Monday, March 30, 2009

How the World Works...You poor bastard

Much to my amusement I tuned into not one but TWO of my favorite youtube personalities. Thunderf00t and TheAmazingAtheist have been staples of my online entertainment regimen for some time but this...oh this is fresh and beautiful all on its own.

They have both turned their ire onto a glassy eyed talking head who goes by Howtheworldworks. This is the intellectual equivalent of dipping your ballsack into a tank full of hungry pirannha. Hence the 'you poor bastard' line.

Hilarity ensues? Oh yes. Here's the chronological progression as it unfolds.

TJ's opening Salvo

The 'rebuttal'

Strike one: TJ

Strike two: Thunderf00t

Second 'rebuttal'

Strike three: TJ

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 57: Not your usual update

Nearly two months time separate this moment and the day I grabbed destiny by the sack and yanked down hard. Things have changed, I daresay things have improved somewhat.

Since the reboot I have struggled through pain and sweat for hours on end. I have heated and cooled myself beyond comfort and conscience. Every day I inhale the immolation and sparks of the furnace that has become my life. Every day is a hammerstroke.

My labors demand tremendous sacrifice, and I feed them well. My body hardens and shrinks, slowly but surely the impurities peel and flake away. I am an asteroid cruising atmo to shed off my dirty accumulated exterior to reveal the iron core beneath.

Today I have surpassed my previous endeavor. I do not consider it a victory, just an imaginary line passed on a long journey. Most of my endeavor remains ahead and not behind.

Now I can quote numbers and figures, catalog the minutia of this experiment but I will refrain. Instead I feel the need to express a change in both form and function. Instead of feeling like a fat guy on the skinnier side I now feel like a skinny guy on the fat side of the line.

It's all arbitrary of course. It's also the most real quantum of data I have yet acquired. I mark the occasion with a single asterisk on my spreadsheet. No further explanation will be offered.

Conventional updates will follow shortly.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Galactica is dead, Cathy should be.

Point 1: An ejaculation (not the fun kind)


I am crushed by the christpunching finale. Yet I found myself tickled shortly thereafter and it momentarily distracted me from epic let down.

Point 2: A Condemnation

Cathy's Teeth Whitening Success is a scam. Let me reiterate that. It's a flim-flammin' con job. Allow me to articulate how I came to this conclusion (other than subcon lighting up the skeptical parts of my brain and allocating omega-level neural bandwidth to the task.)

I saw this ad for "Cathy's Teeth Whitening" and knew it was a scam, it had to be. All the symptoms were there but I wanted to put forth some proof positive. I glimpsed at the page in question for about 2.3 nanoseconds before noticing that 'Cathy' was from Charlotte. . .

Well dayum if that ain't where I live right now, hurka durka dur dur.

Geolocation is nothing new so I decided to run a little experiment to see if Cathy, by some coincidence, really was from my my current state and city of residence or if it was all part of the psychological trap.

If you're reading this post you can already infer the results. Here's a screen cap of the original page view from my home computer:

And when I checked out the exact same link from one of our computers (In a HIGHLY ANONYMOUS LOCATION) I got a slightly different result.

Now it's a pretty long drive to Chesapeake, VA from Charlotte so it is impressive that she was able to move so quickly from my home town to the purely coincidental location that I checked the link from the next time.

Apparently Cathy needs to be selling her secret of:
  1. Omnipresence
  2. Teleportation

So whatever she's selling you, don't fucking buy it. Trust me if there was an easy way to 'combine two products' for instant teeth whitening success someone would have posted it online for free by now.

Stop feeding these filthy parasites and they will go away and die. I'm looking at YOU middle america.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crunched some numbers tonight

As of this evening, despite it being March 18th already, I have completed 27.240 MC in my long journey towards a healthier version of myself.

Over the course of the project I will require a rate of about 3.83 MC per week for the entire 5 year duration. Yes I'm counting Feb 29, 2012. So far, 45 days into the reboot I have averaged 4.24 MC per week.

So I'm about 10% up so far. However by duration I am less than 3% of the way through. By time it's only 2.5% so progress is being made.

Again, and this has become a daily occurrence, the sheer magnitude of the undertaking is at once agonizingly slow and dauntingly massive. In some way I feel like a prisoner digging a tunnel with a spoon or a patient engineer melting a glacier with a blow torch.

Guess I'll just keep at it and keep my records as I go.

An interesting bit of trivia though. During the last 2 years of high school I was averaging 15 miles per week of swimming. Those 104 weeks, if I had been tracking my expenditures at the time, would account for about 800 MC.

Granted I was younger and had a LOT more free time so that sort of activity level is no longer practical. The GC project only demands 200 MC per year instead of 400+ like my rage fueled aquatic endeavor.

All I can say now is bring on the endorphins and neurotrophins, baby.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gigacalorie Update

25790 be the final count for Week 6.

That includes an unprecedented 5.8 Mc for the week. This should be considered doubly impressive considering the misery inflicted on Nat and me by this freaking cold that's going around. And considering the rather lamentable performance last week I feel pretty confident that Week 6 can and will be duplicated in the future.

I mean that I will be able to turn this from an outlier week to a sustainable burn rate. This may prove problematic, or perhaps just take longer than I would hope. I suspect this because of the anomalous quantity of exercise I was able to perform this week.

Part of the success may or may not relate to the quantity of cough syrup consumed lately. Each dose contains a giant belt of acetaminophen. Standard dose is equivalent to a few Tylenol. Might be artificially expanding my threshold of pain and allow extended duration of activity.

It's nice for this week but also worrisome as it may prove to be a temptation in the future.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chronicles of Craigslist: A Meatspace Adventure, Part II

Long overdue, but delivered as promised.

I give you the second part and thrilling the Chronicles of Craigslist.

Check it out from the Omnibus

Jerry met me at the door. I walked past his white Saturn, noting the ominous presence of a huge muffler. It wasn't just aftermarket huge it was redneck spent money on this instead of his mortgage huge. Jerry's ‘house’ was the bottom floor *cough, basement, cough* of a modest home on the ragged edge of the wasteland that is Kannapolis, NC. It reminded me a lot of our basement back at the Overbrook house.

Floor coverings included some of the TP-thin gray carpet you would find at any state sponsored college dorm room. There was also a weird patchwork quilt of red and yellow deep pile shag that described a sawed off circle around the bed. The sheer amount of random crap laying around was staggering and it took a few minutes to take it all in.

Jerry was there with his wife, two fierce looking husky type dogs with pale blue eyes and the vacant affect of furry feral killers heightened the mood nicely. His wife had long straw colored hair. She was seated in front of the computer with about 4 feet of the stuff dangling down the back. No bra, holding a lit cigarette as I arrived. Didn't even glance at the newcomer as he stood there trembling.

Jerry was my height, significantly built with some of the most venal looking forearms I have seen on a human being. He beckoned me inside. Strike that, he was looking intently through the window when I stepped into line of sight. So already he caught me smugly chuckling at his personal conveyance.

Great first impression.

Beyond the dogs, the lazily unaware wife and Jerry’s machine gun fire talking there were action figures, empty aquariums, unstuffed bean bags and a tremendous collection of literature *ok it was mostly comic books and old playboys* around the place. A cardboard box full of computer stuff lay on the bed. A huge pile of similar looking boxes lay off to the side.

Man this guy has even more esoteric tech crap than I do. See, why would anyone need a whole box full of external 56k modems?

“This here’s yer shit,” he said. “I threw in a 2.4 celeron…(burp)…case you need it.”

“Always collecting,” I said. Bad move. He spent ten minutes trying to sell me external modems, PCI video cards and 10/100 low profile Ethernet cards. 10 bucks a pop each. There is no fucking way I am going to touch this crap but I try to be polite about it.

“If you sold that stuff on ebay you’d have a couple hundred bucks,” the wife says. I can see she's working on a PowerPoint presentation of some sort. My attention sweeps her profile, call it a typical male scan for viability, and notice what she’s smoking. It’s a Virginia slim 120 and 6 inches of little white tube dangle from her lip. I said her hair was straw colored. Her face makes me want to grab a pitchfork for...other reasons.

“I think I’ll just stick with the motherboards I need,” I say. She shrugs and goes back to her powerpoint.

“She’s going back to school,” Jerry tells me. “Me I’m a self taught man. Half the shit in here comes from all these fuckin’ rednecks we got around here. Man I love making money off those idiots but ho-lee SHIT are they dumb. God I hate them rednecks.”

Oh god. The irony is paralyzing. Must not laugh hysterically. Hold it together now, it’s all good.

“School for what?” I ask. I have to fake a cough and bury my hand in a smile. I wish he could see how ironic this was.

“I want to teach English to middle schoolers,” she says. A long drag on that 120 later and she points it at me. “I am really good with kids. “

I nod and open my mouth to get the transaction going. A millisecond sooner and I could have pinched the whole snafu off right there. Before a word escapes I hear the dreaded words of a redneck in denial, who fancies himself an expert in technology.

“I wanna show you sumthin.”


This ‘sumthin’ turns out to be a whole menagerie of pointless broken crap acquired via craigslist. I get to watch him show off an old projection TV without a mirror. That’s cool, I lie. He’s also got the back half of a speed boat and a massive multifunction printer/copier circa 1995. It’s about the size of a walk-in fridge tipped over prone. I can’t imagine how he managed to get it in there.

“Also, you’ll wanna check this out.” He beckons me over to bend down and check out something tucked away in a cardboard box. I squat next to him, glancing over at the escape r…door. One of the dogs is staring at me. A chill runs down my spine and jerry rips open the cardboard. I notice something tucked into the back of his pants.

It’s a .38 special. I am going to die here.

He catches me staring and looks back, as if he couldn’t feel the 4 pound hunk of steel stuffed down the posterior side of his ultra-tight jeans. Like the dogs, for a moment his face goes slack and unreadable. I truly think my heart stopped for a second or two.

“You like it?” he says. Up close his breath is like exhaust from a chewing tobacco-fueled dump truck full of burning manure. “My deddy gev it to me just before he died.” He reaches back with a smile.

I should be choking him or something. God damn rednecks.

Jerry pops the wheel and shows me that it’s empty. He laughs long and hard, slapping at his thighs all the while.

“Gawd damn, son. I thought you was gonna shit yerself. Hey honey!”

“What?” the wife called.

“This boy thought I’s gonna shoot him, he he he.” If she responds I don’t hear it through the torrent of blood foaming through my skull. I want out, I’m getting out. I stand up to leave.

“I gotta get going,” I say. Subcon tweaked my accent towards the southern drawl. I only notice after I speak and it annoys me. “Can I grab those…” Jerry shakes his head.

“If you go now, you gonna miss the best part. Check this out.” He gestures at the box, it’s in the shadow of the mirror free tv so I have to squat back down to see inside.

Oh, well that’s normal. Let’s see: stuffed crow with no feet; antique bottles of some brownish liquid; allen wrench; empty shotgun shell casings and a plastic bag full of gold. . . teeth! Those are fucking teeth.

“Guess where them teeth came from?” Jerry asks. All eight of his teeth are showing as he grins ear to ear.

“I am so sure that I don’t want to find out,” I say. Hopefully he has a dentist friend but…

“Them’s teeth from the jews. Dubya dubya two my grandeddy drove a tank right over hitler’s personal car. Lifted these here teeth from one of them…concentrational camps.” I nod slowly.

“You’re so full of shit,” the wife says. I hear her lighter flick again. She's something of a chain smoker. No wonder the air visibly agitates when home boy and his freak show move around.

We go back to the main room and I take another look through the box of stuff. It’s all older socket 478 mobos, exactly what I need. I rifle around and notice that jerry threw in a couple extra parts for the heck of it. Easier than taking them out to dump I guess.

Now an interesting smell catches my attention and I turn back to the wife. Instead of a massive narrow cigarette she’s puffing on a fucking joint. Her left hand holds it above an ashtray while the right works out some tricky text spacing for her power point project. The topic of the presentation is “Innovative Methods of Education for Preteens.” The irony is like a vise I can’t squirm out of.

Luckily for me the tale ends pretty much here. Yes there was a moment when Jerry tossed his .38 onto the bed which caused the dogs to freak out and growl at me. But I paid my 40 bucks, took my box of parts and stuff and headed out. The wife popped out for a second. Jerry watched her intently from the window.

“Hey kid, you wanna buy some weed before you go?”

“Fuck no,” I say. That’s it. I throw it into reverse and haul backwards ass out into the road, barely looking or stopping and put as much fucking distance as I can manage. I was more than a little freaked out until I got home and started testing the stuff.

Not a single piece of equipment works.

Fucking rednecks.

Week 5 Update: Ragged patch, low point in the project so far

I know it's Monday and I never really posted a week 4 summary but here's the current count.

As of yesterday, March 8th 2009 I have completed: 19.974 MC

I cracked the 20MC barrier this morning, though it caused great distress for a number of reasons.

Here's the general outline of the events.

Woke up at 5am (FUCKING daylight savings time!!!) drove to gym. Ate toast in the car. Puked up toast in the parking lot, joyful. Tried to do my regular workout but after an hour or so I nearly fainted and puked a few more times in the family locker room.

So I left in a hurry and in my haste I left my wedding ring in the drink holder of the elliptical. Had to swing a hard U to drive back and reclaim it. Ring was found but no longer possesses the power to make me invisible to other females. Drat.

Came home, puked a few more times and tried to get back in bed. Dozed for a little bit. Phone rang, some yakoff wanted to sell me consolidated student loans. Kept phone on speaker while I threw up a few more times. Telemarketer hung up. Called in sick to work and clawed my way back into bed.

Slept til noon, tried to eat something and almost barfed it up. Managed to hold onto some prison food (bread and water) and slept again until 3pm. Got up, took shower and brushed teeth. Watched a little TV and started to feel normal again.

Later, call it 445 I decided to update the GC spreadsheet and write this post. Hopefully I will be able to function tomorrow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

2am, Holden Beach

Alex is running a 102 fever and I'm over 5 hours away. Even if I could leave right now I am too tipsy to drive and thus cut off by distance and time with thought or hope of mitigating them.

Five minutes ago I was on the balcony. Nick was puffing a Marlboro red and regaling me with his inability to sleep due to a combination of too much food, not enough hydration and weird sinking feelings that twisted up his guts.

Pretty typical convo for this trip. We're on the upper deck shooting the shit when we notice the guy next door. An old man, one house over, is walking down the wooden steps slowly and surely. This guy looks like he's pushing 70. He's moving real slow, too slow. It doesn't help that he's cradling a small purse-sized dog under each arm. We speculate on whether he's drunk or just old.

Nick burns through half his smoke before the old codger hits terra firma. We chuckle and continue to talk about the usual bull shit. Moon's bright tonight. Can't have life without the moon I tell him. Stabilizes the axis, not perfectly of course but does an important job. The old man reaches the driveway and lets the dogs do their business.

"Good job, cocoa!" The old man creaks out a laugh at the dogs shitting in the sand. Creepy fucker.

I can't stop thinking about Alex and Natalie. I know she's in good hands but still, it's natural to worry. Thanks evolution. There's nothing I can do until morning so I try to get my mind on other things.

I slip into the 4 foot long bunk bed where I will take my respite. It's the quietest room I have been in all weekend. Nothing but the tiny whir of the EEE fan and my own rasping keystrokes mars the silence. I don't want to forget the creepy old dude and his dogs.

Life's always a little easier to bear when you see those lower down on the pile, closer to the finish line. I don't know how I am supposed to sleep now. I'll just have to do my best.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gotta love the Jehovah's witnesses.

So they stopped by again. This time they dropped off some literature of the awe inspiring and life-changing variety.

Buahahah. No it's all just propaganda but it includes some pretty pictures.

Check it out.

I know I know my scanner was built circa 2001 and it's impossible to square up anything thicker than an envelope. Anyway I did some flipping and found all the usual gibberish. One segment did catch my eye though.

Take a gander.

Now this is a spurious argument at any rate, any book written by the creator of the universe would stand out so far from human endeavors that there could be no possible confusion. That's pretty standard from the files of 'Blatantly Obvious' but allow me to illustrate nonetheless.

Let's say you've got a class full of kindergarten age kids. There are 50 kids total. You ask every one of the 50 kids to draw a picture of a mountain using only a pencil. Keep in mind all of these kids are aged 4 and 5 years old. Now we add a complication. The 51st painting will be done by a master artist who has done nothing but draw mountains with pencils for the last 20 years. The Artist's skill is unparalleled throughout the entire world and no one doubts this.

Would it be hard to distinguish the work of the Artist from the 5 year olds? Would a practiced expert be able to set his or her work apart from a bunch of semi-conscious children still working up the motor skills to properly brush their own teeth?

You betcha. Now let's consider an alternative scenario including the same bunch of kids and the Artist.

This time instead of actually drawing the mountain the task becomes this: Describe the proper way to draw a mountain so that another person will be able to draw it for themselves. Duration, depth and length are all up to the discretion of the person writing the instructions.

Again, would it be difficult to distinguish between the kids and the Artist? Of course not, it would be trivial. But how could we tell? Well without trying to sound patronizing or mean you could look at vocabulary, sentence structure, knowledge of the drawing technique itself could all be employed.

Now if you take the Artist out of the picture then things can get a little more muddled. Disagreements between just the kids would be common place. Some would no doubt be easily distinguished as better than others but there would probably be a few that stood out. Unless there was an art prodigy or some fluke there would be the possibility for debate for at least a few of the paintings or a few of the instructions.

There would be also little doubt, based on the work of other 5 year olds, that the work was written by someone about 4-5 years of age. No matter how hard you try to rationalize or play favorites there is just no way that a 5 year old could produce expert quality art.

So that's why the bible doesn't do it for me. Because it wasn't written by the Artist, if there is an Artist he or she or it sure as hell hasn't left any instructions for all us 5 year olds.

look mom I'm talking on the Internet

this post will be composed entirely through the use of my USB microphone via the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 program if the punctuation or typical tabulator he seems a little bit off maybe I just need to calibrate my vocabulary a little better. Anyway I look forward to using this helpful new tool in the future to compose and assist with future blog posts. Allow me to demonstrate one of the pitfalls of using the program.

I am the very model of a modern major general of information that do to Belen the moment mineral. 

So we can see that when trying to saying the program does not handle it very well. However when speaking with my customer service voice the program seems to do a lot better and perhaps all I need is some additional training. Dear god I speak in extremely long sentences.