Monday, July 31, 2006

Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.

There's a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you. I been sayin' that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before you popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin' made me think twice. Now I'm thinkin': it could mean you're the evil man. And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here, he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could be you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd.
-Jules Winnfield

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New Cell Phone

As you may know, my cell phone has become 'chocofied', and I am unable to hear out of it unless the other person yells, and visa-versa. So I started looking for new phones at the Verizon store a couple weeks ago. My first choice is the Samsung SCH a930, shown here:

My second choice was the LG VX-8300 pictured here:

According to the Verizon plan we had earlier, we are entitled to get a new phone (up to $100) for free every two years. Since we have 2 phones under the same plan (mine and my mom's) my dad assumed that we would have 2 $100 dollar credits. So he ordered a phone for my mom first (which just so happened to be the LG VX-8300), and then when he went back to order the Samsung for me, he discovered that the website only supplied us with one $100 dollar credit for a new phone. This really sucks, because I was the one who needed the replacement phone in the first place! My dad spent the rest of the night trying to find out what to do, and in the end, he decided that once the phone gets here, we can return it. The phone arrived yesterday (I think) and since my dad is away on buisness, I have to wait until Friday for him to get back and do something about this.


Site Highlight of the week: The Dilbert Blog. This Scott Adams guy is funny. Anything he writes is worth a read. I have a link to his website at the top of the links section in the sidebar.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Motivation (or Lack thereof)

I really want to write a post about my orientation, but I just don't feel like it. And that's too bad because it was really fun. So instead, I will post a short story that I wrote.

Jason’s Race

There once was a man who was known throughout the land as one of the greatest mariners in the land. But today, Jason was troubled. He had to cross the Atlantic Ocean before his challenger did, or else he would loose his ship. One night while at a local pub, he had made a foolish bet with a pompous and rich Frenchman who was no more a sailor than Jason was a politician; but being as rich as he was, he was able to afford a top-of-the-line boat and the equipment to go along with it. Jason had let this pretentious stranger get to him and now he was paying for it.

Currently he stood on the bow of his ship, the Hercules, with the wind whipping against his salt caked face. It was the fastest ship in all the new world and Jason had made it himself. But now despite his experience and his superior ship, he was already behind schedule by nearly three days. He had had good weather when he shoved off at a port near Chatham, Massachusetts. And although he had left shore with a clear sky and the wind at his back, this last week saw nothing but storm after storm that blew him off course and separated him from the Frenchman.

It was stupid of Jason to leave all of his navigation equipment on the deck, and of course when the storm came he lost it all. So he had been sailing blindly for the last couple of days counting on his instincts to set him in the right direction. Every now and then, he could hear the Frenchman’s taunting on the transmitter radio, but the messages had been getting more and more distorted as Jason sailed on. He was getting less and less confident that he was going to win, but he still returned the Frenchman’s mocking with his own half-hearted gibes because he didn’t want the Frenchman to take satisfaction in knowing that a tiny storm could defeat the mighty Jason. His reputation had spread far and wide after he had won the big race from Portugal to the Canary Islands and back a few years ago on the Hercules’ maiden voyage. That was in fact the reason that the Frenchman had sought him out: to prove that he could beat the famous Jason in a race. So they had agreed to start in America, Jason’s homeland, and finish in France.

After about a month, Jason’s radio died altogether and then a month after that Jason started to get worried. He hadn’t seen land since leaving Chatham, and be should have seen at least something by now. The Frenchman was probably already at the finish line, enjoying expensive wine and caviar. Jason spent the next couple of days stewing over his foolishness at making a bet that was so dangerous. Who sails across the Atlantic alone anyway? It was probably one of the most hazardous things you could do as a mariner. And Jason was also resenting his bad luck that after only a week at sea, he hit a storm that cost him the race. At night his anxiety was keeping him awake and during the day he was bitter and depressed. Soon he gave up hope that he would ever even make it to Europe. In a fit of rage he picked up his transmitter radio (it had become useless as all it ever produced was static) and was in the process of heaving it overboard when he looked up and saw land. His stunned mind lost control of his body, and his hand lost its grip on the radio. He watched with despair as it when tumbling over the rail. He wanted to be upset with himself for loosing such an important tool, but it did not seem to matter any more. He had found land.

Despite himself, he let out a cry of “Land Ho!”, and then started to chuckle at the mere sound of his voice. Being alone for so long, this was the first time in months that he had spoken aloud. His chuckle broke into a mighty guffaw at the thought that he just threw his only source of communication with the outside world overboard; and he was in the presence of land when he did it. After a while when he couldn’t stop laughing, it seemed as if he were going mad, but he pulled himself together and headed for the land.

When he got to shore, he took a walk around, and noticed that the sandy beach almost immediately transitioned into a forest type environment only 20 feet from the shore, then changed slowly into a dark jungle. Not wanting to get lost in the forest, he kept the water in view as he followed the shoreline for about a mile. Jason saw that there would be plenty to eat and that fire wood would be abundant. About two miles away from where he had left his ship, he climbed to the top of a rocky cliff overlooking the crashing ocean below. While the tide was gentle where he had come in, here it was extremely violent, smashing into the rock wall below him. On the other side of where he stood, the cliff gently sloped down into the jungle below, gradually being overtaken with trees. He had a spectacular view of the island, (yes it was an island, he could see that now) and from what he could see it was probably either not discovered yet, or was just not inhabited by anyone.

On his walk back to the ship, Jason mulled over his options. He could refresh his supplies and set sail again, or he could try to survive on the island. It would be silly to leave all this when he didn’t even know where he was going, and he didn’t look forward to meeting the angry, depressed Jason he had seen in the week before finding the island again. What had gotten into him? After all, he was a seasoned sailor, and it was unlike him to have such an emotional breakdown, but that didn’t really seem to matter much now. All that mattered was what he was going to do next. By the time he had gotten to the ship, he decided that he would spend a while on the island until something better came along. He wanted to explore the island and see if it really was uninhabited. After all, he had all the time in the world, as the race was surely over by now, and if Jason kept on to France, he would just loose his ship, not to mention his dignity. He would never be able to live it down, being beaten by a rich land lubber like the Frenchman. So, he would wait. Try to get his bearings. And maybe just try to find out where he was.

He got some fruit from a nearby bush and headed onto the ship to spend the night. He was getting awfully sick of the cabin room of the Hercules, and so on his first full day, Jason started to make a shelter on the island. By nightfall, it was complete, but since he hadn’t had time to do anything else, he slept one more night on the ship. That morning he gathered fire wood, started a fire, and ate a hearty meal of fruit he had found in the forest. Then he brought some blankets into his shelter from the ship and made himself a bed. For dinner he shot a monkey that he found in the thick part of the jungle, and roasted it over the fire. This was his first real meat in about two months, and it tasted so good. When he was on the ship, all he could do was eat the fish he caught. He had packed some beef jerky with him on the trip, but this was completely different. The sizzling monkey juices that dripped down smelled so good that Jason had trouble letting the carcass continue to cook. He wanted to snatch it up and eat it right then. But he managed to contain himself and let the meat finish cooking. When he could wait no longer, he ate every thing, fat and all. When he was done, he put the fire out and went to sleep. That night there was a tremendous storm, and Jason could hear the waves crashing against the shore all night, not to mention the rain water that leaked from the roof.

By morning everything in the shelter was soaked, including Jason. When he went outside to hang the blankets outside to dry, he could not see his ship! It had disappeared! The storm must have carried it out to sea, Jason thought. Jason did not see this as much of a set back though, because now he did not have to worry about what to do next. In fact, there was only one thing he could do, and that was to continue existing on the island, making the best of what came his way. Jason went around tidying up his camp, almost cheery. But the storm the night before had weakened the shelter, and when Jason went inside to put the blankets back, it fell down around him, breaking two ribs and a leg.

Now things started to look grim. Not being able to move around made it almost impossible to survive. He ripped up some blankets and tied them around his chest, and then made a splint out of more strips of blanket and a piece of wood. He went, with great difficulty, to gather wood for the fire, but most of what he could find was all wet, and produced a great amount of smoke. That day, Jason went hungry because all of his exertion in the morning had exhausted him, and he collapsed in his shelter and immediately fell asleep. That night, he was woken by some odd sounds outside. By the dim light of the stars and the moon, Jason was able to make out a human figure stumbling around the camp.

Jason’s mind was suddenly awake and buzzing with thought. So there were people on this island! How many of them were there? What if they are hostile? Suddenly the figure tripped on a log and muttered a French epithet.

Jason’s mind reeled. “Frenchman?”

“What? Oo eez zere?”

Jason was at first unsure, but then replied “Tis I, Jason!”

“Ahh! Jason, mon ami! I ahm zo glad to zee you! Mon dieu, eet ‘as been zo long!”

He then staggered over to were Jason lie and said in a feverish whisper, “You ‘ave to get me out of ‘ere! I ahm going mad!”

The Frenchman was no Robinson Caruso, and was too daft to even build a fire. He had evidently been living a cold and dark existence on this island for the last 3 weeks, his ship had been dashed to bits on the cliff on the edge of the island. He spent his days foraging for food, lamenting his many losses, and slowly driving himself insane. His nights were spent curled up in a ball beneath a tree in the forest, crying himself to sleep. It was really a wonder he had survived for so long. His body just didn’t know what to do with itself, and his mind had shut down when faced with the hopelessness of his situation. It was the smoke from Jason’s fire that sparked the Frenchman into action and caused him to wander over to have a look. He thought that maybe there would be somebody there who could help him.

This was not the same man from the pub in New England, the man who had challenged Jason to a race. The man who crouched low next to Jason now was a broken man, an empty shell of a man, and a pathetic man, pleading for help from a man who he had once sought to humiliate.

Jason took pity on him and realized that in his current condition, a fresh body would come in handy if he was ever going to get off this island. For Jason now came to understand that he had to get back to civilization, especially if failing to do so meant spending the rest of his life with this sniveling git.

When Jason was well enough, he and the Frenchman journeyed over to where he had been spending his 3-week stay in hell, a little grassy area surrounded by trees and only about 50 feet from the beach. It was a good hundred yards further from where the cliff ended, and the beach was littered with scraps of wood and other odd items from the ship that had been washed ashore. Jason could immediately see that in the Frenchman’s inexperience with survival tactics, it had not even occurred to him that he might find something useful by looking among the ship’s wreckage. Jason set to work combing the beach and surrounding coast line for anything that could aid them, and ordered the Frenchman to do the same. Taking commands from Jason did not hurt the Frenchman’s pride, he was just glad that there was somebody there to tell him what to do to get out of this hell-hole.

They were soon able to find a transmitter radio, but it was in bad disrepair. Luckily, the Frenchman knew a bit about electronics, because as a younger man, he had a lot of free time on his hands and was able to fiddle around with some circuits, and even knew how to put a radio together. Here, Jason was out of his depth. He was a man of the sea, he knew about sailing, about life in the port cities, and about surviving when things got tough. The Frenchman was very pleased to finally be helping, and had it working within the hour. As the Frenchman’s transmitter had been far newer and more advanced that Jason’s had been, it only took a few minutes of teamwork to raise a signal in this otherwise dead-air zone.

Within the week, a ship had arrived to rescue them, and during those few days spent together Jason was really able to bond with the Frenchman and enjoy the time the two spent together.

Well that's it. I know the end is bad because I was in a hurry to finish it, but there you go.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Tomorrow I will be leaving for Rensselaer for Orientation. That's exciting. To prepare for the trip, we stopped by the library to check out some book tapes, and I saw Andy there! It's reassuring to know that he hasn't been killed or kidnapped yet. He tried to find a book that my brother would be interested in, but it isn't easy finding a book for someone who can't read. Andy was able to pull it off though. I think they ended up deciding on The Giver.

In other news, my dad has decided that he is going to accept the TV, and so I sent in the affidavit.

I played golf with my dad and brother yesterday. God it was hot out there. Question: if one were to tee up using a tee that is about 1.5" long, then use a hybrid driver/iron to hit the ball, but instead it hits the tee out from under the ball and the ball falls to the ground, but doesn't move other than that, does that still count as a hit, and therefore a penalty stroke? I only ask, because that is what happened to my brother on one hole, and since he was so intent on keeping such a close count on my score, I just felt that I should return the favor.

I'm a little worried about the Orientation, because I read that that was when they took the picture for the ID, and right now I have a massive pimple on my chin (huge enough for my dad to refer to it as a headlight). I've been fighting with it for about a week now, and I'm worried that it won't go away in time. Se la vi.

Everybody look at my links section. It will continue to develop as I come across new and funny stuff, and I will remove the things that I no longer have interest in. Why, just today I had to remove two links because they just were getting old. Hope nobody missed out. For now, be sure to look at "how not to cross the boarder". I can't believe somebody actually tried this. What is the world comming to?

Gotta go. "I'mm Hongray!!"

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Fee TV

So today I found out I won a 55" flat screen Sony TV. I won it legitimately too. At Safeway there was a contest where you sent in a post card with your name and other information on it, and one of the prizes was a TV. (Some of you who shopped a Safeway in February might remember the football scratchers we were giving out; well the employee contest was in tandem with that.) Pretty siced about that. However, there is a catch. I have to pay taxes on it. Like a lot of taxes. Like over $1,400 of friggn' taxes. By the way, the retail value is only $3,700. So I don't know what to do. The claim form says I have 7 days to claim it, or I loose it. There’s no date on it, so I don't know when those seven days started. Another detail that rubs me the wrong way is that the model number* of the TV listed on the sheet where it gives the total estimated taxes I will have to pay is different from the one on the official form by one letter. Maybe a typo, but the error seems to occur on the official form according to a quick Google search. That’s kind of weird. Like are they going to give me a different, much worse TV as a trick? Whatever. I will call the hotline in the morning.

But now I have to decide what to do. Do I just forget about it? Do I pay the taxes and get a big new TV? Do I put it up for auction among the employees of Safeway?(an idea my boss suggested to me when he told me that I had won over the phone) Or do I see if one of my friends want it? Or do I put it up for sale on the internet? Or do I pay the tax, get the TV, and then sell it. Decisions decisions. Anybody want it? (Yes I'm talking to you Sean, the one and only reader of my blog)

*For those interested, the one on the form is KDP-55XS955 while the one on the much less official looking information sheet is KDF-55XS955.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Update to Expensive Sheet Situation

I had been trying to purchase those sheets online yesterday, but there was always some sort of error, I assumed it was due to a high amount of traffic. My mom had been out with her friends doing who knows what (she never tells me anything) she called and told me not to buy the sheets, that you can buy the extra long twins at Kohls for about half the price. So in conclusion, it was a scam. Darn, I really wanted that bedside buddy...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Anne R. Kaiser Pays a Visit

Today, Anne R. Kaiser, Democrat, Maryland House of Delegates, District 14 came to my house to talk about the issues. I answered the door, and she asked if my mom was home. (That is in my mind strike one, that she didn't consider the fact that I vote as well.) After my mom and I went outside to talk with her, leaving the puppies inside, she gave us each brochures. On the cover was a picture of her at a playground with two kids beside her. So being the dick I am, I said "Oh, you have kids?" She was a bit embarrassed, and admitted that they were just some kids she picked up off the street, though not in so many words. I let it go at that, but had I really wanted to vex her, I would have said something like, "My, what beautiful children you have. I can see why you are so dedicated to 'supporting our schools'* and why you are such an advocate of 'creating a safe environment for children and their families'*." (The quotes with asterisks by them were taken from the pamphlet.) Now its not that I dislike her or her policies; in fact, I know nothing about her, and from what it says on her pamphlet, I am in favor of her polices. Ok, I just lost interest in this topic.

Moving on, last night I made first contact with my soon to be roommate, and from our 3 minute conversation, he seems alright. Actually, all I really know about him is that he works as a Pizza Deliveryman, and that he likes programming video games and acting.

Speaking of college, I just got in the mail today, a letter from Rensselaer saying that regular sheets will not fit their beds, but these sheets that they are offering to sell me for the very low price of $189.95 (that's a savings of $52.40!) are guaranteed to fit. Did I mention the FREE SHIPPING? OMG. Along with the package they claim is the '#1 student choice' (the most expensive one), they have a bunch of unnecessary stuff like the 'bedside buddy' and the 'underbed storage solution'. Geez. It is a pretty nice package, but still. What a gip. I'm tempted to e-mail some random student there, and ask them if it really is true that regular sheets don't fit the beds.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Look Familiar?

So I was watching the trailer for Spiderman 3 during Superman Returns (a day before anybody else), and I saw this scene. I thought to myself, hmm that looks familiar. So when I got home I watched it on my computer and gee, didn't I see this somewhere else? With almost the exact frame composition?

What they don't show you in the trailer is when the ring falls onto Frodo's, er I mean Peter's, outstreached finger and then he turns invisible , I mean he turns into Spiderman.