Monthly Archives: August 2007

Christianity


I’m a Christian, yet I still find this very funny. I guess you just gotta have faith. Gotta have a little faith. (Thinking of the George Michael song yet?)

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Effective Graphical Representation of the Civil War, in 4 Minutes

It’s hard to see, but there is a casualty counter in the bottom right hand corner.

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Michael Jackson, Beer Critic, Dies


This is actually a sad day for me. Michael Jackson (no, the “other” one), a true beer connoisseur, a huge idol of mine, has passed away. Raise your glasses, all.

Beer Nut

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Kill ‘Em All

It was an interesting day. As I drove to work, the birds were singing, people laughing along the way, and a full moon…*sigh*, it was good until the moon.

Full moons, as many of you know, are a bad omen in any kind of service industry. The weird-ass problems start to come forth, and they do like the plague. It wasn’t a bad day though, far from my worst. It was just a bit rough around the edges.

By the end of the day though, 3 problem calls almost corrected themselves. It was kind of miraculous in a way. I still have a few loose ends to tie up tomorrow, but all in all it wasn’t a bad way to end it.

After work, I finally got my butt on the treadmill again. The prime motivator was that 1) I had to do 3 miles…but 2) I could do it as slow as I wanted, and 3) I could do it while playing Sudoku.

And it worked, sort of. My handwriting was horrid, and I couldn’t do the little trick where you write down all the possibilities in itty-bitty letters at the top of the box. There was no coordination for that, even at a scant 3.5mph. But it made the puzzle more of a challenge. I had to play in my head much more than normal, and it was really fun.

Of course, my time sucked. In the end, after completing 3 puzzles, I cranked it up to 5.5mph and wrapped up the works in about 45min. But I got the 3 miles done, and that’s good.

On the way home, I realized I needed to pick up a pH reader for the big fishtank. We lost another fish this morning (while that Rosy Barb just hangs on for his little dear life). Something has to be wrong, and a partial water change is in the future regardless. We just want to know if we need to add some enzyme stuff or what at this point.

Along the way, I was flipping through the stations. Jazz…I’ve never been much for jazz, just blues. There was the really old-old oldies on Magic AM, but I can only do that under certain circumstances. And then there was Metallica. Ah yes, and their fantastic ode to hating Geometry: SECANT DESTROY!!! I’ve never found out what they think of Tangents or Chords…well, I assume they like chords.

And I got to thinking, as my mind tends to do now and then…for how good that song is, and who all was in the band…what would have happened if, somehow, Dave Mustaine had gotten along with the rest of the band and stayed, and what would have happened if Cliff Burton had lived beyond that horrible bus accident? Or what would have happened if another member had died?

So, I decided to make it my life goal to find out. I built a time machine.

No really, I did. It’s very hard to build one, because all you have to go on is good science fiction stories, and bad science fiction stories. And movies. And TV shows. And episodes from every incarnation of Star Trek. And Groundhog Day. Yes, it’s very tough.

The final result was something that…well, the closest thing is from that time travel movie with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. You know the one. That movie you always go, “I’d really like to see that. Dr. Quinn and Superman? C’mon, who wouldn’t enjoy that one?”, and then when you get down to watching it, you realize it moves really slowly and isn’t quite what you were expecting…well, anyhow, in that movie Chris goes back in time through will power alone. And I did much the same thing, except that I had to blank out my mind first. Or do the exact opposite, depending on your point of view. I started to think of every Monty Python sketch I could remember, equating each with a numeric value in multiples of 4.31, relating each one in number of characters and dialogue to scenes I could remember from the first 3 seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and then recited the remembered dialogue while, at the same time, speaking the name of each U.S. President (including those under the Articles of Confederation), syllabically backwards, and with a little valley-girl raise in pitch at the end of each name. “cockhan John?” “dolphran tonPay?”, and so on.

It was through many decades of practice that I could clear my mind almost to forget the need to breath, and there was even a point when I ceased breathing for over an hour. My heart would beat, but at a pace so slow as to portray a state of hibernation. Then there was a moment, a fraction of a moment, when I stopped entirely.

I realized I was looking at myself. I was separated from myself by a half centimeter. It was amazing! I had finally done it! But I remained calm, thinking of the line Data says to get Tasha Yar into bed in “The Naked Now”, while trying to make it fit with the funniest joke, and onward to “werhowzeneye Dwight?”, and I caught myself, bringing my bodies further apart.

Only one of “me” was aware of my presence. I was looking at the meditating me, the one who had been doing this for so long. Oh, how old I had grown. How very long my hair and beard had become. I’m surprised that Sarah had put up with me for all these years, but where was she? I realized then I had misplaced her, of a sort. She had left me, years ago, and I didn’t even know when it was.

It was at that point I fell apart. I started to cry, to heave, to moan with my very being. I had wasted my life, wasted my hopeless and empty life for this thing, and what did I have to show for it?

Something started to happen just then. I felt myself moving, backward in time. Rushing onward and backward, and I felt the years flying off me so quickly and so readily. Buildings slipped away from me, music and hairstyles dated themselves, and back I fell until I was in early 1980. I was finally there.

Well, it took all my courage to go to L.A. at that point. But I had to go. I was somehow in my early 20’s, I still maintained my long hair, and I knew I could fit in with the crowd, at least in look.

I realized then that I had no money. I would have to find some way to L.A. without cash. So I found a job at McDonald’s.

It wasn’t so bad at first. See, my first real job was at McDon’s. Of course, I was fired from that job for not showing up on my scheduled days, but it wasn’t really my fault though. I just couldn’t keep the days straight. Well, things would be different this time…of course, they made me cut my hair for employment. Which sucked. I realized after the fact I should have just gotten a job at a used record store.

Eventually, after the summer was over, I saved up enough money for the trip to L.A.! By bus.

It was awful. The only clothes I could afford were my McDonald’s uniforms. And they were perpetually stinking with fry grease and mustard. But they would have to do, I had a dream to fulfill.

I got to L.A., and realized, even after all these many years, I had no idea where to find Metallica, or the members who would later form the band. It took almost a year to find everyone, and by that time they had already formed.

During the time it took to find the band, I realized I had to eat, and I had to earn enough money for taxi fare and busrides in order to find the band. So I got a job at McDonald’s.

It was far worse than it ever was in the midwest. It was horrible. Disgusting people, co-workers with zero work ethic. I was going out of my mind, when I finally got a lead: THE AD! I was looking through a newspaper (sitting on the parkbench I usually got to sleep on for a couple hours a night, when I wasn’t running from the cops or someone trying to mug me), and I found the ad that Dave Mustaine would answer, for Metallica! Yes!

I quickly got to the audition, bringing a bag filled with cheeseburgers in with me. At first, no one wanted to go near me. But the smell of freshly fried meat pucks got there mouths watering. I soon endeared myself to these future arena gods.

It took some time, but I eventually got to know Dave Mustaine, and tried to befriend him. He wasn’t an easy guy to like, especially when he’s drunk, but I got to the guy. I got him to realize how much the other guys were hating his antics, and eventually, over time, through zen meditations and yoga, I got him to mellow out. His playing suffered at first, but eventually he was able to balance his energy, and he became the most well-liked member of the band.

And then, after the years started to cruise by, and I became a roadie for the band (and a trusted friend), I realized the dark task I would now have to accomplish. One by one, I would move one member of the band to the place Cliff Burton was laying in the bus, and one by one that person would die.

Heartless? Yes. And very wrong. These were my friends, after all. How could I even think of doing this? “For Science.”, I would sadly say to myself. “…for science.”

How hollow that statement became over time. How dark and hollow I became. But still, I performed the task, over and over. The first time, it was Lars. I let him go, and then I carried on while they found a new drummer, with the blessing of his family. I stayed with them, through the years, the haircut, the post-grunge revolution in sound. And then, after a time, as the band started to decline again, I would go back in time the same way I had the first time, to the bus again, and this time I would take James. And Dave.

Finally, I set things back to where they were before. I left Cliff to die again.

As far as the results? There was one time, one episode of time travel, where the band simply broke up. One time they became twice the band they are today, and another time, half the band. And one time they became essentially the same. As far as the details of each version of events goes…I’m not going to tell you. I don’t think any of it, in the end, was truly worth it. So, I’ll just leave it to you to decide.

I don’t recommend time travel, really. I’d stick to just being right here. You try to go back, to change things, and everything always sort of ends up the same way. It’s better to just leave things just as they are.

….and that’s what the “other” me told me. See, I didn’t personally travel in time. Well, I did, but I met an older, much sadder version of myself, the one who had already done it, for the sake of some sick satisfaction, some curiosity in what version of Metallica would be best. And the other me, just by the look in his eyes, made me realize that I didn’t want to go along that path.

So I’ll just finish my sushi rolls and go along another train of thought entirely.

Does anyone else like “Pearls Before Swine” as much as I do? It has to be the best comic strip in the history of comics, besides Calvin and Hobbes of course. It’s just amazing, so dark, yet so funny. I’m a fan, hardcore.

Annnnd that’s about all I got for tonight. Have a great week, and don’t forget the wasabi!

– Aaron

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Casino

As I got out of my car, I noticed this casino was different from the others. It was a riverboat, like the others, but only of the vaguest sense. Since it was only originally legal to have casinos on a riverfront under city law, the casino was a permanently landlocked boat, swaying only very slightly beneath one’s feet.

Even from the outside it was difficult to tell where the dock ended and the casino began. It appeared to be one solid casino hotel, almost made of lights in the decadence of everything a casino represents. Like moths to a bugzapper, although the casino was thoughtful enough to keep those bugs alive, to continually fleece them of their hard earned dollars, over and over again.

The entryway was pleasant enough. Beautiful even. A large lightboard broadcast an old INXS video, which was a nice touch. I suppose their oldest demographic kept on dying off, and a new level of user needed to be introduced.

Surrounding the entryway were a fine restaurant (with a highroller section, to be sure), a bakery with all kinds of high class breads and pastries, and a giftshop that looked like it would belong at an airport. It was pottery with cheap gold-painted accourtraments, knick-knacks of the city of origin, and other useless crap.

At the far end of the main hall, as it were, were two roads to travel. One led to the casino royale. The other led to the arcade.

See, there was $20 burning a hole in my wife’s pocket. I knew that the casino was going to own that $20 by the end of the night. I would have preferred the arcade, but this was truly her show. I was there to be with her. And so though the left entryway, the sinister entrance, we walked through to cacophony.

Casino. Mostly slot machines, chiming loudly, screaming out words like, “Big Money!”, and “Play Monopoly!”, and other mindlessness. And at nearly every one, people of all walks of life, the elderly retired couples, the truckers in from a haul, the bikers fresh off the road, the factory worker in for a lucky break. A cloud, a film of nicotine washed over me, caking my whole body in a slimy film from the start. I felt it, smelled it, tasted it over me.

My wife leading me through this mass of people walked us past several rows, and thankfully found a staircase to the next second level. The air cleared noticably as we walked through the smogbank. The air was still not pure, but it contained probably half the carcinogens of the first floor.

Circling for a short time, we centered upon a pleasant machine, the Double Diamond. It is a machine that holds a nice place in our hearts, for we found a really kind machine back in Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace casino, where we won over $150, paying for all of our meals on that trip.

This one was not nearly as kind. After a short time, the dollars dwindled to a scant half of where we started. With a cash-out, we were on our way to the next stop.

The animated nickel slot machine. Much like an arcade game, with friendly little cartoon characters, it more kindly removes the money from your wallet. But it is a lot of fun, in the end. This slot machine held a bank-robbing motif. There was a color screen where the action took place, but up above there was what looked like a vault mixed with a powerball chooser. There were probably 30 balls in the glass cage, all waiting for the right moment to start stirring up.

It took about 20 plays before my wife scored the right combination, and the bingo balls started stirring up. Noises and lights brought attention to our machine, as onlookers watched to see what would happen. As it turned out, not much. She ended up winning the equivalent of six dollars.

It wasn’t long before the six, when added to the eleven we had left from before, dwindled down below six total. And it was about this time that I had enough. The cleaned-up air was better, but I was starting to feel worse with every passing minute. The noise, the crowds of people, I was done.

I told my wife I had to step out, to return to the front entrance, and I left her there in the casino, abandoning her. What was supposed to be a fun couple activity, one of the few experiences we shared besides the latest reality tv show, and I bailed.

Upon reaching the lobby, I had a coughing fit, which lasted nearly half a minute. My throat, raw with the smoke, even over a short time.

My wife came out a few minutes later, having donated the rest of her money to the well oiled machine. She looked concerned, but was relatively silent. We walked, holding hands, out to the car, and she drove us home.

That is probably the last time I will go to a casino. It is simply not for me. And I feel bad, because she clearly enjoys the experience, even though the end result is usually the same. It is something that I will never be able to share with her.

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New Stuff

Well, I’ve had a bit of a burnout, or meltdown, or whatever you want to call it.

After a recent visit to Sioux Falls, I didn’t run for a couple days. Then I started to get sick, and I didn’t even walk. Then, I got a chest cold, and wham…I’m a week plus without any mileage, I feel like crud, I called in sick for the first time in a very long time…and now I went to Weight Watchers this morning, and I’m down to 230 pounds, finally.

Wait, what? Yeah, apparently without the musclemass weighing me down in my legs, I’m down to 230.0. WW thinks I’m down 15.6 pounds, when in actuality I’m down 14.0. Oh well, I’ll correct them next time.

This should be happy news, but I’m serious when I say the lack of musclemass helped me out. It’s a little disconcerting, so whether or not I’m still sick tomorrow, I’m going to walk at least 3 miles.

Anyhow, that’s about it for now. My sick fish is still (barely) in the land of the living. It’s very sad…his buddy actually nudges him up to the food, which is very sweet. I’ll say a prayer for them tomorrow. For fish, I know.

Have a good one. There’s a bunch more back-stock Kraznoy archives here now, including my Christmas hospital stay with my wife.

-A

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The Ride

I’m working on my blog, and I hear the faintly musical tune telling me the phone is ringing. Somewhere. I scurry to find it before the 24 seconds are up, and the call travels to the gated community of voicemail.

I find the phone in about 23 seconds, under a pile of clothes I wore yesterday. Sick with a cold, I dropped everything from where I stood next to my bed, crawled under the covers, and found sleep almost immediately last night. It had been a horrible day yesterday, and I wasn’t really in the mood to take calls. But I suspected I knew who was calling.

“Hey baby.” It was my wife, who I hadn’t seen today. She had left when I was still very unconscious. She had woken me once in the night to have me take some medicine, but otherwise I was in another world.

With the time of day she was calling, I suspected I knew what she wanted, although I sort of dreaded it.

“Hey sweetie. What’s going on?” I sounded cheerful enough, although my voice still a low growl. Maybe it sounded sexy to her, I didn’t know.

“Well, I was wondering if you wanted to join me for lunch.” There it was. It meant me leaving the house. And joining her for lunch also meant me driving. A long ways. For her to be able to take a lunch break meant she had to stay close to the store. A retail manager meant she had to babysit everyone in the place.

She worked on the other side of town, about 45 minutes away. That meant about 90 minutes eaten out of my day for the trip. When I hadn’t even left my room to grab a bite to eat, she wanted me to drive up to see her.

“Sure, I’ll come up there.” I knew it was for my own good, despite the fact I didn’t want to go. It would be good of me to get out of the house for a while, I told myself.

There was a little more smalltalk, which I auto-piloted my way though. I picked where we would eat, within 4 blocks of her store. She picked the time, and I planned out a strategy to get there right on time. All was set.

I quickly got ready, ran downstairs, almost stepping on the neighbor’s annoying sheltie dog, a stupid yappy mini-Lassie that would rather push Timmy into the well instead of saving him.

I circumvented the neighbor’s glaring look and jogged outside. The sun was too bright, and my sunglasses were in the car. I covered my eyes with a hand, walking near-blindly to the old Saturn, opened it up, and slid behind the wheel.

The seat shaped nicely into me, feeling like another pair of bluejeans. I leaned back, took a steep breath, and felt better than I had indoors. A turn of the key brought an old Rolling Stones song to my ears. Two points for me now. I actually smiled.

I reached behind my seat, grabbed one of my pairs of cheap sunglasses, and slid them on my head. Pulling off the silver windshield visor and plunging my once dark car into the light, I shifted into reverse, and started on my way.

Looking over my shoulder, I saw something on my car. A little strange…probably some birdshit that would come off in the coming rain tonight. As I backed up, the lump…twitched. I backed up so I was pointed straight down the parking lot lane, threw it into park, and got out.

On my trunk was one large frog. About the size of my palm, without the fingers. He was looking up at me, seemingly without fear. I was in a hurry, so I reached down to pluck him from the trunk lid, when he snapped at my finger. I recoiled quickly…I had never experienced a frog or toad acting in offense before, only acting defensively or simply hopping away.

I had no tools readily available to pluck him from the trunk lid, so I simply left him there. I was still in a hurry, and I didn’t want to be late.

I got back into the car, shifted into drive, and started slowly down the sloping parking lot. The frog maintained a hold, looking back at me from his perch with his little black eyes, glaringly. I put down my foot, entering the street we lived on, and pushed it up to 30 miles an hour. The frog hung on, shifting slightly as I made a turn, but otherwise without any sense of urgency.

I pushed it on to 45 and 65 as I drove onto the highway on-ramp to meet my wife. The frog stayed aboard, and I thought it might make for a good story.

It was the loud thump on my roof that shook me out of my reverie. A small dent had formed about 3 inches to the right of my head, and as I looked into the rear view mirror, a small bloodied form bounded down my back window, bouncing and flopping down the roadway behind. I looked back ahead, and a cloudburst had formed, seemingly out of no where. Less than a quarter mile ahead of me, a deluge of rain was dropping down from the sky. Cars were slowing ahead in the swirling mass of water, but I drove ahead through the rain. I had driven through far worse in the cold midwestern winters, a little rain was not going to kill me today. I thought for a short time about the hail that had hit my roof, but it too didn’t bother me. It was an old Saturn with good insurance.

Another mile down the road and another thump, this time on the right side of my hood. And this time I could see what had hit my car. A crumpled green and red form, but with the unmistakable back legs of a very large frog. Fully 5 inches across, it was flopping in the wind, but somehow trying to make its way to me. A lopsided jump, and it landed on my windshield.

Now, I have no idea now how the frog would ever be able to reach me, but still I panicked. The windshield wipers came on, striking the frog but not moving him more than one inch before jamming on his heavy little form. It took my car’s entrance into the raining deluge finally to dislodge him from the glass and send him spiraling into the gray nothingness that was forming behind my car.

I decided not to look back to see what had become of my first friend, only forcing myself to drive faster on this roadway. I could feel the tires beneath me lift up with hydroplaning, but still I drove, wanting to meet my destination that much faster. The rain didn’t let up for 20 minutes, and only then did I finally break through.

My exit. Her exit. I was almost there when it happened.

Another frog. Only a 2-incher, but it landed right in my view, on the windshield. A tiny crack had formed, and as I looked up, one tiny eye rolled in my direction, meeting my two eyes, as it faded into death and nonbeing. A second later another frog, on my roof, striking near the same spot as the first, almost shaking me off the road entirely. I started to veer toward the exit when a third, a forth, a fifth – I lost count, a hundred frogs suddenly started to rain down on me. Frogs cracking the glass, blanking out the headlights, driving down upon me like hammers in the metal and plastic. The corner panels disintegrated under the force, and I could feel the suspension on my car being driven down under the weight. Still the momentum kept me driving onward, but the bodies beneath the tires, started to force the car to lose traction, to lose its way. I lost control, and drove over the embankment.

I came to few minutes later, I think. I don’t know how long it was. But the rain of frogs had stopped, as had the storm. I turned off the ignition of my dead car, having stalled out upon running headlong into a large pine tree. I unlatched my seatbelt, slid out of the car, and mindlessly flipped the “lock” button on the key fob without thinking. Surprisingly, it still worked, and I pocketed the keys.

I turned around and looked at the car. It was covered in a greenish red slime with various small limbs and organs mixed up in the thick soup of stalled life. A few forms still twitched here and there as their stubborn souls had not left their little bodies. I turned away, horrified, and started to make my way up the hillside.

The hard rain had made traction a laughable thing, and several times I found myself nearly face-down in the mud, sliding back down toward the car. It was several minutes before I found my footing, and grabbing onto roots and sapling limbs I pulled and hitched myself up over the edge, and into the eyes of the frog once again.

It almost had to have been the same frog as the first, although I told myself it couldn’t have been. None of this could have been, but it was the same one none the less. It leaped at me before I could react, and it found a mouthhold on my right ear.

I could feel the cartlidge fail beneath the steel trap mouth of the frog, and I screamed in pain and anger. I balled up a fist, hitting mostly my own cheek, but also a good deal of the frog’s small body, but still it held. I willed myself up for another strike, when I lost my balance and fell backwards down the steep incline, sliding and tumbling back down to the car.

The frog dislodged itself from my ear, and I quick recoiled away from it, sliding almost crab style, pushing my legs from my body as my butt slid on the muddy ground. A small yelp escaped me as my back hit my car’s rear bumper, and it took a moment before the moment of dread filled me.

I looked up, and felt before I saw the mass of frog parts moving to wash over me. I felt the mass, the parts, the slick of their blood and moist parts wrap over my hair, my bleeding and crushed ear. It was a moment before I could react, so intense the feeling. I felt tiny mouths like an acid along my neck, felt the blood and organs locking down, holding my head tight. I tried to move, but my head was fastened to the car, stuck, and I was nearly helpless.

I looked up at the embankment, praying for help, but the lone frog was not alone. At least a hundred of his friends lined up along the edge of the roadway, waiting to visit me, to see me. And at my feet was their apparent leader, the lone frog, making small jumps toward my feet, its eyes always looking into my own.

I screamed a sigh more than a true scream, wasted in this abuse of reality. I tried to push against the flow of frogs with my feet once again, without fully realizing the onslaught of the ooze now locking my shoulders against my own faithful car. My left arm was completely stuck, slicked against the hard plastic, and my right was useless against this flood.

The army had slid down and were almost all the way to their leader by now. The head frog was just jumping slowly, just past the spot between my feet and reaching his way up to see me. He jumped up onto one leg, just jumping slowly and methodically, his eyes never leaving my own.

The ooze never fully penetrated my eyes or mouth, but it had made its way down to my neck and chest. I was frozen in terror that made any bondage completely unnecessary.

The leader ignored my crotch to a strange relief after the fact, but jumped down to my belly button, and stopped. The ooze had almost reached his feet, but he simply waited, either for his army or the blood jelly I’m not sure.

Something crossed my mind as the leader started to tense up, and I found my right hand reaching into my pocket once more. The frog was getting ready to jump, right at my eyes, when my hand wrapped itself around my keyfob, jamming my key between two knuckles.

I quickly swung up without thinking, just as the leader pounced, its army in a jumping charge to match the leader’s motion. My key arced up and hit the leader in the side, throwing him to the left and away from me, tumbling into the wooded dark.

The frog army hesitated, and so did I. I

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Sick Fish

Something funny…

When Sarah’s brother was in the hospital for an operation, I didn’t post it here. Yet, I have a sick fish, and *THAT* I post. Well, truth be told, I sent out an email for prayers for family/friends for Mike Shoultz, and he’s getting along just fine. See, he had a hernia operation, and it went swimmingly, as much as any operation really can.

However…I do have a sick fish. It looks like this:

His little swim bladder is off-kilter, and he’s started the spins which result shortly before a fish finally swims in that ocean in the sky. He’s been sick before, with some cottony growth on his scales. We dumped some meds into the tank for him, which is a lot of meds since it’s a 42 gallon tank. And it seemed to help. His color came back, he got more energy, and all was well.

Then last night, when we added 7 new fish to the tank, I noticed his swimming looked like a badly thrown football. It’s so sad to see. The two rosy-barbs are my favorite fish in that tank, besides Monstro the giant pleco.

If you feel like praying for a fish, feel free. We’re going to try to move him and his buddy, another rosy barb, into a separate tank to medicate and try to get him feeling better. Wish us luck, and any suggestions are appreciated.

– Aaron

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What’s Old is…still old

I pulled over about 20-30 posts from the old Kraznoy blog over to here, basically grabbing one post per month that blog was in existence, give or take a few. It’s fun to go back and see how much I didn’t like working retail, and how bad our Christmas last year really was. Our first Christmas as a married couple…stuck in a hospital. How utterly tragic. I should really dye my hair black and start taking tranquilizers, and writing some really dark goth poetry.

Regardless, there’s more for you to read, mainly under the “Kraznoy” tag. Some of it is disjointed, since it really relies on prior posts that I haven’t brought over yet, but whatever, you’ll figure it out. If you choose to read them all. Heck, I don’t even read much of them when I pull them over, but if you have the time, feel free. I think I’ll play a round of Nanaca Crash instead.

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Whimsical Stadium Placard Show

Things like this often make me wonder…what if we were to send this back in time, to say the middle ages, to show in front of a king and the royalty forthwith of England, France, or…wherever. What would they think? I mean, the precision involved to do this requires nothing short of computers to organize…but what if you could then take that show back and show it to them. Would they think it a form of witchcraft, or would they think, like I do, that it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen? Historically…this is an amazing, albeit whimsical, work of art. But this is truly art.

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Jason Demonstrates "The Bass!"

This is a demonstration of the range of a double-bass violin by Jason Heath, in terms even I can understand.

This is what one of the things I’ve always liked about this guy. For one thing, he’s enthusiastic enough about the subject to get someone like me, who has only a rudimentary idea of what the different forms of classical music are, or even how to play a stringed instrument, and actually gets me excited about the subject. I gorge myself on modern music these days, occasionally delving into a recording that’s *maybe* 50 years old, but only thanks to NPR.

And Jason seems to realize this. He didn’t pick some obtuse, showy, but physically demanding piece to demonstrate. He used a type of Spanish Flamenco tune, which is still somewhat physically demanding (at least to my eyes), but it’s something that a layman (me) would not expect to hear come out of an instrument like a standup bass. I easily find myself smiling to look at this, because that’s what Jason has had a knack for since I first heard him play this piece called “The Wolf” back in our college days. In that piece, you use spoken word, actual playing, and using the bass as a percussion instrument with knocks, slaps, and so on.

Even so…I still tend to get lazy and think of his instrument as a blend, the low end of the string department. Not low as in lowly, but low as in, “Oh, I can just pick out the bass, at the low end of my auditory spectrum.” Or something like that.

Now, I don’t post a lot of Mike’s or Jason’s items on here, simply for the reason that I really think you need to visit their blogs. They’re clickable over on the right-hand side of this blog (or for you Internet Explorer users, the wayyyy bottom right-hand side, stupid non-XML reading browser anyhow). I think as I actually start to write more on this blog, I’ll shake that habit and simply post and comment on various videos / etc of my friends, along with other sprinklings of inklings I find along the way.

Without further ado (if you haven’t already viewed it), here’s Jason’s Bass demo.

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We need to protect our children.

President Bush and the Great Zombie Speech

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Such Great

http://www.beohm.com/identica/abc/suchgreat.mp4

Note: I removed the embedded Quicktime Player option for this video because it was crashing peoples’ browsers, both Firefox & IE. Sorry for the prob there folks.
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The Future…Is In The Past.

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Joke.

A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table.
He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to talk with her.
Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket towards the man.
He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.

Oh my , I am so sorry, ” the woman says as she pops her eye back in place.

“Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you, ” she says.

They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theater followed by drinks.
They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his. She listens.
After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast.
They had a wonderful, wonderful time.
The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings.
The guy is amazed! ! Everything had been SO incredible! !!

“You know, he said, you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet? “

“No, she replies. . . . . “.
“You just happened to catch my eye.”

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Some Junk Posts

Okay, none of these are really “junk”, per se. I love every one of the links I pick up along the way. It’s just that I don’t have any commentary except what the posts say, I suppose.

That Crazy Laughing Baby

True Stories, Told In One Sentence

Flagpole Sitta! (My favorite song for the time being)

Think Geek: My Favorite Place to Make My Birthday List (my wife wouldn’t let me put these on our wedding registry…)

Jeff Bridges: His Cool Blog

Long Hairs UNITE!

Top 10 Worst Sci-Fi Shows Ever

Phoenix Wright: Boot To The Head

The World Without Us

Top 15 Banned Literary Classics

Very Apt Quote by Buddha

Calvin & Hobbes Snowman Comics

Important Infrequently Used Words To Know

Arfed-up Photoshopped Animal Combos

Super Mauryo Bros

Some Tired Old Internet Humor

Slightly Bent E-Cards

How To Memorize Anything

Boomshine (simple fun game)

Top-10 Incorrect Truths About Human Nature (Psychology Today)

You Don’t Know Jack: The Online Version

Ex-Atheist Describes A Near Death Experience

Computer Stupidities (mostly text)

A Tribute to Every Video Site

Mr Picassohead!

Jay Leno goes Barry White

TV Theme Songs

Scary Maze Game tribute

The Badly-Animated Cats play Lightsabre Blues (profane language)

Why Star Wars Fans HATE Star Wars

Easy Cheezy Matrix Effects at Home

Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Mr. Lee’s Cat Cam

Good Sci-Fi Movies You May Have Missed

Passive Aggressive Notes

Online Gamers and Their Alter-Egos (which is why I don’t play…)

Index of a Good Running MP3 Playlist

K-Love (with a webradio link)

Time To Say Goodbye (vid)

PDF’s of all of Isaac Asimov’s Greatest Books (but why don’t you just BUY them?)

Wooden Marble Adding Machine

I Like You!

Monoface: A Great, Simple, Fun Way to Kill Five Minutes

Kick-Ass Avatars of the Universe

What if that guy from Smashing Pumpkins lost his car keys by Stephen Lynch (caution, f-bomb)

Cat Facts: Trivia (text mostly)

The Skeptical Christian

Cat: Tight Squeeze (vid)

Cat’s Jamming to Various Types of Music

Smoking Timeline

Fun Shirts

Rockpedia

Cliche Finder

Great Dark Comic Strip

Why Americans Should Never Be Allowed To Travel (text only)

Lego Artist

The Case of Kirk v. Picard

Shockwave Band, very simple and fun.

Sex of Biblical Proportions

CMJ Back Issues (this one is for my own benefit. You better skip this one.)

Dilbert Blog: The Day You Became A Better Writer

Questions your Pastor would hate…

Dress up Floppie, the Banjo Clown!

Barrelhouse Blues

I’ve never even played Halo and I know how much time it took to do this stuff. Insane but very cool.

Creative Ads

Beautifully Simple Sign Language Alphabet Guide

WinXP Tips and Tricks

Macabre Drawings of the 1800’s

Great Cartoon Commentary on Life in a City

Nice Girl (Dad, you’ll like this one.)

Double Your Gas Mileage! Only 25% Bulls**t!

Weired Photos

The best FutureMe post ever.

Hey, it’s The Clash

100 Great Sci-Fi Short Stories

Blood Pillows

What’s special about this number?

Heartwarming Picture

The Alphabet of Horror

I’m a Pirate!

100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know

A Fun, Lego-Style Zombie Top-Down Shoot-Em-Up Game

Tips on Building Up Mileage for Marathon Training

Paris Panorama

And that’s it. These are all of the links I had in my bookmarks folder. Yeesh, that’s a lot of spent time.

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Since I have a moment

I had a wonderful weekend up in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. But, like always, I was rushed, I didn’t get to see my friends (only family), and it feels like I just left.

I only get home to Sioux Falls once a month if I’m lucky. This time, we drove up Thursday night to Sioux City, stayed overnight, did the 3-mile walk DVD (which I haven’t written about yet, nope nope), and got to help out Sarah’s brother (who, by the way, is doing just fine. And I just realized I emailed everyone about his condition, but I didn’t blog about it here…..)

Oh, by the way, Sarah’s brother Mike had a hernia-repair operation last week. He got through it just fine, although he’s still rather sore. He was at home on Friday, and Saturday he was walking around…slowly, but still upright.

Train-of-thought derailments aside, it was a great time. Horrible rain (much like I’m having right now, in fact), but a great time.

Saturday we drove up to Luvurne, Minnesota for the wedding. An outdoor wedding…remember the rain? It missed the wedding site by less than 5 miles (except for some sprinkles). It was great, it went off without a hitch, and everyone had a great time. Congratulations to the Tovars! And I still haven’t found that bunny…and awesome job talking your way out of that ticket Jody. On your wedding day…at least you have a story.

Sunday, we drove over to Sioux Falls. That city, I’ll say it again, is just exploding with growth. On all sides, it’s nuts! One of my old houses is gone (1118 s. West Ave., so now I can use that as a fake address for spamable websites), the water tower across the street from another old house is gone (at 52nd St. & Louise Ave….the lot is now 2 new houses in a 40-year-old house neighborhood)…the place is changing so much.

So thank God for Mister Bendo!!!

I had a lot of fun. A beer with my Pop, some good conversation with Sarah’s friends (at the Portis’ house), and dinner with my family at the restaurant Sarah & I went on our first date (Rio Bravo…now called Chevy’s). It was just a good relaxing time.

Today I got to work before the severe rainstorm hitting Omaha. While on break, I checked out the site Locks For Love, and while my hair is pretty long now (I haven’t cut it since May), I have to wait until it gets to be 10 inches long before I can donate my hair. Actually, the ponytail has to get that long. Which means, oh….January 2009. Sheesh. Maybe I’ll just cut it now, I’m not sure. I mean, the whole Prefontaine look is appealing, but there’s limits…

Anyhow, I’m done with break. Have a great week, and I’ll update the jogblog soon.

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The Best Game…(ever)

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Taranis Blog (now defunct)

Here lies all of my pretentious writings of yesteryear. Feel my unfounded glory.

Old page: elusivedragon.blogspot.com

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The Garbage Dump is No More

Yes, an other blog bites the dust. Aaron’s Garbage Dump is now included in this blog, under the “Dump” tab. And to those who’ve commented, yes, I know the tabs don’t highlight yet. It’s part of the “activenavitab” feature that I haven’t bothered to work out yet.

Also, the old posts for my jog blog are hiding, until I can get them included on this blog. The link to them is aaronburman2.blogspot.com.

So this leaves only the jogblog and Kraznoy to go. Time’s a wasting!

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Last post of the evening

Well, there’s a ton of wasteful posts in the Construction area of this blog. But this is the last one for tonight. Now I can tinker away, stripping my poor little blogs in order to feed this beast.

Thanks to all of you who commented over the months. I’m sorry I didn’t see your comments, but hopefully with this mass-consolidation, I’ll be a little more forthright in responding to you.

Oh, one last thing. This is now officially Kraznoy, and the old Kraznoy has been relegated to Kraznoy2. It’s a little sad, but I’ll get over it.

Thanks for the support everyone. It was a long, hard, ardorous journey, and I acted like one of the Three Stooges trying like hell to get one of those long 2×4’s though a doorway, when I should have just pointed it straight and walked right on through. Oh well, you can see how many times I butted against the walls with how many “construction” linked posts there are.

But I have to say…I didn’t give up. I felt stupid. In fact, I felt like a complete fool, and yet I posted every mis-step, and I just kept on going when I had the time to do so. I think having this site finally up and going is like a nice little tootsie roll for my long hours spent basically getting crushed under the simplistic roadblocks that seemed to prevent me from getting this site built up quite right.

If you have questions on the things I’ve gone over, I’m hardly an expert, but I can try to give you some pointers or good sites to check out, so you don’t have as difficult a time as I did.

Thanks again to everyone.

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Wedding Blog is Dead

Well, there really wasn’t a wedding blog to begin with, was there? I’ll do it later. Probably on the first anniversary. Sorry folks.

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Randomhelpfulhints.blogspot.com is available

I hath just kilt my Helper blog. All posts for that blog are now located under “Helpful Hints“. One down, a few to go.

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My poor logo…

Well, my logo is, technically, linked up to this blog, but it ain’t displaying. I have it in the right place, but it’s not cooperating. Oh well, I’ll get to it later. Until later, it’ll be located at http://lh4.google.com/image/aarona1c/Rj6aQDkdjFI/AAAAAAAAAIg/7ekTrm4jPzg/k2.jpg

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Nope, I’ve got it.

I was able to change my navitab to point to a search function either built into HTML or Blogger. I don’t know, I don’t care which. It’s there. Now I can yoink Jason’s links off the page. Thanks anyhow, Jas.

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Okay, so I don’t quite have it

I have the link-version of what I want. I’m still convinced I’m a single line away from gettting the navitabs to work. Wish me luck.

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I’ve Finally #*$&@# Got It!!!

Hmm…those of you using blogger, look on the bottom of the post screen. Wow. It should have gnoshed my nose off of my face for how close it is. “Labels for this post”. Neat-o. Now the long laborious process of porting several blogs-worth of data into one blog. Woohoo!

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It seems to be the only way I learn is by

RIPPING OFF OTHER PEOPLE’S WEBSITES!!

Sorry Jason. I, again, grabbed a chunk of your code (quite obviously) and stuck it in my blog. See, that’s what they teach you in programming classes though. If you can’t figure it out, swipe enough of the code from someone else’s program that you can make your program work.

I’ve grabbed all of Jason’s links, just because. I guess I only really needed maybe 2 of them, but it was just easier this way. So, a whole bunch of stuff at the top of my blog now links to his website. Nice.

I’m at the point where, if I click one the one link in that list that’s actually mine, I get back to my blog…with no items on it. I’m close. I’m 1/2 of the way there. Now I need to figure out how to put that label on each one of my posts.

Anyone ever seen the movie “All Of Me“? It’s Steve Martin and the other lady from 9 to 5. You know, the one who wasn’t Dolly Parton or Jane Fonda. No, not Dabney Coleman. The other one. You know, what’s her name. Yeah, you know the one.

Anyhow, there’s a scene from that movie where they’re trying to take the soul of “What’s-her-name”, and put it into this bowl. Steve Martin and some Indian (dot, not feather) guru are saying almost in sync, “Put Adweena…back-in-bowl! Put Adweena….BACKINBOWL!” I’m reminded of that line over and over as I try to get my links to work.

I’ve decided navitabs aren’t working quite right, so I’m going to add list items and make them look like Navitabs…or I’ll just link the navitabs to the list items, I don’t know. But once I got list items on the blog, and I renamed one of them “JOGBLOG!!!”, I keep going, “Put the link back to Jogblog! Put the link BACK INTO JOGBLOG! PUT JOGBLOG BACK TO THE FREAKING LINK!!!

Anyhow, I thought I’d share. I shall now pause to restart my newly purchased Milli Vanilli CD. Girl, you KNOW it’s true.

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Testing…

I’m going to try grabbing the very first post from each of my blogs, and trying to attach them to tabs / labels, through much trial an error. Wish me luck.

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(chorus:) "Laius!"

I don’t quite fit in, never have. It might be self-fulfilling prophecy, but I find, time and time again, that I get into a situation, one of those square holes, round peg. When I realize I’m a little overwhelmed, I start talking to myself. Essspecially when I’m in the car. I have entire conversations, and sometimes full-blown theatre plays, in various styles, with only myself as the final witness. I may be doing the best acting I’ve ever done, things that would impress any…well, let’s be serious, I might impress a regional theatre director specializing in Summer plays for old retired couples who might have actually seen Cole Porter on the streets of New York that one time back in ’42, but they were never sure it was really him.

Sometimes I try kabuki, although I am such a moron as to not know the proper way of actually “doing” kabuki other than simply yelling out the words in a terribly over-exaggerated Asian accent. Not a racist-Asian, mind you. More like the pronunciation of the words in Street Fighter II. HaaaaaDOKEN! You know what I’m saying.

Once in a while, because I’ve actually seen this performed (on stage, shot on video, mind you), I like to take parts from that old-timey Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex, with Sir Lawrence Olivier. Mostly, I like to act out parts of my day, such as, “I, myself, decided to take that call from that rather nice lady….with-the-comical-British-accent, and I said upon her….(whispering)it’s your modem.”

(CHORUS) IT WAS HER MODEM! IT WAS, FOR SOOTH! THE MODEM!

…aaaand so on. However, when I’m just lying to myself, like when it’s been a horrible day at the office, and I am trying to cheer myself up, I imagine the chorus chanting:

(CHORUS) LAIUS! YOU KILLED LAIUS!

I guess because it sounds similar to Liar, I suppose.

I’m not really going anywhere with this. If you’re losing track…well, you’re right where you started so I wouldn’t worry about it. If you’ve actually hung in there this long, I salute you. But you’ve just wasted 5 minutes of your day. Maybe you should have just taken that time to go to your car, drive to McDonald’s, and order yourself a nice iced coffee. Unless McDonald’s is, like, 30 minutes away. Then I suppose you’ll just have to grab that last Diet Dr. Pepper from the fridge, although you were sorta saving it for your girl. Or guy. I guess I didn’t think many women would actually read this site for some reason, but maybe there’s one or two. Who knows.

I guess the point I’m trying to make from all this is that it’s been a really rough week this week. And it’s not because I worked on Sunday. It’s because it just plain rode me hard and sent me back to the stables all torn off, my right hoof all but destroyed.

How do I get past this now? I don’t really drink anymore. Even wine is a rare luxury, although I have a nice supply. Beer, pshh, I love it but it’s horrible for me. I feel like I’m down below the water table lately, and I’m working furiously to stop the pumps from failing.

Take my running, for instance. I just had a major meltdown, and I stopped running for nearly a week. Tonight, I finally ran for 4 miles, but it took 1:11 to complete.

It hurt. I mean, it didn’t hurt my joints, but my limits severely diminished in a week. But I realized earlier today, when I was still in the middle of my day, what was getting me so down.

Running is my anti-depressant. It’s that magic pill that I take, on a (semi-)regular basis that makes me feel oh-so-much better. And when I don’t take it, things start to fall apart. “The center does not hold.”, and all that.

I ran inside on a treadmill over at the cable company. It was nice and fairly cool, on a very old and clunky machine. I got the job done, and for the first time since last weekend, I feel genuinely good again. It did the trick.

I don’t mean to have a total flip-flop in attitudes on this post, but it took me 3 days to write this. A little sad? Nah. I hope you’re having a good week, and I hope you remembered today’s a Holy Day, you Catholics.

– Aaron

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