Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Deals: 11-26-08

If you are looking for some Black Friday deals, try

They have some really great prices on stuff this year.

Katy Perry's One of the Boys album is available for download for $5!

Go soon, they have 49 other full album downloads for $5! This isn't old crap either its the newest music from groups like Metallica, Portishead, Moby, Lil Wayne, Mariah Carey and even classics like B.B. King and Al Green.

This list is updated hourly, I don't know if that means they take stuff off the list as well as add to it. If you're a fan of music like I am and are tired of getting viruses from programs like Limewire (like everyone who's computers I have to fix,) take a look at this list and pick up a few good albums for the holidays.

They also have your typical collection of electronics as well as perfumes.

Here are a couple that I recognized.

3.4oz Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely perfume $32 free shipping.
4.2oz Cool Water for men $33 free shipping.

Be careful though some the "deals" on electronics are crap! Research the stuff you're not sure about.

Christmas shopping gets easier every year. :)



Almost 10 years ago President Bill Clinton was impeached for lying to the public about his personal life of adultery.

President George W. Bush lies and thousands people die... nothing happens. What is going on?

I have no faith in politics. Can you blame me?

Read this article to find out what I am talking about.

Random@Random: David

I was digging through some old blogs I never posted and found one with this picture of David I dragged off the internet. I forgot what I was going to say about it but thought I would share it anyway.

Michelangelo's David if he were alive today. true.

Life or Deaf

(I wrote originally wrote this blog last year, it still references an interesting story so I decided to post it even though it is terribly old.)

There was a man named Donnell Williams. Donnell was in his tub taking a bath. He was relaxed and enjoying his warm bath. When he was done and got out of the tub, he was surprised to find guns pointing at him just seconds after wrapping a towel around himself.

"I ain't never been so scared," says Williams.

Kansas police, forced themselves into his home in response to a falsified cell phone reported shooting.

"I kept going to my ear yelling that I was scared. I can't hear! I can't hear!"

That didn't stop Kansas' finest from shooting him with a taser.

He was deaf, more than half naked and obviously unarmed. I don't need to tell you that Donell Williams is black. This kind of stuff only happens to poor minority groups and it is pretty sad.

We can sit here and claim that the police were scared for their lives in a bad neighborhood but the man was alone, he didn't make a move and was naked. They had many men, armed with guns. Because he didn't seem to respond they shocked him.

According to the story they have since apologized but really, what good does that do.

I can imagine myself listen to my earphones in my own home when people bust in and shoot me with a taser without provocation. This is the stuff that nurtures distrust and resentment towards the police departments of our local neighborhoods.

If they can teach cops basic Spanish words to deal with multicultural citizens, they can teach them basic hand signals.

Story Links.

Channel 12

Killer Kredit or Creditucation

Credit can make a break you. Many people are learning the hard way but who is to blame? My first instinct is to blame the parents for not teaching their children the basics of money management and credit building. Unfortunately they aren't educated on the issues themselves so can we really place the blame squarely on the shoulders of these parents who were never taught either?

Instead of making Geometry and Algebra II mandatory, I think we should build on classes like Economics. I was given only half a year of Economics my senior year and it was worthless. Sure it was funny playing "stock market" but I didn't learn anything that I would be able to use in daily life.

I feel classes like advanced Math, Chemistry, and Biology should be optional for students who intend to pursue a college education in those subjects. A mandatory class should include real life topics. How many times haven't you heard students argue, or argued yourself, that what is being learned in school isn't something they would ever use in life? I know I made that argument myself when in Geometry and you know what? I was right. I didn't know what I was going to do for a living but I knew I hated the subject. I did fine in the class, it was actually very easy, but it was a waste of an entire year for me.

Money management would have been something I know many of my peers would have benefited from.

As a child, I watched my father pay is bills and control his credit every single day. I learned early on that it was OK to get as many cards as I like. As long as I find one that doesn't charge annual fee's and I paid them off completely every month. Every, single, month.

I have over 700 credit now. I have never spent more than what I had in the bank to pay off completely and only used to credit cards to build credit. I didn't view those cards as mini-loans. I saw them as tools for a purpose. Compressed cash so to speak. If I didn't have the cash in the bank right now and a really good deal at Best Buy would be gone tomorrow, so be it.

Be wary of the suffering that comes from wanting nice things.

My credit is great because of it. Sure I didn't always have the nicest shoes and fancy clothes or cars like my friends did but now I have a home that is all mine, clothes that I can afford, a new car in the garage and they still live at home with their parents looking sadly at pictures of their beloved SUV that just got repo-ed.

So this Friday, be careful. Even if you see that T.V. that you really want at the lowest price you have ever seen it, if you don't have that amount and more already in the bank specifically reserved for the purchase of that television, DO NOT BUY IT. Rebuilding the countries economy starts with rebuilding your own. The credit companies wouldn't be in trouble if we didn't try to live beyond our means. As much as we want to put the blame on greedy corporations, it is really us who are to blame.

If we had been responsible with our own money, we would not be in trouble.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good Sam Must Work Out

Yesterday as I was getting off the freeway I see this Guy pushing a Chevy Caprice.

For many years this was the vehicle of choice for the California police department. As I parked my car to go help this man I quickly found out one of the reasons why.

That is one heavy ass car!

I was running about 2 minutes late but saw the man struggling. Other people were just walking buy or staring at the guy trying to push this elephant. I stop, get out and start pushing. His wife was in the car and she was struggling with the steering so she takes us the long way around to the sidewalk where she wants to park.

We progress ever so slowly. I find it so interesting that you don't really notice how steep the edges of our roads are until you find yourself pushing a nearly 2 ton monster.

As soon as we're done I run back to the car to get to work, or at least I tried to run. My legs didn't seem to want to lift up off the ground high enough to effectively call the awkward dinosaur stomp I was doing in the middle of the street a "run." Still in a hurry, I change my strategy into doing what I could only imagine Frankenstein's monster would have done when he was in a hurry. I did this little hoppity swing thing to jump of one leg and onto the other. Very weird. As soon as I got to the car and bent my knees I was fine.

Age. It catches up to you when you least expect it.

Don't Come Begging

When I pull up at a gas station I quickly survey my surroundings. I see the man dog scoping out all the breasts in the area. I see the girl struggling to stretch the fuel hose to the opposite side of the car where the gas tank resides. I can barely see the gas station attendant behind the tinted glass trying really hard not to do any work. I try my hardest never to approach these attendants since they rarely speak any English.

The one person I pay the most attention to is the guy at the bus stop or the one pretending to be on the phone. As soon as I pull up in my shiny car I notice them notice me and they usually start making their way towards me. They spew their tragic tale of poverty and hunger which I can tell is an outright lie simply by the clean clothes they are wearing. I usually cut them off and say "sorry." If they persist I tell them I paid with a card, which I always do. I usually get the "Not even a couple of quarters?"

I hit the same gas stations on a regular basis so I have come to know them well. They too hit the same gas stations on a regular basis. It got to the point where I would reach into my pocket, pull out my wallet and hand them a business card to an employment agency.

If they can be out there in the sun all day, they can work. If my skinny butt can work in a warehouse when times were hard and survive, then they can too.

My ex coworker's father owns a bakery. My ex coworker knew that I absolutely love this cinnamon bundt cake that they use to make. For Christmas one year she brought one for me. I'm not kidding you the entire drive home I would look over at it sitting there decadently in the passenger seat waiting to be eaten.

As I exited the freeway there was a chunky homeless looking dusty blond smoker lady begging at the exit. So close to the holidays I felt terrible about her situation. She knocks on my window and I know I don't have change. I didn't make much back then. Then I glance over longingly at my delicious cinnamon bundt cake. Then back to her. Then the cake. Then to her.


I lower my window. (It was a manual window in my little Honda Prelude.) I hand her the cake and drive away as the light turns green. I feel good about myself and look back through the rear view with smiling eyes. I see her rip off the top, stick her hands in it as if looking for something then throw the cake and the plastic covering into the street.

I don't remember getting mad. I just felt as if time stopped for me. I drove the rest of the way home in a daze.

my cake

Later I thought, "well, the good deed was done and that was what was more important." Whatever she did was her own doing. Whatever choices she made in life to make her that way were her own. It doesn't diminish the nice thing I did.

Of course that doesn't mean that I would do it again. I do try to help people but I am just very careful about what I do and how I do it. I follow a simple set of rules.

  1. If you come to my home, you're not getting a thing.
  2. If you can afford a commercial on television, you're not getting a thing.
  3. If you are begging across the street from somebody who is working for their money, you can be damn sure you are not getting a freakin' thing and should consider yourself lucky if I don't swerve to hit you with the car.
Where's my holiday spirit? Right here.

No, seriously. Right here.

What is Child's Play? Child's Play is a community based charity dedicated to fulfilling the wish lists of kids in Children's Hospitals around the world. Just click on the little game controller of your hospital of choice on the map displayed on their home page to check out their Amazon list. Be sure to select the shipping address of the hospital rather than your own. You can also buy a T-Shirt or Child's Play Greeting card of which 100% of the proceeds to direct to Child's Play.

Please, this is a genuine charity that I have researched thoroughly that couldn't serve a better cause this holiday season. They also accept PayPal or cash to;

Child's Play
12317 15th Ave NE #108
Seattle, Washington 98125

Please make a sick child smile this Christmas.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Ten G's

Wow! When I first created this blog I didn't expect results like these. I added the blog hit counter a few months ago more out of curiosity than any intention to keep track of the blogs popularity. As of this weekend The Silent Podium has received over 10,000 hits in less than 6 months! So for my 150th blog here at the Silent Podium I wanted to express my gratitude.

I want to thank each and every single one of you who have participated. I want you all to know that I truly appreciate the time you have taken in your day to read through my chaotic mess of a random blog. I understand how on occasion you may read blogs that just don't inspire a response so every time I get a comment, I am glad to know that you felt inclined to participate. Even if, no, ESPECIALLY if we disagree. You all know how much I enjoy a good argument!

Thank you.

I will keep cranking them out if you will keep reading them. :)

Now on to blog #151!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meme: Tagback

You know the drill. No need to play if you've already played before or if you don't feel like it. Since I very recently tagged so many of you I will refrain from tagging anyone specifically. Anyone who wants to play, is more than welcome. Now, on to the meme!

eizzy.k is responsible for this bout.

1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. List 7 random/wierd facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 folks (IF POSSIBLE) and leave their links on your page.
4. Most importantly, let them know they been tagged and leave them a link to your tag post!

7 MORE random facts about myself:

  1. I play video games and occasionally lose intentionally so everyone can have fun. Winning doesn't mean much to me, its the social aspect that I enjoy.
  2. I have a bad habit. I bite my nails. Not to the point where they are bad but where they are short. I trim them I guess. Gross I know.
  3. I don't bite the pinkies. Why? OCD. Let me explain. I am aware of my bad habit and when I was in elementary school, I decided stopping the biting was a monumental task so I figured I would start with one finger. That's as far as I got. Now NOT biting them specifically is part of my "process." Weirdo.
  4. As much of a pessimist as the people who know me know that I am, there is a tiny little optimist inside me. He is too often disappointed though.
  5. Unlike eizzy, I think the 90's were terrible. They were an awkward time with terrible music, clothes and hairstyles. Polka-dots? There were the occasional diamonds but it was mostly rough.
  6. I don't believe the "end of the world" will come any time soon. Our presence in it? Who knows, but the Earth will be fine.
  7. I hate it when people talk at movies but lately have become accustomed to talking myself. I don't do it at the theater. My wife would find my comments entertaining so I just became accustomed to doing it.

OK. So its all up to you guys if you feel like participating. No obligation. :)

Lose 10 Pounds!

(from your boobs)

You really need to pay attention to the small print in those ads. I was reading through one of my new readers' (Everyday Housewife) responses to the 9 layers meme and I decided to click on an ad for her. Because that's what we should all be doing for each other right? ;) And one of the links caught my attention. It was a before and after picture unlike any other I have seen before.

It was real.

I know sometimes you see those ads on T.V. with the girl all super fat wearing spandex and looking so sad. I wouldn't be surprised if they added twinky filling to her face using PhotoShop to show you how terrible life was for her before. No offense to Brain Twinkey.

Then in the after picture they have this OBVIOUSLY touched up shot of a girl that could possibly be her in a studio with make up and a new do. Cheap marketing tactics right?

Have any of you seen that commercial with the little cartoon couple that discuss the unfair advantage men have over women when it comes to weight loss? If not, let me quickly describe it to you.

Two chunky cartoons are on screen. The girl talking no surprise there. ;) So the girl is talking to the camera and complaining about their weight and how they are going on diet. As time moves forward you see visible weight loss in both. Only the man loses weight everywhere and the girl only loses her boobs. The commercial ends with her saying, "Now neither of us is happy."

Its pretty funny. All the female friends I have ever had have confirmed this to be true. Its never been more evident than in these before and after shots in the ad linked page.

Here is the link to the page. Not the best way to advertise your weight loss solution I'd say.

As an interesting side note; after I clicked on another of her ads, 'cuz I'm nice like that, I noticed another diet blog with an interesting title. See if you see what I saw. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dangling Weiners & Ketchup

(This post is partly true and partly satirical. The actual event DID occur and the thoughts did cross my mind but as you have all experienced, sometimes the world isn't quite as you see it.)

Today at work they had a special luncheon. They had discounted the regular price of a certain lunch special of a tiny bag of chips, soda and a hot dog. There was an even discount on the second dog.

I don't eat much. I'm a small framed guy but I like deals. I bought the second dog. I figured I might as well get my money's worth.

Have you all ever seen those hot dogs that are too small for the bun? Or the wieners that just hang off the edge of the bread? I don't like that. The hot dog itself just tastes like crap anyway I mean its not even really meat right? So I don't want to taste it. I just eat it as filling food. The bread helps to dilute the nastiness of the blended horse hoof I'm scarfing.

I eat my dogs plain. Just ketchup. No mayo, no mustard, none of those little green poison cubes or tomatoes or anything. Simple.

Rarely do I sit in the lunch room. I'm not social and people don't really like me because of what I sometimes have to do. I sit at the only solitary, round table in the entire room. The sunlight actually breaks through while I am eating and shines a spotlight down on my lonely self.

I don't care. People suck anyway and I'm more concerned with accomplishing this challenge. Eat and keep this "food" down.

Unwrapping my aluminum foiled animal tofu, I prepare to take my first bite. Half way up I realize, "Hmmm, perhaps I shouldn't deep throat this thing."

Yeah. I'm pretty sure about my masculinity but something just feels inherently wrong about inserting a sausage into my mouth in any remotely perpendicular fashion. So what am I to do? I bare my teeth and very obviously bite the thing off sideways. Garrr like a caveman ripping at some raw mammoth meat...wait. I'm not helping my case am I? As a shallow man I have no choice.

Why must they continue to make phallic foods?

Even God seems to like to get in on the "gag." Pun intended.

Well, have a great day and a safe drive home if you're not there already. (Sorry about the formatting, I'll fix it tomorrow, I gotta go home!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Disorganized Thoughts - A Really, Really Bad Poem

Sometimes whilst walking,
I hear my my inner self just talking.
Random thoughts like conspiracy plots,
But with a grim face like I were stalking.

While at work or there at home,
I sit with friends or all alone.
My mind will wander to lands yonder,
About nothing more complex than a rotary phone.

How do people who wear diapers make it to Senator?
Or why does the rear end of a turkey look like The Predator.

(Yet still taste so delicious!)

Sometimes I'm lost in thought all day,
I'm quiet mostly with not much to say.
So I come here to Blogger to play,
Where my disorganized thoughts are fired away.

I'm no poet, for that I apologize but I just felt like jotting something down on a less than productive day here on blogger.

P.S. Thanks to Diva for the turkeypic! Check her blog for a GREAT Thanksgiving recipe!

Random@Random - Just Now

So I'm walking out to the gate at work and I pass the cafeteria. It's warm, sunny and the gardeners are cutting away. An older lady crosses my path and she is coughing up a storm. A little concerned that this gray lady may stop breathing I ask her, "Are you OK?"

She manages to clear her throat long enough to say, "I'm allergic to
grass." Without thinking about the possible negative reactions to me joking
about her age I respond, "The 70's must have been a nightmare for you."

She stops in her tracks and starts coughing even louder. She straightens up and says, "You just made my day, thank you for that." I work in a pretty uptight environment so this was not normal behavior for anyone.

Once in a while it's good to scratch the glass.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meme: Phocus

UPDATED!! 11-19-08

This one is easy.


1. Take a picture of a regular everyday item with your cell phone or digital camera that fits the theme of the current Meme.
2. Crop and upload a tiny but recognizable portion of it to your own blog.
3. Give people a couple of days to respond then upload the complete "un-cropped" photograph by editing the original post.

Are you game?

Today's theme: "Office Spaces"

Keyword: Tool

Too easy? Let me know and I will create a much harder one next time.

Please excuse the ugliest pair of scissors in our work area here. I couldn't find anything more "common" than that. Next time it will be a bit harder.

Meme: 9 Layers

9 Layers - A Gigantic Meme I copied from Leah Friesen.

A meme to peel away the layers of you.

– Name: HektikLyfe. Yep. That's all you're getting.
– Birth date: Summertime.
– Birthplace: Hollywood. Seriously.
– Current Location: Somewhere in San Bernardino County.
– Eye Color: Brown.
– Hair Color: Brown.
– Height: 5'9"
– Righty or Lefty: Right-handed.
– Zodiac Sign: Meh.

– Your heritage: Define "heritage." My blood comes from all over.
– The shoes you wore today: K-Swiss.
– Your weakness: Games and electronics.
– Your fears: Injured or endangered family. Poverty. Failure.
– Your perfect pizza: Thick bread crust, no oil. Ham.
– Goal you’d like to achieve: Like not likely. Duh. Rich. I would like to live my life not work it.

– Your most overused phrase on messengers: LOL. People so rarely actually LOL.
– Your first waking thoughts: I wonder if I could sleep 5 more minutes.
– Your best physical feature: I have a terrible EGO. I guess my eyelashes. I don't like them but girls seem to compliment/hate them more often than anything else.
– Your most missed memory: I don't understand this question. If I miss the memory than it is gone. If the memory is gone how could I remember to miss it? Hmmm, I guess I wish I could remember what it felt like to not have worries as a kid.

– Pepsi or Coke: Coke. I miss it. I gave up on all caffeinated drinks. Pepsi was too sweet.
– McDonald’s or Burger King: Burger King hands down. McDonald's made me sick. Not thanks McFreezerburn burger.
– Single or group dates: Tough choice. I like practicing my social skills but I also LOVE spending time with my wife just laughing at the world. I like them both but prefer the time alone with my wife.
– Adidas or Nike: Neither. They are both over-priced. $80 for shoes, please! I'll stick to budget "last-years model" Lugz and K-Swiss.
– Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Neither. No Tea for me.
– Chocolate or vanilla: Vanilla for ice cream, chocolate for candy.
– Cappuccino or coffee: Neither. No caffeine for me.

– Smoke: Never.
– Cuss: Every day.
– Sing: Only when I'm very, VERY alone and usually very overacted to the radio in a mockery of today's anorexic "artists."
– Take a shower everyday: Who doesn't? Please stay far away from me. Sometimes twice. (OCD)
– Do you think you’ve been in love: Now that I've been married, I know that I hadn't truly been in love before.
– Want to go to college: Not again. No thanks. I'll keep my money.
– Liked high school: Hated every moment of it.
– Want to get married: Only to my wife again.
– Believe in yourself: Not much.
– Get motion sickness: Only when I'm not driving.
– Think you’re attractive: Not at all.
– Think you’re a health freak: Not a freak but I am aware when I start to develop a ponch. No more In-N-Out!
– Get along with your parent(s): Mostly.
– Like thunderstorms: Not since we bought a home. Now I worry. Water erodes.
– Play an instrument: Not a real one. I can play the crap out of my Rock Band drums and pluck and my old acoustic guitar. (RIP)

LAYER SIX: In the past month…
– Drank alcohol: Haven't taken NyQuil this month so no.
– Smoked: Again, never.
– Done a drug: Only aspirin.
– Made Out: None of your business.
– Gone on a date: Of course.
– Gone to the mall?: Yes.
– Eaten an entire box of Oreos?: WTF? Who does this? Dang. Fat.
– Eaten sushi: Nope.
– Been on stage: Yes.
– Been dumped: I hope not.
– Gone skating: Not in the past month. Been a couple of years since we've been ice skating.
– Made homemade cookies: I don't think I've ever done this.
– Gone skinny dipping: Only in the tub.
– Dyed your hair: I don't plan on it.
– Stolen Anything: Hmmm, do tiny salt packets from restaurants count?

– Played a game that required removal of clothing: Only jokingly. We didn't actually do the removal of clothing. It was strip Monopoly and no one removed anything. We just called it that.
– Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: I wouldn't say trashed but I believe I was 15 when I realized that perhaps I was too young to be drunk. That's when I quit alcohol forever.
– Been caught “doing something”:
– Been called a tease: Ha! No. Though I did make girls really chase after me. I didn't "play" hard to get. I was. Didn't mean to. I just didn't go out with everyone I had an interest in. If they weren't perfect (for me) I wouldn't give them the time of day relationship wise. I angered a few girls who didn't deal well with rejection. Especially since they didn't think I was anything special. Oxymorons.
– Gotten beaten up: Yes. Not by those girls though. One time an ex-boyfriend sent 6 of his "homies" to try who considered me responsible for his breakup. Nothing happened and I broke through the crowd of shorties.
– Shoplifted: Once as a teenage idiot and I paid for it dearly. I learned my lesson.
– Changed who you were to fit in: Everywhere I go. Not for the purpose of "fitting in" but to get along with people. I think we all do that to a degree. You don't talk about sex with your priest but you do it freely with your spouse. Unless they are one in the same and you are going to hell. ;)

– Age you hope to be married: Already married and I believe we did it at the right age for us.
– Numbers and Names of Children: Zero - Thats the name not the number. (He's a dog.)
– Describe your Dream Wedding: The girl would be happy. I had it.
– How do you want to die: Want? I would prefer to die quickly, painlessly and in my sleep at the same time my wife passes away exactly the same way. I don't want her to suffer my loss and I don't want to suffer hers.
– Where you want to go to college: Not again. Never again. I hate paying people to teach you how to earn half of what you owe back.
– What do you want to be when you grow up: Rich, retired and likable.
– What country would you most like to visit: Italy. My wife likes it. Her mother loved it and I want to take her there.

– Number of drugs taken illegally: 1. Alcohol. You're kidding yourself if you don't call it a drug.
– Number of people I could trust with my life: 3. Wife, Brother, Father.
– Number of CDs that I own: Way too many. I couldn't count that high in the time it would take to write this blog.
– Number of piercings: None. Don't think I will ever do this. Why? Human ornaments are a feminine thing I think.
– Number of tattoos: None. I like some of the artwork but I'd rather see it on canvas than on hairy, patchy, stretchy human skin.
– Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper?: 3 or 4.
– Number of scars on my body: I can think of only 4 tiny ones.
– Number of things in my past that I regret: About as many CD's as I own. My life is full of them. Sure we wouldn't be here having this conversation but if the world were perfect I would make SOOO many changes to mistakes I made.

If you are still here and wish to play along, click on Read More to get the blank pre-formatted one you can copy and post on your own blog. Don't forget to post a link so we can go read and get to know you.

– Name:
– Birth date:
– Birthplace:
– Current Location:
– Eye Color:
– Hair Color:
– Height:
– Righty or Lefty:
– Zodiac Sign:

– Your heritage:
– The shoes you wore today:
– Your weakness:
– Your fears:
– Your perfect pizza:
– Goal you’d like to achieve:

– Your most overused phrase on AIM:
– Your first waking thoughts:
– Your best physical feature:
– Your most missed memory:

– Pepsi or Coke:
– McDonald’s or Burger King:
– Single or group dates:
– Adidas or Nike:
– Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea:
– Chocolate or vanilla:
– Cappuccino or coffee:

– Smoke:
– Cuss:
– Sing:
– Take a shower everyday:
– Do you think you’ve been in love:
– Want to go to college:
– Liked high school:
– Want to get married:
– Believe in yourself:
– Get motion sickness:
– Think you’re attractive:
– Think you’re a health freak:
– Get along with your parent(s):
– Like thunderstorms:
– Play an instrument:

LAYER SIX: In the past month…
– Drank alcohol:
– Smoked:
– Done a drug:
– Made Out:
– Gone on a date:
– Gone to the mall?:
– Eaten an entire box of Oreos?:
– Eaten sushi:
– Been on stage:
– Been dumped:
– Gone skating:
– Made homemade cookies:
– Gone skinny dipping:
– Dyed your hair:
– Stolen Anything:

– Played a game that required removal of clothing:
– Been trashed or extremely intoxicated:
– Been caught “doing something”:
– Been called a tease:
– Gotten beaten up:
– Shoplifted:
– Changed who you were to fit in:

– Age you hope to be married:
– Numbers and Names of Children:
– Describe your Dream Wedding:
– How do you want to die:
– Where you want to go to college:
– What do you want to be when you grow up:
– What country would you most like to visit:

– Number of drugs taken illegally:
– Number of people I could trust with my life:
– Number of CDs that I own:
– Number of piercings:
– Number of tattoos:
– Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper?:
– Number of scars on my body:
– Number of things in my past that I regret:

Monday, November 17, 2008

In Defense of "Taggers"

Back in June I wrote a blog titled Fag Taggers. The term "Fag" was not mean to insult or attack members of the homosexual community (as I state in the blog) but instead "insult" or at least antagonize self proclaimed taggers using the same terminology they use on a daily basis to insult each other. Antagonizing them solely to get a rise and response out of them. To see if there was any logical defense for writing their names on public walls and bathroom stalls.

That particular blog was written with the intention to dissuade taggers from continuing their practices. If they chose to be artistic, by becoming graffiti artists instead and painting only where they were asked or paid to paint, this blog post defended that choice and I believe I even confirmed it as a valid art form. A key point that the following reader hiding behind his anonymity chose to ignore or didn't even bother to read before he opened his gasbag. (From this point on I will refer to the commenter as a HE instead of he/she. As witness by his tendency to jump to conclusions I would be dismayed if he thought I was inferring he was a hermaphrodite.)

Don't forget to read the original blog post first!

Anonymous said...
November 17, 2008 10:12 AM

Wow. I love how you people THINK you know why people "tag". You come to this little forum and metaphorically circle jerk each other about how "ugly" and "stupid" graffiti is, and how taggers are "idiots" and meaningless", yet the reasons listed in the posts before me are hardly correct. When you come to these forums and post all your little generalizations togehter, you sound ignorent. Plain and simple. Granted, some graffiti is ugly and done by kids just wanting to vandalize property, but for fuck sake, shut the hell up.

Right from the top.

1. This is not a forum. Its a blog. Blogs are meant for people to express and discuss personal opinions.
2. I did not say a single thing about graffiti being ugly and stupid. I specifically said tagging was ugly and stupid. Do you know the difference between what you think you are trying to defend?
3. The reasons we post for tagging being ugly and stupid are "hardly correct?" How so? Writing a name you made up for yourself over a stop sign is pretty and smart? Explain this.
4. Again, this is not a forum nor is it a generalization. Tagging is stupid. It is a statement. But yes, I can see how YOU would think I sound "ignorent."
5. You then proceed to concede that what we say is sometimes true BUT to "shut the hell up." How does this make any sense to you? Do you smoke marijuana? Just asking.

Anyone who reads (key word: reads) my blog posts knows that I can be very opinionated. They should also know that I DO concede when a commenter makes a better point or a counterargument. But for me to grant a poster that recognition there has to be a counterpoint. This user said absolutely nothing. All I got from it was that he saw our disgust over the vandalism of our neighborhoods as "ignorent."

I could see where he was getting at if it were about a specific art form or demeaning a racial group or something similarly evil but he really is trying to defend something that is both illegal and pointless. Territory markers. Really.

Or do you all agree with him?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Deals: 11-14-08


360/PS3 Call of Duty: World At War $55
360 Gears of War $25
360 Too Human $35
PS3 Metal Gear Solid 4 $40

W00t! has a Kingston 2GB Micro SD with adapter for $8. This is great for most cell phones. has 2 2GB microSD cards with an adapter for $18 with free shipping.

Want to get an XBox for your husband? This is the one to get. The black XBox 360 Elite for $339 with free shipping and two (very bad) games packed in free. You won't find it cheaper than at Dell Home. Don't forget to tuse the 15% off code SKF3MQS8JXV9F9 This expires TODAY!

Gears of War 2 $52 free shipping from NewEgg.

Have a great weekend!

Blogger Courtesy Tip of the Day

If you delete your blog or change the name, let your followers know.

Feel free to add some of your own tips. ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Do you like music? Do you like to buy music? Do you buy music in electronic form? If so, you may have dealt with DRM and aren't even aware of it. If you have an MP3 player and don't know what I am talking about, you will want to read this blog. It is NOT for tech savvy individuals. It is for you average Joe's and Joanna's that just bought your fancy schmancy digital music M.P. whatchamacallits.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. What it is basically, is a built in restriction attached to digital music files. It keeps people from copying music. Well, at least that is the idea. More often then not however it is more likely the "thing" that keeps you from transferring music from your iPod to your phone or from your PC to an MP3 player or another computer you own.

If you use iTunes you may have encountered one of the most restrictive forms of DRM. Whenever you buy music in the iTunes store, it is locked to your account. When you take your iPod to work you can't copy the files off easily or transfer new ones to it. If you want to switch to a Zune or another MP3 player you are looking at quite a bit of work.

This is DRM. Until recently, DRM-Free music files were only available illegally or by ripping the music off CD's you own. Keep in mind however that the default configuration settings for Windows Media Player and iTunes automatically plaster your music with DRM restrictions.

You say you want to avoid the trials and tribulations of DRM? Over 90% of Silent Podium readers here are using some version of Microsoft Windows so the ripping solution I will provide will be strictly for PC's.

There are other utilities out there to do the same thing but I like using Windows Media Player because you don't have to install anything else, and it keeps things nice and tidy. I am using Windows Media Player 11 in Windows XP for this example.

1. Open Windows Media Player.
2. Click on the Rip Music tab.

3. Click on the little arrow below the Rip letters to expand the menu options and click on "More Options."

4. Click on the Rip Music tab if it isn't already selected. Take note of what location those files will be ripped to. You will need to remember this. By default they go right into the My Music folder in your My Documents folder.
5. About half way down you can see a section called Rip settings. Make sure the format is mp3.

6. Unless you are really desperate for hard drive space, (hardly any new computer has to concern themselves with this anymore,) increase the audio quality to 320 Kbps "Best Quality" all the way to the right.
7. Make sure that none of the checkboxes are selected. (We don't want to automatically rip the music until we have downloaded all the correct song names and album art.)
8. Click OK.
9. If it doesn't automatically download the album art, click where the info is supposed to be and select "Update Album Info." The service Microsoft uses for this data is usually pretty good about it but you will get the occasional "never heard of it response." When this happens you can search by information you know or type it all in manually.

10. Once you are ready, simply click Start Rip and you're on your way. It should only take a minute or two to rip your entire CD.

If you have an iPod, simply direct iTunes to Add Folder to iTunes and point to the mp3 album you just created. Now if you sell your iPod, forget your password or even if you want to share your music with friends...(not legal but possible) can do this easily without having to keep buying it for every location you want to have it accessible for.

If you have purchase music from iTunes and would like to switch to a non Apple mp3 player you will need to remove the DRM from these files to transfer your music. Burn them to a CD using iTunes and then rip them off using Windows Media Player. Then you can transfer to and fro.

If you want to buy music digitally and would like to avoid this whole process, buy your music from Not only is each song 10 to 20 cents cheaper than what you find in iTunes but it comes DRM free.

Hope this helps you all!

Tagged Again

I've been tagged by Argentum Vulgaris from his Tomus Arcanum blog.

The tag rules are as follows:

  1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
  2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag eight people and list their names.
  4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’ve been tagged and to read your blog.
As usual I will make small changes. I will try my best not to tag people I have tagged before, share information I haven't shared before and I will tag only people that have a propensity to respond. This most likely means less than 8.

  1. This gets harder every time I get tagged. How much information haven't I shared already. I am afraid of heights, yet for some inexplicable reason feel perfectly safe in a roller coaster.
  2. I need absolute silence when I am working or studying. I'm definitely not one of those "I need music to learn" type of guys.
  3. I would kill to protect my family.
  4. I don't "believe" in magic but I don't discount the fact that we don't completely understand the way the world works. When it is proven, I will believe it.
  5. As a kid I would wish I had super powers. I didn't really like comic books but I liked, like I imagine most other kids with at desire to be special, the idea of being incredible. At first it was flight, then it dwindled to something else, anything else, just something.
  6. Secretly, deep inside my child-like psyche, I still wish I could fly.
  7. I believe there is intelligent life out in the universe but I don't think we will ever contact them or be contacted. We will destroy ourselves long before that day comes.
  8. I am severely, severely addicted to video games. I just keep myself from playing them much. It really shows when I sit down to play them, I can't seem to tear myself away without help.
OK. Now to tag some folks.

  1. The Diva from Beach Eats.
  2. The Brain Twinkey from The Brain Twinkey Zone.
  3. Andrea Sombody from Simply Andréa.
  4. Jessica from Take This To Heart.
  5. Ashley from Overcoming Schizophrenia.
The rest of my followers have either been tagged recently or not likely to respond. All you who have been tagged, feel free to abide by the standard set of rules or even my modified ones if you choose to do so.

Oh and no tag backs!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Friendly Neighborhood Nuclear Reactor

5 Years. That is the amount of time that it will take miniature nuclear reactors to be ready for mass production say Los Alamos scientists. This is the same group that developed the first nuclear bomb so their claim carries a little more weight than your average mad scientist. I would say a few megatons more.

A company called Hyperion Power Generation has licensed the technology from the U.S. government. These $25,000,000 "personal" nuclear reactors have the power to supply energy to 10,000 homes and will only require fueling once every 7 to 10 years. The radioactive core is so weak, it would be very difficult to make a weapon out of it if that is your concern. This is why it has to be replaced so quickly.

These nuclear bomb shelters, so to speak, are encased in cement, buried deep underground and do not contain any moving parts. So by itself, it won't become a mini-Chernobyl. Though with motivation and a LOT of money and resources, this IS possible.

I don't quite know what to think about this. On the one hand it seems like an answer to many of our energy problems. Of course this will cause as many problems as it will solve. There will be leaks and there will be deaths. Is this avoidable? Will our ever growing hunger for electric power be quenched?

I must also consider the potential threat. Will tiny little bombs in every neighborhood be too much for a person with twisted intentions to resist? Bad people will stop and nothing and the previously considered impossible has been done.


Story Links
The Guardian
ZD Net

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Publick Edukashun Rinnovation

Leah Friesen's "Do American's Value Education?" blog post inspired this particular topic of blog which will become part of a long running, irregular series about a realistic, but very different society.

Leah brought up some great points in her blog about how athlete's are grossly overpaid and how so much money is spent on professional sports as opposed to the obviously more important educational system. Greed tends to be the guilty factor behind this misappropriation of funds.

"Public Education is a Joke"

People who have met me in person have most likely heard that quote come out of my mouth at one point in time or another. I didn't have the worst possible experience a kid could have but I did have to deal with many scenarios I don't think a child ever should have to deal with at such a young age. While some would accuse me of trying too hard to shield children from experiences they need to grow, I would counter that guns, drugs, knives, arson, gangs, and extreme physical violence should NOT be concerns of students. You want your kid to learn to defend himself? Fine, take them out into the sun to the local urban neighborhood park and let them run loose.

  • Greatly reduced tuition.
  • No commute.
  • Less traffic.
  • No parking issues.
  • Greatly reduced pollution.
  • Less paper consumption.
  • No ridiculous book fee's.
  • New business opportunities.
  • New job opportunities.
  • etc.
  • No classroom environment.

Yes, I am proposing we do away with public and college education as we know it. Blasphemous! you say? Why?

The answer is right in front of your nose. Home schooling via internet. A LOT less expensive for students, teachers and government. A lot less money would be wasted on paper, transportation, construction etc.

We can leave the social aspects of learning elsewhere. It is not necessary for EVERY course. The time alone that would be saved is incredible. Commuting, even walking class to class.

This is only a pipe dream for sure because I know there is so much money invested in public schools and colleges that they would NEVER allow this to happen. The technology is here now but as is frequently the case, the global education system is holding back innovation instead of promoting it.

Don't think that is drastic enough a change? How about this.

0 cost. Zero. None. Free.

How would this work exactly? Well for one the instructors, who should be the most important people involved in your education, would be paid for providing the service, not the time nor the resources. They would get paid an amount to prepare the prerecorded or perform the live lessons. The money saved in government funding of colleges would go STRAIGHT to them, NOT the architecture, design, maintenance, materials, upkeep or sports franchises. There would be plenty of money to go around.

Before you argue that no one would be happy in that situation think to yourself whether you truly mean "No one" or just you. Could your children's children live a life like that. More importantly, in how many ways would they benefit?

I went to college and I can honestly say it did NOT sufficiently prepare me for the business environment. Employment experience did. Studying from home would give students more time to work. Studying from home would also begin a new trend that would, eventually make its way into business.

My next blog will cover those new employment trends and I will explain further how that particular professor pay scenario would be feasible.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Benedict Arnoldo?

How quickly time passes. My wife and I have only lived in our neighborhood for a few years and during that time we have seen so many changes. We were some of the first of our heritage to move in. This is important to the statement I am trying to make because although we are considered from the same group, we really aren't.

With this influx of "our" people into our neighborhood comes the embarrassing habits they bring with them. I'm not talking about traditions, music or even choice of vehicle. I'm not even picking on their taste, or lack thereof, in hood ornaments.

I can look past the barbecue's every weekend.
I can look past the umpa sounding music pounding all night.
I can look past the occasional loud GOOAAAALLLLLL! coming from their back yard on weekends.
I can even look past that tacky yack on the side of their diesel truck door.

What I can't look past is their hoodlum kids tagging up our neighborhood with street names of places they've probably never seen.
What I can't look past is the beer bottles they leave on the sidewalk after a raucous night of "pistiando."
What I can't look past is the cars parked on the lawn dripping motor oil onto their dead grass.
What I can't look past is their mistreated dogs with bloody scars on their necks in the back yard nipping at my good-natured K-9 over the fence.
What I can't look past most of all is the fact that I can't say shit about it because they claim I would be betraying my "gente."

These are NOT my people. These are the low-life, lazy, idiotic, marching, law complaining, rejects who's own country didn't want around anyway. So please don't classify us all as one. There are some people who are educated and some people who desire education. Then there are others who are neither.

Just because they look alike, the guy selling fruit on the freeway exit and the guy sitting handcuffed on that same curb later that night, does not mean they are one in the same.

Next time you see a gangster getting arrested, don't ask the nearest Hispanic next to you what he thinks about the cops always harassing his people. Next time you see an African American or any person of color in any country, don't automatically assume you should ask them if they are happy that Obama is in office.

So who are my people? My people are those folks that work their asses off to provide for their families. My people are the ones that stop at a red light in the middle of the night even though no one is around for miles. My people are the ones that hold doors open for others. My people are the ones that return the shopping carts to their corrals. My people are the ones that let people merge when they use their turn signals. My people are the ones that make an effort to meet you half way or R.S.V.P. when they can't make it. My people are the ones that come directly to you if there is a problem instead of going to everyone else. My people don't take pride in their own ignorance. My people are the ones that put their own spouses before anyone else.

I work hard to meet those standards. Sometimes I don't fit them all but when I don't, I know I am wrong and I try hard to get there.

(P.S. I am especially proud of my title artwork this time. :) I edited a Benedict Arnold engraving.)

Deals: 11-7-08

I searched really hard for some deals today. I couldn't find much though.

  • Gears of War 2 $55. This is how much GameSpot sells it for used. The BEST 3rd person shooter out there graphically and mechanically.
  • Toshiba dual core 3GB Memory and 120GB HD notebook PC with Windows Vista Home Premium $550. Great deal for students.
  • Seagate 500GB SATA HD $75. Great brand, great speed, great price.
  • Belkin 4 Port USB hub $Free after $5 Mail-in rebate.
  • Logitech X-540 5.1 PC Surround Sound Speakers $60 after rebates.
  • Resistance 2 $55. Best price you will find this PS3 shooter for new.
  • Valkyria Chronicles $55. Highly rated PS3 RPG.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 and Fallout 3 for the PC $45.
  • Crysis: Warhead: $25
Already own a monitor, keyboard & mouse and are just looking for a PC to browse the internet with? Check out this really tiny Shuttle Linux box.

$190 + $13 shipping.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Black History Month Comes Early

I hope that the desire to be a part of history wasn't the only reason people voted for Obama. Personally, I feel no matter who we vote for we will get the same brainwashed political puppet so I didn't really care much who won. Regardless of race or gender. I liked the strategies that ManClinton used to eradicate the deficit and was hoping WomanClinton would apply the same but I also realize it is not just the person who sleeps in the White House but the staff they are surrounded with.

Anyway, this will not be an "I'm so excited for the future and what this means as we all walk united holding hands as we make history" bullshit post like everyone else is doing today.

You want change? I'll give you change.

Step 1. Completely shut down all financial backing for NASA. I mean really. I enjoy sci-fi and fancy space photographs as much as the next geek but really, how will any of this help our financial situation in the next 8 - 100 years? Unless we find diamonds on Mars, space is a giant black hole for money.

Step 2. Bring our military home. Stop wasting money and human lives elsewhere. The U.S. is hurting and we need to lick our wounds. Yes that even means we pull back those groups that we are protecting. You damn well know as soon as we are done help them get stable they were turn and stab us in the back like history has shown.

Step 3. Steamroll and regulate colleges. How much money is wasted here? Everyone regardless of financial backing should be able to afford a good education. People have computers. People have internet access. People have webcams. Uhhhh, why are we still polluting the Earth by driving to school and paying for parking? Why are we still buying books that we can't resell because new versions come out next semester? Three little letters you greedy McGraw-Hill motherfuckers, P D F. People may argue, "But they won't learn social skills!" At $30,000 to $500,000 a year, we can teach our kids social skills at home.

Step 4. Cut welfare. If you can't get a job at McDonald's, you shouldn't get free money for staying at home and having more kids.

Step 5. Legalize AND TAX street vendors and day workers. These people WANT to work and aren't standing at the corner of the freeway with a cardboard sign or pestering you at the gas station. Tax them for the money they make. We are throwing away money by arresting or deporting them.

Step 6. Legalize AND TAX marijuana. If people want to kill their own brain cells, swell their brain mass like they do with alcohol and grow man boobs, then tax them. There is a lot of money to be made and taken away from drug dealers and traffickers.

Step 7. Reduce the size and pay of all politicians. You have to be kidding with whatever explanation you give for this not having been done generations ago.

Step 8. Drastically increase the educational requirements of school teachers across the board and have them rotate districts. No preferred or "good" schools should exist. Education is important.

Step 9. If you can't limit the quantity of children irresponsible parents choose to have then at least tax them higher and stop tax benefits after two kids. Why give people bonus incentives for overpopulation?

Step 10. Completely restructure incarceration procedures. People aren't afraid of prison. Make it so. Reinstate the electric chair. Don't provide dental and health care. Don't provide entertainment. Don't provide delicious food. Segregate criminal severity or by their capacity for re-education. Put those who are animals down already and stop allowing them to be a vacuum on government funds and society in general.

I could go on.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Blogger Award

I am all for community interaction and appreciation so when Lea Self awarded me the #1 spot on her people's choice type Superior Scribbler Award post, I was flattered. She refers to The Silent Podium as "gruesomely real." I couldn't find a better description if I tried. :)

As a person that loves to bend the rules but rarely break them, I will do so yet again. According to this award system we are supposed to choose 5 other people to give the award to. I have many readers who don't have 5 followers so with that in mind I propose this minor change.

I will select 1. Not out of laziness. I could easily pick 5 really good blogs out of the followers here but I thought it would make it easier and that much more significant for the selected award winner to receive this honor and pay it forward.

Here are the original rules.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award. (
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
Now the tough part. Choosing my singular winner. Keep in mind that I will no judge based strictly on content but formatting and accessibility. So those of you with fantastic blogs but who for reason or another keep them private, you will not be selected. Not because I don't think you deserve it though. :)

After much debating with myself, I have decided to award this Superior Scribbler Award to Leah Friessen for her Fraternal Mom blog. I really like the way she keeps the blog need and tidy. It is clean, well formatted and to the point. The way she writes makes you feel like you are having a conversation with a friend. Leah, you can choose whether you want to abide by the 5 selection rule or stick with my 1. I just thought it would carry more weight with a single choice.

Monday, November 3, 2008

All caught up!

Wow, you guys have been active! I don't really post on the weekends so come Monday it becomes a rush to catch up with what everyone else has been writing. I can catch the occasional breath at work and it has been quite the challenge to do so and still comment on everyone's blogs.


Hopefully everyone had a great holiday and let me know what you think of the new format. Is it easy on the eyes or hard to read? I know it is a bit simplistic but I didn't want anything too busy since I write so dang much.

Speaking of dang... Is anyone offended by the use of bad words? I don't use them often but sometimes people find them more entertaining. They do tend to get a strong message across. Should I watch my mou..fingers or do you all not care?