Archive for the 'Travel' Category

21
Oct
09

On my partner’s escape from Azkaban

It has come to my attention that my partner in crime, whom I shall refer to by his nom de guerre as Guy de Maupassant Blanka, triumphantly returned while I was away fishing off the harbors of Tahiti.  A truly harrowing tale it seemed.

But the way he fought off the demons of yesteryear via Googling and Youtube videos was truly an amazing feat.  Despite his apparent victory and return, welcome was not so forgiving as the door to our office was locked when he arrived and I had the key.  To you, Blanka, my friend, I apologize for being a rudimentary dickhead nice person.  I just felt that you were dead for sure and that I had no need to leave the keys under the welcome mat (which I also took with me since I did not feel the need for one.)

If this is any consolation, I have brought with me some paintings by Gauguin which he inexplicably hid underneath the sands of Tahiti.  Can you guess what the painting is of?  Let me just say one word, paint Gauguin.

Your humble writer’s note: Azkaban is not a prison located in the Middle East.  It has no relation to any of current conflicts abroad or domestic.  It is not located in Guantanamo Bay, but rather, a fictional locale masterminded by an uncertain individual of the female orientation from the British Isle.  Uncomma has no relation to the said individual or any individuals of interest with the individual’s intellectual property or properties.  Uncomma was not paid in any way by the individual for any promotional affair relating to the mentioned individual of British citizenship.

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23
Sep
09

A New Player Has Joined the Battle!

*receiving packets*

Tom Huxter?  Are you there?

Call me Blanka.

The Author as a Young Man (image may not be visually accurate)

The Author as a Young Man (image may not be visually accurate)

Those Borneo jungles sure do a number on a guy.  Baroque constructions of mahogany and vines bar the way in every direction.  That darkness, so oppressive you think you can hear it breathing just behind you.

At least leaves are pretty awesome, right?

It’s been 2 months since I entered this primordial labyrinth, and I had nearly given up hope of communication with the outside world.  Late last night, though, I stumbled into a ramshackle encampment, little more than a collection of hammocks strung up beneath the canopy.  Exhausted from hacking my way through the undergrowth and famished from two solid weeks of eating nothing but crunchy and terrifyingly ugly beetles, I collapsed into the soft embrace of an abandoned firepit and was overtaken by the night.

My dreams were strange ones.  I found myself in my childhood, attending a series of Memorial Day barbecues thrown by a series of increasingly unnatural beasts, each serving food more poorly prepared than the last.  When, finally, a subhuman Lizard-man handed me a hamburger that was little more than a cinder between two slices of charcoal, it was the last straw.  I awoke coughing up firepit ashes.

But this choking, dusty cloud brought with it a silver lining.  While still lying prone among the charred logs, I spotted the reassuring wink of a wireless router at the edge of my vision.  I had missed it, concealed as it was beneath the dazzling blues of a stumpy rhododendron at the edge of the clearing.

I can’t tell you what happened to the owner of this network.  All I know is LinksysHelpMeI’mTrappedInTheBorneoJungle is unsecured and working at speeds of up to 3 mb/s.  For now, I’m just going to write for a while and hope the cable company doesn’t notice it’s no longer getting paid for service.

***

Anyways, on to business.  It was fully my intention to help Tom Huxter christen the Uncomma blog.  Really.  In an alternate, better reality it would have been me smashing a bottle of champagne on the hull of the HMS Uncomma before its maiden voyage into the great unknown.  Then again with my luck the maiden voyage would probably have ended up something like this (That is, top heavy and without the weighty ballast of actual ideas).  So maybe it’s ok that here in our dimension I end up being the guy who shows up three hours after the ship has left, and falls into the harbor.  And by the way, where’d this empty champagne bottle come from?

Confession time: I like writing, but I can’t promise I’ll always be readily available to clumsily spill my thoughts all over the Internet; after all, I am on a mission.  This jungle has got to be good for something.

Now, bear with me.  There’s got to be a three-pronged outlet around here somewhere…

***

Next time… I stick my hand into a random grab bag of uninspired topics and complain about whichever one comes out.

26
Aug
09

Phlorida, Paradise, and Paradox

Thus far, we’ve ventured through different regions in the United States, parts of Borneo, and some theatres.  However, we often overlook the finer things in life.  The very fine things that are both unique and paradoxical.  That or something so out of place that the order of the universe begins to collapse on itself.  Such was what I had witnessed and recorded for our readers.  I, your humble observer and slave, have ventured through the jungles of Florida and the bayous of Louisiana to bring you this exclusive.

Chopstick Font

Chopstick Font

This is what I call a “chopstick” font.  It is mainly used in Chinese restaurants although I have seen it used in some Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants.  In a lot of ways, it is a bit racist and patronizing for a font.  Of course, in terms of racism, you cannot beat the swastika font famously used by Hitler.  (It is rumored that the Russian forces decimated the printing presses in Germany during its invasion thus leaving no proof of the said font.)  However, it does seem somewhat fitting to be on a van for a karate school.  Does it not make you want to just go, “Hiiya!?”  Trust me, I do it every time I see the font anywhere.

Now, I thought that this was pretty close to a universal collapse but I was ready to be vaporized once I saw this.

That's right, folks.  Sushi-Thai

That's right, folks. Sushi-Thai

As you can see, I took this photo on my cellphone as I was praying to the gods above.  It is a restaurant chain exclusive to a city in Florida (of which I shall not name,) with a total of three locations.  Despite walking around town rest of the day opened-jawed and drooling uncontrollably, I was fortunate enough to recollect the day’s event to report of this near galactic catastrophe.  Of course, as we all know, the word sushi means fish in Japanese and the word Thai comes from Mue-Thai, a form of martial arts from Thailand.  To combine the two and serving Thai cuisine with Japanese sushi, sashimi, and rolls, I was on the verge of spontaneous combustion.  The clash of cultures in my mind was so great and vast that I blanked out.  When I came to, I was eating Red Curry with Beef with an order of Sushi Combination.  My palates felt as if it was tasting a nuclear blast at ground zero.  I could no longer function as a human being.

Looking back at the near calamity and how I came to when I returned home, I felt dizzy again only to wake up while typing this article.  Everything I type from here on, I do with the clarity of a bull.  Red bull, that is.

In our world, there exist many paradoxes but most likely they will not trigger a collision of paradoxical forces so great as to destroy the universe.  However, I would like to emphasize the importance and the need to be vigilant over such matters.  Our universe is precious and we should protect it with our lives along with the aid of the Department of Homeland Securities.  Times like this, if only we could have Dick Cheney to fight by our side…

17
Aug
09

Fear and Loathing in Florida, the Uncomma version

Thunderstorms, lightning, mosquitoes, and alligators.  Four things that make up Florida.  They are like the four essential elements of matter, the four biles of human something or another.  Anything in the state of Florida is made up of one of those four things.  For instance, gator meat obviously comes from alligators.  The summer rains are part thunderstorms and part lightning.  Florida Highway Patrol is made up of lightning, mosquitoes, and a bit of alligator.

Now, some Florida natives might complain to me and say, “Hey, what about rain?!”  To which, I answer, “You dumbnut, rain is the conglomeration of all that is Florida.  Thus, rain is made up of all of the four Floridian elements,  thunderstorms, lightning, mosquitoes, and alligators.”  The answer is all there, folks.  Just combine the four elements and you too can create your very own state of Florida.

Back when I were living in California, I started to miss rain.  It would only rain in the winters in California and relatively speaking, not much.  I shed a tear of joy the other week while watching the forecast for the following week.  “Scattered thunderstorms and afternoon showers” was listed for every single day for the entire week.  I thought to myself that this had to be a fluke.  No, sir.  It is not a fluke.  Ever since I have arrived in Florida, the gods have greeted me with consistently violent thunderstorms and downpours that would knock the socks off of a heavily socked individual.  I was in heaven.

In my belated ecstacy, I attempted to photograph the awesome phenomenom.  I would have proof, however, the electricity goes out once or twice a day as well.  And since, I tend to attempt transfer of my photos during blackouts, I fail at posting a related photo to this particular posting.  But to satiate our viewers and readers, I shall do my best and prevent further blackouts as is my wont.

08
Aug
09

End of -Endless Eight, Journey to the East, and Nicotine rages-

This week in the world, there were many MANY harrowing events, some worthy of note, most, not.

T'is the night.

T'is the night.

Endless Eight is finally officially unofficially apparently over.  I have actually witnessed what appeared to be the actual end to the Endless Eight story arc in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.)  Astoundingly, I have simultaneously concluded my trip to the Eastern seaboard, cured some unknown disease, and possibly eradicated crime and famine.  Moreover, with such high hopes flying all over anime fandom around the world, it also might be a sign of change.

The economy will soon recover, more jobs will be created, health care will be provded, and fansubs will officially be sanctioned.  We are at that pivotal moment whence vision is met with irony and reality.  Missiles will fly and governments will be tested.  Sirens will scream and sailors will be swallowed whole into the sea.

Nicotine should be an illegal substance.  It is strong when ingested and it makes you go crazy when it is intentionally avoided.  “Nuff Said”

03
Aug
09

Congress created Dust Bowl, aliens, and Ozona

According to signs posted on I-5 between northern and southern California, Congress created the Dust Bowl.  In my limited imagination, I pictured Congress passing some legislation to shove five extra pages into the American history textbooks for the sake of one or two extra questions on the American History AP exam.  How dreadful…

Congress created DUST BOWL

Congress created DUST BOWL

However, off I went, after hearing the dreadful news of Congress creating a phenomenon only to make students suffer, there I was driving on I-10.  I-10 is the other lateral spine of America, the other one being I-80, methinks.  So, apparently Phoenix, Arizona happens to be on I-10 forcing myself to inevitably discover, or rather confirm, the existence of the ubiquitous university of choice, the University of Phoenix.  Here I was face to face with what I thought only existed on banner ads and television commercials.  The University actually exists IN PHOENIX of all places.  I was shocked beyond belief.  All of a sudden, an epiphany hit me like a ton of bricks, now the Dust Bowl seemed all too real.

University of Phoenix IN PHOENIX!

University of Phoenix IN PHOENIX!

Due to the rapture I had suffered, I had the brilliant idea of driving up to Roswell from I-5.  It meant I would be driving up north for about 250 miles on a state highway.  Of course, my brilliance had calculated the distance to be approximately 100 miles.  Upon driving for 100 miles, I realized that I had miscalculated.  I was still 100 miles from my destination.  Following a random screening by border agents whereupon I was to confirm that I was not an alien of any sort, I headed to Roswell; to see aliens, of course.

To the left is an unknown being wearing what appears to be a brown t-shirt and jeans.

To the left is an unknown being wearing what appears to be a brown t-shirt and jeans.

My short stay at Roswell was by far the most disappointing event of my life.  Even when compared to the fallout from the hottest chick ever to walk the face of the earth.  This was worse.  I expected to witness aliens dropping down from a mothership all over the city and flying saucers built into every building.  But what I was faced with was utter boredom.  A total of one block with spacy-themed stores.  I entered the lone alien museum that was situated there.  For a cover charge of $5, I expected to witness some sort of alien orgy.  Instead I was greeted with cubicle walls of enlarged photocopies of newspaper articles and pictures that were already ingrained in my brain from all the History Channel’s alien-related shows.  I was there, used the restroom, then left.  I think I cried a little too…

Now I’m in Texas.  A place called Ozona.  I think they got their name from the fact that it smells suspiciously of ozone.  Maybe this is the place where Congress created ozones.  Perhaps you’ll be seeing a sign on I-5 in the near future that says “Congress created ozone.”

Texas used to be a country.

Texas used to be a country.

Stay tuned for another episode of the ever-exciting adventure of Tom in Vunterland.

Oh yeah…

Also:

Biggest Pistachio I've ever seen.  Unfortunately the photo was taken from the side but the shell is ajar on the side revealing the green yumyum part.

The biggest Pistachio I've ever seen. Unfortunately the photo was taken from the side but the shell is ajar on the other side revealing the green yum yum part.

Of course, giant pistachio would only mean...

Of course, a giant pistachio would only mean...

31
Jul
09

See you next time, SF Bay area…

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

I am leaving for Florida today.

It is always sad to bid farewell but I feel that this must be done.

Although this place has never been like the Alcatraz as pictured, but getting myself to finally leave has been a very difficult process.

I hope to return soon.

See you on the road.