It gets better in Texas

October 14th, 2010

I give Texas a lot of shit, but lately, some very awesome things have emerged from there. Yes, they are the state that has the shitty school-board who is trying to re-write history. Yes, they gave us the lamest PotUS in history and yes, they also have more than their fair share of religious and political lunatics. But they also produced Zach Anner, Matt Dillahunty and city councilman Joel Burns.

Enormous balls, made of brass.

There are plenty more where that came from.
Check out Tim Gunn’s. I love that guy.


October 14th, 2010

I was recently re-introduced to Dubstep by a co-worker of mine. Before she mentioned it, I was aware of it but for some reason I don’t think I ever gave it a square listening. She recommended I listen to Rusko, so I made a Rusko channel on Pandora and have since been listening to Dubstep every chance I get for the last two months. Car rides, bus rides, dishes, cleaning the house–pretty much any time I am not expected to be engaging others in conversation and sometimes even when I am.

It’s hard to explain why I like it. I love Electronica and have always loved gritty music. While not all Dubstep is gritty, there is plenty that is. I’m really surprised mainstream R&B/Hip-hop/rap hasn’t co-opted the hell out of this sound yet.

It grows on you. Here are a few of my favorites. If you like Electronica or Triphop, you should give this a serious couple of listens.

Just Like a Pimp (draft) by Vize
Edit: I just found this on my Friend Mitchy’s website, it’s pretty effing sick:

There is also this song, which is not on Grooveshark but is very much worth mentioning. You can get a little sample here.

The lesser of two evils?

October 12th, 2010

I was walking past St. Mary’s Academy on my way to catch the bus today
when I noticed a girl in one of the classes was wearing a Hijab.

What an odd mind-space a Muslim parent must occupy when selecting a
place to educate their daughters. On the one hand, Mary’s–a Catholic,
all-girls’ school. On the other hand, an assortment of private, public
and charter schools of varying quality and location.

What possible reason would there be to send your offspring into the
clutches of a competing ideology? Religious classes and the attendence
of religious services is almost certainly manditory while I can’t
imagine allowances for Muslim prayer and holy day obligations are made
by the Catholic administration of the school.

I can think of only three reasons: location, quality of education and
the fact that it is the only all-girls school in Portland. Only the
last even seems remotely likely.

Who to trust, teenage boys or the Catholics?

Decisions, decisions.

Sent from my mobile device

Minecraft II: Revenge of the Library

October 11th, 2010

I finally finished making my epic, 5 story library. Video below. My son helps me narrate. Sorry about the quality, you get what you pay for.


October 9th, 2010

Like everyone else on the internet, I can’t stop playing this stupid game. I made a lame video to showcase my obsession. Here it is. I am now going to go drown my shame… in more Minecraft.

The shame… it burns.

Why yes, I’d love to hear about your goiter.

October 8th, 2010

I’m not sure what rare quality I posess that make me a simpatico to tweakers and drunk people. They absolutely fucking love me. Is it my scowling face? Is it the fact that I am wearing headphones? What is it about me that screams: “QUICKLY, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL CONDITIONS.”

Upon what topic do you wish to converse, sir?

Regail me with the heroic tale of how you went to prison. Enrapture me with your complicated opinions regarding “those fucking fuckers” at the 7/11. Seriously, how I make it through the day without a thrilling lecture about how to exchange food stamps for liquor, I’ll never know.

I’ll admit it. I am slightly biased. I don’t like talking to anyone when I ride the bus, but it’s only the ones I want to talk to the least that have any interest in striking up a conversation with me.

The guy reading that book I really liked? Nope.
The girl wearing a t-shirt for that game/band/movie I loved? Not a chance.

No, it’s the 52-year-old man wearing a neon orange beanie, a wind breaker and tropical print “hammer pants” that’s going to make the move. The only person on the bus who wants to talk to me is a man who who reeks of stale cigarette smoke and malt liquor and who can’t wait to explain to me that the yellow stain on his ass isn’t really urine. Not really.


I am so happy I own a Blackberry. Earphones go in, music is cranked up and I am urgently typing something on my phone that I had no idea I needed to type just moments before. Sorry bud, I’d love to chat about methadone, but as you can see I am writing a very important e-mail to my friend Spartacus McJohnsonson regarding socks.

It’s apparent to me that with age, there comes a certain hardening of the heart. Younger Joe had a very hard time not being overly polite when accosted by random people. I used to feel guilty and obligated to humor them, but I no longer labor under that particular delusion. I will get up and walk the hell away. What is happening to the guilty liberal in me? I realized today–as an odoriferous man with no teeth made odd grinning, grunting gestures to me and tried to show me pictures of people he found amusing and/or was intimately acquainted with in the Busted Paper–I really don’t give a shit anymore. I stared at him hoping that he would stop talking, but as soon as I caught a whiff of him, I got up without ceremony and moved to the front of the bus (where I could smell him, incidentally.)

Hopefully this trend evens out a bit. At my current rate of emotional calcification, I’ll be voting chicken-hawk by 2012. Thankfully, I still hate Glen Beck, Christmas sweaters and country music, so not all is lost.


The great teflon conspiracy

October 7th, 2010

My friend Annie went away for a while and while she’s gone, she’s stashing a bunch of stuff at our house. Among the things she left here was a small set of cast iron pans.

She’s not getting them back.

I am waffling between “stolen by South American freedom fighters” and “my cat ate them.”

Let’s break this down.

Features Teflon Cast Iron
Can attack with steel wool mercilessly.
“Season” by cooking a crap-ton of bacon in it.
Can’t use soap on because it might wash off the awesome.
Can use metal spatula’s on!
Is “non stick.” Which means “delicate. If not entirely useful.”
“Non stick” by virtue of butter, oil and the layer of carbonized bacon fat on it
Will last forever.
Heats evenly.
Flakes off easily and is probably made of deadly poison.

As can be seen in the scientific comparison above: teflon sucks. Cast iron is just plainly better. And cheaper, strangely enough. Which will mitigate some of the guilt I am going to feel when I lie to Annie and tell her that her pans were recalled because they were made with radioactive materials. If you don’t own cast iron, I highly suggest you borrow someone else’s set and then don’t give them back. They come pre-seasoned and are very affordable.

But this brings me to my question. Why the hell does everyone use Teflon? I mean, I get having a nice Teflon pan for making the odd omelet or something, bu seriously, Teflon for everything? I’m mystified. Has everyone been deluded by the conspiracy? More importantly, if they weren’t all deluded, why didn’t someone tell me about cast iron earlier?

If I had a choice to either cure cancer or cure Comcast, I’m not sure which one I’d pick.

October 6th, 2010

I am not as bad as Comcast.

I hate Comcast like I hate child molesters, David Lynch movies and swamp-ass.

Recently, the great, digital Satan decided to offer a new feature called “FuckYourDNS.” Now, when one of their “customers” (henceforth referred to herein as “victims”) mistypes a URL, rather than getting a standard error, their DNS is hijacked by their own provider and Comcast sends them to a faux search page with advertisements on it.

This means that if you just got done typing in a and happen to have misspelled it by a character, rather than clicking on the address bar and amending your error: fuck you. We replaced it with our advertisement redirect. Type that shit in again.

After throwing things and screaming for a while, I called Comcast to complain, but of course the people that make stupid fucking decisions such as this one are insulated from criticism by a nice thick layer of ineffectual (yet blameless) call center employees who in turn are buffered by hour wait times. It’s like storming Normandy.

After listening to an hours worth of hold-music and nauseating commercials (for a company I wouldn’t drown in a sea of urine If it was on fire and taped to a giant, gasoline soaked box containing every kitten on earth,) I was well primed for the criminally useless call-center employee that picked up the phone.

He could not turn it off, he said. I had to log in to a Comcast account that I didn’t even know I had and turn it off myself, but before I did that, I would have to switch the email I had on file (one I use) with my Comcast email. You know, the one I just found out that I had and have no desire to use.

Of course, in the end I was left with no choice but to jump through a bunch of hoops to do what I’d set out to do and, of course, by the time I was done it didn’t feel like an equitable use of my time. Regardless, I felt OK about. A small victory for the victim.

My irrational urge to find and sucker-punch the CEO of Comcast subsided…

What did I do?

Until yesterday.

Yesterday I moved my site from one host to another. DNS propagation has become remarkable over he last decade. DNS is the service that matches up domain names (which people can understand) to IP addresses (numerical addresses that computers understand.) Since I am moving I had to re-point my domain name to a new place. When I got my first domain name, DNS propagation frequently took 24 hours or better. That means it took a whole day for the new pointer to be recognized everywhere. Now it happens in seconds. Except with Comcast. 24 hours after I changed where my domain pointer, Comcast still kept taking me to the old location. This meant that I couldn’t work on my website.

Eventually I fixed the problem by editing my host file and adding an entry overriding where Comcast was sending me, but for all I know, they still don’t have the right place.

The part that really irks me is that I didn’t call them and that I didn’t call them because it wouldn’t have done any good. They would have not have been able or willing to do anything about it. It’s pretty sad when a company is so worthless that it’s simply understood among their victims that it is a pointless and costly endeavor to attempt to engage them for support.

It must save them a lot of money. Dicks.

Let out the purple smoke.

October 3rd, 2010

I don’t think we’re especially horrible. Every era in human history has been plagued by problems, but no era has been more conscious than ours of human rights and social equity. Though we have a long way to go, people today are among the most moral, conscientious people the world has ever known (yes, I just said that while wearing underwear scrapped together by the chapped, bleeding fingers of third-world orphans. Shut it, I’m going somewhere with this.) That being said, we are certainly the most intellectually stagnant blob of humanity that has ever slithered upon the earth. We armor ourselves in technology, we build nothing, we learn less.

This is what companies used to produce, presumably as commercials leading up to the feature at the cinema.

Is that how that works? Shiot. For real?

There is nothing fluffy about that video. Sure, it breaks it way down, but note the lack of flashy editing, stupid dialogue and tangential, unrelated footage? Do we simply not have the patience for this sort of thing any more, or what? Rather than spending millions on 30 second commercials, why don’t we demand the companies that serve us provide us with something of substance?

When I was 20, I had a neighbor named Caleb that live in the apartment underneath mine. I bought a new video card for my computer, and he offered to help me install it, but he said he wouldn’t do it for me, he’d only talk me through the process. When I expressed (in my wordy fashion) that it would be a bad idea for me to open my computer or touch anything inside it, he took me downstairs to show me his computer.

It looked as fucked up as Mel Gibson at the end of Braveheart–tied to a post and opened up with its entrails spilled out onto the floor. It was on its side with the cover removed. He had to move a pizza box off of it to show it to me. It had balls of hair in it. Hair and a pizza crust. Then he looked at me in the condescending manner of a nerd about to explain something intellectually trivial, and told me that I needed to let the magic smoke out of my computer.

“The wha?” The magic smoke! The mystical, purple fumes that make computers work. Take off the cover and let it out. See what’s in there, touch it, wiggle it, learn its name, learn its purpose, learn how to reach in, tear it out and replace it.

It worked. The purple smoke in my computer was replaced with RAM and a CPU–a graphics card, a BIOS and hard drives. All things I can name, all things I can replace if need be, all that purple smoke aired out in just a few hours time.

Shut up and get the fuck out of my room.

We live in a country–a world filled with purple smoke. We’re afraid of it. We don’t want to see it, don’t want to learn about it. For some reason, we want to not understand it. It’s got to change.

Yes! We are about to get buried!

October 3rd, 2010

I hate bad weather. And by bad weather I mean slightly cold, slightly damp bullshit. If we’re going to have sun, give me sun. If we’re going to have a storm, give me a god damn storm and if we’re going to have snow… SNOW. I want mountains of soul-crushing ice smothering the life out of the city. Bring me a frigid Armageddon sired by a draft from the very doors of hell or piss off.

Well, for all of you fellow lovers of disruptive weather: