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Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I'm going on vacation.
Two week's worth.
And I have nothing planned. Not a damn thing.
I wanted to milk all the perks I could out of this place before giving it the proverbial finger, so I scheduled it at the first opportunity. The first two weeks made sense. First of all, with Labor day, it gave me an extra few days. So I don't have to come back until the 18th.
Also, that'll give me the day off on my birthday. That's right. Another one is coming up. For you geeks out there, I'm turning 24 (in hexadecimal, of course). That really depressed me. Not because I'm getting older. As a matter of fact, after the fiasco that was my 30th birthday my birthdays have been great. Wonderful. A hoot. No, instead I realized that this will be the second birthday in a row that I will spend alone. Not alone literally, but alone as in not in a relationship. There's something wonderful about spending the day (MY day) with that someone special. ChaCha and I first met in person two days after my last one, and now I'm sans girlfriend at this time as well. (For the sake of readers who happen to BE ChaCha, that's not a crack). But yeah.
Anyway, back to my vaca. I have some minor things to do, but nothing to encompass two and a half weeks. My class is on Sunday, there's job hunting to be done, blog posts to be finished, and my windshield needs to be replaced. If I'm really desperate, I can go on a business trip on the 7th.
The problem with the vaca is the same as the issue with my birthday. I WANT to go somewhere, do things, travel... but I don't want to do it by myself. Even camping isn't nearly as fun alone.
I guess I'll play it by ear.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
In my email today (Thanks, Joel!)
He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One wolf is evil -- he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.
The other is good---he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too."
They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied: "The one you feed".
I've been getting a lot of spam lately. Tons. It seems to come in waves. One day, I'll track the patterns, sorta a biorythm of asshattery.
Most of the ones I've been getting are spam generating... err... spam. Maybe you've seen them. They usually go like this:
look "in the wild".
Good evening. How is it going? Email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org only. I am pretty girl. Hope you will
like my pictures.
feel why not," I appreciate that obesity. It may even
reference report forever!
Go ahead and send an email to that address. I just hope that you have unlimited storage in your inbox if you do. Does anyone actually respond to these, especially after receiving 18 at a time?
What kills me is the "I am pretty girl." THAT is supposed to intrigue me enough to send a response, but that is where the variation comes in. So far in the last week I've seen, apparently written by Yakov Smirnoff:
I am female.
I am sexy girl.
I am pretty female.
I am girlie. (my personal favorite)
I am attractive female.
By the way, I am a girl.
God, those words make me so hawt!
Most of the others I've seen are penny stock scams. You've seen 'em. They tell you to watch a stock for getting in on the ground floor, yada yada. But the ones I've gotten lately have gone through CRAZY extremes to break through the spam filters. This is one that's a direct cut and paste:
H.E R E WE GO AGA,IN!/blink
T*H+E B*I,G O-N_E BE FORE T-H-E SEPTEMBER.RAL+L-Y!
T'H,E MAR_KET IS ABO-UT TO P+O+P_, A.N,D SO IS E_X'M+T,!
5*-day p'ot.ential: 0_.*4,0
F+irm: EXCHANG +E MO'BILE T*E_L E (Othe'r O*T+C*: EXMT.PK,)
A*s+k : 0_..1-0 (_'+25.00%) UP TO 2.5,% in 1 day
N-o t o*n_l y d*o+e+s t,h,i-s f'i+r m h.a+v,e gr'eat f,u*ndamentals,
b u-t ge'tting t,h-i-s oppor*tuni+ty at t'h-e rig.ht t'i,m+e',
r-ight be,fore t-h'e ra,lly is w*h a't make's t h i*s d'e+a,l so sweet,!
T h-i_s a g*reat oppo*rtuni_ty to at le*ast doubl'e up!
So anyh-ow in c.a+m,e J+o+h n W+y*s*e Nola-n a_n,d Lene'han w-i t+h h-i m w,i,t'h a f a c+e on h'i'm as l*o'n g as a l*a_t+e breakfas,_t.
T,h*e f o-r'm h_a-s sever*al list_box con*tro*ls.
I pro*test I t,a'k,e the-se w.i s.e m.e*n t-h,a+t c+r-o-w so at th'ese s,e*t k,i'n,d of foo.ls no be-tter t h.a+n t.h'e fool,s' zan+ies.
I pri,thee n.o+w,, to b-e'd'.
C'D-BuRnOuT - Te-sting feat_,ures.
I think I've been having seizures while looking at that.
Other ones of note...
The Penis enlargement ones are getting lazy. Before, you'd see emails that at least made the effort to appear almost professional. But now I get these:
http://xxx.com/C'mon, show some pride in your work!
How big is your penis? these pills will make it bigger! and bigger!
But here's another one worth mentioning:
Hello bWOW! That must really work well!
woohoo!, i finally have a big penis thanks to these guys
Read that again. You'll get it.
This one made me giggle:
Ladies always laughed at me and even guys did in the public toilets!
Well, now I giggl at them, because I took MegaDik
For 4-5 months and now my dick is much bigger than "average" size.
Order MegaDik now!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (the Revolutionary Guard's weekly newspaper), weve
sentence. Would it not be better to say: 'We sentence
To introduce the group of 30 civilians to the world of
will include all future UFO reports obtained by the
I haven't been getting many Nigerian 914 or Euro Lotto scams lately. I guess word got out that I will respond and TOTALLY waste their time.
But that's how I roll.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
On Friday, someone from the IT department at my office sent me an email asking for advice. Apparently my knowledge of .NET leaked out much to my chagrin. Lately I haven't been doing much other than my base duties, as I'm so disillusioned with the job.
But I like this guy, and he's setting up a .NET at home so I told him I'd help a little. He then shot an email asking me about the workload capabilities of the network.
My reply was...
Wait for it...
"So in other words, you want know...
How much work would a network work if a .NET work could network?"
I'm so cool...
Friday, August 24, 2007
I remember drive-in movies fondly from my youth. Throwing a dozen friends in the bed of a pickup, drinking heavily, disturbing the peace and making general nuisances of ourselves.
So I was talking with a new friend of mine (haven't come up with a pseudonym for her yet) and we got on the topic of drive-ins. As I normally do, I jumped online and tried to find one relatively near Austin.
One of the closest ones had this description...
Solo screen with a capacity for up to 300 cars;
open year-round; screens X-rated films only.
I... I got nothin. But that seems like a day trip in the works. Anyone wanna come with?
Almost a month ago I decided to upgrade my phone. T-Mobile lets you upgrade your phone once a year at (near) new account promo rates. All you have to do is sign a new 2-year contract. Looking online I found the Nokia 5300 XpressMusic which kills two birds with one stone. I was looking at mp3 players anyway, and this gives me a 1GB MicroSD off the bat. I won't bother going into a review, since PCWorld, CNET, etc have already done a bangup job.
I will say this though. The slider seems a little loose, and I would've liked to have the SD slot a little more accessible. Other than that, Its capability and looks far exceeded my expectations.
Anyway, I jumped online and found that I could get it at an "amazingly low price" of $179.99!
$20 off? That's it?
I wanted to call them anyway for some minor tech specs, plus I needed to upgrade my texting plan to unlimited (you know who you are!). The rep was wonderful, and she told me about the shock-resistant case, the data interface, the software, etc etc.
Plus, I was able to get a deal on the phone for $79.99. Muy bueno.
I wasn't eligible, but I also filled out a $50 rebate form I found on their site. If it works, I got this for 30 bucks. And THAT'S what a cheap bastard like me is looking for. If it doesn't, then I still think I got a helluva deal. But don't tell anybody... Shhhhhhh
Like normal, I was like a kid at Christmas when it was delivered. New Toy! New Toy! I played around with it, made some playlists, was pretty much oblivious to the rest of the world for that evening. I had already bought a hard acrylic case for it, and spent most of that time trying to figure out how to put it on.
Fast forward to last weekend. ChaCha and I were going to the movies (and yeah, all the issues are pretty much worked through... Pretty much). She swung by my place, and I needed to get something out of my truck. As I reached in, the phone fell out of my hand and hit the pavement. I wasn't too concerned. After all, it was only a three foot drop, I had a hard case for it, and as the TMobile rep said, "It's designed to be bounced around a little." So we headed to the theater. On the way there I got a text message, so I hit the action button and saw this on my screen:
You got it.
My brand spankin new phone now has a cracked LCD.
From a friggin three. foot. drop.
Words cannot describe how I was feeling at that moment.
Bear in mind, I HAVEN'T EVEN PAID FOR IT YET.
Anyway, we ended up having a great time anyway, and Monday morning I strode right into the local T-M store. Maybe they could help me out. Y'know, talking face-to-face. Mano y mano. one on one.
So, the rep looked at me like a cow looks at an oncoming train, and then says, "Sure! I can get you a replacement phone for $164.73."
"Is that the best you can do?"
"Well, I can get you the number to Nokia..."
So let's refresh. The $200 phone that I got not one, but TWO great deals on, has now cost me in excess of $245.
I get back to the office and call T-M cust care. I get a poor lady with a sinus infection, and explain in great detail as to what happened. I guess I can be charming when I want to be, because she said, "Here's what you do. Put the SIM card back in the broken phone, and call tech support. Have them go through troubleshooting with you."
So I did just that. Apparently she had put in some notes on my account, because the tech rep I spoke with told me to power cycle the phone, then she set up an exchange. The new phone arrived on Wednesday, and tomorrow I'm returning the original replacement to the store.
And ChaCha, THAT'S why I'm still with T-Mobile. Now the new... Oh, wait, it's still T-Mobile.
And I'm still waiting on the rebate.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Don't be afraid to make some calls or ask around. You might be surprised as to what you can get accomplished if you're nice about it. I worked in customer service for over a decade, and you truly catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
More about me than you probably wanted to know.
Inspired by Mr. Fabulous over at Pointless Drivel.
1. All modesty aside, I think I'm a pretty amazing guy
2. I always wanted to be a teacher
3. But I never graduated from college
4. I talk louder than I think I do
5. I occasionally steal stuff from restaurants (a napkin, the odd spoon)
6. I'm an insomniac. I sleep about 4 hours a night.
7. My shoe size is 15 ½ EE (I swear)
8. I'm a horrible singer and dancer
9. I love to do both
10. I'm so old I remember watching Star Wars in the theater
11. I know American Sign Language
12. The first grown-up book I ever read was The Red Badge of Courage
13. I grew up in a small country town in Texas
14. My first job was hauling hay
15. People don't believe that
16. The Godfather is my favorite movie of all time
17. But have seen Airplane! More times. By far.
18. I grew up with Henry Thomas (ET, Suicide Kings)
19. I like blended scotch better than single malt
20. I have to wash my hands before AND after I pee
21. I fold Origami
22. People think I'm better at it than I am
23. Same with painting
24. I have a thing about women in boots
25. I think I'm too nice a guy
26. I was once a standup comic
27. I was really bad at it
28. I overthink things. A lot.
29. I'm a really cheap date. For such a big guy, I get drunk quite easily
30. I've been divorced for almost a year
31. I was married once for six years
32. My family thinks I was only married for two
33. I always wanted to learn carpentry
34. I like smoking, but hate that I'm a smoker.
35. I play World of Warcraft WAY too much
36. I can stop whenever I want
37. I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM!
38. People don't believe that I never had braces.
39. One day I WILL own a 1972 El Camino SS.
40. Most people have stopped reading by now
41. I want a family more than anything
42. I've broken 7 bones in my life
43. I have no idea where my best friend from college is.
44. I like to play Blackjack, and I'm pretty good at it
45. I was once a stockbroker. Best company I ever worked for.
46. If I ever move out of Austin again, it'll be to move overseas.
47. I think I look best in black
48. Everyone else thinks I look best in blue
49. I have a scar on my finger from when one of my sisters cut it with a hatchet
50. When I get excited about something I pace and gesture wildly with my hands
51. I could eat sushi every day
52. Ducks crack me up
53. I spend entirely too much time and money on my hair
54. My favorite sound in the world is cicadas on a hot summer day
55. I don't have any tattoos (yet)
56. I'm a huge coffee snob
57. I know way too much useless information for my own good
58. My favorite singer is Dean Martin.
59. I am the youngest of three, and the only boy
60. My sisters beat me up a lot as a kid.
61. I am a Virgo, but doesn't really know what that means.
62. Camping is my favorite thing to do on the weekend
63. My 30th Birthday was the worst day of my life
64. I spent it in jail. Really.
65. I am a diehard liberal
66. I have random theories on just about anything
67. I donate 10% of every paycheck to charity
68. I'm extremely ticklish.
69. I moved to Denver to be with my (ex)wife
70. Only my closest friends have gotten this far. I love you all
71. I fell in love with my best friend. Hard.
72. It wasn't reciprocated
73. Weird stuff happens to me quite regularly. It's a family curse.
74. It bugs me to leave the toilet seat up
75. I collect a lot of things, including autographs, Pez, and business cards.
76. I usually take two showers a day.
77. I volunteer a lot. Mostly working with dogs.
78. I love dogs.
79. I can't sleep unless my feet are covered
80. I tell people I work out 5 days a week
81. I really work out 2-3
82. I have the greatest family in the world
83. I use ellipses and parentheses WAY too much
84. I mostly watch Educational TV
85. And cartoons
86. I have hazel eyes, but they turn green when I'm…"excited" about something
87. I was once homeless for a short time.
88. My favorite TV show is Coupling, favorite American show is The Dick Van Dyke Show
89. I think I'm a good looking guy
90. I didn't until about a year ago
91. I met Drew Barrymore once, when she was 8 and annoying
92. I believe Portuguese is the most beautiful language on the planet
93. At any given time, I will have seven blog posts in progress
94. Six of these will never see the light of day
95. I give really good hugs
96. I hate guns. With a passion.
97. I got stuck on 57 when making this list
98. I procrastinate a lot
99. I have ADD, get destracted easily, and have no short term memory.
100. So I have trouble finis
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Even with all the jobs I've had in my life (and trust me, there's been a bunch), it's easy to forget how difficult it can be to find a new one. Mostly because I refuse to settle.
But I WILL find that job. One that pays well, challenges me, and one that I'm excited to go to every day.
Oh, yes, I will.
And they will LOVE having me there.
I mean, have you met me?
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I was getting gas this afternoon in preparation for my trip. When I was done, I ran inside to grab a pack of cigarettes. Adding to the increasingly huge list of things I hate about traveling so much is that yes, I smoke A LOT while driving on long car rides. And short ones. It's my biggest trigger.
As I was waiting for the cashier to grab them, I felt a little tap on my arm. I turned to face a kindly 60ish year old woman standing beside me in line.
"Excuse me," she said, leaving her hand on my arm.
"You really should quit smoking."
"..." I said nothing. What the hell do you say to that?
Anyone that knows me will tell you that I routinely start up conversations with total strangers in random situations, like checkout lines. Or at the DMV. Or funerals. Or at the free clinic. But never have I made personal judgments. It really rubbed me the wrong way. I understand that she had the best intentions, however my vices are none of her business. On the Offensive Scale, it was the equivalent of, "You know, you should really stop giving back alley handjobs to junkies."
And had the complete opposite effect as intended. As much as I would like to quit, that sweet-looking lady made me want to buy two cartons and light them up en masse. Anyone that smokes (or had) knows what I'm talking about. It's not easy. It bugs me way more than motivates me to hear, "Why don't you just quit? Just stop buying them." Right. THAT works.
I WILL quit. And when I do, it'll be because I decide to. As if I was waiting for some random person to tell me that, someone to say the frighteningly obvious. Did she honestly think that I would turn to the cashier and say, "She's right, gimme a Slim Jim instead." If so, I need to see what medications she's on and get me some of those Ego Pills.
And note to that sweet lady: Mind your own damn business. If my MOM saying that can't dissuade me, why the hell do you think you can?
/steps off of soapbox.
I'll be leaving here in a couple of hours, and be back tomorrow evening.
Funny thing is, they're already planning on another one towards the end of the year. When they told me that, I was snickering quietly to myself.
If only they knew.
I've been actively looking for jobs, and I made a few decisions during my search. First of all, I'm not going to settle. I won't take a job I'm not excited about, even if it pays more. Secondly, I will be earning what I'm worth. Period.
I'm actually tempted to quit today, but this trip will give me a chance to go out tonight on the company card and have a lot of numbers on my bar tab. What're they going to do, fire me? MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Monday, August 6, 2007
I'm working on telling you all about my class yesterday, but I'm feeling kind of lazy. So I stole this meme from ChaCha, who stole it from Allie and Angela, whole stole it from.... (You get the idea)
A - Available? Yes, but off the market
B - Best Friend - ChaCha (Known whereabouts), Mr. McGuillicutty (MIA)
C - Crush - That'll take some time and a really powerful computer to compile
D - Dad's Name - Walter
E - Easiest Person To Talk To - Miss Divine and ChaCha, except when she thinks about what she's saying.
F - Favorite Band- Recliners
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms- Worms. Dur. Especially when you hang them out of your mouth and pretend to be a zombie.
H - Hometown - San Antonio
I - Instrument - piano, although the accordion has its place
J - Job - target for management hostility
K - Kids - none (sigh)
L - Longest Car Ride - in one go? probably from Dallas to South Florida. No stops.
M - Milk Flavor - uhhh... cow?
N - Number Of Siblings - 2
O - One Wish - I wanna be a maniacal Supervillian, hell-bent on world domination
P - Phobias - Clowns with machetes
Q - Favorite Quote - "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value" - Albert Einstein
R - Reason To Smile - Every moment of every day of my life. Oh, and ChaCha.
S - Song You Last Heard? - Listening to "Allison" by Elvis Costello as I'm typing this
T - Time You Woke Up - 7:00, 7:09, 7:18, 7:27 (damn snooze button)
U - Unknown Fact About Me - I giggle every time I see a duck
V - Vegetable - Favorite: spinach (raw) Least favorite: spinach (cooked)
W - Worst Habits - I'm too awesome for my own good... oh, and procrastination
X - X-Rays You've Had - Every part of my body at one point or another
Y - Your Favorite Food - Cheese Enchiladas (Mmmmm... cheese).
Z - Zodiac Sign - Virgo
Sunday, August 5, 2007
This isn't the normal insomnia, or even the "B's brain is working too much."
Squirming with excitement.
I mentioned a while back that I was going to focus more on pumping my life up. That included volunteering more. So I called around and found a new (additional) volunteer gig.
I'm teaching! First class is tomorr... err... this afternoon.
I always wanted to be a teacher, but I still have at least four semesters to go to graduate. BUT TODAY, I WILL BE A TEACHER!
It's not a normal class, with curriculum or texts, or anything like that. I'm going to be teaching Life Skills to transitional homeless people. There's a local organization that actually works to get people off the streets (one of my big causes). They help get them a job, apartment, transportation, etc.
So the first Sunday of every month they have to come in to learn about communication, anger management, education, socialization, budgeting, credit, etc. All the stuff we normally deal with on a regular basis, yet take for granted.
And in case you missed it, I'M GOING TO BE TEACHING IT!
But I have to admit, I'm a little nervous. Most of my volunteer work deals with those of the four-legged variety. I have done some stuff with Habitat for Humanity, and food banks, etc. But rarely have I worked so closely on an interactive scale. I'm not worried about my ability or knowledge on the subjects. It's that these people will be looking to me for guidance to change their lives. It's a big responsibility. But it's also why it's so important. I will be making the world a better place, one person at a time.
I'm almost vibrating...
Friday, August 3, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
To make the morning as good as possible, I ran and got coffee. Not good coffee, mind you. I got some at a convenience store, since I needed to pick up a pack of cigarettes anyway.
As I'm waiting in line, I glance over at the wonderful display of non-dairy creamers and noticed this:Fuh-freakin-real.
As if our society (myself especially) wasn't caffinated enough, now we can make our coffee where it can cause our hearts to spontaneously combust.
Each 0.44 oz container contains 40mg of caffeine. To put that into perspective, two have the caffeine equivalent of a can of Red Bull.
Borderline Liquid Meth.
Next thing you know, they'll be selling IV bags full of caffeine so you don't have to waste time actually drinking the coffee.
Anyway, I have a couple sitting on my desk now. Working on ideas for them.
I feel great today. I slept relatively well (6 hours!), and walked outside to an absolutely gorgeous morning. I slept so well that I actually slept through a call at 2:38 this morning. Turns out ChaCha's new guy called me.
From her phone.
I'm glad I slept through it.
I would have made evil words.
Anyway, today's a day that anything's possible.