Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pee Breaks

So there's this guy at my work that no one else seems to see. Sometimes I wonder if he actually exists.

He's with some other department. He only crosses my path in the bathroom. Then he disappears.

I first noticed him about 3 weeks ago. I was going to the restroom and he came up next to me in the urinal. I could only see his outline, but while he was peeing he started spitting non-stop into the urinal. I mean, this was machine gun style one after another loogies making a wet slapping noise against the porcelain. I'm not even sure I heard urine. I'm pretty sure this guy just unzipped his pants so he could spit.

So for the past three weeks, this guy and I seem to have the same pee cycle. Either that or his one job is to wait for me to enter and for him to come in and gross me out. About half the time I go to the restroom this guy comes in next to me without shame and starts spitting.

Last week I decided it was time to look at this monstrosity. He looked like an older version of Bobby Hill. (See above for reference: Now imagine that guy with a tie and his pants unzipped.)

Today I found out his name. As I was getting ready to leave he comes in and starts a spitting. Then I hear the bathroom door open and hear "Hey Tom, we'll be waiting outside for you."

So his name is Tom. Now that I know his name, it took every ounce of self control not to stop mid-stream and yell, "Hey Tom, can you keep your mouth on that stupid potato head of yours from gathering saliva. Or at least start using a different restroom you disgusting blob."

But I didn't. Like I said, self control.

I guess my next step is to learn his last name... and then reset all of his passwords.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Terrible Week for Tech

This week has been absolutely heartbreaking for technology.

Last Saturday, mid-movie, my surround sound receiver stopped working. It would do this thing where it turns on for like 3 seconds and then turns off. I contacted Yamaha support, they gave me a few things to do, but its determined that the thing is dead.

We were going to ship it back to where we bought it from, but they don't accept bulk returns or exchanges.

Looked up the nearest authorized Yamaha dealer and they are almost 300 miles away in Springfield Ill.

Tomorrow morning, I'm waking up early and calling Yamaha customer service to see if I can send it in to at least get repaired if not exchanged for a new one. We only had it for a month and a half.

Then strike 2 came when my laptop stopped working completely. Slider knocked it off a table about a month ago and put a dent in the side of it, but everything was working fine. I figured I could sell the laptop on Ebay and maybe get like $150 so I could upgrade a few pieces of the current Desktop we have.

Well I was cleaning it off and realized when it was booting it was making an obnoxious beeping noise until you started clicking random keys.

So I took the keyboard apart and found a red powder substance as well as about 123 billion cat hairs. I spent two hours cleaning the hell out of the laptop, put the keyboard back together, only to find that it wouldn't boot at all anymore. I tried several things to get it up and running, but thus far nothing has gotten it to work. My $1200 laptop I bought only two years ago... is dead.

Then I discovered that the computer we just bought from Lacy has issues playing normal DVDs. Everything shows up all pixelated. On top of that I can't get this wireless mouse we purchased to work or any shortcut keys on this keyboard. Basically when I get home from troubleshooting for 8 hours someday this week, I'm going to need to do some troubleshooting.

There are several upgrades I want to do to the desktop, but we haven't had money recently. (Found out we WAAAAAYYYY overpaid on a credit card which now has a zero balance, but we've been eating peanut butter and jelly for a couple weeks now.) So if anyone has any spare computer parts lying around like a decent videocard, hard drive, extra flat screen monitor, or powerful DVD drive, let me know. We'll talk, maybe we can work something out.

Sometimes I ask myself is it worth all the technology and trouble. Of course it is, but sometimes I'd rather live in a cabin in the Mountains and sit around cleaning a gun all day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Michael Story

He half turned to get a decent view of the backseat of the family car, intimidating the hell out of the three of us in the back. To us, this was staring into the burning bush, but instead of giving us commandments he smiled and said, "So what bands do you listen to?"

I looked to both my brother's awestruck, not moving faces and tried to asset myself as the coolest.

"Green Day, The Offspring, Bush." The first three bands I could spout off that were tearing up the mid-90s radio. I sat in anticipation. Did I win god's favor or was I about to be struck down by this guy that was living the underground scene.

"We played a few shows with Green Day in California before they blew up. They've got some good songs."

I exhaled. I had passed the test.

We were escorted out of the car into a small brick building off of Delmar. Wandered the buildings hallways seeing records of bands I'd never heard of hanging on the wall. Then we entered where the magic happened. An expensive electronic time capsule plugged into dozens of microphones.

A man with pink hair introduced himself as Patrick and quickly handed over the drum sticks. None of us budged except for little Brett. He didn't know any better. He didn't know that he was asked to fill the incredibly large shoes of the rhythm section.

I wanted to stop him. I felt like a slow motion movie scene where I scream "No!" as the helpless victim falls stories to their death. Then he started beating the drums with the carefree energy of a five year old. I couldn't dare touch those sticks even when Patrick came back in the room and offered them up again. Leaving them on a surface as if they were mere pieces of wood. Saying "Now its just your dad in here. You have nothing to be embarrassed about."

The camera pans to our tattooed idol tuning his guitar. He makes a quip about why Patrick likes to play drums and flashes that smile that makes you believe everything is going to be alright.

Anthony, the Asian bassist gets the camera's attention with is Bruce Lee shirt. The scene cuts as more friends pour into the studio.

We're in the production room getting the basic rundown of tape decks, volume and treble knobs. We understood, but we couldn't acknowledge. All we could do was stare at the Windows 95 screen saver.

He moves into the booth and straps his guitar around his neck. Like a thousand space ships pushing full thrust into the sun he bursts into criminal. On queue, a reflection in the window confirms what I remembered, Danny B buts his hands over my ears and says I shouldn't hear this as Mike screams "f*ck" in the first verse.

I remembered this day. I was only twelve, but I remember every single detail. For thirteen years I couldn't remember if it was dream it or if it were real and then a DVD came in the mail confirming everything I thought.

I watch another hour and a half of performances as he breaks the skin on his knuckles in the same rocking position that just sort of came naturally to him. It was as if I could remember every show. Every beer soaked table. It was comforting.

Thanks for the DVD

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Eye-Witness News

Recently there were two insane news stories about eyes that I just feel I should say a few words on.

First off is this little story.

A blind person essentially was given her eyesite back by taking one of her teeth and part of her jaw, sticking a camera on the end of the tooth, letting it grow together for a while, and then implanting it on her eye.

I found photos earlier and they are worth tracking down.

This is one step closer to the Matrix. These doctors had to take camera wires and attach them to parts of the brain responsible for sight. Think about the crazy things we'll be able to do in mere decades. I might actually get a chance to download stuff directly to my brain.

The second story is this one.

Basically a contact lense that will allow you to see vital signs. Sounds to me like we're one step away from a cyborg eye.

Several ways in which I would like to use this contact:

1. When interogating people. I would like to see the other person's vital signs. See if their heart starts racing or zone in on their body to see if there's a nervous twitch. I would tell them I knew they were lying. No sir... they tried lying to me. I'm going to make them sweat it out as long as I can.

2. Keep my enemies in check. Ever feel like you're walking down an alleyway and someone is watching you, waiting to pounce. With this contact you could immediately pull up the outline of live beings possibly even register what sort of weapon they are carrying. That way you can go into any situation knowing what sort of martial arts you're going to have to use to beat their butts.

3. Covert operations. I don't know who for or what I'll be doing, but I sure as hell will be pulling up nightvision and thermal vision at will. There won't be any compound that could keep me out.

And to think... I was excited about possibly getting Lasik.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The World had Turned and Left Her There

I decided as part of my bachelor weekend that I would take a walk up to the grocery store and pick up some micro-brewed autumn flavored beers.

For the first time in weeks, the muggy uncomfortable Missouri air clung to my skin. It becomes impossible to tell the difference between sweat and condensation.

I passed by the local not-for-profit organization that tries to keep children off the street with sports and crafts and field trips. A giant sign hung from the door apologizing because it had to close on August 15th.

I paused. I could feel the environment. Someone made a physical representation of a dream they had to make a difference in the neighborhood they loved enough to make that difference. I shuddered. It felt like a cemetery with 10,000 open graves filled with the mourning widows pounding on the tops of their loved ones black caskets. Even though its humid, I wish I had a jacket on so I could pull it closer.

I wandered down Arsenal lost in my headphones. I see a lady leaning against her front-yard chainlink fence. She was saying something to me, but all I could hear was the music.

I pull one ear bud out. She repeats herself. I still can't her. I remove the other ear bud and lean in closer.

"Notor Da Dame. Notor Da Dame."

I still don't understand. I lean closer still. If she had a weapon she could've taken me down.

"Notor Da Dame. Football game."

"Notre Dame?"

"Yes, Notor Da Dame."

Its in her eyes. The world turned on her long ago and she was several drinks deep turning her back on the world in return.

She slurs her speech adding "s" and "sch" sounds to the beginning of half her words. "I schcame by the shouse, but no one was sthere. Sthey were gonna be dare to schwatch the game."

She asks me to watch the game with her. When I politely decline and tell her that I'm not much of a football fan, she grabs my arm. Her desperation squeezing just a bit harder. I break free. She returns to the house that I assume was hers. I continue to the grocery store.

I stare up and down the beer aisle contemplating whether I feel like a drink after meeting that stranger in the streets. I contemplate inviting her to the local bar just for one beer. Just so she had company. I picture he telling me great stories about life thirty years ago. I imagine that she once toured with the Rolling Stones or shared a bourbon with Hunter Thomson in downtown Louisville.

The reality is, we would sit on those barstools not really talking. I would be observing sadness personified. It would put me in a far worse funk than I was.

I choose my beer and on the way home saw her still standing out in front of her house. She was chatting it up with a nicely dressed black man that seemed to be humoring her better than I did. I took the alleyway behind her house and avoided her all together. I wish her luck for as much as that was worth and locked my door behind me.