Jan 24
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There will be random pictures of geeky tech nerd chicks throughout this post. Scientific studies prove men are more likely to read a blog post if there are pictures of sexy geek-chicks associated with it... or, at least I am more likely to read a blog post if there is a picture of a sexy geek-chick associated with it...

I used to be kind of a techie geek.  I liked the newest tech-toys and the hippest websites.  When I worked at Alltel, I was all about the newest, coolest phones.  I was one of the guys that the customers would come to so they could transfer all of their saved crap on their old phone to their new phone (because we didn’t have fancy machines that did that automatically), or set custom MP3 ringtones on phones that weren’t supposed to be able to have custom ringtones, or whatever other crap needed to be done that took a lot of time but didn’t generate any commission.  Also, friends and family, because I worked at a cell phone store, thought I was the be-all, end-all to tech greatness.  I liked being a go-to geek.  Then I started doing actual tech support, and everything changed.

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Nothing says geek like a Stormtrooper chick...

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I also used to love to read.  I loved being taken away to a life that actually contained adventure by having my imagination stoked by a master wordsmith.  Holding a book, turning the pages, feeling its heft in my hands, knowing that someone had taken months of their time creating this tale just for me… reading was awesome.  I always dreamed of being one of those wordsmiths, creating those tales just for that individual who chose to be carried away by my musings.  I dreamed of having a mass of paper bound together and full of my words with my name embossed on the cover underneath a catchy, deep title like: Whereas Whispers the Will of our Souls, or, Arnklot, Last of the Vampyre Clan of Tillystone. All dreams must come to an end.
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Supergirl wannabe... how nerdy is that?

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The wife used to be pretty technologically ignorant.  She was anti-smartphone because they were too “fancy”, and she didn’t feel she would ever use all of the “fancy” Internet features on a smartphone.  Still, I was able to convince her to go into a Droid, and she has never looked back.  Her next step was a Kindle.  I was actually against the Kindle (this was after I stopped working at Alltel, and technology had started to lose its appeal to me).

“Books are books, and they can’t be replaced by a stupid e-reader,” I would tell her.

“I still love books,” the wife would say, “it’s just nice to have a whole library in one easy-to-carry device.”

“That’s crap,” I would logically disagree.  “Kindles are stupid.  Only babies have Kindles!”

Whatever,” the wife would say, usually rolling her eyes.
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Glasses are uber-tech-geeky...

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So the wife got her a Kindle and started getting fancy electronic books.  They were much less expensive than the good old paper books, and she soon had a decent sized collection of crappy e-books on her Kindle.  I was disgusted.

I started to notice that more and more “experts” were predicting the slow demise of the paper book.  Digital books were predicted to be the wave of the future.  I disagreed.

“Who is going to take the time to write a book if they have to sell them on Amazon for 99¢?” I would inquire.

“There are writers out there who have become millionaires selling books on Amazon,” the wife would argue.  “These writer’s would have never even received an offer from a traditional publisher.”

“But, without a traditional publisher, how do you get a paper book made?” I asked.

“Well, they don’t have paper books made,” the wife said.  “They are all digital.”

“That’s stupid,” I would conclude.  “Only baby writers don’t have paper books.”

More eye rolling always followed.  The wife likes to roll her eyes.

Before I knew it, the wife was getting involved in all kinds of reading crap.  She got all wrapped up in Goodreads, and there she found new Facebook discussion groups and whatnot.  She learned more ways to get enjoyment out of her stupid Kindle.  She actually was fast becoming an expert on e-readers and e-books in general.

This past Christmas, both of my boys and the wife all got Kindle Fires.  Now, all three of them are supporting making authors struggle more by buying e-books instead of the good old traditional paper books.  How in the crap are you supposed to get a signed copy of an e-book?  You can’t, that’s how!  Stupid Kindle.  Stupid Amazon.  Stupid Nook.  Stupid Barnes & Noble (whose brick and mortar stores are on the verge of extinction thanks to stupid e-readers).

The wife was recently talking about how e-reader experts will probably be in pretty high demand in the near future.  Traditional bookstores, libraries, and even many businesses will have a need for an on-staff e-reader expert.  That sounds like a job I would like.  That seems like a job the wife has positioned herself for.  Stupid technology.  After dealing with tech crap all day at work, the last thing in the world I want to do is submerge myself in technology after hours.  I watch stupid scary movies or find some other mind-killing activity to help me get to sleep: things that in no way will help me transition into a fun job (if there is such a thing).
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All Orientals are tech-geeky, right?

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I don’t really read much anymore.  I used to read because I thought reading might be a good way to improve my writing skills.  Now, I have given up on my dream being a writer.  I won’t have my name embossed on the cover of a stinking Kindle, and nobody is going to let me sign their stupid Nook.  Selling e-books for 99¢ isn’t going to lead to a full-time gig (… at least not with any of the hogwash I would end up writing), and who in his or her right mind would write seriously just for fun (I have this stinking blog for that).

Technology kills dreams.  Technology erodes real human contact.  Technology is destroying the world.  My wife is now the technology expert in our house.  And although I work with stupid Internet technology all day, I am thankful that, technologically, I’m an idiot…

Normally, I would end my post here with this profound thought, but I’m feeling kind of bad.  Here I have written a kind of stupid post (yeah, so what’s new?) and interlaced it with attractive women with a more-than-necessary amount of skin showing for the sole purpose of getting guys to stay on my site longer and increase my stats.  I may be a little geekier than I let on.  This is not fair to the women who visit my blog: the wife and my sister.  In order to make amends, I offer the following for the ladies:

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ooh la la, can anyone say "hottie"?

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Beefcake City!

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Finally, that Oriental-thing goes both ways, doesn't it, ladies? :)

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Jan 14

We have this bathroom in our basement.  I love this room.  This room is where I go when I want to spend some quality time alone.  The wife has decorated our little downstairs bathroom with a “theme”.  The “theme” of this room is palm trees.
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I used to wonder how the lovely wife came up with the theme of palm trees for this particular room.  I suspected that Walmart had a  clearance rack of toilet-related materials and the only matching set the wife could find was palm trees. The wife claims the theme arrived in remembrance of our honeymoon almost 18 years ago in Cancun…
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… and the soft, warm breezes on the beach and the hint of lime in every shrimp quesadilla… or lobster taco… or 39 peso cheeseburger at McDonalds (seriously, every thing from Budweiser to bacon in Cancun has a hint of lime).  Whenever I inquire about the theme downstairs, the wife waxes nostalgic of a time right after she and I stood before a man of God, all our family, and most of of friends and proclaimed our undying love for each other.  Cancun for the wife and I was the whipped cream on the Hot Fudge Brownie Delight that is married life.  Remember when Dairy Queen used to sell Hot Fudge Brownie Delights?  These were the calorie-laden monstrosities that consisted of mountains of delectable soft-serve ice cream resting on plains of nut-covered chocolate brownies separated only by seemingly endless rivers of hot, steamy fudge… and then irresponsibly topped with the snow capped ridges of 100% dairy-and-sugar filled whipped cream.   The foundation of marriage is the brownies and ice cream and I do not for an instance regret any part of it… but our honeymoon was the whipped topping, full of fun and sweetness and decadence…
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… everything that convinces a man that he is settling down with the right woman to begin a life of work and responsibilities and children and STINKING FUNDRAISERS!!!  I digress…

So, anyway, I spend a large portion of my “free time” in our downstairs bathroom staring at the shower curtain that rests directly in front of the toilet.
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You may wonder to yourself, “now, what exactly could he be doing on the toilet for any measurable amount of time that would lead him to spend an inordinate amount of time staring at a shower  curtain?”  Well,  you may be slightly dented for asking such a question.  What goes in must come out, and I am sincerely sorry to point this out, but even Johnny Depp and Katy Perry spend time staring at the palm trees… if you know what I mean 😉

The wife dreams of tropical places when she and I discuss the wonderful places we would like to settle down once we figure out what we are going to do with the rest of our lives.  I, on the other hand, tend to lean more towards something more mountainous.
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Of course, both of us are open to the ideas of the other.  I would be almost as content in a bungalow on the beach, and she seems fine with the thought of fresh mountain air and fresh-caught trout with wild asparagus for supper a couple of nights a week.  One problem is that we don’t know quite how to get to either of these locals.  The second problem is that we live in Nebraska, which does have a scenery all its own, like this…
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… and this…
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… and this…
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… along with…
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and, occasionally even…
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… which leads to…
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… and ultimately…
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… but is about as far as you can get from either a tropical paradise or a scenic mountain retreat.

Living in either a tropical paradise or a mountain of solitude would require an income that currently surpasses us here where we actually have jobs, let alone in a remote location where jobs are few and far between.  I’d like to think that we would be able to use our retirement savings to get us to our dream location, but I would also like to think that I don’t look my age and that the tooth fairy pays out even more when the elderly loose their teeth.  All three of these wishes are pipe dreams.  I figure that the only way the wife and I are ever going to see our dreams come true is found in three simple words:

third world country.

Third world countries can be tropical, and third world countries can have mountains.  Third world countries are a lot cheaper to live in than the United States.  Help me, Third World Country… you’re my only hope!

I figure if the wife and I can save up a few thousand dollars, we should be able to move to some neato place like Guatemala or Somalia or, heck, I hear there are some good deals on property in Afghanistan right now.   Guatemala and Somalia both have some nice oceanfront property
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somolia
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and Afghanistan is known for it’s mountainous regions.

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Heck, that’s where all the fugitive Taliban hide, right?
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For a few thousand dollars, we should be able to live like a king and queen!  Oh sure, there would be some language barriers, but I’m sure that any self-respecting country would teach English as a second language, right?  And even if they don’t, just think of the millions of Mexicans who migrate to the US who don’t speak a word of English.  The Mexicans get by just fine.  In fact, many companies and even our government bend over backwards to make sure our Spanish speaking friends don’t have to bother with learning English.  After all, on almost any telephone call you can always “apriete dos para español.”  As ass-backwards as the US is viewed by the rest of the world, I’m sure these third world countries have even better programs in place to make non-native tongue people feel welcome, right?  Of course they do.

There may be some other small hindrances, like decent health care, or a clean water supply, or a reliable food source.  And the fact that the wife and I are Christian may lead to a problem or two.  We may have to fend off the occasional suicide bomber or be weary of any Muslims with a big knife and a penchant for heads, but I’m sure it will be worth it to live in the type of surroundings that we dream of.  I mean, it’s pretty obvious we aren’t going to make those dreams come true in the US.

Ahh… so maybe our dreams really can come true.  Maybe there is some hope for our future outside of the good life that can only be found in Nebraska.  I mean, either dying a martyr at the hands of a radical Muslim, or staring at another corn field and watching another disappointing Husker football season.  At least the martyrdom would be on a beach… or in the mountains…

Well, that’s enough for now.  I had a big supper, and my daily fiber seems to be kicking in.  I have a date with some palm trees…
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Jan 07

Nothing says “sexy beast” like a dude in a CPAP mask.

Just ask me.

I mean, at any given point of the day I have multiple people comment on my sexy goodness, but check me out in the middle of the night when I’m all nose-hosed and compressurized.  The sight of me when I’m all CPAPed-up would turn any women to a state of weak-kneed, wanton lustfulness!

Just ask the wife.

Yeppers, CPAP has been the best thing to happen to my love life since… I mean the intimacy level in my bedroom has… well, uh, when the mask goes on, the romance…

Crap.

Who am I kidding…

Wearing a CPAP has helped me sleep better, and that’s it.  It has not been at all helpful in the hanky-panky department.

My life has been filled with self-doubt and low self-confidence.  I didn’t date in high school or college because I couldn’t expect some poor girl lose all self-respect for herself by being seen in public with me.  I kind of assumed that a kiss from me might actually turn the girl into a toad.  After college, I was lucky to meet the woman who is currently my wife.  She seemed to like me well enough, and she didn’t have any major issues with being seen in public with me.  She didn’t turn into a toad.  So, even with her glaringly obvious mental condition, I married her.

Now, in addition to being a rather unsightly fellow, I snore like a mother.  Yep, always have.  Roommates in college cringed at the thought of sharing a room with me.  If I had a dollar for every pillow thrown at me in the middle of the night, my wealth would put Warren Buffett’s to shame.  My wife, bless her, put up with it for more than a decade before she could take no more.

So, I have the sex appeal of Quasimodo, a snoring ferocity that would silence a caterwauling cat, and the love-making skills of a zombie on crack.  Yes, my wife is a lucky lady.

I figured that if I reduced one of the many negative traits that make up — you know — me, maybe I could score some points with the wife.  You know,  increase the frequency of the cracked-out zombie lovin’ just a bit.  Then I realized what the wife was looking at on the opposite end of the bed every night and morning…

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CPAP

COME TO ME, MY LOVELY...

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… and I realized that my previous thoughts and motivation were somewhat deluded.

Damn it.

Not only is a CPAP more effective than a chastity belt, it’s hella expensive to maintain.  My CPAP contraption is made by Philips.  You know, the light bulb people.  Apparently Philips isn’t raking in quite enough money selling light bulbs, because they try to rape you on the price of one of their CPAP machines.  I mean, seriously…  A CPAP machine is little more than a reverse vacuum cleaner that blows instead of sucks.  It’s got some kinda brain that registers when to blow and when not to.  My Droid X phone completes a hell of a lot more complicated tasks than my CPAP machine, but the Droid X cost a small fraction of what that stupid Philips thingie did.  Plus, I don’t have to buy outrageously priced replacement parts for my Droid X.  This little gasket thingie (I believe it’s referred to as a “cushion” in the screwlicious world of CPAP) costs $65:

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Seriously… 65 freaking dollars for a little piece of rubber.  And, you wanna take a wild guess at how long that little sucker lasts?  About a month.

Yeppers, one solitary month, or as they stay in China: 一個臭烘烘的一個月.

After about a month, the piece of crap starts to leak.  So, with the payments on the machine (we rent… ’cause that’s the way our insurance rolls), the monthly “cushion”, and the other cheaply made, outrageously prices parts and pieces that need to be purchased for this sucker on a regular basis, my CPAP therapy costs a small fortune every year to maintain.  I don’t know how people who aren’t on decent insurance can afford something like this (unless, of course, they are in that stupid 1%); oh wait… they can’t.  People who are uninsured or have crappy insurance get to die early because they can’t afford to treat their sleep apnea.  Well, we’re all better off without them, right?  Don’t believe me?  Just ask the 1%.

Oh sure, my sleep apnea is somewhat under control now.  I sleep better at night.  My wife sleeps better at night.  But, I will freaking look like this every night for the rest of my life:

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CPAP Zombie

... I SAID "COME TO ME!"

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Bet you’re gonna have nightmares now, aren’t you?  I do, and I’m sure the wife does too…

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Jan 01

Yep, you read right: I hate the holidays.  By “the holidays,” I mean the season starting right around Halloween (which I know isn’t a real holiday, but that’s when this all starts)…

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… and ending shortly after the champagne is drained on New Year’s Eve.

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I hate this time of year.  Not that I don’t appreciate things like Christ’s birth.  You know, He went on to die a horrible death on a cross for our sins!  His is a birth worth celebrating.  It’s not that I don’t need to show my appreciation for all that I have by gorging myself on turkey and mashed potatoes and pecan pie… I do that just like I’m supposed to.  The reason I hate the holidays is because the holidays are a two-month extravaganza leading to the ending of another year.  The holidays are also the beginning of a new year that is supposed to hold new promise and hope for great things to come.  Whatever…

Being an old pessimist, the ending of a year means another year of exactly what I expected: nothing spectacular.

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I spent about 35% of my waking hours in 2011 getting up much earlier than I cared to and going to a job.  I sat at a desk and talked with people who were upset with their Internet service, tried to manage a small cast of characters, and had any creative marketing idea I came up with shot down faster than the boss could say, “I’m not feeling it.”  I think a funny YouTube video with a grandma, an alien,  a “probe” and Internet would be hilarious and create much interest in our Internet services.  The boss disagrees.  Whatever… it’s his company.  If he wants to keep it a “family-friendly” local business, that’s his choice.  I guess my ideas are better for a national (or even world-wide) audience.  My thoughts are too grand for Crapbraska.

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After work, I almost daily went to the YMCA to do some cardio, which I recently discovered was pretty much worthless.  Even though I worked my butt off at the Y, I didn’t lose a pound (apparently everything on my butt went straight to my gut), and I still found myself going on both high blood pressure and cholesterol medication this past year.  I’m destined to be a fat person who doesn’t quite fit in…

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At this point, it should be fairly obvious that a large portion of my life is nothing more than a huge waste of time.  That’s always gratifying… knowing that a large portion of the time you spend breathing air is nothing more than time spent stealing air from someone who makes a difference.

So, the holidays do nothing more for me than remind me that I spent a large portion of the year not mattering.  See, an optimist may find that realization a little depressing; for a pessimist, it’s the status quo.  Long live the pessimist, usurper of the air of people who matter!

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Thus, what the new year holds for me is little to get excited about.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Such is life.

The great thing about being a pessimist is I know exactly what the new year is going to bring… no pleasant surprises.  And if there is a pleasant surprise, it will be just that: a pleasant surprise.

The sucky thing about being a pessimist is I know exactly what the new year is going to bring…

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…happy holidays, or whatever…

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