spew - what is it?
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This is where I go to get things off my chest every now and then. For those of you familiar with my old rantings, this is basically the same thing, 'cept maybe a tad more risqué since I won't mince on cussing. ;-p But don't worry, I won't spit out shit for no reason. For those of you who've never been to my pages before, this section is here for me to make comments (mostly educated, sometimes not) about things that I've observed in my life and also just to keep my friends up to date with what I've been doing. Keep in mind that anything you read on here is pure opinion which might not jive with your own view of the world. If that's the case, friendly messages espousing your own views are welcome but flames will be cruelly mocked. So, without further ado.... > Current Spew
> A newcomer...
> Life goes on...
> Bend in the road...
> Life in slow mo...
> Strange times...
> Sittin' 'round da House...
> Unemployment Blues...
> Slowing down...
> Time Flies...
> Frivolous Thoughts
> Catching Up...
> Life as Usual...
> Changes in the Air
> Words Cannot Convey
> Almost a Revelation
> Beginning of a New Era
> Millenium Revisited
> Sticks & Stones
> New Millenium!
> Karaoke Madness!
> Conspiracy Theory

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Apr. 15, 2001 - Big hits and silence

Today was a good day. Heck, today was a great day! I managed to score (eBay of course ;-p) two pretty decent seats to the 2nd game of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs between the New Jersey Devils and the Carolina Hurricanes. My first hockey game ever and it was pretty fun; and a very interesting experience. Andy tagged along since he's a "I'll try anything once unless it involves self-mutilation and/or appliances used in warranty-breaking ways" kind of guy. ;-) Though I could be wrong on the self-mutilation part.

First of all, hockey tickets are pretty darn pricey. Not as bad as basketball prices but pretty close. Our tickets had a face value of $95. $95!!!! Each. Granted we were 12 rows from the rink on the main floor and this was a playoff game but still. For regular season games these seats are only $85. =p Heck, even tickets for way up in the rafters where the air is thinner is $45. Those same rafter seats for a Mets baseball game would only be like $12. For the price of one hockey ticket I got 4 baseball tickets. What's up with that? Although I guess baseball stadiums are a lot bigger so they can pack in more people per game and charge less. Oh,and for season tickets? $5200 to $7200 for 2 seats for the entire season on the lower level. That's just criminal.

And food prices are pretty horrific as well. $8.75 for a roast beef sandwich. Granted it was a pretty darn good roast beef sandwich but still... Going to hockey games is definitely a once in a while type of diversion. Unless I can buddy up to some big-shot investment banker or whatnot who's company owns a box at the stadium or something. But what're the chances of that? =p

As for the crowd, it was rather interesting. The seats at Continental Arena are basically divided up into two levels. The rowdier, more hardcore fans seem to be mostly up on the less expensive 2nd level. Even the team mascot does all of his shenanigans on the upper level. Plus they also have the one super fan that leads everyone in the "Gimme a D! etc." chants. I guess as Andy put it those of us who can actually afford to pay the inflated prices for the lower level feel like we have to act classier. =p Not to say that the lower level were a bunch of quiet folk, this was a hockey game after all. ;-p I figured the upper level crowd needed to generate their own entertainment more often since they couldn't see as well. =)

And who said hockey wasn't a family game? Lots of parents with their kids. Although it's a little disconcerting to hear like an 8 year old screaming, "HIT HIM!!!! JUST HIT HIM!!!! Why doesn't he HIT HIM?!?!" And the kid's mother was a pretty impressive hockey fan herself. She knew _everyone_ on the team by jersey number. I mean, I know the names of most of the players on the Devils team but during the game I usually had no clue who was doing what since I don't know their numbers and the only way I could figure out who was whom would be if I happened to catch a glimpse of the back of their jerseys as they were skating away. Problem solved with the mother sitting behind us. I was quite impressed. =)

Afterwards, Andy mentioned that he was surprised that the game wasn't as violent as he had expected it to be. No fights or anything until the very end but I guess apparently he was disappointed that the fighters were just basically clutching at each other and not duking it out boxing style. =p Unfortunately we missed the big hit of the game since it happened at the other end of the ice. We did see the aftermath though. The opposing player was down for like 5 minutes, left blood on the ice, needed stitches, and was held at the local hospital overnight for observation. Watching the replay on tv, it was one heck of a vicious (but clean of course ;-p) hit. Right after the hit, everyone was cheering and I think the cheering lasted a bit too long even after it should have been obvious to everyone that it could be something serious. Made me wonder if the cheers occurring while the guy was being helped out of the rink was because of relief that he wasn't unconscious or dead or because our defenseman kicked that guy's ass.

So overall, it was very entertaining and a lot of fun. The game seemed to go by very quickly although after all was said and done, about 3 hours had gone by. It was a little eerie at first cause it was a lot less chaotic and noisy watching the game live than it was watching it on tv. I guess I missed having an announcer continually jabbering away in the background. But seeing, and being part of, the crowd exploding after each goal and raucously booing the referees after any perceived missed or bad call was pretty exciting and amusing. =) But I swear, people can be _really_ obnoxious at times when it comes to heckling the opposing team. Oh yeah, and the home team won, 2-0. Go Devils! ;-)

Apr. 8, 2001 - News With a Heaping Handful of Salt

Relations between China and the US are on shaky ground again. Like that's news to anyone. But it's weird, cause it's almost like somebody just doesn't want the US and China to get along. First we had the whole Chinese embassy accidental bombing thing which I won't get into here. And now this??? Yeah, I know there's no conspiracy but this is getting ridiculous. Then you have the whole Taiwan issue simmering in the background and you got a fun, fun situation to keep a close eye on for the next 4 years. But, this current event really does nothing but highlight the worst parts of both countries. Is there any clearer indication that politics _sucks_? When the relationship between 2 countries and the lives of 24 men & women are held up cause of some dumbass semantic between using "apology" or "regret"... somebody's priorities are in the wrong fucking order.

I can't stand China's propaganda news machine. It advocates war-mongering and an inflated sense of national pride. Completely useless, complete waste of paper and time. Not that the US media can be much better at times. These days it's all about sensationalism. Case in point, a news event that I was observing on the Yahoo news page all throughout Friday. Friday morning it read "One-Third of US Fourth-Grade Students Read Well." Around noon, the headline (for the exact same article) suddenly changed to "Two-Thirds of US Fourth-Grade Students Read Poorly." By quitting time, the headline had changed _again_ to something that might as well have said for all intents and purposes "Majority of US Fourth-Grade Students are a Bunch of Morons." I guess maybe the editors decided they needed to keep sprucing the headlines up since most Americans are already used to hearing that grade school education as a whole in the US suck the big wanker when compared to other nations. But at least when compared to Chinese news, the facts are available if you root around long enough.

It's not that I don't understand why the Chinese are angry. I mean, what would we think if China, or Russia back in the Cold War days, routinely had surveillance planes buzzing up and down the coast of California. Of course, geography kinda makes that a tad hard to do but if it did happen, you think Americans would take to it very kindly? Americans, champions of personal privacy but not when it comes to other countries apparently. No wonder so many people in other countries think we're just a big bully.

Oh well, it's a never-ending saga. No good can come of it I tell ya. ;-p But in the meantime, do your part and visit here.

Mar. 25, 2001 - A Whole New World

March 24 was a big day for Apple users. The new operating system that Mac users have been waiting for for way longer than should be excusable has finally arrived: MacOS X. Long story short, after a few more months, X will kick mucho ass. As it is right now, it's still a bit buggy and slow in some areas but it's a heck of a lot of fun to play around with. I figure I'll slowly migrate to it as my main OS throughout the year. It's a good thing that it'll work in conjunction with the old MacOS 9.1 cause there are still a bunch of programs that will only work with the old system. There's a bit of a learning curve to this thing but it shouldn't be too bad since the things that are different are taken right from either the Windows platform or FreeBSD, both of which I've worked with to a degree in the past. So it's kinda like a 3-in-1 OS. The two features about it that impress me the most so far: protected memory management (application crashes won't take the entire system down with it, _finally_) and wake from sleep mode. They weren't kidding when they said it was instantaneous wake from sleep. It's a miracle to behold for notebook users. Anyway, for Mac users who like to play with the latest & greatest, get it now. For everyone else who just wants things to work, wait till the summer at least.

Went to a luncheon with my parent's and their friends yesterday afternoon and it was a bit nauseating since one of their friends was talking about the kind of outlandish things he had eaten throughout his life. Not the "We dare you to eat that" kinda things but the weird shit that some cultures eat (specifically Chinese culture) cause it's "good for you." Which apparently includes: lobster blood (or piss, couldn't really figure out which. Just whatever fluid is released when you slit the darn thing), bat blood, baby field mice, duck eggs with still unhatched, not yet to term baby ducks inside, etc. To Westerners, this is just nasty shit, worthy of sic'ing the ASPCA on 'em for. But to alot of Asians, it's just par for the course. Human nature, ahhh......

Filed my taxes online today! Well, sorta. Still have some manual forms and shit to send in but at least the majority of it is over with... I hope. Hopefully I can get a big honkin' refund too but who knows? =p


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