Why Plinko hates you.

the life and times of one jaded motherfucker.

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Uncle Phil

:.News of the World.:
Washington Post
NY Times
Howard Kurtz
Leonard Pitts
The Onion

:.On Wisconsin.:
Milwaukee J-S
Wheeler Report
Gannett Wisconsin

Penny Arcade


:.Current Book.:
Woman In the Dark - Dashiell Hammett

:.Last 6 Books.:
The Catcher In the Rye - JD Salinger
Grendel - John Gardner
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha - Roddy Doyle
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Theft - Peter Carey
Saturday - Ian McEwan

:. Bands .:
Dismemberment Plan
Jets to Brazil
Promise Ring

Mark Helprin
Kazuo Ishiguro
Wilkie Collins
William Faulkner
Philip K. Dick
Dashiell Hammett

The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Frank Herbert
Dan Simmons
The Dark Tower
Stephen King

02/01/2001 - 03/01/2001 03/01/2001 - 04/01/2001 04/01/2001 - 05/01/2001 05/01/2001 - 06/01/2001 06/01/2001 - 07/01/2001 07/01/2001 - 08/01/2001 08/01/2001 - 09/01/2001 09/01/2001 - 10/01/2001 10/01/2001 - 11/01/2001 11/01/2001 - 12/01/2001 12/01/2001 - 01/01/2002 01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002 02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002 03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002 04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002 05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002 06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002 07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002 08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002 09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002 10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002 11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002 12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003 01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
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Monday, June 30
Tonight's cooking experiment was a rousing success, if you ask me. I tried making bearnaise for the first time, and it was really, really good. I had it with breaded fish and steamed asparagus, which aren't the things you'd normally have with bearnaise, but it was really, really good. I'm going to just sit here for a while and think about how really, really good the whole thing was.

Aaahhhh …

Okay, back to the bloggery.
(Did I mention the sauce was really, really good?)

I was going to bake some cake as well, but it's much too warm and tomorrow I'm going to be in a meeting all day with a lot of people. I don't feel like making that much cake. Regardless, some people seem to need bribes pretty badly, so I'll have to get on the baking train pretty soon.

I need to get moving on the apartment thing. I called the place next to Mother's to see how that possibility would turn out, and I'm going to look at it tomorrow.
I think I'm going to need to find either a roommate or a second job though, even with the drastically lower rent this place is going for. But, since it's almost half again as big as this place, I guess I could tolerate a roommate for a change.
I have given serious thought to trying to convince my parents to buy a duplex and let me rent half of it. After all, they'll have tons of extra money once the mortgage is paid off in a few months, and dad knows how to fix just about everything, it sounds like a surefire money-maker, right?
Of course, there's no actual chance this would happen, but it's nice to dream, isn't it?

Wrapping things up:
I have some dark and grainy, but extremely cute, videos of little baby Sullivan on my PC. Did I ever mention that I love babies? More specifically that I love quiet well-behaved babies?

This is news only because I've got this reputation for hating everything: I've had Is This It? by The Strokes for several months now and I only just this week noticed how much ass it kicks. See, that's two whole bands I like now that are still playing together.

I only call you darling because I know how much it bugs you.

Sunday, June 29
I have just arrived home at 10:45 pm on a Sunday night and there is a guy, I shit you not, mowing the lawn over at the auto parts store a block away from me. Just running that power motor as if there weren't thirty or forty houses within two blocks to hear the mowing when I'm sure most of them want to be asleep.

I forgot, when posting earlier today, that being Sunday as it is, it's sports day for the Plinko. Instead of a leisurely bike ride, I played basketball for about an hour and a half and then softball for two hours immediately after that.
The end result of all this is that I am extremely tired and ever-so-mildly sunburned.
Don't worry, I'll get over it.

I think I'm going to have to pry the 'Insert' key off the damned keyboard. I frequently press it by accident while trying to use the tiny, tiny backspace key and get frustrated when I start typing in overstrike. Does anyone actually type with overstrike anymore? I mean, highlighting block of text to move or delete at your whimsy has been a pretty common feature of the PC for a good long number of years now.

Okay, apart from my wacky crusades against my pet peeves of keyboard design (a regular feature here on Why Plinko Hates You), I don't have much to say. I'm reading the new Harry Potter book. Tomorrow I'm making fancy dinner for one (tears) and that's about all I've got.

Regarding the subject matter of yesterday's post, paragraphs 7 though 9, you'll know more if and when I know more. The friend in question is notoriously unreliable. I just found the pattern striking at the time.

Head to toe rayon, don't light a match

Naturally it's going to be sunny and temperate all day today. Where was all this pleasantry yesterday, huh?

Looks like today will be a nice bike ride and cleaning day for yours truly, with a little smattering of reading in between.

News? Who needs news? I've got nothing.

Saturday, June 28
Good morning, sirs.

Today marks the first time in memory I awoke from a night's sleep between the hours of noon and midnight, having finally decided to crawl out of bed whilst the weekly city tornado siren drill was going.
It's going to take me like a week to get back to my 'normal' sleeping schedule of going to bed at 12:30 and waking up at 7:30 every day now, I just know it.

On to more interesting news. The funniest thing ever happened last night, too bad I can't share it with you until next week. Don't worry, the wait will be worth it.

In still other news, It's fucking raining out. Now, I usually like the rain, but not on grillout days. So, I need to get on the detail train and figure out what the answers are for this afternoon. I mean, sure we have a where, but what are we doing, what are we eating and drinking, what do we bring? These are questions that need answering, I tell you.

Maybe when I'm done here I will do some calling.
I think it's mango salsa time again, no matter what.

I found a Barnes & Noble gift certificate in an old coat pocket the other day, with a receipt dated 12-21-01, so it's only a little over 1-1/2 years old. Oops.

It appears another one of my friends is interested in playing the get-Plinko-a-girlfriend game. I wonder if anyone realizes what they're putting that poor girl through when they step up to the plate on this?

I think there's an interesting trend that's emerging here about the strategy players adopt in this game:
1. Find quirky, tattoed, petite girl with a profession in some sort of visual art.
2. Introduce to Plinko.
3. …
4. Profit.

Well, none of them have made it all the way around the bases yet to take home any big-money prizes, but we can always keep playing the game until someone does.
I think it's particularly interesting that we're three-for-three on art-related professions (clothing designer, 2-D graphic artist, art gallery curator). I think it's beginning to give me a clearer picture of what other people think of me. I'm not going to say anyone's wrong or right. I think it's great any time anyone tries to do this sort of thing, mostly because I'm incredibly shy for such a loudmouth.
More on this later, maybe.

I named my secret writing project, this is a first for me, I've never actually given one a name before, so now it must be destined for success.

Things have been clarified to me, huzzah! Time to go out to buy chips and fixins for the mango salsa.


I hung around there, wasting my time, hoping you'd stop by.

Thursday, June 26
For one, brief shining moment last week, every dish in the house was clean.
O, how the mighty have fallen.

Now that the grocery shopping's done, it's time to start anew the ascent to that special sort of cleanliness that is several houses down from godliness, but still cleaner than most places on the other side of Broad Street.

I've been totally neglecting the fact that we have some more birthdays coming up. I guess it's easy to forget, since some people spend an entire month reminding you that it's almost their birthday, the birthdays of the more reticent tend to sneak up on you.

Don't take that to mean I'm not ready to celebrate. My theme for Saturday's cookout will be yellow, I think, since I bought one of the supersweet pineapples to bring to the Joneses' as well as some sweet corn for the grilling. I feel dirty buying the California sweet corn, but Saturday is in no way August, when I can get the Allenton sweet corn.

I do need to do some sort of present shopping, though. Unless the birthday kids want dirty dishes, I've got those in spades.

No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.

Wednesday, June 25
Sorry to anyone put off by the sudden turn for the serious yesterday.

Back to the rundown of my boring life.
I left work relatively on time today, despite a big pile of work to do left on it at 5. That just means that much more to do tomorrow. It's that time of year when my desk is covered in clothing samples, all of which I have to sort and hang, sooner or later.

I've got to go to volleyball soon, though I swear I signed up to only play on the nights where the weather was pleasant.
Next year, I'm totally getting that clause put in my contract.

What, you want me to keep writing regularly or something? I think you're nuts.

Well, we are hurtling ever closer to the moment of truth. Barring an unexpected crazed surge in advertising, I am done and done with the magazine after this issue as I can no longer afford to lose so much money. I have four job prospects and since I expect them all to pay an acceptable amount, I plan on taking the first one to offer me a job. Failing that, I guess I'll suck it up and try to work with Mr. Jones or something. Anyway, just so you know, that's the plan.
Sadly enough, only one of the magic four are in Oshkosh, one's in Appleton, one in Iola and the fourth in Madison. The first three are all commutable, so I guess odds are pretty strong that I will not be moving. But, if I do move to Madison I will implore all of you to get your kiesters down there as well. Come on, you know you want to.

Anyway, on to something that's not another version of what I've been saying for months. I went to the new and improved 'P' last night. It was spacious and mostly familiar. A Foosball facility rather than the return of the tables seems like a bad idea, but other than that I am very optimisitic. Speaking of the tables, one of the old chess-board-style tables was in the pile of junk to be picked up. So tempting . . .

I'm glad to see that some people have their minds on soundtrack issues. If you need help making choices, I highly recommend speaking with the Field Director. He has veto power anyway so it might be best to run it by him anyway.

My free time is mostly Freelancer and reading at the moment. That and ignoring my pile of bills in the hope that savory employment will grace my plate soon. Mmmm . . . wages.

Tuesday, June 24
Sorry for the quick second (third) post. I got this story in my head and I need to share it.

(Sorry in advance, to the one person that might read this and know that they're in it, my reason for remembering and telling it has nothing to do with you, just something that reminded me of it recently.)

Years ago (I'm horrible at the concept of time) there were some girls who were close friends. I was dating one of them at the time and had been for a few years by then.
But these girls had been friends for years and years.
So, they all graduated from high school, having been best friends for all this time.
But, as things always do, they changed. They went off to college, they made new friends and a new life and they changed.

One day, one of them decided to get married.
This was in the summer, so they were all in town together. But, the girl that was getting married wasn't so much the same anymore. She didn't feel much need to treat her former best friends well, but she expected them to be part of her big day.
She was warm and cold, blowing them off more often than not.

The wedding came and went, with lots of anger and hurt feelings for the other two.
So, the two, who were still as close as ever, decided to write a letter.
They wrote a letter to their friend, explaining how much their feelings were hurt, why they were angry and upset.
Why they knew she was wrong in everything that had happened.

I begged them not to send that letter. I said nothing good would come of it.
They sent it anyway.

As far as I know, nothing ever changed. I never heard there was a reply. They never talked again that I know of, though I've run into her two times since.
Of course, my girlfriend and I broke up a few months later. The other friend and I are still close.
I know it made them feel better, though I was (and probably still am) convinced that they got more out of writing the letter than they ever would by sending it.

The point of me telling this story is not to revisit the events of that summer.
It's because as much as I know it made my girlfriend and my friend feel better, I know just as much that the effort was wasted on their former friend.
I wish it wasn't, but it was. These sorts of things alomst always are

It was wasted because what they wanted was for her to see herself in that letter and wake up. They wanted her to realize how terrible she had been and regret the mistakes she had made.
It was a great intention.
But I know that those efforts are wasted in real life. In movies and on TV and in books they often do work, those moments where someone is confronted with how lousy a friend they have been.
Characters have revelations on such things.
Real people don't. They resist, they fight. They tune you out and shut down.

It's too bad, really. Because there are plenty of people that need a wake-up call. They could use an intervention from people that care. This isn't about drugs or crime or grades, anything so outside themselves as to obviously need action.
It's about the way they treat other people.
Because it's easier and more effective to cut them off, to let thm drift away. And maybe one day, when they see how far they've ddrifted, maybe they take a good long look at themselves and see that they need to change.

Oftentimes it's the only way they ever do.

Ahh, air-conditioning.
It's twice as satisfying when you don't have to pay the electric bill.

I decided to do some laundry at the parents' abode while doing some work to catch up. As a result, I was getting paid to do my laundry for a while there.
Overtime is definitely among America's ten greatest innovations. Overtime for working at home might just be number one.

Alas, I must soon depart for the homestead, where 100 degree temperatures are nicely spiced up by those 80% humidity levels.
At least my Internet connection is working.

I'm glad to hear people had a good time at prom. I hope it gets bigger as time goes on, we needed just a few more people to make it a real classic.
But I'm not complaining, it was definitely the most fun I've had in recent memory.

I was thinking of having the next one as a mass birthday party, since we have four birthdays in three weeks between late-December and mid-January. We could all dress up in black and red and such. I bet I know someone with lots of Christmas music, if he doesn't self-destruct from the hives, first …

Ick. My UberWeb is all brokey, so no post for you last night. I'll put the one I wrote last night on the site if it ever starts working again.

Back online!

Here's yesterday's post:

Whew, so this is what they mean by steamy.
Hot, I don't mind so much, but humid drives me crazy. I feel like someone replaced my skin with a mild glue, like the back of a Post-it note, I don't stick real well to anything but the tack never seems to go away.

Not only is it a tad warm, but the Internet is out. I was tempted to go to work to surf and coincidentally enjoy the air conditioning. Instead, I put my brother's a/c unit in my bedroom window so I can go to bed in a chilly paradise and proceeded to work on a couple of projects.

The first is probably the geekiest thing I've done in months. Inspired by something I saw on the Internet I made a desktop pciture out of a level of one of my all-time favorite NES games, Mega Man 2 - which some of you might know as Mega Mega Mega Man. This entailed playing through the first eight levels of the game, then taking 40 screencaps of the ninth level while playing. I then quit, pasted about 25 of those screencaps into a new PSD, played with cut-and paste for about an hour or two to erase HUD items and partial sprites, put the tops on the clouds and fill in some gaps with textures. I think the result is pretty cool. I probably should make myself a little PSD tag to mark it as my work, but now it's late and that seems too geeky even for me. I already know some other games I'd like to try, especially Faxanadu. Who knows, though, by the time my Internet works again, someone might have already done both of my ideas. Then I will be pissed.

After that I played some solitaire and worked on my little book project. I've needed one of these for a long time and not so long ago I was inspired. So, we'll see how many hours this one holds up before I lose track. I can honestly be very absent-minded about these sorts of things.

So, now here I am, typing my post into WordPad, unable to share it with everyone. I wonder if everyone else with TDS is down, or if its just me. You know, now that I think about it, if the entire Internet went down, I wouldn't know about it until the next day at best, unless someone called me.
You'd call me if the Uberweb failed, wouldn't you? Or would you be with the rioting masses smashing windows and looting stale Twinkies from the day-old bread store?

If you're wondering about work, it's been fine. I'm about to be buried in the busy, as several things are about to come due, and today I discovered that a little project has mutated and grown to be a serious pain in my ass, probably 10 times bigger than I had originally anticipated.

Sunday, June 22
Okay, I'm awake now and less traumatized by the whole deceased hockey-hero thing so I can get into the real stuff.

First of all, broken glass is dangerous. I know you think this is just a little ironic, coming from somoene who had shards of broken glass on the floor of the passenger side of their car for three or four months, but people have shoes to protect their tender toes from that glass. That and I picked it all up last week without incident.
Yesterday, however, I managed to take a chunk out of my right pinky finger when I shattered a drinking glass.
When I say 'took a chunk out,' I don't mean I got a thin little razor cut. I mean the glass cut a gouge a quarter inch long and about an eigth of an inch deep which bled for about two hours before I could put a regaular bandage on it.
Now I have just a little band-aid on it, but I can't clench my right hand because the wound is on the side of a knuckle. So, I guess if there was ever a time to challenge me to a boxing match, this would be it because I'd be off-hand only.

You know, because usually you'd be intimidated by my fearsome right hook and all.

In other news, I hate dancing.
This is only partly because if gangle were a verb it would be what I actually do instead of dancing proper.
I suppose there's plenty of decriptive verbiage to describe what happens when my better judgement fails me and I attempt arrhytmic movements on the dance floor, but I don't think you stop by for that kind of vulgarity.

Speaking of vulgarity, I saw something today that tuned me in to the mean-spiritied negativity you do stop by for. Gabe mentioned that he recently joined Friendster. I want to sign up now, just for an outlet to search for morons.
I guess I'm not the kind of person that annoys every person they ever knew with these kinds of networking pyramid schemes, but the potential for revulsion is fairly great, so if anyone is bolder than I, let me know and we can jump in together in the hopes of getting some slack-jawed horror at other people, which I am always up for.

I realize that I hardly took any pictures last night. Ah well, I feel confident that plenty of other people did.

Somewhere, sometime, let me make you mine.

It's late and Prom was a blast. I am nearly ready to pass out now.

But I came home to see the sad, sad news that Ottawa Senators assistant coach Roger Neilsen died of cancer today at age 69. He had been battling cancer for several years, having previously lost his job as head coach in Philadelphia after having to take a lot of time off to seek treatment.
I won't list his accomplishments here, if you're interested you can read the ESPN obituary here. Nielsen was a cool guy, a class guy even with the terrible loud ties. I'm sad about this because I know he inspired a lot of players on my beloved hockey team, having coached for 25 years in the league, having beaten cancer only to succumb to it again later in life.
I hope heaven is as good to Roger as he was to the sport.

You win you lose, it's the same old news.

Saturday, June 21
Whew, another eight hours of mixing, copying and burning and we're just about done. I have found voodoo that makes the burner fulfill my meager music needs for this weekend. It still sucks overall lately, but I made it work well enough for now and that's all that matters.

I didn't realize until tonight that it was visitor's weekend. I should have invited someone to come in and meet everyone, too. Of course, rather than being cool and hanging with anyone, I've been the uber geek forsaking social opportunities to play with bits and bytes.

I don't have any rants worth mentioning today. I need a new tie, which doesn't really inspire great prose.

So right, so wrong. Another winter's coming on.

Thursday, June 19
I can't get enough of the blogging, it's true.
That, or I need a break from the meticulous but ultimately boring task of selecting and then mixing 100 songs followed by copying costs by hand from one piece of paper onto another for my boss. The mixing is actually pretty entertaining, but it takes a lot of putzing to get to the point where you can have the fun.

The rednecks upstairs have been having a rummage sale for five straight days. The other day the woman told me they were hoping to sell enough stuff to pay off the rest of the rent for the current month.

They must have because after they closed up shop the guy revv'd the engine in his truck and then popped the clutch and sped around the block for maybe half an hour or so before I became incoherent.

And my CD-burner is still killing me with it's refusal to cooperate. I'll need someone with a working burner to transfer 7 ~500MB WAV files to CD Audio on Friday night or Saturday afternoon. Volunteers can contact me in the usual manner.

Okay, I guess I've had enough of the creativity, back to slaving.

Just like anyone else, safer alone.

So much to say, so much to say.

The concert was pretty classic, it almost makes me angry at DerK for messing up Tuesday, since I could have seen the Plan twice in two nights and all …

Anyway, the show was pretty swank, they did a mostly-request format except for the first and last few songs. The audience picked some interesting things, which means in two shows I've now heard most of the things they've recorded live.
I could gush for a long time, but everyone who'd really care was there, I suppose, and they don't need a recap.

I have big project work to do tonight and tomorrow night and maybe even into Saturday all day before I'm ready for Saturday night. Between that and a little homework means I'm going to be a busy bee for a while.

Heck, I can't be seen wasting time on this blogging thing. Get out of here!

And can you see me now, like I made me?

Wednesday, June 18
Ryan says:
you haven't played TFC lately is all, now you've forgotten that it sucks
Ryan says:
95 of 97 prom songs together, total playing time 6:08
atom says:
I think it'd be fun at a miniLAN.
Ryan says:
(that's hours and minutes)
Ryan says:
you are a go-tard
atom says:
I talked to Andy at the Studio Hall.
Ryan says:
it will suck as it has always sucked
atom says:
You suck. It's in the Bible.
Ryan says:
atom says:
Andy said getting speakers and shit set up should be no problem.
Ryan says:
Ryan says:
how about your boys, will we need appropriate hook-ups?
atom says:
My boys?
atom says:
Are you talking about my testicles? Again?
Ryan says:
I can't get them off my mind
atom says:
Or off of your chin.
atom says:
What boys are you talking about?
Ryan says:
your band buddys
Ryan says:
the homo-erotic ones
Ryan says:
always grabbin your junk and all
atom says:
Andy says we shouldn't need to bring any of the band's equipment at all.
Ryan says:
kk, what do we need to bring?
atom says:
The CDs, as far as I know.
atom says:
Andy says he has a CD player type thing that will hook to the speakers.
atom says:
Which he will provide.
Ryan says:
Ryan says:
sounds hott
Ryan says:
now I just need to get the CD-R to burn and we're in business.
atom says:
Can you make that happen?
atom says:
I know your burner has been giving you the red-ass.
Ryan says:
Ryan says:
I'm going to work on it more tomorrow
atom says:
Ryan says:
There, pushed the prom list to exactly 100 songs
Ryan says:
I am a God of Music
atom says:
You're a magical fairy.

Okay, so when going on any trip, it's always important to bring photo id with you. I would say this rule is multiplied if you are driving to another state. It gains another order of magnitude when you're going to a 21 and over show 300 miles away.
But, maybe that's just me, since not everyone seems to believe it.

So, yesterday DerK and I took a round-trip drive to Minneapolis to eat at the historic Peter's Grill, who's claim to fame seems to be having every menu signed by Bill Clinton.
Well, we did that and then wandered downtown for, say, two hours before packing up and heading home.

The drive was very nice, I have to rememeber to harbor more anger towards people who say Wisconsin is a boring state to drive through, because driving Western Wisconsin is wonderful, it's just this side (the part where the glaciers destroyed everything) that's a snoozer.

We waited in line at First Ave. for maybe an hour when DerK noticed that the show was 21+ and she hadn't brought her drivers license on this fateful trip.
So, her 25 years on Earth bedamned, we couldn't see the show and we turned around and drove home.
You see, Minneapolis shuts down at 7 on weeknights unless you can prove you're over 21. Y
ou need a damned drivers license to go to the giant Gameworks arcade, which seems to me to be like they're just begging for kids to join a gang.
I now know why Minneapolis is the most-boring city of over a million people in the world.

The drive home was considerably less lovely, owing mainly to the phenomenon known as dark. Our path flirted heavily with thunderstorms the whole way home but we never got any, just about four minutes of rain that had me cursing the teasing thunderheads that seemed so close yet so far away the whole way back.

DerK tried making up for the lack of rainy excitement by channeling Ted Nugent once we hit highway 21, killing and maiming every mammal within 50 yards of the highway. I'm sure that grieving raccoon family members are hudding together in some forest printers shop, churning out wanted posters offering a handsome reward of fish, berries and assorted trash leavings for the capture of the 2001 black Golf behind the massacre.

In the end, I got home and into bed sometime around 2, and now I'm up and with nothing to do at 9. So the natural reaction is to go to work and save the half-day for another time, which I think I will.

You're big part of it, but I don't care.

Tuesday, June 17
I'd love to post, rumors flying at work, beautiful weather and all. But I need to go to Minneapolis now. Have fun in Wisconsin, suckers.

It's never going to be how it could have been, and now it's just this room.

Monday, June 16
I'm slowly making progress on the dishes. The tough part is that doing dishes means spending time in the kitchen, so I get the urge to cook as well as clean. So, for every three sinkfuls of dishes I do, I make two more. At this rate, I'll be done by the weekend.
Of course, it won't actually turn out that way, because tomorrow and Wednesday I will be busy with the fanboy-ism.
Yes, I will spend two glorious days following my favorite band currently still together, the Dismemberment Plan.
I feel sorry for every one of you that isn't going to get to catch one of their shows, as this is their final tour.

The lady at First Ave. promised me over the phone I wouldn't have problems getting tickets at the door, so she'd better be right, since I'm taking a half-day of vacation and driving 300 or so miles to go to the show.

I could talk about work or something, but I have errands to run.

Two lines since I forgot to do one yesterday:

That's pretty old. That's pretty old.
I've never felt like this before, I say that every hour

Sunday, June 15
You know, I evaluate every day of the weekend by what I accomplish.
I think of myself as a lazy good-for-nothing that wastes all his time. So, to push myself out of that default state of slobbishness I sit around and worry if I'm being productive enough every Saturday and Sunday.
Take yesterday, a lovely day for the lazing. And I would say I was pretty lazy that day. But if I tick off my activities for the day, it's pretty fricking full.
I did the dishes, baked zucchini bread, downloaded five of the ten remaining Prom songs, edited the list down to 80 (not that list, pervert), bought Mix-Meister, watched Snatch, took a five-mile bikeride, and discussed Prom logistics with the Joneses, I don't think I came out too badly when I think of it. But if you'd asked me I would have been upset I didn't get more done.
So, I'm a little crazy. Of course, you all know that already.

More stuff on my mind:

1. When did Denny's East End become a hangout for the teenies?

2. If some nice pretty girl were to mysteriously stop by at my house, I think she would totally get the wrong idea about me from the music blasting from the PC. It's not for me, I swear!

3. While discussing the hilarious yakity-sax cat video mentioned yesterday with Velveteen, we naturally got talking a bit about Benny Hill. You know, both our dad's love Benny Hill, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of yours do, too. It made me realize that there's a, say, 50-50 chance that our kids will think of Monty Python the way we think of Benny Hill. I mean, I'll get my kids a DVD of Dead Parrot Sketch Not Included and they'll humor me at the Christmas morning but then put the thing away and occasionally get weirded out that I got them that musty boring stuff that really isn't even funny. Things like that give me the shakes.

4. My zucchini bread was sort of a disaster, I didn't hear the timer go off and it's a mite crunchy. It still tastes good, but the crust is much more literally an exoskeleton. I will try to rectify the situation this afternoon by baking another loaf with my leftover zucchini.

Saturday, June 14
Here's a tip, don't bake when it's 85 degrees and you don't have air conditioning. Stupid craving for zucchini bread.

Also, I am now not only famous on the Internet, but also in the newspapers again. I'm sad that I didn't get a warning from the writer that it was going to be published, and especially that they didn't take my picture for it (sniff). So far, I've gotten one hit over it, lucky me!

Okay, it's too damned hot in here, so I'm going for a bike ride.

Later suckers.

It's a thin shade across the face.

Ahhh . . . morning.

The first and foremost thing on my mind this morning is the hilarious video I downloaded from SA of cats doing silly things. I almost ruptured something while laughing and my whole mouth hurts from the uncontrollable laughter. I wanted to post the video here for your enjoyment, but for some reason my webspace doesn't feel like accepting the 4MB file, so you will have to suffer in kitten-free sadness for the rest of your pathetic, short lives until the unstoppable army of robots exterminates us all a week from Tuesday.

In the meantime, I have a short list of things to do today:

1. Dishes
2. Music
3. Take a lovely bike ride
4. Music
5. Eat
6. Music

My parents left for Colorado this morning. Nothing exciting about that, except the possibility of a kegger at their place some night this week. If you're into that sort of thing, you know.

So, only half our department showed up at the P last night. It was nearly all of the cool people, but you can't have it all. I got considerably less tipsy than Wednesday, thanks in large part to my restraint in not getting a fifth beer after the Franziskaner, which was a little large and alcoholic.

Last night turned out pretty well, especially considering how crabby I was going in to the evening. I guess that's thanks to the magical transformative powers of beer.

These days the people I love are spread so far apart.

Friday, June 13
Today was a slightly shorter day at work. Nothing truly interesting to report. I think I'm kind of crabby, but it's hard to tell, really.

I did buy a nice new accessory for my desk at work, and a lovely shirt for a.Lo. I'll head out for a third night in a row at the P, this time with crazy co-worker hilarity.

Other than that I got nothing. No idea what I'm doing this weekend at all. I suppose my Kuririn horoscope recommended staying quiet. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not all jacked up.

I relaized yesterday that I have a really big music project on which I'm supposed to have been working. In the whole computer breaking, reformatting chaos I kinda forgot. I promise to get back on that this weekend.

So, looks like I just filled my weekend up! Go me!

I just keep reinventing myself. It's move or die.

Thursday, June 12
Another long day of work, one followed again with a little of the drinking.

Tonight ostensibly is blast from the past night, as I got phone calls from two friends that moved away and are back in town for some short period of time. So, sooner or later I'm going to head out for a drink or two with Todd, with whom I once upon a time worked at the Nowhere.

I got through the day well, since I wasn't hung over at all, but I am thankful I came in at 9:30. Next week will sure be tough after that.

Other things on my mind are as follows:

I can't buy tickets for the Plan shows online, so I'll have to call tomorrow morning.

Thank goodness it's just SARS we have to worry about at work and not the monkeypox.

Embroidery puncher.

I had a lot more to say, but I didn't have time to post the giant ramblings, as I had to hit the bar to hang with Todd. Maybe later, suckers.

I believe in desperate acts, the kind that make you look stupid.

Time to get out of bed, drunky.

So, I was at work until 8 or 8:30 or something last night. Ran home for a quick chnage and then out for the volleyball game, which we won, thank you very much. The back to the P to go from zero to drunk in twelve dollars. And I think that included the tip, of course, I was too drunk to remember how much my tab was.

Got home and founf I was not the only person in my house who was a little drunk, but I fell asleep pretty quickly so I could have been wrong about that, too. All I can say is I'm glad I'm not going in to work until la-ate this morning.

I know I had work or politics or some sort of issue to talk about last night, but I didn't get around to blogging. Now this morning I'm not exactly sure what they were. Office gossip? My apartment search? Jerks in the TBCS forums? The state budget? Who knows?

Anyway. You've all been such good listeners lately. I just wanted to tell you that. Not for any real reason other than the giant rambling posts. Of course, I'm assuming you do actually read them.

Okay, now I remembered one of the things I wanted to bitch about, but we're still in rewarding you for your pateince stage. Maybe tomorrow.

I will let you in on a little secret before I go, I just got an e-mail telling me "eeu Haave8 a big willy - yah." I thought you'd like to know.

We're too smart to watch TV, we're too dumb to make believe that this is all we want from life.

Tuesday, June 10
So, what's new with you?

It was hot and humid at work today. The whole afternoon in particular was hazy to me. One thing I distinctly remember is two of my favorite 3rd floor co-workers telling me that there were rumours about me floating about. Bracing myself to be brought face-to-face with all manner of terrible things, it turns out 'someone' (and by 'somone' I know exactly of whom I speak) has been linking me to the young lady I asked out maybe eight or ten months ago who also happens to work with us kool kats. I don't know what was said, but I doubt any good will come of this, though I guess I can take heart in people connecting me with a female for a change.
I was a little perturbed by the whole thing, and I bet she will be too, if she isn't already. She actually is friends with the source, if I'm not mistaken as well. The last thing I want is for work to turn into a little soap opera.

Speaking of work, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had a super-interesting piece on the company that employs several people we know. I highly recommend reading it if you're even slightly interested in the future of the company or its practices.

As long as I'm linking to interesting news bits, the Onion AV Club interviews German master filmmaker Werner Herzog about his career. Of course, you don't know or care who Herzog is, because you're neither German nor an International Film buff. I know who he is because I wrote an analysis of Aguirre: Der Zorn Gottes for my final German Class in college. Being the snobbish artsy type, I have wanted to see a few more of his movies, but today it is a little quote from him that I wish to bring to your attention:

O: When you made Stroszek, was there any particular reason you chose Wisconsin as your setting?

WH: Yes, because I love Wisconsin. I love that entire part of the country, and that includes Minnesota. That entire area, it's somehow about the best of America. Strangely enough, the best of the best always comes from there. And that means Bob Dylan. It means Hemingway. It means Marlon Brando. It means... you just name it. Anyone who is really good and important comes from there, with one exception: Some of the greatest writers come from the Deep South. The Deep South and up there is somehow the most fertile ground for the best who emerge in America. Why that is, I can't tell you.

Finally, A little love for the midwest from one of the great artists of the century. Of course, Herzog's from Bavaria and if there's any place that's exactly like Bavaria in the world, it's Wisconsin and Minnesota, so maybe he's a little biased.

Okay, okay. You've had enough of the long posts, I can tell. Keep your pants on.

I don't want the world, I just want your half.

Monday, June 9
So I decided it was better to do dishes, read and answer work e-mail and put together my coffee table than to leave the house to watch Game 7. Instead, I listened to it on the (Internet) radio. It sounded like a pretty exciting game, and I think the voters were right in awarding Giguere the Conn Smyth (most valuable player in the playoffs) trophy.
Now it's time to hope that the NHL sits down and decides to do something to speed up the game and increase scoring a little. I really like the ideas of standardizing and widening the rinks, maybe not all the way to Olympic-sized, but a few more feet might end the whining about the trap a bit by making teams cover a wider area of ice.
I also have decided to side with the heretics calling for the size of the goal to be increased. Considering the size goalie equipment has become, it's only logical to increase the size of the goal to allow shooters the same amount of opening to shoot they had 10 years ago. I don't want to see the equipment shrunk, goalies in the NHL need the bigger pads as stick technology means harder and faster shots. So, widen the posts by two inches and make the bar an inch higher, then maybe half the shots that hit the post go in rather than out.
I think the latter is much more likely, since it wouldn't involve making some teams lose seats to wider rinks, but that's still pretty unlikely.
Of course, it would also be good for the league in the long run to drop 15 or so games from the schedule, but that will never happen. It would be even better for the league and the NHLPA to come to a labor agreement, but I'm not holding my breath.

Okay, I should totally come up with something for the hockey disinclined.

Uhhh . . . boobies?
Ahah! Speaking of boobies, DerK totally reminded me Saturday who the #5 person on my list is supposed to be, another girl pop-rock singer (to go with Liz Phair, which reminds me to tell you the odd fact that four of the five people on my list are short, with only Gwenyth Paltrow being taller than 5-5", if I remember right). This time it's former That Dog frontwoman Anna Waronker.

Don't call me at work again, oh no, the boss still hates me
I'm just tired and I don't love you anymore and there's this restaurant we should check out where the other nightmare people like to go
I mean 'nice people', baby wait, I didn't mean to say 'nightmare.'

So, it seems I'm going back to college.
Or, at least the University of Wisconsin thinks so.

I got a letter Saturday congratulating me on my acceptance into the College of Engineering at the UW. This would be peachy had I applied, or if I had the money to go back to school and the desire to fake my identity. Alas, neither of these are true, so I had to call the school to let them know that they had made some sort of error, since I graduated three and a half years ago.

It's nice to know I can get into a fancy engineering school, though.

So, I bought my dad a reader for his SD card for Father's Day. A day which my family celebrated a week early because they're going to Colorado (did I already mention this?).
Anyway, my parent's always want me to get them computer-ish gadgets and widgets for occasions because they expect that I know about such things and am always the one who has to make it work, so it's better that I purchase them so I can't blame anyone else for buying such junk when I spend hours trying to get it to run.
So, I got a PNY brand USB SD card reader for $20 from Circuit City. It should be easy, right?
Well, like every other gadget/widget my parents want, it follows the Penny Arcade/Sega.Net process:

Step One: Buy the product.
Step Two: Configure your hardware.
Step Three: Goddamn, it doesn't work.

So, I have the unenviable task of making it work. Since it worked for me first try at home, and their USB ports have been nothing short of total ass lately. Apparently (Windows) 98 doesn't like to play nice with the USB 2.0 PCI card. I am considering two possible solutions: I'm either making them buy a new motherboard or formatting the computer and upgrading the machine to XP, or maybe even both.
My parents are like many older adults with computers and the Internet, they are constantly downloading 'utilities' (read: spyware and useless junk) that makes their computer run like crap. I have made it my vocation to get rid of that stuff as quickly as possible, but not had much success of late. So, if I dissapear for a month, it's because I volunteered to fix that godawful thing.

My other news is mainly ordinary run-of-the-mill stuff. I went to work late, stayed even later. It was lonely and boring without most of my department in. I did have a nice moment when the person in charge of girls art stayed extra late to approve paperwork for me and then even made the copies herself so I wouldn't have to wait until the temp did it in the morning or go upstairs and copy it myself. Of course, this lady is also completely crazy, so maybe she decided that's her job now instead of the temp they brought in especially for that purpose.

Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals is underway, and as soon as dinner is done, I'm going to head out and watch it at the parents'.

The monument of granite shot a beam into my eye.

Sunday, June 8
Blogger's being assy, so I'm posting in Wordpad and then I'll upload it later, so whatever the title says, I really wrote this ar 9 or so Sunday morning. I think the new Blogger lets you alter post dates, so maybe it'll be right later or something.

Anyway, long time, no post. Well, some of us still consider two days a long time between postings, you know. I was extremely busy the last two days and had no time to post and if I'm ambitious enough you'll hear all about it and it's dire consequences in a megapost right here today!

Let's start with Friday which is as good as any day. Better in fact, since it's the first day about which I have not yet written!
Friday was another hazy day. I think I've been having trouble sleeping. More accurately, my head has decided that 5 or 6 hours of sleep is not enough every day. Of course, it doesn't want to fall asleep until 1 every night, so I think it's just being a selfish jerk about the whole thing because there's no way I am going to get to go to work later so it;'s going to have to give in and start falling alseep earlier and get this whole messy fight over with.

Of course, now I have to start work at 9 instead of 8 next week, so my stupid head is going to get exactly what it wants, which is really a slap right in my face. How's that, you wonder? Well, it's like any time you're trying to discipline say your kid or something and then someone else comes along and gives them what they want anyway. Then you look like the big mean jerk of a parent! Well, I don't have kids so I can't get any more specific than that but if you've ever been, had or met a kid, I bet you know exactly what I'm talking about.

So, back to Friday. Friday we had the uncertainty bomb dropped by the Boss. Not my boss, and not the Big Boss or the Really Big Boss and definitely not the Boss, but the Boss, my boss's boss. Not the you might lose your job uncertainty thing, but rather a game of musical chairs over responsibilities.
If you've been paying attention, you know that I love my job in no small part because I get to work with the team of people that are nice so I have an easy time getting my job done. If I have to work with others, I will almost certainly not get that. I will almost certainly get stuck working with terrible cruel dictators and want to claw my eyes out every day at work.

Besides that, I was half-asleep all day and I don't remember a thing. I have to go in and work for a few hours today to get the last little bits ready for my boss's big week of negotiations. I may also play more basketball because I am, as you know, a glutton for punishment. But I'm getting out of order, I'm not even done with Friday yet
Now, you're starting to remember why it's a good thing I post every day: because if I don't this is what you get!

Anyway, after work Friday I cooked. It was both a great dinner and a terrible failure. Fortunately none of my friends really cared. Heck, I covered up the biggest problem so well they barely noticed, which kept me from committing ritual suicide rather than serve it.
The salsa was really good, and it was fine with the chips, no matter what some whiner might have said. The pork was also better than I had expected, especially since I had to draw the cooking of it out because of the little rice fiasco. What rice fiasco? Well, that I ruined six cups of rice and a package of red beans. Part of the problem was that I ran out of tomatoes (the last three I had saved all turned out to have gone bad), another part was that I totally messed up the timing so things didn't get to cook together properly at all. So, I ended up with a thick, flavorless goo that I concealed from everyone and made a fresh pot of plain white rice. My ratatoulie was really good as well, better than I had hoped as well. Unfortunately, next to the almost candy-sweet pork, you couldn't really appreciate it as it's flavor was much more subtle. I'll have to remember that for next time, the only thing you could get out of it was the spicy, so it was a good thing the rice eneded up being plain, as it offset the spicy much much better than the red beans and rice would have. Dessert was good, but only if you hadn't tasted the pineapple beforehand. You see, the pineapple cooked and spiced was fine, but I think that method is really only useful for improving or covering mediocre pineapple. The pineapples from the store were to-die-for good. I've never had pineapple even remotely as good as these had been, but spicing and sugaring them only muted the flavor back down to what crappy pineapple would have tasted like. Fortunately the ice cream was really good, so it was still a nice dessert, it just paled compared to the slice of fresh pineapple I had taken for myself while preparing dinner.

So, overall it was a fine evening, but I almost had a meltdown from this one.
That and I have new rules about eating at my house. The first is that no one will use my computer when I have people over for dinner because I don't care for people arguing over things on the Internet rather than eating (especially since I spend a lot of work timing things so they are all hot and done at the same time) and also because I don't care to find my homepage changed by mischevious little gremlins.

Saturday I woke up early and drove my dad's truck to Chicago for the day of shopping. I could write probably twice as much as I just did about Friday. I'll see about shopping just to keep you from falling asleep at your computer today.

The first thing to note is that while Ikea is visible from space, it's not actually visible from the road, so my plan to find it by sight failed. I had to drive back around and actually look for the road it was on.
I did not fall asleep while shopping this time, due in no small part to the fact that we went there before the mall this time. I found a ton of stuff I wanted to buy, and several items I actually decided to buy. Unfortunately, most of them were out of stock. Namely the TV/entertainment center I wanted and the coffe table I wanted. So, I bought an alternative coffee table and decided to come back later in the summer for the TV stand. Maybe by then I'll be able to afford more of the set so I can actually put my giant, currently-hidden cd collection somewhere I can get at them.

I decided against buying more shoes at Nordstrom Rack, I think having nine pairs already is enough for a guy, don't you? Thanks for your support on this one.

While DerK rummaged through the giant mess of boots and shoes, I wandered the strip mall looking for books, video games and Father's Day presents. I found books I might as well buy here, no video games worth buying and exactly what I wanted for dad's day. I also noticed that it had gotten incredibly hot. When we left it was cold, cloudy and sort of rainy, so I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. I was tempted to go into the Old Navy for the sole purpose of buying a cheep short-sleeved shirt so I would cease my relentless march toward passing out. I was saved from that when we made a trip to the mall, which was, as expected, freezing inside.

At the mall I was sorely disappointed in the selection at the Sanrio store. Nothing new and exciting for my desk except a few little Hello Kitty magnets. I was hoping for more Kuririn stuff, but they had hardly any. After that I filled out my collection of glass dishes a bit at Crate and Barrel, which could be re-named "Plinko's Crack Shoppe." I was so tired at this point that I couldn't bring myself to head into a department store to go knife shopping. Heck, I couldn't bring myself to sit around long enough to get hungry and try out the brand-new Japanese Seafood Buffet that had opened.
I'll have to do both of those later.

Instead we headed home, and aside from FIB in a Celica that almost made my head explode, we got home safely without event. I now have some projects to do, at home and at work before relaxing, if I can find any time for that at all. Today is Father's Day in my family, as the parent's are taking off Saturday for a couple of weeks driving of around Colorado.

Now, quickly on to non-me things, Tycho's Penny Arcade post from Friday was priceless. That's all I really have to say about it, now I'm done. Really.

Not put too fine a point on it, say I'm the only bee in your bonnet.

Thursday, June 5
Tonight was extremely mediocre. I started out with a nice little dinner of leftover Alfredo sauce anmd rigatoni. Then I went to the VideoGame Exchange to get Um Jammer Lammy fixed and maybe pick up a new DC game. Thye had only crap games but they made Lammy look perfectly new.
Then I went to Office Max to find an SD card reader for my dad and some magical new mounting tape I want for a project at work. I stood around waiting for the guy at the store for about ten minutes only to have him tell me they were indeed, out of the card readers. So, I decided to truck to Staples and try my luck there. Sure, they had the sticky stuff I wanted, but I wanted the store that had what i really was looking for to get all my moneys, so I didn't buy them.
Staples, as I had forgotten, sucks unless you want markers. As I was not in the market for any type of felt-tipped drawing devices, I was out of luck. It was 15 minutes before they close (8 seems so early to close a store, don't you think?) and so no one wanted to help me. Of course, clandestine breakroom jerk guy was there so I didn't really want help, though I needed it as they lock down the card readers, as you should with any $20 chunk of plastic with a port and a USB cable attached if you're in the business of pissing people off. On top of that, they didn't carry the sticky tape I wanted, which I discovered only after wandering the store for 10 minutes because the categories at Staples are organized by a dope-smoking monkey throwing feces at the various aisles so you end up with tape, glue, sticky notes and corrective tape all in four different corners of the store rather than all next to each other as I would expect someone would set up an office supply store if one were not a simian on the crack.

So, I went home totally empty-handed, except for the shiny, newly repaired game.
And it doesn't work any better than before.

Suck it.

The heat and light of the sun are caused by the nuclear reactions between hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon and helium.

Okay, so there's a new Blogger. Or, I finally got switched over in the great post-Google migration.

I have an overwhelming desire to shop, so I will, this weekend most likely, and it seems this is first and foremost on my mind since I can't think of a way to segue this into anything else about which I wish to write. So, I'll leave it at that.

I survived the dick-slamming meeting pretty well. The wolves didn't sniff around my stuff much so the crude arranging I had done to make it seem all was in order worked and I could happily skip back to my computer and bitch about the computers not working and coming up with whole new ways to mix my metaphors.

Today was kind of a daze, as I shot out of bed at 7:58 out of a full-on sleep figuring I needed to get to work right now. I was behind my desk at 8:10, which wasn't too bad considering the boss made it in about five minutes later. Of course, she has a one-year-old at home and I have, well, Zeb. Anyway, when you never give yourself time to wake up really, the whole day is crazy and nonsensical, so it was for me today. I don't remember much of what happened at all, actually.

Okay, the bottom part of Blogger is refreshing itself every 30 seconds, it blinks out and then redraws everything in the old posts window and menu. It's freaking me out every time it happens.

There are lots of news topics about which I'd like to spout my opinion. But, as most of you don't care about these topics or are bored enough as it is by my diatribes, I'll refrain. That, and I really need to get out to buy video game accessories and office supplies and a Father's Day present for Dad.

Every once in a while I forget that long strings of song lyrics are really interesting only to he who posts them, so i'll cut it down a bit from now on.

"Son, I am able," she said, "though you scare me." "Watch," said I.
"Beloved," I said, "watch me scare you though." Said she, "able am I, son."

I have been in a last song mood lately, if that makes any sense to you.
The last song on a good album is usually a little different. More often than not, it's either a cover or a longer, more experimental song, the chance for the band to be self-indulgent at the end.
I have a theory that the best songs on an album are invariably the odd-numbered or at least on any good album, try picking out five albums that you like a lot and look at those songs, I bet more often than not your favorites fall into odd slots. Anyway, the last song is often a little more melancholy, a little more delicate. They are almost never my favorite songs on an album, and they're even less often the best songs on an album (why would yhou put the best stuff at the end, where it is least likely to be heard?). But when an album is really good and you really love it, the last song is often special to you, like "Back and Forth" (from The Plan's Emergency & I) or "The Scientists" ( Hum's Downward is Heavenward) are to me.
So, I've been listening to just last songs a lot lately, in case you were wondering.
By the way, the greatest last song ever is "A Day in the Life" at the end of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and if you don't agree, then I am trying to kill you with the jedi mind trick right now.
My personal favorite will probably always be "The Scientists" - in case you were wondering - and the one I've had in my head lately is "Unlisted Track", from Jawbreaker's last album, Dear You:

Everyone tells me they're crazy.
Crazy people aren't so fucking boring.
Wake me when you're through being cool because I'm snoring
and hoping.
To see you beside yourself.
Show me the raw stuff of you.
Would you
do it for yourself?
Or for me?

We both need a change.
Your fear of normalcy is hardly strage.
Let's be freaks, plain clothes police.
Let's be deliberate because It's obvious to me
deliberately weird is pretty

Wednesday, June 4
It's late and here I am, thinking I really ought to blog, since I sorta did stuff today and even thought of interesting things to say, more or less.

Many of you have heard tale of people in my line of work getting their proverbial dick slammed in doors. I say proverbial because I'm pretty sure most people in my office are the women, but they seem to use that metaphor regardless.
Anyway, my turn comes the day after tomorrow when I get to answer for the lovely t-shirt that ships in 26 days and I still haven't seen a prototype and the other t-shirt that also ships in 26 days and I haven't heard or seen anything about in six weeks. That shapes up to be the worst of it.
I did get a lovely, completely unsolicited compliment that I was doing a very good job from someone I bother incessantly for help at work today, which made me feel very good about myself for five or six minutes. Then I remembered that I made cookies yesterday. I didn't ask if that had anything to do with it, though.
Also on the work topic, I had lunch with the other two men from my department today. Together I figure we were a full 10% of the men that work at our corporate office, eating sandwiches at Big Apple Bagels while discussing Germany, forensics, team handball and the changing nature of the apparel industry.

Radom interjected thought: I broke down and bought a chair in a bag today.

I also went to the grocery store and bought a ton of fruits and vegetables with which to make a lovely dinner for Friday night. And, it just so happens, I mangoes were on sale, and I had an urge to make mango salsa - which I did while the living room was otherwise occupied earlier this evening.
I think it turned out overly strong in the vinegar department, but it might settle down a bit overnight. It's very sweet and spicy hot, if you're lucky I'll let you try some sometime, since I don't even have any chips to eat it with.

And, since I think it's totally weird that I am not the only one with mangoes on the mind tonight. I, myself, had an overwhelming urge for kumquats, which are sadly unavailable at local gorcery stores. So, I'll have to make do until I can get my dirty paws on some.

For everyone's edification:
LaRousse Gastronomique (the most-important book on food and cooking in the Western world) says mangoes can be eaten raw by cutting in half and using a spoon, or by cutting approximately in half (around the pit), then scored with a knife (make cuts in a grid) and turned inside out, and the flesh should easily come off the peel and then eaten with a fork. Mark Bitterman's How to Cook Everything agrees with the latter technique, but also recommends quartering and then eating down to the peel, like a small soft watermelon as an alternative. Squeeze some lime juice on it while you're at it, he says. And, it makes great salsa ( don't overdo it on the vinegar though. -ed.)

There's your lesson for today, kids, I know I promised something about socks, but hey, I'm a known dirty liar.

Monday, June 2
Since the last time we talked not much has happened. Another night of baking cookies, another day of work.

Next week I get to start work at 9 instead of 8, which really hardly seems like a bonus. I was totally hoping for noon at the earliest. I guess normally I'd be all by myself for a week while everyone else gets to travel and that would be even more boring than being by myself for most of the day, I guess.

I think my grace period for being the new and dumb one has finally come to a close. People expect me to know things and that makes my job just a little bit tougher, in no small part because I always like to communicate face-to-face with my co-workers. I almost never call people and I rarely e-mail people that work in my building.
Yes, Plinko the geek is really an iconoclast. I would rather walk up two flights of steps and back to ask one question than pick up the phone or type it out in an e-mail. In some ways it seems like an incredible waste of time, since I walk up to third floor anywhere from three to seven times a day to solve various mysteries that crop up when you do the kind of work I do, which is act as a go-between for two groups of people that don't really ever talk to each other.
Now, I know that it might be less work to compose a quick e-mail for every question. It's also less intrusive for the person from whom I need the answers, as they can answer at their convenience and don't have to drop what they're doing to help me. Those are both pretty strong points and pretty much explains why most people in my office, like in thousands of other offices around the world, e-mail people working in the same building, sometimes even in the same area.
To counterbalance the arguments for less interaction, I posit the following arguments in favor of taking the time and effort to communicate face-to-face as often as is feasible. The most-obvious is the timeliness of answers, you almost always get one right away. The faster people answer, the faster you're out of their hair. That means I don't have to sit around making busy work while I wait for an urgent issue to be resolved. When you use e-mail, who knows when you'll get an answer? I've seen other people's inboxes and many of them have fifty or a hundred unread messages at any given moment, and I am certainly not so vain as to believe that my issues are top priority, my issues might not even be seen until the next day, much less get answered when I need them. So this has a double benefit, as I'm clogging up neither mine nor anyone else's inbox. A side benefit from this is that it keeps me more organized, as I don't have every little issue to organize in my e-mail.
But the most important benefit is that I get a good answer every time. You see, when I ask my question, if there's any confusion about what I'm looking for, I can clear it up right away. The same holds true of the answers I get from others, if it doesn't make sense to me or seems wrong, I can say so right away. More often than not, I resolve issues in a matter of minutes what might end up being a trail of seven or eight e-mails over a period of days, as I don't have to ask, get a reply asking for clarification, then send the reply, wait for an answer, then ask for confirmation and wait for that. It seems like a big waste of time to me, and I learn more, as I get things shown to me as often as I have them told to me. I feel I have a better understanding of what goes on upstairs, of what kind of pressures and needs they have in their jobs, which leads to me asking better (or maybe even fewer) questions in the long run.
Now, I'm sure that you are now thoroughly indoctrinated to my philosophy of business communication. But I'm not so sure about everyone else at work just yet, which is why I occasionally bring bribes with me in the form of cookies. You see, they might see me as an annoyance, but occasionally making them cookies should at least blunt that attitude until I convert them fully to my way of thinking. That and maybe someday sopme cute girl will be impressed that I bring treats and ask me out on a date or something.
Okay, so that last part is totally unlikely and possibly creepy. It's not like there are many cute single girls at work that I hadn't already asked out before I started working there, so my options are decidedly limited.

Well kids, Plinko's business lessons are over for today. Be sure to drop by sometimes next week when our lesson will be on the relationship between socks and job performance!

Sunday, June 1
I wish they'd be done fixing Blogspot, because it's been buggier than ever. Of course, I could get all fancy and pay for the Pro version, or something.

It was lovely out (and still is) today, so I went out and played basketball this afternoon. I also decided to pay most of my bills, which is probably a good idea. Other than that, it's been a nice uneventful Sunday.

I mentioned that I bought two old games Friday, and since I've been playing them a lot I will talk about them for a minute. The first was a steal for $6 I thought, Um Jammer Lammy, the sorta sequel to Pa Rappa the Rapper. It's an odd game, but I still have some of the music in my head from when I first played it maybe five years ago. The problem is it was a steal because the disc is scratched to hell, but works fine as long as you only want to play the first level. I'll have to see if I can find a buffer and hope that it works after that.
The other game was a super-fun one as well, but more traditional, Einhander. I lost my copy of this game about three years ago when it was loaned out to a relative of my then-girlfriend and we broke up. Of course, the game goes for $38 or so, but I got it for a reasonable $30. Now I can sit and shoot up screens of flying robot spaceship enemies until my heart's content.

Okay, enough geekery on my part for one afternoon.

With four more hours of work in today, I have 11.5 hours of overtime for the week, which makes debt-ridden folks like me quite happy. If only every week were so generous! It's a good thing I have the overtime, since I bought new shoes and a couple old video games this weekend.

Anyway. I am still slowly returning my PC to its traditional state. I have but a few bugs to chase (and I guess I still haven't installed a game) before I can call the mission a success. The oddest problem I've had so far is that I can't burn audio cds properly now. Instead of the music I wanted, I get a live recording of a Marcel Marceau concert. It puts all the tracks on, at the right lengths even, only all the tracks play pure silence for the same length of time I had expected to hear actual rock and/or roll. That sucks, since one of my more favorite pasttimes is making comp cds, and I may be out of luck for a while on that front.

Another favorite hobby of mine is cooking, and now my house smells strongly of garlic. And it's garlic in a good way, not in a FedEx truck packed with garlic oil overturned in my kitchen sort of way. Because that way would totally suck. So, now you can be jealous of my big overtime dollars and new shoes and garlic-smelling kitchen.

If I wanted to be all angry and rant about something, it would be the enormity of the mens shirts at the Burlington Coat Factory. Now, I am not a big guy, it's true. I wear a medium and sometimes even a small. but the smalls and mediums there appeared to be crafted for small and/or medium sized ogres. Apparently 'short-sleeves' means past my elbows. Furthermore, the latest fashion must be to wear shirts as if they were a dress, since medium shirt -untucked- would have gone fully past my knees.

Since my lease expires in a month, I have decided to sort of look for a new apartment. By 'looking' I mean 'looked at the place above Hydie's.' I would totally rent it, too, except for the fact that someone else already did. But, it just so happens that another person moved out of Hydie's building today and thus, I might be able to get in on that action, anyway.
I am upbeat about this building because not only does Hydie like it, but also it is a full $55 per month cheaper than my current apartment while being approximately 40% bigger. It has gas appliances, a dishwasher and garbage disposal. Now, that's the lap of luxury to me.
With a place that big, I might consider looking out for a new roommate. I mean, $55 cheaper is nice, but it's way less than the half the rent and utilities that little Zebby pays me now. Of course, I stand to lose that sooner or later anyway, what with school getting out and all.
So, if any of you know a deaf-mute who works second shift sixty or more hours a week who happens to be fastidiously clean and fears entering the kitchen, let me know, because they would make a perfect roommate for me. Failing that, I plan to become a live-in cook/houseservant/nanny with the first rich family that will take me in.