Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Explaining the Email

Yesterday I received an email from someone I know who read through my blog and had a few comments. It was an interesting read for several reasons. It was eye opening in that I can kind of see how someone who reads my blog perceives me to be.

Keep in mind when I write to my blog, 75% of the time it's when things are boiling to the surface so you're getting to see my steamy side. My actual life is not nearly entertaining enough to write about. I spend a large portion of my life sitting in front of a computer playing with the latest Netbeans IDE or writing Java code to keep my programming skills up. I spend an even larger portion of my life sitting in my recliner with a laptop in my lap playing computer games. I was one of those geeky people who were addicted to Evercrack and then graduated to World of Warcrack.

Anyway, I was just gong to answer the email and I thought to myself, "Where's the fun in that? If he's raising these issues and asking these questions how many more are?" I'm going to copy and paste the email here and then respond inline. I'll have to omit sections to protect the innocent and their intellectual property, but, for the most part, it's intact.
Thanks for sharing your blog...that took a bit more courage than I have. As is most often the case, you and I agree on a lot of things and disagree on others.
I've read back almost to the beginning of your blog and I have some questions that you're free to entertain or ignore:
It's in my nature that I can't ignore anything. Sometimes I wish I could. This might be one of those times. I don't feel courageous, but then again I don't get why everyone is so uptight about their privacy. I think I blogged about that somewhere. 
Is a tall slide a good analogy for life? 
It's only tall if you've got goals.
Children climb the ladder of growing and schooling and, when they start their careers and adult life, it's like sliding down twists and drops and slow stretches.  Doesn't drug addiction act like a gap in the slide, where the person falls through and lands with a thud in the gutter?  
I like your analogy. Now, if the government would give me the legal means to truly teach my kids about the gaps. I can teach my kids about alcohol, no problem. But, the illegal drugs? All I know is what I've read and they can both read. I can tell them, "I've never done it, so you shouldn't. You might get addicted, hit a gap and fall in the gutter." But, that doesn't really do any good. Everyone knows when you tell someone they can't do something, they're going to try it the first time it's presented in a semi safe environment.
Don't you think that legalizing addictive drugs is like allowing the drug pushers to get near the top rung so they can push the child down the slide before it's fully built? Isn't it better if we don't let the pushers anywhere near the ladder?
If you legalize drugs there will be no "drug pushers" so they won't be anywhere near the ladder. You seem to be looking at it all from an illegal point of view. Of course, I may have too much trust in humanity as well. But I believe the biggest problem with drugs today is the "War on Drugs". War is never good for anyone.
  How is legalizing drugs victimless?
Legalizing drugs is not hurting anyone.
Does correlation prove causation?  Could Clinton have gotten the benefit of history rather than deserving credit for all (or even any) of the budget surplus? Could the implosion of the USSR and the explosion of computers have had more effect? Or the .com bubble?  Isn't Obama a victim of China and other countries kicking our butts in manufacturing/import laws? Won't whoever is president if/when China implodes be a giant in your eyes, no matter what he does?  I grant that the president gets the credit/blame for their piece of history but is that any reason to believe that Clinton would do miracles if he were president now?
Good points. I've often said we give the President too much blame/praise. He's just not that powerful.
As an extreme example: If your (future) son-in-law gets some gambling/drug debts, do you want him to have the option of pimping your daughter?  Couldn't he talk her into saving his rear-end merely by going to the nearest bar and giving hummers to each of the guys on the bar stools?  And, while they're at it, why not make three times as much while she's leaning over anyway?  How is legalizing prostitution victimless?  I don't remember now why I thought you wanted to legalize prostitution, though.
Legalizing prostitution is victimless. Forcing someone to do something they don't want to do is wrong (and I think mostly illegal). When the government makes things illegal it drives them underground where there is no protection. As long as prostitution is illegal, the above scenario could happen to anyone because criminals control the environment. They are already committing felonies so what's one more gonna matter?
Should you applaud Clinton getting a hummer when there are so many victims?  What about his wife?  What about Lewinsky's parents?  What about the worries of the other parents of DC interns?  What about Lewinsky herself?
I think you may be overreacting. Taking all other factors out of the equation, getting a hummer in the oval office is awesome! Yeah, it would have been better coming from Hilary. I just left that sentence out. Omission is my right as an author. And maybe Hilary gave him more than that in the oval office.  We just don't know about it. I did mention that if I were Bill, I'd be embarrassed to talk about it. It was a mistake (getting it from an intern), but it was her choice. If Bill somehow forced her to do something she didn't want to do then he should have been arrested.

I certainly don't see any victims (unless I missed something in the news).
Could parents in the past have forced their children to act right-handed because, otherwise, they would be left-handed and turn into arrogant ego-maniacs?  Just kidding there, everyone should be proud of themselves (as long as they're not hurting anyone).
Not a fan of forcing kids to do anything. Unless you use forcing, educating and teaching synonymously. There's nothing wrong with left-handed ego-maniacs. Since 1974, there have been only two right-handed Presidents.
Do you think you don't have a drinking problem?
I know I don't. My liquor cabinet is completely full.
  Do you think you'd be better off if you copied your driver's license onto a note where you signed a statement giving your friend permission to tell the tender not to serve you once you've drunk to the point where you're, again, not going to remember what you did the next morning? 
That would be an interesting idea. Alas, I don't have any friends.
Would that help your hangover problem? 
I actually don't get hangovers.
Might that save you some money and maybe a drunk-driving ticket?  Of course, you never wrote that you drive drunk so you're apparently smart enough not to.  I'm worried about everybody but, right now, you especially.
I'm gonna have to ramble here for a second or two.

Up top, I said, only the steamy stuff tends to come out in my blog. Once or twice a year, I go nuts. Here's why:
About a month before my 12th birthday, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It's funny how things like that affect you. I remember losing a lot of weight my first semester of junior high. I think I was down around 70 pounds when the PE teacher finally convinced my mom that something was wrong. Up until then I had been quietly dropping pounds and peeing every 5 minutes.

I remember going into the doctor and peeing in a cup. When he came into the room he told my mom he thought I had diabetes. I didn't hear diabetes (didn't know what it was anyway). I heard the first syllable, "die...". For a brief moment, I thought he was about to tell my mom how long I had to live. It scared the hell out of me.

He gave my mom a bunch of pamphlets to read. I asked if I could have them. She gave them to me. I know more about diabetes than most doctors. I have to take medicine to eat. I've never really talked about this to anyone so it's hard to write down. I don't want anyone to worry about me or feel sorry for me. I've got the best rose colored glasses three months at a psychologist can buy.

To give you a really bad analogy, when you've got diabetes, it's like driving a sloppy four cylinder stick shift where the clutch doesn't engage the same all the time and one of your pistons is bent to hell. From the time I was 12 until the time I was 18, I was trying to keep from stalling and scared to do anything out of the ordinary. I counted my carbohydrates. I took my injections. I didn't play any sports, I didn't go to any parties. I went to school and I learned how to drive my sputtering manual transmission body.

Something changed when I graduated high school. Maybe it was just the act of graduating. I don't know. I don't have a drinking problem. I maybe drink 12 ounces of beer per day. But once or twice a year I want to forget about driving a stick shift and just pretend to be normal. I figure I"ll eventually grow out of it.
I'm a post-compatibilist atheist with agnostic sprinkles (don't bother researching the "post-" part, it's my own term) but I appreciate that religion is often greatly beneficial to adherents and sometimes beneficial to others; do you see no benefit to brainwashing children?
I see no benefit in brainwashing anyone.  I was going to blog about the 19 year old who was involved with the tragic Boston Marathon bombings (I decided it was too controversial). 19 year old kids don't do that. He was brainwashed. You want to find the person responsible, you're going to have to find his brainwasher.
Wouldn't your president just hang low until the 'one year tryout' had passed and then go ballistic for the rest of his 6 year term? 
Anything can happen. The point is that during the election they make promises. If a President makes promises and he doesn't get any traction in what he promised for the first year, then he's either a liar or not qualified. Anyone can go ballistic. Now, they can go ballistic for 4 years. I think there is something fundamentally flawed about the way we elect people. I don't know the answer. I just think something needs to change (kind of like healthcare).
Of course, they're not going to eliminate the electoral college (and shouldn't).  Doesn't a 3rd party candidate just split the votes from the one he's most like and thereby shoot himself in the foot?  Won't online voting get more opinions from uninformed, lazy people?
Currently, that is what a 3rd party candidate does. It would be much better to eliminate the party system. However, if there were multiple parties and they were all given equal footing then suddenly there is no such thing as a "third party". Similar to your drug position at the top, you are making your argument based on our currently flawed system.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mental Age

The previous blog was supposed to be my last one of the year, but this mental age test has been invading my thoughts after it invaded my Facebook.

My wife took the test and had me take the test. She scored a 22.

Several of my friends on Facebook have taken it and I've seen scores from 22 to 43.

My youngest daughter took it and she scored a 22 (she's 16).

The test is only six questions. There are no right answers. There were several questions (like the first one) where I wanted to answer, "All of the above", but that wasn't a choice.

I diligently go through each question over and over and just pick the "best" answer even though none of them are necessarily the "right" answer.

Every time I do it, I score a 10. According to this test, I've got the mental age of a 10 year old! What the hell does that mean? My wife says I act like a 12 year old so the damn thing must be off by at least 2 years!

Click the link and hit the green "START" button:
Mental Age Test

Friday, December 20, 2013

Shades of Gay

I couldn't help but be roped into the Phil debacle.

But instead of rehashing what has already been said, I thought I'd take a different approach.

From the time I was 0 until the time I was 18, I was coerced into going to church and studying the bible 3 times a week. There were a couple of times in the last 2 or 3 of those 18 years that I met some pretty little woman who made me go to church with her. It was these times that I truly tried to act like I believed in the bible. A pretty face goes a long way! I have enough knowledge to debate with the best of them.

If there is one thing I learned in those 18 years, it's that you can not debate or have a discussion with anyone who bases their argument on faith. If they have faith, then you should just slowly back away. Faith is like saying, "I'm not as stubborn as a mule, I'm as stubborn as a whole caravan of mules equipped with 20 pound spiked shoes on each hoof." Back away slowly and find someone capable of having a meaningful discussion. You'll be glad you did.

I believe everyone is a shade of gay. The people who are scared to admit it or fall back on the bible argument as a crutch are usually a darker shade of gay on the inside. They work so hard at hiding it, that they appear what the media calls, for some strange reason, anti-gay.

A surprisingly large number of my friends, both past and present, are gay. Some of them I didn't know were gay until the advent of Facebook. Facebook has been a great eye opener in searching through all my old high school/college buddies and going, "Hmm. Now that I see it, I kind of wonder why I didn't notice that before."

I've been picked on, bullied, teased, and ridiculed, almost all of my life. Probably since the time I was 18, I've avoided country bars. There's something odd about country bars and the propensity of the clientele to ridicule everyone not wearing creased starched Wranglers, a cowboy hat and boots. You have to fit the mold or suffer the consequences. I don't fit the mold. I can pretend to be country, but cowboy hats give me a headache, boots make my feet hurt and the whole redneck attitude makes me feel a little stupid.

I've been to a plethora of gay bars. I've never been picked on at a gay bar. No one has ever called me a name or tried to demean me. I've been hit on a couple of times, but that didn't bother me. I can just politely explain my sexual orientation and they usually talk to me a while and then go away. The most obnoxious one told me to "Ditch the bitch and make the switch," which I just thought was funny. I've never felt uncomfortable at a gay bar, but I'm not gay.

The other day I was having a discussion with a friend of mine about homosexuality being a choice. He was kind of coming from a religious point of view so I was a bit wary, but it got me to thinking. How fortunate would you be to actually have a choice?

I'd wager that the majority of humans don't have a choice. They are either homosexual or heterosexual. But, what if, you were wired to have a choice? How open minded is that? You go out to a bar and everyone is attractive to you instead of just the men or just the women. You've increased your odds of having a meaningful relationship by what? 100%?

I, personally, would have an easier time choosing to be a serial killer than I'd be able to choose to be homosexual. The thought of being intimate with another man makes me feel a bit nauseous.

It even bothers me to watch two men kiss. I'd never tell them in person because I know it could be hurtful. I spend way too much time analyzing what I say to avoid hurting someone else. Some people call me shy. I say I'm just careful. Some folks need to be more careful in how they say things on national television.

In today's world, people seem to get bent out of shape too easily. Phil voicing his opinions should not have made anyone upset. Maybe he lacks the political correctness we've come to expect in our self-inflicted over-sensitive society, but so what? He really didn't hurt anyone.

He's probably a darker shade of gay than I am and he's using his faith as a shield (or his fear of some eternity in molten lava or something). Don't badmouth anyone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. We'll all be happier.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No Sex For You (unless you plan to get pregnant)

It's the 21st century. At least I think it is.

Caveats galore! I didn't vote for Obama. The new affordable healthcare act fell well short of what I thought it should be. Doing away with health insurance would have been a good start. Instead we've forced everyone to buy health insurance.

That being said...

For companies to say, "Because of our religious beliefs we refuse to cover contraception" is like me saying, "Because I think my pinky toe is pretty, I refuse to wear shoes".

Yes, that's right, I'm saying it's stupid.

If you're going to waste taxpayer money in our court systems, find something worth litigating about.

As Americans, the Declaration of Independence says we have the right to the pursuit of happiness. If sex makes you happy, but childbirth does not, you better not be Catholic or work for some other archaic company that requires you to follow their religious beliefs (no matter how backasswards).

These types of religious views only affect women. So men are free to pursue happiness all they want, but women who work for one of these companies or belong to one of these religions are not?

Well, I guess, technically, they could, but it'll cost them more. Both in money (paying for their own birth control) and for time (spending more of it in the confessional booth).

It's time to join the 21st century folks. Women have just as much of a right as men to happiness. We shouldn't have laws or religions that discriminate based on sex.

Freedom is more important than religious freedom. If I happen to have a job working for a wealthy Catholic family, I shouldn't be required to be Catholic. That, my friends, is most definitely not freedom of religion.

In a country founded upon freedom of religion we can't have people (no matter how wealthy they happen to be) rewriting our laws because of their religion. It'll go nowhere but down.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Adam Levine Ruins "The Voice" (for me)

I have to admit something kind of sad. I have been watching "The Voice" religiously for the last two seasons. I love the blind auditions where the judges have their backs turned as the singers perform. If the judges like what they hear (also impacted by audience enjoyment), they turn their chairs indicating that they'd like to have the performer on their team.

It's a cool concept: judging someone almost purely on their vocals rather than their looks or stage presence.

Once each judge has their team picked, they go into the "Battle Rounds". The goal of the game (show) is for the judge (now evolved into a coach) to coach one member of their team to become "The Voice" as voted on by the viewing public. So coaches pick their battles pitting two singers from their own team against each other to sing a duet. The coach then picks the singer he thinks did the best job.

Unfortunately, during the battle rounds, there is a little more appearance involved, but, ultimately, the coach is supposed to pick the person who performed better on stage with the cameras rolling. If they don't then why even televise it? Normally, they are awesome and you have a hard time figuring out which one is best. Sometimes the singer the coach names as the victor is a surprise, but the explanation makes sense. Other times it's obvious as one of the contestants was out of tune or just couldn't keep up. It's usually during the battle rounds that anyone over the age of 30 is unfortunately kicked out.

Once the battle rounds are over they go to the "Knockout Rounds". They are the same as the battle rounds except the singers sing solo, but still compete against another singer from their team. The coaches still setup the pairings. Once they are done singing their songs, the coach determines which one is knocked out based on their performance. Once again, if it's not based on their performance, then why televise it? It's a waste of time if the coach is just going to pick someone based on who the networks tell him to pick or if the coach was given a kickback leading up to the performance. A lot of times it's impossible to tell which one the coach is going to pick. There are some really good singers! Other times, it's obvious.

Last night may have been my last night of watching "The Voice". I don't know if James was giving Adam "reach-arounds" during rehearsal or what, but based on his performance last night he should have been knocked out no questions asked. He sang a difficult song and he strained and he missed notes. He was so out of pitch I couldn't listen to half of it because it made my ears hurt. He sang "More Than a Feeling" by Boston as if he were an out of tune whining Steve Perry. It sucked. It was in the top 5 of worst performances I've ever heard on The Voice.

For some reason, Adam picked him and knocked out the girl (Juhi). I was flabbergasted. Therefore, I've decided the whole program is rigged and it's lost all attraction to me as a viable show. It would be kind of like if you found out the Superbowl was rigged and the winner was actually picked by an NFL executive the week before. It would be no fun watching it.

I found a video. You may or may not agree. But, it doesn't matter because this is "Gar's World".

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weeks With No Word

As you can see, I've updated my blog layout. I think it brings out the blue in my eyes.

It's been a while since I've written anything on this here medium, but I figured now is that time since I'll be traveling to London next week.

I have a reason for my silence. It's kind of along the same lines as the last election. The amount of stupidity and hatred in America is alarming. I think if I cancelled my Facebook account, I might write more. As that would make me mostly ignorant of the rampant stupidity.

People putting links to bogus websites talking about our president being this religion or that religion and how he's a dictator and needs to be impeached and on and on and on. It's alarming. I'm no Obama fan, but then again, I don't know the guy. Until you've walked a mile in their shoes or shared a pint of ale with them... And even if he is Muslim, who gives a flying sh*t? Really.

There are a plethora of websites whose sole intent is to provoke stupid ignorant people into posting stupid ignorant things and apparently they have quite the following. I thought, briefly, about pointing out all of these websites, but then when you start looking at the names of the websites and do a bit or research, it's just intuitively obvious and not worth my time and energy.

Huffington Post did an interesting piece on Western Journalism. If you're going to research important things like US Government on the Internet, at least pick halfway decent websites or use a wide smattering of websites and do some cross checking. Really. If you're just going to rely on one website for all of your cantankerous sharing on Facebook, share something helpful like the health risks of thong underwear.

Anyway, the government shutdown and all the finger pointing that went with it made me so irritated that I couldn't blog because that's all I could think to blog about. It's sad. I did write my representative a letter. It didn't help.

I told him to quit acting like a 5 year old who doesn't get his way at the playground. "Yeah, I know most of you voted to play football, but I want to play soccer and since I own the sporting equipment, I'm just taking my stuff and going home!" Senator Cruz's Childish Motards. I think they're going to start a band or something.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Immune Systems Gone Wild

The following has very little basis on scientific fact. It's just some things I've theorized after having type 1 diabetes for 33 years and the various other "side effects" that come along with it.

For a guy with type 1 diabetes, I'm actually quite healthy. When I was first diagnosed 33 years ago they didn't know exactly what caused type 1 diabetes. They still don't. The best educated guess going is that the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. It's, yet another, autoimmune disease.

They say that even if they could cure the pancreas, the immune system would just attack it again. I've read reports on how they are trying to figure out how to "reboot" the immune system. I kind of believe that the reason they don't know what causes type 1 diabetes is because it can have several different causes.

About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) on my left arm. When I was diagnosed the doctor said, "They don't know what exactly causes it. It tends to set in after you reach the age of 40. About 2% of the population gets it. 10% of people with type 1 diabetes get it."

In my neurotic head, I'm thinking, "great, so what other gifts will type 1 diabetes bestow upon me as I age?"

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Dupuytren's contracture. Here again, they don't know what causes it, but people with type 1 diabetes tend to get it more often than people without type 1 diabetes. Why is this?

Last year I had hip surgery on my right hip. I remember my first physical therapist telling me that my hip was behaving a lot like frozen shoulder. The doctors were not sure what was wrong with my hip. They did x-rays, MRI's etc. I had so many tests done, I probably glowed in the dark. They finally fixed it with some arthroscopic surgery, but I've read that frozen hip is very commonly misdiagnosed.

Last June my right shoulder started hurting. I went to the doctor today and once again have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder. It just switched arms so that no one felt left out.

Interestingly, the doctor today said if they took a sample from the damaged tissue in my shoulder (from adhesive capsulitis) and a sample from the damaged tissue in my hands (from the Dupuytren's) and sent them to a pathologist, the pathologist would say both samples were the same.

Today, on the car ride back from the doctor's office, I'm thinking, they don't need to cure type 1 diabetes. They need to cure the faulty immune system. Sometimes the immune system does more harm than good. And maybe all the diseases that are seen more often in people with type 1 diabetes are not really caused by diabetes at all, but are all caused by an over active immune system.

How many diseases are caused by the immune system? Some are caused by the immune system not properly killing off foreign cells.Others are caused by the immune system damaging healthy cells. I suppose it's probably quite difficult to fix a faulty immune system.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Submissive Women are Intimidating

It's all about expectations.

Today in my daily trudge through the quagmire of Facebook drivel, I ran upon a headline that made me go, "What?"

It makes me feel dirty posting a link to it because I know that people may actually click on the link and give this lunatic some kind of boner that he's getting extra attention, but I can't really give this post much justice unless I give you a link to the insanity. Here it is (*shudder*): "Here Are 7 Reasons Why Submissive Wives Are The Happiest People On The Planet".

Normally, I'd look at this stuff and think, "That's kind of funny." But, the more I read, the more I thought, "This guy is serious". Slowly my reading of the article made me nauseous. Even more nauseous that someone I assumed was intelligent propagated the BS on Facebook. Of course, I guess a lot of times, depending on your friend's list, Facebook is, at it's best, a great propagator of BS. I mean that's probably where you read the first part of this.

First things first: even if they are happy, what evidence is there that they are the happiest? I was not interviewed. It's possible a submissive Gar is the happiest person on earth. But, I'm not very submissive. Then, "7 Reasons Why Gar Is The Happiest Person On The Planet"? No one would read that, would they? Only I would read that and even then I'd just be reaffirming what I already know: that I use too many commas.

Probably the best thing about this particular "top 7 list" is that it was written by some dude (at least I assume Brian's a dude), with quotes from other men, who seem to have come to the conclusion that their submissive wives are the happiest people on the planet. You almost get whiplash from the egotistical fallout. I mean, my wife is the happiest person on the planet (besides me), but only when I tell her she can be.

If you are really a glutton for punishment (as I appear to be), you'll read all the way to the comments. Apparently, a bunch of backwoods, redneck jerks frequent the downtrend.com website. They aren't all bad, but the ones who are bad are really bad. Like little brainless lemmings in search of the truth behind Bumbling Brian. My favorite lemming quote, "I fully agree with this. Me and my girl get along great." The term "my girl" makes my skin crawl. Reminds me of that stupid ass song (which I also hate strongly dislike). Not to mention the blatant trouncing of the English language, "Me and my girl found the lord in that there church over there."

She's my girl. Cuz she's a non-bitter, pro-life Christian who does what I tell her to. Yeah. She better be happy or else.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Michael Irvin No Longer Follows the Cowboys :(

American Football has started again and it's time for more Cowboys bashing!

The first game of the season I sat with a couple of diehard Cowboys fans who hated Tony Romo!

I sat with them completely by accident. Really.

Today, I read an article about how you can get people to read your barely readable articles by coming up with a good title. I'm working on it.

Last night started the 2nd official week of the NFL with the Patriots beating the Jets 13 to 10.

But, this article, led me to blog.

It's a story about how Michael Irvin got upset with Tom Brady (QB for the Patriots) for being frustrated with his receivers.

It convinced me that either Michael doesn't watch the Cowboys anymore or maybe he watches them too much and then takes his anger against Romo out on quarterbacks (who have actually won playoff games) like Tom Brady.

Tony Romo is a big whiny baby. Every time he throws an interception it's someone else's fault. And "I get sick and tired of seeing him (being visibly frustrated) when someone runs the wrong route and, for reasons unknown, he throws it to the opposing team."

I'm convinced that when a Cowboys receiver runs the "wrong route" Tony purposefully throws it to the defense. Then, when the defense catches it, Tony walks off the field pissed off at all his receivers.

Tony is stupid. Tony has no business playing in the NFL.

Some folks will also blame it on the offensive line. I ask those people if they've every played a sporting event with someone who made them play better? I, for example, have bowled on several different bowling teams. There are certain people who make me play better. They are leaders. They lift people up with their positive attitude and knowledge of the sport.

If Tony was one of these people, his offensive line would be better. Hell, his receivers would probably run the routes he expects them to run. Tony is not one of these people. There is a very good reason that no GM, in their right minds, drafted him originally. GM's want to win playoff games. Jerry is not a good GM. He's a good businessman. He realized that those cute little dimples would get millions of women to watch the Cowboys every week regardless of their chances of winning a playoff game. Millions of viewers equals millions of dollars.

This year Romo is making about 18 million dollars. Jerry is hoping Tony will be healthy enough to watch the playoffs.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Accounting Wife and Pi

Yesterday, my wife of less than a month surprised me with an email regarding my earnings. In a bold font with lots of exclamation points she demanded:
  • My most recent pay check stub
  • The amount of interest I had paid on my most recent house
  • The amount of property taxes I had paid on my most recent house
  • The number of exemptions I am claiming
  • Whether or not I can claim a loss on the sale of my most recent house
  • Any medical expenses not paid by FSA
  • And finally any other deductions I can make
I was horrified, but I sent the information like a good little boy. She is an accountant after all and maybe she finds this kind of thing fun. I mean, I work on computers and sometimes, for reasons which are mysterious to me, I enjoy trying to bring broken PC's back to life.

Then, when she got home from work, it was right to business. Open up the laptop and start cranking out numbers. We're going to owe this much. We're paying more now that we're married than we did when we are single. What happens if we claim this person? What happens if we buy a house? Do we need to change our exemptions? You are over paying. I am underpaying. It went on for hours.

Thirty minutes into it, I decided to watch Pi.

This was not a very good idea.When getting quizzed at random intervals about percentages and monetary amounts, you should not watch a move about a slightly deranged genius mathematician who tries to beat the stock market. Really.

It gave me nightmares. Well, let's call them disturbing dreams.

The first one involved a friend of mine from high school. He picked me up to take me on a road trip to some place I'd never heard of in Mexico. Several hours into the trip, he decided he didn't know where he was going and we had to stop at some little town in the middle of Mexico. They gave us a little room in the back of a hotel and invited us to the bar for tequila. Next morning I woke up and some muchacha is telling me that I won!

Seems that during our over indulgence of tequila, my buddy had bought some kind of lottery type ticket just before we passed out, but gave it to me because it was my birthday. Somehow I won $20,000. I gave him $10,000 of it since he bought the ticket so we decided to stay at the same place for another night, but invite another one of our high school friends to join us because we decided we were lost anyway.

The other friend showed up with his family in tow and that's when I woke up the first time.

Upon going back to sleep I dreamed that Texas had seceded from the Union because they didn't want to pay some ludicrous taxes implemented by the Obama administration. I was very irritated with the seceding. I was not a fan. I felt like I would be stuck in Texas forever. Then, we went to a Queensryche concert and it was funny because Geoff Tate (original singer for Queensryche) was irritated because he was going on a cruise out of Galveston and was having to get special permission from Texas President Perry to get back into the country.

Back to reality: apparently it's going to cost me about $2000 in additional taxes every year to stay married. I tried to tell her for $200 we could get divorced and just live together, but she wouldn't listen. No wonder my dreams are warped. It's the government's fault. Kind of makes you wonder why anyone (gay or otherwise) would want the government to recognize their union.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The British Jamaicans

While on my honeymoon in Jamaica we ran across a couple of British couples: two sisters and their husbands.

When we first met them, it was just the two sisters. Every time we saw them they were getting pissed (English for drunk). But, they were always having a good time and very talkative.

At some point they started trying to determine who I looked like. Well, not really at some point, because I seem to remember one of the sisters telling me I looked like James Bond (the Pierce Brosnan one) right after I said hello.

I don't see it, but it made her happy. Then again, she may have been pissed already. The first day we met them, their husbands were golfing and they were awfully flirty.

The next day, they were getting pissed with their husbands and they all had a go at who I looked like.

This time, the consensus was Paul Young. Except with their English accents to my Texas ears, it sounded like Pull Young. From that day forward every time they'd see me they'd say, "Hey Pull" and I'd be thinking they wanted me to go yank something for them. I'd be like, "Pull what?" Then they'd laugh and say, "No. Pull! Pull Young". And it would finally sink in that they were saying Paul, but without the Texas drawl.

One of the blokes finally did mention that I looked more like David Cassidy. Back when I had the long hair, I'd get the David Cassidy/Keith Partridge thing all the time. I think David Cassidy became uglier as he got older while I became better looking ;).

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Durango's World

My blog used to be called Random Ramblings. Or Gar's Random Ramblings. Or maybe it was the Random Ramblings of Gar. I don't remember.

Upon the recommendation of a friend, I changed it to Gar's World which seemed, I don't know, easier to remember.

A couple of weeks ago, my blogging mentor and nemesis, Durango, decided to create a Durango World blog. At first I thought he was joking. I thought perhaps he was just coming up with something to belittle my new blog title.

I did a search for the Durango World blog he mentioned and I couldn't find it.

Well, he's finally started writing and I must say: I like the Durango World blog more than I do his Durango Texas blog. I read post after post today without slowing down or growing bored. I even felt inclined to comment a couple of times, but I decided to write my own post instead.

I don't know how much he actually reads my posts but he took one of my little asinine spoutings and spun it into gold with this particular post about Obamacare.

Anyway, come to my little blog site once a day, look on the right column and click on Infamous World of Durango. I'm quite impressed, but don't tell him that.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Necessary Randomness

As you may or may not be aware, I got married on August 17th.

Last week I was in Jamaica on my honeymoon so no blogging.

However, I shall share with you some stories and an interesting thing or two I learned while in Jamaica.

First of all, I've always claimed that mosquitoes don't like me for one reason or another. I almost never get bit. I'd like to update this information. Texas mosquitoes don't like me. Jamaican mosquitoes think I'm the best thing since sliced bread. I've got bites in places mosquitoes have no business going and can't be scratched without public ridicule and persecution.

On a somewhat completely unrelated note, I recently discovered Google's Blogger has been sending all my comment information to a defunct email address so it was never getting read (by me). I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to any commenters I failed to sarcastically respond to. And I'm rather pleased now after being quite sad about the lack of comments. There were a whole mess of comments I never saw! How exciting is that? I briefly thought about responding to all of them, but I rejected the idea and instead fabricated an arbitrary cutoff date. Sorry again.

Football season is about to start back up! While in Jamaica I kept crossing paths with a large man from Washington DC who was always wearing a Redskins baseball cap. One fine day, after two or three too many Rum Punches, I confronted the Redskins fan.

"Hello Sir," I said with a smile, "I see you are a Redskins fan. Well, I'm from Dallas, and I'd like to offer you Tony Romo in exchange for RG 3."

He looked at me, kind of snickered and said, "Are you kidding? We'd never do that! Tony Romo is our best player."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Green Mile

On Saturday, I'm getting married again.

When I was wee little child I never imagined getting married more than once. But, as I learned early on, "Shit Happens".

It's funny how things work. Now that I'm about to get married for the third time all kinds of interesting tidbits come about. My doctor recently asked me if this is, "three strikes and you're out". I told her, "no, third time is a charm". She went on to say something else about my second divorce seemed easier than my first divorce and I said, "practice makes perfect'.

It was after my first divorce that I went to counseling. The best thing I learned from my counselor was that it's all about perspective. I wish I had learned that when I was 20. "Change your way of thinking; change your life". You are not going to a movie by yourself, you are going to the movie you want to watch and not having to share your popcorn.

Now my life is an ongoing game of perspectives.

I have a friend I've known since I was about 11. We were both kind of nerds in a small town. We played Dungeons and Dragons together religiously. We put computers together back when the only things going were Apple II's, Commodore 64's and TRS 80's. He was the best man at my first two weddings and he's flying in from India to hold my hand during this wedding as well. Some things never change.

In case you've been reading my blog for longer than I've been writing it, I play this game with astrology. You can read about it here.

I'm an Aquarius. I was born February 14th. My future wife was born February 11th. When I was 5, 6 and 7, I used to hang out with a girl down the street. She was born February 8th (I think -- it was sometime in February - she canceled her Facebook account so I can't look it up). My first kiss was from a girl born on February 9th. After my first divorce, I became really good friends with a girl born February 10th. Which is saying a lot coming from a guy who has few friends. One of my few girlfriends (I think I had 3) in high school was born January 29th.

The best man at all my weddings? He was born January 23rd.

We're all Aquarians. We're all happy.

The other day I was reading my daily dose of useless news when I came across a headline about Shakira's abs. Shakira was born on February 2nd. The reason her abs were on the news was because she had a baby on January 22nd. Her boyfriend (the child's father) was born on February 2nd. I feel like Sharika and I have a common bond. We surround ourselves with happy Aquarians.

I doubt I shall be blogging again for a while. I'm packing, cleaning and entertaining guests, getting married on Saturday and going to Jamaica next week. I'll have better things to do.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Laws and People and Things

I've been kind of toying with this idea for a while. I don't really think it's blogworthy or blogready, but I'll write about it anyway for practice.

If you peruse my site at all, you'll know I do a lot of complaining about stupid laws. In fact it was one of Texas's stupid laws that got me banned from Adsense.

I spend a lot of time asking why? Why can't I buy liquor on Sundays? Why can't I smoke pot? Why can't I carry an open beer around at the park (this may be a Texas thing)? It's even doubly troubling when you consider I supposedly live in the "land of the free".

I remember about 12 years ago, I went overseas for the first time. My company sent me to Amsterdam (The Netherlands). People walked around with beer. There were shops where you could buy pot. There was occasional cussing on the radio. Nobody threatened to fine me if I didn't "buckle up". I didn't stay until Sunday. It's possible everything including the red light district closed down on Sunday. But, I was impressed and felt a little brainwashed by the "American Dream".

So, why all the laws? If you think about it and we all just behave like decent human beings, how many laws could you do away with? You could do away with handicap parking for example.

Handicap parking is a law because we don't think about anyone but ourselves. If we were decent people, we'd park in the space furthest from the door and walk. Because as a considerate person, we would know that there are other people who need to park closer because they are sick, have little kids, are pregnant, or just can't walk. Why do we always have to get the closest spot?

Even with handicap laws like they are, why do you get the closest spot? I see people combing parking lots to get as close as they can to the front door. Why do you have to be closest to the door? Walk a little bit. Get some exercise. You'll live longer.

If we lived in a society capable of thinking of others, the parking spaces furthest from the door would fill up first.

Why does the government tax us for social security and welfare? Shouldn't that be normal? We gladly support the idea that we all have unalienable rights. We all expect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That's not free.

We curse the government for taxing us, but would we guarantee others who are less fortunate those "unalienable rights"? Shouldn't we just freely take care of them?

It would be impossible to pursue happiness if you were born with an incurable disease or managed to get one as a youngster. Therefore, I'd opine that being healthy is a right. We have the right to be healthy. Even in Texas where we don't have the right to buy alcohol within 300 feet or a church.

For some real reading, here is my Durango link for today. It's a story about his parents and the American Dream of drinking beer in Death Valley.

Monday, August 5, 2013

One of Its Feet are Both the Same

I'm going to tackle an issue or two that will get me in heaps of trouble.

No one is better than any one else. They may be better at football, better at basketball, better runners, better thinkers, but they are not better people. People are people. When a person looks down at someone else for any reason they should be taken for a long walk off a short pier. If they look down at someone because of where they were born, or, for all that's stupid in the world, the color of their skin, they should just be shot.

Having said all of that, no matter how much you hate the President or think everyone is out to get you, would you please, please, please do a little research before believing the first thing you read? I know it's easy and you are busy, but please take a little chill pill and look before you leap.

Back before Facebook, when people would just send emails to all their friends in an attempt to thwart the end of the world, these things would drive me crazy. I got the story about how the American Government was removing "In God We Trust" from our money more times than I can count. Now, I'm of the opinion they should remove the text from our money, but that's just me. In real news, any American money that does not have the words, "In God We Trust" would ironically be worth a lot more money than its Godly counterpart.

Now, we've got Facebook where the ignorance and gullibility apparently run unchecked and rampant. I read through some of the stories and I think to myself, "I know these people. Do they believe this or are they just spreading it around to see which of their friends believe it?"

Do they "share" the stories and then secretly laugh at all the gullible people? Or are they part of the gullible ignorance that spread the story in the first place? Some are harmless. Some are full of spite and craziness and could cause a lot of harm if they were remotely comprehensible.

In the last week (and I don't look at Facebook often), I've seen at least three that have caught my attention. I'll share them with you now:
  1. The first was a video showing "NSA Can Hack Your TV and Watch You". This was the lesser of the three evils. It's a video showing how anyone can hack your Webcam. The title is just misleading and not only can NSA do it, but any geek with spare time can do it if you don't set your home network up correctly. Obviously, most TV's don't have webcams although I suppose it might be getting more popular. I see no reason to put a camera on top of my TV.
  2. The second was a link called "The Shocking Ingredients in Beer". It doesn't even seem to be a halfway legitimate source (if anything called Foodbabe can be considered legitimate). It's just full of misinformation that only takes a couple of minutes to see. The comments are my favorite. Of course, people swearing off Coors Light doesn't really bother me. I did learn one thing though. I didn't realize Miller and Coors had merged. That proved to be true. The rest of it? Not so much. I think the Food Babe is trying to get her boyfriend to quit drinking.
  3. And my favorite story was from The European Union Times. A most bizarre reading experience. I didn't even make it all the way through. And the amount of hatred in the comments. Wow! Even the title made me go, "really?". It's, "Switzerland Warning Against Obama Regime Stuns Russia". Really? And people share this on Facebook? First, do some research on The European Union Times. It's an outfit that randomly generates crap to get Internet search hits and thus traffic and thus money for advertisements. The more inflammatory the better. Here's a good link to Rational Wiki (which I thoroughly enjoyed). I had two Facebook friends post this story. It kind of made me nervous. Not because of the article, but because people actually believe this crap.
In other misinformation, Durango the magnificent wrote that he created a new blog today. It's called Durango World. I don't know why he didn't just call it Durango's World for a blatant copyright violation! But, in trying to find the blog in question, I come to a site about Dodges.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Asus Routing

In case you didn't know, I'm one of those nerdy people who does nothing by the book when it comes to technology. I roll my own way. An example is the fact that I don't pay for cable. I have over the air antennas hooked up to a computer in my living room. I've blogged about that before.

A few years back I took an old beat up 10+ year old HP computer and installed a SATA RAID controller and two 1.5 terabyte hard drives to setup a Windows Home Server. This was pretty cool because Windows Home Server kind of "automagically" backs up your network for you. I proceeded to RIP all my old CD's onto my Home Server and setup my TV Computer to double as a juke box (streaming music from my server). Life was good.

Just this last week, one of those trusty 1.5 terabyte hard drives failed leaving my Home Server quite unhappy. I should mention that the failed drive was a Seagate. Seagate if officially on my shit list. I've put together dozens of computers in my lifetime and have had exactly 2 hard drive crashes. Both of them were Seagates. This is my third Seagate to crash and this drive was the "free replacement" for my previous Seagate to crash.

I bought a new router a while back. It's an ASUS RT-N66U. It has two USB plugs in the back. I didn't really know it when I bought the router (I bought it for the 5 GHz WiFi), but you can plug external hard drives into this router and set it up to act as a file server.

When my Home Server crashed, I ordered a 1.5 terabyte Western Digital Passport (external drive) to plug into the back of the router and take over "music server" duties. Basically, my router paired with the external drive was going to take over the job of my old HP computer (minus some of the nifty bonuses like automatically backing up stuff).

I plugged the Passport into the router today and it recognized it, but failed to "mount it". It would tell me the Passport was there, but it wouldn't let me see any of the folders. This was bad.

Initially, I thought maybe it was a power problem. Unlike most external hard drives, the Passport gets all of its power from the USB. Maybe the Asus simply does not supply enough power?

After a bit of research and some monkeying around, I am here to tell you that the Western Digital has some kind of security thing setup on its external drives and the Asus Router is not happy with this configuration. One guy said you can download a "Western Digital Security App" to disable this roadblock. I don't like downloading apps even though it sounds like this is something you can probably get directly from Western Digital.

I plugged the USB drive into my laptop, opened my trusty Cygwin command shell and did an ls -a on the drive. Sure enough, there was a suspicious looking folder called, "$RECYCLE.BIN".

I did rm -rf $RECYCLE.BIN and was greeted with a "Permission Denied" error. So I did a chmod -R a+rwx $RECYCLE.BIN and then the rm -rf $RECYCLE.BIN was successful.

I took the Passport back to my Asus Router and now everything works as it should and I'm happier than a kid in the candy store!

In case you're coming here for the link to Durango's bloggings, he hasn't done anything worth while today :). And now, neither have I!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Since Yesterday

Don't get too excited about my new blogging style. I'm already getting bored with it. I have some very serious matters to bring to your attention before I am done though.

I'm not going to do it today.

Yesterday, after my doctor's appointment, I spent about an hour trying to order something online. I didn't know what it was called.

You know that clasp that are on some hats? The one where you push it in and make the draw strings shorter or longer, then let it go and it keeps it there? I've also seen them on backpacks to cinch stuff closed and I've seen them on lanyards to make them smaller.

I searched the Internet for "clasps", for "spring loaded clasps", for "spring loaded friction clasps", all the way to "the little things you use to alter the chin straps on aussie caps". I was a search engine fool, but I couldn't figure out what they were called and I needed one.

Well, I am here to tell you that those little effers are called "cord locks" and I ordered 10 of them for $5.95.

My most favorite Durango blogs are when he blogs about me. But, today is going to be a twofer. I can't very well leave you with a link to another blog that's mostly a quote of something that I wrote yesterday. A few days ago Durango blogged about some Trinity River Tubing Boondoggle Craziness.

What really got my attention was the koozie. Today I've been scouring the Internet for a beer shirt that says, "Let me hold your cans". Or maybe, "Can I hold your cans while you pour my beer?". It was inspired by the koozie. But, alas, I've been unsuccessful in my endeavors. I guess I should have attended the boondoggle. At least I would've gotten a free "Let me hold your cans" koozie.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

Blogging helps my communication skills. Since sometime last year, I quit blogging as much. I think I got burnt out after the crazy Presidential election or something. Today, I had an epiphany that this blogging stuff (even if no one reads it), helps with my writing skills and I am in dire need of help with my writing skills.

Mostly it helps because the Grammar Police Chief (Durango), is usually kind enough to point out all my mistakes. And, to be honest, Durango is a mighty fine writer. He writes more than I read every day.

In summary, I will use this blog space as writing practice. I'll pretend no one is reading it which is more than likely true anyway and spew forth all kinds of opinionated drivel coinciding with what I've done for the week or for the day.

At the end of each post I'll link you to my favorite current post by Durango so you can read something written by a professional writer and hopefully ease the pain. Don't skip to the end though. That wouldn't be fair.

My big event this week has been my trip to the doctor for my yearly exam. When I turned 40 I started getting prostate exams once a year. I didn't like that. When I turned 41 and a half someone decided that yearly prostate exams aren't necessary until you are 50. If I could find the person that made this decision I'd send him or her a thank you card.

My doctor told me to quit drinking (beer). I told her I drink to alleviate stress. She said, "Yeah, but drinking can make your blood sugar go out of whack." She may have used more educated verbiage. I said, "I guess I should quit eating too then." She didn't think it was funny and started blaming my second ex-wife for my drinking.

She asked if I was still single and I told her I'm getting married again in two weeks. She asked, "So, three strikes and you're out kind of thing?" I said, "No, third time's a charm kind of thing."

She said, "Why are you anxious?" On my little questionnaire I put down that I suffer from anxiety. I told her, "I've had anxiety problems all my life. It's another reason I drink." She said, "Well, you need to quit drinking, but I did notice you handled your second divorce better than your first divorce." I told her, "Practice makes perfect".

I think it was Durango who accused me of using too many cliche's. Instead of trying to fix the problem I just have accepted it and made it my own.

I think it was last week sometime, the bottom edge of the shower got in the way of my toe so I kicked the hell out of it. It made my left middle toe turn purple for a few days, but it's almost completely healed now. There is just a little discoloration under the nail. Anyway, she commented, "For someone who has had diabetes for 30+ years you have really good circulation." I said, "Thanks! It's because I drink beer."

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit! Here's Durango discussing the language of Southern Belles. The video is worth watching as well. I like the one who is demanding some sugar. She makes me happy.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cat Ass Trophy

When I was younger I liked cats. Probably because my parents took care of them. And I didn't realize they were helping to worsen my itchy eyes, asthma and other such ailments until later. Of course, with two sisters and a brother, I'm sure the thought of living a life without pet dander was a hopeless dream at best.

I remember seeing a pretty black cat while helping Dad clean up at the drive-in cinema. He said I could have it if it would get in the car. He probably knew I wouldn't touch it. I was neurotic enough (even back then) to know that they'd make my eyes and hands itch. I remember calling out pathetically in my high pitched prepubescent voice, "Heeeeere kitty kitty" with the door open and the magic of "Blackie" jumping in the car with us. I somehow probably ignored the mutterings from the driver's seat. I still don't know what happened to Blackie in the long run although I do remember her multiplying. In fact, I don't know what happened to most of our pets. They just seemed to "vanish" from the house and from my memories, but those are stories for another series of blogs. In fact, the whole inspiration of this blog has taken a most notable Alice-like tangent.

I find most people don't like the tangents. With my dwindling number of readers I'm probably the only one who has made it this far and that's probably for the best. I've never enjoyed offending people and making enemies.

In my 20's some of my greatest relationship woes revolved around pets. In college my fiance ran over the only pet I had feelings for after high school. He was a toy Pomeranian named Snickers (not a cat).

In my first marriage years I still have flashbacks to someone yelling at me, "Just because you didn't want the cat doesn't mean you can just sit there and watch it piss on my clothes!" I've always been quite stubborn and that effing cat used to follow me around the apartment hissing and pissing in equal measures of spite.

It is for reasons stated above that for the last 15 plus years I have had no animals except an occasional fish experiment (which went badly). I just don't do pets.

If you've been reading my ramblings regularly, you may know that I'm getting married next month. Last month, my beautiful fiance acquired two little shit machine effing felines from her ironically puppy-dog teary eyed daughter who had to give them up due to new living arrangements.

I'm all about being sympathetic to her plight, but if you only knew the amount of time I spend researching how to get rid of unwanted cats. It's starting to become a drain. I spend at least one hour per day trying to come up with a plan to innocently get rid of the cats (maybe I should ask my dad).

My whole existence has changed. I work late so I have to see them as little as possible. I have to keep bedroom doors closed so they don't spread their cat dander to my sleeping quarters. One of the hellions has this sore on the back of its neck that won't heal. It's all bloody and disgusting. While I'm at work I imagine it sitting in my recliner and scratching big bloody tuft chunks into my seat.  Therefore, when I come home, I must take time to disinfect my chair before I can sit down and play my normal dose of computer games. The other day I came home and it was shamelessly sitting in my chair, hind leg going at it in a valiant effort to make my brown chair red.

The other hellion reminds me of my old cat "Blackie" a bit. I'm thinking my dad said she ran out the front door and never came back. I need to call Dad and leave the doors open.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings used to be the title of my blog. In an attempt to make my writings a little more germane, I changed the name to Gar's World in a failed attempt to garner more readers.

I think what happened is I subconsciously write towards the name of my blog. The name, "Gar's World" is much less conducive to unique and insightful prose.

However, in an effort to overcome this shortcoming of mine and because I'm as lazy as they come, I'm not changing the name of the blog again. So there.

I'm just going to throw a lot of random thoughts into the wind now and see where they blow. Some are heavier than others and it will be an interesting experiment to see which ones end up being caught up in the conversational breeze.

But, do I start with the heavy stuff first or the waifish fluff?

Late last week I kind of jokingly decided that I was a lesbian trapped in a man's body. Then someone asked me if I was planning to have any of my parts chopped off and, to be honest, I'm rather fond of my parts. It occurred to me that I'm not really trapped. And, empathetically, I don't want to seem uncaring to people who really do feel trapped. So, I've changed my decision. I am a lesbian nestled comfortably in the body of a slightly feminine looking geeky boy. I bet you wish I would post pictures.

Speaking of lesbians and stuff, I noticed today that Google is celebrating "10 years of shared success" in Adsense. This success is only shared if you don't mention something the Google Morality Nazis don't like. They stripped me of my shared success and never sent me any money. Don't be fooled by the Google Bible Thumpers. I recommend sharing your success with someone else.

I've been rather amused with the Texas Democratic Senator Wendy Davis and her 13 hour filibuster in Austin. You've got the extreme left and the extreme right and they are both stupidly funny. I don't know my right from my left so that's as far as I can go with that example. One side is talking about what a hero she is for standing up for 11+ hours without going to the potty or sitting down or leaning on anything to prevent Texas from passing yet another law dictating what women are allowed to do with their bodies. The other side is talking about what a murdering bitch she is for killing all those unborn babies. You really don't want the government being involved in this kind of personal decision. Calling the woman a hero is crazy. Calling the woman a killer is also crazy. I like what she did because she prevented the Texas government from passing yet another stupid law. Which, by the way, is how I got banned from Google's Adsense program. I should be the hero.

I'm getting married in August. I sent out Facebook invitations. I think it might have been too informal because I've had very few RSVP's. I've purchased a zoot suit for the event. I'm not going to send out pictures in a vain attempt to get other people to RSVP and come see "the man". The man and his zoot suit.

In case you've missed it, I'm a big fan of music. I'm not a big fan of government. Someone told me the other day I should spend 15 minutes per day learning something new. I think this is very good advice. When I write my blog I sometimes write something and then think to myself, "I wrote that as fact, but I don't really know". Then, I look it up and in so doing I normally learn something. Normally something like, "I should quit doubting myself. I'm always right."

I inadvertently tangitized. Back to the Music (in a minute). Ed is going to be the best man at my wedding again. He's the only thing consistent in all my misadventures of matrimony. I've got a strong feeling that this will be the last time I force him to fly down and hold my geeky boy lesbian hand. He posted this video link on Facebook today. I really thoroughly enjoyed it. It's mostly about music. I hope you enjoy it too:

I had so much more planned when I started this post and somehow I forgot it all midway through. I should start taking notes. Or carrying around one of those obnoxious little pocket recorders.

Friday, June 14, 2013

No Blogging DisMay

At some point in the not-too-distant past, I may have erroneously and most inadvertently mentioned something about blogging once a month.

If I did, I mentioned it before the month of May.

Late March I put my house up for sale. Early May, I got an acceptable offer. They wanted me out by June 11th.

May 23rd to 27th, I had a cruise planned.

June 8th & 9th, I had graduation festivities to attend.

There was no time for blogging. Absolutely no time. And I'm sure you don't want me to just spit some meaningless drivel out to cover up the space.

Wait, that last sentence does, in fact, describe my normal blogging! Well, I felt I didn't even have time for drivel.

I've got nothing.

I'm living in an apartment complex for the first time in 12 years. I may have a bit of seller's remorse. I'm hoping once all the boxes are unpacked, it'll go away. I'm looking forward to the no maintenance, stress free, apartment living. I don't think I'll be able to tolerate it for the entire year I signed up for, but we'll see.

I need a segue here, but I can't come up with one. Maybe, "speaking of neurotic..." I could just use that one all the time. In fact, could you, the reader, just use it as necessary? Like before the paragraph which starts off, "I'm living...". Thanks.

On the cruise I was on in May, I was informed that I was one cruise short of being a "Platinum Cruiser". A history lesson is in order:

When I first started cruising, Carnival had a frequent cruiser award system setup based on the number of cruises you've taken. Once you are at 10 or more cruises you become a Platinum member. I'm currently a Gold member. I don't remember how I obtained Gold status, but I did.

If you look here, you can see the benefits of each level. Platinum gets a lot more benefits than Gold.

Well, a year or two ago, they changed things. Instead of number of cruises, they changed it to the number of days cruising. You have to have 75 days sailing to become Platinum and I've only got a little over 50. Suddenly my dreams of becoming a Platinum member seemed like a distant dream.

In May, Carnival informed me that I'd be grandfathered into the old system if I could complete 10 cruises by the end of 2013. I looked at my current cruise history and realized I was currently on my 9th cruise! Only one more before the end of the year to become Platinum!

Now, of course, I'm already looking for cruise deals for my next cruise. I must take another one this year before December 31. On the downside, my gal pal probably won't be able to make it. So, I'm taking applications for someone who'd like to join me.

After watching part of a documentary about Abraham Lincoln, I've recently (well, in the past two months) decided I'm going to be a late bloomer.

I've also apparently decided segues are a waste of time.

Did you hear about the hoarse hearse horse?

Too much coffin.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Believe in Magic

"Finding Neverland" is one of my favorite movies. Don't ask me why. I get a little choked up when the orphan kids are laughing at the play and thoroughly enjoying their free tickets to "Peter Pan".

But, that's just me.

Last month I wrote about how I don't seem to blog as much now that Facebook has become so ubiquitous. Every time I think of something to blog about my ever so slightly neurotic head takes over and I tell myself, "This may be more suitable for a Facebook status update". Of course, I don't update my status on Facebook either so it doesn't matter. But, it is a good excuse. At least I think it is.

It was on Facebook that a friend of mine posted a link to some kind of Dinosaur humor about computers. It was almost too much to read, but I made it through.

The part I am most interested in, of course, if the part that reads, "Soon you'll be staring at an obscure compiler error and no magic will be left in the world!"

This reminded me of the Peter Pan play where Tinker Bell says, "Every time someone says, 'I do not believe in fairies', somewhere there's a fairy that falls down dead." 

I can't help but think this comic is making people believe that the Computer Scientists of the world are destroying magic. This can't be further from the truth. Believe it or not I have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science so I have some expertise in my next random goofy opinion.

I have yet to meet a quality programmer who doesn't pretend to believe in magic. We play the online role playing games (if it weren't for us no one would be playing World of Warcraft any more). We go to the renaissance festivals.We've all played Dungeons & Dragons and many of us still do. And we all sit back and try to levitate energy drink cans while trying to solve complex problems. We are also all adept at telepathically telling people to shut up.

I find this comic offensive in so many ways. We are all TOTALLY DOOMED!

Luckily, they posted a follow up comic which almost completely exonerates them. Every quality programmer I've met also believes in this. Of course, we don't talk about it without copious amounts of alcohol.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Once A Month

Last year I said I was going to try and blog at least once a week.

This year, I'm hoping to do once a month. Actually, it comes in spurts. I bet I could manage twice a month.

When I'm out and about I have tons of wonderful blog ideas, but Facebook has ruined me. Now, when I have blog ideas, my neurotic mind immediately says, "Is this really enough material for a blog or should I just update my Facebook status and be done with it?"

I need to just list all of my ideas and put a series of one liners as a blog post. But, then that will end up being completely chaotic and how the heck will I ever title the posts?

At the carefully phrased suggestion from Anonymous and to protect my readers from a bad case of context whiplash I have added segues.

For example, the other day I was thinking how goofy it was that people complain that Google or Facebook is violating their privacy and they post it on Facebook. Or anywhere on the Internet for that matter. The fact you think you have any imagined privacy is grossly naive at best. If you don't want people to know what you're doing, don't do anything. If you're truly worried about your privacy you might need to seek professional help. But, for the sake of everything that's logical and sane, don't post it on the Internet. There is no privacy on the Internet. It's like peeing in the swimming pool and pretending none of it gets on you.

Speaking of accidents...

I was also thinking the other day how much confusion mobile phones have created with emergency operators. If everyone has a mobile phone and there is a wreck on the highway, how many emergency calls go through? Does it create confusion? In the old days (before mobile phones) someone would have to run into the nearest gas station, yelling, "Can I borrow the phone?" Or, "Can someone please call 911, there's been an accident!". Now, everyone just whips out their cell phone and dials. If you see someone having a heart attack, do you attempt to perform CPR or do you call 911 and ask for guidance first? Have people died because of this? Have there been any studies?

And if saving strangers from a heart attack is not enough, what about your drinking buddies?

I've discovered a bar that's like Cheers. As in, "everyone knows your name". However, I've got an odd name. When I walk in, everyone says, "Hey" and waves. When Tony walks in everyone says, "Hey Tony" and waves. I'm not sure how I feel about this. As a matter of retribution, I refuse to call anyone by their name either. I just say, "Hey everyone".

We all have friends in low places.

The other day, someone was commenting on how she and I have similar musical tastes. She proceeded to let me hear, "her favorite song". The song kind of made me feel like I was sadly trudging down the banks of a polluted river with thoughts of throwing myself in. Then, when the chorus hits, I can see the cold rain drops coming down like spikes from the sky in an attempt to nail down the lid to my coffin. I was like, "This is your favorite song? It's the most depressing song I've ever heard." She was like, "Yeah, but it brings back memories." I was like, "My gawd girl, you need better memories!"

It occurred to me that I listen to music to make me feel better. I would say I listen to music that makes me happy, but that's not true. I listen to angry music when I'm sad because I've determined that it's better to be angry than depressed. It makes me feel better. But sad songs make me sad. Don't listen to music that reminds you of the time your best mate suddenly dumped you so he could date your other best mate. That's just insane. Go listen to some, "Whatever", by Godsmack! It'll make you feel better!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Backyard Love Affair

I was seriously considering covering some important matter like gun control in this week's posting. I was also seriously intending to post something yesterday so I could increase my statistics for February. Both ideas for seriousness have fallen through. Mostly.

I don't have time to talk about guns. I'll just say they should all have tracking chips installed. If you have the right to own one then I have the right to know where your sorry ass is located.

The housing market in my neighborhood has taken a sudden turn. It has become a "seller's market". Many of you who peruse my postings on a semi inadequate basis know that I've been thinking of selling for several years. Basically, ever since I got divorced. She picked out the house and I got stuck with it kind of thing. It's a nice house. I'm far from miserable. But, I want something that is mine. I've waited too long however so now I am required to want something that is mine and my Gal Pal's.

I've contacted several realtors over the years. The last one I talked to I just told him to keep an eye out for me and when the market changed significantly to let me know. He contacted me a few weeks ago to tell me that the market has indeed changed and there are many more buyers than there are sellers. My house hits the market this coming Thursday!

This also probably means that I'm going to have to live in a rental of some sort because I don't want to be buying when it's a seller's market. I'll sign a year's lease and keep an eye out for when "the market changes significantly".

I got my hot tub working again! I replaced all the electronics and I did it all by my lonesome. Now when I lose my job programming computers I'll switch over to my new job as a hot tub repairman. And by the way, there's a party in my backyard tonight. Clothing optional. That sounded wrong. The hot tub is in my backyard. The backyard of my house. Google's going to hate me again. I can't help it!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Birthday Vacation

My increasingly inadequately named Gal Pal's birthday and mine are three days apart. Since I've known her, we've always taken a birthday vacation.

The first year we went to the Bahamas.

The second year we went to Vegas, but I didn't blog about it. I don't know why. Perhaps because my blog was becoming too explicit and the major memorable thing we did was going to an exotic vampire show. Oh yeah! It was on this trip that I learned how to sit at the bar in Vegas and get free drinks while playing deuces wild poker and make about $10 per hour. That's important!

This year, we took a road trip in the Miata. Tuesday night we celebrated Fat Tuesday at the Razzoo's in Lewisville. Razzoo's is always packed for Mardi Gras, but for the most part this one seemed a bit blah. I blame it on the weather.

Wednesday we headed to the WinStar Casino in Oklahoma. I always thought the WinStar was about 100 miles away. It's about 60 miles from where I live. We arrived early.

En route, we stopped at a AAA to add insurance to our freshly refurbished Miata. I've been a AAA member for about 5 years. Back when I first joined they were saving me darn near $500 on my home and auto insurance. This particular AAA office had a travel agent. I didn't realize they had such things. Therefore, since I was stopped in anyway, I went ahead and booked my honeymoon with the agent. Don't worry. It's a few months in advance. And I didn't really book it with the agent. I mean, I'm going with my Gal Pal, but the agent booked the tickets -- for us.

WinStar casino is huge. But, unless you like gambling, don't go on a Wednesday night. I think most of their events happen Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Wednesday was mostly walking through a forest of slot machines trying to pick out the pathetic people and attempting not to look like one.

I tried my trick I learned in Vegas. You basically go up to a bar with video poker and put a $20 in the slot. Now, in Vegas, this immediately gets the bartender's attention who comes over and offers you a drink "on the house". Not so much at the WinStar. In Vegas, I was also able to steadily make about $10 an hour while sipping on my free drink. It's all about taking the easy wins. This again did not work at the WinStar.

Together, my Gal Pal and I lost about $90 in 2 hours or so. I refuse to lose more than $100 so we were nearing the end of our gambling money. This is when the Gal Pal demanded a dollar to go put in one of those normal slot machines (not at the bar). 10 minutes later she returned with a ticket for $45!

We took the ticket for $45 and found another bar with video poker. She inserted the $45 ticket and I hit the bet buttons. Although it seemed random, I had some kind of strange pattern built up in my neurotic head that was telling me when she was going to win and when she was going to lose. Therefore she played and I placed the bets. Sometimes I'd press max bet, sometimes 1 and sometimes 2.

After about an hour of this we still had our $45. We hadn't lost anything, but I still wasn't making my $10/hour like I did last time in Vegas. Suddenly, the machine lit up and started making this irritating squealing noise. I casually said, "What the hell did you do? Break it?" I looked around slightly embarrassed by all the racket, but I didn't want to lose my $45 so I had to diagnose the problem.

On the now annoyingly loud machine, the words, "Call Attendant" were flashing. Behind the flashing words I noticed that my Gal Pal had somehow managed to get a royal flush on a max bet. I found an attendant. That little fiasco ended up being worth about $1400. Vacation plus extra paid for by WinStar, thank you very much.

Next day we drove down I-40 (Route 66) to Amarillo to see my father. He took me out to eat for my birthday. In case you were wondering, he's as crazy as ever. I wanna be like him when I grow up.

Friday after lunch, we drove to Roswell to visit the aliens. It's a quaint little place. The UFO museum was almost, but not quite stupid. It costs $5 per person to get in and it's almost a waste of time except that you can't really go to Roswell without at least going in the place. My favorite part of Roswell was the Farley's Pub. That says a lot.

Saturday morning, we drove to the Carlsbad Caverns. I can't remember the last time I went to the caverns, but it must have been a long time ago because my memory of them was completely skewed. They were much better than I expected. Well worth the $6 entry fee. Especially when compared to the $5 entry for the UFO Museum in Roswell!

Saturday afternoon we drove through Wink and Kermit and finally arrived in Odessa. From there, we went to see Erika's New Blue Max which had kind of a folk singer followed by two blue grass bands playing that night. I was trying to think of a new name for the venue like, "Bluegrass Max" or perhaps "Max Bluegrass", but nothing acceptable came to mind. Everything ended up sounding like some kind of hallucinogenic marijuana. It's a cool place though. If you're in the area I advise checking it out. It's right off I20 in Midland so you won't have to take much of a detour.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Miata Experience

I've always wanted to get a 1969 Corvette and restore it. Why, you ask? Because I was born in 69 and the 1969 Corvette had the Stingray body style. I just think it would be cool.

In preparation for this endeavor, I have acquired a 1992 Miata. I wrote a bit about it in my previous blogging.

Here's what it looked like initially before we started working on it:

 As you can see it's a nice faded classic red color from sitting out in the Panhandle weather for the last 15 years or so. The top is literally held together with hot glue and a bit of tape.

We replaced the top. We replaced the pop-up barn door style headlights with a flush mount kit. We replaced the wheels. We replaced the broken power antenna with a raked antenna. We replaced the fuel door with black fuel door. We replaced all the weather stripping. And, we had it repainted.

Everyone I talked to said, "Don't take it to Maaco." I shopped around for a couple of months trying to find a body shop that would do the repairs I wasn't capable of doing myself. I finally ignored "everyone" and took it to Maaco in Irving. Not all Maaco's are created equal. The guys at the Maaco in Irving did exactly what I asked them to do and more and for about half the price of the other guys.

The pictures do not show the new rotors, new brakes, new serpentine belt, new battery and new starter, but believe me, they are also in there somewhere... And for the record, I am not a Longhorn fan. I didn't even realize what I was doing until someone pointed it out at work today. I just like the color and it's not orange anyway. It's Dark Persimmon.