Pure Gonzo Engineering

Monday, July 31, 2006

Under the Bridge I Sometimes Eat Cake.

This weekend sucked. It was fucking hot. Carter had a fever so we had to leave the Brewer’s game early. I wasted a bunch of money on gasoline to get to said Brewer’s game, and it was fucking hot. I missed a hockey game in the nice cool rink to miss most of said Brewer’s game, and it was so fucking hot. (The company and conversation of my in-laws was nice, however)

Carter still has a lingering fever, and it’s still fucking hot today.

Maybe if I look at Mel Gibson it will cheer me up…

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Wow, I feel better already. What’s that Mel?

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Jesus, loves me?

Thanks Mel. What?

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Come on Mel…. Don’t blame the Jews for Jesus’ death.

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No Mel, I don’t have any Vodka.

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Dude, I’m not giving you 5 dollars to buy some vodka.

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Because you’re a millionaire.

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What am I saying? I’ll do the Christian thing and give you the money. Can you just give me a lift back home?

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

What’s the weather like up your own ass?

I understand why I can manage working where I do. I love designing things, creating things to solve problems. Other than Carter and my wife it’s one of the few things that gives me joy in life. (I guess playing hockey and getting tattooed would be the other things.)

I’ve been redesigning the plumbing system in my house. I’m going to replace all the shitty galvanized pipe with PEX. It’s polyethylene tubing that is much easier to work with than copper, and lasts just as long. My dad is coming down in August and we’re going to rip into the old system and replace it. It should be fun. I like destroying work someone else did and replacing it with my own.

I’m also working on this other little side project. (I’m so much more creative and product when I’m not taking antidepressants) It’s called the Instant Grocery List. It’s for women or men who do the cooking and shopping in the household. You enter in all the different meals you cook and their ingredients. Then you tell it how many days you want to make a menu for and it randomly generates a list and ingredients. Bam. Shopping list done. If you continue to use it week after week you’ll have a far greater variety in the food you eat. I know we always get stuck eating the same stuff week after week because we forget all the things we make. I’ve got some beta versions floating around, and then I’m going to start selling it. Maybe make some extra bank and pay off some of my debt.

Here’s some funny shit for you if you dig Steven Colbert and Steve Corell.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Another Reason to Hate Myspace

From BBC.com

“The website (myspace) was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for $580m last July after it proved to be a huge success with youth audiences online.”

Thank Christ I use blogger. I couldn’t live with myself if my online journal was part of Rupert Murdoch’s evil machine. For those of you who don’t know, Rupert Murdoch owns the Republican propaganda outlet know as Foxnews. He then has the audacity to, in a truly Orwellian twist, call it a “Fair and Balanced” news source.

Anyway, the blind squirrel finally found a nut last night. That’s right, our hockey team won it’s first game after losing something like 7 games. We won 6-3, and I had two goals. I played better than I have all summer, must have been the new stick I bought on Saturday.

There was also some sort of bike rally or ride going on in Peoria this weekend. It always cracks me up seeing all the middle aged dudes with goatees and huge sunglasses on expensive choppers who are trying to be cool and badass. I’m sure today they’re telling all their buddies at the water cooler how they were blasting around the mean streets of Peoria on their hog. Granted, there are some cool bad motherfuckers who still ride bikes, the whole thing has become so passé and commercialized with “American Chopper” though. If you think those guys build cool bikes, you are not cool.

It’s kind of like tattooing. If you think getting the Japanese symbol for strength tattooed on your shoulder would be sweet, you’re not cool.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Only 32 more years…

I took vacation days last Thursday and Friday and headed back to my birthplace of Wisconsin Rapids for my Dad’s retirement party. He taught for the Wisconsin Rapids Public School district for 34.5 years.

I decided to shave my head down to a Mohawk for the occasion. I kind of looked like Travis Bickel in Taxi Driver.

Both of my sisters and their children also came for the weekend. We did a little setup for the party on Friday and Saturday morning.

My brother-in-law had won a .45-automatic pistol in a raffle, so we decided to go find a shooting range, and squeeze off a few rounds before the big party. We drove around trying to find the Wood County range for about a half hour and finally found it. It was nice though, there wasn’t anyone else there and it was just an open public range.

I’d never fired a handgun before. I didn’t really grow up with guns so I’m not super comfortable with them. Both my brother-in-laws and I each shot through 3-13 round clips. I sucked my first two clips. I couldn’t hit shit when I was standing. My arms are too damn long to have the weight of a gun cantilevered out trying to shoot straight.

The third clip I got down into a crouching position and hit 11 out of 13 on a about an 8 inch diameter target at about 15 yards. That’s pretty good with a handgun considering how inaccurate they are at a distance. Even after that, I still don’t feel comfortable around guns. I don’t like having the power to kill something so easily in my hands. I did have fun though.

We went back home and I took a shower and a quick nap before the party started. It’s always weird when your parents are teachers and they have a party. All of their friends are my old junior high school teachers. It’s was probably weird for them too, since now I’m married with a six month old kid and have a bunch of tattoos.

I started to drink, since I volunteered to give a little presentation latter in the night. Three of my dad’s coworker friends were also giving little speeches and I was up after them. I’d put together a bunch of doctored photos of my dad in various funny situations. I Photoshopped him into the Beatles Abby Road photo on a moped, a This Old House Video cover, The Creation of Man painting, The moon landing, The John Holmes video cover for Wadd, and several others.

I was a bit nervous while the other guys were talking. I hadn’t eaten much, and all the beer I drank wasn’t really helping to settle my stomach. I thought all the pictures were hilarious, but you never know with a crowd with an average age of at least 40. It went really well. Everyone was cracking up as I went through the presentation and hit a few one-liners.

The crowning glory though was a picture I doctored that was a shot of a strip club. The camera was positioned looking through the stripper’s legs at three dudes sitting and grinning. I replaced the center guy’s head with my dads, and the other two guys heads with his good friends. Everyone was roaring with laughter.

Afterwards everyone told me how awesome the presentation was, and how funny it had been. It was good.

All in all it was a fun party and a good weekend. It was really depressing to go to work today. Trying to put the whole thing in perspective, imagining another 32 years of waking up and coming into work. Ah well, Carter better come up with some funny shit for me in 32 years.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bill O'Reilly is a big tool

God I hate Bill O'Reilly. He's so full of shit. I like to read his bullshit though because it makes me laugh, and makes me hate Conservative Idiots even more.

The Truth about the Rich

Obviously Bill is an expert about "The Rich" because he's one of them. Anyway here's a little snip that just shows how much of a "Spin Zone" he really lives in:

Want more proof? President Bill Clinton, you just saw him. He was a "tax the rich" guy. In the middle of his two terms, 1995, the federal government took in $1.5 trillion in tax receipts -- $1.5 trillion. Ten years later, 2005, the middle of President Bush's term, the Feds took in $2.1 trillion, 40 percent more than under Clinton!

Wow, the ignorant might say, Bush hasn't cut taxes, he's raised them, 40% more than slick Willy. Way to spin those numbers Bill. Many of us who've live in the real world are faced with this thing called inflation. When you take 1.5 Trillion dollars and make it into 2005 money you get 1.87 Trillion.

We're still not to his 2.1 Trillion dollars though are we? Wait a minute! Perhaps the population of of the United States has increased since 1995 thus adding taxpayers and making it so the Fed would take in more money. The US population in 1995 was about 262.7 Million. In 2005 the US population was 296 Million people, an increase of about 33 million people. That would be about $7000 dollars in taxes per additional person which would be less due to tax receipts from businesses which would have also increased from 1995 to 2005.

What an asshat. "No Spin Zone", That's bullshit.

When you tax the middle and lower income people less you put more money directly into the economy because they spend nearly 100% of their income. Rich assholes just put in a cookie jar somewhere to earn interest. Tax the shit out of them. I think they'll be OK in the long run. Maybe they won't be able to get the leather on their new private helicopter, but they'll be OK.


Monday, July 10, 2006

This is why America thinks soccer is gay.

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Dude: you're on televison for the whole world... act like you have a pair of testicles.

Big news from the world cup, if you can call anything relating to soccer big news...

Some French guy head-butted some Italian guy in the chest and like all pussy soccer players, the Italian guy acted like he'd been shot in the chest or something. What a stupid fucking game played by a bunch of pansies. I'd rather watch professional golf than these yawn-fests.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Landscape Photos

Here are some pictures of some landscaping we did two weekends ago. I meant to put them up sooner, but I'm lazy.


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Also Before

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And After

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The next order of business is that terrible front porch.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A plain and simple reason to hate George W. Bush and the rich white men who run this country.

I was up Tuesday morning early with my son Carter so my wife could get some sleep since she had been watching him all weekend alone. I flipped on the TV, set Carter down and put some toys out on the floor for him to play with. HBO was the channel that was left on. They were playing the weeks prior “Real Sports”.

The segment they were running was about how children athletes on the East Coast in this one particular area had an asthma rate that was significantly higher than the national average. I don’t recall the exact figures, but it was staggering. (Something like 20%) The question was why? Basically there are a triangle of 3 coal power plants that dump literally tons of particulate matter into the air in this area. OK. Is it preventable?

Back in 1970 Tricky Dick signed the Clean Air Act Amendment, part of which stated all new coal fired power plants needed to install millions of dollars worth of “scrubbers” that would drop these emissions levels to far less harmful amounts. It was called New Source Review.

Time passed and a few power companied thought they could just say fuck you to the EPA and built new power plants that didn’t have the scrubbers. Clinton takes office with a renewed sense of environmental conciseness and the EPA begins to prosecute a few of these companies. The law takes time to move, and these power companies begin to, instead of clean up their plants, give millions of dollars to the Republican candidacy of George W. Bush.

What does GWB do when he gets into office? The remaining lawsuits get “stalled” in court. New Source Review get rewritten to say that you can spend 20% of the value of an old power plant to “upgrade” it and still not have to meet emissions levels. Old plants weren’t considered because they typically only have a 20-30 year life span and then have to be rebuilt. 20% of a billion dollar asset is… well do the math. You can have 5 refurbishment upgrades done to your plant and bam! Brand new power plant with no emissions control. You saved yourself the millions of dollars on emissions controls.

Kids are getting asthma. People are dying from these particulate levels. What the fuck?

This makes me so mad.

Please, Bush lovers and Republicans explain this away.

If we can’t burn coal freely the terrorists win, right? Or should I not question a wartime president’s motives? Maybe the research is inconclusive, or misleading. This population of children was somehow manipulated by hippies and environmentalists, right? Steve…. Nick… Chris… anyone?

I set aside the hundreds of other reasons I don’t like our current president, and this is an outrage. Making rich men richer at the expense of public health is disgraceful.

Synopsis from hbo.com

The Air We Breathe

For many children growing up in the shadow of coal-fired power plants, athletic participation is contingent on the state of their asthma and their ability to deal with pollutants generated by the plants. In towns across the eastern United States, power plants lacking adequate pollution controls are spewing emissions - recorded at 15 million tons a year nationwide - that travel into the lungs of little leaguers and soccer players alike. Scientists believe the toxins inhaled by children while playing sports are especially dangerous to young athletes for three reasons: their lungs are still maturing; their immune system is still developing; and the higher rate of inhalation during athletic activity brings more pollutants into their respiratory system. In a two-part expose, correspondent Jon Frankel explores power companies' resistance to the government's call to curb pollution, speaking with two former Environmental Protection Agency investigators and former EPA head Christine Whitman on why federal laws seem to have been laxly enforced and why the application of pollution controls has not been a top priority. But the findings are not simply a matter of coal-powered plants failing to meet environmental codes. The story goes deeper, connecting wealthy business executives and their sizable political endorsements, leading all the way to Washington. This REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration investigates the unsettling reality facing communities where the health of their youngsters is being compromised.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Resurrection Weekend

On the local rock station this weekend they were playing all 90’s rock for the holiday weekend. Being 25, all of my fond musical memories are of pop and rock music from the mid and late 90’s.

All these old songs got me reminiscing about my high school years. I was a nerdy geek (not all that much has changed I guess). I didn’t go to parties. I didn’t drink. I didn’t fuck. I wasn’t a “Bad Mother Fucker”.

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My wallet

My friends and I spent our time playing video games and designing and building potato guns. We taped those escapades, which I have the only copy of.

I popped in that tape on Saturday. It was good for some laughs. I acted like some sort of documentarian (I don’t think that’s a word, but you get it) explaining the inner workings of a new discovery. There was a moment in the tape when we were on a newly built section of road to nowhere that wasn’t connected to the main road yet, and we thought the cops were coming. (Remember this Jay?)

We scattered like roaches when the lights came on, all the while recording. Turned out it wasn’t the police. Just some other teenagers looking for a quite place to fuck, while I was with my three fiends and my girlfriend at the time playing with a spud launcher. (I don’t remember if there was any dry humping, coping a feel, or a hand job that night)

There was another time I thought it would be a good idea to fill the 6 foot long 2 inch diameter barrel with water of the air cannon we had made. The trigger was a ball valve you had to flick forward. I held the thing close to my side with the valve resting against the side of my stomach. When you push 20 pounds of water forward with a certain amount of force, it kicks back with the same amount of force. The ball valve raked across my skin and tore it up. All you could hear on the video was me saying “Oh my god” and then it cuts to the next shot. That hurt.

It’s amazing how things and people change. I think that’s why I like tattoos so much. They’re a point of permanent reference in an otherwise unstoppable changing life.

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