Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It Started So Innocently

Yesterday was my 27th birthday and here’s how it all went down.

I went into work around 10:00am and got off at about 6:00pm at that time LJ picked me up and drove me to a go-kart track with some friends. We pull up around 6:15 and went in. There Mike, Beth and B-rad were waiting for us. The track sadly was closed, which is too bad because I can lay some mean rubber on the go-kart track. We said “whatever” and play some ski-ball before making different plans.

“Where is the nearest bar that you can smoke in?” I ask. “Babes!” (a local strip club) Mike answers with a little more enthusiasm than the situation warranted. Everyone is sort of unsure of what to do so I offer “How about the bowling alley on Ninth?”. This was met with general approval so we go.

At 6:50 we got a lane and our first pitcher of beer. Danny shows up shortly after and we all settle in. The next lane is filled with teenage rednecks and their knocked up girlfriends and I can remember thinking to myself “God, what a bunch of uncouth loudmouths.” Oh, how irony can make fools of us all. At 7:45 we finished our first game and head to the bar where everyone sits down to smoke and much more beer is consumed. Then back to the lanes for one more round.

This is the point in the evening when most of the beer was consumed the volume of our voices rose and high jinks ensued. Mike drank God knows how much but as far as I know I was keeping up with him. He got crazy. Not to say the rest of us were much better. After countless spilled beers, more than a few friendly punches and a couple of epic tumbles (one off of a table another three on the lane, courtesy of Mike). The manager was coming over and asking us to keep it down and to revoke Mike’s bowling license. I, being the responsible 27-year-old smoothed things over twice then at the end of the game helped to Shepard everyone out before the cops were called, after I paid the entire bowling tab I might add.

Once outside however things got rowdier. Long story short Mike slipped a Bar glass in Beth’s purse that shattered after Mike dropkicked it, purse and all. He had to leave his car there and one of the bowling alley employees was sent out to make sure that we left. I got Mike home and he stayed in the bathroom most of the night. Note exhibit 1-A: Pay close attention to the bottom left where you can clearly see the pool of vomit. Later vomit pool is indicated by the blue outline.

Saving the best for last…I got a GUITAR! Not that I know how to play it but I got a GUITAR! It’s awesome. So now I have to learn to play it. I have to admit I was not expecting it. To everyone involved kudos for keeping it so secret and thanks a million to all, even those who helped LJ through the process. This wasn’t easy for her. Mike got me a stand for it and a cool strap though I had to open his tonight because he was in no shape after I got him home…friggin’ lightweight. All in all it was the best birthday ever.

P.S. I will post a picture of my new baby and me after some minor alterations are made per LJ’s advice.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Don't Read This...

I was recently sent an email from a friend of mine. It was basically a story, fictional in my opinion, about a university professor who tried to disprove the idea of a God but was foiled by a young student who countered his argument with scientific fact then used the basis of those facts as a logical progression to assert his belief that God did indeed exist. This student was Albert Einstein, or so the story would have you believe (again I feel that is doubtful at best). I don’t feel this way because I know that Einstein wouldn’t have argued such or because I feel that such a renowned scientific mind wouldn’t argue for the existence of a deity. No, mine is more the opinion that this is more of a fable like that of George Washington chopping down a cherry tree or throwing the coin across the Delaware River.

This did, however, cause me to think about “The Argument” once more. The essential problem that I have with stories, or arguments for that matter, like these are that one can’t simply equate fact with belief. I am not saying that one’s resolve toward a particular belief can’t be strengthened by fact, certainly any Atheist is such a person, but what I am saying is that you can’t mingle science and religion based faith. It is nearly impossible.

For instance; when dealing with the physical world you could test, verify and recreate scenarios until at some point you can come to the reasonably sound conclusion that water will always flow downhill. On the other hand you could not test for something that has no apparent force, regularity, or physicality what so ever, in short God. This makes any argument for that which is immaterial a debate in beliefs or better yet philosophy.

Intangibles such as what is right or wrong, what is sane or insane or even whether there is or isn’t a God are all fundamentally debates in opinion. One could not, as far as I know, use scientific fact or theory to strengthen any of these arguments. You could express an average or polling data, which could lead you to believe that of all samples gathered most people think that murder is wrong, yet does that make it so? Again we are expressing an opinion, an intangible not a fact. While a vast majority would say yes to the previous question, and assuming that the democratic ideal of majority rule should not take precedent, would those who said no be wrong? I don’t believe so. It is merely the opinion of the majority that would lead you to that conclusion. In the animal kingdom there are multitudes of species that kill their own kind. So then the argument becomes are we better than other animals. And back to the main topic we come.

Faith is a tricky subject. I neither believe nor disbelieve in a deity. I do believe, however, in Ockham’s Razor. This, simply put, is the belief that all things being equal the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. In such case it is as likely that the world was created by an all-powerful deity as it was to have been created by cosmic forces. For that matter it is also as likely that the universe was created on accident or that the universe as we know it is nothing more than the fantasy of a small child. As repulsive as this idea may come to some of you (I am sure there are some snickering in their chairs) you must admit that when dealing with un-testable, un-provable, philosophy that these notions are no more absurd than any other, and I do mean any.

While I didn’t want this to be an epic post I feel I must bring up one more point. LJ and I talked about this and her view was that if this “student” were of a scientific nature of course he would use scientific reasoning as the basis for his beliefs. This was his way of coming to the conclusion that there was a God. In short, it shows his thought process. I can’t disagree with that. Hell, that would be true of most Georgia Tech graduates I know. Although, my fundamental opinion is that one can no more use science to disprove a higher power than a religion can use The Bible, Torah, or Bhagavad Gita to undeniably prove the existence of one.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Is it Cold Enough for Ya?

It is cold down here in Pensacola…balls cold. So I was thinking about it the other day when I came home from work, walked past my neighbor and into my house. Cold can be an interesting thing, for example:

  • You can get hypothermia at only 95°
  • The common fish can have a body temp. between 74° and 82°
  • It is best to drink wine at 80°
  • Yet, wine ferments between 69° and 65°
  • Most refrigerators are set to 60°
  • Illinois mean temperature is only 50°
  • Average difference between indoor/outdoor temps. is 45°
  • The water in beer will freeze at 32° but the alcohol will not
  • Inversely, my redneck neighbor will sit outside in his folding chair, smoking a cigarette, without a shirt on, in his cutoff jean-shorts at any of these temperatures…though his beer may in fact be frozen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Parenting is for Suckers

A frazzled mother came into my work a few days ago and was asking me about getting a new cell phone. While I was answering her questions I couldn’t help but notice the 2 year old in her arms struggling like a trout in the arms of a bear. The mother grabbed a box from a nearby shelf to try and appease the increasingly active child but nothing seemed to suffice. The kid wasn’t crying or anything, she was just antsy. So, finally the mother put the toddler down so she could concentrate on my brilliantly crafted sales pitch for the high-priced crap I was selling. The toddler in the meantime was ambling about my legs and trying to get my attention with the aforementioned box. Finally with nothing more than a quick glance and with no break in my sales spiel I took the box and tossed it a few feet away with the words “Go get it!” then seamlessly returned to the sale at hand.

The mother had a mildly shocked look on her face, but afraid to loose the sale I continued to pitch. When her daughter returned to my legs a second time after retrieving the box I repeated my first action with the words “Good girl” in front, then “Go get it” again. When I looked back at the mother this time she looked pissed. “Are you playing fetch with my daughter!?” she asked. Before I could reply with anything more than an “uhhhhh”, she had swooped up the kid, who was on her way back with the box I might add, and walked angrily out of the store.

The lesson here is two fold. One: Parents always think their kid is frick’n Einstein or Martin Luther King Jr. so it is undignified to play “Dog Games” with them. And Two: Kids love “Dog Games”.

I guess the reason I am even thinking of kids right now is because my Sister-in-law just had a baby girl named Olivia Jean ____. From what I hear she is cute as hell and probably as smart as frick’n Einstein or Martin Luther King Jr. Anyway, congrats to LJ and me (Her middle name was in honor of LJ).

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pranks, Mischief and Dirty Deeds

I love pranks. I love the planning, the excitement of the moment that you are putting it all together, and the humor that goes along with the whole thing. I was a prankster from a young age ‘till now. I can remember my first prank was when I was ten or so and discovered that salt was invisible in water. I salted the ice trays in our freezer so as to prank anyone who wanted a cold drink. Little did I know that the next day my mother was having a bunch of ladies over and they all had ice tea. My mother just couldn’t understand why no one drank any tea, until I came clean that is. I got a spanking for that but I knew it was worth it. Over the years I have amassed a rather decent collection of pranking props from fake poo to “fart detectors”.

Later in college I joined a fraternity comprised of guys with no imagination for pranks but who all wanted to pull some off. I organized many pranks with them. Yes, it was I who planned the hanging of rival frat letters from three of the tallest buildings on campus. I was the one who set up the sprinkler on top of the Anthropology building to ice the huge tree outside of it (both times). And I who organized the hanging toilets in the quad. Not to mention various pranks that I pulled on friends and relatives (you know who you are).

So this past Halloween LJ, Mike and I were sitting around the house discussing what we should do with our evening when I blurted out “Hey, why don’t we go do some Halloween pranks on someone.” We thought about it and decided to pull a classic on some friends. I gathered all the dog poo I could find and put it into a paper bag then we all drove over to a friend’s house. Yeah, we set it on fire then ran off. Old, I know, but just classic. Funny stuff. Hence they have stolen a statue of Buddha from our backyard and taken it around town taking pictures. Also, they put a dead lobster in Mike’s truck.

Pretty good, so now we find ourselves in the middle of what has been aptly dubbed a “Prank-War”.

I want you all to know that through the years I have followed my own simple guidelines as far as pranks were concerned.

  1. Nothing destructive: So nothing like keying someone’s car or slashing tires
  2. Nothing that will cost the prankee time or money: So nothing like taking wheels off their car so they can’t get to work on time.
  3. Nothing publicly humiliating: So no posting nude pictures or telling dark secrets.
  4. They all have to be good-natured: Use your best judgment here.

With these rules as boundaries I have been able to prank close friends and not come off as a total jerk. Anyway, the group that we are warring against was trying to come up with some guidelines and maybe this will help. I have known good pranksters who have gone a little too far and either lost friends or even ended up in jail. I hope to update you guys soon on what is going on. Maybe there will be some good stories to tell.

Friday, October 28, 2005

One Year Anniversary Spectacular!

Well, it’s been a whole year of blogging. The day has actually come and past and I posted nothing, however I feel that is in keeping with the frequency of all my postings. What a year though. Ya know, I have no idea how many posts I have actually written. It should be quite a few. I was at work and reading back over many past articles and it was only then I realized my one-year anniversary was even coming up. Those of you who know me are probably not surprised (I don’t remember dates, which is curious because I am striving to be a historian).

Anyway, I thought about how best to celebrate the anniversary and decided that doing what most TV shows do when they hit some landmark would be best. Yes, this is the copout, “Greatest Moments Reel”…in blog form. I have scoured my archives looking for my favorite subjects and posts and have compiled a few that I found fun or interesting or whatever. And just for kicks I even put it into a familiar Top-Ten list format.

10) Christmas Values as told by Sinjon
9) Random Discovery

8) Men on Men

7) Higher Power

6) Jesus is my Hommie

5) We all need a Hero

4) Sty in the Eye

3) Medical Mayhem

2) I Pledge?

The Best Girl Ever...

Good stuff, good stuff. It was really tough finding some good blogs back there let me tell you. I’ve covered a lot of subjects and made some cool blog-buddies along the way. All in all I’d say it’s been a cool and worthwhile venture. I plan to keep on truckin' now so that you the reader can be looking forward to more interesting and gut wrenchingly Half-Assed blogs ahead. Thanks everybody for taking the time to read my stuff. I appreciate it.

Monday, October 17, 2005


So, last weekend I went to my bud, Andrew’s, wedding in Savannah. Andrew has been a friend of mine since Boy Scouts. He and I remained friends during college and have had many a hilarious adventure together. I was asked to be a groomsman for the wedding and took great pride in it. LJ and I rented a car drove up, got a hotel, rented the tux, got the gift and everything. The wedding was lovely, but there was one troubling thing that happened.

This may have been better left unsaid, (which was to be the title of this post. I felt the current one captured more of the essence though) but I thought it was hilarious and had to share it. Maybe it can be an anecdote that Andrew can tell for years to come. Anyway, I got to the hotel where the other groomsmen were changing for the ceremony and put on my tux in the bathroom. All of us then went down stairs and accompanied guests on rented trolleys to a beautiful square downtown. We seated people and handed out programs. Then stood in front of the whole congregation and afterward escorted the bridesmaids back down the isle. The wedding party then hung out for a while and took a million pictures in all sorts of poses. Then hopped the trolleys back to the hotel for the reception. Later, I danced with LJ on an empty dance floor to some swing music (no one swings, go figure) so all eyes were on us. We even got applause! It was after downing some refreshments that the urge hit. I went to the bathroom to discover that I didn’t need to open my fly. That’s right it was already down. Why was it already down? Because, it had been down from the time I put on my tux to the time I went to the bathroom at the reception. Now, if you need to re-read all that with the knowledge of my awkward situation feel free, you may have missed something...much like I had.

Embarrassing I know, but still funny as hell. I came back and told LJ immediately. I’m just glad the "old boy" didn’t decide to make any unscheduled appearances while the ceremony was underway. Man, Stephanie would have never let me see Andrew again and probably would have had me shot by the police officer assigned to the square to keep the peace. Maybe at least gotten me arrested for public indecency…, which I would have had to agree to. The more I thought about it though, the more I thought, “Hey, this should be a wedding tradition, kinda like Groundhog’s Day. One of the groomsmen, who isn’t a prude, comes with the barn door open and if the junk falls out the marriage may end in divorce, but if it stays in then the marriage will be long and happy one.” I think that this may have been the best gift I could have given Andrew in the end.

Good luck guys and if my junk did make it into any of the pictures...I want copies.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Shed a Tear and Rejoice

We had a family meeting the other night and it has been decided that the satellite television bill has gotten way too high so we’re dumping it in exchange for high-speed Internet. I feel like an addict who got clean, then was thrust into a crack house for six months. Let me explain…

Before LJ and I got married we made up a budget so that we could be responsible with our money. We figured in everything from rent to extra spending cash. We thought that $65 or so was better spent on dinners, movies, or evenings out rather than cable television. We also used the cheapest dial-up web provider we could find and we didn’t have cell phones so there were no bills other than rent and utilities. “Like Robinson Caruso, it’s as primitive as can be”

When we moved into our first house all we had was a small collection of movies and some video games. We didn’t have an antenna so we couldn’t even watch local broadcasting. I have to admit it took a month or so to not feel the pull to watch TV. After a while though I got to a point where I really didn’t even care. I could walk into someone’s house where the TV was on and I wouldn’t pay attention to it even if everyone else were enrapt. Plus, me start to be getting better in my mental faculties. It was like this for a year and a half. Then we moved into a new house, after hurricane Ivan, with a friend named Mike.

Mike had lived very much the opposite. He and his ex-wife had cell phones, cable Internet, satellite television, and cable TV (yeah, cable and satellite). So they had it all man. After we moved in together Mike got satellite TV again and it has been downhill for me ever since. I was helpless when the option of TV came back into my life. I would binge like no one would understand. Now though it is all over.

We get DSL tomorrow! Yay! Now I can jump from web page to web page at break-neck speeds. Don’t be surprised if you see some flaming skid marks on your blogs like in “Back to the Future”, it was probably just me speeding off to my next destination. Mike also reminded me that with our computers linked to the same network we could game together. Maybe I’ll hold a Rainbow Six web party for all my old buds that used to do the LAN party thing with me. Anyway, It’s a good trade in my opinion but I will miss some near and dear shows that became close to heart.

[Our Dearly Departed]

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Top Gear

The Venture Brothers

The Dailey Show

and yes, The World's Most Amazing Videos

I will miss you all...

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Like the new décor? Well, it’s October and October means Halloween and that means LJ and Mark’s favorite time of the year! So I did some redecorating on my site to accommodate. You may also have noticed that I changed my URL. Yeah, that was a bit of a hassle I know but if you recall brilligmark was the old URL and it just made sense to change it before someone else swooped in and took the name of the site "Half-Assed Opinions". Anyway, the Halloween décor won’t be permanent but you also will not see the old look again either. I looked back…back…back into the distant Half-Assed Archives and found that I started this blog on October 24th of last year. So to celebrate my anniversary I will give the old blog a, much needed, face-lift. I’ve been working with some things to help make the page more eye appealing and have better functionality so I hope it will be a big improvement. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

‘Roids n’ Voids

The first time I went paintballing I went to a field. A field is like a screened in arena with a shop adjacent, to rent or buy gear and stuff. At a paintball field there are referees to assign fair teams and keep order. You get tagged and your out, shooting at close range and your out, etc. The first time I played I had paid admission ($25), rented all my gear ($50) and was psyched as hell to finally play (priceless). As I stood there ready to be placed in my first team the ref said “Ok, every one with rental guns on this side and all the regulars with your own guns on this side.” I was in total disbelief as I stood there on the opposite side of the field looking at fifteen guys with shiny new automatic, high-powered, rapid-fire, CO2 powered paintball guns and me with my shitty single fire pump-gun. Long story short the “renters” got creamed and that was pretty much how the rest of day went. All of us with or inaccurate, single-fire, crap guns getting wasted by guys who did this every weekend and could shoot us from well out of range with total accuracy. You could have been friggin’ Rambo and lost. Was it fair? Hell no. Did I ever go back? Same answer.

Seems like a reasonable solution to the problem right? I mean the way they operated their field wasn’t fair so I didn’t play there anymore. Apparently major league baseball thinks differently on the matter of unfair competition. The issue, of course, is steroids. After all sorts of scandals, court cases, and player suspensions the MLB is being spanked by lawmakers to clean up its act. Despite the national leagues saying they will take care of it the feds may get involved anyway because, well lets be honest, they haven’t done jack to fix the problem.

The proposal went like this: first violation of drug use the player gets a 10, maybe 50, day suspension. Second offense the player is suspended from 30 days to 100 games. Third strike and the player faces 60 days to a lifetime ban. Notice that nothing was said about any record books or Hall of Fame (not yet anyway). Of course after the baseball commissioner’s thought about this they came back saying, “Well, maybe 20 days on the first offense but no mean old lifetime ban.” This was swiftly rejected of course and rightly so.

Damn it! Remember when a major league player was thought of as a really exceptional, hard working athlete. Then you find out Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro were hopped up on drugs to perform like they did. Every game they ever played in is now under question. Who should have really won those games? Should this player be allowed to keep any of his awards? Should he be fined for playing while using steroids? Gee, let me think…Hmmmmm. Well, maybe we should let any cheater keep their ill-gotten spoils.

Remember the snowboarder who competed in the winter Olympic games and was later found to have used marijuana the night before he competed? He had to give his medal back and not even for using a performance-enhancing drug. I feel that if you get busted for using any kind of steroid there should be some incredibly harsh punishments. For instance, a player is busted on a drug test he gets an appeal to see if there is any reasonable explanation (I don’t know maybe the blood samples got switched in the lab) but regardless he is removed from the field until the matter is solved. If he is found guilty then he is either kept from ever winning any awards including entry into the Hall of Fame, his record voided and his salary is capped as low as the lowest paid person on the team. If he wants to be transferred he will be kept at that salary for the rest of his career. Essentially the player is blackballed. ‘Course you could just void their contract and send ‘em packing.

Am I being too harsh? I don’t think so. Cheating is cheating no matter if you use a dirt bike to win the Kentucky Derby or if you use steroids to get the edge on your competition. It is un-sportsman like and should have punishments too harsh to make it worth even thinking about. I don’t want to see sports heroes get busted. I just want to see players who are on even footing. Otherwise you’re just watching a group of “renters” getting pummeled.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

T-Shirts Inc.

A little while back my crafty wife got into T-shirt stencils. Since, she has actually made and even sold self made T-shirts. Me being the forward thinking, trend setter that I am, I decided that it would be cool to make some of my own T-shirts so that I wouldn’t have to be walking around in some over priced, campy, cheesy logo T that wasn’t my campy, cheesy logo T. Now I can have all the flare I need and can make just the right statement by making the designs myself! I just got done with my last one (A Venture Brothers design) that I haven’t even worn out yet and I’m psyched as hell. Here are all the shirts I’ve made thus far…

Kills for bill$ front Kills for Bill$ Back

  • This one is just an idea I came up with while LJ, Mike and I were discussing possible company names and logos for our non-existent company that never happened! I liked it but they thought we wouldn’t be putting out the right image for a calendar company. Oh well.

Pac-Man Front Pac-Man Back

  • This is one I did for an eighties night at a club. I weathered it so as to look as authentic as possible. The back, in my opinion, looks great.

Venture Front Venture Back

  • This is one that I did for my love of the [Adult Swim] show The Venture Brothers. If you haven’t seen it then you have really been missing out. Cartoon Network just started making T-shirts for their shows but I think mine is way cooler.

Game Skull Front

  • This last one some of you may recognize. This is a logo I made for my blog’s button (which can be found at the bottom of the side bar). I call it Game Skull. Now, if I start seeing this design around on shirts or blogs or business cards (because God knows it’s on mine) I’ll be expecting some royalties.

So there you have it my entire fall line. Yes you can expect to see me around town sporting these trendy new T’s. They are perfect for school, sporting events, and weddings…really anywhere.

Coming soon…
Half-Assed T front Half-Assed Tback

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Medical Mayhem

Half-Assed Opinions: Your source for baseless medical information and indiscriminate biological ramblings.

I have been receiving a shit-load of hits (7 or 8 a day, which is a lot for me so shut up) for the post I did entitled “Sty in the Eye". In fact when I traced it back it appears that my blog is listed 22nd on Metacrawler and just 5th on MSN, just below The Mayo Clinic’s web page. I have been getting so many hits recently due to this that I am considering writing medical info posts to keep up with demand. For my next medical installment I will be discussing diagnosis and treatment of diarrhea. For example, a good sign that you may have diarrhea is if you are sliding into first and you feel something burst. Treatments for this can be as simple as eating fewer Taco Bell three bean burritos or driving in your Chevy less (so as not to feel something heavy), but I don’t want to give away too much baseless medical data just yet.
I just think its funny as hell that people would actually come to my blog of all places to find medical information; funnier still that I am ranked so highly on MSN. However, people who use MSN as a web browser deserve what they get. For now though I’ll enjoy my ill found glory and revel in it, as I tend to do. Maybe I’ll start diagnosing people on the street and then give them my credentials if they ask if I’m a doctor. “Well, Ma’am it seems obvious to me that you have chronic and recessive footyfunkitis. This is a foot stankifacation that can only be remedied by giving me five bucks. Ma’am I am listed just beneath The Mayo Clinic on (*some) medical web searches.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Pledge?

Here we go again. On Wednesday a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that reciting the pledge of allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional. This of course opened the floodgates for a nationwide panic! Now, across America our religious denizens are huddled in their homes both outraged over the decision of this “non-moral” judge, siding with a heathen (for Gods’ sake), and for their poor children who will have to go to school now without the reinforcement of their daily affirmation of citizenship. Woe to the masses. This is truly a black day.
I was at work when I heard the story. Newt Gingrich was interviewed on FOX NEWS about it. He was appalled at the decision and hoped that the president’s speech later would give some direction to the country. I almost hope that the president goes on tonight and DOES address this issue. I hope he says something to this effect “Honestly, I have no response for this court’s decision. Frankly people I have a war in Iraq, a city in Louisiana that is underwater not to mention thousands of displaced people to worry about, an oil crisis and bear market. Guys…I have badder fish to fry. Besides I am not the one who makes changes or interpretations in law. You people are thinking of the Supreme Court and, as I recall, they dodged this case only a few years ago. Now, I promise that if Congress decides to put a bill on my desk regaurding the matter then I will give it some consideration but right now I don’t have the fucking time.” I know it won’t go down like that, but one can always hope.
I never really saw the point in the pledge to be honest. Yeah, yeah, I know it is supposed to be about patriotism and honoring the soldiers who gave their lives and reaffirming our youngsters with “American” ideals. However, lets try and be honest for a moment. It isn’t. At least lets look at the origins of it. It was basically started out as a gimmick used to sell monthly periodicals and flags. Then instituted by our government to help Americanize the youth. Think about the words for a second. Nowhere in there does it say anything about our forefathers or fallen soldiers or our fundamental notions of a free and democratic society. Besides most kids don’t know what more than half of it means. “…And to the republic, for which it stands.” Ask any kid what that really means and I’ll bet they couldn’t tell you. In fact I’ll bet most high school students couldn’t tell you with any real acuracy.
I’m not opposed to God and I’m not opposed to patriotism but I am opposed to blind institutionalized propaganda. You don’t need for kids to stand up every morning and do this because you did it and your parents did it, that isn’t a good enough reason. This is a dogmatic practice at best. In a truly free society you shouldn’t have to pledge your allegiance to anyone or anything. Why don’t we stop all this crap and discuss what this is really about, prayer in schools and separation of church and state.
I know our forefathers believed in a God and I know that the word God appears in many of our founding documents and currency. What our forefathers believed isn’t the issue. They weren’t trying to subtly say that religion has its place in our government, just because they believed in a God. Again, they were the ones who were trying to make a free country without religious sway one way or the other. That was the overall goal people. Why did they leave England?
Honestly, do you think the religious people out there would be pissed if instead of the word God (which is obviously Judeo-Christian) we had the word deity on everything? Of course they would. They want their God recognized above all others.
So where do I stand? Well you’d think I would be siding with the judge in San Fran right? Not really, I don’t think this is any kind of real issue at all. Say the pledge, don’t say the pledge…whatever. Just don’t force anyone to take part in something they don’t want to. Personally, I never stood for the pledge when I had the choice and I didn’t care what others thought. You can’t make someone believe in something like this just by going through the motions, be it religion or be it patriotism. This is a non-issue that the press and some groups (religious and Atheist) are taking WAY out of proportion.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Join the Fight!

I went to my mom’s blog the other day to find that she had ten new comments on a post no more than an hour old. Not that I think she shouldn’t be getting comments mind you, in fact this was her best post ever, it’s just that she rarely gets any but mine. So I check out who has been leaving notes. They all started kinda like “Hey, I’e been reading your blog. I think you have a great writing style…” or “Wow that sounds really great. I really like your blog…” but then they start talking about how you need to check out their site to find out more about a new diet pill or on-line dating or whatever. It was like opening a cupboard and finding rat feces, yes the telltale sign that blog-spammers had been there.

I don’t know if any of you have been troubled with this insidious advertising scheme yet but I guarantee that you will. I was pissed when I saw it. I know it wasn’t my page but still she had TEN spam comments in just about an hour! I felt like the sanctity of blogers everywhere had been violated. Maybe I am naïve because I didn’t realize what a problem this was. Well, now I’m pissed and I’m going to do something about it.

If you are having this problem on your page then you can add what is called “Word Verification”. I am not sure how well this will work but I did link back to several of the spammers home blogs only to find that they use it so it must be worth it. (Yeah, spammers who don’t want to get spammed…fuckers.) Anyway, another thing you can do is called flagging. This is where ever vigilance comes in. YOU the blog community must police yourselves. When you press the “Next” button on the blogger nav-bar and stumble across a spam blog you need to flag it so that Blogger will know to come back and look for it. They will delete spam or illegal materials. Remember this is not about censorship this is about keeping this space sacred and free. We all have to work together to keep these fuckers out. If you find a spam page make some rude or mean comments then flag the bastard, I know I will.

If any of you find a better way of knocking back spam or of fighting it then please post a comment to tell us all. I found some but they were rather tech and script heavy. Frankly I don’t have the skills required for any of that. There is no legislation against it so as to make it punishable by jail time. I guess this is just another one of those things, if you own a mailbox you’ll get junk mail, if you have a phone line you’ll get sales calls, if you have an email account you’ll get spam, and now if you have a blog you’ll get comment spam. Dirty motherfuckers.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The End is Nigh

I passed my last class for college graduation! All I have left to do is some stupid exit counseling and an exit exam. The exam is called the CLAST, it’s a basic math assessment. I am a little stressed about it but not much. See, I can take this test as many times as I need without it affecting my GPA or being on my record at all. How bad-ass is that? I mean I passed Spanish II and Primatology so a little skills evaluation is nothing; especially with no pressure for a good grade. Its pass/fail! Hahahahaha!

So, now I’m looking for jobs. LJ has been looking in the national parks system for any openings for a while but nothing has come up. Not to mention its balls hard to get a job with them. Its like “Yeah, we want to hire only people with five years of experience, medical training, a masters degree, military service, and oh yeah, we’re only going to pay them 20,000 a year. So fuck off all you young recently graduated go-getters.” You have to be the smartest idiot in the world to get a job with the national parks system. I just think they want more than they can honestly pay for. So, I am still hoping to get a job with them but I don’t see it happening. I am however seeing a lot of jobs in the archaeology field. Now those people I can relate to.

In the end LJ and I just want to get the hell out of Florida. God, this place sucks. Hurricanes, thunder storms daily, crazy over zealous Christian fanatics. This place is a zoo. I am tired of working retail and I am more tired of having to cater to redneck morons who think its ok to be dumb because its being true to their roots. Damn you Jeff Foxworthy! Am I being an elitist? Hell no! I’m sorry but if I could suffer through reading some books and self-tought computer skills then they can too. Is it too much to ask that the general public know enough to be able to talk about things other than what was on TV last night and their wacky-ass views on theology? It’s like Inherit the Wind down here. I dunno maybe I’m just being mean. On the other hand, more and more I find myself thinking of what Sartre said, “Hell is other people.”

Friday, August 12, 2005

Are You Asking for a Challenge!?

I was working the other night when the strangest thing happened. This dude walked in wearing a Street Fighter II T-shirt. Casually I told him I liked his shirt and then asked, just to confirm, “So you like Street Fighter, eh?” He and I start to talk about it and almost an hour later he leaves. In the course of our conversation he tells me that he has played in some tournaments and that he still plays with friends. Then he invites me over for a game some time. That was when the problem occurred.

To fully understand my love of this, now ancient, SNES game I have to explain high school. I did two things in my four years and studying was not one of them. I was either at the cliffs rock climbing or glued to a TV in my friend’s basement playing Street Fighter II or the turbo edition. I played it so much that I got not just good, but freakin’ amazing. I didn’t know anyone, until yesterday, which had gotten to the secret ending. I played my friend and though we started as equal I soon learned that I had untapped skills that made me almost impossible to beat on even terms. My friend Mike is much the same as it applies to Mortal Kombat. We both however are very rusty.

So now I’m asking myself, should I call this dude up? Should I step outside my comfort zone and really test my skills? Or, will this hurt my ego too much. I don’t know. I would like to think I can compete in something where I am certainly the underdog, I’ve done it before, but for some reason I am more apprehensive about this. Maybe it’s because Street Fighter is one of the only games I have always been the best at, and I just want to go on feeling like I’m the champ. The other side of me though wants the challenge no matter what. This opportunity could tell me whether I am truly a contender or just a wanna-be. I think I’m going to call this dude up and prepare for the challenge.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Sty in the Eye

Sorry for my last post. I was just lazy that night. For now, however, I want to tell you all about my horrible affliction. If the title didn’t give it away I have a sty. This is nowhere near as exciting as finding my first gray hair a few months back. This sucks!

Let me tell you that before today I had absolutely no clue what a “sty” was. I woke up with my eye in major pain and decided that I should go to the university clinic to get to the root of the problem. I go and sit for forty minutes in the waiting room. Then get a nurse who decides she needs to check my vision. Then wait for another twenty minutes before I see the doctor; who comes in takes one look at my eye and declares that I have a sty. “A stile”, I ask. “No, a STY”, she replies as though talking to a confused third grader.

That was it; I called work telling them I had an eye infection so that I could go to the clinic and when I show up my boss diagnoses me as quickly as my doctor did. I am the only person at my age, apparently, who has never had one of these little bastards. I feel like a kid who has discovered farts for the first time. Plus, Mike and LJ have had them and I guess I kinda feel like they were hidding something from me. Like I'm the only one not in the sty club.

So what can I do about it? Nothing. I have to sit back and let nature take it’s course. Damn, I hate when my body double crosses me and makes me look like an idiot. I'll have to plan a devious revenge like sitting in an uncomfortable chair or something. Back on topic, at some point I’m going to stop asking people what things are so I won’t look stupid. I can see myself going into a physical at the age of seventy and the doctor leaping away from my back because there is an arm growing out or something equally Outer Limits. “What, that’s not normal?”

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Saturday, July 23, 2005

150mph Couch Potato

I was vegging in front of the TV recently when I realized something peculiar. I was watching a show called Top Gear, a British automotive show, on the discovery channel. This was after watching another show called Overhaulin’ which was on after yet another show called Classic Car Rebuild. This is when the revelation struck; however to fully explain this I have to take you back a few years.


Ever since I could remember my father would read, watch, and live cars. Some might call him obsessed but that might not give due credit to how far his hobby goes. He is the type of guy every mechanically challenged man wants as a neighbor and every used car salesman dreads. My father to this day has stacks of old Road & Track, Car & Driver, and almost every other car magazine from the 1950’s ‘till now. He has ordered entire volumes of magazines spanning decades from other auto enthusiasts just so he could re-read old articles he remembered and then tuck them away in his closet. When ever one of his kids crossed a state line on a road trip away from home they were required to bring back an Auto-Trader from the states visited for my father’s perusal.

The man has had three sports cars in his garage at one time, that don’t function outside of gathering dust, purely because he likes having them. He also has three motorcycles. He commissioned me four or five years ago to paint him a mural in our basement of, what else, a car in a garage. Once he told me that he could identify any car simply from the silhouette or hubcap, and then he could give a complete breakdown, by the numbers, of every aspect of that automobile. I’ve tested him and he can do it.

When I was young I can remember getting up on Sundays to get ready for church. My dad would already be up in his house robe watching a race. When we got back from church he would be recording one race and watching another. If I wanted to spend any time with him on these days I had to sit down, be quiet, and watch the races with him. After years of this I guess I started building up an appreciation for cars. Not that I am any good as a mechanic. Hell, I have a hard time doing anything with my car. However, I can remember little tidbits of automotive trivia (such as Roles Royce built the engines for the WWII fighter planes, the Corsairs) and I can tell stories that revolve entirely around cars (Link). Also, as I have already stated, I have some deep desire to watch shows about cars. I can’t get enough. Yeah, the shows are good enough on their own, but I wonder if it is somehow attached in my psyche that television shows about cars relates to quality time with my pops.

While some men make time for football games or going fishing, I seem to make an inordinate amount of time for automotive television shows and car talk. Don’t get me wrong, again I couldn’t tell you anything about cars really, but I love talking about them and watching stuff about them. The thing that is really baffling is that cars are in no way associated with any of my hobbies. I’m an outdoorsman. When I do something for myself I tend to get as far away from roads as possible. On that same note, I hate having to work on my car. I absolutely loathe it. But, I will watch shows about cars endlessly. I guess what I am getting at is that our parents do rub off on us, though that may scare many of us somewhat. In some ways I’m glad I can sit in front of a TV and feel close to my dad. Yet sometimes I also wonder why he couldn’t have instilled some of his mechanical know-how too, damn it.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Think of the Childrens

I don’t know if you’re up on the current video game scandals but let me fill you in. Supposedly there is a code called “Hot Coffee” that you can input into the Grand Theft Auto; San Andres video game that will allow the player to watch a snippet of a sex scene with some partial nudity. No more than you would get on an episode of NYPD Blue. However, due to this ESRB, the guys who put ratings on video games, have made a new category for games to fall into, AO. This stands for Adults Only, meaning that only 18 and over can purchase the game. As a result many large chain retailers (Wal-Mart) are pulling GTA from their shelves. Also, today Hillary Clinton has started a group dedicated to treating games they feel are obscene the same as alcohol or tobacco.

This is a tricky subject. On the one hand I can see some parents views on not wanting games with over the top violence and sex to fall into their children’s hands. Yet, at the same time why is there all this outrage over things that kids read about, hear about, and see on the news already? Yeah little Billy can watch the news with real car chases and watch shows where people kill each other in fantastic ways, but he can’t play a video game with the same elements? It’s like the argument that violent cartoons breed violence in children. I don’t know of too many people who were killed by falling safes or bludgeoned with frying pans. I wouldn’t want my kid watching porn but I don’t feel that these games are porn. It also seems that most parents don’t care about any amount of violence as long as there is no sex.

Kids today have greater access to unfiltered information than ever before due to the Internet and through television. They are able to tell the deference between fantasy and reality just like kids in the fifties knew that if they were to mimic Bugs Bunny and stick their fingers in the barrel of a gun they wouldn’t have any fingers to pull back out. Normal people can separate video game reality from their reality. I don’t feel that anyone playing these games is going to suddenly decide that maybe stealing cars and robbing people is a good idea.

Though, like I said I can understand why some parents wouldn’t want their kid playing these games. Well, why not get more involved? When I was working at Block Buster a game came out called Conker's Bad Fur Day. This game involved violent themes, bad language and sexual innuendo…it was great. I had to stop parents and tell them this out of a feeling of civic responsibility because they didn’t care to walk over and see what it was their 11 year old was handing them to rent. This got me sour looks not just from the kids but the parents too. “Why would you rent out such a filthy game?” Answer: for the same reason we’re renting you the movie Pearl Harbor (a movie with just as much sex and blood as any video game on the market), entertainment.

Well, the times they are a changin’ and video games are getting more mature to follow the market trend. The youth that started with Pac-Man is now old enough to want something more adult oriented. Video games are no longer the innocent, unrealistic, pixilated things they used to be. I am cool with ESRB’s decision. It seems only right, but get off your high horse Hillary you’re showing your age.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Cyclops Drunk

Well we made it through Hurricane Dennis all right. The power was out for a day and a half and nothing was really terribly damaged, not unless you count a four by five foot hole in the side of our house. LJ and I drove over to the pad right after the storm went over to discover that at the top of our place, just under the peak of the roof a large portion of wall was missing. Interestingly there was no water damage in the house…weird. So we’re getting that fixed. Our landlord kinda did a botched repair job on it already so Mike and I will have to pool our un-considerable home repair knowledge to make it right. The dude may as well have stuck two crisscrossing elephant sized band-aids over the hole for all the good it will do.

Anyway, that night we wanted to go out to eat since no one was hurt and our house was in good enough shape to continue living there (an honest concern when faced with any hurricane, trust me). We all go to an Irish pub/restaurant called Maguire’s to celebrate. The place is packed, but hey, no problem they have an open bar. Mike tells me I should try an “Irish Wake” and LJ seems interested so I order two. These drinks are served in mason jars and are filled halfway with liqueur before being topped off with fresh squeezed OJ.

I won’t make any excuses here. I got nailed, and yes on one drink. About halfway done I am already feeling like I have just shot gunned my third beer. With about a quarter remaining I am having a hard time walking strait. When I finish I am totally pissed. I have a confession to make now. You guys know the picture I use of myself on my page. You know, the one where I am holding the dollar in one hand the glass in the other, I have a grin from ear to ear and it appears as though I’m winking? Well, I’m not actually winking per say so much as trying to stem double vision. That look is something you only get when I am wicked drunk. It has only happened a few times because I am not usually a heavy drinker but it has occurred enough to earn me the drunken moniker “Winky”. Moving on, by the end of that one drink I was looking through mono-vision and my wife had to call the hotel she works at, conveniently situated right down the street, so that all of us could stumble over and sleep in a free room (*LJ wasn’t that drunk and drove down herself I feel compelled to add). Mike claims he wasn’t that drunk but I don’t believe it for a second and you shouldn’t either.

Now, I was told yesterday that I am a rather amusing drunk. I am fun to laugh at and with, and have a very jovial disposition. That makes me glad. I have known so many people who respond differently to alcohol that to be a joker is a blessing. Supposedly I’m quite the entertainer. Anyway, it was great to get out and loosen up after Dennis blew through. Incidentally, we are all making bets on what category Emily will make landfall as and where she will hit. My money is on category two and it will hit somewhere about thirty miles west of Pensacola. I’ve got ten bucks riding on it so Emily better deliver.

Oh, and if anyone is so inclined please link over to my wife’s site and wish here a happy 24th birthday it would mean a lot to her.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Mother Nature, You Bitch!

Damn it! I went through hurricane Ivan down here. The aftermath was more than I ever expected and certainly more than anyone else who didn’t live here had ever expected. I would talk to people on the phone 8 months afterward and tell them that Pensacola was still a mess. Most people had no idea. Once the story is off the news everyone forgets. I’d been guilty of it too, but who could know? To anyone who doesn’t know, the hardest part of a hurricane isn’t living through it, it’s the rebuilding after the storm is long gone. Pensacola still isn’t 100%. There are still signs that never got replaced and homes that never got rebuilt. There are many buildings that have just gotten to the point where they could start reconstruction, yeah a year later.

I lived in Georgia most of my life. I am only in Pensacola to finish school. In Georgia all you have to be worried about is occasional flooding, lightning and tornados. A tornado wrecked an area near where I lived once. The devastation was pretty bad, but it was very localized. Nothing could have prepared me for how bad a hurricane is. Let me give you a picture:

The hurricane has past. You wanna hear what’s going on by listening to the radio? You can’t, no towers for miles. You wanna watch TV? Nope, not unless you can pick up a signal from somewhere far enough away from the damaged area which can be a hundred miles or more. Maybe you wanna call your family or friends to tell them you’re ok. Well just hope you have a cell phone whose towers aren’t all down because the landlines are mostly gone. No stores are open for anything, no power, and no clean water. You can’t even flush a toilet for God’s sake. There are trees and debris everywhere, I mean everywhere. The town is, literally, like living in the 1700’s.

Ivan was a category 3, though if you ask anyone here they’ll tell you it was a four. This new hurricane, Denis, could be a solid category four and looks like it is taking the same path as Ivan. Am I worried? No, not really. What’s to be worried about? Yeah, there’s going to be plenty of property damage and a long slow rebuild…again, but I don’t feel like my life or my family’s is in any danger. Most deaths that occur from hurricanes are due to being in a bad location (aka the beach or flood zone). We will be far away from that so I am pretty sure we’ll be safe. Still, my wife and I just don’t want to go through the whole process again. Damn you nature, why must you give with one hand, and bitch-slap with the other.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Worstest American

I don’t know how many of you have been watching the TV show “The Greatest American” on the discovery channel. The premise is basically this, people vote via email to give the show a list of Americans who, for some reason, could be considered “great”. Then the list is voted on, again by email, to select someone who could be named the greatest American. Greatness is one of those words that is difficult to adhere any one quality to, so there is some contention as to who should be considered. Some people look at life achievement, while others look at personal bests, still others look at contributions made to our country. Now, I’m not going to get into whom I think is the greatest (Benjamin Franklin) but I was curious as to who would be considered the worst.

I was talking about this to a gentleman I work with on a few slow evenings and we came up with a few people who could potentially make the list for The Worst American.

For the purposes of this list we are not considering anyone who is merely annoying or not popular or even someone who has killed people such as Jeffery Dahmer or the BTK killer. Our criterion was someone who has negatively affected our nation or a large group of people here. They have to be Americans so Osama Bin Laden won’t count, and anyone who was working for the Taliban here in America must be a citizen to count. These people must have had a seriously negative impact in some way or another, so no presidents please. Though I’m sure most of you could list a few that have broken laws or been the causes of grief in some way or another. This does not mean that you can’t list some politicians all I’m saying is that Bill Clinton or Richard Nixon are not considerations. I am going to list some of the people who made our list and give reasons for each, if you would like to add a nominee then post a comment with the name of the person and why you think they should be considered. So without further ado…

  • Benedict Arnold: In 1779 he sold out America by giving vital information to the British in exchange for a high rank in the British military and lots of money. If he had succeeded it would have ment the deaths of hundreds of West Pointers and soldiers in the field.
  • Philip Henry Sheridan: A general for U.S. army in the 1850’s. He oversaw the slaughter of countless Native Americans and helped to force them into reservations (though they were more like concentration camps at the time). He killed non-combatants and women and children as a standard practice. He was responsible for an episode of ethnic cleansing in America.
  • Lester Garfield Maddox: A southern racist during the civil rights movement who sold axe handles from his restaurant to beat up any African Americans that tried to eat there. He later ran for governor and was defeated, twice. Then, to add insult to injury, he actually was elected to office. He makes the list because he stood as a figurehead for intolerance and segregation by force.
  • Reverend Jesse Jackson: I Know I’m getting in trouble for this one but… While Jesse Jackson raised awareness for cultural issues like civil rights he spun Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s vision of an equal African American society into a victimized one. He has lead people to, almost, start the march backward for blacks in our nation. Now, there are many African Americans that feel they are owed something from their “white oppressors” instead of making strides to better their own situations. While he has made a mockery of his position as a Reverend by having an affair that resulted in a pregnancy and a fatherless child (something he preached against) he has worked almost in reverse to what the United Negro College Fund and the NAACP has been working towards, an educated and equal community.
  • William J. Simmons: In 1915 Simmons, a Methodist minister, started what is known as the second, or modern day, Ku Klux Klan. His agenda was bent solely on hurting, harassing, or killing any non-whites in America. He declared himself Grand Wizard and implemented cross-burning and lynching as a standard practice. He paved the way for all subsequent KKK hate groups.
  • Jimmy Swaggart: Swaggart was a televangelist throughout the eighties and into the nineties. He used this platform to amass vast amounts of money that never saw any of the charities he claimed to be giving to. He was caught with a prostitute not once but three times and refused to give up his seat in his church. Later he told a news reporter that “[he would] kill any gay person who looked at him romantically”, and then tell God “they just died”.

So there you have it. I would love for any of you readers to contribute to the list. Again just try and make it someone who has negatively affected our society and tell why. Feel free to disagree with any of my selections (I know I’m gonna get it for Jesse Jackson), but please say why. I am hoping to get some interesting entries and maybe get a vote on which the worst is.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

A Geek from the Past

I was trading funny web-videos today with a guy at work and I stumbled across one I haven’t seen in a long while. Have any of you seen “Star Wars Kid”? Here’s the premise; this kid, who I guess was in the A/V club at his high school, films himself doing some staff fighting moves with his own light saber sounds while no one is around. The kid is dressed kinda lame, he is a little chunky and he sucks to say the least. The kicker is that he left the tape in the camera. The next day some other A/V kids find the tape and made the fateful decision to put it on KaZaA for all to see. The video takes off like a rocket. In days there are about five, professional quality, downloadable versions of this poor kid. I had it on my computer video file for years. Every time I watch it I keep repeating under my breath, “You poor, poor bastard.”

When I did a yahoo search today with the words Star Wars Kid I got a huge return. There is page after page dedicated to this video. It has become an underground Internet cult phenomenon. There are roughly 108 videos edits now available and at least one more a day is made somewhere. There are T-shirts and bumper stickers. There was even a petition made up to get George Lucas to put him in the last Star Wars movie. I was flat amazed. I remembered downloading the original video in 2002 (the same year it was made) but I had no idea at the time that it would turn into such a huge thing. I have to admit I was halfway tempted to buy a shirt, but I think that may be too geeky even for me. All I can say is, God speed Star Wars Kid…God speed.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Smooth Criminal

I watched the Michael Jackson case today on FOX News. I have to admit I was strangely curious about the outcome. In the weeks to come I am sure there will be a lot of debate on the results (for anyone who lives in a cave and has internet but only gets this web page for some reason, it was not guilty on all charges) and the public’s reaction and the presumption of guilt that I am sure will follow Michael for possibly the rest of his life.

For me, I feel that the guy is weird to say the least. Has he done anything sexually oriented with any little boys? Well, I am sure that he may have. As to whether or not he did with this boy, whether you like it or not, he was tried and found innocent. Do I feel the guy is innocent of any other misconduct? Again, probably not; the thing that most of us have to keep in mind is this: It doesn’t matter what you may think of the person on trial or how well you think you know the case. If you weren’t there when the crime was committed then you have no authority to pass judgment, that’s what a jury is for. I would expect that most of you would feel the same if you were on trail for something you didn’t do. It is a bittersweet reality of our justice system here in America.

I know one thing, if I was Michael I would be praying night and day for the next week to any and all Gods he can think of. The dude would never have made it in prison for any amount of time. I would be willing to bet that he would have been dead within a week of going in. Also, if I were in Michael’s family I would do my very best to have somewhat of an intervention for the guy. Look he may or may not have fondled little boys but, the dude is a pedophile and he needs help. He also needs the people around him to save him from himself. They need to hire someone to just hang with the guy and make sure there is no way he is ever in the same room as a minor so there will never be any question about this kind of conduct. The guy needs to play it safe as hell for the rest of his life.

Of course a good P.R. campaign wouldn’t hurt. This time though don’t let him run it. He can’t be pictured as this “boy who never grew up”, mentally abused, shut in. He needs to get out. Go to parties (not birthday parties at Chucky Cheese), go to events, hang with sports stars or rappers. Then he needs to do a major image overhaul. Maybe let Dr. Dre help with some videos and let Lil John do the wardrobe. In five years, if he plays his cards right, he could be a person who parents wouldn’t let their kids near and solve any question about his sexuality at the same time.

*Thanks to Mike for help editing the picture

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Close-Quarters Combat

The other day my dog, Zeus, was being a real jerk. He was barking for no good reason, snapping at my roommate and his dog, and generally running amuck. So I did what any good parent should do; I used physical punishment to calm him down. No, I didn’t hit him. I got out the most readily available squirt gun in the house. It just happened to be a rather large “Super-Soaker”. It did the trick but then the Super-Soaker was left out for any additional “parenting” that needed doing. This was a mistake that would later come back and haunt me.

The day after, I’m watching TV or something and I hear my wife screaming. I jump up and head to her to see what’s going on. I find my wife backed into an upstairs corner with Mike pointing the Super-Soaker at her with that menacing grin we all get from holding a water gun on someone unarmed. I ask what is going on. It seems that they had a bit of a verbal putdown contest going on when Mike saw the gun and decided it could be ended quickly in his favor. I acted fast, knowing the only way to resolve a situation like this, so as no one walks away soaked, is to give the armed person whatever he or she wants. I just happened to know what Mike wanted; a copy of some software we had. I just hoped it was enough.

“Hold on. I’ll be back with the disc”, I said. Seconds later, with the disc in hand, I told Mike that the only way he would get the software was if he put the gun down in the middle of the hall and backed away. He thought about it, and then the trusting fool did! No sooner than I saw the gun on the ground I grabbed it. Mike jumped at me so that the tide wouldn’t be turned without fight. So there we were in the upstairs hallway in a desperate struggle to see who would be shot. We wrestled back and forth, sometimes dangerously close to the stairs. Some aimless shots were fired, hitting only the walls and floor. Then I remembered LJ.

Quickly I turned with Mike on my back and told LJ to take the gun. As the gun left my hand Mike got me in a full nelson and another standoff began. I told her “Don’t worry about me just shoot him.” As I struggled left and right to give her a clear shot I could feel Mike dodging behind me. At pointblank range LJ fired.

Now, you’d think that anyone at pointblank range in a small hallway would be able to land a shot on their desired target. Anyone who thinks that needs to watch some girls who never really played with squirt guns. Sufficed to say she got us both. Yes, I got nailed in the head, hard-core, and mike was shot while making a break for his room after I fell to the ground like I was dead. It was great.

I guess the point of all this is that living in your own house and making your own rules is awesome. My parents would have stopped that whole scene from playing out had we all been younger. How many of us have been told “No horseplay in the house” or “Stop that right now”, by our parents. I feel a little silliness can be a wonderful thing. It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it makes you feel great. Plus, usually nothing gets broken and if it does, well so what? I love the freedoms I have now.

  • Staying up late
  • Making a mess…anywhere
  • Playing loud, LOUD music.
  • Running in the house
  • Playing baseball in the house
  • Etc.

To all those out there who still live with your parents (even unofficially) move out! Move Out NOW! It’s super cool.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Blurry Vision

I went to get my eyes examined today. It took forty-five minutes and I had to get eye drops that made my corneas dilate. At the end I was all geared up to get my contacts and take them home. It was going to be like Christmas…for my eyes! Did this happen? No. “Well, now we have to see you put in and take out a pair of contacts before we can give you yours”, the lady says. “Why?” I ask incredulously. “It’s the law”, she replies. So as not to be a poor sport I’d try.

I have never put in a contact before and for this reason I have never had to remove them. My eyes at this point were already red and irritated from the glaucoma test and the dilation eye drops, not to mention that they had had lights shined in them and were manhandled by the optometrist, but I said ok. I tried to get those damned things in for half an hour with this woman sitting across the table from me telling me that fourteen year old girls can do it so I should be able to. Eventually I get frustrated and my eyes are killing me so I decide to leave. I pay $99 and leave with a receipt. Did I get my prescription? No. Did I get a pair of trial contacts to try at home? No. I left with the satisfaction of knowing that I had my eyes examined and my pupils throbbing for that lofty price.

I have to go back tomorrow and try again. If I fail to get those bastards in and out then I will go home empty handed again. I can repeat this process though, the wonderful woman taking my money told me. Great, I think to myself. I would have rather been informed before I’d taken the eye exam that should I fail a test at the end I wouldn’t be receiving the contacts I paid for. Maybe I’ll practice with LJ’s before I go back. Still, I have never heard of a law that states you don’t necessarily have to get a product that you paid for.

What a jip.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Well, not really. LJ and I just got our tax refund back and though many people like to look at this as “free money”, it isn’t. I like to look at it as money happily yanked from my paychecks before I could ever get my hands on it. And what does it mostly go toward anyway? Social security and the military. Frankly, I think I could do a better job with it than the government. I wouldn’t be paying old people to sit around and go to the doctor for shits and giggles when I can’t go myself and I wouldn’t be funding operations to liberate anyone who didn’t want to be liberated (that’s a different discussion though and I won’t get into it now).

So we have this money and we need to do something with it. Yeah, I know “save it”. Hmmmmm, no. We had some ideas on where it could be spent like a new computer or maybe a PSP or something equally fun but I think we are going to spend it on boring things that, in the long run, will be better investments.

First, LJ and I need our eyes examined. We can do this and get new contacts. I have been having to wear my glasses for more than a year now and I hate it. God, do I hate glasses! I’ve never worn contacts but it must be wonderful. The only thing is I’ve never had to touch my eye so I am more than a little freaked about having to put them in and take them out. Ggggraaaababababa and EEEWWWWWWW!

Second, we are getting the carpets cleaned. They are gross they need cleaning. That’s it. Other than I will kill any animal that pisses on my floor afterward.

Third, LJ needs her wisdom teeth out. Her parents said they would help with the expense so I think we are going to have to do it. Yeah, sorry babe but its for your own good. I won’t even tell you how bad I had it when my teeth were out. I’ll have to use some devilishly clever ploy to get her to go, like telling her we’re going to a tea party and when we get there saying, “Oh, I said teeth pulling. You must have misheard me. Well, while we’re here we may as well…” Man, that was weak. My ploys have been a bit lackluster lately. I’ll work on it.

Fourth, LJ’s truck is getting recharged with air-conditioning stuff. I hate that neither of us has a car with A/C. Summer in FLA sucks enough; the least we can do is have one comfortable vehicle.

Anyway, you can see where I’m going. I think we’ll be better off paying for the things that normally we wouldn’t spring for due to our tight budget. I think in the end it will make us happier and be things we can look back on as good investments. Though I can’t believe I’m giving up a PSP…

What do you people normally spend your refunds on?

Friday, May 20, 2005


**I suggest turning off your lights for this post to have a better mood. Also, turn off any music or other noise.

So, I was talking with Mike about stuff in general and the subject of fear rolled around. I don’t know about most of you but I grew up terrified by my own imagination. I had an amazingly vivid imagination and consequently had some pretty scary childhood moments. I was never really scared of anything real. I guess it was more a fear of the unknown. Let me relate a reoccurring nightmare I had as a child so you could get an idea.

---The Dream---

I wake up to a loud thunderclap. It’s completely dark in my room except for the occasional lightning strikes that illuminate the whole room in those brief ultra-intense flickers from my window. Through the rain I hear these short series of clicks. I listen closely to it and realize that these rapid clicks are not rain, but something on the outside of the house. Another bolt of lightning draws my attention back to the window where I see a dark figure in the upper corner glaring in at me. A silhouette of the top of its head is all I can see. Whatever it is, it’s clinging from the house outside my window. The eyes glint like those of an animal in the beam of a flashlight. They look hollow and ethereal.

I’m terrified to look at it but I must, I know that if I take my eyes away it could move before I have the chance to look back. I blink, and it’s gone. Was I imagining it? I’m listening very intently now; searching for any sounds that may help me identify its location. The clicking returns, but now it sounds different somehow. I cautiously get out of bed and creep toward my door to listen. The clicking sounds come again but now they sound as though they are upstairs…inside the house!

I act fast. I have to leave my room. “It saw me in my room, it knows I’m here”, I think as I dash down a dark hallway and to the basement door. I have to put as much distance between whatever this thing is and myself. I can feel the cold wood of the stairs and the humid air as I run down into the dark. I race across the basement already knowing where I intend to hide, the dark corner between the couch and the wall. I press my back up into the corner and sit in the cold dark room waiting and listening.

It feels like an eternity passes and I see and hear nothing but I know its there…somewhere…in my house. Then I hear it. The clicking sound of claws is closer; it’s in the upstairs hall. I hug my knees up to me. I can feel the fear like I can feel the cold wall on my back or the dusty floor under me. The sound comes again. It’s in front of the basement door. I pray…I pray for it to pass, I pray for someone to come home and find me, I pray for all this to be over. I know none of this will happen though. All I can do is sit and be still and quite. There is a clicking on the stairs…then nothing.

I look hard through the dark and can see that it’s crouched there on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. Its been staring at me all this time. Its small, maybe the size of a large dog but still its as big as me and I know if it comes for me I’ll be dead. The eyes glint again like those of an animal, but from where? There is no light down here. I’m not even breathing now I just sit and stare and it stares right back. I think that maybe that stare will hold it, lock it into place somehow. Maybe I can just sit here and keep it at bay because it knows I can see it. Then it moves but almost too fast for me to see. Its claws clicking on the floor furiously as it races toward me…

I wake up; in a cold sweat usually. I had this dream off and on for years. To this day I have a hard time with dark buildings. I don't know, I guess I'm just affraid of some unidentified thing coming after me, or maybe it's being alone. Though, I have camped several times by myself and have no fear of the woods at night. I just thought it was a creepy dream and you guys might think so too. However, If I hear a camp councilor telling this story to a group of boy scouts several years from now, I'm gonna want some royalties.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

We all need a Hero

First, I would like to thank DeWey, for without his contribution this blog may not have even happened. Yes he fixed my computer hard-core and now it’s running like a champ. Way to go DeWey. I would also like to say that he has a pretty cool pod-cast going. It was actually featured on a fairly large pod-cast hosted by the guy who used to do Headbanger’s Ball on MTV. Coolness.

Next, I thought I would do a blog about my own personal heroes. Not any actual people mind you because I think, that for me anyway, it is more truthful to talk about the fictional characters on TV that I watched growing up rather than…you know…real people. I guess it was easier to identify with the television characters that I saw daily versus those I could only read about and whose actions I had to interpret. Not that I didn’t know about Martin Luther King Junior, Mother Theresa, or Neil Armstrong. I just thought that the fictional characters on TV had more definable qualities. So let me give you a few, but please don’t laugh remember that I was a kid and these were some role models of mine.

MacGyver: He was a nice guy who wanted to help people. He was some kind of peacekeeping agent that didn’t carry a gun. No, all he needed was pocketknife and some ingenuity. I always thought that this guy was smart enough to solve any problem that lay before him, all he needed was a little time and some common household items. I always have a pocketknife on me to this day, in part, from watching MacGuyver.

Danger Mouse: I know it’s a cartoon character, but he was cool nonetheless. He was always really brave. He could march into any situation head first with the utmost confidence. He could even march several times into the same situation where he would inevitably be hanging from the edge of a cliff with his partner, Penfold, dangeling at his feet. I try and have that kind of bravery even if it means hanging from a proverbial cliff.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The captain of the starship Enterprise (from Star Trek: The Next Generation). He was an amazingly wise character. He was measured and in control. When the shit hit the fan and two Klingon warbirds were coming in for an attack he would be the guy you wanted at the helm. I always thought that someday I wanted to have the same weathered experience and comand this guy has.

Indiana Jones: Was there any doubt he would make the list? C’mon, he had it all. He was smart, brave, and clever. He was as smooth as James Bond and as tough as Rambo. He is the reason I think archaeology is so cool to this day. He could take on an army of Nazis kick their asses and be back to recover whatever sacred object needed recovering before flying off on his next adventure. And it was always for a museum, so he even had integrity. Not to mention that he always got the girl.

So there you go, some of my personal heroes. I think they are pretty cool. Yeah, I never really idolized the sports stars or the rock stars. I guess I just thought that those people were just people, totally flawed, normal, nothing special...people. Where as these fictional characters could be the embodiment of the traits that I admired. I am sure that most of you out there have at least a few heroes of your own that aren't real life people too. Though LJ thinks I'm weird.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Race is a 4 Letter Word

I haven’t been posting recently due to some computer problems, which still aren’t resolved, so I made an effort to find a computer that worked. While I had tons of things I wanted to blog about a situation arose that I felt needed some comment.

A little while back my roomy Mike went to the beach and had some humorous, yet annoying, situations occur; consequently he blogged on the subject and then from out of no where was hit with all sorts of angry comments. He checked out where they were all linking from and found this other blogger that had read his page and taken it as a slap toward gays, Hispanics, and the French. If you haven’t, I suggest reading the comments on that page to get an idea for some of the hateful responses.

I was raised in an upper middle class suburb of Atlanta. I didn’t live in an all white neighborhood and I didn’t go to an all white school. I grew up, went to school and was in boy scouts with a multi-racial, multi-ethnic community. To me the only diffrence between the people in my town were whether or not they were intelligent or rude. The only time I ever experienced any kind of racism was when I moved away from there. I have seen racism from many different people, whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, etc. I have been called a racist from people who didn’t know me. I have called other people racists on the merit of how they had treated friends of mine or ideals that they made clear to me. The subject troubles me.

There are two words that have become an embodiment of what they are supposed to oppose. One is the word “racist” which is defined as “prejudice or animosity against people who belong to other races.” The other is “reverse-racism” or racism that may be aimed at whites by other minorities. When did the word racism become a word to solely be associated with white people? Isn’t this ugly word just as apt when applied to anyone no matter their color or ethnicity? The very existence of a term like “reverse-racism” is a troubling sign that our community is segregating more and more.

If anyone is interested I would urge you to read some anthropological works in regards to the term “race” as it is. If you do you’ll find that this word is not scientifically accurate. In fact most archaeologists and anthropologists today will never use the term race to describe anyone.

I hate that people use language that singles out generalities about an entire group of people, but let’s leave our politically-correct selves for a moment and be real. People are all prejudice. If you don’t believe me then look the word up and honestly tell me you’re not. Everyone is, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends with someone of a different origin than yours and it doesn’t mean that you are hateful. What it means is that you judge people from what you have experienced. I can’t fault anyone for that. I don’t hold it against the people who have played the race card on me. I just have to assume that they have only had bad experiences with people of my background, too bad for them they judged me poorly before they got to know me.

While I’m on the subject, it is also a shame that in our country today it is almost impossible for a white person to redeem themselves after being labeled a bigot or a racist. Take the example of my friend Mike. After reading all the uninformed mudslinging that others had done, one of the people who had him linked on her page took him off. If you try and defend yourself by saying “No, I’m not racist” people seem to be more disgusted with you. Finally, as a white person you can’t even tell someone about other people you’re friends with without sounding like a desperate back peddler. It is almost like someone being branded a leper and then being shunned by everyone around him. He may not be a leper but the acusation, once made, has more weight than the truth.

You know what people, save your scorn and disapproval for someone who really deserves it. Try and be less sensitive to what might offend and wait for someone who really is a bigot. And for the love, stop being so damned politically correct. It’s stupid. There is no one who isn’t guilty of telling a racial joke, and no one who isn’t prejudice in some small way. Get off you’re your high horses. The thing, I guess, I hate the most is that none of these people feel that they should be held accountable for their harsh words. All of them feel that he "blog-spammed" them. Hey, if you don't like this issue stinking up your pages don't sling it so gleefully at others, it could come back at you.

**Due to public outcry I am removing the racial jokes. I felt they made the point and while being funny to me were not funny to all. That’s fine; I don’t feel they coupled well with my overall argument anyway. I noticed that the only argument that people had though was over the one joke that had to due with minorities, while no one was upset by the white joke. Hmmm, what does that tell me? Maybe that’s why comedians like Dave Chappelle, the South Park Guys and Richard Prior have a booming career.