Friday, September 25, 2009

Random Bag of Crap. Woot!

Now, I feel a little strange about posting this on here, just because I don't know if all of you really appreciate the magnitude of this accomplishment, or at least the significance it has for me. Some of my closest friends and family know how much this means to me, and I know you are all happy for me and I thank you. So anyway, you must be wondering what is such a big deal. It is a Random Bag of Crap (or BOC, as we Wooters call it (or Bandolier of Carrots, Bulgarian Olympic Committee, Blinged-Out Cabbage, etc (you get it))). Now that doesn't sound exciting, and they make every effort at to make it unexciting, but the orders flood in at an incredible pace. Wooters wait for this item, hitting the refresh page over and over when a new item is about to arrive, and when one of these babys pop up, it is a scramble to get through the ordering process before the servers go down and/or all of the BOCs are sold. They sell around 2000 every time, and it is near impossible to click your way into getting one, as evidenced by the stats they put out after every woot item, here showing a blistering .089 seconds between orders. So why this fervor for a box of self-proclaimed "crap". Well woot has a new deal on something every day, they buy out excess and refurbs and things like that from other wholesalers for cheap and then put it on for a great price, this leaves them with some spare items sitting around, either too few to list, too damaged to sell, to crappy to put a price on, or who knows what else, and all of this randomness culminates in the BOC. BOCs have been known to house Nintendo Wiis, Xboxes, SLR digital cameras... or broken RC cars, obscure action figures, loads of cheap random cases, useless gadgets, anything imaginable really, and for $8 shipped, it is well wirth the gamble. I have been trying for years, literally years, to get one, and the last wootoff, on September 25th, was finally my time.
Order pace: 0m 0.089s
Woot wage: $122,049.53
Woots sold: 1499

I resisted the urge to post about this as soon as I got it, because I know the biggest question would be, well, what is in it. So I waited, and just a few minutes ago the mailman buzzed my apartment and I knew what was in store for me, so I bounded down the stairs and gazed with delight upon the hefty box that awaited. After a quick pic to text to friends and family, I opened her up and was shocked by the quantity of crap that stared back at me from inside the box. I started digging.

2 Smith and Wesson Galaxy 3 LED flashlights, with blue LEDs
1 Xpal iPower Power on the Go for the iPhone
1 Thermor wireless indoor/outdoor weather station with forecasting technology
1 DXG digital camcorder with MP3 player and 5.1MP digital camera capabilities
1 set of Sansa earbuds (as well as one pair with the camcorder)
2 EzyFlare emergency electronic flares
1 Energizer Energi To Go iPod spare battery pack
1 white cheese grater thing that I have not figured out yet
5 Excalibur vinyl bags roughly 18x12 inches with picture of scary red horse head
3 Daiwa bags, roughly 9x12 inches with a clip, a pouch, and a single pen pocket
1 horribly cheap looking air pressure gauge with pocket clip

So there it all is, it holds true to its name, and it was everything I had hoped and dreamed about and more. I will go online and try to figure out the value of my crap when I get back from work, but I think everyone can agree it was worth the $8 and the effort. Right?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Next to a Dream, Be a Laugher

Last night I lay in bed restless, as inevitably happens because I try to get to bed reasonably early but sleep in every morning unreasonably late. This attempt to force sleep sometimes brings on a state of mind with which I am sure a lot of you are familiar. You lay there thinking about all kinds of random things, you try to stop thinking and get to sleep but your mind goes on without your permission anyway. And then, once your mind starts to give in to the siren song of sleep just a little, your normal thoughts start to meld into the fantasism of the dream world and your rational thoughts turn into completely irrational situations. The worst (best) time for this to occur is when you start to travel to the Land of Nod in the middle of a lecture. You still hear what is going on but it gets transformed somewhere in your half dream state and you get the urge to yell out ridiculous things that make so much sense but then when you jolt into full awakeness because you are about to yell out this packet of brilliance you realize the insanity that was about to sprout from your mouth and catch yourself just in time to not make more of a fool of yourself, though everyone is already looking at you because you just had a miniature seizure when you landed back on earth, probably for the 15th (and not the last) time that class. I have found myself in this situation just a few times, and have never given in to the urges of the dream world, but you have all either seen or heard of it happening. The poor kid who spouts out something about Macbeth being a fish or some such nonsense. Or maybe that just happens in movies.
Ok, I didnt plan on going there at all, that just kind of came out, what I was planning on writing about was laughing, because in my thoughts, for some reason, I thought about the tent we borrowed from Kari's Pap. I was thinking I hoped I got it dry enough the keep stored away and hoped her Pap wouldnt be put out by my packing job or something. And when I thought of him, the thought that came to mind was him laughing. For some reason that intrigued me... I intrigued myself I guess... so I thought on it more. I thought of my own Grandad, he was laughing. Papa was laughing. My brother was laughing, my friends were laughing. Maybe it is just me, but I realize that when I am mentally recalling someone, their laugh is the clearest image in my head, maybe its because it is linked with a strong emotion, a good emotion, and always has a distinctive sound, it seems like a laugh would be the best way to remember someone, maybe we are programmed to remember like that. I think you can tell a lot from someones laugh, whether it is genuine or forced, outgoing or reserved, whether it goes on just a little to long, or I guess whether it exists at all. While writing this I have been thinking about people, and I dont have a laugh on file for everyone. Maybe I just forget, or maybe some people are just better remembered otherwise, maybe I dont remember those forced, reserved laughs, or maybe some people just dont laugh enough.

In this world I have just created where people are split into being remembered with a laugh or without, I think I surround myself with laughers, and I think I am myself a laugher for most people. It is important to me to be a laugher and its something everyone could strive for. Be genuine, be happy, let it out, and thats how you will be remembered. Be a laugher.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ungainfully Employed: Toys-R-Me

So, I am currently in the car on my way to Pittsburgh, my third trip in three weeks to get out of philly. My philly getaway last week was a camping trip to Chincoteague Island in Virginia. My friends Jon, Julie, Steve and Jess joined Kari and I for Labor day. Camping and beachin with a good group of friends. Hard to beat that. I need to make some friends in philly, I am at a point at my new place that I am getting bored with just me and my roommates, but I am not motivated enough to go out and actively try to make some new friends since I will only be here a few months. I talked to a guy about a weekly poker game at the apartment complex I am in and it sounds like a handful of old guys that sit around and play 7 card stud for quarters. So thats pretty awesome, I will be there next week. Maybe I will make some money... a call from my lawyer last week made me think that money might be a more pressing issue than I had thought. Apparently they didnt forget about the 75,000 dollars in hospital bills floating around. I cant believe this crap is still going on. Just leave me alone with my money. Well... their money. Just leave me alone.

And also on that note, I got me a job! At Toys-R-Us! I had to pull some strings, but I got an interview. I showed up and was directed to the break room, where 4 others were waiting for the group interview also. So it was me, Brian, an 18 year old kid who dropped out of school when he was 13, "was not good with people" and usually slept in till 5 or 6 pm, and told this all to our interviewer, Emily, a 16 year old cheerleader who needs more spending money, Rebecca, a 19 year old mother of one who said nothing but "I don't know" the entire interview, and Caitlin a 20 year old girl who just started school at a local university. Spoiler alert: if you are planning on interviewing at Toys R Us in the near future, this may ruin the experience for you, and it is definitely cheating.

They start off by having everyone say their name and describe themselves with an adjective that starts with the same letter as their name. I started off with a moment of brilliance (oh brilliant would have been good too) with the word benevolent. after another minute or so of pondering, nobody else could think of anything for themselves, finally Caitlin chimed in with Cute Caitlin, and nobody else came up with anything for a while, the interviewer started asking for anything that started with their middle or last name letters too and brian finally came up with Fun from his last name, and then after a few more minutes he helped out the other two speechless girls with Joyful and Righteous. Off to a good start. For the next exercise they brought in 5 random toys and had us stand up and sell them to the group. I got Call of Duty: World of War. Brian was pissed I got the easy one. After a good deal of mumbling and "I dont knows" from the others when the interviewer asked such difficult questions as "Would you recommend the slingshot spongebob for my one year old?" (which brian insisted would be fine) we were ready to move on to the final exercise. We were paired up and found out about our partners and then tried to convince the interviewer to hire them. Another bombardment of "I dont know"s, though I think I did Cute Caitlin justice. For the finale we were given a "trophy" which was a bop-it game, and gave an acceptance speech for the job pretending we got it. I stood up with a pained expression, some sniffles and an embarrassed look away from the crowd and confessed "I promised myself I wouldnt cry", but I pulled it together long enough to thank my fellow interviewees and interviewers (working in that my interviewer Ilene's name was beautiful and is my grandmothers name also) and some other junk. This reminds me of another momentof interview brilliance I forgot to mention before. At my Cutco interview we were asked to give 3 words to describe ourselves, I said Intelligent, Modest, and AWESOME. She didnt get my joke and wrote it down, I let it go. We were then called into another room individually and told if we got the job. Brian came out and gave us a thumbs down and a raspberry and I didnt see the other three, I was the last one in and correctly guessed that they hired me, caitlin, and cheerleader. So I start within the week, unloading trucks, working the cashier, the sales floor, look out Toys R Us, here I come...

Some random thoughts: Lime Gatoraid Rain tastes like melted green ice pops, it is delicious. A real man always has extra room in his luggage. I just held my breath through both Blue Mountain tunnels in a row. whew. almost passed out. A law abiding citizen always uses turn signals. Nobody is going to steal your shopping cart.