Sunday, December 23, 2007

12/23/07 The Airing of Grievances

Happy Festivus. If you're not familiar with Festivus (first check the link)... "During the last few weeks in December when Festivus takes place, families and friends get together at the dinner table and have something called "the Airing of Grievances". During this time, we share with family and friends all the ways they had disappointed over the past year."

This will most likely be my last update for 2007. I send my most sincere holiday wishes to all ya'll's. Thanks for reading, commenting and otherwise being a part of NachosRule this year. Thanks to you, we've just passed 16,000 views for the year. I hope you've enjoyed it half as much as I had maintaining it. By that, I mean, at least half. Not exactly half. It's one of those greater or equal to deals.

A special thanks to Nathan Fortener - First, a thanks for his current design of Second, thanks to the final outbound link of 2007... It's the quiz we've all been looking forward to... How Many Five Year Olds Could You Take in a Fight? I could take 18. In theory.


My mom offers some holiday cheer, acapella style:

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. See you again in 2008 :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12/19/07 Felinae Extraordinarius

There's a site called It's exactly what you think. Over IM recently, Google Nicki was worried that she was "a cougar". I assured her that she was not. As a result, she sent me a cougar classification page. I hadn't checked out the entire website until just now. It's just... wow... it's... comprehensive.


Here's my favorite article title of the past month - "A realistic assessment of how many 12-year-olds I could beat up before they overtook me." Cousin Eric mentioned something about a quiz he took about beating up 5-year-olds... If you have it, we'd all be interested in the link.


Cousin Dave sent an article about some guy witnessing a kid playing "Through the Fire and Flames" on Guitar Hero at Best Buy. After about 100 tries, I've maxed out at 4% of the song complete before being booed off stage. Oh, and send Cousin Dave speedy recovery wishes for his broken foot.


The song is called "Every Day" by Carly Comando.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

12/15/07 Spaghettification

Word of the day: Spaghettification. Since I'm cool and watch "The Universe" on The History Channel, I had a chance to hear some astrophysicist talk about "Spaghettification". It has to do with black holes. Basically, if you were to head toward a black hole, your body (and, in fact, all of your individual atoms) would start stretching out due to the immense gravitational pull. At which point, you are spaghettified.


From Cousin Jerry via my dad - The Traveler IQ Challenge. It's a lot of fun. Both when you know your geography and when you don't. Close now counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and the Traveler IQ Challenge.


I used to have an SNL crush on Tina Fey. My new SNL crush is on Kristen Wiig. I felt like you needed to know that for some reason.


I was watching High Stakes Poker on YouTube recently and was introduced to Guy Laliberte. He plays during season 4 where the minimum buy in is $500,000. Most of the players I know from watching poker on TV. But he's playing because he's super wealthy. Who is he? The guy who invented/founded/originated Cirque du Soleil. (You'll be proud of me - I almost spelled that right without looking.) It's easy to pick on rich people or to be extra critical of them. But, what I learned on the show, is that he lived on the streets for 10 years as a street performer before any of his stuff took off. He actually attributes his poker skills to his time on the streets having to make some life or death decisions. He also was involved in a $1.2 million pot with David Benyamine that was pretty interesting. (I won't tell you what happens, in case you want to watch).



R.I.P. Dan Fogelberg

Friday, December 14, 2007

12/14/07 Me and My Drum

Christmas carols are funny. Don't get me wrong - I have fond memories of my fruitier, formative years and going around singing Christmas carols. But I continue to find myself laughing when I hear them. It's because just about every Christmas carol has been parodied or poked fun at during some point in my life. Can you seriously listen to "O Holy Night" and not think of Eric Cartman? Ten years later and that's all I think of. What about the Peter Griffin Christmas where he sings (To the tune of Little Drummer Boy), "I brought these gifts for you, they're up in my bum"? I also vaguely remember some "Beavis and Butthead" Christmas special where they were jamming out to something from, what I think is "The Nutcracker".

Actually, now that I re-read this all, I realize that it's all based on cartoons - The Family Guy, South Park and Beavis and Butthead. Point being - Well, there is no point. Except that the other day I was walking around San Diego on a sunny day with no jacket and heard, "It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas". And all I could think was - No. No it's not.


Why are my iron-free, wrinkle-free shirts the most wrinkled of them all?


Poker Jason sends this guy getting pulled over on his riding lawnmower....


Mike sends the secret to Stonehenge building...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12/12/07 Littering and...

If hate were people, I'd be China.

While driving to work today, I noticed a cop car directly behind me. Whenever I see this, I'm sure to be extra careful behind the wheel. I keep my speed under the limit, I signal extra properly. At first I didn't know the speed limit, so I kept it around 35-40 mph. Then I saw a speed limit sign. It was 45. So I cranked the sucker up to about 43. But there was moderate traffic, so speeding really wasn't going to be an issue.

He continued behind me for 4 or 5 minutes and, eventually, it started to bother me. So I signaled right and went into the right lane hoping he'd pass me. He immediately followed behind me into the right lane. Probably 15 seconds later, his lights go on. So I signal to the right and move a little to let him by. Except he doesn't need to get by. He's after me for some reason.

I start thinking... Did I speed? No. Did I do something wrong? I can't figure out what. Maybe my blinker or tail light is out. I'm already a little late to work and don't need this. I make a right at the next street where's there's more room and less traffic and pull over. I've never really been pulled over in all these years. So I'm not exactly ready for any of this. I just tell myself to keep my mouth shut. Officer Zweifath (or Zweifurh or something like that - I can't make out what's on my ticket) asks me if this is my car. I say yes. The rest continues as such:

Officer: License and Car Registration please

Me: (I pull out my license and say nothing).

Officer: And registration.

Me: I'm going to go into the glove compartment. Is that ok? (I think I watch too many movies, so I'm extra careful about reaching across my car without permission. I find my car title and hand it to him.)

Officer: Do you also have the car registration?

Me: (I start getting nervous since I'm not real organized about these things. I keep checking and rummaging through oil change receipts and other garbage and eventually find what I think is the registration and hand it to him.) Is this what you're looking for?

Officer: Yes. Insurance too.

Me: (I go through my wallet and find about 4 insurance cards. Fortunately, again, I find a valid one. I hand it to him. Notice how I haven't once asked why we're here. I'm being extra polite.)

Officer: The reason I pulled you over is that you don't have a front license plate.

Me: (I think to myself... You've been behind me for 5 minutes. How could you possibly know that? And do you really have to right to pull me over for that reason alone? And why did you wait 5 minutes to pull me over? You must've been looking for another petty reason to make this worth your financial while. I explain to him the following... It's all completely true.) I recently went to Pep Boys for an oil change. While I was there I requested that they drill holes in my front bumper put my licence plate on. They said that legally they could not do that. My question to you is - How can I legally put my license plate on?

Officer: You need to figure out a way. Do you have a recent registration? (I guess my original registration isn't enough).

Me: (I start freaking out, knowing that there's not much else in that glove compartment.)

Officer: While you're looking, I'll be back. (He walks back to his car.)

Me: (I look in the little storage area between the driver and passenger seats. I find the piece of paper that the 2008 license plate sticker came from. It says "Vehicle Registration" so I figure I'm good. I wait for him as I see him writing a ticket in my rear view mirror.)

Officer: (Comes back to my car.) This is a "fix it ticket". I need your signature.

Me: What does that mean for me?

Officer: It means you need to fix your front license plate and then go to any police location to verify it.

Me: How long do I have to do it?

Officer: You have until February 14, 2008.

Me: (I figure that once I've signed it, I can ask the question that's been on my mind the entire time. So I sign and ask...) How were you able to tell that I didn't have a front license plate? You were behind me the entire time.

Officer: (I play enough poker that I can tell the question really bothered him. Something wasn't quite right. He stammered for a second and said...) I saw you earlier.

Me: (I should've just let it go. But my adrenaline was running a little.) Where were you able to see my front bumper?

Officer: (Obviously caught in a white lie and wanting to go... Besides, why did he tail me for 5 minutes? What was really going on?) On lower Genesse. Have a good day, sir. (And he leaves).

So, there you have it. I wanted to say something as he left. You know, like "Keep fighting the good fight." Or, "Thanks for keeping the streets safe." But I didn't. I made sure to put my blinker on as I pulled back into traffic. I've spent all morning really peeved about the whole thing. The guy was obviously looking for any reason to give me a big ticket. Otherwise he wouldn't have tailed me for 5 minutes.

Between this and the whole fingerprinting ordeal last week, it's kind of simple... I'm tired of being treated like a criminal. Like the rest of you, all I want is to do my job, make a living, and to go home without any trouble. It seems silly to me (in a nasty corrupt way) that we all have to deal with these non-criminal offenses on a daily basis. It isn't right. It's really sad that it goes on in this day and age. And there's nothing any of us can do about it.

Since my grandfather served on the police force for more than 30 years, I've always been very respectful of the police. I believed that the greater good they provided heavily outweighed any stories you might hear in the news. My opinion has significantly changed based on only one or two experiences. That's unfortunate for them.

On a much different and much more creepy note - I foresaw having a problem with the front license plate only 2 days ago. I've been without the plate since I got the car (as the car has no holes and is not intended to have a front plate). So the situation is nothing new. The vision struck me pretty suddenly in the evening. But I ignored it, planning on asking the dealership to take care of it next time I needed maintenance work. Looks like I'll be taking care of it before then, eh?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12/11/07 King of the Wild Frontier

Davy Crockett's great (times 10) grandson killed a 445 pound bear. Oh, and he's 5 years old. Thanks to Poker Jason for the story.



Sunday, December 09, 2007

12/9/07 High Hopes

Well kids, I continue to be super busy and it will be that way for at least another month or so. Which means fewer and less fun entries here. So, to start of the week... A few videos to kick things off. Beginning with Pink Floyd's "High Hopes".




Have you heard of Video Games Live? It's a full orchestra doing music to video games.

Friday, December 07, 2007

12/7/07 Being Frank Thomas

Good news, kids. Remember that goofy softball playoff that our team was in the middle of? We won. We're champions. Or so I was told over the phone last night. I felt exactly like Frank Thomas in October 2005. There's no feeling quite like being part of a team for season after season, putting together many solid performances, including some game winning efforts... only to miss the one moment where your team finally wins it all. I was told, "We have a t-shirt for you". (I guess our prize was a t-shirt). As happy as I am, I'm disappointed that I missed our big moment. So, there you have it. We're D-League champions. And I have no stories to tell since I have no idea how we won.


Are there extra "CL's" this year? Athletes used to tear or rupture their MCL or ACL. Adrian Peterson hurt his LCL a few weeks ago. And Reggie Bush just tore his PCL. When did this happen?


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

12/5/07 Prohibition

On this day in 1933, prohibition was repealed. On the subject of prohibition, Albert Einstein said: "The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this."

In honor of December 5th, have a drink for me.

You may have noticed that I'm tinkering with the look and feel around here. I'm still learning how to do this, so it may be funky for a while. Feedback (both good or bad) is welcome.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

12/4/07 Two Burgers, One Cup

Well kids, things are going to be a little slow moving on this site for a while. But, I felt bad that I left you with the Two Girls, One Cup post for the week. So, here I am finally with some Internet access at a Panera. (Which, if you were unaware, always has free wi-fi. It's great.) I ordered a soft drink and smuggled in some In-N-Out Burger. That's about as non-law abiding as I get these days. Both by choice and because I'm fearful (more on that in a second). But I still felt like a criminal until I finished the burger. Now I just feel like a cheapskate.


Speaking of law abiding, have you started a new job recently? Do you realize the background checks they make you go through these days? It's insane and infuriating. In the past two weeks, I've gone through a criminal history check and a credit history check. My previous 2 jobs also required a drug test. One recent place I interviewed (where I ultimately wasn't offered the job) was going to require a hair follicle drug test. They take something like 40 hairs off the crown of your head and it supposedly can tell everything you've ingested for the previous 3 months. Here's the part that bothers me the most - We live in a country where the leaders outwardly promote religion, Jesus and forgiveness. Yet, these background checks basically say quite the contrary... If you mess up, you're going to have quite a tough time making a living and supporting yourself and your family.

On my first day of work, I had to give my fingerprints (every finger) six times. SIX! I asked what would be done with them and if they'd be destroyed after my employment. (At this point I can care less if I appear paranoid.) Nobody knew. All they knew was that I had to give the prints if I wanted to work. Oh, and that the prints were going to the FBI for a more in-depth security check. The FBI?! They'll now be able to link my social security number to my fingerprints to my car to my driver's license number to my... well... everything. That is, if they didn't have a file already. It's just more complete now. Great. Thanks. It's wonderful being treated like a criminal. I don't know what bothers me more - The fact that I have to do these things or the fact that nobody really seems to understand the privacy and legal implications and that they're not half as pissed as I am.


Now that I'm done with my thing - Some random facts:

The number of cells in the human body is around 50 trillion (estimates range from 10 - 100 trillion.) There are 20 times more bacteria in the human body than cells. And you thought 2 girls 1 cup was gross.

Oh, and for all of you that got mad at me after you watched 2 girls 1 cup. Shame on you. Shame on you for not listening to me. And for those of you still curious - Go to the last video of the post before this one. The guy explains it enough so that you'll know why.

Studies show that 10 minutes of daily boob staring prolongs a man's life by 5 years. I'm gonna live to be 150.


From Mike who proclaims Anathallo as The Greatest Band Ever.


This one's from the future science teacher in me who will hopefully understand what this is about someday.

Like I said, posts are going to be thin for a while. But please don't forget about me. I'll be back periodically.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

12/1/07 Two Girls, One Cup

You know how I begged and pleaded with you NOT to check out 2 girls 1 cup??? Based on these reactions, you'll get an idea why.... (Seriously - you'll never be able to un-erase what you see. DO NOT GO THERE!)

Oh, you're probably wondering if I've been to the site. I watched for, honestly, 1.3 seconds before I shut the window. I couldn't take it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

11/29/07 IT'S OFFICIAL!

I've been asked to write a post about my softball team. And how we won our D-league championship tonight. There's only one problem. We didn't. We lost the championship game. 18-15. Except, it seems, that we're now in a 3 way tie for first. Which means we're supposed to play again next week in some sort of goofy playoff. A playoff that I can't attend. So, there you have it... I fully expected to pull a "Major League" moment with a bunch of has beens and a couple of never will be's. Instead, I pulled a Haywood and started arguing with the umpire (where I clearly tagged someone out at the plate and he said I didn't)... and while I was arguing, somebody else scored. You rarely see emotion out of me - But after the inning was over, I went berserk. That right there was the difference in the game. I apologize to Cousin Eric, who sent the entire team lucky Longwood University T-shirts with the expectation of a championship. I hope that Martin Vickerton and Carra Bunner have better fortune than we did.


On a lighter note, the number of visits to has significantly increased over the past couple of months. That being said, don't go there. For the love of God, DON'T GO THERE. Especially if you're at work.


A 7.4 earthquake hit the island of Martinique in the Caribbean. Those of you visiting that area should be extra cautious.


My dad sends the most expensive advertisement ever created...

Guinness just launched "Tipping Point", the most expensive TV ad in its 80-year marketing history, with a domino rally that features cars, flaming hay bales and grandfather clocks. Shot up an Argentinian mountain, the ad shows a community coming together to create the mother of all domino-toppling spectacles. Genius! (Production cost: $10 million)


11/28/07 Bill Swerski

Who would win in a personality matchup between the 2007 New England Patriots and the 1985 Chicago Bears? There seems to be no contest here. The answer is most definitively - Da Bears.


Physics Partner Jeremy wins the contest. He found "Most of All You" on YouTube. You'll have to wait for the credits for the full song. But it's Major League, so it's worth watching the whole thing. My favorite part about the end of Major League is the same guy running out of the stands (at 2:17 and again at 2:40).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

11/27/07 Nachos Rule

How was your Thanksgiving? Busy? You ate a lot? Yeah, I figured so much. In honor of the eating holidays, my dad sends the 20 worst foods in America. Coming in at number three as "Worst Nachos" are:

On the Border Stacked Border Nachos
2,740 calories
166 g fat
191 g carbs
5,280 mg sodium


This is also late and also from my dad... But if you're bored while spending time with the family, here are 5 games to play. I think my dad sent it because my brother brought Guitar Hero over this weekend and separated the "adults" from the "kids"*.

(* "kids" means under 40 in my family).


I have a friendly competition. I'm looking for the song "Most of All You" by Bill Medley. If you find it, you get to ask why I'm looking for it. Ready? Go.




Eric Cartman introduces the University of Colorado football team...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

11/21/07 Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. I've tried in the past doing one of those, "What are you thankful for?" posts and it didn't quite work. Plus, a few months ago, I already spilled the beans as to what I'm thankful for... Wisdom tooth extraction and modern dentistry. If I had to pick one modern technological marvel that has made my life far less painful and far more enjoyable, that would be it.


While I'm thankful for quite a few things, let's see if I can make this post fit the theme. And we're off...

I'm thankful that 8 foot bugs no longer exist like they did 390 million years ago.

I'm thankful that Facebook is dropping the word "is" from their status. The entire site makes a whole lot more sense now.

I'm thankful that somebody (my mom?) sent me a link to Let's Say Thanks. By filling out one of their postcards online, you can have your card sent overseas to a U.S. soldier.

I'm thankful that this photo made it to

I'm thankful that Cousins Andy and Meg have started their own blog - (Great name, BTW).

I'm thankful that you're actually reading this. And that, after all of these years, many of you continue to come here and enjoy.

I'm thankful that I grew up in a 16-bit world. (If you did too, the video's worth the wait).

And, most of all, I'm thankful that Frank TV is finally on the air, so that they'll stop the advertising madness.

Happy Thanksgiving. If you're home, be thankful you're not traveling. If you're traveling, be thankful you don't have to cook.

Monday, November 19, 2007

11/19/07 Wall Drug

If you've ever had the pleasure of driving on I-90 through South Dakota, you're probably familiar with Wall Drug. It goes without saying that there's not a whole lot going on in South Dakota. But, the one thing you will notice every 2.3 miles or so is another billboard for Wall Drug. In fact, the billboards stretch for 500 miles, starting in Minnesota. (No joke. Check the link.) After 7 hours of billboard bombardment, you pretty much HAVE to stop there. How can you not? It's just human curiosity. And what's there? I wish I could re-enact the hours of anticipation Road Trip Joe and I had, only to realize that it's a tourist trap of a crap hole strip mall. I think they had 5 cent coffee. That almost made the trip worth it.

You may be surprised at where this is going. Those Wall Drug billboards are now synonymous (in my mind) with the ads for "Frank TV" on TBS. They've been running those ads for months now... During every commercial break of every baseball playoff game... I must have seen 750 ads since September. And now, much like Wall Drug, I refuse to not watch it. I have to know if it's any good. I'm sure it'll rank right up there with "The Big Bang Theory" (Which was on rerun tonight after only about 6 episodes... That can't be good news for them).


Here's something I learned that I'm ashamed I didn't know from 1st grade history... Tobacco is native to the Americas and wasn't introduced to Europe, Africa or Asia until Christopher Columbus brought some over. I feel like that's something I should've known. Also in my research I found that, among the uses for tobacco throughout history was a hallucinogenic enema used by the Peruvian Aguaruna aboriginals.


The new math books in the state of Texas are full of errors. 109,263 to be exact.


Remember the game "Guess Who?"


Sunday, November 18, 2007

11/18/07 Sports in SoCal

Watching football in Southern California is a unique experience. It's the only place where you can go to a sports bar and find fans for just about every game being played. During today's games, there was a suggestion to make the "house game" the Bears vs. Seahawks. By "house game", they will put the audio to that game and make sure that they utilize their HD feed for that game. You'd think the vote would come down to San Diego or one of the old LA teams (Rams or Raiders). But no. It was the Chicago Bears or the Washington Redskins.

One table of mostly females in the corner was making the most noise during the afternoon. Their TV was positioned in such a way that I couldn't see what they were watching. Every time they got really excited, I'd look at the TVs and try to figure out which game was worth screaming over. After an hour or so, I couldn't figure it out. I finally noticed one of their shirts. It was number 48. It was a white T-shirt with mostly blue writing. Maybe a little gold too. Still, nothing made sense. Eventually, I took a closer look at the shirt. Johnson #48. Again, nothing's ringing a bell. I understood the Santana Moss jersey. Even the Alex Smith one made sense. But Johnson #48? Then I noticed one TV in the corner as they began screaming again. Some orange car was "injured" and pulling off the NASCAR track. So I watched for another minute. And that was it - They were cheering on Jimmie Johnson and his number 48 car.


You've been waiting your whole life for this moment. Now you can have your very own ECooter.


If you're suffering from GAD, I can certainly offer a number of holistic approaches. Don't be afraid to ask. I'm here for you.


Charge your iPod with Gatorade and an onion.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

11/15/07 Imaginary Girlfriend

I think I finally found the website for me - The Imaginary Girlfriend.


Yeah, uh, I'd like the new Camry fully loaded. Yeah, the spoiler's fantastic. And, uh, could we, uh, remove the license plate frame from your dealership? Great. Thanks.


As you probably know, my favorite part about the end of the year is the end of the year countdowns and lists. This year we're gonna start early with The Twenty (Intentionally) Funniest Web Videos of 2007.


I somehow got sidetracked with the band "Air" today. So I'm passing along that sidetrackedness to you.


And finally - Cowbell Hero

And finally, finally.... In case you're wondering about the Guitar Hero progress, I eventually passed "One" and that Slayer song. Then...


They make you beat the Devil in a Guitar Off. I can't beat the devil. It's even more ridiculously hard than the regular hard songs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

11/14/07 Peak Oil

Last night I watched "Mega Disasters" on The History Channel. From other previews, the show seemed overly dramatic and doom-and-gloomy. That's not really my style. But last night's episode was on a topic of interest to me. It was about "Peak Oil" and the ramifications once we hit the point where global oil supply can't keep up with demand. Right on cue, the program moved onto famine, disease and anarchy as the result of Peak Oil. While I imagine severe recession and an increase in crime aren't out of the question, this show definitely jumps to the worst of all scenarios.

I've mentioned him before, but it bears repeating... Eight years ago, Professor Ruzic warned our Introductory Nuclear Engineering class about the coming of peak oil. At that time, gas was still hovering around $1.00 per gallon. How quickly we forget about cheap gas, eh? He was also a big proponent of nuclear power for our electrical power needs. Most of our electricity needs come from the burning of coal. (Remember this the next time someone gets excited about an electric car and mentions how it's a "clean alternative" to gas. Then go ahead and point to the coal burning smoke stacks in the distance.) In this month's Wired Magazine there's a blurb about a book based on using more nuclear power. It's called "Power to Save the World". Here are a few of my favorite factoids from the Amazon review:

  • 75% of that baseload electricity comes from power plants that burn fossil fuels, mainly coal, and emit carbon dioxide. Toxic waste from coal-fired plants kills 24,000 Americans annually.

  • 20% comes from nuclear plants that use low-enriched uranium as fuel, burn nothing, and emit virtually no CO2. In 50 years of operation, they have caused no deaths to the public.

  • Uranium is more energy-dense than any other fuel. If you got all of your electricity for your lifetime solely from nuclear power, your share of the waste would fit in a single soda can. If you got all your electricity from coal, your share would come to 146 tons: 69 tons of solid waste that would fit into six rail cars and 77 tons of carbon dioxide that would contribute to accelerated global warming.

  • A person living within 50 miles of a nuclear plant receives less radiation from it in a year than you get from eating one banana. Someone working in the U.S. Capitol Building is exposed to more radioactivity than a uranium miner.

  • Spent nuclear fuel is always shielded and isolated from the public. Annual waste from one typical reactor could fit in the bed of a standard pickup. The retired fuel from 50 years of U.S. reactor operation could fit in a single football field; it amounts to 77,000 tons. A large coal-fired plant produces ten times as much solid waste in one day, much of it hazardous to health. We discard 179,000 tons of batteries annually--they contain toxic heavy metals.

  • Nuclear plants offer a clean alternative to fossil-fuel plants. In the U.S. 104 nuclear reactors annually prevent emissions of 682 million tons of CO2. Worldwide, over 400 power reactors reduce CO2 emissions by 2 billion metric tons a year.

If I had to pick one global issue that could significantly affect our lives over the next decade, peak oil would be it. And that's why I mention it every so often. The part that bothers me the most? Unless you live in a self sustaining community (which seems to be the ultimate outcome after the dust settles here), peak oil could disrupt your ability to get the most basic of human needs - water and food. If nobody's transporting food and water to your local grocery store, where would you get your food?

Monday, November 12, 2007

11/12/07 Lite Brite

Here's a virtual Lite Brite. Enjoy.


According to some Giovanni guy, Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" has musical notes hidden within the painting, revealing an entire requiem.


The University of Illinois has a Quad Cam. It's dark now, so I can't see much. I bet you could pull some fun pranks with this.


Remember the other day how I was bitching about online social networking? The root of it all is that I don't understand the allure of Facebook. Everyone else seems to love it. But I don't get it at all. Can someone please help explain it to me? It's so popular that even MySpace Tom joined.


From the "Oh, grow up" files: 10 things to stop doing in your 20's.


I forgot how funny Jim Breuer can be. Here he does his AC/DC and Metallica impersonations:


I'm late reporting everything. I'm basically turning into Larry King. With infinity less wives. But Saturday was the 32nd (do you use "anniversary" for bad things too?) of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Or, as I like to think of it, a great song for the first 2 minutes.


If you beat Guitar Hero III, you unlock this song. Filthy.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

11/10/07 In Memory of Matt

Ten years ago a very near and dear friend of mine passed away.

Matt was one of the kindest, gentlest souls I've ever met. To this day I continue to wonder what path his life would have taken. Last I remember, he wanted to be a veterinarian which was right in tune with his caring nature.

It's amazing how quickly ten years can go. This may put things into perspective... The last I remember hanging out with Matt before we went back to our respective colleges for the fall was for the famous Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield ear biting fight. Yup. That was ten years ago. I've never told anyone this before, but highlights of that fight bring back memories of Matt every time I see them.

While death is inevitable, dying young never seems quite fair. For whatever reason, Matt died way too young. Many of us continue to miss him, even a decade later.

11/10/07 Girls Night Out

This story required Poker Jason's permission. I normally don't write in detail about social events, but this one makes for a good story. Here goes...

Poker Jason calls me around 11:00 AM yesterday, asking if I have plans for the evening. He's just been offered 2 tickets to see the Anaheim Ducks play the San Jose Sharks. Now, I'm not much of a hockey fan. That's an understatement - I couldn't name five active hockey players in the entire league. The last time I went to a game was last century. Jason tells me that the tickets are really good. How good? Directly over center ice, 12 or so rows back. So, it's really a no brainer to go to my once-a-decade hockey game.

As we're driving to the game, our conversation revolves around sports. We're both sports fans - admittedly he's more so than I am. But we're both homers when it comes to our favorite teams. We talk about football and our fantasy teams. We talk about baseball and the acquisitions and trades we hope our teams make in the coming weeks. The drive was our own personal, unpolished version of "PTI". He makes the argument that the Mets could trade Jose Reyes to the Twins for Johan Santana and convinces me how it makes sense financially and competitively to do that AND sign A-Rod. I explain why, despite his papier-mache arm and creaking body, Johnny Damon to the White Sox is a value-add to their current roster.

We briefly shifted our talk to hockey, wondering how many players on the Ducks we could name collectively. I said "Pronger", not able to guess a first name nor know his ethnicity, face, position. (Turns out he's a beast at 6'6" and a defenseman born in Canada). Jason offered up Giguere as the goalie. He even pronounced it correctly. Without looking though, I bet he couldn't come up with a first name even after the game. Jason was also disappointed that they didn't play "Gettin' Jiggy With It" whenever he had a save.

Our macho, guy sports-talk continued until the hockey game started. At which point our masculinity and knowledge came to a screeching halt. Jason so eloquently put it - "I feel like a woman at a sporting event." He meant it in the way that women many times go to sporting events, and either want or pretend to want to learn the rules. But deep down they can't necessarily appreciate the strategy and the subtle nuances of the game. Thus began "Girls Night Out".

We began asking each other real basic questions about the game. Like, "Do they have overtime in hockey or shootouts?". "One guy has a "C" on his jersey. He must be the Captain. What's the "A" on the other jerseys for?" Our guesses ranged from "asshole" to "A-line" to "Enforcer" (Enforcer was my guess because I'm an idiot. Except that Jason's favorite player, Chris Kunitz, had an "A" and was pretty bad ass. It made a little sense at the time.) (I just looked it up - The "A" stands for Alternative Captain. There are 2 per team.)

Our confusion became evident when the crowd would yell and boo and get upset. We'd start guessing why everyone was so upset. Was it a missed call? An offsides? A cheap shot? Jason asked, "What does a hockey coach do during the game?" I responded, "He must change the lines". To which he asked, "Are there specific A, B and C lines? Or are they mix and match?" I had no answer. I had no idea. These things are basic hockey knowledge.

So I asked him the most basic of hockey trivia - "What were the original 8 hockey teams?" See how many you can name. I'll put them at the end. Ok, it's sort of a trick question. Because I just found out that my question was flawed. There were 6 original teams. We came up with about 9 possible answers. We figured New York, Boston, Chicago, Philly, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal and Buffalo were all viable options. I very badly wanted to ask the beer drinking ladies in the Niedermeyer jerseys in front of us if they knew. But my remaining unshriveled part of my balls couldn't handle them laughing at my ignorance.

Jason requested that I tell this story under one condition. He made a 3 team parlay bet on hockey that night. (In order to win a parlay, you need to win all of the bets.) He bet the under on one game and the over in the Blackhawks/Blues game. Somewhere during the 2nd period, he realized that he was 2 for 2 on those bets, with the Blackhawks scoring late, winning 4-2 and covering the 5.5 point over/under. Which left one remaining bet for the parlay to hit. He needed the Ducks to win this game.

Ideally, the Ducks would win for the fans and for his bet. Even more ideally, they'd win in overtime/shootout so we could figure out which one happened in case of a tie. That's exactly what happened. We learned that, in case of a tie, there's a 5 minute, sudden death overtime. After that, if it's still tied, there's a shootout. I think it's best of 3. It all happened very fast, but the Ducks won the shootout, leaving the home fans content.

To cap off "Girls Night Out", Jason and I exit the arena near where we thought we entered. I gauge that we parked a little more to the left than we exited. So we continue looking and walking left, realizing that our surroundings seems unfamiliar. We continue walking, completely confused with no sense of up or down, north or south. At some point, we figure to eventually recognize "our" parking lot. Maybe 8 minutes later, and 358 of the 360 degrees walked around the arena we finally recognize "Parking Lot 5". Before we drive off, we decide to make a group trip to the bathroom, compare breasts and call it a night. (Just realize that I could've gone with the "inability to drive in a parking lot joke" and let me believe that that's what you women do in there. If you let me slide, I'll let you women slide on the bathroom trips and we'll call it even, ok?)

The original 6 hockey teams: Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, and New York.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

11/8/07 S.S. Itari is Mixed Up and Blind

Some random thoughts:

  • Why do people on strike walk in circles? Does it speed up their cause? Or are they just trying to keep warm?

  • I can't wait for the Major League Baseball steroids report to come public. My guess (which has remained constant for years now) is that Jose Canseco will have guessed the most correctly. And that scores of players have used steroids and HGH. Which is why most of the accused players have kept their mouths shut up until this point. Because, what they want to say is, "Hey, everybody's doing it - Why am I being singled out?"

  • Eventually, the league and the fans will have to come to terms with the fact that so many players used performance enhancing drugs. The list will include record holders and World Series winners. At that point, an asterisk won't suffice. It'll simply be labeled "The Steroid Era".

  • Can we PLEASE get this online social networking thing straigtened out? I mean, I don't mind participating in it. But, come on! Friendster, MySpace, Orkut, Hi5, Facebook... I've had enough. Let's choose one and move on with it. Friendster was fine. But everyone thought it was douchey. So I moved onto MySpace. Now that's the ghetto network. Nobody really uses Hi5 or Orkut. Now Facebook is the place to be. Damnit. The fact that, after 12 years or so, we're no closer to a universal instant messanger, gives me no faith that we'll ever figure out this one either.

  • I had a creepy dream last night about maggots. There were maggots on my bedroom floor, on my sheets, in between my sheets - It was disgusting. I looked up the dream interpretation: "To see maggots in your dream, represents your anxieties about death. It may also be indicative of some issue or problem that you have been rejecting and it is now "eating away" at you . You need to confront it for it is destroying your sense of harmony and balance."

  • I have a Chicago Bears calendar on my wall. Each month features a different player. November is Rex Grossman. If you've watched the Bears play this year, watch Brian Griese on the sidelines. Notice who he's always talking to? 3rd string quarterback Kyle Orton. I've yet to see him once with Rex.

  • Because Guitar Hero III wasn't already challenging enough (I still haven't beat that Slayer song), I decided to flip the guitar around and learn how to play lefty. Just chalk this up as one more in the "How sad am I?" files.


Midnight Madness was one of my favorite movies as a kid... Fagabeefe?


What if the show "24" aired in 1994? (Here's the link if the embedding doesn't work).


This is a compilation of Viral Videos done to a "We Didn't Start the Fire" parody.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

11/7/07 The Country Bear Jamboree

I've been invited to go to Disneyland next week. To be honest, I've never been. Many moons ago I've been to DisneyWorld in Orlando. But never Disneyland. I accepted the invitation on one term - That we go see The Country Bear Jamboree. In part because, other than EPCOT Center and other Orlando specific stuff, I don't remember much about the Magic Kingdom. Well, my friends... terribly disappointing news. And at the same time, I think I figured out the "real" mastermind behind 9/11. "The show was removed from Disneyland on September 9, 2001 to make way for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh." Only two days before the attacks?! Ah ha. Mister A.A. Milne - You've got some 'splainin to do.


Mike informed me yesterday that the poster boy for government douchebaggery, George Ryan, is finally starting his prison sentence. If you watch the press conference, you'll notice that, for some reason, a photographer takes an ass shot of the speaker.


Cousin Eric sends the latest and greatest in home entertainment. It's called the Gamerator. For only $2,000, you too can have the multi-purpose, 2-in-1 stand up arcade game / kegerator.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

11/6/07 I Need TP for my Bunghole!

The most caffeinated city in the U.S. Drumroll please.....
It's Chicago.


Cousin Dave sends Super Mario Brothers played on Tesla Coils.


The only thing we have to fear....


For those of you who went to high school with me, you may recognize this....

Check out this video: MY ACTOR’S DEMO REEL

Looking good, Mr. Dave. Looking good.



I just thought this music video was clever.

Monday, November 05, 2007

11/5/07 Loonie

The Canadian Dollar is now worth more than the American Dollar. $1.06 to be precise. The last time the Loonie was worth more than $1.06? July 11, 1864. The same 1864 when the Confederate Army was marching on Washington D.C., threatening to overthrow any semblance of government in the U.S. People must really love maple syrup.


Bored with Guitar Hero? Here's Harmonica Hero...


I recently said that "The Big Lebowski" leads all movies in usage of the F-word. I was wrong. I was way wrong. It's doesn't even come close. It's ranked 21st.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

11/3/07 The Benefit of the Doubt

I like to think of myself as a benefit-of-the-doubter. That, when I first meet someone, I give that person the benefit of the doubt. I even give a 2nd or 3rd benefit. It takes a good 10 or 11 doubts to really diminish the benefit you were initially receiving. I mention this because I have to tell a story about a guy. The guy has no name. And not because I don't remember. It's because I never spoke a word to him. I was just watching and silently judging a complete stranger.

A few days ago I was enjoying a Peet's coffee outside of the coffee shop. (I mention Peet's only because it's probably the greatest coffee on earth and in some areas it's very hard to come by. Basically, I'm just bragging here). As I was reading at Peet's, minding my own business, a guy sat down at the table in front of me. The only way I can describe him is that he looked like the friend in Billy Madison that wasn't Norm MacDonald. (And, if you're paying attention, about 15 months ago I promised never, ever to mention Norm MacDonald again. I guess I lied). So, in a nutshell, the guy's not a real looker, not a good dresser, wearing socks, sandals, khaki shorts and an orange polo shirt.

This is where the benefit of the doubt comes in. I think to myself - I bet he's a good, decent guy. I'm sure that everyone else is judging him negatively based on his appearance. But noooo... not me... I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. In fact, maybe he's one of those really smart, kind hearted, professor type guys. You know, the kind of guy that you'd enjoy talking to over the aforementioned coffee. Or perhaps he's one of those brilliant artists or musicians that can be fascinating. Now I'm just curious about this guy's interesting life that I've invented in my head.

The dude gets a phone call. His ringtone? You feel like guessing? This is me we're talking about here... There's only one reason I would tell this story... The ringtone was Nickelback. So much for the brilliant artist idea. His teenage son shows up (and turns out to be the person who called). At this point, I'm really trying to get back and concentrate on my reading. Not that I ever wanted to take any interest in this guy in the first place, but, you know, things happen in public.

He gets another phone call. This time I listen to figure out which Nickelback song he has, since it takes an acute sense of musical talent to tell them apart. But wait, this ringtone isn't Nickelback. It was some cheesy Michael Bolton song. (I swear to you, I can't make this stuff up). And it was his wife. Since I'm still a benefit of the doubter, I began feeling bad for this guy. Like maybe his life took a wrong turn somewhere... oh maybe by knocking up this woman on the other end of the line about 14 years earlier. So either this guy has just awful music sense... OR... This may be worse... He might be so whipped, that he puts ringtones specifically for his wife and son, neither of whom have any music sense either.

At this point, I really pry myself back into my reading. I feel bad that I've taken such an interest in a complete stranger. And I feel even worse that I'm silently judging him for no apparent reason. (Yet, notice I don't feel bad at all sharing the story with the world. Funny how that works.) Within the next 10 minutes, I notice the guy and the son are gone. Around the same time, I hear an ungodly amount of excessive noise coming from the parking lot. It's the sound of a high revving engine in a quaint, strip mall parking lot. I turn around to see why anyone would make that much noise. At this point, you've probably guessed it - It's the guy. He's driving a black Camaro and simply reversing his car out of the parking spot. When all was said and done, I concluded that the guy was just an absolute douchebag.

Moral of the story? Quit people watching and mind your own business.


Are you passive aggressive? Do you know someone who is? You'll enjoy this - Passive Aggressive Notes.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10/31/07 Aftershocks

A 5.6 earthquake hit Northern California yesterday. CNN was immediately on the scene with this picture.... of 10 shampoo (moisturizer?) bottles on the floor. And you thought Halloween was scary enough by itself.


I've mentioned this before, but one of my favorite baseball stories is about Dock Ellis. He's the guy that dropped acid on June 12, 1970 in Los Angeles, then his girlfriend told him that he had to pitch that day in San Diego. He proceeded to throw a no hitter and has little to no recollection of the game.
What I didn't know about Dock Ellis is the following (From Wikipedia):
Attempting to hit every batter in the Cincinnati Reds lineup on May 1, 1974. In an effort to prove a point to teammates, Ellis hit Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Driessen in the top of the first. The clean-up batter Tony Perez avoided Ellis' attempts, instead drawing a walk, and after two pitches aimed at the head of Johnny Bench, Ellis was removed from the game by manager Danny Murtaugh. Ellis' box score for the game reads: 0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.
Remember the Madrid train bomber? He's been sentenced to 40,000 years in prison.


Does this bring back memories for you too? Do you feel like a loser? Me too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10/30/07 Body My Holding Cell

Remember using the Erlenmeyer Flask in high school chemistry? It was named after Richard August Carl Emil Erlenmeyer. My first thought was - how much would that suck that your greatest scientific accomplishment yielded a certain shaped flask? Then I thought - Wait, that's way more than any of the rest of us can say. So here's to you Mr. Erlenmeyer and your 4 first names. Well done. Well done, indeed.


I hate to admit that the only new TV show I've watched this season is "The Big Bang Theory". I wanted so badly for the show to be good. It's not. I'm amazed it's still on the air. Not only is it not good, but I can't imagine it's going anywhere. But I keep watching it. At the end of my DVR recording, I noticed a real quick screen that lasted all of a half second and I assumed it was long copyright deal. But I accidentally paused it there and read the first sentence. It was anything but. It was hilarious. You may know this, but I sure didn't - Chuck Lorre productions has vanity cards after every show they air. The one that caught my eye was number 191. And it read:

I'm writing this vanity card at six o'clock in the morning on October 18, 2007. It's my birthday. I am fifty-five years old. I have long ago become invisible to young women. They actually do not see me. But I am not writing this to complain. I am at peace with my circumstances. The blessing of fifty-five is a libido in decline. The curse of it is that major pharmaceutical companies are successfully exploiting my insecurities. Suddenly that surreal commercial of a silver-haired guy sitting naked in an outdoor bath tub and holding hands with a naked, slightly younger woman in an adjacent tub makes perfect sense (if I had produced that spot I would've have given him a small plasma screen TV so he could watch ESPN during his hang time). I'm also mesmerized by the commercial featuring middle-aged men gleefully celebrating their ability to drink water and drive long distances (I particularly enjoy that the slightly younger women in that one are turned on knowing that their geezers don't have to urinate frequently). Anyway, it's my birthday today. If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go suck on my bronchitis inhaler so that later today I can blow out the candles without hacking up a lung.


Since nobody else cares about Guitar Hero but me, I'll give a real, real quick follow up on the initial review:

The bassist is Cousin It.

I still can't beat 2 songs. One of the songs is Metallica's "One". The worst part is that it's easy to get about 78% of the way through the song. Then there's the solo. I can't, for the life of me, figure out a way to do this....

The other song I can't pass is Slayer's "Raining Blood". Ridiculous I tells ya.


And finally... I'm not a fan of college sports. At all really. But I saw 2 things this past week that were fantastic.

First, The University of Georgia football team storming the field when they scored first against Florida. They were penalized, but the coach directed them to do it.

Second, the Trinity play...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

10/28/07 Guitar Hero III Initial Reactions

Ok. I bought Guitar Hero III today. I was actually good and productive until about 4:30 this afternoon. Then I finally broke it out. Here are some of my initial reactions to the game. This is sort of going to be a running diary since I'm playing and writing between songs:

  • Unlike the previous 2 games, they completely redid the animation, the venues, the change screens, etc. And, so far, all for the better.

  • Lars Umlaut was always my favorite character. I like how he breathes fire during his star powered solos. In this game though... He dances a little 80's glam rock fruity-ish. I'm not so sure what happened.

  • I fired up expert mode. I got though the first set unscathed. I even got 5/5 stars on all but one song. Even in the 2nd set, I breezed my way through. And I was thinking of being all, "Look at me! I'm so good at this game! I can sight read and still get 96% on expert!"....

  • Then, at the end of set #2, there's a new piece of the game called "Battle Mode". It's like dueling banjos. But with electric guitars. Your first battle is with Tom Morello of "Rage Against the Machine". Let's just say that I got my ass handed to me on a platter. And I no longer care to brag about my freakish Guitar Hero skills.

  • The game is best played loud. The volume will actually make you play better.

  • Alright - It took me about 5 tries to beat that Tom Morello battle. The best way I can explain it is to compare it to multi-player Tetris. It's not necessary how well you do. But rather how much you can mess up the other person. The greatest part? When you win, you get to play "Bulls on Parade" with him. It's little things like that that make me love this game even more.

  • Some Thor/Zeus type character runs the tutorial. I don't quite understand why.

  • Ok, seriously. The Lars Umlaut dance is beyond distracting. I find myself laughing during the song. I may have to change to Axel Steel.

  • I changed to "Midori". I think she's a new character. That could be fun.

  • One song later - Midori's a terrible choice. She's all cutsie Japanese anime looking. That's not quite the "rock out" lead guitarist I wanted. Axel Steel it is.

  • This is nothing new. But the game has continued to give me an appreciation for bands that I otherwise don't find appealing. One, in particular, is "The Rolling Stones". I've never been a fan. I always thought that Mick Jagger's looks was the appeal. But playing some of the difficult rhythms has helped me understand why some people consider them one of the greatest bands ever.

  • The storyline in "Career Mode" makes a whole lot more sense this time around. I won't ruin the venues and the transitions for you. But they're fun.

  • It can't be coincidence that the encore songs are usually the best songs. Pearl Jam's "Evenflow"! Hells yeah!

  • I've made it to the 2nd battle. This time's against Slash. I've been bitched off stage 3 times already. The screen says "Man, is Slash taking advantage of you? Do you need a hug? Maybe you should stick to playing bass..." And it goes on taunting me.

With that, I'll end my GH3 review. And I'll move onto being more productive with my time.


My old high school physics partner, Jeremy send the "Don't Tase Me, Bro" weekend presented by 95.1 WILL Rock. My apologies for posting this at the very, very end of the weekend.


Do you play too much World of Warcraft?


Dave Chappelle was right. Dialing 911 is scary. "Cuz they tape those phone calls".

Friday, October 26, 2007

10/26/07 Halloween Week

Remember when Halloween used to be celebrated on October 31st? Yeah, well, what the hell happened? I'm not the most social cat around, and my Halloween plans began yesterday and are extending to the middle of next week. It's almost as if we've collectively decided to ignore "Holy" days (root of holiday, I would assume) and just use times like this to extend our debauchery instead.

Like I said, (and I'm repeating the obvious here), I ain't one of the cool kids. However, I've been invited to no less then FOUR Halloween PRE-parties this evening. That doesn't even include the "main" party or the post-(what usually turns into Guitar Hero fest) party. When did this happen? When did Halloween become the hugest day/weekend/week of the year? And when, for that matter, did the "slutty" costume fad begin? Question: What are you going to be for Halloween? Every girl: "Oh a sexy (fill in the blank)." By "fill in the blank", girls actually hear things like "cop, devil, french maid, cat". Things like that. Guy hear, "sexy...." and just start thinking of bras and panties in public. Actually, you know what? I'm asking the wrong questions here. The real question remains... Why don't we just do this all year long? You know... Have fun and dress slutty?


Speaking of sluts and debauchery, the most useless and basisless (that seems like a word, right?) survey came out. When men are looking for random hookups, they hit on girls named Kelly the most. Tanya, Deb/Debbie, Becky and Steph round out the top 5.


Super Mario Bros. and the original NES remain in full 20+ year retro force. For those that have played, you may enjoy "Bowser's Suggestion Box". It's a suggestion box from his "employees".


I wish we'd see more of this on the news. Then I might actually watch.



I heard this guy got fired. What a shame.


Happy Halloween Weekend....