Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why I Don't Vote

Voting is the keystone of the democratic system, at least that's what we have been told our entire lives (assuming you come from a country with a democratic voting system). But is voting really that important?

I get criticized a lot for my outward refusal to vote, some argue I am squandering my rights, others are upset that as a relatively educated individual I have chosen to take my opinion out of the ring and allow further leverage to the extremists and crazies.

But above all else what has perplexed me is that few people have ever bothered to ask me who it is I would vote for. I guess they assume I would vote in agreement with their tastes, but this is an awful bold assumption considering the value they place on a single vote and the statistical probability that my vote could just as likely lose the election for them as win it.

When I press the issue, asking,"would you still be adamant I vote if you found out I lean towards the other side of the aisle," I am met with a startling answer, "Yes!" they proclaim, before explaining, "I simply believe everyone should be informed and vote."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Words With Friends

I am addicted to "Words with Friends," a scrabblesque game that you play with your friends on your phone, computer or tablet. I enjoy the game because it allows me to play when I have time, which is at a premium under my current four jobs. It also doesn't take terribly long to play a turn, usually not much longer than it takes to send a text, which allows me to play many of my turns at work without obstructing my productivity.

As I have played words with friends I have come across a series of words, that while I have never heard, nor do I know there meaning or proper usage, come very in handy during an intense game of words with friends.
I have decided to compile what I have experienced are the Top Ten Words with Friends that I don't know the meaning of, and supply the meaning. Once you read this list you will have an arsenal of ten additional words for which you can answer the questions, "What does that even mean?"

10. JIN
A dynasty that ruled China ad 265–420, commonly divided into Western Jin (265–317) and Eastern Jin (317–420).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Again! Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me!

It's been 16 months since I wrote the post "Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me!", in which I discussed a few aspects of adulthood that no one warned me about. Of course in those 16 months I have been unable to start the unrelenting progress of time. And now I am 16 months older, and I like to believe wiser. In that time I have come across more aspects that leave me angrily wondering "again, why didn't anyone tell!"

Time is Finite...
One day you wake up and look at the calendar, it's October, this should come as little surprise as you have not recently found yourself in a coma, but you can swear the last concrete memory you have was in February. You wander into your bathroom only to discover you are in desperate need of a haircut, "Wait," you say out loud to yourself, "I can clearly recall having just got my haircut, I don't even think I paid off the credit card for that transaction yet."
I know beards are "in," but seriously get yourself together.

You grab your phone to confirm your suspicion, completely unmoved by the fact that you hold the computing power of a space shuttle in the palm of your hand, and find that your last haircut was in July. Summoning up your previous encounter with the calendar you realize this means it's been just over two months since your last trim. 
Someone once explained how time seems to move faster the older you get, they used relativity and percentages and just generally bored me with their bantering, but I retained the memory well enough to regurgitate it in the paragraph. When you're 5 years old, a year is 20% of the time your brain has been recording information. When you hit 15 years old this percentage falls to 6.66%, by the time you are 25 years old one year is a mere 4% of the time you've lived.
At some point you seem to hit a proverbial warp speed and days, weeks, months and even years pass without even seeming to leave a trace of having ever occurred. You start to worry that you have developed some sort of multiple personality disorder and hope that you don't spend your lost time eating the hearts of street walkers.

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Cold

Winter has finally arrived, I have been fearing this dreadful moment for weeks, but here we are, it is somewhere below 20 degrees outside and the entire city is coated in waters less popular form, snow. Although to be honest snow is one of the few good things about the cold, hell at least it looks nice, even if it does cause everyone of the roads to creep along so slowly school children pass faster on the shoveled sidewalks. I was lucky enough to avoid an entire winter, by taking refuge in the South, but here I am once again freezing every minute of every day.
...And you thought being "green" meant the planet would be your friend...the planet is a back stabbing jerk!

The cold sucks, I don't have to explain that to anyone,even if you enjoy winter sports, everyone will admit that these past times would be more enjoyable if snow would form at a more comfortable 65 degrees. I understand that if the properties of freezing water were to change this would drastically alter the world and most likely result in humans not existing, but honestly if the alternate is being cold I consider this a toss up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

24 Long Hours

What was I thinking! 24hrs without the internet, and yes the moment the clock struck midnight I am back on writing this! I am officially addicted to the internet, especially my twitter feed! I spent all day fighting the urge to read my twitter, tweet or just plan google information. under the rules of my fast I was not allowed to use the internet for any purpose, so even finding out the score of the Sabres game became a hassle for me. But I am back, and have my fix, and more importantly the House and Senate is looking long and hard at the ramifications of the SOPA/PIPA, so the message was made today.

Thank you to anyone who wrote or contacted their representation and voiced their concerns about the bills possible consequences, it looks as of now that the bill is dead in the water! And the internet can claim it's first unified victory.

It was unapparent to me how much I used the internet and its offspring (phone apps, twitter feeds) until today when I consciously made the effort to stay off the grid, as it were. I have to say I am happy to be back and eager to catch back up on all the crap I missed, maybe I'll even watch some Netflix just to increase my online hours this week.

If you care I distracted myself from lack of internet by working on my piano lessons, some extra time at the gym, and an excessive amount of texting, needless to say a world of mine without internet would probably result in me getting more done and being in better shape. However, I love my home here on the internet, my friends, my stuff, and the vast array of garbage I have yet to uncover....
....and of course the tigers! The Beautiful wonderful Tigers!
So do NOT expect me to be pulling any stunts like this again, as I have officially worn my metaphorical dent in the cushions of the internet.

So Internet know that I love you and never want anyone to hurt you...and thank you to all those who worked today and the days prior and from here on out to stop anyone from hurting our dearest friend the internet...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Erie Tour Part 2

It was midnight by the time I got out of work, so i raced over to where they were staying and we hit the town. Being Monday and the day after Christmas, most of the bars downtown were closed, so we settled in at the cozy Plymouth Tavern on State Street. The Plymouth has occupied its current residence since 1973, the bars inside the tavern are the work of the previous occupant Tom Quinn Fixtures. The building itself is from the late 1800's and was originally a medicine store. The bar has the feel of an old tavern, and everyone in Erie has ventured in from the cold, through the heavy wooden doors into the bars cozy and inviting interior.

We found a table at the back of the tavern and sat, the crowd was considerably thick given the late hour of our arrival. We had drinks and hung out, a parade of friends stopped by to share greetings and passed back into the crowd. The bar began to clear as last call echoed out through the gorgeous building, urging us to be on our way into the night. It was late so we headed back to Takishia and Brian's lodgings. Kaitlyn, who is Dylan and Brian's younger sister, had joined us for the evening festivities along with her boyfriend Mark. Mark had to go home do to early morning work obligations but the four of us that remained hung out enjoying each others company until the sun was threatening to make an appearance. I slept on the couch unable to will myself to get in a cold car and drive across town.

We woke early the next day, undeterred by our lack of sleep and headed off to breakfast, we once again ate at Panos, before heading off for the rest of our day. Kaitlyn left after breakfast to go to work and Takishia, Brian and I met up with Dylan and their mom. We headed over to the local cemetery to show Takishia the Vampires Crypt (she is a twilight nerd). The Vampire Crypt is a mausoleum in the  cemetery that bears no family name, but a strange symbol over the door which appears to be the letter "V", which in turn is where the vampire legends spawns from. The mausoleum is very old, as our most of the mausoleums in the cemetery, and has been effected harshly by the elements, far more so than the other structures on the grounds.
The Vampire Crypt in The Erie Cemetery

We got out and had a look around, apparently their is a geocache not far from the structure, Dylan's mom is an avid geocacher. We drove around the rest of the cemetery, which houses most of my ancestors and has many headstones dating back over 250years. The air was quite cold so we didn't venture out for much of a walk in the cemetery which I was hoping to do, and we left, off to our next stop.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Erie Tour Part 1

I find myself currently situated in my birth town of Erie, Pa. I called this city home till I was 18 and then quickly packed my things and proceeded to live all over the country and overseas. I originally came home for a quick stay through the holidays, to be with family, seeing as in 2010 I was stuck over 600 miles away and was only able to see my family via Skype (Thank you internet). This year I decided to come home, with plans of loading up the wagon and moving on come January, however I landed a great opportunity, actually two, and have decided to extend my stay.
The only reason my mom knows what I look like.
Erie is like all cities, when one grows up within its borders their only dream is too escape, it's not until one has lived in other places that they begin to truly appreciate the unique and charming aspects of their hometown. Erie though is better than most places, the small lake side city has retained an almost confused self-identity as the rest of the country seems to slowly move towards sameness. One of Erie's saving graces is that, amazingly, tourism is big business in the city, due mainly to our 13 miles of sandy beaches at Presque Isle State Park. The only time people seemed to care about having a unique, local experience is when they are on vacation, preferring to let their hometowns turn into an unceasing array of Chiptole's and Applebee's. Lucky the tourism industry in Erie allows us to support an unreasonable number of fantastic local restaurants and craft shops.
Should read "Visit Erie...in summer...cause seriously we don't need you on our roads in the winter," but that is a bit long.
The Lake not only brings in tourism dollars, but provides a unique backdrop for the city, one which is used extensively in local events which take place in the summer, as winter is notoriously asinine, with the city averaging over 90" of snow a year, making Erie the 4th snowiest city in America, beaten only by our neighbors just to the north in Buffalo(#3), Rochester(#2) and Syracuse (#1).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Best Food of 2011

2011 has come to an end and with 2012  just getting off the ground the opportunity to start anew floods through the minds of everyone around. Why exactly the change in a number on a calendar has such a rebirth association is something you should probably discuss with a historian, but something I know a thing or two about is eating, so here is my list of my best food experiences from 2011.

Asian:
Vietnamese Pho, Chia's Asian Bistro Raleigh, NC.
Vietnamese Pho

Barbecue:
The Pit, Raleigh, NC.

Beer:
Stout, Beer Works, Carbondale, Colorado

Breakfast:
Julesburg Cafe, Julesburg, Colorado

Burger:
The Getaway Burger, The Getaway, Washington D.C.

Candy:
Twin Bing, Souix City, Iowa

Twin Bing Candy Bar

Chicken Wing:
Spicy Garlic, Lakeside Tavern, Waterford, Pa.