Friday, December 15, 2006

Just another reason I want a PlayStation 3...


...and not a Wii (wee). The hard-to-pronounce next-generation console from Nintendo has already taken a lot of flak from every direction on its unique motion-sensing controller that allows players to realistically perform actions from throwing a bowling ball to swinging a baseball bat to conducting an orchestra (right).

Although I am all in favor of getting kids people up off the couch (or floor) if they must be tethered to the game console, I have a problem with the spazmoids who tend to be the ones that really get into the game. Something told me that they would be a little too enthusiastic when swinging hard plastic objects around expensive A/V equipment.

Nintendo foresaw this and included a wrist strap to said wii-mote. What they didn't foresee was the degree of-ahem!-enthusiasm American gamers would have.

The ensuing damage has been chronicled at Wii Have A Problem.


According to them, flying Wii-motes have damaged TVs, ceiling fans, lamps, VCRs, and—so far—9 people. Nintendo has already offered to send out replacement straps that are almost twice as thick as the originals.

Although the Wii retails for $249 (less than half of a fully-loaded PS3) one cracked HDTV monitor could set you back 10 times that.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Caught in a trap-I can't get out

A few months ago, A and I decided to get rid of our golden retriever. We were very busy, and he was couped up in a small house for several hours a day. Once we got home each night, he would stay out in our backyard until bedtime. He needed more attention and interaction than we could give him, and it was unfair of us to keep him. We contacted our local golden retriever rescue organization, and they found him a new home.

I didn't really miss him once he was gone. That is, until the feral cats started using our carport as a litter box.

I bought a B.B. gun, but it was a single-shot pistol, and the little fuckers ran too fast for me to reload.

Then A told me that she saw the crack whore who lives across the street setting out a dish of food for them. I decided to get some D-Con and fill up her dish with that the next time I saw her set it out. My bleeding-heart coworker threatened my karma if I poisoned the mangy bastards.

I had noticed three different cats hanging around at different times. This morning B came into the bathroom to tell me, "Daddy! There's FOUR CATS in the backyard!"

So tonight I stopped at Home Depot and bought one of these:
After I had it set up with the bait inside, I went back inside and asked A how soon she thought I would have to empty my new trap.

"I'm not sure." She didn't really want to play along.

"I bet one of them will be in there within the hour."

I was right.


Animal Control will empty the trap sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fun with Keywords: Halloween Edition

I am hoping that the people who have come to this site recently have simply been proactive in putting together their Halloween costumes (unlike yours truly, who decides at the last minute to pull out the "Drop Dead" t-shirt I bought at Target 2 years ago). Here are some of the search terms that prompted people to click onto this site:
  • template to make tazmanian devil
  • krueger glove template
  • vinyl gauntlets
  • how to make a lukas rossi halloween costume
The answer to that last one is: go to Spencers Gifts in your local mall, buy some pink hairspray and black eyeshadow and a white leather jacket like Axl Rose wore in the "Paradise City" video. Put on the eye shadow, pop some Lunesta and sleep for a good 18-24 hours. When you finally emerge from your coma, spray the pink hairspray all over your head and put on the jacket. Voila! Instant Skunk Ape! Anyway, it seems like my railing against the Superposeur frontman is serving up some decent hits on the old Internets. Peep:
  • lukas rossi skunk photo
  • lukas rossi rigged
  • lukas rigged
  • lukas rossi conspiracy
  • winner of rockstar supernova rigged
Then there's the weird Supernova-related queries:
  • devil sweatshirt tommy lee wears on rock star supernova
  • jason newstead cats
I have chosen to exclude the obligatory 186,000+ searches containing the words "Toby" "Rand" and "married?". Seriously girls, if you want to be a groupie, are you really all that concerned about his marital fidelity?
  • "strange sense of calmness"
  • onsite+screwed
Its funny how random words strung together actually bring people to this site. Don't they read the 20-word snippet beneath the link on the Google search results page?
  • radio jockey
I can just imagine 10 "little people" (they hate being called midgets, you know) racing Sony boomboxes trying to be the first to cross the finish line.
  • limited batch sweatshirts
I got nothin' on this one.

Until next time, I'll try to write more once I get a new job and don't have to spend every waking hour on Monster and CareerBuilder.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ABL: Anybody But Lukas

Voting is open for Rockstar: Supernova until late tonight or early tomorrow.

Please vote often for your favorite "rocker" at rockstar.msn.com, unless Lukas is your favorite, then throw your computer up aganst the wall and drown yourself in the toilet.

Friday, September 08, 2006

New Template: I Screwed It Up


So I was messing around with my new template and I screwed something up on the archive pages.

The main page is fine, but all of the other pages are retarded.

I will fix it this weekend. Deal with it.

Update: Problem solved. Thanks for dealing.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Rock Star: Supernova 9/6 Update

Here's a quick overview of last night's show:
  • Tommy is pulling double-duty with the Supernova show and MotleyCrue's current tour with Aerosmith
  • Brooke Burke announced that she is pregnant with a daughter
  • Magni performed with Supernova
  • Toby got the encore (and a new car) and dedicated his performance to his countryman, the Crocodile Hunter
  • Bottom 3: Dilana, Lukas (poseur), and Storm
  • Tommy couldn't bring himself to send anyone home last night, so Jason had to tell Storm she was out
So the final four "rockers" (still lame, Brooke... but we'll let it slide since you're with child and shouldn't be exerting yourself too much), in my order of preference, are:
  • Toby
  • Magni
  • Dilana
  • Lukas
Last year, my favorite rocker was Marty Casey and least favorite was JD Fortune, but JD's final performance won me over, and apparantly INXS, too, because he is now their frontman. I know Lukas won't be able to do the same for me, and I hope Supernova sees through his posturing and realizes that he is very one-dimensional and boring as a performer. Plus, I get the feeling that he wouldn't know "fun" if it tousseled his skunk-striped hair, punched him in his scowling face, and ripped off the clothes he bought at Aggro in the Toronto mall. Toby seems to be the only one of the group who could give Tommy Lee any competition in the "whooping it up" race.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Did no one else see this coming?

I just knew that eventually I would see the headline Steve Irwin killed in freak accident. "Stingray barb to the heart" ranked 1024 in my own personal list of ways I figured the Crocodile Hunter could take the big dirt nap.

Other ways I figured he could eventually meet his maker included:

#6 Face bitten off while aggravating a grumpy koala.

#72 Car blown off the road while chasing spinning tazmanian devil.

#156 Head stuffed in a kangaroo's pouch by one of Zartan's Dreadnoks.

#499 Pneumonia.

#765 Attacked by these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane.

Freak though he was, the Croc Hunter did quite a bit for Australia's eco-tourism and conservation of its wildlife. His antics were entertaining and he will be missed.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Supernova: Just a Bunch of Big Dicks

I wanted to keep this blog from being a complete and total shill for Rock Star: Supernova, so I promised myself I wouldn't post about this past week's performance's. Fuck it. If this is true, then the whole damn show is fixed, and I don't want to be a part of it.

Oh, and the whole thing with only certain parts of the site working with the Firefox browser is bullshit. Come on, Microsoft! Make a plugin so that your media player works in the number 2 browser. IE's overhead and security flaws are not something I want to have to accept just to be able to watch video clips of the show.

I thought it was just a technical glitch when I tried to vote for a couple of the "rockers" (god that term is so lame! Come up with something else to call them, Brooke. You sound like a tool). After 20 minutes of trying to get through, I gave up.

But now I think there may be a conspiracy to keep Lukas Rossi from the bottom 3 every week. He absolutely sucks, but if the show is rigged to let him win, then there is nothing our voting can do to get rid of him. The guys in the band are constantly blowing smoke up his ass. His performance of Nirvana's "Lithium" was uninspired and his stage presence was boring. Ryan Star, who got the Tommyhawk then next night, had 1000 times the energy and looked like he was just plain having fun. Oh, and his singing sounded more natural, too. Lukas's voice always sounds lke he is forcing it. That's fine if you are only performing one song, but what happens when he is on tour and has to sing for over an hour straight? I don't think he will be able to keep it up.

Storm Large's performance of Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" made the hair on my arms stand at attention, especially when Toby showed up in the background to sing the male part. The band accused him of stealing some of Storm's thunder, but I think her willingness to let one of her competitors on stage with her to perform an inegral part of the song just shows that she knows what it takes to give the best performance. The song is more important than the performer's ego. Tommy Lee should take a cue from Storm's dedication to an accurate performance of the music. Then again, if he did that, he would still be in the Crue.

Toby took what should have been a boring song (Billy Idol's dated "Rebel Yell") and brought the crowd into the performance, literally. He pulled half a dozen hotties from the front row on stage with him for the final verse. That Aussie knows how to put on a show. I still pick him to win, if the contest isn't really rigged.

Even Dilana's energy would have pulled a couple of votes from me, had MSN's voting site not given me error after error. She kicked Lukas's ass, but still should have been in the bottom 3 (except with Lukas and Magni, instead of Storm and Ryan).

To add insult to injury, Supernova pegged Lukas to perform their new song, and I couldn't help but wonder what it would have sounded like with any of the other contestants. Hopefully we wont have to wait long to find out.

OH! Are these guys prohibited from performing Motley, GNR, or Metallica songs? I don't seem to recall any of the rockers singing songs made famous by the guys who are judging them.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bershon

I was introduced to a new word today, courtesy of Dooce. “Bershon is pretty much how you feel when you’re 13 and your parents make you wear a Christmas sweatshirt and then pose for a family picture, and you could not possibly summon one more ounce of disgust, but you’re also way too cool to really even DEAL with it, so you just make this face like you smelled something bad and sort of roll your eyes and seethe in a put-out manner.”

We have all felt this way at some point in our youth, and our bershon usually coincided with a family get-together, which somehow always included the dreaded photo-op. I was no stranger to bershon, and was recently reminded of just how disgusted I used to be when I had to pose for a photo.

Like when I was a freshman in high school (c. 1988) and got my new marching band uniform:



No, I'm not from Canada, but our school mascot was the Mountie. Yes, as in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. What cooler uniform could there be? Here are some of the finer acoutroments of this stylish ensemble:
  • White cotton gloves
  • White vinyl gauntlets
  • White vinyl spats (with straps that cake up with ice when marching in snow)
  • Black wool mountie hat (which I am holding in my right hand so as not to mess up my sweet mullet

Next in the lineup is the backyard photo when I got my letter jacket. I know you are asking, "I thought you weren't an athelete, Jake. What sport did you letter in?"



Marching Band.

That's right.

Oh, I was soooooooooo cool. You can't see the sweet mullet too well in this picture, but check out the size of those glasses. I had the bershon look down cold in this picture (c. 1989). I had a look that could cut you like Freddy Krueger's glove. Which, I made for my Halloween costume in (I think) eighth grade.



Notice the missing glasses in this picture. I didn't get contacts until 11th grade, so I was as blind as a bat in this outfit. The sacrifices we make for accurate Haloween costumes. There is a Flickr tag for "Bershon", so if you want so see more sullen teenagers in awkward poses, check it out. If you have your own pictures to add, do that too. I did.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Shuffle Up and Deal


Ok, here's the deal: Put your iPod-iTunes-MusicMatch-200 Disc CD Changer-Vinyl Jukebox-whatever on "Shuffle" and tell us what the first five songs that come up are, and what they mean to you. No cheating, no skipping, leave nothing out. If its some obscure album filler, too bad. Tell us what the rest of the album did for you. Here's my go at it. I will write these as the songs are playing.

Cowboy, by Kid Rock. Funny how this one came up first. If you have never seen me drunkenly shout through this one at karaoke, you are surely deprived. It takes a minimum of a pitcher of Amber Bock to get me to write this one down on the little slip of paper on the table in front of me, but that just adds to the enthusiasm with which I perform the hip thrusts when I shout “…then paint his wife white, unngh!”

Dead Horse, by Guns N’ Roses. Probably my favorite song on either of the Use Your Illusions discs. Starts out slow with just Axl and (I assume) Slash on an acoustic guitar. A couple of verses in, I can just imagine Slash smashing that acoustic as Axl screams and the band kick it into full-out metal mode. I don’t know if they did a video for this one, but if they did, it can’t compete with the mental movie I have always had of this song.

Here I Go Again, by Whitesnake. Wow, more pop metal? I have such a diverse collection, I would have thought something a little less AAR would have shown up by now. You are all going to think my musical tastes run along the same lines as Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and Adam Sandler’s in Airheads. A great tune from Jr. High, ‘m surprised I have it in digital format. I had the tape of this album, originally.

That’s When Your Heartaches Begin, by Elvis Presley. I could make up some bullshit about how my mother always used to listen to this record when I was a little kid, but that’s just not true. Big E has a spoken word bridge in the middle, undoubtedly inspiring a thousand knock-offs like Boyz2Men and their protégés.

Primal Scream, by Motley Crue. One of the three original tunes that the Crue was able to record before kicking out Vince Neil after the Dr. Feelgood tour. They ended up putting it on their Decade of Decadence compilation. It just kind of bums me out when I hear it, because it was really the last of the original Crue songs. They haven’t been the same since. Oh, and I hear the band is touring with Aerosmith in the fall, but since Tommy is doing his Supernova thing, I assume there will be a ringer behind the skins for Motley?

Okay, five songs isn’t enough to get a real taste of my collection. Next up were:
King of Comedy, by REM
Working Man (Live from the Different Stages album), by Rush
I, Zombie, by White Zombie
Meat Plow, by STP
Seether, by Veruca Salt
Just a Girl, by No Doubt
Pencil Thin Mustache, by Jimmy Buffett
Breed, by Nirvana
Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me, by Elton John

That's enough.... now it's your turn.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Get crazy with the Cheez Whiz®


Okay, since I have nothing exciting to post today, I guess it's time to go to the old Google Analytics page to see what crazy shit people have searched for and found my blog.
First up, random weirdness:
  • "getting married in the outer banks"

  • red wings kegerator tap

Sorry, can't help you with either one of those. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

I'm guessing by this next batch that my Rockstar: Supernova post was pretty popular:
  • rockstar supernova

  • rockstar

  • supernova jd fortune

  • toby rand's

  • toby rand married

File this next batch under Celebrity WTF???:
  • celebrity fakes

  • celebrity weight loss

  • did jennifer aniston drink underage?

  • anthony kiedis photos pics

  • sopie marceau

  • james horner british accent

And now I am speechless:
  • fat bodybuilder gorged

  • brain hemmorhage weightlifting

It never ceases to amaze me the f-ed up things people look for on the Internets. Don't they know we can see what they are doing (and pointing and laughing)?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Their A&R man said I don't hear a single...

My last post got me to thinking. If Toby Rand ends up being the winner of Rockstar and becomes the frontman for Tommy Lee's new band, Supernova, it will have been just one in a long line of my predictions regarding rock/pop music.

About three months ago, I stumbled across the MySpace page of a new hip-hop group I had never heard of, and absolutely loved one of their songs. That's saying something, because I hate most rap/hip-hop/r&b music. But this song had a groove to it, and I added it to my profile. A month later, I heard it on the radio, and now I can't turn on the radio without hearing it.

The song is "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, whose album "St. Elsewhere" just hit 500,000 copies sold.

And now I kinda hate it, just because it was something I knew that no one else did, and now its everywhere. (I harbor the same feelings for South Park, which I discovered on the 'net way before the first season hit Comedy Central.)

I did the same thing in 7th grade, when I heard this kick-ass song called "You Give Love a Bad Name" by a little-known band called Bon Jovi. None of my friends had heard of them, and I was the coolest kid in my little hick town in BFE, Michigan. We didn't have cable or MTV, only the rich kid had a satellite dish, and his parents were so religious that they wouldn't let him watch it. Anyway, I heard something in that band that I somehow knew was totally awesome, and made sure others knew about it. Now, I know Bon Jovi had a decent-sized hit with "Runaway" a couple of years before, but gimme a break, I was living a pretty sheltered life at the time.

A few other musicians or songs I "discovered" and was totally geeked about a few months before they were hits:
  • "Hey Ya" by Outkast
  • "Talk Dirty to Me" by Poison
  • "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana
  • "Just a Girl" by No Doubt
  • "The Impression That I Get" by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • "Lit Up" by Buckcherry
  • Limp Bizkit
  • The Crystal Method
  • Everclear
  • Sublime (before Brad died)

I also knew Kelly Clarkson was going to win American Idol as soon as I saw her first performance. Of course, that could be because I thought she was the best looking chick on the show. I missed the J.D. Fortune win on the first season of Rockstar, but I think that was because he acted like a complete prick and there were so many other great singers on that show. But before the end of the finale, his performance was so above and beyond everyone else's that there was no way (at least in my mind that he couldn't win.

Maybe I have a gift for picking talented new musicians or seeingsomething in an artist that no one else has noticed yet. I just might start a list here of new artists or songs that I think are going to hit it big. Now that I have my MBA, maybe I can turn this little hobby of mine into a lucrative career at a record label somewhere...

That said, if it wasn't for the song title and band name, I would make the prediction that the next big hit will be "Connecticut's for Fucking" by Jesus H. Christ and the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse. Sirius is playing them on Alt Nation, but good luck getting it in the rotation at a FCC-policed "terrestrial" radio station. No program director would risk his job to get that one played. Look for it on iTunes if you want to hear it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rockstar: Supernova

Okay, I loved the original version of Rockstar, and J.D. Fortune won me over with his performance on the final episode and I'm glad he made it into INXS. Now, Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Jason Newstead (Metallica), and Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses) are looking for a singer for their new band, Supernova.

I think they have found him:


Toby Rand's performance tonight was above and beyond the poseurs and karaoke stars on the stage tonight. Maybe some of the others had a bad night, but Toby was the only one who looked and sounded lke a true rock star. You heard it here first. Toby is going to win this thing.

An honorable mention goes to Storm Large, who gave a great performance but doesn't seem to be quite all there...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday!

My blog is 1 year old today! I should get a prize, or something.

Actually, you all should get a prize for coming back again and again.

Thanks for reading!

J

Thursday, June 29, 2006

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Part I)

or, How a Totally Alsome, Funny, Cool, Responsible, Conscientious, Trustworthy, Motivated, Brilliant, Creative, Organized, and Hip Guy with Phenomenal Editorial and Writing Skills Tried to Get a Job


A few weeks ago, I thought I would be able to take a few months off from my hectic schedule this summer. For the first time in five years, I would no longer have to worry about homework, studying for exams, or a schedule packed tighter than Pavarotti in a Speedo. I am done with my Master's degree, and my day job is pretty slow. Nothing to complain about at work means blog posts that are few and far between. My sister is still working on programming the javascript application that will run my website, so for now that project is on hold. I had no pending obligations in the evenings for the rest of the summer, or the forseeable future.

Last week, a friend e-mailed me a link to Overheard at the Beach, a new variation on a theme brought to you by the creators of Overheard in New York and Overheard in the Office. I am a huge fan of the "Overheard" sites. I have never been to New York, but am the typical office drone who submits conversations to Overheard in the Office, though my conversations with my coworkers aren't nearly as interesting as theirs. I thought to myself, "Great! I live in Florida, I can hit the beach this summer and finally send in some funny overheard conversations.

Then I saw it. A call to arms. A way to finally combine my smart-aleck sense of humor with my need for pubic validation of my creativity and get paid for it. Overheard at the Beach was looking for a part-time editor. All I had to do was send an e-mail telling the publisher why I deserved the job, my resume, and pick a dozen or so submissions from their first hundred to edit and give titles. I could do this. I can be creative on command. Nothing is more motivating to me than a deadline. In fact, I came up with my dozen titles on my lunch break at my day job. I waited until after work to proof my cover letter, then I sent in my application.

I'm sure you're asking, "What happened? Did you get the job?"

You tell me.

Note: That was the cover letter I sent with my application.
More to come...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Science Project

Q. What happens when you drop a 4 Mentos mints into a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke?
A. A mess.

Q. What happens when 2 weird scientist-looking guys with lab coats, an affinity for the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and waaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands drop 500 Mentos into 200 liters of Diet Coke?

A: This video:

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fin

As of 11:24 PM, Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I have completed my final assignment for my last class in my Master's degree program at Florida Gulf Coast University.

I. Am. Done.

I had been struggling with this case study since Saturday, and barely had anything written. I sat and stared at my computer screen for at least an hour, not sure how to begin or what exactly I wanted to say. Then it started all to pour out onto my keyboard and I was done in less than a half hour. Now all I have to do is show up to class on Friday and Saturday.

What a strange sense of calmness that has settled over me. It's like I flipped a switch and my stress all has instantly disappeared.

I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

If I Had a Million Dollars...

I would be able to blog more often, because I wouldn't be so busy with work (and school and family). Two of my coworkers have quit in the last month, one who I miss and one of whom I say good riddance to bad rubbish. The powers that be actually hired someone before either of them gave notice, but she has proved to be completely useless.

Seriously, I think I could have trained a squad of monkeys more quickly than this mental midget is catching on.

I can just imagine a bunch of monkeys running around the office, making copies, punching paper in the binding machine, packing up boxes for UPS. That would be more fun than... well... I guess we could get a barrel, too.

Just for the cliché.

But c'mon, people. How many times should you ask the same question of your coworkers before you would feel like a complete nimrod for asking it yet one more time?

Apparently for the crazy cat lady (that's what we call her-did I mention she drives around town every night feeding feral cat colonies?) that number is not 12, because she has asked us how to load the FedEx labels in the printer at least that many times.

Not to mention the fake British accent she speaks with. Ugh. And she adds an extra syllable in the middle of my name when she says it, "Jee-ake." Drives me nuts. She also has such ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) that she refuses to even speak the word... she has to spell it. If you say the word "snake," she lets out a little scream.

I was a bad little boy this afternoon. We have a box of rubber snakes and insects that are used as props in a training course, so I took one and put it on the floor next to her desk while she was at lunch. Of course the moment she returned she flipped out and made one of our coworkers pick it up and put it away. She was not satisfied until it was out of sight. I commented that it must have fallen out of the box that was unpacked yesterday.

I'm such a prick.

I'm going to hell for that, I'm sure.

I'll see you there, because I know you laughed at that, just a little.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Here we go again...



Sorry to those of you in the panhandle, but I hope this thing stays to the North.

I can't take another year of this sh!t.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Open Mouth, Empty Head

A and I have a private joke between us. We call it Open Mouth, Empty Head. You see these morons in public a lot, in a restaurant, talking loudly about nothing in particular like it was the most important thing in the world.

"...and then I opened the door to my closet, and there it was! I couldn't believe I had hung it up after I wore it! I must not have been paying attention to what I was doing. It should have been in the hamper, but I hung it back up like it was clean..."

"...then this colored guy walk up to me and starts askin' me all kinds of questions an' shit that I don't know nuthin' about, so's I tol' him to go ask Billy, 'cuz Billy knows about that sort of thing, he went to the community college for a coupla years..."

"...and then she says to me, 'gramma I have to go potty!' Isn't that the most adorable thing you have ever heard? I mean she's only three and a half! She has to be the smartest little girl I have ever seen!..."

You just want to walk up to these people and tell them to shut the fuck up! Nobody wants to hear about your personal crap! People get too damn comfortable with having no privacy. There's even a whole website about overheard conversations. Most of these people have nothing interesting to say, yet insist on making sure they talk loudly enough that everyone within the vicinity knows every disgusting detail of their recent hernia surgery or other such personal information.

There is a new employee in my office who just moved into the desk next to mine, and she blathers on incessantly to nobody in particular about nothing in general.

These Empty Heads with Open Mouths need to be told to shut up. I am proposing a new national movement to do so. Don't be shy. Walk right up to them and do it! If they are on a cellular phone and you don't want to interrupt their conversation, just lower the volume, give them one of these cards. There are even some that are applicable to people who aren't even on the phone.

Help me rid the world of obnoxious, self-absorbed clouts today. If they really want people to know too much about them, tell them to get a blog, and leave your ears out of it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hypothetical Situation

Imagine for a few moments that you are the owner of a nightclub.

When the club first opened, you had a few patrons. You treated these patrons very well, because they were used to the club across town that wasn't very friendly. You had free drink specials, live music, anything that would make people feel good and proud to come to your club. Everybody got along, so there was no need for any kind of security. They all policed themselves.

Eventually, word spread about your club, and people started coming in droves so you got a couple of bouncers to keep the peace. Not only from your neighborhood and other side of town, but other towns far away, where the people looked differently and had weird customs. Some of these people liked to sing karaoke; not your thing, but its what the people liked so you had a karaoke night. Sometimes underage kids would come in and try to drink, but the bartenders were pretty keen and caught most of them right away.

One day you noticed that the club was so full that you needed to set up someone at the door to check IDs and make sure you didn't let in too many people at one time. There were only enough bartenders and bathrooms, too many people in the club at once could really turn the place into a mess. Then nobody would want to come.

Having the velvet rope out front was great for your nightclub's reputation for exclusivity, and your bouncer had the discretion to keep out anyone who looked like they might be a troublemaker. But to your dismay, you discover that your bartenders had given up checking IDs on anyone who appeared to be under 21. "It's not my job," they would say, "Bill checks them at the front door." Still, you catch the occasional 19-year-old with a beer in his hand and escort him outside.

But now it seems to happen more and more often. One night, one of your regulars tells you, "I know of at least 12 underage kids drinking in here right now." You don't know which ones he is talking about, because you have a large clientele from the ages 21 to 25 and they all look pretty young. As you walked back to the stockroom, you happened to catch a group of youngsters walking in the fire exit in the back hallway.

As they see you, they stop in their tracks, then turn around and run right back out the door. You follow them, but not to chase them. You look closely at the door and discover that the lock is broken. It appears to you that the lock has been broken for some time, but you have no way of knowing how long it has been broken or how many people have been coming in this way, bypassing the ID and occupancy checkpoint at the front door.

Now you have a decision to make. There are several choices, but none of them will satisfy everyone.

Choice #1:
Ignore the lock. As a matter of fact, forget about the guy at the front door, too. Just let anyone in who wants to come in. That's the way you did it when the club first opened. It worked back then, why won't it work for you now? Everyone should be able to drink and dance in your club, regardless of when they were born. It's their right!

Choice #2:
Ignore the lock. You have no evidence that many people know that it is broken. Plus, those kids pay for their drinks, and if you are ever busted for serving minors, you can point to your bouncers at the front door and show that you have been addressing the problem to the best of your knowledge.

Choice #3:
Fix the lock. No new kids will be getting into the club, and the ones that are already in aren't much of a problem. Kids will be kids, a little underage drinking never hurt anyone. Wait, there's a fight up by the bar, you had better go check that out.

Choice #4:
Place at the door one of your bouncers who has been standing around chatting up hotties all night. Make everyone who looks young enough to pass for under 21 go back outside and check everyone's ID again. Except for the 40-year old losers at the bar who are obviously old enough to be there.

What is your choice? Leave a comment and let me know.

By the way, this wasn't about a real nightclub. Purely a hypothetical situation.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What celebrity do you look like?

I have had this blog for the better part of a year now, and I have tried to keep it relatively anonymous. Some people who I know and trust are aware of the site, but for the rest of you—commenters and lurkers alike—I choose to stay anonymous. This has its advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, I would like to post some "Before and After" pictures chronicling my weight loss. Unfortunately, modesty prevented the "Before" shots from showing much more than my face.

Anyone who has been online since the mid-90s and spent any time in chat rooms before digital cameras became ubiquitous knows that, from time to time, people will ask what celebrity you look like. That's great if you look like an A-lister like Russell Crowe or Jennifer Aniston. When the closest "celebrity" to your face is a one- or two-hit wonder indie rock star like Matthew Sweet, people inevitable ask, "Who the hell is that?"

Either that, or you tell them someone famous AND good-looking and when you eventually meet them IRL, they are sorely disappointed.

Now there is a way for you to—SCIENTIFICALLY—determine which celebrities you most resemble: Find the Celebrity in You™ by MyHeritage. All you need is a digital photo of yourself, and once you register, you're read to go!

The software relies quite a bit on the angle of the photo, lighting, and the expression on your face, so you may want to try multiple photos. Here were my results:

Photo #1: Most recent photo since losing weight.
Match #1: Carson Daly-66%
Ok, thats cool. He's a pretty good looking guy. Hey, my mom's maiden name is Dailey, maybe we're related. Oh, wait, he spells it differently. Damn.

Match #2: Anthony Kiedis-61%
I'm a little disturbed by this one. I know he's a skinny little rock star, but he's about a decade older than me and a former heroin addict. I don't know if I want to look like him.

Match #3: Matt Dillon-60%
Back on track. Another attractive A-list actor.

Match #4: James Horner-52%
Who the fuck is James Horner? Oh, a composer. He did the music for Titanic. Next!

Match #5: Sopie Marceau-47%
WTF???? She's a chick! I know she's hot, but c-mon!

Match #6: Josh Hartnett-46%
I guess he's supposed to be good looking, but I think he looks like a high-functioning mental patient.

No More Matches.

Photo #2: Fat picture with smile, front view.
Match #1: Elle MacPherson-61%
Wait a minute, she's a supermodel! She looks nothing like me. THis thing must be broken.

Match #2: Katie Holmes-48%
Uh oh. The Scientologists should be here any minute to take me away and read my thetan levels.

No More Matches.

Photo #3: Fat picture with big smile, left profile.
Match #1: Jessica Alba-71%
WTF???? Another hot chick? I'm beginning to think I would make a good drag queen. Ummmm...NO!

Match #2: Joni Mitchell-71%
This bitch look like the Crypt Keeper. I just don't see it.

Match #3: Peter Fonda-68%
This guy is old enough to be my grandfather. Next!

Match #4: Prince William-63%
Maybe I can speak with a phony British accent and pick up some birds. I'll have to ask the crazy cat lady who works with me for some pointers on how she fakes her accent.

Match #5: Jason Biggs-62%
The pie-fucker???

Match #6: Justin Timberlake-61%
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! God help me!!!!!!!!!

Match #7: Russell Crowe-61%
I have a sudden urge to throw a phone at a hotel clerk. Chicks dig that.

Match #8: Joe Dimaggio-61%
I saw him at Dinky Donuts once. He's a dunker.

Match #9: Mischa Barton-59%
Isn't she on Smallville or some show like that? I've heard of her, but couldn't tell you how.

Match #10: Jennifer Aniston-59%
Finally! An A-list hottie! Oh, wait, I'm still a guy. Crap! I don't know if this says more about my looks or Jennifer's.

No More Matches.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Market Update: Hasbro to merge with NAMBLA



Lest you think this is a SNL commercial spoof that somehow made it past the censors, I am here to inform you that this is a REAL PRODUCT that you can buy right now at your local Wal-Mart!

WTF??????

Is Michael Jackson working in Hasbro's marketing department? Did they hire a bunch of "recently terminated" Catholic priests to do product development? Was some 20-something former frat boy trying to see what he could sneak through the layers of corporate red tape?

From Hasbro's product description page (emphasis mine):
Sneak up on your opponents with a surprise bio-ooze attack! Just when they think you’re coming at ‘em with water, blast ‘em with a shot of icky bio-ooze! Shoot out globs of gooey bio-ooze and then drench ‘em with water!

I repeat: WTF??????

I don't know what part of the commercial is worse, the kid at the beginning pumping away furiously, or the black kid who rubs the "bio-ooze" all over his chest.

I know you just went to play that back again to see the black kid. Fucking pervert.

UPDATE:
User reviews on Amazon.

Thanks, Beth, for the heads-up on this one.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Book 'em, Dan-O

Five-Oh.

Six months...Fifty pounds lost.

Not as fast as I had hoped, but then again I haven't been really avoiding the carbs as religiously as I have in the first few months. I am exercising more, though. Hopefully that means I am gaining lean muscle mass and that's why the pounds haven't been dropping as quickly.

Hopefully the next fifty don't take as long. Okay, really just the next 35. Anything more than that and I will look like a crack addict.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

At A Loss For Words

Don’t think me unkind
Words are hard to find
The only checks I’ve left unsigned
From the banks of chaos in my mind
And when their eloquence escapes me
Their logic ties me up and rapes me

De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
Their innocence will pull me through
They’re meaningless and all that’s true

--The Police

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Failure to Launch

Sorry folks. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to sing last night. Not that I didn't try, but my vocal cords were misbehaving and I couldn't get a note out without squeaking.

Literally.

Squeaking.

So, unfortunately, you won't get to see/hear me sing this week. Maybe next week if the throat heals. But don't despair! I did happen to catch a group of frat guys singing "Ice Ice Baby". You will be able to see it right here as soon as I can get the video uploaded.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Karaoke Set List

Ok faithful readers, since I have absolutely nothing to do at work today, I have decided to let you all pick a song for me to sing at karaoke tommorow night. There are a few that I have sung before and a few that I think I could do pretty well if I tried. Vote for your favorite in the comments section by Saturday evening, and I will sing the song with the most votes. If I can figure out how to do it, I may even post the audio or video of my performance of your selection.

Ok, here are your choices:
  1. What I Got by Sublime
  2. Hemmorhage (In My Hands) by Fuel
  3. Zoot Suit Riot by Cherry Poppin' Daddies
  4. Mr. Brightside by The Killers
  5. Bed of Roses by Bon Jovi
  6. Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down
  7. 3 AM by Matchbox 20
**Disclaimer: Actual song performed subject to the availability of a karaoke version at Bennigan's.

Weekend Preview

It looks to be a busy weekend, folks. I had better get my homework done on my lunchbreak today, because I doubt that I will have any time to work on it before Monday.

Yesterday, my mother called me on my cell phone at work. We don't exactly have the best relationship, so I figured it must be something pretty important she needed to talk about. It was. Apparantly, my sister is failing English. What makes this my problem is the fact that she has the opportunity to do some extra credit work online, but her computer is broken. I told my mom when she bought the piece of shit eMachines box 4 years ago that I would not be the one to call to fix it when it inevitably took a crap, but every time it does, I am the one who has to go over and reinstall everything. If it wasn't for my sister, who needs this English class to graduate next month, I wouldn't do it.

So that will be my Friday night. Exciting, eh?

Saturday is a double whammy. First, in the afternoon, is a college baseball double-header with a special reception for Executive MBA students and alumni at my college. I am only going for the networking opportunities that it presents since I am in desperate need of a new job.

Saturday is also A & my anniversary.

Yep, April 1st.

April Fool's Day.

I figure, if you're fool enough to get married, might as well pick the most appropriate day of the year. To this day, I can't believe she went along with it.

Anyway, We are going out to the local Bennigan's for karaoke night. We went last weekend for the first time in almost 3 years and had a blast (at least I did), so we invited some friends to join us. If you're in the area (zip 34134), come on down and have a few with us. The more the merrier.

On Sunday, it's back to my mom's place so I can take my sister's senior pictures. I am somewhat of an amateur photographer, and have done a few weddings and such, and it was an honor to have her ask me to do them. We will probably do a few shots at the beach, sneak onto a golf course for some outdoor pics, and end up back at home for some "studio" shots.

So, that will be my weekend. I hope I can sneak a nap in there somewhere.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Half, Eddie! or, What Have You Done For Me Lately?

As of this morning I have officially passed the halfway mark on the way to my goal weight. I weighed in after my workout and was 260. So, for those of you who are keeping track, I have lost 45 pounds and have 40 more to go.

I probably won't get there by the end of June as I had originally planned, but definitely before next fall.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Jesus vs. Satan vs. ... L. Ron Hubbard???

First, Issac Hayes quit his job as the voice of "Chef" on the cartoon South Park, citing his disgust with the producers of the show over the treatment of the pseudoreligion "Scientology" in a recent episode. Apparantly treating other religions harshly was not a problem for Hayes, who has been a cast member since the first season.

(cough)hypocrite(cough)

Then Comedy Central pulled the "offensive" episode from its schedule without comment. Rumors swirled speculating that Tom Cruise, Hayes's fellow L. Ron Hubtard and subject of the South Park episode in question, threatend to boycott promotion of his upcoming summer blockbuster, Mission: Impossible, part 37—Revenge of the Sith, produced by Comedy Central's parent company, Paramount.

South Park creators Matt Parker and Trey Cool relased the following statement: "So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! … You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail!"

Just in case you missed it, you can watch the entire episode here:






UPDATE: Apparantly, a friend of Hayes says that he has not quit the show and is taking it easy recovering from a stroke. No word on who issued the statement on Hayes's behalf regarding South Park's treatment of Scientology.

(cough)bullsh!t(cough)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I Hate Running (Part 2)

The whole running thing was a bust. I went for two runs last week, 2 miles each time. Well, actually I half ran/half walked. Okay, it was more like 1/3 running, 2/3 walking. Anyway, I actually went outside and travelled 2 miles under my own power each morning.

When I got to work, I could barely sit down into my chair. Later, I could barely get up out of it. I was extremely thirsty, and still drinking over a gallon of water a day, so by mid-morning the battle of wills between my thighs and my bladder had begun. My bladder had to convince my brain that the pain it could induce by bursting right this minute was greater than the pain I would feel in my thighs if I stood up from my chair.

Luckily I am a man and didn't have to sit down to alleviate the bladder situation. I would have had to use the handicap bar next to the commode.

After two days of running and screaming thighs, I decided to take a break to let my muscles heal. I had a job interview coming up and didn't want to be the EOE candidate gimping into the conference room. Day three was no better than day two. I still could not stand very easily.

On day four, the day of the interview, I started out pretty sore, but was about 75% better by the end of the day. I left work early and got to my interview, where my (hopefully) soon-to-be-new-boss met me in the lobby. The interview was on the third floor and new boss asked if I wanted to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

I responded with an enthusiastic, "Sure!" in case this was one of those behavioral tests that some interviewers throw at you. You know, like the one where they "accidentally" drop a pen on the floor just to see if you will pick it up. It's supposed to show them if you are helpful or some other b.s. like that. I didn't want to seem like a lazy slob, so I braved the stairs with him. It actually wasn't too bad, and I didn't get winded like I probably would have last year. So all the biking and running is actually helping me in ways other than losing weight.

The rest of the interview went well, and they called me back for another tomorrow. But I was starting to give up on the whole running thing. It wasn't worth the pain and having my coworkers snicker when I tried to stand up. One of them told me I looked like a pregnant woman trying to get up out of a chair. Not exactly something someone who is trying to lose weight wants to hear.

Then my mother-in-law told me she didn't like the fact that I had to cross the six-lane thoroghfare in the middle of the jogging route, so she sprung for half of a new recumbant bike. I like that thing so much better than the the old fan-resistance bike I had. Not only is the seat more comfortable (so I can stay on it longer), but not having moving handlebars frees up my arms for weightlifting, so I can keep my cardio workout going longer, while cutting down on my overall workout time because some of the weight portion can be done simultaneously.

I hit the jackpot with this mother-in-law. I always tell A that I am very glad I have the m-i-l that I do, and not the m-i-l that she has!

Monday, March 06, 2006

I Hate Running

This morning, per the directive from the little angel that sits on my shoulder, I started a running program. Running may be too strong of a word. I walked 2 miles, occasionally jogging when i caught my breath, walking again when i lost it. Here are the reasons why I hate to run:
  1. Lungs burn from underuse.
  2. Legs are sore the rest of the day.
  3. Right thigh cramps up on the drive to work because the piece of sh!t Kia Sportage I drive was designed by 4'2" Koreans and subsequently I cannot extend my driving leg all the way out, even with the seat pushed all the way back.
  4. Coughing up phlegm all day long.
Here are the reasons I will continue to run every morning:
  1. Ass is fat.
  2. Belly is fat.
  3. Double chin.
  4. Man-tits are huge.
  5. Skin flaps hang from biceps like a 90-year-old woman's.
  6. Stationary bike pedal broke.
  7. Cool iPod arm band (a little too snug on the last notch, need to find some way to extend it).
  8. Not getting shin splints (although that may be because I didn't actually run long enough to experience them).
So the reasons for outweigh the reasons against by a margin of 2-1. I can deal with the breathing problems until either my rapidly aging body gets used to it or I die of pneumonia.

Oh, and I stepped on the scale after my run and discovered that I am now down to 265. That's a total of 40 pounds lost. I don't attribute it to the run, I'm sure it was the same when I woke up, but I'm glad I checked after I got back and not before, because I probably wouldn't have gone out if I knew.

I realized as I was gasping for air that the last time I actually went for a run was when I was in crew in college. That ended in December of 1993. So this morning, I literally did something that I haven't done in over a dozen years.

What were you doing in December, 1993? Drop me a line and let me know. This should be fun.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Gods of Fate Have Spoken

Yesterday I got on the scale for my weekly check-in. No change. Not a single pound lost in over 2 weeks. I haven't changed my eating habits, and I have been riding the stationary bike every morning, rather than every other morning. No dice.

This really sucks.

Last night, I was getting ready to ride the bike. I usually skip the morning ride on the weekends. The bike is in the same room as the cats' litter box, and it was smelling especially rank, so I removed the offending material and took it outside to the garbage can. As I was walking back to the house, I thought to myself, "It's a beautiful night. Why am I riding that bike inside for exercise when I could be working out outside?"

The answer was, "Beacuse your mountain bike has two flat tires and you get shinsplints when you run."

So I went back inside and started my ride. The new iPod was cranked up and AC/DC was blasting into my ears. At this point I continued my inner dialogue, listening in as the angel on my left shoulder and the devil on my right argued about my weight loss progress. Here is an edited transcript of the conversation my shoulder angel and shoulder devil had while I was riding the bike:

SA: "If we want to jumpstart our weight loss again, we should start running."

SD: "I hate to run. Besides, we get shinsplints."

SA: "But we will get back on track with our weight loss. You can update your geeky little Excel spreadsheet and start posting the graphs on our blog again."

SD: "That's true. But my shins will still hurt."

SA: "You'll get over it. We can run for the same amount of time that we ride the bike and it will burn more Calories."

SD: "Yeah. My ass is still pretty fat. Running will get that tightened up."

SA: "Plus you can use that new website you found to trace your route and figure out how far we run. It even calculates how many calories you burn."

SD: "That website is pretty cool."

SA: "Exactly. Plus, if we get in the habit of going early in the morning now, it won't be so stifling hot in the summer. We can start before the sun even comes up."

SD: "The summers here are a bitch. Whoever decided to move us to Florida from Michigan was a sadistic bastard."

SA: "You said the same thing about the sadistic bastard who thought it would be fun to live on campus at Michigan State so we had to walk to class in the winter."

SD: "Yeah, he is a masochist. Son-of-a-bitch either burns us alive or freezes our nutsack off."

SA: "I'd rather be hot. At least you can turn the AC on."

SD: "Until a hurricane knocks out the electricity for a week."

SA: "Don't change the subject. We are going to start running Monday morning, okay?"

SD: "Fine. But in the summer if it's too hot, we're coming back in here to ride the bike instead."

SA: "Deal."

****CRACKKKK!!!!!!*****

SD: "What the f*ck was that??!!??

The "crack" was the sound of the pedal of my stationary bike breaking off, flush with the body of the bike. Its not a replacable part. I checked it out, and short of using an arc welder to reattach the pedal, the bike is toast. I guess the angel on my shoulder wanted to keep the devil honest, so he broke the pedal.

That sadistic bastard.


UPDATE: I was able to use the "I'm starting to run tomorrow" excuse as a reason to get this iPod accessory:

Thursday, February 16, 2006

100 Days

Today is officially the 100th day of my Atkins adventure. I had initially set a goal of losing 85 pounds in 200 days. This was due to my brother's upcoming wedding in May. I would be seeing a lot of people that I haven't seen since high school, and I wanted to get down to what I weighed when I graduated high school. As you know, my brother's wedding was moved up to New Year's Eve.

So everybody saw me really fat, although my closest family remarked how good I was looking. I was down about 20 pounds by then, and my face had really thinned out. I was determined to drop those remaining 65 pounds by the end of the summer when I will most likely be up north and see them all again.

Anyway to make a long story short, as of this morning I have lost 36 pounds in 100 days. This puts me slightly behind schedule, but I think that if I can get my lazy butt out of bed every morning instead of every other morning, I will get back on track. I currently have 58% left to lose, and 50% of the time left to do it. Even if I stay on the same pace I have been on, I will have lost 72 pounds in 200 days. Not too shabby.


Oh yeah, I'm a geek. I plotted my weight loss diary in Excel and have a running graph showing the results. What a f-ing nerd I am!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Gratuitous Plea for Comments

(Copied word for word from daniel who copied from jozjozjoz who copied from Mr. Don)

If you read this… if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don’t speak often or don’t really know each other)..... Your job, your mission, nay - even your new goal in life is to post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want - good or bad. It can be about that time when I spent the night with you in the South American jail because you got drunk and tried to pick up on a cop.... or it could be about that night that felt like that time half a forever ago when you and I hopped on railroad cars and rode clear across Kentucky… BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you’re finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON’T ACTUALLY remember about you!

Post away - and be creative!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Top Ten Reasons Why Hockey Is Better Than Sex

10. It’s legal to play hockey professionally
9. The puck is always hard.
8. The protective equipment is reusable, and you don’t even have to wash it.
7. It lasts a full hour, with two short breaks in the middle.
6. If your stick breaks, no big deal, you just get a new one.
5. Your parents cheer when you score.
4. When somebody gets tired, you can put in a fresh man.
3. Periods last only 20 minutes.
2. You can count on it at least twice a week.
1. A two-on-one or a three-on-one is not uncommon.

Monday, February 06, 2006

How I Feel About My Sprint Cell Phone





I don't have live TV or e-mail capability on my Sprint cell phone, but that new "crime deterrent" feature is going to get a lot of use from me.

A Little Surprise Waiting for Me

A called me at work this afternoon to tell me that there would be a surprise waiting for me when I get home.

Get your mind out of the gutters you perverts!

It's my New iPod Nano! Expect 4 to 6 weeks for delivery? Not on your life! It was on my doorstep five business days from when I mailed my affadavit of eligibility.

I have assloads of homework to do tonight, do you think they're getting done? Well, probably, but I will be wearing earbuds at the same time. Hearing be damned!

UPDATE:
Here's a picture of my new iPod Nano. I didn't realize how tiny this thing is until I got it out of the box!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

ABC Does It Again!

During tonight's Superbowl XL from Detroit Rock City, the Rolling Stones performed the halftime show. Those of you who have been with me for awhile may recall my rant about their appearance on the NFL kickoff show last September. Well ABC still has its panties in a wad about the whole "you make a dead man come" lyric in "Start Me Up." They bleeped it out again.

Apparently my opinion means nothing.

I should be used to it, I'm married (j/k A).

Oh, and since we have the new (previously owned, new to us) bigger TV and surround sound system (really new, thanks Mom-in-Law) in the living room, I was looking forward to hearing the pre-game and halftime musical acts in all their 5.1 channel glory. Stevie Wonder and co. sounded great on the pregame show, but ABC's crew (Don Mischer Productions, you suck) took until halfway through their last song (Satisfaction) to get the levels right for the Stones set. So much for world-class entertainment.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Thursday, February 02, 2006

WWRD? or, Human Animal Hybrids

I try to refrain from politics on this blog, not for any specific reason other than my own lack of time to devote to the issues. I could waste the entire day researching my arguments and surfing the various political blogs. I don't do this, mostly because I become an angry, mean-spirited asshole when I hear from the empty heads with open mouths who try to tell me that they know what's best for me and the rest of the country.

So, I try to stay out of it.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile know what my personal political leanings are. For those who don't, and are too lazy to click the above link, I am conservative when it comes to government spending and control, but liberal on several rather important issues that prevent me from registering as a Republican.

I am a large supporter of small government; they should stay out of our lives as much as possible when it comes to taxes, spending, business regulations, abortion, religion, and sex. I believe that every able-bodied and able-minded American should rely solely on himself (or herself) in good times and his family and friends in bad, leaving off the hook the government and anyone who doesn't want to be involved. It's their prerogative to not have to help if they don't want to.

So what's the point of all this, you ask? I admit that I am reluctant to criticize Republicans in general, and the Bush administration in particular. I truly believe that President Bush is doing what he believes is best for the country. I support the war effort in Iraq and Afganistan (yes, they are still there, too). I cringe when I hear liberals calling our soldiers over there "our children" or "boys and girls." They are all adults. They made the decision to join the military and are not being exploited by the governement. They knew the consequences when they signed up, many even joined because they wanted to go and fight. If you don't want to go and fight to spread democracy to new nation, don't do it. But don't call those who want to do it terrorists or murderers. It's just not true.

Back to my point, I usually support President Bush, and I normally consider Google one of the most potentially dangerous companies in the world. My fears have now been justified. The U.S. Department of Justice is using the court system to get Google to give up their search records.

Heroically, Google has told them no.

This has severe consequences. Internet users rely on search engines to provide quick, easy access to anything on the web. They do so with the understanding that their search will remain private and without government monitoring.

I wouldn't have much of a problem with it if this action were taken by the DoJ in support of finding terrorists and those who seek to do our country harm, as in the case of the perfectly legal wiretaps ordered by the Bush administration on known terror suspects. But it is not. This is a large-scale witch hunt of ALL of Google's logs for anyone searching for pornography. Not selective enough for my taste, and not done in an act of war or criminal activity (unless you count self-abuse as a crime, which I do not).

They are trying to use the information from Google's database to show that the Child Online Protection Act should be reinstated. I am all for keeping porn away from kids, but shouldn't parents be responsible enough to:
  1. Monitor their kids' Internet use?
  2. Install a filter on the computer to keep porn and other unwanted content out?
Let's face it, if a 14 year-old boy wants to look at boobs, he's gonna find a way to do so. Don't let the government keep a record of every American's personal turn-ons and preferences based on their Google habits.

President Bush seems to be too focued on the religious stance regarding pornography, and not on the laissez-faire policies of his presidential predecessors. He needs to stop asking himself "What would Jesus do?" and start asking "What would Ronnie do?"

Lagniappe

Somebody really jumped on Bush's ramblings about cloning and human-animal hybrids.
Kudos to this site for quick action and entrepreneurial spirit! You couldn't do this is a socialist, communist, or dictatorial regime. Viva la capitalism!











Your Political Profile



Overall: 80% Conservative, 20% Liberal

Social Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Drowning Myself Slowly?

It's common knowledge that you should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water every day. The almighty "they" also recommend that while on a weight loss regimen, you drink an additional 1 oz. for every pound of weight that you wish to lose. Since I have an additional 55 pounds to lose, that means:

8 x 8 oz. = 64 oz.

55 x 1 oz. = 55 oz.

55 + 64 = 119 oz.

I have a 32 oz. bottle on my desk at work. I fill it with water from the cooler as soon as I arrive in the morning. By 11 AM, I have usually finished my first refill, thereby completing my 64 oz. requirement for the day. From this point on it is all about the weight loss. By the time I go home at night, I have usually finished off 2 more refills, bringing my total to 128 oz. To put that into perspective, that is exactly a gallon. In the course of a week, I am responible for drinking an entire 5- gallon water cooler bottle.

Now, according to my calculations, this is more than enough water for someone who is trying to lose the weight that I am. I didn't even include the other (sugar free, caffeine free, non-diuretic) beverages that I drink with my meals, or the water I drink while exercising.

The problem becomes apparant when I get home. I get thirsty.

Wandering-in-the-Sahara-Desert-for-decades parched.

Last night I drank another 32 ounces of water, a 32 ounce glass of Metamucil (the lack of fiber on Atkins is a little, shall we say, tough to pass), and 2 cans of Diet Rite (no caffeine, no sodium). This morning, I still woke up feeling like I hadn't drank in a month. Even my eyes were so dry I had to put drops in them before I could get my contacts in comfortably.

The worst part, though, is on the weekends. I don't have the five-gallon water cooler in my kitchen like I do at work, so getting the regular doses of H2O just doesn't happen. By Monday morning, I am parched again, ready to go back to work and rehydrate.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More Fun with Keywords!

Every once in awhile someone will stumble across one of my sites by searching for an odd string of words. Because I use an an analytics program on both of my blogs, these searches get saved and I get to see what you perverts are looking for.

For instance, on MSN's search engine, my "When Is It Time To Quit?" blog is ranked #3 when you search for this string:


But to my amazement, it is ranked #1 on MSN's search engine when you search "time to quit"!


Hopefully this means I will be getting some more traffic over there pretty soon, and more frequent postings of stories from readers. Heck, I just put one over there today. What are you waiting for? Check it out already!

UPDATE: 2/1

I am also #1 on Google when you search for "Barnacle Scraper".

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mom Always Made Me Clean My Plate

I have talked about some of the things that are going on in my life right now, other things I have not. I am working full-time, going to graduate school, searching for a new job, losing 85 lbs. (30 down, 55 to go), writing a book, starting an Internet company on the side, and learning Adobe GoLive in order to start said Internet company. Oh, and I have a wife and daughter to pay attention to, as well.

I have never been this busy in my life, and I credit the weight loss and exercise with giving me the energy to do so.

The most difficult thing I have found is staying focused on one task. I know what I have to do on any given day, but I don't schedule myself well and even if I did, I would probably not stick to my schedule. It's exciting to have so many opportunities laid out before me, but I need time to create a plan of action.

This morning, Guy Kawasaki posted a great essay about 11 qualities of successful entrepreneurs on his blog. Here is a bit of #11, my favorite:
Take the “red pill.” This refers to the choice that Neo made in The Matrix. The red pill led to learning the whole truth. The blue pill meant waking up wondering if you had a bad dream. Bootstrappers don't have the luxury to take the blue pill. They take the red pill--everyday--to find out how deep the rabbit hole really is.
What he is getting at is the fact that you can't lie to yourself if you are going to be a successful entrepreneur. Whether it is about finances, product capabilities, target markets, or your employees' loyalty, you need to be completely honest with yourself everyday, or else you run the risk of failure.

I took this to heart. This weekend I will put together an action plan to get the Internet company really rolling. I have a syllabus for each of my classes now, and have already compiled a schedule of assignments. I can work the new business around my school schedule, and based on industry cycles, the real crunch time will be about a month after I graduate.

This just might work!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Soy un Perdedor...

I am a skeptical, cynical person. So it comes as no surprise that when I receive an e-mail message telling me that I have won an iPod Nano, that it is most likely spam, and I should just delete it.


Today, however, I wanted to believe.

The e-mail I received was different than the usual "YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY WON" junk mail we all get. First of all, it had my full name in it. The spammers usually get the first but not the last.

Secondly, there was a Word file attached containing an affidavit to sign. I opened it with a document viewer in case there was a macro virus inside. Nope. Just an affidavit requesting my agreement for my name and likeness to be used for promotional purposes. The only personally identifiable info they needed was my name and address, which they could easily get without my involvement, and my e-mail address, which they already had. Plus, they needed it notarized and mailed back to their offices.

Third, I checked the website tha corresponded to the sender's e-mail address.

Snap!

I DID enter a contest on that site last week!

F*ckin' A'! I won a freaking iPod!

I guess I can no longer say I never win anything.

UPDATE 1/31:
The promotions director who sent me the original e-mail notification sent me another message again today. She was concerned that they didn't hear from me, and wanted to make sure I got the message. I let her know that the release was in the mail.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Normally I refrain from quoting other blogs on mine, but this rant about lobbyist extraordinaire Jack Abramoff on Scott Adams's Dilbert Blog had me in stitches:
"Most of the allegations aren’t that interesting. But one scheme, according to Time magazine, caught my eye. They say, 'eLottery – This Internet gambling firm hired Abramoff and invested some $2 million in an intricate campaign in 2000 to kill a bill that would have outlawed most online gaming. Abramoff used Christian groups to block the bill on the grounds that it didn’t go far enough.' Yes, the man convinced Christian groups to support gambling. Now THAT’S what I call an effective lobbyist."
Adams adds that Abramoff didn't go far enough, and lists the following other laws that he should have had religious groups support:
"Ban prayer in churches
Mandatory homosexuality
No more wearing “Wally” glasses
No riding motorcycles and pretending to be the good kind of bad"
Adams finished the list with this gem:
"The only thing I wouldn’t change is that I’d still allow Pat Robertson to blame God for smiting people who he believes “had it coming.” That’s too funny to stop."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

World's Greatest Blonde Joke

This is one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time.

I present, without further ado, The World's Greatest Blonde Joke!

Monday, January 16, 2006

The High Cost of Technical Ineptitude

Ok, I admit the iPod is one of the coolest gadgets of the last 5 years. I also admit that I am insanely jealous of anyone who has one, as my budget has not yet allowed me to own one myself. But I am compelled to seething ire by this story. People are actually paying Selfridges department store over $100 for lessons on how to use their iPod.

I don't blame the store. They are most likely bombarded day in and day out with frustrated customers begging for an explanation on how to use one of the most user-friendly consumer electronics devices ever invented.

If you are too inept to use a computer, you should not buy any peripheral accessory that requires a computer for its optimal use. This means you all of you grannies who can't figure out your digital camera (not you Nancy), all the parents who ask their kids to program the VCR (don't get me started on Tivo), and anyone who can't figure out how to get their songs off of a CD and onto their iPod.

I know from personal experience that the majority of these people who will buy the iPod lessons from this department store will forget most of what they learned within a week. From the late 90s up until about 3 years ago I made quite a lot of money on the side going to people's homes and teaching them how to use their computer. Most of them just wanted to learn how to send an e-mail or get on the Internet. Every month or so, I would get a call from the same people I helped last month, asking me the same questions they asked before. They wouldn't mind paying me again, could I come show them one more time. No problem.

I actually charged a woman $60 just to teach her how to use the mouse. I billed by the hour and it took her that long just to get comfortable with the damn thing.

I feel sorry for these poor schmucks teaching the iPod class at Selfridges. Eventually their customers will realize that they just don't get it and give the iPod to their grandkids.

Hey, maybe I can convince my grandmother to buy one...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Claim Your Hits

Since mid-November, Google Analytics has been logging my blog's website statistics for me. One of my favorite gizmos in this tool is the geographic listing of the visitors to your site, complete with number of times someone from each city has visited.


In just two months, I am astonished at the number of different places where my blog has been read. I am also astonished that very few of you have actually responded with posts of your own. I would love to hear from each and every one of my returning visitors. Simply leave me a comment claiming your city from the list below and I will add a link to you on the list.

I have only included the cities where I have had more than one hit from, so returning visitors are the focus.

California: San Diego
Florida: Fort Lauderdale - Fort Myers - Orlando
Georgia: Calhoun - Atlanta
Massachusetts: Lowell - Southbridge
New York: NYC - Brooklyn
Ohio: Cleveland - Cincinnati - New Knoxville
Pennsylvania: Haverford
Texas: Houston
Virginia: Richmond
Canada: Okotoks, Alberta

And for some reason, there were no cities listed for the following states. It just grouped each state in one big bunch. There could have been 7 random hits, or one person viewing it 7 times. I just can't tell.

Indiana - Missouri - Illinois - Michigan - North Carolina - Oregon - Wisconsin - Arizona - Mississippi - Connecticut - Washington - Utah - New Mexico - Kansas - South Carolina - Alaska - Maryland - Louisiana - Wyoming - New Jersey - Alabama - Minnesota - Oklahoma - Delaware - Arkansas - Tennessee - Nevada

Here are the one-time international visitors, who probably found me by clicking on the "Next Blog" button that throws random pages at you. I assume they will not be coming back to claim their hits, but who knows? I have been wrong before.

Australia: Coorparoo, Queensland - Perth, Western Australia
Canada (home of Rush, the greatest three-man rock band ever): Calgary, Alberta - Toronto, Ontario - Weston, Ontario - Montreal, Quebec - Nanoose Bay, British Columbia
Germany: Hamburg - Egartenhof, Baden-Wurttemberg
Italy: Rome
India: Bombay
New Zealand: Auckland
Russian Federation: Moscow
United Kingdom: Slough - Edale, Tameside

There were also several hits that could not register a location. If I missed your city, please let me know where you are logging in from, too. I will add your city to the list and link you to it, too.

UPDATE—Hits Claimed:
Missouri: Kansas City - Independence
South Africa: Pietermaritzburg
Virginia: Richmond

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I Made It

I got through the holidays without completely blowing my diet. I plateaued at -25 lbs. since before Christmas, but through festivities at A's uncle's place on the 23rd, Christmas Eve dinner at her mom's house (complete with overabundance of gift-unwrapping), dinner at my mom's house Christmas night, and travelling to Michigan for my brother's wedding/New Year's Eve festivities, I seem to have made it through unscathed.

I caught a glimpse of a photo of myself at my brother's house. Since I look at myself in the mirror every day, I only see the incremental changes in my appearanceon a diet. It's difficult to see how far I have progressed until confronted with a year-old picture showing what a lardass I was. I must have lost half of that 25 pounds of fat directly from my face.

Last night we flew in to Orlando. Our flight was delayed, and we didn't land until almost midnight. Then we had to drive home, dropping my mom and sister off on the way. We didn't get to bed until 4:30 this morning. Needless to say, A and I spent most of the day in bed. I slept in B's room as she played with her new toys and watched Nickelodeon. She snuggled up with me for a short nap in the afternoon.

This evening, I stepped on the scale, expecting the worst. I only weigh myself once a week, and I missed my check-in last weekend due to the MI trip.

No change since my last weigh-in before Christmas.

Life is pretty good.