Thursday, August 28, 2008

Student Workers: can you get any dumber?

For 3 and a half years I have worked on campus at a fast food version of Friendlys. We do cheeseburgers, hot dogs, a few wraps, and French fries and shit. Basic mcdonalds menu right? Working there is a piece of cake. After 15 minutes of training I learned how to do everything. 99% of it is common sense anyways. Deep fry the Fries, until they are golden brown. Cook the hamburger till it is not pink. etc. Easy easy things.

Well aparently having common sense, or possessing basic reasoning skills is NOT always associated with college students. I find this pretty hard to believe. You may be going to become a nurse, a architect, or a computer technician, yet you can't deep fry French fries? You can't ladle soup into a cup? If you perform this bad at simple tasks, it just makes me think that you would be the worst nurse/architect/computer tech ever. Honestly! How dumb can you be?

Luckily out of the dozen or so people I work with, 90% are either return students, or freshman that caught on quick.But there is still that lazy asshole that doesn't know how to do shit. Some days I just want to strangle them and deep fry their face. I understand if the kitchen is REALLY busy, and there is only 1 person there doing tons of orders, if you mess stuff up, or burn some fries. That doesn't happen! there are like 5 people in a kitchen that only needs 2-3, there are NO customers half the time, and you STILL burn them. FUCK!

Thank god with Mcdonalds fries they actually are self measuring, and cooking. You just push a button. If the kid fucks that up, he should just eat a bottle of aspirin.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

The Text Book Scam: How publishers/colleges shake your pockets.

Anyone who has attended a college in the last few years has learned 3 basic things.
1- Your going to shit your brains out, or be unable to shit for weeks, due to campus food.
2- the toilet paper will most likely cut your ass, more than wiping with a pine cone.
3- Books at the campus store, and in general, are a rip off.

No way! Colleges and publishers, with the goal of educating the youth, would not needlessly be trying to gouge profits out of already struggling college students. That would be irresponsible! Yet, that is the cold hard truth. Each year it is estimated that American students spend $900 on books a year! That is in addition to the already outrageous price for education.
But why is it $900! Aren't there used books? While there are occasionally a few, there are 2 major problems with the used book system. 1, the bookstore that buys back used books, regardless of the flawless condition, rarely pays out 1/2 the original cost of the book. That makes it almost worthless to return, since you may at some point need it in the future. The 2nd is the fact that every few years there is a new edition that each professor wants to use, making the old editions aparently obsolete.

Wait a minute. How does that make any sense! A new edition of a book is generally the re-organization of the book to make it easier to understand, as well as correcting the countless grammatical, technical, and factual errors that were originally included. Thats strange, almost anything else you buy that is defective, you get a FULL REFUND for. If you bought a car that had incorrect fuel readings, and displayed the wrong speeds would be fixed at no cost to the consumer. However with Books, you are paying for the mistakes. In stead of being able to use your roomates book from last semester, with those dozen mistakes, and some awkward arrangement of details, you have to spend anywhere from $100-$200, for a simple book!
Currently I am taking Legal Environment in Business. The new book costs $197 online ($225 at the book store aparently). The old book (last years edition, in almost perfect condition) $47, with shipping and handling. How is that remotely fair, or legal!

I can understand the need to update books occasionally. After 5-10 years, facts and information may change. They need to be updated. However being updated in 01, 03, 05, 07 and 08? It seems a bit much don't you think?

So I said fuck the system. I explained to my professor that I would purchase the old copy, and just deal with the errors, and the sometimes strange organization. Sure, this will mean that all my homework assignments will have 1-2 questions from the wrong chapter, and be missing 1-2. But thats ok. If I get all the rest right I would still get a 90, which is an A.

So fuck the book business.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

All one of you that actively have read my previous blogs and information would know I often do a "quote of the day" when something witty and amazing occurs, and I am present. Well of course, another amazing thing recently happened.

Were sitting in Gojo's room playing some euchre, and we had been making fun of him ALLL night. He is a big bear looking dude, so we always make odd comments and shit, about him being a bear.

Well I move my chair some so I can put my beer in a better spot and i tip over his work boots. They stunk like ass. so I was like "dude, did you shit in your boots?"

Napoleon, with out even pausing is like "he probably shits in them because it's a lot closer than walking to the woods." I just burst out laughing, uncontrollably.

And then it got better. In several Waldo books there is the evil waldo called "odlaw" he wears yellow and black stripes, and he has a moustache. Well were driving to the store to get more beer and we see this asian guy wearing the get up, with a little moustache. With out hesitating napoleon again is like. Hey rook, its odraw! Raugh out Roud funny!

Man is he just fucking hysterical.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Hi Mike!

Moving back to college, I get the opportunity to meet tons of new people. Precisely 1,000 that have never actually been to Alfred. With a name like Waldo, you would think I would go unnoticed a lot. Nope, Wrong. Every single person I meet, even if its just for 1 minute, Knows my name. And then I have to remember theirs.

The first day my fraternity came out early and helped freshmen move into the dorms. We would carry anything from the mini-fridge, to the 10 bags of shoes up the stairs. Of course I try to get to know everyone. Well 2 hours and 8 mikes into it, I just gave up. How many Mike's can there be. I already know at least 10 that go/went to this school, and now I just met a bunch more. Not to mention I haven't met that many of them yet! I began to wonder. "Is this some sort of "Mike" phenomenon. Did an unproportionate number of mike's just apply to this school, and all the Dave's applied to another?" And then I began to think about it.

Our society is pretty conformist. We either stick with the same old same old, or come up with something totally off the wall that is just nuts. There is no middle ground. Your kid is either named Mike, Dave, Amanda, or they are named, Lateala, Apple, and Dashielle. But I guess it's not a new trend. Working at the nursing home for so long I met probably 140 residents total. Well I bet at least 25 were Ruth's. another 20 were Annes, and then a dozen or so named marion. then you had the out there names. Beatrice, Gertrude, Loraine, Rudy.

Just seems strange. Why are we either so alike, or so unique. Never really in the middle. Or is it that everyone in the middle just blends in so well. Sort of like I should in a crowd.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The fight for the right: To drink

Most people think I shouldn't care about the drinking age. I'm 21 now, there is no need for me to have to try to get friends to buy me booze. Or use a fake ID. Yet why do I?

American society is derived from several different points. Faith, heritage, geographic location and many others all bring different aspects into our society, and lead us to all be “Americans”. Even our legislation decides the fate of our society. One in particular part that affects our society is the drinking age. Raising the drinking age from 18 to 21 has damaged our society and American culture as a whole.

On July 17th 1984, the United States passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. The act provided that, if a state does not raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21, they will 10% of their national highway funding. As the funding is a necessity for states, every single state accepted the act, and has since raised their drinking age to 21. While some states, such as New York and South Dakota have challenged the act, none have been able to overcome congress’s pursuit to keep the drinking age at 21 years of age. The government has decided that 18 was too low to allow individuals to drink, citing several issues such as the operation of vehicles at the same age, and health risks associated with alcohol and the developing human body.

It is commonly accepted that drinking and driving do not go well together. Every state, as well as most countries have explicit laws as to the consumption of alcohol and then operating vehicles. The United States Government has gone as far as requiring alcoholic beverages to contain a surgeon generals warning, that warns of the dangers of alcohol, and that you should not operate heavy machinery, or drink while pregnant. Individuals cited statistics showing that in states that had previously raised their age to 21, car crashes caused by intoxicated individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 decreased dramatically. These statistics were used to show that states that had begun to raise the drinking age, were able to save more lives, and stop many injuries of individuals on the nation’s roadways.

Also as of the age of 18, individuals become legal adults and are granted other abilities, such as the ability to marry. With marriage it is custom to also start procreation. Thousands of studies have proven the negative effects of drinking while pregnant. Fetal alcohol syndrome has risen as one of the most horrific forms of child abuse this country has ever encountered. Each year thousands of children are born impaired due to a mother consuming alcohol. In 1973 Fetal Alcohol syndrome was recognized as a syndrome. All of these reasons lead the government to pass the national minimum drinking age act.

No one disputes that increasing the age to 21 has decreased fatalities in the United States. However the raising of the national drinking age is with out a doubt one of the largest constitutional infringements this government has ever imposed on the people. The government continually sourced statistics and information about the number of fatalities raising the age to 21 has supposedly prevented. Nineteen. Nineteen is the average age of soldiers killed in Vietnam. While no statistics have been provided by our government as of yet as to how many of the 4083 deaths in Iraq have been by individuals under the age of 21, browsing through the list of casualties provided by the government, you can easily see that at least a fifth of the individuals killed, could not legally consume alcohol. How can a country tell its people that they cannot consume alcohol, because it is harmful and could lead to their death, yet send the same people to die in a desert, or in a jungle? But wait, drinking and driving may have other victims! Innocent individuals may also lose their life because someone was impaired by alcohol. That argument would work for the 84,099 confirmed killed civilians in Iraq. How can our government cite statistics about the decrease in deaths since the drinking age has been lowered, and support it, because it saves those 18-20 year olds lives, as well as other civilians, yet support a war that has killed thousands of Americans, wounded even more, and murdered thousands of Iraqi civilians, while wounding possibly hundreds of thousands. How can you patriotically serve your country, when they won’t offer you the same freedoms, just because you are of a different age? Why is the age 18 to join the military? Because 18 is when you become a legal adult in the United States. A legal adult to make your own decisions, get married, obtain a credit card, buy cigarettes and lotto tickets. Purchase pornography. You can do almost anything at the age of 18, except drink legally. At a U.S. Senate hearing last fall the deputy transportation secretary Thomas Barrett who has retired from the coast guard said, "I hear this bandied about that if you are old enough to fight for your country, you are old enough to have a beer. … I don't think it's the same type of maturity." Being given a gun, to shoot people and possibly get shot yourself, definitely requires less maturity than consuming alcohol. It’s only another humans life right?
The other argument provided for raising the drinking age, is the risk to pregnant women and their unborn children. While fetal Alcohol syndrome is a horrific tragedy, raising the age that you can purchase alcohol does nothing to prevent it. Passing a law preventing pregnant women from drinking would work at preventing this tragedy, but the government does not. They merely warn women that it may be dangerous, and AFTER they have given birth to a child with FAS, THEN they step in. Yet in the concern for fetus’s everywhere, the government has still not raised the age to purchase tobacco products, or passed any law to ban would-be mothers from smoking. Tobacco smoke has been proven dangerous to fetuses, and yet the government refuses to pass the same legislation as they did with drinking. Why? One can only speculate that Phillip Morris has deeper pockets than Anheuser-Busch. What about all of the women over 21 that have babies? According to the CDC not a single state has an average lower than 23 years of age, with most falling at 24 or greater.

So how does this put American society? We are already behind most of the developed world in education and health care . Why are we dropping ourselves into the ring of nations that bar human rights? Our political actions are often despised by other countries. We are seen as the bully of the world, but why? It’s due to our society. We are given these ridiculous restrictions and rules, to protect ourselves from ourselves. We are forced to abide by them under an iron fist of a government. The government continually destroys our ability to think for ourselves, to make our own decisions, and to responsible for our own actions. They are merely using the same techniques Hitler, Lenin, and Pol-Pot used, to brain wash people into becoming mindless drones that must always ask permission, must get the rights through the government. It may not seem much now, but as we become more and more dependant on our government, they have more and more control over what we do as a society. No developed country likes America, because we are not run by the people, as we often proclaim. We have allowed the government to take away our own rights in promise of saving a few lives. We can’t choose for ourselves, we can’t operate on our own anymore. It makes us all rely on the government, on their decisions, so we don’t have to make them ourselves. It has destroyed our once great society. We may be first world with technology and money, but we are third world when it comes to thinking for ourselves.
Jones, K.L., Smith, D.W, Ulleland, C.N., Streissguth, A.P. (1973). Pattern of malformation in offspring of chronic alcoholic mothers. Lancet, 1, 1267-1271.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Lightning : and why it rocks

I had never really been a fan of strange weather. I always of course thought that twisters, hurricanes, and golf ball size hail was sweet. Thats just the destructive leprechaun that lives somewhere in my head. Regardless, I only recently became aware of my fascination with storms. Sure, it was cool when there was that loud BOOM and the whole house shook, but it was quickly undercut by the fact my computer would turn off, and I would be with out power /internet for 1-20 hours. That part bothered me.

Now I sort of take it as a "blessing" of sorts. It's a great time to relax, watch crazy wild light patterns through the sky, and think that somewhere, somebodies house just burst into flames. Of course, this is a bit morbid, but think of this. According to the odds of dieing in a lightning strike are 1-83,930 So, of all of the 6.8 billion people roughly 81,000 of them will die from a lightning strike. Thats really, really really low. I have a 693x's higher chance of killing myself intentionally, so meh.

Regardless of the impending death that each strike may potentially cause, they are just absolutely beautiful. Huge bolts of electricity slamming into the earth at the speed of light. Providing awe and inspiration to all of us on this earth (besides the pussies afraid of them).

Now, unlike the common thought that "lightning only strikes a place 1 time", It definitely doesn't. Look at any tall building. They are nailed hundreds of times a year, if not more. Whoever said that, hopefully believed it, and stood atop the empire state building to prove it. Justice is a dish best served cold. Or burning at several thousand degrees Fahrenheit with a bright flash that instantly blinds you, and a deafening roar that can shatter windows. Actually, I prefer the latter.

In saying this I think it is time to refill my beer glass and meander back outside to watch the kick ass storm that is reining current at my town. Natures fireworks are back, and as awesome as ever.

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Packing for college- The Necessities

Seeing as tomorrow is my departure date for that Suny little town of Alfred, I figured I best get packing. I have a small 4 door Taurus, and a good deal of things to go in there, so I had to rate them all on a scale of 1-10. The only problem is, So many things receive a ten.

For instance. Clothes. Yes, as a guy I don't have many clothes. Seemingly 5 pairs of pants, a dozen t's and 1-2 hoodies is enough. Well sadly I refuse to throw clothes away, so I have a larger collection with almost 30 shirts. half of which are free volunteer/blood donor shirts that have since become Tie-Dye. Not only that, but I now face the reality of having to serve on several important boards and committees, meaning I have to dress as if I had some sophistication. So saying that, Clothing got a 10. I need it, and need it bad.

As I glance around the rest of my room I notice all my documents. Old tax returns, pay stubs, HS diploma, awards, letters of recommendation etc. Well I certainly have to take these things. What happens if I end up needing to apply for jobs, since it is my last semester at college. So that box received a 10.

Liquor cabinet. Now, I am a cheap-o, so I don't have a cabinet per say, Just 2 boxes from the liquor store that once held 12 bottles of wine each, that now hold between 8 and 10 bottles of assorted liquor and mixers each. That of course is a definite yes. Who goes to college with out an adequate supply of alcohol. 10

And again, in my search to be cheap AND consume alcohol, I brought it upon myself to purchase a few 30 racks from the local distributor. Seeing as here I can pay $13.99 TOTAl (including tax and deposit) where as at school is roughly $18 with tax and deposit, I stocked up. Yes, my car is sagging a bit to the rear, but I think it can hold up. Who can go to college with out beer?! 10

Next my computer. What purpose would I serve as an Network Administrator, much less blogger/gamer/poet/comic artist/email junk, if I did not have this piece of equipment. 10

Mini fridge. What good is the beer if it is warm? 10

Lastly, my assorted box of crap. Every guy has one of these. It contains all of those little necessities guys often need, especially college guys. First- Condoms. College is a dirty dirty place, so if your going to go exploring, be prepared. next, Band aids. No matter how careful you and your friends are, at some point or another your partying in the woods/strange apartments will lead to more than enough bloody endings. Flights of stairs, Hidden shrubbery, and of course that amazing sport of Bush diving, which I will explain in a later post. All of these need to be tended to, and while drunk, Band aids are a cure all. Speaking of sticky solvers of problems, Possibly the most use full thing a male college student can have. Duct Tape. This is where males and females completely stand out. A female will go out of their way to try to fix something AND make it nice looking. Males? Slap on some duct tape. That doesn't work? add in some crazy glue (often found leaking, attached to the duct tape through an impossibly snug bond). and the last few things this box contains, Toothpaste, soap, a wash cloth, your pit stick, and a leather man (if there isn't one already attached to your belt)
So I look around and don't see much else. Posters -5, lamp -5 (the glow of my LCD is sufficient enough) notebooks-5.. who takes notes?

Surprisingly enough, even with all of this junk I still have a large amount of room remaining in my car. Which makes me wonder. How come every year, while assisting with the move in of the freshman, I just shake my head as I watch at least a dozen U-hauls roll up to the different dorms, followed by a minivan or SUV with a daughter already on their cell phone, complaining of the town, or lack there of starbucks. I just sigh as I wander over and offer my assistance to help them carry some things to their room. Of course the father and I do a majority of the work (as well as other volunteers) and that first door entrance is priceless. The daughter spends 2 minutes with their new key they just got fumbling to get the door open, to reveal not much more than a closet, with bunk beds, 2 dressers, 2 desks, and little closets.

I just love watching the fathers Jaw drop, as he realizes he no longer will be able to drop the U-haul off down the road, but will have to drive it at his own gas guzzling expense, all the way back home with at least 3/4 of the packed materials.

At least there is some justice in the world.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Addiction of Stumbling

It isn't often that I become addicted to things. I have a pretty addictive personality, so I end up attempting to steer clear of things that could potentially screw me. I don't smoke, I don't do any sort of Coffee or energy drink caffeine crap. I do drink, and drink hard occasionally, but thats cool right?
    Now I have come across a new addiction. For years I have been what you could call "Obsessed" with the computer. I am online all of the time doing everything in the world. Constant communication with friends, family and strangers. The news at my fingertips, and of course, hysterical things like

Cyanide and Happiness
That being said, I began to notice I was growing bored while on the computer. I had nothing to really do. I had read all the "good" sites. I have seen all the funny pictures and movies, and I have played all those little 2d games.  I was almost afraid I would have to re-enter the world of reality when it hit me. Stumbling.

For those of you not familiar with stumbling, it's a wonderful concept developed as a Firefox add in. Basically you fill out a short check box survey of things you like, and each time you click "Stumble!" it takes you to a site that other users that enjoy the same things thought was cool. Well after about 5 hours of this I realized I had almost wet myself, and was horribly dehydrated. I had just seen so many funny video clips, pictures, and learned a ton about new technology. I didn't think it could get much better, yet it still continues. Stumble afters Stumble leads me to another crazy thing I never saw on the internet.

Now of course, it is always bad to be addicted to something, but whats worse is when you addict OTHERS to it, knowing just how bad it is. It's the same thing with anything else. One person starts smoking, and slowly they con everyone around them to come out and smoke with them, and before long everyone is pissed they smoke, but can't stop. Well I have successfully gotten about 3 people addicted to stumbling, and I almost feel bad about it. It's wonderful at first, but such a major distraction. Actually, while typing this I took two breaks to stumble, and I came across some unusually interesting pictures of funny t-shirt slogans.

So I warn anyone that reads this. Beware of Stumbleupon. It may one day just take your life.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Trying it out

So I have grown tired of just ranting in a blog on Facebook, or Deadjournal, or wherever the hell my blog/rants disapeared to. So I decided why put up with that crap. Facebook has the feature where I can RSS all of these posts in to facebook, and not lift a finger. It allows everyone I know to read whatever I publish. Fantastic!

The downside? It isn't as fun to reach out to such a small community. Especially when it only works for people that download the application and crap. It isn't worth it. So I decided "Why not let everyone read it". Sure, I bet there will be thousands of folks that have done the same thing, and don't get any reads. There are those that cope and just say "well, It just feels good knowing its out there IN CASE someone wanted to read".

Thats a bit Emo for me. I figure I will post for me, so I can look back in a few years and either say "wow, I was brilliant" or, call myself a douche bag.

So with this being said, I will start "blogging".

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