Thursday, July 4, 2013

People wonder why I avoid my extended family like the plague... Here's why

Lets face it, we all have at least one or more crazy people in our family.  Unfortunately my family has a lot more than a couple.  I'd say that about 50% of my family including extended are crazy.

Although my aunt is a special kind of crazy.  Crazy enough to the point where I will NOT give her my contact information, and for a good reason.  This woman is in her late 50s, still lives with her mom (my grandma) and has the mentality of an 8 year old child.  I make every attempt to avoid her like the plague.  I think after reading this email, you will understand why.

This was the email I received from my aunt on birthday (sensitive information has been omitted but this is pretty much how I received it - layout & all along with the misspellings):

Subject: HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY, JAMES!!!~(A Special Birthday profile + letter for You!!!)~AUGUST 15th~HAPPY THURSDAY!!!~2013***(Birthdate: XXXXXXXX XXth~2013~).********(Sent at 1:47 P.M.).

From:Michelle E. (********
Sent:Thu X/XX/13 2:05 PM
To: ******* (*******; ********** (********; ****** (**********; ********** (**********; ***** (*****; ***** (*****; ******* (*******; ***** (*****; ***** (*****
Cc: **** (****; **** (****; *** (***; **** (****; ********* (*********

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Michelle E. <******>
To: "*****" <*****>; "******" <******>; "*****" <*****>; "******" <*****>; "******" <******>; "*****rage@hotmail.comm" <*****rage@hotmail.comm>; "*****" <*****>
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2013 1:47 PM

Happy Birthday! ~ For My First Nephew, Dearest JAMES!!! (: (: (: HAPPY, HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY to You today, JAMES, and may GOD bless you with decades more of Good Health, Peace, Love, Prosperity, Love, True Friends, and a Long Life to enjoy it all!! * * * * * * * I tried to call you today, but, as you know, on my birthday, XXXXXXX Xth, SUNDAY Evening, when I asked you for your cell phone #, you deliberately gave me your old number!! I am deeply hurt that you wuold keep such a normal piece  of information from me, your Loving and Faithful Aunt!!~I will write you a separate letter! Anyway, here is a SPECIAL BIRTDHAY PROFILE for You, JAMES, which I had calcuated just now, (at 1:32 p.m.),  and which I hope youshall enjoy reading, and learning about the "Special Day" that you were born!!! I clearly remember the day you were born, at the early morning time of 7:52 a.m. (You are a # 8 Life Path!!). Anyway, I am thinking of you today, and am very hurt that you are unwilling to even tell me where you live, or your actual telephone number! No, instead of a separate letter, I am going to telly ou now, what i think. You have lied to me, for maybe the past 5 years or more, always giving me a false number! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!? WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO YOU?  All I have EVER been is loving , kind, loyal, and GENEROUS to you, and so has your grandma, IRENE!! (: (: That you would treat me this way, and consequently, her, as well, is a terrible, cold way to be, JAMES, and even though, in my Birthday Card to you, (which I sent today, along with a monetary gift!), and i told y ou how proud and honored I am to be "Your Aunt"....I am afraid your actions and your lie has greatly disappointed me, and your "cold attitude" has hurt my feelings deeply!!****I know you probably don't even care, but I ask you to kindly READ what I am telling you! JAMES, you know, there is such a thing as "Kindness" and "Love", and honestly, your selfishness, your cold attitude, your lack of ever "going out of yoru way" for your Granmother or aunt, or even remembering either of us with a simple Card for our Once-a-Year Birthdays, is very disappointing and sad to me!!~(I am now continuing this, as I was not able to do it before)....I just sent you a copy at 1:47 p.m., and shalldo it,a gain, momentarily. I am sending this to you, JAMES, from the ******** ******* LIBRARY. I want you to know, JAMES, that both GRANDMA aand I have ALWAYS been here for you, and you could always come and confide in us, or come to us, if you had nowhere to go, etc. But you seem to have forgotten (how convenient!) ALL that we have done for you, and given you, over the past 30 years!!!***Believe me, when our birthdays go by, year after year, and we NEVER get a card from you, it really , really hurts us!! When I called your brother, and then, your Dad, this morning, to ask for your cell phone #, and your dad told me that you specifically told him NOT to give it to me....WHAT IS THAT ABOUT, JAMES???? What is your problem that you give it to everyone else, but NOt to the two people, GRANDMA and me, who have always been the most generous and caring towards you!!?? WHY?  I would like an actual, hnest answer from you, because you sure don't treat people the way they have treated you!! You make good money, you keep it all for yourself, and yet, once a year, you can't finda couple dollars to send us a card!? I would like 3 things from you, JAMES, in exchange for what I am giving you this day, on yur 30th Birthday!!!*** 1) First, I would like a birtdhay Card, also. OK? (I sent you an adorable Cat card today!)....2) I would like a THANK YOU Note/Card from you, thanking me, and telling me what you spent my little monetary gift on!? OK?....and....3) I would like to know WHY you have become so cold and rejecting toward the two people who have ALWAYS loved you, and stood by you!!?? I cannot believe how "cold" you have become, and it really hurts me!! At first, I used to defend you, and say you would grow out of it....but , sadly, you haven't!~ WHY IS THAT!? Anyway, remember, despite your lack of reciprocation or caring, GRANDMA and I have ALWYAYS LOVEd and SUPPORTED YOU, emotionally, and that you have become so uncaring, very much like your dad, (I am sorry to say), really causes us alot of sadness and distress!!~Anyway, JAMES, we both always wish you the BEST in life, and I hope and pray that you will soon get over this attitude of yours, and learn how to love....because, you know what, JAMES!? LOVE is what life is all about, and if you don't give back to others, you will be treated that same way someday, and believe me, yu will (then) remember my words....but, if you don't make a conscious effort to changes, won't enjoy life fully, and also, people will start to "reject" you, the same way as you have done to them. Well, Grandma and i will never reject you, but that is because we love you....but you will see, and when you reach our ages, and you are alone, and wondering where everyone else is....REMEMBER that you turned a "cold shoulder" to those who were among the closest to you!! I pray thast you will WAKE UP, long before then, and before it is "too late"!! OK, Honey? I am telling you for your own good. Anyway, I hope you are having a WONDERFUL and HAPPY, FUN, SUPER DAY today, and celebrating your Special 30th Birthday in just the way you want!!!*** HAPPY, HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY, JAMES, and a Hundred More!!! HUGS and LOVE from Your Aunt Michelle....XOXOXOXOXOXO. Do write back. I am waiting to hear what you sepnt the $ 15.00 Gift on!~Let me know in a card, OK? I expect en e-mail letter, an explanation, and hopefully, a belated birthday card, too!! ~ P.S. I know one of the reasons you LIE to me, is because, for the past 5 - 10 years, you are "ashamed' to be seen with us!! (Me, because you think I am too big, and Grandma, because she is older). That is ridiculous, and very sad!!~You, too, will be old someday, if you are lucky, and so, remember....the way you treat others, will come back to you, in some way, someday. I wish yuo GOOD HEALTH, LOVE, HAPPINESS, and a LONG LIFE, JAMES!!~Love, Your Aunt. **********************************************************************


Your date of conception was on or about XX XXXXXXXX 1982 which was a Monday.
You were born on a Mondayunder the astrological sign Leo.Your Life path number is 8.Your fortune cookie reads: Avert misunderstanding by calm, poise and balance. Life Path Compatibility:
You are most compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 2, 4, 8, 11 & 22.
You should get along well with those with the Life Path number 6.
You may or may not get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 1 & 5.
You are least compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 3, 7 & 9.
The Julian calendar date of your birth is XXXXXXXXX.The golden number for 1983 is 8.The epact number for 1983 is 16.The year 1983 was not a leap year.Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning X/X/1983 and ending X/X/1984.You were born in the Chinese year of the Pig.Your Native American Zodiac sign is Salmon; your plant is Raspberry.You were born in the Egyptian month of Paopy, the second month of the season of Poret (Emergence - Fertile soil).Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is X Elul XXXX.Or if you were born after sundown then the date is X XXXX XXXX.

The Mayan Calendar long count date of your birthday is XX.XX.XX.X.XX which is
XX baktun XX katun XX tun X uinal XX kin

The Hijra (Islamic Calendar) date of your birth is Monday, X XXXXXX XXXX (XXXX-XX-X).
The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 3 April 1983.The date of Orthodox Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 8 May 1983.The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 16 February 1983.The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 22 May 1983.The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 29 May 1983.The date of Rosh Hashanah in the year of your birth was Thursday, 8 September 1983.The date of Passover in the year of your birth was Tuesday, 29 March 1983.The date of Mardi Gras on your birth year was Tuesday 15 February 1983. Top songs of 1983
Every Breath You Take by Police Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Flashdance by Irene Cara Say Say Say by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
All Night Long by Lionel Richie Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
Down Under by Men at Work Beat It by Michael Jackson
Islands In the Stream by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton Baby, Come to Me by Patti Austin & James Ingram
Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 4.28884540117417 years old. (You're still chasing cats!)Your lucky day is Sunday.Your lucky number is 1 & 4.Your ruling planet(s) is Sun.Your lucky dates are 1st, 10th, 19th, 28th.Your opposition sign is Aquarius.Your opposition number(s) is 8.

Today is not one of your lucky days!
There are 365 days till your next birthdayon which your cake will have 31 candles.Those 31 candles produce 31 BTUs,or 7,812 calories of heat (that's only 7.8120 food Calories!) .You can boil 3.54 US ounces of water with that many candles.  
In 1983 there were approximately 3.6 million births in the US.In 1983 the US population was approximately 226,545,805 people, 64.0 persons per square mile.In 1983 in the US there were 2,444,000 marriages (10.5%) and 1,179,000 divorces (5%)In 1983 in the US there were approximately 1,990,000 deaths (8.8 per 1000)In the US a new person is born approximately every 8 seconds.In the US one person dies approximately every 12 seconds.In 1983 the population of Australia was approximately 15,483,496.In 1983 there were approximately 242,570 births in Australia.In 1983 in Australia there were approximately 114,860 marriages and 43,525 divorces.In 1983 in Australia there were approximately 110,084 deaths.Your birth flower is GLADIOLAYour birthstone is Peridot The Mystical properties of Peridot
Peridot is used to help dreams become a reality.
Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)
Sardonyx, Diamond, Jade
Your birth tree is
Cedar, the Confidence
Of rare beauty, knows how to adapt, likes luxury, of good health not in the least shy, tends to look down on others, self-confident, determined, impatient, wants to impress others, many talents, industrious, healthy, optimism, waiting for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.
There are 132 days till Christmas 2013!There are 145 days till Orthodox Christmas!The moon's phase on the day you wereborn was waxing crescent.

Friday, May 10, 2013

'Delivery Fees' and why they're BULLSHIT

So I dunno if I'm the only one here that has noticed this, but have you ever tried to order pizza online and have it delivered?   Most of the major pizza franchises like Dominos,. Pizza Hut charge whats called a 'delivery fee'. 

So what exactly is this delivery fee?   Well that's a good question that I would like to know myself.    So it's Friday, and I've had a few margaritas.  I'm somewhat hungry, and I really don't feel like driving for obvious reasons.  So I figure: "Well the best thing to do is to order out a pizza & have it delivered.." 

So I start preparing my order and at first I wanted to order a stuff crust pizza from Pizza Hut (stuffed crust pizza is the only reason why I would order pizza from Pizza Hut).  So I build my order, and I give them my address and I go to total my order.... Then I see this:
"Total does not include tip.  Please remember to show your appreciation to your driver."
   So what the fuck is this $3.00 delivery charge for if it doesn't cover the top?   This Pizza Hut is literally less then 2 miles from my location and they charge a $3 fee for what?  The convenience of being able to have a pizza delivered to your door?  $3 is about what you'd tip the guy for a pizza.  Especially if they don't have to drive that far to have the pizza delivered to you...   So what... I'm expected to pay $5+ dollars for having pizza delivered to my door?   What a fucking rip off!

So I figured okay, well fuck Pizza Hut, a mandatory '$3 delivery charge' seems like a blatant scam to me..

Alright well let's see what Dominos Pizza has to offer.  I like their pan pizzas... So I  begin to prepare the same order:

Uh... What the fuck... 'Any delivery charge is not a tip paid to your driver.'  So what hell is this $2.25 fee supposed to cover exactly??!  The convenience of being able to select the 'delivery' option online??!

Can somebody explain to me what exactly these fees are for?  If I were to order these pizzas for 'carry out' they won't add this 'delivery charge' fee to me... So why am I having to pay an extra $2-$3 fee if it doesn't go towards the tip?   What the hell is the justification for this?  For the convenience of being able to select the option online to "deliver my pizza?"  This sounds like a scam to me... So what if I were to order my pizza over the phone?   Would they also charge me a 'delivery fee'?   Well that I cannot answer as I cannot stand having to wait on hold forever...

All I can tell you is if you decide to order pizza online, be sure to order it for 'carryout' because otherwise these asshole pizza companies will charge you extra for absolutely no rational reason other than for the convenience to have the pizza delivered to your door, but remember, this doesn't cover the tip...  What a crock of shit.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

What is life like without advertisements?

It's been awhile since I posted anything to my blog so I figured I'd share something with you that most people encounter everyday that I manage to avoid:

Campaigns, commercials, endorsements, flyers, the list goes on... Basically advertisements.

I hate advertisements, they drive me fucking insane and here's why:
  • You've heard/seen the commercial once, you've heard/seen it a thousand times.
  • Super fucking loud audio levels in TV commercials.  Despite Congress passing a bill to ban this shit, it still happens.
  • Some create these ridiculous or unbelievable situations or scenarios where they pretend their shit is useful - this is especially the case for infomercials.
  • Radio commercials spend 70% of the time repeating their fucking phone number or website, and by that point you've already forgotten what they're advertising.
  • Commercials where companies over-glorify the shit out of their products *coughAppleSamsungcough* and pretend that 'everybody has one' and it's the 'best-god-damn-thing-in-the-world-and-you-must-get-it'.
  • They're used to spread negativity, scare tactics and/or false accusations to their competition.  This is now the strategy for political campaigns, which I absolutely cannot fucking tolerate.  This shit gets worse every 4 years when it's time to elect a new president.  The movie: The Campaign with Will Ferrell sums this up perfectly

Have you asked yourself what would life be like if there were no advertisements?  I have and I can personally tell you that I rarely encounter them now, and life is glorious. So now the question is how or what can you do to avoid them?  Well the obvious thing is to change your habits.  Here's my approach:

  • Avoid watching shows when they air, if you don't have a DVR, then consider getting one as this is the easiest approach as you can simply skip ahead of the commercials.
  • Although this isn't exactly a cost effective solution, consider Netflix.  It's the only service I'm aware of where you don't pay them so they can shove commercials in your face.  Other services like Hulu Plus are guilty of this.
  • If Netflix doesn't have your show, then consider using iTunes or Amazon and buy them by the episode, typically it's 99 cents per episode.
  • If Apple or Amazon don't have your show then pirate it.  This is basically you giving the networks the middle finger since they're not making their content easily obtainable. (I'm looking at you, HBO, no I shouldn't have to have cable for the privilege to stream your content online.) The only downside to this approach is the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) & Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) monitor this and the only way around this is to get a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN) that promises anonymity. VPNs encrypt and redirect all your internet traffic to a remote server where it appears to the outside world you're in another location. Get yourself a torrent application like uTorrent and go to The Pirate Bay or EZTV to download the show or movie you want. 
  • Planning to go see a movie at the theater? If it's a theater you know where they do trailers before the show, arrive 15 minutes after the movies start time.  At that point the theater is playing their 'turn off your cell phone' message. This is especially to your advantage if the theater has reserved seating as then you don't deal with getting shitty seats for being late.
Personally I don't have cable TV and cannot justify having to pay for it.  Think about it... You're paying money to these networks that not only make money off your bill, but they make MORE money by shoving ads down your throat... You're essentially paying them to advertise to you, which a fucked up business model in my opinion.

Radio & Music:
  • Stop listening to FM radio stations where it's song, commercial, news, commercial, song.  AM radio is even worse.  If you listen to talk radio, then there's a likely chance that station has their shows available as podcasts (RSS subscription) and they usually cut out the commercials.  If they don't, then you can take the same approach as you would with your DVR by simply skipping ahead 10-15 seconds until it sounds like they're back on topic.
  • Pandora is a great alternative to FM radio. If you like listening to certain types of music then consider getting a Pandora subscription.  Pandora does have a free service as well but it's not ad free, but the subscription is.  You first have to register a free account, from there you'll be able to subscribe and listen to all the music you want ad free.
  • SiriusXM, although I'm not 100% about this one, as I personally would never pay for this. I'm assuming some of their stations that are commercial free, while others are not.. Your mileage may vary.
  • Buy the songs you like on iTunes or Amazon.  Music you purchase doesn't come with ads.
  • If you listen to unique music typically not heard on the radio, then pirate it. (Refer to the 4th bullet under TV/Movies)
The Internet:

This is how I get the news & information I need as I don't watch news networks on TV for reasons I won't get into.
  • Stop using those shitty browsers like Internet Explorer or Safari.  They suck, instead get Firefox.  It's secure, it's fast, it's frequently updated and available on nearly every platform.  In addition, Firefox offers add-ons that tie in with their browser that bring new features as well as allowing you to control what you see on the web.  This is the one program that I use everyday that eliminates about 90% of all the ads I would likely encounter throughout my day. The other 10% come from other sources like TV, Radio, etc...  Here are the add-ons I use with Firefox to block ads:
    • Adblock Plus - This add-on blocks nearly every type of ad that come from those huge ad agencies (I.E. doubleclick) that most major websites use.  The add-on allows you to subscribe to blocklists that are automatically updated as things always change online.
    • Adblock Plus Pop-up Add-on -This add-on will block those ads that Adblock may not catch from those pain-in-the-ass pop-up or pop-under windows.
Advertising in public places:

Luckily for me the cities I live in and commute to don't allow for billboards so this isn't an issue.  If you live in a major city, unfortunately this one that may be impossible to avoid.  The only things I can suggest for you are:
  • Find a job outside the city and in a suburb area or someplace in the middle of nowhere, and move the whole family there.  They'll love you for it, especially the kids - they absolutely love it when you pull them away from all their friends to a remote place where they have nothing to do.
  • If moving is out of the question, then look for a job where you can work offsite or from home... That way you never have to leave the house, and you can sit on your ass all day and watch as your ass slowly expands across your seat to the point where it's so big, it makes Oprah look anorexic.
  • Buy all your shit online through Firefox with Adblock installed.
  • Hire somebody to do your shopping for you.. Hey that's what wives are for right? ;) (I'm kidding.... Sort of...)
  • If you have to commute then tape some toilet paper tubes to your face to achieve tunnel vision... Either that or drive blindfolded and hope for the best.
Well there you have it, I hope this helps you in your endeavor to live a more bullshit-free life. For the whole 6 readers (and 80 robots that index mysite) that actually read my shit, stay tuned, I may have a new post for you in the next 5-7 months.... If I feel like it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My thoughts regarding the current state of Assassin's Creed

I’m of the assumption that what Alex Hutchinson said either speculation, or its BS.  Having played AC1 - AC3 (including Brotherhood & Revelations) there was alot behind Desmond’s story.  At the end of AC1 they revealed the ‘bleeding effect’ which became a huge deal during the present day story of the series.  I mean the whole reason why they chose Ezio in AC2 was for Desmond to learn the ways of becoming an assassin.   

All the articles I’ve read so far about AC4 makes no sense to me, why does it need to jump further back in the past to focus on Edward Kenway (Haytham’s father?) Every major Assassin’s Creed game (in order from 1, 2, Brotherhood, Revelations & 3) had an ascending order of past events they focused on.  I was of the impression that the series would eventually lead to a modern day Assassin’s creed where they’d utilize Desmond as the present day assassin, dealing with Abstergo, and/or the aftermath of Juno.  The present day story of AC3 still has a lot of unanswered questions that need answered; especially with Juno being released. I mean what happens in the present day world?  What becomes of Desmond’s father & family? What happens to Sean Hastings, & Rebecca Crane?  

To me it doesn’t make sense for Ubisoft to write a continuing story with Desmond for 4 games only to them to suddenly decide the need for him to sacrifice his life to save the world and bear the wrath of Juno.  If that really was their intent, then Ubisoft literally just took a crap on the Assassin’s Creed franchise, because Desmond’s story is what kept those games together.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recognizing my 1 year anniversary

Today marks the 1 year anniversary since switching jobs from an incredibly chaotic, dramatic, disorganized, underpaying company to a stress free, friendly atmosphere where the company offers decent pay w/ benefits, job consistency, and being able to see the outcome & end result of your hard work. (Yay job satisfaction!)

I might add that it’s nice having a boss that knows what they’re doing, where you’re not having to argue with them questioning the things they ask of you, or the decisions they make.  My god, the amount of stupid I had to deal with at my old job was so overwhelming, not to mention having to worry about them eating all my personal food I brought in the office.

It’s nice being recognized & feeling appreciated for your talents!