Wednesday, June 27, 2007


So it has been a really strange week since I got back from Hanford. I have been getting into a flow at work. The new skills I have acquired for the position seem to have made my call time expand tremendously. I spend lots of time going back day after day to policies to fix them or make some kind of change. It has given me more ability to do some things, I can cut through red tape for certain things but it definitely has made my job take longer. I am not sure I am enjoying the new system very much. Although I am quickly becoming familiar with it. I was telling a coworker that some problems in the old system do not exist over here but new ones pop back up to take there place. The funniest part about what I said was that it is the same thing I have learned about jobs in general. Going out and getting a new job takes care of certain issues you may have but the new job will have a whole new set of issues. I figure at the end of the day that at least I did a small part to help make rich people richer! Isn't that satisfying?

I have also been finding new distractions that keep me from cleaning my house. I have needed to clean for a while now. I was looking for something a while back and I pulled boxes out of their spots and I just can't motivate myself to put them back in their places. Although just recently I did get a good reason to start working on the house. My mom is heading up here for a few days in July and I can't have this disaster I call a home be here to greet her. She is under no ill-gotten notions that I am a particularly tidy individual but she probably does expect not to have to hurdle boxes to get to the restroom. I subject myself to this but I would subject a guest to it. So the slow process of motivating myself has begun with this entry. I did partially clear off the kitchen table, that should count for something.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My Story about MyPoints.Com

I first heard about back in 1998. They were advertising that you could earn rewards for receiving and responding to advertisers via emails. The emails are in html format with pictures and information about the product they want you to learn more about. The lower part of the email has a red button that you can click to go to the website the email is pertaining to. In that area they also talk about how to earn points. You earn points for getting the email and visiting the advertised site and usually you earned more points for joining something or buying something. The points you earn could be used for cool gift certificates to either online shopping or actual store shopping. Early on I found out you could get points for referring people so I referred my various email accounts, I have always had at least 3 and think at that time I had 5 different email accounts. I earned points quickly for joining cd clubs and book clubs and referring myself. I would get a reward every couple months. I spent points as fast as I got them. I ate out at Olive Garden or Red Lobster with a $25 gift card or went shopping at Target or Barnes and Noble. All I had to do was pay attention to the emails sent to me from MyPoints and click the red button, if I was interested in the offer I pursued the points if I wasn't I just got the points for receiving the email. The emails from MyPoints never gave me a virus, they never crashed my computer and I was getting a reward simply for checking email which I do several times a day anyway. However keeping up more then one account became tedious and seemed a little unethical so I began canceling the other accounts. I would wait until they got large enough for a gift certificate and I would order it, recieve it and stop using the account. It slowed my gift certificate use way down but my email accounts became manageable again. I still had two for a while but in September of 2001 I donated my points to the World Trade Center victims via Red Cross. The company matched all the pints given and made a donation in dollars. I started back up with just one account this time and have been going strong since. I am currently at 9,424 points and could easily get nearly 75 dollars worth of rewards gift certificates. This account has accumulated a grand total of 19,599 points and given at least 3 to 4 rewards. I donated points for Katrina victims and that is the last time I have done anything with points.

Points are accumulated in several ways the first is by just clicking the button in the email that takes you to the advertised site, that earns 5 points (it used to be ten but they probably were giving too many gift certificates out). The second way is to join whatever website mailer they are pushing. These are usually low point awards
but you basically get points to let them email you stuff. I use a certain email for mypoints so junk email is no big deal. Some of these websites are cool some are not. The other way is to buy something or to join a club where you agree to buy things and this gets you more points. Sometimes points are awarded with every dollar spent. So it is advisable to check online before you buy if there is anyway to get points for getting something you were going to get anyway.

They have different levels of rewards you can get 5, 10, 25 dollar or higher gift certificates for most of the places. This means you can get a small reward quickly or wait a little while longer for a bigger reward. The 25 dollar rewards usually cost about 3,250 points to get for most places I get rewards from. They were of course lower in the beginning. The points awarded were higher and the rewards cost less points to get and then they changed things but I stayed with it because I still get something for nothing. I have donated to Red Cross twice, I have received several gift certificates to Olive Garden, Circuit City, Target, Barnes and Noble and more. Every once in a while rewards change like it seems that Olive Garden is no longer a reward but they have Chili's, Baja Fresh, Pizza Hut, On The Border, Starbucks, Macaroni Grill, Cracker Barrel and a few others. They offer gas cards to Shell and BP, they have Target, Sears, Circuit City, Walmart, Linens n' Things, Macy's, Old Navy, the Gap, Kohl's, and many more stores to shop at listed. They also have gift certificates for online shopping at places like Omaha Steaks,, Red Envelope and a few others. They have hotel money and United Air mileage for purchase with your points. They have a lot more then this you may want to look into it.

It is an easy program to join and follow and only takes as much time as you do at each site. Some days I read all about a company that is advertised and other days nothing sent out is of interest and it takes me a few minutes to click on the sites for my receiving points. If you are interested in joining let me know. I will email you an invite and then I will get points which is a good thing. You can get points for up to 5 referrals a month so if I achieve 5 I will spread the love to people that signed up through me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pearls Before Swine does it again

I swear this guy is taking my thoughts directly from my head. He is just a lot smarter about how he portrays this type of an act. He draws a talking rat character doing this and I tell people I wish I could do this so I end up looking crazy. I think I may be on a few people's lists for people on the edge. I am hot listed. The thing is I am not the danger it's the people that smile all day and never address anything that snap. I complain too much to snap. See I retreat into a smacking people with a bat or tazering annoying people fantasies and I get over things quickly. I just have to learn not to share all the time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Small Towns and Me is like Gin and Sprite: It just ain't right!

Let's start off by saying that I don't hate small towns. I mean we all know I am lying at this point but let's say it anyway. I think small towns are terribly boring and I just don't understand the urge to live in them. People say things to me when I say this, like: it's a great place to raise kids, you know your neighbors, it's safer, and small town charm (which means what to me exactly, when I find small towns neither charming nor inviting). I wasn't born in a small town and maybe that is why I don't get it. I was born in a city with a crime problem, a drug problem and all the other problems cities have. I don't focus on that though what I see something different. I think of lots of options of things to do, places to go, new experiences to try out, an art scene, an airport, malls, big mega movie theaters, sushi bars (notice a lot of these things are plural very important to have multiple things) and a lot more. I figure my core group of friends are just as tight as any small town group could be. Even if we are spread out all over the country at this point. I think maybe the city life has one major take away and that is not learning how to make my own entertainment. I am working on that though with the guitar, my art, writing and this silly blog. Now that my perspective has been laid out I figure I will tell you about my trip down to Hanford, CA.

My dad and I started out early Thursday morning. The trip took 11 hours but we hit two In-N-Out Burgers joints on the way, around brunch and lupper times (yes I said lupper). We saw about a million highway patrol on the road so we were not pushing our luck and neither was the rest of the traffic. Which mainly consisted of truckers clogging the right lane, then jumping into the left lane to pass another truck just as you attempted to pass them. I have dubbed this behavior 'leapfrogging' because I honestly think they wait until about 6 cars are coming up to pass to make the move and to do so in such a manner that they net cars in the double digits before the pass is completed. Yes I said it, trucks pass only to block regular traffic, they form groups and take turns passing each other all the way until they reach their destination. Which seems very similar to the game of leapfrog and therefore the name is applied to the behavior. Anyway it was early evening when we arrived and we hit the apricot trees like birds smacking into the phone booth in that scene from that Alfred Hitchcock movie about birds.... what was it called??? Why couldn't he have just called it The Birds, just think how simple that would have been to remember. It was probably called "flying rats of doom" or something like that (hehe). After we had gorged ourselves on fresh tasty fruit and various vegetables we headed in to talk about stuff and catch up. Grandpa was doing pretty good and Uncle David seemed in good shape as well. Although Grandpa was having a touch of the porcelain thrown sit downs and we teased him about eating too much fruit. Remember these words folks: Poking fun can sometimes lead to a turn about. MY UPPANCE WILL COME!
The four of us headed to Denny's for a big breakfast the next morning and the remains went to the two dogs at home. Then we headed to see Grandma at the nursing home. She has lost a lot of weight since I saw her last (4 years ago almost) but I understand she has not lost any weight in the last 30 days which is good. We ran some errands and then went to Grandpa's pad for a while. Then headed out to Applebee's for a father's day meal for grandpa. I am not sure but this might have been the place of my impending intestinal downfall. We headed home and I gobbled roasted almonds like someone was trying to deprive me of them. This is probably my favorite pass time at grandpa's, the constant flow of food I hardly ever eat. We finished the night off with a bacon and fresh tomato, from grandpa's garden, sandwich. We watched some TV and then called it a night.

I woke up feeling ill. I couldn't handle the smells of breakfast cooking so I dared not eat. I was glad when they offered to leave me behind that morning since I had already had prolonged conversations with the porcelain throne. I sat at home chewing Tums and wondering if I should attempt to eat. I decided to have a bowl of cereal and a glass of milk. It stayed down for a little while but soon I was back in the bathroom making comedy style noises and just wishing I was in the third installment of "Dumb and Dumbererer er" and that my best friend had slipped me some laxatives and it would pass as soon as the medicine wore out for stealing his lady he was too afraid to talk to. For some odd reason my nether regions started giving it a rest as grandpa's started acting up again. I had been watching TV while they were off running about and grandpa decided to complain about the TV and the fact we were watching it nearly the second he and my dad got back. About that time my dad wanted to head over to see Grandma again so I managed to go along without pushing an old lady off the pot so I could have a turn. Then we headed to Starbucks (where I dared a coffee drink), when I turned to my pop and said "I go to Mexico and eat at every dive taco stand I came across, the more flies around the place the better it was and I don't get sick but one day in Hanford and I end up with a wrecked digestive track." We then headed to Target to pick up chew-able Maalox, I chewed those dang things all evening, including during dinner. We had a great spread: steak, fresh red potatoes from the garden, a salad (fresh tomatoes), a squash dish (fresh)and homemade ice cream. The dinner was fun but should have been a lot more fun for a few reasons I don't feel like addressing in the blog. The good thing was my body appeared to be cooperating and it even seemed to be doing so as we started heading home the next day.

The drive home. We hit In-N-Out Burger in Redding and the next stop I was reading graffiti in the restroom stall. It had nothing to do with the burger because first of all food poisoning does not work that fast and second of all I had been burping all day just like the day before and nothing was relieving the bloated feeling. Needless to say it was a miserable ride the rest of the way. I felt bad for my pop who drove with me sleeping most of the day and asking to stop again the rest of the day. I ended up calling in sick on Monday so I could finish getting over it and ended up sleeping a lot once it started to pass for good.

So you are thinking about my opening and my anti-small town nonsense and thinking what does this have to do with a trip that involved a whole lot of bathroom breaks? Well Hanford is not a big city, it is not a teeny town either I guess it is a kinda medium town, I have no idea the population or the definitions of town sizes I am just guessing, basically to me Hanford is too small. I have visited several times and I have been ok but this time I was bouncing off the walls. I needed something to do but I hadn't packed art supplies or a book and I did not feel like writing and I had not brought fresh batteries for the camera and it was too blasted hot outside anyway. So I turned on the TV because I can only talk prices for so long and my dad can only talk prices for about an hour. However I think grandpa was disappointed that we did not sit around talking all day and night. I felt bad about that and I felt bad that I couldn't figure out what to do but being outside reminded me why I ran away to Portland in the first place. I couldn't do manual labor out there in the heat I have never functioned that well in the heat so gardening was out. I remember it was Mother's day in 2003 and Becky, Maryann, John and family had I had went in on some rose bushes for my mom. We were planting them and I was drenched in sweat by just glancing at the shovel. I do not like the heat and was not built to endure it with any hint of grace. I get all hot, irritated and feel ready to murder people. I figure by being in a cooler climate I reduce other people's risk of death, some may even call me a humanitarian. I am way off course here, my point is that without an obvious thing to do I have a hard time finding something to do. So I turned on the satellite TV and vege'd out.

I guess the real bottom line was it was a good trip but I need to ensure a smoother and more successful time in the future. Even if that means dragging sources of entertainment with me. The paint stuff, the drawing, the book making stuff, the guitar and a few books. Oh and a few batteries for my camera. People with kids do it all the time why not pamper myself every once in a while? And I don't mean putting on diapers you sickos! (even if crazy Nasa chicks do it during a cross country drive to kidnap a rival for a boys affection) I had a great time seeing Grandpa and Uncle David. I was glad I got to see Grandma. I wish I had not gotten sick but what can you do?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Holy guaca'FREAKIN'mole!

Well it seems like more then enough time has past since I added a blog entry. I try to update on a regular basis but sometimes I get in moods where the act of writing a pointless blog about nothing seems more trouble then it is worth. That is usually when I should start writing, however it is usually when I stop. I have watched a few movies since we last spoke..

Big Wednesday - Surfers in the 60's. The more I see about that time period the less I find it interesting. Some of the surfing was pretty good. It had the Greatest American Hero guy in this movie as well as Gary Busey oh and also Robert Englund (Freddy Kruegger). This movie just meandered through a few deadbeat derelicts lives and had no real point. They were friends I guess but I am not sure why since they did not seem to like each other, the Vietnam War happened some went to war others went to great lengths to be excused from service, and at the end they surfed huge waves in California... Yeah that was pretty much it.

When the Levees Broke - A documentary on the Katrina catastrophe by Spike Lee. I have seen disc one of this 3 disc set and I have to say I had no clue what was really going on down there. So far I am 5 days into the catastrophe and it is a total mess. It really is shocking to see this all laid out there with this very horrible footage from the event.

Children of Men - The world's women are infertile and no one knows why. Somehow a young woman gets pregnant and these brain surgeons think let's transport her through very dangerous conditions to a theoretical safety place during her eighth month of pregnancy. So everything goes wrong, everyone has an agenda for the mother and her child, the baby gets born in a very bad place to be born and the movie leaves you before you know if it will end well.

Apocalypto - A very ugly movie that reveals nothing of it's subjects histories or culture. It does nothing for Mayan descendants or how the world views this long gone civilization. It starts with a brutal pig hunting and gutting scene. Everyone makes fun of the fat infertile guy (Infertility seems to be a trend in movies I have ended up with the last two days). Then some evil guys take this whole village brutally and drag them to a temple to be sacrificed. Somehow the main guy manages to keep his internal organs internal and his head attached so that he can spend the rest of the movie running from the evil guys. It ends with evil conquistadors making landfall. I can sum this movie up in two words "Don't bother"

Music & Lyrics - After the downers I have been viewing lately I picked a nice light fluffy romantic comedy. It was cute, it had some laughs, but it hardly reinvented the genre. It is still a relatively pain free evening of light hearted entertainment. Add some beer, a cute special friend and it could turn into a great evening. (This last statement is not tested or endorsed by this blog, it is purely the thoughts and ideas of this one blogger.)

I probably have seen others but who cares.

I have been in a little mini drama at work. I need a California insurance license to help people in the state of California. California also thinks they need to know everything you have done ever, including misdemeanors from ten years ago. I had no paperwork on the cussing out a cop violation that happened back in college except the citation. That was not enough of course so I had to send away for "OFFICIAL" court documents from Flagstaff, AZ that say I got a fine and paid it. I would be happy to just let California motorists go without my skills of telephonic evasion but unfortunately the overlords at the plantation think helping Californians is vital to my job. So every week I would be reminded my very employment hinged on this stupid license and every week I would say the State of Arizona only has one speed and that is Arizona speed, the papers will come when they come. I got these "vital" papers Saturday, I turned them in today and they are en route to worthless government employees in California. Hopefully very soon I will have worthless papers from the state of California so that I too can be yelled at about insurance rates. FANTASTIC!! GO California!

I stopped looking for a new place to live because I am broke and I really don't want to pay more then I am paying. I have no money for a security deposit and I figure I might as well wait a little while until I can scrounge a few pennies together. I still want to move but it is not the best time to do so.

I went to an Organic Beer Festival last Friday with my friend Chad. It was a good time and the beer was nice. We did not stay long just long enough to get a nice buzz. Other then that same stuff different day.

Monday, June 04, 2007


So I have been busy lately. I have been painting, hanging with some peeps, enjoying a few 2 day weekends, reading 5 books, watching 12 movies, talking on the phone, emailing people, sending paintings as Mother's day gifts, sending books to my niece, reading that same nieces newspaper articles she wrote and had published in her school paper, hanging out with a friend and his 6 month old son, checking out pictures of all the new May babies, and finally completely ignoring my blog! How do you like them apples??

To prove I have been painting I will share a few of them with you:

This is actually the painting my mom now owns. Looks a little cooler without the flash all over it. In case you are curious it's acrylic.

This one is watercolor and actually my 3rd watercolor. I have found that I prefer acrylics and oil to watercolor because they are easier to cover up mistakes with. IN case anyone is an oil paint expert I have a question for you. If you spill oil paint in your carpet and you got most of it out with paint thinner, how can you get the rest out? In case you are wondering I am buying a tarp this next paycheck.

I wanted to share a picture that was pretty cool of an ad campaign. Nationwide put a wall scape on their office building in Ohio and it is pretty eye catching. Check it out, click on it to make it bigger.

There are 3 cars with paint on them the wall scape spills into the parking lot. It is really pretty cool. Does it sell the product? Well with the 3 cars covered I think it does....

Super Quick Movie Reviews:
The Illusionist - Usual Suspects with magic and olden time nonsense

Rome Season 1 - Uh..... Well Caeser dies... did he really die that soon after gaining power? It was like a few months. Why is he famous again? Is it just because he died at the hands of 'Friends'? Well now I know why it is called Rome and not Caeser.

Avatar Season 1 - Totally awesome. A great cartoon series.

Avatar Season 2 - Still awesome, great characters!

Pan's Labyrinth - Creepy and a bit of a downer but pretty amazing at the same time.

Stomp The Yard - Not very good but still pretty entertaining. I loved the sliding on the head thing even if they showed it in every commercial for this movie.

Thank You For Smoking - HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Brilliant! Made me want to be a lobbyist.

Night At The Museum - Good times! Very amusing, like a huge 'Indian in the Cupboard'.

Eragon - Oh no! How quickly can we stomp out interest in a book? Let's make a supercrappy movie very loosely based on it and then people will go see Shrek 45 instead of reading.

Marie Antoinette - Let's have a 2 hour 1980's synth-rock music video about someone famous and then lets skip the beheading (the best part)! Oh and let's leave everything up to artistic interpretation and not really tell a story. People need big picture books to understand things.

Notes On A Scandal - Can we say "Gave up before it started!"?

Deja Vu - Holy crap! Really good movie I didn't even know existed. Denzel Washington is a seen it all ATF agent who gets a chance to change the recent past. Very well done, very engaging. I didn't even paint during this one.

The Purple Rose of Cairo - Holy Hannah could this end any crappier??? BOOO WOODY ALLEN!!! BOO!! I think you suck! I hope you fall off a pier into a great white shark's mouth, one that makes Jaws look tiny! I hope Nessie attacks you while you visit Loch Ness, then spits you out, and then I hope you get your movie making license revoked and someone makes a career of following you around and mocking you. Jerk! Stupid dumb unfunny hack. If you think he is funny you are probably at least in your 50's.... and if you aren't I bet no one likes you and you never get to join in any reindeer games.