About Keith Frank

nah

Apparently it’s difficult being a baseball fan and an atheist.

I had another horrible encounter with someone that couldn’t just let me sit through God Bless America at the ballgame tonight. I remarked earlier in the year about my increasing disdain for GBA, and as a person that goes to 45+ live baseball games a year, I knew I was going to have my hands full this summer. Since the encounter I vented about in 2012, I’ve begrudgingly stood (without removing my cap) in an attempt to alleviate those types of interactions.

In short-season A ball, there’s 38 games a season (barring playoffs), so we get our fair share of poor renditions of The Star-Spangled Banner. The performer tonight was especially lousy — he was off-key, and dragged out every syllable of every word — and he came out during the seventh inning stretch to do GBA. For some reason, the ValleyCats have been playing the song multiple times during each homestand this year.

I’ve been taking bathroom breaks during the song this summer, but I didn’t need to go tonight. I figured he was going to be horrendous as a singer, and it’s a song I already dislike, so I’d be extra miserable through it. Thankfully, Punk was with me, and when I noticed she wasn’t getting up for it, I latched on to her inactivity (which I’d now label as courage) and stayed firmly lodged in my seat. The dude lived up to my expectations, singing the long version of GBA and taking his sweet fucking time with it. I sat the entire duration, catching up on my Wordfeud matches.

If I was someone that believed in karma, I’d say that I earned a free pass for standing so many times over the last two years, but since there isn’t karma I didn’t catch a break. During the final refrain, the comments started up from behind me, and for the next two innings we were berated:

“Wow, how rude! Sitting through that!”

“Some people are just so disrespectful, I can’t believe it!”

“What ignorance!”

“I worry about the world as this generation of self-centered assholes takes over.”

“People like that hate the country!”

“You just can’t fix stupid!”

That’s when I made the mocking mouth movement gesticulation, and yelled out, “Yap, yap, yap! Shut up and let us enjoy the game!”

“I bet they sit through the anthem too!”

That was the final straw. The exact problem I pointed out back in April was spit out to me in person. These fucking morons equate GBA to the anthem and it drives me mad. I spun around to make eye-contact and retorted, “no, because that song actually stands for something!”

“Whelp, ya just can’t fix stupid!”

At this point, my sister was getting pissed, and as the dumb broad went back to the “so rude and disrespectful” comment, she spun around and asked how it’s rude that we don’t believe in god and don’t want to stand up for the song.

“It has nothing to do with that! It’s for the troops!”

Excuse me? The song says it’s a prayer, so presumably the person being goaded into standing beside and guiding America is god, right? Maybe I’m missing something? Regardless, we again attempted to focus on the game and move on.

“They deserve each other. What a pair.”

“They should drop dead!”

“You’re a real piece of shit!”

“What a bullshit attitude!”

“Get out of the fucking country if you hate it so much!”

With increasing fervor, I requested that she leave us alone. She didn’t, so we went to the ushers for help. They didn’t do a fucking thing. I’ve had season tickets for four years, and before that my father and I had partial season-tickets. It amounted to absolutely no support, even though they espouse a “no tolerance policy” for profane, sexist, racist, or otherwise abusive remarks.

Guess that doesn’t cover scumbag atheists, huh? Good to know where we stand. This happened around 9:00 pm, I sent an email to the fan relations person at the ValleyCats around 12:30 am, and I’m typing this at 4:00 am. I’m still perturbed by the experience, so I’m going to try and close with a few funny observations.

  1. She kept calling us rude and disrespectful. I guess harassing the living shit out of two other people isn’t rude?
  2. She repeated the, “You can’t fix stupid” line at least fifteen times. Apparently we’re incredibly stupid and beyond repair, but she can’t formulate more than one phrase to keep repeating.
  3. Sitting through GBA is offensive. (How offensive is it?) So offensive that the only suitable punishments are dropping dead or leaving the country.
    1. Whether she likes it or not, the troops are fighting for me and my sister too. It’s the first fucking amendment to the Constitution. Amazing how dudes in the 1700s knew this was going to be a problem and wanted to protect us from it, isn’t it?
  4. My sister and I have matured greatly over the last two years. The remarkable level of restraint we exhibited would have been unprecedented to our younger selves.
  5. I’m leery of another altercation tomorrow. We both have season tickets, so I’m fully expecting a remark shortly before, during, or after the anthem about me rising for that.
  6. The season’s almost over. This cunt has been riding the umpires about every single call she didn’t agree with all season long. We’ve drowned her out with cheering, and never confronted her about how obnoxious she is. With two regular season games left, it finally boiled over. Awesome.

The real tragedy in all of this is that I want to avoid her now. In her mind, that’s saying she’s right and I’m hiding like a dog that just ate cat shit and spilled litter all over the floor.  I was already experiencing consternation regarding the renewal my season tickets before this, and the way I was treated tonight is really pushing me over the edge on skipping out on them next year.

I’ve tried to have a “live and let be” mindset, where you do your thing, and I’ll do mine. People like this make it really fucking hard to not engage with that militant atheist urge.

Fucking hell, man. Seriously. Fucking hell.

Happy (almost) Independence Day!

I-want-you-header

While it’s nicely said in this whimsical cartoon, I much prefer the somber, stern tone the Newsroom took with the statistics.

So well done, wasn’t it? As eluded to in the clip, there’s a large amount of people that blindly think we’re the best at everything. Convincing them that there’s problems that need addressing is difficult, because they’re focused on the wrong, trivial things…

I’m not an isolationist, and I believe that there are times where intervention around the world is necessary. I just feel that it would be nice to turn our focus — along with the trillions of dollars invested in failed democratization — stateside for a while. Let’s invest in infrastructure: better sources of energy, modernizing and future-proofing our cables and distribution networks, high-speed mass transit, healthcare, education…

It’s hard, but it’s important to tackle this shit and get it under control. Being blissfully ignorant isn’t good enough. I don’t have all the answers, but I don’t see how maintaining the current course of action is sustainable as the rest of the world advances.

Finished up my Start Icons!

I’ve previously blogged about my progress with icons for my start menu, and I’m happy to report that I’ve wrapped them up now!

Custom Olby Tiles for Windows 8.1

 

I’m really in love with how this came together. I’m a little torn on the folder icons in the common destinations column, but they work decently enough. I toyed with icons on the tiles, but they didn’t feel right.

What’s weird now is that I kind of like the icons. HRM. Maybe I’m not done after all.

Olby Tiles

Here’s the finished up miscellaneous shit column icons:

asdf

From top left, to bottom right: CMDer, Font Expert, Internet Explorer, IIS Manager, MediaMonkey, HexChat, Beyond Compare, Navicat Premium, Image Import dialog

Mike Shinoda, wake the fuck up.

Linkin Park

I know the thresholds of heavy, I’ve heard Meshuggah. I’m not under the impression that we’ve made the heaviest album of all time. But I do know that what’s going on out there in rock music, is that rock music, even the most popular bands, is not really influencing the zeitgeist. It’s not moving the needle of pop culture. I don’t want rock to be pop. I do want it to be exciting.
– Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park on today’s groups

Oh, what’s that?

“In the End” is Linkin Park’s highest charting single in the US, debuting at #78 and peaking at number 2 on the Hot 100 in March 2002 and being kept off the top spot by “Ain’t It Funny” by Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule. It left the Hot 100 after 38 weeks.
– Wikipedia, in Rebuttal

Other Linkin Park Songs to Chart on the Hot 100
  • A Light that Never Comes
  • Bleed it Out
  • Breaking the Habit
  • Burn it Down
  • Crawling
  • Faint
  • Given Up
  • Iridescent
  • Leave Out All the Rest
  • Lost in the Echo
  • Lying From You
  • One Step Closer
  • New Divide
  • Shadow of the Day
  • Somewhere I Belong
  • The Catalyst
  • Waiting for the End
  • What I’ve Done

Yeah, it’d be a shame if “hard rock” was ever on a pop chart, right, dude? I guess you’re different because you throw around words like “zeitgeist” and expect people to be impressed. You’re the exception because you really defined the “hard rock crossover” niche, right?

Don’t worry, I’ll concede and give you full credit. Your band definitely “[moved] the needle” by creating a completely cookie-cutter genre of radio-friendly rock music that has yet to change. Two and a half minutes of melodic open chords and mellow verses,  choruses with repeated hooks, “heavy” bridges with angry yelling, and fading outros of resolution and compromise.

You’re the reason that a talented, interesting band like Mudvayne totally changed their style. Instead of staying unique, they disbanded and some of them went on to create Hellyeah, the epitome of your brand of radio-friendly rock. I guess you can take credit for Nickelback too.

Sincerely, I thank you for your influence on music.

I see it a lot, and I’m sure I’ve done it and will do it again in my life time. That thing where you bitch about something that you do. Oh, you hate loud and obnoxious people that try to garner every ounce of attention in the group? Guess what, you are that person to the rest of us! Congratulations.

Maybe it’s just that we’re all that unaware of ourselves that we think the things we do aren’t the same as the shit everyone else does. Perhaps we’re prone to really despise the things we do, because we’re selfish creatures and we want to feel unique. We have to rise up and protect our personality traits, as flawed they may be, lest we blend in with everyone else.

Whatever it is at the root of these harsh judgments — like the one I’m presently typing — the most important thing is that this guy is a douche, his band is fucking terrible, and I’m tired and grumpy. Throw that into a blender and I bitch about something no one in their right mind should ever care about, let alone write 750 words about.

IN THE ENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND IT DOESN’T REALLY MAAAAATTTTTTTTTTEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Fuck that song. Seriously. You know how much you hate All of Me right now? Or E.T. last summer, or Girl on Fire the summer before that? Back when that stupid shithead song came out, it was that song. You couldn’t escape it, and it was worse every time it hit your ears. Now, typing this fucking post, the damned song is stuck in my head. I’m sure the assholes in Gitmo used this song during the sleep deprivation torture they did to the captives. I know I’d tell them whatever they wanted to hear to get them to turn it off inside my own head right now.

Oh, just one last thing. Why do you want to name drop Meshuggah as a heavy band? Because you heard the name on the Osbourne’s reality TV show and thought it was super edgy when Jack was blaring Soul Burn out the window? Oh man, you’re so #br00t4l. If you’re trying to convince me that you know anything about heavy metal, because you can write songs that chart well on pop and alt-rock stations, be advised that you’re failing miserably in that respect.

The actual last thing I’d like to point out is how awesome you guys are live. You know, when you have guitarists backstage playing for you, while you run around and pretend to play? You’re top notch artists.

Motivation and the lack thereof.

My great buddy Jerry just posted a “confessional” about losing his motivation and how he was defeating himself.

I chronicled my weight loss progress a while back, and I’ve mostly been stagnant since then. I haven’t cracked the 270 plateau, and it’s because of a few different things:

  1. I’ve always loved “summer food” — hot dogs, burgers, fries, onion rings — and I am consuming this shit food in my old habit of eating more than I should. Where one or two dogs would be more than enough, I’m going for three or four. I need to corral this.
  2. Along with eating too much summer food, I’ve gotten away from my grilled chicken, and white fish meals. Those were doing wonders for my progress.
  3. My working out has slowed a little. With the increase of my stamina, I’ve shortened my treadmill workouts to half an hour. I’m covering the same amount of virtual ground, in less time. I do this mix of walking on various inclines and jogging three days a week, and intersperse dumbbell workouts on my arms/shoulders on the off days.

    I need to experiment with more cardiovascular exercise. I think the big hang up is that I’m still fat, and my shins are really taking a beating from the impact of my fat ass jogging on them. The day off in between doing the jogs really helps with my recovery. What a conundrum.

I’ve been too comfortable with the progress I have made, and I haven’t really striven for more. Like Jerry, I’ve sunk into the rut of not controlling my food intake. I just figure, “whatever, it’s not that bad, and I’ve already done worse today,” and it spirals out of control.

I need to focus more than ever, because I’ll be going to a lot of baseball games soon. The ease of the junk food there, and sitting around for three hours a night are really going to put a damper on my plans.

Being a fat guy for as long as I’ve been one, I completely understand how easy it is to just be complacent. It’s extremely difficult countering a life time of stomach-muscle-memory. “Fuck it, we’ll start over tomorrow,” I say as I grab a box of Triscuits to munch on. “We’ll just jog a little longer later,” as I eat half of the box…

Yeah, I do the crazy Venom thing, were I call myself “we” in my head. No idea why, maybe it’s because of Venom. It’s time to zero in on my behavior and get back to work.