June 30, 2004

32 Signs You May Not Be A Patriot

A list I found in the back of GQ. A specific author is not credited. (I was looking through a copy of GQ because I was asked to find photographs of US "fashion" to use in China, but I must admit I found some interesting articles in it.)

01) You still eat French fries.
02) You don't salute Bill O'Reilly at the beginning of The O'Reilly Factor.
03) You listen to NPR.
04) You think you may have once engaged in "chatter" when you were on a crosstown bus.
05) You can't remember if Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is the one who should be summarily killed.
06) You're still a fan of the Bill of Rights.
07) You didn't shop for major appliances in the months after September 11.
08) You've never read a Tom Clancy novel.
09) You're kind of turned on by the whole Mexican invasion.
10) You wouldn't mind messing with Texas.
11) You think universal health care is a sensible idea.
12) You get all your drugs from Canada.
13) Not only can't you name your assemblyman; you don't really know what one is.
14) You'd consider harboring a fugitive from justice...if she put out regularly.
15) You think Miss America is never half as good-looking as Miss Italy.
16) You'd rather sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch than the lachrymose "God Bless America."
17) If twenty mujahideen tied you down and threatened you with cattle prods, you would quite willingly give them Dick Cheney's address.
18) You think the flag of Brazil is a lot cooler looking than the Stars and Stripes.
19) You can't name your amendments.
20) You lie your way out of jury duty every time.
21) You don't know the words to Toby Keith's "How Do You Like Me Now?!"
22) You're proud of the fact you live in a blue state.
23) You can't name a single Olympian.
24) You're afraid to visit certain parts of the country.
25) You still think the Geneva conventions make pretty good sense.
26) You used to play Quake with Mullah Omar.
27) You used to rent your attic to the Lackawanna Six.
28) You removed the W from your keyboard.
29) You don't Super Size.
30) You speak a foreign language.
31) You can see both sides of an argument.
32) You question the president's leadership.

Posted by Randy at 01:01 AM | TrackBack

June 28, 2004


As my trip departure date is rushing towards me at an almost horrific speed, I need to create a temporary email address to use while I am in China. I don't currently know how much access I will have to the internet while I am in China, but I want to be prepared.

This is where I need help. Whoever submits the email prefix that I judge to be the most worthy (judged on creativity, originality, and suitability) will receive a (probably cheap) gift chosen by me in China.

You have until Thursday at 12:01 AM to submit your suggestions in the comment box.

Good luck!

Posted by Randy at 01:20 AM | TrackBack

Just For Katy

This is just for Katy because I used what she calls me:

How to make a Randy Carl
5 parts competetiveness
1 part ambition
5 parts empathy
Blend at a low speed for 30 seconds. Add sadness to taste! Do not overindulge!


Personality cocktail
From Go-Quiz.com

Before some of you start laughing at that empathy part, you should know that I have a bit more than you would expect. I would like to bump a couple of those empathy parts to ambition, though. That might be more accurate.

Posted by Randy at 01:13 AM | TrackBack

June 26, 2004


In less than a week I will be arriving in Los Angeles to begin training to teach teach English in China.

How did so much time fly by so quickly?

Posted by Randy at 05:51 PM | TrackBack

June 20, 2004

Cruise Anger

NOTE: Please read the note on the previous entry first for semi-important information.


For the majority of the trip so far I have greatly enjoyed myself. Occasionally, though, I am reminded rather brutally of the collection of ignorant hicks that are travelling with me.

BACKGROUND: Today the ship had its first art auction. These auctions are an entertaining way to get high quality artwork for up to sixty percent off of gallery prices. My parents purchased three painting that were unframed. My favorite two pieces of art at the auction had starting bids of $400 and $650 and each included a new frame. I was unable to convince my parents to get either painting, of course.

SETTING: The time and location of this latest brutal reminder was approximately eleven o'clock at night in the ship's casino.

CHARACTERS: This reminder involved my mother, my father's best friend, and me.

Now, my mother was doing quite well at a slot machine. Seeing an opportunity, I reminded her of the cheaper of the two paintings that I liked. Naturally, she once again told me that there was no chance of her buying me that painting.

Upon hearing that I would like to have a $400 painting (price including new framing), my father's best friend rather rudely spat out that paying $400 for a "pretty picture" was one of the stupidest things he had ever heard of. This ignorant outburst immediately caused my blood to boil with rage.

One would think that I would have heard enough ignorant tripe from the hicks I live around to have built up a fairly strong defense against it. Sadly, the opposite seems to be true. I was so angered I let a curse word slip out in the presence of my mother (who either did not hear it or understood exactly why it slipped out). I had to battle back a rather fierce and nasty retort.

After much inner debating, I have decided to share the retort in its edited version. I have decided that, since I did think it and I almost said it, I should share it.

"You know, name here, I might have actually put some weight behind that remark if it didn't come fram a dumb*** who has probably spent multiple thousands of dollars over the course of his life to suck on sticks that have been proven to cause both cancer to those who smoke them and discomfort to those around them. So, why don't you keep your f***ing ignorant hick opinions to yourself."

I keep telling myself that I was placed with these people so that I will learn patience. Unfortunately, it would appear that a lack of stupid thoughts being thrown at me lately has caused my tolerance to decrease greatly.

Posted by Randy at 11:55 PM | TrackBack

June 19, 2004

Cruise Musings

NOTE: Both of the followings pieces were written while on the cruise ship on which my family is currently vacationing. As the price for internet access is ridiculously high, these will be the only two posted. The dates and times have been changed to reflect when each piece was written. As these are typed at a furious pace, please ignore any mistakes for the time being. I will review them when it isn't costing me an arm and a leg.


I've noticed a rather interesting motif spread throughout the ship. In several places, one can find a smiling full moon etched into glass or metal with a cascading trail of its other phases that has a striking similarity to an old woman with pigtails in her hair. One can also find a variety of five point stars which are actually door handles. While I happen to like this "night sky" decor, I must say that I believe it contrasts a great deal with the overall feel of this cruise.

Think about it. This is a cruise set in the middle of the summer. This is a ship full of younger peole who both willfully and frequently expose their bodies to slowly bake in the sun and older people who seem to be in their rooms shortly after darkness falls. The room in which I am currently relaxing is even lined with paintings of various ships sailing during the day. I just can not believe that moons and stars truly fit on this ship.

With the cloud cover we have at the moment, however, the moons and stars inside will be the only ones that I see tonight. Before I came here to write this, I was standing on the top front deck. When I first walked out to the deck I could see only darkness. This darkness was quite possibly the purest absence of light I have ever seen. The wind at the front of the ship was quite strong, obviously. As I stood there, having declared the wind the dominant force and letting it have its way with me, I simply let my mind wander.

After several trivial and inane thoughts danced merrily through my mind, I noticed a difference in the darkness. I could suddenly see two different black colors on the horizon. It was as if someone had decided there was simply too much black in the night and took some of it out of the sky. This observation caused my thoughts to turn both much deeper and more introspective.

In the past five years of so, my family has experienced a great deal of tragedy. These past two years could easily be called the darkest time of my short life. Yet, though the times were often black, I never felt despair. I felt more than enough sadness and a great deal of grief, but despair never entered into my life. As cliche as it might sound, I knew that no matter how dark my life became there was Someone there that could reduce the darkness. This is a comfort that we as Christians have, and I believe that it is quite easily on of the greatest of God's gifts.

As Christians, we should want to spread the Gospel not only to share follow the Baptist battlecry ("Repent or BURN IN HELL!") but mainly to share the enormity of God's love for us. There are a number of people out there today who say things similiar to this, but I am not sure how many people actually believe it. This truth rooted itself deeper inside me tonight.

It is also a wonderful thought to stumble across a couple of weeks before my China trip. It may be cliche, but it still gives me comfort.

Posted by Randy at 01:21 AM | TrackBack

June 18, 2004

Time to Go . . . to Sleep

In about twelve hours I will be leaving with my family to go on a brief (six-day) vacation. We will be traveling with a group of my parents' friends. This could be interesting. I'll let you know when we get back.

Oh, and I apologize for the lack of posts recently. Blame Amare. I'm sure he won't mind. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll fill you in later. Be warned, however, that an explanation will require me to slip into g33k mode.

Posted by Randy at 12:55 AM | TrackBack

June 13, 2004

Weekend fun...

I have a few things that I would like to say.

First, I am THE KING of Anti-Monopoly. Anna, Ardith, Scholl, Jared, and Lilly should bow to their master.

Second, The Book of Bunny Suicides is one of the funniest (and darkest) illustrated books I have ever seen. The cover of the book should tell you all you want to know.

Third, the act of doing nothing all day in Longview can still be fun if you are with friends.

That is all.

Posted by Randy at 06:46 PM | TrackBack

June 10, 2004

Portrait Illustration Maker

So, I found this neat little website where you can make an illustrated portrait of someone. It doesn't work perfectly, of course, because you are selecting from pre-drawn items. A large number of the items are also a bit more oriental in nature. It can be a lot of fun, however.

I managed to create the following:

Get that mouse away from my face!

In case it is not obvious, that is a seat in the background. I was trying to make my face, but the only parts I feel are really accurate are the hair and the eyebrows. The eyes are similar, but they did not have my eye color for a choice.

Play with it. It's fun.

Posted by Randy at 08:34 PM | TrackBack

June 09, 2004

Music Question

This entry is directed mostly to Hookah simply because I think he is most likely to be able to answer me. If anyone else knows, however, please leave an answer.

Yesterday as I was driving a song came on the radio. That in itself is quite startling as it was a station owned by Clear Channel Communications. Anyway, the song was a bit of a combination of R&B and rap. It started out with a girl humming. The humming and the music which accompanied it made me think of a song I believe I heard off of Hookah's computer. This thought made my jaw drop for a moment because this station playing an "older" song like that would be the equivalent of my rock station playing Buddy Holly. It just does not happen.

Now for my question. Isn't there some song which includes Lauryn Hill humming in the background while someone else raps? I think this is from when she was with that group she was in (I'm thinking it was the Refugees, but I'm not sure.). I'm desperately hoping I did not just ask the equivalent of "You know that Metallica song where there is a guitar," but I apologize now if I did.

Posted by Randy at 09:29 PM | TrackBack

June 08, 2004


I have just picked up a copy of Stephen King's The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah. I have put my current reading list on hold in order to re-read the final few chapters of part five, Wolves of the Calla. Once I have sufficiently refreshed my memory, I will be losing myself in the world of Roland of Gilead, Eddie Dean, Susannah Dean, and Jake Chambers. This makes me so incredibly happy.

In other news, I noticed today that I have fingernails. By that, I mean that I have long fingernails. I have ten separate long fingernails. This is the first time this has happened in an extraordinary long time. I hadn't even realized that I had stopped biting them. Strange how that works.

Posted by Randy at 07:57 PM | TrackBack

June 06, 2004

Quiz Time

You're Scholl!

Which Member of the Shadow Council Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Unfortunately, due to Wheeler's admitted laziness, I am not one of the possible results for the quiz. Knowing this in advance, I predicted this result.

What I found strange, though, was that by changing a single answer I gained the following result:

You're Jared!

Which Member of the Shadow Council Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I think I am somewhat of a combination of the two.

Posted by Randy at 07:51 PM | TrackBack

June 04, 2004

Creepy Crawlies

I made two personal observations involving "lower life forms" today. Naturally, both were made after experiencing an event on accident.

First, nothing in this past year has terrified me more than when I accidentally grabbed a large (about three-inch legspan) garden spider while trying to move a box this afternoon. Before you mock me, understand that I have no problem with spiders unless they are touching me.

Second, never have I heard such a satisfying crunch as when I accidentally crushed some kind of insect by putting a Playstation 2 disc back in its case this evening. I had not looked inside the case before putting the game back inside it. Therefore, I did not see that a decent-sized bug was sitting where the game rests.

What a strange day this has been...


That spider I was just talking about was found as I was moving a box in my room. As I jumped backwards in terror when I found it, the spider got away. I hadn't thought much of it afterwards because, like I said, spiders are fine as long as they stay away from me.

Well, that spider is now resting on my pillow on my bed. I can't crush him because it would go all over my pillow, and I am afraid of moving the pillow because I do not want the spider to be near me. Now that I have seen this spider on my bed I am not going to be able to sleep in my bed until it is dead.

This is very irritating.

Posted by Randy at 01:55 AM | TrackBack

June 03, 2004

Flash! Bang!

Reason I Hate Living in the Middle of Nowhere #582: Storm Aftermath

For the past two nights this area has had a rather severe storm blow through with its full-force. I like the actual storms. I find it exhilirating to have a tremendous force of nature wailing about while I am sitting safe and dry indoors. What I hate about storms here, though, is trying to do anything after them.

Once a decently big storm passes through, our house becomes almost totally isolated. We usually lose electricity at some point during the storm. Ideally, we get our power back within five or six hours. If the wind is blowing rather hard, trees fall across the roads in several locations. There are three different roads we could travel from my house if we needed to leave. Naturally, all of these become blocked by rather large trees. It takes sometimes three or more people to move some of the trees if nobody has a chainsaw with them. Then, of course, there are all of the smaller branches and limbs that are just ripped off of the tree by the wind and rain. After this last storm, there were enough of these small branches on the road that it appeared to be green in some areas.

It's all very annoying.

Posted by Randy at 06:45 PM | TrackBack