New Shoes

How to Act Natural During a Break-in

Never run around in the bushes in a ski mask when you're breaking in some place. Somebody catches you, what are you gonna say? You want to look like a legitimate visitor until the very last minute. If you can't look legit, confused works almost as well.

Burn Notice is a great TV series available on USA. The main character, Michael Weston, is a spy that has been black listed from his service as a spy and spends his time tracking down the person who burned him and carrying out operations for those in need. Needless to say the show is awesome. Throughout the show, Michael gives the audience Spy Tips.

Enter Geek Tips

The day your damaged XBOX console returns from the repair shop make sure you have plans and prior commitments. If you don't chances are you'll end up losing half a day and all your sleep.

It happened! It actually happened! I didn't believe it was possible, but now I know its true. My XBOX was resurrected!

(Image 1: UPS tracking - couldn't focus at work once I knew the package had arrived and was waiting for me)

(Image 2: Alive and returned to me at last! My healthy XBOX makes its triumphant appearance)

So, what happens when you take a complete geek who has been going through XBOX withdrawals for the past several weeks, a recently returned XBOX, a 12 pack of Cherry Pepsi, an XBOX LIVE subscription, Assassins Creed 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 and 2, and complete disregard for the Geek Tip above? No sleep. That's right, the evening my dear friend returned itself to the warmth of my apartment, plugged itself in, and put on its new shoes. 9 hours. That's how long it took. To break in the new shoes. Excuses, I have plenty. But no care to use them. I'll tell you flat out. From Modern Warfare on LIVE party with my brother to solo missions with Ezio in Assassins Creed, worlds flashed before my eyes. Entirely different dimensions appeared and I was utterly lost in the magnificent of it all. It was delightful. Food didn't exist, nor did time.

Until 4 am rolled its eyes at the fact that I was still awake. Still burning the calories out of my starved body (which I wish could have been Fat calories, but for some reason our bodies don't see fit to burn fat and pull all nighters at the same time). I suppose you could call it sleep, this short visit I paid to my sheets. I don't recall any unconsciousness (but then again, isn't that the point?). Not long after my head jammed itself into my tired scratchy pillow did I jerk awake to the annoyingly necessary shriek my alarm. Shortly after that, the snooze button had anger forced upon it and I swear to you, in the five minutes that followed, my total sleep time that night doubled!

Then off I was again to work, dreaming inside my cubical of the joys that would come once I arrived home again.

The day the XBOX passed away, January 11th 2010 (curse the day).

The day Microsoft received the XBOX, January 19th 2010.

The day the XBOX returned to Salt Lake City Utah, January 23rd 2010 early morning (37 minutes into the day).

The day the XBOX was returned, delivered, plugged itself in and took its new shoes for a spin, January 26th 2010.

1288800 seconds had passed.

276 hairs had been lost

14 movies had been watched.

0 games had been played on my XBOX

I can only describe the 26th by quoting (and modifying) the following line: "It was the best of times, it was the [best] of times".

Woke up cold one Tuesday,
I'm looking tired and feeling quite sick,
I felt like there was something missing in my day to day life,
So I quickly opened the wardrobe,
Pulled out some jeans and a T-Shirt that seemed clean,
Topped it off with a pair of old shoes,
That were ripped around the seams,
And I thought these shoes just don't suit me.

Hey, I put some new shoes on,
And suddenly everything is right,
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling,
It's so inviting,
Oh, short on money,
But long on time,
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,
And I'm running late,
And I don't need an excuse,
'cause I'm wearing my brand new shoes.

Woke up late one Thursday,
And I'm seeing stars as I'm rubbing my eyes,
And I felt like there were two days missing,
As I focused on the time,
And I made my way to the kitchen,
But I had to stop from the shock of what I found,
A room full of all off my friends dancing round and round,
And I thought hello new shoes,
Bye bye them blues.

Hey, I put some new shoes on,And suddenly everything is right,
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling,
It's so inviting,
Oh, short on money,
But long on time,
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,
And I'm running late,
And I don't need an excuse,
'cause I'm wearing my brand new shoes.


Right Here Waiting

1. This post will never be as cool as the first post for ONE of the following reasons (Pick One):
  • When I wrote the last post, I was high on AWESOME
  • When you read my last post, you were HIGH like Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
  • This post is true whereas the previous post was filled with lies
  • This post is filled with lies whereas the previous post was true
  • This post is a list of unrelated items in no particular order for no particular reason
  • I'm not wearing a suit. Barney would be disappointed
  • Your socks are too tight
2. RROD had an asterisk in my last post but I never explained why. For those of you without the patience to look back, RROD stands for Red Ring of Death. It is a common ailment of dying XBOX 360 consoles. It is manifest in a few symptoms: XBOX won't start, the ring of four lights around the power button turn red (not always all the lights, but some combination) and the XBOX owner begins to cry even though they just got some of the coolest games ever. In my XBOX's case, three of the lights were red, I did cry even though I just got some of the coolest games ever and my XBOX didn't start*. Three lights means that the console has to take a trip to Tennessee to be repaired which takes a few weeks, but feels like months to those left behind.

3. Did you notice that I put an asterisk next to the word 'start' above? I'm not going to wait until my next post to explain this time. I'm referring to the magic touch of my wife and it's effect on the XBOX's dead body. When I first told Shalynn that my XBOX was dead she was at work and because of how I had acted before about my brothers XBOX 360 Elite she thought I was just trying to get a newer XBOX. After convincing her that I was indeed telling the truth, being the awesome wife that she is, she told me I could get a new one if we 'needed' to. Of course that idea was bitter sweet to me. New console equals new expenses. So I researched and ended up getting a free repair order from Microsoft.

As soon as Shalynn arrived home from work that evening, I tried to show her what was wrong with my XBOX seeing as she had never seen a RROD and she was curious. I made a big mistake however... I let her turn it on (she's good at that sort of thing) and of course, the XBOX lights up to life, no red lights or anything. She went immediately to believing I had been pulling her leg the whole time. I played a round or two of Modern Warfare 2 on Live before turning it back off. Then for extra measure I tried again to turn it on: FAIL. I tried again and again and it would not turn on without the RROD blocking me. We decided that Shalynn should try to turn the console on again... and it worked! Shalynn's magic touch turned it on again! We were only able to repeat that a few times before she couldn't make it work again and we eventually sent it on its way the next morning. But I am still convinced that Shalynn could have revived it if she had wanted to. She just wanted a few week break from the thing, which is understandable.

4. Shalynn's sister Megan just had a baby boy this week! His name is Logan and he is absolutely adorable! He is 8lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long. We got to see him the evening he was born (January 21st) and again on Saturday evening (the 23rd). He gets to come home today and that will be way cool for his parents and for us (he'll be closer now).

We also got an amazing announcement yesterday: Corrine, another of Shalynn's sisters, is Pregnant! Its so exciting to have more babies on their way.

5. I am upset. I know that the previous 'tidbits' of information have been generally happy, this will not be. Please observe the image below:

This is the UPS tracking of my dear friend back to me. This emergency shipment was sent UPS GROUND, which is infuriating enough, but take a closer look at the image above. What is even more frustrating and saddening is that even though my XBOX returned to Utah on Friday night, I still do not have it in my hands. The XBOX arrived on early early Saturday morning and there is no way for me to get it. I called, I begged, I threw my money in their faces and I even threatened, but there was no way I could get my XBOX on Saturday. Instead, I have to wait like a good little boy and hope that UPS decides to deliver it Monday instead of postponing its arrival another day for no reason.

6. Did you know that in 1998, Sony accidentally sold 700,000 camcorders that had the technology to see through clothes?

Oceans apart day after day
And I slowly go insane
I hear your voice on the line
But it doesn't stop the pain
I took for granted, all the times
That I though would last somehow
I hear the laughter, I taste the tears
But I can't get near you now
Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you


When September Ends

This year, September began on the 11th day of January. The 11th. That's right, my 'lucky' day. My 'everything good happens on this day' day. The 11th of the month has treated me well in the past. The 11th of July is the day I came into the world, the 11th is the day I received an important blessing, went into the Missionary Training Center and 11 was even the number of my first apartment. Well, since then, the 11th has become just like that rotten ghetto apartment: moldy with a chance of death. Just as my apartment developed holes in its foundation, water in the floor, mold in the carpet and eventual holes in the wall, so has the 11th of the Month been tainted in my mind and in my heart. Well, that is just the beginning of my distaste for that day now. My only hope is that I can now 'sleep' this sorrowful chaos away and that I can wake 'when September ends' to find my bleeding heart bandaged and my bruised soul comforted.

I suppose I could briefly describe the incident that occurred on January 11th of 2010 that caused the lingering pain in my being. I could even dare to post a picture of my dear friends lifeless body. I warn you that the photo is graphic and it has the power to chill you to the bone. Thousands have suffered as I do now, Millions live in fear every moment of their lives because of what I am about to show you. This is not for the feint of heart. Look away. Discontinue reading and go read some blog about Santa or Faeries (a good blog for that is actually at thegossamerjewelbox ) if you don't want to live with horror and pain. Consider this your final warning.

There you have it: my dear friend's empty shell. The infamous Red Ring of Death (RROD*) painted on his disfigured face. I have believed for so long that the hatred of the XBOX gods would be stayed for the sake of my dearest console. My belief has obviously been shattered. I wasn't with him when he went through this. I don't know how long he suffered. I just know that I took him for granted and now he is gone. Gone forever...Or what seems like forever. Let's get real. He's not dead. He is only sleeping. Sleeping through his own September and when he returns home to me, I will wake him from his sorrowful slumber and we will celebrate together. Of course both of us will be weary of any XBOX god. There is not way any such god could truly care for us. No, I refuse to believe. Not when my friend was taken so violently and at such an inopportune time. We had so much going for us.

XBOX Live was a new thing for us. 12 months paid for and only a week of it had when my friend gave up the ghost.. Assassins Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3 (regular and ODST) were all parts of our joyous to do list. I refuse to believe he was taken voluntarily. It was the will of an evil XBOX god, or it was, like the fate of so many other innocent con-souls, a creator error. Either way, my 'faith' is shaken. Shaken like a pepper shaker with only one open hole; but even more unfruitful.

All things aside, my September will end. My dear friend will be returned to me. I have proof. The proof is 'tangible' and real. It does not rely on faith, but is grounded in science, fact and... html. Here is my proof of victory:

That's right! Victory will soon come. It has taken more than a week to reach this point in the recovery process. A week that will not be forgotten (Microsoft!). A week without the matchmaking in Social Slayer. A week without killing the disturbing idiots of 15th century Italy and a week without creating a new Custom Class and kicking some 12 year old's butt across the world from the comfort of my own living room. It is a week that will live in infamy. But life persists and LIVE will live on.

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends
here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are
as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends