Monday, March 31, 2014

Nature is awesome

     Well my first week of IT has come to an end.  That’s right put a bow on it, put in in the books and throw it into that anals of history, naw-mean? 
     I love tech and what not but I’ve had a lot lately so yesterday seemed like a great day to get right with Mother Nature.  A Sunday afternoon hike up the canyon sounds perfect.  An afternoon among the wildlife and beautiful early spring in Utah could be very calming.  Sure everything is dead and it looks like rain but I can still try to find some solace.
     What if I stumble across something picturesque?  Something I want to remember or share perhaps.  Well I can take my sketchbook; I need to sketch for one of my classes so I better bring my backpack with some art supplies.
     I’ll have to get a little of the beaten path to see anything cool.  That could be dangerous if I run into any critters.  Not many people venture out on Sundays.  Who will hear me screaming if I get lost or worse yet, attacked by a mountain goat?  I better take my phone with me so I can make a call if I need to; it has GPS too so if the search party needs help finding my badger ravaged corpse they can access that.
     I might be gone a while as art takes time especially when you’re into details like I am.  I need to recreate every hair standing up on the snarling wolves back if I’m lucky enough to see one.  Maybe I should take my Ipod to listen to.  That way I can really focus on the stunning views I’m sure to encounter. 
     Who am I kidding I can’t draw for shit if I wanna capture a moment I better take a camera.  Sure my phone has one but that little thing can’t take really good pictures, better bring the SLR and all my lenses.  That way I can zoom way in and not have to get too close to the cave to see the fearless, hungry bears awakening from hibernation.
     I like to write maybe I should pack up this laptop and I can compose a new blog post.  Yep that’s what I’ll do; attempt to draw a passable landscape with pencils, use my phone’s GPS to put a tack in google maps of where I am, and snap some great shots that I will further process in Photoshop to make it look better.  I will do all this before attempting to craft a witty, compelling and meaningful blog to post from right here, on top of a hill side.
     However my phone doesn’t have the capability to be a mobile hotspot.  How am I supposed to blog from the mountains with this archaic 17 month old technology?   While my phone can’t be a hot spot my tablet can.  Not to mention I’ve been having battery issues with the laptop so I could use the word processor included on the tablet in a pinch.

     Nature is awesome; maybe I’ll even watch a nature show via Netflix.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Oral sex all up in your ears

Oration costume
I don’t think anyone would argue that public speaking is a talent.  It ranks just behind death on the “what people most fear list” every year.  I took a class on it and learned it’s all about preparation.  If you are prepared you will do well but some people are just better at it.  Whether they can just look natural or can improvise some answers they just are better.  In my class I shocked myself because I didn’t know how easy it was if you’re ready for it and I did much better than students much more outspoken than myself.
I’ll be the first to admit I come off as a bit shy, quiet and weird. (As overheard by others) 
I’d describe myself as private, reserved and observant.  I notice things nobody else does and I don’t speak unless spoken to for the most part.  I’m also entirely too analytic, cynical and pessimistic.  When you mix all those things with a healthy dose of empathy, and a touch of traumatic stress you get a very unique cocktail that is me.
Every single day I find myself in the same situation.
I will be involved in a conversation and either my mouth can’t keep up with my brain or vice versa.
I will be half way through one statement or thought but my brain is not only 3 sentences ahead it is pointing out mistakes coming out of my mouth, like some kind of psychotic proofreader.  I will admit I’m not the most socially gifted person.
However I will be an arrogant ass about something; I’m very quick witted and somewhat funny.  I have never met a person I can't make laugh.  The problem lies in the content, it tends to be dark.  My first impulse will come very quick but is usually very dark, and possibly over the line.  Usually funny as hell but only for a few of us.  For example how many of us have seen the movie Hannibal?  The sequel to The Silence of The Lambs.  That is a dark comedy with plenty of laughs.  Don't take my word for it, do some research.  You will find the movie where a guy is fed his own brain is a form of comedy. 
I’ve only recently discovered the release that is writing.  Well now I’m doing this as well as being over 20,000 words into two different possible books I’m writing.
In conclusion: 
If you wanna be a good public speaker: prepare, prepare and prepare

If you wanna vent about shit: open a new word doc and type away.  Cut and paste that shit into a blog and you feel better.  No body will ever read it but that's their loss right?  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I fell in love in a parking lot.

There was a time in my life I got upset over people who park in handicapped spaces.  I would picture some poor old widow having to hobble across the parking lot just to get heart pills and diapers just do you could get your Natty Light 43 seconds faster.  Maybe some yuppie-scum businessman who got left out of the inheritance, so he hates old people and relishes watching them suffer. 
Now I’m just jealous I don’t have the stones they do, and I even admire their heroic act of parking wherever they want.  I even know most commercial lots are not really enforced.  Some places do have someone occasionally patrolling, but most of the time the business would have to make a call.  I still park in the normal spots.
The way I see it most of the time the spaces are occupied with vehicles with the special plates or window hanger thing.  The problem is those are about as hard to get AC DC lyrics.  That analogy isn't good enough for you high-brow types?  OK then it’s as easy to get a handicapped permit as it is to sign up for Facebook. 
You just go to your Doc, explain to him you've been facing some challenges ever since you stubbed your toe and viola.  You walk out with some mood stabilizers, Percocet and a new rear view window ornament, allowing you to park on Ronald McDonald’s front porch.
Now instead of the old widow getting a spot by the door, some KFC junky can park there and feel good about it. As the great Andy Andrist said “you shouldn't be able to eat your way into better parking.” 
Another thing just because you have the right to park in a special spot you don’t have to further prove it to me by parking like that.  If you can’t get in the lines I think you’re not “road worthy”.  It looks like you were pulling into the lot, got struck blind as someone chopped of your hands all while the acid was really kicking in.  You managed to get one tire in the spot, but the rest of the car is obstructing everything.
If you’re trying to convince me it’s too difficult to walk an extra 20 feet to get your Cheetos driving a truck you need a miniature ladder to climb into doesn't help your case.  For example I see a H2 all the time at Smith’s.  First of all it’s a hummer, a fairly big vehicle, but is also the vehicle for a health company.  That sends a hell of a mixed message.  Unless this guy is a super healthy athlete who blew out his knee and now makes other people healthy limping the whole time your tax write off company advertisement truck is confusing as hell.
So now you say “Sure the system is corrupt, but if we change it what makes you think people won’t figure out a new scam?  What’s the solution?”
Well I’ve got the solution.  Didn't see that one coming did you?  I've actually got lots of solutions so strap in.
1.      “The Czar”-We leave everything the same except I’m made “Parking Lot Czar”.  With this new job I will recruit some hard pipe hitting guys to work for me.  50 of them, 1 for each state.  We will drive around our assigned states looking for phonies; the big truck or whatever we fine you.  If we find you to be taking advantage of the parking regulations we strap you to a rocket and fire you into the ocean.
2.      “The Amazonian”-Simply put if you want an easier shopping experience you are automatically enrolled in Amazon Prime, and we mandate that Amazon carries food.  That way you order your shit and get it in a few days without even leaving your house.

3.      “The Final Solution”-We blow up and outlaw motor vehicles.  This means if you want to get something from the store find a way; walk, bike, skate, ride your dog, or just grow wings.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Got my Taxes Done Did

These days I pay to have my taxes done.  I know it’s dumb with all the basically free websites you can use but I just pay someone.  I used to do it myself then things got all complicated.  We bought a house, I don’t know how to do that.  I went back to school, I don’t know how to do that.  Paid a bunch for MRI’s and back surgery, I don’t know how to do that either.  Last year I got I letter from the IRS telling me my 2010 return was wrong and I owed a bunch on money.  I though 2010, really, how far behind are these guys?  That was 3 years ago, I still had some hair then.  Anyway I took the letter to H &R Block and they fixed everything no problem and no money owed, so I just figure it’s worth it now.
I don’t trust those freaks working in the makeshift cubicle in Walmart though.  Sure they are technically employed by a reputable company so you’re covered by their super, gold-star protection or whatever they call it, but they creep me out.  Just cause you took a 5 day course after getting let go from the deep fried, gravy tasting plant doesn’t make me confident in your “Tax Professional” title.
I make an appointment at a year round location, with a year round employee.  Sure this guy probably started as the guy at Costco in the fake cubicle, but now he’s put in a few years and seen more than as season’s worth of returns, plus they usually don’t look or smell like a regular at chuck-a-rama.   
Today I enter the building and was greeted immediately by a guy asking if I was Mr. Barney.  I told him indeed I am Mr. Barney and he led me to his desk.
This is when I notice a few things, tattoos and scars to be specific.  I have nothing against either of those things, I have both however mine and his have a difference.
I have scars from the aforementioned surgery, a motorcycle accident and the ones on my heart from evil girls.  His on the other hand were definitely the result of violence.  Not like he was abused by his dad, but more like he and a few friends met some other dudes in a mall parking lot late one night and he got hit in the face with a chainsaw blade. 
My tattoo I got on a table wrapped in plastic wrap in a tattoo parlor.  He got his in 1 of 3 places, a garage, a crack house, or prison.  It looked horrible on the web part between your thumb and the rest of your hand, although the poor quality text did inform me he was in fact a “Bad Boy”.  Same place on the opposite hand he hand 3 dots in a triangle, like on a ferrets ear.  I used to have a ferret so I just figured this meant he had been fixed and de-scented.
Based on appearance a lot of people might be put off, not me though.  I figure this dude is one of those Life Time movie turn your life around guys.  He made some bad choices in the past, but now he’s turned his life around.  And worst case scenario he steals my identity, we track it back to an H&R Block employee and I sue the pants off them and buy an island, the Lakers, and maybe Kate Upton.

I’ll cut to the chase, this dude blazes through it all, sometimes whipping out a calculator to add up info off my papers before telling me he just got another thousand for me.  This dude knows his way around tax returns like Kim Kardashian knows her way around the BET awards. At the end of 30 minutes of an hour long appointment I walk out with the anticipation of a fat return, which I technically already paid them so I shouldn’t be too excited about but still.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

History Teachers are mostly full of shit!!

History teachers are full of shit
I’m not a great writer although I think I am.  When I took the university’s placement test I got a perfect score in English.  It’s hard to figure out how that happened since I didn’t take English my senior year and don’t remember paying any attention my previous years of high school.
Anyway 10 years later I seem to be a decent English student so I obviously enroll in those classes to get them done and build a little mid-life confidence.
Two semesters later I am done with all required English credits earning an A in all classes.  Now the weird part is I learned a lot from my professor, but he also told me this “the toughest graders on writing are oddly your history professors.”
Well guess what, he knew what he was talking about.
In my writing classes I learned that length doesn't mean shit.  Good writing is effective writing.  In my last English class I took the challenge of merging the two last assignments into one.  A five page research paper, and a 5 page first personal narrative.  I was one of the few who pulled off an A.
Well as it turns out history teachers care about length, which is fine I can talk about the details and whatnot for a long time.  These history buffs always have some shit to say about your writing too.  Always giving useless suggestions with dodgy advice.   I've always gotten full credit from history teachers on writing assignments but I see the same shit over and over at the top. “Watch spelling and Grammar”
First of all (unlike this blog) I proofread the shit out of anything I turn in for a grade.  I don’t make mistakes.  Furthermore one of the most basic rules of writing is back up your shit.
If you have an argument, you better have some evidence to back it up right. 
Well why does my paper say “watch spelling and grammar” at the top with nothing highlighted, underlined, or crossed out with a red pen. Back up you fucking statement or don’t make it.  Show me what I did wrong and how you would do it.
This paper had no spelling errors, and no grammatical errors.  Did you even read it?

Oh wait there it is, you have a lot of students, all writing a lot of pages.  You don’t read them all do you.  Well fuck it. Instead of writing the assigned three pages on Raphael's "Madonna of the Meadows" I'm just gonna fill three pages with a detailed, profane version of losing my virginity to your mother. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Drive Safe (NSFW)

I’ve always thought people are fucking stupid when they say, “drive safe”.  What the fuck does that imply?  Drive safe, as apposed to what?  The normal way I drive, wreck less as hell.  Do you think I’m intentionally swerving all over the road, running red lights, and driving in the wrong lane?  Maybe I could take a shortcut through a park, close my eyes, or maybe only use the emergency brake?  Anyway you get the point, it’s just a meaningless courtesy that I hate.
Well today while driving home I noticed something along that same line, the little caution sign stuck on the window that says “baby on board”.  Ok I get it, you’re proud of your achievement, you know not pulling out, not cumming on the tits, you must have the gift.  You have succeeded where so many fail, after all birth control is a wicked mistress.  What do you think this sign is really doing?  Do you think if I’m passing you thinking about fucking taking you out and that sign is gonna make me have second thoughts?  I waited in the parking lot at the Costco all morning waiting, followed you onto the freeway to run your shit off the road in a fiery mess, then I see the little sign letting me know you’ve reproduced and I’m suddenly “oh shit, these dudes are cool, hands at ten and two, maintain, keep cool, oh god precious goods in the vicinity, think safe.”
Look douche bag we are in Utah and chances are good that unless you are driving on a driver’s education coarse at least 85% of the drivers on the road have kids, maybe more.
I’m happy your proud but the only person who gives a second thought to those signs are bitter couples with reproductive problems, pedophiles, or foreigners who want to kidnap your ugly fucking chud and hold it for ransom.  But you usually see these stickers on minivans and wagons so they all understand you don’t have a shit load of money.    Just come to terms with the fact strangers on the road don't care if you have kids.  Unless your last name is Kardashian they are not going to waste thier time with peanut allergies and bunco.    Nope you are just subtlety trying to brag that your dick works and your wives snatch is capable of doing the old ping pong ball thing with a bowling ball.
I drive the way I drive; believe me I drive much better thinking about my own wellbeing over some dumb rug-rat I’ve never met.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Patent Trolls

Patent Trolls
So anyone who knows me has most likely heard me reference Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan or Bill Burr.  They are all comedians I like, but they also produce podcasts I listen to.  The list goes on and on; The Film Vault for movies, Dan Carlin for insane stories about history, Dave Dameshek for sports, like I said on and on.  Whatever you’re into there are a million podcasts dedicated to it.  Some good, most bad but nonetheless I think they are here to stay.
I mention Carolla and Rogan because they are reasonably well known, making them huge targets for people wanting cash.  Carolla’s podcast is very popular, like millions of downloads and is being sued by “Personal Audio”, a company who successfully got some money from many companies, most notably Apple.  They are patent trolls.
The basic idea of a patent troll is best described by quoting that Adam Sandler movie where the bumbling idiot gets the girl in the end.  No, not Billy Madison, not Happy Gilmore, not Big Daddy or Little Nicky.  I’m taking about The Water Boy, the scene where he turns to his mom and asks;
“Mom, what year did Ben Franklin invent electricity?”
“Ben Franklin didn't invent electricity, I did.” was his mother’s response.
That’s basically what they do; they register a patent with vague wording related to something and proceed to sue people for infringement.  In most cases their patents are registered after the product already exists.
I won’t go into all the details about their primary goal of getting companies just to settle and shut them up (Apple) or their empty office in Texas to use local judges seeming friendlier to their cause.   Judges in Texas must be a whole different breed, they love god, America, the death penalty and people taking credit for shit they had nothing to do with all for money.  To steal a Stanhope line “that’s retarded, full on high back gurgler retarded.”
Long story getting longer is that Carolla isn’t gonna pay them, he’s rallying the masses and telling them to fuck off.  He is putting together a crowd funded effort because court costs are high, and since everything is bigger in Texas they are astronomical.

While nothing official has been announced yet the minute it is (realistically the day) I will donate for a form of entertainment I love and more importantly put a stop to a bunch of assholes trying to get something for nothing, and I suggest you do the same.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Next up "The Days Half Gone"

“The Day’s Half Gone” Guy
            This is the polar opposite of “The Hungry, Hungry Hobo”, this ambitious go-getter is decked out in his gym outfit, under armor shirt, pants and shiny asics track shoes.  Usually accompanied with a blender bottle full of some mysterious concoction, most likely his health beverage full of a variety of super foods, supplements and essential vitamins.  It’s unknown whether he has been to the gym or is well prepared for his post class workout, the only thing everyone knows is this cat is concerned with his health and by semesters end he will be straight up swoll.
            Occasionally you’ll find a couple that fits this description.  I guess it really is a small world, these two people with so much in common found each other.  They both not only love exercise, weird smoothies, and tight spandex, they both relish in the idea of everyone knowing it.  Not to mention they both are ambitious enough to return to school for a degree that requires knowledge of art history.  I should also address the fact these “fit” couples are always returning to school, there are plenty of college age couples attending the same classes but those freaks will be discussed later.
            If you are going to the gym after class and are just trying to save some time I can understand, somewhat.  I mean there are gyms all over the place, and they all have lockers and changing rooms but what are you made of time?  You already had to get up early enough to gel-up the hair, find matching tights, and make your alfalfa, chia seed and acai berry smoothie.
            Conversely maybe you already got your workout in before class, In this case you’re blessing the entire Saturday morning class with your swampy, stench of narcissism and sweat.  Nothing like spending 2 + hours next to someone who smells like a roided up Hulk Hogan after having a steamy, vomit educing sexual encounter with Octo-mom and then rewarding himself with a garlic infused dandy lion green, stinging nettle shake with a shot of wheat grass and wood ear mushroom root for a libido boost.

            I just want to go to class, learn about the naked Greek woman with perky naturals and no arms without having to wonder just what kinda sick, twisted life you live.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Breakfast Club

     I have taken a once a week class on Saturday mornings at 8 A.M. almost every semester since I started at UVU.  Saturday classes are pretty long since you only have them once a week, usually 3 hours or so.  I've also noticed they also draw a certain type of student.  Not to say you can’t find them in every other class, but they are in every class I take on Saturday morning without fail.  I'd like to share some of my findings:

First I give you my favorite;
The Hungry, Hungry Hobo also known as the pack rat. 
This is almost exclusively a female between 21 and 34.  This lovely specimen can be easily identified if you look for a few common traits. 
     The first trait is apparel; Sweats, pajama pants, or maybe a long t-shirt with a ratty blanket, basically sleepwear.  They take Saturday morning classes to “better themselves” but they damn sure aren’t getting up too early.  They come to class looking like they just rolled out of bed, or more accurately off the couch, backseat, or out from under a pile of clothes. 
     They are also in always in possession of a random sack of goodies that can contain any number of the following; Rice Krispie squares, Trail Mix, individual wrapped mini-chocolate bars or snack cakes.  Some might choose raw nuts, cold cereal, raisins, bananas, yogurt or lunchables.  Beverages range from; Capri-sun, juice boxes, soda, coffee, or fountain drinks.  Sometimes they will through you a curve ball by bringing Mcdonalds, Starbucks or some gas station breakfast implying they were able to drag themselves out bed early enough to make a purchase or two,  but not quite early enough to change out of their jam jams.
     While I appreciate the need for breakfast most of the time it just looks like they grabbed some random things on the way out,  an apple and yogurt from the fridge, a ziplock bag full of peanuts, and a handful of little Billy’s Halloween candy. 

     When I look at these people I wonder just what the hell is going on in their heads, but part of me is jealous, how do they do it?  I don’t take great pride it how I dress or snack but the day you see me wearing a dirty bathrobe eating Capt’n Crunch out of a Ziplock bag in public, just kill me. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Erybody is just copy'in old shit.

I’ll just come out and say it, I’ve never read or seen Harry Potter or Twilight, none of them.  Do you want to know why?  I don’t know the whole little boy magician thing along with the sparkling thousand-year-old vampire who still attends high school for some reason never really interested me.  Well that and the fact a 6’4” grown man with a shaved head and full beard wandering around the teen fiction section at the bookstore seems kind of weird.  I can see the interaction now;
Bookstore guy: “Hey can I help you?  Are you shopping for your child?”
Me: “Naw, I’m just looking for that book about the little kid with a magic stick.”
Then security gets called.
Nope if it’s not a comedy, documentary, or an eighties horror movie it’s probably not for me.  However this past Sunday I wandered into the front room and what was my wife watching?  None other than Harry Potter, I don’t know which one.  Didn’t you read the part about me not having seen any of them?
I glance at the clock and think to myself “Well kick-off is coming up soon maybe I’ll just sit down and watch the end of this.”
Well I sit down and watch knowing nothing about what is going on in the story.
There was a big snake slithering around while Harry Potter was fighting with the dude with no nose.  You know they guy from The Red Dragon but made to look like Rocky Dennis from The Mask (with Cher) but more aerodynamic.
Anyway I’m watching Harry and Aero-Rocky battle with their sticks, wands, whatever shooting out colored beams.  The beams were at a stalemate, neither gaining ground, both being stopped by the opposing beam.
That’s when it hit me.  This looks familiar.  This is the some lazy writing.  This has all been done before.  Think about it what movie introduced colored beams?  I don’t know, but I know that light-sabers were basically colored beams that stopped after a few feet.  Now these Harry Potter beams looked just like the stuff coming out of the Ghost Buster’s Proton Pack, just with light-saber like color.
Remember how they said never cross the streams it Ghost Busters?  Well what if you shoot right at each other?
Imagine this scene:  Venkman and Egon get into an argument about who Winston likes more, cause you know, he’s the cool black guy.
“Screw you Venkman, He called me “home-slice” this morning.” Shouts Egon
“Oh yeah, well me and him shared a bottle on henney yesterday.”
Egon points his weapon towards Venkman.
“Henne-see-ya-later” he says coolly pressing the fire button.
“What the …” Venkman replies.  Fumbling with his pack just in time to block the stream with his own.
Both men stand with weapons in hand shooting beams of light towards each other, neither beam strong enough to overpower the other.
Get it?  Now add George Lucas, different characters and beam color and you have Harry Potter’s showdown with flat face.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ninja Turtles

By now everyone knows that they are making a new live action Ninja Turtles movie or at least anyone who cares.  
 I grew up in a not to distant past when the Ninja Turtles were a very big deal.  All the kids loved the cartoons, toys and don’t even get me started on the arcade games, to this day as an adult who could buy an arcade game I occasionally check online.  The marketing team must have been on PCP because they were everywhere from Pizza Hut freebies to junk food, that’s right ask anyone in their thirties if they remember turtle pies.
So you would think I’d be excited about the news of a re-boot.  Well you would be wrong. 
You would think “Hey Michael Bay is directing, that will be awesome right?” and you’d be wrong again.
You could say, “When something from your childhood is re-interpreted it will bring back good memories right?”   And strike three we can no longer talk.
First of all why reboot something, just come up with something new and original.  Or at least find something old you can make better.  Old TMNT was awesome, leave it alone old Captain Planet sucked, redo that thing.  There is nowhere to go but up, everyone hated that show whereas with they turtles I have nothing but great memories.
            *An interesting note, if you look up the movies from the early 90’s on Rotten Tomatoes they rank very low with critics and very high with the audience which means one thing; these movies are loved and entertaining and movie snobs don’t like them.*

Anyway number two Michael Bay directing, sure he’s a household name.
“Ohhh Michael Bay, this is gonna be good.”
No it ain’t, Michael Bay sucks.  He’s made 2 good movies; The Rock, and Transformers.
What has he done that’s bad?  Well lets think, all the shitty remakes I hate; Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday The 13th, The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre not once but twice, and of course the 2 shitty sequels to the 1st Transformers movie. 
He’s made a ton of other movies you don’t connect with and they are all shit.  Didn’t Megan Fox say negative thing about him resulting in her getting fired from Transformers?  Why the hell is she playing April O’neil, and why cause she’s pretty to look at?  You now what else is pretty easy on the eyes?  My childhood not covered in shit.  Which brings me to point number three.
Like I said before the turtles were a big deal when I was a kid, re-booting it and making a bad movie is like if John Lennon, Jim Morrison and Otis Redding came back to life and toured playing only Rebecca Black Covers.
I think between Michael Bay and Jayden Smith my entire childhood will be remade with a lot less substance, humor and style.  Those things will be replaced with product placement, stupidity and bad writing.