Anecdotes


This Dilbert comic totally reminded me of a moment of my life!:

Dilbert.com
The comic is funny, because Dilbert’s boss simply thinks he can crumple up his problems, throw the piece of paper away, and have them solved.

We all know the real world doesn’t work like that.

Or does it?

I left TJ to return to Woodbridge High School — best decision of my life, since that’s how I met Carolyn.

1994 - Carolyn - senior pic

I made the right call.

This happened one quarter through 10th grade. Leaving at 7AM and arriving home at 5PM only to have 3 hours of homework was not cool. Having classes that were harder than AP classes — but not getting college credit for them because these were the “normal” classes — also not cool. (I ended up taking AP classes in high school. Not a lot, but enough to spare me the year of CS classes that causes most Virginia Tech CS students to drop out.)

So anyway, this was a good decision. That grading period [Fairfax had four 9 week periods, Prince William had six 6 week periods] was the worst in my life. I even had my only F, ever. In Spanish 3. Which was odd, because I ended up doing just fine in Spanish 4 at Woodbridge. The point being: TJ was a lot of extra work, with very little benefit. I got into Virginia Tech based on my 740 math SAT score, and it didn’t really matter if I took magnet school classes, or normal school classes. Most people I knew ultimately dropped out. Those who didn’t ended up in the same Virginia Tech classes with me. One even told me he wish he’d dropped out, since he did a lot more work to get to the same place.

1994  - NOT Woodbridge High School - 0530 - NOT Clint's Senior 1992 pic - cropped & artifacts removed - upgraded 2010/12


I graduated–the same as everyone else. But I didn’t waste as much of my childhood on pointless overachieving, and ended up much happier than most of them.

SO ANYWAY, there I am, in Woodbridge High School, on my first day there, sometime around approximately November, 1989.

I had my first 6 weeks report card in my hand.

I didn’t really like those grades — they were really, really bad grades.

So, much like Dilbert’s boss in the above comic, I threw the paper away.

Beavis - garbage man

Beavis — in control.

Guess what? My report card was blank for that grading period. It only showed up as 6 weeks missing under the Prince William Count system, even though I had missed 9. The 2nd 6 week grading period, I was there for half of that, so I got within 3 weeks (I about tripled my GPA, and for some reason made a switch from Spanish 3 to Spanish 2–even though I had already taken Spanish 2 at TJ. So I ended up taking 5 yrs of spanish by graduation: 1, 2, 2, 3, and 4).

Yes — I got to throw away my grades. FOR REAL. MY REPORT CARD WAS BLANK, AND IT WAS FINE.

1989ish - Spanish class - mi abuelo

maybe the fact that this is what I did during Spanish 2 class didn’t help

Ironically, it was my bitch of a Spanish 2 teacher who was the only one to penalize me for having a blank report card period. I had a tie between my semester grades — let’s say an A and a B. Rather than rounding up, she chose to round down, because of the blank I had. Didn’t matter that I’d already passed Spanish 2 in the first place. This was the same bitch who gave me detention for walking into the class with gum — even though gum was allowed in all other classes. It wasn’t enough that you spit it out when asked, she considered it an offense if you didn’t remember this instantly upon walking into the class. BIIITCH!

20061110 - TAMPONS - no, not really - Big Red made me bite my tongue - 108-0864

I *SUFFER* for my gum habit! And it’s WORTH IT!

Anyway — this Dilbert comic satirizes the concept of being able to solve one’s problems by such a simple method as throwing away a piece of paper.

But truth is stranger than fiction — I’ve done what Dilbert’s boss did above. And it worked!

That, my friends, is what the SubGenius concept of SLACK is all about!

20080705 - X-Day at Brushwood - 162-6214 - Bob mousepad

SALLACK!

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Another high school story… I used to hang out with Brent a lot in high school (and in college). Friends of Clint these days might know him as “Mark’s older brother”, but back then Mark was simply “Brent‘s younger brother”. I’ve never met a pair of siblings I’ve hung out with more in my life.

1991ish - Clint's room - Brent - trying to be evil - sitting - 0451

Brent trying to be evil

I used to enjoy playing darts — I put dartboards on my door. When I wasn’t throwing knives into my door, or playing guitar, I was throwing darts into my dartboard.

199407 - Clint's room - Brent - 0498 - sitting

This is the room it happened in :)

Brent and I invented a game that we called “Speed Darts”. You see, in order to alleviate the boredom of being a highschooler, one must increase risk.

1991ish - Clint's room - Brent - 0447

in retrospect, Brent probably regrets playing

Here’s how you play: You throw a dart (or 2), then the second you are done throwing it, you go and pull the dart out of the dartboard, while the next player throws his dart (or 2).

Then, the 2nd player retrieves his dart(s), while you run back and throw your dart(s).

Basically, you are running up to a dart board and pulling a dart out WHILE darts are being thrown at the same board.

And how exciting and paranoid of a game this was!

199407 - Clint's room - Clint, Brent - looking off to the side - 0492

me and Brent in front of the door we threw darts at

I never got darted, but I did eventually dart Brent. Twice.

Though I think one of the two times I darted him may have been in my front yard, and not related to the game.

https://i0.wp.com/clint.sheer.us/download/imagedump/dartinyourneck.jpg

“Oops, dart in your neck!”

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Here’s a story. The time I may have almost died. You see, we didn’t know that the boiler had to have its chimney swept from time to time, just like a normal fireplace chimney.

house_gutter-51

must also be cleaned from time to time

One night, I was sleeping downstairs. The year was around 2001 or so.

20051008 - camping rained out again - party at Clint & Carolyn's - 100-0029 - Stacy, Clint passed out

this story happened about in this exact spot here

The music that is normally playing 24/7 in our house stopped.

I awoke to the beep of a carbon monoxide detector going off. It took awhile to wake me up.

I woke up, and the house was full of smoke. Sick, choking fumes. Burning heating oil (which is the same thing as diesel truck fuel).

Freaked out, opened up the door, ran upstairs and turned the thermostat down so the boiler would turn off. Possibly used the emergency cut-off switch (red light switch), but probably not.

20051113-party-downstairs-1513

This is the room I was in (sans addition), and it was about this smokey.

We had to call a chimney sweep and have them service our boiler’s chimney before we could use it again.

And the reason I heard the carbon monoxide alarms? Simple: The smoke had gotten thick enough to obscure the laser on the CD player.

house990204Mvc-634fboiler

angry old boiler from 1930s wants you fucking dead

In fact, the CD player never worked right again. Not Carolyn’s 100 disc changer, not my 200 disc changer. Best Buy fucked me on the warranty too, refusing to replace it on the 4th repair by retroactively declaring the three previous repairs to simply be cleanings. $400 CD player + $30 warranty, and it had only lasted 4 or so years.

199811 - Clint's room - before moving out - hardware stuff - b4c7

This seems to be my only picture of my 100-disc changer, which is the bottom black component on the huge stack of hardware on my TV here. I think the VCRs are the only things still alive in 2010 (when I wrote this post).

This experience saved me some money. I permanently stopped patronizing Best Buy, except for that time I did something that profited me and screwed them. Can’t say what it is. I permanently stopped buying CD players. I decided I’d never purchase a standalone hardware player again. This experience is ultimately what moved me to mp3s.

And mp3s? Way more rewarding than CDs. You actually get statistics, you get instant access to everything, you get amazing playlists. Nine years later, I’ve finally created the proper programs, infrastructure, systems, and best practices to get the most out of my mp3s. It took a decade, but I got used to doing things the mp3 way. I now feel I have more control over what I listen to than ipod users, or even other people who have mp3s. Explaining the whys and hows would be kind of boring.

But anyway, out of the ashes of our boiler’s stinky oil smoke, rose a new way of doing things. We have a heat pump now, too. This story can never repeat itself–for multiple reasons.

20081231 - 2008 music graph - top 15 - OVERVIEW / LESS DETAIL - 2wk - min zoom

only possible with mp3s -- you can't do this with analog music listening habits. No automatic data logging!

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So the other day, I needed to drag a window from my secondary monitor to my primary monitor (tv)…

But the secondary was off, so I wouldn’t be able to put my mouse on the window (beucase I couldn’t see it)…

And I didn’t want to get up to turn it on….

So I used VNC to VNC to myself, and did it that way. This means I had a window on my desktop that was my entire computer. So there were 2 copies of everything. And if I moved my mouse pointer inside the VNC window, it would attempt to move my mouse pointer to the same place it was pointing to on the window within.

Sure, it was hard for awhile, fighting the fact that my mouse was trying to be in two places at once.

But in the end, I won.

I got that window dragged. w00t.

Daniel H adds: “I am both appalled and filled with admiration.” (more…)

Here’s an old story… The year was probably around 1991 or so.

1991ish - Clint's room - Clint - close-up - 0446

me, 1991ish

I would skip lunch every day during the week, so that I could pool my lunch money in addition to my $2/week allowance and be able to afford a new cassette each weekend at Potomac Mills
mall.

1991ish - Ravi's random picture of some girl from Potomac Mills jewely store - we dared him - (by Ravi S) - 0440

Random hot ‘older’ chick (now younger than me, I bet) that we dared Ravi to take a random picture of. Potomac Mills Mallrat days, 1991ish.

Occasionally, I would buy an album simply because I’d heard someone mention the name, or because I thought the cover art was good. Especially if it was on a label I liked, like Noise Records.

20080419 - Sabbat concert at Jaxx - 154-5494 - Clint & his autographed albums

Dreamweaver: One of the greatest albums of all time.

There was no real way to find out about music. Everyone else’s taste sucked. For instance, to get my first Misfits album, I asked punks in the record store which one I should buy. They sent me home with Earth A.D.. Yay.

1990ish - The Misfits - Die Die My Darling - front cover - black on white (traced by Clint)

Earth A.D.: A great Misfits album to start with. If you can handle that, the rest will be easy. Here’s a drawing I traced from the Die Die My darling 12-inch vinyl single. DDMD is also on Earth A.D.

So anyway — this week, I decided to buy Slip It In, by Black Flag. Without knowing at all what it sounded like.

To this day, I can’t STAND Henry Rollins, OR HIS FUCKING NECK. (Except his open letter to Ann Coulter. That was awesome.)

Suffice to say, I was incredibly, incredibly disappointed with this album. I found it to be one of the most annoying, grating things that I’ve ever heard. And I was someone who pretty much listened exclusively to speedmetal (as it was called then, today, thrash metal more accurately describes the specific metal I would listen to).

20080704 - X-Day at Brushwood - 161-6150-diptych-161-6151 - Crock Of Shit

”What is this shit?!?!?!?!”

I tore the cover up into tiny pieces. I then consumed each and every tiny piece, until the entire album cover had been eaten. Since I thought it was shit, it was fitting to use my body to turn it into actual shit.

20070610 - Jess & Nate's wedding - (by Casey) - Carolyn, Clint eating his tie - 541908297_3ec954bb08_b

Sometimes I eat weird things. Like a whole piece of paper during class in college once, ’cause I was so hungry and I don’t cut class.

I then broke apart the plastic cassette. I stretched the tape out from my best friend Sam Watson‘s house, all the way to my house.

path of Black Flag cassette tape

path of Black Flag cassette stretch

Never before have I destroyed music in such a total fashion.

https://i1.wp.com/27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l8t21rvy3I1qdw2u5o1_400.jpg

the Album Tacos version of this album would have tasted much better…

Anyway, the title refers to one of my best Halloween costumes. This would be around 8th or 9th grade, when I took a broken cassette or two, and covered myself in cassette tape, and simply went as “Cassette Man”. I did this with blank tapes that had broken from overuse or abuse. It was a pretty cool costume, and I bet no pictures of it exist :/

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

Me & Sam Watson, 1991ish, making ridiculous music that I could stand far more than Black Flag’s ”Slip It In”.

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So, Dildo Valerie‘s blog had a post called “life art“, where she talked about some of the stupid shit she does to have fun. It made me think of my own stupid shit, though it quite possibly doesn’t fall into the “life art” category. It was still fun.

We used to take our bicycles…

postcard - naked women on tandem bicycle - b41c2 (b&w)

Is this viewable to the public? It’s flagged as “moderate” on flickr.

And go to a busy corner in Lake Ridge (Oakwood Dr. & Woodfern Ct. was our favorite)…

2003 - Woodbridge - my childhood home - with cars in driveway -  o (by Britt)

My house from ~1982-1999.

Then we would walk/run our bikes into each other, to create a realistic crash…

20091206 - hit a deer - front left - GEDC0912

A real accident — with real deer poop

We would then get under the bikes, and twist our body into painful looking positions, to simulate crash injuries…

20090829 - Evan's parents' cabin - (by Tabbitha) - 0 - Clint - funny face, thumb touching arm - 3886135214_0c4fae8bf1_b

Help! I’ve fallen in a bike accident, and I can’t get up!

Of course, we weren’t really bloody…

19891031 - Sam W, Sara W - Halloween costumes - 0410

Sarah and Sam W… Sam was the one I typically did this prank with.

We would then wait for a car to come by, and stop all concerned, and be like, “ARE YOU OKAY?!?!?!?!?!”


20050910 - camping - 0682 - Vicky xterra

“Hey… Are you kids hurt?”

1990s (mid) - Theta Zeta - Ben - 05

“What the hell’s wrong with you guys?! Are you okay?! Your bodies are so twisted up… I think… I’m gonna… be… sick….”

But it was pretty fun to mess with people. For a second, they were tricked into believing they had witnessed VIOLENT TEENAGE HORROR!! But in reality, it was fake:

postcard - what's that up on the road a head - b39c1 (b&w)

I wonder if they would fall for this one too?

And the marks were of course the most helpful, good-willed people.

We weren’t targeting douchebags — we were targeting good Samaritans! Oh the irony.

I wonder if Doug got the same reactions when he went around like this?

1990s (mid) - Theta Zeta - Doug - covered in blood - 20

OMG YOU’RE HURT!!!! ARE YOU OKAY???!?!?!

Mischief. Good times.

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20070317 - Carolyn's birthday and St. Patrick's Day party - (by AE) - 425317397_ef685e8da1_o - Nate - eating amazing pie

If only the culinary experience I’m about to share with you was as good as this one was. If only.

There once was a sketch on Saturday Night Live where a guy had recently died, and got to talk to an angel about his life. “Ask me any question”, the angel said. “What’s the grossest thing I’ve ever eaten?”

“Ohhh, heh heh heh”, said the angel… “You don’t want to know that, believe me.”

“Okay, what’s the 671st grossest thing I’ve ever eaten?”, the man asked. The angel answered, and it was still disgusting.

Let’s just say that the story I am about to tell — I certainly hope there are not 670 grosser stories that I don’t even know about. In fact, this almost was one I didn’t know about either.

Carolyn’s family had served waffles or pancakes — I can’t remember which, so I’m going to go with pancakes for this story. But they were serving them out one person at a time, for some odd reason. Always being a hungry man, I opted to go first and eat my pancakes. BTW, I totally douse mine in syrup. And then I cut my pancakes up to expose more surface area and try to make sure syrup has completely saturated every cubic millimeter of my panckes, to 100% possible saturation levels. So the syrup is an important aspect to the story.

This is how I should have reacted:

Chad's 2nd-to-last snowy party - Clint eating pancakes - 109554658_0595e87908_o

“Wait a second. Something about these pancakes tastes funny…”

But that’s not how I reacted. Instead, I said, “Mmmmm”, and continued to merrily eat my pancake.

Next up was Carolyn’s brother Jay. He was quite happy to get pancakes too:

Chad's 2nd-to-last snowy party - bacon served to Chad, ,Eli 109554704_fe342f4e67_o

I want pancakes too! And bacon! GIMME!

But then Jay made a startling observation. “This syrup is full of ants!”

Praise “Bob”, this is NOT what I want to be eating. ANTS!

The ant to syrup ratio was a bit lower than this, but there was a whole bottle full of them. We’re talking 100s of ants. I probably ate at least 20 ants myself, unless perhaps they did not go through the syrup nozzle.¬† In which case, I just got the sheddings, poop, skin, and decomposition of the ants that had previously died in the syrup. Not really much better…

“These boys get that syrup in ’em, they get all antsy in their pantsy.”

Suffice to say, everybody else got to eat pancakes without ant-syrup in them….

Chad's 2nd-to-last snowy party - Evan doesn't know what a fork is - 109554555_6af61611cb_o

“Yay my pancakes don’t have ants on them!” … “My fork doesn’t either!”

I kind of felt that better care could be taken to not serve a house guest ants, but hey, I guess I shouldn’t just trust that people’s food is edible when they give it to me. (Hey, the pancakes were good, and ants are nutritious. Just not what I would have chosen to eat.)

Chad's 2nd-to-last snowy party - Carolyn, girl - cooking our late-night meal - 109554264_b234fcc0e5_o

Little do they know that we’ve replaced their normal pancakes with Folgers pANTcakes — now with Flavor Ants(tm).

Nowadays, I inspect my food more carefully before eating it.

Especially if it comes from  a Sawyer:

20090912 - Britt & Chris's wedding - reception - Clint, Carolyn - funny cupcake face - (by Dad)

“Initiating ant scan.” ………. “Ant scan? I was not aware of that particular defense mechanism”

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