The Saved By the Bell / Friends Connection (A weak one)

So the last few mornings, while I’ve been doing my morning workout routine, I’ve been watching a lot of Saved by the Bell.  Much to my delight, it has been on in some ridiculous three-hour marathon pretty much every weekday morning, at the same time that I’m up and doing my morning routine.  For the last two weeks, every morning has been kind of a trip down memory lane, in some respect.

However, the episodes aren’t exactly placed in any particular order; some have been right after the Miss Bliss era, and they’ve jumped as far as into the College Years afterward.  Not that it’s any big deal to me since I’ve pretty much seen every single episode, but it did make me notice something, which is the chief reason why I decided to kill my last day on this particular assignment in Lithonia (which Lithonia sucks; when a Starbucks fails, you know the region is devoid of any success) with writing about a comparison . . .

Saved by the Bell was the show Friends, before Friends was Friends.

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Photographical goodbye to the Samsung Instinct

Right before I got back from Virginia, I noticed that the touchscreen on the Samsung Instinct I’d been using for the last 21 months was no longer responding to my touches. Frustrated, I went through the steps to alleviate any glitchy behavior; rebooting the phone, popping out the battery, putting it on its charger, but to no avail, my phone was not working properly. I couldn’t help but notice a water / moisture spot on the screen, and rubbing it did nothing; somehow, it was underneath the screen, how it go there, I had no idea, but I was resigned to blaming the problems on it.

I carefully lifted the transparent safety screen off of the phone, and equally carefully wiped away the spot. I gingerly applied the screen back onto the hardware, and lo and behold, key strokes began responding again. Upon initial diagnosis, everything seemed to be working fine; except for the small nuance that anything at the top 1/10th of the screen was registering low – in other words, trying to push “2” on the numeric keypad would result in “5” being entered. Finding this behavior unacceptable, I proceeded to perform surgery on my phone again.

This was not a good idea. Somewhere along the line, I severed some foil-thin circuitry, and the phone would no longer register any key strokes, unless I was pushing into the depths of Hades into the top-left corner of the physical phone itself, where the severed circuitry likely occurred.

Long story short – this was not the first and only time I have been frustrated with the Instinct, as with the ushering of the next generation of Android phones, it has been more or less abandoned by Sprint and Samsung themselves, and has suffered a litany of inconsistencies, poor performance, and problems that are clearly not going to be fixed any time soon. The dead touchscreen was the final straw, and I decided to cut my losses, and re-up for two more years with Sprint, and I am now one of the few privileged techno-geeks to have acquired an HTC Evo4G. Seriously, as far as Best Buys are concerned, this was the last one in all of Metro Atlanta.

So for lack of a better term, good riddance to the Samsung Instinct, onto the future with my Evo. It is a little melancholy, because I have had Samsung phones, supporting the motherland for the last nine years, and this is the first time I will have a phone of a different maker. Unfortunately, poor performance is poor performance, and loyalty can’t be expected to continue with it in tow. However, things weren’t always bitter and upsetting with the Instinct – it definitely has seen a good share of good times in the 21 months that I had it, and I’ve been wise enough to capture a lot of it on its diminutive 1.3MP built-in camera.

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True pain

It is a widely known fact that when it comes to needing to hold it, that men are vastly superior to women.  I have a belief that men are always capable of assessing their need to urinate based on a scale of one through ten.  We tend to really only seek the need when it begins to encroach at five or so; unless we’re bored, antsy, and feeling the need to move about, pretty much anything underneath five can typically be ignored and held in.  Once past five, it would be a good idea to seek out the nearest commode.

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Photos: Baltimore Trip

Some close friends and I make a trip up to filthy Baltimore, Maryland, to see some baseball at Camden Yards, ironically one of the better parks in the Majors.  Naturally, with the legendary Pickle’s Pub across the street, this devolves into a day of excessive drinking, being obnoxious baseball fans, and getting really trashed.  Good times were certainly had, looking back at things, though.

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When it’s this hot, people go a little crazy

And had I taken this picture 20 seconds sooner, it would have read “103F.”  Seriously, since I moved to Atlanta in 2003, I don’t think there’s ever been a summer this hot before.  And it’s only the end of June, and there is always the possibility that it could feasibly get hotter as the summer progresses.

Seriously, it’s pretty ridiculous how hot, miserable, humid and muggy it’s been the last few weeks.  I hardly want to go outside, and I’m amazed that I’ve still made the effort to trudge out of bed every morning, and jog, while the heat and misery is still a little bearable.  But I’m finding myself being influenced by the weather on all the things that I decide to do with my days.  People, with me as no exception, go crazy when things get too hot.

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The Simpsons are still around?

For the first time in quite a significant while, I sat down and watched an episode of The Simpsons last night, while eating dinner.  It was pretty obvious that this episode was in honor of Black History Month or equivalent, due to the nature of it.  But the biggest impression was left on me in the final two minutes, as Grandpa Simpson drops the bomb about the family history, and reveals that the Simpsons lineage has some African-American in it.

Homer is 1/32 black, thus making Bart, Lisa, and Maggie 1/64th.  And suddenly all of them are gushing over how awesome it is, and how it explains all sorts of racial stereotypes that they’ve had the propensity to demonstrate from time to time.  That explains why . . .

I know that The Simpsons is pretty non-continuous, and that such a reveal will be forgotten / has been forgotten in current episodes, but I can’t help but wonder the thought process behind the story.  It felt like a little bit of an attempt to draw reaction and hope it gets ratings.  Maybe it’s to combat The Cleveland Show?  No matter, it seemed a tad stupid.

Say what you will about the Simpsons, but they’re for better or worse, the longest running sitcom in television history.  With this little nugget of information, does this also make the Simpsons the longest-running black sitcom in history, passing series like The Cosby Show, and The Steve Harvey Show?  That’ll be some interesting trivia to dredge up in the future.

Nothing can be done about it

When playing Left 4 Dead, one of the biggest pleasures in the game is when you’re playing as the infected, namely the Smoker, and you manage to capitalize on a situation where the survivors must traverse an obstacle to where there is no returning once crossed, and you get that one perfect smoke, capturing one of the players, basically stranding them from the other three, and there is nothing that the other team can do, except accept their loss of one teammate as you watch with glee as your Smoker strangles the player to death with the satisfying neck snap sound at the very end.  There are many places in which this kind of scenario can take place, and it is one of the best feelings in the world when executed correctly.

I’m currently working an assignment now, for a company that I freelanced with back in the winter of 2007.   I was reluctant to come back here, because the work wasn’t all that glamorous, and most importantly, I didn’t like the notion that freelancers weren’t permitted internet access, thus cutting off my channel to the rest of the world; I work fast, and I like to create my own downtime, to which I like to use to chat, email, and occasional surfing.  But the pay rate at this place is among the best I’ve had in recent years, and since paying the bills and having beer money is pretty essential, I took it.

However, this time, I have an ace up my sleeve, and in fact it’s here while at work that I’m posting this clever analogy.

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