Tuesday, December 27, 2005

All I got for Christmas

Okay so I'm updating before everyone else so as not to be the slacker in the group.

First, I hope that everyone had a great Christmas/Holiday break and got to do everything you wanted; as well as received everything you wanted.

I'll start with the visitation as that was really the most fun. Monday evening, the scene at Barnacles consisted of a team of 13. John's family (minus Jeff), myself and my parents, Crystal and Jason, Derek R., Crystal's sister Melody (I think I spelled that wrong), a friend of Crystal's named Les, and Matt Stites and Katie. So our team, named the Mistletoe Maurauders, was doing exceptionally well all evening; we were in fact tied for first place when it was time for the final question both teams had 57 pts. The last question concerned box-office gross for a movie. Feeling fairly confident we wagered the maximum of 15 points. We said that "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" out-performed "40-year-old virgin", "Sin City", and "War of the Worlds". We were wrong. "War of the Worlds" was the highest grossing of those four. What's bad is that the other team we were tied with also got it wrong and had wagered 15 points as well. We both dropped into 4th place which receives no prize. Had we bet nothing we would have taken first without trying. O well such is life. Moving on to happier thoughts of ripping open presents.

Christmas Eve at Grandmother's house (mom's side). I unfortunatly have not been able to open that present yet because the cousin who had drawn my name was sick and no one in their family came at all. However, I see this as benificial in that it makes me realize the season of giving lasts all year, rather than simply one day out of 365 (366). I still do not know what that present is and anticipation is driving me slowly insane.

At my house and my Grandfather's house (dad's side). I received "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" vols. 1-3. A most excellent anime show based off the classic. I got a few clothes. A phone that I can hook-up in the bathroom so that I can talk to all of you while I drop friends off at the pool. I also received a sudoku book, a little black book on poker, and "On Literature" by Umberto Eco. Gift certificates flowed as well with one from Best Buy and one for Barnes & Noble. The best gift I have saved for last. I am to receive an Apple I-Pod 30GB (capable of playing video). The coolest thing about not having it under the tree was that I learned Apple gives students a discount on this product (from 299.99 it drops to 269.99 for students). They also will provide free-shipping and free laser-engraving (27 chars x 2 lines). Now the hard part of deciding on what I shall engrave. For the moment I have settled on this "We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want." from the Tao te Ching . I will of course reduce that to "It is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" fairly appropriate for an I-Pod in my opinion. If any of you have any suggestions please email them to me using the link over on the sidebar; I'd really appreciate it.

Overall some good loot this year. Additionally, I also got to drink a Yuengling and a Warsteiner from Matt Stites's and John's presents because they each got a holiday 5-pack. Anyways, continue having a great holiday and remember I updated first over the holidays so I can slack for a while now.

"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people." - Albert Einstein

Image from NASA

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Nothing Much of Anything

Last night John, Matt, and myself went to see Narnia; great movie. They did a wonderful job adapting certain sections into movie format. They stayed true to the novel in nearly every aspect that I can recall with clarity, and they even maintained the Christian message that Lewis originally had within the work - a huge surprise from Disney. In any event I highly recommend everyone to go see it. If you have a child even more so because it's great for the kids AND enjoyable for you as well.

Well the mail me link in the sidebar is working, however the picture background was not so I changed the picture host and hopefully it should be working now (even if you have IE).

Well, I submitted my desktop to the Lifehacker flickr desktop show-and-tell group, here. Some really nice desktops, though most of them are Apples (very few windows desktops). This one has to be one of the best and Lifehacker thought so as well.

In any case your moment of zen is my everyday workplace. Here is my desktop with nice little flickr notes and all for you to check out.

Septrotrichia Buccalis Desktop"The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our work and find in it our pleasure." - Francoise de Motteville

Monday, December 19, 2005


Okay, so first thing for this evening is to discuss the title. Today on Rocketboom Amanda mentioned a website for Pimping out a Nutcracker. Imagine Mr. PotatoHead in a pimp style is plastered over the nutcracker. Hilarity insues. I personally find the large pink/red cowboy type hat to go perfectly well with the pinkish fur coat that can be found under fully pimped, give him some nice gear like a chain with the PIMP attached, a bottle of champaigne, and the requisite starbucks coffee and the gentleman is set.

Other occurences this evening were the trivia night at Barnacles. Our team, The Drunken Elves, placed in something around 5th with 46 points, had we remembered that Elton John released Candle in the Wind during the 90s we would have gotten 2nd. O well. Needless to say the evening out with the Jacksons was a good time.

I know have my flannel sheets on my bed and I slept until 4pm this afternoon because of it. Comfiness increases the sleep time.

If anyone knows anything about Desktop Customization (through widgets, overlays, or outright shell conversions) please drop me a line so I can pick your brain before utterly overloading mine. I like to keep up to date with PC customization software and I've fallen behind. I have until Jan. 9th to get a grasp once again.

Why until Jan. 9th you ask? That is when the Spring semester begins at USF and I have signed up for 16 credit hours. I think I'm slowly going insane (this is preferrable to quickly going insane as I can at least track my progress this way).

In any case I have nothing else for this evening except that everyone should check out DeviantArt some very interesting things on there. Also, please let me know through comments if the background image for my header is working (if it's not I'm going to have to get some advice from Lewis on making that work). I'm also going to try and set up a mailme link in the sidebar so please try that out and let me know if it is working by using it to email me (no I won't spam you or sign you up for porn sites - though that would be funny). In any case goodnight and Merry Christmas to all. Here is your moment of zen.

"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein

Image from here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sitting on the Edge of One's Seat

Is it possible to make an exciting, intense, controversial, mind-warping movie about a corporation? Absofrickinglutely!!! But only if that corporation is involved in oil and energy trades, has friends within the US government, and is able to throw money around in the Middle East in order to keep those who are close to us, well close. Syriana is go from the moment those crappy trailers end. Yes, those trailers are crappy because what ever movie is being previewed ain't got crap on what you're about to see. What scares me most about the movie is that while I know it is fictionalized in order to make it more appealing to a wider audience and get some explosions in there; one can not help but wonder exactly how much is true. I am going to go out and immediately check out See No Evil by Robert Baer because the movie is loosely based off of this nonfiction work. I must say that I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to feel about this movie, being the conservative Ayn Randist that I am who is all about less government and Laissez-faire economics, however, the writer, director, and actors all make compelling performance and evidence to think that perhaps the best way to support peace is through equality of economics (which actually fits right in with my views anyways). The only thing is that everyone has to want to work for that equality.

Slight spoiler: the man who is the "bad guy" to the American government, is in my opinion the man they should be working closely with.

It astounds me the shortsightedness of certain decisions that are made within the movie and yet I can very easily draw similar parallels between actions within the movie and actions that are known to the American public. Immediate gratification will most likely be the ultimate downfall of our society; we have already had several past expedient solutions become serious problems afterwards (Saddam Hussein for example; hell even Bin Laden). Immediacy is why we are a debt culture and why credit companies make so much money, no one understands how to save up for something if they can just charge it now and worry about paying later.

I have three credit cards: a clothing store card, and two Visas (one of which has never been used in the four+ months I've had it), I also have a Debit card since I think writing checks is something I'd never keep track of or do properly. Not once have I carried a balance I couldn't pay immediately (building credit requires a small carry over), I simply buy things I can afford, or wait and usually forget about it.

The movie allows segues into several areas of life, I've just run off on my economic anti-debt spew. It's one am and the movie just let out. I need sleep so forgive my definitive way of writing on the subject I'm sure you'll all argue meaningful concise opposing views to which I may or may not have an answer once I am a bit more lucid and concise of thought. Thank you for your tolerance as reward your moment of Zen.

P.S. Before you have "your" Zen, here is mine. I won $578 at the Casino this afternoon; not so bad for 6 or so hours of work. I'm that good.

" Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,"
-from Imagine by Lennon (in honor of the recent anniversary of his passing)

Image stolen from Peter Menzel Photography.

Monday, December 12, 2005

All About Me

So I have little to speak of from the weekend. I believe I have finally caught up on all my sleep, though we'll see for sure as my schedual is now all out of whack. I'm thinking I'll go see either Narnia or Syriana tomorrow evening. Both movies look great and which ever I don't see tomorrow I'll just see shortly thereafter. Made a few updates to the page here (mainly in the sidebar because it needed it). Anyone who wants a Christmas list for me don't worry I'll be posting that in the next few days along with some pictures I have yet to take. Hope everyone's holidays are going well and they aren't being ruined by exams. Goodnight.

Edit: Why cruising with the next blog button is entertaining. Saturn out of Saturnalia an argument to all the Christians worried about Christ being taken out of Christmas when it wasn't even our holiday to begin with (nor will it ever truly be a Christian Holiday, that's what Easter is for). So remember the paganess this year and drink up the eggnog.

Your moment of Zen:

"It is the addition of strangeness to beauty that constitutes the romantic character in art." - Walter Hagen

Image stolen from Zen Mischief

Friday, December 09, 2005

Jose Gonzalez

The next big thing for US music, in my opinion (which is the only one that matters here) is Jose Gonzalez. He will over take Jack Johnson and John Meyer (because his music is still real unlike Meyer with his live sell out albums and I just haven't been impressed with Jack lately), his sound feels like Elliot Smith something you should all go check out. I think of the four songs on that myspace site I either really like "Heartbeats" or "Crosses" I haven't decided yet.

I have nothing else to add for today. You should all be glad I've updated anything at all. Some of you are becoming big slackers like me, I'm allowed to say this.

**Edited in at unspeakable hour.**
Wrongfully Accused. As Instapundit put it this is the flip side of the Air Marshall case from Miami. Basically this is why I'm against the death penalty and why I believe IQ tests should be mandated for juries. Truly sad case and if enough people get pissed about this miscarriage of justice perhaps the big fat asses from Mississippi will get up and right the wrong that has been perpetrated upon this poor man.

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it." - Anonymous

Image stolen from A moment of Zen (how ironic)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Air Marshall Shoots Suspect

Okay so for those of you who don't know a man was shot in Miami today after claiming he had a bomb in his carry on. He ran from Air Marshalls and when told to get on the ground proceeded to reach inside of the supposed bomb carry on. Marshalls opened fire and the man was dead shortly after. After the fact the man's wife reveals he had bi-polar disorder and hadn't taken his medication. Several things are learned by this incident. First, never joke about bombs and airplanes, no one actually finds it funny and you could get anything from fines, jail, or being shot. Second, if you (or a loved one) has a mental disorder take your medication (or make sure they take it). Thirdly, the Air Marshalls were actually a bit reserved before shooting the man, he apparently told them about the bomb on the plane and then ran all the way off the plane and made it to the terminal area before trying to reach inside the bag and being shot. Fourthly, always do what the man pointing a gun at you says to do. Lastly, from reports of other folks within the terminal D of Miami the airline/airport personal were a bit confused on exactly what procedures should be followed after the shooting. Overall it was a sad affair and one that several will misuse in order to claim we need to reduce the Air Marshall program.

Today was the anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the event was commemorated with a service of rememberence.

If you have links (I'm really looking for another fe good video blogs), news, or a moment of zen you would like to recommend please feel free to email me the information at mattsasylum@gmail.com . That is not my regular email address that will be used solely for this site. If you'd like my real email address then email me there and if I like you I'll give you the real one.

I think that's about all for today if more develops I'll be sure to edit it in. Now for your moment of zen.

Chicago man sues Microsoft over his X-Box 360 being designed poorly and over-heating.

"A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns." - Mario Puzo

Greed never fails to amaze me. Check out the Greed. More Greed with 24 systems.

Weblog Awards

Okay so I'm cruising my links and at Rocketboom I come across a mention of the 2005 Weblog Awards. Now I hadn't realized there were awards for blogs but apparently there are. I cruised on over there in my new Firefox 1.5 browser and discovered several different categories of blogs. After scoping a few within the categories I made some votes and even linked up a few new blogs. In the sidebar you'll now notice within the Photobloger section the new addition of Mute (some really nice stuff seen there). And down in the World's Beyond section I've dropped in Lifehacker, I believe this was in the technology blog section and it looked rather interesting and was not your everyday Slashdot crap, and Instapundit, I'm sure you'll love that one Crystal, I haven't really had time to do in-depth investigations into any of the sites that were over at the Weblog Awards but those were some of the ones that caught my eyes enough to get a link up. Next year I'll be sure and remind everyone to nominate me for a Weblog Award in the category of "Most Up To Date Blog" hehe. Well I finished watching the second part of the Triangle and things are beginning to become more and more wierdified (I create words when I feel like it). Let's just say the Navy is apparently involved in secret electromagnetic experiments that result in wormholes or possible the aligning of alternate realities with our own. In any case things are becoming more and more interesting and the Team may soon actually figure out what is going on.

Crystal, Family Guy is your saving grace for that night of TV (it's really the only thing I recall being on).

And now for something completely different. How many of you have heard of Sudoku? I was wandering Barnes and Noble a few weeks back and they had an entire table dedicated to books filled with Sudoku. For those who don't know it is a number placing puzzle. In any case I picked up a beginners book with 300 easy puzzles and now I'm an addict. So now along with caffeine and most forms of alcohol I'm also now addicted to these annoying puzzles that must be completed in groups of no less than two at a time or else you slowly go insane from detox.

Lastly, and probably the least important, I have begun background work on a story idea. The fruition of all my current labors will most likely never see the light of day, as the best writing always occurs in the dead of night, but I would like all of you to continually ask for updates (namely some kind of word count). I'm going to see about getting one of those NanoWriMo word counters that acts like a little stat tracker. I could add it over into the sidebar and that would push me to always be working on the writing in order to update that and not have you folks breathing down my neck about it. Anyways, off to do some playing hope you enjoyed the read and now for your moment of zen.

"Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences." ~Lewis Mumford

Image stolen from Wired News

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Triangle

So wasn't that last post just really annoying and I'm sure it inspired a few of you to run off and blow at least 15 minutes taking one or two of those tests.

Blogger seemed to be acting a little wierd earlier. First, it wouldn't let me actually look at any blogs (well they were taking way to long to load and I have very little patience for internet load times). Now they are planning some maintence to begin at 9pm PST so I have about fifteen more minutes to finish this post. Shouldn't be a problem.

Okay so as you should all know I'm a huge sci-fi freak. This evening was the beginning of The Triangle a sci-fi miniseries in three parts. As you can probably guess it is about the Bermuda Triangle. The first part focused on past events and explanations for them time divergences and possible wormholes. All interesting and theoretically possible so I'm happy that the writers didn't do anything retarded right off the bat. Tomorrow night looks to be a bit more divergent with current mythology as it seems to me that the Triangle begins to expand and effect things on land. Overall some interesting stuff and if you missed this evening you should check it out tomorrow night when it reairs again on Sci-Fi channel at 7pm. Get a VCR or DVR if you don't have time to watch it right away.

While watching the Triangle I saw a commercial that said Stargate would begin on Jan. 6 can not wait as the last show was a huge cliffhanger with America undergoing a quarentine due to a virus that was unleashed on them by the Priors. Should make for some great TV.

Well I'll leave you all with a little moment of Zen. (A new tradition I'm stealing from I believe it was the Daily Show.)

"Worship me with fire and blood; worship me with swords and spears." from the Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley, 1938

Image stolen from here.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Blogthings (Annoying yet Perceptive)

Here is one I spent a bit of time doing the other night. I have nothing insightful to say at the moment. I'll get some pictures up during the next week, discuss some new theophilosophical thoughts that have bombarded me, and talk about my real plans for the future as that future develops. Until such time enjoy the mindless, yet insightful, blather that follows. Yes this long is and each one is really annoying. Hehe.

My new name:

Your Pimp Name Is...

Professor Slick

So this is what you folks really think?

Slow and Steady

Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy.

They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder.

It'd really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment.

They expect you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then usually decide against it.

They know why I blog even though I don't

Your Blogging Type is Pensive and Philosophical

You blog like no one else is reading...
You tend to use your blog to explore ideas - often in long winded prose.
Easy going and flexible, you tend to befriend other bloggers easily.
But if they disagree with once too much, you'll pull them from your blogroll!

My quick IQ test - we all know this test is off by about 80 points...

Your IQ Is 135

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

Machiavelli and Crew - Plans for World Domination continue as planned

You Are Machiavelli's Spawn

You're going to get what you want, and no one's going stand in your way.
(Even if it's just knocking out your roomie to get the last ice cream sandwich!)
People who slow you down, simply need to be taken out - by any means possible.
You are the master of charming, wooing, manipulating, and intimidating.

Personality in a Picture

Your Personality Profile

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

Brain Patterns - I'm actually hoping mine looks more like the regular grey matter though slightly more developed than average

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a creative hotbed of artistic talent.
You're always making pictures in your mind, especially when you're bored.
You are easily inspired to think colorful, interesting thoughts.
And although it may be hard to express these thoughts, it won't always be.

Personality in three questions

Your Personality Is

Rational (NT)

You are both logical and creative. You are full of ideas.
You are so rational that you analyze everything. This drives people a little crazy!

Intelligence is important to you. You always like to be around smart people.
In fact, you're often a little short with people who don't impress you mentally.

You seem distant to some - but it's usually because you're deep in thought.
Those who understand you best are fellow Rationals.

In love, you tend to approach things with logic. You seek a compatible mate - who is also very intelligent.

At work, you tend to gravitate toward idea building careers - like programming, medicine, or academia.

With others, you are very honest and direct. People often can't take your criticism well.

As far as your looks go, you're coasting on what you were born with. You think fashion is silly.

On weekends, you spend most of your time thinking, experimenting with new ideas, or learning new things.

Sellout with me

On Average, You Would Sell Out For


I'm an extra in the movie version of my life

The Movie Of Your Life Is An Indie Flick

You do things your own way - and it's made for colorful times.
Your life hasn't turned out how anyone expected, thank goodness!

Your best movie matches: Clerks, Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite

With the exception of Napoleon Dynamite I actually like and enjoy both those movies.

Rockon - Yes I picked the Cowbell as my instrument of choice

You Are an Indie Rocker!

You are in it for the love of the music...
And you couldn't care less about being signed by a big label.
You're all about loving and supporting music - not commercial success.
You may not have the fame and glory, but you have complete control of your career.

My plans for the future

You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts (like political science, literature, or philosophy)

You're a great thinker and a true philosopher.
You'd make a talented professor or writer.

My inner age (wow only a year off)

You Are 23 Years Old

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


What is this strange thing I have discovered. Ah...a relic from the past. My past to be specific. There are two reasons I do not keep a journal (blog): first, I always worry that someone may find it and so I am not entirely honest (this is especially a problem with a blog which is supposed to be read), second, I have a horrible habit of getting out of the practice of updating it with any particular regularity. Now I have to say I was doing pretty damn well, from July 24 until September 30, probably the longest I have ever mainted a continuous journal/blog/anything (besides relationship). For one reason or another I simply no longer am interested in anything to do with it. In any case I occasionally have tried to resurrect old journals so perhaps I shall try the same thing with my somewhat deceased blog. A Christmas present to everyone who reads it, all three or so of you. It'll also be a Christmas present for myself I suppose, something to do in the weehours of the morning when I should be fast asleep but for reasons of overactive thought processes am not. Not much to talk about just wanted to see how many responses the return would generate. I will be posting my Christmas Wish List and address soon so that all of you can buy me what I want for Christmas and then ship it to the proper place. So I say goodnight to all of you avid readers who have finally been updated. By the way, I just haven't really needed an Asylum to get away to recently because nothing of worth has been occuring. I look forward to boring all of you soon with what isn't happening in my life.