Ramblings

Usually drunken.

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Mountain Biking - Part 2: "The Wipe Out"

Mar 24, 2009, 7:58 am by John

So yesterday afternoon my buddy and I went riding in Terry Hershey Park here in Houston. It's basically a 7 or so mile long park following a creek with a concrete path on one side and a mountain biking/hiking dirt trail on the other. About 20 minutes into the ride we decide to switch bikes just to see how the other rode. So my buddy and I are riding along the dirt path and get to this fairly steep 10' tall hill. Neither one of us makes it up the front side and have to walk to the top of the hill. He immediately jumps on my bike and makes it down no problem. At the end of the hill was a big tree lying across the path and so he jumps off the bike to get under it, just as I take off from the top of the hill.

So the path down the back side of this hill is covered in roots from rain water washing the dirt out and other mountain bikers. This usually is a bigger deal going up than down so I didn't think too much of it...yet. So I start off and go over a couple roots no problem and then I get to this one that's sticking up about 6" above the trail. I'm not sure if I didn't try to pick up the front wheel or as I did I hit the brake, all I know is that I hit the root and my front tire stopped immediately. So, this isn't the first time this has happened and usually I just jump off the seat, put my feet on the ground, and awkwardly walk down the hill. This would not be the case today.

As my front tire stopped I jump off my seat, put my feet on the ground, and said "Uh oh!," immediately catching my buddy's attention so he could watch the events unfold. As my feet hit the ground the rear tire lifted and I went straight over the bars. As I fell over the bars I tucked my right shoulder, I think I do this because of the number of times I jumped off my house and out of trees as a kid. Anyway, as I tucked my shoulder my left foot came up first and my heel caught the pedal of the bike, lifting it and sending it soaring in the air. As I landed flat on my back I looked up at a bike, that isn't mine, flying through the air. It landed about 4 feet away.

At this point my buddy is also on the ground, except he's laughing his ass off. He somehow squeezed out "are you OK?," and by this time I realized that I wasn't in too much pain. I got back up, checked his bike and our cell phones that were in my Camelback. Thankfully there were no injuries to the rider, the bike, or the phones. We continued our ride and got a solid 13 miles in.

My buddy swears it's the funniest thing he's seen in a long time. My shoulder's a little sore this morning.

don't just say google

Mar 7, 2009, 4:25 pm by Lew

here let me google that for youI have something that matters to share with the internet. When someone asks a question don't just tell them to google it. A question is a way of starting a conversation. conversations are an essential tool for human survival and happiness. if someone asks you a question they are interested in you. they have some sort of respect for you and want you to share knowledge. we could just google everything but that isn't a society i want to partake in.

you're definitely doing it way wrong

Feb 27, 2009, 6:06 pm by Trey

BBBOOOOOCCCKKKK!!!!!!to kind of lighten up the mood of the blog for a change; i came across this motivational poster while i was being bored on the internet today.
it pertains in two ways:
a. you're doing it wrong
b. i like chickens

it made me giggle, thoughts?

Resealable!

Jan 16, 2009, 4:40 pm by Trey

Socks, now made to stay fresh.
Two things to note in this picture...
1. The big ass "socks" word.
2. The "resealable bag" phrase in the middle of the picture.
lol really? i found this while opening up my new socks today. I guess they are worried about them spoiling now-a-days. any other thoughts?

Próspero Año

Jan 1, 2009, 9:39 pm by Lew

Happy New Year y'all. 2008 was quite a year it had big ups and downs but the ups were truly great and the downs manageable. 2009 will be guaranteed to be awesome as I get married this year. The fiancee and I enjoyed drinks and fireworks for new year's eve. We had noodles for dinner tonight as a tip of the hat to chinese new year, long new noodles long life. I took a swim in Barton Springs pool to start the new year and it was glorious. I skipped (slept through) the morning dunk most swimmers take and went after dark. There were only a couple people there, the water was crystal clear even in the darkness. I could see some large-ish fish swimming and all the plants on the bottom. There were stars out (almost as much as the east austin sky), the zilker tree was still up, and the towers were glowing across the river. I put on a pot of black-eyed peas and ate a small bowl of them when I got home. I don't know the origin of that new years tradition but as long as I remember I have had them every new years. Should be a lucky and prosperous year amiright?

Merry Holiday

Dec 25, 2008, 10:46 pm by Lew

to be young and unibrowedMerry Holiday all you good boys and girls that matter.

grinds my gears

Dec 19, 2008, 6:22 pm by Lew

I cannot affect these larger world happening but they are bothering me. Hperhaps this post will have a butterfly effect. December 25 is not "holiday" it is christmas. saying the name of the holiday is not offensive. it is more offensive to me to act like a p.c. wimp than it is to make a reference to the holiday. it is an insult and a lie to go so out of the way to say "holiday" instead of christmas.

Caroline Kennedy can be the new york senator if she wants and can convince the governor. she is not the liberal sarah palin. she has never held elected office but neither had hillary clinton and she was elected. if caroline kennedy ran she would certainly win so just give her the seat if she wants it and let her defend it in 2010. stop whinning that she is acting entitled, everyone who wants to be appointed thinks they are entitled.

yes pastor rick warren is opposed to gay marriage and a pro-lifer. that is because he is a pastor. you would be hard pressed to find many pastors who aren't. a pastor is going to deliver the inaugral convocation. he isn't being appointed to the supreme court, he is making a speech and obama in a brilliant politician for asking a very popular, moderate conservative pastor to speak. it is a nice symbol to those who felt left out following the election. just because obama won doesn't mean that the whole country is now the castro neighborhood in san francisco.

finally, kanye west and most other rappers. rhyming a word with itself is not a rhyme. buy a rhyming dictionary and spend a few more minutes writing your raps!

faith in austin destroyed

Dec 13, 2008, 7:42 pm by Zach

Just when I was starting to think that my neighborhood wasn't all bad, it went and pissed me off today. This afternoon, as I was on my way to the Verizon store to buy a new phone, I saw a really old lady in an electric wheelchair in the middle of an intersection (at 6th and Chic�³n, for those interested), waving her arms. The chair was obviously out of juice and people just kept driving around her. I parked my car at a goddamn art gallery and went to see if she needed help. Her chair was in fact broken, so I pushed her all the way home on 5th and a few blocks west. Little known fact: electric wheelchairs weigh as much as one and a half Honda Civics.

1. Fucking yuppie motherfuckers driving their goddamn Priuses around a goddamn old lady STUCK in the MIDDLE of a goddamn INTERSECTION. Fuck you, dickbags. If you can't help your neighbors, get the fuck out. They come here, buy $250,000 condos, raise property taxes out the wazoo, and shit all over their neighbors. Fuck your art galleries. Fuck your condos. Fuck you.

2. The lady was gracious and told me thank you and bless you and whatnot, but her (presumable) daughter just stood there smoking a cigarette on the stoop. Didn't say thank you or fuck you or anything and didn't offer me a glass of water or anything even though I was panting. I just walked away.

I didn't do it expecting a thank you, but you'd think that's common courtesy. The old lady was very gracious, which was all that was necessary, but you'd think the daughter would be gracious...at least a little. This post was not to tell everyone what a good samaritan I am, as I was just doing my duty and helping a fellow Texan. Why nobody else in the neighborhood thought this was a priority is beyond me. I am at a loss for words.

flu vaccine II

Dec 9, 2008, 2:15 pm by Lew

Here is a nice citation about mass flu vaccination Over the last seven years Ontario gave free influenza vaccinations to everyone over 6 months old. The rest of Canada, like the USA, continued population targeted vaccinations. In Ontario the number of influenza related deaths and hospital visits went down dramatically compared to the rest of the country.

The Effect of Universal Influenza Immunization on Mortality and Health Care Use

The results of this large-scale natural experiment suggest that universal

vaccination may be an effective public health measure for reducing the annual

burden of influenza.

I can't find the link but the cdc is adding people 6 months to 18 years old to the targeted vaccination group. Not because they are vulnerable but because school children are a major vector pool for influenza.

broken windows

Dec 1, 2008, 12:32 pm by Lew

For fun last night I decided to install ubuntu linux on my laptop. I used linux before getting to college when certain applications forced me back to windows. I am constantly frustrated by windows. It seems like it never improves. Computers are getting better but windows just gets more bloated. It never runs faster. It seems like there has been no improvement since windows 95, windows just gets shinier and fatter. My windows laptop refuses to shutdown or restart on its own, I always have to hold down the power button. It takes like 10 minutes to boot up. Microsoft in their generosity gives me huge updates every couple days that break competing programs. Blah blah micro$oft blah. Rachel recently got a Eee pc 901 laptop. She put ubuntu on it and it has basically been the best thing since the intertubes were invented. Last night I decided I would go the dualboot route and installed ubuntu on my laptop. And somewhere in the installation I managed to format my hard drive. It must have been during the partitioning. To top it off my bootable cd has an error so I can’t finish the linux installation. This is the second bad iso disc I have made so I decided to order an official copy of ubuntu. So I should be up and running with essentially a brand new computer later this week. Fortunately I backed up my essential documents. I am kind of happy that I get to start fresh with this computer. Though my own stupidity forced me into, and now I really have no choice but become a linux dork. I have no idea where my XP disc might be. It is just as well I think I will be happier when I comfy with linux and no longer need windows. I don’t see windows going well, I will never get vista so it is just as well that I jumped ship now. Though I still plan on getting a mac desktop soon. If operating systems were lovers I would probably have the clap.

flu vaccine

Nov 4, 2008, 12:25 pm by Lew

get vaccinatedI the flu vaccine today. If you don't get vaccinated you are a jerk. If you aren't part of the solution you are a vector. Oh and go vote while you are out.

texas news

Oct 30, 2008, 9:53 am by Lew

big john!Today I want to share a few things i found interesting on the internet. Dear my fellow texans, wtf? Why do 23% of Texans think Obama is a secret muslim? 5-10% of the rest of the country thinks that, but nearly 1 in 4 texas think that. I guess those are the people who think John Cornyn is a cowboy.

It some good news the Bonfire lawsuits are finally settled. It seems we are on a path to returning Bonfire to campus. I have mixed feeling about it. If it comes back to campus I worry there won't be any real student involvement in building it. As much as I would love to see it return to campus from its current exile I just don't know how it can be done well and meet liability issues the university will need to deal with. what do you think ags?

Witchcraft!

Oct 25, 2008, 2:36 pm by Zach

Teenage Mutant Ninja PoodleWhile looking at this picture, I got to thinking about Sarah Palin. Look at this poor dog. Forced to look like a ninja turtle. Not just any ninja turtle, but Leonardo, the de facto leader of the group. This poor poodle doesn't look too happy about that. I doubt he feels equipped or ready to handle a leadership position, but, well, here he is, like it or not. There's a pit bull lipstick joke here somewhere.

This morning I saw this video of Mrs. Palin talking about how silly it is for scientists to get funding to study something as silly as "fruit fly research in Paris, France," all the while doing that folksy little headcocking business. Way to play to the uneducated hicks who make up the vast majority of your voting base, ma'am. I also saw a clip somewhere of John McCain saying he wanted to end funding silly projects like "black bear DEE ENN AY" (with strategic pauses between DEE, ENN and AY to highlight the notion that it's all just made up hoo-ha).

It really grinds my fucking gears when people think any research that isn't directly related to CANCER or something is stupid and a huge waste of money and effort. As if all scientists (especially biologists) are just a bunch of crazy kooks in lab coats, drunk on lab-grade ethanol, laughing in a menacing manner and studying bear DEE ENN AY. Give me a cotton pickin' break.

Vote Democrat, if only for the reason that the Republicans want to squash funding for research they don't understand.

Also, happy birthday, Paul.

I'm the people I talk about.

Oct 21, 2008, 5:56 pm by Trey

It's a medium!

It is now approximately 6:00pm. The shown picture is the shirt I have been wearing all day (compliments of my mother, thank you). There is however something odd/out of place on the damn thing. Can you find it? Yes, I'm sure as you quite promptly figured out, I had removed about 4 stickers from the shirt, and didn't think to examine the back of the shirt before donning it. there it is, a circular white tag with the letter m, meaning medium no doubt. i walked around with this both on and off campus in many different public places without a clue. if i see someone with a tag on their shirt, someone with something on themselves, hell even someone with a booger hanging out i let them know, because that's what i would hope someone would do to me. i'm not really embarrassed by the fact i'm an idiot, but rather annoyed that no-one had the decency to stifle their giggles and let me know i was walking around like a damned fool.

Rent like an idiot

Oct 14, 2008, 11:04 am by Paul Stiverson

Your invited…I just received an email from the fine folks at “The Lofts at Wolf Pen Creek”. For those who are unaware it is the newest upscale apartment complex in town—which will be opening in a couple days. They, like “The Woodlands” before them, are trying to sell a luxury housing experience to the college crowd (along with a hefty price tag). For the record, I am patently opposed to such monstrosities (for students), when you come to college you should get the college experience of living in the dorms, or living in a beat up apartment that costs less per month than the electricity bill. It’s part of the charm of college, and it makes for better stories than “I lived at ‘The Golden Bidet’ where my rent costed more than what you make in a month”.

I digress, the point of this post is to point out that despite all the money they spent building the complex (with adjoining parking garage, and mini-mall), they apparently had too little left over to hire somebody with half a brain to run their marketing campaign. Look toward the bottom of the attached image: “Your invited…”. My invited what? My invited killed a man? Oh, now I see, they meant “You’re invited…”.

Some of you know that one of my big pet-peeves is the misuse of primes (') in place of apostrophes (’), and since this is a common error I was sure that I would be able to find it somewhere in the email. However, the one place they found use of such a mark they used the appropriate symbol, but the dark cloud that goes with this silver lining is that they shouldn’t have been using an apostrophe in the first place. The screenshot below shows the offending line. Note to the designer, you don’t put an apostrophe every time a word end’s with an es’s, and when you are making a word plural it doesn’t get an apostrophe. The only time you add an apostrophe is when you are making a contraction, or when a word is possessive.

The point is moot though, because all of the spoiled-silver-spoon-up-their-ass brats who can afford to live in such a place are too ignorant to notice the errors, or too indifferent to cast their consumer vote for a company that doesn’t abuse our language and our minds. Another victory for consumerism.

[Note: I think I am going to start a series of posts that will fit the form “<blank> like an idiot”, I like them.]
Flat screen TV’s

i'm camexrealian

Oct 13, 2008, 4:48 pm by Lew

if only. . .What countries can one move to and reasonably become a citizen? i have heard people say you can become canadian fairly easily. you only need to buy a little land, visit that land once-a year-for four year, then viola you can be a citizen. so that's not so hard. but really who wants to move to canada? i am sure it is nice for a bit, but I imagine anyone saying "i'm from canada!" with any pride. i realized i could become israeli without too much trouble thanks to israel's "law of return" which let's you claim jewness and become israeli if you have so much as seen an episode of seinfeld. i have heard israel is like california and hawai'i rolled into one (with a dash of suicide bombings). but really i can't imagine being israeli being any more fun than canadian. i can't think of any other countries that let you get citizenship without a lifetime of difficulty. Can I become mexican? if you sneak into mexico do they care? if you move to another country do you still have to pay taxes in the usa? i originally thought about this as a joke in the case of a palin presidency. now i am just thinking it would be cool to get as many citizenships as you can. it makes you that much more free. and that is more fun. it would be okay to say i am mexican.

third place is the third winner

Oct 8, 2008, 9:55 am by Lew

Let's get dirtyBask in the glory of my bronze medal winning 'stache!

edit: are you thoroughly basking in the glory?!

I don't normally tackle the divine, but here I go anyway

Oct 7, 2008, 11:12 pm by Lew

you get two point if know why i used this graphicSomething just made me a little sad. Intelligent Design is making me a little sad. Not the idea itself but the existence of it. Intelligent Design is another name for creationism. If you believe in creationism that is your faith. Calling it intelligent design is trying to use scientific logic to justify your faith. If you have faith I think it is sad to feel you need science to justify it. That to me is what it sad. To me that is a lack of faith.

John Steinbeck is what got me thinking about this. In a few paragraphs in “Log from the Sea of Cortez” he discusses how people react to ideas that they hate. He argues that the best reaction to a new idea is to study it for complete comprehension and only then giving your views of the strengths and faults of the ideas. When someone hates an idea, they do not try to understand, they try to destroy it. This made me think about the evolution vs. intelligent design debate. 5 minutes ago I would have said I hate the idea of intelligent design. But then I tried to understand why intelligent design is out there in the first place. I do not think anyone actually loves the idea in and of itself. It is obviously a way to try to work creationism into the domain of science. It is a reaction by people of faith to the theory of evolution. If you are a person of faith you shouldn’t be scared of biological theories. If you think god is almighty and unfathomable why be scared of science? Yet enough people of faith are scared that they make a public issue out of scientific fact. They realized they cannot fight evidence based logic with faith based beliefs. So they have dressed up genesis with science. The testaments don’t command you to accrue the evidence necessary to prove the divine. The bible asks for faith. If you have faith, then have faith.

Vote like an idiot

Oct 7, 2008, 1:48 pm by Paul Stiverson

Vote like a girlI’ve been seeing shirts around town, purporting that it is a good thing to vote for McCain-Palin because one of them shares your gender. What I want to know is where were the pro-Hillary “Vote like a girl” shirts? When there was a woman running who actually supported women’s rights, where were you Aggieland Outfitters?

Before I take such an anti-Palin stance let’s look at what she brings to the table. It is pretty clear that she is a woman, former Miss Alaska actually, she is a Washington outsider, and apparently a Maverick (There can’t be two Mavericks, one of them has to be Goose). She is the recent mother of a special needs child1, coincidentally an ardent pro-lifer, and a soon-to-be grandmother (another win for abstinence-only education). Part of her charm is that she is something of an every(wo)man, lauding that she is a “Hockey Mom” and sympathizing with the “Six-pack Joes” out there with their American Light Lagers. I guess John McCain realized that he was losing the George W. Bush crowd who don’t want to vote for somebody smarter than they are, so he brought on a buffoon to mis-pronounce words and be ignorant to current events and make GOP voters feel a little better about being ’Mericans—not to mention she has tits which have been distracting the key demographic since kindergarten.

Not to belabor her ignorance, but when asked by Katie Couric what periodicals she reads to keep her up to date with the world, she couldn’t name a single one; instead she offered “I read all of them”, I guess she couldn’t remember the name “Guns and Ammo”, or “Auto Trader”. I have absolutely no problem with people not staying current with national politics, but I do have a problem with somebody with no handle on the world around them being the vice-president. If you want to vote for Palin because she is female, then go ahead: Vote like a girl.

Notes:

  1. It should be noted that she drastically cut the special needs education budget in Alaska before her latest child was born.

it is something

Oct 6, 2008, 3:49 pm by Lew

ain't it?!Last night fellow rambler zach made an astute statement. once you are doing this adulthood thing many of us have recently engaged in that "there is always something." it feels like you always have a bunch of tasks that for legal/financial/employment/all-of-the-above reasons needs your immediate attention (and money). It is always something. You plan out your near future and figure out what needs your attention, thinking once that is done you will be able to relax a little. but as soon as you are done something else just as demanding pops up. i have certainly found this to be true. i started writing this with intentions on bitching, but i won't. i think while writing this i came to terms with the fact that "it is always something." that is just part of the background noise of adulthood. now that i have accepted that fact i think i can deal with it better. maybe i can relax even when there is "something." if i don't well then i guess i can never relax.

tangent! do y'all smell things in your dreams? i rarely do but now and then i remember smelling things in my dreams. it surpises me a little that i dont more often because smelling is so intimately tied to memory. i could smell my car (the thing i was going to bitch about) in my dream last night. it was cool. i usually see and hear things in my dreams. rarely smell. never taste or feel (i guess that is why i have never had a wet dream). so tally please. how often do you smell things in your dreams?

Actors & Politics

Oct 2, 2008, 8:39 pm by John

So Take i on this subject ended with a not very well thought out ramble complaining about people giving their opinion when that is what they are paid to do. so i didn't really have a reason to complain in the first place and decided to remove my post. after more thought i decided to give this another shot.

take ii:

the other day i was watching the morning news and they talked about how the ladies on the view got into a big to do about political matters. i then decided that i didn't like that they were giving their opinions in the first place, but mr. stiverson pointed out that they are paid to do just that. so why are tv hosts asked to give their opinions in the first place? some how i see a disconnect between their daily lives and mine. for that matter, i'm sure that their lives are drastically different than 95% of the people who watch these shows and maybe are falsely leading people to a certain candidate.

so people are paid to give their opinion...i don't like it but i can't do anything to stop it. i think what really turns my stomach, and why i don't like this so much, is that these people might actually effect how someone else votes and who wins an election. does anybody think that an average american would watch one of these shows and actually vote because of who someone like a barbara walters is going to vote for? (comments please, i'd like to know what you think) i'm of the opinion that a person should base their vote on the debates or other speeches from the candidates. this is the only time you get to see how a candidate, from their own mouth, feels about a subject (without the media's "filter"). maybe i'm more of a free thinker than i thought...

Chapter 2: I'll Just Wing It

Sep 22, 2008, 9:55 am by Trey

Well it's Thursday September 18th and I just got out of my poultry nutrition test (the online class). I think I did pretty decent considering my level of preparedness. Shooting for a low B.
Oh shit it's Thursday... I have an organic chemistry test tomorrow. I decided to just wing it. I'll post my grade at a later date and we shall see how that went. I really couldn't bring myself to care about it. Even remotely. I wonder if something else was on my mind. Hmm...
It's now 7pm and I have a chem review starting in 30 minutes. Where am I? I hope you guessed the hall. I had a blast as always, and am looking forward to tomorrow with a stupidly high level of excitement. Jenny and I are going to camp out tonight in front of g. rolly to get group 1 ring tickets.

This has always bugged me

Sep 17, 2008, 4:03 pm by Paul Stiverson

Maybe it’s just me, but the phrase “Texas A&M Aggie”, has always bugged the crap outta me. It’s just “Texas Aggies”, folks.

Thanks and Gig Them.

Hawai'ian shirt day

Sep 5, 2008, 10:09 pm by Lew

ALOHA!We had Hawai'ian shirt day at work. In order to participate without partaking in a style I don't care for I made and wore this shirt.

Oaxacan Conspiraleo

Sep 5, 2008, 2:05 pm by Lew

we bet a gentlemanI had a fascinating lunch yesterday. My coworker and I had a delicious lunch at oaxacan tamaleo. It is a oaxacan restaurant on hwy 71 west of Bastrop. They make tamales in banana leaves. The name tamaleo is a combination of tamale and leo, the name of owner of the restaurant. Anyway we have lunch there every couple weeks, the food is delicious and the place is interesting. They sell biodiesel, have a pacman machine, the occasional lion hunting dog wandering by (rip lion dog) and I learned they have awesome conspiracy theories. The younger guy in the picture believes that if barack obama becomes president that Alaska will leave the union, the government will cause a great depression and Obama will convince everyone to work for the government for less than minimum wage. The waiter from tamaleo plans on running away to mexico before this new order is established. He admits he has crazy conspiracy theories. So it was more entertaining than crazy, but still pretty crazy. We now have a bet riding on the establishment of the new order, the wager is a favor. If he wins I have to do him a favor and vice-versa. It could be anything. He said I may be in the border patrol in the new order and I would have to get him into mexico. If I when he said he would cook my thanksgiving dinner. These are just examples though. It could be anything. We have a gentleman’s agreement. So we will have to agree when the bet is over. I am pretty sure I am going to win (should Obama be elected). What should my favor be?

Blue Eyes

Sep 3, 2008, 4:23 pm by Paul Stiverson

Toward the end of the summer I broke down and bought the soundtrack to Garden State, it is a fantastic album each track is quite strong (with the exception of “I Just Don’t think I’ll Get Over You” I could do without that one, it hardly even made an appearance in the movie even). However the focus of this posting is the track “Blue Eyes”, by the Cary Brothers.

This is a beautiful song—like so many other beautiful songs—about a girl, and to make it even better it is a waltz. The singer is essentially professing his love for the unnamed ‘Blue Eyes’, saying “You’re the secret I keep”, and “You are all that I need”. This track would be my absolute favorite on the album if the writer had simply left out, replaced, or even revised one line, see if you can guess which.


’cause Blue Eyes
You are destiny’s scene
’cause Blue Eyes
I just wanna be the one

I just wanna sing a song with you
I just wanna get it on with you

’cause Blue Eyes
You’re the secret I keep

Now why would you spend three minutes and twenty-five seconds eloquently professing your love just to come out and say “I just wanna fuck you”. Way to fuck it up Cary Brothers.

Be the Squeaky Wheel

Sep 3, 2008, 2:09 pm by Paul Stiverson

Well, now that I’m finally—officially—in my office I can start formally complaining about it. There is a black panel on the wall, which I can only assume works by magic because I’ve never actually seen anybody servicing it, this panel indicates when there is a malfunction in the utilities of the building. Part of its function is to notify the people around it that there is a problem, however this does little good because the people around it have no idea how to fix the problem, or even how to turn off the alarm. So, when there is a problem the thing beeps like mad and gives a status message saying what caused the alarm. That’s right, the physical plant installed a system in each building to monitor that building, but neglected to connect the alarms to a central control room. They leave it up to the patrons of the building to call up the electronics shop to let them know when an alarm has been tripped. Brilliant. We’ll make sure you know if there’s a problem, make sure you let us know about it too. Here comes the best part, wait for it, nowhere on or around the panel is there a notification of who to call to report the alarm. Super Brilliant. I would like to propose that we fire the whole herd of morons who work for the Physical Plant and use the money that goes to their salary to make the campus a better place—did I say fire, I meant kill with fire.

Also, the building I’m housed in—the Reed-McDonald Building—is being renovated, this means that there are a bunch of moderately skilled workers (who I’m sure have been briefed about the monitoring system) futzing around with the electrical and plumbing systems in the building. This means that the alarm goes off constantly, and while it isn’t as pervasive as a fire alarm it is pretty annoying persistent beep. This beeping will slowly but surely work its way into your brain and eventually turn you into a homicidal maniac, I’ve had to personally take down 3 other graduate students who cracked, but I’m afraid I might be the next to crack and I don’t know if any of the asians will be able to take me out. It would be like Godzilla attacking Tokyo in here.

In order to remedy the situation I’ve committed to call the Physical Plant any time that damn panel is beeping, more than once a day if necessary. I’ve put in a work request to have a red phone—which patches me directly to the electonics shop—installed in my office, but I doubt they will get around to it anytime soon.

Office Space

Aug 29, 2008, 3:25 pm by Paul Stiverson

Part of my grad school arrangement is that I’m a teachers assistant, and part of being a TA is that they give you an office—well a cubicle—in which to hold office hours, grade, and piddle. Now, they make you turn in your key at the end of each semester and pick it up at the beginning of the new one; they claim that they use the break to clean everything and make preparations for the upcoming semester. No biggie. The problem with this arrangement is that they never have the office assignments ready before the semester starts, this makes it extraordinarily tough to get your office hours nailed down and given to the students (“Hey, these are my office hours, but I can’t tell you where they are located, just guess… good luck, fuckers”). The start of a semester is frustrating enough without having to deal with not having an office to store all your crap.

To deal with this I’ve typically just used my previous office until the new assignment comes in (I have always gotten the same cube so it hasn’t been a problem), and that is exactly what I was doing today until the receptionist for the department rolled through and complained about me using my former and future cubicle. “You aren’t supposed to use these until they are assigned to you” she said.

“Well, I see that you are holding a sheet with my name on it that belongs to this cubicle, I’m pretty sure you are assigning it to me”, I replied.

“That doesn’t matter, I haven’t given you your key yet, it isn’t yours.”

“Well, classes have started and I’m expected to hold office hours, where better to do so than my office, perhaps if you assigned them in a more timely manner this wouldn’t be an issue”.

I don’t see the harm in using an unoccupied office, especially when you were the last (and next) person assigned to it, but apparently it is a major transgression.

eating my way through the day

Aug 13, 2008, 3:45 pm by Lew

I am going to try to do more “what I ate for breakfast” type postings. Not every post needs to be deep and insightful, this is a blog afterall. I am here to help you procrastinate from whatever it is you are supposed to be doing. This post will probably contain no insights or life shaking events. Today I was in an earthquake! My like was shook! Actually today I had the slowest day of my working career. It was not a bad thing though. I wrapped up a 3 week long project today and had a quarterly review with my boss which went just fine. I had not taken any other work in the last 3 weeks so when I turned in my paper work this morning I had nothing to do. I piddled the rest of the day away by stretching out some busy work, it also took me all day to eat lunch. I didn’t eat slowly I just ate one item at a time every couple hours. I had chickpeas/garbanzos with curry powder as the main course. Later I had carrots. Later still ½ a peanut butter sandwich. Not a cut in half sandwich mind you, a folded in half piece of bread. I am trying to save so as to pay off certain debts faster. So I am trying to eat mostly from things already in the pantry or fridge, hence my mildly eclectic meal today. I am slowly clearing out my cluttered pantry which is a bit of a relief. If only I could clean out my bookshelf by eating my way though it. Or the cat’s litter box for that matter. On top of lunch I had a piece of apple pie and a Capri sun. The pie was part of a celebration for my coworker who was sworn in as an American citizen yesterday. The Capri sun just because it is delicious and I haven’t had one in 30 years. We decorated my coworker’s lab bench in patriotic garb like ribbons, flags, god bless the USA signs and of course a copy the most important document in American history, Stephen Colbert’s “I am America and so can you.” It was fun surprising her, she got a kick out of it. She is a mild little Indian lady. Actually now she is a mild little American lady. She was embarrassed but enjoyed having a fuss made about her. In somewhat life shaking news I am constructing a list. Yes dear readers a list! It is a list projects that I want to do in my spare time, I will share more later as I move through the list but they include things like underwater photography and writing a children’s book. The first thing I get to check off the list is purchasing a projecting microscope. I have wanted one for a year since reading “Darwin and the barnacle” (before becoming famous for “origin of the species” chuck Darwin was not famous for his barnacle studies). I want to watch small living things projected 1000x on my wall. My first plan is watching a fish embryo develop in real time. Exciting stuff.

and that is what I ate for breakfast.

Olympic Protests

Aug 8, 2008, 11:39 am by John

what are the olympics? well i thought it was a time when the best athletes from around the world to get together at one place and compete against each other to see which country is the best in different events. Boy was I wrong. Appearently it's the the time of year when everyone and their mother decides that they want to protest whatever their mind feels like. Having been an athlete for the majority of my life I know what it is like to train for hours a day, everyday of the year. Of course I was never close to Olympic calliber but it gives me a good idea and great respect for all of the work that these athletes put in. Now when these athletes get to show the world their talent and share it with their countrymen, in what should be an event that the entire world gets together and watches, people who don't have anything better to do take to the streets and try to stop one of the greatest world traditions, in the running of the olympic torch.

exactly how will stopping the torch fix all of the world's problems? i'm pretty sure it won't. people say things like, the olympics shouldn't be held in china because they are communist. well i'm sorry, i didn't know that being communist had anything to do with athletic ability. in that case, why aren't all athletes communist? maybe they are....hmmm.

why can't people put away their differences for 2 weeks and just stay at home and watch the Olympics? The Olympics are about sports. For those of you who didn't catch it the first time...the Olympics are about sports. if you and your ego feel that you are so important that you need to show the entire world how you feel, use other means. i'm all for getting together and voicing your opinion and marching up and down the streets with signs. I don't want to take anyone's rights away but I can gaurantee you that when an american goes into a gold medal match, for whatever sport, he doesn't care about the person on the other side's political views...he just wants to beat the snot out of them.

a quick note, the iraqi athletes were nearly disqualified from the olympics because their olympic body was disperessed...like it was their fault. i don't see why anyone shouldn't be allowed to compete despite what their government does.

let's talk politics in a few weeks. get out of the streets, go inside, watch the games on tv and for now, sit back and enjoy an amazing display of athletic talent.

tropical storms II

Aug 6, 2008, 7:05 am by John

so the storm of the century came through yesterday and somehow i managed to survive.

on my way out the door at 6:20 i could see it coming. it was on the horizon and looked like a big gray blanket about to sweep over the entire area. it was coming from the east so the sun rising behind it made it look pretty spectacular. the roads were deserted. there must have been about a quarter of the normal traffic load. it was the best drive to work i've had in the 2 months i've been here. as i got to work the clouds started to sweep over northwest houston.

the rain started around 9am. i walked over to a window to see this storm i'd been hearing about for, going on, 3 days now. when i walked over to the window i noticed that the sky was a light shade of grey and it was sprinkling. i thought to myself "there must be some mistake. this storm should be bending trees over and dumping rain down so hard i shouldn't be able to see more then 50ft." if only i hadn't listened to the media's hype i might have thought it was nothing more then a spring time shower.

i checked back with the storm every hour or so and at one point the wind might have been gusting up to 20mph. it did rain hard at times but nothing to worry about. as i checked the radar in the early afternoon i noticed that instead of turning north like the meteorologists had guessed the storm came right through downtown houston. i work just northwest of downtown so this had me a little worried...worried that i might get wet on the way out to my car in the afternoon.

as 3:45pm came through i left my post and headed out to the parking lot. it was sunny. i lugged my umbrella around just knowing that i would have to use it for this tropical storm, alas, it stayed dry. no rain coming into work, no rain leaving work. how disappointing. the best part about the entire day was the drive home. when i reached my car the temperature outside was 80°, instead of the usual 100, so just getting in my car was more pleasurable. then, when i got on the road it became appearent that the hundreds of thousands of people who didn't go to work in the morning were still at home and the roads were clear again. finally, to sum up the whole day...the roads were dry.

i've decided we should have a tropical storms more often. people will stay off the road, my car will stay cooler, and since everyone will have already filled their cars up with gas i will be able to go to the gas station and not have to wait for 10 minutes to get a spot. thanks for a great day edouard.

ps. i laughed my ass off when i got home, looked down the street, and saw that the house on the corner had all its windows covered in plywood. hilarious.

Tropical Storms

Aug 5, 2008, 11:39 am by John

Preface: As mentioned before I am from Dallas and we don't get tropical storms or hurricanes up there.

So my only previous tropical storm/hurricane experience is with Rita when everyone in College Station freaked out and school was canceled. Then the storm turned north and absolutely nothing happened. Once again, Mr. Stiverson will correct me if I'm wrong but tropical storms and class 1 maybe 2 hurricanes seem like big thunderstorms, atleast when you are more than 50 miles inland. If you are on the coast it might be a different story, I don't know, but it sure doesn't seem like something to freak out over.

Yesterday I went to Kroger to fill up with gas. Big mistake! I did not go because I fear evacuation or gas price increases but because my gauge was near E. When I got there it looked like they were giving the stuff away. People were lined up 3 and 4 deep! The same story at the Exxon across street.

Today they were talking on the radio about how people were buying up all the water and supplies at grocery stores. While I was passing up Kroger, I came back later for my gas, I noticed that the grocery store was packed as well. I don't get it. We'll see here in a few hours, when this storm hits, but I think it's going to be a lot like when a line of thunderstorms sweeps across North Texas, except it will last all day. Down here I don't even have to look out for tornadoes! What's all the fuss about? I don't want to knock people around here for getting ready for a hurricane but Edouard (or however the hell you spell it...what kind of name is that anyway!?) is a tropical storm... S-T-O-R-M. So maybe I'm wrong but 35-50mph wind sounds like good kite flying whether to me. This thing doesn't even seem to have lightening to worry about.

More to come after the storm of the century passes

what is the opposite of a triumphant return?

Aug 4, 2008, 1:17 pm by Lew

don’t normally post truly personal things on the internets beyond “I did this today” type stuff. I don’t really think the internet is conducive to sharing things that are truly personal, but that is based on a certain forum I pollinate at which will tear the things you hold dear to shreds should you share them. Perhaps thismatters is different. Mi vida the last few weeks have prevented me from posting much. Not because I am so busy. There are things I want to post. But they feel trivial compared to my real life so I didn’t post and I didn’t post the personal stuff because of my aforementioned attitude. I need to remedy that and get back to blooging. So I am just going to go ahead and post the personal stuff so I can move on with my ilife. First here is a list of things I hope to share with you soon. I am writing them down so I don’t renege on the topics later. The list: places I want to go, my love affair with my apartment pool, shark wrangling, skin eating fish, booze and coffee, and probably some other bs.

now here is the stuff that has been going on that keeps me from posting. Warning: this will not seem that interesting or dramatic but it has been a big deal to me lately. So two months ago I got engaged. Wedding planning was going at a high pace, things seemed smooth. Then my parents came to visit about two weeks after we got engaged. It was not a good trip. Not at all. They thought they were coming to make all the arrangements for the rehearsal dinner, and that wasn’t really what we had in mind. We stalled them and prevented any real planning, they resented this and started fuming and got mad about every detail of my life that they had a problem with. They snidely commented on everything from my apartment, to my job down to my hair style. Keep in mind my parents are older, traditional and conservative. Rachel and I are a bit more bohemian and they didn’t really get that. Anyway it has dragged on over the last month or two because we were both so mad that we couldn’t talk without making shit worse. So two weeks ago I decided to buy a plane ticket and go to el paso that weekend and straighten things out. Things were straightened out to a point. There were a lot of misunderstanding and there might still be some. I had a five hour long conversation with my parents trying to address each of their concerns. To my parents credit they were much more understanding and open minded than I was expecting. Though I now know we will probably continue having some conflict sense we see things very differently. Normally it isn’t a problem as they live 700miles away. But planning a wedding we are interacting more and having to make mutual decisions. Making decisions can be hard when people want very different things, and especially hard when it is as personal as a wedding. Once the wedding stuff is decided life will be easier. But right now even with things in a relative calm compared to before my trip to el paso I still think I am bit more stressed than I like to be. So I am looking forward to being done planning, but I need to keep my energy up and not get passive due to my desire to get things done. Rachel’s parents are paying for the wedding. My parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner. My parents have made it clear they are not happy with site we chose for the wedding. But tough titties they have no rights to the wedding. However, the rehearsal dinner has become their fortress. Not that they are going to do anything horrible. They want to do something nice that we enjoy. But where rachel’s parents have a hands off attitude, my parents think the rehearsal dinner is their event for us, not our event. So while they want us to like it, we don’t have free reign. This wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t want such different things. In order to move along we are trying to be compromising without giving up our desires but it is tough. It wouldn’t be so tough, after all it is just a dinner, except that when my parents get angry things can get out of control and I am trying not to let that happen again. The plan is to have my parents come to dallas sometime soon and have a powwow with us and rachel’s folks and hammer everything out. Arg! I just want to get married to Rachel! Why does it have to be so insane!

disclaimer: please do not make any assumptions based on my rant, my parents are good folk and this is a synapses of two months (or twenty-five years) of events. Disclaimer II: I need to get back to work so I am not editing this right now, please forgive any errors and things that just make no sense.

Stop Lights

Aug 1, 2008, 7:34 pm by John

Since this is my first post on here I feel that I should put up something that I feel passionate about...stop lights. As Mr. Stiverson will atest, I despise the people who program stop lights, or forget to, in every town except my hometown (Plano, TX). Is it really that difficult to spend 30 minutes at a traffic light at 3 or 4 different times during any given day and figure out how to time the light? Or heaven forbid, get in a car and drive from 1 light to another to determine the time it takes to get there!? There is no reason I should hit every single stop light when traveling with heavy traffic in the same direction. Also, its 2 AM and I am the only car in the entire area and I have to wait 3 minutes at every single light. Are you kidding me!? I know all of the intersections now have sensors in the ground to detect if there is a car sitting there. After 11 PM I shouldn't have to sit for more then 15 seconds at any given light. Also, why am I waiting at a light when I am at an intersection where a 6 lane road crosses a 2 lane road? Why aren't the lights flashing yellow on the big road and red on the small one? This is better for all parties involved. I don't have to wait on a car who has been sitting at this light for 5 minutes and he wouldn't have to waste 5 minutes of his time waiting on this stupid signal. You might say if it's the middle of the night just run the red light...but I know that as soon as I do the 1 car I am sharing the road with is a cop.

Plano has figured this out and driving around most of the time is a breeze. At night all of the small intersections have flashing lights and when you pull up to a big intersection the light immediately changes. It's not that difficult. The part I also enjoy is knowing what a particular light will be when I get there. If I know I take this turn on this street, on this day, at this time, the light will ALWAYS do the same thing. Then I know what to expect. This may be a lot to ask of College Station, but I'm in a highly populated section of north-east Houston. Let's get it together!

I'll save my rant about left turn only lights for another day.

prepare to be disturbed

Jul 18, 2008, 11:08 pm by Lew

ouch my soulFridays at work are pretty great. Everyone is happy and in a funny mood. We usually have strange conversation on Fridays. Today was especially strange. There are these baby dolls that look very realistic. Apparently someone left one of these dolls in a car. Police broke into the car thinking they were rescuing a real child. The dolls have heart beats and breathe gently. The dolls are not for kids. They for collectors. Scary, scary baby collectors. Even more frightening are the “chimp babies” (pictured). Half-human half- chimp baby dolls. These dolls shake me to my very core (note the chimp hand-feet). Somehow these dolls lead to a discussion of human taxidermy. Apparently it is illegal to taxidermy a human. So we discussed whether there should be laws against things just because most people find them creepy. If you want to be taxidermied and posed that is your business. Who gets to decide what is so creepy that it is illegal? Well we realized that we the people do through our elected officials. If I was passionate enough about the issue I could base my vote on it. Where do Obama and McCain stand on human taxidermy. Honestly, I find chimp baby dolls more creepy. They should be illegal.
there should be laws against this

one wuss at a time

Jul 14, 2008, 3:32 pm by Lew

What would kinky do? I need his wisdom. Kinky said he will fight the wuss out of texas if he has to do it one wuss once at a time. I am trying to decide whether to do something about the p.c. stuff in my lab. Last year the Christmas party was called the holiday party as to not offend non-christians. This year it is going to be called the year end celebration as the term holiday was still offensive. I am not a Christian, I am about as secular as you get. Christmas parties do not offend me. Is it worth diluting 200 other peoples' experience at the risk of offending a couple people? What is offensive about it? Just because you do not celebrate the same things does not mean other customs are automatically offensive. Today was I believe the silliest, wussiest p.c. thing I have ever heard. Someone complained about the monthly birthday party. They are a Jehovahs witness and they do not celebrate birthdays. So now it is called the cake and ice cream celebration. Now the person who complained feels comfortable enjoying cake and ice cream with everyone else. But it is still a damn birthday party. We aren’t celebrating cake and ice cream, we are still having them because it is a birthday party. Do they think they are tricking Jehovah with the new name? how do I fight wussification? do I send out a company wide e-mail? Start a petition to de-wuss the company? Keep my mouth shut? Is it worth the fight? WWKD?

Venture Bros.

Jul 9, 2008, 1:28 pm by Lew

get it?I realized something recently. i am a venture bros. fanboy. I know I am fanboy for Nintendo and Jeaques Cousteau. But recently I was scouring a venture bros. fansite for any back story hints that I have missed. One does not care about the back story of completely fictional cartoon unless they are a fanboy. If you are not familiar with this cartoon I am not surprised. It is on late at night on Sundays on cartoon network’s adult swim programming block. The show follows the exploits of a failed super scientist, his bumbling archenemies and other fantastic characters. It is fantastic except it is all supposed to take place in the real world. Bjork and dépêche mode are referenced often. David Bowie is the head of the super villain union (super villains are unionized). I think I have a little envious of the heroes on the show. I wish I was a good enough scientist so I could get the attention of costumed nemesis.

I have never been into comic books. But I think my interest in the show is like what others have for comic books. How did the characters get where they are? Why do they hate each other? Who killed who? Why does Jackie Kennedy-Onassis have such a deep gravely voice?

I didn’t care for the show when it first started. It seemed goofy and stupid. But now I need to know everything. I never follow tv shows. For some reason I care about the characters. You can catch new episodes online at adultswim.com but you need to watch the first two seasons to appreciate it. The show is a brilliant combination of over the top cartoonish adventure and human frailty. It is strange and hilarious. Will you be my arch nemesis? What will your costume be?

Smidgen

Jul 8, 2008, 10:54 pm by Lew

I am a smidgen drunk. i am going to take advantage of that to give you my thoughts for the day. 1) sleeping is nice, i want a job where i sleep until 11. then go to work if i want to. i want the same money i make now for that. i mean i could do a weeks worth of work in one day if they didn't care about face time at the lab. can i just work 2 days solid and then have the next 5 to knock around? is this a fair and just world? 2) i was sweeping my kitchen and thinking about capitalism. while doing that i imagined a picture of me sweeping the kitchen with a caption "this is the moment you realized you don't have to be a slave." the thought made me giggle a little. fuck it y'all let's all build greenhouses and grow our own food (and die of gangrene). 3) robots. what the hell. is everything going to be robots? will there be robots to replace all the animals? will there be robot deer with glowing robot eyes? who the hell needs that. we already have deer. we don't need robot deer. fucking shit man. i thought that at lunch today with vince. i didn't say that out loud. i should have.

damn my bunnies are gay for each other.

Roomate Lulz

Jul 7, 2008, 11:45 pm by Paul Stiverson

On Mondays we usually make a run to the supermarket after supper, and today was no exception. This week I happened to notice that the limes were right by the coconuts, and—like the rest of you—I immediately thought of the song and laughed. The gal who was there beside me (who happens to be Indian and had never heard the song) asked what was so funny, and I explained that just about every American would spout off that song when presented with a lime and a coconut. I proved this shortly after by showing that very combination to another intern who promptly sang the song. Anywho, we decided that it would be fun to buy and eat a coconut.

Well, we get back to the dorm and break out the coconut, puncture the top and try the milk… not too good, in fact, pretty dang bad. We decide that we should open it up and see what the coconut itself tastes like. When I cracked it open everything looked fine, we decide to taste it. HORRIBLE. At this point my roommate, Marco—remember, he is Italian—walks up and asks if he can try some; we give him fair warning that it tastes bad and he disregards the warning and tosses a bit in his mouth. A few moments of contemplation later he looks up at us, arms by his sides, shoulders kinda slumped and says, “Am I going to die?” I almost fell over the railing on the balcony I was laughing so hard.

Haiku

Jul 3, 2008, 3:30 pm by Lew

i was engaged in a throwdown today. a haiku throwdown. my labmate and i were competing to see who was the better note writer. it all started after she asserted a unicorn i drew was stupid. i had to defend the noble beasts honor. no one could decide who was superior so we had a tie breaking haiku competition. the haiku had to be about pcr (polymerase chain reaction) which is what we work on. if you don't have a molecular biology background these will not be very funny.

here is the haiku i lost to:

Sweet Polymerase
Nimbly dance on DNA
Forming chains of life

here is my submission:

Hot spring denizen
A gift from Yellowstone Park
T. aquaticus

if you are biology nerd then those are quite funny. i let you down unicorn. the bible teaches that jews should not be trusted with unicorns. i should have known.
forgive me...

what's cooler than cool?

Jul 2, 2008, 3:52 pm by Lew

ice cold! i love when we get in a shipment that comes on dry ice. that stuff is like a toy you weren't allowed to have when your a kid. dry ice hockey. dry ice bombs and of course bubbling bottles of pure science!

back to playing with the dry ice.

How old am I?

Jul 2, 2008, 3:35 pm by Lew

i have an awesome apartment in a great location, at a great price. it used to be a very low key complex, in an otherwise bustling area. my own oasis. recently i have been disturbed by the number of young college types that have moved into my apartment complex. really i am concerned by the number of incosiderate people moving in. we used to never hear a peep (except when our former neighbor was doin' it) from the outside world. now we have upstairs neighbors who get drunk and have silly fights ("you don't understaaaaaaand waaaaah"). they listen to the same two hendrix and nirvana albums over and over. the other night at about 4am they and all their buddies hung out on the stairs and shouted outside our window all night. there is another group of about 10 people who use the pool all afternoon every freaking day. they have cases of corona and all their dogs in the pool. both of which are not allowed in the pool. people, i don't want to swim in your dog water! then they leave their trash piled up by this tiny trash can instead of walking 40 feet to the dumpster. cleaning up after them is not the custodians job. this isn't a college apartment, it is a real world apartment. *bitch and moan*

my 29 year old neighbor (who is a college student, and a very considerate one) and i wear complaining to each other about the shift in the vibe in the complex. bastard making us feel like the old guy who keeps the frisbees that land in his yard. it isn't that they are young, they are just plain inconsiderate.

should i figure out who is leaving the bottles, bag them all up and drop them on their door step? should i say something to the landlord (who is super nice) or just leave them be?

Trailer Treasure

Jun 26, 2008, 9:11 am by Lew

My esteemed fellow blooger, Mr. Z.P. Cress and I were discussing country living recently. He was looking at houses in the country and was displeased that a large number of available houses are trailers. I totally understand the bad taste "trailer" leaves in one's mouth. however, i think the trailers' reputation is a bit undeserved. how is a trailer any less respectable than living in an apartment? the only reason trailers are looked down on is because of the stereotypes of the people who live in them. i have known respectable, intelligent, all around good people who don't like city life. for the price of renting a tiny apartment one gets a little piece of land and a trailer to live in. young people usually begin independent life in the city by renting an apartment. it makes sense to me that a trailer is the country equivalent. you can't afford a plantation home yet, but you want to live out in the country, so you go with what you can afford. nothing wrong with that. make it tasteful, don't pile car parts in the yard. do it right and i bet no one would notice your house is a trailer.

Sausage Fest

Jun 21, 2008, 12:37 am by Lew

Now don't get me wrong, I am as much a fan of meat and spices encased in intestinal lining as anyone but I realized that this place is a freaking sausage party. I tried enticing Rachel to thismatters but yeah she already has no dearth of interweb opportunities. What I am sayin is "where the bitches at?!" Paul get some girls up in this place, and some black people and an eskimo up in here. Sorry mark and trey if you are black eskimo girls, I don't know you and I am assuming you are not. ladies if you are reading this, consider mattering with us. we need someone to teach us how to dress better and to snuggle our posts up next to after a hard days blooging.

yeah this entry is a good idea. right?

Hell is other people

Jun 20, 2008, 4:06 pm by Paul Stiverson

Every time a certain one of my office-mates talks I want to knock his fucking teeth in. It kills me because he is really argumentative, and he speaks in a monotone. Not only does he speak in a monotone, but he doesn’t shut up—his method of winning arguments is to pummel you with non-sensical tangents until you get sick of hearing his voice. Also, by talking constantly it prevents you from getting a word in, thus your thoughts get backed up in your head and you start forgetting things that you were going to use as counter arguments. He is a pretty smart guy, and he usually has the right idea, but he needs to revise his style of debate in order to not drive everybody around him crazy.

what do i live for now??

May 27, 2008, 9:26 pm by Trey

so first off, of course, i would like to thank mr. stiverson for setting me up with the ability to jot down my nonsense every now and then. i really don't know why anyone would want to necessarily read anything i may be thinking, but it gives me something to do... so thanks paul

so now, which would be the purpose of this entire post, you get to read about my last two days and discover the meaning to the depressing title i gave it

call me weird or strange if you must, but i have grown up in a family of aggies; and by family i pretty much just mean my father and my uncle. which, if you are an aggie (and i'm sure anyone reading this more than likely is) you would know that 2 people is 1 person more than it requires to persuade anyone to become a part of this 'cult' if i may call it what it truly is. being raised in various bars by my father, granted that probably wasn't the best [insert good christian raisin' here], it taught me much about life and people (mainly how stupid they are, but that's an entire 'nother post for a much later date).

anyway, im getting off topic; back to being raised by my father.

this is where i think im going to get a few weird looks, i used to sleep (when i was little of course) with my fathers aggie ring on my bed-stand right next to my head, and would stare at it basically until i fell asleep. granted i did not do this constantly, but on several occasions do i have distinct memories of this and some wonderful resulting dreams that have stayed with me through the years.

well today, at approximately 9:55 AM i ordered my very own aggie ring. i have been waiting for the ability to do this since i started thinking cognitively, and no that's not an exaggeration; shortly after ordering the ring while walking back to my truck i came to the realization that this is what i have been living for (call it sad if you wish) for many many years now. when i had this enlightening moment of sorts, it came to me as quite a shock because i usually do not put so much meaning on such physical possessions; however all here i think can attest with me that this simple 'physical possession' has a very deep and non-physical meaning to it shared by countless aggies around the world. to sum that entire thing up, my day started off very kick ass and i can't wait until september 19th.

now for the end to my day:

i have been saying for about a year and a half now that the day i order my ring (well i guess it would be ordered now) i was going to get a tattoo. although many thoughts of it ran through my mind, of course it all remained centered around a single thing. texas a&m...duh, but when i sat down and started playing in photoshop the night before i ordered (this would be monday), i decided that i wanted to add a little bit of a texas swing to it. i came up with a couple of fairly good ideas, but was pressed for time and did not get to fully map anything out in photoshop very well. so i just decided i would get the standard block atm on my left shoulder.

when i got to poking you tattoo (which, by the way, impressed the hell out of me) i spoke with one of the artists there named derek. he was very helpful and drew up the sketch for the block atm that i wanted. just as he finished i had a revelation. i had just thought of the perfect addition to this tattoo and quickly asked him if he could do something to implement the idea. he and several other customers in the store caught me completely off guard and made me gag a little bit by their lack of knowledge on the "come and get it!" flag. i quickly pulled up a picture of it on his laptop and he had a sketch of something that appealed to me beyond belief within 15 minutes (again, super impressed).

all-in-all the tattoo went very well, i am extremely pleased with it. as for the pain, i am a skinny bastard, so unfortunately it hurt a little bit even on top of my fairly high pain tolerance, but i really only winced when he had to basically tattoo the damn bone of my shoulder blade.

ATM come and take it!

i apologize for the extremely long post, but it is my first one and i had quite a bit to share. until next time! -trey

Trip Itinerary, a retrospect.

May 26, 2008, 1:46 am by Paul Stiverson

On Thursday I took a short lunch and took off from work a little early, I went back to the dorm and packed all the stuff I had set out into my backpack, grabbed my book, and was southbound on the 101 by 5:15. Unfortunately I was on the 101 at 5:15 which meant I was mostly sitting still; it took over an hour to drive the 30 miles required to make it to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Now my flight to DFW was scheduled to leave at 7:10, so I was a bit nervous while navigating the labyrinth of overpasses leading into the airport but finally found a parking space in section E22 and after hastily grabbing my backpack, shoes, and book I started running (that’s right, running) to the check-in desk. I made it to the check in desk by 6:30 and thankfully there was no line, not even a hint of a line… I was the only person. I got my boarding pass and head to security—there were a few people in the security line, but no worries it seemed to be moving pretty quickly and my flight hadn’t even started boarding yet. About the time I took off my shoes and tossed them in the grey bucket/tray thing I realize that I had left my book (Dreams From My Father) setting at the checkout line. I thought it would be a terrible tragedy to miss my flight on account of a paperback (no matter how engaging it is) so I chalked it up as a loss. I get chosen for a random security check, thankfully I left my bomb in my other backpack… close call. I throw my shoes back on (I didn’t bother to tie them) and head for my gate, stopping briefly on the way to see if the newsstand has any interesting books. After looking at the shelf full of Dean Koontz novels I decide that I can make the 3 hour flight without a book.

After boarding the plane I met a lovely young couple who were flying home to visit their families. The two were from Dallas, but had been living in the Bay Area for a few years. Really nice folks. The flight went smoothly—we left, and arrived on time. Mark was waiting for me, and we proceeded back to his house for the night.

In the morning we all got up and started getting our shit together for the drive to Bellville. I asked if we could stop on the way at a bookstore so I could pick up a new copy of Dreams From My Father, Mark obliged. The trip went smoothly, putting us in Bellville and at the church with enough time to change before the rehearsal dinner got underway. At the rehearsal I got to meet the bride’s two little brothers—who were serving as junior groomsmen—good kids. The rehearsal dinner itself was quite nice, we had mexican food which was quite delicious. Also, Andrew, the groom, presented us with our Groomsmen gifts, a slick Kershaw knife, which I had to leave in Texas because I wasn’t going to check any luggage on the return flight. During the dinner I was reminded of a story which I then told, and will eventually share here—“The Beanhole”. After the rehearsal dinner many of us retired to the hotel in Brenham to share a few beers and many laughs, Steven was kind enough to open his room to me for the night.

The day of the wedding we all congregated at the church to get ready, we took some pictures before everything got underway. Then the big moment was upon us. The bride’s mother misplaced the groom’s ring so we had to stall for a minute, the ring was eventually found, but not until after the ceremony—another groomsman volunteered his for the actual exchange.

At the reception I got to see most of my fish buddies, including one who had recently gotten back from Korea. Jenny was kind enough to make the trip down to be my date. Dancing ensued. After the reception I retired to The Woodlands with Mark and company to bed down for the night.

The following afternoon (today, mind you), Mark’s mom gave me a ride to Bush Intercontinental for my connecting flight to DFW. About halfway to IAH I realized that I had left my book (Dreams From My Father) sitting on her counter, I declined her invitation to turn around and get it, deciding that Mark could mail it to me along with my knife. I entered IAH at approximately 12:40 with plenty of time to catch my 2:05 flight, I knew little of the ordeal that awaited me on the other side of that security station. I stopped at a book shop in IAH and bought a book, Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk, then made my way to the gate in time to find that my flight had been delayed by half an hour. Eventually we board and make our way to DFW, a short flight. In DFW I check the departure screen to see that my intended connection is in the final stages or boarding, and in a different terminal; I make my way to the skylink and head toward gate D22 (from C18). Upon arrival I find that I have missed flight 39 and must try to board another flight. I make my way to gate A13 where I am able to get a ticket for the next outgoing flight. The plane that I should be boarding arrives and the passengers disembark, we all start to line up for the ensuing boarding frenzy, but are told that boarding will be delayed for mechanical reasons. We all take our seats. About an hour later the flight attendant comes back on the line and tells us that the flight has been cancelled, but not to worry, there are other flights leaving town and we will all have a place on one of them. After four hours in DFW I am finally boarding a plane to SFO where I will find that my book has disappeared into somebody else’s possession (not in the lost and found) and that I had parked in short term parking, I payed the $113 to get my car out of hawk and drove back to the dorm in the cold and uninviting 55º California night.

One to Nine

May 15, 2008, 10:12 pm by Paul Stiverson

Do not, I repeat, Do not buy the book One to Nine. It is a horrid, incomprehensible piece of crap.

If I were Mr. Hodges editor/publisher I would have pulled the back of his shirt over his head and punched him in the face until he bled out from the massive facial injuries I imparted—I would have done this after reading a sample chapter of the stream of consciousness bullshit he calls writing.

That is all.

Driving School

Apr 25, 2008, 11:30 pm by Paul Stiverson

Today I was driving to Ingleside (where my parents live) and it became obvious that there are a whole bunch of people out there who never learned how to drive at driving school. They learned that they are supposed to keep the yellow line on the left and the white on the right, but they missed all the nuance and subtlety of driving. I’m sure that none of my readers fall into this class of ignorant drivers, but just for posterity I’m going to outline a few of the largely unlearned rules of the road.

Feel free to comment with any rules you feel should be added, if there is interest I will expand this to a page of its own.

The quote of the day comes from Mandy today: “Jack Ingram’s a dunderhead.”

On Anger

Apr 11, 2008, 9:16 pm by Paul Stiverson

The other day I was sitting in my office doing a little research [reading the internets], it was about 6PM so the building was pretty empty. I heard a labored shout, “Hello, Somebody Help me,” before I could respond it continued, “Help me.” Knowing that the building was mostly vacant due to the hour, and those who would be there wouldn’t be that strong in english, I figured I should respond. Also it seemed—since the shouting was so intent—that I should respond quickly; I sprang into action. It was a middle aged lady who was making all the big noise, and, thankfully, she was not having a medical emergency. Her ‘emergency’ was that her car was locked in a gated construction area that which had a sign prominently posted at the entrance saying “Authorized Personnel Only.”

When I came around the corner she started yelling at me to find her a phone book, it was surreal, I was attempting to help this woman and she started accosting me. She was mad as hell saying, “I need to get maintenance out here, I don’t care if they cut the god-damned lock, find me a phone book.” I pointed her to a phone book, and promptly walked away, I didn’t feel like dealing with a belligerent dingbat at that particular moment. A few moments later I heard her yelling again, “Hello, are you here?” Not wanting to deal with her anymore I ignored her plea, but she eventually tracked me down. “Do you have a phone?” Not wanting to be an outright ass, I handed her my cell phone. She pushed it back at me, “I don’t know how to use this damn thing, dial it for me,” mind you, this lady is not nearly old enough to be unfamiliar with cellular technology (especially a simple phone like mine). I asked her the number and she said, “Should I be calling maintenance?” To which I replied, “I have no idea, I try to keep myself out of these situations.” She gave up on the calling option, for which I’m thankful; I didn’t want to sit around and wait for somebody to show up and tell her there was nothing they could do.

She asked me if I would go outside and help her get her car out, presumably by tearing down the fence. I said I would help. After about 20 seconds of stern thought I figured out a way to break out without damaging the fence. I opened it (with little effort), and let her out—she was parked in a handicapped space, despite her lively traipsing about—I turned the sign around to show her what she missed earlier. She lied, “That wasn’t there earlier,” and I told her that there was ample handicapped parking in the front of the building for future reference. If she had considered the problem and potential solutions before she got all worked up then I think she could have escaped quite easily on her own.

When people get angry they stop thinking, and that bad for everybody. We should all strive to be cool headed and calmly find our own way out of fenced-in construction zones.

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