Wednesday, December 29

Lutheran High North Sign-Gate Controversy!

If you have driven by Lutheran High School North recently, you may have noticed a new sign planted on the outside of the fence. While I was made aware of this change by an elusive tweeter/former blogger (Aflu4President), I shrugged it off as no big deal. Its a sign, who cares. But apparently this is not the case, as a raging debate has arisen. Two sides of the argument have been born out of this issue, resulting in a dispute that will ultimately tear apart a nation (possibly). Welcome to Lutheran North Sign-Gate 2010-2011.

One side of the argument loves the new sign. They claim it was a needed improvement over the old letter card design that stood outside of the school for years. They like how the brown colored metal matches the brick on the exterior of the building and hails back the early, brown and gold days of the past. The electronic letters allow for easy changes to the message, as well as a scrolling marquee. Also, supporters point out that vandals can no longer create their own “special” messages with the old changeable plastic letters. One would even say the supporters would give the sign two enthusiastic thumbs up.

The other side of the argument vehemently opposes the changes. In fact, they are about to round up the troops and yank it right out its moorings They say that the brown sign does not match the current color scheme of the school (black and gold). LHN changed to their current colors in the mid 1990s. The naysayers say “nay,” and also conclude that this sign would fit in at a time when the student body was tight rolling their pants and rocking mullets, but not today. They also note that the sign’s actual letters are hard to read, as they are reportedly too small and move too fast. Apparently reading paragraphs of information while driving 55 MPH is not an easy task (I can do it). They also point out that some of the letters and even the Mustang logos have fallen off and disappeared into the oblivion of 24 Mile Road. There are also whispers that the money for the sign could be put to better use. Maybe spend a few extra dollars to raise the heat a few degrees? Or pay off a few Cam Newtons to get the Mustangs beyond round two of the football playoffs? Or even buy an updated mascot, replacing Musty, the ridiculous half horse-face, half human-face laughingstock of the Catholic League. But they digress.

So what do you think? Was the sign a needed improvement? Or was it an ugly, tragic waste of funds? Did you even notice the sign? Let your opinion be heard in the poll on the top of the right hand column, or leave a comment detailing your thoughts on this pressing issue.

And speaking of sign-gate controversies, good job Seminole Elementary School, on the use of your electronic sign that has been flashing error messages since November. Great use of my tax dollars.

Thursday, December 16

SwimmersItch Top Albums of 2010

So 2010 was an interesting year for me. For the first time, I really tried to branch out of my musical comfort zone. I began listening to a wider spectrum of music. Yet, when compiling this list I realized that I am still firmly planted in my pop-rock roots that were formed in eighth grade listening Yelllowcard's Ocean Avenue. Yes, I am not afraid to admit that I am still a sucker for a catchy pop-punk song. As much as I want to give new genres of music a chance, I can't place them over the plethora of bands within that familiar power chord family of music. So here is my list of the best albums of 2010, whether you like it or not. Haters gonna hate.

10. Believe ItMercy Mercedes-There is good pop-punk, and then there is sugar coated, auto-tuned, neon crap called bad pop-punk. Mercy Mercedes used to be in that latter category, but this time, they came up with a great overall record, minus the fluffiness. Super catchy hooks, paired with decent song writing and an air of seriousness kept this album in my Zune's rotation. Best Songs: Only You, Ways to Go

9. Dancing with a Ghost, Valencia- Here is another band doing pop-punk right. They apprached it from a serious side, and the result was a solid album, full of meaningful songs with huge hooks. The vocals are great, with emotion dripping from every line. Each song sounded unique, which is rare in this genre. Best Songs: Consider Me Dead, Somewhere I Belong
Black & White
8. Black and White, The Maine. This band reinvented itself, and ignored it's past which focused on lyrics specially made for 14 year-old girls. This time, they came up a with classic rock sound that set it apart from the competition. They had probably the catchiest album of the year, and showed signs of maturity in both lyrics and musicianship. Best Songs: Growing Up, Right Girl

7. My Dinosaur Life, Motion City Soundtrack- I love albums that have significance behind them, and this was the prime example, as lead singer Justin Pierre made Dinosaur Life (a reference to his past) after overcoming a drug addiction. The result is a meaningful album, full of creative lyrics and catchy choruses. The band didn't forget it's roots and still managed to fit in a lighter, goofy side we have come to expect from Motion City. Best Songs: A Little Less Ordinary Life (Need a Little Help), Her Words Destroyed My Planet, Disappear

Thousand Suns6. A Thousand Suns, Linkin Park- Probably the most polarizing album of the year. I happened to love it, and I think they figured out how to be a band in a post nu-metal world. They actually sounded like a conformable rock band, not a band still dwelling in their DJ scratching, rap days of the past. There is a wide variety of songs that help to keep the album fresh, and the vocals are stellar. They clearly tried to push themselves creatively, and managed to pull it off. The only complaint I have is the speeches between the songs. I want music, not political commentary. Best Songs: Waiting for the End, Iridescent, Wretches and Kings

5. What Separates Me from You, A Day to Remember- What once was a br00t@l popcore band took a decidedly mainstream turn with their latest album. The result is a fast paced, hard hitting and passionate album that isn't afraid to mix breakdowns with catchy lyrics. Lead singer Jeremy McKinnon's graveley vocals show surprising range, and is enough for me to tolerate (skip) the screaming and enjoy the rest of the album. Best Songs: Better Off This Way, All Signs Point to Lauderdale

Cardiology4. Cardiology, Good Charlotte- Before this album, I hated what this band had become. They used to sing about their dislike of airy celebrities, then they became celebs themselves. The couldn't seem to recapture the success of the past when they put out their last album, which was total crap. So for this album to impress me, after I came in expecting terrible results, was pretty surprising. In fact, it is the best pop-punk album of the year, hands down. It is full of clean sounding instruments and vocals, as well as great songs that go beyond girls not liking boys, just cars and money. Best Songs: Right Where I Belong, Standing Ovation, 1979, Let the Music Play

3. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West- Say what you will about his personal life, the dude can make good songs. This isn't a rap album, but a music album. No other rappers would dare feature Bon Iver or Seal on their songs, let alone the plethora of A list guests on the tracks. I think it isn't quite a good as the hype, but overall a great album. It is a mesh of art and music, and something completely different than your typical Soldier Boy ringtone album. Best Songs: Dark Fantasy, All of the Lights, Lost in the World

Dark Is the Way: Light Is a Place2. Dark is the Way, Light is a Place, Anberlin- I didn't get the hype on the last album, but this one makes me understand it all. Anberlin can not only make personal, emotional songs, they just proved they can make towering, stadium-rock anthems. The album is carefully arranged, and takes a good set of headphones and a sharp ear to dissect all of the different layers to the rich songs. Stephen Christian has the most unique voice in rock today, and he uses it to the fullest in this installment.  Best Songs: The Art of War, You Belong Here, Impossible

1. LOVE, Angels and Airwaves- When my all time favorite band releases an album for free, I have to put it as number one, right? The album is an incredible musical roller coaster that begins with the soaring Flight of Apollo and Young London, then levels out with smooth tracks like Shove and Clever Love. Listening to the songs make you want to go outside and conquer the world, or at least run a mile or two. Its extended intros build suspense and its transitions guide the listener right into the next song. In fact, playing the album in one continuous, non shuffled form reveals that almost all the songs are connected and lead into one another. Angels and Airwaves have mastered that "goosebump" factor I have come to enjoy in their music, as well as the positive and forward thinking lyrics. And did I mention it is free? Best Songs: The Flight of Apollo, Young London, Shove, Soul Survivor (...2010), and every other song on the record.

Honorable Mention:
Speak Now, Taylor Swift
The Adventures of Bobby Ray, B.O.B.
Of Men and Angels, The Rocket Summer

Stay tuned for the top songs of 2010. And Alejandro is not one of them.

Monday, December 6

Actual birth caught on Google Earth

So Google has been driving around in ridiculous looking trucks, taking pictures of buildings for its Streetview feature, which obviously lets you view the street. So in their roaming, they managed to capture someone's first seconds on planet earth. Right in the street. I've always been fascinated with Google's satellite view, which has led to plans for a giant sign on the top of my roof, or a specific pattern mowed into the lawn. The big problem is the timing. You never know when Google is going to fly over or drive by, making an elaborate moment impossible. But not for this kid. No, he managed to get one of the most incredible moments in his life captured by a van with a camera traveling at about 25 MPH. My street isn't even on Streeview, and my apartment complex isn't even built yet on Google Maps, yet this kid's birth is captured for all to see. Bravo, kid with good timing. Click the picture to get a better view.

By Aaron Brandt, fetus turned blogger. 

PS-check out my newest video and join the fan page on Facebook

Thursday, December 2

Aaron's Christmas List!

Christmas time is upon us. I am currently in my room looking out over a snow covered parking lot, drinking hot chocolate and listening to some Vince Guaraldi Trio Christmas jams. Ahh the good life. As I get older, there are fewer items on my Christmas list. In fact, this year I would be satisfied with one item, and one item alone. The Playmobil Security Checkpoint could be the greatest toy ever invented. Nothing says childhood fun like a plastic pat-down. Notice the racial profiling, as the scarf-wearing Arabic man is subject to cruel and unusual punishment by the TSA. I don't ask you readers for much, but if someone wants to give this to me, then send me an email and I'll get a mailing address ASAP.
The longer you wait, the more people buy plastic one way tickets from the Playmobil Airport in the Middle East to the Playmobil Airport in Detroit with no plastic luggage or plastic money and try to blow up our Playmobil Jet Plane. What's that you say? The security measures even didn't work? He got through this security checkpoint with a bomb anyway? Uh oh, looks like Playmobil needs to come up with a full body scanner toy, complete with a back room for private pat-downs. Of course that will lead to the need for a Playmobil court to settle all of those lawsuits. Anyway, this toy offers hours of fun, and denying it to any child is a crime, punishable by one year in Playmobil Abu Ghraib.

PS- I also accept cash donations as gifts (large bills only).

By Aaron Brandt, who has flown three times; twice in a plane and once in a space shuttle simulator.

Thursday, November 18

Ban all cell phones in cars?

Heck yes. The Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood recently went on record saying that he is looking into technology that causes cell phones to become unusable in a car. Its sort of a scrambling device that stops phones from getting service while it is physically in the car. Good. Cell phones in cars are nothing but trouble. Trust me, I've been in a car with someone firing off 70 texts per minute, while weaving in and out of the lines. I disagreed with the new Michigan texting law, only because it didn't go far enough, and created too much grey area. This technology would make the situation pretty black and white. I am against the government creeping into my life and regulating things, but this is more than a personal issue. When I get into a car, and Tina the sorority sister is all over the road because of her Droid2, then it puts my life in danger. If car accidents only affected the driver, then I wouldn't care. But one idiot on their phone puts up to hundreds of people at risk.

 The fact that we need to use a phone while driving really shows the state of our society. We can't go a minute without meaningless communication. I like driving because I can relax for a little bit. The last thing I want to do is multi-task driving, messaging and talking. Have our lives become so busy that we can't wait until we arrive at our destination before we talk to someone? Come on. Even though I rolled my eyes when my driver's training instructor (who was recently acquitted of his child porn charges) told us that a car is a loaded weapon, it's true. And nothing says irresponsibility like distracting yourself while handling a weapon. It is selfish to place your conversation above the safety of those around you.

Good for Ray LaHood, I hope this actually comes to pass. Do we really need to be connected at all times? Or can we take a short break and put down the phone? It needs to be illegal to use a phone while driving. Since most people already ignore the texting law, these scramblers should be installed in all cars, making it literally impossible to use a phone while driving. America's roads are already dangerous places, as any moron can pass that joke of a driving test and get a license for life. Why make the situation worse and allow such a blatant distraction?

By Aaron Brandt,  four year prisoner to an expensive Verizon Wireless contract.

Saturday, November 13

Friday, November 12

Follow the rules, pink shoe kid

I was surprised to find this interesting story on the Yahoo homepage today. Basically, the kicker on a high school team decided to wear a fresh pair of pink shoes, the coach didn't like it and told him not to wear them again. So the kid shows up in practice the next day wearing the shoes, which led the coach to give the kicker the boot (pun intended). Now the kicker is angry and filing a lawsuit. God bless America, right?

At first I was on the pink-shoe kid's side. The shoes were a gift from his grandmother and he wore them as part of a breast cancer awareness thing. Almost every pro team has done this in some fashion this year, so I thought it was reasonable for him to wear them, and very unreasonable for the coach to kick (pun) him off the team. But then I remembered something from my years playing organized sports. You respect your coaches. End of story.

This kid is absolutely in the wrong. His coach told him to wear a different pair, and he had the nerve to show up the next day, still rocking the Barbie Total 90s. In grade school basketball (Bay City Champs 2004), we were not allowed to wear headbands. So that meant we had to leave our Reebok I3 Iverson headbands at home. No exceptions. Even if my 2.3 minutes per game generated some form of forehead perspiration. You listen to what your coach says, then you do it. You don't pretend to listen, then show up the next day waving your pink disrespect in his face. Good for that coach. If the kid really cared about wearing the shoes, he could be a man and discuss the issue with the coach before practice. Maybe get special permission by explaining his story. I bet the coach might have had some sympathy, and the Mary Kay cleats might still be kicking squibs today. But no, he had to raise a scene, and now is filing a lawsuit. All because he didn't follow his coach's rules. I don't care that he might not graduate, he didn't follow the rules. If he decided to use a pen on his math final, he wouldn't have passed, so why should his football credits be any different?And who needs academic credit from a football team to graduate? Something tells me he was no model student. Take your selfish drama and play on the soccer team full time. Part of being on a team is following the rules, even if you think they are unfair. If you have a serious issue with that rule, then take it up with the coach instead of ignoring him. Is it really a big deal that he wore pink cleats? No. But it becomes a big deal when he blatantly disrespects his coach and then threatens to sue over it. Heck, Gerry Bertier didn't like Coach Boone's rules at first, but he got over it. The kid isn't taking a noble stand; he is being a weasel that went behind his coach's back, undermined his authority, and now will be enjoying summer school.

Also, what is the deal with all the pink gear in sports? I think the concept of "breast cancer awareness" is pretty pointless; we all know what it is by now. If it isn't raising funds for actual breast cancer research, then I see it as nothing more than a fashion item and another way for Nike and Reebok to make money. "Look at me and my cool pink gloves with matching had towel!" Its called "pinkwashing" or making a profit off of breast cancer products. This USA Today article sheds some light on the issue.

UPDATE: The kid is back on the team, but the school won't give the details...And he won't be wearing his Pepto-Bismol specials either. Looks like he decided to play by the rules. In the end, I trust the judgement of an authority figure over some 17 year old part time football/soccer player, and I'm glad to see taxpayer dollars would not be wasted on a frivolous lawsuit.

By Aaron Brandt, fourth string point guard, 2004 St. Peter Macomb Patriots

Thursday, November 11

Chinese hotel built in 6 days?

So basically some Chinese dudes got together and built an entire fifteen story hotel in six days. Thats right, six days. And on the seventh day, they rested, because it is insane to build a hotel in that amount of time.

Amazing feat of human engineering, but seriously, who would stay in a Chinese hotel built in six days? Is it made of cardboard? Is it an erector set? Did aliens build it? Are there doors on the rooms? You couldn't pay me to stay in something built that fast. It probably took my apartment complex several months to build my unit, and it is a solid piece of thin walled junk. I think it took my dad three weeks to re-tile our bathroom floor, and these dudes tiled hundreds. Notice they didn't show the interior. Probably because it is made of packing foam and aluminum cans. I bet the War-Del Motel has higher standards than this rat trap. And what kind of cleaning service does a hotel that was constructed in six days employ? Even some of the best hotels in America are riddled with bed bugs, stains and rat poop. Imagine what a black light would turn up in this castle. So the next time I visit China, I will just stay in one of those cool space pod hotels and avoid a certain collapse caused by a bird landing on the chimney (I assume they remembered to add a chimney).

By Aaron Brandt, constructor of 3 sand castles.

Thank you, Veterans

Today, take a moment to thank a veteran. They are the reason this country is the best in the world. Thanks to their sacrifices, we can live in safety and freedom.

Wednesday, November 10

LOOK before you COOK

Today I decided to prepare a terrific meal of pasta and sauce for lunch. I used some quality Meijer pasta, imported from the east side of Michigan and some Ragu sauce (family size) from Family Fare. I boiled the noodles perfectly; they still had a bit of toughness to them, but remained tender. I also heated the sauce up to the perfect temperature;  warm, but not too hot so as to burn my tongue and harm my trustworthy taste buds. I made enough for two bowls, so I devoured the first while watching Dana Jacobson delve too much information about her personal life on ESPN. I returned to eat the second bowl, and when I poured the sauce on the pasta; I was horrified. Mold. In the jar. Yeah, I crushed a bowl of pasta with moldy sauce on it without even noticing. Yum. Of course I threw away the remaining moldy sauce-pasta, which is a terrible tease that left my mouth waiting for that second serving. But worse is the thought that Alexander Fleming's lab is probably rolling around in my intestines. Or that I might wake up tomorrow with a fuzzy blue tongue. So let this be a lesson. Always closely inspect your jars of tomato sauce before applying it to semi-cooked pasta. Unless you like your food with some extra toppings...

Tuesday, November 9

College online? A short essay.

The Internet isn't just a place for pointless blog ramblings or videos about cats anymore. No, as technology advances, it has become more apparent that the Internet has taken a front seat in our lives. You cannot escape it, with wireless connections, web-enabled cell phones and 4G speeds all becoming commonplace. So why can't education follow suit. I have taken many classes that really didn't need to be held in a classroom. It would be far more cost effective to conduct more online college courses. It would save everyone money; the universities and colleges don't have to pay a teacher's salary, they save on energy costs, while the student can save by taking a more cost effective course. You can already get a business degree online, so why not expand that to all of the liberal arts requirements we are so familiar with? My Music 219 class was almost all on the web with an online textbook, quizzes and music samples; why not save me the stress of waking up before the rooster crows, and hold the entire course online? It saves everyone money, which should be a key factor in today's economy. Then the universities can focus more on job placement, like a dental assisting program. Online courses are becoming more popular, and I believe that universities should embrace that shift.

Thursday, October 28

GVSU police enforce laws? Whaaaaat?

Here is a classy letter sent sent and printed in my school's paper the other day. Please take a second to read it.

Here's the paragraph that really irked me...
"I’m sorry GVSU police, but we are in college. People party in college. It’s basically part of the American dream. Good luck trying to convince us to be unpatriotic. I’m not stupid; I know there are reasons for the law. But honestly, the extent to which those laws are carried out here on campus is disheartening. I’m so happy our tuition dollars are going towards cops who make us feel like we are living in Nazi occupied France … not."

Let's dissect all of the things that make this paragraph ridiculous. 
1. The American Dream. Apparently the American dream is to get drunk while underage? Awesome, no wonder all of those people came through Ellis Island back in the day. No wonder we can't control the illegal alien population. Seriously, how offensive. There's thousands of people who have died defending the American dream, and I'm pretty sure they were not thinking about 18 year old Lizzy getting hammed on Four Loko. It is sad that someone's American dream is to party. Keep your parties, I'll take a job and family.  
2. Patriotism. I consider myself patriotic. I even vote! But since when did patriotism depend on my choice to drink and party underage? You would think patriotism would involve following the laws of this country...Get real, yelling at cops for doing their job is pretty unpatriotic. What are the police supposed to do, remember that it's college and let everything slide? "Oh, I'm sorry Stevie, I forgot you were in college and real laws don't apply to on!" That'd be fun.
The Police (2CD Anthology)3.The extent of the law. How are cops carrying out the laws too far? If you think the law is unfair, that's another issue, but don't hate the police for enforcing the laws already in place (ie, doing their job). Sorry that consequences for lawbreaking is "disheartening" to you, but once again, the police are just doing their job. It's not like they are abusing the law to bust innocent people, they are simply busting the people who broke the law. If you don't like getting caught, don't break the law...
4. Nazi Occupation. If this author had any credibility, kablam, it's now gone on a permanent vacation. Any comparison to Nazis is outrageous, especially when its a minuscule situation like this one. The Jews and others that Hitler brutally murdered were innocent. They didn't have a choice to go to the concentration camps, gas chambers and ovens. We have a choice to drink or not drink. And if we get caught, we pay some money, get something on our record for a few years and move on. Six million people are dead from the Holocaust. How dare she compare the police's enforcement of a rational law to one of the most horrific and despicable tragedies in human history. And I think we have a few more freedoms than the French did in the early 1940s... Maybe a basic history course is in order?
5. Laws are laws. We have laws to protect us. And it is the police's job to enforce those laws. We also can freely make the choice to drink or not, but we must keep in mind the consequences. Maybe the author needs to reevaluate her priories if this is such a recurring issue. If you disagree with the law itself, then go out and do something about it. Make a petition, call your congressman, organize a rally. But don't blame law enforcement for enforcing laws.

SI Video- "ESPN 30 for 30- LHN Badminton"

Here is a video I whipped up from footage taken in 2007 during badminton club. (Team NATO ftw).

Don't forget about the SwimmersItch fan page on Facebook. CLICK ME!!!

Friday, October 22

New SwimmersItch Video- Japan's Got Talent

Here is my latest video, Japan's Got Talent Audition. It is my entry into Japan's Got Talent 2011. Please subscribe, and join the fan page---->CLICK ME!

Click the video for a bigger view.

Thanks for watching.

Tuesday, October 12

I'm faster than Denard.

I ran in the GVSU Homecoming 5K on Saturday, and actually won. And if by "won" you mean, not collapsing on the side of the course and dying like Obama's reelection chances, you would be correct. In fact, I redeemed myself from a horrendous performance my freshman year at the Irish Jig (I think they took down the clock by the time I finished), with a respectable time of 20:59. That's two weeks of training, no speed workouts and a level of dedication that draws comparisons to 6th grade track. I sprinted at the end and reeled in a man probably three times my age, then passed a girl who was probably half my age. I still got it. Next up, the open 5K at the high school cross country regionals. I am pretty much a legend there, with my 32nd place finish in 2007, so I will probably have to deal with some sort of ceremony in my honor, but hey, that's the price the greats must pay.

Sunday, October 10

GVSU LipDub 2010 (VIDEO)

It's back up!
Some students at Grand Valley State University made a "lipdub" video, which is basically a lip-synced music video shot on one continuous take. No special effects, no cuts or edits. I think it turned out pretty nice. School pride!

The video was directed by Kim Roberts, Chris Coleman and Greg Kort.

Tuesday, October 5

Flag football team names

I'm playing in a flag football league at GVSU, and while looking at the schedule, I had to chuckle at some of the team names. Here's a few of the best (and some of the worst).

-The Bernstein Advantage
-T-Boone Pickens
-Dante Stallworth Driving Academy
-Kistler/Copeland Argonauts
-Forgetting Brandon Marshall
-Fat Kids Are Harder To Kidnap
-Favre’s Disciples
-Screaming Llamas
-Iron Jim Jeffries

And the worst (graded on creativity/cliché/frat factor)
-Shoelace 16
-Stafford Living Center
-South Apartments
-Alpha Sig
-Sigma Pi Bros
-Sig Ep
-Delta Upsilon
-Holland Christian
-The Grind
- Thundercats
-Free Weezy

Wednesday, September 29

Yeah, I watched Glee last night...

REVIEW: So I watched the most recent episode of Glee, only because my roommate was interested in seeing Britney Spears, and one thing was made clear. Glee sucks. For starters, no human can sing like those actors. Their voices are so altered and edited that T-Pain would be embarrassed. I've heard all the hype about how awesome they make covers of popular songs. I just thought they were referring to the actual singers, not the engineers and sound guys who spent hours making average people sound like Cher and Jared Leto had a Broadway love child. Sorry, I sound cynical again; but the overt, in your face kumbya themes of world peace, holding hands and "why can't we be friends" seem to have twisted my view of this show. Apparently high school sex sells, especially when its teacher-student romances and janitor's closet hookups. And toss in a few "no hate" lines and you have a perfect storm of sugar coated, politically correct bubble gum. It plays on (and advocates) all kinds of stereotypes in high school (athletes are dumb pigs, cheerleaders are airheads and the nerds are really the only good people on earth), despite the fact that they are all supposedly equals in the same club. Basically I felt like this show says if you are popular, you are a bad person. If you are unpopular, you are a saint. I know it isn't a real representation of high school, and instead is a rather a gross exaggeration made for 17 year old girls, however, it is yet another show making a huge impact on pop culture. Viewers are made to believe that certain behaviors are acceptable and expected, when in reality, they are not. Check the promo clip to see what I mean. So I think that's the last episode of Glee I will ever watch, unless the producers choose to cover blink-182, which will result in a blog that makes my most negative commentaries seem like an Owl City song. Not my type of show; I'll stick with Arrested Development reruns.

Glee. 1/10 (one point because it's a really nice day outside.)

Thursday, September 23

How to deal with the Facebook outage of 2010

So Facebook went down today, which only means that ten years from now, we will ask "where were you when Facebook went down for 30 minutes?" After returning from my stats class, all I wanted to do was post some fire on my roommate's wall about how Boise State is the worst team ever to play in a BCS bowl when I discovered that Facebook was down. What shall I do?!?! After thinking for ten seconds, I have come up with a list of what to do without Facebook. Even though the blackout is ended, it has shown how fragile our lives are, and how the worst can happen at any time. Hope this list helps.

1. Talk about the outage on twitter. Retweet often.
2. Post comments about the outage on Tumblr. Here's mine.
3. Post a YouTube video about the outage
4. Try to make a humorous blog mocking the outage
5. Post a Skype update about the outage.
6. Stock up on bottled water and canned goods to make it through the outage.
7. Start your own social network
8. Check your Myspace...nah, just kidding, that's ridiculous.
9. Watch TV for updates on the outage
10. Text your friend in California to see if Facebook is down outside of America.
11. Call 911.
12. Panic.
13. Get into the fetal position and cry.
14. Actually start the homework that is due tomorrow.
15. Stock up on firearms
16. Blame Obama/Glenn Beck
17. Write a parody song about it.
18. Create an ironic t-shirt about the outage on
19. Do the laundry
20. Offset your carbon emissions
21. Discover that this is actually all a marketing ploy to promote The Social Network.
22. Overreact. 

I am glad to say that no one was injured or killed during this time of hardship. I hope this helps to prepare you for future blackouts. 

Monday, September 6

"How To Handle An Active Shooter"

Hello, I know it's been a while; I just haven't found anything interesting to put up until now. I saw this video a while back, and I think this should be required viewing for all students from college on down. The fact that a guy was willing to hold Discovery Channel hostage shows just what kind of messed up world we live in today. I don't see why high schools and colleges do not have a realistic drill or live action scenario for when a shooter is in the building. Turning off the lights and staying quiet is great in the best case scenario, but what if it was during an assembly, basketball game or lunch period? "Not initiating or taking action will get you killed." I guess that means our cute little red card, green card system at my old high school won't be helping a whole lot...which reminds me about a blog I will eventually write about guns on campus...not as ridiculous as you think. Instead of getting Jasooooon Deeruuuulooo for GVSU's homecoming, maybe we should bring this dude in for a seminar.

Protect - How to Handle an Active Shooter from Andrew Muscato on Vimeo.

Also, I made a fan page for SwimmersItch Videos, and I promise I will put more up soon. Become a fan here-

Sunday, June 13

Swimmers Itch Video- Never Play Tennis Alone

This is what happens when you try to play tennis by yourself. Enjoy (or don't).

Thursday, June 3

Occasionally Grammatical Lutheran North

I have to admit, something has been bothering me about Lutheran High School North for the past 3ish years. The cafeteria food? The detention policy? The dress code? Nope, sorry, but something far more serious has been grinding my gears until now, and it's time to unleash my pent up rage. Tale a look at the sign hanging on the outside of the left field fence on the softball field and see if you notice anything.  
This piece of vinyl needs some serious grammar checking, because there there should be an apostrophe after Mustangs. It should read "Mustangs' Stadium." It is the stadium belonging to the Mustangs, therefore they posses it. And I just actually used "therefore" in a sentence, so you know I am right. The day they put it up, it has bothered  me, and since I have a sister on the team, I get to see it at every home game I attend. So what's the big deal Aaron? Get over it! You graduated! You suck! I hate you! (All things I assume that people reading this are saying). I like the sign, but blatant mistakes on a sign that everyone sees isn't a good look. And I can say that, because I once played Frisbee golf on that very field. And spell-check made me capitalize Frisbee. 

Wednesday, June 2

Name my cat!

Summer is here, and that means I am getting a new cat to replace the beloved Murphy. That also means I will need a good name. Murphy's name creatively began as Paws, but was later changed for bookkeeping purposes. This time, I want to get a jump on the naming process and have a few in mind before I go to pick one out. The kitten will be a male, and also awesome. So here are the top finalists so far, feel free to add your own, and they may make the list, or even have the honor of naming the next Brandt cat (that will most likely die in the most unusual circumstances...)

1. Head Coach Mike Babcock. Best coach in the world, and also a big game hunter, like my future cat will be.
2. Mr. Kitty. Named after an average cat. Add her on Facebook.
3. Melvin. Mr. Wesley had a cat named Melvin.
4. Hobo. Mr. Wesley has a cat named Hobo.
5. Dan. Mr Rohde loves cats.
6. Willie II. My old cat was named Willie before a dog ate him and my parents lied about it for 10 years. No wonder those "Lost Cat" signs they helped me put up didn't work...
7. Mr. Echo. The best character on LOST, who was mysteriously missing from the finale deserves to be commemorated.
8. Jay Towers. TV Personality, also great name for a cat.

I would love to hear your suggestions, or even your hateful feedback.

Saturday, April 24

How people find my blog

I was doing some digging around my Google analytics page (which tells me how many people look at this blog among other nerdy tidbits such as screen resolutions, browsers, and bounce rates) and I came across a feature that lets me see what you guys are searching in Google (plus one Bing user) to find this blog. Needless to say, the results were interesting. Here are a few of my favorites. (The top five, statistically, are in the picture to the left.)

My favorite searches to find this blog (no order)

-steve reckling
-stephen reckling money
-something fake about michael w smith?
-rob rotondo on face book
-people who pose on facebook with their shirts off
-mark strube, gvsu
-lutheran teacher blog
-is carrie prejean a lutheran?
-comrade el superman
-blog grand valley lutheran
-"nathan schilling"
-"relevant magazine" liberal
-young jeezy yells profanity at
-too many "christian" bands are fake
-"journey to the core"
-963 wdvd hit or miss brandon heath
-aarons on facebook in detroit
-annoying pictures of stupid people
-carrie prejean mormon
-dennis miller quotes on closing gitmo
-go to a real college

And here are my top 10 favorites with italicized snide remarks.

10. john bradnt blogger clem At least spell his name right. Two people managed 
to mess this up.
9. lhn snoopy the musical -No comment. For everyone's sakes.
8. rob bell, lutheran views Ummm, Rob Bell has no Lutheran views. Duh.
7.taking picture in front of mirror annoying -So annoying. I catch myself doing it all 
the time.

6. anthropology 111 at gvsu- AVOID it at all costs. Just a load of "we are the world" 
and "America is mean" crap.
5. lutheran criticism rob bell How about this for a Lutheran criticism; 
Bell twists God's word into a humanist, universalist self help book. False prophet anyone?
4. the problem with relevant magazine It acts like an entertainment 
magazine instead of a Christian magazine like it claims?

3. "shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple green and lavender and faint orange" I own many of these shirts and plaids. Gotta love that coral and apple 

2. occasionally lutheran high north I still stand behind everything I said. 
Truth beats emotion any day.
1. is obama going to shut down space camp NOOOOOO, not space camp! 
Keep space camp, kill NASA.

Bonus:how to tell you attending lutheran school-Because sometimes, a sign that says 
"Lutheran school" might not be good enough.