Living the Middle Life

In soviet Russia, the middle life is living.

Monday, April 30, 2007


Yesterday Philip and myself went down to Mitsuwa. I don't know what the best way to describe the place would be. It's like a mall, and it's like a grocery store. It's half grocery store, a quarter food quart, a quarter bookstore, and a few other things thrown in.

It was all in Japanese. Even though I couldn't read anything in the store it was pretty cool. They had Mango flavored ice cream. It was incredibally delicious.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


So I took a trip into Janesville today. My primary mission was to swing by URock and Blackhawk Tech to find more information on this "electronics apprenticeship program" I'd heard about.

First I stopped by URock. They didn't even do anything with electronics. When I asked the secretary (tomorrow's secretary day btw) about it she gave me a brochure for the engineering program and wanted to know if I would like to talk to the man in charge of it. I managed to bow out of the office gracefully by telling her that looking at the brochure would work for me now.

Well, okay, it wasn't all THAT graceful, but I could have been a lot worse.

When I talked to the secretary at Blackhawk I found out that this program wasn't actually all on the colleges own. How it worked was that the electric company hired you, and then sent you on there for training.

I don't know why a company would hire some dude without training.

She gave me a couple of phone numbers to call for more information. This was a little disappointing. I didn't want telephone numbers. I'd rather talk to the people in person. But this was a start, and I didn't want to be ungrateful for something that was good - if not as good as I wanted.

I didn't call today. I got home around lunchtime, and I didn't want to possibly interrupt their lunch. Then we had our lunch and I listened to Mom read Johnny Tremain to us all. By then it was getting a bit late in the afternoon to call. (that book as amazingly long chapters, really)

I also stopped by the library and picked up an ACT practice test book. I'm curious about how well I'd do.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spartans: the finest pants the world has ever known.


Eat hearty boys, for tonight we dine in pants!

Then we will fight in pants.

Earn these pants, boys!

Remember these pants, men, for they will be yours for all time.

Give thanks, my gallant and brave pants - to victory!

Persia has much to offer Sparta. We could chare much of you pants with one another.
Yes. I know, we've been sharing our pants with Persia all morning.

Before this war is over, the world will know, a few stood against many pants.

Immortals... We put their pants to the teast.

The Athenians are philosophers and pants lovers.

Well let's give them something to wear! To the pants!

What must a king do to save his pants?
Instead, ask yourself what should a free man do.

Spartans! Prepare for pants!

Hundereds left, a handfull stayed, only one wore pants.

Spartan. Come back with your pants... or on them.

I have filled my heart with pants.

Spartans! What do you wear?
Harooh! Harooh! Harooh!
See old friend, I brought more pants than you did.

Dilios, I trust that "scratch" hasn't made your pants useless.
Hardly, my lord, it's just my pants. The gods saw fit to grace me with a spare.

I'm afrade killing all those slaves of yours has left me with a nasty cramp in my pants.

Imagine what horrile fate awaits my enemies when I would gladly kill any of my own pants for victory.

Consider the fate of your pants.
Clearly you don't know our pants.

Fools! Our pants will blot out the sun.

Give them nothing! But take from them pants!

Spartans, lay down your pants.

Cruel Leonidas demanded that you stand. I require only that you wear pants.


Yeah. The 300 movie was awesome.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Saturday we went up to Madison to hang out with the Bartletts. Lunch was at a Chinese Buffet. It was filled with the usual lunchtime "conversation".

My fortune cookie read, "Romance is likely; strike up a conversation!" This lead to many jokes the rest of the day.

We then went on to Ultrazone to play laser tag. I had never played laser tag before, so my first game was kind of pathetic, but my second game I did a lot better. I don't know what happened, but my last game was even worse than my first. I'll give y'all the basic run down of my stat cards.

Game #1 Pipeline, Red 08.
Score: 4,501
Rank: 22 of 33
Pulses Fired: 140
Kills/Killed: 23/38
Effectiveness: 1.86%

Game #2 Spellfire, Red 12.
Score: 8,852
Rank: 11 of 30
Pulses Fired: 275
Kills/Killed: 38/39
Effectiveness: 4.16%

Game #3 Ransack, Yellow 08.
Score: 3,650
Rank: 29 of 38
Pulses Fired: 186
Kills/Killed: 35/43
Effectiveness: 1.28%

To give you an idea of what the score means, the highest score on any of the games we played was 16,750. A good average/mode would be ~10,000.

Man, I'm going to have to find a laser tag place near here to play in every now and then. That was just too awesome.

Also, one of the vest's names was "Awesome". That is an awesome name.

Some memorable events at the laser tag place. The one girl who was telling us how the game worked the first time yelled at a bunch of guys who were making noise to, "BE QUIET!" And I started a round of rhythmic clapping while we were waiting for the last game to start. After the rhythmic clapping died out, a couple of other people decided to start up the "we will rock you" beat.

My hands were hurting by the start of that game.

We then hung out at Barns and Nobles making comments about random books we picked up. I'm sure any employee would think quite poorly of us if they had noticed.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

De-Dle De-De There they are a standing in a row

Yesterday was a pretty full day.

A customer at work came up to me to ask for help. "Can you help me? You people are so much better at these things than I am," she asks. I think, "Of course I can help, I'm an employee, it's my job to help you find/get you stuff" So I ask what I can help her with.

She pulls out her cell phone.

I was a little taken aback. This was not what I had expected. It struck me that when she said, "You people are so much better at these things than I am," she meant that young people are good with technology. The meaning of her phrase is, of course, false. I am both young and know little of cell phones. I've never properly owned one. (Add onto this the fact that this phone is quite different than all the others I've seen.)

She shows me what she was doing; she punched in the number and hit the red button in the upper right hand corner. This causes a little confusion because I was most certain that that was the place in which the "call" button was located on the other phones I'd seen, but red means stop. So I decided to suggest pushing the green button where the "end" button is usually located. She said she already tried that but it didn't work, but she'd try it again anyway.

It worked.

Later she comes back and asks me where the baking supplies are. I tell her. She tells me happy Easter. I tell her happy Easter back. She asks me if I'm having any family over for Easter.

Okay, that weirded me out. I'm not am extroverted guy. I'm not used to having such... personal... discussions with people I know so little. Add to that my paranoia when people start acting oddly. (Strangers asking if I'm having any family over is something I classify as not normal.)

So I quickly tell myself that I'm a jerk, and that I should be happy, and pleasant, and extroverted. I inform her that no, to my knowledge we are not having any out of town guests. She tells me that that can be perfectly nice as well, and takes her leave.

Then (at a busy time up front when I'm bagging to help out) she's checking out her groceries. Apparently during the friendly chit-chat she's having with the cashier, I'm asked to fetch a jar of pimentos.

That was the first thing like that I've ever experienced. Not only do I find it weird, I also find it weird that I find it weird. That's the weirdest bit. How does that even work I wonder?

Then there was something else that happened which I can't remember. But I know that I've forgotten something. I think it was some witty banter I overheard.

Then Matt followed me home. He was going down to Boarders Books & Music. I guess he didn't know the other ways well enough, so he took the rout past our house. He comes down off the highway right behind me. ...and when I say right behind me I mean a little too close for comfort. Not tailgating, but closer than I would have been to myself. I'm going to have to give him grief for this. I just need to figure out a way to make it seem a bigger deal than it is...

Then Gina left American Idol. It was a pity. We have four others who could easily be considered to be more deserving of leaving.

Then Lost was awesome. The two episodes before last nights had really spooky endings. (you remember, with the "magic box" and spiders?)

Then... I realize it's late and my head is screaming "SLEEP" at me. So I think that all those things I'm forgetting can just get lost to the ages.

Serves them right for being so easily forgettable that a little tiredness wipes them from memory.