Friday, April 29, 2005

Gone too soon...

I just received the news a couple hours ago that a family very close to my heart lost another member last night. I spent a LOT of time with the Reimans growing up, and I'm ashamed to say that I have very much lost touch with them over the years. They have had some incredibly hard knocks, much more than anyone deserves; and I am constantly in awe of their strength. Sue was like another mother to me, and with so many other kids she had to deal with (in addition to being mother to Melissa, Mesha, Melanie, Mynde, Matthew, and Micah, she was also a teacher for the majority of the time I spent with them, and had to deal with all of the kids' friends...), I didn't deserve half the attention and love she gave me.

I can remember feeling like a big brother to these kids; proud of their successes, protective when they needed, irritated by their constant bothering and bickering, hurt by their losses. Melanie was lost in an accident when I was in high school, and that was my first experience with loss of a loved one. Nothing seemed real for the longest time. Now Matthew has succumbed to cancer, and nothing feels real again. I should be finishing up my packing. I should be working. I should be doing anything but sitting here typing this. But I feel if I don't get this out I'm going to be stuck in this surreal state for longer than I can afford. I have too many things to do (more than usual), and too little time to get them done (less than normal).

I guess there's a lesson here. Actually, I know there is... Cherish the time you have. Especially the time you get with the ones you love. Don't take it for granted. I've spent entirely too much time away from the ones I love, and have let entirely too many friends slip away from me. I'll never get that time back.

Goodbye Matt.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

... NOW I'm homesick...

It's always nice to see news from home:

BU-GAWK! Uegene Safken says he let his chickens out of their coop outsideof Collbran, Colo., and went into his house for a cup of coffee. Whenhe came back, he found one of his birds drowned in a tub of water inthe yard. He fished the young chicken out of the water and thought,"what the heck, I'll give it a shot," and gave it mouth-to-beakresuscitation. His girlfriend told him to give it up. "Leave thechicken alone; it's dead," Denise Safford says she told him. But, hesaid, "I wouldn't let that damn thing die." It worked: the chicken, hesays, came back to life and is now fine. It wasn't so bad, he says."I've kissed worse." (Grand Junction Sentinel) ...Let's just hope he doesn't mean Denise.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

>You can't stop the signal?

The trailer is out, and it is simply jaw-dropping gorgeous. You may be sick and tired of hearing me talk about this (I know Shelley is), but I DEFY any of you to watch the trailer and not be impressed. Those of you that are NOT sci-fi fans are NOT allowed to participate. Ahhh, go ahead; I'll just defy you too! hehe

And THEN, after watching (and showing it to others) NUMEROUS times... I get THIS:

Date: 27 Apr 2005 06:11:05 -0000
Subject: Another Message From Joss


It gets better.

As thus: The movie is very nearly finished. You've seen many pretty images in the trailer. But I've still got work to do and you've still got months before you can see it.


And, no, I'm not talking Australia (but Hi, Australia! anyway), I'm talking here in the more-or-less-United States, a one time multi-city Browncoat sneak event. Thursday, May 5th at 10:00 pm, the movie (Serenity! Pay attention! Jeez.) will be playing at exactly 10 theaters in 10 cities across the country. You (or possibly someone much like you) (or possibly a robot EXACTLY like you, but with better manners and sonic arm-lasers, sent to take your place) will be able to buy a ticket to see Serenity months in advance. Not just the bitty trailer with not enough Kaylee and Book, but the whole film, in its extremely almost completed state.

You probably have some questions. How is this possible? What cities exactly will it be in? What are these changes my body is going through? All valid. It's possible because some clown put a bunch of Universal execs in a theater full of Browncoats and dude, they came out SWEATING, they never seen energy like that. They loved it, and even though they were already wicked supportive of the movie (see: earlier posts re: we're making the movie) they simply weren't ready for you guys. When I whinged on about pushing the date and everyone here was posting about "what do we do till September", they agreed to let me sneak it out.

Maybe they thought it was a fluke. Maybe they wanna see if people really do care about the flick. Or maybe they're just treating us with respect and kindness, though that last option confuses and terrifies me as much as these changes my body is going through (I'm "perspiring" and becoming "interested in girls", which believe me is very unsettling when you're 40.) Does it matter? The plan works for me, and it can work for a select bunch of y'all. Here's what I know:

The cities to be hit are:

San Francisco
Las Vegas
The Portland of Oregon

If you're in or near one of those, you might wanna stop by. There's supposed to be a "Can't Stop the Signal" page on this website (I don't know where it is -- hey, I remembered my damn password, doesn't that buy me any cred?) There should be more info there soon about how to get in, bringing peeps into the fold, I think there's even competetions and stuff. (All I know is I have exactly 20 Brownie points. I answered ONE triv Q and got it wrong. Forget cred. I have no cred.) Now a couple of us might just creep into one of those major metropolitan multiplexes to see if anyone does show up, so remember: swearing in Chinese ONLY.

All right. This will please the fans and satisfy the employers of Joss Whedon, so I must stop as my arm-lasers are getting tired. I politely thank you for your attention.

Should be fun.


DAMNIT!!! I'm going to be missing it by about 48 HOURS!!! It's actually going to be in Denver and I'll miss it by 2 frickin' days!!!

By the way, (and before Shelley points it out) I'm also missing our wedding anniversary by just over 72 hours... But just THINK how perfect it would have been! I could have taken her to the advanced screening of the movie for our anniversary!!! What... you don't think she would have enjoyed that? Now that's just CRAZY talk! :P

Anyway, you can click on the banner below to go to the movie website. The direct links to download the trailer (instead of watching it streaming on the website, which I don't recommend) is:

Small - 4.83 MB (good)

Medium - 8.5 MB (better)

Large - 21 MB (best)

Full screen - 41MB (bestest)

Joss, I can't pledge my firstborn son (sorry... too attached) nor my eternal love (wife got that already), but you do have my undying gratitude... thanks for not giving up and pursuing easier ... umm .. pursuits.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Remember the whole "Google rocks" thing?

Well... here's further proof:

Type in your address, check and see how close you can get a satellite view.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I went to the ZOO!

With just under two weeks to go, I finally managed to stop at the zoo. Didn't take very long to see all there was to see, and it was pretty much what I expected. A bunch of animals in cages, looking miserable. Click on the random photos below to go to the album.

Powered by Pixagogo

Friday, April 22, 2005

Speaking of Firefly...

Joss Whedon (the creator of Firefly) posted this on the official website yesterday:

Hey guys.

I'm here on the official site, so that can only mean one thing: somebody finally told me my password! (Again.) It probably also means that I have some big-ass announcement or other. Well tops on the announcement list is this: after months of intensive yoga, i can finally touch my toes! (They feel round and bunion-y.)

But there's more! I'm talkin' movie news, peeps, so no more drumroll: Trailer. Serenity. Tuesday.

Yeah, kids, the haps is hap'nin', and it runs thus: EXCLUSIVELY on Apple movie trailers (and linked through this site as well of course) will be a small, medium, large or FULLSCREEN trailer for Serenity the major motion movie. Yeah, THE trailer. And the following Friday said trailer hits theaters. Which theaters? Until I get confirmation you'll have to guess, but I'm betting you can.

Now, here's a word of warning: this trailer ain't shy. If you're looking to live totally spoiler-free, know that there's plenty of key dialogue and images running through this bad boy. It's pretty tasty, though, and it doesn't give everything away. But close scrutiny will definitely learn you much of what's to come. (Anakin TOTALLY goes evil.) It's a nice piece to while away the time till September, and hopefully should intrigue th' peeps that don't have coats of brown.

The only thing more exciting than y'all finally seeing this was showing it to Nathan. Like a schoolboy giggled he.


Joss "You can't take my toes from me" Whedon.

So if you're interested in that kind of thing... there ya go.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Update on Toby...

I came into work today and Carl was looking at the Save Toby website. It seems there's been some recent activity, and I was curious enough to take another look. A couple days ago the site was down for 48 hours due to a hacker, but the it's been moved to a more secure server now. Also, PayPal has stopped accepting donations for them, and the site owner has been fighting them on it. Though he says there are "tons of companies" willing to do business with him, it's been nearly 6 weeks since he announced it.

Anyway, check out the latest updates on the website, especially the hate mail. There's some funny stuff there!

I've just got to reiterate the fact that Google completely rocks. I'm not talking about the search engine - I mean the company in general. They continue to impress me with all their products. Picasa and Hello are an amazingly powerful combination of tools for editing, organizing and sharing pictures. Gmail continues to increase the size of my mailbox (last count was 2.118 Gb, and still growing). The Google Toolbar is an absolute MUST have for internet browsing. It blocks pop-ups, shows page ranks, autofills forms, and has a direct link to Google News. Speaking of Google News, it's now customizeable, so you can make the news page report whatever you'd like. Mine currently reports news about the world, Kuwait, Grand Junction, and computer games. Are you surprised?

Remember that TV show I was so obsessed with? Well, the obsession is still going strong, and I freely admit that I still watch at least one episode a week. Seriously. Well... it's still a few months until the movie comes out, but the fan sites are getting busier every day.

I just picked up an interesting bookFinding Serenity. The link is to Amazon, and there are some great user reviews there. Here's the description:

Book Description
In this eclectic anthology of essays, former cast member Jewel Staite, "Kaylee," philosopher Lyle Zynda, sex therapist Joy Davidson, and noted science fiction and fantasy authors Mercedes Lackey, David Gerrold, and Lawrence Watt-Evans contribute to a clever and insightful analysis of the short-lived cult hit Firefly. From What went wrong with the pilot? to What's right about Reavers? and how the correspondence between the show's creator Joss Whedon and the network executives might have actually played out, the writers interrogate the show's complexity and speculate about what might have been if the show Firefly had not been cancelled.

About the Author
Jane Espenson is a veteran Mutant Enemy script writer who was responsible for the Firefly episode "Shindig." She has also written for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Deep Space Nine, Ellen, Gilmore Girls, and Star Trek. She lives in Los Angeles. Glenn Yeffeth is the editor of Seven Seasons of Buffy and Taking the Red Pill. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

I also found out they're publishing a series of "graphic novels" (which is just a fancy word for comic book) that will tell the story of the time between the last episode and the upcoming movie. Needless to say, I've pre-ordered my copies. I'll post the link if anyone is interested.

I'm finishing up my packing. It's amazing how much stuff I've accumulated here. I'm leaving a lot of things here too, much to the dismay of my roomates... except for the beer kits... they're glad I'm leaving those of course...

That's all I've got to report! In the home stretch now, and getting anxious to get home. I had a dream the other day that I woke up and was in my own bed, in my own house, with my wife and baby boy. It was a great feeling, and one I'm REALLY looking forward to the experience again. Of course, when I woke up and realized I was still in Kuwait, I was bummed out for the entire day.

Cindy asked about my plans for my "civilian life". She also hinted about ropes and handcuffs... maybe she knows something about Shelley that I don't... But I honestly don't have any plans at this point. Needless to say, Shelley is fairly anxious about that as well, and has been diligently sending me info on job openings... I've got a couple of ideas, but that's about it right now. However, it does look like the job market in GJ has improved a bit in my absense.

Love to all!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Multimedia goodness...

Wow... at first glance, this might not seem like big news to you. Macromedia is being acquired by Adobe for a mere 3.4 billion dollars. Unless you're in the news or publication industry, you might just shrug and go on about your lives...

Well, this is big news people. Macromedia is the maker of Dreamweaver and one of the leading advocates of Flash, a streaming media that allows for some amazing graphical websites. Adobe is the creator of the PDF file, which is fast becoming the Internet standard for documents traffic. When you add these two together, the possibilities for a much more richer online experience is endless... And I promise you that Microsoft is worrying more than just a little bit...

Oh.. and the countdown continues... hehe

Friday, April 15, 2005

Save Toby?

I was recently wandering aimlessly on the 'net when I found this. As usual, I have no explanation on how I got there...

It seems an enterprising Internet entrepeneur (ouch) has found yet another way to make money ...and if the current posted figures are to be believed, it's a fair chunk of change: over $24,000. This person has posted pictures of a "cute bunny" and says he rescued it from underneath his porch and nursed him back to health. Now, he says unless he receives $50,000 by June 30th, 2005 he will cook and eat the rabbit. The website is complete with a whole gallery of pictures, recipes, and even Save Toby merchandise.

Personally, I'd like to start a website called ... I'll bet I'd make more money.

Not sure about the math...

This is either REALLY funny or really scary... I haven't figured out which it is yet, but ...

I am worth $2,190,064.00 on

I wonder if I would have been worth much more if I had done the "" thing... but that seemed like a matchmaking service or something, and I get enough crap in my mailbox as it is...

So, how much are YOU worth?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Remember all those times ...

... your mother would show pictures of you when you were younger... usually to a new girlfriend that you had been working SOOOO hard to impress.

It's payback time...

Ok, I know... that's a mean thing to do to my own mother. Fine... here, I'll do it to myself.

I look much dorkier than she does...

I found these pictures on my class website. Thanks Brian for doing such a great job maintaining our memories, no matter how much we'd rather forget them!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are this year's winners:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money
to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating.
The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house which renders the subject financially impotent for
an indefinite period.

6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And
then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are
good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked
through a spider web.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The countdown is on...

As you can see, the countdown has begun. In just a few weeks I'll be on my way home, and not a moment too soon. I'm so unbelievably sick of Kuwait, it's ... well, it's unbelievable. Seriously.

I also have added a new counter, and it has a lot of interesting features with it. It gives me a very detailed account of everyone that visits this site, and how they found it. Those of you who are friends and family, it's not that hard to figure out how you "found" it: I probably told you. But if you are using a search engine, it knows which one you used. And even more interestingly, the keywords that were used. So far, it's only been running for a couple of days, so there's not much data, but I just noticed something.

Someone in Monroe, Louisiana uses Centurytel Internet Holdings for his ISP. This someone typed in "Scott Grattan" and "Kuwait" into Google, and found, not surprisingly, this website. In addition to their IP address (which is only useful to a hacker if you're not behind a firewall... you ARE using a firewall, aren't you?), it also reports their operating system (WinXP), browser (Internet Explorer 6.0), and the resolution their monitor is using (1024x768).

I don't know anyone in Louisiana (that I'm aware of), but apparently they know me... so whoever you are: Hi!

There's also someone visiting from Carbondale, Illinois that has been on the website for 3 days. They have been reading the archives, but very slowly (apparently).

Also, Tracy, I saw that you visited on April 9th, and I really think you need to talk to your network administrator. I know for a FACT that it was you, because your computer name is, which definitely means you're not behind any kind of firewall or NAT (network address translator). Any website that you visit can easily find their way back to your computer. Got any problems with spyware or adware? I'll bet you do...

I found something else very interesting the other day. Have you ever typed your name into Google, to see if you're on the Internet? Well, the other day I did a search for "grattan" in Google Images. In addition to numerous pictures of Grattan Raceway, Grattan family crests, and even a kid whose last name is Gratton and they spelled his last name wrong on the image "grattan.jpg"... I know how you feel kid.

Anyway, the interesting thing is that I found a picture of Ryan. It's the picture taken the day we brought him home, and it's the first one in the album. So, for those of you who are keeping score, he's barely a year old, and he's already doing things on the 'net better than I am. There were no pictures of ME in the Google Image search... just him.

I'm so proud!

Love to all!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Boys of Kuwait...

It occurred to me that I don't think I've ever posted pictures of my coworkers... so there you go! (L to R: Carl, Nathan, me, Mike)

Saturday, April 02, 2005

It's a real burden...

... being right all the time. I told you this would happen. Not surprisingly, this was NOT front page news...

Kuwait drops plot case against soldiers
KUWAIT CITY (AFP): Kuwait's public prosecution has dropped the case of two soldiers who were arrested earlier this year on suspicion of plotting attacks on US forces, the defense minister and a lawyer said Tuesday. "The case has been shelved and investigations have been permanently halted because there is no crime," the defense lawyer for one of the two soldiers, Mohammed Al-Mutairi, told AFP. Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah confirmed that the charges had been dropped. "Yes, certainly," the minister told reporters in response to a question if the case was "shelved" by the prosecution. The army's judicial department, however, "is still assessing the case" to take the necessary legal measures, said the minister, without elaborating.

The pair, one of them a major, were among 15 soldiers questioned on charges that they were plotting to attack US and other foreign troops in Kuwait. All others were released after questioning but the two were referred to the public prosecution for further investigation as a prelude to pressing criminal charges. "The whole affair was caused by some security officials who acted on weak information and rumours before verifying them," Mutairi said. The two soldiers were detained for about 40 days before being freed on bail. They were arrested on Jan 3, about 20 days after the US embassy warned that it had "credible information that terrorist groups" were preparing to carry out attacks in the country in the near future.

Source: Arab Times Online

Friday, April 01, 2005

My New Favorite Picture

My new favorite picture...
Posted by Scott via Hello

Also, my weblog is 2 years old today! Here's my very first month of posts! What a difference a couple of years makes, huh?