Monday, October 29, 2012

Trolling Election Pollers 101

If you're like me, you've gotten about 1500 phone calls over the last month or so from people taking polls on the upcoming election.  I've grown so annoyed with them, that I had to find some way to make them entertaining to me, else become violently offensive to the pollers.  I remember the last straw, the one call that pushed me over the edge, the one that broke my sanity for a moment, and forced me to begin messing with the heads of these pollers.

Elections are not fun times for Mail carriers.  All those pieces of election mail that you get every day, all those MANY pieces of election mail, yeah, EVERYONE gets EVERY ONE of them.  Your poor mail carrier has to give all seven or eight of them per day to every single home on their route.  The biggest sender of these fliers, etc, is Mia Love.  Every election has one person that just tries so hard to utterly destroy his or her opponent, and this year it's Mia Love.

Personally, I like Jim Matheson, the one she's running against.  He's had a pretty good record thus far, usually votes the way I would if I were in his place in congress, and I've met him.  He's a nice guy.  He lives next door to my Grandma, helps her with yard work, and he's been over to a few family BBQs we've had.

Mia Love, is CONSTANTLY sending out attack ads against him, bombarding TV with them, bombarding the mailbox with them, I've even found fliers on my front door, and on the windshield of my truck.  I've followed Matheson's career, being that he is something of a family friend.  I haven't followed hers so closely.  So, when I see how much she is trying to paint Matheson as evil incarnate, it makes me wonder what she's trying to direct my attention away from in her own record.

So, anyway, this one day, I had about 7 different Mia Love attack ads that I had to deliver to EVERY SINGLE HOUSE ON MY ROUTE.  I was getting pretty freaking sick of looking at her annoying, smug grin.  And, low, and behold, as I'm FINALLY delivering to my last box, FOUR HOURS past when I normally would have, my phone rings.  Caller ID shows a blocked number.  That NORMALLY means my supervisor is calling me, and since I was so late in finishing, I assumed she was checking up on me.

"Hello," I said tiredly.

"Hello, I'm conducting a poll for the upcoming election, and I would like to have your opinion on who you will be voting for."

"I'm sort of at work right now."

"This will only take a moment."

"Fine, whatever."

"So, will you be voting for Jim Matheson this election, who has sided with Obama on the vast majority of his votes, who is, in fact, the spawn of Satan, eats babies for snacks, and defiles underage virgins for sport, or will you be voting for Mia Love, who had dinner with Jesus last night, walks on water, and recently began healing the sick simply by the power of her sincere smile."

I may be exaggerating slightly.

Listening to this guy go on about someone I've met several times, whose career I've followed and whom I like, bashing him so blatantly and wrongfully, AFTER I had spent all day delivering Mia Love attack ads...  That was it.  I was broken.  Something in my head went SNAP, and the world changed.  I found that I had a thirst for blood, and a sudden craving for apple crisp with a side of bacon and fish curry.  Have you ever been so pushed to anger that you would actually, physically harm someone over it if you could get your hands on them?

"Are you allowed to hang up on people," I asked.


"If someone get's all hostile with you.  Are you allowed to hang up on them?"

"Um... no.  I'm not."

"EXCELLENT!!!  I'm voting for Jim Matheson, AND LET ME TELL YOU WHY!!!"

And I went on to detail exactly why I prefer Matheson to Love, and went on to bash Mia Love for her ridiculous amount of attack ads, implying that she must be hiding something terrible that she doesn't want anyone to look into if she's trying so hard to make her opponent look bad.  I began to detail things that she might be hiding. Murder.  Cannibalism.  Bestiality.  Child Molestation. Child Molestation involving Bestiality.  That she used to be a man.  And the list goes on.  I went on for the entire 30 min drive back to the post office on things that she might be trying to hide.  I started to run out of ideas near the end, so I delved a little into the disgusting, and inappropriate.

So I got back to the office, parked myself and told the guy to "Please Hold."

I put my phone in my pocket, keeping it on, and started unloading my truck.  I sorted through all my bring back mail, and did all my after delivery work, which takes 10-15 mins, and then picked my phone back up.

"Are you still there?"

"Yes," he replied, sounding rather worn out by the ordeal.

"Do you enjoy having your time wasted with douchebaggery like this?"


"Good.  NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE!!!  Don't call me again."

Admittedly, I did act like something of a child, but I was just so pissed off after that horrible day of delivering ads for that awful woman, and that guy calling me to tell me more horrible things about Jim Matheson after it all pushed me over the edge.  Now, when pollsters call me, I try to mess with them in more clever, and less offensive ways.

I got one today where I tried to convert him to Mormonism.  One over the weekend where I began trying to sell her my car.  Another guy last week I kept trying to ask out on a date every time he tried to say anything, rolling out my best lisp and FABULOUS  gay voice impression.

These people are wasting my time.  They're saying hateful things about each other.  And it's all really indicative of the real problem that's plaguing this country.  Republicans and Democrats think they're at war with one another.  Well, guess what.  So long as the mentality that the other guys are the enemies pervades congress, NOTHING IS EVER GOING TO GET DONE, AND NOTHING IS EVER GOING TO GET BETTER. We're not enemies.  We're all Americans.  It's time to stop acting like people of the opposing political party are the bad guys and start looking for ways to work together and fix the problems that are ruining the greatest nation on Earth.  So, when people call me up to give me a load of BS like that, I'm going to show them what I really think of them.  That I don't respect them in the slightest bit, and I will make a mockery of what they are trying to do.  I invite anyone else out there who is as fed up with all of this crap as I am to do the same.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Adventures in Mail Delivery - Part 74... Give or take 70.

So, my mail route is made up of 50-some-odd community boxes.  Each one has 8 to 16 mailboxes in it.  They all also have lockers for me to put packages in, so I don't have to take them to people's doors. It's really nice, and it's a secure place to leave a package if no one is home so that it won't be stolen.  However, sometimes packages are too large to fit in the lockers.  Or, sometimes people will not get their mail and the lockers will already be taken.  In this case we have to take the package to the door.  There are several different types of packages when it comes to which we are allowed to leave on your doorstep if you're not home, and which we are not.  A package without any sort of scan on it at all is one we can leave, or a delivery confirmation with a note of "Carrier Leave if No Response" which means that the sender will take full responsibility for the package if it is left on your doorstep and someone does happen to steal it before you get home.  Typically, I try to leave these packages in a place where they're easily visible to someone approaching the door, but not visible from the street to deter theft.  Which means that I'm not going to just leave the package sitting in the middle of your porch where everyone can see it, but rather off to the side somewhere where you'll see it if you walk up to the door, or leave the house, but not if you're passing by the house.

So, anyway, today I get to a box with one more package than there were lockers.  Luckily, one of these packages was for the house right behind the box so it was easy to run it up to the door.  I rang the doorbell.  No answer.  I knocked.  No answer.  The package had a leave if no response note on it, so I set it down to the left of the door where it was blocked by a stone column holding up part of the roof, which extended over the porch.  It was the perfect place to put it.  I was plainly visible from the door, and completely out of sight from the street.

As I jogged back to my vehicle, I heard the door open up behind me, but, since the package was in such a plainly visible spot from the door, I didn't bother heading back to point it out the the person.  I hopped in my mail truck and drove on to the next stop.  As I was finishing up with delivering mail to that community box, a very fat man wearing boxers, a bathrobe, and no shoes stormed up to me and started screaming at me for "Ring and running".

Naturally, I felt an overwhelming sense of wtf-ery.  I stopped thinking such things were funny about thirty years ago, and I had done nothing even remotely like what he was accusing me of.  I calmly explained this to him, but he just yelled over me, giving me a lecture that I'm sure made sense in his head, but wasn't very coherent when spoken aloud.  I didn't know what house he'd come from, and I didn't know why he was so angry, because I hadn't done anything but my job.

I asked him to explain several times before finally giving up, getting back into my mail truck, and driving off while he was still yelling at me.  If you're going to go all crazy person on me, and not even try to explain yourself when asked, I have better things to do with my life than indulge your insanity.

He followed me to my next stop and picked up his tirade exactly where he'd left off.  So I, naturally, called the police on him and drove away again before he got it into his head to become violent.  It was not until a few minutes later that I connected him with the package I'd left on the porch of that one house.  I drive past that house again about twenty minutes later in the route on my way to another section of it, and there he was, pacing angrily on his porch, gesticulating wildly as if arguing with himself.  He saw my mail truck and charged across his porch for me as I was driving past, and promptly tripped over the package I'd left and did a lovely faceplant onto the cement.

There is no possible way someone could have missed this package coming out of that door.  It was big, and brightly colored, completely contrasting the coloring of the house and porch.  This guy must have seen me jogging back to my mail truck and gone insane with rage at me doorbell ditching that he didn't even notice it, instead, running out into the cold, half naked, to scream at me for it, and then returning home to pace on the porch and STILL not see the package.  I mean, what other reason would I have to go to a complete stranger's door?  Seriously?  Why would I waste my time doing anything that is not my job?  Why was his first thought that I was pranking him, rather than, "oh, did the mailman leave something, yes right there, A BIG FREAKING PACKAGE THAT DOES NOT BLEND IN WITH ITS SURROUNDINGS AT ALL!!!"  That someone could be so incredibly ignorant, completely miss a package that was in such plain sight, and then return home to pace back and forth in front of that very same package without even noticing it, and then chase me maybe three blocks down the street in his underwear to scream at me for doing something that even children think is childish and lame makes me laugh.  I mean, really.  WTF.  There's no logic to that at all.  It's just straight up crazy.  What is even the frick?  What is the mental progression that leads from, the mail carrier waited at my door for 3 mins, knocked twice, left a package in plain sight from my door, then jogged back to his truck to I MUST DESTROY HIM!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I've come across an awesome TV series.  It's called Fringe.  It's by J.J. Abrams, the man who came up with Lost.  If you enjoyed that show, this one has a bit of the same flair for the weird as that one.  Fringe is like the X Files if the X Files a.) was entertaining  b.) was aware of how ridiculous and laughable the premise it is based upon is and c.) had interesting and entertaining characters played by actors that actually know what acting is rather than stereotypes played by people who couldn't act wet in a thunderstorm.  (That's right X Files fans, I went there)  In short, it's pretty much everything that the X Files wasn't that I wished it to be.

The story is about a small FBI group trying to find the source of strange phenomena in the Boston Area, recruiting the aid of former mad scientist and current insitutionalized crazy person Walter Bishop, and his son Peter as a handler and minder of the now, often childlike Walter.  For the first season and a half the show is pretty much just about the monster of the week like the X Files, but you get hints throughout of a much larger story, which the rest of the series deals with, an interdimentional war between Earth and an alternate version of Earth that was inadvertently started by Walter in his younger, mad scientist years while he was just trying to do something good for someone on the other side.

The series is 5 seasons long, the fifth and final currently playing this fall on Fox, and is well worth the time to watch for anyone that enjoyed Lost or the X Files, or just really likes science fiction or well written, entertaining TV.

Don't settle for the lesser of two evils.

The presidential election is coming up in about three weeks.  We have Mit Romney running for the Republicans, and Barack Obama running for the Democrats.  And this is the problem.  In this country, whenever a big election comes along.  You can choose Republican or you can choose Democrat. Choosing a third party is generally throwing your vote away.  So who do we choose when neither of the candidates is worthy of the job?  What do we vote when neither man seems competent?  Whom do we send to office when you can't see how either candidate will represent your interests?

Mit Romney is a racist, sexist uberdouche that JUST DOES NOT GET IT when it comes to those that are less fortunate than he, namely the unemployed, the working poor, the disabled, and the elderly.  This is a man that would continue to lower taxes for the very wealthy, and place the burden of paying this country's bills more firmly upon a middle class that is already feeling the strain of it.  This is a man who would have us return to the Bush era, where all regulation of the financial institutions is removed, paving the way for another economic collapse.  This man does not understand, or does not want to see, the measures required of this nation's leadership to both get people back to work, and start paying down the national debt.  Instead, he wants to offer handouts to those who support him, namely people who have more money in pocket change than you or I will ever see in our entire lives, and continue to squeeze every last drop of blood from everyone else.  This is a man who considers the unemployed, the working poor, disabled veterans who gave up their ability to work for the freedoms that we enjoy, and the elderly to be subhuman, without the right to food, medicine, homes, or life.  He is a man who does not understand that workers are the backbone of society.  He would apply pressure to that backbone until it snaps, leaving the USA crippled for the rest of its life.

Barack Obama is an impotent idealist without the political experience required to fulfill his duties as president.  We've all heard the slogans, yes we can, change we can believe in, hope, etc.  And we've all seen how Obama has brought none of these things to the table.  He flounders around ineffectually because he's not smart or forceful enough to bring his opposition around to see his point of view.  And so what does he do about it?  He sits around, twiddling his thumbs, and blaming EVERYONE on God's green earth other than himself, the true root of the problem.  He has excellent ideas but no idea whatsoever how to implement them, and does not possess the political savvy required to bring those who might on board with them.  He is utterly impotent, ineffectual, and frankly, cannot get out of office fast enough.  He spends ridiculous amounts of money on things that can wait until the economy stabilizes, and wonders why the debt keeps getting bigger.  The man just does not understand how to balance a checkbook.  He JUST DOES NOT GET IT when it comes to implementing measures to correct the problems in our great nation.  Instead he spews platitudes about hope, and things getting better in time, without ever actually taking any steps to correct the problems, instead preferring to blame others and put his head in the sand to ignore problems until they go away.  He would rather borrow increasing amounts of money from China to fund this country's wars than raise taxes as has been done every time in HISTORY that this nation has gone to war except this time.  If you want to fire missiles at our enemy, it comes with a price, and that price must be paid by someone.  Obama seems to understand this concept even less than Bush did.

Do you want either of these men leading our country?  I sure as hell don't.  So what do we do when the system for choosing a president has always been one guy or the other?  Whom do we choose when both candidates are crap, and you can't really see as how one of them is any better or worse than the other?  I suppose you could just not vote at all as a statement of your displeasure in the choices, true, but I tend to believe that if you choose not to vote, you forfeit your right to complain.  And me, I'm a great one for complaining.  So then, what do you do?

Were you aware of the fact that there are currently seven other people with their names on the presidential ballot for the upcoming election?  You can find a Full List of 2012 Presidential Candidates by clicking this link.  You DO NOT have to choose Mit Romney or Barack Obama.  They are NOT the only choices.  And for the love of God, NO ONE in their right mind should vote for EITHER of them.  I urge anyone with half a brain who is as discontent with the prospects for this election as I am to take a look at these other candidates.  familiarize yourselves with their policies and political histories, and choose one of THEM to vote for come November.

It has often been said, and quite firmly proven that a vote for a third party candidate is basically throwing your vote away.  I say that it is not.  Yes, it is inevitable that Romney or Obama will be the president for the next four years, and not much you will do can change that fact.  But by voting for a third party candidate you send them a message.  You tell them that you are NOT happy with them, and that you chose to vote for another.  Every vote for a third party candidate is a vote that tells them they're the political refuse that they are.  You tell them that they are so worthless as a candidate that you would rather vote for someone that has NO HOPE of winning rather than for them.  I can't think of a more insulting message to send to a candidate that has no business whatsoever running for president of the United States.  It tells them that there are people out there that are NOT content to choose between a tyrannical overdouche or an wimpotent idealist.  The more votes that they do not receive, the more people are going to take notice.  And the more that people take notice, hopefully, the more things will begin to change.  And THAT is what this country TRULY needs right now.  Change.  NOT Obama's idea of change where he points out that it is needed and is completely ineffective in doing anything about it, then blames other people for nothing changing.  Because the system does not seem to work any longer, and things are just getting worse and worse with no end in sight.

This nation can be fixed, but for that to happen, people need to start taking control of those whom we place in office to govern us.  People need to realize that there is more to voting than choosing the lesser of two evils.  If you're not happy with the Republican or the Democrat, CHOOSE SOMEONE ELSE.  If that doesn't work for you, run for office yourself, or find someone to support in doing so.  So long as the American people take the lazy view of elections, nothing is ever going to change, and nothing is ever going to improve.

It is my opinion that Neither Barack Obama, nor Mit Romney is presidential material.  Neither man deserves to be president of the USA, and neither of them SHOULD be.  Neither of them are even remotely qualified for the position and should not be allowed anywhere near it.  That is why I am choosing to vote for someone else.  This may be seen as throwing my vote away by generally everyone, but to me it is a shout of defiance that I will not put up with this bullshit anymore.

You do NOT have to choose between the lesser of two evils, nor SHOULD you.  There are ALWAYS other choices.  All you have to do is take the time, and put in the effort, to familiarize yourself with them and make the choice that is right for you.  When NEITHER candidate is worthy of your vote, DON'T VOTE FOR EITHER OF THEM!!!  Vote for someone else.  Send a message to the Republican and Democratic parties that they need to take better care in choosing men or women to run for president.  This is completely unacceptable, especially in times such as these.  America needs a strong leader who understands the gravity of what's happening, has clear ideas on how to fix the problems, and the political know how, combined with a personality strong enough to win opposition over to his side.  Neither of these men fits that bill, and neither of them will be able to do a single thing to fix things in this country.  Neither Romney, nor Obama, deserves my vote, and so neither of them will receive it.  I urge you to find someone else to vote for as well.

Monday, October 8, 2012


So, November is National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo, a.k.a. Nano or so says  To get would be writers going, they hold a sort of competition, write 50,000 words of your book in one month, and those that finish are entered for prizes etc, and have the added bonus of getting their name out to publishers, agents, and the general populace.

For a while now I've had a story I've been working on banished to the back burner called I Am Nobody.  I've been saving this one to use in participation of Nano.  Why?  Because it's a simpler story that can be quickly written if I set myself to it, and it's not going to be hugely long like many of my other writing projects. 

So, being that I am going to be participating in this writing competition this year, I'm devoting the rest of this month to preparing this story to write, and all of next month for actually writing it in the competition.  As a result of that, my current projects, Starfire and The Eternal Chain, are not going to get much done on them for the next 6 or 7 weeks.

Click Here to check out my Nano page for I Am Nobody, where you will find a plot synopsis, and the prologue.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dredd 3D

If you're like me, you're completely sick of all of the remakes, reboots, and sequels that Hollywood keeps vomiting up.  These often unimaginative, terribly written and acted, and CG heavy movies have been plaguing the box office for the last decade or so, and it seems that things are really only going to get worse.  Most objectionable, recently have been the Total Recall remake that was utterly unnecessary, and booooooooring as all else, and yet another Spiderman Origin, which was far better than it looked and, indeed, better than anything in the original trilogy.  It can go both ways with these remakes, reboots, and so on.

When I heard about the reboot of Judge Dredd, the first question that came to my mind was "why?"  The Sylvester Stallone 90s movie, though a horrible display of acting, writing, and general overall film-making, was a great example of a stupid fun action movie, and really didn't need a follow up, or a remake.  But then I started to see trailers and commercials for Dredd 3D, and you know what, it looked awesome.  Karl Urban as Dredd, that's a great choice, the guy is an excellent actor that is often overlooked.  He was perfect as McCoy in the Star Trek reboot, and was excellent as Eomir in Lord of the Rings.  He's no Stallone, but frankly, Stallone hammed the role up so much it was unintentionally comical.

Where the original Judge Dredd movie is cartoony, silly, campy, and ridiculous, Dredd 3D is dark, gritty, realistic, almost 100% CG free, and amazingly violent.  It is a VERY hard R.  There is no sex or nudity in the movie, but it is very, very bloody, often showing people's faces exploding from being shot in slow motion due to the effects a a drug that slows a person's perception of time.  The language is pretty horrible as well.  Despite these things, THIS MOVIE WAS GREAT!!!  They just do not make action movies like this anymore.  The golden age of action movies ended about fifteen years ago.  Now everyone's afraid to slap an R rating on something because they want more people to see it, and the movies get wussed down to a PG-13 and people looking for a good old-fashioned slaughter fest with snappy one-liners and charismatic action stars that couldn't act to save their lives but look oh so awesome holding a gun are just out of luck.

If you're a fan of the good old days of action movies, and are as angered as I am about Hollywood's recent pussing out in the action department, this is the movie for you.  I 100% recommend it to action movie fans, and those who enjoyed the first Judge Dredd movie.  If you're not up to some pretty hard blood and gore, you may want to pass on it.

When on a routine investigation of a murder, Dredd and his trainee Anderson are trapped inside the Peach Tree tower.  They must fight their way to the top to take out Ma-ma, a drug dealing mob boss who cares about nothing but killing judges and watching the world burn, in order to free themselves.  The movie is well written, well acted, makes very good use of the 3D effects, and hails back to the golden age of action movies. 

I rarely say this these days, but this movie left me wanting a sequel.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Starfire Chapter 19

I've finished up Chapter 19 of the first draft of Starfire, and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

This chapter is the rest of the setup for the final confrontation between the Nordhoff and the Doolittle, signifying the end the story's first act and the beginning of the second.

Book Review: The Gathering Storm By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

I've reposted an updated version of my review of The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson on goodreads.  This is a review that I wrote and put up a little over a year ago, but never gave to the magazine I write for, because I had plans of doing my Wheel of Time retrospective.  I've rewritten parts of it, and fixed a few grammatical errors as well.  I'm still rereading the book at the moment, in fact I've only really just begun, but I figured I might as well get the review all polished up for publication as soon as possible.  As my grandfather always used to say, "never leave for tomorrow, what can be done today."

This is my second favorite book in the series, despite a slew of continuity errors and such that resulted from the rush to get the book published, and the change in writers.  I feel that these things are completely understandable under the circumstances, and that the rest of the book shines so brightly as an excellent example of bringing characters to their knees before finally allowing them to find the light that I, frankly, don't care about the errors.  The story of this book is just so beautiful, and well played out that I'm willing to forgive almost any number of small errors that were the result of the circumstances.  Brandon Sanderson took an impossible task and turned an excellent book out of it that Robert Jordan himself would have been proud of.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Starfire Chapter 18

I've finished up chapter 18 of the first draft of Starfire and you can download it at the bottom of this page.

This chapter is the conclusion of the battle that began two chapters ago, and the set up for the last engagement between the Doolittle and the Nordhoff

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book Review: Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan

I've posted a review of Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan on goodreads if you feel the great urge to check it out.

As the last book Robert Jordan wrote before his death, this was an excellent display of why people love the series so much.  It pulls the series out of the rut that it had been in for several volumes before it, and gets the gears turning once more toward an ending that is finally in sight.