June 2010


CLEVELAND, Ohio: The Church of the SubGenius has announced that the end of the world will take place in precisely seven days, on Monday, July 5, 2010. In preparation for the fulfillment of this doomsday prophecy, the Church has issued a call to all of its members, to participate in a festival with rock concerts and blasphemous rituals taking place in upstate New York, during the final weekend before the arrival of the apocalypse.

The Church’s popularity has grown in recent years, much to the alarm of authorities. In 2010 the Church of the SubGenius arrived on Facebook, offending peace-loving conservatives but gathering over 1,500 members on its Facebook page in only a few days’ time.

The Church of the SubGenius is a popular organization often seen as a “parody” of religious cults, including Scientology, the Raelians, the Unification Church, and racist hate groups such as Christian Identity. The organization is widely seen as a satire that mocks organized religion, or as the church describes itself, “a cynisacreligion.”

Since its inception in 1953, Church founder J.R. “Bob” Dobbs has predicted that a fleet of flying saucers will arrive at the beginning of July to destroy the worldwide Conspiracy against the Church of the SubGenius, while all ordained SubGenius ministers will be rescued by escape vessels piloted by the Alien Sex Goddesses, also known as the Xists.

The Church is inviting all of its members worldwide to gather together for the final hours in Sherman, New York from Wednesday, June 30, 2010 to Monday, July 5, at a clothing-optional outdoor campground called Brushwood Folklore Center. The first gathering at this compound took place in 1996, and the event has increased in size and participants each following year. 1998 was designated the first true “X-Day,” and each successive year has added one to the total. This year’s celebration in 2010 is X-Day 13, or X-Day XIII.

The Church has been engaged in a massive recruitment campaign to increase the numbers of its membership before the arrival of the Xists. According to Church records, the organization currently has approximately 100,000 members worldwide. SubGenius recruitment has been especially dedicated among the ranks of people who refuse to conform to the norms of society, including disbelievers, blasphemers, pranksters, rebels, hackers, pornographers, geeks, and outcasts.

The Church is seeking underground bands, indie rockers, performance artists, and performers and producers from the adult entertainment industry, because sexual freedom has been an important part of Church doctrine from the start. X-Day will be a celebration of free expression, performance art, rock and roll, pornography, and adult entertainment; and certain parts of the event will be restricted to adults only. Only ordained ministers of the Church of the SubGenius are allowed at the event, but the Church is accepting memberships at its standard rate of $30 up until the final hours of July 4.

The Church of the SubGenius has been no stranger to controversy since its foundation, and the upcoming X-Day celebration promises to be no different. In the late 1980s, members of the Church were accused of spreading a virus in Macintosh computers known as the “Peace Virus.” Numerous articles have been written on the Church in such noteworthy publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wired Online, Boston Globe, U.S. News and World Report; and broadcast reports have been produced by CNN and NPR. In April 1999, officials of the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts shut down an official SubGenius Devival gathering in the belief that the Church was affiliated with the Trenchcoat Mafia (the organization blamed for the Columbine high school shootings), though authorities later realized the association was mistaken. In its January 1, 2000 issue, a Time magazine poll declared J.R. “Bob” Dobbs the biggest fraud of the 20th century.

The Church received additional media attention in 2006 when one of its high-ranking members, known in SubGenius circles as Reverend Mary Magdalen, became involved in a legal battle for custody of her son due to her membership in the Church. This case has been covered in such popular online sites as Boing Boing, Fark, and Wikinews (Wikipedia’s news reporting service).

When the mysterious group “ANONYMOUS” delcared war against the Church of Scientology in 2008, the Church of the SubGenius responded with a declaration of solidarity with the hackers on steroids…and an invitation to the legions of ANONYMOUS to join the Church in New York to prepare for X-Day.

Detailed information about X-Day can be found on the World Wide Web at the X-Day Web site:

http://www.modemac.com/x-day

The official home page of the Church of the SubGenius can be found at:

http://www.subgenius.com/

Official Facebook page for the Church of the SubGenius:

http://tinyurl.com/23f2dxy

X-Day XIII Facebook Page:

http://tinyurl.com/2a47pyj

Reverend Mary Magdalen’s custody case:

http://www.modemac.com/wiki/Reverend_Magdalen

Message to ANONYMOUS from the Church of the SubGenius:

Photographers, entertainers, production companies, radio broadcasters, and all media producers are encouraged to contact the Church at its Cleveland, Ohio headquarters at 1-216-320-9528.

Also check out The High Weirdness Project @ http://www.modemac.com (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] There’s a Speed Racier movie? Thanks for the tip, Christian D. Sounds like a great candidate to watch in HD!

PEOPLE: Written & directed by the Wachowski brothers — who brought us The Matrix, V For Vendetta, and Bound. Starring Emile Hirsch (Milk, The Girl Next Door), Christina Ricci (not looking as hot as in most of her movies), John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Roger Allam (V For Vendetta, and the Inkheart narrator), Scott Porter, Matthew Fox.

QUIRKS: Based on a cartoon. And LONG. 2 hours, 15 minutes. Long movies rule — when they’re good.

VISUALS: Absolutely incredible visuals. I didn’t realize this was from the creators of The Matrix. Most of the movie is CG. Think: Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, but better. The car races are the most amazing things I’ve ever seen “cars” do (even if it’s really CG). The CG also helped keep the cartoon feel. The crazy outfits, sets, and visuals really made this a live-action cartoon adaptation that retains all of the original cartooniness. Usually, if a cartoon is converted to live-action, the cartooniness is sucked out of it. NOT here. Absolutely amazing visuals.

CONCLUSION: I never really cared for the cartoon that much, but the movie was absolutely amazing. Some of the most frenetic action scenes that I’ve seen in awhile. EXTREMELY stylized movies always get me off really good. Truly amazing. Some people might not like how long it is — but when something is really good, you don’t want it to end. I could have watched 4 hours of this! We both loved it. I never knew a cartoon could be adapted into live-action so successfully.

RATINGS: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8.5/9 (average of me & Carolyn).

RECOMMENDATION: Like visuals, action, special effects, and unique style? Watch this — even if you hated the cartoon.

MOVIE QUOTE: Speed: “Haven’t any of these drivers read the rule book?”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christian D loved it. Jordan really liked it. Stacy hated it (weird). (more…)

So I decided to upgrade our 7.1 Home Theatre rear surround speakers…. From crappy black noname ones I got at a yardsale, to these better silver JVC ones with a bass port and everything, which I got off of Freecycle.

First, in order to hang them, I have to use a ruler and mark off where I want to add my hooks. Then I nail a thumbtack into the holes [my way of drilling pilot holes] and remove them. Then I screw in picture hanging hooks. I use 4 per speaker, for redundancy, after a speaker fell back when I use 2. A total of 8. Except I started with a different set, and ended up using 12. (Did a blind listening test with Carolyn — literally wearing a blindfold — which confirmed the results of my own listening test, that the silver speakers were better and I should have been using them. I didn’t realize they were wood-cased, I thought they were plastic and thus would not accept hooks.)

Anyway, screwing those 12 hooks in last night gave me a huge blister on my right hand! From screwing those tiny screws in! 1.0cm long, 0.5cm wide, and 0.4cm raised from my skin. I broke my tradition of popping all blisters and let it fester there in pussy healiness, since the body obviously does that for a reason.

The next step is to use picture hanging wire to create a wire hook to hang it to a ceiling hook that I have on my ceiling. Wire it through the hooks in a redundant fashion, then make a loop to hang.

Problem is, we ran out of picture hanging wire for the first time in 10 yrs after I did one speaker. I asked Carolyn to scrounge for more, and she brought up some REAL wire, i.e. stuff thick enough that you could use it in a soldernig iron. NOT woven picture hanging wire, but a single wire well over 1mm thick. A bit harder to bend.

Today, I went to cut that wire with scissors. No go. Way too thick. So I opted to use the “two handed dangerous scissor cut method”, which I have used many times in my life before, with larger and more dangerous scissors than the plastic-handled ones of Carolyn I was using.

I put my hand on both sides of the scissor and squeezed as hard as I could on both ends. BAM! I got that wire chopped!

And a great deal of my hand too. I screamed in pain. I looked at my hand, and saw an injury that was not so minor as to automatically exlude the possibility of going to the emergency room. It was actually a bit of horror movie psychology that I got to experience myself: Looking at a wound in horror, making noises that come from the animal kingdom (not humanity), feeling the adrenaline rush, and not knowing what to do for 2 or 3 seconds. (I don’t really panic, so losing presence of mind for 2 or 3 seconds is a significant psychological event for me.)

Of course I went for the camera right away [after 2 or 3 paper towels]:

20100625 - Clint's scissor injury - IMG_1018 - hand cut

20100625 - Clint's scissor injury - IMG_1017 - hand cut

Here’s the blood that landed on the floor between me sitting down and taking a picture 10 seconds later:

20100625 - Clint's scissor injury - IMG_1020 - bloody floor

20100625 - Clint's scissor injury - IMG_1019 - bloody floor

Much more on the floor before I managed to wipe it up. And it was stainy, leaving some red on the floor. I ended up spitting on it, as spit breaks down tough stains with its digestive properties, and carries its own disinfectant as well (why we lick wounds), but, most importantly, can be dispensed without leaving a trail of blood between you and actual cleaning products. Because waiting another 30 seconds would let the stain set more, plus I don’t want to get blood on any carpet. Later I used some water, I think I’ll have Carolyn use some Murphy’s Oil Soap on the floor later to give it a proper cleaning.

I went to the bathroom and realized a bandaid was not going to cut it. Hell, just while rinsing it with water, the blood would NOT stop. I needed some pressure.

Having no clue where we keep the gauze, since I hadn’t used it in quite awhile, I knew I needed something gauze-like to use. Not a towel or washcloth, they are too expensive to get blood all over. Not a shirt; same deal. What’s cheap? What’s cheap, cotton, and guaranteed to be clean? UNDERWEAR which just came out of the laundry. I’ll look for a pair with holes in it that I would probably be throwing away anyway.

So here I am with underwear wrapped around my hand. I call Carolyn up, and she talks me through finding the gauze. Speaker phone kicked ass, but I couldn’t hear her from the bathroom, so I tried our cordless phone we hadn’t used in years. It didn’t work. Argh. So I had to keep walking back and forth between the bathroom and the phone. But if I’d had a cellphone, I’d probably have gotten blood all over it, so this is okay. I find out the gauze is in the back of shelf 3 from the floor, so I get it out. I know where the tape is, because I had just reorganized 3 boxes of band-aids plus 2 rolls of medical tape plus scissors all into one tiny metal coffee tin; it was a 10 minute space-saving project we did last week in order to find a use for the coffee tin [rather than throwing it away]. It saved a ton of space.

So I wrap that baby up. By then, the toilet was pretty messy from the blood. (The sink was too.)

20100625 - Clint's scissor injury - IMG_1021 - bloody and dirty toilet

So I then scrub the toilet — I had to stick my hand in the toilet water and everything. Blood does NOT leave easy, I had to wet the whole rim of the toilet just to get my own blood off. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Now my day is filled with left-hand typos. What is the recommended interval of bandage changing, anyway?

The moral of the story: If wire clippers are 5 feet away, and you need to clip wires, for “Bob’s”sake get up and walk over there rather than using a pair of scissors that can’t cut it [pun intended].

Anyway, the other neat thing was – MY BLISTER ON MY RIGHT HAND INSTANTLY DISAPPEARED! I guess all the pus went over to my left hand. No, not really. But my body lost enough blood that it realized its fluids would be put to better use than being used for pussing up something that happened 16 hours ago. So now I have this weird “ex blister” on my right hand, bandages on my left hand, a cleaner toilet than this morning, and bloody underwear in the trash.

ALWAYS FUN UPGRADING SPEAKERS (more…)

/yard sale sign/ Got up early enough to make it to the 8AM-12PM yardsale rush, but then opted to keep laying in bed. Repeatedly. We didn’t actually get up until 11:45AM or so, and only made it out driving by 12:30PM or so. A lot of yard sales are actually over by this time; we knew it’d be kind of pointless.

Yet we still went out until 3:30PM or so, for a total of 3 hours or so. Latest yardsaleing ever.

Total spent $20.25 plus ~$8 gas for ~30 miles of driving, for a total cost of $28.25.

We bought 13-~40 items (depending on how you count) – for a total estimated value of $202.53, leading to a profit of $174.28. To earn that much after taxes you’d really have to earn $249; money saved (by not having to spend it) is actually worth more than we realize when the government’s cut is taken into consideration.

That’s $58.09/hr as a couple or $29.05/hr per person.

  • $8.00: megaphone, Realistic brand, black, plays 99 different short (1-5s) tunes, doesn’t work well as a megaphone but the tunes part is too annoying to resist, taking this to X-Day. But then I tried to fix the bad knob on the microphone by spraying contact cleaner into it, and now it doesn’t work at all. Probably should not have gotten this, but it is the most annoying thing ever that you can get for $8. I actually tried to talk her from $10 to $5, but noo, she had to have $8, and now it’s halfway broken. (EV:$10)
https://i2.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HtlS%2BNQvL._SS400_.jpg

ours is black and doesn't have an external mic, which would be very useful since i apparently killed the internal one

  • $5.00: bucket, yellow, 12×14 – containing emergency food rations – 7 packs of 2400cal (6x400cal) bars, 10 packs of water (7.5L total), made 200809, expire 201309 – Yes, I marked my google calendar to remind me to eat these if no emergency arises by then. We already maintain an emergency box, and this bucket o’ rations went right by it. Plus we wanted a bucket anyway. (this is an incomplete version of this $80 set, missing the toilet stuff — I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS ALSO A TOILET — but with 1.75 sets worth of food bars, no blanket, no first aid, so I’d call this EV:$20)
https://i0.wp.com/www.essentialpacks.com/media/00/a2079191282cabea81ea89_l.jpg

We wanted a bucket. We, apparently, got half a toilet.

20100619 - IMG_1974 - yard sale stuff

  • $3.00: chopper (aka slap chop), 4.5″ diameter – a bit bigger than our Pampered Chef one, but it doesn’t open up for easy cleaning like the Pampered Chef ones do (EV:$12)

http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/tNgJbJqBAMM_BlKqGJpkwS1I5ct60K6JdpuR7uVt2Iv_vX9F93UMzazp6uZEmz3FGU48jNmEKUdJgLzAI16U18hyBO7qHmVd3aLFo3YOVdLn7dtG1lA_D-3sZfPijtsA_NsNvw5PaIigqiO0hvSl_PMOiQ9QgCzp5NSy5omRBPQt7cXmtQ

  • $2.00: electrolysis kit, Inverness OneTouch Deluxe Home Electrolysis – the woman said she’s permanently fixed her eyebrows and didn’t need it anymore (EV:$20)
https://i2.wp.com/s.ecrater.com/stores/97960/49ae13ee8f204_97960b.jpg

I tested this out on my 1 finger that has mid-digital hair... shit hurts my eyes, I can't focus that close anymore

  • $1.00: cat toy, tube, furry, blue, 52″ long (EV:$40)

https://i0.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51M14X1KD4L._AA400_.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/images.boardgamegeek.com/images/pic420112.jpg

Mark kicked our asses

  • $0.25: light bulbs (3), 4w – we use this size of bulb, this is cheaper than Home Depot (EV:$0.63)
https://i1.wp.com/www.donedealwholesale.com//SupplierPortal/uploads/20100205/IN19547S39D20100205771763408373643717000023.jpg

one was missing

  • $FREE: rug (striped runner) – can always use more, don’t understand why people throw these out (EV:$5)

http://images.crateandbarrel.com/is/image/Crate/HaversRugStripe2x3F9?$family$

  • $FREE: book, Powerpuff Girls, Bubbles Saves The Circus, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book – will read this sometime (EV:$1)

http://books.google.com/books?id=5lPU1uQq1YEC&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&l=220

  • $FREE: book, Powerpuff Girls, Sticky Business, sticker and coloring book – put a few stickers in random places before throwing away (EV:$0.10, since it was all scribbled over and trash except for the stickers, like a huge Mojo Jojo sticker)
  • $FREE: bowling ball plus case, Budweiser, white – this thing is like the most white trash thing ever, love it! (EV:bag=$20,ball=$40 new but it’s not in the greatest condition so I’ll say $10)

http://longmontadvocate.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/bowling-ball.jpg

20100619 - IMG_1974 - yard sale stuff

  • $FREE: cd jewel cases (19) – useful for burning discs for other people, as I only buy spindles of blanks (EV:$3.80)

https://i2.wp.com/www.lassebo-andersen.dk/billeder/produkter/10mm_Single_Black__CD_Jewel_Case.jpg

  • $FREE: christmas lights – whole boxful – mostly white, some color. Included an individual bulb tester. Which means we’ve spent tons of time testing all the bulbs on the the strings that didn’t work, then re-filling them with tested bulbs to ensure the string is really dead before throwing it away. Plus now we have tons of replacement bulbs for our existing strings. Can never have too many Christmas lights. (EV:tester=$6, 5 or so strings we’ll get out of this=$30)

https://i0.wp.com/www.e3living.com/files/Antique%20Candlelight%20Led%20Christmas%20Mini%20Lights.jpg

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

* EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition in a way that matters. I also try to only count shipping if it’s the type of thing that would need to be shipped, and only if the price isn’t “fixed” (i.e. 1 cent items that cost $10 to ship would not be $10 in person). (more…)

What a fucking stupid name. A photo booth is something people walk into, press a button, and get 4 timed photos taken. THAT IS WHAT A PHOTO BOOTH IS.

So in wanting to set up an impromptu photo booth for parties and other events (using a computer and a digital camera), I’m looking around for free photo booth software. And I found some. But then I download it, and it’s not software for running a fucking photo booth. It’s simply software imitating apple’s Photo Booth software.

Thanks, Apple, for coming up with a name so fucking stupid that you actually made it harder to google for the real thing.

There ARE options out there:

  • OpenPhotoBooth works, is free, and is very basic as it’s a new project currently in development. It can use any device Flash can see — webcams, some digital cams. There is, however, no configuration options, and the HTML is very basic. Nor are the 4 photos actually stitched together. This is a work in progress, but if development continues, this will eventually emerge as the clear winner based on its $0 price.
  • PartyBooth sounds good. They still want $60. At least it works out of the box for $0. But only for 7 days. And with watermarks. Grrr. Also runs on Adobe AIR. Still, this actually had configuration options. This had an actual voice that said “smile”, and was extremely polished. I’d choose this over OpenPhotoBooth if it was free, but it’s not, and I”m cheap. The 4 photos are stitched together and everything.
  • PSRemote is probably great, IF you have a Canon camera that is compatible with it. Neither of mine were. I think it’s $75 to register, too. Ridiculous.
  • Photoboof is probably great, if you don’t mind having a watermark in the center of every picture, or paying 600 fucking dollars.
  • SeaMonkey wants $150, and it isn’t even released yet!
  • CrazyCam (which runs on Adobe Air) is just a Mac Photo Booth clone.
  • There are other options out there, but if it’s obviously crippleware [i.e. not fully featured out of the box, puts watermarks on the pictures unless you pay, like Photoboof] — then I’m not even going to try it.

I’m tired. I’ve spent way too much time on this, and a lot of it was wasted by a dumb decision on Apple’s part. I had to install a fucking runtime (Adobe AIR) just to run CrazyCam just to find out it’s NOT photo booth (as in, the real booths) software, but Photo Booth (as in, Apple) software.

So tell me, faithful readers. What is a good software to set up an unattended photobooth with? Specifically, freeware/shareware windows?

YARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR (more…)

(more…)

The full 3-minute version of the Mr. Belvedere theme, by Gary Portnoy are absolutely nowhere to be found on the internet! So I’m posting them myself. If this is some kind of copyright violation, please let me know via the comment section rather than contacting my host, but frankly you should enjoy the free advertising:

Purchase a non-DRM mp3 of the full 3 minute Mr. Belvedere song, as originally sung by Gary Portnoy (best known for writing and singing the Cheers and Punky Brewster themes), for 99 cents at http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Belvedere/dp/B000QN8XAA/ref=dm_ap_trk4.

This song is still stuck in many peoples’ heads, apparently.

Now, enjoy the theme as sun by Stewie of Family Guy:

Here’s another goofy cover:

Yes… There’s still a lot of people obsessed with this song!

Then things get REALLY weird, I mean, why does something like this exist?

And if you’re curious what the instrumental closing-theme version of the original theme sounded like, just fast forward to the 8 minute mark in this video:

Anyway, here are the lyrics…
(more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched in glorious 720p!

HAIKU REVIEW BY CAROLYN: There’s a suspicion
that these two boys are creepy.
You should be alert.

PEOPLE: German director Michael Haneke brings us a scene-by-scene American remake of the exact same movie he made 10 years prior (Funny Games). But this time with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, and Brady Corbet (who reminds me of Mcauley Caulkin a bit, and apparently was in 6 episodes of 24).

QUIRKS: A disturbing thriller/horror about a family taken hostage and tormented by 2 charismatic-but-creepy psychotic young men. Sometimes described as “a punch in the stomach”.

It’s also pretty realistic in the way violence is depicted. It really doesn’t take a lot of violence to take a family hostage.

VISUALS: The most horrible acts take place off-camera. I found this to be a mistake. But I understand why they did it: The focus is on how casually the antaganists do what they do. So in terms of gore: This movie is actually very low.

Also in terms of visuals — Naomi Watts in her underwear, in bondage. Struggling. Mmmmm. It’d be more erotic if the situation wasn’t so disturbing!

SOUNDTRACK: A couple songs by a band called Naked City that really reminds me of The Boredoms. Some classical music. But mostly, there is no real soundtrack, and absolutely no score whatsoever. Even the closing credits are dead silent. This definitely increased the tension and realism of the movie.

MORALS: The antagonists clearly have zero morals whatsoever. And the good guys? They have some very bad self-preservation instincts. [highlight for spoilers] If you’re trying to kick someone out of your house, don’t turn your back on them! If you’re investigating a suspicious noise and have a knife on hand… bring it. If you’re running away from a house full of people who want to kill you, don’t stop and knock on the house next door. Go at least 2 houses away. And for chrissakes, have a landline if you care about your safety — though that could easliy be cut. And if you have a boat — perhaps that is your best route of escape. And if you can’t get the attention of authorities, and think you might die — set your house on fire. That will get somebody’s attention!

BAD STUFF: There’s also one surreal scene thrown in there just to mess with you — and many people hate it. The bad guys also talk to the camera a couple times, which may put some people off. This movie definitely acknowledges that it’s a movie. This will really bother some people.

CONCLUSION: This was definitely one of those horror/thriller movies where you just feel bad knowing that something like this can and does happen to people in real life — which is what makes it good. No punches are pulled, other than not showing much gore; this movie goes all out, but tries to keep it psychological (by suppressing gratuitous gore). The bad guys basically play with their victims like a cat plays with its food — if a cat had a human IQ.

RATINGS: 4/5 stars on Netflix, 8/10 on IMDB. Definitely a couple cuts above your generic horror movie, but at the same time, not a perfect movie.

RECOMMENDATION: High-tension horror movie aficionados should like this. Some people did not. This got a 6.4/10 on IMDB.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Not a movie, but remember the carjacker scene from Six Feet Under? The one that traumatized the gay son (who went on to play Dexter in the series Dexter)? This movie is a lot like that. Not quite as intense per-minute, but way longer.

MOVIE QUOTE: Anna: Why don’t you just kill us?
Peter: [smiling] You shouldn’t forget the importance of entertainment.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Ian really liked it.
(more…)

Oh man…. This is definitely on my “mean things I did” list. So this post is kind of a humorous story AND a confession of sorts.

The year was somewhere around 1990, and I was about a 10th grader in high school. I had dropped out of TJ and returned to my original school district, with a relatively clean social slate compared to before I left.

Clint on video in 1990 - OH!Z920

Me, around the same age, flicking off Dad as he camcorded me while picking me up from work at the now-defunct Weis Markets #125 of Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, VA.

So while walking around Woodbridge High School one day, I randomly found a lost object. It was this guy’s organizer. And it wasn’t just any organizer… It was SUPER-DUPER organized, and TOTALLY OCD beyond any levels I had seen.

Imagine this, but color-coded in every color visible to the human eye

Basically, this guy who I didn’t know (2,000 person school) had gone out of his way to REALLY organize his organizer. He had a key in the back, explaining his acronyms:

M. = Monday
T. = Tuesday
W. = Wednesday
Th. = Thursday
F. = Friday
S. = Saturday
S. = Sunday

Yes. He’d written this out by hand! He also had a box that he drew on the edge of EVERY page, where he inserted various meta information, such as “restriction ends in 45 days”, “restriction ends in 35 days”, “don’t lose organizer”.

He had a ridiculous amount of organizing. Me and my friend — I want to say Sam W, but I’m not positive — went through it, laughing at him a lot. He had put sooo much work into this organizer, but it was mostly pointless work, like color-code-highlighting his events. Orange=church, yellow=school, etc, etc.

The whole thing kind of offended me. Now don’t get me wrong — I hate people that are disorganized and can’t get their shit together — but as a 10th grader, there wasn’t a strong need for that. I didn’t become organized until the reward to effort ratio became much higher with the internet, and great tools such as Google Calendar. But the “organization” he was doing was more akin to Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a mountain just to have it fall down again. It was pointless work.

Hell, the proof was in his “don’t lose organizer” comment! You can write it down as much as you want, but it’s a waste of effort. If you don’t want to do something — take precautions against doing so. Thinking that writing something down repeatedly is something a poor teacher makes a bad student do. It doesn’t actually work as a deterrent, even when voluntary. Nor does singing hymns make you a better person; mindless repetition is meaningless. Critical thought is what counts.

1991ish - Clint's room - Shane the dog - 0445

My 'organizer' next to the phone - held my phone numbers prior to moving to computer file around 1988, a file that I still keep my numbers in today, 22 years later. I DON'T LOSE MY SHIT. I still have every number that was hand-written in this 'organizer'!

It was decided that we would use my phone (pictured above, actual room and phone) to call him. There was no caller id back then. You could *69, but all it did is give you the number. You had no way of doing a reverse lookup to find out who’s number it was. It was the wild west of prank call days; we prank called all the time. I’d even prank called the operator, and even called 911 (tho I did not prank them, only hung up on them. And yes, they called back.)

So we could probably call without impunity. But me and Sam played guitar together… a LOT:

1991ish - Clint's room - Sam, Clint - playing guitar - 0441

What?! This must be before I switched to the *blue* Dunlop (turtle) picks. Crazy. I always use blue now - just like Kim Deale of The Pixies. Green is simply too bendy for speedmetal chords. It's better suited to acoustic strumming.

We decided to use my a pitch-shifter pedal that I had bought for my guitar. It looked kinda like this, but it was blue:

It had echo, reverb, and pitch shift. I would pitch shift an octave lower, and play along with the bass for a song. Or pitch shift an octave up, and make “music box-sounding” guitar. It was great fun. But it was even more fun when plugged into a microphone! We pitch-shifted our voice at least an octave lower, and called the kid’s number from his lost organizer. It was an answering machine.

I don’t remember his name, so let’s just call him Dwight Schruite. Anyway, we left a message, in our pitch-shifted lower-than-humanly possible voices. “Dwwwwiiiight Shcruuiiiiiiiitte….. We have your organizerrrrrrrrr!!! We have your organizerrrr, and you’re never going to get it back! We’re going to burrrrn it! Ahhh HAHAH HAHHH HAHAHHH [demonic evil laughter goes on for awhile]”

CAG_Gossip - women/devil

Yeah... That was a little evil of me.

[SIDE TANGENT PARAGRAPH] We also called people on the last day before Christmas, yelling “Merry Fucking Christmas!” into the speaker-phone before hanging up. Dad actually figured that one out from upstairs, based on his supernatural ability to discern events happening in other floors. One time I bounced a rubber-band ball 1 foot on my bookshelf at 12:30AM, after going to bed, and dad came down… “It sounded like something hitting wood down here!” But I was expected to somehow not hear my parents doing their business above my bed.  This is why I sleep with music. Things like someone bouncing a rubber ball 12 inches on a different floor won’t bother me because it won’t be hearable over the sound of the music. If only Mark I would listen to that advice, he wouldn’t have to bring a goddamned white noise machine into his tent to sleep in a tent 100 ft away from ocean waves (which basicallymake white noise). [/TANGENT]

But I digress. It was a pretty mean thing to do. To “Dwight Shcruite”, whoever and whereever you are: I’m sorry about your organizer. I know the feeling of loss that must have caused, because I’ve lost things I’ve put a lot of work into more times than I want to remember. But it was just too laughable for me to care. So in a sense, I judged you, and punished you for being wanting. I suppose I have some negative karma from that, but fortunately for me I don’t believe in karma as a disembodied force.

It would be pretty funny to hear back from him via this blog, but I really doubt he’s going to be googling about an organizer he lost 20 years ago. And I would have trouble believing it to be him, even if a comment was left to that effect.

Sam? He eventually cut his hair:

1991ish - Clint's room - Sam - close-up - 0439
My friend Sam, who had super-long hair, then got it cut off in the EPIC HAIRCUT OF ALL TIME:

And that pitch-shifter pedal? It went on to Virginia Tech with me. When Dan C brought his PA to his dorm room, we hooked my pitch shifter pedal up to the microphone, and yelled into the Pritchard Hall pit. At one point, our RA was even talking to us about, “Yeah, some guy has a PA, and we’d really like to catch him”. Good times.

The pedal eventually broke, and I threw it away. Had I known about the restorative properties of contact cleaner, maybe I could have saved it. But hey, it was $80, used, from another kid at the school. It was a $270 pedal. I ran my computer’s sound through it, making the game Syndicate sound MUCH cooler with an echo. I used it for guitar, microphone, computer, and I’m sure I ran my television through it at some point for shits-n-giggles too. I miss that pedal.

“I like stories.” (more…)

Next Page »