Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another Day, Another Writing Credit

I dunno if I told you, but I started writing for www.worthplaying.com a couple of months ago. It's been a little slow going so far, what with all my other jobs sucking up most of my time lately. HOWEVER, I'm finally getting some stuff up on the site. It's nothing great, not really worth the effort to actually read, but I like to brag on the rare occasion I get to. Check it out....

CLICKIT!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Birthday, and Working Out Your Demons

Ordered the new laptop. Should be here sometime between the 15th and the 20th, sadly coinciding with the Wii launch, so I gotta decide what I want to see worse.

Laura's b-day has come and gone, and I think it was a relative success. Methinks it's more about figuring out and giving people what they want rather than just spending a lot of money on random stuff and activities.

To that end, we started the night (Stage 1) by going into Manhattan to see 'Jackass 2.' We loved the first one, and I might actually start tracking down the shows now. It reminds me of some of the stupid shit I did when I was a kid, and I gotta admire a lady who thinks stuff like the Ass Chug and the Fart Mask were seriously funny. Notice you never see any women on the sets for these stunts?

Stage 2 was a failed effort (Google Maps, how you have wronged me) to find a Taco Bell in the greater Brooklyn area. She's been mentioning how bad she wants to go there (fast food joints pale in comparison to mom-and-pop eateries here) so I tried to accommodate by surprise. Mission Failed. There was no Mexican food anywhere to be found.

Stage 3 involved her being led thru a darkened apartment towards the only light around, a lonely candle perched atop a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake. I'd say that went over pretty well. :)

Stage 4 was sitting right there in a gift bag on the table next to the cake. I threw her some fluff about not being sure I got the right size or color, making her think I'd made an ill-informed clothing purchase when actually I'd picked her up a pink Nintendo DS Lite and a few games. I'd gotten her addicted to gaming again, and I think she was about to burn out on Unreal Tournament. Also, with her iPod getting stolen during her mugging a couple months ago, I thought she might want something to entertain her on the subway again. And what macho thug is gonna want to mug a girl for her PINK DS?

We've spent hours trying to top each other's Tetris scores and trying to get our hands and heads around the intricacies of Mario Kart DS. Sooner or later I'm probably gonna have to get my own DS, given how when one of us isn't messing with the thing, the other usually is. Sleep? Who needs it!

Now getting to rest of the title of this post. I made a funny, or at least I thought so. I had this idea to build a piece of workout machinery that, the faster you pedal it, the more you get sprayed with holy water and it more quickly reads aloud various passages from the Bible. What is this contraption, you ask? AN EXORCIZE BIKE!

{awaits thunderous applause....or crickets?}

One other thing. I watched 'Good Night, and Good Luck' last night, and while I appreciated what it was, who the people were, and what they stood for, as a movie, it left me wanting more. I realize this can happen when dealing with stories about true events, but I figured it'd run a bit longer than it did (not even 90 minutes), and have a little more closure. It just sort of...ended. Oh well, at least I can send it back and get the next disc in my GameznFlix queue.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Resurrection

So I killed my laptop yesterday, then brought it back from the dead. Oddly enough, I think this was the same process that killed my old laptop (man I wish I still had that one) but I had no idea at the time.

My current notebook/laptop is a POS. It's a Sony VAIO PCG-K33. Integrated video, shared memory, fucking EWW EWW EWW. Never again. There are good Sony's out there, but they're overpriced.

Anyway, I was monkeying around with it inside, seeing if I could remove parts of the case to give it better ventilation since it's an overheating mofo. It runs shitty when it overheats, which is all the time, which is what makes it a POS.

I finally gave up (laptops are really not designed to be messed around with inside by users) and put everything back, hit the power button, and nothing really happened. The power light and the fan came on, but that was it. Deja fucking vu.

This is EXACTLY what happened to my old laptop. I was trying to add RAM, and the stick I bought to add was causing all kinds of weird errors so I finally took it out and put the original back where it was, and then this same MO struck that machine. I took it to Best Buy, and....well, you read my Best Buy post a while back.

ANYWAY, I take it apart again and put things back where they were, not knowing at all that any of this would have anything to do with it. After re-seating the RAM (taking it out, putting it back in snugly) the thing booted up just fine. WTF?

I'm in the market for a new laptop anyway, so this would probably be a good time to push ahead with that plan. I'll prolly get one from www.ibuypower.com where I got my current lovely desktop. The thing is so cutting edge, Circuit City doesn't even sell the parts yet.

So the moral of the story is, re-seat your RAM when your computer stops working IF you were just monkeying with your RAM.

Um, yeah.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nothing Big

In lieu of a proper post, since my brain is baked and fried and overeasy, here's some amusing stuff I use to unplug from reality....

Bananaphone

Do You Take It?

Manamana

One Million Thank-Yous

Tales for the Leet: Romeo and Juliet

The short version of Scarface

Watch South Park Online

Also, I'm back in The Big Apple for a while. Who wants to touch me?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Some more random brain debris

So I'm back in my office and not getting as much done as I should be. Then again, I can't be slaving away ALL the time. I called to fix one of my direct deposit setups today and the pointed me somewhere else. Joy. From there, I waited for my boss to call and change my schedule. You know what I get for the first time in 4.5 months? DAYS OFF. Woohaw. I dunno, it's like "woohoo" inbred with "hee haw."

MOVING QUICKLY ON, I have to start playing Hitman: Blood Money here soon for review for several web sites. NEED to start doing that. So if you walk by and see me strangling a guy on the screen with a piece of piano wire, just keep on going. I'm WORKING in here.

Me and Mike played World of Warcraft together tonite for the first time in MONTHS, and it was pretty good. We got our asses kicked (mobbed) a few times, and I had a few lucky saves (massive healing and animal forms...druids FTW!).

Also, upon my return to visit Goliath (my crazy-big TV), I had to go old skool and break out NFS: Hot Pursuit (the PS1 original) and its PS2 sequel. It's amazing how much both of those games STILL rock, and personally I love them bunches more than any of the shitty NFS games since (Underground, Carbon, Most Wanted, bleh). I could go on and on about NFS:HP and why it might just be the best racing game of all time, but I won't bore you with it now. Probably later.

I was trying to do some editing earlier today, but kept getting interrupted, first by my boss at one job, then by my boss at another (having 6 jobs keeps me confidently insane), THEN the roomies' 8 yr old daughter comes in and wants me to take her outside for a while. Fine. Then we realize all the doors around here lock when you go outside, so if she doesn't have a key, she's stuck (we're way upstairs and wouldn't hear if she knocked). But if I give her MY key, she'll surely lose it. So instead I prop the door with a small stick just enough so she can get back in and I can get back to work.

I go out a couple hours later, long since she's come back inside, and NOW the door (the only locked door between cretins and our place) is being propped open by a LARGE ROCK. When I got back, I asked her politely to NOT do that again. I guess when you're 8, the prospect of having hooligans break into your place and take all your shit just isn't fathomable. If we lived in a nicer neighborhood, I might be less worried, but we don't.

Moving randomly on, I have issues differentiating humans from animals. I know churchy people do this quite readily as they happily accept that we were given dominion over all the other animals. I don't buy that. Sure, we're at the top of the food chain, but I don't think that makes my life any more meaningful than that of some dog or wolf or dingo or mongoose. Some would then say "So how can you eat meat?" Easy, because if they offered human right next to ground beef and turkey, I also doubt I'd differentiate there, either. And before you give me some kind of cannibalistic, heathen, pagan bullshit, remember that what came from the earth shall return to the earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We're all part of the same walking compost heap.

And you will one day be turned into poop, either by a person or a bunch of maggots underground. Which would you prefer?

I personally take issue with being dismembered. It's the kind of thing I struggle with when watching gory movies. I can give up all my flaming worldly shit, but don't take away my body. That's the one thing that's really mine, and I kinda NEED it to keep on functioning and making people smile. That's the business I'm in, sort of. But then I can dig into a plate of chicken wings without really thinking about it. It's amazing how much we can dissociate ourselves from what we consume. It's all dressed up and pretty now. Sometimes I envy the people in this country who still kill their dinner. It sounds so barbaric, but people, even the most advanced and intelligent and sophisticated among us are only a couple hundred years out of the jungle.

To you biblical scholars, I pose the question...what knowledge were we created with? What little bit did we manage to learn before getting thrown out of paradise? How many languages did we know? I can't imagine Adam and Eve being any more civilized than the cavemen, and yet the holy visages we mock up are so pristine. Give me a break.

Also, Jesus was almost (if not actually) black. If nothing else, he looked more like Osama than the pasty white Northern European look so popularized in the media.

Negro/negra is the Spanish equivalent of the English word "black." How many generations is it going to take before we stop seeing that as "racially insensitive"? Then again, I doubt we'll ever go back to using "bitch" only to describe female canines.

I have longer fingernails than many women I know. Then again, I know a lot of women who bite their nails. Make of that what you will.

It's apparently allergy time again. My nose started bleeding today and my throat hurts. Lovely.

I had Taco Bell today. Mmm. Yes, I know you think it's horrible and it's not "real Mexican food" but I don't care. Eat me. I like that particular taste of bad food. Leave me alone and let me be happy.

Two boobs, two hands. Coincidence?

Powdered donuts are awesome.

Apparently my computer runs hotter than it should. I'm not sure what to do about that. It's only a couple months old, all the fans are working, it's well ventilated. Oh well.

I wish the Sega Dreamcast would have done better.

Water tastes like nothing. The only time I like drinking water is when I'm really really hot, playing a sport, landscaping, etc. And I don't care whether it comes from a faucet or a bottle, you hippies. A little pollution keeps you strong.

I'm yawning.

One of my favorite words is "bonkers," and I don't use it much.

I like a restaurant where bacon is an entree, not just a side dish.

My jaw hurts, I have zits on my tummy, being well endowed is a godsend, and George W. Bush is a huge pain in the ass.

Ok, I gotta do some things tomorrow, so enjoy yourselves and each other. Sally forth, carry on, and have fun storming the castle, boys!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

9/11/2001

I'm a little late to the party, but I wanted to post my thoughts about the day anyway....

9/11/2001
I still know where I was and what I was doing. Got up for Latin class, went straight there (no TV, no radio), and everybody was talking about "it" and how surreal it was to even bother coming to class, so we'd only have a half-session then head home. I was freaking out. WHA'D I MISS??? But I didn't want to be the one guy in the world who didn't know what was going on.

I got back home, turned on the TV and the computer, and couldn't move the rest of the afternoon. Finally around 7pm, I couldn't deal with it anymore, so I called up my uncle and went to his place for dinner. We talked about daily stuff to avoid the topic at hand and rampant misguided speculation.

Around 9pm I headed back to my teeny tiny apartment in Bowling Green, the events of earlier that day replaying in my head constantly, and amidst the dark road and the cool air, it felt so far away, yet so close.

That night, I too cried. When I see the footage these days, it's still hard not to. It really is the defining event of our generation. Let's hope nothing worse happens in our lifetime.

Five Years and Five Days

Tonite at work, some guy from the Netherlands was asking me why my company's game doesn't have a mission involving the actual events of 9/11. First I said it was because the game deals with the conflict in the Middle East, not crashing planes into buildings. He didn't understand why we'd leave out such a big event. He thought it was "cool" and it would make the game "better."

Next I said it was a touchy subject and would upset a lot of people, trying to recreate and mess around with what happened that day, even in a make-believe environment. He still didn't seem to get it, and I was starting to get pissed at him. Making a "game" out of the actual deaths of ~3000 civilians seems endlessly fucked up to me. Maybe I'm taking it personally.

Other wargames revolve around fighting soldiers, not civilians. Of course, with the current global situation, the enemy IS civilians, making it ever more difficult to pick out the innocents from the malcontents.

Then it occurred to me that this was probably a kid, maybe age 10 or 11, and he wouldn't even remember 9/11. There was no way he could comprehend the significance of what happened that day, if he even remembered it now. There are already people walking around the planet who just see 9/11 as a page in a history book, something that's not important or relevant anymore, something old farts like me and most of you will talk about till the day we die with a reverence and solemnity that those whipper-snappers will never have a grip on, nor will they bother trying to understand.

Maybe this is how nations heal after events of this magnitude happen. Memories fade. Generations pass. It goes from being an experience to a memory to a footnote to a legend or tale. Maybe then it doesn't hurt so much. Maybe then we can find common ground instead of exploiting our differences.

Then again, while with each generation we forget our wrongs, we also forget the things we got right, and so the cycle continues. Will we ever get it right?

On an unrelated note, I think it's horseshit of Bush to block stem cell research because he "will not support the destruction of innocent life," but then turns around and orders the bombing of more civilian targets in Iraq. Apparently he's only interested in saving innocent life that doesn't interfere with his global agenda.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hot off the presses

OMGWTF IT'S MORE OF MEEEEE. Some people have been bugging me to update and use my damn camera and whatnot, so I finally caved in and did it. Nothing spectacular, just what I had ready access to at 2am....

1. My room/office in OH for the last two months.

2. Looky who's my wallpaper today... (it's Cor and Tally for those who can't quite tell...shitty camera).

3. Furrier than usual and my neck looks weird.

4. The ol' disappearing lips trick.

5. The People's Eyebrow and a scrunchy mouth.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A couple things...

First, for Alisha, who can't seem to catch a break with both hands:
http://www.tshirthell.com/store/product.php?productid=666

Next, for everyone else who lives in reality with me, here's something else to make you scratch your head:
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20380241-1243,00.html

Monday, August 28, 2006

JOKE HA

I made this up, so direct all hate and groaning at me. Or whoever is nearby.

Q: WHAT DO YOU CALL A SLUTTY OVERWEIGHT HOUSEWIFE?
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A. FLOOZY HOMEQUAKER

Also, []D [] []\/[] []D. Can you read it?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Worst Buy

I used to shop at Best Buy, but no more. Here are a few tales of personal woe inflicted upon me by that den of crooked, incompetent assholes. I was inspired to write this by Mike over at WetWire.

1. I buy a stick of RAM to upgrade my laptop. I take it home, install it, and all of a sudden I start getting random blue screen crashes that just shut the thing down. I take it back to Best Buy and want to exchange it. Since I have both opened it and used it, they say no. I ask what else I can do. They say nothing.

2. I go to talk to a Geek Squad asshole about the effect this new RAM is having on my computer and he refuses to believe that the RAM is causing that problem, tells me I don't know what I'm talking about (I work on/fix computers for a living), and that there's nothing he can do. Also, a couple of pixels had died in the screen and I ask how much longer my laptop warranty is covered by them. He looks up the information (reluctantly) and says I've got about a year to go and asks if I want to give it to them to fix/replace. I haven't backed up everything yet, so I say I'll wait a while yet.

3. The VERY NEXT DAY, I press the power button on the same laptop and nothing comes on but the cooling fan. It's dead. Convenient that it dies the day after I tell them to eat a bag of shit. So I take it to the Geek Squad shitfuckers again. He happily greets me with an "I told you so" demeanor and says they'll have my machine back to me in 10 days or less. Fine. I have no choice, right?

Ten days come and go. I hear nothing. I call, they say they JUST received it at the repair place. Fine. How much longer? Oh probably another 5 days, but they don't know since they haven't diagnosed it yet. Fine. I am patient.

Ten more days go by, and nothing. I call and get no answers but get plenty of xfers to different departments, but have no concrete information. I call several more times over the next ten days and still get nowhere.

Thirty days have now gone by and I have NO information about the diagnosis, status of repair, or what the hell's going on. I keep calling but just get the runaround. Finally one of my chick friends was having a really shitty day and sympathized with my plight. She called them and pretended to be my wife. Hell hath no fury indeed....somehow, ten minutes later, she hung up the phone and told me I could go in tomorrow and pick out a new laptop of my choice, and would only have to pay anything it cost above and beyond the original purchase price of the original one.

But there's a catch. They make me buy another service plan, even though the original one still had a year left on it. I was happy with my last Sony VAIO laptop, so I picked up another one with impossibly good specs for the price (that's Sony's bullshit marketing for ya, but that's another rant). I end up paying about $400 total for it, but got it taken care of FINALLY. A MONTH later.

4. I buy a small LCD monitor at Best Buy with inputs for game consoles and a PC (S-video and VGA, basically). Pixels start burning out the same NIGHT I bought it, so I took it back the next day and just wanted to return it and save my money for a better model. They didn't want to take it back. They also didn't have but one person working the returns/customer service desk right around Xmas time. Genius.

They INSIST that I must have done something to damage the monitor. The current state of it is just impossible to accept without some kind of abuse from me. Bullshit. So they take it behind some flimsy wall and hook it up to their own "diagnostic tool" to figure out what I did to break it. COULD THEY BE ANY MORE INSULTING? After about 45 minutes (I'm not kidding) they come back out and with the most reluctance possible admit that it just went bad and it wasn't my fault. But they weren't gonna give me my money back. They wanted to give me store credit. FUCK NO. So I got noisy and pissed off and insistent and dragged down some manager from the ivory tower and finally I got my money back.

5. I get a BB gift card for Xmas that year and now I just HAVE to go there one more time to spend it and be done. I'm in the market for an external DVD+/-RW drive, so I get one for about $90 and finally am done with the place. They managed to slip me a price sheet for the Geek Squad, so now I have a reference point for my clients when they think I'm overcharging them for service.

6. I thought I was free and clear, but somewhere along the way someone ELSE got me a Best Buy gift card. I was having some power outage problems over the summer, so I blew it on a battery backup, which I was about to buy when the STORE lost power, making them unable to sell it to me, and then in about the rudest way possible told all the customers to get out of the store and don't bother coming back. No problem buddy. I eventually got the power supply, but I have to warn my friends and family right here and now:

DO NOT BUY ME BEST BUY GIFT CARDS
FOR ANY REASON

I eventually got a 19" LCD wonder monitor from Sony with DVI-D, SVGA, HDTV component inputs, S-Video, RCA inputs....the works. I love the thing. I get a little ghosting when gaming due to the response time of the LCD elements, but overall I'm happy with the $900 I spent on it at CIRCUIT CITY where they were totally helpful. So helpful in fact that I went back later that day and bought a 62" HDTV from them.

Best Buy can die in a fire.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Just How Much This DOESN'T Matter

Over the last few days, a few people have been giving the power and actual readership of my blog a LOT more credit than it deserves. Check it out:
Further proof that this is neither a classroom nor a courtroom, and no one cares what I say except the oversensitive. For them, go spend an afternoon with Maddox. And you think I'M an asshole...

And for the affected parties, please know that I have unceremoniously unsubscribed from your blogs so you can go write about whatever you like without fearing the sensationalized WRATH that apparently comes with getting mentioned on my page. Now I won't feel compelled to make any more suggestions that'll get taken the wrong way and blown entirely out of proportion.

I still find it hilarious that this petty post got escalated to the heights of a "public announcement" or a "flogging." Talk about overdramatizing...

PC vs. Mac: The Battle Over WoW Screenshots

There's a big dumb debate running rampant thru my inbox ever since Greg hit Reply All instead of just Reply over PC vs. Mac. It all started when I found a Web page for the 1998 Mac Gaming Championship and made a joke about how there really ARE no games on the Mac. Needless to say, all hell broke loose (seems to be a trend around here lately) and people are fighting tooth and nail about it.

Then I found this, which reiterated what I already thought. The short version is that in Windows (on a PC), to take an in-game screenshot, you hit the universally known Print Screen key, then either open the default saved image or paste the saved visual data into ANY common graphic editing program.

On the Mac, your machine may or may not have the required key, and if not, you have to fiddle with a bunch of settings, and even THEN you might have to download and install Adobe Acrobat just to do anything with the image.

Read the full details below....

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How To Take WoW Screenshots!

For Windows Users:

While in the game, press the Print Screen key on your keyboard. You should see a Screen Captured message. The screenshot will appear as a targa (TGA) file in the Screenshots folder, in your main World of Warcraft directory. You may need to get a special image viewing utility to open up or modify the TGA file such as IrfanView if you cannot do so normally. (NOT NECESSARY. JUST PASTE IT INTO MS PAINT, INCLUDED WITH EVERY COPY OF WINDOWS)

For Mac Users:

There are two methods for taking screenshots on the Mac:

Players can take a screenshot in-game using the keyboard key bound to the Print Screen functionality.

If you have a keyboard with an F13 key, press the key to take an in-game screenshot. Players without an F13 key on the keyboard can change the default Screen Shot key in the Key Bindings menu.
You should see a Screen Captured message. The screenshot will appear as a JPEG file in the Screenshots folder, in your main World of Warcraft folder. Additionally, Mac OS X includes functionality to take a desktop screenshot that will save onto the desktop. This built-in functionality can be used to take an in-game screenshot.

While in the game, press Command-Shift-3 on your keyboard. The screenshot will appear as an Acrobat Reader (PDF) file on the desktop. You may need to obtain Adobe Acrobat Reader to open up or modify the PDF file if you cannot do so normally.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

How to write a blog post.

Maria keeps yelling at me for yelling at her for the way she blogs, so here's an easy to follow how-to for those of you new to the blogosphere. First, the post in question (font reduced to show you what a chonky block it is, and since you're not going to read it anyway):

So I've been accused by certain MySpace, and real-life, buddies of writing blogs that are too lengthy (a-hem, Lord Boinky, I'm looking at you). Of course, it certainly wouldn't be the first time I've been called overly verbose or wordy. I do tend to ramble on at times and get off-track (in both speaking and writing :). Plus, the English teacher in me tends to obsess over supporting details, description, meticulously spell-checking/editing/proofreading everything (even though I have had a few glaring slip-ups lately......"man cocoa," etc......which was totally a typo, btw, King Boy :) Still, though, if we're going to analyze the entire "blog" genre of writing, are there really standards that dictate length? I'm a bit new to this, I admit; but, I have certainly seen quite a few amusing blog entries that span several pages. And if they're entertaining, well-written entries, who cares about length? I'd rather read a longer entry that details something interesting or is, at the very least, thought-provoking, than a paragraph about someone's monotonous work day, what they picked up at the supermarket, and what leftovers they dug out of the fridge for dinner. Seriously, I DON'T CARE, nor should I. What kind of self-important ego-maniac thinks their friends and loved ones care about the mundane details of their day? I actually read a non-MySpace blog of an acquaintance (who's NOT on here), that talked about the SOUP she ate for dinner. SOUP. It was only a few sentences, but really, if that's all you have to write about, why even bother? I mean, if she was going to go into the significance of the soup, like say, her dead grandmother gave her the family recipe, or how eating soup reminds her of cold winter days when she was a kid, and wasn't life so much easier back? Blah blah blah nostalgia, etc., I could maybe understand, but she didn't. She just talked about the "yummy" soup she heated up from the night before, and that was essentially it. No details, no significance, no anecdotes on soup, nothing. Maybe I'm being too judgemental (which I've also been accused of, perhaps accurately), but to quote Steve Martin in Trains, Planes and Automobiles, "...You know, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea - have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!" In fact, I've often used that quote with my college and high school students over the years, telling them they should ask themselves if they HAD a point after reading over their work. If they can't find it, methinks they better re-think their purpose, as well as their thesis statement (or if you're using the dumbed-down curriculum in the NYC public schools, your "BIG IDEA"......thesis statement is just too old school and stuffy.....grrrrrrr).

Nobody could follow all of that without groping the screen and needing Visine. That, and just the SIGHT of that much text all at once is the ocular equivalent of trying to swallow a basketball. Without chewing first.

The major offender here is that it's just too much all at once, a common mistake to anyone not accustomed to writing for the Web. Actually, I'm not really gonna write out a whole step-by-step. Just look at the finished product and use your intuition to see the diff.

So I've been accused by certain MySpace, and real-life, buddies of writing blogs that are too lengthy (a-hem, Lord Boinky, I'm looking at you).

Of course, it certainly wouldn't be the first time I've been called overly verbose or wordy. I do tend to ramble on at times and get off-track (in both speaking and writing :). Plus, the English teacher in me tends to obsess over supporting details, description, meticulously spell-checking/editing/proofreading everything (even though I have had a few glaring slip-ups lately......"man cocoa," etc......which was totally a typo, btw, King Boy :)

Still, though, if we're going to analyze the entire "blog" genre of writing, are there really standards that dictate length? I'm a bit new to this, I admit; but, I have certainly seen quite a few amusing blog entries that span several pages. And if they're entertaining, well-written entries, who cares about length?

I'd rather read a longer entry that details something interesting or is, at the very least, thought-provoking, than a paragraph about someone's monotonous work day, what they picked up at the supermarket, and what leftovers they dug out of the fridge for dinner. Seriously, I DON'T CARE, nor should I.

What kind of self-important ego-maniac thinks their friends and loved ones care about the mundane details of their day? I actually read a non-MySpace blog of an acquaintance (who's NOT on here), that talked about the SOUP she ate for dinner. SOUP. It was only a few sentences, but really, if that's all you have to write about, why even bother?

I mean, if she was going to go into the significance of the soup, like say, her dead grandmother gave her the family recipe, or how eating soup reminds her of cold winter days when she was a kid, and wasn't life so much easier back? Blah blah blah nostalgia, etc., I could maybe understand, but she didn't. She just talked about the "yummy" soup she heated up from the night before, and that was essentially it. No details, no significance, no anecdotes on soup, nothing.

Maybe I'm being too judgemental (which I've also been accused of, perhaps accurately), but to quote Steve Martin in Trains, Planes and Automobiles, "...You know, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea - have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!"

In fact, I've often used that quote with my college and high school students over the years, telling them they should ask themselves if they HAD a point after reading over their work. If they can't find it, methinks they better re-think their purpose, as well as their thesis statement (or if you're using the dumbed-down curriculum in the NYC public schools, your "BIG IDEA"......thesis statement is just too old school and stuffy.....grrrrrrr).

Now I'd actually READ that. Same content, but MUCH easier to digest, from an internet-reader perspective. It's not "traditional" writing, but it's not a traditional medium either. People who read stuff on the web need it to look snappy and keep their eyes moving, not getting lost in a sea of verbage.

It's also worth noting that blogging spawned from the keeping of personal online journals. They're written for the AUTHOR, not so much for YOU (except this particular post, of course). Blogs have such random audiences, maybe someone really needs the bright spot that IS someone's yummy bowl of soup in their day.

Still, at the end of the day, I'll say the same thing I'd say to people who want to ban prayer in school and take God off our money: If you don't like it, ignore it and look the other way. Hell, I'm an agnostic and I support people praying or putting God on money or whatever. Does it affect me? Not till they start burning crosses on my lawn.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ain't That Some Shit

I've pretty much ruled out flying as a way to travel as long as this paranoia regimen is governing the security detail at the airports. Really, it's not making anyone any safer, and the crazies will just keep thinking up new ways to make air travel more exciting for everyone.

So I looked into a Greyhound ticket. Bear in mind it takes 12 hours for me to drive from Sandusky, OH to Worcester, MA, and about 8 hours from Sandusky to Brooklyn. The best I could find for OH to MA takes more than a DAY, and to NYC takes over 16 hours, or twice as long as it would take me to just drive it myself. So funk that noise.

So what about Amtrak from Sand-town to Penn Station? Takes between 13 and 15 hours. Will someone hurry up and invent auto-pilot for cars? It's not the time lost that bothers me; it's the BOREDOM of staring at pavement for 8 to 12 hours at a time. At least on a train or bus I could be reading or writing or 'rithmeticking

I read a review for Darkstar One tonite, and it reminded me how neglected one of my favorite game genres has been lately. If there's one thing videogames can do really well, it's simulate outer space, even on low-budget hardware. Freespace and Homeworld instilled that sense of awe, of the huge and empty nature of the universe, and what it feels like to drift around weightlessly.

Of course, then there was the time in Terminus that I shorted out my ship's power system (overloaded it somehow) and it killed the engines, navigation, then life support, and as the ship drifted helplessly away from the space station I'd just upgraded at, I watched salvation inching ever further away, me trapped in this steel, jet-propelled coffin of my own design. Then the screen started to turn red as the pressure inside the ship dropped and my eyes grew ready to burst. Fade to black.

THAT was a creepy moment, living my own death in space, and all because I pulled a little too much juice for a few seconds. Eeeeeery. I keep thinking I might like EVE Online, but hearing that everything is menus menus menus is a huge turnoff for me.

I <3 space. And yet I can't stand Star Trek. Go figure. Huh, I started out bitching about terrestrial travel and wound up in orbit.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Game. Winning. GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!

Corrina should enjoy this....so I'm up at the park throwing a puck around, taking my precious moments off from my 5 jobs to perfect my tough-angle shots (far to either side of the net) and ringing the posts, as always (YOU try hitting the front three posts of a hockey net with a puck from 15 feet away and tell me how easy it isn't). I'd been out there for a couple hours, working up a nice sweat, just about ready to call it a day when 5 more guys show up. I HAVE to stay now. For weeks I've been up there and no one shows. Opportunity is knocking, and I gotta get the door.

They amble over to the benches and start getting their gear on while I keep trying (and failing) to ring the posts audibly to intimidate them with my not-skill. They decided we should all play together, if for no other reason than 3-on-3 was fair teams. Puck or ball? We end up going ball. This alone should mess me up cuz the feel of shooting with a ball is very different from the puck I'd spent the last two hours (not to mention the previous two WEEKS) practicing with. Plus, all of these guys had to have been at least 5 years younger than me. I felt I might be in trouble, but cast out all thoughts of performance anxiety, says me.

So we start. We throw sticks to decide teams at random. My team wins the first faceoff. We score the first goal (we're playing three-post, as described earlier, to present at least some challenge in lieu of actual goalies). Things are looking good. Then I take a semi-hard backwards tumble after getting tangled up with another player. It's not the fall that hurt; it's when my stick struck my right shin on the way down (I'm icing it as I write this). I've got a nice goose egg of a shiner on there now, and I skate gimpy for a few minutes. On top of that, the other team finds their stride and comes back to beat us 5-1 in five straight goals/posts. I had an assist on the one goal we DID get, but that wasn't much of a boost considering the sound thrashing we'd just taken.

We break for water and to cool down. The skeeters are biting. After a few minutes we decide to go at it again, same teams, same everything, despite some debate about changing in the face of our previous ass-kicking.

But it wasn't the same. Something changed. We got in their faces more. We didn't hang back and wait for the play to develop and read things after they start happening. One of my teammates feeds it over to me, shot, DING off the post. Score. We're up 1-0.

One of my other guys scores. Now we're up 2-0. Then the other team starts to get into the groove again and posts one, we get one more, they get one more, we get one more. Now we're up 4-2, game point. I strip the ball off one of their players and am GONE. Clean breakaway, shot, (don't get your hopes up yet) DING, but it was contested because it hit the ground at almost the same time it hit the post. Rule says it has to be in the air when it hits the post. I let it slide, we were still up 4-2, but I said "Okay, well I guess I'll just have to do it again." They all sorta chuckled, they take the ball, and we go at it for probably another 10 minutes with no score despite several shots by both teams.

Then it happened. JUST like it happened the time before. Stripped the ball off the same guy and took off. One of their guys managed to keep pace with me, but just barely (it's all about the legs, ladies). I pushed hard to stay ahead of him, and was heading toward the corner, which is always a bad place to be nearing at high speed. I thought, "I don't want to die today. I want to score a mofoing goal." So I turn hard, my feet almost at the red line (look at a hockey rink; it's the line that runs across the ice right in front of the goal; shooting from the red line is THE hardest angle to get one in from). Turn and rip it, just in front of the guy about to clobber me, and DING off the FAR POST HOLY SHIT. To the unenlightened, not only did I score from the toughest angle in hockey, but on the narrowest slice of available real estate. WHO'S THE MASTA, LEEROY?

So I drove home just in time to clock in for work, pretty damn proud of my 4-point game. Two goals, two assists, including a no-look behind-the-back pass to center as I was going behind the net to one of my teammates who proceeded to ring the post with it. That's highlight reel shit. So needless to say, despite feeling pretty gross right now (I desperately need a shower....anyone wanna help?), I'm also pretty damn happy with myself, thank you very much.

We joked a little after the last goal. I said, "Does THAT one count?" knowing full well there's no way they could challenge it. They pretended to anyway. "Yeah, you didn't have both feet on the ground" and "It was too high on the post" and other things, but we all had a good time. They said we might play again Thursday night, if my leg heals up in time.

Then again, it's hockey. I'll play injured just to play, dammit. WHO'S WITH ME??

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Just to Prove a Point

I went to the BMV today to get my new license. There was a gorgeous young lady working there. I asked for her number. She said, "I already have a boyfriend and I don't think he'd appreciate it."

This brings numerous things to light. For one, to those of you in the Intarweb community who repeatedly say I am "teh hawt" and you don't understand why I'm single, here's proof. It has nothing to do with her supposed "boyfriend;" it has everything to do with the fact that she and I currently occupy the same zip code. My hypothesis stands. (Might I remind the audience that my gf in NYC actually lived in Queens, which is a different zip code from Bklyn)

The OTHER big thing that this brings up is...WAY TO SOUND LIKE A FUCKIN AUTOMATON, YOU PUPPET! Do you sit and speak and roll over and this guy's beck and call? I just wanted to call you sometime. I didn't offer to replace the asssaxophone. I dunno, I guess I thought the phone was pretty non-threatening and anonymous. Way to sound like a submissive who can't decide anything for yourself.

So in some ways this makes me think she isn't worth the trouble. I'd HATE to have someone I was dating completely blow someone off just because they thought I'd be upset that they have opposite-sex friends. Funk that noise. No one who controls who their significant other spends their time with actually has a happy significant other.

On the other hand, I can *sort of* appreciate where she's coming from, being loyal and all that, but I'm more inclined to think it was an easy out, rather than telling me that she finds my visage terrifying and will need to sleep with the light on for a month just having seen it once. O, how I probably broke the web cam thingy they use to take licence pics and whatnot.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. Either way, Miss In Training (that's what her nametag said), you are a beacon for everything I adore and loathe about dating and women and relationships, all at once. Congrats.

How Much for a Lap Dance?

Well it was cheaper and friendlier than the place we went to in NYC, and the girls were a lot more personable and agreeable (and fully nude), but there were fewer of them, methinks, but not by a lot. For a Monday night, I think we made out pretty well. Here are the stats, as best I can recall:
  • Left home with $150 to blow between Deja Vu and Platinum Showgirls (FYI, we never made it to Platinum...the unc turned into a pumpkin and...if you can believe it...got bored and wanted to head home)
  • Got 5 vodkas (1 cherry, 4 grape) with Red Bull (my drink of choice) at $4.75 apiece (the unc bought two of them)
  • Got six boobs on my face of varying size and at varying times, but all told I had an absolute value of probably a dozen face-to-titty interactions (stage gratitude plus couch dances)
  • Three couch dances total at $15 apiece (the unc paid for one), the first was very nice, the last two were just one LONG one with a gal named Racquel who came to sit at our table and bullshit with us afterwards for about a half hour....naked....and completely comfy with it. Gotta love that.
  • About $9 spent in stage tips, and the ladies were far less greedy than the ones in NYC, where one had the nerve to tell me to tip $100 or not at all. You can guess which option I chose.
So was it better than Rick's in Manhattan? In some ways yes, in some ways no. Rick's had a bit more atmosphere and a LOT more people, but it was also a party night (not a Monday night) and it was our staff party so about 40 people were there by default. However, the level of personal attention and accessibility of the girls here (in Ohio) was a bit higher, and they got a lot more physically involved in the couch dances. They sure knew how to stoke the fire, but I wish to crap I had someone at home waiting for me to take advantage of that pent up energy. Any takers?

I walked in with $150 and walked out with $97. Not bad at all, in my mind. I expected to spend more, but I have it down to a near science. Would you like to know more? Of course you would.

I grab a seat, not right at the stage, but pretty close, and examine the merchandise. I don't make any bones about this. It's a meat market for all intents and purposes. I watch how they dance, how they're built, and after the first full rotation, I know who I'm going to start spending some money on. Even then, I don't go berserk with it....a few bucks here and there, the occasional lap dance, and it's all good. PACE YOURSELF. If you run out of money in the first hour, you're gonna start feeling the booze wear off, and the ladies stop paying attention to you. That's a shitty place to be.

I also do not buy into the facade that they really are interested in me any more than a grocery store cashier is interested in how many hot dogs and ravioli I buy, so long as I pay and walk out with a smile on my face. I will never get a date with any of these girls, despite the unc pressing the issue between me and Racquel; it's legally considered prostitution if she even accepts a phone number from the clientele. However, I respected that and told her that the sentiment was there nonetheless. She was great. It's hard to compare one great dancer to another. It's like picking the impurities out of a gold bar. Who the fuck cares at that point; both she and my fave vixen at Rick's in NYC were top shelf acts. The rest is just details.

So the story has a happy ending, but I still want to see what Platinum has to offer. Tonight was Foxy Boxing, which didn't really pique anyone's interest anyway. I'm happy to see that no one's vocally chastizing me for taking these little adventures in bachelorhood, not that it would stop me at this point anyway. Now I just need someone willing to reap the whirlwind of a hornified me. Now accepting applications....

Monday, August 07, 2006

Boobs and Birthdays

Many thanks to all who came out of the woodwork to wish me a happy birthday. I plan to spend the day eating cake, drinking vodka, and watching bare boobies bounce to and fro in front of my face. My original idea was to just hit Deja Vu or Platinum Showgirls up in Toledo, but then the unc said, "Hell, let's do BOTH!" And so it shall be. I've only ever been to Rick's in midtown Manhattan, and that was an upscale swanky joint I'd love to go back to. After tonite, I'll have two more experiences to compare against. The funny part is the unc has NEVER really been to a strip club in all his 60-some years of livin'. His biggest concern is falling in love with one of the dancers (he falls in love via the wrong head IMO), whereas my biggest concern is him having a heart attack.

Should be a good time. I'll try to remember enough of it to deliver upon you a full report either after we get back or the following morning. YAY FOR TITTIES!

QUICK POLL: I'm thinking about wearing the black suit from my current profile pic to the club. Would you advise me for or against this idea, and why? I don't wanna look like a chump, but I don't want them expecting $100 bills from me either....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Winkytiki

Check it out. Some cool themey photography that some of you photo-hounds will likely adore...

http://www.winkytiki.com/thegirls/girls/index.html

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Letter To Maria

(This was originally just to my friend Maria, but I figured you'd enjoy it, too. Plus, I'm too lazy to reformat this into a proper blog post. Also, I said some things I thought were pretty priceless in here.)

Hey Buttbucket,

Yeah, I finally saw it. Your dolt sister said "check out the new post" and to ME, that means BLOG post, not BULLETIN. Terminology is important. Would you call a gerund a predicate? No, I think not.

So you're toiling away in the temping doldrums. Sounds delish. I, on the other hand, got promoted today at my funky tech support gig, which ironically is based in NYC, but didn't get until I LEFT NYC. I have to do a little more work, still all from the comfort of my lazy desk at home (this means I can work naked if I want to), but my schedule rounds out to an even 40hrs now, plus I get a raise, and I'm STILL self-employed and of course I just plain rock in general. The really cool part is my boss passed up people who'd been working there for a few years and thought to offer me the promo FIRST cuz I'm such a swell guy (I've only been there 2.5 months). She called me "conscientious," which I think is a nerdy way of saying "sexy." Yeah, I rawk.

So here's two more things I started that you can start blabbing all over and make me famous for:

1. Instead of telling people to FUCK OFF, tell them to FUCK ON. Actually, a lesbian friend of mine started this, but I feel authorized to steal her thunder and sell it at warehouse prices.

2. "Drinks from the hose." This is used to describe something either BAD or GAY or BOTH. I think we talked about this already cuz I seem to remember saying to you "Mario sure does drink from the hose" as an example of using it gaily. Plus, when my computer locks up, that really drinks from the hose, too.

Also, I've been up in BG just about every other or every third day lately. Lotsa good times up thurr, especially at the hockey rink in the city park. I don't think I'm quite done with the east coast yet tho. I want to CEMENT my job situation and still enjoy parts of New England that are NOT Worcester, but I think I'd be pretty content raising a family in the Findlay or BG area. I got everything I need here. Someday man, when I find the right ho....

Speaking of, I've been getting on swimmingly with this chick lately. The MS page won't open right now, but it might by the time you read this. She's a lot of fun and very easy on the eyes, too. And, of course, since it's ME, she doesn't live within 1000 miles of me.

So, I rule. And if I rule any harder they're going to put two-term limits on MY AWESOMENESS! Kneel before Zod.

Mark!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Customer Is Always Stupid

I just wasted almost 40 minutes of my life with this piece of shit, and I just wanted you to enjoy a taste of what every day of my life consists of:

________________________________________

jimmy: when ur down loading game it stops on regersting why

Mark: Hi there

Mark: Are you using a firewall or antivirus program?

jimmy: hi

jimmy: what

jimmy: i got a Q

Mark: Firewalls and antivirus programs are security measures that can block the installation of the game.

jimmy: i got got antiviris im runing an windows me

Mark: Try disabling that while you install the game.

jimmy: kk w8

jimmy: ok i did

Mark: Now try to start the installation again.

Mark: If it gets stuck, it may also be caused by internet traffic or the server being busy. If it still doesn't work, you might want to try it during a different time of the day.

jimmy: well im downloading gmae but it stop and it say registering c: files\kumawar\missonhelper

jimmy: now it doing any thing

jimmy: not mavi

jimmy: it not moveing

jimmy: wat now

Mark: Either something on your computer is blocking it from completing installation, or the server is too busy to finish right now.

jimmy: so wat should i do

jimmy: i neer end of download

Mark: Make sure nothing else is running, even a chat program like AIM, and try installing again. Or wait until later to make sure the server isn't just too busy to complete.

jimmy: ok

jimmy: ok it says selceced componet to install

jimmy: wat do ii coose

jimmy: ???????

Mark: What are the choices

jimmy: install directx or gamespy or desttop item

Mark: Where did that come from?

jimmy: wat i coose

Mark: Installing the game shouldn't ask you that

Mark: http://company.kumagames.com/clients/KumaWarSetupFull1A.exe

Mark: Use that link

jimmy: i clicked download and clicked open and i came up

Mark: Use the link above, and SAVE it to your desktop. Then double click the icon it creates when it's finished.

jimmy: i did and now its back

jimmy: ???

Mark: It shouldn't be doing that. It should go to the web and start downloading files.

Mark: Try restarting your computer, then disable the antivirus, then try to start the installation again.

jimmy: i clicked next and now its downloading

jimmy: so now wat

Mark: Is it installing or not?

jimmy: yes it is

Mark: So let it go and don't touch anything unless it prompts you to.

jimmy: ok but it al way will stop at the one part

Mark: We won't know for sure until it happens.

jimmy: ok

jimmy: one sec

jimmy: AFK

jimmy: im back

Mark: ok

jimmy: it stoped

Mark: All I can suggest is trying again at a different time of day when there may be less server activity

Mark: Or if you DO have a firewall, find it and disable it.

jimmy: i dont

Mark: Ok
jimmy: waht the fuck

jimmy: ok it loading agaIN

jimmy: it stop at registering c: files\kumawar\missonhelper

jimmy: wats that meen

Mark: I told you already, either your system is stopping it from finishing or the server may be too busy or have an error preventing it from finishing. At the very least, restart your machine. At most, try the download again later.

jimmy: u were no fucking help bitch ill neever play ur fucking gay ass to herd to down load game fuck ass hole

Your party has left this session.
________________________________________

If any of you would like to write to "jimmy" and tell him what you think, his email address is zman_ one@sbcglobal.net

Also, his IP address is 70.238.151.195, which according to GeoBytes and InternetFrog doesn't exist. Way to mask your IP "jimmy," you complete douchenozzle!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Back in Black

I know it's a morbid occasion, but I thought some of you might want a newer pic of my ugly mug....in a suit. Ladies, it's okay to drool (you just have to tell me you did!).

http://www.torricane.com/pics/BackInBlack.jpg

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Viagra Is For Women

The ads and promotional crap all make it out like Viagra is a product designed to benefit men. I disagree, and if any of you doubt me, try wasting one of those pills just to get a blow job. Methinks she'd be none too pleased. :)

In other news, I'm gradually returning to World of Warcraft and just learning to live with the horrendous lag (often 1500ms or higher). I just don't care enough to avoid playing it anymore; I can learn to cast things 3 seconds before I need them to actually happen. Who knows. It might actually make me a better player.

Caught up with Sean for a few last night and he intro'd me to Guild Wars. My inner cheapskate likes the idea of a no-monthly-fee MMO, but that also (as he even pointed out) draws a lot of assholes to the game, and I may end up playing mainly with parties made entirely of A.I. non-player characters (NPCs to my niggas in the know).

If nothing else, I miss my faux-social life. WoW was a part of that, and the MySpace outage didn't help, and now Tally has gone completely MIA for the last several days. I miss my e-friends!

I'm beat and feel a little sick, so I'm gonna go take a nap. The rest of this week is still gonna be pretty busy, so I need to rest while I can.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The End of an Era

Sometime around midnight, early in the morning of July 23, 2006, my dad passed away at the age of 77. Frankly, I was more relieved to hear it than upset. After what I saw of him yesterday, it really is for the best.

I'm okay with it at the moment, just sort of pushing ahead, trying to stay busy. I think I got most of my emotions about it out yesterday and I'm ready to be the one my mom and sisters can lean on if need be.

I'll be around. Take care, one and all, till next we meet.

Friday, July 21, 2006

O, How the Mighty Have Fallen

I went to see my dad today. Re-read yesterday's post first, since it somewhat constitutes the "before" in this "before/after" scenario.

Ok, done? One of the nursing home ladies showed me to his room, which consists mainly of a hospital curtain, a knee-high bed, and a mat on the floor next to it (presumably to roll him out of bed). I walked around the curtain and looked at him. If I'd not known that this was in fact my father of the last 29 years, I'd have thought it was a leftover prop from a John Carpenter movie. My sister had been telling me for a while now that he'd been "declining," but that's a serious understatement. It's like saying Hiroshima was a little smoke and a couple of fires.

I hadn't seen him in person since Thanksgiving, and in the last 8 months, to see him now, you'd think 20 years have passed. Walking into the room and looking at him hit me like a truck. It was chilling to see him in his present condition....he doesn't talk, can't move, has lost a lot of weight, and his jaw has drooped down on his face to the point that it just hangs open. His eyes were sort of open but completely vacant while I was there, and he was completely unresponsive the whole time. His eyes moved a couple of times, but it seemed more random than focused. I'm not even sure he had any idea I was standing there.

It's a sight I may never forget. I wouldn't wish his current condition on anyone. Just laying there, immobile, unable to even speak, only vaguely aware that he's alive. I wasn't sure what that would feel like, how I would react. I went in there to see the man who annoyed and frustrated me to no end for years, and in the blink of an eye, seeing this gaunt ghost of what's barely a human being anymore, all of that resentment vanished. I couldn't be angry or upset at this person anymore. He's a mind trapped inside a body that's lost the will to live. I can't imagine anything worse than that.

So I knelt down beside him, took his stiff, unresponsive hand in mine, looked into those vacant eyes and said, "I wish things could have been better between us, but I know you did the best you could."

I said I was going to go for a while, but that I'd be back later. It was all I could do to get outside the building before that choking feeling grabbed me like a vice and the tears started coming. It's almost 7 hours later and they haven't fully stopped yet.

About My Dad

The last I heard, he's not walking, not talking, rarely eating or drinking, and really looks like he's about at the end of the line. One would logically assume that I'd be kind of broken up about it. Yes and no.

Yeah, there are a lot of things he and I have never seen eye to eye on. We generally don't get along, don't understand each others' interests or outlooks on the world, life, politics, or even religion. There are times he seemed to deliberately make my life more difficult and stressful than it needed to be. I can't remember him ever playing catch with me, or showing me how to ride a bike, or teaching me the finer points of dating. He doesn't know ANY of my girlfriends, or my other friends for that matter. There are two things I firmly do remember about him:

1. He used to fight with my mom a lot, often in the car on long trips to some vacation destination where me and my brother were trapped in the back seat, forced to listen to it all. Then they'd fight some more when we got where we were going. My brother actually stood outside in sub-zero weather after swimming practice one night until he heard the screaming stop. I'm not sure if he was more afraid to get involved, or that the blame would suddenly shift to him.

2. My dad always brought his work everywhere he went. On holidays, birthdays, anniversaries...no occasion was sacred. Christmas morning he'd stick around just long enough to open presents, then he'd go into the office until at least dinner time. My fondest memory was making paper airplanes out of his extra tax and accounting forms and flying them into the fireplace, maybe subconsciously in the hope that if he ran out of papers to fill out, maybe he'd pay as much attention to me as he did to his adding machine.

I don't have many positive memories of the few years he was "in" my life (mostly at the office), and once I grew up and started gaining my own perspective of how he lived and what his priorities were, I liked him a little less with every passing day.

I'm not fond of him. I think everything about his parenting was wrong. He was never there for me, especially if it conflicted with his schedule. And yet, he could be dead in less than a week, and the gravity of that is hitting me harder by the minute. Why would I suddenly worry about losing someone I never really had?

I think there are also two reasons for this, neither of which will ever be possible, but the permanence of death seals off any chance, however remote, once and for all:

1. I want him to say he's sorry. I know he won't, because I'm sure he doesn't think he ever did anything wrong.

2. I want the dad I never had. I see kids at the park or the ball field or getting piggy back rides or getting help learning to ride a bike. If he willingly got involved in any of these ways with me, I don't remember them (mom did it a lot, not him). I wanted someone to show me how to be a decent man, to stand up for myself, how to charm a lady, how to shave, how to fix machines, how to make your mark on the world and be a good person (those roles all went to my friends and fictional characters in books and movies). I'd like for him to say I did the right thing instead of telling me everything I do wrong, and to admit that I turned out all right despite his best attempts to screw things up and never be there.

I'm going to see him tomorrow, maybe for the last time, and the only thing worse to me than him NOT saying he's sorry is him actually saying he is and meaning it. What then? What have the last 29 years of feelings of frustration and anger and resentment and disdain and abandonment been for? Suddenly everything I believed and felt in my core would be wiped clean, my base eradicated, and my life unsteadied. What if he didn't mean to be a prick, but there really was someone trapped in there all along who wanted to be the role model I so desperately needed all those years? And now there's no time. It's too late.

It's stuff like this that makes you re-center your life, think about your choices and what you do with your time. It's a realization. We're ALL going to die someday. He's my dad. I don't have to like him or look up to him, but he's still my dad. And in maybe a month or less, one of my parents will be in the grave. Forever. Think about that.

Tell someone you care about just how much they matters to you. I did exactly that. Talked to my mom for about three and a half hours tonight and said plain as day, "When you go, it's gonna mess me up. I know I give you a lot of crap sometimes, but you're the reason I turned out anything like I did. You made all the difference." She didn't say much, but I think I got the point across.

I'm not looking forward to the day she or my uncles or my sisters or my brother pass on, but before that happens, I can make sure to tell them they matter a whole lot more to me than they'll ever know.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Regarding Next Summer's Transformers Flick

Ok, so I was a little aghast at first at the idea of Optimus Prime being a longnose cab, but I withdrew some of my loathing and spite when I realized something. We're staring down the barrel of 20+ years of Transformers evolution. Just look at this:

http://www.tfu.info/2002/Autobot/OptimusPrime/optimusprime.htm

There are so many crazy redesigns and configurations there, I don't even think the guy has an identity of his own anymore (not to mention he's already died and been resurrected at least TWICE). The problem is, the hardest of the hardcore fanbase are the people who were there from the beginning. However, those people are all grownups and parents and are having mid-life crises by now. So who's going to love this movie? The recent fans, ones who started with Generation Two and the Minicons and all this other stuff that the purists spit on. Just look at the PS2 Transformers game. Prime is a longnose cab in that, and I didn't even bat an eye when I saw it there. That's just what he's become, and frankly, if they tried to go back and make a movie solely of Generation One characters and designs, they would make that cupful of hardcore TransFans orgasm repeatedly, but no one else would get it. They'd say "That's not what Prime looks like" or "I thought Megatron was a tank not a piddly Walther handgun with a--of all things--SILENCER on it." They'd be making the same complaints that we purists from the olden days are making about the new stuff.

And I gotta admit, whether I like the redesigns or not, the Dreamwave series of Transformers comics that came out in the last few years--at least artistically speaking--was freakin incredible. Everything down to the last scratch, glint, and rivet was in every frame. I just stared at each panel and drooled. I didn't get enough of the issues to really evaluate the story ($3 per issue? Yeah right...I remember when it was $0.25 or $0.50 per issue!), but there might be something good there to base the upcoming movie off of.

This flies in drastic contrast to the Alien Vs. Predator movie. There were tons of novels and comic series they could have drawn upon for inspiration, but they didn't. Paul W.S. Anderson is the American equivalent of Uwe Boll, in my opinion. The AvP canon hasn't changed a whole lot outside of the printed page in the last 10 years, so it's not like his issue was picking which generation of fans to please, like Michael Bay has to do with Transformers. Anderson just made a humongous turd of a movie, and I'm ashamed I paid to see it in the theater. Way to cash in on brand loyalty, Hollywood.

So I'm not going to grill Transformers to death just yet. Bay is known for making movies with pretty explosions and effects and minimal story, and frankly, if any movie could rely on that formula and still please its fanbase, it's one involving giant robots waging war on one another. I'm certain some part of it will disappoint me on some level, but it's such a tricky equation, I doubt ANYONE who sees it will be completely satisfied.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How To Use A Fleshlight.

I guess some people out there actually need to be TOLD how to use this, which would be the core market for this sort of thing, I suppose. Guys who don't know how to fuck, and thus do not attract women. For them (and your amusement), I present this how-to:

http://www.fleshlight.com/main/video_byo.cfm?aff=67415

Don't worry, it's nothing too dirty, probably PG-13 at worst, but if someone sees you watching it, they might wonder.

Wanna see what bullshit looks like?

First, the profile, perfectly sculpted to be every guy's wet dream:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction
=user.viewprofile&friendID=37388416

And now the compltely generic message I got (I usually just get a friend invite), designed to be the every-woman with no personality included, not even a shred of proof that they read my profile:

Hello there! This site seems kind of cool. I am on my best friends account right now. I think that I will create one for myself now that I see how this all works. Just so we don't lose each other, here is my email. fastykitty1313@yahoo. You can contact me there any time that you'd like.

I like your profile. I couldnt even think of what I would write. LOL Let's see. About me, I am blonde with blue eyes, about average height I guess. I am slim and petite, and very fair skinned. I can send you some pictures. I enjoy things like just haning out, or going to bars and or clubs and doing some dancing and letting the freak in me out. I really like dancing.

I think that would be just about it. We can discuss my "dream man" later. If it all works out, you can help me explore the freaky side of me.

You've got my email, so write me anytime...

bye

Ahh, the portrait of a spam-bot.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I can't wait...

...till science builds me a girl who'll have sex with me whenever I want. Lord knows none of you "real" women will. Yeesh.

http://www.gizmag.com/go/2545/

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Required reading.

Ten Sci-Fi Films That Never Existed: great insight into the Star Wars prequels, Alien 3, and the Matrix Flicks.

http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/film/scifi.html

The Great Internet Porn-Off: are you an addict? Read and find out.

http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/pornoff.html

Friday, July 07, 2006

Stupid Fun Time Waster of the Day

Click, play, have fun.

http://www.lostvectors.com/bowmaster/bow_rel9.swf

I'm on level 50-something and am about to pass out, but it's just so addictive!

Male Contraception

Fair is fair, and I don't think the pressure should be on the ladies to prevent all pregnancies. Odds are, the majority of the time it's the GUY'S idea to stick his thing in her place anyway, so why not take a little responsibility fellas?

Well, this reads like it has good potential, but sounds a little, well, more invasive and potentially more damaging than just taking the pill:

http://www.malecontraceptives.org/methods/risug.php

Blockage inside the vas deferens? You ever put your thumb over the end of a hose turned on full blast? Yeah, I don't want that happening to my dick. I'll wait for more testing before I sign up, thanks.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hear it live, loud, and NOW

Well, I went and made it all official. You wanna hear some of my music, go here:

http://www.myspace.com/markbuckingham

Only 4 songs can be posted at a time, so I may swap them in and out (I have about 18 total) depending on how people are ranking them. Also, the 4 I posted probably won't all show up until late today or sometime tomorrow since they have to "process" before they're playable on the page. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

We're Under Attack

I used to joke that we live in a DMZ (de-militarized zone, a place the police won't even brave to travel because of the social and personal hazards) akin to those in Vietnam in the 1970s, but today it feels more accurate than ever. Every clown in a 20-block radius has gotten their hands on fireworks and other low-grade explosives and is blowing them up all over the place. They're going off around our dwelling with the regularity of exchanging gunfire in the steamy southeast Asian jungles 30-some years ago. I expect any minute for Charlie to come crawling out of a tree and into my third-floor window and run me through with his bayonet.

I fear a bit for my safety, because:

A) I've seen the kind of people who live around here, and let's just say they don't strike me as that BRIGHT,
B) there's a greatly increased threat of flaming debris shooting in through my window or landing on my car, and
C) the fact that some of these nearby sonic pops and cracks could actually BE gunfire. Brooklyn was never this scary, folks. Worcester is eventually going to collapse under the weight of its own crapulence.

I'm gonna keep my head low, pop a marker flare, and radio for an evac. With any luck, the chopper will be here soon and I'll make it thru the weekend earning nary a Purple Heart.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Superman and Tama

We went to see Superman Returns in iMax 3D last night, and it was pretty damn good. It did everything it needed to, but had a few things that bugged me.

1. Five years have passed in "story" time since Superman 4, but "real" time has jumped ahead 20-some years in technical innovations and the like. Supes used to change in a phone booth. Now he carries a cell phone. And it's only been five years? Eh...

2. It's five years later, but Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth look decidedly younger than Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder did in their respective renditions of Clark and Lois. Brandon does have an uncanny resemblance to Reeve in both voice and stature, not to mention him really getting a handle on Clark's dorky mannerisms. Still, I had trouble buying these fresh young up-and-coming Hollywood faces as actually being older and wiser versions of the characters we last saw two decades ago (or five years ago, depending on how you measure it).

3. They never explain what he brought back with him from Krypton at the beginning. Was that a ship? Part of the Krypton planetary debris? A friend suggested that it was his ship, but I argued that it was pretty well trashed when he first landed many years ago, and was more of an escape pod than a pilotable ship. I also asked why he would need a ship since he can fly in space anyway. Well, maybe being back home weakened him. But would he have known it would affect him so before leaving? The object he appeared next to was much bigger than the pod he arrived in initially. Did he just build it in his backyard? Or did he make it out of one of those Kryptonian crystals, a la Lex Luthor's whole scheme in the rest of the movie? If that was what they were going for, they needed to make that connection more CLEAR.

I was going to review it for BlogCritics, but Tama beat me to it. And in doing so, got me to go look at her blog, which is one I'm going to have to visit more often. Especially for posts like this and this.

Dr. Teeth

No, this isn't a post about the front-man for the Muppet rockers 'The Electric Mayhem.' It's about what I learned about dentistry and my mouth in the last week or so.

First of all, to all you smokers and coffee drinkers with yellow teeth, if someone gives you shit, just tell them your enamel is slowly decaying as a result of too much mouth-breathing, because this actually CAN happen (it takes a while, the existing bacteria in your mouth hardens faster if the area is dry, and can also trigger gingivitis, so rinse while working out or being a neanderthal), and because the dentin underneath the enamel actually is yellow.

Also, 90% of root canals prescribed aren't necessary. If the root canal is being done to stem an infection, try antibiotics for a couple weeks first. It'll probably do the trick, and save you a lot of money and pain. Why would they prescribe the procedure then? Because it's expensive.

NEXT, if you're missing a tooth completely, get something put in there instead, because not only can the teeth on either side of it start "floating" (your teeth aren't as firmly rooted in your jaw as you think, and can change position rather quickly...remember brace-face in high school?), and the teeth above it can start to move as well, even fall OUT with nothing below to hold them in position.

I saw my own dentin recently, not from drilling or a cavity or any such thing. I had what's called an abfraction. This is where some external pressure (either from grinding or clenching your teeth, or brushing too hard) starts to form tiny fractures in the enamel, then coupled with demineralization can cause sections of the enamel to simply crumble apart. This is what happened to me. Still no cavities, I'm proud to say, but having a hole just OPEN UP in my tooth one day was a little disconcerting.

So after probably 3 years with no dentist, I went in for a checkup and everything's fine except for a little buildup in one place, which I would expect since I don't clean my teeth with an IRON HOOK. Just that one little hole, and its location (near the gumline, upper jaw, right bicuspid, on the front side) pointed most likely to a brushing problem. They told me to make sure I use soft bristles and not brush really hard (I didn't think I was before, but who knows). They filled in and polished off the hole today, no novocaine or anything. Just a quick rub with the drill across the area to make it rough and bondable, then put some stuff in thurr, polish it, and I was out. Done in like 10 minutes, start to finish.

I learned a bit about jaw alignment and muscle development, too, but I won't bore you with the details. HOWEVER, if you have an unusual SWALLOW (of all things), it can cause you problems, including things like abfractions. Typically, the tip of the tongue touches the top of the mouth just behind the teeth and sort of rolls backward as you swallow. If you do it any differently, it could put undue (albeit little, but it adds up) pressure on your teeth or jaw. So it's in everyone's best interests that we make sure we swallow properly. Ladies, this includes you. Learn to swallow. ;)

All's well that ends well, I suppose. It set me back about $340 between the exam, x-rays, cleaning, and the filling, but it would have likely cost me a lot more than that if I'd have been going every six months for the last three years like I was supposed to be. I'll call it even and cash out with a clean bill of oral health while I'm ahead.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Link Problems

You may have trouble opening certain older pics or files I've posted on here before because I rearranged directories on my Web server and Dreamweaver wasn't godlike enough to relink EVERYTHING I do on the Web. Bear with me, and if you click something that doesn't work, leave a comment and tell me where/what it is, and in which post so I can track it down and fix it.

Thanks!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Evolution of a Druid

It's been a while since I gave you lovelies a look at the growth of my sexy lil Druid in World of Warcraft. First pic is from probably in her teens (in lvls):

CLICKY!

Notice the patchwork pants, the crappy staff, and the all around pauper-esque appearance. Poor girl. And sleeping on a park bench no less. :(

But, all good things come to those who....level up. She's at 40 now, and looking a lot better. See for yourself.

PUT MOUSE HERE, PRESS LEFT BUTTON!

Ooh la la, if I do say so myself. Standing proud on the docks of Menethil, sleek wardrobe and flowing cape, not to mention that excellentay staff she's sporting now.

Right click the pic and set it as your wallpaper. It will make her happy.

Also, for comedy's sake, here's a pic of one of many times Mike died and I parked my big bear butt on his head while he ran back to get his body. He's a tool.

LOOK AND LAUGH!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Where I spend most of my time.

Wanna see the exciting place all these wonderful posts come to you from?

Click Here.

And now an update on my FACE since some of you lovelies have taken a liking to it.

Clickit.

OMGWTFROFLCOPTER

I'm freakin HYPER right now. I don't know why. Oh wait, yes I do. Because Adblock Plus that I mentioned before has made the Internet into an addictive game for me. Finding and zapping ads off every page I open is so much fun, you wouldn't believe it unless you tried it yourself!

Surriously, though, it's INSANE how much faster pages load up when my browser isn't wasting time retrieving and opening stupid banner ads. Even this here blog winder works better! YOU'VE GOT TO TRY THIS.

Also, I was cruising around to see what MySpacers inhabit my old (and perhaps future) haunt, good ol' Brooklyn, NY. Somehow I fumbled onto Horatio Sanz's page on here (he is so funny it's not even right), which led to other SNL castmembers past and present. Maybe they're all fakes, I dunno. But how do I know that ANY of you are real? It's all a fantasy, and if I can convince myself for one fleeting moment that I'm really reading something written by Bill Murray or Tina Fey, I'm a happier chicken.

WHICH REMINDS ME, I got prairie chickens as pets for my characters in World of Warcraft. It's not hard to do if you know what you're doing. And in case you don't, take your Alliance toons to Saldean's Farm in Westfall, talk to the guy and buy some chicken feed, then go click on a chicken and go /chicken at it till it says the chicken is staring at you strangely and that you should inspect it. /Cheer at it, give it the food, and it'll lay an egg. The egg holds your pet! This goes well with my collection of in-game pets, including a Crimson Whelpling (rare drops FTW!), Old Horned Owl, and a Green Wing Macaw from Van Cleef. I should open a friggin zoo.

I'm hyper. I must go read more. So what if I don't have a life (even tho I do. No really, I do. Just ask somebody). I'm having a good time. :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Adblock Plus and a Lazy Roommate

First, if you use Firefox, you HAVE to get Adblock Plus. It takes a second to figure out how to add filters, but imagine an Internet with NO banner ads or any such garbage. That's what you can have, and it's worth the few minutes it takes to learn to use. If you get it and don't know what to start blocking, add these right off the bat:

http://ad.doubleclick.net/
http://bannerfarm.ace.advertising.com/
http://servedby.advertising.com/
http://cache.static.userplane.com/
http://geo.precisionclick.com/

Those are pretty common, and adding them as wildcard filters prevents ANY ads originating from those sites (which is a LOT) to appear or load at all, saving you time and bandwidth. And if you're NOT using Firefox, get off the Internet you heathen. :p It's got enough extensions available now to make Internet Exploder thoroughly obsolete. Just get it; you'll be doing yourself a favor. It's better than IE in every conceivable way (except that you can't universally mute sounds; why haven't they fixed that yet?). Safer, more secure, and blocking vile malignant scripts is as easy as click, click, done.

Moving on, I just went into the bathroom to do some business on the jon, and I look over to see the faucet FULLY ON. Nobody's been in the bathroom for at least 10 minutes, meaning all that water just literally went down the drain. I think water is included in our rent, and I'm not really one of those Save the World fundies, but COME ON. TURN SHIT OFF WHEN YOU'RE NOT USING IT! Is that so hard? This extends to numerous lights left on all night, the TV being left on when no one's in the room (I normally might not care as much, but the thing is a 62" HDTV and that $300 bulb costs a lot of time and hassle to replace when it burns out), people just generally using more than their share of resources, and I get stuck splitting half the bill.

This came right after I emptied someone else's clothes out of the dryer to dry my own laundry, and since someone around here makes sticky yucky messes all over the washer and dryer (someone who is NOT me), I say fuck it, let their clothes sit right on there, too. This lazy sloppy never-look-behind behavior has got to stop, and I've tried the direct approach. It doesn't work. Whoever it is has just gotten so set in this don't-care mentality that it can't be changed now. After a full day of cooking and baking, I'd expect to see a few extra dishes in the sink. But they never made it to the sink. There are sticky messy dishes, flour, salt, sugar, and batter strewn EVERYWHERE in the kitchen, and it stayed there until the same time the next day. What. The. Fuck. Am I the only one on Earth who knows how to change the toilet paper roll, and adjust sonic bass to a reasonable level?

Can I move in with someone else who actually CARES about their dwelling please? PLEASE?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Two Bickering Assholes

Just a reminder to all you who savor dick jokes, rampant name-calling, opposing political views, and how capitalism will save the universe, it can all be found here:

http://lifebymandm.blogspot.com/

Comments welcome. Unless you're a fartpoking dickblister. Then....well, you can comment, too, I guess.

The Prostate

We're almost done with the sperm donor qualification formalities (I start getting paid next week I think), but the two most recent steps were kind of interesting.

Yesterday I went in for a fasting blood draw, meaning I can't eat anything for 8 hours before they stick the needle in my arm. No biggie; I just had a bowl of cereal before I went to bed at 5am, then went in right when I got up at noon. What they failed to mention was that the girl drawing my blood would be totally cute. She struck up conversation to keep my mind off the needle, but it didn't much bother me, and I NEED to watch that stuff happen just because. Blood doesn't freak me out, and I'm no ninny about needles. Just deal with it, says me. BUT, even without the pleasant convo, I'd have been plenty happy and distracted just to stare at her. She had that nerdy kind of cute that just slays me. Most guys probably don't pay her any attention because she's not built like Barbie, but she was pretty adorable to me.

So, six vials of blood later, I realized a strange female hadn't struck up smalltalk with me AT ALL since.....shit I can't even remember when. For being the more verbal and communicative gender, women sure don't talk to me much in person.

Next up they wanted a urine sample. Pretty standard stuff there for anybody who's peed in a cup before. After that I spent about an hour touching up and finishing off my donor profile with a new coordinator they'd just flown in from L.A. She was cute too, in a teeny tiny southeast Asian-girl sort of way. We finally got that thing done (30+ pages!) and told me one of the genetic counselors from L.A. would be calling me soon to answer any questions they have about prominent diseases in my family, of which there are very few, so it should be an easy call.

From there, I went in and boned Miss May 2006 Alison Waite's Centerfold, left the cup with a lady who reminded me of my grandma (weird), and headed home.

TODAY was a little more strange. First off, driving anywhere in Massachushitts at any speed is like piloting a rocket through a city of stuntmen all performing at the same time on roads that were clearly designed (in width and logical arrangement) for horse-and-cart travel. Every street is one-way, and none of them make sense. Cambridge's streets are harrowingly narrow, and if you're not on your A-game as a driver, don't even bother. Shit and dirty looks and honking horns come from everywhere as any notion of Right-Of-Way flies right out the window.

I left myself 90 minutes to make a drive that should have taken less than an hour, and ended up getting there LATE on account of terrible drivers and even worse street layout and signage. I ended up stopping for directions at a Newbury Comics shop, wherein I happened to meet a lot of people like me in a short amount of time. Which is to say, nerds. And no one knew where Concord Ave. was. Finally an older customer guy helped us out. It was only about 100ft away. That's how bad the signage is up here. NOBODY knows where or what any road is.

When I finally got where I was going, I apologized for my tardiness to the doc performing my physical and he was understanding and even a little surprised at how long it took me to get there. Either way, it's all good. We begin.

He asks about any ongoing problems, symptoms, or regular medications I'm on (none). Do I use tobacco products, how often do I drink, when do I exercise, stuff like that (no, seldom, a few times a week, respectively). He checks my vision and everything goes as expected. He didn't do a blood draw because they just took a GALLON of it at the cryolab the day before. Checks respiration, blood pressure, pupil dilation, and reflexes, checks my general form and stature, it's all pretty typical. Then he sits down again and says that as part of the cryolab's requirements, he has to check me for hernias and examine my prostate. This should be fun, but not totally unexpected, all things considered.

I told him it was a new experience for me having anything in my butt, and he said that at his age (40s-50s?) he has it checked every year. It was a nice way of saying, "Trust me, I know what you're about to go through."

The hernia exam was pretty normal; I'd had that before. I drop trou and he puts his finger on one side of my junk, I cough, then the other side, cough again. Big whoop. Then, thank cripes he's a doctor, cuz any other guy standing there, me with my pants ankle-high, who said, "Now lean over that table and try to relax," would have gotten a weird look, and possibly a concussion.

Pause for a second. Everyone at some time or another has tried to stick their finger in their ass, either as part of childhood curiosity or wondering what women have to put up with from overly ambitious lovers. I don't remember the last time I did anything like that, but I DO explicitly recall that said finger DID NOT FIT, and I wasn't going to force the issue.

Doc throws on a glove, opens up the ketchup-packet-looking thing of lube, and all a sudden *ZOINKZ* *wiggle* *BLOOP* we're done. It was weird. That's the best way I can really describe it, though it did smart a little when he yanked his finger out. Maybe he shoulda done that a little slower so I didn't feel so pink-socked afterwards. Also, I experienced neither any major discomfort nor the euphoric sensation depicted by Seann William Scott in 'Road Trip' upon having his prostate "milked." It was what it was, probably a lot like fingering a vagina, only tighter and less willing.

We were done and I'm in tip-top shape, so from there I (trying not to get lost again) swung by the cryolab and dropped off a load for them to see how viable it is for me to donate two days in a row (they usually prefer 48-72 hours of abstinence prior to donating, but my sperm counts are ridiculously high...about 7 to 8 times higher than normal). We'll see how it went next week, I reckon.

I fought rush hour coming out of Boston on the way home, so it took longer to get here than usual. Got nearly killed many times by the phenomenally terrible Assachushitts drivers, had my fartbox fingered, saw several Harvard hotties in my travels thru Cambridge, then got paid to shake hands with the unemployed (wank). Now I'm beat, my bumhole hurts a little, and I just want to take a nap.

This concludes my broadcast day. :)