Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Surprise update!

The blog lives! Mostly because I've discovered it's more fun to write in a blog than it is to write papers for work...

So, turns out it's been a while since I've written anything here. Instead of explaining to you why it's been so long (here's a hint though, it involves an elephant, 4 of the 5 great lakes, an escalator, and an asteroid), I thought I'd just update you on the most important things that have happened in the last little while.

I think the most important thing I have done since my last post was to become more prepared for the future. My roommates and I have begun creating a stash of food in case of an emergency. The two most likely emergencies being (1) we all lose our jobs and our identities in an action packed, thrilling story of betrayal, love, loss, and espionage or (2) mutant zombie vampire were-creatures from the black abyss of an alien planet take over the world (This story is actually less action packed than the first, though it surprisingly has more love and espionage). Anyways, the point is, we have some food stored away for either scenario, or any other (less likely) emergency that may occur. This food consists of 25 pounds of hot chocolate powder and two pounds of cold cereal marshmallows. We could live for...well...at most a week off of this stuff. And man what a week it would be!

This is what food storage was meant to look like. My only fear is that by posting this online, millions of people will storm our apartment to try to take our food storage from us. Try it. Just you try it. We'll be ready for you. No one's stealing even one pound of our precious hot chocolate.

Well...that's about it. Now you're updated on all the important events from the last 8 months of my life! I left out the stories that seemed less important, like my near death experience jumping from a burning building into streets flooded by a tsunami caused by a nearby volcano eruption, as well as my failed arranged marriage with the daughter of a Thai mafia mob boss. In comparison to the 25 pounds of hot chocolate powder and the discovery that I can bulk order cold cereal marshmallows online...those stories just didn't seem nearly as exciting.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mountain top guru

There are many roles out there that I think I could really pull off quite well: action movie star, world ruler, billionaire, Ninja Warrior competitor (tv show ninja warrior, though I feel I could pull off a pretty good ninja too), Indiana Jones type of archaeologist, and the list goes on. High up on that list though, of things I was pretty much born to do, is to be a mountain top guru.
Step one to becoming a mountain top guru: select a mountain. I've got this one picked out. It's a pretty sturdy mountain, nice view, and it's a solitary peak so you don't have problems with guru neighbors, which can always be quite the hassle. I feel pretty good about it.

The life of a mountain guru is simple. You sit on the top of a mountain, ponder life's mysteries, and give advice to those that come seeking it. It's a nice, simple way of life, and who doesn't want a straightforward life? I can sit, I can ponder, and I am always more than willing to give people advice that they need...I really am made for this. Here's how I imagine it would go.

Step two is also very important, and many gurus overlook it. You need to select a comfy chair. I mean, the job has a lot of sitting involved, and even when you're doing all that pondering, you're still typically sitting. A nice, comfy chair is a must for that, and if there's a foot rest with it too, all the better.

There I would be, sitting peacefully on the mountain top (I'd have a full beard, as I understand that to be important to mountain gurus), and a poor, tired soul would come, dragging themselves up the last leg of the mountain hike. After catching their breath, they would look at me, tears in their eyes, and tell me their life story. They would tell me of how hard they tried at everything in their life, and yet, things haven't really seemed to pan out. They would ask me, desperation in their voice, "Why can't I succeed?". I would look back at them, with my cool, sagely stare, wisdom clearly shining through my eyes, and I would comfort them, saying "Friend, there are different kinds of people in this life. There are some people that don't, and there are some people that can't. You just can't." Their eyes would light up, as they pondered my sage words and realized, it's not that they aren't giving it their best, it's that their best isn't good enough. They weren't failing because they didn't try hard enough, they were failing solely because they simply were unable to do it. They didn't lack effort, they lacked ability. A weight would be taken from their hearts, and clouds would disperse from their mind, and the trip back down the mountain would drift by like a dream. Yup...I really think I would be a good mountain top guru. If it weren't for the fact that I get it for free whenever I want, I would definitely crawl on my hands and knees over jagged rocks, climbing perilous cliffs, and wading through 10 feet of snow, just to be able to listen to my advice.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I don't know why, but I love stereotypes. Not so much stereotyping others, I consider myself pretty good about avoiding stereotyping other people because of their race/gender/high-level-of-nerdiness. However, I love embracing as many stereotypical things as I can for myself. I mean, what's not to love? Here's some examples:

As a guy I don't need to shower every day. As an engineer, I don't need to shower every week. As a combination of the two, it turns out I don't have to shower every month. Which saves me all sorts of time, is environmentally responsible, and just plain awesome.

No matter how much I may seem to be aimlessly wandering, I'm a guy so I'm never lost and don't have to ask directions.

Since I'm a guy, I can fix anything. It doesn't matter that I have no prior experience fixing cars or whatever, I can just open it up, start banging away, and viola, fixed. No actual technical/mechanical knowledge necessary.

I wrote (drew) a screen play for a great and manly movie. Average working man (played by the Rock) leaves his home one day to go to his average office job. As he does, it blows up. He goes to the tool shed and pulls out a few pistols, automatic rifles, and a grenade launcher. He fights terrorists, ninja assassins and barbarian hordes in the middle of the jungle. He finds a secret lair and fights the bad guy in his robot contraption that is loaded with guns. And, of course, it ends after the 40 minute fight scene with no explanation as to why his house blew up or who the bad guys were. Now that's what I call a pretty sweet movie.

As an engineer, I am not expected to have social skills, so it is expected of me to commit at least one social faux pas a day, if not seven or eight.

As an engineer, my vocabulary sucks, and I don't even know what faux pas means.

As an older brother I am expected to tease my younger sisters. Not only do I embrace the stereotype, I go above and beyond the call of duty on this one. My sisters are extremely lucky to have such a good older brother.

I'm pretty sure there are a lot more, but, as a guy, I'm lazy and like to think as little as possible, so I'm not going to bother trying to come up with anything else.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and meals are the most important thing in my life, so how have I not blogged about breakfast yet? The time has come to fix that.

When I was young, I didn't really understand breakfast. I remember thinking things like Cookie Crisp and Reese's cereal were great. I still remember the commercials for Reese's, where the kid would at some point think: "Wait, Reese's for breakfast?". That commercial should have clued me into some truths that I didn't learn until much later. Now, as a mature grad student, I have a much more sophisticated approach to breakfast. Gone are the days of Cookie Crisps and Reese's cereal. In are the days of cookies and Reese's. And fudge, and peeps, and brownies, and just about anything that tastes good to me, and is, therefore, good for me. These foods are spectacular for breakfast. If I knew a more spectacular word than spectacular, I'd use that. If I had the choice between starting my day by finding a hundred dollar bill on the ground, or having brownies for breakfast, it'd be brownies in a heartbeat.

Here's a picture of recommended breakfast foods. And I swear, if anyone so much has hints at a dislike for any of these foods...in particular the Peeps... (Yes, that is a menacing trailing off, in case the "..." didn't tip you off)

Now, a word of warning: Not all foods are breakfast foods. And I'm not just talking about cold pizza (seriously people, warm it up. Cold is weird.) I'm warning you against things that are much worse. Foods that would make you want to move your bed into your closet so that you could hide in your closet, under your bed. That bad. Top on that list (and really, the only thing on the list) is a Mexican candy called Pulparindo. My roommate did a piƱata for his birthday a while back, and acquired some Mexican candy for it. He had left overs that were just sitting on the table. The bright yellow wrapper of the Pulparindo caught my eye as I was eating breakfast. Knowing that candy makes an excellent side for any breakfast, I thought I'd give it a try. First off, it didn't taste good. The second problem was that it didn't taste good and it was pretty spicy. My third problem with it was that it really did taste horrible, and it didn't get better the longer you chewed it...in fact it got worse (not originally thought possible, but found to actually be true). It was like I was eating death flavored horribleness, covered in a thick layer of torturous agony. Seriously, not a good breakfast food.

Absolutely, positively, not good for breakfast. You may make all the disparaging comments about Pulparindo you want.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I realized I'm doing this blog thing all wrong. My blog is supposed to be me, I should be using this to talk all about me! I thought I'd give it a try for this post. I'll spare you a post about my obvious manliness, awesomeness, toughness, wonderfulness, and manliness, since most of you are well aware of those traits (I was, after all, voted alpha male unanimously in 2009 by all those who participated in said voting). Instead I'll talk about my hair and it's ever increasing length.

For much of my life, I have fought against the semi-curliness of my hair by keeping it short enough that there was no room to curl. Whenever my hair would get long enough to begin to curl, I would attack it with a vigor that can only be compared in ferocity to that of a battle between a great white and a crocodile, the two most feared animals on the planet. So most may assume that the new hairstyle stems from me either being too lazy to cut my hair, or from my being an engineering grad student, so it's only natural that I throw all personal hygiene out the window. Both are pretty much right.

Scary, I know. This picture probably shouldn't be shown to small children, or those with weak hearts, Actually, this picture probably shouldn't be shown to anyone, and I apologize to all those who will suffer from severe nightmares now.

At first I held off cutting my hair because I had received vaguely positive comments about it ("I like your hair longer, it hides your face more" and "Your hair isn't looking completely horrible anymore.") Fueled by friends and enemies alike (you know which you are) commenting that they thought my hair looked good longer, I've held off on cutting it...though I've come close a few times... But recently I came up with an even better reason to grow my hair out. With it just a little bit longer, I'll be able to combine the three most awesome and influential hair styles ever known to man. I am, of course, talking about the fro, the mullet and the mohawk. Just imagine, fro on the sides, mullet in the back and mohawk to top it all off. Actually, I did a Paint mock up of what it would look like, so you don't have to imagine. I'm pretty excited now, and for the first time in my life, I wish my hair would grow faster.

Behold, it all it's glory, the frollet hawk!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mail: Boost to the self esteem

Have you ever come home, flustered and discouraged? You go through the mail and find that all you ever get is junk mail? Do you throw that junk mail away? If so, I'm here to tell you to stop. Junk mail is the answer to all discouragement problems. In fact, I stopped calling it junk mail, I now call it "overly polite, complimentary, feel good and uplifted mail", or Opcfgau mail for short. This was a pretty recent discovery for me as I did something unusual one day. I opened one of the envelopes and actually read (well...scanned) the letter inside, instead of just straight up throwing it away. Let me share some of the things I've learned about myself.

This is what it's like when you view your mail as junk mail. You've got to change your attitude!

First off, I am a Member-Elect of an insurance company I'm not even signed up for. Member-Elect. That sounds important. That sounds like me. I deserve to be a Member-Elect, and they recognized it. That same company let me know that I "cannot make a mistake..." (There was something after that about by joining now, but I'm pretty sure the main message was that I just can't make a mistake).

I am also one of a credit card company's most valuable customers. I deserve MORE. Then they offered me many things I didn't need, but the point was, I am very valuable to them, I am important, and I deserve more, and hopefully they will decide later just to send me free cash instead of useless offers.

Throw away that junk mail attitude and start getting Opcfgau mail. Just look at the difference. It's all in how you view your mail.

Insurance and credit card companies have let me know I've been pre-approved due to my greatness. Cable companies tell me I should go boldly into the land of more. Everyone let's me know that I deserve more. So to make sure that all of my friends realize how great I am, and how much I deserve, I have started forwarding my Opcfgau mail to them. Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Finding the Blog

Many of you may have noticed my blog has been missing as of late. No, it's not that I haven't been updating it, it's that the blog has been missing so I've been unable to update it. For those who don't understand and view blogs as merely an internet site that cannot possibly go missing, I say "Phhh, you don't understand. You could never understand." My blog was missing, and this post is of the journey I undertook to recover it.

Here is a map to help you follow this great journey I recently undertook.

I left home and headed in the direction I could sense to be the right one. I first approached the cruel, fearsome mountains of inevitable suffering. As I drew closer, I slowly began to develop a subtle sense of dread. I noticed it as I passed an old wooden fence. At the end of the fence, sat a lone crow, the harbinger of doom, cawing at odd intervals. Shortly thereafter, as I entered the woods at the base of the mountains, I saw the venomous black widow, harbinger of sorrow. Further along, after my path was crossed by a cat as black as midnight, the harbinger of bad luck, I came to a small river. Flashing in the sunlight as it jumped, I saw a rainbow trout, the harbinger of good fortune. It was snatched out of the air by a great horned owl, the harbinger of metaphorical disaster. It killed the small fish in it's cruel claws and devoured it until it was no more. I decided that my feelings of misgiving were probably all in my head, so I continued onward. If only there had been some sort of sign to tell me how hard this journey would be, I may have never attempted it. Anyways, to make a long story vaguely shorter, I crossed the cruel, fearsome mountains of inevitable suffering with great difficulty, overcoming many trials and hardships. I was on the brink of death more times than I can count (approximately ten, as I tend to struggle with numbers having more than one digit).

Next up on the journey was the uncrossable burning lake of freezing death. This lake is famous for burning with a heat intense enough to burn you to your very soul, while the the water itself is so cold that the average man or woman will freeze to death at just the thought of it. The lake does a fair job of defying logic and passage across it. It wasn't easy, but I was able to swim across it by skimming the surface at the interface between the awful heat and the frigid cold. It also helped that I am, by nature, a fair amount tougher than the average man or woman.

Finally, I arrived at the location of my blog, the cave of horrible trials and great rewards. It was indeed horrible, but I made it through, at last arriving at the room of hidden wonders. There I found my blog, resting between treasures of equal value, such as the fountain of youth and world peace. Not wanting to be taken as greedy, I only took my blog and left (well, I did technically take a sip of the potion of manliness, guaranteed to make you the most manly guy on earth. I was not surprised to note that I remained unchanged after drinking from the potion.)

I decided to try an alternate route home. It was getting late, and I was somewhat anxious to get my blog home. This route was similar to the first, only instead of uncrossable burning lakes of freezing death and cruel, fearsome mountains of inevitable suffering, I crossed over meadows of wildflowers. This route was slightly longer, but in the end proved to be significantly faster.