July 30, 2008

Don't Just Stand There! Help Her Out!

Mystery woman found under van Gogh painting.

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July 29, 2008

Back in the Running

I used to run. A lot. From 1999 to 2004, I ran every other day, anywhere from three to seven miles, sometimes outside, sometimes on a treadmill. And then, around the time I bought my house in early 2004, I just stopped running.

Primarily, I stopped because I had a ton of house fixing-up to do, which ate up about a month, and after that, I just couldn't scope out a feasible running route I was happy with so, aside from the occasional treadmill session, I basically just stopped.

Still, since I picked up jiu-jitsu training in 2005, I thought I was getting just as much of a workout as I would have running, so that's how I justified not running for about three years.

Well, last week, I picked up a new MP3 player and, in an inexplicable whim, I slipped on the old running shoes and pounded out a three mile trek. Which. . .

Holy shit, man! I felt like I was going to die after 1.5 miles. I'd COMPLETELY forgotten how to measure my breathing and keep a steady pace. I was huffing and wheezing like a pack a day smoker. And I was sweating profusely and cursing under my breath and basically not having a very good time.

By the time I wrapped up my run, my legs were shaking and I was feeling just generally miserable. Nevertheless, despite aching legs and an almost unbreakable hold of laziness, I did it all again two days later.

Ideally, I'd like to be back up to five or seven miles before the end of August, and I'm mostly posting this as a means by which to track my progress and hopefully serve as a minor source of inspiration when I'm feeling particulary lazy.

For right now though. . . man, running SUCKS.

Posted by Ryan at 02:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Ryan says: What was with the emphasis on dogs?

Autumn says: I don't know-I guess Batman doesn't like dogs.

Ryan says: Batman can take on 30 thugs, but dogs he can't figure out?

Autumn says: It really didn't tie-in.

Autumn says: I know; it wasn't like the first one, where he was scared of the bats from his childhood.

Ryan says: He can't carry a pouch of Milk Bones on that utility belt?

Autumn says: LOL!

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July 25, 2008

Impressive. . . most impressive

Comments disabled on this post due to comment spam.

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July 24, 2008

Meeting Me, Face-to-Face

I’ve attended probably hundreds of meetings during my years as a cog in the national workforce. I’ve attended weekly meetings, and monthly meeting, and special meetings and secret meetings. I’ve attended meetings where we discussed what we should meet about in our next meeting, and I’ve attended meetings where no one seemed to have the slightest idea why we were even meeting.

My default behavior when attending roughly 90 percent of the meetings of the past, has traditionally revolved around coming up with innovative ways to keep from falling asleep. Generally, this has involved playing with my pens, or writing down notes to myself, such as “Remember: You’re pretty awesome,” or “The sound of one hand clapping would be pretty quiet,” or “Even if I were President of the United States, I’d probably still be in a meeting right now.”

For me, meetings have always seemed more like a waste of time than time well spent. I could probably count on one hand the number of meetings I’ve attended that actually seemed to accomplish anything. Granted, I’ve basically been a minor player when it comes to the vast majority of the meetings I’ve attended, so my opinion of years of accrued meeting time is skewed towards the negative spectrum, to put it mildly.

This week, however, marked a turning point in my meeting experience. Up until this week I was used to meetings where I sat around a table with co-workers, talking into a speaker phone to other remote co-workers who basically couldn’t hear us because of the terrible connection, so everyone had to repeat everything they said roughly 20 times, thus ensuring everyone could clearly hear whatever useless information was being uttered.

This week threw all my previous meeting experiences for a loop, as I sat in on my first-ever video conference meeting. For the first time, I was able to see co-workers attending the meeting from across the nation. . . as well as a separate screen devoted to those of us on-site. Which. . .

It’s hard to explain, exactly, what it was like to be sitting in on a meeting where I could actually see myself sitting in on a meeting. It was like being confronted by nearly a decade of meetings and seeing exactly what a fidgety, restless and entirely bored person I’ve been all these years.

Of course, since the meeting dealt with items largely unconnected with me, I spent most of the time obsessing over the behavior of my video doppelganger, which is to say I tried to tone down and tame all my years of habit-hardened mannerisms. I tried not to fidget with my pen but, failing that, I opted to put it away so it wouldn’t tempt me.

That, of course, just left me with a pair of hands with nothing to do, so they seemed to automatically go to my face, so I spent all sorts of time with my chin in my palm, or with a thoughtful-looking thumb under the chin, with an index finger on my cheek. When I caught a glimpse of myself on the big screen, I thought the pose made me look far too engaged in the conversation and put me at risk of possibly being called on for input, so I tried folding my hands on the desk in front of me, which I decided made me look alert, but not overly so.

I found myself hoping someone at one of the remote locations would start speaking so I’d have a reason to look up at the screen and more adequately critique myself. My back posture needed a slight tweaking, I found, and I discovered I spent a lot of time chewing my lower lip, which needs to stop.

All in all, I think video conferencing may be my unexpected ticket to self-improvement. As an added bonus, I’ve finally discovered a valuable use for meetings.

Posted by Ryan at 02:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 23, 2008

The Current State Of ObaMania

Make way for the Presidency!
Say hey! The Presidency!

Hey! Clear the way, both near and far
Hey you!
Let us through!
It's a bright new star!
Oh Come!
Be the first on your block to meet his eye!

Make way!
Here he comes!
Ring bells! Bang the drums!
Are you gonna love this guy!

Try to see, the Presidency
Of Barack Obama.
Genuflect, show some respect
Down on one knee!
Now, try your best to stay calm
Sterilize both of your palms
Then come and meet his spectacular coterie

Try to see,
The Presidency,
Of Barack Obama!
He will pen, again and again, bills of folly.
He'll face foreign policy hordes!
A hundred mullahs with swords!
He'll give them medal awards!

Science says he's evolution's top mammal
His Obama-cock?
Hangs down to his knee.
It's coated in the finest enamel.
What about his poo?
I'm telling you, it's a world-class brand of feces!

Just try to see, a Presidency, of Barack Obama
Within a week, we'll all speak Greek.
Thus he'll decree!
He's the answer to all our prayers!
You're atheist? Hey, don't despair!
You can still wonder at an Obama Presidency!

There's no question this Obama's alluring
Never ordinary, never boring
Everything about the man just plain impresses
He's a winner, he's a whiz, a wonder!
He's about to pull your heart asunder!
And you'll absolutely love the way he dresses!

He's got ninety-five million dollars.
(He's got the dollars, let's see the dollars)
And to hear him speak costs a hefty fee
(He's charismatic, so charismatic)
He's got worshippers, he's got servants and flunkies
(Proud to work for him)
They bow to his whim love serving him
They just want to see His Presidency! Presidency!

Amorous he! Barack Obama!
Heard his wife was crazy, but a sight lovely to see.

And why, good people, is he getting dolled up and dropping by?
With sixty handlers, reporters galore
With his buses and limos
An airplane and more
With his forty fakers, his kooks, his takers
His supporters that warble on key
Make way for Obama's Presidency!

Posted by Ryan at 09:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Let Slip The Screeds of War

A good Lileks screed should be savored like the smell of spring's first bloom.

Posted by Ryan at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2008

I Coulda' Been A Doctor

Ryan says: Okay, I just had a good laugh.

Autumn says: ?

Ryan says: So, I'm updating doctor bio information for the radiology department.

Autumn says: Uh-huh.

Ryan says: In the bios, there are sub-heads that include "Interests."

Autumn says: Ok.

Autumn says: Is it cock-sucking?!

Ryan says: Most of the interests are "Emergency Department Radiology," "General Body CT," and stuff like that.

Autumn says: Good thing doctors are interested in those areas.

Ryan says: One doctor had the following "Interest."

Ryan says: Breast Imaging.

Autumn says: LOL!

Ryan says: I'm like "Hey, ME TOO!"

Autumn says: LMAO!

Posted by Ryan at 01:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Nick Coleman Discovers Internet Commenters

Anyone who is at all familliar with the Internet in its current iteration knows it's rife with neuron-depleted Internet commenters that range from the obsessive compulsive, to the grammatically challenged, to indifferent chain-yankers to the downright mentally challenged. Sometimes, there are commenters who manifest symptoms of all the above. By and large, most Internet commenters should be, and are, mostly ignored.

Nick Coleman columns in the Star-Tribune, for a brief while about a month or so ago, featured a comment box that ran wild with commenters either fawning over Nick's latest attempt at a point, or those calling out Nick for the intellectual and logical fraud he's always been. In short, I thought my work here was finally done, at least as far as ripping on Nick Coleman columns went anyway. Why fisk something that's being ripped on by dozens or hundreds of people AT THE SOURCE, after all?

Well, as far as I can tell, the Strib has halted commentary on their columns, and it's not hard to imagine Nick howling like a spider monkey and getting his way on this, probably making the claim that Internet commenters on his columns only serve to sully his craft, such as it is.

But, whilst the Strib has deemed Internet comments on much of its content taboo, for whatever reason, Nick has apparently decided that Internet commenters on other newspaper Web sites are somehow fair game when it comes to making yet another of his wildly off-the-mark "points."

Tribal fishing video spawns bigotry, attack on news site
By NICK COLEMAN, Star Tribune

Last update: July 20, 2008 - 8:20 PM

Bigotry on an online video? Oh noes! Such a thing has NEVER happened before. And, as we'll see, the "attack" on the news site may have been nothing of the sort. Come with me, dear reader, as we explore yet another Nick Coleman column that's little more than thinly-veiled bigotry in its own right, meant to poke the ribs of those "shucky darn" rural yokels living in the watery wilds north of the enlightened Twin Cities.

Somebody tried to kill the Messenger last week. It didn't work.

The Mille Lacs Messenger is a weekly newspaper published in Isle, Minn., on the southeast shore of Lake Mille Lacs, a fertile area that seems to spawn conflict, especially if you are one of this state's walleye worshipers. The paper has a circulation of 5,000, and an online site (www.millelacsmessenger.com) visited by another 5,000 or more a month. Unless fish are in the news: Then readership rockets.

That's what happened in May, when the paper posted a video on its website showing fishermen from the nearby Mille Lacs Indian Reservation removing walleye from tribal gill nets and cleaning the fish for eating. Normal, legal and part of Ojibwe culture for centuries.

True. Gill-netting is part of Ojibwe culture. However, the MODERN methods of gill-netting are a bit. . . different. . .from a few centuries ago, shall we say? But, we won't get into that. Suffice it to say, Nick's holding back a bit on some of the "stuff" he knows.

But seeing it on YouTube made some walleye lovers angry, especially the bigots who posted vicious rants on the site. More than 18,000 visitors have seen the video, which amazes editor Brett Larson.

As far as I can tell, this is a little bit of Nick's sleight of hand. He makes it sound as if there have been over 18,000 visitors to the Messenger, when in fact it's 18,000+ VIEWS of the YouTube video in question, and YouTube videos have a tendency to go viral from time to time, some far more viral than others (18,000+ is pretty mild traffic, virally-speaking). By extension, the rest of this column isn't talking about comments made to "the Messenger" Web site; it's talking about YouTube comments which, as anyone with half a brain knows, are completely ridiculous. Yet, here we have Nick Coleman fashioning a column about them. Good God.

"I was stunned," Larson said Friday. "I thought we were beyond this racist stuff, but clearly we are not. You can oppose tribal netting and not be racist. But some of these people make everyone look like an idiot."

Yeah, it's a YOUTUBE COMMENT THREAD. Collective IQs have been known to completely implode within YouTube comment threads. Why is Nick writing a column about something that's been a running joke now for nearly three years? Oh, and by they way, look at that quote again, and now look at the following YouTube comment thread quote written BY THE SAME GUY:

This is appalling. I would remove it, but it shows that the most vile forms of racism still exist in this country — a fact that many seem to dispute. You can oppose tribal netting without being a racist, in my opinion, but this type of post makes everyone who opposes tribal netting look bad. And you should learn to spell. Brett Larson, editor, Mille Lacs Messenger

What, Larson can't think up new material while being interviewed (Nick quotes the same YouTube comment later on, blithely oblivious to the similarity, as were the Strib editors, apparently)? And I just LOVE his admonition that a YOUTUBE COMMENTER should learn how to spell. Is he even remotely familiar with how YouTube "works?"

"Most of the comments were like, 'Indians don't do it [fish] our way -- our way is holy and theirs is horrible and we don't like it,' " says Larson.

Yeah, and one of the other comments? I shit you not:


Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat ttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

That's some hard-hitting commentary for you.

But some were far worse.

ARGH! Yeah, it's YouTube! People yank chains and brain drool for sport on YouTube! YouTube comments should not be taken seriously BY ANYONE WITH HALF A FUNCTIONING BRAIN.

Tension between the tribe and non-Indians in the tourism-dependent area is not new. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld tribal fishing rights in 1999 and the controversy has raged in area newspapers, including the Messenger, for years. Two years ago, military veterans from the reservation were booed and spat upon during a parade -- an incident denounced by the Messenger as a "disgraceful display."

Wait a minute. What just happened here? Nick was talking about the Supreme Court upholding fishing rights, and then in the next sentence he's talking about military veterans from the reservation being booed (were they being booed because they were veterans, or because they were Indian veterans? Nick doesn't feel he has to explain that; he'll just assume).

Larson says feelings have calmed, but that there are flare-ups once in a while. The tribal netting video caused one.

No, it didn't. It caused a minor viral hiccup on YouTube, which is viewed NATIONALLY and even worldwide. From a YouTube perspective, the gill-netting video is NOTHING compared to the video of the exploding whale. NOTE: If you simply MUST read YouTube comments about the exploding whale, there's this version.

"This is appalling," Larson wrote next to one of the worst-spelled and nastiest comments posted on the site. "I would remove it, but it shows that the most vile forms of racism still exist in this country."

Nick Coleman: Copy and Paste Journalist Extraordinaire!

Onward! To the nefarious "attack."

The Messenger's online site is hosted by a server that publishes 200 newspapers. Last week, the Messenger was the only one under "attack," the target of an online assault that knocked it off line. Larson said there was no proof the attack was linked to the fishing controversy, but there was no shortage of suspects.

This is just plain ridiculous. Why would somebody attack a newspaper Web site, when doing so would do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the YouTube video? Is Nick being intentionally obtuse, or does he have absolutely no understanding at all about how the Internet works? So far, this column has completely flown in the face of Nick's claim to "know stuff." This has so far been the most aimless, misleading, uninformed piece of technological ignorance ever penned by man or monkey.

"We've got lots of people who don't like us," he said. "I have a hard time believing this is a malicious attack, but maybe I'm naive. Somebody has been trying to shut us down."

This guy is a freakin' moron, nearly on a par with Nick Coleman. The fact a newspaper editor would even enter the morass of YouTube to post a comment tells me he probably shouldn't have further access to the Internet until he's taken a course or two about it.

Non-Indian readers, Larson said, complain that the newspaper's coverage is soft on tribal controversies, and that the paper should be more critical of the Indians. Meanwhile, tribal members complain that reports about crime on the reservation feed stereotypes. The paper, he said, tries to play it fair, but not everyone -- sometimes no one -- agrees.

Ooh! Let's play a game! Let's tweak that paragraph a bit:

Non-liberal readers, Coleman said, complain that the Star-Tribune's coverage is soft on DFL controversies, and that the paper should be more critical of the DFL. Meanwhile, DFL members complain that reports about liberals feed stereotypes. The paper, he said, tries to play it fair, but not everyone -- sometimes no one -- agrees.

"In the early days of the tribal rights issue, our official stance was not to have a stance -- we knew it could get pretty ugly, so we didn't want to take a position. The general consensus in the community was that we were 'pro-Indian.' But tribal members thought we were anti-Indian. The assumption on both sides was that we would unquestioningly support the [non-Indian] angling community. So everyone was mad. We must have done something right."

As impossible as it seems, this column has become even more meandering and pointless. My head is actually starting to hurt. Hey, I know! Let's get back to the malicious Web attack that probably wasn't:

The attack on the website seemed to be waning by Friday, and a software upgrade may protect the Messenger from future attacks. The assault may have been random. But if it was a deliberate attempt to "kill" the Messenger, it might take Agatha Christie to find the culprit.

Or it maybe wasn't an attack at all! You know, I understand Nick is given gobs of leeway when it comes to his topics of column choice and his "writing," such as it is, but this type of completely unsubstantiated conjecture is just downright bullshit.

There are a lot of suspects.

And now Nick just goes in for some mean-spirited character assassination based off a "joke." Seriously, you will barely believe the segue you're about to read.

"Who knows, maybe it was the mayor," Larson joked. He wasn't really accusing the mayor, just trying to find humor in a situation where almost anyone in a small town might have an issue with the newspaper. Or a big town, for that matter.

Got that? It was a "joke" at the mayor's expense. Obviously, the mayor wouldn't have the technical know-how to crash a newspaper Web site, let alone any motive stemming from a YouTube video of gill-netting. Har har! He's obviously not a suspect. It's a joke! Relax. Okay, Nick, segue away, you fucking asshole:

The mayor of Isle, Mike DeCoursey, didn't like the way the newspaper covered a tussle he got into with a sheriff's deputy during last summer's Isle Days festivities.

The mayor was accused of punching an Isanti County deputy when a fight broke out on a dance floor in a beer garden. Don't pretend it's never happened to you. We've all been there, haven't we?

Okay, once again, what the HELL just happened here? This was originally a column about bigoted Internet commenters, or something, and now Nick is just dabbling gossipy bullshit, no doubt having a good laugh with the Messenger editor at their little media dig at the mayor.

"I'm the [bleeping] mayor, you can't arrest me," the mayor allegedly said. Apparently, he was right: After the deputy and the cops were surrounded by an angry crowd, the mayor was released. Assault charges weren't brought until last fall. But he was acquitted by a jury last March, and is seeking to have the charges expunged.

And I'm sure we'll see a full apology from Nick Coleman if those charge ARE expunged. Mmm, hmm.

"Welcome to Mille Lacs," editor Larson says, wryly.

"It's an interesting area."

Man, I've fisked some Nick Coleman doozies in my day, but this. . . this was BY FAR the worst piece of steaming nonsense ever to make the Strib press run. I usually laugh a little bit after tearing his crap apart, but I'm actually a little bit mad about this one. It's a bit crazy how bad that column was. I mean. . . wow. . . what an asshole.

Posted by Ryan at 05:38 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 21, 2008

Some sort of hype or something

Apparently, there's a new movie that came out last weekend that's the most important thing to ever happen in cinematic history.

Now, as everyone knows, the most important thing to happen in cinematic history prior to the release of this new movie was "Team America: World Police," which had the audacity to state the obvious sentiment of "America. Fuck Yeah!," so this new movie obviously has grabbed my attention.

However, if the trailer for this new movie is any indication, the main bad guy sews chaos and basically acts like an anonymous dickhead, so my thinking is they modeled the villain after any number of Internet comment trolls.

And, honestly, do you really want to see a movie that brings a comment troll to life on the big screen, no matter how well-acted and accurate the actor was able to portray him?

If I were given a choice between watching a hyperactive comment troll, or simulated scat sex performed by marionettes, I know which movie I'D want to see.

But hey, that's just me.

Posted by Ryan at 02:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 18, 2008

Count on this to make you laugh


Posted by Ryan at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2008

Cake Theft

There's cake in the breakroom here. I don't know who or what it's for, but it seems to be community cake, or at least that's what I've been telling myself. I've been biding my time, waiting for the break room to clear out, so I could be alone with the cake and pilfer a piece in privacy. Thing is, when there's community cake to be had, the break room is a very popular place, so I've been repeatedly unsuccessful in my bid to acquire cake-ful goodness.

UPDATE: SUCCESS! Mmm, tasty.

Posted by Ryan at 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2008

Moon River

Ryan says: Here's the challenge I face in my new job.

Autumn says: ?

Ryan says: I'm editing content about prostate cancer, and I'm confonted with a description of a Digital Rectal Exam, which states:

Autumn says: This outta be good.

Ryan says: "This is a basic and easy screening test for prostate cancer and other prostate diseases, involving a doctor gently inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum."

Autumn says: And?

Autumn says: Lotsa guys get turned on by that; is that the problem?

Ryan says: Well, my challenge is to make that NOT SOUND horrible.

Autumn says: The words, "gently" and "lubricated" should help.

Ryan says: Better than "roughly" with "sandpaper," I suppose.

Autumn says: True.

Autumn says: Now, if you could just change the word "rectum" to something else.

Autumn says: I would also stay away from the word "cram".

Ryan says: LOL!

Autumn says: Or "joyfully."

Autumn says: Or "delightfully."

Ryan says: "This is a basic and easy screening test for prostate cancer and other prostate diseases, involving a doctor joyfully and carelessly cramming a gloved, bone dry finger into the rectum."

Autumn says: Again, I am under my desk laughing!

Ryan says: Your mention of the word "cram" made me stand up and walk to a nearby hallway to laugh, so we're even.

Posted by Ryan at 01:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Not Quite Lord of the Rings

Up until fairly recently, I was pretty proud of the fact I've never had any real enemies. Oh sure, I've encountered plenty of things that annoy me, and I've disagreed and argued with people who just don't get me, man.

But, I've never really had anything or anyone I could categorize as a true enemy, something I despise with every fiber of my being. And, honestly, after 33 years of existence on this rocky orb we call earth, I had generally started to believe I would somehow, magically, manage to live my life without ever encountering a life-altering nemesis.

Then, a few months ago, two quiet, unassuming devices crept into my existence that have since begun haunting my dreams, intruding on my most peaceful of thoughts and disturbing me at times when I least expect it.

For those of you who may not know, I've been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu now for just over three years, which is a grappling form of self-defense martial art that's becoming increasingly popular thanks to fighting venues like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and mixed martial arts (MMA) events.

Over the years, I've become accustomed to the different types of training, exercise and drills associated with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu workouts, with the main instructor occasionally introducing new challenges and workout regimens designed to push the students just a little bit further. And, overall, I've been fine with most of the training changes and new introductions.

And then the instructor went and introduced gymnastics rings into the mix. I have to be honest: I never really thought that much about gymnastics rings; they just didn't factor into my daily musings very often, which is to say "never."

Now, however, I think about gymnastics rings on an almost daily basis, and my thoughts mostly center around how much I absolutely hate gymnastics rings. Gymnastics rings have become my first-ever real, life-altering enemy.

The primary problem I have with gymnastics rings is that they require arm strength, which I think is basically a form of discrimination against people like me, who have never had, nor likely ever will, have much in the way of arm strength. I have fairly long arms, but thanks to a lifelong agreement between myself and weights—which states the weights have a right to remain stationary so long as I agree not to lift them—my long arms consist of only the amount of muscle required to operate a computer keyboard, and to lift a fork laden with food from a plate to my mouth. My arms, in other words, are not equipped
for the muscular beefiness gymnastics rings require.

In addition, gymnastics rings require balance which, to me, is just as unfair as the arm strength clause. These combined requirements, coupled with my complete lack of either, have led to a deeply held dread of gymnastics rings. I hate them. I really, really HATE them.

There's a part of me that would both love and hate to see, as an outside observer, what I look like trying to exercise on gymnastics rings. It doesn't matter whether I'm attempting dips, leg lifts or pull-ups on gymnastics rings: it all simply must look equally pathetic.

First off, the combined requirements of arm strength and balance—which, again, neither of which I have much of—means that I shake like a naked man in a snow bank while trying to hold myself up on gymnastics rings. That would be bad enough if I were enduring the torture alone, but there's usually an entire gym full of fellow students watching me undergo what must look like an epileptic seizure as I try to simply balance AND perform repeated dips. And that's only IF I can get up on the danged things to begin with (which sometimes
requires a boost from another student, which is embarrassing in its own right).

I never really thought I'd be unfortunate enough to have such a powerful enemy, let along an enemy that is, in fact, two inanimate, circular objects, but gymnastics rings are apparently more than up to the task.

I suppose it could be worse; at least my enemy isn't a balance beam. . .

Posted by Ryan at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2008

At First I LOLed. . . Then I Serious'd

Maybe it's because I've been writing this online journal, this THUNDERJOURNAL, for over six years now. Maybe it's because I've been engaging in Internet discussions going back to America Online chat rooms. Maybe it's because I long ago decided that nothing on the Internet should be taken all that seriously. Maybe it's a combination of all that that's prompting me to sit back and wonder why the hell there are so many people who devote so much time and effort to comment boxes.

Every day, a fresh batch of Internet newbs discovers how to hit "Submit Comment," and the mind-numbing cycle begins anew. At some point, I have to believe the Internet is just going to grind to a halt and launch into space, like a SimCity 2000 arcology launch.

Except, I think the arcologies exploded rather than launched. I can't remember. Either way, it's apt.

Posted by Ryan at 02:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Your unintentionally suggestive photo of the day


"Come on, officer. You know you want to. The bed is right over there. No one will ever know. Just you. . . and me. . . and this moment."


Yeah, my mind's in the gutter. You know, where it ALWAYS is.

Posted by Ryan at 08:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 11, 2008

Filling in for Caroline. . . it's Autumn!

Ryan says: I hate wearing dress shoes.

Ryan says: I want my Merrell boots!

Autumn says: lol

Autumn says: i wear flip-flops, almost everyday

Ryan says: They allow that at your job?

Autumn says: well, they look nice

Autumn says: their not wal-mart brand

Ryan says: So, they're not the cheap flip flops.

Ryan says: That blow out on pop tops.

Autumn says: yeah-just from payless or something like that

Ryan says: Searching for your lost shaker of salt.

Autumn says: no-i know right where that is

Ryan says: Some people say that a woman's to blame.

Ryan says: But I know, it's my own damn fault.

Autumn says: no, it's always the women!

Ryan says: Lousy women. . .

Autumn says: i know!

Ryan says: With your breasts and things. . .

Autumn says: thank, God I like cock!

Ryan says: Just when I don't expect it, Autumn proclaims her love of cock.

Autumn says: lol

Autumn says: I have two really good friends that are lezbos

Autumn says: we went to supper last night, and they told me they're devising (sp?) a plan to convert me

Autumn says: I'm just saying

Autumn says: I've had to tell them that before too!

Ryan says: That had better entail a lot of booze.

Autumn says: i really don't think there's enough in this world

Ryan says: And me with a camcorder.

Autumn says: LOL!

Autumn says: HA!

Ryan says: So, are they butch lezbos, or the hawt kind?

Autumn says: no-normal i guess

Autumn says: ok-that doesn't make sense

Ryan says: Normal for lesbians?

Autumn says: yeah

Autumn says: they're athletic

Ryan says: "Normal for Lesbians" would be a great name for a rock band.

Autumn says: lol!

Autumn says: yes it would

Posted by Ryan at 02:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I’m Willing to Rat Out a Co-Worker

One of the liberating things about being in a new job, in a different business, is that I’m free to write about all the unusual anecdotes I built up during six years working in my previous job.

In my previous job, my primary responsibilities included writing and editing content for magazines catering to the information technology (IT) space, which you wouldn’t think would lend itself to unusual anecdotes. However, in the IT space, it’s the PEOPLE you encounter who really make for memorable anecdotes.

Take, for example, one of my co-workers who shared an office with me for about two years who, for the purposes of this anecdote, I’ll refer to as “Angela.” Angela was brought on as a managing editor for one of the magazines we produced, and while I had no real specific dislike for Angela, she did come equipped with the standard arsenal of annoyances you come to expect of office mates.

Among the annoyances I came to expect from Angela—in addition to regular nose blowing that sounded as if she was serenading whales—was her daily lunch ritual of “popping” baby carrots. OK, she didn’t actually “pop” baby carrots, but she had this process by which she’d bite a carrot in two in the loudest possible way imaginable, so it sounded like the carrots were essentially “popping.” There’s no real way I can convey how annoying this was for me in mere written words; suffice it to say, I believe there’s a circle of hell dedicated to carrot poppers, so consider yourselves warned, oh ye carrot poppers of the world.

Petty annoyances aside, Angela was by all accounts a generally decent person, although she was fairly weird in many respects, not the least of which was her near-religious devotion to animals. And I’m not just talking about dogs and cats here, although she certainly had those; Angela loved, and kept, all manner of animals, including hamsters, snakes, birds, and a whole slew of other exotic creatures Noah probably even forgot to include in his ark.

Well, one day, towards the end of Angela’s stint as a managing editor, another co-worker dropped by our office. I’ll refer to her as “Caroline,” because her name is “Caroline,” and she knew I’d simply have to write about this some day. Well, Caroline dropped by the office to discuss something with Angela and, since I wasn’t part of the conversation, I drifted off into my own little world, thinking about things I enjoyed thinking about, such as Salma Hayek.

Eventually, I drifted back to the real world, and I realized Caroline was trying to urgently tell me something under her breath, so I decided to listen to what she had to say.

“Dude, there’s a rat in your office!” Caroline hissed.

I did my best to digest this statement, but since it didn’t make any sense, my mind decided to conclude that Caroline was in some way referring to Angela, so I simply nodded and smiled and said “I know,” which earned me a surprised and somewhat horrified look from Caroline, who said, “But. . . there’s a rat. . . in your office,” to which I once again simply nodded and said “I know,” even though I had no idea what Caroline was talking about. With a defeated look, Caroline just shook her head and left the office.

I spent a few minutes after that, responding to e-mail, researching an article, thinking some more about Salma Hayek, and basically attending to my work day as usual.

And then I realized I heard something rustling over my left shoulder.

I turned slowly in my chair, kind of like in a movie when the main character realizes the bad guy, or a ghost, is standing right behind him, and in my head echoed Caroline’s last warning to me: “But. . . there’s a rat. . . in your office.”

There, indeed, on Angela’s desk, in an open air box filled with strips of newspaper and a little dish of water, was a huge freaking white rat with pinkish-ringed eyes, its front claws perched on the side of its box, its nose testing the air, no doubt assessing whether I was friend or foe.

I turned back to my computer and just kind of sat there for awhile, considering my next move. On the one hand, I wasn’t particularly worried about the rat, since it seemed more curious than threatening but, on the other hand, THERE WAS A FREAKING RAT IN MY OFFICE. Once you realize there’s a rat in your office, provided you’re not a veterinarian, there’s no way in Hades you can concentrate on actual work.

I pulled up an instant messaging box on my computer, via which I wrote to Caroline:

“Hey, there’s a rat in my office!”

To which Caroline responded, “I know! I tried to tell you!”

It turned out, Angela brought the rat to work that day because “it wasn’t feeling well.” Leaving aside my general incredulity regarding Angela’s rat diagnostic skills, the situation had nonetheless deteriorated from “there’s a rat in my office” to “there’s a possibly SICK RAT in my office.” Not to put too fine a point on it, but I’m pretty sure that’s how the “Black Plague” got off the ground.

Some frantic e-mailing to my supervisors ensued, in which I detailed the situation, and it was eventually delicately explained to Angela that bringing a rat into work very likely violated company policy. Although I never actually saw that exact clause for myself, I had no problem believing it at the time, and Angela was instructed to take her rat back home.

She still popped her carrots though; there was no policy against that, unfortunately.

Posted by Ryan at 09:06 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 10, 2008

Rocket in my. . . Pocket?

Every once in awhile, the Dirty Mushroom makes an unexpected comeback in an unexpected PhotoShop. This time, Seed delivers.

Posted by Ryan at 07:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Introducing, Bill Boyne. Local Moron.

Bill Boyne is the Rochester Post-Bulletin's Nick Coleman doppleganger. At the advice of a commenter here awhile back, I started following Boyne's cerebral incontinence in my ongoing quest to annoy myself into non-existence through the moronic scribblings of local journalistic scribes. Boyne fits the bill perfectly.

Take this bit of buffoonery, for example:

The disaster that struck the small town of Postville, Iowa, recently was a dramatic demonstration of what is wrong with U.S. immigration policy.

Got that? A disaster. Flooding, perhaps? A fire? What constitutes a disaster, in this case, pray tell?

Federal agents targeted Agriprocessors, a firm that produces kosher meat, and arrested 400 of the plant's 900 workers -- mostly Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants.

Key point: they were Mexican and Guatemalan ILLEGAL immigrants. Funny how the truth-tellers in the journalistic ranks keep gleaning over that inconvenient canard.

Three hundred were charged with identity theft and using stolen Social Security cards.

Okay, so, they were ILLEGAL immigrants, AND they were dabbling in identity theft. Who do you think Boyne sides with?

The raid was a damaging blow to the city's economy. Agriprocessors was the largest employer in the town of about 1,700 people and it could not continue to operate.

Wait for it. . .

The raid also dealt a terrible blow to the immigrants, who expect to be deported -- along with their children, many of whom were born in Postville and are U.S. citizens.

A terrible blow. . . to ILLEGAL immigrants, who were also IDENTITY THIEVES. Argh! Oh, and their children, American born as they were, can claim American citizenship for life and can come back legally when they're old enough, I believe, so Boyne can go eat a weiner.

The company's operations were disrupted while Agriprocessors sought to recruit white and African American workers from outside the area.

White and African American workers? Why not just say LEGAL workers, for crying out loud?

Agriprocessors, operated by the Rubashkin family, moved to Postville in 1987 from New York to be closer to a source of livestock.

The Rev. Paul Ouderkirk, a priest at St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Postville, has been assisting the families of the fired workers, who were left without a source of income. Among other things, the church sponsors luncheons for the workers and their children.

Oh, the DISASTER of it all! Those ILLEGAL, IDENTITY THIEVES were left without a source of income! Gosh, if there were only some sort of legal process in place for becoming a U.S. citizen. Wouldn't that be great? Wait, what if foreigners maybe had some legal way to work in the U.S. without lifting the social security information from David Gruber from down the street? Can you imagine such a thing?

The raid was one of a series conducted by federal agents that have disrupted a number of American cities. The raids have shut down companies that had hired immigrants because they were unable to hire workers locally.

Really? And yet here those companies are, out looking for local workers to fill the depleted ranks regardless. Gosh, it's almost as if they specifically hired illegal immigrants for some other reason. I wonder what that could possibly be. Hmmm.

That is a national problem because the American work force is declining as baby boomers retire and there are fewer workers in the succeeding generation.

Because Bill Boyne says so, IT MUST BE TRUE.

It is hard to believe that federal agents are continuing to conduct such raids, because they all have the same effect -- they make it hard for businesses to keep operating, they cause serious damage to the economies of the communities affected, and they disrupt the lives of thousands of workers.

Yeah, it's just so hard to believe such raids are conducted. We should just let ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS drive up healthcare costs and suck on the endless teat of the American handout, because GOD KNOWS that could never seriously damage the economy.

The raids are the result of agitation by right-wing conservatives who believe that they are an effective way of halting illegal immigration. They are wrong.

They are wrong! End of story! They've been BOYNED! I just love how the raids are the result of agitated right-wing conservatives. Some people might possibly, maybe make the argument that the raids were the result of THE FUCKING LAW.

The American work force is shrinking and immigrants are needed to keep the economy running. This trend is caused by the aging of the labor force.


Fine. They can hire all the immigrants they like, so long as they aren't ILLEGAL immigrants. . . like Zutroy here, who is American as apple pie.

Baby boomers are retiring and there are not enough younger workers coming into the work force to replace them.

Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell out. Who was left?

That's why the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, along with dozens of other communities, has established the Work Force 2020 program. Its goal is to help businesses find ways to provide enough workers between now and 2020, when the last of the baby boomers are expected to retire.

Great! Yahoo! RAH RAH ROCHESTER! Anyone want to hazard a guess as to whether the Work Force 2020 program offers amnesty to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, because I'm betting NOT, which makes Boyne's next segue about as nonsensical and stupid as. . . a Nick Coleman segue.

The federal government should also be addressing that issue instead of conducting a pointless program of arresting and deporting immigrants.

They're ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, you fucking moron!

There is another more rational and infinitely more effective way of dealing with illegal immigrants. The first is to recognize that there are 12 million illegal immigrants in this country. Arresting and deporting all of them would be terribly destructive for all concerned.

There's no easy solution. Granted.

What is needed is a humane and workable program to allow these immigrants to become citizens.

Gosh darn it. There it is again. The need for a workable program that allows people to become U.S. citizens. You'd think we'd have something like this in place already, what with our reputation as a melting pot and all that. I'm imagining some process wherein immigrants learn a little bit about American history and civics, capped off with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. I know, that's just crazy thinking.

In the first place, they are not hardened criminals. They are impoverished individuals from Mexico and Guatemala and elsewhere who could not find jobs in their own countries and came to the U.S. to find a way to support their families.

Soooo, they jumped the border and became identity thieves. Good plan.

They should be allowed to qualify for citizenship in a given period of time if they learn English, pay taxes and meet other reasonable standards.

Can you believe this guy? Dude, such a thing already exists. It's not new. It's a pretty well-established system. These ILLEGAL immigrants probably know perfectly well that such a system exists, too, yet they opt for stolen social security identities and hope they don't get caught.

After all, the United States is a nation of immigrants and their descendants -- many of whom were not treated well when they first arrived.

Not treated well? Newsflash: Life ain't fair.

Congress needs to address the problem because the current policy is destructive for all concerned.

Yeah, the current policy wherein ILLEGAL immigrants piss on the idea of going the legal route when it comes to working/living here. One wonders if Bill Boyne has any ideas of his own as to how to "fix" the problem, or if he, like Nick Coleman, is more content to whine aimlessly about it.

It is hoped the next election will result in new leadership that can deal with this grievous problem in a humane and effective way.

In other words, yes, Boyne IS more content with whining aimlessly than actually thinking and offering solutions.

Of course, when a solution actually ALREADY EXISTS, I suppose that's hard to do.

UPDATE: My most esteemed ThunderJournaling colleague, and fellow flatulence afficionado, LearnedFoot, offers up some additional insight regarding this "disaster" of a raid:

"The raids are the result of agitation by right-wing conservatives."

This is complete and utter bullshit.

The point of the raid was because there was a phony document / identity theft ring being operated out of that plant (by some employees without the knowlege of management or ownership). Of course where you find a forged document ring, your also going to find lots and lots of illegals who are using them (also against the law).

If you don't think that this sort of enforcement action should be taken, then you really can't be for throwing the book at college kids who use fake IDs to buy beer or the people who make thoose IDs either.

And how do I know this?

(Ask me. Oh please please ask me!)

OK I'll tell you how I know this.

My neighbor is an ICE agent who participated in that raid. He was in Iowa for over 2 weeks, coming home only on weekends. Afterwards he told me all this.


Number of sources cited by LearnedFoot: 1

Number of sources cited by "journalist": 0

Suck my dick assnozzle.

Posted by Ryan at 11:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 09, 2008

Random Wednesday LOL!


Via Fark, of course

Posted by Ryan at 10:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 08, 2008

Little Known Fact

Gymnastics rings are the bane of my existence. I hate them. I hate them SO MUCH. They're the most impossible creations ever conceived by the mind of man, and they were conceived specifically with me in mind, and how I would never be able figure them out. I've never felt as helpless as when I'm confronted by gymnastics rings. When I cried as a baby, it was because I was thinking of gymnastics rings. The reason Dante referred to the nine circles of hell was because he, too, absolutely despised gymnastics rings.

Gymnastics rings, man. Seriously. . . WTF?

Posted by Ryan at 09:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 07, 2008

Must Be A Monday

Caroline says: Get a load of this family: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2008/07/07/dnt.family.off.plane.kiro

Ryan says: Okay, so I tried to copy and paste your link into a browser, right?

Caroline says: ok

Ryan says: Only, I copied your entire comment. . .

Caroline says: how'd that work for you

Ryan says: So I get back "Internet Explorer was unable to Get a load of this family."

Caroline says: LOLO

Ryan says: Explorer's loss, in my opinion.

Caroline says: That's seriously cracking my shit up right now for some reason.

Ryan says: ME TOO!

Posted by Ryan at 09:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 03, 2008

But Does He Take His Bra Off With His Shirt On?

Posted by Ryan at 01:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Double Pole Vault

Posted by Ryan at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another Great Idea That's Bound to be Stolen

Caroline says: I think it's awesome that in IMworld, all we have to do is put notes around a word and it's "singing."

Caroline says: I wish life was that easy

Ryan says: We should totally open an amusement park called "IMworld."

Ryan says: I'll design a LOLercoaster.

Caroline says: Or the LQTMachine

Ryan says: Laughing Quietly To Myself.

Caroline says: Right

Ryan says: Doesn't sound like a very raucous ride.

Ryan says: Ooh! Ooh! I just thought of the signature park snack!


Caroline says: ROTFL-eos?

Ryan says: OOH! The WTF Freak Show!

Ryan says: You're off your game today.

Caroline says: Oops. I didn't hit send. OMGoCarts

Ryan says: REDEMPTION.

Ryan says: Any good amusement park needs a bar or nightclub.

Ryan says: The A/S/L Express?

Caroline says: The NSFW Lounge

Ryan says: Me likey.

Ryan says: I suppose it could have a library.

Ryan says: The STFU Learning Center.

Caroline says: Or a golf course: TTYLinks

Ryan says: And a petting zoo.

Ryan says: Featuring LOLcats.

Caroline says: The comedy club would have to be called the LMAO Club

Caroline says: I think the Christina Ricci cat would also draw crowds.

Ryan says: Only on Wednesdays.

Caroline says: Well, right.

Ryan says: Wait. . . was that too obscure?

Caroline says: No, Adams Family. I get it.

Ryan says: Damn, you're good.

Caroline says: Fuck yea.

Ryan says: America. Fuck Yeah.

Ryan says: Which is a great segue into the 4th of July!

Posted by Ryan at 08:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2008

Getting to know you. . . barely

One thing I almost always apparently forget when it comes to taking on a new job is that, more often than not, I'm thrown into a sea of new faces and names who, for better or for worse, will be my co-workers for the non-foreseeable future.

Leaving aside the fact I'm not particularly a superstar when it comes to social interactions exceeding three people plus myself, landing in a cubicle maze filled with dozens of new co-workers has been an adventure in its own right.

The thing is, I have no real foundation on which to build relationships with any of these new professional acquaintances. Oh, sure, such foundations will likely establish themselves with time, but who knows how long that will take?

So, I'm stuck with small talk.

And I HATE small talk. Small talk is the linguistic equivalent of life support for conversations about nothing.

Some people are absolutely gifted at the craft that is small talk; these are people who genuinely seem enraptured by the most banal of conversations. Such people can engage others with observations about the weather, or their pet's perceived personality traits or ruminations about the next season of Survivor with the utmost interest.

I'm simply not one of those people. Part of it, of course, I chalk up to my self-diagnosed adult attention deficit disorder, a symptom of which dictates if someone is talking about something I'm not interested in, I start thinking about other things. I don't do this intentionally; it's just that my mind prefers to focus on things it likes to think about, and one of the things it likes to think about is whatever may be going on behind the person I'm supposed to be talking to.

Thus, while I'm supposed to be talking about the weather or what my plans are for the weekend, I'm actually THINKING about that weird-looking guy scratching himself about three feet away, or that woman adjusting her bra strap, or that coffee kiosk over there that maybe, hopefully, also sells Diet Pepsi. . .

I like to think of my adult ADD as a kind of evolutionary throwback to the Neanderthal days, where it's not that I'm not paying attention, it's that I'm paying attention to all the possible threats and/or prey all around me, and listening to small talk doesn't strike me as a sound survival tactic, so my primal brain just ignores it. I'm sure how Diet Pepsi falls into that theory, but I'm sure if I think about it, it will come to me eventually.

At any rate, at some point I come back to the conversation at hand completely oblivious to what was just said right to my face, so I just nod and hope they didn't just ask if they could have one of my kidneys, because that would be AWKWARD.

And so I find myself going through this small conversational version of hell at least a dozen times a day with all these new people I don't know, and I'm left worrying after practically every single one of these interactions that these new people are thinking I might just be a little bit weird. Which, to their credit, I AM a little bit weird, but I like to think I'm weird in a GOOD way, and I worry my good weird isn't coming across as much as I'd like.

That, and I'd really hate to have to give up a kidney.

Posted by Ryan at 02:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dusting Off An Old Post

After a long day of avoiding a U.S. led airstrike over your war torn country, hunger is no doubt the first thing on your mind. You desire something fast and inexpensive, something that the whole family can enjoy. So, come to Osama’s Fast Food Emporium, your Mecca for affordable family cuisine.

At Osama’s, you’ll be treated to a virtually bomb free atmosphere, and you’re encouraged to enjoy Allah you can eat. And, Osama’s extensive menu guarantees a pleasant and different dining experience every time you visit.

“Osama’s has declared a holy war on hunger,” said a satisfied customer. “When I first heard of a franchise in the area, I didn’t walk, Iran.”

Yasser, you betcha, this is no joke, this Israel. With Osama’s restaurants springing up throughout the Middle East, you’re probably just a camel ride away from a hearty Osama’s meal. So, make a pilgrimage to your nearest Osama’s today. Remember, a rolling stone gathers no mosque.

So, what culinary delights can you find at Osama’s? You’re encouraged, of course, to start off with a nice garden or caesar Saladdin before moving on to the main course. How about a nine piece order of Taliban Tenders. These tender white Gaza strips of chicken breast, rolled in Osama’s secret blend of herbs and spices, are sure to satisfy even the most hardlined fundamentalist. Or, enjoy a rosemary and Yemen chicken breast (with a slight sprinkle of Sultan pepper), a sure hit with your wives.

Feeling a little Mexican? Then order our delicious chicken Al Queda Quesadillas.

But wait, you aren’t limited to chicken at Osama’s. You can also enjoy a vast assortment of mutton dishes. In fact, at Osama’s, our specialty Islam.

Osama’s also provides several side orders, including, for a limited time, ripened ears of Koran on the Kaaba.

“Oman, that Koran on the Kaaba was excellent,” said another appreciative diner. “I almost feel bad that I ate four ears. I sincerely apologize.”

No need to say you’re Saudi at Osama’s. At our affordable prices, we understand when you eat more than your share.

Of course, Osama’s didn’t forget the early risers. For the breakfast crowd, Osama’s provides small and large stacks of Pakistani Pancakes smothered in bin Ladenberry syrup. Other breakfast items include Hezbollah Hash Browns, Baghdad Bacon, Syrian Sausage, and Beirut Bagels.

Wash down your Osama’s meal with any of our beverages, including juices, sodas, and our famous Shiite Shakes. All refills only cost a Qatar.

So, you’ve finished your Osama’s meal, and you still have room for more? Perhaps something on the sweet side? Not to worry; Osama’s also provides a number of delicious desert desserts, including our Sahara Sundaes and Empty Quarter Eclairs.

Like most families, you probably have some unruly children who are hungry but difficult to satisfy. No problem. Simply load up your little terrors and bring them to Osama’s, where they can enjoy our low priced Angry Meals. Upon hearing that they’re headed to Osama’s, your children will no doubt start yelling and shieking with glee. You may have to Muslim.

Yes, Osama’s has lifted the veil on affordable family cuisine. See for yourself. Come to Osama’s Fast Food Emporium today!

Posted by Ryan at 07:36 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 01, 2008

Picking up Where it Left Off

By the way, having now watched the first three episodes of the 4th season of "Weeds," I can pretty confidently proclaim the show is just as bad, meandering and poorly written this year as it was last year, despite the addition of Nemo's dad to the character ranks.

It's such a pity, too, because the first two seasons were REALLY good.

Posted by Ryan at 01:47 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Just so ya'll know, I'm basically now inundated with new work and trying to make heads or tails of anything and everything.

So, yeah, my ThunderJournal content is taking a hit. Thus, you're stuck with conversations between Caroline and myself.

By the way, Caroline is due to give birth to a child of some sort this month, so best wishes to her, if you can spare them.

Posted by Ryan at 07:32 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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