Friday, June 30, 2006

It Just Happened AGAIN!!!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:32 PM


Michele and I were almost 2 hours in to Windwaker tonight. We'd recovered 4 Triforce Charts and were in the Savage Labryinth just a few screens from #5...and it happened again!

The game CRASHED! I haven't seen a Nintendo game crash in AGGGGES! And not only are we denied a 5th map after going through 27 labryinth stages, but ALL our maps are gone!


First my code is, 2 hours of Zelda progress gone. Some week!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Back to Avatara

posted by John Blanco @ 7:22 PM


Pardon this interruption in blogging, as I make a list for myself to help motivate me to get back to it. :-)

John, here is your list, in order, of Avatara tasks:

* Implement directional animation code with stock art.
* Implement screen scrolling.
* Implement player skins.

As a little carrot for ya, I'll let you study your HTML/CSS/HXTML/AJAX later on to implement some live stats on the sight. That would be cool. :-)

Happy Birthday, Glenn!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:05 PM


The big 3-0! :-) Happy birthday, man.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Definitely the Worst of Times

posted by John Blanco @ 7:23 PM


Well, boy am I glad that's over! By some miracle, I was able to re-code 3 days of defect fixing in less than a day. Sooooooooo frusterating, though!

So, work kicked my butt, but tomorrow I can hopefully return to normalcy. In other words, Nintendo DS for lunch. ;-) Trying to get caught up on the message boards. Check out this campaign ad for Ned Lamont. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!

Avatara still lays stagnant. I haven't touched it in a while, but I'll try to change that soon. Been reading the Bill Clinton autobiography and it's very entertaining, if hugely long. But that's good. Also still playing Lost Magic and Windwaker. :-)

Other than that, not much going on and no real plans for the weekend yet, but with work off my back for now, time to make some.

OH! How can I forget! This weekend is the start of the COLORADO SMOKING BAN! Michele and I will likely find our way to Old Chicago to enjoy some smoke-free Italian Nachos. :-) Who's with us???


Monday, June 26, 2006

I'm About To Cry

posted by John Blanco @ 3:53 PM


About an hour and a half ago, something bad happened. Really, really bad. I performed an operation in Eclipse (my source editor), and the next thing I knew my source tree was deleted.

It had a MONTH and a HALF of work. Some of the work even went back longer than that.

My body went into shock, tears almost began to flow, and my breathing got very tight. I felt nauseus. No, really, my body was going into shock mode...everything was pulsing around me.

I talked to Jim about ClearCase possibly being able to save my data -- which I doubted -- but he had confidence.

Long story short, ClearCase did nothing.

However, as I battled the shock to my system, I remembered that we switched from StarTeam to ClearCase mid-last week...and sure enough, my files were there!

I've lost 3 days of code, though. Traumatic enough. I'm starting to get out of my haze, but I will be working all evening to ... fuck, the build broke, hold on...

OK, I'm back. So, I'm gonna be here late and this totally sucks. I just want to be home with the Yog playing Windwaker or something. :-(

On top of getting my build back in order, I'm still doing work for another guy cause at my job I am the last pure Flash developer and they split me in a million ways. (Hence me making up time on a late project, because I get distracted by so much other work!)

Hold on....fucking file mutex....!

So I'd say I have 3 hours left in me. I should have been checking this thing in right I face over a day of code updates plus RE-TESTING! This is truly a nightmare, all while my next project still hasn't been touched and the other developers have a week head start on me.

Why won't this fucking company hire a new Flash guy for god's sake?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

NEW Weird Al Song!!

posted by John Blanco @ 11:34 AM


Whilst us Weird Al fans eagerly await the name of the new album coming soon, the man himself has released the first song to the Internet! (Though it won't be on the album because the record company responsible for the original rescinded its permission.)

Here it here! Extra credit if you can identify the song it's parodying. :-)


Join the Liberal Democrats of Colorado as we Race For The Cure!

posted by John Blanco @ 11:32 AM


On October 8th, 2006, the Race For The Cure comes to Denver, Colorado!
Come join a team of Colorado Democrats raise money for this important
cause while simultaneously bringing an important Democratic presence
to the event!

The team captain is John Blanco, and the team has been formed by the
Jeferson County Young Democrats. Last year, a team of 9 of us
combined to raise over $200 for the National Kidney Foundation. This
year, we're expanding our scope to welcome ALL Democrats in Colorado
to form under a single team: Liberal Democrats of Colorado!

Our fundraising goal this year is to raise over $1,000, as a team, for
breast cancer research! We also would like to form a team of over 100
participants! Will you join us?

Registration and fundraising for the race can be done completely
online. You can sign up here:

If you'd generously like to donate to the cause, click "Support John!"
Your donation will proudly be represented by our Democratic team!

If you'd like to walk with us, click "Join John's Team!" Registration
costs $30. We are doing the "Co-Ed Walk/Run for Teams". And welcome
aboard! :-)

Democrats all over Colorado are contributing to the well-being of our
society. Let's group together our efforts and show just how much we
can raise for this important cause!

Join us!


Information about the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation:

For more than 20 years, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
has been a global leader in the fight against breast cancer through
its support of innovative research and community-based outreach
programs. Working through a network of U.S. and international
Affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the CureĀ®, the Komen
Foundation is fighting to eradicate breast cancer as a
life-threatening disease by funding research grants and supporting
education, screening and treatment projects in communities around the

The Komen Race for the CureĀ® Series is the largest series of 5K
runs/fitness walks in the world. 2006 is the 23rd anniversary of the
Race and more than 1 million people are expected to participate in
more than 100 Races around the United States.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Weekend is Here!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:04 AM


Oooooh boy and it couldn't have come sooner. Geesh, what a week!

At work, our project went a little longer than expected -- mostly due to my vacation which came right before the expected end of it. As it stands, we needed an exta few days. Though not done yet, it will be done and checked in Monday. Not too much pain.

In it was a 14-hour work day. That was brutal. I've finally caught up with sleep though, even if we were out a little late last night.

Last night, Michele and I enjoyed an evening downtown. We first went to dinner at a place called Ted's Montana Grill. Some friends highly recommended the onion rings, though I think I'm too addicted to the fried, oily kind to have appreciated the seemingly baked variety they had there -- but not bad. What I did love were the burgers! OMG! Delicious! :-) Good prices, too.

Afterwards, we wandered the city a bit and ended up at our favorite little spot, the Tattered Cover bookstore. This is one of the I'm-really-a-chain-but-I-feel-oh-so-indie bookstores...of which there are three in Colorado (but who really cares about the Highlands Ranch location, it's a fraud!!!)

I thumbed through some political books, one of which I ill soon buy. Hostile Takeover by David Sirota looks like a winner to me!

First, I need to finish My Life by Bill Clinton. I'm 100 pages in to his 1,000-page autobiography, but I did it in less than a week, so not too bad! :-)

All tangents aside, afterward, we joined up with Kevin, Shawn, and Aaron for the 9:45 showing of An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary about Global Warming. It was deliciously, but frighteningly, good. Very recommended!

Also, we went to the Mayan to see it. My first time there, and it was really neat. :-)


Some goals for this weekend:

* Find the last pearl in Windwaker.

* Read 100 more pages of My Life (tough!)

* Finish chapter 3 of Lost Magic, the Nintendo DS game I am playing

Aside from that, we have a few chores to do, but nothing else but relaxing to accomplish. :-)

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Perpetually Working

posted by John Blanco @ 6:23 AM


Worked from 5 AM to 7 PM yesterday, and now back in the office at 7 AM. My body is physically tired. :-(

I promise I'll blog more this weekend...I just haven't had the energy all week. BLUUUUUUKKK!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

You're Where? When??

posted by John Blanco @ 4:19 AM


Good morning. I'm at work and it's 5 AM. Wow. :-) I'm here early cause yesterday one of our AC motors died and spread smoke in the office and I thought it wise to not ingest the fumes reigning down on me from directly above. :-)

Make up time!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Our Trip to the Grand Canyon and Vegas!

posted by John Blanco @ 5:30 PM


We're back!

OK, we got back a few days ago, but we still had company over and/or were recovering from the long drive, but here's the vacation in blog -- finally. :-)

On Saturday, my sister, Pam, and friend, Chris, from New York came to visit me and Michele. We hung out for a day, and then Sunday we left for our momentous grand road trip to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Roswell.

We left the house at 5:30 AM Sunday morning. The destination was the Grand Canyon, and the trip went swimmingly. We made great time and arrived at 6 PM. We actually had to drive right past the Canyon to get to the hotel area, so we decided to stop and take a look.

The look will be memorable. Not because it was my first time there, since it wasn't. It's memorable because there was a legion of tiny fly/gnat/mosquito things. And as soon as we parked, they swarmed the outside of our car -- as they did every other car.

The lookout was just the same. It was NASTY! But seeing the Grand Canyon eased things a bit. We looked for about 5 minutes, but couldn't bear anymore so we left and found a hotel and dinner.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express and ending up having dinner at a Cafe. Originally, we were going to eat at the steakhouse but my sister was overwhelmed by the smell of pine in the place, and lack of "mosquite." :-) So we ate at the Cafe, then went over to Carvel (Yes, a Carvel!) for dessert.

And while we were there, we noticed the sun was setting. OH CRAP! Our plan was to see the sunset! So we dashed out, ran to the car, and plowed back to the park.

Luckily, we got there in plenty of time. We spent about a half hour at the lookout, and it was gorgeous (see below). We saw the sunset, and it was a great experience.

After relaxing at the hotel the rest of the evening, after the long drive to get to Arizona, Pam actually woke up early the next morning and went to the Canyon to see it at sunrise. She has some really cool pics of it which I'll post here when I obtain them.


So, Monday morning, we made our way to Vegas. We didn't have to wake up too early as we had decided at the Cafe to stay there in Vegas another day! So, we scrapped Roswell. The driving was going to be too much.

We got to Vegas a couple hours earlier than check-in time, but luckily we still got our room. It was on the 23rd floor of the Monte Carlo. During my previous two trips to vegas, I stayed at the Mirage, so it was nice to stay somewhere different on a different part of the Strip.

That first day, we toured the Strip from the Monte Carlo to the Venetian, where we were going to see the Blue Man Group perform at 7:30. It was HOT as heck, but we did our touring and arrived to see our show.

Let me just say, Blue Man Group frickin rules. (As always.) And as an added bonus, Pam and Chris were selected to be part of the "You're Late!" skit they do at their shows. Yes, it's staged. It was awesome. :-) No pics, sadly, as you can't take em there -- they make you take an oath before the show. But, oh well.

The walk back to our hotel took quite a while, but we toured some more, and I actually took up a collection of nudie cards. If you've been to vegas in the last 10 years, you know that there are smut peddlers everywhere. They hand out magazines and cards which I have to presume is prostitution in the fringes of Vegas. I decided to collect the cards and ended up with about 50.

Hey, it's for the scrapbook. Honest! ;-) Plus it was fun finding em all. I have very few doubles.


The next day, Michele and I got up early and toured the Excalibur and New York New York some more on our own. Then, after Pam and Chris woke up, we decided to walk until the mid-afternoon before hitting the Monte Carlo pool. And we did. And our feet were quite sore. :-)

Pam hit the pool earlier than us, but eventually we all got there. We hit the wave pool, then the lazy river on tubes (buy your own tube in advance, thanks), and then layed out in the sun for a while. Afterwards, we went out for dinner...which was an adventure, considering we had a cow finding a place the previous night!

We ended up at a place called the "Burger Bar", which was a construct-your-burger type place. Really cool, plus the waitress had a Ukrainian-type accent which I'm always a sucker for. :-) There was a TV in the booth, too, which was cool.

We toured Mandelay Bay and the Luxor afterwards and had a good time. Michele and I went back to the hotel late, but Pam wanted a last pic of the Bellagio foutain display, so her and Chris went over. Next thing I know, Pam was waking us up to tell us she won $250 at the slots. She is WAY too lucky ;-)

Advice: Invest in my sister.

The next morning, we sadly left Vegas for our one-day trip back home. We left at 7:30 and got home at 9 PM...a 13-hour trip (with time difference). We were all beat.


The last two days in Colorado, we went to Fat City for some bowling and games, Traildust Steakhouse, and Cinzetti's. We played Scattergories and Taboo together and had a fun time along the way.

A road trip with good friends (and family!) is always a good time, and we had it. Now, back to work tomorrow. Crud.

Well, enjoy the pictures...and life goes back to normal this week. Ciao!


posted by John Blanco @ 5:05 PM


Overlooking The Grand Canyon

posted by John Blanco @ 5:04 PM


Simon Cowell In Wax

posted by John Blanco @ 5:04 PM


Bluephoria with the Blue Man Group

posted by John Blanco @ 5:03 PM


The Vegas Strip

posted by John Blanco @ 5:03 PM


I took this picture over one of the many crossways. I think around the Paris hotel.

The Monte Carlo

posted by John Blanco @ 5:03 PM


The Monte Carlo Hotel

posted by John Blanco @ 5:02 PM


Michele, Look Out, DRAGON!!!

posted by John Blanco @ 5:02 PM


Michele survived.

Dinner @ The Traildust

posted by John Blanco @ 5:01 PM


DDR @ Fat City

posted by John Blanco @ 5:01 PM


Saying Goodbye @ The Airport

posted by John Blanco @ 5:00 PM


Friday, June 09, 2006

Is Bill O'Reilly a Sexual Predator?

posted by John Blanco @ 5:03 PM


Does anyone believe Bill O'Reilly is a sexual predator? Andrea Mackris sure thinks so.

Take care, Kaz...

posted by John Blanco @ 3:40 PM


Hope you had the time of your life. (Good riddance.)

Ready To Go

posted by John Blanco @ 10:24 AM


Calabro is coming in from New York tonight, and my sister, Pam, is coming in tomorrow morning. It's almost road trip time!

Today, Michele and I are doing a lot of cleaning, as I'm home from work because of the stress I seem to be having with -- well -- maybe, needing to clean? Blech!

I just went on a mini-shopping spree. All accidental really. I wanted a new case for my Nintendo DS, and Michele said to pick up "Big Brain Academy" while I was at it. It actually looks like it could be a cool multiplayer game. :-)

Then, when I got my case, I realized it was so cheap that I needed to get more stuff in order to use my $5 off coupon. So, I picked up "Lost Magic" which is a game I was going to get when I came back anyway.

Then, I realized that my 15% off Barnes and Noble coupon was expiring on the 11th, so I had to go there and I picked up a cheap little book, but one that I've wanted to read for eons. George Lakoff's "Don't Think of an Elephant" It's about framing issues on the left. Very nice!

So, back to cleaning. The housesitter, a friend of mine, will be over shortly so we can go over what he'll need to do.

Gotta run. See you in a week!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Not A Pretty Girl by Ani DiFranco

posted by John Blanco @ 2:11 PM


I am not a pretty girl
that is not what I do
I ain't no damsel in distess
and I don't need to be rescued
so put me down punk
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

I am not an angry girl
but it seems like I've got everyone fooled
every time I say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear
and imagine you're a girl
just trying to finally come clean
knowing full well they'd prefer you
were dirty and smiling

and I am sorry
I am not a maiden fair
and I am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

and generally my generation
wouldn't be caught dead working for the man
and generally I agree with them
trouble is you gotta have youself an alternate plan
and I have earned my disillusionment
I have been working all of my life
and I am a patriot
I have been fighting the good fight
and what if there are no damsels in distress
what if I knew that and I called your bluff?
don't you think every kitten figures out how to get down
whether or not you ever show up

I am not a pretty girl
I don't want to be a pretty girl
no I want to be more than a pretty girl

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Why Should You Support Gay Marriage?

posted by John Blanco @ 6:57 PM


If you're reading this, there's approximately a 97% chance that you are not gay. And congratulations, you are socially accepted by society today. Feels good, doesn't it?

But you're reading this because you want to know why you should support gay marriage anyway. And, well, why shouldn't you?

The gay marriage debate is a rare bird in that it centers on a very small percentage of the population. A VERY small percentage. So, why should we care so much about the 3% of gay Americans and their right to marry?

I'll tell you why. YOU are in the minority, too! Confused? Ask yourself these questions...

  • Are you a hard-core gamer? You're in the minority. How do you feel about growing legislation that determines what games you can and can not play?

  • Are you suffering an illness that can only be soothed by medical marijuana? You're in the minority. How do you feel about rulings that using medical marijuana can land the elderly in prison?

  • Are you working as an Engineer to support your family? You're in the minority. How do you feel about your salary being cut significantly due to increased cheap H-1B labor coming in from overseas while more of our jobs also get sent out? Time for mom to go to work -- the kids are getting shipped to Day Care!

  • Are you suffering from Alzheimer's or some other terminal disease? You're in the minority. Extreme right-wing Conservatives want to kill your chances of finding a cure by cutting funding for stem cell research -- because they "believe" different than you.

  • Are you a woman who's been raped or abused, and now pregnant? You're in the minority. If Anti-Choice legislations have their way, you will have that baby and you will like it. Just think of that rapist's eyes looking back at you for the rest of your life.

There are many more examples. Are you an Arab living in America, a woman desperately in need of emergency contraception, a Wal-Mart employee being denied health care services, a victim of racism, sexism, or both?

We are all, in some way, minorities -- and we all at some point have a small voice when the whole world can't seem to sympathize with us. I, myself, am a white male -- do you think I will personally ever need Plan B for myself, or be a victim of sexism?


But others will, and I fight for them. I'll always fight for them, because one day I'll need them to fight for me when my voice is also small. It's why we should all fight for each other..

Stop looking at the gay marriage issue as one of you versus "them." It is us. Us. We are all in this together. Are you a single woman opposed to gay marriage because you yourself are not gay? What if you were gay? Would it change your opinion?

One day, you might find yourself in a predicament and find that your reproductive rights have been taken away by the very same people you sided with against gay marriage. Maybe not now -- but maybe soon. And now you need others to fight for you, because your voice is also small.

And who do you think will need to fight for you? We all fight for each other, because we hope that the others will fight for us.


Phone Call to Sen. Crapo (R-ID)

posted by John Blanco @ 6:39 AM


Is Senator Crapo in favor of traditional marriage?
Yes he is, he's a cosponsor of the bill.

He is? Can you tell me if he masturbates?
I could not tell you that.

Can you tell me, do you masturbate?
I cannot tell you that either.

Can you tell me, does he commit sodomy, analingus, cunnilingus or fellatio?
What is the purpose of this questioning?

It's regarding his views on traditional marriage.
Okay, he supports the bill.

Yes, but could you tell me does he commit sodomy?
I could not give you an answer on that.

Is he willing to pledge that he has not or will not commit sodomy?
I could not answer that.

Has he ever had sex before or outside of marriage?
Again, sir, what is the point of this questioning?

It's regarding traditional marriage and how far his support
Any one of those questions I could not answer.

Have you ever had sex outside of marriage?
Again, I will not answer that.

It's nobody's business, right?
That's right.

Okay, thank you.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Books I've Read

posted by John Blanco @ 5:07 PM


This is a list of all the books that I have read. Excluded are schoolbooks from 10 some-odd years ago. If I was forced to read it, it won't appear here. :-)

And now, the books that I have read, broken into categories:


Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations :: Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them :: Al Franken
The Raw Deal :: Joe Conason
The United States of Wal-Mart :: John Dicker
Blinded By The Right :: David Brock
What's The Matter With Kansas? :: Thomas Frank
Crashing The Gate :: Jerome Armstrong & Markos Moulitsas Zuniga
Frontier Justice: The Bushwhacking of America :: Scott Ritter
Don't Think of an Elephant :: George Lakoff
My Life :: Bill Clinton
The Truth (With Jokes) :: Al Franken
The Exception To The Rulers :: Amy Goodman
Against All Enemies :: Richard Clarke
Take This Job And Ship It :: Sen. Byron Dorgan
The Audacity of Hope :: Sen. Barack Obama
Hostile Takeover :: David Sirota
Screwed :: Thom Hartmann
What Happened :: Scott McClellan
Take It Back! :: Paul Begala and James Carville


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone :: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets :: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban :: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire :: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix :: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince :: J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows :: J.K. Rowling
The Thief Lord :: Cornelia Funke
On a Pale Horse :: Piers Anthony
The Hobbit :: J.R.R. Tolkien
The Magician's Nephew :: C.S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe :: C.S. Lewis
The Horse and His Boy :: C.S. Lewis
Prince Caspian :: C.S. Lewis
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader :: C.S. Lewis
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning :: Lemony Snicket
Don Quixote :: Cervantes
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland :: Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass :: Lewis Carroll
The Golden Compass :: Philip Pullman
The Subtle Knife :: Philip Pullman
The Amber Spyglass :: Philip Pullman
Eragon :: Christopher Paolini
Eldest :: Christopher Paolini
Brisingr :: Christopher Paolini
Magyk :: Angie Sage
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand :: Jonathan Stroud
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Golem's Eye :: Jonathan Stroud
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Ptolemy's Gate :: Jonathan Stroud
The Fellowship of the Ring :: J. R. R. Tolkien
The Two Towers :: J. R. R. Tolkien
Return of the King :: J. R. R. Tolkien
The Tales of Beedle the Bard :: J. K. Rowling
InkHeart :: Cornelia Funke
InkSpell :: Cornelia Funke
Twilight :: Stephenie Meyer
New Moon :: Stephenie Meyer
Eclipse :: Stephenie Meyer
Breaking Dawn :: Stephenie Meyer
Heroes of the Valley :: Jonathan Stroud
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief :: Rick Riordan
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Lord Foul's Bane :: Stephen R. Donaldson
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea of Monsters :: Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Titan's Curse :: Rick Riordan


Ender's Game :: Orson Scott Card

Speaker for the Dead :: Orson Scott Card

Xenocide :: Orson Scott Card

Children of the Mind :: Orson Scott Card

Ender's Shadow :: Orson Scott Card


A Time To Kill :: John Grisham
Gerald's Game :: Stephen King
The Da Vinci Code :: Dan Brown
Deception Point :: Dan Brown
Angels & Demons :: Dan Brown
Digital Fortress :: Dan Brown
Freaky Deaky :: Elmore Leonard
Playing For Pizza :: John Grisham
The Lost Symbol :: Dan Brown

Non-Fiction and Technical

Apple: The Inside Story... :: Jim Carlton
High Score! :: Rusel DeMaria & Johnny I. Wilson
Tuesdays With Morrie :: Mitch Albom
Letter to a Christian Nation :: Sam Harris
The Chess Artist :: J.C. Hallman
The South Beach Diet :: Dr. Arthur Agatson
Emergent Design :: Scott Bain
Word Freak :: Stefan Fatsis


A Beginner's Guide to Short-Term Trading :: Toni Turner
Rich Dad/Poor Dad :: Robert T. Kiyosaki


The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction :: Barnaby Conrad
Painless Grammar :: Rebecca Elliott
The Art of Fiction :: John Gardner

Self Improvement

How to Win Friends and Influence People :: Dale Carnegie
Mega Memory :: Kevin Trudeau
So You're Going To Be A Dad :: Peter DowneySo You're Going To Be A Dad ::
Comprehensive Chess Course Vol. I :: Lev Alburt
Comprehensive Chess Course Vol. II :: Lev Alburt

Monday, June 05, 2006

How Well Do You Know Me - Part II?

posted by John Blanco @ 6:26 PM


How well do you know ZaBlanc. Take this quiz:

And now, take Part II:

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Weekend Roundup

posted by John Blanco @ 9:34 PM


A nice weekend mix of fun and relaxation. Here's the quick roundup:

Friday, the in-laws took me out for my graduation dinner. :-) Went to Carabba's and it was yummy as always, even if we had to ignore a screaming baby the entire time. Stupid baby. :-)

Saturday, the AC finale! We watched our music video, These Are Days, and it was magnificent as always thanks to Aaron's l33t editing sk1llz. Then we toured the Lousville History Museum and the Redstone Mead Factory. (See picture above of Aaron and I trying the samples...*burp*)

It ended with Russian Volleyball and dinner at Goodfriends which had what I have to say are the best onion rings E-V-E-R. Damn, but I forgot the last 1/3 of my Club sandwich at the Grinka's. :-(

Today, National Lawn Mowing Day. At least, here. ;-) I mowed with my newly returned-to-me mower and then Michele and I never left the AC-cooled house. Here's what got done:

* Got another pearl in Windwaker
* Read 50+ pages of Crashing The Gate
* Beat another boss in Mario & Luigi
* Vacuumed, cleaned litterbox, de-weeded, etc.
* Watched The Sopranos season finale
* Implemented rating calculations in Avatara
* Blogged about my weekend...

And now, sleepytime...on this productive day. :-)

Born In The USA by Bruce Springsteen

posted by John Blanco @ 12:21 PM


Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

I got in a little hometown jam
And so they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to Vietnam
To go and kill the yellow man


Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
I go down to see the V.A. man
He said "Son don't you understand"


I had a buddy at Khe Sahn
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a little girl in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years down the road
Nowhere to run, ain't got nowhere to go

I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

Friday, June 02, 2006

How Well Do You Know Me?

posted by John Blanco @ 11:26 PM


Take this quiz. Can YOU do it?!

Poor, Sweet, Naive Michele :-)

posted by John Blanco @ 10:52 PM


Forgive Michele...she's such a sweet and innocent thing. To her, the world is at peace, and no one decives.

Unfortunately, she'd be wrong.

Two years ago, Michele got us trapped in a Time-Share seminar. Yes, I told her something smelled fishy about the fact that we'd, "won a free trip to anywhere in the US, we just need to drive halfway across Colorado to get it."

Yeah, it killed the whole evening after a long, hard day of work. And we got a free dinner at Red Lobster out of it...and hopefully a lesson learned.

Well, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Shame on me.

Michele IM'ed me today to say that she got a very "fortunate" call. An old friend from her high school had called -- one she had talked to this past weekend during a reunion -- and had a business opportunity for her!

"Doing what," I asked.

"I don't know. He didn't have time to talk," Michele replied.

"What does that mean," I inquired.

"He's coming over at 8 PM, he didn't have a chance to say what the opportunity was, he had to put his kid to bed," she answered.

Well, that's certainly a strange scenario! In this age of $3/gallon gas, why wouldn't someone just give a quick blurb of the job to gauge interest...and drive all the way down to podunk Littleton to present it?

My theory, as I told my friend Dorrie, was that they were coming to our house (he and his wife) to MURDER us.

I wasn't far off.

They arrived a little past 8. Michele and I were putting the finishing touches on our Mix CD's for tomorrow's Adventure Club finale. I tried to avoid being pulled in to the discussion as I didn't see why I had to be.

I figure if they try to murder Michele, I'll be safe for long enough to call for backup.

But, after 15 minutes of "You have a great house" sweet talking, I got pulled in. Crap.

And for the next 15 minutes, this guy, Nat, asked over and over what Michele was looking for and how much money she was looking to make and what the value was of having our kids raised at home instead of a day care and blah blah blah...

DUDE, what is the opportunity?! He just wouldn't say.

Finally, I told him, "Nat, I don't want to be rude or anything, but we have things to do and you need to start explaining what it is you need."

He continued, asking how financially sound we were. Why we valued the money. And why were day cares so bad?

And then he asked, "Without this opportunity, would you be financially stable?"

I sternly told him "Yes" and he got the hint. There was nothing more he could say. And I told him it was great meeting him and went upstairs.

Unfortunately, Michele still was waiting to find out what job he had to offer her. She pressed further, while I went upstairs, loaded up on Michele's computer, entered in the word "gullible," and left it for Michele to find later. :-)

And 15 minutes later, they left and she came upstairs. They never did say what it is they had for us. My guess...Amway.

Frickin' people.

But, at least we didn't lose an evening to the con job. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Where's Waldo?

posted by John Blanco @ 9:51 PM


The above is a picture of the two combine 6th grade classes at PS 28 in Yonkers, NY. Can you find me? Here are some treasure hunting clues:

* My best friend, Glenn, is standing to my left.

* You can find a picture of Glenn on his MySpace page.

* He is a friend on my MySpace page.

* You can search this blog for a previous post I made about the whereabouts of my MySpace page.

There, you have two people, standing near each other, and two pictures to reference. Now get to it!

But, But, My Taxes Are Lower!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:14 AM


Yes, this is why I hate Republicans. I really do. All of us bitch and moan about taxes, but real men know you have to give the devil his due -- because we know that it goes to a greater good.

Do I want my government to be as efficient as possible? Sure as hell I do. And if it's not, I want to fix it. I do not, however, want to abolish it.

Unfortunately, Republicans do. Do you think you are a Republican? Did you vote for Bush? I'm sorry.

The following is a memo sent by a local Nebraska mayor. While it may be just one mayor in Nebraska, understand that this represents the entire Republican ethic. The plan is to starve the beast. Run high deficits, then whine that the only way to fix it is to cut non-discretionary spending.

What is non-discretionary spending? Check the memo.

The mayor said she wanted specifics, so City Councilwoman Robin Eschliman gave her specifics about where she would cut the city's budget.

After a semi-scolding in a memo from Seng about how generalities don't help with budget-cutting, Eschliman responded with a list of specific budget cuts she supports, largely based on a survey she did over the winter. Here are a few areas in which she said she'd support "substantial cuts":

* Merit pay increases for city employees

* Swimming pools, unless attendance goes up

* Bus routes

* Expenditures involving water runoff, flood plain issues, etc.

* Libraries, unless usage is increasing

* Capital improvements to parks

* Funding for the Women's Commission; she suggests moving it under the umbrella of another department.

When contacted by the Journal Star about her letter, Eschliman said it was mistakenly released to the public and was only a preliminary list.

Read it. Love it. Memorize it. And next time you find yourself at a polling booth about to vote for your elected leaders -- recite it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


posted by John Blanco @ 6:08 PM


Mwi wush gwat mack frum ma dentis. Mwi gaw uh fillinhg. My mwath is umm.