Sunday, October 28, 2007

Warning: Do Not Click on Links if You Are Squeamish About Drinks

**At the Golden Bear Cafe.**

"Ah, what's this? V8 Vegetable Juice? hmm...I haven't had this in years, and I remember I hated it. But I was much less tolerant of vegetables back then. Whatever, I'll give it a shot."

"...Mm, this actually isn't that bad. It's basically tomato juice, or cold tomato soup."

" says that it's three full serving of vegetables. Even though I'm pretty good about eating my vegetables, it probably couldn't hurt to boost up the level a bit."

"Whatever, I'll buy 5 for the next several days."

"Huh, they're over $2 a bottle. This might get a tad expensive."

**At home.**

"You know, I think I'll have a V8 with my dinner tonight, to up my vegetable level."

"Huh, I never noticed how much sodium this stuff has. 30% of my daily intake. Maybe this stuff really ain't that great. I suppose I'll just finish these 5 bottles and be done with it."

*(Tiny) Sip.*

"Ugh. Jeez, that tastes really bad. Like, really bad. Is this a bad batch? Or did I just have the taste of something else on my mouth? Should I take another sip and see how it goes?"


"...No, I think this may be a bad batch. I think I'll pour it out."

**Bathroom sink.**

"There we are, pouring out the drink, and...what was that thud?"




"Water! Water! Water, to wash the remnants from my mouth!"

"Listerine! Listerine, to burn the taste from my mouth!"

"Oh, God!"

"Oh, GOD!"

"Dear Lord!"

"Oh, sweet and merciful God!"

"Wha? What happened?"

**Back in my room.**

"Well, it looks like I'm not the only one..."

"Hmm...four more bottles left."


*Pours out all four bottles.*

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Getting My Face Out There (And Winning, Too!)

(Interesting note: I would have had this written and put up last night, but well, when you fall asleep at 11pm on a Friday fully clothed, with the lights on, and in the middle of playing video games, you probably needed the rest [which I did after this week].)

You know what's cool?

Fame. Even if it's only temporary, and even if it's only on the Internet.

You know what's better than achieving said fame?

Achieving said fame while winning a contest.

You know what's even better that achieving said fame while winning a contest?

Achieving said fame, winning said contest, and doing so without putting a damn ounce of effort into it.

Now, this isn't just simple musing. Because I have achieved such a thing. You may remember me talking about how a question I asked was featured on the Magic: The Gathering main page. However, a pseudonymous question doesn't...well, it's not the best way to get your face out there (unless you were very good at ASCII Art). However, a picture - specifically a picture of you, is.

So, when a contest appeared on internationally-read and well-respected video game news blog Kotaku, I didn't do anything...mainly because I didn't read about it. And even though one of my readers has had a couple pictures placed (and unfortunately lampooned by commenters) on their website, I personally have never had any prestige on the site, outside my own comments (which were admittedly not terribly prestigious). However, a reminder about the contest was put up about an hour before it finished, saying the following:
We're giving away a copy of DS scary game Dementium: The Ward in our cosplay contest. But not just any old cosplay contest! Oh no. We're doing a bandage cosplay contest. Meaning? If you have toilet paper, you can enter. If you have band-aids, you can enter. Just cover yourself in bandage, and you are good to go.

Hmmm....wrap myself up in toilet paper? Why does that...sound...familiar...?


I must make a side comment about this picture: Personally, I think this picture is perfect. All the elements blend perfectly together: a big, goateed guy in a toilet paper dress, chest hair, an odd-looking sad face, the paleness, the watch and ring, the M&Ms and Wii box in the background, the fact that the top of my head is cut just works. And it's me, so that's a plus.

And so, putting forth no effort, I submitted that picture, along with this little description:
This is me wrapped up in toilet paper, cosplaying as....a bride? Yes, that is a wedding dress, and yes, I did make it myself. You'll find it's fairly difficult to wrap toilet paper around your own (pale) torso. That's why I had to stop sorta halfway through. However, I was sure to cover the nipples. 'Cause, you know, a wedding dress that doesn't conceal nipples isn't a very good wedding dress...

"But Andrew," you say, "didn't that description at least require some effort?" No! The fact is, I had made up that entire spiel (give or take a few words) just several days after the contest was finished. All I had to do was retrieve the memory floating at the top of my brain like some sort of pond scum.

So, I a couple hours after submitting the picture, it was selected as one of the 10 finalists, which were placed up for voting. It seems that voting articles on that site get more comments than normal; this one got over 280. And wanna know something? I won. It's not official, but I have more votes than anyone else. Using pictures and descriptions many moons old, I was able to beat all these hard-working enthusiasts at their own game. Now that's satisfying.

What's more satisfying, though, is the fact that it's literally being seen by thousands. In case you don't remember, one of my big goals is to become viral. I want something I make, do, or say to propagate itself accross the Internet. That's why I have neither my MySpace or Facebook accounts set to private. Let them see, I say, and let them spread! The moment something I create is considered a fad, I can say I'll die a happier man. This picture could be that opportunity!

But enough about that; let's focus on the present, and take a look at my competition (this is if you didn't click the link to the voting page above).

As you can see, some of these people actually put in quite a bit of time and effort into their costumes. Still, my incidental submission demolished them all. According to my crude measurements, the voting went like this.
#1 (Me): 90
#2: 6
#3: 2
#4: 11
#5: 12
#6: 14
#7: 1
#8: 36
#9: 41
#10: 57

Interesting to see how the voting was heavily skewed towards the beginning (that is, me) and the last three. For the most part, I would agree with the ranks of all of the entries.

At the time of me writing this, the official results haven't been announced, so let's just look at some of my favorite comments from the voting (with my thoughts in bold red):

Now, there were a group of comments that looked like the following.
- #1 For feeding us his dignity
- #1 since that must have been embarrassing.
- After getting laughed at by all his friends for dressing up as a bride, he's gonna need something to cheer him up.
- #1 because his picture will haunt him for years to come, so he should at least get a game to go with that humiliation.
- #1. If he doesn't win, he actually has something to lose (his dignity).
Obviously, these people have absolutely no idea who I am. In any event, for every comment insisting that this was potential blackmail material, there was one like these:
-Special mention to #1 for being the only entry to make zero attempt at concealing the contestants identity, and feature him in a dress...
...holding flowers.
-You know you're a badass when you can post a pic of yourself to the intarweb, face fully exposed, while wearing a dress made of toilet paper.
-Wow! I'm finalist #2. I must say #1 has some balls! His facial expression is right on. My vote goes to him.
These people also have absolutely no idea who I am. :P In addition to the description and the TP dress itself, there were two things that people really found funny - my facial expression (as one supporter said, "Making faces like that in a contest shouldn't be allowed.") and my chest hair:
- Your a wife! dam it shave your chest :p
- There's something oddly erotic about a manbride with superfluous chest hair...
- #1 gets my vote. The lighting, the roses, the chest all comes together so nicely. Well done.
And the rest of the best...
- #1 Throw in a few tanning salon visits and a book on Manscaping, he doesn't have to go metro. He does need to lose that nerd tan, its too low to be a farmers.
I actually had to look up what "manscaping" was before I fully understood the comment. And frankly, if it that and free tanning was included as part of the prize package, I'd accept it with open, pale arms!
- #1 Looks like a bride that just found out the groom bailed with one of the bridesmaids.
Mother always told me there'd be days like this...

- Dude looks like a lady.
That! That...
- Halloween... An excuse for men to cross-dress and for women to dress like tramps...
Truer words were never spoken.
- I vote for #1. What a handsome devil he is!
In case you can't tell, this was actually me talking. However, nobody may have noticed, seeing as my user name was misspelled (as it often is) as "Neo_Dues". Even though misspelling my name is a huge pet peeve of mine, I didn't correct them with my usual "Like a god, not a tax" quip.
- #1 simply because i would marry his toilet paper wearing pale buttocks.
The only part about this comment that I found creepy was the fact that I couldn't tell if it was from a man or a woman.
- almost went with #1, but he lost my vote because a dress that doesn't cover nipples is the BEST kind of dress.
Well, I will concede that it is apparently the most newsworthy kind.
- #1, he could've been even more creative and put band-aids on his nipples.
While this may indeed have been seen as more creative, I fear it would have appeared like I was part of some Bay Area S&M scene (and I'm sure there is one).
- My wife votes for '#1 as this may be the only wedding he ever gets to.'
Ouch, madame, ouch. That's one name taken off of my wedding invitation list.
- Honorable Mention: #1, the dress actually looks nice, but the fact that choice in flower color didn't properly compliment his eyes cost him my vote. Better luck next time.
I guess there's no pleasing everyone. Well, as long as you please the plurality, that's all that matters. (Democracy in action!)
- #1 deserves the win and INTERNET FAME!
And hopefully I will!

So scour the Internet in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. If someone posts up this picture, repost it. If someone sends you an email saying "FoWaRd ThIs To 10 PeOpLe Or HaIrY mAn BrIdE wIlL fInD yOu!1!!!11!!!", for the love of God, forward it! Let my online takeover be consensual, not imposed! Together, we can do this!

And, as a way to wrap this all up, here is what we've learned today:

Today's Lesson - Never try at anything, because Andrew Schnorr will beat you without putting any effort into it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Paper-Writing Cop-Out: A Pumpkin!

While my life is currently being consumed by work at the moment (both of the school and RA variety), I don't think I should use my valuable work time writing anything significant. However, in order to show the fact that I do, indeed, remember that Halloween is coming up, I'd like to show what has to be one of the best-carved Pumpkins I've seen this year, and of a very popular character, Jack Skellington.

Now I'm off to sleep enough to recharge my batteries for the day ahead. Toodles!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Before I Forget...

Oh! Something I forgot to mention yesterday!

Going with my whole muscial theme, I'd like to present you with what I consider the single worst rendition of "Turkey in the Straw" ever made. I even have my own interpretation of what the conductor looked like during this performance, but that doesn't translate well to an audio file.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hail to the Chiefs (A Musical Post)

I haven't talked about music in a while, have I?

So, let's talk about music.

I was actually thinking about it for a while, but a little encounter really got me hyped up on the idea. I went out to San Francisco on Friday in order to buy a new suit. Nothing fancy; just a simple-yet-professional business suit. After all, I'm in business school; I should probably have something a little more cohesive than an amalgamation of different pieces of clothes from five years ago. They've served me well, but I still needed something a little

But this story isn't about the suit! Nor is it about the fact that I went to Target afterward to buy a nice dress shirt, because the prices for shirts at the Men's Warehouse were truly, truly, truly outrageous (though I must admit, I did like the way I looked). No, the story is that I ran into a couple of dirty druggies while I was waiting for the bus at the Berkeley BART station. Now, I suppose I shouldn't make assumptions, but considering they had unwashed barbarian hair, those nose rings that go through the nose, and a mangy dog wearing a bandanna at their side, I think it's not crazy to say that they partake in illicit items from time to time. Oh, yeah, and they live in Berkeley.

But story this isn't about how dirty these druggies were! Because they were actually doing something which I really enjoyed: they played some music. And this wasn't your traditional troubadour guitar or saxophone act. No, these two had instruments which you don't see much on the street, but Goddammit, you wish you did! I am, of course, talking about the wonderful combination of the accordion and the violin. I don't know what genre of music that is (gypsy music?), but it sounded great!

Now, I was able to take a short video of them until my bus arrived. It may not be the best music in the world (they said they were just learning how to play the song in question), and the sound quality on the video may not be the best (I recorded it with a phone, for goodness' sake), and you may have to turn your speakers up, but dagnabbit, it was really enjoyable sitting there and listening!

I just wish more street musicians would make these kinds of choices. I've noticed that I've only given out tips a couple times to these performers, and all of them have involved the accordion.

And now, onto the main event!

Hopefully, I'll be talking in the next couple weeks about some of the new (for me) artists that I've grown an affinity for. this time, we'll be talking about a group that I have come to really, really enjoy. It's called Secret Chiefs 3, and if you've heard of them, you're probably a liar. They specialize in a kind of out-there, avante-garde, all-encompassing fusionistic style, but somehow it works.

Now, as I've explained before, I can base my faith in a band's quality with a single song clip. Well, for Secret Chiefs 3, I was actually able to listen to one-and-a-half. The "one" part is from a page utlizing the music with a GIF from one of the Superman movies, called "Whoever has the most points wins." (It's a pun. Get it?) The "half" part was actually made by the same guy, but it mixes the song with some movie quote. You can watch the site here. (Note that it will only properly sync up with the GIF in [*shudder*] Internet Explorer, or in Firefox's wonderful IE Tab add-on. And if you use Opera...well, God help your soul.)

Anyhoo, after hearing these small samples, I decided to acquire a large number of the bands songs. Unfortunately, they're tougher to acquire than most. My normal music source was only able to get me one of their albums. That means for the rest I'd have to - totally unbelievable - buy the CDs. So, I went onto Amazon and bought some from their "new and used" section for cheap. In the end, I only bought three of their four main albums, as I heard their first one was considerably different, and worse, than their later work. I think I made the right decision.

Well, although getting the CDs proved to be a hassle, there were some benefits to it. For example, I was able to get a greater glimpse into their style. Basically, this is actually a supergroup composed of several smaller groups under the visage of a secret society. Their CD Booklet for Book M is about 16 pages long, two of which are used for song listings and production information. The rest is a series of da Vinci Code-like cryptic stuff, both exciting and frustrating, because you don't know if was made weird just to be weird, or if there is actually some meaning behind what is there (after all, I'd put one in). Here, take a look at some excerpts:

It just goes on and on like that. In some senses, I guess it's pointless, but it's damn cool. And their CD. If there is a more perplexing CD print, I have yet to see it. Take a look (I've tried to keep it as high-res as possible for easy [well, relatively] as possible).

Truth be told, though, I'd rather see crazy stuff like this than pictures of biceps and behinds. And really, you have to give some credit to a group whose CD booklet is not just filled with vanity shots, but with something that took more than an hours work to design.

But what about the music? What do these guys actually play? Well, I'll give you some samples, which I hope you'll enjoy. I tried to choose as wide a variety as possible, as they have a pretty big variety. I actually do have a confession to make, though. There were two songs on their most recent album, Book of Horizons, which I didn't like. They were death metal songs which, for the uninitiated, is hard, hard metal in which it just sounds like the main "vocalist" is trying to hock up some lung cancer that got stuck in his throat. The songs were so obtrusive to the rest of the album that I actually deleted them from my iTunes. So, if you get that album (and I recommend you do!) don't come crying to me if you don't like those pieces.

So, let's take a look at some of their songs.

The Rose Garden of Mystery
I must say, I've always had a thing for "plucky" guitars. I'm not sure what they're really called. "Spanish Guitars", maybe? I'm talking about about the ones you don't strum all the chords at once, just a single string at the time. Or maybe that's not even a different type of guitar; maybe it's just a different play style. Don't ask me. I don't know guitars.

I do know what I like, though, and I like this. It has an old Western feel that I like (and is actually in a bit of their music, as we'll see a little later). It's not totally representative of all their music, but then, none of their music is totally representative. It's just pretty nice to listen to while looking out the window on a rainy day.

This is apparently one of their most famous songs, so I saw fit to include it. I think it really represents how much fusion they have in their music. I hear rock (guitar), classical (violin), Indian (sitar), and some others I can't identify). One of my classes this semester is on the politics of music, and we were actually discussing about the fusion of different styles. When I remembered songs like this, I recommended the group to my professor. He says that it's really difficult to fuse a bunch of styles at once, but I think they do pretty well.

Zulfikar II
No, that "II" is not just there for show. There actually is a prequel (and a sequel) to this piece. I haven't heard the first one (it's on their first CD), but the third one is very similar to this, only a lot faster and infusing more electronica into it (it was actually the background music for the site I said counted as my "half" listening).

What's nice about this song is that it inspires little dances. When I'm listening to it as I'm going on my merry way, I notice that my legs move a little differently. They spin and twist and almost do moonwalks. It's fun.

Horsemen of the Invisible
So, this is the song whose clip got me into the bad in the first place. It's pretty self-explanatory. It's fast-paced and energizing. What's interesting about it is that as it progresses, there is some intentional distortion going on, best heard on headphones (though Lord help you if you have it at extremely loud volumes).

The Exile
Another great "Looking-out-the-window" longingly, just like the first one. Not much I really want to say about it; it just sounds nice.

The Spin Masta, Kultur Killa
This one is...well, it's all over the map. There is, like, a complete style change every 30 seconds or something. And there is also some turntabling action, with some disc-spinning that sound like, if you'll excuse the analogy, someone throwing up in reverse. (Listen closely afterward to hear people cheering at fireworks). In truth, I didn't like this one when I first heard it, but it has since grown on me, particularly the last minute of it. So, if you don't like it at first don't worry. You will eventually.

Book Texodus
If you're wondering where this group originated, it was actually in San Francisco (small world, eh?). As such, some of the band members had previous relations with surf rock (I'm guessing surf rock is like that "Wipeout" song). I don't hear it as much as most others do, but you can most definitely hear the influence in this song.

This really sounds like an ending credits song. There is just a feeling of completion to it, that everything's going to work out. Basically, if I were galloping into the sunset, I would be playing this. And then, at the very end of the song, I'd fling off my hat.

Welcome to the Theatron Anamatronique
And we end with this lovely piece. It starts off very bouncy and lively, but don't let that fool you; it becomes quite somber, almost sounding like a piece from the soundtrack. Edward Scissorhands soundtrack. Then it becomes very powerful, and very vocal. Of the three albums I have (and of the songs I didn't delete), this is the only piece with lyrics. If you're interested, those lyrics are here. It's one of the few places outside of a church you see Latin in a song (outside of my own original song "Habemus Papam," which is about my unsuccessful campaign to be pope).

Really, I think one of the most fun ways to think about this is like a drinking song (despite the fact that I don't drink). Just imagine, for the last two minutes of the song, a bunch of burly men in lion skins sitting round a bar, tossing their steins to and fro while belting out the lyrics. It's really fun.

So that's all I'm going to give you. Part of me wishes I could give all I have, because it's that enjoyable. However, that would be highly illegal. So consider this your free sample, a spoonful meant to show you the flavor available. One of the advantages of being a so called "Internet Frontiersman" (a term I may have to define one day) is that things are made known to me that are usually not amongst the mainstream. The trade-off is that I don't know much about the mainstream anymore (as I barely watch TV, I barely ever see new movies, and I haven't listened to a normal radio in months). It's a good thing, because there's lots of treasure out there.

I highly encourage you to check out Secret Chiefs 3. They're not for everyone, and they're not for every time, but they definitely are an excellent collection to anyones music library, if for no other reason than to be discreetly told to quiet down.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lair Sweet Lair

I am usually quite satisfied with my financial situation. True, I'm not able to buy every little thing that comes my way, but for the most part, I'm well off enough. However, there are some moments in which I wish I was a multimillionaire.

Seeing this eBay auction was one of those moments.

For those too lazy to actually click the link, here's a quick breakdown of what the auction is for: A freakin' missile base! And not just any missile base, but an underground one.

That's 16 underground rooms and 57 acres for the low, low price of $1.5 million (and that's not sarcasm; at $0.61 a square foot, it is a good price). It includes, and I quote:
3 - 160' Tall Missile Silo
3 - (4 story) Equipment Terminal Bldgs
2 - Antenna Silos
100' Diameter Control Dome Bldg.
125' Diameter Power Dome Bldg.
Yes, it's all decommissioned, and thereby gutted of any relevant equipment (we don't want the terrorists getting hold of government septic systems, after all). However, give me $20 million, and I could definitely turn it into something great (well, greater). First of all, it would be the perfect home for someone like me who enjoys the occasional solitudinous moment. It would have a constant, reliable year-round temperature. And, given a good ventilation and/or air circulation and recycling system, it would serve well in the inevitable nuclear strike, natural disaster, or zombie invasion.

Here would be my preliminary plans (refer to the image above):

Control Center - Bedroom & Entertainment Center. Hell, I'm able to fit this entire thing into my current room (snugly), and it's only, I'd guess, 180 square feet. This command center, on the other hand, is 7,800 square feet, so I can either spread my stuff out quite a bit, or buy some more stuff to fill in the remaining 7,620 square feet.

Power House - Competition Room. While I would need a generator to power my lair, it feels like such a waste to use a huge room for that purpose. Hence, the power generator would be installed in the main house of Launcher 2 (that's at the far end, out of the way). This room, on the other hand, would be used for all means of competition, which would be my form of revenue. From card tournaments to gladiatorial matches, this would be where people from all over would gather to test their mettle...underground!

Antenna Silos - Observatory. This actually has a double meaning. The first is that I'd actually use these to observe the stars. Apparently, they come with 50-ton silo doors. So, you just retrofit them a bit, and when the sun sets, you just press a button (or, in my case, pull a Jules Verne-esque lever) and the silo doors would open, my telescope ascending to the surface. The second, more sinister purpose would be to observe people. Yes, this would be my surveillance room, where I would keep tabs on all guests in and around the area, manage security systems, and even interpret incoming signals from all around the world. Basically, I would be able to find out what the world was doing at any point.

Launcher 3 (and Respective Terminals) - Guest Housing. This would take a little bit of doing in the missile silo, as I would need to add individual floors, but there is plenty of room for housing for people. Depending on my plans, I could either rent out the rooms or simply let my guests stay there. And if I let the launcher retain some of its old capabilities, I would have a method of, um, ejecting unwanted guests.

Launcher 2 (and Respective Terminals) - Power and Utilities. I already explained this, and it's not terribly exciting. You could put the power generator, septic system, air purifier, etc, all in this area, out of the way.

Launcher 1 (and Respective Terminals) - Library. I always imagine that if I were rich, one of the first thing I would do is buy a bunch of books. And how impressive would it be to walk into a room and have the stacks of books rise up 155 feet?

And that doesn't even scratch the surface! (Literally!) There's over 57 acres of flat, empty land on top of this complex (well, with the exception of a dinky little hangar that serves as your entry point). Think of the possibilities!
-Raise wild domesticated horses!
-Build a trebuchet!
-Or, if you want to make serious money, sell the land as real estate (after the whole, um, housing market picks up). Better yet, lease it! That way, you'll be known as "that mysterious landlord who lives in an underground fortress."

The possibilities are endless! Seriously, if I had $20 or $30 million to burn, I wouldn't think twice about investing it in this. So, let's hope I'm able to win the lottery one of these days.

Oh, and I would just have to hope I didn't run into any Deep Crows.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I Know One Award He'll Be Keeping in a Lockbox

I originally had something fun planned to write about, but I'm swamped with homework (and a take-home midterm).

However, in case you haven't heard...
OSLO, Norway (AP) -- Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures needed to counteract it.

Gore, who won an Academy Award this year for his film ''An Inconvenient Truth,'' a documentary on global warming, had been widely expected to win the prize.

And, uh, that's about all I know.


Congrats, Al! Now if only you were running for president again...

Monday, October 8, 2007

What Happens When You Have a Really Boring Lecture...

Later, on Sproul Plaza:

Solicitor: "Would you like to take part in this program/event/organization?" (Tries to hand out flyer.)
: (Holding a bag in my unmarked hand, with a British accent.) "I am forbidden from taking your paper."
Solicitor: "C'mon, man. Just take it."
Me: (Lifting marked hand) "Do you see this hand? Does it look like it can hold your flyer?"
Solicitor: "Um...what is that?"
Me: "The only thing I am allowed to grasp with this hand is the hand of another member of the Kar'que."
Solicitor: " that a religion?"
Me: "You will learn of us in time..."

Sunday, October 7, 2007

This is Why I'm Going to Need to Edit My (Eventual) Videos Carefully

The ability to frame things is amazing, is it not?

I've just seen a very interesting example on this on YouTube and (gasp) it's political. They're both from one of the Republican candidate's political debate. In fact, they're both the exact same video, just two different lengths thereof. The clip involved revolves around two potential candidates, Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani.

Video 1:
Title: Rudy Giuliani Responds To Ron Paul
Description: "Rudy Giuliani responds to Ron Paul during debate in South Carolina"

The average rating on that video is somewhere between a 2 and a 3 (my guess: 2.2). The comments on there are vicious on both sides, but a lot of them (especially near the beginning) come out and say things like "Bravo, Rudy!" and "Rudy definitely came out on top here." and "This clip alone could well end [Ron Paul's] campaign."

Now, let's take a look at the full clip.

Video 2:
Ron Paul vs. Rudy Giuliani
Description: "Ron Paul vs. Rudy Giuliani on terrorism and 911"

Now, the average rating on this video was between 4 and 5 (my guess:4.6). The comments (and there are over 3000 of them) are much more in favor of Ron Paul, and seem to be more hopeful in nature, with the common catchphrase of "Restore the Republic".

One clip, two different lengths, two very different responses. The human psyche is a funny thing, is it not?

(Okay, a small political note: I personally think Rudy Giuliani is a friggin' tool who has no qualifications other than having been mayor in the wrong place at the wrong time [or, insofar as political careers go, the right place at the right time]. As for Ron Paul, I actually like the guy. I don't agree with all of his policies [as I've said before, I don't really agree with any single candidate's policies fully], but he at least is true to his beliefs. The fact that he did not take back his statement, even in the face of overwhelming (and moronic) applause, really says that he has some integrity. And if some of my more liberal readers think I'm being fed conservative horsewash, I'll note that prominent liberal dude Bill Maher actually said that Ron Paul is his new hero. So I'm not getting red in the face here (for the record, of the Democratic candidates, I like John Edwards). However, part of me wishes I could vote in the Republican primary, because man, does that guy need to be the candidate.)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Mini-Blogs, Set Seven

If you want to see a HUGE announcement, scroll down!

To All People Who Say German is an Ugly Language

Having been an RA and good friend to a multitude of German (some of the nicest people you will ever meet), and being a quarter German myself, I must take offense to this unfair generalization.

(Aside: I have a new quote. Unfortunately, it only works as a response. Luckily, the comment you respond to comes up fairly often (at least, it does in Berkeley).
"You shouldn't generalize."
"Why not? Everyone's doing it."
-Andrew Schnorr)

In any event, I think that this misconception comes from the fact that the only German that people are accustomed to is the typical "Ach!" Hitler hate speech. Well, of course that's going to sound repulsive. However, when you get a normal Joe, er, Johannes talking, it sounds almost...comforting.


Recently on YouTube, Wizards of the Coast put up a "Learn to Play Magic: The Gathering" series. Thing is, though, they did it in a bunch of languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, and (of course) German. They're all fairly interesting, if only to hear the random English words thrown in here and there.

So, here's my challenge to you. Turn off the lights, close the shades, and get comfortable. Then close your eyes and listen to this guy introduce some Magic cards and colors to you.

Now, wasn't that soothing? I bet you're dozing off. It's like he's reading a lullaby. Just get one one of those big body pillow, a cassette with this guy talking for a while, and you'll never suffer from insomnia again. Awww.....

Speaking of Germans...
This was aired on The Simpsons this past Sunday (September 30, 2007).


For those who are unaware, I thought of this idea! Like, two years ago! ME! It was my big plan to start a waffle house called Luftwaffle (singular), which eventually led to my desire to start a website called (to go along with the idea of nonsensical domain names). Seriously, I completely had this idea. Unfortunately, I have no physical proof of this. I have no notarized papers from the time explaining my idea, nor even a blog post about it. So, basically, the only proof I have is the memory of my friends and family (and they're all fading fast). And here I thought I was going to do something where people wouldn't say "Simpsons did it." Well, so much for that dream.

Old People + Technology = Awww

Since I've purchased my Nintendo stock, it's increased by 83%. The Big N is now the second largest company in Japan (trailing far behind Toyota, admittedly, but still, there's nothing wrong with second place in this kind of situation). This has been fueled by the successful sales of the Nintendo DS and Wii systems. The biggest reason behind this is because Nintendo has begun to find targets outside of its normal demographic. That is, it is targeting people who don't play video games normally. This includes groups such as women and the elderly.

So, what is it like when old people play video games? Watch and learn, my friends.

Personally, I'm rooting for the Sedgebrook Alley Cats.

Just for the Hell of It

20 Loby Points (this blog's official currency), to whoever can name the source of this song. 30 points if you figure it out within the first 5 seconds (and I do know what it's from, so don't try to fool me).

Finally, the HUUUUUUUGE Announcement!!!

Okay, so I've been meaning on keeping up with the times. This blog has gone well and beyond it's original intention (anyone even remember why it was started?), and I think I need to do something about its archaic hosting.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love Blogger. It's a wonderful, easy service to use. But....I just don't like having that ".blogspot" on there. When it's there, it just takes away from my credibility. "Oh, why should we listen to this twerp?" they say, "He forces us to type in an extra nine characters into the URL bar."

Well, no more!

Thanks to Google's taking over everything, they now offer an easy way to purchase and use an external domain. So, I was able to (dun dun duuuun) purchase a new domain. is no more!


That's right! I'm now official! I even have an email address for it (

The most exciting part of this for you, though, is that you no longer have to worry about typing in the whole "blogspot" nonsense. So that's less work for you. It's streamlining your......


You already have the page bookmarked? And so you never need to type in the URL anyway? So the change does nothing for you?


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

THE_BOLSHEVIK Gets New Powers (And Tries to Get a New Hat)

THE_BOLSHEVIK wakes up in his bed. He looks around the room. Everything has a noticeably dark-blue tint.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "...Huh. What's happened? The entire world has become blue. Am I insane? Have I become depressed? Have I been stuck in a Picasso painting or an Eiffel 65 song? What the is going on here?"

THE_BOLSHEVIK gets out of his bed. After taking a few steps, he runs into Kris.



THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Kris, I think we may be in over our heads here. It seems like the whole world has turned blue."

Kris: "Oh, yeah. Well, that's because this entire thing is a dream."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "......Oh."

Kris: "..."


They both pause for a moment more. Then a sudden white flash appears. The next moment, THE_BOLSHEVIK is awakening, startled, in his bed (in a normally-colored world).

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "WHA?! Whoa! *pantpant* Oh....*pant* Oh, thank God. It was just a dream."

THE_BOLSHEVIK sits in place, looking blankly at his feet. The camera pans over slightly, and shows an old man suspiciously close to THE_BOLSHEVIK. THE_BOLSHEVIK looks up and becomes started.


Old Man: "Hello, THE_BOLSHEVIK."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Dear Lord, old man, don't scare me like that. By the way, who are you?"

Old Man: "I am the Keeper of the Secrets."


Old Man: "I have come to tell you of something that happened last night in this very room."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "It's not a secret, is it?"

Old Man: "Um, no, not especially."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "'Cause then you'd be pretty lousy at keeping secrets."

Old Man: "That's unimportant! What's important is that an imp came into your room last night."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "An imp? Isn't that somewhat unlikely?"

Old Man: "Not at all."


Old Man: "Now, when this imp entered your room last night. He saw you, and using his magical imp abilities, be bestowed upon you supernatural powers."


Old Man: "Yes."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "But...aren't imps supposed to be mischievous? Why would one give me supernatural powers?"

Old Man: "I can't tell you."


Old Man: "It's a secret."


Old Man: "Now you know. So I have done what I had set out to do."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Wait, hold on there! What sort of supernatural powers do I have?"

Old Man: "Oh, um, they weren't very specific about that. I think you can shoot lightning, but, um, the rest you'll have to find out on your own."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: (Looking at his hands, with a big smile) "Wow, all that power..."

Old Man: "But remember, you can only use your newfound abilities for the purposes of good!"

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Wait! Hold on, is that actually a restriction, or is it more of a moral obligation?"

Old Man: "Well, I suppose it's technically an obligation."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Oh, thank God! I was worried that, like, the first time I tried to use my powers for evil, they'd go away."

Old Man: "Well, you shouldn't be using your powers for evil at all!"


THE_BOLSHEVIK shoots lightning at the old man, who is flung back into a wall. The old man falls to the ground, dead.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: (With a schoolgirl giggle) "Heeheehee. Awesome. Now to go out and buy myself a new hat!"


THE_BOLSHEVIK is seen happily walking down a street.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Ah, I can't wait to get a new hat. That old baseball cap chafes me so..."

A frantic woman runs up to THE_BOLSHEVIK.

Woman: "Help! You have to help me! My cat is stuck in a tree, and I can't get him down safely!"

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Well, what do you want me to do? I'm only human!"

THE_BOLSHEVIK turns to walk away, but stops.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: (Soliloquy) "Wait a minute...I have supernatural powers now..."

THE_BOLSHEVIK turns to the woman. He then suddenly shoots lightning bolts at her.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Diiiiiieeeee!!!"

Woman: "Eeeeeee!"

The woman falls to the ground, dead. THE_BOLSHEVIK once again giggles.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Heeheehee. But now that I know what I'm capable of, I should do something productive with it."

THE_BOLSHEVIK takes out his cell phone and dials a number.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "...Hey, Kris, I was just wondering, is there anyone you just wish would be struck by lightning and killed?"

Kris: (Over the phone:) "I'll email you the list."


TA: "So, anyone do anything interesting over the weekend?"

Student 1: "I went to a student's rights protest in the main plaza!"

TA: "Awesome."

Student 2: "I went to a film festival showcasing the trials and tribulations of the Asian diaspora."

TA: "Right on."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "I murdered over a hundred people for my own amusement."

TA: "..."

Class: "..."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "...Beat that."

TA: "THE_BOLSHEVIK, are you the guy who's been killing with lightning powers and whatnot?"

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Yeah! Watch!"

THE_BOLSHEVIK shoots Student 1 with lightning. The student falls down, dead.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Heeheehee."

TA: "THE_BOLSHEVIK, need I remind you that this is an ethics class?"

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "But their deaths make me happy. Doesn't that mean it's a good thing, thinking utilitarianistically?"

TA: "But your happiness doesn't outweigh their dying."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Yes, it does."

TA: "Well, that brings up an interesting case. I want you to turn in your books to page-"

THE_BOLSHEVIK: (Shooting lightning bolts) "RAAAAARGH!!!"

TA: "Ahhhh!"

The TA falls down, dead. The students gather round the body.

Student 3: "Well, that's one less Philosophy major in the world."

Student 2: "THE_BOLSHEVIK, you're the greatest hero I've ever known."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Aw, shucks."


Police Officer: "Excuse me, young sir."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Yes, sir?"

Police Officer: "Are you the one who's been killing everyone with supernatural powers?"

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Yes'm. That saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely? Possibly true."

Police Officer: "Well, I'm afraid I'm going to have to take you in."

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Before you do, sir, I ask you to heed the words of our savior, Jesus Christ: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'"

Police Officer: "Huh?"

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "I don't know what I'm doing. So forgive me, father. Daddy. Daddy? Don't you recognize me? It's me. It's THE_BOLSHEVIK. I'm...I'm your son!"

Police Officer: "No, can't be!"

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Look into your heart father. Remember the woman you once loved. I am your son."

Police Officer: "I...I always thought I would die childless. THE_BOLSHEVIK, son. Give your old man a hug!"


Police Officer: "Sonny!"


Police Officer: "My boy!"

The two embrace. Immediately, electricity is heard and the police officer begins confusing. The police officer falls to the ground, dead.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "That worked surprisingly well. I.....oh my God? What have I become? These powers have made me a bloodthirsty monster! Why was I given these powers? Why, imp, why?"

Suddenly, there is a bright flash of light. THE_BOLSHEVIK jumps up in bed.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "WHA?! I...oh, so that was just a dream, I..."

THE_BOLSHEVIK looks around his room and notices that everything again has a dark-blue tint. He looks down at his hands.

THE_BOLSHEVIK: "Goddammit!"