January 8, 2004.
OK, joke's over. I'm ready to come back to school. On monday, I had to take the bus home, so there wasn't time to run to the band room after school. And I seriously need to get at my trombone so I can practice before all-state rehearsal this weekend. Seriously.

For anybody who's interested (and why shouldn't you be?), here's a shell i'm working on for a new web site. This current lay-out/color scheme just seemed a little too goth for me. Actually, any amount of goth would be too much goth for me. One of the persistant problems with using frames with tripod are the goddamned banner ads. I tried to solve this by banishing them to the bottom of the screen. We'll see how long that lasts before they catch on.

Incidentally, try surfing to www.anyidiot.tk for a little change of pace.

January 6, 2004.
For the record, today was the first snow day we've had in about 8 years. The news channels kept constradicting themselves. On channel two, they said about 100 flights out of PDX had been cancelled. Then about ten seconds later they estimated it to be almost 300. I didn't know there were that many flights possible. I changed channels to eight, where they estimated that as many as 20 flights had been cancelled. I think the fact is that nobody knows what the hell they're talking about. At this point, they're just guessing. It's not like we'd know any better.

I think the last time Beaverton had any extreme weather was that flood back in '96. Referring to meteorological events as the "so-and-so" of [insert last two digits of date here] sounds cool. Or old.

Staying home wasn't much fun, due to the fact that it was truly too miserable to go outside, but hey- beats school. I'm going over the sparknotes for Paradise Lost, by John Milton. Turns out there's a quite a bit of stuff I would have totally overlooked before the test on [insert first day back here]. Here's hoping the weather tomorrow sucks too.


January 5, 2004.
And to think I fought so hard to be in that class...

Crystal: if you're reading this, don't think it's any reflection on you, but it has to be said.
Over the break, Mrs. Gupta told us to make poster outlining a rube goldberg machine. There was no handout or guidlines of any kind. Basically, she told us to incorporate 5 kinds of energy (from mechanical, chemical, radiant, heat, nuclear) and 5 simple machines (from inclined plane, screw, wedge, lever, pulley, wheel & axle). Sounds fun. Also, for extra credit we could actually build our machines. I don't know...it seems to me that if you're going to build your project you either need (a) a really dull, simple project or (b) access to weapons-grade plutonium. Perhaps we weren't listening clearly enough, but the entire class of 30 got it into our heads that we had the option of working in groups, which we assumed to apply to both design and construction of the poster (mandatory) and working model (optional). Personally, I think it somewhat of a miracle that given two weeks with no reminder, the entire class (excluding Frank, who doesn't count) managed to coordinate themselves well enough to meet in groups, and design a poster. Most of the posters were actually rather clever and all of them met the only given guidelines.

Of course, if life was perfect, there would be no point to this story. We would have turned them in and all would have been well. Turns out, there were retroactive requirements too, or nobody managed to hear them. Either way. Turns out, everybody was supposed to do their own poster and the groups only applied to the working model. The lucky ones, like me, happened to have their own poster. But not because we were somehow psychic and knew of that requirement. I only did my own project because I never bothered to coordinate a group. So about 2/3 of the class gets to make another poster (of an entirely different machine) tonight, and the most they can hope for is half credit. But there's more. I thought I was home free (by pure dumb luck), but then she informed me that because mine was done in pencil it couldn't count. I could turn it in tomorrow if I took a cut and inked it in with pen. Not only did she NEVER mention that the posters had to be in ink or even colored, but it's not like I just slapped something on a sheet of paper. I put considerable effort into it and I just happen to like using pencil. Rube Goldberg was a freaking cartoonist. These projects definitely related to physics, but they're sort of an artistic endeavor too. Why is it so wrong to express yourself? Mrs. Gupta explained to me that I had only to look at the old examples on the wall to see that I should have used ink. I pointed out that many of them used colored PENCIL, but that didn't persuade her. She also said that I wouldn't use pencil for a lab-write up. I didn't argue it, but that's because somebody a long time ago told us to use pen when writing up an assignment. It's engrained. It's an entirely different situation. Posters (especially a la Rube Goldberg)are open-ended. Given the situation, I would have thought they should reflect creativity and effort, not be an opportunity to screw us on technicalities. It seems to me that if all she wants are duplicates of the ones on the wall, why bother assigning a project in the first place?

A study done at Harvard in 1996 showed that when students are not graded, they learn better because they don't become obsessed with bean-counting and competition*. I would think that they would reward people who go out on a limb and take harder classes by adjusting grading a little bit. If people don't slack off too much, it works. Every other AP Science course at Aloha has an "A" set at 85%. Because they're hard and everybody knows it. Because they appreciate the risk we put our precious GPA's in for the sake of learning. Mrs. Gupta says that AP Physics is the hardest class at Aloha. Doesn't that make it especially important to alleviate the grade pressure? Apparently not, an "A" starts smack at 90%. She says it's balanced out by the negatable credit she gives back for correcting tests. I find it hard to believe that, especially because she informed us this trimester that that privilige will soon be gone as well.

Basically, all we really need to do is meet 5th period, read our books for an hour and go home and do some problems. The lessons are almost verbatim from the book anyway, we're about 2 months behind, and the labs are of dubious value. Yes, you have somebody to ask if you have questions, but I can't think of any specific examples of when that's helped.

This issue is far from resolvement, but let me leave you with the Law of Physics that Curtis and I came up with one day during class.

Law of PEAHS (Physics Eduaction at AHS)
Physics always wins
Corollary: You can't win
Application: Losing feels like getting kicked in the balls.

*Actually, I made that up. But I'm sure somebody somewhere did a similar study that proves my point.

January 5, 2004.
MSPaint remains my weapon of choice.

January 4, 2004.
Yesterday, I picked out my solo for the solo/ensemble contest. Yes, I know I'm late...the story of my life. I'm now deeply regretting not starting earlier, for Hindemith's "Sonate" for trombone is probably one of the hardest, most wacked out pieces I've ever seen. I feel sorry for whoever I can get to acompany me, the piano part is brutal. So many little black notes...

It's a new feeling actually having something I need/have motivation to practice.

January 3, 2004.
All time high: 160 visitors over the last month, as of today.

And now I shall bash a movie I have not seen, and never wish to see for that matter. I've been seeing trailers for this new movie, "The Perfect Score." Given MTV's excellent track record, such as "the Real Cancun" (if I'm not mistaken), I can see how they want to reach out to seniors with tests on their mind. Actually, I don't think I've ever been so offended. As near as I can gather, the whole plot revolves around a bunch of high school degenerates intent on cheating on the SAT so they can get into a good college. Let me point out a few reasons why this is an absolutely terrible plot for a movie:
  • Some people actually do get perfect scores on the SAT. They are nearly always bloody geniuses. This movie will offend them.
  • The Educational Testing Service (ETS), propogators of the SAT (and about 500 other tests) spends billions of dollars a year making sure nobody can cheat. Think about...half a dozen kids vs. a multi-billion dollar corporation with laser-guided dobermans. Not happening.
  • The creater of the SAT died not a week ago. This movie will offend his heirs.
  • Millions of kids legitamitely take the test each year, most of whom will not even come close to a perfect score. We take it not because we think it will accurately reflect our scholastic aptitude, but because we have no choice. ETS has a freaking monopoly on education. Rather than instilling hope, this movie will just piss them off more. It trivializes any meager success we may find and makes me want to burn a cinema.
  • Your GPA is 1.2 and your SAT score is 1600. Should any flags be going up here? Also your only hobby seems to be grand larsony. If the dean of admissions was that dumb, I should have applied to Johns Hopkins.
  • If in the absolute freak chance that anybody succeeded in cheating on the SAT, what do you think would happen when they landed at Harvard? They'd have their ass handed to them on a plate, that's what.
The biggest reason this movie pisses me off is that I already hated ETS and everything they stood for. Now this lame-ass movie is trying to agree with me. Who do I side with? There's no way to win here. I think I'll become an independant. The low-down: rather than pander to high school kids, this movie will just piss them off.

January 1, 2004.
All time high: 153 visitors over the last month, as of today.

Snow snow snow, my story of the good the bad and the ridiculous.

Bachelor was excellent skiing, which explains why there were more people there than monkeys at a typewriter convention. Cloudy, fresh snow but not snowing, muy bueno. Rather non-eventful actually, as I was working off a cold. Usually, when I'm not thinking straight, I crash into a lot of stuff, so I took the day rather easy.

This morning, we were on our way to Sheerya's brother's Bar Mitvah. We were literally 300 yards from the synagogue when the following happened. We were stopped at the light, about to turn left onto Dosch Road from Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy (aka Farmington), when we started sliding on the ice. We slide clear across the road and came to a stop at the opposite side. I'm rather glad there was a sidewalk there, as there is a rather largish ditch next to the road as well. I dub this area of the street the Bermuda Intersection, as you will see.

After we crash landed, it wasn't long before another car pulled the same trick (G1 below). We got out and started trying to figure out what to do when a cop came driving up, probably on patrol for losers like us. As you can see from the diagram, he passed us, did a U-turn in the road, and pulled up alongside us. His mistake was that he stopped, for once he did, he got sucked into the vortex too and slid right into us. By now, we've got a regular party going on on the sidewalk when another car (G2) comes up and stops for the light. Shwoop, smack into G1. To add the icing to the cake, yet another guy pulled the same thing and slid into the cop car (G3). Another lady also lost control, but managed to stop sliding before she hit anybody (L).

We called AAA and the cop also called for back-up (like that would help) and a tow. After about 40 minutes of waiting in the cold, a tow-truck showed up. Turns out there were lots more unlucky blokes around the city requiring a tow, most in more dire need than ourselves. I'd like to take a moment here to officially add tow-truck drivers to my list of cool people (in addition to lumberjacks, ninjas and pirates). Whereas the cop (and subsequent cops) were largely concerned with whining about the paperwork they feared the collisions would cause, the tow-truck driver was like, "I'm a bad-ass, and now I'll pull all your miserably ill-equipped wagons out of the snow with my awesome truck." The driver, by the way, looked something like Jesse James (the dude from the Discovery Channel's Monster Garage, an excellent show) in about 20 years, so you can imagine what a bad-ass he was.

Long story short, he picked apart our sorry mess one vehicle at a time until we were untangled enough to go our seperate ways. When it was our turn (after he removed the two cars pinning us to the side), it wouldn't tow for some reason. He was like, "you sure this isn't an all-wheel drive and your emergency brake is off and it's in nuetral?" My dad answered in the affirmative, then discovered that his foot was on the brakes. Oh well. We made it over to a nearby Albertsons to put on chains (god knows why, they certainly didn't help the cop) and eventually made it home safely.

Time elapsed: roughly an hour and a half. Quote of the day: "Woo-hoo! No damage! No paperwork!" Deputy Hayes, after discovering that no vehicles had been noticably damaged (to everyone's utter amazement). Moral: Tow-truck drivers are cool. Cops are wussies in 3 inches of snow.


After we got home, it was still snowing merrily. My little brother and I tried various sled substitutes, having no suitable apparati of our own. First, we tried those foam plastic stadium seats from Mt. View with moderate success. Then, I remembered that I had bought some mini-skies at a garage sale a few years ago for like four dollars. These worked much better, as they were actually waxed. However, I don't own any of my own skis, so I didn't have any boots. I tried a few different things. Bungee cords worked well, but a bit too hazardous. Just sitting on the them, like a sled, seemed to work the best. We went up to the green belt along 160th for a while. There were probably about 50 people out there with the same ideas. It's pretty hilarious to see what Beavertonians use for sleds. I saw tupperware, boogie-boards, some legit sleds and a few people on snowboards. I think tomorrow, if it's still seems worth it, i'll try drilling the skis together so it's easier to stay on.

December 31, 2003.
All time high: 145 visitors over the last month, as of today.

Wow, leave town for a few days and stuff actually happens. Snow for example. Not that I mind, as there was snow a'plenty in Bend and Bachelor.

To all the dudes who signed the shoutbox:

John Mark: Disco band is going to rock. Have you thought of a name yet? How about: "Weasel Pants." It just makes sense.

Dan: That rocks, dude. You should take out some insurance on that thing. I found a recording of "tip toe", but my computer is fucked, so I can't get on Kazaa lately. We should have a play-a-long before the 10th.

Roddy: I don't even need to visit the link to know who put that one up there. I believe I saw the goat-thing last year. I don't clearly remember what it was, but I do know I have absolutely no desire to go back. Damn you. Happy new year.

Curtis: I have a design for an automatic omlette maker, a la rube goldberg. It started out as an egg launcher, so I just added some heat at the end and voila...an omlette. Huh, flip a few letters and voila is viola, the instrument nobody has heard of. Bolero.

The CIA's latest ploy to catch terrorists
(courtesty of nytimes.com)

December 25, 2003.
It is 2:47 in the morning. Here is the way it should be.

December 24, 2003.
Merry Christmas to y'all. Here's a little gift.

So yesterday, my brother and me and two of my cousins went over to Evergreen to see return of the king. We had all afternoon to kill, so we got there like an hour before we needed to and bought our tickets then. I also happened to bring my frisbee, which I tossed to my brother while we were standing there in front of the ticket que (or whatever the place where they sell tickets is called). For some reason unknown to me, he dodged it instead of catching it and it skittered down the sidewalk before coming to rest just inside the rear tire of a car idling nearby. Now, it's normally not a good idea to reach under somebody's car if it's on and their sitting inside, so my elder cousin and I walked over to the lady's window and made gestures to the effect that we'd like to speak with her. I'm not sure what she thought we wanted, like maybe we going to try to sell her something or whatnot, but she motioned us away. I think she was on a cell phone, but it was hard to be sure. Fair enough...I decided to retreive the frisbee myself, rather than wait for god knows how long before she decided to drive away. To get at the frisbee, I had to squat down beside the car and reach behind the back tire and under the car. This was probably a bad idea for many reasons. Worstly, she could have backed up and I could have lost an arm. Not quite so worstly, she could have opened her door and cussed us out. Which is exactly what she did. She opened her door and yelled (and I quote): "Get the fuck away from my car!" By that time, I had successfully retrieved the frisbee without injury, so I followed her advice. I waved the frisbee at her and said something to the effect that I was just trying to get my frisbee back, you evil hag (except without the hag part). She replied that she "didn't give a shit," closed the door and resumed being incredibly ugly. The girl at the ticket counter was like, "did she yell at you guys?" And we were like, "yeah." So we went off to the far parking lot and tossed some disc for a while before the movie started. And we went to pizza shmizza, which always rocks. The movie was good too, by the way. I'm not sure what the moral here is, but it makes for a good story. I guess some people probably just don't quite pick up on that holiday cheer stuff, which is why I'm introducing something that I feel has been a long time due. I call it: "Hanukkah Is Not A Jewish Christmas, Dickhole. And Kwanza Isn't Christmas For Black People Either." The reason i'm enacting HINAJCDAKICFBPE is because some people need to be edjucated about a few simple facts. If I had a nickel for everytime somebody said to me "Merry Christmas Ben...oh wait...um...merry chanukka," i'd probably have like 10 dollars, which is a lot of nickels. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate people's good intentions and wanting to include the heathens and whatnot, but let me clear up a few things here. Chanuka (yes, I'm aware that i've spelled it three different ways) is basically just a minor military holiday that is only vaguely mentioned in jewish texts and not even in the torah. It was commercialized in america roughly the same time as christmas and has since joined the League of Holidays Deflowered by Hallmark. I'm not really sure what the deal is with Kwanza either, but I'd be willing to bet that it has more to do with freedom from the white devils than Jesus.

In that spirit, I invite everybody who wants to be part of an esoterical movement to cut and paste the following HTML to their websites. Christians, Jews, gay people, republicans, anybody is welcome to take part.

<TR><TD BGCOLOR="#FF3300"><A HREF="http://benlizard.tripod.com"><FONT COLOR="#00FF33" SIZE="6"><B>HINAJCDAKICFBPE</B></FONT></A></TD>
this is what it will look like


December 21, 2003.
Click here to read all about the Miltonian-Theory of Universal Gravitation. And Souls. It was exhaustively researched postulated by curt and me one day in ap english when we probably should have been learning about figurative language or something.

Here's a tip for all my readers out there being forced to use their phalangical digits and scroll horizontally on my page. To adjust the displayed font size:

go to "View" --> "Text size" --> pick "Largest"
(see below)

December 13, 2003.
Last night, Mike and I went over to Lewis and Clark to play in this trombone barbershop quartet thing. It was cool because there were two college guys there and this dude named Kaz played in Blast! (the exclamation mark is part of the name, i'm not really that excited) He was pretty damn good. And we were only playing easy christmas carols (and hanukkah carols). There was another college guy named mark who was also quite good. I say college because I have no idea how old they are. They just seemed fairly young and we met at L&C. Louis Olenick was also there, he won state for trombone. So we were in good company. It kinda blew though because I had to leave early while they went into portland to carol for money. Mike got a ride back with mark, so hopefully he didn't get abducted or anything. After that, I went over to see Sheerya, whom I haved seen since august, so that was worth leaving quartet. We mostly talked about college, which come to think of it, is all anybody seems to be talking about these days. Damn. I'm so sick of college and I haven't even started. Nevertheless, it was good to see Sheerya again so I'm not complaining. This morning, I went over to the Portland Habitat for Humanity warehouse. God damn, it must have rained 5 feet this morning. I mean, seriously, even for Oregon this was wet. Once we finally found the poorly marked warehouse, I met up with Allison Welch and Jonny Nuth. Our big project was to move about 500 pounds of metal door frames from on top of a 12 foot scaffold out to the loading dock. Then we moved a veritable mountain (seriously, you couldn't see over the top of this thing, not by a long shot) of carpet padding up to where the door frames were. After that we unrolled a ridiculously heavy thing of carpet and nailed it to the ceiling for decorative purposes. I think i see why they had us sign liability waivers. The warehouse was awesome, it's sort of like home depot, but cheaper and with lots more ambient asbestos. I've still got stuff in my hair. Basically, people donate all types of crap to H4H, but they can't use all of it, so the rest goes to this warehouse to be sold. I highly recommend shopping there though, because all the profits go to habitat for humanity, which is about $200,000 a year. And that's a lot of dough for selling paint and old washing machines. Speaking of washing machines, I could have sworn I saw somebody carting out an old washing machine that looked exactly like the one we used to have, but got rid of because it broke.

December 06, 2003.
Usually, I don't do afternoon posts, but I just finished the last SAT's I hope ever to take. The english was quite easy, but time filling. I wrote my essay on why medicare sucks and what that has to do with sacrifice. The biology one probably would have confused a dead hamster, but not much else. I finished 15 minutes early (keep in mind the test is only an hour long) and took a nap before giving the math IIc a shot. The math wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Although I didn't finish, I managed to answer about 43 problems which was vastly better than the 30 or so I managed to anwer on the practice test.

But that's not why I've called you all here. About a week ago, I had an epitome, as happens occasionally. Since it got colder, it's been pissing me off that my pants are cold in the morning which is just one more reason not to get out of bed. So then I though, "hey, why not just put my pants over the air vent in my room?" The amount of hot air coming through that vent doesn't do a very good job of heating my room, but it's exactly enough to thoroughly warm a pair of pants. Of course this takes planning. I.e., I have to think about what pants I want to wear tomorrow. But this isn't too hard considering I own approximately 2 pairs of pants at any given time and it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for hot pants.

December 04, 2003.
Articles for MPNC Send me articles relating to elections, candidates, issues, caucuses, crap:BenLizard@yahoo.com

December 03, 2003.
What has 4 legs and an arm?
A doberman in a playground.

November 28, 2003.
Go to BigWords.com. It really does rule. I bought an $85 textbook for a class for $7.50. Including s+h. And it came in like two days. For a terrible deal on textbooks, go here.

Song of the Day: Let's Make the Water Turn Black, By Frank Zappa
note: I find that regular 'ol Fmajor
 works better than Fm in most cases here. -Ben
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 1995 11:32:17 -0600 (CST)
From: HENSCHJ5753@uni.edu
Here's a nice little "folk" song from Zappa. 
 Supposedly all events actually
took place.  The song is played rather fast 
in a possible 2/4 time signature
with most chords taking two beats.
 Comments are welcome.  Enjoy.
Jeff Henscheid
Let's Make the Water Turn Black--Mothers of Invention
From "We're only in it for the Money"
Intro Chords: C(major with added notes) Arpeggios on piano
C                   Em/B               Am
Now believe me when I tell you that my song is really true
Dm     Em          Fm         G    
I want everyone to listen and believe
C               Em/B                 Am       
It's about some little people from a long time ago
Bb          Eb         Ab               G
And all the things the neighbors didn't know
C            Em/B          Am 
Early in the morning Daddy Dinky went to work
Dm                Em        Fm           G
Selling lamps and chairs to San Ber'dino Squares
C           Em/B                   Am 
And I still remember mama with her apron and her pad
Bb              Am           D
Feeding all the boys in Ed's Cafe
G            F           G                   Am
Whizzing and pasting and pooting through the day
G              Am            Bm             D        
Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away
G           F          Eb         D
And all the while on a shelf in a shed
C                         Ab G
Kenny's little creature's on display
C                Em/B        Am
Ronnie saves his numies on a window in his room
Dm             Em    Fm        G
A marvel to be seen; dysentery green
C                   Em/B          Am
While Kenny and his buddies had a game out in the back
F              G          Am 
Em                            A
We see them after school in a world of their own
Em                                A
To some it might seem creepy what they do...
Em                                 C            B
The neighbors on the right sat and watched them every night
Em                                  D
I bet you'd do the same if they was you
C               Em/B         Am 
Ronnie's in the Army now and Kenny's taking pills
Dm           Em             Fm     G   
Oh! How they yearn to see a bomber burn!
C               Em/B              Am 
Color flashing, thunder crashing, dynamite machine!
F             G          Am
Wait till the fire turns green...
F             G          Am  
Wait till the fire turns green...
F             G          A(major)

November 25, 2003.
WIBC rocked. Unfortunately, WIBC was. That is, it was this weekend, allowing me the abosulute minimum amount of study time possible for finals the day I got back. So, I tried to study the most for AP Chem, seeing as how the tests in that class have been pretty brutal. This didn't leave me much time to study for the AP Physics final which I sorely needed. Somebody up there must have a pretty damn screwed up sense of humor, because the AP Chem test was easy (relatively), and the AP Physics test was a nightmare. I'm sure I didn't get more than 5 questions right. Out of 50. Total brain fart. I just sat there and freaked out mostly. Well, freaked out quietly. The thing is, I can't get less than a B, even if I fail the final. You'd think I'd be relieved. Fact is, I'm pretty damn pissed. And I don't want to hear about everybody who'd "be soooo happy to get a B in AP Physics." Because I'm not every-freaking-body. I'm not a perfectionist, but I work hard and this really gripes my wagger. Now I've got a dilemma, do I ride it out? Have one B on my transcript? Or drop the class like a bad habit and live with myself as a quitter? I mean, grades aren't everything - and I truly believe that. Unfortunately, to play "the college game" you've got to have them. I feel largely the same way about the SAT's. Which brings me to...

Ben's Law of Honor Bands and Trimester Finals: If one has been accepted into an honor band, then it will occur the weekend before finals. Being a convention, there will be insufficient distraction-free time to study, thus forcing one to focus on only one class. This class's final will be easy and the one left un-studied for will rape one up the butt.

i think i'm done for now.

November 19, 2003.
Rules for Life:
  1. Eat when you're hungry
  2. Sleep when you're tired
  3. Work when you have motivation/reason to
  4. The world is your oyster, because that's all the world is. --Adam Corolla
  5. Live life according to the meme theory of cultural genetics

   Meme theory rocks. Basically, memes are like cultural genetics, like genes for your head. Some are like viruses. They implant themselves in your mind, travelling from person to person. A meme could be a song, an idea, a quote, a question, anything. For example, a song that gets stuck in your head is a specific type of meme called an earworm. Fads are memes, although short-lived by definition. Memes change with every person they inhabit, so they evolve in much the way a real gene might. Natural selection says that the memes that do not entice the person to tell somebody else, die out. However, if you consciously or subconsiously alter a meme for its improvement, it stands a better chance of survival. Even the act of me telling you about memes, is a meme in and of itself. Our lives are made up of the thousands (probably millions) of memes we have let influence us. Thus to ultimately achieve a higher concience, we first must recognize this fact. Then, meme theory states that you can consciously choose which memes you allow to influence you. Not only that, but you can start to plant memes of your own. Then, life ceases to become a maze, but a vast field of your own design.

·more on memes...meme central

November 16, 2003.
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times. And now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? HAMLET Act V, Scene 1
I spelled Yorick wrong

November 13, 2003.
Apparently, AHS has revamped it's dress code in order to keep with the times. To quote:
Students should wear clothing that fully covers cleavage and undergarments. Tops or blouses must come down to at least the top of the pant line. (No Bare Midriffs) Shorts and skirts should be of appropriate length when standing or sitting. (It should be noted that this regulation applies to both male and female students)
Now, I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the only "offenders" of the above implied misdemeanors are of the feminine persuation. Well, actually, I stand corrected. Two of the three Bobs in AP Physics celebrated the new dress code today by wearing size zero pants. Uggh, that combined with Frank's drum corp re-enactment is going to give me a slew of nightmares. But seriously folks, I can put the new dress code in plain english. If I can see what type of thong you're wearing...from across the room...with the lights out, then your pants are too low. And it's not distracting in a good way. It's distracting in a vomiting way. Although the sport of dropping one's pencil down the offending crack does have its merits.
no asses, please

November 10, 2003.
Marching band is finally over. It's hard to pinpoint exactly how I feel about it. I'm certainly glad there won't be any more 3 hour rehearsal blocks in 34 degree weather. On the other hand, I'll definately miss the performance aspect and the comaraderie. On the other hand, I can't stand band politics. On the other hand, I'll miss all those great trombone and low brass traditions. On the other hand there's still parade this spring. On the other hand...there is no other hand!. But there is All-State. and WIBC. thank god for those.

Yay, civil disobedience

I heard a thing on NPR the other day about the Diebold scandal. Basically, Diebold is the third leading manufacturer of electronic voting machines, thus you'd think they'd take every measure necessary to make sure their equipment was absolutely tamperproof.

Not so! Like they say- you can make it foolproof, but you can't make it damnfoolproof. Recently, somebody hacked into their machines and stole thousands of emails, many of which containing information to the effect that Diebold was aware that their machines were faulty and insecure, bringing much doubt to surface, especially in light of past hotly debated elections in which they were used. The whole issue quickly became an uproar because the hacker posted the documents online. Diebold hastily got their lawyers on the case, demanding it be removed. They were successful, but copies are spreading faster than they can squelch them. In fact, most experts agree that copyright infringement (the claim which Diebold is using to get these incriminating documents removed) does not apply in this case, as the information (assuming its accuracy could be useful in defrauding Diebold). Therefore, some students at Swarthmore college took it upon themselves to disseminate the dirty emails all across the net. And they're doing a damn fine job. Despite Diebold's best efforts, I was able to download a complete copy of the email archive after only about 3 minutes of searching. You can get yours here. Unless you have about a week of free time on your hands, however, you'll probably just want to read the highlights. My favorite:

"If voting could really change things, it would be illegal."-internal memo, Diebold Corporation. September 14, 2000.

November 7, 2003.
Ben's Law of Tardiness

t2=(a1m1 + a2m2 + akmk ) admd


t=total time required to get ready in the morning
a=age coefficient (units undetermined)
mx=importance factor (unitless quantity)
ad=age of driver
md=importance to driver

November 3, 2003.
Recently, I was perusing (which means to examine carefully, contrary to polular conception) our school newspaper and I was pleasantly surprised at the outstanding quality of reporting. Seriously, if there was a pullitzer prize for junior journalism, we'd definately be in the running.


Except that my dog could write better articles. And I don't have a dog. Let's take a tour...

On the front page: Aloha gains .5 million grant. Half million what? Corn dogs? If they're referring to money, shouldn't it be "recieves" or "is awarded." It's a grant, not stock dividends. Also, Pepsi invades Aloha. In other news, 7up storms the Hillsboro front. Um, didn't we invite Pepsico to sell their wares in our halls? Basically, my thoughts on pop and junk food are the following. I want to punch people in the kidneys who sit in class munching on fritos and drinking mountain dew whilst complaining about the weight they seem to be putting on. Seriously folks, let's remove our heads for a moment here. It's this simple. Burn more calories than you take in, and you will lose weight. And vice versa. This doesn't mean starve yourself. It means get some freaking excersize. Moving on...Child Developement overcomes difficulties. What difficulties might these be, you ask? Down's syndrome? Poverty? Malnutrition? Nope. The students in the Child developement class couldn't shut their dirty mouths long enough to be around some 4 year olds and they got busted, reprimanded and forcibly rehabilitated. And this is a victory, the article jubuliantly proclaims. Now who is Child Developement really for?

Page 2: Liberty: the first year experience. I don't care about exactly how few students the brand new high school has, or why this means they can't play sports. I have learned approximately 2 things from my one visit to LHS. 1) It smells like a hospitol. 2) Your chances of being asked directions to the DMV (which, incidentally, is across the street) by a strange old man with a thick accent are better than you might think. Look carefully at the caption of this picture:

Page 3: I stand corrected, there was one article in this whole paper worth reading. It was by Valorie Shepherd (who I don't know, but now respect) and is basically about how people suck. Always a good subject, especially with a cynical tone. However below it was another gem: Students abandon school spirit. The first few sentences read: School spirit, it's what every school needs and what Aloha doesn't have. Blue, green, gold, pompoms, painted faces, cheering..." Sorry, but you just described cheerleaders, not school spirit. The freaking marching band has more spirit than the cheerleaders and spectators combined. But that could just be because we like to yell, not because we necessarily care. Here's a gem from that article: The scene at football games is horrendous. No one is there to watch the game, which is only somewhat expected.(the game is only somewhat expected? don't they have to reserve the field or something?) Instead, students are socializing, making out, or trying to make some kind of trouble.

Page 4: A poll about cars. Horrible. Who drives? Who pays? And who crashes? who cares? The only satisfaction I take out of this was the fact that I (along with countless others) took the libery of screwing with the results by informing them that Karl Marx was a licensed oregon driver and had been in so many accidents he was banned in three states.

Page 5+6: blah, blah, blah. hmmm...it's called center stage but there's no freaking mention of the current drama production (The Inspector Calls). Oh, but there's a half page article about how 80's fasion is back. That's interesting, except for it's not.

Page 7+8: Well, let's see. An article about our male chearleader, sweaty basketball players, the history of Aloha Football, and half a page about how Andy Douglas (who?) is out for the season due to an injury. What the hell? Our girls cross country team went to the State Championships for the first time in 15 years and not so much as a mention! However, maybe I should ream the Andy Douglas story. The homecoming game against Southridge Oct. 3rd was a game most will never forget- except junior running back Andy Douglas. Andy experienced a concussion, which is a temporary change in the way the brain works when it is suddenly moved or jarred by a forceful hit or movement. Hmmm...nobody will forget it except Andy Douglas, who apparently was hit so hard on the noggin, he'll be lucky to remember anything. Got it.

In other news...planning for Aloha: The Documentary presses on.

October 26, 2003.
the latest...

October 20, 2003.

October 12, 2003.
Wow, it has certainly been an interestingtranscendental weekend. I had to miss my cross country invitational friday so I could spend 6 hours in a car driving to Grants Pass (Or Grass Pants, as I like to call it. or Grant's Ass. or Gas Prants. seriously, the possibilities are nearly endless) so we could all take the SAT the next morning and still make it to the PNW by 2pm. On the plus side, frisbee in the gym at midnight rules and the test was easy. Also, we had a pretty decent first show so I didn't have to kill anybody. God damn though, you'd think they could paint some hashes on the field.

I slept most of the way home so I surmise that I may be getting sick. again. I'd be willing to bet my essay came out a bit weirder because of it.

October 05, 2003. P.T. Barnum once said that a sucker is born every minute. Statistically, there are 5 people born in the world every second (incidentally, 2 people die every second). In one minute, that's 300 people, one of which is a sucker. We have 1800 students at AHS, thus 6 of them should be suckers, according to Barnum.

Last night was homecoming. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I'd be willing to bet a couple hundred kids (with fixed incomes, most of them) spent upwards of $60-100 each for tickets, corsage/boutinaire, dinner and transpo to listen to bad music in a crowded cafeteria. I went out with the gang to get some very excellent pizza at American Dream and watch Jack Black's kick ass new movie. Despite being effectively screwed on the movie ticket (8 dollars is freaking highway robbery), I spent exactly what I could have spent on one "Hollywood Glamour" ticket. And dinner and a show was included. Ironically, there were 6 of us.

September 24, 2003. Wow, I sure do love 15 hour days. I'm totally ready for college. I don't think there's been a night the last few weeks I've gotten home before 9 or so. Many nights, like tonight - 10:30. My legs feel like jelly due to the heinous combination of our cross country meet (in which we severely trounced liberty high school 15-50), marching band (in which mr. lee severely chewed out elise for kicking crystal's butt (literally) during a set) and scrawnalanis practice (in which I acted severely flamboyant for an hour and a half, except for playing frisbee in the gym, which rules).

I sent in my WIBC audition yesterday, which turned out surprisingly well considering how much I hate making audition tapes. WIBC should be sweet as it will the 25th aniversary, so they're having all these bad-ass conducters there like Alred Reed, who must be freaking 80 years old. One thing i've noticed is that professional NBA players have maybe a 15 year career span, whereas jazz legends (or any persons of musical notoriety, for that matter) will keep working/playing until they die. Next stop: All state jazz band (if i remember to record an auditionif i'm incredibly lucky).

My toenail is falling off. Well, two of them actually. Please folks, for the love of butter, make sure your hiking boots fit properly before going on a 13 mile death march. That is all.

Postscript Whilst I have never personally peed myself at a cross country meet, I did hear an amusing story from one of the councelors at running camp this summer. He mentioned that at a school he used to go to, it was customary for the guys to kneel down by the starting line. For all intentions, it appeared as though they were deep in prayer, but the tell-tale puddle implied differently.

September 17, 2003. If peeing your pants is cool, consider me Miles Davis.
And now time for another episode of "That Time In AP English Where I Laughed So Hard I Almost Shat Myself."

We were supposed to poll people on common biblical allusions that might be found in literature. As Elwood Blues succintly put it, Genevee and Co. took the liberty of bullshitting Tristen when he solicited answers from them. His collection of "biblical allusions" included such gems as
  • Samson and Ruth
  • The Prodigal Daughter
  • Turning Wine into Water
  • The Plague of Partridges

God bless that girl.

September 13, 2003.
Bah. I am sick and its only the second week of school. Therefore go here.

proof that I'm reaching senility early...

On monday, I got to school and realized that for the first time in my life (probably), I'd managed to leave my backpack at home. There certainly wasn't much point in going to first period without my work, especially AP Chem. Fortunately, curtis volunteered to drive me back to my house where to my horror, my backpack was not where I left it. I'm sure I've had dreams like this before. It seems that my dad had seen it laying there and brought it to school while we were coming back. After searching for five minutes, we drove back to Aloha, empty handed, where I recovered it from the main office and trekked off to 1st period-20 minutes late. As luck would have it, the school has instituted a new 5 minutes late=unexcused absence policy. Screw burocracies. Moral of the story: monday's suck.

more proof that I'm reaching senility early...

On wednesday, we had our first cross country meet of the season. I had just got down to the locker room and was beginning to change when I noticed that my racing shorts were most definately not in my gym bag. I turned it inside out to no avail and was beginning to freak out before I realized that I was already wearing them underneath my pants, and had been all day because I had tried them on for size that morning. No wonder I was so damn comfortable. However, we did beat Century 25-30 (low number wins).

September 7, 2003.
Fortunately, I got my liscense.
Unfortunately, I've no car. Nor anywhere in particular to go.

Fortunately, I survived the hell known as class scheduling with a desirable agenda.
Unfortunately, it looks like this:

  • 1st period: AP Chemistry
  • 2nd period: Spanish III
  • 3rd period: Wind Ensemble/Jazz Band
  • 4th period: AP English
  • 5th period: AP Physics
  • PSU: Calculus
  • PSU: Health
  • PSU: US History (I'll register soon)

Fortunately, I'll be able to take the October 11th SAT.
Unfortunately, I'll have to take it in Grants Pass after spending the night on a hard cold gym floor.

Fortunately, I'm back to cross country after hiatus from my ankle sprain.
Unfortunately, I'm massively out shape and our first meet is next week.

Fortunately, our horn section is freaking loud.
No problems with that.
not cocky, just better

I take no responsibility for the tastless ads tripod shows below. If you position the page right, you won't have to look at it. Sign the guestbook.

August 29th, 2003. Yay for elections:
Well, I meant to go check out the PYP and MYS concerts tonight, but my dad's car broke down this morning so we were a bit occupied. My apologies to those parties involved, and have fun in college. Stay in drugs, drink your school and don't do milk. Ever.

August 26th, 2003. This morning, I went over to Aloha to help set up the band room. I managed to spend most of the morning designing and cutting out (with the aid of mike's 4" swiss army blade) a new stencil for the stands. After the good folks with the black paint went over all the stands, we proceeded to spray on the stencils. They actually turned out pretty sweet looking and anytime I get to screw around with use responsibly spray paint is a good day in my book. The worst day would be when I die from inhaling too many carcinogens from paint fumes. meh. I'll try to get a pic of the new stands before they become as decrepid as they were.

Like all good webmasters, I like to check up on my site from time to time. You know, see what the peoples see. Anyway, I noticed a large ugly banner obstructing my main page. As I could not recall ordering a large ugly banner, I'm assuming this is an error on tripod's part. I expect them to fix it promptly given the outrageous fees i pay for this this free web site.

August 16th, 2003. Ah, band camp. My lips, feet, calves, shoulders and arms hurt and we're only two weeks into the season. Here are some of the more quotable moments from my last band camp ever:

"'Stand by' isn't a liscense to talk!" --Brian Wilkins
"'Stand by' isn't a liscense to scratch yourself! --Ashley Mueller
BW: "If you're not running you are..."
Dan: "Drum major."
"Wait, let's see the full expression of this pose." --me, upon observing Paul and Shawn wrestling without shirts on during yoga.
"We're not cocky, just better." --Bryan P. commenting on the TRB section.
"Nearly goddamn perfect." --Lane Anthony, on a basics line.
number of people Dave Lee has landed in the hospitol: 2

August 10th, 2003. Yesterday's BBQ/ultimate game was fairly rocking. I'd like to establish for the record that the tradition of having a pre-camp ultimate game was started by yours truly two years ago for the trombone section. It was pretty much a way to introduce the froshes without scaring them all to perdition. Don't get me wrong though, crystal did a great job planning it and i've never ate so many donuts in one setting.

Book Review
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison:
Good book, vive le revolution
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad:
Blows chunks by page 99. I move that we ship Conrad back to poland or wherever he came from and not let him write any more books in english. Assuming he's still alive...which I doubt...for good reason probably.

At the kegger yesterday, Abby gave me a veritable plethora of aol cds to further my quest in wallpapering my room. After unwrapping and mounting about 35 cds, I made a discovery (cue drum roll):

stay tuned...

For the next five days I shall have no life beyond band camp, where I plan to lead my section to glorious victory over the heathen sections. Or learn the show, whichever. Until then...

August 7th, 2003. I put an inline frame on this page so it wouldn't be so ungainly. Sorry to all you netscape users out there.

I have plans to direct a documentary on Aloha High School after our successful expedition through the drainage tunnels under the field, once thought to be merely urban legend. Stops on our tour will include:
  • The Tunnels of Doom
  • The Attic of Dead People
  • The Catwalk of Fear
  • The "Friendship Tree"
  • The Ninja Hole (The Dungeon)
  • The Monument
  • And more!

August 6th, 2003. Check out this net radio station:
to the site
or click here to tune in

It's all punk and ska, Muy bueno.

August 4th, 2003. The last few weeks have been quite full. During my stint at running camp, I managed to re-sprain my ankle on the second day, resulting in a large swelling about the size of an egg. I took about 24 hours off and got back on the trails the next afternoon, hobbling along gleefully. But seriously, running camp ruled and I wish I could go back. It always helps to have a reminder of why you do what you like to do and 150 other people who love to run can't help but be inspiring. These past few days have been spent with Warren and the other cronies, doing military style drills on the Aloha grounds, generally attracting more strange looks than anything else. On the culminating day, yesterday, we drove up to Multnomah Falls for our workout. Pretty much we just took turns carrying each other on our backs all the way up. I've never felt so happy to be running up hill as when I don't have 200lbs on my back. When we got to the top, we did push-ups in the stream, then ran back down to the base. On the way home, we passed a car full of runners (i'm guessing) who had decked out their suburban with junk including a couple pairs of shoes from the trailer hitch. Not to be outdone, I hung my (thoroughly drenched) socks out the window.

leave something on the shoutbox -->

July 12th, 2003. I have discovered winamp radio/tv. They have about a million radio stations and a couple dozen tv stations. My favorite is the Radiohead music video station, but they only rotate about 6 or so songs. It works best with winamp 2.

"Unsubstantiated reports confirm that I'm an idiot."

July 5th, 2003. On Thursday, I went with Robert, Cynthia and Sid to see the DCI circuit show in Vancouver. The first few bands were average, but the Seattle Cascades and the Blue Devils were pretty sick. I'm almost jealous of Frank for joining, but then I remember that that's pretty much all he gets to do all summer. The funniest part was that the awards followed the program, but in reverse order (the Blue Devils performed last and placed first). For the repeat performance by the Devils, we went down to the field to listen. I was standing about 20 feet away so I pretty much bled to death through my ears. All in good fun, though.

Yesterday, I had an Ultimate game at Chehalem in celebration of my birthday. It was pretty fun, we actually had about a dozen people out there. It seemed to be a bad night for injuries though. Mark reopened a battle wound from baseball and I rolled my ankle on the hill from hell, trying to catch a touch down. I'm pretty sure I heard about 4 seperate pops as it happened. Although I'm sort of back on my feet, I'm not going to be able to run for a while, thus severely altering my xc training plans for this summer, especially running camp. I hope I'll be able to go, I'll be so pissed if I can't.

Speaking of running, I'm thinking about getting a letter jacket. Here's a design I sketched out for the back:

July 2nd, 2003. I'm changing a few things about this site, mainly the navigation. For some reason, the slices of the menu took forever to load and never seemed to cache. Either way, I have replaced them with trendy WWII era propaganda for your navigation needs.

Why prop posters? Well, I'm just getting a bit sick of all the nationalism since we decided to bomb the hell out of defenseless countries in the throws of evil dictators. It just made me realize that mindlessly boosting our country for the sake of the war is an American tradition, except they had better artwork back in the 40's (albeit, they were chock full of white people).

Hi! I'm Joe Patriotic! I've got 6 six flags (American, silly goose!) on my suv, 8 in my front yard and 12 on the dog. I wear clothes made with slave labor from bangladesh because I'm too ignorant to ask questions I wouldn't want to hear the answers to. I can't go 3 hours without a StarbucksTM Frappachino and I consider McDonalds fine cuisine. Screw the cows: If god hadn't wanted us to eat meat, why'd he make it taste so good? It's no wonder I'm so overweight I can't walk on my own: my electric scooter does that for me. I've got a little flag on my scooter too.

Sign the guestbook, or America will lose the War.


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