Monday, December 31, 2007

"They were conducting a surprise killing attack on everybody."

So, it's a new year. 2008. Two years from 2010 (the year, not the movie) and we are no closer to robotic slaves, Matrix-like brain interfaces, or immortality through through some scientific means. I was brought up to believe the future would be one thing, and one thing only: Great. It wasn't my parents that put this thought into my head, it was the television shows I watched, the books I read, the highway billboards I drove past. The media, in general is responsible for this belief in the future.

To be fair to the future, robotic slaves and flying cars might be just around the corner. Or, as is the case with many discoveries, these things already exist, I just don't know about them yet. It could even be that they are really common, and I'm so completely out of the loop that I didn't realize my maid has shiny-metal robotic arms it uses to squeeze my morning glass of OJ. Could be...

I predict this year will be more of the same, and not in a bad way. There will be wars, famine, and pestilence. There will be previously undreamt-of scientific discoveries, more Wii games released, and the invention of inflatable planets we will all begin to live on with our robotic assistants and robotic taxi-drivers.

What I'm really trying to say is, I want a robot already.

(that's me on the left)

It also turns out that Colorado is in for a bad year, what with painted goons conducting an attack. And not just any attack, mind you. A killing attack. Via

"After the 9-11 Tragedy, approximately 2002, I had an incredibly frightening dream. ... I was in my home with other people, it was night and dark outside, our lights were on in the house. I heard repetitive explosion like noises outside in the distance. I looked out the window to the west and could see fire and smoke in the sky coming from Boulder. The noise and fires continued and were quickly coming our way, some just at end of my block. We shut the lights off and I heard a voice in my head say "beware of the shadows, be careful of the shadows." I saw the grass moving outside and houses being set on fire, in the darkness soldiers were moving with weapons and grenades, war paint, or dark camouflage paint on their faces, others wore gas masks. They were conducting a surprise killing attack on everybody. I was terrified and thought of hiding in the attic, but knew I would be burned. I thought further of crawling into the grass to hide, but I had seen them shine lights on the grass and destroy anyone found. I knew it was the end for us. I heard them say they were the "peacekeepers.""

The line I can't get over is, "They were conducting a surprise killing attack on everybody." It's just so silly. This highlights my potential big problem with 2008; fear. This quote from the poor poster "Kathy" is a great view into the mass-consciousness in America. Her writing style attempts convery scientific detachment, but it's really a scene from any number of B action movies playing out in her imagination, superimposed over the ideological topography of an idealized American take-over scenario metaphysical-jumble-terror-reexamination-plughead Robot! The subject is contextualized into a mode that includes narrativity as a reality. Therefore, the premise of cultural nihilism suggests that the law is part of the collapse of consciousness, but only if David Hasselhoff is a robot; otherwise, narrativity is capable of significance of Kathy's insane ramblings... like mine. Ugh.

Pyscho-babble will be on the rise.

It was 8 years ago I was in Key West celebrating New Years with fellow globe-trotting chum Jon. We slept on a Grayhound bus two nights in a row and rode for 50 hours to get there. When we arrived, we had no place to stay, so we slept on the beach, hoping the cops wouldn't arrest us, which was possible (and likely). When the conch shell dropped from the roof of "Joe's" at the stroke of midnight, the streets exploded into a massive city-wide party of epic proportions that lasted well into the night.

When some people we met dropped us off near the Grayhound station the night before we left, we still had no place to stay, so we slept in what we thought was a ditch. Late that night, a truck came roaring the down the 2-track lane we were sleeping and missed running us over by about 10 feet. We found a white chair in the woods and set it in front of us, hoping any other truckers, out tearing up the 2-track at 3 in the morning, would see it and swerve to miss it. Why we didn't just move out of the road, is still a mystery. Come to think of it, it was probably because we had another 50 hour Grayhound bus ride in front of us and we were hoping for the quick, merciful release that being crushed under a truck would bring.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dog Revalations and Car is Still Dead!

The car is way dead, it turns out. Transmission blown. Poof. Like that. Sadly, this comes only about a month after we dropped $1,300 on a new timing belt, spark plugs, and a belt tensioner. The cost will be somewhere in the vicinity of $1,000 to fix the transmission, and that's with the used-parts kit. The suck of all sucks with this is, right now the car is worth nothing*. If we drop another thousand dollars into it, it may run for another 30,000 miles... or we may blow a rod the week after the repairs are complete. If we do end up sinking the money into the car, we can at least recoup the cost of the repairs and a little more (hopefully). This should give us enough time to have a functioning car that will allow us to drive around and look for another car, then sell this car, and buy another. Bleh.

Did I mention my not liking cars? No? Well, truth be told, I don't like cars.

On a lighter note, the voting for the crazy fact about one of the many dogs Mandy watches is closed. It seems that the readers are going with the patriotic, 9/11 people-saving dog.


The truth is, the dog is a Thompson, of the Hunter S. variety. Yes, Bodi's owner is the ex-wife of Hunter. Hunter's son, he keeps his dog at the day car too. I hear ego-Googling is up, so it's likely that these people will come across this blog and find out the secret identity of their dog is now in the requisite domain of the interweb tubes where any Hunter-obsessed sicko can find it. Sadly, these are the times we live in. I don't get a chance to interact with many bona fide celebrities, let alone their dogs, so I hope you'll grant me leave to indulge in this particular instance.

Hunter's dog! I don't love the man. I've never met him. And from what I understand, he was an absolute bastard to interact with in real life. That makes sense, considering how crazy and reckless his writing is. On the other hand, being a bastard and a being a good writer seem to go hand-in-hand. What I can say is I like his writing. He was a great social mover and shaker. Like me, he hated hippies and the laziness they embodied.

*Update: It actually is going to cost $1,500, and we've decided to go ahead with it. I'm not totally sure why, but there it is. Again, hopefully, this will be the last major repair on it for a year or so, and we can continue to drive it. If it bothers us, we will sell it and hopefully break even with these repairs. The transmission is totally gone. Nothing salvageable. It should be done today, so when we get it back, I will post about how it drives like it always had, except a little faster due to the lightness of our wallet. Bleh.

(It's so satisying watching cars crash. Crash cars, crash!)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Today is the Winter Solstice! Our car is dead!

Solstice. Sol (Latin for Sun) Stes (Latin for unmoving, as in to stand still). In effect, the day that the sun stands still in the sky. In the Northern hemisphere, this marks the first day of winter. In the Southern Hemisphere, it marks the first day of summer. At whatever Northern latitude you are, this will be the day with the shortest amount of daylight. Since the Summer Solstice, the sun has been rising progressively lower in the sky with each passing day. On the Autumnal Equinox, the sun rode the same line as the ecliptic, or the plane of the solar system. The great part is that while this is the darkest day of the year, with each passing day, the sun will rise a little higher in the sky and we'll get a little more daylight.

I was in Norway recently. Friedrikstad is not within the line of the arctic circle, but it is close. When I was there, a month ago, the sun was only up for about 5-6 hours a day. By this point, it's down around 4 1/2. Crazy. But they make up for it in the sumer with 16-18 hours of sunlight. Bastards.

Mandy's parents showed up this morning. We've been hanging out and catching up. Our car died last night. Likely cause: The transmission is blown. This is great because we were thinking of updating our entertainment system with a new center speak, satellite speakers, and a receiver... but what we really wanted was to spend that money on a new transmission. God. I hate cars. We can't really do anything with the car until after the holidays because all the shops are closed until Wednesday. If it does turn out to be the transmission, I think we're just going to junk to car and get a new one. At least the new one will be (in theory) slightly more reliable, but still. We spend $1,300 replacing the timing belt a month ago.

To reiterate: God, I hate cars.

Bacon: Chocolate for Men

(Happily lifted from

Don't forget, there's only one day left to vote for what amazing secret a dog from Mandy's doggy daycare has! Cast your vote now!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Packing / Unpacking

Man, it's been crazy around here. We've been unpacking, cleaning the apartment at Grant, and getting ready for Mandy's parents (and our new dog) to arrive. We've purchased a new Queen-sized bed. We're going to pick that up tomorrow with a rented truck. Other than that, we've just been trying to figure how we're going to decorate the place, where the dog will sleep, putting plastic on the windows, etc, etc, etc.

I can't believe Christmas is only a few days away. It's nuts. It doesn't really feel like it here. I'm sure we'll be missing the family and friends part of it most, but having Mandy's parents here will help lessen that. It's going to be good to have a little down time.

That's it from this end.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I pledge to be your you know what that means?!?!

A forwarded message I received from the Cat-Fattener:

1. When you are sad -- I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.

2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile -- I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.

4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.

6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.

7. When you are sick -- Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

9. This is my oath.... I pledge it to the end. "Why?" you may ask; "because you are my friend".

Friendship is like peeing your pants:

everyone can see it,

but only you can feel the true warmth.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lots of updates....

There are a lot of changes happening now, which is one of the main reasons that I haven't written in awhile. Mostly it has been because our internet was kinda flaky while we moved and I wasn't able to get online for almost a week!

I got A's in the three classes that I took this fall......but I also found out that I am not able to get into my major this semester. This means that I have to wait until next fall to start my classes. Sigh! Anyways, I decided that I didn't want to sit around on my butt until then, so I applied at a part-time QA job. They said they would like to offer me a job, pending my background check approval. I will start after the first of the year and will be working 30 hours a week, M-F. Right now I am on the schedule at the dog shop for 2 nights....we'll see how it all works out.

We are looking forward to having myparents come and visit this weekend, so if you have anything you would like to send with them like notes or goodies (like an Xbox360 - Matt) pass it off to them before they leave on Friday.

We are getting unpacked and organized at our new place. I have a couple of pics and we will continue to post more as we get through all of this moving stuff :)

Our new rug - we got it off from Craigslist!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

There's a monkey in the jungle, watching a paper trail

Caught up in the conflict between his brain and his tail...

So, yeah. No updates for a while, huh? That would be in part because we have no internet connection, but mostly because we've been moving all of our belongings from one location to another.

Mandy and I have moved so many times, we have it down to a science. Not to brag, or anything, but damn... when we move, we move very well. We were able to pick up the rental truck, move everything into it, drive to the new location, unload its contents into the new house, gas-up the truck and return it in less than 6 hours. The total cost of renting the truck, with gas and mileage included: $33.00. That's roughly 1/8thth of the cost just to fill up the gas tank one time on the truck we moved out to Denver in. Craziness.

Right now, as would be expected, the house is in shambles as we decide what goes where, who does what, and when does which. Once all of that is settled, a little painting is done, and some furniture procured and gotten rid of, we will post some pics.

In a few weeks, we will be entertaining the lovely Mr. Cat-Fattener and his wife Sue for a week or so. They will come baring gifts, or gift, rather, in the form of a dog. We need to have the place someone spiffed by then, as well as make up the spare room so Mandy and I won't have to sleep on the air mattress and give up our bed. It will chaotic, but fun. We're really looking forward to spending some time not doing much of anything.

Work is going well for the both of us. I'm sure Mandy will want to share her school/work situation herself, so I'll leave that be. My work is also going well. Very well, in fact. I've learned more in the past four month working at this job than I did in four years of college education. It's been stressful, rewarding, and energizing all at the same time. Lovin' it!

That's about it from the mountains. Mandy has some new dog pics she'll be posting to Flickr soon, so keep an eye out for those, especially for the yet-to-be-taken picture of me with Bodhi. There's a good story behind that dog. One you will never, ever believe. When I was told, I nearly spit out my drink and shouted, "No way!" To ramp up the suspense, I've added a poll to the right-hand nav of the blog. Just choose what crazy, unbelievable fact is true about this dog, and we'll see if the readership of this humble blog can read my mind.

Monday, December 03, 2007

If you are in Grandville, MI....

Mom and Dad found us a sweet baby. Her name is Nikki.

Shhh....don't tell Athena or Ocyrus yet!
Nikki in the kitchen

If you are in the neighborhood you should stop by and see the newest addition to our family!

Nikki sleeping

Not so identical cousins...Nikki and Stormy