Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Of course, his first mistake was seeing Star Wars at Northridge to begin with...

Whenever a new Star Wars movie comes out you get the requisite stories floating around out there about nerds like myself who have waited in line at the wrong theater, or the dudes who used actual fuel in their lightsabers. Frankly, these stories give all us decent, hard-working, clean-living SW fans a bad name. But perhaps the strangest of all the SW stories that I've heard comes to us from our very own backyard.


Next time he might want to just plunk down the five bones for a ticket. At least that way he could actually see the end of the movie before having the crap kicked out of him by the cops.

Friday, May 27, 2005

I could get used to this....

Now, I love what I do, and I love the people that I help on a daily basis (well most of them anyway), but there is just something about seeing your name in print....

Click here....

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Mile High Rice?

The Broncos are reportedly very interested in bringing Jerry Rice aboard this season - I for one, hope to hell it happens. Anyone who saw that Monday night game last year that Seattle played against Dallas knows that the man can still play. All that's needed is for someone to throw him the ball. Besides, as far as WR's go, Denver has Rod Smith, Ashley Lelie and.....ummm......yeah.

Unlike many Bronco fans, I am not calling for Shannahan's head every 5 minutes because they haven't won a playoff game since the last Super Bowl win in '98. However, he is from the Bill Walsh school of coaching, which teaches that you should never stay anywhere in the NFL for more than 10 years. This will be year 10 of the Shannahan era....something tells me this is gonna be a very, very good year in Broncoland :)
/if they can just avoid the friggin' Colts in the playoffs....

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Star Wars update

I'm on my way to see Star Wars for the 3rd time this afternoon in Beaufort. Saw it yesterday on the Island with Mom. I may see it again next week when Allison's family is in town for her graduation, but I think 4 times will be enough. I know, I know....I can't believe I just said that either. But you know, it's starting to get to be an expensive proposition. Yesterday the dude at Park Plaza changed me $6 for the ticket!!!! $6 for a matinee!!!! If it had been any other movie besides Star Wars, I would have announced to him that he was little more than bantha fodder, and left immediately. Everyone's just got to screw us Star Wars fans out of a little more each time don't they?

If only my Lightsaber was real....just for a few seconds....oh man....someone woulda lost an arm by now....

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Packet turns to the dark side

So yesterday my very own paper runs an article in the front page of the business section with a headline reading "Do you know where your IT worker is today?". Apparently, a Chcago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., predicts a rise in employee absenteeism that could cost U.S. employers $627 million dollars in "lost productivity" on Thursday and Friday. These "experts" also predict that Information Technology workers are most likely to call in sick.

Two points:

First of all, this doesn't make sense. How many jobs are there in this country that don't give sick days and vacation days? I'm assuming these people have a certain amount of time off to use in a year - if they take May 19th off, don't they have to make up that day some other time during the year? Aren't the 8 hours they took off budgeted for by their employer? How is this costing the company productivity?

Second of all, not only is it completely stereotypical and bogus to say that IT workers are the most likely to call in sick, it's also totally unfair. Are there one or two IT droids in this country who called in sick? Sure - but then there are one or two IT droids in this country who happen to be axe murders also. The vast majority of IT workers didn't call in sick - like me, they considerately scheduled their day off a year in advance the moment George announced the date that Star Wars was coming out.

I have been told I'm not allowed to write a letter to the editor at the Packet over this outrage because I am an employee. I have also been told that my wife is not allowed to write a letter to the editor. If any of my loyal readers who DON'T work for the Packet (all 3 of you) want to help me out, let me know. This dishonor must not go unchallenged!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The force is strong with this one....

I am a prequel apologist. I throughly enjoyed both Episode I and II. While other Star Wars fans decried much of the dialogue, acting and the very presence of Jar Jar Binks, I was simply amazed by each one. This is because I view each of these movies as chapters in one big story - you don't put down "To Kill a Mockingbird" because there are a few slow chapters or you think one of the characters is annoying do you? Anyway, last night, it was finally time for Episode III.

I bought our tickets online for the midnight showing in Savannah. Allison and I, along with Brian and Deborah met up at 10PM, then drove to the theater. When we arrived, we were immediately surrounded by Stormtroppers and Wookies - I felt right at home! The atmosphere was electric - it's not every day that you are completely surrounded by people who are as passionate as you are about a shared interest. There were people of all ages and races (and species!) in attendance - quite a galactic melting pot. We were shown into one of the theaters playing the movie, and immediately became aware that the air conditioning was not working in that theater. However no one said a word about their discomfort. We were all there to see Star Wars and nothing else mattered. To their credit, the theater staff felt that we didn't deserve to sweat through the movie, so they asked us all to move to another theater. Of course, the other movie that was playing in that theater hadn't finished yet, so we all waited in the hallway outside for 30 minutes. Again, no one complained. Finally we entered the theater, and proceeded to patiently wait another half-hour for the movie to start. Everyone was excited - lightsabers were being waved around, people telling each other of their previous Star Wars experiences. At 11:55, someone in the front row yelled out "5 MINUTES!!" and everyone applauded. At the stroke of midnight, the lights went down....and 10 minutes worth of previews and commercials began! Again, no one had anything negative to say - we'd all been waiting nearly 3 decades to see how it turned out - another few minutes wouldn't kill us. After the last preview, when the "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..." come on the screen, it seemed as though everyone held their breath. At last, we saw the famous opening crawl and heard the familiar Star Wars theme play - there was quick applause, then we all sat back to enjoy the show.

And enjoy it we did.

But now...it's over. I've seen the last Star Wars movie I will ever see. I knew this fact going in and yet nothing could have prepared me for how sad I feel at this fact. People who walk into my apartment and see all my toys and memorabilia always have the same question on the tip of their tongue that they are simply too polite to ask - how can a grown man be so consumed by this childish fantasy? The answer is simple - it's precisely because of it's childishness that I am consumed! Star Wars is a connection to my childhood, a time when I truly believed anything was possible. As adults, we know better - this world can truly be an awful place sometimes. Knowing this makes me hold onto the memories of having lightsaber fights with my friends or talking to each other in backwards sentences like Yoda that much harder.

Sometimes I envy all those young children that have never seen Star Wars - they will get to watch the entire story unfold in 12 hours, where as I had to wait 28 years. I envy the happiness they will feel the first time they fly their X-Wing fighter around their bedroom. I envy them for the sense of awe and wonder that they will have after watching these movies for the first time. Who knows - maybe one day they will envy me as well. After all, they'll never know the experience of a midnight showing, being surrounded by other Star Wars fans. They will never know the excitement of being at the music store the minute it opens just to get John Williams musical score, then popping it in the CD player in the car on the way to work (which by now you are late for!). Above all, they won't realize until they grow up how wonderful it is to lose yourself and all your problems for a few hours in that galaxy far, far away. Remember....the force will be with you...always.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

What was I just saying about saving money?

The XBOX 360 was announced last week, and then this week I got the Playstation 3 thrown in my face. It won't be out for a year or so, giving me time to save my pennies - and save them I will. Man this thing looks pretty dang sweet. I wouldn't consider myself a hardcore gamer - I enjoy beating the crap out of people in Soul Calibur, and having the crap beat out of me in HALO multiplayer, but other than that, I usually just rent a game from GameFly, play it for a little while, send it back, rent another game, play it for a little while, and so on. I really wish this service had been around before I dropped $50 clams on "Enter The Matrix" which has a fun habit of crashing whenever I get halfway through a level. Anyway, we (and you know who you are) really need to get the Soul Calibur tourneys going again. Hey, if you losers want a shot at my SC world championship belt, all you have to do is ask....

Monday, May 16, 2005

Start your day with real Jedi action!!!

So today I bought my 5th box of Frosted Flakes in the last 3 weeks trying to get all three Lightsaber spoons - and for the 5th time, I got the red one. Now, if I'm not too much mistaken, when there are 3 spoons available, that means I have a 66.6% chance of getting a green or a blue one. This assumes however, that an equal number of red, green and blue lightsaber spoons were put out into these specially marked packages of Frosted Flakes to begin with. I do not believe this to be the case. I think these people (and I use the term loosely) are deliberately putting more red ones in these cereal boxes than green and blue ones, just to take advantage of lightsaber nerds such as myself, who simply must complete their collection. That's just evil. Full on, total-dark-lord-of-the-Sith-like evil. None of these jerks have the meticlorians to admit it publicly - but I know when my chain is getting pulled. I will have the last laugh though - I now have enough red ones to sell some on eBay 10 years from now to other lightsaber nerds and turn quite a profit. HA HA HA HA HA!!! Take that Kellogg's!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The end of an era

Not only will this week see the end of Star Wars, it has also seen the end of another one of my geeky passions, Star Trek. I first starting watching Trek in 1991 - I remember just catching one of the Next Gen eps on a re-run - it was "Yesterday's Enterprise" - which is naturally just about the worst episode that someone who's never seen Star Trek could come in on, since it takes place in one of those famous parallel universes that has nothing to do with the "real" universe that TNG was set in. But it was a great ep and it captured my imagination like nothing I had ever seen. Star Wars was about action and adventure with little doses of humanism thrown in. Trek on the other hand....Trek was hundreds of hours of "this is how I should live my life". Act with honor but be true to yourself. Be loyal to your friends and treat people with respect. Accept others for who they are and be tolerant of people who are different than you.

Due to the Relay, I had to have Mom tape the final few episode of Enterprise for me. I admit I got slightly misty-eyed at the end, when they did the famous voice over "These are the voyages..." line. It got me thinking....why is this ending? According to the TPTB's (The Powers That Be) Enterprise's ratings were in the toilet. Supposedly, it started out with 13 million views for the first episode, and ended with 2 million. But you know...something about that just doesn't jive with me. I am a Trek fan. I have been to conventions. I have met other Trek fans - and the one thing I can say about every Trek fan that I've ever met is that we are loyal to the show. We sat through the worst the series had to offer - the clunker episodes of Next Gen (Angel One, Nightmares come to mind), Captain Proton, the ex-Borg who just happened to be a hot blonde in a cat suit, and the occasional continuity lapse made by the writers (notice that I do not have one negative thing to say about DS9 :). And yet we still watched - we did so because the idea of Star Trek is bigger than one show or one series. Yet somewhere along the line with Enterprise, we're told, the fans just left the show. But I'm not buying the lone gunman theory here. We know for a fact that Neilson ratings do not include TiVO stats - of the millions of subscribers to TiVo - quite a newfangled technology - wouldn't these be just the people who like Star Trek? The real question is in my mind is this: why did Paramount want to kill off Star Trek?

I believe it started with UPN. That network has been around for 10 years now - and I still don't have it. I've only had it at one place that I've lived. Whatever their deal is, it's just a fact that a lot of people simply can't tune into that network. Some cable providers don't carry it. If it's not a local station your dish won't get it. What does that leave you with? Antenna strung up on the roof? Voyager, as well as Enterprise, should have been syndicated. And then there was the movie ST: Nemesis - to put a Star Trek movie out 1 week before Lord of the Rings was suicidal. Lots of people can't afford to go to the movies every week. Some people have to pick one and wait for the other to come out on DVD. In fact, Nemesis had the highest rental and sales rate of any Stat Trek movie in history. Then finally, with Enterprise, as the show finally hit its stride in the 4th season - they move it to Friday nights at 8PM - the certain-death time slot for genre television.

I guess I won't ramble on about this anymore. Suffice it to say, I'm honked off that it's over. I can take some comfort in the fact that unlike Star Wars, I know Trek will be back. Though it may take a while, and who knows what it will come back as - there are simply too many of us Trek nerds out there who love the positive vision of the future that Gene Roddenberry laid out for the world. And so for now I say to you all....live long and prosper.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Relay For Life

Last night Allison and I attended the American Cancer Society Relay For Life that was held at Bluffton High School. A good time was had by all, and I was even able to find the luminary bag that I had left for my Grandmother, who passed away from a battle with cancer in 2001, amongst the thousands of bags honoring loved ones who had fought the disease. Thanks to Robyn (who was the co-chair of the event) for inspiring me to get involved. It feels good to do something, even if it's not much, to help try to defeat this illness that claims the lives of so many people.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Temptation waits

Earlier this year, because of Allison's nice little education credit tax refund (thanks hon!) as well as my bonus for winning the Island Packet's Employee of the Year award, I was able to pay off most of my credit card debt. Given my unnatural love for gadgets and gizmos, I had amassed a wee-bit o' debt in the last few years. It felt great to be able to wipe it away in one shot (although giving them that much money at once made it very difficult to hit the "send" button). Anyway, for the last few months I've been enjoying not sending those folks their monthly payment. However, it seems as though they miss me a great deal - today I logged into to my accounts just to see that big flashing ZERO BALANCE that I love so much, but was instead greeted with NEW TOTAL CREDIT AVAILABLE. Clicking on the link showed that they had upped my limit by $1500!! Guess they want me to start using their card again eh? In one brief moment, this was now within my grasp, not to mention one (or both) of these (yes, I know - but I'd run Linux on it).

But something strange has happened to me recently - I seem to have no real desire to spend money. I mean, it's a Star Wars year, so there's the requisite lightsaber and action figure purchases, but I'm talking big-ticket items here. What I'd really like to do is attempt to be disciplined enough to save up that money I had been paying to creditors monthly and pay off my car when it's lease is up in September of 2007. This of course, is quite a ways away, and there will be all kinds of new stuff that I simply must have in the meantime. But I think I can do it. Should the unthinkable happen and I'm still updating this blog 2 1/2 years from now, I'll have to remember to post on the day I pay off my car.

Oh, and memo to Visa - go to hell. You have gotten enough of my money already you greedy jerks.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A tale told by an idiot

I think it's time for my first public commentary on an important issue of the day. So what will this commentary be about? The battle over judicial nominees? The Bolton nomination? The war in Iraq? Nope - this. Bill Gates says that the iPod will not sustain itself. That Apple has lost market position before. Well, that's true Bill. It's true because you stole the idea of a GUI from Apple, licensed it for pennies thereby undercutting everyone else, and have since managed to screw it up royally.

In this humble IT droid's opinion....the iPod will see competition from cell phones, but not in the foreseeable future. In order for there to be competition, someone needs to be putting hard drives in their cell phones. And I'm not talking about 1GB hard drives - I'm talking about 20GB hard drives. There is a reason Apple sells more 20GB iPods than any other size - that's the sweet spot for most people's music collection. This is why we are constantly hearing about the iTunes phone from Motorola. The music and cell phone concept is in it's infancy - but Apple is right in the middle of it. They will be fine - it's Micro$oft, on the other hand, that will be shut out. Their crap simply doesn't work. It never does. They threw their hat in with the subscription music download services, for some reason thinking that people would rather rent their music rather than own it. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Well, I guess that's the first of my many-more-to-come anti-Micro$oft ramblings. For all you poor souls viewing this blog on a Pee-Cee....do yourself a favor - go here and buy a Mac would ya? You'll thank me later....

Oh, and don't worry right-wingers - my take on those judicial nominees will come.....just waiting for the Senate Repubs to use the nuclear option. Once they do, believe me - I'll have lots to say :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Next time I'll have the fish tacos

Allison and Robyn ate together at Amigos today. I mention this because it's a perfect segue to the tale that must finally be told....Christmas Eve 2002 - one of the worst nights of my life.

It started out like any other day...a beautiful day in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Temps in the high 50's - moments spent fondly reminiscing about how fun Christmas was back home when it was actually cold, even though everyone knows darn well we'd have killed for high 50s then. Matt and I were asked by the boss to go to Amigos for lunch, as my predecessor Bryan Webb was in town with his then-finance, and we agreed. The meal was pleasant - Chris, Bryan, Matt and I all had some form of Chicken. Bryan's finance did not. Stay with me, gentle reader - this tidbit of information will play a vital role later. We all went back to work, then went home at the end of the day, all ready to celebrate our Christmas holiday. Unbeknownst to us, this would very nearly be the last night of our lives.

I remember the first sign of unpleasantness coming in the 8 o'clock hour. We were at the mom-in-law's house, and I remember spending some time in the bathroom before telling Allison that I really needed to go home. After a semi-uneventful car ride home, I proceeded to spend the next 7 hours on the floor of my bathroom. Without getting into the gruesome details, let's just say that my body was keeping me very, very busy during that entire time. I remember spending Xmas morning in bed, and having to suffer through listening to everyone else enjoy some of Allison's world famous overnight French Toast out in the living room. I still felt like crap the next day, so I called and left a message for Chris that I wouldn't be in that day. Sadly, he didn't get the message - because he had spent his Christmas Eve at the hospital! Came to find out that Matt also had quite a horrible night (the joke around the office was that the computer guys were attacked by a virus....HA HA), as did Bryan Webb. His finance, on the other hand, slept like a baby and presumably enjoyed her Christmas holiday far more than we did! It didn't take long to piece together the clues to identify villain in this drama - we got us some bad chicken. To this day, I've never gone back to Amigos. I know I shouldn't hold a grudge...but this place nearly killed me for cryin' out loud!!

The Amigo's apologists tell a different story. They claim it was some bad pizza that we had the day before, or some random stomach flu strain that had become airborne. I dismiss these inane ramblings as nothing more than not wanting to give up on a place that admittedly does have a really good chicken quesadilla.

In any case....should Allison and Robyn both end up on the floor of their respective bathrooms tonight, they can't come crying to me about it. I tried to warn them....I tried to warn you all....

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

My arms hurt

As some of you may know, I have recently joined a gym. I have done this because of my desire to never again return to my "Popeye's weight" of 2002, when I ballooned to 180 lbs. As you may have guessed, this was a direct result of my eating at that fine establishment 5 times a week. Anyway, after going on a diet and getting back to playing tennis and basketball last year, I managed to return to my normal weight of 160 lbs. However, I found that I wasn't staying as active as I needed to be, and was slowly returning to my sloth-like ways. Enter Allison, who decided that she wanted to join a gym. After much deliberation, as well as persuasion by both Allison and Robyn, I signed my life away. My plan was to mainly focus on cardio workouts, but sure enough when I got there, I immediately gave into my selfish desires to look like one of those dudes that sells fitness equipment on television. You know, the guy who lives at the gym and gets all the chicks...so why is it that after 2 weeks of intense pain and suffering on these machines....I still look the same? I think I need some steroids or something. Well, either that or some new DNA. In any case, I will continue to pump iron like a man possessed until I look ripped....or rip a muscle....whichever comes first.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The nerd will be with you....always

So my Lightsaber came today. I was highly excited - until I took it out of the box and put batteries in it, only to realize that when I did so, it turned on but wouldn't turn off without the removal of said batteries. Am currently contemplating sending it back for repair, although the thought of that makes me ill. I simply must have it to take with me to the midnight show on the 19th! Actually, I'm kidding about that. No way would I ever in a million years take such a valuable possession with me to Savannah, GA at midnight. It's bad enough I'll be taking my car. Anyway...for the brief few moments that it was working properly, I was in SW nerd heaven. While it isn't quite capable of being taken into a rough cantina and used to slice off the arm of some dude who is a wanted man in 12 systems, it's still as close as our current level of technology can get us to the real thing. Assuming it can be repaired....I then must prepare myself for the ultimate trial that a Jedi can ever face - convincing the wife to let me display it in the living room....

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I'm sailing away

Originally uploaded by morganbonner.
Fulfilling a life-long dream, today I was in the position of having to drive this. Now, as you may know, I'm more of a 'if man were meant to fly he'd have wings' kinda guy - the same theory applies to boats. They just really aren't my thing. However, as a Mother's day present, Allison and I took Mom out on the Schooner "Welcome". Amazingly enough, I not only didn't get knocked overboard and drown, but I would even go so far as to say I had a small amount of fun. Don't tell anyone though....I do have a reputation to maintain.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Something I've been meaning to do....

Well....here it is. My blog. I have been meaning to do this for quite a while, prolly ever since the first time I saw my boss's website as well as Dearth's. Of course, both of these dudes are proficient in the ways of HTML, which has always remained a mystery to me, so I never gave it much more thought. Then today, for some reason (prolly cuz I'm really, really bored) I happened upon Blogger. Some might say that with my technical background, I should be able to host a blog myself. However, these people severely underestimate my near-legendary amount of laziness.

And so here I am. Who am I? Well, if you're reading this, you already know who I am, because I've e-mailed you and asked you to humor me and check out this blog. However, for the benefit of those who might one day Google me....I am Morgan Bonner, Jedi Knight and friend to Captain Solo. Forgive me....got Star Wars on the brain these days...can't imagine why....anyway, I am 27 years of age, work at The Island Packet as the Macintosh Systems Administrator, although that's really just what I tell the Dell and Micro$oft sales people....in reality, if it breaks and has electronics in it, myself and Matt are required to fix it! I am son and husband to Pat and Allison respectively, as well as father to the furry and sometimes-annoying Mac and Ady. I am a self-described nerd with an unhealthy lightsaber fetish. I am a fan of all the sports teams from Denver (and yes, I've been there - once). I have more Star Trek action figures than you (and no, as Robyn once asked, I don't take them out of the package and play make-believe with them :0). I once ate at least one meal at Popeye's for 8 days straight. And honestly....that's really all you need to know about me.

If what I've noticed by observing the blogs of other Packeteers is any indication, I'll be updating this blog a few times a month. Hey, we're all pretty busy dudes, making sure 30,000 people get their news and information about southern Beaufort county each day and all. Or, at the very least, the answers to yesterday's crossword.