Friday, December 25, 2009

Things that. . . . .

I Love: Ice Cream, asparagus, rubik's cubes, family, warmth, puzzles, climbing, mostly ice cream.

I'm Sick of
: Merry Chirstmas, Happy Holidays, who gives an eff? People get offended if you say merry christmas because they don't celebrate christmas and people get offended if you say happy holidays because they think it takes Christ out of christmas. Holiday. HOLY DAY! Get it. It's a holy day. People are just so sensitive and they take it as a personal attack. Yeah, merry christmas. I'm trying to offend you. It's quite similar to the 10 commandments on court property, or a cross out in the middle of nowhere that people demand be taken down (true story). Anybody who says it's similar to putting a swastika on your lawn is an idiot. Jesus and hitler are two different things.

I'm Still Sick of: Two party systems. It's a great way to divide the United States basically down the middle pitting one side against the other, making people hate. It's weird that there are only two sides. I know there are more, duh, but i'm talking large parties. I love that if you don't believe in either, you're un-american. Why can't i pick and choose based on my beliefs. I love cutting down trees, shooting guns, and generally think recycling is dumb, but i don't believe in other right wing ideas. I also have a strong belief in health care not being treated as a business, and equality, but i don't believe in other left wing ideas. (incoming sarcasm) I'm sure that one party has all the right answers and everyone else are idiots. Yeah, get real. Personally, i feel like they're all idiots, but that's just me.

Make Me Laugh: Uhhhhh, let's see. Jokes, for one. Getting tickled, funny movies, and irony also do the trick. hmmm. That's about it.

Make Me Cry: I cry easy so this list is long, but i'll condense it. Sad movies, sad commercials, touching commercials, getting sucker punched in the nose, and choking on cough drops are all things that make me cry. When i say cry, i don't mean bawl, i mean tear up.

Make Me Vomit: Tomatoes, corn, my finger down my throat, seeing other people throw up, getting thrown up on in my sleep, chad and kat being lovey dovey (this last one has nothing to do with me not having anyone to be lovey dovey with. It has everything to do with them talking in baby voices to one another).

Make Me Cold: Temperatures below 50 degrees F and also popcicles.

more to come. . . . . maybe. It all depends on how well this one is received.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beauty is in the "eye of the beholder"? False.

New born babies are ugly. Fact.

They look like little aliens with weird cone shaped heads. They're covered in vernix and lenugo (see below for definitions) which doesn't help their case, and they come out screaming and crying. Granted, i'd do the same if i was stuck in a womb for 9 months, but still. You just gained your freedom. What are you crying about?. I understand that some mothers are thinking "matt, you've gone too far by disrespecting my child". Well, i only speak the truth, and that truth is that you mothers are probably jaded by your motherly love (which is generally a good thing). You look at your child and see this beautiful baby that you brought into the world, while everyone else is who is looking at your child sees a small alien that you've been harboring for the last 9 months and just jettisoned from your body.

Let me clarify. Babies are cute. New born babies are ugly. Am i the only one that thinks this? Probably. Does my opinion matter? No (it does, but for arguments sake, i'm going with no).

Descriptions courtesy of parentingweekly.com
Vernix: "When your precious 'baby' is born, don't be surprised to see him or her covered in what looks like a white, waxy cheese. This creamy stuff is called vernix caseosa, Latin for 'varnish' and 'cheese,' and acts like a waterproof barrier on your baby's skin, protecting it from the drying effects of months of submersion in amniotic fluid. In addition, scientists now believe that it may also have antibacterial and cleansing properties"
Lenugo: "A fine, downy layer of hair that covers your baby's body while he or she is in the womb. It helps to hold the vernix in place to ensure your baby's delicate skin doesn't become chapped by the long immersion in amniotic fluid. It first appears at about five months and for the most part falls off just before birth; however, many babies still have some lanugo at birth."

That's quite the trade off. Yes, it might be antibacterial, but it makes you look like you're covered in varnish and wax and is described as a 'waxy cheese'. If i were a baby. I'd opt out. It only hurts their case. And don't get me started about being covered in albino hair. ug. all i know is that if i was covered in albino hair, i wouldn't have near as many friends as i do, which is already sparse, so i'd be in big trouble. Anyway. Just something that was on my mind.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nike Fitness?

I was walking through a Nike store in San Fransisco, which i normally don't do, and i noticed something strange/ironic. There were no stairs, only escalators. it must be that they're scrunched for space, because you'd think that a company that bases its image on fitness would make their store appear the same. I just thought it was interesting.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Spirit of "What The Hades"

What the hades is up with people?

I get it. We live in a capitalistic society, but people have gone crazy. Why on earth would you weight (i know i spelled it wrong, but its kind of a themed post) outside walmart/best buy/target/toys 'r us/etc... for hours in the freezing cold, just to get christmas presents?

Anybody?

I was with some friends last night and drove by a couple of those stores listed above and it was insane. People were lined up for well over 200 yards. I guess i just don't understand what goes through their minds. The desire to save a buck turns soccer moms into end-of-days psychopath mongers of product. I don't really know what that means, but it sounded good.

I guess i'm just out of the loop. Maybe it's because i'm so dang wealthy, i just don't care to save that extra dollar. Anyway, just something to think about. Don't go crazy during the holiday season.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Spirit of Thanksgiving

In the spirit of thanksgiving, i decided to not be a jerk/realist (the two get confused) and post some things that i'm thankful for (just like everyone else with a blog).

What am i thankful for?

In particular order:
1 - The Gospel (not to be confused with church. church is boring. Crap, that was kind of realistesque).
2 - Family (not including extended family).
2.0001 - Friends (i was debating whether or not to put them before family, but i figured i've probably already offended people, so i shouldn't. On that note, i do believe that friends have way more influence as to how people turn out than family, but that's another topic).
3 - Legos (without them, my childhood would have been boring. Kevin Reimer knows what i'm talking about).
4 - Climbing (without climbing, i'd probably be somewhat successful).
5 - A J.O.B. (technically i don't have one right at the moment, but when i get one in May, i'll be super thankful for it. Mostly cause i'll be out of money).
6 - Extended Family (including extended family).
7 - Skinny Jeans (specifically Levi 5.11's)
8 - Mustaches (including the ability to grow a mustache)
9 - Book (the face kind in particular. A.K.A. Facebook)
10 - Real Books
11 - Food

That's about it. I really had to wrack my brain to get those. crap.
12 - Handburgers (yes, i realize i spelled it like that. i did it for a reason).

P.S. - The extended family thing was a joke, in case i just offended anyone.
P.P.S. - as it turns out, i was still a jerk/realist, but know that i tried.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Alleged Porpoise of News

Don't worry ladies and gents, this isn't some moderate (or liberal to you far right readers) rant on fox news. This is about media across the board. Crap, i guess it might be considered a bash on the right, but it's not. Ok, before i dive into what bugs me about media, i first must say that i'm not into global warming, meaning, i don't really care that much about it. I doubt that by driving a prius, i'm going to save the planet. I do think that we need to lessen our dependency on oil, but that's a different topic. This might sadden my dad, but i love to cut trees down. If i could, i would cut fat trees down all the time. Also, i think recycling is a fad.

Anyway, the problem that i've encountered is this news article about some emails that were allegedly leaked showing that scientists are in fact like everyone else. They lie and manipulate data in order to get what they want. The problem is that these emails have yet to be verified as true. To be kind of fair, the article states that these emails aren't verified yet, but i'm willing to bet that over 75% of the readers are going to skim over that part and read just the "facts". In my opinion, wait until things are facts before writing a news article about them. I also think the word "alleged" shouldn't even be allowed in news.

It's the same with court reporting. They say all these things that the person is charged with, then they start talking about what that person "allegedly" did. They throw the word "alleged" in there and expect people to be unbiased. This doesn't happen. People don't even process the word "alleged". To them, that person did everything that he/she's charged with which makes the court system a little unfair.

This is one of the many things that bugs me about media today. They're so interested in ratings that they've completely lost touch of reporting actual news. These emails probably are true, but wait a couple days and make sure they're true, otherwise you're not a newspaper, you're a gossip column.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shall i face my enemy head on or sit side-by-side?

When i say enemy, i don't actually mean enemy, i mean girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/etc... And when i say sit side-by-side i don't actually mean sitting side-by-side. . . . . . . wait, no, i do mean that. Anyway,

I was eating ty food (i know it's spelled tie) tonight and i noticed something. It's quite bothersome and I'm not sure if it's part of the culture down here in the big city, or if it's nationwide.

When two people eat at a restaurant, are you supposed to face the person you're talking to, or do you sit side by side and not look at each other? Personally, I think there are circumstances for both. For the side-by-side sitting, i feel that it should be reserved for very very old people. I'm talking on the verge of non-life. That's it. Those are the only people that should be allowed to sit side-by-side eating a meal.

In every other circumstance, you should "face your danger". Not only is it convenient when/if you talk to the other person, but you also avoid other annoyances like bumping elbows, or accidently stabbing your date in the ribs with the salad fork. Even if your date is going bad, it's still generally frowned upon. One of the biggest benefits of sitting across from each other is that you're not sharing a bench seat. That means you can pass gas and blame it on other people around you because technically, she doesn't know for sure that you did it. If you were sharing a bench seat than she probably would have felt it and you would have been caught red handed.

I don't know if my readers can tell, but i've been going on tons and tons of dates lately. I'm getting quite adept at placing blame where i want. I also don't know if my readers can tell, but I'm full of baloney 37% of the time, which may or may not be a low ball estimate.

Regardless of others' opinion, i believe that just like any other circumstance in the wild, you should always face your danger. Just like you would if you were approached by a bear, shark, mountain lion, or creepy dude with a mustache, because the minute you turn your back, you're going to get eaten. fact.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sarcasm is a Man's Best Friend

Recently, i've come to realize two things.
1. butterfingers make meals depending on the amount.
2. i am one of the top ten most sarcastic people on the planet. (brent, you're definitely in there as well).

Technically this isn't a recent realization, in fact i've never realized it. I've known since i was born that i hold this gift of sarcasm, and as i've grown up, i've nurtured it into what it is today, almost like a super power. Some people think i use it for evil, but what i really use it for is to avenge myself. My enemies know full well the sting that my sarcasm causes, and like most super people, the loved ones in my life have seen the collateral damage of being overly sarcastic at times. But let's be honest, even superman accidentally shoots people with his laser beam eyes every once in a while. For this, i apologize. I don't mean to be sarcastic. I just am.

While we're on the subject of sarcasm, i want to address a recent realization i've had. Seriously. this one is recent. From my first couple sentences you're probably wondering how two of the top ten most sarcastic people on the planet could be friends? What are the odds? Actually, the odds are good because of Sarcravity.

Sarcravity is the sarcastic gravitational force (SGF) associated with the sarcasm of two beings. It's actually a miracle that the top 100 sarcastic people on the planet haven't formed together to become a super sarcastic entity, or SSE as they call it in the scientific world. This, i presume is due to a couple different barriers.
1. Language barriers. It's hard to have a super sarcastic conversation when the two sarcastic people can't understand what the other person is saying. The sarcasm is being said, but because neither of the people understand the other person, it is deflected like a laser beam and a force field. The two will most likely lose interest and walk away, or just stand there staring at each other, until the other person dies.
2. Geographic barriers. These are pretty obvious. Oceans, mountains, and World of Warcraft (WOW) are some of the biggest.

Along with the barriers, i feel compelled to write about the two special traits of the SGF

One special trait with the SGF, is that it can be felt through the world wide web (WWW). You're probably thinking, "isn't WOW part of the WWW? Why is it a barrier?" It's a barrier because of the virtual geography that lies between each virtual character. Yes, they can interact instantaneously, but because a virtual space separates them, it's harder to bridge the Gravitational Gap (GG). One might argue that WOW doesn't separate the SGF, virtual space does, but they'd be wrong.

One other trait is that half life of the Sarcravitrons, or the particles associated with the SGF. The half life is very short so what happens is that in a matter of years, the SGF actually ends up reversing, pushing sarcasm away from each other. One reason Brent and i are still friends is that we don't talk much. If we did, we would have been ex-friends long ago. We do communicate through the internet, but the half life doesn't occur as fast through the internet. Come on, that'd be weird if it did.

This concludes today's lesson on sarcasm. Feel free to send me a check or money order. They'll be a $20 fee for any check that bounces.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's Probably Not that Easy

Question: Should the U.S. legalize marijuana?
Answer: I don't know. There are probably tons of pros and cons to the question. Some of which no one can even know.

Who knows what unforeseeable consequences can happen 10-20 years down the line because of choices we make today? God. Besides Him, no one. For example; the financial "crisis" (which i won't get in to). Who knew the outcome of the choices millions of people made? Who thought to themselves, "Gee, i don't have the money for all of this, but i really really need that (insert ridiculous item of choice here)"? Most of America. But i digress. Marijuana.

(Note: I don't smoke marijuana. never have. never will. . . . well, maybe if it was legal. ha. just kidding. but seriously though, i'm kidding. mom, seriously, i'm kidding)

These are the pros i could think of that may or may not happen due to the legalization of marijuana.
1. reduce numbers in jail, in turn saving tax payers money.
2. make marijuana a taxable product, increasing tax revenue for the u.s. government, and in turn funding there evil plot to combine canada and mexico into one country.
3. drug cartel's power in the u.s. would be diminished until they changed products to smuggle.
4. (this one i heard somewhere else) hippie's would have nothing to talk about, which would definitely be a good thing.
5. there are definitely more, but i just can't think of them off the top of my head.
6. increase sales of food. more money into the economy.

Here are some of the cons i could think of.
1. hard, if not impossible for cops to detect if someone is high on marijuana (curt, you can correct me if i'm wrong) therefore making it hard to stop people from driving while under the influence of marijuana.
2. probably an increase in driving deaths due to the drug, although not a certainty.
3. decrease productivity at work.
4. I really can't think of too many cons although i know they're out there. I think that more of the unforeseeable consequences would fall into the "cons" category and that no one would see them coming until it was too late.

Thoughts.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fake Fruit

I was sitting in church today pondering human nature when a conversation started behind me. This wasn't the conversation during the closing hymn, where i almost turned around and strangled a girl, that happened a couple weeks ago that i never posted about. This was a new one that occurred before we started.

A girl behind me, who is a teacher, was saying how she handed out fruit snacks instead of candy because she felt like she was doing a disservice by handing out candy.

Personally. I love candy. especially butterfingers. I could eat those everyday. That's not the point. My love for candy is not the topic of this rant. It's this.

Since when have fruit snacks failed to make it into the candy category. Just because it has the word fruit in the title, doesn't mean it's related to fruit. Like Fox News. Is it really news? The same goes for the shape and taste. Just because the piece of sugary goodness is shaped like a strawberry and even vaguely resembles a distant strawberry taste, doesn't mean it's a strawberry.

Am i going crazy? Are fruit snacks just small squishy fruit? What the French.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Does Net Neutrality = Sinister Government Plot to Control our Actions?

No.

For those of you who aren't aware of the net neutrality debate going on, i'll give you a brief, yet biased, recap.

To have net neutrality is to allow every single website on the Internet the same equal privileges. Nobody's website gets special treatment because he/she/it has more money than others. More specifically, nobody's website loads faster than others just because he/she/it has more money.

I know, we live in a capitalist society and the people with less money should fall through the cracks and be pushed off the world wide web (sarcasm). I know this, but for some reason, i just don't feel comfortable being the person with the stick pushing them through (nor do i feel comfortable being pushed through the cracks by someone with a stick). On a side note, i understand that this is already happening......kind of. When you google someone, the person with the most hits is first, but there is always a list on the right hand side of "sponsored links", or links that people pay money to have show up. I'm okay with this because of the two lists. As long as people have a chance to be a number one hit, regardless of money, i feel good about the current system.

The problem with steering away from net neutrality is that the Internet, even with regulations, is the communications medium of choice in regards to free speech. You can literally say anything you want. I think that's a really important aspect of the Internet, regardless of all the messed up, craziness that is posted. It's that kind of freedom that is truly inspiring. Yes. people can libel you. People can post inappropriate pictures, but that same freedom allows you to post religious stories, political arguments and anything else that you enjoy.

Net neutrality isn't about the government controlling our lives. For instance, the government has their hands in what we view, but it's still run by the people. You don't believe me? What would happen if a show aired that had a gratuitous sex scene, and nobody complained? Do you think the FCC would take it off the air? Do you think they'd fine the the network that aired it? No, they wouldn't do a thing. They'd most definitely expect people to complain, but if nobody did, no actions would be taken and more scenes of the like would begin to air. I just don't understand how keeping things equal on the Internet would lead to the government taking over. I mean, i would if i was a fear monger, but i'm not, so i don't. Let's be honest. If the government really wanted to control everything, they'd be able to, regardless of whether or not the internet stayed neutral.

Next topic - Fear Mongers: why they are usually a detriment to society.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Partial Color Photography Should've Died With LaserDiscs

So......Because of the blatant title, I feel that I can jump head first into this rant without too much of an introduction. I will, however, give a quick description of "partial color photography", aka "crap" and it's effects on people's taste.

"Partial Color Photography", aka PCP, aka "crap", is what happens when someone, usually a photoshop newbie (or pewb, as we in the photo industry call them), succumbs to a mental battle between good taste and fascination with technology. Good taste being what looks good and fascination with technology being a fascination the technology. Pretty straightforward.

Basically, PCP is a black and white image with certain elements colorized, ie. eyes, flower or flowers, a butterfly, a stick of butter, etc..... You think of it, and i can guarantee you that somebody has done it. "Well this doesn't seem like a big deal", you're thinking. WRONG. it is a big deal. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do something. For example; writing on blogs. Just because technology allows the planet to blog, doesn't mean that the whole planet should blog. Myself included. Unfortunately, i do, and that's that.

Just real quick, i will be the first to admit that i've done it once. I succumbed to that battle and created a piece of art and said, "that looks good in black and white, except for the eyes. The eyes should be in color." Luckily, i've long since abandoned the old ways and found my inner taste.

Just because photoshop allows you to make a photo black and white except for certain elements, doesn't mean you should.

I look through online portfolio's of wedding photographs and time and time again, i see the same thing. PCP'd photos in the mix. LADIES and DUDES. It's not classy. Try concentrating on the actual photo at hand instead of the what you're going to do afterwards. You'll most likely create better work.

My problem is trying to convince everyone else that it is a bad idea. It's a never ending cycle. People see photographers doing this, thus they think that it looks good, which makes the photographer do it again. Someone (me) needs to stop this horrific cycle. When someone asks for that kind of photography, someone (me) needs to look at them and say, "yeah, i'm probably not going to do that. It's bad taste." I'm not saying i know exactly what is good taste, but i certainly can look at this stuff and say that it is not.


Some of you might have already been verbally assaulted by me, courtesy of this topic, but rest assure that I definitely held back for fear of losing friendships. I don't know why that would make you rest assuredly but hopefully it did. Anyway..... I apologize to anyone that i've offended. If you like that sort of thing, you should probably just trust me, and not like it. You'll thank me when the revolution begins.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Androgynous Shopping

I found this unposted post and decided to post it, regardless of consequences.

Pet Peeve Number Whatever I'm Up To: When i go to buy clothes at a store, more specifically an outdoor store, more specifically scott's ski and sports in pocatello, and they have racks of clothes but no rack is labeled which gender they're for. Usually, it's pretty easy to tell, but with outdoor clothing, it gets muey difficile. It's not until i'm actually wearing the jacket, or shirt, or underwear (just kidding about the underwear) that i realize that i'm wearing ladies apparel. I'm probably just sexually insecure, but it is a genuine annoyance. I think it's because i have a fear of people looking at me thinking "why is he trying on women's clothing?" I mean come on, if you're not a lady, then you should have that fear, unless that's your "thing", in which case, i don't judge.

I'm no store owner, but i feel this would be one of the easier fixes that's in their control. Here is what i might do if i was in their position. I'd take two racks. i would put all the women's clothes on one rack. then i'd put all the men's clothes on the other rack. Now, here's the kicker. i'd put a sign on top of the women's clearance clothing rack that read as such: "women's clearance". I'd then put a sign on top of the men's clearance clothing rack that read as such: "men's clearance". Problem solved.

This weird fear/annoyance is closely related to my fear of the alarms going off as a leave a store even though i didn't steal anything. I think it's because i have a fear of people looking at me thinking "why is he trying to steal clothing?". It hasn't been so bad recently, but in the past, i'd get visibly concerned as i walked towards and through the detectors. At least i felt it was visible. Maybe not.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pleasantries in Purgatory

I hate Internet etiquette. More specifically, etiquette on facebook. "But there is no etiquette on facebook", you say.

Wrong. Well.............50/50.

PROBLEM: What bugs me the most is, on facebook, when someone sends you a "friend request", you feel obligated to either confirm or ignore this friend. With confirmation comes endless amounts of notifications telling you that your friend ran 14 miles, or your friend is going to the bathroom. It's really quite annoying. On the other hand, if you ignore it, then (because people aren't stupid and can figure it out) you feel like a jerk because they know that you ignored their request.

For example. I was sitting in class one day. There was a girl I went to high school with who also attended the class. She was married. She had previously sent me a friend request and because, not thinking of the consequences, i ignored it. A couple weeks later, she confronted me in class asking why i kept ignoring her requests (i did it a couple time). CRAP!!! I was caught. jokingly, i told her that there was a long list of people who were waiting to be my friend (false), and that she would have to wait her turn. We both chuckled about it, and went and sat in our seats across the room, not talking to each other, just like we did the entire semester. What's the deal? We obviously weren't good enough friends in real life, what would be different online? what's the point? I didn't want anymore of these confrontations, but i also didn't want to clutter my facebook with people's pointless information.

SOLUTION: Purgatory. Not just after death limbo, but facebook purgatory. what the hades is facebook purgatory? i'll tell you. It's when you neither confirm nor deny a friend request, and you leave it pending for ETERNITY. I have about 34 people as of this moment who are currently in facebook purgatory. You're probably thinking i'm rude. Well, you would be correct, but I'm also trying to get the number of friends down to the magic number of 150.

The magic number of 150, or Dunbar's number (google it), is the maximum amount of human connections you can know. Vague and confusing, i agree. Without getting too in depth, when i say "know", i don't mean biblically, but i mean able to genuinely care and be involved with.

ie. i know my friend chad. that's one. I know my friend kat. that's two. my friend kat and chad know each other. Since I would want to know what's going on between them, that's three. blah blah blah, 150 people. This isn't a made up number. Human beings are physically hardwired to behave this way.

So, for those of you who are in purgatory, i'm sorry, but i care too much about other people. And since my sister is the only one that reads this, i don't really have to worry about any public outcry.

I realize i veered off track but it was on purpose. I basically used facebook as a segue to dunbar's number which is way more fascinating. I'm also using the number as an excuse to my terrible behavior, which i will in no way apologize for.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ironic

I saw a commercial today for a diet drug. The lady promoting it said some pretty interesting things, almost enough to convince me. She said her husband was a doctor so it couldn't be harmful, otherwise he wouldn't allow her to take the drugs. she also said some other pretty trivial information, but the real kicker was when she said she could trust it because, and get this, it was approved by the FDA. Now, I might be crazy, but when i was going to college, we had a specific tv channel that would play tons of commercials promoting lawyers that specialized in lawsuits dealing with FDA approved drugs.

To draw a vague conclusion, i might say that just because the FDA approves something, doesn't mean its safe. Case in point: Fen-Phen. Google it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cash Crisis Consuming California

California is having, what some might call, money problems. There is no doubt about that. The fact that they issued IOU's instead of money for tax returns, could be a small indicator that they don't have the funds that they used to.
[Quick side note. Isn't it frustrating how the State will most likely not be paying interest on the IOU's, even though if you were late on a payment to them, you'd have to pay interest. Hypocrisy is a frustrating thing.]

You're probably asking yourself at this point, "how on earth could California be in a worse financial crisis than other states? It's not like they're spending exorbitant amounts of money on wasteful programs". . . . . . . Hold on. I have to go get a mop. The sarcasm that oozed off the last statement has made somewhat of a mess on the floor and it's going to take me a bit to clean up. . . . . . . Ok. I'm back.
I'm going to admit that i am not really up to date on California's laws and what not, but i do have an understanding on one of the biggest wastes of money i've ever seen. Two words. . . . . Cal Fire. Cal Fire is a state run fire program, similar to the Forest Service and BLM, except several distinct differences.
  1. Cal Fire operates their crews on a 24 hour on/24 hour off shift, which seems pointless to do because crews rarely work 24 on. The most they work in the 24 hours shift they're getting paid for is probably 13 or 14 hours, maybe.
  2. The mismanagement of Cal Fire Teams is key to wasting money. Let me explain. Teams are basically a group of experienced people who come in and mismanage things when i fire starts burning out of control. For instance, having 8 Hotshot crews (elite firefighters) take care of what 2 hotshot crews could have done. Or like the previous day, have at least 2 hotshot crews sit and do nothing while there are things to do. That is mismanagement.
  3. They don't actually fight fires. On the same fire as mentioned above. I witnessed an extreme waste of money. As we were hiking to cut line with 7 other Hotshot crews, We noticed a puff of smoke about 50 yards behind an engine that was parked on this ridge. This engine was filled with at least 3 fully capable fire fighters that instead of doing something about it, were just sitting there, most likely listening to music. One person could have dealt with this smoke. Instead of dealing with it. I watched as two Type 1 helicopters dropped water it. Just an FYI, these type 1 helicopters, also known as skycranes are very very expensive. So not only did they put unnecessary risk on the pilots of those aircraft, but they wasted a very large amount of money, all because they didn't really feel like getting out of there engine.
These are a few very small examples of why california spends vast amounts of money on fires. The fact that there were hundreds of engines on that fire and, not kidding, probably none of them were doing anything makes me sick. Just to be fair, the Forest Service in California isn't doing well either. As of today, the Station fire has cost 90 million dollars. There were also big wastes on that, but i'm going to stop. I could complain for days, but i won't.

Friday, August 21, 2009

91 Octane Fuel for the Economy

Like our famous celebrity dictator Barrack Obama, and our former leader Dick Cheney, I tried to make the world a better place, or in Dick's case, i tried to shoot my friend in the face while quail hunting. Just kidding, i didn't go hunting. Today, i did my part to boost the world economy, provide jobs for the jobless, and miraculously bring the Chinese one step closer to their ultimate goal of having the Yuan be the world currency (which we can save for another discussion). While purchasing some brake pads for my moto, i tacked on a couple other doodads that were not necessarily necessary, but mandatory in order to make my bike look cooler.

Regardless of what it is I purchased, I'd just like to discuss the act of impulse buying. I have suffered from it, and i know many people who currently suffer from this "affliction of the mind", but is it a bad thing? I think during this economic crisis, obviously caused by our current president who had this planned years ago and started initiating the steps necessary for such a crisis long before he had any political clout, we should embrace the act. Why not? We all have tons of money, and it's easily justifiable if we think in terms of helping the economy. HA! just kidding, but seriously though, i think if people have the money, they aren't hurting anyone by buying a skid plate for their motorcycle. The real problem begins when people impulse buy with money they don't currently have in their possession.

This brings me to my conclusion that the act of impulse buying, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Although, when you factor in whether or not the person has the money to back it up or if they do it more than once a month (which is the limit for acceptable impulse purchasing i just created), you start to enter into grey areas. There are obviously other factors that affect whether or not the impulse buy is acceptable: price, function, coolness, need, number of wheels (anything with 3 is a bad buy), etc..., but these factors aren't as important as the initial two.

Bottom line: Build a house in the white area, dabble in the grey area, and leave the black area for your friends to hang out in.

This post is dedicated to those that have no control over their purchasing power. We salute you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Something clever, this way comes.

Here are a couple things i appreciate. And by a couple, i mean 3.
#1 - irony, especially when it benefits me (such as for entertainment, or in the monetary cents [pun]). For instance, if i see something ironic, i would probably find it entertaining. This is probably straight forward as to why it's beneficial for me. I guess i could get into how laughing (inside or out), makes you healthier, but i won't. On a similar note, I will be discussing a theory i've come up with called "The Funny Theory". Basically, it's more of a guideline as to how you should deside if something is funny. Anyway, i appreicate irony in the monetary cents because i would gain money. This one is also straight forward, as gaining money, in general, is a good thing. Confused yet? so am i.
#2 - my ability to not care that i'm very white. I was standing next to my brother yesterday. We were both mostly naked and it occurred to me that he was not only more muscular than me, but also much more tan. I cried a little inside knowing that i could never beat him in an indian leg wrestling competition, but i was also glad that i wasn't tan. I feel like ivory skin might be making a come back and i'm excited to lead the way. PS, red heads with ivory skin don't count. For them, it's not so much a choice as it is a condition.
#3 - not capitalizing the single letter "i", except when it starts a sentence. I think it just looks better and i also just added this last part so i could write a few more singular i's.

Anyway, those are 3 things that i appreciate, now to my theory of funny. It goes something like this. If i see something that i would laugh at if it happened to my arch nemesis (kevin), then it's funny, even if it happens to me. I still have to laugh at it, because i would have laughed at it, had it happened to my nemisis. For instance. My arch nemsis falls into a sewer, and i laugh. If i fall into a sewer, i can't be mad because i would have laughed had it been my nemesis. Here's another one. My arch nemesis has his identity stolen. I don't laugh. Therefore if i get my identity stolen, it's not funny. I'm currently in the process of writing a paper on the funny theory and would like to get feedback. Thanks.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Alaska: the last frontier.

The sixth of July, we were headed to thinning project out in the middle of nowhere. Our task was not so much thinning, but destroying. We were supposed to cut down all these junipers in order to revive some springs that had disappeared because of them. We pulled up, warmed up our chainsaws and were just about ready to start cutting, when we received a call telling us to head back to SLC.

As we were heading back, we received the word that we were headed to Alaska. I for one, was very excited. Everyone else was also excited. This would be the majority of the crew's first time fighting fires in Alaska.

We drove to Boise that night, arriving late. The next morning, we woke up at 4:00 to catch the charter flight to Anchorage. Our crew, and 4 other Hotshot crews were all headed up to The Railroad Complex. A Cluster of fires just south of Fairbanks.

We arrived in Anchorage and immediately jumped on a bus to Nenana. After about an hour bus ride, we arrived at the helibase. Almost
immediately, we were on a helicopter headed to the fire in the middle of nowhere.

After landing, we gathered up, geared up, and got to work. For the first 11 days, we were up at 6 in the morning and in bed around 1 or 1:30 in the morning. Not very much sleep for what we were doing. Our work consisted for cutting a lot of trees down, digging a lot of line, burning
out, and a lot of mopping up.

The topography was flat, but hiking was very difficult. The tundra was very spongy. It was almost as if i was hiking on a a mattress. Sounds fun, but it's not. My hip flexors were in constant pain. I longed for walking on a solid surface. Nights were nice, except for the fact that there was no darkness. Waking up at 3 and thinking it was 9 was interesting.
Towards the end, we were all exhausted.

One of the days, we were taking our lunch break when a black bear wandered up. A native alaskan had warned us that black bears were very aggressive, and our crew supervisor had one charge him and two other people the other day, so we were pretty cautious. And by cautious, i mean i was up front taking photos and there was one guy in the back eating a sandwich. Most others were laughing and joking, and a couple were actually probably itching to fight it. One guy was terrified and actually thought he was going to die, even though he was standing behind a wall of other people. The bear came closer and swatted the air and made as if to charge. The kid who
thought he was going to die instantly popped a fusee (road flare) faster than i thought possible. The bear ran off and we all turned
around to look at him. His eyes were wide as saucers. It was really really funny.The rest of the role went without a hitch, except for a couple close calls with helicopters almost crashing and what not.

My alaska experience was quite enjoyable and would definitely love to do it again. Except without the mosquitoes.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fire = Fun

The other day, our crew was assigned to participate in a prescribed burn near Tooele, UT. We drove down early Wednesday, geared up, and waited for everyone else to get ready. A couple engines were also assigned to assist us in the operation. Most of our crew was assigned to Ignitions (equals fun), and some, along with the engines, were assigned to Holding (equals not fun). Basically, Ignitions, lights all the fire and Holding, stands in smoke and heat all day and makes sure no fire crosses the containment line. Since we're hotshots and hadn't seen fire in a long time, it seemed natural that we would just try and get the fire as big as possible because. This created small containment issues for the holders, but that's ok, because the ignitions team had a great time (I'm on the ignitions team). The holders spent most of the day running around, chasing spot fires that crossed the containment line, while the igniters watched as theircreations torched out clumps of junipers in about 30 seconds. The fire wasn't actually that big, although non-firefighters might think so. To give you an idea, the flame lengths off of some of the junipers reached 50 to 75 feet. I've definitely seen timber stands burn with flame lengths of 200 to 300 feet. When that happens, the only thing you can do is sit back and watch the show. Anyway, the burn was fun and functional as it allowed for some of us to train the new guys in firing operations. I've included a link to a news story that KSL Channel 5 did. I saw them flying around so maybe i'm in it and maybe i'm not. All yellow shirts look the same from the air.



The crew circled by our buggies, waiting for a briefing.

The engine freaking out after we got the junipers to torch. It was funny.

Chris walking out after lighting some fire.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kennecott Copper Mine



SLC, UT - I took a trip to the largest open pit copper mine in the world, just outside of SLC. It was my day off, so i rode my motorcycle up to check it out. They offer tours, but they don't allow motorcycles. The lady was nice and told me that a separate road actually wanders around and ends up looking down into it. It. Is. HUGE!!!! I'll post some pics. If you look closely, you can see some big dump trucks. THey're not so much big as they are Gigantic. They are about as wide as 4 lanes of traffic, so just take that into account when you're looking at the the big picture. It was a fun ride too. Really curvy. Really fast. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Feats of Tree Trimming

5-29-09
Hairy (yes i know it's not how it's spelled) and I are attempting to cut a tree down from the top. This entails me roping up and limbing it first, followed by what we hope will be a removal of some key branches. It was so scary. The branch I was anchored to was not that great and really sketched me out. I was also really sketched by the branches I was standing on, as well as the wind that was blowing. It sucked. I'm excited to go back up tomorrow.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I heart Graduation

I finish my bachelor's degree in 7 days. what are my thoughts? 1) it took me 7 years to do it. Not 7 years straight. I took time off to travel and work. I probably spent 8 semesters in school, maybe 8 1/2. I'm not sure. if i could go back, would i change anything? heavens no. I probably gained more knowledge and insight into the real world in the 6 months that i've spent abroad. 2) I'm really glad (oozing sarcasm) that i'm graduating with a degree in Mass Communication with and emphasis in Photography and a minor in sociology, just in time for the economy to not need me. I mean, it's already a really competitive field, but more so, now. It's awesome. 3) Interesting fact: i majored in music before changing my major to mass comm. 4) I'm happy with my life as of right now. 5) Photography (among other things) is what I love, more specifically, travel photography. I'd really love to combine sociology with photography and create books that deal with the two. I have ideas. 6) My last semester of schooling hasn't been too bad. I always thought it'd be really really stressful, but it's not. 7) I'm not walking. I've never even thought about it. Mostly because i'll be either working, or in PA (depending on what day it is), but also because the whole ceremony takes 4 hours, which is too long.
The end.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Can i be successful in today's photography industry?

Well, after looking at this monstrosity of a photographers website, i think i can. http://www.photographertoronto.com/. Feel free to mosey around. Also, stay tuned for a website i created for myself at mattirvingphotography.com. It's not working, but it'll be up within a month. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Funny Photo


Sorry i haven't posted in a while, but since nobody reads this, it's not that big of deal. here's a funny photo i saw. Just look at it for a while. It's really really funny.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Transformation

This blog is slowly being transformed into a blog about my pet peeves. Ok, here we go. Let's start with pet peeves of the class room. Today, during a lecture, a cell phone went off (pet peeve #1 - cell phones in the classroom), not only did it go off, but the person belonging to the cell phone just let it ring (pet peeve #2 - idiot cell phone owners). Besides the cell phone distraction, this giant of a football player (pet peeve #3 - football players who get paid to go to school and didn't win a single game this season) sat in front of me and kept leaning back and forth blocking my view of the guest lecturer (pet peeve #4 - idiots who can't sit still for one freaking minute), who i found interesting. This kid, obviously did not (pet peeve #5 - people who are obviously majoring in the class they're taking but don't find it interesting). So 5 out of my hundreds of thousands of pet peeves all occurred in this one classroom setting. Here are a few things that could have happened, but didn't. Someone could have walked in wearing a bluetooth and left it in the entire class (pet peeve #6 - blue tooth). Someone could have walked in with a rolling backpack (pet peeve #7 which i coincidently have written a poem about - rolling backpacks. well, i have to get back to class. until next time.

ps. i was kidding. class hasn't started yet.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rant on monetary "donations" for a piece of effing paper.

I just forked out a large sum of money to the overpriced school i'm attending. I'm going to fork out more later for overpriced books. What the hell is wrong with the education system. It's almost as if it is trying to not make it possible for people to attend school. They charge you for every little thing. I'm going to assume that schools are first and foremost a business and that their first goal is to make money. I'm not sure if this is correct. The administration is sure making a lot of money, but i also understand that it is their job. I guess i'm just super frustrated because it's almost as if schools aren't here to help educuate, but rather to just take your money and give you a piece over paper saying you paid too much for what you know. that's all.