Trust Us This Day…

I had considered pulling a sick prank today, in honor of April 1st. One option was to leave a suicide note, but it might be taken seriously, which could get me committed for a 24 hour “watch.” There were also thoughts of announcing the permanent closure of the blog, but one would actually need some readers to get a real reaction.

I could make something up about a celebrity and sheep, in Scotland, but that could get me sued. Maybe an article on the guy who cut down the last tree in the UK would be interesting, but then some bloke from London would miss the humor and point out the trees in Hyde Park.

So, my April Fool’s joke is to not prank anyone, but share a humorous site instead…

The site someecards.com has many interesting April Fool’s cards like this one, which you can share with friends on Facebook, or Twitter if ya like, for free. Some are quite funny actually, and they have some for just about any occasion.

Funny Confession Ecard: I wish I had a job I could dream about quitting if I won the Mega Millions.  

I thought this one was rather good. The ultimate irony is that it’s actually true in my case.

You can create custom cards as well, in the off chance that they don’t have anything sufficiently insulting.

What are you doing to honor the wondrous day that is today? I plan on annoying my friends until they are ready to kill me… Not really, but, isn’t that the point?

P.S. I saw Hunger Games last night, and they all died at the end. How can they make a sequel like that?

The Power of 7…

7

Seven. It seems like such a simple number, yet many cultures consider it to be lucky. In fact, this number is seen significantly in religions from every civilized continent. It is such an important number that it was chosen to represent the number of days in the week, despite it not being a divisor for the number of days of the year. Coincidence? Maybe…

The “Seven Deadly Sins,” pyramids have 4 triangles (3+4=7), Mayan pyramids had seven steps, the “Seven Lucky Gods” (Japanese mythology.) The references go on and on, and on.

Today there are seven billion people on Earth, which is ironic considering the hysteria we are sure to see in the coming months. Many predict the end of the world, or some massive shift in society. Most of these can be traced back to the Mayan calendar, and various (most likely) bad interpretations of a dead language.

Some argue that seven’s significance goes back to ancient times, when it was believed there were 7 figures in the sky which behaved differently from stars. Five visible planets (stars that didn’t stay in one spot), plus the Sun and the Moon. I doubt that, because back then we had to stay hidden at night to avoid being eaten. So then what is it?

It seems that our entire race is infatuated with this number, and now our population has matched it in a way that no one could have predicted ages ago. If seven is so lucky, then are we entering a golden age of humanity? It sure is hard to say, considering the economic problems we are facing today.

Perhaps 7 is a very important number…

42, The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Lif...

The answer to “…Life, the Universe, and Everything” is 42, which is 7 times 6. 6 also being frequently used in religious symbology, of course.

Social Expectations…

Are they stupid and out-dated? I think in some cases they are. Now, before I go any further, I want to put a disclaimer in here… Um… I’m in America, so social expectations here are far different than say, Malaysia. I can’t think of anything else, so I’ll just move on.

Politics:

We are expected to side with one or the other, and catch hell if we don’t. This is incredibly annoying, because it basically means that society frowns on thinking for yourself. I don’t like Republicans (too much religious crap mixed in) or Democrats (they think we have unlimited money, and that the government can solve unemployment by providing more government jobs, which costs more money.)

Try having a political discussion with people when they can’t grasp the concept of not blindly following one single ideology. I want social freedoms AND fiscal responsibility, so gay marriage shouldn’t even be a political debate (it’s a religious thing) and there SHOULD be limitations on taxation and hand-outs. I understand why tax breaks for businesses help create jobs, but why do taxpayers help Walmart build new stores? They have plenty of money to do it on their own.

Entertainment:

Johnny Depp at a ceremony for Penélope Cruz to...

We are expected to know what is going on in the world of prime-time TV. WHY!?!!? I don’t even pay for cable TV anymore, because Hulu and Netflix take care of 99% of my needs; for everything else I just go down to the bar and watch the Packers. American Idol, X-Factor, Top-Chef, The Office…

Why do people take this stuff so seriously? Don’t they have better things to worry about? This goes for celebrity gossip as well. I recently had to write an essay on celebrities… “Pick one celebrity who you identify with as a family member, then explain why.” All I could do is explain that I don’t care enough about celebrities to answer the question in a way they expected (still passed, but got lower marks because I’m not a slave to Hollywood. ARGH!)

I can tell you that I like just about every movie Johnny Depp has been in, but I don’t know (nor do I want to) anything about him as a person! How can I “identify with X as family” if I don’t know X? I have friends who I consider family, maybe they should have asked that. It certainly would have promoted a more social society, rather than encouraging the mass-ignorance of anything outside CaliSchwarznia that pervades this country. Sometimes the gossip gets so big that it becomes national news (like when I posted about the guy who got booted from American Idol.)

Social society… Can we even be called a society anymore? That’s actually a good question, and I don’t know that we can. We lock ourselves away in front of digital screens, and going on dates is almost unheard of now-days. How can you be a society if you never do anything social?

Anyway, back on topic….

Sports:

GB on offense, Carolina on defense

It is expected that you either like them, or you don’t. Nobody seems to understand how I can like football (American football) but could care less about basketball, baseball, and hockey. I can discuss football at length, but couldn’t even tell you who has won the NBA championship since the Bulls.

Some people take this stuff so seriously that they even have multiple TVs to watch separate games on, at the SAME TIME. It is also generally expected that women hate sports, and this is simply not true. I know a lot of women who like sports… They just don’t go insane about it like some guys I know do.

College:

Academic procession at the University of Cante...

Everyone is expected to attend some kind of college. Apparently you are an idiot who can barely read if you’ve never gone to a “higher learning” establishment. Intelligence isn’t just knowledge, it’s the ability to USE the knowledge you have. Bush Jr. went to Yale AND Harvard, but he only ever really saw success in politics… Many still consider him stupid.

We are quickly producing more college-educated people than we have jobs to support, and when you live in a country that CONSTANTLY tells you that you can be anything you want to be, it just causes a lot of depression when people finally discover that’s not exactly true. If everyone goes to college, then who is going to flip the burgers? You may laugh at that, but seriously, what are we going to do when you need an Associate’s Degree in “Fry-Tech” to work at McDonald’s?? Spend $40,000+ on a two-year degree and come out with a $9.00 an hour job… How does that make sense?

Global Issues:

United States

If you don’t speak English, get out. That’s what they say anyway. Apparently, we are supposed to play “globo-cop” around the world, but we don’t have to accept other cultures…

First: we don’t speak English here anymore, we speak American. Second: it’s great to have a standardized language in any country, but it’s ridiculous to expect that nobody will speak anything else.

This is the single largest problem I see in America. We tend to ignore social differences around the world, and expect that they should conform to ours. This is as selfish and arrogant as a society can be. How can we properly solve disputes in other parts of the world if we refuse to even see their perspective? We also can’t claim to know enough about other cultures when we don’t even know our own… Most Americans wouldn’t be able to name all of the states in the map above if it weren’t labeled, let alone the cultural boundaries that are very present!

Americans seem to be completely ignorant to the fact that this is why so much of the world hates us. We go around with a giant cattle-prod, sticking it in places where it should never go, and then expect that everyone should love us for it. We don’t have an obligation to make sure Africa is doing things one way or another, nor do we have the right to intervene in middle-eastern affairs. There are Americans who actually get upset when they visit other countries (like Spain, France, Russia, etc…) and can’t find anyone who wants to speak English.

If you visit another country, you have to understand that they have a different set of expectations for you, and that you offend them when you don’t even try understanding. Just like when you get upset because Asians speak whatever language is native to them here, they have the right to NOT speak English there! We are not perfect, and should accept that. Don’t get mad when you are asked to remove your shoes in Japan, it’s a part of their culture… and promotes cleaner floors.

New Pictures!

I took my camera out this weekend, and got some awesome shots…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The one with the quarters has already been set as a new header image, and the Foosball table may end up as one as well, if you want it. The third image was taken while I was just playing around, and I thought it turned out pretty awesome, so I decided to share it.

Some Monday fun to break up the beginning of the week.

Driving on public roads…

There must be a full moon, or something! For the last two days I have had cars behaving extremely stupid around me. I’m not sure if the fumes from the mill are starting to drain the motor-skills out of people around here, or if it’s just some vast conspiracy to try and destroy my car.

A Big Mac combo meal with French fries and Coc...

How can people eat all this?

The best one was in front of the McDonald’s. I was travelling north, and signaled that I would be turning in, I needed my coffee fix. There was a guy (in a purple Chrysler Town & Country mini-van) sitting at the exit to the McDonald’s to my left who LOOKED RIGHT AT ME, then proceeded to dart out into the road like I wasn’t even there. If I had not slammed on my brakes, he would have speared me into oblivion.

In almost every crime of monumental idiocy, it was a douche in a mini-van that committed it. Maybe the Mini-Van-Mafia is resorting to extreme measures to maintain it’s memberships… Now they just want to destroy every car that isn’t a mini-van.

Foreign companies' cell phones, such as Motoro...

Really, the world will not end if you miss one damned text!

The rest were just random other types of vehicles, this makes me wonder if people are just too busy focusing on their cell-phones. Cells are now held in much the same way a criminal would hold a gun while driving down the road, passing a cop they don’t want to alert. Below the window line, but still in hand, and requiring constant visual confirmation that it hasn’t somehow fallen apart. The state banned cell-phones while driving, and PEOPLE ACTUALLY DRIVE WORSE!

Life’s Little Kicks…

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

There come times in one’s life, where you realize that you have been colossally stupid. Today is one of those days.

When I was 18, I received around $3,000, which I spent quickly on a car and stuff I didn’t need. The car was a good investment, because it worked, which the one I had before didn’t have going for it. I had also considered entering the stock market, and one of the companies I was looking at was none-other than Apple.

This may sound strange, but it’s true. I understood what Steve Jobs was capable of. He was the first person to make computers a thing girls thought was cool. The iMac changed everything. I know, it sounds cliche now, especially since companies now use that line for everything they do. I knew that if he could make computers cute, he could do anything, and I wanted a piece of it. I was enough of a geek to know these things, but “normal” enough to completely ignore them. I ended up buying things like clothes, a stereo system, TV, etc… Things any 18 year old thinks are really important.

Looking back today, I want to go back in time and punch myself in the face.

Had I invested $1500 in October of 2000, I would now have over $90,000 worth of Apple, without ever investing another dime in it. The stock was at $9.78/share then, and is now at $601.10/share as of close yesterday (Mar-19-2012).

Steve Jobs shows off the white iPhone 4 at the...

$1500 / $9.78 = 153 full shares, plus some change.

153 * $601.10 = $91,968.30 today.

God am I stupid!

I guess the lesson is: trust your instincts, because you never know which one could pay off in the end. If anyone has a time-machine, I’ll deal you in if you take me back so I can invest in Apple, Google, and a few others.

Updates.

I said I was going to be making another blog, but for gaming.

Here it is: Game Shorts

This won’t distract me from this blog though, so don’t worry. The advantage of that one is that I have no expectations on frequency of postings at all. So whenever I try a new game, or decide to discuss gaming specifically, it’ll get a new post. Everything else stays here.

The ultimate irony is that it took playing a horrible game to get me to do that, not a great one like Mass Effect (the first one.) That blog is not “finished” yet, I still have a lot of work to do with the layout and graphics on it. Still haven’t decided whether I want a dark theme like this, or the light one that it currently has. Expect frequent changes for the first few weeks. This should be an interesting experiment and if nothing else, it will be an outlet for designing off-the-wall graphics.

Also, for those of you who like photos, we are expecting some weather today. I hope it leads to some cool shots. If it goes well, I will post some here.

Expansionism.

Right! So I am going to begin a new blog. I am going to play a video game and tell you if it’s brilliant, or crap. It’s all very not-technical with lots of personal opinions and absolutely no scientific studies about seizures, statistics, psychology, and all the rest of the stuff you don’t care about.

You can get all of that stuff from people who actually get paid to do it. I simply don’t have the paycheck to make me care about that stuff, and I have a feeling that you don’t either. I may or may not actually finish the game before I write a review, because if I’m honest, most games aren’t worth beating.

One other thing; because I’m not paid to do this, don’t expect every game to be a brand new game. I can’t afford to keep up with it. Over the course of the year, I may get to all of the biggest releases, but do not count on it happening the week the game is released. Some exceptions may be, titles and huge franchises that I personally can’t wait to play.

This blog will not end, but I think the crowd for game reviews will be quite a bit different than the crowd interested in the stuff I feature here. It’ll be like a sister-blog.

I’ll post a link once I get all the important bits finalized, and a first review down.

Sunday Stupidity…

I think these pictures speak for themselves! I really don’t understand what kind of parenting brings you to do this to something you spent your hard-earned (or ill-earned) money on… Maybe it’s the exhaust fumes.

I wonder if they think that actually makes the car any quieter.

Image

I really, I mean REALLY, hope this is a Photoshop job.

I actually laughed! Would it even be possible to get any more pointless?

This Week Was Interesting…

Weird!:

Massachusetts men can get a free pizza with a vasectomy operation. This has got to be one of the most ridiculous things I have heard of in a long time. Apparently if you like sports, you also want to sleep around and avoid having babies with 300 different women.

Sci-Tech stuff:

NASA released map of nearly the entire night sky. This is really cool just to look at, even if you don’t have much interest in the scientific knowledge that can be gained from all of this. They also managed to map 90% of the near-earth asteroids, and Earth’s very own “Trojan Asteroid.”

Apple releases new iPad today. Thousands of people have lined up outside Apple Stores around the globe, all hoping they got there early enough to spend $499 or more on one of the new devices. With a better display, faster processor, and improved camera this will likely be the first iPad that you will be happy to keep for more than a year.

Image via ny.racked.com. Will be removed if requested.

I cannot say anything bad about the people who wait in line for Apple products, because that would make me a hypocrite. I stood outside the West Towne Mall Apple Store in Madison, WI, for 7 hours to get my iPhone 4 the day it was released.

I do have to admit that I was only doing it because my iPhone 3G had decided to stop functioning properly after updating to iOS 4.0. Choosing to wake at 2 am, drive 2 hours to stand in a line and have a chance, was far better than the guarantee of having to endure a barely functional phone for as long as two months.

Why did I stay with Apple after that? It’s simple really… I have hundreds of dollars invested in my iTunes music, and more invested on the apps. I really didn’t want to have to go through the trouble of making the music work on an Android device, or repurchasing the apps I used most.

iPod, Cell-Phone, PDA, Hand-Held Game System, GPS… All in one device. It’s really worth the investment in a smartphone of some kind if you don’t already have one.

Entertainment:

‘Luck’ horse trainer says ‘Sometimes S**t Happens.’ “Luck” is an HBO series starring a lot of big names, which is focused on Horse Racing. The thing about horses is that they are quite panicky. Naturally they have to have a stable of horses to have a show, and those horses sometimes panic. There has been a lot of contraversy over the care of the show horses due to the three that have died during filming. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and AHA (American Humane Association) are both supporting HBO’s decision to cancel the series.

I don’t really understand what the fuss is all about. The show had 50 horses, and almost all of them appear in running sequences or staged races. Accidents happen in that world, and they really can’t be helped. I do not support euthanizing animals just for not being able to race any longer, but I also would hate to see a horse not be able to even walk. So, while the deaths are saddening, I don’t think it calls for the cancellation of the series. I am sure they received top care.

The trainer could have chose better words than “Sometimes shit happens” regardless of how true it may actually be. With groups like this gunning for the show, he has only added fuel to their fire. A shame really, because it is a pretty good show.

Jermaine Jones was given the boot on American Idol. Apparently he “didn’t know [he] broke the rules” by having outstanding warrants for his arrest in New Jersey…

Fine, claim ignorance on American Idol rules, I’ll let that incredibly insulting statement slide (because it implies that Americans are stupid enough to believe that.) What I want to know is, how did you forget that traveling across the country would be breaking LAWS? Idiot.