Made it so!

By now most of you already know.  Tiger Lily and I are engaged to be wed.


I'm actually a bit stuck for words.

For those not following very closely, here's a quick run down.

In 2007, my now ex-wife and I split up.  She came back out of the closet and I was okay with it.  No harm.  It was difficult at first but in the end we stayed friends and roommates to raise our kids.  Her new girlfriend moved in and we got to know her family.  Among them was her younger sister, Tiger Lily (not her real name obviously.)  She was visiting Austin to get a look at the University of Texas.  She is several years younger than me, but something sparked between us and both of us were smitten.

It was rough at first.  Her family wasn't happy about it.  We tried keeping it from them for a long time, but eventually they knew and you can probably read back through the history of this blog to see for yourself.  (Although I may have deleted them, it was bad.)  Still, we persevered, knowing somehow that it would some day be worth the trauma.  And I'm glad to say it has.

I'm not entirely convinced her family totally approves, nor my family for that matter.  But we've come to realize that it's our life to lead and that there will always be unhappy or unsympathetic parties involved.  I can't change their minds and I don't want to.  It's their prerogative and I'm sure those who aren't happy for us are that way for their own perfectly acceptable reasons.  I just hope that in the end they at least respect our choice and let us move forward.

But all is not dystopian plains of remorse.  For the most part, everyone was pleased at the news and none more so than TL and me.  We have a lot to plan and thankfully a long time to plan it.  It's always been our choice that she finish her education no matter what.  This union we've agreed upon does not change the things we've planned to do.  To that end, the date we have in mind will likely be in 2014 when she's done with her masters degree.  After that she'll be going right back into it for her doctorate.  At that time, I may decide to move or I may not.  So far the long distance thing has been going great.  Not perfect, and the snuggling is clearly missing, but thanks to technology, it's not as bad as it could be.

For the actually joining, we're still deciding what to do.  Her parents would like a Catholic ceremony, but we're not practicing Catholics.  I'm sure both families would like a ceremony of some sort.  We had a plan of just getting the JP certificate and then having a big nerd party, but there's likely going to be some compromises and some changes before then.  Either way, we want it to reflect who we are above any traditional trappings.  Yes Star Wars, Lego, Lord of the Rings and Star Trek will all be a part of it, and probably more.  Because, well, we're nerds.  And we like that.

So there's that.  Thanks for listening.  I know ABC hasn't replied to my request to develop a story about my life.  Modern Family is pretty close, but I think them casting me with Ed O'Neill is a little hurtful.  I'm not THAT old.

Am I?

Carry on.


Ad Rating: Cadical ATS vs Nissan Pathfinder

I've been watching a lot of TV lately.  More so than usual.  I can't help it.  I like watching football on the weekend.  I'm not even a sports nut, I just like having it on.  There's something calming, almost nostalgic about the snaps and buzzes of snare drums on Saturday and the evening musical cues on Sunday and Monday.  It sounds like fall, like childhood.

Watching all this TV I've stumbled across a couple ads that are in stark contrast to each other, but are attempting to show the same thing.  I'm not an ad guru, or a marketing maven.  I'm just a person who appreciates good ad campaigns.  I don't like feeling patronized or needlessly hooked into a product.  No one does.  If you feel like someone is playing you for a sap, then the commercial just lost that company a client.

Let's start with the Cadillac ATS vs. The World.

At first glance, it's ambitious.  It's part Travel Channel, part James Bond.  The driver, his attractive and excitable passenger and the film crew travel to exotic locals in order to put this luxury car through its paces.  If it can handle THESE roads, it must be good.  It must be able to handle driving upstate to visit the family, or across town to catch that late night sci-fi/horror film.  Is there anything it can't do?

Well, yes.  It's just a car.  And let's put some perspective on it, it's still just driving on roads.  Yes, the roads are twisty and turny and bumpy and shadowed, but my guess is they are still flat ribbons on which this car goes forward with all tires touching at once.  Notice also that the car is brought in on a semi.  It's such a great car, it can't be bothered to cruise the pedestrian streets of Normalville.  It has to be carted in NASCAR style to these locations.

The car doesn't turn into Aquatron and swim to across that beautiful cove.  It doesn't fight those kid judo masters.  It doesn't plow across the ice flow.  It drives on a road.

The co-pilot's line "It's like Armageddon out there!" just solidifies that fact that Cadillac's marketing division really thought that viewers would buy into this whole adventure across the globe as a good way to show off their product.  The problem is, in the right hands, you could drive any car down these roads.  If you are a professional driver on a closed course, you don't need this specific car.  To me, this is an example of hype, and an ad campaign that's over blown and insulting.  It looks like an excuse for a group of people to travel the globe to "test" whether or not this car can handle these roads, as though the R & D people didn't think of that already, as though the safety team didn't smash up hundreds of cars just like this, as though hundreds of well educated people didn't already have their say.  Now we have Bo and Luke driving on a dirt road.

Where do I sign up for this job?

To top it off, it's not just ONE commercial.  Cadillac has created a whole TV/web video campaign about this car vs. The World.  There are episodes.  EPISODES!

By way of comparison, let's look at Nissan's Pathfinder commercial.  In this (remarkably shorter) ad, a family wants to see Glacier Point, but it's closed.  They feel their car can handle the terrain so they ask the trail guide to open it up for them.

What follows is a decent example of what a commercial CAN be.  It shows the car in action, it doesn't pander, it doesn't hype and it uses a bit of humor.  This car actually CAN go to exotic locations, but we aren't treated to the two hour IMAX hosted by Anthony Bourdain version showing us how.  It's simple, it's not overblown and it's not completely out of the realm of possibility.

I guess what it comes down to is why Cadillac may be trying so hard.  Their ATS is only $5k more on the base MSRP than the Pathfinder, but the latter is an all purpose vehicle.  Depending on the driver, it can be driven many ways.  The ATS is nearly a muscle car by comparisson.  It's a compact luxury sports car.  Nissan's site also lists the MPG for the Pathfinder, the ATS doesn't.  I guess "luxury" means we have to also deal with the pomp associated with the vehicle.

I wonder, would the sticker price be lower if they didn't have to pay for these people to fly all over the world doing what you could probably do driving around Colorado?



Tiger Lily reminded me that it's November, and that means it's another year to try Movember!  Movember is a time when guys enter the month clean shaven and then a grow a moustache (or mustache for us yanks) and raise money and awareness for men's health issue such as prostate and testicular cancer.  Much like October being all things pink, November is now all things mustache.

So I'm giving it a go.  I've already got a few pledges and that's good.  I don't have a goal other than to raise as much as I can.  You can read about the event online and if you'd like you can make a pledge.  

I don't plan on posting photos here every day, but I will put them up on a Flickr set if you're that hard up for entertainment.

Carry on.