January 31, 2005

Links of the day

Here are some interesting links I found while under the influence this weekend.
  • Why do sharks attack humans? This article suggests that they are quite jealous of our bony skeletons since they just have soft cartilage in their bodies.
  • An interview with the lead programmers of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas reveals that several of them are pacifists. In fact, the lead programmer is a Quaker.
  • Most vitamins are poisonous. Click here for the evidence.
  • Why aren't there more Asian tennis players? Researchers have written an article saying that it is because the illogical scoring system wreaks havoc on their hyper-organized brains.
  • Take a look at this hilarious video of a guy who can kiss his own ass. Literally!
  • This guy built a life-size replica of the Bastille out of cheese and filmed it being stormed by angry mice
  • Proof that God does exist. And she's pissed about all the "father" metaphors!
Posted by mill1991 at 11:20 AM

January 29, 2005

Introduction to Narcotics

One of the nice things about getting your wisdom teeth pulled is that the doctor prescribes you narcotics. Since I normally stay on the straight and narrow path, this gives me the opportunity to try out some drugs that I might normally only hear about from Grateful Dead fans or injured quarterbacks.

The first is Vicodin. This is a narcotic, which works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. The upshot of this is that pain is reduced. The first time I tried this I was completely underwhelmed. It wasn't even that effective at reducing the pain, and I didn't feel like I was doing illegal drugs at all. I've gotten better highs from the adrenaline rush following a close call with my zipper fly. The following morning I woke up at 4:30 AM and I couldn't get back to sleep, since I slept so much the day after my surgery. So, I tried another Vic and slept like a rock for the next 5-6 hours.

Last night I was having allergy problems, so I took a Zyrtec-D with my bedtime Vicodin. That was an interesting experience. I don't know the neuroscience behind the response, but I had crazy-ass dreams all night, and I kept waking up feeling paranoid or something. I was on the brink of sleep and wakefullness the whole time. My body temperature skyrocketed and I was soon wearing only shorts, with all my blankets strewn to the side, and a single tissue remaining as my only covers.

Posted by mill1991 at 10:46 AM

January 28, 2005

Wisdom teeth, I bid you adieu

Yesterday my wisdom teeth were removed from my skull in a lovely procedure which included my blood splattering up onto the surgeon's face mask. The pain is gone, but the swelling is unbelievable - when I first looked in the mirror this morning, I thought it had been replaced by a poster of Quagmire from Family Guy. Then I had a powdered donut leftover from the CS coffee hour, and went into the bathroom to rinse with saltwater for the eleventy billionth time today. With ultra puffy cheeks and powdered residue on my lip, I bore a strong resemblance to a white Nutty Professor.
Posted by mill1991 at 2:48 PM

January 25, 2005

Las Vegas Weekend - Day Two

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be the last guy dropped off by the airport shuttle. In fact, it is pretty clear that the driver went out of his way to not drop me off when he was near my stop, just so he could let other people off first. It's almost as if he's already figured out that he doesn't stand much of a chance of getting a tip from the guy staying at the youth hostel for $9 a night.

The hostel is located on the north end of the strip, just south of the Bail Bond District, right in the heart of the Wedding Chapel District, but quite a bit north of the Normal People in Las Vegas District. You know if it's not a nice neighborhood because most of the windows are made out of plywood. 99 out of 100 of the cars are 1984 Luminas, and the other one is a brand new Hummer. Hmm... I wonder what that guy does for a living.

Why is it that, when sharing a bed with someone in a motel room, sarcasm is the only way to communicate? No one has ever actually said, ``Hey, could you move over some? I don't have much room here.'' No, sarcasm seems to be mandatory in this situation: ``Oh, do you have enough room, your royal highness? Because there's still a 6-molecule overlap between my body and the bed, so if you'd like I'll slide over some more, go right ahead. While I'm awake, can I get you a Nutrageous bar or give you an erotic massage? Christ.''

Posted by mill1991 at 11:47 AM

January 24, 2005

Las Vegas Weekend - Day One

On the city bus on the way to the airport, there was (surprise surprise) a guy who was crazy. But he was the only other guy on the bus, so he and the bus driver started asking me about my trip. I didn't mind the small talk, but after I had answered their questions I couldn't think of anything to ask this guy besides maybe "Do you prefer drooling or spastic arm motions?" So conversation was stopped for a few minutes, during which time this guy talked to himself prolificly and answered my unasked question by making an elaborate sequence of spastic arm motions. Then he spit up some blood and started talking to angels.

In the airport, they have a display of things which you mustn't take onto any airplane. Next to every item in this display is a placard telling you the object name and the reason for its banishment. For example,

Item: Gun
Reason: Shoots bullets

They also have a chainsaw in this display. Under the chainsaw, the placard says:

Item: Chainsaw
Reason: Contains flammable material

Am I reading this correctly?! The gasoline inside the chainsaw is the big dealbreaker? Not the fact that it is a giant metallic saw capable of cutting through trees and infidels? Should I be expecting to see this:

Item: Howitzer
Reason: Has sharp edges

Posted by mill1991 at 9:57 PM

January 20, 2005

Sin City prepares for my arrival

I am going to Las Vegas this weekend to witness the marvel that is Chris Samp play in a college football all star game. The last time I went to Las Vegas was for a bachelor party in May 2003, and the town hasn't been the same since.

The groom's brother, who was also the best man, had told us he didn't want to do a cliche bachelor party with strippers and the like, because the groom was a fundamentalist Christian preparing for a career in the ministry. Somehow the best man didn't think his brother would mind the round-the-clock drunkenness, hours of gambling, and erotic nightclub dancing. Well played, my friend.

However, once we were there, I think it was inevitable that we would end up at a strip club, and we did. I had only been to one strip club before this, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and I figured they all looked like that one. In the U.P., we had 10 guys on a ski trip, maybe 1 or 2 older than 21. No one at the club seemed to mind that fact, as we probably doubled their alcohol sales for that month in our one night there. Anyways, the club in the U.P. had like 3 "dancers", and they took turns "dancing". Walking into the club in Las Vegas was like a kid walking into a candy store, assuming that kids like to have sex with candy. There are like 3 strippers per square foot in this place - they're so numerous that you are not even sure where to look.

You see, a man's brain is programmed to reflexively snap the head to look towards any naked woman that it sees. Inside this strip club, your head just starts snapping back and forth every time a new naked woman walks by, and it is completely out of your control. Every five minutes or so, your neck will get extremely tired. At this point, you need to go into a corner and just stare at the walls, so that your neck muscles get some time to recover.

There are a few funny things that happened here. First, a dancer asked Jared if he wanted a lap dance for $20. He tried to talk her down to $10, and in a very insulted voice she told him "$10? Reno is that way!" (pointing North with her nipple tassles). Then, we (Read: I) bought the groom a lap dance. I figured since it was us forcing "sin" upon him, he was not culpable and God would just add the punishment onto my already eternal sentence. Another stripper, undoubtedly down on her luck due to her old age and unsightly appearance, came over to me thinking I must be a big spender. Now, at this point all of us had settled down in seats to watch our friend awkwardly receive a lap dance. But this woman wouldn't leave me alone, and kept persisting that she wanted to dance for me. Finally, I got fed up and said: "FINE. If you really want to dance, go ahead, but I'm not going to watch you."

My friends now watched in hilarity as this woman danced in front of me. Meanwhile, I kept my promise and did not watch her at all. I was looking around her, because I was here for someone else's bachelor party. So now, the other guys are laughing their asses off, because I'm ignoring a lap dance, and our other friend is getting a lap dance, and they were drunk, so everything seemed funny even though as I read it here it doesn't sound funny.

There is a game that goes on during a lap dance. Strippers, not content with their upfront $20, will bombard you with ridiculous compliments in the hopes of receiving great tips. The intensity of the compliment is inversely related to the distance of your hand from your wallet, i.e. the closer you are to your money, the more flattering they are. However, I discovered that one can also illicit intense flattery by being completely disinterested, as I was - I wasn't even watching her. So, I was just responding to her compliments with smartassery, which I thought was really funny, but unfortunately no one heard me. For instance:

Stripper: "Wow! You're really good looking - you should be in movies."
Me: "What are you talking about? I own mirrors, you know. If I was good looking I think I'd know about it."

Then, noticing that didn't work:
Stripper: "You're huge! I've never danced for someone this big."
Me: "I've seen pornography, and while I certainly have nothing to be ashamed of, I find that really difficult to believe."

Frustrated with her futility, she goes for the jackpot:
Stripper: "I used to think that Abraham Lincoln was the greatest American ever, but now I think it's you."

Okay, she didn't really say that last one. Or the first two. Come to think of it, I was drunk the whole time so it may have all been a dream. Anyways, if she really wanted a tip, all she had to say was this:

Stripper: "I think you're the best computer scientist in the world."
Me: "How do I arrange to have my paychecks deposited into your checking account?"

And that was my first Las Vegas experience. I don't anticipate going to any strip clubs this time, so hopefully I can maintain a positive balance in my bank account. I will be taking pictures and copious notes this time though, so I will post anything interesting that happens.

Posted by mill1991 at 1:33 PM

January 19, 2005

Snappy comebacks to stupid state quarters

I think we can all agree that the new quarters that have states on the back are completely awesome. The process of designing these quarters has kept scores of beaurocrats busy arguing whether, say, Wisconsin's quarter should have a cow and a wheel of cheese, or a canoe with an explorer and native American, and in the latter case, deciding who should be sitting and standing. In addition, they have the benefit of boosting morale in states, while simultaneously putting worthless non-states like Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. in their place. Here are some possible changes that could be made to these quarters.
  • Maryland
  • Current quote: The Old Line State
    New quote: The Flibber Jibber State
    Because both of these are equally meaningful to me.
  • North Carolina
  • Current quote: First In Flight
    New quote: Nothing useful for 100 years
  • Kentucky
  • Current quote: My old Kentucky home
    New quote: Slavery free since 1992!
  • Louisiana
  • Current quote: Louisiana Purchase
    New quote: Louisiana Purchase (no, that doesn't refer to the BJ you got behind a dumpster at Mardi Gras)
  • Florida
  • Current quote: Gateway to discovery
    New quote: More in common with a dack than just the shape
  • New Jersey
  • Current design: Shows Washington crossing the Delaware into New Jersey during the Revolutionary war
    New design: No changes, but I would add the caption: "The last time anyone went to New Jersey on purpose."
  • Mississippi
  • Current quote:The Magnolia State
    New quote:Still not over the civil war
Posted by mill1991 at 10:36 PM

January 18, 2005

Ask Tim: Tolerance from religious folk

A reader and fellow blogger writes (from his bike computer I'm sure):
Do you have an explanation for why the holy-rolling crowd seems to leave you alone? You make some fairly inflammatory statements here toward religion (which I enjoy by the way), yet you never seem to get preached at for it. In my case, if I endorse a certain type/brand/style of bicycle, I often have two or three people who give me shit for it.
Zeus bless.
This question intrigued me. Some of my regular readers may already know that I am not religious, and sometimes it may even come across in my writing. While some of it may be inflammatory, that is not my sole intention. Most of it is just goofy, so they probably figure it's not worth their time. But in the spirit of your letter, I'll try to stretch the limits of what I can get away with. Without further ado (except this) (and this - okay after writing this I need to add here that this could be highly offensive if one doesn't realize I'm completely kidding - most of my friends are religious, and most of them are wonderful people):
  • Religious people are too stupid to use computers
  • While religious people are indeed among the most stupid living things, this is not likely. Computers (which are not religious) do most of the work for the faithful these days.
  • Religious people only appear to be leaving me alone - they are actually praying vigorously for me to be struck by lightning or crushed by an anvil falling from the sky
  • You see, religious people think that prayer is more than just talking to yourself. Here's an interesting anecdote. At my parents church, they had a certain committee that had been meeting for a while, but hadn't done anything. My mother came home one night, and told me that they had finally done something. What had they done? They had agreed to pray for help with their task. Wow. Congratu-fucking-lations.
  • Many people are religious about things besides god
  • Even though many people will claim they are religious, they are actually more devoted to other aspects of life. For some people it is bikes, as you mention. For others, it is professional sports. Many vegetarians are zealots who wish to proselytize as much as the most annoying evangelical Christian. This does not explain why my site doesn't get much heat, but rather why yours does. In my case, people have only wasted time if they are wrong about god. But in the case of bicycles, people have wasted their money!
  • Religious people don't feel the need to judge others, because they realize that god will do this at judgement day
  • And if you believe this, I have a bridge that I'd like to sell you, and then push you off of.
Posted by mill1991 at 1:18 PM

January 17, 2005

Tips for winter warmth

Winter in Minnesota can be bitterly cold. With the proper precautions, however, one can still enjoy the outdoors without losing any important extremities to frostbite. Here are some tips:
  • Wear a winter hat
  • This one is obvious. What is not so obvious, however, is the type of hat. For several weeks I was wearing a winter hat that had a Green Bay Packers logo on it, and I got some ugly looks. I think there is some confusion, because in Minnesota not many people wear Vikings hats, so to do so indicates a real zest for the team. In Green Bay, however, Packer hats are handed out at baptism. Everybody has one, and wearing it doesn't indicate Packer fanaticism, just place of residence. Either way, I don't get why people get so worked up about it. I think people are under the impression that if Green Bay wins the state of Minnesota will be annexed by Wisconsin. But no, there are no such stakes on the game. Even if your team does lose, they will play at least two more games the next year! It's sort of like getting mad every night at the sun for going down, and then rejoicing when it comes up again the next morning. Anyways, if you do need to wear a Green Bay Packer hat in Minneapolis, it is best to tell people that you are part of the Heaven's Gate cult.
  • Scarf
  • A scarf is necessary on those days when there is a biting wind and any exposed neck or cheek skin makes you long for the sweet release of death. Up until a few weeks ago, I was hopeless with scarves. Let's just say if scarf-wearing had been a section on the ACTs, I'd be working at Jiffy Lube right now. But, I received some good advice on scarf-wearing on this website a few weeks ago, so check out the comments if you need help.
  • Balaclava
  • Here is an example, if you have not heard of such things. Balaclava is a weird name, but these can also be called neck-gaiters, or my favorite, halitosis magnifiers. If you have just had a cup of coffee, or a burrito, or a raw onion, this will trap your bad breath inside and force you to breathe it for your entire walk. Do yourself a favor and pop in a piece of gum before strapping one of these babies on.
  • Grow a beard
  • Sorry, ladies, not really an option for most of you. But despair not, you have company, because it is not really an option for me either. Partly out of laziness and partly out of curiousity, I have not shaved since Christmas. The end result is about a 1 meter beard (i.e. from beyond 1 meter you can't tell it exists). And it is not coming in in any discernible pattern - it's as if my facial hair growth is under the guidance of an abstract artist. Anyways, it's warming up tomorrow, so I can get this monstrosity off of my beautiful face.
  • Sweatpants under jeans
  • This tactic is reserved for only the coldest days (i.e. the last 10 days in Minneapolis). The reason being that for men, it requires a full pants opening to pee, because sweatpants generally do not have a pee-hole.
Note: In some extreme conditions (such as waiting for the bus), it may be tempting to pee one's pants. Be warned, while this will provide an initial surge of warmth, that in the long run it can lead to jeans frozen to leg, not to mention a strange odor (though if you are in IT, strange odors are the norm - quite a paradox I must say).
Posted by mill1991 at 5:00 PM

January 16, 2005

Revisionist celebrity gossip

A recent publication suggests that William Shakespeare may have had syphillis, and treatments for it may have shortened his career. The evidence is that his descriptions in his fictional writings were clinically very precise, and in one of his journals he writes: "You know what really sucks? Syphillis. Seriously, it's terrible. I hate it."

In other news, a recent book contends that Abraham Lincoln may have been gay. He apparently slept in the same bed with a man for several years. Well, he probably got up occasionally to pee. Unfortunately, it is his homosexuality that ultimately led to his assassination. Originally, he was scheduled to go to a boat show on the night he was killed, but he insisted on the theatre.

Anybody who does any history at all knows that events like this happen in threes, and if there only seems to be two just wait. So it is just a matter of time before we find out something new and surprising about another beloved historical figure. Here are some possibilities:

  • Babe Ruth was a marsupial.
  • Gandhi secretly loved violence. Behind closed doors he was always breaking chairs over the backs of subordinates.
  • Aristotle didn't do most of Plato's reading assignments, opting on many occasions to read the Cliff notes instead.
  • Martin Luther originally had 100 theses (nice round number), but five of them fell out of his satchel on the way to the church. The five missing theses include: (1) A statement which admonishes the Pope for not sending Luther the new drapes for the rectory, and (2) A request to expand the trinity to a quaternary by adding Barry, Jesus's favorite uncle, who would buy him wine when he was a teenager.
Posted by mill1991 at 1:09 PM

January 15, 2005

Public warnings

Today, ABC News reports Californians urged to avoid leaky dam. In other news, Seattle residents were told not to smoke near the oily rags and Miami homeowners were advised not to provoke the hungry alligators. It's just a shame that no one ever told the residents of Chernobyl to avoid the leaky nuclear power plant.
Posted by mill1991 at 3:28 PM

January 13, 2005

I don't get American Idol

I don't understand why people like American Idol so much. There are a couple issues I have:
  1. The judges are bad
  2. Okay, Simon Cowell is kind of funny, so I would keep him. But Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are simply awful. Personally, I would replace them with a sassy robot and a hilariously over-the-top gay asian guy. The robot could say things like "My pleasure circuits haven't lit up like that since I interfaced with C3PO" for good singers, and for bad singers: "It will take a long time to erase that sub-optimal performance from my memory banks. Beep Whiz Rattle." The gaysian guy would say "Girlfriend! You look Fab-U-Lous! If you play your cards right, you could be the next Bette Midler." Can't you see how amazing that would be? However, the current judges are so bad that they could be replaced by Gilbert Gottfried and Rodney Dangerfield's corpse and it would still be an improvement.
  3. The "stars" that are chosen are bad
  4. I will grant that the three American Idols chosen by America have been talented singers. Unfortunately the most they can hope for out of a career is moderate success in the wasteland of popular music known as adult contemporary, long since deserted by the likes of Michael Bolton, Peabo Bryson, and Aaron Neville. The reason for this is that to be a huge star, singing talent is not enough - you must be amazing looking and possibly skanky if a woman, and if you are a man you must be a rapper or part of a band or Nate Dogg.
  5. Too much singing
  6. I like music just as much as the next guy. I have even been known to sing in the shower, in the car, or even while taking care of the Captain's children in the Austrian Alps. But I get just a little sick of all the singing, singing, singing. And every song is a cheesy, bastardized, synthesized, shitty wedding band rendition of the original. If I want to hear music like this, I will ask the managers at the grocery store what CD they are playing and buy it.
Posted by mill1991 at 4:56 PM

January 12, 2005

Crows can use tools; proof they are more intelligent than Bill O'Reilly

In experiments with crows (too dangerous to justify whatever scientific gains might result, if you ask me), they were found to be able to use tools. In this case, the tool was a stick used to pick food out of crevices. While the article states that "birds may not be renowned for their intelligence" (an understatement if I've ever heard one), this shows that crows do have some semblance of intelligence.

I've actually heard that the crow is one of the more intelligent bird species, and some even have the ability to talk as well as other intelligent abilities. In fact, in unreported results, a remote control was placed in the bird's environment, and the birds were able to control a television. Two of the crows universally turned the channel off of Fox News, saying they found the commentary "Too loud. Caw! Too loud. Caw! Strawman. Caw! False dichotomy. Caw!" I couldn't agree more, except with the "caw" part, as there is no need to resort to vulgarities. The other two crows spent all their time bowling, driving around in pick-up trucks, and calling poor people lazy.

Posted by mill1991 at 12:52 PM

January 11, 2005

Mr. Blackwell releases best and worst dressed list; world improves

In an announcement I know you were all anticipating with glee, Mr. Blackwell released his list of the best and worst dressed of 2004. In case you don't know who Mr. Blackwell is, you're in good company. Here is a sample of one of his witty barbs, directed at Nicollette Sherdan:
In barely-there bombs, she's a taste-free pain. Let's crown her the Tacky Temptress of Wisteria Lane.
Oooh, that sounds like fun. Let me try: "In homo-snobbery fashion critique, his pithy remarks are biting. In a just world, one would be imprisoned for such terrible writing."
Posted by mill1991 at 4:48 PM

January 7, 2005

Leonardo (the artist, not the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle)

I'm reading a biography on Leonardo right now. It turns out that for all his brilliant successes (The Last Supper, Mona Lisa, his notebooks full of unimplemented inventions and groundbreaking anatomical studies), he had tons of failures. For instance, a giant bronze statue of a horse that was never completed, a few different canals and waterways that didn't operate as designed, and some paintings that he started but never finished. He also tried to build a giant sphinx out of Legos, but ran out of yellow pieces. In this respect, it is my pleasure to announce that I have a lot in common with Leonardo.

I, too, have had many brilliant ideas that have started with the greatest intentions but ended in the trash heap. One of these was a role-playing videogame based on Perfect Strangers. Which one do you want to be? Larry or Balki? It's your choice! Go through the day as a power-broking Chicago businessman dealing with the annoying yet lovable quirks of your foreign-born cousin Balki, or experience the wonder of being an immigrant in the United States, getting American expressions hilariously wrong and in general working your "fish out of water" schtick through a series of wacky hijinks. Unfortunately, this idea did not catch on, supposedly due to the fact that I have no experience making videogames, and that Perfect Strangers hasn't been on TV in 15 years. My own personal theory is that, like Leonardo inventing the tank, sometimes a culture just isn't ready for the ideas of its foremost thinkers.

Another great idea I had is "Kegs o' Kool-Aid," in partnership with my friend Adam. Our personal research had shown that people love drinking stuff out of kegs. Currently, the only beverage regularly served out of kegs is beer. But drinking beer makes you feel weird and say things you don't mean, like that you think Prince would be hot as a chick, or that you are kind of curious what human flesh tastes like. Kool-Aid does not suffer from this problem, tastes delicious, and is much easier to make. Unfortunately, this idea was also a failure, as "big beer" crushed our idea in the early stages. By early stages, I mean when we first got drunk and thought of the idea, then passed out and forgot all the details.

Posted by mill1991 at 1:26 PM

January 5, 2005

How to choose a religion

I'm sorry, but I just don't know why anybody would want to be a Christian. If you're the type of person who just has to believe in something, at least be a little creative! All religions are bullshit, so you might as well choose one that fits your personality better. Here I will just look at one: the Greek gods and goddesses, henceforth known as Olympianism.

There are many good reasons for switching your allegiances to the greek gods. For one, there is the expression "Greek god." As in, "Have you seen Samp with his shirt off? He looks like a Greek god." This is because all of the greek gods had sculpted physiques, and were generally considered to be quite hot. Through all of your worship, you can be staring at images and icons of the ancient equivalent of bodybuilder or supermodel. Plus, greek gods always walk around in the nude, oftentimes covered in hot oils that undoubtedly have pleasing fragrances. Why not choose a belief system that allows you some erotic imagery in your visualizations of god? Going to church would be fun again, although you'd have to bring plenty of change for use in the 25-cent movie theatres. Compare this to Jesus, who can't even be bothered to shave or wear proper shoes. The choice is easy.

The second reason to convert to Olympianism is that greek gods will interfere with your life all the time. This can be seen in either The Iliad or The Odyssey, both of which read a hell of a lot better than "the good news," by the way. The Christian God used to fuck with people's lives all the time, but he stopped as soon as he had finished his book. Meanwhile, the Olympian gods descend from Mount Olympus whenever they feel like it. Maybe they smell a lamb roasting on a spit and want to get a taste. Maybe they want to shoot some lightning at some battle weary soldiers returning from Troy on a ship. The Christian God, in his entire history, only personally inseminated one woman. Greek gods do that shit all the time!

That brings up another point. Sure, the Christian God claims we were made in his image, but then why is he so perfect while we're not far away from flinging feces at each other like chimpanzees? With the greek gods, there is no doubt - those assholes are just like us. They're always fighting up on Mount Olympus, and have voracious sexual appetites (as mentioned above), they get jealous of other gods, they scheme and plot against each other, take opposing sides in wars, and so on. It could be the greatest reality show ever on television.

Posted by mill1991 at 7:19 PM

January 4, 2005

Hopelessly naive

Someday when I am traversing the rings of hell, I have a pretty clear picture of what to expect. In the innermost ring, I guarantee it will be chock-full of cellular phone salesmen and guys who worked at Jiffy Lube. Maybe if I knew more about my car than which pedal was "go" and which was "stop" the story would be different.

I always feel like the oil change people are trying to sell you a lot more than you need, like a used car salesman or a Burmese hooker. So, the last time I got my car fixed they told me that the next time I got my oil changed I should change my fuel filter. I figured I could trust them, because they knew they wouldn't get the work. So, I was prepared to splurge at my next oil change. The guy says, "This air filter looks like it needs replacing - should we do it?" Oooh! I need that! I said yes. Then he asks about the fuel filter. Hmmm... maybe that's what I needed to be replaced. I said yes again.

By now this guy was probably thinking I would say yes to anything. "How about this piece? It's the fuel reuptake manifold decompressor, and it's the original from the manufacturer." I don't know why this is a solid argument for replacement - there are probably a lot of parts on my car that are original. But it was only $5 or $10, so I said yes again. Then he tried to get me to replace another part! If someone were actually naive enough to believe everything they said needs replacing, they would just keep asking you to replace other stuff. By the time you left, you would be driving an entirely new car. I'm surprised he didn't say, "And while we're at it, should we replace the transmission? Now, it is $1500, but without it your car is liable to explode, sending deadly shrapnel hurtling towards the nearest kindergarten. It's your choice. You could always wait until your next oil change, if you don't mind all that innocent blood on your hands." Capitalism sucks.

Posted by mill1991 at 12:27 PM

January 3, 2005

I just don't have enough information to make that kind of committment

Over the past week, a lot of people have been wishing me a "Happy New Year." Well, I'm sorry, I cannot return the greeting. "Happy New Years Day" I'm okay with. But I really do not feel comfortable wishing you an entire happy year. You see, on New Year's Day, you're probably just going to be recovering from a hangover, or writing down things you wish you could change about yourself now that the earth has returned to this position in its orbit around the sun. And I hope that you are happy during that day.

But to wish you a happy new year is just going out too far on a limb for me. For one, I don't know what kind of stuff really makes you happy. Maybe you get a kick out of torturing puppies. Maybe punching old homeless women really makes you happy. In these cases, wishing you a happy new year is a horrible mistake. In fact, in those cases I hope you have an unhappy new year. But you can't always tell what makes a person happy. And it could change over the course of the year, as they might sustain head trauma, especially if they try to eat any of my egg rolls. Can you imagine the guilt I would feel if, because of my wishes, you went on some kind of killing spree that left you insanely happy?

Posted by mill1991 at 1:11 PM