Movie Review Time

Since I'm not currently in school, and I work at a movie rental place, I've been watching a lot of movies lately. I thought I would give you a rundown of recent movies I've watched and what I thought of them.

World Trade Center - Excellent movie, very respectful and well done, especially considering this is Oliver Stone. It does make you go back to that day and what you were doing when you heard about what happened. You do ask yourself if America is ready for movies about 9/11, I say we are. Part of healing is moving on, and after five years, we should be able to do so.

Superman Returns - Typical Popcorn movie. The guy they got to play Superman fills the shoes well. But overall, I was watching it while working on other things so I got distracted pretty easy. Kate Bosworth looks like Natalie Portman when her hair is dark.

Little Miss Sunshine - Favorite Movie I've seen this year. Hilarious, I was laughing so hard. A lot of what these people go through I can relate to, and what makes it so funny is you can picture these things actually happening to people. Loved it, would recommend it to anybody who

Avatar, the Last Airbender, Season One - This is a kid's show on Nickelodeon. And it's excellent. We've gotten around to collecting Season One and now I'm looking at finding a way to see season two without having to wait to buy it on DVD. Being an animation major, I've been watching a lot of kids shows lately.

Green Street Hooligans - I heard about this through word of mouth and wanted to rent it. Its kind of along the lines of Boondock Saints and similar movies, but about Brits who follow Football as if it was the mafia.

Devil Wears Prada - Meryl Streep is awesome.

I've seen more, can't think of them all off the top of my head right now. Because I'm also lazy.

Pause for a Moment

Saddam Hussein died yesterday. Or rather, put down.

Let's have a moment of silence in remembrance.










Ok, time to celebrate! Good riddance you psycho dictator! Bwhahahahha!


Christmas, 2006

I consider myself a practical person. And apparently, I'm very difficult to shop for on account that, well, I'm a practical person that doesn't need a lot of stuff, and if I do, I tend to buy it before somebody else can. I've been told by my family members that I'm one of the hardest people in my family to buy for.

Christmas was considerably toned down and not very commercial from Christmas's past. To help with the family, I let them know what I wanted, and more specifically, what I could REALLY use that I couldn't necessarily provide for myself, or that I can never have to much of. I asked for socks (got six pairs :) and a recipe book with some of my mother's easier to make recipes in them. I prefer not to get things that are kitschy that clutter the house, like figurines, decorations, or picture frames (which I never use) unless there is a picture in the picture frame and I can hang it on the wall. Gift certificates are always nice and save people a lot of trouble.

So what was my haul this year? It was pretty humble really. Six pairs of socks, a pair of pajamas (I'm currently wearing), a cookbook, a frame with my last name done up fancy, a gas card (SWEET!), Pajama Bottoms (seperate from the Pajamas), a CD, a breadmaker (brother/roommate's idea, and therefore combined gift), a couch quilt. . . or something?, and a few other gifts.

My big gift for me is going to be a new laptop that I'll be purchasing this week. Its kind of going to be a necessity with school, my current computer doesn't have the capability of running this software I'll need. I've also decided on a rule for it. I will only go online for official school business. Playing, surfing the internet, writing stories, whatever, will be reserved for my beat up but otherwise dependable but not to the degree I need it to be current laptop.

I'm also going snowboarding with my season pass this Thursday. YES. I'm going. And nothing short of a blizzard or me just waking up with no motivation to move will stop me.

Hope everyone had a merry christmas, and here's looking to 2007!

Still Amongst the Living, I Promise

Ok, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth, I promise. I've just been. . . busy, that's all. Busy doing a whole lot of nothing.

Coupled with working retail during the holidays. Yep, THAT was fun.

So, a quick rundown of my life in the last three weeks.

Blaine had a un X-rayable ear plug in his stomach, which caused him to lose a half a pound in about three weeks, which is a lot for a ferret. I finally took him to see a vet again (foregoing the emergency routine and scheduling an appointment this time) and a little Boriam and Xrays confirmed that there was something in there.

Surgery was necessary to save the ferret. These are turning into some expensive pets. *sighs* Blaine is recovering well. But he's looking a bit scruffy and his shaved belly is kind of interesting. Abby, meanwhile, is really fat and fluffy now.

I am now floating around my store, working a lot in music lately, which I find interesting that I'm progressively becoming a music associate. The elusive Tech N9ne and Nickelback Cds that our system says are in our store that I cannot find do plague me however.

Christmas was nice. I'll post about it in its own post.

There has been snow on and off again, but the mountains have been open for nearly a month now. And I haven't gone snowboarding once. . .

I think I can attribute this to having nobody to go with me. *sighs again*


Blogger in Beta!

So Blogger has finally decided to add labels to posts. I think this is pretty nifty because I've been wanting labels for my posts for a while now, as it helps when one wants to go back and review them for whatever reason. However, because I do my own HTML and don't use Blogger's ready made formats for my blog posts, I don't know how to do the formatting to get it done.

Meanwhile, I'm finally done with school for this quarter. And I have an entire month before I have to go back. This is freakin' sweet! So for the next month, I can just work my butt off and go snowboarding every chance I get.

I haven't gone once this season yet, and the mountain has been open for three weeks. I don't know what's come over me.

Oh yeah, its called School and Work taking up my weekends and prime snowboarding time. I'm going for the first time this season on Thursday.

And I'm taking a break from Horseback Riding for now. Haven't had lessons in three weeks. I've gotten to this point where I need to be riding much more then I currently am to make it worth my while.

PS - the Blogger overhaul complete with Labels continues, and is a slow process, but I'm enjoying the results thus far!


Third Time

Apparently, I didn't knock hard enough.

Yes, I got smacked THREE times this last week. Twice on Sunday (within 5 hours of each other) and a third time on Wednesday, a phantom driver apparently backed into my back door. I only noticed it because my car was filthy and it was kind of hard to miss the scrapes on the door (which is dented in). And of course, the pea sized hole in the bumper which actually pushed my bumper into my car. And don't forget the dent in the fender (can't open that door all the way now).

Police report done on the fender and turned in, and estimates done on the three accidents. Of course, the back door is a phantom driver, so I think I'll find another way to get it fixed rather then call my insurance about it. Meanwhile, I'm waiting on the other two.

Sadly enough, I know the guy who ran into my front fender. He leaves for Fort Benning in three weeks.

I went out and got studless snow tires on my car yesterday. I'm not taking any more chances with my car.

Apparently it's a black hole, and other cars are drawn to smack into it. I've been on the defensive with driving for the whole week.



A couple of weeks ago I had a sick ferret. We were worried he had a blockage, so I took him to the vet.

Learning the more expensive points of pet ownership. . . but good news, no blockage!

More Randomness

Kids Scared of Santa! - my favorite one was Number 55, Kid, you SHOULD be scared of Santa!

The CG got me on this one, Building Airplanes

The Infamous Frogs, the Assassin Ferret, and two Lizards

I don't think Volkswagen appreciated this one that much.


Drill Sergeant Update

This was a Drill Weekend. Yay for Drill Weekends!

I've got two more to go before Drill Sergeant School. In Fort Benning. Being an active duty school, I have learned that there is a chance that I might be able to get online while I'm there. But no guarantees so I might suffer radio silence for 9 weeks.

Hmm. . .

Anyway, the latest with the Program is I have to memorize a lot of words. Ver Batum. See, nobody knows D&C (that's Drill and Ceremony) quite like a Drill Sergeant, and there is a reason why the Drill Sergeant knows the position of Attention backward and forward, up and down, and can correct a soldier out of the corner of his eye. Because he literally knows this position from the 45 degree angle of the soldier's equally pointed out toes to the vertical alignment of the head and neck. And now, I know it backward and forward too.

There is so many times that I've seen soldiers screw up the position of attention. Including me. I can guarantee you I'll never screw it up again, because it is engrained into my braincells now.

Furthermore, I have now routed the rest positions while at the halt into my braincells as well. I have recieved a go at stating both of these modules, using the step by step method of instruction practically ver batum. And now that they are engrained into my head for life, when I was in formation today the fact that the platoon leader didn't know what she was doing was more evident then ever.

We were called into formation with a Hospital unit (first sign) who put the unit At Ease. So we sat there looking around, wondering what was going on when the other units started putting their units at Parade Rest (for you civilians out there, a different rest position that is more formal, and more locked up.) It didn't help that we were in a formation with a naval unit in charge, which was throwing us off that much more. So the Platoon Leader calls us to Parade Rest from At Ease.

This is what has been engrained into my braincells from the module on Rest Positions at the Halt.

"Parade Rest will only be commanded from the Position of Attention."

In short, if the unit is At Ease (they can move when they're at ease), you have to call them to Attention to bring them to Parade Rest. Civilians might be looking at me and saying "why are you so anal retentative about this? Does it matter?"

In the long run, probably not. But in regards to discipline and military custom and courtesy, yes. It is a sign of discipline and respect when you perform these simple formations properly. And people who know better (like the plethera of Drill Sergeants that fell into this formation) won't look at you like you don't know what in the hell your doing and you aren't given the reputation of 'tore up'.

Meanwhile, the CG came by, and we were all commenting on the CG's aid, and being a Drill Sergeant Battallion, we were wondering if she was in regulation or not. I stated she wasn't, though some people were trying to argue that she was ok.

See, she had dark brown hair cut short with her bangs long up front. Now, her style wasn't bad, it was the blonde streak that she had in her bangs that framed her face. The one blonde streak. It looked like Rogue from the Xmen, seriously. People were stating that as long as it is a natural hair color, she can do it.

So I can put Red, Black, Brown and Blonde Streaks throughout my hair so I look like a calico cat? No, because it looks faddish and unprofessional! Besides, I think it is also supposed to blend naturally, you aren't supposed to have dark brown hair with a platinum streak through it and be a captain in the military! Gees!

At least I'm catching these things. I might make a good drill sergeant yet!

Undue Flattery

Am I heartless?

I don't get the reason to flatter somebody over a job that is subpar. Being an artist, I am a firm believer that if you see something you don't like about a piece, you tell the artist what it is (constructive criticism here). They can then use your criticism to either fix the piece, take it into heart the next time they do a piece, or tell you to go to hell and ignore what you said. I don't believe in being rude about it or anything, you can just say "hey, I really think that this color doesn't go well with this other color in the way you put them here, try a different shade, like a darker red perhaps.)

I've been getting this from my Image Editing class. There are some people who are awesome in the class, and then there are others who are still learning the software and therefore because of their experience, they are prone to having work that is not as clean as the others. Often times, I get the impression that other students in the class are catering to these students by telling them "this looks great!" when it is obvious that there is plenty of room for improvement. I won't cater to your feelings by telling you a piece looks great if it doesn't, however I will acknowledge improvement and encourage them to keep working at it. Undue flattery doesn't help anybody, and I have found that you learn greatly from your mistakes.

In fact, I learn more from my mistakes then my successes. As long as my mistakes aren't fatal, I generally only make them once because I learned from them the first time. I like to be told what I'm doing right and not have every mistake pointed out to me, granted, but please give me constructive criticism and tell me how I'm doing. Let me know if I totally messed something up or if it doesn't work. I'm a big girl, I can take it.

Bad Things come in Threes

Knock on Wood.

*does so*

Winter is here. In full force. And I experienced it today while driving around. I decided once I made it safely home, that I would park my car and not leave for the rest of the evening.

Because bad things happen in threes. And I've already had two incidents today.

And with how they are progressing, I'm predicting that if the third was to hit, my car will be totaled.

Let me start at the beginning.

I was at a roundabout about a half mile from my house at Noon today. I generally don't mind roundabouts but because its winter and conditions are icey, I don't take my chances with my accelerator and if it will catch on the ice enough for me to get out in front of the other car. And I couldn't see if the car was getting off at my exit or coming around again (I can't see their turn signal!) So I started creeping out waiting for this car to make its decision when *BAM!* Somebody rear ends me.

Grr. . .

See, he thought I was actually moving out and assumptions aren't always a good thing. Case in point. We get out, and fortunately, all he did was punch a pea size hole in my bumper with the screw on his license plate. The damage is negligable, however I take down his information anyway.

Around 4:45, we're finally given permission to leave the drill hall (safety briefing and all, which includes "Slow down on the roads, conditions are icey!") I didn't even leave the parking lot when while I was heading out, one of my battle buddies in his jeep fails to see my mazda and plows into my side. My door creeks when I open it now. He felt like crap and immediately asked "Do you want my information?" to which I reply "Yes!" The guy earlier today punched a pea size hole in my bumper, this is a massive dent on the side of my car! Poor Winston! (The name of my Mazda, btw)

As soon as that second accident happened, I hurried home (in a safe, observant and non-speeding manner) parked my car and found a large chunk of wood to knock on. I'm not normally supersticious but Hey! I'm not taking my chances! There's a thick layer of ice on the road and if it weren't for the snow, I could have breaked in time to get out of the Jeep's way. But at least neither accident was my fault.

I now have a police report on my to-do list, as well as the fact that I forgot to right license numbers of the two people at fault for smacking into my car (I knew I forgot something!)


Politics for 2008

Earth Shatterng News!

John Kerry Dead Last in Latest Presidential Candidacy Poll!

While still 2 years from the next presidential election, granted things could change, but honestly I think John Kerry is out of the running. Really, he didn't do all that well in 2004 against Bush, who himself wasn't exactly the strongest Presidential candidate around. There is a reason why Kerry wasn't elected. In fact, there were several.

He had no issues to stand on, other then he served in Vietnam.
He had a plan, but nobody knows what that plan was.
He was for the war, and then against the war, before he was for and against the war again.
Swift Boat Vets swiftly did him in.
His platform was basically 'not Bush'.
I really could go on. . .

To tell you the honest truth, if Kerry had campaigned his entire campaign like he did October 2004, he would have won the Presidency very easily, but the damage was to great. Now he has to face a slew of fellow Democratic possibilities such as Barack Obama, who is very popular among Democrats (though probably to early in the political playing field to consider a run for President), along with scores of other hopefuls. I mean, seriously, 2008 is open season. Bush is out, and his VP has no interest in running so its going to be a Slaughter house! And 2004 has given the Republicans plenty of ammo against Kerry.

With strong and popular republicans like Rudi Giuliani and John McCain in the running for their party's nomination, do you think the Democrats are even going to take a chance with that horse when they lost with Kerry already? I think they are going to look at some fresh blood.

I just hope that we can make some progress in this country before 2008 gets here, and honestly, with 2006 almost over and the nominations getting dirty come Fall before an election year, we only have a year left before we find ourselves full force in the mix of what will undoubtedly be a mess.

I just hope John Kerry is out of the running.

On second thought, go ahead and nominate him. It will be interesting to watch him get creamed by the 'Not Bush' Republican candidate.


Job Woes

I have made up my mind when I'm called in regards to taking a shift I wasn't originally scheduled for.

First, I will consider what shift I am working in the future, such as if I'm opening the next day which is a Saturday, and this shift is a closing shift on Friday. (That's always bad news).

Then I will ask who I'm taking over the shift for. There are a couple of people who I have noticed have a tendency to call in. . . all the time. (why do you work here, buddy?)

And last, I will ask who the manager on duty is.

I can work this job, and I don't mind it (especially for the whole retail gig) but I have definitely learned that retail is not what I aspire to do for the rest of my life (must . . . acquire . . . degree . . .) and until that happens, I have to do something to pay the bills and put food in my stomach. And right now (unfortunately) this means retail.

I may have mentioned I'm back at my old job, mostly because its something I can do, but I am getting reminded on why I quit the first time. Honestly, I'm 26 years old, I'm working on a college degree, I've been there, seen that and put up with a lot of bull. I honestly don't do well in the peon jobs like I used to do.

This job included.

Honestly, if I were to be too serious in my employment, I'd have to shoot myself. I was having troubles before I quit the first time, and I've given myself some breather space so I don't unintentionally kill somebody. And I deal with things my own way.

In this work environment, I intentionally act goofy, make jokes, and sometimes poke fun at myself just to keep the atmosphere light. I have to try to have fun and act like a total goofball because otherwise I would come across as the heinious bitch that people were accusing me of being the last time.

Although I'm pretty sure I'm very competant in this job, I keep getting these other employees who keep talking down to me on basic stuff that a newbie might not know but HEY, I DID THIS JOB FOR A YEAR AS A MANAGER!!! I know what I'm doing, thanks. But then I remind myself that things have changed and so I shut up and just try to listen. Plus, this is a different store then the old one, so I try to keep that in mind as well. Things run differently. . .

So far, I think I'm doing ok, as long as I'm not being treated like a newbie and a complete idiot. If I have a question, I'll ask it (and I've had a few) but for the most part, please let me do the job.

Now that I've survived Black Friday (actually, wasn't all that bad, until I agreed to come back to work in the evening), I have to negotiate the rest of the season with my sanity intact.

Oh Look, MT Spokane is Open! I can work on my angst by taking advantage of that season pass I purchased last spring!

That is one tiny pistol. . .

Chuck, and an SKS

In my family we've acquired this tradition on Thanksgiving. We find a range or suitable public ground, we round up our assortment of fire arms, and we go plinking.

After this round, we're wondering if we're going to find another warmer holiday to associate our plinking tradition.

My dad who's a welder made these targets that go *ping* when they're struck, so we don't necessarily have to see if we hit them or not. Whatever the case may be, I took my trust rifle Chuck, along with the other asortment of firearms at our disposal. Because my niece went with me, I spent a good portion of the time actually trying to talk her into firing Chuck instead of shooting myself. She promised she would do it, NEXT year. We did get her to fire a Ruger 5 Mil and a 22. Revolver.

EDIT: Ok, I meant to say Ruger 9 Mil, either that is a typo or I'm just the world's largest poser when it comes to guns. . .

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing here. Either I was caught in one of those priceless kodak moments where my face is contorted to display my worst possible features, or I just took a whiff of something pretty foul.

Grimace or not, Chuck is still a lot of fun to shoot! And although I'm not as accurate with the Ak as my military issued M16, I still get a pleasant feeling every time one of those targets goes *ping!*

I have to get some support with this thing, and then I'm lethal!

Whatever the case, one of the highlights of the trip was one of the newest additions to the gun family. A chinese SKS! Dropped once, never been fired. . .

And a bayonet. . . *drools*

I love the bayonet. I thought the fact that this rifle had a bayonet attached to it was so freakin cool that I started remembering weapons drills from basic and started screaming war chants.



Thrust to the groin, buttstroke to the face, you know, the CLASSICS!


Ahh, the memories. . .



You know what I don't get? Spam.

Why do these automated emails try to sell me crap? How many sales do you suppose a Spam Email can generate? Enough to make them keep doing it I guess, because they KEEP DOING IT. I am guessing that if you could find a way to trace those emails back to the spammer who originates them, that person will find their life expired shortly thereafter.

What I REALLY don't get is the people who date their emails for four years ago so when it arrives in your inbox, all you can see is an unopened email but you don't know where it is and you have to surf through your mountains of emails to find it and delete it (and I have a full inbox that never gets answered or shifted down) *sighs*

What is the point of dating a spam email for 2003 anyway? Isn't the point to trick the person into opening it? Or is there some kind of attachment that tells the person who sent it *yes, this email is still sitting in their inbox, tell all your spambot friends to send MORE emails to them!*

If I seriously discovered that one of my friends were responsible for a spam email, I would disown them from friendship and swear blood vengeance (or at least egg their house) becuase they can only be aligned with the devil if they can stoop so low as the use of mass produced and badly done emails to sell prescription medications and informing me on elongating the penis I don't have.



Work and Movies

You know what I discovered? I'm too nice.

Yesterday, I got a call from my boss asking if I would come into work today. I said "sure"

So I worked from 11 to 7 today. On my birthday. I'm just too nice I tell you.

Al Gore's an Inconveniant Truth came out yesterday. I haven't seen it, and I don't think I will. What cracks me up about the title is it is supposedly about the truth of global warming. I might be wrong about this and all, but as far as anybody can tell, Global Warming is still theory.

So it should by all rights be called an Inconveniant Theory.

I was also considering seeing Happy Feet (being an animation major) until I learned that the UN comes and saves the day at the very end.

Huh? The UN comes and saves the day? Having worked closely with the UN last year and seeing the fine job that has been done in Kosovo, yeah, the UN has the answer to EVERYTHING.

I got some movie tickets for my birthday, I think I'll see something else, like Borat, instead.

Random Laugh Bites

All Mac Users Go To Hell

Worst then a Terminator. . .

Forgive him father, for he is a robot from the future

The Many Faces of Adolf Hitler

Yeah, I gotta post things like this more often :)


Do I Really Look This Stupid?

I swear, do I have the word 'Idiot' written on my forehead?

I get this kid in line today that hands me two Cds, one's Pink Floyd and the other is Nas. I really didn't pay attention to them at first and just rang them up. Nas, being rap, is in a long box and I pull it out, only to realize that there is a sticker for 3.99 on it that says 'Various artists'. I take a good hard look at a CD that is clearly marked as being Nas. So I took that sticker and peeled it off and low and behold, underneath was the real sticker with the real price.

"Um, looks like you grabbed a CD that somebody had put the wrong sticker on. I can't sell this to you at the other price."

I'm really good at playing stupid.

"Oh, I don't have enough money for it then," he says.

Slyly, I ring up the Pink Floyd, which has a Used Generic CD Sticker on it, for .99 cents. I give him his money and before I give him the CD. . . "Oh wait, this one has the wrong sticker on it too! I'm sorry, I can't sell this for you, I have to do a refund."

So I refunded his money, and got his name and phone number (which is procedure for refunds). Sent him packing. We keep both CDs, with both pricetags revealed for a much larger price then what he had placed on them.

Sadly, if he had tried that on another associate, he might have gotten away with it. I've just been doing this for to long.

Anyway, the kid actually GAVE ME HIS NAME! He changed his phone number by at least one digit. We looked him up, he has a rental account, and almost $200 in late fees, and the account is locked up. I think it might even be in collections. Smart, kid. Way to go.

I know what he looks like, but I have a feeling he won't be back for a while. Hopefully he got the hint. But could he have been any more obvious???

It's to bad I'm not authorized to say "hey stupid, I know you're the one who did this and tried to rip us off, get the hell out of my store" but I'm just a lowly peon. So the boss told me to call him next time I see anything like that.

Sure thing, Boss!


This Week

All three of my classes have major projects due next Sunday.

I think this is a conspiracy to ruin my Thanksgiving Day Weekend.

Not to mention, Black Friday is this Friday and I work Retail.

(And my B-day is on Wednesday)

*Crosses fingers and hopes that I can survive the week*


Name: Kami
Alias: Risawn
Meaning of Alias: Absolutely Nothing
Status: Single
Age: Mid Twenties
Hometown: Eastern Washington
Siblings: Two Brothers, Three Sisters
Kids: None
Occupation: Weekend Warrior, Retail Slave, Student
Degree: Animation (We'll see where that goes)
Religion: LDS
Pets: Two Ferrets (Abby and Blaine), One Betta Fish (Clark)
Sports: Snowboarding, Horseback Riding
Hobbies: Webcomic Production, painting, writing, anything artistic
Favorite Movies: Office Space, Donnie Darko, Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail
Favorite Bands: Linkin Park, Alanis Morissette, Bare Naked Ladies, John Denver
Favorite TV Shows: Glenn Beck, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, anything by Disney, TNMT, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain
Favorite Books: Harry Potter series, Books on Current Events,
Latest Endevour: Acquiring Cable Television
Latest Pet Peeve: Comcast Local Edition frequently cuts off last few minutes of the Glenn Beck Program.
Other Pet Peeve: When I hit Publish, I expect the blog to publish!
Wants: Nintendo Wii, Horse, new and much fancier camera, New Computer
Needs: Not many
Websites: Homepage, Webcomic, Deviantart Account, MySpace, Webcomic Forum

The Wii

I have made a decision.

I want a Wii.

My store got a ground total of three Wii's, and I got called in to help with how the store was selling them. What we did is we had tickets, and whoever wanted a wii got a ticket. After thirty minutes from the store opening, we had a drawing and the three tickets got the privelege of purchasing the Wii's. This helped in several ways, for one, it prevented people from camping out front of our store all night, and since we got only three in, they wouldn't have to fight. It also provided a fair advantage for those who had families and didn't have the ability to camp out all day yesterday waiting for a Wii.

When I got to work we only had one family out front waiting for the Wii. By the time we had the drawing, we gave out about forty tickets. I asked to be in charge of it, and everyone was very friendly and several people stated that the way we did it was very fair. The family that was first in line got a Wii as well.

The are also a pretty sweet system. You can download games from any prior Nintendo system and it plays game cube games. Backwards compatability is a great thing.

However, I will likely wait a while before I purchase one. Meanwhile, I do have an original Nintendo, Super Nintendo, N64, Gameboy and gamecube. Honestly, I don't play them that much, and I will probably wait until this spring to purchase a Wii.

So I've come to a decision for myself. There are a handful of items that I would like to have, and I am setting myself up for goals to achieve before I go out and buy these items. The Wii will be a reward to myself. Probably down the road a bit.

I don't see the price going down anytime soon. . .


Thursday's Here?

Time flies when you're having fun. . .

Or when you're just busy working on homework and other miscellanious projects.

I feel lately that if I'm not working, I'm doing schoolwork. And when I'm not doing schoolwork, I'm most likely asleep on the couch. Which is strange considering I have this nice comfortable bed that I can always sleep in, but if I go to bed in that, I tend to not want to get up in the morning.

Tomorrow, I shall be buying a bag of nice juicy ripe tomatos, and making them go *SPLAT* against a brick wall. And then I will photograph them.

This splattered tomato will then be used on a poster for my image editing class. . .

I've learned new techniques in Photoshop. I'm in love. . .


I just spent the last forty minutes reading old blog posts.

I'm also trying to figure out why my archive hasn't been updating since February.


I need to find better things to write about. I remember when I used to have an interesting blog.

EDIT: Well, in an attempt to fix this problem, I just erased my entire archive so I'll work on this dilemma after work.

Death to Comcast

I've been getting these phonecalls from an area code i don't recognize, and overall I've been kind of ignoring them because I don't get a message or anything. Well, finally I answered one of these calls and low and behold its Comcast on the other end. The conversation went something like this.

Comcast: Hello, this is Comcast, is Kami there?
Me: Speaking.
Comcast: I would like to talk to you about paying a part of your bill to avoid a disruption in your service.
Me: Excuse me? I have it set up so it takes the bill out of my paycheck automatically!
Comcast: Oh. Well that takes about six to ten weeks to go through.
Me: Why didn't the website say that then?
Comcast: It says that on the following page when you sign up for the recurring service.
Me: *goes to comcast payment site and scrolls through the terms of service which mention nothing about this.* No it doesn't. It just tells me to pick a 'One time Payment' or the 'Recurring payment and forget about it!'
Comcast: Well, did you want to pay that now?
Me: I wanted to pay it last month! I set up this thing to pay my bill automatically as soon as I got my billing statement!
Comcast: So did you want to pay it online or over the phone?
Me: Can you scrub my late fee?
Comcast: We can do that once as a customer courtesy.
Me: Damn right you will. Can you also tell your higher ups that this is bullcrap? When it says Recurring Payment, I expect to be able to sign up and forget about it!

So that was basically the condensed version. Please, tell me, when you see a page that looks like this. . .

. . .that you assume that if you click 'make it a regular thing' that it will automatically take it out of your checking account?

Granted, I should know better about making assumptions, but in this case, I didn't expect to be getting a call about a possibility of disruption of service when I set up my Comcast payment over a month ago!

Yep, that's Comcastic!

What? Me Highstrung? Whatever gave you THAT idea???

Sleeping Ferret

I took this a couple weeks ago. Ferrets are the most flexible animals with a backbone on the face of the planet I'm sure.

Politics, and the Glenn Beck Program

You know what truly speaks volumes about this past election? From all appearances, conservatives have been going 'eh', instead of proclaiming the end of the world and complaining about how stupid people who vote democrat are.

This means one of two things.

1) Conservatives are more mature then liberals.

2) The Republican party needs to get its act together.

Actually, I think both are true. The older you get, traditionally the more conservative you get. But that's not always the case.

And lately, the Republicans are pandering more to the NeoCon far right wing and not paying attention to the real issues.

I just got this month's copy of Fusion Magazine in the mail (did I mention I'm a Glenn Beck fan?) He made it completely unbiased so no matter what, whatever party wins it will speak volumes about why the other lost. And you know what? I read it cover to cover and thought to myself 'Wow, do I really agree with what this guy has to say!'

Of course, who am I kidding? I assume most of my readers (well, whatever ones that are left that is) probably listen to him anyway.

I don't have cable. I almost got it mostly so I could have the History Channel, Discovery Channel, TLC, and Glenn Beck on Headline Prime. I'm waiting for Comcast to have another one of those specials so I can get it without having to pay the instillation fees, but until then, I'm game to wait it out as I work at a video store again and can get all of the movies I want on discount. And there's always the internet.

Meanwhile, is there any possibility of a third party coming out of the debris and actually making a difference in today's political field?


Georges Sada

For those of you who don't know, Georges Sada is a retired Iraqi General that served under Saddam Hussein. Through World Compassion Ministries, I was able to hear him speak on the status of Iraq, and being a religious venue, more specifically the religious freedom of Iraq. Interestingly enough, Georges Sada is a Christian. At times the lecture got a bit too evangelical for my tastes, but the information was very interesting and I came home with his book (Signed!)

This brings into question the reason why we are in Iraq, and why we went there in the first place. Granted, I wish things were going a little smoother now, but I find it odd how many people seem to want to trust Saddam Hussein over George W Bush. Especially as the war came closer and we went in to invade.

Well, according to Gen Georges Sada, Saddam did have WMD and they were transported into Syria before we invaded. Granted, he did not personally see the weapons get transported, and because we cannot verify whether his statements are true or not unless we actually go to Syria, a lot of the book has to be taken on his word.

I found him to be a very personable and friendly person, and his stories are very interesting, especially in regards to how he survived for so long under Saddam Hussein.
Interview with Jon Stewert.

I'll have to read the book and let you all know what I think. . .


Movie Reviews - College Style

For my Critical and Creative Thinking class, we had to write a movie review for a movie we saw recently. The point of this assignment was to use language in a way to give the reader a clear idea of what the movie is about and how we formed our opinion on it.

We were to avoid a review such as : "This Movie is really neat. I liked the characters and the story was really fascinating. . . blah blah blah."

Neat, interesting, nice and the like are vague descriptions, you're definition of what makes something 'neat' or 'nice' may be different then somebody else's, right? So I tackled the review with this in mind.

I chose "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is an engaging and clever film. The main premise involves a mild mannered man named Joel (played by Jim Carrey), who realizes that his eccentric girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has recently gone through a revolutionary procedure to have him and their entire relationship erased from her memory. Confused and angry, Joel decides to do the same, only to realize as the memories fade that he doesn't want to forget her.

The movie takes an unusual twist by showing events out of chronological order, as Joel's relationship with Clementine is revealed in reverse, from the last argument they had to the moment they met. The casting director also did something rather unorthodox by casting Winslet in the eccentric role instead of Jim Carrey, and both actors perform their parts brilliantly.

I found this particular film fascinating as it engages your mind and makes you wonder about what you would do if presented with a similar situation. It also mixes humor with drama and presents itself in a light manner while remaining deep and thought provoking.

I felt I covered the assignment and I posted my answer. Of course, I have to read other people's reviews and post in reply. One struck me as particularly, well, bad. I get the impression that she didn't read the instructions and only saw 'Write a Movie Review'.
The movie I saw a couple of weeks ago was about a man who became a cop so he could get the down low on his mob friends. The other guy was a cop how was sent to the mob to be under cover. In this movie the main mob boss was trying to find out who was the snitch or undercover cop in his mob. He was giving the other cop information about all of the guys under him to see who was a cop. The movie starts out with this bad cop handing out with the mob boss as a child. He is taken in like an orphan. Then it catches up to this day in age. I liked the movie and I just can't give a way the end it would ruin the whole movie. I came to this conclusion based on my perception of the movie.

My reply:
. . .


Ok, two questions. One, what is the title of your movie, and two, Huh? You lost me, as this appears to be a rambling mess and I have no idea what I just read.

Ok, so I didn't particularly say that (though I want to) but I'll probably write something similar (and toned down for proper netiquette) but still, what in the world?

I would say, and this is just me, that this is below standard for a 400 level college class. I feel compelled to reply to this girl. I mean, seriously, can I critique something like this without coming across as an ass?

It kind of makes me a bit weary about continuing with my education at this institution. We shall see, eh?

Voting Results Continued

So, Democrats gained the house and may have the senate, depending on one race in Virginia.

I was hoping Maria Cantwell would get kicked out of office but who am I kidding? I live in Washington and apparently it's very progressive to have two female senators and a female governor, look at us!

Well, my congressman is a woman too, but I actually voted for her.

I'm interested in seeing where exactly the country goes over the course of the next two years, if the Democrats can actually make it any better (I doubt it) or if the Republicans can take a look at this and think 'well, gosh, maybe we should actually listen to our base if we want to stay in office'.

To tell you the honest truth, I think both parties are pretty screwed up and I've coem to think that I probably can't trust a word that comes out of either party's mouth. In a perfect world, I would probably vote libertarian more then anything else, because I'm not a fan of big government, and it used to be that the Republicans were the ones who fought against big government.

So now I expect that these next two years nothing will get accomplished except for a lot of bickering and name calling in the upper government. Bush probably won't be able to accomplish much because the Senate and Congress will likely fillibuster and block anything that he tries to pass, in effect, largely making him a 'lame duck'.

I just hope my stocks hold up.

Here's looking to 2008. I just hope that Gore, Kerry, or Clinton Female is not in the running for the Dems. I wouldn't mind Lieberman, but he's probably to conservative and pro warm for the Democrats to stomach, that and they already wrote him off (still glad to see him make a comeback as an independent) I'm not sure who I would like to see as the Republican candidate.


Slave No Longer

I have an Announcement to Make.

After a few short weeks of making a confession that I actually shop at Walmart despite my frequent proclamations that they are run by the Devil himself, they have gone back on my Crapper List.

The reason for this is that they have made themselves decidedly inconvenient by selling crap products. Who knew?

Actually, I did know, I just didn't know to what extent.

I got sidetracked from homework quite a bit last week when one day I went shopping at the devil store itself and saw a TV stand that looked perfect for what I needed it for. I recently bought a flat screen LCD TV and I really didn't like the entertainment center it was currently on. This entertainment center looked perfect for what I needed. I literally stood there staring at it for probably fifteen minutes debating in my head whether or not I should get it. After careful consideration, the fact that I own Ferrets made up my mind and I put the thing in my cart and took it to the front.

This specific stand actually looks pretty nice for a Wal Mart Product. It also has a piece where you mount your flat screen from for more space, and right now I needed a little more space.

The screen however, came with no screws to screw the TV into the stand. The instructions insist that these screws come with your TV.

No, the TV instructions insist that these screws are provided by the stand! TVs don't come with a wall mount, the wall mount provides the screws.

So I went to Walmart to figure out if they sold these screws. Procede with the Wild Goose Chase. When I went to the Hardware department, they sent me to the freakin' place that sold me the TV! From there, it was confirmed that the mount provides the screws, so I had to find out what kind of screws these were so I could go to an actual hardware store and get them. But low and behold, the screws don't fit quite as well as they should into the back of the mount, so I had to get a Washer as well.

I spent probably a good five hours putting together a stand and running around town trying to get the parts when I could have been using this valuable time working on homework! And WalMart was completely unhelpful.

Despite the fact that Walmart is about a one minute car drive away, I have decided that I will be a slave to conveniance no longer. If I want something, I'll actually drive five minutes to get it instead.

School News and Latest Going Ons

I tested out of Computer Applications, which is great news, btw. And by the freakin' hair on my chin too. I had to pass the test with an 85% and I scored exactly 85%. What a load off! A little close for comfort, but I did it! One more class I won't have to worry about.

Meanwhile, my Image Editing class is doing pretty good. I'm still learning some new stuff, but a lot of it is reenforcements. I probably could have tested out of this class, but its to late now so I'm going to have to do it. My latest assignment is to make a poster for some kind of performing arts venue, and to be quite honest, performing arts really isn't my forte'. I'm thinking of doing one involving the Lippizanner Stallions, but if that won't be excepted, I have to find another idea. I'm thinking a Poetry slam might work.

In fact, I have an idea for a poetry slam as I type this. Hmm, so a Poetry slam it is! Or Lippizanner Stallions. One or the other.

So far, I love my Critical and Creative Thinking Class. At first, I was a little worried that I would grow bored with this class, or feel overwhelmed by it. But I'm getting back into the swing of things and fell right into a routine. I have struggled most with this class then any of them, but the content is awesome. I would like to consider myself a Critical Thinker of sorts, and I feel while taking this class that I am one. And I think it will help me be a more well rounded individual in other areas as well.

Success Strategies can be described as a 'welcome to college' class, with some ideas of how to better yourself as a student and a person in the work field. It does have some very helpful information, and I have discovered more then a couple links between this class and my critical thinking class. Most of the students in my critical thinking class are in their later terms in college, coming toward the end, where this class you take within your first couple . I specifically asked for the critical thinking class so that I could get it done, and looking back, this was the perfect quarter to take it.

And so far, I'm getting all A's. I'm not sure if the method of grading is just more slack then a traditional classroom or if I'm just better suited for this type of learning environment. Honestly, I have found that I am absorbing the material and doing it at my own pace better then I had been in the normal classroom, but fortunately I tend to be a good student regardless of where I learn. I'm just glad that I am able to adapt to this style of learning so well.

We'll see how it goes!

Election Day

Well, another election year, and now hopefully we'll see a disappearance of those annoying political signs.

I voted yesterday (mail in) which is how everyone in our county is voting this year. There were some issues that I chose not to vote on due to the fact that I didn't know as much about the issues as I felt I needed to know to give a good strong opinion on how my vote should go, so I refrained.

Meanwhile, Republicans lost control of the house but still have the Senate. In some ways, this is actually probably a good thing, and in the same way a bad thing. A good thing because it adds a little more to the checks and balances of the government, but bad because Nancy Pelosi is now Speaker of the House and I don't think anything will ever get done as the most that will likely happen is a bunch of bickering and backstabbing.

One reason why I have decided to refrain from entering politics myself. No thanks.

I still consider myself conservative, and I generally vote along party lines unless I am stirred enough by the opposing candidate that I feel like I agree with them more then the republican. Republicans haven't been doing to hot these days in my opinion. So maybe losing the house will help them pull their heads out of their asses.

Question: Am I now sorry for voting for Bush? Hell no, and I won't regret it even if I decide after his presidency that he is the worst president in history. Mostly because at the time I went by the knowledge I had and I have no proof supporting whether Kerry would have made a better president or not. And you know what? We'll never know, will we? So Nope! Still not sorry!

But in closing, I do have this to say. Lieberman got reelected as an Independent, after the Democrats turned on him. And that to me is fantastic news.


Angst From LiveJournal

So I'm a member of this LJ community called FerretAttitude. The moderators asked as a courtesy that people do not edit their posts mostly to help reference later.

So a girl gets on and asks a question about ferret foods and how to prevent her ferret from tipping over the food bowl. And people gave her the answer.

Feeling that she got the answer she needed, she edited her post to say that she had the question answered.

In light of this, the mods asked her politely to not do this in the future, so people can reference the post and know what it said. Maybe three people actually made this suggestion.

And what does she do? She freaks out. She starts cursing everyone in the community and leaves, but not before posting a picture of a fat guy whacking off about thirty times.

The mods were able to delete the post, but the girl obviously has severe social problems. If you have a Live Journal, feel free to flame her until she deletes this post.


Sometimes I help my sister out when she sells things on ebay, and ever so often we get into a goofy mood and start being dorks. Like when we were posing in the park and saw the leaves everywhere, it was a giant invitation to kick them around.

I REALLY like this jacket. I'm thinking about asking my sister if I can have it. She says that if I just outbid them on eBay that it can be all mine. (I can make it payment for helping her take pictures)

I'll wait until the auction is close to the end to see how well its being bid on before I just outbid everyone.

Its also fun to kick leaves in. Which she was doing too. . .

It's Snowing!

The first snowfall happened Sunday Night. Today we got a nice dusting of powder on the ground.

The Snow Season should be spectacular this year.


This has probably made the blog rounds, but I thought this was worth jumping on.

Still not a fan of John Kerry.

Hat Tip: Liberpolly


Halloween Aftermath

So Halloween has come and gone.

I got dressed up briefly for answering the door, but it became to much of a hassle to finaggle with the costume so I put it to the side and answered the door with a Ferret on my shoulder. I was a demon cow pirate.

I guess I'll put up some pictures in a little bit.

Meanwhile, we watched Night of the Living Dead (classic), Return of the Living Dead, (cheesy) and Evil Dead 2 (cult fave!). Mostly we had them on in the background.

All in all, exactly 27 trick or treaters throughout the night. I still have some candy left, which I really don't need.

Also, put up a Halloween Centric Comic. Lot's of laughs. Or not?


Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator

This is a professional grade personality test that grades you on sixteen different types of personalities. The first time I took this test was with the Army a few years back. I don't quite remember what I got then, but I think it hasn't changed much from the test now. I actually took it twice with some other online tests and got quite a range of results. However, when I took it with the school's version, I got the accurate result I feel I had recieved last time I took it.

MBTI Jung Typology-

I got INTP - The Thinker (The Architect)
Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving
DOes this fit me? I would think so, and most people who know me personally probably agree.
Defining INTP

Actually, depending on my mood, I can act extroverted, and in some circumstances, I will be an extrovert. But overall I tend to be into my own little world and oblivious to what is going on around me. Yeah, that's totally me.


In The Halloween Spirit

I mutilated a Pumpkin this week. Its been a while since I carved a pumpkin.

I had to plan out the pumpkin of course.

My sister's pumpkin is the 'cute' one.

Once I got the idea of what I wanted to do, I grabbed the knife and dove right in.

If you put anything that can be used as a weapon in my hand, I guess I get this happy look in my face.

This is the final product. Um, nothing too fancy. I've never been an artist at carving pumpkins.

The two pumpkins in the front were done by my niece and nephew. They are 3 and 4, and we thought maybe they were a bit young to be handling knives, so we gave paint brushes instead. There were faces on those pumpkins for a minute. . .

Friday Ferrets

I took my ferrets to their first visit to the vet today. They did fairly well for Ferrets, and they appear to be pretty healthy. They weren't to fond of the rabies shots however.

Since I already had them out of the house, I decided to take them to the pet store (I needed to pick up some things) and brought them along. Abby does not stay in her harness, and I found out that unless its on him prety tight, Blaine will slide out of his so I had myself an interesting situation where I kept Abby perched on my shoulder (which she does pretty good at for a while if you can keep an eye on her) and attempted to do some shopping.

I have decided for future endeavors that if I take a ferret out again, I'll only take one with me. Double trouble is just to much to handle in a public place.

Meanwhile, the easiest time to take pictures of the little furballs is if you wipe them out enough that they pass out. I've been leaving them out for longer periods lately.

Aren't they cute?

These guys have really grown on me.

Image Editing

So far my image editing class has been interesting. A lot of this stuff is repeat of things I already knew but I'm also reinforcing techniques and picking up on some stuff I didn't know. I've been enjoying the class immensely.

My first assingment I was given three black and white photos of butterflies and was told to put them into a collage in some manner. This was in essense a practice of the Marquee, Lasso and Magic Wand Tools. This is what I came up with.

Nothing fancy really, me mostly playing around and messing with the color.

The second project was reinforcing the ideas of the first, except for we had to find a full body image of a human either online or a picture of ourselves and at least five additions to it, whether it be articles of clothing, background or what not. I didn't feel like searching for an already made image, so I used myself. I mean, i have Photoshopped myself before. And then I looked for the strangest outfit I could find. It was really tough finding a pair of shoes that would work. But overall, I had a lot of fun.

I actually bought a hat like that in Bulgaria. More for the novelty of it then anything.

This week's assignment was a practice with the Gradient Tools and an enforcement of colors. We had to create a 'still life' using geometric shapes. Well, I wouldn't really call this a Still Life so much, more of me goofing around (which a lot of these assignments seem to be) and for a bit I was thinking that this wasn't going to work. And then I messed around with it a bit more and then discovered that I actually really liked it! I'm not much of a color person, I'm more into subtle tones, monochromatics and neutrals. This is bright and cheerful, and it looks sweet! I see one thing I should probably go back and fix but overall, cool!

I do one to two images a week like this, one major assignment for that week. The fact that I have prior experience with Photoshop (and a lot at that) has really helped, and so does the ownership of a Wacom Drawing Tablet. Don't do Graphic Arts without it!


Sports of Choice

I had another Dressage lesson today. This is going to be great for my butt when its all said and done. Now I do private lessons every Thursday, (and possibly going to do group lessons on non-drill Saturdays in Western Pleasure) and I think I'll be doing them into December, until Snowboarding proceeds to take up most of my time.

Speaking of which, the Ski Swap is this weekend. I'll be off to buy a helmet for the season, in case I faceplant into any more trees, or have any more mysterious Memory Loss Episodes.

Its been chilly lately, so I'm hoping it will be a kick butt winter season.

Meanwhile, I keep saying this but I need to just break down and do it. I have to start running! *bleh!* Only because my last PT test was way to close for comfort.

Movie Reviews

So, in the last few months, I've seen exactly one movie in the theaters.

Out of pure boredom, I also rented three.

Jet Li's Hero edit:Fearless was the movie of choice when I went out on a date a couple of weeks back. I won't go into details about the date (let's just say he was a nice guy, but I doubt there will be a repeat in the near future) and because there was nothing else that really perked our interest, we saw Fearless.

We didn't know it was subtitled. But I don't care, I still liked it! I think it was all the fancy effects and fight scenes. Pretty wicked!

Actually, I take that back. I've seen two movies in the theaters lately. Can't forget Open Season. Oh wait, yes I can.

Funny sight gags, but overall I thought the plot was a little lame. Did anybody forget that bears eat deer? And all of the other assortment of cute critters in the flick? And coming fresh out of a summer in Yellowstone, I kept thinking 'HAH! Yeah, like THAT would ever happen!' I don't know, if I see a movie that contradicts my own experiences (war movies are notorious) I tend to get annoyed by them. Although I do have to keep in mind that this is a cartoon about talking animals.

I doubt I'll ever get into watching Barnyard, for the very reason that a bunch of characters that are supposed to be Male Cows have Utters (and I have a problem with watching feminized male characters that aren't actually gay. If they are gay, I can laugh, if they are supposed to be straight, I'll cringe)

Tonight, out of the blue, I stopped at the local Hastings and picked up a few movies and watched them back to back to back while the Ferrets ran loose. (I've never let the ferrets run loose that long before).

Click was the first one I saw. I've kind of been wanting to see this movie for a while now because I like the premise behind it, a guy who has a universal remote of his life. Plus its an Adam Sandler flick and I'm easily amused and wanted a few laughs. However, I didn't expect to cry in an Adam Sandler movie, and I did on this one. I mean, I really liked this movie! I think I'll probably even buy it!

My Sister In Law really looks a lot like Kate Beckinsale.

Nacho Libre was weird, and I think I'll have to watch it again to see if it will grow on me like Napoleon Dynamite did. I had a few laughs, but I also admit I was distracted and didn't pay attention to it. Its kind of got that pacing that if you're focused on something else, you'll miss some points. But hey, I was kind of 'eh' on Napoleon Dynamite the first time I saw it too so. . .

Thank You For Smoking, I don't know, I've heard a lot about this movie and it perked my curiosity so I decided to go see it. My brother and I agreed that the Gun Lobbyist probably wouldn't be so foolish about his gun, but I really liked how the main character thought. And furthermore, I love the final outcome of Katie Holmes' character, because for some reason, lately I haven't been able to stomach her. Maybe it has something to do with her shacking up with Tom Cruise (can we say double yak?) But overall, maybe its got liberal undertones and it drops the F-bomb more times then I would have liked, but I still liked it.

There's a few other movies that have come out recently as well that I'm interested in picking up, but I think I'll take a break from movies for a bit and get everything caught up in life.

Otherwise, I've been watching a lot of animation. Maybe its that whole being an Animation major, but after watching the first Season, The Tick is perhaps one of the funniest cartoons from the 90's that i never got into.


Things That Shouldn't Be Boughten Cheap

I have learned that there are some things you shouldn't be cheap with. Like when buying a digital camera, if you go ahead and spend the few extra bucks (or in this case, the few extra hundred bucks) you'll have a great camera that will take great pictures and last a while. If you skiff on this kind of stuff, you'll get grainy and crappy pictures. you might as well stick with the disposables, they take better pictures then a cheap digital camera does.

There are things that you can save a few bucks on by getting a bargain brand. Clothes come to mind (you usually have more then one outfit anyway), or whatever.

But don't be cheap with your Toaster.

We didn't have a toaster and at the time I didn't feel like spending a lot of money on something I may use once a week if that. So I went to Walmart (yes, I'm still convinced they are evil, but conveniant, see earlier post) and got a deal on a Toaster for like $6 bucks!

The thing is, everything that I toast tastes like diesel fuel. I was hoping it would go away after multiple uses, but you have to toast something three or four times to get a charbroiled crisp (because if you toast it once or twice it will come out slightly warm) and by then the smell is saturated.

I guess for now, it will sit on the counter and I will eat gasoline flavored toasted sandwiches if I feel the need until I buck up and buy a better toaster. And then it can go into the Garage Sale Fodder for next Spring.


Vanity, or Lack Thereof

I've got this DVD player that I recently bought that records DVDs. Theres also a VHS player attached so you can record old VHS tapes on DVD. Plus, well, its built to take your camcorder and plug it in and convert your home videos onto DVD (or VHS, if your old school like that)

I took out my tapes I took last year in Kosovo and was kind of watching them a bit just now. Now, I don't mind what I looked like going through the mobilization process and all of that, but I got a tape of me half way through the deployment (like, in July or something) and I kind of got in a squirm mode. Nothing like a deployment to sap all the feminine qualities out of a person, plus I had my hair short in that awkward mid growth phase and I just felt, well, ugly.

The thing is, you were surrounded by ugly people, you looked at yourself every day like this, and you really didn't notice it. In fact, I never really called myself a real beauty ever in my life but when I was in Kosovo and I was looking at some of the pictures of me as a civilian and I remember actually thinking 'man, I did look really good.' Its because Kosovo is what I knew, and seeing myself in that light made everyone else look glamorous. I mean, you looked at people back home or whatever and even if they were average, well, from my point of view they were knock outs.

I have come to the conclusion that I only need to cut my hair Dyke short once in my life and I did it January 2005. Never again I tell you. I liked my hair in the spikey look, but the growing out phase is just more hideous then I can stand.

At least now I can look in the mirror again and think 'ok, I look pretty good now.' However, any time I go back and see pictures of me last year, I want to scream and run the other way.

Strange how you get into those mindsets.

Ferret Blogging

Its Friday.

That means I update on the Ferrets.

Its actually taken me a couple of weeks to get used to the little carpet sharks, I was thinking maybe it was a mistake getting the two of them, but they've kind of settled into the place and I've gotten used to them. I've also gotten to know their little quirks so they aren't as overwhelming when they are out anymore. Like, make sure you put some newspapers down in the one corner because they'll ALWAYS go there. Also, have lots of air freshener on hand.

In fact, I'm glad I got the two because they often will keep each other company so I'll work on something and let them run amok.

And I can even get a picture of them now, though they still look around every which direction.

I often put Abby on my shoulders, and she'll usually be pretty good about staying perched up there for a few seconds (Blaine finds a way off as soon as you put him up there) but she also has a tendency to sniff your ear. Its kind of ticklish.

If you want to pose with Blaine, you have to hold him the old fashioned way.

I've got ferret leashes for them both and one of these days if there is something going on downtown I'm half tempted to take one of them with me and keep them in a backpack.



Community Emergency Response Team.

The purpose of this course is in a case of a disaster, emergency response systems are fairly stretched thin. These people will go out into the community and help respond to those disasters and give out information when emergency teams such as the fire department are able to finally make their rounds. It could be something as simple as a severe thunderstorm, fires, snowstorms, or other weather related incidents.

They teach you how to work a fire extinguisher, what to do if you run into casualties, how to triage, do first aid, do light rescue, and provide psychological help to those victims who are severely stressed. Its seven weeks long, and I've got two more sessions after this and then I'm certified. Of course, its volunteer, but its information that is handy to know in case something happens and you don't have access to 911.

If you go check out your local Fire Station, you can see if there is a program set up by your city government to train you. It is a free class and actually very informative. Plus, its volunteer points.

Volunteering is good for the soul as well.


Riding Lessons

Boy its suddenly gotten quite chilly lately! In other words, it feels like fall.

This does get me excited for winter to officially come forward. Its been raining for the last two days, and if precipitation continues at this rate, there should be snow on the mountains before to long.

Meanwhile, I've been searching for things to occupy my time, so that I am forced to leave the house. The PT job should be one. And I've got CERT classes for another three weeks. And there is always school.

Don't forget the army.

However, one of the things that I did enjoy doing this summer is go horseback riding. But being a self taught rider that kind of learned from neighbors and friends, well, when I was wrangling with a bunch of people who actually knew what they were doing, I often got the distinct feeling from them that they didn't consider me a true horseperson. And really I wasn't. Well, not formally at least.

I've been interested in getting a horse again. But looking into it, right now I certainly can't afford one. Another option would be a partial lease, but even that is really not to my benefit at this time. I just don't have the time to make it worth while.

What I could use, however, are some lessons to get myself in the mindset in case this is doable in the future. And it gives me enough horse experience during the week that I can sit back and have fun the rest of the time.

Winter's off season, so there are deals for private lessons during this time of year. I've always ridden western and I decided to get some lessons and learn english.

And now I am.

This is BP. You might be thinking 'well, isn't that the name of a Gas Station?' And you would be right, his name is British Petrolium. Back in his show days, his sponsor was BP so it kind of stuck. He's a Thoroughbred dressage horse that is multitalented and can be ridden both in english and western styles.

My instructor started at the basics for me, from the way I sit and how I hold my legs and head. The entire lesson I rode without stirrups just so I could get the feel of riding down. I do tend to slump, so it felt really awkward for me to sit tall like this. I can see how this is going to be a workout.

It turns out that a lot of western Reiners take Dressage lessons to learn how to properly sit on a horse among other things. So I can take these lessons and apply them to how I ride western as well. Actually, for somebody who's been riding horses off and on since I was about 7, I learned a lot about them today.

I just got to get used to riding and feeling a little more comfortable up there on the saddle.

This is going to really help me work my legs and butt. And don't forget my stomach. I think I'll be doing this into December.

Once the snow really starts to come down, it'll be difficult to get out there to take lessons. And honestly, by then I'll want to be Snowboarding.

But for now, it looks like I'm going to be riding horses about once a week.



So lately my life is encompassing school and a couple of ferrets. Every now and again I get the privelege of going to an army drill, but all in all, my life has become rather mundane.

The search for employment continues. I'm looking at getting a job through the VA Work Study Program (I can do it as long as I have GI bill coming in) which is tax free. And tax free is good!

I've also looked at other things to do to occupy my time. The CERT course (Community Emergency Response Team) has been helpful in taking up a portion of my time on Mondays, and I can use it as Volunteer points. So far I really enjoy the class.

In regards to the army, nothing like getting hazed for delaying your entry into Drill Sergeant School. They would prefer I go in January. I keep insisting that I've been there and done that and would prefer to go in March. So that's what I'm doing. I was half tempted to change my mind and go in January but I decided to stick with the March date for three reasons.

The first, its bloody cold in January. As I said before, been there done that.
The Second, it fits so nicely in with my schooling to wait until March. When I come home in May, I can just transition back into school.
The Third, well, being a Snowboarder and all that purchased a season pass. . . I would prefer to be able to use it and not cut my season short.

So that's it in a nutshell. Me and the army and the rest of my hum-drum life.


Defining Success in Health

In Success Strategies, one of the initial assignments we were tasked with was to define success and what success meant to us in various areas, such as education, career, relationships and so forth. We were to answer and then respond to other people's definitions as well.

This was my definition of Health Success:
Health - Free of disease and independent in movement, keen use of all five senses, weight height proportional. The ability to run, jump and swim. I will consider my health failed when I can no longer endure riding a Snowboard.

One of my classmates didn't like my definition so much, as it was somewhat pessimistic. THis was her response to me.
I agree with you on some parts such as education and relationship but on your views on health when you get older and are no longer able to snowboard will your health be poor then? I feel I live a clean drug free lifestyle and even though I might not be able to climb mountains or ski that I'm still healthy. Perhaps though when you get older and are no longer able to snowboard that you will find another hobby or something that will mean just as much to you as snowboarding.

Well, I fear I had to clarify what I meant. So I did.
The health comment about snowboarding was a bit tongue-in-cheek, mostly because I never really thought about this question and right now that's one of my motivators in life.

However, looking at my history, Snowboarding may be hazardous to my health! So far I've ended up in the Emergency Room twice on account of running headfirst into a tree (battle scar on chin to prove it) and coming home with Global Transient Amnesia (true story!). And I still Snowboard! Call me crazy, everyone does.

Ah yes, I probably won't live to see old age at this rate, so when I finally become paralyzed from my adventures in snowboarding, I'll consider my health finally failed. If I retire from snowboarding in good health and all my brain cells in tact, then I'll consider my health a 'success'.

Though if Snowboarding doesn't get me, the military might.

DS Status

Somebody mentioned wanting to have an update on the Drill Sergeant thing.

I'll have to be clear in that I'll likely only update my status on becoming a Drill Sergeant once a month. That would likely come around my drill weekend, or the more correct term being Battle Assembly.

As a Drill Sergeant Candidate, I am not a Drill Sergeant yet. When I go to drill, I learn various modulations that will be necessary for me to know when I gain the badge and go down range to train soldiers. They also work on my marching, cadence calling, drill and ceremony, and how I carry myself. Basically the things I will learn in Drill Sergeant School are reinforced before hand, helping me get an edge on what I'm expected to know.

I actually don't go to school until March, so I have a while, and while I'm at school I don't expect to have any internet access so my blog will likely be down. Until then, I will be expected

Because I did so well at the range last drill, I won't be firing at this one and have been given the task of teaching a class on Stoppages and the Eight Function Cycles of an M16. This is also to show that despite the beliefs of some people, I can prove that I really am competant enough to teach a class. I'm looking forward to the opportunity, and it is important that I am able to do this as teaching and training others is a primary task of a Drill Sergeant.

I am eagerly looking forward to going to school and proving myself, I have mentioned this before but this unit has given me a motivation to excel in the military again.

I'll update more on this over the weekend.

Looking Back and Accepting It

From time to time, I look back on my life and assess different situations I have gone through. Often times I look at them and try to figure out how I would do it differently if I could go back and do it again. One thing I get out of this excercise is that if I come across similar situations now, I can see myself handling them differently then in the past.

A lot of this thought process goes back to my time in Kosovo. Its no secret that I had a tough year last year and dealing with a complete idiot who seemed to want to make my life a living hell didn't help matters. If I could go back and go through those situations again, I would handle them completely differently. I would know how to handle them. Like when I recieved what was quite possibly the worst counseling session ever (or frankly any counseling session), how I would conduct myself when I lost my KFOR badge, how I would handle that last briefing, or what not.

A year ago today I was given a counseling that basically told me that I was worthless as a soldier and had no business being in preventive medicine. My NCOIC was looking at ways to remove my MOS. Yes, an egocentric E6 felt he had the authority to take away the Military Occupational Speciality of an E5. Which in one word is retarded. From this point on was the descent of my professional relationship with that man. I lost all respect for him and in three months I was completely out of his section with no love between the two of us.

Looking back and playing the scenerio in my mind, I have discovered that how I would respond now vs then would probably result in me getting kicked out of the military for insubordination. But truthfully, at the end of the rotation, I had my former NCOIC completely on the defensive, meaning he didn't dare try anything with me. And I realize now that looking back I came out on top of the situation.

But say that I did happen to find a time travel device and could go back to the start of the deployment and fix things, I realize that I learned so much from this deployment that I wouldn't want to go back and change anything. I have often looked back and realized how much fun I had that year, what I was able to accomplish and the lessons I learned both good and bad and if I could go back in time, I don't think I would change anything. Last year was an important growing experience for me. I had to endure those trials, discover myself, fumble and falter because if I didn't, I wouldn't have learned the lessons I did.

Going back to change one thing would likely change everything that followed, especially in that tumultuous year. Change one thing, and the entire year would had a completely different outcome. For good or bad, the experiences would have been different.

The memories I gained, the people I met, the experiences I had, it was all worth it. If I had to go back to October of 2004 and make up my mind all over again on whether or not I would go to Kosovo, I wouldn't want to change a single thing.

Except maybe telling SSG D to Sod Off a little earlier in the deployment.

Quick Class Update

Latest on classes now that I've actually had an opportunity to sit down and evaluate them.

Well, so far, my Success Strategies class appears to border on being extremely useful to extremely cheesy. But I like the text book. And it looks like it will be my easy class.

Critical and Creative Thinking has gotten me into the thinking mode again, as I go through my assignments, I'll likely post my responses on here. The questions posed are blog worthy. Sometimes.

Image Editing is the class that presently I'm most frustrated with because A) its a seven credit class which menas B) its expensive and C) I know a lot of this already and if I had done it correctly, I could have saved myself a bunch of money and tested out of it. But when all is said and done, I hope to learn a thing or two.

I didn't leave the house today, or get dressed. I just worked on homework. I can see how I will both love and hate this arrangement.


School's in Session

So, today was the first day of my school.

Wow, I'm in for a wild and crazy time. Fortunately I have plenty of time right now to work on classes, though I do admit its a bit distracting when Glenn Beck is on the radio in the background.

For those of you who don't know, I'm going to college via Online through Westwood College Online. They have an acredited program and I'm hoping to get a degree in animation.

I will likely be displaying some of my course work within my blog. My website will also be showing some of the things I learn and be going through a metamorphisis over the course of the next few years. I can't wait to learn how to use Flash.

My current classes are:
Success Strategies - Granted, this is not the class I'm most excited about attending this quarter. But I think I will learn a lot of valuable lessons from it, especially as I focus on my career. I think this is also a class to help me get accustomed to the online learning environment, and I will admit that I'm a little intimidated by this medium of learning. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I know that I'm not my strongest in this learning environment. So that means I need to be dogging myself. Hopefully, this class will really help with all of that.

Critical and Creative Thinking - I had to work hard to get in this course. Its actually a 400 course and I'm in my first quarter at Westwood. Despite that, this is not going to be my workhorse class this quarter. This class is manageable and I'm looking forward to using this part of my brain again.

Image Editing - Remember my photoshopping blitz? Well, expect more of that. I'm going to be formally trained on Image Editing Software (think Photoshop, latest edition) and learn all of the fancy tricks of the trade. This is going to be SWEET! However, this is an intense course. Read, 7 credits.

I will be spending the next ten weeks going to school online. The unfortunate thing about online classes is that I get really distracted when I'm online. The good news is I don't get distracted nearly as much as I have in the past.

I'll post my status check as class continues.


The 'Kami' Face

I am often in a sluggish mode, in that I don't like to do a whole lot with my appearance on any given day. Especially if I don't make it out of the house (mind you, I'm going to school online and am searching for a job currently so I don't get a whole lot of opportunities to get out. I hope to rectify this).

Well, I actually put make up on today. It is Saturday afterall.

Just because, I took some self portrait pictures. You know the lamo digital picture you take of yourself? Yep, those. They are so handy because you can take as many as you want.

My brother saw one of the pictures and asked "What's with the Kami face?"

Indeed, what is with the Kami face? Except for the fact that it made me semi-famous? It's like my own version of 'Blue Steel' off of Zoolander. The slight tilt of the head, the arch of the eyebrows, the angsty look of 'who's ass can I kick now?'.

Why do I make this face? I don't know. I don't know if I'll ever know.


Ferret Friday

I'm still adapting to the Ferrets. I may have mentioned that I've never owned ferrets before and they do take some getting used to. But once you have their quirks down, they are quite amusing.

One thing that always brings a few laughs is to keep them a bit pent up in their cage all day and then block off a room and let them at it. It may take them a little bit to wind up, especially if they just woke up, but give them about ten to fifteen minutes and they'll be poinging off the walls.


I created a YouTube account. Anyway, one day Abby started to go straight into Ferret Boing mode and I got a bad capture on video.

I think I'll be using this feature more in the future. Hopefully with better footage.

Trying to photograph a ferret is like trying to snuggle with one. Both are damn near impossible. With an attention span all of 3 seconds, you might catch their attention with a camera for a few seconds and its on to something else. They aren't that cuddly either. They wiggle out of your grasp soon after you pick them up, because something more interesting has just caught their attention. Probably something shiney.

Like your lens cap.

My Signs

I don't usually do a whole lot with Astrology, but being a Cusp Baby (I'm a Scorpio/Saggitarius) I often do these things to get a feel for how accurate astrology is.

In this case, I'm a wee bit more Scorpio that Saggitarius

You are 73% Scorpio

You are 60% Sagittarius

I think I've done this before. Chances are I'll do it again in the future.


Movie Review - Mazes and Monsters

I was going through the discount bin when I picked up this little gem for a measly $5. I had never heard of it and it had Tom Hanks on the cover and usually you're pretty solid with Tom Hanks. Usually. I was wondering if it was an independent venture he helped out in and tried to find a date and the back cover only had 2005. Which was the copyright for the cover art.

Well, the coverart has a contemporary image of Tom Hanks and fails to mention really what this movie is about. By all accounts you think its going to be some kind of cheap fantasy as there is a dragon and a maze on the cover, so it is catering to the sci-fi fantasy type crowd.

The coverart is very misleading. Mazes and Monsters is actually a made for CBS movie that came out in 1982 about how evil Role-Playing Games are. Agahst, the horror! Do not play or you may literally lose your mind!

Four college students gather around a home made role playing area with their candles lit as they become deeply involved in a RPG that is a wee bit like D&D, and when they decide to take their RPing to a slightly more advanced level, the infamous LARP (that's live action role playing for those who don't know) Robbie suddenly becomes consumed by his character and *gasp* gets so involved in the game that he no longer is Robbie but becomes Pardeux, the Holy Man! He swears off sex, goes on a quest and sees muggers as Gorvils. He snaps out of his little trance for a brief moment, giving performances that you would never guess would be from a future academy award winner. His holy quest takes him to the 'Two Towers' (very tolkeinesque) in New York, and it takes his three friends a while to figure out what the two towers could possibly be in New York City in 1982.

They are able to save their friend from trying to 'fly' off of the One of the Towers by LARPing with him some more, and he snaps to for a moment to give off another one of those classic meltdowns only to find out that three months later the guy is completely insane. When his three friends come to visit him, they can only endulge in his crazy talk by taking part in one last LARP with him. THe closing scene is worth the entire freakin movie. Its so bad that I'm just waiting for Robbie to say "hah hah, just kidding guys." But no, its so bad because alas, he has completely gone bonkers and thinks he is Pardeux, and so his friends endulge on his lunacy one last time.

Mazes and Monsters is a far out game!

Beware, don't let your children play or they will be consumed by the fiery depths of their imaginations and you will never know them again!

If I had to summarize this movie in one sentance, it would be: "Tom Hanks, what were you thinking?"


Slave to Conveniance

I admit, I must make a confession. It pains me to say this, as I have sworn a blood oath to defy this in all ways I can muster. But I gave in and must admit to being a slave to my own petty needs.

I shop at Walmart.

Its not that I actually go out of my way to shop at Walmart either, its just that, well, its so freakin' conveniant! Walmart is about a half mile from my house so if I need something and I need it now, its easier for me to hop in my car and drive to Walmart to get whatever as opposed to driving three times the distance to get to, say, Fred Meyer.

There are some things that if its specific, I'll shop at another location. Like, say, Food items, I tend to go to Safeway or Rosaurs, and anything for the Ferrets usually brings me to Petco. Computers, TV, any kind of electronics brings me to Best Buy and if I want movies I tend to go to Hastings. But if I have a hoj-poj of items that I need and I don't want to be driving all over town (last I checked, Gas was still expensive) I tend to go to Walmart, and sometimes I pick up a few things there I would usually buy elsewhere.

I guess I will still say that Walmart is in its own way evil, and if I can resist the urge I will try not to shop there, but lets face it. Sometimes you are a slave to your own conveniances and I don't think I will completely write off any store as a shopping experience.

I mean, I did go back and get a cell through T-Mobile after swearing blood vengeance, didn't I? And I still use Microsoft products despite cursing the company to have the fleas of a thousand camels rest in their armpits.

I'm a slave to conveniance. Like any other red blooded american. I need it, and I want it now.

I wonder if Walmart has it?