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Trip to South Africa, Part 5 – The Pilanesberg

Resurrected, appropriately, on Sunday morning we headed off to discover the great new land that surrounded us. Being in the middle of a wild life preserve larger than Spain makes one think one obvious first thought: how do we get online? It turns out that there are a couple of viciously flakey hot spots around the place that cost $20 to access per 150 megs – which amounts to daylight robbery. Begrudgingly I paid, and then proceeded to deal with as many client complaints as I could stomach. I even told one client to find a new dev, because I couldn’t deal with them anymore… something I should have done a long time ago.

For lunch we found a great little Indian fast food place that had vegetarian food for Andrew and I (the two fags) and curry hot enough to satisfy Rob. After that, we watched rob hit the Black Jack tables for a bit and then went for a walk around the grounds. We met up with two Australians who had driven up for the day, and told us they were staying in the Parktonian Hotel in downtown Johannesburg. I said it had been nice meeting them, and if there was anything I could do for their families once they were gone.

Still looking for trouble, we booked ourselves on a night game drive, but still had some time to kill. It was suggested that we try the local Shabeen. Now a real shabeen is a township (read shanty town), informal bar. They normally server cheap beer and fermented milk products, along with food that is designed to be inexpensive enough for people who live in some of the worst conditions in the world to be able to afford. Sun City, in their infinite quest to provide the ultimate African experience, has built their own shabeen (which Rob insists on calling “The Shabang”.) Its actually very nice, clean, full of white people and the jukebox is stocked full of Kenny Rogers (like 10 CDs) and Afrikaans classics with lyrics that went something like this (translated as best I can) “We need back the home of my grandmother, where the flag waved proud and the springbok kept its head high”… so basically nothing at all like a shabeen, but exactly like a shabang.

Time passes very quickly when exposed to pool tables and 750ml beers, but it probably has something to do with gravity. Soon it was time for the game drive. Due to the massive drop in night time temperatures, night drives are apparently not particularly popular at the moment, so the three of us got an exclusive. Our ranger was a black guy named Israel, who didn’t seem to have any opinion on the Middle East, but knew a lot about the reserve, so that was good enough for me. The park was basically empty as only rangers can enter at night, and we were the only tour group from Sun City. In fact, we only passed one other vehicle the entire three hours we were out. Boy did we get lucky. We saw pretty much everything you could hope to see short of the big cats. We saw a giraffe laying down to sleep, which is pretty unusual (propping his head up against a tree), owls standing in the road for warmth, baboons sleeping on dam walls, zebra and gnu still out grazing and even a lone bull elephant who followed us for about two kilometers down the road, which actually got a little weird and the ranger was clearly worried at times. The highlight of the evening was an easy choice. Coming over a hill, we found two male rhinos squaring off in the road. We watched them strut and grunt for a while, which is pretty usual posturing over territory, but Israel said that never in his six years had he ever seen them fight. Tonight was different though, and they went at each other. Seeing two creatures like that actually try and kill each other is somewhere between sad and amazing. They didn’t seem to be at all bothered by our presence and let loose on each other. Their horns clapped as they rammed each other, but the sound of their feet and the rocks moving out of their way as the push each other in and out of the road was what stood out the most to be. They were pretty evenly sized and matched, and both came out of it worse for the wear. The one closest to us, who looked like he was leaving first, had a gash almost two feet long from his snout to the neck, and was bleeding pretty badly; the other was covered in blood under his horn and mouth. When they walked off in two different directions, they almost seemed embarrassed. Our guide said that if he was anyone else seeing this he would cry… I’m not sure if he meant that he was tougher than the average person, or if he could drop his professionalism for a minute he would break down, but it seemed even more moving to him than it did to us, and we were stunned.

The drive became colder and colder, and although if Israel had kept going there would be no complaints, we were all pretty happy to get back home and into warm beds.

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Trip to South Africa, Part 4 – Cape Town, the final day

Saturday morning was a little rough. I woke up at 7, having only gone to bed three hours earlier, and packed, showered and got the car ready. I then went to wake the two who had as much to drink as their non-driving selves wanted the previous evening. Andrew was especially hung-over, and probably still drunk, but is slightly more maneuverable than Rob, so I got him up first. Rob whined and complained that there was probably too much fog on the mountain for us to even go, and that he should be allowed to sleep in. However, my tolerance for this sort of thing is extremely low at 8 am, so a quick facebook poll reassured me that I should just leave him. That did seem to motivate him enough to drag his feet as slowly as possible to start packing, showering, getting a snack, medicate, and whatever it is he does in the mornings. From there we made our fondest farewells and heartfelt thanks to Jacqui for being such an excellent host, and headed off as fast as we could to make it up and down the berg before the plane left us in Cape Town.

I got a bloody speeding ticket. I drive a Stage 2 Lotus Elise, which will do 0-62 miles an hour in around 4 seconds. It is generally considered to be one of the finest handling vehicles ever built. I live in Tampa, with long, straight stretches of beautifully maintained highways. And I got my first speeding ticket in a fucking Hyndai Atos.

Anyway, we made it to the great flat-top mountain, and up the crazy slope of the cable car without further incident. Although I’ve been up many times, the view still left me speechless for a good while, something that is normally very difficult to do. Andrew was so inspired that after lunch at the top he wanted to go for a run, which I advised might not be a very good idea seeing as there are no side railing, there are half mad Japanese tourists everywhere, loose rocks underfoot and an altitude not primed for sea level dwellers’ cardio. But mainly the rails thing. All of the incredible fresh air meant that Rob stayed at a look out post to smoke. So Andrew and I did the lap and took the silly pictures and headed back to the cable car where we found Rob and regrettably headed off to the airport. Cape Town is almost too good of a place to live, like San Francisco, so I might need to go live there some time. I asked the boys what they thought and Rob said that he had come to see Africa, and not some European knock off, and Andrew said that he would have like to have gone dancing… so I guess you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

We arrived at the airport an hour before our flight, to find it had been delayed by 3 hours. So that speeding ticket was defiantly worth it. I thought it would be tough to keep my eyes open until they made us board, but South African efficiency made it easy by moving our gate every 30 minutes and making us wait in line to find out where the departure gate might wormhole its way to next. The flight to Johannesburg nothing short of a 2 hour nap. I don’t remember take off or landing.

We met up with Andrew (who had taken an earlier flight) and went to pick up our car rental. We had booked the same Hyndai Atos, so I couldn’t wait. When we got to the counter, Rob argued with the poor Avis girl for an HOUR trying to get his name taken off the rental in case we got hijacked in Johannesburg. He wanted it all in my name, what a friend! Of course he couldn’t share the driving either, as the manual stick shift is all in the wrong place. I thought the poor girl was going to cry at one point, but cooler heads eventually prevailed. She even gave us an upgrade! My heart sang like a DNA released sex offender when I first started up our full 4-cylinder Hyndai Getz! It even had a rev counter! I’ve driven a Ferrari before, but nothing as ever felt as good as that drive out of Jo’burg.

So armed with our Getz, we flew (under the speed limit) out of the city and toward the Pilanesbergs.

We arrived pretty close to dead. Our brains had stopped working some time ago and Sun City is not the ideal place for brainless travelers. Built in the 70s as a testimony to white wealth and pleasure seeking power, it is a monstrous thing. There are half a dozen hotels, two casinos, a couple of Disney-style African experiences and a central booking offices for the pilot-fish businesses that eat the tourist bacteria off its sides. The place is, however, very nice. We got our selves a two bedroom condo in the timeshare section thanks to my parents generosity in giving up one of their RCI weeks. As soon as we checked in, we hit the only open restaurant: the main dining room buffet. There was more food than we could even processes, and we ate like zombies at the all you can eat brain buffet. We climbed into bed and died.

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Trip to South Africa, Part 3 – Wine and Poker

We woke up a little later than planed the following day and I slowly mobilized the troops to hit the wine route. Jacqui, who gets up at a time more fitting for a college student than a senior partner in a law firm, gave us some advice on the trip before we hit the road, but mainly about where the cops are likely to pull us over and where it will be cheaper to drink rather than which estates won which awards. So we climbed back into our Korean death trap and headed out into some of the prettiest parts of the country. Although the boys were not as impressed with Cape-Dutch gables and white washed farms with quaint stone walls and country hedges as I tried to insist they should, they were suitably impressed with the air and the sky. I guess that my parents had done a suitably educational brainwashing job on me to have instilled deep seeded appreciation for Cape-Dutch architecture, gables and white-washed all.

We spent what seemed like a low-blood-sugared hour searching the small university town of Stellenbosh for a dining establishment suitably interesting enough for Rob’s foody tastes, but it was worth it for yet another great fish and chips for me and ostrich burger for Rob. Andrew ate his salmon sandwich peacefully and only mentioned New York and Rhode Island three or four times.

Our first stop on the route was truly inspired (if I do say so my self, and I do.) Although there were one or two grumps and grimes from the peanut gallery about my being an alcoholic, we first hit the Van Ryn brandy distillery. We were greeted with apricot juice and brandy starters and then led on a tour of the plant, which included a demonstration of barrel making by hand which was pretty impressive considering that “Uncle Clarence” looked about eighty years old. When I thanked him for the entertaining demonstration in Afrikaans, our tour guides eyes swelled up like plague-infested lymph nodes. “Where did you learn that!?” he said. Apparently everyone here seems to immediately assume that I am American from my extremely thick yank accent. Every tourist I meet believes me to be a zapher because of my South African accent. I can now begin working on the new “Trans-Atlantic” accent that was so indicative of wealth, upbringing and education in the 50’s, but now just means you work in television.

From there we were given a bandy and chocolate pairing flight. Never have I been a big fan of dark chocolate until it was served with so much brandy! Somewhat stable, we left for the estate most recommended by the locals, Vergelegen. It was recommended so highly as it has been winning all the local awards recently, although has not started shipping internationally. The estate is owned by an Italian who has produced a ton of unique blends of Cape and Italian grapes and something something something… after the third of forth glass I couldn’t really keep up with how impressed I was supposed to be. We were also given an olive and olive oil tasting which was odd, but enjoyable. The last time I actually drank oil willingly was before I had to go into a hospital for a particularly nasty procedure.

The evening’s itinerary had included going to diner with my great aunt and uncle, James and Mari, David’s parents. Normally this would have been a stop and go mission of trying to decipher tourist maps and hand scrawled notes, while popping into gas stations (garages as they’re called here), to make sure we’re headed in the right direction. However, the previous evening, David had been far sighted and trusting enough to give us his GPS (gipis as I call it), so the trip was extremely smooth. When we arrived were greeted with more warmth and love and food than I knew what to do with. David and Tanya arrived in time for dinner and dilution, and we had a great time. The boys were very patient while my uncle and cousin and I discussed our insane family and how much we love them and how much we miss some of them. After we had indulged in enough memories and wine to make us all nice and soppy, we headed off back to Hout Bay. The boys wanted to hit up Long Street and check out the night life, but fate had other plans.

Every Friday night, we gather at Steve Martinez’s house to play poker. Texas Hold’em to be precise. We are borderline fanatical. So when Jacqui’s son Chris called us and invited us to his friends place to play, Long Street didn’t even make a showing for second. When we arrived, the game was already huge, but our arrival required a split into two full tables. There was beer and chips and wine and whiskey for all. The final ended up with an extremely tired Greg as big stack and some guy called Rob (not our Rob who had re-bought in twice and had busted out three times, much to his “I’m the best poker player in the world chagrin”) who didn’t really seem to understand what he was doing. After some drunken negotiations, it was decided that I would make an unlucky bet and then be happy to settle for second place and take my hard earned R500 home. We were leaving the next day and still had not done Table Mountain, which Rob insisted on doing before our flight at 1:30, so it was quickly to bed (after I did some more work and got yelled at by clients for being on the other side of the world.)

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Trip to South Africa, Part 2 – Shark Diving

Wednesday started a little later and relaxed, with coffee and a drive into Cape Town on a mission to find “Swimming Costumes” (Bathing Suits) – the one thing we had both failed to bring, and considering the beautiful weather and the idea that we should go cage diving with Great Whites the following day, seemed to become reasonably important. We stopped in at Quay Four and ate a kilogram of prawns (seriously, that’s what is said on the menu) and drank enough beer to make my head pound a little less. From there it was on to the airport to pick up Andrew. There is something very strange about sitting in an African city, in which you are somewhat a tourist, and a native, but defiantly not a local, and waiting at the arrival gate for a friend. Also, it is pretty tricky to spot a slightly-built black guy, who likes to wear dark browns and blues, in a crowd that is a little less homogenous as Tampa. However, we did indeed find him, and took him back to Jacqui’s for a fantastic meal of fish and beer and even more Malva pudding.

Thursday I woke up at 3 am, three hours after going to bed, and tried to wake Rob up. By 4:30 we were on a pitch dark road through the mountains to Gansbaai to go do something completely stupid. We somehow made it to breakfast at Shark Diving Unlimited by 7:30… alive. We got the usual lecture of don’t feed the sharks your hands, and then headed off on a boat with 18 other lunatics in wet suits so used, they were no longer fit for use for humans. Rob chatted up a cute Aussie girl while I ate a tasty cheese and tomato sandwich and reminisced about my childhood by washing it down with Creme Sodas (in the correct green color) and Appletizers, which are brilliant! I also tried to talk to some of the folks puking over the side to take their mind off the sea sickness, but I think it just came across as smug when I went back for my second cheese and tomato.

The shark diving works something like this: A metal cage of about seven feet deep, three feet long and ten feet long is lowered into the water and strapped to the side of the boat while a guy in a lot of rubber throws buckets of blood and fish heads into the water: mmmmm, delicious – the smell did not help my heaving companions, but it may have added to the chum. Then, everyone still able to stand, hangs on to the side of the boat and watches for the first shark. The experience is completely bizarre, because you know that it is supposedly pretty safe, but that if something goes wrong you will be dead, or at least walk and talk funny the rest of your life. More over, you are having to listen to New Zealanders trying to psych themselves up even more in one ear, and Americans, South Africans a Greek puking some barely palatable scrambled eggs and toast ad nauseam out the other.

When the first shark arrives there is a much greater sense of “wow, maybe the water is too cold, you know, and the salt is bad for my skin, and…” and then Rob grabs you and tries to rush into the water first. However, the anticipation was allowed to build nicely as we were the last group of five sent into the water. You have only a mask and a weight belt, and are packed into the cage side by side in a row. The idea is that the sharks are swimming all around the boat, and when the dive master sees one coming around, he yells “down, down, down!” and you all hold your breath and drop below the surface. Please try and keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times, unless you think the sharks aren’t getting enough primate in their diet. Then right in front of you is a Great White. It doesn’t seem real at first, but something defiantly changes in your brain. The freezing cold water you’ve been floating in no longer even registers and you’re not even afraid. Everything has been replaced by a kind of awe or fear or super sharp sense of survival that is not the adrenaline based, heart pumping sensation I expected, but rather a warm feeling of amazement and surreal feeling of being safe only a few feet in front of something that would be more than happy to suck your delectable blood out of a hole it had just created in your torso.

Each group of five was allowed two, 20-30 minute stints in the blood and killer-fish infested ice water. To describe this as something one would pay for to any rational human being would sound like lunacy, but humans have some sort of weird need to have controlled fear inducing situations for entertainment. This might be from some sort of hormone that we build up to help us get away from a sabertooth tiger or something, but now is no longer really used. It may build up and cause mental illness or weight gain or even bad breath. It is clearly worse in some than in others: Rob said of the experience “It was cool, but I just wished one had really attacked the cage, you know?” No… no I don’t.

By the time I had driven the 3 hours back to Hout Bay, I was exhausted and was now starting to form blisters on my feet from driving. We made it back just in time to shower, change, grab Andrew (who had spent the first half of the day getting an exclusive tour from Jacqui, and the rest hiking around Cape Town) and head off to dinner with my cousin David. He met us on a main road near his house, claiming it was too complicated for us to find our way through the winding roads to his place. He would probably have been right, but his daily commute is worth it. He and his wife Tanya live in an amazing home with a view of the city and a house so tastefully decorated that it was sickening. We were fed fantastic wines and one of the best meals, restaurant or otherwise, we’ve had. That boy can cook! David had also invited one of his friends and his girlfriend to the dinner as well to dilute us no doubt. The guy turned out to be a folly artist who had been nominated for oscars for movies like 300 and Robin Hood! I spent most of the night catching up with David, who is unbelievably easy to get along with and like, and I almost like no-one so that is high praise. After rice pudding, coffee, tea and some more wine, it was time to let the adults go to bed, so David helped push our micro-machine up the driveway (it had become significantly more difficult to drive with the addition of a third passenger) and we headed back to Jacqui’s for the night.

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Trip to South Africa, Part 1 – The Saga Begins

Our first stop on our travels was meeting a Bible college professor of Archeology who was flying to Tennessee to meet his sweetheart. I somehow managed to convince him that we were good, god-fearing Christians who also believe that Muslims should be buried alive, and he offered to take us as his guests to the Delta Sky Lounge in Atlanta. After a few free drinks, our host excused himself, remarking that he “can’t have too many bud lights or I’ll get a ‘lil light myself” and took off leaving the open bar at our mercy. So when we finally boarded our flight, Rob and I both completely passed out from the exhaustion brought about by the constant lifting and putting down of heavy cocktail glasses.

When I finally came round, I discovered Rob pleasantly chatting to our neighbor, a South African DJ who lives in Texas, but goes back to SA once or twice a year for business. The young man seemed completely reasonable the entire trip and fairly informative. However, his camel-like approach to drinking water had both upset the flight staff due to his constant pinging for hydration, and had begun to irk both Rob and I as he was on the window and we were center and aisle, and the incessant trips to the bathroom to deal with the massive amounts of fluid were requiring us to constantly get up and down. In the method perfectly naturally to sociopaths, his normality slowly faded away after he had gained our trust and the entire situation ended with his final two hour long, zealot-like sermon on the benefits of Vitamin D. Short of raising the dead, he claimed it can cure anything with enough units, whatever those are, and although he couldn’t explain one metabolic process, he claimed he had being studying Vitamin D for years… clearly this man was a axe murderer on the way to yet another blood bath in some small African village.

We arrived in Johannesburg safely and decided to get another few drinks before the flight to Cape Town, which proved to be an excellent idea. After a short nap, we arrived in Cape Town, rented a car and headed off to Hout Bay. Driving on the wrong side of the road, in a manual with the gear shift on the left was not really a problem. Neither was the fact that it was completely dark, nor where the incredible winding roads with no railings to prevent you from a spectacular, fiery cliff-side death should you decide to venture off the side. It was however the matchbook, tin can, three-liters-of-fury Hyndai Atos’ miniscule power plant that required you to form the head of train made of extremely pissed off Cape Townians who would have to follow us up the hills on one lane, no-passing roads while the Atos begged in first gear to be driven into the bay.

Our host for the duration of the Cape Town stay was Jaquci, a completely mad lawyer my father had been partners with when we lived in SA. She lives in a ridiculous house set into the back of Table Mountain, overlooking the whole of Hout Bay. The entire property was so unbelievably beautiful that we hardly noticed the suicide driveway and early morning thatchers, who would be banging bales of straw, sining and shouting obscenities at Jacqui’s half-mad Staffie-Pitbull mix, Max, through the safety of the sliding glass doors, at 8 am every morning. Jacqui and her son Chris greeted us that first night with beer and Malva pudding and custard (about which I had completely forgotten) and cheerful conversion even though it was past 12 on a school night.

The next morning Rob and I took our aluminum death trap down through Chapman’s Peak to the Southernmost tip of Africa. The Peak has some of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen while avoiding fiery-death tumbles. Down at the tip, we went out onto the rocks to look for muscles and oysters in the pools while avoiding getting my new Monopoly branded sweet-kicks Reeboks wet. Rob refused to left me stop to take photos of a baboon on the way back as I think he had some sort of traumatic experience with them on another of his travels, which he refuses to speak about, but which I love to speculate over. We did stop to kindly not run over a group of ostriches, in return they let us photograph them.

Tuesday night we spent with Jacqui and Chris who took us to a Portuguese restaurant where we dined out on prawns and calamari fit for a king. Jacqui paid for everything, made sure everyone had enough to drink and even provided the entertainment. Chris and I were happy to talk nerd with his newest colleague from America, also named Chris. Rob kept Simpewi (Jacqui’s downstairs tenant) occupied by daring tales of travel and food, and we all left feeling overly satisfied. Chris then proceeded to take us out to a little hole-in-the-wall bar in Hout Bay, whose name fails me at the moment, which was run by a supposed ex-girlfriend or something. We continued the unbroken spree of drinks even past the bartender’s departure to take some unfit-to-drive patron home. Chris was then kind (or presumptuous) enough to step in as bar tender to ensure the drink would continue to flow. Fully incapable of anything else at this point, everyone went home to bed, except for myself who began working.

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Why do the talent always get the girls?

It seems that no matter how inappropriate the action, the actor runs away with the makeup girl. (Filmed for Cultflicks.net’s Forbidden Zone intro remake.)

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Truisms

This is another stupid email that someone thought was insightful, and decided to waste my time with it. My answers are below each point.

Truisms

1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

I have a mac – 128 bit encrypted root access only… I don’t need friends, unless the NSA really wants to see what I look at.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

It must truly be awful, I don’t look forward to the day when it finally happens to me.

3. I take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

If you can sleep when you’re dead – who cares about sleeping when you’re four? Sleep deprived children show strong motivation and character.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

Don’t all fonts have tone built in?

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

By folding it

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

No

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

People still use map quest?

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

They would also be more interesting if they showed the person, gave you their address and credit card number, but somethings are still private.

9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

This is because deprivation interferes with short term memory

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

So do telling them

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

It comes quicker when you read emails about things other than actual work

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.

Yes, that always works. See? I don’t need a special font.

13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

You’re a retard, turn autosave on. Seriously.

14. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this – ever.

I see one of my friends wrote this.

17. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

That’s why I always call you from other people’s phones.

18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

Mine has one… buy a real fridge.

19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lite than Kay.

Normally they begin with lips touching.

21. Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

Most of the time, I’ll watch a movie and think that this would have made sense if I was younger… that because 90% of movies are written for either children or people with IQs of 75.

22. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

Good for you.

23. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

You need to get NPR in you car… they have it on the radio these days.

24. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

That’s because eating is an activity. Try drinking, works for me.

25. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word. they said?

Right up until they shoot you in the thigh
Jules: “What” ain’t no country I’ve ever heard of. They speak English in What? Brett: What? Jules: English, motherfucker, do you speak it?

26. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

Sometimes the dick is from Korea, in a rented car, and his GPS gave him the directions a few seconds too late to make it across, and now, for some reason, he is in the middle of a terrifying six lane highway with cars trying to block him from getting to the exit he needs to take to make his flight back to Korea in time to donate his kidney to a dying orphan. Who’s the dick now? Let a bastard in, where do you have to be in such a hurry that you can’t cut someone a break?

27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

Really? You must have a pretty boring life for your pants never to get dirty. Dirty pants are a sure sign of a good time.

28. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?

It’s just you. Also, what are you doing hanging around with high school kids?

30. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

Ok, this is something I can actually agree with. Cyclists are fuckers.

31. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

See a neurologist.

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Letter to mc chris

Dear mc chris,

I’m one of those silly, nerdy, vegetarian, music playing, comic book-reading, and computer programming dweebs who have, in the past, bought your albums, t-shirts and tickets to your shows. I’ve got a nice little collection of photos of you and me (with you in the same pose and me in a variety of weights), and adult swim DVDs. I am the type of person who likes, understands and finds your work both intelligent and freaking hilarious. HOWEVER, I tried, a few times to get your new album, mc chris goes to hell in a format that fits my life choices in terms of technology and fagy green-earth-loving-recycling-etc preferences – obviously (from the overly wordy message) I was disappointed. Your website promotes an actual CD that would have to be shipped, in the mail, to my house. Seriously? That’s it? Did I not see the download link? I do drink a lot, so it’s possible. So I checked iTunes… I mean, I have friends who have bands at the local pool bar who have albums on iTunes… NOTHING. Not a fucking sausage! Pissed, I downloaded the album from thepiratebay – like I do for almost everyone one else. Great record by the way, you have defiantly moved the beats in line with the rhymes to a maturity of sheer hip-hop dork genius that puts you in a complete league of your own – but a fucking CD? Seriously? Look, I have bought like five things on your ebay store; I put money in the CF jar every time at every show; I force you on my friends, and blast your beats in my business.

Look, I’m happy to buy whatever you have to sell as long as it is not a useless piece of plastic. I have the album now, love it, happy to send you the $15 or whatever via paypal, but I don’t want, need or have a use for anything other than the files. Please give us some sort of option for doing this, or, if you MUST have a physical representation of your art, give us a T-shirt and a download code (that would be awesome – (I’d pay $50 for that) – or an action figure, or SOMETHING, other than a plastic case to get lost in my collection of Dreamcast games. If not, I’ll toss an extra few bucks in at the next show.

Thanks sir,

G

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Kyoto Wars Returns

Found a old blast from the past, a birthday present I made for Casey.

Enjoy: http://uglypufferfish.com/kyotowars/

Don’t pay too much attention to the Lush medley… rather, observe the amazing design features of the site.

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Logo Design

This is something an actual, real life, semi-human being asked of one of my colleagues when designing a logo for their website:

Logo: need a stable, recognizable image the elders will find comforting and the younger will find secure; was thinking of using a sillouette of a victorian era nurse as part of the logo, But to consider on individual and selected pages–to include a woman listening into a seashell for a page that talks about how we listen to them –they are our eyes and ears. I also like using the C three times like waves as the logo. Comforting pictures of elders with their pet and in their home–maybe I could get someone to hold snickers (her fucking dog)

Colors: studies are showing that red and yellow are more visible to the older eye than blues and greens. Maybe a primary combo of red, yellow and black or green would be good?

It always amazes me how few webmasters go crazy and end up shooting up design conferences.

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