Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 260: Baja Sausage and Imitation Crab Meat

     My dad had one of those cookout days today. He picked up some high class sausage and a package of imitation from whole foods. The fake crab was used as dip for the whole wheat crackers he bought. I just looked up what exactly imitation crab was and now I pretty disgusted. Wiki tells me that it is a hunk of finely processed and highly pulverized white fish flesh that is shaped and cured to resemble crab legs. That just sounds gnarly. It's probably good that I didn't know what I was really eating because I think I would of had second thoughts. As far as the taste goes, it wasn't that bad at all, but good luck getting me to eat it after I learned that Wiki used the word 'pulverized' to describe how it's made. Gross. The sausage goes through basically the same violent process as the fake crab, but it doesn't freak me out as much (I think its cause I've always known that about them). And, much like the fake crab, it tasted a lot better than how I assumed something that had just been pulverized would taste. I guess that's a good thing?

Day 259: Uncommon cure for the common cold

     I heard of a scientific study that found that 'if your getting sick, you should look up pictures of ill people so your body's immune system will kick start'. Apparently it really works because your mind sees the sick people and prepares itself for illness by making sure that the immune system is prepped and ready to go. I heard about this a while ago and have been waiting for a chance to test it's validity. Fortunately, today I felt like poop. So I had myself one extensive Google image search of sick and ill people. I saw a bunch of pictures of miserable looking people with red noses and baggy eyes for the most part. Hopefully this crackpot approach to the cold works, cause I really hate feeling sick. =(

Day 258: Chipotle Cups

     Have you ever noticed the little blurbs and stories that are plastered on the sides of the cups at Chipotle restaurants? They are all written by fellow burrito lovers and submitted online. The stories can be about anything that is Chipotle related. Anything from the food to the straws and lighting fixtures is fair game. If the guys at Chipotle like what you've wrote, they will put your story on their cups for everyone to read. I thought that I'd have a go with this so I decided to write two entries. One was from the perspective of the sneeze guard and the other was about how overwhelming it can be to try to define all the flavors you might experience in your burrito. So they are both sent in and if they actually like them, Chipotle will contact me to let me know that I'm awesome.

Day 257: Indoor Camping

     Summer is coming to an end and I'm just now realizing that I still have some summer living do to. I've yet to spend a night under the stars telling ghost stories and peeing on trees (I did spend a weekend at my grandparent's cabin, but that's way too luxurious to be considered camping. So I kicked my brother off the Nintendo Wii so there would be enough room to set up my one man tent in the middle of our living room. I garnished the tent with a sleeping bag and even some candles to add to the effect. I spent the night surrounded in an outdoor atmosphere without leaving the house. The outdoorsy smell that the tent gave off made the experience all the more convincing. From there, Sean and I watched a skate video while I lay sprawled on the floor of the tent. It actually ended being a pretty fun night, but the following morning was bad news for my super sore back. It was still fun.

Day 256: Sign a petition

     It was hard for me to find a cause that I really believed in while I was browsing through the list of e-petitions on the website, so I gave up on trying to be noble and just picked a random petition to sign so I could go to bed. The petition I ended up signing was the 'Give thanks to Jane Goodall for 50 years of research'. I don't really see why that cause needs a petition, but I signed it anyways. Now I, along wit the 23,636 other petitioners are going to be bugged via e-mail about petitions for the rest of our lives, thanks Jane.

Day 255: Lock Picking

     I was thinking to myself about how I wanted some more desirable skills. After some pondering about what skills are cool verses which ones are lame, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to learn how to pick locks. I looked up tutorials on the two strategies that I knew of, the one that used a paper clip, and the one that used the credit card. The videos on both of the techniques seemed to be easy enough so I had a go with the door knob for my room. I assured myself that with the right amount of luck and enough time, I would totally be able to break into my own room. Needless to say, I never did break into my room. I wasn't ready to give up, so I lock myself out of my house and picked at the lock on the front door. Periodically, I would bang on the door and have my brother unlock it so I could asses what I was doing wrong. But again, I couldn't get past the door. All I had to show for my work was a mangled paper clip and Safeway Club Card (and a hefty amount of frustration). I decided to call it quits before a suspecting neighbor could call the cops on me.

Day 254: Speech

     I learned a very important lesson in my public speaking class today. I learned that I'm as not good of a bull-shitter that I previously thought. Today was my first speech, it was an ungraded, very relaxed introductory speech. All you do is go up to the front of the class and talk about a time where you got in trouble as a child. After a couple minutes, you wrap up, everyone applauds, and you sit down so the next person can go. I've given many presentations and I never gave them any though (and I wasn't about to give this one any). I didn't practice or write anything down. I was just going to go up there and talk about whatever came to mind (that was my mistake).
It was my turn to go and I walked up to the podium and mentally decided that I was going to talk about the time I got handcuffed and fined for skateboarding down the sidewalk in downtown Denver. But it wasn't till I started my speech that I realized that I had no idea what I was doing. My mind went blank and I just said "OK" and "Alright" a couple times. I wasn't doing to well. I struggled in the beginning, but built up some momentum after a little while. I finished up my totally improvised story and walked back to my desk. I learned quickly that speeches are in a category all their own. They aren't like informal conversations where you can rely on bullshitting. I didn't well, which is fine because it wasn't graded, but also because it made me realize that a little bit of preparation can go a long way. Don't worry, my next speech will be better.

Day 253: Bake a Cake

     It was my friend Cody's birthday today so it was obvious that cake was going to be eaten, and it was also obvious that I would be the one baking it. The last time I baked anything was that doughnut that was (to put it nicely) terrible, so my culinary confidence was running low. I gathered the ingredients and double checked every step before going forward. All the measurements were exact and that seemed to pay off because I was pleasantly surprised when I took the cake out of the oven. It looked good, like, good enough to eat. And it even tasted good, like, good enough for more than one slice. I was proud, and relieved that I avoided the disappointment of two consecutive kitchen disasters. We enjoyed our cake while we watched skate videos for the rest of the night, it was a good night indeed.

Day 252: Homemade Teeth Whitening

     A helpful YouTube video told me about a cheap and easy way to whiten my teeth, and because I recently got addicted to coffee, I figured teeth whitening couldn't hurt. Check out what the video had to say:
     So I got my dad to try this little home recipe with me. The two of us stood in the kitchen, eyeballing our shot glasses of hydrogen peroxide and water in one hand, and our toothbrushes in the other. We were surprised to find that the taste of the solution really wasn't that noticeable. It wasn't until after I spat it out that the taste kicked in (Guess that's why they call it the aftertaste). Then we both stood silently brushing the acid away. The process is supposed to be repeated a couple more times over a week or so. So I didn't see any results yet.

Day 251: Backwards Movie

     Ever seen the movie Momento? I did, and its almost as awesome as it is confusing. Basically, its the story of a guy that sustained brain damage after seeing his wife being murdered. He suffers from short term memory loss and he uses notes and poloroid pictures to help himself figure out who he is and who killed his wife. The story is told in anti-chronological order so the audience knows exactly what the main character knows. It's smart, interesting and completely mind bending. I actually had to re-watch most of it to fully understand what the hell I just saw. As far as mind-benders go, this one was the hardest one to follow for me. But I totally recommend it.

Day 250: Presidential Prep

     I am usually proud to say that I don't get into politics. I never thought that I would bother with that whole voting thing, and I always saw politicians as greedy lying scumbags. For the most part this belief still holds true, but now that I'm old enough to vote, I feel like I should have a healthy understanding of what goes on in the political world. I quickly found out that there were wayyyyyyyy more candidates than I assumed there would be. is a site that seemed to offer some trustworthy info on a surplus of potential presidents. There's no way I could get all the facts on all the candidates before the election. Although I did some very introductory research, I didn't find a candidate that I would put my money on...yet. To make things easy, I think I'll just run for president. Vote for me!

Day 249: Eco-toothbrush

     I was strolling up and down the isles of the green section of grocery store (that's where I got the organic bar of soap) when I saw the eco-toothbrush. Luckily I was in need of both a new toothbrush and a new thing for the day. The brush is made from recyclable materials and the cool thing is, the packaging that the toothbrush comes in doubles as an envelope that you can use to send back to the company when your done with the brush. They then recycle the toothbrush to make more. I thought that the idea was cool so I bought it. As far as the quality of the brushing goes, it seems to work fine. In a couple of months I'll send it back and get a new one and feel like I'm a great person or something.

Day 248: Grilled Zucchini

     I found out that I don't like anything about zucchini, especially the way it's spelt. I wasn't too crazy about the taste, but what really grinded my gears was when I was trying to text the word 'zukini' and having no idea how to spell it correctly. For a food that has so little flavor, it's name really packs a punch. Point is, I think I'm going to keep my distance from zucchini and it's complete disregard for English mechanics.

Day 247:Coffee

    I bought my first coffee maker today. It was 8 bucks at Walmart, "no" wasn't an option. This challenge is a bit more abstract that most of the other ones because I've definitely had coffee before. That's not what this entry is about. And it's not about the act of buying a coffee maker either (even though technically I've never done it before). This is about the idea of what it means that I have finally decided to buy my own coffee maker. It's the idea that I'm "ready to have an addiction". Buying a coffee maker is a total game changer. It's saying that I don't want the ability to wake up on my own anymore. That I want to pay for each cup of boiling hot Colombian joe that will obliterate my tongue just as bad as the day before. That might be enough to make some people rethink their coffee drinking decision, but not me. The way I see it, I'm tired every morning anyways and if I'm about to drink something that is promised to energize me, it might as well be coffee. It's those intense energy drinks and shots that freak me out. I have no idea whats in them and they smell like total ass. Besides, I've grown fond of the taste of coffee in the past couple months. Here's to a milestone in my life; the day I decided that liquid crack was right for me.
With any luck, I'll get Sean hooked too

Day 246: Lumberjack

     I was spending the weekend up at my grandparent's mountain cabin. If there's a place to go to try new things, it's there. We needed firewood and my Grandfather, being the mountain man that he is, took me with him to go lumberjacking. We equipped ourselves with boots helmets and chainsaws and proceeded to find a tree worthy of getting chopped. What we found was a massive guy that must have been dead for months. The bark was dry and chipped off easily from the infestation of beetles. We oiled up the chain of the saw as my Grandfather gave me a short briefing about what was about to go down. He told me that I would be carving a slight wedge about halfway into one side the truck. Then I'd cut from the other side till the two lacerations met in the middle. Grandpa secured the top of the tree with a long rope that he harnessed around himself at the other end. He was pulling on it in hopes that the tension would make sure that the tree would fall in the direction that would cause the least amount of damage. I carved through the decaying bark as my Grandpa pulled. Wood shavings were flying everywhere, but the tree fell without a hitch, From there, we chopped off the branches and sectioned the trunk into manageable pieces. We wasted no time lighting all of that wood that night and having one hell of a campfire.

Also: Earlier that day, my mom, brother, grandfather and I were hiking about when we discovered a couple little shrimp looking things swimming in a small puddle. I've never seen anything like it and so I'm claiming credit for the discovery of this potentially new species. They were so weird looking!
Freaky lookin

Day 245: Kakuro

     Kakuro is the close cousin of the Sudoku game that I was recently introduced to. I was telling my grandparents about my experience with Sudoku and they assured me that I would love Kakuro. My Grandmother handed me the Kakuro book she had been working on and I thumbed through the pages, looking for the beginner section. In a lot of ways, the two puzzle games a very similar. Kakuro is basically a mathematical crossword puzzle. The numbers on the edge of the puzzle are the clues you use to fill in the empty squares. All squares must be filled in with the digits 1-9, and they should add up to the number that is on the edge of the puzzle. I find that this game is a bit harder than Sudoku, mostly cause I suck at math. Luckily I did manage to get the hold of the game and even completed a couple of the puzzles.

Day 244: Book on Tape

     I downloaded the first 5 chapters of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King onto my Ipod so I could listen to it while I drove around town today. I found that it's harder than I thought it would be to pay attention to both the book and the road. Things got really hectic when some idiot cut me off (totally 100% his fault) and almost hit me. I spent the next 10 minutes yelling obscenities and displaying inappropriate hand gestures to help cool down. It wasn't till miles down the road that I even noticed that the book recording was even playing, so I had to rewind the tape to right before I was almost a victim of vehicular manslaughter so I wouldn't be confused later on in the book. Everything from stop lights to text messages became a total distraction to my book, and I have a hard enough time focusing as it is. It was apparent that the book on tape wasn't going to be the best way for me to read. When I read, I prefer the room to be silent and the distractions to be minimal. Plus I didn't really care for the speed at which the speaker would read. She was too slow and that annoyed me. I've only got 5 more CD's left to listen to, hopefully I can get through them without too many car crashes.

Day 243: Sudoku

     Sudoku is sweeping the nation, or at least that's what I read on the cover of the Sudoku book I was holding. Before today, I had no idea how to play the game, so I spent about 10 minutes learning the objective and then about 25 minutes trying to actually complete the objective. For those of you that don't know what Sudoku is, it's a puzzle game that uses the digits 1-9 to fill out the game board. The goal is to fill up the 9x9 board with those digits without reusing any of the numbers in the same line, column or square. Each puzzle give you a couple of numbers to start out with but its your job to fill in the rest. My first puzzle took me the better part of a half hour to complete but the four or so that I did after didn't give me as much trouble. I liked the game enough to download the free version onto my phone so I can play it when I should be doing homework and stuff.

Day 242: CherryTomatoes

     Kelly from work brought in a basket of veggies from her garden with her today and said that we could all take some home. Out of the pile, I found a couple of little red balls that I assumed to be tomatoes. She said that they were and told me that they were called cherry tomatoes. They are those tomatoes that are found in the salads a Wendy's. Some people may be surprised to find that I've never tried one of these, but when you take into account how often I eat tomatoes and how often I go to Wendy's, it makes total sense. In fact, before this project, I didn't even know that I liked tomatoes (well liked them a little). So I took a couple cherry tomatoes home and tried them. One bite was all it took for me to find out that I wasn't really digging them. I think it was because I was just eating them by themselves, there weren't any Wendy's salads nearby. They weren't that great, but no that bad, next time I'll try them in a salad.

Day 241: Start a Religion

I don't mean to offend anyone with what I'm about to say, please let that be known.

Side-note: This entry is really unorganized and whatnot, I'm just trying to get it all down paper first.

     Religion is a touchy subject for a lot of people so I won't dive into too much detail about this particular challenge. All you need to know is that I am not in any, way, shape or form religious. To be honest, I believe that religion is the single most detrimental thing to ever happen to humanity. I think that religion started out with good intentions, to control the behavior of entire populations by enticing them with a heavenly reward, but those in power have twisted and turned the foundations to their advantage. I think of religion in the same way that I think of government. They both are established to protect and dictate the lives of the people (even if you were bigger and stronger than everyone else, that didn't mean that you could simply take whatever you wanted/needed) Both organizations work on a positive and negative reinforcement system. We are told that if your a bad person, you will end up in jail and then go to hell. If your a good person, you will obtain the American dream and eventually go to heaven. They are two similar strategies that both are controlled by an omnipresent being.

     My religion is more like a value that I entertain myself with from time to time. Its nothing groundbreaking, but its something to think about. Its the idea that you are in charge of your own life. Granted, its a bit simplistic (I know that "shit happens", but still) and totally obvious, but its not as shallow of an idea as it may seem.

Its the notion that maybe you should stop blaming or praising someone else (man in the sky) for how your life panned out.
 I admit that life is a gift, but not in the same way that life was granted to us by a mystic being.
The way I see it, you've got one shot to make your life worth living, quit trying to live your life to the approval of the ideology of people from thousands of years ago. Live for you, not for what is expected of you. We are a species of trial and error. That's just how we learn. Almost all of humanities facts in the past were dead wrong at one point. Even great intellectuals like Aristotle had their share of facts and understandings that were later proven wrong. Everyone, including Aristotle "knew" that the Earth was the center of the universe. It wasn't till much later that humanity discovered that they were totally wrong. We've been wrong about basically everything at least once, but the important thing to remember is that even though we've been wrong about a monumental amount of things, we've always kept an open mind on later solidifying or disproving the theory when more evidence or better technology arrives. That has been the case with everything from the shape of the Earth to the inner workings of the human body. We're constantly redefining our definition of the world before us. We do this for everything except religion. For me, the word religion has a very ethnocentric connotation. It's gotten people to believe that others are somehow different from them just because of their faith. We view people from other religions as "them" as if they were an entirely different species, and I don't like that. We are all the same, but religion forces us to ignore that fact.

I've decided to name my look-on-life Willful Suspension of Disbelief, after the cinematic term (the cinematic term is actually willful suspension of belief). See, in movies, they strive to make an unbelievable story believable. The movie may be fictitious, but they will throw in an equally fictitious scientific explanation so that the audience will allow themselves to believe the story for long enough for them to understand what exactly is going on. I think that religion works in the same sort of fashion. As people, we understand life's basic facts. We understand the fundamentals like how gravity works and why lightning exists. We have a reason, and a logical and scientific explanation that can be proven every time. We understand how our world works, but for some reason, we allow ourselves to believe in the most impossible ideas that many religions suggest. For example, we believe that the virgin birth really happened. We believe that even after it's common knowledge that the idea of it is impossible. The same goes for Noah's ark and the giant fish story. They sound more far-fetched then most fairy tales, yet they are closely regarded as historic facts. People know that these things are completely preposterous, but they allow themselves to believe in them for long enough for them to get the jist of the big picture, religion.
     My religion will be based on the ability to not simply believe what you are told. Just because it's in a book or in a priest's rant, doesn't make it factual. Rely on what you know and what you believe, and don't be afraid to challenge them from time to time. It's about living for yourself, but taking those who will be affected into account as well  It's a religion with no guidelines, no rules. It's about doing what you think is right, not because you don't want to end up in hell, but because it's simply the right thing to do. It's about seeing everybody from any and every religion as humans, seeing them in the same light that you see yourself. It's about you and everyone around you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 240: Stuffed Clam

     When it comes to seafood I tend to keep some distance. If it used to swim in the ocean, I don't want anything to do with it. So it was no surprise that when I found out that stuffed clam was on the menu for the evening, I knew it was time to break some seafood barriers. Along with steak, shish kabobs and corn on the cob, my plate was almost unbearably full. I navigated my way through the meal, making sure to save the stuffed clam for the finally. Once I got to the clam, I noticed that it tasted a lot like chicken. It really didn't have the fish aftertaste, so I actually ended up liking it for the most part. By the time I had finished, my plate and clam shell were spotless.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 239: First Cartoon Ever

     I watched the first cartoon ever and you can too!
     I had no idea that cartoons were so politically incorrect. I cracked up when Mickey plays the goat and other farm animals as instruments though.

Day 238: Air Show

Look at that thing!!!
     I love how this challenge came to be because it was one of those times where everything just fell into place. I had just gotten done skating with my brother and we were on our way to our mom's house when I said something along the lines of "Okay, keep your eyes peeled for something new for me". My words were still echoing through the car when I caught a glimpse of what looked like an old school fighter jet from my peripheral. Under further inspection, we found out that we were driving past the (free) Bloomfield airshow. A new experience had presented itself to me and I knew better than to simply keep driving. Without warning, I cutoff a few cars over several lanes of traffic to make the next exit (its a small price to pay for a challenge like this). Sean and I parked and began to climb a massive mound that led to the base of the airport where the show was being held. We watched as giant mechanical monsters roamed the air. I was catching the drift that this was more of a showcasing event; where they just show off rare planes instead of performing death defying stunts. Most of the planes looked like ones from vintage war movies. The paint designs were awesome and schtuff. The grand finally was this ridiculous looking plane that was called the B-2 stealth bomber. It looked like a giant triangle and seemed to float around much like how I would assume a UFO might. The thing was monstrous and totally awesome. Fun times and sunburns all around!

Day 237: 100 Trick Challenge

     The hundred trick challenge is a skateboarding game of consistency that I made up a while back. It's really simple, but it can get a little tricky. All you do is try and land the same trick 100 times in a row without falling or messing up. Since coming up with the game, I've never beaten it. I've gotten really close once (all the way up to the 96th trick), but never 100. I decided to try the challenge with a super easy trick to increase my odds of success. I went with an axle stall (or 50 stall, or 50/50 stall. whatever you prefer) witch is on of the most basic mini ramp tricks to learn. I did end up landing 100 axle stalls in a row. I didn't have my camera with me and so I just threw in some random pictures/video of me skating to perty up the blog post for ya. It wasn't hard, just really time consuming and it made me pretty dizzy. I admit that this is one of my lame(r) challenges, but it did give me a good reason for an extensively fun mini ramp session.

Here's an old skate video of mine:

Day 236: Infomercial

     I was introduced to a product known as Energy Crystals from an advert that I had seen. Instantly, I looked them up on the 'As Seen On TV' site and ordered them without thinking twice. I've been waiting a solid 2 weeks for them to arrive and I'm starting to get the feeling that they aren't coming at all (and to be honest, I'm kind of alright with that). I fulfilled my duty; to order something from an infomercial. It's not my fault if the stupid crystals never show up. So I guess I've learned a valuable lesson today. It's to continue to never pay attention to any infomercial and never (under any circumstances) throw any money to their cause. Stupid energy crystals.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 235: Beano

     Just like that whole ex-lax fiasco, if there was a day to try it, this was the day for it. I had to use every ounce of strength and will power I had to keep from crop-dusting everybody in sight today. I felt like a balloon that had been over inflated with mustard gas. That probably wasn't the best way to put it, but it was probably the most accurate. As soon as I got off work, I ran to the flatulent end of a convince store and picked up a bottle of Beano (the stuff that makes you stop farting so much). I two pills and was thrilled when I felt the pressure (and ultimately the odor) fade away. It worked great and I am now a believer. It's just too bad I didn't try it earlier in the day. Poop.

Day 234: Baby Food

     Of course I've had baby food before, but do I remember it? Nope! I thought that I'd take this chance to experience baby food like it was the first time. I picked up a jar of banana flavored baby mush and split it 50/50 with my brother. To be honest, I felt totally retarded when I realized that I was spending my afternoon voluntarily eating baby food with my brother out of boredom. My worries dulled down after I came to the conclusion that baby food isn't that bad. Its got the consistency of apple sauce, and it didn't taste much like any bananas that I had ever eaten, but oddly enough, it was kind of good. My brother took a special liking to the taste and even offered to finish off whatever I wouldn't eat. I don't think that I'll be eating much more baby food in the future, but you never know, maybe I'll get stuck in a serious case of nostalgia sometime.

Day 233: Mento's Bomb

     We've all seen those videos. The YouTube clip of some guy pouring those little mints into a 2 litter of diet Coke and erupting a geyser of malty soda. I, along with Mac, made one of my dreams come true tonight when we reenacted that famous internet clip in the parking lot of a Walmart. All I'll say about it is this, generic diet Coke is 68 cents at Walmart, I've never had that much fun for that cheap. Try itttttttt!!!!!!

Day 232: Funky Cheese

     I've seen this stuff in grocery stores for as long as I can remember, and I've never been able to decide whether or not this stuff looks appetizing. I needed to get to the bottom of this mystery, so I got some funky cheese and tried it with some toast and crackers. Aside from the almonds that they threw in and the fact that it looked like a ball of vomit, the cheese was actually pretty good. I've never really disliked cheese, but that't just cause I love me some cheese. The cheese sucked to spread on bread, but it was still tasty. Not much to say about this one; ugly but tasty.
Puke cheese

Day 231: Doughnut

I need to stay out of the kitchen
     So far, I have cooked up treats along the lines of burritos, salsa dip, bread and cookies for the project. I felt like it was about time I got my hands dirty making some doughnuts (or as it unfortunately turned out, one giant doughnut). I've been getting better at cooking and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't getting a little bit of confidence as well. Doughnuts sounded both delicious and like it was within my cooking capabilities. So I did what I always do, I looked up a video on YouTube, jotted down some notes, and simply went for it. I had all the ingredients and combined them to produce a batter that was very hopeful tasting. Everything was going well, which is why I was so surprised when everything went to shit so quickly. I tried placing individual rings of batter on the cooking pan to bake, but the batter refused to work with me. It was all sticky and messy. That's when and why I decided to just make one giant doughnut that covered the entirety of the pan. It happened to be my sister's (Sarah) birthday and so my brother and I dug up a makeshift birthday candle and donated the doughnut to the cause. We took the over-sized pastry out of the oven, jabbed the candle in it, and sang 'happy birthday' to Sarah. It was shortly after the first bite that each of us realized "This doughnut sucks". It was terrible, like God awful stuff. Nobody finished their piece (could ya blame um?) and my cooking confidence was shot down to next to nothing once again. Jeez.

Day 230:Rubix Cube

     I tried, I really did. I went at it for hours, and I got close a couple of times...but I never got it. It, was a rubix cube that had been completely and totally solved by none other than me. I wanted to solve the puzzle with nothing more than some newly acquired knowledge and a couple hours to waste. My friend Alex (who is both a rubix cube master, and the proud owner of very broken-in cube) went over the ground rules with me. He explained to me that there is a logical way to solve it, and that randomly fidgeting with it as fast as I could would never solve the puzzle. He taught me a couple of algorithms that were sure to help me on my jigsaw journey. He handed me all the tools I would need to solve it, all I had to do was apply them. Instead, I spent the next two and a half hours not solving the puzzle. I tried for so long and mentally mapped out my progress constantly. I felt like I tried every possible solution except the right one. At one point, I had roughly 75% of the cube solved. Everything except the top row was in the right place, but I could't seem to complete it. I eventually handed the cube to Alex and watched him become puzzled at what I had done. He could't solve it because I didn't stick to the algorithms very well and that jacked up his system (but it all looked the same to me). I'm not ready to say that the cube has defeated me, just that I'm taking a break from it.

Check out this stop motion short I made a couple years ago about rubix cubes. I just wish I could solve one for real!

Day 229: Omega 3 slurps

     My mom is into some weird stuff. So it seemed only natural that if I rummaged through her house long enough, I would stumble onto a new thing for me to try. In her kitchen, I found a bright orange box of some hippie looking vitamin packets. They were like those hot sauce packets from Taco Bell, except they were filled with omega 3 instead of diarrhea inducing salsa. So I took the easy way out by snagging the vitamin slurp, eating it, and using it as my new thing for the day (whatever, I've done worse). The only word that could correctly describe the omega thang would be; vitaminy. It tasted like a Caprisun of over-saturated Flintstones vitamins. I don't even know what the hell omega 3 is, so I have no idea if it's new for me or not. All I know is that those packets probably do something good for me, so I'll probably snag a couple more next time I'm there.

Day 228: BASE

     I don't know if you guys remember my 'interview practice' challenge from a couple weeks back, but it seemed to have worked. I ended up getting the job and today was my first day. The 'job' is at an elementary school that's a mild mile north of my house (It's probably faster to get to on my bike). Basically, I (and some others) will be watching over a hundred or so kids everyday after school. I've been trying to get this job at a number of schools for the better part of a year and I can't tell you how good it feels to finally get that welcoming call after the interview. I came in today to start my first paid playground session and met most of the staff. Everyone is nice and seems like they will be easy to get along with. I tried to memorize as many of the kid's names as I could within the first hour, but that wasn't about to happen. I learned the names of the trouble-makers almost instantaneously and was pushing kids on the swings in no time. I think I'm gonna like it here.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 227: Energy Mints

     I was at a gas station when I stumbled upon a ripoff I couldn't refuse. Energy mints. A two pack of energizing mints for a reasonable price? Count me in! I bought them and shared one to my friend Alex. Seconds after popping them into our mouths, we glanced at each other in disgust. The mints tasted like ass and I was no longer happy about my decision to buy them. Alex spat his out moments later, but I hung in there and suckled out every last energy educed drop. I ended up having a terrible aftertaste tease my tongue for the rest of the night and experienced no obvious boost in energy. What a ripoff!

Day 226: Spam

Spam + Liquid Eggs = Bad Decision 
     Spam has always disgusted me. There's just something about it that makes me squeal inside. After trying it tonight, my fear and loathing of spam has been solidified by 10 fold. In all honesty, I think a big part of my fear was that I would secretly fall in love with the taste of spam and would be forced to live my life in shadows to keep my low quality meat addiction on the down low. Luckily that didn't happen, even a little bit. I tried the spam raw and cooked and I discovered that both were equally terrible. Seriously, spam was one of the grossest things I've ever eaten. Gnarly!

Day 225: Ally Cat Bike Race

Two wheeled warriors 

     The ally cat bike race is a bike messenger's kind of race, meaning, it's a race with no set route. There are 4 checkpoints that are scattered around the city of Boulder, and as the biker, it is your job to map out the best route to take to make it to all four destinations and back to the finish line within the one hour time limit. Because I am obviously not a bike messenger, I decided to stick with some friends who were. I don't know the ins and outs of Boulder as well as they do so I would be doomed without them. There was about 35 bikers that showed up to the rainy starting line and even less finished (me). I don't want to say that I quit the race, I'll just say that I realized my chances of actually finishing the race after being left in the dust by my bike buddies. Here's what went down, there were four of us in our little group (Alex, Kalin, Jake and I). Jake was borrowing a bike to use for the race. He was a bit surprised to find out that his brakes refused to work as we sped down the first of many rainy hills. He was gaining speed and losing control and I had never seen his eyes as wide or skin as pale as right then. He managed to slow down a little by dragging his feet on the slippery wet pavement and then aimed for a patch of grass to cushion his fall. I wanted to stop and check things out but Alex and Kalin kept pedaling so I followed suit.

The first checkpoint was the post office a couple miles up the road, we had to take a picture of the building with a cellphone to prove that we actually visited it. After a quick snapshot we were off again, this time to Chautuqua park. I was right behind Alex and Kalin and already feeling the burn of deep breathing and heavy biking. I went to brush the sweat from my brow when my hat flew off. Without hesitation I stopped, turned around, and retrieved the hat. By the time I was ready to bike again my guides were so far off in the distance that there was no way I would be able to catch up. But that doesn't mean that I didn't try. I stalked them for a couple miles as they made their way to the second checkpoint. I finally lost view of them after I hit a red light and it was about then when I decided to call it quits. Even if I had made it to the second stop, then what? I had no clue where the 3rd and 4th were. Fortunately I quit right when I was passing Alex and Kalin's house, so I went there, filled up on water and saw the lucky-to-be-alive-Jake relaxing on the couch. Alex ended up winning the 'fastest rookie' award. Jake and I met up with Kalin and Alex at the finish line and found out that neither of us ended up in last place. Apparently there was still some guy who was lost in the streets of Boulder and couldn't find his way back to the finish line. Lessons learned for next time: Ride a trustworthy bike, don't wear a hat, and know where you are going.
My 1st and only checkpoint