Monday, October 27, 2008


1946 feet straight up!

J and I conquered Table Rock Mountain (3124 feet) yesterday. It's an elevation change of 1946 feet from the nature center where the Table Rock Trail starts. It is of course in Table Rock State Park, right off scenic SC 11. The trailhead sign says to allot between 2 and 3 hours one way. We did it in just under 2 hours. For reference a particularly in shape and virile Russian faculty member did it in 1.5 hours. We had lunch overlooking trees as far as you could see.

Yes my legs are a tad sore today, not as bad as I was expecting halfway up though. I also rode my "new to me" bike into work today. I paid $40 for a used Specialized Hard Rock and it's in pretty good shape. It could probably use some new tires and a decent cleaning but we can worry about that later. The derailleurs (metal things that change gears, pronounced de-rail-yours, thanks Clemson Cyclery!) work pretty well and I was shifting gears like mad.

The traffic was fairly heavy and I rode on the sidewalk for a bit but decided I should use the bike lanes and force the traffic to acknowledge my presence. Yes I was wearing a helmet. I would rather not but J told me horrible head injury statistics and I like my melon in one piece, plus it's another use for my all purpose skiing/climbing/bicycling helmet.

I need to work on luggage carrying capacity though. Ideally I would like to ride to the grocery store and pretty much anywhere in a 2 mile radius and the laptop, lunch and some papers pretty much maxed out my backpack. We'll see. It's okay for now and I need to prove to myself that I will use it regularly before I go dropping money into it. The locking chain and cordless air compressor I bought about equal the cost of the bike but I can use the air compressor for the car too so that evens out.

The last F1 race of the 2008 season is in Sao Paolo, Brazil which means it will be on at a reasonable hour! I'm guessing 11 am or noon on Sunday. The driver's championship is almost locked up by Lewis Hamilton but he has to finish the race Sunday in a decent position and Felipe Massa must win to even have a chance. Good thing Felipe likes racing in front of his home crowd.

Hope everyone has a great week!

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Friday, October 24, 2008


Cynical Chris' Question of the Day

Our dear friend Cynical Chris posed a QOTD last Thursday "What was your first job?" and received many answers because he has many readers.

My first job was working day care at our church. Then it was "Chip Shots Golf Photography" which was me taking pics of golfers swing and then a group shot, passing the film to a runner who got the pics developed, then we would put an individual pic and a group pic in a book type frame and sell it to the golfers. We mostly worked organized tournaments but the thing I remember most (aside from how big a scam and easy it was) was that on the way to my interview I wasn't paying attention and was headed towards a redlight at 40 mph in my turbo minivan. I slam on the brakes and spin my way into the intersection. Luckily it was a large interstate intersection so I had enough room to back up and wait for the light while people stared and drove around me.

My favorite job was room service at the Sheraton Civic Center. Lots of great stories which I will share later.

But the best response came from Cynical Chris' reader Johnny. Enjoy:

I worked at Flavorland in the Clifton Country Mall (Clifton Park, NY) from ‘82-’85. It was taken over by Friendly’s around ‘84, if I recall correctly. The menu was pretty much a variation of the Friendly’s menu, anyway, so it wasn’t like it was a hard transition for us. We hated our new Friendly’s overlords, and most of us left or got fired within a year. Gonna see miss Liza, gonna go to Mississippi.

I started working there nights doing the dishes, then ended up as a fry cook (insert joke here), then on the rest of the line. Fabulous job. Used to take the garbage out at night with the other dishwasher and do whip-its from all the whipped cream empties we saved during the shift, or get high.

Friday nights were fish-fry night. Just bin after bin of haddock that you’d drench in flour, drown in a batter and heave into the fry-o-lator. Your hands would get so caked with batter that you’d be able to pull out the fried fish with your bare hands. Edible gloves dripping with scalding hot grease.

We had gloriously ugly red polo shirts with a yellow smiling sun over one breast. I would kill for one of those shirts now. You’d get a brown stain across the front where you’d rub up against the line cutting board or the dishwasher if you worked there long enough. Sure, you’d have an apron on over it but the grime would just seep right through, giving you that special stain that old, fat mechanics have on all their shirts. Sixteen year old kids with brown stains over distant-future beer guts.

One of the most heinous jobs you’d get stuck with was emptying the grease trap. In the back room where you’d toss the garbage and store the spent fryer oil was a metal trap door in the floor. Comparing it to the opening to Hell wouldn’t be hyperbole. You’d have to open the metal door, sometimes slippery with grease, and empty out the pit with a plastic sour cream tub into a mayonnaise bucket double-lined with clear plastic garbage bags. Why we used clear bags I’ll never understand, because if any of you have seen restaurant waste its really not something you’d want the public to see.

Anyway, all the Flavorland restaurant sinks emptied into a single sewer line. Grease floats, so the sewage would empty into the trap, the grease would float and the water-based shit would drain out from below this raft of grease, I guess into the Clifton Park sewer line. Six-hundred miles to the west of Clifton Park, and only six years earlier the Feds shut down and evacuated Love Canal. “We are breeding..monsters..”

So you’d get all this grease into four or five of these giant mayonnaise buckets lined with bags, and then you’d have to truck this crap through the mall to the other damn side of the mall where the dumpsters were. These were heavy-ass bags of grease and sewage and we were just skinny little punk dishwashers, either stoned or going mental on whip-its. The Man wanted the mayonnaise buckets back, so you’d sort of hoist the bags up to you shoulder like an olympic dead-lifter, then kind of heave/shot-put them up over the side of the dumpster. Sometimes you’d miss-heave and the bag would catch on the side of the dumpster, rip open and dump this sludge all over the place. Sometimes you’d heave and your arm would punch right through the bag covering you with sludge. In the 80s, minimum wage was $3.15.

The major winter-time draw at CCM at that time was the Boat Show. A great week for the Mall, but pretty much a mall employee’s Vietnam. We’d have people lined up out the doors wating for booths. These were nightmare shifts for the bussers/dishwashers and the fry cook. Really intense shifts that you’d hope wouldn’t go by too fast because when it ended you’d be cleaning up and doing the grease trap.

One bizarre phenomenon endemic to these family restaurants is the booth vomit. Kids are going to vomit. They’re kids. They eat too much, get too excited and puke. But, they never puke onto the table. They always jam their heads under the booth table and puke down there. So, the poor dishwasher has to go into this puke-cave with a dust pan, a bucket and a roll of paper towels, clean up the mess without puking himself, put the whole mess into a clear plastic garbage bag and carry it through the restaurant.


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Teas' Tea

They had Teas' Tea on sale at Bloom the other day and they were barely over my single serve max tea price of $1 at $1.09, so I picked up a couple. Delicious! Unsweetened and brewed with loose leaf oriental teas. The teas are made and marketed by Ito En and made a national appearance on Entourage in Ari Gold's office (Jeremy Piven's character). I highly recommend picking up some of Teas' Teas.

Of course, the best way to make tea is to make it yourself. It's much much cheaper and YOU get to decide what type of tea you make. Can't find a good unsweetened chai tea? Brew it yourself! I have been on a British and Irish tea run so I've been brewing lots of Earl Grey, British Breakfast and Irish Tea, most of which are heavier black teas. The main difference between Teas' Teas and mine are that I don't add ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) to my teas. I eat enough veggies and fruit that I'm pretty safe from scurvy.

The Atlantic Online ran a story written by Jeffrey Goldberg about airport security with an interview of Bruce Schnei­er who is a security expert. Very very interesting and eye-opening. I've always thought the TSA wasn't doing anything but making lines longer at security checkpoints and there were still many holes (vulnerabilities) to our nation's airport security. One I've always noticed is the shocking lack of security at baggage claim. What is to prevent someone from stealing a bag or bringing a non-scanned bag into the airport? Not a
damn thing.

The writing is still coming along.

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Monday, October 20, 2008


100,000 hits!

Thanks to all my visitors for taking me over the 100,000 mark! Hooray!

Protege and Acura were here this weekend. They flew in from Texas (which is still recovering from Hurricane Ike) to come back and visit everyone. They have mostly been busy with work and renovating their "new to them" house. Parts sounded pretty gross. They installed some bamboo flooring themselves and it looked really nice.

We (minus J who was tired) went downtown and hung out with friends. Since I've been writing I haven't hung out with them socially probably since around July, so it was good having real conversations instead of short pleasant exchanges on campus.

There was talk about them trying to get tickets for the Georgia Tech/Clemson football game, but since we lost to Maryland and then Wake Forest, Clemson's ACC conference win and decent bowl game dreams have gone up in smoke. So we had a wonderfully relaxing Sat. afternoon (seriously I was the only one up before 10 am, well me and the cats) and I had a pleasant Sat. morning where I watched a little TV, straightened the house, walked Leon and then walked downtown to retrieve Tercel because I rode in (we have a paparazzi name for Protege and Acura in "real" life but what could their blog 'razzi name be? Pracura? Actege?) their rented white Sebring convertible since that last Wild Blue (by Blue Dawg Brewery in Baldwinsville, NY apparently bought out by Anheuser-Busch) was an 8% alcohol by volume doozy and I was in no condition to drive home. Yes I realize that I live in South Carolina and drinking and driving is just what people do here, but that doesn't make it right!

So I had a lovely stroll downtown (also side note: they don't allow overnight parking in the new fancy pants Clemson parking deck, so if there is a small chance your car won't make it home, park it on the street, walk, or take the CATbus) about a half hour before kick off. So I hop into Tercel, stop by Starbucks, call the house to see what everyone wants (large black iced coffee, small nonfat Mocha, and a small PSL for J) and then return home to fire up the grill. Flounder, salmon, zucchini, potatoes, all were deliciously and lovingly grilled by yours truly.

Relaxing, football, some F1 qualifying and then it was time for dinner. Actege treated us to sushi that was amazing. Protege commented that the bill wasn't bad but then remembered he was in backwoods SC where the cost of living is low especially compared with big city Houston. We came back and watched National Geographic's Giant Crystal Cave show which is truly freakin' unbelievable. More on that in another post.

Then we went to another friend's birthday party, drank, chatted, played with the dogs at the party, met some new people, then came home, woke up and our guests left. Thanks for visiting! And yes we will come to Houston as soon as we can.

Post previews:
Crystal Cave of the Giants
F1 China Qualifying (and race report once I watch it)
Writing update?
Stolen Obama magnet

Which reminds me that I saw John McCain's quote of "I like being the underdog" on CNN's front page. Uh John? You're an old white guy running for President in America, you'll never be the underdog.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008


Clemson University Entomology Club

They had a sale today and I bought some honey! Hooray for local honey! Hooray for supporting student clubs! Hooray for bugs!

I forgot to ask if they eat bugs or know anyone who produces bugs to eat.

In an effort for equality, I looked around for some black supremacist groups. I'm pretty sure you can appreciate your culture and heritage without hate. I know I can; can you?

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Fuck the Klan

After the DVR was finished with Cesar Milan: Dog Whisperer (which is an awesome show and if you own a dog or want to own a dog you should be watching it. He knows dogs and as he says he rehabilitates dogs and trains people. Exercise, discipline and affection will keep you and your dog happy. Thanks Cesar!) it left the TV on the National Geographic channel.

The next show coming on was KKK: Inside American Terror. As someone who fights injustice,will possibly be bringing a mixed race child into this world, and a Southerner, I found this show very interesting. It did some brief history, which you can read on the wiki page, and then got into what they're currently up to with its estimated 3,000-8,000 members scattered around the country. The strangest part (okay, one of the strange parts) was that even within the KKK there is arguing. Some associate with neo-Nazi groups and want a worldwide effort towards white supremacy, other groups want to get more political and shy away from violence. That last bit was the other strange part. David Duke started to get more political and now claims he is not a white supremacist but is a white nationalist. This sect of the KKK shies away from the violence, promotes community and Christian values and (I'm assuming) segregation, since that is the only way for them to not see non-whites without killing them or shipping them back to their home lands. The new area of focus is now on illegal immigrants and Hispanic community. Yes they still hate Jews and Blacks and Orientals and Race Mixers, but their main focus is Latinos now. Thomas Robb is the leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and a Baptist preacher. His group claims that other cultures are threatening their white culture and they don't hate other cultures they just REALLY like their culture. It's the kinder gentler face of the KKK. Peace Love and Bigotry, if you will. Oh also when they say they hate immigrants, I of course assume that they don't hate white immigrants since white people can go wherever they want. So the fact that the Indians were here first doesn't matter because they weren't white. I also wonder how they address the fact that there was a time when there were no white people, that we evolved from darker skinned people by moving away from the equator and lost our melanin.

What really hurt the Klan was their own actions. On March 20, 1981 in Mobile, Alabama, the Klan had a rally and burnt a 3 foot cross on the lawn of the Mobile County Courthouse. That night, the son of the 2nd highest ranking official in the Klan in Alabama, Henry Hays (26) and James Knowles (17) drove around looking for a black person to lynch. Michael Donald was walking back from the store after buying his sister some cigarettes when Henry and James drove up next to him. They beat him with a tree branch, slit his throat and hung him from a tree across from his house. Michael was 19 years old. Photo of what the KKK did to Michael. The police chalked it up to a drug deal gone bad, but with some national pressure, the FBI started investigating and finally James Knowles confessed to the crime. Henry Hays was convicted and was executed by electric chair on June 6, 1997. James Knowles is serving a life sentence without parole.

This story does have a small happy ending though. Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, brought a wrongful death suit on behalf of Beulah Mae Donald, Michael's mother. They won their suit and were awarded $7 million, which forced the Klan to sell all its assets including their national headquarters in Tuscaloosa.

Also while watching this I realized that I myself am a bigot. I hate people who hate others based on something they can't control. You can't hate someone because of their skin color, or the language they speak, or any birth defects, because it isn't their fault. There was no choice in the matter. I didn't choose to be white, I am white. Trig Palin didn't choose to have Downs Syndrome, he just has it; no choice.

We must be ever vigilant.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008



Since I like trees and grass and dirt, I want to keep them unspoiled for generations to come. I have reduced my meat intake (but that lamb burger last night was delicious!), upped my veggie intake. I actually have only bought a half pound of lunch meat in the past 2 months, which as a sandwich junkie is a big step for me. My sandwich today is a roasted zucchini and havarti hoagie. Riding the CATbus occasionally has reduced my gas useage and I'm going to pick up a bicycle from a friend so that I can use zero gas and get some much needed exercise on my way to work. J and I are going to the local bike shop, Clemson Cyclery formerly known as Sunshine Bike Co to see what services they offer and if they can upgrade this bike some. Yes I should probably take the bike in and show them so this will be more of a window shopping trip. Bicycling was my primary mode of transportation during high school, besides the school bus. Driving in and of itself was a crazy propositionhere, not to mention getting insurance for a young unlicensed driver, so I didn't drive much and was relegated to terrorizing the barrios on 2 wheels.

Extra added eco-bonus, all of the aforementioned eco-changes save money! Veggies cost less than meat (unless you're hunting, killing and butchering it yourself), CATbus is "free" (Clemson students pay a transportation fee of $33/semester) and the $40 bicycle from my friend Subaru won't cost anything after the initial buy-in. Our credit card debt is under control, our student loans are crazy but manageable (I should have a good job by the time I have to start repaying mine), so every little bit counts. Even with gas as "cheap" as it is now, free is always better than cheap.

I'm slowly making a list of all the items that I will do once I'm out of school to save money and the planet at the same time! I'll discuss most of these links in a coming post but for now consider them a sneak preview:
Chest freezer to fridge conversion-because most modern fridge design fights physics (cold air sinks and hot air rises)
Frugal Eco-living-because being "green" doesn't have to cost a lot of green. Ah ha!
Terracycle Inc-excellent business that packages and creates new products out of your trash!
Compost-don't throw out those veggie bits, turn them into fertilizer...somehow
Andy's Truck Adventure-here's his first post but to save money, Andy decides to live in the bed of his truck

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Monday, October 13, 2008


Who is Christian Hosoi?

I was channel surfing, trying to find something to watch while I folded the laundry. On Showtime 2 (CBS Co., which is actually controlled by National Amusements) they were showing Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi. Honestly I had never heard of him before, but when I put it on to check it out, I saw Tony Hawk giving an interview and saw some contest results that had Christian's name above Tony's. Since I am a fan of Tony Hawk and know he was one of the greats, I figured I would give it a shot.

It seems that Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi were 2 of the biggest names in skateboarding in the 1980s. Where Tony focused on tricks and skill, Christian had those in spades and focused on the overall experience. He continually changed his clothes, hair styles and had a huge flamboyant personality that drew people in. His father artist showed him that money wasn't the only thing in life, so Christian readily shared what he had with friends. He was one of the first professional skateboarders and had a great time traveling, skating and partying with his friends. Drugs were also a part of his life. He would regularly smoke a joint with his dad or friends before skating. It was Southern California in the 1980s, what did you expect?

As I was watching this I kept wondering, why haven't I heard of this guy? Why did Tony Hawk take up the skateboarding cause and not Christian?

It seems Christian started to spiral out of control when he tried methamphetamine for the first time. He started eating it, then snorting it and then ultimately smoking it. He had a full blown crystal meth habit. He said he had it under control and he would stop if it started to change his appearance. Huh? That's when you know to stop? When you look like the Faces of Meth poster? Yikes.

So he spirals deeper and deeper, hanging out less with his skater friends and more with his tweaker friends. Even some of his skater friends would go pick up some drugs and go to a very dark scary place and see Christian hanging out in that drug den. Christian missed the first X Games in 1995, a massive event now and possibly could have thrust him into the national spotlight and forced him to clean up, but instead kept using and abusing and finally got caught in the Honolulu airport with one pound of meth and was charged with intent to distribute. He served less than half of his 10 year sentence after finding Jesus, getting clean and really changing his life. He is now an associate pastor and skates professionally.

As I sat there folding clothes and watching it, then discussing it with J afterwards; why do so many people need to learn this lesson themselves?

I'm glad you're clean, skating and have a loving family Christian. You're one of the lucky ones.

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Friday, October 10, 2008


Are you threatening me?

Ugh. I just read that Montreal and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve lost their Formula 1 race for 2009 which means no F1 in North America! Boooooo! For those keeping score, now the only worldwide top tier FIA series that races here is the World Rally Championship who races down in Mexico. So now the closest F1 race is...Brazil? Spain?

I saw (via came out with their "Top 10 Most Researched Vehicles - 3rd Quarter 2008". I went over their 2nd quarter list here. So let's compare and highlight any movement.
1-4) VW Rabbit and Eos, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Audi A3, all unchanged and still awesome (except for the Eos which is not designed for nor marketed towards my demographic).
The #5 Toyota Yaris dropped a few spots but the hatchback is still an unstoppable choice. (I truly loathe the sedan version; it's just so dull and uninspiring) I saw a blue hatchback yesterday that almost brought a tear to my eye. Also I would demand a manual transmission so I could keep the 1.6 Liter engine revved to where I want.

6-7) Saab 9-3, Dodge Caliber, Volvo C30 - The C30 is a very well made and designed smallish hatchback and between Smoove D and I we have seen a total of 2 of them on the road, so if you're looking for exclusivity, look no further than the C30.
8) Smart Fortwo! Hooray for Smart cars! Designed and made by Mercedes but marketed under the Smart brand. It's a 2 seater "city car" designed for shorter commutes although one did compete in One Lap of America this year. Obviously it gets great gas mileage with its 3 cylinder engine and is wicked easy to park. Also starts right at $12,000.

9) Tie for Toyota Matrix and Mini Cooper - I'm pretty sure I've professed my love for all things Mini before so I'll let Mini's amazing website speak for itself.
10) Maserati Gran Turismo! Damn! I guess this economic crisis isn't hitting everyone. And what a wonderful way to show it! Designed and owned by Ferrari with Ferrari engines but without the Ferrari pricetag! ($200,000+) The Gran Turismo is their grand touring 2 door coupe and starts at $110,000. Highly customizable for the discerning eye and the traditional gaping Maserati grille set this car apart from the industrial BMWs and Mercedes. If you have the means, I highly recommend you pick one up.

Maserati's Gran Turismo website (with video so turn your speakers down if you're at work)

The Clemson Tigers lost to Wake Forest last night so all hopes of a decent bowl game and ACC championship are now completely gone and everyone is calling for the coach's head.

Also let's introduce some "new to you" characters. There is Yaris (co-worker) and Hyundai (another co-worker). So Yaris made some cool crystals that jump when they're near a magnet. She was playing with them and Hyundai's wife said they reminded her of the toy where you could move the metal shavings around a bald guy's head and give him hair. I also remembered that, mostly because I could never get him to look like any of the suggestion pictures, but neither of us could remember the name of it. Google hooks us up with Wooly Willy Magnetic Face! Then we talked about other games we played on road trips. The Alphabet Game and the State License Plate Game were played by most. Then I found a Jalopnik post posing the same question "How Did You Survive Long Childhood Road Trips?" My brother and I played those and also had the travel checkers (magnetic and small), books, staring out the window, sleeping and those electronic handheld games (not Gameboy or Sega Game Gear, the cheap ones from Radio Shack and Wal-Mart). My favorite was our trip from The 'Ham to Seattle in my mom's full size van. Dad hooked us up with a TV and VCR that plugged into the car. Those 3 days on the road just flew by. Now I feel sorry for Mom and Dad having to do all that driving but at least they didn't have to break up any fights. Another "game" I played was imagining that I had a sword or laser and would chop everything that our car passed in half. Telephone poles, houses, billboards, trees, nothing was spared the wrath of my mind sword as I left a path of destruction in my wake! I don't think I had an evil intent and probably wouldn't have done it if I had really had a laser sword aka light saber.

Enjoy your weekend and remember since the F1 race is in Japan, live coverage starts late night. Practice aired at 1 am on Speed last night and I think the race starts at 12:30 am on Saturday (technically Sunday) on Speed.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Curly is the new funny!

As someone with curly hair, in an interracial and intraspecies relationship, I have really enjoyed following the exploits of Abbi Crutchfield, comedienne extraordinaire at her blog Curly Comedy. She is a frequent visitor of Cynical Chris' blog and that was my first exposure to her. I still have yet to see any video of her stand-up but I'm sure it's side splittingly hilarious.

She was recently in a sketch with Tracy Morgan for the 2008 VH1 Hip Hop Awards. Unfortunately all her speaking parts were cut out of what was actually aired but she was on TV!

In other Viacom media conglomerate news, South Park and The Sarah Silverman Show have their season premieres tonight. I should have reviews later this week.

The 2nd round of the presidential debates happened in Nashville last night. J and I once again fled to BBC coverage, thumbing our noses at the Big 6. We haven't actually watched it yet but will soon and then I can give you my 2 cents.

This weekend is the Formula 1 Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji Speedway. The driver's championship is coming down to the wire!

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008


There's a recession?

Remember 6 months ago when the government was trying to assure us this wasn't an economic slowdown? That would've been pretty funny if it hadn't have been so sad and shocking.

I saw on CNN that Micheal Cera is one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood. Way to go George Michael! I knew that kid had potential. Also kudos to Canada for producing another hilarious leading man who has a great career ahead of him. The socially awkward George Michael Bluth was a great stepping stone for Michael on the excellent but cancelled "Arrested Development".

Writing is coming along. Another friend who is writing just set her defense date for Nov. 11, and with the dissertation due 2 weeks before that date, she will be extremely busy in the near future. I'm busy writing but not THAT busy. Maybe I should be?

CNN also covered a guy in East Texas (I'm assuming near Austin) that is building a house out of straw, mud, sand and wood. It really sounds like a great idea. And not terribly expensive. You also wouldn't need to worry about getting your house LEED certified if it's made of natural materials. J and I both agree that if you use space efficiently, you don't really need 6,000 square feet of living space.

I'm not really sure how that would work though. Maybe get out of school, rent a place, buy some land, find an eco-contractor for an advisor, maybe an architect who loves sustainable design and then build a house? Not sure but I love the idea of combining these straw house ideas and using old out of work airplanes for new homes and structures. Hopefully I won't have to chopper the parts in and can build it for less than 2 million!?!?!?!

None of this will be possible without some steady income, so BACK TO WORK!

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Thursday, October 02, 2008


Who's coming with me?

Tonight J and I are going to meet a possible 3rd kitteh. He started hanging around one of J's co-worker's house a few months ago. Then one day he showed up after a serious catfight and lost an eye. While he was at the vet they did a little snip job too so he's now neutered. The word on the street is that he's a sweet cat who gets along with her other 3 cats. We're going to meet him tonight. I'm not super excited about a 3rd cat but if he's sweet and cute, it'll be hard to say no. Really not sure how Foxy and Leon would react to a new cat though. Leon might be okay because he lived with Julio (RIP) and was introduced to Foxy. Foxy had around 20 littermates and I'm sure she'll like someone new to play with, so it might be okay.

3 cats seems like a lot though. What's the "crazy cat person" limit? J also really wants a tortoise. I like land turtles too. I already know we're going to be an animal family and I suppose we might as well start now. We try and play with Foxy and Leon as much as we can but I know they still get bored sometimes. Will it be easier to play with 3 cats? Will one feel neglected? Bah, we'll see what happens.

THURSDAY! THURSDAY! THURSDAY! The Ruckus in St. Louis? The Argue in Mizzou? The Fray in St. Louay? Yikes. I should not come up with those. It's tonight in STL at Washington University's St. Louis Athletic Complex (donors needed to rename that STAT!)

Joe "The Fish Aren't" Biden VS. Sarah "Inhalin' and Im" Palin

Please come up with better boxing nicknames as well. It's going to be awesome. Biden might say some wacky stuff and Palin is GUARANTEED to say some wacky stuff. Float like a butterfly and dance around that question like McCain's presidency depends on it.

I might not watch it tonight. A TV-less friend is coming over Sat. to watch it but I'm pretty sure I won't be able to wait that long. I might break it up into several parts. I WILL take notes because I forgot too many good quotes from the Obama/McCain debate.

In other TV news:
I have the first 2 Heroes episodes recorded. I might get to at least one this weekend.
True Blood isn't great but it's an interesting take and I'm a sucker for vampires (pun intended), so I haven't missed an episode yet. Anna does need to stop showing so much flesh around vampires though. Vampire bait is right! I also would still like to know how she can read humans thoughts. Please explain writers!
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia just keeps getting more awesome. Cannibalism? Hunting humans? What was the last show you saw had those topics and was freakin' hilarious to boot? Great show.
The Office and My Name is Earl are back and better than ever. 30 Rock should be coming back soon too.
The Hills I still watch for the 3rd segment drama and because I LOVE hating Spencer. They have a douchebag coach for that show right? There's no way he's really that much of a douchehole, really? He's alienated ALL of Heidi's friends and now he's slowly working on her family. Soon there will be no one left and Heidi will be all his! MWAHAHAHAHA!
The new Road Rules/Real World Challenge is pretty awesome so far with its' new Survivor style isolated island limited rations spin. I still can't believe Abe went home. I miss your crazy ass Abe! You were so far above everyone's games and stupid drama that you shook it all up. Your massive lip after the wasp attack was also freakin' hysterical.

There you have it. A decent mix of GE (NBC), Viacom (MTV), FX (News Corp.), and HBO (Time Warner) shows. All hail our media overlords!

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Albequerque Freak-out!

That was one of the card games Tracy Jordan (played by Tracy Morgan) played with his grandmother on Tina Fey's show "30 Rock". It's really interesting watching a show on GE's NBC that features both brands so heavily. Most of it is really funny but I did notice during one of Tracy's trademark freakouts that he said he voted for Nader, Nader! Which the conspiracy theorist in me recognizes as further proof that Big Media doesn't want third party candidates to debate or get any significant portion of the vote because they might actually change something. I stumbled across this article written by the one and only Ted Turner about media conglomerates and how the FCC is squarely under their control. If you want to hear some more opinions and want an ACTUAL choice for the presidency, then by all means go to ThirdPartyTicket and put your name on the list (don't worry, I didn't pledge any money either). Look at Ralph Nader's comment on it also.

Okay, back to corporate sponsored sporting events: the inaugural Singapore F1 Gran Prix, oh sorry, the Singtel Singapore Grand Prix. One of the few street circuits on the F1 calendar and F1's first race at night under the lights. They race under the lights so the poor Euros don't have to wake up early to watch a race and so the broadcasters can charge primetime rates for advertisements. Us not important Americans get races no later than noon and no earlier than Japan's upcoming race that starts at 12:30 am. American viewers just aren't as important as European viewers, even though Honda, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes and Toyota's biggest market is here. I also know that most Americans don't care because major network stations (CBS-Viacom and Fox-News Corp.) only carry 4 out of the 17 races. Sorry, 18 races. Nice. Don't even get me started about American's attitudes towards rally racing.

Enough soapboxing, let's get to race reporting. Qualifying was tough and exciting. Fernando Alonso (2 time world champ) had trouble in his ING Renault and qualified 15th. Ouch. The Scuderia Ferraris looked unstoppable and qualified 1 and 3 (Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikonnen respectively) split by driver championship points leading Lewis Hamilton in his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel coming off his first career win at Monza qualified his Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari in 7th. Full Quali results.

It looked like a solid win and a driver championship were in Felipe and Ferrari's grasp.

Then the race started. Felipe is off like lightening! Lewis is in pursuit but falling back. Kimi is hot on his heels. Then, just as the first pit stops need to come, Nelson "Don't call me Junior" Piquet smacks his Renault into the wall which brings out the gorgeous Mercedes AMG SL 63 safety car (pace car) and also the awesome "you can't have it America" C63 AMG medical wagon. They close the pit lane but Nico Rosberg (Williams Toyota) and Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) come in anyway and both suffer 10 second penalties (which is actually longer since they have to serve it in their pit stalls and with the slow 80 kmh (50 mph) speed limit, that's a long time). Nico takes his penalty after laying down some very fast laps and eventually finishes the race in 2nd! Great job Nico! They open the pits up and guys are running on fumes. Since the lap is so long (almost 2 minutes) most teams decide to stack their cars up and let the 2nd car wait while the first one gets gas and tires. Several teams do this, Ferrari being the most prominent. Felipe is in the pits from first, tires go on, he's getting gas, then he takes off! But they didn't unhook the fuel hose! He bowls down 3 or 4 pit crew and stops at the end of the pit lane! Kimi comes in, gets tires and fuel from the back-up fuel rig and then the pit crew runs down to help out Felipe. The fuel nozzle is stuck but they get it out and get him going but he dropped from first to 16th. Yikes. Looking at the replay he did get a green light from his pit stop light, so it was a team error or an electronics error. Not Felipe's fault. Scuderia Ferrari's dreams come crashing down. Tough break guys. I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

The rest of the race was just as exciting. The exact same thing almost happened to David Coulthard. He was in for his last pit stop and the guy holding the lollipop (the sign that tells him he can leave, they don't use lights like Ferrari) completely spaces out and lifts it up too soon! He luckily puts it down quickly and the crew is able to get him out after a couple more seconds of struggling. In the replay you can clearly see the lollipop guy's head look at the fuel hose, then he looks down at the front of the car and then for no reason decides that it's time for DC to leave. Aaaaaah! What happened Red Bull Renault lollipop guy?

Excellent race by Fernando Alonso, he improved 15 spots from his 15th grid spot to finish first! Great job Fernando and Renault!

Lewis hung on to finish third and get some much needed driver's points to increase his lead over Felipe Massa. David Coulthard finished 7th and his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel finished fifth. Full results.

Only 3 races left, the driver's championship is far from over with Lewis Hamilton having 84 points and Felipe Massa 7 back with 77. Robert Kubica is 13 back from Felipe with 64 points. The next race is October 12th in Japan, then Oct. 19th in China, then the last race is home turf for Felipe in Sao Paolo, Brazil on November 2nd. Who has nerves of steel to put the championship race out of the mind and just drive? We all get to find out in a couple weeks.

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