Friday, July 29, 2011

The Scenarios in Which I don't Help

I went for a run tonight. It was hot to put it mildly.

Like so hot, I feel like the sun had to be closure to the Earth.

There were a lot of people outside tonight, hanging out in the street, throwing balls back and forth. It was sort of a pain to run on sidewalks and in the street because of the sheer humanity.

There was one woman that popped out at me. She was small and sweating, dragging giant roller luggage behind her, and carrying a baby in one of those kangaroo poncho things.

My brain didn't register immediately what I saw. Instead, I went into a day dream where I asked her if she needed help getting her luggage to a car. Maybe she was kicked out of her house and slept on the streets. In either scenario, I help her with her luggage. Ask he if she needs something to eat, some water, and fulfill her request, one human to another.

By the time I realized this has all been going on in my head, I turned around. I had ran another quarter mile and she was no longer anywhere to be seen.

So mysterious lady, even if you weren't living on the street, I'm sorry I didn't offer to help with your luggage. To make up for it, I promise to at least ask if the next person I see that might need help, needs it, without question.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Instruments of Yesterday

There's a general idea that when you buy any piece of technology, it's already out-dated the moment you leave the store.

I've realized now, that technology I was using only ten years ago, it beyond me.

My land line is hooked up to my wireless headset for work. So every now and then when I have things to do, but I also need to make a call, I will call people on my land line.

The thing is, I forgot how to use the phone.

Like do I have to call long distance to call from a 314 area code to 636. And how the hell do you dial long distance? Is it 9 or 1 first? I've tried calling my dad on my land line a few times, but I always get this gruff old man, who's usually pretty nice and laughs it off. No matter what combo of buttons I press I just can't figure it out.

Then a week ago, I had a user call into my work who had a dial up modem still. I was flabbergasted. I couldn't remember how they worked or what steps to take to troubleshoot. Then I realized he was talking to me on his phone that he would also have to use for his internet. That became troubleshooting step number 1.

I've also been drawing up design documents for my brother's game he's creating and needed a straight edge. Where are all the rulers? I know that I own at least 5 rules, but since I haven't used any of them since my freshman year of college, I have no idea where they are hanging out at this point.

The classroom is an entirely different monster. There's no globes thanks to Google earth. There's almost no need to buy an expensive set of encyclopedias. You'd be hard pressed to even find a pair of headphones. Everyone has ear buds nowadays.

Maybe I'm just noticing all this stuff because I'm turning 27 this week. Birthdays always being out a reflective time, but damn. My 10 year old self would freak out not having a chalk board in school.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Food Porn

Cory and I (and Sal) have been watching a lot of cooking shows lately, specifically Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares where Gordon goes into a restaurant filled with his Ramsey attitude and whips them into shape.

Cory came to me about a week ago with a proposition. We make ribs and come up with a fancy compliment to the ribs.

I was excited. With Sallie's schedule and our off duty obligations, we haven't really spent any time together, and what time we do have, we don't want to spend cooking.

So a reason to get in the kitchen and make things is something I was willing to fully embrace.

I like how Cory's mind works. He came up with the ribs idea and before any other sides were brainstormed, he wants dessert to be Oreo's baked inside of chocolate chip cookies.

So we had ribs and double cookies. I suggested an oriental salad with home made dressing, green bean casserole, and something potato related.

So Cory and I had never made ribs before. I found a dry rub recipe that we ended up modifying that had a mix for fajita seasonings and brown sugar and a few other ingredients.

We didn't want to just get ribs from anywhere. This being the centerpiece of a great meal, we wanted real, straight from a local butcher, ribs.

So skipping the boring parts, our dinner took us to the nice grocery store, the International market, and our local butcher.

I made a sweet and sour home made dressing and cut the lettuce for the oriental salad. We made some fancy French potatoes with heavy cream, black olives, and goat cheese. Something a little simple but still delicious, a green bean casserole. And Cory's cookies.

The ribs were the big question mark. Neither of us have ever made them before and it was going to take 3-4 hours to slow cook them on the grill. To complicate matters, the grill ran out of propane around the 3 hours mark, and we had to play the oven merry-go-round with essentially all of the food to get everything cooked.

Surprisingly, the meal came out fantastic. (Including the cookies) I'm now laying in bed in my underwear feeling full.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Neighbor Politics

So, I don't really care for my next door neighbor. I think I've told everyone that by now. They are racist, pompous, and think everyone is out to get them.

Seriously, in the few times I've had to interact with them, they think the cops are out to get them, the criminals are out to get them, the teenagers, the government, everyone! They've complained about our Vietnamese neighbors (that I love), the red necks on the corner, and the person on the other side of them because they have more than one car. (BTW: These neighbors have 3)

They've also built their house as an isolationist castle. High fences, a porch roof that covers their entire back yard, cameras, and locks that supposedly can't be picked. Even police officers have made fun of this house set up. It makes our neighborhood look dangerous.

I don't really care for them much. I can tell they don't really care for me. We sort of co-exist I guess, try not to make eye contact.

It's a shame because I remember when I was a kid, all of the neighbors would wander to someone's driveway every Friday and Saturday night and hang out, have a great time. I don't know anyone that has that anymore. There's some sort of neighborly distrust that has grown in the past decade.

So tonight, I'm cleaning the house. I hear someone mowing their lawn and weed whacking. It's 9:20, and I sort of think... maybe its a little late for that. But I'm too busy to investigate.

Then, as I'm going up the stairs at 9:45, I look out the window on our door, and the neighbor kid is week whacking my front yard. He's actually on my front porch going for it.

Now, I don't have an issue with the kid. I actually could see him being alright to hang out with. I would like to think that he's doing this to be a good neighbor. I was planning on mowing my lawn tomorrow morning before work anyway and I ran out of the string in my weed whacker last weekend. So really, he's doing me a favor.

But then I'm also wondering if his parents have been talking trash on us because our yard isn't as perfectly landscaped as their yard is. (Mostly because we haven't lived in this house for 20 years and don't have a bunch of money to do that stuff professionally.) Maybe the kid was tired of hearing it and he decided to take matters into his own hands? Maybe his father mentioned it makes their house look worse and told him to do it.

But see, there's that neighbor distrust again. I don't know where this came from. I've never had horrible neighbors and even as recently as college I remember hanging out with all of my neighbors and actually liking them.

Is this a product of our electronic lives? Possibly a product of the suburbs and everyone wanting the largest piece of land they can get? Whatever it is, I hate it. I really wish there were neighbors willing to come outside on Friday and have a beer with me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Yearly Birthday List

Yes, I'm still going to put up birthday lists because I love getting gifts and people love giving them to me. These are in no particular order and I want them all. So start buying. Only 16 shopping days left.

Comic books
1. Walking Dead Vol. 14 by Robert Kirkman
2. Criminal: Lawless Vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker
7. Captain America: No Escape by Ed Brubaker

1. The Punisher - Playstation 2
2. Silent Hill 4: The Room - Playstation 2
3. Tenchu 2 - Playstation 1
4. Intelligent Qube - Playstation 1

Computer Stuff


Home Brewing Equipment

Gift Cards
1. Steam
2. Amazon
3. Slackers
4. Gamestop
5. Microcenter

Thursday, July 7, 2011

There's a New Kitten in Town

Sallie sent out a recon team in search for a little orange or calico cat. One of her recon members, Beth, found a little orange cat a few days ago.

Immediately my phone rings like the president. You would think the Russians were attacking and I had to make a quick decision.

"Can I have him?" aka "They have nukes in Cuba. What's our next move President?"

"Have there been any threats yet?" aka "How small is it? How much will it cost me?"

"No, but there's potential for an attack." aka "No they're free, from a farm, and we're in real danger of a cuddle attack."

"Do we have any intelligence?" aka "Has it been to the vet?"

"None yet, we're working on it. An attack could happen soon..." aka "Not yet, but I will take it there before we get it. My birthday is coming up soon..."

After several seconds of heavy thought. "Alright, we'll launch an attack." aka After several seconds of heavy thought. "Alright, call Beth and get it under way."

So the little guy is home and hate to say, so adorable, he can get away with murder. I've never thought about what it would be like to have a super small guy.

I've also discovered how much of a selfish father I would be.

The first night we had him, he cried and woke us up at 3 am, 5 am, 7:30 am, and 8:30 am with his cries. It was my one day a month I had to go to the office and I was tired.

Last night... oh last night was even better. He slept in bed with us. Totally tuckered out. We were tuckered as well. But we couldn't go to bed yet because lil' oh kitten peed on our comforter. So we swapped all the blankets out, put them in the washer, and finally curled up in bed.

Then 5 am came around and I hear Sallie wake up because the new kitten is jumping around, playing with a toy and spray peeing and pooing everywhere. So, we drop him in the litter box, where he finished up. I take all the second round of blankets and put them in the washer while Sallie changes out to our C blankets. Also known as, the last full set we have.

So he spent the rest of the night in the cage.

Slider is warming up to the little guy. They will play together, but eventually a 10 lb slider will inevitably bowl over a 1.6 lb kitten. They'll eventually get it.

Crash of course hates him, but to be fair, she still hates Slider... and most other people.

We don't have a name for him yet. I've had a few ideas.

Winston Zeddimore because I love Ghostbusters and he is the most under-appreciated buster around. It would be a tribute to a man that helped take down the Stay Puff Marshmellow man and Viggo the Carpatheon.

Dobby from Harry Potter because he has giant elf ears. But I don't want to have a Harry Potter reference 20 years from now when he might not be as cute.

He loves technology. Anytime I'm playing a game, he's laying on the keyboard or watching the TV. He's been hanging out on top of my game collection to keep away from slider. He even likes chewing on the laptop monitor. So I though, hmmm, maybe we could call him Gamer. I'm putting that in the bank because I think I would like that more than others.

He also keeps climbing on my brewing beer, which means he basically likes everything I like. So maybe we could call him Dan... but come on, animals are there so you can give them messed up names you couldn't give to a human baby. So Dan is right out.

We'll figure out a name soon enough I'm sure. Sallie will update you when we do.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wait... You Did What?

So my friend Allie is in graduate school to be some sort of medical professional.

She keeps blowing my mind by causally mentioning stuff she has to do.

So the first instance, while we were talking on the phone, she just drops this bomb in the middle of the conversation.

"So yeah, we were in the lab, and they were asking for volunteers, and no one wanted to do it, so I volunteered and had to cut the cadaver's chest open with a bone saw, and when it was done, my professor..."

"Wait, you freaking cut a cadaver open with a bone saw. Let's stop there and get a few details on this. You can't just drop that in the middle of your conversation."

So, I really didn't think I would ever hear her say anything more extreme than the bone saw incident, but then she blows my mind again.

We were text messaging back and forth for a while, probably a good 45 minutes. Then, there's a five minute silence and I get this text message:

"I took out a f*cking brain this week... it was awesome...and the most disgusting experience of my life."

How do you not start the text messaging with that little tidbit? I wouldn't even say hello to anyone if I had done that. Everyone in my phone would just get a mass text message with extreme details of me taking out a brain.

So I asked for details and this is the response I got:

"I had brain matter all over me. Very messy but probably because out strikers were dull."

Allie is a mad scientist. I am convinced. And I will never cross her ... ever...

Anyway, my friend is awesome and is the only person I can say I know has used a bone saw.

And one last bit of advice, "Did you know you have to cut a V like notch in the skull so you can put the top back on after an autopsy? Otherwise the skull can slide off at an open casket funeral."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Google +

Everyone wants to have their own Social Media network.

MySpace and Friendster made a bunch of people money years ago.Now Facebook is a multibillion dollar company. I've been on all of these sites at some point or another, usually so I can stalk lady friends.

The downfall of all of these sites are usually correlated with advertising showing up, flash games, spam, etcs. It's a cycle. One that I currently see Facebook going through. In five years, I doubt most of us will be using Facebook still. We'll have all moved on to yet another site. The internet is a fickle beast, with a three year attention span. (Don't believe me, remember Napster, AIM, Limewire, Yahoo! Chat, Yahoo! Games, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves, Mapquest, Netscape, AOL... yeah, the list keeps going)

So, the new thing everyone is talking about is Google +. Right now, its basically all the cool things about Facebook, without the Farmville games or advertisements.

Google is the greatest internet company around. My blog is hosted by them, my email is hosted by them, I have a calendar through them, I have tons of Google Documents saved to the internet, my phone is Google... really, if Google wanted to ruin my life, they could with a few clicks of a mouse.

I'm still figuring out Google+, but it seems to be pretty easy to integrate everything Google I have. Only time will tell if it'll stick, or go the way of Google Wave.