March 26, 2005

Christians vs. Christianity

Normally I recommend the webcomic Something Positive as a warped window into some of the geek circles that I run in. Sometimes it's frightfully accurate, many times it describes people I know, it's always funny and usually warped.

Every now and again Randy Milholland (the strip's creator) hits on something very serious and important. Sometimes he's even nice enough not to be too crass while hitting serious points. Such is the case with his current Easter story-line.

The comics in question will be linked in sequential order below with ratings next to them with reasons for my gentler readers. I would strongly recommend anyone but my youngest audience reading these comics and seriously considering their implication and the impact that such stuff has on the secular world around us. To the best of my knowledge, Milholland is a cynical agnostic... just bear that in mind as you read.

Storyline Hook (PG for mild language and sacrilege)
Actual Beginning (G for mild sacrilege)
Church Business Debate (G for mild sacrilege)
Introspective Discussion (PG for mild language)
Meeting at Augusta's House (PG-13 for gore and sexual concept)
Rally at the Front Porch (G)
Confrontation (G for mild sacrilege)
Disillusioned Mother (G)

In short, if you are a Christian and you think you can get past the words to get to the message, I REALLY recommend that you read these comics. However, if you're going to get so hung up on the wording and the vehicle that you'll miss the very important message being presented in by an agnostic to a secular audience, don't go.

Well... that's more or less all I can do to try and broaden your horizons and protect you at the same time.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 10:25 PM | TrackBack

March 24, 2005

Compulsive Snoozer?

Do you have problems waking up in the morning. Do you overuse the snooze? Does your unconcious brain make choices for the rest of you?

Clocky the mobile alarm clock will help!

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:51 PM | TrackBack

March 23, 2005

Obscure Patents

Anyone want a bird diaper? It's a patented concept... just like the inflatable rug. Check them out.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 12:16 AM | TrackBack

March 22, 2005

If You Want It Done Right

Some of you may or may not have noticed that we've been having problems with comment spam for about the last 36 hours. It turns out that the MT plug-in we've been using to stop comment spam (MT Blacklist) can generate some SQL difficulties that you can read about here. All that to say is that we've needed to talk to tech support, and so I nominated Ardith for the job after I got Gallagher to look into the problem initially.

As of 11 or so this evening, the problem was still unresolved and worsening... and so I took matters into my own hands. At 11:35 PM I sent in a tech support request after doing a little bit of research and writing. At 11:40 I got a response indicating the problem had been solved.

Just goes to show that if I want something done right, I need to do it myself.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:43 PM | TrackBack

March 19, 2005

Perkins Reloaded

Being as that we're back in Cincinnati and Anna had never been to the Perkins of Legend, it seemed appropriate to give it a visit. My best friend Tim, a fellow veteran, was understandably reluctant to revisit the home of the worst restaurant service available in Cincinnati, but that reluctance, as always, was tempered with the anticipation of another exciting Perkins episode. Thus, it didn't take me too long to sell Tim on the idea and so we went, with Ben in tow.*
I began anticipating a good time when I arrived at Perkins and noted that the parking lot was parked 3 cars deep in some areas, as opposed to the common American practice of parking 2 deep and leaving access aisles such that there isn't a middle car that is potentially prevented from exiting. In light of this entertaining parking scheme, Tim pulled through one spot and I followed him so that I would be able to leave at the proper time. What's more, upon exiting we discovered that this mystical "third row" wasn't a row at all but rather a mechanism of parking in the access aisle unilaterally adopted by the presumably disoriented (and potentially inebriated) customers of Perkins.
Upon accomplishing the marvelous feat of parking, we set out to go in, only to pause at hearing noise emanating from the adjoining dumpster. Tim managed to mutter "dumpster diving" just in time for us to note a man climbing up onto the dumpster and sitting down upon it. Then, instead of rifling through it, he discarded several boxes into the dumpster, hopped down, and dashed into Perkins. We thought this slightly odd, commented such, and proceeded into the restaurant where, lo and behold, this same employee was standing at the front counter, handing a customer her take-out food. This level of sanitation should have discomforted me, but I was distracted at that moment by a man sticking his head in the womenís room.
Pausing to attempt to figure out what was going on, I noted a couple of "Caution: Wet Floor" signs on the floor, that the man looking through the door was wearing a Perkins shirt, and that the peeping tom and the man at the counter both appeared to be managers. Oh... and the man at the counter appeared to be agitated and, well, gay.
As we stood there waiting, Peeping Tom darted from bathroom to bathroom and into the back, at which point the counter manager paused to shout after him, "I've already dealt with it!" Noting that he wasn't being acknowledged and affecting more flagrant mannerisms by the moment, the dumpster-diver turned to a heretofore-unnoticed Perkins employee sitting in the waiting area and said, "You'd better get him out of here or me and him are gonna have to fight!"
The employee looked up from where he seemed to be trying to hide and responded, "I don't work here any more James, leave me out of this."
At this point the manager emerged from the back and James interjected, "It's all deatlt with! I've been on my hands and knees wading, through 6 inches of water for the past hour to get the water up, but it's dealt with! Get out!"
The manager turned to James and told him, "I'm just doing my job!" and then turned and retreated into the back, where James followed him after barking at the camouflaged employee. It was at this point that our waitress emerged from some side door and escorted us to our table.
After being seated, I had to know what was going on. That, combined with the apparent unprofessionalism of both the restaurant and the waitress prompted me to inquire, "What's been going on in here?"
The very question seemed to be all that the waitress needed by way of encouraging to unload the ever-increasing burden of the goings-on of the evening to somebody. "Well," she began, "this isn't even the first of it. It all started earlier this evening when a group of drunk guys brought this girl in and she decided at some point to go sit with a different group of guys. Now, they were also drunk and we could smell the alcohol from over there," she continued, pointing over to the kitchen. "There was almost a fight and the manager had to come over and break that up and we had to hurry up to get them out of here."
"What about the manager who's here now?" I prompted.
"That started a bit later," she answered, leaning over conspiratorially, "when the toilet in the employee bathroom plugged up. Water poured everywhere and there was, like, two inches of water everywhere in the kitchen and all of the bathrooms. And our manager is gay, so he was all exaggerating when the general manager came in. And now he's checking up on our manager and they hate each other so I just hope we get the general manager out of here because they're back there screamin' at each other right now."
After a bit more colorful dialogue wherein the waitress informed me that I looked like a stoner friend of hers whose hair she used to braid, she wandered off to find somewhere to hide or something. It was at this point that a group of 6 young teenaged girls, sporting a good bit of attitude, was seated at a nearby oversized booth. One of the girls was given a chair and was sitting in the aisle, which was promptly noted by James in the kitchen. He came storming out, looking very agitated and very gay, and tried to calmly tell the girls that they couldn't have a seat out in the aisle due to the fire code. I must admit, I was really hoping for an explosion, but the girls moved into the booth together with only minor grumbling.
It was at this point that my coffee arrived, complete with a suspicious layer of sludge on the outside of the carafe. I didn't ask, I don't want to know, and all I can say for the food was that it was barely tolerable, and without the company it wouldn't have even acheived that. Sadly, the rest of the evening was largely uninteresting with one exception:
Roughly 10 minutes before we were to leave, the waitress came back by our table to check on us, and inform us that she hoped her TV wasn't going to burn. Apparently she was renting-to-own a 64-inch plasma television and had spent roughly $4000 on it. For reasons that weren't explained, she was remodeling her apartment or something and the television had just been moved to James' apartment for storage earlier that evening. Apparently, James had just received a call to tell him that his apartment had just caught fire. Thus, the manager had rushed off to his apartment, leaving our waitress to hope and pray that her television wouldn't be burned. I suspect and hope it had some sort of insurance... but this was just one more oddity to top out a rather entertaining, and surprisingly well-serviced Perkins run. Come to Cincinnati with me and I'll hit Perkins with you, too.

*note: This was more of a risk than it sounds because Ben is a notorious over-tipper and supporter of the International Brotherhood of Waiters and Waitresses, no matter what a bunch of hacks they are. We've had to steal Ben's tip back from him in order that we can under-tip for execrable service on numerous occasions.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 01:11 AM | TrackBack

March 18, 2005

Everything I Wish I Knew

Anyone with children who are heading anywhere near towards college needs to sit them down and read this article to them before they start school and then have them read it about once a year once they learn to read.

In case there were any doubters, read this paragraph as a metric of the quality contained therein:

It's dangerous to design your life around getting into college, because the people you have to impress to get into college are not a very discerning audience. At most colleges, it's not the professors who decide whether you get in, but admissions officers, and they are nowhere near as smart. They're the NCOs of the intellectual world. They can't tell how smart you are. The mere existence of prep schools is proof of that.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 05:59 PM | TrackBack

March 17, 2005

Stew Toby!

Extortion to avoid rabbit stew? Screw toby... stew toby!

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:06 AM | TrackBack

Happy Leprechaun Day

The leprechauns are BACK!!!

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 10:06 AM | TrackBack

March 09, 2005

More Comics

You will note that I have finally gotten around to putting up links to some more awesome online comics... which is good because then I remember to read them.

That said, my personal favorite of the new additions is the weekly comic Pet Professional, a comic about a hit man who only takes out hits on animals. Pretty sweet... and though it only updates once per week, it's reliable and regular.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:53 PM | TrackBack

High Marks for Frivolity

If you were like me and you took honors classes in high school, there is a good chance that there were summer assignments to complete before the first day of school. These were just part of the burden one had to bear for the retard-free classes with GPA-weighting. Or I suppose I could have sued.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:37 PM | TrackBack

March 08, 2005

Heard in Speech

Wondrous things I heard in a speech in Col. Payton's Speech class today:

"My speech today is on the American Fag[sic] and its meaning, proper care, how to fold it and store it, and how to post it correctly."

"So you don't want to burn the American Flag in your back yard with your leaves or your neighbor from Vietnam will come over and hurt you."

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:45 PM | TrackBack

March 07, 2005

Nature of Suicide

Anna and I had a long and drawn-out discussion today about the topic of suicide in general. Now, setting aside any personal feelings of morality regarding a Divine Ban on such things, my question, as usual, lies more to the lines of the semantics.

The question is essentially this: Is disconnecting one's own life support technically suicide?

My assertion is that to end a life is considered murder (either homicide or suicide, depending on the perpetrator) and that so long as the state of the living being changes to deceased as a direct result of the act in question, it really doesn't matter if the means was slitting a wrist or disconnecting a respirator.

Anna adds certain moral and ethical implications to this along with tying it into a spoiler to a movie that many haven't seen here. To me, the moral and ethical implications will fall out along certain lines once one gains a basic understanding of death and murder: namely, the removal of life, either via action or inaction constitutes a choice by a party to preserve or remove life from himself or another. In short, if you have a choice and you choose to extinguish life, you have placed yourself in line for a willful termination of life... more commonly known as either homicide or suicide.

Are there extenuating circumstances? Perhaps... but perhaps not. All else aside, I would assert that endeavors to dance around the above paragraph are typically (but not always) self-deluding attempts to soften a moral blow and such tapdancing should be abandoned at least until terms are properly defined.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 12:34 AM | TrackBack

March 06, 2005

Dynamic Duo

Amazing Super-heroes: Spider-Man and Jesus. Didn't you know they were homies? For a good time and great heresy, check this comic out.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 01:27 AM | TrackBack

March 03, 2005

The Fine Art of Wench Management

Following is the outline from my speech in Col. Payton's Speech and Communication class today. If I have time and enough response, I'll rework it to an actual transcript form:

  1. What Is Wench Management
    1. Making the Women Around You Act Reasonably
      1. Scenarios from real life
    2. Why Do I Care?
      1. Immortal Question: "Do I look good in this?"
      2. Three Words: Irrational, Illogical, Over-Emotional
  2. Could I Learn?
    1. Are you a rational person?
    2. Do you need to learn?
      1. LeTourneau
      2. Real World
  3. How Is It Done?
    1. My Borrowed Methodology
      1. Insistence
      2. Persistence
      3. Consistency
  4. Persistence
    1. Donít Give Up
      1. Everyone has bad days
    2. Keep Reinforcing Reason
      1. Eventually you WILL teach her to listen to it.
    3. Think Fast
  5. Insistence
    1. Donít Let Irrational Thought Win
      1. Thought Reform
    2. Provide Incentives
      1. Chocolate and Flowers
    3. Women CAN be made somewhat logical
      1. Social conditioning
  6. Consistency
    1. Keep Pusing Logic and Rationality
      1. You can win by sheer force of will
    2. Don't Get Sloppy
      1. Unlike Canine Training
    3. Keep An Escape Plan
      1. Remember the ELH-2 Raid
  7. What About the Wenches?
    1. You Could Participate and Learn
    2. I Could Hope
    3. Just Have Some Chocolate
Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:50 PM | TrackBack

March 01, 2005

Ice Cave Reference!

Apparently, the Light Warriors are now trapped in the Ice Cave. Maybe they've been trapped there all along. Now, we come to an interesting question:

Which Ice Cave resident is Fighter?

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:30 PM | TrackBack

Manly Month of March

Welcome to the Manly Month of March. For more details on participation, talk to Gecko.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 12:00 AM | TrackBack