recently, probably far more due to the human brain's predisposition for pattern recognition than any kind of cosmic synchronicity.

Monday, December 14, 2020 Star Wars: The Order

It was coming up on the time for my Semi Regular Need to rewatch all the Star Wars films anyway, then The Madalorian pushed me over the edge.  Especially now that the sequel trilogy is done, I was thinking about the optimal watching order...

As I often do.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Wear. A. Mask.

 My initial instinct for this year's G I Joe battle village was to have all the masked action figures in normal (for me) poses, and all the unmasked ones laying dead on the ground.

The problems with this were

A) The figures are old, and I have very little control who can stand up anymore.
B) It's not a set up that lends itself to a joke filled narrative.
Most Importantly
C) It revealed that me being pissed off all the time about what's going on is affecting my ability to write in a way that relaxes me.

I need to get this out, then I can go back to the creative process in my skewed definition of normal.

Monday, December 7, 2020

E-Dorm Life: Real Endings

The real ending of my E-Dorm life came a year later. I stayed at the E-Dorms after the Big Room years rooming with Jesse finished, but moved to a Voorhees single.  In trying to avoid the odd feeling of being in Brian’s old room, I accidentally picked one Scott had lived in. Since he got rid of his bed and slept in a hammock during his stay, there wasn’t much familiarity of the space anyway.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

I Have Finally Seen the Mandalorian!

Yes, it was a major delay, but I bought the toys immediately and am all caught up now.

Monday, November 30, 2020

E-Dorm Life: Initial Endings

When Jesse and I first got to college, we realized that we would be the “Class of '92” like the Doctor said he was in the classic last Key to Time episode, 1979's “The Armageddon Factor.”   I finished all my requirements by December of 1991, but since: I knew I’d need a graduate degree eventually, the job market had dried up considerably while we were studying, and that kind of Galifreyan reference was too good to pass up, I filed all my papers to allow me to officially graduate with the class I'd entered RPI with in June of 1992.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Molly's Marvel Mania

 As I pointed out in my Disney Planning excursions, I use frequently for Disney World menu and other information. One of their main reporters is Molly, and frankly her write-ups, videos and Instagram posts from the parks have been a source of sanity for my family during these excessively annoying times.  I’d feel safer in a Disney Park now than I would in most other places. They know how to deal with people, how to engineer in safety and have insanely high standards for cleanliness.

Monday, November 23, 2020

E-Dorm Life- Juggling Club – Brushes With Fame

There were two moments in our college career where the RPI Juggling Club had contact with some of the greatest Jugglers of our time.  Woo!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Collaborative Songs Part 2

My brother-in-law sent me the beginning of this many years ago. I threw on some verses and sent it back, and we e-mailed back and forth, during what must have been an outstandingly productive day at work for both of us, until it reached its completed state.

Then we forgot about it for eleven years, until he found it on an old storage drive.

And now, here it is!

Monday, November 16, 2020

E-Dorm Life- Juggling Disasters

Another long one folks, hold on for the ride.  Sometimes the memories flooded back as I proofread, after everything was locked in place, yielding new and detailed stories each time.

I did a great deal of juggling at RPI, something else I learned from Jesse, both having fun in the club and in various performances.  It reached a point that if I meet someone who went to the same college as I did at the same time, I ask:

“Did you juggle or do a radio show? Otherwise, I'll have no idea who you are."

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Rocky Through a Kid's Eyes: Sins of the Fathers

In spite of the fact that she enjoyed, and cheered through, every other Rocky film, my daughter's anti-boxing stance grew stronger and stronger over time.  She says watching any form of boxing, real, video game or cinematic, makes her very uncomfortable.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Collaborative Songs Part 1

The absolute best part of Laughter Hours was bouncing comedy ideas around and writing funny stuff with Jesse.

I had an idea for a song parody back in 2000, so I sent him the bits I had, and he sent some back. It led to an extremely silly evening over the phone, and this:

Man, I still really miss doing Laughter Hours.

Monday, November 2, 2020

E-Dorm Life- You Never Know What You’re Going to Hear Next

With my abilities improved and Jesse having a half a year off to analyze things, senior year was unquestionably the peak of our on air comedy partnership.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Monday, October 26, 2020

E-Dorm Life- Insane Songs for an Insane World

It has been commonly stated that college years define you. What really defined the most of the “me” of me during that time, far more than ANY of the classes or other activities was seven semesters of “Laughter Hours on WRPI, Troy.”

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Werewolf of London through a Kid’s Eyes

My pointing out this was an old one before they got the hang of how to do  werewolves  was what enticed Anabelle back to Universal Monsters.  Whatever works.  

A little early for Halloween, but none of us knows what day it is anymore anyway.

Monday, October 19, 2020

E-Dorm Life- E-MADness

Engineering classes before the capstone tended to fall all over the spectrum. The fact that I wrote about the capstone before any earlier ones is further evidence that these memories all came bursting back and flooding into my brain in random order.

I still maintain there was an air of practicality missing from many courses. A key year one class that should have been offered was: 
“Vendors who give less than a pile of rat droppings about your deadlines.”

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dungeons and Dragons Memories- Meet the Party

Dungeons and Dragons has always been a big part of my life. This is both as a player and as Dungeon Master.  My favorite DMing experiences has always been with new players, as they tend to get more easily caught up in the interactive storytelling and less in the statistics and level grinding.

Monday, October 12, 2020

E-Dorm Life- The Batcraft

Since these college stories mostly come from pointless demonstrations, learning performing skills, and 
embarrassing myself in front of the opposite sex, I thought I’d highlight some actual engineering learning for a change.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Bat-lets Final Thoughts


Talk about beginning strong and ending with a tornado of dopiness and budget cuts.  
(That probably should have been some kind of figurative language there.)

Monday, October 5, 2020

E-Dorm Life- Shared Classes

Our college group was the Juggling Club gang and we all had different majors.  I was Mechanical Engineering, Brian was Aeronautical Engineering, Randy was Electrical Engineering, Scott was Business, and Jesse was Computer Science.  We often joked we could all join together after we graduated and form a company.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

E-Dorm Life- How Not to Stage a Protest

I haven’t suddenly developed the ability to talk about current events. Instead, it is a stranger continued flashback to RPI.  As the image indicates, all E-Dorm flashbacks are stranger.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Budget Planning 101

It would be fitting, since he got his degree in accounting when he went to night school even though he worked with computers, that I should talk about this on my Dad's birthday.   It is a practical budgeting method I learned in college that my recent flood of memories made me realize I haven't related yet.  However, as I construct this timely introduction, I realize that it is, in fact, two month's early for his birthday, because I've long moved past not knowing what day it is, and shifted on to forgetting larger calendar increments.

Monday, September 14, 2020

E-Dorm Life- Background

We moved out of the freshman dorms after our first year. 

I’ll get around to posting about those early days eventually- what was intended as a single paragraph flashback highlighting them has bloomed into multiple posts. (And here they are!) 

I know, everyone is stunned by that...especially since this oversize, non-linear cavalcade of personal history also began life as an expected paragraph sized introduction before thirty year old memories vomited forth by the bushel in no particular order. 

I spent the rest of my college days in the E-Dorms. (Click here for current floor plans)  The buildings were shaped (obviously) like an “E” and were the oldest residence hall on campus. As an indication, multiple sections were named after Pre World War Two officers of the Imperial Railways of Japan.  Jesse and I continued rooming together, as unlike most best friends who shared space in college, we remained best of friends.

Monday, September 7, 2020

E-Dorm Life- Index

Performing college searches for my daughter (AAAH!) and a truly awesome birthday gift led me to remembering a bunch of elements from my college days at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, particularly the years in the infamous E-Dorms. 


Thursday, September 3, 2020

New Who Views- Assistants, Companions, Best Friends and The Fam

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these.  Thanks to the BBC finally releasing seasons of the classic series, I’ve been revisiting some Fourth trough Seventh Doctor episodes with my family.  I’ve also been watching the extras on the Twelfth's boxed set, the Thirteenth's season is fresh in our minds, my nephew is getting into the show so my sister's family is revisiting Nine (Don't skip Nine!) and we’ll always watch Ten or Eleven if they happen to be on.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

1001 Superman Tales- or 1001 Tales with A Lot of Superman Anyway

What better way to celebrate passing a thousand posts on Monday than by revisiting what was part of the first of many geeky superhero rants of this blog, only four posts in: Talking about the Christopher Reeve Superman films.

Especially this close to mom's birthday!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020

Jeff’s Impressions de Europe

For close to half a century, I have greeted anyone presenting the opinion that I should experience Europe with a counter opinion that I would be much happier going back to EPCOT’s World Showcase.

My company made the decision to change that tune for me, and now I can say I have been to Europe.

My review-

It was dark and soggy.

Thank you very much, good night!