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(
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    downhill struggle (or, in other words, why I hate Qwest)  echo $newRAM;
    added Fri May 30 2003 at 3:29 PM
    0 comments
    Flagstaff has this weird obsession with hills. Especially the more wealthy people in Flagstaff. They drive up a huge hill at a 15% grade and then up a huge driveway at about a 25-35% grade (yes, Dad, 75% of all statistics are made up on the spot) to get to their inordanently huge dwelling. Why? So that in winter, they can't get in because of the snow and ice, and in summer it's a struggle just to take a walk around the neighborhood. Actually, it's probably because Flagstaff is a hippy- and reformed hippy- commune. They all just LOVE their trees, and the trees are most plentiful on the hills.

    And here am I... trying to deliver phonebooks to these morons living on the side of the mountain. If I go uphill, then I'm pulling a stack of phonebooks up a huge hill: very tiring, not very fast. If I go downhill, I'm forced to fight progress by weaving back and forth and even turning around to go back up the hill to keep myself from going too fast. If I go too fast, two things happen. First, I miss the houses I'm supposed to be delivering to. Second, I hit a rut in the road and watch my life flash before my eyes before the sweet call of death beckons me home. To make it worse, you never know which will happen first.

    And the hillier it gets, the further the houses are apart. I get paid (at least I think I get paid: I've yet to actually receive any money) based on the number of houses I deliver to, which doesn't take into account that I can deliver 20 houses on a flat street in the time it takes to deliver 4 houses on a hilly street. As luck would have it, I delivered to the flat streets first... and I got a few hundred done in a few hours. Not bad time. But then I realize that I have some *huge* hills to battle... about 50 houses in that same few hours.

    Needless to say, I'm not getting another route, for many reasons. Even if I didn't have two other jobs now, it's simply not worth the sweat, headaches, and potential broken necks to get the piddly amount of money they're paying me.

    Show the flag  echo $newRAM;
    added Fri May 30 2003 at 3:35 PM
    0 comments
    I happened to see the owner of the house standing in his backyard, so I notified him that his flag was laying on his driveway. I figured that the wind must've taken it down from it's perch. I expected that he would be surprised and come to the front of the house to fix the problem, but he casually said something to the effect of "Thanks for telling me, but I put it there while I was painting the house."

    Hold it. Rewind.

    He said he put the flag there on the ground... It was all I could do to refrain from taking the flag with me, and find it a good place to be on display, or dispose of it properly. Instead, I wrapped it around the pole and set it on the wall lining the driveway. I noticed as I did so that there were several sap marks on it, possibly from lying under a pine tree. It definitely gave me the feeling that he didn't care about how he displayed the flag, as long as he could proudly wave it in front of his neighbors, as if that made him a better citizen.

    Bottom line, people: Show the flag respect, or don't show the flag at all.


    Video games could be good for you  echo $newRAM;
    added Fri May 30 2003 at 4:20 PM
    0 comments
    The best part of it is that the game they specifically mention by name in the article (Medal of Honor) is one that I own. At the end of school/beginning of break timeperiod I was playing it all the time. Until I beat it (on the easiest setting, of course, cause I suck at computer games) and didn't wanna start over at the next difficulty level. Great game too, and now I have some evidence for my mom as to how great of a game it really is. She took one look at it and saw that it portrayed me carrying a gun and shooting people and instantly stated she wanted to see no more of it. Part of me has to agree with her, though... it is a bit morbid to actually be shooting people in the game.

    At any rate, it's good to know that my visual skills are being improved on a regular basis. I'd hate to think that all the time I spend playing games on the computer was just wasted for naught.

    And as a compromise, I think mom would be happy to know that I don't spend that much time with the first-person shooters anymore. Not because I'm opposed to them, but because I haven't really been doing any serious "gaming" recently... just the addictive games that come with a standard windows package. Like minesweeper. and Freecell. and pinball... gotta love pinball.