Need Sleepy

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Well, anybody reading this blog entry who is a regular visitor might notice that I don?t usually post at 5:00 in the AM. Because, of course, I?m not usually awake this early. You see, I?ve always been a big fan of bed, and of sleeping in particular. Now, I won?t pretend to like sleeping as much as my sister does, but to be honest, I?m one of those people that likes shutting his eyes and waking up 8+ hours later. This did not turn out to be one of those evenings.

So, I decided to make the most of it. Once I polish off this blog entry, I?m going to polish up my Cliff Dwellings article. I?m still trying to decide if I need to send some questions off to ?people in the know? as I call them. If I do, the article might be delayed a little bit. Otherwise, expect it this weekend.

I?ve been asked to join a student club on-campus, called SAM. I forgot what SAM stands for, but I did locate the page for the club on the WNMU site. Unfortunately, the only thing on the page is a hideously annoying ?under construction? sign. Now, I?m not saying I?m the end-all be-all of web design, but maybe I can make a contribution to the club fairly quickly by getting something put on that page. Heck, if I can get that tacky-ass picture off, I?ll consider my club membership a success.

I?m going to be fairly incognito until Sunday. I was about to say ?incommunicado? but realized that might give my readership the wrong impression. At any rate, I?ve promised a good friend that I would hit up Star Wars Galaxies tomorrow night. Which means that my Friday is gone, since the Volleyball Team from Western will be having a home game that night as well. And I?m planning on getting OFF my ass on Saturday, and taking The Banana Dog for a hike. And, maybe a new friend as well.

Alrighty, enough mumbling and grumbling. I?m gonna turn on some Sirius streaming and get cracking on that Cliff Dwellings article. Peace out. Homies. Or, er, something like that.

Darkness

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OK, you folks reading this are in for a treat sometime soon. Archon is finishing up the ?dark? theme over on the main page, and lemme tell you: it is the shit. Do you remember how cool Star Wars was when you saw it? I was amazed, as a little kid, I know that. And then you saw Empire Strikes Back, and you said, “Well now, I guess I didn?t know what the hell ?Cool? was, because that was WAY better than the first movie.” Well, that?s how I feel about the new ?dark? theme. I got to see a little preview, and I almost decided to leave the computer on all night so I could wake up to it tomorrow morning.

Anyhoo, I had a pretty good day. I learned what ?didactic? and ?anachronism? mean. For instance, this blog entry is didactic in that I?m educating you on how cool the ?dark? theme is. Additionally, this blog entry is anachronistic in that I don?t usually do a blog entry two days in a row. Reviewing the blog archives, the last time that happened was April 2nd.

This has something to do with my whole “Maybe I should actually write in my blog” mantra. Maybe ‘mantra’ is too strong a word, but I?m feeling a little revival in regards to this whole website thing. Archon is getting busy with the main site, and I don?t want to be left in the dust, so to speak. Also, I was looking through some old stuff, and I found this wonderful bound journal that a dear friend gave to me. On the inside she wrote: “You type way too much so I figured you could use some writing. This is for your rainy days.”

Truly, this is one of the most meaningful gifts I?ve ever received. I do spend a lot of time at the computer typing, and reading those words that my friend wrote, I decided to get busy writing. While the journal is still blank (I can?t bring myself to write anything in it) I thought that I could at least do what she asked of me, as near as possible.

I was thinking earlier about the incredible ways in which the Internet has improved our lives. Of course there are pros and cons about everything, but in the long run I think it would be hard for anybody to present a winning argument on why the Internet is a ?bad thing.? My train of thought drifted earlier to thoughts of friends all over the place. I have friends spread across New Mexico with whom I keep in contact. In addition, there are friends in the San Jose area, a friend up in Pennsylvania, a new friend in Florida, and of course my Park Service buddies in Flagstaff, AZ and Mesa Verde, CO. And I keep in touch with them mostly via the Internet. And it was good.

Well, sorry, no witty or truly insightful comments this time around. I have no idea what I?m going to do for a “Quote From Latest Blog Entry” this time around. Guess I?ll have to fudge it.

Weekend Update

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Well, I had a wonderful weekend. Fun, and eventful, though not necessarily in that order. The highlight of the weekend had to be the visit by the State, County, and Local Police forces to Archon?s neighbor. Yeah, we were kicking back in his house, watching The Big Lebowski and drinking White Russians when we heard this commotion outside. Archon, said he?d inform everybody about it on the main site (we?ll see about that) but for the moment, I?ll let you know that there was swearing and a 2-by-4 involved.

And of course, we?re into the second week of football season. While I am anything but a die-hard fan, I do enjoy watching the game, and I have a favorite team. Now, a little back-story is needed here. My grandmother is a big Dallas Cowboys fan. My uncle, and his family, are Cowboys fans as well. However, my Dad and the rest of his brothers and sisters are Raiders fans. That?s right, the Black and Silver.

So, in this context, you might realize that football would create a little family, er, tension, as it were. For example, we?d often bag on my grandma or uncle for a Dallas loss, or make jokes about a Dallas player being caught with drugs. As it happened that Dallas has been losing a lot the last few years, and their players kept getting arrested, we had ample opportunity to express our views. To make matters worse around the family, an uncle who is in the Raider camp is a DJ for one of the local radio stations. Any chance to publicly mock the Cowboys did not go unobserved by him. While I say all this, keep in mind that things rarely got out of hand, and for the most part everything was done in jest. Aside from that one time when my grandma told us all to get out of the house, things have been civil.

This year, however, things are likely to be different. My grandmother has expressed resentment towards the Cowboys for trading away Emmitt Smith. While she still remains a fan, her enthusiasm for the team has slid a little bit. Additionally, us Raiders fans are focusing on the enemy: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We were switching back and forth between the Raiders-Bengals game and the Bucs-Panthers game this evening. And let me tell you, we were rooting just as much for the Panthers as we were for the Raiders. When the Panthers blocked their third kick, we were up in out of our seats, hooting and hollering. And I looked around at my family of Raiders fans, and said, “Never before in history have we rooted this much for another team.” And everybody agreed.

School is definitely having an impact on the time I can devote to the site here, or Galaxies, as Archon or my new friend Phaedra can attest. I simply have so much to read, and so much research to do, that I?m daunted by things. And Galaxies is so tempting, that I just find myself always drawn into the world when I have free time. Which is why I?m considering canceling my account.

I haven?t been for a hike or a bike ride since I started playing the game. And while I want to say that I have the willpower to limit my time in the game, I know it simply isn?t true. For starters, the game is awesome. That in itself is enough to suck me in. However, this is an awesome game based in the Star Wars universe, and for me, that?s like strawberry cheesecake: a combination too tempting to resist. I?ve already paid this month, so I?ll be wielding my laser-rifle for another 3 weeks or so. After that, we?ll have to see.

I?m working on adding an addition to the website here to list the scores of the games for Western New Mexico University. Actually, I might have more grandiose plans than a little sports section, but I need to speak with Archon about that. Anyhoo, I?m still plugging along on some articles and some reviews. I know I keep saying that, but progress is being made. Maybe if I focused on one, I could get it finished. Instead, I?m jumping around between them all, based on what I feel like working on. Boy, if I did homework like that, we’d be in for an interesting semester here, lemme tell you. Heck, I?d love to take that philosophy when I consider which bills to pay.

Nobody Loves Me

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Avelino has been AWOL. That?s right folks, Away With Out Leave. I?ve neglected this little chunk of cyberspace that I call mine, and there?s no excuse for it. Sure, I?ll say that school has started again, and that is eating into my time. Or, I could say that the new job I took on is another burden. I?ve already tried using the ?I was playing Star Wars Galaxies? excuse, but you?re used to that, so I won?t do that anymore.

I?ve been absent, for so long I think, because I?ve lost a lot of the motivation I once had for doing this site. I have a blast, and part of me thinks it is a worthwhile effort. However, constantly I wonder if anybody is ever reading what I write here. For example: during the month of August, the Avelino.Stasistech.com home page was viewed 42 times. Now, a lot of those were from me checking that a news post looked right, so, what the actual number of visitors really was I don?t know. And even if people view the site, Archon is the only person who ever mentions it to me. He?s the only person who tells me straight away that a review or blog entry was really funny.

So, when it comes down to it, I love running this little site. I?ve just run into the problem of ?not enough content.? My sister and Mom both say that there?s never anything here when they come to visit. Apparently, neither of them are interested in the news posts that populate the front page. So, I end up having to call them and let them know I wrote something special before they will come to visit. And even when I do that, they sometimes don?t come. Or, they don?t tell me they did.

So, I was lost as to how to proceed from here. There?s no way I can add something new, besides news posts, every day. That?s just an impossibility. And before there is something appealing here everyday, I doubt people will come to view the site as something they should check out regularly. Like e-mail. People always check their e-mail.

I decided I?m just gonna keep on trucking the way I am. If I post something, I do. If not, oh well. I?m not going to bother telling anybody, since that doesn?t seem to influence traffic to the site whatsoever. Most importantly, I get to write here, like I do nowhere else. And since that is my main ambition at the moment, putting words down, I?m going to rely on that. Because I can?t rely on anything else. So, while I write this to you, and start the blog entry off by saying that I?ve been gone, and apologizing to you, I actually don?t give a damn. Because more than likely, I?ll be the only one reading it anyway.

America

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Introduction
As you may or may not know, I ventured on a 2700 mile journey across America. Now, I’ll mention quite a few tidbits of information in my article “Where’s Avelino,” but I felt it necessary to devote a separate article to this topic. And again, some of you may or may not already know that America is going to the dogs. For those of you who are aware of this development, this article should provide further vindication of your belief. If you didn’t know that America’s character is in a state of decline, consider this your first lesson.

Now, I could begin listing reasons like the Bush economy and the Bush Screw Your Neighbor? Doctrine of Foreign Policy, or the fact that we’ve seen so much legislation aimed at regulating citizens that I want to move to Canada, or we could look at the latest information on corporate scandals. But, here at the Stasistech Network, we like to do things a little bit differently. Instead, we’re going to look at only two factors: the inability of Americans to follow simple directions, and the inability of Americans to pee into the toilet, as opposed to on the toilet.

Yes, You Heard Me Correctly
That’s right folks, half of my dissertation is based on simple human hygiene, and the American lack of it. Traveling through America can teach you quite a bit, and while I saw many things, places, and people that made me proud to be an American, the thing that really sticks in my mind is yellow toilet seats. You see, when you’re on the road for 12 hours a day, you stop at rest stops and restaurants quite often. It’s basic human anatomy. And I kid you not, at almost every rest stop we visited, if I went into a stall, I found yellow spots all over the toilet seat.

What possesses grown men to make them feel it’s alright to Spray-It-And-Leave-It? is anybody’s guess: I’m as baffled as the next guy. Because it can’t just be kids doing it. And even if it is kids doing it, what kind of parenting is occurring throughout this land where we teach our children to pee all over the place? If we’re failing to let our kids know the simple stuff, like lifting up the seat before they go, then how focused are we on the major stuff?

What kind of manners will exist in our society if we’re neglecting basic fundamentals like toilet seat etiquette? Will teenaged boys stop opening doors for their sweethearts? Will they show up to prom in jeans and a t-shirt? What other impacts will this have on our society? An even lower turnout on voting day? Perhaps we’ll see more murder on the streets because of an increase in road rage. I know I’m just speculating, but it really seems that if we’re not teaching our children the basics, they’re never gonna catch onto the bigger stuff.

Hooked On Phonics Worked For Me!!
And speaking of teaching our children the basics, I’ve got an idea: make sure they know how to read! Now, I understand that things are bad enough already, but my recent trip only highlighted how bad things are in America. Not only do our children lack proper reading skills, but our adults do as well. Case in point: my recent visit to Gettysburg.

For those of you haven’t been to Gettysburg, let me tell you one thing about it. This was the site of the bloodiest battle ever fought on US soil. 51,000 casualties occurred over three days. 140 years ago, this huge battle which was fought over a section of Pennsylvania land turned the tide of the Civil War. Gettysburg National Cemetery is where President Lincoln gave his famous Address. Get the idea?

Now, imagine you’re there, along with hundreds of other people, reading the signs which give depictions of famous engagements, or inform you of a particular officer or company, etc. And imagine you see one sign that says, “Please stay on path.” Now, I’m not exactly sure what level of reading is required to understand these four words, but I’m going to speculate that the majority of second graders would comprehend the message to mean “stay on the path.”

Then Again…
But, of course, we live in America. So, of course, not only were there little kids running off the path, but teenagers, and some grown men as well. So, I started thinking about possible causes for people to walk off the path, and I came to several possible conclusions. I present them here in no particular order.

The people could not read the sign.

People in America take their core values, that whole “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” thing very seriously. These people who were getting off the path truly expect to be “free” here in America, and as such, they feel that petty rules are below them. “Why bother, when I’m a free American citizen, in a section of land maintained with my tax dollars?”

The people simply didn’t care about what the sign said. They had no motivation for ignoring the sign besides general apathy.

However, I must now add one little snippet of information. To add injury to insult, I heard a woman telling her boys that, “Hurry up, you’re not supposed to be on those rocks. Oh, OK, just a few more pictures.” So, in other words, she could read, just not follow directions. Or, for that matter, impart discipline upon her children. Whatever the case, she rules out conclusion #1.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m getting a little too upset about a small little situation. Maybe I’m blowing it all way out of proportion. And I start to think, and I realize that I can’t blow it out of proportion. We’re talking about the future of America, and how it’s already being degraded. How could I possibly NOT get upset?

The question I must next ask myself is, do we have any hope of change? I think so. For starters, people like Arriana Huffington are getting involved. Her campaign for Governor of California is based mainly on the principle that the government should be existing for the welfare of the people. I don’t believe anybody has expressed this ideal as much as she has since the time of John Adams. She’s not interested in corporate sponsorship, and is instead reaching out to the actual populace to fund her campaign. She wants to make education in that state work, and her ideas look as sound as any I’ve seen.

Secondly, not all is lost in the Entertainment Industry. Artists like Neil Young are out there, trying to spread some meaningful work amongst the pop-culture BS which has taken a hold on mainstream America. We went from the brief highlight of last year, with Norah Jones and Beck having great albums, back to the same-ole same-ole of this year. Check out Young’s Greendale. It probably won’t sell a lot of copies, but I’m gonna be getting one.

Finally, we’ve got an election year coming up. While many feel the main battle will be the economy, I’m not of that mind. The economy will get better: that’s what economies do. We’re going to be looking at foreign policy, health care, and education this year. Hopefully, some major issues will be brought to light in California, and that trend will continue into the Presidential Election next year. Maybe my generation will wake up to the fact that we’ve been silent for far too long. Hopefully, after the year we’ve faced looking for jobs and worrying about friends and family overseas, we’ll take on an active role in determining our future. Because if we don’t, somebody else will.

Wrapping this all up into a nice little ending is somewhat difficult. How do you follow up three paragraphs about peeing on the toilet, honestly? But, there you have it. I’ll let you make up your own minds, based on the evidence I provided. Send comments to andurin@hotmail.com.

Slacking

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Well, I’ve been slacking a little on the “blogging” front lately, and for that I apologize. I do have two reasons, though I’ll let you judge the merit of my excuses. For starters, I’ve been helping some people from my Dad’s church stucco a Huge-Ass-Wall?, so that’s taken up a little of my time. Also, being away for three weeks means I’m trying to play catch-up on DF-BHD. Archon is a full three ranks ahead of me, and though I doubt I’ll catch him, I’m going to try.

Speaking of stucco, if you’ve never done it before, don’t feel that you’re missing out on anything. It consists mostly of your left arm holding this plate like a waiter, which you pile up with cement. Now, holding this plate of cement up in the air, you use a trowel to scoop the stucco/cement off the plate onto a wall, pushing hard to get the mixture to stick to the wall. Once all the cement/stucco is gone, you pile some more onto your plate, and repeat. Like, I don’t know, 7 million times. If you’re neck, back, and arms aren’t in serious pain by the end of the day, you’ve been stuccoing wrong. Trust me.

DF-BHD is becoming a little more time consuming. Archon and I had joined a squad called PointX, but things were starting to get a little too controlled for us. We mentioned a few things about this to the squad’s “ruling council” and they basically handed the clan off to me and him. So, we’re not sure where to proceed from here, but we’ll figure something out.

I borrowed Signs from my uncle and aunt today, so I could watch it with my Dad, who has yet to see it. I’m interested in his reaction, and I’ll be sure to let you all know. We’re going to wait until it’s dark before we watch it: I feel the movie is better in that mood. I definitely enjoyed the movie in the theatre: I was watching it with my then girlfriend, and half-way into the movie she asked me to let go of her hand, because I was squeezing it so hard. Not exactly my finest hour, but hey, what’s a guy to do?

I’m still waiting on some pictures that I left to develop in Gaithersburg, MD, while I was there visiting my Mom. Once I have those, I should be able to complete three articles: “Why America Is Going To Shit,” a compelling piece on the degradation of America’s character, “Gettysburg: 140 Years Later,” a gripping look at America’s bloodiest battlefield, and “Where’s Avelino?” a timeless story of one man’s journey across America. OK, that attempt to legitimatize what I do here by adding big words was just far too much fun.

Finally, Archon is working a little on the setup and design of the Stasistech Network, which I’m definitely supporting. He has some great ideas, and hopefully you’ll see them implemented here and on the main site soon. On my end, I might be doing a little redesign, but for sure I’ll be making additions to the Links page and the Reviews page. Once I start working more and playing less, that is. Be sure to send us your feedback. Or donations, for that matter. You can find our contact info on the About/Cast page. Until next time, take care.