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crazy snowmen

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Saugus and PKS Associates can get hit by a bus

I moved out of Saugus, and Massachusetts in mid February. When I moved out, I also sold my car. I told the post office I moved, and I cancelled my registration with the RMV

Then Saugus decides I still live there, and send me an excise tax bill on a car I don’t own, from a town I don’t live in for $86.

Since I am lazy about everything, I put it off a bit, then eventually sent a letter to Saugus saying I don’t live there and to go screw. Meanwhile I get a letter from some place called PKS Associates. They claim to be the Deputy Collector of Taxes, and they sent me a little pink piece of paper with the word DEMAND in big letters at the top. Since pink paper is real expensive, they also charged me an extra $5.00, on top of the $86 I owe on a car I don’t own.

Meanwhile Saugus sends me a letter saying they want all kinds of proof I moved, so I send them every bill I had, and they eventually mail me back with some tax abatement thing. They did me the kind favor of lowering the tax I owe to only $22.00, but since Saugus can’t afford computers or typewriters, hand written on a piece of paper was a note saying “you still owe other fees, talk to the tax collector” and they enclosed directions in maybe size 40 font saying how to get to the Deputy Tax Collector from Saugus. Apparantly Saugus doesn’t have phones either. Maybe with my $22.00 they can buy one of those new fangled cordless phones.

Then, shortly after that, I get a yellow piece of paper from PKS Associates. This one says “WARRANT” in big bold letters. Yellow pieces of paper cost more that pink ones, and they charged me $10.00, and the writing on the piece of paper costs $12.00.

So I wrote a letter telling them to screw, but never sent it to them. Apparantly I really am lazy.

Now over the weekend they sent me a big piece of paper. It was a full 8.5×11 page! this one was a nice greenish blue, and it was hand delivered to my parents house (where I don’t live) yet again. This one says “FINAL WARRANT” and they threatened me saying that if I don’t send them $133.45, they are going to break my legs, and tell the registry not let me renew my license or renew my car registration. You know, on the car I don’t own, and on the license in the state I don’t live in.

I called them today, and some nice spanish speaking american tried telling me that the service charges are “state law” and there is no way he can reverse them, even though they had incorrect records, and also that Saugus spent over a month refusing to accept the fact that I moved away, or even that the car doesn’t exist. I asked him to tell me where in the Massachusetts law it says he can’t reverse the service charges, and he puts me on hold for a minute, then comes back and says “50″ thats it. Just the number 50. I tell him that isn’t the law, there has to be another number, he puts me on hold, comes back and says “oh sorry, it was actually 5,0″ the asshole made it up.

The funny part is that section 50 of Mass. General Law is all about taxes, so I read the whole section, especially the various parts on excise tax yet not once did it say that fine or services charges were required. The only mention even of a fee was for if you don’t pay the final warrant, and how after they submit the fee to the RMV, it will cost me another $20 to reinstate my license.

So I am debating this in my head now:
1) I don’t have a MA license, or a car registered in MA
2) My license is inches away from being suspended anyway. Maybe I should tell them to wait in line.

route 3 surveillance continued

So all the cameras and “radar” stations along the highway might actually be just that.

First, off of

I found this:

3. What are the spools of colored tubing being installed in the ground for?
–The spools are the backbone of the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) being installed as part of the Route 3 Project. These cables are fiber optic cables being installed to provide complete surveillance of the highway. They will also be linked to message boards on the highway, similar to the ones seen on Route 128.

Last week, while driving home from work (and to work the next day), I used my handy little GPS receiver and marked the locations of all the towers. It’s not like I had anything better to do while driving.

Here is a little map. Click on it to get the full size version:
Route 3 Cameras and Radar

I couldn’t zoom in any closer or the map would be massive.

I just find this interesting

Big brother is watching

For some reason over the last couple days I have started paying attention to the sides of the road on Route 3. And I noticed a strange object mounted on one of the telephone polls, so yesterday on the way home from work, I decided to really look around, and low behold, It seems like at a fairly evenly spaced interval there is what appears to be a radar gun, and what appears to be a 360 degree security camera going along the entire span of route 3 from I-95 to exit 1 in New Hampshire. I plan on using my GPS to make a map of where they all are, but the odd thing is that the radar guns arn’t on. My radar detector has not once gone off while passing one of them (I probably passed 20 of them) and they are also on both sides of the highway.

Look for yourself. Click on the image to see it blown up to full size.

The radar gun:
Radar gun on Rt 3

The Security Camera:
Security Camera on Rt 3

I am wondering if the state is planning a massive automated speed trap system. If so, that would
suck monsterous monkey balls.

Or….maybe I am just paranoid

mo’ money mo’ problems

So tonight Aimee and I are supposed to meet up with John/Janelle/Cheryl and the gang to see her brothers band play.

The show is at the Paradise Rock Club in boston. Alchemilla plays at 9:30, and it will be a nice change of pace.

What is really said is my whole new “outlook” on money. I must say that it has changed drastically for the better over the last couple months, but it continues to amaze me how easily I can waste money.

For example, just today I was in walgreens waiting for the assholes at the pharmacy counter to stop downing oxycontin long enough to fill my prescription, and every aisle I went down had some stupid worthless piece of crap that I would pick up….look at, seriously consider buying…to the point where I would even walk around with it, then come to my senses and put it back.

Those late night infomercials were made for impulsive people like myself. I can’t even count the number of times I was watched Ron Popeil dazzle me with his rotissery cooker, or that guy/lady that sell the vacuum sealed storage bags. I still want that package, I could condense everything in my bedroom down into like a 3 foot pile. Infomercials are like some kind of drug fix, I actually think they might hide subliminal messages in them, because when you first come accross one, your like eh…this isn’t too interesting, then all of a sudden, its an hour later and your still watching.

I can’t help but look back at some of the past purchases I have made, and wonder how much differant things would be if I just wasnt such a dumbass.

I get upset for a couple minutes almost every day when I get home and remember I have a room full of drums that I have now managed to touch a total of 2 times since I moved. 2 times! at one point I was practicing for hours every day. You couldn’t even get a hold of me until 7:30pm or so on a friday because of my drum lessons. I can only wonder how things are going to be after I finally pass the real estate exam, which better be on May 5th, because them I am going to have to work my ass off to prove I can do this. Due to the stupid rules, I am probably going to start being a sales agent at least $1,000 in the hole, but I think there is a good chance I can get this to work.

It’s just really wierd trying to go from a “i am going to blow every penny I make as soon as possible” mentality to trying to save every penny I make.

damn I am a tool

the real estate exam

As I may have mentioned in previous posts, I decided I want to try selling real estate part time.

I signed up and took the class, finished it, then had to make up a class because the teacher was a tool.

This brings me to my big rant of the day. It seems more often than not teachers have little interest in their job. They are not passionate about it, and because of that they essentially fail as teachers. I am not saying all teachers suck, in fact during the class I made up, the teacher for that one I thought did an excellant job.

So in this real estate class example, I paid $180 to take a mandatory real estate course. You need to take the course to take the exam, and the course is supposed to teach you everything you need to know in order to pass. Now, part of that $180 fee is the cost of the book they give you. The teacher that taught the class was depending mostly on you going home and reading/learning on your own.

Does that seem to make much sense? If I wanted to just read the whole thing at my house, why take the class? The teacher droned on for house each twice a week just rattling off vocabulary words verbatim from the book.

That is not teaching. Why take the job of being a teacher if you don’t actually want to do it? On top of that, he cared so little about the course, that he didn’t even bother to read the syllabus that everyone got at the beginning of the class. It clearly said that if Salem State cancels its classes due to inclement weather, so do they.

So one day it snows, Salem State cancels class, and I don’t go to this class. About half the class did, the half that did where the teacher, and a bunch of foreigners that hadnt read the syllabus. In fact, they were the ones that thought that “6-10″ meant that the class started at 6:10 instead of what it really means, that the class runs from 6 to 10.

You need to attend each class to get the certificate to take the test, so I had to make up the one I “missed”. Since it was the 6th out of 7 classes, I had to make up the 6th class of the next course when it started 2 weeks later.

Now this is where this guys lack of teaching skills and irresponsibility came into full affect. I wanted to take the test as soon as I possibily could. This way all the useless crap they make you learn is fresh in my brain. So now, I can’t take the test until I make up the class. The next course starts 2 weeks after mine finished, and then the class I had to make up was 3 weeks after that (2 classes a week). The almost 5 weeks go by, I go to make up the class, and some other dude was running the show this time. I actually learned stuff in that class because he actually cared about his job. The next day I get my stupid certificate, and I call the testing center to schedule an appointment to take the test, which I wanted to take on the coming saturday (it was wednesday). They had no openings until 2 weeks later, on a wednesday. So now, I am up to being forced to wait a total of 7 weeks to take the test.

So for the next 2 weeks off and on I study parts of the book, and then 2 days before the test date I study like crazy. I get all stressed out because I feel like I forgot so much, and then go to take the test.

Now as for the test, its a total of 120 questions.
80 are “general questions”
40 are “state specific questions”

Each section is graded seperately, so if you fail one, you only have to retake one section.

I made the mistake of dedicating the majority of my time to studying the general section, since it covers a vastly larger amount of information, when I really should have problem split up my time better, especially since the shithead that taught the course I took barely covered the state specific stuff.

You get 4 hours to take the test, its all computerized, and I finished maybe 2 hourse in. I pass the general section without much of a problem, and then fail the state section by ONE QUESTION.

Thats right….just one.

Now I get to takethat shitfest again. At least its only 40 question and should be a lot easier to remember now.

What really sucks is that obviously after I pass it, its going to take some time to find a broker I want to work for (and wants me to work for them)..get situated, trained, and maybe actually sell something. I was really counting on getting this started because I could really use the extra money.

Sure I could have studied more, but I still think I would have been in a better position of the “teacher” running the course actually liked his job, instead he bitched about politics and other things that were completely irrelevant to the course.

2 tons of muscle, pride, and accomplishment…or failure

I have been tossing back and forth in my head the idea of selling my truck the past couple months. Its a really tough decision in my mind, and I am not quite sure what I should actually do.

I can’t help but think of the episode of Home Improvement (yes I used to watch that show all the time) where Tim and the oldest son…the one with the mullet had finally finished the roadster they had spent years working on, and Tim made the mistake of selling it to Jay Leno. If you never saw that episode, the you wont understand what i am talking about.

In any event, this is my thinking:

Why sell it?
1) I am really trying to finally put myself in a better financial position in my life. I am real sick of oweing the Devlin Mafia money, and this could potentially help pay a decent sized chunk
2) I never have time to work on it anymore. Forget about the fact that it is cold and/or raining all the time, lately I havent even had time to watch TV.
3) Every time I see the truck I get stressed out at the fact I cant work on it
4) I have no garage….hence my working conditions suck

Why not sell it?
1) I have put a good 4 years hundreds if not thousands of hours into that truck.
2) Finishing the truck represents a huge accomplishment in my life.
3) Not finishing it represents a huge failure. It would prove many people right that I have tried very hard over the past 6 years or so to prove wrong about many things. It would be yet another thing that I started and never finished.
4) Money. I will never get back what I put into that truck. I didn’t keep track of how much I spent on it because in the end I knew I really wouldn’t want to know, but it is at least $15,000, maybe even $20,000.

What that number means represents the massive battle I have had…well made myself fight against my family and most of the world. What you think of that money invested in the truck directly reflects on what type of person you are, and how differant most likely we are from each other. Very few understand.

I decided to make a little pictoral story of the truck. If I decide to sell it, it might help me get somewhat of a better selling price, but at the very least maybe it will help some understand why people work get into projects like this.

Just ring it up damnit!

For some reason, the pissier the mood I am in, the more I feel like writing, so looks like the posts are coming back…. woohoo.

So last night I started coming down with something. I got home at 11:00 and almost passed out immediately. I slept for 9 hours, which is unheard of for me. Anyway, basically I had a monster of a sore through, it felt like I got run over by a truck, and I could feel a cough coming on, so I decided in the morning, I would attack this thing full bore.

Between my crazy vitamins, a constant supply of orange juice, and some medication. I figure I can kill this thing in record time.

So I go into walgreens. I can barely talk, because my throat disagreed with the whole being useful idea, and I pick up some items:
1) a 10 pack of those little minature kleenex packs
2) Delsym Cough Syrup
3) Alka-Seltzer Nose & Throat & Cold medicine
4) Halls Plus Cough Drops
5) Ludens Sore Throat drops
6) Muscle and Fitness Magazine

Now first, as for the magazine, I am supposed to have a subscription for it, but I have yet to receive my first issue, so I bought it. In any event, I get to the register, and the weird dude working the register says:

Dude: And how are you doing today?
Me: I could be better (what I felt like saying was look at the pile of shit I just bought? chances are I am not in the mood to talk)
Dude: (looking at magazine) Imagine looking like one of these guys? (then does a mock flex with his arms)
Me: yeah, it must be weird
Dude: I don’t think I would want to look that big, maybe just a little toned
Me: yeah, I know what you mean

I just want to leave!!!!!!!!!

Whenever I get any weightlifting/fitness related magazines, either from walgreens or Barnes & Noble, they have to make comments about them. Why not just ring it up and let me leave? I’ll tell you what, the first time I come to the counter and say to the cashier, hey, how are you doing? how do you like working here? it must be fun. and carry on a conversation, then they can comment on what I buy.

yes I am cranky

make sense of it the way you want to

An’ you got to be a good guy Jesse. You gotta be like John Wayne: you don’t take no shit off fools,an’ you judge a person by what’s in ‘em, not how they look. An’ you do the right thing. You gotta be one of the good guys, son: ’cause there’s way too many of the bad.”

This is from one of the best books I have ever read. Actually it was the only “graphic novel” I ever read, and it really sticks out in my head right now.

After an “odd night”, a thought slammed into my brain like the butt of a pistol being whipped across my face. During christmas, when I was trying to think of what to get my sister alissa, I asked her what DVDs she wanted, and after getting a worthless answer, I asked her if she liked Sex and the City. She said no, she never really got into the show, “but I think it is because I couldnt relate to anyone in it” Then, right after I remembered that, I thought of something John said on the way to our awesome ski trip, which I just realized I never wrote about. That might come tomorrow. Anyway, he said something along the lines of “I think the reason Seinfeld was so popular and awesome, was because the writers would pick things that basically everyone could relate to.” It was just a show about stupid shit that everyone deals with in life, only in an exaggerated form. It didn’t hit me until now how true that is. Up until now I never could understand how someone could possibly not like any of the Rocky/Rambo movies. I love those movies, I think they are masterpieces of modern art, and I would have the same response if I went to MassArt, or any other school for that matter.

Rocky had to fight everyone in life. He wasn’t smart, and noone believed in him. His wife barely even did. He was given an opportunity, and he fought for it, just like he had to fight his way through life. He wasn’t supposed to win, he was barely even supposed to put up a fight, but like they said in movie, he had heart. he had the “eye of the tiger”. He did what he believed was right, and he went after it with his arms swinging.

Is there really a better life lesson than that?

I now know why I love that movie, and why many others don’t.

Although it goes against all logic, or at least as far as I am capable of understanding, everything in life happens for a reason. Everything in life seems so chaotic and such a mess, but then all of a sudden the hurricane ends, all is calm again, and everything clicks back into place.

And when it does, that is when you are ready to understand, and that is when you are ready to accept the hand of cards life dealt you….and throw down.

What am I talking about?

1. That crappy scene in American Beauty:
“It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that’s the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and… this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember… and I need to remember… Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.”

2. Shawshank Redemption
“salvation lies within”

3. Thomas Edison
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

4. Gladiator
“there is always someone left to fight”

5. Good Will Hunting
Sean : My dad used to make us walk down to the park and collect the sticks he was going to beat us with. Actually the worst of the beatings were between me and my brother. We would practice on each other, trying to find sticks that would break.
Will : He used to just put a belt, a stick, and a wrench on the kitchen table and say, “Choose.”
Sean : Gotta go with the belt, there.
Will : I used to go with the wrench.
Sean : The wrench, why?
Will : ‘Cause fuck him, that’s why.

6. Sepultura

Cut Throat
Telling Lies Right Into Your Face
Grab Your Soul And Make A Disgrace
Make You Believe You’re Bigger Than Life
No One Cares If You’ll Live Or Die

Waiting For The Moment To Strike
To Take Possession To Take Your Heart
Turn Your Part Into A Farse
Without Respect, Without Regret

Cut-Throat – Cut-Throat
Cut-Throat – Cut-Throat

You Promess This And Promise All
Deep Inside Nothing At All
In A War Of Filth And Greed
We Don’t Need None Of This Shit

All I Say That Will Survive
We Know What’s True, We Know What’s Right
We’re Going Through This Till The End
And I Know You’re Not My Friend

Cut-Throat – Cut-Throat
Cut-Throat – Cut-Throat
Fuck !

To Give In – No Fucking Way
To Give In – No Way

So Don’t Tell Us It Can’t Be Done
Putting Down What You Don’t Know
Money Isn’t Our God
Integrity Will Free Our Soul

Enslavement Pathetic
Ignorant Corporations

Cut-Throat – Cut-Throat
Cut-Throat – Cut-Throat

Born Stubborn
Stubborn From The Start
Obey No One No Matter What ?!

Our Life It's Our RightWhy Don’t You Go Away

We Live Without OrdersWe Live Without RulesTearing Down The WallThat Try To Hold Us In

Born In PainBorn Stubborn

I Got My Tribe It’s My Own RightAnd I Don’t Have To Tell You WhyIt’s Been Like That From The StartAnd You Can’t Break It ApartSepultura In Our HeartsCan’t Take It AwayThese Roots Will Always Remain

Born In PainBorn Stubborn

Stubborn From The StartObey No One No Matter What ?!Our Life It’s Our RightWhy Don’t You Go Away

We Live Without OrdersWe Live Without RulesTearing Down The WallThat Try To Hold Us In

Born In PainBorn Stubborn

I Got My Tribe It’s My Own RightAnd I Don’t Have To Tell You WhyIt’s Been Like That From The StartAnd You Can’t Break It ApartSepultura In Our HeartsCan’t Take It AwayThese Roots Will Always Remain

Born In PainBorn StubbornBorn In PainBorn In Pain

Suffering Life

Make Us Rise

I am who I am. Just like popeye. Am I fighting too much? or am I not fighting enough?

The Boston Pops

So as a fun idea for something to do for christmas, I decided to go to see the Boston Pops christmas concert at symphony hall with Ashley.

Now, I live a simple life, when I go to a concert, its in a small club, it costs like $18 to get in, the bands play obnoxiously loud fast music, and everything in the audience is gross and sweaty and half the time hitting each other. I obviously wasn’t expecting this show at symphony hall to be like that, but I figured if I wore pants and a dress shirt, I would be good to go, but after talking to my mother and sister, both agreed that “semi-formal” means a suit. I wear suits for 2 things. Weddings, and funerals, so I decided this couln’t be true, so I turned to Which found this handy “how to dress” site. Confirming my fears, my mother and sister were right. A suite was to be worn…

Luckily I bought a brand new suit a couple months ago for the last funeral I went to, so, while swearing and bitching about having to wear a suit and probably looking overdressed, I dressed up all spiffy and got ready to go.

But I had a backup plan…

I had it all figured out. If I walk into symphony hall, and everyone isnt dressed in suits, the jacket and tie are being disposed of immediately.

Anyway, we head into boston. Of course, as luck would have it, sturrow drive was backed up a bit from an accident. The stupid people decided instead of pulling over, the middle of the on ramp was an excellant location to exchange papers. Because of their poor decision, I had to spend 2 hours washing blood off of the grill of my car. I get to symphony hall at 7:45 for the 8:00 show we had tickets to. But I forgot about one problem…………parking

All the parking lots were full, and there wasnt a prayer of finding a spot on the street, so I ventured onto huntington ave, and found a garage near northeastern and parked on the roof. We bolted over to symphony hall, and made it in with literally about 2 minutes to spare before they closed the doors, then we could breathe a sigh of relief, because we didn’t look out of place at all, but I was ready to run if it came down to it.

As far as the concert goes…it wasn’t at all what I expected. for starters, I figured it would be rowed seating, or stadium seating or something like that, but instead you got seated at a table, and each table fit four people. I only had 2 tickets, so that meant that we sat with some random people, which in our case was some “adult” couple. The cool thing is that you could order food and drinks. You just marked off on an order card what you wanted, and every once in a while a waitress would take it and bring you food. The people sitting at our table ordered some wine, and I am convinced they were pretty buzzed by the end of the show. So it was a pretty laid back atmosphere, despite what I expected, given my attire.

I have seen the Boston Pops play on the 4th of july at least once, but this was completely differant than what I remembered. They played a good amount of christmas songs/carols, along with a spoken word version of “A Christmas Carol” I would list the rest of the songs, but “someone” still has my program. One thing I was also really suprised about was that the Boston Pops had a drummer, along with a couple precussionists, and my personal favorite..a timpani player. It made me want at least 1 timpani for my drumset all that much more. Too bad they cost so much goddamn money. Also, as an added benefit, all the songs were sung by the Tanglewood Chorus. (there was more to their name, but that is all I remember) The chorus consisted of maybe 50-70 people, and between that and all the instruments in the boston pops, it was an interesting thing to watch.

The one thing that was left on my mind when we left necessary is the conductor? everyone on the stage is reading the same songs sheet music, whats the point of the guy?

In any event, overall it was a real good time, and I got to “play grown-up” for a night.