Thursday, September 28, 2006


Fuck you I won't do what you tell me

If you don't own a Rage Against the Machine album, please go out and purchase either their self-titled first album or their 2nd release Evil Empire. Both excellent. Their 3rd and 4th are good too but I have not listened to either all the way through. They are titled Battle of Los Angeles and Renegades respectively. I miss you Zach de La Rocha but at least I can still hear Tom Morello's inventive axe playing with his new band, Audioslave.

I'm back! We ended up not having group meeting yesterday but Boss Man will be around today to speak with us individually. I'm still working on some crystal structures. It's fairly frustrating because it seems like all of my data isn't any good.

I ordered a new cell phone. Cingular says it will be "free" and I only have to pay an "upgrade fee" of $18. It's a Motorola L2 and word on the street is that I can upload mp3 ringtones and pics for backgrounds. I'm going to see if I can do this myself without having to pay outrageous fees to some crappy internet site for a ringtone that will get old the 4th time I hear it. Games are going to be tricky though. I'm fairly certain I'll have to download those from somewhere. I hope not. AND it has Bluetooth! So I can finally be one of those cool people who shell out $50+ for a little cockroach looking thing that glows blue and sits on your ear! It does seem nice to just keep your phone in your pocket and be able to use it but I don't think I would be able to use it in public without feeling uber self-conscious.

But the moral of the story is that Cingular shipped it with FedEx. Not Britney's hopefully soon to be ex, but the actual shipping company. I hate FedEx. They are awful and stupid. Here's why. The only package I've ever had stolen was delivered by FedEx. I was trying out a new online site that would ship groceries to your door. Sounds cool, so I ordered up about $25 of non-perishable items and had it shipped via FedEx (and this was in 2001 dollars so that's at least $26.50-$27 in 2006 dollars). I waited and waited and waited. WTF mate? Where is my cereal and box of granola bars that conveniently arrive at my door? Let me check the website. Weird, they said that it was delivered. Okay, so I check with my roommates. Nope. I even go across the hall and ask our neighbors if they had received a package for me or remember seeing it. Nope. Let's call FedEx. It was delivered. It was delivered? Do I have my package? It was left on by your door. Oh so you were just trusting that no one passing by or an unscrupulous neighbor wouldn't swipe it? Um, I guess so. Well you suck and I hate you. I did get my money refunded but that didn't make it right. I wanted cereal and various other sundries without getting off my ass!

So I now loathe FedEx. I recently had some tires and wheels for Focus shipped to my house. Fortunately I knew FedEx's evil tricks and their propensity for just abandoning your package once it was "delivered". So I checked the tracking website all day and once I saw they were "delivered" I made a mad dash for home. Sho nuff, my tires and wheels (mounted and ready to be put on any car with a 4x108 bolt pattern and an offset of +42) were sitting in front of my door! What the hell is wrong with you! So if I had a Faberge egg or a gold brick shipped with FedEx, you would just leave it at my door, calling your job done?!?!?!?! I HATE YOU!

I also had J's diamond engagement ring shipped from NYC and they used FedEx. Luckily I had it shipped to me at work, so they wouldn't abandon it and so J wouldn't see it before it was time. Moral of the story is that if you ship something FedEx, you better be damn sure that someone is home, otherwise there is a fairly good chance that you will never ever see it.

And now for UPS, glorious Brown. Sure they have one of the grossest tag lines ever (What can brown do for you?) but they are incredible. They actually make sure someone is there before they drop it off. They get signatures. They won't just leave it at your door calling it "a job well done." Sure it's a hassle to go down to the main UPS warehouse if you missed the truck and you have to have your package now, but isn't that better than never getting it? Our UPS guy is a very nice guy and stops and chats if he isn't in a rush. They also do special requests. Let me check if I've talked about this before. Nope.

We were planning on putting Tercel's clutch in that weekend. I ordered it on Monday in hopes that it would be here by Friday. It was shipped UPS! Hooray! The place said not to expect it until next Tues. but UPS told me to expect it on Friday! Perfect. But I wouldn't be home and J would be at school. What to do, what to do. Aha! I'll leave a note. "Dear UPS guy, this is [my name]. The clutch you are delivering we are planning on putting in this weekend. Please leave it in the black Ford Focus that is directly behind you. It should be unlocked." Then signed my name and address. Lo and behold when I arrived home later that day, there was a heavy, medium sized box sitting in the passenger seat of my favorite car! Thank you UPS for being responsible deliverers and actually listening to your customers. I'm gonna let Brown do stuff for me all the time! (yuck)

I'll be at Road Atlanta starting tomorrow morning for the American Le Mans Series. They are having a 10 hour endurance race there on Saturday featuring the new Audi diesel R10. Maybe I'll see you there!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Our safety shower was last tested on Aug. 7th.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I present in Group Meeting on Wed. I'll be working on that.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I got nothing.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Freakin' Julio

A big thanks to those who were sending out good thoughts. I found him this morning. He wasn't waiting by the door and I was sick of calling his name. But then I remembered that once while my brother was walking him, he ran under the crawl space of the townhouse next to us. They leave it open all the time, maybe they're trying to get raccoons to live in there. I grabbed a flashlight and got down on my knees and shined the light in there and called out. I hear this weak meow, so I call again. Same meow and it's getting closer. Then out pops this little orange head. Stupid Julio! Didn't you hear me calling for you?

I guess he ran in there to stay for the night just to get away from the wind and various woodland animals that live in our adjacent woods. So I grabbed him and carried him back into the house. Gave him some food and he drank some water and when I left he was cleaning himself. He also was scratching his back when he took off like a shot, so we'll have to check him for ticks and give him a good cleaning with some flea wipes that we have. See Julio, that's why we don't let you outside. Freakin' Julio.

The link up there is my brother's blog. Don't check it too much. He rarely updates it. I need to send him an email, just so he knows I'm thinking about him. But my dad occasionally updates it too (he actually set it up) and his is the most recent update. My brother doesn't refer to himself in the 3rd person normally.

But I did see this pic:

That's from MGM Studios in Orlando at Mom's Diner, a 50's themed restaurant and the idea is that you're eating at your mom's house. They had meatloaf and grilled cheese and various other home-cooked diner food. That was taken in 1989, and I seem to recall it was the summer, so I was all of 9.

I'm at work early and I'm not sure why. Fine, I do know why. I had a bad dream and couldn't go back to sleep. I dreamt that I was being chased by two guys in a big fast truck. I was in Tercel, so it was a lost cause trying to outrun or even outdrive them. I tried to lose them in a parking deck and it wasn't working but thankfully I woke up. I hope my subconcious gives me a faster car next time.

And just so Leon doesn't feel left out:

Julio and Leon reunited!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I'm scared

As J was leaving for work this morning around 10:30 am, Julio shot out the door as she opened it up. It was her first day and she didn't want to be late. Both Julio and Leon have gotten out before and we usually can catch them within a few minutes. Leon is the only one that has gotten out for an extended period of time. He bolted once when I was going to work, so I came home around lunchtime and he was sitting in front of our door yelling.

I came home after lunch to see if Julio had turned up. Nope. J got home about 5 pm. Nope. I got home after soccer at 7:30 pm. Nope, no Julio. Still no sign of him.

Please please please send "Go home Julio" thoughts out tonight and tomorrow. I had my heart set on a solid 10-13 years with these guys, I don't want to start shedding tears now.

Here is a picture of him, just so your thoughts can have a good idea of what he looks like.


No posts or updates today

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


No updates

Haven't heard any updates from the fam. I should email my uncle and ask him. Be proactive and all.

Facebook was recently revamped. Some like it, some don't, but they added a "Notes" section. I kinda like it. I plan on using it like a mini-blog, but only when I have a picture and a succint story to go with it. We all now I'm not the best with the summing up and making short, but I'm gonna give it a shot.

J is running errands today and hitting all the area vets looking for a job. I hope she finds something. I think she is also going to try to score a more legit job than "Sandwich Artist". I suggested the area grocery stores, since she has so much experience in that area she might get paid a little more, and also area banks because that doesn't really seem like a difficult job and I suppose it pays well.

Powerball is up to 179 million. So she is also planning on getting a couple tickets. No Powerball winner has ever been from SC (or more correctly bought a winning ticket in SC) so I guess this area is due. I have my fingers crossed, although logic deters me from plummeting into the "what if" scenarios. Last night they revolved around cars and a new house, which is pretty much all we would do. I'll just recap:
J: I would buy my Audi RS4 (V8, AWD, 420 hp, and comfy) and we would move into a new house and I would fly Thom Filicia down to decorate it. He's the interior design guy from Queer Eye and his office is in Soho.
Me: I would keep Focus and turn her into my rally car. I would probably buy a less than 1000cc motorcycle for sunny day commuting and a truck and trailer to tow the rally car, and that's about it for now.
Which is true. J just bought a new car that is incredible and fast, why would I get a new car also? And I wouldn't get the truck until I absolutely had to. And I wouldn't drive it anywhere. Maybe I would just rent a truck? That might work better. We'll see.

Crap! See how easy it is to plummet? And speaking of plummeting, do you all remember my friend Tom who stopped by and commented a few times? He is currently neck deep in a downward spiral that is WoW, or World of Warcraft for non-video gamers. It is one of those PC based massive multiplayer games. But they say that 70% of its players are completely addicted. The problem comes with the fact that you can't really accomplish anything big, like storm a castle, beat up a super bad guy, in 10-15 minutes. All you can do in that time is run around, sell some stuff, buy some stuff, beat a few lower tier bad guys and gain some experience points. I've never actually played but that's how most of them work. So you need to devote at least 3-6 hours to accomplish anything meaningful and that coupled with the fact that it is its own world and society and you never have a reason to talk to another "real" person again! Move back in with the folks, install a nouveau dumb waiter and you never have to stop playing! Except for super quick bathroom breaks but that's what laptops are for.

But Tom isn't addicted. He really isn't. And they wanted me to play. Sorry guys, I'm trying to actually graduate.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Down here!

I'll leave those posts up for about a week or so, just to get the word out.

J's drama is mostly over. She is no longer a teacher. Too much administrative hoops to jump through and too much non-class work for her, that coupled with a 50% drop-out rate for her school and the fact that hers was a critical needs area and critical needs school equals J no longer working there. It doesn't sound like she wants to teach ever, but I think in a different state with different students and a different work ethic (the students, J already has another job), she would enjoy it a little more. She really enjoyed two of her classes but the other two were awful. And her school already lost another teacher last week, and now they have lost two barely a month into the school year. The other guy was from MN and the different work ethic comment was his.

And J now (temporarily) works at the Subway downtown. She can take the CATbus to work and is a good "I need a better job" job. She has decided that animals are her true calling, so she hopefully can get a job with a vet's office, but even that would be temporary because we are leaving this area next year. Then she can look for a job in a (hopefully) thriving larger city economy and she has a good resume. But I am slightly biased.

My license plate was stolen and it took a trip to the DMV and $6 to get a new tag. I'm not super thrilled with my replacement but I'm not paying for a vanity plate. But please be on the look-out for my plate. They owe me $6.

Back to work!

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Email from Dad

Received this email just this morning. My cousin Jessica was in an accident in Birmingham. I'm guessing this happened last night since the email said 12:08 am Sun.

She was riding in the passenger seat which is where the car hit them. She has a broken clavicle, four fractured ribs, a small cut on her liver and part of her right lung is deflated. She's in the trauma unit at UAB, one of the best hospitals in Alabama. At this time they don't think surgery is necessary, but in my non-professional opinion, I think it's too soon to tell, but hopefully she can heal on her own.

Please keep Jessica in your thoughts.

-Posted Sun. at 12 pm.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I know you're watching

According to my handy dandy stat tracker,, I know that 91 people visited this site on Friday, Sept. 15.

It's fine that you are just lurkers. Here is a link if you are unfamiliar with that term. But the occasional comment would be nice, but no pressure; I'd rather you read and not comment than not read at all.

Just wanted to help out some recent searches that have found this site, and make a few comments.
what happened to the "no-fly" boxer briefs (Google) - I am not a fan of them, but the few pair that I had were GAP brand boxer briefs. Also try and take one out of the packaging just to check and make sure.

hot babies sluts (MSN) - You are a sick individual who needs professional help. If you ever get the urge to touch little children, go to the nearest police station; they'll know what to do.

human stomach "22 pounds" (Google) - Uh, sure. That's alot of food though. Maybe it was Takeru Kobayashi.

2005 Denali exhaust popping sound (Google) - It's still under warranty. Take it back to the dealership and have them take a look. Good luck.

vwr lawsuit (Google) - The chemistry department has a state contract with VWR. They give us a discount and I have no opinion beyond that.

sabrina 8th and ocean pimple (Google) - That thing was huge! I feel her pain.

lawsuit crazy (Google) - Yes America is lawsuit crazy. It affects nearly every facet of society.

johnny cupcakes lawsuit (Google) - I linked his store and I like his clothing.

expired horseradish cause food poisoning (Google) - How expired? / ruthie (Google) - Don't know a Ruthie on facebook. I know Ruthie the blogger and a friend's sister named Ruthie (more on her later, tragic story)

rei scratch and dent items (Google) - AMAZING sale! Go as much as possible and get there as early as you can. Incredible items of all varieties. Use your head though, some stuff is crap.

how much does it cost to ride the rides at the gwinnet county fair grounds (Google) - Um, dollar per ticket? Rides from 1-4 tickets?

eddy spaghetti in clemson, sc (Google) - It's great! Eat there as much as possible.

And finally, here is a real quick nationality break down. Don't know what the numbers really mean.

United States 163 Hey!

Canada 30 How ya doin'?

France 24 Bienvenue!

Australia 14 G'day!

United Kingdom 13 'Ello there!

Italy 12 Bona sera!

Portugal 11 (don't know any Portuguese)

Germany 11 Wilkommen! Wo ist die hauptbanhoff?

Spain 7 Bienvenidos! Cuando regresa a Europa, me voy a Espana. Y voy a practicar mi espanol antes.

Netherlands 5 (don't know any Dutch)

Thank you and good night!

Friday, September 15, 2006



This post I want to stay up top for a bit, just to get the word out. If you see this license plate, please make a note of the make and model of the car and notify the authorities. Thank you.

While Focus was parked on campus, her license plate was stolen along with the screws that held it there.

To the useless morons who did this, I don't get it. At all.

350 SRH SC plate

I hope someone lets the air out of your tires for a month.

Report filed with the Clemson Police Department and registered in the NCIC

Clemson beat UNC in football (soccer) 1-0 in a very close game.


The void behind my face

Listened to Weezer's Blue album on the way to school. I love that disc. It's such a solid album all the way through. Only complaint is that it is too short.

Someone named Laurie Cooper told me I should add a link to to my blog. I think she was just searching around and saw the diabetes link on my sidebar, but she could be a lurker just trying to be helpful. I'll link it here and it might make it to the sidebar. We'll see.

So my mom and dad were walking the dog in their neighborhood yesterday. Nice, quiet, been there for 3 years. Nice buildings, most have guards out front but that is standard in Central America. They see something in the gutter that is wrapped in a large burlap bag. That's weird, why would someone dump a mannequin here in a bag? So they get a little closer and sho nuff, it's a body. So I imagine they turn on their heels and head back home, but on the way they tell one of the guards they pass that there is a body over there. On their way out they pass a bunch of police officers who have roped off the area. Crazy. So they're ready to come back to the States where stuff like that doesn't happen. Or doesn't usually happen in the sleepy hamlet that is Homewood, AL.

I love the phrase "sleepy hamlet". It reminds me of any quaint little town just as the sun comes up and the only things running around are a couple of chickens, maybe a dog looking for breakfast, a thin haze lingering, waiting to be cooked off by the gentle warming rays of the sun. Oh look! A baker mixing dough for the days loaves. This place exists in many places. South America, Bavaria, Pacific Northwest, New England. You just have to look around and find them.

Oh man, let me tell you what happened last night at the grad student gov't meeting. But first a story that I might forget. Strolling into the library, I see a sign that says there will be a fire drill at 6 pm yesterday. Crap, what time is it? Am I gonna have to run outside? I thought they had one the day before? While these synapses are firing, the girl (who had CAVS written on her ass) walking into the library in front of me held the door open for me even though I was close enough to not need the door held. I walk in and don't even acknowledge her, lost in thought as I am. She says "you're welcome" and I smile to myself knowing that I was just an asshole.

There was another one but I can't recall it now. Played soccer, 2 vs. 2, lots of fun. Found out my new neighbor played during high school, so I'll have to drag him out there one day.

Back to the GSG. They have a Financial Committee that is made up of grad students. Grad student organizations that want to be funded by the GSG submit budgets and presentations and they FC decides who gets what and how much. This is then shown to the senators who vote on whether or not they are okay with it. Usually this is a painless process because the senators know that the FC did their job and did it well. Unfortunately, we didn't get this passed in the spring and never had enough senators to make it official this summer, so we were going to vote on it last night. Except for these two (douchebags is too harsh, maybe asshats?) asshats who wanted to know what these people would spend the money on and why the Tennis/Badminton club was getting more money than the Genetics & Biochem club. Because they didn't ask for as much money, because their presentation wasn't as good, because they have additional sources of income and only need a little more? Countless reasons, but they wanted to know what. I left early because I couldn't take it anymore. On the way home the question I should've asked came to me. Who do you guys not trust? Do you not trust the current elected officers? Do you not trust last year's elected officers? Do you not trust the grad students on the FC? Do you not trust the different organization's officers? What is the weak link in this equation in your opinions?

One of them also said that $50,000 is alot of money. For one organization, maybe. But that is spread out over 12-14 organizations and the rest goes to the GSG and thier respective programs. And since when is $50,000 alot of money? People spend that on fucking parking spaces for Clemson football games. And each grad student pays $10 to make up that $50,000 and the rest of us are okay letting these few trusted officials decide what to spend that money on, so why not you jerks? I got home and shared this with J and she said that it had been a while since she had seen me so fired up. Well, those guys pissed me off royally. I hope they're at the next meeting (of course they will be) and I can't wait to ask them who they don't trust. Asshats.

Clemson Tigers vs. UNC Tar Heels in men's soccer tonight. If you get the Fox Soccer Channel, you can watch the game live! I'll be one of the 6,000 or so people wearing an orange shirt. Go Tigers! We're ranked #2 in the nation, by the way.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Abruptly awoken

That was me at 1:30 am this morning. J was having some "I wanna quit" drama. There is more to the story but I don't want to get into it now. Her principal wasn't there so they gave her today and tomorrow off and told her to "recharge". I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

The past two times we have gone out to eat there has been the same faux pax committed by both our waitresses, not bringing back small bills. One was $10.38, so I paid $20.38 cuz I like to use change. She brought back a $10. Um, what? Do you not want a tip? I had no other bills so I asked J and luckily she had a $1. So instead of $3, she got $1. The second time was at the OG. The bill was $30.08. I paid $40.08. She brought back two fives. Better but what if I wanted to leave $6? So she got the five.

The moral of the story is: If the change comes to just one dollar amount bill, always bring it back in change (unless specifically instructed otherwise by the customer). Example. In both my stories, a better tip would've been achieved if I had been given the liberty to use different denominations of currency. They should've brought back a five and five ones. So that the customer could tip anywhere from 1 to 10 dollars at their leisure. Yes it's a gamble, some people might tip you $3 or $4 instead of $6 but if not given an option I'm sure they would rather stiff you than leave you more than they want.

Have I ever done a part-time/summer job post? I see that I have. That would've been faster and easier if I used tags but I don't, so I'll rely on my Google searches for now.

But my part-time jobs consist of:
One summer in room service (linked story from above)
Chip Shots golf photography (kinda cool, but basically a scam)
Illuminations (candle store, christmas time job, something to do for pocket money really)
Red Bull! (awesome, I was a consumer educator and I educated consumers about Red Bull, I would really love to work for them again, incredible company)
I think that's it, I worked at our churches daycare for about a month, and after Red Bull came grad school and here we are.

If you haven't been following the Anna Nicole's son Daniel saga like I haven't been, then you might not know that (cool! the article has highlights so you don't have to actually read it all, they must know their entertainment audience well)
• Smith suffered memory loss after son's death
• Autopsy report not to be released until inquest
• Inquest into Daniel Smith's death will be open to public
• Criminal charges possible in death of Anna Nicole Smith's son
Full article ovah mere.

And Former TX Governor Anne Richards passed away while battling esophageal cancer at the age of 73. She was TX's second female governor. My thoughts and encouragement go out to her family. article

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Rain, rain, stay all day

It's finally raining and has been for a few hours. The lakes and rivers desperately need it as they are at least 4 feet below normal.

I left home around 9 yesterday and didn't get home until 9. Granted, I went to a soccer game, Clemson beat Wofford 6-0, and I know that people work longer hours than that, but I can't bitch if I don't ignore those people for a few seconds.

Gonna do it again today too. My plan is to go play soccer straight from work at 6, then play until 7:30, then go home and shower, change and run back to school for a grad student gov't meeting. We'll see how that goes.

Went shopping at Wal-Mart last night. I still hate it and wish everyone who shops there on a regular basis would stop it, or at least shop elsewhere as much as possible.

Almost got hit this morning in the parking lot, not my fault. Nothing major, but it could've been bad if she wasn't paying attention.

We haven't had group meeting in roughly 6 months, but we'll get back on track today. A labmate is practicing his first seminar for us that he will give to the department next Friday. So with our suggestions he still has a good week and a half to make changes and practice.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Rest In Peace

A few deaths to cover first:

Bruno Kirby, of City Slickers, The Freshman, and most recently Entourage, passed away while battling leukemia. His IMDB page is found here. We'll miss you Bruno. He passed away on Aug. 14th.

Anna Nicole's elder son, Daniel, died unexpectedly while visiting his mom in the hospital. She had given birth to Daniel's sister, 6 lb. 9 oz., in a hospital in the Bahamas. An autospy is under way. CNN article here.

My birthday was on Sept. 1st. US Weekly (one of J's christmas presents) has the celebrity birthdays for the upcoming week. Guess who I share my birthday with. You probably won't guess them. I surely wouldn't have.

Gloria Estefan (turned 49, I believe, yep 9-1-1957 in Havana)
I like Gloria. Her music was the first latin music that alot of America heard. She is the "Queen of Latin Pop". And I'll definitely bring up the shared birthday thing when I run into her.

Freakin' Dr. Phil Calvin McGraw, born in OK on 9-1-1950. Very interesting Wiki page, covers some questionable advice, notably
In January 2006, in a segment titled "Extreme Disorders", Dr. Phil's show presented inaccurate information about the treatment of two neurological conditions (Tourette syndrome and Asperger syndrome). Information from Quackwatch and the American Psychiatric Association suggest that the information Dr. Phil and his guest, Dr. Hipskind, gave about the usefulness of brain imaging for treatment and diagnosis of these conditions was not only wrong, but possibly dangerous. Various advocacy organizations, such as NAMI, and others representing persons with ADHD, OCD, Tourette syndrome and autism have taken issue with Dr. Phil's information about neuropsychiatric conditions.

I don't really like Dr. Phil. Never met him personally, but if I saw him on the street, I would either cross or turn around much like I would with a leper. Actually, not like I would a leper
The mode of transmission of Hansen's disease remains uncertain. Most investigators believe that the bacterium is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. What is known is that the transmission rate is very low. In addition, approximately 95% of the population is naturally immune.
But I would avoid him.

Monday, September 11, 2006


We haven't forgotten



Car guy etiquette

That's two in a row. Maybe I'll do all legit titles this week.

This is just a short post covering just what the title says.

Most car guys it is share and share alike. You work on my car and I'll work on your car. The 3 of us have all done fairly labor intensive jobs on each of our cars. (up-pipe on the Suby, turbo install on the Protege, and now the clutch on Tercs.) And it's understood that we all help out and it's a symbiotic relationship (Link for those who slept through biology). Although the owner of the car might chip in for pizza or beer or various other working on car snacks.

However, for non-car people who request the assistance of the "car guy", you are not part of the car guy ecosystem (to continue the same analogy). For example, about a month or so ago, a guy Subaru met on a local ATL Suby forum asked for help installing his up-pipe, Subaru offered his assistance and garage for the day. I also stopped by for a couple hours just to lend a hand. ATL Guy said that it was him and 2 friends, so I was under the impression that they just needed a nice covered place to do it, and thought it was weird that they would be willing to drive 1-1.5 hours to use Subaru's garage.

I show up and it's just Subaru and this guy. Younger, just got into grad school and his parents gave him a newer WRX. He was making it faster, he never raced it (legally, street racing doesn't count because the risks far outweigh the rewards), and was planning on getting a new STI after he got his Masters. Then why are you dumping all this money into a car that you're not going to keep for longer than 3 years? But he was new to the "working on your car" thing, and obviously had no idea about etiquette. He brought no beer, and after I left Suby asked if he was going to get some pizza or something. No, I gotta get back. I told my mom I would be back by 6 pm and I'm really late. Handshake, and he left.

We saved the kid around $400-$500 of labor costs and all he gave us in return is a bad impression of Indian people living in Atlanta and a handshake. Nice.

The moral of the story is, if you are using the services of a "car guy" and you personally have never worked on his car, expect to part with some beer and pizza money. It's the least you could do.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I just saved $400 by not going to a mechanic

I think that is the closest "real" title I've ever done.

We (Protege, Subaru and myself) successfully put in a clutch today. Tercel was the proud recipient and guinea pig for the clutch. It was the first time that we had attempted doing anything transmission related. It went fairly well, just taking off bolts and unhooking things (next time label bolts and nuts in small bags) and going down the checklist I made for the install. Unfortunately it wasn't complete, but was very helpful while we were still on it.

Essentially we jacked it up, disconnected the battery, unhook and unbolted lots of things connected to the tranny (hehe), pop the tranny off, switch out the clutch and pressure plate, threw the tranny back on, and hooked everything back together. That took from 11:30 am until 7:30 pm, including breaks, forgetting to connect one bolt and not having 2nd gear for a lap around the parking lot and fixing that, and general shenanigans.

Great day, we got it in and all I have to do is get some tubing or a flexible funnel and top off the transmission with gear oil, 75W-90, and she'll be good as new. I've already done 2 mini burnouts and the clutch works like a freakin' charm and is now smooth as buttah. Just gotta replace the blown shocks and then she'll really be good as new. Total cost of the install:
$90 for new clutch kit
amount a local shop quoted me for a '92 Tercel clutch change:
Money Seth saved and immeasureable experience:
Priceless ($400 + 6 hours my labor)

I was so dirty though; we all were. Filthy. I had to wash my hair 3 times because the first two times the water came off blackish brown. Washed my face twice and my body twice and then had to go back and get spots I missed (or needed extra scrubbing) on my knees and inner arms. Filthy. J said she should've taken a picture. I threw the shirt I was wearing away.

Good times.

Friday, September 08, 2006


I guess I could play the age card?

The CATbus ride to school was mildly uneventful. But the driver made one regrettable error. He drove right past someone standing at the busstop. Fortunately for the missed rider, an attentive passenger hit the STOP button just in time. The missed rider was somewhat miffed. You didn't see me? Why didn't you stop? To which the driver had no good response. Was it cuz I'm black? (Ah the race card) She then walks back to her seat mumbling something about "glasses" and "dumbass". You couldn't see this bright ass shirt I'm wearing? It was a bright blue, but I do wonder why he didn't stop. Was he not looking over there? Was he in LaLa Land? Did he really not stop for her because she was black? There were already Russians, Chinese and a guy of probably Middle Eastern descent on the bus, but I guess it's possible.

Being a minority is on my list of life experiences. When I lived in the DR, on occasion I felt biased against because of my skin color. A Dominican would get served before me or something along those lines, but I didn't mind too much. Just a small taste and very temporary. The future held another country for me in the future; a country full of white people where we were the majority, so I could stand being the minority for a bit. Mostly people would stare because they had never seen a "gringo" before or had only seen a handful. I'm not equating this to being black, or at least not directly equating this. Two very different situations, for starters, there is no history of white slavery in the DR, so I do get the differences.

But thinking about being a minority, I was reminded of a story that was on after the census was released. Okay, found one from
Whites are a minority in four states, Hawaii, New Mexico, California and Texas, and the District of Columbia. The share of white people fell below 60 percent in three other states, Maryland, Georgia and Nevada. Nationally, non-Hispanic whites make up about 67 percent of the population, down from 70 percent at the start of the decade.
Also take a look at this break-down of the whole US Yes the US is still a "white" nation but there are a few states where whites will no longer be a majority.

So I guess can you still play the race card in those states? Or does the race card transfer to the minority racial group? Ideally no judgements or decisions will ever be based on race, but not everyone wears my rose colored glasses.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Harmonic elation

I fought the law yesterday and I won!

I received a ticket from Officer Baxley of the Clemson PD for driving left of center. It was a mistake, but I thought it was my best option for avoiding an accident. I'll explain it later if you would like.

But we're all packed into the courtroom waiting for the Judge to show up. I've had dealings with Judge Barnes before, he's a reasonable man and very nice but is certainly no nonsense and intense. So he gives his intro and once he is done asks for anyone with a ticket from Baxley to raise their hand, about 12-14 people. He tells us to all crowd around the bench. Apparently BX is no longer under the employ of the CPD and thought he was going to be in Nashville and couldn't make it to court. So the court told some people who called in beforehand that their tickets were dismissed. So instead of a continuation on all our cases (until at least October), and to keep it fair, the judge dismissed all his tickets, and there were a couple driving with a suspended license in there. So we were pleased, a little too much joy in my book for some, I at least waited until I was out of the courtroom before I smiled and relaxed. I didn't want to risk being held in contempt or something worse. But we all made it outside and got away scot free.

Back to work!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


It was a set-up, they were all Twix!

Only Seinfeld fans need apply for that quote.

I cannot believe that I have not told you this earlier. They added a new vending machine in the building next to ours. Guess what is in it? Burritoes, chimichangas, little pizzas, I think I even saw a lasagna. We're coming up in the world. If only it microwaved it for you too.

The story I alluded to yesterday is as follows. My grandmother even mentioned it in my birthday card this year.

So my mom was pregnant with me beginning around New Year's Eve 1978. So I'm due around late Aug./early Sept. The family is excited. Their first full-blooded grandchild. And it's a boy! To carry on the family name. My grandfather, whose middle name I share, Maurice works as a welder in a factory. He repairs machinery using fire and will. But one day he was working on a machine and for some reason or another, someone turned it on. He was killed instantly. That happened on Aug. 27, 1979. Horrible horrible tragedy that was 100% preventable. And then just 5 days later, I was born. Mourning mixed with elation. A family torn by grief and joy. I never got the chance to meet my grandpa. He sounded like an extraordinary individual. I've seen pictures and heard stories, but he was taken away from all of us too soon. I miss you Grandpa, but I know you're watching over me. Hope I'm making you proud.

Phew, that was a tough one. But just to leave you with a smile, courtesy of

Tuesday, September 05, 2006



I added a new section to the sidebar. Special Interests Blogs. Mostly cupcake related and guerrilla gardening related. I think J could really go for some guerilla gardening. She loves the wildflowers along the interstate. In fact, the other day that is what she said she wants to do. Add flowers to the interstate, but I'm sure she could be convinced to beautify other areas too.

Just unloaded the car. I'm constantly amazed by how much crap I can fit in that little Focus hatchback.

I think I mentioned that they added new LCD TVs to all the treadmills and eliptical trainers. I was flipping around and saw that some news station was discussing whether or not Steve Irwin's videotaped final moments should be released to the media. Um, that's up to Terri and the kids primarily but stop and think if it was your dad dying on that tape. Would you want to share that?

I know what I would say.
Media person: Hey Seth! Would you give me a copy of your dad dying so I can show it to the world?
Seth: WHAT! I hope you die of gonorrhea and rot in Hell.
Media person: But think of how it could help save the world and educate people!
Seth: Uh, I think my dad's extensive volumes of aired TV has pretty much covered that douchebag.

Terri and kids, you have my whole-hearted support to destroy that tape so that no one will ever see it again. I know if I could've watched my grandfather (paternal) being crushed to death under those gears, I would've taken a pass. I should probably share that experience tomorrow to clarify.


Need to pay rent today

There has been a lull in cyberspace recently. Not too many people updating. It's fall and school is starting back and even if you don't directly go to school or work at a school, it affects you somehow.

But the lulls always re-energize me because it reminds me of who I do this for. Me. All me, all the time. Occasionally I'll do a post dedicated to someone else (search for scooter to find ESC's scooter post) but all the other times it is what I want to write about.

And other times it's just fluff and filler so that I can merely say I posted something.

The wedding is coming up fast and there are still details to iron out.
Ceremony - what we want to do, vows, where to put the bridesmaids, etc...
Reception - Songs for our dances, we're only doing the big ones, not general dancing
Night of - we need a place to stay, J's looking into B&Bs
Gifts - I guess we need parent gifts and we also need groomsmen and bridesmaid gifts

That might be it, but J would know for sure.

But the lull is also good because it discourages me from checking other people's blog. Which in turn makes me focus on work. Which in turn gets me the hell out that much faster. And that is the big picture goal isn't it? Get my degree, find a job, move to the surrounding area to ideally minimize my commute and be close to a high school that will hire J.

So remember that I've mentioned the fancy schmancy chemistry EZ-Up? Well when I was prez of the chem grad students, I kept it in a closet on the first floor. I knew of only 3-4 people who had keys and they aren't thieves. And the closet was right near the door which is near the sidewalk that you can drive your car onto which made loading the 100 lb. tent easier. But that is all over. The new VP put it in the stockroom that only 1-2 people have a key to and I'm not one of them. And the stockroom is only open from 8-4:30 M-F, whereas my closet was open whenever the hell I wanted it to open. So I was talking to VP (who is most likely a lesbian, just saying, but that has to be hard in the Bible Belt) and she said that a CGSO officer (not me) would just ask Laura for it and go pick it up. So I sent an email to the current prez and told her what's up, so hopefully when I need it, she can just send an email saying that I am picking it up for official CGSO bizness. I truly hope that works out. I didn't spend $1200 (of the CGSO's money) for that tent to sit in a damn closet.

Monday, September 04, 2006



The inevitable finally ocurred and now Terri, Bindi Sue and Robert are left without a husband and father. Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin was stabbed in the chest by a stingray.
"A wild animal is like a loaded gun -- it can go off at any time," [Jack] Hanna told CNN. "You have to be careful of that." But, he added, it's not the animals who are inherently dangerous, but the way they may react around humans. "It's not fair to the animal. It's only using the defenses that God gave it," said Hanna.
This is what always ticks J off. A shark attacks a surfer and then there is a huge shark hunt when the shark was just being a shark. Not the sharks' fault the surfer looked like a seal and the surfer knows the danger is there, but takes the chance anyway.

His friend and manager John Stainton summed it up better than I could:
"The world has lost a great wildlife icon, a passionate conservationist and one of the proudest dads on the planet," Stainton told reporters in Cairns, according to The Associated Press. "He died doing what he loved best and left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind. He would have said, 'Crocs Rule!' "

We'll miss you Steve. And whenever we hear "Crikey!", us yanks will always think of you.

The 24 hour autocross was a good experience. Very relaxed pace, no pressure to get a run in, no run groups to keep track of, only other cars waiting their turn. I worked from 4 pm - 6 pm as announcer, very cush job, sitting under a tree announcing times and car numbers and the occasional PSA (public service announcement). No results up yet and I left around 9:30 am, so I don't know if I got a trophy or not and didn't want to stick around to find out. But according to some printed pages that were taped to a table, I was leading my class by just under a second. Not including the Pro class driver in the VW Rabbit. He was ahead of me by almost 2 full seconds. He has also won 3rd in the nation in that Rabbit several times, so I wasn't too upset. Nice guy too.

My second work assignment was 2 am - 4 am, and I was literally falling asleep while leaning against the lightpost. I would close my eyes, hear a car, open them, watch them pass and make sure they didn't hit any of my cones, then close my eyes again. But it went by fairly fast and once I was done, it was 4 am and prime time for some hot night autocross action. There was barely a line. I would guess that there were no more than 10 cars in line, as opposed to the 60-70 during the day. Very different at night. You can't really see where you are going because you're looking ahead in the turn and your headlights are looking straight, so sometimes cones would pop out of nowhere.

I finally couldn't keep my eyes open anymore and went to sleep around 5:15 am. Then woke up at about 8:45, got in my last official run, number 20 (my goal was 20+, but I'm okay without the +), which was a 38.6 (plus cones if they saw them) and then started packing up. You got 6 "official" runs and you had to tell them when you wanted a run to count.

But I met my goal of getting my times into the 38s, and doing 20 runs, so it was a good weekend. And now I need new tires.

J went with me and we picked up a Nintendo DS Lite, so she would have something to do. So once I get a copy of Mario Kart DS, it's on Tom! And I need to get some of those classic Nintendo Game Boy Advanced re-releases too. Ebay, here I come.

Friday, September 01, 2006


They say it's your birthday!

Happy 27th to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I like birthdays. They hand-crafted for the self-centered individual. Lots of focus on you and you can toss out the excuse "but it's my birthday" as much as others will tolerate.

Don't know if J is getting me a present or not. I prefer to be completely surprised by these things. All I have planned is that we're going downtown at 5 for happy hour at 356, Clemson's newest martini bar. Delicious beverages. And then the First Friday parade starts at 6 pm. It's a small parade with
There are about 45 entries in the parade, which runs along State 93 from Cherry Road in front of the President's House to Williamson Road, just past the lower intramural fields, Davis said.

Entries include the Clemson Tiger Band, various ROTC military groups, the Clemson Sports Car Club and 11 sorority floats, Davis said.
And Protege gets to drive his car in it, so he's gonna meet us afterwards. But our plan is to watch most of the parade inside and then come out and scream for the Clemson Sports Car Club and then go back inside.

Then we're going to someone's house, maybe Protege's, and hang out, play some games, try and finish their evil puzzle. I wanted a "birthday" activity and I came up with either: (A) Make your own sundae bar complete with fudge, nuts, schprinkles (that's how ze Germans say it and it's funny) and maybe some of that magic shell stuff, or (B) Decorate your own cupcake bar complete with nuts, sprinkles, and many colored icings, maybe even different flavors. Neither one takes much set-up or much clean up for that matter, assuming disposable bowls, so we just might swing by Bi-Lo and make it a game time decision.

I rode the CATbus this morning because I didn't really want to drive it to school, then try and find a place to park downtown and then drunk drive it home, so I let public transportation tote me around. And then I can either take it home or get a ride!

But can't get too buck-wild tonight. The 24 autocross is tomorrow and I'll probably have to get up about 9.

But while waiting on the bus I was watching this guy from under my umbrella (it was drizzling a bit, which should make the floats in the parade look awesome) and he showed up with a banana (don't know what became of the peel), he finished that and then magically pulled a Barq's rootbeer can from somewhere. And then proceeded to open it with HIS TEETH! I cringed and looked away. I love my teeth too much to subject them to that and I have fingernails. And no he wasn't holding an umbrella, his other hand was hanging freely at his side. Weird.

Hope everyone has a good Seth's Birthday today!

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