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Presidential Pudding

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I was watching the Democratic debate tonight and kept hearing Obama use one phrase over and over: “The proof is in the pudding.” What this exactly means, I’m not entirely sure, but hey I like Obama and I sure as heck like pudding of all varieties, so hey! Here’s a new campaign poster I came up with for Obama:

 

Questioning My Own Existence

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I’m really starting to question my own existence. Yesterday was just my final proof that I don’t really live in this world. I guess I’m in some alternate reality or some crap like that. Okay, so I’m just being a tad bit sarcastic as usual, but it always seemed funny to me how I was left off of any and all lists that my name could be on. It’s not that no one thinks I exist, just anyone related to any educational establishment, apparently. Deep Run and VCU.

It started my Freshman year of high school. I had purchased a yearbook, but for some reason the lists at the end of the year had absolutely no indication that I had ever paid for one. The next year, when the student information sheets that everyone in the entire Henrico County Public Schools system receives to verify and update name, address, and other contact information, I didn’t get one, and they said they weren’t sure if there was a record of me in their information database. They had one somewhere and finally figured it out, but how’s that for strange?

Well, yesterday was my final indication in case I needed any more proof that I do not exist on this earth, at least according to any educational entity. I was at the Alpine Bagel Company inside the commons at VCU trying to grab a bagel before class. Not so much to ask, right? Well I guess I was wrong. The girl looked me straight in the face and took my order, I paid for it, and then she forgot she was supposed to make mine. After waiting for ten minutes while seemingly fifty more people were served who were in line behind me, she apologized and said my bagel was coming right up. Well, apparently it slipped her mind again and she served a few more people before I walked up to the counter and watched her make the freaking thing. I was like one of those dumb magic shows on prime time TV where they’re like “Watch closely as Veronica is sawed in half; this camera will not cut away…”. I barely blinked as she smeared cream cheese on my bagel until it was nestled safely in my hands.

So I wanted my typical Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks to go with it. I walked over to the Cabell Library to get my fix of my favorite drink, and, yep you guessed it, repeat situation. They forgot me once there, which I guess is a better track record than the bagel place, but wow. I’m gonna have to start lighting traffic flares from on top of my head and wave around sparklers or something to make sure people know I’m around I guess. Maybe a flashing LED “Trevor needs food just like everyone else in line” wouldn’t hurt, either. I’ll just wear it around my forehead or something.

Charlie Bartlett – Review

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WARNING: Spoiler Review! If you haven’t seen this movie and plan on it, you’ve been warned.

I went to see Charlie Bartlett last night. I usually go to a movie every week or so, but I hadn’t been in nearly a month. It was a great movie. Anton Yelchin plays Charlie Bartlett, a wealthy private school student who is expelled for running a lamination mill in his room where he created fake IDs for hundreds of classmates. He then decides to attend public school, still wearing his private school uniform on the first day. He tries unsuccessfully to make friends, and realizes that the best way to gain popularity is to offer free medications to fellow classmates.

Charlie begins listening to his peers’ problems in a makeshift “office” in the men’s restroom, and when he found out their issues, he goes to his psychiatrist and tells him he has the same symptoms as his classmates in order to get prescriptions he can in turn pass on to them. He makes a huge profit, wins the love of the entire student body, and largely helps them medically when no one else would listen or they had no one else to turn to with their problems.

After a while, Charlie starts dating the principal’s daughter, landing him in even more hot water than he’s already in with school administration. His drug scheme is finally busted when a classmate tries to commit suicide by overdosing on Ritalin. He ends up going to jail for a short time, but makes amends with the principal and everyone else.

This was a great story told at an interesting angle, so if you’re up for some hearty laughs, a fast-paced, fun story line, and a sprinkle or two of drama, check this film out.

Overall Rating:

Music Monday: Pat Monahan – “Two Ways To Say Goodbye”

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Pat Monahan is probably my favorite musician at the moment, out of all of the different music I listen to. He’s incredibly talented, and I think when he was the lead singer in Train, he was held back creatively in many ways. He was just way above the songs Train was producing, musically speaking. He’s much better off on his own, in my opinion. There’s no music video for this song, but he’s one of those artists who sounds even better live than on their albums. The song is called “Two Ways To Say Goodbye,” off his first solo album, “Last Of Seven,” that references the fact that he’s the youngest of seven children in his family. This was recorded at a radio station in Long Island. Take a listen.

Beefed Up

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I’ve significantly beefed up my blog. You might have noticed I added many new pages on the bar at the top, including an in-depth About Me page, Resume, Multimedia, and Projects. I’m trying to make this more of a website than just simply a blog. Have a look around and let me know what you think!

Watch The Carbs There, Hillary!

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So I couldn’t help but post this. It wasn’t on something like Jay Leno where you’d think, but rather the Nightly News with Brian Williams. I don’t think it was supposed to be funny, but I was laughing out loud. Apparently Hillary Clinton has spent $1,500 on donuts while on the campaign trail, and, get this, $11,000 on pizza! Wow. And I thought I ate out too much and didn’t eat well when I did. Now I know that’s for some of her campaign people and all, but still!

Finally, OBX To Get A Mid-Currituck Bridge!

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Finally, after years and years of talk and no real solid plans, it looks as if the Outer Banks is finally going to get the long-debated Mid-Currituck Bridge! If you’ve ever been to the Outer Banks during the peak Summer season, you’ve no doubt been stuck in endless traffic coming over the Wright Memorial Bridge into Kitty Hawk. There has been much debate about whether to construct a second bridge farther north, or simply widen Route 12 (NC-12 is the road that stretches from north of Corolla southward to Cape Hatteras and is known as the Beach Road where it parallels Highway 158 in the more commercial stretch of the Outer Banks).

Those in support of the bridge opposed the only alternative, which would have been to widen NC-12 from two to four lanes from Kitty Hawk to Corolla, in turn destroying the character of the northern Outer Banks, especially in quaint villages such as Duck.

The Outer Banks is pretty much my second home. I go there all the time with family and friends. For the most part, I stay in either Corolla or Duck (or somewhere in between), both of which are a good 45 minutes north of the Wright Memorial Bridge, and that’s without traffic backups. The Mid-Currituck Bridge would not only alleviate congestion, but also shave a lot of time off travel for people like myself that stay on that stretch of beach. Think about it. If you’re driving from Richmond, you come in south down Highway 158 on the mainland, then go across the Wright Memorial Bridge, and drive north again, and by the time you reach your beach house you’re 7 miles from where you were two hours ago.

The new bridge has been approved (funding has been approved since 1989 but nothing has been done to start construction!) and construction will start in early 2009, opening tentatively in 2013! You’ll be able to fly on across the Currituck Sound once you reach Coinjock on the mainland and be right at the TimBuck II Shopping Complex near Corolla in 5 minutes! That knocks off nearly two hours from the 4 hour trip from Short Pump to Corolla! That’s pretty exciting, and makes it a lot more affordable to go down there gas-wise. There supposedly will be an $8 toll during the peak Summer season, but that’s far less than the money it would cost for gas to drive for two more hours, plus time is money. It’s estimated the project will cost between $340 and $745 million dollars. There are six current alignment proposals, which can be seen in the map graphic.

More Information:

Project Website

Project Map (PDF)

“Build The Bridge” Non-Profit Group Website

Home Remedies

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Just for laughs; do not attempt at home! Forwarded to me via email. Pretty funny.

1. If you are choking on an ice cube simply pour a cup
of boiling water down your throat. Presto! The
blockage will instantly remove itself.

2. Avoid cutting yourself slicing vegetables by
getting someone else to hold while you chop.

3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the
toilet seat by using the sink.

4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut
yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing
the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock,
will prevent you from rolling over and going back to
sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of
laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

7. You only need two tools in life – WD-40 and Duct
Tape. If it doesn’t move and should , use the WD-40. If
it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape.

8. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to
know them.

Talking Gas Pump Rant

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So I was at the Miller’s gas station on Nuckols Road today pumping gas. It was cold as all, and me being the procrastinator that I am, had no coat to wear whatsoever because I was washing every single one at once. So not only am I standing out in the freezing cold, but then the gas pump decides it would like to strike up a chat. The first thing that loud, annoying box thing blares through the speaker tries to lure me in for a snack. “In a rush? Come on in and pick up a ready-made sandwich for the road!” No thanks, I just ate. The thing just keeps on belting out reasons that I should venture even farther from my warm car and enjoy a less-than-decent snack or beverage. It’s bad enough that the on-screen prompts ask if you want a receipt, a car wash, or want to pay in or outside (okay seriously, if I’ve already swiped my card, isn’t there, oh I don’t know, pretty much a more than 100% chance I’m paying outside?). But this thing just kept on telling me what I needed to buy. The short version: “You want a sandwich?” NO! “Some chips?” NO! “A slushy?” NO! It’d be frozen solid by the time I got it back to the car anyway. “Coffee?” I don’t like coffee. Plus, I just gave away half my life savings to the big oil companies anyway by filling my gas-sucking Xterra (I really need to sell it) all the way to the top; you think I have any more money left over to donate to your dinky mini-mart snack department anyway?

So after all of that, my receipt prints as I requested in the “Do you want a [fill in the blank with a non-needed gas station service here]” questionnaire that is thrown at you before you’re even allowed to touch the gas nozzle. The talking box on top of the gas pump then gleefully informs me of the following information:

“Welcome to Miller’s Neighborhood Market! Congratulations, you’re at the $300 Miller’s Easy Rewards gas level for February! Come on in and get a free hot dog courtesy of your friends at Miller’s!”

Well dang, all I have to say is, for $300, that thing better have flakes of gold embedded in the meat or something nifty like that. The so-called “free” hot dog was funded by my $300 in gas purchases, you ignorant talking box. Sounds like Regal Cinema’s Crown Club Card. You go see like 50 movies and you get a free small popcorn without butter. Nice! Customer loyalty programs rock.

US Spy Satellite: FAIL

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I couldn’t help but make another FAIL image for this one to send to the FAIL Blog. President Bush has ordered that a United States spy satellite that has lost power and is falling out of orbit (threatening many lives if it hits earth) is shot down by an SM-3 Navy missile in the Pacific Ocean tonight. As an interesting local note, tonight around 6:15 PM you should be able to see the satellite pass above Richmond. It will look like a very fast moving plane and will be very bright. The satellite only passes near our area a few times a month, so if it’s clear out this evening, see if you can spot it! Hopefully the missile hits it and the problem is taken care of, but rest assured, if they miss, I’ll have an even better FAIL image to post. Here’s the article about tonight’s mission:

A Navy heat-seeking missile is getting its first real-world use in an attempt to demolish a crippled U.S. spy satellite before the orbiting craft falls back to Earth. The targeting of the satellite — which could come Wednesday night — is not the mission for which this piece of the Pentagon’s missile defense network was intended, however. The attempted shootdown, already approved by President Bush out of concern about toxic fuel on board the satellite, is seen by some as blurring the lines between defending against a weapon like a long-range missile and targeting satellites in orbit.

The three-stage Navy missile, designated the SM-3, has chalked up a high rate of success in a series of tests since 2002, in each case targeting a short- or medium-range ballistic missile, never a satellite. A hurry-up program to adapt the missile for this anti-satellite mission was completed in a matter of weeks; Navy officials say the changes will be reversed once this satellite is down.

The government issued notices to aviators and mariners to remain clear of a section of the Pacific Ocean beginning at 10:30 p.m. EST Wednesday, indicating the first window of opportunity to launch an SM-3 missile from a Navy cruiser, the USS Lake Erie, in an effort to hit the wayward satellite.

Having lost power shortly after it reached orbit in late 2006, the satellite is out of control and well below the altitude of a normal satellite. The Pentagon wants to hit it with an SM-3 missile just before it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, in that way minimizing the amount of debris that would remain in space.

Left alone, the satellite would be expected to hit Earth during the first week of March. About half of the 5,000-pound spacecraft would be expected to survive its blazing descent through the atmosphere and would scatter debris over several hundred miles.

Adding to the difficulty of the shootdown mission, the missile will have to do better than just hit the bus-sized satellite, a Navy official said Tuesday. It needs to strike the relatively small fuel tank aboard the spacecraft in order to accomplish the main goal, which is to eliminate the toxic fuel that could injure or even kill people if it reached Earth. The Navy official described technical aspects of the missile’s capabilities on condition that he not be identified.
Also complicating the effort will be the fact that the satellite has no heat-generating propulsion system on board. That makes it more difficult for the Navy missile’s heat-seeking system to work, although the official said software changes had been made to compensate for the lack of heat.

The Pentagon press secretary, Geoff Morrell, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates was briefed on the shootdown plan Tuesday by the two officers who will advise him on exactly when to launch the missile — Gen. Kevin Chilton, head of Strategic Command, and Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who held Chilton’s post until last summer.

China and Russia have expressed concern at the planned shootdown, saying it could harm security in outer space. At the State Department on Tuesday, spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters that the U.S. action is meant to protect people from the hazardous fuel and is not a weapons test.