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Rated: 18+ · Book · Personal · #1939270
A third attempt at this blogging business.
WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - April #SaferAtHome Unofficial Month coming up!



After 380 entries and over 17,600 views, it was time to retire "Who Do I Think I Am??. Expect more of the same shenanigans and troublemaking you've come to know and love from me over the last few years. Tell all your friends, warn your family and hide this from your neighbors...this isn't your average blog. *Wink*

A Paint reflection.

A fair warning.

Blogging Bliss Newsletter Forum  (E)
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Continue along on my journey over at "Still Figurin' Out Who I Think I Am.
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January 29, 2014 at 11:18pm
January 29, 2014 at 11:18pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Give me your best advice when trying something new. On the first day (today), tell me the story of when you tried something for the first time and failed. What did you do after that? On the second day (tomorrow), tell me about a future plan to try something new (a New Year's Resolution perhaps?). We all know writing down our goals can help in motivating us to achieve them - so don't delay! *Wink* Your blogging peers will support you!"

Good evening friends...welcome to this month's "Serial Prompts" to conclude another round of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge. This is where blog crowns are won and lost! It's proof that you can have a lackluster four weeks' worth of entries, tack on a respectable finish, and feel good about yourself for the entire month (and I'm not just sayin' that...I'm also living, flesh and blood and hair clip proof: "This one's about the video.). See what I did there?

Before I really start digging into this prompt, there's something I want you to remember. I, possibly like many of you, am a master at giving advice but seldom following anyone's (be it my own or someone else's). Maybe it's because I have a strong mind or an iron will...but probably because I'm stubborn more than anything else.

That being said, I think when the time comes to take a chance and try something new, do a little thinking first. Not heavy pondering, because too many scenarios can really confuse you and that's the worst thing that could happen in a situation like this. You want to have an idea of how things are gonna turn out and what the consequences could be, but you don't want to burden yourself with stuff like expectations or guilt or potential for failure either. I know...it's kind of a contradictory grey area and all, but in the end you're at least semi-prepared for almost anything.

And then you just gotta do it. Put on your big boy or big girl pants, suck it up, and don't look back. You've gotta believe that one way or the other you're gonna be better off trying something new and failing rather than always playing it safe and wondering what could've happened.

Personally, I was fearless for a long time about trying new things because part of me wondered about how much of the world I was exposed (or not exposed) to when I was younger, and another part of me was just reckless, easily bored, and felt like I had something (I'm still not sure what) to prove (to other people, and to myself). While all of that can be very liberating at times, being daring is not without its own set of drawbacks when things don't work out.

I don't know if this qualifies as "trying something new" so much as it's really just another excuse for survival, but a little over a year ago personal circumstances dictated that I'd have an opportunity to move three hours away from the area I'd lived in for over 37 years to a tiny little city where I kinda knew one person. I'm hesitant to call the situation a total failure but so far it hasn't gone as planned (to say the least, although in fairness I didn't have much of a plan to begin with). The details and backstory, while unique, aren't completely necessary; I'd gone through a couple of different crises at the time both personally and professionally and was given the chance to make a fresh start free from the distractions of familiarity, so I took it. I'm still not where I want to be, but at least I have a little better idea than I did the night I arrived in Cortland from Buffalo. The key to getting past the idea that coming out here is just another in a long line of bad decisions? Making sure when I wake up in the morning I can still see the ceiling, and putting those two feet on the ground so I can get out of bed. Sounds corny, but sometimes it's those two things that are the most important choices I make during the day. Gotta view everything as chance to make something better happen, even when that something is cleaning up after the messes you've made in the days, weeks and months before. Perseverance and resilience don't always come naturally, no matter what tv and movies lead us to believe...but those two traits do lurk within even the most cursed, negative, and/or distrusting people you'll come across. They keep us around on this planet and help us avoid being feasts for the worms. They keep us grounded with purpose and focus, even when both are at a minimum. And they will singlehandedly get you through the day, especially when you're not sure you can handle another one like the one you just had.

The hardest part is convincing yourself that you should believe any of what I just wrote. Do that, and even the biggest failures can seem like small victories. I'm still working on getting myself there.

BCF PROMPT: "What do you think of console gaming? Have you ever tried it?"

I assume this means Xbox or Playstation, and I guess I've tried them, but I never was crazy about either platform. I still don't understand the allure of video games that take hours and hours to reach the goal or purpose, and gaming in general wound up getting too advanced for my tastes pretty much around the same time my Sega Genesis crapped out.

I had a used first-generation Playstation for awhile, but I hardly ever played it. My roommate at the time bought an Xbox shortly after it first came out, but I played that even less. I did, however, go nuts when I first heard that this was coming out...http://www.amazon.com/Jakks-Atari-Classics-10-Games/dp/B0000645DD. It was a great day when a friend of mine from across the country was able to find one in a store and ship it to me...I do believe I spent more time playing Circus Atari with the 10-In-1 than the PS One and the Xbox combined.

I will say though that when I lived with my ex, she bought her kids an Xbox 360 for Christmas one year, and I got them Rockband to go along with it. Rockband is insanely fun, especially for people like me who are musically inclined but have no clue how to play any real instruments. I used to love going over to her kids' side of the basement where they had everything set up when no one else was home, crank up the volume and wail away on the drums. And I know I mention this every frickin' time the topic of Xbox comes up in a blog entry, but I've aced this song by myself whenever I've grabbed the mic, complete with old-school MC posturing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru3gH27Fn6E.

Nowadays, I stick to simple little Facebook games because that's about all I have the patience for. Maybe in the future I'll think about getting something fancier and technologically superior, but for now I don't have a need for anything like that...I'm bad with the time management skills as it is; can you imagine if I was hooked on every new football or hockey title that came out? I'd never sleep.


There's truth to the saying that no matter what you're going through, someone's always got it worse than you.


2: We're down to the finalists in "Invalid Item...congrats to blainecindy and Jeff for having some impressive entries so far. They've managed to stand out in a competition crowded with some very notable names around WDC. The final entries are due in by midnight tomorrow night...please check them out when you get a chance!

*Gold* Speaking of blogging contests, a certain Sister Mary Margaret, the patron saint of patronization unnamed rival of all things sensible, fun and natural about this pastime we all enjoy so greatly has blessed the masses with her announcement of a competition to be taking place in March. I'm not sure what kind of spiritual wellbeing can come from that. As the good doctor himself Hunter S. Thompson once said, "Buy the ticket, take the ride"...and oh what a ride I presume that kind of "March Madness" can only be, since myself and a select few others have been barred from contact with this individual (and I wouldn't have it any other way). I'm not bitter at all...if I've learned anything in my time on this planet, it's that you don't entertain the unstable or put them in places of authority. In a totally unrelated gesture, I suggest you all sign up for Brother Nature 's turn as host of the 30DBC, details of which you can find here: "Note: The 30 Day Blogging Challeng...". Flaming torches and spiked bats are optional. #steadymobbin

*Thought* I have to share this, because I saw it earlier this afternoon and it's regarding one of my all-time favorite comic strips ever...http://mentalfloss.com/article/53216/mental-floss-exclusive-our-interview-bill-w......

*Mic3* ...And then I saw this picture late last night when I was struggling to fall asleep (and after I saw the first part of the Serial Prompt). I had the song it came from (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tWmyPMf3wU) stuck in my head all day today and I'm a sucker for any kind of Charlie Brown-related mash-ups.

I'm always in the mood for a good Charlie Brown/Jay Z mash-up.

*Hand* I haven't said much about it because until today I wasn't certain what was going on, but next week I'll start the next phase of my community work program, and it sounds like a good opportunity. It's for an organization called CAPCO (http://www.capco.org/index.php/family-essentials), where I'll be handling incoming donations, assisting families that come in looking for help, and doing some data entry. Sounds better than "general laborer" for the county.

*Tv* I'm aware that I've shared this link plenty of times before, but for all the Nintendo kids from the nineties out there, this site's pretty great: http://nintendo8.com/. I've used it a few times for Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and Super Tecmo Bowl on my laptop, and I've never had a problem with it before. I wonder if there's a version of this site that has Sega games.

And just like that I'm gonna give in to another distraction in an effort to not think about the second part to the 30DBC's Serial Prompt. Looks like I won't be going to bed at a decent hour again tonight. Peace, to try and to fail, the two things I hate, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
January 28, 2014 at 11:04pm
January 28, 2014 at 11:04pm
30DBC PROMPT: "A genie has granted your wish to build your perfect space for reading and writing. What's it like?"

What's up y'all? Today's a special day 'round here...it's the last entry before the two-day "Serial Prompt" extravaganza that will mark the end of January in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge, and with it comes a simple prompt, devoid of psycho-babble and interpretation. No "the color red means you're angry" or "what the knick-knacks on your end table say about you" over-analysis. Just me, a lamp, and a genie inside it with the purpose beyond what the standard vibe straight outta something The Six-Year-Old Me would likely be screaming obnoxiously: "I'd wish for more wishes!!" (My greatest hope is to not necessarily have a great January in terms of writing, but that when you read that last sentence you screamed it in your head like an obnoxious six year old. *Smirk* And you're trying it now.)

Me, age five or six.
McKayla Maroney

Yeah, remember them? Neither one is impressed so far.

Ok, old gags aside, my perfect space then? Probably an attic loft, where I can see what's going on below. It'd have to be spacious enough for a desk and a couple of bookcases, because I'd want this place to be my total command center where all the reading and writing happens...sorta like a mini museum dedicated to all things me (wow, that sounds conceited *Rolleyes*). I'd have my notebooks on one set of shelves, my favorite novels and collections on another, a small couch where I can take a nap get comfy with whatever I'm readin', and one of those big fancy captain's chairs with padded armrests and a high back so that when I sit at my desk I look like I'm runnin' a country).

I'm cool with faux wood paneling and little mementos, but I don't need much more as far as decorations go besides my World Heavyweight Blog Championship belts (wow, that really sounds conceited *Rolleyes*)...too much clutter just mucks up the creative process, ya know? No need for a tv, but I'd probably like a decent stereo set-up goin' on. And my laptop. And a mini-fridge. And since it's in a loft, a velvet rope to (pretend like it'll) keep you from falling down into whatever room it's overlooking (because don't let it fool you...velvet ropes don't keep you safe or out of anything). And a unicorn (because we all know unicorns don't exist and I just wanna see if you're still paying attention...wow, that sounds really, really conceited *Rolleyes*).

I actually had a room like that once, but instead of the rope it was walled off. And it wasn't quite in a loft. Everyone called it a "basement". And it had a tv. Is it too late to return the genie I ordered that reading/writing space from? I think it was defective. Well, you know what they say...once you let the genie outta the lamp, you can't just make him (or her...yes, her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XELze7CXKjk) go back inside. I don't know who exactly says that, but if they weren't on something then they were definitely onto something.

BCF PROMPT: "If you got one whole day where you were both unable to feel any pain and be totally indestructible, what would you do with that 24 hour period of time? It's your moment to be a Super Hero! *Exclaimy*"

I think I...I don't know. I'm not comfortable in hero's clothes. Would it be selfish of me to answer with "I'd be satisfied spending an entire pain-free day relaxing in absolute joy doing nothing, knowing there's no ache in my bones", and just call that an entry? Probably, although it does sound pretty tempting.

Also, I'm a little thrown off by the word "indestructible", because in order to be declared that first you'd have to survive some pretty serious attempts on your person (perhaps now's the appropriate time for a commercial interruption: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NHq3Yze6s0). The body surviving as a testing ground doesn't sound as awesome to me as much as not being bombarded with all sorts of otherwise crazy scenarios that would kill mere mortals, but that's just me.

However, what if I was, in fact, fool-proof and legendarily a specimen of physical indestructibility that couldn't handle just sittin' still and mindin' his biz? And let's assume I'm more inclined to use my temporary superpowers for something besides leaping tall buildings, pulling a train with my teeth, or forgetting ice (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWvBxIEgL44). Where else does that leave me?

The temptation of being a giant douchebag and using my body as a means of making others feel inferior doesn't appeal to me. And I'm admittedly too apathetic to care much about crime-stopping or being a cop's best friend. I guess I'd end up doing what I feel most comfortable doing: trying to make people laugh. Only, it'd be funnier than normal (assuming I'm funny occasionally) because I'd be this big, imposing presence trying to act out physical comedy, which is still kinda funny even when it's not (example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHZhw94C5vQ). The sight of people seemingly larger than life doing "average person" things always tends to get some kind of reaction out of people, especially when they look sorta clumsy doing it. Why not use that to my advantage?

And almost as quickly as my audience begins to enjoy the antics of a well-built piece of human machinery, just as fast would I shrink back into the crowd and become li'l ol' me again, where average people doin' "average person" things just aren't as awkwardly impressive. Although I've been known to do awkward pretty well more times than I'd care to admit. *Rolleyes*


Because there's just something so unnatural about being perfect, even if it's only for a day.


*Hockeyhelmet* I can definitely sympathize.

What to watch, and which is which?

So far the Sabres lost in overtime, and the Republicans are taking a beating in the liberal media. And I have chosen to take part in neither event this evening, from a viewer's standpoint.

*Video* I'm pretty sure it's happened the last few years, but did you know you can actually stream the president's State Of The Union address on YouTube? I'm not sure what means exactly about us as a society, other than besides the president being on every channel tonight, he's also preempting the internet just a smidge...another idea Al Gore will eventually claim to have had. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnFJ8cHAlco (Full disclosure: I really don't care one way or the other about politics...elected officials stopped caring about us common folk a long time ago.)

*People* What's Brother Nature got up his sleeve for February's "unofficial" "30-Day Blogging Challenge? Stay tuned for a very special 28-day edition of the 30DBC. #steadymobbin

Well, it's damn near 11pm...I had a hard enough time waking up this morning as it was, and I'm not even close to being tired yet but I know it's gonna hit me soon so I better get outta here while I'm still coherent and able to respond to the last couple of emails and other notes that are staring at me from the WDC notification system (ok, seriously, who let this conceited a-hole write a blog entry today?? *Rolleyes*) Peace, doesn't anybody ever know, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 27, 2014 at 9:46pm
January 27, 2014 at 9:46pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Pick an article in the news that caught your attention over the weekend and tell us about it (or do a basic recap of the top news stories or bizarre stories of interest over the weekend)."

Good evening, fine readers. On the heels of yesterday's entry, where I said (and you can quote me on the quote-unquote) something like "I'm not crazy about the Sunday Review", comes what's probably my favorite of all kinds of "30-Day Blogging Challenge prompts: the time-honored tradition of skewering random news stories. I'm gonna be totally up-front on this and say (if I haven't said it before) that if the powers that be over at 30DBC HQ ever decide on changing up the routine a bit (in part so that we don't have to commit the sin of fiction-based blog entries), writing about a crazy or bizarre news item should get some consideration as one of the weekly "themes". I haven't figured out which day I think it should replace, because in my opinion there are pros and cons for every day ending in "ay". But as someone who's been through a few of these challenges, I'm merely suggesting that maybe now might be a good time to see what else is available in terms of what entries we're writing on different days...the 30DBC already has a built-in "trial period" every other month that we could be taking more advantage of, so why not use that in part as a testing ground for new ideas? Just sayin'.

I think I've gone on long enough about that...sorry to have wasted so much time on something totally unrelated.

As I was saying before I allowed myself to be sidetracked by...myself, I really enjoy this kind of prompt. The world is a weird place, and I'm very thankful we have the internet to capture that for us in ways that once existed only in the cheap rags you'd find next to grocery store checkout stands. I've got three brief articles I was fortunate enough to come across this weekend, and I'll share a brief synopsis with you.

From Spin Magazine: Paul McCartney, Members Of Nirvana Win A Grammy http://www.spin.com/articles/dave-grohl-paul-mccartney-best-rock-song-grammy-201...

This article on the surface isn't weird or anything...until you carefully consider the strangeness of it all in context. One of the primary singer/songwriters from the greatest rock and roll band of the sixties (ok, and ev-arrrrr) cuts a record with the surviving members of arguably one of the greatest bands of the nineties, and it winds up winning a Grammy. But the picture is what kills me (and I won't even get into the .gif at the end of the article, where Macca and Dave Grohl are photobombed by a Rob Ford lookalike)...Pat Smear (far right, touring guitarist for Nirvana and occasional member of Grohl's Foo Fighters) with grey hair and looking more like a soccer dad rather than an Alternative Nation denizen, and Krist Novoselic (far left, Nirvana bassist) looking like he stole Bob Dylan's wardrobe if Dylan were freakishly taller than most any other bass player in the world. I know there have been much weirder collaborations in the past, but none of them makes you simultaneously feel old and giddily grateful for growing up when you did as the "Sirvana" pairing up does...it totally blows this away: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgPMiAaelFc.

From The Toronto Sun: Employees Find Out They Lost Their Jobs On Facebook http://player.socastsrm.com/player/link?h=322|6362919d41dc3d8036288660885b1888&u...|http://player.socastsrm.com/player/link?h=322|6362919d41dc3d8036288660885b1888&u...

I guess it shouldn't be surprising that people can lose their jobs because of things they post on Facebook...but to find out you're fired via Facebook? That's harsh. That's callous and cowardly. It's definitely unprofessional. The owner of the restaurant in question said he's "new at running the business" and "the situation could've been handled better". Ya think?? Sounds to me like this owner lacks some serious interpersonal skills.

From Gawker: Truck Containing Barbecued Ribs Catches Fire http://gawker.com/76-000-pounds-of-ribs-burn-in-wonderful-smelling-truc-15100819...

This has to be one of the better "so-true-it's-funny, so-funny-it's-true" things I've seen all weekend...and as usual per sites like Gawker, Deadspin and Jezebel, the comments section is even more hilarious. A truck carrying tons of meat goes up in flames...a devastating loss and an accident that could've been much worse. But it's like a giant frickin' barbecue! Do you even try to put it out? I don't really care for barbecued ribs all that much, yet I'd consider dodging a few flames for a bit of that! Have someone whip up some cheesy garlic mashed potatoes and a pot of baked beans, bust out a boom box, barricade a few streets, and you've got one hell of a block party!

See...we should do this more often. One article, once a week...it wouldn't be all that bad now, would it? Sure as hell beats pretending. Makes for an informative and off-beat look at life and how it's different from the ones we all live.

BCF PROMPT: "It is National Thomas Crapper Day. Don't worry, not going to ask you about toilets. Crapper did not create toilets but he did improve them. What inventions would you improve with your new found skills that will only last for 72 hours?"

Huh. This requires some quick thinking right from the get-go, and a few questions that need immediate answers. Like, how did I get these "newfound skills"? Do the skills last for 72 hours, or just the improvements? Either way, what happens then? And why am I always questioning things and making them seem harder than they really are?

All valid points. Let's assume I've crossed over through some kind of magical window that gives me mad wicked powers to do whatever I want for three days, and the effects from that period are permanent. Already, my fiction radar is pinging like the microwave that reminds you every thirty seconds the timer's up.

Here's what I'd do, and since I don't have a means of knowing how I would do it, let's just go along with it being done. I'd revamp the way we disseminate information so that stories like this reach more eyeballs: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/27/procter-gamble-bold-flav.... What if more news articles, product launches, or groundbreaking events sounded like they were ripped from the commercials during Saturday morning cartoons? How great would that be?

I estimate it would make mundane matters so much more attractive to everyone...and face it, nobody really wants to deal with anything in a grown-up way. Look at all the things we have now in the adult world that are derivatives of something we had/enjoyed from our childhood. All the different flavors and scents of products that take up entire aisles of grocery stores, when forty years ago it would've been a shelf or two. Games that simulate real-life experiences that we play in real time with real money, as opposed to waiting our turn. Instead of being fed a line of crap about being anything we want while being pigeon-holed into someone else's concepts, people are actually being what they want. Let's take all of that and roll it up and turn all of our information sources into something more practical and engaging...something that appeals to the child in all of us. Do more with less, for the short attention spans likely caused by lead paint chips and playing under power lines. Life's too short as it is to be hyper-serious and stuffy and mature all the time...if more things were even the slightest bit fun like they were when we were young, the world would probably be a much better place.


That Grammy-winning song I referenced in the beginning of today's entry...


*Exclaimy* Just sharing this incase you're a WDC member and haven't seen it yet in regards to the outage from last night...change your passwords regularly. "Note: Tonight, we noticed some peculi..."

250: Yup, definitely time to purge the ol' portfolio and get it reorganized. I maxed it out last night...first thing to go will be pictures that are anywhere between three and eight years old. Kinda sucks, but it's time to move on. Oh who am I kidding...it's been time to move on.

*Gifto* Happy birthday to a dear friend of mine...hope it's a great one, Goldie! *Smile*

*Balloonr* Because this is kinda relatable to the second part of today's entry to kids around my age (maybe older, maybe younger):

How we survived the 1970's.

*Document* I know I don't ask a lot of you guys, so when I do you better do it but if you could take a minute to check out "Invalid Item and then hit up the "Blogging Bliss Newsletter Forum to say hi and let us know what you think, we'd really appreciate it.

*Printer* Only a few hours left in this round of "Invalid Item...and as of now (9:15pm) just two of the four challengers have their entries in before the deadline of midnight tonight. Unless the rest happen to come in during the next hour or so, I probably won't read any of them until tomorrow afternoon (because if you've learned nothing more about me after yesterday's entry, I believe in a little thing called "procrastination"). If you haven't checked out any of the entries in this contest yet, I suggest you do...and drop a line in the forum letting lazymarionette know that she's done a great job organizing the whole shebang.

Wow...holy crap did it get late all the sudden...time to wrap this up and see what everyone else around here is up to for a little bit before I move on with the rest of my evening. Peace, cut me some slack, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 26, 2014 at 7:30pm
January 26, 2014 at 7:30pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Blog. Tell us about your week. Include your favorite blog entry from your fellow challengers from the preceding week and, most importantly, why."

'Sup y'all? It's the last Sunday in January, which means today is the last "Sunday Review" we'll have to do in this edition of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge. I have a confession to make...I kinda don't like doing the Sunday Review. I don't dislike it like I openly dislike the end-of-30DBC "Serial Blogs"; it's just that I have a hard time keeping up with who wrote what on any given day. What I need to do is something like what I think SapphireRainee used to do during official months- keep a physical notebook of each day's entries so I can go back and reference them easily and know what I'm talking about when Sunday comes again. Oh sure, I suppose I could do the same thing with a computer, but I'm all about the paper trail as opposed to the digital footprint.

Anyway, on with the show entry, no?

This week's two best prompts, in my opinion, were the Tuesday (government experiments) and Thursday (cataclysmic events wiping out 90% of the population) ones. They were as close to unique (per the 30DBC) as I've seen in a long time, and so were the entries they spawned.

On Tuesday, blainecindy and Jeff each had great takes with "Invalid Entry and "Day 21: Experiments for the Greater Good, respectively. Both mixed their viewpoints with "greater good" wisdom and a sense of willingness to sacrifice in order to help others, which I think (again, just my opinion talking) was kind of the point of the prompt. Having taken a couple of days away from these entries, it's easy now to look back and say that those were the two that resonated the most on that particular day.

Thursday was a bit of a different animal (mainly because I think I know a lot of words until I get hit with one I don't). As usual, everyone came strong, but LostGhost: Seeking & Learning (with "Divorce and Catalycsmic Event) made a good point: human nature will always remain the same, but the forms of corruption will change. That's an excellent statement...there's a fair amount of one force trying to outdo the other. Think of anti-virus programs...they're meant to defend your computer against so many different kinds of attacks, so hackers have to step their game up to get around this software; in turn, companies that produce the AVP titles are constantly updating and releasing patches to protect against new threats. It's like a vicious circle. Anyway, I like an entry where I can draw parallels, and LG's was one of them.

And so goes another Sunday Review...between that, and no football after next week, what are my Sundays gonna consist of anymore? *Smirk*

BCF PROMPT: Sunday also means no prompt from the "Blogging Circle of Friends , which gives me a good opportunity to tie up any loose ends or things I may have forgotten over the past week's worth of entries. The only problem is, I can't think of anything that could've slipped my mind...chances are, if it's that easy to not remember, it's not worth trying to think twice about. Glad I just came up with that. Moving on then...


I haven't heard this song in almost 10 years, for a multitude of reasons. But this is what happens when you type "Sunday Morning Song" in the YouTube search bar.


1pm: Estimated preferred start time of today's entry.

5:30pm: Estimated actual start time of today's entry.

6:40pm: Estimated time I noticed WDC wasn't online...wonder if it has something to do with the spam email that was sent out under the SM's name?

*Clock2* In any case, I don't feel so bad now about this:

Seems pretty legit.

*Hand1**Hand2* I did waste over 16 minutes this morning when I woke up watching the video embedded in this article from Deadspin (http://deadspin.com/table-tennis-match-gets-progressively-more-entertaining-1509...), which was absolutely hilarious if you can ignore the fact that the announcers are speaking in a language you probably don't understand. Why can't all competitions in life be that amazing?

*Hockeyhelmet* For my hockey friends, and maybe more so for those who see Brother Nature , Lyn or myself rambling on about the great sport of hockey, I submit to you this off-beat look at the game's vernacular...http://grantland.com/features/sean-mcindoe-nhl-grantland-dictionary/.

*Hockeyskate* And for the hardcore hockey fans...I preferred NHL '96 myself, because I could make trades and create my own players. http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nhlpa-93-vs-nhl-94-the-ultimate-showdown/

7:10pm: Just noticed that WDC is back online. Awesome. Now I'm gonna miss the start of the NFL Pro Bowl. *Rolleyes*

*No* The only time WDC would ever fail on me would be while I'm in the middle of creating a blog entry and trying to upload an image at the same time. Nothing's worse than when you hit "Save And View" (or its derivatives) while you're doing something on any website and your computer screen instantly goes white with the "This page cannot be displayed" error like you just broke the friggin' internet or somethin'.

Well, now that I've sufficiently had my train of thought completely derailed, it's time to see what the rest of the recaps in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge look like before I decide to try and fall asleep somewhere around the third quarter of the event formerly known as "The Pro Bowl" (and is more like a glorified skills competition at best). Peace, it's not that bad, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

You know you've made it when you're at the end of my entry. *Rolleyes*
January 25, 2014 at 9:05pm
January 25, 2014 at 9:05pm
30DBC PROMPT: "You are the architect of your dream house - describe your creation in detail."

What's up people? It's an exciting day all around in the land of WDC...we've all got new toys to play with, new avenues to explore, and now, under the banner of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge, fictional dream houses where all that fun stuff can originate from. So ladies and gentlemen, let's stop screwin' around and do this right on "Creation Saturday"...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhuVOce2EmU.

One thing you'll notice, from the minute you step inside, is that everything's mahogany. Floors, walls, furniture...if it can be made out of wood, that wood's straight mahogany. Even the toothpicks in my kitchen junk drawer (because no dream house would be complete without one) are hand-splintered from mahogany scraps. Why mahogany, and not cedar, you ask? I dunno...I just like the way the second syllable of "ma-hog-a-ny" gets stuck in the back of my throat when I say it, like I'm chokin' on a peanut.

And speaking of kitchens, I've got two: one's made almost entirely of stone and is used for cooking (note the state-of-the-art fire pits crafted from actual caveman caves); the other is chiseled out of ice to keep things cold and resembles this entertainment facility in Sweden: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhjaw7D2Urs. You know you wanna chill there. Appropriate dress is recommended, but not mandatory.

Let's move into the living room, shall we? I know what you're thinking...that plain white wall must be where the large television projector displays all the sports, concerts, and episodes of groundbreaking '70's comedies like my homies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7FISjhfpmc made that I can focus my poor eyesight on, right? Naw man, it's just a wall...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5f4Na2xTgU. Next to that wall you'll see my shelf, stocked with a collection of videos like that last one that have people wearing the same pair of Adidas sneakers as I do (http://www.adidas.com/us/product/mens-originals-superstar-20-shoes/EU021?cid=G17...). The opposite wall, the one that looks like it's stacked floor-to-ceiling with cds and records? It's stacked floor-to-ceiling with cds, records and tapes actually...you remember tapes, right?

The lost art of maintaining a music collection.

Tapes had music on them, back when music had nothing to do with iTunes or mp3's or sucking. But I digress; you're here for the house, not my social commentary. Let's go to the bedroom...and no, I don't mean it like that, perverts!

If this bedroom looks exactly like a replica of the bedroom I had in my last apartment (known affectionately as 542), well, it is! I had it removed from that building and attached it to the side of this place, primarily because it's the biggest bedroom I've ever had. Three large dressers (one with a tv on top, and another with a stereo system and turntable), a recliner, a desk (complete with an old school typewriter), a double-door walk-in closet, and a super-single heated waterbed perfect for two that's been in the family for nearly thirty years. And all the floor space necessary to film the sequel to Breakin' 2; Electric Boogaloo http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086999/. And yet this still isn't the coolest room in the house...follow me downstairs.

It might be a basement, but it's more like a room with a lot of games in it. I'm thinking of callin' it a "game room", but I'm not sure if that's a strong enough description. Sure, there's air hockey and bubble hockey, a pool table, a dart board, and I even built in a little spot where people can sit down and have a few drinks. But I dunno if I'd call it a bar...we don't actually have a liquor license here; I only serve to my close friends who stop by from time to time. Oh, those large grey doors? Yeah, let's go see what's in there...it's a hallway leading to two full-sized locker rooms! I guess now you really could call this a full-fledged game room! The locker rooms lead back upstairs and outside, where I have an Olympic regulation ice rink in the winter, and an all-purpose field in the summer for baseball, football and track with a basketball/street hockey court on the side. It's pretty sweet. I pay for the entire fictional dream house by running adult recreational sports leagues year 'round.

Well, that's the grand tour! Thanks for stoppin' by! Now, if you'll excuse me, you don't have to go home but ya can't stay here.

BCF PROMPT: "On January 25th, 1924 the first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France. How many countries do you believe competed? What events were held? Did your favorite events exist back then?"

I'm gonna be a good sport and not Google any of this information...and I'm also, in lieu of admitting my lack of historical knowledge on a wide variety of subjects, gonna make a bunch of stuff up. It's still "Creation Saturday", no matter what day the "Blogging Circle of Friends prompt says it is.

So 90 years ago today was the first Winter Olympiad, and only four countries competed. This was because there was no internet and France was habitually late at sailing out invites to far-away lands. You had France (who was entered by default for hosting), East Germany, West Germany, and a little-known European republic which briefly formed after World War I that consisted of every nation over there that wasn't France, East Germany, or West Germany. A small thread of conspiracy theorists claim that their poor showing in the Olympics led to the start of WWII, but haters had all traces of their existence wiped from Wikipedia back during the ages of The Great Red Scare in the 1950's.

These proud nations competed in four events, some of which you can see today as derivatives of their original incarnations.

Ice Swimming: Swimmers swam the freezing waters of the English Channel; this event ceased in 1972 when it was bought out by BBC8 and merged with BBC9 to create BBC17, the world's first channel dedicated to all feats performed on frozen waters. It was only available to five percent of the local population though, and was later turned into a shopping network.

Potato Pushing: Teams of men used sticks to push a frozen potato across an area marked off with wooden boards into a tiny spot roped off with twine, while blind men flailed their arms and attempted to chase after them in an effort to get in the way of the players and disrupt their flow. It is said that these blind men are the inspiration for the Special Olympics.

Schnitzelling: A true test for the heartiest of individuals, each nation seated a representative at a long table and gave then a plate stacked with sausages. The contestant who ate the most between the hours of sun-up and sun-down was the winner. In 1988 this event was moved to the Summer Olympics to take advantage of Independence Day and The Clean Air Act of 1986 (which was administered by France's Parliament and overseen by their Medical Sub-division of Officers in Flatulence Compliance).

Pole Vaulting: Credited with its creation (among many other things), Dr. Lozlo Pronowski's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Theory_of_Harmonial_Value) first foray into organized sporting events happened by accident when he was attempting to avoid a large member of the Polish National Army by awkwardly leaping over him as the soldier was stretching in preparation for the Ice Swimming finals. Having later been found guilty of fraud, Dr. Pronowski avoided jail time when he led Poland on a boycott of the 1967 Winter Olympics to be held in his home city of Warsaw amidst allegations that Pole Vaulting was considered "racist" and "demeaning". He died in late December of 1966, shortly before anyone in Warsaw realized that the Olympics were held every four years and that 1967 was also the same year as not the Olympics.

I hope you enjoyed this little encapsulated look back at the Olympics as they once were...further proof that things sometimes can be greater than they were before we (well, most of us) were born.


*Olympics* This song was actually used in promotional campaigns for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, believe it or not. It was a bit of a controversial decision for this band...http://www.theguardian.com/media/2001/jul/10/advertising1.


*Hockey* 9:30pm (EST): I have extra incentive to finish up tonight's entry as early as I can...the NHL has another outdoor game scheduled for this evening in, of all places, Los Angeles, CA. As a fan of the sport, I'm interested to see how this plays out between two good teams in less-than-ideal hockey weather. Grantland ran a nice article this week about the rest of this year's outdoor games the NHL has scheduled, and it's a tad bit of overkill in my opinion...but just as the NFL has taken pains to ensure each team gets at least one prime time, nationally televised game a year, it wouldn't shock me if down the road eventually the NHL sets up something where all of its teams get one outdoor game a year. http://grantland.com/features/go-outside-and-play/

*Glass5* I'm not gonna lie...once I get started on Grantland I have a hard time stopping. I spent way too much time this afternoon reading about one of the most criminally underrated movies from the 1990's (and also one of my favorites)...http://grantland.com/features/an-oral-history-swingers/

*Thumbsup* So the big news today...if you're on WDC, how much did you love your newsfeed and notifications blowin' up via the frenzy associated with this post: "Note: 36-HOUR "Find a Favorite..."? Not to be all Debbie Downer about it, because I think being able to "favorite" and "fan" people is fun and awesome, but we've been able to do that for quite a long time on WDC, and in reality today people have been scramblin' around (myself included *Facepalm*) like it's new and fresh and full of promise (which it is, I suppose). I'm really not trying to talk bad about it. I like the real-time notifications and all the cool stuff that was released in the biggest set of updates to WDC since the 2013 Birthday Celebration. But the new Community Newsfeed is now more of a "Facebook for authors". I hope it all works out to be as good (or better) than expected.

*Pointright* Speaking of "better than expected", there's this image that I forgot I had:

** Image ID #1933256 Unavailable **

Only, you can change the dates to read as last week's instead...because I've been named "Blogger Of The Week" again, for the second time this month. That's pretty exciting, right? I'm sure it's been done before, and it'll happen again, but to beat out a solid list of accomplished writers two weeks in a row is kinda mind-blowing. And I hope this doesn't come off as sour grapes or anything, because it's the furthest thing from that, but I've said this tons of times...I don't write for awards or accolades, but for the fun of it first and foremost. BOTW is kinda like a cherry on top. I'm more encouraged by doing things that haven't exactly been done and seeing how far I can go beyond likes and recognition, and I enjoy seeing those more deserving than myself do well. It's when we're all working together that we learn how valuable this community made by and for bloggers really is. So thanks to all that voted, and read, and liked, and commented, and blogged, along the way.

*Pencil* Another round is pretty much complete in "Invalid Item...and it's only gonna get harder to judge from here on out. The four semi-finalists have turned out some impressive entries so far, and I know it's gonna be a challenge for lazymarionette, Lyn and myself to declare in a couple more days that any of the remaining bloggers has better entries than the others. I will say this...I've had my eyes opened to a few WDC bloggers I may not have followed in the past because of The Great Blog Off.

Well, I'm nearing the point in my evening where I'd rather be an overly peanut butter contented soul watching hockey (or old sitcoms) than try to think anymore tonight...all this favorite-ing and fanning has me a little worn out! But hey, if it's all for the greater good and we're all better for it, than who am I to complain, right? I know...right. Peace, never look back, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 24, 2014 at 9:58pm
January 24, 2014 at 9:58pm
30DBC PROMPT: "What is the most absurd or ridiculous thing that has ever happened to you while traveling?"

Hey folks! Welcome back for another shot at this "Funny Friday" thing we've got goin' on within the friendly confines of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge. I promise I'll do my best to not make you cry or feel sad, but if you pee a little that's ok (although I don't foresee this entry exactly causing that either).

I've probably travelled more than I give myself credit for, because it doesn't feel like I've been as many places as other people have. Other than it being a personality flaw, I have no idea why I shortchange myself when it comes to something like that. I have plenty of stories from trips I've taken to different cities, but when I think about them, most of them aren't particularly funny. They're average, I guess. Short of making a physical list on my own time (and not yours) of each city I've been to and then making a sub-list of ridiculous things that happened in each one (seriously, we'd be here forever), I guess the only thing I can do with this prompt is tell the story my mind keeps going back to when I try to think of the most absurd thing that has happened to me while travelling through a life full of absurdities.

Some years ago my extended family had taken a cruise to the Bahamas. Aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. It was the best vacation I've probably ever been on, and I doubt I'll ever take another one like it. It departed from Florida, and since most of the family was in NY at the time some opted to drive down, while the rest of us flew. While I absolutely dislike flying, it was a better idea than driving across the US with me as a passenger.

I forget where in Florida the cruise actually left from, but I know we weren't far from the airport or the hotel we stayed in the days immediately before and after the five-day/four-night stay aboard the "Something or Other of the Seas".

The cool thing about the hotel we stayed in was that it wasn't some cookie-cutter chain place (the name, like most every other detail about this trip so far, escapes me also). There was a nice little cantina/bar kind of establishment near the front of this little village-y lookin' place, and the hotel gave us vouchers for a free drink- one for each member of our party staying there (in this case, five) for each night we stayed (two).

2x5=10. A good little bit of math to remember. One pint = 16 ounces. More good math.

We got in too late our first night in Florida to really check anything out, and the next morning we boarded the ship. But our layover once we got back on land was almost an entire day, so we did some sightseeing and checked back into the hotel. My folks and sis wanted to get to sleep at a decent time because we had to be up super-early to check in at the airport, and my youngest brother was not of legal drinking age back then, so that left me and 10 free beers on a barstool in that little pub. On karaoke night, of all nights to be by myself in a strange place.

Since I have no shame (nor did I care what any of these people thought of me), I made my presence known on the microphone. And when that last sip of the 160th ounce of Budweiser was gone, so was I. The only problem was trying not to wake people up in the suite we were sharing, but I'm pretty positive I was nowhere near as quiet as I thought I was being (first clue: there's no such thing as silently mothereffing everything you accidently touch in the dark when you're pretty buzzed). Well, that, and it was well after midnight, and we were supposed to be up at 4:30am to check out at 5. And I wasn't really packed.

Needless to say, I was barely able to drag my ass up off the pull-out couch that I kinda never really got comfortable on to begin with when it was time to go. Not time to get up. Not time to pack. Time to go.

This was a few years after 9/11, and we knew security was gonna be difficult at the airport anyway, but I don't think we had any possible chance of knowing how bad it would be. Our flight was supposed to leave around 7:30am, and the lines were crazy long...you'd think we were trying to get into a 100,000 seat football stadium that only had three entrances. Not the kind of scene you want to be in when you're unsure if you're still drunk or half-asleep (and if you're ever asked to choose between the two, just say "yes"). Eventually they opened up a few more security lanes, which weren't near our gate, but they whisked us and half the other people waiting over to what looked like you'd expect security to look like in an airport if it consisted of those temporary line-herder things they use in lesser-quality fast food chains or banks and you set it up in your garage.

And maybe the whole thing is just me being predetermined in life to suck at going through metal detectors, and not just a case I caught last week in "This one's about opinions and the Day Of Grievances.. I thought I was fully prepared, with only my ID in the swimming trunks (note this important detail) I was wearing. I also had on a fishing-style hat and a slim-fitting polo shirt with all-black low-top Chuck Taylors (like an adult version of these: http://www.converse.com/regular/chuck-taylor-classic-colors-1-3.5-yr/MP_73.html?...). I took my earrings out and my hematite necklace off. I placed my glasses in the bin and ran everything through the monitored conveyor. The alarm still went off.

It's at this point I believe my family went from silently mothereffing me to themselves about me staying out all night to audibly questioning every decision I've ever made in life up to that very moment.

Off with the hat...still tripped the alarm. Out came the wand...my shoes! The eyelets in my shoes are metal! So off they came...and the wand was still catching something. Without hesitation (and before the guards even knew what was happening), because when all you're worried about is getting on a plane to go back home, I got out of my polo shirt as if I were using magic to fluidly direct it into my hand and announced to everyone within range of my voice that "this is far as I'm going, because these are swim trunks, and there's no underwear on under them". I don't know what's more amazing: that I didn't get detained or hauled off to jail, or actually making it onto the plane with only a few minutes to spare after running back through the airport barefoot with my sneakers tied over my carry-on bag while trying to put my shirt back on.

Come to think of it, that is pretty absurd. No wonder I have a mini panic attacks now when I have to pass through metal detectors. It's all starting to make a little sense.

BCF PROMPT: "You are given the opportunity to write a script for a movie that will be produced by a big name producer. What do you write about?"

Man, I don't even know...and I've had more than 24 hours to think about this. I suppose I could write something related to any combination of the 700+ blog entries I've pieced together over the years...maybe a life story of sorts. The only problem with that is I'm still workin' on the ending and there's a lot of details missing.

Maybe I could spin a tale about romance and a failed relationship. I actually tried doing that once; writing a semi-biographical epic saga (the names and places were changed) about a girl I had dated and how our lives intersected after we'd broken up. It turned out to be a lot harder than I thought, especially since I'd wanted to use different styles of poetry to move the plot along rather than it just being another "coming of age" novel. I lost interest in the entire project after a couple of days.

Wait...I've got it! My boy DMFM and I, maybe seven or eight years ago, hatched both the lamest and most awesome plan in the history of two guys going nowhere in life with nothin' but a pack of smokes and a 30-pack of Miller High Life in the fridge...The Bingo Tour.

The purpose was to get our hands on a Winnebago (http://www.winnebagoind.com/) and drive across the country, playing Bingo and winning money. We were gonna start some sort of competitive league or something...all I know is the emptier that 30-pack got, the better this idea sounded. There were probably groupies involved, and maybe a website where we could update our progress.

Excuse me for a minute or two...nope, I haven't written about this idea before. Could've sworn I did (and have I mentioned I enjoy having the ability now to do a keyword search in any of your blogs and it'll pull up entries you've written with those words?? I love that!! Downside...now I spend more time researching past blog entries than I do writing new ones occasionally).

So anyway, yeah, I don't know what could've possibly convinced us not to try to pull off The Bingo Tour (besides a lack of money and it being a pretty stupid far-fetched idea. But looking at the sheer ridiculousness in some of the movies that have been made in the last decade or so, it's not hard to fathom someone funding a comedy (or even a rom-com) about a couple of average guys hittin' the streets and becoming the most feared/adored Bingo players ever to come to a senior citizens' center near you.

I've undoubtedly had better ideas. Ever notice it's always the weirdest, most random, or craziest ones that usually get remembered the most?


*Dollar* It's been a long time since I've run any kind of contest within a contest during the "30-Day Blogging Challenge, so now seems like as good a time as any. If you can figure out what the correlation is between this song and the first part of today's entry, I'll give ya 1,000 GPs from my own personal collection. Ok, go!


*Banana* So I came across this today, and because I'm a big fan of Arrested Development ("This one's about money in the banana stand.), I feel compelled to share it here with you. http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinchack/which-member-of-the-bluth-family-are-you?bffb (I got Michael Bluth, if you were curious.)

*Vinylr* And since it was a pretty slow day around here, I'm gonna leave this link over here because I found it to be equal parts cute, funny, and twisted. http://www.collegehumor.com/post/6949801/if-todays-pop-stars-had-their-own-carto...

*Clock2* For those of you keeping score at home, yesterday I set the over/under on my wake-up time this morning at 9:15am, even though I had an appointment at 2pm and the latest time I could possibly get up for it would be 1:45pm. If you had 9:21am in your office pool, you win!

*Mic3* Finally, I was stoked when I first saw this link on Facebook, because this song is a friggin' classic...but like anything you see on the internet, it can't be trusted. Beware the proclamation that it's the "full song", because the last time I checked, a full song doesn't leave out the whole third verse. Plus, the diabolical one comes off as being more than just a little bit hammered in this performance, but that's just my opinion. http://www.arseniohall.com/video/music-performances/3606_Online_Encore_Biz_Marki...

Wow...I need to stop wasting days where I have little going on and start writing these things in the afternoon, because I feel like I've spent all night on this entry. Hope you found it funnier than I did. Peace, 9/10 pants, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 23, 2014 at 9:24pm
January 23, 2014 at 9:24pm
30DBC PROMPT: "If a cataclysmic event wiped out 90% of the world population (equal proportions of all races are wiped out and all races have some surviving representatives), would humans be better off in the long run (having the opportunity for a fresh start) or would the state of the world remain much the same as it is today?"

Hello, and what is up? Welcome to another episode of "Who do I still think I am??...I'm your host, and I'm perhaps just as confounded by the possibilities within all the words of this prompt as you are.

I'm gonna begin attacking this prompt with a hard look at the numbers. The chances of me being in that 10% of survivors is one of two things: A) unlikely, because odds of good things like that don't usually work out in my favor; or B) extraordinary, because the planet will for all intents and purposes be barely habitable and I haven't suffered enough when the world was pretty functioning.

Along that line of thinking, maybe I should be asking a bigger question: How does the world lose 90% of its population and still manage to be livable? To say something "cataclysmic" happened is to note that it's violent in nature, which I equate with some kind of destruction (as opposed to your run-of-the-mill epidemic or pandemic, in which case all you have to worry about is how to dispose of the many diseased and dead bodies). I think you almost have to assume from the get-go that you're starting everything over from scratch, because how much of everything left behind in this near-decimation of the world is actually gonna be worth salvaging?

And how well can you trust everyone else who's been left behind to pick up the pieces? Of those 90% removed from existence, what if they were the brightest and most resourceful ones? What if you lived in California, and the only other people you had to build a new society with were related to Kardashians?

You know that this situation would totally, no matter who or what was involved, devolve into some Lord Of The Flies-type stuff, even with our advancements in fields of science, technology and communication (such as, but not limited to, nobody ever saying anything like "Sucks to your asth-mar" pretty much ever after the book or the movie(s) came out). I understand that this sentiment isn't one of the options outlined by the prompt, but look me in the sockets and tell me under the worst-case scenario we wouldn't revert to a time when everybody thinking they were in charge meant no one was in charge? War would be about the only dominant activity, because it's so much easier to do than try to plan out a positive means of rebuilding with everyone on the same page. All it takes is for one upstart to get a little hacked off at someone else over too much perceived power, and all the sudden we're dealing with third-world versions of Republicans and Democrats squaring off in CNN-like debates on tv sets made of cardboard boxes and rubble. Then a few jokers start painting their faces with leaves and the blood of the 10% of animals that didn't make it to the promised land on a fictional ark, and tribes sprout up to gain footholds in newfangled "communities", and everyone's pissed that they forgot to bring their cameras with them and fire can't charge cell phone batteries. There's just no way this whole thing doesn't end badly.

There is a plus side though. Nobody has to know you did/watched/enjoyed this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaMcsKtBDwE (and I'm not believing for one second that wireless microphones existed back then).

BCF PROMPT: "What do you think is the most economical way to get work done? Do it yourself? Barter? Hire someone? If you've done a project recently could you give us some ideas to help us tackle our own future projects easier."

Well, I am somewhat partial toward the barter system...unfortunately, there aren't many others around who are. Now if only we could be a part of some kind of cataclysmic event that would return the transactions of the world to the hands of trade...*Rolleyes*.

Seriously, I'm all for a "divide and conquer" approach if a group effort is required to get things done. The only problem with that are my pesky little trust issues, which prevent me from believing that people can accomplish whatever it is they say they're gonna do without me having to constantly double- and triple-check on them. I suppose then that makes me a "do it yourselfer", which is surprising considering my lack often of self-motivation. I mean, there are days I don't even bother putting pants on, so it's amazing I've managed to maintain the usage of my opposable thumbs without falling completely into a fetal position or seriously injuring someone.

I could start spouting all the cliches..."If you wanna do something right, do it yourself", "Too many cooks spoil the soup", "You just can't trust felons to make a decent license plate these days"...but honestly, how often have you been satisfied with group work over something you could proudly put your name on and know that you and you alone are the one who has to live with the success or failure of a project? Nobody left to blame, and no one else to share the reward with. Maybe it's easier to divvy up tasks, but is it always more satisfying? Ok, now I'm starting to talk myself outta this one a little.

Do it yourself. And then later blame everyone else for not being smart enough to insist that you should've had some helping hands. *Wink* And that's one to grow on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVBxQNfooMk.


There may not be an "i" in "team", but there are in "win", "victory" and "championship".


2736: I hope I'm not giving away too much here, but I'm a numbers and stats kind of guy...2,736 is the combined number of WDC Community Points for the eight challengers remaining in "Invalid Item after Round One (unofficially...the actual results won't be announced I believe until after midnight tonight and I'll probably be asleep by then). That's an average of 342 per member, which means to me it's a pretty veteran, decorated group of some talented individuals. If the next round is anything like the start to the contest, it's gonna be tight and anything can happen. I wanna thank everyone who's entered and supported the Blog Off so far, and I hope those that didn't get to go on will still compete in the bonus activities. *Smile*

*People* Turns out there's an "i" in team after all...

Who knew? Imagine that.

*Globe2* I don't believe I'd ever heard the word "cataclysmic" before until today, yet about 5.7 trillion videos come up for it when you search it on YouTube. And all of them are probably about as dorky as you'd imagine. *Shock*

*Mustache* Ever notice in the movies whenever there's any kind of "End Of Days" situation playing out, the male characters suddenly look as though they haven't shaved in a few weeks, even though the storyline has only aged a day or so?

*Football* It used to be the only thing worse than being a Buffalo sports fan was being a Cleveland sports fan...until today. The Browns have poached inked the Bills' defensive coordinator to be their next head coach, and for one day it's pretty great to be a Browns fan because Mike Pettine did a great job with the Bills' defense this year. But all is not lost, because the Browns' front office is still a joke and their ownership is gonna be in a world of hurt soon enough (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9791018/hot-read-haslam-family-fortunes). That said, I'm not sure I'll ever forgive the Cleveland football franchise for all that has transpired in regards to this hire.

*Headphones* Finally, some fun news...this interview (http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/colin-greenwood-qa-on-radioheads-first-gig-in...) from Britain's NME about the early days of Radiohead, which includes a video of one of their songs from when they were known as "On A Friday". Sadly, that article and clip aren't nearly as entertaining as this ten minute romp (http://jezebel.com/noel-gallaghers-commentary-on-old-oasis-videos-is-glor-150699...) with Oasis' Noel Gallagher, or as poignant as the major headline of the day (again from Jezebel), http://jezebel.com/canadians-please-come-pick-up-justin-bieber-and-take-h-150762... (if you only click that last link for the .gif that combines Bieber with Miley Cyrus in the comments, that alone should make your day).

Well, I think I've done enough damage around WDC for another evening. I'm setting the over/under on waking up tomorrow at 9:15am, even though technically I don't have to get out of bed until 1:45pm at the latest...we'll see how that works out. Peace, this love affair can't wait, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 22, 2014 at 9:06pm
January 22, 2014 at 9:06pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Tell me about an annoying relative or aggravating family reunion."

What's up y'all? It's damn cold outside and almost frighteningly warm in my room right now, which I'll gladly take for the time being in order to make up for the few moments I had to spend in the great outdoors, where the temperature barely scraped the lower single digits all day. It doesn't look like there's much reprieve coming anytime soon from what has to be one of the coldest northeast winters in recent memory. But enough about me...let's discuss this prompt, ok? Thanks for understanding *Wink*.

This has to be one of the few times where I knew within ten seconds of seeing the daily prompt email what (or in this case, who) I was gonna write about. The only real question was "How?" I did a quick search of "Who Do I Think I Am??, using the keywords "Grandma Rosie", and to my surprise not one, but two entries came up. There was "This one's about 5 de, the pickle, and my space., which was only mildly entertaining...for my money though, the better form of tribute source of explaining my feelings toward this woman are contained within this group of words available for your perusal, "This one's about over but the shoutin'.. For those challenged by links that direct you away from the day's primary means of life-baiting, allow me to summarize the latter post by using bullet points (and just to be clear, I'm reciting these from memory as best I can and with a weird sense of fondness...no sympathy is required, please).

*Bullet* I don't like throwing the word "crazy" around, but good ol' Italian grandmother Rosie has been batshit insane since about as far back as I can remember, and even longer based on the recollections of other family members.

*Bullet* While babysitting myself, one of my younger brothers, and one of my sisters, she made us spaghetti for lunch. She gave my brother twice as much as the rest of us, because "he's a bigger kid and he can eat all that". Only, he could not, and the attempt was not pretty. *Sick*

*Bullet* We helped her move into a new apartment (because Rosie moved around a lot *Rolleyes*). She owned a rather large (from what I can recall, at least) armoire or dresser, of which the back of each drawer was labelled "Chester Drawers" rather than "chest of drawers" (because I'm pretty sure at first that was what we all thought she was saying, until hearing "Chester Drawers" for around the thirty-eighth time or so).

*Bullet* She set a toaster on fire trying to make Pop-Tarts.

*Bullet* One of her apartments had little notes up all over the place, reminding potential thieves that she had nothing of value and that the police would find them eventually, I presume after stealing the canned goods in her pantry.

*Bullet* Rosie didn't mind at all using homophobic slurs, whether it was directed at me in my early teens for a haircut she didn't approve of, or in reference to my youngest brother, who was definitely less than ten. And with that information, I shouldn't even have to bring up racially-tinged remarks.

*Bullet* There was no remorse when she knocked my youngest sister down a flight of cement basement stairs; only scolding her that she "get up and quit fooling around".

*Bullet* I brought a girlfriend over for dinner one night. Rosie's first words weren't "Hello, it's a pleasure to meet you..." to the poor girl. Instead, she asked me (out loud, in front of everyone that evening), "What ethnicity is she?"

I wish I were making this stuff up...looking back it's kind of shocking we were allowed to be anywhere near her. Oh, certainly we dreaded her, but I'll never see what the value this woman had in our lives other than being the relative we feared and mocked the most when she wanted us to give her a kiss...her lips puckered and instantly grew taut to one side of her face. Remember that gymnast in the Olympics a few summers ago that made the face of annoyance and it became memes of everything "not impressive"?

McKayla Maroney

Yeah, her. Now add about 60 years, makeup applied as if it were Krylon (http://www.krylon.com/), and Ronald McDonald-like orangey-red hair that could only have grown into a rounder shape had it sprouted out of a Chia Pet. Come give that a kiss, and then take this note down to Davey's Mart and get her a pack of unfiltered Pall Malls (and you better bring back that change, 'cuz Gramma knows how much they charge).

BCF PROMPT: "What do you think of horror movies?"

See the above portion of today's entry. Just kidding. *Laugh*

When you've written as many blog entries as I have (and I'm sure some of you have written plenty more), you're bound to feel like you've covered lots of topics plenty of times over. Today is no exception. I've been asked about movies before, and I'm reiterating my stance on them by sharing this link: "This one's about twists..

Granted, that doesn't completely fulfill the prompt's query, because what I wrote there doesn't cover the specifics.

Horror movies are just as stupid as non-horror movies. There. I said it. *Shock* *Smirk*

Even movies that are supposed to be about real events often include many incorrect pieces of information and/or dialogue. And since < true pretty much = false (ok, well, not always, but this isn't a friggin' morality class), and false = waste of time + stupid (in my little world), movies = stupid via my implied sense of logic. In addition, so-called "scary" movies, when applying this formula, aren't true, so you shouldn't be scared by something that's fake because that's just stupid. See where this is headed?

Trying to impress scare me with gore and evil bad guys made up of body parts humans don't have and using false propaganda in an effort to leave me visibly shaken is an absolute waste of my time and yours. What, you think I'm gonna walk out of a theater and drop dead (no pun intended) into a zombie/vampire/mummy/act of <your deity here> apocalypse that threatens Earth while simultaneously finding all the weapons I'll need in a blown-up 7-11 (Oh! Thank heaven!) and having the rogue lady cop-turned-vigilante fall in love with me as she shoots up the last manbeast just before it feasts upon me because the alien spacecraft accidently ran over my foot? Naw man, I got better things to do.

How I regard movies is like how pretty much everyone who doesn't like sports feels when there's some kind of game or match of any importance level going on, and they absolutely feel like they need to tell you every.single.time just how much they really don't care. These same people will also remind you on.a.weekly.basis when it's time to join them in tuning into the latest episode of "The Real Stars Of The Real Industry That Has To Remind You How Real It Really Is" because "omigosh it's so.dot.real."

I'm going to end this part where I type my opinion on something where I probably should've started it: with a plea that you not judge me. Chances are, we're all borderline stupid over something, and don't realize how shamelessly we express that at times. It's ok.


I don't know whatever happened to this band, but I'm fairly certain that it may have had something to do first with them trying to be emo and then covering a Michael Jackson song (RIP, King Of Pop).


*Facebook* I've mentioned before how I hate distractions when I'm sitting down trying to come up with an entry, but today I've managed type up to this point not only with Facebook open, but checking my notifications just once. And the only reason I kept it open was so that I wouldn't forget to share this article (http://blog.mainstreethost.com/the-9-best-things-about-buffalo-ny-from-a-newcome...), which came from a Facebook page called (seriously, because Buffalo is incredible like that) "Smelling Cheerios while driving over the Skyway" (https://www.facebook.com/smellingcheerios...because General Mills has a plant in Buffalo that makes Cheerios, and, well, you can figure the rest out).

*Eat* And also, this: http://www.buzzfeed.com/emofly/buffalo-dishes-better-than-hot-wings?bffbfood.

*Trophyg* Speaking of distractions, I noticed a few days ago the "real time" email, newsfeed and other WDC notifications that get pushed through, and it's killing my already dreadfully low attention span seeing that "(1)" or whatever number there is up at the top of a tab while I'm bangin' out your next favorite blog post, but I snuck a peek at my email and saw this: "Merit Badges and Achievements...how fun is that if you're a WDC nerd? *Delight*

*Boxcheck* And sure, it'd be easy to blame today's entry on the paint fumes I huffed accidently at work this morning, but the garage bay at the highway department is too large to be of any consequence in that regard.

I don't really have much more to add today...I'm thinking I may have, well, never mind. I'll just hit "Save Entry" on this and go through my little routine of posting up in the forums and on social networking, and deal with the fallout if necessary. Sometimes reminding myself that there's a special place in Hell for people like me can be the best way to get through a cold, crappy day that drags on yet seemingly goes nowhere. Peace, my city smells like Cheerios, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 21, 2014 at 6:11pm
January 21, 2014 at 6:11pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Would you let a government lab perform experiments on you if, in return, they would give you an unlimited supply of anything money could buy?"

What's the good word, dear readers? I have a lot of ground to cover and there's only so many hours to waste in a given day, so let's not hold up today's proceedings any longer...the faster we go the more time we'll have at the end to do whatever it is we do when we're all done.

I suppose it all depends on where you are in life that determines what you're willing to do and what you're capable of going through for a little taste of security. I look at it this way: if I had kids, I can't say in good conscience that I'd consider cosigning over whatever health I have and potentially jeopardize my quality of life going forward for a payout from our government in the name of science. Sure, understanding I could fall off a curb and die tomorrow is a risk anyone has to take, but play the percentages here and assume you're going to live through pretty much anything life could normally throw atchya. That and a steady job should provide enough to keep you at least hovering around the poverty line, which means the bare essentials are (hopefully) being met.

However, since I don't have a large amount of family left and no children to speak of, my situation is drastically different. I can take more risks, so why wouldn't I let scientists treat me like a chemistry set or a pincushion? I get it...there are likely to be a lot of repercussions, but in the end it won't be anything that financial security probably can't hide. So what if things go awry and I'm horribly disfigured, or I become a vegetable, or I end up being the first person to live on the moon while all the kinks of space habitation are still being ironed out? Ugly people fall in love all the time, not having use of your body or brain can have advantages over people who misuse and abuse theirs, and the potential for life in space's benefits outweighing the negatives could turn out to be a blessing.

This, of course, is also assuming that in exchange for donating my living, somewhat able body to science, I'm getting to choose what this "unlimited supply of anything money could buy" is and it's not useless crap I don't need, like tampons, squirrels or toothpicks (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwOFFfoIbO0). Hell, I'd even consider a reasonable sliding scale for stuff I'd be willing to do if it meant always having a paycheck and being able to live comfortably...but one condition: no group experiments. I work alone. And the last thing I need is the government tryin' to set me up with someone and paying me to coexist. The only useful science you're likely to see from me in a lab setting like that would be a clinic on how relationships fail at my personal undoing, which I've seen up close and in detail enough times as it is (and that sounds a lot better than some of the alternatives I was thinking about listing there *Smirk*).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to see why there's a black Cadillac full of men in dark suits wearing sunglasses driving back and forth between the entrances of the parking lot next to my building. Maybe I'm already part of the experiment and just don't know it yet. *Vamp*

BCF PROMPT: "National Hugging Day *Heart*. When you are introduced to people do you hug, shake hands, nod your head or just verbally acknowledge the other person? What's your style? Does it make a difference who the introduction is to?"

I'm a nodder/verbal acknowledger. Mainly because I don't like to be touched by people I don't know, and I like to inform people right off the bat that I can be somewhat sociable and courteous. If a new acquaintance offers a hand to shake it, I will if the person passes a quick eye test (looks decent, seems friendly, has no visible sores on the hands, etc.). The verbal part of this kind of transaction between myself and the new party is usually simple, and what comes out depends on the setting. If it's casual, I can run anywhere on the spectrum between "What's up?" and "'Sup yo?" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf5sbeEQQec). In a more professional atmosphere, I veer toward simple politeness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrVuc15DgPs).

Among people I consider myself close with though, I'm definitely a bro-hugger. You know, the "handshake that turns into the armwrestling-style clasping where you and your hug-sharer pull each other in close and give two pops on the back with a fist or open palm" move and then quickly separate, as evidenced here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNuhdqr-MK0. It says "I'm man enough to acknowledge emotion and appreciation of your appearance at this function", without having to dry-hump someone for attention.

There are plenty of other types of hugs known the world over; due to time constraints I can't cover them all but if you're reading this, you undoubtedly have access to the internet and should take a few minutes (after finishing this entry, of course) familiarizing yourself with proper hug etiquette for a variety of situations you may one day find yourself in. I'd hate to come across your blog someday when you've suffered a failure in hugging protocol and leaned in with too much (or not enough) lower body, thereby offending the person you were trying to share a respectful greeting with. It's a shame, but there is a sorrowful and sad underbelly to improper huggery.


*Speaker* I'm goin' old-school today...did you know that the father of this singer was an inventor, consultant and engineer who helped invent tape recorders and Dolby Noise Reduction, and is the namesake of Dolby Digital surround sound technology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Dolby? That's your science fact of the day.


*Sun* Remember last week when I dropped this entry "This one's about to blow up, so listen to me. and it contained the info about how stuff advertised in a Radio Shack ad from over 20 years ago would add up to $3k+ worth of things an iPhone can do? Well, it turns out that the piece I referenced was picked up both by The Huffington Post and NBC's The Today Show...but while HuffPo credited the author in their article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-cichon/radio-shack-ad_b_4612973.html, NBC did not. Mr. Cichon had this to say (http://www.trendingbuffalo.com/life/uncle-steves-buffalo/anatomy-viral-post-wort...) regarding the whole experience, which I think is a very important read for anyone who puts up anything on the internet (pssst...hey blogger...that's you).

*Tree3* Do you know what else today is? (Hint: it's not this, but there could be potential in a much greater associated movement...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW0-NY7B0QA.) According to this post from Mental Floss (http://mentalfloss.com/article/54634/happy-squirrel-appreciation-day), it's Squirrel Appreciation Day. Unfortunately, this is the best thing I was able to take from the article (for those of you who are unable to click on links or see pictures):

In honor of Squirrel Appreciation Day...

Too bad someone couldn't have informed the officer on duty that day that he had one job to do while he was on that call.

*Notepad* I'm looking forward to checking out the competition in "Invalid Item...it's underway and it promises to be a lot of fun (and yes I'm aware I talk about this at least once in just about every entry I've written lately...but promoting this event in my opinion is a part of being a judge in it).

Ok folks...I'm just about out of Reese's peanut butter cups, so before it gets too late and I don't feel like catching up on the entries from yesterday I've already missed in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge and the "Blogging Circle of Friends , I better shoot across the street to CVS and grab more (it's feelin' like snack time anyway). Peace. science science, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 20, 2014 at 2:35pm
January 20, 2014 at 2:35pm
30DBC PROMPT: "How do you predict people of the future will remember the reputation of the generation of teens living today? Pay attention to pop culture like music, movies, TV shows, and literature."

What's up y'all? Ya know, personally this is a challenging prompt, because I don't think many people have the tendency to look at what's going on all around them and say (to themselves, or out loud) "This is how my generation is going to be defined". I think it's rather hard to simultaneously live in the now while gambling on an idea that becomes sort of the face of a particular time frame. Case in point: nobody expected The Beatles to be as big a part of the '60's as they were when they first landed in America; Vietnam and Reaganomics meant just as much to their respective decades as much as anything else; and the '90's spawned a renaissance in boy bands, teenybopper Mickey Mouse Club singers, reality television, and wearing one's clothes backwards (RIP Chris Kelly, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=010KyIQjkTk). I'm still trying to figure out what the '00's were all about; maybe the years are still too fresh and there hasn't been a long enough period of detachment from them yet.

Pop culture really is a funny thing to gauge and compare, especially in an era where social networking is more prominent than ever before. Take this list compiled by Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/rolling-stones-best-of-2013-20131201. It would take hours upon hours, days even, to try and separate the wheat from the chaff in regards to what's actually relevant from 2013 versus what's just a disposable commodity. What will have staying power, and what will end up on a t-shirt you're never gonna wear anymore that just gets stuffed into the back of a dresser drawer? Will we remember in 20 years what the fox said? Will the light go on for Miley Cyrus (and not the one she blazes up with) and stay on longer than her clothes did? Is Breaking Bad one of the greatest television shows ever, or was it really, really good this year and everyone paid more attention because it was in its last season? I don't know.

Everything seems to move at a much faster rate than it did many yesterdays ago. Already people are waiting on what the next biggest technological advances will be; Facebook and Snapchat are so 2011. Back when I was a teenager, looking back on a year that had just passed never would've looked like this: http://www.google.co.uk/trends/topcharts?zg=full&hl=en-gb; we would've had to settle for a list in the newspaper or a montage at the end of a nightly national news broadcast. And with the speed of change increasing exponentially, so does the pressure (especially on teenagers, I believe) to navigate trends and keep up with whatever the latest whatever is these days. Like I alluded to earlier, we may not know what that is yet, or perhaps we won't know until we've had the benefit of hindsight down the road. I just hope for the sake of humanity that twerking goes away really soon.

BCF PROMPT: "What's your opinion of music nowadays?"

I kinda made myself sad thinking about this prompt earlier today. I pride myself in having a large collection and extensive knowledge of music (if you haven't checked out https://www.facebook.com/asongadaycuzIcan, please do and give it a like), but I have a hard time getting into new bands and artists. I don't think it's because it's terrible, because clearly some bands win critical acclaim every time a magazine trots out a new issue. It's more likely that I tend to attach myself emotionally to music and as it relates to certain situations, and nothing I've heard recently has affected me in such a way.

It could be too that age has stopped creepin' and finally caught up with me (but you'll only hear that pushed out of my cold, dead lips), and the truth that nothing's as good or ever will be as good as everything I've fallen into place with over the first 38 years of my life. But are my standards too high? Will there never be anything close to the likes of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Wilco, or other bands I've grown up with? Probably not. But that still doesn't explain why nothing moves me the same way as I was when I was younger.

I may have to go digging around for a copy of the book Nothing Feels Good by Andy Greenwald (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_Feels_Good:_Punk_Rock,_Teenagers,_and_Emo), because it does explain a little about how we can grow up listening to certain bands or types of music and then experience changes in taste over time. But there's gotta be some kind of reason for why I don't care for anything "new" or that's out of the comfort zone I've long established. Maybe music just sucks right now and is in some kind of downward, cyclical slump and the world is waiting for some artist or performer to pull us out of a collective rut. Who knows.


I'm fully aware that today is a national day of remembrance for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr...everybody's posted their statuses on Facebook about how cool it is to have the day off and this or that, but I've seen very few posts that actually recognized the man for what he's meant to this country (and to the world). I feel like I say this every year, but the fight's still not over, and the teachings of Dr. King should be not only celebrated, but upheld on a daily basis. Still, with as much progress that has been made in the quest for civil rights for all people, nobody should be satisfied until everyone- regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other way a person chooses to discriminate against another- is afforded the same treatment as every other citizen on this great planet we all share. Even though this song is well over 20 years old, the basic message and principle behind it is still relevant to society today. As many great scholars and activists have said before, "There is only one race; the human race."


*Football* Anyone catch the end of that Seahawks/49ers game last night for the NFC Championship? First of all, it was a terrible game. Poorly played, coached and officiated. Neither team looked like they would be a match for Denver. Then there was the bizarre postgame interview with stellar Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, which seemed to incite enough opinions on either side of the fence (you either loved it or hated it). Very rarely does someone make that much of a difference on me after about thirty seconds of face time on national television that I feel compelled to hop on Twitter to voice my opinion...

My feelings on the Seattle Seahawks cornerback.

And this is knowing full well that his comments ("I'm the best cornerback in the game" was probably the least inflammatory of his statements) were gonna get scrutinized not only in the 24/7/365 news cycle sports has become, but also because this happened right after the game that propelled Seattle into the Super Bowl (which itself is no stranger to two weeks full of every story imaginable regarding everyone from the biggest names to the people who work for the people in the front office of each team...it's the world's biggest fishbowl). Now, not to sound like a Sherman apologist, but this article nails the entire situation on the head and puts the moments of that interview in an entirely different perspective. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tommytomlinson/2014/01/19/22-brief-thoughts-about-th...

*Trophyg* Speaking of football, at the beginning of the season I did a little preview to the season. Two weeks from today, after the Super Bowl is over and all the major awards have been given out, I'll revisit that entry and see how I did with my predictions.

*Crown* Here's a little humor regarding Martin Luther King...I defy anyone to tell me this clip isn't from a great movie. "You ain't never met Martin Luther The King!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHUML0EZ1BQ

*Pencil* "Invalid Item is underway, but there's still time to enter if you wanna be a part of it. There's a great lineup and all kinds of neat things. Can't wait to start getting into the entries...should be a lot of fun. *Smile*

*Drbag* The doctor's appointment I'd been putting off for months? Well, it's finally gonna happen. On Feb. 14th, of all days. And it couldn't come soon enough...I woke up in the middle of the night for the first time in quite awhile because my surgically-repaired left ankle was in a lot of pain. People say, "Oh, well, it must really bother you when the weather gets bad!" No, it bothers me because there is a plate and five screws in there that weren't there when I was born, and I haven't left the comfort of my building in a few days, so I don't necessarily know that it's super cold and shitty outside unless I look out the window or pay attention to what people say about the weather on Facebook.

I think I had more to complain about, but I'll stop there because, ummmm, that's where I feel like leaving off for the day. Peace, yes you, me, myself and I, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

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