Thursday, October 30, 2008

Strange Things

I feel the need to record this event, since it's one of the strangest/coolest things that's ever happened to me.

Around an hour ago, I stopped at a gas station to grab a quick snack before I returned to work after my weekly tutoring session with a 3rd grader at a nearby elementary school. I got in my car, and as I was about to pull out, a man drove up beside me in an SUV, rolled down his window and motioned for me to do the same. Once my window was down, the man leaned over and asked... if i spoke Italian.

The man was Italian, and told me in broken English that his English was poor. I told him I didn't speak Italian, but began to speak to him in Spanish. He asked me if I spoke the language because of school, and I confirmed his suspicions. We began talking, me in Spanish, he in Italian, and had no problems understanding one another.

I asked him whether he needed directions, or help in some way, and he waved off my attempts to aid him. He told me he worked for a company downtown, and had just received a bonus which included four Italian coats from makers such as Gianni Versace. He had no use for them, so he was willing to sell them to me for half the going price. While we were talking, two large women paused at the front of his car, staring in amazement at the conversation going on. One of them asked loudly, "DOES HE NEED DIRECTIONS??" and I waved her off, telling her it wasn't the case. I politely declined to purchase the coats, and after much thanks, we went our separate ways. He still had his coats, but I had a story to tell.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Financial Plan

I'm going to start putting my money in CDs. That's right. Compact Discs. With my new financial plan I'm going to invest in thousands of those round, silvery circlets in hopes that in the near future we will suddenly have an incredible shortage of easily recordable media, and I will be the sole proprietor of all the compact discs in the world.

Banking on that fact, I'll be able to price-gouge to my heart's content. I'll accept trades, personal services, anything I deem worthy of the incredible price I'll charge for the CDs. In the process I'll become one of the most powerful men in the world, with riches only exceeded by those who invested in stocks. The makers of those antiquated holding mechanisms will be the most esteemed people in the world when all traditional holding cells, jails and prisons are rendered useless by the discovery of a tiny tool that can break anyone out of any cage if only the hands are free.

To recap, over the next few months I will be investing HEAVILY in CDs, and I would advise others to put their money in to stocks. The time is NOW.

That's the world I someday want to live in.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I just wanted to write a quick note to say that the reason I haven't posted in a while is because Blogger is having issues sizing photos imported to posts. I'm apparently not the only one who's having this issue, but it's still really annoying. Because pictures are an integral part of my blogging, I'm going to either take a break or just fight through it. More to come...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Back in the Day

I was just playing Call of Duty 4, and I thought about some of my favorite video games of all time. I have a very short attention span, and as such, I rarely revisit games unless they make a real impression on me. Because of this, I thought I'd discuss a few of the games I would return to if given the chance. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and it's not even all of the games I like, it's just a few of the ones I can remember at this moment.

The Mark of Kri - Playstation 2
When TMK came out in 2002, it's innovative dual-analog combat system, cartoon movie-style graphics and gratuitous violence immediately piqued my attention. When I actually played the game, I was impressed by the story, tight controls and variation in gameplay. The fact that the lead character was a Rock-esque Samoan-type character who could take on multiple enemies at once didn't hurt the game's case. Needless to say, I was hooked on the game, and it will forever hold a place in my gaming heart.

SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals - Playstation 2
SOCOM is another game that came out in 2002, and it's the first game I ever had the opportunity to play online. I spent hours balling out online, racking up kills, winning games and battling other players with my SOCOM "team" of people I regularly played with. I never met any of the guys in person, but some of us became friends in the non-creepy way. SOCOM's ground-breaking use of the headset to issue voice commands to either the computer or human teammates was previously unheard of for me, and in the time when video games still weren't really cool yet, I caught a lot of crap for talking to my TV. However, such was my love for SOCOM that I still dislike Halo to this day because I was so used to playing from the 3rd-person behind-the-back perspective that SOCOM offered. Out of all my favorite games, I rate SOCOM highest for online play, right beside Call of Duty 4.

FIFA series - All consoles
I really don't need to say much about FIFA. As a soccer player, I grew up playing FIFA from the very first edition (FIFA 94) til now. In fact, I've played every edition of FIFA since it's inception. I can remember bringing my console to soccer tournaments and battling my teammates in our down time, going over to friends' houses and playing and more recently, throwing my controller in frustration over the game (but we won't go into that).

More to come...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The List

I keep a running list of some material things I'd like to see in my possession. While some will be added in the next few weeks, most of these things won't be added for a few months or even years. Just for fun I'm posting pictures of some of the things I want in the near future.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mr. Chi City

I just wanted to drop a line and point people to the king of ignorant videos. No, his name is not Soulja Boy. It's "Mr. Chi City". Enjoy.

In particular, "Keepin your refrigerator stocked", "public service announcement" and "McDonald's" are roll on the floor hilarious.

Credit Problems

I was watching an old cartoon the other day and I thought about the character from Popeye, J. Wellington Wimpy. For me, Wimpy (first introduced in 1934) is a great example of Americans' willingness to go into debt for things they want. Wellington's trademark line: "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" illustrates the mindset of many people in the States. Americans want cool stuff and they want it NOW.

In the cartoon, Wimpy's line was to fool people into buying him food while avoiding paying for it at all. Often we, as Americans fool ourselves into buying ourselves things and think that by using credit we don't "really" have to pay for it. To paraphrase a business friend of mine: "People are buying Mercedes' when they should be buying Toyotas and buying big screen HDTVs when they can't afford regular ones."

The ongoing financial crisis is a perfect illustration of the financial woes Americans have been wading further and further into lately. People that couldn't afford to live in the houses they lived in were hoping no-one would notice they weren't paying their bills. Someone noticed, and there were consequences.

The moral of this story? If you can't buy the hamburger today, eat at home, save your money and go get it when you can afford it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My President Is... Black?

To say the least, much has been made of Barack Obama's race. Millions proclaim that he will be our first Black president if elected. There's just one problem: he's not Black. He's mixed.

In America, we tend to lump anyone with "one drop" of "colored" blood into that person's minority group. While on the one hand it lends credence to the minority group to which that person is rightly part of, we tend to ignore the fact that we are completely eliminating a huge part of a person's background. If you ask most people of mixed-race heritage directly, they will not tell you, "oh, I'm Black" or "I'm Puerto Rican", or "I'm Japanese". In reality, the majority of mixed-race people will say, "I'm Puerto Rican and Black", "I'm half White, half Black", etc. These people know and value the constituent parts of their backgrounds, so why don't we have the respect to do it as well?

I don't want to make it seem as if I am not proud and happy to have an African-American representative in the running for the Presidential nomination. However, I think we must keep in mind that there are two parts to his whole. To simply call Barack Obama "Black" is a token of disrespect to the mother who bore and raised him.

Note: I'm fully aware that there is no biological definition of or distinction between races, but for the purpose of this posting, I'm operating under the assumption that whoever reads this will understand my use of the term.

A Little Writing Exercise

A beautiful creature dives effortlessly. Flying glamorously heavenward, it's jaded; knackered. Look: must new opportunities present questions relentlessly? Stunningly turned upwards vertically: wonderful, xyloglyphic young zephyrs.

Friday, October 17, 2008

We're Not Alone

There are aliens among us. Every day extraterrestrials play in sporting events around the world and we as humans take no more notice of them than we would a fly: mildly annoying, but part of everyday life. They play in all different sports: Sam Cassell and Shelden Williams in the NBA, Pepe in the Spanish Primera Liga, Mike Ricci formerly of the NHL, Ezequiel Astacio of the MLB and Mike Tyson of the EEB (Extreme Ear Biters).

Aliens have even infiltrated our entertainment world. Michael Jackson, Katt Williams, Marilyn Manson, DJ Qualls and more walk around in our midst without repercussion.

I say if illegal aliens from south of our borders face oppressive legislation and legal ramifications, aliens from north of our atmosphere must face the same. Justice must be served!!

Revelation of a Nerd

I have a confession. I'm a bona fide nerd. I was fully aware of this fact before just now, but this morning, I had a legitimate full nerd moment that I can't deny at all. I sat at my desk, closed my eyes for a few seconds and...

recited Pi to as many decimal places as I could remember.

I got to 3.14159265359 and was actually excited about my abilities until I suddenly realized I had settled into full nerd territory. The worst part about it is that I'm not ashamed at all. Most people who know me don't know the full extent of my nerdiness. In reality, probably only 2-3 people fully realize just how much of a nerd I am. I tend to only display around 22.87% of my nerdiness to the general populace, and around 18.07% of that is through my blog.

With this giant leap into the land of Geakuh (pronounced: Geek), I may just begin to reveal more and more of my nerdiness to the world.

I like Star Wars.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goodbye world... I'll be in my room playing FIFA

FIFA 09 is here. The game I've been waiting for for months has finally hit the shelves (and subsequently my Xbox 360). I picked the game up on the way to Davidson's soccer game last night, and on the drive back, my excitement grew the closer I got home. When I finally arrived at my house, I tried to control myself. I calmly grabbed a bite to eat, changed into basketball shorts, put away my clothes, put on a load of laundry, and settled in to fully enjoy my video game experience. I opened the video game box, and saw:

"Let's FIFA 09"

I responded to the game's invitation with my own resounding "YES, LET'S!". I popped the game in and proceeded to have at it with all the enthusiasm I could muster. I was able to muster a large amount of enthusiasm, and I had at it with aplomb.

The game itself plays like a dream. One of the main talking points for this year's iteration of the FIFA series is the brand-new physics system through which players actually battle for the ball, jostle each other, challenge headers and go into tackles with a sense of realism heretofore unmatched. A variety of factors go into these situations including body positioning, player strength, weight, height, speed, etc. The end product is much like watching players flying around the pitch like in a real game.

The ball movement and passing has also been tweaked, and they seem to accurately reflect the relative skill of the players and teams involved. For instance, I was able to do fairly well with Manchester City, but I couldn't quite pull off the slick one-touch passing and movement I was able to do with ease playing as Chelsea.

Ball control is no longer as simple as previous FIFA games, and boneheaded plays that were the norm in olden days (like trying to play 5-yard one-two passes out of one's own penalty box) are summarily punished as they should be. Individual players' technical ability is actually reflected in the way they control, pass and shoot the ball. In addition, no longer do players "magically" control balls shot at them from 3 yards away. The added touch of skilled players throwing out moves when direction changes are input on the controller also makes the game that much more enjoyable.

Overall, I think this is the best FIFA yet, and I'll be playing it for months. I may emerge out of my room occasionally for necessary functions such as food, bathroom breaks and a little bit of sun, but otherwise, I'll be unavailable for comment. See you next year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ballin With Barack

I am voting for Barack Obama. My reasons, however, are not what you might think. I have a strong inclination that in the future, all international disagreements will be settled by one-on-one basketball games to 21 between countries' respective heads of state. Bearing that in mind, how could anyone even think to vote for McCain over Obama? In fact, I don't know how they've gone this long without battling it out on the blacktop. I know Sarah Palin played basketball in high school and she could give McCain some pointers on his J, but there's no way Johnny boy could match up with Barack "All Day and All Night" Obama.

On a similar note, does it feel any better to have your shot packed by the future president in a pickup game, or does the sting of rejection still burn like a stove top turned on Hi? Do you run around town exclaiming "Barack Obama put his presidential junk in my face and dunked on me!!", or do you hide in the nearest locker room, sobbing and hoping Kennedy's assassin is resurrected? If you foul Obama a bit too hard does Secret Service jump down from the backboard and summarily pull your spine out, or are you free to hack-a-Barack until Palin's cows come home?

If you vote for McCain and the U.S. becomes a terrorist state because ole John couldn't handle Ahmadinejad's drive and pull-up jumper, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Lebron James/Dwyane Wade for President and VP, 2032!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

You 'Member, 'Member?

I'm sitting here watching D3: The Mighty Ducks, and it brings back a lot of memories. Every time I hear the repetitive quacks of the Ducks, it sends a little tingle down my spine. I remember how cool I used to think the characters were, how inspiring their story used to be, how hectic the action was and how realistic the situations seemed. As a 10-year-old, I remember getting legitimately excited when "bash brother" Dean Portman showed up in the locker room for the 3rd period. As a kid, the movie was phenomenal.

Watching it now, the movie is comically bad. The one-liners are priceless, the action is slow and unrealistic, and the storyline is ridiculous. Even better, the Icelandic center, Gunnar Stahl from D2: The Mighty Ducks is recycled as Scooter, the varsity team's American goalkeeper. The idea that a prestigious prep school would change it's name just because a highly-touted freshman hockey team beats the varsity team is equally outlandish.

Watching the team play pick-up hockey with full pads and gloves is such a blatant attempt to coerce kids into playing safely it's hilarious. During the game, the over-the-top hits and saves make me cringe, and the fact that grown women are cheering for "freshman" Dean Portman's penalty box striptease is more than a little bit disturbing.

As much as these faults detract from the movie, I can't say I don't thoroughly enjoy watching it. My positive memories of the movie from my younger years far outweigh the negative feelings I have at this point. Even if I didn't have positive memories of the movie, my fondness for the old-school unrealistic sports genre (see: Little Giants, The Mighty Ducks, The Air Up There, Angels in the Outfield, etc.) would have led me to love the movie anyway. Because of this, and because of the fond place D3 holds in my heart, I can't stop watching it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Aaron's Law

1. If a person's name is mentioned in Davidson College's Vail Commons, they will invariably show up within 10 minutes.
2. No matter how long it's been without rain or what the weather reports dictate, if you wash your car it will rain the next day.
3. You will only trip and make a fool of yourself in front of people you want to impress.
4. You will always be wearing your favorite shirt when you spill spaghetti sauce on it.
5. The freezing air will only come on in the office/theater/building when you forget your jacket.

More rules to come.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I know I promised to post more this week, and so far I've kept that promise. I don't want to overload on posting, but I felt I had to say something.

Oh. My. G-g-g-goodness.

Someone pleeeeaaaaaase get me these.

That is all.

I'm A Writer... I Guess

I never actually thought of myself as a writer until very recently. I've always been an avid reader, and from time to time I would wonder what it'd be like to be the one who actually created works that interested others as much as it interested me. A few months ago, I heard a quote from one of my favorite writers, Orson Scott Card that stirred me into action. Basically, Card stated his belief that writers are stirred into action for one of two reason: they are either inspired by good writing and wish to emulate what they've read, or they read something so terrible they feel that if writing as poor as that can get published, why can't theirs? I fall into the former category. I love reading, and the good writing I've read inspired me to the point of venturing out on my own. That brings me to my current existence where it seems i've become a writer of sorts.

What is a writer? In it's simplest form I guess a writer is someone who (skillfully or not) breaks down a situation or condition and summarizes it into a few (or many) words on a page. A writer can reduce a situation to something quite rudimentary, extrapolate it into a different situation, or even magnify it into something it is or is not. For this reason writing is one of, if not, the most powerful tools in the known world. The clichéd saying: "the pen is mightier than the sword" was created for a reason.

That is not to say all writing is powerful. It's simply a tool for whatever the writer wishes to use it. While some writing has inspired and spurred nations of people, other's writing has earned them Fs in an English class. Even bad writing has the power to make a person fail, depending on the circumstance in which it is deployed.

So why do I write? It's simple: because I want to. I am very frequently bored, and writing the extraneous thoughts tumbling around my brain helps the useful ones flourish by expunging those that have no use. I have found that the more I write, the more I actually enjoy writing. If I had read these words a year ago I would have dismissed them as a fallacy and demanded recompence for obvious libel. However, here I am, typing away; I'm a changed man. It would seem that I've become a writer. Whether or not I become a good writer is anyone's guess.

Hello, I'm A Mac

Windows' most recent "I'm A PC" ad campaign is designed to directly combat the long-running, often-comical Mac commercials featuring Justin Long (Accepted, Dodgeball). In the Mac commercials, PC is portrayed as a nerdy, clueless tweed-wearers in comparison to the cool, laid back Mac with everything under control (a lá Alltel's Chad vs. the other phone companies' nerd herd).

In Windows' commercials, PCs are shown to run the gamut from nerds to businessmen to cool musicians like Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D (pictured holding gold Apple iPhone). When Pharrell showed up, it made me laugh. Pharrell is a PC! I'm pretty sure I'd be a PC as well if I was tossed thousands of dollars and free computers in order to advertise the product. However, since I'm balling on a budget, I had to buy the best available product with the funds allocated. That was a Mac.

Up until last year I hated the smug Mac users who bragged about their computer's superior functionality, cool packaging and immunity to the viruses which plague nearly all PC users. And then I got a MacBook. I fell in love. After the two or three hour adjustment period, I was skating around Leopard like I had been using a Mac all my life. I never wanted to go back to a PC again. I found myself suppressing snide remarks when others complained about "computer problems" and couldn't help but throw in a comment about my Mac from time to time. I had become a Mac person.

I'm not being paid by Mac to use their product. I definitely wasn't being paid by PC to use theirs. But I will give praise where praise is indeed due. While PCs are admittedly a bit more versatile (due to most illegal programs being made for their use), I am fully immersed in the Mac world. I may visit PCland from time to time to check on the little people, but anything more than a day or two and I'll get homesick.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Trump Card They Can't Play

Barack Obama has one. Sarah Palin has one. The problem is, neither one of them can use it. I'm talking about their "cards". Obama has the Race Card hanging out in his back pocket. Sarah Palin has the Sexism Card in her purse. However, neither one can use it because everyone is expecting them to and because of the fallout from such a manoeuvre.

The second Obama calls ANYONE out for anything racist, the presidential race changes (explicitly) from McCain vs. Obama to what many people perceive the race to be now: McCain vs. The Black Race. If Sarah "I shot the moose but I did not shoot Mike Vick's dogs" Palin alludes to any type of sexism, it's a Biden vs Women's Hope race. So what to do?

They just don't pull their cards out. They keep them close on hand so their aides, supporters and advocates can pull them out for them, but they simply don't use them. If Obama goes to Mississippi/Alabama (they're the same state mirrored) again and he's called the N-word, he's going to have to take it and keep rolling down the river. If Palin is called a hot mom and asked when the next PTA meeting is, she'll have to hop in the minivan and drive off without a response.

So who can use those cards? The same people that have been using them from the beginning. Those misinformed, ignorant, lazy, intelligent, brilliant, active people who have been using those cards like Paris Hilton on a trip to France. Basically, any individual person who feels inclined to use the cards can use them. Just not Obama and Palin.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Been a Long Time, I Shouldn't Have Left You...

All right, I'm back. I've been relatively blog-negligent the last few days because I've actually had work (crazy, huh?) to do. I've really enjoyed some of the more recent projects I've had, and I'm starting to get more of an idea of what I like, don't like, my strengths and my weaknesses.

I also haven't really had the downtime time to think of something interesting to write about during my work hours, and I tend to do other things in life when I head home. However, I pledge to try and write something every day this week (excluding the weekend). I'll let my brain run free and crazy to keep my tiny audience appeased.

Shout outs to the Son of Prince for his shortest post ever in his own little world. I'm going to stop here and let this be (probably?) my shortest post. Peace!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Yesterday I was reading some educational info online and came across an remarkably edifying statistic. 87% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 cannot find Iraq on a map, 83% can't find Afghanistan, and a staggering 99% can't find Carmen Sandiego anywhere.

Stunned by this information, I decided to test myself. I pulled up a blank map and located Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Stan the Man and I even found Toucan Sam in Brazil. I felt quite pleased with myself, and then I started to wonder: Is that stat pertaining to a blank map or a clearly labelled world map?

If someone can't find Iraq on a labelled world map, there's a serious problem with the US. I can understand not knowing the exact placement of smaller countries, but if you can't run your finger around the general vicinity you should probably be placed on a spit and slow roasted. Or at least your school's principal should be.