Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Swingers & Prostitution

My previous blog about the old (married) man and his "massage" inspired this train of thought. If you are already disgusted, please, don't continue to read.

The whole idea behind swinging confuses me. If you are in a marriage, if you love your wife, why would you look elsewhere? Why would you ever consider...(yuck) sharing, her?

Is it all created by people who are looking for an out? Is it all designed by individuals who are looking for the next best thing but don't want to lose what they have?

Aren't they afraid of jealousy? Don't they experience jealousy?

How could you possibly do research on such a topic without making people think you're into this sort of thing? Who can you ask without offending them? Questions like "Do you have any standards and don't you fear jail?" come to mind.

I could never even let my wife dance with a stranger. How can people do this?

Confusion for the day brought to you by Wikipedia.

On a similar note, prostitution.

I remember back in Junior High...(what a note to start on huh?)...yes, JUNIOR HIGH, 7th grade 11 years old, I knew of girls who would do things for $20. 20 freakin' dollars!

I was saddened by it. I didn't know any of them personally but I knew who they were. They weren't mentally retarded or anything so I couldn't figure it out. Why? I mean I know money was the objective but why were they so desperate for it.

The only thing I can think of to this day is that they were previously abused. A terribly sad situation and something that is not their fault. How does this happen in adulthood? Why for such little cash? Do they charge more or less in different areas? Why?

Do they value themselves less in bad cities? Do prostitutes in different countries charge more for certain things than others? Is there anyone who keeps track of the market? Supply and demand? I would imagine someone has to. Maybe paying for and importing different...talents.

A disturbing image for sure but where there is money, there are no values, so to speak.

Does dignity cost only $20? How do those girls feel now if they are still alive? How do their parents?

Is there a prostitute that isn't psychologically scarred?

I am intrigued by things that I don't understand. I don't understand the logic that leads people to make certain decisions. How do they come to a conclusion that these things are good for them?

I have no answers, just questions I wanted to jot down. This blog and your responses to it will inspire tomorrows poll question though so I hope you return!

Awkward Moments

Awkward moment of the day #1

So I'm working on an old man's computer. Transferring his data to a new machine and during that process we HAVE to verify that the data transferred OK. The default setting is to preview and BAM!


"I would like a massage yada yada..." that's as far as I got before I went spastic. Kinda gross dude. I do automatically tend to think the worst of people but it was obvious. I have been to places that do massage's and they are not like the way that one was named with e-mails in that format. They are usually Spa's or named after flowers. Not this one.

Anyway. I consider it an occupational hazard and for that reason I go through bottles of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.

Awkward moment of the day #2

After logging out of a machine and being completely oblivious to the fact that the guy (a different guy) next to me was staring right behind my shoulder I turn and whack the dudes knee with the swivel chair I was in. I spend a LOT of time with my wife (and I wouldn't have it any other way) so I immediately reached out for his knee and was like "Sorry!" but stopped myself just before I touched it. Yeah. WTFBBQ...

Luckily I had my wedding ring on but that still made things feel really weird. What was I supposed to say to regain my manhood, "Sorry bro I confused you for my wife?"

He proceeded to talk about his spouse and I knew I had messed up. I have a picture of my wife on me at all times so I felt secure but I couldn't help but feel bad for the guy. My wife, brother-in-law and I just watched Lethal Weapon 4 last night with a similar situation. Very coincidental.

I may laugh about it another day, but today, AWKWARD!

Awkward moment #3

Nothing tops the day I was about to hang up on the phone with someone at work and said, "I love you" right before I was about to let them go. Saying I Love You is a tradition my wife and I live by. Luckily the other person on the phone was female and was more understanding. I apologized after explaining myself but it was still pretty stupid of me. If I remember correctly, I think they hadn't noticed until I mentioned it.

Sometimes your body is fully alert but the brain is just 90% zombie. Ever happen to you?

Dashboard Problem

Hello everyone,
This is just a quick update/apology to everyone I normally follow. The Blogger Dashboard keeps crashing on me so I can't get through to my regular links. I have tried different browsers and they still crash. Hopefully things will be back to normal in a few hours and I will be back, commenting and offending as normal.


Monday, September 29, 2008

5 Easy Steps to a Successful BlogSpot Blog

Sick of "Why doesn't anyone comment on my blog?" whiners?

Ask them if they bothered to comment on other people's blogs themselves and watch them ignore you.

Here are my 5 steps to a successful BlogSpot Blog.

1. Create an easy to remember blog address. The extra .blogspot.com already makes things confusing for some people so avoid hieroglyphics in your blog name, as witty as you may think it is. 1hotMLF4u.blogspot for example is terrible. Not to mention a little gross.

2. Fill it with content. Don't post one "Hello World" blog and then ask people to comment. This isn't MySpace or Facebook. You need to have something to say. Try asking questions...

3. Keep it clean. Not the content but the design. Don't fill it with flashy crap, again, like MySpace. People don't want to visit your page if it takes a minute and a half to load and then it only crashes when it runs out of memory. Don't make it look like something from the movie Blade Runner that might induce seizures in children.

4. This is perhaps the most important of all 5 steps. You comment first. Visit other people's blogs and thoroughly read through their blogs. Comment on their pages. Put some thought into it to, no fluff. You will be amazed how quickly people will reciprocate.

5. Appreciate your readers. Once they visit, keep them involved. Ask them questions. Mold your blog spot into theirs. Give them what they want if you want to keep them. Remember that they also most likely have blogs of their own. Offer them what they can't do themselves but still cover topics they are interested in. Comment on your readers blogs and maintain the sense of community. Don't act like a movie star and brush off autographs.

Chopsticks & Pasta

My wife. She's a great one.

I work somewhere that takes me roughly 20 minutes to get to my car in the parking lot on an especially hot day. Because of this my lunch bag is usually filled to the brim with everything I would need to consume for the day including things like microwavable plates and occasionally utensils.

The utensils can be tricky since forks and knives can puncture my "cooler" style lunch bag. They have utensils in the cafeteria but they look at you kind of funny when you take them. You feel like a bandit when you grab a bag full of them to keep in the office.

Whenever (rarely) we go out to eat as a group, its usually to some type of Asian cuisine. They see my non-Asian face and they place a fork before me. I tell them its OK and ask for the chopsticks but request the wooden ones. I don't like using other people's utensils. Its kind of gross if you think about it. Wooden chopsticks are a great creation. Disposable and relatively clean! :)

I have had this discussion and experience with my wife in the past and she has taken notice. She was kind enough to buy me a few sets of my own fancy shmancy chopsticks. One package comes in a polished domino-holder style carrying case and another she took the time to sew me a little bag for.

These have saved me so much time! The only time I have to go "pull a jack-move" on the cafeteria is when I eat soup. Although potentially hilarious, eating soup with chopsticks wouldn't be real satisfying.

On a side note; I have been sick. Its a cold that just won't go away. I am still recovering. My body feels OK enough but I still have the sniffles so a box of tissue is still sitting resident at my desk. (Men don't have permanent tissue boxes at their desks. They only come out to play when they are needed.)

So I'm eating my lunch pasta with my chopsticks and when I'm done, I can't find any napkins. I don't want to head over to the break room to get them so I just use a tissue. A brand new, clean tissue. The idea is still gross to me though as I am thoroughly cleaning my new chopsticks. The full disgusting-ness of the whole ordeal doesn't yet dawn on me until someone walks by my desk and does a double take as I throw away a red, clumpy tissue.


Lunch is ruined for them but I walk away with a smirk.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Deals: 9-26-08

XBox 360
Hour of Victory $10
Need for Speed: Carbon $10
Shadowrun $10
Prey $10

HD-DVD Player $40 (Hey this makes a great alternative to playing DVD's through the 360, it saves your built-in laser. Consider it $40 insurance.)

PS3/360 Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway $53
PS3/360 Pure $50

360 Guitar Hero: Aerosmith $30
PC Tomb Raider: Anniversary $8
PC Timeshift $6

360 Ninja Gaiden II $40
360 Rainbow Six Vegas 2 $40

Miscellaneous Online Deals
LITE-ON Black 20x DVD+/-R SATA w/ Lightscribe $26 free 3 day shipping.

Dual iPod dock charger $29 free shipping.
LG Blu-Ray / HD-DVD burner. Yep, convert your HD-DVD's into Blu-Ray $290.

Navigon 5100 $129 free shipping.
Pioneer 5x Blu-Ray burner $140 free 3 day shipping.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rude Wiggle Waggle Magic

My job, and chosen career really, is really strict when it comes to the way tasks are handed down to me. There is a specific procedure people who require my assistance have to follow.

Certain types don't care. Since I "fix" things they don't understand, they treat me like a mechanic. I can deal with that. There are other, little, nuances though that I think are pretty rude.

As many of you know, I hate using public restrooms. So I don't go unless I HAVE TO GO. So I'm headed off to the restroom and someone stops me while they are having a conversation with someone else. Not especially rude on its own but the little wave. The little twingling fingers that are meant to hold me in place... IRK!

There was this wave that apparently excused any necessity for kindly forgiving words for their interruption of whatever task I had at hand, crappy as it may have been. Like the way a rich French person would wave off a lowly and insignificant failure of a waiter that brought piecemeal garbage to their dinner table.

Well POO POO on vous! I will not let you ruin my day with your cursed magic spell!

I could have helped them, but I refused to. I forced them to follow procedure which could have easily been avoided had they not been worthless arseholes.

:) Have a nice Thursday! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Deals: RadioShack (Thanks Farhan!)

NAVIGON 5100 GPS Navigator for $149.99
SKU# 20-185
(This device has FREE traffic service!!!! CNet review.)

TDK DVD-R (50-Pack) for $10.99
SKU# 260-0108

TDK CD-R (100-Pack) for $14.99
SKU# 260-0941
Motorola H375 Bluetooth Headset for $39.99
SKU# 17-3041

Or if you don't mind waiting about two and half weeks and paying $5 in shipping charges, you can get this bluetooth headset from Amazon for $24.59. ($29.59 with shipping.)


Poll: Would you risk your life for a stranger?

UPDATE: This poll ran from 9-24-08 to 10-1-08. Here are the final results.

Before I met my wife, this question would have been a lot simpler. I would have done it without a second thought. Almost instinctively. Now though, I have a family. A wife and a brother-in-law that I help support that would have their entire lives affected by my death.

I would think twice and in that instance it may be enough time for the person who's life I could have saved to be lost. If it is a child sitting on some railroad tracks though the decision would be a lot more difficult. If it is a grandmother or grandfather, I don't know what I would do.

Many years ago I received a photograph (possibly edited) of an old man pushing a child out of the way of a stampeding monster truck. I searched for it but couldn't find it anywhere. Imagine in posted right here in very dramatic fashion. :)

I would risk it for sure if I thought I had a chance to survive but if it was absolutely sure that I would die, I don't know what I would do.

How about you? Don't forget to take the poll! :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Brainwashing Article

I found this article on Cracked.com that I feel is more important for people to read than any of my usual drivel today.

The article is about 6 brainwashing techniques currently used and it is entertainingly written by David Wong.

This isn't a conspiracy theory, even though I have nothing against conspiracy theories. Some of my regular readers know this to be oh so true. ;)

Before you vote. Give that article a good read. It is both entertaining and might just open your eyes to something you weren't previously aware of. A word of warning though, there is some rough language and a few sets of partially covered boobs in that story that one could find either offensive or captivating.

Monday, September 22, 2008

No Bugs on My Mug

If we're at a park, and a tiny little ant walks over my as of yet uncut/un-bitten apple, I brush it off, wipe the apple roughly maybe using a bit of water, and proceed to munch. No problem.

If a roach comes within a foot of my apple, though, Granny Smith is officially radioactive.

While it may be very likely that the ant has more germs on it than a roach does, something about a roach makes them more vile and repulsive to me. Does that make me prejudiced against roaches? I think it does. Until a roach rights activist group starts complaining, I will continue my bigot campaign against the lowly roach.

Flies are just as bad. If a fly lands on my apple and starts rubbing its disgusting stick hands in excitement for the grand meal its going to have, the apple is garbage.

Why are ants safe? Is it because they are so small that I can't see their disgusting traits? Is it because they don't have a hundred eyes looking at me? Is it because the small ones don't excrete some kind of intestinal gumbo when you smash them unlike flies and roaches?

I don't know. Ants are some of the only bugs I can smash with my hand. Everything else I am grossed out by. Yeah I have to wash my hands 4 times after smashing one but that's more my OCD than any phobia.

Of the most terrible, Potato Bugs, moths, water bugs and anything large enough for you to make eye contact with. Just that idea is pretty sickening.

Me: "Well, so I see this neighborhood is going to the dogs with the likes of you around."
Bug: "YOU! BUZZZZ! I shall fly into your eyes repeatedly and flap my disgusting see through wings in your ears until you run away with your arms flailing."

Me: "What's this I have in my hand you ask? Oh nothing, just a shoe."
Bug: "You alone have killed thousands of my brethren! I have made it my mission in life to avenge them until the day I..."

Yes. Bugs. I kill them.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Deals: 9-19-08

(Thanks to Farhan who brought this great deal to my attention!)
Sandisk Cruzer 8GB with Readyboost! $25!

1TB Seagate $150
500GB Seagate $70
PC Crysis: Warhead $24

PC Unreal Tournament III $10
PC S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky $30
PC Stranglehold $5
PC /360 Alone in the Dark $10
360 Black Wireless Controller + Play 'n Charge kit $35

Portishead Backstory

I really enjoy Halloween. That said, one of the reasons I enjoy this season so much is due to that creepy, tingly feeling you get when you watch a good scary movie or the shivers you can't fight when you hear some eerie music.

One Halloween many years ago, I was home alone in my parents house. The Baka Boyz were playing music on Power 106 and they decided to play a song called Humming by Portishead.

Our street was dark, I had all the lights off and all the windows open in the house. The only visible light was the flickering reflection on the walls of the skewed faces of the Jack-o-Lanterns I had placed on the porch. You could hear the echo of the cackling children coming down the street as the song played its haunting tune. From that moment I knew I was a fan of whatever twisted artistic mind was behind this music.

Luckily I was recording the "mix" they were playing off the radio and after that otherwise uneventful Halloween, I tracked down the two songs by Portishead that I had heard that night. No names, I just remember the DJ's complaining that people were calling in, asking them to stop playing "that Portishead crap." I knew it had to be them if your typical Power 106 fan hated it. :)

A few days later I split to Best Buy and picked up the album Dummy. Usually self-titled albums are the first ones bands release so I figured "Dummy" must be the newer of the two. I was wrong but I still really enjoyed that album immensely so I wasn't concerned with about any refund. I returned and cautiously picked up the self-titled album. Keep in mind that there really wasn't an "internet" to speak of so I couldn't sample the songs anywhere. Only very few music stores allowed you to listen to the CD's first and none of them were anywhere nearby.

I was not disappointed. This was the album that had the songs I was searching for. The creepy, hypnotic tunes were great for when I was just relaxing in my room reading a book, or just waiting to fall asleep. I don't mean to make it sound boring. "Soothing" is more like it.

Anxious for their next release I waited...

and waited...

and waited.

I looked carefully at the release dates of the first two albums and noticed a huge gap. According to the CD sleave "Dummy" was released in 1994. "Portishead" was only just released in 1997. I thought it made sense since sample all that audio and tweeking it to sound just right would take much longer than your average garbage boy band release. "I could patiently wait 3 years" I told myself. A year 2000 release would be momentous. That year I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of one of my favorite Portishead songs, "Roads" in a terrible Keanu Reaves movie titled "The Watcher." That scene in the cemetary was the movies only saving grace. I took it as a hint that Portishead would be returning with that year 2000 movie placement. New age, new genre, a match made in heaven?

2000 came and went without a full album release from Portishead. 2003 came and went. 2006 came and went and still, nothing. I researched (now with the fantastical internets at my fingertips) and found some disappointing news. Apparently the band had...issues. The individual members of the group were still recording tracks and music with other bands such as Massive Attack, but Portishead was nowhere to be found. (The intro to the T.V. show House is a collaboration by Massive Attack and Portishead called Teardrop from the M.A. album, "Mezzanine.")

There was a benefit concert in Bristol where the group appeared and formally announced a new album in the works. I payed attention, but I was doubtful. How could they recapture that 90's feel over 10 years after their last release?

The album was released without any fanfare. It takes a lot of bribery for radio stations (clear channel) to add you to their play list. I didn't even know it was out until I was browsing through iTunes on my iPhone that I saw this picture.

I immediately recognized the sans serif lettering and acknowledged the fact that there was a clearly visible "3" behind the P. That same night I began searching for reviews and discovered that unfortunately, most were really disheartening.

The album was apparently released back in April and met with lackluster reviews. Many people clearly reiterating my original concerns. "They don't sound like they used to" or "The magic is lost" were sentiments shared by the majority of the reviews that I read.

The iTunes App on my iPhone allows you to listen to samples of the music, so I did just that. The samples were terrible. It didn't sound like them at all and a little piece of me died inside. I thought, "Portishead is truly dead."

It took me a few listens to truly enjoy the first two albums though so I thought, "Let me hear the full songs a few times to see if they grow on me. After all its been over 10 years, maybe there are just some audible cobwebs that need to be shaken loose."

I have since listened to the album at least 5 times from beginning to end. You can find my review here.

Music: Portishead - Third

If you like trance, or slow hypnotic rhythms, you may enjoy this album. If you have never previously heard of Portishead, however, I recommend you do your research first and pick up their first two albums, Dummy and the self-titled Portishead before you give this one a try.

This third album in a short series of releases spanning almost 15 years is a genuine, original sequel to the genre they previously helped pioneer. The reason such a general statement must be made is because of all the other reviews I have read where it is said that the album does not sound like Portishead anymore.

I couldn't disagree more. This album fits right in with the evolution of the music as it was heading in the mid 90's. It isn't quite 90's trip-hop but it does capture the feel the original albums had. I am glad to add it to my collection and I am anxious to hear more. Hopefully it won't take them over 10 years to release the next album. I don't think Beth Gibbons' , the lead singer, voice can handle that broad spectrum of notes in old age. If you were a fan of the first two, you will like this Third. If you are interested in reading through my personal background as to how I became a fan, click here. Below is a track by track review.


Silence - This song starts of clearly making its point that the music has changed. A very tribal drum rhythm that still has looping riffs and bass plucks that sound very much like what you'd expect from Portishead. I could do without some of the off-beat sound effects in the background. I wish they would stick to the rhythm here. About halfway through, Beth's voice clears through the noise and the beat picks up again. Very fun.

Hunter - Don't confuse this for Dido's Hunter. Whatever you do, don't do that! The guitar strums remind me of spaghetti westerns or a very, very sad woman left at the altar.

Nylon Smile - This sounds very new. This track sounds exactly what I expected of the new generation of Portishead. The ring of the haunting bell, the reverse instruments and the great, tremble-y vocals tie this together in a cool beatnik package.

The Rip - This starts of with a throwback tone with a "Humming" flavor. The acoustic guitar loop though adds some beach barbecue relaxation. The lyrics are as confusing in this track as any. White Horses? Halfway through, the track picks up and it just sounds really cool. From acoustic to industrial. Reminds me of really great 16-Bit video game tunes.

Plastic - More than any other, this song sounds like it could totally fit in with the second Portishead album. *Great with earphones!

We Carry On - Oh what I wouldn't do to selectively reduce the volume of certain instruments. That tone, I get what he was doing but its too damn loud. I've never been to a rave but this song needs smoke, lasers, spinning lights and jumping people. Oh and get rid of that ukulele and military drummer boy.

Deep Water - This is a WTF song. I love it. But this is NOT Portishead. I love Hawaiian music and that is what this song is. I imagine some person singing this on a lazy afternoon in Maui after a delicious luau.

Machine Gun - All I can say is that it takes getting used to. The drums sound as musical as guns can sound. Interesting mix. This won't be my favorite track on the album though. I would like to hear a remix of the vocals with a different beat.

Small - There are a couple of really creepy Halloween songs on this album and this is one of them. If you celebrate Halloween and have music playing outside as the kids come tricking and treating, this one may work for you. Reminds me of some of the better Doom II tracks when the beat picks up about half way through.

Magic Doors - At first you think its going to be another annoying tone song but it goes away and thankfully doesn't return. Unfortunately the beat is uninspired. I really don't like the way they are using the snare this time around. The piano though reminds me of "Teardrop" the House intro song that Portishead collaborated with Massive Attack on. Oh and that saxophone or trumpet sounds like something a gassy elephant was trying to pass through its system. Cut it.

Threads - Easily my favorite track on the album. The guitar alone sets you into a smooth groove. The bass perfectly accentuates Beth's arching voice. I imagine this as "The Purgatory Song." I see a cemetery, an open grave and a dead bride confused about her continued existence. Is she alive? Is she dead? Where is she? Its dark, foggy and she's roaming the cemetery in her dirty, bloody wedding dress. Twitching. Listen to the way her voice trembles at the end!

Stand, stand, damned one
Damned one
Damned one
Damned one

I am one

Where do I go?

The camera lifts out of the dead, foggy cemetery lit only by a full moon.

I love cliche Halloween and recommend this album to any Portishead fans or people with open minds to trip-notic music.

But first, listen to their other two.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Part-Time Jerk

I like to think that I'm a nice guy, mostly. I have been known on occasion to be a little mean with my sarcasm.

I have been trying to improve both by reducing the quantity of snarky remarks and simultaneously increasing their subtlety. Hopeful that the receiver doesn't understand the little joke I can still get a little internal chuckle out of it. More so if the comment flies completely over their head.

Ever since I ran full throttle away from the sand trap, browser crashing, glitter-fest that is MySpace, I have been searching for an alternative that offered the same community aspect. Blogger caught me with its ease of use and clean look and feel. The integrated Picasa photo albums covered the picture aspect.

On MySpace I used to keep a table with books that I had read and some additional information, such as, links to their Amazon pages and the dates when I started and completed reading the novels.

Then I found Shelfari. Not only was this a much better replacement for my pitiful HTML table but it was a complete replacement for MySpace in general. It offers communities, reviews and a bunch of additional and more importantly useful features that MySpace could only dream of providing.

The sidebar on the right you will see a shelf of books. It is not just an ad. This ad contains only books in my collection. Books that I own, recommend, have read or am currently reading. If you mouse over the images it will tell you how and if I rated it as well as a short summary of the book itself.

If you click and even order one of those books, some of the revenue is shared with me. :)

Anyway, I am currently reading a book with my wife titled, "Flowers for Algernon." If you haven't read it already it is a first person account of an experiment in brain surgery. A guy named Charlie Gordon keeps these journals, which you are reading, and he writes them in a very natural way. Charlie Gordon is mentally retarded and it shows in his writing.

I have a pet peeve. One of these is the intentional misspelling of words during communication. Now you may be thinking, "Well what about your online callsign, HektikLyfe?"

Good question. To answer that I will tell you that I didn't have much choice in the matter. I was searching for an e-mail address and they were all taken. I HAD to either misspell it or add numbers to it. I don't like changing names often so it stuck and I have kept it with me for years.

So in a community of readers, I wouldn't expect to find people who speak "1337`." For those that don't know, that's a short term for "elite." Mostly gamers and online forum trolls use this "language" with the intention to make their posts look more interesting than their content.

I guess there is no escaping it though since I would frequently come accross a post using the words "luv" or "pwned." In the discussion thread for the book, "Flowers for Algernon" I found it ironic that people were spelling that way when Charlie Gordon, in 1959, was spelling in a very similar fashion. Only difference was that he was "clinically" retarded as opposed to voluntarily.

I couldn't resist posting a comment.

azn_guhrl=] said:

i luv this book.... its so awsome,
it makes you give out ur different
emotions, and it's a wonderful book!

HektikLyfe said:

"...pretty cool that this book has such devoted fans. Posting comments with spelling just like Charlie Gordon would write.

Very cute.

So I'm playing dumb to counter this girl's stupidity, sue me. Like the title says, sometimes I can be a jerk, but these little moments make me smile.

Does being mean ever bring you happiness? If so, why do you think?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Poll: Do You Enjoy a Good Spanking?


Children can be such a pain in the arse. Sometimes while shopping I see them throwing themselves on the floor and the parents just letting them whine, disregarding the annoyance of everyone else shopping.

There is a reason their voices and screams are piercingly harsh. My wife and I believe that when children were raised as a community effort, this sound was a call to arms for all the adults in the area.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have an emergency. Apparently someone has forgotten to feed me."

This would explain while everyone in the blast radius of the screaming child feels the strong desire to push the bad parent out of the way, or do whatever we can to shut that kid up. The constant barrage of noise and our inability to do anything about it because we consider ourselves "civilized" in this day and age, turns our desire to help into anger and frustration.

Speaking of anger and frustration. Do you like to beat your kids?

Well, perhaps not in those exact words but what do you think about spanking? Pick your preferred poll position and proceed to proliferate and punish with appropriate penalties!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Sweet & Sour Dreams!

Heading off to bed I found this scan of a Denny's place mat I considered appetite killing. I thought you would all enjoy.

Denny's is actually a good restaurant. I can't vouch for their marketing department though.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Best Buttheads

Here in the United States there is a very popular electronics store called Best Buy. I honestly don't know if they have any stores outside of this country but just to give you an idea, this is what most of them look like.

They are big. As everyone knows when companies or businesses get too big for their own good, they start to make mistakes. Some minor, some huge. I frequent this store regularly and buy most of my electronics there.

Given that I spend so much time there I notice a lot of things that go wrong. Like I said, some small, some large, some entertaining and some downright evil. Considering that they want to place themselves as the go-to store for electronics, they should never allow little mistakes like these.

Apparently iPhone has a 3GB model of the iPhone. They meant 3G but they try to cater to grandparents and baby boomers that know nothing of electronics. This WILL confuse them. Oh and that product is available for $11.99 everywhere else.

I have a picture somewhere of a console connect service they offer. They charge $150 to come to your home and install your home console. The 360 costs $199. 3/4 of the price of the product for someone to come to your house and plug it in? The device is color coded!

Fine if some people can't figure it out, I guess they are out there. But for a company like that to rip them off that way? That sucks. Bad for PR if they had any.

Another underhanded thing Best Buy likes to do is run great deals and ads for things they no longer have in stock. Then when they get more in, the price goes up. So they get consumer interest in the product when it is not in stock, then when the consumer returns, the price is higher. Bait and switch.

Take this 1080p flash based video camera, for example, the Sony HDR-CX12. This camera has a suggested retail price of $899.99. Last week the street price was around $790 everywhere, including Best Buy. The only difference was, Best Buy was low on stock. This week they have more but the price on this camera has gone up to $810.

As a self-proclaimed tech-addict I will confirm that the price of electronics does NOT go up. It goes down. Usually the day after you buy it. Unless of course it is made by Apple or the RIAA doesn't want you to have it.

A quick search on Amazon though revealed that the price of this camera, everywhere else, is in fact going down. Amazon has this camera for $762 with free shipping. That's almost $50. With that $50 you can buy an additional 8GB memory card. (Exactly the same memory stick Best Buy wants to charge $102 for by the way!)

Point is, Best Buy isn't really living up to its name. Sure it has a lot of hardware and you can get your hands on these products (when they are plugged in and they have power) but there isn't a real advantage anymore.
  • Their warrantee's are really expensive and don't usually cover anything above what the manufacturers warrantee already covers.
  • Their employee's are pretty clueless about most of the products. (Ask them a question and watch them read the box to you after wiping their emo hair out of their face in an annoyed manner.)
  • The employee's WILL lie to you to make the sale. Downright lie. I have overheard them when selling to old people. That's just evil.
  • BestBuy.com no longer offers free shipping unlike most other online retailers.
My advice? Use them for what they are worth. Check out the products but ALWAYS compare prices. It is rare when they have a real best buy.

An Inconvenient Idea

Food with creatures that may possibly go extinct posed in extremely sad poses?

Nice job Mr. Kellog. This is why your "Endangered" cereal is so cheap at Big Lot's! (A really, really cheap budget store.) Those Cinna-seals DO look mighty delicious though.

All they needed was some red food coloring to really make these Polar-Berries take-off.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mirror's Edge in Portal?

This is a preview to a game that has not even come out yet. You SHOULD watch this on an HDTV with surround sound to really enjoy it the way it was meant to be seen.

Some creative gamers painstakingly recreated the level in another game called Portal.

I was amazed and I thought some other geeks might be as well.

The Mourning After

I don't have many people I like to call friends. I am careful with the term. There are acquaintances and there are friends. In my life there is a very clear line between the two.

If you have known me for a while, you know how much I like to write. You also know that I greatly appreciate people who write back. There was a time when I was blogging pretty frequently on MySpace. Through my wife and her friends I met a woman named Ana.

Ana would comment on nearly every single one of my blogs. She asked questions and even requested more blogs when I would go on hiatus. She seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say which I have to admit, is like drugs for an amateur writer like myself. She really seemed to enjoy writing about and discussing dreams and their interpretation. I actually wrote a few blogs specifically at her request.

One thing I especially admired about her was her dedication to her daughter. Her page was plastered with photos of her and we literally watched her grow through the years.

After dealing with the obtrusive ads, constant crashing and altogether frustrating removal of features, I stopped posting my blogs there. I searched for an alternative and finally came here to BlogSpot/Blogger. I have since blogged about many topics that she would have normally had very interesting things to add to but I noticed she hadn't posted a single time.

Last night I decided to sign in to MySpace and look up a few of my old readers. I posted a message on her page telling her about The Silent Podium. I don't make it a habit of reading other people's personal messages on their profiles so I hadn't noticed people posting their goodbye's and messages of love and mourning. It wasn't until I received a personal message from one of her friends that I learned that she had passed away last February.

I never met Ana or her daughter in person, yet her surprising death affected me more so than some people I have known first hand. Perhaps it was her kind, intelligent personality, or her unadulterated love and devotion to her daughter. I don't know what happened. I don't know the details. I only know she is gone and she will be missed.

My condolences go out to her friends, family and most of all her daughter.

I regret that I never got to tell her how she inspired me nor that I considered her a friend. I regret that I never got to say goodbye. Thank you Ana, for being who you were.

Deals: 9-12-08


PC Spore $50
Wii Mario Super Sluggers $43
PS3/360 GTAIV $50
360 Infinite Undiscovery $55


PSP Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max $10
360 Blue Dragon $20
360 Lost Odyssey $40
360/PS3 Call of Duty 4 $40

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blurb: Death Cats

Browsing during my lunch I found this sculpture of two cats locked in deadly battle for warm car hood supremacy.

It was created by Steve Bishop and it is called, "Staring at Cat Staring at Cat Staring."

Cats are funny. Now only if they would stop pissing on my door!

Discourteous Bloggers

You share your inner most thoughts and feelings with the world. You come to expect the worst of it. People who come to social networking and blogging sites are expected to have strong opinions which is why they are here in the first place.

I have absolutely no problem with that. I've even gotten used to those ghosts. The ones that read your blog religiously but refuse to comment. That's going to happen. It is annoying but we all deal with it.

Then there are those discourteous bloggers. The ones who write what they have to say, sometimes even asking you for advice or help directly, and when you respond


Not a thank you, not an "I disagree with you." not even any form of acknowledgment that they received or read what you sent them.

When people take their time to comment here I take the time to reply or respond. You all know that. Its not hard, it doesn't take a lot of time and I don't deserve any commendation. That should be expected.

There is a difference between BLOGS and articles. You are not a published writer who earned the right to have the "too busy" excuse. Disable comments if you don't want them. If you are just keeping a diary, make it private and don't ask people to read it or to respond.

Its not nearly as bad here at BlogSpot as it was in MySpace but they still exist. We should eradicate them.

Whats worse is when you go all out to help thing thinking you are doing a good thing and then people seem almost upset that you tried to help them.

Good Mourning! Happy September 11th!

What else are you supposed to say today? Its a day we are supposed to remember, granted. Its one I know I could never forget. On my calendar there is some tiny black text that says "Patriot Day."

Patriot Day.

We don't get the day off and there isn't a moment of silence. Just that text right there.

Who are these patriots? The people that died? The people that fought back on the American Airlines flight? Or all our soldiers that have died since?

Or could these calendars be manufactured by Al-Qaida as some big joke. Where by "Patriots" they mean the terrorists themselves.

I think today is a day to mourn.
  • Mourn the loss of security the U.S. felt before then.
  • Mourn the loss of what little faith Americans had left in their government.
  • Mourn the loss of safety U.S. citizens felt when traveling to other countries.
  • Mourn the loss of rights pride real Muslims felt because of the terrorist's actions.
  • Mourn the loss of self-respect after so many movies and books set out to make money off the event.
But most of all...
  • Mourn the loss of the better world our children would have had.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Movies: The Bucket List - Review

Jack Nicholson is a great actor. Morgan Freeman is too. This movie, is more of an artistic poem of a movie then the drama I was expecting. I'm not saying it was bad, there were just things that were glaringly distracting.

This story is about two complete strangers that would never have met if it weren't for their impending death by cancer.

I will keep this short since I do tend to over-write. The graphics are terrible. The drama is predictable but the camaraderie is enjoyable enough for you to overlook those faults. Think of it like a classic Hollywood film where the actors were always in front of a backdrop in a studio and you won't be disappointed.

The characters are likable and the conclusion is satisfying. Worth a rental with your significant other.

Rough Rentals

The place where I work requires a lot a walking. There are more than 10 clusters of buildings many of which I have to get through to get where I am going, every day.

Because of this we have a little golf cart to get around. One much like this one.

Minus the Escalade-ness of course.

There are traffic rules you need to know and a "test" you need to pass before you get your "license" to drive these vehicles in the...area. When driving it, I notice that I treat the little car really rough like. If I had paid for it with my own money, I would never drive the little guy the way I do, but it is so much fun.

Every time I turn a specific corner where the sidewalk meets the road, I visualize myself launching that sucker at least 4 whole inches into the sky! Anyone who knows me, knows I'm no daredevil by any means. But this safe little vehicle just inspires you to play out mini-scenes of Dukes of Hazzard or The Italian Job.

That got me thinking, why do people treat rental cars like crap? What inner desire do we satisfy by driving cars hard? I know I would never want to buy a car that was previously a rental. 10,000 miles in a car owned by one person are much better than 10,000 hard miles driven by renters.

They could be one in the same. The people that mistreat the rentals baby their own. Is it only because we know we won't have to pay for the damages or is it something deeper, more sinister?

Vengeance against all the car troubles we've previously had with lemons or flat tires? An act of war against poor innocent cars everywhere?

Lets take it easy folks, cars are people too!

Poll: Legal Marijuana

UPDATE: This poll ran from 9-10-08 to 9-17-08. Here are the final results.

Inspired by "Legal Weed" I decided to make this weeks poll about the classic, smoking version.

Cheech and Chong are back in business. A resurgence in popularity aided at least in part by Cypress Hill, marijuana has seen an incredible increase in use. A week does not go by where I don't get a whiff of it somewhere.

Its funny to me that it is usually in places where people WANT to be found. Like a status symbol that teenagers would never acknowledge for what it is. They go to theme parks. Like seriously, pay $60 - $70 to go sit in a corner by a dark bush and trash can.

I sincerely believe its popularity would decrease if it were made legal. If it stopped being such a badge of rebellion, all those pimply emo kids would stop doing it because it isn't cool anymore.

What about you, adults? Would your government's decision to make it legal convince you that it is safe to experiment with?

Wouldn't it be funny if President "Bush" had a hand in legalizing it?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Girls Would Make Terrible Goalies

As a youth most adults would really pressure us to hold off on sex until you were married. This ultimately backfired. Girls still gave it up but only developed a fear of non-committing men.

"If he doesn't want to marry me then our relationship is doomed."

Girls want the sex, but they don't want to feel like ho's. So they pressure guys into marriage way too early in the relationship. You see a couple that has been dating for a couple of months and people are already asking them if they have plans for marriage.

So they get married, and shortly divorced. Yet somehow they are confused. "How could this happen? I thought he was the right guy. I was with him exclusively for three whole months!" Quite the achievement there backdoor Betty! Wait, was the term "backseat Betty?" Either way...

Is abstinence that difficult?

I'm not a stranger to peer pressure. I remember what it was like to be made fun of for not doing the same stupid things others did. I won't say that I didn't fall prey to group stupidity once in a while. I helped lead a student walkout in High School which accomplished absolutely nothing.

Do we need to reinvent the chastity belt? What will it take to keep our nieces and daughters off their backs?

Before you accuse me of blaming everything only on the female gender answer me this, have guys changed in the past 100 years? I don't think they have. They are the same dirty dogs they have been for generations. Fighting each other for girls they don't really want, spending more money than they have to impress the girl that says "no" the most.

Its up to the girls. They say when. They just stopped. Abstinence for guys wasn't really voluntary FOR THE MAJORITY. Girls called the shots and I think the world was better for it.

Religion doesn't even seem to work anymore. The church has become melting pot for teenage hormones.

Fight back?

New iPods

Nano-nano (8GB $149 and 16GB $199)

Gray, Black, Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Pink
(Why no dark blue?)

It is thinner, it has a wide screen and built-in accelerometer. That means you can rotate it sideways for that pretty album cover flow and shake it to shuffle to the next song. I pity joggers.

iPod Classic in one flavor 120GB $250, two colors.

iPod Touch 2 Thinner and integrated Nike+. (8GB $229 - 16GB $299 - 32GB $399)

Any of you upgrading or buying for the first time?

People I Hate: Inherited Rich

Hate is a strong word. Perhaps I should clarify that now. When I "hate" someone it doesn't mean I wish them dead. Unless I specifically say so. ;) It actually means that I am repulsed by their existence or really, really annoyed by them.

That said, I hate people who are born into wealth. The ones that don't work. The one's that are spoiled sick. The one's like Paris Hilton who's purpose in life, much like their understanding of basic math, is still a mystery.

If you work hard. If you work your ass off and make you and your family wealthy, I have an incredible amount of respect for you. Even if you became a jerk in the process. The fact that you dug yourself out of the sand trap cesspool labeled "middle-class" is an achievement worth commendation.

If you do this to give your family a better life, that intention is to be respected. How you raise and train your offspring though, really determines their significance to society. As a spoiled brat, you really get used to the world grovelling at your feet.

Their careers are plotted out and handed to them by association and acquaintances. Their education is handed to them by well-paid and well-educated instructors.

The silver spoon just won't rust. Is it their fault or their parents? I don't know. I don't know if I care much. I just know that they don't deserve their blessed lives as much as I feel some of the hard workers I know do.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Grosser Than Gross: Public Restroom

As a kid, not being the active type, I spent many bored hours of lunch and recess finding ways to entertain myself. On the rare occasion when they would actually let me out, as I was easily distracted and would be held after class to complete my classwork, I would sit in a shady area and talk with a few peers.

On thing we used to do was play a "game" called, "Grosser than Gross."

How do you play? I'm glad you asked, but you sure won't be glad after I tell you. It held the same basic format of a Knock-Knock joke only half as long and twice as disgusting.
Victor: "Hey Adam, what's grosser than gross?"

Adam: "You mean besides your mom?"

Victor: "Don't be stupid, what's grosser than gross?"

Adam: "I don't know, what?"

Victor: "When you're eating rice, and the last one gets up and walks away."
You get a few enthusiastic "Ewwwws!" From the girls nearby and some cackles from the guys. It passed the time.

When you get older though, more experienced, you witness some things in life that leave such an impression that those childish jokes of yore pale in comparison to the human travesty that is an adult public restroom.

Have you ever seen the movie, "American Pie?". Do you recall a character "Stifler" referred to as "Shitbrick?"

"Shitbrick" was a guy that absolutely refused to use public restrooms. Well that would be me if it wasn't for the fact that I'm getting older now and waiting 9 hours until I get home to use my own private restroom just isn't feasible.

Today I reluctantly stroll into the nearest restroom, casually peeking over my shoulder to make sure people don't see me walk in. On the already disgusting toilet seat is a spot of smeared blood.

Yeah. That just ruined my day. No matter what excuse I could come up with for a spot of blood being in the men's restroom, they were all bad. Consider my appetite lost.

Any "Grosser Than Gross: Real Life Edition" stories you would like to share? Be my guest.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Deals: 9-5-08


Rock Band Drums $50
XBox360 120GB Hard Drive $150
XBox 360 Blue Dragon $20


XBox360 Arcade Edition $199 (Available EVERYWHERE!)
XBox360 Elite Edition $399 (Available EVERYWHERE!)

360/PS3 Facebreaker $43
360 Infinite Undiscovery $55
360 Tales of Vesperia $55
PS3 Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice $44

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Poll: Pre-marital Sex

UPDATE: This poll ran from 9-3-08 to 9-10-08. Here are the final results.

This weeks poll is a very personal topic that has the potential to destroy lives, given certain circumstances. As a teenager, or these days even before that age, you don't really think about the future. You are only concerned with the "now."

Some people make decisions that they fully believe are the right decisions and stand by them. Others make bad decisions knowing full well that they will have negative repercussions but they don't really care.

As many of you know, I played the part of a High School peer counselor. I didn't sign up for it. I didn't work with the guidance counselor. This job just fell in my lap. One girl talked to me in class, liked the advice I had to give and told her friends.

Sometimes I would hear some terrible things about or occasionally directly from, girls that I liked. My respect for females in general dropped tremendously around that point. They were making decisions and taking actions that would have drastic effects on their future and didn't think twice about it.

To this day I wonder where those females ended up, which is what inspired this poll. Do you regret your past? Try not to think of it like "It made me who I am." Think of it like an alternate universe where everything would still be as it is. Would your spouse respect you more with a clean past? Would you feel better about yourself?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Was I A Girl In My Previous Life?

Or am I the only guy that will be watching the Beverly Hills, 90210 spin-off tonight?

Resistant to it in the beginning, I was drawn into it by the humor and Ian Ziering's, rude and occasionally bigoted Steve Sanders persona. To be completely honest I'd have to admit that Jennie Garth also caught my attention. Never really into blondes myself, she was the exception.

I don't watch much/any T.V. when LOST isn't on so this spin-off came as a total surprise to me. I wouldn't want to watch it at all if it wasn't for the fact that some of the original cast will be returning albeit as special guests. I have NO interest in watching the O.C. renamed so they have a very few short episodes to make or break my interest.

The new cast is already teetering on breaking my interest.

Don't these "kids" look too old? I know the original cast was old too but they "looked" younger. This new cast is only going to get older as time goes on.

Anyone else watching this other than my wife and I?

Edit: Anyone else find it interesting that more than half the show took place OUTSIDE of Beverly Hills? In the show itself they said something like, there's more to life than Beverly Hills. Then why the hell are we watching this show? They went to San Francisco for dinner. They couldn't possibly go (to any interesting place) any further within California then San Francisco.

Weed in a Bottle? Feds say Yes!

Sort of.

There is a little town in Northern California called Weed. In this little town there is a little brewery owned by an ex-cop named Dillman. Dillman the still-man capped his beer bottles with a little slogan. "Try Legal Weed."

This little slogan was a big deal according to the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. According to the regulators, (and a little law federal law prohibiting drug references on alcoholic beverages,) Dillman was guilty of a thought crime.

The claim was retracted, "...the agency's assistant director conceded that the phrase refers to the brand name of the microbrew and said it does not mislead customers by alluding to a slang word for cannabis."

Come on! "Legal Weed?" I don't think the slogan is a problem but to ignore the obvious reference and pretend we all don't know what they mean implies ignorance. Rewrite the law, don't ignore it, this sets a very dangerous precedence.

According to the article in the L.A. Times, "(Weed, California)...has been marketing the double entendre of its name for years, with gas stations selling 'High on Weed' T-shirts and a sign at the town's exit reading 'Temporarily Out of Weed.'"

Last year, Dillman won first place at a Sacramento brew fest with his "Shastafarian Porter."

People create art or logos depicting the abuse of power by police officers in urban areas, or something as harmless as a T-Shirt, do they get the same preferential treatment?

Maybe if they looked like this?
Full Story