Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Written Sunday, posted Tuesday...why is that? Read to find out!

Sometimes I've sat in class and thought: If society collapsed tomorrow, none of this would help me. Who cares about thermodynamics when the human race is on the brink of extinction? What I would really need would be survival skills. Or at least some useful skills that would make a tribe leader think I was important enough to keep around and feed. Needless to say, these kind of thoughts made many of my chemical engineering classes seem pointless. Now I've veered away from chemical engineering and my studyies are more focused on steel. Now that's useful. If I could make steel, everyone would think I was useful, they would definitely keep me around and not abandon me in the terrible wastelands that would be left after society collapses. This has been a big motivator to work hard in my classes and studies now. The only problem is, no one has actually taught me how to make steel in the real world. I may need to do some outside research...I mean, do I just find some red rocks and throw them in a fire, and out comes iron? I don't think so. But I don't know.

Here it is. This picture single handedly delayed this post from going up until today. The entire post was written, and the other picture was done on Sunday, but I couldn't decide what to do for this first picture. I searched online for images of ruined wastelands...but a rare fit of guilt at randomly stealing other people's pictures for my own puroposes, no matter how great and noble those purposes might be, suddenly kicked in. I have shamelessly stolen bits and pieces of other people's pictures (and sometimes the whole thing) numerous times. I'm not sure what happened. But it did, and I had to create my own ruined wasteland. So I searched through my pictures, found this one, edited it, and put it up. I guess I'll put the original below so you can see some of the wonderful ways paint can edit pictures (though technically the color changing was done in some other program that is on my computer). But the point is, this is what the world could look like tomorrow. Are your classes preparing you for it?

Speaking of classes, school's going pretty well for me, despite great obstacles and opposition. And by that I mean I'm doing fine, but you always hear those stories of people overcoming great odds to do something. That makes me feel like I should be doing something more, since I don't really have any huge setbacks (When I was young, I once went on a shopping trip with my mom and sisters that lasted for many, many hours. That nearly killed me...but I feel like it's just not quite the same as some of the obstacles other people overcome). So rather than work harder and do more, I decided I would invent difficulties in my life, so my meager accomplishments would look like huge triumphs of the human spirit. Maybe someday I'll go into more detail about these huge obstacles I face on a daily bases. You know, the type of obstacles that would make a lesser man give up and surrender to the bleak realities of a stark and cold future that surely awaits him. But for today I thought I would just go on vaguely about what's going on in my life for the people that care (I know you're out there...at least one or two of you...if all else fails, I'll call my mom and make her read this. She has to pretend to care.)

This is what I claim my life to be like. Well..understanding that the lightning, pit of vipers, torrential downpour, and deadly briar patch are symbolic for the many grueling hardships that I face on my journey. Don't worry though, as hard as my life might be, I continue pushing on and making meager accomplishments, despite the metaphorical (and possibly literal) pits of vipers that I must face.

This weeks been pretty good. I learned some interesting things. One, playing a mobster card game (Family business) the night before Valentine's day, makes for a different sort of Valentine's day. I don't think I've ever been wished "happy Valentine's day...massacre!" so many times before. Nor have I ever seen so many red and pink cards with veiled...or not so veiled...threats on them. Secondly, I've learned...well...actually, that may be it. I try not to overload my weeks with too much learning. In other news, my younger sister got back from Japan this last week, after having been there for a year and a half. It's exciting to have her back...but lest you think I'm actually a good older brother, I should probably point out, this sister has always been pretty easy to tease...and teasing by email just isn't quite the same. While she's been gone, I've had to up the teasing on all other sisters quite a bit to make up for her absence.

Monday, February 9, 2009

If I had a million dollars...or more!

You know the song "If I had a million dollars"? I've been thinking seriously about that lately (as seriously as I think about anything in life). What if I did have a million dollars? Probably, I wouldn't buy you a house, like the song says. Sorry. I don't know how many people read this, but if I bought each one of you a house, I'd lose my million dollars pretty quickly. Maybe I'd buy you a hat or something. This got me thinking though. What if I had a billion dollars? Then maybe I would buy you a house. But just one, for all of you. You'd have to work out amongst yourselves how you were going to share it. But what else would I do with the left over money? There's all sorts of things I could do with a billion dollars. I made a pretty good sized list of what I would do with a billion dollars, here's some examples.

1. Eat at a buffet everyday.
57. Get it all changed into coins, and store it in a money bin that was roughly the size of a large sky scraper.
91. Buy an island and make my own country (I'm not sure how that works, but if I had a billion dollars, I could pay someone to find out).

I could do all sorts of things with a billion dollars. I could buy servants, friends, and much, much, more! Yup, owning a billion dollars would be the best...or would it?

This should be roughly a million dollars. Not that I counted. When you have this much money, you pay someone else to count your money. But you need to watch them to make sure they don't steal any. Not that you watch them though. When you have this much money, you pay someone to watch the guy you paid to count your money. You may even want the second guy watched too. Just in case.

What if I ruled the world? Now that would be something. I'd be a benevolent ruler...at first. Then power would definitely corrupt me. You know the drill, I'd probably throw my sons in prison (this assumes in the future I have sons) because I'd be worried they would try and take my throne (solid gold by the way, very ornate, lots of precious stones, and plenty of platinum and silver worked into it in nice little spiral designs). Towards the end, I wouldn't want to die, so I'd start forcing all the scientists in the world to find a way to make me live forever. Then I would get angry when they told me it wasn't possible, and I would make a decree that as soon as I died, the world would end. I'd have some sort of switch hooked up so that when my life ended, nuclear warheads would go off in the center of the earth or something. That would encourage the scientists to work harder. Then, as I got older and there was still no hope of not dying, people would start coming out to save the world. You know, like Harrison Ford, Will Smith, and other world saving people that we see in the movies. I would win though, because I've seen the movies, and because I rule the world and have many billions of dollars by this point. By the end though, I would realize the errors of my ways, and not want to destroy the world. On my death bed, I would tell my advisor (who would not be the typical evil advisor trying to supplant me) the code to disarm the bombs. Unfortunately, my change of heart may not come quickly enough. As I finish telling him, and he runs to the control panel to type it in, I would probably pass away. Would the world be saved? Who knows. The only way we're going to find out is to make me the ruler of the world and see how it plays out. So next time we get together to decide who should rule to world, pick me, and we'll solve this mystery.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Orange juice isn't sleep, and other disappointing realities

This past week I've had the great blessing to be able to work overnight shifts in the lab. Please note the usage of the phrase "great blessing". It's meant to cause jealousy in others who didn't get this same opportunity, while at the same time hide the fact that I may or may not have been really excited to do this. So it turns out, not getting enough sleep can make you feel sick. But drinking orange juice can help stop you from getting sick. To me, it seemed obvious that this means that orange juice can replace sleep. Not so. Despite drinking a fair amount of orange juice the first night, I still felt pretty groggy towards the end, and somewhat sickish, until I got a pretty serious nap in. So it turns out, orange juice is not a good substitute for sleep. Don't trust me on this though, feel free to test this out yourself. I know I was shocked to learn this.

Orange juice, it supposedly does the body good. But apparently it's not a sleep substitute...very disappointing...see if I ever drink it again.

Did you know socks don't last forever? It's sad, but true. It seems like they should, I mean, it's not like you grow out of socks, they're not quite one size fits all, but they're close enough. But it turns out, socks wear out. Just one of those cold, dark realities of life. I've been faced by this recently, when I started realizing more and more of my socks had holes in them. I would put my socks on in the morning, note that one had a hole in it, and make a mental note to throw it away later (it was too late to throw it away at this point, obviously. I was already wearing it). Sometimes I remembered, more often than not I forgot. Eventually it seemed to always happen, and I had to go and buy new socks. Sad, but true. Don't worry though, Kroger carries socks, very high quality brands I'm sure. While I've accepted the fact they don't last forever, I'm hoping to at least get 25 years out of them.

I realized that a lot times I put the pictures before the paragraph they pertain to. I like to think it builds up suspense for the next paragraph. What could the last disappointing reality be? Is it about the chicken? Maybe the playing cards. Probably not the very tough looking hand, that obviously belongs to a very tough man...probably,,,

And the last disappointing reality that we must face in life from time to time is that forks can't cut everything. I'm not much of a knife user, I definitely prefer just to use the side of the fork to cut off whatever I want. And it works most of the time. Sometimes though, you have to break down and actually use a knife. I guess that's why it was invented...people eventually realized that forks just couldn't cut through everything. Secretly I'm not sure if it's socially acceptable to cut food with your fork, or if you're always supposed to use the knife. I like to think it is...if it isn't, don't tell me. Ignorance is, in reality, bliss. Ignorance will never be on my disappointing realities list.