Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Story of my Birth

The birth of Andrew Lucas happened in this way.
The year is 1982, not quite the 80's and not quite the 70's anymore, that strange transition time. Fairbanks Alaska, the Great Interior. It was a cold dark fall day in late September. My mother went into labor. Rushing to the hospital she was worried she wouldn't make it....but would she??? Yes she would, but it was a close call. She told the doctor he needed to hurry because the baby was coming, I was that baby. The doctor laughed and scoffed at her saying, "Ma'am don't worry, these things take hours, we have plenty of time." She reminded him that she had one before and she knew it was on the way. She was right, as lightening flashed and thunder crashed in the background I came roaring out of the womb and into the world. The doctor raised me high in the air and yelled, "ITS A BOOOOYYYYY!!!" The first Lucas male of the new generation born on the 26th. The world would never be the same now that there was an Andrew Lucas in it. My body temperature was lower than normal and to this day the cold doesn't bother me, I enjoy it. A name was needed but what would it be? My mother and father couldn't agree on anything, horrible names were tossed around like Boris, Igor, Vladimir, and crap like that. My mother, fearing I would get beat up on a daily basis, suggested more normal non-geek names. My dad didn't like any of these. Several days passed and the nurse came in to demand a name. My hospital bracelet and birth certificate needed a name desperately. Feeling frustration my dad told my mom to just pick something. She said, "um, er..uhh, um, ANDREW" My dad then said, "OH THATS A STUPID NAME!" But it was too late the nurse said, nope thats what it is, thats what I'm using. And so being named and being yellow due to jondus my parents took me home where I would start my life and someday end up writing this in a blog 26 years later.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Due to the fact that we had our first frost today and that Fall officially starts in a few days i thought i would post this poem. I love the fall and its my favorite time of the year, but thats just my two cents.

The autumn wind is a pirate.
Blustering in from sea, with a rollicking song
he sweeps along, swaggering boisterously.
His face is weather beaten.
He wears a hooded sash,
with a silver hat about his head,
and a bristling black mustache.
He growls as he storms the country.
A villain big and bold.
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
as he robs them of their gold.
The autumn wind is a raider,
pillaging just for fun, he'll knock you 'round
and upside down and laugh when he's conquered
and won.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Game System Review: Nintendo Wii

Not since the very first nintendo entertainment system have i enjoyed a game system so much as the Wii.

The wii makes fat lazy gamers have to get up to get involved in the game. You can spend hours and hours playing with this thing and never be bored. Using the controllers to actually move your characters is revolutionary and people better get used to it because the next Xbox that comes out will surely have a similar feature.

People complain about the graphics on the Wii, saying they aren't very good. Compared to what?? The xbox 360 or playstation 3? Those systems have SLIGHTLY better graphics, basically graphics are highly over rated. Games, if they are good, don't need to have good graphics to be fun. Besides all of the Wii games are in 3D so what is the problem? I don't see one here.

Applaud Nintendo for using the same characters and reoccurring games because this is the part of gaming that has remained the same since i was in first grade. Everyone still knows who Mario is, who Link is, and why not use them over and over again? We all loved them the first time, so why not over 20 years later as well? Although playing with a Wii is like playing with a futuristic toy when you're Mario it gives a familiar feel that we all enjoy.

The Wii is not for fat people or lazy people. I imagine if someone was fat and or lazy they would complain about the Wii or even sell it. This system made me sweat today as if i was playing outside, thats how much i got into it and thats the workout it gave me. While playing boxing i was punching the air and sweating so much i thought, how much of this can i take?? Its nice to know the Wii will never give up or get tired of playing, even if i do. Wii also has a game that is just for exercising, that's a great idea but the normal games give you a workout as it is.

All in all i rate the graphics a 9 out of 10 because yes they could be better but again i say graphics are as good as they're going to get for a long, long time. (Face it PS3, your graphics are just as good as the PS2's.) For all of the games that i have played so far i give it a 10 out of 10. Each time i played a new game i said, this was the best game! For the game play itself you have to give it a 10 out of 10 due to the fact that we have never played with something like this before. The list of games out there is only growing each day. For choice in what to play i give it another 10 out of 10. Getting used to using the nun chuck or steering wheel does take some time, but thats the fun of it, besides once you get it, you go from horrible player to expert just like that. I give the ease of play a 9 out of 10 for that reason. All in all the Nintendo Wii is a revolutionary gaming system and will only continue to get better with age. Its no wonder why these things cant stay on the shelves at any store in the US. I give the Wii a 10 out of 10 for overall system.

You may hate the Wii, you may have bad mouthed it or even sold it or given it away but i really do think its the best system to come out SINCE the original NES, and thats saying a lot. But thats just my two cents.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life: Princess the Dwarf Hamster

Princess, one of my many dwarf hamsters is slowly dying. Old age will do that to a hamster, they all have short life spans anyhow. Having 17 at one time, I am now down to just 2.

Seen here, Princess with 3 of her babies, one of them being the only one to have ever escaped. (he was later caught)

Princess has had 16 babies total, that weren't eaten or died. She was the first of my opal gene created by her father Jester and mother Queen. She had my first albino baby, Angel Eyes and then later with him had a litter of 3 albino babies. She is also one of my oldest living hamsters and one of two left from my entire line, Angel Eyes being the other.

I was there when she was born, she was part of a litter that was an ACTUAL planned pregnancy. I was there when she took her first steps and when her eyes opened. I gave her her first broccoli and i remember the day i realized she was pregnant. I was there for her first litter and she gave me my first Albino. I was there for all of her litters and she was a good mother, not the best i ever had, but a decent one. I was there for her 100% albino litter. Soon i will be there for her death, she will be buried next to all of my special hamsters.

Losing a hamster isn't what bothers me, I've lost a ton, they don't live long its just how it goes. But she is one that i created, all of my hamsters were bred from a single pair and I added Queen because the gene pool was getting thin. Once she dies ill be down to one, I've never been down to one since i started this whole hamster breeding thing. Angel Eyes, my albino male, her son will be the last of my dwarf hamsters. Part of me would like to see a hamsterless room, no more buying the food or bedding or cleaning the cages or worrying about the smell. Yet...after generation after generation of hamsters being bred to just end all of a sudden is hard to face. Part of me hates the idea of all of my work coming to an end. Angel Eyes, (named after a character from the good the bad and the ugly, also due to his bright red eyes) is so old that I'm not even sure if he can produce any children so even if i get another female it may be for nothing.

Five generations could end very soon or I could keep it going. I have always wanted to work with a solid black dwarf hamster and the mottled are pretty cool looking. Continuing it or ending it, either way Princess played a major part in my breedings. She was a good breeder, a good producer and a good hamster. She is going to be missed.

NOTE: A day after this was posted Princess was found dead.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Life: Tom Brady, out for season.

Turns out on opening day, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots got hit and went down. He got up and left the field and didn't return for the rest of the game. News stories say Tom Brady will now need knee surgery and will not play for the rest of the season.

I'd just like to say, HA HA!!! Serves you right, what goes around comes around, and you got what you had coming. That team had 16 wins last year, only to blow it in the Super Bowl, becoming the biggest choke of all time but they still got to be in the Super Bowl. Now they'll be lucky to be 500 by the end of the year. Pats fans I'm sorry, but you've had enough of the Patriots winning, its someone else's turn. As you can see below this i picked them to win their division but NOW, I'm sure it will be wrong! I never like to see anyone get hurt but Tom Brady getting hurt was just plain funny. Say what you will but i was getting down right sick and tired of hearing about the perfect Tom Brady and the perfect....haha i mean, ALMOST perfect Patriots. Now after a few weeks of Tom news we can finally be rid of those pesky Pats. And that's my two cents.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Life: My 2008 NFL picks!

Every year i pick all 32 teams and where i think they will end up and then see if i was right at the end of the season. My cousin Adam and i started doing this years and years ago and we do it every year. We also pick the playoff teams and the Super Bowl Match up. One year i did get it right, the year Seattle and Pittsburgh went. So here they are, my 2008 NFL picks! THESE ARE JUST GUESSES AND PREDICTIONS, MOST WILL BE WRONG.

AFC East
1.New England-They aren't as good but this division sucks, so they'll win it but wont go far once in the playoffs. Their Super Bowl days are over now.
2.Buffalo-This is their year, they will turn it around and end up being a number two.
3.New Jersey-Brett Favre won't save you, besides i refuse to call a team that plays in New Jersey, New York. I hate this team with a passion and it was VERY hard for me to give them this much credit as a number 3. I hope they have one win all year, and thats too much.
4.Miami-Sorry, there are too many problems for this team to do any better.

AFC West
1.San Diego-You'll see this team finally break through and it will all come together this year.
2.Denver-Good enough to be a number two in a rather weak division.
3.Kansas City-Good but not great, playoff hopes will be dim.
4.Oakland-Sorry Raiders, not this year!

AFC North
1.Pittsburgh-It has to be somebody, and this year its the Steelers. They have the hardest schedule in the NFL, a weak division will allow them to at least win it.
2.Cleveland-For the last few years i've been watching the Browns, they are on the move. If they win this division i won't be surprised at all.
3.Baltimore-A lot of problems and unknown, they will be inconsistent week after week.
4.Cincinnati-Major problems for this team, the basement is where you can find them.

AFC South
1.Indianapolis-As long as Manning plays this team will win.
2. Tennessee-A lot of young talent will help this team make the playoffs but inexperience will keep them from doing much.
3.Jacksonville-Maybe a number two and three mismatch but only time will tell.
4.Houston-Not this year Texans, not this year although you will do much better, in fact you'll have the best year of your short existence.

NFC East
1.New York-The Super Bowl swagger goes a long way.
2.Dallas-Overrated this year but who else in this division can give them a run for their money?
3.Washington-Still problems, still close but not close enough.
4.Philadelphia-Its football season again, time for Mcnab to get hurt!

NFC West
1.Seattle-A weak conference and a weak division will help this veteran team go far.
2.San Francisco-An up and comping team that will hold their own in this division.
3. St. Louis-I can't name anyone good on your team.
4.Arizona-With all the talent in the world and you'll still suck because you're Arizona, your quarterback can't even win his job and your coach should be in Pittsburgh anyway.

NFC North
1.Minnesota-Young talent and a very weak division will get these guys to the playoffs.
2.Detroit-Good for you Lions, this year you'll shock us and make us clap...i hope.
3.Chicago-Take a seat Bears, you aren't going anywhere.
4.Green Bay-Get used to this slot Green Bay, you're gonna be here for a while.

NFC South
1.New Orleans-A crappy year won't happen twice with this much talent...will it?
2.Tampa Bay-Won't have to worry about the teams below you.
3.Carolina-I don't know anything about this team, highly doubt they'll do much.
4.Atlanta -No Vick, no wins.

The division winners will go to the playoffs but i think the AFC Championship will be the Colts against the Chargers with the Chargers going to the Super Bowl. From the NFC the Vikings will make it as a very young and talented team. They'll face Seattle for the NFC Championship but the Seahawk's veteran team and experience in the playoffs will win the day and they'll go to the Super Bowl, where they will fall to the San Diego Chargers.

These are just my guesses based on what i know about the teams and how they did last year. Sometimes i'm pretty close but a lot of the times i'm waaaaaay off. Thats the fun of the NFL, you never know whats going to happen! I'll repost this in December and see how right or how wrong i was but for now, thats my two cents.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Life: Soapstone Carving

As an Alaskan ive seen a lot of soapstone carvings in my day. Its a hobby that the Inuit have been doing for years and years. I was feeing very artistic lately and i wanted to do something new, something i could really sink my teeth into and while looking up Inuit art for inspiration i discovered soapstone carving and wanted to try it.

I won a box of soapstone from eBay, we don't have soapstone just lying on the ground here in PA, which sucks for me, so i have to order it online. I got the box today and i dug right in, i couldnt wait. I saw a rock that would make a good seal. I wanted to stick to Inuit style and make the animals they usually make, bears, seals, walrus, Inuit people, fish, whales, stuff like that. So after reading a ton about this online i went to work to see what i could do.

As you can see i went from normal looking rock to seal-type creature. This isn't done of course, i need to do the detail and more fine sanding then polishing. But isn't it cool how the rock's true colors come out after a lot of filing and sanding?? Id say this isn't so bad for my first try and only a few hours of work, if that, to complete this sculpture. I plan on getting more tools and taking my time for my next project. I'll keep you updated, and as for soapstone carving? Its a really fun rewarding challenging hobby, but thats my two cents.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

MUSIC: the band, Vanilla Mood

So i stumbled upon a new band today. Its four Japanese girls playing the piano, violin, cello and flute. These four are AMAZING! They play anything and everything! Give yourself a chance to get to know this quartet and their unique yet familiar sound!

Some of the songs i've heard that they do include, the theme from Never-Ending Story, Mission Impossible theme, Fur Elise, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Swanee River, The Four Seasons-Spring, the Saber Dance, theme from Rocky, We Are The Champions, theme from The great Escape, Take Me Home Country Roads, Stand by Me, theme from Pink Panther, Mrs. Robinson, The Locomotion, Imagine, Puff The Magic Dragon, Pretty Woman, Top Of The World, Like A Rolling Stone, What A Feeling from Flashdance, Over The Rainbow, Sir Duke, theme from E.T., Tequila, Mambo Number 5, a ton of Disney songs and classic hits plus many, many more! They put their own twist on all of these classics and I haven't heard a bad one yet!

They do something for everyone basically, go to Youtube and look up, Vanilla Mood, then just listen to a song you like, you wont be disappointed. Their style is peppy and cheery as well as beautiful and mellow. Without using lyrics they make for a GREAT background band. Wait i take that back, they all yelled, TEQUILA in that song, but other than that no words.

I've never had a favorite band in all of my life because i never could sit down and love each and every song a particular band did, this is as close as I'm going to get. Vanilla Mood is just down right spectacular. I think the key board player might be retarded or something but this group is just outstanding. So Keiko, Mariko, Yui and Waka here's to you! Please look them up because i love them and its only been 20 minutes and thats my two cents.

NOTE: Heres a cool fact, Keiko was born just two days after me!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blast from the Past Blog:The Littles cartoon series

The 80's gave us many, many cartoon series, some were good, some were great and some you just watched because it was a cartoon. The Littles was produced by DIC and if im correct it was their first cartoon, it aired on ABC Saturday mornings from 83-85 but its reruns ran for years and years. The Littles were tiny people who lived in the walls. They had tails and pointy ears and big teeth, kind of like mouse people. I believe the idea was taken from the novel, "The Borrowers." In the cartoon Henry Bigg, a normal boy finds the littles one day and befriends them. He is the only human that knows about them and is friends with them. The series was focused on Grandpa Little, his two grandchildren Tom and Lucy and their cousin Dinky, which i always thought was a hilarious name. In season three the episodes took place in a new location each week. The story goes that Henry does a ton of traveling and the Littles with their, "massive fascination," just wanted to come along. They go from distant country to distant country with a new adventure each episode. This time the only characters that were littles were Grandpa, Dinky and the two grandchildren, their parents and the rest of the little society had been written out of the series. There was also a feature film but it was just a big episode basically. A common reoccurring joke was Grandpa getting all pissed at Dinky and trying to hit him or chase him or just mess him up. Dinky was always screwing stuff up for everybody else, a sort of Little Gilligan.
The theme for this show really stood out for me, not only were the lyrics great but the tune was very catchy. By its last season in 85 you can hear an attitude in the girl's voice who sang the theme, a slice of pop culture for the time period. If i had no clue about the show or when it was made i could tell you mid 80's based only on hearing the theme.

Season 1 lyrics start out with Henry Bigg telling us about the Littles. They go: "I have a very special secret, im the only one who knows about tiny people living in our walls called, THE LITTLES." We are the littles, tails wiggle to and fro, we are the littles, we are living with you don't you know? We keep the secret from the outside, from Mr. Bigg we gotta hide, we use a pencil for a slide. Here come the littles so you better watch out! With their massive fascination, in almost every situation, everyday is a celebration, you cant top the littles cause the littles don't stop!

Season 2 starts out a little different. This time Henry Bigg doesn't narrate the story and the actual story of their meeting is revealed. The music and tune and some lyrics are the same but the music has just a tiny bit more of an attitude, you can hear the established cartoon demeanor. They go: Here come the littles, always running to and fro, here come the littles, they're living with you don't you know? One day when Henry went away the littles fell inside his suitcase, he later found his castaways when he opened his luggage and the littles jumped out! They've been the best friends ever since, hes got to secret their existence, inside the walls they've always been. He patched up the littles cause the littles don't stop!

Finally in season 3 the singer busts out some real attitude. This time the lyrics tell us the littles will be going around the world. Most of it is the littles themselves talking and getting into trouble so there is a big break in between the singer's lines. The theme shows them going to the jungle, to Egypt, to Japan, to Mayan ruins, a Scottish castle and even in space. They go: Here come the littles. Traveling around the world, they'll go from one land to the other, they know theres so much to discover, here come the littles so you better watch out! The littles massive fascination in almost every situation, here come the littles so you better watch out!

although the three season openers changed the end credits always remained the same. As the credits rolled, the littles would be running around the screen getting into trouble. These lyrics were different from the beginning themes but the tune was always the same. They go: We are the littles, tails wiggle to and fro. We are the littles, we're living with you don't you know? We keep a secret from the outside, from Mr. Bigg we gotta hide. We use a pencil for a slide, you cant top the littles cause the littles don't stop!

This wasn't a spectacular cartoon that was beloved by millions of kids such as He-man, Thundercats or Ducktales but i do believe everyone my age watched it just the same. That to me is worth noting. I remember when they made a live action movie of the borrowers i remember saying, thats bullshit, thats just the littles and you ripped them off. Haha, turns out the littles could have been the rip offs either way i'll always like that show. Check out the themes on youtube or

They also owned a tiny turtle named Slick. I told myself i would name my next turtle Slick for the one on the Littles. I forgot all about it and didnt name my turtle Slick, im kicking myself in the ass for it everytime i think of the littles. All in all this was a show you could just sit down and watch and you know it was going to be good. I never turned the channel but i never remember saying, YES, THE LITTLES ARE ON!!! Watch a few episodes, i know it wont be the same but if you remember it will surely take you back and thats my two cents.

Review of the movie, TROLL, 1986

Above Noah Hathaway (left) as we know him from the Never Ending Story. Below Noah Hathaway after getting thrown into the wall. (Now thats good wall hitting acting!!)

I watched the movie, "Troll" from 1986 today. One of the worst movies i have ever seen, yet pretty good. It stars Noah Hathaway, (Atreyu from Never Ending Story), June Lockhart, (mom from Lassie), Sonny Bonno, (married to Cher for a while), and Julia-Louis Dreyfus, (Seinfeld). Its all about a family who moves into a new apartment in San Francisco. Its funny that the people wanted the movie to take place in such a distinguishable place because it was really filmed in Italy and you could tell. Haha, although they did put the golden gate bridge up in the background of one of the shots, it was horribly fake looking but still a nice try. The father's name is Harry Potter, which i just thought was hilarious, Noah's name is Harry Potter Jr. Not very original for the writers but could they sue the author of the Harry Potter books??? Odd that this movie is about wizards and magic and stuff like that, makes you think.....
So in the first two minutes of the film the little sister goes into the basement of their building to chase after a ball, she soon gets attacked by the troll who for some reason lives there. Being able to look just like her, he moves in with the family to mess around. At first you think hes just causing some mischief but later discover hes there to take over the world. (good plot!) There are a lot of zany and wacky characters who live in the small apartment building just perfect for attackings, such as Sonny Bono who plays a sex crazed swinger who hates children and flips out on the dad because he is afraid he wont be able to, "score," as he says. There is also an x marine, Julia-louis Dreyfus, a midget professor and a witch who knows all about the troll and his stuff.
The troll is out to change the tenants of the apartment building into his troll type creature friends. If he manages to change all the people into his troll folk, he will rule the world i guess. They don't give any kind of time frame other than, "soon." He has some stupid ring that changes people into trolls. I looked this movie up on IMD and the plot they have is so wrong i can't believe someone wrote that out.
This movie puts in a lot of swearing where it just doesn't need to go, maybe that was the Italians idea, beats me. Noah puts in an admirable performance even though he was surrounded by talentless wash ups...he is one too so you get the idea of how bad it was. Noah starts to wonder if his sister is messed up when she eats a hamburger like a pig then runs around the building screaming, later she throws him against the wall. He soon learns that June Lockhart is a witch, who used to be a princess, who used to be in love with the troll, who used to be a prince elf, who both used to live thousands of years ago. Also she owns a mushroom that used to be a wizard. *rolls eyes* A poorly designed puppet i might add, NOT A JIM HENSON thats for sure!
The creatures in this movie were down right freaky as shit. In fact thats Sonny Bono's line when he first sees the troll hiding under his couch, "SHIT!" Now for the 80's, puppets that looked like that were perfectly normal, there were a ton of movies of this genre that had freaky monsters like that but by todays standards it was a 10.0 on the erie meter. The story line was less that solid and the acting was just down right bad, keep in mind i have seen a lot worse, A LOT worse! Also it was more than obvious that the guy in the troll suit was the midget, he played duel roles, i mean hey, why pay two 3 feet people when you can pay one right?
This was the only other movie i have ever seen that had Noah Hathaway in it, when it came on i thought id watch a few seconds of the movie but when i saw his name first in the credits i just had to sit back for the entire thing. This was post never ending story and you could tell, it was definitely Atreyu but his voice had since changed. He also had his hair cut short which was hard for me to get used to.
Some notable scenes in the movie were, well when the troll turned Julia-Louis Dreyfus into some sort of sex elf and she ran around her apartment bare assed to lure her boyfriend into the fantasy world to kill him. When the little girl who was the troll threw her brother into the wall. When the dad turned on some 80's cover of "there ain't no cure for the summer time blues" and then did the worst dancing i have ever seen. When Sonny Bono falls down the stairs and exclaims, "shit." And when the troll goes into the swinger's apartment and as he is killing him and waiting for him to die, picks up a playboy and starts to look at it. ( i don't think he was reading the articles) Also when the witch shoots a troll with her magic staff and says, "that should teach you, you little creep."
I'd like to note that at the end of this movie everyone who got transformed into a troll creature doesn't come back. I really thought everything would be restored to normal but other than the little girl coming back, that was it, everyone else must have stayed dead. There were many holes in this movie like that.
I give the actors in this movie an A just because of Noah. I give the dialog a C. I give the story line a D and the idea a C because it was original but not that well developed. I give the acting a D, and only because i have seen worse, which is hard to believe. I give the special effects a D because the puppets were poorly done, freaky as they were and the computer animated magic stuff was just horrible, i know i know it was 1986, but still. Over all i give this movie a C- it is worth seeing and the more the better because its just one to sit down and laugh at and thats my two cents.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hearts Tournament

The date has been set, Thanksgiving 2008 we will host a Hearts card tournament. Four tables of four players each. The top two scores go on to make up two new tables. The top two from those two tables will go on to be the final four of the winner's table for one last championship game. This should be a lot of fun, it was my idea and I'm glad everyone really liked the idea and is willing to participate. I can't wait now. The tables are pretty evenly matched but although hearts takes a lot of thinking, card counting and decisiveness it still comes down to luck of the draw sometimes so anyone can come away a winner...or loser. I'm real excited for it, i dont think ill make it to the winners table but its going to be fun no matter how far i go. The surprise for everyone will be a very special deck of cards. I found a site online that customizes decks for people so im going to make a special Lucas hearts tournament deck just for the occasion. Either way i cant wait to play its going to make Thanksgiving even better, if thats possible. Hearts is an all around great game, i like it so much more than poker. I think everyone should learn to play because it comes on computers and thats my two cents.