Monthly Archives: January 2011

Being without

Sketch by Wook.

A short while ago my PC went Poop. I’m very anal retentive about “My Stuff” which encompasses : My electronics, tools, car, collectibles & stuff. That also means no one is allowed to use/play/touch any of the things listed above without explicit permission. Mainly, my computer. This particular one is just over 18 months old. I bought it off Woot.com at the suggestion of John Guzman (former coworker and ex-friend (haha). He was literally shocked at the time anyone would listen to his advice on a purchase like this. It was a really good deal and still is. It’s a med range gaming rig as far as one could be with a model off the shelf – this one being from Gateway.  Don’t laugh…this fucker is the bomb.

I believe it’s one of three things gone wrong or a combo. My gut feeling is it’s a bad HD followed by a very bad virus (I have 3 up-to-date virus/malware/internet security programs that tend to catch most everything) or bad memory stick. We shall see. Having local company pick it up and do it’s diagnosis (free).

In this time of being without a regular PC (I have a laptop but …. it’s a lap top) – I haven’t logged into WoW, played SC2, played SWG, played LOTRO or done freelance work (just had a request yesterday…). Instead my time in the evening has been more interactive with my wife. Playing my PS3 or Wii. Reading. Sketching. It’s like having no electricity…you find other more tangible things to do. Things you used to do 10 years ago. More productive would be a good word to describe the past 2 weeks.

I’ve also been recovering from a bad flu I had which started on Christmas Eve. I coughed and sneezed so much it triggered my umbilical hernia to get all pissed off at me. If my devoted readers read last year, I lost 20 lbs in about 4 weeks..which resulted in my stomach having issues – basically the muscle on the outer wall was weak from years of stretching (getting fatter) and when it had less pressure my intestines were ‘free’ so to speak. Soooo….one week ago today, I sneezed and felt a ‘push’ from within my belly area. It hurt. It hurt to sit upright. I went to my Doc and he poked and shifted my belly contents around and determined that I’d have to have surgery if it ever has anymore sharp pains. That’s not a good surgery. Period. His answer (besides surgery) is to simply lose the weight.
So here I am again back on the boat of watching what I eat. Been here before. Tired of it. I beat smoking. I beat my 2 week addiction to pain pills from my ankle surgery. I beat Defender. I’ve played Galaga for 2 hours straight. Why can’t I break the eating thing?

Anywhoo.

Moral of my blog post is to try new things. Disconnect for a week. Or a day. Do something other than sitting in front of a screen. Go fuck your wife or girlfriend.  She’ll appreciate your undivided attention.

 

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Birds Fish and UFO’s

Having read at least a dozen reputable (as far as today’s media can be called reputable) on the reports about the NYE Fish kill and mysterious dead birds – reports from 3-5k apparently hitting something mid air. Reading the publics response has been a good sources of comedy. While I can see the fish kill being a disease since it only affected one species – 100k fish seems like a lot at one time.

The birds – well reports initially were inconclusive but more recent ones say they didn’t die from falling to earth but had ‘hit’ something in the air.– some explanations so far are high altitude hail and lightning. For me, the hail makes more sense than bolts of lightning. None were reported being ‘fried’. Blunt force trauma. Hail makes sense except they were flying at around midnight, these birds do NOT fly at night unless provoked. This lead speculation that fireworks drove 5000 birds as a flock to fly very high…then get hit by lightning or hail.

I’m naturally a skeptic. This, to me is very skeptical based on the scientists proposed excuses….The proximity being under 200 miles of eachother on the same 24 hour period is what it is…a mystery.

I believe in Ghosts, A God, Spirits, After life, UFO’s and that our Government is highly secretive. In this case, I believe it to be a UFO. Yes, I’m crazy.

Speaking of…I have had 3 close encounters. Once when I was 6 years old going to the bathroom sometime after midnight I looked out the window as something caught my eye. It was a light hovering over Maple Street in Omaha. It was the summer because our screen window (2nd floor) was open and it was cool out. I stood on my tipee toes and stared at this light for what seemed to be a good 10 mins. So long that my mother woke up and asked what I was doing. I pointed to the light and she too stared with me, not saying a word. She then went to the back porch and lit up her cig and I followed. The ‘light’ was orangish and didn’t blink and was rather bright. As a kid I didn’t know ‘distance’ but it would be maybe 2 miles away. The light shot straight up into the blackness of the night..my mom finished her cig and told me to go to bed.
Second time was same house but I was now 9 years old – same bathroom, same scenario…except I actually saw ‘something’ in my back yard. It looked a lot like a muppet from Sesame Street…like Cookie Monster but with legs and arms and hairy and glowed orange. It looked right at me at the end of our back yard which led to a small lot of trees. It scared the shit outta me when it took a step forward. I screamed bloody murder and woke my family up. I was hyperven-talating’ing…ing… but like most parents, they summed it up as me sleep walking and having a wild imagination.

The most recent run in- so to speak was 9 years ago, Winter before getting divorced. Living in Overland Park, wife and 2 kids….it was January, at least 1/2 foot of packed snow on the ground and maybe 9 degree’s outside and around 10 pm on a week night. I stepped outside for a smoke. Walked toward the street on my driveway when I heard a noise across the street – what seemed to be coming from in-between my neighbors houses. The sound was similar to a high pitched whirling noise. No one was outside, no wandering pets or neighbors. No one. I stepped once and saw from right above me about 40 feet in the air a black spherical ball. As I turned to look at it it made the same whirly noise and shot straight up into the air where I coudlnt see it but heard it’s doppler effect.

My heart raced. My eyes bugged out. I just had an encounter with something….something remote. I slipped on the snow as I raced inside the house to let my wife know- she seemed taken aback by my appearance and excitability. Let alone me telling her what I just experienced… she has known me as a true non believer of anything close to being ‘kooky’ or far out ‘der. IDK if she believed me but I didn’t care.
She went outside with me and of course nothing was there. The next morning I went over the area across the street and there was no new snow and as such no ‘tracks’ of anything where I heard the noise. No prints below where I saw the object. Nothing.

With all that said. I think the birds that died simply slammed into a UFO. They were spooked by it’s presence and flocked together and slammed head first into it/them. The fish kill was an alien experiment. One species. One kill.

The truth is out there.

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Bond Ding

My son, recently..made a true effort to get my undivided attention in December. First, let me let you know how our relationship is. Being my first born son comes with the usual proud Father as well as getting him into sports at an early age of 7. He excelled at sports; baseball, golf, football. We were close. Then, I got divorced and his emotions became withdrawn unless he was really moody or poked (his mother) into saying something. He was 8 years old when we got divorced and he will turn 16 very shortly…in that short time (seems short to me) he’s taller, bigger (not fat) and has more hair than me. His academics are true ‘doesn’t care’ about grades attitude and has been an issue for 4 years now. It’s not that he’s dumb, he simply doesn’t care about ‘good’ grades but rather just enough to get by/passing. This has put a hamper on our relationship as my expectations for him are high, in reality my expectations are only well intentioned wishes for him to succeed (that’s how you spell the word by the way…) in this cruel world of ours. He see’s me as a nagging Dad who all he cares about is grades. Nags him about homework, missing assignments and gripes. I don’t want to be that Dad. I tried many variations of motivation for his school work but none have worked. The most recent one is to not barrage him with questions but rather, simple 1-2 times a week ‘How’s School?’  – ‘Missing a lot of work’ ? And letting his answers be the final answers. I have the ability to check his grades online and while I did check 3-4 times a week the first Quarter I now check once every 3-4 weeks. It irked me to the point that it would ruin my day seeing all his work missing, low test grades…It would piss me off for the entire day/night.
His intelligence is above average as proven through the state tests they take twice a year. ALL and I mean ALL his teachers love him and comment on his wit, kindness and respectfulness in and out of class. However they ALL admit he doesn’t focus in class. Has 1000 excuses for missing work, skips pre-determined make up classes (UGH!!). I can only hold his hand for so long before I let the cascade of failure fall on him with his grades. So, now I’m more hands off. Less verbal.

In this change in my attitude his seems to be changing too. Albeit he makes up his work at the last minute under threats of grounding from his beloved PS3 & Phone…I only hope he comes around sooner than later to the benefits of ‘good’ grades. And don’t think I’m some Grades Warmonger – by good I mean ‘C’ student in Math, CA and Science. Core subject should be C and above. He does excel in Music and Art. Go figure. He is also exceptional with Piano and especially Guitar. He is self taught on both and makes his own music up and is able to ‘learn’ a song/melody simply by listening to it a few times.

So, back to the subject at hand. Our relationship would be called typical. I’m the mean old Dad and he’s the don’t care teen. Typically when I get home he’s sleeping or playing PS3 (Black Ops) with his friends. I check in and ask how his day was then go upstairs into my little world. I see him when it’s dinner time – but even that is closed in that most of the time he takes his food to his room. I then say good night by visiting his room along the night or text him. Yes…I text my son who is literally 25 feet away.
Recently – my son took the initiative and downloaded Magic the Gathering Online for the PS3. He grew up around me playing, collecting and having friends over for gaming time. He’s traveled with me to Missouri States a couple times when he was 5 or 6…so he knows of the game. I say initiative because to me he was making an effort to ‘be’ with me. To share a common interest. He asked me to teach him a real game. I gave him some cards and told him some basic deck building ideas.
Low and behold we had a match a couple weeks ago. MtG does take some time to learn the rules and spells and isn’t something you can learn in an hour. So, he continued to play the PS3 version on his own. In this time we talked Magic. His likes of Red and Green and Black. His dislikes and annoyances of Blue and White. I was warm inside each time he came to me. Me.

He actually got me the full version of the game and himself one too so we can play eachtother online…tho honestly I prefer LIVE in your face Magic Games. We played 5 matches over Christmas break and had a great time.

Another move he made was to make an entire Star Wars Little Big Planet level and he asked me to come see it. To those who don’t know what Little Big Planet (LBP) is it’s a PS3 game that is the most original fun game mirrored off of the traditional ‘save the princess (mario)’ genre game. Making levels is very very time consuming. He spent hours and hours on it and in my deep seated egocentrism believe it was for ME. He wanted to share this with me. I thanked him and was again…very happy inside…and I gave him a big manly hug for his efforts.

I sincerely hope this continues as he approaches being 16 just around the corner. Shit…I need to take him on the road again for lessons. We did several times this past summer…and it was…ummm…hair raising. Not for the feint of heart. At least I drive an automatic.

I plan on making 2011 a year of ME making more of an effort to be a part of my son & daughters lives.

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