Thursday, August 20, 2009

Movie Reviews '09

I tend to avoid theaters due to my cousin Leonard's flatulence. He pays most of the time since I am still a struggling writing waiting for that big time publishing deal so I can afford to go to the cinema on my own dime.

Therefore I tend to watch movies at home late at night, alone, while the family sleeps and Leonard is back in his own original 1960's velveteen bachelor pad.

My college son though goes all the time. From an 18 y.o. perspective:

UP: Yeah!
Transformers: Dude, wow!
GI Joe: SICK!!
Public Enemy: Eh.. $3 theatre stuff
Star Trek: Dad's generation was cool
Bruno: I'm scarred for life
District 9: For some reason I don't want to look in my closet at night
My Dad & little Brother's home made Bionicles stop motion video: yeah, cool but needs to stick to writing

So there you have it, College Justin's young adult movie review list, summer 09...
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Idiots have rights too...but fools need beating

OK. So…deep breath…OK.

I despise idiot fools. Really, really, really find them to be well, idiot fools.

Now I am not talking about general idiots, or lunatics, or the insane or whatever you want to call those who are uncontrollably suffering from a form of mental retardation or handicap. For such persons I have sympathy. But such persons are typically not found in professional environments where people are supposed to have half a bit of sense and function as a major component of a serious enterprise.

No, those folks are OK in my book. What I am referring to as idiotic fools are those persons who pretend to be smart enough to get a job, even a really high paying one, even one with lots of responsibility, and then they turn out to be idiot fools who cannot follow basic common sense instructions clearly laid out multiple times and even in writing.

For instance, I was on a conference call this morning. It was a one hour conference call training session with fifty other people from across the country. The instructor stated at the beginning of the call, "Please make sure you do not put your phone on hold during this call because it will play your on hold music and the rest of us will not be able to hear anything else. So, please do not put your phone on hold during this call. Also please mute your phone's microphone so we do not hear the conversations going on back in your cubicle. Please mute your microphone and do not place your phone on hold."

The first idiotic fool surfaced less than sixty seconds later. Like a cork bobbing up in the water, they could not be kept down.The fool must have tried a little to stay hidden, but they simply could not resist the urge and their finger leaped uncontrollably towards the 'hold" button on their phone. Muzak was suddenly being piped across the conference call at two full decibels above the instructors volume. Some other idiot fool shouted across the lines to get the phone off hold, and kept shouting for several seconds until it dawned on them that the person on hold could not hear a word they said because…they were on hold.

Finally idiot fool #1 finished whatever idiot fool business they had, I assumed they had probably turned to some other idiot fool who in spite of the fact the idiot fool #1 had their phone on speaker mode, and a sign on the cubicle stating they were in a conference call decided they had to chat about their cute new outfit at that moment. Once the outfit discussion completed idiot fool #1 released us all from the hold music and the class was able to start again.

Only now they had also taken their phone off mute and my assumption was verified as we could hear the continuation of the cute outfit discussion in the background as the instructor tried to inform us on the best methods for doing what she was instructing us to do. Someone calmly informed the idiot fools that they were on speaker phone and we could hear them talking, and that while the red skirt was certainly cute we didn't care. Idiot fool said "huh?" then realized they were the one being addressed and put their phone on hold.

Several seconds later they came off hold, presumably wondering why they could not hear the instructor anymore and deciding to investigate by taking their phone off hold. The instructor calmly reminded us not to put our phone on hold then carried on very professionally. She was not yet flustered until five minutes later the same idiot fool put us on hold again. I know it was the same person because the same music came on and ten seconds later they undid the hold and yes, were still talking about the red skirt.

The instructor repeated her order to not put the phones on hold. Apparently some other idiot fool, idiot fool #2, got confused by the command and reflexively put us on hold again (different user, different music). Five seconds later they were satisfied and took it off hold. Then someone else, idiot fool #3, came on speaker phone chatting something about a refrigerator which drew raucous laughter from the idiot fool they were talking to. The instructor was still in control but her voice was becoming tinged with what could best be described as barely restrained murderous intent.

"Please mute your speaker phone."

The idiot fools did.

Ten whole minutes of uninterrupted learning went on before the next hold music was delivered by idiot fool #2. It only lasted about five seconds, but it was there, and idiot fool #1, not wanting to be upped by idiot fool #2, unmuted their speaker, put us on hold, took us off hold and re-muted their speaker in a rapid succession of muzak, clicks, and half spoken words.

Someone in the background started muttering obscenities, obviously being only a half-idiot themselves because they left their speaker phone off mute. Of course they may have done that intentionally for the other idiot fools to hear, which in reality may mean they are not an actual idiot at all.

The conference continued for forty five minutes like that, interrupted by hold music every five or ten minutes, followed by a flurry of clicking mixed with short bits of hold music, under breath curses, and chatting laughter as idiots of varying degree struggled to remember which button they had pushed, could not remember, and so just pushed every button on their phone until it returned to normal.

By the thirty minute mark I had started to fantasize about being a Viking Warrior, charging up the information stream in my dragon-headed ship and raiding their offices, chain-mail-coat glistening, war-axe and shield held high, the blood curdling roar of my war-cry sending the idiot fools into a panic. The axe comes down and smashes into the laminated surface of the desk, chopping off the button pushing fingers the idiot fool seems unable to control. Blood sprays, women scream, men wet themselves….HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I am Thor Thorgellsson, Vanquisher of Idiot Fools!!! FEAR ME Coporate Idiots, or FEEL MY BLADE!! HAHAhaha…..


The worst part of it all was that the constant clicking and muzak barrage prevented me from either getting the full knowledge of the subject being taught or taking a decent nap. Either of which would have been an acceptable outcome for the morning.

So in summary I will simply restate my initial thesis….I despise idiot fools.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

What's your favourite 80's movie?

Or movies for that matter, got a list of favourites from back in the day? 

Here are a few of mine:

First Blood
Red Dawn
Ferris Buellers Day Off
Weird Science
Transylvania 6-5000
No Way Out (dude…I loved that movie)
The Package
Spys Like Us
The Star Wars Series
The Holy Grail
The Fly
Lost Boys
War Games
Princess Bride

Whats on your list?

Basil Sands
IT Specialist
Dept. of Veteran's Affairs
Anchorage Alaska

Who Dares, Wins

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Friday, August 7, 2009

OK. Let's face it. The world sometimes sucks.

It’s just that simple. Life can suck.

Just when you think things may start going your way, they take a turn and blam…you are on your face again.

But does the suckiness of the world around us, even our own potentially sucky circumstances necessarily mean that things are bad? Just because life doesn’t give us what we want, and appears to be pulling us down, does that mean we should just give up and turn our backs to it?


Absolutely not.

Why not?

Because suction makes us stronger. Struggling builds strength. If we are being pulled down by the events we see as sucky we have two options.

Option One:
Do nothing. Accept what appears to be fate. Give in and float down the drain. Its easy, effortless for that matter. Don’t fight. Just get sucked on down to the sewer and float off like the digested remnants of yesterdays pastrami sandwich.

I mean hey, the suction is hard to push against. We get tired right? So Quit, run away and save your energy. Maybe some easier way will show up later. What’s the reason to fight anyway? We’re all going to die in the end. Just float away.

Option Two:
Fight. Fight like mad. Resist the suction tooth and nail and never, ever give up.

Prepare for the struggle. Pull and strain and resist being flushed away. It will be hard. Others will try to drag you down. Resist the temptation to be lazy and float with effortless ease. You will lose friends along the way. But never, ever quit.

What is the purpose of struggling against malaise? Simple.

The one who struggles gets stronger. In the strengthening the purpose for life becomes clear. Once one has purpose there is a goal, a reason to live. And the suckiness is no longer sucky.

The choice is yours. Live life floating like a turd on a stream of wasted nothingness until you reach the end and get absorbed back into the ground.

Or, live like there’s a reason to live. Grow in strength. Struggle against adversity. And conquer every day as you strive towards the goal.

God created each of us with a purpose. Humans are creative, the only creature that builds cities, and consistently tries to find a better way. We are the only creatures who ponder such things as why life does or doesn’t suck.

In the end, at death, you will be judged according to your deeds and how you acquitted yourself in the struggle of life. Do you want to be the one who said “this sucks” and did nothing? Or the one who at the judgement will be told “Well done.”

Of course, if you are one who believes there is no judge, no God, no purpose, no goal but the continuation of the species, I feel for you. Because things will always suck for the purposeless being.

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