Category Archives: Fun

“I want you to try something. The hew-mons call this Root Beer […] it’s so sweet and cloying. […] And you know what the worst part is? After a while, you actually find that you enjoy it…”

4 Dashes – A Springtime Story

4 Dashes – A Springtime Story

Earlier this evening, I wrote a silly short story for a friend (we’ll call him Buzz Killington) in a group chat. He was having some issues with his roommate (Buzz named him Captain Liar) paying the cable bill and his service had been interrupted. He was asking for advice, and the following exchange occurred between Buzz and another friend (we’ll call this friend Banner Bryce):

Buzz Killington: According to Captain Liar he called them just now and paid the bill with a card. That is promising, if it wasn’t for his super hero name….
Banner Bryce: “Services still aren’t working. Let me call and see if payment posted”
Buzz Killington: Now Banner said what he said in quotations, so I’m not sure if he said that or if he was implying that if Captain Liar was a good man or even human in general he would have said that in response to me telling him I’ve still got my dashes.

That’s been edited slightly to reflect name changes and to remove unrelated text. Buzz not knowing what Banner was trying to say inspired me to construct an elaborate explanation of it. Why? Why not? Its been a while since I wrote creatively and this seemed like a fun little exercise. Without further ado, I present to you my first piece of original short fiction in almost 20 years…

4 Dashes – A Springtime Story

It was a hot late spring day and Phteven was steamed. It wasn’t just this unseasonably warm heat that got his blood boiling though — oh no! It was also the fact that his rapacious roommate had once again forgotten to pay the cable bill. Likely he’d spent the money on cheap women and even cheaper booze, as was his way. Phteven tried not to get mad, as he’d always lived by a well intentioned, but ultimately misguided code to not beat the asses of those who deserved it.

Phteven had already talked to his roommate about paying that bill and the roommate swore up and down that he had just paid it with his credit card. Phteven was skeptical, as was right and just when it comes to claims made by his possibly mentally handicapped roommate. His skepticism was also justified because despite the claimed payment, he was still confronted with a lack of TV service as indicated by the dreaded 4 dashes displayed on his cable box, which somehow managed to be cheaper than both the women and booze favored by his ill-mannered roommate.

What to do? He’d already vented to his friends in the chat while asking about how his cable company’s non-payment process worked. They’d given him the information requested, although at least one of them wondered how it could be that Phteven didn’t know, given they’d both worked there at the same time. New knowledge or forgotten, the problem remained.

The 4 dashes.

They stared at him. Mocked him. They laughed at his roommate’s claimed payment.

Phteven was starting to get nervous. “What should I do,” he asked himself. He gazed across his room at the cable box, thinking wistfully of all the DVRed shows he could be watching right now. Looking out the window and seeing the beach that lay just a few blocks down in his mind’s eye, he thought, “Services still aren’t working. Let me call and see if payment posted.”

For a moment, Phteven had a sense of cognitive dissonance. He usually thought in complete sentences, following all the rules of grammar, but for a moment there he constructed that thought with the bare minimum required to be understood, leaving out prepositions, articles, and all his Grammar Good Guys, as he liked to call them. It was almost as if… as if it were someone else’s voice speaking in his mind…

But no, that couldn’t be! That sort of thing is relegated to the world of the comic books he enjoyed. Just then he noticed that the cable box was no longer displaying the 4 dashes! The time was now emblazoned upon it, for all the world to see! The oddly phrased thought forgotten, Phteven reached for the remote control and turned on the TV, bathing himself in the LCD glow of one of his favorite pastimes.

Who’d have thought his recklessly irresponsible roommate would have come through? An argument could be made that he should have paid the bill on time, but at least he didn’t have to cajole him into paying it over the course of several weeks like he had to do last time!

Even that thought fell away however, as Phteven made a selection from his DVR and hit play. He slipped into the fantasy world of his TV show and let himself be immersed. There was no unseasonable heat, no unruly roommate, no unexplainable thoughts… just pure, televised bliss. Phteven smiled and settled in to watch, unaware of the brush he had with the lurking horror creeping just beyond the veil of reality…

Chocolate World Expo 2012!

Chocolate World Expo 2012!

This past Sunday I went to the Chocolate World Expo.

I’m just gonna let that sink in for a minute.

Yeah, it was pretty great.  What wasn’t great was the HOUR AND A HALF WAIT.  That was pure shenanigans.  As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been grossly neglecting Ask the Fatty! for literally years.  My detailed thoughts on the chocolate and wine and hot sauce (!) I tried at the expo will be posted there.  It will be a grand and glorious re-launch of a site that you’d think would be easy for me to maintain.  I mean, come on, I eat all the damn time!  Whenever I have a Sunday Funday I usually am at some place that is new and exciting or at least worthy of a write up.  Fatty likes his food, and there’s been no shortage, let me tell you.  In any event, I’ll go into detail about the taste sensations of the expo itself there, either tomorrow or the next day.  Think of this post here as a companion piece to that, a sort of commentary track or deleted scene type of thing.

So, about that wait… it was really something.  The event was at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.  Normally, I’d probably end up on the Meadowbrook at some point to get there, but we took an alternate route since we were coming from breakfast and a few errands.  It’s a good thing too, because when we got to the last intersection before the museum, the cross traffic that we were turning into was epic.  The line of bumper to bumper cars waiting for the light to turn was at least a half mile long.  I wish I thought to take a picture of that.  It was quite a sight!  We didn’t have to wait through that, thankfully.  There was a bit of a wait to get into the parking area for the event due to the volume of cars, but that wasn’t more than 5 to 10 minutes.  However, the walk from where I was parked to the end of the line was a good 5 minutes.  And that line… well, a picture is worth 1000 words, they say, so how about this (FYI, long load time for this pic):


Yeah.  Shenanigans!  It took four pictures (4000 words?) from my T2i to capture the whole thing.  Now, if I’d been thinking, I’d have just used the panorama setting on my Galaxy Nexus, but no, I had to do things the hard way.  While we were waiting at the ass end of the line, I snapped these pictures of this artwork on this busted looking warehouse we were standing next to.  I especially like the one with the little kid frolicking.  I also grabbed a few shots of the strangely decrepit state of the next building we (very slowly!) passed while waiting on line.

[nggtags gallery=chocpost1]


Anyway, an hour and a half later, we were inside.  We were treated to this sight while waiting to get past the wildly rude octogenarian guarding the ticket booth:

[nggtags gallery=chocpost2]


Not a huge place, but pretty nice.  I was inordinately giddy at the Blue Angel plane hanging from the ceiling.

[nggtags gallery=chocpost3]


We walked, we sampled, we purchased.  I, however, did something odd and unbelievable.  I walked out of that place and didn’t buy a single chocolate based item.  Not one.  Instead, I bought this:

[nggtags gallery=chocpost4]


Yeah.  Leave it to me to find motherfucking hot sauce at a motherfucking chocolate expo.  I don’t know whether to be proud or disappointed.  Perhaps both.  For whatever odd reason, there were almost as many wineries there as there were chocolatiers.  I’m not a huge fan of wine, but maybe I’ve never tried the right one before.  The bottle you see in the above pic is a Riesling and I loved it!  I’m looking forward to trying that on a nice evening with a good meal that I’ve cooked for myself (or Taco Bell; you know, whatever).  Speaking of booze, I’m drinking some Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale right now and this has got to be one of my favorite beers.  I wish they made it year round.  I’ve yet to try the new Spring blend, but I’m sure you’ll hear about it when I do.  I also used this post as an excuse to take the above pictures of my haul.  I fiddled around with some settings on the camera (focus and depth of field, mostly), so if anyone has any thoughts/comments, please feel free to let me know.  I want to get better with this camera, and the only way that’s happening is if I keep at it.  Moar pictars!

While we were wandering around there, I saw this stuff:

[nggtags gallery=chocpost5]


I guess that sign was put up in a more optimistic era.  I’ve always dreamed of space travel, of landing on another world and breathing an alien atmosphere.  Meeting new life from a completely different evolutionary line.  Would it use DNA?  If so, would it use the same base pairs that life on Earth does?  Would it even be carbon based, water drinking, oxygen breathing?  Who knows, but I would LOVE to find out.  Even landing on a completely barren world would be a joy without compare.  Setting foot on a world that has been shaped by weather unknown to us here, like the methane rains of Titan would be an indescribable experience.  Maybe one day in the distant future, our descendants will get that chance.  But humans on Mars in the kind of time frame on this sign?  Not bloody likely, and that makes me sadder than I can say.  So much money wasted on so much pure garbage, and the sciences are continually shit on by people who don’t understand how the most basic aspects of the world around them work, yet are somehow in charge of making budgetary decisions on who gets funding. This rant is better saved for its own post.

But that was our day at the Chocolate World Expo, in a nutshell.  Lots of fun times and endless shenanigans.  I’ve added all the pictures to my gallery both here and on G+.  A great day all around, and while I didn’t get any chocolate, I walked away with booze and hot sauce, and that’s never a bad thing!  I will leave you now with this bonus picture of the line to get into the expo, before smoothing out the rough edges.



Shenanigans! I missed my goal already and its only been a week! I am irate with myself. In my defense, I was working overtime the last few days of shift this week. And I probably would have updated yesterday, but I got so frustrated and fed up with my Droid Charge (thanks for the support and your TouchWiz garbage, Samsung!) that I ended up getting a new phone. I have the Galaxy Nexus now and it’s a dream. This is what Android should have been from the start! It’s superior to the Charge in every way except one: battery life. I knew this going in however, so it’s not like it’s a shock. I’m getting about what everyone else is getting, so I think my next step is to try out some custom kernels to see if I can get some underclocking and undervolting going to improve battery life. The phone is so fast already, and with GPU acceleration, it’s so silky smooth. I wonder how low I could go before I noticed a performance hit. Gotta find that balance!

I had my OG Droid several months before I rooted it. I wanted to try it and see what it could get me. I also wanted to experiment with overlooking that bad boy. I had my Droid Charge about a month before I rooted it and that was mostly a desperate attempt to get rid of TouchWiz. I had this phone almost exactly 24 hours before I rooted it. I am debating whether or not to drop a ROM on this phone. I’m really happy with the stock ROM. The only thing I’d want is something that puts toggles for things like wifi, bluetooth, etc in the notification area. Other than that, I’m good. I got this phone for the pure Android experience and that’s exactly what I’m getting. It’s the first phone I’ve had that I haven’t really had a burning need to root, and ironically its the phone that I’ve rooted the fastest.

I’m going to try some different kernels aimed towards power efficiency and see how that goes. If it’s not really effective, it may be time for a dock and extra battery, but that’s something I’d rather avoid… Although I do want the dock, even though I don’t really need it. Maybe when I get my tax return.

And now, kernels!

World Cup 2010 Day 8

World Cup 2010 Day 8

OMG. Fucking Koman Coulibaly. His name and face are burned into my memory. If I ever see him walking down the street, I will run over, ask him what the fuck he was looking at, punch him in the face, and ask if he saw my foul. I may or may not do it in that order. I may also punch him more than once depending on his answer. Seriously, the dude needs to choke on his whistle and spend the rest of his life making a whistling sound whenever he tries to talk or breathe.

See? This is how soccer riots get started!

Anyway, on to today’s games. Please note that this is likely not the last you’ve heard of my ranting about Mr. Coulibaly. In fact, I’m going to add the spelling of his name to my spell checker’s dictionary because I think I shall be using it often. Most likely as a curse. That fucker.

Right, right, the games. So here’s my fake liveblogging notes on today’s games. I’m still working on getting StatusNet up and running for my real liveblogging updates. That should be done in a day or so. Anyway, enjoy!

    Germany vs Serbia:

  • We’re only a few minutes in and its already a pretty lively game. Germany has had a couple of good looks at goal. If they keep this kind of pressure up, they’ll do to Serbia the same thing they did to Australia.
  • A yellow card for each side already and we’re like 18 minutes in. And as I type this Serbia just got yet another yellow. None of these cards seem deserved. This is some poor officiating and is really going to damage the quality of the game. OMG yellow card #4, this time on Germany, but this one actually looks to be the first legit yellow issued.
  • Holy fucking shit. The card happy official hasn’t stopped his yellow card assault on either team and he just gave Klose his 2nd undeserved yellow, putting Germany a man down the rest of the game. Serbia’s response? Scoring a goal literally seconds later. Worst officiated game of the tournament to date.
  • An exciting play at the Serbian goal by the Germans lead to two almost goals, but the crossbar foiled the best of the two shots. The second was intercepted by the Serbian defense.
    I wonder how many players will end up being ejected. The yellow cards are being given out like candy on Halloween.
  • Germany isn’t playing like they’re down a man their assault on the Serbian goal continues unabated.
  • Germany earns a penalty kick on a foolish Serbian handball, but isn’t able to capitalize on the kick or the rebound.
  • The crossbar is a hell of a goalkeeper as it just stopped another shot on goal, this time a header from Serbia.
  • This ref is hobbling both teams for not only this game, but the next as well, since getting a yellow in 2 consecutive games leads to a 1 game suspension. Both teams are going to be overly cautious in their third group game, I think.
  • Did FIFA get bought out or receive heavy sponsorship funding from the Pope or something? Almost every player coming on as a substitution in this tournament has crossed themselves as they come on. I don’t remember that from the last World Cup.
  • Germany unable to produce a goal, but not for lack of trying. A surprising result of a 1-0 Serbian win.
    USA vs Slovenia:

  • A quick injury in the opening seconds with an accidental collision between opposing players. The Slovenian player got the worst of it and there was some question of a yellow on the play, but the referee let it go. Intense opening moments!
  • OK seriously? 14 minutes in and the US already gives up a goal? Its the second game in a row they’re done that and its highly disappointing. The commentators mentioned that the US is 0-15-3 when they give up the first goal.
  • Three very close almost goals for the US, but no joy yet. We’re showing some life, but as I was typing this, we gave up another goal. There was some talk of a possible offsides, but the replay showed it was good. To add insult to injury, we got a yellow card that was totally unjustified on the second of our three quick attempts. Going into the half, we look like we’re done. 🙁
  • OMG AWESOME! Landon Donovan makes an amazing goal to bring the US back into this game! What a wicked goal! It was streaking in so hard that even the goalkeeper backed away from it. We almost got a second goal off of a free kick, but it went just a touch wide. If we can keep the pressure on, we can pull a draw, or dare I say even win this.
  • Its about damn time a call goes our way. Can we make the free kick…? It was close, but no.
  • OMG WHAT AN AMAZING GOAL! Damn, that was just what we needed! So awesome, just so damn awesome.
  • Holy shit, we just had our game winner taken from us by a bad offside call on us while one of our players is literally being bear hugged by the opposition and another is damn near in a headlock! There have been some really bad calls this game.
  • WTF players from both sides go down and don’t get up and the ref says play on?! This guy needs to be choked with his own whistle.
  • The game ends in a draw after a bit of highway robbery by the ref. What a game and what an asshole of a ref.
    Algeria vs England:

  • 25 minutes in and its pretty dull so far. No terribly exciting plays for either side. There was almost a nice break as I was writing that, but it stopped almost as soon as it started. The outcome here is important given that we lost our win to the idiot referee in he US game, so a draw may not be he worst thing in the world.
  • England just had a good shot on goal, but a nice save by the goalkeeper keeps it scoreless.
  • A great play by England in the 32nd minute and another great save by Algeria. The game is picking up!
  • No goals yet going into the half, but both teams are showing a lot more life than they did at the start. I think we’ll at least have a goal by England by the end of the game. The question is whether Algeria can fire back for the draw because I don’t think they can win.
  • A lot more action from both sides, but England still has the upper hand in attempts on goal. No stupid calls by the ref, so that’s nice and refreshing.
  • We’re in the closing minutes of the game and while it was a good back and forth, the commentators are fairly disappointed with England and I can’t say that I disagree. And as I type this, the game ends as a scoreless draw. It should be interesting going into the last game of the group. The US will need to win that game in order to advance. England has to be wondering why they’re not leading the group, and I’m pretty sure they’re not the only ones.

So there you have today’s games. OMG RAGEFACE! I’m so not done ranting, but it’s late and I need to get to bed. Don’t you worry (or do, as the case may be), I’m planning on expounding on the USA game this weekend. I BITE YOU THROUGH THE INTERNET IN ANGER, STUPID REFEREE!

World Cup 2010 Day 7 and Other Stuff!

World Cup 2010 Day 7 and Other Stuff!

Earlier today I caught up on the backlog of games generated by my extended work week and then caught up on some other stuff, like the 400+ Twitter updates and the pile of Facebook statuses I had queued up. I played some Resistance 2, ate an entire pizza because I hadn’t eaten properly in days, caught up on some some shows in my DVR, and read up on some of the stuff that went down at this year’s E3. X-box 360 Slim, here I come! Well, in a month or two because I want to see if they burst into flames like the old ones did. And while I’m sad to see Criterion making a racing game that isn’t Burnout, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit looks awesome. It also looks like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, which isn’t a bad thing since I really liked that game, but I’m pretty sure the Hot Pursuit title was already used by a Need for Speed game. By two of them, in fact! I’m not really sure what’s going on there. 3DS looks interesting, and can I get a hell yes for new PilotWings?!


There. I knew if I left it to you jokers in the comments, I’d get nothing. MONSTERS!

Moving on… Kinect is a stupid name. Not as stupid as Wii, but damn near close. I think someone moderately drunk would have trouble deciding which name would be worse to bring home to have a drunken night of abandon with and then wake up the next morning, be startled, and feel shame and remorse. I sure hope it doesn’t become a dumping ground for ports of crappy Wii games that didn’t sell. Then again, if it does and they don’t sell here, maybe the crap-tastic developers behind them will get the hint that their games didn’t sell not because Nintendo players don’t buy games, but because Nintendo players don’t buy GAMES THAT SUCK YOUR WILL TO LIVE. Not that I’m bitter about constant streams of disinformation or anything.

The 3DS looks interesting, and 3D or not, I’m sure looking forward to the games they’ve announced for it like Mario Kart, PilotWings (HELL YES!), and Metal Gear (!). Definitely one to watch. Oh and Goldeneye Wii remake? Awesome. The only thing better would have been a Perfect Dark Wii remake, but at least I’ll be able to get Perfect Dark HD once I get the redesigned 360.

Sony doesn’t seem to have much good stuff for me this year. Playstation Move? Move where? So it’s Wii HD, basically. Wiiiiiii! And the garbage names continue! Oh and a paid PSN subscription? The hell with that. The thing that grabbed my eye was the new Twisted Metal game! That. Looks. Awesome. I don’t care if it does everything, I want it to do Twisted Metal, and then I will be happy.

On a completely different note, it occurs to me that this category system I have going on the site is in direct conflict with the tagging system I have. I almost feel like it should be one or the other. The tags are definitely more flexible, but I feel I could get some use out of the categories if I go back and redid them all. Of course, that means redoing the categories on all the posts I already have. Good thing I go for years without posting a thing! 😉

OK, enough nerding. Time for some World Cup! I took notes while I was watching, and I was going to pretty em up and make them into real sentences and everything, but I’m too goddamn tired. So here are my notes on each game, edited for readability, continuity, and such. It’s a different format than what I’ve been posting, but its been a busy day and reworking all this into real paragraphs and article structure would take longer than I’m willing to commit to it right now. Besides, I want to play more video games before I go to bed. Maybe some Super Mario Galaxy 2. [insert ridiculous Mario sound]

    South Africa vs Uruguay:

  • There was an exciting moment near the beginning when Forlan chips it in off of crossbar from long range. Gooooooooooaaaaaaalllllll!
  • South Africa got pretty outplayed.
  • You know you’re an accident when your parents name you Surprise Moriri. Yes, there really is a South African player named Surprise Moriri. Awesome.
  • An unexpected red card for the South African goalkeeper Khune, who has done an excellent job thus far, leads to point scored on the penalty kick.
  • South Africa came to life second half, but not enough to save them.
  • Late 3rd pt for Uruguay to put the final nail in coffin.
    Argentina vs South Korea:

  • South Korea ends up scoring an own goal off of an Argentinian corner kick. Hilarious! I probably shouldn’t love own goals so much, but I laugh every time.
  • Higuain nicely heads in the second point for Argentina.
  • Argentina is more offensive minded, but South Korea has been getting back into it after the own goal.
  • Argentinian carelessness leads to a lone SK striker stealing the ball and a goal! The score now 2-1 in favor of Argentina.
  • The pressure exerted by both teams has been high for much of the game and there have been several good shots on goal.
  • Holy hell, Argentina launched a wicked assault! The first shot was saved, the second went off the post, and the third was gently tapped in past everyone! Beautiful play!
  • Another fearsome Argentinian assault leads to another goal and now Higuain has a hattrick!
  • Final Score is 4-1 Argentina.
    Greece vs Nigeria:

  • Nigeria scores on Greece about 15 minutes in on a free kick which was awarded for a yellow card offense that the Greeks should never have committed.
  • Kaita earns a red card and gets ejected for freaking out on a Greek player after the ball was out of play. It was a silly foul and it puts the Nigerians down a man for the rest of the game. Good thing they already have a goal scored.
  • Greece scores via a deflection off of a Nigerian player just before the half to tie it up. Things are a lot more tenuous for them now. Credit to Greece for seizing the opportunity.
  • Nigeria blows a fast break. Caught out Greece, the first shot is blocked and the rebound should be easy goal but they don’t get a good foot on it and end up kicking it wide.
  • After a series of fantastic saves, there was just one too many assaults for the Nigerian goalkeeper and he let a rebounded kick get by him. It was a valient effort, but I don’t think Nigeria will be able to pull off a draw. To make matters worse, several injuries are forcing them to use their subs and hurting nigerian play quality.
  • Prediction correct, Nigeria loses 2-1. On the upside for Greece, they scored their first ever World Cup goal and got their first ever World Cup win.
    France vs Mexico:

  • A more physical game that we’ve seen thus far, France and Mexico seem to be pretty evenly matched. No major runs by either team yet and we’re going into second half scoreless. There was one almost goal by Mexico, otherwise good goalkeeping both sides. A game where the teams are really well matched can either be really exciting, or really not. Unfortunately, so far this one is the latter. While the skill on display is great, it’s not edge of your seat stuff.
  • A fantastic but possibly controversial goal for Mexico give them the lead! There was some question as to whether Javier Hernandez was offsides, but it looked like he was right at the edge and the call could have gone either way. His grandfather scored against France years ago and now he gets to follow in those footsteps. Pretty amazing!
  • A penalty kick gives Mexico another point. We have another first! The first Mexican player to score in three different world cups is Cuauhtemoc Blanco! (Try saying that three times fast!)
  • There were lots of yellow cards handed out this game
  • Mexico takes it! Pretty unexpected, given France’s last World Cup performance.

Do you know, I just had a thought. A somewhat startling occurrence, I know, but hear me out. I think I may do a liveblog kind of thing for future posts. That might work better because it captures my thoughts at the moment and I don’t have to worry about turning notes into fancy pants writing. I’ll probably forget less stuff to include too. Maybe some open source, embeddable twitter-like app. I very nearly think Dreamhost has something like that available. Hmmmm…

EDIT: I just realized that the timezone setting on my blog has been wrong for… quite some time, shall we say. It looks like it was calculating times in UTC or some stupid nonsense like that instead of my local time. Good job! Because that’s useful! It’s fixed now, but all my old posts have timestamps that appear to be off by about 7 hours or so. Can you feel that, WordPress designers? I’m flipping you the bird as hard as I can!