Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Trouble for the Average Joe

From CNN.com, “For the 24-month period through the second quarter of 2005, the inflation-adjusted wages of an average American grew just 1 percent or so, according to statistics reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS data is derived from summaries of employment and total pay of workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance legislation. The data has not been adjusted for changes that employers later reported to the BLS.”

Now, here is the data from their chart for the counties in GA they reported on.

You're going to have to click on the image to see it more clearly, but all that red, it's not a good thing. That means that, adjusted for inflation, the average wage actually has fallen.

I fear the middle class will be almost gone before I retire.


Daily Engrish

Perhaps you would like us to kick you in the nuts as well?


Ugh, shrimp fried rice....again?

The more I play Half Life 2, this more I wish I had a computer than could run the PC version. It really is a fun single player first person shooter game, and that is a rarity these days. This was a game designed from the ground up with the single player in mind, and it shows. Mind you, in the XBOX version there is no multiplayer, but the PC version of HL and HL2 quite infamous for it. After all, HL has a mod that is the most widely played multiplayer game on the web (Counterstrike). Anyway, I’ve got tonight to try and beat it. I don’t know if I can pull this off, since I have no idea how much further I have to go, but I’ll give it my best.

On to more pressing issues, did you hear that the lead prosecutor for the Jack Abramoff case has been appointed a seat on the Federal bench? This seems a bit suspicious to me, especially since it’s in the midst of the whole investigation. I mean, sure, they got Jack to confess and he’s squealing like a pig right now, but this can’t help their case about everyone else tied to the investigation. I don’t think I like the smell of this, not one bit.

So, I’ve got this video iPod, right, I mean I’ve talked about it plenty of times before since I got it. It’s great, got all my music on it and stuff, but I’ve got one problem…I have no idea how to erase stuff that’s on it. Granted, I haven’t bothered to look up any help, and usually I can just tinker around with thinks and bit and figure them out, but in this case I don’t even see anything in iTunes that hints at how to do this. It’s not like I’m running out of room, but I’ve got a lot of crappy low quality MP3 on there that I’ve since bought the actual songs and albums for so I want to replace them. Problem is, I don’t know how to remove the original crappy music. So now I’ve got two versions of songs on there, a good legal one, and a bad illegal one. Actually, some of the illegal versions are at a high bit rate, so they are quality, but I think you get my point.

In other news, my pops will be in town Wednesday night. This should be neat. I’ve been seeing a lot of my parents lately. Pops has an interview with a company here in Atlanta and if he gets it, he’ll probably be up here quite a bit. It’ll be nice to see him again, even if just for a few hours since he’ll be leaving Thursday after his interview. Hopefully I’ll have some news for him on how my interview went.

That’s right, tomorrow is the big day, interview number two. I’m a bit nervous. First, because I really think I’d like working there. Second, because I’m scared that since it’s a state job the pay is not what I want. Third, I really want the job because I want to get out of where I am so much right now. I just hope that if I’m there, and I “pass” this round, they make me an offer. I’d like to be able to give notice on Thursday and just get this over with. It’ll give me closure so to speak.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Another weekend gone by

Another weekend come and gone. I didn't do to much this weekend, other than sit around on my ass a bit. I don't know if I even left the house other than to pick up a calzone and walk the dog. I don't care, I needed this weekend off. Time to recharge the batteries so to speak.
I rented Half Life 2 this weekend for the XBOX. Pretty solid game, I would have loved to see what it's like on the PC. While it's nice on the XBOX, the frame rate drops horribly on occasion, which can make shooting half demons and stuff really tough. I really enjoyed Half Life 1, so it's been nice playing the same style of game again. I'm going to try and beat the game before I have to take it back Wednesday. I'd like to see the ending.
I did a lot of writing this weekend. Moving my current screenplay along nicely. I think it's getting a bit too complicated right now though, and dealing with story elements that might be beyond my abilities to write successfully. I'm not very concerned with that right now though, first drafts are supposed to be crazy and all over the place. It's a time to try things out to see what sticks. I've got a lot of ideas in my head about how I'm going to wrap up the story, I just don't know about how many more pages its going to take. At my current rate, and how close I am to the end, I think I've got about 40 pages more. Right now I'm around 80 or so. This means, in total, I'll finish my first draft around 120 pages. Ideally you want to keep a product between 90-110 pages. I don't think it'll be hard to trim this down though. I've got a lot of elements that I don't see myself keeping in the finished product, which currently are taking up a lot of page space. Anyway, I'd like to have this draft done by next weekend.
The WWE's Royal Rumble was last night. Usually I love the Royal Rumble, one of my favorite PPVs of the year. I didn't order it this year, quite frankly because I just don't watch that much WWE anymore. After reading the coverage on PWInsider.com I'm glad I didn't shell out the 39.99 to see it either. Two belts change hands, a wrestler under 5'6" wins the Rumble, and the two "special guests" are Tatanka and Golddust? I mean, WTF? They've completely killed off Edge's momentum, which was the only thing I found interesting on RAW right now. I mean, if you're going to make him drop the belt he just won three weeks ago, you don't do it with a submission hold, that's just bad booking. It made him look weak and like a fluke champ, which he sort of was, but it was in character for him. Anyway, just another sour note on a sour wrestling company.

Daily Engrish

You gotta appreciate well hung meat...


Friday, January 27, 2006

Daily Engrish

If you haven't yet, you really need to go and check out Engrish.com. Go there, have some laughs, buy a t-shirt.


General news

Great news, I heard back from TRSGA. They want me to come back and do a second in person interview. I’m really excited about this. I only have one problem, how do I get out of work again?

Well, fortunately, when I lie I think long term, always keeping my options open. It was just such a long term lie that I used on Tuesday to leave work early to go to my first interview with TRSGA. I said that on Monday Nicole was read ended by a car and, although the damage wasn’t bad, we couldn’t get her fuel cut of switch back on so we had to take it into the shop. I made a point of stating that we weren’t repairing her bumper yet. So, now, next week, I will use the bumper repair in tandem with needing to go to the SSA offices (which is legit) to get off work. I’ll have to take the day unpaid since I don’t have any vacation time left, but I think this is worth it.

This is sort of risky though, because what happens if they don’t offer me the job? I feel they will, hopefully after the second interview. However, you never know. This is with the sate, what if it takes them a few weeks before they offer? What if they offer to little money? There are a lot of ifs, so it’s still a scary scenario.

I’m going to do a good deal of writing this weekend. I was able to break through one of my blocks in my current script, and may even have a title for it. I think I’m going to go with Infinite Reality. I’ll see how it plays out. Things are really going to get moving in the story now, so it should be a lot of fun to write. I’m at page 55 right now, and up until this point it’s been a slow build. I’ve added in a bit of action here and there, but really it’s been getting the viewer up to speed, establishing the characters, and setting up everything that is about to unfold. I’ve got most of what is going to unfold planned out. I don’t know every detail, but the overall roadmap is there. My last big problem is establishing the love interest, because there is a big revelation at the end of the story and if people don’t buy into the relationship, it’s not going to work. Most likely I won’t get it to the point it needs to be in this draft. With a little work though, subsequent drafts should take care of that.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

What a crock of shit

Talk about a fucking crock of shit...

I filed my taxes this weekend. Well, my return was rejected by the feds because, lo and behold, my birthdate on file doesn't match what they have for me.

How the hell could that change? I've filed electronially before and never had any problems.

Well, the answer seems to be that when I asked for my replacement card (I lost the original), whomever typed in my data F'ed up typing in what I had. I would really like to punch them in the face right now.

So, now I have to go to the social secrity office, wait in line for like 9 hours, have them correct my numbers, and then wait 4 weeks before it's updated in the IRS and SSOffice systems.

Then, I can file my taxes again.

So much for expecting my return in February.



I have a feeling the posts I e-mail from my work account are being intercepted, which is really bad news.

Let's hope I'm wrong about this.

In the meantime, I will be forced to use the Blogger.com interface to post.


Hey yo

The interview on Wednesday went well. However, just because it went well doesn't mean that I will match what they are looking for. The job was with the state, which I didn't know for sure going in, but had speculated on. Anyway, the people I met with were nice and it seemed like a cool place to work. In a small organization like the one I interviewed with, they tend to be picky about who they add to their teams, the person has to be just right. So, I've got to pass the people and the skills test. MY "prospective" boss seemed nice, but I had a hard time reading the three people from his team I met with. While I'm sure I'll get along with them fine if I was there, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so lets hope they liked me too.
Not a whole lot else going on. I didn't get into work until around 8:30-8:45 yesterday. I usually post in the early mornings, so I was out of my rhythm, which is why I didn't post anything other than those pics of the girl with big hooters.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about the current untitled script I'm working on. This is the quasi time travel thriller I've talked about. I'm about 50 pages in and figure my first draft will be around 130 or so. I already know a lot of things I'm going to go back and rework, but surprisingly, I think I've been able to put through a pretty concrete and well paced story thus far. I'm going to do a lot of work on it this weekend and I'd like to at least have the first draft done by next week. I don't have much else to do writing wise until I hear back from Ryley on "Bystander."
My 4th draft of that is complete and it's getting better and better each time. When I say "better" I don't mean entertainment wise, but from a growth perspective. I mean, I think it's a neat idea for a story, but have no idea if anyone else really feels that way. From a writing standpoint, I feel that with each draft my writing is getting better and better, if you know what I mean.
I filed my taxes this weekend. Not sure if I mentioned that or not. Going to get some decent money back this year. The first time I've got any good amount of write offs. Buying a house has some nice privileges.

Daily Engrish

I get in the way of people all the time.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

So hot, want to touch the....everything.

If anyone knows who this girl is please, let me know.

I mean, yikes!


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Wow, not sure how I missed this story yesterday.
Allow me to be one of the first to welcome Toyota to NASCAR Busch and Nextel Cup series racing.
I think this is a great thing for the sport and can only help break up the monotony of the cars running the series today.
It should be interesting to see what teams pick up Toyota.
If I was a betting man, I'd put my money on Waltrip and his team.

Big day

Today is a big day for me.
No real time to post anything substantial.
I will be sure to get up my daily Engrish though.

Daily Engrish

This place sounds great!


Monday, January 23, 2006

Solid accomplishment, or team curse?

This is why L.A. will never win another championship as long as Kobe is on the team.

Hellish commute today

Took me an hour and a half to get to work.
I passed an accident, which looked pretty bad. There were two pickup trucks, an SUV, and a Civic involved. Guess which of the vehicles was smashed? Now, guess what the damage would have been had it just been a bunch of cars. Now, imagine what the damage would have been had the grille of the SUV not been four feet off the ground.
Anyway, it was a nice weekend. My grandma and mom were in town. It was fun. Went out to eat a few times and saw a movie. It was nice. I haven't seen my grandma in almost a year. So, it was good to get some time where I didn't have to share her with my 9,000 other cousins.
Big day tomorrow.

Daily Engrish

This is actually a cologne shop for those who want to have the smell of urine, cigarettes, and vomit with them all day long.

It's HUGE in Japan.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Job front news

Got an interview with the company/organization the runs the pension that all Georgia public school/university teachers get on Tuesday.
Sounds pretty promising.

Beef Ban?!

Imports halted after animal spine found, a month after 2-year ban lifted; U.S. asked to explain.
Wow, someone doens't have a job anymore.

My issue with the "Rights" arguments about reporting in Iraq

I'm a talk radio junkie. I love being "plugged in" to what is going on. I love hearing the talking heads go at it. I love laughing when Rush, Shawn, and Bill try to act like they know what they're talking about. Needless to say, I listen to talk radio a lot.
Recently, Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor in Iraq, was kidnapped and is not being held hostage. Carrol grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and with myself being from the greater metro Detroit area, took particular interest in this story.
How does this relate to talk radio? I'll tell you.
The right time and time again says no one reports about the good things that happen in Iraq. No one reports about the schools opening up. No one reports about when a hospital is allowed to reopen. No one reports about when a park is built for kids to play in. The only things that are reported are explosions, bombings, deaths, missile strikes, and kidnappings. Anyone who watches the news knows that the networks love dumb, cute, easy to manufacture stories. Take baby Noor for example. It's great we're helping her out, but it's an easy story to report. No moral issues. Nice sound bites. Easy to produce video segments on. How many times do we see stories about surfing dogs on local news? Or a story about a little girl who's earning money to buy armor for troops in Iraq by selling cookies? News outlets love stories like this. So, I don't think that the major networks are ignoring doing stories about all the good going on in Iraq, there has to be something preventing them from doing so.
I took a little bit to think about that for a moment. What would be preventing them?  One need only turn in CNN, MSNBC, or FOX to notice that all reporters are in the "green zone." The "green zone" is the heavily fortified area in Iraq that houses all of the important Iraq Ministries and US centers of operation. It's supposed to be the safest area of Iraq. Why would they stay there? I think the answer to that question is that, it's not safe to leave. According to Editor & Publisher, as of January 7th, 2006, "a total of 76 journalists and media staff have been killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003."
76 journalists. Not aid workers. Not troops. Journalists. These are people trying to tell the story of Iraq. Now, Jill Carroll has been added to the list of kidnapped employees, and unfortunately, I think the odds are she will become the 77th journalist killed. The right wants to know about why no one is reporting about the schools, playgrounds, and hospitals? It's because reporting that is not worth risking your life over.
You see, the largest networks have the money to pay for security forces to escort their reporters around. So, on the rare occasions you see a CNN, MSNBC, or FOX reporter out in Iraq reporting from rural areas, just off camera is 5-20 security forces protecting them. The major networks aren't going to do this every day. Security forces cost money, and the news outlets need to turn a profit, so they're not going to do stories like this a lot. In addition, they want to be able to do a story they can repeat over and over and over again and over analyze time and time again. They're not going to do a story about a school. How many times can that be shown? Reporters like Jill don't have security forces. She probably had two or three people with her, if that. One of them was probably a translator. Another might have been a guide. She was kidnapped, and it's easy to see why.
Iraq isn't safe for reporters, and I can't even begin to fathom what it's like for Iraqis. The story isn't why we're not reporting on schools, but why we CAN'T report in schools. The story isn't why we're not reporting in the new hospital, but why we CAN'T report on the hospital. It's not about the playground, it's about why we're NOT there at the play ground. This is the real story. This is the real issue.
Iraq isn't safe.
I hope Jill comes home safe.
I hope all of our troops come home safe.
They're doing good work, it's a shame their leaders are morons.

Daily Engrish

Ret's roll!


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Daily Engrish

Here is our daily Engrish from Engrish.com:

I usually shop here for 5-10 minutes.


Got a lead

Got a phone call this morning from someone at the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia.
We've got a phone conversation scheduled for 7:00 this evening.
Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I fucking hate hate hate where I work.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tough day

I just got back from lunch.
On my way home I noticed something odd as I passed exit 3. I saw a small red car coming own the on rap to the high way in the wrong direction. As I got closer, I could make out it was a red Ford Escort and there appeared to be two women with blonde hair in it. It was raining out, and road conditions were tough, so I reached for my phone to call the Police before something bad happened. Unfortunately, I forgot to grab my cell phone this morning, and thus couldn't call them.
I arrived home about ten minutes later and didn't think much of it. I had lunch, and about 30 minutes later got back on the road to go back to work. I got about 7 exits down and I saw that traffic was starting to stop up. I could see flashing lights down near exit 3. As I passed the wreck I saw a large mini van and a red Dodge Neon, no major damage. Then, I saw a pickup truck with the front bashed in. On top of a flatbed tow truck was a red Ford Escort, driver's side smashed in severely.
There were no ambulances, so I'm assuming the accident didn't happen to long after I saw the car coming down the ramp. There would have been more than enough time for the paramedics to come and take away the injured.
I feel really odd right now, and I wonder if I could have done something. If I had my phone with me could I have made a call and prevented an injury? Probably not. I don't know how injured the people were, or if the paramedics where able to get there in time if there was a life threatening injury.

Can't believe the traffic

Since Bebe has to get up so early to go to school to teach, I've adjusted my hours as well. I did this for two reasons. First, it allows me to keep the same overall hours as Bebe, this way we still get to see each other the same amount of time. Second, I figured that by leaving earlier to go to work I'd save time commuting to and back from work.
Now, I can't say how nice my commute home in the afternoons has become. My commute home, a measly 15 miles (if that) would take between 45 and 1:15 minutes if I left after the 5 o'clock hour. It was long term stop and go traffic on the highway. In my view, a lot of the traffic is due to how the entrance and exit ramps on the highways are structured. At any rate, leaving earlier from work allows me to get home in about 15-20 minutes. This gives me, in some cases, almost an hour back for my day since I'm not stuck in traffic.
I assumed I would save the same amount of time on my way to work. I travel the same route to work in the morning that I do coming home. I figured that leaving earlier in the morning would save me the same amount of time. I was sorely wrong. For some reason, every soccer mom in the greater northern Atlanta area who drives an enormous SUV for their one kid decides they have to drive their kid to school. I never understood this, considering that public schools provide buses, but nonetheless, that's what everyone does. I'd say close to 20 percent of all the traffic in the morning is mothers driving kids to school.
Even so, that's not enough of an increase to slow things down so much. I'm in the car at 6:30 in the morning, and I only have to drive 15 miles and it takes me almost an hour. AN HOUR! I don't even drive on the surface streets. I leave my subdivision and make two quick turns and I'm on the freeway. I get off on an exist, make a quick turn, and I'm at my place of work. I have like two traffic lights, and both of those are at the entrance and exit ramps to the highway. I just don't get it, I just don't get how traffic can be so backed up so early in the morning.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Monday, bloody Monday

Boy, I'll tell you what, I DID NOT want to get up this morning.
Maybe it's because Bebe has the day off. See, Bebe started student teaching a few weeks back. Therefore, she now has like 15 million holidays off. I, on the other hand, am lucky if I even get the federal holidays off that I'm legally obligated to have. Anyway, she gets to stay home today and I have to work, which sucks.
On the plus side, a lot of other people have today off as well, not to mention that all the schools are closed. This means a lot less people on the roads today. So, my Monday commute was significantly more pleasant than usual.
Today will be another boring day here at work. Hopefully I'll get a bit on one of the jobs I've applied for. I'm not getting my hopes up yet though, nothing I've sent my stuff out for has seemed to be a "perfect fit" for my skills. I'm in the 'tweener group right now that isn't "just out of college" but doesn't have the "minimum 5 years experience" thing everyone wants. I'm not going to take a pay cut just to get another job, you know?
I finished draft 4 of my screenplay last night. I really think it's starting to come together now. It will be interesting to see what sort of feedback Ryley has for me. He's reading like draft 3.5, so some stuff that is there now isn't in what he is reading. I didn't change up too much though. I added in two small scenes, cleaned up a lot of the dialogue, and worked on some of the action scene descriptions. A few more drafts and I may actually have something presentable.
Going to the gym after work today. Going to be the first time since November. Hopefully I won't wake up too sore tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Pictures for Aaron


Here are some pictures of some shit I drew years ago. I haven't really done anything in the last few years.

This is some robot thing. You can see the obious influence of anime.

I have no idea what this thing is. I gues just some sort of character study.

This is an ogre. I drew this when I was in college.

This is an orc called Dungarr. It was a character I role played on this text based Lord of the Rings game online.

This is a wraith. I think this was just some sort of character study too.

That's about it.


Stapler and 3 Hole

New site, new year

Well, it’s a new year, and it’s time for a new site.

As you can probably tell, I’ve re-launched the site with some new graphics and a new layout. I’m going to be modifying the layout soon, but I need to get some programs installed on my computer first which will take a few weeks.

I’ve got some new toys and stuff I’ll be trying out over the next few weeks. We’ll see how they work.

Things have been going well for me. I just bought a video iPod about a week ago. Things pretty cool. I jumped on the MP3 player bandwagon years ago with a Rio 128. It was flash memory and about two hundred bucks at the time. It served its purpose for a few years until a 45 pound plate at the gym changed all that. So, I got the 256 version of the Rio, twice the space, twice the fun. I’ve still got it, but don’t think I’ll be using it as much anymore. The iPod really takes the MP3 player to a whole new level and I’m enjoying many of the features that come with it. However, now that I own one my buddy Aaron will probably shoot me in the face, or stab me with a knife.

Gonna jet for now. I’ll have some funny pictures up soon.


Friday, January 13, 2006

This one's for Aaron

I'll be relaunching the site this weekend. I've got a new layout planned and some new ideas on some stuff I'll start doing.

In the meantime, my buddy Aaron DEMANDS I post something so here, this one's for you catman.

I couldn't resist putting this one up either....

Fat chick in some little pants.... fat chick in little pants....