Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Welcome back! I hope my extended hiatus didn't leave you bored at work and lacking in daily reading materials. My two weeks off were mostly restful, with the first week spent at the beach in a house named Salty Nuts floating in the pool and rereading books I'd already read, and the second week spent at home relaxing and preparing for the new year. I am dubbing August 1 as something of a new beginning for myself because, like large corporations and the Chinese, I find that it's more sensible to bookend eras at a point other than right after Christmas (probably a learned behaviour from nineteen years of "school years").

Since today is Fresh Start Day, it's only fitting that I launch the second part of what will be a trilogy to rival Lord of the Rings for ass cramps and yawns. The first ten years of my site, 1996 - 2006, served to introduce the principal characters (Booty) and supporting cast (me and Doobie), while providing enough back story and trivia on everyone involved to keep my readers empathizing with the protagonists. The second part, 2006 - 2016, will document my struggles and conflicts up to the ripe age of 36, although I haven't yet picked a suitable title yet since The Empire Strikes Back was already taken. Finally, 2016 - 2026 will tie up all the mysteries and drama from the first two parts with salty dialogue and a moving musical score. I don't want to spoil anything, but at least one person who's going to die in Part II will come back to life in Part III. Production has already started on Part II, but I've not yet gotten the green light to work on the final part, since we apparently have to survive the blossoming World War III in the Middle East first.

The middle section of trilogies is usually the darkest one, so I've represented this visually by making the background of the site a darker shade of blue -- an artistic technique that will no doubt shock you! Looking around, this is about the only change you'll find, because I really liked the way everything else about the site worked. You can never have too much blue though and the old blue always seemed too faded and washed out for a hip, rock-your-papa site such as this one. Besides this change, I'll try to take more pictures, have more interesting news updates, and do more funny graphics (which fell horribly by the wayside last year, since precision work in Photoshop is very hard to do when your wrists are in bad shape like mine).

There's not a lot of missed news that you need to be caught up on from the past two weeks. Normally I'd do a week-long OBX Travelogue documenting which holes were dug and which mussels were eaten, but in the spirit of going forward with the future rather than past to the back, I'll sum it all up quickly. After a fun week spent with stalwart Zone regulars, Anna, Kim, and Gabe (and nine others who don't get top billing because they never visit the URI! Zone, never leave comments, and/or smell like salty poop), I returned home three tones tanner and nine pounds lighter to find my cats happily staying with my mom and my downstairs bathroom remodeled with wonderful sinks and toilets. The latter was done by my dad, the Restless Retiree, simply because it was there. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Plinky continues to rank up in World of Warcraft (hitting Rank 222 last week), and Veronica Mars: Season One was a surprisingly good show. I didn't watch any new movies during my sabbatical, but I did pick up several noteworthy CDs which I'll probably review in the coming days, as well as a salty new toy for my car, the XM Roady XT. Here are my two favourite new songs from the past two weeks -- obvious proof that my musical tastes are evolving ever so subtly throughout the years.

The Cardigans - For What It's Worth (3MB MP3)
Muse - Starlight (3MB MP3)

Of course, no update would be complete without new pictures and movies featuring your favourite feline foils. The first movie shows off Amber's mellifluous voice, with a cameo at the end. The second movie is scientific proof that cats love to eat earwax.

Amber Sings the Blues (5MB WMV)
Hungry for Earwax (5MB WMV)

Until tomorrow, this is your host, BU, saying "Have a swell day!" and "Thanks for your continued patronage! Please make checks payable to Brian Uri!."

Oh yeah, Anna is pregnant too. Here comes little Brian Ahlbin!

Rocket-propelled meth disposal system
Smiling defendant removed from court
Woman sought in Magic Cheese scam

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