Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Failure to Communicate

I'm not going to make it to 100 posts this year.  Maybe I'll do better in 2012.

For Christmas, my girlfriend bought two copies of Star Wars The Old Republic and it has taken up much of my spare time.  Thus, the lack of blogging.  My youngest daughter saw us playing it and was awe inspired and said she wanted a copy too.  So, now, we three have spent our vacation time sitting around the fireplace with laptops tucked snugly on our laps fighting the misguided Separatists or the evil Imperialists.  It's been a blast.  There's nothing quite like getting your first "real" light saber at level 10.  I walk on the dark side while they sleep.

Tomorrow, we're driving to New Orleans and will spend New Year's there.  We'll be coming home on the 2nd,  I've never been to New Orleans before.  I'm kind of looking forward to it.

I had an epiphany regarding Ron Paul and the Libertarian Party.  I might have to share it with you after I've worked out the details.  It's an epiphany that has lead me to believe that I might need to become a Democrat.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Science

I believe in Astrology.  I've discovered through scientific methodology that by talking to people, I can easily and correctly predict their astrological signs 8.3333% of the time.

That was just a setup for this rather dull, but interesting video.

Monday, December 19, 2011

American Football News

It's often strange how the government comes up with its "punishments" for crimes.

This weekend's football escapades brought this to the forefront of my thoughts. Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd was fired (err, cut from the roster) for allegedly purchasing drugs for distribution. Sources say 1,000 pounds of Marijuana along with some cocaine.

Throw your feelings about drugs out the window for a second. I know some people hate drugs for one reason or another and that's okay. But, according to the allegations all he did was attempt to purchase a large quantity of Marijuana and cocaine. He wasn't accused of robbing anyone. He wasn't accused of shooting anyone. He wasn't even accused of being mean to anyone.

If he's found guilty, he'll spend a minimum of 10 years in prison. A minimum. I looked it up here.  I don't really feel like doing too much verification, but it seems right.  I went here too, but it was like a legal rabbit hole from hell.

Now, let's go back a few years to Michael Vick.  He confessed to being a player in dog fighting activities.  This is, at a minimum, cruel to animals.  He may not have been hurting people, but he was hurting domestic animals.  Something capable of feeling pain was being hurt for his entertainment.  How much time did he spend?  A little less than 2 years.

If my understanding is correct, not hurting someone, but purchasing something the government says you can't purchase (10+ years).  Being cruel to animals (up to 24 months).  Go figure.

In unrelated news, Romo said something about not trying so hard to correct for his teammate's mistakes.  They need to send that boy to leadership training.  And send me to reporting school because I didn't write down what he said.  It was funny though.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The English Language

One of my lovely children the other day was complaining about the English language.  I think she may have asked how I was feeling and I said, "With my hands."  Then she said, "I hate the English language!"

It was probably more in depth than that, but my mind is drawing a blank at the moment.  Is that like getting a blank from the well after throwing the water bucket down or trying to etch what you are thinking on a piece of paper and coming up with nothing?  Which analogy is it?

If the English language were to change to have definite pronunciations and meanings for all the words, we'd lose an entire industry of comedy.

I was watching an Eddy Murphy movie in Germany once.  It was one that I had already watched in the USA so I kind of knew the dialogue and the funny parts.  My favorite part in the English version is when he's walking up to the big doors of the house, looks at his wife and says, "Look at those knockers."  Watching it in German, in Germany, with a bunch of Germans and no one even snickered (except me).

My favorite Three Stooges skit is when they are about to be executed, but decide they have to eat something first so they can digest (die just) right.

What lead down this path of fun is after 40 some odd years, I've just discovered that I've been pronouncing groin wrong all my life.  I just recently thought I pulled my groin, but have now decided it's a nasty bursitis in my hip.

I've been telling everyone I've met that I pulled my groin.  Often this happens after they look at me questioningly during one of my shuffling episodes.  After I tell them I've pulled my groin, they laugh at me.  "What's so funny?" I query, "My groin really hurts!"

Then, they have to tell me, "It's pronounced gro een, not gro in."  Then I have to argue, but it gets nowhere because people come out of the woodwork to laugh at me.  I still can't pronounce it right.  I can't pronounce it left either.  Because it's still there.

Today, I finally went to dictionary.com to hear the correct pronunciation.  As you all know everything you learn on the Internet is gospel.  I'm still recovering from the truth.  You should hear me say bursitis.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cynical News Fun

I haven't blogged in weeks and no one has complained!  I'm mortified.  I'm never going to make it to 100 by the end of the year.  My topics are becoming consistently more narrow minded and cynical.  Not a good way to end the year.

When I firsted start writing this feeble blog, I'd get bent out of shape around the "political" season which seems to be starting sooner and sooner.  It gets to the point that it's so irritating I don't even like thinking about it, much less writing about it.

In case you haven't been paying attention, I don't really care much for American politics.  It's like watching a TV evangelist pay for infomercials trying to convince you how honest he is.  There's no such thing.  It's a waste of time and money.

But, the only thing worse than a bunch of politicians blowing their horns and lying about their indiscretions is the news outlets and America's gullibility.  Admittedly, sometimes the news is true or maybe there is a hint of truth, but more often than not, it's not the whole truth and it's always spun in a way to make the most cash and/or do the most damage.

So why do we believe them all the time?  You know they make things as dramatic as humanly possible for higher ratings.  Think about it.

If I own a television network and I don't want someone to be elected into public office all I have to do is go find someone, pay them some money, and have them say something derogatory about the candidate.  It doesn't matter how stupid it is.  It doesn't matter how true it is.  Just make something up.  The more derogatory and exciting the better!  Americans trust the news and they love drama.

I'm kind of old fashioned.  I trust my instincts.  I don't believe anything the news says about Herman Cain.  I don't care much except it irks me that people believe it.  I was out at a bar and this girl was telling me that he raped four women.  Really?  Where did you hear that?  Have you met Herman Cain personally?  Why are we so quick to judge?  I'd never believe that about anyone until I was able to sit at a bar with them long enough to get them nice and inebriated.  Then, the truth would emerge.

I don't trust anything the news says about anyone.  The reason I didn't like Herman Cain was because he was too religious.  I won't vote for anyone that mentions the need for more faith, religion or God in our lives.  If you think God's going to fix our problems then I won't be voting for you.  Moron.

You are correct, I'm not voting for Newt Gingrich either.  Nobody is trying to remove "the Creator" from your life Mr. Gingrich, but we don't need the government mandating our relationship or lack of relationship with Him either.  Let them tell you who to believe in and next thing you know they'll be telling you who to marry.  'Doh!  Well, I guess we're a little late for that.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Leaving the Collective

In my previous posting I complained that Lisa is part of the Apple collective.  She has (had) an iPhone 3GS.  The day after my previous posting, her phone slid off a stack of papers and the screen shattered (I honestly had nothing to do with it).  Quality workmanship.  If you don't believe me do a video search on repairing iPhone screens.  There are a ton of them.  I've never broken a phone screen and my phone even fell out of my pocket while running through a paved parking lot once.  My daughter has an iPhone 3G (her mom got it for her).  She's broken the screen 3 times.  It's currently broken again, but I have gotten tired of paying to get it repaired.

The difficulty in leaving "The Apple Collective" is directly related to the amount of money you've spent on electronics that are part of the collective.  It seems to me that there should be a whole host of companies producing electronics to help you leave the collective.  There aren't.  Apple must have a whole team of lawyers writing up patents to prevent people from leaving the collective.

Like that little funky cable that doesn't follow any open standards.  I'd like to reverse engineer it and then create adapters allowing people to keep their investments while leaving the collective.

I recently read Benjamin Franklin's autobiography.  It's a quick read and free to download.  One of the things he said, in a round about way, is that he did things to make it easier on his fellow man.  He didn't patent anything.  It's relatively well known that he invented the Franklin Stove, but afterwards he went overseas on a political mission only to come back home and see that businesses had sprung up manufacturing and selling his stove.  But that was okay because he wanted people to use the idea to make their lives more comfortable.

We've become such a capitalistic money loving society that we don't try to help anyone for free any more.

Linux is open source.  It's helped tons of people.  If you don't want to send Microsoft $100+ for a new OS for your new PC, you can download and install multiple flavors of Linux for free and still be able to surf the Internet, play games, write documents, etc.  All the things you expect to do on a PC are available with a free OS.

Android is a mobile OS built around Linux.  It's also open to some extent.  I've heard that starting with Honeycomb there may be some limitations.  But, because of its openness, a variety of manufacturers can take it and modify it to create a unique experience on their devices.

Lisa left the collective in favor of the new Samsung Galaxy S II SkyRocket.  They really need to work on creating easier names.  Why not just call it the Skyrocket?  Anyway, it's a nice phone.  Blows away the iPhone in almost (if not) all categories.

However, it doesn't (can't) support that stupid proprietary interface that Apple created and patented.  So even though it's a better phone, Lisa still has misgivings because in her joining of the collective she purchased an $800 car stereo which is iCrap friendly.  It supports the iCable.  I've been kind of looking for adapters for making the transition less painful, but there aren't a whole lot to choose from.  The optimum one would be a Bluetooth adapter so that an Android phone could access the iCable wirelessly via Bluetooth.

What I've about decided is that she's going to have to buy an iPod with WiFi to leave hooked up in her car and then use wireless tethering on her new phone so that the iPod can access the Internet and run apps like Pandora.  It's like quitting smoking with a nicotine patch.

I just wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to Apple for creating products that don't work with anything else.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I Can't Talk to Her Anymore



I think it's no secret that I've never owned anything made by Apple.  When I first started programming computers back in the late 70's, I first started programming on an Apple II, but it wasn't mine.  I've never owned an Apple.

Apple products, to me, are equivalent to going to a 5 star restaurant where you can get an absolutely flawless four course meal.  But, without any substitutions.

When you are spending $100's of dollars on some bit of technology this ends up being the same 4 course meal every day until you upgrade to something else.  It's like joining the collective.  Suddenly all of your choices are made for you by some guy at Apple Computers.  Wait!  Maybe that's why Americans vote Republican.  That was like a mid-blog epiphany.  Sorry about that.

I'm a fan of options.  Variety is the spice of life.  I build my own computers and I run Microsoft Windows or Unix on all of them.  Ironically, the Macintosh Operating System is just a pretty wrapper on top of Unix that prevents options.  I wonder what the current break down is of Operating Systems on PC's.  What percentage are running some flavor of Unix versus some flavor of MS Windows?

Lisa has an iPhone.  It's her only character flaw.  When we went on our last cruise, her iPhone gave the dreaded "Connect to iTunes" error which basically meant her phone wasn't going to work until she made it back home to connect it to her laptop.  So much for mobility.

Now she's upgraded to iOS 5.  Her phone battery lasts maybe 4 hours so if I'm going to do any communicating it must be between 9 & 1.  After that, it's dead phone.  Unless, of course, she manages to keep it plugged in.  So much for mobility.

Apple, if you're going to continue to serve up 5 star steak dinners, you better make sure they really satisfy.  I hear Android gives you options.  They've about perfected the art of running Android on the iPhone.

I have yet to try a Microsoft Phone.  I was going to with my last upgrade but there were no 4g options.  If you're curious I'm running the Atrix 2.  No PC required and I'd like a little shake with my fries.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Interviewing Techniques

I don't read a lot of instructional books.  I prefer to do things my way.  First time I had to "review" a boss's performance at work, my chief complaint was, "Don't tell me how to do my job.  Tell me what needs to be done."  It's a quirk that I'm particularly fond of.  If someone tells me something that needs to be done and I don't know how to do it, I'll read and look things up and experiment until I find the best solution.  It's what I do.But seriously, don't tell me how to do something.  It'll force me not to ever do it that way just out of spite.

With that prologue in mind, you must consider that I'm a leading interviewer where I work.  I've developed this system of testing people before they get hired.  It's not perfect and we don't hire enough people for me to work on its perfection, but it is approaching fun (at least for me).  I wish, before an election, I could interview prospective candidates.  I assume debates attempt to do this to some extent, but debates mostly bore me.  It's like a test to see how well someone can beat around the bush.

When I interview people at work, I'm mostly hiring programmers.  The first thing I want to find out is if they can listen. My first statement might be, "Do you know about the Fibonacci Sequence?"  This can get a whole host of answers.  Yes or no will usually suffice.  I don't like excuses or beating around the bush.  I'm all about efficiency.

I remember when I first graduated from college, the placement counselors teaching me how to go on interviews would always advise, "Keep talking until they ask another question."  I don't like that advice.

If they answer no, I'll explain it to them the best I can.  If they say yes or after my explanation I'll ask them to write it in a programming language of their choice.  This gets me into another topic for another blog, but I'll hint at it here.  Good programmers don't need to be experts at any particular language.  Good programmers can be experts at a language in less than a month whereas someone programming in the same language for 10 years can still be mediocre at best.

At this point in my interview game, I want to hear questions.  If they just start writing code, I'll usually kick them out the door.  I want someone who'll take the time to ask questions and get it exactly right the first time.  If I'm feeling mean spirited I'll let them write the code for 15 minutes and then tell them that's not what I wanted and start making things up.  I wanted it done this way, I wanted you to do it that way, it needs to be more efficient, I don't want recursion, etc.  It forces them to start over and it makes me giggle on the inside.

Once they've asked all the questions and have it designed and written to meet my requirements, I'll throw out enhancements.  Do they hack the enhancements in or do they take the time to re-design?  Do they remove the things that don't work for the enhancement?  I have a do it right the first time philosophy.  There are a group of people that just, "make it work".  I don't want to hire them.  I need the perfectionists or at least a smattering of due diligence.  It makes future maintenance and enhancements easier.

These types of techniques can be applied to any position.  When we elect government officials (like the President), they should have to go through a similar interview process.  The election cycle should be every 6 years, but with a 1 year introductory "contract to hire" basis.  If, after 1 year, they are inadequate for the job, replace them.  Oh, and I guess we're going to have to implement Internet voting to defer the costs of having to reelect so many dead beat civil servants.

The Debilitating Discomfort

In the true nature of randomness.

I had a minor surgical procedure performed about 10 years ago (give or take).  It's what I lovingly call my vasectomy.

Since then, every few years I get some minor swelling and discomfort in my right jewel.  It's always the right one.  I guess that's better than it being the wrong one.

Last time, it got bad enough that I made an appointment with my urologist.  By the time he was able to see me, the discomfort and swelling had subsided, but I went anyway.  He got paid to fondle me and announce, "Everything seems okay."  He went on to explain what it "might have been", but I was already pulling up my pants and looking for the nearest exit.  I did mention to him that if he got tired of being a urologist he might be able to get on with the Department of Homeland Security at the local airport.  He didn't think it was funny.  Neither did I.

Anyway, it's back and I figured I should share.  Don't worry, I won't post pictures.  It doesn't hurt.  It's just uncomfortable.  It's uncomfortable to sit, stand, sleep, etc.  My crank is starting to make me cranky.  Thus, the sad excuse for my ongoing series of mean spirited posts.  I'll blame it on duress caused by the obvious discomfort of my increasingly appropriately named "tenders".

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Libertarian Candidates

This just made my day so I had to share.  It's a little bit horrifying.

First, I found a list (on the Libertarian website) of the 2012 LP candidates for President.  I'm not entirely sure they should even mention all of them as candidates except, as I stated before, Libertarians believe in small government (less rules).  I know the Libertarian primaries are going to be in May of 2012.

Here's a link to the list...Libertarian Candidates.

My personal favorites were Robert Milnes and Joy Waymire.

I kid you not, you should go read through the first page at least.  I'll go ahead and give you my favorite quotes.

Robert says, "Also I need help with cats around the area. One evident large kitten has evident eye damage. I have no spare $ for veterinarian fees. Can anyone come here and take this young cat to a vet? And help me by adopting? One or two or all of them! About 7 near my shed. Another about 7 seem to come and go. "

He also says, "I'm getting numerous letters, emails and phone messages about court notices, eviction, unpaid bills, service cutoff etc. I'm way over my head. & that is making me more depressed. I need some help. Urgently.
& this is timed with getting very little campaign support & running out of time for the 2012 election opportunity. That is the 100 years ago election where Teddy Roosevelt almost fundamentally altered history had he won."

Where do these people come from?  And why do they join the Libertarian Party?

Joy says, "I’ve known since 2008 that I would be upon this path, for I serve the Lord, thy God and His People.  I have no self-desires, for my will is my Lord’s Will.  In doing so, I receive great pleasure not always of my choosing; Fulfilling me with love, joy, compassion towards all humanity."

And I was worried about the out of control religious zealots from the Republican party.  I may have no choice but to vote Democrat.  Or move to Mexico.

I'm going to keep posting this crap until someone besides Durango yells at me.  But, he claims to be my last remaining reader.  Which, may be true.

Choices or the Lack Thereof

The problem with living in a Democratic country is that the majority of people are stupid.

I'm thinking that what is required is a voting test you have to pass before being allowed to vote.  The problem with that is, who writes the test?  The test could theoretically be doctored to only allow people who believed a certain way to vote.

In the good old USA, we are given (by the media) two candidates to choose from.  It gets kind of twisted with the Republican primaries and the Democratic primaries seemingly offering you a bushel of choices, but it's just a scam.

At the end of the day, when you go to the voting booth, the media has brainwashed you with two choices.  A or B.  I guess they've grown accustomed to the fact that the people who watch their dramatic view of the world are incapable of choosing between more than two possibilities (and perhaps they are right).

Looking at the current Republican front runners, I could possibly vote for Herman Cain without too much heart burn.  I'd prefer Ron Paul, but he lacks the charisma to get the media's attention.  Both of them are way too religious for my blood though.

I don't typically vote for Republicans because they want to tell me how to live.  They are all a bunch of holier than though religious politicians who think everyone should live by their morals.  They'll tell you when you can drink.  They'll tell you what you can drink.  They'll tell you what you can eat.  They'll tell you what to believe.  They even want to tell you who  you can marry.  No thanks.  Of course, I live in a country where we get to vote and apparently the majority of people need this kind of parenting to be happy.

In the other corner, we've got Obama.  Obama didn't do anything he said he would do.  In my book, that makes him a spineless liar incapable of my trust or my respect.  My only hope is that the government is actually run by someone else who holds the President captive with fear of torture and forces them to read from the teleprompter and do as they are told.

I don't vote for Democrats because they tell me how to spend my money.

Unfortunately, as I see it, those are my two choices.

I'm actually Libertarian, but they'll never get elected.  They are too radical and they don't own any media outlets to brainwash people.  The Libertarian creed is small government.   This also implies an easy common sense approach to government.  That kind of attitude will never get elected. You must impose all kinds of strange mysterious bylaws and then purchase a news outlet that broadcasts to a nationwide audience on a daily basis.  The majority of people need their hand held and their facts spoon fed to them.  Small parties and small governments can't do that.

I'm thinking that when the next election cycle rolls around, I may be forced to relocate to Mexico.  At least the drug gangs are an evil I can understand.

And we all love the beatches.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blogging Career

I started blogging in April of 2008. That year I wrote 128 posts.
In 2009 I wrote 207 little ditties.
In 2010 I wrote 143.
Thus far in 2011, I've written 75.

I'm either running out of things to say or running out of motivation to say them.

Yesterday, I was trying to clean up duplicate images in my Picasa library. I'm here to tell you that those duplicates were there for a reason. Now, there are a large number of my past postings that are missing "inline" images. If you click on the ?, you get to see the image, but the inline image is gone. Silly me. Without manually editing each and every post to fix it, there is no way to get it back. I'm not that motivated.

Then today, I started playing with the new blog templates. I've been looking at them for quite sometime, but just never had the desire to monkey with it. Today, the desire overtook me with an inexplicable force, so I messed with it.

Changing the background to black was not a good idea. I like black backgrounds (easier to read for me), but it messed up the colors on some of my previous posts. If you run across a post that is half blank or partially blank, it's because its font color is not jiving with the new background. Feel free to let me know. I might fix it. You can also highlight it to make the background white and you'll be able to read it. Assuming you are curious when you stumble upon such anomalies.

No, I'm not going to switch back to a white background. I needed a change.

If I try to write 1 thing a day for the rest of the year I may surpass 100 posts in 2011. Maybe I should open up a gambling service via my Paypal account. I'll give myself 5 to 1 odds. Feel free to play along. Send your bets to my Paypal account.

I've been feeling argumentative. Maybe tomorrow, I'll start my media versus Herman Cain rant.

Mean Spirited Soap Boxes

Sometimes I see something that twists me the wrong way.  Actually, I should rewrite that.  Every day I see things that twist me the wrong way.

Normally, I'm too polite to say anything.  I just let it slide and try to forget about it.  Actually, I should rewrite that.  Normally, I'm too scared of getting my ass beat to say anything.  I just walk away and pretend I didn't notice.

Handicap parking spaces are an indication that people have no empathy, no common sense and generally are a detriment to the species of sentient beings that we call intelligent.

When I go to the store, I pick the first parking space I come to when I enter the parking lot.  It can be 200 yards from the entrance.  It can be 300 yards from the entrance.  I don't care.  I'm healthy and I can walk.

People that tootle around for 30 minutes looking for the best parking spot so they can haul their 400 pounds of ass the shortest distance to the Walmart entrance have got my vote for useless.  It's because of people like this that the government has to put up handicap parking signs.  Actually, the government doesn't put them up directly.  They use some strange obfuscated law to force companies to put them up.

The whales who park like this should be parking behind me.  After all, I don't have 400 pounds of fat that I need to shed by walking an extra few hundred yards to the local Walmart.

If we want the government to quit inventing stupid laws, the first step may be to quit being stupid.  Show a little consideration for your fellow humans.  If you can walk, walk.  You don't need to park that close to the store.  And for the sake of all that's good and healthy, lose some weight.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Photographer Was Successful

A story through pictures.  You can look anywhere on the web and find lots of pictures of people scuba diving and sharing their pictures of the underwater universe.  I've opted to join the collective.  The caveat being that these are my pictures.  Further, I'd like to point out these pictures were taken with a $15 camera.  I was a little shocked that they turned out as well as they did.  Lisa was the photographer so there are not pictures of her so stop your begging.

As you can see below, this first picture is of Julio pushing me off the back of the boat.  He wasn't very nice, but I survived.  I'm kidding of course.  The guys at Sand Dollar Sports were awesome.  If you're going to go diving in Cozumel, I'd highly recommend them.  They exceeded my expectations.  They were savvy about everything and even helped me remember to test my blood sugar between dives.
This second picture is one of my favorite fish pictures.  Lucky for you, I'm not going to share all my photos.  There are too many.  I just picked some of my favorites.  Some because they were cool and some because they turned out cool.  Try not to skip ahead.
This is just a miscellaneous shot showing several little hidden treasures.  I didn't realize until I uploaded it, that it got Julio's finger pointing out one of the fish.  Julio is two different people.  I can't remember their names.  There was the Julio pushing people off the back of the boat and now there is Julio pointing out treasures of the sea.
This one is a little hard to see.  I cropped it the best I could.  It's still cool.  It's a picture of a nurse shark resting under the overhang.  You can see the tail fin to the right then if you squint and hold your head just right you can see the entire shark.  It was about 4 feet long.
And last, but not least, the rarest of all sea creatures.  It's the salt water Gar Fish.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

He's Back

I'm back and frantically attempting to come up with entertaining topics.  You'd think being on a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean and being chased home by Hurricane Rina would be topic enough!  Durango even briefly blogged about me.  It warmed the cockles of my heart to see that he missed me.

I only had one person concerned as to my whereabouts or possible demise.  Sad but true.

My Scuba was successful.  We took an underwater camera, but it wasn't of the digital variety so we're having to wait for the 35mm film to be developed.  We're also not very optimistic as to the quality of the pictures.  Which is too bad because I do look pretty good in a wetsuit.  Everyone thought so.

I'm thinking about writing an informational blog about diving with an insulin pump.  I'll keep you posted.

I'm also rather disgusted that the "Occupy Wall Street" crap is still progressing.  I'm not a fan.  The amount of ignorance coming out of that misguided charade is alarming to say the least.

But, enough of that.  The waves were choppy enough on this cruise to actually make me a little sea sick.  It also could have been the amount of beer I drank the night before.  I'm not passing any verdicts.  A little bit of ginger root fixed me right up.

They cancelled our stop in the Cayman's.  I think because of the beginnings of Hurricane Rina (back when she was just a lowly depression).

I always meet people on the cruise and tell them that I will write about them in my blog.  I never do.  Well, maybe once I did.  This time will not be any different.  I wish now that I had taken pictures of Abbot and Costello.

 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cruising

For all those who are detrimentally worried about my mysterious whereabouts, worry no more!

I'm frantically preparing for my quarterly 7 day cruise which I'll be embarking on this Sunday.

This time, I'm going to drive to Galveston on Saturday and stay at a classy Motel 6.  Then, early Sunday I will drive my little car to the Galveston Park 'n' Cruise which is covered and cheaper parking than what the cruise lines offer.  It's also directly across the street from the ship so you don't have to take a shuttle.  Makes life easier and that's the way I like it.

I read online somewhere that you can start the boarding process at 10:30 AM which means I could be in my happy place by 11:30!  It's like I'm a professional cruiser.  I have been thinking of trying to get an *IT job on one of the Carnival ships.  That'd be a cool way to spend the last 20 years of my life.

On this particular cruise, I'll be scuba diving in Cayman Islands and Cozumel.  I'm not sure how many pictures I'll acquire, but I'll try.  If you don't hear from me by the 24th of October it probably means I suffered an unfortunate accident or I finally got that dream IT job.

*IT stands for Information Technology. I'm not really an IT guy, but I think I could be if I wanted to.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fun With Friends and Words

Since Words With Friends came out on the Android I've been playing with several people I happen to know who can put up with my self-diagnosed Asperger's syndrome.  We'll call them friends.

I quickly grew irritated with the game because it requires a good vocabulary, but it's also a math game and I prefer the math portion of it.  You look at all the different ways you can play a word and come up with the one which will give you the most points although it's not always obvious.  The scoring rules are kind of "learn as you go".  My vocabulary is not very good.

I discovered the "Win Every Game" website to help me with the vocabulary part, but I still spend a lot of time doing the math trying to figure out the best place to put the words.  There's also a bit of defense thrown in trying to prevent your opponent from getting the 100 point scores by leaving triple letter triple word combo's open for play.  You gotta keep those puppies unplayable.

Yesterday I played the word zek.  I didn't really know what the heck it was, but it fit where I was trying to play with a triple letter score on the z.  My opponent (bless him for putting up with my sickness) said, "Okay smarty pants.  What does zek mean?"

I had to look it up.  It happens to be an inmate at a forced labor camp.  I used zek in a sentence just to prove I knew what it meant.  We don't have zeks in the USA, but we should.  Go tell that to your friends and see if they look at you funny.

Although not required for diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Melty Man

Preface with this link here if you haven't already read it.

Yesterday, I watched the Cowboys again.  They had accidentally won two games in a row.  One with Tony injured and on drugs and another by some strange field goal kicking anomaly.

As I have said on many occasions and written down twice, for Romo to win games, he needs to take some kind of mind altering medication at halftime so he doesn't melt.  He proved me right again yesterday.  As soon as things get stressful or go the least bit sour he melts like a scoop of ice cream on a black car during a Texas summer.

I like the Cowboys.  I like Jason Garrett as coach.  I like the young offensive line.  I like the defense.  I simply can't stand Tony and his consistent inconsistency.  From now on he will be known as "The Melty Man".



Yesterday, my dislike of Tony got so bad that I accidentally let out a little cheer for the Lions.  It was unintentional.  Really.

Therefore, I am boycotting the Cowboys as long as Romo is quarterback.  If he gets injured like he did last year or just decides to politely step down for the sake of the team, I'd appreciate someone giving me a heads up so I can end my boycott.

I'm a fan of intelligence.  Bradshaw always seems intelligent.  Yesterday he said, “On the taxi squad you’re taught to throw it down there and he [Tony] plays like that. He plays like he’s on the taxi squad. When you look at the interception against the Giants in the playoff game; we look at the bonehead play, the interception against the Jets which would have been a huge win for the Dallas Cowboys; the dropped snap on the field goal. He seems to always make bad plays in big games and that’s what he’s being measured by. He’s rapidly becoming kind of a Danny White. A very good quarterback, White followed Staubach. Now we’re seeing Romo follow Troy Aikman.”

That was Terry's politically correct way of saying, Romo is a bonehead.  Oh wait, he did kind of say that.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Skipping School

Today my eldest daughter decided she wanted to skip school because she was soooooo tired.  She sent it all via text messages because I was in the shower.

Her exact verbiage was, "Can I skip school today?  I am sooooo sleepy.  I've got all my work turned in and my grades are good.  Mom always let me when my grades were good."

To which I kindly responded, "I'm not your mom.  Save your sick days for when you are sick.  You better hurry or you are going to be late.  I don't lie and I don't think your school would look too kindly upon a note that said, 'My lovely 17 year old didn't feel like going to school today.'"

To which she said, "I can get mom to right the note."

I didn't respond fast enough before she corrected her error, "*write".  It was going to be a classic about skipping English.  It's interesting that she knows her mom will lie for her.  I wonder if she's ever thought about that.

Anyway, it has completely disrupted my whole day and it started at 8 AM.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekends and Predictions

I am now officially certified.  No wise cracks.  I'm certified for open water diving.  In case you missed it.

I went to Lake DeGray, Arkansas over the weekend.  I couldn't ever see more than, what seemed like, 10 feet so it was mostly disappointing, but I'll be going to the Caribbean in October and I bet things will be clearer there.

Tonight the Cowboys face the Redskins.  Although Romo's status is listed as "questionable" (really, tell us something we didn't already know -- he's questionable when he's healthy), if he does play he'll be on pain killers.

I therefore predict that if Romo plays the game and is on mind altering pain killers the Cowboys will easily defeat the Redskins 35 to 17 (Romo plays better on mind altering medications).  If Romo does not play, then the Cowboys will beat the Redskins 21 to 17.  If Romo plays with just pain killers (not the mind altering sort) then the Cowboys will lose 17 to 10.

I won't blog about this tomorrow.  Well, unless I'm right.  Then it will be necessary.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Romo Proves My Point

Last week I opined that Romo should start drinking at halftime so the Dallas Cowboys could win some games without him crumbling under pressure.  Well, he did one better!  He did drugs (I think)!

Now, I don't really know this, but let's look at the facts.  He whined about a  rib injury early on in the first quarter.  By the second quarter he was playing like a debilitated school boy.  It was funny listening to it on the radio as I was driving back from Louisiana.  The guys on the radio were very pro Romo.  So, he went three up and three down for like, I don't know, it seemed like, 10 series in a row.  The radio announcers are like, "Well, Witten must have run the wrong route because Tony hit the corner back in the head with that ball."  Then, immediately afterwards, they were, "Austin Miles must have heard the play call wrong because he was nowhere near where Romo threw the ball."

I'm guessing at halftime they took Romo in and gave him an injection of cortisone.  He came back out after the half and looked like he was going to play, but then went back to the locker room for most of the third quarter still whining about his injured ribs.

Common sense dictates that the doctors in the locker room gave him an injection (better than cortisone) for the pain.  I'm no narcotics expert, but that boy came out and won the game in the fourth quarter proving my theory from last week.  He needs to start drinking at halftime, but hey, drugs work too!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gar Fish


This weekend I learned to swim...underwater...for long periods of time.  In typical Gar fashion I drove all the way to West Monroe Louisiana to do it.  Many of you are probably thinking, "Gar lives in Dallas, Texas, why would that silly boy drive all the way to Louisiana to learn how to Scuba dive?"  Well, those people would not know Gar very well because that's the way Gar rolls.

I took my lessons at Bayou Diving and J.P. Pritchard was the mighty fine instructor capable of putting up with my idiosyncrasies in a submersed environment.  If you live close to his shop or are driving through I highly recommend stopping in and doing some shopping there.

Next week I'll be meeting him at Lake DeGray to finish my open water scuba certification.  I'm all atwitter.

I passed all but one task with flying colors.  At some point during the training Mr. Pritchard asked me to remove my mask underwater and then put it back on.

When I was about 9 years old I realized that my nose doesn't get along with water.  So for the last 30 years or so I've been holding my nose under water.  The idea of removing my mask underwater and exposing my tender proboscis to the choking horror that is H2O was very close to terrifying.

On day 2 I was comfortable enough with the scuba equipment that I was able to complete the task. I'll have to do it again next week at the lake.  I'm all atwitter about that too.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Romo Must Go

When I woke up this morning, I couldn't decide whether to be mean, nice, honest, understanding, or all of the above.  I've decided to go with all of the above.  I warn you now, this is going to be crazy random.  Good luck keeping up.  D'ngo says I need new material.  I'm not sure it's possible.

I only do this kind of thing once every four years because I avidly believe football is a detriment to our education system.  We build new high school football stadiums while simultaneously firing math teachers because of budget shortfalls.

I've been bowling lately.  If you've ever bowled, you know if you bowl a strike, the next two balls are added to the strike for a possible 30 points total per frame.  This causes me great amounts of anxiety after bowling a strike that I can't seem to fix.  The best I've ever bowled was in Germany after drinking a liter of hefeweizen.  I bowled a 166 (out of a possible 300).  Beer helps the condition.  It causes a reduction in anxiety.

I strongly believe Tony Romo has the same problem.  He gets so worked up that he can't play.  This is evident in his playoff stats (which I assume are more stressful games than normal) and it was evident last night.  Everything was going relatively peachy until the Jets had him pinned at his own 5 yard line.  Suddenly the anxiety took over and Romo melted.  He scrambled, lost yards and the Cowboys were finally forced to punt.  That was the tipping point.

Shortly afterwards, he threw a pass to Witten which Witten managed to run down to the 1 yard line.  Romo, feeling immense pressure to finish off the drive, (how hard can it be to go 1 yard anyway -- as hard as it is to hit 5 pins after a bowling a strike) fumbled.

This was followed devastatingly quickly by a blocked punt and ensuing touchdown which tied the game.  At this point Romo is a sniveling little kid incapable of any kind of performance.  I was thinking maybe Garrett should keep a bottle of tequila hidden in the cooler.  I wonder if there are any rules about alcohol during the game?  Perhaps if Romo  had a double shot before the pressure filled fourth quarter things would have worked out differently.

But all is not lost.  Final drive for the Cowboys and all they have to do is go about 30 yards and kick a field goal to tie the game!  Romo, in his anxiety ridden addled mind throws the ball to the wrong player (the Jets wear green man).  Game over Romo.  Either start drinking at halftime or retire before they come up with a better ranking system for quarterbacks.

For those of you still not convinced, I'll leave you with an old adage: "If it works, don't mess with it".  Then go back and look at the Cowboy's record last year.  First look at the record with Romo, then look at the record without Romo.  Granted, Garrett was also a difference.  I like his coaching style.

With Romo as quarterback last year, they won 1 and lost 5.  With Romo not as quarterback they won 5 and lost 5.  With Garrett as coach they won 5 and lost 2.  Do the math.  Stick with Garrett and no Romo (I wrote that because I suspect Jerry Jones may have a problem with simple arithmetic).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Textual Frustration

Since I was a wee little tike, I have disliked talking on the phone.  I think it's my dad's fault.  He used to make the phone ring and pretend to be the evil Easter Bunny after I answered.

When I went to Germany the first time back in 2001, I was introduced to, what they call, SMS (short message service).  To me it was an instant way to send someone a message without the fear of talking to the Easter Bunny.  I loved it.  I was an instant addict.  I texted (SMS'd) all day long.

As many of you avid readers of my readerless blog know I also have no social skills.  To attempt to combat this enormous lacking in my persona, I have taken to trying to meet new people once a month.  A bar is the best place to do this.  It has the necessary components:
  • Random people sitting around the bar
  • Liquid courage
Lately, I have come to realize that more and more people are going up to sit at the bars alone and play with their freaking phone.  It makes me...irritated.  My first counselor used to tell me that irritation is just a form of anger, but I don't get mad so it can't be true.

I've also recently started toying with the idea of trying my hand at the mobile app market.  I'm thinking I'll write the Bar Fly Application.  You turn it on when you go to the bar and it will broadcast whether or not you are single or maybe, more generically, whether or not you are at the bar for some random socializing.  Then, you turn on your phone with the Bar Fly App, you get hundreds of indicators from all around the bar and you can send them a text message, "Hey Lonely Girl #2567, can I buy you a drink?"

There are obvious flaws.  The first one is how do you know which person you are texting?  I suppose part of the app could be a ping feature that makes a phone squelch.  Then you could ping Lonely Girl #2 through #2000 and listen for the squelch coming from the correct pocket.  Once you've keyed upon the appropriate squelch you can offer to buy the correct person a drink.  If you haven't been thrown out for staring at asses (with pockets).

There would also always be the token "hot" Lonely Girl whose phone would be in permanent squelch mode.

But then how would Lonely Girl #2567 know who sent her the message?  Would she look around the room trying to find Lonely Guy #813 with a sly look in his antisocial eye?  I rhymed that on purpose.

The obvious fix seems like it would be having a Bar Fly Application profile which contained a picture along with identifying features.  Each time you went to a bar, you could update your profile with where you were sitting and what color shirt you were wearing.  Underclothes or lack thereof would be cool as well, but not pertinent to the identification process.  Well, not unless you were really lucky.  Or unlucky I suppose.

Look for it coming your way soon: "The Bar Fly App" by Gar the Social Misfit.  I'll have to sell it for 99 cents or something.  We don't want a bunch of cheap socially inept people running around with the Bar Fly App.  Nobody wants to be texted by a cheap social misfit.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Kids Think I'm Getting Married

I often point out that D'ngo the semi-professional blogger and purveyor of the obvious has reading comprehension problems.  I point it out to him in hopes that he'll be able to improve.  Apparently those who can spew out verbiage ad infinitum have a bit of trouble taking it in.

My previous posting (the one just below this one), had my children quizzing me about my marriage plans.

Now I can't help but wonder if people, and my lovely children, gloss over things to save time.  They read, "Marriage and Surnames" and it immediately translates, in their glossy little heads, to: "Dad's getting married...again."

My last post also forced D'ngo to write me a formal apology for all of his wrong doings so I have no idea what he got out of it.  I'm really rather afraid to ask.

I've re-read it twice.  I'm kind of starting to think I have a hard time expressing myself adequately.  Maybe the transformers reference threw things into a tailspin.

Yesterday my eldest daughter said she was going to get to sing so low in choir this year.  I told her I thought she was a soprano.  She seemed irritated. *shrug*

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Marriage and Surnames

Every time I get married, the bride to be always brings this up.  Something along the lines of, "Do you want me to take your last name?"  I always answer the same, "I don't care.  The important thing is you said yes."

I know.  Cheesy as hell.  But, it's what I do.  And sometimes the cheesiness pays off in party favors.

But, it's got me to thinking.  Why do we expect the woman to change her name?  If this is a heterosexual custom then what to homosexuals do?  Does anyone, in a homosexual marriage, change their last name?

If my next ex-wife were to ask me to take her surname what would my response be?  I personally think I'm too lazy to change my last name so I wouldn't do it.

Well, unless her last name was really cool.  Like Scream.  Or Taz.  Or IdiosyncrasiesRUs.  I'd be Gar Scream.  I'd probably start writing it out all as one word.  I'm GarScream.  I'd feel like a transformer.  Except I wouldn't be able to transform.  And where would the fun be in that?

This, of course, led me down the path of everyone changing their last name and I've decided I'm going to recommend it to my daughters.  When they get married they should marry someone who is willing to come up with a new last name.

When you get married you are bringing two people together to create a new family so you should create a new last name and everyone should accept it.  No more expecting one person to accept the last name of the other!  If Mister Smith marries Miss Jones, they could become the Smoneses.  Or the Skreams.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rifting

I guess I might as well get this out of the way.

Rift is an MMORPG created by TRION.

MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.  World of Warcraft is probably the most famous of such games.

My first MMORPG was Everquest.  I played Everquest from about April 1999 until around April of 2001.  I was thoroughly addicted to it, but like all good addictions, I finally gave it up.

I played Dark Age of Camelot for a spell and then, like all good addicts, I played World of Warcraft.  After WoW I played Age of Conan and even blogged about it somewhere.  That's just to name of few.

With every MMO I've played, I've always stopped playing because I run out of things to do by myself.  They generally have all these fantastic dungeons to go through, but you can't go through them alone.  It always requires a team.  Sometimes a team of 5 and some of the more intricate ones require a team of 20 or more.

My socially inadequate self is not geared up for the kind of hobnobbing required to gel with a team of 20 so I quit playing.

Rift has somehow managed to fix this.  I'll attempt to explain how it works.  In Rift, you have callings, souls and roles.  A calling is one of four broad categories: warrior, mage, cleric or rogue.  For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about you should probably have quit reading 3 paragraphs ago.

Each calling has a set of souls to choose from.  A rogue, for example, can be an assassin, bard, ranger, bladedancer, marksman, riftstalker, saboteur, or nightblade.  But, then it gets tricky.  Your character starts with 1 role, but can purchase additional roles and each role is a combination of 3 souls.

One of my rogue's roles, for example, is an assassin, bard, and nightblade.  This combination of souls gives you grouping possibilities because a soul combination gives you a role in a group.  The general roles are healer, tank, damage, and support.

Groups of five contain two damage, a tank, a healer and support.  When I need to throw caution to the wind and get into a dungeon where I need a group of 5, I simply toss my hat into the ring and check which roles I can perform.

My rogue, again, can be support or damage.  If I check those two roles and click join dungeon, the Rift system will look at all the groups currently in development and find a group which needs support or damage and throw me into the group as either support or damage (depending on which role is needed).  Generally tanks and healers are the most rare.  If I want to get into a group quick I'll choose one of those roles.

Anyway, it's a beautiful thing.  It makes it easy as pie to get into groups so the entire Rift universe is yours to explore regardless of your social ineptitude.  Trust me.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Rachel Affair

Rather than spend an hour regurgitating all the sordid details of this brief affair and rehashing the nightmare, I've decided to spend 30 minutes describing photo documentation.

First, here's Rachel.  She's 19 and has a 5 month old little boy.  Young women these days.

As soon as Rachel saw me she threw herself at me.

As things progressed, I agreed to a dance.

I grudgingly allowed her to give me a kiss.  On the cheek.

Then things got ugly.  First, I agreed that she could take me for a ride.  She started getting a little too friendly so I told her I had a girlfriend.  Her adoration quickly became anger and she tried to drown me.

Failing at the drowning fiasco, she came up behind me while I was floating innocently on a boogie board and tried to forcefully ram me headfirst into the nearest pier.

I survived, but was left troubled by the whole ordeal.  Please send sympathy donations to my Paypal account.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Small Boring Autobiography

I've fallen into one of those patterns where everything I'd like to write in this pointless blog will take me too long to inadequately put into words.  Therefore, I don't write anything for lack of a big enough chunk of time.  It's a curse really.

I need to write about my latest cruise and post some pictures of my dolphin encounter.  I got to make out with a 19 year old named Rachel.  She had soft skin and could swim really fast.  We danced and then she tried to ram me into the piers on a boogie board.  I've got photo documentation somewhere.  It was horrifying.



I've been wasting lots of time playing my latest addiction called Rift.  I blogged at some point about what irritates me the most about MMORPG's.  Rift has remedied these problems miraculously enough.  I need to tell you how, but, again, I lack the time.

I bought a new mountain bike last week.  It's a Cannondale.  I can now officially go for 30 minutes without puking!  Yay me!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cherry Pies in the Sky

Fellow Aquarius musician (born February 1, 1964) Jani Lane passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 47.  For those of you born after 1990, he was lead singer of late blooming hair band Warrant.  I never liked their "hit" albums much.  Probably partially because my wife at the time had a crush on Mr. Lane which forced me to be vehemently opposed to the sounds of their music.  And it wasn't hard with lyrics like, "She's My Cherry Pie, cool drink of water such a sweet surprise".

Jani has apparently always had a problem with alcohol. In 2008 he was replaced as lead singer of Warrant by Robert Mason.

Anyway, he's off to that Great Cherry Pie in the Sky.





Edit... I just read his autobiography.  It kind of made me sad.  "Thanks for listening and know that everyday above ground is a gift..."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Parable of Two Wanting Offspring

Two children, age 10, are trying to raise money to buy a new bicycle.  The bicycle will cost $200.  It's a very nice bicycle and all the kids want one.

One of the children, we'll call him George Mack, has been told by his father that if he can't raise all the money then his dad will cover any shortfall.  George just has to try.  What a nice father he has!

The other child, we'll call her Marzi Daniel, has been given no such love.  She has to earn her own way.

George may have a good heart and try to make a good product, but he has nothing to lose.  He may buy powdered lemonade from the store with a dollar he has saved up from his lunch money.  He'll probably sell at a higher price in an attempt to make his money faster.  If he can come up with the money in 2 hours then no need for him to stand at the lemonade booth all day long!  Depending on his outlook, he may or may not care that people like his lemonade.  All he has to do is pretend to try and he'll still get the money for his bicycle at the end of the day.

Now Marzi has great incentive.  If she doesn't sell her lemonade she's not going to get a new bike.  She'll eventually give up and go home.  Heartbroken and out of business because her father won't help her.  She'll go out of her way to make people come to her for her lemonade.  She might even hand press her lemons to make freshly squeezed lemonade.  She'll test every gallon of lemonade made to make sure it exceeds her quality standards.  She knows if she makes a bad glass of lemonade it'll severely damage her chances of acquiring the bicycle.  It's in her best interest to create quality lemonade with a good variety and great customer service!

Knowing these two stories, when you go to buy a glass of lemonade, which vendor are you going to choose?  Unless something is severely wrong with you, you'll likely choose Marzi's lemonade.  She's going to be working harder, she's got more to lose, and she's likely to be a better all around person because she's not been born with a silver spoon.

Because the government bailed out our automotive industry, this is what I feel like when I buy a car.  That's one of the reasons my last vehicle purchase involved trading in a GM for a Mazda.  I can respect Ford for not accepting the money, but they still exist now with the knowledge that Daddy will help them out if things go bad.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Donating Money

I've said before that I'm lazy.  It's possible that I'm more stubborn than I am lazy.  There are two kinds of stubborn.  I'm the second kind, but that's fodder for another blog which I may or may not expound upon depending on popular demand and mood.  Ask me if you're curious.

I can't really think of any supreme blog ideas.  The majority of stuff I come up with are little one liners that spawn into an interesting discussion at a bar.  But, I don't talk.  Like does confidence imply inferred consent?

I also have a thing about why the US Government is encouraging you to buy foreign cars.  Actually, now that I've started I could go on all day.  But, luckily, I won't.

It occurred to me the other day that I find it offensive to give money to someone.  If some pathetic person asks you for a dollar so they can buy some food, it is the utmost act of laziness to give them money.  Take the time to think of something which allows them to earn it.  Then, give it to them.  No more handouts.  The government should learn as much.  And standing in line at a government handout agency is not earning it.

That's my lesson for today.  Never give someone money.  I think I've blogged indirectly about this before.  You can probably read it here.  I kind of paid a homeless guy to be my buddy for an evening in downtown Dallas.

Now, the other day, I was at a parking lot in West End and they had one of those automated parking machines where you put your credit card in, it charges you $5, spits out a parking voucher and you put it on the dash of your car.

I know how these things work in general, but each one seems to have some little idiosyncrasies.  This parking lot wasn't crowded.  There were maybe 5 cars parked in it total.  While I went up to the machine, this man approached and started helping me with the machine.  He was nice, knew all the quirks about the machine, and pushed all the buttons for me so I didn't have to contaminate my tender paws.

When he was done, I put my card in and received my parking ticket.  He asked if I could spare a dollar.  I gave him one because he did something for it.  Granted, I didn't ask him to and if I had to give everyone a dollar who did something without me asking, I'd be broke.  But, at least he didn't just ask for the money and I didn't feel I donated it to him for nothing.  I received a service.  He was also entertaining.  It was almost like a tip.

Of course, after I gave him a dollar he asked about getting an additional dollar so he could buy a train ticket or something and I had to give him a quick lesson in economics, supply and demand and what a dollar was worth at a gentleman's club.  He probably should have given me a dollar for the sheer amount of entertainment I spontaneously spewed forth.  But, I didn't ask and he didn't offer.

He did tell Lisa I was crazy.  She didn't give him a dollar for the tip.  I probably would have.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm Back and Have Nothing to Say!

I promised my kids I'd take them on a cruise before my oldest daughter graduated high school.  If all goes well, she will graduate next May so this was my last summer to honor said agreement.

We left last Thursday and got back Monday.  This heat is making me tired and irritable.  I think there must be some medical excuse for it besides my elderly decrepit state of existence.

Anyway, it is, in fact, making me, too blah to blog.

The most exciting thing about Cozumel was that it never got above 95 degrees and it rained.  We even had lunch outside in the rain during a thunderstorm.  I had forgotten what rain looked like.

Well, getting pushed on a boogie board by a dolphin might have been fun too.  When I work up the energy I may describe it for you.  It may have to wait until October when I assume the temperatures will finally fall below 100 again.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summertime SAD

At some point in the last few days, hidden among a dozen posts about the current heatwave,  Durango tried to insult me.  At first, I was hurt and a little sad.

But I read further and saw the blame for his outburst was hidden in his blog.  He, being brought up in the cool rainy climate of the Pacific Northwest region, is suffering from, what appears to be, a severe case of Summertime SAD.

He's been posting temperature updates 4 times a day and he only blogs 5 times a day.  I'm really rather concerned for his well being.

He needs help.  But, as he pointed out in one of his comments; I don't know where he lives so I can't help him except by posting this cry for help on his behalf.

If you know where Durango lives or have an appointment to see him in some capacity, please give him a glass of ice water along with a couple of chill pills.  Thanks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Two Ignorant Complaints

I probably need to increase the quantity of posts I make.  I've heard the more the merrier.  However, I debate back and forth as to whether or not to create a new post for each new random thought or put several random thoughts into one post.  Being that I am a lazy man, I usually opt for the easiest choice.  Of course, sometimes I debate with myself so long that the original inspiration for rambling goes away or I become too lazy to write anything at all.  Today, I had a short lunch, so I just decided to to spew forth meandering opinions.  I mean offer up my two complaints for today.

Complaint number One.  The stupid agreement.  I agree that I'm not stupid and if I am stupid I will not sue you for using your software.  There needs to be a place where I can globally sign up for this once and not have to agree fifteen thousand times a day.  It occurs most often in my car on my navigation system.  I can turn off the car and two seconds later, turn it back on and the same stupid message comes up that I have to agree to before the navigation system will work.  I've never read the agreement.  I assume it says I'm not stupid enough to disobey traffic laws or run off the road while fiddling with the system and driving.

I'm kind of surprised there is not a similar warning you have to agree to before writing a text message or dialing a mobile phone.  Every time you install software, you have to agree to a 20 page document that no one takes the time to read.  Why do we do all of this?  There needs to be a national database where you can go and sign your name in front of witnesses admitting you aren't stupid.  Just to get it over with once and for all.

Complaint number Two.  Obama apparently wants to raise taxes on the wealthy.  I'm not sure who the wealthy are.  Wealthy compared to who?  I'm fairly confident that, when compared to the world population, a large portion of Americans are going to be considered wealthy.  Probably if you make more than $20k per year, you are going to be considered wealthy to someone.

When taken at first glance, you'd be apt to say, "Sure make big companies and their CEO's pay more taxes.  No one needs that much money."  These guys spend money on private jets, mansions, parties, etc.  Look at all the people who are employed because of their "frivolous" spending.  Do we really trust the US Government to do a better job of spending their money?  I personally would trust Bill Gates to spend his money wisely.  I've seen how well the government wastes money.

Why do we think the government will do a better job of spending a wealthy person's money?  Perhaps if the government did a better job of money management they wouldn't be in this bind.

The government should take raising taxes for anyone completely out of the equation and reduce the deficit.  Quit wasting money.  It's not rocket science.  And lower my taxes.  Thanks.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Thoughts on Amy Winehouse

She was born September 14, 1983 and died July 23, 2011.  I wasn't a huge fan by any means, but I did enjoy her music.  She had a very unique voice and songs were funny, sad, ironic, and interesting to listen to.

Although the autopsy so far is inconclusive, anyone who followed her in the least must believe it must somehow be related to alcohol and drugs.  Her hit song was titled "Rehab" and I'm quite sure it was taken from real life experience.  "They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, 'No no no'".

Interestingly, she died at the age of 27 which puts her in an increasingly non-unique category of musicians.  They've even got a name, "The 27 Club".  The famous members of the club are, of course, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain.

I'm not much on disparaging dead people.  Of the four artists listed above, Kurt was the only one I didn't care for.  So today, on the Russ Martin Show, when a caller called in adamantly complaining that people were going to put Amy Winehouse on a level with Kurt, it irritated me to the point that I felt the need to blog.

His complaint was the that her music sucked, she only had two albums out and she had no influence.  Not like Kurt who seemed to have some sort of godlike status in this deranged moronic stupid ass listener's brainless opinion.

First, he needs to somehow develop an IQ.  Then, he needs to learn to read.  Then, he needs to learn the difference between fact and opinion.

Of course, the most disheartening part was that Russ let him on the air and didn't degrade him.  He is normally very good at degrading morons.  I was mostly disappointed that Russ agreed with the stupidity.  It was very disappointing.

Here's a quote from Soundunwound: "Platinum selling and five time Grammy winning singer Amy Winehouse has died at the age of 27. Well known for her soulful voice, Winehouse's numerous hits include "Stronger Than Me," "Love is a Losing Game," and "Rehab." Her platinum selling album, Back to Black, helped usher in a new era for female vocalists from Adele to Lady Gaga."

I always thought she was pretty.  She was prettier before she started doing the drugs and alcohol.  It's just a shame that someone that talented has to die.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Life and Strife of Gar

Normally, I don't like posting stuff that involves other people.  Generally, this causes flames to fly and I'm caught in the middle of a swirling giant burning torrent of "ow, please stop, I can't take it any more".

This week was one of those weeks.  It all started on Monday.  I got home to be greeted by my two charming daughters.  It was nice they were both home so I decided to go to the store and buy us something to eat.  While at the store, I get a disturbing text message from the youngest daughter.  We'll call her Wee Z.

The text was something along the lines of "Rile E (my oldest daughter) is going to kill me.  Mom is coming to pick me up.  I love you.  Bye."  These are my favorite kinds of text messages.  I sent back some clever response to start the defusing process (that's what I do; I defuse), but it's not important.

Before I could make it out of the store, I'm getting text messages from the mother.  We'll call her Aim E.  What am I going to do about Rile E?  Perhaps family counseling?  Does she need to see a psychologist?  Is the sky falling?

I believe that in matters of tension, Rile E behaves like Aim E.  They apparently share the I'm too emotional to think clearly when I'm stressed out gene.  I should also mention that Wee Z takes after me in her ability to piss people off who are too emotional to think clearly.

For the most part, I'm ignoring and thinking.  To keep the parties from believing that I am not empathetic to their plight I make a few choice phone calls to get both sides of the story and to tell Rile E to clean up her mess.  Apparently during the confrontation she had thrown a Dr. Pepper can at Wee Z and dumped a bag of potato chips on her head.  I'm still not entirely clear where the threat of imminent death at the hands of Rile E entered the picture.  It's not important.

When I got home, the house was eerily empty, but the chips had been cleaned up.

Back when Rile E was about 8, a pediatrician diagnosed her with ADD.  I'm not a fan of the diagnosis and you, as my most adoring reader, should know that by now.  If you don't know it, you can read about it here.

The messages continued to come at me on Monday.  Apparently Wee Z had convinced her mom that imminent death at the hands of Rile E was on the horizon and she was living in mortal fear, not knowing when the death blow would actually occur.  I told Wee Z to buy one of those junior sized aluminum baseball bats to help alleviate her fear.  I'm not sure if she did.  But, they do help with fear.  No, I'm not condoning her hitting anyone with it.  Just defusing.  It's what I do.

I had a talk with Rile E on Monday night and she seemed all better and had regrets for losing her precious little temper.

On Tuesday, I made Rile E an appointment with a counselor to talk about her anger management issue and perhaps give me some insight as to whether she actually has ADD.  He said on the phone that losing ones temper for no apparent reason is a classic symptom of untreated ADD.  I knew that Rile E hadn't been taking any ADD meds for quite some time so I had a moment of panic.

I should mention in passing that on Tuesday Rile E and Wee Z were safely huddled under the same roof again and seemed to be content in their proximity.  There were no baseball bats in the room.  Or potato chips.

Wednesday, Rile E and I went to her first counseling session.  After talking to Rile E for an hour, he decided that if she does have ADD it's very borderline.  He said he believes it's more a tone of voice thing.  Based on what Rile E had told him, she doesn't deal well with the way her mom or Wee Z address her.  Is this her fault or their fault?

In Rile E's pretty little head, it's their fault.  They are condescending and it causes her to flip out.  Anyway, he goes on to say, among other things, that Rile E has perhaps learned this behavior from her mom.  I kind of shutdown after this because I'm picturing in my little head what kind of sh*t storm this is going to create when Rile E announces to her mom that her anger management issues stem from something her mom has allegedly done.

And, in the irony of all ironies, Rile E told Aim E and Aim E lost her temper.  Neither one of them can see that they are just alike.  It's almost amusing.  One of these days, I'm going to put a voice recorder on my phone so they can both hear what they say to me.  Rile E will call me at 9 AM and say something like, "Dad, Mom's driving me crazy!  She completely flips out for no reason and now she's turned my phone off!".  Then at about 2 PM, I'll get a call from Aim E, "Gar, you need to do something about Rile E, I can't handle her any more.  She completely flipped out for no reason so I've turned off her phone."

If they both weren't so angry, it would be funny.  But, I laugh a little on the inside anyway.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Going 110 To 40 (Vapors)

I have a t-shirt that reads, "Extreme Indoor Enthusiast".  For some reason, I've never been much for the great outdoors.

My good buddy Durango tried to cure me about 10 years ago.  He convinced me to cut my hair, but he never managed to break me of my outdoor problem.  He was fond of calling it the vapors and when he gave up trying to cure me, I never heard from him again.  Here's a list of his complaints:
One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine
Ten
Eleven
Twelve
Thirteen
Fourteen
Fifteen
Sixteen
Seventeen

I can kind of see why he finally gave up.  I tried to scan and see how many times I saw the phrase, "case of the vapors".

So anyway, over the weekend I was invited to Platter Flats Recreation Area.  It's part of Lake Texoma on the Oklahoma side of the lake.

On Saturday, I was full steam fun loving Gar the Texan.  Running at 110 percent.  I stayed out on the lake.  I went tubing.  I played Frisbee.  I cracked jokes.  I went swimming.  Yeehaa!  After about, maybe 4 hours of this, I crashed.  I had me a good case of the vapors.  I went from 110 to 40 in 30 seconds.

It is the most irritating thing imaginable.  I can see why Durango finally gave up on me.  I'm ready to give up on  me too.  The nice woman who allowed me to come on the camping adventure told me that had she known beforehand of my outdoor vapors problem, she would not have allowed me to date her friend.  Sad, but true.  She kind of reminded me of Durango a little bit.  Both of them older than me and in better shape and more active.

It all started when I realized my insulin pump had quit working.  I went out of my way to buy a waterproof insulin pump from Animas (supposedly water proof up to 12 feet).  This is the second one in less than 6 months which has sustained water damage.  I'm not sure I'm too happy with Animas.  I'm tempted to buy a different pump and getting a waterproof case.  Of course, then the pump company wouldn't be as apt to replace my pump when the case malfunctions.  I guess it's better to buy one that professes to be waterproof even though it doesn't seem very consistent.  Perhaps I'll continue using the Animas pump and buy a waterproof case as well...

But, the broken pump just caused me stress.  I'm fairly certain the nausea was caused by some sort of heat exposure.  Perhaps I didn't drink enough water?  I've switched to a strict water diet.  I've drank more water since Saturday than I have all year.  I'm hoping I get invited to the next camping adventure.  I just hope the next camping adventure doesn't take place until my nightmares have subsided.