Phineas Gwax

gwax is Phineas Gage As some of you may be aware, today was Halloween and in my culture we dress up on Halloween. We often dress as monsters, grotesques, clowns, heroes, other phantasms and fantasies. In following with the theme that is prescribed by my cultural understanding, I had but one logical option, I went as Phineas Gage. The strange tale of Phineas Gage is a truly amazing one; as a railway foreman in 1848, a tapping iron was shot through his skull, destroying a substantial portion of his frontal lobe. Miraculously, Gage survived the hole in his brain largely unchanged save for some personality alterations. It was a fun costume to make and it got me more than a few comments and funny looks on the BART to and from work today. I think that I'll try for something even fancier next year.

Beep, beep, beep, beep.

Sputnik I Happy 50th birthday Sputnik, you flying grapefruit. Oh, and thanks for all the space technology that you inspired out of Cold War fear.

I must say though, it would be nice if we were still into that whole space program thing. It might also be cool if we didn't waste so much money on unneeded and excessive military superiority. I guess somebody forgot to tell us that the cold war ended sixteen years ago.

Halo 3: Worth the pain

Halo 3 came out for the Xbox 360 on Tuesday and it's awesome. On account of Halo 3, I've been going to sleep at about 2am for the past three nights, which wouldn't be so bad if I didn't also have to wake up for work at about 6am. That said, it's totally worth the unpleasantness of not sleeping enough. Sure, it's more Halo and not altogether too revolutionary but, it IS more Halo, it is prettier Halo with cooler weapons and vehicles. Basically, Halo was already King of console FPSes and Halo 3 is just coming in and saying, "hey, I'm taking over for my dad so sit down because you know your place!"

Overstocked on Pop-Tarts

Much like the Chance card where there's a "Bank error in your favor", there's been a Kellogg's error in my favor. Unfortunately, the Kellogg's error gave me a free pop-tart and not $200. Then there are the added facts that I don't really want 3 pop-tarts and they're free workplace pop-tarts to begin with. Still, I'm amused that they accidentally put three pop-tarts in a two-pack; I wonder if, somewhere out there, someone is missing a pop-tart.

Precipice passed

The dawn of a new age is upon me. I am now in the Bay Area. I am currently crashing at my good friend Sherv's place and will continue to do so until a temporary place of my own is found. Now I must find a job and a temporary place to live.

Beautiful Driving

Yesterday, Max and I drove through Wyoming and it was the most fun and beautiful drive that I have ever had the pleasure of taking. The drive between Sheridan, WY and Cody, WY involved a bunch of sharp switchbacks up into the Big Horn mountains. The switchbacks were a ton of fun and the views were gorgeous; I highly recommend the drive to everyone, especially if you have a sporty car.

High up in the Big Horns, we met the jerky man. The jerky man was partially crippled, using a walker to get around and selling buffalo and elk jerky out of the back of his camper trailer. The jerky man gave us samples of his wares and we subsequently bought some very tasty jerkies. The jerky man also gave us suggestions as the the most fun route to take to get to Cody, which is to stay on US-14 all the way. There were nice switchbacks back down the mountains and some very long straights where we could drive well above the speed limit for long distances.

From Cody, WY into Yellowstone was a short but pleasant drive. Once we got into Yellowstone, everything became amazing and gorgeous, even more so than the Badlands. Yellowstone was chock full of fun, from mud volcanoes and hot springs to bison walking across the street in front of me. At the center of Yellowstone is Lake Yellowstone, which is so large as to seem an inland sea. Whilst Lake Yellowstone is not as large as some of the great lakes, it is at an elevation of 7,732 feet, which is to say very high up. Yellowstone, as keen as it is, is another sight that I recommend to everyone.

In summation, driving through Wyoming is awesome, everyone should give it a try. Now we're going to hang out with Graham in Montana for a while.

Live from Wyoming

Today, I saw the truly wondrous Badlands of South Dakota, a sight that I recommend to those that have not seen them. The Badlands are gorgeous and Max should be putting up photos after we get to San Francisco. As for right now, we're in a motel room in Gillette, Wyoming, availing ourselves of free wireless and getting ready to go to sleep.

As some of you may have gathered, we set out from Concord, MA on Monday morning (about 11am). From Concord, we drove west through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. At 11pm, we were about 2 hours shy of Chicago so we decided to keep going in the hope that we could pass Chicago late at night instead of hitting traffic in the morning. Passing through Chicago worked well but then we made the foolish choice of trying to get all the way to Minneapolis in one go. Passing through Illinois, Wisconsin and into Minnesota, we managed to make Minneapolis at about 9am Tuesday, without having slept. Sleeping through much of Tuesday afternoon, we were ok by the evening, went to sleep early and were fine for Wednesday. Some friends and some family were seen during my time in Minneapolis but many could not be accommodated due to the briefness of the stay. My apologies to those that I did not see; hopefully, there will be another chance. We left, Minneapolis at about 9-10am today and made the Badlands by about 5:30-6pm, which gave us just enough time before sunset to enjoy the beauty of the Badlands, but now I'm repeating myself.

Tomorrow we drive to Yellowstone National Park and then on to Missoula, MT to visit Graham for a bit.

Martians Ate My Parents? (or something like that)

Ok, blogosphere, or whatever you interwebzorworkpeople want to call yourselves, this is a plea for help. I try not to depend on other people for much but this is truly important to me and if you can help me, I will be gracious towards you in quantities hard to express.

There was a movie that I saw on television when I was young (somewhere between 6 and 13 (so 1989-1996 probably)) that involved some kid waking up in his bed, seeing a weird glowing over the hill behind his house and then getting abducted by aliens that wanted to do terrible things to him. Eventually, this kid escapes from the aliens and returns to his home and finds comfort with his family. Unfortunately, it turns out that the kid's family have already been taken over by the aliens and turned into aliens themselves and another adventure ensues. The kid, returns again to his home and manages to destroy the aliens, which I think resolves the matter but might not. I admit that I remember very little of the movie but I know that, if I were to see it again, I would instantly recognize it. So, if any of you have any idea what I might be talking about, please let me know and I will investigate the leads.

Really, the key bits are the kid waking up from sleeping to see some weird glowing behind the hill in his back yard, going to investigate, finding aliens trying to eat him, escaping, returning home, finding his parents are aliens in disguise, repeating the whole escaping part and then being left unsure as to whether his parents are real or not. Seriously, this movie is something that I remember with a combination of intense curiosity and traumatic peculiarity, which I would like to track down for my personal edification. I think the title was something like Martians ate my Parents or Martians ate my Family but I am not certain.

Please, tracking down this movie will either serve to resolve some weird issues that I have holed up in my psyche or, at the least, it will enable me to source some weird memories that I can't seem to rid myself of.