Month: July 2007


What's the Font?

I’ve been struggling to figure out what is the name of the Typeface being employed by the Tampa Bay Lightning in their (alleged) new logo layout:

Tampa Bay — what’s the font?!

In all honesty, the closest typeface I can find to font being employed in the logo is the Star Jedi typeface — yeah, that’s the Star Wars font for all those who don’t want to click on the link. I’ve been searching a few font sites but I’m not even sure where to begin looking regarding this typeface. Some people complain how “Cartoony” the font is, some people complain how “comic book” the font is… Yet it looks like a variant of Ariel or some other standard typeface and not cartooni-ish or whimsical in the least bit (that’s coming from someone who has actually seen what font creators think “comic” or “cartoon” fonts look like).

Any leads to the appropriate type face are appreciated.

unwell and unfair

It’s not bad enough that I’m going under the knife in a sensitive procedure early next month… I gotta have an angiogram the day before the operation to boot.

First off, the description of an angiogram doesn’t make it sound so horrible — they’re checking the blood flow in arteries to make sure there is no blockage and such… I’ve had one before and the procedure itself was no biggie.

Yeah, and then the pain killers wore off.

That procedure was exactly 11 years ago on the 16th or so. I wasn’t just bedridden in the hospital after but also an enormous among of discomfort as well.

“Discomfort” being insurmountable pain in my leg and abdomen. Being told not to move didn’t help things.

Maybe angiograms have improved in 11 years time and post procedure discomfort level is much less than I experienced in 1996… That’s about the only hope I can grab on to with this. An Angiogram the day before an operation on my noggin’… I guess Karma’s biting me in the ass (again) for whatever wrongs I have committed in my life, cuz all I have is dread now for August 8th and beyond.

Note to self: Your printer is not your enemy

Note to Self: There is a reason why you like HP printers. They’re pretty easy to use if you’re not being bullheaded. They also have never sucked when you have used them.

And of course, it’s a lot simpler to clear paper jams than fidgeting with buttons or trying to rip the paper out. Silly.

DVD play revisited

More than three years ago I wrote about the end-of-life of my original DVD player. It was a pretty sweet machine and I was sad to see it go.

Especially sad when I’ve tried the competition.

My first replacement player was a Toshiba progressive scan blah-blah-blah that was purchased in 2004. The player was slow, annoying and overheated easily. I started looking for a replacement for that sucker (casually) last fall and mentioned to family how I’d like a new DVD player for Christmas.

My older brother obliged me. I wish he hadn’t.

While I was looking at the new systems and thinking there was a chance I could buy a player from either side of the current format war, my brother went out and bought me a DVD Recorder. Pretty nice, right?

Yeah, it’d be real nice if it wasn’t a bottom-of-the-line Memorex player which cannot even send closed captions to my TV in a timely fashion during standard DVD playback. Movies end up being somewhat like watching dubbed karate movies with captions being displayed well after someone speaks.

Just a little annoying for this hearing impaired movie fan.

Factor in a poor remote control that focused on recording aspects instead of play (as well as additional captioning lag, if not dropped captions, if you paused or fast forwarded through a portion of a DVD) and you have all the makings of a gift that counted for the thought — nothing more.

So for the last several months I’ve been watching movies on my computer instead of on my DVD player which is bothersome as well (17″ monitor replacing a 27″ TV will do that) and I finally decided enough was enough. Twice now, I have had equipment purchased for me by my elder sibling (who’s motto sometimes is “I don’t care” — he’ll get the job done but getting the job done is more important than doing it well sometimes) and both times I was fed a shit sandwich. Enough is enough.

I went shopping on Amazon yesterday.

The only thing that guided me on my search was the quality I had found in my original DVD player. Panasonic had won me over in it’s simplicity and quality (you know, what companies are supposed to do with their products instead of winning you over by being the lowest priced object on the “clearance” rack at Wal-Mart). I didn’t want tons of bells and whistles (no DVD-R this time, no Blu Ray or HD-DVD) and ended up choosing a highly-ranked unit that costs a little more than a fifth of what I paid for my original player back in 1998).

The only down side is having to wait for it to arrive.

Macho meh

A couple of years ago, I wore a chin goatee on the norm… Sorta liked it. Sorta got annoyed trying to keep it at a good length and not let it end up becoming a goat/troll thing (I do not want to do the Lou Albano thing).

As things have been lately, I just get lazy and had let my face fill up with hair and then decide to shave… repeat x times and flirt with various ideas.

Well, the other day I started going through one of my Beatles Anthology CD cases and came across some of the Sgt. Pepper era John Lennon photos (specifically from the Strawberry Fields Forever video shoot). I realized my hair was a comparable length and my stubble was growing in once again. I decided to take a chance… I decided to risk it all….

I shaved under my lip and my chin and started growing handlebars.

And I’ve actually been out in public with this thing. Can you believe it?

Fortunatley I don’t have a picture to show you, but to be honest — it’s probably not going to be around long enough to turn into Paul Teutul’s massive handlebars.

Scared to life

I haven’t written much about my health the last few years… Mostly because Stonegauge is syndicated on the ever-so-excellent Tampa Blab where some of my blog colleagues (who know me better from my endeavor at Boltsmag or my participation at Sticks of Fire) can get wind of this stuff and start fussing and worrying about me. So can my critics as well with anything personal I write about on here. I’ve had private stuff published on this domain before and had it come back to hurt me. But that’s what happens when you blog, ain’t it?

I’m getting away from the fact that I said I haven’t talked about my health much at all on here lately. For the uninitiated, I suffer from a rare genetic disease commonly referred to as NF2. It’s a nasty little gem of a disease that doesn’t get much attention (besides an odd mention on House M.D. every-so-often). It causes benign tumors to grow mostly on nerves in the body. One of said tumors were the reason I began to lose my hearing as a teen and was rendered deaf 10 years ago last December.

It also gives me the supernatural abilities like super-intelligence, telekenisis and empathy along with…

Wait a minute, that was a John Travolta movie. Never mind.

Seriously… The last time I really brought up (bitched, moaned, vented, etc) my health was the summer and fall of 2003 when I hit a couple of hard patches and was frustrated, scared and just flat out torn up (to put it lightly). Blogging things publicly helped me get my frustrations and worries out in the open… or at least out of my head for the moment until the next panic hit.

It’s 4 years later and I’ve got problems again. Problems in my head this time that get the doctors attention. Now, from the smart-ass perspective, you’d quickly quip “Yeah, anyone who (inserts a thought, political idea, interest, etc) would be classified as having problems in the head!” but it’s a little more serious than that. About 5 centimeters worth of serious. Between-my-ears, behind-my-eyes serious.

I’ve been operated on twice up there before. Both times I had the operations in question out west with one of the top doctors in the world. This time around, I’m sticking in Tampa Bay and trusting a doctor who’s been heralded to me as one of the best in the world. He’s got books and awards and all that jazz. He’ll have some of my old friends along with him to make sure my ABI doesn’t get fudged up and what not.

Still, there are risks and even if they aren’t substantial — what they are is a worst case scenarios. So I worry about that, even though it’s almost like thinking about worst-case stuff when you go out and do day to day things.
“The worst case scenario while driving to the Supermarket to pick up milk is that an out of control mack truck with a drunk at the wheel, plows into my car and explodes…. Oh, and I don’t die instantly on impact!”

Rosy, cheery stuff like that.

So part of my mind (ha — the cause of all my problems) keeps wanting me to be responsible and at least report this upcoming operation, make arrangements for the “just in case”, “worst case scenario” type things. Every other part of me wants the status quo to remain — though that status quo is a deteriorating personal conditions where the changes in my health are more or less subtle until I get to a tipping point and things really get messed up and my life hangs in the balance.

Rosy, cheery stuff like that.

I don’t want to face the idea of things — out of my control — go bad and yet with responsibilities to friends and loved ones, how can I not?

There is just something wrong with this

No offense to Anthony Kiedis, Flea or the rest of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers but I just can’t get my head around their slightly funked-up version of the Beach Boys classic, “I Gget Around”

Found it on YouTube just tonight while looking for a better live performance of the song than what I have on my machine by the original band. To his credit, Anthony is a hell of a sight better than Mike Love… Yet Flea being a little too abrupt with some bass work (or blunt instead of smooth) hurts things.

But then again, what do I know? I’ve listened to the original for almost 20 years now… It’s so engraved in my mind I thought I heard Brian Wilson’s high-pitched singing during the RHCP’s performance. Ah well.

Note to self

Note to self: People make time for what’s important to them. Be they people, ideas, events, etc. Proof of this is someone’s trip to Jupiter while not being able to stop by while only a matter of blocks away during upteen days of past.

So it goes, and so it stays…

J.J. Hardy and ChiSox at Devil Rays last Thursday

My friend Bryan Wolfe has been a Wisconsin sports fan since I met him — he was a die-hard Packers fan at age 14, and able to talk circles around most when it came to football. I admire the guy for it, I really do. His passion also carries over to the Milwaukee Brewers and the Bucks in the NBA.

Of course with the Brewers exploding in the NL Central as baseball’s best team, Bryan is feeling vindicated for holding onto his belief that the Brewers were on the verge of something special.

With all of that in mind, I’m writing this for Bryan who was dumbstruck last Thursday at the Devil Rays / Chicago White Sox game at Tropicana Field. I don’t know all the details and I don’t want to paint this as a reaction specifically because of his Milwaukee sports pride, but my friend is now smitten with a girl who wore a Brewers jersey to the game. Not just any Brewers jersey but JJ Hardy.

Jenny, are you out there?

With exact circumstances unbeknownst to me, Bryan and Jenny struck up a conversation somewhere in and around the stadium and Jenny wowed Bryan with her insight and knowledge. She invited him to sit with her and another guy but Bryan chickened out because she was “with someone.”

That someone being her uncle, he would later find out.

So, if you’re reading this Brewers-fan-Jenny who attended last Thursday’s Rays-Chisox game in St. Petersburg with your uncle — Bryan is searching ever so desperately to get in touch with you again. He’s planning on attending more Rays games because he thinks you are a regular and hopes that will do the trick.

Me? I’m blogging for my good friend in hopes that you somehow stumble across this on the World Wide Web. Lord knows I’ve had others do that before whom I never would have suspected to ever see things I wrote.

Dry and true

So there has been rain in the Tampa Bay area the last few days, yay rain…

…Whoopty friggin’ do.

Anyone in Pinellas County that wants to think we’re in the clear with drought conditions need only look at the official Pinellas county rain gauge on their web site. It feels sick and cruel that the tally through today (July 2nd) is 10.59 inches of rain for the year.

2007 is half way finished and we’re only about one fifth of the way to the average rainfall total (Clearwater, Florida’s average yearly rainfall total is 49 inches according to Florida Living Network. The St. Pete Chamber of Commerce lists the city of St. Petersburg’s annual rainfall total at 48+ Inches).

We haven’t hit the Fourth of July yet, nor the peak of the hurricane season (two sub-tropical storms and only a bit of rain from both) and I’m fearing how our water outlook will come November.