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Category: potpourri

07/15/08 04:49 - 78ºF - ID#45027

Need A New Wallet

Seeing as mine went AWOL. I haven't really been feeling much like talking about things the last couple of weeks. In a nutshell, I've been in an accident, had my wallet go AWOL, and after dealing with insurance people and just wanting to listen to Pink Floyd, found out that my PSU went bye bye. ARGH! I just wanted to listen to The Wall! Of course, a PSU is easy to replace, the documents not so much.

But, if this is as bad as it gets for me, then I think I'm having a pretty solid time here on this rock. I'm pretty darn happy. Also the world does give you a break now and then, and I got a really sweet break that makes up for these inconveniences, and then some, and then some, and then some. I've also had the pleasure of good company and good times in the last couple of weeks. Oh did I ever go overboard on Saturday, between the Taste of Buffalo and hanging around Allentown that evening.

Anyway, I need a new wallet. Just like the person who gave it to me, it left with little fanfare and no consideration for the aftermath. That fuggin thing had to go anyway I suppose. I don't like to carry a shitload of things with me, just the very basics so I can withdraw money, rent movies and prove I am who I say I am. Anyone have one they really like?

Oh crap I forgot I need a new AAA card too.

Maybe someone like me needs to have a chip implant that has all of this stuff embedded in it!!!
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/jason/45027/Need_A_New_Wallet.html
Words: 276
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

07/07/08 10:46 - 72ºF - ID#44892

Hello, Happy Monday

I hope everyone had a good 4th. I had an excellent time, of course, although sadly mine was the only building on the block with a flag on it as far as I know.




I've been thinking about something (e:Drew) wrote one day concerning an atheist President. I don't know that we will ever have an atheist President during our lifetimes. That assumes that, at some point, evangelicals will have absolutely zero say in the future, and it's an assumption that to me isn't really panning out, at least in the near term, given how Obama and McCain have been pandering lately.

Even if you ignore the hard cores, you're looking at a situation that would be far more difficult than Kennedy dealt with concerning his Catholicism. The stereotypical atheist mindset isn't very flattering, and it isn't as if they are averse to wearing it on their sleeves like an evangelical wears his faith. If you bring the mocking, cynical overtones of a Christopher Hitchens to the table, your candidacy on a national scale here is DOA, and for good reason. The atheist is better off LYING about his atheism.

Why? Because, while it isn't fair, the atheist candidate is saddled with the baggage of his contemporaries being outright hostile to religion and the religious. He would have a hell of a lot to prove to people, not only about his beliefs, but the capability to use those beliefs to erode religious freedom in America, or to generally engage in petty, useless nonsense. Personally, if the candidate was the chilled out, live and let live kind of atheist my Dad is, I would have no problem voting for him. Right now I am looking away from inflexible people.




I can think of some things I'm taking on faith right now, and I know I'm not alone in this kind of exercise. Humans do this all the time, but rarely is anyone so cynical or mean as to dash someone's hopes. I believe:

- I will have someone in my life who accepts me, good and bad.
- I will have a better go of things in my 30's.
- Someday there will be a cure for much of what ails us.
- I will find a way to overcome my smoking.
- Somehow, my wallet will turn up intact.
- America, and the world, will get through our problems somehow.

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/jason/44892/Hello_Happy_Monday.html
Words: 403
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: movies

06/27/08 03:36 - 75ºF - ID#44803

The Dark Knight

IF YOU DO NOT KNOW JACK ABOUT BATMAN, MOVE ON POR FAVOR!!!

Just don't want to spoil anything for people unnecessarily.

I'm usually not one for the movies. It isn't that I don't like movies - I just don't like going alone. Same thing with going out for a meal. But for this one, The Dark Knight, I'll go alone and sit next people I can't stand one bit.

The hype machine is already starting, and I am getting swept up in it. Rolling Stone has a review online already! It is a glowing review, and people are cynical about it due to Ledger's death. Could that manipulate a critic's opinion? I'm not sure.

From what I've seen, Heath Ledger's Joker is miles apart from Jack Nicholson's Joker. I love the idea of the Joker being gritter, absolutely frightening, with no remorse at all. I also hear that Harvey Dent's transformation into Harvey Two Face is quite compelling.

I remember in '89 when Batman came out, and Dad had just bought an awesome stereo (I currently own it, lol). I remember the special effects being amazing, boom boom, and myself being so engrossed in the film. I love superhero movies. I should probably try Batman Begins....
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/jason/44803/The_Dark_Knight.html
Words: 208
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

06/19/08 07:10 - 59ºF - ID#44722

Belated Birthday Thanks

A number of people have offered their belated happy birthdays, and I want to say thank you. I'm not as spooked today. I neglected to mention the delicious bottle of Veuve Cliquot I bought. Dirty 30, y'all!

(e:DCoffee) - I'm surprised you didn't know Josh and I are twins. We are fraternal twins, but we do look more alike than your average set of fraternals.

I want to go on a trip somewhere. San Fran is still very much in the picture.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/jason/44722/Belated_Birthday_Thanks.html
Words: 82
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: blah

06/17/08 09:11 - 54ºF - ID#44685

On Turning 30

Man, over the last couple of days I really have gotten spooked. Last night was especially bad. I could barely sleep. I'm worried about the future, what I'll be doing, where I'll be going. Am I going to get more of what I want out of life?

I've been pretty public about the troubles I've had. In October 2006, something happened to me, it was sort of a renewal. I snapped out of it, so to speak. To me it was miraculous. I looked back on the previous 5 years and said Oh my God, what happened to me? How am I going to make up for all this time?

One thing I realized was that my psyche was fragile and weak. I needed to learn all of those hard lessons. I had to go through that to move on. All of it was necessary. I wish the lessons weren't so tough but I don't choose that kind of thing.

So I've tried to do the right things. I've tried to improve myself. I've always had certain good qualities, always been intelligent, but inside it was 100% turbulence. Dad tells me all the time how proud he is, how much I've changed. I hope you see some change in me too, because I've tried so hard to not be a bitter, angry, petty person towards anyone. I've tried to be better in every way.

Now it is all about the next step, personally and professionally. I don't have the love of a good woman, or a house, or a fancy car. I still haven't seen nearly enough of the world. I'm facing the possibility of leaving everyone and everything I know. I feel like I don't have it all together and at 30 I should, but I do see so many others in my position who are going through the same thing, so that should be some comfort.

I'm not desperate, or in a hurry, but I don't want to go through life alone. I want someone to be there for me, and me for them. I also really want to be a father someday, to me that is so important. I want to justify the sacrifices my grandparents and my own father made. I want to make good on their investment in me. I want I want I want.

Maybe first I should just worry about quitting cigarettes.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/jason/44685/On_Turning_30.html
Words: 395
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

06/16/08 08:08 - 66ºF - ID#44663

Thanks Everyone

I appreciate the happy birthdays. It was a very chill day. I thought I wouldn't feel weird about turning 30 but in fact I am a little spooked. Here's to taking the next step, I guess! Special thanks go out to (e:Drew) and (e:Janelle) for being awesome hosts.
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Words: 49
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

06/13/08 08:22 - 76ºF - ID#44637

Sweden v. Spain - Saturday, 12 PM

(e:Joshua) confirmed the various beer deals at Caffe Aroma during the Euro 2008 matches (national team soccer matches, for the uninitiated). So I think I'll be there at noon to support the motherland in their efforts to defeat the flopping, spineless Spanish.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/jason/44637/Sweden_v_Spain_Saturday_12_PM.html
Words: 42
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

06/12/08 09:40 - 60ºF - ID#44627

I've Gotta Stop Doing This

I met Jerry out for the usual weekly jaunt to our local. We said that we would only go for a couple of beers and take off early. Of course, that plan went to pot when one of the girls he has been "seeing" on and off came through. Oh, and her younger sister came through as well, who was a real handful.

I'm still paying for it as I write this - there were beers and shots and I noticed something about myself for the first time. When I drink I get sort of huggy sometimes. What can I say, I like a hug. Does this happen to anyone else? Good thing the older sister is a drunk hugger as well.

The younger sister, however, was really independent and not afraid to speak her mind openly. I think that's what they call "bitchy" nowadays, right? She started poking me where she thought I had a flaw, and that was rude as hell. If I ever did that to a chick, I would be considered a Class A jerk. I would be blacklisted for sure. It's not like I provoked her either, talking about her massive behind and whatnot. She thought her shit didn't stink, which was annoying.

Some people get off on the tension, the back and forth, and to me it is just tiring and a waste of energy. I distrust people like that because I think they are hiding something, some kind of insecurity, and they have to compensate by wrapping themselves in poison coated armor. I know that when I've been that way it's because of my own unhappiness. It really is okay to just be cool and agreeable!

We were talking about relationships and I said that guys basically want someone they feel "at home" with, someone who lets them be themselves. You would think I dissed the Pope! The younger sister needled me the rest of the night, presumably because she took it personally. I really don't care if she was insulted, first of all because she already tried to humiliate me earlier, and secondly because I wasn't saying anything about her to begin with. I thought I was talking common sense.

I just don't get it, why some girls have to be so nasty, and why they cross my path so often. The only thing I can think of is karmic retribution for something I've done in the past. It's not like I've been a perfect angel myself. I thought about my last ex, who definitely made me feel at home and comfortable around her.

She wasn't the type to open up, at all, but after the breakup she did open up to me a little, saying really nice things that surprised me. I later misinterpreted something else she said and grew bitter, nasty, poisonous. I reacted in knee-jerk fashion, and I wish I never had done that. If you do that to someone who opened up to you, they will hate you forever.

Maybe it still would have not lasted, but at least I wouldn't have invited this kind of negativity to come my way. She had her flaws, which I could deal with, but the thing she had in spades was heart. She was a down ass chick, and I was able to be as goofy and nerdy as I am. She put up with antics that the super-bitch from March would have never tolerated. Dealing with these girls has me missing her so badly. She will never be mine again, but maybe if I follow the Golden Rule from now I'll have a karmic swing.
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Words: 605
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

06/04/08 09:50 - 62ºF - ID#44541

Cig Taxes, Part Deux

Just commenting on some comments here, and hopefully fostering some more discussion.

You're right, (e:Vincent), the excise tax doesn't comprise all of the $1.3B. We went from $1.50 a pack to $2.75 a pack, and the increase should generate a little under $300M, so there you go.

(e:Drew), I have the same moral problem with it. The rub is that tax payers, and by extension the government, do have a compelling interest in reducing the smoking population because of health care costs.

This interest would only become stronger if we had a national health care system, and a pool of "our" health care dollars. If you spend your life drinking and smoking and poisoning your body, as I have, you are deliberately screwing people out of health care in this circumstance. If I haven't already quit by the time we get national health care, I will quit that day.

Some leftward-thinking people are recommending exactly this type of government manipulation of gasoline demand through regressive tax policy as well. I don't know about you guys, but I am sick and tired of this kind of negative policy. Punitive tax policy isn't the only way to approach these kinds of issues, but people in government don't seem to understand. Instead of sucking more money from people, why not make an investment in your future by offering really good incentives for people to quit?
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/jason/44541/Cig_Taxes_Part_Deux.html
Words: 232
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

06/03/08 07:26 - 67ºF - ID#44531

Neighbors, Cigarettes, and Beer

Well well well....I spotted two cute blondes out back enjoying a drink, and I happened to have some trash to take out, so why not take the opportunity to make friends? Apparently we have a young couple who just moved in, and the girl had a friend who was introduced to me as the "single mother" of the impossibly cute puppy running around.

It couldn't have been more obvious she was single - girls who are in a happy relationship don't wear shirts that say "Sailors like it wet" and they don't name their puppy "Lickit" (I swear to God this is what she said, although my hearing ain't the best). I hear someone in the Middle East chirping in my ear about the kinds of girls I like, and I am going to heed your warning this time!! Friends made, mission accomplished, but as (e:Ajay) knows I'm looking for something a little more international.




Well, NYS did it, they raised the excise tax on cigarettes to $1.25 per pack. When will enough be enough? We are now #1 in the cigarette tax ranking nationally, which is probably a moral victory to these scum. The goal is to reduce the NYS smoker population by 140,000 - or so they say - but the reality is that the state needs to make up their budget gap due to the fact that Wall Street isn't pulling its weight.

Did you know that cigarette taxes will now cover $1.3 Billion of the 2008-2009 state budget? My eyes popped when I read it. Yes, you deceitful vermin, you honestly believe you're being compassionate and helpful by using a regressive tax to help make up for lost revenue. They brought out the state's health commissioner to trumpet the 140,000 less smokers, but the politicians when you listen to them always talk about the revenue.

And...as I've asked before, does anyone believe that they wouldn't try to make up the revenue on the increase (let alone the rest of the $1B+) if everyone quit tomorrow? This is about money, not health. The People's Republic of California levies far less.




Lastly, I am now enjoying an American-made, abbey-style Quadrupel. I got it from Village Beer Merchant (Where else can you buy a $13 four pack?) and it is called Weyerbach Quad. As I've said before, I love love love Belgian Quads. It is my favorite style of beer, in my view far superior to the rest when you're talking about sitting and enjoying your beer, instead of drinking to go blind. At 11.8% this one is really potent but as is the case with other Quads the flavor is fantastic and the booze isn't overbearing.

It's (Joshy fails constantly to use the ', just look) a Quad, it tastes great, and I give it 5 of 5 empty bladders. As the Swedish say, Skol!
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/jason/44531/Neighbors_Cigarettes_and_Beer.html
Words: 473
Location: Buffalo, NY


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