Friday, June 27, 2008

Rootbeer Floats in a Box

Okay, so the big news is that I ordered my free TV from this morning. After saving Coke Rewards for a little less than a year, my nefarious plan to conquer the world through the use of a boob tube has finally come to bear fruit. Yes fruit...19-inch, LCD, HDTV fruit of goodness. So, um, yeah. "Well, it's only a 19-inch TV, loser!" you say? Yeah, it's rather humorous for me to be so excited about such a dinky television, I agree. But consider this:

  1. It's pretty much exclusively to play my Xbox 360 on. I currently play on a 19" CRT television.
  2. It's an LCD HDTV (720p, I believe).
  3. It's free.

Let's focus in on point #3 for a minute because it's very important. This country was built on a basis of freedom. Freedom for all! I'm just exercising my freedom by, uh, getting free stuff. "But you had to spend money on all those Coke products, so it's not free, dumbass!" you say? Wrong. See, I maybe only spent $100 total on Coke products. I shamelessly dumpster-dove (dived?) at work for the remaining 13,150 points. Oh, wait, the mother-in-law provided me with approximately 150 points in caps. So, yeah, almost free. So within four weeks I will have my HD Xboxy goodness and Lego Star Wars will look all the more Lego'y!

Of course, I'm not stopping. Nope. I'm going on. No, I'm not going for another television. Not unless they roll out something bigger and better. Nay. I owe a decent share of Coke points to charity. I gave a whole bunch to Toys for Tots during the holiday season last year and intend to do the same thing this year (if they participate). I can also give points to schools so they can buy equipment, so that's also cool. Though G's school has not signed up to participate and I'd prefer they go there first. There are also other, less expensive, items that I'd like to snag. VIVA LA TELEVISEUR!! :)


So, if you ever feel the urge to buy a store-brand ice cream called "Rootbeer Float". Resist said urge. Fight it with all the vim, vigor, determination, and whatever else you have! Fight it, or you will have wasted your money! Oh, sure, the first three or so bites are great--they actually taste pretty good. But every bite after that degrades into a foul concoction less tasty until you may as well be eating library paste sprinkled with pure Internet hate. Don't believe me? Okay, smart guy, try it. You'll see.


As a side note, I awoke early this morning to find that K's behemoth kitty had wedged firmly between us (this happens every night) but he had somehow pushed me to the edge of the bed. Upon shifting myself and preparing to oust said feline, I smacked my forehead on the bookshelf next to me. My first thought? "If I have a bruise, I'm going to have to think up some cool story to tell everyone, because this one would be lame."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Continue the Research

So, the other day, I called a guy at work who was having a problem with his laptop. We did some troubleshooting on it. At one point, the outcome was what I expected so I said "Excellent" much the same way Mr. Burns from the Simpsons would. The funny thing is that I didn't really mean to slip into Burns, it just happened. The guy on the other end was totally cool and I doubt I would have ever lapsed had I been talking to some grumpy hardass.

So he picks up on this and we talk Simpsons for a couple of minute while the usual happens--the computer reboots, or a loading progress bar slowly progresses across the illuminated screen of goodness. When we got to troubleshooting again, most of the rest of the conversation (which lasted about 15 minutes) was done in Simpsons-speak. This kind of thing happens among friends with as much regularity as the Nile flooding or Old Faithful spouting or my cat vomiting, but I've never had a client who appreciated them as much as I do.

The only other time anyone (other than friends) has surprised me was at Shakespeare's Pizza. Shakespeare's, for the unititiated, is pizza that Moses brought down the mountain along with the 10 Commandments. There were originally 15 Commandments, but everyone was so busy eating the best pizza known to man that they forgot about the other four.

Anyway, at Shakespeare's you order your pizza at the counter, give the dude your name, and sit down to wait. Eventually, whenever they feel like it, they'll call your name to come get your pizza. I always give them the name of someone from the Simpsons. Usually it's Homer or Mr. Burns or Smithers or something easy. But one day I gave them Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo. When my name was called and I went to get my pizza, the dude cut it up, gave it to me, and said "you just made everyone's day!"


Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart?
Their floors are stick-e-mart!
They made dad sick-e-mart!
Let's hurl a brick-e-mart!
The kwik-e-mart is real--D'oh!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

To Caffeinity and Beyond!

Mountain Dew is probably the only soda that constantly comes out with new flavors. Most of these varieties do not normally stick around very long, due to the propensity to taste like warmed-over ass stuffed in an old shoe, and then sent down the Mighty Mississip on a...well, you get the idea. Anyone who tried it should remember the colossal failure of "Pitch Black II" which tasted like sour warmed-over ass etc. etc. Then there was "Mountain Dew: Cough Syrup""Game Fuel" (of which I drank a lot simply because it had a billion caffeine molecules per cubic centimeter).

So they have three new flavors out this summer, one of which will become permanent. The other two will supposedly be launched into space, headed toward the sun...or some unlucky inhabited planet. One is strawberry, one is raspberry, and one is "wild berry". WTF is a "wild berry"? Are all other berries tamed and domesticated and this one is not? Is it dangerous? I couldn't resist and bought the raspberry variety (it's got some name like "high voltage" or "ass-kicker" or something). It's OK. Not spectacular, but sort of tasty.

Lego Star Wars

K got me this game for the 360 for Father's Day. It's been on my Amazon wish list for a while. I really knew nothing about it except it was cute and sounded really hilarious--a Star Wars/Lego hybrid game? C'mon! It is really pretty fun...and cute...and funny all at the same time. It truly is a family game. You simply CANNOT lose. You don't really ever die, and everything that gets killed/destroyed simply explodes into Lego bricks. Better yet, you can wail on Jar Jar Binks all you want and not feel bad, nor do you suffer any repercussions. Take that, Light Side of the Force!


If you're looking for a know, a simple game that is pleasing and fun, here's a good one. Music Catch. You essentially catch digital Lucky Charms while a very addictive, soothing piece of piano music plays. It's not very difficult or complicated and only takes a few minutes. You'll probably find yourself playing it a couple of times.

Nothing real ever seems to matter
Just like shit on a silver platter shines

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Green Grass and High Difficulty

Oy. I only have one more song to go on "Expert" level guitar difficulty in Rock Band before I'm finished with all the standard song. Unfortunately, said ballad is "Green Grass and High Tides" which, if you're unaware, is a 15-minute sonata of futility sandwiched between two fun buns. See, the song doesn't really get difficult until it's 80% done. While that 80% is fun enough, it really demands too much time spent just to fail. And when I do fail it is because the area is simply the same three notes played over and over very fast. A category at which I am notoriously deficient. It almost made me rip my hair out trying to finish Freebird on "Expert" level difficulty in Guitar Hero II. But I eventually persevered. I conquered...never to play that accursed song again. Not sure if I care enough to do the same this go around.

Last night I became the president of our Homeowners' Association. What does this mean? It means I now rule with an iron fist, forcing my loyal (and those scurvy disloyal ones) to do my bidding. I get kickbacks, bribes, and establish foreign policy with other neighborhoods, trading for their goods and screwing them over with our shoddy products. I defend our borders from pirates and the occasional stray dog., basically I sign off on things, speak at meetings and picnics, and keep doing what I've been doing as VP for the past year. We're pretty laid back so it's not like I need to be bossy. But if you get in my way, I will totally send Dick Cheney over to shoot you in the face. Glock glock!

So Friday is the first day of Summer! As I kid, Summer was always the end-all be-all of seasons. No school and long days. Heat and humidity meant nothing. Before I had Summer jobs it was laid-back and lazy. After I had Summer jobs it meant no fun and work...but money! So there was always something good about it.

You know what? Screw that. I look forward to Summer for a different reason now. You see, the sooner Summer gets started, the sooner it will be over. Summer is okay, I guess, but has quickly become my least favorite season. It's hot, it's humid, and gas prices go up astronomically. Sure, there are days at the pool with the Spuds and other fun activities. There is Independence Day, so that's something. But Summer holds the absolute worst month of the year--August. August is like a nasty, festering pimple on the butt of the year. It's even hotter and more humid and there are no holidays, no fun things...just stagnant air and wilted plants.

So, you see, once August is over I look forward to the absolute best time of the year--Autumn! Actually, I start looking forward to Autumn right after the last day of Autumn. :) But the first day of Summer signals that there are only about three months left until the best season in all the land. Football talk starts up around this time which gets me through until the sport actually commences. So you can have your lousy Summer and all of its picnics and pool parties. Humbug, I say! I'll take my Autumn with all of its football, Halloween, and Thanksgiving (and even almost Christmas which falls just a couple of days after Autumn is over).

Sometimes you make me want to buld a model of the Eiffel Tower out of Belgian waffles.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Father's Day started early--about 6:30. It was at that time that G and T decided that sleep has no place in this house. Much of the rest of the morning was spent eating fictional cheesecake made of Play-doh (also fictional)and other, less savory materials. We took it easy for much of the day and ended at Shakespeare's for some of the best pizza in the world. While there, we saw Gary Pinkel (coach of the Tigers). I resisted the urge to gush all over him like a fanboi.

So my Rock Band (wired) guitar broke a little while ago--it wouldn't power on. So I got onto EA's website and went through their little questionnaire. I returned said "instrument" via a box and shipping label they sent me. Two weeks later I received a brand new guitar. Quite elated and actually satisfied with EA for once I plugged it in and began to happily use it. Accept, well, it doesn't work. Now, when trying to get back onto EA's website (which is down half the time) and enter my problem, I can't because it says that I still have a replacement request in the system. Guess I'll actually have to use the phone to bitch at them if the system doesn't clear up. So my disdain for Electronic Arts goes up a bit to "rabid hatred".

With all of the rain we have been having, my lawn has been going crazy. You'd think this would mean that I would cut the grass more often. You would be incorrect in that assumption. When it comes to cutting the grass I am as lazy as they come. Simply put: It's boring. It takes a little over an hour (without trimming weeds) and it is hot and boring. Now I rarely let it get out of control but it is routinely a bit longer than everyone else's...which probably irritates my neighbor.

See, he cuts his grass incessantly. Worse, he tries to schedule his grass-cutting in unison with mine. So no matter when he cuts his grass, he will cut it again the moment he hears my lawnmower start up. He might have just cut it two hours ago and he will go back out and rampage through his yard again. At the very least I find this odd. But usually I find it a little neurotic. So I like to play with his emotions and cut my grass at the most inopportune times. Sure enough, it could be almost dark outside, but if he notices I've cut my grass he's out there doing the same. Strange.

dun dun dun dun dun...with salt!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Glimpse

I just posted a new piece of writing in my portfolio called "The Glimpse". It is my entry for June's "Mythical Creatures" contest on WDC (which, this month, is about unicorns). I actually entertained myself when I reread it (it's short) so even if nobody else cares, at least I got a kick out of it. As always, any feedback is appreciated.

So, just recently, G caught Kiera (our 45'ish pound dog) up on the table, scarfing down every last victual as if she were Ghandi's unwilling partner. We've had plenty of things disappear from the counters and the table but we always suspected our other dog, Nouméa (a 7-pound little tyrant) was the ringleader. Some food items were in too large of quantities for her to have consumed on her own. But apparently the blame has been largely misplaced. Nouméa is far from an innocent soul--she has engineered some of the greatest disasters known to us--but she apparently took some blame that was not hers.

Kiera has been suitably dressed-down (get it? "suit"..."dressed"? Tough room!) and hopefully will not partake of her scandalous ways again. She usually responds well when she knows we are angry with her, whereas Nouméa would most likely give us the finger if she had one to give.


I recently picked my guitar up and, surprisingly, didn't just set it back down as I've done for at least a year. I asked myself "self, why haven't you been interested in playing this fine instrument for so long?" I think I got my answer. I haven't learned anything new in a long, long time. Everything I've written is old and everything else I can play is also old. So I decided I would learn a new song. What song? Since I seem to be hooked on "Still Alive" by Jonathon Coulton, I decided it would be perfect! And it's definitely fun to play. I first tried playing by ear which was productive. But impatience took over and I downloaded the tablature instead. I have a great ear but I also don't want to get bored.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Waste of Space

I have come to the conclusion that having long, empty hallways at the workplace is generally an unwise decision. Now, given architectural design and needs of the facility it is most likely unavoidable but should be minimized nonetheless. Why? Well, besides being a relatively wasted space, the long empty hallway has been known to produce way too many awkward moments.

Okay, maybe this is a problem for only me. But every time I walk down one of the long hallways at work and someone is walking the other direction I have this really long interval during which I can do nothing but walk, smile awkwardly, and stare blankly ahead. This is eventually followed by the "Hey", "Hey" conversation where I greet the other person but really don't care much. I'm basically just acknowledging that they, too, had to walk down a long hallway and stare at you while smiling.

Long empty hallways are invariably used by people to carry on conversations. These loiterers often cling to the walls like cholesterol but sometimes stand out in the middle of the passage, blocking all transit to and fro. No matter how many people squeeze by looking annoyed and saying "excuse me" these roadblocks will not move until their (usually pointless) conversation is done. Sometimes they will receive an e-mail on their mobile device alerting them to free pizza in the breakroom causing them to quickly disperse but these circumstances don't happen often.

The one good thing that I can say about the long, empty hallway is this: Should the zombie apocalypse occur, these hallways could be our saving grace. Whether they are the slow, rambling kind ("Night of the Living Dead") or the running, screaming kind ("Resident Evil"), said zombies can be dispatched very easily from a blockaded hallway. And we should always keep these things in mind because those damn dirty zombies are out there, constantly waiting, so that they can attack us, eat our brains, and use up all of our wireless minutes.


It's Log! It's Log
It's big, it's heavy, it's wood!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Portals and Peppers

The backyard garden is coming along nicely. Two of the three tomato plants are growing exponententially. The third had a strike against it from the beginning since it was damaged in the car. It's growing, but it's taking its sweet time. Not sure if any tomatoes will come from it. The strawberry plant has grown and has blooms on it. Yay! Strawberries! (I hope.) Two of the three pepper plants are also doing well. The puny one is now pretty much a total loss--something oh so graciously relieved it of all its leaves. But the other two plants have blooms and look quite healthy.

Portal. What can I say about Portal? Really fun game. Great concept. Awesome humor. Too short. All in all, it's worth $10-$15, probably. It's probably worth $5 at least just for the ending song (written by Jonathon Coulton). I'm guessing it was short to avoid burnout. Portal is not a game I'd want to play for 40 levels. No, that would be repetitive. In fact, I had the most fun after the official levels were over, during "the escape". Either way, it's a good exercise for the mind. And now I'm definitely sure I want to go to a Jonathon Coulton concert and be an uber-nerd, reveling in nerdcore music like it is a huge plate of Hot Wings...or something like that.
G's room is now pink and purple. A weekend was spent for the facelift. The old, boring, "Navajo White" color has been banished from yet another room! That just leaves the kitchen, hallway, and our bedroom to go! Oh, and the laundry room, but I'm not sure I care enough to paint a laundry room. It's usually the color of dirty anyway. But the room looks much nicer minus the scrawlings of pen on the walls. And I only got paint on the carpet in two of which is under the bed now (good thing, too, since I dropped the roller on the ground on that spot).

But there's no sense crying over every mistake.
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.