Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Charlatans’s Lament

Already a month into twenty-ten. And another nail in the coffin of the twenty-oughts. What a weird decade that was for me. I didn’t really care for that decade…and yet my entire military career, the meeting and the marrying of my wife, and the adoption of my two awesome cats all occurred in that decade. It must be like my parents and their remembrance of the 1970s.

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Weird music flash thingie

Click on all the pretty horses. [link]

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What happened here on January 5?

I was checking out my blog’s end-of-month stats just to see if I broke 10 viewers in any single day (it usually doesn’t happen), when I saw January 5…what in the world happened?

Ye wonderful graphs, how I love your peaks and valleys...

Oh yeah, Mickey Mouse. I should have known. So, my mention of the little rodent in today’s post will likely unnaturally skew the numbers up yet again. So, if you’re visiting this blog for the first time, Welcome! I…don’t know what else to say really. I have Ritz crackers. And some cans of Pepsi Throwback that I can’t drink due to a caffeine intolerance brought about by working an overnight shift and only sleeping 6 hours a day and basically wrecking myself so I can get through school…I also have this weird blister on my foot, I should upload some pictures…

Are the newbies gone yet? So, it’s just you and me? Good, they were really creeping me out.

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Presto-Change-o Magic Act

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Very Close Call

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Truly Tasteless Pillsbury Funny

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Weird Glitch with Super Metroid (SNES)

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Law of Averages

This is via bitsandpieces.

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Unicycle Hockey

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10 Geeky Laws That Should Exist, But Don’t

With references to XKCD and Tolkien, it’s worth a few minutes of your time. [LINK]

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What A Way To Go

via Bits & Pieces

Two guys meet up in a bar. The first one asks, “Did your hear the news – Mike is dead??!!!”

“Woah, what the hell happened to him?”

“Well he was on his way over to my house the other day and when he arrived outside the house he didn’t brake properly and boom – He hit the curb, the car flipped over and he crashed through the sunroof – Went flying through the air and smashed through my upstairs bedroom window.”

“What a horrible way to die!”

“No no, he survived that, that didn’t kill him at all. So, he’s landed in my upstairs bedroom and he’s all covered in broken glass on the floor. Then, he spots the big old antique wardrobe we have in the room and reaches up for the handle to try to pull himself up. He’s just dragging himself up when bang, this massive wardrobe comes crashing down on top of him, crushing him and breaking most of his bones.”

“What a way to go, that’s terrible!”

“No no, that didn’t kill him he survived that. He managed to get the wardrobe off him and crawls out onto the landing, he tries to pull himself up on the banister but under his weight, the banister breaks and he goes falling down on to the first floor. In mid air, all the broken banister poles spin and fall on him, pinning him to the floor, sticking right through him.”

“Now that is the most unfortunate way to go!”

“No no, that didn’t kill him, he even survived that. So he’s on the downstairs landing, just beside the kitchen. He crawls in to the kitchen, tries to pull himself up on the stove, but reached for a big pot of boiling hot water, whoosh, the whole thing came down on him and burned most of his skin off him.”

“Man, what a way to go!”

“No no, he survived that, he survived that! He’s lying on the ground, covered in boiling water and he spots the phone and tries to pull himself up, to call for help, but instead he grabs the light switch and pulls the whole thing off the wall and the water and electricity didn’t mix and so he got electrocuted, wallop, 10,000 volts shot through him.”

“Now that is one awful way to go!”

“No no, he survived that…”

“Hold on now, just how the hell did he die?”

“I shot him!”

“You shot him? What the hell did you shoot him for?”

“He was wrecking the place.”

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Michael Jackson’s Secret Music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3

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Read for Audiobooks

This is a fun site for those who wish to work on their radio or podcasting skills. Librivox has hundreds of free audiobooks for download, but they also need volunteers willing to read chapters in those selected books. All you need is free audio recording software like Audacity, and a microphone. It’s fun, regardless if you’re downloading like I tend to, or reading for a selected chapter in Alice in Wonderland, for instance. (link to Librivox, link to Audacity)

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Daily Crossword Puzzle

This is just a link to a good daily crossword puzzle. Enjoy. link

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Stories and such…

I just read a re-print of an article by Stephen King entitled Everything You Need To Know About Writing Successfully In Ten Minutes. It’s encouraging me to try writing something again. I’ll share my results. That’s about all I have to say for today, other than I’m looking forward to my mid-term on Thursday. If I cruise through it as quickly as I think I’m going to, I’ll not only Ace it, but I’ll get home 3 hours early. Not too shabby. Wish me luck.

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Mind over Memory

Neil deGrasse Tyson is just such a cool guy. He can dumb down the most complex ideas into terms that even I can begin to understand. This is from the Nova ScienceNow video podcast, that I unfortunately can’t embed, but feel free to watch here it at Wimp.com. link

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Martini Ranch – Directed by James Cameron

And starring about half the cast of Aliens.

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In My Words: Ah, the resolutions…

Since yesterday’s post was a bit…odd (Does “odd” work there? I think it might.), I thought I’d talk about something concrete, that almost everyone started at the beginning of this month. So, it’s been 19 days since you started on those resolutions. How are you doing?

I could say I’m doing great, for I simply resolved to come up with some resolutions by the end of January. And in the past few days, events have revealed a few of them to me.

For one thing, I started doing Daily Affirmations, ala Stuart Smalley. I figure if he can become the senator of Minnesota, they must work. So far, 19 days in, they are. I started by doing 1 push-up on January 1st, 2 on the 2nd, and so on. It’s small, but if I can maintain a habit and continually increase it, I might have a chance.

Second, I resolved to get rid of old resolutions that I have no ability to accomplish. I make up all this silly stuff for an Uber to-do list, and I never accomplish it. So many of these are going in the trash. Here’s a few:

1. Learn French, Spanish, German, Latin, Japanese, Portugese, Native Hawaiian, Polish, Swazi, Celtic, Korean, Russian, or any other freaking language from a country I may never visit.

2. Visit said countries this year. If I earn my degree this year (one of my resolutions I’m actually following through on), then I might be able to move into a job that’s defined by my degree, making more money, and thereby allowing me the choice of visiting another country on vacation with my wife. Until then, I am making no resolutions to visit New Guinea or Sweden.

3. I am making no aims to change the minds of people whose minds refuse to change. I’m mainly talking about thick-headed overtly political types among my family and friends. I have gone so far as to block a couple of them this week due to repeated requests at stopping any email forwards with a small amount of fact surrounded by a big cake donut of fallacy. They may feel free to use other family members or friends as buffers until those people get tired of it and choose to block them as well. It might be a dick-move, but it beats destroying something out of anger, or attending anger management classes. Because who has time for that?

4. I am not going to try to read a book a week, watch a movie a week, or any other goal that forces pleasure into a timeline. Some weeks are better than others, and the pleasure needs to come at its own pace. That sounded dirtier than I meant it to sound, but you get the idea. Instead of “mandatory fun” scheduling, I’m simply going to try to remind myself to read more, watch more movies, and avoid network television unless it’s Caprica. And then I resolve to watch every episode of Battlestar Galactica, of which I’ve watched, let’s see…oh yeah, I’ve never seen BSG. But I really want to.

5. …see, now I want to shift into things I actually resolve to do, so I’ll kind of merge these two ideas together: Resolve & Resolve Nots. I guess that could be a resolution. Either way, I want my next thought to have its own number.

6. I resolve not to spend a lot of time thinking about the things I cannot afford to buy. Or if I do spend the time, at least I can make it fun. I’ve spent the last several days updating my Amazon.com wish list. My list, called “Uber List”, consists of about 1200 items, and I’ve organized it so that the lowest “used” price for the items is given the highest priority. So if I need a fix, then I can spend once cent (plus $3.99 minimum shipping) and get something. It might be a 20 year old CD, a busted-up paperback, or a DVD, but it’s still something from my wish-list.

7. I resolve to drive nicer in traffic. I have to realize that, much to my dismay, I’m a great driver. But most other people are not. They don’t follow the rules, like allowing space between cars, driving faster in the left lane than in the right, planning a mile ahead of time instead of 100 feet ahead of time, and so on. I make liberal use out of my horn, and the “Thumbs-Up” sign. I picked this up from Mary Alice on the Food Network show “Ace of Cakes” to replace the middle finger. It’s classy, yet still gives the same message. But I resolve to allow a little more patience…but not much. People, get your heads out of your collective asses, and drive CONSCIOUSLY. Drive like you’re really in the car, and not somewhere else, either thinking about that dream last night, your to-do list, being on vacation, or “Pants On The Ground”.  If you do that, I’ll try to be nicer and not honk at you…as much. I’ll try.

8. I resolve to eat a little better. I’m not going to change my diet drastically, but I will simply eat slower and eat less. If I pause in the middle of my meal, I might realize that I’m full, so then I can save the remainder for the next meal. Also, if I have the choice between a medium and a large, I’ll choose the medium, even if I’m really hungry. I can always go back and buy something else if I’m still hungry. I know, my dead great-grandmother’s voice rings in my ears with “Clean Your Plate!”, but I’ll make the voice understand, someday.

9. I resolve to just be a little nicer. I’m anti-social as it is, thanks to the internet, MTV, and…me. I don’t take the time or the energy to talk to people. I’m pleasant-in-response, but I don’t reach out very often. I resolve to change this.

10. I resolve to…not make so many rules. Like the resolve-not list that turned into the resolve-to list. It’s more fun for me this way, so it stays.

Anyhow…that’s about all I have to say. I hope you’re living up to your resolutions. If you’re not, then figure out what you can’t change and ditch those resolutions. Or work harder, you lazy bum.

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Dreams and Skunks

I figured I should share…

(If you want to, you can skip this paragraph. I think I’m only adding this information as a point of reference years from now, when I look back on this blog, and marvel at what I used to do before having children.) First off, on average, I have been sleeping about 5 1/2 hours a day. My day, from Monday through Thursday, begins at 4:30 pm, when I wake up, get dressed, drive 45-60 minutes to school, attend there from 6pm until 9:30-10pm (depending on how generous the teacher is), then I drive another 45-60 minutes home. I spend about 60-90 minutes with my wife, usually napping with her since she works early in the morning, and we otherwise can’t sleep in the same bed at the same time. Then, I wake up at midnight, shower, shave, and get ready for work. I drive 30 minutes to work a night security job, where I complete whatever homework I have during my day. Then, at 9:00am, I leave, drive home (taking 45 minutes due to traffic), and sleep as much as I can.

Due to my limited sleep deprivation, I tend to bank up on sleep on the weekends, although sleep psychologists will be the first ones to point out that this doesn’t work, you can’t “bank up” on sleep. It doesn’t stop me. Perhaps I’m simply greedy for unrestrained sleep, sleep whose only limits depend upon whether I want to spend conscious time with my wife, or whether the smell of the cat litter box is enough to drive me to clean it. And so on.

And, due to my extremely long sleep times, I tend to have extremely detailed dreams. It’s as if my REM cycles are finally able to stretch, and I can blend all the thoughts I’ve collected during the week into a set of really trippy and realistic voyages into my noggin.

As such, my first major dream over the weekend was simply a thought that I had taken my job’s cellphone home with me. However, I “heard” the ringtone from the phone various times in my dream, and upon waking. By this time, another security employee was at my post, and so they would have discovered the cellphone missing, whereupon they would have called my boss, who would have called me. But for some reason I thought this might not be the case, but I was afraid to find out for myself. So, I spent the next 3 hours tense about it before I went back to sleep and into my real dream.

I dreamt that I woke up, or sobered up, for an instant. I was walking down the hallway, and it was dim, mostly dark, with only a yellowed lightbulb from the hallway. I had a single key on a plastic keyring with a metal loop. I unlocked the door, saw a bed in the dim light from the hallway, walked over to it, stripped quickly, and collapsed, passing out. I awoke to someone next to me, behind me. We were spooned, and an arm was draped over my waist. I looked down, noticing the first rays of sunlight penetrating the curtain of a hotel room I was in. I saw a bra on the floor, white, very thick and old fashioned, C-cup, laying down in a haphazard way, atop my clothes. I didn’t know where I was, but I knew that behind me was someone other than my wife. I was in trouble.

I very quietly slid off the bed to sit up, my head still woozy, when a voice said, “Good morning.”

“Uh, good morning.”, I replied, utterly panicked, but trying to keep my voice level.

“I gotta get going soon. Do you want the first shower?”

“No, I’m okay.” I don’t recognize her voice. It’s higher than my wife’s. I hear her rustle behind me, then get up from her side of the bed, the side facing the window. I see a vague outline of her pass the bed and walk to the bathroom. I see dirty blond hair, but I don’t see her face. I don’t recognize her.

I wait until she enters the bathroom and turns on the water before I quickly throw the bra aside, gather up my clothes, throw on just enough to be legally decent, and run out of the room. I get my shirt on a few rooms away, my shoes, I skip my socks, jamming them into my pockets, and I don’t have a coat with me. I don’t remember if I had one or not. As I run, I see signs for JC Penny and an arrow pointing down a hallway of the hotel or apartments. I notice then that the carpet is a short red shag pattern, while the walls are gold and brown designs. I’m in an old hotel, possibly late 1960’s, early 1970’s. I keep running, faster now that I’m wearing shoes, and I leave the hotel to try to figure out what’s going on.

I see a line of cars, all very old, but all looking brand new. The newest car I see is a Chevy Impala, I think, from about 1972. I know this because my family owned one when I was very young. This appears to be from before I was born. There’s a field in front of me, and more buildings about 1/2 mile away. The field is plowed, I don’t know what crop, and there’s a covering of snow, about 4 inches deep. I start to run across the field, feeling the wet cold of the snow penetrate my skin above my shoes, biting into my ankles, and…

…I wake up.

Later, I had the thought that perhaps this was the last day of someone who died before I was born, someone from one of my past lives. Perhaps that person had died of exposure, and perhaps I was the cause due to my flying into their pre-existing life and flying about without relaxing, checking out some identification, or asking some questions of the mystery woman who had been sleeping next to me. Perhaps she was my girlfriend or my wife. I’ll never know, and I might have just killed that guy.

I don’t know if I believe in past lives, but I have had dreams like this before. I dreamt once that I was about 4 years old, walking hand in hand with my mom, but not my real mom, just my dream mom. Or the 4 year old’s mom. We were walking across plank wood like in a gym, the wood a little uneven, and we were walking past rows of desks. I could smell the musty odors, the perfume on my mother, the humidity in the air. The dress of people was old, at least a hundred years. And I think the school is one that used to reside on my family’s farm near Salem, South Dakota. And the school was moved off the foundation at least 40 years ago.

Perhaps I’m just creative. I hope that I am…it’s reassuring to me to think that this is my only life, that my karma is self-contained in this lifetime, and won’t drag into future lives. I feel guilty for a lot of little things that, in the grand scheme of things, I wish I could forget. Things that don’t affect anyone other than myself at this stage in life. But I hang onto things, like loose change that I need to just drop off at the bank, turn into something I can actually use, and move on.

And speaking of moving on…

As far as skunks, in reference to the post title, there is a skunk that lives on this property. He (or she) is about 3 feet long from head to butt, not counting a tail almost as long as its body. The times I’ve seen it, the skunk has wandered past the front door o this building, just past the guard desk I man. I turn off the lights in this room on most nights since it’s easier for me to see what’s going on outside when the lights are dark. However, for once, I left the lights on last night. So after a few nights of me watching the skunk, the skunk could actually watch me.

I should note, as a random thought, that I have a beanie-baby skunk on my dash. I put it there as a totem, so that I don’t hit any skunks with my car on the way home. I see them once in a while, and so far I have avoided hitting any. However, perhaps the spirit of the skunks has identified me as someone who does not mean the general skunk population any harm, and thus has sent this skunk my way.

Whatever the case, I saw this skunk approach the front door, and I watched it watching me for about one minute before wandering off. I didn’t approach it, didn’t move really, so as to not scare it. Thankfully, it left without incident. I’d rather the front door to this building continues to live it’s door-like life without a spraying of skunk oil.

Anyhow, perhaps the preceding wasn’t worth sharing afterall, but there it is I hope you had a long and bountiful weekend.

– Aaron

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Bouncing Water

Raindrops in really slow motion actually bounce. Here’s the video, on Wimp.com. link

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Brazillian Entertainment

This has been passed around a bit, but it still makes me chuckle.

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Autotuned News: The U. N.

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The World’s Youngest Professional Cartoonist

This is pretty cool. I hope she has a long, fruitful career.

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Captain Forever

This is just a simple, kick-ass flash / ascii game. Have fun. [link]

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Nintendo Rodentia

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A Fratboy Reviews ‘Avatar’

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Pre-Spring Cleaning of the Bookmarks folder

Sorry if this stuff gets posted again later. I don’t remember what’s on the queue, and I don’t really feel like looking. So, here’s a bunch of random crap.

Lame Catchy Song #19,302

Addicting Song Zen

Awesome short animated film, ala Duck Amuck.

The cast of Spongebob Squarepants overdubs some classic movies in the original dialogue.

Silly scare-tactics commercial against same-sex marriage.

Gathering Storm commercial spoof.

Sarah Palin interview, edited for time.

Popeye in a cheezy cameo! Woo!1!11!!!1!! (wait til the end)

Chicken Techno

Holiday Survival

The TV Show

Creepy Human-like Robot Faces

Argentine Pepsi…er, Pecsi.

Well, that’s about enough for now. I hope you enjoyed the mass exodus from my bookmarks folder.

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Filed under Animals & Nature, Animation, Comics, Toons, Memes, Holidays, Japan, Music

Slipfinger

You should check out Slipfinger’s blog. See, he’s one of my favorite follows on Twitter, and I look forward to seeing what he has to say on a daily basis. Check him out here: slipfinger.wordpress.com.

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15 free really useful guides

Guides ranging from Movie-philes to iPhone assistance, to Twitter Etiquette. There’s a lot to look at here. link

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What should Barbie really be doing with her life?

Vote for Barbie’s next Job!

So, Mattel is letting the little girls (and swishy little boys) of the world decide what Barbie’s next career is going to be, from a list of 5 choices including Computer Engineer and News Anchor. While those are novel choices…I think there are so many more jobs she could be doing. If I was a whiz at photoshop, then I’d make a long and humorous post with photos of Barbie actually doing these jobs…alas, I don’t even have Photoshop. So here’s my list of great jobs for Barbie:

1. Sewage Treatment Plant Employee

2. Meat Inspector

3. Roadkill Removal

4. Power Lifter

5. New Jersey Governor

6. Fast food…except I think she’s actually held this job in a McDonald’s tie-in. I don’t know which is sadder, the fact that someone living in a freaking Malibu Dreamhouse has to sink so low as to work at freaking McDonald’s, or that I actually remembered that she once worked there!!

Okay, I’m feeling much less manly than I did at the start of this post. I need to look at videos of shit blowing up. See you later.

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Patton Oswalt likens Jay Leno to Richard Nixon

The best part is that he’s scheduled to be on Jay’s show this Monday!

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WOW…they aren’t supposed to do this

In World of Warcraft, there’s a certain early-level quest where you pick this guy’s pocket (Gamon). He’s like 80th level (or higher), and so if you actually try to attack him, you die, quickly. But what happens when you and 300 low-to-medium level pals decide to quest together, and wail on him? You get this:

via Topless Robot

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Ice Fishing in Canada

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Supporters of a War Tax

This Facebook group was started a little while back to bring up an interesting thought: Why shouldn’t we pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan now instead of passing it down for generations to come? A tax is intended to cover healthcare costs under the new push, so why shouldn’t we create a tax to cover the war, instead of using deficit spending?

I realize that additional taxes suck…but the alternative is much worse. Let’s take care of things now.

link

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My Cats’ New Horizons: The 2nd Floor

After 10 days, both of the cats finally figured out there’s more than 1 floor in this house. It’ll blow their little minds when they figure out there’s 3 floors. Man, these cats were messed up in their prior life….(okay, English Nazi, figure this one out for me. If both the cats collectively had the same living arrangement before I let them into my home, would it be prior “life” or prior “lives”? You can see which one I chose. I did this so as to not infer that they had many lives previous to mine…which they could have. I mean, they are cats. The could have had 8 lives prior to this one and still be running around. I don’t know quite how that works though. It must be a Buddhist thing crossed with a Super Mario thing. You’re going to come back, life after life, but you only get 8 lives total…and you have to come back as a Cat every single time. It’s the 9-Scottish-Fold-Path. Anyhow, yeah, I probably lost the English Nazi a mile or so back, but if you’re still in the game, help me out. Thanks.).

So…where was I? Oh yeah, I had to finally reach quick and pick up one of my cats (something they haven’t voluntarily let me do so far…but it went well, no struggle), took her upstairs and showed her it was okay to go to the top of the steps. It was encouraged in fact. Now she just keeps on zipping up to this floor, then back downstairs, doing laps. Which she could use, because she’s kind of a pudgy kitty. Being a low-rider Munchkin cat with legs only about 1/2 as long as a regular cat, any extra weight means that she’s scraping the pavement everytime she climbs the steps. Which might have been part of what stopped her before. Thankfully it’s not stopping her now. It’s kind of like having cats all over again, as they slowly dominate this house. Since possession is 9/10 the law, this will be their house shortly. Which is okay, as long as they remember where to scratch their claws, and where the bathroom is. Word to the wise on the former statement: if you have a cat, and you have a nice couch, you’re gonna need to have a scratching post or one of those cardboard scratching things, and a supply of catnip, in order to detour your cat into the right direction.

I wish I had a good closer, but my cats are looking at me now. I must obey.

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The Most Influential Websites in the World

Yeah…I don’t see DakotaEast anywhere on this list. Oh well. link

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Accidental Geography #2

There are some amazing coincidental geographical features to be found in everyday life. link

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Banned Books Online Library

This is a simple text-based website with links to downloadable .PDF’s or HTML pages containing many banned books from such authors as Voltaire and James Joyce. Enjoy the reads. link

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Science vs Superstition

Science vs Superstition is a great episode of the mini-series Cosmos with Carl Sagan. Here’s the link.

The picture is via Wired.com, and GeekDad’s cool blog.

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Mickey Mouse and the Mad Doctor

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Filed under Animation, Comics, Toons, Memes