Author Archives: Troy Shields

Friday, November 1st, 2013

HALLOWEEN HISTORY

Halloween 2011

For Halloween 2011 Lindsay and I dressed up as Where’s Waldo and Wanda.

Troy and Lindsay as Waldo and Wanda

Halloween 2012

In 2012 we avoided the mess of carving actual pumpkins and made paper ones instead.

Pumpkin Heads

Then we cross dressed for the night as Sonny and Cher.

Troy and Lindsay as Sonny and Cher

Halloween 2012

Halloween 2013

This year we carved real pumpkins and dressed up as the incredibly clever “pandas express.” We spent the night reciting other clever panda puns (see below).

Halloween Panda Express, on skates!

Did you hear about the breakout of the panda enclosure at the zoo? It was pure pandamonium.

Super panda

What does a panda eat for breakfast? Pandacakes.

Panda Express

Who brings presents to good little panda boys and girls? Panda Claus.

Panda lovers

What goes black, white, black, white, black, white? A panda rolling down a hill (not on skates).

Peaceful Panda

Happy Halloween.

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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

TV TUESDAY 2013 – BROOKLYN, MINDY, and the NEW GIRL

Real television started again last week on Fox with what Lindsay and I like to call TV Tuesday! (Quality television actually started on August 11th and ends sadly this Sunday).

TV Tuesday

Lindsay’s TV Tuesday sign. After we were done watching TV we started a movie and had to put up our Movie Wednesday sign.

We held a TV Tuesday party to watch three shows:

Brooklyn-Nine-Nine

For me personally, the Brooklyn-Nine-Nine ad-campaign has been wildly successful as I have high hopes for this show. It’s got a dynamite cast (if you like Andy Samberg, otherwise it has no cast at all).

The first episode was not entirely hilarious. There were a few legitimate chuckles sprinkled through mostly forced, trying-to-convince-myself-I-love-it cackles. It did not exhaust its potential by any means, but it has a long way to go before it truly delivers.

Nevertheless, Brooklyn-Nine-Nine has already done at least two things right:

1. No laugh track. The laugh track was crucial for TV up through the 90s because people were too stupid to know when to laugh. By having the laugh track, the idiot at-home audience knew which jokes were funny, even if they didn’t get it. This is 2013 though, and television-viewers have become vastly more intelligent thanks to our educational system and Breaking Bad. If a show has a laugh track, I take it as a personal offense to my intelligence and refuse to watch, no matter how many times I hear about how funny it is. I’m looking at you Big Bang Theory.
2. Andy Samberg was not that obnoxious. I’m a big Andy Samberg fan, but I totally understand why certain folks wouldn’t find Hot Rod funny. If Brooklyn-Nine-Nine is going to be successful, we’re going to need suave Lonely-Island Andy Samberg over idiot Hot-Rod Andy Samberg for two reasons:

  • Samberg’s character is supposed to be a hot-shot detective. There is no realism in Rod Kimble solving anything at all, ranging from 1st grade math problems to high-profile murder cases.
  • The show will need support from more than just the core Andy-Samberg fanclub of 20-something males.

We’ll see what happens with Brooklyn-Nine-Nine, but for now, I’ll stay tuned (cue laugh track).

The Mindy Project

I avoided the Mindy Project for a long time. The commercials were obnoxious, I hated the title, and the last thing I wanted to watch was a show entirely about Kelly from the Office. Then Lindsay convinced me to watch one episode, and I was stunned to find out that Mindy Kaling is actually seriously hilarious. Lindsay has since read Mindy’s book, which means I’ve pretty much read most if it too. Linds loved to read the funniest parts out loud to me, then softly sigh and say, “We would be best friends.”

Anyways, Mindy’s Season 2’s premiere did not disappoint and it seems that we are in for at least one more funny season from the Mindy Project.

The New Girl

Oh The New Girl, how we used to love you so. The New Girl started up its third season on TV Tuesday but that doesn’t mean there is anything *new* about it (cue laugh track). (What were they thinking naming it the New Girl? She’s been there 2 seasons already there is nothing new about her at this point!)

I can’t quite put my finger on what New Girl’s problem is, but it definitely has a big one. I predict it’s going to start losing serious favor with its audience unless it changes something quick. Possible contenders for what is its biggest problem are the following:

  • Too formulaic: I think they actually have a sign in the writers’ room that says:
    • (Winston + Schmidt) – Nick = Not BFFs
    • Nick + Jess = Sexual Tension
    • Schmidt = Idiot
    • Nick + Jess + Winston + Schmidt = Problem Resolution and All Best Friends
  • Nick and Jess are super annoying together. They’ve been building up this tension between Nick and Jess so blatantly for so long that I think they may have missed their window of opportunity. No part of me cares if Jess and Nick do or do not end up together. In fact, when they are “together” they just bother me to no end. And they are CONSTANTLY discussing “should we or shouldn’t we,” “are we or aren’t we”, and then resolving way too many times, “I’m all in.” If you’re “all in” I wouldn’t have had to watch you idiots go back and forth for the last 4 episodes of season 2 and at least the first episode of this season.
  • Schmidt not picking Cece over his ex-girlfriend. ’nuff said about this.
  • Getting too serious. Every episode has what I like to call a “Full House” ending, where all of the characters come together and have some moral realignment. It’s great that they all reaffirm their friendship to one another, but at some point they just need to be friends instead of having to go through selfish bouts for 20 minutes of every episode.

So, the conclusion of the first TV Tuesday is that Brooklyn-Nine-Nine has potential, Mindy Project is still hilarious, and the New Girl better come up with something *new* real quick (cue laugh track).

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Thursday, August 29th, 2013

FAMILY PETS: COCO THE CAT

Lindsay and I have no pets at the moment unfortunately (aside from a Tamagotchi that is usually dead), but we have this entire Pets section of our blog dedicated to animal friends. We do eventually have dreams of getting some pets (of both the human and canine variety; the jury is still out on cats), but in the meantime we will just have to get some help from other people’s pets.

This week we profile the pet cat of my sister Amy and niece Kate…

Meet Coco the Cat:

coco the cat

Coco is a furry feline that enjoys lazy weekdays/weekends around the house. While her soft fur coat is a beautiful mix of grey and brown, Coco’s personality is an unmistakable Red, and she will always let you know who is in charge.

The best way to Coco’s heart is to play to this weakness by giving her the cold shoulder. If you try to pick her up, pet her, and be nice to her, she will let you know that she only plays by her own rules by swiftly escaping your grasp. On the other hand, ignore Coco and she will become needy of your praise, jumping into your lap and ramming her head into your hand until you pet her as she undoubtedly deserves (be careful not to ignore this plea too long as she will start using her claws). Play this game long enough and she’ll be bringing dead birds to your doorstep in no time at all. Her favorite person (besides Kate, of course) is probably my dad, who couldn’t hate her more.

Amy has provided an anecdote about Coco and her crazy cat hijinks:

One time, I was taking a relaxing bath. I used a bath bomb and was just ready to relax for the evening and read my book. Coco comes along and becomes interested in the bath water. She jumps up and starts poking around in the water, mostly just sniffing it. She’s really curious (as cats often are), so she starts slinking along the tub to see how far she can get on the side of the bathtub that is very narrow. She tries to jump over there but loses her footing, and all the sudden she is scrambling to stay on the edges. She’s almost got her footing, but then totally falls from the corner right into the tub. And not only into the tub, but she lands on me. She’s not happy about landing on me or in the water so her razor-sharp claws are out. She scrambles on my boobs and scratches them before FLYING/SCAMPERING out of the water as fast as she could. Needless to say, I had a scratched boob and a wet cat. A wet, dumb cat, but I love her.

-Amy

Oh ho ho, you silly Coco; a wet, dumb cat that left Amy naked, bleeding and completely unsatisfied, but we sure do love you.

Coca the cat and family

Family picture of Coco, Kate, and Amy. This cat is in a hat. That’s a big cat book.

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Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

NERD ALERT – TOOTING MY OWN HORN

lego batman and me - nerd alert
Nerd alert: this post is about nothing but my progress working on our website. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a huge nerd or to talk about my nerd-loves openly. This one’s about web development.

One might say I have only two real passions: computer programming and hanging out with Lindsay. These two passions used to really conflict with each other because apparently–according to Lindsay–I’m not that fun to hang out with while I’m programming. Fortunately, Lindsay and I had the bright idea to create a website together and suddenly my only two passions were combined into one super passion! Linds wrote a great About Us page that describes why we made the site, but I just want to explain the how–a little bit about all the awesome programming I’ve done. I’m specifically most proud of the Home, Travel, and Things We Like pages.

Home:

Where did it come from? We knew we wanted to create a Vuezz inspired home page because we like the look of that. We needed 9 subjects–for the Vuezz-iness of it–which is part of the reason that we have some weird links such as “Pets” when we in fact have no Pets. We like animals though so we’ll make it work eventually.

Why is it cool? Is it even cool at all? It is cool, even if you can’t tell at first glance. First of all, it’s nice and simple (aka, doesn’t look like this). But even coooler is the fact that every time you visit it a new random set of 9 pictures will be used as the menu items. Click the link again a few times and you’ll see–I’ll wait. Lindsay and I can switch out these pictures fairly easily and they will automatically be added to the pool of possible home pages–now that is cool.

Travels:

Where did it come from? This is a marriage of two open-source Javascript libraries: arborjs and nyroModal. I was originally thinking our Travels page would just be some sort of embedded Google Map with fake little push pins or something, but then I ran into arborjs and had a stroke of inspiration.

Why is it cool? I have put the most work into this page of our site and it therefore is the coolest. I have several reasons to back this up.

1. First and foremost is how easy I have made it to use. By using my genius code, anyone could set up and maintain a similar Travels page by just organizing their folders in the way they want the bubbles to be connected. (So, for example, Now/2013/Texas will create three items that connect without having to write any code at all). Then, inside the last folder, you just put the pictures that you want to show with that place and you have an elegant and simple way to display your various photo albums. (If anyone is interested in this, let me know and I’ll hook you up). This is a really important feature for us because Lindsay doesn’t have the same passion for programming that I do.

2. Our travels can be organized chronologically instead of geographically. I already know where Cancun is, I just want to be able to remember when I was there 10 years from now.

3. You can link directly to a specific photo. This might not seem like a big deal, but that little feature represents a lot of clever code.

The only bad part about this page is that arborjs doesn’t work on Internet Explorer. That’s sad and I’m hoping to fix that eventually, but for now it’s fine because neither Lindsay nor I use Internet Explorer.

Things We Like:

Where did it come from? Lindsay showed me a website that looked sort of like Pinterest and said, “I want it to look like this.” And I said, “This looks crazy complicated” and sort of wrote it off as undoable with the time I would be able to spend on this. But then I found the open-source project Isotope and realized it was perfect for what Lindsay wanted, and now we have a simple “Things We Like” page that didn’t take too long to create.

Why is it cool? The coolest thing about this page is the fact that every item we add to the “Things We Like” page is saved in a database. That’s cool because 10 years from now we’ll be able ask questions like, “I wonder what type of music Lindsay was into in 2014,” or “What Youtube videos did we think were funny right after college?” and actually have the answer (assuming Youtube is still around).

(The rest of the site is just a WordPress blog. It’s cool too but I didn’t put too much work into it so it must not be worth discussing.)

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Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

THAT ONE TIME LINDSAY GOT IN A FIGHT AT A PIANO BAR

Piano bar at the Paris

Lindsay and I had a great time in Las Vegas. We stayed at the MGM Grand blah blah blah blah I just want to tell you a funny story about that one time Lindsay got into a fight at a piano bar.

We visited the Paris to go to a dueling-piano bar on Tuesday night on recommendation from my mom and sister. This is the first time Linds or I have been to any sort of bar, so we were a little nervous about protocol and what would happen when us nice Mormon kids try to order just a couple of soda-pops.

That timidness was only a problem at the beginning of the night though because Lindsay got pretty feisty after just a few Diet Cokes. What I am referring to is the verbal fight she got into with the one of the piano players.

Here’s what happened:

They were playing all the typical oldies you would expect to hear at a Piano bar where any tipping patron can request any rock song from the past 57 years. Boring.

Some sweet young hipster girl with a pixie cut requested Yoshimi Battles Pink Robots with a cool 10 dollars, thinking that “it was a long shot but they might know it” because they are music people.

Well, “the cute one” (as the hipster girl called him), grabbed the piece of paper with the request on it and asked his partner, “Do you know ‘Yoshema battles pink robots?'” (Make sure you add some overacted disgustedness into that line as you read it).

His partner (the non-cute one) says it sounds like something from Teletubbies or something, and then the cute one turns his attention to the audience to find out who requested this and what it is.

He explains that they like to play “the hits,” preferably something that’s played on the “FM radio” and asks what this song is; the hipster girl behind us timidly says, “It’s by the Flaming Lips.”

But that answer never gets to the cute one because she’s too shy, so Lindsay, with all her Diet-Coke liquid courage, shouts out, “It’s by the Flaming Lips!” and all eyes are on us. (If you’re thinking this place isn’t crowded because it’s a bar on a Tuesday night, think again–it’s freaking packed for some reason).

The cute one: The flaming lips? Uh, oh. I think they have an ointment for that. You might want to get that checked out.

Lindsay: (Pointing to me) He doesn’t seem to mind!

Pretty quick thinking Linds, but I’m not feeling as courageous as her so I’m not sure how I feel about being pulled into this altercation.

The cute one, to me: Are you with her, sir?

I shake my head and slowly scoot away from Lindsay to save myself. It’s too late though, he already knows.

The cute one, to me: Well, be careful. You’re going to want to wrap it up.

They continued making jokes about “the flaming lips” throughout the rest of the night (e.g., in response to a request for Great Balls of Fire).

The hipster girl was able to make a second request and we got to hear a very mediocre “Hey Ya” instead (which has definitely played on the FM Radio).

Overall it was a pretty funny evening and we had a great time at the piano bar. The musicians were funny and talented, and we didn’t mind being the butt of one of their jokes. If you’re ever in Vegas on a Tuesday night and realize that you don’t really gamble, drink, or do anything else Vegas-y, you could check out Napoleon’s Dueling Piano Bar–and don’t be afraid to order just soda-pops.

Look at pictures from Vegas on our travels page to see more from our trip.

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Sunday, August 4th, 2013

LIVING IN A LEGO TREEHOUSE

 

Lego man in Lego Treehouse
Lindsay and I stayed in on Friday night and built a nice lego treehouse for this little guy. If you’re considering such a living arrangement, make sure you consider the following advice straight from the perma-smile mouth of our lego friend.

Pros and Cons of living in a Lego Treehouse:

Lego Instructions

Pros:

  • Compared with building an actual treehouse, the construction is pretty simple.
  • When you get bored, rebuild your entire house into something new.
  • Trap door style entrance.
  • Plastic ‘za never goes bad.
  • At only $30 (not including tax), you can build a great house on a budget!
  • Earbuds can be used as speakers.
  • Water-front property.
  • Great view of the entire room in which you live.
  • Comes with a lego puppy and frog.

Cons:

  • The bugs are disproportionately large.
  • The only bathroom is a tiny bucket hanging from a string.
  • Probably not enough room for a big screen.
  • Your house is made of small and easily lost pieces.
  • Hard and lumpy mattress, not great for your back.
  • No doors to keep out intruders.
  • Walkie-talkie is solid plastic and doesn’t work at all.
  • Not a lot of room for entertaining friends and family.
  • Toddlers can be a problem.

And there you have it, all the good and bad things about going through life in a treehouse made of legos.

Treehouse

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Thursday, August 1st, 2013

TWENTY-FOUR REASONS I LOVE LIVING WITH LINDSAY


Today is Lindsay’s 24th birthday, so I want to let her know 24 of the reasons that she is the best roommate that I’ve ever had (in no particular order and excluding some of the obvious ones ;)).

24. She can’t beat me at Halo. I have had previous roommates that dominate me at Halo, so I really appreciate that Lindsay always lets me win this one. She does kick my bum at Harbor Master though.
23. She looks good all the time.
22. She likes watching movies with me all day, every day.
21. Being the youngest, I often catch myself being intentionally obnoxious. Lindsay is very patient and never seems to get annoyed with me.
20. She is super funny.
19. She’s a great cook…
18. And loves McDonald’s.
17. She’s a really good listener…
16. And a great talker.
15. She never ever complains.
14. I tend to be clumsy and spill things a lot. She puts up with this and the messes that come with it.
13. She never fights with me, fist or verbal.
12. She laughs at me when I’m funny. (Previous roommates just laughed at me all the time).
11. We never have to bicker about the remote control because she has great taste in all things entertainment. (She never wants to watch Sports Time or something lame like that).
10. She is extremely happy and cheerful to be around.
9. She loves loves loves treats; so do I.
8. She is incredibly thoughtful.
7. She is supportive about everything and always tells me what she thinks.
6. She is super clean.
5. She ate the food that I cooked that one time.
4. It never always gets weird when I spoon her.
3. She eventually wants to get two kinds of pets: baby humans and a baby dog.
2. We have fun.
1. Soulmates.

Happy birthday babs, hopefully you give me one more reason to love being your husband before next year so I can make a list of 25 reasons I love living with you!

-T

image

Treats!!!

 

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