the three years of suds

On this exact date and time in 2006, the first post was published on this site. Modern Soapbox was initially created as a public journal for the masses to continue the blog I updated on MySpace and has become a collection of prose and other random bits of writing over the years.

2009 is about four months from being over. MySpace is suffering its downward spiral into unpopularity since Facebook & Twitter has climbed to the top of the social networking mountain. Modern Soapbox is still kicking it strong with 600+ published posts and will continue into its fourth year and probably fifth.

My internet service from where I do most of the posting has been intermittent since late last week, so I haven’t been able to get things done on here that I’ve been meaning to do. The appearance of this site was going to get a makeover by today, but that didn’t happen since I did not have access to it for most of the weekend. The revised plan is to roll out the new appearance within the next week or two. The surprise is ruined but we’ll consider it a belated birthday present. Peace out.

the exit strategy

Today marks the third week since my last day at the chaotic office I worked in for the past two and a half years. The job hunt still continues, but I’m not too worried yet. I have a decent amount saved up that will float me for at least the next couple months if needed.

I’ve been enjoying this vacation. Apart from the spontaneous Texas winter weather, it has been very relaxing. I’ve been doing next to nothing, but I kind of like it. I can’t say I’ve been bored. I can always find something to occupy my time, and the days have been flying by so quickly. I meant to write something up like this last Tuesday, but the time just got spent too fast. I enjoy being able to stay up during the wee hours of the night and wake up around noon again.

My PS3 and I have been bonding. I’ve downloaded a bunch of media, themes, and demos through the Playstation Network. I’ve been playing a decent amount of Half-Life 2 and discovered an enjoyable game that uses the Sixaxis technology called Super Rub a Dub. You basically control a tub with a rubber duck in it that has to gather the baby rubber ducks and bring them to the drain. It gets more fun and interesting as the levels get more difficult with obstacle-shaped tubs and wind-up sharks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6qXaNkeKyw

I’ve reduced my comic purchasing, since my steady income is on pause. Another reason is that I’ve let go of a bunch of titles for the lack of interest or the mini-series have completed. I do still get my share of comic reading done. Next month, the Watchmen movie comes out and I’m looking forward to it. If you haven’t read the graphic novel yet, then I suggest you do.

I’ve immersed myself in DTV and have become somewhat of a couch potato. I try to catch the back-to-back episodes of Jeopardy! HD at 4PM CST on NBC. I usually watch Wheel of Fortune at 6:30PM. Heroes is back on Monday nights. NBC Comedy on Thursdays is one of my favorite sitcom chains on network television right now, but FOX has Thursdays right now with Bones and Hell’s Kitchen.

Fortunately, Mininova is an excellent network that usually has access to HD downloads to network television shows. I could just stream them on the network sites, but I’m a cheapskate with the slowest broadband connection on the block plus my entire folding farm currently resides here and units are completed often enough to suck up all the bandwidth when I need it most. I also like to collect them and watch them over again.

I’ve done a decent amount of job hunting, but with the economic recession scare and lack of job availability, I haven’t found anything yet. I’m going to keep looking at the pace I’m going now, and I’ll continue to pick and choose what who receives my résumé and applications. I’m sure I’ll find something. Like I said earlier, I’m not too worried yet. That’s the advantage of being financially responsible when I knew I was going to make a move to start a new chapter in my life. I didn’t want to continue being a manager at a horribly disorganized company where I’m putting out fire after fire. The pay was decent, but the stress was not worth it.

My rambling ends here for tonight. The post explosion will continue tomorrow from my fingertips to the keyboard. I will be wearing my pajamas again. Peace out.

the february post explosion announcement

This post has been written to announce that I am taking on my personal writing challenge this month, the Post Explosion (see: this, this, and that). That’s right, people. I will write a minimum of 28 posts this month, so look forward to constant updates on here. I’m really aiming to supersede the projected number, since this is the shortest month of the year. 28+ for February! Rock on.

I’m keeping this one relatively short and to secure the one post a day average, so I won’t be writing anything too in-depth this time. More elaboration of everything that I find interesting and my life in general will unfold this month. Yes, please be excited. I know the posts have dwindled greatly for months now, but I have most of my energy back to punch the keys and give your brain and eyeballs something to digest. Peace out.

the birthday boy

I was planning on getting my haircut today, but I figured that I’d go get it tomorrow. The barber I normally go to is located near my mom’s house, and I have to pick up the food for the party that I’m keeping in her fridge. It’ll save me some gas if I do it tomorrow before I visit my mom’s.

I didn’t really do much of anything today. I woke up at 12:30. It felt great not having to go to work today. My bro, my sis, my mom and Mare all wished me a happy birthday. I got a text from my bro then my sis almost immediately after. I got these while checking my email where a message was waiting from my mom. Mare came by after school before work and wished me a happy birthday as well. K$ just texted me wishing me a happy birthday, too. Thanks, guys!

Mare picked up my package from the leasing office. I was hoping that it was my Cable Classic TPB that I won on eBay for half the cover price, but it was the Raphael one-shot that came out in 1985. When I received it, I thought it might have been fake, because the other three one-shots of the other Turtles are much smaller than this one. I verified it through the TMNT official website, so I’m content. It also arrived in excellent condition for being about 23 years old.

I spent the last couple hours being a total computer geek. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making my sites W3C valid. My choice for achieving this goal has been to validate using XHTML 1.0 Transitional. It’s much more lenient than the others, but it can still be a challenge when a page is pretty code-heavy. I guess you can consider a fun game to play, ’cause it’s hours of entertainment… for me at least. The site I wasted to much time on was my old Swan Dive site that I put together in 2006 after I completed it for 24HCD. The entire site passed validation, and when that happens, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I’m going go with the fact that standards and rules are set that have to be followed in order to be validated. This page you’re reading is actually valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Yes, I know. It’s all flying over your head… for most of you. I get a kick of it. That’s why I wrote about it.

I was also planning on sketching out the first strip to the comic K$ and I are working on. I did some rough drafts last night, but I would like to complete a final before the weekend is over. I plan on sticking with these series like I’ve stuck to this online journal. If you’re reading this K$, keep on keepin’, bro. I’m really digging the material. We’re gonna make CB solid. The art won’t be great, but it’s all about the strength in numbers.

That’s right. I don’t draw very well. Neither does Jeffrey Brown, but he’s an accomplished cartoonist. All I have to say about drawing, art in general even, is that passion overpowers skill. Everyone will want to be a critic, but you have to know what they’ve accomplished and base the legitimacy of their judgment on what they’ve done. Some critics have cred. Most of them don’t, so can we agree that what they say doesn’t matter? Well, the free publicity is always good no matter what, right?

And to conclude yet another lengthy post from Siggy Wiggy the Birthday Boy, I should be going to Trudy’s tonight around ten to claim my free Mexican martini. This is a must-do tradition for Austinites ages 21 and over. Now that I’m thinking about it, I might get a Cuban martini, because I like those better. Wait. I just changed my mind again. I’m sticking to tradition. Peace out. PARTY!

the 3hirty (aka the april post challenge)

Similar to what I did in February, I am challenging myself to do the same for the month of April. Will this be a bimonthly challenge? I don’t know but by the looks of it, quite possibly.

I have another post that I will be writing tonight, and this will be the April kick-off post.

What’s going on this month?

I turn another year not this Friday but next.

Uncle Sam & friends get to keep the piece of what they borrowed from my paycheck and hopefully I’ll get some of it back. These past few years haven’t been too nice to me in regards to tax returns.

My mother’s birthday is this month. To be exact, it’s on Earth Day.

That same day, Sleepercar’s debut album, West Texas, will officially be released. I’ve gotten the chance to listen to it already, and I enjoy it. I hope they return to Austin soon, because I will definitely attend.

The following day, Thrice will be rocking out Stubb’s. I’m excited about this show. I really hope that they play To Awake and Avenge the Dead, but that may be unlikely with the direction they’ve taken their music. I can hope though, right?

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Thrice: If you somehow found yourself reading this, please play To Awake and Avenge the Dead at your Austin show in April. We miss that song, and we were disappointed when you didn’t play it at your last show. NOFX played The Decline in its entirety, and I never thought I’d get to witness that live. Is playing one of your most loved songs by some of your most loyal fans too hard to fulfill?

I know you have to promote The Alchemy Index, but To Awake… doesn’t even clock in at three minutes so I’m sure it’ll leave plenty of space to play all those songs. I probably sound like I’m begging at this point (which I am ’cause I’m on my knees typing this… j/k), but I’m sure Ian would lose more faith in you if you don’t play that song.

Ian, High Priest of the Church of Ianism, represents the status quo of your fanbase. He’s loved you guys since The Illusion of Safety and has attended every show you’ve played in Austin since. So have I, and this is our only request: Please play To Awake and Avenge the Dead at the Austin show. I know you guys listen to your fans ’cause you guys aren’t some artificial formation cooked up in a major label’s lab.

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OK… enough of that. I think those are the main highlights of April. Well, today is technically April Fool’s Day. I’m sure my workmates, who can be very dimwitted at times, are going to want to play an office prank or two on me or each other at work later today. They actually tried to pull the ol’ “keep the optical mouse from functioning correctly” prank, and I debunked that sucker in less than two seconds. WEAK!

Lesser highlights this month will include my two visits to Pluckers, one of which is tomorrow. Their food is delicious, and with Tuesday being fifty-cent wing night and two-dollar Shiners, my experience is improved that much more. K$ is claiming to get on the Wall of Flame eventually and had mentioned that he was going to conquer some Fire in the Hole wings tomorrow. I’m not sure if he remembered, but we’ll see.

This is the kick-off post for the April Post Challenge. Wish me luck. Peace out.

the tangible

Not too much is going on lately. Time just keeps ticking away.

My copy of X-Force #1 with the variant cover came in. I won it off eBay, and it made a journey all the way from Canada. I think I’ve gotten my variant cover fix for the time being, since I’ve managed to score this one and the Cable #1 variant.

I completed my copies of Aeon Flux: The Complete Animated Collection today. The discs arrived in the mail. I had a copy of the second disc for the longest time but never got around to getting the other two. I am very much a fan of that ’90s cartoon.

I fixed the visual mode in WP last night. I am very content. I learned the importance of deactivating all of the plugins before installing WP. Now I can resume the comfort of writing these posts with the visual editor versus the HTML editor. I use both, but I use the visual editor much more. I know the blog elitists don’t use it as much, but I really enjoy the comfort. For example, Ctrl+B turns things bold. Instead of having to code in the or highlighting the text and hitting the bold-formatting icon, I can hit Ctrl+B. Shortcuts are shortcuts for a reason.

Dammit. OK, I just saved, and all the formatting was lost. What a headache. Oh well… I thought I had it fixed but I guess not. I hope when the official release of 2.5 is out that this problem will go away.

So back to life. Life is good. Work is work. Mare and I will be enjoying a pork tenderloin seasoned with a roasted garlic & herb mix and brushed with organic barbecue sauce. We had the same thing last week, and it was so good that we consumed the whole thing. On the side will be some yummy mashed potatoes.

One of the main components at work wasn’t functioning correctly which definitely affected my efficiency. I really don’t like the feeling when something’s not working right (like the visual editor in WP), and it keeps me from doing my job as quickly as possible. Seriously though, it’s 2008. Most of the industries in the country are driven by computers these days.

This rant’s over. I’ve gotta get dinner going. I know it’s late, but Mare picked up a shift at work is won’t be back ’til almost eleven. It’s cool though. Peace out.

the good friday

It’s half past three. I’m still awake. I’m not tired, because I took a nap today. Today was a company holiday. I had the day off today plus I got paid. Company holidays are always a bonus.

I just purchased my Thrice tickets online. I want to say I’ve been watching them live every time they’ve stopped by Austin since 2002. I’m not completely sure about the year, but I am sure that I’ve been watching them since they’ve toured to support The Illusion of Safety.

Thrice has taken their music in a different direction since then, but I think it’s all for the better. Bands that last eventually grow up and stray from recreating the music they made when they were younger. Some bands keep their sounds their entire lifespans. Nothing with that.

This is the first new post I’m writing in WordPress 2.5. Release Candidate 1 came out a few days ago, and I was very eager to try it out. I am experiencing an issue with the Write Post function where the Visual mode is losing all of the formatting. I don’t get it. I’m sure I installed it correctly, because everything else is working fine. I am writing this in HTML mode, because it seems to work fine.

I just tried to Save my changes in Visual mode again, and it lost all of my line breaks. It’s annoying. I wonder if other RC1 users are experiencing this or if I messed something up when I installed it and I’m the only one. I’m not too worried with this post, because I’m not adding images or links but it will be bothersome with future posts.

I’ve been a eBay fanatic these past couple weeks. A couple of my latest scores are: a USB data cable for my Katana II and the out-of-print Aeon Flux DVD that contains four full-length episodes plus all of the shorts from Liquid Television. I’ll be able to download pictures from my phone to my computer without having to pay the wireless company fifteen bucks a month for their rip-off service.

Tonight, I will either pop in one of my new classic cartoon DVDs (Looney Tunes-era) or a TMNT disc (the original cartoons, not the new ones). I know it’ll be something animated and episodic. I’ll see what I’m feeling when I’m done with this post.

OK I just checked to make sure they were Looney Tunes-era cartoons or Merrie Melodies-era cartoons. They’re Looney Tunes-era, but they aren’t all Looney Tunes… just cartoons made around that time. Yes, I scored it in the dollar rack at Wally World, and it rules. Anyway, I’m feeling TMNT tonight ’cause this post has turned a little looney itself. Peace out.