Quarter Life Crisis
A String Quartet Tribute to... Limp Bizkit??
While browsing for some Cd's at Borders and Best Buy on Saturday I ran across something that made me regurgitate my breakfast in my mouth a little. A line of String Quartet Tribute Cd's.
This isn't really all that new of a concept. Most of us have heard symphonic Zeppelin, Beatles, or Floyd. Most of those are well performed, well arranged, and sound like an interesting take on rock music. Those particular bands as well as many others of that era had music that translated well into orchestral arrangements. This new line of Cd's however had some questionable choices for tribute material. Here's a list of a few of the more questionable bands they chose for a string quartet tribute:
Garbage, Nirvana, No Doubt, AC/DC, Sum 41, Beyonce, 3 Doors Down, Audioslave, Limp Bizkit, Nickleback, Fall Out Boy, Switchfoot, Disturbed, Dashboard Confessional, Evanescence, Foo Fighters, Godsmack, Guns n' Roses, Iron Maiden, Incubus, Janet Jackson, Jane's Addiction, Korn, Linkin Park, Mudvayne, Marylin Manson, etc, etc, etc,....
You get the idea. Korn, Disturbed, and Mudvayne re-arranged for a string quartet. Hmmm, I wonder what that sounds like. I haven't heard any of it so I won't pass judgement on how it sounds and I'll give them props for pulling it off if they actually did so. But the big question is, is this really necessary? And who the hell would buy a string quartet tribute to Limp Bizkit? Really? I'm guessing that your average Bizkit fan is not a classical music enthusiast.
If you would like to check out the rest of the bands, or God for bid buy one of these things you can check out their website here
P is for Portman
Saw this over at Drew Johnson & The Formula Kid's blog and thought it was absolutely hi-larious. Remember the "Chronicles of Narnia" rap? If so then check out...P is for Portman
Headline of the Week
Hot Teacher Gets Off And Escapes Doing Hard Time!!
Sorry but I just couldn't resist a headline like that for the Debra Lafave story.
The Problem With Bananas
There was a bit of discussion going on over at C-Naff's
and my bro's
myspace pages about this lame-ass video
(watch from about 2 min to about 4.5 min) where washed up 80's TV star Kirk Cameron
(you'll remember him from Growing Pains) and his partner in evangelism, Ray Comfort feebly attempt to prove for certain that God does indeed exist using the examples of a soda can and a banana. It's a variant on the much larger theory of God's existence, the argument from design which basically states:
When I see a complex object such as a watch, I know it has been designed: therefore, when I see a complex object such as a tiger, I should infer that it has been designed.
"There cannot be design without a designer; contrivance without a contriver; order without choice; arrangement, without any thing capable of arranging; subserviency and relation to a purpose, without that which could intend a purpose; means suitable to an end, and executing their office, in accomplishing that end, without the end ever having been contemplated, or the means accommodated to it..." --- William Paley
What follows is their basic argument...Note that the banana:
- Is shaped for the human hand
- Has a non-slip surface
- Has outward indicators of inward content (different colors for ripeness)
- Has a tab for removal of wrapper
- Has a perforated wrapper
- Has a biodegradable wrapper
- Is shaped for the human mouth
- Has a point at the top for ease of entry
- Is pleasing to the taste buds
- Is curved toward the mouth to make eating easier
To say that the banana happened by accident is even more unintelligent than to say that no one designed the Coca Cola can.
Ummmmm..... OK. But wrong.
They call this argument "The Atheists Worst Nightmare". That is if the atheist happens to be a bumbling idiot that knows nothing about logic or critical thinking.
This argument is full of holes, and of course since things like this ruffle my free-thinking feathers quite a bit, I thought I'd point some of them out. Some of the obvious ones that I caught on my own were...
- What about coconuts. We eat those and it practically takes a sledgehammer to get into them. Not shaped for the hands not easy to eat. This is true for hundreds of other fruits and veggies.
- A biodegradable wrapper. Um... all organic foods are biodegradable.
- What make a banana any more suited for a human than for say... I don't know... A MONKEY?
Then I went out and did a bit of research. While at it I stumbled upon two great sites that address this issue. The first, The Skeptic Wikipedia
takes a serious critical thinking style approach and deconstructs the argument as I began to do. Here's what it has to say:
- In nature, it is beneficial for fruits to have an attractive exterior. This encourages animals to eat them, spread their seeds and allow the fruit to reproduce. This would indicate that the fruit's appearance is nothing more than natural selection at work, rather a divine designer trying to impress us with shiny surfaces.
- Bananas were not designed by cosmic intervention, but by humans. Bananas are one of the first fruits domesticated and cultivated by human beings a little more than 7000 years ago. Humans have bred bananas selectively for smaller seeds and a tastier banana, in much the same way we have cultivated seedless grapes and watermelons.
- Wild uncultivated bananas are inedible by humans and contain seeds, this fact would appear to be contrary to belief that bananas were designed with humans in mind. (OUCH! That statement really hurts the argument)
- If this argument were really given serious consideration, then it is really a wonder why many other edible fruits and seeds have thorns or tough husks. These are perfectly reasonable features to expect as a product of evolution, but quite incredibly awkward when considering as a product of divine design.
- As is typical with design arguments, it is unjustifiably anthropocentric. In particular, as much as the colors of a banana would serve as an indicator of it's inner content to humans, it very likely served as an indicator to animals. In this case, the colors of the banana are a product of evolution, not foresight into future human consumption. Further anthropocentric bias is the remark that bananas are shaped for the human hand, and shaped for the human mouth. There is no reason to believe that the banana is intended for human mouths and hands any more than it is intended for monkey mouths and hands.
- Much of the evidence for design cited are superfluous, such as pointing out that the banana has a biodegradable wrapper (what makes the banana any more special than the billions of other organisms that biodegrade in nature?).
- The comparison between soda cans and bananas is a false analogy. The theory of Natural Selection does not address the origins of objects of recent arrival. Had bananas only been in existence for less than 100 years, as the Coca-Cola can, we would be more apt to posit a designer. There is an amazing array of things much more wonderful and complex than a soda can, for which we need not assume any intelligent design or purpose. They all share this property at least: a billion-year evolutionary heritage. Lacking this, the soda can does not belong in this class, and we must admit another explanation.
- And finally, for those with a mind in the gutter, the argument is ripe (no pun intended) for parody value.
Which leads us to the second site I came across, The Godless Bastard
. He has an absolutely hilarious post using the same argument to explain that "God" actually "designed" the banana to be the perfect natural sex toy
. HA! Take that creationists.
Imagine having a "head-on" collision with that! Hehe, get it? Head!
Quizzes via C-Naffs
|You Are Lightning|
Beautiful yet dangerous
People will stop and watch you when you appear
Even though you're capable of random violence
You are best known for: your power
Your dominant state: performing
|You Are Heineken|
You appreciate a good beer, but you're not a snob about it.
You like your beer mild and easy to drink, so you can concentrate on being drunk.
Overall, you're a friendly drunk who's likely to buy a whole round for your friends... many times.
Sometimes you can be a bit boring when you drink. You may be prone to go on about topics no one cares about.
My New Diet... Sorta
Last week I finally decided to take the first step towards getting in shape for Mexico. I have just over two months before we leave which should be plenty of time for me to shed about 15 - 20 lbs of fat and add a little muscle tone.
My first step towards easing into this lifestyle of "pseudo-health" included four main components:
1. Drink lots of water.
2. Cut back beer consumption from a six pack a night to three beers or less, no more than 5 nights a week.
3. No more fast food except in when it is the only option. Even then only grilled chicken sandwiches or other healthy options.
4. Eat multiple small meals each day every three hours consisting of no more than 300 calories, except for dinner.
For the most part I was successful at each of these goals. The water was no problem. The fast food part was easy too since I brought my lunch every day this week (With the exception of Friday night where I had some pizza due to the fact that I was working very late). The small meals every three hours presented somewhat of a challenge in the fact that by 6 PM each night I was ready to eat a horse, and that it wasn't always easy to take a break and eat at work. The beer I was mostly successful at and only drank more than 3 beers on Friday and Saturday of this week, which is OK in my book.
I actually ended up losing about 4.5 lbs this past week. Not bad for a few little changes. I fully intend on joining a gym by the end of the month. Club Fitness
, near Karyn's house at Laclede Station Rd. and Watson looks like the best option. It's right in between my house and work, only 3 minutes from Karyns, and it's only $19.95 a month with no contract. Plus Kayrn told me that each cardio machine has it's own little flat screen monitor with cable so I can watch baseball games while I workout. Eff-ing sweet.
Today is the first day of spring. It is currently 44 degrees outside, overcast, and windy as hell. The forecast for tonight is for a low near 20 with sleet and rain turning to snow. Tomorrow's forecast calls for a high of only 36 with snow accumulations of up to 5 inches. Anybody remember back in February when it was 80 degrees?
It seems as though either blogger has some serious problems right now or my blog has been hijacked. Can anyone that's not me
read my blog right now? Cause I sure can't. This has been going on for the past few days. I'm not sure what the deal is but I seem to be able to view everyone else's blog right now, but not mine. I've checked the blogger status page and although they've been working on some stuff the past couple of days, it displays that all issues have been taken care of yet still no dice. Help!UPDATE (Friday 12:30 PM)
: It seems as though things are back to normal again. I actually posted this last night but had to republish my whole blog this morning in order for it to appear on the site. I visited the blogger status page once again this morning and saw these updates from the past few days.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
The filer that we have been having trouble with in the last few days failed again. Those blogs that are stored on the bad filer are temporarily not available for publishing and viewing. We are working on replacing the filer and restoring access to the blogs affected.
Update (7 am, March 17): we are still in the process migrating data off of the bad filer. We sincerely apologize for the continuing problems.
Posted by Pal at 21:14 PST
Currently photo uploading is not working for FTP users. We are aware of the problem and should have a fix within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Update (4:10pm) : This has been fixed. Thank you for your patience.
Posted by Steve at 15:38 PST
Unfortunately, we have to do some maintenance on one of our filers today from 9 am to 9:40 am PST. Some blogs will be inaccessible while this is going on. Everyone is able to publish, however, regardless of whether or not the blog is down for maintenance.
We apologize to those blog owners who are affected by this.
Update: This maintenance is now complete.
Posted by Prashant at 08:54 PST
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
We’re doing some maintenance on one of our Blog*Spot servers. Some blogs will be inaccessible while this is going on. Everyone is able to publish, however, regardless of whether or not the blog is down for maintenance.
We apologize to those blog owners who are affected by this. This partial outage is necessary to fix some of the transient Blog*Spot problems that have popped up recently.
Update: The maintenance is complete.
Posted by Pete at 12:32 PST
Hopefully everything is finally fixed now and I can resume regular or, err... uh.. my irregular posting schedule.
My Theme Song
Shouldn't the title of this quiz be "Your Beatles Theme Song", seeing as how Chris also ended up with a Beatles song
Car Trouble (Part 3)
I think I my last update about anything having to do with my car
was about 35 hours after the incident actually occurred. So without further ado, here's the rest of the story...
The day after my last car posting on February 1st, my mom got a call at our house from the kid's insurance agent. It was the standard follow up call with the exception of the fact that it was almost a full three days after the accident occurred. Needless to say by this point my parents and I were pretty fumed about how long it had taken to even get a call from an insurance adjuster for an accident that was completely out of my control.
The adjuster told my mom that he had spoken to his client the day before and that he DENIED THAT THIS ACCIDENT WAS HIS FAULT!!! Apparently he told his agent that he was "forced into my car by an oncoming vehicle" that didn't move over far enough to let him pass safely. HA!! Yeah, my dog ate my homework too.
There was no evidence of this mystery vehicle even being present at the scene, nor was it mentioned in our preliminary copy of the police report. After calling a witness to the accident whose phone number we had got that morning, he too confirmed that he didn't see any other car. This however did not calm my fears that even though my car was parked and I wasn't in it, that we would some how have to fork over cash to fix my car.
His agent told us that if they determined that some other car might have been partially at fault (even with no proof of this cars existence) they may rule him only X percentage at fault for the accident. Meaning they would only pay X percent of the bill. Of course they couldn't determine who was at fault until the official police report came out which we were told could take up to two weeks. WTF!!
At this point I was so pissed off I stayed home the better part of that evening sifting my way through legal documents on the internet. Playing amature lawyer I suppose. Not to mention that since this cop was so incompetent, I wouldn't trust much his police report anyway. I found multiple state and local traffic ordinances about right of way and parked vehicles. The paraphrase the main point I found against him, "Any time you have a legally parked car in your lane, it is always ultimately your responsibility to yield to all oncoming traffic, cyclists, or pedestrians". Meaning even if another car didn't move over far enough to let him pass, it's still 100% his risk to try to squeeze through.
After quenching the thirst of my raging beast within with the knowledge that I was indeed right, I passed any and all information off to my mom since she was planning on calling back his agent the following day. When she did so, she cited the information I had discovered. She also asked if the kid mentioned in their previous discussion that he had admitted fault to the police officer in front of her and his own mother. He sheepishly said, "Uh... no. He didn't mention that." All it took was a quick phone call from his agent and the threat of insurance fraud charges to change this kids mind.
As I stood in the lobby of Enterprise Car Rental on Friday evening of that week about to rent a car on my own dime, my mom called right as I was walking up to the counter to make the reservation. She said that his insurance had indeed finally accepted the full responsibility for the accident and that I would have a rental confirmation number within minutes. Turns out by the time she hung up the phone and I gave the rental attendant the claim number, the confirmation number had already been entered into their system. Of course since it was a Friday night at about 6 PM, there were no standard sized vehicles left. I had to settle for a mini-van
for the weekend.
The next week I brought my rental mini-van back to trade in for a standard size and there were still none available on the lot. I got a nice bonus in the fact that they hooked me up with a pretty decent SUV
for the remainder of my rental period. But hey, what did I care, I wasn't paying for it. The car had quite a bit of pickup and a pretty nice stereo system as well. A completely different sort of drive after riding in a Honda Civic for the past 3 years.
A week later we finally got a call back from his insurance agent about the car. They had estimated the damage around 5,000 bones and it was headed up to Huey's Honda Collision Center to be repaired. Secretly my mom and I both wished they had totalled the car for multiple reasons, but it was still way under the mark of the cars retail value of $12,000.
For one, the car was nearly paid off and had they totalled the car I would have ended up with a big check for about 9,000 after paying the balance of the loan. This would have helped me A) completely pay off all my debt, B) completely pay for my trip to Mexico, C) put a huge chunk of change down on a new car and D) pay all my taxes and licensing fees on said new car. Not to mention leave a little moolah in the old checking account for a rainy day. Another reason is that a car that has been in a wreck like this never drives the same again. Not to mention that the trade in or resale value goes down. Oh well, such is life.
A funny thing happened while my car was in the shop too. After having a few coldies at the Billy Goat after work one day I decided I wasn't done drinking and headed to the QT by my house for more beer on my way home. As I was pulling a way I noticed a young kid pulling up to a gas pump in a WHITE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX. Oh and it had quite a bit of damage to the front left side. Not to mention forest green paint marks down the side of his car. However, I was still about two beers away from being enough of an asshole to stop and say something to him. I should have at least given him a barb about "having enough money to pay for that gas since he was paying to fix my car". Oh well, I'm a pacifist what can I do.
So finally last week I got my car back. Turned in the rental and went to pick it up on Wednesday evening. I must say they did a great job on the body work although it's hard to tell how well it drives due to the fact that I'm still so used to that SUV. Another bonus is they were forced to fix the spot where the drunk driver hit me several years ago since it was so close to the damage this time around. At any rate, here's how she looks now:
Not bad I say. But still a big fucking pain in the ass all around for this whole ordeal. Maybe once I move my ass downtown and I'm doing less overall driving, my car won't get fucked up so much. Just broken into a lot.
Quick!! If you died today, what would you be reincarnated as
I would be reincarnated as a Gorilla. Only 14% of all people would be reincarnated higher form of life than me.
Google Earth & Mexico City
I just downloaded the free version
of Google Earth
and I must say I'm very impressed. Probably the coolest free (non-pirated) program I've ever installed or used. If you're in the mood to 3D sight-see the entire world, or interested in measuring the span of the Great Wall of China in centimeters, I highly recommend you go download it. Extremely cool, and a very powerful free program. I could play on this thing for a week straight and not get bored.
On a related note, I ran across some interesting aerial photos of Mexico City
. Some of these pictures are awesome; some shocking; and some are just plain bizarre. There's a few pictures on there that look totally fake; as if they were created by Pixar or something out of SimCity. I highly urge you to check these out. The photographer does admit to adjusting contrast and brightness a bit but swears all the photos are real and not digitally created.
Global Personality Test
Not so sure about this one. Some of these results (especially in the "Trait Snapshot" section) are somewhat contradictory. Some of this sounds excatly like me other things are definitely not me. Maybe that's why I'm such a paradox.
Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Stability results were moderately low which suggests you are worrying, insecure, emotional, and anxious.
Orderliness results were high which suggests you are overly organized, reliable, neat, and hard working at the expense too often of flexibility, efficiency, spontaneity, and fun.
Extraversion results were medium which suggests you are moderately talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting. Trait Snapshot
neat freak, organized, worrying, phobic, fears the unknown, irritable, pessimistic, emotionally sensitive, fears chaos, risk averse, fragile, unadventurous, depressed, frequently second guesses self, likes to fit in, does not like to stand out, perfectionist, hard working, does not like to be alone, clingy, dependent, practical, ordinary, cautious, takes precautions, good at saving money, suspicious, heart over mind, busy, altruistic Take Free Advanced Global Personality Testpersonality tests by similarminds.com
An Eye for Talent
Apparently, I know a great movie when I see one
. This is evident by the fact that Crash surprised most of the audience (and I think even the producers and directors of the movie itself) and pulled away with the Oscar for best picture.
I actually called the top four big prizes last night. Best Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Capote"), Best Director (Ang Lee for "Brokeback Mountain"), Best Actress (Reese Witherspoon for "Walk the Line"), and of course Best Picture. I was particularly happy to see Reese Witherspoon win since I actually saw "Walk the Line" and she's really fucking good in it. She and Joaquin Phoenix are dead on as Johnny and June.
John Stewart had a great joke last night after The Three 6 Mafia (a gangsta rap group) won the Oscar for best original song for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," from the "Hustle and Flow" soundtrack:
"So for those of you who are keeping score that's Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars; Three 6 Mafia... One."
Speaking of excellent talent, I noticed Drew posted a few seconds of a really good demo version of a new song
he recorded Friday night. Head on over the The Formula Kid blog
to hear the clip.
A Real Color Test
I took the same Tickle.com color test that C-Naffs took and gave him worms
(He-he, Chris has worms). Fortunately I don't think I got any. Anyway, here are my results.I'm Doo-doo Brown
You're brown, a credible, stable color that's reminiscent of fine wood, rich leather, and wistful melancholy. Most likely, you're a logical, practical person ruled more by your head than your heart. With your inquisitive mind and insatiable curiosity, you're probably a great problem solver. And you always gather all of the facts before coming to a timely, informed decision. Easily intrigued, you're constantly finding new ways to challenge your mind, whether it's by reading the newspaper, playing a trivia game, or composing a piece of music. Brown is an impartial, neutral color, which means you tend to see the difference between fact and opinion easily and are open to many points of view. Trustworthy and steady, you really are a brown at heart.