Mallard at Frosh Pond

Thursday, December 7, 2006 at 10:02 PM | Filed under

Just ten minutes ago, I was just sitting on a bench near Frosh Pond, minding my own business, eating the last of my Doritos when a mallard jumped out of the pond and walked across the pathway and stood within a yard of the bench. "Sorry, duck," I said. I didn't have any more Doritos—I had just finished them off. And even if I did have any, I wouldn't give him any because I can't imagine Doritos being very good for ducks.

But he just sat there, looking at me. I tucked my empty bag of Doritos into my backpack and the duck just kept standing there. Eventually, he turned 90 degrees to his left, but I could still see him eyeing me. Then shortly after that, he turned 90 more degrees so that his back was toward me. But his head was still turned so he could eye me. Then he made a brown watery duck poo and continued to stand there. This is the point during which I got up and walked away from the duck.

Glaring Cat

Friday, December 1, 2006 at 9:54 PM | Filed under

My cat's been glaring at me. What can I do to get him to stop it?

Christmas Decorations

Saturday, November 25, 2006 at 11:43 PM | Filed under ,

We decorated the living room for Christmas yesterday and today. We moved the sofas into more an an "enclosing" arrangement to allow access to the fireplace.



I was totally in charge of assembling the artificial tree and hanging ornaments, but the tree is very much the same as it's looked in previous years, except there are more lights (there's 300 bulbs). I love my new Jelly Belly tree ornament. I found it at Cost Plus--they happen to have a lot of Jelly Belly stuff there.

I also created the construction paper chain that lines most of the room. It took me several hours to complete. I made most of it watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I found the secret to making the chains look good is to use only two colors and to make thick, tight chain links.

Canopy Topples

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 10:30 AM | Filed under ,

It's very windy outside. I was just walking to the HUB from my chem lecture and a big gust of wind caught the blue canopy tent of a group set up outside (to hand out study bibles). The canopy blew completely upside-down. It looked like it was going to strike a couple people, but it didn't. They fixed the canopy and it looks like no harm was done.

Blackjack

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 2:40 PM | Filed under ,

I was outside yesterday afternoon and saw Jesse and Dylan (two of the little neighbor kids). Jesse was playing with Dylan's little electronic casino toy. He was playing blackjack.

"Oh, you know how to play blackjack?" I asked.

"Yep," he said.

I watched as he was dealt a 2 and a 3. "Hit or stand?" the game's electronic voice asked.

"Stand," Jesse declared aloud as he pressed the button.

Little kids are funny. I wanted to teach him at least what I knew of blackjack (I'm no expert, but I know better than to stand on a 5), but I had stuff to do.

Frantic Meowing

Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 11:39 AM | Filed under

I heard my cat meowing loudly and urgently at the bottom of the stairs, so I ran down to see what he needed. He was walking in circles in front of the closed basement door. I began opening the door so he could enter. Before opening it more than 6 inches, he began to wedge his way through, then continued into the room and rushed hurriedly to the big bowl of water in front of the fish tank and began lapping up the water. The odd thing is that just a minute ago, he was here, upstairs, in the dining room within five feet of his regular water bowl. My cat is weird.

Bingo Night

Friday, November 3, 2006 at 9:27 PM | Filed under

Tonight, I went to my high school's Bingo Night with my family and cousin Kevin (but Stephanie went to sit with her own friends). I was mildly surprised to see Brandon Johnson there; he sat next to me. We also had the pleasure of sitting next to Khader too. I went to Bingo Night two years ago. It's lots of fun. I wanted to go last year but it was the night before my SATs. This year was very much the same. They had pizza—I had pepperoni—and some popcorn.

I was upset by something, though. They didn't have a blackout round! How angering. It was so tense the last time I was there—very exciting. But not this year. There were several groups of high school kids there who kept making shreiking noises at the wrong times, and the bingo caller kept pausing to say, "Do we have a bingo?" It was a bit annoying. I wasn't incredibly mad that I won nothing—it's fun to play bingo. But still, I was upset by the poor sportsmanship of many of the bingo players, booing players who had shouted "Bingo!" Come on, guys, be good sports!

Oh, we won some stuff this year! I personally didn't win anything, Khader won the very first game (regular 5-in-a-row bingo) and got some peppermint patties. Mom won a raffle and got some "relaxation" stuff (mostly cookies and some kind of pillow footwear). And Kevin won the "I"-or-"G"-row game and won a gift certificate to Sparta's Pizza.

I brought my bingo cards home and counted them. Counting the free spaces and wild spaces that could have helped me win bingos, I marked 250 squares. I mismarked one square—I marked 61 when I thought she had said 51.

Christmas Music

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 at 9:45 PM | Filed under , ,

We've been listening to Halloween music all night thanks to our digital cable's Music Choice channel, Sounds of the Seasons, which all month long has constantly been piping Halloween music into my house. I'd been having a smashing time all night on this Halloween night until about 15 minutes ago, at 9:30 PM, when Deck the Halls suddenly started playing in place of Halloween music. Then after that, we heard The Jackson 5 sing Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. Angry and confused, Kevin and I walked into the living room to make sure that they weren't just fooling us. After all, it's just 9:30. But no, they've changed their programming to Christmas songs already!

The reason for this is obvious to me. Music Choice is based in the East Coast (Pennsylvania, it looks like), where Halloween has been already over for 45 minutes. But what about EVERYBODY BUT YOU, East Coast? You know, we're still trying to celebrate Halloween! It's only 9:30! The night's only beginning! But you've killed the Halloween mood.

Donut

Friday, October 27, 2006 at 6:52 AM | Filed under

I microwaved this donut to make it warmer. It's a custard-filled, chocolate-iced donut I got from Safeway two days ago. The problem with me having heated it is that the icing has liquefied, and I can't pick up the donut without getting melted icing on my hands. And the icing is running off the side of the donut. So now I have to eat it with a fork.

The New Feud

Monday, September 11, 2006 at 9:39 AM | Filed under ,

I'm sitting here, watching the new Family Feud. There's a number of changes. The biggest one, of course, is the new host. John O'Hurley has now usurped the role of host. And he's not too shabby. Sure, he has gray hair, but a lot of old people do. I'm glad that he knows the rules of the game; it would suck if he was all like, "Okay, um, now, let's see here... contestants, do you know how to play?" One thing that's a little irritating is that he seems to use his bold voice excessively; it becomes very painful to listen to. He also inflects his voice a lot. But at least he tries to be funny.

They've redecorated the set. It looks more like the original set than ever (with the family rooms behind the podiums, which are shaped like in the olden days), except with a lot of blue lighting. One change is that the big board is humongous; It's maybe 5 or 6 feet tall! And it's really low to the ground, meaning that they can frame the host and contestants into shots of the board. They replaced the old-fashioned incandescent egg carton scoreboards with TV screens displaying the scores--which is a little sad. Something that bugs me greatly is that the scores aren't displayed on the families' podiums anymore, which makes it a little hard to keep up to date with the scores because they don't zoom in on the new location of the scoreboards anymore.

I'm not 100% sure I like the new types of questions they're asking the contestants now. "Name a word that rhymes with orange." What? How can they do that? And what's with this question: "Name a celebrity you'd like to fuck." How inappropriate is that?! "Name a member of your family that you would kill for money." What kind of values are they trying to teach here?

Actually, I was kidding about the questions in the last paragraph. But still, there was a question a minute ago that I despised just as much as the one I ranted about a week or so ago. The question was "Which of the Seven Dwarfs best describes your wife in bed?" Of course, this is annoying to me because it's practically another multiple-choice question, with 7 choices. Worse yet, the top 5 answers were on the board, meaning that it would be impossible for a team to lose because there's the top 5 answers and the teams would be allowed to miss two without getting a third strike.

But, of course, this would only be true is the families knew all seven of the dwarfs. Sleepy, Grumpy, and Happy (the #1 Answer) popped up on the board pretty fast, and so did Dopey (huh?), but the contestants got three strikes due to answers such as "Mopey" and "Snoozy", and the other team couldn't steal with their guess of "Sneezy". The last answer was Bashful, but still, any team knowing all seven dwarfs could win that question without much problem. This would make it a trivia game, something that the Feud really isn't.

I miss Richard Karn.

Stupid Settings

Saturday, September 9, 2006 at 11:56 PM | Filed under ,

I found something in my MySpace blog settings that upset me a little:



Why do several of the options give me the choices "NO" or "NO"? Why not "YES"? What if I want to say yes? Why even give me the option if you won't let me say anything other than "NO"? Come on, MySpace, what's your deal?

The Price Is Right: A Moron a Day

Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 10:16 AM | Filed under

It seems that each of the last few times I've watched The Price Is Right, there's been at least one idiot per show. I wish I could remember the examples of moronic, idiotic contestants on The Price Is Right from recent episodes, but here's one that's on the show right now.

There's a contestant, Victor, who is currently sitting in Contestant Row. They were bidding on some item last round, and he bid "thirty-nine ninety-five." So "3995" appears on his display and Bob Barker repeats, "Three thousand, nine-hundred ninety-five," and Victor says, "No, thirty-nine dollars and ninety-five cents." So the audience starts booing, as would I, and Bob explains to him that there's only whole-dollar amounts on the show for the history of the show and that this kid's been wasting his life (because he hasn't been watching the show?). Then he clears his board and asks if he wants to bid $40. Victor says no, and bids $60. Of course, he loses the round; the true value of the item was more than $1,000.

I find it distressing that contestants are being goofy. Are they doing this for attention? It kinda reduces the integrity of the show. Bogus. I'll keep my eye open for more examples.

I Feel Betrayed by the Feud

Friday, September 1, 2006 at 9:22 AM | Filed under ,

I'm watching Family Feud right now, and I must say that something I just saw shocked and disappointed me. The question Richard Karn asked the contestants was, "Name who comes out on top in a divorce: the husband, the wife, or the lawyer?" Now, isn't there something fundamentally wrong with asking a multiple-choice question in this show? It ruins the free association that the show is so famous for. You never know what the survey may have said! But when the show forces options on the survey, isn't it kinda pointless?

Now, this was during the sudden death round, so it's not like all three choices were on the board. Only lawyer was up there (with 77 points), but still, the question wasn't very fair, and this was to decide the game, too. Poor Mary Beth buzzed in early, and said what I bet most of the survey would have said without the choices: "the wife." But that was wrong. Then Karn read the question in its entirity, including the choices.

After the other contestant got it right, Karn aplogized to the losing team, saying that it was really a "trick question"—is it the aim of Family Feud to trick its contestants? The game's about racking your brain to think about what other people think of, not to determine whether the show is going to try to trick you. Should Mary Beth have expected the survey to say lawyer? When I think of a divorce, I usually think of the couple splitting up, not about the lawyer getting involved. If anything, Karn should have read the choices in advance instead of trying to trick the contestants.

On a slightly different topic, those of you who watch the Feud regularly know that Richard Karn—mainly known for his role of Al on Home Improvement—is going to replaced by John O'Hurley on September 11—in ten days. This is too bad, because Karn is really the best guy for a show like this. I hope O'Hurley is dignified about the game, though, like he was with To Tell the Truth.

Little Kids are Obsessed With Me

Monday, August 28, 2006 at 8:53 PM | Filed under ,

It seems that all of the neighbor kids are attracted to me like a magnet. I went outside three times to check for mail (which never came...), and each time, the little kids dropped whatever they were doing and ran over to me to talk to me about a hundred different topics. The boys wanted me to bring out my Hot Wheels and play cars with them (a game consisting of dragging the car back and forth on the ground and going "vroom vroom"), and the girls wanted me to listen to them sing some pop music. It's hard to say no to them because they just keep hounding you and they follow you everywhere.

I'm not saying that I don't like them, it's just that they're always on my tail whenever I step outside. The second time I stepped outside, Jesse and Davey were obsessed with the idea of wanting to come into my house to play video games and build with Legos and make a Hot Wheel track. This is stuff Jesse and I used to do when I babysat him. The third time I stepped outside, I managed to sneak to the mailboxes, but when I saw that Jesse had noticed me, I ran back to my house with him following closely on his scooter. I only barely managed to get into my house and lock the door before he could push the door open to beg for me to come back outside and play. He will just stand with his foot in the door. It drives me absolutely crazy!

Several weeks ago, my cousin Daniel was visiting, and we were working on a jigsaw puzzle, and Jesse and Davey rang on the doorbell and when I opened the door, they ran away. A minute or so later, they rang the doorbell again, and to humor them, I opened the door; they were hiding under the porch, and I could see them through the slats. They kept ringing the doorbell and playing ding dong ditch until more cousins, Kevin and Shelly, arrived. The little kids began pestering them (Jesse and Davey have this obsession with telling Kevin that he owes them money). After Kevin and Shelly came in, Jesse and Davey kept ringing the doorbell and running and hiding. After a while, we began to ignore them, but then they would repeatedly ring the door bell over and over. Soon, Kevin prepared a squirt gun and stood behind the door. When Kevin heard Jesse and Davey run up the stairs, he opened the door and blasted the kids with the squirt gun. Of course, that really didn't stop them—nothing does.

The Neighbors' Play

Thursday, August 24, 2006 at 6:17 PM | Filed under

The little kids in my cul-de-sac decided that they're going to put on a play for us neighbors to watch tomorrow. I told them that the idea sounds good, and asked what their play's going to be about. This was hours ago, so let's see how close I get to what their actual story was. It's about this girl who's a maid and she doesn't like being a maid so she runs away and bumps into some poor girl and they both run away and then they run into a witch, and—that's when I stopped her. "Don't spoil the ending for me!" I said.

I asked them when they would be showing the play—they said, "6:30". I said that's awfully close to dinnertime, and they said that they themselves would be serving dinner for the audience. Wondering what a 10-year-old might serve for an entire audience, I asked what dinner could be. They listed off a plethora of items such as blackberries, soda pop, and Top Ramen. "Would you cook the Top Ramen?" I asked, and they said no, that it was fine hard and they enjoyed eating it that way anyway.

They also mentioned nachos—one girl's mom came outside and the girl asked if they could run to the store sometime to buy some nachos, and her mom asked if she'd be using her own money. This brought up the topic of whether they'd be charging admission to the play. I told them the pros and cons of charging both high and low amounts of money. They argued with each other and decided on 50¢ per ticket, although one boy thought that was too high and said that 25¢ was fine. One girl didn't want to charge anything, but didn't want to leave empty-handed and wanted to charge 1¢ per ticket. I told them that they're likely to lose money if the cost of the food is more than the money they take in from admission, but they said they were fine with that and that they were going to use only the food that they already had, and therefore not lose any money.

Then one girl asked if I could help them make a program for their play. I told them that I'd charge them 5¢ per page for black and white prints or 10¢ for color, while leaving open how many prints they would need, secretly hoping that she'd ask for too many so that she would learn about overstocking or something like that. She decided that 10 black-and-white copies would do nicely. I then asked her to sketch up what she wanted it to look like, but before she got very far into that, her grandpa came driving into the cul-de-sac and she apparently dropped the idea.

I'm Not Dilbert!

Friday, June 16, 2006 at 12:23 AM | Filed under ,

Yesterday, I went to the rehearsal for the graduation ceremony. It was long. Several people in our class need to practice standing and sitting with decent timing.

Then Melissa, Bryan, Emily, and I went to Anthony's Beach Cafe. I got a burger. That was fun. Then we went and checked out the new Weather Center nearby... all it really is is some temperature displays and some little thing about tides. There was a really lame video made by grade school children.

I gave Garth a bath yesterday afternoon. Then we combed and combed him. He's really soft today and he is clean.

Last night, I went to the awards ceremony. When the lady was about to hand out the Bronze Presidential Volunteer award something, she pronounced my name "Brandon Dilbert." Ack! She corrected herself but I still wanted to blow up the whole auditorium. Not that anyone was laughing or anything. I also won an award for being in National Honor Society and another one for being in the top 10% of my class or something like that.

Today, I hooked Mom up with Pac-Man so that she could play that. (She's not very good; I don't know why she likes it so much...)

Mystery Phone

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 1:46 PM | Filed under

For much of this week, Dad's been wondering where this cell phone came from. It's a Samsung phone that he found in his car recently.

He called several of the contacts on the phone and learned that the phone's owner works in the auto department at Sears at the mall—the guy had left his phone in Dad's car while working on it!

So Dad's waiting for this guy to call his cell phone so they can schedule when he can pick it up.

Lots of Random News

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 6:46 PM | Filed under ,

The school year is wrapping to a close (more literally than you would think!). In the fall I shall be attending The University of Washington. Yes! Ten out of ten for style, right?

I got angry because I wanted to get a vest to keep warm while camping but nobody has vests these days! Not even JCPenny or Sears or NOT EVEN ROSS has vests. I had to go to Value Village. My grandpa also had a vest he never wore so he gave it to me.

I have noticed lately a lack of desire to eat jelly beans. Could this be the end of my addiction? I doubt it... I've still been on the lookout for the smoothie-flavored beans. I don't think they'll be selling them in store; I'll have to order them online. I'll also need to order Jalapeño online because they don't sell them in stores. Unless... does the Sweet Factory (in the mall) sell Jalapeño in bulk? I don't know.

Sigh I am just typing to avoid having to pack to go camping tomorrow. We're going to Thousand Trails tomorrow morning and I was rather upset to learn that sites are distributed first come, first serve. That means that we'll have to get there nice and early (impossible!). We're doomed to have the rainiest campsite!

We were rather upset last month to learn that they're going to tear down the "greenbelt" on the other side of the street from our cul-de-sac to put in some apartments. That means there's going to be noise and other bric-a-brac all over.

I was also upset to learn that the Ninja Turtles show currently running is going to make a huge change to the show by thrusting the characters some billion years into the future. I think they're going to drop most of the main characters and give the Turtles stupid costume changes (I've seen the pictures on the official website; they're not pretty).

I've had a sore throat (due to allergies) for the past few days now and it's going to suck going camping because that'll probably only upset me more. Life sucks when you've got allergies (or sunburns...ouch).

I wish I had an anecdote to tell you, but I don't. (When I was typing "anecdote", my finger slipped and I typed "qawszc".)

This weekend, I'm thinking I might count the number of times I sneeze while camping. Sounds tedious, though. But only if I'm actually sneezing (and let's hope I'm not).

Happy "News" Year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 1:46 PM | Filed under , ,

The reason for the "News" instead of "New" is because there's a ton of news about what happened over the New Year's Weekend! Like usual, I headed up to Bellingham to celebrate. I went up with Kevin on Thursday because I didn't want to wait until late Saturday to go with my family. We didn't do a whole lot on Thursday or Friday; those days aren't really important.

Saturday, the day of the Eve, we set up the cots in the pole building (big-ass shed/garage/loft) because there wouldn't be enough room in the house for all us cousins and cousins' friends to sleep. While we were doing that, Kevin booted up the computer, projector, and sound system in there so we could work to some music. He launched Winamp onto the big screen and played music from an Internet music station. Then I turned on the full-screen visualization because the desktop was boring to look at.

Then it hit us. THIS 10-FOOT-TALL VISUALIZATION WAS WICKED COOL LOOKING. We turned off the ground-level lights (Michelle was setting up the girls' quarters upstairs) and it was really really cool. We turned on a dance club radio station and I told Kevin that he should have Daniel bring up his strobe light.

After the New Year and fireworks, we went out to the shed and whacked a piñata that Michelle, Shelly, Kevin, and I worked together to make. Steffi (who went first because she's youngest) knocked it off of its string. Then I went next and made a big whack in it! Then Katrina hit it and candy started falling out of it! Nobody there really wanted the candy, possibly because some of it probably fell in oil left behind from cars that park in the shed.

After that, we danced with the projector and strobe light on in the shed, which we had by then dubbed the Club. Well, techincally, I didn't dance. I maintained the visualizations and videotaped the dancing. We need a fog machine and a disco ball.