Friday, May 24, 2013

Breaking News Badly

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
I had a few moments the other day, so I went through some news snippits that I think you might enjoy…
Insulation Man: American Hero – Some people are just kind of lucky. While remodeling his newly purchased home in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, David Gonzalez noticed something unusual amid the old newspapers that had been used as wall insulation. It was a copy of Action Comics #1, the very first comic to feature the granddaddy of all superheroes, Superman. spoke with Gonzalez about his amazing find as well as a subsequent family accident that knocked down the value of his windfall. "I knew it was worth money," Gonzales told the Star Tribune. "But I had no idea how much." So far, the answer is, well, a lot. With roughly three weeks left on the auction block, the high bid is around $113,000. Not bad, considering Gonzalez bought the ENTIRE HOUSE for $10,100. But, still, the comic could be worth a lot more were it not for an argument among family members. From “When his wife’s aunt grabbed the comic book amid all the excitement of the discovery, he grabbed it back and tore the back cover. Experts downgraded the comic book’s condition to a 1.5 on a 10-point scale. To put that in comic-book context, a 9.0-grade Action 1 fetched more than $2 million recently.” “That was a $75,000 tear,” said Stephen Fishler, co-owner of ComicConnect, a New York City online auction house that is selling Gonzalez’s treasure. He says the comic book would have graded out at 3.0 without the rip. The moral: Your wife’s aunt can only do wrong when asked to help you reinsulated your house in the first place… but now she owes you at least $75,000 when she kicks the bucket, just to break even. Oh… and don’t be grabby grabby children. The Star Tribune also spoke with Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of ComicConnect. "It’s so hard for anyone to fathom that, in this day and age, you could still discover a comic book that nobody has known about because this book was in a wall of a house for more than 70 years," Zurzolo said. "It’s pretty miraculous that it even survived and it’s only had one owner." Got a small fortune burning a hole in your pocket? The auction ends June 11th. See? Sometimes you just have to keep your eyes open.
Cellular Supercharger - A local California teen’s invention could potentially knock down cellphone-charging time to a superfast 20 seconds. So far, the energy-storage device has powered only an LED light, but it has the potential to do much more. The future certainly looks bright for 18-year-old Eesha Khare, who pocketed a $50,000 prize for the Young Scientist award from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, for her tiny and possibly revolutionary device. Khare sees the device as potentially powering car batteries, cellphones or any electronics that could use a rechargeable battery. When asked what inspired her invention, Ms. Khare said, “My cellphone always dies.” Simple enough. There’s definitely a market out there for it. The supercapacitor, she explains on CBS San Francisco, is “basically an energy source device that can hold a lot of energy in a small amount of volume.” Just think of the large computers that we had even 20 years ago… and how limited their memory was (remember floppy disks?). Now, you can basically hold the Library of Congress in a flash drive. That’s the kind of potential in this discovery. If she plays her patents right, this chick could be RICH!!! The Harvard-bound teen has caught the attention of Google, who has approached her about her device (in order to steal it away from her). Regardless of what happens to the supercapacitor, we're sure to hear more from the high school senior—at least according to Khare. “I’m going to be setting the world on fire,” she said. Oh my… I guess… wait… holy sh*t… is she a SUPERVILLAIN? Already? Usually it takes some sort of catastrophic mishap in the laboratory or some sort of interstellar genocide before you become enraged against humanity & want nothing more than to set entire planets on fire with your inventions. Super brilliant, young, maniacal, holy crap… and her name is… KHAAAAAAAARRRRRE!!! KHAAAAAAAARRRE!!! If she starts quoting Klingon proverbs, I say take her out as soon as possible. In all honesty though, great job Eesha! You may have saved humanity… for now.

Bug: The Other White Meat – Speaking of trying to save humanity, researchers say that Thailand is showing the world how to respond to the global food crisis: by raising bugs for eating. The United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization released a study and handbook Tuesday on what they call 'six-legged livestock' — edible bugs and worms that can help meet global food demand that is expected to grow by 60% by 2050 (combination of more people & fatter asses I believe). The agency says they provide a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals. The study was conducted in Thailand, where insects including crickets, grasshoppers and bamboo worms have long been a part of diets, especially in rural areas. Entomologist Yupa Hanboonsong says about 200 insect species are eaten in Thailand. Cricket farming alone is already a $30 million industry there, but only a few other species have been commercially marketed.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “I could never eat bugs. Yiiikkkk…” First off, we’ll see if a few days without another food source will convince you otherwise. You may start seeing a pile of maggots like a handful of chickpeas. Secondly though, it’s actually a pretty brilliant idea… which is why it won’t catch on here in the states until it’s almost too late. Think about it… these insects that they’re talking about are full of protein & nutrients like the report says, grow & reproduce at a nearly astronomical rate, can be cultivated basically ANYWHERE, as far as content goes it’s healthier per pound that anything else your eating short of vegetables, and hell with as much spice as we mix in with anything anymore you probably wouldn’t even know it’s beef or bug or tofu. Now, I’ve eaten insects and various other creatures while I was in China for a month… and they’re really not that bad. Crunchy texture & a little awkward at first… but hell, Rachel Ray does a book collaboration with Myke Hawke (“Man, Woman, Wild” and I’m waiting for the spin-off after he & his wife have children “Man, Woman, Wild, Child”) and you’ve got a new fad that could be the next bacon craze. Wait… what the hell am I saying? Bacon is bacon. Bugs aren’t going to compete with that… well, at least as long as we still have pigs. Sweet delicious pigs… Anyway, had I startup capital, I’d want to get in on the ground floor of this industry of Grub Grub. It’s going to catch on, just you wait. Mmm… now I’m thinking about bacon…
Bacon Update - With Washington state about to embark on a first-of-its-kind legal market for recreational marijuana, the budding ranks of new cannabis growers face a quandary over what to do with the excess stems, roots and leaves from their plants. Susannah Gross, who owns a five-acre farm north of Seattle, is part of a group experimenting with a solution that seems to make the most of marijuana's appetite-enhancing properties - turning weed waste into pig food. That’s right, I’m talking about marinating bacon in THC to create some kind of stoner super-food. Watch out Funyuns! Four pigs whose feed was supplemented with potent plant leavings during the last four months of their lives ended up 20 to 30 pounds heavier than the half-dozen other pigs from the same litter when they were all sent to slaughter in March. Reasons? They sat around, played video games all day & had a permanent case of the munchies. Oh wait… here’s the expert opinion. "They were eating more, as you can imagine," Gross said. Giving farm animals the munchies is the latest outcome of a ballot measure passed by Washington voters in November making their state one of the first to legalize the recreational use of pot. The other was Colorado. Both were among about 20 states with medical marijuana laws already on their books. The federal government still classifies cannabis as an illegal narcotic, and the Obama administration has not yet said what actions, if any, it will take in answer to the newly passed recreational weed statutes. Matt McAlman, the medical marijuana grower who provided the pot leavings for Gross' pigs, says he hopes the idea expands with the likely impending expansion of Washington state's marijuana industry. "We can have pot chickens, pot pigs, grass-fed beef," he said. Draft regulations issued last week to govern the burgeoning recreational-use industry seem to leave open that possibility. The rules dictate that marijuana plant waste must be "rendered unusable prior to leaving a licensed producer or processor's facility," adding that mixing it with food waste would be acceptable. Gross' pigs were butchered by William von Schneidau, who has a shop at the famous Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. In March, von Schneidau held a "Pot Pig Gig" at the market, serving up the marijuana-fed pork as part of a five-course meal. He quickly sold out the remaining weed-fed meat at his shop but plans another pot-pig feast later this summer, he said. "Some say the meat seems to taste more savory," he said. The results beg the question of whether pot-fed pork contains any measurable traces of THC, the mind-altering chemical ingredient in cannabis. The European Food Safety Authority reported in 2011 that "no studies concerning tolerance or effects of graded levels of THC in food-producing animals have been found in literature." The agency also noted that "no data are available concerning the likely transfer of THC ... to animal tissues and eggs following repeated administration." So there you go… maybe the best thing about the whole process is that it gets rid of the waste to somebody who will buy it… and it really doesn’t affect bacon other than makes it more desirable to a market that simply wants it for the implied effects of the diet. Kind of like buying a rum cake to get a buzz. Obviously I like the idea. It doesn’t hurt anybody… and starts a fledging new market to stoners with disposable income… or people that might just be curious about an allegedly healthier food alternative (similar to open range chicken, etc). I don’t see this growing as much as Grub Grub… but you know damn well I’m going to try it out when I see it at the Farmer’s Market as soon as it’s approved here in California. You know, most of the agricultural centers for marijuana are just across the bay in Oakland. Some of you may be saying that this is just another sign of the Apocalypse where humans are trying to fuse God’s creations together in some sort of unholy & unnatural union to make things better… and that always has horrible consequences in the movies (in real life it usually makes things like turducken & garlic butter & phablets). However, this is the one that should really unsettle you…
Apocalypse Update - An 18-foot, 8-inch Burmese python set a record for the longest snake ever captured in South Florida, where the exotic species has taken up residence. College student Jason Leon snared the female python in a rural area southeast of Miami earlier this month, when he saw part of it sticking out from brush along the roadside, said Carli Segelson, a spokeswoman for the state's Fish and Wildlife Commission. The python broke the previous record set in 2012 by a 17-foot, 7-inch snake caught by researchers studying the impact of the growing population of pythons on the Everglades National Park. My guess is that their findings have been silenced by the government to avoid public panic. With the help of his friends, Leon wrestled and killed the snake with a knife (MAN!!!), Segelson said. He then reported the find through Florida's "IveGot1" program, which connects callers to wildlife researchers. Seriously? That’s the name of the program? “I’VE GOT ONE!!!” “That’s great… is it over 12 feet? Otherwise we’d just say throw it in the trash can. The Burmese python is an invasive species in Florida. Native to the region from India to lower China, the species has been documented to grow as long as 26 feet and weigh 200 pounds. Florida sponsored a python hunting competition in January to see whether annual hunts might put a dent in the local population, and to provide specimens for further research. Personally, I think they need to up their hunting season based on the research coming out of the region. Theories on how the snakes got into the Everglades include dumping by pet owners and the destruction of a nearby exotic pet dealership during the 1992 Hurricane Andrew, and some even say they were planted here by the Chinese spies under the hypnotic control of the mysterious snakelord KA… but that’s probably just me. The important question is… what do we do now? Keep randomly finding these six-meter behemoths on the sides of our street attacking our infrastructure? Or do we take the fight to them? I think we need to get out there & make snake meat & snake skin the newest “hot thing” before they destroy the Everglades… then Florida… then the South… then AMERICA!!! Oh… and eventually the world. I’ve been documenting these finding for years now… we need to take action. Write your senator! Write your President! Write your mother (cuz she misses you)! Get all the machetes you can swing! Sh*t’s about to get real! VIVA LA ARMEGEDDON!!! Danny Trejo, are you with me?
"F**kin' ay Holmes!" 
Sofia Vergara?
 (inaudible over titty machine guns)
Alexa Vega?
"Wait... how old am I?" 
Amber Heard?
"I'm a lover not a fighter..."
Michelle Rodriguez & Jessica Alba?
"Yup yup!"
President Sheen?
 "Let's nook the f**kers!!!"
Ugh… Lady Gaga?
 "Sure... I'll make a cameo..."
That’s right, we need everybody in on this… and I’m really excited about “Machete Kills” coming out September 13th… can you tell? Anyway, that concludes this broadcast… have a great day everybody!!!

A Dangerous M-E-T-H-O-D Maaan

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Just thought I’d say howdy before I’m preoccupied the next week or so with Jackie D coming to visit. It’s gonna be EPIC!!! Like Vegas… but in San Francisco. Too bad C-Real can’t be here to share… but she got her visit about a year ago. I can’t believe I haven’t seen Jackie D since Vegas nearly 18 months ago. WTF? How are we still buddies like this? We were roommates over two years ago… for like six weeks… then she left for Philly… then we met up for a week in Vegas… and that’s it. Yeah, we text & whatever… but it’s like we’re friends from back in the day or something. Weird, right? Anyway, this week is gonna rock… but here’s the last week first… with a few movie reviews…

First movie up was one I forgot to mention last time, “A Dangerous Method” starring Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortenson & Keira Knightley. This movie is from the director of some of Viggo’s best other work including “History of Violence” & “Eastern Promises” but is a tale about the birth of psychoanalysis, the two men who headed its introduction into modern curriculum Carl Jung (Fassbender) & Sigmund Freud (Mortensen), and a Russian patient (Knightley) who influenced both of their findings. Set in early 20th century Vienna (God, I have to go visit that place) and going over the span of many years, it deals with how these two incredibly intelligent men had very differing principles in the idea of psychoanalysis & how these idea (and men) often conflicted in a scientific sense… and Keira Knightley goes from bat sh*t crazy to another key cog in the process… and bangs Carl Jung… a lot… despite being married to a wealthy women with children. Yeah, it’s not a great romantic comedy or anything… but hey, most real history isn’t. The movie was very interesting… albeit not totally enthralling at times. Keira Knightley actually acts a bit… which you know, doesn’t usually have to happen in her movie choices. The two lead actors also do decent jobs but… yeah, not my real cup of tea. Intriguing though. Feel free to give it a gander. Check out the preview & you’ll pretty much know what you’re getting into. Decide from there.

Next up was “War Horse” starring a horse… and the only other actors I really recognized were Tom Hiddleston (Loki from “Thor”) and Benedict Cumberbatch (aka Khan from new Star Trek), both very briefly. Steven Spielberg directs this movie about a teenage English boy & his horse… and then the World War breaks out & the father gives the army the horse… the boy is distraught… and then the rest of the movie is pretty much about the horse & how it goes from owner to owner… from an English general… to the Germans… to a French farm… back to the English infantry… and so on for about two hours. Now, Dizzy & I wanted to watch this movie. She because she LOVES horses… and I because I typically enjoy Spielberg movies, especially war ones like “Saving Private Ryan.” The thing about this movie is… from the horse lover perspective (and historical) there are MANY, MANY flaws. That being said, I can forgive a lot of those. I mean… Django. For me, the main problem was… they basically tried to tell a movie that, for all intensive purposes, was a kids film about the eternal love of a boy & his horse and how (spoiler alert) they come back together against all odds as long as they never gave up on one another. Fun fact: Both of them had given up on one another… because one was a horse… and the other was a teenager who then enlisted into the army… and even in this movie they coincidentally got back together in a pretty unrealistic way. Anyway, kids movie on that premise… but set in the gritty environment of wartime… including sets of trench warfare & ambush fighting. For all intensive purposes, it was a beautifully shot movie & well crafted for what it was… but maybe I just couldn’t let everything go with regards to the unrealistic premise when it was so based in reality. Call me a heartless fool if you will… but yeah, I didn’t particularly care for this movie. Sorry Steven. You know I’d prefer to show love to fellow $teve’s.

Saturday, Dizzy & went to San Jose to attend the BIG WOW Comic Convention… however, when we got to town & saw the convention center, there was a line around the block just to get in & it was already around 1 PM when we got there. Poor planning on our part maybe… but since we were in town, we decided to check out the Technology Museum just a few blocks away… and it was pretty awesome. They have some great exhibits regarding the development of computers, the science behind them, different methods of harnessing energy & how it all works, space exploration, underwater exploration, inventors, genetics, robotics& all sorts of other things. It’s definitely set up more as a children’s museum obviously but still very interesting for adults as well. Here are some pictures from the museum and downtown area…

While at the museum, we decided to watch “Star Trek Into Darkness” in IMAX (Dizzy didn’t see it on Wednesday like I did). That night after some dinner, we drove back to Dizzy’s and watched “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan” since I had never seen it. I know… shocking!!! I’ve seen enough clips & parodies to feel like I had seen it… but yeah, I haven’t seen a LOT of Star Trek shows in my life. The movie itself was pretty entertaining… Ricardo Montelban was a pretty decent villain as he usually is (“Naked Gun”) and while watching… I totally realized a lot more of the tie-ins with new one “Star Trek Into Darkness” including Kirk’s love interest Carole Marcus (who is played in the new one by Alice Eve) so I guess I now know where those little glances are leading to… and it’s apparently a blonde curly haired son a foot taller than either his father or mother if “Wrath of Khan” is any indication. Oh… and you haven’t seen “Wrath of Khan” yet then you probably never intended to… but it’s pretty good as far as Star Trek movies go. Go ahead and check it out… if not just for the lines you’ve already heard like “Revenge is a dish best served cold” or “From Hell’s heart I stab at thee” or the legendary “KHHAAAAAAAN!!!”

Monday after work, I spent the night cleaning & fixing my bathroom sink… it was just clogged, but I didn’t want to break anything… and drain-o and such didn’t work at first, so then I had to get some gloves so as not to burn my skin (according to the bottle). That night was pretty lame… but Tuesday night was a little soirĂ©e with my coworkers to wish my boss a fond farewell as he moves to the Los Angeles office. The party was held in a manager’s home in Pacific Heights and… she must be making a lot more than I do. It was VERY nice… and she did a wonderful spread & was an excellent host. Throughout the evening we just chatted about this & that, how “Caddyshack” may be overrated as a movie but it’s basically the male equivalent of “Dirty Dancing” to the ladies, ex-boyfriend stories, ex-coworker stories, favorite places to eat, tips for my boss going to LA to find decent food, and as the wine flowed we all got more & more hilarious. A great time was had by all. Definitely one of the best parties that I’ve had with my coworkers even though it was basically just us sitting & drinking. I’m actually gonna miss the Boss Man… especially since the rumor is that the new Boss Man might be my old Boss man from Tahoe… but that’s just a rumor, so we’ll see.

So yeah… Saturday morning is when Jackie D flies into town on her magic carpet & we’ve already got plans for brunch at the Magic Flute & a nice trip out to Wine Country… and then she’ll have plenty of time to check out the city again or hang with Dizzy while I’m at work… but a great FOUR DAY WEEKEND is coming up so I’m really excited about that. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Self Gratifying Sniff

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
It’s been a busy little time… but pretty good. Last weekend was mostly chilling at Dizzy’s house while she did final projects for her classes… and we also went up to Sacramento for a few hours Saturday night for a karaoke jam with her friend Lawyer at Hamburger Patty's. We also met up with one of her best friends & her husband for some Mexican food beforehand. Good times.
Wednesday night, Batgirl, Pixie & I went to a special free advance screening of “Star Trek Into Darkness” starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto & others. Now… just to point this out… Batgirl & Pixie are Trekkies… Batgirl almost to a borderline obsessive point… so my cool points went through the roof when A) I got tickets to a pre-screening of a movie she’s been waiting for years on and B) It was free… and in 3D. Anyway, the story is a while after the original reboot (some of these terms I have to use are just weird). Captain Kirk (Pine) is in some hot water because he broke some protocols & didn’t give a damn ala Maverick in Top Gun… but then there’s a terrorist act… sorry, explosion in London & a new threat has emerged. One of the starfleets other young guns has gone rogue… but not everything is making sense. Spoiler alert: He’s KAAAAAAAAHHHHHHN!!! I assume that’s the worst kept secret in Christendom. Regardless, the movie was actually pretty fantastic in my opinion. I’ve mentioned before that I was really impressed with the original reboot & this one didn’t disappoint. Sure, there are a few points in it that are really cheesy throwbacks to the original series & movies but overall… I REALLY enjoyed it. The guy who played Kahn (Benedict Cumberbatch) pretty much stole the show in my opinion, with his performance switching from a sort of controlled chaos to manipulative mastermind very fluidly. Big ups to him… and the other weren’t without their charms either but yeah, check it out. It’s a good sci-fi movie.
Now for a bad sci-fi movie… Thursday night, Dizzy & I watched “Galaxina” starring Dorothy Stratten. You may be asking, WHY? You know it’s a horrible movie when it’s sci-fi, early 80’s & starring a former playmate of the year, right? Correct… but still… I had to see HOW horrible… and it was… and not even in the good way really. Also, I had heard a story about the director Peter Bogdanovich & the lead actress having a relationship… then she died suddenly (overdose)… and the director finds comfort in her younger sister… like 14 years old younger sister… they’re married when she’s 18 (and he’s 40-something). Why would that make me want to watch a movie? I honestly don’t know… but fun fact I guess. Anyway, the story is about a ship in deep space with a ragtag crew… and a robot onboard called Galaxina (Stratten). Well, the crew is motley indeed… and it’s good to know that in the year 3008 that space travel is pretty mundane & people still wear cowboy hats & LA Dodgers shirts. Basically, during a 27 year cryo-mission, Galaxina learns to act like a real woman & falls in love with one of the crew members and… you know, it’s just horrible. The special effects are laughable, even by 80’s standards. Acting was non-existent really. There were a few scenes that were repeated, and it was stuff like her sitting in a glowing chair, which felt like they only had 15 minutes of footage that they tried to stretch into a full length movie. I couldn’t tell if it was trying to be serious or a comedy… and the occasional obvious jokes were just… not the least bit funny. More sad than anything. At least with a movie like Troll 2 you can kind of piece together a few laughs on how bad some of the stuff is but… this was just too slow pointless to even do that. Check it out if you’d like but… I wouldn’t even recommend it as a gaff.
Now for some news, which I haven’t really mentioned recently… but you’ll probably figure out why. Keep in mind… I’m actually in a fabulous mood…

Columbia Scholarship ControversySix days before her death in 1920, a wealthy Iowa divorcee living in a Manhattan hotel made a gift of half a million dollars to Columbia University. For reasons lost to history, the gift had strings attached, and now, more than 90 years later, one of those strings is bringing controversy to the Ivy League school. Lydia C. (Roberts) Chamberlain, a Jefferson, Iowa, native and owner of the turn-of-the-century Chamberlain Hotel that once existed in downtown Des Moines, established a fellowship for graduate students born in Iowa to attend Columbia. One catch: The students had to be white. (GASP!!!) Now, Columbia is seeking to change the terms of the Lydia C. Roberts Graduate Fellowship, which has stipulated that money be given only to "a person of the Caucasian race." Chamberlain left Columbia most of her $509,000 estate, but left a long list of restrictions for becoming Roberts fellows. Others: They must have graduated from an Iowa college or university, must not study law or several other fields, and must return to Iowa for two years after graduating. University officials filed court papers last week in support of earlier action by the estate's trustee, JPMorgan Chase, to change the provisions of the bequest that violate federal anti-discrimination laws. In addition to the race rule, Columbia seeks to modify the requirement that students be born in Iowa, and instead allow them to be residents. The university "may not discriminate based upon national origin," according to the affidavit.
Columbia released a statement Wednesday saying that it is "as offended as anyone by the requirements of these fellowships." "The fact is Columbia long ago ceased awarding the fellowships in question and does not follow gift conditions that violate anti-discrimination laws," the statement read. While many schools offer scholarships targeted toward racial minorities, the purpose of the award determines whether a scholarship discriminates. "There's a difference between considering race as a factor in giving a scholarship where you're trying to cultivate diversity, versus a scholarship where the intent is to exclude people based upon perceived inferiority of their race," said Angela Onwuachi-Willig, a law professor at the University of Iowa. Whoa whoa whoa… First off, you lost me a long time ago because that’s EXACTLY why there are minority scholarships… do discriminate against white applicants who allegedly have it better off. There’s no middle class now… we’re all broke… and college is ridiculously f**king expensive so that even the rich have to take loans to afford… so suck a bag of dicks on that argument that it’s racist… because they’re all racist… and who the f**k said anything about race inferiority? Nobody. Please, continue…
The intent behind Lydia Chamberlain's donation is unknown. "It could be the donor put 'white' in there because at the time most students at Columbia University were white," Onwuachi-Willig said. "But it also could mean that it was a direct intent to discriminate against students of color. I think that the university would have a right to contest the continued use of the fund under those restrictions." Universities, in general, must adhere to restrictions on gifts as long as they are legal, said Tiffani Shaw, University of Iowa Foundation chief operating officer. Shaw said she's not aware of any instance in which the University of Iowa received a donation with illegal restrictions, even though the majority of gifts have conditions in place. "We are happy to adhere to those intentions as long as they are lawful," she said. Whatever, here’s the best part I think…
The New York Daily News reported that Columbia hasn't awarded the fellowship since 1997. But a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism scholarships and fellowships bulletin from 2006 lists the fellowship — without mention of a race restriction. Two recipients of the award told The Des Moines Register they had been unaware of the rule. "I didn't know race was part of the requirement," Timothy Polashek, a music professor at Transylvania University in Kentucky and a 1997 recipient of the Roberts fellowship, wrote in an email. Doug Gross, an attorney & 2002 Republican nominee for governor in Des Moines, received the fellowship for study at Columbia's School of International Affairs in 1977. "It was a great thing for me. There was no way I could have afforded it without that. I had no idea they had those limitations," he said. "I did know you had to be from Iowa. I thought that was weird." Did you catch it? The scholarship hasn’t even been awarded in 16 years… they were given this money for a scholarship… and the university didn’t award it to anybody, they’ve just pocketed it. Granted, when Ms. Chamberlain donated her money, a semester of tuition was $180 whereas now it’s over $45,000 for Columbia. That’s 250 times as much… that’s like a cup of coffee going from a nickel to $12.50 and let’s face it, the coffee now is better than the coffee was in 1920. Is the education better? Would you say 250 times better? Look, college is a f**king rip-off & all they do is screw everybody involved in the process. I went for a number of years… and that’s all I took away from the institution of it. Did I learn a few things? Of course… because I had initiative. Did I lose a shit ton of money for a piece of paper that’s been sitting in my mom’s basement for seven years & nobody has asked to see it? Yup. So let’s not get hung up on the possible racial implications of a scholarship that hasn’t been awarded this millennium, because it’s been established that they’re all pretty f**king racist. Let’s get on the point that all colleges do is make money… and occasionally teach once in a while… but not really. Anything you can learn at college you can learn somewhere else. I don’t have the figures in front of me but I believe there’s a study out there that shows that colleges have produced more drug addicted former students than graduates. Is it a direct correlation? Of course not… but yeah, nobody cares about the problems in the school system… what with all of this “racism” running rampant. Ninja please…
Cookie Jar Lotto - A man facing foreclosure on his Geneva, Illinois house found a solution to his problem in the unlikeliest of places—the cookie jar. Richard Cerezo was going through his old lottery tickets, which he kept in a cookie jar and took them to the 7-Eleven to see if he had any winners. For one of them, it turned out, he needed to file a claim, which meant the ticket was worth at least $600. Excited, he returned home and checked the numbers on his computer. From the Chicago Tribune: “As each number kept matching, the smile kept going higher and higher. And when I realized we had all six numbers, it was that shocking moment of, ‘Whoa, can this really be?’” he said in a news conference on Wednesday. “Fast forward to the next day, Monday: Called in sick ... went down into Chicago. It’s one of feelings where it’s okay if they fire me.” Cerezo spoke to lottery officials, who told him the ticket was worth $4.85 million. Cerezo told reporters that he purchased the ticket in February, which meant he'd been sitting on the fortune for months without realizing it. “It couldn’t have happened at a better time," Cerezo said, according to the paper. "I just thought, this is how God works." Cerezo said he plans to use part of the winnings to pay off his home. So… did he keep his job? Come on Chicago Tribune! Why tell a story about a man getting a seven digit lottery without the story of how he walked into his boss’ office & pinched a Cleveland Steamer right on his annual review, which was negatively impacted by his use of sick leave on Monday? Oh & believe me… it happened. How dare you use your benefits to an even mild extent? Followed by biased discipline. Don’t hate… I’m only being real. What would you do if you had some FU Money? You know… I’m thinking about making a scholarship in my name… to give back to the community. I’ll call it… the Dr. Mookie Tockenbaut Love Scholarship for the Advancement of Big-Tittied Gingers… with a few stipulations of course. Nothing racist… just that they have to have natural red hair & freckles… oh & at least 36C cups… that might be a tricky one to comply with given the other stipulations. Congrats on the winning, Mr. Cerezo!!! Enjoy all the new family members…
Robin Hood Sued - The city of Keene, New Hampshire, is suing a group of do-gooders for allegedly topping off parking meters of strangers. The group, which calls itself "Robin Hood and his Merry Men," likes to leave notes on the windshields of cars that are in danger of getting a ticket due to an expired meter, according to the Union Leader. A note reads, "Your meter expired; however, we saved you from the king’s tariffs, Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Please consider paying it forward.” The note then lists an address where people can send donations if they wish. According to the Union Leader, the city claims Robin Hood and his Merry Men have "intentionally taunted, interfered with, harassed and intimidated" the city's three parking enforcement officers. By the way, I’m totally picturing these guys in green tights & making mocking gestures to meter maidens. “Look John, that bonny lass from the Tool Box years ago actually WAS saving her penance for her education at university… and look at her now. AHAHAHAHAHA!!!” The suit also alleges that the group follows the parking enforcement officers around the city and uses video and radio equipment to coordinate their efforts. All told, six citizens are named in the city's lawsuit. One of the defendants, James Cleaveland, spoke to the Union Leader about it. "They say video recording or talking to them is harassing them, but I don't agree with that," he said. "So they want to establish a safety zone of fifty feet." The lawsuit, according to the Union Leader, lists a bit of trash-talking on the part of the Robin Hooders. In the filing, parking enforcement officer Linda Desruisseaux said, "Besides following me, crowding around me, making video recordings of my activities, and placing coins in expired meters to prevent me from writing tickets, these individuals repeatedly taunt and harass me, asking why I am stealing peoples' money and telling me to get another job ... In particular, Graham Colson likes to taunt me by saying, 'Linda, guess what you're not going to do today - write tickets.' Really? That’s what’s considered trash-talking in New Hampshire. F**king p**sies…
Anyway, the taunting and harassment allegedly tends to get worse when there is a group, as they try to one-up each other at my expense (gasp!!!). Another parking enforcement officer claims that he suffers from heart palpitations, stress and anxiety, and "dreams related to this activity." The city is concerned that the parking enforcement officers will quit (gasp!!!). That would cause a financial hardship, because the city would have to hire and train new officers, the suit claims. Members of the group were issued the lawsuit last week and have 30 days to respond. My response: B**ch please… with all due respect, which is very sparse, go f**k yourself! I have no sympathy for meter maids… kind of like I have no sympathy for rapists, murderers or the SS. Trying to sue some people who found a loophole in your f**king rape via government game on the grounds of they spoke in the attendants general direction in a gently mocking tone… that’s just f**king ridiculous. Two words: F**k you… I mean… Free speech. “Ah, it’s assault because I had a dream that they were there… just looking at me & I think they said something about a duck.” B**ch you crazy!!! Case dismissed… don’t like it? Get a real job…
Sorry for the Adam Carolla-esque rant today about the news… I’m even in a really good mood!!! They’re just so f**king stupid… and it’s all that’s reported on because there’s no real issues that can be talked about & even less that can actually be handled short of full-on revolution… but mostly it’s just the government screwing over everybody as the world’s largest organized crime syndicate… except they decide what’s a crime so they have a loophole… but hey, that’s America & the rest of the world.
This weekend should be a lot of fun with the ladyfriend Dizzy… as we’re going to San Jose for the BIG WOW Comic Convention. It’s been a while since I’ve been to one of these things… so it should be fun. I heard that THE Stan Lee will be there, but we’ll probably miss him. Still, great research for our budding comics career. Then in just over a week, Jackie D makes her triumphant return to the Bay Area… even if only for a week. It’s gonna be hella fun!!! Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Day of Mothers

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
It’s been a pretty busy workweek… but yeah, nothing that you’d really be interested in hearing about. Mother’s Day is just around the corner (like 26 hours in some time zones) so hopefully you’ve all got them taken care of. See… this year, I took a notion that my mother taught me. See… flowers, chocolates, balloons, plush animals, all of that stuff are pretty great & the ladies love ‘em… and the companies that sell those things know that… so they’ll make offers that seem fantastic this time of year… and then casually triple the prices with delivery, taxes, special timing fees & what have you… which is great for them… but that’s my pocket book. Besides, if my mom only knows that I love her & care for her because of a teddy bear with a balloon tied to his wrist holding chocolates and leaning against a vase filled with a few dozen tulips draped in baby’s breath, then apparently I’m not doing my job the other 364+ days per year.
As I’ve said before on this blog… basically every day should be Mother’s Day… and Father’s Day for that matter… at least for those deserving. That’s why I texted her today (I was at work, otherwise I would’ve called) and just told her that I felt she is the greatest mommy & grandma EVER!!! No offense to any mothers and/or grandmothers out there reading this… but face it, she’s pretty f**king awesome. You have to admit that. Luckily, she replied with “That’s all I need for Mother’s Day!” Which is good… but I have a huge box of chocolates ready for the next time she comes to visit… and hopefully I’ll get to see her in Utah again soon. I do miss her… but then again, that’s why I call her at least once a week… and my dad too. Now it’s just a matter of them answering their damn phones… old people, am I right? Just kidding mama… Happy Mother’s Day!!!
On another note, I found out recently that two of my roommates (Batgirl & Nurse) will be moving out in the next few weeks. Batgirl is taking the summer off school & heading back home for a bit… while Nurse is moving into a house with her boyfriend. Honestly, I get the feeling that the third roommate may be moving out soon too… but she hasn’t officially let it be known or anything, just a hunch. What does that mean?
  • End of an Era - The streak of over two full years with the same three random lady roommates is coming to an end. It’s actually a pretty remarkable run from what I gather in this city. Usually it’s nomadic hippies moving in & out every few months… but we got along pretty well… and now it’s just “the next stages of life” happening all at once. Or maybe it’s something to do with me & they’re just not telling me. I doubt it though… I’m pretty f**king awesome… because I got it from my mama.
  • Future Roommate Interviews – There should also be an abundance of potential roommate interviews once again. Remember the last time… with Jackie D & I interviewing the possible stripper Red… and a few others? I’m looking forward to this cross section of modern San Francisco & hopefully finding some great roommates. I’ve been pretty lucky thus far in that regard.
  • Random Thought - Wait a minute… Jackie D is going to be visiting… hmm… maybe she’ll want to be a part of the interview process… or at least get a little tipsy with me while their conducted like last time. Heck, if she’s looking to move back to the Bay, she could even get her old room back. This may work out rather well…
  • Dude Roommates? – Obviously I’m open to the idea of guy roommates, but I’m also a huge fan of the “Three’s Company” thing that’s been going on the past few years… especially since it’s “Four’s Company”. It’s really Pixie’s call since she’ll be sharing the bathroom with whoever become our new roommates… but yeah, could be pretty awesome. Drinking buddies? Workout buddies? Somebody else who will touch the trash or kill spiders? Who knows?
Anyway, that’s just a real quick recap of what’s going on with me… hopefully you all have wonderful Mother’s Day weekend plans. I’ll be spending it with Dizzy (shocker, I know…) but we are doing a quick trip out to Sacramento for her friend’s birthday bash & then we always have other adventures along the way. Wish us luck! Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Just One of THOSE Days

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well first... let's recap the weekend... Saturday, we went to a Kentucky Derby party similar to last year and had a grand ol' tyme watching the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" or as I like to call it... gnomes riding horses very fast. There were some great appetizers & beverages provided by the hostess & later Beer Pong (though they played with water so I stayed away & sipped Mangria). Good times!

The rest of the weekend was basically lying about with Dizzy & watching movies and TV shows. One of them we watched was one of my favorites as a younger man "Brotherhood of the Wolf" starring Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci & other French actors. Also... someone I had never noticed before. Okay, the movie has a "Native American" character who apparently is also a master of kung fu judging by his fighting style & weaponry choices. He doesn't say much... but carries a big stick (my kind of dude) but the actor who plays him... I noticed that I had seen him somewhere else... he's the Chairman on "Iron Chef" (Mark Dacascos). Yes... the Chairman... is playing a Mohawk in this movie. It's actually pretty great & beautifully shot... so give it a gander... but I found that hilarious.

Yesterday, I found out that my boss is moving to the LA office in a few weeks... then I met up with Bubbles for some dinner (and food for her dog) and caught up on goings-on... but yeah, pretty standard day...

Then today happened. It started with me getting on the bus... it was pretty full... and I noticed that a lady was standing & holding her bags (probably just her makeup, etc) but was also in high heels (possibly because she's an idiot to fashion) so I offered my seat... because God forbid I should relax for a half hour on the way to my stress-filled job while she roll an ankle thanks to her horrible decisions. So the bus ran late because of construction traffic... and again it was full... and hot... and so instead of my usual 15-20 minutes to chillax a bit at work before hopping right into it... I had to hop right into it.

Then the workday was just... ridiculous... and everything has to go through me apparently... but that's the usual. The main difference today: I'm from the school of belief that a lack of preparation on your part is NOT my f**king problem if you all of a sudden need some product immediately & I have none to give. Also, I don't care who you are... unless you're personally signing my paycheck, I'm not going to drop everything else I'm doing just so you can have something quickly to do your job unless it behooves me. Especially if you're literally standing in a line while others are requesting similar things. Grab a number & wait your turn... or maybe you'll get lucky & I think that it would be more timely to help you... the last thing that you want to do is cop an attitude with me... because that's how you get ignored. So after about nine hours of that... I was not in a good mood... but luckily I had to leave to make the bank before it closes (can finally get cash since banks wanna be useless).

As I left, I got a nice message from Dizzy... a picture of a yellow rose saying "I got a rose for you..." which really made my day to that point. However, I was still a little peeved at everything in general... so I did what I usually do when I get in that mood... and beat the sh*t out of a homeless man. No wait... I don't do that any more (or any less either). I basically went home, changed & ran up and down the hill by my apartment a few times, throwing jabs like Rocky Balboa to get all the aggression out. See, I've been trying to do a little bit of a boxer kind of training short of actually hitting people... because the last thing the world needs is me feeling more comfortable with beating the hell outta things (see previously mentioned homeless gentlemen & short trigger).

I guess the point of the story is... you need outlets to release your tension... and I thankfully have many. Sometimes it doesn't seem like enough... but hey, I haven't destroyed a whole bunch of stuff, right? (Police records say no so we're going to go with that) Here are a few outlets that I use from time to time that may help you release some stress:

  • Talking - Sometimes just having somebody to talk to (even if it's one of your other personalities) can help immensely & keep things in perspective
  • Working Out - It was mostly weights & basketball before the YMCA decided to double their original prices which were already too damn much (f**king city) so now I resort to the running & more boxing style workout. Not nearly enough as I probably should... but I'm working on that too
  • Creative Outlets - Sometimes reading... and in my case, doodling & writing help me to take out frustration & keep things in perspective as well. I'm also pumped about the idea of it leading to financial gains... but hey, until that happens... it's keeping me from being slap-happy
  • TV & Movies - I'm cutting this out a lot more because I find that sitting around doing nothing kind of irks me & makes me feel worse... but occasionally you just need to relax. I'm watching more stuff on the Smitsonian Channel specials & stuff like that rather than True Blood or sh*t like that
  • Finding the Root Cause of your Frustration - You know what REALLY helps with frustration... finding out where it comes from & alleviating it. Is it something that you're doing & can change? Try to work on it. Is it something that somebody else is doing that can easily be changed? Try to work on it. Is it something that you have no control over? Realize it & try to find ways around it or minimize its effect on you. Whether it's a procedure, personal trait, methodology, weather, solar patterns, chemical reaction, whatever... once you've found out what it is... there's probably something you can do about it
That's a good start... but yeah, just want to share how you can have "one of those days" and still be okey dokey by the time you're ready for bed. Also, if you need somebody to talk to... holla back! I'm always glad to help. Until then... have a great day everybody!!!

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