Monday, August 22, 2005

Ahh, My House Is Being Overrun!!

This past Friday, I received a completely unexpected call.

"Yo, Ray, this is Nelson. I'm on my way to the house and I'm staying over for a little bit."


Apparently, one of my two roommates told this kid, Nelson, who's this sophomore who pledged my roomie's fraternity last year, that he could come and stay over in the house for a couple of days until he could move into his place in the dorms. Nelson wanted to arrive in Syracuse before the dorms officially opened up to returning students, so he needed a place to stay in the meantime.

The problem was that no one told me about it. I was the only one that had the keys to the house, so if I wasn't there, how was he going to get in? Or, I could've had "guests" over that he didn't exactly need to know or see. (I try and keep my "guests" hidden because I don't need everyone knowing my business) Also, I had wanted to give the place a once over with some cleaning products to get it all nice for everyone who was coming back. I didn't want them to walk into an icky apartment. With less than an hour before Nelson was supposed to arrive, I had very little time to get everything decent.

I felt my blood pressure rise the more I thought about the situation. I was getting ready to call up either Pedro and Edwin and let 'em have it for not keeping me in the loop. And I actually did call, but lucky enough for either of them, they didn't pick up their phones, so I got busy with cleaning, picking up wrappers here, moving over some boxes there, washing a couple of dishes from that morning's breakfast, and setting up the bedrooms. I don't want people thinking that I live like a slob, so, hey, you know, I did my best in making sure everything was spotless...

No sooner had Nelson arrived when it all went to hell.

In a matter of a couple of hours, the house was overrun. All of a sudden, my living room was cluttered, and there were boxes everywhere. Then, yesterday, my roommate, Edwin arrived from NYC. Which, of course, for the second time, no one told me.

Even more clutter.

I was showing Edwin through the house and I showed him our extra bedroom, telling him my big plans to turn it into a "chill spot" during the year if no one moved into it.

"Nah, man, Morgan's moving in with us. You know that, right?"

Of course I didn't know, Ed. Just call me "Loopie", because I'm always out the loop in this house.

Sigh. My fun, quiet times in my new apartment are sadly over. Now, I'm going to have to crack the whip to make sure that no matter what, this apartment remains clean, whether I'm in the loop or not.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

It's a War Zone Out There...

I saw this comic the other day, and just thought it would be cool to post it here. Thanks to the "Joy of Tech" comic website for this one!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Early Birthday Request #1...

I'm saying this shit now, so that way I don't have a repeat of what Michelle pulled last year with buying an inflatable wife for my birthday...(that bitch...I'm gonna get her so good in another month!!!)

This bad boy is the Hori PSP Recorder. Basically, what this is, it's a TiVo for your Sony PSP. You simply attach this bad boy to your television, set up a time, and have it record whatever TV show or DVD straight to a Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo (the memory card that goes into the Sony PSP). The recording is encoded into the Sony PSP viewing format.

Aww man. Now this shit is straight up pimp. And for $129 bucks, it's not too bad, considering what it does. Currently, it isn't available in the US, but can be imported from such fine places as and...well, I don't know where else yet..

So yeah. Early birthday request. Keep it in mind, folks. :-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Hmm...Law School?

Last week, a couple of my friends were telling me about their daily struggle to improve their LSAT scores for admission into law school. They were both telling me how incredibly difficult it has been for them to improve their scores and get out of the 162-166 range.

"Man, you're so lucky you don't have to go through this," they said to me.

I just nodded my head and smiled. "Yeah. After all, I hate lawyers anyway."

Despite the fact that I really had never considered heading to law school after graduation from Syracuse, I kinda viewed my friends' "you're so lucky" comment to be a bit of a challenge. So, that night, I went home and thought to myself, "Hey, just how does this exam work anyways? Is it really that difficult?"

So, I jumped online, found the website, the group behind the LSATs, and printed out their complete sample test, and actually took it according to their prescribed simulated test conditions. After 190 minutes (including their prescribed 15 minute break after Section III), I sat down and calculated my score.

I got a 178...

...out of 180.

I recounted just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. 178 it was. I got up, looked at myself in the mirror and shrugged my shoulders.

"Well, whadddya know?"

I called up one of my old TAs who's currently attending Syracuse's Law School and asked her what my score meant in terms of law school admissions.

"Ray, with that score, you can get into any law school you damn well want to." Her voice kept getting more excited as she kept on talking. "Seriously, Ray, you need to stop what you're doing and start thinking IVY"

Law school? Ivy League? All of a sudden, it was as if this entire new world had opened up for me that I had never even considered before. I went into Syracuse to study journalism. Newswriting was my passion, and my thirst for information was insatiable when I first started. And then, after 9/11, my entire world changed. I saw news media for what it truly was: a corporate machine whose only interest was to make money and please corporate sponsors. I saw coward newspaper journalists afraid to ask the hard questions, and an overall zero-tolerance for a difference of opinion. And I saw Newhouse professors (Syracuse's journalism school) tell Michelle that she had to be "less ethnic" in front of the camera. I couldn't take it anymore after that. I lost my heart for journalism soon after.

Still, I figured whatever I did, it would involve communications. So, I never strayed too far from it. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I figured it was all going to work out in the end. And then, Apple came knocking, opening up the field of marketing as an option. With the very real chance that I was going to get a job offer from Apple after graduation, it looked as if that was going to be my field of choice in the short-term.

But now this comes along. Harvard Law School?

The more I say it to myself, the more I like it. Especially since I'm beginning to think of all the wonderful elitist brats I could eat for breakfast...yeeeaaahhhh... :-)

I'm still not sure if this is what I want to pursue when I graduate, but it is definitely an option that I will fully explore. I've decided that after I graduate in the fall, I'll dedicate the spring semester to practicing the LSATs. And hopefully, I'll be able to score at that level consistently enough to actually get admitted to these institutions.

These are interesting times, indeed...

Bitch, I'll Smack You For That iBook!

What would you do if your local school board announced that it had 1,000 2-year old laptop computers on sale for 50 bucks?

Most people wouldn't even blink twice. They'd be there in a heartbeat.

Well, this is exactly what happened in Virginia's Henrico County. The local school board, which had foolishly abandoned a contract it had with Apple to provide laptops for all grade school students in the county, announced a fire sale for the laptops that it no longer needed, charging 50 bucks per unit, each of which was worth $1200 two years ago.

The board had no idea what kind of hell they were getting ready to cause.

MOBS of people RAN to get these computers, and they were ready to fight and bite to stake their claim on one of these lovely white iBooks. It was like an episode of Jerry Springer, times 90.

Take a look at a local report of the chaos that ensued and take a look at the video accompanying it... it's some crazy shit!!!

NBC Covers the Mob in Henrico County

Reasons Like These Are Why I Need To Become President (Part I)

In recent weeks, the Bush Administration has been tossing around a proposal to extend and increase fuel economy regulations across the entire automobile industry.

In their original proposal, they considered extending these fuel economy regulations to huge SUVs, like Hummers and Excursions, the huge pickup trucks, and super mini-vans (if they're so big, shouldn't we just call them, "vans" instead of "mini-vans?") which, currently, are exempt from regulations. Regulations would make the automobile manufacturers release more fuel-efficienct trucks that are a bit more friendly to the gasoline pump. Sounds good right? I mean, who wouldn't want a Hummer that gets 18-20 MPG instead of 10?

And then, came the US automobile lobbyist with deep pockets.

Now, suddenly, the Bush Administration is abandoning the proposal. Their reasoning? Developing fuel-efficient trucks cuts into American automobile profits and places the Big Three (Ford, Chrysler, and GM) at a disadvantage to the Asian giants. Let's face it, if it weren't for the SUV, the American car companies wouldn't be here anymore. Companies like Honda and Toyota, however, don't depend on SUVs for sales, so, their profits wouldn't be as affected by the new regulations.

So, Bush, backed off the proposal in order to score 1 for Team America. Woo hoo. And the stockholders rejoice and the environmentalists weep.

But, see, there's a slight problem with that change of heart...and I'm not just talking in terms of the environment.

I'm talking good ol' fashioned "economics." See, if anyone has been paying attention to recent automobile market trends, sales of SUVs have been declining, overall. Especially the big ones like Hummers and Excursions. Why, you ask? It's quite simple...OIL PRICES!!!! People across the country are trading in their big gas-guzzlers and are buying regular cars instead. While it's hard to track that trend over the short-term, in the long term, this trend will be readily apparent. SUVs, which are responsible for 40% of the nation's oil consumption, are, by and large, the only reason why people buy American cars in the first place. Everyone else who wants a regular-sized car usually goes to the Japanese car makers for their goods.

So, when SUV sales drop because gas is too expensive, and Asian car companies reap the profits, who's going to be left in the dust?

You guessed it. The Big Three.

What they need to do is stop thinking "short-term" and start investing in the future. Making fuel-efficient SUVs should be THE priority for carmakers, if they want to keep making moola. By not going forward with the original proposal, the Bush Administration is actually doing the Big Three a disservice, but unfortunately, they're too shortsighted to see it.

The Top 10 Most-Played Songs of, uh...the Past Five Months?

I got an e-mail today from one of my longtime readers wondering about what the hell ever happened to my Top-10 lists for Most Played Songs. Well, I'll tell you what happened to them:

I just got lazy.

It was a pain in the ass to keep on putting up the top-10 songs every month. I always felt that since no one commented on them, either, well, they weren't appreciated. So I stopped doing them around Finals time in April.

However, I guess there are some people who were at least interested in my top-10's.

So starting next month, I'll publish my Top-10 for August.

But right now, what have I been playing since April? I'll tell you. COLDPLAY. And tons of it. Their new album, "X&Y" has completely dominated my top-10 for the past two months. As a matter of fact, I've listened to that damn album so many times, I have more individual spins on each song on that album in two months than any other song in the past 5. It's that serious. Of all of them, "Swallowed in the Sea" is my #1, followed by "Fix You" and "A Message."

I doubt Coldplay's dominance is going to end in the short-term, either.

By the way, I really liked the White Stripes album, "Get Behind Me, Satan," too. And then Coldplay came along and knocked them into oblivion. (On my Top-10, not in real life)

So, if you haven't listened to "X&Y" yet, check it out. It's funny, too, because when I first heard it, I didn't think it was all the great, especially compared to their last album, but then, it just kinda grew on me. Like, Miracle Grow. I blame it all on my top-3 songs, which sealed the deal for me.

Remember, kiddies: DON'T STEAL MUSIC...just go to Gap and try on a shitload of jeans to get some free iTunes!!! :-)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Yay, I'm out the Toilet Bowl!!

On Friday night, I finally moved out of the dorms and moved back to my apartment here in Syracuse. It feels great to be home, with my own bathroom and a refrigerator I can actually fit stuff into. (I had Zulay's little mini-fridge the past six, I couldn't fit shit in it!!!) I also have access to my wonderful new TV again, so I'm looking forward to spending the next two weeks playing Madden '06 and Halo 2 for my X-Box. Not to mention, since my apartment is about 10 degrees cooler than it was in Haven Hall (which we dub, "the Toilet Bowl", as you can see from that pic I posted), I'm not gonna be sweating like Patrick Ewing anymore.

Still, being in the dorms again did have its charms. By the time I left, I connected with some of the people in my building, and we actually hung out. Every once in awhile, I would sneak downstairs and start whupping some ass in Halo 2 around midnight, where about 6 guys were chillin around a TV set up with an X-Box and four controllers every night. When I didn't feel like getting my videogaming jones on, I would play dominoes and poker, winning TONS of money. (20 bucks is a lot this day and age...) Every time I won, I would smack the table and scream, "I'm rich, BIATCH!!!" Good times, indeed.

Everytime I tell a guy that I was back in the dorms, they would always say, "Hey, man, while you're there, are you bagging any of those SummerStart bitches?" Now, for those who don't know, "SummerStart" is this program that Syracuse runs every summer where, for six weeks, select incoming freshmen are given the opportunity to take classes in order to start their college careers on the right foot. Usually, SummerStart students are minorities, but this year, I guess that was beginning to change. Anyways, so, of course, one of the favorite summer pastimes for male upper classmen who happen to be in Syracuse during the SummerStart session is to hook up with these freshmeats, ahem, freshmen. It's like a freaking ritual. Guys all over get together with their respective cliques and discuss the overall state of affairs of these SummerStart students...

"Yo, how they look?"

"Son....DAMN!!! I would pop half these bitches in a heartbeat."

"Nah, man, they mad young. Some of them are like, 16, 17..."

"That ain't stop you before!"

"Nigga, back then, I was 17 too!"

"Fuck that, yo. If there's grass on the field, it's time to play ball!"

"Ewwwwww....nigga, yous' a fucking beast! You would fuck with a girl that had the fucking Amazon on her cooch! Ewwwwwww..."

Yup. That's how it goes down here in 'Cuse with these SummerStart girls. True story. :-)

So, now, of course, I know you're just dying to know...did I get with any of these youngins? See, when it comes to these girls, I honor a "look, but do not touch" policy. I mean, as amazing as some of these chicas might be, I just don't feel right taking complete advantage of incoming freshmen like that...

At least not in the first semester. :-)

So, I'm out the Toilet Bowl, folks! Now, I only have two weeks of chill time before school starts again. Oh, the horror!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Blink Blink.

Man, I blinked twice, and the next thing I know, I'm taking finals to end my summer session. Golly. So, I"m now undergoing accelerated "Finals" mode...wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

This Guy's Had 4,000 Too Many Lattes...

Today, I just found this article on ABC News that talks about a guy who is on a decade-long mission to visit every single Starbucks in the world. This guy, who calls himself, "Winter" is a Latino from Texas that apparently has tons of time to burn and plenty of money to support his never-ending quest. (I say, "never-ending" because the company opens a new Starbucks somewhere in the world once every four seconds, according to internal reports.) As of August 8th, Winter has already visited 4,775 Starbucks in North America alone over the past eight years.

Apparently, he's already visited the store here at Syracuse University, though judging by the picture he took of the place, he dropped on by a bit over 4 years ago. However, he has stopped on by Syracuse's brand new stores at Armory Square and Fayetteville, which were just opened a little over two months ago. So, it is possible that he stopped by our place and we didn't realize it. By all accounts, his mission is just a personal one; it gives him an excuse to take an incredible road trip across the country. Nothing more. He doesn't make any kind of critiques about the company or about any of the stores he's visited, and fails to engage with any of the baristas at these stores, which he should be paying attention to. After all, a Starbucks is only as good as the employees behind the bar. We are the ones that make Starbucks great, after all. The only thing corporate does is muck everything up by taking the soul out of the company in an effort to make as much money as possible.

Winter's story has attracted so much attention, that someone is actually making a movie about him. I can only hope that the movie actually addresses many of the issues that surround the company instead of just being a two-hour documentary of him just walking in and out of stores.

Want to see if he's visited your local Starbucks? Check out his site at

Monday, August 08, 2005

Banana-Sized Dreams at Banana Republic

I think I've just seen the girl I've been looking for.

My SBUX co-worker, Faraz, and I were doing our thing at the Carousel Center here in Syracuse, walking around, strutting our stuff as much as possible (though it was kind of hard for me to strut, considering I had my stinky work's hard to feel clean after working a shift at smell like a burned coffee bean and have mocha syrup all over the place), when I saw this girl that literally made my jaw drop. Like, literally, I stopped dead in my tracks, oriented my body in her general direction, and dropped my jaw. I think I might have pointed at her too, but that's not the point. The point is, that I was flabbergasted. I had an epiphany and a mini-orgasm all at the same time. I spotted this girl working at Banana Republic while I was walking into the store to check out what was on sale: she was about 5'5, white, blonde hair, piercing green eyes, and had curves all in the right places. Okay, her curves were more like fucking U-Turns. I was amazed. I had to stop staring, walk around for a bit, and pretend that I was interested in some wack ass pink dress shirt just so I could sneak another glimpse at this goddess, who was busily folding clothes in the women's section.

Is there a point to this entry? Not really. I didn't talk to her, and it wasn't really a life-changing event, but I just had to point out that sometimes, when life gives you lemons, you just have to go to Banana. :-)

Introducing, the "Coffee Break"

Alrighty, so after a couple of days of brainstorming, I've decided to change the name of the "Daily Musings" to "The Coffee Break." Inspired by all my wonderful little 4-hour conversations with my Starbucks co-worker, Aimee, right outside our storefront, the Coffee Break is just the natural name for an online venue where I can talk about just about anything that comes to mind that has anything to do with my life. I've also decided to open up the Coffee Break to guest bloggers every once in a while. In practice, I don't know how often that's going to happen, but, we'll see down the line. Sometimes, my life gets so complicated, that not even I can keep up with it, so I've decided that sometimes, my story should be told through the POV of someone else. After all, there is always more than one-side to every story...even MY story...

I opted not to go with names involving "Manwhore" or "Cocky" because in all honesty, that's not what my life is all about. Yes, sometimes, I have the occasional hook-up, and yes, sometimes I can be very opinionated about certain topics, but, if you've been a long time reader, you'll see that I do, at times, put my feelings out there for all to see. I wanted to choose a title that wouldn't pigeonhole me into any one topic or style of writing, so, with a name like "The Coffee Break", I am free to pretty much talk about anything.

Especially my antics at Starbucks. :-)

So welcome to the Break! Sit back, relax, and take the stimulant of your choice as you plow through the story of my life!

-Ray (djkibblesnbits)

EDIT: I was going to say that we can call it, "the CB" for short, but then I realized that the "CB" can be taken as "The Cockblock", which, as some of you may remember I'm not exactly a big fan of...

The Passing of a News Legend

It saddened me to hear the news that ABC News anchor, Peter Jennings, passed away last night after battling with lung cancer. In the fake world of broadcast journalism, Jennings was probably the only anchor who kept it real; he didn't just tell us what was going on in the world from what I call the "superior perch" that many TV personalities seem to speak from, but rather seemed to "experience" it all along with us. This was probably the most apparent during the marathon coverage he had during 9/11, when he stayed on air for 18 straight hours, providing millions of Americans with updated coverage on the terrorist attacks while on the verge of breaking down into tears along with all of us. I always loved the way he always let us know just how he felt about certain tidbits of news with his wit and at times, sarcastic delivery, especially during coverage of the Bush Administration. He was tireless in his never-ending mission to bring us the news and stressed the need for Americans to see what was going on in the wonderful world beyond the US, dedicating much of his time to the field during major international news events. For many people in the world of journalism, he was a true inspiration, and as someone who, for a long time, wanted to pursue a career in the journalism field, the news of his passing has hit me incredibly hard.

My prayers go out to his friends, family, and fellow colleagues. He will be missed.

Microsoft's Vista Has a Vision of a Virus...

It's been awhile since I blogged about anything computer-related, especially being the Mac evangelist that I am. I just couldn't pass this opportunity up, though...

Apparently, someone has already developed a virus for Microsoft's upcoming operating system, Windows Vista (once known as "Longhorn). Vista, which has been hailed by Microsoft as a "revolutionary brand new way of computing" (Read: "We figured out a way to copy Apple again") hasn't even been released, and it ALREADY has a virus. Sheesh, and I thought that this OS was going to be the "safest ever."

Everyone, before you make yet another mistake and buy into Microsoft's phony marketing, step up to the next level of computing and buy yourself a Mac. No crippling pop-ups, no nasty viruses to worry about, and no need to have a virus program that hogs up your resources. AND, it just "makes sense." With MS, the only "Vista" you're going to have is "more of the same."

...Speaking of Macs, if you're a student or faculty member, Apple is offering a "Buy a Mac, Get a iPod" promotion, where if you buy a new Mac computer, you get a free iPod mini. Check out for more details. Check 'em out; they're incredibly affordable with education discounts!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Crush of the Month (August 2005)

Well, well, well. It's that time again. So, last month, right, Anna challenged me to find a "Crush of the Month" that was an actual living person...

Now, let's ignore the fact that I've named 7 actual people to be crushes out of a possible 11...

So, this month, just for Anna, I've selected an actual living person to be this month's "Crush." So who is it?

Initiate drum roll.


Wait for it...wait for it...

...Well, see, this is the thing...I don't have a picture, yet, of this particular crush, but, I'll tell you about her. Basically, it's this chick that's been coming into Starbucks like the past couple of months. She's a customer, and well, she's a cutie. I really don't know her name, and because of stupid little things like, oh, I don't know, like me having to actually WORK while I'm at Starbucks, I haven't been able to talk to her.

So yes, folks. It's an actual crush. Like, a person I can actually talk to. But, no pictures yet. When I get some, I'll post them. (And no, I'm not going to take a picture of her on the low or anything like about "stalker", lol)

So, congrats to whoever you are. You'll be on my brain for an entire month! :-)

Still, I can't just post without leaving a picture, so I'll leave a little something, something for people to get fixated on...

Oh, Grace, how I love your "Half-Nekkid Thursday" shots. :-) (Click here, people)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pop Quiz!

Alrighty, well do you guys know me? Take this quiz, and see how much y'know!

My Quiz

By the way, here's a freebie...the answer to question 9 is "C"... the text didn't come out the way it was supposed to be...

Time to End the "Daily Musings"

That's right. It's time to end it. It's time to end it ALL!!!!

. . . .

The title, I mean. HELLO? :-)

Alright, basically, I've come to the decision that it's time to change the name of the Musings. I'm getting tired of this rather generic title and want something a little bit more, uh, "true" to the actual content of this blog. (After all, my Musings aren't exactly, "Daily") It can't be a long title, and it has to relate somehow to me.

And no, nothing to do with "Manwhore", "Latino", or "Syracuse." :-) (Sorry, Anna!)

So, I'm opening the floor to suggestions. Send me your suggestions via the comment tab.

Whoever can come up with the best title wins a, ummm, hold on, let me think about that one...


I know! A paragraph's worth of sucking up, here on the Musings! :-)

Holla back!
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