Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Midnight BINGO Story


I won $100 last night playing midnight BINGO. It was a $500 game, but there were 5 winners on my same number, so it was split between us all. This was the first time I've ever won playing midnight BINGO. It's really an interesting setup.

The BINGO hall is a very large building, separated into a smoking and non-smoking. You walk into the hall on the smoking side, pay your $10 for 3 hours worth of BINGO cards, and find a seat. The environment is unlike anything I've ever been in before. First off, there are a lot of older folk there, many of whom are ladies. These ladies carry their custom BINGO dauber bags, equipped with daubers of every color from metallic green to dark deep blue. There are also some shady looking folk, too, dressed as miscreants and possibly up to no good. There are the lonely looking folk, sitting by themselves and hoping for the big win. There are the addicts, people who go several nights per week and use the lottery as their career. There are the volunteers that work, too, and they are a different breed all together.

I sit in the non-smoking side, as I'm a non-smoker. I go with my friend William and we play from midnight til about 3 in the morn. The room is very fluorescent white, the bright lights reflecting dimly off of the cream/white tiled floor. There are tv monitors all over the walls, displaying the current BINGO ball called. There are grids up across the wall showing what numbers have already been called.

All around there are some sort of crazy games going on along with the BINGO. I'm not sure how these games work, but I think they work like pull-tab lottery cards. People will randomly shout out "Flash on Kings" or "Ham and Eggs." There's a horse race game, too, but its too complex to describe currently. (Or maybe I'm too lazy to think how to accurately describe it. It is, after all, after midnight.)

All the while I'm looking around at the people I'm competing with. Do I really deserve to win? By me winning, am I taking inadvertently hurting someone else? Are most of these lonely people and older people folk that are widows? Did she just call out G-51? Do I want to get an appetizer boat? "Flash on Kings." What the heck does that even mean?

I don't play midnight BINGO too often, as it is a draining experience on the body. There are several ways to get a BINGO, such as a coverall (the entire card is covered), a double BINGO (you have to get 2 regular BINGOs on one card), hardway BINGO (where the Free Space doesn't count), and many more. The process requires an intense focus because of all the options. Then, there's also the strain of second guessing yourself. See, you don't want to call out a false BINGO. For that, well, let's just say you really don't want to call out a false BINGO. The society that reigns there will exile you at a minimum, the mob will form and throw you out on your butt, or you'll look like a red butt baboon. Oh, and the death stares of Medusa from the old lady is not pleasant, either.

Regardless, playing midnight BINGO is always interesting. It leave you dragging the following day, but if you win it's well worth it. Actually, one game is worth $1000. In total there is over $4000 given away at the midnight BINGO session. There are several sessions throughout the week, and not all of them are at midnight. There is a lot of money passing through this system, and I'm guessing it's all legit, and I would have no reason to think otherwise except for the stereotype associated with a place like the BINGO hall. It's a fun night, especially if you win, and the atmosphere is intriguing and thought provoking.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tonight

I'm going to play midnight BINGO.
I did a lot of homework.
My wife is sick and probably has the quasi-flu.
I made her homemade chicken noodle soup.
I finished Mistborn.

Tomorrow
I'm going to do some land surveying for my Capstone project.
I'm going to do more homework.
I'm going to be cold. And tired.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An Olde School Website

Today's post is very simple. I recently found a link to a website that I created about 6 or 7 years ago, back when life was simple, philosophy was beginning, and curiosity was king. It's got a lot of problems, such as holes and circular links, but there are things there. Some very old writings. But, more so, the site was a testament to friendship. Me and my two best buds, the former Senator Clay and the Good Pope, formed an imaginary Council of friends. Mostly I think I just thought the silliness in my head, but it was fun while it lasted. I betrayed our council with mysterious emails etc. and ultimately confessed. The Senator turned into the Whiskey Priest, the Pope into the Harlequin. I converted from the Godfater Don Logeon to Rapscallion. Ahh. Precious memories. How they embarrass.

http://www.geocities.com/don_logeon/the_watchtower.html?1039134248640.html

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On Mistborn (spoiler free)

I'm currently reading Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. This book received a whole lot of praise, as did its author, and so I decided to peruse its pages. It didn't take very long for me to understand why this book got the attention it did. The main characters, Vin and Kelsier, are extremely believable and lovable. The depth of the world, the Final Empire, is steeped in an almost dystopic society. I particularly love the beginning of each chapter, but I cannot say why for fear of any possible spoilers.

I think one reason why I like this book so much is similar to the reason why I loved the Name of the Wind: these books, though fantasy, are believable. The fantasy works very well for the setting.

I can't really say much about this book, as I'm not finished, but I can tell you that I am enjoying it very much. And knowing that the entire series is out there in print makes it even more appealing. If you're looking for a good book to get sucked into, Mistborn is it.

For now, friends, don't let the Smurf's find ye.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Legend of Zelda


Friends, I've been negligent to my favorite game series of all time. It started back in 1986 with the original Nintendo platform. The Legend of Zelda features a constant overhead view of the hero, Link, as he searches for the Triforce in order to rescue Princess Zelda from Ganon. Simple, really, and nothing really overly original to the story, but amazing and hypnotizing.

I've been playing Zelda games since I was a wee lad, and I've always enjoyed them. In particular, I loved the complex puzzles that had to be solved in order to progress the game. In fact, I remember when I first played The Legend of Zelda and was looking for Ganon that I had to find Spectacle Rock; I didn't know what spectacle meant at the time, and so I looked it up and grew my vocabulary. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was dreadfully difficult, and I honestly cannot remember beating this game, though I know I must have. The advent of the SNES brought A Link to the Past, which is one of the greatest games ever made. The story grew more complicated and the puzzles a bit more challenging, as well as enhanced graphics and a larger weapons inventory made this game remarkable. Plus, being able to travel to the Dark World was pretty sweet, too.

And then 64bit graphics hit the media and the best game of all time was out: Ocarina of Time. There are so many things I enjoyed from OoT that I can't think to list them all. The soundtrack was beautiful. The deeper storyline was emotional and passionate. The graphics was astounding. This game frequently tops lists of best games ever, and I wholeheartedly agree. Ocarina's sequel, Majora's Mask, was not as interesting as its predecessor, but still a fun and cool game. The idea of collecting masks and stopping the destruction of the world was interesting.

Wind Waker is a beautiful game. The cell shading concept is visually appealing and makes for an interesting point of view playing. Also, "Link" was a small boy in this game and the legend of the Hero of Time were intriguing, and the explorable world was huge.

Then came Twilight Princess. This game was enormous and the expectation for it huge. The new controls offered by the Wii were exciting and testing the capabilities of the Wii would be interesting. The storyline was now deep and the familiar characters were legends in their own right. The new Twilight Realm was reminiscent of the Dark World from a Link to the Past and the quest was humongous.

I've left off the gameboy games--Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, Four Swords, Minish Cap, and the Phantom Hourglass--but the ones I've played are just as puzzling and fun.

Overall, the Zelda franchise has long been hailed as one of the greatest ever, and I completely agree. I eagerly await the next installment on a major platform, and I'll certainly love it, too. Link will always have a special place in my heart, like Cloud, MegaMan, Luigi, and Sephiroth.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Importance of Time Management

Setting priorities are important in life. For example, is it better to do homework or to play a little Wii? The careful balance of these things is crucial, and I think I fair fairly well with time budgeting, but I could certainly do better. For instance, I don't spend enough time with my wonderful wife, and she deserves better than that. In fact, spending time with Keisha is something I supremely enjoy doing, but unfortunately engineering school is not the best environment for this. The fact that I'll get to spend time at home without worrying about homework and studying and instead spend time hanging out with my wife makes me even more ready to graduate.

The silence here on the blog o'er the past few days has largely been attributed to an overwhelming amount of projects and travel. Several projects are converging a bit too quickly for my comfort, but I'll manage. The light shines brighter and brighter everyday, and my attitude shifts subtly daily to reflect the ever-approaching conclusion to my formal education.

However, I never would have made it through school if I did not learn how to budget time. Time management is something people must learn to do or they will drown in the bustling waters of life. My freshman year I goofed off quite a bit and procrastinated with my work, often staying up late doing last minute homework and studying. That lifestyle quickly grew tedious and stressful, and I realized it was all my own fault. Now, as a graduate student, I still must stay up late, but not as often and usually not because of procrastination.

Living a mostly time managed life provides a less stressful environment. I don't carry an iphone or blackberry and so I don't use much technology to budget, except for Google calendar. I can urge you all, good folks, to budget your time the best you can. I've found that with effective time management then you actually have plenty of extra time left to do whatever you want, provided you don't have an extremely overwhelming amount of homework. Best of luck.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Wild Eyed Beast

Late, again, and about time, too.
It's at the point where things blur,
where the same Radiohead song's been stuck in my head for weeks
and I'm not getting enough sleep.
I'm the wild eyed beast, best to be left alone like this.
I have to ask myself: Self, why do you do this?
After three days, the end is nigh, but it's only a partial conclusion;
The denouement comes within seventy-five days.
"Self," I answer myself. "It's because you must. You can't switch things off."
The best description is the constant turn on, turn off,
turn on, turn off,
turn on. Pause. Crash, or more like I'm drowning
in an endless ocean of work and life.
But we're all in this thing together, and so we all must drown from time to time.
I guess it's just better that way.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Last Clock On The Wall

As I mentioned in my earlier post today, I cannot wait for the new Joe Purdy album to come out. As luck would have it, I received an email from the Joe Purdy folk asking me to embed this link on my blog, etc. Being a huge fan, I'll oblige.

If you check back within the next week the song should update to include the full album, which means that the album should come out within the week (I hope)!

Enjoy.







Things About Logan (Part 2)

As promised, here's more.

2. The number 1 is not considered a prime number.
3. I've recently started eating oatmeal for breakfast, but only brown sugar flavor.
5. I use my TI-83 Plus all the time.
7. I clip my fingernails weekly, or more so if I think I need it.
11. The Data Analysis Toolpack addition to Excel is really pretty cool.
13. I keep my thermostat on 68*F for the winter.
17. I've been waiting and waiting for Joe Purdy's new album to come out.
19. The square root of 19 does not exist. It's real weird. Just a blank spot.
23. Rainfall does not follow a normal distribution pattern. It's all random, baby.
29. Rules regarding the number 0 did not come into existence until 628 AD.
31. Zero is an even number.
37. A man walks down the street, says "Why am I soft in the middle now? Why am I soft in the middle when the rest of my life is so hard."
41. I'm OCD. Sorta. Or, more accurately, I do certain things OCD, like popping my knuckles. There's a certain pattern I follow when doing this. Or washing my hands and touching door handles.
43. I have a Blue-Green personality type: I am a people pleaser and an analytical person.
47. Alison Krauss & Robert Plant's cd is really quite pleasant.
53. I'm from a coal mining state, where the air smells like warm rootbeer and the cloudmaker machines are always blowing.
59. I hit the "Next Blog" link at the top of the page quite frequently.
61. I've always enjoyed cartoons, especially the old ones, like Tom & Jerry, Loony Toons, Tiny Toons, The Flinstones, and Scooby Doo. Most of the new ones are stupid, but I do like Sponge Bob and Dexter's Lab.
67. My favorite song: Mrs. Potter's Lullaby, by the Counting Crows.
71. One dream: Build a music room in the home we design, large enough for a piano, some guitars, mandolins, banjos, and whatever other fancy is tickled.
73. My love: Jesus first. Keisha second.
79. I push back the cuticles on my fingers a lot.
83. I can independently control my second toe on my right foot.
89. There are 25 prime numbers between 1 and 100.
97. I wonder when we'll get out of this economic turndown. Will the rest of the world fall with us?

The hills are alive, folks. And they have eyes!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My First Wreck




Today's been an interesting day. Today was a special day for me. Today I got to experience my first wreck. By experience I mean that I was riding shotgun and only involved in it, not driving one of the vehicles, but it was still a near head-on collision.

We were on our way to our stream for class, traveling eastbound around 40 mph and approaching a green light. Another vehicle, a small car facing westbound, decided to left turn in front of us, right into our lane of traffic. To minimize damage, my friend, the driver, swerved left and the passenger front ends collided. (I could go into the mechanics and dynamics of the wreck, like I did in my sledding accident post, but I do not wish to repeat myself there. Instead, now would be a good point to make an aside about the Large Hadron Collider. This thing is so cool, but I don't fully understand it. But I've always been fascinated by black holes, and space in general. In fact, the only point in this aside is to point out some subtle things you may not have noticed before, but I can't point them out to you. If you notice them, kudos; if not, say sorry and move along. Like in STAR WARS where the stormtroopers tell Luke, Obi-Wan, C-3P0, and R2-D2.)

So, anyway, the wreck was very fast. Firstly, no one was injured, for which I thank the Lord. I have a pretty stiff and sore neck and shoulder and a small bruise on my chest from the seatbelt, but nothing serious. Secondly, the wreck wasn't my friends' fault; it was the other guy who ran the YIELD ON GREEN sign. Thirdly, the truck was totaled, roont. Fourthly, and finally, we still went on to class, even though we were about 30 minutes late.

And in the stream we finished surveying our reach. We also shot a cross-section of our channel and will be plotting it soon for homework. We even got to do a pebble count, but this time it wasn't as cold as before. Still pretty cold, just not as cold.

For the long of it, today's been an interesting day. An automobile accident, a stiff neck (no pun intended), homework, 45 minutes of Fallout 3, more homework, and then Heroes. Actually a pretty good day, except for the whole wreck thing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Brothers: Conclusion (And Something Else)

I sat out to write a piece on brothers and our relationships. In actuality I think I've just written down some of my memories about my childhood and growing up with a brother. What have I learned?

I have always thanked God for my family, and I still do. We might have argued and bickered some, but there was always the omnipresent love. That love is still there, and that love will always be there.

I enjoyed my childhood tremendously. I have friends that will be friends for a lifetime. I found my wife within a few miles from where I grew up, even. I have a community I will always call home.

In short, my friends and family are cherished, and I feel honored to call them friends and family. This series has been scattered and really more for me than anything else, but I felt the need to do it. It's like my mind flickers from thing to thing so fast that I don't have time to sit down and actually focus and think on past experiences. My typical day for the past four years has been do homework and study mostly, and this leaves little room for thought and reflection.

To be fair to the title, my brother Jake is a great brother. If ever he reads this, I want him to know how much he means to me and how much I respect him. I love my stepbrother, Adam, too, and I also have tremendous respect for him. Thanks for all the good memory's to you.

*****

There you have it. Scattered memory flashes, focusing on my childhood. It's been a thoughtful process for me, and reading back I think my organization is amiss. Oh well. In other news, I went to a concert today, the Sparrow Quartet, a group of two banjos (one of which is played by the world famous Bela Fleck), a cello, and a fiddle (or violin for those of you that are inclined to think that way). The concert left me feeling a bit inspired, as all concerts seem to do, and I really want to grab my mandolin and guitar and start playing, but unfortunately I'll be chained to the table tonight working on homework.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Brothers: Part Two

As I said in my post yesterday, my brother in a member of the Army. He joined the National Guard when he was seventeen, did boot camp the summer of his junior year in high school, graduated high school and went straight to his training at eighteen. He's now twenty-one, soon to be twenty-two, married, and expecting his first child soon. He bough his first house a few months ago, and Keisha and I were a bit jealous of their beautiful home.

Jake was asked to be my best man for my wedding, but he was going to be out of the country at the time. In fact, he was going to be twelve miles from Baghdad serving his country. At our wedding we decided to group everyone together and hold signs saying "We Miss You," get a few pictures, and send one to Iraq. We communicated through email and phone calls, both of which were very sporadic.

Now we don't seem to see each other except for holidays. We talk on the phone for a few minutes every once in a while, and the same is true for him and mom, too. The point in people's lives where they become completely independent is a great point, but it also is a sad stage, too. Like Holden Caulfield, we all step out into society and face disillusionment. As we get older we think back to when we were young and wish we could go back to better times. We look back at our past when things were easier and less complicated, when we had no burdens, when our only worries were what color popsicle to choose.

I think back to when I was little and me and Jake and Mom would get in the car and go to Sonic for drinks. We didn't have much money, but we had enough to get treats and enjoy our time together. We were raised in church, thus we spent Sunday's and Wednesday's there. We spent most of our time together and shared the same friends, most of whom were family or church family.

This same group of friends--Me, Jake, Chris, Jordan, Adam, Spenser, Nick--spent a lot of time together, playing tennis between church services, going camping many nights during the summer. Once we got in high school, William and Adam Graham became my best friends (and they still both are two of my best), and our normal group expanded. Still we all went camping together, and we all loved to burn stuff.

Friends, like brothers, are something to thank God for. I think back to when we were younger and those times we all shared together, and again it makes me a bit nostalgic. I don't want to go back in time, however; I want to continue our friendships into the future. I want to hang out with these same folks when I'm fifty, still camping and still playing tennis. Sadly, though, my brother doesn't seem to be hanging out with the group much anymore. And this sucks because the group does not get together much anymore.

A big part of this is because of the Army. Jake is so busy with the Army that he does not have the time to hang out with us, or he's busy working and can't. I have respect for the Armed Forces, but I do wish I could have my brother back sometimes. Again, like Holden Caulfield, my brother served in Iraq, and I'm sure he saw things he would rather have not. The horrors and effects of war are not envied, and I do not wish them on anyone, especially not my brother.

I want to extend a "Thank You" to all of our brothers in the Armed Forces out there. Those of you that serve our country, we would not be where we are today without you. You will always have my respect, support, and appreciation. May God bless you.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Brothers: Part One


This is the first part of a brief series on brothers. I will explore the fraternal relationship through personal experiences. This is written mostly for me, but you may learn and love, too.

I have two brothers. Jake, my blood brother, is one year and fifty-four days younger than I am. Adam, my step-brother, is a few years older than me. Jake and I have been close our whole lives. We both look alike, and because of our closeness in age, we were each others' best friend. Needless to say, we have always loved each other dearly.

There is something about brothers, particularly young brothers, that want to get into trouble. Being the elder brother, I was usually the one punished more severely, though I like to think I was being protective. One time when we were around 5-6 years old we got caught playing with fire under the bed. We lighting things on fire and watching them burn, awed and amazed. That was the only time I was ever whipped by my Uncle Brian. Suffice it to say it was not pleasant.

Me and Jake would ride our bikes to town and we had our own code language for staying safe on the roads. A "Code Red" was a car coming from in front of us, and a "Code Blue" was a car coming from behind. We would ride around and yell out our Codes, and we were always safe.

We spent many hours in the woods behind our home. We would choreograph lightsaber battles and perform them to our mom. We would dig holes. Giant, monstrous holes. One measured 10'x6'x4', and it was all dug with a shovel. That was our burning pit. We blew up everything we could there. We built a two story structure out of our neighbor's surplus timber (he owned a saw mill) and burned it to the ground.

It may seem that my brother and I were just mischievous pyromaniacs, but that's not entirely representative. We were both actually good kids. We had a good name in the community, especially once we got old enough to work in the tobacco, hay, and straw fields.

Me and Jake have always been close. Once I went to college, though, our relationship faded a bit. We were 120 miles away, and I had a girlfriend, now my wife, that I was infatuated with. Jake, too, was busy, and so our time together was not as much. I miss our closeness, and if I think about it too much I get a little emotional. I cannot describe how much I love my brother, but I would do anything for him. As the older brother, I think it is my responsibility to look after him, but I'm pretty sure he could take me any time he wanted. He has always been stronger and a smidgen taller.

There is a distance between us now, but it comes from me being in college for 5 years straight and Jake being in the Army since he turned 17. I wish we had the opportunity to hang out and play Nintendo like we used to, to go camping back in the woods, to go to the movies, to stay up and watch tv until 4 in the morning. I hope that in the very near future we are able to get together more and do stuff like brothers should.

Brothers are more than blood related kin. Brothers are more than best friends, even. A brother is someone you grow to love, respect, and worry about, someone you can spend time with easily, and someone you enjoy being around. If you have someone like this in your life, thank God for this person and spend time together.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fun With "Reply to All..."

My wife just exclaimed, "I wonder why people reply to all on emails when they don't need to address everyone?" I found this humorous, and it got me thinking back to one particular instance of "Reply to All" for me.

Back when I was taking Chem 201 there was a lot of nervous freshmen and sophomores in the class. I was a junior, and I was rather knowledgable about chemistry, so I didn't worry. Furthermore, these nervous freshmen would miss classes constantly, and in their despair, they would send out emails to the class all the time, begging for help, for notes, for clarification, for anything, really. I found this rather annoying. This went on for most of the semester, and my frustration at people missing classes and wanting help/handouts was building.

One day I decided to type a message and Reply to Everyone in the class. My message was short and simple.

Did you all see our professor lick the chalkboard today?

Of course, this was completely made up, but I thought it was rather funny. One or two people replied to me, curious and wondering about it, but I didn't reply back.

The point of this post: when replying to an email, make sure it's directed at who you intend and not at everybody. Everything is much better this way.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brisingr Review



I cannot tell you how happy I am to be done with Brisingr. For those of you that don't know, this book is the third book in the Inheritance Cycle, which begins with Eragon and Eldest. These books are written by Christopher Paolini, and these are his first major works. I read Eragon years ago when it first came out. I was a younger lad then with a different outlook on books, particularly the fantasy genre. Needless to say, I enjoyed the first book, and I was immensely satisfied with the sequel, too. Brisingr was to be the conclusion of the series, but the story grew too large and Paolini needed to add a fourth book to tell his tale, which, at the time, was fine by me. If you haven't read these books, particularly Brisingr, then be warned that there may be plot revealing statements below.

)))LOOKOUT FOR SPOILERS! THEY'RE LURKING BELOW(((

This book starts on the heels of Eldest. Eragon is learning to live with his family problems--Morzan, Murtagh--and also grappling with his role as Alagaesia's savior. In this book, Eragon and Roran must save Katrina from the vile Ra'zac, Eragon must travel to Farthen Dur to secure the Dwarve's position with the Varden, he must travel back to Ellesmera to learn more from Oromis & Glaedr, he must find a true Rider's sword. The novel also focuses on Roran Stronghammer, Eragon's cousin and friend, and his travels with the Varden.

There are points in the story that I really enjoyed. For example, I love the close relationship Eragon and Saphira share, and it makes me wish I could have that sort of close contact with someone or something. I liked the mini quest of searching for a Rider's sword, particularly under the Menoa tree. I like the nuances of the languages spoken in the land, but sometimes I feel they're a bit ridiculous.

A couple years ago I thought the Ancient Language mechanics to invoke magic was unique, but now I think it is a very complicated, complex, and messy system.

Honestly, the only reason I read this book was because I was (and still am) a little interested as to how Galbatorix will die and his reign end. He will most definitely die, of that I have no doubts. The story is too "young adult" and light for there to be a plot-twist where Galbatorix wins. I also hold the belief of starting a book means finishing a book, and in this case, starting a series means finishing a series.

)))END OF SPOILERS(((

Overall, I give Brisingr a 2.5/5.0, or a 50% positive review. The story did not have enough Realism for my liking. After reading Pat Rothfuss' brilliant work, The Name of the Wind, and George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books, I enjoy the realistic approach to fantasy as opposed to the cliche fantasy. Don't misunderstand the previous statement: I enjoy some of the atypical books in the fantasy realm, but others are too akin to each other for my liking. I appreciate uniqueness and creativity, which Brisingr employs, but not enough for my satisfaction.

Monday, February 09, 2009

On Posting (Part 2)

I'm really too tired to post tonight, but I feel obliged to, as per yesterday's post. Today's been very busy for me. I spent around 5 hours in our stream today, doing general land surveying and walking the creek. We worked just downstream the confluence of the streams and then upstream until the road.

View Larger Map
Then I went to Kroger and picked up some things for Valentines Day. Then my landlord came o'er and fixed our water in the bathroom. Then Heroes came on. Then I bathed. Now I sit and think about all the stuff I have to do tomorrow, like get up really early and dress business appropriate, since I'm going to a Career Information meeting and meeting a potential employer. And I finished reading Brisingr tonight, too, which was a relief. Later, either tonight or tomorrow, I am going to start on Mistborn. I'm thinking tomorrow's post may be more coherent and will probably be about my thoughts on Christopher Paolini's book I just finished reading. Stay away from the green peppers, folks; they'll get you every time.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

On Posting

I've had this blog since December of 2005. I remember hopping onto the blogwagon, but really unsure why. For a while I posted on weird, odd things, like "Why?", but I also posted some of my original poetry and reviews and books and Jesus. In short, I've had a pretty normal blog. However, my posting was, at best, subject to a high variance. For example, look at the (crude) table below:

Back a few months ago I decided that I would try to update this daily, and if not daily, then at least 5 days per week. So far, I think I've done pretty well at this. I feel obligated to no one but myself to do this. For one, it's a source for me to put a little of myself out there in the world. For two, it's provided an opportunity to get to know other folks (Matt, Marky, Cap'n Joe, and others that read through Facebook) and for them to know how I think on some things.

And this is the interesting point. Why do we want to know what other people think about things? Are we not confident enough in ourselves and our opinions, or do we find it entertaining to know how other's think? Perhaps we feel a connection with someone who shares a similar belief, or mayhap we feel intelligent reading someone else's obviously uninformed opinion. Whatever the case, we are attracted to other people's opinions like iron to a magnet. These musings make me want to delve into an intense Psychology or Sociology book, or at least talk to a scholar about these reasons and why modern thought tells us these obvious truths. What causes human attraction and a desire for relationships? What causes a moth to want to fly into an open flame? Why are chestnuts roasting over it?

Back to posting. I try to post regularly. I don't limit myself to any single topic on which I post, but I do take suggestions if anyone has any. My thought pools are very deep, and sometimes I forget there are other people reading this besides me. To me, my blog serves as a record of my daily thinking, and I can go to it and read my thoughts any time I choose. If Blogger decides to can and erase my archives, then I'll have to accept that. Until then, I'll continue to use Blogger and to write my thoughts on whatever I'm feeling. I mean, this blog's named Rememorandom, a portmanteau of Remember, memory, memorandom, and random, and so I should post my random thoughts about random subjects onto this free site so I can remember them when I'm older.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Things about Logan (Part 1)

A good thing, I think, to throw into the mix is a little about me. I've tried to select a few things about me that describe my character, my personality, my likes, my dislikes, and my hobbies. Plus, there's a lot of links!!!

0. I love Jesus Christ and Keisha most of all.
1. I typically put others before myself.
2. I love dark chocolate. Absolutely love it.
3. My favorite color is green.
4. STAR WARS is the greatest movie of all time, and by STAR WARS, I mean all of them.
5. I enjoy listening to sad, violent music, like old folk and blues songs.
6. I've always wanted to go to the United Kingdom.
7. Italy would be nice, too. Or, maybe, just tour all of Europe.
8. I enjoy math and calculus.
9. I won 4th place in a regional chess tournament in high school.
10. I wish you could buy Mt. Dew Baja Blast somewhere other than Taco Bell.
11. I used to have Dumb & Dumber memorized.
12. I've been playing Fallout 3 for the past 2 or 3 weeks.
13. I had a back massage today.
14. I cannot wait until May gets here; I'll graduate in May.
15. I worked for Toyota in their Environmental department for 1 year, and also for Sud-Chemie for 1 year in their Environmental department.
16. The only biography I've read was Bob Dylan's.
17. The Beatles > The Rolling Stones
18. I want to see the Northern Lights. (Southern's okay, too.)
19. Parenthesis are my favorite punctuation marks.
20. I manipulate the rules of grammar to my liking, or you could say that I do not give obeisance to the rules of grammar.
21. My dream job would be for people to pay me to tell them whether or not I liked something. Kind of like a critic, where I could watch or read or play or test something and then offer my opinion. Or I could just be a professional stayer-at-homer and play with my toys.
22. I don't have a favorite version of the Bible. KJV, NIV, ESV, NASB, HCS...
23. This is a prime number.
24. I wake up nearly every morning burning up, even if I keep the heat on 68 and sleep only in my boxers.
25. I'm sure the world would fail if Microsoft Office no longer existed.
26. I despise peanut butter & jelly.
27. My closet is full of plaid. And sweaters. And STAR WARS tees.
28. Aladdin is the best Disney movie. Period.
28. I am taking too many hours this semester and looking for a job for when I graduate.
29. When I'm hungry I like to snack on small children.
30. Close ups of weird eye things make me squeamish. And seeing someone puke makes me wanna start PukeFEST. And I don't watch gory things. And blood....
30b. I want to design my home for the future, using green technology and sustainable designs, such as geothermal heating, low-flow water systems, natural lighting, solar panels, rainwater catchment, and other things.
34. I think my dog, Stella, just had a nightmare.
41. I'm balding, sadly.
42. My favorite food is taco stuff. But I also like Chinese, Indian, and homestyle American cooking. Oh, and fast food, too.
43. This semester I'm taking Advanced Hydrology, Stream & Wetland Restoration, Advanced GIS (Geographic Information Systems), Green Engineering & Sustainable Design, and Capstone Design for Civil Engineers.

That's all for now, good people. Part 2 will come some point after now along the timeline, but probably before 10 years from now. Don't drink the water.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wayfarin' Stranger

This is me playing Wayfarin' Stranger on my Alvarez F style mandolin. For this track I overdubbed myself playing with my Alvarez guitar, too. I tried to structure the timing just off of each other. Enjoy. Below is a few pictures of my mandolin with the song playing, too.

video

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sledding Is For Kids

As mentioned a few posts ago, Kentucky was hit with a severe winter storm. The storm surged through Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, and Tennessee and resulted in many deaths, most from carbon monoxide poisoning or fire. This said, the county I am from, Muhlenberg, was devastated, and much of the county is still without power. Cell phone towers were down, too, and so there really was no way to communicate with anyone from back home.

Here in Louisville we got around 6 inches of snow and ice in varying layers. Layers stacked so perfect that we just had to go sledding. The first night of sledding was down a rather steep, mostly ice-hardened hill, containing several downed tree limbs, a few large tree trunks, and a monster dip in the middle of the hill that would propel the sledder off-ground a piece. This was awesome. The thrill of sledding as a 23 year old brought back memories of sledding as a teenager. In fact, I had so much fun I agreed to go sledding again the following night.

The second night was sledding down an intimidating hill in Louisville's Cherokee Park. My wife was feeling better on this particular night and so she decided to tag along for the sledding. While there I realized that I forgot to take my glasses off, so I took them back to the car before I started sledding. My wife walked with me and she said she was a bit hesitant to go down first, so I offered to head down and show her it was okay. BAD IDEA. I was on a round sled and so naturally I was rotating as I flew down the large hill. At the bottom everything happened really, really fast.

From what I can remember the ground disappeared beneath me, quite suddenly, and a wall appeared before me. I collided and doubled over and felt pain across my back like I've only known once before. At first, I honestly thought I wasn't going to be able to get up. I remember saying "no" and groaning, but I couldn't raise myself off my hands and knees. I wanted to throw up. My face was sweating. I couldn't see anything but black. Two strangers was yelling and asking me if I was okay. I said, honestly, "NO!" My wife was waiting atop the hill for my "It's okay," but I hollered "Don't come down." She walked down to where I was and helped me walk back up the hill. I came to realize that I had hit a ditch that had been created at the bottom of the hill we were on, and I must have collided with the opposite bank side.

Dynamically, I think I obeyed the laws of momentum, gravity, and conservation of energy pretty well. See, let m1 be the weight of me and v1 the velocity in which I was traveling downhill. Let m2 be the mass of the earth and v2 the velocity it was moving. Adding these terms, m1v1 + m2v2 = (m1+m2)v, where final velocity, v, equals sudden death. Furthermore, all kinetic energy from me traveling down the hill, .5m1v1^2, was instantaneously transferred from my body into potential energy that the ditch bank would hold, i.e. too much for my liking.

Regardless, and nevertheless, I am thankful my wife and I didn't go down the hill together, lest we both received painful injuries. I've basically been doped on Excedrin Back & Body since Thursday, resting on a heating pad, and using my massage chair. I'm strongly considering visiting a chiropractor or a professional masseuse. In short, sledding was very fun, but regrettably, I don't think I'll be going back for a while. Hope you all are warmer than I am.