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Friday, May 28, 2010
I got back from Milan early. It doesn't mean I'm suddenly going to start spewing forth random entertaining blog postings. It just means I have to find another excuse.
I've got some pictures and some videos from my trip to Milan. I need to find the time to sit down and do some editing. Stay tuned.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I went to downtown Milan today to witness a Football (soccer to you Americans) spectacle. Thousands of people crowded around the Duomo waving flags, making noise, singing and generally causing a raucous.
I sat next to guy from Greece who told me that today was the European Championship. I had a beer. I had lasagna and then I roamed around central Milan for about 4 hours. It was a nice day.
When I got back to the hotel, I took a nap and then I went downstairs to the bar for some pizza and football. I have never understood why Americans don't like soccer. There are no commercials. It's constant action. Perhaps the only reason it seems dull to America is because Americans aren't good at it.
In Europe, they hug, they sing, they yell, and sometimes they cry. It's really cool seeing everyone forget about their various issues and just cheer for their team.
Anyway, Inter Milan won. There was much celebration in the hotel bar. I paid my bill and snuck upstairs. They were playing Munich. Munich is one of my favorite cities. I'm kind of glad Milan won because I'm in Milan. But there was part of me cheering for Munich (on the inside).
Why do Americans call soccer soccer and football football? Football has nothing to do with feet. We should call it commercialized detriment to the education system ball. C'DesBall for short.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Today, while waiting for things to happen, I was sitting looking at my computer and I diagnosed myself with Paranoid Personality Disorder. I'm not proud enough to say I have a severe case, but it explains a lot. It probably explains my Libertarian Party affiliation come to think of it.
Unfortunately, there isn't really any treatment for it. I've been to counseling several times for various trust issues and they never come right out and say, "Hey man, you are too paranoid."
Maybe I am paranoid that I am paranoid.
I wonder if it gets worse over time? Or perhaps it just manifests differently over time? I feel more outgoing now than I have in the past, but I still don't trust people.
Anyway, there you go. I feel better. Knowing is half the battle and all. Just don't hurt me.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I have so much stuff to write about and not enough time to put it all down. This week ranks in the top 5 worst weeks of my life.
I went to see The Grascals tonight. It made me realize how much I appreciate good music. When I’m hurt, I listen to angry music to make me feel better. A good friend of mine once did me a huge favor by convincing me to be mad instead of sad.
The Grascals is a bluegrass band. Bluegrass, as well as a lot of country music, makes you feel better because you realize there are lots of people having bad weeks. In fact, some people have had so many bad weeks that they’ve written a song about it.
Tomorrow I go to Milan, Italy for two weeks. To many of you this may sound like fun. I’m looking forward to it a little less than I’d look forward to a root canal. It’s just really bad timing.
My blogging will probably suffer more than it already has.
Friday, May 7, 2010
In Europe they don’t have paper currency until you hit the 5 Euro note. There are lots of 1 Euro coins and 2 Euro coins running around.
I don’t like carrying currency around at all so I don’t exactly know why I’m doing this.
Once or twice a year I get this horrendous email about how they’ve left “In God We Trust” off the dollar coins which the government is going to force upon us.
I guess the thinking is that by giving you money without God in the title, then it’ll spend less well. I’m not real sure what God has to do with money anyway.
In God We Trust appears on most all US currency. I’m not real sure why. A few years ago, a mistake happened and some coins were printed without the ever popular “In God We Trust” logo. These coins are now collector’s items and sell for big bucks. Oh the irony.
I’ve taken the time to go to the US Mint’s web site and find all the Dollar coins. Here they are. Enjoy… The first is the Native American Dollar. It has In God We Trust written right there on the front.
Before that, we had The Presidential Series. They all have In God We Trust tattooed on the edge. A Statue of Liberty on the back and a President on the front. The first one was George of Course.
For further mind numbing fun, you can go here. For more ironic fun and the senseless God badgering of the American zealots, I’ll share with you some quotes from each of these Presidents…
George Washington said, “…the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”
John Adams said, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religions in it.”
Thomas Jefferson said quite a lot. My favorite, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Little did he know.
James Madison said, “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I haven’t had a concert announcement in a few weeks now so obviously it is time.
I can’t decide if I like The Vespers or not. I think it’ll be entertaining though. Give them a listen…
The Grascals, on the other hand, are pure bluegrass and I’m a fan of bluegrass.
As usual I’ll be at the Flying Saucer sometime between 5:30 and 6. The show starts at 8.
It was a “lost dog alert” – a recording similar to the ones received when there is an incoming tornado. I don’t know how they determine which numbers to call, but it basically said something like, “Lost dog alert. Someone in your neighborhood has lost their dog. Cassidi’s dog Roxy has been missing since April 30th. Roxy is tan and white, 10 pounds and a min pin/jack russell mix. If you have seen Roxy or think you can help locate Roxy please call 214-xxx-xxxx. To find other missing pets in your area go to www.findtoto.org.”
I know this dog is in my area because I saw the signs up last time I was out walking in the parks in my neighborhood. Hopefully some nice old lady picked up Roxy and will also have received the phone call so Cassidi can get her dog back.
What a cool idea! It’s the simple things folks.
Monday, May 3, 2010
I have a new favorite author: Brandon Sanderson. He’s not new to writing (depending on your definition of new). I’m just new to reading his stuff. His first book was published around 2003. You can read all about him here. He’s also a Sagittarius. One of my favorite astrological signs.
I have lots of favorite authors. But, there are qualifications of favorite. Some stuff I love to read, but I would never want to write. George R.R. Maartin falls into this category. I love reading the “Ice & Fire” books, but it just seems, to me, that it would be quite dull writing them. It’s kind of like listening to Jazz music. I love listening, but I’d never want to play. You’d probably find me yawning at the keys if I were made to do so. Of course, that’s also assuming I would be good enough to do so. Which I am not. Nor am I good enough at writing to write a book.
When I was a teenager and I saw the long hair fools singing in rock bands I liked the music and decided that I could probably do that. I sang in a rock band for 4 years. We never did anything spectacular except getting the cops called occasionally for disturbing the peace, but I did it. Try to follow the logic here.
The point is, there are certain people or events that encourage you to try something new. Or make something seem fun enough that you think, “Man, I’d like to try that!”
This is what Brandon Sanderson does for me. His books are fun, fun, fun to read and when I’m reading them I am thinking, “Man this would be fun, fun, fun to write! I wish I could write!”
Very few authors get the fun to read and fun to write scores.
I discovered Brandon because one of my other favorite authors, Robert Jordan passed away before he could finish a series, “The Wheel of Time” I had been reading since the first book, “The Eye of the World” was published in January of 1990.
Brandon Sanderson, who was a fan of the series as well, was hired to finish off the series. He’s already published the first one, “The Gathering Storm” and is almost done with the second, “Towers of Midnight” in a promised trilogy-ending to the 14 book Wheel of Time series.
I can’t imagine being asked to finish off a series as big and as complicated as The Wheel of Time. Yet, to me, The Gathering Storm was much better than expected. Brandon Sanderson managed to continue the series without disappointing the series. In fact, of the 12 books finished so far in the series, I’d go so far as to say The Gathering Storm was in the top 5 as far as entertaining.
I just finished reading “The Mistborn Trilogy” by Brandon Sanderson. Excellent, excellent stuff. A good combination of magic and science. Or using physics to explain magic? I don’t know. How do you explain Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hemalurgy? Maybe “cool” will have to suffice.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The other day I was at work trying to enter calculations on my little numeric keypad. Most of the time I can do it without looking. On this day, however, I also had to call someone on the phone. Multitasking and I do not go well together.
Why do they do this to people? It seems logical that the ordering would be the same.
I did a bit of research and found one of the most poorly written articles on Wikipedia I have ever found.
But, it basically says that security keypads have been around longer and they always had the 4 rows of 3 starting with the number 1 so that’s what was adopted by the telephone manufacturers. That still doesn’t explain why calculators weren’t done in a similar fashion.
I found a site dedicated to this conundrum. Go there if you must. Just click on their picture below…