May 30, 2010

Raisin Brains



I found this little gem in my parent's basement. It's a blast from the early 1990s past. Two full scoops of Raisin Brains.
May 28, 2010

Don't Forget...



As you all set forth on Memorial Day festivities, please do not forget to pack the Shark Repellent. That is all.

May 27, 2010

Invisible Shield


[Soundtrack: Human Earth - "Don't you want me?"]


"iPhone Cover" was on my To-Do list for the last month. A few days ago, I dropped $25 at Best Buy and purchased The Invisible Shield. After experiencing every conceivable emotion in the human body, I am finally in a capable mind frame of detailing the experience.

Before the Invisible Shield, there was a cheap AT&T screen cover and a decent case from the Apple store. Before that was the same cheap screen cover and a worthless AT&T rubber cover. Before those accessories and the iPhone, was the Nokia 1100.


I had the thing since high school. I went through two other phones after it, but came back to it for sloppy thirds after the other two bit the dust. The Nokia had two roles. Make/receive phone calls and text message people. In order to send a text, I would have to press the same key several times for the correct letter to come up. For example, if I wanted to type "ABC" I would have to press the #2 key once for A, wait a second, then press it twice for B, wait a second, and then press it three times for C. At some point, my inner self said balls to this and the rest is history.

Once I got the iPhone, I had to change my habits of destroying electronic devices to giving the damned thing the rubber glove treatment. iPhone goes in one pocket. Keys go in other pocket. Do not throw iPhone out of window while driving down the highway. When I got home after buying the iPhone, I cleared off my table like I was prepping a crime scene investigation. Before I even powered up the phone, I wanted to get the screen protector on it so that I wouldn't scratch the screen. Since they wouldn't do this for me in the store, it was up to me to carry out this impossible task. The screen a bitch in itself to peal off of the wrapper. Then comes the tricky part, because I have to set it exactly in the right place on the iPhone screen. While doing so, I can't get anything on the phone as well as fingerprints on the inside of the protective screen. Well I did both. And I had to peal it off several times and adjust where it was on the phone. Additionally, I got a bad case of Parkinson's and couldn't stop my hands from shaking for the life of me. In the end, I had the screen on there in the right spot, but I had soaked up enough finger grease on one corner of the screen so that the top left edge would not stick to the phone. Fair enough. As the days went on, this became severely annoying because I spent most of my time smoothing out the edges and rubbing out bubbles to no avail. At some point, I made a trek down to the Apple store in Cincinnati to look for a new case for the phone because the rubbery piece of shit I had was not doing it for me. I ended up getting a nice case that did a good job of holding the troublesome non-stick corner in place. But it still was an eyesore to look at on a daily basis. This brings us up to a month ago when I decided that it was time to find a better alternative. I normally don't let such petty things get to me, but this little greased up, pealed back, un-cooperative screen cover was really stressing me out. I don't want any air bubbles on the screen. I don't want a dirty phone. I want something that is slick and clean. Enter the Invisible Shield?


I did some research and the Invisible Shield seemed to be what I was looking for. It's basically indestructible. You can take a chainsaw to it and it won't scratch the surface. Plus it has a lifetime warranty. It also had a user-friendly, encouraging Youtube video on how to mate the Invisible Shield and iPhone for eternity.


Prior to installing the Invisible Shield, I watched the video about five times. Wow. It looks so easy. Just put down a paper towel, peal the shield off, douse it with the special spray, plant it on the phone, squeegee it off, and rule the world. Right?


Ummm. No.

The only part I succeed at was getting a paper towel. The Invisible Shield took a few minutes to peal back from the paper, probably due to the Parkinson's that's kicked in. I sprayed it down and put it on my phone. Wrong spot, try again. Nope, that's off. Do over. Third time is a charm right. No dice. I'm not sure how many attempts I took at it, but there was at least 20. The whole time I was paranoid because I knew if I fucked it up I was throwing $25 down the drain. Eventually I got it in a spot that was acceptable. Unlike the video, I had a number of bubbles on the screen. I smoothed a lot of them out with the squeegee, but there was a couple spots that were impossible to get once the spray solution started to dry. I did the best I could but eventually threw in the white towel and called it quits for the night. The next day, I spent every idle moment at work and at home trying to smooth out the bubbles. There are about three bubbles that are big problems. The rest are tiny bubbles that will hopefully disappear after 2-3 days as the instructions proclaim. Tomorrow is day three. And it's looking bleak. At some point, the squeegee doesn't do the trick anymore. Due to the texture of the Invisible shield, attempting to smooth out anything with a credit card is null and void since, after all, its built to resist getting punched in the dong. So I am left with my thumbs and fingernails. I have tried every possible combination of smoothing out with my thumb/fingernail combo to get these bastard bubbles out. If I had to take a shot in the dark I would say I've got about 10 hours wrapped up in this process. My thumbs feel like I just escaped from a prison camp in 'Nam where I had bamboo sticks shoved under my fingernails in some sort of torture sequence.

So here I am. The top left corner greasy nuisance is yesterday's news. But now I have several new eyesores to look at. I guess I have the peace of mind of knowing that if I drop my phone into a blender the screen will be protected, but that doesn't lighten the mood since there's bubbles on my screen that I can't get rid of. Bubbles.


May 26, 2010

Hot Diggity Dog




The theme for this week has been hot dogs. It started yesterday morning when I stopped at Speedway to grab a Monster energy drink before heading off to work.

"Just the monster energy drink for you today, sir?"

"Yes."

"Would you like anything else...how about a hot dog?"

"WTF lady!? It's 930 in the morning."


Today, I ate a hot dog at about 4pm.

This evening, my mom called me to inform me that hot dogs were on sale at the grocery store. 79 cents for a pack. That's roughly 10 cents per hot dog. The minimum wage is Ohio is $7.25/hour. Not including taxes and other deductions, thats $290 a week, or 2,900 hot dogs. That means someone could get a job paying minimum wage, work one week, take their paycheck and buy hot dogs with it, and have enough hot dogs to eat almost 8 hot dogs a day for an entire year. The next time a homeless person asks you for money, tell them to get a job and buy some hot dogs. Problem solved.
May 24, 2010

Rant of the Week: Waiting in Line


Rant of the Week: Waiting in Line

Whoever came up with the saying "Patience is a virtue" never had the misfortune of standing in line behind an ignorant, retarded, completely oblivious, or just plain stupid person before in their lifetime. One of my biggest pet peeves is having to stand in line for something. Often, this process takes longer than it should. Like, way fucking longer. These are the times that the greatest of moods can be transformed into pure rage in a matter of seconds. It is a constant reminder that there are people walking this earth that are alive simply due to the fact that it is against the law to kill them. There are many scenarios of waiting in line that plague our daily existence, such as at a gas station, bank, ATM, Drive-Thru, Grocery Store, Amusement Park, or in Traffic. These situations put us in a position to make a decision that could simply put $20 bucks in pump #5 and carry out our lives to the fullest or serve a life sentence in jail.

Gas Station

When I find myself waiting in line at a gas station I am standing there for one of two reasons; 1) to buy beer or; 2) to buy Monster Energy drinks/Krispy Kreme donuts. As fate would have it, the latter comes in the morning when I am looking for a good way to start off my day. I'm not a morning person, so ideally this is an "in and out" kind of deal. More often than not, I find myself behind a bum that is trying to hit the big one by playing the lotto with whatever cash they were able to scrap up from the night before. The majority of the purchase goes towards their Colt 45 while the remaining change is dedicated towards whatever $1 scratch offs and Powerball tickets they can grasp. The problem with all of this is that it takes them an inordinate amount of time to make a decision on what ticket they want. "Give me...uhhh...one of those...no...not that one...that one over there....." If they are cashing in last nights big $3 winner, the process takes even longer. Once they realize they have a few extra bucks to spend, this goes directly towards cigarettes. And naturally, they are the ones that the attendant has never heard of before, and must go on on some scavenger hunt in the back room to locate. This entire time, I am staring a hole in the back of the fucker's head in front of me, possibly imagining the choke out move that I described in last week's How To. They have no comprehension of the line that is wrapping around the grocery store because of their inability to make a quick decision and waste away the money they spent begging for to achieve their hopeless dreams. And they definitely don't realize that I am putting my blood pressure at unsafe limits by waiting behind them to buy my energy drinks and donuts so I can start my day and in the process do more than they will do with their entire week's worth of accomplishments.


Bank

Thankfully due to Direct Deposit, I have not had to go through the possible aneurysm that is waiting in line at a bank to deposit my paycheck on a Friday afternoon. But I have been there. And it's never pretty. Here is how it usually goes. I walk into the bank and sigh. In front of me is a line of people wrapped around a coral of hate, frustration, and rage. The bank tellers are short staffed, have pist off looks on their faces, and aren't doing their job fast enough. I go to the end of the line and wait my turn. I scope out the scene and examine all of the people in front of me in line. I try to predict how long each of the person's transaction will take so I can come up with some sort of estimate of how much time I have ahead of me. This estimate always fails. While I am stuck in between the roped lines, I try to make my presence known by making it clear that I don't want anyone invading my person space or coming into the "bubble" I have established. Usually, some sort of little kids encroaches the bubble, or some random person will accidentally bump into me. They immediately get the look that says "Don't fucking do that again, buddy." Moving on, let's say there are three tellers working on a given Friday afternoon. One will be wrapped up in a transaction that will never get resolved by the time I am helped. God knows what is going on there. The other two are trying to get through the line as fast as possible. But it is never fast enough. By the time I get to the front of the line, the two people that are taking up the two possible next tellers are creating some sort of long drawn out diversion that will steal minutes of my life that I will never get back. By the time I hear the "May I help you please" calling, I am beyond pist. Approximately twenty seconds later, I have already deposited my check, got my receipt, and am out of the bank. Why does it take anyone else longer than this?

ATM

ATM's are the bane of my existence. Every time I go to one, there is a car in front of me that has been sitting there idling for hours it seems. After a couple minutes of waiting, I will see them reach over to punch in their transaction information. If it's really bad, they will have to wedge their obese body out of their car door in the allotted space they have left between their car and the ATM to punch in the information manually since they pulled up too far from the ATM. When they get their cash, they completely disregard the fact that I am eagerly waiting to take their position by sitting in their car and putting the debit card away, counting the money, sitting for about 30 seconds doing who knows what, and then pulling forward just far enough so that I cannot pull forward.


Grocery Store

One would think that the popularity of the self check-out concept would speed things along at the grocery store. Well, not at any of the ones I have been to. If there are a handful of check-out lanes open, there is an unsderstaffed person manning the operational nightmare. If I buy a dog toy for Bo, some toothpaste, toilet paper, and a 6-pack of Oberon, this is going to involve the attendant coming over to verify the fact that I am 21 years old and able to buy alcohol. Well, before they can do this, they need to take care of the person that cannot ring up the sack of lettuce they bought, or the Chinese person that is complaining about the "buy one get one" coupon that is not ringing up correctly, or the person that has never touched any sort of technological device before in their life and decided to give it a go at the same time I was waiting to get the hell out of the store. The attendant is not capable of multi-tasking, is easily overwhelmed, and when panicked, will get on the phone and call someone in an attempt to maskthe fact that they don't know what they are doing. This scenario happens every time I go to Meijer.

Amusement Park

I don't mind waiting in line for roller coaster rides. It is a good time to chat up and socialize the company that you are with. However, I don't like to see a full cast of ex-Jerry Springer cast mates making out with one another while I wait in line for the ride. I don't want to hear about their latest trashy adventure. I don't want to see them try to hug their significant other even though their arms can't wrap around their bodies because they are so fat. I don't want to breathe in the smoke they are chain smoking and blowing my way even though the rules that Fred Flintstone clearly displayed said not to do so. And don't even try to cut me in line. I will turn into the biggest asshole ever.

Traffic

Traffic jams are horrible. The invention of the iPhone has made traffic jams at least bearable, but they are still horrendous. Even at a stand-still, there is always that one person that decides to creep along the edge and cut other people off. I am the guy that drives far over to the right to stop them from passing. "Honk at me all you want, deuchebag, we're all in this together." Most of the time, there was no reason for the delay. No dead bodies. No crumpled up Smart car under a semi. No reason for the delay. I always mutter "there better be fucking Armageddon up there" whenever I get stuck in a line of traffic. Most of the time it's just someone with a flat tire, or nothing at all, that caused the huge delay from me to get from Point A to Point B. FML.

So what does this all mean? If you're in a situation where there are people behind you waiting in line, have some common sense, hurry it the hell up, and move on as quickly as possible.

How To: Travel Back to 1989



How To of the Week: Travel Back to 1989

Over the weekend I struck a gold mine of memories and plastic toys through the discovery of a couple tubs packed full of childhood toys. I'd say it was a mere 10% of all the toys I had growing up, with the majority of these findings consisting of He-Man figurines. I'm kind of scared to go through the bins in depth because of all of the things I might find. I managed to isolate most of the He-Man toys into a pile and was able to fight off the urge of thinking about what I had in front of me long enough to snap this picture.


This isn't all the He-Man toys. I know I have more out there hiding away in my parent's basement somewhere. I found this link off of a collector's website of all the toys made of the He-Man era. I'm not a toy collector by any means, but I was totally stoked to be reunited with the Bestest Friends League once again. It's crazy to think about all the toys I had. Each one of the figures in the picture above represented each own trip to Toys R Us to select the next member of the ongoing 5 year olds battle between good and evil that I had in my bedroom. I looked at each toy as I pulled it out of the tub that had been housing it for years and thought about a different flashback from the past that I had during my early years. For instance, I grabbed Skeletor and remembered how is thumbs got chewed off somehow and he couldn't hold his sword any longer to fight He-Man to the death, so I had to put a piece of clay around his hand to hold the sword in place. I remembered how each of the toys were made and held together with some sort of black rubber band that was intertwined through the torso. And I remembered the smell of opening a new toy out of the package. Ohhh the smell. If they made a cologne of "new plastic toy smell of the late 1980s" I would wear it everyday.

I know this has been more of a reflection that a how to, so here are some things to do to travel back to your childhood.

  • Think about something you enjoyed during your early childhood.
  • Go on a mission to find such toy/game/idea if it is stored away somewhere.
  • If you are unable to find it, look it up online.
  • If it is a cartoon, TV commercial, or action figure that you worshipped as a child, you can probably find a picture or movie of it online somewhere.
  • Reflect on how awesome it was to be a kid for awhile - And think about the days that, at least for me, the only obligation was to make sure that He-Man was kicking Skeletor's ass.
May 21, 2010

Google Pacman




Check out Google today. You're welcome.
May 19, 2010

Canon in D



I'm in the midst of a severe postpartum depression after completing the double marathon gig. I'm bored. I'm anxious. I need something to do so that I can 1-UP everyone with a cool story of what I have been doing with my life recently. The whole "Oh yeah! Well I ran 50 quad-zillion-billion miles in 30 hours and chaffed the shit out of my inner thighs and hated life and laid in a bathtub even though I don't take baths and I don't even know how I'm still alive and Ohh My Godddd" stint has just about ran it's course. I'll keep telling the story for all those open ears out there, but it's kind of like ringing out a towel thats been cooking in the dryer for a couple days. So I'm going to go back to my roots and bust out the piano. One of my favorite songs to play is Canon in D. I can do a million different renditions with my eyes closed. But they are pretty simple. The video below seems to be pretty popular since it has 4 million Youtube hits. So I'm going to do it too. There, I said it. Now that everyone knows, I am committed to it. Postpartum depression over. Stay tuned. RAWK!

Free Log!



It's Log! I saw this FREE LOG while taking Bo for a walk this evening. Free! As an added bonus, I bet it comes with that pile of sticks, too. Better get it while its hot folks. A sweet deal like this can't last long. And besides, it's better than bad, it's good.

May 18, 2010

The Best Dog Toy Everrrrrrrr




On April 26th I set out on a quest to seek the ultimate dog toy for my ADHD pooch. Well my friends, I am excited to let you know that my quest is over. The journey is complete. Mission accomplished.

I went to Meijer on Sunday night to take advantage of a 4 for $10 Diet Coke deal. As always, I strolled through the doggy treat isle to find a little surprise to bring home to the little goblin creature. I hopelessly glanced over the rows of Kongs, plush squeakers, and other things that Bo would make worthy of a Destroyed in Seconds episode. This time, an orange ball grabbed my attention. It had an opening on each end and little flaps to keep treats trapped inside. Doubtful, but still willing, I bought the Purina orange ball for about $5 and took it home. I put a little treat in it and presented it like a sacrificial offering on the carpet. Bo immediately ran up to it and tested it out. He was completed intrigued, dumbfounded, and curious of what this new marvel was in front of him. He rolled it around several times and did the usual routine of chomping down on it to get the treat out. But this time, the treat did not come out! A few minutes went by. Still nothing. An hour later. Still working on it. By about 2am, he finally gave up and fell asleep. Yahtzee. I thought it was just a mere fluke, but the same results were repeated last night. Same deal tonight. We have a winner folks. Hallelujah, holy shit!



May 17, 2010

How To: Choke Out a Guy in 10 Seconds



How To of the Week: Choke Out a Guy in 10 Seconds

For this week's "How To" installment I will explain how to choke someone out quickly and efficiently. I don't condone ::cough cough:: violence nor do I expect anyone to have to bust this sweet move out. But it's a crazy, crazy world we live in and sometimes a situation may present itself where someone needs to be shut down. I'm not really sure if a disclaimer is needed here, but I guess I'll throw something out for good measure. I have done this before and had it done to me several times. It can be really dangerous and you could mess someone up pretty bad. So kids, don't try this at home.

Alright, so I brought a couple friends - Michelangelo and The Toxic Avenger - to demonstrate the choke out.

Say hi, guys...


Now that the introductions are out of the way, let's get to it.

Before you choke someone out, you must have a reason for doing it. You need to have a motive. Off the top of my head, I would say a motive for choking someone out could be to stop someone that is attacking you or someone else, to neutralize a drunken idiot in a variety of scenarios, to win a cage match, or to fight off criminals/terrorists. In the case of our test dummies, Mikey is pissed off at Toxic Avenger for stealing his style.


To setup the move, you need to get behind your target. This is pretty simple so I don't need to really dive into it too much. If they are unaware of your presence and the fact that you are about to knock their ass out, even better.

The next step is probably the most important of them all. You want to put your arm around their neck with the inside of your elbow right on top of their Adam's Apple. The line where your forearm meets the bicep is the money spot (as seen below). If you bend your arm at a 90 degree angle and flex, you should feel a tendon pop out on the inside of your elbow. This is where you want the middle of their neck to be.


After you have that in place, you want to take the hand that is wrapped around their neck and place it on your other bicep. And when I say place, I mean grab on to it and hold on for dear life. Take the other hand and put in on the back of their head. Push their head forward while squeezing as hard as the fury of a thousand burning suns.


If you have everything locked in pretty tight you are good to go. The time it takes to knock the person out varies, but unless they manage to put their chin down under your arm and/or you can fight off an eye gouge or hair pulling last ditch effort, in roughly ten seconds, it's all easy peazy lemon squeazy.


As I said before, I've had this done to me more times that I would like to admit. It used to be the fun thing to do while killing time during wrestling practice. When someone gets choked out, they will be out for maybe 10-20 seconds. This is plenty of time for you to get the situation under control, hog tie them, save the girl, run away, stand over their body and do the DX "Suck It" sign until they wake up, or whatever shenanigans hardens your nipples.
May 16, 2010

Rant of the Week: Sunburn



Rant of the Week: Sunburn

I spent about four hours cutting my grandparents lawn yesterday. I made the executive decision to take my shirt off to avoid any sort of hillbilly tan like the dude above. I didn't have any sunblock to protect my pale skin from the dangerous UV rays. It was a nice sunny day out. And the sun was a shining. For some reason I thought the task would only take an hour or so, but after about the three hour mark I just accepted the fact that I was going to be hurtin' later. I could tell by the pink forearms that I was going to be burnt pretty bad. While I was cutting the last strip of grass, I thought to myself how bad my shoulders were burned. I thought, "Jeez, it can't get any worse than this..." and at that exact moment I drove under a tree with a bunch of thorns hanging off of it and did this to my shoulder.


So basically my whole body is pink.


Not even my feet were spared from the sun. Check out the sweet sandal tan line.


Aloe is now my best friend and only hope for making it through the week. Basic activities have to be well-thought out so that there isn't any moving that would cause my skin to come into contact with anything. Sleeping is a nightmare. Dogs running across my chest and clawing my arms and shoulders is not a good feeling. Taking a shower feels like broken glass is coming out of the faucet. Damnit Kyle. God damnit.
May 15, 2010

Back in Black

Black is back by popular demand. You know the saying...
May 13, 2010

MU Girls Gone Wild



Okay so I couldn't resist this one. According to a front page article on Dayton Daily News website, MU sorority suspended after wild party.

OXFORD — Pi Beta Phi at Miami University has been suspended for a year for damaging a local lodge during the sorority’s recent spring formal.

Oooooh. This should be interesting...

A letter written to the dean of students as testimony for a disciplinary hearing was posted on the Internet, and the owner of the lodge said the ordeal has been a nightmare for her and her family.
“People are talking bad about me. I’ve been accused of lying. Just called ugly names,” said Lyndsay Rapier-Phipps, a 2005 Miami graduate. “If I would have known any of this would have happened, I would eaten the difference and never said a thing about it.”
Rapier-Phipps said she thought the letter was for the dean of student’s eyes only, and she doesn’t know how the letter got online.

Oh really? You didn't imagine how anything could possibly show up online?

In the letter she details how students arrived heavily intoxicated at 8 p.m. “Some could barely manage to walk inside the facility,” the letter states.

8PM and already drunk? Before a formal? No way! Oh wait...it's called pre-gaming. Everyone does it.

She said students carried drinks onto the dance floor, broke a toilet in the women’s restroom and then continued to use it, urinated in the sinks, flipped a table of appetizers onto the carpet and vomited numerous times inside the facility.

Sheesh. I can't count the number of times I've pissed in the sink at Hara Arena.

At one point, several men climbed over the counter to get drinks after the caterer stopped serving alcohol. They also tried to swim in the lake, according to the letter.

Who doesn't want to swim in lakes? Especially after getting cut off?

Two crystal vases were taken outside and thrown off the porch and a large concrete lion was knocked over and broken, according to Rapier-Phipps’ letter.

The lion probably deserved it.

Workers found a pile of human feces outside the building, and two couples were caught having intercourse in different places, she said.

Alright. Who shit on the coats?

Rapier-Phipps said she expected the event to be like a prom and have nonstudent chaperons.

Oh, maybe there wanted it to turn into something more like this? Prom turns into strip show.
May 12, 2010

Smart Cars. Dumb People.



If you have ever been in a vehicle with me before, you know I prefer to drive. If I am the passenger for whatever reason, I tend to ride on the edge of my seat, pun intended. Call me a backseat driver if you will, but my circle of trust get tossed out the window whenever I put my life on the line into someone else's hands. I don't mind driving and I will do it all the time if I could. I also prefer to drive big cars. They make me feel safe. I've been in a few car wrecks before and I am glad I was in a big car when it happened, because otherwise I could have been hurt a lot worse than I was. I like SUVs. I drive a SUV. I would drive a monster truck if they were legal on the road. I would even settle for a dump truck, or even a H2. Gas guzzler or not, they keep me save(r) than if I was in a tiny car, give me peace of mind, and let me drive with a sense of authority.

And then I see shit boxes like this on the road.




They aren't too common, but I see at least one on a daily basis. I judge the idiots cramped up inside the clown car and wonder what went through their mind when they purchased it. Maybe they wanted to look like a douche bag? Maybe they wanted to save a few bucks? Did they ever think about what would happen if they were to get into a wreck in their Smart Car? What if they had a head on collision with a semi truck? I'm still lacking where the Smart concept comes from...





Maybe they wanted to try to save the environment?




May 11, 2010

New Template Insanity

I might unveal a new look for the blog sometime in the middle of nite if I still have my sanity. If you're up a 3am, pay it a visit.


Step 1. Get thecowshow.com up. Check.


Step 2. Get a look for the site I can live with.
Pending.


Step 3. Become a millionaire.
Work in progress.
May 10, 2010

It's DAY-ta. Not DAH-ta.



Five months ago in a po-tay-toe-po-taaaa-to blog, I discussed a couple of words and their proper pronunciations. I've got another one that has been grinding my gears as of late, and as you have probably guessed by the title of this post, it is our friend "data."

Let's take a look at the definition.

The term data means groups of information that represent the qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables. Data (plural of datum, which is seldom used) are typically the results of measurements and can be the basis of graphs, images, or observations of a set of variables. (wiki).

Now let's see what the pronouciation sounds like.

The word data (pronounced DAY-ta or DAH-ta) is the Latin plural of datum, neuter past participle of dare, "to give", hence "something given". In discussions of problems in geometry, mathematics, engineering, and so on, the terms givens and data are used interchangeably. Also, data is a representation of a fact, figure, and idea. Such usage is the origin of data as a concept in computer science: data are numbers, words, images, etc., accepted as they stand. (wiki).

FLAME ON

Due to my line of work, I have to use this word several times a day. Of course, I say DAY-ta. Most of the people I talk to say DAH-ta. Here is a typical conversation:

Yeah I got this error message and now nothing will work.
Ok, well let's make a backup of your current DAY-ta and then we'll run a few fixes to take care of that for you.
Well do you think my DAH-ta is going to be fixable?
Yes, but first, just in case, we want to make a backup of your DAY-ta.
Ok, so how do I do that?
Click on file and then backup DAY-ta.
Ok, so file, then what again? Backup DAH-ta?
Yes, backup DAY-ta. ::presses mute button:: FUCKKKK!

I'm not a Star Trek dork, even though I might become one if they keep churning out awesome movies like the latest one was, but I always think of the robot with the yellow shirt, who happens to be named Data, and says it the same way I do. I haven't been able to find any reason or geographic location that draws a line between the different ways to say it. In general, I would argue most IT people pronounce it DAH-ta. Who knows. By English standards, if a syllable ends in a vowel, then the vowel is pronounced long. If a syllable ends with a consonant, the vowel is short. Also, if you want to get tricky with it and toss in a suffix for good measure, the consonant is doubled. An example of this would be "shitter." Used in a sentence would be "Hey, go check out that monster turd in the third shitter!" I suppose the argument for calling it DAH-ta derives from the origin of the word, which is Latin. Since the plural of data is datum, which is pronounced DAH-tum, this has led to people calling DAY-ta DAH-ta. However, I will end this argument with the fact that datum is never used, and as such, neither should DAH-ta.

FLAME OFF
May 9, 2010

How To: Make Amazing Asparagus



How To of the Week: Make Amazing Asparagus

I cuss. You cuss. We all cuss for asparagus. In honor of Mother's Day, here is a quick 'n easy recipe for some tasty asparagus that my mom gave me. First, I have a funny story about asparagus (and I bet you have never heard that sentence before). My mom was driving through Michigan years ago for a business trip and pulled over to the side of the road to pick some asparagus, where it was growing wild. She filled up a couple paper bags full of the stuff and kept on driving in her super deluxe blue Astro van. Later on, she was pulled over by a cop and they searched her van because they thought she was smuggling marijuana. Poor mom. So that's the story. Anyways, I'm not about to turn this blog into a Martha Stewart type of shit show, but the recipe is fresh in my head, my belly is full of asparagus, and I'm not in the mood for a "How To: Choke a Guy Out in Ten Seconds" kind of blog, although now that I think about it, that will be next week's topic.

Here's what you will need:

  • A stove
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cookie sheet
  • Asparagus
  • Parmasean cheese

  1. First, set the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Coat the bottom of the cookie sheet with vegetable oil.
  3. Put the asparagus on the cookie sheet.
  4. When the stove is ready, throw the cookie sheet in the oven. Literally, throw it in there.
  5. Give it about 20 minutes, then stir the little asparagus spears around.
  6. Wait another 20 minutes.
  7. Kill time by saying "amazing asparagus amazing asparagus amazing asparagus."
  8. After 20 minutes, pull the cookie sheet out and sprinkle the asparagus with the cheese.
  9. Toss it back in the oven until the cheese melts.
  10. Pull it out and enjoy.

Rant of the Week: Where's the Damn Oberon?!



Rant of the Week: Where's the Damn Oberon?!

There's two places around my house that sell Oberon. On Saturday evening, I went to one of the two places to pick up a 6-pack of yummy Oberon to pre-game with prior to heading out to the comedy club. I walked into the slum of a liquor store and went straight to the ATM (since they don't take cash). I pulled out $40 cash and winced at the $2.50 withdrawal fee. After I got my money, I walked past the 13 year old Chinese kid that was drooling over hardcore porno magazines with his father (WTF?!) and went back to the location where the Oberon is normally kept. Except this time, I couldn't find it. I carefully inspected every single case of beer in the whole store without luck. I even checked out the freezer. No luck there either. The cashier had no clue what I was talking about when I asked him if they had any Oberon. I felt the Threat Level go from Mild to Severe as I reflected on the time I called this store and asked them if they had any Oberon and got this response:

Do you have any Oberon? Uhhhhhhhhh...Ober-uhhhhhh...look...we've got a lot of beer.

Well FML. I went to Meijer today just to see if they had some, but they didn't. I wasn't even looking to drink beer, I just wanted to grab some to stock up on. Still no luck. I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and drive up to Michigan and buy a truckload of it.

10 for $10 is back

Thanks for coming to Arby's. What can I make fresh for you today?

Anyyyyyything?



May 5, 2010

Olmec



If you really want to ruin someone's day, ask them the following question:

What is the name of He-Man's tiger? And no, not Battlecat...the other one...


While they contemplate the answer, sit back and watch as their head does this:


That trivia question has been the ultimate stumper that I've kept in my pocket for years. Whether someone is completely wasted, totally coherent, or has never heard of He-Man, there's a good possibility that you will catch them off guard and they will draw a complete blank.

A new trivia question that I have recently discovered that generates similar success is asking someone:

What are all the teams from The Legends of the Hidden Temple? Go.


The results are usually something like...

Oh fuck! Green snakes? Purple hippos? Orange tigers. Blue whales? Ohhh god damnit. Fuck me. You asked me too quick. Give me a second. ::second. SHIT!

I'm not going to dish out the answers, but I will share a few funny Olmec clips I found on the interwebs. I can't embed the Olmec, Sex Therapist video from College Humor because it was disabled, but I would highly suggest you watch it.

Here are two more goodies:




Grand Theft Auto: China Buffet


I went to China Garden Buffet with PorkRice last night. It is always a magical place of hope and mystery, yet the results are always the same. The hours leading up to the buffet are filled with anticipation and angst to sink my teeth into some D-quality food that been sitting around all day. During the 45 minutes of feasting, happiness is all around. The 24 hours that follow, especially the immediate 3-10 hours, are filled with despair and regret. Such is life.


The eating part of the China Buffet is only half of the experience. The other half is made up of people watching and hardcore judgment. Yesterday proved to be no exception. Once I filled up my first plate, I began eating/scoping out the scenery. The first thing I noticed was two males sitting in the booth next to us. They were both on their cell phones the entire time. I tried not to listen in on their conversations, but I did pick up on one comment that went something like this:

Well you tell that mothafucka that if he shows his face around here again it aint gunna be pretty...and tell that bitch ass to pay up...cuz I like my money.

Two things came to mind after hearing it. First was Brad Pitt in Inglorious Bastards going,

...And I want my scalps!


Second was the quote that's burned into my mind from playing GTA: San Andreas for countless hours,

Don't be such a busta, C.J.!


So I'm sitting in the middle of a video game it seems, when I look up and see the next clown sitting across from me. And I'll be god damned if it isn't the fat annoying asshole Otho from Beetlejuice. After careful thought, I realized that it wasn't his role from Beetlejuice but from Demolition Man, you know, the fat gay guy with the blond stripe in his hair. See below for visual confirmation.




By the time I got my second plate, the booth behind me was filled up with a bunch of little kids that decided they were going to kick the back of my seat the whole time.

To my left was a lady sitting in a booth by herself. She came for the crab legs. And she had her plate stacked high the entire time. I watched her for a little bit. She just sat there all depressed, eating crab legs, with a look on her face that she was one of those types that often frequents the China Buffet and fills her tum tum with bad crab meat more times than she probably should.

Another gem from the two dudes working their cell phones,

I know, nigga. You be workin' hard. You got your blood, sweat, and tears into this...

Perrrrrrfect. I get up to get my last plate which is made up of the bananas covered in red goo, some chocolate pudding, and a couple apple slices. Our waitress brings us the bill and my fortune cookie, which I have been anxiously waiting for. I crack it open faster than my friend to the left is snapping through crab legs and read the fortune.

The food here taste so good, even a cave man likes it.

WHAT. THE. FUCK?! That's not even a fortune! And the cave man line was fucked up. Grrrrrrr.

So we cash out and leave. No tips warranted. Walking outside, I see a man sprinting across the parking lot, away from us. I make a random zombie comment and proceed to my car. Right about the time I got to my door, I look up to see the man speed walking towards me.

Hey man, can you help me out?

Door opens, I get inside, and tell PorkRice to get the fuck in the car. Now. He must not have heard what the shady man said, but I wasn't waiting to find out what he needed help with. This isn't my first rodeo. If it was an emergency, he could have gone to one of the businesses and used the phone. If he needed a ride to his buddies house 3 miles down the street since he locked his keys in his car, he can walk or run. I ran 50+ miles in 30 hours a month ago. I'm sure he can walk right down the road.

So that's my story. Just a typical trip to the buffet. All it was missing was an AK-47, a few hand grenades, police sirens, and a huge purple dildo tucked away in a bathroom stall, and I might as well have been in San Andreas.

May 4, 2010

China Buffet = Death

I have an interesting story to tell about my trip to China Garden Buffet from this evening but I cannot sit upright long enough to type it. When the horrible feeling of MSG death passes over me, I will enlighten you all with the adventure.
May 3, 2010

How To of the Week: Back That @$$ Up



How To of the Week: Back That @$$ Up

As The Joker said in the latest Batman installment,
Madness is like gravity; All it takes is a little push.

Once you have gotten the Blue Screen of Death, you will be saying something along those lines too. Like it or not, the BSOD is a sad, sad reality that has doomed us all at some point in our lives. Call it destiny if you will. If it has happened to you before, it probably came at the worst time possible. If you are lucky, you are able to restart you computer a couple of times and everything is right int he world. If you are royally screwed, that bright blue screen is the last thing your computer will ever see. I talk to people on a daily basis that encounter this crisis, and trust me, it isn't pretty. I've seen giant companies that have 50+ people working 8 hours a data strictly on data entry and then lose a month's worth of stuff in an instant because of some sort of Office Armageddon. I suck at math, but 50 people x $hourly wage x 8 hours a day x 20 work days = Bad News Bears. I would consider it equally devastating to simply lose all of my music and pictures on my computer. It's happened before, and trust me, it sucks hard.

So why take the risk? There are things you can do that are cheap and easy to give you the peace of mind that if shit happens, you can have some sort of Plan B. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Store stuff on your iPod/iPhone/media device. Most people have some sort of music device these days so use it. You can store documents and pictures on iPods, not just music, so always keep that in mind. If you have one of these already, the cost to do this is free.
  2. Get a storage device. If you shop around, you can usually get a good deal on a 10 GB flash drive for around $20 or so. This isn't going to do the trick if you have every song known to man on your computer, but if you want to store some music and photos on to something that you can plug into your computer, swap it over, and then wear it around your neck on a lanyard to protect at all times, this is your best bet.
  3. Get a mecha-external backup device. I have an external backup device that holds 500GB of data, does automatic backups, and helps me sleep easy at night. You can see the specs here. This gets a little more pricey, ranging from $100+ based on how much storage you need, but if you have a lot of crap you want to backup, the juice is really worth the squeeze.

I know this is dorky and all, but if you're not taking any precautions what-so-ever at the moment, you will be thanking me that you did if the BSOD pays you a little visit.

Murphy's Law applies here.