Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween

Pumpkins 'O Plenty

Hope you had a scary Halloween. My biggest scare was the two-and-a-half hours of carving and helping the girls with their pumpkins. It was worth it, but next year I'm thinking of going back to the standard triangle eyes, etc. Gee kids, I have no idea where the carving kit and cool templates are....hmmm. Nope sorry, just can't find them anywhere.

I also broke down and ate about 6 pieces of candy that the girls didn't want. I'm trying to quit chocolate cold turkey in an effort to lose some weight but considering the holiday and all the walking involved tonight I said what the hell.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Still Popular

After all these years Peter Pan is still popular with kids. Jamie and Kylie are dressing up as John and Nanna, respectively, this year. Other kids at their school are going as Wendy and Michael. When I first started working for Disney, Peter Pan had just been re-released and I took the family (except Kylie who wasn't born yet) to a screening on the Studio Lot in the big fancy theater there. We watched a beautiful print of the movie on the big screen and we all enjoyed it immensely. This was the beginning of the Peter Pan franchise becoming a favorite with my kids. As they have gotten older the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland remains one of their favorite rides and mine too. The sequel Return to Neverland is one of Kylie's favorite DVDs. It is nice to see classics hold up over time with this generation of children.

John and Nanna

The girls get to wear their costumes to school today. They sure had fun getting dressed up this morning.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog. I did this so that anyone could post comments to my blog without having to do so anonymously or by registering with Blogger. The downside to this was that the few comments loyal 6Foot7 readers have already posted were wiped out. The upside is that this is a user-friendlier way to comment and the way I prefer to comment to the blogs I read. Cutting through the techno-speak for the non-geeky readers: This is better. Comment away.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

What is the proper etiquette?

Let me start out by clearly stating that I love cats. I have had at least one cat for the last 18 years. Everyone clear on this point so far? I, Randy Semel, love animals of the feline persuasion, I love dogs too, but that’s for another day.

Driving down Oxnard Blvd this morning, a cat was casually crossing the busy 4 lane street without looking both ways first. I had him dead in my sights and could have easily made him road kill, but instead I slowed down and tapped my horn 3 times. Now previous experience in these situations tells me that the soon to be splattered animal will usually hesitate, then freeze and then do a 180 and return to where it came from. But, noooooooo, not this morning and not this obvious decedent of Forest Gump. No, this rocket scientist to be instead pauses and then bolts across the remaining three lanes of traffic in high gear and into one of the many surrounding apartment buildings on this busy and heavily populated street.

Here’s my question, if I would have wasted this genius, what would have been my obligation to find its owner? We have all heard the stories of pets being hit by a car and the driver not stopping. So let’s supposed I thinned the feline population by one under-achiever, would I then want to scrape the cat up and go door to door in this predominantly Spanish speaking neighborhood asking “Hola, esta es su gato?” Or does one just knock on doors saying “do you have a white cat? Oh, you do? Well he’s in the East bound slow lane on Oxnard. Bring a spatula, sorry.” Or maybe for efficiency and cowardice sake, you post flyers saying “SORRY I RAN OVER FLUFFY” with a picture of the newly flattened. I mean once the cat is dead this is really just a courtesy call. It's not like I’m going to be paying cash for running over someone’s stupid cat. So what does one do in such a delicate situation?

Fortunately, I did not have to make a choice this morning. But this is the route I take to and from work everyday. People, lock up your cats, or teach them how to cross the street.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Did I mention that it is my birthday next month?

iPod Photo

Apple - iPod Photo

Decisions, decisions, decisions.....

u2 iPod

Apple - iPod U2 Special Edition


Maybe I should get both. The iPod Photo for everyday use and the U2 iPod for those black tie affairs. Let's face it women accessorize all the time. Why should they have all the fun?

Monday, October 25, 2004

What more can I say?

What more can I say?

Ok, he's a goober.

I don't mean to gloat...

...ok, maybe a little. Our 19 year old son, Derek, bought a used motorcycle last June, much to our chagrin. This proved to be a source of worry and frustration for me and Debby. To Derek's credit he took 100 percent full responsibility for every aspect of owning and driving a motorcycle (ok, so we flat out refused to help in any way). Our consternation was over safety, safety and safety. Bottom line, we love our son and did not want him to get hurt, crippled or killed. Not much more going on here than that. When he bought the motorcycle it was not a good thing around our house. We feared the worst. The summer was mostly uneventful but on his first day of classes at Valley College he went for a ride on Mulholland Canyon and had a near miss with on coming traffic. He laid the bike down hard enough that he needed his friends to pick him and the bike up with a truck. He suffered road rash and bruises and limped for a week on a sore knee. As parents we were supportive and nurturing but we felt horrible inside. Our family really came together that night to support him and it was quite funny to watch the girls hover over him and take care of him with band-aids and neosporin. Derek repaired the bike with his friends and resumed riding.

About a month or so ago, Derek realized that winter was coming and asked us to help him buy a used car. After plenty of research, negotiations and daydreaming, a car was agreed upon and purchased. Debby and I felt good about it as Derek would be riding the motorcycle less. Well, several weeks ago Derek laid the bike down again on Riverside Blvd., when another driver made a left turn into a driveway in front of him and then immediately backed out. Derek thought she was going all the way in and bailed out to avoid T-Boning her car. Again scrapes and bruises and a sore back that continues to this day. But overall he is two for two in surviving accidents with only minor physical damage. The motorcycle on the otherhand was again not driveable and required a truck ride to get home. After this accident, Debby and I said as nicely and lovingly as possible that this is why we were so against him getting the bike. We love him and it pains us to think how much worse it could have been both times. We asked him to make a smart choice when deciding what to do about fixing and riding his motorcycle. He was receptive to what we had to say and it felt like we really connected with him.

Derek filed a claim with the driver's insurance company and took the bike over to a body shop for the claims adjuster to assess. Last Friday I came home to hear on the answering machine that his bike is being considered a total loss and that someone else will call him with a settlement. As disappointed as I know he must be, and I do feel for him, I have to stay that I am freaking thrilled! This particular motorcycle is out of our lives and it happened in a way that we were not the bad guys and Derek gets to save face. Hopefully he will get enough money to pay off what he owes on the motorcycle, but for now Debby and I can rest easier knowing that he is not riding a motorcycle.

By the way, we know that he will buy another motorcycle in the least I'll have something to blog that day.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Halloween Tradition

Our family tradition with the kids is to go to Tapia Brothers Pumpkin Patch in Encino a week or two before Halloween to get our pumpkins. The patch is festive with lots of things to climb on and some farm animals to see and smell. Here are my beauties with a little dose of 'tude.

Pumpkins and Attitudes Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 23, 2004

No offense

I was raking leaves and pine needles in the front yard when my rake snapped in half and gouged the middle finger of my left hand. I now have a huge band-aid wrapped around the digit and I am in permanent flipping the bird mode. I am not the best typist to begin with, but this has reduced me back to hunt and pecking. I may have to give up using a keyboard until this thing heals. I should probably call in sick next week.

With proofing and corrections, this entry took 10 freaking minutes to type. Ugh!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Shut Up and Just Play

I love my Los Angeles Lakers. Through good times and bad, winning and losing, I have been a fan since I knew what basketball and the Lakers were. But this Shaq, Kobe and Phil crap in the media needs to cease. Ok, Phil needs to sell his book since obviously 30 million bucks over the last 5 years will not last him for his self-proclaimed year off. Business is business, fine. But everybody else, please shut the hell up about last season and start paying attention to this one. I don't care who started it, who's the most dominate ever, who did what to who in Colorado or how much Shaq weighs. Just play the damn games and shut your pie holes. If I want drama I will watch General Hospital on the Tivo with my wife.

By the way, seeing Gary Payton in a Boston Celtics jersey on the highlights tonight was poetic justice.

Hello Down There

The writer in me has asked to come out and speak. Prepare for ramblings from a tall, soon to be 39 year old, husband and father of three. I am Randy, a Los Angeles area IT geek, taking a 2nd stab at blogging. Patience please while I find my voice.