22 December 2008

Merry Consumerism

I both started and finished my Christmas shopping yesterday. I rule. Take that, economy!

(Click on the comic to see the whole thing. Stupid Blogger....)

[mccracken]

19 December 2008

NOM NOM Gulp NOM

I have come to the conclusion that a fine mint julep made with Bulleit bourbon is a heavenly thing. Definitely a new favorite concoction of mine. But hold the sugar.

[mccracken]

04 December 2008

New (Old) Laptop & The Rhinovirus

Yup. I have a cold (-100) but I also have a new (old) laptop (+999) so I don't care as much. Memory upgrade for the laptop, FTW. Hot tea, Ricola Honey Lemon/Echinacea, and Emergen-C for the bastardly rhinovirus. Life is grand.


[mccracken]

24 November 2008

Reading: An Update

Well, awhile back I mentioned that I needed to stop reading such frivolous sci-fi drivel and interject a "classic" novel every so often. I chose The Power & The Glory by Graham Greene. And I couldn't get through it. Oh, I tried. I really did. It was just too slow, too depressing, and made me want to listen to Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers and drink tequilla all day.

Anyhow, I'm now several chapters into--that's right, another sci-fi novel--Dune! Don't know how I let it escape me for this long. I'm completely enthralled at this point. Reading, FTW.

[mccracken]

20 November 2008

New Gmail Themes

Very cool. I've loved Gmail for a long time now, but I always wanted a darker interface. I'm not a big fan of bright white backgrounds. Too hard on the eyes. Peep this, yo:


The official Gmail blog is here.

[mccracken]

15 November 2008

Autumn = Pipe Aficionado Resurgence

Mmm Hmm....


Half way through November and we're finally getting some autumn weather. I love it. Without a doubt, my favorite time of year. Winter is a close second and I'm ready for snow.

[mccracken]

P. S. -- Did you see my wicked awesome Photoshop GIMP skills?!



11 November 2008

Noble Veterans--Thank You

All politics aside, there is hardly a more honorable duty than that of serving and putting one's life on the line for their countrymen. My deepest thanks to all who have served and are currently serving in any of the armed forces. May God bless you and give you the wisdom to best carry out your service.

[mccracken]

10 November 2008

The Passing of Cat

Things took a sudden turn for the worse yesterday. The vet decided it wasn't poisoning (exactly what I thought all along). It was heart disease. Even though she was less than two it still happens. Most likely Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy--a severe condition with no real positive treatment. She was suffering and unable to get sufficient blood and oxygen to her organs. We had her put to sleep.

Fuck you, Death.

[mccracken]

08 November 2008

Cat Is Sick

We awoke at 04:30 this morning to the most god-awful racket I've ever heard an animal make. It was Cat. She was panting, convulsing, disoriented, and crying out. We took her to the small animal emergency clinic and she's still there. I figured she was gone. It was horrible. But I just called to check and they think she's going to be okay. They're keeping her overnight but said she's stable.

We're still not sure what the hell happened. The vet thinks it's some kind of toxin. Meg and I scoured the house and we still have no clue what it could be. Scarlette (our Basset Hound) is fine. And Cat is strictly an indoor feline. She's been outside twice since we've had her--once when we got her in April and today to go to the vet. Baffling. Well, here's a picture of her I took with my (cursed) iPhone a couple of days ago.

:'-(

[mccracken]

22 October 2008

Reading A "Real" Book

I decided that I've been slacking in my reading lately. The last 25 or so books I've read over the last few months have been largely frivolous science fiction. Highly enjoyable, but frivolous nonetheless.

So right now I'm a few chapters into Graham Green's masterpiece, The Power And The Glory. The subject matter intrigued me and this book is on many "Best Books Of The 20th Century" lists so I thought I'd give it a go. So far, it's depressing as hell and it makes me want to listen to The Refreshments.

[mccracken]

13 October 2008

English OCD

Ye gods, I think it's reaching a pinnacle. I've started to correct the blatant grammatical errors in the text messages people send me (i.e. "your" vs. "you're"). This can't bode well....

[mccracken]

09 October 2008

BBBRRRRRAAAAIIINNNSSSSSS!!!


Ah, I sure love zombie flicks. It's certainly that time of year. Just watched the original (what else?!) Dawn of the Dead. And all I have to say is: prepare. It's not if, people; it's when. The sooner you accept it, the better. This will happen. So look for store specials and stockpile like there's no tomorrow. And for the love of Obama, don't skimp on the heavy artillery.

[mccracken]

03 October 2008

Goodbye Compact Discs

I've taken another step into the modern era. Last night I bought an iPod. My first ever portable digital music player.

I bought an old school iPod 4th generation 60GB model. Why not just get a new one? Here's my reasoning:
  1. I'm cheap. I didn't want to spend more than $80 or so.
  2. My music collection is currently ~50GB and I wanted to be able to load all of it with room to grow.
  3. I'm a big proponent of FOSS and I want to hit it up with Rockbox.
My new toy should be here in a few days and I can't wait to try it out. The new Rockbox 3.0 has been getting rave reviews thus far and I'm pretty excited. I'll post back a report when I've finished it.

[mccracken]

29 September 2008

Really? In, Like, Outer Space?

I was hanging out with my old man this weekend and we were watching this incredible show on Discovery HD called When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions. It was awe inspiring. And it got me thinking about how much we take these amazing feats of technology for granted.

I mean, c'mon people, we've had people living in space for the last eight years! On the International Space Station, for those of you going, "Really?" Yeah. Really.

I'm embarrassed to be a part of a society that is generally more interested in which celebrity is in rehab this week, whether a politician is wearing a flag pin, or what the latest lame ass mallcore fashion is than our ability to explore the universe.

[mccracken]

21 September 2008

Lawlz

Guilty pleasure time. I'll admit it. I'm not (too) ashamed. I love every one of these sites:
I think they are generally hilarious. Love 'em. Have each of them in my Google Reader.

They're all done by the same folks and I'm sure they're making a ton of dough doing it. Good for them. This is a fairly new Interwebs meme but it's taken off like crazy. Huzzah! I say.

[mccracken]

P. S. -- Last day of Summer W[][]T W[][]T!!!

19 September 2008

Everybody's Doin' It....

So I guess I might as well too. Surely you know that today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Surely. If you don't, you must be sooo out of touch. Totally.

Or maybe you just have a life and better things to do. I dunno. I suppose that's a possibility.

Well, in honor of ITLAPD I bought a very nice bottle of aged dark rum last night. Yarr. Avast ye landlubbers! Stay the bloody hell away from me grog lest ye be run through and cast overboard!

Uh....

[mccracken]

17 September 2008

Carnies, Carnies, Carnies

Yeah, baby, it's time for the Tri-State Fair. We're going tonight to eat copious amounts of fair junk food, ride equipment that's held together with Elmer's glue and rubberbands, watch exquisite chainsaw sculptures being carved, play rigged games, and try not to stare at the redneck ladies with heavy body hair.

Snoogans.

[mccracken]

P. S. -- Meg and I have been making our way through the entire ViewAskewniverse (first time for her) and we are currently on An Evening With Kevin Smith. In a row?!

11 September 2008

7 Years Later



Today we remember those we lost to vicious, ruthless, murderous attacks on this date in AD 2001. To paraphrase FDR, a day that will live in infamy. We all remember exactly where we were when we heard the news of the attacks. We can remember the shock, fear, sadness, rage, and other emotions we experienced as we learned more about the situation. But today, let us remember those innocents who lost their lives. Let us remember the blessings and freedoms we have in this great, though imperfect, country and let us thank our Creator for them.

And I've chosen to do my part in remembering by buying an iPhone 3G. Freaking yes! Take that you Islamo-fascists! In your respective faces! I can't believe how awesome this is!

.... ... .. .

Come on people. Don't go dragging me behind your pickup truck. If we can't laugh about it, the terrorists have won.

Snoogans.

[mccracken]

08 September 2008

A Pumpkin Ale & A Bali Hai

It is glorious outside. I know that it's still technically summer time, and we will have a few more hot days, but today has been perfect. Soon the trees and various shrubberies will be changing color. I can't wait. With a Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale in one hand and a Djarum Bali Hai in the other, I warmly embrace all that is Autumnal. Cheers.

[mccracken]

04 September 2008

Frivolous Reading & Forgotten Places

I've been reading through The Dresden Files series for a few weeks now. It only gets better and better. I finished book six last night and can't wait to get the next one.

What's lame, though, is the fact that I'm having to buy them now. I haven't paid for a book in a long time. You see, there's this little known branch of the local government known as the public library. There are even some private libraries that are open to the public. Really. They weren't abolished. Look into it.

My problem lies in the fact that the Amarillo Public Library only had the first four books in Jim Butcher's series that I'm so very enthralled by at the moment. Bah. Conspiracy to draw me back into my tome-buying addiction. Well, waddayagonnado, eh?

:::cha-ching:::

[mccracken]

30 August 2008

Hot Pockets

Today I had some hot pockets for the first time in years.

Everything Jim Gaffigan says is true.

:-(

[mccracken]

27 August 2008

Kingdom Of Loathing

I stumbled across this game while browsing some random Wikipedia article. The Kingdom of Loathing. It's a MMORPGROFLBBQ consisting of stick figures, hilarity, and adventuresomeness. I highly recommend it--completely free, runs in your browser, requires no downloads.

[mccracken]

23 August 2008

Lame-O Update In Bulleted Format From A Guy Up Way Past His Bedtime

  • My xBFFx is moving back to Amarillo. ^_^
  • Young's Sushi is a great, great place.
  • Related to the above, I apparently love a good sake bomb.
  • I'm using Linux Mint 5 'til October when Ubuntu 8.10 drops.
  • Autumn couldn't get here soon enough.
K, love you, bye.

[mccracken]

30 July 2008

The Lost Art Of "Thank You"

We all know it to be true. People love to whine and complain. We thrive on negativity. Heck, I myself tend to gravitate towards cynicism and sardonic comments. It's an unavoidable part of human nature.

I want to propose a "Thank You" revolution. Holy crap, yes, I know how xCHEESYx that sounds, but I'm serious. Do you know the difference you can make in someone's life just by letting them know that you value and appreciate them? It's huge. Really.

So whether it's the person at the coffee shop/restaurant/retail store, a co-worker, friend, or family member, show them your appreciation with a kind word and a smile and this 'ole world may just become a bit more bearable for all of us.

[mccracken]

13 July 2008

City Life

Meg and I were watching American Gangster this evening and we took a break about forty-five minutes into it to sit on the front porch for a spell. If you haven't seen the movie, don't worry, I won't spoil anything, but you do need to know that this is a movie set in the early 1970's in New York City and thereabouts.

As we sat on our front porch, I couldn't help but notice how nice it was. An absolutely beautiful day. And quiet--blissfully so. We were sitting there with Scarlette, our Basset Hound, and I was struck by the dichotomy between our surroundings and those of New York City, Newark, etc.

I just don't know how people do it. All the noise and people and concrete. Trash and graffiti and exhaust fumes. Hate and rudeness and indifference. The lack of trees and grass and wildlife. All crammed together with no open spaces. I couldn't handle it. It'd drive me mad.

Now, I know there is plenty of good in big cities and that I've made some broad generalizations. I also fully realize that I'm talking about what I've observed while watching a movie. But rest assured, I have been in many a metropolis. On several continents, at that. And I can't hardly take it for more than a day or two. I really don't think that's how we were meant to live.

[mccracken]

02 July 2008

Keep Supporting Your Local Coffee Shops

One of the biggest business news headlines this week has been about Starbucks closing down some 600 stores. While I don't rejoice in the fact that 12,000 employees will be affected, I am always happy to see a giant, evil conglomerate take a blow. I don't go to Starbucks. Ever.

I don't like chains. They're all the same, boring and predictable. I'd much rather support local businesses and experience a variety of products, services, and atmospheres.

Do I shop at Walmart? Yeah. Do I work for a large corporation? Yeah (though it's locally owned and operated). Do I order things online from large retailers to save a few bucks? Sure. But when I can afford to do so, and the food industry is a place that has a pretty level playing field for the consumer, I stay local--wherever I am.

[mccracken]

29 June 2008

Batman: Past Nostalgia & Future Hope

I won't lie. I'm going completely stir crazy waiting for The Dark Knight to arrive. The only thing keeping me sane is the fact that I have all of Batman: The Animated Series. What an incredible cartoon that was. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

Well, that's it. Nothing thought provoking or interesting today. I just hate waiting.

[mccracken]

23 June 2008

Earth Won't Get Eaten By Man-Made Black Holes

Good to know. I was seriously concerned. Couldn't sleep at night.

According to this BBC News article, "Our planet is not at risk from the world's most powerful particle physics experiment, a report has concluded." Whew. We can all rest easy.

Or can we?! Duhn duh duhn.....!?! Won't someone please think of the children?!

[mccracken]

12 June 2008

Smoking Ban

I've meant to post about this for months--better late than never, I suppose. My home town of Amarillo, Texas, had a vote on May 10, 2008 for the citizen's to decide whether to ban smoking in all businesses, clubs, and public places. We voted it down, but it was close. And by we, I mean, yes, I voted against the ban.

I see it as a clear issue of private business owners' rights. It is their property, their establishment, and if you don't like to be around smoking, then go somewhere else. It's as simple as that. It is a privilege for a customer/patron to enter a private business--not a right. This is an area of great understanding, I've found. You have the right to choose where you spend your money--do so, and quit the whining.

Anyhow, the marketplace is doing a fine job of regulating itself. There is no shortage of smoke free establishments in Amarillo. Establishments that are smoke free because the business owner invoked his right to choose how he wanted to run his business (within the law, one would hope).

We all know second-hand smoke is harmful (and annoying). This is not the debate. And if the government wants to do something about smoking, they need to outlaw tobacco rather than subsidize it. I could understand tobacco being made illegal, but until that happens (and it won't), private business owners should be able to choose whether they establishment is smoking or not.

This is such a slippery slope. The Lifestyle Police won't stop with smoking. Next it'll be foods, firearms, and who knows.... ?

[mccracken]

31 May 2008

A Leap Forward

Well, I've joined the modern era. I've said goodbye to my four-year-old Samsung phone and upgraded (via hand-me-down :::Thanks, Pops!:::) to an only three-year-old Motorola L6 & SOYO Bluetooth Headset. Suh-weet.

I've been playing around at PhoneZoo.com and I've got some wicked slick ringtones now too. Mostly geekcore. Such as: Super Mario Bros. Theme, Final Fantasy III Theme, Chrono Trigger Theme, Futurama Theme.... ... .. you get the idea. And the idea is--FREAKIN' AWESOME! You're jealous as hell, admit it.

Oh wait, no, most of you have had this technology for a long time. Crap. Well, text me sometime. I do that too now (gasp!).

[mccracken]

12 May 2008

This Ol' Earth

Seems to be pretty pissed off about something. I'm making absolutely no environmental, political, or spiritual insinuations (at this point). But cyclones, earthquakes, & tornadoes.... Oh @*#&$^% my, indeed.

[mccracken]

06 May 2008

Now That They're All Flat, Is It Still "The Boob Tube" ?

Here's something to consider: The United States Government Is Spending More On Digital TV Than Literacy Education. Really. Now, I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.

No, I'm mad. This is our tax dollars at work?! The government has allotted $1.5 billion to inform people about the digital TV switch versus $574.6 million for literacy? Shameful. All hail Entertainment, in whom we truly trust! Praise ye elder gods of Sitcom, Crime/Medical Drama, Soap Opera, Sports, Celebrity Gossip, Video Games, and the like! Aaaaaahh-mmmeeeeeeenn!

[mccracken]

29 April 2008

No, Really. I'm Still Here.

Work and life have been crazy lately. Mostly good. Some bad. Don't give up on me on here. It's late and it's been a helluva long day. I've got to turn in soon so I'll leave you with promises of more regular posts, a link to today's always awesome xkcd, and a picture of my new Kubuntu 8.04 desktop (click to enlarge):


[mccracken]

19 April 2008

Great Political Satire

Just ran across this hilarious article. Here's an excerpt:

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (Slight Return)


Presidential candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas held this debate on April 16, 1858 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

MODERATORS:
CHARLIE GIBSON, ABC NEWS
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS

LINCOLN: In my opinion, slavery will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Excuse me, did an Elijah H. Johnson attend your church?

LINCOLN: When I was a boy in Illinois forty years ago, yes. I think he was a deacon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you aware that he regularly called Kentucky “a land of swine and whores”?

LINCOLN: Sounds right -- his ex-wife was from Kentucky.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why did you remain in the church after hearing those statements?

LINCOLN: I was eight.

DOUGLAS: This is an important question George -- it's an issue that certainly will be raised in the fall.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you denounce him?

LINCOLN: I’d like to get back to the divided house if I may.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you denounce and reject him?

LINCOLN: If it will make you shut up, yes, I denounce and reject him.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you denounce and reject him with sugar on top?

LINCOLN: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No takesies-backsies?

LINCOLN: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Whoa, so you would consider a takesie-backsie?

LINCOLN: That’s not what I meant…

DOUGLAS: When I was 11, my grandpappy and I chopped wood and shot bears.


Hahahaha..... great stuff.

[mccracken]

17 April 2008

A Lesson In Parenting

Check out the following article. It is flat out awesome. And all too rare.

Good Parenting: Kid Breaks Vacuum To Play XBox Instead Of Doing Chores; Mom Sells Xbox, Pranks His MySpace

That's exactly the kind of thing my mom did to my sorry ass when I was that age. And I know now that I deserved it. I wish we saw more of this kind of discipline than the empty threats and wishy-washyness of so many parents nowadays who let their kids run the show.

Thoughts?

[mccracken]

15 April 2008

Give To #%$^&*! Caeser....

Tax day. Not fun. Do not like.

I finished The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell the other night. Incredible book. Full of insight, humor, and depth. I recommend it highly. And last night I started another book by one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. Excited. I'm finishing up Guns, Germs, & Steel: The Fates Of Human Societies via audiobook in the car and it's been somewhat interesting, but the first half really dragged.

Hope you're going to enjoy your alleged "Stimulus Package" .... ... .. .

[mccracken]

11 April 2008

09 April 2008

Oh Dubya

Thunder, lightning, & rain this morning; it's beautiful and I couldn't be more content. Not until I put up this next image, that is.


lawlz.

^_^

[mccracken]

07 April 2008

Monty Python-esque Headline

NZ Man "Used Hedgehog As Weapon"

How's that for an astounding headline? I feel for the hedgehog, but there's just no denying that that's hilarious. Must have been a fairly slow news day in the Asia-Pacific section....

[mccracken]

05 April 2008

The Door Beckons

It's 09:30, Saturday morning when the doorbell rings. Through the peephole I see two men in their fifties wearing suits and trench coats and holding leather portfolios. "Damn the Man?!" I yell to myself. "What do the friggin' cops want?" Then I opened the door and saw a copy of The Wachtower.

"Good morning sir, do you consider yourself a religious person?"

"Well I do have a degree in Theology."

"Oh. Uh...."

"You guys have a good morning."

"Uh.... Bye."

Hahahaha.... These two poor good-ole-boys just didn't know what to say. I almost bad for them. Until I remembered that it was 09:30 on &#*%^#% Saturday morning!!!

[mccracken]

04 April 2008

"Day Off"

Today is my "day off." Here's how it's looked so far:
  • Took mutt to vet to the tune of $180
  • Had to get ink cartridge refilled
  • Had to buy guitar strings
  • Had to get Meg's W-2 from her old job
  • Had to run several other mundane errands
  • Picked up six flats of strawberries for a catering on Monday
  • Worked on the work schedule for next week
And I'm still going strong....

[mccracken]

03 April 2008

Here I Am

Over the next 48 hours I'll be making the big move from my Xanga. My first 'real' post here will be about our pseudo-vacation last weekend in Lubbock. We had some fun and interesting experiences. Check back!

[mccracken]