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December 20, 2014

Hawaii DMV can suck it

We all have our DMV horror stories, but when I left the island nation-good old boys club in 2007 I never thought I would have to deal with the backwards thinking, pain in the ass Hawaii Department of Motor Vehicles ever again.


I lost the title to one of my vehicles and asked my bank to resend their lien release form so that I could send it to HI and get a duplicate title drafted. Evidently, a lien release form signed by my bank is not good enough. The bank must send it in, because Hawaii DMV is stuck in the 1920's and is apparently not aware of the newly adopted, but widespread use of, anti-fraud measures - like telephones.

A process that would take a normal DMV about 20 minutes to handle, is going to take (by my estimations) almost a month, hopefully. Hawaii has a back log of these kinds of requests and the cosmically inefficient processes of this government run organization can only accommodate 3 or 4 requests a week (month?).

I called the HI DMV to see if there was anyway my lien release letter would suffice, or see if my request could be expedited. The nice lady kept informing me, like I was one of the usual customers with an IQ just a tad higher than a can of Spam, that this was their policy. I repeatedly told her that I understand the policy but that I think it is an asinine process. Even my current state of California would accept this letter from my bank.

After talking to my bank, apparently there are 4 states whose DMV's are an absolute pain in the ass to deal with- Hawaii, California, New York and Pennsylvania (huh?).

So, yeah, suck it Hawaii DMV.

December 7, 2014

Can't we all just get along?

Apparently not, as long as black continue to believe that white cops have it out for them. Statistics show that white cops don't kill blacks any more than black cops kill black suspects, but let's not let these facts get in the way of the race relations of our country.

I'm a white guy and I cannot relate to the black guy's assertion that he is targeted by the police and profiled more than I am. Perhaps that is true, however I do not put myself in situation that raises police suspicion of me. For some reason, the sweeping generalization that  "Not all people who wear hoodies are criminals, but all criminals wear hoodies" comes to mind.

Before you start shaking your fist at me, I do understand that their are racist cops, however I am just looking at the statistical data to support the ongoing claim that there is an epidemic of white on black crime, specifically by white cops.

From Real Clear Politics:
Between 1976 and 2011 across the United States, 7,982 blacks were murdered each year, on average — 94 percent by other blacks, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. About 227 blacks (2.8 percent) were shot by police each year, according to a study by Pro Publica (which pointed out that national statistics on police shootings are difficult to assess because of differences in how police departments report them).
So, only 6% of all black murders occur at the hands of non-blacks, and of those deaths only 2.8% are police related.

Where is the epidemic? Seems like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson (Jr), and their ilk should be trying to get their own race to live in peace. These race baiters think it is easier, and more profitable, to keep that 6% statistic at the forefront of any race relation discussion. One only needs to do an inkling of research to see that white on black murder (by cops) is much more newsworthy than the opposite. Why does the media feed us this garbage? What do they have to gain by it?

Eventually, there might be a tipping point when the race baiters and opportunists have their last Ferguson. I just don't know how long it will take for the rest of us to become so fed up with it that we decide to change things.

I'll leave you with this list of black on white murders that went unreported.

7/18- Jimmie Norman, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
7/18- Terry Taylor, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
7/17- Cindy Raygoza, white female murdered by black male. No national news.
7/11- Luis Aguilar, 91 year old hispanic male murdered by black male. No national news.
7/10- Brittany Simpson, white female murdered by black male. No national news.
7/6- Sarah Goode, white female murdered by black male. No national news.
7/6- Jeffrey Westerfield, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
7/5- Perry Renn, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
7/3- Laurey Kennedy, white female still in coma from beating by black male. No national news
7/3 Eric Mollet, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
7/2 Rupert Anderson, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
7/2 Jennifer Kingeter, white female murdered by black male. No national news.
6/30 Jim Brennan, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/29 Paul Shephard, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/27 Shirley Barone, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/27 Penelope Spencer, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/27 Inga Evans, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/26 Jake Rameau, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/25 Gina Burger, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/24 Nathan Dasher, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/22 Jonathan Price, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/20 John Whitmore, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/18 John Yingling,white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/17 Allyn Reeves, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/15 Michael Beaver, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/11 Angela Cook, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/11 Nathan Hall, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/7 Harry Briggs, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/5 Laura Bachman, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/2 Robert Mohler, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
6/1 William Headley, white male, murdered by black male. No national news

November 1, 2014

FemiNazi's go after gamers

Colbert interviewed Anita Sarkeesian, well known feminist and pain in the ass, on her rant against the "male dominated" industry of gaming. 

I saw this on The Colbert Report and I wanted to seriously 1v1 this delusional woman who is attacking the gaming industry to further her anti-man agenda. I wrestled over the thought of trying to write an informed but scathing post over this insanity, but someone already did.

I am so glad I read the comments section for this story because I found someone who is very informed on this woman and her agenda- that isn't about gaming, but more about taking things away from men. As a gamer, I can't count the number of times I have been handled by a female player and punished for being a split second too late with a trigger pull. Sarkeesian, along with all the other feminist d-bags, need to really stick to lobbying the WNBA and WPGA. I'm sure both the viewers of those sports events would greatly appreciate the coverage.

Here is the most well thought out (and non-vulgar post) I wish I would have made. In essence, this woman is a turd.

It's never been a boys club, Anita is a media vampire. Video games no more cause sexism then it does violence. Sarkeesian is just the new Jack Thompson, who had just as vicious of a response from internet trolls.

Sarkeesian cherry picks or outright lies in her examples. On top of this, she doesn't play games. She wants a hobby to conform to her personal likes and dislikes, yet does not participate in that hobby. She did it again on Colbert, eluding that she had been playing games all of her life, when she didn't even play the games her kickstarter raised money for. She has often admitted she does not play games.

She's a charlatan the media naively keeps championing as an activist, and those whom actually do play games are frustrated that her bullshit keeps going uncalled for except by the most extreme of internet denizens.

Furthermore, it is about ethics. 14 different media outlets all released coordinated articles on the same day, all declaring the identity as dead. It was a planned and coordinated effort akin to what we often see in the right wing media propaganda machine. Except unlike Fox News, they were exposed. All of those writers were linked by a secret mailing list "gamesjournopros".

Sarkeesian wants this to be about feminism as it benefits her own self promotion. But you can't play it both ways, rather gaming is a significant influence on the culture and deserves a standard of ethics when it comes to it's journalism, or it's a silly hobby for man children that shouldn't be taken seriously rendering her 'critique' moot.

The issue of ethics in gaming journalism is not new, despite the claims of Sarkeesian and her followers.

Hell, the internet was making elaborate musical parodies about this shit long before the Quinnspiracy.

October 5, 2014

Parents are ruining their kids

The recent death of a gun instructor by a 9 year old wielding an Uzi has made some big headlines.The usual comments range from  irresponsible gun handling/owners to child endangerment charges. It is an unfortunate accident and it is sure to become ammo for the agenda of whatever group is outraged by the shooting. While the mishandling of the gun ended in a very tragic way, had it not killed that instructor then, 1) we would have never heard about until the Facebook video went viral and stirred the usual outrage, 2) this little girl would have learned a very valuable lesson on gun handling, responsibility, safety and being independent. Unfortunately, she will probably need many years of therapy to get over it and probably become a drug addicted mess by the time she is in her 20's.

The whole incident got me thinking (again) about how more and more parents are shielding their kids from, well... everything. The reader comments for this story proved to me that parents today are much different than mine and that my peers are afraid of the world and are transferring that fear to their children.

"What the hell is a 9 year-old girl doing with an Uzi?!"
"I wouldn't let my kids within 20 miles of a gun range!"
"Another reason to ban guns..."
"Those parents should be tried for murder!"

The first two comments are echoed over and over and have more to do with the social atitude of protecting our children from everything we can think of. The last two, in my opinion, are geared more towards gun control.

I noticed something about the park across the street that I have lived next to for over 7 years. The only time I really see if full of people is when there is a birthday party. There are kids, off and on, who play there but the ones who do are usually teens. Rarely do I see 6 to 10 year-olds there by themselves, and I think that is a shame.

"But, TK, you can't have little kids like that playing by themselves!!", say the critics.

Yes, yes. I have heard all the snap judgments and paranoid reasons for not allowing kids to be kids these days. Here is the short list in order of frequency:

  1. Better safe than sorry (literally the #1 answer)
  2. It's a different world than when you were a kid
  3. It is too dangerous now to leave kids unattended
  4. Too many weirdos and pedophiles out there
  5. You never know...

The number one reason is the one that gets to me the most, because it means that person is too chicken shit to live life and enjoy the things that mold kids into what they will become as adults. And I'm talking about reasonable expectations, not the idiotic retorts that suggest I will let my kids just run around shooting guns and playing in the middle of a busy intersection. Pull the corn cob out, for crying out loud.

Kids are anxious, scared, dependent, devoid of common sense.

We are more safe these days than when I was a kid.

PSA: How to get rid of colored vertical lines on an LCD television

Every once in a while I find something on the Internet that restores my faith in humanity, or at least puts a little vanishing cream on the warts of society. No, I haven't succumbed to watching or posting cute cat videos, but rather found something that literally saved me a ton of money.

Exactly  what mine looked like
Ironically, the post that I found was a carbon copy of my issue with my 5 year old Samsung 47" LCD. I started getting random vertical colored lines that would go away if I jiggled the HDMI cable in the back. At first I thought it was my cable but after replacing it the problem did not go away.  The poster went to the manufacturer but since it was out of warranty there was nothing they could do. A local shop said it was a bad board and would require a $1200 board. Kiss my ass, $1200.

The solution is on the AVS Forums and the link is provided below, however here is the process. This will only fix your vertical lines if they look like the image above and jiggling or tapping the back panel of the HDMI connection area makes the lines go away.

  1. Unplug the TV and either move it or rotate it until you have an unobstructed working area of the back on the monitor.
  2. Remove all the screws on the back of the TV so that we can get to the actual plugs behind the plastic cover. I can corroborate the poster's remarks when I say that you must not force the back cover off. If it doesn't just poo off then you still have a screw somewhere.
  3. Before you touch anything on the inside of the TV, touch something metallic so that you can discharge an static electricity. i have seen many pieces of electronics become paper weights because of that little spark.Once the back cover is off, gently push all AV terminals back into the board with your hand. 
  4. Turn the TV back on and check to see if the lines appear. Jiggle the HDMI cord to see if you can get it to create the lines. If not, then you have fixed the problem.
  5. Put the cover back on and pat yourself on the back.
Pass it around!

July 27, 2014

Israel-Palestine conflict for dummies (like me)

Times are tough in the Middle East right now- well, they have been tough for over 2000 years, but you know what I mean. Israel and Palestine are going at it like feral cats fighting in an alley. I never really understood the whole thing until a few years ago- most conflicts based on religion are confusing to most people anyway. To me, it seems like an asinine premise (for any religion) to kill people in the name God, and it seems like every religion has this dark period in its past.  
This guy later died from, you guessed it, a snake bite.

"But, TK, those snake handlers seem like a level-headed group, and they haven't started a holy war with the Westboro Church people, who also seem like they have a grasp on what God really wants."

True, but there are really only a few religions in the world, but many spin offs based on philosophy differences. I am definitely no theologian, but when reading about the major and minor religions it looks like they are all pretty much have the same roots. Then, somewhere along the way, somebody got pissed off and branched out to form a similar, but different, religion. I guess people didn't know they could do that, and from that point on people could defect and start their own religion as long as they could get as many people as possible to believe their little slice of interpretation. Just reading the pseudo-authoritative reference of Wikipedia on religions is enough to make someone start drinking- at 7 am.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if "conflict" is even the right word, has been a source of confusion for me for decades. I met an Israeli soldier who was staying at a hostel in Waikiki about 10 years ago and I gleaned a lot of information on his perspective. Of course, a half a bottle of Jack will cause anyone to open up. I also have Palestinian friends and my friends are very level headed and reasonable people. In fact, it is usually my white American friends who cannot seem to keep their cool when talking about Israel and Palestine. Like most Americans who need a cause in their life to give them meaning, they are more offended than the recipients of the perceived racism, wrong-doing or injustice. Don't believe it? More guilty Americans were offended by the Washington Redskins than actual Native Americans. I could lit more, but that is a post for another day.

I will not belabor this issue more than I already have, but this video by Dennis Prager seems like a fair assessment of the geographic and political ideologies of both Israel and Palestine. If not, please explain why. "Israel murders children!" is not an explanation. I fully embrace the fact that both sides have killed children and civilians, however that is war and not a very persuasive argument for me. Also, trying to debate who started it is unproductive and senseless. However, a state run by a known terrorist group gives as much credence to the Palestinian cause as electing the Bloods to run Los Angeles.

July 6, 2014

My first (and last) pepper eating contest

“Let’s bring this hot pepper pack to the cook out,” she said.
“It will be fun!” she said.

My in-laws had a 4th of July cook out yesterday so the whole family went up to the mountains to visit, tell stories and eat some of my father-in-law’s grilling. My wife went to the store that morning to get a few things and came back with a pepper tasting kit. There were 6-8 peppers in there, mostly resembling habaneros, but there were a few smaller ones that looked really potent. After we had finished eating the BBQ, my wife brought the package of peppers out, along with some paper plates, and announced that we were going to have a pepper eating contest.

Only 4 of us committed to the contest and the rest of the family gathered around with cell phones poised for photos and video. The package had a list of the peppers along with their heat index, not a Scoville rating, but a scale from 1 to 10 with a picture of the peppers and a brief description of each. We were going to start out on the low end and work out way up the list to the hotter peppers, but we couldn’t find even a jalapeno to start out with, which only rated a 6 on the scale. The first person to take a drink would be disqualified and so on.

“That’s it, only a 6?”I said. This probably won’t be that bad. I did recognize a habanero pepper but we selected a red one to start with. Unfortunately, it was a Ghost Pepper- previously entered in the Guinness Book of World Records and boasting a Scoville rating of 800,000 to just over 1 million units. That probably doesn't mean much to anyone except the people who torture their bodies by eating these peppers, but it is 125 times hotter than the jalapeno.

My wife cut it up into 4 pieces and to her credit she promptly took the largest one, however they were all pretty much the same size- except for the tip which my brother-in-law Steve swiped before I could get to it. My other brother-in-law, Morgan, is a rather large man and I figured he would be able to handle these peppers. We all started chomping away. That was the first mistake.

With every bite, I felt the pepper oils exploding onto my pallet and when I built up enough saliva, I swallowed the chummy pepper mixture. It actually tasted quite good, even had a sweet taste, for the 1.5 seconds my taste buds actually worked after eating this pepper. Everyone was keeping their cool and high fiving, my wife and Steve actually did a chest bump, but the victory dances were short lived. Within 10 seconds, my throat felt like it was closing and Steve and I almost immediately got the hiccups, which is probably a bad sign- like the body is experiencing a high level of stress or something. Everyone, except my wife, got up off the picnic table bench and started pacing around while the intensity of the pepper started growing like an erupting volcano that is just getting started.

I am a very competitive person, and regardless of the event- video games, board games, or belching contests- my fragile ego takes a bruising if I am bested. Since there were photos and video documenting this event, I really tried my best to keep it together. After about a minute, my pride was begging me to throw in the towel, and I believe that it actually took over my conscious thought and forced me over to the cooler where I promptly chugged a bottled water. My wife promptly disqualified me from the event and I kept pacing around the table as the laughter and noise continued from the onlookers who were reveling in their Schadenfreude. My ears actually started to hurt- not from the noise, but from another side effect of the pepper.

Steve almost looked this bad
There wasn't anything on the table to eat to try and quench the fire so I went inside to find a gallon of milk. As I chugged down my first glass, Steve came in from outside, his face looked like he just got beat with a bag of persimmons. He almost looked as bad as those people who are allergic to bee stings. He later went into the bathroom and threw up. I hate throwing up and did everything I could to fight the urge, however, in hindsight, I wish I would have. The London Broil I had for dinner was just too good to offer to the porcelain gods.

By the time Steve and I got back to the table, my wife and Mo, continuing the assault on their bodies, had already eaten a second pepper. Mo was declared the winner shortly thereafter when my wife threw in the towel. After a little goading from the crowd, and to establish his pepper eating title of bat shit crazy, Mo grabbed another pepper and ate the whole damn thing. It took him a while to choke it down and the look on his face was a tell tale sign that he knew eating that third pepper was a mistake. His head was bright red and he was rubbing his face and shaved head uncontrollably to try and fight off the pain. He ran over to the inflatable pool and some of us thought he was going to drink out of it, but instead he just dunked his head into the water. If that wasn't enough, he later found the hottest pepper in that packet and at the whole thing. I am certain that he is dead as I write this blog post.

Ha! Light weights...
Twelve hours. That’s about how long it takes a Ghost pepper to make it through my digestive track and wreak havoc on my b-hole. I woke up at 6 am this morning with my stomach in a knot. I sneaked out a fart and thank God my wife was asleep. A dead horse lying in a sulfur pit would smell like a Febreeze’d couch cushion compare to this stench. I ran to the bathroom and was on the toilet for about 30 minutes. After my first release, I seriously contemplated grabbing my colon irrigation kit and filling the bag up with milk (hat tip to my sister-in-law Danielle for that option), but I didn't want to hog the other bathroom with guests in the house. Scoville units are a measure of how hot the peppers are going in, but I propose another scale that rates how bad the peppers are on the way out. Seriously, this is what it must feel like every time Satan takes a dump. I am positive my b-hole will be angry with me for the rest of the day. When I opened the door, the cat was there and meowed at me a few times- like when animals know a bad storm or tornado is approaching. She went into the bathroom, meowed at the toilet a few times and then ran downstairs.

To her credit, my wife is going about her day business-as-usual, and has had no adverse reaction to the event, other than the bright red lips and mouth she had yesterday. She has bested me in a food event, and I will gladly swallow my pride, along with the Tums I have been force feeding myself since last night.