Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Usual Q/A

"Don't you feel great after exercising?"

No, usually I feel nasty and gross and like I'm about to keel over and die. I hate being sweaty. I hate feeling my lungs collapsing. Waking up sore? Yeah, not a fan. Quit romanticizing pain. We're not all masochists. Heck, I hate leaving my hands unwashed when I've been working outside for more than 5 minutes. I'm not a germaphobe though.


"Eating healthy is always better for the body and mind."

It's not too great on my wallet sadly... I've measured it out and on my usual diet, which is not unhealthy mind you, (I struggle with portion control mostly) I only pay $20 or so a week on the high end. When I tried healthier options it almost hit $40 a week average.


"Exercise can be fun and energizing."

Some people like collecting stamps. Hate to break this to you, but people enjoy many forms of entertainment and exercise is not one of mine. However, I do enjoy hiking occasionally on a nice cool day.


"What if you exercised with friends?"

Sorry, but I built friendships with people who share similar tastes in entertainment. We occasionally do activities that involve quite a bit of physical activity. We had hikes regularly for several months. But then life was like, "Sorry, you need money. Capitalism." And we drifted apart. I actually keep in contact with my closest friends almost daily continuing our interests. That usually means playing video games and chatting for hours about our days. I'm social. That's not an issue.


"You have to start small and make little changes."

I have. For years. My biggest step was getting myself out of a job that offered 50% off of fast food. That offer was way too tempting. Second was cutting sugar intake down. Like, a lot. And I did. My normal consumption can be anywhere from 20% to 10% of what it was two years ago.


"Maybe you should sleep more."

Yeah... I got nothing for this one. I suck at sleeping. I might have apnea, but that's small potatoes when I refuse to usually sleep before midnight.


Okay, so it's a short post, but I felt like I needed to get some stuff down on paper. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Prodigal Me

Hey guys,

Yeah, I know. It's been a crazy long time. I started this blog as a way to kill free time, but I have very little of that these days. However, I think this is still a good place to dump my ideas and thoughts. My current job sits me behind a desk, often with little to do from day to day. Therefore, I will use some of that time as a quick stress dump and get a lot of this stuff off my chest. Now, like I said, it's been a few years since we last chatted. So let me catch you up.

Two years after graduating and only a short six years after I started looking for a job, I finally landed my first interview and job. There is a nice Carl's Jr. (Hardee's for you East Coasters) and they hired me on as a back line worker. They started me doing basic cooking and sandwich assembly. After only my first month, they noticed I had an aptitude for picking up other positions super quick. Two months in I was running fryers, cleaning, sorting incoming shipments, training new people, cooking on the line, etc.

But the work was hard... So hard...

Every day I would end sweaty, nasty, and smelling of grease and oil. All I wanted to do was go home, shower, burn my clothes, and sleep for a month. But there was always the next day when I had to do it all again. I started developing problems after my fourth month. My ankles started being perpetually in pain. Small bumps, flexing, stretching, and just general use would send signals of flaring pain shooting up my legs. I tried a few things to help, but the problem never really went away. On top of this, they offered discounts on food when you were on shift. So... Yeah. I ate a lot of junk food...

Like, heaps of fast food... I think I did the math once and it came out to over 1,000 hamburgers, sandwiches, shakes, salads, burritos, and such. Millions of calories. So I put on some considerable weight.

I stayed with that company for just over a full year. But one day... My life finally took a better turn.

Just days before my one-year anniversary and pending promotion to Shift Leader, I got an email from a long time family friend. Apparently the company he worked for needed people with computer skills and experience for an open position. I replied instantly and in the excited affirmative. My interview was just two days later, and I nailed it. They gave me a whole month to quit my current job, and I started work in March for a tiny company known as Commercial Fitness Equipment.

Irony, I know.

You go from fast food and the industry creating health issues and obesity, to the company trying to fight back against it. But I love it here. In less than 6 months of working here, I lost 15 pounds and have been working to get more off. The big factor is that I am no longer on my feet. I sit behind a desk taking calls, answering emails, and filling out and sending paperwork. But as of last week, I can now exercise in our showroom here at the office. So there is only myself standing in my way.

Now we catch up to the present-ish. I've passed 1.5 years with this company. I love it here so much. This is where I see myself in 10 years, 20 years, and so on. I have no reason to leave. I am still living at home and have faced a few points of interest in my life up to this point. Nothing really noteworthy just yet, but that's what it is for now.

Now, as for the future of this blog. You will see random stuff here from time to time. Sometimes it'll be mad ramblings like this one, or it could be pictures of current projects I have ongoing, (Car, cosplays, trips, etc.) But more likely than not, this will be a place for me to rant on about things that annoy me in this cruel world. So keep your eyes open, follow my blog and my Facebook for regular updates, and we'll keep in touch.

Jake of All Trades, Back again, and signing off.

Monday, July 1, 2013

An Endless War

Okay, I want to clarify one thing real quick. I am not a tech blogger. I don't profess to be. However, this is a topic that has bugged me as a tech head, and resident geek of my household.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's get on topic.

Technology Wars:

And I mean the big ones. I will only cover two here, but they are my two favorite. Oh... I should also throw in another disclaimer here. I don't understand businesses and economy as well as I do computers, so if I get some piece of info wrong, do forgive me.

First, and one that I am close to.

Apple v. Everyone else

That's right, it's not Apple vs. PC. Apple is a jerk to every other company. In this situation, I take the side of the non-Apple companies and products. I have been a PC user my whole life. Now, I am not saying that Apple makes bad products. Lemme explain. Apple has a tendency to sell you an item, charging you not only for the technology, but for a brand name. And people are dumb enough to shovel hundreds of bucks out for the "extra features," and "amazing tech support." I have been to a MAC store. I will agree that they have some great guys running their tech support, but they charge the price of a new computer for any work.

And you can't work on any Apple product at home. Not unless you have like years of experience working on MAC systems, demolishing them left and right and studying them.

Now, the Apple brand was not always bad. Back when Apple first started and they were getting their name out there, they cared more about the quality and price of their computers over a brand name. They made quality pieces of hardware that were revolutionary. I dunno what changed, but I wish it hadn't.

I'm gonna stop hashing on Apple, and instead point out what I enjoy about PCs.

A. Ease of use:  A PC can be custom built to a person's needs. They are compatible with almost every piece of hardware and software, including Apple software, and allow for incredible customizations.

B. Upgradability and Repairability: If my computer's hard drive died, I don't have to take it to the mall, and pay 300 bucks to have a guy install a new one and take a week to do it. Instead, I can pay 100 bucks for a brand new hard drive and have my computer up and running the day of the purchase.

C: Simplicity: I have yet to meet someone who after a little bit of hands on training has trouble with a PC that stops them from using it properly. Sure, I know some people who just make bad decisions with their computers. Even MAC users have that.

D. Viruses: Yeah, I know. Everyone thinks that the MAC is invincible. Well guess what? You're wrong. You just challenged us PC users to try harder. Several MAC specific viruses are around, including one that can only be replaced by wiping the computer and replacing the battery completely.

Okay. I know it wasn't a whole lot, but it's what I have off the top of my head. On to the next.

Console Vs. PC

I could care less about the inter-console wars, like PS vs. XBOX. They could fight until they both die out, and Nintendo could take over for all I care. I will never give up my PC for it. For several reasons. You hear about how great consoles are, but most computers can get a 200 dollar upgrade and surpass the latest consoles for a few years. I would list all the things better, but the list is so huge, and I am so tired. I just mainly wanted to state where I stood.

I love the PC.

Jake of All Trades, signing off.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Always Asked Question, Why?

I dunno what the deal is, but I only ever seem to write these things when I am way too tired to care what I'm writing about. I almost considered talking about why certain animals make noises and others don't. That was a question bugging me for a while. But I figured that would just bore you people. So I thought, what would people care about?

How about I answer a question once and for all for all of you people? On I have been asked since I was three. Why don't I celebrate holidays? Alright, strap in. This could get rough and weird. But I swear, everything I am about to tell you is true, and if you don't believe me, look it up for yourself.

Let's start with the most recent, and most cringe worthy. Easter.

When I was in Elementary school and was asked the question, I always just replied, "Because of my religion." But now I am older and wiser, and have made this decision for myself. And Easter was the one that got me started. If you ask most people in the world, they will tell you that they are celebrating Jesus' Resurrection. Let's look at a few fun facts shall we?

1. Jesus died Nissan 14, this year that landed on March 26th. He was resurrected 3 days later. March 29th this year. When did everyone celebrate it? March 31st. First mistake. People think it must be on a Sunday, and I'll explain that later, I hope.

2. I dare you to show me anywhere in the bible where we were told to celebrate Jesus' resurrection. Any takers? Anyone? Lemme save you the time and embarrassment. He never did. In fact, Jesus mentions only one event that should be commemorated. His death.

3. Where does the name Easter come from? So glad you asked. Looking back, the closest connection is that of a Babylonian and Assyrian god named Ishtar. A goddess of Fertility, Love, and Sex. And guess what? This answers another question.

4. How in the heck does a bunny and eggs factor into Jesus' Resurrection? It doesn't. As a matter of fact, the symbol actually just represent Sexuality, libido, and fertility. Yay! Let's dress kids up in pastel colors and stick them with the symbol of sex and make them find fertility idols that we have hidden in the yard.

That's about all I got on Easter. But wait Jake, I hear you cry, why Sunday? Well, isn't it obvious? If the church will defile themselves so far as to accept a sex holiday as a celebration for Jesus, they are gonna have to go that extra step and put it right after Mass. No more whining. Those are the facts, let's move on.

How about something a little more popular? Christmas! What do you think of when you think Christmas? Red and green? Candy canes? Santa? Presents?! Well, guess what? None of these have anything to do with Jesus' birth. I won't go into too much, as the amount of information is so dang vast. Instead, I will merely point out some of the low points of this "holiday."

1. The date: Jesus born on the 25th of December? *shrugs* If there was no other info, I wouldn't fight that. Wait... What's that you say Mr. Bible? There is more? Do tell... An angel told of his birth to some shepards? Dang, it must have been cold out. And that would just be torture to the sheep. Well guess what? They were no shepards out in Winter. Ever. Unless they were drunk and stupid. If you look at the facts from the Bible, it is easier to believe an October birth day, but no one knows for sure.

2. Gift-giving: Okay, okay. Stop yelling. I have nothing against giving gifts. I love giving presents. I do. But at Christmas it's different. Say I give a gift to a friend in mid June. What would he think? "Oh, must be a holiday. Crap, I never got him anything."? Probably not. He would appreciate the gift. It was a random act of true kindness. At Christmas, the obligation to spend the most money and give the best gift is too much for some families. This country is barely floating now, why make things worse by making people feel obligated to get others presents?

3. The lie: Yeah. I said it. You are doing nothing but lying to your kids. Santa doesn't exist. Not for a long time at least. Saint Nick has been dead for a long while. What do you think that does to the kid when he first learns from his smarter friends that Santa is a fake? Bad parents. Shame.

I may expand more on these in the future. For now, I am drained of all my writing creativity. I'm gonna lay down and sleep. Goodnight world.

-Jake of All Trades

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Refreshing a Dying Franchise

Disney. A company known for it's children's movies and cartoonish style. Even adults can find enjoyment in Disney films. It is a timeless company that will stand for a long time.

LucasArts: Another well known name. LucasArts started the booming special effects industry and pioneered almost every advancement in special effects technology. They make video games, ranging from Star Wars based simulators, RPGs, MMOs, and so on, to cult classics like Labyrinth.

However, Lucas Arts is best known for making the Star Wars franchise. Over the years since 1977, it has built up quite the fan base, spreading it's influence into every genre known to man. And sometimes women. However, after Star Wars: Return of The Jedi (Originally Revenge of the Jedi.) George Lucas, the well known and much beloved director decided to stop making the Star Wars films. He did however go back and revamp to first three films.

Then the announcements started. Star Wars was being revitalized. Another three films were being released. A prequel to answer all your burning questions... And sadly raising more. Like what sort of low had George hit, to throw in a character like Jar Jar Binks?

Many were grossly disappointed over the refreshing move, and many dropped their love for the franchise all together. Others became purists, believing that only the original three films and the included Expanded Universe before Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, could represent the true Star Wars name.

Cut to Star Wars Episode II. An amazing feast or special effects, lightsaber fights, and a hideously written love story. However, if you are like me, you still love the movie, so long as you have a remote nearby to skip through the mushy parts. When I want a romance movie, I'll watch Better Off Dead.

Anyway, Star Wars Episode II brought back some people, and opened the franchise to many new fans. Then Star Wars Episode III is released. The vital lynch pin between the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, of the Star Wars Franchise. And it was... Mixed.

Many, many people, absolutely loved Star Wars Episode III. It was action packed, fast moving, well put together, and the romance story was nominally bearable. I personally found it exciting the first couple times, but it lost appeal fast.

I should also note that George Lucas had had time to make changes to his original trilogy some more, including the long disputed, "Han Shot First" scenario. However, just recently, he did one last revamp and released it on Blu-Ray. After it was released... The number of living Star Wars fans plummeted as suicide rates skyrocketed. It was a disaster...

George, old buddy old pal, we all love what you have done for the world... We really do... But please, stop trying to fix what isn't broken. Thank you.

Oh? What's this we hear about? Disney? Buying Star Wars and LucasArts? Should we be excited? Should we go on another walk about and rethink our lives? Should we check Snopes first? Oh wait, nope it's true...

So... Now what? In my opinion, I say that this is the best move that George Lucas has made in the past 15 or so years.

Yes. Let the ridicule begin. But it is true. What has George done, but run his successful much loved franchise into the ground. Repeatedly I might add.Why not let someone else try? Why not a trusted company? One known to deliver well done movies.

why not Disney? They did Avengers. Who's gonna complain about that? Heck, they own Marvel. Get the guys from Marvel and LucasArts working together making a film, and the world will be eating out of Disney's hands... Well, more than they usually do.

I believe that Disney is the best company for the job. More power to them.

Jake of All Trades, dodging the audiences boos, signing off.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Was Right All Along

So, as everyone knows, I graduated. That's old news. So is the fact that I despised all 13 years of it... Except maybe Kindergarten and First grade. I was kinda stupid back then. Plus, our homework was reading these little paper pamphlets and making art with Barbasol shaving foam. I did enjoy some moments. I remember we had a reading group where two older kids would help you find a book and then help you read it. My first chapter book was Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

But I digress. The point I am making in today's blog is about how the system employed by schools worldwide is rather messed up. Except for college, and I'll explain why.

Let's start with Elementary school, say Kinder through 5th.

This is the most basic schooling. The normal human being cannot get along in this society without at least the elementary school level curriculum. Doesn't matter how you got it, homeschooling, public schools, reading books, whatever. I don't remember once protesting about learning in elementary school. I loved it. I absorbed what I learned like a sponge. I read everything I could get my hands on. I made friends and even when I had my brief interlude into homeschooling for two years, which may actually have helped more than anything, I loved school.

Move on up to Middle School, 6th through 8th.

Still, very basic schooling. This is more made to delve deeper into the basics. It helps ingrain them into our minds. It is merely a three year segway into High School. Sadly, as I visit my old schools, I notice that the push the curriculum back further and further, until now they are teaching the stuff I learned in High School to 6th graders. It is sickening... I understand that modern day jobs require more education, but why force it on someone who will never use it.

Which brings us to High School. 9th grade to the bliss of senior year.

This is where I have trouble with the system. The taught material in High School is just plain useless. You learn stuff that you will never use, unless you become a teacher, mathematician, nuclear physicist, or insane asylum inmate. I feel that High school should be a lead in for college. In college, you pick your classes based on what your end goal is. Why can't High School give you a similar option? Who in the baking industry has ever had to know how to multiply a matrix and then find the square root of negative 1? (It's e by the way. Yeah. Most of what I learn is stuck now...)

I always scoff at the people who say, "But it helps teach you how to learn."

Yeah. But why not do the same thing about a subject we give two cents about? Teach them properly by teaching them something they will listen to. It's merely a positive approach. And in my experience, positive always trumps negative.

Sadly, most schools take the negative route. They force the info on you and beat you (mostly metaphorically) for not making it. When in reality, you just didn't care. Not even your brain saw a reason to learn the garbage being forced on it.

So why not try the positive approach? Let students choose their classes based on aptitude tests and personal interests. That way, they want to know what they are learning and the stuff that is hard, they at least know they will use it on something they want to do. Why not? They have the curriculum up to High School to get along in the world even if they don't get their job of choice. I never met a restaurant manager sitting around calculating the mass of his food and the velocity required to flip a pancake.

And if they struggle, don't fail them. Give them a chance to fix it. Forget no student left behind. For their passions, a person would gladly spend a little extra time mastering the skills needed.

Just a thought.

This is Jake. Until next time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thoughts of a Tired, Now, Man

Almost one month ago I turned 18... and about a month or so before that, I graduated from High School. Ever since those two events happened, I have received a lot of flak from my folks for not having a job yet. However, I only recently became capable of applying anywhere. Lemme start from the top... as I have a tendency to do on these blog posts.

After my graduation, I was getting all those, "What are you gonna do with your life?" and "What are your plans/goals for the future?" Let's get one thing straight, I don't think that far ahead. If I can survive today, I am delighted. However, I realize that this may not be the smartest way to handle things, now that I am in the "real world", which sucks by the way. Thanks last generation for that. I am not blaming you directly, but it is kinda your generations failed efforts that led to this... and quite frankly, my generation is a bunch of idiots, so we aren't gonna be able to do much to fix that.

Sigh. Oh well, no point in whining now.

To continue our story, I figured that the smartest thing to do would be to get a job. However, I was missing some vital information in order to do so. This became obvious when I went to my bank to cash some checks from my graduation. (Thanks or the monetary gifts by the way. ^.^) But when I get there, I discover that the teen checking account I have, doesn't allow me to cash checks. I had been doing it for close to two years now. What changed? I had no idea, and I am still lost. So we went to talk to a banker, and when we told him that I was but weeks away from 18, he asked if I had Oregon ID. My school ID was all that I had, and that wasn't enough.

My parents never took me to get a permit of anything, which was fine with me, till I discovered that one was required for almost *everything.*  So we gave me an upgraded, but apparently, still limited account, cashed my checks, and I was on my way, now with the knowledge that an Oregon ID would be a smart idea. When I returned home, and a couple weeks later, my mother and I began looking for any info that I might need. We found a lot of stuff. Old pictures, school report cards, letters from my mother from before I could even read, etc. It was nice... until we discovered that my Social Security Card was nowhere to find.

So, without losing our will, we gathered other papers, and went to the social security office, ready to get me my card. After I was asked if I was carrying weapons by a short security guard who's most intimidating feature was the tazer on her belt, and about 30 minutes of waiting, we approached the man hiding behind his pane of bulletproof glass. No, I didn't test it, but it looked very thick. We presented him with our problem, and all the papers we had. Then he asked for ID. I mentioned that I had a school ID from that year, but I was graduated. He assured us that it would still work for a short time.

Then I discovered... I had forgot my wallet. Epic facepalm. I swear, there was an old lady that jumped when my hand cracked against my skull in an attempt to rectify my fail. Instead, I got a headache. We then received a little paper from the man, with my SSN on it, and he told us I could use that for most situations. He also added that the computer had my old name, Jake Taylor Socia, still, and it needed to be updated. This required another paper which we came to find out later, we did not possess. So we took what we had, home.

Within the week, we went to the courthouse, where I discovered that I *can* joke anywhere. But, we used 10,000 year old technology, retrieved our needed documents, navigated past shady characters in the waiting room, and made it back to the Social Security Office, this time sure that we had everything we needed. Their load was light, so we were helped within 10 minutes and again had a lovely discussion with a government employee. We gave her all the documents, and I presented her with my ID. Somehow, my School ID had become invalidated, within the week. However, with what we had, I was able to change my name in their computers, (quite frankly, I kinda like Socia better. It's shorter.) and we had plenty of time left in the day. So we headed off to the DMV.

My first experience at the DMV was a bit of a let down. I thought it would have been more depressing, with more fat ladies behind desks, and crying children. While bother were there, it didn't bother me all that much. We took a number and sat down. We passed the time by joking and making fun of random families around us. When we were called up, our associate was an older, skinny lady, and we began filling out papers. When we got to the matter of cost, we made an interesting discovery. It costs twice as much to buy an Oregon ID than it does for a Permit. Coming to a decision, we opted for a permit. (Why not? I was planning on driving sometime.) I sat down with the driver's manual for the first time and spent about 15 minuted reading/skimming it.

When I felt ready, I approached a very comedic woman, who I believe was like me and could joke about anything. I was right. After informing me that the test was in Japanese on Mondays, I took a vision, which I passed with flying colors. Then they assigned me a computer, and I started the test.

35 questions with 7 mistakes... not much room for error. I had to be slow and careful. Two things I really just suck at. Zipping through the first ten with only two mistakes, I felt pretty confident. Until within my next 20 questions, I had used up all my mistakes. Final five. No mistakes allowed. I was sweating. The bases were loaded. A hush fell over the crowd. The pitcher glared at me... Whoops, wrong story... Sorry, got carried away. See what happens when you blog at 2 in the morning? Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the Final Five. Every tap on the screen was a tense moment... each breath came out shaky... I was sweating. One down, correct. Two? Doing okay. Third one... tentatively I press the yes button. Correct. I sigh in relief. Two more to go. Most tense test ever. The first one was easy, it was one of the last things I read in the manual. I answered it with confidence. And got it right. Whoo.

Last question. And it was one that I vaguely remembered... But not enough to come up with a definitive answer. So, I did what any intellectual would do in that situation. I eliminated the two blatantly wrong answers, and flipped a coin for the other two. I selected my answer, closed my eyes, and mashed the "yes" button. My finger, wet with perspiration slid slightly, as I continued to push down and opened my eyes. Test results... PASSED!!!

I had to control the urge to leap from my chair! A perfect 70%!! I had completed on my first try. Everyone else that I knew, had to at least return four times. If not to take the test, for other reasons. I straightened my hair, making myself look presentable. I hadn't really woken up that morning, expecting to get my permit. I got my confirmation from the lady at the desk, approached the camera, and gave the best smile I could muster. It was over. I had my interim permit, and the actual one was on the way.

Now I could silence the nagging. The incessant cry for me to get a job. And within the past four weeks, I have applied at a total of... zero places. Yeah, I know. I should have been more on top of things. But I was trying to enjoy my last Summer Break, which went relatively okay. I spent my whole life having to grow up faster than most kids. I looked out for myself a lot. Why couldn't I just slow sown this once and just be a kid for a couple months?

Come September, I hope to hear for sure if I am going to continue working for HomeSource, my old school,  as a Tech Team Lead, my job being that of training the new kids. After I get that sorted, I will start applying for a real job. A paying job.

But until then, party on!! Enjoy every second of Summer. School starts soon kids. Have fun, don't get stressed. Swim in a river, jump in a lake, have a barbecue, invite friends over, play games, do whatever you love doing.

Cause one day, you are going to wake up, and realize that you are 18 now. And life just goes down hill from there.

Till you hit 21. Then you have something new to help you cope. :P

This is Jake, too tired to continue, signing off. Good night.