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  • Archive for January, 2010

    Disregard Females, Acquire Currency

    2010 - 01.26

    Here’s a post I found in the comments section on reddit. If you’re not familiar with reddit, I suggest you go there, lurk a bit, learn how it works, and then contribute to the community. It’s a great place, with a lot to learn. I thought this was an excellent post. Credit goes to a gentleman with the tag Kerrz. Please drop by and give him some upvotes. (Oh yeah, it’s written in response to someone who has just turned twenty. I’m a good bit past that, but a lot of the lessons still apply in your mid-twenties.)

    1. Put 1tbsp of butter in a sauce pan on medium-low heat, add 1tbsp flour to the melted butter, mix until you get a doughy consistency, and cook for a minute or two. Add 1cup of milk. Season lightly with pepper, parmesan, basil. Let it come to a boil, then immediately simmer it. It’ll thicken up. You now have homemade Alfredo Sauce. Prepare to impress your friends, especially of the opposite sex.
    2. Get involved in the things going on around you, even if it’s just your schoolwork. Sitting in a dark room using a keyboard to talk to people a million miles away is not a social life. Talk to the people at class, even if it’s just about the upcoming test. Join a club or something. Intramural sports are awesome. Varsity are good too if you’ve got it in you.
    3. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. Don’t rush it. It’s nice to be a fiercely passionate person in all walks of life, but it’s a lot less nice to be the guy who can’t think ahead, or the girl who can’t see the forest for the trees.
    4. Slow and steady does not mean glacial. You’re going to get spread pretty thin in life if you’re doing it right. Learn to cut your losses on a project that’s not going anywhere rather than wasting five minutes every two months on it. Better to come back to it refreshed.
    5. Exercise really is important. We harp on it all the time, but if you seriously want to improve the way you FEEL about life: go to the gym. I come from a wrestling background, and Dan Gable is quoted as saying “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.” Same thing with working out. If you go to the gym and work yourself out HARD a few times a week, you will come home and everything else will seem to fall into place.
    6. They’ve all said it already, but it’s got some truth to it. Disregard females. Acquire currency. It’s nice to have someone who is a close friend. It’s nice to have someone who will sleep with you. Do not make either a priority. If you treat people right and respect them, they’ll be there in a few years when you’re ACTUALLY an adult, and you guys can start making plans. However, you don’t want to go out there wasting your time and money on somebody that’s going to have giant life decisions to make in a few years, one of which will be “Has it gone as far as it’s ever going to go?” Treat the opposite sex well, and feel free to spend time with them, but make it a fair deal, not a one-sided pursuit. Don’t waste your time and money on them until you’re ready to make a commitment to someone. (ps- At 20, you’re not ready.)
    7. Take every opportunity to travel. Broaden your horizons. See the world. If you’re lucky, and aren’t digging yourself into student debt, go on foreign-aid jobs during vacation periods. If you’re like the rest of us, and need to make money, look into working abroad for a few years when you’re done. Overseas experience is a HUGE boost on a job application. Many countries offer “working vacation” visas.
    8. Always have fun. Work is hard. School is hard. Find something that’s fun and keep doing it, no matter what else is going on in your life. Make time for it, or use it as a reward, but keep having fun. When your life becomes all work and no play, you become one of the drones helping to make this world a colder, more boring place.
    9. Control your vices. Fun is fun, but too much fun is exactly that: too much. I like a drink. I set aside time and money to partake. It’s not a lifelong commitment, but it’s something I do to socialize with friends. I do not, however, fall down drunk four days a week. No one ever should. Once a week is plenty.
    10. Milestones come and go. Woohoo! You’re twenty! Big deal. You said it already: “it doesn’t feel much different at all.” The same is true with holidays, anniversaries and other celebrations. Too much stock is laid into arbitrary dates. Make every day count. Do things for a reason, not for a season.
    11. The brands you wear are less important than the total package. If you’re concerned about the way you look, it’s better to spend time learning about Colour Theory than it is to figure out where you can find a good deal on designer phones/mp3players/computers/pants/shirts/cars. Buy for build quality, not perceived quality. Buy to last.
    12. Your taste in <insert object> does not define who you are. You are not a collection of songs, movies and TV Shows. Be proud of what you like, but don’t turn it into the definition of your personality (see: Goths, Trekkies, Metalheads.) Experience the multitude and be open to it all.
    13. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi was a wise man, and this is probably the most important thing he ever said. No matter what you want from the world: be the exemplar rather than the fool crying for change. Lead by example, and preach from that example, but do not become the hypocrite who strives for a green planet while trashing his own house.
    14. Respect yourself. Far too often in life do we question our instincts and decisions. If you’re faced with unquestionable evidence that you’ve done something wrong, then accept it and move on. Until then, believe in who you are, and believe in what you do. You’re right more often than you’re wrong, even if you seem to be wrong an awful lot.
    15. Get shit done. Work to completion. Finish what you start. Do everything within your power to make sure that the important things in life happen on time and with minimal worry. Procrastination is both a valuable stress-relief tool and a dangerous enemy. Use it wisely.
    16. Learn the value of hard work. If you’ve never had a job: get one. ESPECIALLY if you don’t need it. When I was twenty, this was one of the biggest lessons I had yet to learn. I still haven’t learned the whole of it. Learn exactly what a dollar is worth to people. Learn how much it takes to earn one, and learn how much you can buy with one. Learn the lessons that money can’t buy you at school. Learn punctuality and teamwork in a real environment.
    17. Set your goals and achieve them. Think about it now. Where do you want to be when you’re 25? 30? 40? Retired? Take some serious time and write out some serious goals for your personal life, your career, your fame and renown. If you want to be the billionaire madman with a harem and your face on the nightly news: plan it out. If your goals are much more humble: plan them out too. Even if you just want a nice, simple job with a wife and kids… start planning. Look at the road in front of you, or you’re going to finish school/whatever and be left with no idea where to go from here.
    18. It’s okay to fail. Sometimes you are going to make the wrong decision. Accept it. Move on with your life. No one’s perfect, they only pretend to be. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t be afraid to make them. Someone’s already said it above, but you learn more from what you do than what you don’t do, and when you’re old and dry, you’re going to regret more the things you shied away from than the things you threw yourself into.
    19. Don’t argue on the internet. There are exceptions to the rule. It’s one thing to make a strong argument. It’s a whole other thing to be dragged into a drawn-out fight with an anonymous stranger. Avoid the latter. It’s a waste of valuable time and you’re going to gain what from it? Superiority? Be the better person to start with and walk away from the fool that wants to waste his time arguing trivialities.
    20. Stop asking for advice on the internet. How much time have you spent, TODAY, watching this thread for updates? If you NEED advice, the internet is a great place to get diverse viewpoints. You didn’t NEED advice today, though. Go outside and play.
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    Constructing A Successful Facebook Status Update

    2010 - 01.18

    I was thinking back the other day on just how much Facebook has become part of my life. I joined at some point near the beginning of 2005, so I’ve seen it’s evolution from a relatively simple platform into the monstrosity that it is today. It’s gotten to the point where I’m amazed when I meet someone who doesn’t have an account. Of all the advancements and additions to Facebook over the years, the Status Update is probably the most significant, and also the most misused. Today, I’m going to teach you how to construct a successful Facebook Status Update.

    First, we need to get a couple of ground rules laid down…
    1. Facebook is not Twitter. Do not treat it as such. I.e. No constant stream of thought updates.
    2. You’re given a virtually unlimited amount of characters to type, don’t use text-message speak. It makes you look like an idiot.
    3. Although eloquence is typically a positive, it’s far more beneficial to be blunt and correct than eloquent and wrong. Unless you’re a politician, verbiage doesn’t make up for dumbass.

    We also need to define a successful Status Update. I consider a successful Status Update to be one that people either “like” or comment on, preferably more than one person. Let’s not kid ourselves, there’s a certain element of vanity that goes into Facebook. You want to portray yourself in the best light and attract people to post new and exciting things on your wall. Maybe even comment on a few of your pics. Facebook friends are made outside of Facebook, but Facebook friendships are cultivated in the online arena, and the status update is your hoe for tending that garden.

    Article 1: Know Your Target Audience
    If  the majority of your Facebook friends are older adults, then a profanity laced tirade may not be the most appropriate tact. The same thing goes for your church-going friends. Write to your audience. Controversy works well, but avoid offending people.
    Here’s an example from a Facebook friend of mine: “If you’re a Christian, you should not believe in Santa Claus.”
    He’s a preacher, and I strongly disagreed with him, but he didn’t offend me. It also got a lot of responses from a lot of people. Good update.

    Article 2: Originality is next to Godliness
    If everyone else is saying, “OMFG! I can’t believe Michael Jackson is dead!” What are you adding to the conversation by saying the same thing? Nothing. Unless you’re the first one to post something like this, and believe me you’re not, it’s typically best just to avoid the situation. If you can somehow spin it and make it sound humorous, that’s fair game.
    Example: “Insert cliche statement about Michael Jackson’s death here.”

    Article 3: Telling People What You’re Doing
    As I mentioned above, this type of thing is best suited for Twitter. Personally, I tend to hide folks that constantly do this. “I’m at the mall.” Who gives a shit if you’re at the mall? Certainly not me. Church it up a bit. Say, “I’m at the mall searching for the perfect Speedo to wear to @John Doe’s kid’s first birthday party.” See what I did there? I took a plain-Jane vanilla statement and put three distinct elements in it. Speedos; which are always funny, I included a friend; which typically is good for some cheap laughs, and little bit of creepiness with the whole idea of a Speedo at a child’s birthday party.

    Article 4: Pose a Good Question to the Whole of Facebook
    Got some burning question about why the world works the way it does? Ask Facebook! Nothing stirs the Facebook masses like a witty question.
    Here’s an example I used the other day: “Why is every marginally decent country song on the radio immediately followed by a Rascal Flats song? Every time one of their songs gets played, the terrorists win.”
    Stuff like that is always good for a few “likes” and it keeps you Facebook relevant. You might even get a Rascal Flats fan (if there are any) to comment on it. Then you’ve got a Status war going on, which is awesome.

    Article 5: Point Out Flaws In Other Peoples’ Status Updates
    This is one of my favorite things to do. It bugs the shit out of me when people say “John Doe is loving [insert random object here].” That whole “is loving” or “is hating” thing just bothers me. It just doesn’t sound right. Another thing that bothers me is the improper use of a vs. an. It’s “an apple” people, not “a apple.” Every now and then I’ll get fed up with everyone’s idiocy and make some huge rant Status Update. I can’t be bothered to dream one up at the moment, because rants are acts of passion and you can’t drum up passion at the whims of the fickle masses.

    Article 6: Just Steal My Greatest Status Update Ever
    “Biloxi Von Lutz is still winning the battle against obesity.”
    I don’t know if this is irony or not, but it cracks me up, and that’s the most important element of a successful Facebook Status Update. Good day, that is all.

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    The Avatar Complaint Compendium

    2010 - 01.13

    Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve yet to see Avatar. I’m not really the biggest fan of movie theaters and as far as I’m concerned, nothing will ever be nearly as epic as The Lord of the Rings trilogy. All the ridiculous controversy surrounding Avatar has me intrigued though, so I’ll probably end up going to see it in 3D. As a service to you, I’ve decided to compile all the complaints about Avatar that I’ve read. None of these are actually reviews of the movie. I.e. “It’s bad” or “It kicks ass.” Rather, they are bullshit complaints about it being “racist” or something of that manner.

    Audiences experience ‘Avatar’ blues
    This involves people feeling like their life has no purpose since it’s not as beautiful as the Avatar world of Pandora. Cry me a freakin’ river.

    Is ‘Avatar’ Racist?
    Racism is WAY overplayed nowadays. You used to know when something was racist, now everything is. Harden the fuck up, Stefan…

    ‘Avatar': Fun Fantasy or Political Statement
    Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb. Michael Moore’s movies are political statements. Not everything is a referendum on George Bush.

    James Cameron Defends Avatar From Anti-Smoking Watchdog Group
    So Sigourney Weaver smoked a cigarette in the movie. Naturally, people were outraged, because smoking is the 975th worst thing a child is gonna see in that movie theater. What about that fat tub-o-lard wolfing down a 3-gallon bucket of popcorn with “Juicy” written across the ass of her pants? Yeah, smoking’s way worse than that. Kudos to James Cameron for defending this.

    Stop Avatar
    Evidently, this group is pissed off because Avatar does not feature GLBT actors. (You can look up that term if you’re unsure about what it means. I don’t want the Google ads associated with it. Not my target demographic). This might indeed be a troll job, but if it is, it’s one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. Be sure to check out the comments section.

    Although not technically a complaint…
    This is pretty weird stuff. I’ll let you digest it for yourself, but first you’re gonna need a few words defined (thanks to wikipedia).

    • Therian – A member of the contemporary subculture of Therianthropy.

    • Therianthrope – refers to the metamorphosis of humans into other animals.

    • Contherianthrope (from therianthropes.com) –  A therianthrope who’s animalistic side is so interwound into their human side the two are indistinguishable. A contherianthrope does not experience shifting but rather feels a constant presence of both animal and human sides at the same time. Contherianthropes have been described as finding it very natural to use both human conceptualization/logic and native animal emotion/instinct, jointly, as combined factors in decisionmaking, dynamically blending each to add richness and insight to the overall process

    Hold on tight on this last one, it’s a word adventure into the deep, dark depths of the internets.

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    My Top 5 Showers of All Time.

    2010 - 01.06

    After a suggestion by Woodshed Player Shotgun Johnson, and in reference to this post where I said that the shower I took was one of my top 5, I’ve decided to share with you my other top showering moments. Here they are in no particular order:

    1. We’ll go ahead and get this one out of the way. Obviously the one from this past weekend, when my pipes froze and I was filthy from work and it was balls ass cold outside. Read the whole story here.

    2. Hiking in Yellowstone National Park – When I was 17 I went hiking in Yellowstone National Park with a few of my fellow Boy Scouts. We were way out in the middle of bear country where we had to tie our backpacks up in trees at night and make sure we didn’t have any candy or anything on us while sleeping. The worst part was we had to bathe in the creek before going to bed to get the food smell off.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever jumped in the lake naked in the middle of the winter and every bit of genitalia you’ve ever owned disappears back up in you, but that’s what this is like. Even though it was in the early summer, that mountain water doesn’t warm up. It had to have been in the 40’s. Jumping in a freezing-ass cold creek is one thing. You dry off and warm back up eventually. But what really ruined this was the fact that it rained the whole time.

    For three days, I never warmed up. It wasn’t freezing cold, maybe in the 50’s, it was just the fact that I couldn’t dry off at all. Finally, we made it back out of the woods and went back to the Air Force base where we were staying. I must have stood in the shower there for half an hour with the water as hot as it would go. It was awesome.

    3. Run-in with a septic tank – My parents’ house still has a septic tank and in case you’re not familiar with them, after a number of years, they start causing some issues. Basically, everything you flush into the toilet goes into this big underground box in your backyard where bacteria break it down and it’s dispersed over time through lines running through your backyard. Poo is pretty fertile stuff so plants tend to gravitate towards it. Tree roots grow to the source of the nutrients and clog the septic lines and mess up all the works. This happens over time to almost every system, which is why most people get their lines and tank replaced every 15 or 20 years. My parents never did.

    Throughout my high school years we’d have trouble with the toilets flushing every time we’d get a heavy rain. This was an inconvenience to say the least. Right after I graduated from college, they finally decided to do something about it. They had a guy come over and pump the septic tank out. This required about a week’s worth of work by my dad and I to bust up the concrete from the part of the patio that was covering it.

    The guy came by and pumped all the spoo out of the sewey hole and it worked like a champ for about two or three weeks, then it was backing up again. I dug up the junction box to make sure that was clear, but it still didn’t fix the problem. We decided it must be the line between the house and the septic tank.

    Dad and I busted the concrete between the house and the septic tank and I got out there and dug up the line. For some stupid reason, the pipe that runs between the main drain for the house (made of lead) and the septic tank (made of concrete) is made of terra cotta. After 30 years, these things have a tendency to deteriorate. That’s what happened here.

    As I dug down to the level of the pipe, I discovered that it had become detached from the end of the septic tank and settled about 6 inches. This only left about 2 inches of room for the poo to run into the septic tank. I got the bright idea that I would lift the pipe back up and shove a brick underneath it to hold it in place until we could get a more permanent fix.

    My mom was out there with me and she was talking to my dad on the phone, explaining what I was doing, while I was attempting to lift this pipe back into place. I was straddling the pipe and lifting it between my legs. I was bent real low so I didn’t hurt my back, and when I attempted to pull up on it, the pipe broke and shit-water ran all down my back and jeans.

    I remember yelling out some obscenity and scrambling to get out of the hole as quickly as I could. I was stumbling over dirt and busted concrete and everything else, all while my mom nearly died of laughter. I immediately rain over to the hose and tried my best to wash the poo off. My mom came over and hosed me off while I danced in the yard like an idiot. After I got the loose stuff off, I went and hopped in the shower, washing every square inch with Gojo, that pumice stuff mechanics use to get off grease. Cleanliness never felt so good.

    4. The Mud-Boggin contest – When I was a freshman in college I went to visit a friend that went to school at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) in rural south Georgia. When you think of redneck, these guys are what comes to mind. As a member of the Dixie Mafia in high school, I had my overalls and my cowboy boots and hat for when the situation called for it, so I packed them up for the trip. On Saturday of my visit, we all decided to go to the Mud-Boggin contest in the next county.

    For those of you unfamiliar, a mud-boggin contest consists of a 50 yard stretch of mud that jacked-up trucks try to slog through. Whoever makes it the furthest wins. There are different classes depending on the level of modifications to the truck.

    This particular night, at intermission they had a foot-race through the mud. There was a $10 entry fee and the winner got $100. I’ve always been a pretty fast runner and I’m quick on my feet, so my friends paid my way in.

    Now 50 yards may not seem like that far, but it’s a mile when you’re running through mud. The race started and I got a pretty good jump. I found sort of a high spot where I could get some decent footing and took off. It came down to me and one other guy who was on the same high spot in front of me. He tripped right as we were nearing the finish line and I ran right over his back to win the race and the $100 prize.

    Obviously, after having run through 50 yards of mud barefooted, I’m filthy. Since I didn’t bring a change of clothes with me to the event, I had no choice but to hose myself off and dry out au natural. This made the ride back home a bit awkward. I couldn’t ride in anyone’s car wet and muddy, so I had to ride back to the school in the back of some guy’s truck. It was October and it was freezing.

    We finally made it back to the school and my friends were nowhere to be found. So there I am wandering the grounds of the campus trying to figure out which dorm he lived in, when suddenly I have to pee. I find a good spot behind a tree and right as I’m revving up to full force stream, the security guard rolls around the corner and sees me.

    “Hey!” He yells.

    I immediately cut the stream off and commence to running. I’ve got no shoes on, my wallet and keys are in my friend’s car and the law is after me. After about ten minutes of evading the security guard, I see my friends rounding the corner in their car. At this point, I’m still wet, I’m freezing cold, I’m wearing freakin overalls with no t-shirt, and my feet are cut up from running on the pavement.This situation is totally tits.

    It turns out, my friends stopped to help one of the other guys wash off his truck at the car wash, so I was just left stranded. All was forgiven after I got to wash the Georgia red clay out of my underoos in the shower. Oh, and I won $100. That totally made it worthwhile.

    5. The shower head incident – I’m not really at liberty to describe this one, but it involved me kicking the shower head off the wall. Let’s just say it was awesome in that way that only certain things can be.

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    Curiouser and Curiouser

    2010 - 01.06

    Jenn, one of the Wharf Rats, has gotten her blog rolling along pretty well. Show her a little blog love and give it a gander.

    Curiouser and Curiouser

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