Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Season of Goo

I have now added a Cadbury Creme Egg Counter to the right hand sidebar.  This will help you keep track of my horrible addiction this time of year (you may remember this post from last year).  I might also call it a Fat Guy counter...because each egg eaten is sure to delay any fitness plans or ideas I may have.

I have been doing pretty well this year though in limiting myself to one egg a day (OK, sometimes 1 full size and 1 mini).  No mass quantities at one time sugar coma.  I can't believe how grown up I am!  In addition to the Regular and Caramel eggs, I also stumbled across Orange Creme eggs (hoo-ray!)  Still no sign of mint, chocolate, or dream eggs.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Two Minutes Hate

Door Mounted Exercise Equipment

I am trying to get more fit, so I am paying slightly more attention to commercials for exercise equipment.  Door Mounted Equipment seems to be the trend now with all kinds of pull-up bars, bungee straps, and pulley type machines now available.  I'm sure they all work fine, with one major exception - does anyone actually have a place to do this?  On the commercial it looks nice...they have a nice big doorway, without a door, in the middle of the wall, and the wall is in a huge open space.  No furniture, no perpendicular walls, no hallways to get in the way or crowd the space.  I don't have a doorway like this.  All my door jambs have doors and are very offset to one end of the doing any exercise, I would feel very cramped and limited by the wall four inches to my side.  I know I wouldn't be getting full extension, I know I wouldn't be comfortable, I just can't see it as viable exercise equipment.  It is not as ridiculous as the $15,000 ROM that needs a complete room to itself, but I just can't imagine 90% of people able to comfortably use door mounted equipment.  I've been checking every house I've been in for the last couple months and have yet to see a doorway that would work well.  There were a couple closets that might work, but who wants to do pull ups with a closet full of clothing pushing against them?  Not me.

It's a nice idea in theory, I just haven't seen a house that it would work well least for me.  Your experience may vary.  I just think there are going to be a lot of these at garage sales in a year or two.  of course, I may also just be lazy and finding any excuse not to exercise.

End Hate

Monday, March 29, 2010

You Sure Got Me!

Today is a pretty great day weather-wise, so I decided to take a lunch break.  During winter or when the weather is bad, I tend to skip my lunch break and work.  Mainly this is to keep me from spending money that I really don't need to spend, but it also helps make up for the days that I am late to work (read that as EVERY day).

So today is beautiful and I plan to run a few errands.  I am enjoying driving with my windows down and taking in all the beginnings of spring.  I am taking the day at calm, speed-limit (55mph) pace.  However, the pickup truck behind me feels otherwise.  He is driving right on my bumper, and acting like he is going to pass me all the time (which he doesn't do even though there were several opportunities). 

Eventually, we come to a four-way stop.  Myself and a car to the right of me both stopped at the stop sign at the same time.  As I learned in Driver's Ed, the car to your right has the right of way.  So I waved the other driver to go ahead.  This did not sit well with Mr Pickup Truck.  I can see him slam his hands on his steering wheel and complain to his buddy in the passenger seat.  I think to myself,  "Oops, he must really be in a hurry.  Sorry."  After both I an the truck get through the stop sign, he finally decides to pass me...which was one of the worst possible times to pass.  He made it safely past, but I am sure he scared the hell out of the on coming drivers.  I am not surprised to see that he has a decal of Calvin pissing on something in his back window.  That should be the end of the story right?  The pickup speeding off because of the huge hurry he is in.

Not Surprised...

It isn't the end.  Evidently, by driving the speed limit and wasting his precious time by allowing another car to go first at the stop sign, I have caused some sort of grievous injury.  Now that he in front of me, Mr Pickup slows down...55mph, 50mph, 45mph, 40mph.  Even though I am enjoying a leisurely drive, there is a time limit on my lunch break, so once he gets to 40mph, I try to pass.  Mr Pickup Truck then speeds up to 70mph to prevent the pass.  I pull back behind him and I can see him laughing with his buddy. least we are going the speed limit again. 

Finally, we come to a stop light.  Mr Pickup Truck does not move when the light turns green, for two minutes he sits there to "punish" me...while traffic piles up behind me.  When the light turns yellow, he speeds through it and everyone else has to sit through another red light.  Man, I guess you sure got me!  Lesson learned...oh wait, everyone thinks that you're the asshole in this situation.   Nice try made me laugh at your idiocy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

There Are Many Rules

Admittedly, I can be a picky eater.  Especially when I was younger.  Some foods have never sat well with me. As I've grown older my thoughts have changed somewhat and so I have given these foods another chance. Some I have learned to like, some I tolerate, and some I still hate.

Cheese was one of the foods I could not stand as a child. Mozzarella cheese was pretty much the only cheese I could stand at all...and that had to be on pizza and very hot and melty. The Macaroni and Cheese that every kid seems to like was a cause of dread. In our house, you ate what was made for dinner...or you sat at the table until bedtime and went to bed without dinner. So I ended up eating mac & cheese a lot, but I never liked it. I tried ketchup, my mom tried adding peas or tuna...nothing really worked.

As an adult, I have grown to almost like Mac & Cheese...but there are many rules that must be followed in order to enjoy it.
    Spirals - The Cadillac of Mac & Cheese

  1. No EasyMac
  2. Shape - Spirals are really the only choice.  Spirals hold the perfect amount of cheese sauce, not too much, not too little.  It is also a fun texture that is easy to get perfectly cooked.  It is the Goldielocks of all macaroni.  Here is the hierarchy of macaroni noodles from delicious to inedible.
    • Spirals
    • Scooby Doo
    • Elbow/Standard
    • Most any other kids shape
    • Shells
  3. Cheese - Powdered Cheese is a must... nd the brighter neon the orange coloring, the better.  I am not tied to any one brand HoneyHill is just as good as Kraft in my opinion but it has to be powdered...that creamy cheese mix is just horrible.
  4. Preparation - Classic Preparation only! 3 Tablespoons of Milk and Butter, the "healthy, low fat" option is disgusting...actually I add a little bit more milk and butter than the classic prep because I like the cheese sauce really runny.
  5. Time - Mac and Cheese must be eaten within 20 minutes of removal from heat source.  If the cheese sauce starts to coagulate at all the macaroni is dead to me.  Mac and Cheese can not be re-heated to a satisfactory form, it is chemically impossible.
  6. Seasoning - A twist of fresh ground pepper is perfect.  I prefer a 3 peppercorn mix as opposed to straight black pepper but both are good.

Let there be Macaroni and Cheese!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

I don't like to get very political on this blog.  You have your views, I have mine.  Yes, I know I have gotten slightly political in the a few days ago with the Sarah Palin joke, mostly because I thought it was funny.

But I am going to get slightly political right now, sorry.

You too can own a whole line of Obama Dictator wear.

Seriously people - you are calling President Obama a dictator because he pushed for and eventually got health care reform.  Really?  Dictator?  You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.  Of course we have free speech so you can say that all you want (free speech in a dictatorship, crazy talk).  Just because you disagree with some one's policy doesn't make them a dictator...or any of the other stupid phrases that you say.  Saying that kind of thing basically just makes you looking like a fucking idiot.

I am trying to see how this makes the President a dictator - all I can think of is that you lost the right to not have health insurance.  Personally, I hope this is a good thing for people.  I know several people who have pre-existing conditions and have major issues getting health insurance and therefore the health care they need to live...but I can see how you would be upset about losing your right not to have insurance.

Since you are all about personal freedom...I am glad you were out fighting the renewal of the Patriot Act (an act that in my opinion eroded more of our rights and civil liberties than anything else since the founding of the country).  Burden of Proof, Evidence,Warrants for wiretapping and spying, Oversight and Accountability for government agencies, ability to refute National Security Letters - I guess you don't think we need any of those.  Oh wait, you didn't fight that because "your team" was in charge at the time?

I'm not for the Democrats or the Republicans...I just want our country to work as well as possible. I'm not sure if the health care reform will work or not, but I do know that health care hasn't been working for many people for years. We need to try to find some way to make it work.  My tax dollars pay for a lot of things that I don't like, health care for everyone is one of those things that I don't mind contributing to.

Oh, I might also like to add that just because you think the Health Care Reform is socialism, that doesn't make the President a dictator.  Those are two very different concepts.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Two Minutes Hate

Paranormal Investigation Shows

Not the shows like In Search Of or Monster Quest where they try to gather evidence, talk to witnesses and experts, and give a somewhat balanced report.  What I hate is the Paranormal State, Ghost Hunters, and similar type shows (and there are a lot).  Actually they are kind of entertaining, but what I hate is the whole premise of their investigation.  To me it always sounds like something like this:

"This place has been having various haunting reports for 150 years?  No problem, we are free Saturday night.  Of course we can solve intermittent reports from the past 150 years in one night!  We have cameras...duh."

The entire shows deals with these people tromping around a house/hotel/abandoned whatever with handheld cameras...but also with a camera and sound crew following them and then every so often someone goes "Did you hear that?" and they swing their cameras in the complete opposite direction of what they were looking...yes the cameras are NEVER pointed in the right spot.  And of course as a viewer you don't hear shit!  Then every once in a while someone will say "It just got really cold right here!"  or "Did you see that? It looked like a shadow moving."  Of course, with both of these the home viewer doesn't see anything.  Shadow moving?  Oh darn the camera was looking the wrong everything just looks black.  You feel cold?  Let's zoom the camera in onto your arm to show the goosebumps.  Riveting television, I tell you.  Later when analyzing their "evidence" they find all these "voices" on their tape recorders...after playing the clip 20 times they say "It sounds like it is saying (insert phrase here - get out, go away, etc...)" and it didn't sound like that the 20 previous times but once they say that, you can't help but hear it.  Half the time I am pretty sure it is the camera guy saying he needs to go take a piss.  It's like backwards masking, it doesn't exist until someone else says it does.

Paranormal State takes this to and even more absurd level.  My favorite part is when they have to call the psychic in.  They you see this exchange "OK, we haven't talked about this and no one has told you anything about it right?" "Right."  You can literally almost hear them winking at each other....know what I mean, nudge, nudge, say no more, wink, wink.  It cracks me up every single time.

Admittedly, I do want to get a K-II EMF meter to play with, even though I am pretty sure it looks just like it works about like my stud finder (actually, my stud finder looks better).

End Hate

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Mayans May Have Been Right

It's not too often that I admit that I was wrong (I am wrong all the time, but I won't admit it). 

I don't think this will come to pass, but if it does, the Mayans may have been right.  Beware 2maYaK!

You can buy this shirt here...if you want to, although I am not sure why you would.

Friday, March 19, 2010

For Your Delight...

I've decided to start linking to youtube videos the the songs that are stuck in my head on Fridays (you can find them over there on the right -->). This way you can easily share my misery. It is something that I have long planned on doing but have been lazy (and I suck). But starting today 3/19/2010 the links will start. I may go back and link the older songs when I have time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rolling Sevens with Nothing to Lose

Last night, my good friend Angie took me to see Crazy Heart for my birthday.  I thought Crazy Heart looked interesting when it first The Dude, how could I resist?  Well, with little time and plenty of other movies to fill me and CT's weekly sojourn to the theater (and it really isn't the kind CT and I usually see - no comedy, no aliens, no explosions), Crazy Heart kept getting pushed off the list.

It is a shame really as it is good.  Really good.  All the actors are pretty spectacular but the Dude is simply amazing.  He did deserve best actor, hands down.  Jeff Bridges fit Bad Blake perfectly.  Every aspect of the performance was great. And who knew Colin Farrell could sing?  Who even knew he was in the movie?  And he was decent, too.  I can't say that the plot and story was the most original ever, it's a pretty old tale of hitting rock bottom and trying various forms of redemption.  I was a little disappointed in the might not have been a "happy" ending per se, but it was definitely happier than I was secretly hoping for.  I know Angie disagrees with me here, as she loves happy endings; but I although I do love the redemption type story, I also REALLY love stories about giving it all and still failing.  I am not sure why but I find an affinity with that kind of story.  It's the effort, I guess.  I love the tag line "The Harder the Life, the Sweeter the Song." I believe that to be very true.

I know, many of you are probably thinking that "Hey you're a metal music person, I thought you hated country music?  Why would this movie interest you?"  To that I would say:
1) Although metal is my favorite genre it is far from the only thing I listen to.
2) It is true that I make fun of country music more than most genres but I never hated country music.  I always enjoyed the older gritty style of country music (Cash, Jennings, Nelson, Haggard, Coe).  Want I hated was the popified country music crap that started to dominate the air waves -  Achy Breaky Heart, Boot Scootin Boogie, etc...that stuff is horrible.  I enjoyed all the music in this movie.
3) This type of story can cross genres.  I've been to many shows of artists who once may have been famous, but now just scrape by.  They are bitter, they hate themselves, they hate their audiences, they hate life as the try to relive or regain former glory.  It is a powerful story to me.

Thanks again Angie, I had a wonderful time.  I would highly recommend Crazy Heart to anyone looking for a more emotional movie that is not all sugary happiness.  It is bittersweet and that is what makes it fabulous.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Alice - the review

Warning - Spoilers Below

I like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass...a lot. I read the books...the Lewis Carroll books, not the Disney adapted books, in fifth or sixth grade. I loved the books. Even though I have read them once...they still seem pretty clear in my mind (although it is quite possible that I am not remembering correctly...and you should keep that in mind). I am not sure why I haven't re-read them...mostly, I think, because I don't own them, so they aren't handy when I am needing something to read. I really should find a nice set to have for my bookshelves....I know Easton Press has a nice Alice, but I don't think they have Looking Glass. Sadness.

So as you read this review please note that 1) it is a pretty good movie and I think you should see it 2) that I have been probably a little too fanatical about Alice at times and so am completely biased.

My heart was embiggened when I first heard about the new Alice in Wonderland movie by Tim Burton. Who doesn't like Tim Burton? He is capable of amazing things and has a unique style that is wonderful. Alice & Tim seemed perfect for each other. The poster below had me really excited - all the Alice imagery with Tim Burton's skew...just the trademarked Burton curl on the tree/vine made me elated with the possibilities. I think it turned out well...just not what I really wanted to see.

  • Liked - you are not getting the traditional Alice story. Alice is older and doesn't remember her childhood trip to Wonderland. Although I love the original stories, I think this is an interesting way to handle it (Sci-Fi channel did a similar thing in a mini-series a few months ago...pretty sure they were just trying to capitalize on the coming movie promotion but still it was interesting. PS Sci-fi...I still hate SYFY). Plus it allowed them to draw upon material from both books. I liked that they had more of a narrative running throughout the movie than the books had.
  • Disliked - story inconsistencies with the books. The Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts are two totally different characters. The Queen of Hearts deals with playing cards. The Red Queen deals with chess. It was the Queen of Hearts that always yells "Off with their head!" I know Disney combined them too in the 50s...and that annoyed me too.I remember a lot more wit, logic puzzles, word play, puns, riddles, philosophy, etc... in the books. It is actually what I remember the best and what drew me to the books in the first place - this was mostly absent in the movie. They did keep the Raven and the Writing Desk bit...but I think it just confused most people (which was maybe the point). I was really expecting them to bring Alice's dad who vanished many years earlier back into the story (like somehow he got lost in Wonderland) to tie up that loose end but that never happened.


  • Liked - The movie looked really good. The integration of the actors with the computer generated images was pretty seamless. The characters and scenery were all interesting designed and detailed. I am sure I missed many of the details and would like to see it again just to watch the background. I liked how the "real" world was barely in 3D and Wonderland had much more muchness.
  • Disliked - Wonderland was really dark and kind of dreary. I think they wanted to show how much it had deteriorated since the last time Alice had been there. Although I understand this choice, I wanted to see much more of the pristine Wonderland with bright bold colors and everything exotic and pretty. I wanted the colors to pop like they did in Pushing Daisies. I figured at least at the end they would show Wonderland morphing back into it's vivid self...but nope. The 3D was decent but not spectacular...even though I hate when movies throw in scenes just for 3D effect, to me it seemed like Alice had scenes that would have benefited from more 3D effect.


  • Liked - I thought all actors did a great job. Everyone had a really good performance. The Red Queen, the Tweedles, and Cat were great. Everyone else was really good. For one reason or another I found Alice really alluring in her armor (I must really be a dork).
  • Disliked - The characters weren't as likable as I would have preferred. Again I think this is because they were down trodden from the Red Queen's tyranny but I was expecting more. I like a fun, happy, playful Mad Hatter...not just one that is simply crazy. And that goes for all characters.

The "XD" Experience - Jordan Creek Theater recently upgraded one of their main theaters to XD (When I say recent - this is the first movie to be shown in the upgraded theater, and so was only a week old). If you aren't familiar XD is a better sound system, bigger screen, comfier seats, etc... PS - XD stands for "eXtreme Digital" or something like that = gay.

  • Liked - The bigger screen was nice, the sound was great, the seats were comfy and leather (I'm assuming fake) and reclined quite a bit more than regular seats.
  • Disliked - The screen was bigger than your normal multiplex screen (wall to wall and taller) but it was no where near an Imax screen as far a filling your vision, it's not even as big as Merle Hay Theater's big but not huge. Seats were really comfy but if there was someone in front of you and they lean back it really limits your leg room. I was unable to cross my legs and if someone were to try to walk past it would have been pretty crowded. XD fee is an additional $2 on top of regular ticket price (and $3 glasses fee if in 3D), so Alice in 3D cost $14 a person (and there is no matinee discount!).


I think it is a good movie and worth seeing. It just didn't meet the high hopes that I had set for it. That being said, I would like to see it again but this time I will probably opt for 2D since 3D was a little underwhelming.

Two Minutes Hate

A Loaded Question
I hate it when I am out to eat some place and the waiter/waitress/server/host/manager comes over and asks how everything is...but not just regular "How is everything?" or "I hope everything is to your liking", etc... Those are fine. I hate when they ask "Is everything delicious tonight?" That is a Yes or No question and it leaves me no leeway. If you say 'yes' it makes it seem like everything is perfect, couldn't be any better, it is probably the best food that you have eaten in years. If you say 'no'; basically everything is terrible. For me, most meals are usually "very good" and I am usually very happy with them, but can I usually wouldn't describe them as delicious. I like to save "delicious" for meals that surprise and delight me, meals that I will be thinking about for weeks if not longer. I have maybe two or three meals like that per year. That doesn't mean the rest weren't good or even great...they just didn't quite reach that upper echelon of deliciousness.

The biggest problem is that the absolute worst offender of asking this type of question is usually the local Olive Garden. I don't mind Olive Garden every once in a while but to me it always seems pretty generic. Not just them, but Italian food in general...I just don't find the food inventive enough to be considered delicious in my mind. I mean - pasta, tomato, garlic, butter, Parmesan - there are only so many combinations before they all starting tasting too similar to me. I've had some good meals there, but nothing that has ever been particularly I am always conflicted when it comes to the "delicious" question. If I say yes, I feel like I am lying. If I say no, it becomes a big deal and I have to explain and have even had to talk to the manager a few times to "see if he could do anything to help me enjoy my visit." I did enjoy my visit, I thought the food was met or exceeded my expectations for Olive Garden, just not what I consider "delicious." I am sure many people do think it is delicious, I am just not one of them...and I know that is my one of my biases.

I just annoys me that places ask such a loaded question. Of course 99% of the people are going to say yes because they don't want to deal with the hassle of saying no. When asked, I will just kind of brush off the question and say everything was really good...and hope the waiter will let it drop. Really I just want to eat in peace. If I have a problem, I will let you know.

End Hate

Monday, March 15, 2010

Avoiding the Inner Fat Guy

I've been trying to workout lately.  I don't think that I am horribly out of shape, but I do have the beginnings of a pot belly and gone are my size 26 jeans...damn you size 32!   So I figure I need to probably change my lifestyle to be healthy and avoid the inner fat guy lurking within.  I haven't gotten into 100% routine but have been at least getting in a workout semi-regularly.  Those who know me personally and know that I am totally lazy, should know that this is a pretty big step for me. 

I've been doing the FMS 45 Minute Fat Burning Workout, which I like because it is short, seems to be a decent overall body workout and doesn't have a whole lot of pep talk in it.  That's really all I want, someone to show me how to do the workout and maybe count the reps.  Billy Blanks, why can't you just shut up?  I am not ready for Tae Bo quite yet...but am getting there, but dread listening to Billy tell me to reach for my higher power.  If anyone has suggestions for other workouts let me know, admittedly I am a amateur at this. 

Unfortunately, my motivation for getting up early and working out is making myself a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit; thereby undoing probably 98% of my workout...but I am feeling slightly fitter and have been on time to work more times in the past two weeks than I have in the previous 6 months.  So I consider it to be going well.  I just hope that once I am more fit that I can avoid the John Basedow "standing like I have scoliosis to make my abs pop" pose and the ever constant threat of my button-down shirt coming open.  The threats are real.

John Basedow - love your workout, hate your poses.

Having said all that, March is a totally horrible time to try a fitness plan.  First of all, there are the Girl Scout cookies.  Congrats Girl Scouts on getting my orders right this year, unlike last year's debacle.  Then there is the Cadbury Creme of the greatest food stuffs ever invented.  Money spent on Cadbury Eggs this year (so far): $20; portion of the eggs eaten (so far): $3.  Then there is chocolate Easter bunnies, and many flavored jelly beans to consider.  Finally, March is my birthday month and that means cheesecake...more specifically Jello No Bake Cheesecake topped with cherries.  It really is the Cadillac of cheesecakes at a Kia price.  Delicious.  This year, I am trying to control my impulses and only eat these things in moderation and as rewards for doing something good in my life...this is a far cry from eating only Girl Scout cookies for two days or having an entire meal of Cadbury Eggs.  If nothing else, I am sure my pancreas is thankful.  Sensible eating?  Moderation! I feel so grown up!

Top 5 Things I did on my birthday weekend:
5) Ate at PF Changs with my family
4) Went to see local band Cold Filtered
3) Ate Cheesecake
2) Went to the pre-season roller derby bout
1) Went to see Alice in Wonderland 3D XD

All in all, I would call that a pretty good birthday...only thing missing was getting lucky, and I didn't really even try at that one.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Much Like Syphilis

I usually see my niece about once a week.  Whenever I do, I am usually forced into playing Just Dance on the Wii.  It is pretty fun game even if she usually whoops me...not surprisingly I am a terrible dancer.  There is some decent music on the game too...better than I first guessed.  The Presidents of the United States, Dee-Lite, The B-52s, Blur, The Trashmen (Have you not heard? It was my understanding that everyone had heard). The problem is that my niece likes the worst songs on the game and I end up dancing to Spice Girls and Katy Perry way too much. 

Katy Perry and I have been at odds before and this is more of the same.  Hot N Cold is catchy, I'll give her that.  It has wormed it's way into my mind over the past week and replays more than I would like (I would like zero).  It's not that it is a terrible song - they video is pretty terrible I thought (gee, a guy being hesitant to marry you after you were all about kissing girls a year ago?  That's unpossible.)  My problem with the song is that the lyrics are so generic.
Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down

You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up
Seriously?  That makes Alanis Morissette's Ironic look like Shakespeare (PS - I love Alanis.  For excellent contrasting points see Eight Easy StepsIronic was just a little generic and cheesy.).  Every time I hear Katy Perry's Hot N Cold I want to pat her on the head like a special child and go "Did you come up with all those contrasts all by yourself?  You're such a smart child!"   Much like syphilis, this song is catchy but horrible.  Fun to dance with my niece to though.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Taking it Back

Nine times out of ten when you hear something being described as a "harbinger" it is always something bad - Harbinger of Death, Harbinger of the Apocalypse, Harbinger of Doom, etc...  the one exception is spring.  You hear about the robins or early budding plants being harbingers of spring, but even that is increasingly rare.  To me  it seems that harbinger, which means to precede, indicate, or foreshadow has just become connected with evil.  Well I am here to tell you that I am taking it back.  I am not sure what I am going to be the Harbinger of but something like puppies, cotton candy, or rainbows...something positive.

Much like Randal, I'm taking it back!

The Harbinger of Suck

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Two Minutes Hate

eBay Outage Warnings

OK, there aren't eBay outages anymore...really there haven't been in 10 years. In the beginning there were issues every once in a while, not often but enough that some people were pissed about missing out on an auction due to server slow-down or whatever (personally I think a lot of it had to do with people and their dial-up access.)

In 1997 when a lot of sellers use to put in their auction listing "eBay is famous for its outages, place your bid now. Don't wait." It was stupid, it didn't really make me want to buy from that person because it made it seem like they were a snake oil salesmen. Seriously, isn't this just playing on fear...weak as it may be. "Buy Now Before It Is Too Late! You'll Be Sorry!" Unfortunately, so many people had this stupid message in their descriptions that it was almost impossible to avoid it completely.

I wasn't ever sorry and actually never had an issue with any of the auctions that I bid on. Never had an outage or slow server that caused me to miss out on anything that I wanted. 'Couse, I also not one of those "Sniper" people who wait till the last minute either. If I am interested in something, I bid what I am willing to pay and forget about the auction - maybe I win, maybe I lose a week later. I don't really check on them because I have already bid what I am willing to pay. To me it is a completely stress-free way of bidding and you don't get caught in any bidding wars. If I don't win, the item is almost always guaranteed to come up again.

The warnings were stupid then...they are completely idiotic now. Yes, some people still put this type of thing in their auction listings. I thought this had died years ago (and rightly so) but I have seen it several times in the past couple months. Idiots. When was the last time anyone has really heard of an eBay outage? I am sure there has been some, but I can't believe they have had much impact on anything (I doubt they ever did). I can't tell you how much it annoys me that people still put this in their auction listings - now do they not only seem like snake oil salesmen but also way behind the times. Might as well have your description list "Totally Tubular To the Max!" or "Super Keen." I hate these people. If you buy from these people, I think the terrorists have already won.

End Hate (now 23 skiddoo!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's Derby Time - but not the Kentucky Kind

The Mid Iowa Rollers' roller derby season begins next weekend on March 13th.  I highly enjoyed all the bouts that I was able to make last year.  If you are in the DSM area, I suggest you check it out....a good time always had by all.  Skating girls, speed,, fun, fun!  Can't wait to see the new team in action.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

An Update to an Unpublished Post

I started writing this post on 11/13/2009...I was excited after hearing about my library's participation in a program that allowed you to borrow audio by downloading them.  Before I published the post, I wanted to test it out and see how well it really works...I ran into problems, problems which I still haven't been able to fix properly.  I let the draft languish, hoping that it would work, trying several times over the past month on a couple different machines.  I still can't get it to work right.  I was just going to delete the post when I was pointed to this comic by Boing Boing.  It is my exact experience with this system (although I didn't end up downloading the torrent, I definitely thought about it)...and it makes me sad.

Click the link in the caption to see the entirety to properly understand the frustration.  Congrats to The Brads for capturing this perfectly.

Click me to see the full thing at

I understand the "need" (more of a want than a need for audiobook producers) for DRM but it is things like this that punish the people who are trying to do the right thing and do it legally that really frustrates me.  You are just blocking out your customers...the people who were going to steal it are going to steal it anyways.  I want to be the good and honest person here but it doesn't work!  Downloaded pirated files always work.  It is not the first time that type of thing has happened to me...just one of the more recent.

Great idea library...poor execution.

Original Post Draft:

Hooray Library!

I love the library - any place that has lots of books, whether it be bookstore, library, or personal collection is always good at drawing my attention. I can just skim through racks of books all day. But, I consider reading to be a form of recreation and rest so I will often pick fiction as my reading material. It just helps me feel more relaxed than reading history or science books. I like those too, but they don't give me the sense of relaxation that I am usually looking for when reading.

That has always been a difficult decision for me though because, I really do like learning and engaging my mind. I think this is some of the reason that I find hard sci-fi (the kind with very detailed and probable scenarios and usually a bunch of equations) so fascinating. I get the relaxation of the story but the academics of the math and science. However, I still sometimes feel like I am missing out on history and the real world. This is where audiobooks come in handy. Pop in a CD while driving or working and some of my need for history is fulfilled. I admit that it is not as good as reading a book, but it is much better than listening to the radio while driving or listening to nothing at work.

Audio books can be expensive though and for me they are not like books to be kept and treasured (if I liked it). Once listened to, my probability of ever listening to it again is pretty much zero.  If I do like the book...I will probably go buy the book to read myself in the future.  My local library also always had a poor selection, yes I could have them order me some through the inter-library lending system but that always been a hassle for me (out of 20+ times getting something through inter-library loan, I have had issues with more than half my orders - sure they always fix it, but still it is annoying). That is why I was very happy when I discovered that my library is final taking part in the WILBOR system. This is a system that lends audiobooks. No, not like heading down to the library and getting an armful of download them at your convenience. They are still building their selection but there is a little something for everyone. I plan on taking full advantage of this.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Music for a Mood

I am feeling really down and depressed today...many reasons but mostly just because I am a moody bitch at times (and I suck).

Misery loves company, or so they say...I don't really want to make anyone else unhappy but it definitely helps me to listen to someone else's misery in song form.  What can I say...someone cool like that being emotionally fucked up helps me deal with my own feelings.

Here are my top 3 beautiful/horrible songs for when I am feeling like I fucked up my life.

Brick by Ben Folds Five

Thankfully, I have never been in this situation but I think they captured the emotions perfectly.  Who hasn't felt like the were drowning in a relationship or feeling totally alone when with someone?  I first heard this song when I was a college DJ filling in for some one's shift on Valentines Day (I had no plans as I was a loser - not much has changed).  We regularly played BFF but I had never listened to a whole album.  Some random girl who sounded vaguely upset called in and requested this song.  During the song, I wished *69 worked on campus because I really think she needed a hug because this was the least Valentines Day song that I had ever heard.  Whoever you are - I still wonder about you not only every time I hear this song, but every Valentines Day too...I hope everything worked out (thanks for pointing out this song to me).

Slow Motion by Third Eye Blind

This is my favorite 3eb song...but man it is powerful and depressing.  I can always listen to this song and think that at least I am not THIS screwed up (yet).

Hurt by Johnny Cash

Of course I knew this as an NIN song well before this cover.  But damn Johnny owns this!  There is something about him being towards the end of his life that makes this song so much more can really feel the pain, you know there is no time for redemption here.

There are many more...but these are the top three that always bring me a little comfort in depression.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Two Minutes Hate


I am not the first person to hate modern Mtv as they have long forsaken everything that they once stood for and have become what the original haters have always claimed Moron Television.  Maybe it was all an illusion - maybe it wasn't all about the music or about changing the world.  But man, that illusion was powerful back in the day.  Remember "Choose or Lose"?  Remember "I want my Mtv"?  Mtv could pack a punch and get people motivated...but music played a large part.

It has slowly been making a comeback in the early morning, but I think everyone knows music is pretty much gone from Mtv (which makes me glad that they dropped the "Music Television" slogan from their logo...because they haven't been for a long, long time).  It is sad really, there is a whole group of young people now that Mtv only means Jersey Shore or 16 and Pregnant with videos being minor filler.

But what really makes me angry is that this morning I turn it on and there is some video countdown for something or other...I don't care what the countdown is for, I just wanted some music and videos while I am getting ready for work.  I don't expect much...10 songs, average song length 3.5 - 4 minutes equals 33 to 40 minutes of music max with a lot of commercials, stupid VJ interruptions, etc... but at least half music, right?  After all, the average hour long TV show is about 40-43 minutes of content, so it is about right.  They played some videos alright but they played less than half of any video besides the top 3.  Really Mtv?  Stupid VJ, 60 seconds of a video, 3 minutes of commercials, then 60 seconds of a video?  Why would I watch that?  I want to see and hear music, I hope for at least equal time with commercials and the other crap your force on me.  But it wasn't even close.  I had planned to write a post this week congratulating you on starting to bring music back over the past year but instead I am even more unsatisfied with your cock-tease video segments.  I didn't think you could show less video content than you did on TRL, but once again I underestimated your suckiness.

End Hate