I write... occasionally

Here's a collection of 643 pieces of nonsense that I've felt the need to journal about over the past 22.63 years.

Why I Might Vote This Year - A Non-Voter's Take

I'm not going to say anything profound in this article. I'm sure all of this stuff has been said, but this time, it's coming from me... and as you probably know, I'm not into politics - at all. I've never followed them, nor have I paid attention to them. In fact, I've always said that, until a presidency is directly affecting my daily life, I have no reason or need to vote. ...I realize that both of those statements can be argued, and they have been... but that has been my reasoning.

Basically, I've chosen to be politically ignorant - and I do not think that misinformed, underinformed, or ignorant people should be voting, whether it's their right or not. I've always trusted that the majority of Americans, who are (hopefully) …

Do I Sue Metallica? Or Do I Sue Harper?

I sorta feel like I could sue someone's pants off Napster style, but obviously I'm not going to try; because I like Harper and I like Metallica.

So let me explain.

I bought the new Metallica CD today - Death Magnetic. And once I got it, I immediately opened the CD up and started flipping through the coffin booklet... which sort of resembles a hairy vagina on the cover, but that's beside the point.

The Metallica - Death Magnetic Cover

There's a die-cut coffin through the entire booklet of album art and with each page, the coffin gets smaller and smaller. All of the pages have fancy, professional photos along with lyrics to the songs. It's really a great booklet. The album art is really well done.

Once you get to the last page - the bottom of the coffin - there's a bright …

How Flickr's GeoTagging Made Me Lose 1/4 of 2008

I love maps. I've always loved maps. I love seeing the places I've been on a map, crossing places off, and planning where I'll go next.

When I was a little kid, my grandma always gave me a calendar/planner from my grandpa's company. It was one of those little yearly pocket calendar things the size of a checkbook, you know. Well every year, I immediately opened it up to the map page (in the back) and highlighted the states I had been to. I did the same with ski resort brochures - highlighting all the trails I'd conquered - wondering when I'd have the courage to highlight those black diamonds.

I really love the perspective that maps give you.

I've also always loved photos. When new people came to my house as a kid, I pulled …

Twenty Seven Years Young

So, most of you know that in our house, we celebrate birthmonths rather than birthdays... and now that my 27th birthday month is officially over, I figured it's safe to go ahead and blog about what's been up.

My actual birthday is August 5th, however this year it officially started June 22, haha. See, if you know my wife, you'll know that she absolutely sucks at keeping secrets and hiding gifts. She gets so damn excited about the gift that you pretty much get it immediately - and if not, she'll ask you every day if you want to open your present.

So, that said, on June 22nd, Kari pulled into the driveway from Target and immediately handed me a Nintendo Wii. Happy (early) birthday! haha.

I'm pretty stoked to finally have a Wii, …

Iowa River Float Number 2

I am an awful blogger. I haven't even talked about having a birthday yet, heh. But first, let's talk about tubing.

Last weekend, Nathan setup our 2nd tubing trip. He set one up for us last year, which was quite a blast. This year we had even more people and it was just as fun - maybe more fun.

Tubing was, of course, chaos. It seemed like there were way more partiers on the river this year. I haven't been to Apple River before, but it seems Rock-n-Row is moving in that direction. I mean, the freakin camp ground employees pulled out a beer bong at noon.

But yeah, during the float we drank this crappy beer we found in town called Beer:30. It came in a 30 pack of course... so we picked up 2, which meant we had Beer:60. So …

Josh's Wedding and Minneapolis

So, Josh's wedding was last weekend and I was fortunate enough to be a part of the ceremony. Jeff, Nathan, and I actually all got to stand in it, which is awesome.

The rehearsal was Thursday evening, so Jeff, Iulia, Nathan, and I drove up that morning - straight to Front Street Bar and Grill in Morgan. We each had a couple beers then went over to the church for the rehearsal. Rehearsal was pretty smooth despite the 18 person bridal party - seriously... 18 people.

Then after rehearsing we stocked up at this liquor store across from the casino called The Ditch. We had never been there before - in fact it was brand new, but as we walked in the owner shouts at Nathan, "Hey, I've seen you on the internet!" Turns out the guy plays …

515 Alive 2008

This event is ridiculous - and not necessarily in a good way. I remember the first year I went - in 03 I was pretty excited about such an "urban" music festival. But at that point, I was a bedroom DJ myself, fresh out of college, and had never been to a real music event like lollapalooza - or even 80/35. I know, bad comparison, but still. I'm comparing success to - not success.

How do you expect an event to be successful if you can't pay any of your acts? You scrape up enough cash to cover the cost of the event and fly in a headliner... but everyone else... how do you expect reputable, good DJs to come out and perform when you can't even throw them $100?

Everything at 515alive this year was unorganized. Did you see a map …

Turbo Hates Women, Jordan Hates Late Dinner

Last weekend my buddy Turbo had a "He-Man Woman Hater" party. When he first told me about it I was like, "huh... cool name, Aaron." I figured he'd made it up, but it turns out it's a real club from The Little Rascals. The He-Man Woman Haters Club was... wait for it... a club of boys that hated girls. You know the "No girls allowed" sign on the treehouse? Yeah.

So basically, it meant that Turbo was having a dude party. Cigars, beer, grilling large cuts of meat, ya know. But he put an amazing twist on it. His invite said, "Aaron got a new humidor. Help him stock it! Bring a cigar for you and one to share." An amazing, amazing idea. You guys can all do this for my upcoming birthday party. ;)

Anyway... Zach, Ninja, and I …

The difference between Kari and Nathan

So last night at 3:00am I woke up, looked over and swore that my buddy Nathan was in my bed. I sat there for 5 minutes - out of it - trying to figure out wtf was going on. Why is Nathan in my bed? Why is Kari not in my bed?

Apparently the back of Kari's head looks sorta like Nathan's when it's dark and 3am. So I sat there, trying to figure this out - sort of realizing that I'm retarded, it's obviously dark, and Nathan is not in my bed.

Finally, I came up with a brilliant idea to solve the mystery once and for all. I grabbed the person in my bed's ass.

It was Kari's ass.

Iowa's New Hockey Team: The Iowa Chops

Are you kidding me? This name RULES. It's hilarious, true to Iowa, and... well it's the IOWA CHOPS, haha. How can you seriously not like that?

I'm already tired of all the groaners. How many times since they announced the name 18 hours ago have I heard "no wonder Iowa has a bad name" and "this doesn't represent Des Moines" or "why not the Iowa Hicks?"

They are called the Iowa Chops, not the Des Moines chops. What does Iowa do well? Farm and educate. We could've been the Iowa Schoolers I guess...

"it's a good name in the tradition of the brewers, packers, pistons, etc," said my friend MH. Great point.

So anyway, I'm obviously stoked.

Ticket prices are cheaper, The logo rules, the name is hilarious, and we're an …

80/35 Music Fest

First of all, if you didn't buy tickets for the 80/35 Music festival, then you missed out on a great fest. And thanks for supporting the local live music scene, assholes. Des Moines' live music scene hasn't been successful because of you.

So now that that's out of the way. 80/35 was excellent for its first year. Des Moines made a huge effort to pull this thing off and it really showed. Thanks a ton to the organizers and everyone who supported it. I can't wait for next year.

The bands I saw...
  • Andrew Bird - Not really my kind of music, but he was pretty good. He seemed to have a lot of fans, which is important.
  • Flatform - A couple local DJ kids. Finally. This scene is creeping into Des Moines. I run with kids/DJs like this when …

The Ultimate Drive (round 2)

So back in 05, Nehru brought me along to the BMW/Susan G. Komen Ultimate Drive, which is a pretty amazing event. You show up and drive decked out BMWs on a ~15 mile route around the city... and they do their best to give you a fun route with varying speeds.

It's a yearly event that travels around the country (so check the website to see when it's in your town) and it's completely free. You just sign up, drive fancy cars, and BMW donates $1 for every mile you drive. It's great.

So this year I was able to go again, which rules because I've been wanting to get into that 135 sooo freaking bad. and that, I did.

First I drove the 135 convertible, then I hopped in the 650 convertible.

The difference was quite interesting. Back …

Father's Day Plus Seven

So since we were in Kansas City during Father's day, we sorta made it up last weekend, which worked out quite nicely with my sister being in town and all.

Friday, we went to my dad's for a family get together/baby worship service. It was a good time and definitely nice to see some friends/relatives. Dad's place is really starting to shape up too.

Saturday, we headed over to Kari's parents house with a pitstop in Sutliff to check out the flood damage. I'd heard the bridge was completely wiped out, but I never saw any photos online... so we had to stop and see how bad it was. Turns out that it's only half gone, which is still sad, but it was nice to see part of it still there. Plus, it was really nice to see that the bar is still …

Nathan's 30th Birthday

Alright, I've got some blogging to catch up on...

Sooo, 3 Fridays ago, Nathan, Josh, Chuck, Nick, Tobbie, Kari, and I all headed down to KC for Nathan's 30th Birthday. ... I guess Ando and Twee came too - but once we got to KC we saw them for about 36 minutes. And if I remember right, Jeff and Iulia may have been there for about 14 minutes as well.

But anyway, once we got into town we shopped around the plaza, had dinner at Tomfooleries, and finished the night partying it up at Blonde and The Falloon. It was a good time; dancing, drinking, running around, saw JJ and Eboni for a minute, and Chuck even met a girl.

Saturday (Nathan's birthday), we just sorta goofed around all day... hot tubbed for a bit in the morning, got lunch …

My iPod Classic Review

So I got an ipod classic a few weeks ago, which is the 4th ipod that I've owned (5th if you count Kari's nano). And even though my first ipod classic went completely corrupt and I had to replace it... I really do love this ipod. The metal front is nice, 160gb rules, and the soft/firmware on it is definitely awesome.

I know it's been reviewed 1,000 times, but I figured I'd talk about some of the features I like/don't like.

Price point. $350 for 160gb isn't bad at all. $250 for the 80gb is really nice. I mean, remember when the 30gig was like $500? ha.

The random album art on the home screens are awesome. However, I wish that you could somehow choose to listen to the album that's on the screen. Too many times a random album …

Josh's Memorial Day Bachelor Party

Bachelor parties with my buddies and I are a little different than what you expect from a normal bachelor party.

We don't really do the whole stripper thing, mainly because strip clubs are sort of played out. I mean, I guess people go to strip clubs on bachelor parties to remind you that there are other naked (and sluttier) bodies out there... and how you can't have those anymore. It sort of fits the bill, but whatever. Strip clubs aren't really a ton of "fun" so... we don't do that.

Instead, we basically just celebrate. We drink more than we should and run around like we own the place. You could say that we just act like college students, but richer.

So anyway, Jeff, Chuck, Nathan, and I headed up to Morgan, MN on Friday to …

Master Kari Brooks

So my wife got her masters and is now officially qualified for the job she's been doing for the past 3 years. ;)

I'm proud of her - even if she doesn't really see it as that big of an accomplishment.

I guess when you love school as much as Kari does - it's no thing. But also - apparently Drake is way easy not as awesome as Cornell College... I don't think she learned a whole lot of new things at Drake, which is a sad thing for a person who loves to learn. I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I mean, we basically just paid a lot of time and money for a piece of paper (which is the only thing that counts, of course).

This could mean that Cornell's education department is amazing. It could also mean that Drake's graduate …

From a Sidekick 3 to a Blackberry Curve

I've been an avid sidekick supporter since I got my Sidekick 2 back on 04. I upgraded to a Sidekick 3 in 06, and I bought my wife a sidekick slide earlier this year... but now, I'm switching.

Why? The Sidekick is just moving way, way too slow. For every new release, Sidekick users were anticipating changes that kept up with the rest of the mobile phone industry, but Danger kept failing to impress. It was always something like, "With this version, you get bluetooth! and... it's shinier!" It was dumb. The sidekick LX was a pretty decent jump though. That screen is super nice... but still, the phone is so locked down.

You could get around the locked downedness and install normal apps by getting a developer license. But most …

Econonic Stimulus and Mothers Day 08

So, I'm not really sure what I think about this economic stimulus package, but I sure as hell accepted it and decided to use it just like the government told me.

When our check came friday, Kari and I decided to do a mini shopping spree.

I upgraded my personal electronics with a 160gb ipod and a blackberry curve. Kari, on the other hand, is buying fancy clothes. It was a lot of fun. I wish we could do this once a month, haha. Next month I'd get a wii and the month after that, I'd get a macbook. ;)

But anyway, mothers day was nice too. We met up with mom, Teresa, Jeff, and Vic in Amana. I'd never really been there, and it's sort of in the middle of all of us, so we decided to check it out. Amana is an interesting little …

Fake Easter, Partying, and Such

I've gotten really, really, really bad at blogging lately. I hope it's not because I've been less awesome and have less to talk about. Hopefully it's just because I'm being so productive on other things... or something.

But I've also been taking way less pictures than normal and I don't really know how I feel about this. I've always been a big advocate for documenting life, but man I am sucking at it lately. ...I need to figure that out.

So yeah, we've been sticking around town a bit more this year, which has been sorta nice. I actually seem to be getting a little more done.

This weekend, my dad was in town, which was a good time. We got to hang out quite a bit, landscape, and party pretty hard.

Friday, Doug hosted a …