Not bad, Utah

notbad.gif: Utah seeing massive uptick in child support payments after new law enacted that states those who fall too far behind in payments will become unable to acquire hunting or fishing licenses

Big kudos to the nerds who recognized the correlation between deadbeats who didn’t pay their child support and people who liked to hunt and fish.  And then good on the politicians who realized that the old system of simply arresting and throwing the book at them wasn’t working, and came up with a more effective means of penalization that is actually proving to be effective at keeping deadbeats from being deadbeats.

In all seriousness, I do commend this line of thinking, and think it should kind of serve as a model to the rest of the country that jail just isn’t always the right consequence for anything and everything negative.  Don’t get me wrong, I thought the fake Iron Bowl Tickets sweepstakes/sting to bust deadbeats done in Alabama was hilarious, but that was like 2011, and times have changed, and the context to the narrative has as well.

The impetus behind it seemed solid, and the results are speaking for themselves.  If the threat of jail and the consequences of having a criminal record is what people have to look forward to facing if and when they start falling behind on child support, then most people are just going to cut and run and stay hidden as long as they can, until they swirl down a downward spiral of failure, where everyone suffers, including the children they need to be supporting.

But hitting them in their hobbies and vices, that conveniently have license requirements that need to be renewed annually?  That’s pretty smart thinking.  It’s nowhere near as severe as jail, but it’s still seen as punishment enough, to where they won’t legally be allowed to partake in the activities that they like to do, and it’s proving to be enough of a threat to make them pony up and square up their debts so they can get back to the things that make them happy.  And the proof is in the pudding, with as much payment is seemingly coming back to Utah’s kids in the process.

Not much else to say about this, other than to once again opine, not bad, Utah.  Creative solutions to problems that never were getting better, and showing some improvement in the process.  The country could sure use a whole lot more of this.

2 Under 2: making baby gates (#041)

As most parents eventually need to do, mythical wife and I have gradually began baby-proofing the home as our first is completely mobile, fast as an Olympian, and is capable of being out of sight and with a dust bunny in her hand headed toward her mouth in the blink of an eye.  And the impending second child will only make the need to cordon off areas of the house that much more imperative, so we made the decision to section off parts of the home, so that we can (hopefully) be able to have to only monitor half of the home at a time instead of all of it.

The problem is, baby gates are ridiculously expensive, and considering we needed multiple gates, it seemed like something that we weren’t particularly interested in spending the money we’re already stretching thin on.  Furthermore, baby gates all have a particular cheap and plasticky look to them, and just because we’re frazzled parents doesn’t mean we have to turn our home into a giant billboard for like Fisher Price.

Mythical wife found this online tutorial from a lady who made her own baby gates from wood and gate parts, and looking through it, I’m thinking “hey I could do this,” so we made the executive decision to make our own gates.

I’m not going to get too granular with all the details, because there’s basically nothing outside of the steps the mommy in the link that I didn’t do, so if you really are curious you could support her and give her traffic, but I’m just going to kind of write out the things I did in the process, and hope that this turns into something of a substantial post that isn’t too boring.

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No-context writing

Sometimes, I feel like I haven’t done any writing in a while, and then say that I haven’t really found anything that’s sparked any inspiration to write.  But then I chastise myself that the whole point of me wanting to write doesn’t always have to have specific context behind it, and that sometimes, it’s just the urge to write, even if there’s no specific subject at hand.

Despite the fact that I’m still offline, a notion that isn’t ever not there whenever I sit down to write, it’s been an entire week since I last ranted about how much the Morbius movie is probably going to suck.  Since then, no matter how much I scour the news for an interesting topic, various websites and feeds to hope to see something that piques my interest to turn into a word explosion, it’s been pretty barren out there for my interests and inspirations.

Regardless, such shouldn’t be an excuse to go stagnant for too long, and despite the fact that I don’t really feel like I have anything to write about, the inherent urge to write is still there, which brings us to now, where I’m sitting in front of my laptop with a word doc open, no specific topic in mind, and my fingers still moving.

For the most part, a lot of this general writing stagnation probably has to do with the fact that these days, I don’t really have a tremendous amount of free time anymore.  Such is the nature of being an adult, and trying to maintain my place in the working world, as well as undertaking the responsibilities of a job that is no longer really on the ground level anymore.  At work, I’m often times operating with varying levels of stress in place, with there seldom being none at all, and simultaneously I have to remind myself that my decisions hold more weight than they used to, and that I am actually responsible for other people.  I can’t phone it in as much as I’d like to at times, and sometimes it feels like I’m doing less work, which feels strange, especially since I still see that the workload amongst the team hasn’t exactly dwindled.

Outside of work, has been a tremendous amount of other work, specifically all related to the planning of my own wedding.  I’m not going to pretend like it hasn’t felt overwhelming at times, the sheer amount of tasks and things to consider before June, because it sometimes does, and I hit points where I don’t want to do anymore work at home, and just want to marathon something on Netflix or watch the WWE Network for four hours instead of doing actual work.

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When in doubt, make it yourself

While mythical gf is vacationing out of the country without me because I’m not a teacher and I don’t get entire months off at a time, I decided that I would spend a chunk of my solitude working on my office. 

I mean, after a year of living here, it would only make sense that I would have the room where I do the bulk of my artwork and gaming to a point where I’d be able to sit back in my chair and look around and be somewhat satisfied with my immediate surroundings.  Nah, as is often times the case in my life, when it comes to the intricate things for myself, I have a tendency to slack on them, putting just about everything else first, like responsibilities.

One of the things I had in mind was that I wanted to have some floating shelves for the vast array of figurines that I’ve amassed throughout the years.  Primarily the League of Legends figures that I’d been collecting since they started producing them.  They’re pretty good quality, and I can appreciate the consistency and cohesiveness of them as a collection, and I wanted to display them.

The thing is, I was having a great deal of difficulty in finding floating shelves that I was satisfied with.  Primarily, I did not want floating shelves with a massive depth, that would fuck with my peripheral vision when I would be sitting at my machine, at the height that I had envisioned setting them up at.  Furthermore, floating shelves seem to be a really in thing when it comes to home decorating these days, so the cost of them are most certainly not as cheap as when the first time I came across them years ago at like either a Target or a Container Store.

To make matters worse, the shelves that I once had on the walls of the old house were nowhere to be found anymore; a simple floating shelf with a minimal depth, that would’ve been perfect for Rito figures.  In their place were an array of shelves with pretentious bevels and faux-trim accents, with shoddy hardware that were most certainly not very cost effective, nor were they remotely long enough to accommodate all the figures that I have.

Over the last year or so, my brother has gotten really into woodworking.  He’s gotten really good at it in that span of time, and he’s made an array of shelves, tables and other practical furniture with his own hands and tools.  Needless to say, as all good big brothers do, it inspired me to want to make some practical shit on my own.  I figure I’m a pretty meticulous person who has zero fear of working with my hands, I know I have the capabilities to do similar stuff to him, except that I don’t have near the hardware he does at his disposal to do the depth of work that he can.

But making floating shelves?  Simple, shallow-depth and of course, simple floating shelves?  Oh yeah, I know I could do this at least.

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Who knew anarchists were so detail-oriented?

Impetus: vandals break into church, spray paint satanic symbols all over the walls

First off, I don’t condone breaking and entering, or vandalism.  I don’t even condone the smoking of marijuana, but that’s more an eye of the beholder kind of opinion.  And I most certainly feel empathy for this church that hasn’t even officially opened and had its first service, before some shitheads broke in and spray painted shit all over the walls.

However, I have to say I have a hard time getting over the vandals’ execution of the anarchy symbol (pictured) they left in the church; namely the fact that they clearly utilized some painters/masking tape in the process of making it, as indicative by the extremely clean and straight lines of the anarchy-A.

Look, I give them a little bit of ironic credit of thinking outside the box, and instead of just spray painting the standard circle-A line art of a traditional anarchy-A, they decided to try and be all artistic and reverse that shit out, and knock out an anarchy-A out of circular blob of clearly-satanic red.

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The wrestling belt display rail

This is a wall in my office.  It makes me tremendously happy whenever I look at it.  Fewer things I’ve created in my life give me the amount of satisfaction that an eight-foot plank of wood with some boat snaps in it does currently.  Mostly because it was an idea that came to me that executed nearly as accurately to its concept as I had imagined it, and there’s seldom better feelings than when a plan goes according to plan.

While I was living in an apartment during the transitional phase between homes, my treasured wrestling belts had all sat in storage.  I always knew and treated the apartment like the transitional domicile, and put little effort into doing much decoration or adorning it with much of my own personal effects.  The belts remained in storage because I didn’t feel like unpacking them, I didn’t want to bother re-packing them, and frankly they’ve always been something of a challenge to display without consuming too much space.

When I moved into my new house where the whole world of home living was full of possibilities, I actually didn’t have much clue on what I was going to do with my belts.  I knew that I had dedicated one bedroom to become my personal office space, and that’s where I wanted to have my belts, but the question was always how I was going to display them.

My old corner shelf was no longer an option, because it only had five shelves and I now had ten belts, and being the stickler for symmetry, refused to have half my belts displayed in one fashion, and the other five displayed alternatively. 

I didn’t want to go the route of a glass display cases, because wrestling belts are no small things, and with ten of them, I would require a lot of glass display, which would also have been very costly, and frankly space consuming.  I know a new, larger house has lots of extra space to accommodate things, but I’m also kind of minimalist and don’t like too many bulky things to make me feel claustrophobic.

I liked the idea of hanging my belts off the wall, because being on the wall would mean they wouldn’t be on the floor, and not being on the floor would mean they weren’t necessarily cluttering up my place.  But I was really very much against the idea of affixing them to the wall like the Miz does, because he’s actually drilling screws through the physical belts themselves; I know he’s a professional wrestler who probably gets his replicas for cheap if not free, but I don’t, and I care for my belts a little bit more to where I don’t want to physically add any holes that I don’t feel needed to be added.

My thought was, why not use hardware that already existed?  As in the snaps on the belt themselves?  But wouldn’t affixing snaps be perilous and risk coming undone, especially under the weight of belts, which can weigh anywhere from 8-13 lbs. each?

But then a cursory search revealed the existence of screwable marine snaps, which would be the perfect things to bore into a plank of wood, to which I could then paint to match my wall and hang up to hold my belt collection.  And then the idea was underway.

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Photos: League of Legends World Championship, Season 6

[2020 note]: this is unposted content from 2016, photographs from mythical and I’s trip out to Los Angeles for the 2016 LCK Fall Championship AKA Worlds, the season 6 world championship.

It also dawned on me that this trip capped off a span of two months where I visited Europe, Korea, went to Disney Food & Wine, and then Worlds, so basically an insane amount of leisurely travel in a short amount of time.

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