Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Stillers Suck, and yes that is with a capitol S! It was so bad today I couldn't even watch the last 6 minutes of the game. In case you missed it, here is the game, play by play, or something close to it.
  • Kickoff, Stillers got 2 yards and punted
  • Ravens scored
  • Ben sacked
  • Ben sacked
  • Ben sacked
  • Ben sacked
  • Somewhere here the Ravens scored again
  • Probably an interception/fumble around here
  • Ben sacked
  • Ben sacked
  • Another fumble here, probably a pretty bad one
  • I'm sure Baltimore scored again here
  • Ben sacked
  • Ben sacked
And that's when I stopped watching. There is no offensive line, there is hardly a defense and no one is willing to go the extra mile and attempt to catch the ball! Currently they lead the NFL in turnovers, which for you non-football followers, is not a good stat to have. Will they ever be good again? Will Ben ever come back from his motorcycle accident and appendectomy? Will the world ever be at peace again? Stay tuned. For whatever reason, I know I will.

And one more thing, only one month left until total depression!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My arm is sore today thanks to hours and hours of Wii playing yesterday (mainly tennis). How sweet is that?! Nintendo ROCKS!

Monday, November 20, 2006

So in a fairytale world I would have gotten home and played my new Nintendo for the rest of my life (or until I got hungry, whichever came first). Unfortunately, my life is anything but a fairytale. I made it home with enough time to grab a shower and head to church. I was still running off a crap load of adrenaline, and a hoggle of Breakfast Blend coffee from Sheetz at this point. By the time I made it to church I was fading fast. I nearly fell asleep during the pastoral prayer and thus decided to pray with my eyes open for the remainder of the service. I sadly declined and invitation to dinner with The Neighbors and headed straight home to hit the sack.

I got home and fell on the couch, throwing my eyeglasses on the floor whilst in mid fall. The Dad just watched me and laughed. He started telling me about a newspaper article that he had read about people standing inline for PS3s and Wiis, but sadly that was all I remember. I was out cold 1 minute into his story. After a couple of minutes of laying on the couch completely lifeless, I gimped upstairs and fell into bed, much the same way I fell onto the couch. There I crashed hard for about 3 hours. I’ve only slept in such a matter about three times in my life that I can remember. Once was back my freshman year in college where I decided to stay up all night to watch the sunrise in the morning during Finals Week while everyone else was studying. The second was after a 48-hour day celebrating a college roommate’s soon-to-be marriage at his bachelor’s party in NYC. The third obviously being just this past weekend. This kind of sleep can be described as an absolute blackout. I hear nothing, I feel nothing, I sense nothing, and I react to absolutely nothing. It’s just me in total nothingness for hours, completely lifeless. You could probably compare it to a drunken pass out, but I’ve never been there.

Finally about three hours later I awoke feeling ridiculously groggy and tremendously weak (keep in mind I hadn’t eaten or drank anything except for a Schmiscuit and coffee since supper the previous evening. I dragged myself downstairs only to find the Stillers down 10-20 with about 6 minutes to go in the forth. The Sister called at some point after I woke up, but I really don’t recall too much of the conversation unfortunately. I know I didn’t give her details she was hoping for. Sorry Jenn, we’ll talk this weekend. Once the Stillers pulled off an amazing victory over the poophead Browns, I found the strength to begin installing my new Wii. I got ‘er all hooked up and ready to go in no time. I created my Mii, setup the wireless communications, and configured the rest of the system. I slapped in Wii Sports, the game the unit came with, and got to play for about an hour before it was time for supper.

Now I’m not an idiot (most times) and I don’t play one on TV, but this next move could classify me as such. The Dad made supper early so I could get my lazy can out of the house to play volleyball that evening. What was wrong with me? All I wanted to do was sit down, and play my Wii, while mentally100%, for the rest of time! Was that so much to ask? Apparently because I felt I had to meet all other obligations. So I ate, drove out to The Big City only to find out the team we were supposed to play forfeited. I then drove back to The Park to play a game at another league. By this time my supper had mostly set it and I had a little energy, but not enough to play decently, as was probably evident by my collapsing on the floor (in much the same matter I did on the couch and in bed earlier that day) after the match was over.

But I couldn’t let the weekend go by with me making the purchase of the century and not using the blasted thing. So I drove myself home and finally played for about 3 hours. Sunday night was one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a while. It was hard to pick myself out of bed Monday morning for work, and believe me I seriously contemplated not coming in so I could begin my massive life-long Wii experience, but I couldn’t bring myself to do so. My only saving grace: this week is Turkey Week and I have Thursday off. You can guess what I’ll be doing all day long! Nintendo ROCKS!
So I spent Saturday night at the most expensive, coldest slumber-party-with-30-or-so-complete-strangers, ever! This is the story about me and my quest (and a long quest at that) for the Nintendo Wii. Apparently this has sparked much more interest that I had originally thought, so without further ado.

My original plans for picking myself up the new Nintendo was just to go to the different stores in Altoona early Sunday morning in order of opening and stand in line for a little until I got one. Here was my proposed list: Best Buy at 9am, Circuit City and/or Toys R Us at 10am, Sears at 11am. I figured if I showed up at one of those stores a couple hours before hand, I’d be set. As the story goes, if Altoona was as disconnected from the rest of the world as most people think it is, I wouldn’t have had an issue. Unfortunately State College, PA is only about 40 minutes away and with people camping out there since Tuesday, a large population of Penn Staters (who didn't get lost on the way) found their way to the Railroad City a day before the release.

As you know I drove around town Saturday afternoon scoping out lines, which were nonexistent at that point, and store opening times. My plans were set and I was pumped. Then around 10pm Saturday evening I was chillin’ with The Neighbors at the new Barnes & Nobel (a real bookstore! In Altoona! Oh so happy this makes me.) bookstore and asked them to drive past the Best Buy just to humor me. WTF? There were people standing in line! I began to panic. “That was it,” I decided. I was driving home, grabbing my sleeping bag and pillow and hitting the stores that evening.

Since Walmart is open 24/7 in Altoona, I made it there by 1045pm for the 12am Wii release. Unfortunately they told me that they only had 29 units and there were more than 29 people in line already. Again, slightly more panic. On my way out of Walmart I glanced at the Circuit City and Target shopping centers to see huge lines and tents all around the building. I hit the gas and got myself to the new Best Buy at the new Logan Town Center as quickly as possible. I parked the car and hastily wondered toward the front door where an employee was talking to a Wii campie. BB Employee told me that the store opened at 9am Sunday morning and that Best Buy could only guarantee 15 units, but they might have more than that. There were already 19 people in line. That made me 5 units past the guarantee. It was crap-or-get-off-the-pot time. I stuck my name in the number 20 spot on the unofficial in-line list and got my sleeping bag out of my car. I was camping out on the Best Buy sidewalk.

The night started off pretty interesting. There was a diverse bunch there: three physics grad students doing their quantum mechanics homework (which was done in an Analog Electronic format if you remember those days Andy), boyfriends and girlfriends being obnoxious in their tents driving their radio controlled cars around the parking lot, a Sears employee who wasn’t allowed to buy a Wii at his workplace, some Dungeons and Dragons uber fanatics and a mass of other strangers I’ll never see again. By about 4am I was flippin’ freezing because it was 30 degrees outside and I was dead tired thanks to the obnoxious group a few people down from me. I pulled myself off the arctic concrete and walked to my car where I drove down to Sheetz to use the bathroom and get feeling back to my feet. I spent another half hour in my car with the heat blasting just staying warm before I went back out to my sleeping bag under the bright halogen lights of the store to try and catch some Zs. Finally around 5am I fell asleep.

So the plan the night before was to wake up and form our official line at 6am. Around 615am I awoke and saw no one around me. I began to panic as I grabbed a jacket and made my way to the front of the store with the rest of the crowd. We formed our official line based off of the unofficial list and awaited for a revealing of the number of actual units the store had had. By 7am we had our answer. 24! I finally showed Luck who was in charge! Now grant it we had an inside source the night before that told us just that, but it wasn’t an official word. I still like to think I grabbed Luck by the sack and whipped him around a little. Anywho so the game plan was at 8am Best Buy would hand out tickets that guaranteed a unit, to the first 24 people in line. So from 7am to 8am we continued to freeze our a**es off as we awaited for the manager autographed tickets. A few people originally like me showed up around those times to try and stand in line, but we informed them it would be a lost cause unless someone happened to have bad credit. And there I stood thinking if I wasn’t (or was depending on how you view this incident) so crazy that would be me getting rejected. So finally after about 3 completely numb toes and a frozen chin plate (I have a metal plate in my chin by the way, and it gets cold pretty fast) we got our tickets. Lucky number twenty was on mine. "SCORE!!" I texted a couple of my friends that knew I may attempt such a feat. At that time Best Buy informed us of how this would all go down. We would make a single file line and at 9am they would let us in. We would walk around a small semicircle picking out the games and accessories we wanted, then stop at the register and make our purchase. At that time they would check our ticket, and then individually escort us to our vehicle and hand the Wii over. A little extreme I thought, but with all the violence from the PS3 release, probably pretty smart on Best Buy’s part. Plus it sort of made you feel important. Even though they just saw all of us as a huge nuisance.

Once I got my ticket I jumped in my car to get warm and grabbed a coffee and Shmiscuit at Sheetz. I was back in line by 845am and was walking out the door with my Nintendo Wii (and escort) by 945am. As I drove home that day I felt like I had just had the biggest accomplishment in my entire life. Forget graduating college Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Forget passing the first half of the test to obtain my Professional Engineering label, forget landing a nice job at The Workplace where I can pretty much do whatever I think is best. All that junk overshadowed by an amazing retail purchase of a Nintendo Wii, extra controller and nun chuck, and the new Monkey Ball.

Don't worry there's more, but I really should do some actual work.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

PS3 Sux!I have my plan of attack for tomorrow. If you’re completely clueless about the big event that is going down tomorrow, let me clue you in. Tomorrow is the official US release of the 5th generation video game console, the Nintendo Wii. Yeah so I’m not completely sold on the name, but I love Nintendo and I’m pretty sure I’m going to love the Wii. I’ve already written about the awesomeness that is the Wii so you’ll have to check out some previous posts to find out what all the hype is about. In any event I’m not going to give you my game plan quite yet just in case some people around here try to beat me to the stores. I’ll leave it at this. I definitely have a back up for the back up and another backup after that. I checked out the stores today, found the opening times for tomorrow and made sure no one was waiting in line yet for tomorrow’s openings (I did my homework). They weren’t. This is Altoona, PA remember? Frankly I don’t anticipate anyone really camping out tonight. Maybe in the bigger cities like New York or LA, where Nintendo is sponsoring giant parties and music festivals to keep their fans entertained, but not here. But then again I could be wrong. Let’s hope I’m not. If you don’t hear from me in a while it’s because I’m sitting in front of my TV playing my new Nintendo Wii for the remainder of my free time for the rest of my life, or until the 6th generation consoles get released.

On a final note, you'll never hear me say this again, but Go Buckeyes! Boo Michigan!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

iPod RipoffToday Microsoft is releasing their new portable MP3 player called Zune to compete with the music player powerhouse known as iPod. Personally I think Zune sounds like crap. And here is why I think so.

While the Zune will be sporting a bigger video display than the iPod, it is also twice the size. That’s the best thing about the iPod! I can stick it in pocket (even with my protective cover on it) and barely even know it’s there. The Zune, well heck who knows if you will even be able to buy a protective cover for it that isn’t stupid looking.

The music sharing capabilities of the Zune are just are stupid. While it will have integrated WiFi and you can transfer your favorite songs wirelessly to your buddies, your friends will only be able to listen to the songs 3 times before they are forced to buy the music. Frankly I think that’s retarded.

Microsoft thinks that another great feature of the Zune is that you can listen to FM radio on the beast as well as your MP3s. I think this is a brainless idea as well. Why would I want to tune in to a static-filled radio station with craploads of obnoxious commercials and a playlist with songs I don’t even want to hear when I have all the commercial free music I could ever want on the same device? Now if you could rip the songs from the radio that might be nice, but I seriously doubt that will be a feature, and even if it was, you would rip the sound of the universe (aka, static) along with the music you actually want and frankly, who really wants that?

The harddrive size on the Zune is also only 30 gig from what I hear. That’s half the size of my current iPod and they now have iPods you can buy with even more space for your songs, videos and other junk. So buy an iPod.

Finally I think a lot of people are just down right anti-Microsoft. It would appear, based off of the Zune website, that Microsoft is attempting to market this new device towards the artsie fartsie crowd. Guess what? Those people are already hooked on Apple and have been for years.

Ultimately I’m not going to buy myself a Zune. I don’t care if the new Windows Media Player will have integrated Zune support. Even more reason for me to not to buy one. Frankly I think Microsoft needs to get an original idea instead of copying other companies such as Nintendo and Apple. Maybe they should go back to developing software. In my opinion they still need to make up for that slop of an operating system they called Windows ME!

Monday, November 13, 2006

It seems like I just left work Friday afternoon and then came in the next day (which turned out to be Monday) for the new week. As Randy from American Idol would say, “Aight, so check it out dawg.” Friday I got home from The Workplace and wound up going over to my friends place for dinner where he made some great deer steaks from the giant buck he murdered the previous weekend. After that and half a movie later I was headed back for home to grab some shuteye for the volleyball tournament on Saturday. I then woke up Saturday morning nice and early and headed on down to Bedford for the tourney. About 40 kills, 12 service aces, 1 painful facial from a D-I men’s volleyball player, and a 3rd place victory later I was in my car and headed for Messiah College and a Jars of Clay concert to meet up with The Neighbors and another good friend from college.

Now the concert I thought started at 7PM and I left Bedford around 5PM giving me just enough time to arrive at Messiah just before the start, with my disgustingly sweaty and smelly self intact, however, I found out just as I was leaving the tournament that the concert didn’t start until 8PM. So I took a little side trip and broke into my friend’s house to grab a quick shower on the way down there (don’t worry, she knew I was doing that [just incase you’re concerned about me taking showers in your house without you knowing, fear not as I do tend to let people know a couple hours ahead of time]). Around 730PM I grabbed what I thought was going to be a quick burger at Sheetz which turned out to be a massive waiting game where I wound up stuffing my face with burger during my 5 minute car ride from Sheetz to Messiah.

Finally I arrived just before the concert and got to semi-sing along with one of my favorite bands. I guess I should have kept up with their albums, as I didn’t know most of their songs since the last album I listened to of theirs is about 5 years old.

Hey guess what, it’s side story time. Now since this concert was at my Alma Mater the majority of the people at the concert were in fact current college students. No big surprise to me at all. What did surprise me was that while I sat in my nice familiar chapel seat, that I spent oh so many chapels sleeping thru with my “borrowed” Lottie Nelson Cafeteria coffee mug full of pipin’ hot chocolate in one hand and my head in the other, and looked around the gymnasium I noted the sheer amount of students with their cell phones open taking pictures, or texting or what-have-you. Now I didn’t get cell service in the gym and I use one of the biggest carriers in The States (or so they say) so I can’t imagine they were all making phone calls. Now taking pictures I can semi-understand even though pictures from cell phones stink and are crappie as all get-out (the majority of people in this world don’t really care about quality for some reason), but the people texting messages for half the concert just didn’t make any sense to me. Why even come when you can sit in your nice comfy dorm chair with your laptop and the band’s latest CD playing and IM your friends for free?! I just didn’t get it. But then again I have noticed that I’m not a college student anymore and usually I tend to find most people younger than I am (the majority of which are students, and note I said most, not all) idiotic and lemming-esk1.

So back to my super-fast weekend. After the concert I grabbed a coffee at Sheetz with my friends and took off for home once again. One Breakfast Blend coffee and 34 songs on my iPod later I made it home and into bed around 2AM. Since God has a hilarious sense of humor far beyond that of my own I didn’t sleep at all that night thanks to my muscle aching body and thought-consuming mind. So at 8AM I pulled myself out of bed to get ready for the Stiller game! I met up with the other members of The Steelers Fans-tastic 4, which is now The Steelers Fans-tastic 4 Minus One Because She Moved to Alabama But That’s Okay Because We Picked Up a Great, Fun Replacement. So, yeah The Steelers Fans-tastic 4 . . . still. We made it to the game with our long underwear and heavy jackets in place under our heavy coats. Seven Kit Kats, 47 Swedish Fish, 3 giant chocolate thin mints, 2 beers and 1 Italian sandwich later we made it to our seats ready to cheer on the home team. We were a little cold during the first half, so we went inside to warm up during the third quarter. Come the top of the fourth I was ready to be back out there again to scream and shout, so we went back outside to watch the end of the game. From the beginning of the game, 213 rush yards by Fast Willie Parker, 5 Steelers touchdowns, 1 really bad Roughing The Passer call, and 31,416 verbal profanities later we were on our way back home from The Steel City. Another Italian sandwich, countless college/friend stories, 7 unfinished rounds of Deserted Island, and one Booze Bus story later, I had arrived home around 1030PM last night and stupidly decided to post my pictures from the Stillers game online (which can be found here, or on my Facebook account) which allowed me to be in bed by 1130PM.

Next thing I knew my alarm was going off and I had to be at work in less than an hour. WTF? Where did my weekend go?

1Lemmings (as in the Lemmings video game series) are small, green-haired humanoid beings that mindlessly walk en masse into any danger in their path, following the popular myth that real lemmings behave in a similarly suicidal fashion (Wikipedia).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

This week’s The Office spoiler. Don’t read this post until you’ve watched The Office this week!

Mr Poop?I don’t know if I like the direction The Office is going. For the last two seasons the TV show has been about just that, the office, The Workplace. Of course there was a little side theme there with the tension between Jim and Pam, but that’s all it was, just a side theme. That was The Office I came to know and love. The Office I could relate to, The Office I had grown up with. But now, NBC has unleashed what I like to call The Relationship Monster. Starting next week, Jim will move back to Scranton and will bring along his new hottie, Karen. Now personally I like Karen, mainly because I refuse to jump on the Jim and Pam bandwagon. In my opinion Pam had her chance and she definitely blew it. Unfortunately life is not a fairy tale and we are forced to live with our mistakes. Just because she is ridiculously attractive doesn't mean she gets 50 chances at everything in life. Had she accepted Jim’s offer last season, I would have been more than happy (listen to me talk about these people like they’re actually real; I have got to get some kind of life eventually) for the two of them.

So now after me rambling on, NBC has apparently decided that they want to get the three of them involved in some kind of love triangle. This is no longer The Workplace. I can no longer relate. Why? Because the show isn’t about the office anymore; it’s about relationships. I don’t need yet another TV show about that. So here’s the deal. While I’m not going to stop watching, I am going to tell you what the show needs to be about again. It needs to be about people “working” in the office. And by “working” I know 90% of my readers know what I mean. Remember when they had The Office Olympics? Or how about the time Jim spent the whole day moving Dwight’s desk closer and closer to the restroom? Or even the time they had a basketball competition during the afternoon? This is what “going to work” is all about. This is what real people do at work my friends. This is what I want to watch on TV. I am not a girl, nor have I been craving more shows about relationship. Nah uh. Let’s get back to the basics!

I will say this; the fact that Jim occasionally sends Dwight faxes from Dwight’s future self may have been the absolute funniest past of tonight’s episode. [Sigh.] At least it still has some real parts about The Workplace. For now anyway. So while some people read my blog and try to live vicariously thru me (you know who you are out there), I try and watch TV and live vicariously thru it. See this whole world has a sort of balance to it after all.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

So the voting booth designers and programmers listen to iPods apparently. How do I know this? My voting station today was like a big a** iPod with a big ol’ spin wheel navigator. I rotated that bad boy clockwise, and my highlighted entry scrolled down. I rotated ‘er counterclockwise and it was soaring back up again. I then clicked the giant enter button made for blind people and BOOM my selection was made. Basically I was pretty pleased with my voting experience today. Just like tuning in to the latest podcast from Scientific American. Man am I a loser or what? Don’t answer that.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Only two more days of this pre-election advertising left. In light of this news I decided that I myself would run for a local office. I’ve been working on my TV spot and came up with the following script.

(As read by James Earl Jones of course)
Do you know where your son or daughter is right now? [Other Candidate] doesn’t. He’s too concerned with raising gas prices and fighting the people fighting the war in Iraq. He doesn’t give a flying [BEEP] about your kids. James Barley does. [Other Candidate] also doesn’t give a rat’s [BEEP] about your television, or car, or house. He would rather be giving himself a pay raise so he could buy more televisions, and cars and houses. James Barley cares about that sort of crap. And when [Other Candidate] just stood by and watched as the world came to an end, James didn’t. He wasn’t standing at all. That’s an event that you need to sit down for. So why elect [Other Candidate]? He’s a Mother [BEEP], Son of a [BEEP], [BEEP] [BEEP], [BEEP] Head. And that’s just uncalled for. James is none of that, and he cares about you as is clearly evident by this commercial. So don’t you be a [BEEP] Head too. Vote for James Barley, biatch.

Paid for by people who don’t even know they are giving money for this commercial.

Of course there would be real pictures of me holding babies and forged pictures of Other Candidate smoking cigars, burning flags and kissing "Women of the Street" slowly progressing thru the background. Should blend right in with the rest of the ads out there and is just as informative. I think anyway.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

So I met one of the candidates for PA State Senate today. And by meet I mean was introduced to, and shook hands. Not one of those stand-50-feet-away-and-the-guy-indirectly-waves-to-you kind of meet. It's my guess that The Workplace is supporting his candidacy as I was introduced to him during his personal tour of The Workplace. John Eichelberger is the man of conversation here. With only hearing negative ad campaigns on TV from the candidates that I tend to mostly tune out, the only thing I can gather from this fellow is that he would most likely be Republican, since The Workplace would be endorsing him. So in light of that whole thing I decided that I didn't know squat about the upcoming elections so I set out to find some more information on the candidates that would actually be informative, unlike the TV and radio ads.

Enter Project Smart Vote. This site appears to be geared toward a person of just my inquiry. Here you can give your 9 digit zip code and it will give you a list of all the candidates running in your area with tons of information about each one. I'm still not ruling out voting only for the Independents this election year, but maybe this site may help persuade me with a little more insight into who these people actually are and why they feel the need to verbally abuse one another and think that’s cool. It’s my guess that John Kerry is just now discovering you can’t just go around verbally assaulting people. Even if he was just trying to make a joke (Ha, yeah right).