Archive for the 'Personal' Category

Frank criticism about the suckiness of your MySpace page

Feb 17, 2006 in Personal

So I finally decided to jump on this MySpace thing recently. Oh, I knew about the whole social networking craze, of course — I still have an abandoned unused Friendster account out there somewhere. So I filled out my profile (here, if you care to know more about your humble webmaster) and started browsing some profiles. A few things that I found incredibly annoying:

  • Those plugins that play one of your favorite songs or videos when someone visits your page? Fucking annoying as hell! I went into the habit of looking for it and hitting pause as soon as the page loaded, because almost everybody has ‘em.
  • I thought the phenomenon of terrible amateur web design (unreadable backgrounds and fonts, “cute” graphics and gifs, general lack of content) went the way of free hosted web pages like Geocities. No, it’s alive and well on Myspace. Now, I have the design skills of a chimp with ADD, but the average Myspace page is a crime against eyesight.
  • The whole enterprise just strikes me as a huge popularity contest. At least on Livejournal you can read the personal angsty ramblings of the people on your friends list.

I think I’ll go delete my account now.

New Look

Feb 12, 2006 in Personal

I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while, so I decided to upgrade the software and install new templates. I’m playing around with the default styles for a while, because I suck at design. I’m also trying to figure out a direction for this blog (as well as my life), since the tendency for me is to be a jack of all trades. I could do an mp3 blog – they’re pretty popular. Or I could just write about politics, like my pal Fritz. Actually, I’ll probably just do all of the above and then some. I can’t be pigeonholed, man.

Which brings to mind the question: Just what is a pigeonhole?

I’m going to Hawaii, yay!

Jan 04, 2006 in Personal

Yes, you heard that right. While you’re spending a cold and dour January at home, I’ll be hiking around the volcanos, snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay, and boogie boarding off the Kona coast.

I have a friend who’s been living on the Big Island, so I scrounged up enough money to buy the cheapest plane ticket I could find. This is probably the only chance I’ll get to go to Hawaii, at least at this price.

I’m not much of a photographer, but I’ll bring my camera along and I might actually get around to using it. In that case, expect to see pictures here soon.

New Address

Apr 01, 2005 in Personal

Those of you who tried visiting the old address probably found yourself here without even realizing it. Note the new address: Bookmark it, share it with your friends. Notice that it’s easier to remember and to type. Isn’t that swell?

I’m not dead, just extremely lazy.

Jan 08, 2005 in Personal

Yes, I know I haven’t updated since before Christmas. First, my PC blew up. Then I went home for ten days. Then I came back and fixed the PC. Also, I’m on break.

For those of you who are tech-savvy and like to upgrade your own computers, remember to replace the power supply every five years of so, especially after you’ve put hundreds of dollars of new hardware into it.

I am officially sick of hearing the word ‘tsunami’. Once time has seperated us from this tragedy, I can see the word snaking it’s way into normal everyday conversation:

(Tasteless used car commercial) “It’s a TSUNAMI of SAVINGS!”

(Mom scolding child) “Ashley, clean your room! It looks like a tsunami tore through it.”

Unfortunately, for you aspiring rockers out there, the name Tsunami has already been taken; more than once according to AMG.

Were it not for said computer failure, I would have updated previously with a pithy entry on the ‘disaster porn’ that pervaded our airwaves for days after the disaster, as if no other news was taking place other than the aftermath. But alas, the moment has passed.

A huge freaking box of potato chips!

Jul 30, 2004 in Personal

My roommate woke me up today, dragging in a large package addressed to me. I wasn’t quite sure what the package might be, but it was addressed from Pennsylvania, where my family lives. I opened the box, and laughed out loud when I discovered that it was full of potato chips.

Middleswarth Bar-B-Q flavored Old Fashioned Ket-L Chips to be exact. Five “Weekender” sized bags, and six 5.5 oz. bags. Plus a bottle of peanut sauce (I live on tofu, stir-fry veggies and ramen coated in peanut sauce).

As anyone from central PA will attest, Middleswarth makes the best barbeque chips in the world. Everytime I go home to visit, I inhale whole bags of these things. I just hope I don’t eat them all in a week.

This was a birthday present, by the way. I remember joking to my mom that she should ship me boxes of these chips. I’ve been noticing lately that my mom has a tendency to take things literally. Thanks Mom! You know you’re going to make me fat! :-P
For those of you who have never been to the Keystone State, Pennsylvania is the potato chip capitol of the world. Many local and regional brands such as Wise, Snyder’s, Utz, Gibble’s, Good’s, Herr’s, Martin’s and others are manufactured here. In fact, I’d wager that Pennsylvania has a better choice of local brands than just about anyplace else.

Middleswarth chips are very popular in central Pennsylvania, and are only available there. Why they haven’t expanded their market throughout the northeast is beyond me. For those of you who’d like to try Middleswarth chips, this website sells 3 lb. boxes for $5.95 + S&H.

Miss me?

Jul 24, 2004 in Personal

I’ve been on “hiatus” for two weeks. More specifically, I’ve been away from home. I went home to Pennsylvania for my mother’s wedding. Stayed at their house for about eight days, pretty much doing nothing…

Well, I did read three or four books: Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them by Al Franken, Heavier than Heaven, the bio of Kurt Cobain by Charles Cross, Bringing Down the House, about the MIT cardcounting blackjack team who earned millions, and Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. (If you’re not already aware of it, that last book is available for free in many digital formats, and you should read it if you care about the fate of copyright and creativity in the Internet age. For any MTSU recording industry/mass comm. students reading this, this goes double for you.)

I also saw Fahrenheit 9/11 at the same theatre that made nationwide Sunday morning headlines when local Republicans got in to see it for free.

Afterwards, I visited an old friend in Gettysburg, who took me on a tour of the battlefield and the national cemetary (where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address). Being there really gives you a perspective on how bloody and pivotal this event was. While a thousand Americans have died in Iraq, tens of thousands of Americans were killed or injured in Gettysburg in just a matter of days. I also made a quick trip through Washington DC, but gave up and drove home as I found out that parking in downtown DC is about as easy to find as an honest politician.

A few miles past the Tennesee border, my ‘89 Hyundai Excel gave up the ghost on me. A local repair shop told me it would need a new motor. I called it a loss and drove a rental car the rest of the way home. The thing that burns me is that I spent $600 on it just two weeks prior on tires and front-end repair, and I’d only bought it four months ago.

Ever notice how financial disasters happen just after you’ve made a major purchase, such as $400 of computer hardware and OS software? At least the machine on my desk is fast and reliable, although I lament the fact that Windows XP erased all of my Opera bookmarks and my Thunderbird mail.

And I’d be remiss if I made a blog post without including some sort of meme: JibJab has an animated parody of “This Land Is Your Land” featuring John Kerry and George Bush! Hilarious, regardless of your political orientation.

I’m Back!

Jun 10, 2004 in Personal

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was without internet access for almost three weeks, and was unable to update this blog. I’ll be back to regular updates now.

You can learn a lot looking through your server logs

Apr 21, 2004 in Personal

Sometimes, I like to browse through my server logs to see who visits. In the sometimes disconnected world that is the internet, I’m not always sure who reads my stuff (in fact, I’m only sure about 1% of the time). The other 99% of the time, I only have a resolved IP address as evidence that someone dropped by to read my creative output. (And yes, I know when you visit, how many times you visit, and often I can narrow it down to a specific geographic location. Hahahawr!)

The logs over at the penguin site are quite revealing. It seems that Yeti Sports part 1 and it’s various hacks are quite popular amongst military personnel, college students and school children. Also, you people at Prudential, Travelers, Honeywell, Delta Airlines and the Government Printing Office need to get back to work! Along with the rest of you who send me your high scores from your work e-mails!

Witty aside: I’m watching Terence Trent D’Arby videos on VH1 Classic right now. Anyone remember him? He was like, Prince Lite. Or Lenny Kravitz, minus the half-Jewishness and Jimi Hendrix aspirations. I don’t think there’s any point to this paragraph.

I’m getting rid of the Take a look, it’s that clever little Flash app in the top-right hand corner that you all so conveniently ignore :-) Seeing as I have plenty of space and bandwidth (especially since my webhost doubled everyones plans), I’m just gonna start posting mp3’s. That, and I’d like to make this more of a music blog. At least one visitor seems to be quite chuffed that I introduced them to the Shaggs. Even if you don’t appreciate the Shaggs, you should at least be aware of their existence. And with that awareness, you should listen repeatedly to Philosophy of the World until it makes sense to you.

Another witty aside: I like the new Outkast video. But what’s up with Andre 3000’s fifties’ obsession? A prediction: Outkast will split, and Andre’s next project will be a doo wop album. It will either be hailed as a great work of visionary pop nostalgia, or it will bomb horribly.

The no-bloggin’ blues

Apr 09, 2004 in Personal

I notice I haven’t updated this in at least a week. I remember I said something before about taking an intense interest in something and then getting bored with it…

So this is my attempt to justify that I’m not really bored with blogging, just distracted by other things. I felt an urgent need to do an update — when you take a nap and dream about updating your blog, you know it’s time to update the blog…

So without further ado, here are some things that have been on my mind as of late:

  • I bought a car recently: ‘89 Hyundai, one owner, “driven by a little old once a week to church” type of thing. Has a bunch of newish parts: alternator, muffler, radiator. Has less than 100k miles, a little front bumper damage, but otherwise in fair shape. The wheel pulls a little to the right, so it’ll need an alignment job, and eventually some shocks and brakes. Otherwise, a good buy for $880.
  • The folks over at Homestar Runner have been unusually prolific as of late. Many new toons in the past week. Their new CD, Strong Bad Sings is number one on our college radio station, WMTS.
  • Our fine student newspaper Sidelines reports that the local county commission is considering a measure to ban same-sex marriages. The article quotes county commissioner Mike Sparks:

    [Sparks] cited the plight of the youth as a major reason he decided to go forth with the proposal.

    “If our country says, you know, yes, that [same-sex marriage is acceptable], if they’re already having trouble with their self-identity, and probably 95 percent of those youth do,” he said, “and they see an issue like this, if they’re already kind of on the fence that they might want to choose a lifestyle like that, it’s only going to encourage that choice.

    “You’re looking at a lifestyle where you’re going to be ridiculed.”

    Statements like this show that much of the anti-gay opposition lacks even a basic clue about homosexuality. I doubt that 95% of anti-gay folks have even seen a gay person, much less know one.

    But Sparks’ comments bring the anti-gay position into clearer focus. The one thing that anti-gay proponents fear (but don’t want to mention) is that they’re deathly afraid their kids will decide to become gay. That’s why we must ban gay marriage, because we don’t want our sons and daughters to ever know the pleasures of anal sex or girl-on-girl action. :P

  • Looking at my blog comments, it appears that the post about the Satanic messages in “Stariway to Heaven” is getting quite a lot of chatter. In fact, it is the most talked about post on my blog to date. That’s kind of sad really, as it’s all comments from stoners and bible thumpers. They’re basically competing with the blog spam I used to get on a regular basis.
  • I had two tests yesterday. Both were in subjects that I could care less about. I did fine, though I was stressing over my lack of knowledge of the material. Which makes me wonder: Why am I paying these people to learn things I could care less about? Like algebra?

    I think I’m just discouraged that I’m in my third year of college, and have yet to clear those nasty general requirements. I won’t even be eligible to apply for candidacy in my major until at least next Spring. Looks like the five-year plan is turning into the six-year plan. At this rate, I could get a Masters in a little under ten years :P

That is all for now.