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"In time, you will call me....Master."
--Emperor Palpatine
Site last updated:  18 March  2011
Half Life 2
Star Wars Battlefront II
Star Trek.com
Star Wars.com
Maximum PC.  Minimum BS.
"....and the sea shall grant each man new hope, as sleep brings dreams of home...."
--Christopher Columbus
Bioshock.....pure eye-candy!
F.E.A.R. - First Encounter Assault Recon
Ellen Page
Hard Candy
Mouth to Mouth
Juno
23 March 2008
Ellen Page
A young up-and-coming actress, Ellen Page, at the age of just 21 now, has already been nominated for a "best actress" Oscar for her work in "Juno."  Although she didn't win, she's been lauded as one of the best young actresses in recent years.  I didn't know about her until I saw her in "Hard Candy," which is a dark drama, revolving around a 14-year-old girl who turns the tables on a would-be pedophile.  Her character really kicks some psychological ass in this film, and her performance was exemplary.  After seeing it, I was really curious about her other films.  I found her in "Mouth to Mouth," in which her rebellious, runaway teenage character finds appreciation within a cult-like gang in the streets of Europe.
But there are consequences to running away, and she realizes it when her mother joins the gang and turns against her.  A very brutal depiction of
of what can happen when you rebel, "Mouth to Mouth" is a must-see for any Ellen Page fan.  However, Ellen gives a sly, witty performance in "Juno," written by Diablo Cody.  As a teenager who finds herself pregnant by her best friend, she decides adoption is the best choice.....but her interaction with the would-be adoptive parents is priceless.  You can see some video clips of Ellen Page on my Pics Page, where she hosted Saturday Night Live  on March 1, 2008.
23 June 2008
George Carlin (1937-2008)
One of the most influtential comedians of our time has passed away.  George Carlin, aged 71, died of heart failure this past Sunday.  He was renowned for such on-stage rhetoric as "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," as well as "People I Can Do Without."  If you're one of the people on my email list, you'll know what my favorite line of his was.  George Carlin was known as a comedian for the counter-culture.  He always took notice of our society's problems, as well as the problems that our government has never issued, whether the government-in-charge be Democrat or Republican.  In addition, he questioned the English language, as it is, for what it's worth:  Can you actually blow your nose?  No....it's impossible.  And are you acutally "taking a dump?"  Where exactly, are you taking it?  Are you taking it with you somewhere?  Not likely.  Very funny stuff. 

Some of his stuff is silly, and some is very thought-provoking.  Regardless of what you think about George Carlin, he will always be, in my mind, a comedic genius and a modern-day philosopher.   A comedian who has thought through our political ideals, and has reached some very funny conclusions.  Whether you agree with him or not, he is generally regarded as a "near genius" from the comedic republic.  I am not a Comedian....I make no allusions to this.   I just pass on funny texts and  videos, when they come my way.   And when I come upon something that George Carlin has to say, I feel obligated to forward it on to all my friends.  Enjoy the following videos and pics (but watch out for the language)!

The Original "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television"
The Updated "Seven Words" (some removed, some added)
Fart Jokes
McHi Steppers (unofficial) Website
George Carlin (1937-2008)
13 July 2008
Janine & Crystal in Spain
In case you didn't already know, my sister Janine and her friend Crystal are in Spain for the whole month of July, on a school-chartered "study abroad" program.  She called earlier today and had just returned to Madrid, having gone on a weekend vacation to Pamplona to see the "Running of the Bulls."  She said it was awesome and disgusting at the same time.  No, she didn't have any "PETA-type objections"......rather, the smell.  Apparently the traditional drink during the event is Red Wine mixed with Coca-Cola (nasty), and everyone drinks 24/7 for the entire week.  During said time, everyone vomits, pees, and craps in the streets.  Yeah, they clean it up early each morning before each "Running,"  but the smell doesn't go away.  Check out her ongoing blogsite here:  http://www.janineinspain.tumblr.com.

The Jedi Gym
On a more uplifting note, check out the following video, a truly hilarious
Star Wars parody:
http://www.atom.com/funny_videos/sw_jedi_gym
The flag of Spain.....click to see Janine's Blogsite
Yep, them's some big ass lemons!
21 November 2008
Yep, Them's Some Big Ass Lemons!
About 2 years ago, I helped my Dad plant a "Valley Lemon" tree in the back yard.  Last year it was still pretty little, and only produced about two or three tiny half-dollar-sized lemons.  This year.....WHOA!  It only produced 5 lemons, but these suckers are ENORMOUS!  And yes, that's a U.S. Quarter in the picture, so you get the idea of scale (Click the pic to enlarge).  A couple months ago, when the lemons were still green (but huge), a few USDA guys stopped by the house, to check the tree for "psyllids," which are little bugs that can carry a bacteria known for killing citrus fruit.  They spotted the tree from the street (which is easy because all citrus trees have ficus-shaped leaves, but they're not glossy)
Anyway, the guys inspected the tree and found that yes, it had psyllids on it (as nearly all citrus trees do), but they tested negative for carrying that bacteria.  But the weird thing was, they asked...."hey...what kind of citrus tree is this?"  (And these guys are experts, who inspect citrus trees every single day!)  My Dad said, "It's a Valley Lemon."  They said they'd never seen lemon fruits that big!  And neither have I, nor my Dad.  I'll admit that I sprayed it several times--during its first year--with Miracle Gro, but I didn't spray it AT ALL this year....it just got watered about once a week with tap water from the hose.  We still don't know why, or how, it produced these GIGANTIC lemons, but we're hoping for more of the same next year!  Incidentally, the lemons are extremely sweet yet still tart as hell.....but they're so big, you can bite into them like an orange!  YAY!!!!  We got us a Mutant Lemon Tree!!!!
22 November 2008
I'm The Proud Owner of a Cat-House!
No, not what you're thinking about, you pervert!  I just built a "Winter Chateau" for my cats to enjoy during cold nights.  I took my sisters' old computer desk and converted it into a two-story bed for our cats.  The desk had been sitting out on the back patio for several months, and I noticed that "Little Girl" aka Missy, and "Little Boy" aka Rusty, liked to sit on top of it at night.  But when winter rolls in, they need a warm place to "crash."  During warm nights (which is most of the year here in South Texas), Rusty stays out all night, while Missy prefers to come inside by 10pm.  And during their time outside, they enjoy "guarding the yard" and/or chasing moths, mice, or other critters that don't belong in their territory.  But during our few winter months, they don't often have a good place to stay warm in between chases.  Once a year, I converted a little cardboard box into a "bed" with a beach towel inside to accommodate the cats.  But since Rusty and Missy don't always get along, I felt they needed separate "apartments."  So, I took my sisters' old desk and recycled its parts back into iteself, to create a two-story "Winter chateau" for them.  You can see from the pics below what I mean.  Using the standard complement of hand- and power-tools, consisting of a power saw,  power drill, flat-head and phillips-head screwdrivers, and a box of wood screws, I cut the "computer storage" section of the desk away from the "leg storage" section.  From the left leg of the desk, I cut a piece to serve as a shelf, which I then inserted into the unit using the standard shelf holders which came with the desk.  From the top left of the desk, I cut a piece to serve as backing to the unit, to cut down on cold winds/drafts.....I then drilled pilot holes through it and screwed it onto the back of the unit.  After construction, I cleaned it up and put some clean beach towels into both compartments....and I'm happy to say that both Missy and Rusty have approved!  I went out for a smoke about an hour ago, and there they were, Rusty on top and Missy on the bottom.  Kinda sounds like Missionary position for cats?  Weird.  Anyway, they like it, so I'm happy as well.
The Old Desk....before reconstruction
Tools for the trade!
Backside of the cats "Winter Chateau", with cover
Rusty inspects the final "Winter Chateau" product
Hot Sauce Collection....Click to enlarge!
03 January 2009
Happy New Year!
I hope everyone's holiday went well....my Christmas was nice and quiet.  Funny--I received two different hot sauce gift packs this year!  Julie (with Janine's keen eye) got me a "Louisiana" brand gift pack, and Mother & Randy got me a "Dave's Gourmet" brand gift pack.  Both are awesome, and I'm currently enjoying a few of them.  "Dave's Gourmet" has a sauce called "Insanity".....and it's no joke!  Jaime, Elise, and Kenny and I all tried just a little dab of it on our fingers, and holy crap!!!  This stuff is pretty damned serious!  Just a teaspoon of it in a full vat of chilli will make it "5-Alarm."  Not kidding.....it's THAT HOT!!!!  Click the pic to enlarge.....try all the varieties, if you dare!
"A Clockwork Orange," by Stanley Kubrick, 1972
TV Sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie," 1965-1970
New Movies
I've added about 25 new movies to my DVD collection over the past month.  One favorite of mine was "A Clockwork Orange" (1972).  A lot of people have mixed feelings about this movie.....I think it stems from the fact that people tend to "feel dirty" after having watched it.  There's a lot of violence and torture during the flick, so there's your "X" or "NC-17" rating.  But the film itself is really a social commentary on the lack of "justice" and "fairness" in human nature.  The main character goes about attacking and torturing various innocent people, then goes to jail for a short period, during which he undergoes a "re-conditioning" behavioral experiment that should make him a more acceptable person in society.  The re-conditioning process,
however, does not take, and it's obvious that he has not truly paid for his crimes against humanity.  It's a cynical and bitter view of human nature, but one that's painfully true:  life's just not fair.  If you've never seen "A Clockwork Orange," then I highly recommend that you see it.  You may not like it, but it will open your eyes to tyranny, injustice, and people who are just plain evil.

I Dream of Jeannie
On the lighter side of everything, I recently downloaded the complete series of "I Dream of Jeannie," (1965-1970).  I can't presume to peer into the mind of George Lucas, but I have no doubt that the origin of Princess Leia's "gold bikini" was a derivation of Barbara Eden's "genie" costume from the hit TV Sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie."  I remember watching re-runs of the show on WTBS when I was just a little kid.....that skimpy little outfit she wore was so hot.....even being a little boy of age 9 to 11, I knew she was the woman I wanted to be with....WOW!!! 
30 January 2009
New Video Card and Monitor
Two weeks ago, my GeForce 7950GT video card died.....I was getting ramdom lit pixels during the BIOS POST, and nothing displayed once Windows loaded.  I could only get to my data by booting into "Safe Mode."  Luckily I found a sale price on Newegg.com, for an EVGA GeForce 9800 GTX+, for $160.  I've installed it and I'm up and running again, but to my dismay, my monitor is conking out.....it's a 19" ViewSonic CRT, and has served me well for several years.....up until about 4 days ago (2 days before I installed the new video card).  Everything in a circular area in the middle of the screen is blurry....Very hard to read text.  So I went ahead and ordered a new monitor.  Jumping into the 21st century, I purchased an LCD flat panel--a 22" widescreen Acer panel that's gotten great reviews on Newegg.  It should be here in a few days, and I'll post a review of it once it has arrived.  In the meantime, I'd like to say that this new 9800GTX+ card is a MONSTER!!!  It's super-fast, but also noisy as hell when running graphics-intensive apps/games.  When I turn on the PC, it sounds like a vacuum cleaner.....I'm not kidding.  And when running games like Crysis or FEAR, it's super-loud.  Awesome frame rates and smooth video delivery, but LOUD!  I'm thinking of buying some noise-cancelling earphones to wear during gameplay....otherwise I'd have to turn up my speakers so loud, just to overcome the videocard's noise, that they'd wake the dead!
16 February 2009
Janine Is Engaged to be Married!
Yep, my little "older" sister has accepted a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Kenneth Cantu.  Kenny popped the question during their St. Valentine's day dinner-date, complete with a diamond engagement ring.  They stopped by the house late Saturday night, and I shot a couple of pics of the new "happy couple."  Congrats to my sis, and I hope it works out well!
Kenny & Janine, Feb 14th 2009
The engagement ring
My new 22" Acer LCD Flat-Panel Monitor
Size Comparison - the 7950GTKO vs. the 9800GTX+
Video Divine
An update to my previous entry.....the 9800 GTX+ is still a monster....loud, but supreme in rendering and in games.  I've since received the Acer x223w, a 22" widescreen LCD.  It's almost perfect, except for one semi-dead pixel in the upper-left-hand-corner of the screen.  It's bright red on dark backgrounds, but goes to normal on white or semi-bright backgrounds.  In any case, it's not that much of a bother considering the price I paid at only $160.  The pic on the left shows the difference in size between my old 7950 GT-KO, which was a single-slot
PCI-Express card.  The 9800 GTX+, on the right, is a dual-slot card (takes up two spaces within the chassis).  The right-hand picture is of my new 22" Widescreen Acer LCD, on my physical desktop.  She's really SWEET!!!!
06 March 2009
More Movies...Some are Great, Some are Crap
I just added another 19 movies to my collection....I haven't watched some of the new ones yet, but the older ones are true classics, such as "The Money Pit", "Four Rooms", and "Erik the Viking".  Another new one is "The House Bunny", starring Anna Faris.  Elise told me that it was kind of a "girly movie," but I still thought it was hilarious, and it has a great soundtrack as well.  In addition, I kept wondering about the character "Oliver" in that movie....his voice sounded so familiar.....turns out, he's Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks!  I'm a nut for romantic comedies, and Tom Hanks is well known for them.....so I guess his son Colin is attempting to carry on with family tradition, haha.
20 July 2009
End of the Steppers
I'll be discontinuing the "McHi Steppers" sub-domain from my website as of December 2009.  Elise & friends graduated in May 2009, but I'll keep the site up until December 2009, just for freshman Steppers.  If you're a Stepper alum, or a parent, I have a bunch of archived Stepper pics and videos....send me an email if there is something you want....I'll be happy to provide it, if nothing for more than your own personal home video collection.  :)
26 July 2009
Site Clean-Up
It's been a long time coming.....but finally I need to clean-up my site and remove non-essential files that were previously associated with clients.  So if you're a friend or personal client and need some of these files, then you'll have to request them directly from me.  I'm not going to list them, because they're proprietary......however, if you need files previously stored on one of these sub-domains, please email me, and I will make the files available to you.
29 August 2009
Found Hidekun on Facebook
I was looking at some 10-year-old photos I have on one of my hard drives, from my time in the Navy.....so I decided to do some searches for my old buddies on Facebook.  Lo and behold, I found my favorite bar-hopping buddy, Hidekun Hah, from my time at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command near Charleston, SC.  We had a good chat via Facebook IM this evening, and he's now an actor/stunt artist living in Los Angeles.  He's done some performances on iCarly, Dark Blue, and Nip/Tuck, as well as several commercials.  His last performance was in a Chilean feature called "The Fighter," due out on DVD pretty soon.  He said that tomorrow morning he's scheduled for an early morning shoot, for a show called "Mommy & Me," starring Mr. Baywatch himself, David Hasselhoff.  Hidekun will be performing as a Japanese hotel concierge.

Good luck on your performance, Hidekun, and best wishes for all your future acting opportunities!

Check out Hidekun Hah's profile on the Internet Movie Database here:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3215567/
06 January 2010
Boot Drive Failure
My old 160 GB Samsung SATA finally gave up the ghost, and I couldn't boot into Windows anymore.  I tried Windows Recovery & the Repair utility, but alas, I had to give up after several attempts.  Luckily for myself, I always keep data on separate disks....so I didn't lose anything.   And I also had a couple of loose 200 GB drives on hand.....and so, I have a new 200 GB boot drive, and all my data is still intact.  Word to the wise for fellow geeks:  keep your data separate from your boot drive.  You'll thank me later.   :)
23 August 2010
Site Updates?
Okay, so it's been 8 months since my last update.  Most of my personal updates have been done via Facebook, and I've seriously neglected my own site.  Sorry for that.  But now I'm thinking about updating my site here, using some Flash content and re-vamping the entire layout using SiteBuilder.  Also, am now running a boot drive of 200GB, and two 500GB drives for storage.  I still need to plug in my 320GB drive, which still works fine....maybe later.  Right now I'm concentrating on re-wiring the house:  Cat5e cable drops into every room....but it's hot as hell in the RGV during the summer so I may have to wait until December, before I start crawling around in the attic.

Media Sharing
Last night, while watching my favorite show, "True Blood" on HBO, the cable service went kaput half-way thru the show.  NNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And of course service didn't come back on until 30 minutes after the show was over.  Yes, I could always download the show from a P2P site later, but I was still pissed at the time.  Anyway, HBO repeats that program at 10:30 CST, so I didn't miss anything.  But yes, I did still download it today, so my sisters could watch.  But I'm wondering about the best ways to share the video....If I have to render it to DVD, it takes a while.....about 45 minutes, and also requires burning to a blank DVD.....this seems wasteful to me.  I tried copying the file to a USB thumb drive and plugged it into the Blu-Ray player, but that didn't work.  Next, I'm going to try plugging directly into the TV.....hopefully the TV will be able to decode the AVI file and display it.  If not, then my only other recourse is to plug my sister's laptop into the TV via VGA (for video) and use a 1/8" stereo male audio cable - to - male RCA cables (for audio) to plug into the TV.....her headphone-out plug should be fine, while the TV will use the RCA audio inputs.  Yes, I know my way around cables and adapters....I'm very "old school" when it comes to stuff like this, and the RIAA or any other agency will never be able to stop me from getting what I want, albeit at lower-than-stellar bit rates/quality.  But hey, they're more concerned about the "big fish" who redistribute stuff.....Me, I only download for myself (and maybe family too,  haha).
08 September 2010
Asian Beef and Noodle Soup
Sounds simple, like cooking up some Ramen.  Yeah, it's pretty close, but WAY tastier.  And very heavy on the ginger.....if you don't like ginger, then avoid this recipe.  Me, I like the taste of fresh ginger....so I LOVE this simple soup recipe.

The Losers
Good movie.....I liked the dude who playted "Denny" on Grey's Anatomy....he was the main character in the movie.  Also Zoe Saldana was a major charater.  Spoiler Alert:  Idris Elba's character isn't as honest as you would think.  But once again, Chris Evans comes through as an honest action hero:  while his character in "Fantastic Four" was obsessed with media attention,  his character in "The Losers" is far from it.  But still the comedian, Evans provides comedic relief while providing true action-hero status.
12 November 2010
COMMUNITY - the TV Series on NBC
Why watch NBC anymore?  Seinfeld and Friends were cancelled years ago.  Any hope for NBC was lost when those awesome sitcoms were cancellled.  But hey....there's a new one....and I didn't even find out about it until its second season.  "Community" is one of the best sitcoms I've ever seen.  Diversity of races, cultures, religions......and they make fun of everything.  Being "PC" is thrown out the window....and that's a GOOD THING.  It's high time that we all make fun of each other, and ignore "Political Correctness."  I love this show, and I hope it continues to grow many more fans!!!!!  For those of you who haven't seen the show.....here's a rundown of the primary characters:
Joel McHale
Gillian Jacobs
Danny Pudi
Yvette Nicole Brown
Alison Brie
Donald Glover
Chevy Chase
Ken Jeong
Jim Rash
Joel McHale as "Jeff Winger."  A triumphant personal injury lawyer.  He faked his BS degree, but his law firm found out....so now he's attending community college to regain his BS.  He's also the "leader" in  his new Spanish study class.
Gillian Jacobs as "Britta."  She's the feminist of the group, but still she has sexual feelings for Jeff, and vice-versa.  Outspoken for her feminist and "vegan" opinions, but still cannot relate to other women in social situations.
Danny Pudi as "Abed."  Abed is a Muslim with Asperger's syndrome.  While being a brilliant young man, he can only relate to other people thru his observations of characters from TV and movies.  He has a special bond with Troy.
Yvette Nicole Brown as "Shirley."  Shirley is a single mother of two young boys, newly divorced from her husband, who left her for a stripper.  Shirley is a devout Christian and is hell-bent on being the "best person" in any situation, no matter what it takes.
Alison Brie as "Annie."  Annie was addicted to several undisclosed drugs while in High School, but after a year in ReHab, she's now an "over-achiever" in Community College.  Perpetually nervous and anxious.  She has a crush on Troy.
Donald Glover as "Troy."  Troy is fresh out of High School, where he was a football quarterback.  Since attending community college, he has formed a "bro-mance" with Abed, and has begun embracing his "feminine side."  Troy is deathly afraid of rats.
Chevy Chase as "Pierce."  Pierce was once the CEO of a company that manufactured moist towelettes.  Now in his late 60's, although he "tweets" that he's only 42, Pierce is the singular person in the group who states his own mind, even when his thoughts and comments are obviously racist and out-of-touch with reality.
Ken Jeong as "Senor Chang."  Chang was once a Spanish Teacher, but like Jeff, he faked his credentials and was found out.  He's now a student like the rest of them, although he wants more than anything....to be a part of their group.  He may also harbor some form of schizophrenia.
Jim Rash as "Dean Pelton." Arguably one of the funniest characters on the show, Dean Pelton sits on the fence between being gay/straight, and has the oddest forms of sexual fantasies....the weirdest being his love of Dalmations.....not the dogs themselves, but people dressed up in costume as dalmation dogs.  He seems adverse to Britta and Annie, but openly likes Jeff when his shirt is off.....Gay?  Hard to determine.  Still, he's one helluva funny character on the show.
18 March 2011
Classic Music from Movies
Here are a couple of tracks that literally "define" the movies that they accompanied.  This first one was written and recorded by Aimee Mann, and quite literally defines the movie "
Magnolia."  The song is called "Wise Up."

Aimee Mann - Wise Up (from the soundtrack for Magnolia)

On a slightly lighter note, "Dream a Little Dream", for the movie of the same name, was recorded by the legendary Mama Cass, of "The Mamas and the Papas."  While she unfortunately passed away long before this movie was ever made, it made her recording of this ditty a major hit, even though the movie itself was a box-office flop.

Mama Cass - Dream a Little Dream (of me)