Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ricky Shambles: Election Official

Since I moved after the divorce, I registered in my new county and checked the box that I was interested in being an election official (one of the people checking IDs and giving out ballots). Tonight I went through my training class. (I now live in a primarily conservative county.)

I was impressed with the focus on making sure EVERYONE has the right to vote, what IDs are acceptable, and that there are ALWAYS at least one Republican and one Democrat at the table at all times. The main trainer made many serious points to the effect of "If you at any point think 'I have to tell them they cannot vote,' take a breath, and if you cannot figure out how to make it work provisionally, call us. We will answer. We will make it right."

We had a few "I don't get it" folks, and I really hope they do by next Tuesday.

One guy piped up "So, let me get this straight. If one of them illegals comes in with an address in our area, they just get to vote?" Trainer man shut him down immediately: "No, a person can vote ONLY if they are a registered voter, and that requires registration with a legit, citizen driver's license or legit SSN."

And when marriage name changes came up, the other trainer brought up "same sex marriages." Audible grumble from half the crowd. She was also quick to say "Roll with it. This is the law and if you come into Ohio with a marriage license changing your name from another state, it's valid."

For as conservative as it is here, I'm happy about the training, and am looking forward to next Tuesday. At the very least, I'll be the guy up on what is a valid ID. I'm sure there will be many tales over the 14 some hours I sit there with the other officials, and I promise you a solid review of my experience.

Ricky Shambles, reporting for duty!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Predatory Lending Makes Me Angry: TitleMax

Title Max got your real money...

(I'll never get Adsense to work with rants like this.)

Fuck these guys. Fuck them. Predatory lending is a disease of monsters preying on the weak and poor and ignorant. There are genuine reasons someone might need this type of service in an emergency, but this commercial is nothing more than glamorizing pawning the title of your vehicle with the beauty of money money money and mo money. I'm a pretty brilliant person and even I don't know exactly what that would entail, but smart enough to know that this is a dangerous trap.

So, fuck Title Max. Spread the word.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Right Wing Ferguson Misinformation Campaign

Today I had to lay down a little internet sleuthing after seeing the above image posted with the following caption:

This is Ferguson police officer BEFORE he shot Mike Brown. Please pass this around over and over. Think Sharpton and MSNBC will show this? That means TPC will have to...start passing folks.

Well, damn, I knew the orbital blowout fracture was questionable (the sole source being right wing rag Gateway Pundit), but this had to be some solid proof, right? I mean, who would just go on the internet and spread lies?

My first problem was that this guy in the picture doesn't look anything like Officer Darren Wilson, unless he stopped for a Hair Club and dye job beforehand - and had his ears pinned back. So a little more digging and a reverse image search and I come up with this article from 2006.

That picture up top isn't Darren Wilson. He's not even a police officer. His real identity is American motorcyclist Jim McNeil who face-planted during a trick in 2006. So I clicked back through and found the photo and caption on my wall had been shared by a Tom Sullivan III ...and 67,000 other people.

So, fair readers, should you come across some of the thousands of shares of this disingenuous photo, here's your ammo. There is enough crap being spread about Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown. We don't need more.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Little Shambles Goes to College

I dropped my daughter off at college today - and spent a good part assembling IKEA furniture and manhandling the dorm pieces to arrange the room into her ideal configuration. It was a pretty heavy day for her and left me burned out, but she seems to be okay about it and I'm sure she'll be fine on her new adventure.

My first mind fuck was driving into town and realizing I was doing the same thing with my parents 19 years ago. 19 years ago? Damn. I saw all these "kids" checking in, wandering about, getting their bearings (hello ladies!), and floated back to my experience, specifically my experience on move-in day.

I was a suburban white kid rolling into a 4-person room with my punk/goth/indie CD collection. Focus on Biotech (ended: Eng/Psy degrees). I think I'd had one brief conversation with each of my roommates on the home phone. No one had cell phones. I ended up with a brilliant crew: A cool guy with similar music and geeky tastes, a skinny white kid who was in love with rap, and a HS jock who brought his iguana, Gimpy. And while there were some differences in opinion, we were all cordial and had a great and amazing year with each other.

And then the feelings of waste and want to go back. How I could've done things better. I spent my last year in drink and drugs and had lost almost all contact with those wonderful people. But, y'know, get over it; you can't go back; it was what it was.

I'd spent part of last night compiling a mix CD for Little and it was hard to keep the eyes dry.

I was very worried that all of today would be me weeping, but it didn't hit me until my second mind fuck: after driving 4 hours there, spending 7 hours in the move-in process and dinner, and 4 hours back, I didn't lose it. It was walking back into the apartment and realizing that bedroom was now just an extra room. She won't be back for months. Waterworks.

Mini will be fine. She's got most of her family about an hour away and with smartphones, she's just a text away.

Sleep and process. I'll be fine too.

And then Monday is the dissolutionment, but that's another post on the other blog.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hey Crazypants, I'm Back!

I was stunned to see that it's been about nine months since I last posted.

That. Ends. Now.

I'm going through the end of a 12-year marriage, seeing someone new, and have Little Shambles between HS graduation and college in the fall.

Lots of shit going on. And yet there's this ache in me, this looming reality of conservative fuck-y'all that needs to be addressed, and I have been truant in my mission, my thoughts, that materialized when beginning this thing.

I started it and refuse to let it drop off.

If any of my readers are still out there, please say hello. It'll help me keep to task and hold me accountable.

This week is the intro. Next week on I'm aiming for at least 3 posts a week.

See you soon - and thanks for still paying attention.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Honest Trailers: World War Z

Spoilers if you haven't seen it. Hilarious either way. And too, too true.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Jeff Foxworthy and The Lord

It was a lazy Saturday and damn it if I didn't stumble upon Jeff Foxworthy's new gig.

(click to embiggen)

I guess he just couldn't hack it with the 5th graders?

And yes, I watched some of it and, yes, it was as awkward as you can imagine.

Or maybe you can't. Here's a promo video.

I know; you're excited. They're doing re-runs now, but it's coming back for season 3 in March. Squee!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How We Should Name Hurricanes


Friday, August 02, 2013

That Other Blog and My Daughter Almost Dying

I'm sorry that I've let this go. It will come back in the next few weeks.

I don't know if you've seen my newest blog about my separation, but I ask you to check out my latest post at least. It's scary but with a hopeful ending, and the most important thing that has happened to me in the last few years.

Politics and van murals will resume next week.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Divorcing Kindly

Hey, if anyone wants to follow along with my personal reflections and whining while I go through this marriage break, I went ahead and started Divorcing Kindly in attempt to purge. I'm hoping it'll let me flush out the in-process stuff - and get me back to blogging some of the better CFC content I've been ignoring for the last few months.

It's in progress and will get prettier, but I just started tonight.

Thanks for sticking. Hopefully I'll be around a bit more :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Little Inferno - Existential Game Review

I play many games online. Some are trite, some are engaging. This one made me reflect upon my life.

If you play games and would like to experience this yourself, please stop reading now and go to the website and rock through the few hours yourself. You'll thank me for it.

If you're reading but planning on playing, I'll try not to spoil anything, but have to convey my reaction, so no promises.

Little Inferno is basically you burning stuff. It's you buying things from catalogs and burning them. All of them. Everything.

It's billed in-game as an entertainment center. Here's a promo video you see a little ways in:

Did I mention it's crazy?

So you're burning things, all the things, and communicate via letter with a mystery friend while working through your catalogs and figuring out burning combos that get you stamps that can make catalog items show up more quickly. At heart, a beautiful puzzle game that will obsess you, take control of you, and drive you to the end - which is only a few hours.

But in this process of you burning things, you hear from you mysterious friend, you get weather updates, and promotional mail items from the creator of your Little Inferno. And then, while burning everything in sight, things get complicated, even sad, but you keep burning and buying, burning and buying.

And then I get all introspective about it.

This game isn't nuts at all. It's fun, but it's a commentary on commercialism and how playing games eats your time. You're buying and buying and burning and burning. You buy a doll and burn it and get more money back than you paid for it. Your purchasing power is increased by waste, by destroying what you just purchased. And then you purchase more.

And what the fuck are you doing? You're buying items, waiting for them to show up, and putting them in the fire. Because all you can do is burn. You burn or stop the game. And by burning you feed into the game's narrative of accepting your need to burn because that's what Little Inferno expects from you, but you learn that burning will bring some minor interaction as well.

You have a few little interactions, and they become so deep in their brevity that you might laugh them off, dismiss them, but at one point you will be struck, and I'll just say I was fighting tears about a piece of mail that I had no choice but to toss into the fireplace.

And then the end. Like I said, I won't spoil it, but it speaks in a very meta way to you disengaging from what you're doing and rethinking what the hell you just spent the last few hours doing.

I will play it again. I will enjoy it - and almost-weep - again. And I'll think again what the hell I was doing playing it in the first place.

There's a whole world out there.

Sorry - Life is Hard

Another sorry from me about my life.

Marriage end is being filed in the next weeks, I'm moving out in 2, and everything else just piles up. I'm trying to hold it together, get things changed over, and keeping sane.

I've not had time to even update my own journal, let alone this blog, or start the "Divorce" blog I've been considering.

In all my free time, right?

That's all I got. I have a review of a neat game for tomorrow. But that's it for now.

I'm working on it. Thanks for reading.