Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Ballad of Tao Cowboy and the Wasps of Fire

I'm not much of a country music fan, but it just works if you imagine it as an old Johnny Cash song.

Well Cowboy had a job to do
He had to pack a box or two
'Cause Cowboy was a-movin out of town

As he sat packin' up compilers
C# books and games of violence
A shriek resounded all throughout the house

Little Cowboy saw a thing
that made men shake and children scream
and women go a-runnin for cans of Raid

A Mighty Wasp had come to call
He must've come out through the wall
or maybe he came out the fireplace

Cowboy saw the little ones cryin'
The Wasp all bluster was a-flyin
Laying claim to all the Downstairs den.

He had no fear this Wasp of Fable
Crawling all along the table
He conquered Wookies, Troopers, and Jedi too.

Yes action figures stood no chance
against the mighty Wasp's advance
And Cowboy knew just what he had to do.

He sent the children fast away
and when they were all hidden safe
He shuddered in fear from head to toe.

He grabbed the can of Raid and then
and went to battle, face set grim
And waited for the bug to settle down.

But Zod the Wasp had other plans
He charged at Cowboy coming fast
And Cowboy, pale,  ran away in fright.

But Cowboy wasn't giving up
He came back after throwing up
His will as strong as ever for what that's worth.

The Mighty Wasp lay on the floor dying
Apparently he'd found some poison
Cowboy nodded at his fallen foe.

He aimed the can at Zod and then
he bravely pulled the trigger and
Zod died in a flood of Industrial Chemicals.

But Cowboy's fight was far from over,
Six more warriors in the foyer
Came to avenge their fallen friend.

Cowboy fought them one by one
And ran away more than once
but cowardice won the day with help from Raid.

Cowboy took a yellow trash bag then
soaked the fireplace till nothing could live
he grabbed his duct tape and sealed up the breach.

But more mighty warriors found their way
into Cowboy's sacred place
And so he patched the big hole in the roof.

Yes Cowboy's evil landlord, laughing,
cut a hole in the bathroom ceiling
Apparently a Wasp Nest in the wall.

So Yellow Bags taped all over the place
Cowboy plans to evacuate
And like Sir Robin, bravely ran away!

Into the sunset y'all.  Good night!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What do you do with old computer books?

Begrudgingly trolling through the garage this weekend I threw out a lot of crap.  It turns out I have something on the magnitude of a small forest's worth of old technical books buried in boxes, on shelves next to motor oil, and other more disturbing places.  Sorting through it all was an interesting experience.  I kept very few of them, mostly classics like Deitel's C++ book and books on algorithms, discrete math, logic, etc.  Gone are the accounting books, the myriad of "Teach yourself X in 24hours/14 days/etc." books I used to think were so useful, despite the fact that I never learned a think from them in the specified time frame, and a whole lotta game programming books.  That career path didn't pan out.

Faced with what to do with them I decided that throwing them away wasn't a good choice.  First of all it felt environmentally irresponsible to simply place that much recyclable paper into trash bags.  Secondly, my garbage men would be likely to put a hit out on me afterwards.

Lou: Hey Joe, you ever wonder what your life coulda been like? [toss bag]

Joe: Nah, what's the point?  Da way I figures, I'm here and that's what's important, ya know.  Like, make the most of what you got. [toss bag]

Lou: Yeah, but AAAARRRRRGGGGG!!!!!!!!

Joe: Lou! What happened?!?

Lou: God ****** ****** ******' bag weighs a ******* ton!  ****** ******!  What the **** they put in there?   I think my ******* back is ******* broke.  *** **** ****** ******* son of a *****!!!!

Joe: **** Lou, it's ******* full of ******* books!  What the ****?

Lou: I can't walk man!  I can't ******* walk!  It's getting dim.  I...I'm going, man.  Blackness... overtaking me!   My life... flashing before my eyes.... ah.....*

Joe: I will avenge you my brother!  The computer geek will pay with his very life's blood!  This I swear by the honor of my ancestors!

We do get a recycle bin that we put out.  We have the non-optional choice of paying extra for recycling service, which they gratefully take off our hands for us for a (somewhat) minimal charge.  I could swear you used to get paid for recycling.  Kudos to Deffenbaugh for finding a way to turn a tidy profit there.

Oh yeah... there's a used bookstore to the south.  Let's take them there and unload them.  Even if I don't get any money maybe they can recycle them and I'll be given the right to feel morally responsible.  I get the feeling so rarely it seemed like a good idea.

The Wife: Let's call them first, wouldn't that be smarter than hauling all those books out there?

Well, maybe, but as I look at the pile of books that can only be described as an "Assload," I'm not relishing the idea of reading all the ISBN numbers over the phone to the clerk who keeps telling me, "Why don't you just go ahead and bring them in so we can review them?  [Jesus!  I'm five minutes overdue for my smoke break!]

Woohoo, I won an argument!

Fast forward and I've now got an assload of books on the counter of the used bookstore.  They take a stack of about six or so and offer me $7.  The assload-6 pile next to it they offer to recycle for me, free of charge.  Were I more entrepreneurial I might have argued a bit with this, but I was just happy to get rid of them in anything resembling a responsible manor.  I took the $7 and blew it on beer at the bar with the cute waitress with the tattoo.  I love tattoos, especially her's.  I'd love the opportunity to study that up close....

What, where was I?  Selling books, right.  So I notice that my rather-expensive-at-the-time Java books are in separate piles.  Volume II in the we're-buying-it stack and Volume I in the recycle stack. 

They're a set.  Hello?  Trying to be helpful I point this out to the lady behind the counter. 

Lady behind the counter: Well we had our computer guy go over them.

Me: I'm sure you did, but they're a set.  Somebody wanting to learn Java won't necessarily want to start with Volume II.

Of course, somebody wanting to learn Java should buy newer books anyway.

Lady behind the counter: Well, it wouldn't have made any difference in the price.

I see now, she thought I was angling for an extra dollar or two.  Heh.  I politely explain that I was just trying to make sure they knew they were throwing the other half of the set away, but it's up to them since I don't need them anymore.  I wonder what they did...

Hmmmm..... Tattoo's.......

Oops, Oh yeah... right...... never mind.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

End the Electoral College!

There was a flaw in the Henry Rollins plan. The flaw is known as the Electoral College. The Electoral College creates an environment whereby voters can rest assured that their vote will not count if they don't vote for either a Republican or a Democrat. In some cases it assures voters that their vote won't count anyway. For instance, here in the great state of Kansas it really doesn't matter who I vote for, because Kansas will go Republican. It always goes republican no matter what. Candidates don't bother to campaign here because they either don't need to or there's no hope. If I vote Republican it does nothing to help the Republican candidate get elected, he get's Kansas's electoral votes with or without my vote. My vote has 0 effect. If I vote Democrat, then my vote will be worthless when Kansas casts all of it's electoral votes for the Republican candidate. Third Party candidate? Slightly less than a snowball's chance in Hell.

Third party candidates cannot ever hope to be elected president while this antiquated system is in place. Ralph Nader can do no more than make a statement every four years. While the Electoral College remains in place, he can never be president. Who would vote for him? A scattered minority might cast a vote as a political statement, but the vast majority of voters who might otherwise vote for him will not, because it's the equivalent of throwing away their vote.

No serious change to our political system can occur while the Electoral College is in place. It's very existence ensures the continuation of the two party system because of the psychological influence it has on how people vote.

Finally I have some backing for my views. A friend of mine sent this article calling for the end of the Electoral College. This is an educated writer, bringing to light the reasons for it's creation, and why it is no longer relevant in current society. Read this then write your congressman and call for a bill to end the Electoral College and go to a common vote for the presidential office.

It's the 21st century now people! Time for a change!

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's Fall. That means it's crazy time again.

This post has been deleted due to the fact that I've gone


Check this out.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Last time I talked to God he put me on hold.

My aunt had a stroke today, and will probably never recover.  Death is hard to deal with, and I've dealt with death more than I really should have had to, but something like this is so much worse.  I watched this same thing happen to my grandmother, and it was brutal.  She was there, but she was trapped in a shell of a body she could no longer control.  It must be what being buried alive feels like, except for the asphyxiation part. 

I'm not a religious person.  I had a falling out with Christianity after the whole cult ordeal, but I'm not atheist either.  I believe that in an infinitely complex universe there are powers and probably consciousnesses existing on a higher order plane than what our simple monkey minds can comprehend.  I've been rather fascinated with Taoism in recent years, and if I had to label myself as one "religion" or another, it would be that.  Taoism isn't really a religion in the western sense though, and that's part of why I like it. 

It's very comforting to believe that somehow those we love will continue to exist in some form or another after they die.  I hope it's true.  With my luck the Catholics will turn out to be right and the rest of us will burn in Hell like the Heathen Bastards we are.

Honestly, I don't know why I pick on the Catholics so much, they never did anything to me.  However the cult doesn't exist anymore, so it's kind of hard to find relevant jokes about them these days.  And the Pope bears a strong resemblance to Darth Sidious, which is just damn creepy.

I'm finally a grown up!

I'm buying a house.  Holy crap!  As I near what is probably the mid point of the working portion of my life, I'm finally getting out of the renting game and buying a house. 

These things occur to me now:

1. I have a mortgage now.

2. It's a freakin' huge ass mortgage. 

3. It's big, I mean big.  It's the biggest debt I've ever had, and that includes my Mastercard.

4. It's going to consume the next 30 years of my life.

5. I have to pay for crap that breaks now.

6. I have a big ass mortgage.

7. Oil spots in the driveway suddenly really piss me off.

8. Big ass mortgage.

You get the idea.  Aside from having children, this is the single most permanent thing I've ever done.  I'm feeling just a little stress now, however I just remind myself of a couple of things and it helps.

1. My landlord is an evil rat bastard.

2. I have to fix everything myself now anyway, because the rat-bastard won't do it.

3. At least some of that huge ass mortgage becomes what's known as equity, which is a fancy way of saying I get to keep a little of it, sort of.  Rent doesn't do that.  It all goes to the rat-bastard's pocket.  Actually it goes to his Mustang payment.  Dammit, I want a Mustang.

4. This place sucks.  The house is big, has a whirlpool, and my own office.  Woohoo!

5. I have beer.

That sortof helps me push the oh-crap-what-have-I-done feeling down to that little grotto just below my stomach where it can fester until something bad happens then come back in a rage and yell "I TOLD YOU SO, BUT DID YOU LISTEN?  NOOOOO! HAD TO GO AND GET YOURSELF BURIED SO FAR IN DEBT THEY'LL NEED A STEAMSHOVEL TO GET YOU OUT."  Or something like that.  This helps too.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bow to the Cool Nerd King, you lousy peasants!

 Three posts in one night, I must be bored.  I ran across this and and to try it out.  Kinda funny I only scored 82 on Technology/Computer.  Doesn't that damn test know what I do for a living?  I'm a professional geek, dammit.   Apparently the "do you know your geek sci-fi crap" score was dead on.

NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool Nerd King.  What are you?  Click here!

I'm objectionable!

This is kindof funny. I know there's no regular readers here, so only I could do this to myself. I'm looking over some older posts with my PDA and I see a link up top that said "objectionable.con" with an expansion "+" graphic next to it. I click it to see what expands out, and apparently I marked my own blog as having objectionable content. I'm not sure how to un-mark it, but it is kindof objectionable I suppose. I think I'll leave it. My own opinions sortof offend me. Bwahaha!


Restored comments:

Chris Hawkins said

As of today the thing about the no regular readers is no longer true.

Thank you for your time.

Geeks are easy

If you're an insanely hot woman and you have a good friend who's a total geek but a nice guy all the same and he's generally a pretty good friend, here's a piece of advice: Don't give him a kiss, ever.  You can guess where this is going, I'm sure.  Intellectually I know I was just being a good friend and helping out, and I know that it was friendly and meant nothing, but let's be honest:  that's the best action I've had in years. 

Okay okay, hold on: it was a cheek kiss, don't freak out.  It was completely friendly and harmless, but that didn't stop me from dwelling on it for the rest of the day.  I'm pathetic like that.

You have to understand, geeks are a special breed.  We're lonely and not really built for it.  We're also all horny as hell.  And we're easy.  Let's say you're a reasonably attractive woman and are looking for a date.  Find yourself a geek.  There's not a geek out there who's single that will turn you down.  Even the married/dating ones will have a hard time saying no.  Geeks dwell on that sort of stuff because we were all repressed in high school.  We didn't get the kind of action the football players were getting, or really any at all.  And while our IQ might have dwarfed the average football player's, that didn't exactly help us score with the chicks. 

Geek: "Hi, I'm George."

Hot Chick: "What the hell?  Where did that come from?"

Geek: "Did you know that time is relative to your velocity?  Like if you traveled at light speed around the galaxy then came back everybody would be old but you'd still be young?  snort snort!"

Hot Chick: "Oh my god, it's speaking to me.  I'm gonna squish it with my high heels.  Ew!"

Geek: "Would you like to go to the homecoming dance with me?"

Hot Chick: "Sure... in fact, why don't you go under the bleachers over there, take off all your clothes and wait for me.  You won't be sorry (wink)".

Geek: "snort.  Oh oh oh oh, okay. "  [runs off to the bleachers]

Hot Chick [to Hot Chick's mediocre friend]: "Get the football team to the bleachers, now.  And bring a video camera."

This kind of repression carries with us into adulthood.  Do you really think the former High School football players came up with this?

No, they're selling ladies shoes at the mall.  Or even worse, politicians.  This was made by geeks with a lot of spare time.  Geeks invented the Internet (no, it wasn't Al Gore) because, well, we were smart and weren't wasting all of that time dating Hot Chicks.  I mean, if geeks were hot there wouldn't even be an Internet, would there? 

Anyway, there's nothing to worry about.  I've never cheated on my wife.  Being a geek my fidelity doesn't exactly get tested much, though.  Still, I had to blog about it because it was on my mind.