Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We've Been Warned

We have been warned for years that video games were bad for us. While this story certainly proves it, I'm guessing this isn't exactly what our parents were thinking when they issued those dire warnings.

Thanks to Propsqueen for passing this on to me!

Update:I came across this story from the Arizona Republic. See?!? They are out to get us!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You Found Me Where?

As part of this blog, I have a stat counter which not only tracks the number of hits I receive, but where they are coming from. Before anyone freaks out, it only supplies some basic information. It tells me what city/state/country the hits are coming from, what pages they are looking at, how long they stay, and if they used a referring link. Okay, yes it gives me the IP address, but it does not attach a name or full physical address to it. There are some I've learned who they are, but that's because I already know them. I can recognize the IP address of people like Journey, Brett, and my friend Propsqueen (I'm not posting her link because I don't know if she wants it out there or not). Some others I can guess because I know where they are from their blogs and I can make an semi-educated guess. Everyone else, complete mystery who you really are.

One of the most interesting things about the stat tracker is the referring link information. The vast majority of the time it either says "No referring link" - meaning that person used a bookmark or typed in my URL directly - or it's a search engine hit - right now I'm getting a lot of hits off "new NHL uniforms."

But every so often a hit comes in from some completely unexpected location. For example, I have had one this morning from "Bike Forums." The fuck? I've never posted on "Bike Forums" - hell, I didn't even know "Bike Forums" existed. So, I followed the referring link to find out what I had to do with this particular forum. Turns out, this particular thread is debating the ACLU, and someone had copied and pasted one of my posts (the one on the footbaths at the University of Michigan-Dearborn), and then given me credit for it and proved a link to the post.

Personally, I find it rather interesting and more than a little amusing that I'm starting to pop up in random places like this. I did not start writing here because I was looking to spread my views of make a mark on cyberspace or anything of that nature. It simply was a way to entertain myself and have some fun. Not that I'm necessarily surprised mind you. I know how quickly and how far things can spread online, and I know how long they remain out there (that's a story for another time - got keep people coming back at least some!). And I certainly am not opposed to people doing this sort of thing. As long as people give me credit for my stuff, and don't change it or use it out of context, I really don't care.

By the way, probably the funniest hits I get are from people looking for porn. I have a post on the "12 Days of Christmas - Hawai'ian Style" (a song I grew up hearing every year). Well, in the lyrics, instead of spelling 6 like this "six" it's spelled "seex" - because that's the way 6 is said in Hawai'ian pidgin (the local/slag way of speaking). So I get hits from people searching for "sex" with two E's.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It Continues

Internet access is still flaky - even university sites don't always load!

I just spent an hour and a half in a pointless meeting about things I already knew, but that I was required to attend anyway.

And I have another meeting this afternoon, also about things I already know but that I am required to attend anyway.

Well, That Didn't Take Long

It's not even 8:30 in the morning yet and already I'm annoyed. Yeah yeah, I know, me being annoyed at something isn't exactly front page news or anything. The fact that it happened so early in the day is a little impressive, however. First was the guy who was completely incapable of making a left turn at an intersection. They have finally laid down the light rail tracks outside my apartment. With that, I now have to go out the back gate and use the light to make a left. Well, the guy in front of me today pulled out into the intersection and waited for on-coming traffic to clear so he could make his turn. Unfortunately, there was a enough on-coming traffic that the light went yellow and then red before he could get across. This complete waste of oxygen, however, didn't complete the turn. No, he waited on the tracks in the middle of the road.

You are in the intersection, dumbass! Finish making your turn instead of holding up traffic and creating a major hazard! If trains were running, he would have been roadkill.

The next fun was one of those drivers who knows that the right-hand lane is about so end so they speed up and try to get ahead of as many people as possible. Unfortunately for this particular young woman, I saw this. And when she was finally forced to merge over, it was behind me. So I, knowing that she was obviously in some great hurry, promptly slowed down to the exact speed limit. Since traffic in the left lane was heavy, she couldn't move over either! Boy was she pissed. But, you know, it's hard to scare anyone when your a little blond girl with over sized "trendy" white sunglasses, driving a bright yellow VW Beetle. And I will freely admit that I take a great deal of rather malicious pleasure in getting in the way of people like her. (Incidental, I came across this article, Tires and Brimstone, yesterday on the nine levels of hell for bad drivers.) About half way to work, she turned off and went another direction, which made me happy and allowed me to speed up to the flow of traffic.

Once I actually reached campus, I had the fun of dealing with all the freshmen moving in today. Actually, freshmen move in began yesterday, but the people today were far worse. I keep reminding myself that I was the same way when I moved into the dorms as a freshmen, so I should really cut them some slack. That being said, however, they still annoyed me.

If things had ended there, I would probably be just fine. But no. Apparently our network is having some kind of shit-fit this morning and I'm only getting intermittent Internet connections (I actually have been writing this in WordPerfect and will copy-n-paste over to blogger when I'm done and have a connection). I have work to do and I really kind of need the network to be functioning. Needless to say, this has officially put me over the top and I can now say:

"I am annoyed. Greatly annoyed."

And it's still not even 9:00 AM. Great. At least having Zeppelin playing is helping some!

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's Golden

To the fans at the Denver/San Francisco game who were yelling out during the moment of silence for Bill Walsh:

It's called a moment of silence for a reason, dumbasses! It's not called a "moment of jackassery"! So shut up and act like you actually have some grace.

Who Turned Up The Heat?

Well, after a relatively mild summer for us in Arizona, things are starting to get hot again. When I say mild, you have understand that I'm talking about the fact that for the last four weeks or so temperatures have been hovering right around 100F. For us, that's mild - usually the end of July/start of August is more like 110 or higher. But this year, it's been kind of nice. And yes, that 10 degrees makes a big difference.

But as of yesterday, it's been getting hotter again. Normally, our average right now is about 105. Yesterday we topped out at 114, breaking the record (previously 113). Today, we're going to be right there again. Most of the time, I don't have to deal with it too much simply because I work inside in the a/c. But, there are some signs when it's getting hot again. For example, you notice that you get hot water out of the tap. More specifically, the cold tap. For whatever reason (and no one knows exactly why), when they built this building, they only installed hot water taps on every other floor. The floor I'm on is one of the ones without hot water. Most of the time, anyway. I'm not talking about room temperature water - no this water is actually warm. And considering it's only 10:30, that's not a good sign.

Be Fair

As I was scanning the news this morning, I came across this story from the New York Times. The gist of the story is that the University of Michigan-Dearborn has decided to install some footbaths across campus. They decided to do this because they have a rather significant Muslim student population (more than 10%). Part of the five-times-a-day prayer ritual Muslims preform involves the washing of feet. Muslim students had been using sinks, which resulted in puddles on the floor and damaged fixtures. So the University plans to install these footbaths to make things easier for Muslims and to deal with the puddles and damages.

This prompted a degree of outrage from some people in the area, who decried the "Islamification" of the University. They argue that the installation of these footbaths would be an unconstitutional governmental support of a religion. I just have one question for these people: Would you have a problem with a university building a chapel on campus? Because nearly every university I've ever been to has had one. It's usually small and off the side somewhere, but it's there. If the installation of a few footbaths is unconstitutional, what about these chapels? Do you think we should tear them down?

Oh, and one more thing, a few footbaths do not mean the "Islamification" of the university! Quit over-reacting and get on with your lives!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

More Fun With New Neighbors

I found out something interesting from the apartment manager today. I'm not the only one who has been annoyed by the new neighbors I mentioned last week. Recently, they woke me up one morning at about 5:00 AM or so by breaking something. I wasn't sure what it was, but it certianly was loud enough to wake me. After that, they quieted down enough that I was able to go right back to sleep. Yesterday, however, I discovered what is was they had broken - their own front window! Looks like they did it from the inside, because you can see all the glass shards in the rocks right below the window. I saw this yesterday, but didn't call the manager at the time. I figured the neighbors would take care of it. But when it still hadn't even been cleaned up yet, I decided to call it in. Given my previous encounter with on of these guys, I wasn't entirely sure that they would even know they had a broken window.

So I called the apartment manager this morning. She told me that, in fact, they were aware of it and were working to get it fixed. But, while she had me on the phone, she was wondering if I had had any problems with these guys. Were they too noisey or have they been causing any problems or anything. I admitted, yeah, they were a little too loud for my tastes, and I related the rattling silverware incenident. She informed me that others had reported problems and filed complaints on these guys. And they would be recieving a written notice today, warning them to keep it down or risk being evicted. This is awesome! The manager said that she wasn't going to put up with this kind of behavior. This is even better! Hopefully, the threat will be enough. But if not, I may have a new set of new neighbors.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mwha Haaa Ha!

I came across this comic today and found it terribly amusing! Click on the image for a lager version.

You can go to "Jet Packs and Time Machines" here.

Sorry, had to include this one as well. It was too good not to!

A Weekend in San Francisco

This past weekend, Journey and I went to San Francisco to meet up with my dad's side of the family. The plan was for us to fly into San Fran early evening and then meet up with my family for dinner in Chinatown. Well, that sure didn't work out the way we had it planned. When Journey and I got to the airport, we tried to check in at one of the little "we're-too-cheap-to-pay-for-real-people" computer kiosks. And got a little yellow note on the screen that our flight had been cancelled and we needed to talk to a ticket agent. What the fuck?!? And right at that moment about eight other people when "What the fuck?!?" We tried to talk to one of the people behind the counter, only to find out that this is the first they've heard of this. So we had to go stand in line to talk to a real ticket agent. And, of course, the woman in front of us got the next to last seat on another airline's next flight to San Fran. And since there were two of us, that one remaining seat wasn't going to do us any good. Our original flight was supposed to be at 3:30. The next flight we could get on wasn't until 7:10. So, we decided the only we could do was to go with the 7:10 flight, and in the meantime go get something to eat at a real restaurant. If you have even been through Terminal 2 at Sky Harbor, you'll know exactly what I mean when I say that there's nothing worth eating in there.

After getting some real food in us, Journey and I came back to the airport and hung around for a few hours, waiting for our flight. Which, quite naturally, was delayed until 7:45 because of weather problems in Denver (where that particular plane was coming from). So in the end, we didn't actually get to San Fran until 10:00 PM or so, which was far too late for the planned dinner. Instead, we ended up splitting a cheese, crackers, and bread plate from room service. Oh, and so you know, we were staying here. The only way we could afford it was because we managed to get a discounted, pay-up-front rate, and got the plane tickets from my parents.

Once we actually made it to San Francisco, we had a good time. We spent most of Saturday during the day tooling around with Journey's aunt, who lives about 40 minutes outside the city, but used to live in San Fran proper. So she gave us the nickel tour around town, which was fun and it was a good chance to get to know Journey's aunt. After the tour, Journey and I met up with the rest of my family for dinner. In addition to introducing my future wife to my uncles and my grandfather, we also got the chance to meet my uncles's girlfriends, who I had never met before. Dinner went well, even if my grandfather was a little to free with the wine (knowing that this would likely be the case, I declined a wine glass and just had a Jack and water before dinner, and a single malt scotch afterward). But everyone seemed to be having a good time and getting along well. There wasn't any of the usual family drama which seems to have been par for the course the last few years, and that was a relief! After dinner, Journey and I sat in the hotel lobby bar with my grandfather, his companion, one of my uncles, and his girlfriend for a while, just chatting. After my grandfather and his companion retired, the rest of us went to a little lounge down the street, where everyone else was hanging out listening to some live music. The band was really good and the crowd was into it. We ended up sitting next to some local guy whose music knowledge was beyond anything or anyone I've even known (and considering I wrote a Master's thesis on American folk music, that's saying something). But what impressed me the most was that this guy knew more about music than my father. My father takes a great deal of pride (even if he would never admit it) in the fact that he knows more about music than most people. He almost never misses a question on music trivia, but this was able to answer every single question he was asked!

Sunday morning we had reservations at a very nice restaurant for brunch, where we all ate too much but had a good time together. We also took the time to celebrate one of my uncle's birthday while we were there. And given that he has gone through some real hell in the last few years (and no, I'm not going to be going into that here, that's a family matter), it was really good to see him happy and having fun and back to his old self. He's always been one of my favorite uncles.

After brunch, we went back to the hotel and changed into street clothes. Since Journey and I still had a few hours until we were scheduled to fly back to Phoenix, so we went down to Fisherman's Wharf and wandered around the shops down there. We were going to grab the cable car down, but as we got to the stop, the one coming up the hill was the wrong line, so we decided to catch a taxi instead as we didn't really have enough time to wait for another cable car. Right as we were getting ready to move over to taxi que, however, black stretched limo pulled up and driver offered to take us to Fisherman's Wharf for $5 each. What are we going to do, turn down a $5 ride in a limo? Yeah, right! So we hopped in and headed out. We decided later that he probably was already on his way down there to pick some one up, so why not make a couple of bucks on the side. Worked for us. And let me tell you, it was an interesting ride. Think rally-car race, but in a stretched limo. Actually, it was pretty damn amusing and Journey and I got a good laugh out of it after we got out! We wandered the wharf for a while and picked up some gifts for people, before having to head back to the hotel to pick up our bags and going to the airport.

And the flight back to Phoenix was almost as fun as the flight out. We boarded on time and there were even a few empty seats. But then the pilot comes on and says that it's going to be 20-25 minutes before we can get going because they have to reboot the plane's computer. Now, I've done my share of traveling, but I've never heard of them having to "reboot the plane's computer" before. And during this whole thing, there's a loud sound coming from the plane directly below where we're sitting. It sounded kind of like the pneumatic lug gun they use to change your tires (know what I mean?). And we've heard that sound before, but this was louder and went on longer than either Journey or I had ever heard before. Finally, they got the plane's computer rebooted and we got under way. We got out on the runway, and then pulled over and stopped. The pilot informed us that a switch wasn't working properly, but that they were going to try and fix it out there. Of course, this didn't work and we had to return to the terminal. We all got ready to deplane . . . and he came back on saying that they had a replacement part and it would only take about 15 minutes to replace, so we weren't going to get off the plane after all. Amazingly, replacing the part only took about 5 minutes, but getting the new paperwork, which was supposed take another 5 minutes, really took about 15. I guess that's a wash. By this time, it's 8:00 or 8:15. Our flight was scheduled to take off at 6:30.

Eventually, we took off and the flight to Phoenix was uneventful. No real turbulence or anything, which was nice. But our travel fun wasn't over yet. Oh no, they had one more little surprise for us. We came in for landing at Sky Harbor, only to touch down and then promptly take off again! The only time I've ever had a touch-and-go like that was to avoid hitting some animals on the runway. What was the reason this time? The runway was too short! Again, what the fuck?!? "Too short?!?" Somebody done fucked up! It's not like we had an odd sized plane or anything! So we had the great fun of smacking the runway once, coming back up to speed, taking off again, circling, and being redirected to another runway. By this time, I was listening in on the tower communications and I actually heard them divert another plane to a different runway so we could land. At last we made it down safe. By the time we got our bags, made it to my truck, and got out of the airport, it was after 11:00PM.

We both decided we were going to take yesterday off to recover from our vacation. So we slept late, and had a leisurely lunch before Journey had to head back to Tucson. All in all, I'd say it was a fun trip and we had a good time. The getting there and back sucked, but the trip itself was fun!