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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Edrick's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
5:30 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kite-Eating_Tree
I was looking for a Charlie Brown baseball quote to start this off, to make a correlation to the Yankees' unfortunate finish to their season, and found this instead! Wikipedia actually has an entry for the kite-eating tree! It's quite funny!!!

Anyway, after a few months, things in my life are settled and about as calm as they'll ever be. Work has been an absolute pleasure and has been getting consistently better for a while now. I've been given more responsibility over this time, and have been learning a great deal about the inner workings of the company, and of the industry as a whole. You learn alot in college about the technical aspects of your major, but (especially at RPI), you learn very little to prepare you for the office environment, for business, and for all of the various relationships, connections, clients, travel, etc...that actually makes up a real job with a professional company. I'm not really sure where I am headed in the long run, but as long as I am continuously learning and growing, there'll be no complaints on my end.

The fall is my favorite time of the year, without a doubt. The weather is perfect, farms are open, you have holidays and time off to see friends and family, you have Halloween (apparently now the 2nd highest grossing holiday after Christmas), and it's the time of year where school starts back up for students and where the year wraps up for many at their jobs. It's a great time for travel, reflection, and maybe some occasional insanity.

On a total aside, Stephen Colbert is a very, very funny man! I am addicted to his show...and his book (I Am America, and So Can You!) is hilarious! He has an amazing interviewing style, is very quick on his feet, intelligent, and knows more than enough about how the world works to turn it into satire with what seems to be so little effort. I love it! He definitely deserves the "Stephen Colbert Award For The Literary Excellence"!!!

On the subject of the literary excellence, I am making it a strong point to read regularly again. I used to read daily (for at least 30-60 minutes) and this was a good thing. I read quite a bit online...news, science articles, Wikipedia, and other interesting things, but that doesn't take the place of, say, the Wheel Of Time. Needless to say, if I were to read Robert Jordan's series completely on the computer, I would be upgrading the prescription for my glasses shortly thereafter. I've got enough books to keep me occupied for a long, long time :-)

As I've been keeping very current on world events, I've formed many ideas as to what I really want to see done in this poor world of ours...much of it technical in nature, such as space exploration. I hope that our growing competition with China results in us putting more effort into areas like this where we can stand to gain so much through in a short span of time. A great deal of our technology and modern scientific knowledge is tied to our space research and exploration. We've continued the technical advances, but have languished in all areas of further exploration...much of our space data comes from probes sent long ago. I'd love to see many of the inequities of the world dealt with in a better manner, but I see that as even less of a probability right now. I love community service and will continue to do all I can to try and help the world around me (and encourage friends to do the same), and combining that with the service people all over the world do, know that a difference can be made, even if it isn't always a big headline in the papers. I try to be as positive as possible and help as many people as I can do so given my time and abilities. It boggles my mind that so much drama and simply ridiculous behavior goes on around us all on such a regular basis. The world needs all the help it can get, and I sometimes am left speechless by some of the selfish or otherwise pointless/theatrical actions of others. If something (anything) isn't going to help a situation or do anything positive for those around you, then why do it? Why make a situation worse out of selfishness or cause pain when you could be doing something better? The answers here are obvious, but I wonder why it takes some people so long to learn and why some never learn. I sometimes see a 5 year old act out more compassion than a 15 year old due to ignorance of human selfishness, and then see a 15 year old act out more compassion than a 25 year old due to an enthusiasm for something new, and a 25 year old act out more compassion than a 35 year old due to less connections, political leanings, and history...and so on, and so on...we can often learn alot by stepping back and seeing the actions of those in different walks of life, both older and younger...suck up pride and realize we can do better and it's more than within our power to do so. Forgiving mistakes in life I find to be an easy thing for me...forgiving selfishness and negligence is much harder. I give more credit to those who try, acknowledge mistakes, learn, and/or fail, than those who would rather see themselves as the center of attention and self-righteousness and not be willing to grow for the better. On a barely related note...I've left politics alone mostly...I don't know what to make of our growingly insane political landscape or the candidates yet. I care about what I consider real issues (economy, security, personal freedom, health care, education, science/research, etc...) and much of what's in the news doesn't fall into these categories at all. We'll see, as we always do every 4 years : )

Other random bits of stuff in my life:
---Holmes & Watson trivia is very fun! Will I dress up for Halloween? I dunno about that :-P
---I have new recipes! My love of cooking has extended to Thai Peanut Chicken, Garlic + Artichoke Shrimp w/ homemade pasta (I never knew you could make homemade pasta until Theresa showed me how!!!), Peach + Orange Chicken, Cashew Encrusted Tilapia, and Channa Masala. I enjoy cooking greatly...yum...yum...YUM!
---I am looking forward to traveling starting next year...overseas travel. So many places to go and so little time it seems, Tokyo, Philippines, Greece (Gritaly!), England, and many more places. Seeing Canada and all of the US is great, but there's so much more out there!
---Lots of good APO stuff coming up...sectionals, regionals, visits to several fun chapters around the section...lots of random service events, and seeing quite a few amazing recruitment efforts that surprised the heck out of me (in a very positive way!).
---Living in Albany is great! Being close to everything is still something I cannot get used to...I love the apartment, the friends, the location, the setup, the lower bills. Moving had always been a chore previously, and for once it's been a pleasure, and as things have been so busy, I've had to seriously just stop from time to time and remind myself of what a pleasure it has been. Taking life for granted is the last thing I'm willing to do!
---I don't really know where Pelippers come from...some running jokes are way beyond sleepless sugar-induced ravings and just simple exist without reason. The end!

It's definitely approaching my bed-time, so have a good night, and if like board games and have yet to play Ticket To Ride, then maybe that should change soon :-)

Current Mood: relaxed
Wednesday, June 28th, 2006
7:03 am
I really should post more!
Here's some news for you:
I bought a car!

Wait...let me try that again...
"...I...bought...a...car!"

A 2005 Hyundai Accent, and I'll be picking it up tonight. The little fuel-efficient beastling should last a while and surely be a better ride than CDTA ever was :-) In addition, for those who expressed a deep interest in color (Nina, Jess), it's a nice shade of grey. There's a CD player too (Nina). I believe it also comes with tires, a steering wheel, and maybe even an engine! OK, the car's too new to rag on, but it's cute...now...I just need a name for it (not sure if it's a boy or girl yet...won't know til I'm riding around later...which sounds terribly wrong)

Just in time, too! Work's been sending me around to our other offices in the northeast more and more, so now I have my own vehicle to handle all the travelling in. This is definitely one aspect of my job that I love.

In other news, if you're interested in hanging out on the 4th (this means BBQ), let me know!

Friday, July 22nd, 2005
11:02 pm
A Math-Like Sidenote...
On a mathematical note, I've been running into a rather funny theme quite a few times recently. It has to do with the perception of probability and how people view it and interpret the numbers to draw their conclusions. Specifically how tiny probabilites are so easily skewed when other factors are misinterpreted...

To put it simply...you can look at probability in a manner of the individual event, or the entire system as a whole, including that event. The latter is the correct way to view a probability, the former an easy way to slant statistics and blatantly abuse math.

First off, how unlikely must something be in order to be considered not just improbable, but virtually impossible? One in a million? One in a billion? The odds of winning the lottery are extremely low (on the order of one in tens of millions) Despite the low odds though, people win the lottery every so often---because the number of people playing is so high. If the odds are one in a million of an event occurring, and you try that event millions of times, you'll eventually win, regardless of the staggering numbers. The odds of a particular individual winning with one play are tiny, but the odds of someone winning are pretty decent. This is the first misconception I see frequently, that an unlikely event is an impossible event. Given enough trials (and patience), any unlikely event could occur. What are the odds that any 5 consecutive digits of Pi will be identical? If you go our far enough it happens...and if you keep going it will happen an infinite number of times (given lots of patience and free time). An argument used against science frequently is that life on earth (in some form) is too improbable to occur by chance, and therefore must have been acted on by other forces. But even if we were to take Carl Sagan's most conservative estimate of the liklihood of intelligent life occuring on a planet; given the number of planets that exist in the universe, the odds are truly not that staggering at all. In fact the odds are in favor of our existing given that...BUT only if you look at the entire probabilistic picture and not just a tiny bit of the relavent information.

The other (and even weirder) conclusion I see is when a system has many, many possible outcomes all of which are very improbable. Lets say I had a one billion sided die (a gamers wet dream) and rolled it...and the number 17 comes up. Some people might say that the odds of that number coming up were one in a billion---so improbable that it should be impossible. Anyone who could find significance in the number 17 would immediately assume that there was a significance (beyond scientific significance) to that probability and the result. Of course SOME number had to come up...and whatever number came up would be a one in a billion shot. When there exists a huge number of possiblities, all with low probabilities you end up getting what we call "LIFE". When you look at the big picture, life is a sum of probabilities, most quite small. One can look for some dark and secret significance to everything that occurs, as though each event was a special and magical, or see that an infinite number of infinitely small probabilities does not lend itself to superstition...simply many possiblities.

Probability in the news is more often than not skewed somehow...we read every day about the odds of getting cancer, dying, spontaneously combusing, or whatever...and more often than not those probabilities are based on either small (or biased) sample sets of people...or the results are misinterpreted to get specific results. A funny study recently looked back at the studies published in the past few decades and found that 2/3 of studies were inaccurate. I would venture to say that it wasn't the science that was wrong, but the people playing with results who made up some funky conclusions.

The most important thing I see over and over is that people, regardless of their mathematical knowledge, simply need to look at *everything* in a problem or issue, and not just the tiny piece they are interested in. People commonly would rather defend a position or look for ways to continue believing as they already do than consider the true implications of actual facts. In this way there are many people in this world that have (or currently are) setting us back years in progress by twisting, misinterpreting, or (most frequently) just following along with insubstantial results derived from faulty analysis of the most basic things around us. I hear some of the most amazing things from people almost every day about what is possible, what isn't possible, the future, the past, about people, countries, the environment, etc... If everyone were to personally put an effort into researching and learning about the world around them, especially about the things they personally reflect on or assert themselves (and are willing to be corrected and improve their knowledge when they sinmply aren't right)...well...we'd see a critical side of people that sorely lacks throughout our culture (see my last post on conformity :P)

Current Mood: differentiated
Saturday, February 5th, 2005
9:56 am
Some maps, just for fun :P
I'm in a silly mood, so here's some maps:

Our wild and crazy trip to Denver:
Nationals 2004 Collapse )

Here's all of the states I've been to:
The Edrick travel guideCollapse )

States with mathematical impairment issues:
Confused states Collapse )

This post has been brought to you by the Foundation For The Advancement Of Boredom (tm).
Sunday, November 7th, 2004
2:46 pm
Woah!
I was awarded a Distinguished Service Key this weekend at the sectionals banquet. I was so surprised I didn't even know what to say in response to that aside from just staring blankly.

This was somehow being planned for months and kept a complete secret. I'm amazingly happy and still surprised (I think this is the true meaning of shock and awe!). It's been such a busy APO month and so much has happened that is quite positive!

It's good knowing so many people care and I'm glad that I never gave up with respect to the responsiblities I've taken on. There have been that handful of times where I felt like my actions were either going un-noticed or that maybe people just didn't care, but I always tossed this stuff out and went on with the philosophy that if I keep at it, things will work out regardless in the end. Things have worked out, both in the past and more recently, and I'm glad that I've staved off the temptation to adopt some cynical view of the world. I've been through alot in life and, even if failure was a possible outcome in any area, I'd feel like I would be throwing away my experiences and whatever others have given to me (which I am ever grateful for) over the years if I decided to turn my back on what is really important to me in the long run.

I'm appreciative beyond comprehension for the great friends I have and will always hold this as my most valuable asset. My friends are my family and without them I'd have little to really care about or work for in life. Toys and money and jobs are great and all, but without a purpose or goal they are just wasted resources if I'm the only one to ever know such things.
Sunday, September 26th, 2004
9:05 pm
Chuck Palahniuk
Last week I got to listen to a reading by Chuck, and see him afterwards for a bit. He's the guy that wrote Fight Club, as well as many other interesting books, many of which I still have to read.

This was probably the most random author I've ever had the pleasure to see and meet. He spent a few hours talking about nothing but masturbation (yes thats right) and yet when I thought about it, he said volumes about culture, humanity, politics, people, and more, despite the fact that his stories were so abusrd and graphic that they sent many people running from the room looking quite pale.

He told three stories, each increasingly graphic and detailed (they involved carrots, a candle, and a pool. I'm not saying any more here. If you want, check out info on the web or at the library on "Guts"). Despite the focus on sex, each story had a moral of sorts that he tied into the bigger picture surprisingly well - whether it be the effect of inane things on the huge picture of our lives, or the ways we view these topics in society.

Chuck had a great sense of humor and spent quite a bit of time fielding questions and signing autographs afterwards. He would definately be an interesting person to get drunk with. His focus on truth (not on image or politics) and on his many types of analysis of culture and sociology/psychology make you either think further, or just hit yourself because what he says is so obvious.

Definately someone I would recommend to see, so long as you have a strong stomach : )
Tuesday, September 7th, 2004
10:15 pm
Moral Relativism (another nice long entry : )
It seems a reoccuring theme in today's news, politics, and conversations, in one way or another, is the idea of the moral absolute. Quite a few people believe that there are many morales and ethical issues for which there is only one right/correct/good way to handle them, and all other options are wrong/evil/bad. The basic idea stems mostly from religious dogma, where a prophet or god proclaims how we should live, and from there we cannot question this. The idea is the core foundation of many conservative ideals in our culture, that if an act is wrong, it is wrong for all time without exception. This belief has given a huge amount of power to churches and religious leaders, and has directed the behavior of people for quite a long time in some way or another.

The entire idea of absolute morality makes some sense from a theoretical standpoint, but in actuality falls apart quickly to reality. Take a very simple rule such as "Thou shalt not kill". Every religion and country has this as a basic rule somewhere, and yet it is broken over and over and over. The moral absolute says not to kill, but throughout history exceptions have been made so often on so many levels that the concept of it being absolute becomes almost a joke. "Thou shalt not kill", BUT there are some "acceptable" footnotes, such as: war (especially for religious reasons), retribution and revenge (such as the death penalty), slavery (this was supported by the church for centuries), and so forth. It was so significant that religious leaders spent years writing books on what constituted "just or unjust war" or "just and unjust slavery". When asked if killing is wrong, almost anyone, even a soldier or criminal, will reply saying it is wrong...yet people, governments, and religious groups concoct reasons to kill every day and still manage to tout absolute morality along side this. No absolute rule can come with a dynamic, growing list of footnotes (I don't remember anything about an appendix for the ten commandments), it then becomes no longer absolute.

Even worse, hatred is considered an evil by most people as well, and yet it is encouraged in times of danger or uncertainty to unify people. Today there exists a fear and almost subconscious hate towards people of middle-eastern descent, despite the fact that the people who truly are middle eastern terrorists remain a miniscule minority when compared to everyone else (including actual terrorists of other backgrounds). Wars have always seen this, as have times of tension and fear---people (sometimes even supported by political and religious leaders) find scapegoats and try and ease their own fears by taking them out on others. There may not be hangings, burnings, or drownings (much) anymore, but the idea of a witch hunt is one that has always been around, and certainly did not die in New England many years ago.

A common response to this is to say that it is up to god to decide what is right and wrong in each case based on one's actions and when to permit exceptions. At that point the exceptions can be followed as though they were absolute law and all is seemingly well. This doesn't proclaim absolute anything though...it is like a physicisy who just learned that Einstein has proven relativity and suddenly declares, "But this relativity is nonetheless absolute!" Making 'sbsolute' rules and then changing them later is a hypocrisy in itself.

The biggest irony of all is that most conservative leaders who condemn moral relativism actually are the biggest practicers of moral relativism. The US backs Saddam Hussein as a discator one moment, then denounces him the next, all the while allowing and committing atrocities along the way. Many world leaders believe that it is best to give to the poor and needy, but in response they do the opposite, slashing the taxes of the rich and reducing benefits and job opportunities to the poor. Murder through abortion is wrong, yet the murder of thousands of people overseas (or the inadvertant murder of many more due to neglect) is allowed on a regular basis.

There is no basis beyond limited religion beliefs for the existence of moral absolutism. There ARE many ways of life that help society and civilization as a whole, and these are ways of life we should try and follow, but there is no way to put rules in firm, unyielding stone and expect them to be followed forever - or even that following them would be productive in all cases. Killing is wrong and we can easily say this, but if it comes down to self defense, that ideal will become shaky for most people. Death and hate are simple enough issues more often than not...but some ideals are not so easy to defend - many issues exist in society today that have no simple solution or guideline. When an issue has no absolute rule to guide it, people who believe in absolute morality will stretch existing rules (or even create new ones) such that it encompasses whatever it needs to.

Of course, in the absence of moral absolutes it can become much harder to identify the solutions to problems. No longer is there the easy predetermined solution, but we have to think ahead and decide what is best for all given the situation. This is what a system of justice is supposed to be for (there are many people who have gone to court for crimes but were found innocent as a result of the extenuating circumstances). Some areas of society cling hard to moral absolutes, but society as a whole is evolving away from this and has been for a very long time. This does not make people evil or immoral, it simply means they are capable of thinking for themselves. A lack of moral absolutes does not condemn society to chaos, anarchy, or sin. Society can form rules without the need for religious-driven absolutes being enforced. This is very much analogous to those who belive that atheists, agnostics, or other non-denominational spiritualists will sin, commit crimes, or hurt society. The connection is made in fear of change but carries no weight on the whole.

The last big issue with moral absolutes is that they can be abused heavily. No one expects this, but it has happened over and over whenever absolute moral law has been granted to a world leader. The world has had enough in the way of unyielding dictators and people who believe their morals are superior to others. People can try and put together some absolute list of what is right and wrong, but there will always be footnotes, amendments, corollaries, and so forth that make "absolute" seem fairly absurd. Whatever list that is created would most likely have a handful of issues that would scarcely be argued *in theory* (but in practice will hit brick walls often), and then many more ideals that would be controversial and not agreed on widely at all.

One thing I will state, to avoid lengthy arguments, is that there is no 'absolute' way to prove either case here. Once cannot prove moral absolutes and moral relativism cannot be realistically proven either. At best we can look at society and infer the effects of each and see what is best. Moral rules were created to help society and allow us to continue evolving in the most positive ways possible - this can be accomplished without absolutes (this does not mean a society is without law, it is just without an unyielding, eternal, closeminded law). Our country today (as well as most of the advanced countries in the world) has a very relativistic judicial system, and while flaws do exist, they are not the product of this particular issue. It allows for people to have a chance at freedom when their beliefs are merely different, not necessaryly 'wrong'. Life isn't always about right or wrong, black or white, good or evil. Gray areas do exist and it's folly to try and point fingers and label based on restrictive and often irrelevant ideals.

This topic can be discussed at length forever if desired from many, many angles, but the basic question that remains in the end is, "Can we create a list of unbending/unchanging laws for society that can hold for eternity without exception?" (and could we ever have done this?) If the answer is not a resounding yes, then moral relativism is in play and absolutes cannot work thoroughly for our way of life.
Friday, July 9th, 2004
1:39 am
4th of July weekend review (finally!)
As always, a simple trip turns into adventure and hilarity!
(this is rather long, but I don't post often, so it's OK :P)

We left for Buffalo Friday night after I made Chicken Tikka (w/rice+Pampadums), and arrived around 2-3am, hung out, and went to sleep shortly after.

Got up around 11 Saturday and went to La Nova for pizza, tacos, and wingly goodness. After an hour there, we went off to Niagara square around 1:30 and practically no one was there, so we got up front for the concert, which started around 4. Avion was the first act, they were a decent band, though they sounded much like every other rock band I've heard in the past decade---talented, but they don't stand out much. Juliet Dagger was the 2nd opener, they were OK, they insulted my entire gender (but I'm used to it, so it's OK). I think this was their first huge show, so I can imagine it was a big nervous deal for them.

Ben Folds came next and he was quite good! He's great on piano and got the crowd going easily with alot of songs that were recognizable o just plain good. He got an entire crowd to swear, sing, and hum effortlessly
Rufus Wainwright was talented and cute and all, but he didn't seem to belong in the set. His fans loved the set, but it seemed most people I knew/saw wanted something more fast and involved. He did a great job, but was the victim of bad timing.
Guster was, as always, great. They're one of the best live bands I've ever seen. They actually sound better than their album versions in person, have a great sense of humor, and are a nice bunch of New England geeks :P
After that was all over we went back to Le Chateau de Ben and enjoyed BBQ'd food...I went to bed (or tried to) shortly after (no drinking and partying that night...) The party across the street was out of control til 3 with drunks and fireworks and the combination of the 2.

Sunday we get a wake-up call from Myshele at 6:30 and get to Niagara square to claim our spots in almost the same place again. We had lots of caffeine and hung out until 12ish, when security kicked everyone out so they could do some last minute work on the stage. We were let back in around 4, and by "let in" I mean a mad running of the bulls straight for the stage. I used brute force and P=MV to my advantage and we all got our spots back all the way in front a bit to the right. I had Subway - 18" in fact. it kept me going for quite a while. We did hear a sound check by the Goo Goo Dolls that involved the Super Mario dungeon theme : )
The concert started around 6 with Hammell On Trial, a VERY funny guy who was quite good at guitar. He sang some very political songs and swore more than I do in a week. The crowd liked him (as did I) for his creativity and penchant for jokes that were dirtier than anything I hear at Denny's on a Thursday night. It started raining during the end of his set, though this was nothing compared with what came next.
Ani DiFranco came next and even though I knew little of her music thought she was pretty good. She had a great time and laughed up the rain as it got wilder. She stopped for a few when her instruments got really wet, but came back and played in the rain anyway a bit later.
The Goo Goo Dolls came on at 9:30 and by then the rain had stopped and we were all drying off. They were great as always and we had a good time watching Robby jump around and do lots of incomprehensible things :P When he played January Friend the skies opened back up and it rained ALOT. We got soaked quickly and it just kept raining til the end of the show. Johnny threw his shirt into the crowd at one point and some girls fought each other brutally for it until security came through the tightly packed crowd, broke it up, and took the shirt back in disgust. Later on Johnny threw his guitar into the crowd. You'd think he'd have learned his lesson from before. So we got to watch the fans tear that apart too. Security went and got that back...which was ironic as The guitar had lost all its strings, and was quite beat up, BUT still had the extra picks attached. Ben tried to get it for us :P That is devotion to friends! The concert continued almost non-stop through the rain, despite heavy winds, lightning, and record setting rainfall, and they still sounded great!
Of course---the rain stopped immediately as the Goo Goo Dolls stopped playing! The fireworks started almost immediately then, and we got to see a pretty good display, even though we got covered in fireworks shrapnel. Shannon still has orange spots from it! Niagara square was a mess after all this was over, like the apocolypse had just occurred. We went back to Ben's, watched Red vs. Blue, and ordered some yummy food from Jim's Steak-out.
Incidentally, there will be a DVD made for the weekend and for the city of Buffalo due out this fall. It will be good : ) We'll probable end up on it as we were perpetually airborne for much of the concerts.

Monday we slept late, then went off to Duff's for some nice hot goodness, we also developed the pics from the concerts. After going back and packing, we went to a cool book store near Ben's that was quite anti-Bush, and after a quick caffeine run headed back to Troy. We got back by 9 and hung out til some silly hour of the morning.

Theresa stayed with us til Thursday (yay!) and helped us find ways to be exceedingly unproductive during my vacation. We BBQ'd Tuesday: burgers, dogs, teriyaki kebobs, and apple BBQ chicken (YUM).

Those 2 got me to try on a dress at the mall on wednesday. I thought it was quite comfy and nice, though I need to shave a bit before I go out and break some hearts :P I think Shannon and Theresa (and a few clerks at Torrid) almost laughed themselves to death. We went to visit Becky at Build-A-Bear and discovered that she had made us a FROG! It was named Frank 'N Froggie and is dressed in a corset and red silk pants. It's very cute and we're eternally grateful for this gift of amphibious goodness! He has lots of froggy friends to play with here too!

That's the basic sum-up of what's happened with me since my vacation started last Friday. It's been GREAT! I got to see 2 amazing FREE concerts, see lots of great friends, and not sleep. It's wonderful.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!!!

See Sunday's Goo Goo Dolls set listCollapse )
Saturday, January 31st, 2004
12:15 am
Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday Shannon!

May your bday be full of rock stars, hobbits, and sweaty DDR players in dress clothes!

:-P
Friday, October 24th, 2003
3:34 pm
Thank you!!!
Thanks to everyone for all of the birthday love, messages, cards, frogs, ice cream, chocolate, DDRing, drinks, staying all up late FUN yesterday!

All I gotta say is that you guys ROCK!

With friends like you, who needs caffeine ;-)
Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
1:15 am
Long overdue update : )
Well, if there's any theme to my life over the past few months, I'd say it's been
trying new things. Alot of friends graduated and seemed scared beyond belief that they would fall into some life routine and end up becoming boring and devoid of change. One thing I heard alot was the urge to go back to college, to avoid "the real world". I'm pretty much convinced that this "real world" concept people create is all BS. There's no real world or escape from life by avoiding it. College presents a chance to learn alot and be involved in quite a few new things and leaving college doesn't mean you stop learning and lose intelligence/wisdom with time. Outside of that environment are a million ways to make life more rewarding, the trick is to go out and find them.

Since the summer began, I've revitalized my reading habit, finishing books every few weeks. Been to a ton of concerts, many for bands I've never seen before or even know
much about, and no matter how wild the mosh pit, it wasall good. I've taken up
acoustic/electric guitar and am spending quite a bit of time learning new songs and
pondering writing some of my own stuff. Having Paul come by here and there was great
for sharing our knowledge and learning new stuff. Teaching yourself an instrument
isn't easy...but it feels quite rewarding. I started playing DDR recently...I don't
know why, but it's fun and a great workout. I may make a public fool of myself...but, well, that never stopped me before! I've found that I really do love trying new things and yeah, there are many I can think of that didn't work out, but that's never been a reason to stop looking for something new. Random adventures and spur of the moment decisions are more fun than I ever remember them to be before. I don't feel any of this is out of the ordinary much from the past, but now maybe that my life is a little more organized, these things are more noticable and different than when my entire life was crazy, making crazy things seem quite typical.

My friends have been the highlight of everything since I got to the area originally for college. I value them more than anything else going on and am more than glad to be there for those who I know are there for me. This is even more so for my brothers, and those who I know I could trust with my life if it ever came to that. That sort of
freindship/relationship isn't common, and I wouldn't give it up for anything. I could
say more and get all mushy, but I can do that in person (and spin you too!)

I started bowling again a month ago in the State Architects leage with REV (I'm neither an architect nor a state worker, but they don't seem to mind either way). Got my own bowling ball finally...it's simple and cheap, yet effective: black, with red lettering, and says, "Edrick" on it. My average is a 175 or so now, which is alot better than I've been before!

Going on year 3 in this apartment (which I got right after I graduated in 2001), which
is feeling more like home than I thought it would...I still doubt I'll be here for more than a few more years, but you never know. It's comfy and roomy enough for now, and I've had pretty good roommates. It feels like a cross between a dorm room, a museum, a playground, and a dance club...or something :P

APOwise I'm very happy with the things going on. I'm still in the same positions as
before (Service coordinator for sec88, advisor for ADH, and struggling contact for
Siena) and enjoy having contact with many different chapters. EZ (RPI) sectionals is
in a few days, and that's going to be awesome, I love my chapter and they prove over
and over why through everything they take on (and how good they are to an everpresent
alum like me :P). The section service project is in a month and will be fun- it's at
ABX, SUNY Plattsburgh and will be a big charity spaghetti dinner. They're planning
alot and we'll get lots of brothers to go and make it a fun weekend.

I became a Player a year ago after EOP, and have had a blast working on sets for them
(and other random things I took on). This fall has been quite busy, so I'm taking off
til the spring, but by then i should have the time to get to the work parties and be
more involved (EOP is always fun!).

In a very random silly act that happened to turn out pretty spiff...Shannon and I
interviewed Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls, asking mostly about community service and how he views music in the realm of helping the community and the world. It was
interesting. It was fun. I think he was sober. He told us to impeach everything.
Yeah. I have .wav files of the interview if anyone's curious and wants to hear me
being fruity and Shannon being frightfully nervous. We also saw the CD/DVD release
party he ran in Buffalo a month ago that was a blast. We went with Myshele and Theresa and had a great time. Heard (and met) quite a few new bands and brought back more boatloads of free stuff :P Went to Keegan's party as well and those always entail lots of sleepless rigamaroll (I just wanted to use that word in a sentence)

Saw Stella at Vassar College. The trio of Michael Ian Black, David Wain, and Michael
Showalter sports some very wrong humor...and was punctuated by the fact that Vassar is
so conservative. Intro by MIB: "Now we are going to do an icebreaker. Turn to the
person next to you and say, 'Hi my name is so-and-so', that won't work unless your name is so-and-so, otherwise just give your name, shake hands, and say... '...I want to be inside of you.... This isn't meant to be sexual, but if it leads to sex, then that's great!" They were very funny and we met them afterwards, chatted, got autographs and pictures and other cheesy things. I got a t-shirt and Theresa got a DVD of their shorts. YuM!

Random thoughts and tangents:
-Pez popcorn is quite weird (try it!)
-Freddy vs. Jason is a comedy, not a horror flick!
-Some people are being fangoriously devoured by a gelatinous monster...Hillary's legs
are being digested.
-Flights of Fantasy is an AWESOME book/gaming store. If you like fantasy/sci fi books
at all they have a huge selection of new and used books you won't find anywhere
else...and they have a cool cat named Miles.
-MST3K is da bomb - friends should have an MST3K night, play a cheesy movie and have
everyone purposely make fun of it *hint hint* : )
-Fetch actually slept in the crawl space a little ways back. That was a first for the
apartment, and a momentous occasion...or something.
-If anyone ever finds Pez juice anywhere, please send me some! It's a morbid
curiousity, that's all.
-Shannon's car has dozens of stickers on it. It is pretty. It stands out so much it
might actually be visible from space, though NASA hasn't gotten back to me on that yet.
-Ed is a fun tv show : ) "10 bucks if you call the Judge Sally!"

I think thats about all for now. I should be asleep, which is all the reason not to
be, but...errr...yeah, I can't keep that train of logic up for long. Gnight Everyone! See you in my dreams if I don't see you sooner!
Saturday, September 13th, 2003
9:59 pm
Random question of the week:
If you could ask a rock star any questions, specifically ones about their careers, endeavors, or their impact on the community, what would you ask???

: - )
Sunday, August 3rd, 2003
12:25 am
Quote of the Night
"Can you teach me how to play naked?"
"!!!!!!!"

"Errr... can you show me how to play the song naked?"
"!?!?!?!?"

"grmph...errr...can you show me how me how to play the Goo Goo Dolls song naked?
"!!??!!??!?!?!???!!!??!!?

"Can you show me how to play the Goo Goo Dolls song by which the name is "Naked"?"
"OOOOOOhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
Friday, July 4th, 2003
3:34 pm
Times Like These...
Friends often tell me to join a gym, play sports, swim, take up a martial art, or whatever to get exercise...but I found something better than any of that...MOSHING!

The Foo Fighters concert last night rocked and was the first time I had been to a REAL mosh pit. It was at the Hammerstein Ballroom on E34th in NYC. It was absolutely amazing...everything was absolute chaos from the moment Dave Grohl opened his mouth. Shannon was all the way in the front by the railing, right in the middle, practically under Dave...and I was behind her holding the crowd back from squashing her and taking her spot. The first few songs: All My Life, and The One were loud and everyone was going nuts, and I wasn't sure if we could keep our spots where we were---but people tired out slowly and it became less lethal, especially once I braced myself against the rail so that I couldn't be shoved around easily. In addition, at one point Dave drank some water and spat it all over us...so yeah, we shared saliva with Dave Grohl, which Shannon was very happy about.

Later on, somehow, Theresa found us and moshed along with us. I give her mad props for managing her way through that mess...though there was a lull when Foo did an acousic version of Times Like These and some other lesser played songs. She found a pick later, too, which was pretty cool.

We had to rush back to catch the last train back to New Rochelle so we wouldn't be stuck in the city overnight. On the way we ran into their tour buses and seriously considered screwing everything and sticking around to meet them. Not another person was around except for a few event staff people. We went back though and caught the last train out of the city, rather than molest a rock star.

We also had another randomly funny experience on the way back---at a rest stop on 87 we discovered a little brown envelope on the back of the car in the spoiler and noticed, after opening it, that it contained pot. I guess someone had left it there for SOME reason when the car was parked in New Rochelle. Either way we got rid of it quickly and left...that was the last thing we wanted to have to worry about. When I say that much of that city is ghetto, I mean it!

We stayed at Paul's that night rather than coming home to rest, as it was pretty late...and then left early this morning to get home and shower and stuff as I was so damn sweaty and yucky after the concert. The whole concert after the 2 opening acts was a huge massive pushing/shoving/crowd-surfing/kicking/stomping/clawing/throwing/elbowing affair that was way too much fun not to do again soon!

So that was what made a very strange start to the holiday weekend. : ) I like having a weird life...I really do!!!
Monday, April 28th, 2003
12:48 pm
A funny thing happened on the way to Friendly's
Since we are in the spirited mood of making constant fools of ourselves, I feel the obligation to work my share of that to AshLee : )

So we're at Friendly's for breakfast/lunch and i'm having an Orange Cream (this orange sherbert drink, very yummy!) and AshLee asks to have a taste. So, I pass it on over and she decides that using the straw would be dangerous as I am a guy and have cooties or something, so she lifts the glass up in an effort to drink it. The drink, being thick, doesn't budge, so she continues to raise the glass further and further until its over her head at an angle that even Wile E Coyote would be wary of. So, as cartoonish as could be, the drink dumps out onto her face, making a Kodak moment, if only we had a camera. Thankfully her clothes weren't too badly messed up though : ) Here is an audio file of the Edrick rendition of the sound made when orange cream spills all over AshLee.

On an unrelated note, AshLee danced out of her room this morning while singing "Lalalalalalalala...I am the underwear fairy!". I think she'll definately be Emmy-worthy after that performance!!!

OK, I am done now : )
This post has been brought to you by the Committee For The Unofficial Hazing Of Roommates, of which we are both proud members of :P
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2003
8:44 pm
The LiveJournal Drinking Game!!!
This is a satire of the typical communications, habits, and other quirks that occur frequently on LiveJournal. For better or for worse, we all have our LJ pet peeves...so without further adieu...

Now Presenting: The LJ Drinking Game!

If you have any new ideas for this, feel free to let me know : )

Notes:
If the LJ-CUT tag is used, reduce drinks taken by 1.
If you are guilty of the offense listed, take an extra drink.

LJ STYLE
-If the user has an excessively large background image: 1 drink
-If the user has background music: 2 drinks
-If user has some obscure font that no one else has: 1 drink
-User has an animated or overly disgusting icon: 1 drink
-User screws up HTML and all you see on the page is code: 1 drink per day uncorrected
MASS POSTINGS
-If user posts a quiz: 1 drink
-...for every additional quiz, take another drink
-...twice the drinks for purity scores
-If user posts a long survey: 1 drink
-If user posts a chain message or spam: 2 drinks
-If user posts, or links to the LJ Drinking Game: 3 drinks
-User posts song lyrics: 1 drink
-User posts excessive links to web sites or others' journals: 1 drink per 1 links
-User posts intentional (yet pathetic) abbreviations or poor attempts at l33t
-User cross posts to more than 1 LJ or community
-User posts something political or controversial that is guaranteed to receive a heavy negative respose: 3 drinks
PERSONAL ISSUES
-User posts a rant or flame publically: 1 drink
-...if the post if about a friend of yours:1 more drink
-...if the post is about you: 3 more drinks
-...if a flame war ensues as a result: 1 drink per post
-If user posts publically with way too much information (WTMI!): 2 drinks
-If user posts with mundane information such as brushing teeth, using bathroom, showering, etc: 1 drink
-If user posts a private entry publically by accident: 2 drinks
-...if entry is about you: 5 drinks
-If user posts an IM conversation verbatim: 1 drink
-User treats friends list as a real list of actual friends: 1 drink per occurance
COMMENTS
-When comments to an entry become a conversation: 1 drink per 10 comments
-Excessive comments: 1 drink per 20 comments
-Someone comments with nothing but an agreement or a hug: 1 drink
MISCELLANEOUS
-If user posts about the status of their friends list: 2 drinks
-User posts something that is excessively geeky/obfuscated: 1 drink
-...user posts code: 1 extra drink
-User posts a long, complicated, philosphical entry/rant: 1 drink per 500 words
-User posts while drunk (maybe played this game too much): 1 drink
-User posts a public message meant for only one person to read: 2 drinks
Tuesday, April 15th, 2003
6:49 pm
More Online Toys!
OK...Once again I fall victim to geeky silliness...

http://www.buddyzoo.com

The tool is basically like 6 degrees of separation, but for AIM, and has soem other neat features as well.

Reminds me of LJ Connect, but for AIM...it's pretty nifty : )
Sunday, March 9th, 2003
6:49 pm
Frog Patrol!
So...we were returning from Canton after the section service project and got kinda bored with the car ride, so I started taking my stuffed frog and waving it at passing cars. I made it wave and had it jump and stuck it out the window a few times, just to see what reactions we got...this turned into an ordeal that lasted for about 50 miles.
Here are some responses we got, froma total of at least 45 responding passengers (we didn't record the first bunch):

-Had a double take when seeing a frog
-Laughed
-Highly Unamused
-Changed lanes to get away from us
-1 kid, seeming to be smoking pot, cracked up and waved at us
-Tried hard not to laugh or respond
-Couple waved at us together
-Smiled excessively
-Was too busy chewing finger to notice
-Was too busy breaking the law by talking on the cell phone to notice us
-Was completely oblivious to us
-Stared us down
-Guy driving a banana truck cracked up at us
-Looked pissed at us
-Guy in car with Viking horns in back..."He's smiling at Ed...Hey! That's your little Marshall!!!" !!!!!

Accidents caused: 0
Minds influenced: 45

We ask the question as well, "How many professionals who drive every day for a living can we get to wave at a stuffed frog?"

And that's the gist of what we can remember : )
Maybe we'll start a trend :P
Thursday, March 6th, 2003
5:22 pm
Monday, February 17th, 2003
4:15 pm
Things that people forgot
Here is the list of stuff that people left here this past weekend, or that was left here in the past and not claimed yet:

1 Green Sleeping Bag
1 Curling Iron
1 Black Proctor's Shirt
1 Light Blue Button Down Shirt (15/33)
1 Dark Green Button Down Shirt, Large
1 Medium Reebok Black Sweat Shirt
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