Saturday, February 26, 2011

digital transition...

I recall this supposed to be taking full effect quite a while ago, but instead it seems a lot of parties have broken the transition into smaller steps which always seems to leave me a step behind. With everything that has been happening to me in the past, it's not much of a surprise that I am not completely ready for it, yet it seems I must catch up to some extent before it's too late. I received notice in the mail from Comcast that March third is my cutoff point to acquire free equipment to fully adapt to the new digital transition. I still have yet to unpack my new tv and hook up various other new equipment to make sure that I have everything I already need. I didn't want to needlessly acquire anything I didn't need. Of course my latest setbacks have been my mother getting sick so frequently this month as well as my root canal, but I am trying to make things ready, including assembling an a/v center and wall mount for my new tv. This also means removing the old tv cabinet that has sat in the same place for about 40 years or so as well as the dead tv within. I look forward to seeing things finished. I have a lot to set up and several consoles I have yet to use and enjoy for the first time. I think this is one change in my life that I can be happy about...

Friday, February 25, 2011

back-words... recent poems...

If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you will be familiar with the heading "back-words," which is my little play on words indicating writings from the past. Previous writings can come from various sources, such as blogs, notebooks, as well as randomly found articles on which to scribble.
Today's back-words is an assortment of writings I came across in a small memo book I've been keeping for important reminders, temporary record keeping, as well as random thoughts and drawings. The book is starting to get a little worn and pages are coming loose so I thought I might as well remove some pertinent pages to transcribe over here. I hope you enjoy this small collection...

There are questions
that I cannot yet answer
which are deep in meaning
and require fuzzy logic
for finding an answer,
however these questions
easily and quickly
take a backseat
in my mind
when I am with you.
I can find security
in knowledge
and the truth of things,
but I find comfort in you.
Easily, in the name of love,
these issues that I endlessly ponder
can wait for another time,
and often have.


please forgive my tooty
which may not have been very fruity,
or maybe it was
and that's the problem.
all i did was
lift my booty
and out it came: poot, poot, pooty.
i lift my booty
so it's nice and loud.
i squeeze really hard
so it'll come out proud.
then i can walk a away
knowing it's strong
and i feel better
all day long hoping that
the gas i passed
will last and last.
sharing a good vibration
is only part of the sensation...

*note: this was inspired by my uncle's brand of humor and was created for him.


shall we take a chance?
let's go out and dance.
the summer is full of romance.
i don't care if we can't stay out late.
maybe it's destiny or fate.
this moment is another chance
for our souls to be together.


i stand at the threshold
of a new life.
as always,
it is just the beginning
so the future isn't clear
and how to get to my goal
is precarious.
i will try
and do what i can


so many tales told
of love saving one's life,
winning one's affection,
and of course
feeling love which isn't returned.
i'd do anything
for love,


sometimes i feel jealous
of joyous lyrics
because they sound great,
but i've never been able
to write like that.
i don't write much
once i am swept away.


pastimes no more-
we used to sit on the floor
and listen to music
and dance in silence
just because we were happy.
we used to eat outside
under trees and giant parasols
when the weather was fair
and the food was handmade.
we used to wear simple clothes
decorated with colorful threads
and simple beads.
we used to dream
and let our minds wander,
yet all this has changed
over the years.
what happened?

familar pain...

I just recently had a root canal. I lost count after my tenth. I know when I need a root canal by the specific kind of pain and I also know hoe to combat the pain down to a science so that I can handle unforeseen delays in desired dental visits. I also have a favorite endodontist at this point, having had a few perform this routine. It's never a walk in the park, but at least I know how to reduce my suffering in such a situation- before, during, and after.
When I deal with a needing a root canal, I become unable to function as I normally would. I cannot think straight and I sleep more than usual. Obviously, you just saw a break in my blog flow and probably wondered what specifically might be wrong this time. Now you know...

Friday, February 18, 2011

birthday haiku...

I wrote a little haiku for a friend of mine because it was his birthday today. I thought I would post it here as well for posterity sake. I hope you enjoy it, too.

another year here
your friends want to see you smile
a milestone is made

Monday, February 14, 2011

valentine's day...

What other topic would I have for today? Wait, scratch that; it could have been anything, really... I was looking for some good information to talk about, but decided in the end I would simply redirect you to Wiki for the details: They had plenty that I was not aware of as well as plenty that I already knew. My particular interest grew in the "Similar days honoring love" section, particularly Japan. If you hadn't realized by now, I enjoy learning about Japanese culture. So with that I bid everyone a happy Valentine's Day...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

masterful escapees...

Some people are animal lovers and some aren't. I used to not understand this, but over the years I am slowly beginning to see some reasons why some animals would not be liked very much. My mother is an animal lover and has had various pets over the years. I also like animals, but slowly I see myself appreciating animals more which are in the wild or owned by other people. I dig my dog, but even he can get under my skin from time to time. It also doesn't help that I think I have been developing minor allergies to animals such as birds and little critters, which brings me to the subject to which my title refers.

My mother has a couple tiny hamsters. They are teeny tiny and very cute. I doubt they weigh an ounce, soaking wet. These little escape artists manage to get out of their cage and adventure the world known as our home. It's never noticed and we can't tell how they get out because there are no signs of where or how they departed from their cage. Worse yet, they can and have disappeared for days at a time until they are found quite by accident. Even more astounding is the fact that there were previous pet hamsters that escape and were never found again- and they were bigger! How do they do it? Houdini would be in awe. I certainly am. Time will only tell what will happen to our current escapees...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

get well soon...

My uncle was been ill recently with a lighter version of what my mother had. So once he was on the mend and could laugh without fear, I sent him a little email that would gratify his sense of humor (by the way, Raul is pronounced rah-ool for added effectiveness of this joke):

Hey Sparky,
This is Ralph from Raul's Hork Emporium. Your chunks came up today during our meeting and we have them on backorder. By the way, the usual brand has been discontinued so we hope that you will accept Barf brand chunks, instead. As soon as those Barf chunks come out, we will give them to you directly. As a consolation for not being able to receive the usual brand, Raul's is prepared to offer a fine porcelain product of your preference. You have a choice between porcelain pedestals and telephones. We can even program the porcelain telephone with a speed dial so you can reach Raul directly for consultation and additional services. We wish we could offer more, but our supplier has come down with dysentery after a ceremonial bathing in the Ganges River with his cow. Fortunately, the cow is fine. Thank you and we hope you will order our Barf chunks again and again.
Ralph Yakman

P.S. Remember to keep in mind our catchy motto: if it's gonna be anything it's gonna be Raul or nothin!

Friday, February 11, 2011

sorry, friends and sorry friends...

Two things have been on my mind lately concerning friendships that I have and no longer have. The first is that maybe I am not always the best friend I can possibly be, but then again who is. We are all only human and make mistakes. The second is that some people cannot maintain a friendship and hurt someone as a result of their choices. As I go on, you will understand how one is different from the other and while one is somewhat forgivable, the other seems less so.

When I make a friend, I will be casual in my attitude because I choose to let myself be comfortable in their presence, while I can also be very polite for other people (who usually are much younger or older than I am) and I will do my best to communicate with them so long as I am not bogged down by depression or whatever. When there are long spaces of time between communication, I try to initiate a conversation whenever I feel good about things and I will apologize for not talking sooner. If someone initiates a conversation with me, then I make sure to reply as quickly as possible; I don't want someone feeling ignored or disliked.

Sometimes life gets wonky and people get even wonkier. Some folks can't handle that, which is fine, but they should say so instead of arbitrarily ignoring messages and so forth; that is rude and hurtful. Some folks may need a little space to deal with things, but they shouldn't just ignore those who try to reach them as that is also rude. When times get hard, leave a metaphorical "out to lunch" sign so that others realize you are not a supreme oxygen thief.

I have not always been the most communicative or stable friend around and I apologize to all my friends for being that way. Hopefully they are the forgiving sort. Some have not, which has in the long run made some good friendships and/or relationships go sour. I do my best when I can and apologize when I haven't. I think it's the fair thing to do. When people don't do that, it is frustrating and annoying. This is a main reason why I employ the three strikes policy. After the third screw-up or failed attempt to make things right, I walk away. I cannot perpetually spend my life subjecting myself to those who ignore or hurt me (and never seek forgiveness). I have to have at least an ounce of pride and protect myself from such behaviors when and where I see fit. Hopefully I have made that choice correctly when I have done as such...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

i am packrat...

Yes, I admit it. I am a packrat and come from a line of packrats (among other things). I save sentimental stuff as well as the useful stuff that everyone else should also be saving, but among this sentimental stuff is a lot of garbage and every so many years I need to go and sift through it all and see what still holds any interest to me and throw away (gasp!) what doesn't.
Some people collect stamps or wine labels, while others have fascinations in other fields. Mine is probably music, but that's not what I am about to get into today. I was inspired from wine label collecting to keep some of my favorite limited edition bottles and cans. Some of you may recall that in 2006, Coca-Cola released a limited edition beverage called Blak, which was essentially a fusion of Coke and coffee. I happened to love this drink and yet I only ever obtained a single 4-pack due to availability problems. I thought it was great and I thought it would be great if I fused it further with Kahlua (yes, drooling is permitted). Unfortunately, this product was never resumed and I wish it had been. Recently I was scouring through my, uhm, keepsakes (I'm really trying not to sound like Golem referring to his Precious) and found that I had kept the only 4-pack I ever had, complete with paperboard holder. Curious to see if I could find any news about a resurgence of this drink, I started Googling and discovered that it was still gone and that only individuals were selling anything related. I saw some official Coke Blak glass tumblers, an empty sleeve, empty bottles, and full bottles that were still sealed. Yuck, someone is probably going to get ill if they try to drink that because drinks expire after time and when they get even older they start to separate. I've seen a lot of beverages go bad and I wonder if these sellers even know the potential harm in what they are doing. Yes, I would love some, but not a single five-year-old 8 fluid oz. bottle for $15 or more. That's insane...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

no gaijin allowed...

I got this t-shirt a while back. Why? Why else? It's funny yet somewhat accurate in its sentimental expression. A place that prevent a race -- any race -- from patronizing an establishment has got some screwy racist policies which are outdated, regardless of reason. It's worse than segregation when you won't even allow someone's presence because of their physical cultural heritage. The sad thing is it's all borne out of hate and fear. I really don't want to be hated and/or feared so to any physical characteristic and yet I know it has happened to me before. I love the t-shirt. My only regret is that the printed design is not larger...

forgotten artifacts...

In the summer before twelfth grade, my grandmother gave to me the remainder of a small bottle of cologne called Canoe by Dana. It had a nice smell and it wasn't getting used anymore so she let me have it. That summer I had to go to Lynchburg College to attend a yearbook seminar hosted by Jostens. It was a rather bad experience for many reasons which I won't bother getting into for now since it is a moot point to my story. The only relevant point being that my lighter ran out of fluid while I was there and I had not brought along more so I used a little of the Canoe to extend my lighter use during the trip. I knew since it had an alcohol content it would basically turn my lighter into an alcohol lamp, which worked well for me. It also smelled very good.
I still wasn't really shaving much and I wasn't dating at all so I otherwise had no use for it so like many things of mine, I put it away for safe keeping and forgot about it. Recently, I was going through a box of things and found the bottle of Canoe I had stowed away years ago. I decided to mix the small remainder with my aftershave, that way I could extend its use for even longer. I can now remember something nice when I use it, which is nice because not all my memories were good.
I like being able to find things like that. I'm sure I have more waiting to be uncovered. Some of them will be bad, but others will be good and I look forward to those.

it's just one of those things, baby...

I saw this used for a travel article and was quite taken with it. Sometimes you would like to get lost or tell someone else to get lost. Well there it was, right in my face telling me to get lost. So I did- lost in creative thought, that is. Sometimes I like to use various phrases, stickers, and whatnot for collage art when doing posters or album cover art so this seemed really appealing to me. Even if I don't use it, it still tickles my funny bone...

ghost in the shell compilations...

These two compilations are movies assembled from the two seasons of ghost in the shell, some blandishment was required to give the films a better sense of flow as a singular entities so different voice actors were used. WHY??? Actually I am not looking for an answer, I am merely voicing my discontent. I am disappointed they didn't recruit the original actors to fill in the gaps and/or re-voice the project. It felt like they were trying to make it different when it was blatantly the the same stories retold, minus the filler and streamlined. To me, that is an epic fail. I am almost sorry I purchased them, but the good news is that I got them at an extreme discount. Huzzah!

trying not to be fooled by imitations...

...or at least not getting albums of the same title- oh wait, I did that already. Yes it's one of those cases where you hear a song on the internet radio and say, "Wow, I would like to have a copy of that, and I bet the other songs on the album would be pretty nifty as well!" Little did I know that finding the cd was going to be so difficult and that there were actually two cds for sale that had completely different contents. Long story short, I ended up buying both, but fortunately I have not regretted it. I like songs from both albums, however the album cover shown above was the one I originally wanted because it had a great cover of Tomorrow Never Knows. I would recommend getting the other album as well because it has an amazing track called Asian Flowers and it gave me chills because it sounded like John was singing. If I am not mistaken, it was actually his son, Sean. If ever another tribute album is made, I would like to see his other son, Julian take part in it was well. Years ago, Julian cut a track called Too Late for Goodbyes and he sounded just like his dad.

sau tao instant soups...

Instant Noodle King flavors beef and wonton, came in two sizes with slightly different variations. The smaller size had thinner noodles and the larger size had wider noodles, of which I preferred the wider noodles. The thing I wasn't quite understanding about the wonton was that there were no wontons in there and I wouldn't exactly say it was wonton flavored, either. I never really considered wontons as having a specific flavor when they can be made with various ingredients, however the manufacturer had something very specific in mind: prawn. I am not terribly fond of prawns, otherwise known as shrimp. Worse yet, the flavoring packet didn't seem very prawn-like to me, but rather like really smelly fish. It was a very strong oder and I almost tossed it out, but I hate to waste money so I just ate it. It wasn't as hideous as it smelled, but it didn't taste like wontons to me, either. On the other hand, the beef was quite nice, especially after trying the wonton flavor first. Normally I would go for flavors like chicken or pork, but this selection was what was available and I hadn't tried them yet so I thought I would give them a shot. Of the four, I would get the larger beef with the wide noodle again. It sure beats going hungry!


Yeah, Ramune... technically it was made to impersonate lemonade, only its is a light, fizzy soft drink and it is available in a variety of flavors and produced by several companies. I like it quite a bit and have had most of the flavors, as you can see, this one was green apple flavor and it was quite nice. I like them better chilled, but will drink them at room temperature without batting an eye. Some of your local Asian food shops should have some in stock but they can be ordered online from a number of sources. I love the shape of the bottle and how it opens; both unlike anything I've seen before. I thought the original Orangina bottles were pretty cool, but I had to save a couple of these. i recommend trying a flavored version first before getting the plain, if at all. It isn't that it's bad, but why get original of anything if there are flavors available, right? Cheers/kampai!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

red ninja - end of honor...

This is the most recent game I have played on my PS2. Currently I am stuck on the final boss and Youtube videos have indicated the battle will be extremely difficult and long-winded. This has emphatically decreased my interest in this game. I think all games should have an easy mode and all opponents should have a skill that reflects such a mode. Making it so that I have to battle an opponent for nearly fifteen minutes with very little surplus is not what I consider a fun challenge. This is particularly a shame because I actually enjoy the game quite a bit- up until this point, that is. I have enjoyed the plot, the character development, and the relative ease of controller use, not to mention the art is fabulous. I have already seen the ending, thanks to my Youtube research and have to say I'm not to fond of that, either. The story threw me some curve balls that I didn't expect and felt weren't necessary to furthering a successful plot. On the whole, I would still recommend this game, but maybe you should rent it first before deciding on a blind buy, like I had. These days, I rent most of my games first and I use GameFly to do it. For anyone curious to give it a shot, this game is available at GameFly on both PS2 and Xbox platforms. I'm on the single game plan because while I have various gaming con soles, I don't interchange games until one is finished. It works well for me that way...

oronine ointment...

"Actions: Itching and irritation due to sting by mosquito, flea, bedbug, louse, gnat, etc. For pain caused by burns. For cuts and scratches. Protects sensitive skin due to shaving. Use before make-up application. Pimple remedy. Cure athlete's foot. For ringworm, scaldhead and psoriasis. For shoe-sores. For your baby's diaper and heat rash, For frost bite and chapped skin."
Yep, yet another multipurpose cure. I thought it might be helpful in a number of cases, but never really saw any beneficial results. I guess an open mind is not enough; maybe you need to truly believe in something for it to work. I can't say for sure, but I can surely say that this, too, won't become a staple in my medicine cabinet. Everything is worth trying at least once, but I don't offer a second chance to everything that crosses my path.

mopiko ointment...

"For relief of bites by lice, mosquitoes, bees or other poisoning insects. Itching ulcers. Measles. Irritation from shaving. Headaches. Muscle fatigue due to exercise. Burns or abrasion." While curiosity allowed me to buy this, I am not sure if I will be a repeat buyer. Not that it is ineffective or anything, but simply because it is an overseas purchase and I didn't find it anymore effective than anything else I have tried. It also seemed to multi-purpose to me to be true. I don't think it will become a staple in my medicine cabinet anytime soon.

po chai pills...

This alternative medicine is purported as the general cure-all of stomach ailments. "Indications: help relieve diarrhea, stomach flu, vomiting and gastrointestinal diseases." I got some out of curiosity. It comes in a small vial in the form of small reddish-brown pellets with a smooth and semi-gloss surface. I didn't know whether I should try to swallow them whole or chew them up, but after trying to chew a few, I decided swallowing them whole was decidedly the preferable choice. The flavor, aside from being rather herbal and medicinal in nature, was bitter and the texture was very gritty. In other words, it was quite nasty and the flavor lingered in my mouth even after having something to drink. Furthermore, I don't think it really did anything for me other than possibly make me feel more ill than I had felt before. I was really intrigued with the packaging and format of this medicine, however I would never get it again. Ok, you can stop laughing now...

Friday, February 4, 2011

action resulting from motivation vs. intention...

My mind has been on my previous post as well as the fact that I haven't posted here in over a year. It strikes me so that the thought keep rolling around in my head: I haven't posted in over a year- close to a year and a half, actually. I never intended to let my blog go for so long, but so much has happened since I last discussed my life that this truly did slip way down on my priority list and many times when I thought about posting a new entry, I really had no desire to do so; I just didn't have the emotional energy that I felt I needed to get into deeply personal topics. I certainly wasn't planning on resuming blog entries with a rant, but it ended up happening anyway. At this point, I should talk about what has been happening in all this time and get everything up to date because I actually have set aside things that I did want to eventually share and discuss.
Anyone reading far enough back or who knows me personally will recall that my grandmother passed away in 2008 and my grandfather passed away in 2009. Things are still not fully reconciled, but have been mostly reconciled at this point. There has also been a great emotional and physical drain that accompanied it- both a conscious and subconscious shutting down that I imagine are part of the grieving process as well as depression, from which I already suffer.
At the end of 2009, My laptop died. It was brand new and I was stymied. At this point in time, I still have yet to get it repaired. I have not had what I considered an adequate opportunity to do so. My mother's laptop also foozed out, but repair was an easier process so it has already been repaired as of this past summer. My even newer desktop took a dive recently and while most of everything is ok, there are a few cosmetic damages and it is not economically feasible to get it repaired, which was a major disappointment to me.
Last year welcomed a new lunar year for the tiger, which I was rather psyched about because I was born during the year of the tiger and usually am hopeful of things looking better than usual in the coming year- not that I take it to particularly seriously, but it did give me a little fuel for hope. Well, things did not look up. I got food poisoning on my birthday. It was so bad that I suffered for months afterward, but as bad as my mother, who was ill for eight weeks at the beginning of the year and nearly lost her job as a result of being out for so long.
I also came to the unpleasant realization that I had acute hypertension; my blood pressure was so sky high that I literally thought I was going to die one weekend just before I sought medical help.I'm not much for doctors as I have had very few positive experiences with them and I no longer have medical insurance and have to pay for everything out of my unemployed pocket which already receives no financial aid whatsoever. Therefore, resigning to do this was a big step for me.
Additionally, I ended up having yet another root canal last year and I am already anticipating needing one for this year as well. I have started to lose count, but I think this will be number 11 for me. It seems mt grandmother's dental issues may have been genetic and the torch has now been passed on to me, as it were.
Speaking of medical issues, I also had another session with kidney stones this past year. Eventually I ended up going to the emergency room for help. Based on my descriptions, their tests, and what I eventually passed afterward, it would seem that I passed seven stones inside a two week period. To say the least, I was wiped out for a long time afterward.
I finally found a new doctor that I like who is local to me who genuinely takes an interest in my health and can relate to many of my situations. In the same medical center I have also found specialists who may be able to tend to my various other needs as well as a dentist in the adjoining level below. This gives me a sense of hope that I might be able to get more of my needs tended to, which haven't received treatment in literally years.
With things finally shaping up for my health, I am looking into resuming many old projects I had set aside, such as fixing my car, getting the heating and air conditioning fixed, possibly replacing the water boiler as well, and a lot of other minor tasks because let's face it, my grandparents' house was already old when we moved in and these things all needed tending to anyway. I also have projects for my room including building a bathroom and kitchen in the adjoining area because I would like to make my area more apartment-like and self-sustainable. Also on my list is doing things to resume working in music, including refinishing and upgrading my guitar, a 1965 Fender Musicmaster II. I am saving the older components for posterity. I am trying to keep it as original as possible, wherever it hasn't sustained damages from time and previous users.
This all having been said, I hope to continue the year with more interesting posts to intrigue and amuse. May the year of the rabbit be better than the tiger. So far it has been a rocky start- my mother has been to the emergency room twice two weeks ago for various problems.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

flaming mad about twitter...

Ever have one of those days, weeks, months, or longer? Well I am and Twitter is what's burning me up this time. For those of you who don't know, Twitter is a microblog that allows its users to post 140 character blurbs about pretty much anything that's on their minds. It happens to be a great utility for business among many other things. I like Twitter- that is, unless it doesn't function properly. Several months ago, I noticed all communications that mentioned me had disappeared. I have reported the error numerous times to no avail. They have not been recovered and nobody has contacted me about them. However, I have noticed as of this month I am able to receive new ones. Also, off and on in the past and more so this month than ever, I am no longer able to post. I cannot make new posts, I cannot reply to others, I can't do anything but read the swarm of posts coming from other users, which is not very useful to me, especially when someone is expecting a reply from me. As of today, I can no longer even register my complaints about defect in Twitter's service. If I wasn't angry before, I am boiling now.

Hey Twitter, this was for you (minus the specific error being reported):

NOTE: I am not leaving a comment so you can simply sip your coffee and let your eyes glaze over as you continue to ponder life. I want this issue resolved. I want every issue that I have reported to be resolved. I still am missing all my old @ mentions. Nobody contacts me ever about a solution to these problems. Do you like your users to feel ignored? I feel ignored. I feel Twitter is useless if I cannot communicate with others and fear they cannot communicate directly with me. Should I delete this account and create a new one? Would that solve my problems or would Twitter continue to be as useless to me? I have been waiting a long time and it seems all I get are more defects in Twitter's service. Is Twitter that afraid to communicate with its users directly? Where is the support? I feel like I have no support. Am I supposed to feel better that Twitter knows about its issues? Am I supposed to feel Twitter is that much closer to resolving such issues? When can I use my Twitter account without defects. I see all these users with the same problems and nobody is getting any results. This is unacceptable.

It would seem Twitter is trying to avoid contact. Even their "contact us" button doesn't actually let me contact them. They have no email address, no mailing address, no phone number, and if you can't post then you can't mention them in a post and expect (make that "hope for") contact. It would seem the more irate users get or the more frequently they complain, they eventually are silenced by getting blocked from posting future continuances of errors. I guess they assumed I should sit quietly in the shadows and let moss grow on my account until it gets fixed, if it ever gets fixed. In case Twitter doesn't understand yet, I want my account fixed, ASAP!