Sunday, January 29, 2012

Joan Severance

I remember when Joan Severance was one of the 'new' B-movie girls during the 1990s. It was almost like she was in competition with Shannon Tweed but I think Tweed made double or even triple that of Severance.

I was browsing Netflix this evening and came across a movie that had Joan Severance in it. I had to reminisce. I think I've seen all her movies that mattered...which are those that had her nude in them. You know, the important ones.

Apparently I either missed this one or don't remember it at all. This movie was named Lake Consequence (1993). IMDB says it's a TV movie but I'm think it means straight to cable. Interestingly, this movie had a young Billy Zane...which he apparently hasn't had a lot of hair on his head for sometime.

Anyway, I think you can pass on watching Lake Consequence. If you have the undying desire to watch this, at least you'll get a few chances to see Severance in the buff as well as one other pretty attractive woman.

Oh well...end random reminiscing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Taco Joint, Dallas, Texas

I look forward to Fridays for multiple reasons other than the obvious—the weekend. It's the one day a week during the school semester that I do not have to work through my lunch to make up for the time I miss work while in class. It gives me a chance to leave the office and enjoy the lunch hour (or more) no matter where I am because it's not in the office!

Today, a coworker and I headed out to lunch. She wanted to hit our regular location of Sonic but I didn't really feel like a burger. In fact, I just had a double-double with bacon from Sonic this past Sunday. Don't get me wrong. I would have gone and eaten a Sonic burger but I really wanted something different today.

We were across town from our Sonic but near this place I read about called The Taco Joint. I read it's only open until end of lunch...about 2pm...Mondays through Saturdays. That sucks since I work through lunch Mon-Fri and usually am not on the side of town of The Taco Joint on Saturday. Anyway, she was game and so that's where we ate.

We got there around 12:15-ish. The parking lot was already full and many had already taken to parking along the one-way street of Peak St. We had to follow suit and luckily it wasn't much of a walk at all to the "Joint."

The line wasn't too long about 3/4 of the size of the restaurant lined up almost from end to end. They take cash and credit which was nice since I only had plastic. I ordered the Friday special called the "Chuck Norris." It's two pulled pork tacos with BBQ sauce and some basic toppings. I don't remember what they were. It's a combo which comes with a side of beans and rice in one container and a drink. Total cost was $8.50. The price made me realize that this place wasn't like the cheaply priced Rusty Taco or Fuzzy's Taco. I think it is more priced like Digg's Taco Shop. The price kind of surprised me a bit but I got over it and chalked it up to trying a new place. My friend/coworker ordered two crispy beef tacos but they were something like $2.00 a piece and they came with quite a bit of cheese, lettuce and tomatoes which is unlike the other places. They were closer to what you'd expect from a fast food place like Taco Bell, Taco Bueno or Taco Cabana but way better. The size and quality was probably double of those places.

About a 10-minute wait after ordering, they called our names to pick up our food. I already described the crispy beef tacos and my friend liked them a lot! I tried my "Norris" tacos and they were pretty flavorful. They did drip a lot of sauce when trying to eat but not too bad and comparable to the pulled pork tacos I've had at the previously mentioned restaurants. The refried beans were creamy with hardly any bean chunks. It was different than I'm used to but it didn't change the taste, just the texture. I mixed the rice and beans together because the rice didn't seem to be too flavorful. Also, the rice didn't seem to be equal in quantity to the beans. Not a big deal but I think if they were in separate containers the customer would feel like they are getting more and who really knows if they'd like the rice more versus the beans or vice versa?

I wasn't awed by the flavor of any of my dish but I wasn't disappointed either. I don't know if it's because I ate something small an hour or so before we went to lunch (I don't remember what I just remember I snacked on something...probably a six-pack of Oreos) but I did get into the car feeling somewhat full. Now that could have been the five refills of Diet Coke that I got but who really knows.

I will go back to try a few other tacos especially the fish tacos for/with the wife.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit

This weekend I had the chance to purchase and test out a headlight restoration kit. I've looked into doing this before but I'm cheap and don't want to pay too much for a kit as well as I don't have a lot of time to spare these days in my daily routine. I saw somewhere on the Internet that said to try toothpaste. About a month after reading that, I finally got to try it. I didn't know if it was a specific kind but I just grabbed what I had. At first, it looked like it did an okay job. The headlight was more clear than it had been but not like I was expecting or wanting. After 24 hours, it the headlight returned to its original hazy state. I don't know why. I just know my toothpaste didn't work.

So, a few weeks later, I get the bug to checkout kits online again. I also saw the commercial for Fast Brite Lens Restorer and it peaked my interest. I doubted the Fast Brite claim of not having to use any sandpaper or such but what did I know. Hence, my research for more information and reviews. After seeing the commercial, I was talking to a friend of mine that mentioned looking into getting his headlights cleaned. I told him about he commercial and some other research I found online but didn't know if it was really worth it. He said if you could get something under $50 and it worked that it was worth it. He said the dealership quoted him $175 and he just laughed. My thought is you are paying for the labor more than the product they use.

My friend and I also recalled that we NEVER got oxidization on headlights when they were made of GLASS! I had a 1974 Chevy Luv pickup and in 1989 the headlights were just as clear as they were brand new. Why? Because the entire piece was replaced and the lights were made of glass. Granted these plastic headlights cut down on costs but to the manufacturer. To the owner, it will cost them more if they get the dealer and any auto repair place to do it.

Anyway, I've been looking into restoring my headlights on my 1999 Grand Caravan. They were pretty foggy and occasionally I felt like the high beams were the low beams and the low beams were just..scary.

I Googled up some research and found this website (here) that compared many products and ranked them by their (the website's) tests as well as reviews across the web from sites like Amazon and other online retailers...I think. I looked at their top four to compare price and ranking. For my 1999 vehicle, I could give up a half or even full star for a better cost benefit. I then weighed in the time it would take to get something (all their product links go to the product listing on Amazon) and the cost of shipping for a "grand total cost" of the product. Looking at the 3 of the top four (#1, #2 and #4 because I thought #3 was the same product as #2) I found that I could get #2-3M 39008 and #4-Turtle Wax T-240KT at Walmart. There are a few Walmarts withing a 5-10 mile radius of my house so that helped decide against purchasing through Amazon. The 3M product was showing at my local Walmart as 'limited supply' which means it could or could not be in stock. The Turtle Wax was the same. I had to make a Walmart run for other things so it wasn't really out of my way to check on the store stock.

On Friday, January 13, 2012, I ended up getting the Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit (online at Amazon or at Walmart w/no price) because the 3M 39008 was not in stock. In fact, they had at least six boxes of the T-240KT. That in itself made me a little leery about getting it but with the 4 1/2 stars and costing like $8.97, I thought 10 bucks was worth a test.

I made a point to try this out on Monday the 16th before the weather changed for the worst. The picture below is of my right headlight (left side in the photo) after I did the restoration and the left headlight before restoration. Both headlights were about the same in level of haze. I didn't realize the picture was little dark upon taking it but it was like 11am with overcast skies. I think it still captures the difference.

In my opinion, it was well worth the $8.97+tax! Many of the reviews said it took them about 45 minutes per light. I don't know if it would have made much of a difference but I did mine in about 30 minutes. The second one always goes faster because you're reading the directions while doing the first one. I don't know if 15 minutes of hand sanding would have made a difference but maybe with drill torque it could. I just don't know. I think it turned out well.

So, a few things I noticed from my project.
  • There is a plastic glove in the box for the T-240KT. Not a big deal, it's not shown in any of the pictures on the Internet but it's there. It's recommended or instructed to use only for the last step when applying the lens protectorant.
  • It's slightly messy. The spray lubricant will run no matter what you do. You can see that I taped off the area around the headlight. They probably say to tape the surrounding area for protection from an errant stroke of the sandpaper pads. I never had that issue. The liquids just liked to run a bit and got past the taped area. The spray lubricant doesn't have much of a 'lube' feel as it does just plain old water. Luckily, all areas were able to be cleaned without issue after the process was completed.
  • After all the work on the right headlight and before applying the lens protectorant/sealant, I was disappointed. Initially, the headlight didn't look much different than when I started. I could definitely feel grime on the headlight while sanding but it just wasn't that initial shine and luster when I applied and wiped off the final application of the lens clarifying compound. Not until I applied the handy dandy secret lens protectorant/sealant did the headlight look like I expected. Which is what you see as the final product in the photo.
I guess that's about it. My thoughts are if you could find out what grade of sandpaper each is, then you could get an 8x11 sheet at Home Depot of each. Then get some cheap plastic polisher and some kind of sealant, both similar to the products listed, a person could have a longer supply of the headlight restoring kit for close to the same cost.

You can see a decent How-To video of the Turtle Wax T-240KT product here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

6 Days!

That's how long I have until I start my final semester of college. In one long-feeling semester, I will be a college graduate with a BBA in Management with a minor in Photography!

That's right bitches! Read it and weep! I know I am. I started, reluctantly mind you, this journey in August 1989. Twenty-two years later, this journey will come to an end. **fingers crossed**

Now, it hasn't been 22 consecutive years. Occasionally, I only took one class but mostly I tried to take at least two since starting working full time. Before full-time employment, I would register for 12 hours and drop at least half. Then there was the five-year break I took while the wife completed a Master's and then Ph.D. So, a maximum of 17 years of school but 22 years for completion.

So, briefly, what have I learned from this journey (even though it's not completely over yet)?

Just a few things for no particular order:
  • If you are going to college, I recommend doing it right after high school graduation. I couldn't wait to be done with "required" school and just be "free." I knew I wasn't college bound because we were poor but my mom made me take classes because she wanted better for me and they wanted me as a tax break. LOL! Anyway, the longer you wait to return the harder it will be to do so. If there is even an inkling that you want a college degree, take classes as soon as possible after high school because life will take the control and never let go!
  • If you have to attend a community college because of finances, make sure you research them well see what kind classes will transfer to whatever four-year college you anticipate attending. Tarrant County College has a very good relationship with Texas public colleges like UT Ausin, UT Arlington and UT Dallas. Maybe not all but more will transfer than going to the likes of a private school. I used the exact same government book at TCJC, now TCC, years ago that a coworker was using for a government class at UT Arlington. I paid significantly less for it and it would have transferred with no problem. I transferred to a private school with 57 hours and they took only like half. A few of the courses they didn't take, I retook and they were almost exactly the same...I never bought the book and passed the course and tests with an 'A.' The private school just thought their classes were better for some reason.
  • Tuition is expensive for four-year colleges no matter if it's public or private. If you are not rich or the family isn't rich, you might look into working at a university full time. Many universities provide a free tuition benefit to make up for the lower university salary compared to what you could possible make in the 'real world.' Take advantage of it. I have. I'm going to get a $100K degree for free...the exception is for class fees and books but when tuition is like $5,000 and books are like $300, I'll take books.
  • College really doesn't prepare an individual for the world. Maybe degrees in Painting, Art History, Dance, English and such but not degrees like Accounting, Marketing, or Information Technology Operations Management. Now, the latter probably does give you knowledge about those fields and some working skills to enter but the individual will learn on-the-job. Many of my young classmates who I have seen since they've graduated said such things. They actually learn their jobs when they get the job. Now, I'm sure a college degree makes the individual a well-rounded, educated person but actual job preparation...maybe not so much. Also, I work in the graduate admissions office and I see the salaries of the applicants who went straight to college and graduated in four years. These people busted their asses in school and now work and they make the same money as I do without a college degree. I'm not saying there aren't those that make a whole hell of a lot more but when 75% of the applicants are college graduates in Accounting, ITOM, Marketing and even Finance are only making $40yr-$60k/yr and are the same age as I, I don't know if that is a good return on their initial investment of college. And of course, that's excluding any outside reasons why these people are making so little like their own laziness or whatever.

    Long story short, I guess being in class with wet-behind-the-ears kids while I've been in the world gives me a perspective that they and others their age in class don't see. They haven't been jaded by management in the corporate world. They haven't really experienced ANYTHING that is discussed as examples in class. It's all theory to them and theory is almost never reality.

I'm sure there are other things I've learned but since I've been typing this while at work, I'd better get back to work.

That's all I got to say about that!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Elizabeth Loaiza Topless Food Photoshoot

I don't know the point of this photo shoot but I am not complaining. I just needed a reason to post the picture(s) without coming across as a complete perv. Click on picture for the gallery as long as it lasts. Enjoy!