Saturday, August 27, 2005

On The Move

Well, that's it. I'm on the way to Chicago then. Hopefully, I've got everything packed away well enough and haven't forgotten anything hugely important. I don't get to see Jenna for a while, which makes this not fun.

There's not much more to say. More once I've set myself up in Chicago.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Burn On, Big River

YES, this is another post. To give you an idea of what’s going on, it’s about half an hour since I wrote the last post, but I thought I’d give this another go because I’ve got not much to do in this car AND I decided to turn this thing on because my radio’s been broken since I got back from my Chicago trip in March. So I can listen to what most of my friends would call “the Theme from Major League”, rather than its actual title (keep tuned to this blog post for the title, which I’m saving for the end.) EDIT: I should point out that Jenna was driving. So that I don't get charged with things.

Pat Robertson’s crazy, isn’t he? I bring this up for one reason, and that’s because it caused Lou Dobbs to try his crack at being Jon Stewart yesterday. He did the exact same bit that Stewart did later on during his time on CNN. Which is really strange. To summarize, Pat Robertson suggested that we go ahead and assassinate the Venezuelan President because “Well, he thinks we will anyway and he’s going to spread Communism and an extremist version of Islam, so we should get on that because I’ve run out of nachos and need something to entertain me.” Which isn’t good. Simply because responsible broadcasters shouldn’t go around calling for the assassination of the leaders of nations when doing so might start an international incident and will, more probably than not, just give the leader in question the ability to rally people around him by use of the victim card. Pat-dawg at first just maintained he was the victim of being misunderstood, which of course, he wasn’t, a point both Dobbs and Stewart emphasized by playing the clip of him calling for assassination immediately after the clip of him claiming he just said “take him out”, which Robertson-money maintains could “mean to kidnap.”

Ending: Pat-o has apologized for trying to suggest foreign policies that include assassinating people. In the words of my generation: Oh. Whatever.

Jenna’s singing Dirty Old Town at me. Clearly, if she’d just ignore hygiene and pick up some drug habits (well, more) she could be the perfect replacement of Shane MacGowan.

Oh. That song before? That’s “Burn On” by Randy Newman. Subject? The Cuyahoga River catching on fire like six times. I have no personal problem with Cleveland, even being from Pittsburgh and being taught in my current events classes to hate everything that comes from the Ohio Metropolis. Hell, I even like some things about Ohio. But good lord guys. The Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers aren’t the cleanest in the world (or “enough to be submerged in without disease”), but at LEAST they’re not on fire. At least not recently.

Stop it.

I’m really liking this mobility thing. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to really get down to packing soon in order that when I get to Chicago, some of my clothes have come with me. I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with a bed or furniture yet, but those things seem to fall into place. Worst case scenario, I relapse to last summer’s accommodations after I’d finished my internship but before Jenna had quit McDonalds, which means I’ll be sleeping on an air mattress. Which isn’t good. But may have to do.

Also, I’m not going to have an internet connection as soon as I get there, and probably not for a little while afterwards, depending on if and when I get some kind of connection in my apartment. This’ll depend mostly on whether or not I have any money hanging around. It seems that I’ll have something, even after my first rent checks, so I’ll try to be online. If not, however, this may be one of the last blogposts for a while. I’d like to take this time, then, to congratulate the bullpen for only giving up 3 runs yesterday in the 8-3 loss to the Cards, and frown sternly at Kip Wells for giving up 5 in the first inning.

Jenna has too many shoes. I don’t know if any of you know this, or know her, but I’m looking at what seems to be seven pairs on the ground, and they all seem to be black dressy shoes. I have one pair of black dress shoes, which I used this summer as McDonalds uniform black shoes, meaning I have to get new ones as those are ruined.

Furthermore, I’m not a big fan of getting my blog spammed, and can’t quite figure out what was the cause of the sudden onslaught. I don’t know. Whatever.

Goodbye, good sir knight.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Locusts (except what I meant was cicadas) and Deepak

Welcome to the first post I’ve ever written outdoors. Of course, my wireless is still buggy, so I’m going to have to save this to Word and actually POST it when I get back inside, but there’s still something about writing this thing out of doors. Call it silly, but I’ve never had a laptop before, and now that I’m able to actually transport my computer without a back brace, I’m going to take advantage of it.

I’ll start with this, because this is what’s calling itself to my attention at the moment.

I hate locusts. Hate. Not because of their devastating effects on crops when they present themselves in swarms, but because they creep me the hell out.

*EDIT* I do still hate locusts. But only because they do the swarmy thing. The rest of this refers to cicadas, as was pointed out in the commentary by Shane. Thanks Shane.

Two reasons for that. The first…I hope I’m not the only person who this has happened to in the past. Let’s say you’re…ten years old. You’re playing around outside, climbing trees and whatever else you do when you’re ten (I think we can safely rule out trading stock, at least for most of us) and suddenly, there it is. Right as you take hold of the next branch and pull yourself up, you find yourself face to face with a largish insect mold thingshell. I fell out of a tree once doing that. Perhaps I’m just jumpy.

The second, and this is what’s calling my attention to them now, is the incessant noise. Granted, it’s much better now than it was two summers ago (I think) when the dreaded 17-year buggers resurfaced in this part of western PA. There’s nothing quite as horror-movie-esque than walking down a street not able to hear the person next to you talking because of the chirping of what you know in your mind to be little tiny hellspawn. Creepy.

Anyway, on to other things.

I was up for quite some time last night, my attention divided between Moneyball by Michael Lewis and, oddly enough, Larry King. I tend not to watch Larry King, as I just don’t enjoy interviews that much, but this was different. Six guests discussing the controversial remarks made recently about teaching Intelligent Design in schools. As opposed to Darwin’s theory of evolution. A veritable oil field of knowledge, ranging from a young earth creationist pastor (espousing strict adherence to the Genesis account of creation) to two Republican senators who were on opposing sides of the debate, an evolutionary biologist, a representative of the Discovery Institute, which is espousing the theory of intelligent design (though not necessarily the position that it should be a mandatory part of the science curriculum in high school) and, just for good measure, Deepak Chopra. The result? Absolutely nothing in the way of progress or resolution. The evolutionary biologist was disappointingly only interested in verbally berating the guy from the Discovery Institute, the senators were actually somewhat irrelevant and the pastor guy and Deepak Chopra argued over whether or not the Genesis account should be taught in schools. Chopra was somewhat off topic, claiming that no, of course we shouldn’t but what we should teach in science classes is meta-cognitive theories of evolution (evolution of the mind and awareness) while the pastor guy laughed at him and told everyone to go to Hell if they didn’t accept his truth as the truth, even implying that the senator that disagreed with teaching ID in schools (who said he personally believed the Genesis account) was “un-Christian”.

My take on the whole thing? There is no way in hell Intelligent Design theory should be a mandatory part of high school science classes, in that it is in now way science. The scientific method is scrapped for “well, your theory doesn’t really explain it perfectly, so maybe this is what happened but I have no evidence to support that and it’s therefore an unfounded claim” as well as being untestible and not falsifiable (that is, there’s no test you can construct to disprove the theory of an intelligent design). As for “teaching the controversy,” that is, requiring that the weaknesses in the theory of evolution be taught, sure. Teach the kids to question, which is about as close as I get to agreeing with Antonin Scalia’s 1987 dissenting opinion. Most of the holes rely on the premise on which Intelligent Design is based, Behe’s argument (in Darwin’s Black Box) that things are too complex to have evolved on their own and that the idea of irreducible complexity disproves evolution. It does not. Take the eye. Behe’s argument would claim that there are too many parts of the eye… the light sensitive surface, the lense, the pupil, to have developed independently. Evolution posits that it didn’t have to emerge as a finished product all at once. Perhaps first there were simple structures that just enabled life to follow light. Then perhaps another mutation that accounts for the concavity of the lens. The lack of fossil evidence of the interim steps is crucial to Behe’s argument that it was all designed at once, but then that’s a logical fallacy. Argumentum ad absentum. The lack of evidence is not proof.

As of right now, Darwin’s evolutionary theory is the most successful at explaining the origin of life without taking steps that render the scientific method, and indeed science, completely impotent. It’s the job of parents to teach their kids to question, of churches to offer explanations that deal with the supernatural. Not the science teacher. Their job is to teach the scientific method and sound reason. One caller suggested that the science teachers should acknowledge God’s hand in creation in the interest of simply presenting another theory. Whether or not an intelligence (such as God) created life is moot, as to teach such would be overwhelmingly impractical, as it would demand that each creation story, from each religion be presented. Between presenting the accounts of the origins of life from Darwin’s perspective, the Christian Genesis theory, the Buddhist theories, the Hindu theories, the way in which Zoroastrians think the world came to be, the varying Pagan theories, the Baha’i theories, there’s no room to get past the origins of life and talk about the circulatory system. Science is science is science, as it were, and should only deal with what can be subjected to the scientific method. That doesn’t mean that kids shouldn’t be allowed to maintain their own theories of creation. That doesn’t disprove the theory that God did create the universe and everything in it in six 24 hour days or the theory that we’re created from the sweat drops of a Norse god. As Francis Collins of the Human Genome Research Institute says in a recent Time article, it is very possible to believe in both Evolution and God. They are not exclusive, except in that evolutionary theory attempts to explain the result that we’re alive and that life exists according to the scientific method. We can’t prove or disprove theological accounts, and that’s why it’s a matter of faith, not science. Teach it in churches. In synagogues and mosques. But to demand that a science teacher abandon the scientific method to teach a theological subject is ludicrous.

Similarly, the suggestion that Intelligent Design is not a religious theory is completely bunk, as, if you accept that life was created by some intelligence, you are then left asking who that is. “It doesn’t have to be God!” IDers claim. Sure. But then who created the designer? You’re left with an inevitably theological question..

One last point. Claiming that evolution is “just a theory” is to misunderstand the term theory and the point of science. As a scientific theory, it if testable and falsifiable. Being a theory does not mean it has nothing backing it up. Quite the opposite. So stop it with all the “but it’s just a theory”. So are our ideas about why we need to breathe, but that’s rarely, if ever questioned merely because it’s a theory.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Have a sandwich good sir.

Mobility has been achieved.

This post is being written on the new laptop. I'm quite very happy about that, and will be doing what I can to not allow this machine to suck as much in a few years as the relic this is replacing. This is also actually the first time I'm able to blog from somehwere other than a giant cubicle like thing.

Things that are happening NOW:

It's the bottom of the seventh inning, and the Pirates are up 7-0 over the Cards, which I'm not really able to comprehend. Even more incomprehensible is that I thought about going, then decided not to on the basis that I'd be doing so alone AND that I need money for rent AND that I'm going later this week anyway AND I didn't really want to see Zach Duke get his first major league loss, which I was convinced would happen as we are, after all, playing the Cards and usually when good things come to an end, they do so when I'm at them.

Clearly, my powers of prescience leave something to be desired, though Duke's outing will not result in a decision as he left in the second with an ankle injury. Combined with Castillo's year ending spiked knee injury, this constitutes a frowny face if ever a frowny face was constituted.

In other, less Piratey news:

They're (Transportation Security Administration) considering relaxing airport security restrictions, which would allow small knives, razor blades and box cutters (read: precisely what the people who perpetrated the attack that was the impetus for trying to make airports more secure used) legal. As someone who's going to have to fly again eventually, I wish they'd reconsider. I tend to be somewhat on the side of not trading civil liberties for security, at least in drastic cases, but this is so minor as to be what should be a complete nonissue.

On the other side of that, Pittsburgh International is considering allowing non-passengers past the initial checkpoint, which would actually make the AirMall thing something that could be, you know, used.



I'm glad that during the writing of these things, I check the Wikipedia current events and recent deaths feature. Otherwise, I'd completely miss the passing of those people that have substantially shaped our lives.

Like this guy.

The Moog guy. The guy that invented the Moog synthesizer that served to pioneer electronic music. How about that.

Oh. Correction. I said in the convictions post that Dennis Rader was going to be available for parole in 40 years. This is incorrect. His sentences will be served consecutively, not concurrently, so the earliest he'll be able to receive a parole hearing will be in 175 years. Sorry for the inaccuracy.

UPDATE: It's now the bottom of the eighth, 8-0 Pirates, bases loaded, 0 outs and Ryan Doumit at the plate with an 0-1 count.

1-2, low and away.
2-2, away.
2-2, foul.
Base hit to right field, scoring Restovich, bases remain loaded, 9-0 Pirates.

I'm done doing that now, as I doubt it'd be interesting to read.

Ryan News: I affirmed my belief with an ex-employee of the Primanti Bros. store at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills, that the store is utterly useless as there are THOUSANDS of other stores that sell Pittsburgh related T-shirts, and they don't actually sell Primanti Bros. Sandwiches. Thanks, Cory, for making me feel slightly less irrational.

Sunday, August 21, 2005



Ok. So, in Paris-Hilton-esque fashion, i'm going to start this off by talking about my possessions. I know. I did that just a few days ago when I was talking about having an apartment now. This one is almost more important.

I have a lease.
Which actually lets me stay in the apartment provided I pay rent on time. Only two parts confuse me. It's accompanied by an air conditioner rider, which more or less says that they'll let me use the air conditioner that was built into the wall when the building went up (rather than central air that's controllable in every room, there's literally a damn air conditioner in the brick), and that I have to take care of it and take it out by October 1. ... I'd be glad to. Because I'm doubting I'll need it much, but it appears to be firmly built into the damned wall. So...we'll see. I don't know what I have to do abou that yet. The second is that pets are banned. It makes this abundantly clear, repeating over and over that pets are banned. At the end of the statement about pets, it says that cats are allowed.


I kind of want to get a cat, forgetting for a moment that I'm mildly allergic and that I'd have to choose between getting it shots and eating. I just feel like I should now that they've given me the option.

In other possessions:

I have a diagnosis for alopecia areata. EVEN MORE SPECIFICALLY, it's currently alopecia areata barbae. Meaning there's a spot in the beard area that should be growing hair but isn't because my immune system has decided it hates very specific hair follicles. It's not indicative of a greater disease, and the damage is mostly to the alopecia patient's self esteem, so I don't care and am instantly better.

Despite the previous possession, I also have a goatee again. Which makes this summer's job officially over, because I'm not shaving this damn thing off. Oh, the bald spot is like...40% of the way down my neck, so I'm not going to want hair there anyway.

I have no money, having spent more than I probably should have at the liquidation sale of a local video rental store. But that led to me owning Shaun of the Dead on DVD, so I'm ok with this one.

I have go do something else now.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Two for one Convicts at Menards!


Two instances involving convictions in the news lately, one more lately than the other, the latter and later of which I'll write about second. Moreover, the second, later and latter isn't actually a conviction, but I needed a snappy title.

Dennis Rader is convicted of 10 murders and is given ten life sentences. Which means he'll be available for parole in 40 years, when he's 100 years old. The vibe I get from the coverage, other than news stations screaming "LOOK AT ME WE'VE GOT THIS GUY LOOK AT HIM" and the like is that people are going to try to forget about him as soon as possible. He confessed, there's little to no doubt of his guilt...pretty straightforward, really. His statement before sentencing gave me the impression of someone trying to hang on to the spotlight for as long as possible. Meh.

On a more troublesome note, Edgar Ray Killen, noted racist and murderer responsible for the deaths of three people in Mississippi in the 60's that had the radical idea of maybe treating people like people, is out on bail pending his appeal. Meaning my statement that he'll die in prison before completing his sentence is now probably wrong. He's 80, in ill health, and will probably die a free man. Which is ludicrous, particularly when he's still threatening the lives of his opponents (verbally).

Speaking of the conditions of the prison, Killen said:

  • "They checked me through the line like a cattle auction," he said. "I'm very unhappy with the treatment I've received."

    Mr. Killen is recovering from a logging accident in March and required an oxygen tank at his trial.

    Mr. Killen said he had to bribe a convict to obtain a pillow.

    "I can barely sleep," he said. "I still don't understand how I could lie in severe pain for 24 hours and no one even brings me an aspirin. I'm not a drug addict."

...making Killen the first 80 year old racist who's evaded paying for his crimes for 40 years who is also a giant freaking infant. "I still don't understand how I could lie in severe pain for 24 hours and no one even brings me an aspirin"? Are you serious? I think it might have something to do with the whole "organizing the taking of three innocent lives" thing you did a while back. You know. Those kids that have been dead for 40 years. You don't have enough pillows? Poor you. James Cheney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner no longer exist.

Disclaimer: Before I get notes otherwise (provided I get comments on this blog ever again), I'm well aware that he didn't actually kill them per se, in that he wasn't the one to pull the trigger, but rather planned the murder and arranged for the disposal of the bodies, which is why he was convicted of manslaughter as opposed to murder. Regardless, he's a terrorist and killer and deserves to be imprisoned.

Um. Wow. That post was rather serious.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Current Event 14075- "Pass Out"

Ok, so...I thought Devin Moore (the "GTA Killer") had lost touch with reality. I have underestimated today's youth.

In a story that's been plastering itself all over cable news (I first saw it on CNN), established magazines (or, rather, People) and at least one blog that's achieved some notoriety (the blog in question being BoingBoing), kids have been dying because they don't realize how their respiratory system works. According to the stories, children have been found dead, killed by strangulation which is being attributed an oxygen-deprivation game called "pass out", "flatliner", "something dreaming", "tingling game" or, inexplicably, "space monkey" in which they very simply cut off oxygen to the brain by self-inflicted strangulation by belt, cord, rope or plastic bag. The goal is to achieve a huffing-like high (which also works by cutting off oxygen to the brain). Evidently, it's typically done with more than one person, and most of these kids are dying because they're doing it alone, without someone to stop them from choking once they pass out. Not that that excuses the practice when more than one person is involved.

I'm baffled, but not really. Mostly, I'm very confused. Because the parents, who understandably are shaken by the tragedy of finding their child dead by hanging in what appears in every way to be a suicide but isn't because, as they explain in almost every case, the children did not expect to die and figured they'd come out of it...should possibly have explained to their kids what happens when someone can't breathe. "It's just a game" they reiterate. "They were just playing a game."

Sure. So has everyone that has ever died playing Russian Roulette. That doesn't make it not stupid. And while most of the kids that they've been focusing on are violin virtuosos and future's incredibly dumb. I'm sure the kids are great otherwise, but not expecting to die by performing the same actions that have been used as an execution method for decades is remarkably naïve, to the point that I can't understand that even if parents didn't know about this particular game...they didn't at some point comment on the dangers of putting a bag over your head.

I don't know. The whole thing's infuriatingly dumb.

In other, more Ryan related news:

Up For Grabs, the documentary that follows the journey of the #73 home run ball hit by Barry Bonds in the 2001 season is actually hilarious. It's not the best documentary I've ever seen, and I'd be surprised if it won awards for filmmaking, but it does highlight some of the things that are, perhaps, wrong with the way we view sports anymore. To summarize without giving much away for the two of you that will eventually see this, the ball was hit into a bunch of people, some guy kind of half caught it, but then probably dropped it, and someone else had it at the end. Guy 1 sues for custody of the ball, and the whole thing goes on for about two years. The end result is that the viewer doesn't really care much for either guy one or guy two, guy one goes from being the poor victim to a jackass that's trying to grasp at fame. Two of the better moments that I'm not going to explain:

Guy 1 (Alex Popov): This was never about the money. You guys are the ones that are talking about the money. This was about history.
Reporter: Then why didn't you both just agree to give it to the Hall of Fame without an auction, if it was about history.
Guy 1 and Guy 2 (Patrick Hayashi): ...

Witness 1: He had a ball touching party.

Go see it. Now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

No Shampoo.

Ok, so because something's happened in the past few days other than going to work, we're going to have a post today. Olé.

For those of you that aren't me or haven't heard, I'm going to be going to Northwestern University in the fall, which is all fine and good except that until this weekend, I was going to have to be commuting from western Pennsylvania, which, being an 8 hour drive, limits the time I can be in lab to 8 hours per day (clearly, this is unacceptable) and also eliminates all sleep. I like sleep. Sleep is good. Given the choice, I'd probably pick never being able to eat French Onion soup again over never being able to sleep again. Solution: Find an apartment in Chicago.

Father-unit and I left at 5am Sunday to accomplish this objective, and did indeed accomplish the hell out of it. But let's start with the beginning of the journey.

I've got this weird phobia concerning flying. It's not that I hate flying. I like getting somewhere 400 miles away in about an hour. That's good, as far as I'm concerned. The problem comes from the latent mortality thing that's been setting in over the last 22 years, something that knowing people that have died before their 24th birthday has amplified. This, inevitably, as all good realizations of mortality do, led to Giant Eagle's magazine section at about 12:30 am that morning. Which brings me to my first topic. Advertising. The advertising surrounding this trip was actually incredible, in that I didn't believe what it was telling me. The first example showed up at Giant Eagle in one of those magazines that a wholesome mother spun around so you couldn't see the near-nudity. It's subject: Crown Royal. The brilliance of the photograph shattered bottle of the whisky in question with the caption "Oh hell no." is what makes me happy.

On the subject of shattering, Southwest Airlines needs to stop it. Two advertisements placed on the walkway to the actual plane (both to and from Chicago) involved shattering things, one depicting a breaking water cooler bottle (which I thought were usually plastic...but whatever) and an X-ray of a broken index finger (from, the ad indicated, excessive clicking through Orbitz or the like). I'm not very picky, and usually I wouldn't have minded, but if a group of people are about to get on something that, while statistically safer than automobiles and all that do have the slight chance of plummeting 28,000 feet, try not to show them pictures of injuries and crashing, no matter how minor. It's just not sensible.

Finally in the subject of advertising, another Southwest ad shows a green with a golf ball about 4 inches from a hole you could park a car in, along with a caption urging the flyer to enroll in the "Rapid Rewards" program, which isn't based on Frequent Flyer miles, but on the more familiar "Pizza Shop system" of getting a flight free after buying eight. The actual wording is something along the lines of "Rewards are Easier in a world without miles". Fine. I accept the concept of the program. What I don't understand is the advertisement. Surely, it's easier sink a put into a cavern than a typical golf hole...but is that supposed to tie in with the "no more miles" thing, indicating that by getting rid of one of the central measures of the English system, we would construct things haphazardly without regard to relative size and COULD end up with such a golf hole? Where's the sense? I'm reading too much into it? It's just supposed to be silly? Who knew.


Backtracking a bit to shortly after I got through security, I would like to make the point that everyone in Pittsburgh is aware of, that the so called "Sky Mall" is impressive but essentially useless. Because you can't get to it unless you're flying somewhere, at which time your need for a giant green ceramic porcupine is, I imagine, somewhat diminished. I don't want to know who's buying these things, but I'm going to guess they're not doing it in the hours of downtime they have before catching a non-stop to Phoenix. The most important lesson of the Airmall is in one of the many Hudson locations, which run like convenience stores. Specifically, one should always be aware of the kind of products you may be selling when naming your company. A little care would have avoided the sale of Support Socks by New Life, which when glanced at quickly enough appears to be a box containing NEW! Life Support Socks. I very nearly bought a carton in case I fell into a coma, hoping to be saved by my socks.


Finally, (and here's the indication I'm not going to go into any of the actual important aspects of my trip, such as where my apartment is because I'm not sure I can handle the thousands of Murphspot groupies that would kick down my door) a word about RedRoof Inns. I'm surprisingly loyal to these guys, usually because they're the cheapest, but since my stay at exclusively RedRoof inns on the roadtrip to Boston a few years ago (during which we uncovered the secret of free parking, which I may tell you eventually, once you have progressed towards ParkingEnlightenment) I've been going there first for my lodging needs. I can recall only one other motel that I paid for, and that was because our trip took longer than we thought and hadn't booked a room in advance. That might end. I may have to consider breaking my loyalty streak with RedRoof for one very simple, but very important reason. What kind of motel doesn't include shampoo. Having just finished a stint with McDonalds, greasy isn't what I wanted to feel.

Damn them.

On the other hand, their beds are soft.

Away! (More about today's news later, as well as possibly a review of "Up for Grabs")

Monday, August 15, 2005

Back, but not just yet.


Good news-I have an apartment.

Bad news-I've been up for a long time, and want to sleep. I'll be posting my observations from the trip, along with some other stuff that's been going on as soon as is reasonable. But not immediately. Whee!

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Company Way

You’re all fired.

Please have your belongings out of the office by 3pm this afternoon.

Actually, you’re probably not. Maybe, but if so, I’m almost certain that I had nothing to do with that. Maybe I did. I could see that maybe if I complained about your service, maybe that got you fired. But, and I mean typically here, if you’re getting fired over a single complaint, you probably have a more than substantial record of poor customer reports and probably shouldn’t be that surprised by your sudden termination. Then again, perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you’re a stellar employee and your termination was due in fact ONLY to my complaint, in which case you really do work for a terrible company and should be glad to be rid of them, tiger.

All that to say this. I, while not fired, am very nearly once more unemployed. Tomorrow is day 9 of 9 of my McDonalds streak, and is also my last day at the restaurant. Or place. Thing. Hopefully, it also signifies the last time I’ll ever be the typical youth working in a terrible establishment for small wages at a job that doesn’t require any specialized skills. Or “skillz” for those of you who are “extreme”. If you are, stop it. In the next week, I’ll probably be writing my final assessment of this summer’s experiment and though I did meet a slew of people that are worth knowing, I don’t think I’ll be crushed if the thought “Holy Freaking Thing. It’s two in the morning and I still have sixty burritos to make.” never crosses my mind again.


I’m going to post this before my computer can crash again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Remarkable, Dr. Barnaby.

This has got to be the fourth time I've logged in here with the intention of writing something, but ran away before I could get anything significant down. So let's get this thing started, then, shall we?

Typically, if I write about sports on here, it's going to be about the Pirates. Not so today. Today, I'd like to talk about quite possibly the most entertaing thing to ever appear on ESPN2. This thing. The World's Strongest Man thing. Holy freaking thing. This thing is more magical than anything. Thing thing thing. If you haven't seen this...turn on ESPN 2 at around 2am nightly until you happen upon it. I could probably do some research into figure out how to tell you to find it more accurately, but I don't care that much. Anyway, the concept of watching men with names like "Magnus" and "Mariusz" who are not so much on steroids as completely filled with steroids try to outdo each other with an enormously out there version of every Nickelodeon game show from the early 1990's...terrific. I guarantee you that there's a basement somewhere where the illicit drugs flow like water in order to help conversations like "Dude...we'll...TWO refrigerators. We'll make them carry two refrigerators," and "Yeah...WAIT. Kegs. Make them throw KEGS. Kegs are awesome." I've never seen any other sport in which the athlete starts bleeding simply for no other reason than that they're performing the sport.

ALSO IN NEWS...this jackass. Yes, appparently it's possible to be dumb enough to forget that Grand Theft Auto III and the real world are different. Thankfully, the jury found him guilty, not as he pleaded, which was "not guilty by mental defect". Certainly, it's a good thing to be able to submit such a plea, but not when the mental defect is "OH NO I PLAY TOO MANY VIDEO GAMES AND CANNOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THEM AND REALITY". Additionally, this is probably going to lead to even more censorship talk, which I won't comment on right now.

Finally, today is day 7 of 9 consecutive days at work, culminating with my final day ending at 6am on Saturday. Therefore...I win.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

Time for Some Tender Chicken Heads

You know, usually when I sit down to write these things, it's because I've seen or heard something in the news, or have just read something online that I feel I need to either point out or add commentary to. And because I get sudden pains when I've gone too long without ending a sentence in a preposition in a written public format. Usually, those things that make click on "create post" are something newsworthy, so you might be expecting that I'll be commenting on the situation with the Russian sub that's trapped underwater or Robert Novak throwing a tantrum or something along those lines. Or because I feel obligated for no apparent rational reason.

You, sir, are mistaken. It was Ranch Dressing, a History. As for me, I could take it or leave it. I like it on, oh, I don't know, a chicken sandwich, but as for pouring the stuff on salad (defeating the purpose of eating a salad in the first place, it seems, if you're just going to pour seasoned mayo on it), I'm not much of a fan. I mean, if it's all you've got and it's a choice between that and bleach and undressed salad is forbidden by a new constitutional amendment, I'll probably go with the Ranch, but I'll be thinking about vinagrettes.

What I like is that its name is derived from a very literal ranch.

NYTimes seems to have been getting some mail following a suggestion that Pluto be demoted to non-planet status, but most of the arguments seem lackluster at best. The focus is either: "Hey now! Having more planets is cool! How dare you suggest we lose planets!" (Counter: Why not count every asteroid then, as well as comets and the like. Surely THOUSANDS of planets is more exciting.) or "Why do you discriminate against Pluto simply because it's far from the sun? It's got a moon!" (Counter: Distance from the sun should be somewhat irrelevant as things that are closer are not considered planets. Whether or not it's got a satellite or a double is debatable at least, though it does, as noted have something, though counting this as a planet criterion would force making one of the new things into a planet as it's got a moon) or "My grandchild is a freakin' genius and knows corporate icons. How dare you take away a chance for her to remember more names!" (Actually...sure. Whatever.) In the end, having another planet just makes it harder for things to align and I'd quite like to win the lottery. But whatever.

I've got less than a week of work left and I that's just fine. I'm about ready to get back to the whole studying things thing. Besides, it'll give me something to post about that doesn't include juicy Chicken Selects. Then again, thinking back on the actual lifestyle induced by studying chemistry, posting about McDonalds food is probably far from over.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

All I Can Afford Is Particle Board

I try not to post about issues ongoing in the news that I learn of specifically from other blogs. That's a lie. I do that quite a bit. Here's the thing. Pat of WHYGAVS has already brought this up, but I need to comment.

Because I do.

The Pirates have unveiled the 2006 All-Star Game logo, which was designed in the hopes that it could win some variety of "ugly as sin" contest. While the design itself isn't bad and does effectively incorporate the Pittsburgh Skyline, it's also been colored using leftover egg dyes from last Easter.

Now, onto other things.

I've finally decided on my last day at this summer's Slamfest (that is, "job") and have gotten around to finding an apartment in Chicago. So times in Pittsburgh are fading quickly. Soon, I won't even be able to travel half an hour to watch the Pirates post their legendary gems without being in a sports bar. How terribly sad.

Lastly, I would like to emphasize that among those that share my birthday, evidently, are the inventor of the 'safe' elevator (that is, the inventor of the braking system that allowed them not to crash to the ground, this man, and the lead singer of Metallica, who doesn't get a wikipedia link.

It's also Independence day in Niger. Yay for that, eh.