Of a Personal Nature Archives

December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas from Us!

Merry Christmas from Jennifer and the Boys!

Thank You Power Company!

We enjoyed the five seconds without power yesterday night. It woke us up. Jennifer was afraid she had gone blind, and I was afraid that I'd forgotten to pay the power bill. Those five seconds were just enough to make sure all the clocks lost their time, which is okay, because some of them still weren't updated from the last power outage. I have to say... you're doing better that a couple years ago when the power was practically out more than it wasn't. We enjoyed that one time when the power was out for three days and we had to huddle by the fireplace for warmth and all our food went bad... food we had just bought to replace the food that went bad in the last power outage. We probably wasted $300 that year on food we just had to throw out.

January 9, 2006

Is This Uncle Tony?

What is Uncle Tony doing in the back of this El Camino? Inquiring minds want to know.

Erin and Levi's Wedding Registry

Erin and Levi are less than a month away from being married, unless something horrible happens like Levi discovers Erin is his long lost half-sister. I mean, that's not likely to happen, but being unemployed I catch a lot of soap operas, and this thing turns out to be more common than you'd think!

Anyway, I found their ultra cool Crate & Barrel registry online... including a request for ten $0.75 corn picks. I called them first!

Update: Apparently the time between January 9th to February 19th is NOT less than a month. Thanks to Juan for pointing this out to me. HA HA HA HA! I'm just kidding. There's no Juan. There's nobody! Nobody reads this site!

January 20, 2006

Marchdecember Prayer Page

What do you guys think of my mockup for a prayer page. I kind of got the idea from those million pixel sites, and also from Catholic churches where they have all the candles. I made the candles myself. Anyway, it has some mockup prayers there, but people could enter their prayer request, and then it would show up. Newer entries would have a lighter background... as seen on the page.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas? Is it even a good idea? What do you think? Please tell me. Please please please please. Pretty please tell me. Please?

January 21, 2006

New March Blog

I am going to start posting more political things over at my new blog, However, Newsvine is still in a private beta, so I'm actually not sure if you can read any of it. Let me know. Important stuff will be cross-posted anyway, and if you are into news and politics, you might want to get an invite from me so you can post your own stuff.

January 29, 2006

Mega-Super-Huge Update on Me (or not)...

So I don't post as much as I should, but I don't seem to have much time for anything this quarter. I'm super busy. I'm taking Inorganic Chemistry and lab and Botany (the second sequence of biology) and lab, and math. I'm in lab for ten hours a week! It's crazy!

Speaking of crazy, I dyed my hair red, for no real reason. My blonde was looking dreary lately, probably because I haven't seen sun in weeks, and I just went for it. This isn't the first time I've been a redhead, however.

I haven't been doing much of anything but school lately, and Michael can certainly attest for that. Even the weekends I'm booked with finishing up lab reports, and this weekend I've been attempting to study for my first set of exams on top of finishing my three lab reports from Biology and my one from Inorganic Chemistry. I also had to quickly slap together my math homework for tomorrow. I don't know how this quarter will turn out...

I just noticed I have yet to take down my Christmas houses from Christmas time. Ooops. Last year the stockings were up for almost half the year before I finally took them down. I might as well just left them up there for this year, since I never did get around to hanging them.

Well, that's all I have for now. I'm not very interesting right now in life. My head is filled only with plant morphology and functions and polyatomic ions.

January 30, 2006

Michael's Fantastic Job Update

Well, I still don't have a job, but I do have a lot more opportunities coming my way. Today I interviewed for a job at Boeing, which I think I did pretty well on. And I got a call from King County telling me that I did very well on my "skills" test, and that they'd like to see me on February 9th. So I have an interview then too.

Then I have another potential interview at Boeing in Everett, but that's not confirmed or anything... there's the possibility that nothing could come of it.

So I'm doing a lot of interviews. I'm just not getting a lot (or any) job offers yet. But I think the future is bright. At least I'm getting interviews. That's more than I was before.

January 31, 2006

Michael is a Busy Man

I have yet another interview on Tuesday! This time with the Art Institute of Seattle. I sent in my resume a while ago, so I wasn't sure why they were even calling me.

Thursday, I go to see this guy. He has been instrumental in diagnosing Jennifer and getting her on the right medicine so she can succeed in school and in life. I can only be thankful for that. It turns out that without treatment, we faced a 90% chance of divorce.

Jennifer hasn't really talked about what she has been diagnosed with here, but then again, she doesn't really talk about anything here does she?!

So I have two interviews next week, plus I'm waiting for the results from the interview from yesterday.

We shall see!

February 2, 2006

Serena is a Famous Artist!

My sister is going to have her artwork displayed in the esteemed Covington City Hall! I guess it will be there with other famous Covington artists. I think we all know whose art will be the best.

Check out some of this work.

I don't know why but this one is one of my favorites.

February 5, 2006

To Do: Get Motorola SLVR

Once upon a time Motorola made THE phones to have. Of course, that's back when a cell phone was the size of a brick. For a long time Nokia became the hip cell phone company... I've been using Nokia since about 1999. But I don't like any of the new Nokia phones, and most of the competition uses flip phones, which I really don't like. What to do?

Motorola to the rescue with their awesome SLVR.

Awesome! This phone does everything mine does, except more. It has a nicer screen, it has a VGA video camera, and 512MB of memory for MP3s and iTunes. Hey, that's 511MB more than my current phone! What a difference a year makes!

And I really need a new phone, because my current one is having all sorts of problems? What? Huh? Oh, apparently it's not having any problems at all. Apparently it's working fine.

One second.


All right, now my phone is having some sort of problems. Anyway, once I get a job, I'll have to see about getting a SLVR. It's very cool.

February 6, 2006

Job Update for Two Six Two-Oh-Oh-Six

Well, I got news on the job I interviewed last Monday for. Turns out there is a better candidate. Surprise! There's always a better candidate out there, it seems. At least this guy called me. I still haven't heard from the last loser who interviewed me for a job at Boeing.

And heaven forbid it is hard enough to actually qualify for a job these days, the good old federal government (as of today) is making it harder!

From now on, potential applicants must meet all the qualifications for a job, and demonstration of those qualifications must be shown on the resume. "I'm a quick learner" apparently doesn't cut it. Furthermore, a potential applicant must officially "express interest" in a job, and be careful not to "remove himself from consideration", even if said removal is unintentional. An example given is an applicant who expresses interest in working in Chicago, but is applying for a job that is in Boston. Oops! Don't do that.

These new rules are supposed to increase "diversity" in the workplace. Fantastic! I always wanted more diversity in the workplace. I didn't know how it could be achieved, but now I realize that ridiculous regulations are the answer!

Fortunately, most employers won't have to comply with the regulations until later this year, so there's always the potential that I might have actually found a job by then. I mean... I probably would have thought that six months ago, but whatever.

February 8, 2006

Job Update: 2-8-06

Well, I went to my interview with the Art Institute of Seattle yesterday. They were nice and all... the pay is pretty weak, starting at $30,000. Is that even living wage? I'm kinda too old for that kind of game, but right now I'd take it. I wasn't real impressed, and I'm not sure they were real impressed either. I was kind of trying out a new more casual me in the interview, since I have a much more important interview on Thursday. Quite honestly, I'm kind of nervous, because I think I'm probably horribly underqualified for the interview on Thursday. Wish me luck. Pray for me. Sacrifice a goat. Whatever it is you do... do it.

BUY BUY BUY! Buy a home now or else!

Housing prices in the Seattle area continue to skyrocket, and things only look to get worse. Jennifer and I need to just buy a home as soon as possible. It doesn't matter if we can't afford it. We can't afford NOT to buy a home. Otherwise, I don't see how we'll ever live here. I won't want to. If I can't get a house, I'm leaving.

My sister bought her house back in the summer of 2004 for around $230,000. According to the new site, her house is now worth $342,342. In the last week, the value of the house increased $5,133. In one week!

And things don't seem to be getting better. This Saturday we went out looking at a couple new developments, just for fun, and one of them actually had a guide to getting financing for the homes. You'll have to take out TWO mortgages, they advised. Because the houses are too expensive for just one.

It's depressing! I hope I get a good job soon, so we can buy something. It might not be what we want, but we can spend a couple years in it and then sell it when Jennifer graduates. Of course, a starter home around here goes for $300,000. By starter home, I of coruse mean a shack. It's crazy!

February 10, 2006

Job Update: 2-10-06

Well, I went to an interview yesterday at the King County Emergency Coordination Center (ECC). People keep asking me how I did. I always think I do well at these interviews, but I never get hired. I mean... it's an interview. I'm nervous. I don't feel like I do my best. But I'm a perfectionist who has to take Luvox in order to deal with obsessive and compulsive thoughts. Can you really trust me? More on this in a minute.

First, let's look at some comments from good ol' Velma.

Well, Michael. If it makes you feel any better, Levi and I got turned down from an apt. bc I make to much. HAH. I make 12 bucks an hour. We didn't even have levi's expected income in there. I think it's impossible to find something...We'll probably have to live with his parents for awhile. I either make too much or make too little. Never thought that 12 bucks would be too much. Levi has an interview ith Adventist Health here at 9am. (right now) So cross our fingers. He's had a hard time finding a job as well. Owell, at least we have my steady job as a manager at a subway. Nothing glamorous but pays well, and I get the hours I want.

Before I respond to this comment, I want to show you all something disgusting.

Ah, young love. Now, on to the comments. We're having a similar situation here. Our apartment complex wants us to resign our lease. But we don't really want to live here anymore. Unfortunately, right now I don't have a job so I can't really provide proof of income anywhere else. And the apartment complex says that we're in default and need to decide now. I haven't even mentioned to them that we've lost our mail keys. The whole mail thing is really stressing me out, so I'm just ignoring it. I figure the worst thing that can happen is the postal service will hate me. The only thing we get in there are bills and junk.

Anyway, so I went to this interview yesterday. Thanks to horrendous traffic, and my inability to accurately predict it, I was ten minutes late. I was pretty upset, but they were ready to go. They interviewed all day yesterday, so each interview was 30 minutes long, and ten of my minutes were up already. They were pretty accomodating though, and given that I was breathing like an overweight 30 year old whose just run from the parking lot, they seemed to be kind of understanding. Anyway, after twenty minutes and six questions, I went ahead and took a written test. I rocked the written test. That and my web skills test should hopefully make up for any negatives during the interview.

I really went with casual for the interview too. No tie... just a nice white shirt, with the top button undone, and my black Ralph Lauren sweater. I felt good, and so I felt that would help my performance. I mean, I'm trying anything at this point.

This job has absolutely NOTHING to do with economics, unfortunately, but it is a good job that plays to my strengths.

Apparently the new ECC building is winning praise for it's architectual something or other. You can see a picture of building here.
It seems nice. It's very nice inside. Jennifer says that's what happens when you work for the government. They have a way of spending money.

Anyway, this job would be totally awesome and I would love to have it. If they think I rocked, they'll pass me on to the director, who will interview me and decide if I'm the guy, or if somebody else is. So, let's hope I get this one.

February 11, 2006

Saturday Night: Chillin' with Dan

Tonight I had nothing better to do, so I went and hung out with my buddy Dan.

February 15, 2006

Congrats Levi

Congratulations on your new job Levi. You may not know what I'm talking about, but I had a dream last night, and you got a job with DEI and you'll be driving the new 02 car. Will you get an autograph from Dale Jr. for me?

February 21, 2006

March's Life: Update for 2-22-06

One month from now I turn 31. Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. Ah, who am I kidding? Once you're 30, you don't care for another ten years. Anyway, here's what I've been up to.

Friday night Jennifer got really, really sick and we took her to the hospital. She left feeling slightly better, or not, and we left probably a few thousand dollars poorer. How should I know? I'm sure they'll send the bill sometime, though technically all our mail is still bouncing. Hey, I haven't gotten the chance to go deal with that yet!

Sunday morning we hopped in the car and went to my cousin's wedding. It was held at The Old Church in Portland, and there was an equally beautiful reception at The Acadian Ballroom in (North?) Portland. That place was RITZY! We had our wedding reception in a crummy house next to the church.

Then that night we headed back home, but we stopped by the Vancouver Del Taco first. Question for anyone who has eaten there... is the Vancouver Del Taco next to a sewage treatment plant? Or is that just the natural smell of the Del Taco? Because it was AWFUL!

February 22, 2006

March's Life: 2-23-06

I didn't really get to finish yesterday's entry, but I put it up anyway. So where were we?

We went to my cousin's wedding, and then we went home. So Monday my friends at the Art Institute called me to let me know, surprise surprise, they didn't want to hire me.

Jennifer has been sick all week, and she's got big tests this week too. She hasn't gone to school for the last three days. And who knows if King County would like to hire me. They aren't answering my e-mail, but I don't really want to force the issue. It's like, I'd rather they keep thinking about it and pick me in the end.

Meanwhile, my dad tells me that an interview I did at Boeing went really well. It's just that the people who are applying for these jobs are way overqualified. I was competing against people with MBAs. The only reason they even considered me in the first place was because I'm my dad's son. The good news is they really liked me, and they didn't think I was too old or anything. In fact, they liked the maturity that comes with that. But I just didn't have the overqualifications of other people looking for the job. There were 200 people who applied for that particular job, and they interviewed seven, including me. The bad news is, 199 of those people didn't get the job, and 5 of them were overqualified enough to interview. So I have a lot of competition out there. It's tough. Plus I'm not seeing a lot of new jobs right now. Keep praying that King County will call me. That would be good for me.

March 12, 2006

A Twelve Year Old Tale

Twelve years ago, I attended a small Christian college and was introduced to a slightly older student. He had a very unique name, and an even more unique voice. He could sing. He was a good guy, and he had a seemingly strong relationship with Christ. Plus he never tattled on us when we were off causing trouble. (And my roommate and I did plenty of that!)

But this young man was haunted by demons. He was a victim of molestation. A male relative had violated him years before. The pain was so great that he prefered to be identified by a different name.

After a quarter he left... returned a few months later, but kept his distance. I never got to know him again.

Today, I saw a picture that reminded me of him. So I looked him up. I was surprised at what I found. After I left that small college, he stayed and announced (through the school newspaper no less) that he was a homosexual. Wow.

I found one photo of him online... nearly naked at an art exhibit. I used to hold him up on a pedestal. Now, I suppose, I see he is only human. But perhaps more importantly, I understand better than I could have when I was 18. I am less naive. I know he still carried the hurt of that little boy. And I understand the consequences.

Maybe he does too.

March 14, 2006

Who Does Jennifer's Doctor Look Like?

Recently in the hospital, Jennifer got to thinking that her doctor looked like someone famous. Who?

From that first image, maybe Michael T. Weiss.

But I don't think he really looks like that in real life. What do you think?

March 17, 2006

Bad Karma

I'm not sure what got me where I am today. Is it bad karma? Did I do something awful in order to deserve my life? Or is some sort of payment for all the good things I've had? I wish I knew. It's just one bad thing after another. And after a while... it starts to get old.

It started when Jennifer and I started dating. So there was something really good. I mean, life was great. And everything fell apart from there. I had some psycho calling me all the time. Then my car started overheating. Then my grandmother got sick. My grades started to suffer. My grandmother died. I failed my class. I got kicked out of the Honors program.

Meanwhile Jennifer and I got married. That was a good thing. But that wasn't some stroke of luck... it was our own doing, and in many ways we had to fight for it.

Finally I graduated. But nobody has seen fit to hire me. I go to interview after interview, and I hear back "we chose someone else." The little things start to pile on me. I get a parking ticket. Jennifer gets taken to the ER. I get another parking ticket. Jennifer ends up in the hospital. Today, the police pull me over for running a stop sign. At first I thought I must have missed a stop sign completely, because I had no idea what the guy was talking about. It had happened minutes before, and I had to stop for one other car, and then make sure the other two knew it was my turn. There was no possible way I ran it. I'm guessing the King County police just wanted to pull me over and find out if I had anything outstanding. I'm guessing they just hate me.

So it's just day after day full of little bits of bad luck. And it's not like I don't do the right thing... it's not like I don't try to the best kind of person I can be. I return money that has been found. I stop to let a little old lady cross the street. I help the guy on GMInsideNews who is getting attacked for his poor quality photoshop entries. I just find it in my heart to be nice. And it doesn't seem to count for anything. I just want something nice. I want my car to stop breaking every month. I don't ask for much. I want to work. I'd like to have a few nice things... nothing big. A place to call home, reliable transportation, a couch I can sit on. I don't want these things to fall in my lap. I think I deserve them.

I'd understand if it was some sort of payment... it's what I have to pay to be with Jennifer. But these things make Jennifer suffer too.

So part of me just gives up. I am just so exasperated. Every day it's something new... every stinking day.

That's my rant. I'm thankful to have Jennifer by my side. But sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed by life.

March 29, 2006

Bad News of the Day: 3-29-06

We try to be really nice to people and go out of our way to help them. I stop to let little old ladies across the street. We return money when we get too much change back, and we've found 20 dollar bills and given them to the clerks at QFC hoping they'll get back to the owner, which they won't. I'd think I'd deserve something nice, like a job, or just somebody might say something nice to me, or just I could avoid yet more horrible news, like traffic tickets, or Jennifer having to go to the hospital because she was vomiting and nobody would even believe us, or more traffic tickets, or Jennifer having to go to the hospital some more, or whatever. Of course, I'd be wrong.

So Jennifer's school called. They want their money back... the money they gave her to attend last quarter. So that's $2000 or so. And they're not giving her any money this quarter.

Also the hospital sent their bill. They want $1500 for the hour or so Jennifer spent there. $1500 and their diagnosis was "Durrrr, we dunno what's wrong with you." The other hospital wants $200 for seeing Jennifer, and another $150 for some mystery charge, and then who knows what they'll want for the week spent there for seratonin sickness. $10,000? $15,000? $20,000? I guessed $15,000, but I guessed $900 on the other, so you know... maybe $24,000?

So, let's see. Right now $1500 + 2000 + 150 + 200 is $3750. Probably at least $15,000 on top of that. So $18,750. Oh, I still owe like $10,000 on my college tuition, which was OH SO USEFUL and I was supposed to pay them this month already but I haven't. I was waiting for next month when we'd get some money, but hey, that's not going to happen.

So pretty much we are totally in debt, have no money, and no means of income. I am actually sending out cover letters that basically say "I really need cash" because I just want a job right now so we can pay for things like food and toilet paper, let alone rent.

Plus the only people that seem to like me are the crazy cat lady and my therapist, and she gets paid to do that. Kind of. Like, she doesn't actually get paid, cause I don't have any money to pay her.

March 31, 2006

Good News of the Day: 3-31-06

Okay, so we went to Jennifer's school and they probably don't want any money from us. They're going to hold out on the financial aid though, so that means we'll still be poor, but hey, that's what parents are for.

I also have a job interview on Monday, and I'm going to be taking my actuarial exam in May which should really help. When you have your Actuarial Fellowship, you can make from $150-250K! With that kind of money, we could afford a small shack, provided we spread the mortgage over 40 years.

That's pretty funny, but this is what $637,000 buys you where we live.

I give up.

April 6, 2006

Happy 29th Birthday Mom!

My mom is turning 29 this year. Amazing how time flys! We'll try to keep Jennifer out of the hospital for this birthday. We'll be certain to buy my mom some really nice presents with all of our money!

Speaking of money, I had a job interview yesterday on the phone, and may end up in a final interview of just 2 to 3 candidates for a job down in Kent. Cross your fingers! I'm still waiting to hear back on the job in West Seattle too. What a nice birthday present that would be for my mom.

April 11, 2006

Jennifer and Michael's Wedding Website

I ran across this the other day while googling Jennifer. It's something she wrote before we got married. What a sweetheart she is. It just makes me love her more and more and more and more! (Flowers and music notes appear over Michael's head.)

April 12, 2006

Good News of the Day: April 12th, 2006

So I did a phone interview the other day, and I went in today for an on-site interview today. The job sounds like a lot of fun. I took a skills test and I think I aced it. I hope I did well. I can never really tell. I mean, maybe I'm just a bad interviewee, because sometimes I've walked out thinking "I ROCKED IT!" and then I get the call: "We chose the other guy." They always chose the other guy. Ugh. Maybe this one will turn out a little differently!

Hey, the other night I was walking back from the grocery store, and these three young women were outside taking pictures with their camera phones and actually generally annoying. Anyway, they asked if I wanted to go play pool with them. I told them I really needed to get to bed, and one of them started going on about how I obviously had a woman at home. Another girl was calling out "you could get a divorce." These girls were obviously drunk.

Thankfully, I do have a beautiful woman at home whose mere presence puts a smile on my face. On the other hand, it's nice to think I've still got it, you know. Jennifer is constantly dealing with guys at school who develop crushes for her. (She denies this, but I'm a guy, and I know, and I'm almost always right too.) Despite what my therapist thinks, I don't really mind this. It's nice to know that I'm the guy who got the great catch. But it's nice to know someone else might think I'm an okay catch too. Or at least nice enough to go out with. Drunk. Actually, the more I think about it, the less flattering it seems.

April 16, 2006

Back in My Day: Riding Illegal in a Pinto Edition

Remember the other day when I remembered that I rode in the back of a Pinto wagon on the way to Return of the Jedi? Get this... I found a picture of it!


April 21, 2006

I Spy: A Woman Rear-Ending Me

So today we were coming back home and this lady is trying to get into my lane. I let her in (well, more like she let herself in) and she stops... she wants to get into the next lane as well! The gal behind me didn't realize what was happening and ran right into me.

Fortunately it was REALLY minor. She really didn't do any damage to the bumper itself, and once I brought it home it took a couple minutes to buff the scratches out completely. Even if it I couldn't, they were pretty small to begin with.

She offered me her insurance, and even some cash if I needed it, but I just didn't feel right about taking it. It wasn't worth my time or effort... it would easily have cost hundreds of dollars to repaint the bumper, and good luck matching it. In the end I figured I could polish out most of the scratches (and I was right) and just let it be.

She said karma would end up paying me back, but you know, it never does. I wish I knew why. But she was a nice lady, and it really wasn't her fault so much as it was the clueless one in front of me who caused traffic trouble.

Update: In hindsight, maybe I should have asked her for a JOB!

April 25, 2006

My McMemoirs: The Arch Deluxe

For a couple years in the mid-90s, I worked as a "manager" at McDonalds. Stuff was too weird not to share someday.

When McDonalds released the Arch Deluxe back in 1996, there was much great fanfare about how it was the new "adult" choice for McDonalds customers. In fact, McDonalds had a whole new adult line of burgers, including the Crispy Chicken Deluxe, the Fish Filet Deluxe, and the Grilled Chicken Deluxe. The Arch Deluxe was the only genuinely new sandwich, however, since the others were mostly existing sandwiches with upgraded lettuce on potato buns.

First off, I gotta say that even though I worked at McDonalds at the time, the Arch Deluxe was (in my opinion) actually pretty good. I don't mean "good for McDonalds" good, but actually good, like the kind of food I would seek out. It is many ways a shame that the Arch Deluxe did not survive, but the disgusting clay mush known as the Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese is still around. Then again, I had the advantage of actually working at McDonalds. That meant that instead of buying one of the five minute old burgers in the food bin (I'm being optimistic here) I'd special order mine. I'd even ask for fresh meat. Seriously, McDonalds employees hate people like that, but I hated most of them already anyway.

We'd been readying ourselves for the Arch Deluxe for quite some time at McDonalds. Most of us got the chance to eat one before they debuted, and many of us agreed they were very good. There was a lot of excitement in the air. And then finally the big day arrived.

It was crazy. It was crazy even for McDonalds, which back in the 90s was much crazier than it is now. It wasn't abnormal for us to have forty people in the lobby waiting to order. We often would have four or five people taking orders, and the food was served lightning quick (since it was mostly all pre-made.) But the Arch Deluxe launch was insane. Nearly every single person was ordering at least one Arch Deluxe. That Sunday's newspaper had announced the new burger, and included a coupon for a FREE Arch Deluxe. Nearly everyone was taking advantage of the offer.

Orders started to slow down after a few days, but the Arch Deluxe was still a very popular burger. It was hard to keep up with demand. The burger was a true success. There was just one problem.

Nobody was paying for it. Almost all of the burgers sold the first week were free giveaways. But it got worse. Customers were being given free coupons for more Arch Deluxes every time they ordered. We had thousands and thousands of the things. It was getting ridiculous. Finally, after three weeks of giving away our most expensive burger, we put a stop to the whole mess. We couldn't afford to keep giving the things away.

And then something interesting happened. Demand literally dried up. Where as our bin full of pre-made food would often have up to 12 Arch Deluxes at any given time, now they might have two, and even those probably wouldn't be sold.

The Arch Deluxe was a flop. Part of the problem centered around the notion that McDonalds can ever attract a more adult, even upscale clientele. Part of the problem is that the Arch Deluxe was probably the most unhealthy food ever sold at McDonalds. By unhealthy I mean just in terms of calories, fat, and sodium content... I'm not counting what horrible effects the food will probably have on us twenty years from now. The regular version, without bacon, had 960 milligrams of sodium. Yes, that's almost a full gram. Adding bacon increased the burger to 1190. That same burger was a 610 calorie behemoth, with a whopping 36 grams of fat.

In my opinion, the Arch Deluxe didn't fail because it didn't taste good. It failed because it was sold at the wrong restaurant. Who goes to McDonalds for high-quality food? The Arch Deluxe featured some unique and tasty ingredients that made it taste better than usual McDonalds fare, but it still used the same frozen quarter pound of beef used in the Quarter Pounder. It still used the same slice of cheese found on every other burger sold at the Golden Arches. It still was mass produced and left in a bin to keep warm until some unfortunate soul purchased it. (Once the orders dropped off, this had to have made the burger even less popular!) It was still being made by the same greasy high school kids that made your cheeseburger.

The Arch Deluxe might have succeeded somewhere else. It might have made it at Wendy's. It might have been a good candidate for a place like Arby's. It could have succeeded at a place that actually cares about quality, like In-N-Out. The truth is the gourmet chef hired to create the Arch Deluxe created something that was too good for McDonalds. It was too good for McDonalds to handle, and once America had tried it, they didn't want to try it again.

April 26, 2006

Check Out This Picture of Timmy

Check out this picture of Timmy I found on the internet.

I wonder who he's with.

What? Oh, I'm so sorry! That's not Timmy! That's the guy that plays Draco Malfoy. I get them confused all the time.

May 4, 2006

My Future Day in Court (Among Other Things)

It turns out in Washington State, a police officer does not have to show up when you contest a ticket. They simply send an affidavit saying they sure did see you violate the rules of the road. End of discussion. Who is a judge going to believe? Is he going to believe Joe Schmoe Driver, or Officer Doesnowrong? Seriously?

You have to actually subpoena an officer if you want him to show up for cross-examination. Shockingly, apparently no one ever does this. Here's how I figure this whole thing goes down. The guy that pulled me over claiming I ran a stop sign... he probably doesn't even remember what happened. So he's gonna lie through his teeth. If he doesn't, I'll admit I'm wrong. If he doesn't, I'm going to thank him, in front of everyone, for being so honest.

But since the guy is either thoroughly confused or lying in the first place, I have very low expectations. I figure I'm probably going to end up paying the fine and having this go on my record. But that's okay.

See, the way I figure it, the officer in question was looking for a little revenue for the county. I'm not saying that he himself is corrupt, so much as the system itself is corrupt. We reward our officers for making victims of every day drivers. They are encouraged to pull us over for moving violations that have virtually no impact on anyone. I understand the thought behind this... people need to follow the rules of the road, but do we really need to fine them when they make a mistake?

I guess I wouldn't have such a problem if the police themselves weren't above the law. Many of them have terrible driving habits. They speed. They don't observe the same basic regulations they want us to. And they are virtually infallible in the eyes of the law... at least when it comes to "testifying" in traffic court.

Anyway, I digress. If the county wishes to create revenue by pulling people over, I can't really do anything about it. And if they decide I'm guilty of something I didn't do, I can't really do anything about that either. What I can do, however, is make sure that the county earns their $150 the hard way... by giving me my day in court, and by forcing the police officer in question to spend his time in court as well.

So even if I don't win, and I probably won't, I'll still feel pretty good about the whole thing. Meanwhile, my anger about the unbridled power of our police force is spilling over into other avenues. I give public teachers a hard time here for having tons of sex with their students, but I think teachers in general are good people with good intentions. There is no other driving forces in becoming a teacher, besides helping others. But that's not true of police officers. Some of them, surely, have entered the profession to help others. But some of them enter it because they have control issues... power struggles that have led them to take on jobs where they have the power. That's not a good recipe for a police force that serves to protect the powerless. I think it might be time for our country to rethink the powers the police have, and to rethink what duties they've been given in our society.

Your thoughts?

May 8, 2006

Bad Pixels on Your Nintendo DS? (TAKE NOTICE DEAR SISTER!)

Old news, but important news for my sister who has joined myself and my brother in the world of Nintendo DS owners. Unfortunately, her DS had TWO bad pixels on one screen. I say take it back to Best Buy... but a lot of companies say "tough, deal with it" in response to bad pixels.

Not Nintendo! Nintendo themselves will replace DS units with just ONE bad pixel! And they'll replace them fast.

Anyway, Serena, you probably want to return it to Best Buy anyway, just so you can get a replacement immediately, but worst case Nintendo will replace it for you too. You shouldn't have ANY bad pixels at all, apparently. Nintendo is THAT cool!!!

Oh, my brother got Brain Age. What a cool game. I am addicted after one day, and want it now!

May 25, 2006

HUGE News!

Well, we have HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE news for everyone. Huge news around here could only mean a few things.

1) Jennifer is pregnant.
2) Michael got a job.
3) We got another cat.

So which one is it?




I got a job, of course! Finally!

That is all.

June 7, 2006

Milky Way!

I love Milky Way trucks! I don't know why... I guess I always have even since I was a kid. I think Milky Way trucks are awesome!

Today I passed a Milky Way truck and got a big smile on my face. Then it honked at me. I don't know why. It wasn't an angry honk, but rather a "honk honk" happy honk! It made me happy! Milky Way trucks are my friend! Hurray!

June 28, 2006

I Spy: A Dumb Cop

Seen last week in Woodinville... this cop walks into Quiznos and looks at the guy behind the counter, and he says "Did I leave my sunglasses somewhere?" And the guy behind the counter points to the cops hat, where his glasses are sitting.

But these guys, they can tell if I came to a complete stop at an intersection they weren't anywhere near.

Speaking of Woodinville, is there some sort of rich convention going on there lately? I don't mean rich like "BMW rich" but "Ferrari rich." I am seeing a lot of insanely expensive cars there... usually the kind of cars you only see driven by young guys on the Kirkland waterfront who are looking to pick up a girl or two. Anyway, they all seem to be hanging out at the local wine hangout. The best part is they fill up the parking lot so nobody can go to Texas Smokehouse BBQ. Not that anybody would ever go there anyway.

Did I mention that Jennifer and I were out walking last weekend and we come around the corner and there's a guy exposing himself and urinating on the sidewalk. Nice. It was really gross. I wish I had a camera. It would have been really funny. Plus the guy was kinda small. Gross.

March 28, 2007

New Beginnings

Well, if you haven't heard by now, I am no longer employed by possibly the worst run company I have ever encountered. I resigned yesterday. My projects were near completion, and given the mood of the couple that owns the company, it was becoming clearer that as they pushed me to complete said projects I was coming nearer and nearer to a point where they would ask me to leave. I really did try to make things work, but there's only so much childish behavior you can put up with. I was the second member of my team to leave in the last two days, and there are more to come. As one co-worker said, I'll land on my feet. The sad thing is I really, really enjoyed the work, and I enjoyed my co-workers. I've made great friends and great connections. I just wish the company was in a better position to keep employees. Maybe someday, if the company gets sold, I'll return. I really would like that. And I hope to work with my previous co-workers again someday!

So, the job search begins anew!

April 3, 2007

Basic H

I got thinking about my grandmother this week. My mom's mom, she most recently passed away nearly two years ago now. Whereas my dad's mom was more of a matriarch, passing on wisdom down through the generations, my grandmother on my mother's side was more of a friend. She couldn't provide some of the things my other grandparents offered. She couldn't spoil me with toys, or help me through college, or even teach me the secrets of the New York Times crossword. But in some ways she offered me something few others could; she provided decades of memories... the kind you don't easily forget.

Like the time we took the Greyhound Bus. Or how she used to take me to play Bingo. Or the one day when we walked through the drive thru at Burger King. We walked a lot of places. Like to the bank. Or to the ice cream parlor.

Grandma used to live with older people and take care of them for their families. But before that she lived with relatives, and I'd stay with them in the summers. They lived in a house in Southwest Washington, and even though it was in a mid-sized town, they had chickens in the backyard. I remember that house so vividly, even though I haven't been there in at least fifteen years. Next to the living room stood this inventory of Shaklee products that they sold from home. Grandma was always big on Shaklee. We had Shaklee everything, from vitamins to household cleaners. They sold this stuff called Basic H that could clean anything. It didn't matter what. Windows, floors, the dishes, whitewall tires... Basic H could do it. I have no idea what the stuff is, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was a) colored water or b) hydrochloric acid, but we had tons of it.

Shaklee is technically a network marketing operation, but unlike Herbalife and Amway/Quixtar they don't appear to suffer from oversaturation, and they have a history of actual products that people would want to buy... in that respect they are more like Avon or Tupperware. Don't get me wrong... I wouldn't recommend getting involved in any multi-level marketing scheme. But I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for good old Shaklee.

More memories later...

May 10, 2007

Revealing My Inner Redneck

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is leaving his father's company in search of greener pastures. No longer a contender, NASCAR's most popular driver has decided to move to a different racing team. But which one? He could start his own team... he owns cars in the Busch series. But I'm just going to take this time and say what needs to be said. There is only one right answer to the question "Where should Junior race in 2008?"

RCR can win races, and only Dale Jr. could ever race the #3 again. (RCR owns the #3 but chooses not to use it in honor of Dale Earnhardt.) It would be HUGE news for the sport.

May 25, 2007

Mrs. Mong Makes Fox News

I heard that some kids at my alma mater, Kentridge High School, had gotten in trouble for posting an offensive video about a teacher. I didn't really pay attention. When we were a kid, we had a great substitute teacher, Mrs. Mong. We LOVED getting Mrs. Mong.

Well, it turns out the current crop of kids at Kentridge don't like Mrs. Mong. And judging by the following video, I can see why...

... it's because the kids are idiots. Honestly, how immature and pathetic can they possibly get.

Turns out poor Mrs. Mong was featured on Fox News too.

Obviously I graduated like a decade and a half ago, so maybe Mrs. Mong has turned into a real witch or something, but I don't really see her doing anything wrong, and I honestly doubt that she only powder bathes once a week. For one, that's ridiculous. And two, why would she tell her students that?

June 10, 2007

One Week - 700... er, I mean 100 Jobs

So my search for a new job hasn't been going very well. My goal right now is to find something either I can stay at (a nice permanent job) or something that might not pay great but at least I can enjoy until something better comes along. For example, I've made it to the next stage for a nice government job that sounds very exciting. The problem is... of course, it's a government job. They're taking FOREVER, as I keep making it through each stage designed to filter out the winners from the losers.

So my goal is to just go crazy this week and apply to so many things I'm bound to get something. My goal is to apply to 700 100 jobs in one week. These include jobs of all types... anything from a serious economics job to something that will make a little extra cash on the side. Like those people who stand on the corner and wave signs... I want their money.

So, I've put this goal here to make sure I don't fail and only apply to 70 or something. It's gotta be 700 100. So here's my timeline of jobs applied for:

UPDATE: My beautiful wife points out that to apply for 700 jobs in one week would require me to apply to a new job every six minutes. Oops. "Are you manic?" she asked. Well, duh. So, let's be more realistic. Let's say 100. That's a much more realistic goal, and then if I get more that's gravy. Sorry if I get too excited!

Current Progress: 8/100

June 18, 2007

This Week in Job Hunting

All right! Well, last week's job push was a dazzling success! Of all the (eight) jobs I applied for, I heard back from one! And it conflicts with my interview with the USDA on Wednesday. That's right friends... the USDA. I'm awesome! If I get the job, I'm totally getting this on a shirt --->

Anyway, I'll keep you up to date on this week's job push too, but I'm not making any promises, because I'm nearly exhausted from last week. Phew!

Applied for so far this week: 1

October 9, 2007

Juanita Drive Accident

We woke up to morning sirens and a helicopter. When we got out we saw the road was closed and there had been a major accident.

They mentioned it on KOMO traffic, but we don't know anything other than that. Maybe if we were more gossipy and all that.

I Done Got a Job

Someone actually hired me! I'll be keeping books in Mukilteo now. I'm sure I'll do a GREAT job. Keeping books means I'm a librarian, right?

October 24, 2007


I came into the bedroom today and noticed an eerie quiet. OH NOES! The box fan broke. The box fan runs 24/7. It's not that we need it on when we're not here, but rather that we just don't notice it running. We started using it because we live behind a supermarket, and it drowns out the noise at night, but now we can't sleep without it. I hope someone has box fans in stock even though it's nearly freezing out.

UPDATE: Apparently box fans are a SUMMER item. We plugged the A/C unit in and are running the fan on it, but it's pretty much not noisy at all.

About Of a Personal Nature

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to marchdecember in the Of a Personal Nature category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Mr. Dumass is the previous category.

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