Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pull in Emergency.

In my recent bout of hospital visits, i came across something i had never really seen before in my daily life. Even though i saw them, i did not make particular note of their presence other than the fact that they are there. What i'm referring to of course are the numerous "Pull if you need help" red strings that litter every single bathroom of a hospital.

In fact, I didn't give them a second thought beyond "oh hey, they are there," until my brother pointed out that they were in fact, very interesting. So interesting that i should write a blog about them. So, lets take a trip into the land of over-examination of mundane things for a bit shall we?

I understand why these things are actually in place... anyone who has a brain can figure out why a hospital would need such an item. But from my count, each bathroom has at least 2 of these, and some of them have 3. Very strategically placed. One within reach of the crapper, one within the shower, and wherever else you can't reach from there. This is a good thing... i mean... who wants to be stuck on the John and realize that they can't get up without assistance (pretty awesome that if the tp runs out, you can probably pull for some more of that too).

What i don't really understand about this whole deal, is that these pull strings are in the public bathrooms too, not only in the patient rooms. Why would someone who is using the public bathroom need emergency assistance if they are in the public bathroom? If i were a patient, i would be using my own freaking bathroom in my room. I can understand having these things in the bathrooms closest to the ER where you're most likely waiting for someone to see you and you are in fact injured or sick or something... but in the place where dad was, it seemed that anyone coming to visit a patient would just use the patient's room, or they'd be healthy enough (in the case of an emergency) yell or call for help where someone would hear you.

I really think that this is just a bit overkill in the system though... If you're in a hospital, and you need help in the bathroom, it would be much easier to get help than say a walmart bathroom. Imagine if you slipped and busted your face in the bathroom at walmart... THEN i'd want a pull string every 3 feet. Cause who the hell knows if you're ever going to be found in the bathroom of a walmart, slowly bleeding to death from the open wound on your head... they hide bathrooms like they're trying to keep people out of them.

So dad, i'm glad you are better, but it's time to install some emergency pull strings in the house... who knows when someone at the OBB is going to need assistence in the bathroom.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Traffic Circle.

Few times in history has VDOT ever improved traffic flow. Our infrastructure is too old for the volume of cars (we all know this, anyone who doesn't needs to move away from the boonies). There are so many "bad intersections" that I hate to run across in my travels in my car, and most of the time, i tend to avoid these intersections. We all have our preferred routes to take when going places, and mine tend to follow the mantra of "avoid shitty left turns." You know the turns i'm talking about. Where the planets have to align for you to be able to cross the street without saying "hold on" to your passengers.

But in recent times, I have noticed a few changes to the traffic patterns that have vastly improved some of these "bad intersections." Most notably is the traffic circle that VT installed on the intersection of West Campus Drive and Washington Street. Before this traffic circle was installed, it was impossible to turn left onto Washington Street between 9am and 7pm. Before this, buses would be stuck at this intersection so often, that they hired a traffic cop for rush hour. Well, not anymore. You can read about it and see a picture here.

Another surprising change in the traffic patterns in Blacksburg is the removal of the street light from the corner of Washington Street and Draper (this is farther down on Washington street off campus). Most of the time, waiting for this light was pointless because there was never any cross traffic. The 4 way stop that is in its place is much more efficient in keeping traffic moving and i assume it has reduced the number of accidents at the intersection.

Finally, in something that i can only call sheer genius, to get to Blacksburg, I drive about an hour down 66, hang a left onto 81, and 3 hours later i exit. Normally when I exit, it's 55mph on 460 to get to campus. But in the past month, the gods above have smiled down upon us and raised the limit to 65. That's right ladies and gentlemen... they actually RAISED the speed limit on a road. This is the same road that one of my friends got a ticket for going 75 down the hill when the limit was 55 (even after i WARNED him not to speed on 460). What amazes me is that people still drive 55 on this road. Even when the speed limit was 55, people NEVER drove 55, they all sped. Now that it's 65, i find more people actually driving 55, than anything. Appartently I was the only one that got the memo.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Shower Power.

Jess and I moved into a house in Blacksburg. It is 3500 sq feet, and I love it. The yard is large, it's close to Lane Stadium/Campus, and it's 120 years old. I've only found a few things that i can complain about it.

I have written about showers in the past. When i originally wrote that post, i thought i had distinguished all of the possibilities for terrible showers. Apparently i was wrong. In this house, we have 2 bathrooms. One that goes with the master bedroom (our room) and the "public" bathroom downstairs. In our bathroom, there's a bathtub. Unfortunately we forgot to actually look INSIDE the shower curtain, cause we probably would've noticed that it does not actually have a shower. Shower curtain, but no actual shower. Just a tub. So... it's baths only upstairs.

Downstairs there's only a shower. The shower is 3 walls of flimsy metal, so that if you barely tap it, it sounds like thunder. The 4th side is obviously the curtain. The floor feels like smooth concrete. The water takes about 5 minutes to get warm... I hypothesize that the reason for this is that the water flow is so slow, that it takes that long to get to the shower. When i say low flow... that does not even begin to describe the water that comes out of the shower. This shower is the airport faucet of showers. With those press down buttons that slowly (read: very quickly) rise up and shut off after a few seconds so that no one floods the sinks. That's what it feels like to shower in this bathroom.

So my choices are taking a bath, or showering in an airport faucet shower...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hamlet in His Younger Years.

"To be... or not to be.... that is the question."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why I Hate Nickelback.

Nickelback is a terrible, terrible band. They don't bring anything to the table that interests me. Their talent is almost non-existent. All of their songs sound the same, if not identical. This might seem like a pretty big statement, but I HAVE PROOF. After seeing this video years ago, it confirmed what i have thought about them all along. That they use the same song over and over with different words.

It's worth noting that there was some editing to make these songs fit together, for example, slight tempo change so that they line up. Other than that (from what i can tell), everything else is in tact with the two songs (key, general composition, aka chorus, verse etc.).

You can make up your own mind about them, but my mind is set. Maybe i was swayed by this video, maybe not. Either way, i never really liked any of their crap anyways... this was just the nail in the coffin.

P.S. I stole this original picture of Nickleback from here. Be sure to enlarge the picture at the top of this page to see my photoshopping (read: MS paint) skills.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The All American Hokie.

I have been thinking about how proud i am to be an American recently. And I haven't really come up with anything too brilliant. In fact, I am having a hard time thinking of anything that makes me FEEL like a true American at all. After 9/11, all of us had that instantaneous rush of patriotism... well, I know i did. But after that, the patriotism kinda just fades back into the background. I'm not saying that i DON'T have pride for my country, but just that in a daily routine/life, being an American doesn't really roll into my head all that often.

I began to compare my pride for being an American to my Hokie Pride. On a daily basis, I am reminded of what it is to be a proud member of the Hokie nation. Even before April, I have had very strong feelings of being a part of the family here at Tech. Whether it's riding the bus to class with other students and 1/3 of them are wearing maroon or orange, or just taking a few seconds while walking to class to stop and admire the Hokie Stone on the buildings. Not to mention the football, basketball and other Tech sports.

Everyday when i'm living my normal life, there are constant reminders of being a Hokie in blacksburg. It's on the cars, it's in the stores, its on people's shirts, it's everywhere. Most stores have some sort of Hokie paraphernalia in the windows, for sale, and some stores even have Hokie-associated names (Hokie House (which is a bar), Hokie Hair, The Gobbler, Beamer's Restaurant). My point being that I feel the Hokie spirit everyday, but the American spirit? It doesn't feel the same.

While i was in the shower, i had a thought... What if my pride for being a Hokie is just a big part of being an American... like America is a big pie, and i'm just having the Hokie piece. So my question to you guys is, what makes YOU feel like an American?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

TV Marriages That Wouldn't Work "In Real Life."

As i was watching tv the other day, i began to take notice of the many families that are portrayed in sitcoms and tv in general. To be more specific, I was thinking about all of the fathers of these sitcoms and the beautiful women that they end up marrying. Even though sitcoms are fictional, as are the characters, i feel like putting each of these characters together is unrealistic, even in a fictional setting. So I'll start with the character that sparked this idea, Homer Simpson.

Homer and Marge Simpson: After years and years of watching this show, I've seen how every week Homer seems to screw up something and ultimately jeopardize their marriage in most episodes. In a normal marriage, this would not fly. People who continually think for themselves first, then apologize when they realize how they've been acting generally don't stay married for very long. I can draw plenty of commonalities between this line of behavior, and the more serious behavior of spousal abuse. Moments of selfishness followed by apologies do not pan out in the long run.
The personality gap between Marge and Homer is so great, it amazes me that Marge's love for Homer keeps them together, because in real marriages, love alone wouldn't keep a wife from staying married to a Homer-like person. And that's exactly how this marriage is staying together, by Marge being so blindingly in love with Homer.

Peter and Lois Griffin: Peter and Lois are so similar to Homer and Marge, that i could almost cut and paste the entire paragraph above. Most episodes, Peter ends up doing something that jeopardizes the marriage, and then ultimately apologizes and gets forgiven for his sins. The only difference is that Lois isn't quite as nice as Marge, so i find this marriage to be less likely to be true in the real world. Lois is a much stronger woman, so i feel like she could "toss aside" Peter easier than Marge could.

Doug and Carrie Heffernan: The King of Queens eh? I doubt it. While Kevin James does indeed rule, I don't believe his character in this sitcom could've EVER gotten Carrie. In almost all of the episodes i've seen, there's been a problem between the two, and neither of them want to be around each other. Carrie is ALWAYS mad/upset/pissed/angry at Doug, and I don't see how they can survive. It seems like a hellish life to live being in a relationship where it's ALL drama and dysfunction. Drama and dysfunction are manageable, but not everyday like the sitcom implies.

Carl and Harriet Winslow: This show (from what i remember) was more about the relationships between the parents and the kids, and the kids and Urkel. Nonetheless, i think Harriet and Carl probably wouldn't have gotten together in the beginning. Carl is hard-headed, and Harriet is strong willed. Like the previous 3 husbands, Carl is also "big-boned," which is surprising, because he is a cop. Don't cops have to run and stuff? Anyways, the way that the two interacted with each other makes me believe that he would've had a hard time picking her up.

Ray and Debbie Barone: The thinnest of my list here, Ray is really just a bafoon. He and his "fed up wife" (as says) live across the street from his parents. This really wouldn't be that big of a deal if the parents were easy going and nice, but they're not. They are terribly annoying and a huge stress on the marriage. The biggest problem of this marriage IS the parents. If Ray had ANY sense, he would move away from his parents and SAVE his marriage. With an overbearing mother bearing down on his wife day in and day out, the marriage seem to me to be on the rocks. I would think that most couples who end up living within walking distance of their parents are going to have some problems that stem from said parents.

Now while most mothers and fathers might take offense at my observation about their beloved sons and daughters, i think if they examined their own marriages and placed their parents next door or across the street, they would see my point. I love my parents, but i'm not too sure moving next door is the best environment for a marriage (sorry).

I also want to point out that even though i have doubts about these husbands and wives, their idiosyncrasies are what makes the shows entertaining. It creates drama and laughs, and that is what TV is all about. I like these shows (even if just a little bit) and they wouldn't be the same if they were all functioning loving families. No one wants to watch a show where nothing happens. So be thankful that the marriages are as crazy as they are on tv and hope that none of that travels over to your real life.

A Few Changes.

I'm not sure if this will affect my previous posts, but i've changed around a few things administratively on this site, so hopefully it will all go un-noticed from your viewpoint. If there are any concerns or problems, please contact me and i'll try to fix it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just One Small Problem.

There is a small problem with this commercial. And that problem is the word "again." Let's assume that everything in this commercial is "true." For instance, there is a substance called "high speed" and that there is a lab of rats could actually get into it, and that they would in turn become super fast.

Assuming all of that is true, the first technician says "The rats got into the high speed AGAIN." This implies that the rats have gotten into the once before. This creates 1 of 2 different outcomes. 1: They have already slowed them down once before, so they already know how to do it... or 2: The high speed didn't speed them up nearly fast enough the first time that it would be a problem.

#1: The technicians would have already dealt with this problem once before(or would be able to find someone who has). Even though it might be a problem, they would not be as clueless as they appear to be in the commercial. The white guy in the commercial says "We could give them DSL?" in a dumbfounded manner. I feel like one of the 3 of them should have at least an IDEA of what actions to take.

#2: If this is in fact not the first time the rats have gotten into the high speed, and they didn't fix the problem the first (or more) time(s), that identifies a major problem for Comcast. Their high speed was not enough of a problem the first time, which implies that it's not that fast in the first place. They can handle the rats the first time they get into the high speed, but it takes AT LEAST 2 doses of it to make the rats go haywire.

Technically speaking, this commercial is completely unbelievable (with respect to logic). I feel like this commercial would be 1000x better if they didn't use that freaking "again." I haven't seen any other fallacies with their other commercials, but i'm sure they're just around the corner.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Food Blog.

For those of you that don't know, I tend to "bitch" about my food very often. Just ask anyone in my family. But through my constant bickering and such, they have all told me that i could be a food critic, even with my limited food vocabulary (aka, i am a picky-ish eater, and i usually order the same thing every time).

Even though most food critics like eating varieties of food, i feel that with me liking a small number of foods, it can actually HELP me with comparing and contrasting different restaurants. In scientific terms, having a narrow food tastes is like having a "control." If i order chicken fingers at every restaurant, i can objectively rate each restaurant from the differences in that one item. In contrast to rating spaghetti from A and burgers from B... which is kinda like comparing apples to oranges. I am going to compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges.

So without further adieu, I am launching my new food blog today with a rating of Olive Garden from which Jess and I visited last night. You can find it at


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Clothes I'm Never Going To Buy... Part 2.

Before i start this post, i want to refer you to my first clothing post. Now i don't want you guys to begin to think that i am becoming a fashion critic, because let me assure you, my fashion sense is far from being valid.

But, as i was browsing a few clothing sites, i came across these three beauties. From the looks of it, it's just a collared shirt, but it seems to have bleach dripped on it in a random pattern. I don't know what the person who designed these shirts was thinking, but i'm pretty sure that bleach stains are a bad thing. If i saw someone wearing this shirt on the street, i would assume that he is a complete moron because he doesn't know that bleach stains your clothes.... well that or he's colorblind.... or completely blind (not that there's anything wrong with that).

According to all these "hip" clothing stores, the way to make "cool" looking clothes is to find some way to slightly destroy them. Well Aeropostale, A&F, American Eagle, Gap, and Old Navy take note, because i'm going to go ahead and give you a brand new idea to push to all the high schoolers of America... the next new fad in fashion.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the newest trend for this summer line, brilliantly placed cigarette burns! Be the first to own the latest trend in hot-ness. Paris Hilton can be seen around that glass table with her rolled up dollar bill in her brand new Marc Jacobs CB Jeans! (Side Note#1: I had to google "designer jeans" to find a jeans company other than levi's)(Side Note #2: I was originally going to say "Dolce Gabbana" until i searched to figure out how to spell it. For the other men out there like me, they do shoes, not jeans)

On a more serious note, if any designers of clothing happen upon this blog, take a word of advice from someone who doesn't know much about fashion. Making clothes look like they are pre-ruined is a dumb idea... really dumb. Also, making them cost $58 originally is retarded.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


"I can't complain but sometimes i still do." - Joe Walsh
I've had my new car for 10 months now... Plenty of time to figure out all the benefits and pitfalls of my car. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my new car, but being me, I feel the need to have something to complain about, even though its really nothing to be complaining about. While i'm at it, i'll go ahead and throw in things i miss about the old Gustermobile. But i'll start with the new gustermobile, so here it is, the list of things i'd change.

1.) Radio: I love the radio in my car, but there is one weird thing about it. When i put on a cd and turn on random, the song has to finish for the random to take effect. In other words, if you try to get a new song on random by pushing the track forward button, it just goes to the next track, not another random track. Most other music players that have a random function lets you get a new random song every time you hit the track forward button, but not mine.

2.) Headlights: I prefer to drive with my lights on all the time because it helps my silver car be seen in dusk conditions. It's just safer to drive with your lights on all the time. The only problem with this is that my car doesn't automatically turn my lights off. Granted, my old car didn't let me do this either, but a lot of cars have this feature. Even my mother's 7 year old hyundai elantra turns off her lights for her (and has probably saved her a few batteries in the process). I still have to manually turn my lights on and off.

3.) Dimmer Switch: Most cars have a switch that you can dim your interior lights. On most of the cars i've seen, this switch is a manual wheel. My switch is in my instrument panel (you twist the odometer toggle button). Since my odometer is digital, so is my dimmer. The problem with this is that the step between full brightness and the next step down is huge. When i drive during the day, i have to turn the the dimmer on full brightness, because the next step down is not bright enough for me to see how fast i'm going. This wouldn't be a problem, except when i drive at night, full brightness is WAY too bright and i feel like my instrument panel is blinding me. So depending on the time of day, i have to adjust my dimmer to fit the time of day. Adding to the pain in the ass-edness of this, i have to reach through my steering wheel to get to the switch... which isn't very safe while i'm driving (granted it's safer than removing the keys of the car while the car is still rolling to unlock the glove compartment to listen to the radio, right tom?).

4.) Locks: In most new cars, when the car starts moving forward, the car doors lock themselves. It's just safer to keep your car doors locked while you're driving around. I try to keep them locked at all times when when i'm driving, but i have to remember to lock my door.

5.) Locks (cont.): Since i like to ride around with my locks on, it would be helpful if when i pulled the handle (to get out of the car) it would unlock. VW and Audi does this great. You pull the handle twice to open the door. The first time to unlock the door, the second time to open the door. One of the reasons for this is that someone gets upset when i don't unlock the door fast enough for her to exit the car. But that's another blog. Moving on...

6.) Gas door: My gas door is on the passenger side... kinda inconvenient, but at least i can actually pump gas into the car.... WOO HOO!

7.) Aux input: Last, and well let's face it, least. Important that is... is the placement of the auxiliary input for my ipod/mp3 player. It's right in the middle of the radio, so the cord that comes out of the radio is all over the car, as opposed to where everyone in their right mind puts their ipod, in the cupholder/cubby hole to the driver's right side. It would've been better to put an input jack somewhere closer to where the ipod is going to lay.

Now I'll go over some of the things i miss about my car.

1.) Eat More Chicken: My antenna topper. I don't have an actual antenna on my new car, so i can't have an antenna topper. This guy gave my car some character, some personality, some style. and i miss it.

2.) Apathy: Sorry mom and dad, but with the accent, i really felt like i could "abuse" it more than i can with my car now. For example, when it snows at tech, they push all the snow into big piles, and you only see 4 wheeling cars parked in those spots.... unless i was driving that day. I could park my car on a big pile of snow, and not really care if the suspension was harmed during the process. It also made me unafraid of driving in the snow. Right now, i don't feel particularly confident in driving my car with the extra power and the sport tires in the snow.

That's about it for my cars. Drive safe!