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Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of the World

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging lately. I'm sure I've pretty much lost all of my readers by now.
I actually have written quite a few blog posts over the last few months, but I just can't bring myself to finish them.  I suppose I've been in kind of an emotional slump for the last little while.
Fear not, I am taking measures to pull myself out of it. :)

The actual purpose of this post is to talk about the end of the world.

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard about the Mayan calendar.

I was in 7th grade Social Studies class, out in a portable classroom. I can't remember my teacher's name right now, but I wish I could, because I really liked her.

(Side note: One of the reasons I liked this teacher was because she once had us guess how many books she had read the previous year. Turns out it was 50! I always admired her for that.)

Anyway, I don't remember why she taught us about the Mayan calendar, but I do remember being fascinated by it.  She taught us how it was an incredibly accurate calendar that tracked the phases of the moon, and that after so many centuries, it was only off in its predictions by about 30 seconds.

I had no idea that ancient civilizations were so advanced!

Then she taught us about the last date on the Mayan calendar, and how some people thought that it was predicting the end of the world.

Somewhere in my 7th grade notes I wrote down that date, and tucked it away in a safe place.  I found that note several years ago, although I'm not sure where it ended up after that...

Sitting in class that day, I did the math and figured out that in the year 2012, I would be 30 years old.
That age and date seemed impossibly far in the future.

I thought about who I would be, and what I would be doing at that age.

It's incredibly interesting to reflect back on this vivid memory of my youth, and think that in many ways, I'm still the same little boy, musing over the wonders of the world. Some things just don't change.

It's equally interesting to remember who I thought I would be in the year 2012.

Even though my life doesn't totally match the predictions of my youth, I don't think 13 year old Robby would be disappointed in me. I've been blessed with a good life, a lot of happiness, and many great successes.
I still have a few things left to do, but those will come in time.

Life is good, and I'm glad that the world is still going.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Well...It Happened...

...I'm now officially 30.

To be honest, it feels about the same.

I do have a few aches that I'm considering having looked at...but those have been around for a while.

My right shoulder has been crackling a little more than usual.
My left knee hurts during certain activities.
And my back sometimes feels funny.

I think these are just new manifestations of some minor old injuries.

Here are a few things that aren't so bad about this 30 year old body:
-My vision correction is the same as it has been for the last 15 years.
-I still have a full and luxurious head of hair.
-I still fit into the same clothes that I wore 10 years ago. How do I know this? Well, I still have a suit that I got 10 years ago, and I actually wear it from time to time...
-While my level of physical fitness has fluctuated some, I am definitely more fit than I was 10 years ago. :)

Moving on...
Long time readers may remember that shortly after turning 29 I set a few goals for myself.

How did I do?

Let's evaluate...

Ok. Goal #1: Move out.  Yeah, I did this...TWICE!
I moved out to live with a friend of mine, and then he got married so I had to move out again to a different place. Loving it! Moving out (once I had the financial means) was one of the best things I ever did for myself!

#2: Get debt free. Oh yeah! Did this a while ago! Feels good to be able to save, invest, spend, and know that I am beholden to no man. Everything I have is my own. And while I am employed and single, I'm able to get a good financial foundation under me. :)

#3: Do a triathlon. Heck yes I did! This was once of my favorite goals to achieve. So fun! Read about it here.

#4: Half marathon. Nope. Didn't do it. Frankly, I don't like running much, and I have been pretty busy, so I just didn't get in the training for one. Maybe I should carry this goal over and do it before I turn 31...

#5: Travel Internationally. Sadly, I didn't do this either. I was expecting to travel for work, but the trip got delayed. It will probably happen, but not for a few more months. Maybe next summer I should go on a cruise or something.

#6: Motorcycle endorsement. I thought about it. Looked up classes and rates. Never got up the motivation to actually do it. Maybe next year once it warms up.

#7: Road bike. Yup. It was kind of necessary to achieve goal number 3. Bought one. Love it!

#8: Run the Golden Gate Bridge.  Sadly, I haven't made it back to the Bay area since last year. Next time I do though...I'm totally doing it!

#9: Buy another gun. Yeah, I definitely did this one. How many guns did I buy this year? Five...I think.

#10: Take a cooking class. Missed this one. I did look up classes, prices, and schedules...I just never got around to it. Maybe I will do this on a date sometime in the near future.

#11: Obtain a permanent position at work. Honestly this was probably the most important goal I set for the year. I feel very grateful that this was achieved. You may have noticed that the majority of my goals required some significant financial backing. Without a good job most of these things wouldn't have been possible. I am very blessed. :)

#12: Get my weight back down to 160. This is a tough one. I am so dang close! When I set the goal I was steady at about 175. I am now holding steady between 163 and 166. That's a solid 10 pounds off! My belts have been tightened, my clothes fit more comfortably, and I feel a lot better about how I look.  I am going to get to 160, it might just take a little longer. The other part of this is that I have been lifting weights again, and have put on some muscle. So in addition to losing fat weight, I am gaining some muscle weight.  I feel pretty good about how I am doing on this, so I'm going to go ahead and say that this goal was achieved.  I need to take a picture of my scale when I get there officially.


Ok, so that's it for the goals. Now, let's talk about my party!

Yes...I did decide to have a party.
I really want to put some good mojo on my 30's, so I figured that I had better celebrate their arrival.

so...I AM THROWING A KEGGER!!!


I've always wanted to do one ever since I saw Men in Black, and Zed says "We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here." Well I want to host an intergalactic kegger!
So I've procured a 5 gallon keg of root beer. :)

The evening is going to commemorate the year of my birth, 1982.
We will be showing the major blockbuster films from that year, which includes Tron, Rocky III, Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan, E.T., Blade Runner, and Poltergeist.
'82 was a good year for sci-fi...

I have also obtained the Billboard top 100 hits from 1982 to play as party music.
I've been previewing the playlist, and there are a ton of my favorite songs on it! I had no idea so many great hits came out of that year!
1982 was just an awesome year in general.

Anyway...I think it will be a good party, and I will definitely be blogging about it.

Getting serious though, I feel like 29 was an important year for me. Many things changed for me. Most things were good, some things were very hard.
Presently, I feel like everything is going very well in my life. I'm really quite happy, and I'm feeling very optimistic about entering my 30's. I think that some exceptionally good things are coming. :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

New Feeling...Premonition?

Recently, I've been having a strange new feeling.
I've been experiencing an increased desire for self preservation.
Along with this feeling is a heightened awareness of my own mortality.
Honestly, it kind of concerns me a little bit.

A few months ago I decided to resign from my paintball team.
I've been on that team for the better part of five years.
My teammates are among my closest friends.
This was not an easy decision.

A large part of my decision to leave was due to these recent feelings of anxiety.
We travel a lot for our tournaments, and we often drive through the night.
When we would be driving, I would sometimes wonder if I would make it home alive.
Thus far we have never had any problems or accidents...but it's only a matter of time, right?

I wondered if these feelings were some kind of premonition that something bad was coming.
I've always been very good about trusting my feelings; so I decided that if something bad was going to happen, I didn't want to be around for it.

These feelings don't just come before long trips either.
Sometimes when I am driving on the freeway, and traffic is a little erratic and crazy, I start thinking about traffic accidents. I sometimes wonder "Is this how I am going to die?"
I know lots of people who have gone that way...

I'm feeling like I need to take extra measures to keep myself safe.
I don't mean wearing a padded helmet everywhere, or barricading myself inside my own house...I just mean avoiding unnecessary risks.
I really hope this isn't some kind of clinical paranoia or anxiety.
I don't think it is.

I was talking to my dad about these feelings the other night, and he told me that he remembers when he started feeling this way too.
He had a friend who survived a pretty horrific motorcycle accident involving a semi truck.
It was after this experience that my dad started being more careful.
Perhaps these feelings are just a normal part of growing up and getting older.

I am kind of surprised that these feelings are happening now, and not later when I have a family to support.
Currently, I am single and unattached. I am debt free and have no outstanding personal obligations.  I also have a generous life insurance policy through work.
I know it is a morbid thought, but in many ways, now would be the ideal time for me to unexpectedly die.
Naturally I don't want that to happen.

I am hoping that there is a good reason for these odd feelings.
Perhaps there is something important in store for my future.
Maybe something really good is about to happen in my life.
There must be some reason for me to stick around...
I suppose only time will tell.

So what do you guys think? Is this normal?  Is it healthy?

Friday, September 14, 2012

On Unintentional (Intentional) Puns

So I have a minor literary pet peeve.

Every once in a while I will come across a statement in an article that is immediately followed by the words "no pun intended," written in parenthesis.

Whenever I see "no pun intended" actually written out like that, I automatically assume that the pun actually WAS intended, otherwise, why would they call attention to it?

That fact that they wrote out "no pun intended" means that, in the course of writing their article, they recognized the presence of the pun, chose to leave it in place rather than revise their choice of words, and then chose to call attention to the fact that they had just made a pun.  Doesn't that process prove that the inclusion of the pun was intentional?!

In writing, if the pun truly was unintentional, they wouldn't even call attention to it.  It would just be there, unannounced.

What I think is actually happening, is that the author has thought up a clever little pun that they think would be very "punny," are very proud of their pun, and don't want anyone to miss it.  So to make sure that everyone sees their cleverness, they decide to spell it out for the reader by saying "no pun intended," when what they really mean is "hey there was a pun in what I just said, and I want to make sure you saw it."
Let's face it, it's kind of lame to make a pun and then write "pun intended." It's kind of the literary equivalent of laughing at your own jokes.  Personally, I would much rather see someone write "pun intended" rather than "no pun intended." It might actually be more humorous.

I know I am probably way over thinking this idea, but it seems to me that the phrase "no pun intended" should only ever be used verbally since it is possible to unintentionally make a pun, and realize that you just made a pun, but it is impossible to go back and alter what you just said. However, that is not the case with writing. It is possible to go back and edit your words, and thus unintentional puns can be easily corrected.

What do you think?

Still?

As many of you know, I'm almost 30 years old.

SO WHY THE HECK AM I STILL GETTING PIMPLES?!!!

I've already passed the frontier of routine daily shaving, so shouldn't I have earned my man body by now?

It's obnoxious and annoying.

I wish my body would just figure itself out!

That is all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Triathlon!

Well, my first triathlon was a success!

My goal was to finish in under 1 hour 30 minutes, and my overall time ended up being 1 hour 25 minutes and 14 seconds.
I finished 15th out of 19 in my age group. Not great, but at least I wasn't last!
Now I can make some specific goals for improvement.

As expected, the swim was my weakest event.
I swam the 350 yards in 10:46.
I tried to swim the freestyle stroke, but only made it one length before I was out of breath and struggling.  I had to revert to the slower sidestroke for the rest of the swim.
Even with doing the sidestroke I only got passed by three people, and that was on the very last length.
I hadn't officially timed myself for that swim distance, so I was pleasantly surprised by my time.


My transition from swim to bike took 2:42. I could probably shave some time off that in the future. Maybe lose the gloves and the socks...



The biking was definitely my strongest event. I felt great the whole time, and I was passing tons of people!
I biked the 12 miles in 39:06, so that was an average of about 18.5mph.
I was just so happy to be out of the pool and on my bike!


My transition from bike to run was pretty quick, only 1:36.
It would have been much quicker, but it took me a little while to figure out where all my stuff was!
I need to figure out a way to make my area more obvious. Either that or count rows before the start.
Even with that lost time, my elastic shoe laces really helped keep my transition quick.  Those were my favorite triathlon accessory by far!


I ran the 5K in 31:04, so I was doing just over a nine minute mile. I can speed that up...
I definitely do not like running, but it was fine I guess. I just kept myself moving.

They had water right at the beginning of the run, and a Gatorade station halfway through. I wish that they had switched those locations and had the Gatorade first, and the water second.
I don't like taking Gatorade without water to follow because it feels sticky in my mouth and throat, so when I got to that second aid station I didn't drink anything. I probably should have.

The run was out in the open, on the street; so the sun was baking down on us pretty hard.
The last half mile was pretty hard for me because I was really tired and thirsty from the sun and heat.
I definitely could have used some water at that aid station...
Anyway, I pushed through and finished just fine.


After I was all done I felt great! Tired and thirsty, but great!
Even now, a day later, I'm not very sore, so I felt pretty well prepared.


Before I do another one, I really  need to improve my swimming. I need to get the freestyle stroke down! That is my number one priority.
Besides that, I just need to keep up my biking and running, shed a few pounds, and hopefully shave a few minutes off both of those events.

I'm really glad I did it, it was a lot of fun!

**********************************************************************

As an aside, I had two crazy experiences that I wanted to share.

The first was from the Saturday before the race.
I decided to do the bike and running routes in advance, so I would be familiar with them, and have an expectation on my times.
I was halfway done with the biking when it started to thunder and lighting.
I was riding along, and suddenly I felt a tingle run down my right arm, and a shock come out my index finger!
Half a second later, I saw lightning strike somewhere in the distance!

It kind of freaked me out!

More freaky though, is that I didn't really have a place to go to escape, so I just kept riding.
Over the next few minutes, that same thing happened to me four or five times!

Where I was riding there were lots of power poles, so I figured that if lightning was going to strike, it would probably strike one of those before it got me.

Anyway, I kept riding and everything was fine.
It eventually started raining pretty hard, and I got soaked.  It actually felt pretty good. It cooled me off quite a bit.


The second experience happened during the race.

I was just starting the bike portion, and had made my first turn onto a main road.
They didn't stop traffic for the event, so I was riding along with other cars.

I was riding on the shoulder when the car ahead of me suddenly pulled right in front of me and slowed way down to make a right hand turn into a parking lot.

They totally cut me off!

I braked so hard that I actually did a front wheelie.

I managed to skid almost to a stop, but I did hit their back bumper with my front tire.

It all happened so fast, and I was so focused on braking that I didn't have much time to think of anything else.
I thought for sure I was going to wreck, and was quite surprised when I didn't.

After I hit their bumper, my rear wheel dropped back onto the pavement, they finished their turn, and my bike seemed ok so I just kept on riding.

It was really scary, but I was just glad that I was ok.

It sure got my adrenaline pumping for the race!

The moral of the story is to really watch out for bikers when you are driving, and realize that they actually are moving pretty quickly, and you can't cut them off. Treat them like another vehicle.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Book Cloud

One of my friends posted this image on their blog AGES ago.
I intended to pass it on...but I forgot.
UNTIL NOW!

I thought that it was a really great list, and a good reference for anyone that is looking for a really great book to read.
There are a few on there that I would like not to be on there (cough, Twilight, cough)...and there are a few books that I think are missing. Namely, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and Anthem by Ayn Rand. Neither of these are listed, but they are two of the best books I have ever read.

I found the original here.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Muscle Music!!!

Have you guys seen this yet?!

This is the most awesome thing I have ever seen!

THIS is the reason the internet was invented!



Old Spice Muscle Music from Terry Crews on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's Business Time!

No...not like that...

I got my own BUSINESS CARDS!!!



Pretty neat, huh?

This job is really starting to feel like a real career.

:)


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Pretty Cunning, Don't You Think?"


I have a friend named Ginger.

She knits beards.

This one is mine.

You can all be jealous now.

(PS. Anyone who can identify the source of the quote in my title, without the help of any interwebs, will receive a virtual pat on the head by yours truly.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Registered...

Well folks, I registered for my first triathlon!

The event will take place next week on Labor Day.

It's just a sprint triathlon so I think it will be fine.

350 yard swim
12 mile bike
5k run

Prior to registering I decided I had better test my swimming abilities to make sure that I wouldn't die.
I'm a pretty poor swimmer.
I realized that I am totally inept at swimming "freestyle".

I can however swim sidestroke almost indefinitely.
I easily covered the 350 yd distance, so I figured that this was enough of a green light that I could confidently register without fear of death.

It won't be pretty, but I will get through it.

I'll let you know how it goes.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Awkward Badge Update

Ok, remember my post about the awkward security badge moment?

Well, the other day I got my new security badge at work.

I carefully selected my shirt for that day.

It had to be a shirt that looks pretty good on me, and simultaneously one that I don't like very much.  One that I wouldn't mind never wearing again.

I had the perfect shirt!

I wore the shirt that one day, got my picture taken, and now it has been donated to my local thrift store.  Never to be worn by me again!

Hooray for no more awkward badge moments!





It Hurts So Good!

Tuesday and Wednesday I went with my waard to Pineview reservoir to do some boatin'.
It was so much fun meeting new people, and hanging out with some of my favorite friends!
There was lots of fun stuff to do.

I water skied...

It has been a long dang time since I last went water skiing.
I am stiff and sore now.
I mean REALLY stiff and sore.
So stiff and sore that I struggle to wash and clothe myself!
So sore that I can't open doors or drawers without pain!
In fact, I can't remember the last time I was this sore!
Getting old blows...
But it sure was fun!

My personal triumph from the trip was that I spend literally all of Wednesday out in the sun, and didn't get sunburned!

SPF 50 is a life saver!



 This is my favorite picture from the trip. :)






Photo bomb!

SuperSix

Guess what...

I got a new bike!

It's a 2012 Cannondale SuperSix with Shimano 105 components.

I've put about 130 miles on it so far.

I like it... a lot.

That is all.




Sunday, August 26, 2012

Memorial Day Activities

(I know this is super late, but better late than never I suppose...)

I had a great Memorial Day weekend this year!

It all started Friday after work.  My dad picked me up because my car was in the shop getting a new radiator. The previous radiator pretty much exploded.
Seriously, it was blowing antifreeze all over the engine compartment!
This allowed me to have a nice pizza dinner with my family.

The shop had called earlier and said that my car probably wouldn't be ready by the end of the day, so I was all prepared to not have a car at all over the weekend.
During dinner, at 6:45, I got a call back saying that it was ready for me to pick up!
Normally the shop closes at 6:00, so I think they stayed late so I could have my car for the long weekend.
I was extremely grateful!

Saturday was really good.
It had been quite a while since I had had a whole day free of plans, so Saturday I made the most of it by not doing much at all.
I stayed in my pajamas until about 6pm.
I spent most of the day reading.
I really wanted to finish the book I was in the middle of.
I watched a movie, went to dinner with some friends, and then got some things done around the house. It was a pretty relaxing day.

Sunday I was busy doing my normal church/meetings stuff.  I read some more, and then stayed up way too late listening to music, and playing a movie trivia game with friends. I rock at movie trivia! It was a good day.

Monday was the best day though.
In the morning (not too early) I went hiking with the same group of movie trivia friends from the night before.  We hiked up to Elephant rock in Mueller Park Canyon. I believe it was six miles round trip.  It was a perfect day, and a great hike, mostly in the shade, and not too strenuous. Just a pleasant walk through the hills.
After the hike, I met up with my Mom and brother and we planted flowers at my Grandma's house.
This is a regular summer event for us.
Following the flowers, we went to my Mom's aunt's house for a pool party/BBQ. It was fun being with the extended family for a little while.
Last of all, I finally went to see The Avengers!
It was actually pretty good. I liked it more than I thought I would. It was totally over the top, and definitely mindless entertainment, but as far as that category goes, it was very good. I would give it three stars out of five.

Now it's picture time!

The path of the pipeline. 


Elephant Rock. 



Moi. 

Lunch! 

This dude was hanging out on the rock with us. 

Avengers!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises


I think enough time has passed that I can safely post my review...

I hate to say it, but I was pretty disappointed by this film.
I had so many problems with this movie, and I thought that it failed to deliver in almost every way.

I've thought a lot about this film in the weeks since its release, and I have discussed it at great length with many of my close friends.
So far, everyone has agreed with the issues I had with the film.
For some, those issues weren't enough to make them dislike the film, and for others, those issues totally ruined it.  I'm not going to say that you have to agree with my assessment, but there is no question that the film is seriously flawed.  If you are able to look past the flaws and still enjoy TDKR, then I envy you. I really wanted to like this movie, but I just couldn't.
Basically I felt like all of the coolest scenes were shown in the trailers and TV spots. This is usually a sign of a pretty weak film.  For me, the full version didn't add anything but length and frustration.

I don't want to bore you with a lengthy review, and frankly, I don't want to put in the effort to write one...so instead, I will just link to reviews that adequately cover how I felt about the film. Also, doing this will affirm that I am not alone in my dislike of TDKR.

And here we go...

1. This is a link to the best all-around review I have read. I agree with everything he says. The only difference is that while he was never bored, I actually got bored enough to check my watch twice during the movie.
Anyway, he gave it a C rating, and I feel that this is completely accurate.
It's worth noting, that there are no spoilers in this review, so if you haven't seen it, this is a safe read.

2. If you want an article that actually does talk about some of the specific problems with the film, and does contain spoilers, this is a good one.

3. In fairness, here is a rebuttal to that article.
In my opinion, the rebuttal article fails to adequately address the criticisms from the original article. They only seem to give a surface explanation of what happened, and completely overlook the deeper problems.  I think anyone who is used to evaluating films and books, beyond just their outermost layer, can easily see that TDKR is a pretty poor film.

*I had one other problem with the film that wasn't discussed in either of these articles.
SPOILER ALERT
One major thing that bothered me, is that Batman never actually defeats Baine. Catwoman comes in right at the last second and just shoots the guy with the canon on the batpod. To me, this felt very cheap.  It felt as though Batman never did 'rise' to save Gotham.  Ultimately, he failed, as he feared he would.
Throughout the three films, Batman is put up on a pedestal for his vow to not take a life, but when his own life is about to be taken, it required someone who was willing to take a life in order to save him.  It kind of felt like they slapped Batman in the face and proved that killing actually is necessary. And so if killing Bane was the solution all along, then somebody should have just done it earlier and saved lots of people a lot of trouble.  Honestly this whole resolution felt extremely disappointing. It felt like it contradicted the great purpose of the other two films.
END OF SPOILER

4. If those articles are too long for you, here are some brief excerpts from other reviews that I agree with:

Others will see it differently, but for me this is a disappointingly clunky and bombastic conclusion to a superior series -- Nolan's biggest and worst movie to date. -Tom Charity (CNN.com)

What worked beautifully in "The Dark Knight" seems overworked and almost ridiculously grim in "The Dark Knight Rises." -Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)

This is the problem when you're an exceptional, visionary filmmaker. When you give people something extraordinary, they expect it every time. Anything short of that feels like a letdown. -Christy Lemire (Associated Press)


Groping for shape and substance in the long shadow of The Dark Knight, this movie is an unexpected disappointment. -Kurt Loder (Reason Online)


The Dark Knight Rises is by far the worst of the trilogy and surprising in its ineptitude. Lifeless and overlong, one can't make many excuses for this dull, empty, unfocused mess that is a sad end to what was a wonderful ride. -Diva Velez (TheDivaReview.com)


Moments are stretched. Every recollection must be illustrated by a flashback. Character motivations shift on a dime, and if you understand even half of what's going on -- not generally, but specifically -- you'll be doing better than most. -Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle)


(All excerpts taken from Rottentomatoes.com)



There you have it! If you took the time to read through all of that, you will now understand how I felt about The Dark Knight Rises.

I've actually seen all of Christopher Nolan's films; so just for fun, here is a list of his films, ordered (by me) from best to worst.
1. Memento
2. The Dark Knight
3. The Prestige
4. Batman Begins
5. Following
6. Insomnia
7. Inception
8. The Dark Knight Rises

Yes...I really did just say that TDKR is his worst film so far.

Parental Quote of the Day

"Forget it! It's straining my non-existent uterus..."
-My Mom

P.S. These immortal words were uttered last night while my mom was attempting to perform a safety check on one of my pistols. For some reason I think that makes it even more funny. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Storm is Coming...

I'm turning 30 in October.

That ominous month is right around the corner.

I'm not much of a party person.

I don't like being the center of attention.

I don't like planning things.

I don't like decorating.

I don't like finding mass quantities of party food...

...But I also feel like I shouldn't let this event slip by un-celebrated.

I want to enter my 30's with a bang, so to speak.

So, what should I do?

I don't have anyone in my life that is likely to throw me a party.

Is it totally lame to throw a party for yourself?

Let's face it, I don't have the ambition or desire to throw one for myself.

Maybe a small gathering will have to do.

Maybe the necessary ambition will suddenly come to me.

Hmmm...I'm going to have to think about this one.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brief Update


(This blog post originally began as a comment on another blog. It seemed like a good idea to post it as an actual post on my own blog.)

My summer reading has hit a major bump.
I'm reading The Fountainhead, which is really good, but at over 700 pages, it's considerably longer than most books I read. And I also don't have much reading time anymore. I'm lucky to get through a chapter a day.  Anyway, I am way behind on my reading schedule. After I finish it, I may have to read a bunch of easier books so I can catch up.  This might be a good reason to finally get around to some popular fiction. Maybe The Hunger Games series, or possibly Harry Potter.
I've also been in a bit of a blogging slump. Again, I don't have much time. I keep starting blog posts but not finishing them. One of these days I just need to sit down and bust out like 12 blog posts all in one day. I could easily do it. I have more than that in the works. Part of the problem is that I feel like hardly anyone is reading my blog anymore. Probably because I haven't been writing as often.
Also, I spend all day at work in front of the computer. So when I get home, the last thing I want to do is sit down in front of another computer.  That's part of the reason reading has been difficult. I get home and I want to go do stuff, be outside, be with people. Maybe when winter hits I will feel more inclined to stay inside and read after work.
Also, I've been in a bit of a slump in my personal life. For the most part everything is going well. There's just one area where things didn't go how I wanted them to go, and it's had me down lately. But I'm determined to get back on top and back into my usual good spirits! Maybe finishing up all those blog posts is a good way to start! :)

Hey, this comment might actually make a good blog post to update everyone with...

(Do any of you have any recommendations on how to get back to normal when you are stuck in a rut?)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wise Words

Yesterday a friend of mine shared this quote on Facebook:

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

This advice couldn't have come at a more appropriate time.
I really needed to hear those words of wisdom.

:)

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Awkward Security Badge Moment

Where I work, everyone has to wear a security badge.

Since I am still pretty young in the professional world, I haven't yet acquired an overabundance of business attire.  You might even say that my wardrobe is fairly small.
I just don't go shopping for clothing very often.
As such, I am forced to repeat outfits from time to time.

This means that, occasionally, I end up wearing the same shirt that appears in my security badge photo.
I don't know why, but this is incredibly awkward for me.
On these days, I usually try to keep my badge turned around, so no one will notice.

Is that weird?

I've actually noticed this same phenomena a couple of times with the people I work with.
I've never pointed it out though.

Sometime in the near future I will be getting a new security badge.
I'm very tempted to permanently retire whatever shirt I end up wearing for that photo...


Monday, July 16, 2012

I Made It!

Hey Everybody!

Remember how I submitted a photo to failblog?

You should! It was only two posts ago!

Well this morning I got an email informing me that my picture MADE IT ON THE HOMEPAGE!

Hooray!

Check it out here.

Then like it, share it, comment on it, do whatever you want!
:)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Forgetful

Lately, I've been a little bit forgetful.
I'm not sure why.
Luckily, my recent dysfunction has lent itself to some mildly amusing situations.

Situation 1:
I go to Church on Sunday.
After church, I get in my car to return home.
I turn on my car, put it in reverse, turn myself around, and back out of my parking spot.
Having successfully back out, I turn back around, ready to proceed in a forwardly direction.
I realize that I forgot to take down my windshield sun reflector.
Vision, totally blocked.

Situation 2:
I go to the gym on Tuesday.
I exercise.
I get all sweaty and gross.
I finish my exercise.
I shower.
Finish showering and turn off the water.
Suddenly realize that I don't have a towel.
Wet. Naked. Dilemma.

Situation 3:
Today I needed a wrench.
I went downstairs intending to go to the garage to retrieve said wrench.
Ended up doing a load of laundry and then coming back upstairs.
Remembered that I forgot to get the wrench, went back downstairs, went into the garage.
Ended up cleaning some things out of my car.
Came back upstairs.
Remembered that I once again had forgotten the wrench.
Went back downstairs to the garage, finally grabbed the wrench.
Three tries just to remember to get a dang wrench!

What the heck is wrong with me?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

El Geo!

Today I made my third submission to failblog.org!

This time, to the "There, I Fixed It!" page.

Check it out!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weekend: Film Reviews in Brief

Last weekend I watched three movies that I hadn't seen before!
I thought I would briefly review each of them.

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

This is most definitely a classic, and is regarded as one of Sidney Poitier's best films.
That being said, I didn't really like it. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
It is a film about racial prejudice in the south, wrapped in the context of a murder mystery.
Basically, Sidney Poitier is a professional, educated, well-dressed, well-paid black man, who finds himself in a southern town full of ignorant, white-trash, people. It was frustrating seeing him mistreated, but it was somewhat satisfying to see the times when he totally made them look like fools.
I expect that the film was more impacting when it was made in 1967. Today it was mostly just frustrating.

Hot Rod (2007)

This is most definitely a stupid movie...but it is deliberately trying to be stupid...so that makes it alright.  It is stupid in the same way that Napoleon Dynamite is stupid.  Also like Napoleon Dynamite, it is absolutely hilarious! I was rolling through most of it. It is probably the kind of film that is more funny when you watch it late at night with a bunch of friends. I would probably give it 3 stars out of 5.

The Big Heat (1953)

This was definitely the best film I saw over the weekend. Classic film noir! As classic as they come! I loved everything about this movie! The characters were great, the story was excellent, it was just an all around good film! I don't want to say too much about the story, but it is a classic detective/murder mystery/mobster film. It is super cool when the main character goes all vigilante on the bad guys. And there was some genuinely shocking stuff, considering this was made in 1953.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is one that I need to own.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Success!


Hooray!

The world will get a new Tex Murphy game!

I was extremely pleased that Project Fedora met its Kickstarter goal! And nine days early too!


This is some of the most exciting news I have had in ages!

Tex Murphy will return!

I can't wait!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Kickstart Tex Murphy!

Alright everyone...It's time I introduce you to one of the heroes of my youth...

TEX MURPHY!


Who is Tex Murphy?

He is only the hero in some of the coolest computer games of all time!

Mean Streets, Martian Memorandum, Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive, and Tex Murphy: Overseer!


Here's a brief introduction:

It's the mid 21st century and earth is in a post-apocalyptic state.  Radiation, darkness, and mutants, are all common place.
Tex Murphy is a hard-boiled P.I. of the old school, who is often down on his luck, and unable to ever get "the girl".
Willing to take on nearly any investigation that comes his way, he unwittingly gets caught up in cases that get continually deeper, until they reveal conspiracies that threaten the entire world!
If you need someone who can find your lost puppy...and save the world while he is at it...Tex Murphy is your guy!

Sounds awesome, right?!

The problem is that it's been 14 years since his last adventure.

But now, Tex Murphy is fighting to come back!

The people behind the Tex Murphy games have launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to generate the funds needed to create Tex's new adventure!

They are asking for fans, both old and new, to donate.

I have made my pledge!

Perhaps I got caught up in the nostalgia of my youth, but I pledged WAY MORE than I originally planned.

Ha ha! I just want another Tex Murphy game so badly!

Their goal is to raise $450,000, and they still need another $100,000.

The deadline is June 16th!

If you love great games, please donate!

Did I mention that there are some great incentives for those who donate?!


You can take my word that the Tex Murphy games are AWESOME...or you can try them yourself!

Go to GOG.com and give them a try!

I suggest starting with either Under a Killing Moon, or The Pandora Directive.

After your mind has been thoroughly blown by how awesome the Tex Murphy games are, go donate to their Kickstarter campaign!

But you'd better hurry...time is running out!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mother's Day Hazards

For Mother's Day this year, I decided to take a journey into the unknown, and purchase...a musical card!

Actually it was a musical/mechanical card depicting cats and dogs singing and dancing.

It was a pretty great card, and my Mom loved it!



Prior to purchasing this card, I failed to properly anticipate its potential hazards.

I'm not talking about paper cuts either...

Perhaps "hazards" is too strong a word.  "Difficulties" may be more appropriate.

The difficulties arose when I got the musical card home, and attempted to write the customary personal message inside.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to compose and write a personal message while cats and dogs are singing and dancing in front of your face?!

It is incredibly difficult!

Composing the message on the fly was not going to happen. I had to close the card, and decide on what I was going to write, and keep it in mind long enough to actually write it.  Even after I decided on my message, I had to use all of my mental powers to ignore the music and lyrics that were bombarding my ears.  It was incredibly difficult to actually write all the words without messing up!

Also, I had to write those words on a card that was also wiggling and shaking due to the mechanized dance number!

I'm just glad that my message turned out well.

It was quite a feat.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

In The Black!

Check this out!

Today I PAID OFF my LAST student LOAN!

Hooray for being debt free!

No student loans, no car payment, no credit card balance...

Now it's time to save like crazy!

I might not have much in my accounts at the moment, but at least my balance is no longer in the red. :)

Scratch this item off my "to do" list!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Waiting in the Weeds

Today was really rough.
I finally got home around 10pm.
I managed to get my keys out of my pocket and walk up to the house.
I made it most of the way, and then I just stopped.
I put my bag down on the ground, and then collapsed on the bottom step.
I just couldn't bring myself to go inside.
Those last stairs were too much.
I had to sit.
I sat there for quite a while. Thinking.
The words to this song were on my mind.


Eagles - Waiting in the Weeds (Long Road Out of...

I hope I don't have more days like today.
Things need to change.
I need to rearrange some priorities.
Maybe do some things for myself.

I'm grateful for the friend who called me this afternoon, just to say "hi", and see how I was doing.
It was very much needed.
Thanks for thinking of me.
:)

Yup...This is Pretty Much How It is.

So I came across this picture/meme thingy today on good ol' FB.

I'll be honest, I don't really know what a "meme" is, but people have been throwing that word around a lot lately, so I figured I would too.

Anyway...so this picture/meme kind of caught me off guard:


I've been through this recently, and I think I agree with the stages it depicts.

In fact, I'm currently on that sad "months later" stage.

It isn't fun.

Everything has been more difficult lately.

Everything.

What's even less fun though, is the knowledge of what her third stage is.

I hope that one doesn't turn out to be true in this case.  I don't think it is yet. Fingers crossed. *


I think the dang meme ends a few stages too early! What happens after the "months later" stage?

I'm not really very good at this sort of thing. Does anyone know what I should expect in the coming months?

I don't mean to be sad or depressing. I just found this picture to be interesting and eye opening.

I have to admit that I have deliberately avoided posting anything deeply personal for quite some time.  I've been going through a lot of complicated personal things, and I didn't feel particularly comfortable blasting all that out onto the internet. I still don't. This is just a little peek for those who care.

If you take the time to read my blog, I'm assuming that you are interested in knowing me better, and actually care about me to some degree. I thank you for reading, and I thank you for caring.

Also...this song.  Pretty much sums it all up. At least for the present.

*(Apparently I need to clarify my interpretation of that third picture. To me it shows a woman who is happy to be rid of her ex. Happy to forget all about him and move on without ever looking back.  When I think of my own situation, I hope that we can both look back in kindness and be happy remembering our shared memories. I hope that nobody would ever be glad to simply be rid of me. I'm a really nice guy, I promise! Of course I want us both to be happy! I want us to be friends, and to be glad that we had the privilege of being so close for so long. I don't want any bad feelings on either side.  If the woman in the third picture is simply meant to convey happiness following the initial heartache, then that is wonderful. Happiness is wonderful. If, on the other hand, she is meant to convey the total and complete expulsion of any feelings she once had, completely forgetting the guy and moving on, I disagree with that. I think we should hold on to the good memories, stay as close as is appropriate, and be kind, civil, and happy for one another when we each eventually find happiness. If I could replace that picture with any other picture, I would put in its place the image of Tom and Summer sitting on a park bench with Summer's hand on Tom's.  This scene takes place at the end of 500 Days of Summer, my favorite relationship movie. It depicts forgiveness, mutual healing, respect, and happiness for one another. Actually, perhaps THAT is the final image I feel the "meme" is missing! The ideal fourth stage.)