F*** Fulton County

Seriously, fuck this place.  This is the third time I’ve gotten jury summons, and the second time within the last six months.  Whatever happened to the rule of three years?  Can I at least get one calendar year without getting one of these wet blankets in the mail?

You know what though, instead of ranting again about how much this sucks and pisses me off, it turns out that the last one I wrote is still pretty much spot on how I feel about this one too.

Probably because it was only six months ago.

It’s almost a party

A long time ago, I worked with a guy who spoke with a pretty thick Cambodian accent.  One cold winter night as he came inside, he exclaimed to me and the other people present, to “be careful outside, there’s black ice everywhere.”  The thing was though, due to his accent, “black ice” sounded precariously like “black guys.”  This elicited a lot of laughter from us (it’s okay one of the guys present was black!): Watch out for all the black guys outside.  The black guys is dangerous.  Black guys everywhere!

Anyway, over the span of the last month, there has been a rash of trucks overturning on highway ramps, spilling their contents all over the place.  Now there’s no confirmation that black guys ice has had anything to do with any of them, but given the fact that it’s the winter, we here in Atlanta have been subject to some record-breaking arctic polar snaps, there’s always the possibility that black guys might have been involved.

Confirmed or not, it really was a convenient excuse for me to forcibly shoe-horn in the black guys story because I’m a terrible person and I find it amusing.

Regardless, black guys or no black guys, it’s still somewhat amusing the nature of these truck crashes; now thankfully no people were seriously injured in any of these wrecks, so it’s okay to make light of them, at least as far as I see it.  The first wreck, right before Christmas was literal tons of holiday hams spilling out of an overturned semi (seen above).  Just a little over a week ago was then the truck that dumped tons of chickens all over the road, when it overturned.  And then just recently, yet another truck overturned almost at the same spot where the chicken truck overturned, but this one was full of, beer.

The frequency in which these crashes have occurred makes my imagination go a little wild, and think about the plot of the original The Fast and the Furious (RIP, PAUL WALKER) where Vin Diesel’s posse makes bank by hijacking semis and selling their contents on the black market.  I like to imagine a posse of gaudy cars speeding down I-285 in the middle of the night, trying to hijack semis full of consumable products; I mean it wouldn’t be the first time people tried to steal food in this city, so why not?  But instead of slickly and deftly hijacking the trucks and escaping cleanly into the night, the robbers are instead foolishly choosing highway intersections and twisty and wide-turning ramps to execute their heists and failing miserably, resulting in trucks overturning, and everyone losing with food spilled and ruined all over the place.

MAYBE BLACK ICE ARE INVOLVED.

So we got hams, chickens and beer all over the place now.  We just need a Publix truck to crash on Spaghetti Junction or something, and flip some side dishes and maybe some picnic cutlery and plates onto the road, and then we’ve got the supplies necessary for a pretty decent party.

Opposite Worlds on SyFy is pretty brilliant

When I saw the commercial for this show, I didn’t really have any idea of what it was going to be like.  All I knew was that I liked the premise of “future vs. past,” and felt that it was worth giving a flyer.  I just watched the first episode, but haven’t yet seen the corresponding follow-up episode, but I have to say that I’m already a fan of what I’ve seen and to give it a little bit of praise.

Much to the chagrin of fully getting into the show, the likelihood of me actually watching the episodes as their air live isn’t very likely given my lack of commitment to any show, so I’ll never really be able to participate in the social media nature of the show, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t acknowledge and commend the creators of the show of its potential.

A nitty-gritty synopsis is basically two teams of people, all ultimately whittling down until there’s one winner who gets a large cash prize.  However, one team (Team Chronos) lives in “the future,” which is full of luxury, amenities, conveniences and comfort.  The other team (Team Epoch) lives in “the past,” which is pretty much a cave motif, that’s kept cold, bare, has no conveniences or amenities, and basically makes the occupants miserable.  The wild card is that both eras are separated by a pane of glass, and that at any given time both teams are capable of seeing the other.  Each episode, which I’m guessing is two-part pits the teams against each other in a challenge of some sort, where the winning team decides which team goes to which era AKA which team gets to live in the future for the next week.

The social engineering of this show is pretty much fucking brilliant, if I must say.  Basically, they’ve created the perfect recipe of creating an ultimate David vs. Goliath conflict on multiple perspectives, and we’re just one episode in.  Basically, Team Epoch all hates Team Chronos, because they’re living in luxury while they’re living in misery.  Viewers like me essentially by default hate Team Chronos because everyone loves to root for the underdog.

Furthermore, it’s like it was deliberate, but Team Chronos’ construction seems perfectly orchestrated to have most of the types of people that nerdy broggers like me hate, from the steroid-monster gymbro, the wormy slimeball, the sassy black chick that celebrates too much, the questionable girl gamer that undoubtedly raises the ire of chicks on the internet, and the well, other douchebag.  Not only is it obvious that Team Epoch resents them, it’s really easy for the viewers to really dislike them too.  I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I’d have to theorize that if there are people that think like me, they’re salivating for when the time comes that the roles have to be swapped and Team Chronos is sent into the past; this likely predictable desired expectation, I have to chalk up as sheer genius from the show’s creators.

On top of everything, apparently the viewers have the capability of making some of the show’s decisions, like deciding on whom gets to pick the combatants who will be up for elimination, which I’m sure is debatable on how legitimate it is.  But the more intriguing thing to me is that apparently on an episodic basis, fans have the ability to determine the popularity or lack of, of all active players, and the show promises to reward the most popular, while punishing the least.  Based on the events of episode 1, it’s pretty clear who is liked and who isn’t, and upon checking SyFy’s site, my predictions were validated.  I’m actually excited at the thought of seeing what happens based on this aspect of the game.

Either way, one episode in, and I’m already pretty excited about the show as a whole.  I found myself on the edge of my seat during the challenge segment, screaming at the television watching people opposing one another in a physical manner.  I have to commend SyFy for making something that isn’t just something I can ironically laugh at like Sharknado or Ghost Shark, but something that I’m absolutely gripped by, and can’t wait to see more of it.

The childhood fear

A few days ago, I was driving past the airport.  It was night time, and the sky was filled with the lights of airplanes that were either descending into Atlanta Hartsfield, or circling and awaiting their turn to begin touchdown of their aircraft.  Seeing all these blinking lights cutting through the dark night sky made me think about my childhood, and how when I was a kid, such a sight would have been more than sufficient at giving me nightmares for a week.

When I was like 9-10 years old, I remember watching television, and seeing a commercial for either Unsolved Mysteries or Sightings; that part I can’t recollect specifically, but the advertised episode was one that of UFOs and alien abductions.  I vaguely recall the commercial having all sorts of amateur footage of people filming lights in the sky, unorthodox flight patterns of lights floating around in the sky, lots of people gasping and exclaiming their surprise at seeing clearly an alien spacecraft, and the kind of phenomenon that would be more ridiculed and laughed at today, than it would have back in like 1991.

That commercial itself didn’t necessarily scare me as much as it kind of fascinated me, but that night, I had the mother of nightmares involving invading UFOs and alien abductions from little green creatures that were closer to Mars Attacks! than Aliens, and my life was not the same for about the next two years.

After that nightmare, I had this fear of UFOs and the aliens that rode aboard them that wanted nothing more than to snatch me off in the middle of the night and take me into space for god knows what purpose.  The result of such naïve fear was that after the sun set and the night sky engulfed the world, I simply refused to look at the sky.  ALL blinking lights in the sky were unquestionably alien space ships at night, and if I didn’t see them, they didn’t exist, and if they didn’t exist, they couldn’t swoop down and abduct me.

I shit you not, this is how I thought when I was a kid.

Obviously, not looking at the sky once night fell was a very tall order on the grand scheme of things, as, as much it would be nice to simply not do anything once night fell, that’s just not always possible.  Especially in the winter time, when the sun set at like 5:30 pm, and there were still plenty of things to accomplish in the evening that required going outside like going to Tae Kwon Do classes, piano lessons, or running errands with mom.  Every single one of those endeavors resulted in me sitting down in the car and refusing to look up out the windows with fear of seeing any sort of blinking lights in the sky.

Occasionally, in my peripheral vision, I would catch a glimpse of blinking lights in the sky, and internally, I would be pretty much having a panic attack.  The UFO ship clearly knows that I saw it, and the only way to silence me would be to abduct me.

Where I was living at the time, there was a tower of some sort not far from the house.  I’m not sure if it was just a power line, or transmitter of some sort, but whatever it was, it had a stationery blinking light on top of it.  This fucking thing, even though I knew what it was, was still the source of lots of inadvertent anxiety during those years, because I more than I’d liked to have had, caught a glimpse of its blinking light in the middle of the night.

Halloween was pretty much the worst holiday in the world during this period of time, because it pretty much meant spending 3-4 hours outside in the middle of the night.  Seriously, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t have done it at all, but I had neighborhood friends, and in spite of my fears, Halloween candy was always a good thing to have.  So under the belief that in the guise of a costume and in the company of friends, I would be safe from the UFOs, I went out trick or treating regardless.  Although, I remember letting my guard down for a moment one year, and seeing a truly scurry looking UFO in the sky that made me clench of cringe internally while trying to remain excited about trick or treating.

I lucked out the next year, because I got sick during Halloween.  So instead of going out into the scary UFO filled sky night, I stayed home with A Link to the Past, and had no risk of seeing or being abducted by UFOs.

Obviously, this is something that I eventually grew out of, as I suppose I began to wonder why I was so scurred of UFOs in the first place.  By the time I was in the sixth grade is when the X-Files began airing, and the first episodes revolved around UFOs and the abduction of Mulder’s sister.  Instead of being frightened by this new show that was clearly meant to test my courage, I confronted it head on, and actually became a fan of the show until FOX fucked the scheduling and subsequently the show like a Thai hooker.

Either way, sometimes it’s amusing to see something that reminds me of my childhood, and to take a look back and reminisce about it, even if it makes me sound like a gigantic sissy.  But there really was a period in my formative years where I simply was afraid to look at the sky at night.  Funny how things work out, because I certainly enjoy looking up at a clear night sky these days, now that I’m all old and shit.

I wonder if there are kids today that were like how I was, and are afraid of blinking lights and flying things in the middle of the night?  Because as often as I travel, I’ve probably been on an airplane traveling in the night, that some kid like me had inadvertently glimpsed at, and thought was a UFO full of aliens that want to abduct them.

Could have just as easily just said “Quark sucks”

This is a good article that pretty much gives a detailed explanation of Quark’s monumental fall off of graphic design software food chain, and how they’ll pretty much never recover from it.  They should probably liquidate their assets and curl up into a ball and die, or at least try and rip off InDesign and make a cost-efficient alternative that addresses the things about InDesign that people don’t like, but then again Quark was no bulletproof vest at avoiding irrational crashes in their own right, so they should probably stick with the former idea.

It’s a decent read, and way better of an explanation than I could give, because my disdain for Quark runs so deep and exhaustive that I’m pretty much only capable of simply saying “Quark sucks,” which isn’t incorrect, but is devoid of specific details.

Seriously, there is nothing on the planet that was made in Quark that I couldn’t rebuild faster, more efficiently and less resource-intensive in InDesign.

Because Quark sucks.