Friday, June 30, 2006

People: Getting Dummer

To start, yes, I intentionally misspelled dumber. And yes, I did lose the 3rd grade Glen Loch spelling bee on the word dumbbell. Damn the double b.

There is an article on the Rolling Stone website that is an interview with Al Gore regarding his movie "An Inconvenient Truth". The movie is about global warming.. blah blah blah. Anyway, this blog is not about global warming, but I am fairly confident in saying that the official position on global warming is that human beings have an almost insignificant effect on the global climate compared to nature itself.

On to dumness...

I was reading through the "thread" of responses to the article (surprisingly, most of the responses were from positions and opinions that I agreed with) and one of the statements stuck out at me. Without quoting it verbatim, the idea put forth was that we are becoming more intelligent as a people through the ages.

My contention: Wrong. We are getting dummer.

The evidence is everywhere. We think that all of our technological developments are advancements- when in truth many of them just make us more fragile as a society. Could you imagine what it would be like if some hacker gained control to the databases of any major financial institution? One little hack- boom- world goes into complete chaos. My cell phone goes out, I'm screwed. My car breaks down... stuck. Yeah, we are brilliant. And don't give me any of your firewall BS you computer geeks... if a system is built by a human, it can be taken apart by a human.

We think that our medicine heals diseases- yeah it does. But it also gets abused and misdiagnosed in new ways all the time. We even create medicines to help ailments that don't need medicine. Such an advanced society- medicating ourselves to fight depression, medicating ourselves to help us pay attention. Unbelievable. Then we have diseases like AIDS that are incurable, but preventable, and we just go... "Eh, no big deal. I'll just go have sex with whomever. Consequences ain't no thang." Geez we are smart.

America is also dum. Every major empire in the world fell apart as it became more and more immoral. Now we are witnessing the decline of America as the world superpower amidst our own moral decay and we wonder why. Once again, brilliance.

Some of you may be thinking... "Well.. just because we are more knowledgeable doesn't mean that we're more intelligent." And some of you may have a point. I think at BEST we are more knowledgeable and the same intelligence. But it is more likely that we are getting dummer. When you have the same intelligence as those before you and make the same mistakes... that is dum. When you worship celebrities and reality shows... that is dum. When every hip-hop video has exactly the same content and lyrics... that is dum. When we keep finding out how infinitely complex and yet harmonious the universe is and we say that that has happened by chance... that is dum.

So in conclusion, we are getting dummer.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Movie Review: Walk the Line

yes, i am the last person to see this movie. i just watched it last night. correction - i watched the first 1 hr 45 min monday night, then finished the last 25min or so last night. whoever said this movie is the whitey version of "Ray" is not only funny but also pretty accurate. except this movie was not as good as Ray. i didnt really like the movie that much. it is slow and about half an hour too long, minimum. both Phoenix and Witherspoon had award worthy performances, but the rest of the movie was average. scenery could have been better, dialouge needed work, cinematography was average. i got bored pretty early in this movie. the last 20 min were quite a bit better, after he makes a change for the better, but otherwise this movie did not live up to the hype for me.

Grade: B- (it gets into the B range only because the acting is good enough to raise it above a C.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

enough with the Noni

on my way to work this morning i saw three cars with giant magnets advertising Noni juice on them. i see these things all the time. in fact, there are two vehicles in our parking lot at work that have such magnets on them. this Noni must be the most amazing stuff on the planet. does it increase the size of your genitalia or something? i am more than half serious with that question. what is so great about the Noni? what is the Noni? is it a fruit? veggie? some form of elixir made from the one and only known Noni plant located in a cave by a waterfall in Tahiti? this better be some good stuff for all this advertisement.

what about these people that promote the Noni? why put a magnet on your car? perhaps the Noni is a sponsor for some kind of sports team that you are cheering for, like the Tahitian Noni Juice Goblins soccer club? i am pretty sure these Noni magnet people do not get any commission for the Noni sales, or i am guessing not, because there is an 800 number on the Noni magnet to call if you want to buy the Noni. surely they cannot track down Noni sales due to people seeing your Noni car magnet, then dialing on their cell phone while driving thinking to themselves "man, i gotta get me some of that Noni!" or do they? does the Noni even exist? perhaps it is some kind of secret club and they identify themselves under the cover of Noni. then, if you call the 800 number, some deep scary monster just fears you into buying Noni. so many speculations regarding the Noni. what would be really funny is if people just buy the Noni magnets as a prank, then just put them on random cars in parking lots. i would go for that.

i may have to go buy a bottle of Noni at the store and try it, just to know what all this hype is about. thats it! thats the scam! all these advertisers just so every person ends up buying one bottle of Noni to see what the hype is about, thus increasing sales on something that probably gives you explosive rhea circa 90 seconds after drinking. no thanks. i wont have it. anti-Noni. no Noni. sans Noni.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Dumbass and A Hundred Thousand Miles

I normally would not use such language on a blog, but look at the picture. 10 more feet? You couldn't move the cart 10 more feet into the actual cart holding area? And you left it directly behind my car?! Whomever came up with the term dumbass had this in mind. Unbelievable.

This celebrates the 100,000th mile for my car as well. 2002 Mazda Protege5. Congratulations buddy. May you travel another 100,000 and never have another problem.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dallas = Wienerville and Beck = Great

Dallas is officially wienerville. There are many other ways to say it, but that one is somewhat politically correct.

I could not believe how many people did NOT lose their minds at the Beck show last night. Granted it was Wednesday, but c'mon. I was there in the pit with buddies Mike, Zack, and Thomas and the lame Dallas crowd could not get excited. What is the point of going to see someone like Beck if you're not going to dance and jump around? Have you heard a Beck song?

Anyway, the whole "I am too cool for jumping around during E-Pro because I don't want chicks to see me look crazy" is gross. Suck it up Dallas. All of you German sedan/Tahoe driving little yuppites need to get a clue. You are in a state of suck, you will have to work hard to overcome it.

On a positive note, Beck was tremendous. Marionettes, Dinner Party Percussion Half Hour, Fighting Guys in Bear Costumes, Lots of Hits, and a token Dancing Dude. He is truly unique as an artist in America. Next time, maybe I'll actually get to see him in front a crowd more focused on the music than whether the token Dallas girl next to them will think them uncool by showing any excitement or slight movement of the hips during a particularly funky Beck breakdown.

Monday, June 19, 2006

reading books and writing crap

so, how are ya? nice, thats super. just a warning, but this post is pretty aimless and you may want to get a pillow and blanky for some time in the middle when you fall asleep due to boredom.

as you may or may not know, i occasionally read books. most of us do, well, most of us near genuises/scientists do anyway. you should read more. my stepbrother read a ton when he was younger, and he is a beast at the trvial pursuit. knows more history than anyone else i have ever met. so, if nothing else, read so you can dominate at trivial pursuit. solid.

anyway, i have been reading some. just finished Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, written in the early 1900's. maybe 1930's maybe the 50's. i dont really remember. good book though. it is rather futuristic, talks about the mass production of people in a controlled "happy" environment and the contrast of the "savages" that are not integrated with their society. rather interesting, and genius thoughts throughout. i would recommend to someone who likes to read books. especially literary works of high quality. which brings me to the next book i am reading.

i started the Da Vinci Code about a week ago. this book is far from a literary masterpiece. it is written somewhat poorly and reads more like a screenplay than a book. i am only 24 chapters into the Da Vinci Code, and although it holds interest and is a page turner, it reminds me of another Clive Cussler type Dirk Pitt adventure. it is interesting and i am sure when i am finished with it i will have more thoughts and be more impressed with it, but at this point it just seems like another action/adventure/mystery novel. there must be some reason it has wicked popularity acclaim though so i should probably hold my tongue until i finish reading.

on another note, i have also been aspiring to write a book just like andTim has offered his thoughts on such. mine however will most likely be about a kid trying to find his lost BigWheel and may or may not include stick figure illustrations. or maybe i will write a book about the strategery of paper/rock/scissors. it is pretty late right now and it shows doesnt it? andTim is in Chicago right now by the way, so if you happen to be in the windy city you may want to try and contact him.

Friday, June 16, 2006


first nomination goes to James Brown. is he not? then i request you take a look at the picture below.

case closed. there is no rebuttal.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

the best burger in the universe

yes. i have found it. the location is pictured at right. actually the picture is from the drive thru in the back, but you get the idea.

i was pretty sure i found it a while back, but had to confirm after multiple visitory taste testings. the location is known as "Billy Bob's Hamburgers" and is located in Hondo, TX. go ahead and comment with your "In-N-Out" Animal-Style burger, your Fuddrucker's A-1 burger, your metrosexual Kobe Beef burger, or your Cheeseburger in Paradise, but i am telling you, this is the best burger out there. i have had all of the aforementioned, and the actual Billy Bob makes a better burger.

here is me eating the burger. the burger is called "The 3-Alarm Burger." it is made with soft tasty bun, two beef patties, multiple slices of cheese, sliced fresh green chiles, tabasco, a little onion, lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup, mustard, and two or three pickles. it is so delectable, words do not describe. my wife and i go to Billy Bob's for burgers when we go out to the annual family trip to the river in the Texas Hill Country, and this burger is so bueno that we stop pretty much ever time we drive by the place. which is once or twice a year, but each time is just as delicious as the first.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

How To Be A Man In Texas

That is the title of the second "book" I have decided to write. The first one, well it is still in the works- let's just stay that it is being put on hold until I have the inspiration to finish it. Right now HTBAMIT is taking priority.

Really the book is about being a man anywhere, but given that most of my life has been spent in Texas and that Texas has its own identity and culture, I thought it might be more fun to direct the writing toward people and places I know best.

So, faithful blog readers... here is where you come in. I am looking for what defines masculinity to you. Not to others, but for you- and yes, this is for the female readers of I have several hypotheses that I am writing from, but it would be interesting to see how "on-target" I am with some of the thinking that is serving to inspire the book.

If the Walkman was the inspiration for the first book, then Homer Simpson might be considered the inspiration for the second book. And no, I am not about to deify Homer Simpson. Although the Simpson's is a great show. And funny. And has good theme music. Okay, back to real work.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My First Triathlon

(Sorry to regular readers whom I've already talked to about the triathlon. I know that most of you would only care if I actually did something impressive, like scale Everest on a pogo stick while singing "The Sound of Music".)

My first triathlon (andTim) was about a week and half ago, and altogether it went well. It was a small triathlon in Grapevine, TX with only about 100 participants. Due to my estimated swim time I was given #17, which scared me due to swimming being my weakest of the 3 disciplines. With a big "yee-haw" I entered the pool and proceeded to pass 2 people. Feelin' good at this point. My transition to the bike was slow, but I think I've got it figured out for my next race. No socks, and pre-clip shoes to bike. That way you are at least moving while putting on your shoes instead of standing still.

The bike was going well, I passed two more people and was doing pretty well stamina-wise even though the course had a lot more elevation changes than I was used to. At one point I'm cruising along when I hear a race official ahead of me yell out, "Minute Twenty behind the leader, Minute Twenty!" I don't know how to react. I'm somewhat excited because I'm near the front, but maybe I had just burned up all of my energy at this point and I was going to die during the run. Anyway, I lean over the aerobars and put my head down and proceed to fly right through the turn. About .5-.6 miles later I realize.. there is no one around, and I don't think this is right. Upon turning around and trucking back to the turn I hear apologizing, "I tried to yell at you, I tried!" from said race official. At this point I am both pissed off and a bit winded.

I finish the bike and head out on my run, which suprisingly went well. 6:52 pace. Rockin. Overall I end up in 24th place, which could have easily been 10-14th places without the extra mile plus of biking. I am already pretty pumped about my next triathlon as my next phase of training started yesterday. Ironman here I come.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Time and Theology

Perhaps the most interesting topic for me in theological study is the dimension of time. When covering Soteriology this past spring (the study of salvation) there was a lot of discussion in class about predestination, foreknowledge, and free will. Of course we evaluated questions about the nature of God's love and omniscience, questions like "How can God be perfectly just and loving if he creates some people knowing they are going to Hell?"

While it is very difficult to answer a question like that properly, there is one huge element to considering God that we often forget: He is not bound by time. Time is something that we are restricted by, not God. It is odd to think that at the moment we come into being, God already knows everything about us. Our birth and our death occur simultaneously in a plane where Time is not a fixed boundary. While we are confined to thinking about everything in terms of a beginning, middle, and end (or past, present, and future) God exists at all time, all the time. It's really difficult to work your mind around, and ultimately we are incapable of complete understanding simply due to our finite minds. Time is one of the only things that applies to everyone equally all at the same time and we have no control over. (Gravity is one of the only other things that comes close.) It shapes our theology and our understanding of God more than anything else. Yet the interesting thing is, that while time has such a major effect on our lives and our understanding, it is something that God is not bound by whatsoever.

This is an area and a topic without any very specific answers or conclusions that we can come to, but it is something that we should definitely meditate on and consider deeply. When we begin to see God myopically or unidimensionally, perhaps we should consider that the most restrictive dimension in our earthly lives is one that our heavenly father created, moves through, and interacts with without restriction.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

miami heat nba champs?

not a chance. in fact, i predict that the Mavs will sweep the Heat. yes, you heard it here first. lets go down some factoids for support.

1. miami has no one player that can guard the mop haired German destruction artist
2. shaq is old and tired (i love shaq, but lets face facts here)
3. dwyane wade is somewhat hurt and has had flu-like symptoms recently. plus, he doesnt know how to spell his first name correctly.
4. dallas shoots approx 14% better from the free throw line. this is a big deal.
5. dallas plays defense. the only player on the heat that plays D is Alonzo Mourning
6. avery johnson could take pat riley in a battle to the death
7. keith van horn has unparalleled rebounding technique

sure, i am a dallas homer. the only reason this wont be a sweep is if the officials are told to call a bunch of fouls on Mavericks players to get Dampier/Diop/Van Horn so Shaq can dominate and thus extend the series for ratings. go Mavs. win a title for all of your metrosexual fans.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

McManders throws the challenge flag

how are ya? been a while since the last posting. how bout this though...i tried really hard to get a covert ops picture of our boy McManders last night, but mission was aborted when he nearly caught me. he probably saw me, i actually had to play like i was doing something else to divert attention from the camera. i will get one and post it, dont worry.

long blog ahead, but hopefully a decent read...

McManders paid us a visit yesterday evening. to preface, i got home circa 6:15pm from work, went inside and said hello to wife and Macy the dog, then went outside and turned my sprinkler on. if you recall old posts, the lawn sprinkler of mine is my nemesis # 1. it is kind of a pain in the hindquarters, since i have to uncoil the hose from behind the bushes, angle the sprinkler, and turn the hose on and hope to avoid getting sprayed. i live in north texas, in the dallas area and we have restrictions on when we can water our yards since it has been dry up here. well, about 10min after i turned the sprinkler on, the doorbell rings. it is Old Man McManders. i open the door and say hello, which throws him off since he was on a mission. here is the approximate dialogue that took place...

McManders: Ya're breaking the law.
Mike: What do you mean?
McManders: You are watering your yard with a sprinkler, and that is against the law. You are only allowed to water on Sundays and Thursdays.
Mike: Really? I am pretty sure I can water using my hose-end sprinkler any time after 6pm until 10am in the morning.
McManders: No, you cannot. You are breaking the law and there are big fines for that. The city is tough on watering and you could get a big fine.
Mike: Well, I certainly don't want to break the law or be fined. I may have misunderstood the city regulations but I really think that I am ok watering right now. I will have to call the city to confirm. (I know McManders already reported my yard for needing to be mowed, a ridiculous accustation, but I don't want to piss him off since he is basically the neighborhood tattler.)
McManders: I already called the lady on the corner (we refer to her as the Tamale Lady) and she said I was right, then I called the City and they said it is against the law too. (Old man grunt/heavy breathing) You are breaking the law. You can water with just a hose anytime, but not with a sprinkler on the end, that can get you a fine.
Mike: Well I appreciate you letting me know that. I really think I am ok, but I am going to go call the City right now and ask them because the last thing I want is a fine or to do something I shouldn't be doing.
McManders: Yeah, (grunt) ok. Let me know if you find out anything different. Ok now. (Slowly walks back home)

now i was fired up. i was calm about it, but i was just hacked that now this pretty much confirms that he called the city on my yard, and he is the neighborhood behavior nazi. i was pretty sure i was in the right too, as i had looked up watering restrictions somewhat recently. so i go straight to the computer and look it up to find the below...

"Hose-end Sprinkler, soaker hose, drip irrigation: Watering prohibited 10am - 6pm daily"

i was so excited. i was actually right and McManders was wrong! i can water my yard every day after 6pm if i want to!! so, of course i had to print out the schedule, highlighted the applicable portions and walked it over to his house to discuss. it was my first time inside the evil lair of McManders. it was crazy. right when you first walk in the door there is a cage-elevator that takes you down approximately one mile underground to a poorly lit cave with a torch lit path. he walked in front of me until we reached an area where it opened up a bit and you could see streams of radioactive goo that flowed into a huge steel vat labeled "Super-Secret Super-Good Grass Growth Nectar." i knew he reported my lawn because he was jealous it was actually starting to look better than this. i am not sure why we went down there, McManders never said a word. then we took a different elevator back up to ground level into his almost all white, sterile looking living room with white furniture and translucent wall hangings. i gave him the highlighted sheet i printed out, discussed with him, and he gave in, saying "well, i guess i learned something today, didn't know you could do that." i was super nice and polite to him the whole time, but don't think i wasn't watching his every move. that McManders is one sneaky fella. after our talk he thanked me and i went back home with a big grin on my face.

mike - 1
mcmanders - 0

Friday, June 02, 2006

Songs For Occasions

Well- I haven't blogged in a bit, and it has been brought to might attention that we need to blog more often. I agree.

Here are my "Songs for Occasions". There is only one that cannot be stolen.

Favorite "Starting a Long Road Trip Song" - Intro and Words by Doves

Favorite "End of a Mix Album Song" - Motorcycle Drive-by by Third Eye Blind

Favorite "Week Of Work Is Done And I'm Going To Have Fun Song" - Jailhouse by Sublime

Favorite "Air Drums Song" - Breaking The Girl by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Favorite "Melancholy Driving Alone At Night Song" - Hopefully by My Morning Jacket

Favorite "I'm Pissed-Off And Want To Inflict Damage On Someone Song" - War Within A Breath by Rage Against The Machine

Favorite "I Dance Really Well For A White Guy And I'm Going To Show Everyone Songs" - Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliott and Like I Love You by Justin Timberlake

Favorite "I Want To Let My Mind Float Off Into Really Weird Places Song" - Where I End And You Begin by Radiohead

Favorite "Slow Dance On A Beach Song" - Frenchman For The Night by Jimmy Buffett

Favorite "If I Don't Know Someone And Want Them To Think I Am A Psycho Song" - Sarcophagi by The Mars Volta

Favorite "If I Ever Get Married And Have A First Dance With My Wife Song" - Sparks by Coldplay (no thievery por favor)

Favorite "I Want To Feel Inspired Song" - Theme From Good Will Hunting

Favorite "My Subwoofer Is Amazing When I Play This Song Song" - Setting Sun by The Chemical Brothers

Favorite "Travel Song Across Western Europe" - Undo by Bjork

Favorite "I'm Carefree And In High School Again Song" - Surfwax America by Weezer

Favorite "Gettin' Ready To Go On A Date Song" - High And Dry by Jamie Cullum (Radiohead Song)

Favorite "God Created Rock N' Roll And That's Why I Love It Song" - Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix