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My name is Bean and this is my blog. Hence the name. If you have comments or questions, just leave them in the comments area.
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Archive for September 2005
A pharmacy technician and a real estate agent are sitting in a bar and the pharmacy tech says to the real estate agent "Hey, why don't you buy some property down there in New Orleans." The real estate agent replies in a somewhat harsh tone "Why don't YOU buy some?"

By the way that the agent responded, it seems to me that he was trying to make the point that it is absurd to assume that a real estate agent would know any more about purchasing real estate in New Orleans than a pharmacy technician. Or, to put it another way, it's stupid to assume that a real estate agent could not get any better of a deal on property in New Orleans than a pharmacy technician.

You may have figured out by now that this is not really a joke - rather it is an exchange that led to a 90 minute debate between said tech, agent, and myself, which I am posting for feedback to settle the whole thing. Too late now, you are hooked - keep reading. For the record, the tech was my cousin Brad (skydivin' mothereffer), the agent was my friend John (of contanister fame), and the bar was the sweet-ass bar I built in my basement.

This led to two basic argumentative points which are very closely related:
Is it absurd to think that an agent would have an advantage over a tech when trying to buy property in New Orleans? That is, would a response such as mentioned above ("Why don't YOU?") not come as a surprise to the majority of people? Would an agent actually have an advantage over a tech when trying to buy land in New Orleans? I wont tell you what side I was on, but I think it should be fairly obvious (the right one). John and Brad: feel free to chime in if you think I may have misrepresented the situation or the basic questions. Everyone else: what do you think?
Snowshoe
Posted September 27, 2005 at 12:49:00 PM by Bean in the Vacation category
Updated - see comments!

When I was in highschool, a group of friends and I used to drive out to Snowshoe, West Virginia between Christmas and New Years. We'd get a cheap room, cheap beer, rental skis, and lift passes and have a blast for 5 days. I think I went 4 times, maybe 3, and the group of people was slightly different each time. Palmer was the leader of the pack who organized it all.

Skiing is fun. In talking with Brad (who went on at least one of the trips), we both realized that skiing is way too much fun to NOT do it anymore. For this reason, we have committed ourselves to heading back to Snowshoe this winter and reliving the glory days. We need a few more people to make it economically feasible and funomonically mo betta fun.

I haven't pinned the deets yet, but here's the skinny so far: We'll drive - cause that's half the fun. We'll get a "ski in, ski out" lodge (direct access to slopes). Cost will be between $75-$100 per person, per day, including lift tickets and ski rentals. We'll go for between 3 and 6 days, pending interest and schedules. We'll shoot for either the time between Christmas and New Years or sometime in mid-January. Is anyone interested in participating? If so, holla back and include some dates so we can get this nailed down in the next few weeks.
My friend John uses the word "contanister." He claims it's a cross between a container and a canister - which are pretty close to the same thing. I claim he thought it was a word and is now using the whole combination-of-words thing as a cover-up.

Anyway, we got to talking last night and it turns out that when you combine two words that have very similar meanings to create a third word, also with the same meaning, the results are [1] understandable (everyone will know what you mean) and [2] funny (everyone will think it is atleast a little bit funny).

For example, when we were discussing this subject last night and laughing about all of the contanisters John has in his house, I came up with:

Disaster + catastrophe = Disastrophe

Funny, eh? Now you try!
The Music Industry
Posted September 23, 2005 at 09:27:00 AM by Bean
My friend Nate started an internet radio station. It's not much, just a bunch of categorized looping lists with a 3-hour live show Wednesday nights. He pays 60 or 90 bucks a month for the service, which hosts his mp3s, handles the scheduling, provides a nice front-end, and covers all legal issues.

For approximately zero dollars, anyone with a broadband connection and a few minutes can set up their own internet radio station. This is due mainly to open source software projects like Icecast and EZStream, which when combined can basically turn your "line-out" into an MP3 stream and allow you to play DJ with whatever audio application you want. With a little coding, it's easy to set up a front end that publishes you song lists, allows for requests, scheduling, etc. There are some very powerfull free tools out there.

Unfortunately, the technical aspect of streaming audio is not it's only barrier. There are some really bad laws on the books regarding copyrights and liscensing. I understand that artists need to get paid. Unfortunately, the majority of money spent to liscense a broadcast (or buy a CD, or perform a cover) goes to the record label, not the artist. The more I read about the laws, the more infuriated I became. The RIAA, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC have heavily influenced every single music-related law made in the last 20 years. For this reason, you are required to pay them, ALL OF THEM, regardless of whether the music you play belongs to the artists or record lables they represent. Take a few minutes and read this:
Webcasting Legally

Just learning how it all works makes me mad. And to top it off, even though the industry would have you believe that you need to pay all of these fees in order to fund the artists, most of the money never makes it to them. Instead, it feeds the industry and allows them to buy more lawyers, lobbiests, billboards, and souls.

Courtney Love, who I never really cared for, wrote a very good review of the industry from the artists point of view. It shows how many artists are just as disgusted with the industry as many consumers. I like her "tip jar" approach. Check it out here:
Courtney Love does the math

There is only one group who is winning with the current industry/legal setup, and that's the record labels, represented by RIAA, SESAC, BMI and ASCAP. Makes me want to throw my radio away (or atleast break the FM dial) and never buy a CD, go to a concert, or participate in any kind of organized, main-stream music event again.

I've never been big on buying CDs, even before there were MP3s. But now, I pledge to NEVER buy a CD for myself or anyone else again. Instead, I'll download, copy, lie, cheat, and steal. Legal, illegal, I don't care. The laws are bad, and they have to change. The industry is afraid of the internet, so they are doing everything they can to keep technology OUT of music.

They will fail, eventually. Technology will always win. As the web grows, as broadbad access becomes more common, and as more software get created to handle media-sharing, they will be forced to reorganize. The problem is, it may take a while, and they are not going to go down without a long, messy fight.

I know it's not a life-and-death issue. There are more important things to worry about. But, damn. Please comment - but RTFA (read the fucking articles) first!
Halobean 6
Posted September 22, 2005 at 03:02:00 PM by Bean in the Hallobean category
Tossing around ideas for Hallobean 6. First and foremost: the date. Right now it's looking like either October 22 or October 29. Chime in and let me know your preference if you think you may come. PS - if you are reading this, you are invited.
Politics
Posted September 21, 2005 at 10:22:00 AM by Bean
These tests are retarded. But every now and then, I tard it up a little. A while back, I published a political chart of all the ducks. Below is my latest retest, using a slightly more in-depth series of questions. Hey ducks, if you take the test, send me your results (%'s and whatnot).

You are a
Social Conservative
(38% permissive)

and an...
Economic Conservative
(65% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Republican

Link: The Politics Test
Stef and I rode Segways Sunday. We saw a blurb in the Velocity for Louisville Glided Tours and decided 40 bones was an acceptable amount of money to spend for 2 hours of Segwayin'.

We got to the meeting point early and talked to the owner for a while. He was very nice and talkative. He trained us and showed us the basics before his wife took us on the tour. The tour was kinda dumb, since I am from the area and all, but the 2 hours on the neat little two-wheeled machine was an absolute blast. Accelerating and stopping is very intuitive, and turning is easy. The whole experience is kinda hard to explain, but by the end of the tour you feel like the Segway is an extension of your legs. You just think about moving forward, and forward you go.

Here's Stef in her dork helmet and me zipping this way and that.

I highly reccomend this tour, or, atleast riding a Segway once to try it out. Fun tims!
Lawn Blog
Posted September 19, 2005 at 10:47:00 AM by Bean
I used to have the nicest lawn in the neighborhood.

My front yard was immaculate. I watered it pretty much every day, pulled weeds weekly, fertilized, and put down weed preventer when needed. It was green and lush - my pride and joy. This was no small feat, due mainly to the fact that my front yard is basically sod sitting on top of rocks and clay. Yep, thats right, my builder didn't lay topsoil under the sod. In fact, the day after the sod went in, I was perusing the lawn and fixing places where the sod was uneven and found several interesting items under the sod. I swear that I found the following items above the rock/clay base and under the sod that day: A whole brick, a chunk of concrete as big as a football, many many large rocks (baseball size), a white t-shirt, and a mexican worker. Okay, no mexican worker, but the rest was there. It's like they didn't even rake the dirt before the laid the sod.

Anyway, cue the Honeymoon. We were gone for 2 week. When I came back, my entire front yard was dead as dirt. Hell, it was deader than dirt, what with the not having any dirt under it and all. The only green patches left were either large crabgrass plants or small sections directly under shrubs.

I've been watering it regularly since we got back, and there is some growth returning, but very slowly. I figure the problem isn't that I'm not watering, weeding, or fertilizing enough, it's th efact that there's no friggin dirt under the sod - nothing in which to root solidly. So how do I resolve this problem?

Well, I remember a guy I used to work with (named Burt Love) who once told me that he added topsoil to his yard every year by just dumping it on top. He said he opens a bag, dumps it out, and rakes it evenly over a small area. The established grass will poke through well enough, and new grass may have a little more fertile dirt to work with. So yesterday, I bought ten 40 pound sacks of organic topsoid and raked it over some of the more barren areas. It looks like shit right now, but I'm hoping it will help in the long run. I also overseeded a few times.

Anybody else have any suggestions?
Stop Showing Your Support
Posted September 16, 2005 at 08:54:00 AM by Bean
Call me a grouch. Call me grumpy. I am sick of the gay little support-this and support-that magnetic ribbons that people stick on their bumpers. It was all fine and good when it was just "Support our troops". It was a yellow ribbon, very traditional, and the message made sense, being that we are in a war and whatnot. Unfortunately, some marketing genius got ahold of the magnet cut-out template and started churning out crap. I have seen, and I am not kidding, the following stupid magnetic ribbons:
Pray for our President Autism Awareness End SIDS Now Hepatitis C Association Adoption, the Loving Option Organ Donation Support Lupus Research And a bazillion variations of the original patriotic magnet. Enough. Hepatitis C? What the fuck - don't go telling people you are in front of you have hepatitis.

Lucky for those of us who enjoy sarcasm and comedy, somebody made a good one. Stef found it in the parking lot where she works and slapped it on my car. This morning, I put it on a co-worker's bumper and snapped this pic.
Beards 2
Posted September 14, 2005 at 12:28:00 PM by Bean
In a previous post, I talked about beards, and how fun it is to shave them off in interesting ways. Well, in keeping with that tradition, I bring you Bean's Beards second installment: Biker Bean
Log Jumping
Posted September 12, 2005 at 09:11:00 AM by Bean
Here's a funny video Stef took of TP's friend and co-worker Craig jumping off a log into the river Sunday during the canoe trip. Turn your volume up for maximum enjoyment.
TheDuck
Posted September 09, 2005 at 09:14:00 AM by Bean
It's been a while since I blog a blog about ducking.

It's hard to define exactly what ducking is, but in it's purest form, it's sending emails to ducks. Ducks? Ducks. A duck is any of the following people:
Me *% Piss Conley Marty % Doodles* Seleb * Scuba Steve * Irwin Nick M1 *% Derndel Rushing Joemilla JCTMH % T^P* Rangoon RIP: Koji %, D-Rob %
Or, rather, it's all of them, email-list style. Nothing over-the-top spectacular about ducking, really, but it's developed into it's own culture complete with uncountable inside jokes, bizarely morphed words and phrases, customs, and unwritten rules. It's much more than email. I wont go into deets, cause then I'd have to kill ya.

I've been tracking duck emails since December 1999. It actually started a little earlier than that but it took time to develop into an organized structure, if you can call it that. Anyway, here's the chart that shows the number of ducks ducked by month, along with running average and an exponentially smoothed trend.


* = Active member; daily ducks.
% = Founding member; a duck in '99.
End of Summer Canoe Trip
Posted September 06, 2005 at 09:18:00 AM by Bean
Went canoeing this past weekend with Stef's friends Matt and Jen, and it was fun, fun tims - Beautiful weather, great company, and interesting, drunk rednecks floating by for entertainment (along with the nature, etc). So, Stef and I are planning on going again this weekend. We've got it narrowed down to two locations, and are indifferent as to which one we brave. If anyone is interested in accompanying us, leave a comment, and we'll figure out a good meeting point and time.

Option 1: Cave Country Canoes
I've been here once. It was when I was probably 10 years old. I have fond memories. It in Southern Indiana, along the Blue River near Marengo, IN.
$21 to canoe
$26 to kayak
11-17 miles.

Option 2: Blue's Canoes
I went here once also, about 5 years ago with the Rizorths. It was a fun trip ass wheel, and was a very easy livery to find - right off of I-65 in Columbus.
$17 to canoe
$28 to kayak
8 miles.

We'll make a decision on place and time Thursday, after any interested parties provide their input. Color me stoked!
Thoughts on Katrina
Posted September 02, 2005 at 08:33:00 AM by Bean
Man, I just have to chime in on this.

Now, I am a conservative in on most issues. I like W. I support the war. I think most liberals are hippie tree-huggin trouble-makers. And on and on, but that's not the point of this blog.

I've been watching the coverage of Katrina's aftermath since Monday. Shit's gotten bad, what with the looting, the flooding, the dead bodies floating around, oh, and the STARVATION. Perhaps I'm being influenced by the left-wing media who control most of the channels I receive (broadcast only), but it seems to me like there should have been massive amounts of federal aid there by now. It's been 4 days! This is a huge disaster, and we knew it was coming, and we knew NOLA would turn into a shit hole, so why in the hell didn't we have the shits ready and waiting to assist? Maybe I'm watching too much ABC/CBS/NBC coverage, but it really does seem to me like the federal government dropped the ball here. 4 days! What the fuck?

Another thing that's making my blood boil is seeing all of these reporters who go into the dome and the convention center and videotape themselves giving a report in front of a bunch of starving, medicine-deprived poor people. "Here we are in New Orleans, where the situation is getting pretty bad. Blah blah blah..." Hey, here's a fucking news flash you stupid bitch reporter, how about instead you and your cameraman lugging a big video camera, your nice clothes, and your makeup case down into hell, you carry a few crates of bottled water, some bread, and some insulin. There is enough coverage of it to let everyone what's going on. Stop trying to win a damn news coverage award and start filling you news van to the brim with food and water one way and stranded, suffering NOLA folks the other!?
Zoo Recap
Posted September 01, 2005 at 01:03:00 PM by Bean
The brew at the zoo was good tims, as expected. We started out looking at a few animals. Here's a big cat. Here's an ape's ear. I was suprised how humanish it looked. Once 4pm rolled around, we headed to the "oasis garden" for the main event.

Here's a pic of the inside of a tent (1 of 3) and here is a jockey-box at Cumberland Brews. There was plenty of space, even with the 500 people. The music was good, the beer was good, and the food was spectacular, in my opinion. It was like 30 resturaunts each brought their 2 best appetizers, and let you have as many of them as you wanted, whilst insisteing you wash it down with great beer and listen to good music. Tits.

TP tried various methods of styaing cool, including, but not limited to holding a water bottle on his head, hold 2 water bottles on stef's ears, fanning himself, and surfing on a lizard.

Caleb tried to break some big rubberband deally. He's a wimp. I broke it first try. Unfortunately, the backlash caused a nasty whelp on my fat roll.
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