Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I loved it. Really, I did.

Wendy linked to this in the comment field of Derek's Thanksgiving post and it was VERY amusing. A slightly less insane Don Herzenfeldt kinda thing. Watch and enjoy: Mr. Otto in "Olympics"

He also has this and this.

ALSO this is a cool browse: SNAPS: Community Photoblog

Those were the days my friend

My first duty assignment in the USAF was at RAF Upper Heyford* in England. Since I was single I was posted to the enlisted dorm and since I was an A1C I had to have a roommate.

The first roommate I was assigned to was a guy from my shop named Mark Reese. He was a very quiet guy, who rarely talked and kept to himself for the most part. He also chewed tobacco. In spite of this we got along pretty well.

Over time we started hanging out with another dorm rat named Ken Davis** who was in Avionics as I recall. Ken was the total opposite of Mark. He was large, loud and could put away a serious amount of alcohol. He was a very fun guy to be around. We used to torment the shitkicker contingent of the dorm personnel on Country music night at the base club by playing Ivor Bigguns' song "Halfway Up Virginia" (I love the internet) as loud as we possibly could on Ken's stereo over and over. I'm surprised the SPs never showed up. Or some irate Country music fans.

One afternoon the three of us (his roomie was off doing something for God) were hanging out in Ken's dorm room watching videos on his kickass VCR*** when from the top bunk where Ken was sitting I heard, "Garrrgh! PLah! MARK! Were you using this Coke can for your SPIT?!"

Mark just grinned and said, "I guess so, sorry."

"Man that's fucking NASTY! You need to mark your cans or something!"

Ken had taken a huge drink of tobacco spit tea. It was as funny as it was horrifying. I had learned before that incident to keep my soda close and not drink from anything I'm not sure of around Mark. Ken had to learn the hard way.

Amazingly he didn't kill Mark and even eventually even had him as a roommate of his own.

But that's a story for another time.

---
* I googled RAF Upper Heyford to be sure that I was spelling it correctly (because it has been YEARS since I've written it out) and found the site that I linked to. I haven't given the base any real thought in years, but I just found out from that site that it was closed down 10 years ago.

I'm absolutely amazed that I feel sad by this. Seriously amazed because at the time I was there I was pretty miserable. The only bright spot really was finally being in England. Yet, in thinking about it that was also the happiest time I spent in the Air Force. Except during chemical warfare exercises of course. It doesn't help that England was followed up by a year at Dyess AFB in Abilene Texas, "Home of the B-1 Bomber" and all kinds of cow smells and heat.

Logically I would never be seeing this base again, but the fact that it has closed has shaken me to the core. Bizarre. One of the many thoughts zooming through my head was "I wander what happened to the Peace Campers."

I was a member of the 20th CRS in the PMEL (Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory) shop from 1988 to 1990. For whatever that's worth.

** I found what might be his email address on the duty roster of the linked page and have written to him. I'll let you know what comes of that.

*** I've never seen a VCR like this one since. I know it was seriously expensive, but it was able to slow down a video to a steady frame by frame playback as well as many other strange video features (like a plasma image filter). It was with this slow playback that we were able to see, in the movie 'Bad Taste' by Peter Jackson, a hand holding a bucket toss out the blood as Peter's character, Derek, hits the rocks among the seagulls. It was fantastic.

Monday, November 29, 2004

This might keep you busy

while I figure out what to write. The Fridge

I suppose I could get back to writing about my "obsessions".

You would think

that after a 4-day weekend I would have SOMETHING to write about, but I feel so tired right now that nothing's coming.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Derek's house. In spite of my best effort I passed out on the couch. I only hope I didn't snore or drool too much. Heather assured me that I didn't, but she loves me so she may be playing it down.

Friday afternoon Heather and I braved the crazies out Christmas shopping to go to CompUSA and buy a monitor for my new computer. That proves she loves me. She took what was at least two hours out of her day to spend among the masses shopping for something that didn't likely interest her at all and she didn't complain!

Oh yeah, and I have a new computer at home now. It's a mixed blessing. I had to take out a loan against my 401k to be able to afford it, and now I'm stuck here until I pay it off. But it's a mid-range G5 tower, so it's expandable (unlike my previous G4 Cube) and it SHOULD last me more than 3 years for usability. I didn't get it set up until late Saturday night and still have a fair amount of tweaking to do.

And that's about it.

I have a strong feeling that I am entering a posting dry spell at least as far as interesting/funny posts go. Or maybe it's just because it's Monday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

This has to be

one of the funniest (to me) Flash movies I've seen in ages. Enjoy.Icon War

And if I don't get time to post again later I hope that all of my USA visitors have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, and my foreign visitors have a nice Thursday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Minor update:

Here, here and here I posted about the identity theft attempts that were using the names of CitiBank and SunTrust to gather their data.

In case you weren't bored with it all by now, apparently Snopes has the scoop on the scam here. It was interesting for me at least to see how the scam was supposed to work. I had clicked on the link in two of the emails to see what would happen and it just called up a blank screen, so either it doesn't work against Macintosh users, or it doesn't work in Safari.

And unless something major occurs, that's the last you hear about this from me.

Since I have nothing for you today,

I give you this: www.ComicCovers.com - Your source for weekly comic book cover scans. Courtesy of Boing Boing. Now back to work.

Monday, November 22, 2004

One person's nightmare...

... is another person's pleasant dream.

I had a night of sleep that felt like a good, refreshing eight hours, although it was really only about six and a half, tops. Minus a bit for various near-waking incidents.

I like those kinds of nights.

Usually they involve wall-to-wall dreaming although most of the time I don't remember much about the dreams.

Last night was pretty much the same way. Although I do recall how one dream segment went.

I was in a classroom, and I had just finished the last of the work that I had been staying late to do when all of a sudden I was surrounded by numerous undead creatures and various other monsters (I recall a Cthulhu kinda thing and a werewolf, as well as others).

Somehow I ducked and dodged my way out of the room and into the hallway, tore around a corner and hid in a darkened side room. There was a gangly teenager with wild eyes in there already and I asked him if he minded if I stayed there until the monsters had gone.

At first he seemed to shake his head "no", but then it turned into that kinda head shaking effect from "Jacob's Ladder" and he dove at me.

I slid to the side and slammed him to the ground as he was going past, put my foot against his chest, said, "Well, so much for getting along." and then shot him in the face.

Where I got the gun from, I have no idea, but it did the job.

And then after that the dream moved along an entirely different track that I don't recall anything of. I think it shifted because my subconscious was wondering about the gun, and rather than wake me it found it easier to change directions.

Not as pleasant as Heather's dream, but overall I enjoyed it. And I *think* it may have been partly triggered by some of the board games we saw this weekend while Christmas shopping. They looked like good, creepy fun.

Or perhaps I'm just weird.

That's it for today. Lean, I know. Sorry. I doubt I'll have anything new to post tomorrow, unless I do it from home tonight. We have to squeeze five days of work into three and we are down one artist. And the "EMERGENCIES!" are already beginning.


Friday, November 19, 2004

If you happen to need it:

43 Folders: Hack your way out of writer’s block

I know I can use this once in a while.

Answering questions: part 2

And this should catch up the questions that I was asked back on the 15th. If there are any more, feel free to ask them in this post's comments.

Angela asked:

Q: What is the biggest lie you ever told, who did you tell it to, and would you change it if you could?
A: I honestly don't lie very often, and I never tell big lies. The worst that I tell are social lies, and even then I try to stay as honest as possible. There is a reason for this behaviour, but it would require its own post.

Q: Why is the sky blue? OR...why is the grass green? (Take your pick...)
A: The sky is blue BECAUSE the grass is green. And the grass is green because the sky is blue. It's a vicious cycle. I blame the bunnies.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in TIME, when would it be, and why?
A: I would travel ahead to New Years Eve so I could miss all of the ad building on short weeks that is ahead of us. Except for Derek, since he took the week before Christmas off. Again.

Q: What is the meaning of life?
A: Recreate, procreate, defecate and don't be late.

Q: How many U.S. states have you been in (travelled through counts)?
A: I go through states like a sobbing woman goes through Kleenex, leaving them crumpled and damp behind me. Let's see... Most of these are pass-through, and a few are stayed awhile: Colorado (duh), Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska, South Dakota, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York. Not too bad for someone that despises traveling as much as I do.

Q: What the hell does "lucasarts" mean?
A: It used to mean "Quality and Creative Adventure Game" but now it usually means "Another Stupid Star Wars Game". Although they are trying to improve those, it's slow going.

AndyC asked:

Q: What time do you want to play Halo 2 this weekend? I'm thinking Friday night and Saturday morning...what do you think?
A: I think I didn't see this in time and never showed up online that weekend. Oops. But my living room looks a lot better now.

Derek asked:

Q: Why do you lie so darn much? And don't say that you don't...I'll just call you a "liar."
A: Then I guess you'll have to call me a liar, because I don't lie so darn much. Not so darn much at all actually.

Q: What're you bringing to Thanksgiving?
A: My girlfriend, my kids, myself and something else that you want me to bring but haven't told me about yet. You want me to guess or something? Okay... hmmmm... Cheetoes.

Have a great weekend all! Except for you in the back. You were talking all through my post. I hope you have a real horrible weekend, you rude punk.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

That clears all that up.

ShotgunGuide- Official Rules for Calling Shotgun

Yet more rant! I'm in a mood, can you tell?

Whenever I see this while driving:



I think of this:



Why is messing with Calvin unacceptable to me when music mashups and filesharing aren't?

Simple.

Someone other than the creator is making money selling these and other Calvin rips (calvin peeing, calvin mooning, etc.) without significant alteration from the original source. Their weak idea that couldn't have stood as well as it has on it's own is coasting on the success and popularity of Calvin and Hobbes, even this long after the strip ended. The people doing the mashups are doing it for a reason other than money. They aren't charging and they are adding something to the creative commons. I view the Calvin rippers as parasites and the music mashers as artists.

So Bill Watterson never authorized these decals, yet people have been stealing Calvin's likeness and using it for years without his permission. And the fact that they have been around for years without anyone being able to stamp them out (and his syndicate is trying*) is another testament to the fact that the only way filesharing will be stamped out is to eliminate the ability or the desire to share files.

As long as someone wants to copy something and has the means to do so, there will be copying. And as long as that person is willing to share it with others and they are willing to accept it, there will be sharing.

Making it illegal won't make it stop. Prohibition anyone? Any pot smokers in the audience? Last I heard stealing cars and killing people was illegal, but that still happens too. All that making it illegal will accomplish is more people being shuffled through the overflowing judiciary system without having committed a crime that hurt any other individual in the nation.

It's not the average person who happens to download some songs from the internet (rather than purchasing a CD that they weren't going to anyway) that are hurting these litigious corporations' bottom lines. It's the people who are doing it en masse, packaging the resulting CDs they burn from the shared music, and then selling them as legitimate copies. You know. The actual pirates. The ones making their living from it.

Passing laws making filesharing illegal may stop a lot of the individual filesharers who don't want to be sued or go to jail for something so silly. They will then resume not buying the overpriced products they already weren't buying. But it won't stop the real pirates. Like they give a flip about the laws.

So if laws won't eliminate the desire to steal music, how about eliminating the ability? Install DRM in every product sold from this point on. Cripple computers so that they can't copy anything without hopping through 50 hoops and getting the approval of God and Jesus. Tag everything to trace back to an originator, so he can be sued into oblivion for letting his copy of Britney Spears' latest piece of plastic out of his sight for five minutes. Charge everyone in the world a flat, yearly music tax that is shared among the corporations. Fuck the end user seven ways from Sunday.

Beyond the obvious, the problem with this is the people who make their living pirating the product will work their collective asses off to ensure that any blocks that are placed in the path of their money flow will be circumvented. It's kinda their careers. And the really prolific ones aren't even in this country.

The average filesharer will just get more and more pissed about the new restrictions placed on their purchased property until they decide they've had enough and find a way to fight back, be it through protest, boycott or some other way of letting those in power know that they aren't pleased with things as they are.

What it comes down to is Pandora's Music Box has been opened and it's time to find a way to deal with the contents. Fighting it tooth and nail may eventually work, but at what cost?

One last thing I'm thinking about and then I'm done for today. We are told from early childhood that sharing is good. It's wrong to be selfish. Sharing with others makes them happy and it makes you happy. Sharing has Jesus' official seal of approval. Now it's wrong and illegal? According to corporations and their lawyers and pocket politicians? I don't think so. As long as sharing is done freely and without profit than it isn't wrong.

---
*For more information about Calvin and Hobbes, consult your local Wikipedia: The Calvin & Hobbes Wikipedia entry

This is keeping in with yesterday's posts

Boing Boing: Mashup tools needed for civil disobedience

Sounds good to me. Worth keeping an eye on. Especially for people musically inclined like Trevor and Derek. Not that they will do anything with it, of course. No need to sue us.

The author's home page is this: Flashenabled

He seems to have all kinds of interesting "stuff" there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

And breaking news!

MSNBC - Hollywood sues alleged file swappers

Timely or what?

And this too:

Boing Boing: Grey Video: Beatles/Jay-Zee VIDEO mashup will delight you

And more annoyance

Normally I would shove this in my Junk Drawer where I keep most of the bit pieces found on my Internet travels. However I'm posting this one here because it ties in rather nicely (I feel) with my previous post, and also because I really, REALLY like this particular mashup.

If you haven't heard it yet you still have a few days to grab it before it becomes unavailable and possibly more illegal.

Boing Boing: Legal threats for linking to mashup

Disney, in my opinion at least from having followed their copyright shenanigans for the last several years, is one of the largest obstacles for an artist these days. Art isn't created in a void and Disney(™®©π∑º) has flooded our popular culture with so many icons, images and sounds for the past few decades that it's difficult to resist the desire to do something new with some of it.

In my opinion, if someone is using bits of your "stuff" to make more, fun, "reworked so much it feels new" "stuff" and then tossing it into the CC void while not making a dime off it, AND they aren't doing it as an attack on your company then it's not hurting anything.

As it is, I didn't know that Disney held the rights to Queen's music until I read this. When I first listened to "A night at the Hip Hopera" I didn't feel that it desecrated the memory of Queen, and I didn't even give Disney a thought.

Now that I know Disney owns the right AND are threatening to SUE someone for LINKING to this really cool mashup, I do think even less of them then I already did. They are hurting themselves more than the Kleptones are.

They need to be smacked in the mouse.

An addendum to micro-rant...

One of our coworkers was burglarized a while back and his entire CD collection was stolen. The thief wasn't caught, the collection wasn't returned.

Our coworker recently finished replacing all of his stolen music through P2P file sharing.

If he were caught "stealing" music through the Internet and was prosecuted he would likely owe more money and/or do more jail time than the thief who stole (actually, physically STOLE) all of his original CDs. Assuming the thief is ever caught, since by now the case is cold and nobody is looking for him, for this particular crime, anymore.

So it would seem it's not so much about the actual crime as it is who you commit the crime against. Steal from a citizen and get a slap on the wrist (assuming the effort to find you is vigorously applied, and you are in fact caught). Steal from a corporation and get sued into destitution.

I see a definite lack of balance here.

And now for a micro-rant!

I agree with this:

Wired News: 'Music Is Not a Loaf of Bread'

Now some questions for "those in power":

If I buy a CD used, how much of that sale makes it into the pockets of the recording executives or, to a lesser extent, the artist? Yet it's still legal to buy used music, right?

If I listen to a song in a friend's car and enjoy the sound of it, but never buy the album that it's from, is that a lost sale? Am I committing some kind of crime by listening to and enjoying music without buying it?

What if I borrow that CD from that friend and then listen to it on my own player, with no intention of buying a copy for myself? Am I stealing the music then? Or do I actually have to make a physical (or purely digital) copy first? The original disc is still there. I give it back to my friend. Where does the property lie? In the noise or the plastic?

If borrowing from a friend is a crime, then what if I borrow the same CD from the library? What then?

Now some statements to all:

This whole brouhaha about people stealing music via P2P filesharing is not really about lost sales or "stealing" music. It's about greed. The greed of the people who fear they will lose everything if this isn't STOPPED! The greed of the millionaires suing college kids for the HIGH CRIME of not having the money to spare on CDs, yet still wanting to be able to listen to a song they like when they feel like it.

It comes down to this, execs: If I like the music that you are selling, I will buy it, even if I can get it for free.

If I find music that I enjoy online I will buy the CD.

For example, I first ran across the Aquabats on the old-school Napster back "in the day". I probably downloaded....mmmm... 20 or so songs. I was hooked to their sound. Since then I've purchased, at full price, two of their CDs, their DVD, and I took my son and girlfriend to their concert in Denver and spent around $150 on tickets and merchandise. This is for a band that I've never heard on the radio (I hate to listen to the radio), and would likely have never heard of if it weren't for file sharing and the internet.

The same with the Bloodhound Gang. I first found their music on Napster as well and I now have all three of their CDs, and their DVD. Purchased legally, although one of the CDs was used. And I've heard they have an upcoming CD that I will be buying as well. Because I know I like them (although the DVD was a bit on the nasty side). Because I was able to listen to a wide range of their music without an initial investment, other than my time. All thanks to file sharing.

And finally, to The Industry:

Stop fearing P2P and discover how to use it to your advantage. Offer the consumers music that isn't cookie-cutter, formula crap. Test new bands on P2P servers first to see who is worth a recording contract and who isn't. Provide some incentives that you can't get by file sharing for people who purchase the actual CD, like concert tickets or discounts on band or label related clothing. Stop suing your customers. I can personally say, as someone who doesn't buy that many CDs anyway, there are at least six bands that I now listen to and have bought from that I never would have found if it weren't for file sharing.

Yes, there are people that will leech everything for free and never pass along a dime to you and your artists. But do you really think that outlawing P2P file sharing will make them realize what they are doing is wrong? Make them say, "Okay, fine. Here's my $16 for the one or two songs on the CD that I like and the rest of the crap." Not a chance. They'll just steal it a different way. You are trying to destroy a fantastic opportunity for everyone, you greedy, short-sighted, litigious, rich, out-of-touch "men in suits".

It seems to me that you people won't be happy until we each have specially encoded earplugs implanted at birth that won't allow us to hear any music that may be playing anywhere until we've put a dollar per song in your pocket.

I'm not even going to start talking about the fear that pirated movies will ruin the movie industry. It's all one and the same.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

BREAKING NEWS

on "The Invasion of the Tiny, Fur-bearing Bastards"

Okay, I bought two live mouse traps from WalMart a couple weeks ago, against the advice of everyone earlier to just kill them. I was tired of killing. I figured I would give them a chance to leave the house peacefully.

WalMart only had one brand of live trap available*, and although it didn't look like a good one to me I shelled out the $11 each and held onto my receipt. The instructions on the box were to wind the trap five or six times (but don't overwind) and then place the trap on the pathway along the wall where the mouse has been seen. The idea was the mouse would run along through the trap (not supposed to use bait as it may reduce the effectiveness of the trap**) step on the pressure plate and it would quickly flip him like a furry little Indiana Jones into the holding cell and be reset for the next fool mouse to come along. It said it could hold up to 10 mice in comfort and style.***

Apparently I don't have foolish mice. I put them in the two areas where I knew the mice were frolicking and gave it a week. Nothing caught. So I boxed them back up and took them back to WalMart to return them. The lady at the Customer Service station gave me a look when I handed them over and said, "So they were used."

I answered, "Only technically since they never caught a mouse." I guess it mattered as to whether they went back on the shelf or not, but all I know is I got my $22 back.

Then I resumed ignoring the situation until yesterday morning.

I had climbed back in bed to warm up after my morning shower and I happened to be looking over in the direction of one of my DVD towers when a HUGE brown mouse streaked past the tower and ran behind the entertainment center, waving his dangly bits as he went and snickering at me as if to say, "Hah! You humane foooool! I'm off to gobble Cheerios!".

'You little...argh!' I thought. I leaped from my bed and looked behind the entertainment center but he was gone. Still, I knew I had seen him. And he was far too big and smug to tolerate any longer.

So last night I stopped off at the grocery store and picked up four snap traps. And groceries. Because I was there.

When I got home I unpacked everything and my son said, "So you bought some of the killing traps?" This made me feel bad about the whole thing all over again. When I was driving my son to school a couple years ago a squirrel darted out in front of us. I hit the brakes and the squirrel made it across the road. When we got going again I asked him why he was smiling and he said, "Because I have a dad that will stop for squirrels." And here I was setting up the killing kind of traps.

I explained to him that we tried the live trap method and it didn't work. I told him about the mouse I had seen that morning, how big it was, and if you see one there are many. I said that we cannot allow them to stay around the whole winter. And that they are disease ridden, spew flame and eat children. He said he understood. His sister was just keen on squishing mice. She still has a cartoon brain though, and doesn't really understand "death" as a final thing. She thinks traps catch mice by the tails, and then the mouse looks back in annoyance as he munches on the cheese. There's no final twitching in her world.

I loaded three of the traps with peanut butter, put one in my bathroom, one in my bedroom in the spot wwhere I had seen that morning's mouse, and one under the kitchen sink. I held one in reserve because as I said before, I'm not going to unload them when they've caught a mouse. I checked them all before I went to bed.

Then this morning when I made the rounds I found one dead under the kitchen sink. I loaded the reserve trap, swapped it out with the full one, trashed the full one and was looking calm before any kids noticed anything.

It's very unlikely that the mouse caught in the kitchen is the same as the one I saw in my room, although it was around the same size, if what I've read about them staying within 12-20 feet of their nests is true. I figure that with the distance involved I have around three nests minimum.

I'm gonna need more traps.

Now if there actually is such a thing as an EFFECTIVE live mouse trap I'm willing to pick one up in addition to the snap traps and save the lives of whichever mice are smart enough to choose well, but either way they are going to go.

---
*I cannot remember the brand of this trap. I wish I could. Their logo is like a head-on view of a cat that just slashed the customer. I get it now. They also make glue traps and traditional snap traps. And they had a website that was as crappy as the trap. If anyone happens to be in a WalMart and has a better memory for names than I do and a desire to look at the traps and drop me a line I would appreciate it. I tried to Google it, but no luck, so you know they're a top brand.

**By creating more mice, I guess. "One goes in, two come out!"

***It was teasing.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Answering questions: part 1

Okay, taking a quick break from trying to fix all the things wrong with the new computer here at work and I thought I would answer a few of the questions that I was asked last week:

el sid asks:

Q: what was your favorite book as a child?
A: "Never Tease a Weasel". Not really a book, more of a short story, but it was in a fantastic collection of nonsense stories that my mom had bought for me. That was my favorite story in the book. Then she leant it to a friend who wanted to Xerox it (my mom, a pirate pioneer) and the woman never gave it back. Now it's gone forever.

Q: vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry?
A: Why certainly! And in large amounts.

Q: did you know that those are the only ice cream flavors they have in England?
A: Hmmm. Not sure I believe this. But then again when I was in England back at the end of the 80's I ordered a chocolate shake at the locally run dive on base my first night there. I nearly vomited. I think I stuck to ice cream purchased from the commissary for the rest of my tour of duty.

Q: if you could travel anywhere in the entire world, right now, where would you go and why?
A: Assuming it was a round trip I would pop over to England to load up on all the Terry Pratchett goodies that we can't get here. And do other stuff as well, while I was there.

Heather asks:

Q: Favorite Zim episode?
A: Oh sure, make me choose. Arrgh. I can't single out one favorite, but up among the top is "Ultra Peepee".

Q: Favorite Terry Pratchett book & character?
A: Again, hard question to answer since he writes about so many different characters. I guess if I would have to choose I would say Commander Vimes is my favorite character, and favorite book would be 'Guards! Guards!' followed by 'Night Watch'

Q: Favorite thing about your job?
A: At this moment, it's having the new computer FINALLY! This thing SCREAMS! Just a bit buggy. Gotta tame it.

Q: Favorite thing about your girlfriend?
A: She's very fun, shares my sense of humor, seems to understand me even when I am at my weirdest, enjoys spending time with my kids and is smoking hot!

Q: If you could go back to any point in history, what would it be and why?
A: I would probably go back to my younger self and tell me to relax, it's not as bad as it seems. I know, lame answer with all of history to travel to, but there you go.

And the last set of questions for this break are from nicki:

Q: If you could be any bug in the world what would it be?
A: Mothra.

Q: What kind of alcohol have you developed a taste oversion to and why?
A: A long, long time ago I totally went overboard with Crown Royal. I went past drunk, but didn't pass out. My head just hurt like hell. And then for the next three years anytime I drank alcohol I would get an immediate headache. So I stopped drinking. Don't know if that counts as an aversion though. Oh yeah, and once I had uzo. Instant taste aversion. Nasty. Blech.

Q: Do you have a criminal record, if so what for?
A: Does Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" count? Just kidding. I don't have anything by MJ. And no actual criminal record either. Nothing that followed me past the age of 18 at least.

Q: What is your favourite kind of music/bands?
A: I have a wide, wiiiiide variety of musical taste. Let's see, top of mind: Modest Mouse, Scissor Sistors, the Cure, Talking Heads, Moody Blues, ICP, the Aquabats, Dance Hall Crashers, No Doubt, Depeche Mode, OMD, Ivor Biggun, Pink Floyd (sorry Heather), The Beastie Boys, The Beatles, Neutral Milk Hotel, Toasters, Elton John, Front 242, Nine Inch Nails, Fleetwood Mac, Kraftwerk, Bran Flakes, various classical musicians, and... a lot more I'm sure.

And I'll answer more next time. Now to lunch!

Friday, November 12, 2004

What's this in my bag?

I went to Chipotle for lunch the other day, and in the bag when I pulled out my food was an advertisement card. Apparently they are offering a vegetarian burrito now, and this is some kind of tie-in... BUT! Well. Fine. Here's the front of the thing so you can see it yourself:



On an ad that has only three elements (title, logo and "slogan") isn't there some kind of limit to the number of sexual innuendoes allowed? Like maybe, I dunno, one? And if there are more than one, should their messages conflict with each other?

The first one made me chuckle (the title), because I have that kind of sense of humor. But the second one... Okay, let's assume this is targeting vegetarians in an effort to get them interested in the new burrito. How many of them will be amused by, "You Can't Beat Our Meat."? None of the really serious ones I would imagine.

We have a newly hired vegetarian in the art department, and as much as I would love to get her reaction to this, I'M not going to be the one to show it to her. I may not like my job, but I do need it.

But wait! It gets better! On the back of this card is just the kind of information that is CERTAIN to draw the vegans into Chipotles around the country:



That's right! "The Meat On Our Meat"!

You will notice, I hope, that throughout the entire text they never refer to "cows". It's always called by its end-product name of "beef". Hmmm. Oh yeah, and the introduction of "bovinely" and "bovine" in the place of "divinely" and divine" is a nice, "witty" touch. "Only the best witty for OUR customers!"

In my opinion they may as well have added at the bottom, "See, vegans, we aren't just mincing up any old mobile beef that we happen to find by the roadside. Just the pure ones! They are so much better tasting than your average, chemically and mentally fucked up, um... beef. Even better than eating a vegetarian if you ask our ad guys! And in this way we are helping to make the world a better place. Our meat-eating customers are getting healthier, safer beef bits to chew and you can go hug the nasty poisoned ones to your veggie lined heart's content. Win-win!"

Although there really wasn't enough room on the card I suppose.

I just don't know... On the one hand I'm amused at the absurdity of it all. On the other hand I have to wonder just what were they thinking? Did it twig in any of their brains how this looks? Or is it intentional? A viral marketing ploy of some bizarre kind? Get the vegans in the joint angry if you have to, but get them in so we can sell them veggie burritos.

Anyway, back to work. Have a good weekend all! I'll start answering questions "soon"!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Deja Vu-doo 2

Slightly more sophisticated looking, a little more convincing perhaps, but still a lie! LIE! I also like the sender's address.



Such a wonderful grasp of language on display. It's almost artistic.

Remember, it's "obligatory to folow" like a good little lemming.

Anyway, back to work.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

One more quick Halo 2 note.

I really enjoyed what this guy had to say about his experience waiting to get the game. And I did not find this looking for stuff about Halo 2. I'm not that ...mmmm... "obsessed" was the word, I think. It was just a happy coincidence.

That is all.

Go back to whatever it was you were doing.

It's Wednesday

For those of you who aren't paying attention, or those who are in a radically different time zone. I'm busy at work and the next two days are probably going to be quite busy as well. You see, Derek's abandoning us tomorrow and Friday to go celebrate his wedding of all things. So, extra work for all. Yay. But seriously, I hope Derek has a fantastic four day Anniversary. We'll be waiting for him on Monday.

I am working on (ie: thinking about how to go about starting) a post that covers my various obsessions and addictions, but that's probably not going to be done until Monday-ish.

In the meantime here's how I feel about Halo 2 having played it (but not played it on XBox Live) for about 2.5 hours (1 hour single player and 1.5 in system link battle with my son and daughter):

It's like the first Halo only "more". More weapons, more expansive levels, more story development, more vehicles (and destructible), more enemies, more details, and overall more fun.

But there are some glitches that surprise me considering how long it was in development.

Even more fun than in the first Halo is the multiplayer game. There still aren't computer controlled bots to fill things out if you don't have Live. In that case you need friends and a big enough TV that playing on a split screen isn't too annoying (or extra XBoxes and TVs to enjoy system-link. It cuts down on cheating, but costs more.)

I do have Live, but haven't tried it out yet. I want to dust off my (hah) "skillz" first. The other problem is I don't like a lot of the asshats that can be found on Live. Still, I'll try it out this weekend and see how it is.

Oh yeah. To fill out the next two days here at F&P, since I won't have much time for creating funny things on my own, I may as well snag the whole, "Ask a question and I'll make up SOME answer to it later" thingie that's been going around. So. Go ahead. Ask me some questions and I'll tell you some lies. I reserve the right to ignore any that don't amuse me though.

And that's it. My break's up and I have to get back to "it". Have a good night all.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Quickie bit

STARZ- The 30 second Texas Chainsaw Massacre as done by bunnies.

This isn't the line for flu shots?

Yeah, like my sweetie Heather mentioned, I dragged myself out of bed after about an hour of sleep at midnight to head over to my local GameStop to pick up my reserved copies of Halo 2. Actually, these are two of the four copies that I somehow managed to reserve. Here's the timeline breakdown (If it's boring, feel free to skip down to the second set of "---"s):

---
Last year before the Babbages in the Citadel Mall changed their name to GameStop I reserved a copy of Halo 2 because it was "said" that it would be out early 2004. Apparently not said by Bungie or Microsoft though since it kept getting delayed (June, Early Summer, Early Fall, Sometime Fall, finally "officially" November 9). It kinda reminds me of the new computers we're supposed to have here at work by now. Anyway.

Earlier this year I reserved another copy at Game Crazy (affiliated with Hollywood Video) so that my brother could participate in a Halo competition. I figured no biggie, he could pay for that copy and then he would be set. If he won he would be getting a free copy of Halo 2. He did not win.

Around July or August a brand new GameStop opened about a mile or so from my house and we (me, my brother, my son and daughter) were in there checking things out when Trevor pointed out the sample case of the Limited Edition of Halo 2 that was going to be available. I had recently purchased an additional XBox so that we could play system linked games and thought it would be a good idea to reserve one of those Limited Edition versions and then, rather than run all across town on release date to get them both, I reserved a regular version as well. I figured I would just transfer the credit from the one I had at the first GameStop to something else. But I never got around to it.

A few weeks ago one of the AEs expressed an interest in paying me for the game and using my unclaimed reserve when it was released. Sounded good to me.

This past weekend I made arrangements at Game Crazy for Trevor to be able to pick up the game there without me having to be with him. Then when I called him later I was told that he had gone ahead and payed off his own reserve at the FIRST GameStop where my original reservation was, and didn't bother to tell me. So now I'm back to one extra on reserve that I won't be getting. I considered scalping it, but nah. It's not worth it to me.
---

And that's where things were when I dragged myself from my bed at the earliest hour of this morning. I realized when I was about half way there that I was really not awake enough to drive. Luckily there wasn't much traffic. Or people. Or other stuff that would go *dent!*

When I was stopped at the traffic light that leads into the mall area where the store was the driver of an old, primer gray colored Chevrolet Ugly was screaming at the top of his lungs, "YES! YES! YES!" and waving his copy of the game out his window. That was amusing. And I could see from where I sat that there was a bit of a line.

It turns out there were two lines. One for the people who only reserved with the minimum $5 (that's me) and one for the people who paid it off in advance. There were about 35-40 people waiting in the $5 line and the advance line was two to three times longer. Lots-o-people. I took my place in the $5 line and waited. They were letting about 5 people from my line in at a time and 5 from the other. It was all very orderly.

Two people soon lined up behind me. One of them was a drunk motorcyclist who turned out to be an interesting person and the other was a guy who came with a friend and was hoping there would be an extra copy that he could purchase. HAH. Poor guy. We told him that it was highly unlikely but he decided to try anyway.

After about 30 minutes of waiting the doorman cut off our line from entering right at me. So there was me, the two guys behind me, and about 50 people (I'm guessing because the end of the line wrapped around the building) in the other line. I was thinking, "Why? Why not just let us three in and then you will be down to one line? Arrgh."

Some blonde chick took this opportunity to come up to the doorman and ask why their line was so long and ours was so short. That's how riots start, dummy. Fortunately the door guy handled it well, my drunk line member pointed out that our line would be gone soon, a motorcycle cop walked up and made his shiny bald headed presence known and she went back to her spot in line all grumbly like.

While waiting for the doorman to realize, "Hey, I can eliminate this line by being less of an ass and a tinch more clever!" I looked in the window and noticed a DVD set of CSI on their used DVD shelf. After I was long out of there... so long in fact that I didn't think of it until I talked to Heather this morning... I thought it would have been very funny to have gone straight to the CSI set to see what season it was before heading to the counter to get the game. Especially with so many people outside DYING to get in there. heheh. But no. Once we were in I went straight to the middle cashier, got my games, paid and left.

They even had a photographer taking photos of people as they came in. Good thing I looked all sharp and stuff. I *think* I was fully dressed. I *know* my hair was everywhere. I didn't fall or drool. All good.

Then I drove home and went to bed. I got up about five hours later and came to work. That's right. I still haven't played the game that I've been waiting so long to play. I knew that if I popped it in and even so much as LOOKED at the opening movie, that would be it. I would not have gone back to bed. I would not have come in to work. I would not have eaten until sometime... later. I know myself that well at least.

So why did I get up at midnight to go wait in line for (with travel time) 43 minutes when I really love my sleep and wouldn't be laying the game until later tonight? A couple of reasons.

One, to see the spectacle first hand. It was cool. It wasn't just kids. I saw adults much older than me in line with a similar look on their faces. The look that says "nngnngngggg! so...hard...to....WAIT!" And there were teens as well, of course, passing around bongs, doing shooters, showing their tits, rubbing the bald cop's head. Okay, I kid. Mostly they were talking about how stoked they were to be getting the game finally. Some were smoking... cigarettes. I'm sure they were just cigarettes. I mean there was a bald cop there. You don't mess with bald cops after midnight.

I'm reasonably sure that I am the only person who was in that line that went where he was supposed to later in the morning.

And the second reason was because of my son. He's about to pop with anticipation. He's been waiting nearly 1/5th of his life for this game to finally come out, as opposed to my 1/18th. But in spite of that he did have to go to school this morning. I made it clear that if he didn't he wouldn't play at all today. And this way he doesn't have to wait for me to get home after work and after going to the game store before he can tear into it.

So, that's my rambling account of my early morning adventure. Sorry if it's stupidly long. I'm tired and what little editing skills I have are still sleeping. I don't want to wake them because they look so darned cute.

I'm so tired.

I can't wait to play.

My brother is skipping school the rest of the week so he can play. *derogatory-bad-word-inspired-by-jealousy here*

I'm soooo tired.

I will be in to work tomorrow. Mainly because if I'm not, and am not actually hospitalized or dead, people will ASSUME it's because I'm playing Halo 2. That and I have a good, strong work ethic, of course.

*sigh*

Being an adult sucks.
---
How big is Halo 2?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Monday, Monday...

... can't trust that day.

Ah Winter. When the ground is covered by snow and the roads by construction cones. Much like "The Mammas & The Papas".

Okay. fine. The snow melted off, but it'll be back! And the construction cones will be waiting, I'm sure. As for "The Mammas & The Papas", they wrote that song. It's not MY fault it's stuck in my noggin.

I would have been on time to work this morning. I really would have! But I hit a point on my normal route into work where Academy Blvd. (big road) narrowed down from three lanes to just one lane. I turned off as soon as I could but I lost at least 10 minutes and I was 10 minutes late. So see? I would have been on time if it weren't for the construction.

Derek told me a while ago that it was due to a water main break. There was already construction being constructed there and I guess they got sloppy or something. What can you do? Be late I suppose. That'll teach me to try and be on time. That won't be happening again any time soon, I assure you.

And then a bit further on my route (after rejoining it past the detour) I hit ANOTHER spot of construction that wasn't quite as difficult to slip around but was still an annoyance.

So I was thinking about it while driving (since I don't have a radio and am therefor forced to think of stuff) and I came to this conclusion: Statistically speaking either 20% of the roads in Colorado Springs are in various states of construction/destruction OR I'm being messed with. Or I'm just unlucky. Statistics is such a fuzzy science.

Also, I passed by a couple of buses full of kids outside the School for the Deaf and Blind and that got me thinking about just how much that must suck. More for the blind kids than the deaf kids. Can you imagine going to school on a bus and you can't see ANYTHING? And yet they still look out the windows.

I suppose the blind kids might take the aisle seats and let the deaf kids have the window seats. But their eyes didn't follow me when I did this: (waving hand really fast). And if I were one of the blind kids I would WANT an aisle seat so I could make faces at... well... whatever was looking I suppose. The deaf child next to me could aim me. We'd work out a system.

So. How much bad Karma did I just rack up do you suppose? Oodles is my guess. Funny, I don't feel that bad about making up God or Jesus based funniness, but I get a twinge of guilt when I talk about deaf and blind children. What's with that?

I must be a heathen or something. A reasonably polite heathen that can use utensils and form sentences.

I need a radio in my car. That'll fix it.

Friday, November 05, 2004

A quick update:

I just got back from dropping off the (hopefully) final proof of the ad I bitched about at CS's desk and I had the pleasure of watching her for a few seconds as she "designed" another new layout. It brought to mind one of the slower, special children doodling on her desk with a pen knife.

Also, this may have been my mind filling in the details afterward, but I would swear that I could see the tip of her tongue sticking out of her mouth as she drew.

She was so TOTALLY focused on what she was doing I don't think she was aware that I was there. It's hard to find fault with such dedication to one's craft. Except the craft in question isn't actually HER craft (it's ours, the artists) and she's total shit at it.

She could never have drawn the pirate or the parrot off the matchbook cover. The flim-flam man would have written her back and said, "Even though we are total bastards and would take money from even the most hopeless art hopeful, your pictures actually made us weep blood. Please burn this letter and forget you ever heard of us."

And I am NOT taking that ad. I'll quit first.

Deja Vu-doo

"The feeling you get of having seen the same zombie twice. Thought by some to be a hiccup in the Matrix of the Dead."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

My links list is growing

faster than my children! Sheesh. Still, all of the additions I found enjoyable in one way or another. Your opinion may vary. And yes, most if not all of them appear to be run by either liberals or foreigners. Sometimes both! What can I say? They're fun people.

I'll cut you!

Have you ever been bullied as a child? Did you ever stand up to your bully? Did it work?

I was 13 at this time. I remember watching "My Bodyguard" and wishing that I had someone who could help me with my problem.

Me, my mom, the guy she married and my new sister had moved from the area where I was running around letting the air out of tires to a condo in the area of the Junior High that I would have gone to if we hadn't moved in the first place. Got that?

This was the second JHS that I was attending and I can't recall for sure if I started midyear. I'll bet I did. I had left behind the new friends that I made (and there were simply TONS. TONS I SAY!) and was having...

Wait... My brain just uncovered some of the dusty memories of my long forgotten past. Holy crap! Hang on just a bit more while I call my mom and try to straighten this out.

... *ring-ring!*talkietalkietalkie*click!* ...

Oh man. I WAS abducted by aliens! Just kidding. But here we go. This is an accurate timeline of my whereabouts through school, corrected after talking with my mom:

---
1st-6th grade: Penrose Elementary School (year round hooptidoop, although for the life of me I don't remember 1st or 2nd grade being there. She assures me that I was though. I could SWEAR that it was in 1st grade that I was hiding in the culvert rather than going to school like I was supposed to, and that wouldn't have been Penrose, but I suppose that might have happened in Kindergarten.)

Part of 7th grade: Sabin Jr. High (where I was supposed to go before divorce and new love and subsequent moving occurred.)

Other part of 7th grade East Jr. High (flat tires and other mischief ABOUND)

Part of 8th grade: Sabin again (where this story takes place.)

Rest of 8th grade: Freed Jr. High in Pueblo.

9th grade and part of 10th grade: Centennial HS in Pueblo.*

Rest of 10th grade through 12th grade: Mitchell HS in Colorado Springs.
---

Continuing. This time at Sabin I was a moody kid. I didn't mix well with others. Kept to myself for the most part. And one bully prick who was a grade or two ahead of me took notice of this fact and figured it would be fun to try to make my life an even larger slice of hell than it already was. I think I must have looked at him funny once, or perhaps he had something against my mom who had worked at Sabin in the office at one point. I don't know for sure. He never really elaborated.

He traveled at all times with three to five like minded subhumans, of course. That whole "pack (of assholes) instinct." He was also well known for carrying through on his threats and beating the crap out of kids that he didn't like, and occasionally his goons would join in on the thrubbing.

I tried to be reasonable with him once and it got me knocked to the ground, kicked and my glasses tossed into a field. Yeah, he was a prick. No doubt about it.

I did my best to avoid him from that point on, but one day he informed me that he and his giggle-buddies were going to kick my ass after school. I guess it was my turn or something. I was scared as hell. I didn't know what to do. This was back in the day before most children and teachers were packing heat. And I know there is no way you could tell it by looking at me now, but I was a skinny little guy. A strong wind could knock the crap out of me. I REALLY didn't want to get beat up, and was SO tired of being scared at school as well. Telling a teacher just wouldn't have worked.

So.

I did what I figured was my only option.

I went home at lunch that day on my bike, got a steak knife from the kitchen, hid it in my bike seat and went back to school.

I spent the rest of the day thinking about how I might have to try to kill this kid. I was also worried about him getting the knife from me and killing me first. Or he could back off and then get me another time. I knew once I pulled out the knife I was committed to see it through regardless.

The last bell rang and I was out of the building like a shot, figuring that my best bet was to get gone as fast as possible and avoid him for at least another day. Perhaps he would forget about me. I fumbled with my combination bike lock, shakily got on my bike and rode for home.

Except they knew the path I was taking and were waiting for me with their bikes. I veered off but they were ready and after me like wolves on a bunny. I wound up in a sandy area and had to bail off my bike. I was fumbling under the seat for the knife when they surrounded me. It was stuck in the damned seat covering! One of his goons knocked me aside and looked under the seat to see what I was after. He pulled the serrated steak knife out and showed it to his "boss" saying, "Look at this!"

Bully boss looked at me and said, "What? Were you planning on stabbing me?"

I was visibly shaking and I looked him in the eye and shouted, "YES!"

That seemed to catch him off guard a bit and he told his goon with my knife to give it to him. He looked at it, looked at me then told his goons, "Let's go." and they all rode off. He kept the knife, but I never had any trouble with him again. For a long time I was worried that he was going to commit a crime and leave the knife there with my prints on it. I think things like that.

A couple months later I had moved to Pueblo to live with my dad and start my third Junior High (fourth if you count the two times at Sabin separately). There was a bully there as well, but that one went VERY differently.

So, how about you? Any stories of childhood terror you would like to share?

---
*In my day, in Pueblo, High School started in 9th grade (Freshmen) and ran through 12th grade. In Colorado Springs, High School started in 10th grade (Sophomore) and ran to 12th grade.

So I went through one year of High School in Pueblo as the lowest class rank, got hazed, picked on, etc. THEN moved BACK to Colorado Springs in the middle of THEIR lowest class and had to start it all over.

They tried to haze me, but I was tired of the shit and let them know it wouldn't work. It didn't hurt that I was the only Sophomore in Junior level English, and had made some friends in the upper classmen. Well, maybe not "friends", but they did know me, and I was holding my own there.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The humanity!

Skip this post if you don't want to read a work related rant. Seriously. No funny in this one (or very little).
---

Oh man did I mess up. I took on another all-new CS ad yesterday. It was more of a garbled mess than the last one was, since it was a full page ad instead of a half. Twice the room to be stupid.

I took it at 2:30, she needed a proof to show the client by 4:00 and she wasn't there to ask questions. She had to leave because her child's school let out early due to the weather or something. I did what I could with what I had and when she showed back up at 3:30 I cleared up what I could with her about her layout and had a proof ready by 4:15.

Today, as I was working on two noon deadline ads, she brought it back with changes. Hah. Changes. THE WHOLE THING WAS CHANGED! And what's more, rather than marking the changes on the proof I gave her (SINCE THE WHOLE THING WAS CHANGED) she had an ALL NEW messed up layout for it PLUS she was still pushing for an idea she had about tilting the dealer's logo at a 45˚ angle on the bottom half of the ad ("I just can't see why it won't work."), which in the space available was JUST INSANE!

She also pointed out that the ad wasn't due to the paper until Friday so I had lots of time to work with it. Like I don't have ANYTHING else to do but work on her ONE ad. I had visions of rebuilding this ad ALL WEEK, because I was certain her new layout didn't capture what the client was looking for any more than her last layout did: NOTHING WAS KEPT FROM THE LAST LAYOUT EXCEPT THE DEALER TAG AND FOOTER!

I felt the familiar snap inside that told me I can't take a certain person ANY MORE. BAD THINGS™ were going to happen. I looked at her and I calmly said, "S's back. Why don't you show this to her and she can explain to you why it won't work, since I can't seem to. Also she can help you with the layout," I added because HER NEW LAYOUT WAS UNREADABLE! Also I wanted S, my art director, to get an idea of what we were dealing with from this woman.

She said okay, and went away until S was available.

About 15 minutes later, as I was wrapping up my noon ads, she went into S's office. Since the door wasn't closed, when my ads had printed, I joined them to find out what was being said.

S was displaying the same reaction to CS's idea that I had, and was showing her alternative ideas to make that half of the ad look better. Something I couldn't do because CS wouldn't listen to me. She has no choice but to listen to a VP.

Also I could tell that CS wasn't going to say anything about the top half that was having to be rebuilt from scratch. So I asked S if she could look over CS's new layout and perhaps redraw it.

S gave the layout a bewildered look and told CS that with this account the dealer needed to be given a good rough and then be held to it or we'll be changing the ad all the time, to which CS said, "And we'll lose all that time. I didn't think of that."

... ??!!?!!

WHAT?! YOU BITCH! HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE? Luckily S is far better at handling people than I am. She just took it in stride and said from now on CS would have to do it that way.

I had to get my newest ads dropped off for proofing, so on my way out I said to S, "If you can rework that into something I can use, that would be great," or something similar. Yeah. I had lost any kind of tact I might have possessed by that point.

CS jokingly popped up with, "What's the matter Collin? You can't make sense of my chicken scratchings?" (her words, so there you go Monkey. They aren't monkey scribblings. They are, in fact, chicken scratchings.)

I *think* I just looked over my shoulder on the way through the doorway and said, "No." But I was thinking SO many more things that I can't be sure. I'm not fired yet though, and nobody is dead so whatever it was it couldn't have been too bad.

But I'm pretty sure that CS is now aware that I'm not too keen on working with her.

I'm so stressed right now. Ugh.
---
On a brighter note, I finished reading "Going Postal" last night. It was a very good book overall, but I wasn't quite fond of the ending.

Monday, November 01, 2004

But...



... I'm not a CitiBank customer, you thieving, parasitical, scumbag fucks.

UPDATE: I realized a bit after posting this that it might look like I am calling the people of CitiBank a bunch of thieving, parasitical, scumbag fucks. That's not what I meant. I meant the crooks that are trying to sucker the less savvy customers into giving out their banking information are the fucks. Sorry for any confusion. I'm sure the employees of CitiBank are as honest as any other banking employees. Please don't sue me.

Gimme that Olde Tyme Religion!

So I sacrificed my kids last night to the Elder Gods.

Nah, just kidding. But I did take them Trick-or-Treating which I'm sure has imperiled their souls in someone's eyes. For the first time since my son's been alive (as far as I can remember. I'm old and foggy.) we actually had nice munchie mooching weather. There was no wind and it was moderately warm. I took along their coats just in case, but we didn't need them. And I got a sweaty arm for the effort.

We only had an hour to beg so we stuck to participating apartments in the complex. Halfway around the main road their buckets were nearly full and we decided to stick to the bottom floor apartments from that point on. The overall consensus was that baby girl was cuuuute and the boy was creepy looking. Mission accomplished; everyone happy.

Then we returned to our apartment to kill the remaining 20 minutes before we headed off to bear witness to the clash of the hockey titans. By that I mean the conflict between my brother Trevor's hockey team and my coworker Derek's hockey team. Derek, as I'm sure you know, also happens to be my girlfriend's brother. To say that interests were conflicted would be an understatement.

Derek's team was still winless going into that night, and Trevor's team had won their first game the previous weekend. Trevor had done a fair amount of trash talking before the game. Also Derek's wife and father were there to cheer him on (my Heather and their mom were still on their way back from the Bronco game), and our mom and step-dad were there to cheer Trevor on. And there I sat, in the middle. It was like that scene in 'Romeo and Juliet' where their families played hockey.

Personally, I was hoping for a good, close, well played game. I didn't have a predetermined desire for a winner because I didn't really want either team to lose. I just wanted us to all get along. And THAT was a stupid attitude. That was the most uncomfortable I've been in a long time, and MAINLY because Derek's team whooped up on Trevor's. The whooping didn't really take off until the second period, but then WHAP! Ass kick city.

I felt bad for Trevor, in spite of all of his pre-game trash talk. His team might as well have not been there. He faced 54 shots, and had some really great saves, but his defense... I have NO IDEA what they were doing. Falling down a lot it seemed. Even our mom agreed that Trevor's team was there in body alone.

I'm quite sure that he was disappointed and annoyed, but I couldn't stick around to offer my condolences since the weather had finally started to behave normally for the last day of October and it was snowing and blowing and I wanted to get the kids home. I just hope he knows that I felt he played great considering how many shots he faced and not having a defense to speak of.

This morning the roads were icy, the wind was freaking cold and blowing hard, and the other drivers were annoying. Also, school got canceled. The first time it snowed. That doesn't bode well for this Winter.
---
I wonder if Jehovah's Witnesses give out copies of 'The Watchtower' on Halloween. And are they annoyed by all the people coming to their doors for a change, or do they figure that fair is fair?
---
Oh yeahhhhh. I hope you aren't waiting on the photos of the French Toast sticks because I threw them away. They had begun to curl in on themselves so I figured it was a lost cause. Heather saw them before they went though, so she can back up what I said about them. Just nasty.
"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."