Friday, March 30, 2007



Work. I'll play some this weekend. Hopefully we'll be looking at our new place to live at 3.


Thursday, March 29, 2007


They won't let me drive late at night

I hit a huge No Doubt section on J's shuffle walking from the car this morning.

I'm sick of studying. But I know I can't stop because a 6 year Masters degree just doesn't look good. It isn't the end of the world but it isn't a good start to my post-school career. Everyone thinks I'll do well and pass. Like they're really going to say, "You're screwed. There's no way in hell you're gonna pass." That person would be a jerk and not so much my friend.

Found a couple interesting blogs and websites while trolling the internet yesterday.

First up is the Eat Local Challenge. It's a site devoted to encourage people to be more educated about where the products they purchase are coming from. Did that tilapia come from China or Bob by the lake? Is that a South African orange or a Florida orange? The idea is to reduce the distance that your food has to travel, which saves gas and also supports local farmers and businesses.

These two sites overlap with this post. It's about processed foods, specifically milk. But it includes this link to a presentation that Sally Fallon, who is head of the Weston A. Price Foundation, gave at the annual conference of consumer health in Canada in March, 2002. It's a very good and highly distressing read. I read it while I worked out yesterday. Exercising the body and mind at the same time! (ugh, that was lame) But it just talked about how initially the processing of food made it better and last longer (think medieval and pilgrim times) but now it is essentially killing us because the industrial processing that food goes through now drastically alters its chemical makeup and is harming us. The "natural" and artificial flavors that are now added into almost everything are not good and probably causing many health problems. It's a great article and you should read it, or print it out and read it at your leisure.

The second site, which I mentioned above, is Wise Bread - Living Large on a Small Budget. So far I really like this site. It runs the gamut from crazy cheap to inexpensive and healthy. Confused? How 'bout some examples?
Save the World and Save a Dime: Eat Locally
Buy a drink and get a free Whopper - everyday?
The Ghetto Mac - yours for $1 + small fries - if the written description makes you queasy, don't watch the video. It isn't gross but it showcases lots of McDonalds "food".

There are still people who haven't seen SuperSize Me. Incredible. I might just have to buy it on DVD, install a TV in my car viewable from the rear and have it played on heavy rotation.

After my pre-oral, I plan to dive headfirst into my eating locally. I will talk to the produce managers of my local grocery stores. I will call the two farms that I found on the internet to find out what they sell and its prices. I will talk with my local produce stand and ask her where her products are coming from. I will go by my local food co-op and check it out.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Blue cheese

Why is mold on some cheese delicious and gross on others?

J and I are looking for a new place to live. So far it's been pretty frustrating. We found a very cute house in a nice planned subdivision that is $134,000 for a 2bed/2bath and a garage, but we're not really looking for a house and don't want to use every last penny we have on a down-payment. We're still planning on renting. Everything is either too expensive or too crappy. One house we looked at had one closet. One. No dishwasher and the sink in the bathroom was a pedestal one so not even under sink storage in there. And they wanted $650/month. Crazy. You would have to knock at least 50 off of that just so we could afford the storage unit to keep all our stuff. We have an appointment to look at a duplex that is close to our apt. now and from the outside they look nice and the realtor said that the kitchen is being renovated this summer, which means all new appliances for us if we live there in July/August. I really hope we like it.

Oh yeah, another place, we made too much money to live there. It's a LIHTC which stands for low income housing tax credit. And for 2 people to pay $595/month, we were only allowed to make $22,600/year gross. So we did some quick math and took out a quarter for taxes, then 12 months of rent and came up with around $9500 for every other expense for the whole year. WTF mate? That would be an impressive feat. I told the lady that I guess my wife could quit her job, of course then we wouldn't be able to pay rent. Maybe if you are in fact a low income household, then maybe you also are getting some welfare or food stamps cuz that's the only way you could make ends meet if you were to live in this supposed "low income housing". And then I wanted to ask how they determine everything and if we could count the cats as people, but I didn't want to go through the hassle of buying them social security numbers and falsifying documents, so we'll keep looking.

I've taken up residence in our spare bedroom. I'll be living in there until my pre-oral is over. It's nice since we moved out the TV and the computer there is only small furry distractions running over your papers and books every once in a while and even then you could close the door if you wanted and keep Julio and Leon out.


Monday, March 26, 2007


America's favorite passed time

Some people live in the past, some in the present, and some live in the future. I'm with the latter. I really love the idea of the future. You'll have a robot to do most of the household chores. Your car will drive itself, which will be cool even if it can't fly. Your cellphone will be your access to your computer controlled house and robot and it will be able to talk with other devices too. I'm not sure if it will be thought controlled or take dictation but I can't imagine we'll still be using those stupid alphanumeric keypads in the future.

Doc in the Box Sean did a post that related who his Myspace "Top 8" were and why. It was old and new friends and #1 was his wife and not just because she said so. I would like to do a post talking about my friends. Ideally I would use first and last names also, so that when they're googling themselves (I wonder if that will ever not sound dirty) they'll run across this page and then we'll have a big teary reunion and talk about the good ol' days. I think as long as I put a disclaimer up and don't tell any embarassing stories, I think it'll be okay. And they could email me and ask me to take their name off if they wanted.

April 18th keeps getting closer and closer.

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Friday, March 23, 2007


University is closed

Hello, we're sorry but Clemson University is closed today.

I'm here though. Why? Mostly because the parking service Nazis are off today so we can park wherever we please without fear of being ticketed.

It's a fairly relaxed day though. And man is the weather down here unbelievable. The highs tomorrow are supposed to be in the low 80s. And they're in the mid-70s right now. And I'm thinking of moving to Canada. What the hell is wrong with me?

I'm in flip flops today. My grandmother really hates them. She is scared that we drive in them also lest an errant flop wedge itself inbetween the brake and the floor and send us careening into a milk truck.

Why a milk truck? Beats me. But can you imagine the smell of that after a few hours in the sun? Yikes.

J and I are planning on moving this July/August. We've started to look and there are some places that are hopefully nicer than our place and only slightly more expensive.

I like moving. It gives you a chance to purge some of your belongings. We don't need everything in our house, so it's nice to sell and give away some of it and lighten our load.

I freaked out about my pre-oral yesterday, which is okay because it always sends me into a tizzy of work and stress. I usually work better with a little stress to keep my mind focused.

The set of wheels (rims) I picked up from another Focus guy no longer have crappy old tires on them and are ready for cleaning. They're a sort of bronzish color that he spray-painted black over. It looks okay but some of the paint is chipping. I assume they're aluminum underneath so maybe I'll just strip off all the paint and go with bare aluminum and some wax. Currently that and washing both cars is my planned Saturday morning activity.

After getting the wheels dismounted, I was near Anderson so I swung by our local Ford stealership. Have I done my "why the 2008 Focus sucks" tirade on here? If not, I'll do that maybe this weekend or Monday. So I was enquiring about replacing my front wheel bearings and a few other odds and ends. They bring out a tech and he says the bearings alone are 2.5 billed hours of labor on one side, so that's 5 hours labor, $84 parts, $61 belt tensioner, a $60 alignment and we're at a grand total of $653.51. Shit. Thanks for the estimate and I hightail it out of there.

The big part of that job is you need a press to press the old wheel bearing out of the wheel knuckle (the part that keeps the brakes connected to the suspension and the wheel) and press the new one in. The wheel bearing is what lets the wheels spin, so they're mildly important. However, Ford Racing sells a "Rally Brake Kit" that replaces all 4 steering knuckles and has the wheel bearings already pressed in and would also replace my crappy rear drums with some nice new disc brakes. That kit goes for $995. Ugh, decisions, decisions. Actually it isn't really a decision at this point, it's just convincing J that it's worthwhile preventative maintenance and a cost effective upgrade. All she hears is the big number and the word "car" and then starts griping that the car is a money hole. I can't really argue with that since I'm a terrible arguer in the first place and that she has a very valid point.

Hmm, maybe if when we can start going out to eat again, I start bringing sandwiches and drinking water, I can convince her that I can reduce the cost of eating out?

What I should really do is just postpone this whole racing thing until I have a real job and can afford to do stuff like this, but what fun is that? It's a knife edge, this tight-rope walk between being a responsible adult and blowing money on hobbies.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007



Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Me fail English? That's unpossible!

-Ralph Wiggum, Simpsons episode "Lisa on Ice" from Season Six.

Watched that episode this morning over my schmugar (pronounced shmooger) toast, which is bread with butter and cinnamon-sugar on top. J stole all the cheese yesterday so she could have cheese and crackers with her lunch. We ran out of lunch meat yesterday so I swung by Bi-Lo and picked up a deli sub for today and tomorrow's lunch.

The BBC conducted a poll asking about what impact 12 countries had; negative, neutral or positive impact. Surprise, surprise, dear ol' Canada was #1 with 54% positive impact and 14% negative. See? I told you everyone loves Canada and a big reason why I keep considering moving there, not because I want to be liked but because even though it's America Jr., they're doing lots of things right in my mind.

Which brings up my international defense mechanism. If you are ever surrounded by a group of internationals in a foreign land and they ask if you're American, I am readily going to say "Hell no, eh! I'm from Canada! Want to play hockey? Have any gravy or white vinegar for my fries?" and then whip out my travel size Canadian flag. Yeah, I have no shame and a small amount of American pride, which is superceded by my desire to avoid a beating. If it is a less volatile situation, I will say that I am from America, have never voted for any Bush and list a few of the things that are wrong with our country. (Let me know if you would like those listed.)

So who was first? Those dirty Israelis. Yep, Israel came in first with 56%/17% negative/positive impact, followed by Iran with a 54%/18% negative/positive impact. America, Fuck Yeah! came in 3rd with a 51%/30% negative/positive (at least we're seen as helping by 30%) impact and Kim Jong Il's North Korea came in 4th a 48%/19% negative/positive impact. Here's a summary and here is the whole poll which breaks it down country by country. This page also has a link to the .pdf of the survey. Fine, it's right here.

Let's see here, who doesn't like us:

Nigeria, Kenya and the Phillipines think we're doing a great job. Thanks guys! Even higher than ourselves which ranked our own nation at 57% postive/28% negative. Germans, Greeks, Egyptians and Turks are really not too crazy about our government. But who is? Well, besides the half who voted for it and even some of them are opening their eyes.

I would also like to go ahead and tell both the Democratic and Republican parties that they can kiss my ass. I'll vote in the Dem primaries cuz that's what I'm registered as, but when Nov. '08 rolls around, I will vote however I damn please. Be it Libertarian, Green, even Dem or Rep. I refuse to vote by party lines and will be an informed voter who will educate myself and not be a one issue voter.

Wow, people like Japan too. J could pull off Japanese but I don't think I can. It also appears as though Egypt and Turkey don't really like anyone.

I talked to my friend Tom who is currently here. He said he's staying at a nice hostel which is a bit expensive but you get two beds (he has a traveling buddy) your own toilet and shower and a buffet style breakfast and dinner. Bonus! Ah, he also said that the country code is CH, which makes no sense, but thanks to wikipedia, I learned that it stands for Confederatio Helvetica (Latin). It seems like SZ would make more sense, but what do I know.

In other news, 1 in 5 adult Americans can't read and it's estimated that only 50% of Americans can read at a Level 3 proficiency. Ok, it refers to the ACT's reading levels with Level 3 being:
Students at Level 3 typically can comprehend prose of several paragraphs on subjects within a familiar framework and with a clear underlying structure, and they can understand some main ideas in limited occupational or academic materials.
Maybe I'll volunteer at a literacy center. Give back since I love reading. I promise that I won't give writing tips, just basic grammar and sentence structure. And I still want to try being an abortion clinic escort. Sloth's stories about it were so incredibly moving and sad.

In other abortion news, SC's stupid head governor supports a bill that would require any woman, even rape and incest victims, to receive an ultrasound before an abortion. Super, more people with penises making laws for people without them.

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Monday, March 19, 2007


Spring Break, Woohoo!

Yep, it's Spring Break in good ol' South Kakalakie. Everyone knows what that means right? Students go home, go to the beach or just hang out in their apartment for the week and don't even think about school. Others, like one of my students, do some weeklong internship or student teaching because it's the only time available.

But for grad students it means so much more. It means a week of peace and quiet during the semester. Parking was a joy, even coming in at a very late and leisurely 10:30. Empty spots as far as your eye can see. And if you're enrolled in a class, you don't have to go this week. Teach lab? No lab for you! So I'm looking forward to my week without undergrads. Only downside is that the on-campus eatery we frequent doesn't care about anyone other than undergrads, so they close down whenever they leave. Thanks for caring Aramark!


Friday, March 16, 2007


What did you expect Mother? I'm half machine!

Buster, played by Samford alum (my alma mater also) Tony Hale, from Arrested Development

Yeah, I know I keep quoting 3 shows, but guess what I watch the most and which DVDs I would take with me to a deserted island? Yep, Arrested Development, Futurama, The Simspons and toss in some Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm and I could sit on the beach, drink coconuts, build a righteous treehouse and watch TV when it's raining.

You may or may not know that the NCAA men's basketball tournament is going on. This is THE tournament for the top-tiered college basketball teams. 65 teams go in, 1 comes out victorious. And it lasts a solid month. That's why they call it "March Madness". And it is mad I tell you.

Duke was upset by Virginia Commonwealth yesterday. HUGE! Duke fans across the country are weeping and gnashing their teeth, but that's what you get being a Duke fan. You gotta take the ups with the crushing downs. I bet you all know who Eric Maynor is now huh? (He's the guy who carried his team and knocked down the a sweet jumpshot near the top of the key with 1.8 seconds left to give his team a 2 point advantage and the win.)

So far no other major upsets, but it's still early. It's only the second day.

I would rank March Madness just behind the World Cup and the Olympics. The Super Bowl, World Series, BCS bowl games, nor the NBA playoffs have anything on March Madness. They let the champ be decided on the court and may the team with the best players and most heart win.

To work! Oh and tune in for some weekend posts, I'll be around the computer all weekend.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007


Pop pop gets Grisham?

- George Bluth, played by the marvelous Jeffrey Tambor, while hiding in the model home attic, from Arrested Development

Yes I'm a little freaked out, but I still have 34 days left to prepare and that's what I'm doing. Days, nights, weekends, all the time. I will be taking some study breaks this weekend for St. Paddy's Day because dammit, it's March 17 and you have to enjoy your or someone else's Irish heritage. They've given us so much over the years: U2, Guinness, Potatoes, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and the Gaelic language. So wear your green, raise your pint and toast to the Emerald Isle and all she stands for!

I had Total for breakfast. It tastes sweet. It's probably because I'm trying to completely eliminate all sugar from my diet, except for fruits, vegetable and the sugar that is in some of the processed foods I still eat, but it does. I'm sure the kid who is adding extra sugar to his Frosted Flakes isn't going to believe me, but it is. Or what did Calvin eat? Frosted Sugar Bombs? Ah, of course. Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs!

I have reduced myself to only getting tea at coffeeshops, or espresso if it's after dinner or I'm on the road. It saves money and tea is delicious! There is a new one at Greenville's Barnes and Noble that is called Bangkok. It has ginger, lemongrass and coconut, so J hates it but it's so good. And I'm so proud of myself. I honestly can't remember what brand of coffeeshop is in B&N. I assume it's Starbucks but can't remember. The free-standing Starbucks is down the street though. I would love to be immune to marketing and advertising. That would be a good day, so I wouldn't be tempted to try the new cool chip or colored ketchup. Not that I tried that crazy ass colored ketchup. I would be willing to try it though, but alas, it's off the shelves and gone forever.

Big Pharma, the pharmaceutical industry, currently one of the massive industries running our government. Don't even try and deny it. It's everywhere. TV, magazines, buses, billboards, you're friends are talking about it, your grandparents depend on it. Like most things, it has good points and bad points.
Helps people with serious problems.
Makes vaccines that save lives and prevent expensive and debilitating diseases.
Um, sponsor racing and other spectator sports.
Provide many jobs for chemists, pharmacists and others.

Ridiculous profit margins (this would be in the "good" category depending on who you are and whose stock you own)
Why cure a disease when you can make billions treating it for years?
Won't develop some treatments because it isn't patented and someone else could steal it.
Sure they sell drugs cheaper in other countries, but you rich Americans can afford to pay what we tell you.
Kickbacks and other incentives to doctors so they'll prescribe a certain drug, whether you need it or not!
Buy influence in government instead of letting politicians do the work of the people (obviously not isolated to the pharmaceutical industry)

As an example of the influence of Big Pharma, J was at the doctor the other day. She said that she's been feeling tired and wanted some "speed". She actually used the street name for amphetamines, commonly prescribed as Adderall. And the doctor said, sure, let's get some bloodwork and then see about getting you your "speed". Wow. Maybe I'm too naive or haven't been to the doctor enough, but is it really that easy? Or maybe he's not concerned about the potential abuse of amphetamines. I wonder if J would've said "My elbow hurts. How bout some OCs doc?" if he would've been as forthcoming with his prescription pad. OCs are slang for oxycontin, which is synthetic heroin. Ok, now that I look at it, it isn't exactly heroin, but it is in the opiate family. Heroin: diacetylmorphine, Oxycontin: (5a)-4,5-epoxy-14-hydroxy-3-methoxy-17- methylmorphinan-6-one

The bottom line is, just because your doctor says you should take it, doesn't mean you should just take his word for it. Be a smart consumer, do your research. Odds are the doc is right, but not all the time. That's why they have to pay exorbitant malpractice insurance fees. That and because slick lawyers and slick assholes sue them alot.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007



Anyone buy those boxes of wine? Apparently the inner plastic bag has many additional uses to kayakers and campers and maybe even you!

Check it. Article from by Tom Watson.

Also check out this video from the Best of Youtube.

Worst CGI EVER! Don't worry, it's a short vid.




My pre-oral that decides whether or not I stay in the PhD program is on April 18th, so guess what I'll be working on. If I don't pass, I get a very long Masters, which wouldn't be the end of the world, but would suck.

Eh, had a couple post ideas but the pre-oral is hanging over my head like my own personal raincloud.

Back later.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Aw, he's a little insane drunken angel.

-Amy from the "Insane in the Mainframe" episode of Futurama.

These are links I found today. Feel free to peruse them. I'm not planning on going to Mind States in Costa Rica, although it would be awesome, but I really want to know at which resort it is happening.

One of the speakers is a "futurist" and I wanted to know more about that so I found his blog and will read through it when I'm less busy. Mark Pesce is the guy's name. Another speaker that sounds really interesting is Liz McIntyre, who wrote Spychips: How Major Corporations and Governments Plan to Track Your Every Move and Purchase.

Yep, those damn chips are going in everything. It's only a matter of time when they'll be in your drivers license or maybe they'll just skip that and slip one under your skin like in Demolition Man. Not the greatest movie but a watchable Sly/Snipes combo set in the future. "All restaurants are now Taco Bell." Hehehe, and it's got some very funny ad placements. Dennis Leary, Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt and the weird interior design guy from Beetlejuice are also in it and do a bang up job.

I would love to become a better writer. I just don't have the time right now. I'm sure there are classes I could take, even some I could audit here at Clemson, but time is the ultimate enemy. I would love to write books. I'm sure I could write a damn good book. Or at least one that wouldn't be boring and crappy. If possible, I would cram all my likes and ideas into one book that would be mine. I miss being creative. This is one of my few creative outlets anymore. I miss making music and playing my bass. I miss sitting around with my friend Derek and making up songs. He would play something, just a few chords and then I would make up lyrics, and if they were good or funny, I would write them down and a new song was born.

I miss drawing. I was never good at it but it was fun. I still have my portfolio from Ms. Hickey's art class. Lots of fun and creative energy in that class. And her music selection was small but rock solid. Barenaked Ladies, Tracy Chapman, Edie Brickell, Violent Femmes, lots of good stuff and music I needed to hear to expand my MTV/grunge musical interests.

So don't listen to Mick Jagger when he says time is on your side. It isn't. I still like him though.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007


I usually prefer Icees.

Skiing was excellent yesterday. We went to Sugar Mountain, which is near Banner Elk, NC. Our chemistry grad student organization paid for transportation and lift tickets and if you helped out with concessions and selling goggles, they even paid for your rentals too. Just a little incentive to get people to help out, which is surprisingly difficult considering the pluses.

I got conned into driving one of the 3 12-passenger vans, but luckily Protege and the talented and lovely J were also in my van. And also some new characters, of which the husband works near me and the wife graduated from dear ol' Clemson, who we'll refer to as their given paparazzi name, Gregber. And a Chinese couple and an Austrian post-doc. I would tell you where everyone sat on the way up and back, and I might've even done it in an interesting way, but I don't have the time or want to right now, but J rode shotgun on the way up and was navigating while she wasn't asleep.

The behemoth of a van had a radio complete with tape deck. No one had any cassettes on them, so we went all radio, all the time. If I had known ahead of time I might've [huh, we had a discussion about this very thing and I claimed to have never heard it. Gregber said that someone said "might could" as in "I might could go get some dinner at Shoney's tonight". And I just used "might have". Is this a regional thing? Am I crazy?] gotten a cassette adapter for J's new shuffle. I think.

We left 6 minutes late which was impressive. I find as I get older, most people get more responsible than say, high schooler. On the road, no breakfast for me cuz we got up at 5:20ish to leave at 6:06.

Get on the road. Speed limit or just 5 over. Another guy in the dept. got a wreckless endangerment ticket in VA for going 77 in a 70 in one of these big vans, so that is clouding my thoughts and restraining my normally heavy right foot. That and it's got some sweet cruise control action which takes all the pressure off.

I'm hungry. I should've made a to-go bagel but didn't. It's okay, I wanted to stop at a gas station and stock up on some portable snackage for the slopes. I wasn't really planning on stopping for lunch to get maximum ski time, but it happened anyway. Fortunately there was a McDonalds connected to the gas station and since it's a road trip the "no eating out during Lent" is put on hold. We're still here so I guess She didn't mind too much.

Back on the road, pass the other van and make it to the lodge in about 3 hours and change. Not bad. Tickets, change clothes, ski pants, ski boots, jacket up, gloves on and then walk over to the nice easy green slope. Crap, I remember doing this but it's been a year. Pizza, french fries. At least I remember that and that mostly gets me down the first time. The next time up I'm watching people and trying to get tips. Oh yeah! Keep your skis together when you're carving. Ah, ok, it's all coming back. Hey there's J on the lift! I'll catch her next time down. She was supposed to get a group lesson but missed the start by 5 minutes, but they're every hour, on the hour, so no biggie.

We ski the green slope a few times, snuggle on the lift going back up, then I ask if she's ready to move to another slope. The middle lift goes to the very top of the mountain but has an easy drop-off and an intermediate drop-off on the way up. If you'll remember from last year's adventure, this is where we had some trouble (also please excuse the spelling and grammar errors in the linked post) so I made sure we both knew when to get off and how. Success! We stayed on this slope for a bit and then I think we ate lunch. Decent food, decent prices. Nothing pro sports/amusement park expensive. Reenergized we got back out on the slopes. A few more times on the harder green slope and then I asked if she wanted to go further up the mountain. It's faster and steeper but no black diamonds, so it's a good challenge. She concedes and we head up. Man it's scary going that fast, but sometimes you just have to do it. It's really scary carving at those speeds but it's the only way to slow down. Pizzaing hurts too much and falling would hurt more, so you have to rely on your technique and hope it works.

I didn't really have any bad falls, but I did fall. One guy that went with us hit a tree! Yeah, a freakin' tree. I guess he's okay, he was still on the slopes after it happened so I guess it wasn't too bad. No bad accidents and every made it off the mountain alive.

Thankfully Protege offered to drive some, so I got us out of the mountains and he took over at the interstate.

Excellent trip and I wish I could ski more often and maybe on some fresh snow created by nature and not a hose and a fan.

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Friday, March 09, 2007


Happy China Garden 47

I might eat there if someone recommended it.

Aha! Ear plugs. They save your hearing and block out all the bad juju noises from your surroundings. My personal use of ear plugs has been limited to using them at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta last year. Trust me, for those cars in a 10 hour race, you're gonna want some ear plugs. Although it was funny watching the good ol' boys next to us scream at each other and not being able to hear them.

The other use of ear plugs I have been privy to have been my friend Tom who comments on here occasionally (who is going to Venice today and traveling around with his friend who currently lives in Slovenia, have fun Tom!) who uses them while we're camping, and my mom who uses them because it's the only way she can get a decent nights sleep next to my father, who could easily be mistaken for a chainsaw. My mom, sure she's a mom, and my dad really does snore loudly. You can poke him and he'll roll over for a bit, but it's only temporary.

The other case, to me, is almost like cheating. Camping is about being in the woods and communing with nature. And scaring the crap out of yourself imagining there is a marauding band of bears coming through your campsite. I understand why he uses them, but I don't agree with it. There's alot of stuff that Tom and I don't agree on, but we're okay with that. I have my own getting to sleep while camping trick, which involves Tylenol PM, so I guess I'm cheating too. But damn it works.

We're going skiing tomorrow. Here. No it won't be that cold and no it hasn't for real snowed there in a month or so, but they've been churning out the fake stuff as fast as they can. I get the pleasure of driving one of the 12 passenger vans up there. Great. Like I was telling the other drivers, it isn't the drive up there I'm worried about, it's the drive back. And the fact that those things are behemoths and we'll be going through mountain roads. So I'll be in "Drive like Grandma. Don't kill 8 people." mode. It'll work out, I'm just gonna need a cooler full of Red Bull or I might even have to go for the uber caffeinated drinks. And Red Bull makes me pee. I heard from an actual Red Bull employee that it is the glucuronalactone that causes this. Sure. I'll buy that.

And if anyone lives in Brooklyn and wants to taste some serious beer this weekend, I would highly recommend going to check out the "Split Thy Brooklyn Skull VIII" which is a barleywine festival. Just from the name and the beer list, it looks like barleywine is a fancy name for beer with about twice as much alcohol as normal grocery store beer. And the beer list will be different for both Saturday and Sunday. This one from Saturday "Sixpoint Bolshoi Russian Imperial Stout (10.2%) (2005)" sounds delicious. Wow, if I was rich, I would totally blow of skiing and go get loaded on some delicious super beer in Brooklyn this weekend. Check these out from Sunday: Legacy Fantasy Raspberry Belgian Strong Ale (9.5%)
Weyerbacher Insanity Oak Aged Barley Wine (11.1%)
I'm a sucker for raspberries and the other just sounds devine.
Holy crap!:
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (21%)
21%? That's like drinking a straight liquer. Wow, I am now officially jealous of anyone living in Brooklyn and anyone who is going to this festival. I would ask for a shirt but that will be a poor substitute for all that beer. Maybe soak up some of the beer and then mail it so I can at least smell it? Eh, maybe not.

I hereby vow to attend at least one beer festival this year, as you as my witness! And have someone else drive me home I also vow.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007



Ever wonder why English is hard for some people to speak? I think it's all the consonants that we try and jam together. Other languages are used to pronouncing every letter and we're jamming them together, merging the sounds into our beloved (and 2nd most widely spoken) language. I had a teacher who was Hispanic once tell me one of the hardest words for her to pronounce correctly was "shrimp". Spanish doesn't have the "sh" sound and then to toss another consonant in the mix is just mean. And don't even get me started on the rules and the inevitable exceptions to said rules and the fact that our vowels change sounds. At least we use the Roman alphabet.

Your hearing. It gets worse and worse everyday. But it seems some people go out of their way to make their hearing worse as fast as possible. Case in point, I was riding the elevator from the 1st to the 4th floor and there was another student riding in there with me. I was listening to some techno song on J's ipod and could actually hear her music over mine! WTF, mate? My rule of thumb when listening to a personal audio device is, especially inside, that you should be able to have a normal conversation with someone while your music is playing. You shouldn't have to pause your music to talk to someone. If you do, odds are your music is too loud and you might be doing irreparable damage to your hearing.

So I need a little business card that says something like "Hi! I'm a concerned individual and I feel that your music is too loud. You are permanently damaging your hearing by having the volume up so loud." And then provide a link to an auditory specialist or general hearing concern website.

It's been the same story ever since headphones were invented. Walkmans, discmans and now ipods. I just don't want to be yelling at a 65 year old person and they can't hear me shouting "BUS!" because they listened to their Widespread Panic too loud with headphones on.

Also, please consider using earplugs if you attend anything loud with great frequency or even just once or twice. There is a reason those guys directing planes where those gigantic headphone/earmuff things. Jet engines are loud, pain threshold loud. So if you attend NASCAR events, other high level automotive event, concerts, etc... please consider wearing ear plugs. Don't do it for me, do it for your grandkids.

Big Pharma coming tomorrow.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


No one's going to pijaminate my body!

New Simpsons episode from Sunday, the Jewish bully whose name is (googled) Dolph said it. He's the one on the right.

And J brought up a good point. Matt Groening, you'll want to pay attention to this. So according to the Spellympics episode, episode 12 from Season 14, Cletus and Brandine have a baby named Rubella because as Lisa is jogging and spelling, Cletus asks her how to spell scabies and then Brandine says "Rubella, you got yourself a middle name!"

However, from this past episode, it appears she was forgotten, but I guess what do you expect from a slack-jawed yokel? Also, it appears thanks to wikipedia, this is not the first time some of the Spuckler chitlins have been left out. Check out the whole saga here. Also never name your children after a truck, incest or a drug. I guess Mary Jane would be one of the few exceptions. Maybe Silverado? Oh, Sierra is also an exception. F-150, bad. Crack, really bad.

I'm buying some brake pads and a set of wheels off of a guy in the sportscar club. He only wants $100 for it all! Crazy good deal, even if the wheels are no namers from ebay.

Um, I'm out for right now. Oh, didn't I promise you some posts on Friday? Yep, let's copy them to over here.
Sneaky Preview2: I need to come up with a card to help save others' hearing.
Bad and good sides to the pharmaceutical industry.
There we go. I'll get to those this week, just like our Thank You notes, which we still haven't done. Yeah, we're coming down to the wire.

Monday, March 05, 2007


The Bob Loblaw Law Blog

If only I had seen that episode of Arrested Development around the time I started this blog, I'm fairly certain that would've been the name of this blog. Let's see if someone else already has it. Wow, there is and he actually is Robert Loblaw. That's awesome. But isn't taken yet. I might have to go ahead and cybersquat on that bad boy.

Oh, the real Bob Loblaw's Law blog. Another link from a guy at the Chicago Tribune who just did the search I did. And some funny comments from one of Bob's posts. Apparently his readers didn't like the puns and double entendres being offered by Arrested Development fans. Good times.

Decent weekend. J and I were up around 8 on Saturday as a consequence of getting up that early during the week. It sucks but it's more time to do as little as you want. Let's do some lazy math. If you get up at 8 am and watch TV for 4 hours, it's only noon. If you get up at noon and then watch 4 hours of TV, it's 4 pm and your day is pretty much shot.

We did our taxes last night. We're getting some money back, but I can't wait till we have a kid and/or own our own house. Deductions galore. And as is, our income would fall below the Earned Income Credit, so we would get mad loot back from the government, with a kid that is. Without a kid the cut-off is a ridiculously low $11,750. Holy crap. I think full-time at McD's pays more than that. And that's for 2 people if I read that right.

And once I open up my own business, then I can start deducting business expenses. Sweet! And if I get audited, which would suck, I could either suck it up and take it like a man or flee the country like other rich people do. To a country without an extradition agreement with the US of course.

So after paying our minister $400 for the hour of work that he did at our wedding, another aspect of our eco-lodge will be destination eco-weddings. And you can either have the traditional Southern Baptist raised white guy perform your ceremony or a Catholic raised Korean perform your ceremony, that should cover most people. I'm sure we could find a native of whatever land we decided to open our eco-lodge in to perform some ceremonies too. Just another aspect of Eco-Resort ParaBliss (see? it's paradise and bliss crammed into one word, no we won't use that, it's terrible)

We did our taxes through H&R Block. They were doing the federal return for free and the state for $30. And since we're trying to save money instead of nickel and dime ourselves into the poorhouse, I have decided to print out a copy of our fed return and then fill out the state by hand. I think it'll work out and we'll save a little bit of money. But dammit! It adds up, I'm tellin' ya!

Doh, I gotta go check my Facebook account. A few people want to be my friends. Oh, funny story. There is someone who wants to be my friend on Facebook. However, she's not my favorite and I think she was skimming off the top of our student organization, so she's in Facebook Purgatory, waiting to see if I will be her friend or not. I don't think she should hold her breath.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Sneaky Pete's

That's actually a hot dog chain. Not sure where, but definitely in AL.

Just a few thoughts and a sneak preview of future posts. Please read my real post for today that is just below this one.

Saturday night at 5:44 pm Eastern there will be a lunar eclipse. Asia and the Americas will see a partial one and the best view will be in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. If you live in Alaska, Australia or New Zealand, sorry, no eclipse for you.

A German brother and sister are challenging Germany's incest laws. Gross. But I'm sure there are pockets of people round the world who would gladly join the fight if the rest of the world wouldn't point our fingers and say "Eeeeewwwwwww."

Please keep the Bluffton University baseball team in your thoughts. Their bus took a dive off an overpass in ATL this morning. Here's the article, read it if you want but definitely click on the lick that says "(Animation: Route taken before tragedy)". Seems like the driver wasn't used to HOV exits?

Sneaky Preview: I need to come up with a card to help save others' hearing.
Bad and good sides to the pharmaceutical industry.
My leisurely mountain drive I'm planning with some other folks.


The ability to add 2 digit numbers is NOT witchcraft!

-Lisa Simpson, not from the Treehouse of Horrors XVII episode like I thought, it's actually from The Wettest Stories Ever Told episode 374.

First a few thanks. Thanks to all my regular readers for dropping by every once in a while to check in on me and how we're all doing over here in Crazy Lawsuit Game Land.

Second I would like to thank my new commenters! Thank you ladies for dropping by and leaving a note. Not sure if it was a one-time thing but thanks anyway.

To Lise: Your Eco-Tropical Resorts site looks like a great resource for eco-friendly vacationers!

To Mrs. Mogul: Happy Birthday! (Hers was on Wednesday) Your blog is colorful and updated frequently and contains many stories about movies and TV, both of which are big favorites of mine. And there is a special place in my heart for blogs by New Yorkers. You're in there too Evil Julie. The rest of my bloggers have special places in my heart too, so don't worry.

To Jay: She runs a blog named "Kill The Goat". Not sure if she doesn't like goats or really likes goat burgers. Go check out Jay and Jason's recent trek through the woods. And I'm sure there are foods that you love that Jason doesn't like, therefore you never get to enjoy them.

And to each of you, for your kind comments, you will all be getting your own permanent links in the sidebar. I may just squeeze you in to a section that already exists or I might make up a visiting/commenting bloggers section. We shall soon find out.

In other NY related news, I received the NY Times email about some goings-on in the NY area. Specifically Grandmaster Flash will be spinning at APT. If you don't know who Grandmaster Flash is, please crawl out from that big rock you call a home and check out his site and his wiki site. Apparently APT is one of those places too cool to have a sign, but it does have an address, so here is the Google Maps overhead shot, and I'm sure if you arrive early enough, you should be able to track it down. It sounds like a very cool place.

If you're in NY but DJs aren't your thing, then head over to MoMA and check out their "Conversations with Contemporary Artists" in the Barton Theater at 6:30 today. The artist's name is Swoon and here is a sample of her street art that has been defaced:

Weird. There is also some sort of manifesto posted over her work. Here is an interview with some of her work that she did with gammablog. And here is the article about how her work is being defaced by a rogue menace. (If you don't have a NY Times log-in name, then get one and sign up for their emails. I get their DriveTimes, Circuits with David Pogue, the Art one and the Food one, and their daily headlines)

If it were me and I lived in NY or one of the burroughs and had no plans tonight, I now know what I would be doing.

In more personal news, J and I gave up going out to eat for Lent. It's going pretty well. Some temptation but neither of us have broken yet. We made a delicious bolognese sauce from the Williams & Sonoma slow-cooker cookbook we recieved as a wedding present. It's a "More to Store" recipe because it called for roughly 1.5 lbs of vegetables and 3 lbs. of ground beef. Yeah, that's alot of sauce. So far with our sauce we have made, rigatoni bolognese and polenta gratin with bolognese sauce. Tonight we're making stuffed manicotti bolognese. We froze some and might have a bit left over to satisfy J's pasta cravings.

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend! I may pop in for a rare weekend post, but no promises. Now to add sidebar links!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


No post for you!

Blogger, to teach you a lesson, I will not be posting today. I wanted to post yesterday and you were down. You don't say when I post, I say when I post.

I'll return whenever the hell I please.

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