Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 08!

If you're expecting me to tell about my wonderful, WONDERFUL holiday experience... You're in for a wait.

First off, my family decided we would celebrate Thanksgiving this Saturday, so I have devoured no turkey today at all. (I could have sworn I smelled it when I got home from work, though. Maybe it was someone down the hall.)

In fact, today I had to work, and get this... we don't get holiday pay. Yep, although I wasn't one, some of my other coworkers' families had to wait on their Thanksgiving plans for them to get off of work, and received no compensation. That's a conglomerate for you...

Also, since I take the bus to work, and on holidays, the bus runs on the night schedule, which doesn't go by my place. So, I had to ask one of the managers for a ride to work. She obliged, but I had to be ready to go about 6AM when I'm scheduled for 8AM. It was either that, or walk in the near dark.

I've really remained quiet about where specifically I work. Let me just say that this job does not challenge me and does not make use of my full potential.

Let it also suffice to say that we were very busy during the earlier part of the morning, but by the time I left at 4PM, we were DEAD...

Having no ride home (no one else got off at 4), I decided to walk. (I had also not eaten since I'd left home. I was, however, very well hydrated.) I pulled it off in 50 minutes. I also kept myself sane by listening to music on my little mp3 player. (Seriously... I need a better player... But until I can afford one, I'll just make do...)

I got home, IMed some friends, then Audrey and Shaun came over, and I went with them to the big, evil, and really huge new Wal-Mart, where they did more Christmas shopping. (I haven't even started...) They did buy me a Mt. Dew, though... Those two seriously rock!

And, well, yeah, that was pretty much it. Thanksgiving '08... Good day, TERRIBLE holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Problem With Buying Used DVDs...

As a cheapskate as well as movie and book (and sometimes music) collector, I often buy used copies of DVDs from online services and specialty shops.

All but one of my DVDs in my collection is encoded in Region 1 (or it's Region-Free, but this is mainly in DVDs I've made myself). That one is the recent 3-disc edition of Peter Weir's brilliant Picnic at Hanging Rock. I had to order that one from the UK since that's the only country that got that terrific release. (Which I find odd, since it was an Australian movie.)

This is why I had to unlock my DVD player for all regions and void the warranty...

But, three excellent movies I have were Region 1, but were still from another country: Canada. Now, Canada uses Region encoding, so there's no issue with them. In fact, most DVDs you will find have a French alternate audio track so if a US-released DVD just happens to wander over up north into Canada, it can still be re-distributed to both French and English speaking customers.

SO... which DVDs do I have from Canada?

Return to Oz
The 1985 Disney movie, now a cult classic. I got this one through Amazon's used DVD services. Not bad, though the the notice for an added French track on the front cover is annoying.

Back to the Future Trilogy
Well, I guess that really counts as three movies, but it was one DVD release... But I bought this one at a local shop. I also traded in several unwanted DVDs for it, the end price being only $3. All of the package blurb, including the title, is also printed in French. A little too much for my eyes, but, oh well. (They're doing a new release next year.)

Finally, Trainspotting
Also ordered from a used Amazon affiliate. The French title on the spine and in parenthesis on the front and discs are negligible, still, it's a little odd seeing the summary repeated on the back.

... Did I just do a whole blog about Canadian DVDs? Heck!

Hahaha... It's my first animation with Flash! HILARIOUSLY BAD! And hosted on my new YouTube channel.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Websites I'm Surprised No One Owns (Yet)

Just doing some random searching...
No one owns theses sites that might prove interesting if they existed...

Strangely, these sites DO exist:

Seriously, type in whatever you feel like and add ".com" and see what you come up with!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Good Day Yesterday

Yesterday, I had work at 10 AM. However, I also had a package to mail off to a friend in Australia, so I resolved I would catch an earlier bus to head over to the Post Office, since international packages require a customs form.

My biggest misgiving was that shipping to another country is a little pricey, and I hadn't yet paid my electric bill for the month. Just five minutes before 8 AM, when I was going to catch the bus, I called City Utilities automated system to see if I'd been billed yet, whilst I also pulled on my shoes. I had been billed at last, the amount being just under $50. Fortunately, the most secure way of paying them without a cash, check, or money order presented or mailed to them, is using your credit or debit card over the phone, so, I paid the bill off and headed out the door and locked it behind me, just at the stroke of 8.

Then I unlocked the door because I'd forgotten to grab the package...

I managed to catch the 8 AM bus. My plan was a little risky, catching the Line 14 from the Line 8. Fortunately, I mentioned my plan to the driver who reminded me that a quicker route downtown would be to catch the Line 1. I caught the Line 1, and rode it down to the News-Leader offices, which was right next to the Post Office. (Both of which each take up a whole city block.)

I got into the Post Office at 8:30 AM and was given a customs form to fill out, then I paid for postage, which was about $17.

Now my main concern was getting to work on time. I walked back to the News-Leader, and surmised that the next Line 1 going my way (Line 1 also runs straight by my work, I never take it there as it doesn't go by my apartment) would be on the other side of the street. However, after crossing the street and checking the bus map, I discovered that it was not going that direction, so I set off walking to the Bus Terminal.

Luckily, the Bus Terminal is just outside the City Square, which is right down the street from the News-Leader... By about four blocks.

As I took the walk, I reflected that it was actually a nice walk to take, and wished that I wasn't in a rush to get to work and that I'd also had my camera with me. I shall have to do that sometime.

As it was, when I reached the Bus Terminal, about 8:45, there was a Line 1 waiting there, with no driver in it yet.

While I stood waiting, I noticed on the side of the bus a banner reading "FREE WI-FI ON THIS BUS, COMMUTE AND COMPUTE."

I immediately thought, They have got to be kidding! If I owned a laptop, I wouldn't take it on the bus. If for some reason I did, I'd keep it stored away and NOT use it so no one with less-than-honest tendencies would be tempted, as laptops usually run for more than desktop computers. Wi-Fi on a bus? USELESS!

Anyways, I got over to work about 9:10 AM, still very early, so I ran over to a gas station to check my bank balance at an ATM, as in addition, I had also gone grocery shopping the night before. Had a nice bit still left. I got to work about 9:15, so I had 45 minutes to spare to read my book and say hi to my coworkers, who I get along very well with.

After work, I went back home and relaxed for an hour and a half, before heading out again to cell group, where we just kicked back with tea, hot cocoa, cookies, and Kung Fu Panda.

Might not look like much, but heck, it was a great day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stuff Like This Turns A Man To Drugs...

Yeah, I was going to get some stuff done today, capturing some old video tapes to digital video, clean my apartment (since the video conversion is a "start and leave it" process), but, heck...

Lucky I have the day off.

I got up at 5AM, wakened by one of my managers calling, asking if I could come in a couple hours early before I reminded her I had the day off. Decided to start the video transfers, but found out the VCR I borrowed keeps an onscreen display on all of the time that would carry over to the transfer. I need the remote for the unit to turn it off, and I don't have the remote.

Then, about noon, my eyes started watering, I got a headache, and my nose started dripping. After lying down in the dark for a bit, I went to the bathroom and downed a couple pills of a nasal decongestant. Then, I popped a couple aspirins.

Five pills in one hour... Sheesh...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Heh... Morbid.

Ever since that time I sprained my knee (still hurts, by the way; Shaun told me knee injuries rarely heal), this weird, morbid scenario has been forming in my mind. Today, as I was leaving work, it came into fruition.

I'm riding a motor scooter, suddenly, my leg slips, my toes get caught in a small pock in the road, and... my leg tears off at the knee.
At this point, I think, Oh, crap... Because riding any two-wheeled vehicle requires balancing your weight, and with one leg, balance is hard or impossible to sustain.
So... I fall over. The scooter falls with me, crippling my other leg.
Of course, this is after it drags me a few feet...
I see a couple of ladies watching. One faints, the other just screams "Oh my gawd!"
My life's blood of course has been draining out since the leg-tearing, so I'm beginning to feel woozy and light-headed.
A few kids from the neighborhood run up and shout "Awesome!" "Do that again!"
With my last minute of consciousness, I pull out my cell phone, unlock it, manage to dial "9-1-1," hit the call button, but pass out before I can talk to anyone.
The call operator has been having a bad day and thinks it's a joke, so before anyone else gets the idea to call 911, the police arrive to see who pulled the prank. They of course call for paramedics, but I of course have bled to death on the way to ER.
I live on in a video on YouTube that some neighborhood kid filmed with his cell phone, but it gets flagged and removed due to violent content.

So, there we go. One way to meet a bloody, bloody death!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Something I Wish I'd Seen earlier...

I found this on Facebook. I thought it was funny. Two different versions of:


OLD VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.' Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house,now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote!

Right, there are political references in here, but I thought it was funny and offers an interesting look at some mentality of some people who happen to be in the public eye.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So... um...

I went to do my laundry at my apartment's laundry room. All of the washers were in use. Out of curiosity, I checked the dryers, all but 2 of them were in use.

After waiting 20 minutes, the lady who was using the washers finally arrived, smoking a cigarette, despite the sign saying, "NO SMOKING" on the door. She then proceeds to move her laundry to the dryers, saying "I act like I live here, I don't, I just work here."

. . . REALLY? I don't recall anyone besides the apartment manager and the maintenance men being hired on.

As I put my clothes in the washer, she comments that she saw a Barack Obama rally last night and it was so great.

Okay, so is this what we can expect from Democrats? Sounds pretty selfish and ignorant to me...

By the way, I'm not saying all Democrats are selfish ignoramuses, I'm just saying that so close to Election Day, that is a REALLY good way to represent your party.