Monday, September 27, 2004

Not really a post! It's all a trick!

Robyn posted about an outing she took to the Santa Barbara Bunny Festival. It reminded me of a story that I wanted to share. Even though I'm STILL taking a blog break until October-ish, I figured the timing was right and if I waited I would forget. I tend to do that.

When my son was five years old and my daughter was nonexistent (unless you want to get all spiritual and say she was "waiting in the wings") my mother thought it would be a grand thing to get a couple of bunnies. And give one to us. Unasked for. That was the "grand" part.

The one we wound up with was a cow bunny (or a floppy dwarf or something). Mostly white with black splotches all over. And I'm just assuming it was a "he". Apparently there is a way to flip them over and check, but when I tried "he" got all wiggly and twitchy and there was hair everywhere. I never saw any "bunny bits" but I figured the attitude matched a male, so from that point on he was a he and I was damned if I was going to check again. Since we only had the one there was no penalty for guessing wrong, unless ours had figured out a way to somehow spawn without a mate. Like in Alien. (Chest-bursting bunnies. Just picture it! I dare you NOT to!)

My son named him Runkle. I don't know why. Did I mention he was five? He was dancing around me while I was holding the bunny (a dance like the pee-pee dance, only this variation is the "gimmeeeee!" dance) and I asked him, "What would you like to name him?"

He stopped wiggling and twitching (see? Male trait.) and got this "deer-in-headlights" look on his face. The noise that escaped him sounded like "Runkle?" When I asked to be sure that was what he said he latched onto it like a beaver on a fish flavored wooden leg. "Yes! Runkle!" It was an awkward name at first, but it grew on us.

Now, the problem with this arrangement was it fell to me to take care of this bunny. My son was too young to handle it. At the time I was the only adult in the house. The bunny was skittish and in turn my son got skittish and it was a mess.

I had enough trouble taking care my son. I'm afraid the bunny didn't get treated as well as he should have. To my credit I *did* keep him from dying. But that's about it. He almost never got to leave his cage and when he did you could just tell he was looking for a way to escape or someone to bite. If I had a bunny now (not that I want one) I could probably handle it a better. I'm more in tune with utter chaos than I used to be.

My mom got rid of her half of the pair around two months in. She couldn't get used to the smell or something. We held onto Runkle for at least a year and a half before he had to go. Toward the end I had been working hard to fix the damage that had been done to the wee bunny's brain. But we had to move into an apartment that didn't allow pets without an insane deposit. It turns out that a two-year-old kid – the one in the wings – with koolaid and a sharpie is far more damaging to an apartment than a rabbit would have been. The fools! Heheheeh.

Runkle had to go to the Humane Society.

Now, this is where my co-worker (and the brother of my girlfriend) Derek comes in. He is a very strong believer in "meat is meat", and that, in a majority of instances, a pet is merely food that comes when you call. Like Dominos with fur. He wanted me to give him Runkle rather than take him to the pound. He was quite adamant that bunnies are good eatin' and it would really be a shame to let such a biggun go to waste. He assured me that my son would never know, and asked me to just give it some thought.

But ultimately I couldn't do it. If I had given my son's first pet to him to cook up I'm not sure I would have been able to look at him the same way again. Or myself for that matter. Plus, he would have probably made a snappy t-shirt that read, "I ate Runkle" just for giggles.

So on a Saturday morning my son and I took Runkle to the pound. I was going to write about how painful that was, but I've decided not to. I'm sure most of you have had to deal with something similar, and if you haven't my explaining how it felt wouldn't be very effective.

Since then we have only had six pets. Four of them are African Dwarf frogs that my son got for his birthday a couple of years ago (only one of which has died so far) and two are fish that he inherited from a school science experiment having to do with the introduction of an outside element into a closed ecosystem. Why he got the honor of keeping them rather than his lab partner I have no idea. He must have "won" the coin toss.

Until we have our own house I've decided to stick to pets that you can flush if they die and that can't be cuddled. Although my son and I buried the dead frog in my mom's flower garden, and there was still much sadness.

So it's had a mixed kind of success.

Now, back to my blog break.

Friday, September 24, 2004

A slight break in my hiatus.

Yes, I'm still taking a break from blogging. And normally I would stuff this kind of post into my junk drawer. But I thought that anyone missing out on Hockey this season might find this interesting:

G4tv.com - Press Releases - VIRTUAL HOCKEY SEASON TO AIR ON G4TECHTV

I am curious to see if this can create more than a ripple.
(Link via Boing Boing)

Monday, September 20, 2004

The end times are upon us!

I wonder if it's the changing seasons.

Perhaps it's the approaching holidays and their accompanying stress.

Or even just the stress of day to day life.

Whatever the reason, some bloggers that I've spoken with have been considering shutting down or taking an extended vacation.

And yesterday I discovered that I am in the same sinking boat.

I was sitting at the computer Sunday afternoon, about to catch up on the blogs that I had fallen behind on while our internet access at work had been down.

My page loaded (I always jump around from here) and I was looking at it when a huge wave of "I really don't feel like doing this anymore" washed over me. So I sat there staring at my screen and analyzing that feeling while my son was making "Are you done with the computer yet?" noises in the background.

I scrolled through my last several posts and considered what I had written. I came to the conclusion that a lot of it (most of it, in my opinion) was just stuff I threw together to have something to post. I was just casting my babbling voice into the void for no other reason than "it's there, and seems to need filling." There was little of consequence to anyone, even me.

I thought about my forum and the storytelling game that I started. That is one thing that I am happy with. A lot of people have displayed really good storytelling skills by writing some interesting stories that might never have been written if it weren't for the game. Although I've failed to participate in the last two rounds, I'm glad to see it continuing just fine without me.

The rest of the forum might as well be dead though. I must have seen eight or nine movies in the theater since the last time I posted a review of anything. The photo scavenger hunt never got off the ground, and soon it will be too cold to have any fun playing. Not to mention that I can't figure out a way to display a photo in a forum post, only links to photos, so that would limit the interest.

A while back I came to the conclusion that I must have been out of my mind to think I could find the time to keep a forum up to date and interesting at the same time as a blog. I'm just not that entertaining or creative. So I opened up all of the rooms in the forum to any member that wanted to start a thread. Only a couple have taken me up on it so far, and I really appreciate their efforts to keep the forum going. I hope they will continue with the storytelling game, even if the rest of the place gets covered in dust.

With my focus taken off the forum for the past couple of months my blog is still just limping along. Occasionally funny, but usually lame.

Last week I posted about my disappointment that I would never get rich through blogging. It was a mixed truth. I never had any intention of anything I write or do here directly making money. But like nearly all of the wait staff in Hollywood, I was hoping to one day be discovered with even less of a chance of it happening (it's a BIG internet). The thing of it is though, nothing I've been doing lately has been worth discovering. Not really. When I contrast it to what I was doing back in the good old days of "Half-Assed Comics" it seriously pales in comparison. I suck mightily these days.

So, once again I'm going to take a break from regular (hah) blogging and figure out just what I can do here that will showcase my talents. Because I swear I do have talents. Writing just isn't a very strong one. I really slacked off too much in English class.

I'll still be cramming stuff in my junk drawer because that takes very little time and effort.

Once I've figured out what I want to do here I will resume... something. Whatever it is, it will need to be better than this. And if I can't come up with anything, then this is probably goodbye, because I'm just really not enjoying this anymore.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Johnny Ramone dies at 55 - Sep 16, 2004

The story here.

I want a Submarine for Christmas!

China Best Products has them!

Well, not in stock ("We don't have any sub in stock, so you might need to wait 8 month or longer to get your sub ready to deliver after you placing your order.").

But they can have them made! "By the famous shipyard" no less!

Or, failing at that, I could get a "gravestone & tombstone". They present a convincing argument:

"8 great reasons why you should pre-plan before you die"

PRE-PLAN vs. BEING UNPREPARED
both together : one alone
ability to reason : confused
pleasant conditions : grief stricken
good judgment : emotional overspending
comfortable terms : all cash
paid for ahead of time : using up life insurance
continue income : income may cease
peace of mind : uncertainty

To their credit, they do have photos of headstones.

For additional giggle, read their FAQ.

ESPECIALLY this gem:

Q: How can I know if I pay you, I will get the products I ordered? Not something else or even nothing?

A: Actually, there is no answer for this question. Our service is not for everyone, just for the people "Believe it before you see it".

Oh, I do believe! I do!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Speaking of porn.

I have no idea if Mark got a tip on this or if he spotted it on his own.

If you are at all familiar with the Goatse image that has been out on the net for years this will hopefully both amuse and disgust you.

That's right, I'm hoping for both.

You may have to tilt your head to the right and look at it to get the full impact though.

If you have NOT seen the Goatse image, bask in your ignorance and don't seek it out. Especially at work.

Goatse Time

At first I thought this cover was a joke, but sure enough, they have it displayed at their home site.

This came as a huge surprise!

Apparently, according to this article (via Mark Maynard) my chances of getting rich from my blog are roughly the same as cracking a diamond with my butt cheeks.

And I thought for SURE I was on the path to tons of money, fame and glory!

It all seemed so easy. I'm funny (they say). People like funny things, and even occasionally pay for funny things. So obviously, I should expect to be occasionally paid. Right? Right? I mean is that really expecting too much?

Turns out it is.

So now that my hopes and dreams have been dashed in the face of reality (Take THAT reality! You want more?! Come get some!) what is left?

How am I going to secure my future?

I might have to start selling cheap software, medication or porn through warm and personal mass emails to my close friends and the rest of the world.

From now on I will have to look my children in the eyes while thinking in the back of my mind, "I hope I can interest enough perverts in booby pics to pay for your college tuition since that whole "blog" thing went belly up."

It's simply not fair. Especially when I offer so much for so little to so few and ask for nothing but money and comments in return.

I believe it may be time for me to seriously rethink my retirement plan. And stock up on porn.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The poker night of fun and frolic

I am SO tapped. My brain spigot is down to a trickle. My creative pipes are clogged and I'm out of Draino™ and dynamite. I've worked on three other posts before this one and hated every one. Did I say hated? More like loathed down to the last serif.

And with each one I toss aside I have the overwhelming thought that I have to get SOMETHING posted or the last few of you who visit will give up, walk out and lock the door behind you. It's a stupid feeling, yet overwhelming and probably true.

So here it is. The post that will hopefully knock free the clog.

I'm going to talk about the Dead Money Poker Tournament (per Derek's command).

To start off, on Wednesday, three days before the game, my ex told me that she was very likely going to have to work on Saturday. Since she works nights that was a big, potential short notice problem. We work opposite shifts so we don't have a regular babysitter that I could call, and I couldn't have afforded one anyway. And while my mom is usually pretty good with pleas for kid watching, she doesn't seem to enjoy watching them late into the evening on a Saturday night for some reason.

On Thursday my ex found out that her hours were going to be the dayshift hours, so it turned out there were only going to be about two hours that the kiddos needed watching. So problem averted. My mom was fine with it and the kids got to eat nachos so there was much happiness for them (mom and step dad make real tasty nachos*).

Derek wanted everyone to arrive at 5:30. I think we made it around 5:45 and nobody else had arrived. The sun was blinding me as I was walking up to the porch so I totally missed seeing a knee high box-thing (that was left there by the previous owners... apparently) but I didn't miss walking right into it. Fortunately it sounded worse than it felt. And it really hurt so you can imagine how it sounded.

Once inside and bandages applied we started talking and I mentioned that Trevor was feeling kinda pissed about not being able to come, since it was a 21 and older tournament. Then Derek said something like, "Well, he could have come. He just can't drink any alcohol." ... Oh. See, I thought it was the whole illegal gambling thing that was a problem. Not the booze.

So I called him up and asked if he still wanted to come over. Well, duh! After Derek gave him directions** other players started showing up.

Once everyone had arrived Derek passed the hat so we could draw for which table we would be playing at. My Heather got the grownup's table (as did Derek's Heather) and I got the kiddie's table. We were disappointed that we were being split up, but what could we do? I figured I would be out in no time anyhow, what with barely knowing how to play poker.

My fellow players at the tiny table were Derek, Trevor and Sandy (who is a sneaky player). I briefly considered going "all in" (betting all my chips) on the first hand blindly just for a giggle, but didn't. Even though I *know* I could have goaded Trevor into going up against me. Instead I decided to stick it out and enjoy myself.

Overall it went better than I feared. I won a bit, lost enough to get nervous, then won some more. I didn't even need to cheat, which was a good thing because all I could think of was to yell "FIRE!" and steal a bunch of $100 chips while everyone ran in circles.

I think my biggest "tell" (that thing you do that other players can pick up on to tell if you have a good hand or not) was probably looking at the list of the poker hands Derek provided, looking upward until I found what I had and smiling. It wasn't nearly as subtle as I hoped. Yet in spite of this minor flaw in my strategy I helped Derek put Trevor out of the game, and then later took out Derek as well. To his credit lady luck was flipping him the bird pretty much all night.

Then I moved up to a seat at the big table. It was around 10:30 p.m.

While gathering my chips for the move something inside my messed up head must have clicked. I lost all perspective. What I had in my hands no longer represented a possible $20 and a tee-shirt. It was thousands of freakin' dollars and I have student loans to pay! I blame the pizza rolls.

So I get to the big table and take the seat to the right of my dearest Heather (who had a mountain of chips). To her left was Jason, then Lorne, then Sandy on my right. The blind was at the third highest tier of $120/$250 (if I recall right) and I started to play REAL conservatively. I was doooooomed. I don't think I won a single hand, but it's all a blur.

The 20 minutes for the tier was about to end, my stack was MUCH smaller and I was going to be to the left of the dealer so I would have to put up $500 on the next hand no matter what it was, and I only had a bit more than $1000 in chips. So I went all in with nothing in my hand except matching suit. I think I had a 10 high. (blur). Heather folded and it was down to me and Jason. He called.

I did learn one thing from this. Okay, two things. When I am totally freaked out I forget how to count. We must have spent what felt like a day and a half counting the chips I had left because I just kept messing up. The other thing is DON'T EVEN BOTHER COUNTING YOUR CHIPS UNLESS YOU WIN THE HAND! He obviously had enough to cover me. But I kept counting. Partly because a bit of my brain had finally kicked in. I was counting on a flush since I had two spades and there was one spade on the table. So I thought I had a chance. Not a BIG chance, obviously. THEN I realized mid count that there were already four cards down and only one was a spade. So only one more card was going to drop. You can't make a flush in a five card game with four cards. I was BONED!

So, yeah. Jason took me with a straight. He COULD have taken me with a high card. I was in shock. I moved back to the small table and helped Trevor sort chips until I was able to regain my mind. It took awhile. By the time Heather won I was about as normal as I come.

And, yes, I do want to play again. I just hope I can manage to keep my shit together better next time. Perhaps I should make "It's only $5..." my mantra. Or go drugged or something.

Wish me luck.

---
*They melt a box of Velveeta until it's creamy, include some good chili and salsa and other magical things that all other parents seem to know how to do, but I don't. And it's goooood.

Whereas I make "Lazy Man Nachos." I take the chips, spread them out in a baking pan, sprinkle a few types of shredded cheese on them and then bake them for about 8 minutes (or until I smell burning chips or the cheese looks melted) at 350˚ in the oven.

The recipe varies depending on how lazy I feel.

If its not-so-lazy I will brown some beef, add spices, chop up some precooked southwest chicken, get out the salsa and sour cream and make the nachos three layers deep.

If it's very-damned-lazy it's sliced cheese on chips for 40 seconds in the microwave and be thankful I'm feeding you.
---
**Me: "Derek, give him directions on how to get here from his house"

Derek: "You give him directions."

Me: "I only know how to get here from Powers." (Heather drove us from my mom's house, and when I'm the passenger I never pay attention to how I'm getting anywhere. I figure if I have to I can find my way home, and the rest is just details I don't need to hang on to. It's a flaw, but it's MY flaw!)

Derek: (looks at me like I'm an idiot) "*sigh* fine."

Me: (Walking away eating pizza rolls and smiling. I hate giving directions.)

Re: Short linkie posts.

Okay, since I've been catching flak from some of my visitors about cluttering up my perfectly good blogging space with little non-post "go here and look" style things I set up a Junk Drawer where I will stash this kinda stuff from now on. It's a bit bare at the moment (only a bit'o porn), but I imagine it will fill up quickly. You can find it in my sidebar near the top.

That is all. Get back to work.

Monday, September 13, 2004

I will post something new and interesting...

...soon. Ish. Soonish. In the meantime, browse this site (via WebZen) and be thankful you are all natural people. Unless you aren't, in which case RUE THE DAY! Go on. Get to rueing. We'll wait.

Awful Plastic Surgery

Friday, September 10, 2004

How time flies!

Here it is Friday already and I've managed to not really post anything of consequence all week. Yay me! I knew I could do it!

Still, I doubt anyone wants to hear my old (yet true) excuses for not having posted anything worth reading this week. Yeah, sure, I was sick all week (and Labor Day weekend) with a vicious cold, but really, who out there wasn't?!

And I have still been unable to "find my funny" that went missing... oh... around about the last time that I wrote something funny. It has been awhile. But I may be closing in on it. If I can track it down I'm going to try to corner it and then bludgeon it into submission with... something handy and heavy. I don't know. Dammit.

If you are one of my longtime readers you probably have realized by now that the preceding paragraph means I don't have anything today either. Well OF COURSE I don't! I'm still trying to remember the story idea that I thought of and then forgot a few weeks ago.

I briefly toyed with the notion of discussing religion in a rant fashion, centered mostly on self-proclaimed "tools of God". But then I didn't. It's just too serious for me to get away with at this time and would have probably, at the very least, pissed a few of you off. Or made me look like a devil worshipping moron. Neither option appeals, personally.

So, lacking anything better, I would like to point out that I have filtered through my mammoth links list again. Yes, that LONG string of other, funnier places to go has gotten a tinch longer! And possibly funnier! "Retail Blog", "Foxy Mama's Blog", and "News of the Dead" moved out of Fresh and into Keepers. And in Fresh I've added "Adverbloggin", "43 Folders", and "Pup". If you have the time, check them out.

With that I'm going to get back to... you know... work. I hope you all have a good weekend. Mine looks to be a bit packed. Perhaps I'll post on Monday how I was caught cheating at tomorrow's poker game. I never got in any practice playing this week (see "Reasons for not posting") and I'm doomed if I don't cheat. I may as well set my $5 on fire. And I KNOW I'll get caught because I don't really know the game well enough to be very good at cheating either. It isn't going to be pretty.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Boing Boing: Underground movies

And another boing boing link that I found interesting. The previous one looks to be very interesting for us Mac users.

Underground movies

Boing Boing: Merlin's tips and tricks

"Merlin Mann, the hilarious polymath geek dude, has started a new site of usability tips-and-tricks called 43 Folders that is chock-a-block with really excellent tips for getting the most out of every bit of technology in your life."

Merlin's tips and tricks

Go build an airplane.

The Flapper

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A little sumpin' for my homies.

Linkin' the bling bling.

Word to your mum. Yo.

(I'm so white I glow in the dark.)

And at the other end of the spectrum I offer this: Godly Play Resources

While I have no first hand experience with either of these businesses, it is obvious to me that they each are doing their part to make this a better, more diverse world where we can all live in harmony. Prove they aren't.

My eyeeeeeeeeesssssss!

Don't follow this link.

Don't!

You have been warned.

Monday, September 06, 2004

About that art program...

... yeahhhh. It seems my computer's video card isn't powerful enough to run it.

Back about two years ago when I got my computer I decided to NOT go with a G4 tower, which is relatively easy to expand and instead went with a G4 Cube which was cool looking, less expensive, compact and easier to keep out of reach of my then 2-year-old demolition expert.

It really seemed like a good idea at the time. However about a month after I bought it, Apple announced that they were discontinuing the Cube because nobody was buying it. So the price dropped to about half what I paid.

Arrgh.

Still, it was a good computer at the time. And I wasn't really regretting my decision until about a year ago. That was when I went to our work tech support guy and asked him if there was any way to increase the speed and the video card on my cube.

It's possible, but it's not cheap and it's not easy. A faster processor and more powerful video card mean increased heat and the Cube doesn't have a fan. It's quietly air cooled which was one of it's selling points. So upgrading it would mean jury-rigging the thing and it's not worth the risk of frying it and winding up without a computer.

So what it comes down to is I need a new computer. I NEEEEEED a G5 tower. But I really can't afford one.

At times like this it's a good thing that I don't have any elderly, rich relatives that have me in their will. It would lead to evil deeds and guilt, you can be sure.

*sigh*

So, no art for you people just yet. Sorry.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."