Friday, September 29, 2006

Track 1

This will be track one on the new "Happy Jack and the Monotones" album.

Check it out.

It's more than a feeling!

Remeber the days of cassettes? I think I played some of them so much that I wiped a few out of existence. I had a copy of Boston's first album that I rubbed the writing clean off. Well now I can make my own cassettes

Now if I would just get around to converting my LP's

Planning to plan

More office hijinks-

Sure it's a small gesture but I take a lot of enjoyment in small little subversive jabs at establishments.

I'm just gonna leave that up on my whiteboard and see anyone says anything. I'm pretty safe considering, if they get it, they'll understand it. And if they don't understand it, they won't get it.

Did I ever mention I'm a huge fan of whiteboards?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Well I wouldn't say I've been 'missing' work...

Apparently we've got a consultant coming into the office to critique our workflow. Or some other BS like that. All I can think about is the two 'Bobs' in office space who are the downsizing consultants. I'm mightly tempted to take Peter's (the hero of office space) approach with the consultant.

Peter Gibbons: You see Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.
Bob Porter: Don't... don't care?
Peter Gibbons: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's another thing, I have eight different bosses right now.
Bob Porter: Eight?
Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

Were it not for the fact that I acutally like some aspects of my job and have family to worry about, I think I'd tell them what I really thought about the company and consulting in general. Besides some people tell me I look a little like Ron Livingston.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

2 years!!!!

Amy and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary yesterday. I think we both surprised each other in the anniversary present department also. Lately Amy has been real keen on learning to play guitar. She's been borrowing our neighbor's guitar (Thanks Mandy!) and has been picking it up VERY quickly. So I went out and found her a nice Yamaha acoustic beginning guitar.

My lovely bride surprised me by getting me a Nikon D50. I can't tell you how excited I am about this camera. For one thing, it's my first digital camera. I know, I know, it's 2006. But I had resisted the pull of digital because of cost, quality and quite frankly the fact that I had a lot of money tied up in lenses for my film cameras. So now I can use all my Nikon lenses and do it with super-electron-pixilated power. Cool, huh?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Take a left at Albuquerque & a right at Archeology

So the other day on "The Show", Zefrank compared college majors to cities. Naturally this intrigued me, so I wrote this response on his forum.

Welcome to History.

It's a nice town. Most everyone here is friendly and eager to help each other out. Sure you have the occasional idiot or weirdo but on the whole we are a fairly intelligent bunch. We don't have the competitiveness of Business Administration, or the sterile feeling of some of the Sciences. WE tend to be a fairly laid back lot, not real forward looking all of the time. Some have accused the town of being a little more liberal or even plain Marxist, but I've found we tend to be pretty even handed politically.

What do I do here? Haha...I don't actually WORK in History. I just live here. Very few people WORK in History. Think of us as a very large suburb. I commute over to Information Technology every day for work. Sure the commute is longer than most people's but the pay is much better, and I don't mind the traffic. Plus the standard of living over here is much less expensive.

Now there are some downsides. A lot of residents get caught up in minutiae and details. Some miss the big picture, while others tend to forget the details. Then there are some neighborhoods that are only concerned about rote memorization (I'd stay out of there, especially after dark!). What neighborhood do I live in? Military history. It's a little rougher than most, pretty conservative (I'm an anomaly) but I try to love my neighbors, the best I can.

Oh... one more downside. There is no fashion industry, whatsoever. Same thing with malls and typical suburban shopping. Ton of antiquing, however.

So why did I chose to live here of all places? It's always where I've wanted to live. It's what I'm passionate about and quite frankly I'm more comfortable here than anywhere else. Sure I lived in English and RTVF for a while, (I even had a double-major vacation home in Film Studies for a while) but I kept on dreaming of my perfect little home in History.

Well my friend, if you're thinking about moving to our little burg, just let me know. I'd be glad to show you around some more. It's really a fun place. Just don't expect to earn a great living here.
So, tell me about your city.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

September 19th is
International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

This Tuesday is International Talk Like a pirate day. So buck up me harties and cast off! Raise the ensign up the yardarms and prepare the rigging! For those of you who are Pirate challenged the guys at have a quick pointer.
Always remember the 5 A's
  1. Ahoy! - "Hello!"
  2. Avast! - "Stop and give attention!"
  3. Aye! - "Yes I agree"
  4. Aye-Aye! - "I'll get right on it!"
  5. Arrr! - This is a catch-all phrase. It means whatever a pirate wants it to mean.
If for some reason you can't talk like a pirate at work, at least go home and do it. Or read a Robert Louis Stevenson book or something.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

My weird hobbies.

So what did you do with your weekend? I dressed up in my pre-1840's garb and did a little black powder shooting. I got 4th place in the competition.(p.s. I cut my card also!, see photo below)

Amy jokes that if anyone breaks into the house that I'll have to ask them to wait while I take the 45 seconds or so it would take to load my black powder rifle.Amy even made it into the article! I'll let the Lawton Constitution pick it up from here:

Mountain Men
Sounds of black-powder rifles reverberate through Sterling

STERLING — You’ll hear them before you see them.
“Ka-pow!” The sound of a cap being struck and gunpowder ignited, sending an iron ball 30 feet into a target the size of a walnut. Actually, the target is a walnut placed on a golf tee and part of the novelty shooting competition during this weekend’s Beaver Creek Free-Trappers Rendezvous, east of Sterling.
Rendezvous were historically the meeting grounds for trappers to meet and trade their goods and purchase supplies in the first half of the 19th century. Trappers would meet to sell their pelts, stock up on supplies and fellowship and compete with each other.
“It was a good reason for a big, big party,” Steven Stricklan said.
Between the explosions of blackpowder rifles is the jocular sound of modern men and women slipping back into another time and, for some, becoming another person.
“Your camp name is what you go by,” said “Cookie,” of Durant. The trappers go by nicknames given by other campers. When he began attending rendezvous eight years ago, he made food in a concession area as a fundraiser. “Your name suits you,” he said.
“We try to be as authentic as we can,” “Iron Jaw No Bottoms” said. His name stems from an accident which damaged his jaw and an earlier rendezvous in which his buckskin pants ripped out so he donned a buckskin before carrying on his duties. He has been living the weekend mountain man life for around 30 years.
The campers at the rendezvous dress as authentically as possible in cloth, buckskin and canvas clothing and in tents of the same. The weaponry is accurate for the period.
Steve Willham, of Tecumseh, goes by the name of “Long Knife.” Holding the hatchet he had crafted to model the Hudson Bay Co. model popular amongst mountain men of the period, Willham said, “It took two tons of steel and a year of work.”
Stricklan described the early trappers as being selfsufficient. They were the embodiment of the best of the American spirit — going into unknown territory and adapting Native American skills and ideas into lives beholden only to themselves, he said.

Through the blackpowder smoke, judge Vance Apple keeps his eye on the target shot at by Steven Stricklan while “Two Feathers” prepares for his round in the novelty shooting competition Friday. Stricklan hit the golf tee attached to the target board but just missed the walnut, which was placed atop the tee and was the actual target. After a spirited debate, the judge’s ruling stood.

“Iron Jaw No Bottoms” holds the two pieces of a playing card he shot in half during a competition. He shot the card from 10 yards away while the card was on its edge from a turned position with his .45 caliber blackpowder rifle.“There’s a trick to it,” he said.

Amy Stewart, of Oklahoma City, gets some of the details of her encampment in place. Though often referred to as “mountain men,” the women in camp have as much involvement in rendezvous activities as anyone.

Steven Stricklan shows his loading block of shots for the blackpowder rifle he uses to compete in rendezvous contests. The projectiles are packed and when ready to load popped out of the block and down the barrel of the gun before packed into place using a ramrod. While Stricklan’s block is in the shape of a unicorn, he said some artifacts he’s seen were less ornate.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My wife mentioned to me the other day that she was a little put off by the delivery of the inflight announcer on her flight from Las Vegas. My initial thought was "You actually listened to what they were saying?". I personally think that you should be able to recite the standard inflight announcements to the air crew or you shouldn't be able to board. Just a thought. Imagine what inflight announcements would sound like if they were honest. Well you don't have to's one

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This one's gonna be a bummer

When I was younger one of my laments was that my generation had no single event to define its existence. My grandparents had World War II. My parents had Vietnam. And what did we have? Diddly squat. It was my belief (at the time) that the lack of a catalystic event left us somewhat lost and wandering as an American generation. Of course that was 10 years ago. Be careful what you wish for.

In a few days we will be coming up on the 5th anniversary of 9/11. Like it or not, this is the moment that defines my generation as well as almost everything that has happened on a worldwide level in the last 5 years.

The fact is that in the last few months I've heard and amazing amount of fear based rhetoric from the current administration and the various conservative media outlets in this country. As someone who likes to think of themselves as a fairly logical person this concerns me to a great extent.

The latest tendency of the administration is to compare terrorist organizations to the Nazi regime of the 30's in Germany. Suffice it to say that any casual student of history could knock holes in that analogy all too quickly. First and foremost, National Socialists in Germany were a political movement within a industrialized state in the 20th century Europe. Today's Anti-American terror organizations are nebulous movements that ignore geo-political, national, and social boundaries worldwide. And that's the most obvious difference.

Yesterday the President gave a speech officially announcing the existence of secret CIA prisons outside of the United States. Prisoners who were held in the bases were not formally charged with any wrong-doing, they had no legal council, or for that matter legal status what-so-ever. This is a dangerous precedent to set, if for no other reason than it gives other countries the de facto excuse to do it themselves to our citizens. Imagine being held in a Chinese or Russian secret service prison without any contact with the outside world for years. YEARS! No trial, no defense, no basic human rights. Scary, huh?

If anything, this is the perception that we should be fighting against. Rightly or wrongly it is by actions like these that the rest of the world view America by. If we truly are fighting for freedom. Then it's about time we started putting our money where our mouth is. Is it possible that we are opening ourselves up to more attacks by having more freedoms in our society? Yes it's possible. But is it more likely that we are creating more enemies for ourselves by heavy handed and immoral tactics like secret CIA prisons? Most definitely. Many would have us believe that the only way to be safe against attack is by locking down
our lives and having the government become a more intrusive part of our daily lives. On the contrary. True freedom means having less of our daily lives affected by the threats others pose to us. I'm willing to take that chance for freedom. Are you?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Marine mammals and you!

Check it out.... official seal generator