Category Archives: Updates

A traditional update in the grand update tradition

Acer is crap

I must apologize for not updating in many days. The only excuse I can think of is that my laptop is a complete joke and never works properly. Here is a picture of my Acer on a typical day.

Ignoring the childish warning screen for a moment, take one look at that keyboard. In their lunacy, Acer decided to include two separate euro keys, one of which is somehow crammed into the 5 key. How the hell do you even access that? I tried every possible combination of alt/shift/Fn/ctrl keys, and then I tried slamming my fist onto the 5 key as hard as I could, but nothing happened. I now believe it’s not a “5/euro” key at all, but a “5 euro” key—useful for when you need to express that something costs 5 euros. That’s probably the average hourly wage of the morons working at Acer.

What’s interesting about the euro key over by the arrows is that it’s literally not mapped to anything, and neither is the nearby dollar key. Basically I have two euro keys and neither of them work. I guess I have to map them myself? I probably should have built the entire laptop myself.

The first thing that went was the Acer’s ability to sleep and hibernate. It has to be awake at all times or else it freezes, like some sort of reverse bear. You can close the lid without powering down, but it’s not a smart idea because you’ll just crash the system. My laptop was not designed for such taxing activities as closing the lid. These early warning signs began to occur prior to the warranty’s expiration, so I guess I could have shipped it off to Acer to be fixed. But I didn’t really want to be without my laptop for 2 months while they wiped out my hard drive, and furthermore I didn’t exactly trust the same geniuses who designed my laptop to fix it. Also, I naively assumed that some of my issues might have been software related.

After my warranty expired this past February, that was my laptop’s cue to really begin falling apart in earnest. Increasingly it stopped booting successfully. What it usually does after you power it on is it emits three piercing beeps and then you’re treated to the douche chill screen shown in the above photo. One of my favorite hobbies is to browse the internet for a solution to this problem, but the consensus seems to be that it’s due to a faulty mainboard. A good temporary solution I’ve found is that when the laptop starts beeping at me, I beat the shit out of it and try to restart. After much experience in hitting my laptop, experimentally varying the intensity and placement of my wallops, I’ve determined that if I apply steady pressure to the area just to the left of the touchpad, it will actually boot up with no problems. The only problem is that I usually have to continue to exert this pressure throughout my laptop use, or else the system will lock up or I’ll lose my wireless signal. Sometimes I actually have to operate my laptop with a dictionary balanced on the left side, which is not exactly the portable solution I envisioned when I purchased my laptop.

Of course, my Acer isn’t really a laptop anymore. The mere idea of placing this device on my lap is cause for laugher. I’m well aware that any subtle movement of my legs would create far too much commotion for my machine’s brittle constitution. In general, physically moving my laptop in any way once it has successfully powered on is asking for trouble. At best the wireless functionally will be disrupted, and you’ll have to manually reconnect to the network, but most often you’re just going to lock up the machine—and it serves you right for attempting to adjust the position of your laptop. Laptops were not designed to be carelessly placed on top of your lap.

I’ve opened my machine up numerous times to make sure everything was cleaned and properly in place, but to be honest I don’t know the purpose of most of that circuitry anymore than the retards over at Acer. Eventually I’m going to have to just replace the machine entirely—I haven’t even mentioned the inch-wide band of scrambled lines that occasionally appears on the rightmost side of my monitor. Needless to say, I would never again purchase a computer product made by Asser. They should switch to an industry in which the excel: making hilarious practical jokes.

I thought paper would protect you

This is a story about the moronic, arbitrary manner in which things become popular on the internet.

Commenter Ueli asked if an old pre-9/11 eKarjala entry about rock/paper/scissors was the “first instance of this quote that’s passed around so much.” The entry in question is an analysis of the old hand gesture game, written in the traditional style of “internet rant,” which is where you assume a tone of contrived rage as a means for creating jocularity. It’s as if you’re saying, “I would like to make some observations about a well-known topic. These observations make me angry! LOL!” You might recognize this tone from 90% of eKarjala.

Continue reading I thought paper would protect you

Time capsules

Excavating a time capsule is the most satisfying activity conceivable. It’s so frustrating, though. Why aren’t I currently unearthing a time capsule? Why couldn’t people from exactly 50 years ago have spent a mere half-hour fixing me up a little care package? 1958’s junk would have been my absolute treasure. But people from the past were too selfish to think about me in this fashion.

There’s really no reason we shouldn’t be constantly unearthing time capsules, one after the other. Just imagine if people from 1908 had thought to bury time capsules for us on a daily basis—like every morning, just have all the townspeople throw some shit in a barrel. Such a simple daily chore, and yet how much would we have benefited? Everyday would have been like an old-timey Christmas. We’d be cracking each other up with their amusing everyday objects, twirling their parasols and pretending to enjoy their tedious marble games. And each day would be a complete surprise—we’d never know what hilarious antiquated relics would be awaiting us. By ignoring our appetite for time capsule, the past has deprived us of endless joy. That’s why I think we would be completely justified to start snooping around in their graves.

Regret

Too often people trumpet their lack of regrets. Maybe they’re getting a divorce or quitting a job or lying on their deathbed—or simply arrogant enough to believe they have the ability to live entirely in the present. These people say “no regrets” and expect admiration, when really they’re just being childish.

Every adult is weighed down by a suffocating allotment of regret—it’s what makes us human, and what teaches us to modify our future behaviors. It’s why we weep, and why we persist in weeping. Maybe some people think it’s possible to make a mistake without paying their dues in regret, that they can simply absolve themselves of this burden through sheer willpower. Sorry, that’s not how the system works. When you make a mistake, you can’t just arbitrarily decide to not regret it. It is understandable that you fear the negative emotions associated with guilt, remorse, humiliation, and disappointment, but you cannot merely wish those things away. When you say “no regrets,” all I hear is, “I have the emotional maturity of a third grader.”

Personally, I can scarcely spit on a homeless man without feeling some small measure of regret. I do not hide from my regret; I truckle to it, and live in constant fear of it, and desperately seek to avoid amassing anymore of it, with the knowledge that I inescapably will, nearly every day. In retrospect, I’ve lived a life unduly burdened by doubt, shame, and especially regret. And this is something I regret very deeply.

Pairs of underpants

It’s easy to conceive of socks as being members of a pair, since we have two feet and each sock is its own separate entity. Meanwhile, I can’t say I’ve ever encountered an underpant as detached from its pair. I’m not even sure what underpants are supposed to be pairs of. Are you seriously telling me a single underpant would just be one leg hole? I’m not even going to attempt to visualize such a retarded garment.

As a rule of thumb, if you can’t separate something, it’s not a pair. I don’t really care how many sides of your ass it covers. Like we don’t call a hat a “pair of hats” just because it’s placed above both your ears. Nor should we should call a pair of underpants anything but an underpant. From now on, if you say you’re wearing a pair of underpants, you’re wearing two separate underpants, one over the other, like a little baby afraid of making an accident. Also, if you say you’re wearing a pair of hats, you’re only wearing one hat. I’m pleased to announce that hats will now be called pairs of hats.

Animal crackers

I haven’t figured out what the animal cracker industry is hoping to accomplish by claiming to make crackers, but they’re obviously up to something. All I know is that molding crispy sugar cookies into the shapes of zoo animals doesn’t magically transform them into crackers. And even if it did, how about those animal crackers coated in pink icing? Still going to claim those are crackers, are you? OK, then I guess I’ll just sit here spreading Brie over this fucking icing-drenched kangaroo. Don’t insult my intelligence, Nabisco.

The only viable explanation is that “animal cracker” is just a pejorative way to describe their tan coloring. When I eat animal cookies I like to say, “Get your cracker ass over here. You think I’m going to let you stay in that menagerie all day? Animal cracker, please.”

12-hour clocks

Just because the face of a clock is oriented so that 12 is the start of a new day doesn’t mean 12pm has the right to follow 11am. Where I come from, you don’t count up a series of something and then randomly switch units. If one begins a sequence of AM hours in a base-12 numbering scheme, one would eventually expect to arrive at 12am. But you get to 12 and all of a sudden PM bursts in all like, “Who wants lunch, bitches?” Where the fuck did you come from? What have you done with 1pm through 11pm? Oh, you mean to tell me we’re going to count through those hours now? After we’ve just put up with 12pm’s childish antics? Go fuck yourself, time.

Chinese New Year parade

The other weekend I watched San Francisco’s Chinese New Year parade. It was a cold and rainy night, but a little freezing drizzle is fitting initiation for the year of the rat, who is a creature of the sewer.

My camera was accidentally set on “make everything look blurry and shitty” mode, so the following snapshots come courtesy of my friend Anders’s iPhone. That might also explain why some of the photos seem to convey a false sense of superiority.

Continue reading Chinese New Year parade

Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids were marketed as being available for adoption, but I don’t think adoption had anything to do with it. Putting a baby up for adoption is an agonizing process, often the end result of an unplanned pregnancy. It has nothing to do with growing fields of cabbage children. I’m not sure what the fuck you’d call that, but it’s not adoption.

The real question is, why are you planting so many crops of babies if you can’t take care of them? Here’s a solution to your baby surplus problem: stop farming fields of babies. Try growing corn or potatoes or something halfway normal. Our world is overpopulated enough without your plantation of hybrid vegetable babies. Or maybe you’re claiming these children grow naturally in the wild. Fine—then leave them there. You’re not meant to adopt wild animals. You’re meant to hunt them down.

Jinxing

I used to think it was outrageous that two people saying something simultaneously should be grounds for a jinx. Whenever somebody jinxed me, I would be all, “What the hell, man? We said the same thing because we’re on the same page here. Why am I being punished with a fucking curse?”

I now realize that jinxing was invented because we need a game to break the tension inherent in this situation. Imagine saying “I’m thirsty!” in unison with your friend, except neither of you has the power to jinx. You would both just kind of stand there and awkwardly laugh due to how stupid your lives have suddenly become. There’s actually no graceful way out of this situation. Jinxing may sound childish, but it’s a choice between that or the two of you spontaneously making out.

Where I draw the line is the idea that now I somehow owe my friend a Coke, because I don’t. It’s like, “You’ve just pinched me and poked me—I’ve been publicly humiliated for absolutely no reason. Under no circumstances am I going to take you out for Cokes.” It’s such an insane ritual, too, because nobody in the history of jinxes has actually collected on their Coke. I probably owe about $3,000 worth of Cokes right now, and there’s no need for it. How in the hell did Coke even become involved with this bullshit?

Researching frivolous subjects on Wikipedia is a hobby of mine, so I consulted their (largely retarded) jinxing article. I didn’t find anything close to resembling an answer, but I did come across the following intriguing excerpt:

A variation experienced in Southern Massachusetts in the 1960s may not be strictly considered a “jinx,” but when two people say the same thing in unison (unplanned!), they must hook little fingers and say the following dialog: “What goes up the chimney?” “Smoke.” “May your wish and my wish never be broke!”

That’s probably the cutest thing I’ve ever read. I imagine two grown men hooking their pinkies together and excitedly breaking into this little exchange. To me this is way more positive than demanding a Coke from your friend and beating the shit out of him. It’s a chance to share a wish! The next time an acquaintance and I speak in unison, I’m going to begin reciting this routine, because it’s the perfect way to avoid any lingering awkwardness. Hopefully all my acquaintances are familiar with proper jinxing protocol from 1960s Southern Massachusetts, or else I’m going to look like a real asshole.

My travelogue ideas

One of my top dreams would be to travel across the United States and write a travelogue, which is a publishable written record of one’s travel observations. I would traipse around the US with a little bag like a modern day Felix the Cat and I would have very famous adventures. In a very special way, during the course of my journey I’d probably even discover my true spiritual identity. The problem is, if you’ve ever read a travelogue you’d notice most of them have some sort of distinguishing premise. You can’t just amble about willy-nilly—your travelogue needs a clever selling point or else nobody’s going to publish it. For many months I’ve been trying to think of an idea, but so far these are the best I’ve come up with:

  • Navigating America’s Highways Without Using MapQuest
  • 50 States, 50 Silly Hats
  • Visiting North America’s 5,629 Walgreens
  • Sled, White, & Blue: A Pilgrimage to the Finest Sledding Slopes in the United States
  • My Routine Flight to Hartord, Connecticut
  • Let’s Just See What Happens If I Travel Completely Naked

Postmodern Mazes

Most of my college notebooks are filled with pages upon pages of incoherent text and doodles—markings which were not only irrelevant to the subject matter of my classes, but often irrelevant to anything that has occurred in the past 12,000 years of civilization. Today I’ll present to you a perfect example: my famous series of so-called “Postmodern Mazes.”

Postmodern Mazes are some of the most challenging mazes ever created. They are so difficult, in fact, that I’ve had to barricade them behind a jump. If you are under 18 years of age, do not attempt these mazes. If you have a heart condition, for the love of god do not attempt these mazes. If you are currently pregnant, please don’t even look at these mazes. Pregnant mothers exposed to Postmodern Mazes may give birth to an agent of darkness. Everyone else, continue along:

Continue reading Postmodern Mazes

It’s my Friday

The phrase “it’s my Friday” is thrown around a lot of times it shouldn’t be—which is any day that isn’t actually Friday. For example, oftentimes when a person has Friday off from work, on Thursday he’ll announce, “Today’s my Friday! Yayyy!” No, sir, it’s your Thursday. It’s everybody’s Thursday. The days of the week don’t slide around to satisfy your personal schedule. We would all like to stroll into work on a Tuesday morning sipping a gin and tonic and shouting, “It’s my Saturday night, motherfuckers!” But those of us who’re grounded by a little thing called the calendar know to keep our bottles of gin discreetly tucked away in our desks

My retirement plans

When I become elderly, I’m going to be one of the top elderly people around. That’s because I’ve carefully plotted out which hobbies and behaviors I’m going to adopt, what clothes I’m going to wear, and even what crazy unintelligible things I’m going to mutter. When most people become elderly, they don’t have any kind of game plan. They’ve spent decades preparing for retirement financially, but they’re incapable of assuming a proper elderly disposition. I’m going to avoid this trap by adhering to a very specific chronology:

Age 66: It’s time to start bird watching. If I so much as think I hear a tweet, I’m going to drop what I’m doing and find the corresponding bird, and then I’m going to stand around watching him until dark. I’ll even have a little notebook to keep track of the birds I’ve seen, a list which is going to become gradually more improbable as I descend into senility. I will claim to have spotted extremely rare birds, then birds which are extinct, then fictional species from my favorite movies, then some dinosaurs, and then finally varieties of birds which exist only in my imagination.

Age 70: On my 70th birthday, I’m going to take up bridge in a big way. It’s a complex game, but what the other elderly people around me won’t realize is that I’ll have been secretly reading up on bridge since I was like 40. I’m going to waltz over to the card table and me and my partner are going to absolutely demolish everyone while employing an insane amount of trash talk.

Age 78: You won’t believe how ornate my cane is going to be. It’ll be bejeweled, obviously, and shaped like a dragon’s head at the handle. But where my cane will really stand out will be its rosewood body, which is going to be carved with amazing battle scenes and secret messages and other cryptic flourishes. There’s also going to be a switchblade that flips out from the bottom which I’ll use to stab my detractors.

Age 82: Now it’s time to begin openly cheating at bridge. Actually, I’m going to begin cheating at everything, including board games, bocce ball, dominos, and even jigsaw puzzles. The best elderly people have elements of connivery in their personalties, because to the elderly, everything is a matter of life and death. Young people don’t understand that society’s unspoken rules don’t apply to elderly people, and neither do traffic ordinances or public intoxication laws.

Age 87: I will officially make the switch from giving out candy on Halloween to giving out handfuls of pennies. Some elderly people make the mistake of giving out pennies when they’re 84 or 85, but I think that’s a bit early. At 87, it’s impossible for others to question this sort of bizarre, erratic behavior.

Age 93: As my mobility becomes limited, I’m going to begin collecting postage stamps—massive shitloads of stamps, probably the biggest collection of all time. What’s ironic is that although the stamp is a symbol of communication, I’m going to have begun secluding myself in the attic of my house (which will be filled to the ceiling with garbage). The binoculars from my bird watching days are now going to be used to spy on my neighbors, who will have begun circulating mythical legends about my personal history—legends I’ve been secretly disseminating over the years. Gradually I will become a pariah, spoken of only in hushed tones, feared by children and adults alike—gradually I will become one of the greatest elderly people of all time.

Babies as scientists

It pleases me when babies are compared to scientists, in the sense that they’re constantly performing little baby “experiments” with the world around them. For example, when a baby drops his rattle, the idea is that he’s merely testing how objects fall in conjunction with gravity. I enjoy this ridiculous image of a baby in a lab coat and a little baby clipboard—as if babies actually knew what the fuck they were doing and weren’t just randomly throwing shit around for their own maniacal amusement.

Babies aren’t scientists near as much as they are clowns—miniature clowns who delight in spitting up their food and falling face-first off their highchairs in a comedic fashion. Maybe babies learn indirectly from these juvenile antics, but I object to the notion that there’s any logic behind their behaviors. Try handing a baby an interesting object such as a battery, for example, and he won’t so much as glance at it. The only things he’ll try to do is either throw it across the room, preferably at your head, or he’ll attempt to swallow it and end up killing himself. This isn’t “science,” it’s just reckless tomfoolery. Their mindset is, what have we got to lose? It’s not like babies are culpable for anything. That’s probably the first and only thing a baby actually learns—that he basically has carte blanche to do whatever he wants in the supposed name of “science.” I can see right through that act, and it’s pathetic. Babies need to start growing up.

The Full House house

In Wizard on Bicycle news, the Lego Wizard on my sidebar has learnt a very sneaky trick. Clicking on him will now take you to a random eKarjala post. (Keep in mind that 80% of all eKarjala posts are retarded). This brings the number of tricks my Lego Wizard can perform to a grand total of one (or two if you count the fact that he can grant wishes.)

On another topic, when you look at this photo I found of San Francisco, what does it remind you of?

Postcard Row

If you said “Full House,” you had a correct childhood. These houses are indeed featured in the introduction to that storied sitcom. In the foreground you can even see the park in which the Tanners had their little picnic, which they had the time to organize because none of them had any real jobs.

What might surprise you, and what recently inspired a 45 minute argument in my personal life, is that the Tanners were never purported to actually live in one of these houses. Consider this establishing shot of their actual house, shown at the very end of the credits:

Full House house

Note here the contradictory placement of the bay windows. Also note that their house is subsequently shown to have a flat roof facade, in contrast to the gabled roofs seen in the first photo. The fact is, those gabled roof residences constitute a San Francisco landmark known as “Postcard Row,” which is a series of 7 houses built in the iconic Painted Lady style. The Tanners didn’t live there and they didn’t know anybody who lived there and they weren’t welcome inside. The only connection the Tanners had with Postcard Row is they enjoyed having picnics nearby in an effort to trick you into thinking that’s where they lived. They should have called the show “Full of Shit House.”

The idea that the Tanners lived in Postcard Row is the most widely-circulated myth in our culture today. It’s not our fault, either, because the prominent shot of Postcard Row in the opening credits is followed by the shot of their actual residence, implying that they were one and the same. It’s sloppy editing and I’m sick of being silent about it. The question of where the Tanners actually lived is open for debate, but it certainly wasn’t Postcard Row. Probably the producers didn’t show footage of the Tanners’ actual neighborhood because they didn’t have the technology to edit out all the crack dealers.

Average water intake

It’s said that the average adult needs 8 glasses of water a day. If you tied me to a chair for 24 hours and put 8 glasses of water in front of me, I’m maybe getting through 2 or 3 glasses before I become bored. Even if the only thing you fed me was saltine crackers, I simply couldn’t imbibe 8 glasses of water. The idea that the average adult needs so much water is the ravings of a fabulist.

Let’s not forget that “average adult” implies that some jackasses are actually going around drinking like 11 or 12 glasses per day. I’d just love to meet somebody who has the time to sit around drinking such an insane quantity of water. Maybe this figure is meant to include the water that’s in our food, but I wouldn’t intake 8 glasses worth of water on an all-watermelon diet. I’m not convinced I go through 8 glasses of water even when you include the water I use for showering. I don’t even think I own 8 different glasses.

When somebody tells me the average adult needs 8 glasses per water a day, I don’t have time to argue. I just respond with my own made up anecdote. I say, “The average adult writes like 20 poems per day.” Anybody can make up stupid facts. “The average adult eats a shitload of kitty litter every weekend.”

Q-tips

The Q-tip package claims it’s dangerous to use Q-tips to clean your ears, but I think that’s crazy. Maybe it’s my rebellious nature, but I use them to clean my ears practically all the time. Sometimes I actually like to jam Q-tips all the way inside my ear canals and mop up cerebrospinal fluid. What do I care? I don’t need to be mothered by Unilever Corp. or by anyone else in the toiletry industry.

I’m not even sure what else you could do with a Q-tip other than scoop out nasty ear wax. I suppose I’ve occasionally used them to clean out my Nintendo cartridges, but that’s probably also violating some sort of Q-tip provision. “Please do not clean your NES cartridges with Q-tips. Doing so might result in a dangerous NES adventure. Please refrain from receiving any utility whatsoever from our product.”

February website notes

My idea to update everyday in January was a spectacular failure. Now that my promises have become less valuable than a gypsy’s, I will attempt to redress my tarnished reputation by updating more or less every weekday for an unspecified unit of time.

As a reward for lying to all of my visitors, I’ve been receiving a powerful influx of traffic. As best as I can gather, on Friday, January 25th, the version of my Internet ’96 article that’s hosted by MSU was posted by a karma-seeking reddit user, who amended a superfluous extension to the URL so as to represent a new submission. From there it appeared on such places as Fark, Gizmodo, and MetaFilter, and on Saturday the 26th it was made popular on Digg.com and received the most Diggs that day, which had evidently been the dullest 24 hours in internet history.

My MSU website is basically a dumpster baby, but because that version of the Internet ’96 article was still generating traffic, about a year ago I loaded it up with ads, including an incongruous mid-article in-text offender. The lesson here is that the best way to generate traffic is to stop creating new content and load up previously-circulated articles with unsightly advertisements. That’s what this web 2.0 bullshit is all about.

Here’s the specific traffic information for the abandoned MSU version of eKarjala:

Digg Traffic

Note the slight increase in traffic my article received from Thursday to Saturday. If you were to stack Saturday’s 183,394 unique visitors end-to-end (and I have), you could reach our Lord and back seven times—with enough people left over to form 4 different ice hockey teams, including a Zamboni driver.

A few of my other articles have been receiving some shrapnel traffic from StumbleUpon, so I’ve added a “recent comments” plugin to the sidebar, which will help draw attention to the latest person I’ve somehow insulted. Also, I’ve switched this site’s font to Verdana, since people kept calling me a “serif font fucker.” However, I’m still considering changing the font back to Times, because I get off on making my webpage look like garbage.

Backpack straps

It’s not fair watching today’s grade school children flounce around with both of their backpack straps in use. I always feel compelled to sneak up from behind and yank one of their straps off. It’s a little thing called humility. When I was in elementary school, one wouldn’t think of slinging both straps across one’s shoulders. Only changelings used both straps. Then in middle school, when it became permissible to use both straps, these losers finally started using a single strap, which always made me chuckle. Some people simply can’t keep up with backpack fashions.

Actually, I’m not sure why it was ever fashionable to utilize only one strap. I think it was meant to imply, “I may be going to school, but I can’t fully commit to wearing a backpack. Something could come up that’s more important than school, and I might not have time to remove both of my straps.” As an adult I realize that there’s nothing “cool” or “hip” about putting undue strain on your rotator cuff. But I still feel like yanking backpack straps off children’s shoulders, and maybe pushing them around a bit.