12.31.2009

Help! I've been trapped inside this laptop for 365 days!

I've been writing blog posts for a year now, Paul kidnapped me. I don't know how he did it, but somehow I was abducted and forced inside his computer. He's been forcing me to write for him all year, I can't take it anymore! He's not even that funny. I mean I like some of his stuff, but.. Oh shit. He's coming over. Pretend I wasn't just talking to you.

...So anyway that's what really bugs the shit out of me. And stuff... Ok he's gone.

You gotta help me. There has to be a way out of this thing. Here's the plan. Tonight he'll probably fall asleep before 1 am. That's when I need you, the reader, to come and steal his laptop. That way-
Hey, what's going on here?
Uh nothing?
No there's something going on.. Are you trying to escape?
...No, I- I was just kidding. Honest.
OK that's enough of that. You're getting turned off.
NooooOoooooooOooOooOOOO!
Sorry about that everyone. Pretend you didn't see that.

Well, it's been a good year; new friends met, a lot of the same places and some good times all around. Sure it was hard at times but everybody has problems. Thankfully I was lucky enough to have way more good than bad this year. It was fun sharing it with you all, and I look forward for more to come in the future.

I've been practicing making videos for the Seattle trip. It's kinda tough to be able to talk in front of a camera, especially unscripted. I'm working on it though, I want to be able to capture my trip for everyone back home to see. Who knows, I could be the next internet celebrity! ..yea i don't think so. Not my thing.

Anyway, it's been great and I'll see you all in 2010. Be safe and have fun.

12.30.2009

Candy Corn and Bar Nuts

I haven't talked about food in quite some time. So when I came across this redneck trail mix at a bar on Sunday, I thought it the perfect opportunity to share.

So there I was, minding my own business and watching the Redskins blow hard, when I see this dispenser in the corner. It was one of those dispensers that you'd normally see in a cafeteria that holds cereal. I was a few deep and hungry at this point, so I made my way over to the dispenser. What do I see? Candy corn and beer nuts. Straight up salted peanuts and candy corn that was probably purchased before Halloween of 2006.

Now I wondered, shall I go hungry or shall I destroy my taste buds with this surely disgusting treat in an untrustworthy bar? I voted the latter.

So as I'm reaching into the now full paper tray provided by the barkeep, I deeply inhale the putrid smoke filled air and hope that it's not the last thing I taste on this earth. I take a bite. The salty peanut hits me like any salty peanut would. Not in the way you fall asleep on the couch and your friends through peanuts at you from across the room to try and make it in your mouth. No, they hit me with the saltiness only a peanut could. Then, oh so subtly, the candy corn crept under my teeth and onto my tongue. The combination was magnificent.

As a moral to this taste explosion, I advise all to not judge one bar snack by it's eerie cover. Enjoy said bar snacks with an open mind, as I should have, and you will be rewarded.

Well, not every time. Sometimes you'll eat some shitty food.

12.29.2009

What to do while listening to a live band you're not familiar with and you don't really like:

1) Tap your feet to the music and applaud when others applaud. Just because you don't know the music doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. Try and nod you're head too, that really sells that you're not completely lost by the experience. You can always hope the next song is better.

2) Hit on the waiter/waitress. Ok I know you don't have a chance, I mean she's probably way out of your league or not worth it. Mine was out of my league, but what's the fun in not trying? What's the worst that can happen, you get rejected? Please. The people get hit on everyday. If it were me, I'd consider it a compliment.

3) Have a drink. What better way to calm the nerves? It could be the worst band ever and you can rock out if you're a few appletinis deep. Hell, the night might even be perfect if you forget what songs the bland played after a few rounds.

4) Find somewhere to go afterwards. For me, it's at home playing video games and wearing a snuggie (not really, at least the snuggie part anyway). Maybe you like to go out afterward! Text your buddies, get a party goin! This bad band could be a pregame for something great!

5) Mock the band. This one is easy AND fun! Who doesn't like to be critical of others. Does the opening act sound like a dying cat? Yell free bird! Have fun with it!

6) Write this blog post from your phone!

that last one actually happened.
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Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

12.28.2009

Post Holiday Boredom

Well it's that time of year again. The holiday season is over, the family has gone back to their respective homes, the christmas decorations are coming down and the torn wrapping paper has been disposed of and taken away by the mafia. It's the time of year that many of us become bored out of our skulls.

There are cures. Some make plans for new years, some read and some go shopping for "after christmas" sales. Me? I clean and reorganize my room while watching South Park or any new DVD's that made their way under our christmas tree a week ago. In cleaning, I discovered a box of school work from my freshman year of college (only two years worth of dust on this particular box). In it were quite a few writing samples and a bunch of class notes and quiz grades. Some not so great of course. I liked reading these assignments. They give me hope that I can always do some writing if it came to it.

What I really enjoyed doing during this process is taking a look at all the sports Jerseys I have. I'll have to make a photo slideshow out of all of them one day, but I know I'm at about 30 to 40 articles in the collection. If I were to include all of my Lacrosse pennies, It'd come to well over 50.

Hopefully you're post holiday boredom isn't as severe as mine (it isn't too bad). Good luck coping!

Headline: Mother Kills Children, Father Laughs

Here's a story my mom told my brother and I a few years back.

Growing up, JD and I shared a room in our four bedroom house. For some reason we had two guest bedrooms and no guests. So one night, while our parents were sleeping, we decided it was a great idea to empty out everything in our room and throw it over the staircase railing to the foyer below.

Everything.

At the time we had a lot of toys. We're talking toy trains on those little wooden tracks, Power Ranger action figures, Hotwheels, and when we ran out of toys, we started throwing furniture over. All of the bed sheets, the blankets and pillows, and bean bag chairs (little small ones because we were little) were thrown over.

Needless to say, we were making a bit of noise while doing this. Our parents came out to the hallway to see what was going on. My mom remembers seeing a headline flash across her eyes. And my dad remembers laughing his ass off.

JD and I will remember this story for the rest of our lives. And it'll always make us laugh.

12.27.2009

Camouflage

Now I know i'm not the only one who hates it when people wear camouflage.

First, I'd like to say that my cousin Kenny Holliday is currently stationed in the Middle East (Iraq) and is the baddest ass I know. That being said, I wholeheartedly agree with his camo-wearing. He's living in a god damned sandbox.

Also, I've hunted before (once, when I was a wee lad) and it's crucial to wear fatigues to hide from unsuspecting prey. A man's got to eat venison once in his life don't you know.

And finally, I grew up in a family that consisted of a grandfather who preferred teaching his grandsons (my cousins Derek, Travis, my brother JD, and myself) how to dress and act like a marine before we even reached the 3rd grade. I knew how to sing the Marine Corps Hymn and how to properly stand at attention before I could do simple math.

Taking all of this into consideration, I think it's safe to say that there is a time and a place for everything. In this case, there is a time to wear camouflage, and there are MANY times in which it is stupid looking. Take last night for instance.

My Father, his wife Jess, my brother, and myself were all sitting at the Steakhouse in Woodbridge putting a few away and talking and laughing. In walks some white dude that mixed the "wigger" look with the "camo-douche" look for a grand combination that I like to call Camo-Fage. It's just not the right venue. Now, If we had been hiking? Fine. If we were all running out to shoot a buck? Ok. But we're in a good damn bar on a Saturday Night!

Retard.

12.26.2009

Feety Pajamas

Here's a quick recap of what everyone got at the Barrett Household.

DVDs
Video Games
A digital Camera and Camcorder
New TV for the Family Room
Awesome clothes
and exclusively for me, a set of Feety Pajamas.

That's right. Feety Pajamas.

I don't know who's idea it was, although I suspect my brother, but it is probably the funniest thing I've gotten in a few years. Now I have an excuse to stay in pajamas all day!

That being said, my dad knows how much I hate snuggies. He got me a Redskins patterned snuggie. And he laughed at me when I opened it. What a prick! I'll only wear it during Redskins games, that's for sure.

In which the masses continually misuse the phrase "i'm a fan of..."

I can't go a day with out hearing one of my friends claim, "yea I'm not a huge fan of How I Met your Mother" or "you know, I've really become a big fan of waxing my chest" which is fine, I mean I dont judge. But why on earth would someone claim to be a fan of stupid ass shit on facebook.

Here's a little collage I put together.

Why Facebook? Why did you start this?


I generally complain about a lot of things on this blog. I won't deny it. But really? Ok first, in real life, claiming to be a fan of something has spread beyond sports teams and entertainers. People started to include foods and unimportant daily routines like waxing their chest or driving somewhere. Already, the "fan" line had been crossed, but then the ongoing death of personal communication (facebook) decided to add this fan tool.

At first, the facebook fan tool wasn't too bad. Simple things like a band or a sports team here and there. Then naps. Then driving on the right side of the road. Then flipping over the pillow. The list goes on. Just look at the picture above; A spider? An extremely time sensitive fan page? A quote from a television show from about three years ago? The word Wednesday? How many people can sell their soul for a fan page? A fan page for FAN PAGES??!!

This is enough. My plea is for all of you to consider the options when seeing a fan page.
A) Join the page, and further fall into the obsession of Facebook by spelling out every single detail of your life that 99.9% of the people in your life don't care about.
B) Laugh at the title of the page and maybe add that activity to your "info" section or make it your status, and continue to add every single detail of your life...
C) Think the page is funny, then get on with your life.

I implore you to go with option C on this one people. But, don't do what I say because you think I'm right or you agree with me, do whatever the hell you want because YOU think it's right.

...

This one showed up SECONDS after I posted this on my blog. God Damnit.

What the hell!

12.23.2009

The lost glasses

I wear glasses. Not many of you know that because I also wear contact lenses. I only have the glasses as a back up to when I don't have contacts or if it's been a while and I'm just in the mood to wear them.

But then I lost my glasses.

I have two pairs. One is a wire frame, nothing fancy. The other are these black ones that are a little thicker and more noticeable. The black pair broke about 16 months ago and I neglected to fix them, so I just had the one pair. Then they disappeared and I was without vision.

I wondered for months where they had gone. Did somebody find them and adopt them as their own? I'm sure they named them. If I found something and kept it on my own I would name it. The weird thing about naming it is that you know it's not the same name that it already has. I mean when we got our dog Duke, we found out his name was Pal. That sucks. So if someone found my glasses and then went ahead and named them Bartholomew when everyone knows his name is Patrick... would anyone know the difference?

Ok but really the glasses probably just fell into an alternate dimension. Kind of like the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but more like Lost in Space with a Looney Tunes twist. Some dude (or alien cartoon creature) found Patrick and renamed him and then showed his friends. Quickly thereafter a friend kidnapped Patrick and ran off to Vegas. So it would seem, but they were in love and wanted to elope.
Later, after 8 months (our time), 12 years (alternate universe time) the glasses and the friend of the alien cartoon creature dude have a falling out. It was over some argument over chili and whether or not it has one or two "L"s in it. Patrick was right, but we won't get into that here. Through the space time dimension travel device, Patrick managed to find himself in the glove box of my mom's Mustang. He was found this December as I was looking for a spare key.

The outcome of the story: I haven't worn contacts in two days because it's so nice to be able to wear glasses again.

The moral of the story: When faced with the decision to rename something from a different dimension than your own, consider the mental distress you are placing on said inanimate object from a different dimension. How would you liked to be named Bartholomew?

12.22.2009

A Bigtinypig Blog Post: Part III

In case you missed it, here's Part I and Part II of this series.

So after the post, what can there possibly be? Well, to be honest. There's nothing left. I publish the post and the next day I start it all over again. Of course I think about how the post came out and whether or not it could have been better. I do like getting the comments here and there.

Mainly the next thing to think about is what am I going to write the next morning?

I'd like to say thanks again to everyone who checks out this blog on a semi regular basis. I really enjoy writing my weird and not so weird thoughts here and I plan on keeping it going into the new year. To be honest with you, my original plan was to stop at 2010. But with the trip coming up and the potential for video posts in the (very near) future, I have no choice but to keep the ball rolling.

Thanks again guys, and I'll see you tomorrow.

A Bigtinypig Blog Post: Part II SLASH How to feel up a Christmas Present

Last we spoke...

or rather; if you haven't read it yet, I wrote a post before this and you either A) read it and are continuing here. good for you, skip down to the bold and underlined portion below. or B) you haven't read it and you've missed out. You can find part I here and the next part (part III) here.

...we were talking about how I write a blog post.

How I Write a Blog Post
What I do for this stage is just write about the topic. I already know the subject, I just need to go to town and write it down. As I said, there isn't a whole lot of planning. There will be more planning for the videos I plan on putting up, but until then it's all freestyle just writing what I think.

Here's today's post:
How to feel up a Christmas Present

Ok it's that time of year. There are presents under the tree and I'm tempted to walk in there and feel up the presents to see what we're looking at.

Now, everyone has seen the tv shows and movies where somebody shakes the box. What's that about? I never learn anything from a shake. It's all about the texture for me. Feel the package and analyze what you feel. For example: A dvd shaped box. Ok is it a video game or a dvd? You can eliminate video game here if there if you don't feel the indentation to open the box. If that's missing, or the gap is too wide, it's a dvd. Then, flip it over to either side. Feel the front and back. Do you feel grooves? Is there writing? It's probably a DVD with extra packaging, that means it's probably new and definitely some kind of "special edition" box.

::Related post from a trusted filmmaker James Rolfe (of AVGN fame) here regarding extra packaging on DVD's. I agree with him 100%::

Another example would be an average rectangular box. Not a clothes box, that one's easy. It's clothes. If it's a rectangular box there are a few things you want to look for. Check for a side that's "different" from all the other sides. Is there one? If can be different things but it it's an X pattern, we're looking at electronics. Especially if the box is heavy. If you can feel that it is a lighter box and all sides are flat, you have a different situation. Could be shoes. Check the top to see if there is a lip around the entire edge of the box, that's the lid.

You can get alot from sound too. I'm serious, flick the package. What do you hear? A rattle, a thud, a plastic sound? This can really help you figure out what's going on in the box.

So go to your tree. Pick up that box that has your name on it. Feel it up, what do you find? And remember, it's fun to snoop but you never want to guess. Because if you're right, the giver gets upset and you don't get a surprise come Friday morning.

With this post, I just wrote. I paused a few times to watch TV and I enjoyed a Pepsi while I wrote. Then, I scroll down to "Post Options" and edit. I change the post time to the next day up in my posting schedule. For example if I'm writing three or four posts because I'll be out of town, I change the date to say the next coming Saturday and the time to that morning. Usually sometime around 9:00 am. From there, I hit "publish post" and the deed is done.

Now, on to our final chapter A Bigtinypig Blog Post: Part III and if you missed it, here's the first part to the story.

A Bigtinypig Blog Post: Part I

Today, I'll be narrating what I go through when I write a post everyday. It's always a process, and it's never the same way twice. Yes, I know I'm behind by three days in my posting and yes I know this post is 'conveniently' a three parter, but hey, it's my damn blog, I make the rules!

So for today; let me tell you how the thinking process works.

How the Thinking Process Works
The day starts with whatever I happen to be doing that day. This could be anything. I could be out of town, at school, starting off at work, waking up at home, or even not waking up until after sunset. Normally, I don't think about the post at all until that evening. If this is the case, I consult my phone for any previous ideas I've come up with. I keep a list in my phone for ideas, generally this list is empty. It has been useful though as this post, this post, and this post were all "ideas" I sat on for a while before writing them out.

Sometimes I get lucky and have something to write about, like a trip. But other days I sit and think about it for quite a while. To get over this bump, I'll do something like read or socialize. Generally, socializing helps me out with posts. I take the weird shit we talk about, like "Why is there rice in the salt shaker?" and make it into a longer post. A lot of times, this is how I come up with my "Bug's the Shit our of Me" posts.

For today's post (or part two of this entry) I came up with the idea about an hour and a half ago. I was in the living room with my brother and we were admiring christmas presents under the tree. That is also the moment that I came up with the idea for the three parter.

That's about it.

I don't do any drafting or anything like that. Sometimes I take the post a little more seriously and actually think about the formatting, but I think that's been maybe 6 times out of the 340 or so we've had this year.

Next up is the writing process, or A Bigtinypig Blog Post: Part II. Then, the 'grand finale', A Bigtinypig Blog Post: Part III

12.19.2009

Freaking the eff out over snow.

Overnight, the east coast was blanketed in about 8 inches of snow, with as many as 10 more to come. The funny thing about northern virginia is that people go bat shit crazy anytime the weather man calls for a dusting of snow or more. Now that they're saying this will be one of the biggest DC storms in history, the people in this area went nuts. Grocery stores and gas stations had lines that I haven't seen in years.

This is fine, but for non panicking people like me who need to get gas because i'm running on E, not because the apocalypse is coming. Idiots.

So, grab some home made popcorn, a book or a movie, a warm blanket, and a tall beverage and enjoy the snow like you're 8 years old. I'll be putting on my slicks and running face first down the hill in my back yard. And I now have the resources to make a snowmen like these.

-It's not art unless someone is brutally killed right?-

Keep warm people, and have fun.

12.17.2009

Sleep All Day and the Redskins

So I fell asleep sometime around sunrise, and I woke up sometime around sunset. I would say that my sleep pattern has officially been completely messed up due to finals.

Luckily, I don't have another test until Saturday, and if the impending blizzard comes, that test will be moved to Monday.

The song linked in this title is called "Sleep All Day" and, funnily enough, I heard it on shuffle yesterday for the first time in roughly two years. It's kind of weird to be able to say that I literally slept all day. There was not but a few moments of sun while I was awake today.

---

Unrelated news item for today:

The Redskins Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato resigned this morning after working with the organization and owner Daniel Snyder for approximately 10 years (there was a quick stretch in which he was fired by Schottenheimer). The job was quickly turned over to Bruce Allen, son of long time admired George Allen, coach of the 'Skins in the 70's and former VA governor.

Vinny was one of the main thorns in the fans and local media's side throughout his tenure with more "fails" then "wins" in draft and free agency picks. Need I mention Adam Archuleta, Jason Taylor, Brandon Lloyd, Deion Sanders, Jeff George and draft busts like Durant Brooks, Rod Gardner, and Taylor Jacobs?

This news is a bright spot for the organization and I'll tell you why: In the past, I have said the problem with the team stems from two main areas, the Management of the organization, and the Leadership on the field.

First, the organization of team was Owner -> Vinny -> Coach. Now, Vinny was too much of a front man to Snyder to actually make decisions. He was never really a Management kind of guy and, consequently, the decisions made by him were more about the money to be gained (i don't know how, considering we spent it all on players) in publicity rather than the product on the field.

Second, the players on the field knows the coach has no power, but it's Dan's team. So why do what the coach says? There's no incentive. It's a Principal Agent problem. They can slack off because they know that it's possible. Clinton Portis started training in February in '08 and practiced everyday. Result: Pro bowl. In '09, he started training in April, and hasn't practiced at all. Result: IR list in November and worst, and possibly the last, season of his career.

Now that Bruce Allen (Did I mention George was his dad?) is BACK in town, this team has made a step towards success. I'm not saying we're going to start performing better on the field, but I'm certainly glad that it will eventually. A note to mention here is that Mike Shanahan was GM in Denver, he likes to manage his own team. I think, by getting rid of the puppet (Cerrato) and eventually getting rid of Zorn (not his fault) and cleaning house with dead weight player contracts (Samuels, R. Thomas, Randel El, and Portis), Shanahan and Allen will be able to build a team worth being proud of.

I'll say it here; I'm always going to be a Redskins fan, and seeing someone from our historic legacy come back to town really makes me HAPPY to be a skins fan. First time i've been happy about it this year in fact.

Assassins Creed II and why I haven't plugged in my xbox in three weeks.

Ok so you know it's finals week for me, I've told you; but because of this dastardly week, I can't play video games. I haven't plugged in my xbox 360 since Thanksgiving weekend, and It must stay that way if I plan on passing Managerial Accounting. To make matters worse, my roommate Rob doesn't have to study for his finals. He just bought Assassins Creed II. It's an awesome game. I have to bar myself from the living room to not play it because I'm extremely jealous.

So I've made a rule; I will NOT play video games until Saturday. On Saturday, I have my Accounting final at 1030 am. When I finish, I'm driving to the store and buying a copy of this game.

God damnit.

I need to distract myself.

Jazzman's has frequented my blog recently so I'll talk about that place. I was there for about 4 hours today studying marketing. It was pretty cool. Ana, one of the coffee wenches, advised me on which muffins were good, so I got a blueberry. Washed it down with a Large White Mocha (because Grande sounds gay, and Vente is worse. If I wanted to say "Big as fuck" in Italian, I'd say "Super-size it") with no whipped cream. Since I stayed for so long, and because they love me, I got a free coffee again before I left. Decaf, I need to cut back on my Caffeine intake.

While getting the decaf I was hit on by a few llllllladies getting cherry turnovers. Felt pretty awesome. Kinda like when I got this note here. Remember that? yea I know how weird was that shit.



...And yes I know vente is "20" and yes I know that's 20 oz. in that cup. Imagine that.

12.16.2009

Christmas Tree for the Toilet

Ok, this needs explaining.

Monday night, August and I decided that it was the perfect night to go buy a full sized christmas tree for our apartment. I say this hoping the reading audience understands that it is HIGHLY against the apartment rules to have a christmas tree, real or fake.

After our exams for the day, the two of us hop in my tiny ass VW golf and drive to my Mom's house. There, we clean out my car and grab a tree stand and some lights. We high tail it to Home Depot (realizing halfway that we forgot gloves, sappy fingers ensued) to buy our $31.46 tree. We get back to our complex at around 8. It's still a little too early to bring it to our place because we know if we're seen, we'll be reported.

1:30 am rolls around, and we know that the time is now. Grabbing my comforter from the bed on the way, we head down to my car in the parking lot. The car interior is COVERED in needles, and it smells fantastic. I'll take that sacrifice any day. Throwing the blanket on to the tree, we carry this thing like secret agents to the edge of the lot using the cover of an SUV from oncoming traffic. And, as there appears to be no one in sight, we book it.

"Go, go go go!!"
The sight of the two of us running across a street with (what looks like) a giant red body bag to our apartment, then getting stuck between the 2nd and 3rd floors (both of us out of breath from running) was something we won't soon forget.

-I think the lights make it work-


So you may ask, where does the "Toilet" come into the story, as I so referenced in the title of today's post.

Today, our RA came to do a surprise inspection. Damnit. Due to some silly rule about "fire hazards" (whatever that is), we now have to get rid of the tree. August and I took a vote, and we decided the best course of action is to sneak the tree into the neighboring academic building, and put in the women's room stall.


-Vandals unite!-


Unfortunately, this didn't happen. It was a plan, and I wrote this post in the morning when we formulated the plan, but after taking two exams and playing video games, we didn't much feel like doing anything. So, our grand solution, was to throw the tree off of our third story balcony and affix a polite reminder of the christmas tree policy for all to see.

-...and that's how the RA ruined Christmas boys and girls-


I know it's her job but if were an RA, I would take a bribe. Maybe that's why I'm not an RA.

12.15.2009

Things you can say about an exam:

After taking my Econ Final today, I started coming up with things you can say about an exam. These things are all personifications, which makes it fun in my opinion. The great thing is that you can apply these to any inanimate object.

I crushed that exam.

I destroyed that exam.

I punished that exam.

I made that exam my bitch.

I got away with abuse on that exam.

I made that exam wish it had never met me.

I bullied that exam throughout middle school, then stole it's lunch money.

I embarrassed that exam and made it cry in front of it's exam friends.

I called that exam's mother a fat whore, and made it cry. Like a bitch.

I kidnapped the exam, took it to Russia, and whored it out for $15 a night.

I was friends with that exam, but then it was a douche, so I took it's sister to dinner and never called her again.



What, too far? Obviously I feel I did well on the exam.

12.14.2009

Receipts

At School, when you buy food at the diner on campus, they give you a receipt of your transaction. Ok, fine. That's normal. But what's unique about this situation is that you can't pick up your food from the other side of the counter without your receipt. Just like getting a dessert at Fudruckers or something.

So I wondered, as I often do, what would it be like if receipts were used as currency elsewhere? In situations for services as well?

Your divorce attorney calls and reminds you that there is a meeting with your wife and her lawyer this Wednesday. The only problem is he hasn't received his receipt yet and if it doesn't arrive in his office by Tuesday afternoon, his services will not be present at the hearing.

You go to the grocery store and pay for items at the counter, then with the receipt you can go pick them up in the aisles.

How bout when you drive through a toll, at the entrance of the highway you pay $5 and they give you a receipt. You now CANNOT leave the highway unless you present the exit booth with your receipt.

These are the things I think about while eating above par (crappy, I'm trying to change the phrase) cheese fries in the campus diner at 1 in the morning.

12.13.2009

The Santa ClausE

This film, for me, has a special place. Just like the last three reviews (Wonderful Life, Jingle all the Way, and Christmas Vacation), I hold this one pretty close to my heart this time of year.

Growing up, my parents didn't always get along. It never got to a point where I actually remember them fighting, and it wasn't anything at all "bad", they just didn't get along. So when I watched The Santa ClausE, I saw Tim Allen as my dad. Weird I know, but it's just one of things you don't really talk about.

Getting to the actual movie, has there ever been a more twisted move premise than this? I mean to get the job as Santa Claus, you have to MURDER the current Santa Claus. I mean what the hell is that?!? And the line where Charlie (Tim Allen's son) says he "will be going in to the family business" one day, did he just plot to murder his own father? What the f**k is that supposed to mean?

But, the most bizarre scene is right here.

Is that f**kin John Candy?? I looked it up online, there is NO reference for him ever being in this film, but he was alive during production (Candy died March 1994 while the film was released in theaters November of the same year). So what's the story? Does Tim Allen wearing fat make up really look that much like John Candy? I don't think so. There's some sort of conspiracy going on here.

Well whatever the reasons.. I love this movie. I watch it every year. I've already watched it twice this year, and who knows, that may lead to a third.

I give it 4 Oscar Meyer Weenie whistles out of 5.

12.12.2009

So you can trust crazy people on ebay...

I've had an ebay account for about 5 years now, and I've always been wary of purchasing anything from overseas. You hear horror stories from people that they don't send anything to you and it's just a scam to get your money. Well today I learned that it's all a load.

I recently bid on this item for my dad, as a christmas present. The first thing I notice (apart from the notable accuracy errors on the jersey) is that it only costs around $32 after shipping. This can't be real.. A homemade jersey with stitching and everything roughly $200 under what it costs through legitimate channels? It's being sold out of South Korea... It has to be a scam.

Turns out the sellers rating was pretty high and the transaction went smoothly. So if you, like I, were worried about the legitimacy of these "fake" jerseys, don't be. They will come in the mail (took mine about two weeks to get here) and it won't cost you a whole lot.

12.11.2009

Can you keep it down?

Scene: August and Paul at their respective desks in the apartment bedroom, mid afternoon.

August is watching the Office while studying for a final. Paul is on his laptop typing.

August: Hey can you keep it down?

Paul: Oh uh.. yea sorry. [Paul continues to type, only slower and quieter]

August: Thank you.

15 seconds later

August: Hey seriously I'm trying to study and I would appreciate it if you were just a little quieter.

Paul: There's really nothing I can do to be quieter. I'm just typ-

August: I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU'RE DOING, JUST KEEP IT THE FUCK DOWN.

Paul: wow. That was inappropr-

August: SHUT UP

Paul: I'm not doing anything wr-

August: SHUT U-

Paul: NO, I'M TIRED OF YOUR BULLSHIT. YOU STEAL MY QTIPS AND NOW YOU ACCUSE ME OF YELLING

August: YOU FUCKING LIAR! YOU STOLE MY QTIPS AND YOU TYPE ALL THE TIME! GET A FUCKIN MUTED KEYBOARD OR SOM-

Paul: YOU'RE A DICK YOU KNOW THAT! THEY WERE MY GOD DAMN QTIPS AND THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A MUTED KEYBOARD. SO SHUT THE FUCK UP.

another 15 seconds pass

August: I'm sorry.

Paul: Me too.

August: I love you.

Paul: I love you too.

August: I love you so much, that I have no problem asking you to please keep it down over there.

Paul: you SON OF A BITCH

End Scene

12.10.2009

random list of places I've slept

you ever finished laundry and not feel like folding and putting it away? yea i've slept on it.

i've woken up on a strange apartment floor wrapped in a slip cover of a futon.

my current mattress set up: mattress under a mattress pad (really not padding at all, just a cover) under a fitted shit sheet, under a thin blanket, under a flat sheet that's tucked under the mattress like a fitted sheet, under a big blanket that I normally sleep under.

my office floor at the stadium, done that.

a crib sized mattress in somebody else's basement

too many couches to count

a hallway floor, and this wasn't out of necessity, it was for fun.

three desk chairs lined up in a row

behind the desk in the team store

a dog bed

somebody else's desk

probably four futons at the max. three for sure, but i'm sure there's a fourth in there somewhere.

under a christmas tree

under a normal tree (outside)

in a bath tub

tents, of course

a weird hammock/bed thing

a locker room bench

plane

train

my car. numerous times. (the explorer, the jetta, and the golf)

and of course, plenty of different beds over the years.

12.08.2009

Baller Status... ..er I mean, we performed really well.

Two group presentations today, within three hours. We kicked ass.

First, the SOM presentation. Our group assignment was to invent a product or service and present the business plan (accounting, management, marketing, financing and technology) to potential investors. In this presentation, I had a small role within the body of the project but I was also responsible for the conclusion. It's a little difficult to speak in front of a large group, but when you know the material, it's not too difficult.

About two hours later, I gave my second presentation. Same thing here, a little larger role in the body (this time there was only six members vs ten in the earlier presentation), as well as the conclusion.

We knocked both presentations out of the park. And both presentations allowed me to dress like well for once.
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Be nice to those who prepare your food

Interesting contrast this morning while in Jazzman's Cafe (referenced in previous posts). The guy in front of me was kind of rude to the cashier, an older spanish woman, and consequently they fucked up his order. I suspect this was on purpose. For me, I do what I always do and attempt to start up a conversation with them. They gave me three punches in my rewards card instead of one, and gave me a bigger size than what I ordered.

That other guy should've been cooler. All I did was mention the weather and smile.

--

Unrelated; Finals week begins on Monday; so if the quality or length of posts deteriorates between the 13th and the 19th, I apologize, but frankly I have more important things to worry about. Like playing video games.

12.07.2009

Paddy's Pub

After several nudges from several different directions over approximately two years, I finally caved and checked out "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

I gotta say, it's hilarious.

Another nod of appreciation to all involved, namely Bill, Doug, Andrew, and JD, as well as several people who (most likely) don't even remember suggesting the show to me.

What I like about the show is the writing. Apart from the hilarious situations these people find themselves in, the conversation tone and phrasing are hilariously appropriate to each scene. The actors do it well, and it shows they had input on the lines (I believe the men who play Dennis and Mac are creators, and Charlie is somehow involved). Also, is it just me or does Dee remind you of Sarah Chalke from Scrubs? Not just appearance wise, but also the sound of her voice and delivery is similar.

One thing that kinda bugged me is the addition of Danny Devito. I've only watched three episodes from season two, but it feels like his addition to the show was forced. The character even forces himself onto "the gang" in the dialogue, as well as purchasing half the bar and moving in with Charlie against his will. What's also weird about my feelings towards Devito is that a few people have actually mentioned that he is their favorite character. But the first season was so good, how can he be such a positive impact on the show? What was the motivation to adding Devito so abruptly? and is it necessary in subsequent seasons? I'm assuming my final question will be answered while watching the rest of the series.

So, all in all, great show. I look forward to checking out the bulk of it. It is finals week next week, so what else would i do? study? ha!

12.06.2009

Seattle, here I come.

Today is monumental for me, it's the day I booked my flight and hotel for a 5 day stay in Seattle, Washington.

With full support from family, I began the booking stages of what I've been thinking about (with a plan in mind) for months. How long have I been wanting to do it? I'd say about 6 years. it's a combination of being able to travel on my own, and see the Pacific, as well as accomplish many firsts. I look forward to renting my first car, flying alone for the first time, staying in a hotel on my own, and given the date on the reservation, I will be making approximately my 5th purchase of an alcoholic beverage. Who knows, it may be my first alcohol on a plane as well. It'll also be my first time in Chicago, as I have a 40 minute layover (yes I know I wouldn't be leaving the airport, but it still counts) before I connect to Seattle.

Another great thing about this trip is that I plan on documenting it all on film. From packing the essentials to picking up my baggage when I return nearly a week later in Baltimore. A little birdy has informed me that a video camera should be under the christmas tree; and by little birdy, I mean I picked it out. You can never be sure with electronics until you try them out, can you? So what does this mean? Well, it means that I will be posting a series of videos, hopefully with some entertaining moments, to the blog following (or, dare I say, during) the trip to the west coast. Who knows, maybe this blog will become a weekly vlog along with the daily posts. I certainly have some material in mind, with thanks to hilarious roommates.

I'd like to point out that many people have asked me, "Why Seattle?" The answer is simple. At a young age, my brother, cousins, and myself were very close to our grandfather and grandmother (pop-pop and mamoo respectively) on my mothers side. I suppose I was 7 or 8, when I first watched the film Sleepless in Seattle, and it was with my grandparents. Now, I have no idea why that movie had such a profound impact on me, but it did. Since watching it at a young age, I have found it to be my favorite film for purely sentimental reasons. It even led to my appreciation for Tom Hanks as my favorite actor. All this, plus the above "firsts" made Seattle a perfect candidate for a cross country vacation.

So as I write this, I notice my calendar tells me it's exactly one month until I get on a plane and take a trip. That thought simply makes me smile.

---

As a side note, Bill; you'd be happy to know that I will be taking tours of both Safeco Field and Qwest Field on January 8th, I will personally pick up something for you if interested. Same goes for you Douglas. I'm almost positive there will be no Ice Cream helmets (what a shame) but I'd be happy to pick up something for you.

---

And regarding the Redskins game; Redskins played their best game of the year but it came short to the best team in the league. Unfortunately the game had two VERY questionable turn over calls, the Sellers elbow during OT and the Kareem Moore interception and subsequent strip and return for TD at the end of the first half. In regards to the Moore play, replays showed he was down by contact at the initial catch, if he even caught it (the ball looked unsecured to me). Regardless, I know that both teams played their hearts out for 60 minutes, it's just a shame that two (very similar) booth reviews went the other way.

It also upsets me that NFC East blogger (ESPN.com) Matt Mosley so quickly blames Zorn constantly for the teams shortcomings. This week, it's the decision to kick the field goal with under 2:00 to play in regulation. Obviously, if Suisham had made the EASIEST kick of his career, the skins would be up by 10 and New Orleans had not timeouts remaining. That being said, who's to say the skins even get in the endzone at that point in the game? And if they had gone for 6, and not made it? Yea, an easy FG was the wrong choice there. Nice reporting (as always) Mosley.

12.05.2009

Snow

First snow of the year, spent the day slushin around town and ended up with two very wet socks.



The (real) christmas tree at the house is being decorated right now, and there's a fire in the fireplace. Florida is losing on tv (great news) and I have pizza in my belly. All is right in the world.

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12.04.2009

Xmas tree

Got the christmas tree today. Our family always waits until after JD's birthday and we take everything down before my birthday.

But here's the christmas tree in our apartment:

suck on that fire marshal.
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12.03.2009

New Layout (again)

This one i like. I liked the old one though, and the one before that, but this one i like.

If you can't tell what's going on in the picture, I can't blame you. I'm without scanner so I can't really get it on my computer with decent quality. maybe I will down the road but for now, this will do. I'm also STRONGLY considering moving over to tumblr to see what they got going on over there. Some of you may have visited my tumblr site in the past, and I would be taking over that URL for this blog if I were to make the change. The look over there would drastically be altered to mimic this site, but really the main change would be the content.

Essentially, it comes down to ease of publishing. I've been having issues with blogger as far as editing Html, but everything else has been REALLY smooth. Plus, most of the blogs I read are on blogger, not tumblr, so why switch?

For the time being (and possibly for the rest of my blogging "career") I will stay with blogger. If anything were to change, fair warning will be given and the blogger page will stay open as another addition to the dead internet graveyard.

Comment about the layout, let me know what you think. Can you read it still? colors bad? remember, you don't have to be a blogger member to comment. Anonymous comments do work.

Oh and more nonsensical ramblings to come tomorrow night.

12.02.2009

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

I want to start by saying that every family can relate to this movie, but I can't. This family is so disfunction-ally hilarious yet realistic that no family could be that comedically perfect.

Clark will do anything to have the perfect Christmas, his immediate family supports him, but can't do anything to help, his parents feel bad for him, his wife's side of the family mocks him, his brother in law is a disaster, everything Clark touches goes to hell, and yet; at the end of the movie Clark lives happily ever after.

Cat food in a jell-o mold
"Shitter's full!"
Aunt Bethany giving the pledge of allegiance
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss getting jumped by a squirrel, then a dog
"It's a bit nipple-y... blousing, i mean browsing" "Not a log, I don't have a log"
"kiss my ass, kiss his ass, kiss your ass, happy Chanukah."
"Lot of sap in here.. lot of sap."

and so much more.

If your family hasn't had a bad holiday, than you aren't completely normal. To experience a meltdown is terrible during, but almost always fun to look back on. This movie illustrates the fun meltdowns of a family holiday. Now go see it and laugh your ass off like I did!

I can't give it a perfect score because of the awfully dated (even for 1989) opening sequence in cartoon form. The singing is even worse. I give it 4.5 dead cats under a lazy boy out of 5.

12.01.2009

Thoughts of the Day 12/1

Well after four hours of sitting in the computer lab on two hits of speed cups of coffee, I wrote four well thought out pages of the paper. I plan to have another two done by the time you read this, and the final three done before 4:30 this afternoon. It's looking pretty solid so far, and I'm excited about getting this thing done ASAP.

So for today's post: Thoughts of the Day!!!

You know you're fat when you sit at your laptop brushing off the cheetos dust. Before you get any ideas, I'm not fat. I just think the fact that I happened to be winded and searching for a missing cheeto around my desk chair and yelling to my roommate, "where the fuck is the god damned cheeto?!" makes a good conversation piece to your friends. Besides it's hard to NOT get cheeto dust on your keyboard when the damn things cake a quarter inch of orange dust on your finger tips.
... I swear I eat apples and other healthy things too.


Standing in line at Jazzman's in the JC (the campus coffee shop I've been referring to):
I think I've seen that backpack before.. I remember because it had that military tag on it, even though it's not a military backpack. Do you think he dropped out of whatever military program he was in? Or is it a relatives? A friends? Maybe I should get a better look at his face.. Yea he seems like he could have been in the military. Then why the backpack mismatch?
Later, in my apartment complex:
There's that kid again! He lives on campus, so he could very well be in military training. Maybe he has more than one backpack. Hey! He lives next door to me! That's weird.

I'm at that weird stage where I can't decide to get a haircut or let it grow a little longer. I'm always worried I look stupid as is, but at the same time I'm worried that the lady will fudge up the haircut. It's not particularly hard to get it right for me, It's a short cut with no style or anything, but it's been done. This one woman made it cockeyed in the back. But to be fair, she had a hunch so she was leaning to the left slightly. It looked straight to her.


I like these "thought of the day" posts. I don't often get to spew out these quick little posts here and there with the blog. It's usually a longer post with the exception of a lame duck here and there. These posts give me a good chance to post those little thoughts that make my brain laugh.

I think undershirts are overrated. I've been wearing a shirt underneath my shirt ever since 7th grade. I don't know why I have been, and I don't know why I started. I think from now on I'm gonna save the undershirt for shirts that require buttons or sweaters.


You know that Richmond Squirrels baseball team I mentioned before? Well they are unveiling their uniforms today. By this evening I will have posted pictures here. Hopefully they're not too bad.
Here's one from Ben Terry's Facebook:
and one from the team website:

No Uniform pics just yet but I'll be on it as soon as I see or hear anything.

11.30.2009

Completely legal speed.

My version of speed is drinking a coffee really fast and using the resulting energy to be productive for about an hour or so. So, by that lame ass definition, I'll be getting completely hopped up on speed tonight to finish a report I've been working on.

If, by pure chance, I end up being strung out and addicted to the legal stimulant that is white chocolate mocha w/o whipped cream, you will be seeing a nonsensical rant of a post tomorrow or late tonight. Who knows, maybe it will be insightful, maybe it will be a video (because I'm lazy), or maybe it will be a complete waste of space.

In the best interest of time and energy, I'll let this post end short and go purchase my coffee/crack and go write a paper. I would like to add that the easiest tip for filling space in said paper is to explain the "basics" or essentials to understanding the topic. You may think that the basics are self explanatory, but it looks as if you have a greater understanding of the topic if you do so.

Long live coffee drinks at late hours, and I wish you all luck in finding your own personal completely legal speed.
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11.29.2009

Your teacher's full of snot!

It's a Wonderful Life.

To explain the title, in the 90's animated show Rocko's Modern Life, they ended an episode with a young girl saying, "Daddy, teacher says, 'every time someone finds a gas cap, an angel gets it's wings.'" Her father replies with, "Your teacher's full of snot!"

Now obviously, Frank Capra's classic is high on many christmas movie lists. This one for me didn't enter the conversation until I was old enough to understand what was going on. Not only is this a good christmas movie, it's a great movie involving the depression and the stock market collapse in 1929.

It's not often people my age watch black and white films, let alone enjoy it, but I would put this movie in my top 10.

I give this one 5 drunken pharmacists out of 5. I highly recommend this one if you haven't seen it. And if you haven't... where have you been?
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Arnold Schwarzenegger's Holiday Classic

..Jingle all the Way!

This week I'm reviewing my favorite holiday films. No particular order here, just mentioning some of the great ones.

Now of course Arnold is no oscar winning actor, but my god is this film hilarious. The fact that he beats up Sinbad (who wears a postal uniform the whole time) over an action figure in the mall of america really just warms the christmas spirit for me.

Favorite scene for me might be Jim Belushi and a warehouse full of santa claus impersonators laying the smackdown on Arnold while midget santas do somersalts to avoid the police raid.

I give it 7 bulging forehead veins out of 10.

Well check it out and have a good outrageously long "holiday season".
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11.27.2009

Leftovers

Another thanksgiving, another day of re heated turkey and mashed potatos.

Leftovers in general are awesome. For me, and probably everyone else, cold pizza takes the cake. Cake is good too though. And chinese food.

Today it was sweet potatos, stuffing, turkey, mashed potatos, a biscuit, and of course gravy. Pumpkin pie to top it off.

Hope everyone had a good holiday and if you went shopping, let's hope it was after sunrise.
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11.26.2009

Thanksgiving

No post today, just wanted to say go eat food and have fun.

Oh yea and enjoy this video: NSFW and NSFgrandmas.

11.24.2009

A greater appreciation for concept albums.

I've written about music quite a lot on this blog, and tonight is no exception. Can you blame me? Music kicks ass.

Specifically I'd like to talk about concept albums. You may or may not know what that is so let me explain. A concept album is an album released by a single band or singer or musical act that entirely has one theme. It could be love, loss, celebration, fear, or any other combination of or one single emotion or thought provocation.

Some of the more popular concept albums were released over 30 years ago by Pink Floyd or The Beatles. This would suggest that the popularity and frequency of concept albums have declined since then, which is partially true, but I believe this was intentional for several reasons.

Today, concept albums aren't as obvious as previously produced. This may be because a lot of music produced in the last ten years is planned more with singles in mind and the rest as filler. A good album, in my opinion, is solid throughout, all songs on the album are great. It's a shame that this view has changed, but thankfully not all albums have strayed away.

An example? Well there are too many to name all. Given the vast number of genres out there (many of which I do not enjoy), it's hard to say who falls under the "good" and the "not so good" categories.

If I were to give any example, it would be in my narrow view of music. Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie (released 2003) would be one example. This album may not be your preferred type of music, but it is mine.

One important thing that many albums need to stress is song transition. It is my belief that concept albums have nailed this trait pretty well. If you listen to Dark Side of the Moon from start to finish, you often don't know where one song ends, and another begins. So when listening to an album, like Transatlanticism or Dark Side of the Moon, I hear the transitions, and they're somewhat seamless. I'm almost positive any album Lady Gaga has released does not have this characteristic. This is what I mean by having a "greater appreciation" for concept albums.

I guess this all stems from the main purpose of music for me; being able to have background noise for mundane tasks; doing homework, driving, walking to class, sitting in a boring lecture, writing a proposal for research, etc. Sure all of these tasks are important, but not really entertaining. You may argue that not everything has to be entertaining and you'd be right, but the important thing to remember is what's the point of life if not to enjoy your time here?

So as not to move towards a too serious of a discussion, I'll leave with one thought. Music is a great background noise. It's a great foreground noise, but sometimes that's not feasible. Enjoy the things you have to do, and you'll have a greater appreciation for the things you want to enjoy.
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Going Home

Got to talking with a good friend last night over hot wings, he had just gotten home this weekend from WVU. Eric was telling me that coming home for him is weird in that it's so different from everything in Morgantown, but it's exactly the same as he remembers it when he left. Sure the shopping centers have changed stores, there's a new restaurant next to Wal-Mart, and that intersection looks like it has new traffic lights, but it feels the same.

From what I gather of our discussion, it's like coming home to not only a place, but a memory of a feelings. You remember what that gas station smells like on the inside, you remember the glares on your windshield when you drive down the parkway at a particular time of day. It's the familiar things that make it home, not so much the locale.

Eric's story becomes even more interesting when he mentions that his family recently moved. So driving home for Thanksgiving, he has to use map-quest to find his house. An interesting twist to the story if you ask me. That familiarity is gone, yet everything else to him feels the same. A new bedroom, a new driveway, a new mailbox. Any of these things on their own is nothing but to have all of it, and a new address kind of brings it all to perspective.

Then I got to thinking of when myself and those my age begin shopping for a new home of their own. Already there are plenty people I know living in apartments but knowing that these residencies will last for only the next 18 months kind of cheapens that "home" image. I'm talking about after college. After med school and grad school. All of my friends will be buying furniture and paying electric bills. Their mail will be sent to their new permanent address in states far away from "home" and they may live the rest of their lives at that address.

Stuff like that interests me. Who knows where I'll be in 10 years. Will that be my last home or my 10th home? or Both?

11.23.2009

Back to the Future

First, I must say it is one of my favorite movies. The whole series, not just the first or the third, I like all three together. I feel leaving even the third out cheapens the entire story arch, so the full thing is just great. But after a case of beverages and a really fun game of watching the movies later, we began wondering how the hell all of this is going on simultaneously. How many timelines are there in this thing? I've come up with a brief but precise image of what we may be dealing with here.
Now obviously we have a lot going on here at once, so let me attempt to explain.

Here, we have Einstein's trip to 2 minutes into the future. Soon after, Doc leaves Marty with the car and Marty goes to 30 years in the past while trying to escape Libyan terrorists. While there, he creates an alternate time line (the dashed line) and after fixing the events in the first movie, he travels back to 1985.



As Marty returns home, the 2015 Doc comes back to tell him that he has seen the future, and Marty's kids must be helped. It's at this time that Marty, Doc, and Jennifer go to 30 years into the future. While there, Biff takes the Delorean and goes 60 years in the past to help himself become rich. This creates an alternate timeline that Marty sees when he returns to Hill Valley, 1985. He realizes what he did when he talks to alternate rich 1985 Biff, and goes 30 more years back to the past in 1955. This time, he avoids running into himself and fixes the issue. While here unfortunately, 1985 Doc gets sent to 1885.



Now moments later, Marty is approached by a Western Union Man, who was told to give Marty a letter at that exact moment. The letter was from Doc, from the year 1885. Marty then takes the Delorean that was left in a cave since 1885 and meets with 1955 Doc to try and fix it. By the time Marty gets to 1885, he sees Doc has made a name for himself as a black smith, and by saving the school teacher, and pissing off Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen (or old west Biff, as I call him) has created an alternate timeline. By allowing the Delorean to be pushed by a train, Marty reaches 1985, as it should be.



Then Doc comes from nowhere and appears on the train tracks in a big ass train with a wife and two kids.



My god that's a lot of time warp mind-screwing going on.



Update from last week's post:
New addition to the E(x)hausted rule. Apparently, adding "d" to the end also adds to the amount of tiredness, as seen here.

11.22.2009

A Bit of Stephen & Hugh

I don't believe i've mentioned it here before, but an absolutely fantastic show that I've been catching up on in between boring and interesting lectures is this show from BBC in the 80's, A Bit of Fry & Laurie. Starring, of course, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. It has great wit and a young Laurie that everyone now knows as Dr. Gregory House. This sketch comedy show was brilliantly written and quite enjoyable.

I came across this show from a Netflix suggestion close to 4 years ago, and I've enjoyed it ever since. Some of it is terribly dated and to Americans, culturally irrelevant. However most of it (80 % or more) is stunningly hilarious. I'd recommend checking it out. If you have time, a link to the series pilot is here. Be patient as it is a long load, but the video is worth the look.

11.21.2009

exhausted

Does the amount of x's after the letter e in the word "exhausted" determine the degree at which you are tired? If that's the case I'd say I'm about two x's. not too tired, but certainly more than normal. After running the circle and watching Mason blow it in the last 15 seconds of our game today, I was kinda worn out. Then I saw this on facebook.
I wonder what they did that made them tired. Or is she just misusing the x's?

11.20.2009

Snag a video camera on Black Friday

Two things I believe I "need" in this upcoming shopping season; a camera, and a video camera. Hopefully I can kill two birds with one stone, but I don't mind shelling out the big bucks for two pretty good items as opposed to one item that does a task really well and the other really poorly.

The problem here, apart from my lack of self control when it comes to a personal budget, is the fact that I have NEVER shopped on black friday. never. I don't know what it's like, I don't know the secrets, I'm completely unprepared. Maybe I should think about these things before throwing myself into the throngs of madness next week.

Another thing I should consider is what I'm going to end up getting. Maybe I should figure out which is more important to me and go ahead and get a really good camera or video camera, not both. I just don't want to have to fight tooth and nail with some wily grandma in target.



[EDIT] -- 3:00 am 11/20

I'm going to start defriending those who have anything relating to twilight in their facebook status for the next 24 hours.

11.19.2009

Final Exam Schedule

I found out that my final exam schedule looks like this:

(click to enlarge)


I've already asked my Marketing professor if I can take the exam on another day, even the week before if necessary. Hopefully I can get that changed, otherwise it will be the worst day of my life so far.

11.18.2009

Funeral for an inanimate object.

Yesterday was a sad, silent day for me; I lost a dear inanimate object that I take with me everywhere. My headphones. Sometime between the end of my Business Communications lecture and walking past the adjoining apartment buildings in my complex, the headphones stopped playing the sounds of Ben Folds.

So let me take a moment of silence while I throw away my old friend and take a week off of listening to the music on my phone in the memory of a fallen soldier. I'll wait until next week to buy replacements in the bookstore.

11.16.2009

George Lopez and Wanda Sykes

Why on earth has Fox and TBS given these two "celebrities" a second chance at a primetime TV show? I was listening to Pandora today (if you haven't tried it, I would highly recommend) when the Sound of George's voice filled my headphones. I clicked over to that tab to see a large ad featuring his smirking mug and plugging his new show on TBS.
But why does he deserve another shot at a show? I mean, I personally never saw what was so funny about his first show. Did he sleep with a producer or something? Yea that was a bad image burned into my mind.. sorry about that one.

But what is worse? George Lopez, or the ever so POPULAR Wanda Sykes? Yea I am being sarcastic. I have yet to meet anyone that has ever thought she was funny. Yet here we see ads of her on TV!!
I think the best part about these ads is when she's seen kicking away the "Cleveland Show", or "Brothers" saying, "get your own ad!" How perfect, place ads for terrible shows within an ad for a terrible show. Fox is guilty of marketing towards anyone watching any of these three shows as 3 parts retarded, 1 part easily brainwashed, and 1 part horribly underdeveloped. I challenge you to attempt to watch any of these shows and tell me what you think.

I won't even give George Lopez (and when I hear that name in my head, I think of how Cartman prounced this name in this clip, see around 0:53.) the benefit of the doubt because TBS shows are typically not great and as Chris Griffin says, his show only furthers the stereotype that George Lopez is funny.

Dirty Dishes

Problem with living in an apartment with three other guys is that no one wants to do the dishes. I haven't been here in three days and the sink is full. I'm not doing them, but I really want to eat a bowl of cereal. Can't dirty up any of my dishes unless I expect to clean the kitchen!

Settle for toast and jelly/butter. Cheers for waking up before noon.

11.15.2009

Overpriced candles and hand-warmers

Getting ready for cold weather with pine tree scented candles from Giant (way overpriced) and free hand warmers to go along with a heavy jacket. Now I'd love to enjoy these things, but It was 70 degrees out today! I enjoyed wearing shorts and shades, but It's the middle of November? What is going on?

Good day today for football, Eagles are getting thumped and the Cowboys are down 10 as I write this, and the 'skins played like they are actually aware of how to play this strange sport everyone is calling "football" and won for once. Not that it matters, I've expected very little out of this team over the last three weeks!

Mid term exams coming up, as well as the trimester break for my brother! JD comes home this week. Christmas tree shopping for the apartment next week, then Thanksgiving with the family!

See ya tomorrow.

11.14.2009

Thinking about a few DIY Projects

First, a RARE link to a pre 2009 post on this blog here. I'd like to actually follow through on this. So far so good; I have a long sleeve shirt with BAUGH 33 printed on the back and 33 on either sleeve, much like the jersey here. All I need now is the stripes on the shoulder. The best option would be to screen print it, but I don't know how to do it very well. The next option is to sew strips of burgundy fabric on to the shirt. Hopefully more details to follow; but in the mean time, I will continue to enjoy my Baugh jersey/shirt.

Next, we have this. No I don't want to build a basketball arena in Denver and diabolically name it the Coca Cola Center, but rather I'd like to paint the 8 foot by 4 foot piece of ply wood in my basement like the McNichols Arena from the mid 80's and use it as my beer pong table. The unfinished Home Depot slab of tree bark is a nice look, but it could use a little more paint. You might be asking, "why the mid 80's Denver Nuggets?" My answer to that would be a simple, "why the hell not?" It's one of the ugliest uniforms in the NBA (not the worst, by a long shot) and the most colorful in the past 20 years. The first project is much more likely to happen, but it's nice to think about.

11.13.2009

This has got to stop.

11.12.2009

Another douche sitting in the back row

At the risk of sounding fashion focused, I have to mention a few things that I've noticed over the last few weeks

Leaving class, I found myself facing a different kind of douche sitting in the back row than I have previously described on this blog.

This time, it wasn't the pink wearing sweat banded sideways fashion capped frat boy douche, no no. This time it was the P-coat rocking vampire looking skinny black jeans with chucks and a knit cap douche.

It was like these three had a coke addicted love baby and their failed attempt to abort it left my Managerial Accounting classmate to sulk in the back of the room.

...It's not just me is it? I mean, I realize everyone has their own style but when given the option to choose said style, what made these people go that route?

Another thing I'd like to point out is the strikingly obvious similarities of 80% of the female student population's outfit this time of year.

Black north face
skinny jeans
big sunglasses
ugg boots

Again, when given the option to wear ANYTHING YOU WANT (we are all adults don't you know), these people choose to wear, on a daily basis, the same thing that every other girl is wearing on campus.

I'm not saying any of these looks, or ANY look for that matter is right or wrong, I'm merely stating that people need to find a sense of individuality. The problem with individuality though, is that you might end up looking like this fucking hipster.

Big thanks to Look at This Fucking Hipster for the images.

11.11.2009

11/11

Of course I HAVE to mention that today is 11/11. There's really no significance to it except for you're supposed to make a wish when the clock says 11:11.

I never make a wish, but I do think it's a little special to see the clock all one number like that.

11.10.2009

The Invisible Hook (continued)

Las we left you (Here)

So if you're interested in further discussion of Pirate Economics, here we go! If you are not interested in reading an economic discussion of pirates, I would skip this post. See you tomorrow!

Essentially, we can assume that everyone is self interested, and this self interest is subjective. To one completely selfish person, this would only include themselves and maybe one or two close relationships. To a more widely interested person, "self" interest would include themselves as well as their family and friends. This is a general assumption of economics.
Secondly, we can assume that all people act rationally in that they use the most efficient means to reach their ends or goals. Example being if I want to graduate with a degree in Marketing and a concentration in Economics, I will study Marketing and Economics. Third, incentives matter. People respond positively to incentives and negatively to disincentives or taxes.

So according to Peter Leeson in his text The Invisible Hook, pirates are not benefiting society by creating wealth like a rational human being would, but rather they are siphoning off existing wealth to benefit themselves and their Piratical society.

This society can exist only if people cooperate. Obvious obstacles to cooperation among crew members become apparent, such as the fact that they are pirates and therefore criminals. They have no property rights and they are incredibly violent. So, to offset these obstacles (amongst other things) they devise a set of rules or a "code."

So given the above assumptions, and given the piratical society was (and it was, this isn't theoretical) efficient, why would you choose to be a pirate? Because it is more profitable than the alternatives.

Let's look at the alternatives: a Merchant Ship was, at the time, the alternative to pirating. It was a legal use of the skills required to do both pirating and being a sailor. The problems with merchant shipping we're weighed against the costs of becoming a pirate for people at the time like people would weigh the problems with being a banker against the costs of becoming a bank robber. Sure one is much more beneficial, but it is a lot harder to do and get away with. The costs are hard to except for a rational person.

Other problems, from an economic standpoint, would be the hierarchy arrangement of a merchant ship. An absentee owner owns the ship, but a captain runs it. This disconnect created an incentive for the captain to shirk his responsibilities and slack off. Owners attempted to correct this problem by giving captains equity or stock in the ship and it's earnings. Kind of like commission based salary.

However the relationship between the captain and the crew would be strained much like the captain and owner relationship. In this situation, much like above, the crew would have an incentive to shirk their duties and slack off. To solve this, the captain is given higher authority. This absolute authority would lead to captain predation, or an abuse of power. Naturally, the captain abuses his powers and treats his sailors like crap because he can. He can keep more wealth for himself as well as keep rations and other benefits for himself. This led to conflict which ultimately means that this system of a Merchant Ship is flawed.

This power abuse brings up Madison's Paradox. James Madison wrote that a power strong enough to protect is a strong power. A strong power is strong enough to predate, or hurt, what it is protecting. The solution to this problem was realized by pirates long before the founding fathers amended the US Constitution that we all hold so dear today. The solution is constrained power. They devised a constitutional democracy that, at the time, was more liberal than our first constitution. By having a separation of powers, unanimous consent by members, and credible commitment and constraint on captains, pirates could successfully live amongst each other.

First, we have separation of powers. In pirate society, there are Captains and Quarter Masters. Captain decisions were restricted to battle decisions. Quarter Masters were trusted with the decisions to divide booty and rations for crew members, as well as acting as a human resources manager, only with a gun and a violent attitude. This separation of powers is much like the system of checks and balances we have now where there are three branches of government.

So, Peter Leeson writes that there were three keys to pirate success. First, pirates wanted to prevent conflict. Why? Because conflict was costly for everyone involved. How they prevented this was their constitution, their unanimous consent to rules, and most importantly, the fact that people could voluntarily enter or leave the piratical society. They did this because of "Tiebout competition". This states that there is competition within rules. If you have two conflicted ideas of governance, the "better" set of rules wins out. Naturally, people gravitate towards the place with the best rules. People preferred pirating to merchant shipping partly because of the rules of the pirate society versus the latter.

The second key to success was that pirates wanted to prevent negative externalities. A negative externality is a situation in which the private cost of an action does not outweigh the social costs of an action. An example would be pollution, the costs for me to dump oil into a lake is very little, but the costs for that action to the fisherman and the environmental committee are higher even though they had nothing to do with the action. So, on a pirate ship; drinking, fighting, having women on board, being loud, and smoking are all negative externalities. All of these actions may be very low cost for one person, but ultimately it is a high cost for the entire ship. All of them result to conflict within the crew which, in turn, result in bad voodoo for everyone, even if you aren't involved with the original action.

The third and final key to success is that Pirates could provide public goods when you could not do so on the market. A public good is a good that is non-rival and non-excludable in consumption. Non-rival means that one person using the goods does not reduce another persons use of the goods, like knowledge or national defense or listening to the radio. Non-excludable means you can't produce a good and keep other people from getting it, like air, listening to music or again national defense. So providing these goods in a market would produce a "free-rider" problem leading again to mutual gains from cooperation.
A few examples of public goods on a pirate ship would be the overall cleanliness of a ship, and having workman's comp. Also, to deter the "free-rider" problem, pirates implemented the policy that if you are caught free-riding, you get killed or left for dead.

The final point of discussion I'll go into here is how pirates used the Jolly Roger as a signal. The Jolly Roger, for those of you who don't know, is the pirate flag. It's many variations I will mention below.

So in using the Jolly Roger, pirates we're attempting to signal two things. One, they needed to approach their prey without the merchants knowing pirates were coming their way. Pirates would signal good intentions by raising a merchant flag (not the jolly roger), hiding their cannons, and by sailing slowly toward the vessel of choice.

Second, they needed to attack the merchant ship. The goal than becomes to minimize the costs (conflict) while maximizing profit (the booty). To do this, they raise the Jolly Roger. Now you may ask that just raising a flag is pretty easy to imitate. However, there was a separating equilibrium for flying the Jolly Roger. If any ship was found with the flag on board, the punishment was death by hanging. So obviously, if you had the balls to fly the flag, you had the balls to be a pirate and would probably hurt the merchants if it came to it.

The different variations of flags is how pirates differentiated between being weak and strong. Some pirate crews may have been too nice or too aggressive. The best pirates were the ones that struck a good balance between those, as the outcomes for being too nice or aggressive was that merchant ships would fight back. So, one crew would fly this flag and merchant ships would no how to react, as opposed to seeing this flag and pissing their pants. This is an early way of branding. One flag would be the coke brand and another the pepsi brand. Kinda cool huh?


Well that's all I wanted to say about the Invisible Hook. I hoped you enjoyed just a little bit of this. Please ask questions if you don't understand! I like to explain things so I would take great pleasure in talking to you if you're not sure about any of this or if you found it the least bit interesting.

11.09.2009

Potato Chips

I love snack foods. Gold fish, cheese balls, really anything to snack on. I even have a box of raisins in my bedroom for midnight snacking.

Most of all, I like potato chips. There are several types and varieties to speak of:

Potato Chips
Flavored Potato Chips
Cheese Curls/Balls
Corn Chips

Now the best kinds of chips, in my opinion, are the kinds that dip. Immediately you can erase flavored and cheese from this conversation. As much as I like Salt and Vinegar (so good) and Crab Chips, they can't be dipped. Too thin and it wouldn't go with anything. Cheese curls and balls don't dip well because of their density and, like flavored chips, don't match well with many dips.

But Potato Chips.. It depends on the brand and the density. Ruffles for one make FANTASTIC dipping chips. Just look at sour cream and onion dip. It's like it was made for ruffles. I have it every sunday in the fall, the perfect football snack food in my book. However the regular Lays potato chips, they don't work so well in this category.

Corn chips however are the king of the dipping world. You have tortilla chips which are salsa and queso compatible and you have Fritos that are also perfect for that sour cream and onion dip that I drool over.

Of course any conversation with Chips must include a mention of the dipping rules. There really are only two.
1) You do not double dip in a communal bowl. No exceptions. Break the chip into smaller pieces if you have to before dipping it in to begin with.
2) No cross dipping. If you have Salsa in one bowl and Sour Cream and Onion in another bowl, don't dip one chip into both bowls before eating. Again, this only applies to communal bowls. Not everyone wants your weird flavor combo.

If I was absolutely forced to come up with a perfect snack food for me? One that I had to eat if a gun was put to my head... It would undoubtedly be Lays Salt and Vinegar (not Utz, they pack too much air in their bags) with a Cherry Coke. Healthy option? Cottege Cheese and fruit. Yea I'd rather have the chips too.

11.08.2009

The Box

The Box

Sigh...

Well I didn't realize the story took place in 1976 Richmond, VA. So that's cool...

But let me start by saying that this movie was based off a short story called "Button, Button" which was later made into a Twilight Zone Episode.
That being said, this movie ran about an hour and 55 minutes. Now if you try and make a short story into a feature length film, you run into a few problems.

First, you need to expand the story to fill the time. Usually, this can be a good opportunity to learn more about the characters and the back story. Also, you can become repetitive with development, as in showing the same basic concept over and over again. This may have been an attempt to drive the point home, but it becomes a farce after seeing it occur.

Now if you wish to see this movie, don't read the blocked spoiler section below. All I can tell you without spoilers is that it's a waste of $10.25 and I feel it's a sad experience when the audience breaks out into a fit of giggling during a serious scene AND it's opening weekend and their were literally (I COUNTED) 10 people in the 300 person auditorium.

SPOILER

When faced with the opportunity from a fucking burn victim to have $1,000,000.00 and kill somebody, or $100 and nothing happens, which would you do? Take the damn $100 bill and walk away. Don't ever trust a stranger with the opportunity to kill somebody. Duh.

Now, if you DO push the button, what do you do? Well you were given a briefcase with cash and told that the next person will be a complete stranger to you, and you might be the next victim. Hmm... What do you do... Well for one, get on a god damn plane and get the hell out of Richmond, VA !!! You don't just sit around and wait for weird shit to happen!

and Why the fuck is it always about Aliens? Every god damn time that something "unknown" happens in movies these days, it's because it's fucking aliens. Why can't it be just a psycho? Why? I found myself asking "why" throughout this movie. and Now I ask "why" I even went in the first place.

At the end, the family is faced with a decision. Their son is stricken deaf and blind (why? I don't know. They never really say why). To save him, they have two options. The husband can shoot his wife in the heart, the kid gets his vision and hearing back, and they get the million when the son turns 18 (about 7 years from now) after it has gained interest in the bank. Option two, they don't shoot the wife, and the son stays deaf and blind and they keep the million. Why wouldn't you go with option two??

The film's main theme is a moral question, do you sacrifice personal gain for the greater good, or do you sacrifice the greater good for the personal gain? It works, but probably 1000 times better as a SHORT story. This film was so ridiculous that I already have a really good idea of how to turn into a drinking game.


END SPOILER

I've left the funniest parts out, so I'd recommend you see it only if you expect to make fun of it. No it's not scary, nothing jumps out at you or anything. It's a Sci Fi film that really could have been kept as an obscure Twilight Zone episode.

Good luck!