Friday, July 29, 2005


This is from the Clarksburg Exponent:

If this is their idea of health at the Exponent, I don't want it. I mean, seriously, who would let this picture go through. That guy just completed the Clarksburg 10-K, quite an accomplishment, but he has to be embarrassed by this picture. It's not even right. We did get a good laugh about it at work though...

Rough week folks...

Just an update on me personally I's been a rough week here. It started by having to go to Martinsburg on Sunday to do a complete office upgrade out there. We finally moved to the year 2000 by upgrading all the PCs out there to Windows XP. So, we reimaged all the machines on Sunday (2 co-workers and myself) and stayed until Monday to address all the issues. Monday rolled around with very few complaints so we left under the assumption that everything was cool out there. Well, I guess it wasn't.

Beginning Tuesday, the one IT guy left out there started calling me to report problems...a lot of problems. I'm not sure why no one checked their machines on Monday but it all blew up Tuesday. And I was not going back to Martinsburg. So, that's been a fight all week...even today I have received 15-20 calls from Martinsburg despite the fact we have an IT guy there and there's only 27 users. I will probably end up out there next week.

Here in cburg we've had struggles of our own (see yesterday's post). And, with the IT guy who is usually in Morgantown in Martinsburg, I've had a lot of calls from MoTown. It's no fun to talk to irritated users on the phone. My boss went up to try to fix their problems yesterday and he was back there again today.

But, that's been my week...lots of work problems...beyond that, nothing exciting to report. Luckily, I go off call today so I don't have to worry about work this weekend...and I'm not going to. So, let the weekend begin...I'm counting down the minutes.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I Hate Boston

Maybe I should be more specific...I hate the Boston Red Sox. The city, I'm not real fond of but I don't hate it, just dislike it. But the Sox, hate...with a passion. While many people cheered for Boston to win their first World Series since 1918, I was hoping anyone would beat them. As they celebrated, I wept. Why? Because I hate the Boston Red Sox. it is established I don't like Boston. So, I guess I should explain why. First, their fans. Have you ever met a real hardcore Boston fan? There is this sense of entitlement that surrounds them. There's this feeling that even though they hadn't won a championship in 86 years, they were still better than everyone. Yeah, right.

Second, their players. Johnny Damon...get a haircut you bum. Oh, better yet, get your hair styled from those cool dudes from Queer Eye. Yeah, you're awesome buddy. David Ortiz...or Big Poppy. Yeah, you're the clutch hitter. Ya know us a favor and run some laps around Fenway.

Curt Schilling and his bloody sock. Give me a break, would ya? If I have to see that thing on any more highlights, I'm gonna scream. Yeah, he had an injury and played through it. Okay...that's great...he showed guts. But have you ever watched a little game called football? Let's talk about some of their injuries...

And, Pedro has left for the Mets but here's a guy who gets a lot of respect from me. Tackling Don Zimmer of the Yankees, a man of nearly 100 years and 300 pounds, that takes real guts. I wish Zim would have fell on him and send him deep into the crust of the earth. I could just go on and on about the players...but it's still that fans that are most irritating.

Yeah, Jimmy Fallon in an awesome movie about loving the Red Sox...that makes me want to support that team. Or Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as fans...boy, their stock is going up now. I don't know...maybe I'm bitter about something but I wish the Yankees would just annihilate them every year from here on out. Break their spirit and send their fans packing. I hope sometime before my death, I will see Bud Selig, who will be 223 years old, come out on the stage and say that the Red Sox will be no more because of MLB contraction. There will be no tears here. You wanna know why? I hate the Red Sox.

Already Today...

Yesterday, I received a phone call saying that we were going to be having a conference in our board room here at work. The board room isn't wired for network connectivity so we decided to setup a small wireless router to give access in that room. I was really busy yesterday, so I passed the assignment on to my neighbor co-worker. In addition to setting up the router, I asked him to get a projector and screen from Marketing to set up in the room as well. I think my first request for this was around 11:00 a.m.

So, anyway, around 1:00 p.m. I finally went and picked up the wireless router and dumped it on his desk since he hadn't bothered to pick it up yet. I reminded him again at 2:00 that it needed setup and he finally went down and did it...and said everything was working. Around 4:00 I reminded him, again, that we needed a projector and screen setup in the room.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. today. So, I get here around 8:20, told that everything worked. I told my boss, yeah, they said everything is working. Do you think everything worked? NOOOOOO...

The wireless wasn't working...we got a signal but no one could get connected to it. Do you think there was a projector and screen setup? NOOOOO. I had to track down and screen and projector to take down. Do you think anything was done? NOOOOOO. So, my boss should be back up shortly and I know he won't be happy. I'm not happy...and I'm going to make sure that my co-worker isn't happy either.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

This Internet Fad

I'm about tired of this Internet thing. I mean, it's about played out, dontcha think? I mean, it's not 1999 people...this is 2005. And July of 2005 at that. It's time to move on. The Internet is getting old, much like Abe Vigoda.

Let's look my history of the Internet:

Sometime a long time ago: The Internet was made by Al Gore

The day after sometime a long time ago: A porn site was created that upset Tipper Gore and she began a crusade against the Internet.

1992 - Prodigy is THE Internet as far as I'm concerned...complete DOS-based program with some graphical interface. They charged per e-mail (like 20 free and $0.15 each after that). I went through many, many, many free month trial periods. Ran like a dream on the old 486. 2400 baud modem.

1994 - Prodigy comes out with a graphical interface for Windows 3.1. It grinds my computer to a halt. Therefore, I had to upgrade to some Pentium I machine. Started out with a 14.4 modem...whew boy, did it fly. Eventually upgraded to a 28.8 for the extra speed needed for CompuServe, AOL and the plethora of other ISPs that offered free trial periods.

4/6/96 - Created my AOL account that exists to this day.

1996-2001 - Wasted a lot of time on the Internet reading jokes and stuff. So many stupid sites, so little time.

2001-2005 - Wasted a lot of time at work on the Internet reading jokes and stuff. So much time, so few good sites.

July 27, 2005 - Wrote this article about the Internet on the Internet. Called the Internet played out and simply a fad. Saved this article and went straight to to get the "news".

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Folks, running low on ideas here. Ummm...I'm just not real sure what to write about. Most of the things I do aren't that eventful. I'm sure there's a lot of other things like the Waffle House trip that I've done but I just don't remember right now...and that kinda sucks to forget stuff.

But, anyway, if you have something I can write about, let me know. I know there's gotta be something...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Summer Goals vs. Summer Reality (Pt. 1)

First of all, let me say: "Yes, I know this idea was recently on CH. And yes, I kinda stole their idea. So what? You try to come up with ideas to write 3 paragraphs about five times a week. Go ahead...yeah, that's what I thought. PUNK."

So, here is a list of things I had hoped to do/accomplish this summer and the reality of attempting these goals:

GOAL: Instead of watching television every night, I will read at least a chapter of a book every night.
REALITY: Made it almost two weeks doing this while I was reading The DaVinci Code. Starting Testament and, well, it got boring and The Family Guy is on Comedy Central every night at 11:00 p.m. So, that was the end of that.

GOAL: Do something every night...or at least every Friday and Saturday.
REALITY: Well, I think I made it like a week of doing something every evening. I don't mean like going out all hours of the night...just go to the driving range with someone or whatever. Yeah, didn't work out too well. Spent more time in front of the computer writing this blog and eating Ritz crackers out of the box. Man, those things are addictive.

GOAL: Travel to some baseball games out of the area.
REALITY: Haven't gone to a single game this season yet. Figure I'll be up to see the Pirates soon but had intended to see the Nationals and Yankees. Watching them on TV doesn't count.

GOAL: Go whitewater rafting.
REALITY: Hey, it's gonna happen. August 7th. I'll let you know how it went later...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Inaugural Continental Tire Bowl

Because I don't have anything interesting to talk about today, I'll take you on a journey back in time...all the way back to December of 2002. Whew...ancient history...

Anyway, 2002 marked a major turnaround for Coach Rodriguez and Mountaineer football. The Mountaineers finished the season 9-3 and received an invitation to participate in the first Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte, N.C. to face the reviled Virginia Cavaliers. A sellout crowd of 73,535 watched on as Virginia STOMPED the Mountaineers by a score of 48-22. So, I won't focus on the game...instead, I will talk about the night before the game...and the trip to The Waffle House.

On December 27, I embarked, along with Justin and Robbie, for the great State of North Carolina. It was supposed to be a pretty simple trip...take I-79 to US 19 and then follow I-77 to Charlotte. No big deal...except about 40,000 other people decided to make the same trip. Shortly after entering Virginia, we were stuck in traffic. And I mean standstill traffic. It was miserable...

What would typically be a 6 1/2 hour journey turned into a 9 hour trek. Not good...but, we finally made it to Charlotte. But, by the time we got there, all the major celebrations of the night were complete and downtown was pretty dead. We did walk to streets for awhile and happened to run into some people from Fairmont and Morgantown and that at least passed some time.

Around 2:00 a.m. or so we headed back to the hotel. Kinda hungry, we decided to venture across the 6 lane highway to a Waffle House across the road. Ah, Waffle House...the 24-hour beacon of hope to the late night traveler. Such a clean and pleasant restaurant...or not.

You would think there wouldn't be a lot of people out in the middle of the night. You'd be wrong. Waffle House was packed...I mean standing room only. We happened to get the last empty table but this place was packed. The chef...yeah, he looked like he just got out of the prison cafeteria. Maybe this was his community service. The waitresses...not much better. We ordered without incident and got out food. Others had to wait as the cook refused to make more food. His words: "I'm not doing any more cooking until you women get back there and wash them dishes. I'm done until we get some more dishes." To which the women had a few choice words but they washed the dishes.

Safety...not a concern. This Waffle House had security. I'm not talking like mall security...I'm talking a fully armed security guard who was constantly checking out people...waiting to take action. Oh yeah, I feel great in a place that has to have armed security.

The restroom...I didn't go in but I heard it was, ummmm, I'm just glad I didn't have to go in there. The rest of the patrons...well, let's just say we were in the minority in the place.

But, I guess at the end all that matters is how the food was. So, how was the food? Not bad. That's all I've got to say about that.

So, my best memory from the Continental Tire Bowl...The Waffle House.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

CLINTON WINS!!! GTA: San Andreas Rating Changed!

In a move that is sure to stabilize the Middle East and end world hunger, the video game industry on Wednesday changed to adults-only the rating of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," thanks in large part to the pressure being applied by Senator Hilary Clinton.

Apparently, in case you missed the story, Rockstar Games, who makes the Grand Theft Auto games, shipped the game with a hidden sex scene. A downloadable patch on the Internet unlocked the scene and made it viewable by the innocent eyes of the youth playing the game.

Now, let's talk about what Grand Theft Auto is: It is a game where you, as the main character, run around to complete missions that these thugs send you on. As part of those missions, you steal cars for transportation, shoot people, blow up buildings, shoot cops. I haven't played San Andreas but part of Vice City was selling drugs out of the back of an ice cream truck. But a hidden sex scene, now that is over the line.

So, thank you Senator Clinton for bringing much needed attention to this epidemic in video games. Cheating, killing and all are fine...but hidden scenes must be stopped. The world is now a much better place.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Whatcha Gonna Do...

I've written before about my affinity towards reality television shows. And, a major part of that comes from VH1 and their Celebreality television, i.e., Surreal Life, Celebrity Fit Club, etc. But, a new comer is "Hogan Knows Best" which stars one of my all-time favorite wreslers, Hulk Hogan.

Back in the mid to late 80s, wrestling was huge. I mean, HUGE. Hulk Hogan ruled the world and the WWF was everyone. Early morning cartoons, mid-day wrestling events...I watched wrestling at my great grandmothers every Sunday afternoon. It was a can't miss event. The first Wrestlemania was in 1985...amazing. And, like I said, Hulk Hogan was the catalyst for the entire thing...he was on top of the world with his "Take your vitamins and say your prayers" schtick.

Anyway, that's just buildup into "Hogan Knows Best". I've tried not to watch...I even told myself I wasn't going to watch. But, naturally, what did I do? I watched. And I enjoyed it. The Hulkster is tough. He's very protective of his daughter and, for the most part, the family seems to respect him. That's impressive to me because I expected to see him portrayed as an ogre who didn't know his kids and was completely disconnected from his family. It was a pleasant surprise to see that he knew his kids and went out of his way to look out for their well-being. And the relationship between him and his wife seems very good too.

Anyway, it makes me feel better about liking Hulk Hogan now that it seems he has continued to succeed outside the wrestling ring. So many other former wrestlers have either had major problems or are no longer with us, it's nice to see the biggest star can still shine bright. Way to go Hulk...maybe Hogan always knew best.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Dukes of Hazzard

I'll be the first to admit that, in their prime, I watched them Duke boys run from Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane in the General Lee. And, I spent many a day watching that car get airborn...and then quickly cut to a commercial while still mid-air while the voice of Waylan Jennings built the drama, only to see them return and land safely...every single time. Frankly, I was a Dukes of Hazzard fan. Of course, I was only 8, I'm not sure I would be if it was on today.

Which, takes me to the new Dukes of Hazzard movie, which furthers my theory that Hollywood is out of movie ideas. Now, admittedly, I have no idea what's in the movie...but I do have a guess. With Sean Scott, Johnny Knoxville and Jessica Simpson, I'm guessing it's going to be a lot of trash. And, to further that opinion, the original Cooter just came forward and voiced his concerns about the movie.

“Basically, they trashed our show,” said Ben Jones, who played Cooter. “It’s one thing to do whatever movie they want to do, but to take a classic family show and do that is like taking ‘I Love Lucy’ and making her a crackhead or something.”

Hmmmm...well, I'm not sure about that Lucy comment but I can tell you this: If Cooter doesn't like the show, I don't either. So, I am hereby making it known that I will not see the new Dukes of Hazzard out of protest. Cooter and I shall stand proud and against this kind of smut.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Cult of Potter

Folks, this is why the Pope is against Harry Potter:

It must be stopped before it is too late!

NOOOO...Not Charlie & A Chocolate Factory

Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages: Are you Ready? No, seriously, Are you ready? It's time for........


A new movie brought to you by Warner Bros. Entertainment...and directed by Tim Burton. I can't wait to see this original movie...

Huh? What did you say? It's not new? What do you mean? You mean, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory was a movie before? You're kidding me! Impossible. Why would someone do that? It was made in 1971...hmmm...well, I guess not so new then.

Seriously, I'm not going to see this crap. I liked the original and I can't believe that Johnny Depp is actually going to make it better. I think it just goes to show that Hollywood is not coming up with any new ideas for movies. Everything is just a remake of the movie that was made before it...and it's getting a little old. And they wonder why people aren't going to the movies like they used to.

Oddjack Cultural Oddsmaker puts the over/under at number of times seeing the movie at 1. I'm taking the under for myself. If you see it, let me know what you think. I have my guesses...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Harry Potter and the Curse of the Pope

Beware my friends, a dangerous evil force is upon our doorstep. July 16th will make the beginning of the apocolypse. Luckily, Pope Benedict is fighting this evil to the best of his ability and trying to warn the world of the imminent danger. And his word must travel far and wind in a short span to save the human race from the depths of which it is about to fall.

What is this evil you dare ask? It is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!

You didn't know that? See, you haven't been paying attention. Apparently Harry Potter is the worst thing to hit the world in over 2000 years. It is pure evil and the hearts, souls and minds of those who would dare read such a blasphemous novel are doomed. Pope Benedict believes the Harry Potter books subtly seduce young readers and "distort Christianity in the soul" before it can develop properly. And, by golly, he's right.

Author J.K. Rowling is obviously trying to recruit the people who read these books into a cult to worship Satan. (or Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Beelzebub, Belial, Hilary Clinton or, simply, The Devil). The Vatican had previously appeared to approve of the books, saying they helped children to understand the difference between good and evil. This clearly shows that Pope John Paul II was no could he approve of such a thing?

Clearly, this should be priority Number One for the Vatican. How can the world be safe with Harry Potter books being published? Terrorism, starvation, disease, nuclear proliferation...these can all take a backseat because it is obvious to me, and the Pope, that Harry Potter is the cause of all problems of the world. Please do all that is possible to support Voldemort in his quest to destory Harry.

Tom Cruise is CRAAAAZY

Per request: Tom Cruise has lost his mind. I mean, truly and absolutely lost his mind. To the point that it actually detracts from his movies. It's hard to even look at him because he has become so obsessed with his religion...SCIENTOLOGY.

Scientology...hmmmm...yeah. Here's the start of the story of Scientology:

75 million years ago, there was an alien galactic ruler named Xenu who was in charge of 76 planets in our sector of the galaxy, including planet Earth, whose name at that time was Teegeeack. All of the planets Xenu controlled were over-populated by, on average, 178 billion people. Social problems dictated that Xenu rid his sector of the galaxy of this overpopulation problem, so he developed a plan. Xenu sent out Tax Audit demands to all these billions of people.

As each one entered the audit centers for the income tax inspections, the people were seized, held down and injected with a mixture of alcohol and glycol, and frozen. Then, all 13.5 trillion of these frozen people were put into spaceships that looked exactly like DC8 airplanes, except that the spaceships had rocket engines instead of propellers. Xenu's entire fleet of DC8-like spaceships then flew to planet Earth, where the frozen people were dumped in and around volcanoes in the Canary Islands and the Hawaiian Islands. When Xenu's Air Force had finished dumping the bodies into the volcanoes, hydrogen bombs were dropped into the volcanoes and the frozen space aliens were destroyed.

And, well, it continues like this. If you'd like to read the rest of the story, go to:

Other Scientology beliefs:

  • a person is an immortal spiritual being (termed a thetan) who possesses a mind and a body, accompanied by a lesser "genetic entity"
  • the thetan has lived through many past lives, stored memories of which can cause problems in the present day
  • a person is basically good, but is "aberrated" by the memories of past traumas

Of course, as Tom ranted so eloquently to Matt Laurer, they oppose psychiatry and don't believe in depression or any psychological disorder and completely stand against any medication that might treat a perceived psychological disorder. Additional celebrities who practice Scientology include John Travolta and Kirstie Allie. Yet, somehow they're not nearly as disgusting as Tom because they don't go around trying to convert every person they meet.

So, Tom, keep your mouth shut. No one cares that you think you came from aliens. And no one cares that you don't like psychiatry. It has helped people...we can't say the same for you. No one cares what you have to say unless you're playing Maverick in Top Gun.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Support System

A lot of people wonder "How is it that you support a firm of over 450 users and still maintain such a friendly disposition?". Or that's what you should be wondering. Well, my friends and foes alike, I will let you in on my secret support tool:

Le Baton de Soutien

or, for those less fluent, The Support Stick. Yes folks, The Support Stick can fix all your support issues. Computer malfunctioning, use the Support Stick. Keys stuck on a keyboard, Support Stick. User giving you lip...Support Stick. It does it all. Its compact design and light weight makes it easily transportable. Just its presence can keep support issues from arising.

If you have to deal with other humans on a regular basis, this is the tool for you. You can pick up Support Stick at most local markets or sports stores. Don't leave home without it.


I had to ramble on about work all the time but, after the horrendous trip yesterday, I came back in the office today and it has been nonstop havoc. I guess being out of the office doesn't mean the work doesn't continue to pile up. And lord forbid someone else try to help you out and take care of some of the stuff that was here. No...just let it stack up.

But, I guess that's my problem. So, I'll get back to it...and see how things progress. In the meantime, I'm on break...

P.S. Does anyone know how to create an MSI file for XP?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My Travel to Martinsburg

Ah, today must have been a lucky day...I got to make my bi-weekly trip to the great city of Martinsburg where one of our smaller offices is located. We currently have 28 employees in this office...and, well, they require support just like anyone I guess. They don't have full time IT support, so they save up all their complaints for a visit from whoever the lucky person to visit is...and it has become increasingly obvious that I have become their contact for whatever reason.

Anyway, so traveling to Martinsburg takes a good 2 1/2 to 3 hours...2 1/2 if you speed and don't have any traffic...3 hours if you need to stop for anything (like gas, food, rest area). Basically, it's a long trip. I try to leave home around 6:30 so I can be there by 9:30 or so...and I like to try to leave by 2:00 - 2:30 so I can get home by around 5:30.

So, I left home on my journey to Martinsburg. I stopped at Sheetz in Morgantown for gas and a quick breakfast sandwich...and, from that point, non-stop to Martinsburg. The trip is boring...the biggest city you go through is Cumberland...where I-68 runs through the middle of and the speed limit dips to 40 MPH. Maryland speed limit is 65 and it is enforced. The police literally stand on the side of the road, radar gun in hand, and point at people to pull over. It is not unusual for them to have a line of cars pulled over. So, you have to be careful traveling through Maryland...which is the bulk of the trip.

After several hours on the road, I finally reach my destination...the little office in Martinsburg. The building looks more like a house than one of our normal buildings. It is a historic site as well...a wierd place for an office. They have been lobbying for years to move but they aren't big enough (and don't bring in enough $$$) to put them in a nice building. So, I make my way into the building and I am absolutely bombarded. I won't go into detail...but the problems were numerous and no one had warned me ahead of time.

So, in order to stay on schedule, I decided to skip lunch and continue addressing issues. Finally, at 2:30, I wrapped up the final issue. I was going to escape...I lunged for the doorway and was just about out when I heard "Is Mike still here?". A more unscrupulous person would have continued to run...but I stopped and came back. The problem: "My computer is making a noise". So, I went to see the computer...after 15 minutes of listening to this computer, the noise never reappeared...what a shock! Finally, at 3:00, I said noises are normal and left. I was gone...for the drive home.

I'm happy...heading home...behind schedule but still going home. The sky darkens ahead...I heard there could be storms. Black clouds roll in...I could see there would be some rain. Then, lightening appears in the sky...multiple strikes in what appears to be the same location. The classic rock radio station of which I had been listening suddenly goes quiet. More lightening...but no rain yet. If you haven't seen War of the Worlds, you won't understand...but I thought I was living the opening sequence of the movie. If my car would have died, it would have been all over. But, it was just some weird coincidence.

After 30-45 minutes of some really, really bad weather, I had made it through the storm. I saw a lot of wrecked vehicles who think it's cool to speed in torrential downpours. Luckily, I had made it unscathed. Finally, 3 hours after leaving the office located in Martinsburg, I arrived home. And, while traveling home, I received an e-mail asking me if I could come back next week. Needless to say, I hate Martinsburg.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Just an Update

Well, I haven't been diligent in my updates over the past couple, I will update today even though I don't have a whole lot on my mind besides work and I hate to post things about work...maybe later.

Anyway, I think I left on Saturday, Saturday night I traveled out and made my way into the depths of Pleasant Valley and rode some of the trails out that way on a golf cart type thing. I'm not really much of one for "four wheeling" or anything like that, but I had a good time...and good company so, all in all, it was an entertaining time.

Sunday, I headed out to Maple Lake for most of the day. Nothing too exciting...sat around and read "Testament" for awhile. Another religious exploration book on the stories of the Old Testament. I can tell you're impressed.

As for Monday...well, work I guess. Lots of work...or so it would seem. And, band has officially begun again. It was nice seeing a lot of people up there that I hadn't see for a few weeks.

Other than that, today has yet to provide any real excitement...once again, just work. So, if anything changes however, I will update. I have a few topics rolling around in my mind...I'm just not motivated enough to write at the moment...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Annoying Commerical of the Week

My annoying commerical this week is....drum roll please.....

The AOL Identity Theft "Do I Smell Cake?" Commercial

America OnLine spends alot of time touting the work they have done to prevent identity theft and spyware. What they don't tell you is that their idea of fighting spyware on your PC is to install a bunch of anti-spyware programs that constantly run and probably take up more CPU utilization and bandwidth than the spyware they claim to remove. But, hey, that's the technical side of the commercial. I'd rather focus on what is wrong with the commercial.

Here's a quick run down of what happens in the commercial in case you haven't seen it: A woman shows up at AOL headquarters with a cake to thank AOL for helping prevent identity theft. The guy at the reception desk thanks her but says a lot of people work to get rid of spyware. At this point, everyone stands up behind their cubicle walls and to see the apple crumb cake the woman bought. And one worker slides her chair out from her cubicle and utters the famous line "Do I smell cake?"

So, what is wrong with this commercial:

No. 1 - Do you really believe that anyone is going to walk into AOL and see anyone besides a security guard? Yeah, right...

No. 2 - This woman made one cake for AOL. Does she think AOL is a person? Seriously...she has to know this is a major corporation and thousands of employees yet she brings one little cake and is surprised to see all the people in the office. She is clearly a nutcase and she should have been stopped by security...which takes me back to No. 1.

No. 3 - The "Do I smell cake?" lady makes me laugh. And, since I don't like the commercial, that makes me mad. For those of you who’ve never known the joy and hilarity of working in an office, it might not mean much to you. But people who work in offices are vultures. And when there is food around, they're going after it. So, someone yelling down a hall "Do I smell cake?" is very likely to happen and it's funny to see. And, because it's funny, I laugh and since I don't like the commercial, I feel ashamed because I laughed. And that makes me not like the commercial even more. Make sense? Good.

Anyway, I wouldn't call it the worst commercial ever...but because I see it like 30 times a week, it gets annoying so it gets the shame of "Annoying Commercial of the Week".

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Da Vinci Code

Up until now, I had managed to avoid the hype of the Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, despite the overwhelming amount of press it had generated when it was first released. However, at my cousin's insistance, I finally read the novel. It was much as I had anticipated. I enjoy history very much and religious history has always fascinated me. Christianity was born of Judaism and, yet, Christians have persecuted the Jews for nearly 2000 years. That has always amazed me. Anyway, I'll spare you of delving into that and sticking with the revelations made in The Da Vinci Code.

Essentially, the entire book revolves around the premise that a secret society is entrusted with maintaining proof that Jesus Christ was merely a mortal prophet...born of Mary but not of a virgin birth. That bombshell in itself would be enough to shake the Christian Church to its core. However, they take it a step further by claiming that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and she bore him a child, thereby creating a bloodline that exists to this day. Direct descendents of Christ...this is certainly blasphemy in the eyes of the Church. The book claims that, in order to establish the current Church, the Vatican turned Christ into the immortal Son of God and disgraced the name of Mary Magdalene and disavowed any knowledge of a possible marriage or child. In addition, they sought to destroy any evidence of Christ's mortality and, essentially, did everything in their power to destroy the view of Woman as a goddess and instead recast her as inherently evil. This goes against everything that had been established before the reign of Pope Constantine...pagan religions had always considered woman as a goddess to be worshipped and praised.

The story turns into a search for the Holy Grail. Not the grail that many think...a chalice that He drank from before being crucified...but, instead, evidence that He was born of a normal birth, married a woman and had a child, thereby creating a mortal Jesus. truly is. And, it would be easy to get caught up in the entire story. As evidence, they point to paintings, sculptues and music and the symbolism they contain. The creators were clearly sending messages about the true nature of Jesus...or this is what Dan Brown would have you believe. This is where I have problem. The author claims, as many do, that Da Vinci hid many messages about the Holy Grail and Mary and the secret society in his paintings. Perhaps he did...but how can one be certain?

After every major event, people find occurrences that, supposedly, indicated the event would occur if we looked closer. September 11, 2001 is a prime example. People claimed that Nostradamus predicted the attacks would occur in his prophecies in the 16th century. Others claimed they had broken a Bible Code that accurately predicted the 9/11 attacks along with several other world events. Once again, all these things foreseen post-event. There's no way of telling for sure if these were really predicted or just simple coincidence. Look at the coincidences between the assassinations of Kennedy and Lincoln...lists that go around to claim some type of divine connection. But, the fact is, similar coincidences can be found between many events and people in life...and that's all they are.

It is impossible to say Da Vinci was sending messages to us in his paintings without him clearly telling us he was...and, since he has been gone for a long time, that will never happen. Perhaps it is a message of a secret society and the secret the church has hidden from us. Perhaps it is mere coincidence. Or, perhaps, it is a message that we are completely misinterpreting. Who can say for sure?

The Da Vinci Code is a terrific mystery tale, but nothing more. No proof of any coverup by the church. I, however, found it inspiring and went out today to purchase additional materials about the books chosen to make the modern Bible and why several were discared. I also purchased a novel about the Knights Templar and the Crusades. I'm sure I will be making more posts about the Bible and religion in the future since my interest has been piqued.

In closing, whether you believe Christ was immortal, born of the virgin Mary and the Son of God, or merely a prophet, we should agree that His teachings are a blessing and the world would be a better place if everyone lived by them.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Today's First Ten

This is not to be confused with like a Top Ten or's not necessarily my favorite songs...just happens to be the first 10 songs that played on my computer when I came into work. I have, at last count, over 3000 MP3s on my computer. They range from Dylan to Dave, Buffett to Bruce, No Doubt to D12 and all points in-between. I have set up several playlists depending on how I feel but my favorite is the random playlist that jumps all over the place. Today, I will give you the first 10 songs that play and just a quick bit of information why I like the song (I like all my music). Usually, these songs can determine how my entire days goes:

1. Boys of Summer - The Ataris - This is a remake of the Don Henley classic. Usually I don't like remakes but I think The Ataris did an excellent job with this song and it is definitely a keeper.

2. Jailbreak - Thin Lizzy - This song is awesome. The guitars are amazing and it's just a rocking song. A real classic.

3. Starry Starry Night - Don McLean - In case you don't know, Don McLean sang the immortal American Pie. This is a very slow song...but really nice. It feels like it should just kinda end and not go into another's going to be hard to follow.

4. Longview - Green Day - This is from the breakout album Dookie...circa. Sping, 1994. I can't believe it's been that long...anyway, Green Day is definitely a fave and this is just one of their many great songs...awesome.

5. Eclipse - Pink Floyd - From the legendary "Dark Side of the Moon"album. Once again, just a classic stands on its own but is so much better when played with the entire album.

6. Beautiful - Snoop Dogg - One of the more laid back Snoop it feature Pharrell. Whenever he's involved, you know it's a pretty cool song...

7. The Kids Don't Like It - Reel Big Fish - Reel Big Fish is an awesome ska band. This is probably my favorite song from all the CDs I have of, it's cool that it came up. If you haven't heard them, it's worth the price.

8. Two Pina Coladas - Garth Brooks - When I say my musical tastes are all over the place, this should prove it. A little country to add to everything else...and, like it or not, Garth is cool. At least his old stuff was anyway...

9. Rock & Roll High School - The Ramones - The Ramones are just classic in every way. This is just one of many great songs they made...a real classic after all these years.

10. Tequilla Sunrise - Eagles - The Eagles have made so many great songs...this is definitely in the top 5 for them though. Kind of a downer song but nice to listen to. Definitely fits in the rotation...

So, that was the first 10 songs that played I said, there's a whole lot more on here...but I would gladly listen to all 10 of these some more. Apparently I like them since they stay on the computer...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Run to the Right...but not too far...

In case my ideology escapes you, I am a conservative at heart and have been since day one. I voted Dole over Clinton and have voted Bush...twice. I supported Gingrich's Contract with America and hated when he stepped down. I listen to Limbaugh and Hannity...and I watch Fox News.

With all that said, my article is simply to discuss the political battle that my brethren get ready to undertake...and that filling a position of Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. And it may get even more interesting since rumor has it that Justice Rehnquist will be announcing his retirement soon. Chuck Schumer, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, promises a "war" regardless of who the candidate is. That's a great way of starting this off Chucky...both sides have promised to pay millions in this battle.

The fact of the matter is the Supreme Court belongs to the people...and the people, and I know Democrats still can't believe it, the people elected George W. Bush as President. A majority of voting citizens cast their vote to have Bush remain president. And I know that haunts many a liberal every night...makes it hard for them to sleep...but it's a fact. And, since the people elected Bush and Bush gets to make the nomination, it stands to reason that the people are making Bush's nomination....right? So, Democrats had better be careful about how far they want to carry this battle.

With that said, however, Bush had better be careful in his nomination(s). The people voted in George W. Bush, not the far right wing interest groups that will be attempting to influence the nomination. While I am sure the nominee will be religious, it should not be his religion that gets him/her nominated. Being a Christian definitely shouldn't disqualify a candidate like some liberals seem to believe, but it also shouldn't be the only criteria to be nominated. The nominee should be a good judge who will uphold the law and the Constitution and not someone who is committed to creating new law as it appears many of the judiciary in this country is inclined to do.

I'm sure the President will do an excellent job in his nominating as he has thus far...despite what many liberals believe. He has, so far, managed to appease the far right without completely bowing to the pressure from them. I am in hopes that will continue...but, be prepared for the battle the lies ahead. Liberals have lost two elections in a row...and a lot of pride. They are looking to battle anywhere they can find...

Barbaric Acts in London

A day after being awarded the 2012 Olympic games, London was rocked by simultaneous explosions in the London subway and that tore open a double-decker bus during the morning rush hour. A Web site posting said the blasts were the work of a group calling itself the "Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe." Whether that is the case or not has yet to be determined.

Though this may not be on the same scale as 9/11, the overall theme is the same: attack countries that have prospered to try to break their will. London won't break however. Many times in history this fact has been learned the hard way. London doesn't fall...

I'm sick of softballing these people who perpetrate these dispicable acts. They are taking the lives of innocent people and really have no cause other than the destruction of civilized society. I think it's time for civilized society to destroy these barbarians. Round them up and let's get their heads on the platter to serve to the victims. And I'm tired of hearing people defend these acts. There's no just cause...and if you think there is, you're a traitor. These people aren't brave, they're cowards. Their only goal in life is to destroy it...absolute lunacy. We're not attacking their way of life as some claim...if they want to live in a cave in some remote desert, go for it. But the moment you move to London or New York, the caves don't exist anymore...either adapt or move back to where you came from.

I'm not ready to ban the Muslim religion yet...I'm not ready to round them up and put them in internment camps...yet. But, if the Muslim people don't stand up and rid themselves of these fanaticals, then something needs to happen. The days of the crusades have passed but, to Muslims, it remains as if it happened yesterday. If these acts continue, it may happen again's time for people to stand up to prevent that...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Pirates...Again

I've talked about the Pirates before and my utter frustration towards them. They have a very loyal fan base and one of the most spectacular ballparks in baseball. The only field I've ever seen that rivals it is SBC Park in San Francisco and I would still take PNC over it. Anyway, on June 11, the Pirates defeated Tampa Bay 18-2 to improve their record to 30-30. Things were looking pretty promising...or so I thought. Since then, they have gone 6-16. In case you don't know, that's not good.

July 31st, a mere 3 + weeks away, is the Major League Baseball trading deadline. As the Pirates are now 36-46, and a mere 16.5 games back of St. Louis in the NL Central, it is obvious that leading up to the deadline, the Pirates will be looking to sell. In other words, they will be looking to dump the payroll so that McClatchy can further pad his wallet. Among those on the chopping block include Lawton, Redman, Wells and Mesa. Some players, like Mesa, have lobbied Pirates management to keep them in the 'Burgh, but don't be surprised to see them dealt before all is said and done.

But, instead of ranting and raving about how the losing seasons are going to continue well into the future, I read another article and decided use it instead. This is from a friend and I think it sums up the feeling on baseball completely...hopefully he doesn't sue me for stealing it:

It's the Fourth of July. A fun-filled holiday where America takes the day off and kicks back. Naturally, I watched baseball this afternoon: the Pirates hosted the Phillies at PNC Park. The Phillies decided to work during this sacred American holiday. Apparently the Pirates were as relaxed as I was, and were pounded by Phila to the tune of 12-1.

So I sat down to write a rant about the Pirates, but then I realized they just plain suck these days and there's not much else to say. But even though they lost, I would have much rather been at PNC to see it in person. Because Baseball is indeed America's pastime, and it's alive and well.

I caught some of the Washington Nationals game as well, and then read an inspiring article from To sum it up, last Wednesday, the Nationals drew a crowd larger than any game last season when they were the Expos, except for the final game at Olympic stadium. Remember when that final game was played last year? The crowd in Montreal booed during the American National Anthem. Well, screw those bloody canucks, eh? Baseball is America's sport, and I can't help but place the Nationals as my new favorite team (minus the bumbling Pirates, of course).

Baseball isn't like any other sport. It's not just about the game, it's an experience. I was gazing longingly at my panoramic photograph of old Three Rivers Stadium, and was mentally comparing the scene with PNC Park. I was at Three Rivers at least six times, four for the Steelers and two for the Pirates. There is absolutely no comparison (as far as baseball is concerned- It was a perfect place for Rooney no-frills football). Football season only covers 17 weeks, so I'm always glued to the TV for every play. With baseball, there are over 100 games during the course of a season, and the slow pace of each game really lets you relax. You can talk with family and friends, and if you visit a place like PNC Park, it's a breathtaking view that is worth your ticket admission alone (since the Pirates will doubtful give you your money's worth).

So here's to you, baseball. The true pastime of this great country.

Driving Survival

What is wrong with drivers today? I mean, seriously folks. The past few days I have been driving around Fairmont, it was like avoiding the landmines walking through the demilitarized zone in Vietnam. There were potential accidents all over the road. And bad driving apparently doesn't discriminate based on age, sex or race.

First: When pulling out of a driveway or parking lot or whatever, why do people pull like halfway in the road before stopping? I mean, I can't tell you how many bumpers I nearly took off because people like to pull out so far. You should stop you vehicle BEFORE pulling out in the road. Not afterwards...idiots.

Second: Maybe I'm wrong but I had always thought that if you were going to make a right turn at a red light, you were supposed to make sure there wasn't traffic coming that was about to plow you over. I'm not talking once or twice, but several times over the course of my driving this past weekend. I mean, if I'm heading down a hill towards the green light, the last thing I want to do is slam on my brakes because some moron pulls out in front of me going 13 MPH. If you're going to pull out in front of me, at least have the courtesy to go the speed limit.

Third: Back to the speed limit...why go 10 MPH below the speed limit on a 25 MPH road? Do you really think I want to go down Morgantown Avenue at a cruising speed of 15? I don't...and I don't appreciate it. And the fact you have to cut out in front of me to do so just makes me that much more aggravated by it.

And don't even get me started on interstate driving. I just don't know what's wrong with these people. Maybe the DMV isn't testing people any more or something. I don't see how they got their licenses. Maybe it's time to require driving lessons before people get their licenses like they do in Germany. I'm not claiming I'm the best driver in the world...but, after what I've witnessed here lately, I'd say I'm in the top 10.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

'80s Nostalgia

It amazes me the amount of '80s nostalgia that has developed. Music, fashion and culture have come back around in a big way. Maybe it was the death of the great Ronald Reagan that started it. Maybe it was VH1 "I Love the '80s" shows. Regardless, '80s is big. And, today, I will take you to a site that is completed devoted to '80s t-shirts.

80s is a great site if you're looking for some vintage 80s memorabilia. Though they'll make 80s-like shirts for more recent things, like Family Guy or Adult Swim, most of their shirts are from genuine 80s shows or bands or events. I was pretty amazed by some of them. Of course, my favorites are the video games from that Super Mario Bros. or Legend of Zelda. The Atari and Nintendo shirts are just awesome.

Some of the cool 80s bands there include Quiet Riot, Guns N Roses and Motley Crue. There's a lot of bands on there too that cross several decades like The Who and Blue Oyster Cult. The television shows and cartoons are also represented, like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dukes of Hazzard.

I could go on and on about all the stuff there but better to check it for yourself. I've never bought anything from the site but I have thought about it...just not yet. But it does bring back a lot of memories...and, well, that's pretty gnarly. Cowabunga, Dude!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

War of the Worlds

Saw the movie War of the Worlds this evening. So, I'll give you a quick review. I'll try not to spoil anything about the movie. And let me preface this by stating that I think Tom Cruise has lost his mind. Anyway, to the movie:

The movie starts out kinda slow. We have to get introduced to Tom Cruise's cool character and his family, which he obviously has some trouble with. Divorced, we see there is some tension between him and his children. This becomes a recurring theme throughout the entire two hour movie. So Tom is watching his kids when this War of the Worlds begins.

Let's just say there's a lot of special effects from this point forward. And they are good. When the aliens attack, it's pretty vicious. And don't say I spoiled's war so it's pretty apparent they attack. Tom someone manages to escape the initial attacks. Once again, a recurring theme throughout the movie. So, now their trek begins...

From that point, it's one attack after another. A lot of people walking the streets because cars no longer work. A crazy person or two along the way. At one point, I thought I was watching Independence Day, only Will Smith had been replaced by Tom Cruise.

So, that's the movie. Now, to the criticisms: the movie leaves a lot of questions about the aliens unanswered. Supposedly, these things visited at some point in the past. Where have they been? And why did they wait so long to come back? And what exactly was there goal on earth? And were there more of them somewhere or was that the whole lot of em? They really left the aliends a complete mystery. Additionally, the movie only focuses on a small window of what is happening. Independence Day at least gave a glimpse of what was happening around the world. No such luck this time.

There's a lot of little wierd things that happen that I won't get into here. But, when you get to the end and find out what happened, it's a little disappointing. But, I guess an ending is an ending.

Anyway, these movies kinda freak me out because I don't want to think about aliens attacking. But, if they do, I'm quickly going to become a member of Tom Cruise's family because, obviously, the aliens like them. Maybe it's the Scientology?

Friday, July 01, 2005

Not Gellin Like a Felon

Okay...I bought into the commercials. I thought, man, everyone's "gellin" so I need to be too. So, I went out and paid the 7 or 8 bucks to buy the things for my shoes. Seemed like a good idea...they seemed so awesome.

Anyway, bought em and the first thing I didn't like was the size. Man, you have to cut the things out of a pattern. That didn't go too well. My scissoring skills have diminished since kidergarten. My sole didn't look anything like a normal foot...all these jagged straight lines where there should have been curves. I knew this was going to be disasterous.

So, I cut them to my apparent shoe size and tried to put them in. Too big...they wouldn't fit in the I had to do a little trimming. Finally, after what seemed to be hours of cutting these things, they finally slid into my shoes. It was now time to reap the reward for all my hard work.

I went to put on the, my feet were going to be so happy. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be. My socks wouldn't slide over the gel inserts. I couldn't get my shoes on without bunching up my socks...and that's not comfortable at all. Hmmmm...

So, I tried different avail. What's going on here? Well, I thought, I have to try these things I'll go sockless with them to see if they were worth the purchase. Hmmm...feet still won't go in. Different problem though...the inserts made my shoes too tight. I couldn't wear these gel would kill my feet. By now I was pretty disgruntled. The gel inserts were thrown in the trash and won't be spoken of again. Clearly, I am not gellin.