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  • This is Irony

    Thank you, Fark.com for demonstrating once again that the true meaning of 'ironic' does not include rain on your wedding day.

    The headline: "Lightening Strikes National Weather Service Building."

    The clicky: click!

    Sometimes, the headlines just write themselves.

    Irony has left the building

    Here's some bizarre for you:

    I'm currently taking "History of African Americans to 1877" at my lovely local community college (cheap tuition, FTW!). The room is nearly full, and I am one of four non-black students. To me, this is sad, because the history of the United States of America isn't just "from whence the white folks came." Having a well-rounded history of all "main players" on the stage of America's development would be cool.

    I expect I'll be waiting for that "History of Indigenous Peoples of North America" class for awhile, though. They're still waiting for long-deserved sovereignty, which I think should come first, but that's another rant for a different kind of day.

    Where's the irony, you ask? Patience, child.

    Every class has a "suck up." Many of my fellow students from previous semesters might be inclined to suggest that usually the suck up is, in fact, me. Not this time. You may be surprised to learn that the suck up in this particular class is in fact one of the non-black males.

    A heavily-tattooed white male, with bleached-out hair, earrings, and flip flops, who also happens to be a complete dumbass for a history major. A guy who doesn't know where Mecca is (I think his closest guess was France).

    I'll admit that I didn't know, either. The difference between Sucky Boy and me is that I kept my ignorant mouth shut. Bless him, he's young. But I believe it's too late for him to grow more, usable brain cells.

    as the brains asplodes

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    Once upon my younger days, basic math was so simple. Logical diversification was so logical. I was a geekier geek.

    Now I am refreshing the memory, dusting off my skilz, and reopening portions of my brain that have been closed off for over a decade. After a day of consultation, negotiation, and calculations, I not only have character, I also have game.

    From now on, I am no longer just Uber Mom, Warrior of Higher Education and Keeper of the Younglings. I am also Brenys, Elfin Ranger, Bowyer, and all-around butt-kicker. I even have a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with 20 hits on it. Take that, Superman!

    Yes, my friends, I am embarking on a new D&D adventure, the first in over 13 years at least, and also the first in which I do most of my thinking for myself. Male geeks will understand this, knowing full well the lengths to which they had gone to encourage a nice-smelling female to hang out with them.

    Another first is that I am introducing one of the Younglings to the game. Still being a preteen, The Boy doesn't have the attention span for a full day's gaming, but he'll build up to that. He nearly held out for a full character completion (Human Wizard). I am so excited for him. Although he is heavily immersed in the Yugi-Oh! world, I am certain he will enjoy this gaming format so much more than any other he's played. The teamwork and patience required for adventuring will build his own personal character while he develops his D&D character. The creativity that goes along with "old school" gaming will hopefully add fuel to his already active imagination and expand his world.

    It's "Game On"!!!eleventy-one!!!

    Hi ho, hi ho

    Well, it's almost that time again. College.

    In less than two weeks I'll be starting another full-time schedule. I have to take additional science and history courses in order to transfer as a "junior" to a 4-year university to complete my Bachelor's degree.


    Biology, sociology, African-American history. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be needing some serious "down time" by the end of the semester. But then I'm just going to repeat this mess again in the spring with more biology, more history, geography and "advanced communications," whatever that is.

    Yessir, That's My Baby

    Indeed, today is a very special day for The Baby. She's the only Southpaw in our house, the only Lefty down the family line after my mom. Six children, fourteen grandchildren, and only one Lefty.

    No need to feel sorry for the two of them, because while they are part of the 10% of the population that is left-handed, today is their official special day.

    Beginning in the 1970's, the Lefthanders International group has annually sponsored a special Lefty Day on August 13. So give your special Lefty a hug today and celebrate!

    Damn Legos! Somebody better clean up this mess...

    Finally, something older than me: Lego bricks!

    Happy 75th birthday to the best babysitter in the world evar !!eleventy!


    Just in case you haven't heard, today is Frank Zappa Day in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Although I don't know much about Mr. Zappa other than he really should have gone easy on the mary-jane while his wife was preggers, I think this is pretty far out, man.

    So enjoy today, August 9, 2007, Frank Zappa Day. Do something Zappa. Just don't forget the cheese puffs, dude!

    Fun with Bullets!

    The actual story is here. But lemme sum up:

    A Navy Sailor was trolling online trading insults with an online persona who dared to refer to the Sailor as a 'nerd.' Like that's a bad thing. Anyhoo, the Sailor immediately takes official time off from work in order to visit his family, and on the way there he stops off in Texas and burns the other guy's trailer down.

    Interesting, to be sure. But it all sounds so bad, doesn't it?

    I think the story has more life if one utilizes a writing technique called "bulleting" to tell the tale. "Bullets" are often used in military performance evaluations.
    They are not complete sentences, just fragments of ego-puffing fluff designed to make even the slackingest slacker look pretty good. The most mundane and/or unimportant actions are tarted up, turning a boring fiscal year of coffee making and lunch runs into National Importance.

    So, in the grand tradition of at least the US military and Department of Defense, I give you:

    Fun with Bullets

    "posted photos online showing the welcome signs at several states' borders" becomes
    -accurately documents time-sensitive mission events
    "obtained [the victim's] real name and hometown from [a] web page" becomes
    -demonstrates ingenuity in fact-finding
    -finds quickest solution to mission problems
    "....took leave from his post....and started driving" becomes
    -follows protocol and regulations to the letter
    "....caught up with [the Sailor] after talking with people in several states and Spain..." becomes
    -a real "people" person
    "....was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading no contest to arson and admitting he set the blaze" becomes
    -responsible; a future leader
    See how fun that is? Bullets turn any bad situation into a great one!

    Wil Wheaton and the Truckload of Money

    As you all know, I am a "born again" fan of Wil Wheaton's. His "Wesley Crusher" was my favorite Star Trek character ever, mostly because McCoy was so damn crusty and Dax disappointed my imagination when she fell for Warf instead of Bashir (actually, I fell for Bashir and couldn't understand why no one else adored him as I did). I enjoyed the films Wheaton made in his younger days, although missed most of his more recent films because I lived out of the country for awhile. This lapse caused me to forget that I thought he was awesome.

    I found Wheaton's blog quite by accident about a year ago and renewed my fansome ways by checking his blog nearly every day. About a month ago, Wheaton presented his readers with a short-lived opportunity to help him test a new payment system for ordering his newest book not yet published. For only a few short hours, those who wished could purchase a professional photo and he would personally sign it then drop it into the mail. The only caveats were that you couldn't live outside the US because he didn't want to deal with bizarre postage and that you absolutely could not pay any other way than PayPal.

    Naturally, I spent my $15 and purchased my photo right away. I may have been within the first 10 purchasers, unless not all purchasers left a comment (my comment was 6th, I believe).

    Afterwards, I thought to myself that if he only sold 10 photos in that short time, he at least grossed enough cash to pay for dinner and a movie with the clan. However, given the comments throughout the day, many more than just a mere 10 fans were delighted to have been able to purchase this "exclusive" item, while many, many more were disappointed they missed the boat.

    I felt bad for the second group. There I was, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first piece of fan memorabilia, and there they were, sad and pathetic. This made me wonder exactly how much Wheaton could have made if his primary goal had been to fill his garage with cash in exchange for losing an entire weekend and feeling in his hands signing photos of his own face and then stuffing them into envelopes.

    I've figured it this way:

    $15[(Sign + stuff + peelandstick)X] - (Y + Z) ,

    X=# photos sold, Y=total postage, Z=photo print cost

    Granted, all he wanted to do was test the payment system to determine it was suitable for his needs as a small-time author/warehouse middleman. The Italian in me, however, saw the potential in the bigger picture, no pun intended.

    No matter what the overall financial outcome for Wheaton regarding this little experiment, the only part that matters is this:

    I got my picture finally! Woot!!eleventy!

    And I have discovered that my kids are not Trekkies. Where have I gone wrong?