Saturday, December 29, 2007

This entire universe seems to work in steps. Even Life doesn't appear to happen gradually. Take for instance your aging body. You go to bed one night feeling great, and you wake up the next morning and your back is in complete pain. There was nothing gradual about that. You went to bed, you were feeling good, you woke up unable to bend over. Sure you were sleeping, but take it from me, your back did not gradually get worse.

Okay, so maybe that was a bad example. The weather has been a good example of this lately. With global warming becoming more and more apparent, we have seen quite the change in seasonal weather over the years. It wasn't too long ago that PA winters were cold and snow was plentiful. Then one year, it became warm and rainy. There was no gradualness about it. One winter there was snow the next winter there wasn't.

Gradualness has it's own scales. Sometimes the step is more noticeable than others. Even on the smallest of all scales, time and even matter itself are not gradual. Planck units estimate the the smallest length to be about 1.62 x 10-35 meters and the smallest unit of time to be around 5.39 x 10-44 seconds. This means that our entire universe, including all its mass, energy (those are actually the same thing, but you should know that by now), and time is a step function. Sure the steps are infinitesimally small, but they are steps nonetheless and since the universe often times acts as an immense fractal, these steps are not only multiplied, but magnified. So it only makes sense that the macro-world we experience be perceived in steps. Our brains sort of work that way. The emotions, sensations and ideas we experience, they all just happen. They aren't really gradual at all. So next time you decided to sit back, take it all in and wonder why things aren't happening very gradually, just remember, nothing really happens gradually at all. Ever.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Twenty seven. I guess that's the magic number this year. Once again I can't say I'm thrilled about my birthday. In fact I'm pretty sure I can say that I would just prefer to not even acknowledge my birthday ever again. But alas this could never be the case. Mainly because The Parents seem almost obsessed with making a big deal about it every year. But since I will be alive for 852,055,200 seconds (using the approximation of 365.25 days in one year), I figure I'd tell you some of the great things that have happened in that time.

Of course one of my biggest achievements is the acquirement of my Wii over a year ago. I camped out, and stood in-line for nearly 8 hours in freezing temperatures with a bunch of rowdy college students. Not really my idea of fun, but the end result was well worth it!

Another fabulous achievement is my graduation from college with a B.S. in Computer Engineering. While I'm sure there are more difficult things to major in, there aren't too many that are more fun. At least in my opinion. I mean honestly how many degrees teach you how to practically build a computer and interface anything you darn well please to it?

Next on this unordered list is my job at The Workplace. Sure sometimes it can be a real pain in my rear, and the politics of it all makes me want to leave at least twice a week. But lets face it, there isn't really a job where this wouldn't be the case. Plus it lets me put my college degree to good use.

Skydiving! Yeah that was awesome. I have a list of things I want to do before I die and this, so far, is the only thing I've been able to cross off. Was it a thrill? Oh you better believe it! Will I ever do it again? Heck yeah! What else do I have on the list? Well that's a completely other list obviously.

My two year Christmas Party luck streak has been a pretty nice achievement I like to think. When people that don't even work at The Workplace hear that someone has won a TV two years in a row at the Christmas Party, well, you know you've accomplished something.

Of course the biggest achievement in my life has been all the amazing relationships I have formed with people. From very close friends, to family, it's these people that are probably the most important thing in my life (even more than my Wii). Since this achievement could have never been accomplished on my own, I send a thank you out to all those that have influenced my life and made it what it is. The best thing about this achievement is that it only gets better in time!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

With the Christmas of 2007 just around the corner, I'm sure you've been getting Christmas cards in the mail like nobody's business! Unless of course you have crappy friends that don't give Christmas cards, all your friends are single guys, and your entire family is dead. For you to be reading this post and all three of those assumptions be true; well I find that hard to believe. Mainly because you wouldn't read this blog if you had crappy and single guy friends and no family. It just wouldn't be funny. So let's get back to my topic of point here. Christmas cards.

My first gripe about Christmas cards this year is that it seems like glitter is slapped on cards like ugly is slapped on Rosie O'Donnell face! I can't even search thru my local Hallmark selection without getting glitter everywhere! Don't me get wrong, I think glitter is very festive and can be quite glamorous, but frankly I only like those features on cards and women. I don't want to look glamorous after finding the perfect card for The Mom to make her sob until the cows come home, just because there was glitter on the front of the card and then I got an inch on my face. Not cool! It is apparently mandatory too for all Grandmother cards to have some form of glitter, whether it be pink, blue, green, or ugly. And that stuff does NOT come off the fingers (except on your face)!

My second gripe is paying for postage. Most people within the age of the first 7 prime numbers (by the way, 1 is NOT prime) probably don't even realize that real mail works because you pay for it. In today's world of emails and IMs you don't pay a cent (except of course for your internet connection) for the message you send. You can even send e-Christmas-cards for free! And they sing and dance! Of course there isn't a grandma around that wouldn't love to see a dancing elf and pooping reindeer in motion on her Christmas card. Unfortunately Grandma needs a computer and internet connection to view that cute little scene. So in the snail mail world we are left with glitter and cheesy, high pitched, obnoxious sound clips of Jingle Bells and Santa Baby (which is entirely inappropriate for Grandma you sickos!). Now to make matters worse we like to send big cards that require "extra postage." At least that's what it says on the envelope. But with the Forever Stamp now, how does one apply extra postage without going to the Post Office? Can one stick two Forever Stamps on a card? Does that even mean anything other than, "Look at me, I'm a giant idiot!?" Is just one Forever Stamp good for "extra postage?" What I do know is this, two $0.41 stamps is NOT enough for extra postage. How do I know this? Well The Dad got me a very nice Christmas card this year, that was "big" and required extra postage. To my surprise, there was a written note on the envelope next to the two $0.41 stamps that read, "Requires extra $0.15!" Does that mean I owe the Post Office $0.15? What a fantastic Christmas surprise! "Merry Christmas Boy! You now owe the Post Office $0.15!" I think I may stick with e-cards next year. Merry Christmas indeed!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Luck smiles upon me one night a year apparently; at the The Workplace Christmas Party. If you recall last year, I took home the grand prize after trading tags with Mr. Horseshoe-Up-His-A** himself. Well apparently we didn't just exchange tags that year, but it was indeed Luck. You'll never believe it, but I won the grand prize once again at this year's party! Last year's gift was a TV with built in DVD and VHS player. This year's gift was a 19 inch, LCD HDTV with built in DVD player. It's funny because I probably have only used last year's gift a maximum of 5 times since then. Of course when my Christmas tag was called I thrust my arms in the air and rode an invisible horse all the way past the tables of people and to the podium. Okay, so the riding the horse part isn't true but I did feel sort of bad winning the grad prize two years in a row. People were slightly irritated as well I think, which, honestly I would be too if I were in their shoes. Luckily and ironically I am not. Although Luck's brilliant shine was extremely short lived because I caught every single red light from the time I left the party until the time I got home. Who the flip gets stuck at a red light for 2 minutes at 1AM in the morning? Your's Truly that's who.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My new obsession? The semi-new Espresso Bar at Sheetz. If you don't live in Central PA, or other Sheetz location, or you've never heard of the gasoline/mini-mart chain, then you might as well just move on to your next blog post because you're not going to want to hear what I'm about to say out of shear jealousy.

Now I'm not sure how long Sheetz has had this Espresso Bar because when I go to Sheetz (which is on average at least 2 times a week [3 if you're counting gasoline stops]) I usually just get an MTO. Usually an Italian sub, sausage sandwich biscuit or hamburger. Sometimes I get the chili dogs too. Or a chicken sub. The meatball subs are great as well! Anywho, I'm drifting here. Focus Jimmy! Espresso Bar. It's awesome and here's why.

Unlike their regular coffees which are made by Yours Truly, drinks from the Espresso Bar are made by Sheetz employees right in front of my eyes (but behind the tall wall of candy bar displays and electronic ordering computers of course). I use the same computers I do when ordering my MTOs to select the type of drink and any extras I may or may not want. Extras such as cinnamon, nutmeg, even a whipped cream topping. Oh yeah! I have my selection of what type of milk, skim, 2% or whole and whether I want regular or decaf (I do not recommend regular at 1100PM at night unless you want to sleep poorly because these puppies are indeed high in caffeine)! My favorites right this very moment? Raspberry-Vanilla latte, and Chai lattes both of course with whipped cream on top. Other flavors of lattes include Banana, Caramel, Hazelnut, Raspberry, Vanilla, Caramel & Vanilla, Caramel & Hazelnut and Very Vanilla (with a few sugar free versions of some of those too). But I'm not just limited to lattes. Oh no my friend. I have my choice of lattes, mochas, espressos, hot chocolate, steamers, iced lattes, and iced mochas. Shall I go on? There are frozen lattes, frozen mochas, frozen creamers and even fruit smoothies! Can there be a more heavenly place on Earth (probably, places such as New Zealand, St. Thomas, The Galapagos Islands and The Rocky Mountains may physically be more heavenly, but there are no Sheetz there)?

Now I know what you're thinking, "What's the big deal? Starbucks has been serving up those drinks for years you crackpot!" While this may be true (and I don't care for you calling me names), Starbucks is no Sheetz! Also with Sheetz Coffeez you can order without human interaction! That means no ear straining to understand the person waiting on you, and no smelling bad breath and looking at unkept, dirty high-schoolers. No worrying either whether or not the employee wrote your order down properly. Just touch your finger to what you want, and you're done. What could be more marvelous? If you want a full menu of Sheetz' new Espresso Bar, check out this link here. Oh did I mention the prices? And you thought the prices for electronics were cheep these days. It's almost more expensive to buy a soda than an iced mocha. Eat, err drink, that Star-flippin'-bucks!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

People are frustrated out the whazoo this Christmas season because they can’t find a Wii in any store. They search online, they search in the mall. They ask their friends and other family members and have half the people they know ready to buy one if they would ever come across one. I know you’ve had your ups and downs. After searching for hours online you come across a link that reads, “Nintendo Wii’s in Stock!” Wide eyed and excitingly tense you click the phrase only to be disappointed with either a broken link, or a page that reads the now disgusted idiom, “Out of Stock.”

You’ve been to Circuit City, Walmart, Best Buy, K-Mart, Toys R Us, Sears, Sam’s Club, and not just in your city, but in all other neighboring cities as well. You even checked that little no-named electronic store around the corner that reeks of wet dog and cigarettes that you said you’d never ever walk into after that time the “swanky” cashier with five teeth hit on you and you lost your left show in a loose wooden floor joint. Any and every place you go, nothing.

Sure you can get the deal where you pay over $600 and get 6 games of your choice, but if you’re going to front that sort of money, you might as well buy a PS3 and if you’re going to buy a PS3 you might as well not bother because it’s just a glorified Blu-Ray disc player. All you want is the low budget, basic unit: One controller and nunchuck, one Wii, and Wii Sports.

If you’ve only gone as far as the last two tactics you’re never going to get one! Here’s some useful information to help you a little more. You need more contacts! And ones at the stores at that. While I did hear that Circuit City employees are no longer able to purchase Wiis, it helps if you know someone working in these stores that can buy one for you as soon as they come in. Because the Wiis were never NOT in demand since last November, stores have been completely unable to stock any in their warehouses, leaving Christmas shelves completely void of the video game console and its peripherals. Leaving you, Mrs (or Mr) Irritated Christmas Shopper more high and dry than a nerd on prom night.

Now, Nintendo Wiis are only shipped via UPS. So don’t waste your time waiting for the Best Buy or Walmart truck to come around. It won’t have any Wiis. This brings me to my next contact; make friends with as many UPS truck drivers as possible! Word is the drivers have been checking their inventory looking specifically for Wiis and when they find them, they call their friends to have them meet them at the store. Call your local stores and find out when Mr. UPS makes his weekly or daily deliveries. If you don’t get them off the truck, you don’t get them period! Stalk your local retailers. Make a schedule as to when deliveries come each day and how many units the store is expecting. Make the stores with the highest unit counts top priority and visit your stores on a daily basis if possible. Forget work because what is really really important is that you get your kids (or parents) a Wii for Christmas.

Finally be willing to pay! You can find Wiis on eBay no problem but they are selling for over $500! My suggestion is this. If you really want a Wii before Christmas for little Tommy, buy off eBay to guarantee your Wii and then continue to look in your local stores until you find one (either before or after Christmas) and then sell it on eBay to recoup your losses. While Nintendo has increased production from 1 million to 1.8 million units a month, the company is still unable to keep up to demand. And unfortunately your best bet at finding a Wii in the stores is to just be lucky. If your luck is like mine, you’re better off camping out in the cold when they first come out because in my opinion, you can never rely on Luck! Especially around Christmas. You also can’t rely on the state snow removal trucks to actually plow the roads when it snows. I mean seriously why should the government actually do something beneficial for us?