Saturday, December 23, 2006

Silent Night.

My better half and I are enjoying a quiet night at home tonight. Tomorrow begins the annual Christmas Fest, where we have a busy schedule to see all the family and friends we can in the span of a week. So Scatterbrain will be more or less out of action.

In the meantime, I hope all of you get a chance to relax, unwind, and rejuvinate yourself for another year of life's grand adventure in 2007. Merry (early) Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

No Wait for Me.

The name of the new Harry Potter Book was just announced. Of course, the title means absolutely nothing to me because I've never read the books nor seen the movies. However, this isn't due to a lack of interest, since everyone else I know has sung the series' praises on numerous occasions. I just hadn't had time to get into the series until this point. Now that school is over, I can hopefully spend more time on my leisure reading.

I will enjoy sweet relief when the final book comes out - at that time I'll purchase the first book in the series and read them all in succession without having to endure the painful wait to see what happens next. Because let's be serious here - LOST is enough pain for me already.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I work in the defense industry. As such, I try not to comment too much on the war in Iraq because I don’t want to sound biased – I’d be out of a job if the world somehow instantaneously agreed to eternal peace, love, and happiness. That would never happen, though, because conflict is an inherent human characteristic that will never disappear. Such is terrorism. Eliminating terrorism is impossible, so in itself the “War on Terror” conceptually is ludicrous. I think “War to Mitigate Terrorist Activity in the United States” (WMTAUS) is much more appropriate and in line with reality.

On September 11, 2001, the WMTAUS began, and perhaps three hippies disagreed with those actions at the time. Interestingly, in the years since, we’ve seen the war twist and turn and morph into something unrecognizable to most, and the dissenters have increased at an alarming rate. I support our Commander in Chief’s decisions, but I still have to look back and feel perplexed as to how the “Capture Bin Laden” initiative turned into the “Capture Hussein” initiative, and then the…what, now? There was “stay the course,” then “we never said stay the course,” which made no sense to me because I didn’t think there was anything wrong with staying the course as long as said course was “Capture Bin Laden and parade his captured, pathetic ass across all media outlets to let the terrorists know they’ll be hunted down and punished.” But I haven’t read about Bin Laden in ages. For all we know he could be sipping martinis in Zimbabwe because we don’t seem to be looking for him any more, or if we are, they aren’t telling us about it.

What I’m looking for these days is either a new acronym or more information about the existing WMTAUS. Getting back to the fact that I work in defense – while I always try to maintain a healthy dose of “speak for yourself – question authority” – I have been around a lot of authorities in defense, and let me tell you, these people know what they are doing. I find it impossible to believe that we’re puttering around overseas, not accomplishing anything, and simply losing American soldiers for nothing. Even the most embittered Bush detractor would have a hard time convincing me that our president (and the slew of smarter people that influence his decisions) would allow a war to incessantly carry on for no reason. Hence, we have a reason, hopefully an excellent reason, to be doing what we are doing overseas, but here is where the disconnect takes place: I think that the vast majority of Americans (including me) are unclear on exactly what the reason is.

Dear Mr. President: can we change the content of the information transfer that’s taking place these days? Let’s see – you have thousands of media outlets that are covering your decision to be at war, the advice you’re receiving from others, the critics berating your thick-headedness about staying (or not staying) a course that’s unmapped for most of us. These problems can be solved pretty easily – provide more information about the course. I can’t remember the last time I logged onto CNN and read an “Iraq Progress Report.”

“This week American soldiers killed 50 terrorists who were planning to blow up XX building in New York. We arrested 30 more who were terrorizing women and children in Iraq. We lost 20 American lives, but we saved 50,000 in our homeland as a result. We are still actively searching for Bin Laden.”

What an interesting concept. Clear, concise, informative. It’s just a little blurb, but I feel better about what we’re doing overseas already.

A side-note about said news blurb: clearly the Pentagon cannot release certain information because it’s top secret, or divulging said information would compromise American insiders’ safety. “Joe, our inside man posing as Osama’s masseuse, was SO CLOSE to getting us his whereabouts, but he couldn’t text message us before his battery died.” Not going to happen. It’s basic statistic evidence I think we need here – it’s hard to argue with numbers. And if someone in the press can show data that more troops have died overseas than Americans they potentially have saved, they’d have a great argument against the war. Go for it (Of course, yes, all of these arguments will be incredibly difficult to form because the amount of lives we have saved through our overseas presence is intangible and would be incredibly difficult to formulate, but I digress).

In the meantime, I’m growing tired of reading about whether we are going to increase troops, decrease troops, what the president read, who wrote it, when the new secretary of defense is meeting with military leaders to talk about our presence overseas…it just goes on and on, but none of these stories answer the most important question, the only question – why? Why should we take any of these actions? Why is being at war today helping us as a country?

I supported the war when we started it and I support it now because I believe our country is led by extremely intelligent people that know a hell of a lot more information than we do – most of which they probably cannot tell us. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Food Coma.

Here's an approximation of how I feel at the moment:

Today was the annual company Christmas luncheon. Instead of crappy cafeteria-catered food, we went to Texas de Brazil, a local churrascaria. That roughtly translates to "meat buffet." Each place setting has a card with says "give me meat" on one side and "please, make it stop" on the other. If you want to get your money's (or free lunch's) worth you leave the card on green the whole time and get your entire day's worth of protein in one sitting. Of course, the downfall of this strategy is the impending fight for territory once all those animals are locked down in your stomach. A herd of cattle is currently occupying a large portion of Stomachville and engaging in quite the ruckus with the other wildlife. Wish me luck for a speedy recovery.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Stopping 101

-Red means “stop.” I’m including a graphic to clarify this complex point:

-Red does not mean “consider stopping,” “stop at will,” “speed up,” or “try to hit the unsuspecting dummies that are now moving.”

-In order to stop, place your foot on the brake pedal while you are moving until you are no longer moving.

-“No longer moving” means “stopped,” which is what you should have done when the light was red.

-One final point – although this might be breathtakingly complex for this first lesson, I dare to divulge this nevertheless: when you stop, you are supposed to stop before you actually reach the middle of the intersection. If you saw a red light and stopped in the middle of the intersection, you didn’t stop early enough. Additionally, once this folly has been committed, it’s slightly illogical for you to judiciously raise your middle finger in protest to all the cars honking at you. Although you may have stopped, the spirit of the transaction has already been violated. It’s like your mom told you not to eat any pie, and when she questions the missing slice, you flick her off and say “but I haven’t taken a dump yet!” You’re missing the point.

-So please remember, drivers, red means “stop,” and if you don’t stop, it’s like you gave your mom the finger. You prick!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pictures of the House.

Robby requested 'em, so he shall receive them...
Front of the house:

The backyard. Lots of room for Miles :)

The kitchen. It's a big space that opens to the living room.

I could upload other pictures, but they are fairly generic. Master bath with tub/shower, double vanity, blah blah blah. Study and two other bedrooms in addition to the master.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


-Monika and I turned in our 60-day notice to our apartment complex today - yes, that's right, we've found a house. I'll provide more details later, but my brain is a bit full at the moment. We've been going over all our financing options, consulting with multiple lenders, and I must say, mortgage loans are pretty complex. I'll have to write up a novel on lessons learned after this deal is locked in.

-Our POS cell phones actually get reception in the new house, so we like to pretend that we're paying this outrageous sum of money just to have phones that actually work.

-What's the deal with slippers? Or at least these slippers? They're supposed to keep my feet warm, but geez, I feel like I have sweaty rags on the ends of my legs as soon as I put these things on.

-Miles is now 40 lbs. That's right, he's doubled in size over the last 6 weeks. Wow.

-Speaking of which, time to run a few miles. I've been pretty lazy with the cardio lately.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Writing and maintaining a blog is an interesting thing. My blog is called “Scatterbrain” because my head is typically filled with all random thoughts that don’t really fall under a particular category (plus the Radiohead shout-out, of course). However, over time, the scattered blog has taken the shape of something that is more structured than I expected. For example, Scatterbrain is typically filled with music reviews, movie reviews, simple drawings, paintings, various complaints, or my “Misc.” entries of random thoughts that actually originated many years ago to one of my friends.

Thus it’s an interesting situation when you have to use the filter in your head to decide whether or not something seems appropriate for placement on your blog. For example, yesterday I was re-introduced to an annoying ding on my credit report that first cropped up almost a year ago. I thought about calling out all the companies involved, a la the complaint about Apple customer service a couple weeks ago, but instead refrained – something like this is a little too personal, I think. Plus this is something that actually must be resolved because it’s a life-changing issue. So, the filter sucked it out.

Earlier today, I wrote some friends with what I find to be a gut-wrenchingly hilarious account of using the facilities at work. I thought about posting it here, but again had to take pause. I happen to find juvenile bathroom humor absolutely hilarious, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve found that others have a different opinion. So when it comes to the question of whether or not to post my hilarious story on Scatterbrain, I think…I’ll pass. Because someone might show up, linked from one of the more reputable sources that point to my blog, and the next thing I know, my dad could be getting questions from his sister as to why I’m writing about clogging the waterworks on my blog (and of course, you now have the embedded amusement that I put that comment in here anyway).

I feel like such a responsible young lad now. At the same time, I can sense random “unfiltered” posts arriving in the future…

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Adult Zits.

When you're a teenager, you expect to get zits every once in a while. But who knew this madness would continue into adulthood? I want a refund.

(I have no idea what I expect to be refunded for.)