Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I'm no hero, I just like to hit people in the head."  -  Nelson Muntz

God bless you Nelson Muntz. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Once In A Blue Moon

That once is coming on New Years Eve.  Thursday December 31st will be the second full moon of the month, officially making it a blue moon.  Blue moons occur once every 2.7 years, the next one not scheduled until August 31st 2012.  By that time the world will have ended according to the ancient Maya, so this is your last chance to see one.  Hopefully it will be clear enough. 

Since the moon obviously doesn't actually turn blue, I scoured the internet in search of the etymology of the term, but like my search for the origins of the term "egg nog" this also proved futile.  The best I could come up with was Wikipedia which has a myriad of explanations, each less interesting than the last.  I really didn't make it through many before giving up out of boredom so I won't subject you to any of my findings.

What I did find interesting is that certain atmospheric conditions do occasionally cause the moon to appear blue.  When smoke and dust particles approximately one micrometer in diameter are in the air, the longer wavelenghts of light are scattered, allowing only the blue spectrum through.  As a matter of fact, after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, the lingering volcanic ash caused the moon to appear blue all around the globe for approximately 2 years.  Hopefully at some point in my lifetime the human race will get together and pollute enough for me to see the moon appearing blue.  All these green bastards hate the color blue and are conspiring to prevent humanity from having it's blue moon.

Finally, all this talk has managed to get the song of the same name stuck in my head and all I can think now is:  bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba dang da dang dang da ding da dong ding.....

They just don't write songs like that anymore.

Sunrise


I took this picture of the sunrise this morning, playing around with the sunrise/sunset feature on my camera phone.  The colors didn't turn out as vibrant as I had hoped, but all and all it isn't too bad.  I just wish I could have taken it from somewhere with something in the foreground other than a freeway and street lights.

Today's Points Of Interest

According to this article, the median income in the US is currently just $32,879, which seems shockingly low to me.  And the official poverty threshold for a single person is $11,201.  I can't help thinking that the cost of living must be extremely lower in other parts of the country, because there's no way you could live on that little in Washington state.  And though I make more than half of my countrymen (which surprises the hell out of me), I couldn't even dream about owning a home around here.  Even if I were in the top 25%, making $66,532, I'm not sure I could afford a home without moving a long way from the city into a rural area, and even then the cost of commuting would be prohibitive, or I would have to find another job in the rural area which wouldn't pay as much.  I just don't see how these numbers are possible. 

The other interesting bit of news I found is this article.  The theme is that in order to bridge budget gaps, the Golden Gate Bridge is planning on offering "behind the scenes" tours of the bridge.  I'm not sure how much appeal that really has, none to me, but the writer of the article went one step further and asked what would people pay for.  Go to Estee Lauder and create your own perfume?  Pay Burlington Northern to let you conduct a train for a day?  Pay Caterpillar to get to operate one of their giant pieces of construction equipment?  The last one isn't bad, but what I really want is to find a demolition company that will let me push the plunger and blow up a building.  Blowing up any building would be fun, but more specifically, I would love to blow up Fenway Park.  When the Red Sox decide it's time to build a new stadium, instead of burdening the taxpayers of Boston with the bill, they should hold a lottery to blow up Fenway.  Within minutes of tickets going on sale, they would make more than the cost of a new stadium from Yankee fans alone.  I think this will become the new financial model for all new stadium construction.

Other things I think people would pay for include: 

Riding shotgun in a NASCAR race.  I would personally rather ride in a Formula 1 car, but there is a distinct lack of available space for a passenger.  I'm not a NASCAR fan, but as far as I know they, along with some of the IMSA vehicles, are the only ones that could accomodate a passenger and I could tolerate hicks for the chance to fly down the front straight at 200+ mph.

Firing people on behalf of Donald Trump.

Riding in a tank, or any large military vehicle for that matter.  Particularly if you can go out on a range and fire the cannon. 

Ringing the opening bell at the stock exchange.  Were I allowed to do this, I'm sure it would coincide with the next great crash.

That's all I've got for now.

Monday, December 28, 2009

No Respite For The Weary


The big hole in the road project continues unabated.  After suffering through all last week, the incessant jack hammering persists.  Apparently the city has not yet struck oil, found the buried pirate booty, unearthed the mortal remains of Jimmy Hoffa, or completed whatever it is they are doing.  I have no idea what they are tearing up the street for, but what I do know is that it's very noisy and there appears to be no end in sight. 

The sign on the adjacent bus stop states that the stop will be closed until February!  Hear me now and believe me later, if I have to put up with 2 more months of daily jackhammering, I will eventually go postal.  I always knew or at least suspected that my life would end amid a hail of gunfire on a national news broadcast, and I think this might be what pushes me over the edge.  I don't yet know whether I will end up chasing a construction worker with a jackhammer that I've liberated from his evil clutches or if I'll go with the ever popular high powered rifle in a clock tower route.  I'm leaning toward the latter - call me a romantic, but I'm a sucker for the classics.

I suppose sooner or later I should find out exactly what the project is, and there's probably an easy to find web link somewhere, but I currently believe it's just a government program to provide work for road crews and traffic cops.  The legislature (does the city have a legislature or just a city counsil?) got together with the mob run road crews and told them to go dig some holes and then fill them in.  I checked the WA DOT web site and found nothing and then found the Seattle DOT web site and all I can think is that it might be part of the repaving project, although I don't know why they would rip up the middle lane in order to repave it.  Don't they just add some new pavement on top of the existing, or would that screw up the curb height?  Whatever is going on, I need my peace & quiet.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Career For James Bond


I put on a new t-shirt today and found the attached sticker.  It seems that since the end of the cold war, the spy business isn't what it used to be and James Bond has had to find other work to make ends meet.  But for me that meant that I spent the day feeling suaver than ever.  So much so, in fact, that I couldn't even be deterred by made up words like suaver.  I had expected to make out with a couple hot women from an Eastern bloc country on my lunch break, but no such luck.  That must be happening later in the day.  If not, then I will have to employ my license to kill.  I'm thinking about using the watch with the high powered laser in it when it arrives.  Good times.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas

Nothing says Merry Christmas quite like putting a display up on your front lawn of a double barrell shotgun toting Jesus gunning down Santa Claus and running down Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with his pick up truck.  I don't know what spirits the creator of this display was full of, but I don't think it was the Christmas spirit. 

I'll spare you the obvious statements about misguided religiosity and commercialism, although I don't recall anywhere in the bible that described Jesus as homicidal.  No, what irritates me most about this is the opponents who are using the tried and true, "won't someone think of the children" argument.  I'm growing quite tired of people using children as scapegoats for their own personal issues.  If you don't like something, own up to it, don't use this bogus argument.  If anything it's an opportunity to talk to your children about things. 

But anyway, if you don't receive any presents this year, now you know why.  If I had kids, that's the angle I'd push - sorry kids, no presents this year. 

One last thing - if you're assuming that this is from hick town in the deep south somewhere, guess again.  This story comes to you from sunny Central California.  Good times. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

San Francisco

Blues Brothers

I guess it’s about time for me to stop being lazy and post some of the photos from my trip to San Francisco.  The fun started shortly after I disembarked from the plane.  I couldn’t get a very good picture while maintaining any sort of discretion, but believe I saw the Blues Brothers, or at least their Mexican counterparts, at the airport.  The gentleman closest in the picture had the complete look – black suit, white shirt, skinny black tie, Raybans, and fedora.  I couldn’t understand them since they were speaking Spanish, but I believe they were on a mission from God to get the band back together.

Sharks Game

Later that evening I attended a San Jose Sharks game – my first NHL game.  There were 3 fights within the first 5 minutes – apparently the Sharks and Calgary Flames don’t like each other.  In the end, the Sharks lost 2-1.

Winchester 1

In previous trips to the bay area, I had never visited the Winchester House of Mystery.  For those unfamiliar with the story, widow Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester Rifle fortune, believed that she was haunted by the ghosts of all of the people killed by the rifles over the years.  In order to confuse the ghosts, she had to continually build more and more onto the house – building stairways to nowhere, windows and closets with nothing but walls behind them, and second story doors that open to a 10 foot drop.  But despite all of this building, she never installed heating and it was pretty cold throughout the tour. 

Winchester panorama

Here’s a nice panorama.

Winchester 2

And here is the famous door to nowhere.

Buffalo

We made a trip down to Golden Gate Park where I visited the resident buffalo.  The appeared to be bored. 

Squat & Gobble

In the trendy marina district, I was fascinated by the Squat & Gobble restaurant.  Looking at the menu and peering in the windows failed to reveal any insight into the name.  Chairs were plentiful inside – no need for squatting.  The menu contained a variety of items, not simply turkey.  Perhaps I will never know what this is all about.  But since it is human nature to fear what we do not understand, I will admit to being a little scared of this place. 

Tut

One of the main attractions I wanted to see while there was the King Tut Exhibit. It was at the de Young Museum, and while interesting, was a little disappointing since approximately 75% of the items in the exhibit didn't belong to Tutankhamun. Some of the artifacts belonged to his father, King Akhenaten, some to Queen Tiye, some to King Thutmosis (the IV I believe), some to Yuya and Tjuya (I'm not even sure who they were).  Also, most of the more spectacular items like the golden burial mask no longer go on tour.  I guess I will have to take a trip to Egypt to see the good stuff. 

  

Nice Bench 2 Photos were not allowed inside the museum, so all of the museum photos I have are of non-Egyptian things. Things like the second nice bench. 

Nice Bench

Sure enough, right nearby was the first nice bench.  Sadly, the naughty bench could not be located. 

Dogs

Had I been able to find the naughty bench, I have no doubt that it would have been near the Mezo-American sculpture of dogs mating.  This beauty was dug up near Mexico City, and though I thoroughly searched the gift shop for a replica to give as a Christmas present, I sadly left empty handed.

027

This thing I thought was pretty fancy.

031

After a lot of asking around, I was finally told that the giant thing up on the hill is a TV tower.  I was relieved to have that mystery solved before I left town. 

032

The museum had a nice tall tower which allowed for a 360° view of the city, and luckily an opportunity to play with the panorama feature in my phone again.

033

034

Plane

The good times came to an end with this abomination.  This plane pulled into the gate next to mine as I was boarding the plane out of town.  I don’t know if WSU had one of their teams in town to play Cal or Stanford, or if Horizon just makes some of their passengers ride on that.  What I do know is that I was happy to see the UW plane safe at home back at Sea-Tac. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Flag Football Players Needed

I'm currently in negotiations to get a co-ed flag football team together. As it stands currently, we have all the girls we need lined up but have yet to round up the necessary dudes. Games will be on Sunday afternoons at scenic Juanita High School starting in mid January. It's a lot of fun, so anyone interested please let me know.

Drink More Coffee

As if you need a reason to drink more coffee, a new study shows that drinking 3 to 4 cups of coffee or tea a day will reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 20%. Concerned that the additional caffeine in your diet will have negative side effects? Well concern yourself no more, because the study also shows that decaf is more effective. The authors of the study are still not sure what components in coffee and tea are responsible for these health benefits, however until they are isolated and dispensed in some other form, buy some stock in Starbucks or Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and keep sipping that dark, rich, delicious beverage.




I assume that since I have been ahead of the trend once again, my years of coffee drinking have left me practically immune to diabetes. The study does not mention a length of time, but I imagine that the longer, the better. I feel inspired to try to raise the capital to open one of those bikini barista stands, um, for health reasons... I'm still unsure whether I will give myself the title of CEO or coffee pimp.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Smell

My gloves have begun to smell bad, so I did what anybody would do - I sprayed them with a generous dose of lysol and hung them up to dry in my bathroom. Now my bathroom smells like lysol and locker room funk. So is there any way to kill a stink other than lysol, or did I not spray them enough?
In unrelated news, I'm glad I wasn't seated next to this guy on my recent flight. According to this site, this is an actual, undoctored photo taken by an unhappy flight attendant. It's hard for me to imagine that this isn't a safety concern since he's blocking the aisle, not to mention that there is no way for the flight attendants to push the cart through. I can't tell if the arm rests fold up, or if he is sitting on it, which would be another safety concern. With the continually expanding waist line in the US, I can't help wondering how long it will be until the FAA or airlines arrive at a solution to this issue. This is growing more commonplace.

In still more unrelated news, my thumb hurts.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Interesting

I found this tutorial the other day on making your own biodiesel with common household products. It kind of makes me wish I had a diesel powered car to try it on, but alas I'm going to have to keep searching the internet for a tutorial on how to make my own 87 octane bio-unleaded before I can begin to play mad scientist. I fear someone will have to invent it first, however. And this does remind me of one anonymous relative who I'm told once tried to cook up some home made rocket fuel. And unless I've got the story wrong, it somehow involved mixing it with a shovel over an open flame. Nothing was ever blown up or incinerated, and to my knowledge the FBI doesn't have a file regarding the incident.

Anyway, in 1898, Rudolf Diesel was granted a US patent for his invention of the diesel engine but did you know that his original intention was for his engine to run off vegetable oil? He even marketed his invention to American farmers as a way for them to grow their own fuel.




Also interesting, perhaps even more interesting, is this site where you can read/view a scanned copy of the original handwritten A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Unfortunately his handwriting is so poor and there are so many revisions that it is nearly illegible. So there's no telling what the story was really about. I'm convinced that on page forty three there's something about aliens and all three ghosts playing rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock for control of the earth. If you can't make it out to Manhattan to view the manuscript for yourself, this is the next best thing.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Phishing

Yesterday I got an email from my bank from the fraud alert department notifying me of a phone number change on my account. The only problem was that I'm not the person named in the account and the account number mentioned is not mine. I immediately suspected it was a phishing scam and looked up the email address for the fraud unit online and forwarded the email along to them. I hovered over all of the links in the email and they appear authentic, and the next step was doing a reverse phone number look up on the toll free number they listed as who to call if this was not an authorized change - the phone number look up returned no results.

I did all of this Monday morning and it is now Tuesday evening and I have still not received a response from the bank. My concern at this point is that the bank accidentally emailed me another customer's account information, and more to the point, that they have possibly emailed my account information to someone else. How long should I wait for a reply before forwarding the email to the Better Business Bureau, closing all my accounts, and moving my money elsewhere? It's hard for me to believe that a bank would make that kind of mistake, but if it's not a phishing scam, then what other explanation is there?

Weird Story of the Day

This one is pretty strange. On Saturday, police in Winona, MN arrested a man inside a Target store who was smashing TVs and cameras with a hammer. Witnesses say that the man was, "walking like Frankenstein" while repeating, "hammer, hammer, hammer" in a monotone voice. As if that weren't enough, while being interviewed in a mental care facility afterward, the Chicago man said he has never heard of Winona, MN and has no idea how he got there.

Luckily this incident resulted in no injuries, so you can feel free to let it tickle your funny bone. I just can't help being reminded of Happy Gilmore repeating, "Volkswagen, Volkswagen" after being hit by a Volkswagen. Hopefully this man will now get the proper care he needs, and hopefully we can keep the more violent mentally ill as far from Seattle as possible. Portland is fine, they can all go there. Or the rest of them I should say.

In unrelated news, I don't know if this is a result of mental illness or just alcohol, but this video of a drunk Russian picking a fight with a tree is pretty amusing. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sucker Punched

Is it wrong that I'm pleased to hear the news that Notre Dame quarterback, and queen of the douchebags, Jimmy Clausen was sucker punched outside a bar late Saturday night/early Sunday morning? Just take one look at this guy and tell me he didn't deserve it. This is him displaying his arrogance by calling a news conference to declare his commitment to Notre Dame at the College Football Hall of Fame. Now I know it's not right to revel in the misfortune of others, but I think an exception has to be made in his case. The thought of him hiding his black eye behind sunglasses and a darkened visor on his football helmet just makes me smile. I hope this turns into a tradition - him getting punched following every game. Kudos to you anonymous assailant.

Lost

Last Thursday I went out to play some volleyball, and at home later that night I discovered that my wallet was missing. So I thought back and tried to think about where it might have been lost. My first thought was that I must have set it down somewhere out of the ordinary when I got home. I searched high and low, even going so far to look in drawers I haven't opened in months and looking in the refrigerator to see if I had grabbed a drink and inadvertently set it down there. This did not provide any results. From there I thought it must have fallen out in my car. A thorough search ensued and again left me empty handed.

I had the wallet in the pocket of my sweat pants, which I had on over my shorts. I took those off and put them in my gym back while I played, and was fairly certain that I checked the pocket when I put them back on after the game to make sure it was still there. If it had not fallen out there, the only other possible losing place I could conceive of was in my friend's car who I had carpooled with, or in the parking lot at the park & ride where we met up. A text message to my friend turned up nothing, and a Friday morning call to the gym was also a dead end. So Friday I went back to the park & ride and took a look around and again, nothing.

And so I took the day off work Friday and got to spend the time instead doing wonderful things like waiting at the DMV for a couple hours, and calling banks and pushing buttons to get through the phone tree, only to be disconnected when it told me I was going to talk to a real person. After going through that a couple times, I finally got to have a few lovely conversations with gentlemen with thick Indian accents. Good times.

And so, Monday morning rolled around, and armed with nothing but a temporary id and a few bus fare tickets which I was lucky enough to have laying around, I headed off to work. Once there, I received another nice surprise - a replacement bus pass would set me back $50. That hit me like a kick in the crotch, but what choice did I have? At least that allowed me to get back and forth to work.

A brief ray of light shined on me Tuesday night when I got home from work to find a post card from Metro telling me that my wallet had been found at the park & ride and turned in to a bus driver, and that I could retrieve it from the lost & found downtown. I breathed a big sigh of relief and went down to the Metro office today (Wednesday) hoping to put an end to this ordeal. That's when I discovered that Metro is closed today. Why they are closed the day before Thanksgiving, I'll never know, but several curse words later I resigned myself to the fact that I'll now have to wait until Monday to be whole again. But at least I'm relieved that it's not still floating around God knows where and that, presumably, I don't have to worry about identity theft any longer. I assume someone honest enough to turn it in is honest enough to not steal my identity.

To me, one of the most interesting aspects of this ordeal is that a few months ago I'd read an article stating that scientists in Edinburgh recently did a study and found that people are significantly more likely to return a wallet if it contained a baby picture. Specifically, their research found that 88% of wallets with a baby picture were returned, compared to 53% for a picture of a puppy, 48% for a picture of a family, 28% for a picture of an elderly couple, 20% for no pictures but a charity card, and worst of all, 15% for none of the above. After reading this, I immediately contacted my cousin to get a picture of my adorable little niece to put in my wallet. And so I credit little Lillie for the imminent return of my lost wallet. I now owe her something, perhaps a tiny little Seahawks jersey.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rude Awakening

I guess it technically wasn't an awakening since I was already awake, but I was still in bed at 9:30 this dreary Sunday morning when the fire alarm went off in my building. I stuck my head out in the hall and didn't see any smoke and considered just waiting it out inside, however it was so loud I just couldn't tolerate it. So, without planning ahead enough to grab a coat, I went outside into the cold, drizzly parking lot to wait it out. I was surprised by how many people there are in my building that I don't recognize. I ended up shivering for about 15 minutes before the fire department gave the all clear to go back into the building, and it turns out that some ass hole pulled the fire alarm on the 3rd floor. I don't know who is responsible, but someone deserves a beating for ruining my morning.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alcohol May Have Been A Factor

I'm not quite sure what it is about a drunk 'ninja' impaling himself on a fence that he is attempting to vault that I find so amusing, never the less, I am amused. As an added bonus, it garnered national attention for my beloved Seattle.

Details are not clear on who he was sent to assassinate, but my guess is Greg Knapp -the Seahawks defensive coordinator - after the abysmal effort shown by the defensive unit on Sunday. Regardless, staying true to his ninja creed, he is not divulging any information despite what I assume is intense police interrogation. Typically, a ninja would swallow some cyanide if caught and take his secrets to the grave. One can only assume that this particular fellow dropped his cyanide tablet during his attempt to scale the fence, leaving him unable to do the honorable thing. More details will follow as they become available. Until then, be wary of ninja attack. Since it's unclear who the target was, it may have been you, and the ninja master is sure to send out another assassin to finish the job.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Progressive Work Week

For quite some time I've realized that the closer it gets to the end of the week, the less concentration I have. By the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I forget what my job is and think it's surfing the internet. It wasn't until recently that I devised a possible solution for this problem. I call it the progressive work week, and it works like this:
Monday - work 9 hours
Tuesday - 8.5
Wednesday - 8
Thursday - 7.5
Friday - 7

By front loading my schedule, I will work more productive hours during the week. Other alternative work schedules work for some people - Four 10's or a 9/80 - but I'm not sure either would work as well for me. I fully expect this new plan to revolutionize the corporate world and bring about a new golden age.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanks For The Memories

Thanks go out to my brother for bringing back this wonderful memory. What you see here is the result of a motorcyclist riding at an estimated 85 mph when a VW driver talking on a cell phone pulled out in front of him. The rider of the motorcycle, driver of the car, and passenger in the car were all killed on impact. The force of the impact was great enough that the car rolled over and was found 20 feet from the point of impact.


Now I was not involved in any way in this accident but did have a similar yet less dramatic incident of my own. It was probably close to 15 years ago that I was riding my motorcycle at the time - a much slower Honda CM400T. And I was not sailing along at 85 mph, I was cruising down a residential street at 25. And the driver of the car was not in a VW, rather a Geo Metro. Cell phones were not prevalent at that time, but the driver claimed the sun's glare on his windows prevented him from seeing me. I suspect alcohol may have been involved, but only one guy knows for sure. Anyway, he backed out of his driveway right in front of me and I swerved, but not enough, and ended up hitting the back of his car. As luck would have it, I was not killed so I am now able to relay the story first hand.


The bike knocked off the rear bumper and I ended up shattering the rear window with my right forearm while the remainder of my body put a sizeable dent in the hatch back. I caused enough damage that I nearly totaled the car, which I'm rather proud of. Anyway, I bounced off and slid off to the side of the road and skidded to a stop face down. I took a deep breath and exhaled and got up. A woman came running out of her house across the street and asked if I was hurt and I said I didn't think so, but did a quick pat down just to make sure. That's when I saw some blood dripping off of my fingertips. I didn't feel any pain but pushed up my sleeve and saw a gash down to the bone. A wave of queasiness washed over me and I immediately looked away but still felt no pain.



Fortunately for everyone reading this, this is also the story of my first (and hopefully last) ambulance ride! That's right, it's buy one get one free story day! So it wasn't long before some paramedics showed up. They asked me what hurt and poked me in a variety of places. I told them that the only problems were the gash on the arm and a cut on my toe where something had sliced through my shoe. So they handed me a neck brace and instructed me to put it on and hop up on the gurney. They proceeded to strap me down completely and tape my head to the gurney so that I was completely incapacitated. They loaded me up in the ambulance where I had a lovely view of the roof and nothing else since I couldn't move at all. They decided to stop off somewhere on the way to the hospital, but I'm not sure where since, again, I couldn't see anything but the roof. Legend has it though that they stopped at 7-11 to pick up a few slim jims and a 6 pack for later.

This stop meant that by the time we got to the hospital, my brother was already there waiting for me. This also meant that he got to see them almost drop me while unloading me from the ambulance since there was a problem with the wheels dropping. They wheeled me into a nice quiet room where I waited about an hour before a doctor showed up. That's when I got to have one of the most memorable yet unpleasant experiences in my life. It turns out my arm was broken, but that wasn't the best part ... I had bits of glass, paint chips, dirt, and God knows what else in the wound. Enough paint chips that the doctor said, "that was a green car you hit, right?"

This was when the pain started. If you have never had debris removed from an open wound, don't. I had to lay face down so that the doctor could get a good angle to work with and again was unable to see anything that was going on. And in retrospect, I probably didn't want to see anything. I don't know exactly what he was doing, but he wasn't gentle. He was poking around in there vigorously enough to shake my entire body. Plus he would periodically whip out his scalpel and cut off various bits of skin and other soft tissue, and use a variety of tools to extract all of the extra bits that were in there. I don't remember exactly how long this lasted, maybe my brother does, but it was at least an hour, and seemed a lot longer than that. They kept injecting me with more novocaine, but I couldn't tell that it made any difference. I spent most of the time gritting my teeth while sweat literally dripped off of me. I don't have the words to describe how unpleasant it was.

By the time they finally stitched me up, I was feeling ok though. They couldn't put a cast on me until the laceration healed up, so they made this weird plaster splint and wrapped an ace bandage around it to keep it on. Less than a week later I played a softball game where I'm proud to say that I had 2 hits pretty much swinging one handed. I couldn't really hold the bat with the splint on. It's all back to normal now except for a scar which even that is barely visible anymore. And I didn't experience that degree of pain again until a year and a half ago when I began rehab on my broken finger. Hopefully I'll never have to experience anything like that again.

This story doesn't really have a moral, but in order to wrap it up nicely, I guess I have to come up with something. So, if you're riding a motorcycle, try not to get hit by a car (or hit one). Oh, and wear better protective gear than I had.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all of veterans as well as those currently serving in the armed forces for risking your lives to ensure the freedom the rest of us take for granted. As I sit here at work, I can't help thinking it's a shame that corporate America doesn't do more to recognize our veterans. If you know any veterans or soldiers, buy them lunch or do something kind for them today. Many veterans, even decades later, still have trouble talking about their experiences in combat, and deserve a great deal of respect and recognition for subjecting themselves to emotional trauma, not just physical trauma.

And I would like to take this opportunity to recognize one particular veteran - Gene Morgan. Gene was a good friend of my grandfather and was a very nice man. I still have fond memories of being in high school and college and going to UW football games with my grandfather, Gene, and another friend of theirs named Irv. Anyway, Gene was on the USS Indianapolis in WWII and was asleep at the time the ship was torpedoed and sunk. For those unfamiliar with the story of the Indianapolis, there were 1,196 men on board when it was sunk, approximately 300 went down with the ship, and the remaining 900 floated in shark infested waters with no food or water for 4 days, and by the time they were rescued, only 316 were still alive. I've never personally heard Gene talk about his experience, but you can listen to an interview he gave to the Discovery Channel a few years ago for a special they were doing about the Indianapolis. So thank you Gene for enduring this horror for my sake, and thank you to all of the other men in uniform as well.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Delicious Art

Throughout history, artists have experimented with many different mediums: oil on canvas, chalk on sidewalks, Elvis on velvet. It wasn't until today that I discovered a new and deeper appreciation of art. What makes these particular paintings unique is that former barista Karen Eland, in what can only be described as a stroke of genius, decided to recreate masterpieces by using coffee instead of paint. Not only am I drawn in by my love of the world's most delicious brewed refreshment, but the paintings themselves turned out surprisingly well. I don't know what these sell for, but I would be proud to have one hanging on the wall of my humble abode.




And if you prefer photos to paintings, I also found this breath taking image today. I don't know where this was taken, but I want to live there.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Careers I Didn't Know About

My guidance counselors all through school really let me down. They told me about a lot of jobs I could get with the right education, how I would have to work hard to get a good job, but they informed me about opportunities like making $90k a year wearing t- shirts. There are a lot of things I'm not qualified for: doctor, lawyer, airline pilot, or even president, but I am certainly capable of wearing a shirt in public. I do that every day for free. If someone is going to pay me, I'd be willing to wear a shirt of their choice to a particular place. If you want people in the Pike Place Market to see how good your shirt looks on strapping, ruggedly handsome man, I'm the guy for the job. Hell, even if you want someone to wear a shirt that says, "I'm a wiener" to a Seahawks game, for the right price (including tickets), there is nobody more qualified than yours truly. If you want to advertise to aliens, for $90k a year I will go make some crop circles in a corn field and do my damnedest to get abducted. In conclusion, if you have extra shirts and cash on hand, gimme.

Blind Optimism

After reading an article about the beleagured Seahawks yesterday in the Seattle Times titled It could be worse, Seahawks fans: you could be in Detroit, I felt it was time for some blind optimism. Consider this: 4 of the remaining 9 games on the Seahawks schedule are against teams with 1 or 0 wins. The Seahawks can and should win all of those games. If the team can also get it's act together enough to beat the 49ers (3-4) and Cardinals (4-3), two division rivals who are also very beatable, they will finish the season with an 8-8 record and if they catch a few breaks could conceivably win the division with that record.

Now also consider this: Matt Hasselbeck is slowly returning to health and if he can keep from reinjuring himself will provide more offensive firepower than we have seen thus far this season. Also, the same 5 offensive linemen are starting for an unprecedented second consecutive week, theoretically providing more effective blocking and therefore an improved offense. I know that it's not a lot of hope to cling to, but if you close your eyes and wish hard enough, and avoid pondering reality, this season is still alive.

Of course if all this does happen, that would mean that the Seahawks would then screw up their draft picks and possibly miss out on the Jake Locker sweepstakes. NFL Draft Countdown already has a mock draft up with the Seahawks taking Locker in the first round.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

How Do You Clean A Keyboard?

Every few months I concern myself with how filthy and disgusting my keyboard here at work is. Now before you get to thinking that it's because I'm a slob, let me assure you that in fact I received a used keyboard and it was filthy when I got it. I have done my best to clean is, using disinfectant wipes, spray cleaners, and compressed air but so far all of the results have been unsatisfactory. I can only clean off the tops of the keys and try as I might, I just can't seem to get the gunk off the sides. I really want to throw this thing in the dishwasher, but that will almost certainly destroy it. Are there any secret keyboard cleaning techniques out there that I should be made aware of? I am counting on someone to save me from becoming a full blown germophobe.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Election Day

I officially did my civic duty and completed my ballot today. I have to say though that this is the kind of election that kills voter turn out. Most of the candidates are people I've never heard of running for positions that I don't really know what they do. How am I supposed to pick between port commissioners based on a third of a page written about themselves and a picture, particularly when I don't know what the duties of the port commissioner are? And I hate to admit it, but I voted for Sally Chen for the City of Redmond council position #4 for no reason other than she's cuter than the other woman I don't know anything about.

But the people are a piece of cake compared with some of the King County charter amendments. Even after reading them multiple times, I still don't really know what they are about. Even if I had a copy of the charter to read and know exactly which parts they were talking about amending, I'm sure I still wouldn't have a clue. I was torn between voting for them because they are unanimously supported by the council members and there was no dissenting opinion, or voting against them because they failed to do an adequate job of telling me what I was voting for or against. Voting shouldn't have to be this much work.

In all, the one big regret I have about this particular election is that, since I don't live in Bothell, I don't have the opportunity to vote for Patrick Ewing. Even with name recognition, however, he is fighting an uphill battle against a more attractive opponent. Perhaps in the next election I'll get to vote for Charles Barkley.

Useless Trivia

When it comes to human hands, which fingernail generally grows fastest?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Scary Door

I've been watching old episodes of the Twilight Zone recently and it makes me appreciate all the more these episodes of The Scary Door. They set you up and then immediately hit you with the twist. It's like the Twilight Zone for people with ADD. Brilliant.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Urban Clown

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the urban clown. After years of seeing increasingly ridiculous "gangsta" fashion, it recently hit me, these guys look like clowns. Dressed in way oversized clothes that are more garish that would be tolerated by even the most flamboyant of homosexuals, crooked hats, and ugly jewelry, these posers are the urban equivalent of circus clowns. Unfortunately for the urban clown, he is categorized as unintentionally humorous and typically doesn't realize he is a joke.

There are other subtle differences between the two: for example, while circus clowns favor spotted and striped patterns, often wearing clothes with the appearance of being made from a Twister board, the urban clown eschews these traditional styles in favor of inane slogans emblazoned on every available inch of stitching with silver or gold goth font. One of the trademarks of the circus clown is the oversized red nose, while the urban clown opts for gold teeth, or "grills" in the parlance of our time. The circus clown can typically be seen strutting in oversized, floppy shoes while the urban clown is typically seen in oversized, untied sneakers. The circus clown holds up his oversized pants with colorful suspenders, but the urban clown prefers to hold up his ill fitting pants with one hand - leading to the unfortunate side effect of only having one remaining hand free with which to 'backhand his bitches' or aim is 'gat'. The circus clown is topped with an unkempt red wig, while the urban clown prefers to adorn his poorly maintained coiffure with a baseball cap covered in stickers or tags, meticulously balanced crookedly to maintain the appearance of having a learning disability, more similar to noted baseball clown Max Patkin than your traditional circus clown. Finally, the transportation of choice for the circus clown is a small car packed with as many other clowns as possible, while the urban clown is more likely to be seen in a SUV plated with as much chrome as the clown could afford and riding on the biggest wheels that could by purchased.

So the next time you see an urban clown, after you stop laughing, be sure to thank them for bringing laughter to the world by carrying on the proud clown tradition - the lastest incarnation in a tradition dating back to the court jesters of medievel times. Thanks to them, the world will never be without fools.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween Fun

With Halloween rapidly approaching, internet holiday entertainment is getting increasingly frequent. Entertainment like the greatest Halloween costume ever. Normally I'm not in favor of adults wearing costumes and think it should result in merciless ridicule, but in rare cases such as this I'll let it slide. In case you're a loser and unfamiliar with the show Futurama, the character on the left is Bender Bending Rodriguez.

If, like me, you've ever wondered how various famous movie characters would fare against a zombie attack, wonder no more. Would John McClane (of Die Hard) live to say yippie kay aye Mr. Zombie? Would Harry Potter find some arcane item hidden in Hogwarts created in case of zombie attack? Would the cast of Dirty Dancing have the time of their lives with said zombies? Answers to all these and more now exist.

Finally in more of a sad story, a Los Angeles man committed suicide by shooting himself on his condo balcony but no one called the police for several days thinking his body was a Halloween display.

Since my wrist is killing me today for reasons unknown, I'm going to keep my typing to a minimum. Hopefully it's not broken.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Shining

Today I present to you a conspiracy theory so crazy that it would even make Shelvis proud. According to this nutbag, the film The Shining was a very symbolic confession that Stanley Kubrick faked the Apollo moon landings. How can anyone argue with evidence such as:

"Symbolically the Bears seen through the film are also the representation of the
pressure that the Russians put on the USA to get to the Moon. They had to fake
the moon landings and cover up the real truth behind the flying saucer craft and
machinery that the US government actually has created and employed since World
War Two."


or

"It is important to note that the room in question was numbered 217 in the
Stephen King version of The Shining. For unknown reason's Kubrick changed it to
237.

Danny is literally carrying a symbolic Apollo 11, on his body, via
the sweater, to the Moon as he walks over to room 237. Why do I think
this?

Because the average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 237,000
miles."


After reading through this, I feel compelled to join the Legion of Madfellows. The moment I get home this evening, I plan on fashioning a hat of the highest quality tin foil money can by and will throw out all of my fluoridated toothpaste because it doesn't whiten your teeth, it makes them visible to spy satellites. You gotta love a quality conspiracy theory. Good times.

Question of the Day

If you could be bitten by a radioactive animal of your choice and granted super powers, what animal would you choose? Would it be a radioactive bear, giving you the power to sleep for months at a time? A radioactive cat, giving you the power to see well at night and steal people's souls while they sleep? A radioactive kangaroo with the powers to jump really well and have built in pockets? A radioactive wooly mammoth with the powers to stay warm in the winter and go extinct? Maybe even a radioactive butterfly with the powers to fly and be fashionable?Those are just a few ideas to get you started.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Death Pumpkin

This is the coolest pumpkin ever. It must have been a challenge finding a pumpkin so close to spherical to pull this off, but it turned out great. There are several other cool jack 0 lanterns here. If I had any artistic talent at all I'd attempt an ambitious pumpkin myself, but as luck would have it my talents are limited to say the least. By the time I'm done with it, it will be a miracle if anyone can tell what my pumpkin is supposed to be.

Moving on, this article scared the hell out of me just in time for Halloween. Apparently First Premier Bank is issuing credit cards with a 79.9% interest rate. That is not a typo. Apparently the bank is based out of South Dakota where according to their legislative web site there is "no maximum or usury restriction." That is outrageous and I hope that the SD legislature puts an end to that ASAP. So if you have a First Premier card, make sure to cancel it today and get a card elsewhere. And as always, make sure to check your interest rates on your cards regularly. This sort of thing shouldn't be legal.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Introducing The Craw Fu Aggro Prize

With all of the hoo ha recently regarding President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize (a prize which officially lost all credibility when awarded to Yasser Arafat), it is time for the debut of the Craw Fu Aggro Prize. This will be awarded annually to the individual with the greatest public meltdown. This year's front runner is currently Kanye West for his inability to exercise any self control during an awards ceremony. Losing all capacity for rational thought and making an ass of himself in front of a national audience over a perceived slight not even directed at him is what this award is all about. There is still time for someone else to step up to the plate and claim this prize though.

Past winners, had the prize existed in the past, would have included:

Sam Wyche for his stirring, "you don't live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati" speech in front of a sold out crowd.

Jim Mora Sr for his touching, "we couldn't do diddly poo offensively" speech at a post game press conference. Also award worthy were his, "Playoffs? Playoffs? Don't talk to me about the playoffs" rant and the ever popular, "You don't know. You just don't know. And you never will." I'm still hoping the apple didn't fall too far from the tree with Jim Mora Jr.

Lou Piniella has been recognized with a lifetime achievement award for continued commitment to blowing off steam. Whether it's going nose to nose with an ump while spittle flies from his mouth, kicking his hat around the bases, picking up and hurling a base, or simply kicking dirt, Lou has been an inspiration to all of us.

Increase Your Salary

According to a new, completely unbiased study by the American Mustache Institute, men sporting staches earn 8.2% more than their bearded and clean shaven counterparts. Since it is commonly believed that mustachioed men are limited to careers in adult film or law enforcement (or both), I can only conclude from this study that these professions are very lucrative. Based on my own personal research, the only conclusion I've been able to reach is that a goatee and 4 days of stubble won't net you any large paychecks.

Sadly for me, the few minutes of experience I have had with a stache resulted in considerably lower self esteem. It looked so bad I couldn't shave it off fast enough. In the interest of striking it rich, however, I am now considering a stylish Fu Manchu, or Craw Fu Manchu if you will. I know I will.

Unfortunately for you ladies, the stache effect doesn't extend to your gender.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Potato Bomb

This evening I got a nice little surprise as I was making dinner. I threw a couple potatoes in the oven and apparently didn't poke enough holes in them because one of them exploded when I stuck a fork in it to extract it from the oven. It wasn't just a small pop, it actually coated a good portion of my oven with tater goodness. I even have a witness who heard it from the living room. I've heard that such a thing can happen but had never witnessed it first hand. Luckily I didn't get any on me because I didn't want to have to explain 3rd degree potato burns to the emergency room staff.

Anyway, I'm still coming down from my weekend football high. That Husky game was the most unbelievable, unlikely come back I think I have ever seen. I guess the football universe has somewhat evened itself out since they should have beaten Notre Dame last week but should have lost this Arizona game. Dear God I hope the Cougs exact some vengeance for the state of Washington when they play ND on Halloween.

And today I was expecting a hard fought defensive showdown with the Jags. I didn't see this lopsided blowout coming at all. I can't believe we had 3 centers and a tackle I've never heard of playing in this game and still managed to keep Hasselbeck upright. Even more amazing than that, however, was the play of the defense. Lawrence Jackson is finally starting to look like he deserved to be picked in the first round. Hopefully this will help get the nickname I gave him catch on - Lo Jack - feel free to use that around the office or with your friends. It sounds good in your ear and when you say it you shouldn't fear because this nickname can be said by anyone. I went off in my own little universe for a minute there and forgot what else I was going to say, so I'll finish by saying how much it did my heart good to see Nick Reed running down the field like a madman and scoring me a free haircut. I'm now promoting myself to president of the Nick Reed fan club, not just a member. It's time he got his own nickname. I don't have anything at the moment but I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Story of Anvil

I watched The Story of Anvil last night - a documentary about Anvil, a pioneering, well respected band in the heavy metal community that began in the 80's but never achieved success. The documentary takes place in 2007 with the aging musicians (now in their 50's) still desperately hoping for stardom. I didn't really know what to expect from this, although after rave reviews I expected a lot. I ended up feeling very bad for the band members seeing them struggle on a poorly planned European tour, struggled to come up with the money to get their 13th album professionally produced and fought during the recording, and struggled trying to find a record company to distribute their album. It was just sad to see them continually beaten down.

Despite that it was still a pretty interesting movie. It shows you the side of the music industry that most bands live through - fighting with club owners over money, trying to promote your album on your own, playing in front of small crowds. For the bands that don't make it big, this is what you have to look forward to. But it's those bands that do it because they love the music and they love entertaining. Seeing Anvil enjoying playing in front of about a dozen people in a bar and still smiling because that's what they love to do was the bright spot of the movie for me. Overall I have to say this was a pretty good film, if not a feel good film.

Cups and Cakes

Cups and cakes
Cups and cakes
I'm so full my tummy aches
How sad it must end
But I'm glad I've a friend
Sharing cups and cakes with me

That's right, it's cupcake day at work. Our new Liberty Mutual overlords love us so much. I just hope that one day they will implement nap time and story time as well. And who knows how long it will be before I get that song out of my head.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Worst Cars of the Decade

There really aren't many good reasons to put out a list like the 10 worst cars of the decade except to get attention or stir up controversy, so since I don't get enough attention, I'm forwarding it on. Such lists are highly subjective, but I whole heartedly agree with several of these. At #10, the Pontiac Aztek is pretty lucky to be so low on the list. Not only is it one of the ugliest vehicles I've ever seen, but they couldn't even spell the name correctly. That's how GM nearly went under.

The only other car on the list worth commenting on in my opinion is #1: The Smart Car. This shoebox on wheels is so impractical I can't believe they have sold any. It gets worse mileage than a lot of other cars on the market, is a high roll over risk, is a death trap if it is in an accident with a full size car or larger, has no storage space so you need another car to go to the grocery store, and only seats two so if you have a family it's useless. It is a completely impractical car and the only thing it really has going for it is that it's easy to find parking.

My biggest disappointment, however, is that the Honda Element didn't make the list. That is one of the ugliest cars I've ever seen. And I've seen a Pinto.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Midnight Meat Train

I just found out that there's a movie titled The Midnight Meat Train and oddly enough it's not an adult film. Apparently it's a horror movie of some kind and actually got good reviews, but I still have no plans to see it. The title is just a little to risque for me.

But that's just the intro story. What I really want to talk about is A Haunting In Connecticut. It arrived courtesy of Netflix a couple days ago and I just started watching it and have been treated to a cruel surprise. Apparently one small word makes a huge difference because I thought I was getting the 2009 film THE Haunting In Connecticut. It turns out this is a 2002 Discovery Channel docudrama - like an episode of Unsolved Mysteries - replete with terrible acting, narration, and voice overs from the "real" people involved in the events. I'm only half an hour into it but I'm already disappointed. I feel like one of those tools who rents the special features disc instead of the actual movie and then writes a review crying about the injustice. I'm not going to write one of those reviews. I will man up and admit that I'm the idiot who didn't make sure I knew what I was getting before putting it in my queue.

Anyway, I think I'm going to start working on a script for my own ghost story. Instead of the typical scary happenings though, the twist will be that the ghost are very happy and well adjusted. They make dinner for the people who live in the haunted house and put on little skits, complete with period costumes. They also do all the housekeeping and landscaping. The residents of the house will eventually escape and write a book about it but nobody will believe them.

Since this "movie" is failing to keep me entertained, I'll throw out several brief movie reviews of films I've seen recently.

Sugar: Miguel "Sugar" Santos is a young pitcher in the Dominican Republic who has dreamed of playing baseball in the United States for most of his life. He finally signs a minor league contract with the A affiliate of the fictional Kansas City Knights in Iowa. Experiencing culture shock and feeling very isolated, he begins struggling. Without giving away too much of this movie, let me just say that the last third of the movie was inexplicable and hard to believe. I thought the ending was all wrong and was pretty disappointed. The one thing I found interesting, that I don't think was intended, was seeing Sugar struggle with isolation, I couldn't help thinking that with electronics being ubiquitous in this country, the movie was almost making the point that the youth of America are all isolated to some extent - that there is no more sense of community or family in this country anymore.

The Quiet Duel is a Kurosawa film about a surgeon who contracts syphilis from one of his patients during World War II and struggles - mostly alone - with this disease that apparently was incurable at the time. He breaks off his engagement from the woman he loves and has been waiting for him for several years. It's a good look into the Japanese ideal of stoicism. Not one of Kurosawa's best films, but still good.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Not nearly as bad as I'd expected based on the reviews I'd seen, but it still felt empty. Having never read any of the comic books, I felt lost a lot of the time, not knowing who most of the characters were. For a film that is supposed to tell the back story of Wolverine, I had more questions about his origins after watching than I did before. If you're in the mood for a big budget special effects spectacular though, it fits the bill nicely.

Swing Vote is one of the worst movies I've seen in quite a while. Not a single character is believable - they are all caricatures. Even if you buy into the concept of the presidential election being decided by one person's damaged ballot needing to be recast, it's hard to sit through a movie whose protagonist is a drunken, stupid man who neglects his daughter. Plus it employs one of my personal pet peeves that seem to be coming more common of late: a child who is way more intelligent and socially conscious than is believable. I don't call this the Lisa Simpson effect, but I think I might start. I don't find a little know it all to be cute, I find it pretty annoying. The one thing it had going for it was Paula Patton. She looked positively breath taking.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: I'm not even sure where to begin with this one. Neil Patrick Harris (of Doogie Howser fame) plays Dr. Horrible - a hapless supervillain trying to gain entrance into the Evil League of Evil, led by Bad Horse - the thoroughbred of sin. In this musical, Dr. Horrible has a video blog on which he discusses his innermost thoughts and fears as well as recounting his exploits. Nathan Fillion steals the show though as the Dr. Horrible's nemesis: Captain Hammer. He is absolutely hilarious. While this was easily one of the strangest movies I've ever seen, it was really pretty entertaining. I've never been a fan of musicals, but the songs weren't too bad for the most part. At 43 minutes, it moves along at a brisk pace and never gets dull. The dialogue is clever, and it is just a funny movie. The best part is that you can watch it in it's entirety online here.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Is There Something Wrong With Me?

For some reason, whenever I'm eating any candy that comes in different colors - Skittles, M&M's, Sweet Tarts, etc. - I feel compelled to separate them out by color before eating them. Even with candy like M&M's where the flavor is the same regardless of the color. Am I turning into Adrian Monk? Do I need to seek professional help before it develops into a full blown OCD? Should I just stop eating candy all together because I'm a fat ass?

In other news, please disregard the notes. No, I don't mind putting my candy on hand written notes and getting ink all over it, that's just extra flavor.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Who The Hell Is Lady Gaga?

I suspect I don't really want to know the answer to this one, but I keep seeing pictures floating around the internet of someone who goes by the title Lady Gaga. Pictures like this one.

lady gaga totally looks like slim jim

Based on what I've seen of her, and by that I mean more pictures like this of her, if it really is a her, in bizarre costumes, that she is some talentless hack who has managed to carve out a small niche for herself by going out in public looking like a clown or a freak. Is there any more to it than that? Does she even attempt some sort of entertainment or public service, or is her only discernible talent looking strange? And yes, I do realize that in this day and age, through the magic of google I could quickly get to the bottom of this mystery myself but I'm beginning to think I don't really want to know - that searching information on her will only uncover facts and images that I can't unlearn or unsee. I think I'm far safer within the familiar confines of ignorance and assumption.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Useless Trivia

Prussian king Frederick the Great is said by many biographers to have enjoyed drinking coffee made with champagne instead of water, and, occasionally, flavoured with mustard.

I'm still on the fence as to whether the coffee made with champagne is worth a try, but mustard is definitely out. That being said, I am officially offering the the king's ransom of $1 to anyone willing to try it and report back here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quote of the Day

"If you don't like your job, you don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half assed."

- Homer Simpson

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This Week In Pictures

Giant pumpkin carving at the fair. I went to the fair over the weekend for the first time in several years, and this is the only thing noteworthy enough to take a picture of. I probably should have taken a picture of the Earthquake burger I ate, but I assume everyone knows what a burger looks like. And perhaps you can't get a sense of scale in this picture, but including the pallets, this giant pumpkin probably came up to my chin.


This is what BBQ is supposed to be like. So much smoke that you can barely see and that you have to wear goggles and a gas mask. I'm also a fan of the huge gloves.


I should probably block out the license plate number, but I've never used photoshop and I'm too lazy to learn. And if I did, you wouldn't be able to see the point of the photo, which is: isn't this illegal?


This photo of the moon is actually probably a month old, but I forgot I had it on my phone. I wish it came out better, it looked pretty cool with just a few whispy clouds around it, giving it an aura. I think I'd like to take some photography classes.

Post Game Celebration

I got tickets to the Seahawks game and, well you know how that turned out, but this is about the real show that started after the game was over. I walked up to the International District bus tunnel and got in line to catch a ride home. We crammed as many people as we could onto the bus and headed on our way. The driver rolled right past the Pioneer Square stop and had no intention of stopping at University Street Station except that someone needed to get off. That's when all hell broke loose.

There was a group of older people waiting at that stop, and when the driver told them there was no room, one white haired old shrew absolutely went ballistic. I had parked at the Evergreen Point Park & Ride (right at the East end of the 520 floating bridge), and so found myself a seat as close to the front of the bus as I could since I would be one of the first ones off. This gave me a front row seat for the whole show.

Unfortunately for the driver the woman had her foot in the door so he could just close the door and drive away. As a result he had to listen to her scream a profanity laden tirade about how long they had been waiting and how they had no intention of waiting any longer. She then began to demand to know why he hadn't scheduled more busses since he knew that there was a game getting over at that time. A quick side note: Apparently this woman has yet to learn that the world does not revolve around her, and what's more, seems to be under the delusion that other people should have gotten off the bus and waited for the next one to make room for her and her group.

At this point she forced her way on, started screaming at everyone to move to the back of the bus, and physically began pushing people out of the way. She got up to where I was sitting, pointed a finger in my face, and said, "you need to move so someone else can sit down." While I normally would give up my seat to an older woman, after witnessing the preceding tirade I didn't feel inclined to encourage this kind of anti-social behaviour in the future by letting her have her way, I looked her in the eye and simply said, "no" and then looked away. Of course this set her off even more and she repeatedly called me an a$$ hole and began demanding that the driver call the transit police and have me kicked off the bus.

Another man on the bus apparently had heard all he wanted to and then told her, "we all waited a long time for the bus and we got on first so shut your f*#ing mouth." The man who was with her, presumably her husband, lost it and shouted, "f#$ you, you mother f#*er" and began pushing his way through the crowd trying to grab the guy. A few people held him back long enough to compose himself, and the bus driver was finally able to get the door closed and start moving again. We spent at least 5 minutes, probably longer, at this stop with all of this drama.

As luck would have it, once we got out of the bus tunnel and onto the freeway, traffic was barely moving, making for a long ride. The old lady turned it down from 10 to about 7, but still wasn't able to give it up. The whole ride she wouldn't stop griping about how incensed she was, and I heard her tell everyone around her at least 25 times that I was an a$$ hole. By the time we got to the Montlake stop in the U District, a young woman standing in front of me had had enough and turned and told her that her language was far worse than anything she had ever heard from any of the construction crews she works with and that she owed the entire bus, but in particular the driver an apology. This didn't go over well, but at least didn't send her into another psychotic rage.

The muttering continued all the way across the 520 bridge, and when we got to my stop, I heard her shout, "have a nice day." Presumably this last bit of sarcasm was meant as a final jab at me, but I just got off the bus without even looking back. The funny part of all this, that I probably shouldn't be proud of, is that the whole time I heard her berating me to everyone who could hear her, I couldn't help smiling and chuckling to myself. I found it so amusing that I could completely ruin her whole afternoon by simply not yielding to her demands and refusing to respond to her after that. I kind of wanted stir the hornets nest just a little further as I was getting off the bus by saying, "the only reason I didn't give up my seat is because you're a bitch" but instead took the high road and kept my mouth shut.

In retrospect, I should have given my seat up to one of the other ladies who were behaving themselves, but there was absolutely no way I was going to encourage this woman by letting her think that she can get what she wants by freaking out and acting like a psychopath. At this point I can't help but wonder what kind of career she had prior to retirement that might have contributed to her unbelievable sense of entitlement. I keep thinking she must have been an attorney. Who knows, but I'm sure that she'll spend the entire week telling everyone who will listen about all of the horrible people on the bus.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

Leela: "Is that a hobbit over there?"
Bender: "No, it's a hobo and a rabbit. But they're making a hobbit."

Courtesy of Futurama: Bender's Game

Zomedy

I believe that a new movie genre has been created, the zombie comedy, or zomedy if you will. Sure, there were some unintentional comedies - like any of George Romero's sequels to Night of the Living Dead or 28 Days Later - not to mention some low budget films which had to rely on comedy to compensate for the lack of special effects - see Dead Alive or Chopper Chicks in Zombietown. But it wasn't until Sean of the Dead came along that the zomedy genre, in my mind, was really born. Since then, films such as Dance of the Dead and Black Sheep came and went and now the big budget release Zombieland is set to take the nation by storm.

For starters, this movie does not look good and violates one of my cardinal rules of cinema: don't watch a movie starring Woody Harrelson. He was in the outstanding No Country For Old Men, so I can't say don't watch anything with him in it at all, but I think it's pretty safe to put a cap on him appearing in 10% of the scenes. More than that and you'll regret it. But I digress. The point really is, this is a pretty shallow shaft that has already been well mined. How much more can they milk it before it's not entertaining anymore? I guess the answer to that will come in about a week when we see how well Zombieland is received. I have yet to see a review, but I don't expect to see many good ones.

On the other hand, If You Were A Zombie may never get stale. Or maybe I just haven't looked at it recently or often enough to grow tired of it. Either way I'm glad to resurrect an old favorite.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Useless Trivia

On Tuesday April 18, 1979, the Mariners and A's played in front of a crowd of 653 fans at Oakland Alameda County Stadium. That is the smallest crowd ever to attend a Mariner game, and I assume the smallest for the A's too. That night the Mariners lost a 5-2 heartbreaker as Dave Heaverlo, future Mariner and father of former Mariner Jeff Heaverlo, picked up his 3rd save of the season.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Irony

In a shocking twist of fate, the entire Nippon Ham Fighters baseball team including coaches have been quarantined after 3 players tested positive for swine flu. You can't make stuff like that up. Apparently they weren't fighting the ham enough.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Photography

I'm a pretty big fan of photography despite the fact that I'm a pretty lousy photographer. So it made me happy to find not one but two sites recently with some pretty spectacular photos. First is the Smithsonian magazine web site which has several captivating space photos. In particular I was really awe struck by this photo from the Cassini space probe orbiting Saturn of the planet eclipsing the sun.

Today I stumbled upon an amazing photography blog titled Stuck In Customs. In particular it's about HDR, or High Dynamic Range photography. I didn't post a photo here primarily because I really couldn't narrow it down to just one to share. Some are absolutely breathtaking and others are a bit surreal and odd looking, but they are all fascinating. From what I've read, HDR is an editing process that uses software to bring out more radiant colors and contrasts. Anyway, the blog is kind of a photo travelogue with pictures from all over the world. I'll tell you right now though, once you start looking at the photos you might suddenly realize that an hour or so has slipped away from you.

And now, for no apparent reason, one of the greatest music videos ever filmed: Safety Dance! It combines all the excitement of a Renaissance fair with, well, dancing. And a midget. Or is it a dwarf? I'm ashamed to say I forgot which is which.


Okay, according to Wikipedia, a midget is proportional and a dwarf has shorter arms and legs but a normal adult size torso and head. Based on that, it appears that the little person in the video is in fact a dwarf. The costume makes it a little difficult to tell for sure though.