Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Batman Knows That Cheetahs Are Carnivores

In yesterday's post I said you could comment and I'd write whatever you told me to. Emma told me to write a short story containing the words :Batman, carnivore, sailboat, explosion, bonnet, carpenter, and meadow. So, I wrote a fan fiction based around the Video Game, Batman: Arkham Asylum*. It's really bad and I really hope that no Batman purist finds this. I totally made up a villian. In fact, I hope no one reads this, but it's to late to back out and I promised, so here it goes:

The fog covered the ground between the buildings as if it were a meadow between mountain peaks. The early morning air was heavy and it was quiet following an eventful overnight. Batman couldn’t help but feel that it wasn’t the end of the eventful times though as looked down from the top of the asylum.

The explosion rattled the ground and Batman jumped flew down using his cape to the source of the noise. The dust clouded the air as he slowly and deliberately approached the damage. A shrill laugh rung out that sounded as though it came from all directions.

“Blind as a bat,” called out a female voice with a mysterious accent.

Batman gripped is Batarang as he made his way deeper into the dust. He didn’t recognize the voice. The dust cleared slightly and a rapidly moving shadow appeared. Batman moved faster and emerged from the dust to find a woman sitting on a ledge. She was dressed like an Amish woman, including a bonnet; however her dress was hemmed much shorter than would be allowed.

“Who are you, woman?” Batman called out, “Give up or you’ll end up like the Joker.”

She laughed as she looked him over.

“I’m Amish Ann,” she said, “I was naughty and they kicked me out and I ended up here.”

“Go back to your cell, Ann,” he said, “otherwise I’ll have to hurt you.”

“That’s no fun, Batman,” she said as she jumped down.

Batman threw his batarang, but she quickly dodged and in a flash had landed a kick that knocked him to the ground. She giggled as she returned to her ledge. He slowly lifted himself off the ground. He had been surprised by the blow, but he was able to figure out how to use her strength against her.

“I bet you can’t do that again,” he said mockingly

“You’ll see, Batman!” she said in a huff clearly offended.

She jumped down and charged with her amazing quickness. He pulled out his grappling hook and shot. It hooked onto the top of a nearby building and he was quickly lifted into the air. He just missed the quickly charging woman and she crashed full force into one of the Island’s large trees. She crumbled into a heap on the ground and Batman glided down to secure the villainess.

Batman had the previously unknown villain on her way to her cell. He called Oracle.

“Oracle,” he said, “I’ve encountered a new villain. She called herself Amish Ann. She has more speed than a Cheetah, which is a carnivore by the way, but I managed to subdue her.”

“I’ll look for information on an inmate that fits that description,” Oracle said, “you need to get back to the city, Bruce. Joker must have planted some goons, because they started causing trouble once he was down.”

“It’s probably a distraction,” he said, “but I’ll come, if I can find a way off this Island.”

“The Island is sealed off, Bruce” Oracle said, “You couldn’t drive off even if the Batmobile wasn’t on the seafloor. I’m sure they’d let you sail past the blockade, but there are not boats docked there.”

“I’ll find a way,” he said.

Batman turned around and saw and Amish man standing there. He prepared for a fight.

“Who are you?” Batman yelled.

“I’m Jeremiah,” he said shakily, “I don’t fight. She made me come with her.”

“Jeremiah,” Batman said calmly, “Are you a good carpenter?”

“Yes,” he said, “I’ve built lots of barns and such, but why would need such a thing here?”

"If you can build me a sailboat,” Batman said, “I can get you off this island.”

“I’ll need tools,” he said, “but I’ll be able to build one.”

“Stay here,” Batman said, “I’ll get you your tools.”


With the car I was going to drive this week for the commute to work and back, I'm now driving Sarah and Brett's Chevy Blazer. The drive went smoothly today. I was glad to be back in Reynoldsburg. The bank I use doesn't have a branch in Athens and I needed to make a deposit, so I got that done. Hooray for not having to worry about overdrawing.

That's it for BEDA this time. Thanks for reading and commenting. Next time I post, hopefully I'll actually have something to say. I still think BEDA is a worthy exercise. It always pretty much turns to crap, but I think that's part of why it's good. It's noting things that you wouldn't normally note. Then, occasionally a post may actually have a point if you force yourself to do it so many days in a row.

Ok, signing off

*Great Game

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This Here, Is A Run Out The Clock Operation

If this were April, this would be the last day. As a coincidence of the earth's orbit being roughly 365 days and the orginatization of the Gregorian Calendar, August has 31 days. Lousy Universe.

Today, I was wondering about whether dogs or cats are better looking. I'm talking purely as things, not taking any other things into consideration. I think cats win in that category. I think they're more visually pleasing, the way they move is cooler and they can do some pretty cool stuff. However, cats are assholes most of the time, so dogs win overall.

It was surprisingly cold this morning. It got below 50 degrees and I didn't think to pack a hoodie. On a warmer morning, I would normally just let the dogs out when they wake me up and come do the feeding ritual when I was actually ready to get up, but it was cold enough that I didn't want to leave them outside for very long. So, moral of the story is that I was up before I wanted to be. Lousy short-haired dogs.

This is the epitome of what BEDA devolves into. I just write about my uninteresting life until I feel that it's long enough. I made it to day 13 before it turned into this, which is a record. If you want to, you can tell me what to right about tomorrow in the comments and I'll oblige unless it's ridiculous. Otherwise, you'll get another one of these.

Time to feed the cats. Lousy carnivores


Monday, August 29, 2011

Broken Cars and Shit

So, the car I'm driving this week had some issues on my way to work this morning. Shortly after getting onto the highway, I started hearing this rattling like sound. I thought initially it was coming from the glove compartment, but when I looked there was nothing to be making that noise. Eventually it stopped, so I decided maybe a stone or something had gotten caught up or something and I kept going. It came back when I was in Nelsonville on 33, so I pulled into a Taco Bell parking lot and popped the hood. I found that the Serpentine belt was fraying and the noise was the loose pieces hitting shit as the Revs got higher.

I decided it wasn't likely to break, if I nursed it back to the house. When I looked at the belt more closely once I got here, there was about half an inch of the width of the belt that had worn away. The belt had just been replaced, because Dad thought the there was a problem with the old bet causing a noise. If he'd asked me I would've told him it was a loose pulley (because it's been that way since we've had it), but apparently he had the mechanic tighten the belt too tightly to make the squealing stop, which is making the belt fray. I sent a message to one of my Sister's friends who used to live around here and got a recommendation as to what to do to get the car serviced. I'm just not capable of fixing it myself, it requires more strength than I have to actually get on of those belts on. The number one priority though is making sure that my Dad doesn't find out about the trouble until it's fixed.

Since I couldn't make it work, I went to the grocery store. It is a very rare occasion that I do any grocery shopping. I got some food for this week, but I wanted to get snacks as well, particularly a bag of candy. I was in the frozen food aisle looking at some frozen food and I saw a stand with Twizzlers three bags for $5. Naturally, I got three bags of Twizzlers. What I'm going to do with three bags, I don't know.

The dogs like to get really annoying when it's about there dinner time. They start at about 5:30, but they don't usually eat until roughly 6:30. I've started a new policy of just making them go outside when they start to get annoying. I was particularly annoyed that Orion kept coming over to see me and then would just sneeze.

Speaking of that, it's time to feed them.

Thanks for reading


Sunday, August 28, 2011


Sarah and Brett left for Columbus this morning. Their flight was supposed to leave at six and I've not heard from them, so I assume everything has gone to plan. Since they've left, I've just been hanging out with the sleeping dogs and cats (when the dogs are outside or they get brave while the dogs are asleep.)

Hurricane Irene seems to not have been as severe as forecast, but it's impact is still great. It looking like river flooding is going to the main threat. River flooding is actually a pretty big gap in my knowledge of weather phenomenon. I just know that it can last for quite awhile as the massive amounts of water slowly move downstream, so this event may last long after Irene has dissipated.

I hope those of you who were affected by the storm are safe and will get electricity back soon. In the fall of 2008, Central Ohio was hit by the remnants of Hurricane Ike. It was pretty insane to see the winds sustained at that high of velocity, but by that point there was no rain associated with it any longer. Mostly everyone lost their power, because trees this far north can't bend in high sustained winds and our power grid is designed to deal with sustained high winds. Most of the areas north of the Carolinas have that same dilemma with this storm. I can't imagine what it would be like with something that's still at Hurricane strength with rain.

I did a post at my often negelected sports-specific blog today about why I don't like the MLS playoffs. Here it is:

Thanks for reading


Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm Not Talking to Emma Anymore

So, the attempt to find the game at BW3s didn't work out. It just lead to a poor, clueless bartender running around the restaurant trying to find out whether they could get the game. We came back here and I found a stream only to find the Crew down 2-0, which quickly became 3-0 and it just got worse from there.

The car I'll be driving for this week has a tape deck and it's not like it's an '85 Buick or something. It was made in 2000. I'm pretty sure tapes were absolutely obsolete by then. It would be better if there were some decent radio stations down here, but it's basically either Country or Jebus. Mom found some decent tapes for me though. The one I listened to on the way down was some Soundtrack, which had some good Motown on it. The rest aren't that good. I'm not sure where one can even buy tapes anymore and it's not really worth making the investment for more advanced technology.

We're going to Salaam tonight. It's a Middle Eastern restaurant in Athens. I've been there once before and afterwards I may have had some allergic reactions. It was pretty good though and I'm not really convinced that it was an allergic reaction. My lungs kind of hate me, so the shortness of breath could've been anything and the rash could've just been a coincidence. And I guess there's only one way to really find out.

Sarah and Brett will be leaving for their trip to Italy tomorrow. Then I'll have the house to myself and these animals.

Also, I'm just kidding about the title, Emma.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Slapping the Keyboard Like a Monkey

I still need to pack, I'm really tired and have a severe lack of coherent thought. I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go house/petsit for my Sister. We're hoping that the Crew/Sounders game will be on at the BW3 in Athens tomorrow afternoon. It would make me a sad panda not to be able to watch that game*. There was some risk that Hurricane Irene would mess up their trip bad enough that Sarah wouldn't be able to go, but they got that sorted out with new flights.

I got my hours adjusted for next week at work. I'll be starting at 10 instead of 9. It's nice because I won't have to wake up awfully early to make the commute. It also should get me out of any of the stupid inbound to Columbus delays that often accompany rush hour.

Something I've discovered since I'm working at an Office that has almost entirely Windows XP computers, is that XP was just as dumb of an operating system as any other. The main benefit it had was that it stuck around long enough for people to figure out everything about, so it's shortcomings weren't such a hassle. However, going back to it from a newer operating system makes the problems with that operating system so obvious. Also, old computers suck. Working on anything with less than 1GB of RAM is just so tedious once you get used to having so much more. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have a computer with practical limitations.

Ok, have a video that explains the Socially Awkward Penguin meme:

Thanks for reading

*And the Crew victory.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Am I Real? Pt. 2

Because of the demand of no one, I'm doing another philosophical ramblings post. This time it's about Descartes/existence and Utilitarianism.

I actually don't think questions of reality are really worth spending that much time thinking about. The questions of whether or not one is real seems important, but when I think more deeply about it I find it pointless. It is impossible to know whether I'm real or not. I may just be in someone's imagination or I could just be in a dream.

It just doesn't really matter to me though; whether this is the real reality or something else. Whatever it is I'm in it. I think it's real even if I can't be certain and worrying to much about my own existence isn't a worthwhile use of time in whatever this is. Basically, "Cogito ergo sum" only slightly more nuanced.

I hate Utilitarianism. Having one's morality based on utility is just terrible. "The greatest good for the greatest number" principle is such a flawed way for one to make his or her decisions. First, it really makes one awfully cold-hearted. People shouldn't be calculating when it comes to all decision; Utilitarianism removes emotion, which is basically removing humanity. Second, there is no real way to know what the greatest good/number will end up being. The long lasting effects of any decision cannot be known, so being a utilitarian about a lot of things really just makes one a heartless being. Also, utilitarian can be used to justify terrible things like racism.

A Utilitarian would've handed Harry over to Voldemort to end the war.

I created a bit of a straw-man there. Virtually no one is a pure utilitarian. Just on occasion I'll hear someone spout a purely utilitarian idea* and it makes me cringe.

Thanks for reading

*Recent examples: Having to be sterilized in order to get welfare and "just getting rid of all the useless people"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Am I Real?

I had a strangeish day at work today. I did my normal stuff; data entry, making confirmation phone calls, filing, etc. During this, a package came, which was a package for one of the doctors. Jane called her and it ended up with me making arrangements to set it up for her this afternoon at her apartment. At the end of my shift at the office, I went with a nurse to storage to get out some records that were requested. After that I went to the Doctor's apartment and spent about 2 1/2 hours getting that all square for her.

I guess that doesn't sound all that strange.

I also thought about existence and its significance today thanks to Emma. My mind has two tracks on that. I know that any individual's existence isn't that important. If I had never existed, things wouldn't be that different in the universe. The small group of beings in which I may have some influence, might be slightly different had I never existed, but the universe wouldn't really care about that.

However, I give my own life meaning*. I know that I don't really matter to the universe at large, but I feel somewhat important* in my own small existence. My own existence matters to me and a lot of other people's existence matters to me and some how I rationalize that my own existence isn't insignificant.

It's 11:56, so no more of that nonsense.

The universe don't care. The universe just takes what it wants.


*That sounds either really arrogant or motivational speakery

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I felt an Earthquake for the first time today. It wasn't a very big deal here. Initially I thought, "what the fuck is Dad doing?," but I quickly realized it couldn't be a person that was doing it. The shaking wasn't violent here, but just a pretty noticeable rocking back and forth for about a minute. It was an unique experience that I don't particularly want to experience more fully in the future.

They tend to change the magnitude often during the first few days after a quake has hit, so while it is being shown as a 5.8 right now that could go up or done as the people who handle such matters process more information. Whether there is an adjustment or not, is about as big as Earthquake get in the Eastern third of the country. Using my rough understand of the Richter Scale, that makes this quake about 30 times less energetic than the Earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 and about 27,000 times less energetic than the Earthquake that struck Japan in March.

The unique thing about this quake is that it was so widely felt. The Eastern half of the Country isn't anywhere near as geologically active as the western half, so our crust is older and denser. That allows the energy of an Earthquake to move much more efficiently and therefore a 5.8 Earthquake in Virginia can be felt in Toronto. A similar quake out west would not be felt in as large of an area as today's was.

I know we're kind of wusses for reacting the way we did to what is a pretty feeble earthquake. It just has happened so rarely around here before. I mean it's a pretty cool experience when there are no worries about any damage being done and it being so uncommon. It's like a certain city (that'll remain nameless =p) going freakin crazy over like an inch of snow. In Columbus, OH an inch of snow is little but an annoyance, but an earthquake is exciting. A smallish quake might just be an annoyance out west, but a few flurries and shutdown a city.

I'm glad there was only quite minor damage close to the epicenter. Also, that my friend Kathy (who is much closer to that epicenter than I) didn't even have to do any picking-up =)

Thanks for reading and please comment


Monday, August 22, 2011


I've never really gotten much enjoyment from Summer. I feel like it should be the season that one should have the best memories of, but I just don't.

I mean we never really took family vacations and the few we took kind of sucked. When I was very young we used to go to either Cedar Point or King's Island almost every year, but that stopped before I was old enough to really remember it. Then the summer between 8th and 9th grade, we took two vacations and they both sucked. We went to Myrtle Beach. Trips to the beach aren't really my idea of a great vacation anyway, but it was basically my Mom and I being stranded with my Father.

That summer we also went to visit my Sister in Connecticut. This trip was almost doomed to suck, due to its brevity, but got worse. It was the first time and only time I've ridden on a plane. We took a ridiculously early flight out of Columbus with a layover in Chicago. This was the height of the first real intolerably manic period of my Father. The worst bit was that he was obsessed with taking pictures and was a total asshole about. It was just a miserable time and then we flew back on another ridiculously early flight with a lay-over in Chicago.

Summer also meant being largely alone. I mean where we used to live could be, metaphorically, called "the other side of the tracks" relative to the School District we lived, so I wouldn't get many visitors (not that I was all that popular anyways.) By the time I was in High School pretty much all the kids that I was friends with in the neighborhood had moved away and I didn't get my license until after High School, so I basically spent summer alone in my room (at least until my friend Nick got his license.)

I'm ending the downer section now. Sorry.

This summer, however, has been fantastic. I've been to several concerts and done awesome things with my friends and on my own. I know I've bitched a lot about how bad things are at home, but really I'm doing well. It sucks here, but this summer I've gotten away to do lots of fun things.

Thanks for reading


Sunday, August 21, 2011


So, it's pretty clear that the Gadhafi regime has fallen or least is very near falling tonight in Libya. That makes this a truly wonderful day. There is little that makes me happier than seeing disgraced dictators and happy revolutionaries. It'll be interesting to see what happens next. It seems reports of his capture were premature, but I can't imagine it can be that far off. After the shit he's pulled in the past few months, no one is going to give him exile. If Gadhafi is still in Tripoli, it seems unlikely that he'll be able to get out. It seems that the rebels are aware of the International Criminal Court and I don't think it's their leadership's intention to kill him on the spot.

I think this is another example of how important the consent of the governed is for any government. Despots get that by making their subjects hopeless. In reality, a ruler like Gadhafi's control is very hallow. A tough facade that collapses when someone pushes back. Mubarak and Gadhafi acted tough until their ouster, but they had lost as soon as their people fought back and Al-Assad will meet the same fate. All it took was a little spark from Tunisia to break the hopelessness that dictators rely on.

The hard part of revolution isn't necessarily the overthrow though. The overthrow is able to temporarily unite factions, but it also has the side-effect of arming them. Armed factions can make creating a new government difficult. It can easily devolve into civil war. Even in Egypt where the revolution was mostly peaceful, there is major strife in their attempts to create a new government.

I really want to say something about the NATO airstrikes as well. I'm rather annoyed with the way our media is using them as a way to diminish the significance of what the Libyan rebels have done. Yes, they helped out a lot, but our democracies ought to help freedom fighters who need it. It doesn't matter whether or not the rebels would've been strong enough to win without support, because the important thing is that a despot is out of power.

Thanks for reading


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Special Comment- Public Assistance

Public assistance programs are an easy target for politicians when the discussion turns towards spending cuts. The straw-man, "The welfare-queen" has been effectively created by the right and allowed continued existence by the media. Yes, there are those who exploit* programs, but those few are no reason to be rid of those programs. Cutting Public Assistance programs is foolish, but it is especially so during an economic downturn.

Perhaps the most basic element in any economy is spending. If there is spending going on, the economy is doing well; if spending isn't going on, the economy is doing poorly. Public Assistance programs are perhaps one of the best ways a government can encourage spending. It's actually quite simple. Public Assistance gives money to poor people and when poor people get money they have to spend it. Basically, money spent on programs like Unemployment and Welfare are almost 100% stimulus.

The fear of creating a "Government Dole**" and that society would then become dependent on that has long been part of conservative belief. However, that fear has never been validated. "Full" Employment in the United States is somewhere around 95% employment and that has been the number reached during times of economic success for many years. During times of economic distress, between successful periods, the "Dole" has been increased, but once the economy has recovered, people have gone back to work with no government dependency being created.

The right likes to talk about cutting these useful programs. However, if someone brings up tax increases on the wealthy, they damn near lose their minds. What the true effect of keeping the tax rates low for the wealthy is certainly not what they claim it to be; supply-side economics have failed. Unlike the poor who have to spend their money, the wealthy are able to save. If they see more money because of government policy, it isn't going back into the economy immediately.

It also seems to be this myth that taxes are just thrown into a hole in the ground. The government spends every dollar it gets in tax revenue and then some. We all know that asking those who can afford it to help reduce that "and then some" would help stabilize our and the entire world's economy. We need to continue to spend stimulus dollars, especially in the form of Public Assistance, while increasing revenues. Hurting public assistance does not have any place in an economy that is as shaky as ours currently is.

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*See "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia" on Netflix instant streaming.
**See Herbert Hoover

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Don't Even Know

I actually had an idea for a post today, but never got around to actually writing it. For tomorrow, I guess.

I got an extra 3.5 hours at work today, which meant I worked the classic 9-5. I did more work on computers. I came to the conclusion that my affection for Windows XP is just really the haze of hindsight. It's just as stupid as the newer operating systems. It was just around for so long that one could figure it out.

I was talking to my Aunt Jane on Wednesday during our lunch break about how scary the field of Republican candidates. I really think it is highly unlikely that Obama won't get reelected. None of the Republican candidates will really pose him any challenge unless things get much worse*. I mean they seem to almost universally running as right-wing extremists. We know Bachman and Perry are actually that nuts, but I doubt the rest of the candidates are. It's just the nation of the Republican electorate. Republicans feel they have to be loons to win a primary. It'll be interesting to see if their nominee is able to run back to the center after what I suspect will be a lengthy primary season. Perhaps the most telling bit is that the Republicans that might actually have a chance against President Obama aren't running.

I'll be house/petsitting for my Sister again the week after next. Brett (her husband) and her are heading to Italy for a last minute work trip. I'll be commuting from her house, which is an hour and a half away (They agreed to pay for my gas). It'll be quite a few round trips, but I'm always happy to help them out and it'll get me out of the house, which is always nice.

Thanks for reading

*That is actually looking like a distinct possibility.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Am The Champion

I got Origin working about an hour ago, I'll be able to play The Sim(which is what this is all about) once it's been downloaded. Now, I'm just going to have to decide on what to name my sames and how quickly I'll turn into a malevolent god.

I spent a large part of today working on that. I fiddled with the .NET Frame work (thingy) and the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 (thingy). After running multiple programs to isolate and remove corrupted and useless files and then reinstalling the programs that Windows would allow me to I got a brand new error message:

At which point, I headdeskeded again. I thought I had just spent nearly two days just to get another error message. I went back to the Origin support webpage and found that their chat was apparently down. I didn't know what to do. I thought I had tried everything that even had a remote chance of working.

In what basically was an act of desperation, I removed the MSVCP100.dll file that I had placed in the Origin folder initially to fix the first error message. I doubled clicked on the Origin shortcut expecting to see the first error message again, but I didn't. It took a minute, but Origin popped up.

I was (and still am) so happy. It's an amazing sense of undeserved pride. I spent the better part of the time that I was awake/not at work for three days working to make a damn video game work. I don't care about the better/more productive things I could've been doing right now though. I feel like I'm going to be telling people about this for years as one of my great triumphs.

If you want to help name my Sims let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading and please comment


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

By The Time You Read This My Computer Will Be In Pieces On The Yard

Remember yesterday, when I said I was going to get The Sims. Well, I bought a downloadable version from EA, but have yet to be able to download it. You need to download EA's new software program, Origin, which I guess is like a manager for all the EA games on your PC, before you can download a game. So, it was just finishing installing when an error message pops up. The finish of the install and the error message were so simultaneous that I couldn't tell exactly what went down. However, I think the program installed correctly and it was just having an issue running itself.

So, the error message that popped up said that MSVCP100.dll could not be found. I did some research and found out some ways to remedy that problem. I downloaded that file and placed it in the Origin folder. Then came another error message, this time it said MSVCR100.dll could not be found. I repeated the process that fixed the previous error and then came this one:

I tried a few different places to download that file and with each version I got the same results. I downloaded the windows update in both 32-bit and 64-bit that would contain those files. I was nearly ripping my hair out when I finally decided to contact Origin Support. I ended up chatting with a few of their people through the night.

First they had me manually uninstall origin and reinstall it. That didn't help. Then I sent my specs to another guy and he told i need to update my driver, which is as meaningless as one can get. When I asked, "which driver?" he said, "The one on your PC." I just ended the chat session there. I was frustrated from spending hours just to jump from one error message to another and they weren't helping me at all.

Then after some more research, I found that the .NET Framework (thingy) not being updated might be causing the problem. When I tried to download that update Windows wouldn't let me do and gave some lousy error code. I researched that and found very little. The bits I did find didn't fix the problem. At that point I went:

I fiddled around with it a little more last night, but conceded defeat and went on to other things. I found that the files that were causing the issue were installed in the System folder for 64-bit Windows, but not 32-bit, but couldn't find a way to make that useful. I should have know that there would be issues. That (I'm no longer on it, we'll get to that in a second) PC has had issues with programs it should easily be able to run for quite a while now. It has refused to update iTunes for years, which sucks because I can't sync my iPod to it. My iTunes is so messed up that it doesn't recognize CD information anymore so I have to enter it manually. It also won't let me log in, which is keeping me from being allowed to play a lot of music that I purchased at iTunes. It won't even let me look at the iTunes Store anymore. I know I wouldn't be able to buy anything, but it I used to at least be able to get Podcasts.

Internet Explorer also quit working, which isn't really a big since I use Firefox. However, there are a few accounts that I can't remember the password to, which are connected to a now defunct Email account that are stored in Internet Explorer*.

I ended up working on computer problems at work today as well. At least I found some success there. I still couldn't get our software to work with a printer, but they eventually said they didn't want to spend anymore time on it and would get another printer for it. Otherwise. I was able to fix or at least diagnose problems.

It's funny that they think I'm really good working with computers. I'm not that great really. I may know a bit more than your average bear, but I'm no where near being an expert. It's amazing how little you have to know to impress old people.

Right now, I have Vista Service Pack 2 installing on my computer**. I'm hoping that it'll bypass all the nonsense and make it work. I'm not optimistic about it though. I suspect the install will fail. If it doesn't work I'm going try their support one more time and if they can't help me fix it, I will ask for a refund.

I'm upset with EA, but there's just no way I'm going to stop buying their products. They already dominate my XBox 360 game collection. Anyway, threatening to stop doing business with a company will never get you anywhere. Their customer support may pretend to care, but in the end you're just one customer that they can certainly afford to lose. Being an annoying agitated customer might actually get me somewhere, if they're being difficult to work with.

If anyone out there is knowledgeable in this sort of thing or knows someone who is, could you please let me know?

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*I know that there must be a place where those are saved.
**I'm typing this on my Mom's PC, which has the wonderful Windows 7

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gaming Tuesday- Extra Life

This year, I will again be participating in Extra Life. It is a 24-hour gaming marathon to help raise money for children's hospitals. It is starting on Saturday, October 15th at 8 am.

If you are able to and would like to you can support me here. The goal is for each donor to give $1 dollar for each hour I'll be playing ($24,) but I'd be happy with any donation. There's still two months until the event and if it's like last year donations will still be open for about a month afterwards, so there's no rush to donate right now.

I'm still thinking up some plans for this. I'll be updating/spamming Twitter like last year. I need to figure a way to watch the Ohio State game while still gaming (last year I went with Minecraft.) I'll probably be leaving a party open on XBox live in case someone wants to chat.


I've had this weird desire to start playing The Sims lately. I haven't played that game in many years. I know it's been ported over to console, but I think the only way you can play The Sims right is on PC. In fact I'm probably gonna download it today.

Thanks for reading


Monday, August 15, 2011


Pop music is really bad nowadays. I'm good at avoiding listening to music on the radio anymore. On this trip to Philly it was unavoidable though. I didn't know things had gotten so bad. Pop stations play the same few terrible songs over and over. I used to get why Pop music was that, but now I just can't figure it out. Oh noes, I'm turning into an old man.

I really don't like negative questions. Not in the figurative sense, but literally. Any question that starts with "Did you not" or "Didn't you" makes only one answer possible. Grammatically, Yes and no produce different answers, but in the reality of speech yes and no are the same answer. This shouldn't bother me at all, because I can just not actually answer the question and treat it like it was phrased positively.

Though, those type of questions are good rhetorical questions.

Being more specific, I really don't people I've just met ask me what I'm going to school for. It either leads to them telling me I can't make money, asking what I can do with it (which is basically the passive aggressive way of doing the first,) or feign interest/act like they're knowledgeable. I also would just rather not talk about school at all right now.

I really do like this job though. I hope the hours pick up. The other temporary person they hired is only working until school starts up again, so I think I may be able to pick up some hours there. However, the job that they brought us in to catch up with is pretty much caught up with. They are busy, short-staffed and working on setting up a new system, so I don't think I'll be out of there too soon.

Hank and John Green playing FIFA 11 on hankgames seriously made my day. It was hilarious and bad and just awesome. I'm excited to see their penalty shoot-out.

Incoherence FTW


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Melodramatic and Bitchy Again

I think it must becoming more obvious how miserable being around my father makes. I'd come to conclusion that he is so used to my miserable that he thinks it's my normal. He comes to the conclusion that we get along great when I'm just no openly hostile towards him, so at the moment he thinks we're best buds. Apparently my annoyance is becoming more noticeable lately though. He varies between telling how great he is, because he works so hard and his trademark passive aggressive guilt-tripping.

I think he thinks it's because I'm lazy and don't want to do any work. His opinion of himself is so high that he can't realize that it's him. I mean most of the shit he's doing and wanting to do is just stupid and wasteful of money, which is annoying, but I could get over that. I just don't want to spend time with, especially time working on something with him. He's always critical. If I do something, he'll redo it if at all possible. Then there's the fact that I just don't like him at all on a personal level. I just want to do shit alone, that's all. And the shit that he can do alone, please leave me the fuck out of it.

I've gotten a few "breaks" from things this summer, which should help, but really it just makes it worse. Things being nice for a while makes it so much worse when I come back. Anyway, I have a feeling that eventually this will end up in him insisting in me going to counseling, because as soon as he realizes someone doesn't think the sun shines out of his ass, it's because there's something wrong with them.

*bangs head against the wall*

Ok, happier times. The weather has been nice the past few days. It's the middle of August and it didn't reach 80 degrees today. It's not even gonna reach 85 for several days. It's great especially since July was so terribly hot.

Thanks for reading


Saturday, August 13, 2011

How I Came to Love Okkervil River

As you may know, Okkervil River is my favorite band. This is the story of how it came to be that way:

I discovered Okkervil River at Lollapalooza in 2008. It was Saturday afternoon and I had wandered away from my friends who had decided to glue themselves to the Main Stage. I was waiting at another stage when I heard something that sounded good from another stage to the left. I made my way over there and I watched the rest of this bands show. I really dug their tunes and their performance was awesome. I didn't' really know who this band was though, so I had to look them up in the program later. The camera I had back then wasn't very good, so this is the best of the pics I took:

It was a gradual process after that. I found their songs on Youtube and found that I really liked them. First I bought the "For Real" single. Then, I downloaded their album, "The Stage Names" from iTunes and got into it. I got myself a physical copy that ended up being in my car's CD player for months. I asked for "The Stand Ins" for my birthday in 2009 and that's what my Sister got me it. It took me a little longer to get into that album, but I fell in love with it as well.

Eventually, I bought "Black Sheep Boy" "Black Sheep Boy Appendix" "Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You See" and "Down the River of Golden Dreams." It was more of a song by song process with those albums for me. I would have heard a few songs from each of them and ended up focusing on them initially. I would discover new songs from these albums and would end up loving them after a few listens.

Currently, I have 382 Okkervil River songs on my iTunes. I've downloaded so many of their live performances that people have recorded. Okkervil River songs occupy almost all the places in my mind that are reserved for "know how to play on the guitar." I've spent so much time thing about meanings in their songs.

I love me this band.


I had a tough time coming up with a post idea tonight. I'd have an idea for a post and then it would only take up two lines or would just be terrible. This was a last ditch effort and I think it turned out mildly decent.

Thanks for reading


Friday, August 12, 2011

Philly: Day 2

We were all up by ten the next morning. I had a decent night's sleep for being away from home. It was fitful, but I still got quite a bit of sleep. We got ready, left our room and went to check out before eleven. We put our bags in the van and then walked to the Subway Station. After figuring out how the subway system actually works in Philadelphia, we got on our line towards Downtown. It was mostly empty on our way there.

Once off the Subway, we walked the (many) blocks to the historic part of Philadelphia. We went to the Welcome Center and got our tickets for Independence Hall, but had to wait about two hours for our tour. First, we walked across the street to see the Liberty Bell

Nick and Devin

Philadelphia 8/2011

My President Friend

Philadelphia 8/2011

The Famous Side

Philadelphia 8/2011

The Other Side

Philadelphia 8/2011

Afterwards, we walked around Independence Square, Washington Square, and looked around at some of the museum things inside the Welcome Center. The favorite Monument I saw this trip was in Washington Square

Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary Soldier

Philadelphia 8/2011

Then we walked outside into Independence Mall. We chilled there/people watched for a bit. Next, we walked over to see Ben Franklin's Grave. Then went inside the "Free Quaker Meeting House.*" We slowly moved back across the Mall and then went to a food mall. Then we went into the Old City Hall, which is right next to Independence Hall. The Supreme Court met in that building from 1791-1800

Philadelphia 8/2011

Then we went to wait for our tour of Independence Hall to begin. The tour was pretty quick. It's not a big building, but there's more of a story than the 30 minute can tell. It was awesome though.

Philadelphia 8/2011

The Court Room in Independence Hall

Philadelphia 8/2011

Assembly Hall in Independence Hall

Philadelphia 8/2011

The Revolutionary period is on of my favorite periods of history. It's pretty hard to describe the type of reverence I felt towards these things. I have so much admiration for the bravery that every step of the Revolution took. Separating from the British, the bleakness of a lot of the war, the strategies of Washington, and then basically overthrowing their own government and drafting a new Constitution. That document ended up being one of the best that was ever written, in my opinion.

After the tour, we walked back to the subway and went back to our car. Nick was worried that it might be towed since we were no longer staying at the Hotel. We ended up taking the car back into Downtown Philadelphia to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We didn't have time to actually go inside and look at art, but we did need to go Rocky style and run up the steps. Devin, Nick and I ran up steps like bosses (them more than I)

Philadelphia 8/2011

Philadelphia 8/2011

We drove in the traffic of Downtown some more. We looked for a place to park to go to a Pub that Andy wanted to try, but it ended up not working out. Parking was either too expensive or full. We ended up heading back to the area where we got our Cheesesteaks and looked for a place to eat. Andy pointed out a place and that's where we decided to go. It was "Ralph and Rickey's

I didn't intend for this picture to be so artsy

Philadelphia 8/2011

The food was delicious, but our server was the highlight. She was just awesome. I ordered a small pizza for myself, but she said, "Honey, you don't want a small. It's fourteen inches." We told her that fourteen inches is a large in Columbus. I ended up with a mini Mushroom Pizza, which was still ten inches. She was funny, nice and provided great service. We each gave her a very generous tip. We even took her picture.

Philadelphia 8/2011

Then it was off to the stadium for the U.S.-Mexico game. We parked, got in our gear and walked to the Stadium. We were heavily outnumbered by Mexican fans. We walked around to the U.S. Supporters section and immediately we were singing and chanting

Philadelphia 8/2011

Philadelphia 8/2011

Philadelphia 8/2011

*Distributing bit warning*

Seriously ponder skipping this bit. We moved to the best place to stand we could find. It ended up being right behind this guy who was sitting with his head leaned against the back of seat in front of him. It was obvious he had too much to drink and wasn't feeling well. Before kick-off he started throwing-up. Eventually, after the surrounding people prodding his friends, they got him up and out of the section. Still there was the problem of a lot of throw-up on the ground and it's stench though. Nick texted the number that the stadium has for problems and quickly a stadium worker named Kevin was there to clean it up. We all started chanting "Thank You, Kevin."

*Disturbing bit over*

The game didn't go great for the U.S. in the first half. The Mexicans scored on a somewhat flukey goal on a short corner. The U.S. wasn't creating any chances either. The second half started much the same way. Then with about 15 minutes left in the game it's like the switch was flipped and the the tide turned. The U.S. dominated play and was creating loads of chances. When Robbie Rogers scored for the U.S. we went absolutely crazy. Not only did the U.S. score, but it was a Columbus Crew player** who had done it. It ended up a 1-1 draw.

We sung, yelled (I particularly yelled a lot of obscenities at the referee), and chanted for almost the entirety of the game. We even had dueling chants with the Mexican supporters as we walked out of the stadium. We were collectively hoarse as we walked back to the van. It was the first International Soccer game I've ever been to and it was amazing.

We drove back overnight and got progressively more delirious. We played 21 Questions for hours on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The sun started rising as we were near the state-line. The fog got pretty ridiculous in the Valleys in West Virginia. It was really pretty, though, seeing the fog when we weren't driving in it. Nick made up a ridiculously funny story when we passed the Guernsey County Fairgrounds here in Ohio. It involved gambling with Nickels at the Guernsey County Fair and a loaded six-sided die with Animals on it that would never come up "fainting goat." We decided that if someone had gotten in the van with us in Philadelphia they would've decided we were insane.

They dropped me off just before 8 am Thursday, which means it had been just less than 48 hours since we'd left. It was a whirlwind, but it was definitely the best trip I've ever had. Lollapalooza in 2008 gives this trip a run for its money, but this one was just better.

I slept about fourteen hours collectively between 8 am Thursday and 8 am today. I was still tired enough to take a nap this afternoon after work. I don't exactly what to this type of lag, but I'm sure I'll be back to as normal as I get soon.

Thanks for reading

*The Free Quakers felt the Revolution was too important to remain pacifists and were therefore expelled from the main Quaker community.
**Even if he is by far my least favorite Crew player.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Philadelphia Trip: Day One

Right now, I'm still quite wacky from the trip. I got home at about 8am this morning and slept till around four. My head has felt like it's floating away from my body since about 5am this morning. I sound like a frog right now too. Screaming, chanting, singing and generally losing your mind for about three hours will do that to you though. Anyway, I'm breaking this trip into two blog posts.


I took a trip to Philadelphia on Tuesday and Wednesday to go see the U.S Men's National Team play Mexico. I went with my best friend Nick, his little Sister Devin and his friend Andy.

Tuesday was mostly a travel day. They picked me up about a quarter after eight in the morning, we got gas and got on I-70. We spent our time talking, a lot of time just making fun of town names or bridges. Andy tried to get every trucker we passed to blow his horn before we went to sleep in the back seat of the van. He only got one. He was pretty delirious/goofy though, because he worked 3rd shift before coming on this trip with us.

It's about an eight hour drive from Columbus to Philadelphia. I always thought Ohio was bad in terms of Road Construction, but it was ridiculous in Pennsylvania. Worse though is that in most of their Construction the Speed Limit is 45. We stopped twice while on the Pennsylvania turnpike at the "Service Plazas." The food prices there are sort of ridiculous, because they know they've got you by the balls. I ended up paying like 6 dollars for a slice of pizza for lunch.

After a minor mishap getting off the turnpike we were nearly in Philadelphia. We got slightly lost in the city, because I was confused as navigator what GPS was actually meant, but that was quickly remedied. We got off at the last exit in Pennsylvania and we were right by our Hotel. We drove around for a bit to look at the two stadiums and the arena that were right by our hotel before going back though. We pulled into our Hotel around four in the afternoon, which was the earliest check-in time.

When we got to our hotel room, we choose bunkmates (Andy/Nick and Devin/Me) and then just chilled for a few hours. Andy totally crashed. It was absolutely freezing in there. I found that the asshole before us had set the Thermostat to 53 degrees. I cranked that shit up quick. Our window gave us a view of Downtown Philadelphia

Philadelphia 8/2011

Philadelphia 8/2011

We looked up where to get a Philly Cheesesteak for dinner. We choose a place near our hotel called "Tony Luke's Cheesesteaks."

Philadelphia 8/2011

It was almost eight when we drove over. It was fairly crowded, but the wait in line wasn't terrible. We each ordered our food (Nick got two, one for later) and once it was ready we sat and eat. Evidence of said consumption in terrible yellow lighting:

My Cheesesteak

Philadelphia 8/2011


Philadelphia 8/2011

Andy and Devin

Philadelphia 8/2011

Me chowin' down

Philadelphia 8/2011

The cheesesteaks were yummy. I'm not one to complain about grease normally, but this were pretty crazy in terms of that. I'm glad I had one, but I also don't think I want another cheesesteak for quite a while.

We went back to our room for a bit to let our meal settle and then we headed down to the sports bar downstairs. Nick and Andy got Yuengling beer, which they were excited about. I took a sip after hearing them talk about how good it was and my reaction was "that's still beer" (I really don't like beer). I drank a rum in coke and then some fancy Raspberry Lemonade mixed drink, which was ridiculously yummy. I couldn't even tell that there was alcohol in it. Devin had a virgin Dackery.

After our few drinks we went back to our room, watched Conan, and then we turned out the lights and we went to sleep. That was the first day of our trip. We did a lot on day 2, which I will tell you about tomorrow.

Thanks for reading


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ten of my Favorite Memories

Here are ten of my favorite memories prior to the age of 18. This list isn't in order and it isn't really a top 10 list either. These are my ten most quantifiable/relatable great memories.

My friend, Emma, made a video this topic which I will embed at the bottom of this post.

1. Ohio State's 2002 National Championship- As a huge Ohio State fan, this is naturally on my list. I was feeling pretty confident that Ohio State would be able to beat Miami despite the odds. I've perhaps never had so much irrational joy as I did when I saw the flag that saved Ohio State.

2. Early-release Days- My class was the first in the State of Ohio to take Ohio Graduation Test. So, I had to take them when I was a Sophomore, but the next two years we were released early the week of the tests. My friends and I got into all kinds of shenanigans during those weeks. Those weeks also coincided with the first week of the NCAA Basketball tournament, so on the Thursdays and Fridays we would come back to my house and watch the games.

3. Last Day of 8th Grade- I remember that my last day of 8th grade being ridiculously laid back. Perhaps the funniest/most awesome thing I remember from that day is trying to throw a chair onto the roof of the school during Gym Class. I don't remember how we were allowed to get away with this, but I remember that the chair got really fucked up.

4. Away Games- My friends and I went to lots of the Away Football and Basketball games during High School. We had a lot of awesome times at those games. Also going to restaurants that aren't in our hometown was usually fun.

5. The Browns beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009- This is a terribly second-hand memory. I didn't get to actually see this game. I had to work and even if I had been at home it wouldn't have been on the TV. However, very little has made me happier than that result. Show me the highlights from that game and you'll cheer me up.

6. WSHS Lockdown 2007- When I was a senior in High School we had a several hour Lockdown in the Spring. I mean it was kind of scary initially, but eventually you realized that if the shit was going to go down, it would've. Lots of whispered conversations. Once we were released they tried to make us go to class, but everyone just went home. To show how much of a goody-goody I was in High School, that was the only time I ever skipped.

7. Little-Sibs Weekend- I was in 6th (actually it might have been 5th) and I went to my Sister's Little-Sibs weekend at her college. It was the first time I stayed overnight somewhere without parental supervision. I remember having Ice Cream before dinner and that said dinner then consisting mostly of Macaroni and Cheese.

8. Lifehouse Concerts- I went to Lifehouse concerts four times prior to turning 18. In the summer of 2002 and the springs of 2005, 2006 and 2007. They were all great, but the last two were the best. I went with my best friend Nick in 2006. In 2007, I went with my Sister and her friend Courtney; this is the only one with photographic proof (also look it's me with shortish hair):

9. Seeing John Kerry and Bruce Springsteen at the Oval- In 2004, I went with my Young Democrats club to Ohio State to see John Kerry speak and Bruce Springsteen perform in the days leading up to the 2004 election. It was a great event to be at and we went to Shake 'n Steak afterwards and told all kinds of silly stories and played games.

10. Teh Lull- There was a period that roughly equates to my Sophomore and Junior years of High School between my father's first crazy manic episode and his second (we are currently on number three.) Hooray for things actually being pleasant at home.

Thanks for reading


Tuesday, August 9, 2011


This mostly a further reply to Emma's post. It's also therapeutic to write about this experience. This is a serious downer post and I would skip it if I were you.

Late in 2008 I went through a period where I was seriously depressed and thought about taking my own life.

Things had become rather overwhelming. I certainly had general anxiety about where I was in life. My own fears and anxieties had kept me from enrolling in College that fall. I didn't like my job. I didn't like that my hours had been cut either. I didn't like that I was still living at home. I felt separated from my friends.

It was worst at night. During the day I could at least distract myself a bit. The Computer and XBox would go off. It would get really quiet and dark. That's when negative thoughts would become most overwhelming. I had a hard time falling asleep, but once I got to sleep hours longer than normal. The worst was being depressed about being depressed.

One day I just stopped going to work. I mean I made up some lousy excuse about losing my voice, but I basically just quit going. I spent a lot of money. I bought people Christmas presents that were considerably more expensive than the budget.

Eventually, My Parents found out that I had quit going to work and I was kind of prodded into telling them how bad I was feeling about myself. I went to a therapist and got antidepressants from. The pills had a positive effect on my quickly. They aren't supposed to work quickly though so I think it was mostly just the psychological effect of what the pill was supposed to do.

I don't know exactly what go me through that period. I mean it wasn't terrible all the time. I could distract myself a little bit during the day. I felt better while doing reckless things like spending a lot of money. Of course, there were the people I care about. I mean I didn't really feel like I was worthy of being cared about, but somewhere I knew people did. The positive things were small and definitely not constant, but they were enough for me to delay taking the further step.

The night before everything came out, I overcame my anxiety and desire to just lay in bed and went to a friend's Christmas party. I actually felt happy there. I stayed there until 3am. I had even convinced myself that I would go back to work the next day. Then I got home, laid in my bed and I was right back to where I was.

I'd like to think I'm a lot less likely to go through another episode that is as severe as that one was. Looking back on what happened to me, I know I don't want to allow myself to fall into that despair again. I work on making sure the voices in my head that tell me to be happy and to not worry so much about things just strong as the darker ones. It's not always a perfect balance. I still have nervous breakdowns periodically. I suffer generalized anxiety. I don't really have panic attacks though. My anxiety manifests itself in loss of appetite and nausea. When it gets bad I will barely eat for days and when I do I feel like I'm always about to throw it up.

I really work at keeping my mind strong enough to keep me from going over that cliff again. I've accepted that some of these mental issues are put of who I am. They aren't all of me, but I know they can consume me entirely if I let them. I feel like it's a bit like the Imperious Curse. You can can give into it if you don't pay attention, but if you're in tune with what's going on you can fight it off with great mental effort.

Thanks for reading


Monday, August 8, 2011

London Burning

I almost always have sympathy for rioters. I get that being destructive does nothing to change things. I get that it's a losing battle. However, I understand why they're upset. There is systemic unfairness to the lower classes and young people. At times, it just takes a spark and people lash out. It's not right, but I can understand why some of the young people in the UK felt the need to flood the streets and be destructive.

While I understand the why, I also wish those who are rioting would just stop. Violent means rarely results in the ends you're after. In fact it is usually counter-productive. It allows the media and government to cast off your cause. Non-violent means are where real social change can be achieved. It may not be as gratifying as lighting shit on fire and it's a painfully slow process, but protest and civil disobedience will work. It takes the aggression out of it. That aggressive role is then forced to the government and the party that is viewed as the aggressor is usually viewed negatively by the public.

One of the worst things about this rioting is the way in which the rioters are classified. "Youths" is the word I see all over. They've put so many negative connotations on "youths." As if these people as just angsty, unemployed young people. As if there was no cause other than young people wanting to smash shit and the Police Department and government are totally blameless. Neither side is right in this.

Rioting, in reality, hurts people who are disenfranchised, as the rioters are themselves, more than it hurts the government or police department. The Police are at the very least guilty of failing to properly explain the shooting that sparks. The Government is guilty of policy that is hurtful to young men and women. The rioters my be rightfully upset, but they need to stop this now, because if they haven't already they will do irreparable harm to their aims.

Did that go in circles? I think that went in circles.

Anyway, I'm leaving for Philadelphia tomorrow. Once I got off work, I've spent most of my time today writing the posts for the next two days. I've got them scheduled so as not to miss a BEDA post.

I'll be back Thursday and I plan to tell you guys about my trip with a post that day. Although, the current plan is to drive all night after the game, so I may not be in any shape to post coherently on Thursday, so it may end up being the post on Friday.

I won't be connected at all during this trip, which I hate and love at the same time. It's nice to disconnect, but at the same time I'll be wondering what's going on with Twitter or Tumblr. It's been 3 years since I've taken a trip like this and I'm really excited about it and hopefully be having to much fun to worry about what I'm missing here on teh interwebz.

Thanks for reading


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Seven Links

Kathy did this "7 Links" Challenge earlier this week and I considered myself tagged ;p

ost popular post - The post with the most page views is Call of Duty: Black Ops Review. That just goes to show you that the words Call of Duty get views with out concern for how good or bad the content is.

Most beautiful post- I don't think I write at all beautifully. So, a post with virtually no writing. Random Wednesday- Shake It Out

My most controversial post - Up until this afternoon it was going to be this (it was the first time I got any hate on this blog.) However, now it is clearly yesterday's post. Electoral College vs. the Popular Vote

Most helpful post- I give some "remedies" in this Ill Michael is Ill

Surprise success post- I didn't intend for this happen, but I Cough Everytime I Laugh gets a ridiculous amount of views from Search Engines. It's a terrible post and not at all helpful to those people, but still...

Post that didn't get enough attention- 10 Favorite Albums I actually put a lot of thought into that list. I mean usually I use lists as filler, but I actually tried with that one.

Post I'm most proud of- I often feel like I really fail at articulating what I mean to write. I also have a hard time writing things that are very personal. In I Feel Like I'm Being Melodramatic I think I actually was relatively articulate and actually said something about my self. I don't think it's my best post, but it does things I wish I was better at doing.

I'm supposed to tag seven people now, butI'll do as Kathy did and say that if you want to do this you're tagged.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Electoral College vs. the Popular Vote

As my Pasta Origins posts showed you I definitely have a political junkie streak in me. I've decided to move away from being an entirely political blogger. I've grown much more cynical with the process and really don't want to have to worry about writing about it unless it's something that really piques my interest.

Electoral Politics is the area of politics that I find most interesting and what I know the most about. I mean, I basically had the electoral map for 2001-2010 memorized. I'm still working on the new maps from the new Census. I know my state along with the rest of the Rust Belt is where the bulk of the electoral vote losses are, which has hurt the Democrats. Much like John Kerry in 2004 who was already behind where Al Gore was; Obama will behind where he was in 2008 simply by votes shifting to red states. Also there is absolutely no way Obama will be able to achieve the electoral landslide he got in 2008 again.

Obama will lose 6 electoral votes (-7 from rust belt/New England states and +1 from Washington State) off the top and I'm sure the more traditional red states will return to whoever the Republican nominee will be (such as Indiana and North Carolina.) Not to fret though, if you support Obama's reelection, because he can lose a lot from 2008 and still win comfortably.

There is a lot of sentiment in this country, especially following the shenanigans of the 2000 election, to use the popular vote to decide Presidential elections. I do not share that view. It is tricky to have a nationwide elections in a nation the size and the population of ours. It is almost impossible to have an election where geography and population are fairly represented. I think the Electoral College is a more fair system in regards to geography and gives fair(ish) consideration to population.

We all know the origin of the Electoral College. How the founders put it in largely as a safe guard against the perceived idiocy of the public. The elitist origins of the Electoral College give it a bad wrap, but it also had another function; to give representation to smaller States. While small states like Wyoming are grossly over-represented, it gives them some power in Presidential politics. Therefore, a candidate and eventual President does has to give greater consideration to the smaller states. A low population State would have virtually no electoral recourse in a popular vote system.

A complaint against the Electoral College is that large parts of the Country are ignored during the campaign. I think that problem would be worse in a Popular Vote system. I think campaigns would change from competing for the so-called "Battleground States" to trying to run up margins in large cities. I know that if I were running a campaign for a Democrat that was only worried about the popular vote, my focus would be on getting out the vote in the few biggest cities. I wouldn't bother with a lot of the States that are considered important now.

I'll address specifically the potential difference between the results of the Popular Vote and the Electoral College. It has happened three times in the history of our nation that those results have differed*. It is a rare occurrence and it's never like there's someone who runs away with the popular vote and loses the Electoral College. It is and unfortunate possibility, but I think it's worth it for the advantages of the Electoral College.

A change I would make to the system would be to take free will away from the Electors themselves. It is highly unlikely that any electors will flip in modern times, but still the electorates decision should be compulsory for the elector with one exception. That exception would be in the potential incapacitation of the President-elect. There really isn't a way to deal with that scenario in the Constitution** and the Electors could help the Nation have a smooth transition.

A further reform, I've thought about would be to give the Popular Vote an electoral value. My idea for this would be to take one electoral vote from each state with 11 or more Electoral votes and have those votes be counted in the Electoral College based on the National Popular Vote. In 2012, that would make the National Popular Vote worth 17 Electoral Votes.

Of course there are selfish reasons why I like the Electoral College as well. I live in the most important*** Battleground State of them all, Ohio. The Democratic and Republican nominee are in my state frequently campaigning for the General Election. I mean who doesn't like being Courted. I also I have a lot of knowledge about the way the Electoral College works and I don't want it to be a waste.

So, what do you guys think? How should we elect the President? The Electoral College? Popular Vote? Draw Straws? Anarchy?

Thanks for reading and please comment

*It's really only happened once. Two of those three were the two most crooked elections in our history.
**The way that scenario would likely be dealt with would be the Electoral College would elect the Vice President-elect as President. Then the new President-elect would select a Vice-President once sworn in to be confirmed by the Senate.
***This isn't going to last much longer. Ohio is getting bluer and losing Electoral Votes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

No Longer Jobless

I got a job today and started working. I'll be doing filing and such in a Doctor's office that my Aunt Jane works at. It's the first job I've had that I have to dress nicely for. It's temporary and part-time and isn't going to end up paying as well as unemployment has been, but it's worth it so that I don't have to awkwardly answer, "I'm unemployed" whenever someones asks what I do. As I'm sure you know, there is a lot one has to keep confidential when working in a Doctor's Office, so there won't be much in the way of work stories coming from not. Not that I imagine this job being very exciting

It seems like the hours are gonna be light enough that I'll be able to get a second job if it's needed. There's a lot up in the air for me at the moment and I'm weighing priorities and such. It's really a question of getting back to school soon or keeping my sanity.

On a much lighter note, I got into the Pottermore Beta today:

I'm still not entirely sure what in the hell Pottermore is, but, you know, peer pressure and all. Anything HP ought to be fun. I just don't know what I'll do if it puts me into Slytherin. I definitely want to be a Hufflepuff, but I'll settle for the Harry Potter, "not Slytherin." Anyway, the username I got for Pottermore is FrogMarauder127*.

Speaking of sorting, my Sister has been trying to figure out which house she would be in. I think she's a Ravenclaw. She's taken some quizzes online and they mostly come to the conclusion that she's a Hufflepuff. She's not a Hufflepuff. She would be an excellent edition to our House, but I don't think she really fits the mold. She has the wits of a Ravenclaw and I think her personality could fit either Ravenclaw of Gryffindor (way too Type-A to be a Hufflepuff).

The way I see it the quizzes overvalue Loyalty as the only trait of a Hufflepuff. Loyalty is the defining characteristic of Hufflepuff House (we are fiercely loyal), but it is also a trait of Gryffindors and Ravenclaws. Us Hufflepuffs are also patient, understanding and tolerant*** (just don't dis our friends).


"McGlone, Sarah," Professor McGonagall called

"-------------------*****" Cried the sorting hat

Thanks for reading and please comment

*To clarify I didn't get to pick my username**, you got to pick from five HP-related names it selects for you. It's for the best though, because this isn't XBox live and I don't want to see "xXxBiGdIcKz1994XxX" in the great hall.
**I like it though. I didn't even look to closely at the other one's when I saw "Marauder."
***and good at finding things****
****and the best in the sack
*****Sarah, You'll have to come to class to find out ;-p

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Three Day Roomate

I told you guys that things got crazy here on my first BEDA. I'm going to tell you guys more specifically what happened.

Last Thursday was when I went to the concert. I mostly avoided car drama about the trip to Cincinnati, which was surprising. The concert had done a lot to content my mood. I mean I had been more angry than usual with my father for the few days prior due to just the fatigue of being around him so much and he had done somethings to disrespect me*.

When I got home from the Concert it was close to 11:30 pm. My Dad wasn't home, which was nice, because it gave me time to check out the car without him there to bitch at me. I had to put some oil in it. I told him that it had used some oil, but he would've been insufferable had he been the one to find it was low on oil.

I went inside, warmed up dinner and then took out some recycling. When I went out to take out the recycling I found my Dad was back and he had someone with him. I found out that this person was going to sleep in the truck that night, so that he and Dad could get an early start on work Dad wants to get done**. Also, because this guy was homeless. It was suggested, but I wouldn't agree to letting him sleep in my room that night, because I knew Mom would definitely not be comfortable with it and I sure as hell am not gonna let a stranger into my bedroom at night***.

The next day, since I was in a better mood, I wasn't outright refusing to work with my father anymore. I got to know this guy a bit and became mostly convinced that he wasn't an axe murderer or thief. His name is Brian and he's 22. A nice enough guy, but he would just never shut the hell up.

At some point during the day on Friday, my Dad basically offered him that he could stay at our house as long as he had work to do. That was a big step to take with out really telling Mom even that it was a possibility. When it was officially brought up to us to us that evening it basically went like this:

Dad: I think we ought to let him stay with us to help us get things done. I told him he could stay, but if either of you are uncomfortable with it, I won't let him.

Neither Mom or I had the heart to be the reason to kick out a homeless person who had just been promised a place to stay. Mom as one might expect was seriously pissed off about it though.

We all ended up being pretty annoyed with him pretty quickly. You'd think eventually someone would eventually run out of things to talk about or would eventually not having something to say about what someone said or did. It was particularly annoying because he was trying to be my BFF. I really value space and privacy, but he wanted to hang out with me constantly.

It became clear on Sunday that my Dad was getting annoyed with him, which is funny because for all intents and purposes the way Brian was annoying is the same way my father is annoying. If only he were capable of empathy. He told me late Sunday night that he was going to kick Brian out the following morning. It was a hushed meeting in the kitchen where Dad told me to be ready in case the shit hit the fan and gave me a baseball bat just in case, which lead to an awkward moment.

When I went back up to my room he opened his door and saw I was carrying a baseball bat. I set it down in my room and looked at some business plan he was working on. Fortunately it was in his nature to never be critical or disagreeable at all, so he didn't really question me about the bat.

The following morning Dad told him he couldn't stay anymore and it didn't go badly. Things were back to the way there, which are bad, but I found it could be much worse. It's not that I'm opposed to potentially having a boarder live with us, but a decision like that shouldn't be made unilaterally and overnight. Also, it should be some one who is not so damn needy for attention and actually pays rent.

Thanks for reading


*For almost anyone in the world, I wouldn't be upset in said circumstance, but my patience with my father has long been fried.
**This work is stupid/wasteful projects that my Dad is a bit deluded about their impact/feasibility.
***I value my life and my possessions too highly for that shit.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don't Be Such a Phony

My friend Emma provided today's topic with this question: which literary character (preferably, but not necessarily outside HP) do you most relate to/why?

I relate most to Holden Caulfield.

I am perhaps too old now for it to be appropriate to relate so much to an angst ridden teenager. I know I'm much more at peace with things now than I was, say, four or five years ago, but still I can't help but wonder what the point is. I often look at society and see that there is just so much dumb ritual and wish things made more sense.

I have a problem with insincerity as well. I don't like people trying to be something their not; whether it is to fit in or avoid fitting in at all costs. I don't like when someone is nicer than they ought to be with me, because they think they need to make me feel better about myself. I don't like people who are people-pleasers who will never disagree with you to your face no matter how ridiculous what you say is.

I really hate playing that game. I don't like lying on anyone's behalf. I'm not going to go along with anything that goes against my against my principals. I hate acting like something makes me happy when in reality it causes me some negative emotion.

I value the motivation for an action as much as I value the action itself. If you aren't doing something for the right reasons, I'd rather you just not do them. Being a martyr doesn't impress me. I find that I'm very skeptical of sincerity and motivation, but they are things that I value dearly.

I can also relate to the grandness of his plans and the general not following through with them. He wants to go out west, but can't bring himself to leave his sister and make her sad. He wants to bang a prostitute, but once she's in the room with him he can't do it. I often find that I make plans that I never go through with. It is usually my anxieties and fears that keep me from fulfilling them.

I think if you just describe Holden Caulfield without reading his story, he sounds like a right bastard. But in reading the Catcher in the Rye you see that he isn't really a bastard at all. I feel like if someone were to right a first person narrative about me the results would be pretty similar. Although that may be speaking too highly of myself.


"When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around. I even have to go to the bathroom when I worry about something. Only, I don't go. I'm too worried to go. I don't want to interrupt my worrying to go."

"In my mind, I'm probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw."

"I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can."

"Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody."

I think perhaps the area that I most relate to Caulfield is that we both really fail to meet our ideals. It isn't really possible to avoid becoming at least partially a "phony." I know I often end up being guilty of doing the things I say I despise.

I think I'm similar to the person Holden Caulfield would be five or six years after the story. I still have my ideals, still am mostly cynical, but have moved slowly towards being a realist in some areas.

Angsty post is Angsty/Rambling Post is Rambling


P.S. For Harry Potter the answer would be Hermione Granger

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Special Comment- Debt Ceiling

I think it is pretty clear the deal that was reached to get the Debt Ceiling increased was a crappy one. I mean, it's nice that the U.S. won't default and the economy won't fall to ruins. However, this country was allowed to be held hostage by a few of the most ideological members of Congress and those few were allowed to push us to the brink of catastrophe. Those who self-identify* themselves as the "Tea Party" failed to understand or just didn't give a damn about the implications of not raising the Debt Ceiling. Those people who least understood how to and frankly were unwilling govern were allowed to control the debate and the blame lies almost entirely with one man: John Boehner.

The position of Speaker of the House is as powerful of a position as there is in this country. The man or woman who holds that job has the power to kill any bill he or she wishes. The Speaker controls what gets voted on and when that vote happens. In the current era of divided government, that position also carries a more significant leadership role as the head of his party in the Capitol. Boehner absolutely failed in that role. He let a very small number of his party control vital negotiations. He was outmaneuvered by the President to the point of walking out of negotiations when he was getting a much more than fair deal. Had he been willing to cut loose the most extreme members of his caucus this deal would've been done long ago.

The buzz word during the past week has been "compromise." The deal we ended up with was no compromise. It isn't a balanced approach. This a right-wing plan. The Democrats gave the Republicans virtually everything they could've dreamed of and got nothing in return.

It's sad to think that these members were elected. The Debt Ceiling is not something to have a fight over. It is something that is suicidal not to raise. Allowing the Debt Ceiling to be raised was not a big concession on the Republicans' part. This isn't the right time to cut Government spending either. It might be hard to believe, but cutting 2 trillion from government spending is taking 2 trillion out of the economy. Some of the spending may be frivolous or downright dumb, but a dollar is a dollar no matter where it came from or what it was spent on. Government will need to deal with the deficit if the future, but in the current economic conditions it isn't really appropriate and when those measures are to be taken it should be an approach of increasing revenue as well as cutting spending.

The damage may already be done however. Economy is entirely a construct and this has shown how shaky things actually are. It definitely has Wall Street rattled and we'll have to see how this has affected consumer confidence. It also has shown that there are some in government who are willing to play politics with this pivotal issue. The United States' credit rating may have already been doomed to be downgraded, but there is definitely a black mark on it now from this fight for Credit Agencies and Lenders. Also given the nature of this fight there is no guarantee that it will not happen again in a few years.

The actions of this Congress will make the 2012 elections a very important one** and perhaps the most interesting in recent times. I believe that the way things have gone that a 3rd and possibly a 4th party may actually be viable in Congressional races and even the Presidential race; though that likelihood is lower given the nature of election laws.

Those who were willing to sacrifice this nation's economy for their own loony political goals must be kicked out of Washington. Things like the Debt Ceiling are not something you can play politics with. On occasion, one must swallow his or her pride and do what is best for the country and govern. Unfortunately it has been made clear in the past few weeks that there are many in Congress who fail to understand that and it's time for them to pay the price for their selfishness.

Thanks for reading and please comment


*I think it's sad that we've allowed them to take that title. The Boston Tea Party was actually about Liberty. These fuckers are just a bunch white and rich/ignorant people who think the "evil government" keeping them from being whiter and richer.