Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve


If you are reading this you have (or nearly have) successfully completed the calendar year 2008. Tonight will be the time-honored tradition of celebrating the new year in hopes of it being better than the previous one, or something like that. Then the traditional fireworks, followed by some more partying and then the drunk dodge home (The night of the 31st/morning of the 1st is considered the most dangerous time to be on the roads as it has the highest number of drunk-driving related accidents, therefore the effort to dodge all these drunks).

I’m off to go pick some stuff from my fireworks stash to blow up tonight. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I just got home from dropping Brenda off at her house. It has been snowing most of the evening, so only a freak warm front that brings hot air and lots of rain in the next few hours will prevent me from having a white Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

White Christmas Update

So one party is cancelled today, while the other is on, so that should make my day slightly less hectic. It’s snowing outside and there’s currently 11 inches on the deck. Our igloo is fairing quite nicely with the added snow. Zach hates it but I did manage to get him to stay in the opening long enough to snap a few pics.

Click on either of the images to see the really big versions if you wish.

Seattle has taken it upon themselves once again to be the sole “defenders of the environment.” They are doing this by refusing to use salt on any of the icy roads because of the environmental impact that may pose. Apparently anything that gets spread onto the roads in Seattle eventually gets washed into Puget Sound and they haven’t yet done a multi-year, multi-million dollar study to determine if washing a few extra tons of sea-salt into the ocean will harm marine life or not. As Seattle is one of the hilliest (I didn’t know that was a real word, but spell check and the dictionary tell me it is) large cities in the country, not salting the roads is very dangerous. But then again this is Seattle and they look for any excuse to keep people from driving their cars anywhere, even if that reason is because it’s life-threatening to try to drive some of these roads that are sheets of ice.
Thank you Al Gore once again for giving us your global warming, otherwise we would surely be dead from what’s already likely to be the coldest December of my lifetime so far.

A White Christmas?

It might actually happen this year! Or at least a Christmas with some traces of snow left on the ground in varying shades of white, gray, and brown. It's been snowing/slushing all week and therefore most of our accumulated snow from the last week and a half hasn't melted yet. It started snowing the evening of the 12th and some of that was still around when it resumed snowing a few days later. From recent memory I recall traces of snow on the ground for 16 days in a row 2 years ago. We might have that beat if there’s still snow on Saturday.

I’m going to be all Christmas partied out by the end of this week. Our party that got snowed out last Saturday due to our nonexistent blizzard is rescheduled for Friday. There are two parties today (overlapping a bit) as well as another one on Saturday. I'm gonna try to make both tonight. I still haven’t decided if I want to go shopping later today before these parties start. I enjoy going out on Christmas Eve so I can make fun of the panicked people who need their last minute gifts for people. Not that I don’t often wait until the last minute, I’m just not panicked about it. And I've had all my shopping done for quite a few hours now anyway.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Border Update

So the night of November 30 my mom, my sisters, and my girlfriend were coming home from Mt Baker, while Dad and the dog stayed behind at the condo since there wasn’t room in the car for all 7 of us. We decided that since we were only a few miles from the Canadian border that we would swing through Canada for a quick stop, primarily because Brenda had never been there before. We also wanted to stop by a grocery store and buy a bunch of candy that cannot be bought in the US due to pesky FDA regulations (KinderEggs). So we stopped at Zellers, which is just like Target, and bought a bunch of random candy to bring home, then we stopped by Wendy’s for supper. We get back to the border only to wait just under an hour to actually get to the crossing point. After talking with the customs dude for a few minutes he asks to see our passports. None of us actually had a passport with us since we didn’t actually plan on leaving the country that afternoon, nor did we realize that finally needed one to get back into the US.
We were then sent to the holding area where we were supposed to talk to some other customs people to convince them that we are indeed US citizens and have a right to be in the US. Thanks to idiots in the government who think illegals need at least as many rights and privileges in the US as real citizens, a government issued drivers’ license is not proof of citizenship or even legal residency in the US. Also, the entry fee to enter the US legally for someone who cannot prove that they are a US citizen is about $570.
Thankfully my mom was able to talk our way into the country and we made it home in one piece, without having to shell out a quarter’s tuition to get home. The moral of this story, if you’re coming into the US, pretend to speak Spanish and don’t cross on a major road. That will save you from many problems.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Van Update

So as a follow-up to my post on December 1, a day or two actually means 2-3 weeks on this particular occasion. So our van is basically totaled now. Apparently there was a defect on the frame of the van where the steering box housing (if I remember correctly) which caused it to fail structurally. This is actually supposed to be one of the strongest parts of the vehicle as it basically supports the full weight of the vehicle and the full force of forcing the 4500 pounds of it to turn at whatever speed it happens to be traveling.
It also appears that this is not an isolated case, my mom did some research and found quite a few reports where owners have complained that the exact same thing has happened to them; the biggest difference is that most of these complaints were filed between 1994 and 1997 for the van that was built in 1993. My mom also thinks she can find a bunch of accident reports where the van did a similar thing at freeway speeds, killing everyone involved which would mean that the owner wouldn’t be able to file such a claim if they were in the van at the time.
My grandpa took the van from Mt. Baker to his house to look at it and discovered several large cracks in the frame with rust in them, indicating that the cracks have probably been there since we bought the van (15 years ago next week).
God was definitely watching over us as we have driven that van up and down the West coast several times, and even out east to the other coast. That it died while we were parking on the top of a mountain was a bit inconvenient, but if it had broke a few minutes earlier we probably would have plunged over a cliff, or if it failed after we left that would have been another cliff to plunge over.

Global Warming is Once Again Saving My Life

Thanks to Al Gore’s more useful invention, global warming, I am not dead right now. We are currently experiencing some of the coldest and nastiest conditions I can recall in my lifetime of living here in Seattle. With highs squeaking into the 20s and lows flirting with single digits (all Fahrenheit) and blizzard conditions over most of the region, I am warmly sitting in front of the raging woodstove with my laptop. We’ve got about 6 inches of snow on the ground at the moment, which is amazing; 6 inches of snow in a year is pretty good here, not to mention all at once.
I was actually stranded at home a good chunk of Friday and Saturday since I happen to be the only one in the house with a vehicle that has 4 wheel drive, therefore both of my parents took it upon themselves to borrow it several times to run errands and stuff like that. The weather people also claim that there will be 90mph gusts of wind from about midnight to early this afternoon, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

Now that I'm up and ready to leave for church, I just got a call from the Don that all services are canceled and that I can sleep in. As this morning is the first time all week that I've been out of bed before 11am (yay Christmas break) I really wish someone would have made that decision and let me know before I went to bed. Oh well I guess I'll read for a bit then nap for a few hours.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Funniest Car Listing

Here's a car listing for a Nissan Xterra that someone found on Craigslist and posted to Fark:

OK, let me start off by saying this Xterra is only available for purchase by the manliest of men (or women). My friend, if it was possible for a vehicle to sprout chest hair and a five o'clock shadow, this Nissan would look like Tom Selleck. It is just that manly.

It was never intended to drive to the mall so you can pick up that adorable shirt at Abercrombie & Fitch that you had your eye on. It wasn't meant to transport you to yoga class or Linens & Things. No, that's what your Prius is for. If that's the kind of car you're looking for, then just do us all a favor and stop reading right now. I mean it. Just stop.

This car was engineered by 3rd degree ninja super-warriors in the highest mountains of Japan to serve the needs of the man that cheats death on a daily basis. They didn't even consider superfluous nancy boy amenities like navigation systems (real men don't get lost), heated leather seats (a real man doesn't let anything warm his butt), or On Star (real men don't even know what the hell On Star is).

No, this brute comes with the things us testosterone-fueled super action junkies need. It has a 265 HP engine to outrun the cops. It's got special blood/gore resistant upholstery. It even has a first-aid kit in the back. You know what the first aid kit has in it? A pint of whiskey, a stitch-your-own-wound kit and a hunk of leather to bite down on when you're operating on yourself. The Xterra also has an automatic transmission so if you're being chased by Libyan terrorists, you'll still be able to shoot your machine gun out the window and drive at the same time. It's saved my bacon more than once.

It has room for you and the four hotties you picked up on the way to the gym to blast your pecs and hammer your glutes. There's a tow hitch to pull your 50 caliber anti-Taliban, self cooling machine gun. I also just put in a new windshield to replace the one that got shot out by The Man.

My price on this bad boy is an incredibly low $12,900, but I'll entertain reasonable offers. And by reasonable, I mean don't walk up and tell me you'll give me $5,000 for it. That's liable to earn you a Burmese-roundhouse-sphincter-kick with a follow up three fingered eye-jab. Would it hurt? Hell yeah. Let's just say you won't be the prettiest guy at the Coldplay concert anymore.

There's only 69,000 miles on this four-wheeled hellcat from Planet Kickass. Trust me, it will outlive you and the offspring that will carry your name. It will live on as a monument to your machismo.

Now, go look in the mirror and tell me what you see. If it's a rugged, no holds barred, super brute he-man macho Chuck Norris stunt double, then contact me. I might be out hang-gliding or BASE jumping or just chilling with my ladies, but I'll get back to you. And when I do, we'll talk about a price over a nice glass of Schmidt while we listen to Johnny Cash.

To sweeten the deal a little, I'm throwing in this pair of MC Hammer pants for the man with rippling quads that can't fit into regular pants. Yeah, you heard me. FREE MC Hammer pants.

Rock on.

Not really sure what to say to that but I was laughing pretty hard when I read it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

And It’s December Already

Wow, November went by fast. It seems like we just had Halloween and now Thanksgiving is already past us. So what have I done so far this month? I voted against a bunch of politicians and measures that still managed to win. I worked and went to school. I managed to study my Bible Quiz material and work out every single day during the month. I had two Thanksgivings last Thursday, at Brenda’s grandparents’ house and the other at my house. I was also stuck at the top of Mt. Baker Highway thanks to the steering rods sheering off the bolts in our van(thankfully while we were parking in the ski-area parking lot and not when we were driving the icy, winding, cliff-side roads to actually get to that parking lot) which means that our van is only drivable if you’re trying to drive it straight since the front tires won’t turn. And last night I was detained at the US/Canadian border since my ID is apparently no longer considered proof of citizenship. Good times, good times. More to come in the next day or two after I finish my Psych paper and my IT presentation.