Tales of Idiocy and Woe...But Now I'm CRAZY in California!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Okay. It took me a while and let's be honest here; there are tribes of Amazonian Indians, as yet untouched by civilization, that are better video editors than me. Either way, here's a little tour of my house:

More stuff to come in the future...this is just the beginning! Until Next Time,

The Armchair Geek

*Huge props to the CTS crowd for supplying the necessary hardware for this to happen!*

Monday, August 28, 2006

Quick note from the local library!

Yessir folks,

I'm in a library, blogging away again. I cannot wait until I get internet at home, but I'm surviving still. So, time for the Geek news.

First off, I'm currently uploading (as in this very second) the first installment of my video blog. We'll see how this works. I recently discovered that all that 'down time' I previously had at work should have been spent doing something productive, like learning how to do video editing...HA! I'm the most useless video editor on the planet, but I'm guessing that I'll be getting better. Anyway, my first blog was mad in like 2 hours, and that includes filming time (and 20 minutes of trying to figure out NeroVision...Cam! I need you NOW!) If this all works out, I'll post the link.

As for Sothern California, it's pretty similar to being in the Okanagan. It's hot here, people drive like they're escaping from Godzilla's flaming rampage and it's packed like the beer tent at the Labatt Brier, except that it's packed for around 40 miles in any direction around here. LOTS of people...

...But people aren't as rude as I figured they'd be. I've met mostly nice folks around here...except when driving. Americans have this thing about laying on the horn the second they suspect anything might impede their freedom to violate the speed limit. If you're not off a green light like a top fuel dragster, people honk like mad. I get honked at like 5 times a day, and I'm a fairly aggressive driver. It seems like everywhere I go, there's someone honking at someone else. Kinda strange, especially seeing that the last time I was honked at in Canada was when someone was trying to scare me in the church parking lot. HA!

Hmmm...what else is strange about California (or more specifically Burbank)? Well, there are street signs posted at ground level all over. Mostly one way signs. That made me laugh; I'll have to take a picture of it. There's "one way" signs, like 6 inches off the ground, all over. Bizarre. Must make them easier to read or something...?!?

Oh, and the rap music videos don't lie; everyone and their dog has a vehicle with 22" rims and low-pro tires down here. It's not uncommon to see a $700 Honda with $5,500 worth of chrome on it. Also, there's tons (and I mean thousands) of BMW's and Mercedes down here. I picked up an auto trader and you can get a 4 year old 740il for under 20 grand. No kidding. I might pick one up and drive it home when I come back. Even with border taxes and exchange, I could make an easy $5-8,000 on something like that! I'll check into it though...and I'd probably have to sell it in Calgary!

There's a bunch of food that I can either not buy or not find down here too, and a LOT of things aren't available in huge bulk sizes. (And I'm getting a nasty craving for sausage rolls...oh man...like serious shakes!) That's not that bad though, and Barry was right; I shoulda stocked up on iced tea. The iced tea down here is like "tetley tea", but cold. YUCK! None of the real Good Host stuff. I'll survive though; at least I can have lemonade.

Well, I'm done uploading, so I'm going to Skype some phone calls now. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Ardillón Trasladado Forzosamente

*huge props to Doctor M. Trew on that one*

Friday, August 18, 2006

n00bing it up in Cali-for-ni-a!

Well, after 3,279 kilometers, a few too many episodes of "Corner Gas" (I nub lappies) and spending over a hour trying to find a room in Provos, Utah (when every single room was packed, although there was nothing happening in the city...all them mormons must hate staying in their own homes!), I'm finally here.

I'm in Burbank, California! W00t! I got into my place last night, finded an Ikea and a K-Mart, got all the stuff that I needed and had a sleep. (This is my first post from my new lappie 486 too! How am I posting, you might ask? Let's just say that unsecured wireless connections grow on TREES down here!)

So I headed down to my school today, met my faculty advisor, secretary, etc. and it's pretty sweet. My house is a freaking dank, but what's a playa to do? That's what I get for renting 'sight unseen'. Good news is that since I live in the local crack house, nobody will ever break in to my place to steal my lappie 486. And I'm NOT kidding. The place I'm renting looks like a crack house...it's the most rubbed-out skid pad on the block. When I pulled up to start unloading all my bars of gold, the neighbor walked up and asked said "So, new tennent? Well, are you going to mow the lawn this time?" (The "grass" is actually tall enough to conceal an engine block...I AM tempted...) Apparently my landlord doesn't maintain it....not that I mind. The neighbors are all scared of the crack house, so that's fine by me. Anyway, I shouldn't complain; God is gracious in giving me a place to live, and I can always move!

Okay...and as for all the tech vents that I've had coming that I couldn't post while I was working at Asian Poodle Sprinkler Computers (I'm on contract to not divulge info about the store for 6 months...so KEEP waiting!), they're coming. I'm a busy little beaver today though. Gotta get my Social Insurance Number, gotta buy a phone, gotta get my membership at the YMCA, etc.

And, to answer the million dollar questions:


Well, It's turning into an "Adventures in SoCal" Blog! I'll change it over in the next few days or so, but I've got a digital camera and people down here are kinda crazy-go-nuts; I had to remember how to drive in the city...i.e. the kind of driving that requires screaming. (Like screaming "LORD! I'M COMING HOME!" as you pound the gas in an attempt to merge into 75 mph traffic on the I-170) I won't spoil the fun though. I'm anticipating LOTS of humerous observations from a Saskatchewan Farm/Tech Bum living in Crazy-Go-Nuts, California. Consider yourself warned,

The Armchair ? (?What am I now? What's the Spanish word for "forcably relocated Gopher"?)

Thursday, August 10, 2006


It seems that this blog, unlike my weak-sauce sissy theology blog, has lots of readers...and that's easily understood. Everyone loves reading stories about stupid people doing stupid things, especially if it's NOT them! And y'all are wanting a new post, with a funny story about more flaming n00b action! Well, if it's n00b action you want, then n00b action you'll get! Tune in this Saturday for "N00BS GONE WILD: SUMMER SLAM IN SASKATOON!"

That's right chumps. All 4 ofyou, my readers, are invited to:


Yeah. I'm leaving for California next week, so I'm having an open door party on Saturday. I'll open the doors from around 6 until midnight and I'll have the barbeque running for a while. Bring drinks and whatever food you want, but I'm going to be totally cleaning out all the food I have, so come to goon! I have so many different groups of people wanting to see me that I figured that I'd simply have a party and let everyone come over who wants to! Spread the word!


Oh, and I'm at (content removed by federal witness protection program). Or you could look it up in a phone book, find it on the map, and show up to let everyone know that you're litterate and can figure out a freaking map! ANYONE WHO DOESN'T SHOW WILL HAVE THEIR WORST NIGHTMARE COME TRUE: YOU'LL APPEAR ON THIS BLOG AND BE MOCKED FOR YOUR ILLITERACY! (Fear is always a good motivator!) You can call me at home (382-XXXX) if you have any questions.

Spread the word!


Friday, August 04, 2006

Another Grey Matter Peek!

Quizes...Such easy posts and so stupid. For Some Reason I Enjoy Them Almost As Much As Useless Capitalization! I stole one from a friend today and did it, but then wasn't very happy with the quiz; it seemed kinda full of meaningless questions.

I would suggest that quizes need to ask more questions that are not of the 'daily diary' strain. I want to see a quiz with questions that are interesting, and possibly entertaining, like:

Colonel Sanders & Peter Mansbridge vs. Dave Thomas and Dan Rather in a cage match: Who wins & why?

If you could travel back in time to ONE major concert/musical/opera, when an why?

What's the worst place ever to pee your pants?

If you could live one day in the life of any member of the band K.I.S.S., what would you do?

What's the worst uniform/suit you've ever had to wear at work?

What's the food/drink you hate the most but don't want to admit to hating?

What's the worst place you've ever hit on an employee at a business/restaurant? (and YES, you have!)

If you had to spend $5 million in 1 hour, what would you buy?

What's the CD that you don't want anyone to know that you listen too?

What's the book you wish everyone would read?

Would you rather take a .22 bullet in the bum or get hit by a relatively slow moving vehicle? (say 40 kph) Why?

Have you ever thrown something at someone with intent to hit them?

Who in this world needs a pie in the face more than anyone else?

Have you ever kissed somebody in a Janitor's closet?

Have you ever cried in public to get someone else in trouble?

Have you ever bough a meal for a person you've never met?

Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker?

Have you ever stolen something from a police officer?

Have you ever failed a job interview?

Have you ever recieved someone's resume at the place where you work and NOT passed it on to your manager/HR person?

What's the song that you cannot listen too, ever, because it reminds you of an ex/fling?

Have you ever used "henchpeople" to pull a prank or do you always get your hands dirty?

Have you ever pulled a prank that took more than an hour of preparation?

Have you ever been 'shushed' in a movie theater?

Have you ever sang loudly in a public place when you thought nobody was around to hear you?

What food could you sit down and eat a whole carton/bag/box of in one sitting?

Have you ever shot an animal and killed it?

Have you ever been attacked by an animal?

Have you ever paid someone to do something you didn't want to do? What was it?

And so on and so on... I think quizes should dig deeper into the person so you can know them better, or just be stupid and hilarious and entertaining. Anyway, feel free to answer any of MY questions, though that's not an official quiz. Until Next Time of Boredom,

The Armchair Quizzing Nancy

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Oh snap!

I knew it would happen. I knew I would do it. I swore I wouldn't. But I did. I'm such a FOOL!

I looked up "Los Angeles County Concert Listings" in Ticketmaster.

September 18th, Dragonforce is playing in LA.

September 18th, I'm going to be living in LA.

September 18th, I'm most likley going to be at a Dragonforce Concert (for $18!)

AND what's worse is that the Gigantour will be in the area on Sunday, the 9th (Megadeth, Opeth, Arch Enemy, Lamb of God, Arch Enemy, Overkill, Sanctity, and The Smashup). Tickets for that are $15. I'd pay $15 just to see Into Eternity, let alone Megadeth and Arch Enemy! HA! I'm in trouble...

I've gotta stop know. Ignorance is bliss. It's just SO hard...I'm living in a city where the biggest shows to come through town in the last year were Def Leppard and Hillary Duff, and they were months apart. (Def Leppard was a good show too) Now, I'm moving to a city where every band that is making music plays there once a month. I mean, on Ticketmaster, the "next 60 days" listings for the LA county area came up with 735 hits. Oh man. 735 shows in the next 60 days. Most of them are crap, but at least 5 should be good shows! This is not good! ARGH!

The Armchair Rockzilla

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I love these things...

My therapist urges me to share more, so put on your psychotherapy hats and prepare to call the mental health authorities. Here's something that I plagarised from Meredith Lilly's blog, though I changed SOME of her answers. You have to guess which ones:

Accent: Hyundai. I know cars like crazy!
Booze: Yes Please.
Chore I Hate: Being alive.
Dog or Cat: Both, and LOTS of em'. They can slow a S.W.A.T. team down by several critical minutes when you need to make an escape.
Essential Electronics: Are you insinuating that there are some electronics that aren't essential?
Favorite Cologne: Napalm. It smells great on annoying customers.
Gold or Silver: I don't care. Whichever Visa has airmiles I guess.
Hometown: The Marine Corps is my home! Boo-Rah!
Insomnia: Which brings us back to DOH! I'm sorry...I'm tired. What was the question?
Job Title: Retail Pinata. Annoy me until merchandise comes out.
Kids: Insomnia.
Living arrangements: Van down by the river.
Most admirable trait: telepathy...and telekinesis. You never knew that was me until now. HA!
Number of sexual partners: Did my mother put you up to this? Sheesh! We were just kissing!
Overnight hospital stays: Well, that depends on how often I have an 'incident' in a year. So far, I'm doing good at 17!
Phobias: Customers...and the Oscar Meye Weinermobile. That car scares the tar out of me!
Quote: "One Soda. 8 Ounces. How much?" -You know who!
Religion: NRA.
Siblings: One.
Time I wake up: Whenever I hear the choppers over my house.
Unusual talent or skill: Ability to molecularly transform any substance into Colgate by the power of thought.
Vegetable I refuse to eat: Quarter Pounder with Cheese. (the miracles of food processing! "No meat was used in the preparation of this hamburger!")
Worst habit: After making a sale, I often celebrate by firing my sidearm wildly into the air. I really gotta stop doing that!
X-rays: Only my left eye. My right can see both Gamma and Cosmic rays too.
Yummy foods I make: Verns Pizza. I prepare it with two ingredients: Visa and Phone.
Zodiac sign: Blasting Zone ahead.


Okay. Another glimpse into my delicate psyche! I hope that was as enlightening for you as it was for me. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Counselee

A little math project...

So I've been doing lots of research into California as of late. I've been working on memorizing a map of Burbank (my new home in TWO weeks), I've been learning all about California law (and American banking), and I've constantly been using Google Earth to find where things are in relation to my new address. This morning, in a fit of semi-time wasting, I checked out some population numbers and performed a little math. I honestly cannot get these numbers into my head:

As of January 1st, 2005, the state of California had 36,810,358 people living within it's boundaries.

Los Angeles County had 10,226,506 people, and it seems to average growth 141,435 people per year. (So basically 2/3 of Regina move to LA County every year. *yikes!*)

the city of Los Angeles, come January 1st 2005, had 3,957,875 people in it, so I'm pretty sure it's over the 4 million mark now.

Other than Los Angeles, there are 87 'suburbs' of LA City in LA County, with an average of 72,053 people each, and 15 of those suburbs are in excess of 150,000.

It's literally just city down there. Going on forever and ever! Just along the oceanfront, from Santa Monica to San Joaquin Hills is over 60 miles...pure city. One suburb after another. On the northern tip of the 'concrete jungle', from Yucaipa to Hidden Hills, is over 100 miles. (That's like from Saskatoon to Chamberlain...all city! Oh Man!) It's just a crazy-go-nuts contcrete jungle.

Anyway, I'm going to have some interesting times down there. For those of you who haven't heard, this blog (my tech/venting about work blog) will still exist after 2 weeks. I'll be leaving the sweatshop though, so the blog will change accordingly. It will change to a "Adventures in being mugged" blog, a sort of ''venting about California" blog. I'm sure there will be several hilarious antics to report, and plenty of funny stories of Americans who don't know anything about Canada...and so on.

Oh, and I MAY go shopping somewhere in California and put all my crazy stories to use...Soon I will be the idiot customer! Oh, and on a hilarious closing note:

I was in Regina yesterday, at Best Buy. I was visiting a close friend and she wanted to run to some 'techie stores' to check some things out with me and pick my brain (aka. be seen in public with your royal hotness here). Anyway, she wandered off and I was fondling some cell phones at Best Buy. One of the sales monkeys comes up to me (one of the computer/cell guys) and we started talking about cellular plans, EVDO, Windows Mobile 5 and whatnot. By the end of the conversation, I ended up teaching him a bunch of things and telling him how to use Bittorrent (which he had never heard of...lol). I even showed him how to load a torrent client onto the Best Buy floor computer, showing him how easy it is to pirate software like a Hutterite prostitute. I cannot believe how silly some of the sales guys are at some big box stores. As if I would trust a guy like that to help me buy a computer. Nice guy though, I think he bleached his teeth. Probably is in the managers office today, right now, getting screamed at like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon.


Honestly. What a Doug. Big Box stores hire monkeys (albeit nice, well mannered monkeys) to sell stuff. BUT, You've all got 2 more weeks to take advantage of my 'crazy-go-nuts' pricing. No price is too crazy! Come ON in! I'm losing my mind and you're getting CRAZY deals! Until Next Time,

The Armchair PirateBay

(Weberta. You said you'd be buying a compie from me in August. I'll sell you something in Cowtown from out here, over the phone! I'll go nuts! Promise!)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ding the Dong Dell: Part TWO!

JUST KIDDING! That person didn't call back. BUT, there was something funny that happened lately regarding a Dell:

There’s something to be said for the concept of price matching. It usually has to be done “apples to apples”, i.e. the prices on the same products can be matched. It’s astounding how SO many people don’t grasp this simple concept.

I guy calls me a day or two ago, asking about a price on a specific model Toshiba notebook. Ironically, I have something along the lines of what he’s looking for in stock. He asks the price. I tell him that it’s $898 and then he asks me if I’d match a competitor’s price. I asked him if he had found another vendor in town with the same product for that price. He then proceeded to tell me that Dell has a similar machine on sale for $799 and wanted me to match Dell’s price.

I asked him if Dell sold the Toshiba notebook that he was asking about. He laughed and said “no, they’re Dell. They sell DELL!” I then proceeded to ask him where he could get that Toshiba notebook. He didn’t know. I then proceeded to attempted to talk him into a cheaper notebook, of a different brand, that was a better deal. He stopped me and explained that he wanted the better price on the Toshiba, not some other crappy notebook (his words).

I then told him that I could match prices on similar notebooks, and “similar” means “similar brand and model”. He protested and told me that I should give him the “Dell price” on the Toshiba. I tried to explain how the Toshiba was a more solidly built unit and had a better software package, and therefore was a more costly brand, but he refused to listen. (And I admit that I was thinking about the “ground beef at Midas” comment…but I held back! Props to me!) I tried a few illustrations to help communicate the idea that “different brand names cost different prices” but he was stubborn in his position, so I made him a deal. I told him that if he could call Toshiba and get them to sell him my model of the Toshiba notebook for that $799 Dell price, I’d sell it to him for $699. He laughed, agreed and said that he’d call me right back.

I never heard from him. I’m guessing that Toshiba offered one to him for $599 and he went for that one instead. Man! At least he could have called me and thanked me for getting him $300 off his notebook purchase! The nerve! Until Next Time,

The Armchair Jack Roberts! I WON’T BE UNDERSOLD!

The PLP's Found Me!

Okay. A few days ago, two of the most stereotypical geeks I've ever seen came into my store. You know; quite overweight, not too kept up hygienically, making lustful comments about computers and making plenty of horrible jokes.

The one guy came through the door, looked at all the PC's and laptops and boisterously exclaimed "Oh boy! I feel like I'm in heaven!" I looked up and almost laughed. The two of them pranced around (that’s right. I said “pranced”) and joked about how awesome “WOW” would be on this and that.

You know you’re in the presence of true geekdom when everything is referred to by it’s acronym. It’s not “World of Warcraft”. It’s “WOW”. And “Counterstrike” is “C.S.” And “Dungeons and Dragons” is “The Game”, which is what is meant by “Game Night”. Geeks don’t play poker…they apparently still play “The Game”. Oh, and when you hear the word “larping” in a sentence, that means you’re in the presence of men who don’t floss. Don’t EVER ask what “larping” is. Just turn and walk away. (Mr. Pizza - They actually used “larping” in a sentence…)

One of them had to buy something, but he only bought a mouse. He made excuses after excuses for why he wasn’t buying the biggest machine in my store, and it was important that I understand he has the money but doesn’t want to. Anyway, as he was using the Interac machine, he punched in his pin. Then, the LCD on the pinpad says “Awaiting message” as it attempts to connect to wherever it connects to (I’m guessing Space Mountain…It’s a well known fact that Michael Eisner the debit machine). The wonderful geek couldn’t resist and said “Awaiting massage…oooooh! I am awaiting a massage…that would be so awesome! Sarah Michelle Gellar; oil me up!”

His friend and he both laughed.

I puked.

He then looked at me, and with a serious tone, said “It’s okay. I know it says ‘message’. I was just kidding!” and then looked at his friend and smirked, as if to suggest “He totally thought I thought it said ‘massage’! What an idiot!”

They both left, laughing and talking about their upcoming “Game night”. I immediately ran to the Batcave and logged onto my blog! HA! Until Next Time,

The Armchair Geek

How about I PAY YOU?!

The events of the following tale are completely true, but the facts surrounding the individuals have been altered in an effort to not compromise their witness protection:

Okay. So a few days ago a person comes into my store, shopping for a computer for his mother. In tow is a sibbling brother and another person (I was guessing either girlfriend or parole officer). The mother had very limited needs as she ran a small sweatshop out of the Menno Home in Waldheim, making 'the clapper' and various calibres of depleted uranium tipped ammunition (Saskatchewan...FINALLY putting our Uranium to good use!). In other words, she needed a cheap machine to run Excel and Adobe Sweatshop. I was happy to oblige her, and seeing that her son was an old aquaintance of mine (we were in the same mobile infantry unit in the Yom Kippur War), I gave them a great deal.

Anyway, the brother was kinda looking at stuff and he admitted, early in the process of the sale, that he needed a laptop. I pointed to one of our 'outstock' models (something I needed to get rid of) and said "Itszak? You see this laptop? You make me an offer on this laptop...ANY offer...any CRAZY offer, and it's yours! You name your insanely low price and you can take it home!"

He proceeded to sweat and mumble to his female friend for the next 15 minutes while I sold the mother her little computer. When we finished, he moved to follow them out the door and I stopped them. I told him "Son, you haven't even made me ANY offer on the laptop. I'm asking $699 for it, but from you, I'll take anything! Don't leave without making me an offer! You never know how schmultzed my brain may be today!"

He continued sweating.

He looked at his older brother, and his older brother simply snapped, "Just offer him something stupid for it."

He looked at his mother, and she repeated the statement (albeit in Dutch).

He continued to sweat.

He finally looked at the price, then looked at me, and then blurted out "I'll give you $400 dollars, taxes in!", half smirking and half scared that I'd accept his offer and he'd have just committed himself to a purchase.

I held out my right hand to seal the deal and exclaimed "SOLD!"

Then, in an unbelievable flight of nerves, he just turned and ran out of the building.

His brother and mother picked up their boxes and went after him, yelling "You idiot! He said YES! Go and take it! You got it at like half price!"

He got in the car and waited for them, hiding in the back seat and unable to make eye contact with me.

Couldn't much understand that one. I think I scared him or something, and I wasn't even putting the stress on him. He coulda had the deal of the century! Oh well! He'll never know if I was serious or not; I never got a chance to tell him! HA!

I sometimes have too much fun at work. Oh well. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Mobile Infantry Commander