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01:59am 14/07/2012
 
 
Benjamin

I'm gonna dance, and screw reality, and infinity, and truth, they can all go directly to hell, no two hundred prayers. Time to get mah boogie on. Heh.

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01:57am 14/07/2012
 
 
Benjamin


So many worlds, so many lives, so many possibilities. Which one is mine, which one is me? I'm fucked if I know, and is that a double entered? Or an.... Eleven entendre? What the fuck is that, anyway? No words, just this sorry attempt at lucidity. Fuck, I'm going home. Aren't we all.

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beards  
01:50am 14/07/2012
 
 
Benjamin


Ignorance is the only sin. It's not fair, but what is? We're all sinners, but that's just the way of things. When they said repent, I wonder what they meant. You said it, Leonard.

 
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01:30am 14/07/2012
 
 
Benjamin


I understand. Good help me, I understand. It's like eleven dimensional Pachinko, but not that simple. Too many lives, and I can't remember which one is mine, not reliably, anyway. So many choices, branching out in their tame infinities. And all of them real, all of them nigh, except for one. One becomes fact, somehow. It's juandst so damned hard to remember, day to day, which one that was. Which of these lives is mine? Which one is me, here and now? Too many possibilities, and I can't keep up. Brain like a floodlight, I wish it was a spot. It makes sense now, but I'll be damned if that matters.

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Kids getting older, comic books getting cooler.  
02:56pm 25/03/2012
 
 
Benjamin
So, I just told my oldest son that he's going to have to start paying rent. He's not too happy about it. I've developed an appreciation for that old saying that when people say they want kids, they're talking about babies or maybe small children, but not teenagers. Man, whoever thought I'd be birching about my teenagers. When the hell did this happen? The younger one is looking less and less like he'll be able to learn how to live in the outside world before something awful happens. That's another post in and of itself, though. In other news, I've managed to obtain the digital versions of the walking dead comics (I guess that's graphic novels for you pedantic so-and-sos out there), and I've gotta say, they're good, and they work with the show a lot better than other books to movies I could name. I'm looking at you, LOTR. Now, what to do with the rest of the day?
 
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DD-WRT is the way, the truth, and the light.  
11:29pm 21/03/2012
 
 
Benjamin
Today, I finally got the internet to work properly. It was a battle, but all is well and html is joining hands and singing joyfully with several equally joyous torrents. (all completely legal and non-copyrighted works, of course) It was a weird issue. I've got a nice, healthy cable connection, usually around 4-5 MB/sec, but every time utorrent was doing its thing, nothing else would work. Like _nothing_. Even throttled back to 256k, not even google could get through. Still not sure what the _actual_ problem was, but I'll take the win.
 
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And oh, yeah...  
06:06pm 18/03/2012
 
 
Benjamin
I'm back. :-)
 
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OMG, I knew it!  
06:04pm 18/03/2012
 
 
Benjamin
I received the following email by mistake, and after careful consideration, I have decided to go public with it. I am (was) a democrat, but after seeing this proof of the systematic deception they have been perpetrating on America, I'm going to have to become an independent. I hate to feel sorry for the Republicans but they have been unfairly victimized by the Democrats, and I simply cannot remain silent.

TOP SECRET.
Eyes Only.
Destroy all copies of this letter after reading.

To Messrs Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum;

On behalf of myself and your fellow Democrats, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks and admiration for your continuing efforts in the 2012 presidential election. While your dedication and sacrifice cannot be publicly recognized at this time for obvious reasons, I want you know that your decision to sacrifice your political careers and credibility for the sake of the Democratic party and President Obama shall never be forgotten. Such dedication and selfless nobility of purpose is in short supply these days, and you three are an example to us all.

Mr Romney, the air of artless arrogance and naive hypocrisy you have painstakingly cultivated is almost a work of art in its simplicity, made all the more notable when one considers the years of dedication that have gone into its making. Watching you campaign, I am simply awe-struck at how you can seem at first to be claiming common ground with your 'base', and then, in a moment, with a single sentence, you 'accidentally' manage to alienate each and every single one of them. Masterful.

Here are just a few examples of your skill which I found particularly notable:

When addressing a crowd of NASCAR fans, you pointed out that you weren't really a fan, but you followed the outcomes of the races since you were friends with some team owners. Of course, you must be aware that in NASCAR, as well as pretty much all other sports, fans' opinions of team owners generally range from irritated ambivalence to seething hatred. They are seen as either irrelevant or malign, and so when you simultaneously distanced yourself from the fans, and declared your association with the owners, the sympathies of that audience became a bit more Democratic. The touch of condescension in your voice and bearing that has become your trademark was a masterful embellishment, as always.

'Accidentally' drawing attention to your weaknesses as a candidate is possibly the most effective means by which you have driven voters away from the Republican party. When you speak to one of the biggest issues in today's economy - jobs, having a history of laying off tens of thousands of people and going so far as to be quoted as saying “I like firing people” is a one-two punch from which the Republicans may well not be able to recover anytime soon. In an earlier interview, the 'gaffe' of saying that you don't really care about poor people probably brought President Obama another percentage point, if not two, in the upcoming election. It's the details that count, Mr. Romney, and your consummate, nuanced skill as a public speaker will hopefully serve you well in whatever you choose do after this election. I certainly wish you the best.

While Mr. Romney is the inevitable nominee, the contributions of you, Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum cannot be overstated. Whereas he has specialized in engendering the appearance of normality while playing on the subconscious frustrations of his audiences, you two have been every bit as industrious and successful at alienating those less-perceptive members of the voting public that might not notice Romney's ineffable air of condescension and hypocritical elitism. Your perversion of traditional values and conservative politics into a cartoonishly evil parody of a platform is, while not as sophisticated as Romney's efforts, every bit as effective, if not moreso. Whereas Romney might be emulating the overbearing and hapless boss everyone has had to deal with at one point or another in their life, you two are playing the parts of the madcap extremists and fanatics, hate-filled and illogically paranoid, driving voters to the Democratic ticket in droves, not with frustration and alienation like Romney, but with good old fashioned fear and not a little disgust.

Mr. Santorum, the self-sacrificing dedication you have shown taking on the distasteful role of hatemonger and misogynist will not be soon forgotten. By conspicuously focusing on the the denial of civil rights to the LGBT community and promoting fear and mistrust among Americans by engendering a false religious conflict between Muslim and Christian Americans, you and the other Democratic agents have had great success painting the Republican party as an out-of-touch and malign cabal desperate to maintain power for it's own end at the cost of American peace and prosperity. By making such an open and farcical show of dividing Americans of differing faith or personal sexual preference, you have done more than any other Democrat in living memory to belittle and marginalize the Republican party. I look forward to the scandal when you come out of the closet, and I have every faith that you'll see to it that this happens at the most opportune moment. While I would like nothing more than to list each of your accomplishments, there simply isn't enough time. Again, I thank you.

While each of you, in your own way, has shown outstanding dedication and self-sacrifice in these past months, and have individually achieved great things in your time infiltrating the highest echelons of the Republican party, it is what you have achieved as a whole that is the most notable and inspiring. By working together, with a collective effort toward a common goal, in the best democratic tradition, the product of your efforts has become much greater than the a simple sum of the parts you have all played so well. Together, you have shown the American people a garish and terrible picture of the Republican party with a greater depth and clarity than any number of people could have achieved working independently. Thanks to you, more and more people are coming to see the Republicans as hate-filled, misogynistic, paranoid, racist (Thanks again, Rick!), delusional, incompetent, power-hungry and hypocritical. Although your deeds must remain unsung for some time yet, please know that you have done more good for the Democratic party than any of us dared hope when you three were selected to continue the project I founded 12 years ago.

Sincerely,
George W. Bush.
 
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Life is good. (getting ready to duck)  
10:20pm 29/10/2010
 
 
Benjamin
Who knew that quitting one's job could so greatly increase the amount of stuff one does on a daily basis. Since I watched that place fade in the mirror, I've been more active and alive than I've felt in years. Maybe it's just my usual Winter thing, but damn, this feels good. So far, I've turned two windows into walls and installed a few extra AC units, poured a concrete pad for the new solar water heater, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Also, I've been experiencing a run of luck that has me more than a bit worried. Like, I made just over 6 grand in the stock market in the last two days, (I think I have figured out a kind of system, or something like it; but I'll need more information before I have anything like confidence in it) I bought a near-mint-condition 1979 280-ZXR (guess what the R stands for!) for 500 bucks, and I found out that my house insurance is going to pay for most of the remodeling of the bathroom. Also, the manling finally has his GED, and now just has to take the ASVAB and see if the marines will take him with 'just' a GED. (Which is an actual high school diploma, technically, so it might just be a moot point). Also, I have discovered many things, like how to mix up homemade Sugru, and how to save much marine life from the Gulf.

But anyway, enough with the intro.

So, when Scotti moved out (oh, by the way, Scotti moved out) I claimed the rumpus room as my bedroom, promptly installed a door at the urging of JB, and finally realized my life-long dream of being able to get up in the middle of the night to take a whiz without having to don pants! (Yeah, my needs are simple) The only problem with the rumpus room as a bedroom was the three windows: two normal-sized windows, and one big-assed picture window, which provided an excellent view of two driveways, mine and that of my neighbor across the street.

So, I went down to home depot, and got a bunch of stuff, and a few days later, that window was a wall, with a small AC unit sticking out of it. Having a few years of experience as construction worker/foreman in my history, it was not difficult, but it was very frustrating, until I realized that I was a moron. Here's how that went down: I was working along, (having a blast, I LOVE building and making things) and wondering why the hell it was taking so long. See, my guesstimate of the job told me that it would only take 3-4 hours to get it done. Getting it done, in this case, meant: remove the window, frame up the opening with 2x4s, secure the exterior cement board, install the wiring for the external lights, as well as the lights themselves, cut and install the never to be sufficiently damned pink stuff, cover that with a layer of foil-faced foam board, then the drywall, and seal up the gaps with Great Stuff (it really is, BTW). However, I suddenly found myself 4 hours in to the job, with the sun setting and mosquitoes gathering, and realized I was only a little over halfway done. What in the hell was taking so long?

So, I did the only thing I could think of, I had a can of Mountain Dew (btw, I found and bought several cases of Mountain Dew Throwback, in case they never make it again), a few more Dexedrine, and redoubled my efforts. I finally got it done a few hours later, and went to bed. The next day, I did the same to one of the windows in my office (formerly my bedroom), and again, I grossly underestimated the amount of time it would take. By then, I was getting pissed at myself. It hadn't been _that_ many years since I did this stuff for a living, after all. So once again, caffeine and Dexedrine were doubled up, since I was damned if I was going to let the sun go down on me with a job half-done again. About an hour later, I just stopped cold, and stared at the wall for a few seconds, before giggling a bit to myself and going for a bit of lunch and a smoke, while marveling at how incredibly stupid I had been. Seriously. I can be absent-minded sometimes, but this took the damned cake. 

See, I somehow managed to overlook the fact that the previous experience upon which I drew to guesstimate the time the job would take had involved a work crew. ... Let that sink in for a minute. ... Go on, I'll wait. ... Yeah, I somehow completely forgot to factor in the effect that A CREW OF PROFESSIONAL CONSTRUCTION WORKERS would have on the amount of time the job would take.

::sigh::

But hey, the jobs got done, I realized that I had not been working at some unfathomably slow pace (quite the opposite, in fact), and all was well with the world.


More on the car and the other stuff later. I just noticed that I'm about to be late to a Halloween party.
location: Eldemar
mood: happyhappy
tags: good news
 
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Today  
08:56pm 14/10/2010
 
 
Benjamin
I finally have tools and materials to build things. And there are things that need building. Many things. First and foremost, what I want to build is a trebuchet, for playing Bocce Ball on a grand scale. Yes, Trebuchet Bocce Ball is going to be my next project. I'm thinking that I'll start off (relatively) small. The first set will use bowling balls, and the trebuchet will only be about as tall as me. Still, I expect to get around 50 yards out of it. Any fool can build a trebuchet and lob bowling balls hither and yon, but what will make this one different is the ability to impart the desired spin to the ball, so it does interesting things when it lands. I'm not sure exactly how I'll go about it, but that is the goal. Once I get a working prototype built, then I'll make a bigger one. My goal is to lob basketball sized stones for about 100 yards with both precision and the appropriate spin. It might take me a few months to do that, though.

Other, more immediate goals include turning a few windows into walls, and putting together a working budget for the house, so I don't have to find work too soon. Today, more clearing out was done on the front yard, particularly in regards to the big-assed Brazilian pepper tree, and some manner of ground-dwelling plant that stores water in itself, and makes an excellent home to mosquitoes. Those have to go. The sheer amount of biomass we piled up by the side of the road is awesome. Really, it is mind-boggling how much greenery is being removed. And how much remains. My house is still effectively hidden from the road, and the yard is only the regular suburban sized yard, like you'd see in a regular neighborhood. I'm not entirely at ease removing so much life from my place, but I want to be able to actually use it for more than something to go around or fight my way through. and now, for some manner of food, and perhaps some TV to go with it.
 
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