Friday, June 30, 2006

How did I not know about this?!?!

Jumile's Lounge: Clerks 2 trailer is online

Randomly surfing the blogs, I came across Jumile's and saw this. Clerks 2! I've been a Kevin Smith fan since I saw the orginal Clerks. I own Clerks, Mallrats, and Dogma (J+SB Strike Back and Chasing Amy I've seen, but did not like enough to buy). And yet, this is the first I've heard of this! I must be slipping. Thanks for the heads up, Jumile!

Who Needs Sleep?

Need sleep? Yes. Got sleep? No really.

I had a bit of insomnia last night. I got maybe 2 or 3 hours totals. It doesn't happen very often, but I occasionally just cannot sleep. Last night was one of those occassions. No idea why. Normally, I would have taken a sleeping pill, but I had been out with friends at our favorite bar having a few beers. And mixing alcohol and sleep pills - yeah, not so great an idea.

"Lids down, I count sheep
I count heartbeats
The only thing that counts is that I won't sleep
I countdown, I look around

Who needs sleep?
well you're never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
tell me what's that for
Who needs sleep?
be happy with what you're getting
There's a guy who's been awake since the Second World War"
~ Barenaked Ladies, Stunt, "Who Needs Sleep?"

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Ultimate Form of Free Speech?

Once again, Congress rejected a proposed amendment which would have given Congress the power to made it illegal to burn, or otherwise desecrate, an American flag. And it was close. The resolution had passed the House, but failed to pass the Senate - by ONE vote. If it had passed, it would have to have been ratified by 3/4 of the states (38 total) for it to become an amendment.

Personally, I'm a little torn on this issue. On the one hand, I hate the thought of someone burning an American flag. It simply does not sit well with me. On the other hand, I firmly believe that they have the right to do so. Obviously, I know I'm not the only person to feel this way. Sen. Dan Inouye (D-HI) said:

"This objectionable expression is obscene, it is painful, it is unpatriotic. . . . But I believe Americans gave their lives in many wars to make certain all Americans have a right to express themselves, even those who harbor hateful thoughts." (Now, before anyone goes off and says anything about Sen. Inouye, it should be pointed out that he served in World War II, and lost an arm during that service, so it's clear that this man is a patriot.)

And I think I agree with him. It is exactly this level of freedom for which the men and women of our country have fought. The old saying, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" comes to mind here.*

Now, the cynical side of me would like to digress just a bit. I think that the reason this came up now is because the Right-wing wants to energize thier voting base for the November elections, when it is entirely possible that they will dealt a heavy blow to the number seats they hold in Congress. Same reason they brought up the Constitutional ban on gay marriage a little while back. The question is, will it work? I don't know - we'll find out in November. And on that note, please be sure to go vote. I know it's not a Presidential election, but it's still important. Oh yeah, that whole argument about "one vote never matters" . . . it certainly did yesterday!

* While this quote is commonly attributed to Voltaire, it really came from The Friends of Voltaire, written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall and published in 1906 under the pseudonym Stephen G. Tallentyre. Hall said that she was paraphrasing Voltaire's views.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Just Another Day

Well, not much exciting for today. Worked - that's about it. On the plus side, make some good progress on my thesis. With any luck, I think I'll have it done by the end of the week. Finally! I'm getting sick of this whole damn thing. But . . . it must be done (one of the many burning hoops through which I have to jump to get those two little letters after my name - M.A.).

I did get a check from one of my web design clients, which is nice. It's always good to work for people who pay you promptly. Ganted, most of that check is going to go toward bills, but still. And all things considered, it's a pretty easy design job. Standard template for all the pages. Nothing real fancy or complicated. Just waiting on information from various people.

Told ya - not much exciting. Well, not everyday can be a-thrill-a-minute.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Randomness for June 26

Random Quote:
"Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer." ~ Dave Barry

Question of the Moment:
Why is that when you're looking for something, it's always in the last place you look - which usually happens to also be the exact same place you looked 10 minutes ago?

Current Mood: productive
Current Music: Johnny Cash, The Essential Johnny Cash

Has it Really Been That Long?

I can hardly believe that it's nearly been a year for two major events in my life:

1. I quit smoking the start of last June. I've only slipped up once since then. I was out with friends, had a lot to drink, they decided to have a smoke, and next thing I knew I was sucking one down myself. I know I'm better off for having quit, but I still miss it. A smoke with my coffee in the morning or one with a beer while watching the game - these were great things!

2. This next month, it will be year since April and I started going out. We had met prior to that (April 14th of last year - see, ladies, some of us guys actually can remember important dates), but it was last July when we actaully went on our first date. This is a good thing!

It's sometimes amazing how fast a year can go by, isn't?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Randomness for June 21, 2006

Random Quote:
"I never set out to be weird. It was always the other people who called me weird." ~ Frank Zappa

Question of the Moment:
If there is intelligent life in the universe, and they are abducting people, why do they always pick rednecks?

Current Mood: irked
Current Music: Muddy Waters, The Best of Muddy Waters

Stealing from the Poor . . .

Anyone else a little confused at Congress's actions recently? First, last week they decide that they deserved another pay raise. This is the eighth time in the last ten years they felt they were not getting paid enough. Obviously - look at how many kick-back and bribe scandals have come out recently (I will admit that most of these have yet to be fully investigated, and the people named may yet be exonerated, but the evidence does seem to go against them). Tom DeLay, Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-CA), Bob Ney (R-OH), and Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) are just a few of people named in recent investigations.

So, first Congress decides they need more money for themselves. Next, they decide that the working public do not. Yes, that's right. Once again Congress has failed pass a bill which would raise minimum wage. Right now, minimum wage is $5.15/hr, which comes out to $10712/yr before taxes (assuming 40 hrs/week, 52 weeks/yr). An income of this level leaves a family of four, with both parents working full time, just barely over the 2004 Census Bureau defined poverty level - a level which was set before gas prices skyrocketed. Do you know the last time minimum wages were raised? 1997! We're coming up on 10 years since the last bump. In 1997, average gas was $1.23 a gallon. What is now - $2.85 a gallon? It's more than doubled since then.

The bill to raise the minimum wage base wasn't even all that extreme, either. The bill would have raised to $7.25/hr, in three steps. It would not have even gone all the way up to $7.25 until OCTOBER 2009! Once again, politicians have decided that it is in the nation's best interest for them to get more and for the public to get less.

"It's hot! Damn hot!"*

I know remarked on this the other day, but it's gotten worse since then. Yesterday it topped out at about 108 F. Like I said, DAMN HOT! Today it's supposed to get to about 110 F or higher. When it's this hot, there's not much you can besides try to stay inside all day with the air conditioning going. Even then, the heat seeps in. At least we only have another 3.5 or 4 months of this heat left . . .

* and in case you missed it, that title is shamelessly stolen from Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Random Quote:
"Sun worship is fairly simple. There's no mystery, no miracles, no pageantry, no one asks for money, there are no songs to learn, and we don't have a special building where we all gather once a week to compare clothing." ~ George Carlin (Napalm and Silly Putty)

Question of the Moment:
Why is that whenever you hear someone say, "Now, I'm not trying to convert you . . ." that is exactly what they're trying to do?

Current Mood: "meh"
Current Music: "Leeve Town," Sonny Landreth

Lord Stanley's Cup has been Raised Again

Another hockey season has drawn to a close. And the Carolina Hurricanes are the new champs. With many people counting them out after their catastrophic collapse in Game 5 (after a wild, back and forth game, Fernando Pisani scored a short-handed overtime goal, giving the Oilers the win) and a Game 6 in which it looked like Carolina didn't even bother to show up (final score was 4-0 for the Oilers), the Hurricanes made a point of being aggressive early in Game 7. And it paid off, when Aaron Ward scored only 1:26 into the game. The 1st Period play was pretty well dominated by the Hurricanes, but Edmonton goalie Jussi Markkanen stopped the rest of their shots, keeping the score 1-0. On an early 2nd Period power play, however, Frantisek Kaberle gave the 'Canes what would be the winning goal.

The rest of the game was my favorite kind - smash-mouth hockey. As my roommate so delicately put it, at any given time, there were at least four men with their asses on the ice. We were watching the game at a bar, and there were so many shouts of "ooohhh!" and "ouch!" from the other people, there were times you couldn't even hear the game. And I loved every minute of it!

Early in the 3rd Period, Edmonton scored to make it 2-1, when Game 5 hero Fernando Pisani beat Carolina goalie Cam Ward, knocking a rebound in - just before Pisani crashed the net (and Ward). From there, the game just got harder and meaner. Players from each team were sent flying on nearly every play, eliciting even more shouts and cries from the bar crowd.

Carolina destroyed any hopes Edmonton might have had of a dramatic comeback late in the period, however. Edmonton pulled their goalie, for an extra attacker, with about 1:40 left in the game. 39 seconds later, Carolina right winger Justin Williams (amazing - a hockey players with an easy name to say and spell!) broke away at the Edmonton blue line, streaking in for the easy empty net goal. Final score 3-1 Carolina.

While I was cheering for the Oilers (hey, if my Avalanche are out, I might as well still root for my division), I have to give credit and congratulations to Carolina. This is their first Stanley Cup (they lost to the Detroit Redwings in 5 games in 2002) and they played like they wanted it. All things considered, it was probably one of the best games I've ever seen and definitely one of the best Stanley Cup Finals I've watched. So, Carolina, here's to you. Enjoy the celebration - you've earned it!

(All images are from

Monday, June 19, 2006

Best webcomic ever!

I' ve been reading this comic for a while, and have decided that more poeple need to know of it. It's called "Anywhere But Here" and is by Jason Siebels. If you haven't seen this yet, you need to. It's all about "The Dude" and his life in North Dakota. The Dude (whose real name is never revealed) surrounded by a group of mildly disfunctional friends, including Death, his own personal demon, Bill, and his girlfriend, Chris. The Dude is a lover of Jazz and would love to see Kenny G die a horrible death. The comic has a wicked and often very dry and cynical humor to it - just my style. Anyway, check it out!

Old False Start and a New Fresh Start

OK - so I've had this blog for a while, but haven't really been using it. Too busy. But I've decided that it's time to really do something - well, that and I'm a little bored and don't feel like working just this moment. Maybe that has something to do with my boss being out of town right now......

Or maybe it's the fact that the name "The Fiery Valley of Death" can once again be applied to the Phoenix area. It's only 10:00 AM here and it's already 95 degrees out. There are times I hate it here..... It's just like everywhere, though, good times of the year and bad times of the year. Yeah, it's hot, but at least I don't have to put up with snow (like when I lived in Colorado) or the oppressive heat of DC (I'm sorry, 98 degrees and 90% humidity just sucks all the way around) or the seasonal swarms of locust (i.e.: tourists) which you get back home in Hawai'i.

On the plus side for today, it's game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight at 5 PM local time. Granted, my Colorado Avalanche are out of it, but I still enjoy watching hockey and I would love to see Carolina become only the second team in NHL history to blow a 3-1 series lead. (Bonus points to anyone who can tell me the only team to do so to this point - and NO LOOKING IT UP ONLINE - THAT'S CHEATING!) My roommate, Josh, and I are planning on going down to the bar to grab a couple beers (always nice in this heat) and watch the game. Hopefully it will be a good one. Go Oilers!

Current mood: a slight malaise
Current music: The Dead, Summer Getaway 2003, "Fire on the Mountain"