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Inspirational Reads

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

October 31, 2008

And now, for the scary picture:

Saint Herbert's Day

October 30, 2008

October 30th is St. Herbert's Day. Who is Saint Herbert? Good question. No one knows.

In lieu of that, we should all celebrate an American Saint's day, or at least his birthday. Today is Henry Winkler's birthday, and unless you're a divothead, you know that Henry Winkler was the Fonz, aka Arthur Fonzarelli from TV's Happy Days. You know, he of the egregious greasy Italian stereotypical "aye!!!", the motorcycle and the jumping of the shark. This has earned him a life-sized bronze statue of himself with the motorbike in Milwaukee. It is sometimes called "The Bronze Fonz". Nice.

Also celebrating birthdays today are Tory Belleci, the funny and HOT dude on the build team from Mythbusters and also the dude who built the pod racer models and federation starships in the Star Wars prequels. And in case you wanted to know, gold-winning gymnast Nastia Liukin turns 19 today. Perverts the internet over rejoice.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't give some honor to St. Herbert, so here's some other famous Herberts from history or that I've met, just to sate your appetite for useless shit:

Herbert Hoover: American President and favorite son of West Branch, Iowa. Notable accomplishments: The Great Depression; mining zinc in Australia; having a dam named for him.
Frank Herbert: Author of Dune, who, along with J.R.R. Tolkien, gave George Lucas the idea for Star Wars.
Herbert Axelrod: Tropical fish enthusiast currently serving a prison sentence for tax fraud.
Herbert C. Brown: Organic chemist who made organoboranes sexy. Got screwed in the named reactions department during that period when it was posh to name reactions after what they did rather than the chemist who sold his soul in order for the reaction to work. Professor at Purdue, but then, everyone makes a mistake.
Herbert G. Wells: Some dude who wrote some stuff about martians and time travel and such. A few people got upset when someone read his work over the radio in a 1938 stunt.
Herbie the Love Bug: One of the few Hollywood actors who can say that Lindsay Lohan has been in him, and not the other way around.
Herb Tarlek: Boorish ad executive for WKRP in Cincinnati. Wearer of bad suits. Friend of Les Nessman.
Herbert: The pedophile from Family Guy.
Herbie Hoover, aka Hoover the Mover: Cantankerous old man who used to run a moving service back home. Once, while single-handedly wrestling a couch into my aunt's living room, he told my cousin to "get the fuck out of the way before I turn you into a grease spot on the rug." This caused me to laugh for about three solid hours.

And Lo, the Pale Rider Departs

October 29, 2008

Okay, so we've run the course of antibiotics on Cookie now. She's much better, but still has a mild cough and hacks some stuff up from time to time, but it's nothing serious. Tank has just his cough left (and is finally beginning to get it sunk through his stubborn little skull that it's socially accepted to cover one's mouth when spewing germ-laden spittle upon an audience whilst coughing), but I'm thinking of getting him his own bedside humidifier to see if that doesn't help clear his cough up. In fact, I think everyone is getting their own bedside humidifiers because my wife has fallen in love with my little bedside buddy (no, not that one...she fell in love with that eight years ago...heh heh heh) and we don't want to surrender it to the children.

Wait, where the hell was I before I went off on my sexually charged innuendo? Right. The state of wellness around my abode. My wife never came down with the Ick; I think this is mainly because I stayed on my right side at night so that I didn't blow germ-saturated breath in her face all night long while we slept. Also, I think a large part of it is because I sent her away on Friday night last week to go drink with her friends so that she could escape the den of pestilence, free herself of the clingy children, and perhaps drown a few bacteria in whiskey. Or maybe she's not the kind of pansy who gives in to the sicknesses like the rest of us. I kind of liked option a or b better, myself.

As for me, I still have some muke issues, but I'm here to tell you something, folks. Remember how I referenced Diet Dr. Pepper as the Panacea of the Masses? I was wrong. That might be the Elixir of Life, but as far as Panaceas go, Robitussin is the way to go. Or, at least, the cheaper Target knock-off is the way to go. This stuff was like the sweat off Zeus' balls. I'd take a shot and instantly began to feel better. I could breathe without wheezing, I could blow my nose without threat of aneurysm, the sun shone brighter, sugar tasted sweeter and I farted rainbows. Actual, honest-to-God, pot of gold at the end rainbows. Fucking. Aye.
I'm still downing it every four hours. I'm not addicted. No. I'm not. It's just that the Precious needs me to drinks it every four hourses. Tricksy little hobbitses aren't going to steals it from us. Whoa. Sorry, there. I think the only problem with the Target knock-off of Robitussin is that it makes you go a little batshit crazy in the head. I mean, for a while on Saturday evening, it looked like Notre Dame had a functioning offense and defense, and we all know that's a fucking pipe dream.

Also, I highly recommend the cranberry-flavored ginger ale, not because it's a magical cure-all tonic, it just tastes really fucking good.
So now, hopefully, we're through the worst part of the illnesses. At least now three of us aren't lying around wondering if this is the end and telling Elizabeth that we're coming home. The Durham County Health Inspector came by and took down the Quarantine sign, so I take that as a step in the right direction. Although, it is still quite comical when all three of us cough at almost the exact same time. My home is beginning to smell like Lysol, bleach and pyrethrin (don't ask) and much less like a charnel house, which is a definite good thing. Unfortunately, my wife's pity has run out and now I am expected to become a functioning adult in the household with responsibilities, duties and chores. Damn.

And no, pervert, I still haven't had a chance to celebrate my anniversary. We might find a spare, disease-free moment sometime around February in between all the cleaning.

My Band Name: Seized Chorizo

October 28, 2008

With Stephanie, the substitute teacher over at Rider's Block, searching for a new band name, I inadvertently stumbled upon one of my own (though, I do like Stephanie's idea of Sara's Gone Rogue). That would be Seized Chorizo.

The source is this article:

Customs inspectors scored the makings of a barbecue when a 21-year-old South Texas woman declared several soiled baby diapers at a U.S.-Mexico border crossing.

Suspicious of the chunky diapers, inspectors with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the international bridge in Hidalgo found several links of spicy pork sausage, or chorizo, inside. The diapers had been folded to look soiled, according to a customs agency statement.

The Mission resident, who was not identified after the Friday night incident, was fined $300 and her chorizo was seized.

Being that I'm not much of an international traveler, I wonder, is it absolutely necessary to declare soiled diapers at the border? I thought it was birds and plants (and, apparently, sausage), but then, I'm not sure since the only foreign land I've ventured to is Ohio. I've never had chorizo, but since I celebrate the pig and all its deliciousness here quite often, I have to say that anything that can be described as "spicy pork sausage" is well worth the effort of folding a half-dozen diapers over themselves in order to look used. Although, I do wonder how much chorizo $300 would have garnered at the local Piggly Wiggly.

Just so you know, my daughter's godmother is from Mission, TX. The next time I talk to her, in between questions about chupacabras attacks, I'll have to ask her about the chorizo from Hidalgo and whether it's worth soiling my diapers over.


October 24, 2008

The First Rider continues his parade through my little family.

While Tank has gotten better (he only now has a very loud cough, wherein he only sometimes remembers to cover his mouth), and Cookie has stopped throwing up liquid of a violent yellow, I know am fully encrusted with the Ick.

It started yesterday simple enough: cough, cough, spit, ewww, that's gross. Last night it spiraled down into a fever. I think I've shaken the fever (Diet Dr. Pepper, panacea for the masses) and I'm not wracked with chills like I was yesterday afternoon.

I initially started out using some 'old home remedies'. Unfortunately, the hen hasn't really been sucking much of the Ick out of my lungs (perhaps I chose poorly in opting for a Rhode Island Red) and drinking my own urine only made my breath smell. Worse. I also went out a punted half a dozen cats--not so much for their ability to heal me, but more for my own personal entertainment. Laughter is the best medicine, so I guess it did serve a purpose. Meow. I also brewed up a tea made from various herbs I found around my yard, but about fifteen minutes after imbibing, I just sat there and giggled while wondering why my fingers don't fing.

Finally, I decided to live life by my second mantra: better living through chemistry. I pounded some mucinex, downed some Day-quil (which promptly knocked me out), and drank lots of water, ginger ale, and the aforementioned panacea for the masses. I repeated the ritual last night before bed, this time adding a healthy slather of Vap-o-rub. My wife looked over and wondered why I was rubbing it there, and when I gave her a knowing, lascivious chuckle, she ran screaming from the room. I haven't seen her since. If anyone sees a large-chested redhead with strained vocal chords and eyes the size of dinner plates, send her back this way, please.

My tour of the pharmaceutical aisle has paid off as I now have broken my fever and I'm coughing up much less phlegm. But that which I do cough up is a lovely shade of orange yellow. Puts me in mind of Play-doh. Guess I know what the kids are getting for Christmas.

Welcome to the Den of Disease

October 22, 2008

Want a follow-up to the follow up? No? Fuck you, you get one anyway.

Last week, Cookie had the Strep. I went and got her antibiotics and she's been rocking those for a week. She feels much better. Sore throat is gone. Everyone is happy. Hooray.

Over the weekend, Tank got a cold. You might remember him from such descriptions as the "feverish four-year-old who ruined my anniversary plans". Apparently, he also likes to wake his parents up in the middle of the night and tell them not to go walking in the woods, or else you'll get lost. Dosed him with the Zicam Nasal Swabs and the Mucinex and the Ibuprofen. Still coughs, but fever is gone, mucus in chest is breaking up like an Imperial Fleet before making the jump to hyperspace. Sometimes, I have my moments. They're not many, but I have them.

Today, Cookie had a cough. We sent her to school anyway because she was out last week and got a ream of homework. Not wanting to go through that again, we shipped her off to ye olde schoolhouse. Got a call around 10:20 am that she had a 101 degree fever and a racking cough. Wife went to rescue her. Upon arrival, Wife reports that the Cookster looked "like death". They headed over to the doctor where Cookie actually fell asleep during the examination. Unsure of the diagnosis, she had a chest x-ray and was sent home to rest. Doctor called a little while later with the diagnosis: pneumonia. I'm headed out to get her prescription from the pharmacy on my way home.
What's that slight discomfort I'm feeling in my backside? Oh, why, it's the universe, sodomizing my household with disease.

The Follow Up

October 21, 2008

I know you were all wondering how the...ahem...celebration of our eighth anniversary went last night. However, a gentleman never tells.

I, fortunately for you, am not a gentleman. In fact, I'm all about the gory details, right down the bodily fluids. Strap yourselves in.

So, we planned for a romantic dinner last night. We were going to go get some steak or maybe go to Ted's Montana Grille, because goddammit, buffalo is good meat. However, I ended up swinging by a bar and picking up some pizza. I came home to find my daughter in full-on meltdown drama queen mode because she couldn't find her colored pencils. My son met me at the door, snot running down his face, his cheeks pinked with fever. My wife had the glazed-over look of someone who had just seen a particularly gruesome car wreck...or had just spent the last few hours fighting over the location of a bag of colored pencils, all the while wiping snot from a feverish four-year-old.

We exchanged gifts. This is where it shows that we know each other after eight years of marriage: I got her a gift certificate for coffee and for shoes; she got me a book, a coffee grinder and a gift certificate for video games. We dined upon our pizza...after another fifteen minutes of full-on drama queen meltdown over the now found bag of colored pencils. After dinner, we watched Jeopardy and then it was bath time. My son took his and got tucked into bed, my daughter took her shower, and got tucked into bed. My wife and I hung out in our room for a little bit, she working on a writing project of her own, me flipping back and forth between the Monday Night Football game and this extreme marksmen show on the History Channel.

Finally, at ten o'clock or shortly thereafter, we settled down into bed and, just as I was turning off the light, we heard a blood-curdling scream. Into the room staggered the four year old, delirious with fever, telling of how badly he wanted his medicine. I hauled him into bed, my wife dosed him the appropriate medications, I slathered him down with a little bit of Vick's vaporub, and we settled down once more, four year old firmly (and wiggly) between us. Turning out the light once more, we wished one another a happy anniversary and settled in to sleep. About thirty minutes after turning the light out, the boy decided he wanted to go back to his bed. After tucking him in and telling him it was okay that he dumped out part of his medicine all over my side of the bed (most of it was on his shirt and his bear), I slipped back under the covers in my bed, ready to get down to business.

And by business, I mean laying my head down on a pillow that smelled faintly of spilled grape-flavored ibuprofen solution and falling soundly asleep, which is where my wife already was.

Ah, Parenthood.

Ah, Hallowe'en

Yeah, this is pretty much how it's going to be. Except, substitute in "most feared and reviled bounty hunter in the entire galaxy" rather than all that clone trooper bullshit.

Octennially Speaking

October 20, 2008 seemed the room was always hot. In the winter, the boiler heating forced the windows open in order to try and monitor and adjust the temperature inside the apartment. In the summer, with no air conditioning, the ceiling fans ran 24/7, just to generate a little bit of a breeze.

Despite the heat and the constant whirring buzz of the ceiling fans spinning above them, two people lay beside one another in that small two-bedroom apartment. At night, the sounds of trains running on the track just behind the apartment complex were punctuated by the intermittent squeals and yelps of sirens as ambulances passed in and out of the medical plaza across the street. In the mornings, the church bells at St. Anthony's would ring out, welcoming the new day. The scene was less than idyllic, but it was soothing and comforting in its repetitiveness: the room would always be hot, the trains would always run, the bells would always ring.

In spite of these detractions, the couple still lay there, together. Since it was hot, the windows were open. Since the windows were open, the sound of the trains' wheels passing over the track--a rhythmic click and clack--was amplified. Behind it all, the sounds of the ceiling fan spinning in an eternally futile quest to move the air, to cool it, to bring some relief to the constant heat. It was a cacophony. It was a symphony.

It was a beginning.

Where the ending will be--how the ending will be--has yet to be determined, but the story has been eight years in the making. Later that same year, the couple lying in that bed married. Two children and a move across five states later, and the story is still being written. There have been fights, there have been threats to walk out, there have been goofs and mistakes and leaking toilets and a dozen mice--all slain with a mighty spear and magic helmet. There have been hospital stays and surgeries--both expected and emergency--and countless flus, colds and allergies. There have been stresses and strains and misinterpretations and gaffes. There have been good times and bad. And mothers. Through it all--sickness, health, richer and poorer, the highest of the highs, the lowest of the lows--they have loved each other, and they will continue to, till death do them part.

Just like they planned it.

Happy Anniversary, dear. I love you.

* the normal Monday frivolity has been pushed back a day so that I can butter up the Mrs. for a toss in the hay can shamelessly wish my wife a happy anniversary.

Packing it In

October 16, 2008

Well, I was all set to do a whole bunch of stuff on this here slice of the ebays, but it turns out, I'm unwanted. My once and future friend, the Good Doctor Zibbs, owner, operator, and CEO of That Blue Yak Enterprises, LLC, has told me that he doesn't like my type. I've been devastated ever since. Well, that is, until I read the comments on the post where he called me out. Since then, I've been balled up on the floor, wondering how I can go on.

Frankly, I've realized, I can't.

So, thus is born the final chapter of A Crown of Thistles. Oh sure, you're saying, like he's going to do it. He should be more resilient than that. He should be an adult, hold a stiff upper lip, and travel on. Fuck the rest of the commenters on his Internet Sensation. Fuck them all gently with a chainsaw.

However, I realized that with Dr. Zibbs looking at me with scorn and disdain and Rider no longer keeping the Block...well...this is not an internet I wish to download fringe celebrity upskirt photos cruise around on. The Crown, if you will, has been tarnished. the end of the month, I'll be locking the door and tossing away the key. Or perhaps I'll have Wizard Cat transmogrify it into jelly beans. Mmmmm...I like jelly beans.

I regret for the fact that I couldn't upload and install a copy of "The End" by the Doors for you all to enjoy as I sulk into the sunset. Or perhaps just stand there, naked, facing the setting sun, and singing Sinatra's "Summer Wind."

The War of the Seals

October 14, 2008

A long time ago, someone took the sap of a tree and let it polymerize, thus making latex. In time, people discovered there were lots of wonderful things you could do with this natural polymer: make it round, inflate it with air, and heat it in the presence of sulfur and you can get something for on your car; slip it over your John Thomas, and you can have yourself a guilt-free bout of naughty during shore leave; mix it with some cooking oil and you can correct your graphite-laden mistakes; cast it roughly in the shape of a woman, put a dark, curly wig on it, call it Dannah Dean, pump it full of air and--well, *nervous laughter* you get the idea. Rubber is pretty damned versatile stuff.

One other thing you can do with it is to shape it in the form or rings and saucers and it helps to create air- and water-tight seals on various implements you might find around the house or, let's say, lab. And that is where today's bugaboo leads us.

At first, there was the War of the Roses, then later came the War of the Worlds and then the War of the Ring and, somewhat recently, the War of the Flowers. The past two days, I have been fighting the War of the Seal.

No, no, not that seal. I leave that to the nefarious Canadians or Heidi Klum. No, the seals I have been fighting are the little rings that you deftly position in the proper places to create the aforementioned water- and air-tight connections.

It all started simply enough on Sunday, when my wife came home early from work. The toilet in the kids' bathroom had been making dripping, "snoring" noises for a couple of days, but I had not the time to fix it (there was a lot of couch-sleeping to do). After digging around in the tank for a while, I decided I needed a new rubber gasket for the connector between the tank and the bowl as well as a new flapper. Having successfully and (somewhat) dryly disassembled the toilet tank, I was off to Lowes were seven bucks later I was prepared to finish this task. I had even had the good foresight to buy new bolts for the reconnection of the tank to the bowl as the old ones were a bit corroded and Courtney Love nasty. Hooray for me, the Bob Vila of my age.

Having successfully returned home, it was a quick snap of the wrist and a bit of a turn in order to get the new gasket on as well as the new flapper. A couple of adjustments, and the flapper chain was adjusted to the right length. Then came the daunting task of reassembling the toilet, something which I have successfully done before.

As you might be able to guess, things did not progress quite as swimmingly as I had expected them to, else we wouldn't be here now, sharing this story.

I refastened everything back to where it needed to be, secured the bolts on the toilet, and had the rubber rings in their proper place. Things had been tightened just beyond finger tight, so as to avoid cracking the porcelain, and the water inlet flow was tightened so that things could now proceed. I turned on the water and was quickly inundated up to my ankles. While one side of the tank was sealed properly, the other was unleashing a cascade of water that put me in mind of the beautiful Angel Falls. This is approximately when I went on a 45-minute rant in which I taught my children several hundred creative new ways to swear. Finally, after being foiled at fixing the leak for about the fifth time, I stomped out of the bathroom and told my wife to take the children somewhere for dinner, because I wouldn't be able to cook after spending an hour + with my arms firmly ensconced inside the toilet tank.

Because my life is a sit-com, I completely took apart the whole set up and started at the beginning, tightening everything and setting the tank gingerly back on the bowl. I tightened the bottom of the bolts to secure the tank to the bowl, recited the Hail Mary and--just as my wife was walking out the front door--turned the water back on to discover that I had successfully stopped the leak. Dancing a joyous jig, I celebrated, and my wife asked if I wanted her to wait for me. I looked at the gallons of water on the floor and decided, "No, you go on ahead." I then cleaned up the bathroom floor, showered, and fell asleep watching football.

Fast forward to yesterday when I went to remove some solvent from one of my most recent reactions, only to find that the collection flask in the back of the hood was full. Dutifully, I emptied it, and then went about reassembling the apparatus. Much to my dismay, the seal for the collection flask--which should be circular--was rather ovoid. Needless to say, no seal was formed. I then spent the better part of ninety minutes tracking down a replacement seal, traveling from one person to the next asking if they knew if any spare seals had been shipped when the new parts had arrived here in the lab. Finally, and fortunately, I was able to find some, though I've been sworn to secrecy as to their location. A quick thirty seconds later, and I was in bidness once more and my vacuum was pulling top-notch.

What does the future hold in this war? Difficult to say. However, you can rest assured that I will no longer allow the little rubber disks to get the better of me. Long is the war, but my ability to out-think a lifeless polymeric disk will prove to be the factor that will tip the outcome in my favor.

Pop-Culturally Pathetic

October 13, 2008

I just skimmed through this link I found on CNN about the Top 20 Pop Culture Hits people couldn't pay you to watch. First of all, I'm not on this list because if you're paying me, I'll sit and watch any piece of shit you feel the need to offer up. It doesn't have to be the green, either. I'm good with services, as well. If you feel the need to offer up boob shots in order to watch your show, I'm the guy to call.

Top 20 List

There are some fabulous quotations in here, too. The funniest would be the guy who refuses to the Passion of the Christ. His line: "I went to Catholic school. I already know how it ends."

But, there were a lot of pathetic people commenting on various shows or movies they would "never watch". Such as the person who refuses to watch the Lord of the Rings because it would be cheating on their beloved Harry Potter. Don't get me started there. Or the person who is proud of the fact that they've never watched a second of the Simpsons, aside from the Butterfinger commercials from a few years ago? I'm going to guess they don't get laid a lot, either. Fortunately, Homer has a solution for them.

For Mature Audiences Only

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou

How'd I get to be so low? Apparently, the scanner found five instances of fucking, three shits, a pair of crappies (not the fish), and a single dead. Wait. Dead? Makes me NC-17? I guess my four-year-old is a sailor-mouth, then.

Before you turn away in anger/fear/disgust/rage, just remember that "Clerks", "Dogma" and "Zack and Miri" were all NC-17 originally, and look how funny they were. Yeah, I'm not buying it, either.

I shudder to think what some people's blogs would be rated. Even though they totally go and try to sweeten things up...and fail miserably...I'm guessing they'd be rated pretty high. But, forget the sweetening. I say, revel in what you are, and don't try to hide behind the ruse of fanciful unicorns and kittens licking dew drops.

I'm all out of inspirational messages, so here's a picture, instead:

Awards Time!

October 12, 2008

Everyone loves awards (moreso than Raymond), so I felt it my duty to hand a few out based on observations from my day yesterday. A little background: I got up, fed and bathed the kids and myself, dressed everyone, and off we went to the Natural Science Museum in Raleigh. It's a little bit of a hike, but not an altogether unpleasant one. Plus, it gets the kids to exercise as they run around from one exhibit to the other. Awesome, I know. Afterwards, we went to get some lunch, came home, cleaned the house some, and then watched those nefarious Tarheels upend my beloved Irish (and while the loss is suboptimal, it's one of those things that will help keep ND out of a BCS bowl that they don't belong in at the end of the year). After dinner and the game, I headed out to do a little writing and coffee enjoying, which is kind of becoming my Saturday evening plan-of-action. All caught up? Okay, good, let's proceed.

Fuckwit of the Day: The guy who came in with his family of six and a stroller to the sandwich shop yesterday at lunch time (12:30) and began to complain loudly that there wasn't anywhere for him and his brood to sit. He then proceeded to glower at anyone who had a vacant seat at their table, which would include me (the two kids and I sat at a four-seat table, rather than a two-seat table because, you know, there are three of us). Other four seat tables were taken up by a family of four, a family of five, two ladies with a young child and two more babies, a dad, his dad, and their 10-year-old boy who were probably heading to the ND/UNC game, and an older couple out with what appeared to be their son and daughter-in-law. And they were all eating and conversing as people will do over their lunch. Yet Fuckwit decides to storm around and stare at people, maliciously willing them to either shove sandwiches down their gullet whole like snake people, or shooting them the stinkeye in order to get them to pick up their lunches and simply leave. I mean, Christ, we were inconveniencing him, after all.
Douchebag Collective of the Day: I went to my usual haunt for coffe-swilling and writing--the Barnes & Noble cafe in Brier Creek, if you must know--and set up shop with the hopes of finishing the chapter I had been working on previously. Instead, these three...shitwads...came shuffling up to the table immediately beside mine (it was a touch busy and crowded) and proceeded to violate my space both physically and orally. Fem-shitwad was thrust up against my table while Shit-he-wad sat across from her and Master Shitwad sat at the apex of their unholy triangle of douchery. Fem-shitwad proceeded to tell everyone (in the entire store) how fast she likes to drive. "I made it from St. Petersburg to Tampa, which is supposed to be a six hour drive, in two and a half hours. I don't care if my spedometer touches 120. I just go." Shit-he-wad told the tale of how he must drive everywhere because he gets "carsick" and he's "terrified to fly". Shit-he-wad continued on, telling of how he wished he could remember every job he ever worked, but it was like, over thirty, so there's no way he could remember. The guy kind of reminded me of a very sad, very pathetic David Wooderson from Daze and Confused. He also has a best friend who is driving in from Utah because his best friend just got a new car, so they (the best friend and his apparent girlfriend, which very well could have been a Larsian type companion) decided a 2500-mile ride would break it in. Shit-he-wad then decided that he would read back a text conversation that "Lars" sent him, which was painfully predictable and ended with "I love that guy!"

This is the point where Master Shitwad took his chance to shine. At about this point, Master Shitwad started dropping every gay reference he could think of. Like, not trying to be insulting, but trying to be...funny?...I a really pathetic sort of way. Like, he referred to "Lars" as being Shit-he-wad's Brokeback Buddy, and then steered the conversation toward Clay Aiken and how he had come out but they should shove him back in, because we don't want him. I don't know if the guy was gay, or playfully gay, or just a retard. Or a little of all three. It was very...dare I say...queer.

After about forty-five minutes of this, I got up and walked around the store, looking for anything to distract me from this madness. After burning 10 minutes, I came back to find them still Douchebagging the place up. I sat down and tried to write some more, but Master Shitwad and Fem-shitwad were braying with laughter while shit-he-wad sniggered in a most servile fashion. Having enough, I gathered up my writing implements and headed toward the door. The sounds of their braying laughter faded--thankfully--as the door shut. For a few moments, I sat in my car, staring in at the blaze orange mountain that was Master Shitwad, relishing in the fact that I'm not a complete social retard.

Vas Deferens of the Day: Ever read a really good book and, as you're dashing toward the ending, you find that someone had razored out the last two chapters? Wow, that would totally suck, right? Well, I'm playing this game called Rogue Galaxy, and I've gotten everything taken care of right up to the final boss, so I'm geeked to finish this thing up. I load it up on Friday night and I get through the first two waves of the final boss and then, as the third one is supposed to come out, the game stalls. After fifteen minutes, I reset, go through it again, and the game stalls again. I do this four separate times, each time taking the disk out and cleaning it. I discover a tiny scratch/crack in the disk and, frustrated, I call it quits and decide to try and fix it on Saturday. So, I head out to the store where I bought the game (used, because I don't cry tears of gold), who told me that they would not replace the game as it was more than two weeks since I bought it and I didn't have a receipt. So, I tired to trade it in for credit, and they wouldn't give me any credit, since I told them the game was broken. Wonder-fucking-ful. Also, they didn't have a replacement in the store. I visited two other stores, and neither had a copy, either. Fucking Christ. So, now I have a game saved for whenever I can find a copy of the disk that will play. Lesson learned: always check the condition of the disks before you make that final purchase at a used games parlor. Fuckwads.

So, there you have it, some awards from my weekend. As the world is a big place and populated with several people, I'm sure that this could become a bit of a recurring theme, so I won't even try to keep this at an annual thing.

Happy Leif Erikson Day!

October 9, 2008

Hinga dinga dergon, everyone!

Just when I was about to go downtown and get some more giant paper, I realized that it was one of those special days that one has to celebrate. Or at least honor in one's blog.

Today is Leif Erikson Day. Who is Leif Erikson, you might ask? If you are one of those people, fuck off, I don't want to talk to you. I guess that makes telling you that Leif Erikson was one of the first Europeans to set foot in North America rather pointless now, but there you have it. That's right, today is the day that we celebrate the Norse in all of us. Or Swedes. Or Danes. Or Finns. Or Lapps. Or Icelandic. Christ, there's a lot of Scandinavian folk.

Anyway, this is a particularly popular holiday in the northern tier of states in the midwest, where lots of folks with Scandinavian ancestors live. People who live in places like Minnesota and Wisconsin are probably already drinking mead out of great pewter goblets and wearing hats with horns and molesting bar wenches at every other turn. Dandle a few on your legs for me, boys. Nothing says Happy Leif Erikson day like getting drunk and pillaging. Smashing things with a giant hammer and riding a horse with eight legs is optional (but still damned fun).

How does this pertain to me? It doesn't, much, except that my mother's side of the family takes their name (Ormsby) from a Viking named Orm(e) who set up shop in Scotland and called it home in one of the many Viking invasions of the British Isles. This particular Orm(e) was from around 930-940, as far as I can tell, from the genealogical work I did a few years ago. Also, my high school mascot was the Viking, and our bitter rival was the Northfield Norsemen. Way to be original, you Wabash-county sacks of shit. I hope you all contract syphilis while banging your sisters. More like the Northfield Douchebags. Heh...douchebags.

Anyway, feel free to wish anyone you see a Happy Leif Erikson, especially if they're tall, blond, bearded and caught up in the middle of a berserker rage. Also acceptable to wish someone a happy birthday if they are blonde, chesty and wearing a very small breastplate. Or if they're an opera singer. If you don't, they might strike you down with their speaw and magic hewmet. Spear and magic helmet? Magic hewmut! Magic helmet.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get more giant paper. Uhhhhhhhh...

Question for you All

October 8, 2008

Have you ever had that dream where you're cruising around in a Ford F-150 with Rick Majerus riding co-pilot, and you're driving down some back roads in the country on your way to Sonic with the coach and you're talking basketball strategy with him and trying real hard not to work the term "cockblock" into the conversation?
Uh, yeah, neither have I...

I Think I'm Done

October 7, 2008

Here's something that really bothers me, especially when I've invested a serious chunk of time getting into a story: when the story is suddenly changed wholesale. Some of you may know what I'm getting at, but for those of you who do something better with their Monday nights (like watch football or bare-knuckle fight hobos for nickels at the local bar or scratch your ass), I'll expound upon my vitriol.

This whole thing with Heroes is just...blegh. See, first off, they started out with the whole story of how people were changing over time and now they're getting these abilities. Sure, I think I've heard that plot somewhere before, but at least it was consistent. It wasn't just that one day someone woke up and suddenly could fly, or some such shit as that. Okay, I thought, perhaps this will turn out to be alright, so I watched and generally enjoyed the first season. The second season focused way too much on Hiro, who I find terribly annoying. I've met Japanese people, and they're not all mock-ups of anime characters. Now we've come to the third season and now suddenly, no one was born with these powers, but they were given these powers through genetic manipulation.

Sure, I can suspend my disbelief for so long to try and get by that. Genetic manipulation is a very common theme in science-fiction and, to an extent, we can insert genes into bacteria and we can knock genes out in almost anything, and we can synthesize DNA and proteins/enzymes. Hooray for science! I'm fine with all of that. The thing that irks me is that the whole premise for the show has changed radically in that now people aren't evolving these powers, they were given them by power-mad sociopaths at "The Company". No thanks. But wait, it's better. From the snippet of the "formula" we've seen from when Hiro (in eye-rolling, predictable fashion) looked at the piece of paper with half of the formula drawn on it, the magic bullet that gives these powers is a molecule featuring several fused cyclic ethers. Really? Brevetoxin, the culprit in red tide, is the thing that gives people powers? Huh. Funny, I thought it bound up your ion channels and killed you.
That's not even reflecting the plot holes in the story. Like, for instance, is one of Maya's powers, to go along with the black tears thing, the ability to suddenly go from being unable to speak any English at all to now being able to speak perfect, accent-free English? The baddest of the bad guys manage to escape from this mysterious "Level 5" and are on the prowl as a team of evil characters with incredibly strong powers, and they're captured by a guy with no powers at all after he gives up his gun? Weak. Also, what the hell happened to Kristen Bell? There was this whole "Oh, Elle, you're so powerful but you're untapped and untrained" and then her father (with one of the lamest powers of all) gets killed and now she's just disappeared? Nice. Jumping back and forth between the future and the past is also annoying me. The Petrelli Brothers are suddenly turning into the Summers brothers. Is their dad out running through space playing the part of a space pirate, too? Plus, we get it: Hayden Panetierre is hot, does that mean we have to shove the camera down her shirt at every turn of the plot? I'm not even that put off by her being evil in the future--though I do wonder at the whole dark hair and squinty eyes making someone evil bend. She's also a piss-poor shot.

Also, I think Peter Petrelli brings shame to the character of Synch from Generation-X. What the hell ever happened to Synch? Someone fill me in.

Anyway, the whole thing is a disaster of Cubs post-season proportions. There's not a compelling storyline that makes me want to watch. I might tune in next week, or I might not (depends on how many hobos I can bare knuckle box or if my left cheek has an itch). Overall, the whole story has become meh at best, and this time they don't have the writer's strike to blame for the coming apocalypse.

Actually, if they wrote Apocalypse into the story, things might get a lot better.


October 6, 2008

Future me has yet again sighed a huge sigh of relief. That's right. In case writing something bad about someone in my blog won't sate my desire for revenge, I can always fall back on Wikipedia and it's liberal editing and libel & slander rules.

In case you've never utilized this feature before, sometimes it's far more enjoyable to read the history and the edits on a particular Wikipedia page rather than just the main article. For instance, if it wasn't for the editing page, I'd never know that Pete Carroll, the coach of the University of Southern California Trojans football team, is a polesmoker. Also, poor Pete was apparently anally raped by his team mates on the sports teams in high school. I guess this affected him deeply and he therefore was caught up in a rape case. I guess this is what success breeds. The only reverts for Charlie Weis are that he is fat. Original, fellaz, real original.

I hereby vow, with that in mind, to be far more creative in any future wiki-vandalism that I may partake in. Nothing says maturity like smearing someone's character on a public encyclopedia database, and I'm just the kind of jerk to take advantage of such things. Because, really, if it's not written across the interwebs, then I'd have to take up graffiti. Hmmm...maybe that's not such a bad option...

Oh, I'm Safe

Remember a couple of hours ago when I was looking at the future me, with my works ripped off and shat upon a page for someone else's gain?

Thanks to the dudes at Penny Arcade, I now have a solution for the future conundrum when it hits:

Again, click on the image if you don't want to go blind. If you do want to go blind, might I suggest more methanol and masturbation.

A Look into the Future?

Sorry for going into a shell over the weekend and not posting. I was going to try and plop a new one out every day last week, but then I had an all-day meeting on Thursday which foiled my plans. Then, this weekend, I didn't even turn the computer on at home, except to check email Friday evening and play a few games of Spider Solitaire, the world' most perfect game. I recently decided that yet another online massive multiplayer strategy game that I was playing turned out to be fucking lame and filled with social retards and so I decided to quit last week. That pretty much means I waste a lot less time on the computer at home these days.

Anyway, I'm back and I thought I'd drop this nugget on everyone. When reading through Penny Arcarde's archives, I came across this comic. For a moment, I stared into the future and thought, "Ah, crap, this is how it's going to be, isn't it?" See, there's this thing called plagiarism that hits the publishing industry hard. It especially seems to affect the whole science fiction and fantasy genre hardest. You think I'm full of it? If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, try reading the Iron Tower trilogy by Dennis L. McKiernan. See if you haven't seen or read that story before somewhere else.

I mean, I understand it. There's only so many stories you can tell. I've been dabbling in other genres recently, writing out a few stories just to get a feel for how to flesh them out. It's not erotica or anything, but it's definitely outside of my "comfort zone", if you will. Still, when I pen one of these stories with characters that I've created, I can't help but think "Haven't we seen this crappy story before? And wasn't Sandra Bullock in the movie?"

I contend to this day that there's a difference between writing a story that is original but similar to something else (such as every crappy romance novel ever written) and going out and copying someone's ideas, story and characters and just plugging in new place and character names (Terry Brooks, I'm looking at you...). Still, I wouldn't be surprised if I had a similar experience to this one some day:

Click on the picture to enlarge it. Makes for easier reading and less squinting.


October 3, 2008

Sometimes...I hate being right.

No, I take that back. I love being right. It does depress me sometimes, though.

Mad Props to the Good Doctor Zibbs

October 1, 2008

The other day, Dr. Zibbs was over handing out nicknames on the Internet Sensation that is That Blue Yak. Not wanting to be uncool(er), I asked for one. This is what I got (to quote, verbatim):

The Indefatigable MJenk (A Crown of Thistles)
"Test-ees" or "Test-ees Tim" (because he claims to be in the field of chemistry)

Well, cool. I'm now nicknamed for a part of the male genitalia. Again. Oh well. In thanks for doing this for me, I thought I'd give a little something back to the good doctor. So, here's this t-shirt.

Batter Up!

So, today, baseball starts its "second season", or what I like to call, "the only part I really give a damn about and which will probably cause me to curse a lot...more". Everyone--and I mean, everyone--seems to think that the Scrubs can shuffle off 100 Years of Infortitude and bring the World Series trophy back to Macondo Wrigley. Despite the well-worn Die-Hard Cubs Fan card in my wallet, I ain't drinking the Blue Kool-Aid served up by Sweet Lou just yet.

That being said, let me offer up my prognostications--the way I'd like to see it happen, and the way I think it will happen. First, let's trip delightfully off to that fantasy world I like to visit every once in a while. We'll call it Matt Land.

In Matt Land, this is how I see things working out:

Cubs over Dodgers in four
Phillies sweep Brewers

Angels beat Red Sox in four
White Sox over Rays in five

Cubs beat Phillies in six

White Sox beat Angels in six

World Series:
Cubs sweep Sox, I dance naked somewhere

Now, I'm going to set the crack pipe down and tell you how it's really going to happen:

Phillies beat Brewers in four
Dodgers beat Cubs in four

Angels beat Red Sox in four
Rays beat White Sox in four

Dodgers over Phillies in six

Angels over Rays in five

World Series:
Angels over Dodgers in seven

I'm not one to believe in curses, but I know the Cubs' faithful do. It's not that I don't think the team is talented, it's just that I think the grind of the long season is beginning to wear on the Cubs, especially their starting pitchers. If the Cubs lose today, it's over. They'll start to panic because there's all this pressure put up on them, and then they'll pop under it. I hope I'm wrong; I'd love to be wrong. I just can't see it.

I think the Brewers expended too much energy to get to the playoffs and will be rolled under the Phillies. The Brew-crew has no pitching outside of some portly future Yankee named Sabathia as Sheets has been less than remarkable in the past couple of weeks of the season--an injured arm might have something to do with that.

The Dodgers, I think, are built for the post season, and Joe Torre has experience and a sort of post-season magic about him. The Dodgers are in the playoffs, and the Yankees aren't. Coincidence? Probably not. The late-season acquisition of Manny might have helped. The Phils, I think, are a bit underwhelming, as well--they finished just a couple of games ahead of the Brewers, and the Brewers are the Wild Card winner.

In the AL, sorry Sox fans, but the Red version has some issues with Beckett not being 100%. Yeah, you have some quality pitchers not named Beckett, but at the same time, those guys are well-worn. Also, you're missing a big bat in the middle of the line-up, which means Ortiz isn't going to see a decent pitch during a clutch situation. The White version has had to play three different teams in three different days in order to get into the playoffs. Fatigue will wear them down, and the Rays are still riding their feel-good high into the first round. Not to mention, Bud Selig and the World Wide Leader both hate Ozzie Guillen, so they're going to make sure that the Sox don't get far while he's still at the helm. I said I don't believe in curses; conspiracies involving Bud Selig and the World Wide Leader, I'm all aboard on those.

This will all be undone by the Angels, who are a quality team. Scioscia has the team playing like a team, and, sure, they didn't have much of a threat from the AL West--the ACC football conference of MLB--but they've been on cruise control for a long time. Oh, yeah, and they have a solid bullpen.

As for the Scrubs...yeah...everyone has a bad century every once in a while. Prepare to enter your second.