Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two Minute Hate Tuesday

Iowa State Choose Your Own Adventure Commercials

Central Iowans have probably seen the ISU's Choose Your Own Adventure commercials. They started out last year (maybe two) with semi-famous / semi-prominent people who went to ISU giving a kind of high point tour of the college. I think one was a playwright and the next was a journalist...I don't really remember because I've already graduated from college and don't plan on going back. The commercials would feature the person in various places around the college campus saying "This is where I..." - studied for chemistry, decided to try a one person play, was told that I would make a great journalist, etc... Nothing really spectacular but still vaguely interesting about how their college careers had changed along the way. I thought this was a pretty good college slogan because like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you are often trying different paths and not sure where you will end up. It is all part of the journey. Well played ISU.

This year the commercials have devolved into supposedly current students (they could be students, they could be actors - I don't know), just randomly saying stuff that they want to do or know. Here is an example:

I understand what it is trying to say: There is a lot that you can do and explore at Iowa State but they always seem to throw in one stupid desire that has nothing to do with the school. In this case, it is "Be in a band." Sure there are various bands in the music department, but I don't think this is what she is talking about. Even this is mild compared to some of the other commercials. The one the drives me crazy is this dork saying all these things like "I want to cover a major news story. No, I want to be in a major news story...." Of course, he doesn't specify what part of a major news story he wants to be in, so lets all assume that he ends up getting busted for Date Rape. This ad ends with the stupidest line I have ever heard in a college commercial (let me emphasize EVER): "I want to know what a quesadilla is." A quesadilla? Really? You are 17 years old (at minimum) and you don't know what a quesadilla is? There are no Taco Bells in your town? Here you go: Quesadilla...I just saved you 4 years and $40,000. Sorry to say it but I don't think college is going to help you. You will probably be too distracted by such strange and foreign objects as Tacos, Spaghetti, and Canadian Bacon...watch out for the Sweet and Sour Oriental Chicken, it is a real doozy. I don't want to blow your mind. Really...this is the kind of student that ISU wants to attract? Someone who doesn't know what a quesadilla is. Talk about celebrating mediocrity.

End Hate.

Monday, November 24, 2008

60% Dork (part II)

I really love this Millennium Falcon quilt from Pottery Barn for kids. But at $220 for a queen it is too much for me...but maybe if it goes on sale. It really does have to be seen in person as the picture does not do it justice. It is a handsome piece of bedding for any Star Wars dork. Seeing the Millennium Falcon jetting through hyperspace on my bedspread makes my insides feel all squishy.
Bad news: I am calling No-Shave November off for the year. I think my kinda-beard looks like crap (although GF-Unit says she likes it...and Hetero Life-Pal CT thinks it will be good for the winter). It is also itchy...and I hate being itchy. So No-Shave November is over for me tonight!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Woot

Yesterday was a Woot Off at woot.com. And yes I was aiming to score a Bag of Crap again. The Woot Off is an event full of anxiety for me...constantly reloading, worrying that I am going to miss the BoCs...and I so want one! All day long, I was reloading, waiting, reloading, waiting (and I still managed to get a lot of work done!)...until the Holy Grail of the Woot Off the appeared. Shimmering on my computer screen like a mirage oasis to someone in the desert: Bag of Crap. Buy! Buy! Buy! I click the button and it comes back with "Server Too Busy." Reload. Shit! Stupid computers, why do you always do this to me? I have had a horrible couple weeks...please god, give me a bag of crap. I don't know if I can take this disappointment. Buy!

This time I was successful! Well kind of. I was able to order a bag of crap but the server was so busy that I was not able to maximize my crap purchase to three craps. After trying to change the quantity to three for a while, I had the feeling that I was going to lose out on crap again so finally just hit complete order...hoped the three would still pull through somehow but it was not to be. I am pretty sure that I was correct on the timing because the site started showing that the item was sold out before my order confirmation loaded. But finally my order was confirmed. Good hath triumphed over evil that day. The sun briefly shone through the clouds and the Bag of Crap was mine.

What will I get? Who knows? Most likely it will be something that is totally junk, something that I will end up just throwing in my "free box" at home full of stuff that anyone can take or it will get donated to Good Will. Something that will make me feel like I wasted my $6 and I will feel ripped off (even though they told me many times that it was a Bag of Crap). However, this goes beyond the physical goods that I will receive...until I open that package it could be anything. It could be that 60" LCD TV that is just missing the remote. It could be. To me, that hope, that excitement, that flush of anxiousness is worth the $6 for the next couple weeks...even if all I do get is a bag of crap in the end.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two Minutes Hate Tuesday

Myspace / Facebook

Yes, I have accounts on both (a necessary evil)...but that doesn't mean I can't hate them. I do. I think it is a great concept but I don't think it is executed properly and the whole experience just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I don't really go to either much any more because I like blogging here so much better.

A lot of it has to do with the "friend" concept on these sites. It seems that for many people it is just to get as many virtual friends as possible. I want to keep it to a close bunch of friends, acquaintances, and people I find interesting...but others don't understand this. Just because I've met you for 5 minutes in real life does not mean we are friends, so why should be be friends on Myspace? I really don't care about you, any of your updates, or want to contact you. This is especially true for people I work with...seriously don't I see you enough?

Even worse than that are the random people that send you friend invites (I'm not even talking about the spam erotic site friend requests) and don't include a message or even worse have their profile set to private so that I can't read it to see if we have anything in common. They could be a murderer, terrorist, or white supremacist. I wouldn't want to be their friend in that case as I am not friends with those people in real life. I will often send a message asking who they are, why they want to be friends and if they have ever killed someone, hijacked anything, or believe in a master race. I usually don't get a reply...I guess you really wanted to be friends, huh? If I do get a response it is often like "I just wanted to be friends, sorry to piss you off. I thought that is what people did on myspace." It is...but I know nothing about you except for a 1" x 1.5" picture and that you have some stupid band quote in your profile (and by the way, I hate that band and I do not think you are an intellectual for using that quote).

I also hate the people that have songs start playing as soon as you load their page. That is so annoying. Not only do you have bad taste in music but you are trying to force it down my throat. I usually already have music playing when I am at my computer so I really don't want to be interrupted by your favorite little death metal band that no one else has heard of. I do give exception to this rule for pages that are maintained by bands themselves. In this case, I am going there expressly to check them out so I don't mind.

Everyone also wants to do their own layout and have their own backgrounds to express their individuality...which is fine (I guess) unless you have no taste (neon green lettering on a bright orange background) or if you are just going to download it from a site that makes page templates (that does not make you original, in fact the opposite). Not to mention, most people have no design skill and their page ends up more confusing than anything. Oh and black on black doesn't make you cool, tough, mysterious, or evil. It just makes your page hard to read.

Admittedly Facebook is better than Myspace in many of these regards but it does still has many of the same annoyances. Plus - I really don't have time to check out that virtual muppet you sent me (and I love muppets see previous post - send me that muppet in real life!), don't care about the virtual plant you sent me for my virtual garden (and how does that help the environment), don't want to join your mob war, don't want to join your fan club, don't want your virtual jewelry or cookies. I know you put a little time and effort into this and that was nice...but next time just send me a message telling me how you are doing. It will be more meaningful.

Don't get me wrong, I think both have a lot they can offer people. I do like how I can get updates about my actual friends but the whole package is just not for me...and yes, I have tried (I've even gone on a couple dates with people I met through myspace = horrible). I just can't stand these services for more than a couple minutes at a time and don't understand how people can spends hours and hours on them. I do find Mydeathspace interesting though.

End Two Minutes Hate

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Best Christmas Present of the Year

The Muppet Show is one of the best things EVER. I am a big fan of Jim Henson and all that he has accomplished for the puppet trade. Labyrinth is still one of my top 10 movies. Right now, I have The Muppet Wizard of Oz on DVR waiting to be watched. If I had any vocal talent, I would have loved to be a puppet engineer. But you can still be an amateur muppet technician with your personally designed muppet from FAO Schwarz. Only $90. You choose the body, nose, eyes, hair, and clothing. If I had any extra cash right now I would already have one on the way, but no I am trying to save and get the credit cards all paid off. I can dream that someone will get me an awesome muppet for Christmas. I have just spent an hour playing with their muppet generator.

I think the Lounge Jacket with the Bow Tie is especially handsome on a muppet.


I forgot to mention that all photos in the wedding post were taken by GF-Unit and thus I suppose copyrighted. If you need a photographer she can be hired by contacting her at www.jlynnphotography.shutterfly.com

I would also like to say that this Blog has now paid for itself (wait it's free...but time wise I guess) because after reading the Wedding Post Hedda reimbursed me the $15 for Big Booty White Girls 4 movie that Ryan rented on my credit card. Thanks Hedda, I always knew you were awesome!

CHOPS play tonight. Be sure to check it out if you have a chance, it is a great time and much better hockey than we had in previous years. Come by section 103 and join us in a chant of "Sieve...Sieve...Sieve...Sieve. It's all your fault, it's all your fault, it's all your fault," as the Chops beat the tar out of San Antonio again! Plus it's Thirsty Thursday $1 Beer Night. Game starts at 7pm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two Minutes Hate Tuesday

I am full of hate. I hate a lot of things. I might not be as full of hate and angst as I was when I was younger but still I have hate a plenty. So I thought I would start a Two Minutes Hate on Tuesdays to share my hate with all the world (or the 7 people that read this). If there is hate in your heart, let it out. - Clayton Bigsby, black white supremacist.

Magazine Renewals & Inserts
You know those renewal and crappy product information cards in magazines? I hate all varieties.
  • The ones that are inserted loosely in the magazine to fall out all over the floor as soon as you open it are annoying but easily disposed. Although why do you want to make my house dirty? I should not have to pickup after you magazine. If this is an attempt to get me to renew it is having the opposite effect, it reminds me that your magazine is full of garbage.
  • The renewal forms that are printed on thick card stock and then bound in the magazine - these suck because I like randomly flipping through magazines. These thick cards prevent random flipping and I am always opening to the exact same spot. Even after ripping these out and tossing them, there is still usually a stub that totally ruins my randomization. Any product printed on these, I will not even consider as I already hate it for annoying me. And really besides the three loose insert renewals do I need another 5 or 6 bound throughout the magazine? I only need to renew once (and chances are I am going to do that through the interwebicon anyways), I am definitely not going to recommend this magazine to 6 other people EVER - let alone this month. Let's be honest, you are just not that good of a magazine.
  • But the absolute worst is the big card stock cover glued to the original cover of the magazine. I mean it blocks the entire cover, makes the magazine look totally unappealing, and it is near impossible to remove it without ripping the actual magazine cover (and even if you accomplish this there is often a sticky residue on the spine). Nothing will make me hate your magazine more or make that issue get tossed in the garbage faster. I am not even going to leave that piece of crap in the bathroom for others to peruse. I will randomly flip through it - get pissed at the non randomness because of the stupid renewal cards and throw it away without reading it. Your efforts to get me to renew have now failed, I will not be back.

End Two Minutes Hate

Friday, November 7, 2008

60% Dork

I have long known that I am a dork. I've always enjoyed all the dorky things in life - Tolkien (long before the movies), Star Wars, Star Trek, D&D, Dr Who, sci-fi, fantasy, comic books, action figures...that type thing. I agree more with Dwight on the If it is dorky, I will usually like it. I just have never known how dorky. Hetero Life-Pal CT and I once went to a Star Trek convention...it cost $15 - I was expecting maybe $5. I was very disappointed in the whole experience, so I could always say "At least I am not THAT dorky..."

Star Wars was always one of my biggest dork weaknesses - Yes, I have watched all three original movies in a single night. Yes, I saw all the re-releases on opening night. Yes, I can quote way too many Star Wars lines. Yes, I have bought the Star Wars soundtrack on more than one occasion. What can I say? Going to see Star Wars in the theater is one on my earliest memories.

When Marc Ecko Cut & Sew came out with his Boba Fett hoodie last year, I thought "I am not dorky enough to spend $100 on a Star Wars hoodie." Although I think there are tons of cool Star Wars toys available now (have you seen the Lego Star Destroyer? Awesome.) I have always avoided buying them...not wanting to be the middle-age Star Wars collecting dork who proclaims his religion as The Force. Secretly though, I coveted the hoodie and had little day dream fantasies of wearing it. Today, they are having a 40% off sale. I found out that I must be 60% dork because that seemed a reasonable price to pay (still a little high for a hoodie but at least palatable).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Well people like that reform. Maybe we should get us some.

I'm not big into the old politicin'. I know it is a fantastic part of country and I believe in it, I really do. It just usually isn't for me for many reasons:
  • Most the time, I couldn't really care less and am bored with all the politics and TV/radio ads by January - so by the time that the actual election comes around, I literally hate everyone involved.
  • I am usually pretty familiar with the main people running for the main positions (i.e. president, governor, state senator, etc...), but the other positions are often just a list of names that I know nothing about. Do I randomly pick someone? Do I pick a name that may be slightly familiar? Do I do as me and CT do on NTN trivia if we don't know and go with a name that is either noticeably longer or shorter than the rest? Do I choose a name that sounds nice or has cool alliteration? Do I choose C? This choice makes me feel anxious because I don't want to pick someone that sucks but how can I choose anyone if I don't know anything about them. I don't need that stress. I should study more before I reach the voting booth but seriously I am not going to remember the majority of the lesser positions any way. So I let someone who cares enough to learn or at least cares enough to randomly choose a name pick.
  • I hate that there are really only two feasible parties. There needs to be more variety. Yes, I know there was the Green party, the Libertarian party, etc... on the ballot but since the two party system is so ingrained into US politics they have no real chance. I would like to see more candidates that can encompass more values from all the parties. I don't like that for the most part we seem to be "For Us" or "Against Us" when it comes to political parties. I can't seem to vote a straight party ticket, I have to vote for each person and position in their own right because I don't just want a "party drone" I want an individual that can think for himself and know when to tell the rest of his party to fuck off.
  • The majority of the reason that I usually haven't voted is because I have been of the idea/opinion that there would be slight differences in styles and policies between presidents but with all their (presumably intelligent) advisers, cabinet members, checks and balances that for the major issues, the important issues - that presidents would all do pretty much the same job. With the W administration increasing the president's power, eliminating checks and balances, and deteriorating our civil rights - I no longer believe this.

This year is the first year that I have voted since my first eligible year to vote (1992). I did vote for Obama although I can see why people would vote for McCain. It's not that I didn't like McCain, I voted for Obama because he is a much more charismatic leader. I think that is the type of leader that will be able to rally people to change the country (hopefully for the better) and also keep people encouraged in the bad times (like the situation with the economy). I think both candidates would have made decent presidents...I just think that Obama seems a little bit more like a leader. Someone that I would follow. I hope he can help put our country back on track to being respected, rather than being seen as a bully. I hope he realizes that the government has over-stepped in bounds in the name of security and reinstates civilian rights and governmental checks and balances. I hope that Obama can lead our country out of a state of fear and that someday I will be able to fly again with my shampoo and without having to take off my shoes. I am hopeful that change has come and it will be change for the better. (I would hope all the same if McCain had won).

Some of my voting tips:

  • Always vote not to re-elect judges and sheriffs. They have too much power to get complacent or comfortable enough that they feel they can start abusing their power.
  • Vote for a person not their party.
  • Feel free to write yourself in for any position where you don't feel comfortable making a choice.
  • If you can vote for more than one candidate for a post still keep it limited to what you know. Just because you can vote for up to four people doesn't mean you have to...make your top picks count, don't dilute them for just for the sake of voting.
  • Don't vote for the guy with the midget - no matter how stumpy...he is really a white supremacist and not a "friend of the little man."
  • If you don't want to vote - DON'T! Don't let someone try to talk you into it if you don't want to (then you are doing what they want). This is a democracy - you can choose or not. That's what is great about it. Is voting a Right? Yes. But you don't have to take advantage of it if you don't want to. So is "keeping and bearing arms" and I don't own a gun (...yet) and I don't feel bad about that. I especially like when someone tries to tell me that "If you don't vote, then you can't complain." Of course I can! I didn't vote for the person.

OK enough politicin'. I hope the coverage is over soon...because I have long been sick of it. If I hear "Joe the Plumber" one more time, I am going to snap and kick that person in the shins. You will (most likely) not hear another word about it from me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

You Fools

On Saturday, my younger brother Ryan married Hedda - his longtime gf-unit. Truthfully, I am not sure how he suckered her into it. Hedda is great and I don't know if Ryan could have found a better woman (I mean any girl that watches Big Booty White Girls 4 with you can't be that bad right? - Yeah you guys still owe me $15 from that!). Ryan on the other hand, I had written off from the gene pool long ago when he nicknamed himself Odie Joey Dinky. He had no brain when he was younger, I was sure he was going to Darwin himself at some point. But his brain seems to have kicked in sometime in the last ten years and he was smart enough not to let Hedda get away... How she puts up with him I don't know - it must be love or something.

It was a little ceremony and reception at Living History Farms - the one downside was that I had to be a groomsman. I thought the rehearsal was a waste of time since I am pretty good at both walking and standing, usually being able to do both on demand without much practice. At least, I wasn't the Pastor like my internet ordained older brother (ha ha!). I really wanted him to go "Wuv, Twue wuv..." ala The Princess Bride, but it was not to be...It will so happen at my wedding (if that ever comes about).
I am not a big fan of weddings...in fact this is the first one that I have been to in 10 years or so. I even skipped out on Hetero Life-Pal CT's wedding (and then made his wife not like me for a while by writing "Demonic Rituals" in the memo field of the check I sent them - I thought it was funny). Now that I have been to one wedding and had a decent enough time, it does not mean you should be expecting me at any future weddings that I should be invited to. This one was a favor for my bro...it was a one time deal. If you invite me, there is a 98.2% chance that I will not come.
Here is a picture of me looking awesome (as always):

Congratulations Ryan & Hedda - You guys are awesome (and had good ham at the reception).