Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflections on the end of 2010

It seems like just last week, I was writing a sappy post for the holidays, and here I go again, writing another one for New Years. Well I'll try and keep the sap factor lower this time. :D

As you all venture out into the not so cold night, I want to wish you all a happy new year and implore you all to get home safe. Not only because I care about all of you and don't want any of you to get hurt, but also if you die, you'll stop reading my blog...

Oh and I'll miss you a ton. Yeah that too :D

All joking aside, please be safe and get home (or at least to someplace where you can lay down and sleep....or not sleep ;) ) and have a great 2011

Here are a list of my resolutions:

1) Write more posts for TILT.

2) Start laddering 1v1s again in Starcraft 2

3) Have fun at work every day (shouldn't be terribly difficult)

4) ??????????????

5) Profit

I'm sure there are more, including the obligatory lose weight, get in better shape, stop eating like a pig, stop punching teenage girls and no more kidnapping and eating the neighbors. I already know all that stuff so you don't even need to bring it up. It all goes without saying...

...And that's what I...well didn't really learn....I guess...wrote today?

Now go out there and have fun!

As was said by one of the great wordsmiths of our generation:

"There's a place I know if you're looking for a show - where they go hardcore and there's glitter on the floor - And they turn me on, when they take it off - when they take it off, everybody take it off"
~Prof. Ke$ha PhD

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

...Self-Righteousness is the bane of good causes...

You might not know it given the ever cynical tone of my blog...but I'm actually FOR a lot of things. Good things too. Various causes and beliefs that I feel the vast majority of people would agree with. I'm pro-choice, I believe in being green, and I am for gay marriage just to name a few. These are all things that I do believe in and that I do care about deeply. And generally speaking, I support the organizations that work towards these causes. That said, I've noticed that, and I'm sure people who fall on the other side of the fence from me on these issues will attest, that those who tend to work for organizations with the goal of bettering the world in the manner that they see fit, tend to be incredibly self righteous snobs.

How did I come across this topic you might ask? Well today I was toddling around a few articles related to green technologies and I came across a link in one of these articles that was supposed to lead to a related article on Greenpeace's website. Well unfortunately for me, this link ended up leading nowhere. Now for those of you who don't know, many websites have taken to crafting their own "page not found" page, rather than just using the generic 404 Error page that most browsers display on their own. They do this for many reasons, the most important of which is that they get to keep you on their site, where you are more likely to click on their links to read more of their content (It's your eyeballs they're after!!!!).

Well most websites simply put up a generic "Oh we're sorry....but you seem to have found a part of our site that either no longer exists, or never existed in the first place. Please try again, or maybe Google can help you find what you're looking for!" (not Bing....Google...It's always Google...) But Greenpeace? No they can't leave well enough alone...they can't simply say "Sorry this page isn't here". No...they have to take it one step further. Take this page for example....which I just made up....

Go what they have to say...go on...

Read it? That's right. They GUILT TRIP you WHILE you're busy surfing THEIR site. I'm sorry Greenpeace, I know you're VERY disappointed in me for going to YOUR website and having the GALL to look up a page that YOU didn't create. How DARE I!

Seriously Greenpeace, I'm on your site, looking up information that you're putting up about saving the environment. Being a smug, self-righteous asshole about how pious and eco-friendly you are isn't endearing myself to your cause. In fact, chances are, people who are far less eco-minded than myself probably closed their computer, went outside, burned a gallon of gasoline on their front lawns, turned their heaters up all the way and punched a dolphin in the face because of you. Making people feel like shit is NOT a good way of making friends...You can ask the 3 people that still read my blog...

...And that's what I learned today.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

...People still freak out over snow storms...

I don't know if you had an experience like this, but I assume that the majority of you have experienced a snowstorm as the vast majority of my readership is in New England...Thanks to facebook....(though I really shouldn't assume this as people from other parts of the world might read this at some you don't get snow, haven't experienced a blizzard or are offended by snow....look away?)

Where was I....OH right the snow storm. Well working off of the logic that I have now alienated, or at least temporarily driven away everyone who doesn't get snow, the REST of you (all 4 of you still reading....) have likely lived through a major snowstorm of some sort. Do you remember what that feels like? Especially when you were a kid? A snowstorm meant excitement. Playing outside, snowball fights, snow angels, snow forts, snow-people (don't wanna be sexist now....), all great things. When you were teenagers, it meant time off of school, sledding, skiing/snowboarding, exciting adventurous types of activities. Well I never realized this until this year, but for your mom and dad, all those years New England opted to dump a ton of the white powdah (NO NOT COCAINE!) on us, well those snow storms apparently inspired sheer and utter terror in our parents.

Yep you read that right. As I (even now as I'm reaching the tender age of goddamn 23) immaturely contemplated the numerous fun things to do in the snow, my parents, (my dad specifically) seemed to have a much more...apocalyptic view of the weather. As the sky darkened during the morning of this past Sunday, my father paced around the house nervously. He checked and rechecked the fridge, as if to make sure we would have enough supplies. At one point, he even suggested going out to the grocery store to stock up and make sure we had enough. How much snow were we due to get? 15". That (my dear mathematically challenged readers, is just a little over 1 foot). I've lived through worse blizzards than that in my lifetime....specifically the 1993 "Storm of the century". (when it's got a name like that, I imagine it being shouted in that super cliche know with the deep voice and the bellowing echo that follows? Yeah that)

For those of you who don't quite remember, that storm (while it didn't hit Boston all that hard) dumped 20 inches of snow in Worcester...Not all that bad right? Well we weren't hit the hardest. Boone, North Carolina got 33 inches, Lincoln New Hampshire got 35, and Snowshoe (ironyyyyyyy) West Virginia got 54 fucking inches of snow! Even Birmingham Alabama, who normally gets a measly inch of snow got a massive 17 inches! Just look at this radar map. The storm looks like a goddamn Alien mating forcefully with the ENTIRE eastern seaboard!

Well this storm, though FAR less powerful and thus FAR less interesting, had apparently worried my dad to the point of genuine concern. I don't know what kinds of thoughts were going through his mind...becoming stranded from humanity in our household, running out of food, losing power and heat, being forced to resort to eating pets and cannibalism before slowly dying of hypothermia....probably something like that...

Well if a stupid little snowstorm is enough to freak adults out that much, I don't think I ever want to grow up (and so far...I'm on track :P )

...And that's what I learned today.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy holidays everyone!

No there won't be a real post tonight, besides I hope you all would have better things to do than spend your Christmas Eve reading my blog anyways :P

I just wanted to take this time to say thank you to all my regular readers (and a big extra special thanks to everyone who comments!). I would have quit doing this long ago had it not been for the fact that you all keep coming back and reading. It's almost as if you guys think I'm interesting or something :) But in all seriousness, this side project of mine has been a bigger success than I could have ever imagined already (that's how low my standards were....) and it keeps looking better and better each day. So thank you again and thank you once more for your continued readership. Hopefully I won't disappoint you with my lame content anymore :P

Also, have a Merry Non-Denominational, Non-Religious, Non-Politically-Incorrect, Bill-O'Reily-Annoying Christmas filled with food, gifts, friends, family and joy. I'll resume my regular (HAH THAT'S A LAUGH) posting schedule on monday. #<(:-P) <----- That's a dude wearing a party hat....

PS: If you were offended by this, I'm surprised you made it this far into my blog without already attempting to track me down and have me assassinated...but have a nice day and make sure you look both ways before crossing the street :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

...Snow is both a blessing and a curse...

I love snow. I personally think there are few things on this earth that are prettier than newly fallen snow. The quiet the snow brings makes the world feel peaceful and draws me away from the hectic world around me. New snow is the embodiment of tranquility, the epitome of calm, the nirvana that so many seek to find in their day to day lives. I love the snow (Not necessarily the cold...but the snow for sure) and all the meaning it brings to my life.

Well recently, my wish came true and it snowed. The snow was glorious, even in downtown Boston as I walked across the Mass Ave bridge or stood on the roof deck of my friend's dad's swanky Boston penthouse. The snow was as beautiful out here as it was in the suburbs. Well this same snow proved to be quite the double edged sword.

I have friends who live in other parts of the country, but I am always reminded of those who live in Washington DC, or the rest of Maryland, where if it snows an inch, an immediate state of emergency is declared, schools are canceled for weeks, everyone begins stocking up on emergency supplies, the vehicular mortality rate triples instantly and the president is choppered away to his secret bunker in Malibu. Well today I realized that we here in Massachusetts aren't all that much better.

Sure we don't get a month off to wait for that insidious white slippery stuff to go away on its own. Sure we're more used to the snow and are thus BETTER prepared for winter driving. That said, and I'm talking to you Massachusetts drivers (specifically all of you who were in my way trying to get to work today), why is it that when there is snow on the ground do you all forget how to drive? No really, the roads are plowed and salted and sanded and yet you still are ADAMANT about driving 15 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone.

I get why you do it. You're worried that if you go at all too fast, you will crash, your car will flip exactly 5 times in the air (but never any more than that) and instantaneously catch fire and burn your mangled bloody body to a crisp. I understand that that is a real risk, yes. But I also understand that it's already dark enough when I wake up for work, I don't feel as though I need to wake up EARLIER when it's DARKER because YOU have forgotten which pedal makes car go zoom. Am I being selfish? Probably, but I'm guaran-fucking-tee you this though has gone through your mind more than once in the past (and according to the catholic church, you might as well have just run the poor bastard in front of you off the road AND flipped them off while taking the lord's name in vain ALL at the same time) so don't pretend as though you have any moral high ground in the matter. The fact is, we all have places to go and things to do, and everyone collectively freaking out about the "road conditions" (which again have been PLOWED, SALTED AND SANDED) and the imminent doom the face by simply stepping out of their front doors is BEYOND ridiculous.

Am I suggesting you speed? No, I'm suggesting you drive at a speed that couldn't be outrun by my puppy (though to their credit, he is a speedy little fucker). Drivers of Massachusetts, I have faith in you. I know that most of you have been driving for quite some time now, most of you have probably been driving longer than I have. I believe in your skill. I know that you had to learn to drive in blustery winters of years past. And I'm fairly certain that those skills (which are tested and refreshed EVERY YEAR) have NOT gone away. So all I ask is that you please have faith in yourself and drive FASTER than a goddamn WALKING pace. I'm sure we can all make this winter far less stressful (because frostbite and seasonal depression aren't enough) if we all just got together and remembered that we've been driving for X number of years, and that includes winters with snow...

...And that's what I learned today. (props go to Jesse for reminding me of my god awful commute this morning...)

...I have a problem buying games...

I like games....I like them a lot...and I like games across many genres...this creates a problem...typically for my wallet....

But now that I have a job, I've discovered a whole new problem when it comes to buying and playing games.

I've only been at this full time employment thing for about two months or so (if that) and I'm finding a whole new set of challenges arise when I spend 8 hours of my day working (and probably 3 hours of my day going to and from that workplace). That is to say, I really don't have much time to play games anymore. Not that my lack of time stops me, but they're not the same long game-fests they used to be in college. There used to be a time where I would get back from class at 2, take a nap until 3 and then play games until dinner. Nowadays I typically just try and squeeze in an hour or two here and there whenever I can.

"But Eric!" I hear you yell, "That's not such a bad thing. At least you get to keep playing!"

I will give you that, but there's more to it than'll patient.

Another issue I'm running into when it comes to games is that...well...put it simply, I have money, so I buy games...In fact I buy too many games now...

"But Eric!" You protest again, "How is that a bad thing? That just means you have more games to play!"

Right, but do you remember problem number 1? No? Ok well go back and read it....Did you put it all together? No? Do I have to spoon feed you everything? Ok fine....

The fact of the matter is, games typically take somewhere around 8-10 hours to finish for a shooter, upwards of 60 for a long RPG (that's Role Playing Game...not that thing that terrorists shoot at hum-vees...and NO NOT THAT KIND OF ROLE PLAYING EITHER...pervs...) ANYWAYS! Bearing in mind that those totals are hours of continuous game play, a typical game can take quite a while. And given that I don't have much time to play these games, many of them fall by the wayside, like orphaned puppies they stare at me, begging to be played with. But at the rate that new games come out, some will inevitably be forgotten, laying there collecting dust, uncompleted, their destiny never realized.

A list of games I have never completed thanks to this phenomenon:

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
Red Dead Redemption
Left 4 Dead 2
Fable 2
Dragon Age Origins
Need For Speed Most Wanted
Fable 3 (not even out of the plastic yet)
Samurai Warriors 2
GTA4 (this one was not my fault though...stupid game glitch...)
Far Cry Predator (Shitty game...not worth playing anyways...)

Games I STILL haven't devoted enough time to:

Assassins Creed 2
Starcraft 2
Team Fortress 2 (jesus that's a lot of 2's....)
Call of Duty: Black Ops (haven't really even touched zombie mode yet...)
Settlers of Catan (Not a video game but...shut up...)

So as I sit here, writing my blog post, games piling up by the side of my TV, I can't help but smile, knowing that I will be spending my long weekend overrunning puny terran forces with the might of my zerg army, stealthily assassinating Venetians in Renaissance Italy, and getting every racial epithet thrown at me across Xbox Live as I drive remote control cars piled high with plastic explosives into the kneecaps of my unsuspecting foes. This should be a good long weekend.

...And that's what I learned today.

Monday, December 20, 2010

...Sarah Palin is stealing Dragonology's style...

...In terms of book publishing at least...

Ok this probably requires some qualification. I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday and was busy wandering through the various aisles just staring at books (wearing the 3d glasses I had just gotten after watching Tron). When I got to the biography section, a book, nay, a veritable Monopoly-box sized monument to Alaskan patriotism stood before me. (No seriously, the thing was the size of a standard monopoly-box...) Standing gracefully across it's cover, Sarah Palin grinning coyly at me. Perturbed and intrigued by this book 'o Palin, I opened it up...only to realize it didn't quite open...No dear readers, this was actually just a fancy sleeve for the large book inside.

Sliding the book out of the sleeve, I was immediately struck by the pages of this book, and how strange gaps had seemed to develop between what should have been flush pages. Well little did I know that David Lifton had taken a page from the previous encyclopedia sized tomes that had come before it. Clearly Mr. Lifton was a fan of such books as Dragonology and Pirateology (the two bestselling titles in the famed -ology series). For those of you who have never experienced the wonder that is the -ology series of literature, allow me to explain. These book are veritable tomes of knowledge for whatever prefix precedes -ology. There are 32 pages of beautiful illustrations and wonderful lore about dragons that would make your 9 year old boy or girl positively gleam with fantastic wonder and joy. But most interesting of all, the Dragonology book poses as a real diary of one of the worlds foremost dragonologists. It is a truly interactive experience with fake notes taped to the pages, hastily scrawled letters in sleeves and even a sample of real dragon skin (if memory serves correct). All these extras lend credence to the illusion that this book, bought from any average bookstore, is actually the long lost journal of a great adventurer. It was designed specifically to immerse your child in this world, whatever that world may be, be it dragons, pirates or otherwise.

Well apparently Mr. Lifton was SO moved by these books that he set out to make his own, not about the far off mystical lands of dragons and he wrote it about Sarah Palin...he wrote it about reality. And yes this behemoth of right wing conservative nonsense featured many of the same aspects of the -Ology series of books. Faux campaign bumper stickers, reproduced thank you notes, various letters and inserts (no fake dragon skin...or Palin skin for that matter...I'm sorely disappointed Mr. Lifton...) adorned the 30 some-odd pages. Now I have to ask Mr. Lifton, did you really think the world would truly benefit from a book such as this? Do you really thing something as boring and depressing as politics would shine when applied to such a format? Did you really think that this book belongs in the "biography" section? Well if you answered yes to any of these questions (and I KNOW you answered yes to ALL of them...because that's the book you wrote) you need to get your head checked. Quite frankly, I'm insulted on the behalf of Palin's constituency (at least the portion who aren't already ordering this off of the Barnes and Noble website already excitedly clapping their hands like a walrus about to be fed) that you would treat them with such disrespect and mock their intellects in such a way as this. No grown adults do not need this format of book. Not saying that I don't think it is a wonderful idea, but this is kids stuff. And unless you're trying to corrupt our children (yes I used that wonderful Fox News buzz phrase) with the promise of "Real letters from the desk of Sarah Palin!", then I suggest you pick a format that not only does justice to your intelligence and writing abilities, but also pays the proper respect to the subject matter at hand......oh wait.....

...And that's what I learned today.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

...My parents are old school...

I've always been behind when it came to technology. Growing up, we had the 20" TV with bunny ear antennae on the top that required constant adjustment. So while my friends were watching Rocko's Modern Life, Ahh! Real Monsters or, Rugrats. I was busy watching PBS kids shows (This meant though that I got to watch Batman Beyond though...and I will fight you if you think there is a better kids show on a non cable channel out there). Finally after a while, my parents got sick of the tube TV and upgraded to a nice big 40" Sony Bravia HDTV. Do you know what we were still missing though? Well if you guessed "Cable" or "Satellite" or even "TV that doesn't require those stupid fucking antennae" you'd be right. So finally, after a TON of arguing with my parents, I FINALLY convinced them to get a cable/high speed internet connection.

Oh that's right I forgot to mention, up until that point, I was still rocking the 56k dialup modem. You know the kind that, when you connect to the internet, doesn't allow ANYONE TO CALL IN EVER. Yeah that kind. Imagine doing...I don't know...ANYTHING on the internet at those speeds. Those of you who are old enough to remember are probably dry heaving right now. Well yeah...for those of you who are too young to remember, why are you reading my blog? No seriously you really enjoy this stuff? You know I use dirty words and you should probably not say them around your parents and stuff...and if you do DON'T tell them you learned it from me....

Oh and also I'm talking about internet that is so slow, Gmail won't load with any kind of haste. Facebook as you know it probably would take upwards of 5 minutes to fully load.

That's how slow it is.

Anyways we finally got Verizon FiOS and the cable package that came with it and it was glorious. Now you're all probably thinking "yeah that's kind of how things went when I was a kid too". Here's the only problem with that. This glorious moment came after MY FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE. AFTER my freshman year of college. That means I was poised to enter my SOPHOMORE year of college....I was legal to smoke and gamble BEFORE I could even play flash games online. I could fight and die for my country before I could pirate any music.

Well keeping with this rate of technological adoption, my dad has only recently really discovered youtube....and he's excited about it. I don't really talk to him all that much when I am home, but in the past month, he's come to chat with me about all the things he's found on youtube at least twice a week (mostly badminton videos....). Today he showed me a badminton video of some chinese superstar badminton player getting a new racquet and subsequently hitting birdies into a tube on the other side of the court. If you don't know how impressive this is...well it's fucking impressive. Unfortunately it has also been done before. The video was an almost shot for shot remake of Roaldinho's New Nike Cleats commercial. Well I showed him that (as well as a video of Bruce Lee playing ping pong using Nunchucks) and...well...I don't think I've ever seen him get so excited. He promptly asked me to email him both of those videos and rushed downstairs, presumably to watch them on his laptop.

I can only look forward to the day he discovers viral videos and internet memes. I don't know if my brain could handle hearing him say "roflcopter".

...And that's what I learned today.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

...I'm very ambivalent towards vanity plates...

I've never really been a fan of vanity plates. I'll just get that out there right now. Mostly because the vast majority of vanity plates are owned by douchebags and their trophy wives. But at the same time, there are vanity plates in the world that just make me smile, they make me genuinely happy.

Lets start out with the former shall we? (Because I like case you hadn't figured that out already).

What do I mean when I say douchebags? Well lets think back to something my friends and I saw while wandering the streets of Boston the other day (For those of you who weren't there...well...use your imagination or something...) While walking through central square back to my friend's apartment, my head was turned by an inordinately nice car. It was a silver Bentley....or it was a silver Aston Martin. I honestly can't remember...Do you know why dear readers? Because my attention was instantly drawn to the license plate. Yep that fucker had a vanity plate. And do you know what that son of a bitch put on his license plate?


Now yes there are MANY explanations for why such an AWFUL license plate was busy defiling such a beautiful and well crafted car. Perhaps it was a gift to this person for being such a positive force in the workplace. Perhaps it was a gift from the person's wealthy spouse thanking them for being such an energetic partner in bed. OR...and this is the MOST likely scenario...that car was bought by some fuckass salesperson who decided the best way to TRULY treat themselves (besides just buying a fucking $200,000+ car) was to slap a vanity plate on it CONGRATULATING HIMSELF FOR BEING SUCH AN AWESOME FUCKING PERSON (and yes I know it was a guy because NO girl out there would do something so FUCKING STUPID. That's right you heard it here first ladies, we guys are retards...all of us...)

Well my choler rose up to my eyeball skins. I would normally not even consider leaving a single fingerprint on such a beautiful piece of artistry and engineering, but at that exact moment, I thought to myself "Hey you know...I've always WANTED to flip a car and set it on fire....Viva la revolucion!"

That brings me to my next point. You remember how I said vanity plates were for douchebags and their trophy wives? Well you know what else I can't stand? It's when someone buys a car for himself and his wife, and the plates read "MINE" and "HERS". Really guy? You really had to put "MINE" on your car? What is this, 3rd grade, where you horded all the smelly markers, shoving each one of them up your nose like the greedy shit you are, declaring to all those around you that those were YOURS and NOBODY ELSE COULD HAVE THEM? Does that mean if her car is in the shop, you won't let her drive it? Because, like a dog, you have basically lifted your leg and urinated all over the tire of YOUR car and declared it YOURS. Fuck that. If I bought a car for myself and my wife, I would have the license plates read "OURS" and ALSOOURS". You know why? Because relationships are NOT ABOUT WHAT'S YOURS AND MINE. It's about COMPROMISE AND SHARING! SHARING IS CARING! (Barney taught me that! And you had better fucking listen to Barney because he's a goddamn dinosaur and he'll EAT YOUR FACE)

Now that I've gotten all that out of my system...there have been times when a vanity plate has made me smile inside. Walking to work one summer a few years back (If you're reading this and it's not 2010 or 2011, you should probably check the time/date stamp and do the math....that's right I'm futureproofing my blog...), I came across an older car. It was nothing to look at, the aqua green/blue paint hearkened back to that black spot on history known as the 80s. But that did not matter, do you know why? Because the license plate read "TERRAN". Yes THAT is what I consider a worthwhile vanity plate. Why? Because that one word, which means so much to those that understand it, is neither offensive nor utterly self congratulatory and in the face of those who don't. Another one I saw while at the subway station the other day garnered much the same reaction. It read "EPKFAIL". Again, the plate demanded nothing of those around, it was humble, it was subtle....

OK FINE it was NERDY as HELL and THAT'S why I liked it...happy now?

...And that's what I learned today.

PS I think we should all get vanity plates of just RANDOM stuff. Get a vanity plate that reads "INTRNT" or "BOTTLE" or "NINJA" or "CHAIR". Yes lets start a campaign that forces everybody considering getting a vanity plate to be forced to choose ONE everyday object. First object that pops into their mind and THAT will be their license plate. What plate would you get if you had to get one that DIDN'T SUCK?

Monday, December 13, 2010

...Science and the Bible don't mix...

As the Christmas season rolls around (and EVERY RETAIL STORE IN THE WORLD breaks out the xmas music and systematically destroys the psyches of their employees one "jingle bells" replay at a time), I figured it was time for this blog to get into the spirit of the season. And if you don't already know the kind of shitshow this blog post is probably going to start, then you clearly don't know me very well.

Let me get one thing out of the way first and foremost. I am an atheist. I do not and will not believe in the existence of a supernatural power until I see it quantified in science. That said, (this is a disclaimer) I respect each and every person's right to practice their religion privately so long as it does not infringe on the rights of those around you to practice/believe whatever they wish to believe.

That said, I'm going to apply a little science to our favorite Christmas story, that is, the story of Jesus' birth.

So here's the Cliff's Notes version. Mary (mother of Jesus) got herself miraculously pregnant while still remaining a virgin (Teen Mom has got NOTHING on this), purportedly by the "holy ghost", one of the three main forms of God (those three being "God" "Jesus" and the "Holy Ghost"...Yes you're reading that right, God impregnated Mary with another form of himself to give birth to...himself...sorta...). They named this kid Jesus and he went on to perform miracles, heal a ton of people, piss off a government and get himself executed only to respawn three days later (that is some SHITTY lag).

Ok everybody with me so far? Good. I'm going to be focusing the majority of my blasphemy on the actual birth part. Lets ignore the whole "holy ghost" part for the time being (as that is supernatural and does not fall under the purview of science). And despite the fact that generally speaking, a woman MUST have certain....male order to get pregnant, let's just assume that Mary was actually a virgin (She stuck to her story and everyone believed why not us?). So if Mary was able to produce offspring without any male contributions and without sexual intercourse, that means she produced asexually (literally without sex). The closest from of asexual reproduction that mimics an actual birth is called Budding. If wikipedia is to be believed, budding is where the child organism spawns while attached to the parent organism. After developing to a state where it can support life on it's own, it detaches and becomes it's own separate organism (Theoretically speaking, the "bud" could have attached itself inside Mary's womb, so we are still within the realm of plausibility here).

Now here's where things get tricky. IF Mary was in fact a virgin and managed to asexually reproduce a child inside of her womb, that child would be A CLONE OF THE PARENT. In fact all asexual reproductions produce CLONES. Mary, being a female, would not possess the Y chromosome needed to produce a male child. SO there is one logical conclusion we can draw form this scenario, Jesus was ACTUALLY a woman.

There have of course been instances of women born with a Y Chromosome but still outwardly appeared female. This is called Swyer Syndrome and occurs when the development of a male child is halted due to a mutation in the SRY sex determining gene, blocking the further action of other substances required to make the default female fetus into a male. So based off of this genetic determination, if Mary were to have give "birth" to a clone of herself that resulted (after budding) in a male child, that means that Mary is actually a genetic male.

BUT, apply Occam's Razor to the whole mess and the case is clear....Mary lied about her being a virgin. Mary would have been a Maury Povich superstar!

...And that's what I learned today. (Props go to Beccah for the idea!)

SECOND DISCLAIMER: So by now you're probably horrifically offended, well don't be. I wrote this as a piece of humor not intending on hurting anyone's feelings regarding their favorite imaginary friend. I understand that to you, he's really really real and he's your best pal in the whole wide world. Just bear in mind that my best friends in the whole wide world are actually real and can do actual things with me like eat pizza and play Settlers of Catan. And if you're still feeling sore after all this, you can rest easy knowing that I'm going to hell and you're not. Have a wonderful day :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

...Deep down inside, I wish I was a hacker...

I'm beginning to realize just how off in my own little fantasy world I really exist. No it hasn't gotten to be a problem yet and NO it's not early onset schizophrenia. No I think I am simply ridiculously immature. Here's a perfect example.

I learned some basic programming back when I was in elementary school (HTML and C if you must know...yes I learned to program...not well mind you...) and I've been fairly fascinated by the whole hacker thing ever since I watched wargames back in the day. Well since learning C, my desire to learn programming plummeted from a life filled with wonder and fantasy to a deep state of depression. Semicolons became the bane of my existence (explains why you haven't seen one here yet....those sneaky fuckers...)

For those of you who don't necessarily have a deep understanding of programming, here's an example of how my days typically went.

Eric: Ok I think that code looks good. Lets run it!
Compiler: Oh hey buddy, you missed a little thing just...just right here. That's all. Totally NBD.
Eric: Why thank you compiler! I totally didn't realize I had missed a semi-colon there. I'm so silly, you're such a good friend.
Compiler: No problem buddy, I got your back. Now lets add that biatch and run this program!
Eric: Will do pal! There's the semi-colon. Alrighty! Program Launch!
Eric: O_O I hate you C....treacherous bitch....

That's how my days went. So you can see why two weeks of this and my fragile little psyche couldn't handle the abuse anymore. I mean I don't know about you but I can only handle hearing I'm adopted so many times in one week...

But despite this horrific, paralyzing trauma, it somehow never stopped me from taking great delight in FEELING like I was coding something. Back in high school I found a programming feature on my graphing calculator. Yes I know most people used it to hide formulas for their math tests, but I just had to take it one step further. Not only did I use it to store formulas, I wanted to do SUCH LITTLE math homework that I decided to program my calculator to just spit out the number for me. (Ok go ahead and make your LULZ UR SO AZN! jokes. Get over it, I programmed my calculator to DO MATH FOR ME.)

What struck me most about this though, wasn't how easy it actually was, or how useful these programs were. No what struck me was how BADASS I felt while I was doing it. Hell just the other day I was programming syntax in SPSS. Yes SPSS, its a program that does STATS! HOW AWESOME! But seriously, in my mind, as my fingers clacked away on the keyboard, I was already imagining the fate of the world depending on my abilities. Yes in my mind some shady billionaire had hacked the US Defense grid and was ready to launch a massive nuclear strike on Russia, sparking the cold war again and ensuring that the entire world would become nothing more than a smoldering crater where nothing would be able to grow for a hundred thousand years. Sweat drips down my brow as I furiously try and decrypt the walls he put in place specifically to block me out. The clock counts down as the world ticks ever closer to annihilation. It is only me and my keyboard standing in the way total world destruction. Under ten seconds. I'm almost there...
5.... Another barrier passed, almost there now
4....this last one is easy, shouldn't be long at all
3....the last line of code just have to hit the enter key
2....please stop filming this in slow-mo!
1..... *tap*


...And that's how the world ends...-I mean what I learned today.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

...Video game execs are obviously born of actual gamers

We're going to start today's post with a thought exercise. Don't worry it won't be difficult...Envision a "gamer". Think of what that kind of person is like. Take your time, I know its not easy...

Do you have that thought in your head yet? Good. Now imagine a conversation with that person. Doesn't matter if you play games or not, just think of the worst, most awkward interaction you've ever had with an individual who plays games. You shuddering yet? Are you shuddering as that individual tells you about how he pulled off a destiny cloud fist build on Lost Temple playing against a 1000 diamond. Or maybe he's describing a super tier 8 armor set that he found during a 25 man raid in Ulduar. How about that guy you met at summer camp or in your dorm way back when. You thought he'd be a cool guy to hang out with, but it turned out he had the social skills of a lemur, you know that guy who didn't know what a fist bump was and awkward wrapped your fist in his sweaty hands and shook it up and down? Yeah that guy.

Well guess what? That guy runs companies. He is rich and successful and he does important shit like give keynotes and make presentations. Don't believe me? Here's an example. (Fast forward to about 1:20 if you don't want to hear about the wii fit balance board anymore)

Did you hear that? I certainly did. Do you know who that man is? That is Reggie Fils-Aime, the non-Japanese, non-Italian, non-Hyrulean, non-pink 'n fluffy, and non-Chozo face of Nintendo. He's the dude who makes all the super important speeches and all the big announcements. He's responsible for a massive billion dollar corporation. And what did he say? "My body is ready". I heard heard it...all of the world heard it...

What about this guy? Do you recognize this guy? No? Well I'll let you in on a little secret. That's Steve Ballmer. Name doesn't ring a bell? Try the CEO of Microsoft. Yep the same CEO of Microsoft that was named one of the richest people in the world in 2010 with an estimated wealth of $13.1 Billion (Apparently that gold flaked antiperspirant doesn't quite work as well as it's price tag would indicate...)

Well apparently that awkwardness that you're used to experiencing with these folks? Well it doesn't go away. Now before you all get up in arms about my stereotyping gamers into these shoebox categorizations, lets be honest with ourselves for a little bit. Do you think Reggie Fils-Aime was a super duper popular jock who slept with every single female in a 50 mile radius? (I like to imagine so...because that would raise MY odds of not repelling anything with two X chromosomes in that same radius....) I'm gonna say chances

BUT this should serve as a fair warning to all you people out there, stealing lunch money and tossing kids in dumpsters. One day, you might be watching that same dorky kid on TV announcing that big new piece of technology that you've been anxiously waiting for. And then you will know that he has beaten you. So be nice to the geeks, you never know where they'll go or what they'll do. Maybe one day they'll be your boss. (Or...if they're like the star wars kid...they'll sue the EVER LOVING SHIT OUT OF YOU and make sure your CHILDREN'S CHILDREN'S CHILDREN WILL BE PAYING OFF THAT DEBT).

...And that's what I learned today.

PS Prizes to whoever can name each and every reference I made in that Nintendo section. And now asking Wikipedia THAT'S CHEATING AND I WILL CATCH IT!

Monday, December 6, 2010

...Youtube is a legitimate way to get famous...

This thought has been nestling in the back of my head for quite some time now, and it bothers me a bit.

Now before you all get up in arms about legitimately talented people getting a break, I'm not talking about them (but I will for a bit to remind myself of the good side of this story before plummeting into the depths of retarded mediocrity). Back when youtube came out, the content that was posted was rather...bland. People didn't understand the concept of the site and were hesitant to post anything at all. But once people began to realize that it was a great way to make a name for one's self in an otherwise completely anonymous internet world, they started to take advantage of it. Many artists have gotten their start on youtube. Jon Lajoie, Bo Burnham, Pomplamoose, each of which absolutely deserve each and every minute of fame as they have made something for themselves. Youtube is a great starting point for aspiring musicians (no not fucking Soulja Boy...REAL musicians), up and coming directors and film editors, and even athletes (No seriously I could watch those damn parkour videos all day).

But it's not the good things about youtube that I dislike...actual talent doesn't bother me whatsoever. What bothers me is the absolute steaming pile of inane bullshit that people now call entertainment. Seriously the inordinate amount of fame these people have gathered completely eclipses the amount of ACTUAL GOOD TALENT on youtube. Yes yes Justin Bieber's fame was also bred of youtube's now diseased womb, but again, he is only bordering on the kind of inanity I am referring to.

I present to you one minute and thirty seven seconds of auditory skull-fuckery.

I'm gonna go get a drink, let me know when you're finished.... how'd that go for you? Was it awful for you too? How far did you get before you wanted to strangle the nearest cutest living creature to you just to remove it from this horrible world?

Well it gets worse...and but worse...I mean FUCKING worse. Do you see that number? Right there...right under the video? Yeah you see that there? That almost reads 2 million. ALMOST TWO FUCKING MILLION. And what's worse, the guy has 84 FUCKING VIDEOS ALL WITH THE SAME VIEW-RATE. Yes THIS asshole who SOMEHOW got famous just by tweaking the pitch of his voice in POST PRODUCTION.

Maybe I'm just bitter because this is just another one of those "Goddammit I could have done that" moments (ie. How I always feel in modern art museums). But his youtube fame doesn't end here. Oh no dear reader. This accursed being has a feature length movie. Yes a fucking feature length movie. That means someone who has a fuckton more money than YOU and I COMBINED saw THESE VIDEOS and thought to himself..."Holy shit, that man MUST be on DVD". Well dear Mr. or Ms. (because I'm an equal opportunity slanderer on this here website) millionaire, put away the pile of cocaine for a moment and just hear me out. You know how you invested all that money in this douchebag? yeah you know who needs that money more than him? ME! That's right I NEED MONEY TOO! If you're gonna pay him for that level of retarded bullshit, why don't you pay me for THIS LEVEL OF RETARDED BULLSHIT? WHY DON'T I HAVE A BOOK DEAL, A COMMISSIONED OIL PAINTING FOR MY AUTHOR'S PHOTO AND AN OPRAHS BOOK CLUB STICKER YET?! Ok well then stick your head BACK in the cocaine bucket and THEN explain to me why it's a bad idea!

...And that's what I learned today.

PS: Yes I am well aware that I am only causing more trouble by linking you all to his video, but there really is no better way...also only like 5 people read my blog...

PPS: I am legitimately interested in seeing how long you all managed to watch. Post a comment below and tell me how much of that you got through. The winner is the one who watches the longest without dying. You'll get a fantastic prize!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Special part 3!

Over Thanksgiving I learned that...

...Black friday shoppers scare me.

Yep I did the black friday thing. Well...not me exactly...I was mostly moral support/a ride for my friend who had a far more legitimate reason to be there. Well I (being the worldly, enlightened fellow that I am) have heard a great deal about these black fridays, but have never participated in one. My friend Andrew convinced me to go with him (using the infinite persuasive line "Hey dude wanna do black friday?") so that he could pick up a bunch of PS3 games for $10 apiece (like I said, a good reason).

Skip ahead to post-feast down time. Unsure of what to do with my tryptophan laced self, I jumped at the opportunity to go hang out with some friends. Now I love the company of said friends and legitimately enjoy the time I spend with them. But the commute is, lets say, long. It takes about an hour to get down there, depending heavily on traffic, streetlights, cops, and my own horribly flawed sense of direction. But I eventually made it down there, and had a great time. The issues came in the leaving. We had watched a movie (Scott Pilgrim Versus the World if you must know, and yes you should absolutely see it), and as such, I left this town around 2:00 in the morning. Now do the math kiddies. If I left at 2:00, and it takes an hour to get home, what time did Eric make it back home assuming he wasn't arrested and dragged off to prison unjustly? That's right! 3AM!

Now, if you've been a regular reader (which I thank you if you are) you'll have read the previous post, talking about when I woke up at 8am to start cooking. Well when I made it back home, and knowing I had to get to Andrew's at 4am, my somewhat delirious mind just said "fuck it, I'm not sleeping"

And I didn't sleep. I stayed up and did stuff (watched SC2 casts, played video games, stared blankly at the wall as patterns I was sure weren't there earlier today moved about of their own accord) until 4 in the morning. Well I managed to make it to Andrew's house (which is only a couple minutes away) without crashing. And I even made it to Best Buy without crashing (and only one moving violation!). Parking the car some distance away from the store, Andrew and I walked through the drizzle towards the warm, inviting glow of the Best Buy sign. The scene that unfolded before us as the cars seemed to part for us was akin to a vista one would see after a devastating nuclear attack ravaged the country, and this line was the only line for clean water and non-irradiated food for miles around. People were little more than huddled bulks of blankets and jackets pulled around drenched forms. The only thing missing were a few barrel fires and we would have had a regular hobo hoedown.

Well Andrew and I, hoods and jackets pulled over our heads, made our way around the building to the end of the line. Yes AROUND the building to reach the end of the line. I didn't even know Best Buy buildings had a back side to them...I mostly thought that Best Buys were carved out of a sheer granite cliff face or something of the sort...Anyways Andrew and I were busy keeping the Bobcat company and during this time (standing with my jacket over my head trying not to die of hypothermia) I realized that my mind had sunk further and further into the depths of madness.

I realized something that night, as we finally made our way into the Best Buy to pick up our stuff. No it wasn't that American consumerism is insane and that people would give up their firstborn to get a deal on a TV. No it wasn't that people would be willing to murder one another over being able to buy a TV. No, my great, life changing epiphany was this. If I was a homeless dude, I would hang out outside of Best Buy on Black Friday and steal ALL THE TENTS AND SLEEPING BAGS THAT WERE LEFT SITTING ON THE SIDEWALK.

Seriously that is like a goddamn hobo GOLDMINE. Sure it was all wet and stuff, but a free tent? Fuck yeah!

...And that's what I learned over Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Special part 2!

Over Thanksgiving, I learned that...

...20lb turkeys take forever to defrost....

And I don't just mean forever...I mean forFUCKINGever.

Ok rewind a bit. About a week or so before Thanksgiving, my mom comes in my room and drops a minor bombshell. No it wasn't news that I was adopted or that I had a long lost brother in Egypt or something. She wanted me to cook our thanksgiving dinner. Now normally this isn't such a big deal right? Well think of how Thanksgiving dinners normally go. A large group of people, typically family members, friends, relatives, all get together, and each person (or family or whatever) is responsible for bringing something to the meal. Typically the host family (or house or whatever) takes care of the turkey as this traditionally takes the most time. Well we USED to do that with another family that lived in Melrose, at least until they moved away to Washington DC, thereby altering all of our traditional family get togethers (I'm not bitter, I just miss them... :( ). Well since then, our family has been floundering a bit, trying to figure out what to do whenever Thanksgiving rolls around (proof that my procrastination tendencies are actually genetic...)

So my mom hits me with a "Eric you should cook for thanksgiving", knowing my propensity towards the culinary arts. But knowing that I am also something of an adventurous chef (read as slightly insane...or just go "lol he thinks he's an Iron Chef" like I do most of the time...), she suggested that I should find recipes online. So I set off in search of recipes for our thanksgiving feast....nearly a week later (It's not my fault! I was BORN THIS WAY) I finally settled on a set of recipes that hit all the major Thanksgiving setpieces, and best of all it likely required the lives of at least 3 animals to create (which is always a good marker for a meal in my opinion). So I get my ingredient list and my mom hits me with another bombshell. She doesn't just want some puny runt of a turkey, she wants us to have a giant birdzilla. She wanted a turkey to the tune of 22lbs.

Ok lets see how good your memory is. How many people would be coming to dinner?

Did you answer "Just your family Eric!". Good.

Here's some more details to really paint this picture for you. My family consists of myself, mom, dad and my brother. Yep. That's a 22lb turkey for 4 people. Oh but wait, there's more. My mom? She's a vegetarian. Yep. That's 22lbs of turkey for 3 FUCKING PEOPLE.

Well in true procrastinating fashion, we waited until the night before (That's Wednesday night for those of you keeping score at home) to pick up EVERYTHING. So, as per my mother's wishes, there were nothing left but honking big turkeys. So we got the smallest one we could find, weighing in at a hefty 20lbs...

Thursday morning: 8AM, I'm up and violently shaking my brother trying to get him to wake up (as he was supposed to be my sous-chef for the day). I begin prepping for the cooking frenzy that is to come throughout the day. I began prepping the stuffing and the glaze for the turkey (Apple Cider, Maple Syrup, Herbs and LOTS OF BUTTER). At about 10 or so, I took a break to go and pwn some high schoolers at Ultimate Frisbee, then came back. Mentally fired up to roast a motherfucking bird, I'm stopped short by the realization that that sum-bitch was still MOSTLY FROZEN, after having been placed out ALL NIGHT.

Have you ever seen a balloon deflate slowly? Yeah that was kinda what it was like. Well three hours (and some emergency in-oven defrosting) later, that bastard was ready to go in the oven (well...back in the oven...but whatever...who's keeping track anyways...).

Well it was pretty damn delicious all told. But naturally (as with all such things), we barely put a DENT in that turkey, and in true cooking all day fashion, by the time that thing was on our table and ready for consumption, I was already sick of turkey...

...And that's what I learned over Thanksgiving. (again)

PS: Yes the spread was epic. Did you even need to ask?!