July 30, 2007


One of the main reasons I configured my laptop the way I did (Uber powerful with the best graphics card Dell offers) was not so I could WoW into the wee hours of the night but because I knew I’d be using programs like SolidWorks to do drafting in college. $2,600 later I was primed and ready to draft my heart out. Then came an unhappy realization: I had ordered my laptop with the best version of Windows Vista, Windows Vista Ultimate. Guess what’s not compatible with Vista! SolidWorks.

This posed a problem because I couldn’t use my laptop for the one thing I designed it for. I began exploring the SolidWorks website and doing some research and discovered that they are coming out with a Vista compatible version in 2008. That means MIT won’t get the license for it until 2009, my junior year. This isn’t good. My solution to this whole issue was to just wait until 2008, bite the $90 bullet, and buy the Vista version, not willing to wait a year for the free MIT license.

I’ve been mulling over this whole situation for quite a while and decided that I’d try SolidWorks 2006 on my laptop, even though it isn’t technically Vista compatible. Turns out, SolidWorks Co. lied to me! It works, fine! There are probably some technical issues deep down that mess with some stuff I’ll never use, but the basics and everything I’d ever use work like a charm! The proof is in the picture:

See my pretty little LEGO blocks? I’ll build something cool soon and show you. Until then, don’t let The Man tell you what’s compatible and what’s not!

July 27, 2007

In Prison? Need Advice?

Here's the scenario:

You're sitting at home, downloading a bunch of music off of Limewire or Kazaa when all of a sudden 8 flash bang grenades go off, your door finds itself laying the ground, and you have 6 automatic weapons pointed at you. 3 weeks, 3 court hearings, and 1 phone call later you are the proud resident of your very own cell.

No, nobody likes prison, but it's a reality that a lot of people have brought upon themselves. Ordinarily it takes years to develop the savvy necessary to thrive in the prison environment, but I'm here to help make your stay as safe and less-unpleasant as possible.

I came into possession of a prison guidebook, written in 1981 by an Oregon State prisoner named "John W." In it he details all the tricks of the trade, and since he's gone through all the trouble of writing them down, somebody ought to read them.

All joking aside, you don't have to be in prison to read this thing. I say this because I doubt anybody who reads my blog is a prisoner, but I highly recommend perusing it and looking at the pictures. It's easier to read when you print it, but you can read it on the computer all the same. It's a pdf, approximately 2 mb.

Click here to download

July 25, 2007

MIT Housing Lottery Results

Sorry guys, I don't think I even mentioned that MIT had a housing lottery. MIT has 16 undergraduate dorms from which to choose and back in June they had us rank them 1 to 16. I thought it was funny that you had to rank all 16 dorms, even though one of them is all girls. Anywho, we rank the dorms, submit them, and then eventually we receive the results (which dorm we'll be living in).

Today was judgement day, and at 2:00 PM PST this afternoon they posted the results. I am officially a resident of. . .


Now, this has some significance. I spent a lot of time in BC during CPW (uh-oh, acronyms!) and really enjoyed it, so I'm glad I'll be living there.

Item of significance number two is that my friends Sara (from Boston) and Michelle (went to high school with me) also got put into BC, meaning I can meander over and harass them whenever I want!

Third item of significance relates to blogging for MIT. Getting put into Burton-Conner was pretty much a death sentence for any hope I had of becoming a blogger. There are already 3 bloggers from Burton-Conner and I have this sneaking suspicion that I won't be the fourth. I'm still applying though, I'm not one to back down from low probabilities (I made it into MIT, didn't I?)

So, that's the big news, cool huh?! That, and my blog is now in the 300+ post category, which is kind of a neat feeling, makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Oh, and I found a picture of a funny cat.

The Good Ol’ Days: I (Also, 300th post!)

As I prepare to leave for college (25 Days!) I find myself getting a bit nostalgic and in turn, remembering events from my life that are memorable (duh), life-changing, or just a bit amusing. There are stories I’ve never told that I am just now remembering, so for the next couple of weeks I’ll be writing some entries into the series that I have lovingly dubbed “The Good Ol’ Days.” Enjoy!

The Power Rangers Toys ‘R’ Us Mob
I have this habit of collecting the latest, no matter what it is. I’ve done beanie babies (300, all in cases with tag protectors), Pokemon Cards (in a box in the basement, increasing in value every second), baseball cards (thousands), coins (hundreds), Pogs (I think I lost all of those :( ), and even those plastic furbies they gave out as toys in happy meals. The one collection that I didn’t mention, that is probably my most fun to play with, is my collection of Power Ranger toys. I’m not talking about all those new-fangled ninja warrior hyper extreme-oid power-up to the max ranger things, I’m talking about the original Power Rangers: Zach, Trini, Rachel, Tommy, Jason, and Billy. I have each of the characters, each of their zords(that all assemble into the megazord), I have the red blaster that turns into the dagger, I have the morpher, red-ranger gloves that make swooshing noises, tanks, bad guys (even a putty!), and countless other things. Here’s a quick gallery of some of my favorite toys:

Yeah, it’s all pretty awesome! Anyway, getting all of these toys wasn’t easy, lemme tell ya. There’s one story in particular I want to share, and it happened when I was about 5 years old (the height of the Power Rangers phase). There was a rumor that Toys ‘R’ Us just got a huge shipment of Power Ranger toys in, so my family decided to go get some. We got there early, before the store opened, and waited in line. Yes, there was a line for action figures! Finally, the doors opened and the crowd of about 40 people ran in. I remember all of us stopping, one guy yelling to the counter “Where are the Power Ranger toys?!” and the guy behind the counter pointed to the back of the store.

Instant Mad House! Everybody just hauled, sprinting as fast as they could to the back of the store. I tripped and almost got trampled (I was 5, remember? Everybody else was an adult!) but scrambled back up and kept running. We got to the back of the store and they had 3 HUGE tubs in the middle of an empty area of floor, overflowing with boxes of toys. The crowd descended like vultures, grabbing toys and passing them off to family members with carts. They were screaming, stealing toys from each other, and generally acting in a VERY un-Power Ranger-like manner. In the end every single toy was taken and Toys ‘R’ Us was left in disarray as 40 people walked away extremely satisfied with their purchases. This is where I got my yellow ranger and my putty, which I still have to this day (see pictures above). That was my first “Wait in line for something in front of a store” experience and I loved it, which has led me to continue to line up in front of stores even now. I’ve lined up for Tickle-Me-Elmo, Furby, Wii (twice), Harry Potter (twice), and various Black Thursdays. I love it, it’s a part of who I am, and I’ll continue to do it in college!

July 24, 2007

Big Red Button

I think it's human nature to be fascinated by the "Big Red Button." What does it do? Why is it there? Is anybody looking, could I push it?

This summer, as I've mentioned in earlier posts, I'm doing an internship at ODOT. Yesterday I went on a tour of their lab, looking at how they analyze soil, rocks, pavement, and all that exciting stuff. While wandering the rock room we walked by a machine that had a big red button. The fact that it had a big red button was cool in itself, but what the button was labeled made it blogworthy.

Yep, it's an Emo Button. So, your task is to tell me, in the comments, what does a big red Emo button do? Most creative gets a cookie (seriously, I'll mail you a cookie)

July 23, 2007

AOL Cancellation

This is great! It's kind of the same as trying to cancel a mySpace account.

"I Want To Cancel My Account!"

July 16, 2007


I say “ow” a lot, and most of the time other people laugh when I say it, and not because I have some funny accent or say it in an entertaining way. It’s normally because I’ve just concluded some act of mild to severe stupidity or experienced some unbelievable situation that defies all the common sense and rules of probability. I now present to you a small montage of “Ow” moments.

Movie Theater “Ow”
Several years ago I was on a date and we went to the movies. We were sitting through the previews, waiting for the movie to begin, when I realized that I had to use the bathroom. Unfortunately for me, the last preview just finished and the movie was just about to start. There were two options at this point:

Option A: Tough it out like a man and don’t miss any of the movie.
Option B: Run as fast as I can to the bathroom and miss as little of the movie as possible.

I looked at the huge thing of popcorn in my lap and then over to my enormous bottle of water and decided to go with Option B. The race was on.

Let’s talk about movie theater layout for a little bit. As you know, there are many rows of seats, and this particular theater was stadium seating so down each side of seats were stairs. Lining the stairs, of course, were small strips of lights so that you can find your way out of the theater during the darkness of the film. In front of the main seating section is a walkway, an area for people who have entered through the right door to walk across so that they may sit on the left side of the theater. In front of the walkway is a seating section that is lower than the main seating section, mostly for little kids who want to be as close to the screen as possible or for people who watch movies for a living and also want to live off of workers comp for a strained neck. There are stairs leading to this lower level as well. The thing about stairs is that they aren’t safe and need the car’s equivalent of a seatbelt: The Railing. There is a railing just below waist-high leading down the stairs into the lower seating area. This railing is centered on the stair case leading up to the normal seating area, as I have tried to show in the following picture:

The railing is black to ensure it is as unobtrusive as possible and nearly invisible with the lights turned out, that way the audience is totally immersed in the movie experience and totally unaware of the railing.

So, back to my decision to run as fast as I could down the main stairs in an effort to get to the bathroom. I took the stairs two at a time, building up some momentum. Half way down the stairs, the lights dimmed, signaling the beginning of the movie. I reached the bottom and got ready to turn the corner to leave the theater, but my momentum was such that I had to take about 10 feet in order to slow down and begin my turn. Too bad the railing was 5 feet from the bottom of the stairs. I’d like to refer you back to the diagram of the movie theater. The stick figure is drawn to scale in relation to the railing. Why is he a sad stick figure? Because look at where the railing hit the stick figure when he ran down the stairs in an effort to get to the bathroom. The stick figure crumpled, hitting the floor like a sack of wet flour. And so, we are presented with the scene of a teenage boy (me/stick figure) on a date, curled up on the ground, in the dark, groaning and wishing in his own mind that death would come just a little bit faster. I can’t accurately describe how much pain I was actually in, except to say that I was on the ground for about 10 minutes and my date wondered where I’d gone (remember, dark theater, nobody could see me curled up on the ground). An “ow” moment for sure.

McDonalds “Ow”
After just purchasing a McDouble Crunch burger and a water I left McDonalds to head back to work. I was wearing my iPod headphones and sunglasses like any cool teenager, and after accidentally pulling on the door instead of pushing, managed to get the door open and leave. Turns out that my headphones weren’t ready to leave. The got closed in the door, meaning that halfway through my first step out of the restaurant my head was snapped back and my headphones were ripped violently out of my ears. I am such a cool teenager, I’m surprised that I don’t have a fan club by now.

Hand Crank Generator “Ow”
My physics teacher Junior year was kind of evil. I have to give him props though, he did write my recommendation letter to MIT so I pretty much owe him for life. He has this little generator that is, you guessed it, powered by a hand crank. He demonstrates current laws with it, using humans as his subjects. There are two metal handles that you grab which allows the current to flow through your body as he cranks the generator and laughs as your arms curl in and you lose all muscle control. We’d already demonstrated resistance, series circuits, and a couple of other things, but it was time for parallel circuits. To demonstrate this one he had everybody stand in a line, roll up their sleeves, and grab the elbows of the person in front of them, thus creating a giant parallel circuit. Guess who was at the front of the line! I was kind of unsure about it all, but I trusted my teacher and grabbed the handles. He started talking about how the current would be evenly distributed through all of us since were making a parallel circuit. He also mentioned that he’d have to crank the generator pretty hard in order for all of us to feel a decent amount of electricity. This was sounding less and less like fun, but I maintained my position in the front of the line. He started cranking the generator and I felt the current go through me, it didn’t feel good. He asked the class if they felt it yet and everybody said “No!” and he’s like “Alright, I’ll crank it harder!” and starts to crank faster. “Can you feel it yet?” “No!” *cranks faster* Turns out that something was wrong with our circuit and none of the current was making it past me. Everybody was thinking they were pretty tough, not feelin’ the electricity, while I’m shaking and have lost all control of my arms at the front of the line, about 10 seconds away from shouting obscenities the likes of which the earth has never heard. What a glorious day in physics. Ow.

Today’s “Ow”
I have a headache. It hurts. Ow. Why do I have a headache? For the last week I have been working on MIT’s Freshman Essay Evaluation, a writing placement test taken during the summer. It involved reading about 50 pages of material and then writing two essays. One essay was a piece of cake and I got it to the 1,500 word quote with no issues. The second essay was a pain in the butt. It was one of those things where you know that you’ve restated the same piece of evidence five times in the same paragraph but you just keep shoving more words into it in hopes that it’ll get better. It didn’t. I spent about 6 hours working on it yesterday and finished it at about 10:30 last night. They were due at 10:00 am this morning, meaning that I’d have two hours at work to do some final edits and get them ready for submission. This morning, before I submitted them, I decided to reread all the instructions to make sure I had done everything right. That was when I think I started to get my headache because I realized that what I thought was a 1,500 word quota for the first essay was actually a 1,250 word quota. All of a sudden I had to cut 250 words out of a beautifully worded and structured essay that I thought I was done with. Enter panic mode. I started hacking and chopping and summarizing, eventually bringing it down to 1,130 words. It’s not nearly as eloquent as it was, it’s kind of like a bad haircut at this point, but there wasn’t enough time to make it pretty again, so I had to submit it as it was. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as nice as it was, which is frustrating. Now for my second essay, the one that had caused me so much grief the day before. Turns out that, after rereading it this morning, I had actually done a very nice job with it. I guess I was being hyper-critical of my writing when I was actually constructing it, but the end result was really quite a good read.

There you have it, 2 hours before my first MIT assignment is due, there is a total role-reversal of my two essays and a full-on panic moment for Michael. Not a good morning. Oh, and did I mention that the McDonald’s “Ow” was during lunch today? Didn’t help the headache at all.

July 13, 2007

Guitar Hero for Wii

Looks like Guitar Hero III will be released for the Wii, and I'll probably end up buying it. Here's what the guitar looks like:

I'm curious to see how they incorporate motion sensing into it, if they do at all. Also, to tickle your funny bone, I've included a small comic that I found online that made me lol. You'll lol. LOL!

July 12, 2007

My Life in a Picture

No, the title doesn’t mean that I was sucked into a photograph and will be carrying out the rest of my life from a static glimpse of some moment in time. Instead, it means that I took a picture today that pretty much sums up a lot of what’s been going on with me lately. Now, it’s been quite some time since I took chemistry (sophomore year) but I’ve decided to try to use a diluted chemistry analogy to describe the events detailed in this post. “Diluted” . . . see! The analogy has already begun!

Every day is different at work. One day I’ll be slaving over the copy machine, the other day I’ll be screaming at the shredder (which I broke, but we bought a new one so no worries), and the next day I’ll be hugging my red Swingline stapler and bragging to everybody about it. Lately I’ve been obsessing over the FEE, MIT’s English placement essay/test thing. Essentially, I am given 4 days to read 45 pages of material and then have to write a couple of essays over the weekend. I’ve spent most of my free time reading, highlighting, and outlining essays about ******* (the website says I’m not supposed to tell you what the essays are about). Well, today was going to be exactly like yesterday, but of course, one of my co-workers brought in a catalyst that made today a fairly distracting day. Turns out, he got an iPhone yesterday and brought it to the office to play with. Guess what that means! Today is essentially iPhone day at ODOT. All morning I worked on FEE stuff but after lunch I got a chance to play with the iPhone. Yes, that’s right, I actually played with and surfed the internet on an iPhone.

So far, this has nothing to do with pictures, and very little to do with chemistry. I have one more chemistry story for you. Today, I used the word emulsifier in a sentence. It was amazing, I was quite proud of myself. A bunch of the workers in my office had huddled in the back corner to talk about the iPhone when the iPhone’s owner was called away to show to somebody he doesn’t get along with. Somebody mentioned that they were like water and oil. It was then my turn to say

“Well, the iPhone acts like an emulsifier then”

They had no idea what I meant so I explained it to them and we all had a good time talking about emulsifiers. That’s one thing they don’t mention about the iPhone is that it is an emulsifier for you and your enemies. Take note general population.

Although, if you’re not one to jump on the iPhone bandwagon, or cash is your limiting reactant, you may only have to wait until August for something new and exciting from Apple. It looks like the next wave of iPods will look almost exactly like the iPhone but without the phone and internet. Touch screen iPods, finally!

Alright, so how about that picture? Before you look at it, allow me to describe exactly what is happening here. Taking a break from the FEE (highlighted papers in the background) and with my trusty red Swingline stapler by my side, I take a moment to surf the internet on a day-old iPhone. It has a plastic case on it so it’s not the iPhone that’s smudgy, just the plastic. Oh, and there’s my confusing and terrifying phone in the very background. As always, click the pic to make it bigger.

Now, it's back to the FEE. Only two more articles left and 3 to outline.

July 09, 2007


Every once in a while a ridiculous obsession grips a city and simply won’t let go.  A city nearby mine is in the midst of such an obsession, and all it shows is that the city if full of a bunch of prudes.  Here’s the story, people were driving up on sidewalks accidently and putting pedestrians at risk.  The solution arrived at by the mayor was to install 52 concrete posts all along the sidewalk in order to protect pedestrians.  They flipped through a catalogue, found a standard post design, ran it by a couple of people, and then made the order.  The posts arrived, were installed, and then the mayhem began.

It turns out that a bunch people seem to think that the variety of post chosen resembles a penis a bit too much.  They’ve complained to the mayor and city officials, who admit that they are a bit risque.  Now, obviously, if they looked enough like a penis to offend people, there would be a problem.  The issue is that almost anything can be seen as inapropriate if you think about in that light.  People that drive by the posts are being ridiculous.  Sure, they slightly resemble penises, but not so much that when you drive by you get so distracted that you swerve off the road and hit one (Hey, they do their job!  Protect those pedestrians you line of concrete penises!)  Look at this picture of them:

See, no big deal!  The city, in response to complaints, is purchasing a system of metal collars and chains to link all the posts together in order to disguise the phallic nature of the barriers.  This will cost an extra $7,000 on top of the thousands already spent on the posts.

The reason I’m blogging this is because I think it’s ridiculous that people can be offended by a post that vaguely resembles a penis.  There are much more inapropriate posts out there, trust me.  For example, the posts outside the carousel, while not phallic themselves, produce a very interesting shadow.  Take a look:

See?  Now which is worse?  These shadows that nobody cares about, or the posts that has an entire city in an uproar?  Relax people, they’re just posts.  Laugh at the semi-sexual nature of them, it’s funny!

July 06, 2007

I...I Believe...I Believe You Have My Stapler

For those of you who haven't seen the movie Office Space, that line will mean absolutely nothing to you. You're probably not sure how a stapler could have any kind of meaning or abstract symbolism, but it can. It absolutely can. Here's the story.

There's a character on Office Space named Milton. He works at Initech (some random tech office) with the other characters, but there's a catch. He was fired years ago but never told, and through a glitch in payroll, he keeps getting paid. He doesn't really do anything, and people keep taking advantage of him. Here’s some of Milton’s rambling dialogue:

. . . and I don't care if they lay me off either cuz I told Bill if they make me move my desk one more time I'm quittin'. And I told Don too because they've made me move four times this year already, and I used to be over by the window . . . and then they switched from Swingline to Boston staplers, and so, I kept my Swingline stapler because they don't bind up as much and I also kept all the Swingline staples from the supply cabinet too, . . . so if they make me give 'em back, I'll just, I'll, . . . I could set the building on fire.

Let's just say that by the end of the movie his cubicle is in the basement and he is very distraught about his stapler. Milton is the proud owner of a special edition, red Swingline stapler. It's his pride and joy, but his boss stole it.

Hi Milton, what's happening? Ah, I'm gonna have to ask you to go ahead and move your desk again. Yeah, so if you could just go ahead and get it as far back against that wall as possible, that would be great. That way we'll have room for some of these boxes and things we need to put in here. And ah, . . . (noticing something) Oh, there it is . . .

At this point, his boss steals Milton’s red Swingline stapler. He spends the entire movie trying to recover his stapler, but to no avail, eventually resorting to burning down the office building out of sheer frustration. The stapler, fortunately, was recovered.

So, why have I told you all this? Is it because I have a tendency to talk about staplers on my blog? Perhaps in part, but the real reason is because of something my parents got me for college. I am the proud new owner of a special edition, red Swingline stapler.

I know, it’s amazing! It staples like a dream and gets all the chicks. It’s also quite the model, posing for a photo shoot this morning at McDonalds. Here are some highlights:

I took it to work today and I think it feels right at home in its cubicle, next to its TPS Report memo (Yes, this is the actual memo from the movie).

And it is now resting comfortably between my scary phone (with far too many buttons and weird features that aren’t clearly labeled or intuitive) and my OfficeMax solar calculator.

My red Swingline is now my official stapler. Forget that fancy electric stapler that I could use, this has style and class. I know you’re all jealous, but you’ll just have to get your own, because I love my stapler

July 05, 2007

4th of July Extravaganza

'tis the season for exciting goings-on at Riverfront Park and the Carousel. Yesterday, as you may or may not have realized, was the 4th of July, which of course brought patriotic Americans out en mass. Lucky for me, the social hotspot of the day was also where I happen to work, so I got to play Mr. Tough-Guy security important dude. Here’s the skinny on what went down.

I got to work at about 2:00 PM and quickly realized that this was all a very big deal. At one end of the park were giant inflatable toys. I would have definitely played on them, but I was dressed nicely and not 8 years old. They did look like quite a bit of fun though!

The one in the picture is the sinking Titanic. Crawl through the iceberg, through the smoke stacks that have fallen off the ship, up the ship, and slide down, only to freeze to death and sink in front of your girlfriend (ok, not that last part). As you can see, there’s a rock climbing wall behind the Titanic toy. There was also a neat jumping thing that the little kids were having fun on.

You get strapped into a bungee cord harness and jump up and down on the trampoline, allowing you to pretend you’re Neo and do all sorts of flips and Matrix-y moves.

Here’s the rock climbing wall again, and in the distance is some kind of inflatable rat-race game.

The next thing I noticed when I got to work was the food. Of course there was food! It’s all expensive, but hey, food is food. Check out the line of deep-fried purveyors.

Now, I realize at this point that the park looks pretty empty and kind of boring. That’s because it was. No matter, as you’ll see in a bit, it got a bit more crowded. Next thing on the park sight-seeing tour was the Cruise-In. Now, I know nothing about cars, so I just took pictures of the ones I thought looked cool. I’m told that there was a ’55 wagon there, which means nothing to me, but if there are some car buffs out there reading this yelling at me right now, I’m sorry that I got to see it instead of you. Here are some of the cars.

The grass is still kind of dead from all the World Beat booths, but normally the park has really nice green grass. After checking out the cars I headed into work to begin my turn spinning horses. Oh, wait, did I mention that I saw this in the park too?

Woo-hoo! Human Cannonball! More about that later though.

I keep promising that I’ll talk about my job at the Carousel, so I’ll go over it a bit now. I work at a Carousel. See?

This is me at the control box, taking pictures of myself, because I was bored.

Ok, that’s about all the explaining I’m going to do. I know, pathetic, but I just can’t get up the effort to describe the Carousel in detail, so I won’t today. Remember how I said that since I work at the Carousel and go to all these events I get the special shirts and stuff? Yesterday instead of shirts they had badges for the special people. Here’s mine.

Yep, VIP, that’s me. Alright, time to talk about the human cannonball.

The lady that launches herself out of the cannon is actually from a family of cannonballs. Her dad holds the record for the longest flight and her 4 brothers and sisters all shoot from cannons too. She flew 125 feet from the cannon into the net. Luckily, I escaped from work in order to document her flight. Here’s the video:

Pretty sweet, eh? I got another picture of her later in the evening. The original picture looks something like this:

But after some cropping and zooming, you end up with this:

I was really excited when I saw how that picture turned out! I love my camera, 6mp for only $100.

Alright, so, the day progressed and eventually turned into night. I told you, the park got more crowded, here’s proof:

Oh, I forgot to mention that there was a band playing all day. They were playing on the patio of the Carousel, so again, exclusive access for Michael.

The evening finished up with fireworks, which I won’t show here because Oregon fireworks are lame and you all know what fireworks look like anyway!

So, you would think that that concluded my day, but oh no, there was more to be done. It was time to clean the bathrooms! Cleaning bathrooms, honestly, is not that bad. We clean them every hour throughout the day so they stay pretty well kept, but yesterday was an exception. The guys, I have to hand it to them, kept the bathroom really clean. The women, well, GOOD GOD! Honestly, you’d have to try to make the bathroom as bad as it was. I think they made a conscious effort to destroy it. I took some pictures. Keep in mind, the bathroom was spotless an hour before these pictures were taken, look what they managed to do in an hour!

There was paper everywhere, a pair of flip-flops sitting against the wall, and a beer bottle hidden behind one of the toilets. Also, in the span of an hour, they had used almost every single roll of toilet paper. They’re animals! I just don’t understand!

I finally left work at about 12:30 am on July 5th and got to bed at about 1:00 am. I was up by 5:30 am today and am running off caffeine and sugar. I’m gonna crash tonight, I guarantee, but that’s ok, because sleep is good. I hope you enjoyed hearing about my exciting fourth of July, it was quite an adventure. AND! . . . I didn’t get attacked by a bird!

Vending Machine

Here's a quick update to an entry I posted earlier. Remember that vending machine I mentioned? I made a video of it for you, just in case you were having a hard time picturing it. Enjoy!

July 03, 2007

New World Symphony

Actually, this post has very little to do with the New World Symphony. I was just trying to think of some creative title for a dull-sounding post about what happened to me while I was going home yesterday. For those of you that aren’t classical music fans, just ignore this entire first paragraph and read on to hear about my adventures.

I got off work yesterday and had an hour to kill before I had to be at my next job, after which I could go home. I decided to be productive during my hour, so the first thing I did was to go to the bank and deposit a check. Unfortunately, the bank was closed, so I had the opportunity to experience the joy of depositing a check next to the ATM machine. It wasn’t too hard, but it surprised me when I opened up the drawer to drop the check in. I guess I was expecting a little metal flap that revealed a hole in the wall where the check dropped into a bucket, similar to any blue mailbox, video return box, or book return slot. What I got instead was a huge, 30ish pound metal vault-like drawer where I placed the 2.2 oz check and then hoped that there wasn’t a monster inside. I guess they’re afraid of somebody breaking into the bank through the depository drawer. Regardless, I successfully deposited the check. Next stop, food.

While I was walking towards the mall’s food court I glanced at the newspaper box to read the headlines. I guess I’m supposed to do this since the front of the box is glass. When I read the headline I realized that my city (Salem) is officially out of news. Yep, there is no more news in my city. Why do I say this? Check out what I saw . . .



I continued on to the mall and decided on McDonalds. Yes, I’ve seen Super Size Me. Yes, I know it’s unhealthy. Yes, I still eat there. I ordered my usual, 2 McChickens and a small fries.

After I ate my food I decided it was finally time to go to work. I started walking and made it almost all the way there. I was just crossing the train tracks in front of the carousel when, I kid you not, I was attacked by a bird.

I was just walking along, minding my own business, when I heard this evil bird sound and felt something hit me in the back of the head. I whipped around because it scared me have to death and I saw a starling fly away. These are starlings:

Starlings are worse than pigeons. They’re territorial, aggressive, dirty, and generally useless creatures.

I stared up at the starling after it had alighted on a pole. It had something in its mouth (that doesn’t really matter, just an observation). I stared at it for a little bit in disbelief and didn’t quite know what to do next. It had obviously dive bombed me, but would it do it again? Surely not, and I would look stupid backing away from the pole towards the carousel, so I turned around and just walked away, still not quite believing what had happened. *SCREACH!!!! BOOOOOOM!!!!*

It freaking hit me again! I whipped around, ducked, and yelled at it as it flew off towards the same pole. I didn’t waste any time this time, I ran away from the pole towards the safety of the carousel, muttering not-so-nice things about the starling the entire time. When I got inside my boss was just laughing, because of course he saw the entire thing.

So, I made it to work alive (barely). While I was up inside the carousel repairing one of the horses some teenagers walked in. My boss came out of his office and said that we were closed and that they’d have to leave, unless they just wanted something to drink from the vending machine. They decided on vending machine. Now, the vending machines at the carousel are kind of cool. When you buy something, instead of it just dropping down, a little platform comes up to the drink, takes it, and then moves over to the spot where you grab the drink from the machine. A lot of people are really enthralled by this and will buy multiple drinks just to see the vending machine work. People aren’t always the smartest things in the world.

Anyway, they decide to get a drink. My boss says something along the lines of “Have you seen our vending machines? They are pretty cool, watch what they do when you buy something.” A girl in the group puts in a dollar, buys a water, and watches it get delivered to the drink-taking-receptacle (honestly, think of a better way to describe it). This is when I heard, quite possibly the stupidest question ever uttered by a human being. The girl, obviously fascinated by this machine, asks my boss “Wow! Did you invent this?”

I dropped the crescent wrench and almost fell off the carousel. I couldn’t believe it! Did she sincerely think that the guy who worked at the carousel invented the vending machine that we use? Take it from me, there are such things as stupid questions. That was one of them.

There you have it, my extravagant journey home. It involved McDonalds, bank vaults, dirt, evil birds, and the stupidest question ever. Don’t you wish your days were as exciting as this?!