Things That Tick Me Off
If it gets under my skin, you'll find it here

Dec
23

Okay, look.  I understand it’s the day before Christmas Eve, and there’s not a lot going on news-wise.  But seriously?  THIS is headline news?

My Droid’s News & Weather app shows me what it thinks are the top news stories.  And guess what the title of one of those stories is?  It reads, and I quote, “Obama’s Vacation: What Flavor Shave Ice Will He Order?”.

No, that’s not a typo.

The people at Christian Science Monitor need to seriously stop kissing Obama’s ass.  They clam to deliver “Straight News Free of Bias & Blare.”  Believe me: You’re not unbiased when every breath Obama takes makes your headlines.

That’s all for tonight, and seeing how this’ll probably be my last post before, I’d like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas!  And if you celebrate another holiday, may it be a great one.

Best Wishes,
-nstark89

Advertisements
Dec
13

I’ve been reading so many news articles lately about the ever-increasing number of people who don’t have jobs and have to go to food banks or use food stamps to even have enough food to feed themselves and their families.  Today, I saw a story on the front page of CNN about how even a good number of college graduates are now finding themselves in this category.

Even more interesting to read than the articles themselves, however, are the comments sections of these articles.  Seriously, these are better than watching two people beat the crap out of each other.  They’re a wonderful, magical place where Democrats and Republicans lash out at one another (not to mention the media and/or the people involved in the stories), blaming each other for the problems of our nation.

Seriously, I’m beginning to consider not even voting anymore, even though I’ve only had the right for three-and-a-half years.

Liberals are not the answer to all our problems.  Conservatives aren’t, either.  The whole damn system is broken!

I’ve admitted on many occasions that I voted for Barack Obama, and I claim that it’s a mistake.  I’m beginning to realize that it regardless of who is voted into power, I’m going to say the same thing.  People make promises and say that they’re going to change our country for the better, and we buy into those promises without looking behind the scenes.

Behind the scenes, these candidates are accepting massive amounts of money from the rich bigwigs of our nation in exchange for doing what they want when and if they’re elected.

Democrats and Republicans.  Liberals and Conservatives.  Open your eyes, people: IT’S ALL THE SAME.

These people do not care about what the American people, the people who gave them their power to begin with, want.  It matters what the rich people and the big companies want.

Mark my words, readers.  If our country continues on this path, by the middle of the century, one of two things will happen.  Either:

1) The United States of America, once called the greatest nation in the world, will be a third-world country, or
2) The United States of America will no longer exist.

Our system of government, once so high and mighty, is broken.  All the players in the game of politics are corrupt.  And what happens when all the players are corrupt?  The game itself becomes corrupt.

Don’t ask me for a solution as to how to fix this, because I don’t have one.  I just know that what we currently have is not working, and I no longer believe it can work.

I used to be proud to be an American.  Now, having come to the realization that our citizens are viewed by our leaders as little more than pawns in some twisted game, I must say that I am proud no longer.

Best wishes,
-nstark89

Dec
10

This does not tick me off.  At all.  I’m actually overjoyed about it, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Brian David Mitchell, the man who was responsible for kidnapping then-14-year-old Elizabeth Smart in 2002, was found guilty by a jury today.

The only thing about this that irritates me is that it took them nearly EIGHT YEARS after Elizabeth was rescued to declare him guilty.

Mitchell has yet to be sentenced, and I’m personally hoping that he spends the rest of his miserable, pathetic existence in prison.  The death sentence would be too quick and easy.

Not much else to say about that; I just wanted to help spread the good news.

Best wishes,
-nstark89

Dec
09

This is a little different for me.  Normally, the things that I comment on are things involving either technology or politics.  On today’s docket, however, we have the issue of childhood bullying.

What does the title of today’s post mean?  It means that it doesn’t matter whether it was 1995, when I was in first grade, or 2010, when today’s story takes place; bullying hasn’t changed all that much.  I saw this story on CNN.com (as the headline story, no less), and felt that I had a duty to comment on it.  (Almost all of my information comes from the article in question; I’ll link to it at the end.)

Katie Goldman is a 7-year-old girl who goes to school in Evanston, Illinois, and she’s a victim of bullying.  The main reason she’s teased?  She’s a Star Wars fan.

No, that’s not a typo.  She’s teased because she likes Star Wars, and according to the other kids at her school, “Star Wars is only for boys.”

Well, her mom found out about all this and decided to take the story to the web, and now, the story’s on CNN’s front page, she’s been sent gifts from all kinds of people affiliated with Star Wars, and (as of 2:53 PM Friday) 22,082 people are attending a Facebook-created event to wear Star Wars clothing to show their support.

I can empathize with Katie’s dilemma in two ways.  One, I was teased at that age (and for many, many years afterwards), and two, I LOVE Star Wars.

Bullying is a serious problem.  It has been for a long time, and it can certainly damage a child’s self esteem.  How do I know?  I’ve been there.

If Katie Goldman happens to be reading this (which I highly doubt), I have a message for her as well:

You shouldn’t have be ashamed because you like something.  Being a Star Wars fan is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, I’m quite proud of it.  (I have a friend who’s 23 and I have made my life’s mission to get her to watch the movies ;-)).  Keep your head held high, and know that you have a LOT of friends standing behind you.

To quote the great, wise Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, “The Force will be with you.”

P.S.: A lot of my other posts contain bad language, so please don’t read them.

So, anyone who empathizes with this, make sure you check out the event Support Star Wars and Geek Pride for Katie, and wear something Star Wars-related (if you can) on Friday, December 10!  I don’t have anything that still fits, so anyone who sees a picture of Darth Vader as my profile pic tomorrow, don’t be alarmed.

Now, if only I could find my Darth Vader costume from when I was seven…

Best wishes,
-nstark89

For the full CNN story, check out ‘The Force’ is with you, Katie on CNN.com

Nov
21

Forgive me, for I have sinned.  I voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

President Obama spoke out today, supporting the new TSA security measures, including the pat-downs and body scanners.  You know, the pat-downs where you get felt up by security guards and the scanners that take naked pictures of you?

He calls these measures “necessary to stop terrorists”, citing the Christmas 2009 failed attack when a guy got on a plane from Amsterdam to Detroit with a bomb in his drawers and claiming that these security measures would have effectively prevented that incident.

Here’s the problem, Mr. President.  These security measures are only being implemented in America.  AMSTERDAM IS NOT IN AMERICA.  These security measures you stand behind would have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to stop that.

I love how he’s standing there, staring at his teleprompters, saying he supports these measures.  Do you think he would support them if his wife and children were subjected to this?  I certainly don’t.

Any respect I ever had for our leader is long dead.  Supporting something that you, as the President of the United States, will NEVER have to go through is ridiculous.  Why don’t you actually try listening to the people who elected you?  Or do you simply not care anymore?

In closing, two things.

1) I will NOT be flying anywhere until these measures are stopped.  I ain’t gettin’ felt up by nobody except my girlfriend, should I ever get one.

2) With the possible exception of Adolf Hitler, I swear right now that I will vote for ANYONE running against Barack Obama in 2012.

Best wishes,
-nstark89

Nov
16

Anyone who visited either the iTunes Store or apple.com yesterday was greeted by a splash page for a big iTunes announcement.  It said, “Tomorrow is just another day.  That you’ll never forget.”

Today, that splash page was replaced with a link to the complete library of music from…wait for it…The Beatles.

This is a day I’ll never forget?  Seriously?

I’m not hating on the Beatles.  I understand that they changed the face of the music forever, and for that I have a great deal of respect for them.

But seriously, how is this a day people won’t forget?

The people that care about this announcement, one way or the other, fall into two categories.  One is the die-hard Beatles fan – you know, the one who already owns all their albums.  The other is the person who could honestly care less if the biggest band ever are finally on iTunes, a mere eight years after inception.  I personally fall into the second category.

Again, no disrespect towards the Beatles.  A little anger towards Apple for getting us all riled up for something big, and this is all we get?  Um, yeah.

Best wishes,
-nstark89

Oct
27

All right, now I’m pissed.

A federal appeals court has once again turned over (part of) one of Arizona’s laws to fight illegal immigration.  This time, they’re saying that people in Arizona no longer have to have proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.  They just expect you to swear that you’re a citizen, and that’s good enough.

Um…WHAT?!?!

Last time I checked, voting was a right granted to U.S. CITIZENS.  Seriously, you write down that you’re a citizen, and that’s considered proof?  SERIOUSLY?!  If the BTK killer were to swear he didn’t do anything wrong, that means that he didn’t?  What in the hell is wrong with you people?!

They’re still making sure people have proof of identity when they go to actually vote, but that’s nowhere near good enough.  Forgeries are easy enough, and just because you have a form of identity does not necessarily make you a U.S. citizen.

They claim that this decision is to “allow poor people to register to vote”, but come on, people.  I see right through that.

This illegal immigration thing is getting WAY out of control and the feds need to step in and do something.  NOW.  We’re letting them have all the rights without any of the responsibilities.

I’m disgusted that suddenly, being an American citizen is the same as being an illegal immigrant, except that we have to pay taxes and they don’t.

Like I said, now I’m pissed.

Sound off in the comments, please.

Best wishes,
-nstark89

Oct
14

Those persistent Verizon iPhone rumors just got a lot more validity.

This doesn’t tick me off (I’m actually quite excited about the possibilties), but I feel it relevant to post here.

No, there’s no official word on the legendary Verizon iPhone…yet.  After this, though, I finally believe that it’s just a matter of time.

In a swift move that seems to have taken the entire tech world by surprise, Apple and Big Red have announced that Verizon retail stores will begin selling the iPad on October 28, just two weeks away.

The iPad on Verizon will be what I like to call “semi-3G”.  It costs the same as the 3G models on AT&T (which will also be selling iPads in their own retail stores on the same day), but it’s actually a Wi-Fi iPad that comes with one of Verizon’s Mi-Fi devices.  I’m fairly sure that the only reason Apple didn’t take the time to develop a true EV-DO-capable iPad was so that they could get it out quicker.

So, will I be getting a “Verizon” iPad?  Probably not.  However, when one couples this announcement with a few other things (articles by both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, Verizon’s CEO delivering a keynote at CES 2011, and the rumors that never seem to die), the fabled Verizon iPhone seems to be finally right around the corner.

And to be honest, I’d pay a considerable amount of cash for that.

Best wishes,
-nstark89

Posted from my Motorola Droid

Sep
02

Hey, everyone!  I’m back, and it’s the official Season 2 premiere of “Things That Tick Me Off”!

I’ve decided to go the route of kicking the season off with something nobody saw coming: a post in SUPPORT of APPLE!

No, it’s not a sign of the apocalypse (that I’m aware of, anyway); I will stick by my position that Apple’s business practices are evil, and their PR damage control team are a bunch of retarded squirrels, but their products really are beyond first-rate.  They’re not one of the best-selling tech brands for no reason, after all.

For those who spent all day under a rock yesterday, Apple announced their new line of iPods, one of which being a fourth-generation iPod touch.  This new iPod includes, among other things, both a front- and rear-facing camera for FaceTime video chat and HD video recording, respectively.

Both of these cameras are capable of recording both video and still photos.  The front camera is identical to the one on the iPhone 4: VGA resolution at 640×480 pixels.  Many people assumed that since the front camera was the same, the back one would be, too.

Not so fast, there, Sparky.  Turns out that while it shoots HD video, the rear camera’s still photo resolution is just 960×720 pixels, or .7 megapixels.

Suddenly, the blogosphere goes nuts about how useless a camera with such a small resolution is.

Let’s get this straight, folks.  The camera on the iPod touch is not intended to take professional-grade photos.  It is meant for quick shots that can be easily shared via social networks.  If you don’t like the camera, you don’t have to buy the thing.

Let the record show that I WILL be purchasing a new iPod touch eventually, and I will upload a photo taken using said rear camera in a future post to show you what I’m talking about.

In conclusion, don’t think that the new iPod touch will replace a standalone camera, but also don’t think that it’s useless.  It’s going to be great for on-the-go quickie shots destined for Facebook.

Here’s to a great Season 2 of “Things That Tick Me Off”!

Best wishes,
-nstark89

Posted from my Motorola Droid

Aug
16

I’m back!

After nearly four months, I’m returning to my usual venting spot for a new season of “Things that Tick Me Off”!  Yes, season; I’m always so busy during the summer that I’ve decided that every August – April will constitute a season, taking three months off in the middle.

So, let’s start Season 2 off right with a report from the off-season, broken down into some of my favorite topics…

APPLE

Apple, the tech company that I love to hate, has been more incompetent than ever throughout the summer.

The iPhone 4 (seriously, that’s the best name they can come up with?) launched in mid-June to much critical acclaim, and one VERY big flaw: its antenna.

If you haven’t heard about “Antennagate”, as Jobs & Co. call it, then this must be your only source of news.  Basically, the phone has a brand-new antenna system with one big problem.  If the lower-left corner of this band is covered by the hand, it kills your reception.

The way Apple’s PR team handled this situation is what makes it so unbelievable.  For nearly a month, the only thing they said was that any phone has the same problem.  Finally, in late July, they decided to give everyone who bought an iPhone 4 a free case.

This “solution” is completely half-assed.  Why?  First of all, it’s not a fix, it’s a workaround.  Second, you have to buy the phone before September 30 to get a free case.

To give Apple a little credit, though, they’ve delayed shipment of the white model until sometime later this year, and rumors are running wild that this one will have a REAL solution to the problem.  If it doesn’t, a lot of customers will be super PO’d.

ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW

Just one day before the toughest illegal immigration law ever written was scheduled to take effect, it was gutted by a federal judge.  It lost nearly all of its power.

Remember my stance on this?  ILLEGAL immigration is a CRIME.  This law should have been implemented as it was written.

Arizona wrote the law because the federal government won’t do anything about the growing problem.  And many other states are considering similar legislation.

The way I see it, the federal government has two options.  One, let the states set whatever laws they see fit to deal with this.  Or two, get your asses in gear and DO SOMETHING.

Which brings me right into number three…

BARACK OBAMA

This guy is REALLY starting to make me angry.

By now, everyone and their mother knows about the proposed Islamic “cultural center” that will be located two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City.

Barack Obama recently made a comment defending the mosque.  He has since then tried to “clarify” his remarks, saying that he was commenting on the right to build the mosque and not necessarily the wisdom of it.

“Necessarily” being the key word.

I want to make something about myself very, very clear.  I have no problem with a Muslim church.  I have no problem with a Muslim church in New York City.  I DO, however, have a problem with a Muslim church in New York City practically on the doorstep of the site of the worst act of terrorism on American soil.

Mr. President, if you are by some chance reading this, here’s my advice to you.  On September 1 1th, go to Ground Zero and listen to the names of the more than 2,000 people that died.  A mosque located ANYWHERE near Ground Zero is a spit in the face to every single one of them.

How dare you support something as un-American as a monument to the terrorists that killed thousands of people.  That’s virtually saying, “You win.”

I understand that you’re trying to uphold the First Amendment.  But just because they CAN put it there does not, by any means, mean that they SHOULD.

Well, those are the main things that have gotten me riled up over the summer.

Season 2, which will officially begin in a couple of weeks, will feature more on the topics you just read about, along with some brand new ones.

See you all soon!

Best wishes,
-nstark89

Posted from my Motorola Droid