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


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.