Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Curious George

J doesn't like my family. Granted, they are boring but it's Christmas; it's just what you do. If we were given a week off in July, I would go visit them, but we only get time off around the holidays and that's what you're supposed to do. Even if they were all admitted to Boring Hospital-No Fun Allowed!, I would still expect J to come along and spend time with the family. We're just not an exciting family. No crazy uncles. No alcoholic aunts. The most drama, that I'm aware of, is a few divorces, one cousin dating a guy with a kid, and presumably me living with J. That's it, so no Jerry Spring fights. No drinkers, so no entertaining aunts or grandparents. We have a few diabetics, so dessert sucks but is healthy. We're all watching our weight, so no cooking in bacon fat.

It is definitely a "mild-mannered" Christmas, but it's my family and that's how I grew up and since you're marrying into this family, it is now also your holiday burden to carry. But don't look at it as a burden. Think of it as a relaxing time spent with loving people. It's much easier to get through that way.

The last thing I have to do before vacation is turn off a reaction today at 6 pm, and then Christmas vacation finally begins. And I have to go home and pack, which reminds me, remember when I said that we're going to Clemson's bowl game? And we're going to tailgate? Well, our plan is to take the Chemistry EZ-Up down with us (all in the name of departmental exposure of course) but it's going to take a doozy of a packing job to get that bad boy into Focus.

Yes I did take it up to the last autocross, but it was in the front seat. Now I have to put it in the back somewhere. So far my plan is to fold the back seat down and push it as far as possible forward and up. And hopefully I'll still be able to see out the back somehow and can still see out the right side of the car. It would be super nice to have it down there, so I'll try my best, but no guarantees.

So we've entered Day 2 of the Great TWU Strike that has thrown one of the greatest cities in the world into chaos, and that's the scenario for today's "Out of Context Quote"

Today's comes from the mouth of Mayor Michael "Smokey" Bloomberg
Bloomberg said Tuesday. "Everyone is a loser here."

So you heard it here first folks, everyone in New York is a loser. The mayor, who a majority of you voted for, just called the entire population of NYC "a loser".

I'll try to post some over the Chrismahanukwanzakah festivities, but probably won't get a chance until we get to O'town (Orlando). So next Tues.

And speaking of O'town

Apparently the blond one has a new reality show on MTV coming up soon. I literally pooped my pants when I saw the commercial for that one. So apparently, anyone can get a show on MTV these days. Mine premieres next spring.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Llego la luz!

If you need help translating the title, there should be lots of people in this country that speak Spanish now. Go ask one of them.

The power finally came back on between 2 and 6 pm yesterday. We went down to Ruddfuckers for dinner (Fuddruckers) after work and came back home and we had power. And an empty fridge. And a cluttered living room. And a carpet in desperate need of a vacuum. And a monstrous pile of clothes.

So I did the kitchen counters and floor last night. I'll get the dishes today and J is getting the laundry cuz she's done with class and ain't doin' nuthin'. She's gonna run some errands today and clean and straighten the house. She and I are both of the opinion that it's much nicer to come home to a clean apartment as opposed to a gross apartment that you need to clean before you can relax from your trip.

It's no secret that J isn't a huge fan of my family. They're rather dull and we don't have a comfortable place to stay in Birmingham. None of my friend's have places with spare bedrooms. They're close, but still living in apartments. So we usually stay with my grandparents and they don't have cable, which makes boredom much easier to handle. So we're trying to decide when to leave. I think we should leave Thurs. and J wants to leave Friday. I think I can convince her to leave Thurs. so we're going from here to B'ham to Albertville to Orlando. Hopefully I can find a nice route through GA so that our trip is shorter, but that's probably not possible, so my next plan is to go ahead and travel 20 East to 75 South and then maybe find a back road and avoid tolls heading to Orlando.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, we only prepared one meal at home during the blackout. I boiled water with my camping stove in the bedroom and J had cheese grits and I had plain oatmeal (which is gross) but I added some brown sugar and some vanilla Nesquik and it sweetened it enough and gave it enough flavor so that it was pretty good.

Right, the Christmas party. It happened during the blackout at a friend's blacked-out apartment. We left the drinks outside because it was colder than the room temp fridge. There was TONS of food. Dill bread dip with pumpernickel bread, cream cheese/cocktail sauce/crab dip, marinated (sort of brined) shrimp, chocolate delight, our trifle, buffalo wings, chicken wings, honey baked ham, KFC and biscuits, cookies, and I think that was it. I mostly drank Stoli Vanilla (my alcohol du jour) and pineapple orange juice. And the punch. And Playboy's White Christmas shot/drink which is 1.5 oz. of Stoli Vanilla, 1 oz. of Godiva White Chocolate Liquer, 0.5 oz. of peppermint schnapps (we used Rumple Minze), very, very good.

And the House closed the year by passing an OK to start drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge:
Democrats complained that they were being forced to accept ANWR drilling with their vote on military spending and hurricane relief.

Crybabies. That's how democracy works.
Democrats and moderate Republicans have for years blocked drilling in ANWR, and its inclusion in the defense bill exposed that bill to a possible filibuster in the Senate that can only be broken with a 60-vote majority.

whatever the hell that means. So maybe the Senate can still save our Arctic wilderness. That's gonna be some prime beach real estate once this global warming kicks in.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Day 4 - Things are looking grim

So we lost power Thurs. morning. Right now is Sunday afternoon. That's 4 1/2 days. Without power.

Threw out the contents of our fridge yesterday, freezer too. I was able to take some ground beef that we bought from Sam's last week over to a friend's house. We cooked most of it but was able to refreeze one of the bags. But damn those were good burgers.

Showered at school again today.

I just want to turn on a light.

Had to whip the cream by hand for our trifle Friday. It took about 7 minutes of vigorous whipping. The ensuing trifle was delicious.

Hopefully my post tomorrow will be about how great electricity is, but I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, December 16, 2005


I think this is Post 420!

Blogger said that I currently had 419, so that makes this 420 assuming that it's accurate, which is not true at all but presumably it's in there somewhere. So to that post and this one Happy 420 blog!

Having no electricity for 24 hours now (at home, I'm at school) makes you realize that even though electricity is great, there are a few innovations that also make our lives great. Like running water for example. I can still flush. I can still take cold showers. I can bust out the camping stove and make some grits or oatmeal or cream of wheat. Insulation is also wonderful. It keeps the hot air in and the cold air out. Our place wasn't too cold this morning. Twas a bitch to get up, but once you got some clothes on and started moving around, it was okay.

So it iced a bunch of trees which fell into power lines and now 450,000 people don't have power and half of those people are in SC. Yay! I think the rest are in GA and maybe TN. And the roads were a little icy today. But the high is supposed to be in the mid 50's so hopefully it'll be a nice weekend. And to my readers who don't live where it will be nice tomorrow, sorry.
While electricity was quickly restored to some, outages by early evening still totaled 260,000 in South Carolina's upstate, about 170,000 in North Carolina, 55,000 in northeast Georgia and 34,700 in the Atlanta area.


I'm a statistic! Huzzah!

I think that's it for helpful modern non-electricity inventions. Maybe the handcrank flashlight? There has to be one or two more out there that I'm forgetting about.
Oh, board games and cards. And candles. All great inventions.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a hot shower at the school's rec center.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005



That is all.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Lost another one

Richard Pryor(1940-2005)

died of a heart attack on Saturday. Richard had been battling multiple sclerosis. Pryor was married seven times to five different women and has seven children, Renee, Richard Jr., Elizabeth, Stephen Michael, Kelsey, Franklin and Rain.
Fellow comedian Steve Martin noted upon Pryor's death: "By expressing his heart, anger and joy, Richard Pryor took comedy to its highest form."

Pryor was brilliant and incredibly courageous

Comedian Richard Pryor dies at 65

And it's exams week so I'll be working on that quite a bit.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Green Acres

It's supposed to snow and ice here this afternoon. Not bloody likely. I'm fairly certain that whenever grocery stores need a boost, they contact the local "meteorologist" and tell them to forecast some snow or other "crippling" natural phenomena. And then everyone goes to the store and buys all the bread, milk and water they can get their hands on.

Ann Coulter got booed again. But when you call your audience "stupider than I am" that's bound to happen.
STORRS, Connecticut (AP) -- Conservative columnist Ann Coulter cut short a speech at the University of Connecticut amid boos and jeers, and decided to hold a question-and-answer session instead.

"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am," Coulter told the crowd of 2,600 Wednesday.

So nice work UConn students.

I haven't had a whole lot to say recently, so I'll call this a mini-post week.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Back at the salt lick

There's a grad student senate meeting tonight. Hopefully it isn't a full 2 hours like the last one. That was brutal. Don't know if I'm speaking or not.

We worked concessions for the Clemson/Wofford men's basketball game last night. We were only $27 off, which isn't too bad. I think the problem comes when multiple people count items at the beginning and then different people count them at the end. Also one guy was giving sausage dogs ($4) away as hot dogs ($3) so that's a few bucks right there. But they have a master list for all the stands, and they double check, so I'm not too concerned.

Oh yeah, J's folks got us all tickets to the Champs Sports Bowl, which is Clemson vs. Colorado. It should be a great game and we should win. We're even taking the chemistry EZ-Up, but I don't know how just yet. Yes I took it to the race on Sat. but I put it in the passenger seat. I think it should fit in the back somehow, hopefully. And the game is at 5 pm, so we even get to tailgate a little bit. This will be my first non-campus tailgate. No wait, there was that Widespread tailgate. This will be my first non-campus football tailgate.

But J is a little concerned with what we're going to do. Drink, obviously. But she seems to think we need another activity, to which I suggested cards. They're easy and fun and quick to learn. And don't necessarily have to be drinking games.

So if you're flipping through the channels around 6 pm on Dec. 27th, stop on ESPN for a second. We'll be some of the people wearing orange.


DOH! Almost forgot:
On this day, 64 years ago, the Japanese unleashed a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and forced the USA to enter World War II.

National Geographic has a timeline of the event's on that Sunday morning.

Monday, December 05, 2005


2 Fast and 4 Furious!

The weekend was a moderate success. Snagged a first place trophy. My first, and definitely not last, from the SC region SCCA.

I still didn't beat the Focus that beat me in June. I have several good excuses but bottom line is, he's good and that is one fast blue Focus. He beat me on street tires and I was on race rubber. Ouch. It was close. Me 37.898, him 37.787. Granted we were in different classes, but still.

Right, excuses. It was an overcast day all day long. Then, right as the 2nd group was finishing up and the 3rd group (my group) was gridding, it started raining. First just a drizzle but it was constant and it slightly got faster throughout the rest of the day. So some light rain + parking lot = greasy slippy conditions. I actually spun out on the 2nd turn of my first run. Ugly. Almost did it on the 2nd run and then remembered my FWD drift training, which consists of, once the back end comes out, countersteer and floor it. Worked like a charm, but alas, drifting is not the quickest way around a track, so of course my fastest run came when I kept the tail tucked and neatly following the front wheels. I knew it too. Once I saw that 37.898 on my 3rd run, I knew that was my fastest. I went slow enough in the slow parts and fast enough in the fast parts to put down a respectable run.

Good enough for 24th out of 80 overall raw time, and 16th PAX time. PAX is a correction factor that the SCCA uses to even out different classes so you can compare your time to those cars in higher classes. (It's kind of stupid, which is why I'm glad we use NASA classes, much more straightforward and MUCH less restrictive)

But here are the final results.

Good day, a bit wet, but we had the Chemistry EZ-Up and it kept our stuff dry.

And for people who don't have faith in compact cars, let me list what was in my Focus on the way to and from Fort Mill, SC:
*Serious EZ-Up, at least 1.5 feet square and 5 feet tall (passenger seat folded back, I also buckled it up)
*Rubbermaid bin with my jack, jack stands, other car items
*2 collapsible chairs, with footrests
*4 race tires, mounted on wheels (rims)
*My lunch and some water
and I could've fit more in, not much, and maybe I could've fit a passenger in behind me, maybe.

I was proud of Focus, both racing and packing, and we both had a good weekend.

Did not go paintballing on Sunday. It rained most of Sat., some of Sun. and is still raining today, so it's postponed until Jan.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Busy busy bee

As opposed to Hungry Hungry Hippos.

I have an innie. Forgot to share. Haven't read the why article yet. I prefer mystery in this case.

Tonight is Clemson Men's Soccer Elite 8 game against Creighton. So Go Tigers! I heard the coach on the radio yesterday and he likes their chances for at least a Final Four and the National Championship. I'll be at the game tonight. Should be awesome.

I'm racing with the SC region SCCA, sports car club of america, tomorrow. I don't like the SCCA really. Their classing system is insane and you end up with 40 cars in 35 different classes, which is stupid. They also turned their back on rallying, but luckily NASA, National Auto Sport Association, picked up the ball and we still have rally in this country.

But the race was supposed to be near Columbia and now it's switched to Fort Mill which is near Rock Hill which are both kinda near Charlotte, but not really. They're more in the middle of nowhere than near Charlotte. It should be a good day. I just hope nothing screwy happens and I can't race Focus. Granted, I did win 2nd in class in my friend's WRX, but apparently we were actually in a higher class than we were supposed to be. But I would've gotten 4th in that class, so that's what you get for having crazy classes.

Then we get back and go to a friend's house to help decorate his Christmas tree. I'm making sausage balls because they're easy and delicious. So that'll be a good time.

Then, I get to sleep in on Sunday, then clean up a bit, then I get to go paintballing! Yay! And hopefully this nice, dry, cool weather we've been having persists and it'll be awesome. I'm down for some cold rainy paintball but I don't think anyone else would be.

So I bought water, juice and Gatorade at Sam's yesterday. We also bought toilet paper, paper towels, box of 35 granola bars, some maxipads, 7 pounds of ground beef, 2 toothbrush heads for my Sonicare, spatulas and tongs (for the CGSO), all 3 Austin Powers movies for $17, and season 7 and 8 of Friends for $20 a piece.

Maybe one day I'll list my DVD collection. I think it's a definite window to a person's soul as to what movies they will spend money on. I'm sure I'll have quite a few that you won't agree with.

Have a greeeeeeeaaaaaaat weekend!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Oot and Aboot

Man I love Canadians. They're such good sports. They've taken good natured (and some evil natured) American ribbing for years. And also "enjoy" nationalized health care, cheap pharmaceuticals, medicinal plants and lots and lots of hockey.

God Bless Canada, America's Hat.

And a question of the day, in honor of April's Question of the Week (she left her blog but is supposedly still lurking somewhere),

Are you an innie or an outie?



What determines if you have an "innie" or "outie" belly button?

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