The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Retarded Children Given Hope to Contribute to Society

I got this ridiculous forward from somebody today:

Public comments are now being accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its newly proposed federal regulation regarding the testing of chemicals and pesticides on human subjects. Earlier this year, Congress had mandated the EPA create a rule that permanently bans chemical testing on pregnant women and children, but the EPA's newly proposed rule actually creates gaping loopholes for the chemical industry. The rule allows for government and industry scientists to treat children as human guinea pigs in chemical experiments in the following situations:

1) Children who "cannot be reasonably consulted," such as those that are mentally handicapped or orphaned newborns may be tested on. With permission from the institution or guardian in charge of the individual, the child may be exposed to chemicals for the sake of research.

2) Parental consent forms are not necessary for testing on children who have been neglected or abused.

3) Chemical studies on any children outside of the U.S. are acceptable.

I would say more, but I really don't think I could make it more ridiculous. Believe me, I tried, but nothing else can really fit better in the canned pity script:
  1. Innocent Group
  2. Malicious People
  3. Act of Insane Evilness
You just can't get better than what those Organic People came up with on their own. Touche

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Dear Ms. Carly Simon,

You wrote that entire song about them, but the entire time you claim it's not about them. How dumb are you to think that singing about somebody has nothing to do with them?

You are the butt of your own joke...ah, the sweet irony.


Something to Digest

I was going thru a Reader's Digest today (while in the bathroom, because we know that is the true resting place for all Reader's Digest magazines) and I noticed that there was a ridiculous number of advertisements. There were the full page ads, the half page ads, the multiple page adds with fine print aimed at people that are too old to read anything that small, and the scourge of all ads...the little cards that drop out all over the place.

I sat there simultaneously bringing the end of a normal Reader's Digest while ending my own digestion and ripped out the pages that were only advertisement pages. Then I began to count pages on which there was any actual content. That's when I began to realize that it wasn't just a feeling...there really are too many ads in Reader's Digest. For example, of the first 83 pages only 31 have any content on them..31! That's ridiculous, it's like going to a 2 hour movie and having to sit thru 3 hours and 21 minutes of previews. Fortunately, the process of taking off the extra pork from my* Reader's Digest was quite satisfying and a routine that I think I will repeat with all future magazines.

*Dad, for some reason the Post Office decided that I was you and then informed Reader's Digest that you moved and I've gotten RD for the last 3 months. So just in case you were wondering why you hadn't seen yours, it's because they're here. You're welcome to use my bathroom anytime you like though.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Suspended State of Disbelief

With the holiday season (or for you conservatives that can't stand the thought that other people might celebrate other holidays, you can pretend that I said "Christmas" Season), comes lots of songs that will follow you in your car, in the mall, in your favorite grocery store. Most of that music is cheesy, but rather nostalgic. I actually really enjoy the classic songs that help us to celebrate the season, like Silent Night, We Three Kings, I LOVE Hark to the Bells, and Nat King Cole sings some great songs. There are a few good songs that just sing about winter and the fun with the family. While I think that chestnuts roasted on an open fire taste pretty gross, I can definitely appreciate the song. The final genre is those lame songs that people write because they want to trick children into believing Santa Clause is real. I figured it out on my own when I was that was pretty much my 2nd self-aware Christmas. Oh well, it's a lame trick, but some of those songs are cute about how Santa Clause is coming to town, but that's true just like the insurgents in Iraq only want peace and the apocalypse is nigh.

What I can't stand though is listening to the ridiculous story of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. -Which actually "was originally written in verse by Robert L. May for the Montgomery Ward chain of department stores in 1939 and published as a book to be given to children in the store at Christmas time." (Wikipedia)- I can suspend my disbelief for Santa, that snow men can talk and be your friend, that elves work in sweatshops to make gifts for the spoiled children, or that Santa is able to visit every house in one evening in the whole world. What I can't buy into is that a Reindeer has a nose that glows. Yeah, an animal might have a nose that's really red, but it most certainly won't send an infrared beam that magically helps Santa to see thru blinding fog.

Now, if it was Rudolph the Red Nose Anglerfish, then I could maybe begin to buy into the story that one of Santa's animals has a glowing protrusion.

But until that day, this song is a load of crap, and we should do our best to keep it from ever being played. If we ever want children to listen to what we say, then we first need to start by not telling such ridiculous lies!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Top 10

After a little talking with some of my friends, we all decided to make a post about our personal Top 10 for music albums. So here are my favs in no particular order:
  1. Yourself or Someone Like You - Matchbox 20
    Start to finish no other album grips every emotion a young person has had as well as this album. While the music is not complex, the emotions, fears, joys, doubts and struggles are ones that every person has secretly dealt with.
  2. Siamese Dream - Smashing Pumpkins
    Highlight of 90s Alternative Rock. Great droning guitars, poetic lyrics. This album helped me feel at home the whole time I was in Germany in highschool
  3. August and Everything After - Counting Crows
    Any album by the Crows is great. These guys just put so much into their music and you can listen to it end to end and then still want more.
  4. A Rush of Blood to the Head - Coldplay
    Particularly the first 5 songs. Coldplay mixes their sound incredibly well.
  5. The Ultimate Experience - Jimi Hendrix
    Jimi just blows me away. I can't listen to an album of his without longing to play my guitar and wishing that I possessed a smidgeon of his talent.
  6. This Side - Nickel Creek
    Folksy, Fun, and Honest. This album helps to prove why Nickel Creek is one of the best bands out there that simply can't be categorized.
  7. The Matrix Soundtrak - Various Artists
    Every time I hear anything from this soundtrack I want to race my car or kick some butt.
  8. Melancholie and the Infinite Sadness - Smashing Pumpkins
    The first 1.5 CDs are an amazing compilation. Although about half way thru the second you begin to see the demise of the Pumpkins.
  9. MTV Unplugged - Nirvana
    All the pain and agony of Kurt, just before he killed himself. This is Nirvana at their absolute best.
  10. You Gotta Go There to Come Back - Stereophonics
    Surprise find. Everything is so funky, fun, groovy, and just enjoyable. I can listen to this album on a loop and love every minute.
I didn't think that I'd be quite as much of a music junkie as this post seems to indicate, but when thinking of albums for this post I realized that there are a LOT of great CDs out there. Here is a small list of noteworthy albums that didn't quite make it.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Jagged Little Pill - Alanis Morissette
  • Poetry & Aeroplanes - Teitur
  • Awake is the New Sleep - Ben Lee
  • Self Titled - The Presidents of the United States of America
  • Joshua Tree - U2
  • Live at Luther College - Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
  • Delux - Better than Ezra
  • Self Titled - Collective Soul
  • Demon Days - Gorillaz
  • Cracked Rearview Mirror - Hootie and the Blowfish
  • Crossroads - Jon Bon Jovi
  • ZoSo - Led Zeppelin
  • Black Album - Metallica
  • Office Space Soundtrack
  • The Fat of the Land - Prodigy
  • Grave Diggers Union - Soul Asylum
  • Self Titled - Third Eye Blind

Special thanks to Monique for the inspiration for this thread of blogs.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Home Stretch

Finally, I'm about to move out of my apartment at the Barrington at Park Place. These are the absolute worst apartments that I've ever lived in and I can't wait to get out.

What I didn't know until recently is that everybody else seems to think the same thing. Turns out there is a great little site called where you can do just that. And what do people have to say about my place? Well...this. Yeah, that's pretty bad. Wish I had seen that before I moved in. So you may be thinking, "I'm sure people on this site are just cranky." Turns out that while it's partially true, my apartment ranks the absolute lowest out of all apartments with more than 20 ratings (source). Overall they rank 498 out of the 552 places with a single ranking. I would say the only apartment that is rated worse than the Barrington is Austin Lights. Now that's just sad. But what's happy is that I won't be there as of Sunday!

At least I've done my part in keeping 3 people from moving into the complex, so I'm doing my part.

If you want to help me move, come this Saturday to the ghetto, er my old place, and help me load up the Uhaul and move into something better.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Road Rash

Evidently the people on this site are so dumb that their brains aren't even smart enough to protect themselves by wearing helmets.

Do you really want to date somebody that bright?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why Don't the Newcasters Cry

...When they read about people who die?

This article (or this one) is one of the saddest things that I've read in a long time. It really sickens and saddens me that people could do something like this. Granted we hear about things like this every day, but I think that this has more of an impact. For God's (Allah's) sake, they only killed 1 American, 1! But they tore apart families, shattered dreams, and destroyed the psyches of hundreds of people. And all in the name of what? Saying that they don't want Jews and Crusaders in Jordan? It's pitiful. And the worst part is that they are too much of cowards to come out in the open and fight. This isn't something about ideals, this is something about being a little bully and wanting to hurt others when you don't get your way.

I understand Guerilla warfare and definitely think it's the best way to get rid of an enemy when you're a small force against really strong forces (It's like in video games: Large beats Medium, Medium beats Small, but Small beats Large due to speed/agility and strength differences). But what I cannot stand is the current methods employed by these fighters. Why are they attacking civilians? Do they think ANYBODY in that wedding party had any cares at all with what they were pissed about? NO! But they are too much of cowards to show themselves and when anybody gets upset they point their finger in the opposite direction and blame George Bush or America. It's disgusting. It's right up there with people in New Orleans shooting at hospital workers. Instead of making a point and destroying our military or our businesses, they target innocents.

If there is any silver lining to this cloud it is that you are finally starting to see some public statements from Islamic leaders stating that this is appalling. I truly believe that Islam is not a religion of evil and war. Most of the people there are like we are here. Religious because that is how they were raised. While their will never be peace in this world, it would be nice if wars could be fought on those waging them and not on families of those getting married...those simply wishing to celebrate life.

...At least they could be decent enough to put just a tear in their eyes.

The More You Know

This morning I learned a very important lesson in life:
Never whack a roach with full force. If you do it's guts will splatter all over you.

I feel disgusting right now.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Life in the Fast Lane

Speaking of Corvettes...

The other day I was headed to church and began my rather speedy trip to get there. Right as I'm about to change lanes to juke around a Honda Accord I have to abruptly reenter my lane. Racing up behind me and weaving thru traffic is a Corvette (not this kind) that is probably going around 95 to 100 mph (~155 kph). Since I am such a kind and gracious driver I let him pass and slowly watch him weave, dive, attack, slam on the brakes, swerve and pick his way down the highway and slowly he fades out of sight.

I take my exit to the church come to the light, and lo-and-behold there is the Corvette just a few cars ahead of me. Then I pull into the parking lot and see that they are going to try and park where everybody else tries. Which means that like a date with a nun...they weren't going to get any. Thinking it was funny that these people were going to church I slowly walk my way in (or quickly if your legs are as long as hers), sit down and begin to worship. About 5 minutes later I see this couple from the Corvette walk on in.

Sometimes I think it's rather amusing how we race from place to place, but that one poor decision (usually motivated by selfishness or impatience) can slow us down so that all of the extra effort we put into going quickly is even more quickly negated. I took my time and got there sooner than the people in the Corvette. I guess it's a little bit of the story of the tortoise and the hare, but it seems like there's more to it than just that. Then again, maybe it's just a story of one person doing one silly thing. If only I could say that I've never been the man in the Corvette and harmfully racing towards things that would be just as well achieved with a relaxed attitude.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I'm Famous!

Yeah, this post was started by my reading this article.

Good lordy that was a bad review.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Work Convo

Team Leader: "How do you spell 'sine' as in sine wave?"

Me: "S-I-N-E"

Team Leader: "Not S-I-N? So what is S-I-N?"

Team Member: "It's sin. Which is what you live in every day!"

Sunday, October 02, 2005

T-Minus 2 Months

Until I can move out of my apartment.

Today I get home from Bible Study and I hear, "Help me. HELP ME!" At first I thought it was some kids (future needed blog, why children should get flogged if screaming for help when they don't need it), but then I realized it was a woman. I started jogging to where I thought I heard the sound coming from, and then I found the woman. Evidently I got there just in the nick of time to be almost useless. Her husband was beating her senseless just moments before.

My battery had just enough juice to call 911 before it died, the cops raced into the complex and drove past us. Fortunately I was able to chase him down and direct him in the right direction. The guy split long before they got there and is probably out somewhere thinking he's a good person for showing his wife what she needed to learn or whatever it is that worthless wifebeaters tell themselves to justify their actions.

The sad thing is only 2 other people even came out of their apartments. Both of which I know. One of them saw the whole thing once she started screaming and said that the guy was kicking her, hitting her and then started to drag her across the concrete. The happy couple has been married for 8 months. Oh yeah, and they're the people that share a wall with my bedroom. Oh yeah, and in her rage the woman said that he's under an alias and is actually a fugitive. And oh yeah, my apartment has no problem letting them move in.

Can anybody guess why I want to get a new place the minute my lease expires?

Seriously though. If you have a room for rent or if you know of a good apartment complex or duplex with at least 600 ft^2, under $525, and between Duval and Far West...then please let me know! I can't wait to move, cannot wait.

Here I am

Rock you like a Hurricane!

No really...on the bottom left you can see Hurricane Otis.
Thanks Kelly for the tip

Friday, September 30, 2005

Next Station: College

I'm really excited. Tomorrow I am taking the girl to College Station to finally try to convince her that her UT loving ways are not what's best for her and that the other university in Texas actually has a lot of great stuff going for it. I hope that this plan works, but I don't really know if it will. Cause seriously, to an outsider looking in...blah, blah, blah.

I've always thought that A&M is like that weird family down the street. As one of the neighbors it's really fun to talk about how weird they are. "Can you believe last week when they had a pig roast, that was SO weird." But in reality, if you were a member of that family you would think it's the coolest thing ever. You get to have fun in your own way, you don't care what others think, and everybody becomes cool by doing the same thing because it's different than what all the outsiders are doing. A&M is a great place. I loved my time there and I'm stoked that I'm not there anymore. I just can't wait to share the joy of my alma mater with the girl that brings such joy to all that matters.

Plus, did I mention that A&M is playing Baylor? And when the Aggies score...WHOOP! Yes, I most definitely planned this trip strategically.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Expect Delays

This is verbatim of what I saw on a TxDOT sign on Northbound 183 here in Austin this weekend.

Um...okay, cause that helps when I'm headed towards Abilene!

In news of other stupid stuff, check out this. I saw this as the main headline for CNN this evening.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

ACL: Day 2

Day of the rising dust storm.

So I left my camera at home, but today was better than the last. Actually got to see a few friends during the course of the day, including Rachel and Kelly. Not enough time to say all I want, but here's the list so far.

Buddy Guy: Amazing show. Makes me want to go out and listen to the Blues all day long.
Death Cab for Cutie: Pretty fun, they'll become bigger, but not huge.
Spoon: This band deserves more respect. Great songs and a lot of funky stuff.
Keane: You'll be hearing more from these guys. Arguably the best new band out of the UK.
Jet: Best Rock 'n Roll band I've EVER seen. These guys epitomized what Rock should be like. I hope to see MUCH more of them in the future. Absolutely loved it. And Andrea got to hit a beachball during the concert (this goal is harder to accomplish than you might think) and we made it onto the Jumbotron. Go us!

Tomorrow is the last day, but it should be the best with The New Amsterdams, Pong, Rachael Yamagata, Rilo Kiley, Kaiser Chiefs, Jason Mraz, Bob Mould Band, Franz Ferdinand, and Coldplay...definitely going to be a busy day.

Tip learned today: Go swimming in Barton Springs afterwards and during ACL...makes you feel a LOT better!

Friday, September 23, 2005

ACL: Day 1

So Andrea and I got tickets to Austin City Limits Festival and the first day was a blast. Really impressed me how many people were there and we got to see a few good bands.

And Austin keeps true to itself by providing the people like the guy on the left. Notice the skirts. And we also go the priveledge of seeing the lacy underwear that was beneath the skirt...only in Austin.

But we're not the only ones that are happy. Evidently ACL can help to mend wounds that were previously thought incurable.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Top seven reasons homosexual marriage should not be legal:

  1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.
  2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can’t legally get married because the world needs more children.
  3. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
  4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful, since Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.
  5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are property, blacks can’t marry whites, and divorce is illegal.
  6. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country.
  7. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a “separate but equal” institution is always constitutional.

Alright, normally I don't post canned things, but I really liked this. Actually I'm a little against #7. Realistically since our government is NOT a theocracy, nor should it EVER be a theocracy, the idea of a government recognizing marraige at all is silly at best. From the government's perspective they should only care who is responsible for eachother. My personal belief is that there shouldn't be marraiges at all, but that we should ALL have to get civil unions. Then if you want to have a religious institution recognize the civil union as a marraige then they could do that and you can say you're married. What's it matter to a government who is responsible for another person? Heck, you can unionize with your sister for all I care...just don't expect any church to recognize that as a marraige.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Why Teenage Girls are Depressed

Today while I was surfing Blogdom I came across this.

Glenn Feron - The Art of Retouching

While I applaud Glenn on his abilities to make photos absolutely beautiful, it also makes me a bit sad. Even these women who are stunningly beautiful are not even close to that beautiful in their natural form. I've always heard, "Oh they just airbrush them in that magazine." But I never really understood what a difference it makes until today.

This photo in particular shows a huge deal of change. You can see that all lines, cellulite, and moles are removed. Contrast is enhanced. The faces are lifted. The breasts appear to be rounder. Tummies are tucked in a bit. Some of the other pictures even show complete change of garb.

What's saddest though is that these are the pictures that teeny bops will compare themselves to and then go bulimic trying to reproduce. They will never look like the women in these photos, because these people do not exist!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

We'll Love You Just the Way You Are...

One thing that I've really been struggling a lot with lately is my faith. Now I don't mean anything like I don't think the Bible has any validity to it, or that I want to hate on the Pope. No, it's more a matter of I feel like everything that people try to say builds my faith is starting to seem kinda silly.

In church every Sunday they encourage us to 'grow closer', 'look inward', 'find out how you can change', 'join an accountability group'...

All of these messages seem to be about how I am not enough, how I need to keep striving for more, how regardless of where I'm at I need to look inside a bit more and try to find something that's messed up and try to fix that. I think I'm starting to see what it is that so many people resent in the church. It's that you can never be good enough. No matter what you do, how great you are, how much you try it's still not what's the point?

Another thing that's really hard for me right now is that in all of the groups, all of the time I spend reading the Bible, studying the Bible, talking about the Bible, learning more about the Bible I'm starting to see that we don't really seem to DO anything. Yes, we share thoughts and sometimes I feel like I learn something when I read it all, but the truth of the matter is that I don't really see much actual practice being made of what's therein? I mean there is a whole bunch of stuff about how we are supposed to help people, give up what we have to make the world better, really take on the Christian attitude of servitude. However, I cannot tell you the last time I really did any of those things. Even with the recent stuff in Nawlins I didn't actually help time was spent in a shelter, nothing was done to aid in sorting materials, nada. Instead in the last week I've spent hours trying to read, study, catch up, and prepare for more study of the Bible. I feel like I'm just in a high school physics class and I'm spending so much time learning the theories that I never get to have the joy of just dropping a TV from the roof.

Finally, it seems like most Christians today are determined that they will never be happy? Why is that? Because they are constantly searching their lives for something that's messed up. Even the happiest person is continuously encouraged to search for how they can change, reflect on what is really happening on the inside, confess any possible sin... Am I not allowed to just be happy!?! I really do love my life, I like what's new, I enjoy what's old, I think I do some things well, I know I do other things poorly, I know that life can be fun and hard at the same time, I just want to be allowed to enjoy myself. But instead of really doing something, really having fun like I know my spirit desires, I'm encouraged to sit and reflect more. Something I said in a conversation earlier really stuck with me, so I'll stick it here:
"Life really just becomes a house of mirrors if all you do is reflect." -Me

...if you're perfect.

Pouring Cats and Dogs

The store called Cats Cats Cats is the window on the left.

Does anybody else see anything wrong with this picture?

In random news I just farted. And as bad as that sounds, it makes me happy...because for the last several days I haven't been able to with any confidence. My stomach still hates me though.

Speed Kills

People seem to think it's speed that kills. While arguments could be made for that statement, speed is not what actually kills. In this post I would like to argue that it is not speed that kills; rather, it is Kinetic Energy that kills.

Let's take a look at Speed and see what happens with with objects going at the same speed of 70 miles per hour (~115 kph) and a person's reaction to each.
  1. June Bug - Ow, what the heck was that? Stupid bug. Squish.
  2. Baseball - I'm gonna kill you pitcher...wait, you wrestle steers for fun, oh crap.
  3. Suburban - You think nothing because you are dead.
Notice the difference in the reactions? The reactions are different because it is not speed that kills, it is kinetic energy.

Let's now take a look at the kinetic energy of these objects. (KE = 1/2 * m * v^2). Where 70 mph = 31.3 m/s.
  1. June Bug - m = 1/5 oz = 0.005 kg; KE = (0.005*31.3^2)/2 = 2.44 Joules
  2. Baseball - m = 5 oz = 0.15 kg; KE = (0.15*31.3^2)/2 = 73 Joules
  3. Suburban - m = 8600 lbs = 3900 kg; KE = (3900*31.3^2)/2 = 1,900,000 Joules
As you can see the real killer in the world is Kinetic Energy, not speed. So, let's move on to the crux of the whole issue. Let's take a look at speed limits. Everybody knows that speed limits are in place to save lives. But as we've just proven speed is NOT what kills, it's Kinetic Energy.

Instead of Speed Limits they should place Kinetic Energy Limits on our highways to keep the populace safe! That way we could make sure to put a curb on unnecessary deaths.

Let's say that the limit on the state highways is 2 million Joules. Sounds reasonable. Now think of how much fun it would be to have 2 million Joules while on my motorcycle!

Where: m = 700 lbs = 320 kg, v = x m/s, KE = 2,000,000 Joules
Solving for v we get:
v = sqrt(2*KE/m) = sqrt(2*2000000/312) = 113 m/s

What does all of that mean? It means that under proper laws I should be allowed to go 253 mph when I'm on my motorcycle! Now that sounds like a good time!

*this train of thought courtesy of David Harding*

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Online Dating

And this is why people are leery of online dating services.

I don't know why but at some point I signed up for this online dating thing (probably for some sort of survey or questionnaire). And ever since then they have graced my email inbox at least once a week with the 'women that match your personal search preferences.' I guess I didn't know I had such horrible preferences.

Wow, I'm so glad I don't really have to resort to these things to find a date...that would suck!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Depicting My Life and Thoughts

I don't know who this guy is, or where he came from, but he says so many of the things that just touch my heart. So this post goes out to the man that makes me laugh and makes me realize that even with my artistic skills on the internet anything is possible!

This first drawing comes to you from my childhood. It needs to also contain the phrases: do the dishes, clean the bathroom and the living room, wipe your sister's butt, scrape the house, pick up sticks in the yard, pick up poo in the yard
babysit your sisters...

Our next selection comes to you from my present life. Look at the look of complete defeat in the stick figure's face. Take notice at how the words slowly pull you down to the level of despair that is felt by the protagonist. Notice the longing for a job that satisfies and the realization that comes when those dreams are squished like an Armadillo on a West Texas highway.

The final selection I dedicate to my brother Robert, with whom I slept in the same room for 14 years.

Friday, August 19, 2005

got lactation?

So this week we had our big annual conference and I'm walking around some of the Employee Only areas and I find a room with this sign on the door. My first thought was COWS! Then I realized I was on the second floor and there was little possibility of getting a glass of milk straight from a cow. Then it sunk in what the room was really supposed to be. It's so that mothers can nurse their babies. Why didn't they just call this a Nursing Room? It's not like a woman is going to just sit in a room and lactate. I might even understand if they chose Lactation Room because it's more PC and less harsh. But seriously, I almost walked right into the room looking for a glass of milk.

In other news, life is going well. Work is keeping me busy, but satisfied. Outside of work things are working really well. Family-wise things were interesting recently due to my former step-dad doing/saying everything a father shouldn't. (Oh, and I know you lurk on my site. If you want to email me to my face just do it. Just for peet's sake don't be an emotional thug to your own daughters.) Fortunately my mom and sister have gotten a chance to get away from everything and spend a little vacation time together. I can't believe that school's almost about to start for my little sister again. And she'll be in High School...crazy!

Big time congrats to Jeremy and Jessica who are getting married this weekend. If you haven't met them you should. They're the type of couple that more people should aspire to be like. I'm so glad to see that God has blessed the two of them. Oh, and for my FLIP friends. Jessica is Dana Kaderli's roommate from her freshmen year.

On a funner note the girl and I found this really neat looking moth right outside of my apartment today. I was pretty happy because for some reason when she comes over instead of pretty moths she is usually greeted by those huge roaches that like to fly towards your face. Then there's also the lovely June Bugs (aka Potatoe Beetles) that are too stupid to learn how to actually fly correctly. Or finally the hoard of ants that is continually terrorizing my kitchen and any product that might contain moisture. So to have a happy little moth just sitting there waiting to be petted...that was just dandy.

Finally since I am in a great mood (due to dancing and ice cream with aforementioned lady), I thought I would leave you with a few of the reasons why I love living in Texas in the summer.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I love the smell of Napalm in the morning

Some of us were sitting around work today trying to remember the name of a great game that we used to spend hours of time on. Finally one of us remembered the name...

Scorched Earth!
While the game has no real redeeming qualities it is a lot of fun to slowly tear away at your opponents and make them beg for mercy. Needless to say the next 30 minutes or so were promptly wasted finding the best way to destroy one another.

So for those of you who think you can handle all 10 rounds, have fun!

Note: For those of you who don't know what this game is you missed out. Basically you just want to change your trajectory and power so that you kill your opponents. If you win you get money. Money buys new weapons/defenses. You can then kill them more quickly. Great fun for all!

Other Games: Add Stunts to the fun old-school games list! Free cookie for whoever can show me where to download it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Maturity at Its Best

So one of the things that I have to do while at work is file documentation for any bugs that I find in our products or documentation. Most of the time this is really important so that our customers can have the best, most accurate, and fully functioning products as possible. Typically it's a pretty serious process, but I'm not one to really let that get to me. Instead I decided to have a little fun the other day

Problem Description:
Numeric Control displays values that do not feel natural when changing the data format.

Steps To Reproduce:
[Changed so you can do it at home!]
1. Open Calculator (Start > All Programs > Accessories)
2. Go to View and change it to Scientific
3. Enter the number "184594917" into Calculator
4. Change to Hex (View > Hexadecimal)

Errant behavior should be seen. Suggest a workover.

[My Friend]: I would handle this/these myself, but I don't know if I'm up to it. Behavior like this requires a lot of support, underwire I would imagine. Maybe R&D Guy has more experience in this domain than I. I would suggest getting a large cup of coffee, a d-cup if you will, to handle this.

[Clueless R&D Guy]: Seems fine to me. BTW - When you investigate, please provide some feedback to Matt that he should be more explicit in what is wrong. What did he expect to happen that did not happen? What "errant behavior" is he talking about? ...[further clueless questions]... What?

[My Friend]: FYI, this was a joke. Please disregard this completely.

It cracks me up how clueless some people in R&D are. Could they not see this was a joke? Oh well, it's kind of endearing. And it's great to see the rest of the world is not quite as juvenile as I. At least I had my fun.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


On my way to work this morning I got in the lane to make the turn in and thought about trying to juke around the guy so that I could actually not just creep the entire way into our facilities. I saw that it was an Accord in front of me, but then was hopeful by seeing the little silver and black V6 right next to the nameplate. Sliding back in my lane I had a moment of calm before my logical left brain realized that the extra power means nothing for Accords, but by then it was too late and I had to piddle behind the person slowly going from tailgating to way behind and back again.

What's the point of having a Honda Accord with a V6? I swear every time I get behind one of those stupid things it's going just as slow as if it said V2. Honda Accords are right up there with minivans and old people with walkers for how slow they go. Each corner they enter might as well have a gigantic speed bump and a baby carriage in it for stinking slow they go!

The saddest part is they could be great vehicles! Just look at the specs for an Accord versus my car. C'mon, you have 80 hp more than I do! But have you ever utilized it? No! I doubt that even 10% or those vehicles have ever seen anything on the red side of 4000 RPMs. (And those 10% probably did it on accident when their foot slipped off of the brake while they were in park.) Why? Because the drivers of these vehicles are lame. There is no reason they should have that power other than they think it makes them cooler, which it does not...just proves how lame they really are.

Cars like this should have systems where they shock the drivers when speeds below 10 mph are maintained for more than 30 seconds. While we're at it there should be tickets issued to all Accord and minivan drivers that attempt to enter the left-hand lane.

In the meantime I think I'm going to install some missile launchers on the front of my car so I don't have to deal with drivers that make a three-toed sloth look like it's in a hurry.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Thanks for Saving Us!

"Halloween, adding to safety. "Kids across the nation will soon rejoice," said Upton, because they'll have another hour of daylight trick-or-treating."

Yes, cause that's what every kid wants. To have a nice bright Halloween. It's so much fun to run around outside in the sun saying Trick-or-Treat!

I wish they would just ditch the time change in general. Why don't people just realize that time is an arbitrary unit that dictates our lives. Oh well. At least we have congress tackling this important issue for us.

Sorry for being a bit MIA lately. Harry Potter came out this week, I'm working as much as normal and a certain person has been taking up a lot of my time. Harry Potter was great, and other things are even better.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Aggie Bucks. Meal Credit!

I just tried to eat lunch at this neat Italian place. Went in, ordered my food got to the line and I handed her my credit card. She said, “We don’t take Credit, only Cash or Check.” I asked if there was an ATM or something and she told me about one across the complex, over the street, in the shopping center about 10 min away. So I walked out of the restaurant and bought food elsewhere. In today’s world owning a business and not accepting credit (or at the least debit cards) is completely asinine. No real portion of the economy has run on cash in years. Cash is going to go the way of land lines and VCRs. Yeah, they can be useful in certain situations (power outage, cheap recording), but to limit your business to only one form factor of life-blood (money) is ridiculous and will quickly kill the establishment.

There are those that think that credit cards cost businesses too much to use. While there are definitely certain costs involved it’s not nearly proportional to the costs of NOT having such a system. Think of the situation today. They had a customer (me) who wanted a product. The customer used their services and products inducing labor and materials costs on part of the business. By only accepting cash they made it to where I couldn’t pay them. They lost the labor, they had to destroy the materials (or give it to an unwitting customer), and they didn’t earn any money from the sale. Instead of earning $10 they lost about $5. That’s a gross loss of $15 for one person who wanted to be a customer! Plus they won’t gain any of my business again, over the course of 2 days that could be a $25 from a single person. Imagine how many other customers they lose in any one day simply because they are the victims of poor business management. This quickly adds up to $100s or $1000s of dollars which could easily be the difference between a place being profitable and going under.

Another overseen issue is in the checkout the customer who is about to make a purchase is more likely to spend more if they don’t feel like it costs them more. In my case, had I had cash, I would have bought just a sandwich and drank some water. With a credit card I wanted to buy my sandwich, a glass of milk, a brownie, and some chips. Accessories are the areas where real profit can be generated in any industry. Just look at cell phone accessory stands in the mall, girls getting highlights in their hair, the entire jewelry industry, option packages on cars, fries and drinks at McDonald’s, and the grand daddy of them all…movie theatre popcorn. Each of those items produces huge margins and accepting credit cards increases the likelihood that your customers will purchase those objects which cost the business the least and earn them the most. By only accepting cash you doom your business to only earning the bare minimum even in the best case scenarios.

All of these topics of pure monetary assets don’t take into consideration the extra risks inherent with cash. In a credit system all that is available from the sale is a piece of paper indicating the transaction. If they use cash you have a liability on your hands that you have to protect and increase your chances of being the victim of a robbery. All pain and no gain for your business.

So for those of you running businesses out there, be smart. Accept credit cards! To not do so is foolish and means that you do not understand how the world of business works. I hope this Italian place learns how to begin accepting cash…too bad I’ll never get the chance to eat there, it looked really good.

Then again, it could be that this Italian joint was run by the mafia, and the real reason they only do cash is that the whole business is just a front.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Illusions of Security

I’ve been waiting for a long time to rant about this one, so now’s my chance.

What is it about airports that people feel such a need to be ‘safe’? The whole aura of safety is really just an imaginary presence. Items have been black listed from passing security, but in reality those will never do any harm.

On the way back from LA the other week I had an airport baggage checker pull my bag aside because there was a ‘deadly’ weapon contained within. He proceeded to search my bags to locate this lethal device and slowly honed in on it. Granted, I didn’t have anything different in my bags than I ever have had on flights before, but this time I was ‘safe’. After some searching, and unzipping of pockets he found it! Yes, the deadly nail-clipper set! He carefully looked at the scissors with the ½” blades and rounded tips…whew, those aren’t deadly, rounded tips save the day. He then looked at the toenail clippers, safe. Fingernail clippers, safe. Uh oh, what is this deadly weapon? A nail file!?! He pulls out the ‘dangerous’ 1” blade sticks it in the air, looks at his boss and says, “Do you think this is ‘safe’?” No, that could kill somebody. We’ll have to confiscate this and dispose of it or you need to check it in your bag that’s already checked on the airplane.

What do they think I’m going to do with a 1” nail file? Walk up to the captain and say, “Captain, you are going to die as soon as I’m finished filing my way to the roots of your cuticles.” Yes, I would be a dangerous man, no pilot can bear the thought of having a proper pedicure while in-flight. I could hijack the plane and take it wherever I wanted just with my amazing filing technique. Plus since the file was metal it wouldn’t go dull like those sandpaper filers that women carry with them. I could take over the world one flight at a time while simultaneously eliminating all in-flight pedicure competition!

That’s just ridiculous, that file couldn’t hurt somebody if I WANTED them to! It made me think about how many tons of ‘deadly’ weapons have been pointlessly confiscated by airline security over the past few years. Then it made me think about something a little more devious. What are the real weapons that I have with me? They took away the thing that I really least consider to be a weapon. So let’s take a look at the truly lethal weapons that were completely ‘safe’ according to our great airport security personnel.

First let’s look at what I’m wearing:
  • Jacket: Strangle somebody to death with one of the sleeves.
  • Watch: Wrap around fist use like brass knuckles.
  • Aggie Ring: Gold Knuckles.
  • Shoes: Use hard soles to whack someone upside the head.
  • Shoelaces: Strangle people. Tie something onto end and create a mace.
  • Tie: Strangle people, tie people into chairs. Business men are impervious to the strangling action of this device.
  • Belt: The most deadly of all. Leather strap can be used for strangling. Buckle can be swung around to beat people. Strap can be wrapped around fist for superior fighting ability.

  • Now let’s look in my bag:
  • Handles: Made out of metal, snap off use 2’ long pieces of metal to beat and stab.
  • Suit Bag: Hold over person’s head and suffocate them.
  • Book: Serves as defensive shield and bludgeoning device.
  • Ethernet Cable: Once again strangle and/or tie someone down.
  • Laptop: Kick apart, use shards of computer board as very effective knives for slashing.
  • Compression Sack: Filled with clothes packed very densely, serves as an excellent club.
  • Soda Can: Drink, twist, pull apart, slice things open quickly, belch loudly in people’s faces.
  • Suit Hanger: Wooden. Can be snapped. Now I have two strong stabbing weapons. Top of hangar can be a club. Hanger part of the hanger is strong metal, could rip out a trachea.
  • And of course there’s my Nail File, which can round off sharp corners from people's nails.

  • Even with all of these weapons it doesn’t even mention the fact that people can use their own bodies as deadly weapons. Hands, fists, elbows, foreheads, knees, shins, feet… Every one of those can and has killed a person in the past. Anybody that’s ever seen an action movie could probably tell you at least 30 ways to kill somebody with their hands alone.

    What I really want to show is the fact that of all the things on the plane I could use a plethora of devices as weapons. Most of those weapons mentioned above would be MUCH more deadly than a simple nail file. So why is it that we remove harmless items from flights? Is it to make things safer? No. The entire airline industry is wrapped up in the guise of making things safe. People feel more comfortable because they are being searched and they think they are somehow protected by all of the extra precautions. Security in airports is really equivalent to the blinders you see on horses downtown. The security doesn’t eliminate the threat; it merely keeps us from being nervous because we can’t as easily see potential threats. But that sense of security blinds us into not seeing what is really there.

    No amount of security will ever make anything safe. Taking away people’s property when it is of no real danger to those around them is a ridiculous means of providing a false sense of security. The sad thing is that most people are dumb enough to believe that this security actually protects them. The real truth of the matter is that if you want to hurt somebody you will find the means to do so. The only dangerous thing on any plane is the minds of the people going into the aircraft.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    The Dose Makes the Poison

    Sometimes I feel like there’s too much to do in life. It feels like there is so much out there that we must see and feel and touch and do, but there is only so much time. And the time we have we’re often too tired to really pursue what it is that we want. Right now I’m in Boston and I know that this is an amazing place, great sights to see, amazing history to absorb, a culture to delve into…but at the same time I’m so tired from my day that I can’t really take the time it needs to do everything.

    If only business vacations could eliminate the business portion, then they would be just about perfect. However, after working my ~50 hours that I will this week I’m pretty worn down, especially considering all of my work time is running around talking, thinking about how things best work and helping people learn. Teaching is not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s really neat to see people begin to realize their dreams by learning more. Okay, maybe not their dreams, but at least become better at what they hope to do…that’s cool.

    The real problem is, there’s so much to do in this world; however, in my spare time I just want to do nothing. But I know there’s more to do out there, so I feel obligated to get everything done that can possibly be crammed into my 24 hours. I don’t want to be one of those people that sits around in life and says, ‘Shore glad I sat on the porch that one summer. I got to see six squirrels making babies and once had a dragon fly land on me…durned thing only had three wings and kept flyin’ aroun’ in circles all afternoon.’ Or, ‘I’m glad I spent my entire life’s earnings on pot. I used to just think I was somebody and I would try to do things, but now I FEEL.’ What do you feel? ‘I don’t know.’

    So my life is spent somewhere in the limbo between doing too much and never appreciating life and doing too little and wishing you had actually accomplished something. I don’t know where things should end up. I guess the hardest thing for me is to just admit that sometimes it’s okay to just let something slide, to take a break, to do nothing, to zone out while thinking about nothing. It doesn’t automatically make you a loser. Once again I see that this aspect of life is bounded by the realization that anything in the proper proportions is good.

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    Oh Thank Heaven

    …it’s 7-11

    Sometimes it seems like the things that we rely on most in life are the very things that keep us from enjoying it. Granted we think we are enjoying it, but it really just keeps us too busy so that we are entertained and/or productive, but not fulfilled.

    So I’m out teaching a class for my company in Boston, and within 1 hour of class starting all of the electricity went out. Normally I wouldn’t mind this too much and would welcome the break, but as it is I’m supposed to be teaching a class by using power point presentations on a computer to display how to use a program that can only be run by a computer that requires electricity. As you can see this does produce a bit of a problem when the electricity goes out. I thought I found a workaround though and hooked everything up to the back-up power supply, but then that went out too. I tried writing a few things on the board, but you can’t really write a new display for every new window that they might see. It really helped me to appreciate our computers and how much information is packed into such a small space. Programs today are amazingly efficient and give users more power than they can ever really fully utilize. But the Achilles Heel is that all computers need power and without it, all of the handy features are as useless as boobs at a gay bar.

    It was kinda funny cause I really didn’t know what to do. How can I really teach them anything? Should I just cancel the class? Would I need to refund them for not being able to teach? We found a few solutions (which involved 15 people hovering around the 1 laptop in the room and me being on my knees trying to read upside down on an LCD display) and it made me realize how great these people really are. They could have been punks and just said, “No, if you can’t do it right, then don’t do it at all.” Instead they were very considerate and tried their best to learn what was possible in that environment. For this being Boston, I’m really impressed at how nice everybody is that I meet (plus I’m getting a really cool accent!).

    The lack of electricity really reminded me about who people really are. It seems like I all too often isolate myself in an electrically charged force field. My iPod keeps people from talking to me on plane flights, my internet lets me be a lurker on friends’ blogs (like most of you are), the news keeps us from having to talk to people in our area, radio prevents us from whistling our own tunes… Granted each of these components is great in its own respect if used properly, but electricity does really serve to make us harder working…and the more you work, the less you interact.

    Today when the electricity went out and it reminded me of a time when that happened at A&M. It was seriously one of the most memorable moments of my college career. At first people got really upset and wanted to be able to continue what they were doing, many people in labs were upset that they weren’t like Jesus (they didn’t ‘save’). Then classes started to wonder if they would ever get power. Finally around noon word got out that a big slice of Texas was without power and would be for the day. Classes were cancelled, a slew of bleary-eyed grad students slowly stepped outside into the sun. People wandered aimlessly, not really knowing what they would do. Slowly people just kinda meandered and found whatever entertained them most. People were finally relaxed. They realized there was nothing that they could do that was school related, so they just spent time together. The student center was filled with people just chatting with one another, residents came out of dorms to sing and play guitars, sports fields filled up with Frisbee players, and I realized that life without electricity really isn’t that bad. Take away our power and people slow down, stop to think, stop to spend time with those around them, and almost everybody I knew (even those that lost papers) were happier because the power had gone out. Me, I just tooled around, walked to various people’s houses, pondered on things that I hadn’t had time to do before, hung out with friends that needed to be seen, just enjoyed the people and things around me.

    Then for some reason the power came back on, and the roaring sound of work came rushing back towards me. No more excuse to enjoy life, just a desire to get more done before I had more work assigned…and that’s the way it still goes.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    You Got Served!

    The more I think about the whole Eminent Domain ruling by the Supreme Court the more it irks me.

    For example, here is a story that shows how within just a short time of the ruling it is already being abused. Sickens me, but no surprise that it's taking place near the butt of the US, Houston.

    The fun part comes in today when my new hero Logan Darrow Clements proposed to build a hotel on Justice Souter's property. He is currently seeking investors to help pave the way for building the "Lost Liberty Hotel" and adjoining museum. As soon as I find that info I'll post it so that you can donate. I would love to see this guy's house razed...the irony in the whole thing would be absolutely brilliant!

    Feeling least all of my property has tires.

    Thursday, June 23, 2005

    What Were They Thinking!?!

    Frankly I'm appalled. I can't believe that our courts would actually say that individuals should be allowed to have their property seized because another wealthier individual wants that property. This is probably the worst thing I've seen our judicial branch approve in a long time. It spells all sorts of bad news for anybody that once lived happily in a neighborhood, took care of their land, paid their taxes, and then had somebody decide that they wanted the land more.

    Just look at buildings like the Citicorp Building in New York. It's beautiful because they had to work around individuals like that. Or check out this little place in Athens. I can't believe our courts made this decision.

    Honestly what surprised me is that all of the conservatives were the ones opposed to it. It just seems that lately conservatives have been too much in the hands of big businesses (liberals are puppets too). It's the first really good thing I've seen a conservative do in a while.

    This decision takes a step in a VERY bad direction, one in which the rights of individuals are trampled upon for no reason.

    News stories to stay tuned to: The house is passed a legislation to ban the burning the US flag (story). If something like that passes then it's the devil's foot in the door for banning all sorts of other freedoms of speech. I really worry that Americans are so dumb that they want to be explicitly told what all they can and can't do...dangerous!

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    Slightly 'Dirty' But Funny

    So when perusing various news sites I came across a rather interesting study. Granted this article has been rife with all sorts of immature headlines, so I'll come up with my own.

    Women only Orgasm When They aren't Scared or Other Words, Rarely for Most, Never for Some.

    That would be a really chauvinistic thing to say, and since I'm not really a chauvinist I'll just pretend that I would really say that.

    Now all dirtiness aside, I think that a study such as this actually is really interesting. It shows that there are real differences between men and women for sex to be a great experience. The biggest thing is that a woman needs to have security so that they don't cling to their conscious thoughts. Security equals safety, eliminates fear and allows enjoyment.

    Conversely there are some interesting things to learn about guys. The anticipation is half the fun for a guy. The touch centers of the brain get prepared before the encounter. Also that for the guy that sex is not quite as intimate it doesn't require the same 'safe' scenario.

    Granted everybody is different and being a member of 'Club V' I'm not exactly the expert on Sex. But I do find studies like this interesting in that they can help people better understand who the opposite sex is at their very core.

    Plus, it really encourages marriage for great my mom and dad hopefully won't be appalled that I posted this.

    But since sex is honestly pretty funny here are some interesting facts:
  • Men couldn't be studied because the test took 2 minutes
  • "Women can imitate orgasm quite well." -some scientist
  • Men see sex as a reward
  • If women just turned off their brains they'd be in a perpetual orgasm
  • Being a man, my brain is normally off...that's why it's better to be a guy
  • Saturday, June 18, 2005

    Ow! The Ladybug Bit Me!

    I wrote this beautiful eloquent post and for some reason when I tried to spell check it the computer deleted everything. I'll try to re-hit the highlights, but definitely not enough time for the real shebang.

    Right now I'm with my sister in California. It's been fun trailing her at work (interior design is just a wee bit different than engineering), getting to know her fiance, going to movies, and eating out.

    Today we went to the Devil's Punchbowl and hiked to the Devil's Chair. It was a ton of fun just talking with each other the whole way. (Here's where you lose beauty and just get rambling content.) I love the mountains; they show you just how powerful you are...which is not at all. We are all so small and only in the mountains does one truly realize just how much of a puny speck we are on this earth. And that's where things get amazing, because God still cares for us even though we are so miniscule.

    I get my moments of Zen by doing a few things. Driving really fast on my motorcycle and hiking in the mountains are my two favorites. I had one of those moments today overlooking the landscape. Realizing how the mountains had been heaved and tossed about as if they were nothing. Soaring above all the other people and just looking. Quietly listening to the howling of the wind, the caw of birds and the scuttle of lizards. Everything was okay, and I could feel God smiling down at me.

    On the way back I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was a rock covered in Ladybugs. I went closer and noticed that it wasn't just one rock, but two and then a log, then some brush. Everything was covered in these little bugs; I saw more of them in that one spot than I think I have over the sum total of my life. Then one of them landed on me and I thought, "My, aren't all these things cute. I wonder if there are some aphids nearby. Aw, this one reminds me of my first car." Then the darned thing bit me! I couldn't believe it. Being the man I am, I didn't say a word. Instead I promptly flicked it into the nearby stream where it met its doom.

    On the way back there was a really bad accident. We asked one of the California Highway Patrolmen what happened and he looked really sad and said, "There was a chase involving an RV and they hit some people." You could see it in his eyes how much it really disturbed him. He was so angry and sad at the same time. It was a rare reminder that these guys that I slam my breaks for everyday are real people and that some of them really do want to make the world a better and safer place.

    Well, tomorrow we're going to Universal Studios and then I'm off to Burbank to teach my class. I've never been to Universal, so I'm really excited about that. Pretty scared about the teaching part too. I can't believe somebody thinks I actually know enough that they're willing to let me represent the company. I think I'm going to like this travel and work thing though. It's really nice to get out of Austin; although, it's really hard leaving some people behind too. Oh well, one more week and I'm back. In the meantime at least I'll be in a city that's not in the middle of the desert where there's no cell service so I'll be able to actually call people.

    Sunday, June 12, 2005

    News of Late

    Just a quick run thru of recent and coming events.

    Life has gotten really crazy busy lately, but in a good way. The last couple of weekends I've had my sister Suzannah come down to stay with me so that my mom can focus a bit more on her nursing school. That was really fun. It's so much fun when your siblings act more like adults. Although it made me realize how little time I'm going to have when I need to commit to a family (at some distant point in the future).

    Work has been good. This week I'm flying out to California where I'll be teaching a course on LabVIEW (a really useful software product we make). I'm really nervous about teaching though because it means that I am responsible for helping other people become better at something. It also means that my company somehow has enough trust in me that they want me to represent them. It should be a lot of fun, but definitely one of those challenges that will be difficult at the same time. The bright side is I get to be is SoCal, stay in a hotel, go on a free vacation, and get a per diem for food!

    Fortunately I get a few days off beforehand, so I'm going to spend that time with my sister Regina. I always love hanging out with her, because she is one of those people that can just truly enjoy themselves. I wish more people would let themselves be free like that.

    Right after I get back (at 3:35 am) I am going to my best friend's wedding. Really looking forward to it. I can't wait to be there to see her enter this new phase of her life.

    Tonight I got to lead my first Bible study ever! It went really well. It was supposed to be a coed group, but none of the other guys showed up. I was amazed at how open everybody was. I'm really hoping that everything goes well, and I think we could really have an amazing group by the time things are thru. Thank you to all of those who were praying for me, definitely calmed my nerves.

    There are of course other things going on in my life, but those will have to wait for a later post. Just know that the last few weeks have been some of the most exciting and scary weeks of my life. I can't wait to see what all else happens!

    I was talking with my sister Sarah tonight on the phone and somehow celebrity look alikes came up. Evidently she thinks I look like a mix between Adam Sandler and Adam Levine (lead singer for Maroon 5).

    You decide.

    Song of the Night
    Coldplay just put out a new album this week. As with all of my favorite bands it takes some getting used to their new stuff, but I'm liking it more and more. There is one song in particular that I just can't get out of my head. It's called Kingdom Come...and I really like it. Enjoy!
    Kingdom Come by Coldplay

    That's My Dad!

    This weekend I got the privilege of seeing my dad in the first play that he's done in 16 years. He's always loved the theatre, but until recently hasn't found a decent outlet for that passion. It was so great to see him do something that he loved.

    If you know me at all you know I like joking around and being silly. I've got nothing on my old man. He was in a bit of a comedic role and got more laughs per line than I think anybody else in the entire show. Mostly it was just wonderful to see a man that I love so much doing something that he loves.

    So dad, this goes out to you. I love you a lot and am really proud of all the work that you put into that show. You did a great job and I can't wait to go see plays that you're in in the future.

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    Is This Love?

    I think I finally found it! The perfect match for the stupid runaway bride (aka Jennifer Wilbanks).

    He likes to travel. Has been the victim of 'unfair' attention. And they both make heads roll!

    Here's his picture.

    But if you want to know more about this perfect man, read more here.

    Plus if they got married this could be their baby!

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    I Am So Smrt

    Okay, not really. But this past week I did do something that's haunted me in the back of my mind for years. Back in highschool I saw this logic puzzle. The first time I saw it I was working in a coffee shop and didn't have enough time between mochas and lattes to figure it out, plus I used to be dummer.

    Einstein's Logic Problem
    1: There are 5 houses in 5 different colours.
    2: In each house lives a person with a different nationality.
    3: These 5 owners drink a certain beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.
    4: No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same drink.

    From the following information, can you determine WHO KEEPS FISH?
    1: The Brit lives in a red house.
    2: The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
    3: The Dane drinks tea.
    4: The green house is on the left of the white house.
    5: The green house owner drinks coffee.
    6: The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
    7: The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
    8: The man living in the house right in the centre drinks milk.
    9: The Norwegian lives in the first house.
    10: The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.
    11: The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
    12: The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
    13: The German smokes Prince.
    14: The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
    15: The man who smokes Blend has a neighbour who drinks water.

    But this time I did it! Turns out it was just a puzzle where you could find a couple pieces that obviously fit together (bold) and then used some of the remaining clues [x] to make puzzle pieces. Then it just was a matter of fitting the pieces in the remaining holes. They only fit a certain way, and then viola! You are now in the top 2% of the world!

    Cigar:DunhillBlend[10][15]Pall Mall[6]Prince[13]Blue Master[12]

    Link of the Day:
    My neighbor at work wanted me to link to this site that he the intro, that's all him:
    Austin Web Design and Online Marketing

    Monday, May 30, 2005

    Unheard Screams

    I just watched the movie Hotel Rwanda, and I can't sleep without thinking upon the film. How is it that this is the first time I've really heard of the events that took place? How can hundreds of thousands if not millions of people die and I not hear a word about it? Was there something 'more' important going on that made sure that I didn't have a spare minute to ever hear of it?

    The story is awful. It's like watching Schindler's List, but knowing that some of the blame lies upon your shoulders.

    If you haven't seen the movie, then I really recommend watching it. You can find a synopsis to catch up to speed here. And if you don't know where Rwanda is, then study this map. You'll find it between Tanzania and the Congo. While you're at it, look for Sudan too.

    The fact that a story like this ever had to be told is a disgrace. That lives would be so cheapened that they were beyond meaningless. The worst part is, we didn't care. Nobody cared. Even now, nobody cares. And what's sad is that tomorrow nobody will care.

    There are so many things that this story brings to light. Some reviews have said that it makes heroines of the United Nations and that it villainizes western nations. But that's not the case. If anything the UN is largely to blame for what occurred. Their actions really show to me that many of their peace keeping plans are useless. What's the point of having soldiers with guns if they cannot protect those who are innocent? How can you tell soldiers that they must abandon those who need them most? How is it that the UN thinks it can be an effective agency when it only does something when it is already too late?

    This isn't meant to be a nation-bashing post, but the worst part of the whole thing wasn't even hinted at in the film. That story involves one of the largest mass slaughters of the entire genocide. Up on a hill there was a college where the minority heard there were French troops.
    "The Tutsis [the minority] mistakenly thought the French would protect them, only to have the troops watch over as 45,000 of them were murdered. French soldiers then buried the bodies in pits covered with lye and planted a soccer field over them. Some of the bodies, made white and mummified by the lye...the corpses of children hacked to death by machetes are on full view." (Source)

    Seeking safety over forty-five thousand people went up to this place. Desiring hope and asylum, they were instead greeted with annihilation. I don't know what hand the French had in the actual killing, but they were there and they did not stop it, which is the same as condoning those actions. Tens of thousands of people were systematically slaughtered, and not a word was said to put a stop to it. I pray that our country would never do the same, simply let thousands of obviously innocent (were talking about little kids too) be pointlessly hacked into with machetes.

    I would love to think that this story was a one-of-a-kind event, but I know it's not. The same story is already being screamed out again by now snuffed-out lives in the Congo and the Sudan. What sickens me is that you never hear the cries for help. Instead there is so much focus on Jessica Simpson's new diet (to look more emaciated than ever), how the prosecution and defense rested in the Michael Jackson case, the story of the idiot run-away bride on some serious amphetamines, or how single prop planes are a huge security threat to a bunch of people that are too busy doing nothing to actually get something done (aka the US Senate). Whoever decides what it is that gets filtered thru to our homes should be subjected to the horrors that they failed to let us know about. It's absolutely ridiculous that we are offered such lame excuses for news on a daily basis when there are millions of people out there begging for someone to turn them something other than deaf ears.

    Why did this whole debacle happen? I think the moral is that we must treat all people fairly whether we like them or not. When people don't treat others with respect it allows such horrors as these to brew and then be unleashed upon innocents that are too weak to defend themselves. I only wish that this story would never have to be told again, but I know that's impossible. This sad tale will be told again and again because of the evil that resides in the hearts of some of those in this world.

    Thursday, May 26, 2005

    More fun searches that linked to me:
    is it okay for 16 and 19 year olds too date?
    friends who were never friends to begin with

    Quotes I've Gathered:
    "“Your choices are half chance; so are everybody else's."
    - Mary Schmich

    "So this is how liberty dies...—to thunderous applause."
    - Padme Amidala (Star Wars Episode III)

    "This isn't a tale of heroic feats. It's about two live running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams. Was our view too narrow, too biased, too hasty? Were our conclusions too rigid? Maybe. Wandering around our America has changed me more than I thought. I am not me anymore, at least I'm not the same me I was."
    - Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna, 1952

    Top 3 for the Most-Hit's-on-My-Blog-Contest:
    Results could be skewed by non-static IPs
    1. 'Montana'
    2. My Dad
    3. Kelly

    Quiz of the Night:

    Your Geek Profile:

    Movie Geekiness: Highest
    Academic Geekiness: High
    Music Geekiness: High
    Fashion Geekiness: Moderate
    Geekiness in Love: Moderate
    General Geekiness: Low
    Internet Geekiness: Low
    Gamer Geekiness: None
    SciFi Geekiness: None

    Tuesday, May 24, 2005

    Two Dozen

    Well, today is the day. I'm finally as old as I feel. The magic age is 24. I'm pretty excited about this one. I've actually liked all of my birthdays for the last few years.
    - 20 Nobody can call you a teenager anymore.
    - 21 You get to drink, star in dirty movies, and I went to Disney Land.
    - 22 It's a numerical palindrome...and we all know how much I like palindromes, or should I say "palindromesemordnilap".
    - 23 Sequential digits, and I got to do "Cake Upside the Head" at camp.
    - 24 Add the first number to itself and stick it on the end, sequential even-numbers, also two dozen for these people who like base 12 systems.
    Most importantly though I turned 24 on the 24th. It's the first and last time that will ever happen, go me!
    - 25 This is 1/4 of a hundred, insurance goes down (no more "Hey, would you like to pay $6000 per year for insurance? Yeah, we know you've never been in an accident or gotten a ticket, it's just fun to have you give us lots of money for no reason!)
    - 26 I think this will be my first irrelevant birthday since 19...I guess it's like being 13 twice, man I hated being 13.

    There are a couple of things that are a little weird. When I was a kid my mom told me I couldn't get married until I was 23. So in some ways I feel like I should be married by now. Fortunately that hasn't happened yet, cause I still need to grow up. Still, it's interesting to think that I thought by 23 or 24 I would be 'all grown up'. I'm definitely not that. I just thought that life would be so certain by this point in my life. I thought I'd know it all and have a clear direction. I don't. But it's cool because I'm liking the direction that things are moving and I think it's exciting to have a breath of newness in everything I do. Life is an exciting thing and something I hope I never think I've mastered.

    This birthday was one of the best I've ever had. It really makes me happy to hear my friends say "Happy Birthday". I know they're just two tiny words that seem cliche, but they really mean so much. Those words make you feel special inside, like people are happy for you just cause you're you. And that's what I think people really want from relationships, to know that they're liked for just being themselves. So to all of you who sent a card, typed something on the Facebook, left a message on IM, sent me an interoffice communication, left me a message on my phone, took me out for a meal even though I was full, or just said "Happy Birthday" to my face...Thank You!

    Friends are what make this life worth living. So to those of you who are such, just wanna say thanks.

    For those of you who didn't say anything, that's cool too. I tend to keep encroaching B-Days on the, I probably don't know yours either so we're still cool.

    Song of the Night:
    Twenty-Four by Switchfoot

    Monday, May 23, 2005

    Wadders Will Be Welcomed!

    Thru various pipelines some individuals determined that they needed to put an end to my crusade against waddage, so they bought me a case of toilet paper. Yes, a case.

    If past patterns are representative of future trends, then that means I should have enough toilet paper to last on my own until October of 2010.

    Needless to say I could use a little help getting rid of it all. So if you or a 'friend' are in need of some wonderful Double-Quilted Northern, then I'm the person you need to see.

    And to those wondering how you determine your friends/families usage needs, I tend to think that you can group those using your facilities into 2 categories: Number One Users and Number Two Users.

    It tends to be easy to figure out which individuals fit into which categories at which times.
    1. Number One Users leave less obvious traces of their use.
    2. Number Two Users tend to leave more signs behind and when a Number Two User is also a wadder then a significant reduction of past levels of supplies is noted.
    Fortunately there are NO hidden cameras, so guest need not be alarmed. There is a fancy radio from walmart though, so they can listen to music...and some matches and a candle for a more soothing atmosphere.

    Saturday, May 21, 2005

    My Point of View

    Add this one to the list of fun emails posted:


    For as smart as you are, your so called analysis of tort reform is the biggest pile of crap… I mean its like something Limbaugh would say. Its all wrong. How would you like someone you know, going into the hospital for an outpatient surgery, being given 10 times the amount of anesthetic prescribed and waking up a quadripalegic. This is just an example. Under the caps he would be allowed about a max of half a million to almost a full million. Without caps, he settled outta court for 11 million. The awards are to punish bad behavior since doctors done. From 1998-2002, NO DOCTORS lost their licenses and at the same time about a 1000 lawyers did. Doctors don’t police themselves so they should pay. And as for contingent fees, how else is someone who is poor going to get representation. Take away contingent fees and take away access to the poor. So while everyone and FLIP knew you were a genius, you are insanely just wrong on your tort reform analysis, especially the crap about only the frivolous lawsuits pay out—don’t even know what that means. Anyway, nice blog. Haha

    OLD Flipster

    My (long winded) Response
    Dear OLD Flipster,

    As stated in that page, those were 'Opinions', it doesn't mean I'm necessarily right or wrong, but it does mean that it's what I think.

    Just so you know, I've been on the 'victim' end of a lawsuit and they aren't the prettiest things in the world. Growing up my mom went to a chiropractor and when he was 'adjusting' her he caused a clot to form in her neck which then went into her brain and caused her to have a stroke. The stroke put her out of commission for about 3 months (slept for about 23 hours a day, and when awake couldn't really do or remember anything) when I was 11 years old. My dad took it really hard and was rarely home during that period. Meanwhile my brother (12) and I had to take care of our little sisters (5 and 2 years old), manage the household and didn't have time to play with our friends that summer. When our mom finally did start coming back to being her old self she had lost much of who she was, her once stellar memory was gone, and could no longer perform any higher level math skills. Beyond that my family went from making about $60k to hovering below the poverty line the following year until present. Our family was devastated by that incident, but we had to move on even though it was hard.

    In a situation like that we of course sued the chiropractor, he had directly caused this stroke and it devastated one life and hampered many others. What did we get out of it? Basically nothing, it paid off the residual medical bills and put a couple grand in a 'college' account for us kids. The truth of the matter is, that while it would have been nice to get a huge payoff and be living it up in a new house and driving around in a car that wasn't given to us by a friend cause they felt sorry for how deeply in poverty we were, money would not fix the problem. The fact is that 'shit happens' to people all the time and you have to learn how to move on.

    I see things like the recent case of a man not returning a finger to a guy because he wanted to get money out of a lawsuit and it makes me sick (story). Bad things are going to happen every day, but the fact that there are people out there racing to find a rich person/company and 'stick it to them' is pretty amoral. I can understand and am sympathetic to a few cases where people get big money from suits because they have life long and costly debilities as a result. But the truth is that the really big suits tend to be for things that are at least partially the fault of the individual (disassociation of responsibility for ones actions) and are almost always against a large firm. Those suits tend to be filed just so that an individual and their lawyer can profit. Most 'real' damages could be more than compensated for with a cap and it would eliminate pointless overages.

    I do agree with you on some points: Some doctors should lose their licenses. While some things happen as the result of a genuine accident there are some doctors that should be stripped of their license (for example if they show up to work drunk, pass out during surgery and in the process slice the aorta killing a baby). But I am also of the opinion that too many lawyers are in law for all the wrong reasons. A great example of this is a friend of mine that just got admitted to law school. She was a speaker for a conference because she was one of 2 black women admitted to the class. While she was there she said that she wanted to do law so that she could help those in lower income brackets rise above the 'system' and help them to have better lives. She was laughed at and people considered her to be ignorant for only wanting to do law to help others. Pitiful.

    My main opinion is this. Law-Makers tend to be lawyers. Lawyers make oodles of money off of suits (at least 30% off the top, plus other fees and charges). Law-Makers are the ones that decide whether or not we need Tort Reform. Those making laws are most likely to be hurt by any type of tort reform, that's why I believe reforms haven't happened long ago, there's an obvious conflict of interest. Tort Reform is by no means the only thing that's not being done because people are petty and politicians just do what reelects them. I wish we could do other things like overhaul the tax system, make changes to Social Security, increase the number of immigrants allowed per year, stop doing mass testing in schools, spend less on military campaigns and more on helping develop social networks, etc.

    While some suits are necessary and help keep this world in balance, I think that many of the larger cases are pursued simply because a group of people sees a pot of gold. Meanwhile bad things happen to people all the time. There comes a point where you can decide to try to avenge your suffering or simply grow up and realize that you need to move on. And, face it, vengeance never truly satisfies, acceptance of what has occurred does. Tort Reform is not the key and never will be, but it is a temporary solution to a much larger problem, one that should be addressed but never will be. Companies need to respect individuals and individuals need to admit when they do retarded things and be willing to suffer the consequences of their actions.

    Oh, and btw...people tend to be nice to you when you treat them nicely. Starting an argument with "your so called the biggest pile of crap" is not really the best way to woo others into agreeing with you. Keep in mind too that even those we disagree with can be right on some issues. Limbaugh has some valid points that should be listened to, as does Barbara Boxer, as does the PLO, as does even Donald Rumsfeld. Just because we disagree with another's opinions doesn't mean the opinions are wrong...they may be more correct than our pride will let us admit.

    I'm guessing that you're in law school right now, hence the desire to defend an issue that most lawyers are really against. If so, I wish you the best, and I hope you aren't doing it for the money. If you are doing it for the money, then I hope you will find another profession. People should do what they love, not necessarily what they think will earn them the most (granted they can sometimes coincide, and that's nice).

    Otherwise great to hear from you, and I wish you all the best.
    ~Matt Otis