Monday, January 29, 2007

This picture is Luck. The following story is my life on Luck. You’ll have questions.

If you’ve been wondering why it’s flippin’ freezing outside and snowing like it’s going out of style it’s because recently (and for a short period of time only) I have come into the possession of one BMW Z3 convertible. It’s on loan from my great aunt who is currently and temporarily unable to drive it. I’ve been itching to drive this thing for years and years now! Then finally I had my chance. And what the flip happened? It went from 65 to 25 in exactly 10 hours flat. Add a couple inches of snow and that adds up to me driving the thing approximately 7 times, one of which was in an ice storm and another in a flippin’ blizzard.

Last night I left home to eat dinner with my grandma and the weather was beautiful out! The roads were dry and the sun was shining (still blazin’ cold though). So I figured I take The Beamer out. I left after dinner to drive into The Big City to play some volleyball and suddenly it was a white out! I couldn’t see the road markings, I was sliding all over the place (why anyone would want a vehicle with rear-wheel drive is beyond me), and I couldn’t see more that 20 feet in front of me. By the time I got there and back narrowly avoiding two sliding collisions and one heck of an icy parking space, I was half drained. If I were a woman, I probably would have cried. Every day I take my Chevy out because they call for snow, it doesn’t and roads are dry. I back The Beamer out of the garage and it’s a guaranteed snow maker. WTF? I told my dad last night I was never driving the thing again. While I do like the snow it’s not worth that kind of emotional stress. What does it matter anyway? As soon as I return the car the temps will be back up to 70. When the weather gets nice again, you’ll know when I returned The Beamer.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

You know what I think is stupid about Latin routed languages? It’s the fact that we have to have thirty million words that mean the same thing. In my opinion synonyms should be outlawed! If you hate something, you say you hate it, not be able to have options like abhor, detest, loath, dislike, and so on and so forth. Now I know what you’re thinking, “those words all have slightly different meanings.” Ah! Don’t give me that smut! The minor differences in definition of those words are completely negligible in my opinion. Now I don’t know a whole lot about pictogram languages such as Chinese, or ancient Egyptian, but it would seem that in such a language you wouldn’t have those kinds of redundancies. Ahh an efficient language: music to an engineer-programmer’s ear. If only human languages were as efficient as computer languages. Of course songs and poetry probably wouldn’t be too good if they couldn’t find the right word. That’s where we humans differ from computers I suppose. While computers calculate off of logic and logic alone, we humans have the ability to be creative and spontaneous, a concept that I don’t ever see a computer comprehending or demonstrating. Hopefully . . .

Thursday, January 25, 2007

So I put the Nintendo Wii down for a little while, but only to pick my new favorite game, Guitar Hero for the PS2. Who’s a flippin’ rock star? I am! I can thank my buddy Nevling for getting me on this kick. He got the game for Christmas and the first time I played it, I was hooked. I went out to Circuit City last Friday, spent a little Christmas cash and ended up standing and jamming with my mini guitar in front of the TV all day Saturday. While some people may play the game and think, “This is awesome! I love playing this!” I on the other hand . . . well okay I am thinking that while I’m playing, but I’m also thinking, “Wow, my brain is adapting ridiculous fast to learn how to play this.”

For those of you new to the conception known only as Guitar Hero, let me explain a little. In this game you play the guitar. End of story. You rock out to such fabulous classic rock songs such as Jessica by The Allman Brothers, Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns ‘N Roses and of course Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (if you’re good enough). Your guitar has 5 buttons on the arm, a strum button on the face, and a whammy bar to rock the eff out of any song. You watch the TV and as the fret buttons scroll to the bottom of the screen you push those buttons on the guitar, and the strum button at the same time. Voila! You’ve got the note that needed to be played for the song. String a whole slew of notes together and you’ve got a kick a** tune!

So anywho, back to my original thought about the brain. Basically when you pick this game up and start playing you need to make some neural connections to play. The connections will assist you in moving your fingers to the right fret when your eyes see the note on the screen. The more you play the more neural connections and networking, thus the better you get. What’s amazing is how fast those connections can be made. In just a few short hours I went from a darn poor rendition of Shout at the Devil on easy to a pretty solid performance of Crazy on You. Do you realize what the brain has to do to accomplish this? No one really knows how it does it, but it does. And in record time. As children these networks branch out quicker and bigger than when we are older. It’s why kids learn so much faster than us. And it’s probably why this 8-year-old kid can play at a level that I’m pretty sure I won’t achieve unless I abandon my life and become a Guitar Hero monk living in Timbuck Tu for the next 50 years. And that ain’t happening anytime soon.

How fascinating and complex our little brain is. I wonder what it will be able to do in another couple thousand years . . .

Monday, January 22, 2007

I must admit, even I lost hope when Indy was down 21-3 during last night’s AFC playoff game between the Colts and the Patriots. Wanting New England to win a football game is like wanting the Yankees to win a baseball game. It’s something people just hate to do. The Pats have won what, 3 of the last 6 Super Bowls? Tom Brady and his mother truckin’ powerhouse of a team need to get used to disappointment in my opinion because honestly any sane person who enjoys watching football should not be routing for the Patriots anytime soon. New England has had a good number of years in sports this decade, but frankly you won’t find me routing any of their teams on for a very long while. Manning finally was able to step it up last night and honestly who doesn’t want him to win Super Bowl XLI? Anyone that routes for D-CAF and insurance adjusters, and gets cantaloupes signed for his little brother is okay in my book.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Jimmy OriginalI can’t understand how some days there is a puddle of liquid at the base of the urinal in the men’s restroom at The Workplace. I’ve flushed enough times to know that there isn’t that much water being splashed out, and I have yet to see the urinal overflow and create a puddle of this size (nothing huge, but more than just a few drops). Now I do remember a time when I was but a young buck wandering the halls of my elementary school learning to read, when my friends and I thought it would be cool to see how far we could stand from the urinal and still make it in (when you’re that small, six feet seems like a mile!). But I’ll emphasize again, I was still learning how to read. I’m not ruling this scenario entirely out though as I do believe some of the people there could still qualify for the second grade as is evident with The Poop on the Floor incident (sounds like a The Office episode uncannily enough [typed with extreme enthusiasm {typed with sheer sarcasm}]). I think the most likely explanation for the puddle is due to a small spill during it’s daily cleaning in the wee hours of the night. The puddle seems to only present itself in the morning and rarely makes an appearance in the afternoon. Sadly this is what I think about while standing a foot away from, and staring at the restroom’s stamped concrete block wall. And yes that is A Captain Jimmy original picture and yes that is of our restroom at The Workplace.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I was driving home from The Workplace the other day when I started to think about physics. Grant it this isn’t an uncommon thing for me to do, but I started to appreciate the force we have come to ignore and disregard, friction. The fact is that if it weren’t for friction the car that was sending me 70 MPH across The Cove landscape would be in absolutely no forward motion at all. The reason (not the sole reason, but one of many many reasons) a car can travel down (or up, or what-have-you) the road at all is because the coefficient of static friction of rubber in contact with the road is greater than zero. This then got me thinking, “What would our world be like without friction?” I’m pretty sure now it would be non-existent. While gravity would still govern our position on this planet, without a frictional force we’d just be standing in place not moving. Every time we’d try to take a step, we’d go nowhere. It would be like walking on the slipperiest ice ever, but even more slippery. We’d just look like a bunch of cartoon characters running in place going nowhere. Nails wouldn’t work anymore, as friction could no longer hold them in place in wood so you can forget about building anything. Forget about embracing anyone or anything ever again. Seizing anything would be like trying to grab a wet bar soap in the shower, only worse (and not as disgusting). Have you ever tried to climb a giant bar of Irish Spring when you were little? It’s not an easy feat.

You can gather now that literally the world as we know it would have fallen apart without the force of friction. Theoretically it would have never been able to come to be at all, but that’s not near as much fun to think about. Luckily we never have to worry about friction just disappearing since it is not a fundamental force and originates from the electromagnetic forces and exchange forces between atoms. You could argue for a universe without friction if you believed in parallel universes, but this would only be for an infinite parallel universe model that I believe is entirely inaccurate and erroneous, but that’s a-whole-nother driving-home-from-The-Workplace thought.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I think meetings at The Workplace should be much more like sport huddles or team strategy meetings. Think about it? These sport occurrences pump you up, get you ready to play your best, and quickly and efficiently address any issue that the team may be having and how to overcome it. Meetings at The Workplace are often lengthy, indecisive, unproductive, and meaningless. Rarely is anyone commended on his or her work or attendance. Most people love sports so why not make a boring, lifeless workday become interesting and competitive? Besides, what wouldn’t be awesome about everyone putting his or her hands in the middle of the conference table, raising their hands and shouting, “GOOOOOOOOO WORKPLACE!?” That or clap “BREAK!” The occasional chest-to-chest exclamation might be useful too on completion of a well-executed project.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Friend VWhile I haven’t broken anything with my Nintendo Wii-mote yet, or needed to replace one of those idiotic wrist straps, the same isn’t true for my game crazed friends. Let’s start with Friend V. She was preparing for the tennis backhand of all time when she released the Wii-mote like an Ultimate Frisbee kickoff. Had she been sporting the wrist strap I’m sure the strap would have broke sending the remote into the wall creating a hole probably visible with our government’s spy satellites. Luckily the strap wasn’t present thus allowing the remote a straight line or travel sending it directly into a picture frame on the wall next to the TV shattering glass throughout a meter radius. A loud sound erupted along with instant amazement that the remote was no longer in V’s hand.

Friend E. She was preparing for the tennis overhand smack down of the millennium when her remote escaped her grasp narrowly missing Friend A and M’s faces by near centimeters. The Wii-mote ended up 12 feet behind her crashing to the tiled kitchen floor.

Finally Friend A, whom after seeing the results of V, and being saved by the Grace of God with E, decided she would don the wrist strap in an effort to not only save lives, but also my furniture. Sadly I thought the wrist strap recall was to be mocked instead of followed thru with allowing A to chuck the remote full bore at the fireplace during one wicked tennis forearm follow-thru. The strap snapped, the fireplace screamed, and the room silenced. Fortunately the remote missed the glass doors by a finger width, hitting the metal frame around them instead. Nothing was damaged (except the strap).

Now grant it what some of you might take away from this story is to not let your friends play with your Wii. Or maybe you should make your friends wear the wrist straps (that you should make sure you replace if they were recalled). Or maybe don’t let girls play in general, or teachers for that matter (all friends involved with mishandling the Wii-motes were school teachers mind you). But if there’s anything I learned this past weekend it was this: those Wii-motes can take a hell of a lot of abuse and still work like champs! The same remote was involved in all accidents and it still can knock the stink out of any pursuing rabbid!

Oh yeah, I also learned to get a copy of Rayman Raving Rabbids now!! I said NOW! GO! HURRY! Do it now before I get angry!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

So when you spend time at home on Saturdays you tend to play a lot of video games and watch a lot of TV. Well at least I do. So after I played Wii for a few hours this past weekend I needed a break. Sadly I was sick of the normal stuff I watch on TV so I decided to pick something I’d never ever watch. Like the movie Ice Princess. Why did I watch this? It’s everything I hate. Figure skating, high school, attractive nerds that don’t actually want to be nerds. I felt much less like a dude and more like a teenage prom queen after watching this. This is NOT a good feeling.

However, onto my main point of this entry. If you’re looking for the most asinine, the most ridiculous, the most stupid, brainless, obnoxious, loathsome, detestable, idiotic and intolerable TV show of all time, look no further than the show Pants Off Dance Off. This can be found on the FUSE network (which I don’t even know what they are supposed to be broadcasting or what that stands for) usually around 10PM or so. Somehow this magnificent whorish entertainment has found its way into its second season. How this is even remotely possible I’ll never know nor attempt to comprehend. The show is exactly what the title says. Contestants have a dance off while taking their pants (and the rest of their clothes) off. Of course the censor picture comes up once they’ve gotten everything off, but you can text, send money and then download the actual uncensored footage if you mistakenly feel inclined to do so. I wouldn’t really recommend this mainly because, well it costs money, and 90% of the contestants are either butt ugly, a dude or both. But wait, things get better! The dancer is superimposed on the music video of the song they are stripping to. The icing on the cake is when the other contestants appear on the screen and talk smack about the current dancer. Then there takes place what is called the “Dance Off” (I have no idea how they ever came up with that name). This is where the smack talker and pants offer both appear and dance on the screen, now wait for it, AT THE SAME TIME! This lasts approximately 10 seconds before the smack talker is instantly removed from the screen and the song (and dancer usually) come to an end.

So if you have low self esteem either about the way you dance, look, or both, or you feel your sex life is a little disappointing, you could do yourself a favor and watch this show. It would be like an instant esteem high! I wouldn’t recommend this for more than 10 minutes however, as you might actually find blood spewing from your nasal cavity in what I like to call the Aneurysm of Unimaginable Abhorrent TV Filth.

Friday, January 05, 2007

WTF? I do it every year and this year is no exception. This is where I complain about the flippin’ weather. In the words of my neighbor, “It is mad hot outside.” I hate this weather. People keep telling me how nice the weather is outside. I respond to them, “No! No it’s not!” That or, “Don’t talk to me” depending on who told me the inaccurate fact. Do you realize that as I type this entry it is a whopping sixty mother truckin' degrees outside my window? Big whoop you say?! It’s flippin’ January! Josh sent me an email today that read this:

From: Josh
To: Jamie
Subject: Hidden valley
Hidden valley is ready to go! See you on the slopes!


I responded simply with:

From: Jamie
To: Josh
Subject: Re: Hidden valley
I hate you!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Well, it’s 2007 and the excitement (or lack there of) of the holidays is finally over. Another year has come and gone and with that, unfortunately another birthday. This is where I express to my readers how depressed my birthday makes me. Of course just like last year the question of the day was, “If your this depressed at [insert age here], what will you be like at 50?” And once again, just like last year, I’d answer, “Be even more depressed.” I’m not sure I can out-do last year’s post with why one should be depressed, but make sure you haven’t missed it by reading it here. It really was a piece of work I am quite proud of. As for this year, I’m thinking I’ll just tell you how unbelievably lifeless my life is with:

Captain Jimmy’s Favorite Moments of 2006, Being 25

My quarter century year started off really well. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see all that snow! And I can’t tell you because it didn’t happen. And while I said I would never get another season pass to The Knob, guess what, I did. And guess what? IT STILL ISN’T SNOWING!

The Stillers pulled off one heck of a Super Bowl XL victory. It may have been the highlight of the year. Of course once all the excitement was over, well that was exactly it. The excitement was over.

There were those two beach volleyball tournaments I won in Rehoboth beach this summer. Those were nice. Of course there were countless, countless others that I lost in the playoffs, mostly in the semi-finals. And by countless I mean the number won’t all fit on my extremities.

Ah Easter with the family. Between that and trips to Buffalo, NY, I’m not really what sent my heart into cardiac arrest.

Another good friend from college got married. While I couldn’t be more than happy for them, weddings are nothing more than a slap in my face at yet another failure in my life. I like to call that The Inability to Attract the Like Age Opposite Sex. Nothing like keeping the record strong!

Let’s not forget those fabulous 2 weeks of camp where I coached a swarm of hormone raging teenage girls that wanted nothing more that to get my attention. I think I had some kind of Mutant Eye disease there this past year too. At least Kelly Clarkson made up for that.

Of course I can’t skip over the family vacation to Kiawah Island that I didn’t miss out on this year. I also didn’t miss out on the week’s worth of depression that came after I got home. Not depression because I had a crappy time, definitely not! Depression because, well I don’t know really. Sometimes Life just likes to show you what you don’t yet have, but really do because you’re there. Does that make sense?

Another friend moved away. Far away. I hardly speak to her anymore, but we still remain good friends. I hope she learns as much as she has taught me about Life!

Jamesapolooza was a gigantically awesome hit! Too bad for those of you that missed out. The guest list is getting pretty long but I can almost guarantee that Barley Fest ’07 will be even better. Although honestly what could get better than yards of beer and hot chicks making out in your bathroom??

Something not to overlook here is The Booze Bus. Probably the most wild extravaganza I’ll ever have on a Workplace trip but hey, everyone should really experience something like this. I can’t recall if it was the alcohol, or the sheer amounts of alcohol but I told our host to sign me the eff up for next year!

Penn State games, Stillers games, and Jars of Clay concerts. Oh my!

I think my favorite highlight of the year was the camp out for the Nintendo Wii. My family thought I was crazy, people at The Workplace called me “One of those people,” but it was a really interesting experience where I froze my keester off and paid $250 for a piece of hardware that people still cannot get a hold of and in the meantime I am having the time of my video game life getting Wii Arm every other day!

The final month of the year threw me a wonderful Christmas gift of Luck. However is was short-lived and soon replaced by my original lack there of as is evident with the rising temperatures and countless other unlucky events that have happened to me since The Workplace Christmas Party.

So that is it. That was my year of being a quarter century old. Just like in those previous years people have come and gone, lifestyles have changed, and Life in general has evolved. Now that I have it all typed out though, I guess my life really isn’t all that depressing. In fact it seems somewhat interesting and fascinating. That’s probably because I’m the one proofreading it right now and I like to do all the stuff that I wrote. Maybe the majority of you look at The Captain’s list and think, “Wow, what a dull, sad, unfortunate little life.” I don’t see that at all though. Sure my life is pretty darn insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe, but it is mine. And just the sheer fact that I can share all these experiences (or lack there of perhaps) with other people is really all that I am here for.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

With the advent of the 5th generation video game consoles (older generations consoles can also be included in this) the line between real and virtual is becoming more and more blurred. A person can be a tennis Pro without ever having picked up a racket, a guitar Hero without ever striking a cord, a dancing Celebrity without ever stepping foot inside a studio, or even have a license to kill without ever actually handling a weapon. Our lives are becoming more and more virtual, and yet we don’t hesitate to indulge in these “realities” until what is real no longer exists in our minds. Way back when, in my senior year of high school, a friend and I were in a science knowledge competition at Millersville University (just call me super-nerd) with dozens of other high schoolers from across the state. After all the tests were scored and awards handed out there was a guest speaker who was a futurist and spoke on how things would be years from now. While I don’t recall a tremendous amount of data from his talk, I do recall him discussing the virtual realities that would invade our being and become our lives away from life.

The speaker talked about a device that every person would own. We would all go to work as our real self and come home and spend the rest of our waking hours in a virtual world where our lives were exactly what we wanted thanks to this giant machine. Step inside the box and instantly you were a rock star or singing diva. The line between what was real and what wasn’t, no longer existed as true reality exists only in the mind. If our mind preserves it to be real, then it is.

Just recently while performing open-heart surgery on a patient with my trusty nurse Angie by my side I found myself completely absorbed in my work, completely oblivious to the physical world around me. The only down side to this is that I am not actually a surgeon and I was merely playing a video game. What did I care though? That reality was nowhere to be found and my alter ego Dr. Derek was large and in charge.

So the futurist may have been right after all. Will there come a day in my life when I walk in the front door of my house after an exhausting day of work, climb into my “Other Reality Chamber” and finish off the evening at a club in LA as a 23 year old blazin’ hot boy toy and have a nice little one night stand with some blazin’ hot chick? I guess the up side of all of this is that STDs should start to diminish if people can get their kicks and not actually make true physical contact. But then if our minds can create reality that we perceive as physical, what would happen if we ever got killed in our real virtual world? If we could experience pure physical pleasure there, what would keep us from experiencing pure pain or death?