Saturday, March 26, 2005

100 things about me

Here is my "100 things" list. They are things about me or my opinions or thoughts on particular subjects.

1. I like making lists. Must be my analytical mind combined with the computer geek in me. Organizing data, etc...
2. I'm tempted to post lists like "My top 10 favorite comic book characters" or "Top 25 greatest guitar solos" but they wouldn’t fit in with the level of maturity I'm trying to keep on this blog. (The easiest would be the list of the hottest celebrity babes, but
FHM and VH-1 do fairly well themselves anyway, plus I'd probably offend some of my regular female readers.)
3. I'm not attracted to the waify supermodel type. I don't think the beauty standard of being so thin was a man's idea. I think people who encourage women to be so skinny should be assassinated.
4. I think the media influences culture way too much. There is bias in the news media (mostly bleeding heart liberal) and entities like MTV and broadcast networks dictate too much of what is acceptable and hide a lot of things that should be seen.
5. I'm not much for politics in general, though I do vote. I am not a member of any particular party, because I have opinions on specific issues that crisscross party lines. I generally vote Republican, but hate the fact that they're in bed with large corporations and the Religious Right. Don't like Democrats much either, because I don't like big government, free welfare, and militant vegetarian hippie tree-huggers who think anything man-made is satanic evil.
6. While I think diet is important for good health (see #7), I do not believe in the concept that we all build up pounds and pounds of "toxins" that only seem to come from artificial ingredients. (That may be the subject for a whole other post.) The average person consumes just as many potentially harmful substances (which means "if you ate a thousand times more of it, it would be dangerous, but nobody does) that occur in nature as they do those that are artificial.
7. The only thing worse than my usual diet is my continuing lack of regular exercise. My only saving grace is that I still maintain about 180 on a 6' 3" frame.
8. I had the cleanest bachelor apartment most people had ever seen, and my current place stays pretty close to that too. I was raised by an Olympic cleaning champion.
9. So far I am putting way too much detail in this list.
10. Geek factor #1 ~ I built the two computers I use at home. I used to build them professionally.
11. The other term for a computer is "machine" or "PC". A "box" is what you ship it in.
12. I believe in "Keep it simple", but not in "Trash the entire system to accommodate the stupid people".
13. I think Microsoft is still the Evil Empire. And that AOL is becoming one too.
14. My first computer was a Commodore 64 that my parents bought me. I learned DOS (5+) and Windows (3.0+) on the first computer I bought, a 386. I also still have a working Kaypro 4 that runs CP/M.
15. I still use some DOS style commands to this day. I do, however, usually prefer to use the mouse than the keyboard.
16. I think spammers should be forced to manually compose letters of apology to every single recipient they've ever emailed, and then be stripped of all wealth gained in the process of spamming. They should be then banned from doing business of any kind online.
17. My lucky number is 17. Though not lately.
18. I share a birthday with Richard Nixon, Crystal Gayle, and Jimmy Page. Missed Elvis by a day.
19. I am old enough to remember black and white TV, Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, dial telephones, gas prices under a dollar, and Watergate.
20. I am not old enough to remember the Vietnam war, the Beatles, or the Washington Senators.
21. I recently got back into collecting sports cards. Mostly football. Redskins & Priest Holmes.
22. I’ve been to Redskins games (once in 1974, once in the 80’s), Colts, Baltimore Stallions (CFL), and Ravens (2005).
23. I am a two time fantasy football champion. I love the NFL.
24. I have never been much for college sports.
25. I don't like the NBA at all. Between the primadonna Olympic team and the fights in the stands, they lost any respect I had for them.
26. I'm on eBay all the time. (For #21, and computer parts)
27. Geek Factor #2: I also revisited my comic book collection even more recently.
28. I have discovered that the concept of "These (cards/comics) will be worth a fortune in 20 years" was largely a myth, due to market saturation and the internet.
29. I probably wouldn't have sold them anyway.
30. Most of my hobbies are expensive.
31. Anti-Geek Factor #1: I have never been into video games. They just never keep my interest for long. First person POV games make me nauseous after about 20 minutes.
32. Geek Factor #3: I have been a Star Trek fan for many years. Though I haven't watched a show since Voyager went off the air. Never got into the Enterprise show. I used to go to conventions in the 90's and actually own two uniforms. Don't think they fit any more.
33. My DVD collection is mostly action movies & sci-fi.
34. So is my laserdisc collection.
35. I prefer widescreen to full screen. Movies are shot in widescreen. Full screen is a distortion of the original film.
36. I did not see Titanic until after the year 2000.
37. I like anything Pixar does.
38. The Matrix is the coolest movie ever, but the second one was only okay, and the third one was kinda lame.
39. I am not opposed to watching a "chick flick". Though I rarely ever do it on my own.
40. I get my hair cut in a fancy salon, and get massages at a spa. People are confused as to why I go to girly places like that. I tell them "Those places are full of beautiful women getting (or making others look and feel) beautiful. What's not to like?"
41. I don't go out much. Can you tell?
42. I don't smoke. Well, I haven't had a cigar in years. And they almost don't count.
43. I don't drink (often enough to mention.)
44. I don't like the taste of beer. Or rather, I don't like the gasoline aftertaste that occurs beyond the first sip.
45. I don't cook. But I reheat a lot.
46. I can't stand sauerkraut, mushrooms, or rye bread.
47. Although I like Pepsi and Coke, I'd rather have Black Cherry, Grapefruit, Grape, or Orange soda.
48. I can feel the effects of caffeine if I drink one cola without eating something else with it.
49. I have never tried drugs or marijuana, and don't have any interest in doing so. I didn't even like the smell of weed in college.
50. I am not working in my degree field.
51. I once worked for the Smithsonian Institute, and another time for Toys'R'Us.
52. I was once involved with Amway.
53. Once at an Amway function, I met ZZTop in an elevator, but didn't get any autographs.
54. My favorite music is 80's metal.
55. I like country too. Mostly female artists. But I don't listen to country as much as rock.
56. I don't have that many mp3s.
57. I used to read a lot more than I do now.
58. I own a lot of books, mostly hardcover, bought cheap. I like buying them more than reading them.
59. Right now those books are packed in boxes awaiting shelves. There are almost as many boxes of VHS tapes piled in with them.
60. One of the other rooms in my house is decorated in a jungle motif.
61. I have several friends originally from African nations, including Nigeria, Gambia, and Togo. Other friends are from India, Peru, Uruguay, Ecuador, and Ethiopia.
62. After being around them for several years, I still don't know Spanish except for a few words. I know a few Amharic words too.
63. I took French in high school, so that didn’t help.
64. I’m good at imitating accents, though.
65. I think speaking with an accent makes a woman sexier.
66. I have never traveled outside the US, except for just over the Canadian border.
67. I have been on driving trips to Colorado, New York and Florida, and flew to California (twice) and Washington state.
68. I like airports and don't mind flying.
69. Some time I'd like to take the train.
70. I'd like to visit the town my family is from.
71. Both sides of my family are from Germany.
72. My last name is ten letters, but is a lot easier to pronounce than people think at first glance.
73. I am an only child.
74. I have one half sister.
75. I think my family line will end with me. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
76. I'm glad my relatives are all comparably sane and supportive. I have no fear of ending up on Jerry Springer or any other daytime talk show.
77. I know a few people who probably don't have that same feeling of security.
78. I'm not rich, but I feel I manage my money well. I have great credit.
79. I have always considered it more important to like what I do for a living than to make more money at something I may not enjoy as much.
80. I like working for a school system and getting the minor holidays off.
81. I think a good boss is someone who is not beyond "getting their hands dirty" and working alongside their employees. A boss should be one of the gang, not someone you stiffen up and look busy around.
82. I try to treat people with respect and dignity, but I don't like unnecessary formality.
83. I'd rather wear jeans and a sweatshirt, but I like dressing up every once in a while.
84. I sometimes like to wear military or police style BDUs, usually black or blue.
85. I only own one suit. Which I bought last week.
86. I can tie my own tie. And without a mirror.
87. I recently learned how to fold fitted sheets. I didn't think it was possible for a male. (Thanx D!)
88. I sort all my laundry and read every tag.
89. I've been told I have decent taste in decorating for a straight guy.
90. I think being gay is abnormal. It's not so much a moral question as it is biological. The parts don't fit, there's no reproductive purpose, so it's incorrect.
91. I think there are far less gay people in the world than the media make you believe.
92. I don't think legislation helps reduce drug abuse, abortions or handgun crime.
93. I think war is sometimes necessary. There are some people you can't negotiate with.
94. My patriotism far outweighs my enthusiasm for religion.
95. I was raised with and hold Christian values and principles. But I have too many technical questions to call myself a Christian. And I can't deal with blind faith.
96. I believe in God, but more as an abstract force. I don't follow any particular denomination because I think they're all interpretations of the same basic themes. I don't believe any major religion is valid over any other. There are too many other choices to say one is right and the others all wrong. (For a list, go
97. I accept my mortality.
98. I think there is life on other planets. I don't think they visit often. I don't think they are still in Roswell, NM.
99. I believe the assassination of JFK was performed by more than one person. I believe the investigation was completely mishandled. I think that's when corruption in government and politics began to flourish.
100. I think I would have enjoyed living in the 1940's or 50's.

Well, that only took three days. Now I have a few ideas for full posts too.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Cognitive Byproducts ~ Part Two

A continuing series of random thoughts, questions, and musings accumulated over time.
  • What exactly does it mean to be flossin'? I'm not talking about the dental application, I mean the hip-hop street lingo definition, like the J. Lo song among others. The white boy don' unnastand. Holla back!
  • I figured out why my memory is so bad. The reason I can't remember current things is because my head is so full of 80's song lyrics and useless TV knowledge. I was driving home today and found that I still knew every word to an old Night Ranger tune, and could even tap out the cool drum part at the end. How much brain space are all those songs taking up? And how much is wasted on goofy stuff like MC Hammer and other genres that I don't even listen to? I can recall commercial jingles from 1973, but I can't remember my savings account number. Have they come up with a storage device that you can plug into your head (like Keanu Reeves in Johnny Mnemonic) yet? I need a data dump!
  • You know, I miss the Muppet Show. Guess I'll have to buy the DVDs....

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Bean 9 from Outer Space!

I've been convinced for years that soybeans are an alien substance. No other edible object can be made into as many different things as soybeans, and it's this diversity that freaks me out more than a little. The following is more a warning than a promotion.

Soybeans start out as beans, but they are far more than just vegetables. They can be baked and turned into soynuts. They are liquified into soy milk, and then that can be heated and curdled into tofu. Tofu is weird enough by itself because it comes in crazy colors like pink. And did I just say curdled? Normal dairy products are normally thrown away if they're curdled, aren't they? (The Wack-O-Meter is jumping...) But let's continue. There is also soy sauce, the most common condiment on Chinese food. A lot of vegetable oil used to make different foods is soy oil. Soy flour is ground roasted soybeans. And then, my favorite screwy adaptation is the meat alternatives like soy burgers. Go here for more details on soy foods.

(A side note: I always thought that vegetarians who made substitutes for meat products were cheating. If they say that people shouldn't eat meat, or it isn't natural, why do they make the substitutes? Stop cheating and do without, you hypocrites!)

So let's review. We have beans, milk, flour (for breads), and meat substitutes. That's ALL FOUR food groups! That's just not right. It's a freakin' bean! They were originally planted by little green men, I'm tellin' ya!

But wait there's more. At this site, they list some other applications for soybeans. They list real products for body & hair care, candles, cleaners, crayons, diesel fuel additives, fabric conditioner, paint removers, pens, polishes, solvents, furniture and waxes. Ye gods, it's a full scale invasion! It's like that old Saturday Night Live sketch: "New Shimmer is a dessert topping AND a floor wax! Mmm, tasty! And look at that shine!" There are some clever ideas, but several of the items in the list seem to me to be the result of bleeding-heart liberal tree-hugging lobbyist groups. I'm all for recycling and conservation, but sometimes it can go a little too far.

So next time you order a veggie burger on a soy flour bun with tofu and milk in a Chinese restaurant, get 'em to throw it all in a blender and puree it. It's all the same anyway. Just be sure to look for UFOs in the parking lot when you leave.

Cognitive Byproducts ~ Part One

This is the first in a continuing series of random thoughts, questions, and musings accumulated over time.

  • TD Waterhouse: Knock it off with the hipster editing style on your commercials. You're a highbrow financial corporation, why are you trying to appeal to the MTV crowd? Those insert shots that are off angle to the Law & Order guy aren't innovative, they're annoying. Keep it simple.
  • I've already discussed people talking on cel phones while driving. Today, I saw the next level. People REALLY shouldn't talk on cel phones while driving if they talk with their hands. This lady behind me was basically driving with one wrist while carrying on an enthusiastic conversation and gesturing with the other hand. I doubt she'd maintain control if I were to slam on the brakes....
  • Is it just my home system, or is Yahoo! mail starting to break down? I've had a couple different malfunctions in the last few weeks....
  • Part two will have some positive things to say, I promise.