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Quarter Life Crisis

Monday, August 30, 2004


Notice anything different? I've made a couple of template changes to me old blog today. Thanks to Liam's template editing brilliance, you can now Permalink to my individual posts by clicking the title of the post (titles are also a new feature) which will take you to a separate page containing that post only. You can also email people with a link to a particular post by clicking the small envelope icon below that post. Something else new that you all can't see, but I can, gives me the ability to edit my posts right in my normal blog window without having to log into my editor. Much easier to use when I want to quickly revise a post. Now if I could only strike up some comments.....

Anyone else notice how closely the Olympic Torch resembles a big phat doobie? Posted by Hello

Friday, August 27, 2004
I'm sure most of you reading this got the email (or otherwise heard about) the national DUI crack-down over the next few weeks. At first glance I thought there was a distinct possibility that it could have been a scare tactic with just a hint of truth in it. Maybe a couple of checkpoints scattered throughout the area over the next couple of weeks. However yesterday while listening to the radio, the announcer said that the city, county, and highway patrol in cooperation with local municipalities had plans to establish DWI checkpoints at the bottom of every exit ramp on every major highway in St. Louis (40, 44, 55, 70, and 270) on Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm - 3am. Even this I was kind of skeptical about. That would require an insane amount of extra officers on duty in every local municipality. However last night on my way home from the Majestic, my attitude changed quite a bit. No checkpoints setup last night, but within a span of 20 miles or so on the highway I saw 8 drivers doing "stupid human tricks" on the side of the road. To say the least I jumped off the highway quickly and stuck to the neighborhood roads the rest of the way home. So fair warning; look out this weekend and every evening until September 12th when the campaign is supposed to officially end. Although I would imagine that they'll only test & arrest the drunkest of the drivers they catch. You can't hold and process 1000 people a night for drunk driving.

Free content here we come...

You're the 456!
You are artistic, a bit whimsical, and less iconic
than the train on the other side of the Park.
Others may see you as an odd conglomeration of
new and old-fashioned ideas, but you realize
that's part of your charm.

Which New York City subway line are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Kayrn sent me an interesting article a while back that some of you out there may be interested in. It's about how some people who are blogging at work are getting in some serious trouble from their employers for various reasons. Check it out and make sure to look over your shoulder next time you're posting at the office.

I heard on KMOX the other evening that Missouri lawmakers are finally going to attempt to do something productive about the insane amount of large trucks on our highways. Apparently, Missouri accounts for close to 4% of all accidents involving large cargo trucks in the continental U.S. This can most easily be explained by the fact that we have three major interstate highways that run through the state (70, 44, & 55), and simply our geographical location and status as a major river port city. Regardless, something needs to be done. As much as I work with trucks on a regular basis here at the old place of employment, I hate driving anywhere near them. They clog up traffic when they drive next to one another, they take up too much space in the lanes and often cross over the lines, they block your field of vision (especially in the rain), etc, etc. I could go on forever. I do however understand how hard it is to drive a truck and am completely aware of "driving near trucks etiquette". This doesn't necessarily mean that truck drivers ever adhere to any sort of driving etiquette though. I haven't heard exactly what they are planning on doing just yet, but here are a couple of suggestions they made:

1. Lower the speed limit for trucks on the highway to 50 MPH. (Bad idea, this would just create more frustrated drivers to cause accidents)

2. Not allow trucks to ever drive in the left lane on highways with three lanes or more. (Excellent idea! This should have been the case since the first semi hit the road)

3. Not allow trucks to pass though the interior highways (inside the highway 270/255 circle for example) of major cites (St. Louis and KC) during business hours (7am - 6pm) unless they have a destination within that city. (Go for it, the less trucks during rush hour, the better)

4. They also suggested adding amending the written drivers test to include a whole section on "safety when driving near large vehicles". For instance, questions about the "no zone", truck braking distances, etc.

Whatever they do, I'm glad they are at least thinking about doing something. BTW, Liam if you still have the link to that article written by the former trucker about truck safety, post it in the comments section if you get a chance.

Go check out this funny page about all the people in this world who deserve a beatdown. I have to admit that I agree with almost all of them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Both cute and sad. Poor guys. Posted by Hello

Thanks to Don't Sneeze Into the Fan for the picture link.

Check out this video of Will Ferrell posing as Dubbya in this fake presidential election commercial.

Got to see two pretty decent flicks this weekend. The first was Cold Mountain, a dark Civil War era love story that was nominated for several Oscars this past year. It's got enough action and gore to please the guys and plenty of romance for the female viewers. It's even got a bit of tasteful comic relief courtesy of Rene Zellweger's character. Nothing is too over the top either. The love story isn't cheesy, the battle scenes aren't overdone, and the comedy is appropriate for the mood of the film (which is generally dark). It's got some decent music (if you like old American Bluegrass) and quite a few familiar faces to boot. Check it out if you get a chance.

The second film I saw was Moulin Rouge, which while I should be ashamed to say I liked it, I'm not. Even though the movie is a "musical", it's one for those who don't even like musicals. Probably the most unique movie to come out in a long time. The sets, costumes, cinematograpy, and editing are all top notch. The brilliant use of visuals by director Baz Luhrmann is spectacular although at some points dizzying. The music used in the movie is taken from pop songs spanning the last 50 years or so, and done in a fashion where the lyrics are appropriate to the story line. This movie, unlike Cold Mountain, is bombastic, over the top, and in your face. Not something to watch if you are interested in bland, standard, traditional film making. This comes as no surprise since Baz Luhrmann was known mostly for his remake of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. He's currently working on the upcoming film Alexander the Great, although hopefully on a film like that, he'll take a more toned down approach to directing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Another silly Olympic Sport: Road Walking (also known as Run-Walking, or Race-Walking). It's basically a mini-marathon race (20km for women & 50km for men). But here's the trick.... you can't run! Imagine a race that hinders you from going as fast as you can. Sounds pretty lame-o to me. I'd guess that would have to be one of the most boring events to watch at the games.

I wonder what kind of training you have to go through to qualify for the Olympics in this event? I imagine it looks something like the Bud Light "low carb Olympics" commercials. How do you win in this sport anyway? If everyone is essentially just walking, I guess it all depends on slight variations in technique, length of your stride, and endurance.

I'm certainly not making fun of these athletes. I'm sure they are in great shape and could whoop my ass at "race walking" or even running for that matter. But really, how can you have shit like this at the Olympics but not events like Skateboarding or Rollerblading?

Monday, August 16, 2004
HA-HA-HA-HA!! A jovial laugh that goes out to the egotistical meatheads of the U.S. Olympic Basketball team. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the Olympics in general and root for the U.S. to snatch medals in every event. But the touted men's basketball "dream team" which should easily dominate every opponent, lost to Puerto Rico yesterday 92-73. Embarrassing really. We know that the professional basketball players that make up our team are by far more talented, and famous, and wealthier. But Bentleys, Armani suits, big endorsement deals, and cameos in Master P videos don't win gold medals. Heart does. Something that's been missing from the NBA since the days of Jordan, Johnson, and Bird. No wonder I hate that league. I really do hope we shape up and come back to win the gold. Not so much for the players sake, but for the fans rather. If we don't, I'd like to see them revert back to the days when the athletes that were in the Olympics were there to fulfill a dream, and compete with passion..... not to advertise their newest line of shoes. Put the college boys back in and let them have a chance. They may not have the talent, but at least they'll give a 100% every time they touch the ball.

On another related Olympic note, I watched some team handball last night. Pretty fun stuff. Not like the one on one handball we play here in the U.S. Much faster paced and tougher. Imagine equal parts basketball, water polo (without the water) and soccer. High scoring, high speed, and easy enough you could set up a game in your backyard with a couple of well built nets. Check out the official Team USA Handball site for more info on the game. I imagine whipping balls at a goal as hard as you can could be quite fun.

Liam beat me to the punch on this one, but here's a nice article by Bernie Miklasz from the St. Louis Post Dispatch comparing the clubhouse attitudes of arch rival Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. In it, Bernie highlights the veteran team leadership and self sacrifice of the Cardinals top players. For example how Scott Rolen approached Tony LaRussa and told him he'd be willing to move anywhere in the lineup to make room for newly acquired Larry Walker even though Scott is having a career year batting cleanup right now. Contrast that with the fact that Sammy "watch my muscles melt away cause I'm off the juice" Sosa told Manager Dusty Baker that he would "absolutely not" bat 5th in the lineup to make room for Nomar Garciappara (even though Sosa is having his worst season in 7 years), and you see the difference between the two teams. Oh yeah, and as an added bonus you get to see some quotes from Mark Prior shooting his mouth off about kicking the Cardinals ass in the NLCS. Mark, you'd better worry about getting there first bud!

Also check out this article by Bernie which is all about how according to statistics, the Cards have one of the best lineups ever assembled.

The first lady, Laura "Bushy", made some comments regarding stem cell research last week that on the surface sound harmless, but in all reality are pretty ridiculous. Her exact words were:
"...I know that embryonic stem cell research is very preliminary right now, and
the implication that cures for Alzheimer's are around the corner is just not
right, and it's really not fair to the people who are watching a loved one
suffer with this disease"
The quote itself doesn't sound so bad. But she's essentially defending the Bush administration policy by saying that we shouldn't fully fund the research right now because the cures aren't imminent. Uhh, what? Isn't that how you find the cures, through more research and development?

I don't think that people who have loved ones dying of potentially stem-cell curable diseases are dillusioned about their options. I'm sure they've looked into the matter, and realized that the cures aren't there yet and are probably years, maybe even decades off. But I'm not hearing any of them give up.

You don't win the race by standing still or walking. You sprint towards that finish line with everything you've got. You don't stop working on invention because you don't have the technology to complete it yet. You go and develop the technology you need. If the Bush administration had the same tenacity on matters like these as they do about the war in Iraq, some good things might actually be getting done here in the states.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Just about finished with the washer pits in the alley behind my warehouse. While most of you are familiar with the standard 18" x 18" box with the PVC pipe washers game, the actual original washers game was designed with a small coffee can embedded in a flat 3' x 5' section of earth. The box game was just a more portable, less anger the wife by digging holes in the ground version of the original.

We've taken some variations on the official game (there's a million different variations, here's another for example) setup due to our location and personal preferences though. Since we've got old railroad tracks in the alley, we've used them as the side borders of our pits and increased the overall size (since we're not going to attempt to move the rails) to about 4.5' x 7'. We also set the hole about 1" lower than the rest of the pit surface and gently sloped the surface to create a sort of dish so that washers tend to run towards the hole. Since our alley has no sort of drainage and is always moist, plus the added annoyance of a hundred years of train oil in the soil, we added a thin layer of sand on top of the dirt to make the washers slide better. Before the sand they were just hitting the dirt and stopping dead.

We've also modified the rules a bit. For instance we're using three washers instead of 2. We've also adjusted the scoring so that it's 3 points in the cup, 2 points if an edge of the washer is hanging over the cup, and one point if the washer is within "a washers distance" from the hole (meaning that if you set another washer between the hole and washer in question, they would overlap slightly).

It's actually a really nice pit and it plays well too. We're still making minor adjustments to the pits and the area around it, but soon it shall be done. Maybe we'll start a tourney early this fall. Watch out though, I'm 7-0 in singles play and 3-1 in team games. Better start practicing.

Pre-season Football begins tomorrow for the Rams. I won't be watching much of it, and probably not too many of the early season games either (at least until the baseball season is over). Here's my take on the Rams chances this year.

We'll be lucky if we go 10-6. Realistically, I'd be happy with a 9-7 record which should be enough to win our division or squeak out a wild card berth. With the injuries to the O-line, and the fact that Orlando Pace is a worthless piece of shit and won't be in shape until mid-season, combined with the loss of a couple of key players, topped off with the steady decline in performance of Marshall Faulk, we're just not a top tier team anymore. Our vets are getting older and falling out of their prime, and our younger players aren't performing up to expectations. We also face a formidable lineup of teams in the AFC east this year, as well as a much better Arizona Cardinals team and a solid Seahawks Squad twice each. I hope I'm eating these words while I watch us in the Superbowl in January, but I don't think I will be. Rams fans have been spoiled with the "greatest show on turf" over the past few years and it's time to come back to football reality. There's a lot of parity in this league and the age of dynasties is drawing to an end. Let's here what you all think. Make your official prediction in the comments section.

Nothing beats two old men swordfighting with 2 x 4's in Home Depot. I would have paid to see that. Sign 'em up for a pay per view fight!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
While sitting in my basement eating some Steak 'n Shake and watching some tube on Sunday evening (actually early Monday morning), I heard a disturbingly loud noise from my backyard. I jumped up and surveyed the darkness to find nothing out of the ordinary so I stepped back inside. After a minute or two I heard a constant low tone cycling noise. I decided to check it out. I hopped in my car and followed the origin of the noise towards the end of my street. Turns out there was a massive car accident and the low noise I was hearing were the firetruck engines. Pretty bad crash too. I checked it out further on the way to work in the morning. It looked like a car had jumped the curb at the corner of Sulphur Springs Rd and Cardinal Ln (for those of you familiar with the area) and slammed through a wooden fence, taken out the corner of a greenhouse, and then back out the other side of the fence. A few people I spoke to heard about it on the news, but I couldn't find a story at any of the local internet news sources (that was until the L-Train found it for me this morning). Karyn tells me that it was a Missouri state representative that fell asleep at the wheel on his way back home from Jefferson City. We're all betting "dollars to doughnuts" he was on the sauce though. Probably with some hookers.

Oh, and on my way back the night after checking out the accident in my car, I came about a foot from walking right into the web of a brown recluse spider. A really big one I might add. I hate spiders with a passion, so I killed that mo-fo dead barbecue style. A lighter and a can of aerosol insect killer. A poisonous blowtorch is how he met his end. Like I said, I hate spiders. If you do too, go check out this website for a good scare that will make your skin crawl.

Do your part in helping to discover intelligent life in the universe by downloading the SETI@home program for your personal computer. A simple screen saver that while active will download small chunks of radio telescope information from the SETI severs. Your computer will then analyze and process the data and send the results back to the SETI labs. I read through the FAQ and it looks like there's really no catch. Worth a serious look.

Monday, August 09, 2004
I'm busier at work today than I thought I was going to be. So instead of writing a bunch of long drawn out detailed posts, I thought I would cover all my bases by doing one big blog entry covering a bunch of different topics. So here goes....

Ahhh... A breath of fresh air as our President finally speaks the truth about what is on his mind.

Here's a fun and challenging game that Pete sent me. The object is to attempt to walk a drunken bar patron home from the pub using your mouse cursor (which is invisible). It's pretty tough. My record so far is 62 meters. BTW, all the instructions are in German. Good luck, and post your high scores in the comments section.

I know most of you have already heard this news, but I'd still like to comment on how pleased I am that the new Cardinals baseball stadium will indeed keep the name Busch Stadium for at least the next 20 years. A lot of people I know, myself included, were hoping for something along the lines of "Jack Buck Memorial Stadium" but I knew that not even the most sympathetic and sensitive St. Louis community based corporation would pay millions of buckaziods to NOT have their name put on the building. Wishful thinking I suppose, but still it would have been a nice gesture. At least it's not going to end up being Purina Park, Monsanto Field, or god forbid The A.G. Edwards Center. The Edward Jones Dome is a dorky enough name for a St. Louis sports venue, we don't need two. I suppose I could have dealt with Energizer Park though. That's got a decent ring to it.

Speaking of the Cards, Walt Jocketty pulled another fabulous deal out of left field, or more appropriately right field. On Friday night during the game the Cardinals acquired right fielder Larry Walker and 7.5 million bucks from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for almost nothing (a single A league pitcher and two players to be named later, one of which will almost certainly be John Gall). Walker is a five time all star, has won seven gold gloves, was 1997's NL MVP, has won three batting titles, is a career .315 hitter, has hit at least 30 homers in 4 different seasons, and 100 RBI's in at least 5 different seasons. Pretty amazing stats. Placing him anywhere in the lineup 2nd through 7th will make for an all around intimidating lineup. And with the way our pitchers can hit, it's even scarier. Hey Cubbies... we'll see your Nomar and raise you one Walker. You may have 3 aces in your deck, but we've got 4 kings. I'll take that hand any day.

That's all for now. I'll update again later this afternoon.

Friday, August 06, 2004
So the busiest and most stressful week of my life at work is coming to and end finally. The John Kerry shows seemed to all turn out really well in the end and without any major glitches.

If you ready my previous post, you learned that Dave Grohl and Sean Astin were both in attendance at the rallies this week. Oddly enough, I got a phone call yesterday after the St. Louis rally from my dad. He said he had someone there that wanted to talk to me. Lo and behold it was none other than Sean Astin on the other line. I got to chat with him for a minute or two about LOTR and stuff. Told him that they were some of my favorite movies and that I loved Rudy as well. Wasn't really prepared to have a discussion of any intelligence with the guy since I wasn't expecting it to be him on the other end of the phone. But still pretty cool.

Oh, and I got a Dave Grohl guitar pick to boot.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004
I'm not sure how accurate this thing is but check out the Electoral Vote Predictor. Looks reasonably accurate.

UPDATE: Liam linked me to an alternate Election Projector which also shows Kerry ahead of Bush. Note that the site is maintained by a Bush supporter.

I've been stressing at work quite a bit this week. It's been kinda hellish. We're producing 4 shows this week for John Kerry across the state of Missouri. The first was today in Hannibal, MO. The next two are tomorrow in St. Louis and Jefferson City, and finally finishing up this weekend in Kansas City. It's been a week so far of balls to the wall 13 or 14 hour days with no breaks, but well worth it.

Kerry and Bush both visited Davenport, Iowa this morning and held rallies only 3 blocks apart from each other. I wonder what the security was like in that town today.

I got to see the footage on the news this evening of the event we did in Hannibal and it looked great. For as fast paced and last minute as these types of shows are, we always seem to be able to pull them off in a high class kind of way. Sean Astin (Samwise from the LOTR movies) was in attendance today at the rally. Apparently at the rally tomorrow at Union Station in St. Louis, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters will be jamming with Kerry in front of the Hard Rock cafe. Or at least that's the word on the inside.

After the Oakland Raiders released wide receiver Tim Brown today, the Raider Nation felt a cold shot through the heart. This article however, may contain some news to help heal that wound. Hey Pete and FroBoy, are you ready for Ricky in the Silver and Black?

Monday, August 02, 2004
Go listen to this song about our current president George W. Bush, (or "Bushy" as I like to call him) written and performed by my sisters friend Pete Shukoff. (He also has a PG rated version of the song here) Warning to hardcore Republicans! You ain't gonna like it. That's all I'll say. Everyone else enjoy.

So has anyone heard about Seasonale yet? It's a new kind of birth control pill that claims to give women only four periods each year. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for anything that cuts down on PMS time and makes the girlies happier in general. But there is no way that this shit can possibly be OK for your body. Maybe it is OK, who knows. But I'd equate it to only taking a crap once a month, and I know that can't be good.

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