Monday, April 27, 2009

Thank you for being a friend

First, the swine flu kills over a hundred people.  Then horses turn into hipsters.   Then Bea Arthur dies.  What is the world coming to?

Why couldn't it have been Blanche?

Dorothy was always my favorite Golden Girl.  There were essentially four jokes on the show: Rose is dumb, Blanche is horny, Sophia is old, and Dorothy is sarcastic.  At least sarcasm is funny.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What I've been doing instead of blogging

Reviewing a theology book.  I only had to write 500 words, but I could have gone on for thousands about how much this book sucked.  Baby can attest to that, as she was the one who had to listen to me bitch and moan about it as I was reading it.  Since the review is running on an independent bookstore's site, I had to emphasize the few good aspects of the book -- i.e. why anybody would want to buy it.  The next book I'm reviewing for them looks problematic, but at least it will probably be interesting.  I couldn't read this last book on the bus because I'd fall asleep every time I cracked it open.

Pitching a class to my church with Arkay.  I was really nervous about this -- I hate public speaking -- but it was actually a lot of fun.  Let's hope the class doesn't suck and everybody ends up hating me and I lose all my friends.  Now that we've planned part of the class I have a lot of reading to do, though.

(Picture unrelated)

Baiting hipster-haters on various websites.  I don't know what it is about me, but sometimes I just can't resist getting in arguments online.  It's probably a sickness.  Maybe I just don't have enough real drama in my life, so I seek out pretend drama.  My favorite part about the hipster-haters is that I don't really disagree with them generally, so it's easy to figure out how to piss them off.  And these are some angry, angry dudes.  I think New York hipsters must be a lot more obnoxious than the LA variety.  

(Before somebody says something about cognative dissonance or hypocracy or whatever for loving theology and hater-baiting, know ye that I'm pretty tame compared to say, Paul of Tarsus.  That dude knew how to troll.) 

Working.  Seriously, when am I going to get a competent co-worker?  I spent four hours yesterday babysitting a file transfer because I couldn't trust Mustafa to do even that.  Also recently I have had the treat of going to great lengths to make a purchase recommendation that was not only completely ignored by the prof I was working with, but that was actively contradicted.  And now I am cleaning up the significant mess resulting.  Bollocks!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The beginning of the end

I stumbled upon a sign of the impending end of civilization yesterday morning, in the form of an empty "beer" can that looked something like this:

In case you can't read that, it says "Budweiser and Clamato."

The existence of Clamato has often been considered a sign of the beginning of the end: the unholy miscegination of tomato juice (a vile creation in itself) with FUCKING CLAM JUICE is interpreted by some as the "man of lawlessness" of 2 Thessalonians 2 whose revelation is being restrained by an unnamed entity.  It is now clear that that restraining force has been removed, as Anheuser-Busch has revealed the identity of the anthropos tes anomias by combining it with their abominable brew.  Soon it will "[exalt] itself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that [it] takes [its] seat in the temple of God, declaring [itself] to be God" and the Day of the Lord may arrive.

Personally I'm stoked.  Although Paul says that "the Lord Jesus will destroy" the anthropos tes anomias "with the breath of his mouth," it's kind of hard to imagine breath more powerful than the combination of American lager, clam juice, and tomato juice.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Protecting my legacy, cutting down trees

First things first: yes, Christie, I really did have minivan posters on my wall as a kid.  My brother made me take them down, I guess because he couldn't handle that much awesomeness.  I'm not sure if this led directly to our brief running competition to surreptitiously pin the trashiest pictures from the Victoria's Secret catalog on the other's wall, but whatever the case I really did love minivans, cargo vans, and station wagons.  I was particularly fond of fake wood paneling.

Speaking of wood paneling, I've been really into milling lately.  I have a strong desire to cut down a pine tree and mill it into 2x4's to build one of these.  I think an Alaskan chainsaw mill would be best for my particular application -- anything less portable might require moving the felled timber with a skid loader or tractor, and I don't have one of those.  This is one of those things I will not have time to do in the next couple decades or so, but if anybody else has a desire to play with dangerous gas-powered tools in the piney woods near Bastrop, Texas, give me a holler and maybe I can find the time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

White Power Bill hates White Power Bill

On Saturday, an unnamed once-and-future Austinite visting for the weekend from Los Angeles gave me $5 to buy a plunger.

As you can see up there above, there is a URL for a prominent white supremacy website on it.  Evidence of neo-Nazi activity in Dave's wallet or an extremely oblique Arrested Development reference?  You decide.  (Props to Baby for noticing.)

As a bonus, when I bought the plunger, I got this coupon in return:

Now that's effective cross-marketing!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Kids say the darndest shit, v. 1

The other day, Older Daughter was refusing to eat the carrots out of her soup. She often picks one component of any given meal and declares that she won't be eating it. There's not much we can do about it, but I half-assedly tried to convince her to eat her carrots this time.
Me: You know, some people call carrots nature's candy.
OD: And SOME people call them nature's potty drunk!
It's pretty hard to argue with that kind of logic.

Carrots on a typical Friday night, fighting the loneliness with booze and casual sex

And yes, I am aware that nobody has ever called carrots "nature's candy." It's never too early to instill a child with an appreciation for inanity.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Just clarifying some things

On Wednesday, I sent an email to Mustafa because he was grumpy that I didn't answer the phone when people called.  (It's his job.)  This is how the email began:

Here is some written documentation about how faculty and staff should contact us, and what we should do once we’ve been contacted.  For the purposes of this email, I’m going to call us the Office of Information Technology (OIT) in the ----- of ------.  The purpose of defining our contact methods is to allow us to serve the ----- faculty and staff as well as possible while keeping the process of using OIT for support easy for faculty and staff.

This was the beginning of his response, Thursday morning:
Hey Lazlo,

What is OIT.

October 20-something 2009 is Mustafa's 65th birthday.  Oh how I hope and pray he will retire immediately.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A day of reckoning

Yesterday I bought a van.  A minivan to be precise.  In fact, a beige minivan.

For some men, getting a minivan is looked upon as a moment of defeat -- as the moment when a man finally admits (for a decade or two at least) that he's no badass* whose lifestyle is befitted best by a Toyota MR2 or a t-topped Trans Am -- but for me it's quite the opposite. 

As a child, I didn't have posters of sports cars on my walls.  Instead I had ads for Nissan Quests, Dodge Caravans, and Chryslers Town and Country cut out of Popular Science.  After college, but before I started dating Baby, my career plan was to save up enough money to buy a solid diesel van (preferably a Sprinter) and outfit it to live in.  I was going to live outside a library at UC Berkeley.**  I have no clue what was supposed to happen after that, but during times of great stress I sometimes daydream*** about that life in the van.

So for me, this transition is not a defeat -- it's a victory.  After years of waiting and dreaming, I have finally attained van status.

Since we bought it used, I didn't really have a choice of colors, but I really wanted beige from the beginning and that's what we got.  Nothing says "I don't give a shit" like a beige minivan.  You could almost say that having a beige minivan is punk rock -- that is, if describing things as "punk rock" wasn't the least possible "punk rock" thing that could ever be done.  Baby and I thought about getting a diesel Suburban or Expedition and converting it to run on waste vegetable oil, but I decided that purchasing my fuel at a gas station was a compromise I am willing to make, when compared to hanging around behind Chinese restaurants with an industrial grease pump and particulate matter filter (read: crab wonton filter).

Now, in the complete opposite vein, I discovered that I have free access to an electronic vinyl decal cutter at work, so I'm kind of thinking about taking advantage of that little perk.  Any decal suggestions?  Somehow I feel that Boli may have something to offer here.  Flames are kind of played out, but a screaming falcon could be nice.

* "Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."  --Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash

** What do you mean "naive?"

*** And by this I mean I use Cylonic projection.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My sincerest apologies

I feel I owe the world an apology for my botched April Fool's Day joke yesterday. I have removed the offending post and will never be attempting a gag like that again.

Please rest assured that all offended parties have been offered specific personal apologies: the State Department, the Monastery of Franciscan Poor Clare Nuns and their tiny charges (especially poor, sweet, innocent Buttercup), the estate of Johnny Carson, and the Nigerian Consulate in Houston.
Just to clear things up: I am not -- and never have been -- an official representative of the European Respiratory Society, and none of the ideas I promoted in my post should be attempted under any circumstances, especially at high altitudes or if you have history of seizure, stroke, or if you already have two felonies on record in California or Washington state.

If you read my post yesterday, please try to go on with your life as if you hadn't, if at all possible.  Also, for Marcus: my high score in Brickbreaker is 10,440 -- not 10,490 as I had claimed.

This site regrets the error.