Random Thoughts

I’m obviously giving up on posting every day – it’s already become a ‘chore’, mainly because I’m not satisfied just saying “I’m wearing green pants today” as my post, or just relating what happened to me.  If I’m going to blog, I want it say something INTERESTING.  My day is assuredly less exciting than most people’s, and I don’t think anyone in their right mind wants to read that.  So I’ll post often, but not cry if I miss a day.

Which is a shame, because yesterday was pretty interesting.  After getting my driver’s license back from Gold’s Gym (the LOST it for a day), Corey came by for an evening of gambling.  The line of the day goes to Lexi, Ashley’s 3-year old niece.  She calls me Monkey Dude.  And what’s great is that Corey comes, also with a shaved head and a beard, and Lexi goes, “There are two Monkey Dudes!”  I’m pretty sure it’s the only time someone’s mistaken Corey and I.

We gambled until 5am.  I wish we could say that we were gambling that long because we were doing well, but alas, no.  Apparently, we weren’t obnoxious enough or stingy enough with our tips, because those people were doing GREAT.

He leaves today.  THREE DAY WEEKEND!  Umm, pork is good.  The Cubs will never win.  Reno’s getting a disc golf course.  We still have snow on the ground.  There, enough random thoughts.

Albums?

I’m a list whore, in addition to being a stat whore.  And recently, someone posed the question of what my favorite albums were.  And I couldn’t do it!  I mean, I could barely narrow it down.  I literally thought I couldn’t even come up with my top 10.  And that may be the case.  But let’s give it a try.  See what I come up with:

Angel Dust – Faith No More

Animals – Pink Floyd

Apollo 18 – They Might Be Giants

Automatic For the People – REM

Bargainville – Moxy Fruvous

Boingo – Boingo

The Drugs I Need – Austin Lounge Lizards

Edward Scissorhands – Soundtrack

John Henry – They Might Be Giants

Life is Killing Me – Type O Negative

Lincoln – They Might Be Giants

The Mollusk – Ween

Mr. Bungle – Mr. Bungle

Not Too Late – Norah Jones

Oh Brother Where Art Thou – Soundtrack

October Rust – Type O Negative

Once – Nightwish

Physical Graffiti – Led Zeppelin

Quick – Eddie From Ohio

Rift – Phish

Sail Away – Randy Newman

Small Minds – Austin Lounge Lizards

So-Called Chaos – Alanis Morissette

The Soft Bulletin – Flaming Lips

The Sunset Tree – Mountain Goats

Tallahassee – Mountain Goats

Terrapin Station – Grateful Dead (okay, minus “Sunrise”)

Thing a Week 3 – Jonathan Coulton

Time Travel is Lonely – John Vanderslice

Up – Peter Gabriel

Who Do We Think We Are – Deep Purple

Zipolote Machine – Mountain Goats

Wow,  32 is the best I could do.  I don’t think I could pare it down from there.  So there you go.  For nobody who asked in particular…

I’m getting fatter – no seriously

About six months ago, when packing for the cross-country move, I threw away an old pair of pants that didn’t fit me anymore.  Or rather, to wear them where they did fit, I’d have to pull them up to my neck.  So I got rid of them and didn’t think twice.

Now two more pairs of pants are getting dangerously close to not fitting.  I got on a scale recently and am almost 170 – you can imagine the shock as i’ve weighed 145 since 1995.

It’s not coincidence that I hit the gym yesterday.  And will tomorrow (I’ll just do extra sit ups today.)  I’m a tubby bastard.   I guess that’s what working from home will do to you.  Maybe I should do 20 sit ups every hour.  It’s like anti-smoke breaks.  I don’t know.

Rear Projection TV

So I bought a big-ass TV off Craig’s List, and he warned me it was 10 years old and the tubes hadn’t been replaced.  I stupidly bought it anyway.  It works, but not well.  It is a little dark, but that’s to be expected (with the old lamp).  But the bigger problem is the fact that anything that’s bright (whites and yellows) is radiantly bright, and anything darker than, say, a medium red, is almost invisible.  That and there’s a blue halo around everything.
I did a little research – I took it apart and will buy one of those cans of air and will try to clean off the lenses and so forth.  I will not buy replacement tubes because a) they are probably not even made anymore and b) it will cost a stupid amount to replace them.  But if this works, it’ll at least be a usable TV and not just a huge conversation piece.

Stats for the websites

So I’m a stat nerd.  I’ve been tracking my website since 11/06, and I’ve kinda petered back and forth with visits and pageviews.  Since then, I’ve averaged 362 visits a month and 1019 pageviews a month.  That’s not too bad.  Not exactly blow-away, but certainly quite well.

Anyway, in January I started blogging everyday and making a concerted effort to put up new content.  That has turned in bigger results than I’ve ever gotten.  Who knew that would happen?

I had 644 visits this month on the main webpage (hopefully, but likely not, because of FlashDash … GO VOTE tomorrow!)  Since I’ve started tracking it, the most I’d had was 471.  BOOYAH.  I have also turned around 1462 pageviews in January, second only to the 1485 I hit in August (when I was whoring out The Unusual Suspects).  So yay on the main page.  Keep coming!  And tell your friends to come.  And buy my CD.

Oh I should have warned, this is a total whore-ish blog.

As for the blog, sine 4/07, I’ve kept records of this.  Before January, the most visits I’ve ever had was 342, and the most pageviews I’ve had was 604.  Now that I’m posting every day (sans two days), I’ve managed to get 460 visits and over 1000 pageviews.

February is a bit down, so I’m trying to BRING BACK THE FAITH!  Go check out my new Dirty Dozen List that I’ve done with JayMar for Valentine’s Day.  And keep checking out the blog.  Thanks for your support.  Oh, and buy a CD, you get Fenk’s too, and it’s still for charity.

Thanks guys.

The Stafford Lake Ice Bowl

So welcome to my first west coast tournament since moving.  It was the a brisk four hours away, but there were a few things going for it: it was the most beautiful day of the year,  I got to visit friends, and somebody recommended the course.  And I was itching to play.

I started out the day with quite the punch.  Literally.  At 5:45am, when I was waking up, I hit “snooze” on my phone and tried to pull the covers over my head.  I slipped and ended up punching myself with the back of my hand directly in the eye.  I saw a flash and everything.  Sucks!  It still feels weird.

The tournament was held at the Stafford Lake Disc Golf Course, which was a stunning park filled with Californian rolling hills, sick elevation changes, and a number of impenetrable trees (ah trees, how I miss you).  The course is a big one, and when the holes are in long positions, it can be quite formidable.  For time, though, we played two rounds featuring many of the course’s shorter pin placements.  Not good, I do NOT like birdie-fest courses!

We started out doing something of a trickle start (there were only 8 groups, and the course is inconvenient in that it’s a long hike to every hole except 1).  So I start out and before even throwing the first shot, I hear “Are you Mitch’s brother?”  Not even one throw… sigh.  Hole one is a severe uphill shot that is about 450′, but at least 100′ uphill.  I throw a big bomb drive with an oooohing gallery.  I proceed to hit at 150′ upshot for a deuce on the hole which some say has only been deuced a couple of times ever.  I turn around and yell, “Mitch is MY brother!”  Looking at the link, the basket was in the top left corner of the first pic, to the right of the tree that’s a little further out on the fairway.

That was quite the start.  I proceed to play a solid, if unspectacular, round.  My new putter (a super stupid soft wizard) was treating me pretty kindly.  I missed 5 putts, which admittedly sounds terrible, but three were literally hitting the top link, and two chained out in a bad-beat like fashion (not to mention the stance was awkward on a few of them because of the elevation and/or trees in the way).  I was at least aiming well, and made a couple of long ones.  My drives were solid, and my ups only hurt me a couple of times.  I did miss many birdie ops, but that is due more to not knowing the course (I was ALL off on distances – that happens when playing a large open course for the first time)

The highlight of that round came on hole 17.  (Check out the link – the basket was NOT in the position pictured – if you look at the left pic, you’ll see lighter colored grass, then a small little plateau where the sunlight juts in closest to the woods – that’s where the basket was).  It’s massively downhill.  I tell my group “I’m either gonna be right by it or nowhere near”  I take my buzzz and crank it out FAR to the right.  The thing flies straight, then as expected starts to pull towards the basket.  I shout out a “ONE TIME!” and the thing CRASHES the top of the chains but bounces out.  It would have been my first tournament ace.  Instead, it’s my ?th tournament metal hit.  Still very cool.

After round one, I was DFL in pro (which only had three people, two of which played that course often).  The leader shot a 50 (on 19 holes) to my 55.  The other guy shot 54.  I thought my round was solid, not for my normal play, but considering how out of practice I really was.

The second round was almost entirely different pin placements, so I was still very handicapped.  And to cut the story short, as there was nothing spectacular, the second round was much worse, more like how I would have expected to play.  My drives were erratic at best, my ups were average (read still not good), and my putting abandoned me altogether.  I only made one or two putts, and missed at least six from inside the circle, including a three-putt from 15′ (there was, admittedly, a really awkward branch and roll-away involved).  I carded a 58, which doesn’t sound too bad, but it was.  The only disc that treated me well was a buzzz at full speed (my buzzes as upshots were crap), parking another big downhill bomb in the same fashion I almost aced.

I ended up DFL by 4 strokes, and not winning by 13.

I will definitely need to adapt my game to California golf.  It’s big and open with elevation.  That is NOT my strong suit.  Give me a 550′ hole with a 15′ fairway, and I’m a happy camper.  I was NOT able to read distances at all, and my putter wasn’t able to save me as it has been doing lately.  But that course was one of the most BEAUTIFUL courses I’ve ever played.  I took a few pictures but for some reason they didn’t save on my phone.  I finally have my real camera back, so next tourney will see some pics.

Until next time…

The Silliest City to Enter

San Francisco is the silliest city to enter, at least from Rt. 80.  First, traffic hits, which is to be expected.  Then you get to possibly the most interesting highway contraption I’ve ever seen.  I call it “Traffic Light Lottery”  Each lane has a traffic light.  You get to the “stop” line and wait for your light to turn green.  The greatest part?  The lights don’t change at regular intervals or for contant times.  They’re totally random.  It looks like a Christmas light set where several key lights aren’t working properly, and the rest are set to “puree”.  I literally saw a light turn green for about a fifth of a second.  How this is meant to prevent accidents is completely beyond me.

After that, lanes merge.  It goes from about 16 lanes to 5.  The greatest part?  There is no methodolgy to how the lanes merge – and really the only indication that your lane is merging is that you’ve already hit another car.  My lane merged no less than twenty-nine times, and impressive feat.  I killed eight people and another person.

Finally, you actually get to the bridge.  It’s an impressive bridge – it’s not the Golden Gate Bridge, so I’ll call it the Wiggle Stompy Bridge.  It takes only a minute or two to cross.  Then, for some reason, you immediately enter a tunnel.  How you go over the water, then suddenly something is in your way is a bit beyond me.  Then you get out, and SURPRISE there’s more bridge.  Like, alot more bridge.  I think if you were to look at the bridge from the side, I swear it would look like a cosine wave.

Then you see three signs in three different lanes that all say Rt. 101, but they also say other things like “Fifth Street” and “Freemont Ave”  Another lottery, I see.

Well, I somehow got here.  Now it’s time for some Coreynanigans.

Finding your Inner CHI

So I’m in San Jose visiting Mr. Chi, and I saw a glimmer of something amazing.  It’s Stoned Chi.  No, he wasn’t actually stoned, but he was acting stoned for some reason or other, and I haven’t laughed that hard since… well… since earlier today when Corey and I were talking about having a weird condition where, when you swerve too hard, you are teleported to Oregon.  But Stoned Cyrus has some merit.  I said if he would reliably act like that when actually stoned, I would advocate drug use just for him.

I have to get up in 6 hours if I go to bed now to play in that tournament.  Why do I do things like this for a game?  Then some quality Corey time.  Then potatoes, probably.

I won’t miss NY

Things I won’t miss about NYC when I go back home:

– car horns

– someone shouting or swearing at another person as they walk down the street

– subways

– paying $4.50 for a single slice of two-topping pizza (seriously?  $4.50?)

– the non-existent visibility

– the lack of eye contact, casual banter, or even common courtesy

– the hectic schedule

– sleeping on couches and floors (though thank you Susan and co, and Bryan and co!)

The Best Unscripted TV… ever

In a continuation of a previous post, I managed to catch the absolute best television I’ve seen in a while.  As many know, Steven Colbert and Conan O’Brien have been having a heated rivalry over who “made” Mike Huckabee.  Recently, John Stewart got involved too.  On Monday, all three appeared in the same room for the first time… ON ALL THREE SHOWS!

It was truly riveting television.  I won’t tell you what happened.  Go to, in this order, A Daily Show, then the Colbert Report, and finally Conan.  Watch for yourself.  I am still laughing about it.

Thank you, gentlemen, for this brief comical respite amidst the strike.  My hat’s off to you.

It’s official

I miss my girlfriend.

She is the coolest girl ever.  She called up Pastry Lady Jen “Stu” Roberts, whose website appears to be down, and ordered four boxes of my favorite pastries for the Superbowl.  My friends and I all dined royally, and I still have one more box to share with Bryan and co.  Good times.

She rocks my world.

The Uberbowl

My predictions: Brett Favre has an off day, not throwing any completions.  The Rams forget entirely to take the field.  Nobody hits a double.

Final score: Pats 38 Giants 20

Yes, I’m picking the ever common 8-0 ending.  People who are grumbling in their office all over the world rejoice.

PartyStar?

Can I be the three-time reigning Party Star? We shall see.

And in the meantime, you can learn about one of the first true Party Stars, Betsy Ross.

Edit: two hours later, I am *NOT* the party star.  This was the first game I did not choose Waluigi, and I think therein lies my downfall.  Like Sampson without his hair, or Achilles without every part of his body except his heel, I falter when I am not paired with the mighty Waluigi.  Congrats to Max who cheated and swindled his way to Party Star status by thoroughly raping his girlfriend of stars.  Good job, man.

Photo Week – Part 5 (Sassy Peeps)

This will wrap up my photo excursion, and hopefully I will get my actual camera back soon and post a little more regularly.  Enjoy the end.

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That’s one sassy Brit

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I wish I could tell you what we were doing

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Jeff, or as Ash knows him, George Washington Bridge Jeff

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Jamaican Jon – now with more Jamaican!

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Rachel – she won the women’s height competition, nearly doubling Julia

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It may not legally allowed to get any sassier

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Cute as a button – a very very cute button

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Check out that form, folks.  Not a bad golf swing, either.

Photo Week – Part 3 (The Goodbye Party)

Well, before I left for parts unknown, I had a goodbye bash at my place.  There are some very attractive photos flying around the internut of this event, and maybe more to follow.  But I’m going to be displaying the worst of the worst.  Apparently, Kristy ran around like a madw… like a Kristy, really, and snapped some photos at the party.  All of these (except the one of me) are from her adventure (the other was taken by Ed with a real camera).  She sure knows how to capture them.

Tomorrow will be pics of the pogonip, and then Saturday maybe the rest of the people shots.  Sounds like a plan to me.

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The Boston contingent.  Not saying they’re not photogenic, but Boston beat Cleveland, so this picture is all sorts of ugly.

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S******e (name withheld)

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M**k (name withheld)

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J**f (name withheld)

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J*y (dude, that’s seriously scary)

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Me (crap, that name is too short to withhold)

Is it any wonder I moved away?

Photo Week – Part 2 (The Neighborhood)

Here are some more pics of what I see from my complex in Reno.  First, some nifty clouds from in front of my apt.

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Next, two moonrises from the hill behind my complex.

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Then came the snow.  Here are two shots of my backyard (the first from my apartment itself, and the second from the front of my complex)

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And finally, two shots from that first hill overlooking the complex, showing the Stead area blanketed in the snow Reno never gets.

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Tomorrow, maybe batch 1 of the farewell party pics.