Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The day giveth, and the day taketh away

Yesterday was, in a word, wonderful. Another good word would be "productive", wiith a note of peculiar before work. Here's a list of what I was able to get done:

-- started the blog for Harbor Humanism, and made an attempt to start getting the word out to people

-- learned a few more html and css tricks, when setting up that site's new layout design

-- got some of my laundry done

-- set up a schedule for one of my days off to get some important stuff done, and some less important stuff

Aaaand then the day got less good. Work was okay for the first hour, and then I had a beer theft. Honestly, those things fuck up my whole night, and my good mood was gone.

Then came the fun of essentially getting blamed/guilted for it because its not the first time its happened to me. Lots of fun. It makes me wish for the days in movies and tv where stores like Murphy's could have a weapon of some sort behind the counter. Y'know, just as a discouragement.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Harbor Humanism

Remember the times I've mentioned Harbor Humanism?
Oh... right. I've only mentioned it once, and very briefly at that.

The short version: Harbor Humanism is a secular activism group that I'm trying to start.

The long version: "Harbor Humanism is a not-for-profit group to promote interfaith cooperation, and secular awareness. [...] The goal is two-fold: charity, and support. We would like to open a hand as a support group for all who need it, and raise money for causes whenever we can."

So, there's that. I'm finally getting real work done to get it started, and will be scouting potential locations soon. It's probably going to be challenging to put together, but I have high hopes that it will be worth it -- I've already had positive reaction. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

RICE, I HATE YOU (but not really, I love you, baby!)

Hold your applause, because I KNOW. It really is a whole lot more delicious than it looks, and I'll be the first to say that it looks pretty tasty (but maybe that's just me).

I'm not one of those classy food bloggers that has an awesome camera, and photographs every step, and uses actual amounts instead of guesstimating. Part of that is because I don't have the equipment necessary, and part of it is because who the hell needs actual amounts?

My favorite thing about having volunteered to housesit for the Booms, aside from feeling like I've helped some friends, has been being able to cook some of the stuff that I had in the freezer the way I want to cook it. At home, I can't really cook spicy, or have a whole lot of fun with my cooking. Two days ago? Maple salmon, adapted from this recipe. Tonight, as a before-work meal? Beef, thin-sliced carrots and one diced garlic clove, marinated for five hours in a sweet chili/chili garlic sauce mixture.

As soon as the rice is done (RICE, Y U NO COOK EASY?!), I'll serve this wonderful-tasting steak mixture on top of that. I just have to remind myself to leave some steak to have when the rice is cooked. So I'm going to distract myself with Mythbusters. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I'm not really sure what to write about tonight. My brain hurts a little bit, and I left my headache stuff at home. Today sucked, just a bit. Bad news yesterday, followed by being late to a shift I'd been called in for -- and getting there without being even more late required shelling out $13 for a cab ride.

But I'm back in Boomland, and ready to relax. Until work tomorrow night, "everything's shiny captain, not to fret". Anything after work tomorrow night, I'll have to let you know as things go.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Oops, I did it again!

And now that the horribly annoying pop music sounds of the early 2000s are stuck in your head, HELLO! I'm back!

With the way that work has been, I've only just realized that I managed to neglect this blog for another week. Holding myself to my prior "missed day = video" pledge, I think I'm going to have to bust my ass. I'm somewhere around three weeks of videos, unless my count is off. (shit)

The lowdown:
  • I'm house-sitting at Boom House while the Hogabooms are having a blast at an unschooling conference. So, you know, party over here -- but not really, because it's nice that they don't hate me. Let's keep it that way.

  • My resume has been updated! This wouldn't be a momentous thing in and of itself, except that it's because I'm applying for a job reporting for the local newspaper. Be on your best behavior, I'm not keeping this blog a secret.

  • No work until Sunday night! That's probably the best thing so far about this weekend, even if I do get to hang with some awesome cats*. It's a chance to relax, and be out of the house.

Oh, and did I mention that they have wifi? Since I'll definitely get bored on the internet eventually, I can't imagine how I'll avoid blogging for this weekend. I hope you all are having as good a Friday as I am, and go check out my posts on Grays Harbor Down. You know, if you're not following that blog already... shaaaaaame. Shaaaaaaame on you and your house.

*No, I'm not a crazy cat guy that will grow old and die alone. I'm a crazy dog guy that will grow up and die alone.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What the hell happened?

I just realized that it's been nearly a week since I blogged, and I wish I had a better explanation. Over the last few days, I've just been lacking the inspiration to write any posts.

Maybe it's "blogger burnout"? I figured I'd last more than three months before that was a problem, but maybe not. It's probably not that, so much as it is the fact that very little has been going on besides working, sleeping, and trying to get some writing done inbetween those. There's also some stress going on about financial stuff, but hopefully I'll be hearing back about that today.

For the time being, though, I'm going to try and get back into the rhythm of blogging. I've got a couple of things I've been working on, and might post one of them. Maybe not, though, because I've also got to come up with some writing examples for the reporter job I'm applying for with the local newspaper. It's probably a long-shot since I have no professional experience, but it never hurts to try. The worst they can do is say no, and lately, I'm okay with that idea. Whatever happens, happens.

All will be well.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Justin Barlow's Day Off...

... is not nearly as awesome as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which I'm going to see in a theater tonight(!!!). In just two hours, I'll get to see one of my favorite movies on the big screen!

But it's been a good day off or two. I went around to yard sales today and bought a 16" LCD monitor for $4 that I'll get to tinker with when my power cord gets sent to me from Amazon. My yard has finally gotten mowed, so my dog doesn't get lost when she has to go to the bathroom, and started the day off with an awesome burrito from El Taqueria Jalapeño, a Mexican restaurant around here that rocks. So, yeah. No parade-hijacking, or pancreas-eating, or amazing-car-driving... until I go see Ferris Bueller tonight, and live vicariously through Matthew Broderick.

Be well, friends. :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

I've become addicted

To what, you ask? Draw Something.

It's an addicting game, even though I'm a horrible artist. Most people can decipher my awful scribbles well enough to figure out what it is, with few exceptions. I put the symbols of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman for "justice", and they didn't get it. =/

One person that I'm currently playing against drew an awesome Poseidon. I feel like the kid in the dunce cap, scribbling stick figures on the wall next to some of these people. And another person was able to guess "Aquaman" from nothing but his symbol and a stick figure -- I'd drawn more, but she guessed it before it showed her more.

I do wish there was a more conversational aspect to it, like Words With Friends' ability to have conversations on the side. But oh well, it's still a lot of fun. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

All is well. :)

Today was pretty great, in case you were wondering. (You were, I could tell!) Sure, I had to use 2/3 of my paycheck that I just got today, but shit happens.

It wasn't really any one specific thing that made today great, it was just the overall enjoyment that I got from it. There was no depressed feeling weighing me down, and I was laughing at my own silly/stupid jokes throughout the day -- "teflon kitty litter" is still making me chuckle.

The Blue Lantern Corps symbolizes hope. They're my favorite Corps, and their recurring phrase is "all will be well". Today, it was.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


They aren't great pictures, or really even that good, but I wanted to share the pictures of Saturn. The non-Saturnian stuff got cropped, and I realized the problem with my camera when I got home. You know, the problem that kept me from getting better pictures. (Note to self: check the settings next time)

Here's the important bit, though -- I took these! They're not great, but they're MY pictures of Saturn.

I tried getting a shot or three of Mars and Venus, but it wasn't happening. Between the camera issue and the fact that those two were hauling ass (comparitively), it didn't turn out. Mars kept looking like conjoined triplet fireballs, and Venus was just moving so fast that I didn't even try.

HOT DAMN, space is fascinating.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Peering into the cosmos...

Space is amazing.

Looking through a telescope, seeing Venus and Mars, Saturn and its rings, I can't help but wonder how anyone who has seen that could do anything but want to explore it. The fact that we have ended our space program, and yet haven't ended the unnecessary wars that we're still involved in, baffles me. There is no good rationale for it.

I think that Bill Hicks said it pretty well:

"Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Long-time friends are kind of awesome. Even if they're very different from you, the fact that they have stuck around that long means that they probably think pretty similarly, at times.

The last couple nights, I've been working with Tony at the Hoquiam branch of Murphy's. Only for a few minutes while we go through the shift change stuff, but it's still fun. On Friday, I showed up a few hours early, because I had a horrible cough and wanted some cough drops. I told him the premise for my "Uh, Domino's..." post the other day, and his reaction was the same as mine was in the post. He even went a little creepy with it and pretended to rub his hand on something before pretending to lick said hand. Considering that's exactly one of the things I suggested, it made me laugh (which, of course, sent me into a coughing fit).

AND its his damn fault that I've been sick. I was fine until I got a ride home from him on Thursday, and then the next day, I had this cough and some sinus issues. It's mostly gone, but he finally realized it was probably his fault -- earlier that day, he'd had someone sick in his car. Now that Tony's getting it too, he's accepting the blame... fucker.

Anyway, I'm going to go back to listening to TANcast. And then getting ready for that work shit. Different Murphy's location again -- not my local store, and not "my" store. Argh.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Uh, Domino's... I have a question

What the hell are you doing to my food?

Pizza for lunch. Or, since I got up at noon and ordered it at 3pm, maybe a really really (really) late breakfast. One of those things that you can only get away with as an adult, and only rarely for me. You know, one day off of healthier eating isn't that bad.

So, I decided to get Domino's. I didn't actually have pizza, but instead one of those sandwiches they make. They have a mango habañero sandwich, did you know that? Mmmmm. Sweet, and spicy, and with just a little crunch from the bread and the jalapeño slices. Sounds pretty good, right? It is. Or, more accurately, it was.

They also have a neat little order tracker, when you order online, with five steps. The first and second, placing the order and prepping the food, go pretty quickly. The third one, cooking the food, took the longest. Not surprising, but then I got to the fourth step: "(employee name) is checking your food for deliciousness!"

.  .  .

HOW?! Are they licking it, tasting it? Are they giving it a good rub-down and then tasting their hands? ARE THEY UNDRESSING MY FOOD WITH THEIR EYES? EYE-RAPING IT?!

Sure, it probably means they're making sure it's all up to food-service safe temperatures, but is "checking [it's] deliciousness!" the right way to put that? Now, if I ever go in there and see that employee, it might get awkward.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


-Hey, dude. We're both off at 10pm. Any chance I could get a ride home?-
-Sure. Where do you work tonight?-

That was the start of it. Since I am without a car (read: broke as hell), and the bus doesn't run that late, I had to ask Tony for a ride home. We were both off around the same time, and even though he's moved out of town, he still works for another Murphy's store. I felt bad for having him drive in the opposite direction he needed to go to get home, so I offered to buy him some grub.

$10 at Taco Hell and a ten minute car ride later, we were at my place, and bullshitting about a lot of shit. Some of it was recent past (like the Mafia games at 9thWonders), and some of it was my stupidity-as-a-kid (there's a lot more than I'd like to admit. Then we started talking about work we'd been trying to find that wouldn't be minimum-wage, soul-crushing Murphy's. And a glorious word was born, brought forth from the head of Tony, as Athena was birthed from the head of Zeus. That word? "Managatorial".

TONY: "So I checked out that (well-known rent-to-own company) position, and it's for assistant manager. Neither of us are really qualified. We don't have managatorial experience."

I picked on him for it, but a Google search reveals that he's not the only idjit to come up with it. There were a lot of shitty resum├ęs for people with "managatorial epxreinse" (and other atrocius misspellings), who couldn't think of the words "management" or "managerial". And, at the end of the conversation with him, we've agreed on a few things to share. He's got a few spelling/word errors like that, and we still chuckle about a few of the older ones.

Anyone want to help me make "managatorial" a thing?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

This Post Has No Title

"I don't mean to bore you with mundane tweets about food, but I have to tell the world that melted cheese on top of tater tots is awesome."
That's from the awesome Lauren, over on her Twitter. It made me chuckle, and then it made decide to post what I've thought a few times lately. MY version of this tweet would have been two tweets, and they'd have looked a lot like this:
I don't mean to bore you with mundane tweets about food, but this is my Twitter account, so fuck off if you don't like it.
That said, melted cheese on top of tater tots is awesome. #foodtweets
But that's because I'm a crotchety old man at heart, and a vulgar bastard, too. It's also something that applies to the blog in general. If you don't like something I'm talking about, you don't have to read it. If you do, and I'll admit that I hope you do, then that's awesome. I hope that you comment whether you like it or not. Constructive criticism helps drive improvement, man.

That was all I really wanted to say. Maybe that tendency towards vulgarity and wordiness is why I'm up near 32,000 tweets in about 3.5 years. Although, since my tweets-per-month have dropped significantly over the last two years, I'd attribute a large portion of that high number to my 9thWonders friends, and the conversations/arguments we had on Twitter. All the time. o___o

Now it's time to go watch some pre-recorded TV. I missed Castle and shows like that last night. Excuse me while I get my Stana Katic fix. :P

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why do they keep ruining Mister Terrific?

When you have something good, why not run with it?

Mister Terrific (Michael Holt) is a pretty awesome character. He's one of the few minority main characters, the 3rd-smartest character in the DC Universe, a self-made businessman and partially tech-powered hero, and in most iterations of the character, an atheist.

To me, that last part is awesome. My preferred versions of the character have him rationalizing the gods and magic of the DC Universe as simply being different -- advanced, whatever. Many pieces of fiction point out that to ancient people in our world, we would seem magical and godlike, and that's the viewpoint that Michael Holt seems to operate from.

The problem is that he can't seem to keep a title going by himself, which is a shame. I'm going to buy/borrow/read it soon, but from the Wiki description I read, the newest series that DC has put out might have made him a religious man. It might be talking about an alternate-universe version, but I'm not sure, because the main comic is itself in an alternate universe from the main DCU featured in Justice League and the like.

I think that he's one of the characters that I would love to write, if my writing eventually includes a career in comic books. It's not any one specific part of him, but the combination of it all that appeals to me. Honestly, I think I'd greatly enjoy writing a team of DCU underdogs: Mister Terrific, Ragman, Blue Devil, Deadman, etc. Maybe I'll write some of that out for fun one of these days anyway.

EDIT: Having talked with someone who did read the eight issues that DC put out, it looks like they didn't make him religious this time around. He doesn't openly state atheism, but he does correct someone using science when they say "you had the faith in us", he states a disbelief in an alien character's "Seven Gods", and says he doesn't believe in ghosts. So, he's at least a skeptic. The Wiki article must have been referring to some other Mister Terrific shenanigans. Stupid confusing crap.