Robert's House of Hamsters

Somewhere between Sacramento, the Oregon border and that tingly feeling in your toes.


The Blue Period

So yeah, I figured it was time for a bit of modification.

I'll have more details when I don't need to go to bed for work.

I've got places to cover, people to interview.

My bosses came up with a very simple solution to my problems of really having to scratch up stories.

The solution? Give me another beat--county government. Trust me, that's keeping me more than occupied.

Before I started up in Paradise, I made a little joke about how I now had a desk calendar and how, in my constant state of disorganization, how weird it is that I would have a desk calendar.

Well, low and behold, I'm using the thing. It's the only way to keep track of all the meetings I have to go to, since I got assigned all the meeting-crazy beats. About the only way I could be more schedule-oriented would be if I covered courts.

Trust me, I'm not planning on pushing for that any time.

Difficult, Yet Blatently Obvious Trivia, Round 1

What last occured in 1961 that won't happen again until 6009?

Hint: It's not a Kennedy being inagurated President.


More funny video...

Talking Smack Over Xbox Live

"This is Xbox Live. Pretend he pimp-slapped your mom!"


I often liked to complain that the journalism department was one of the few deaprtments at the university that was Mac-based rather than PC-based.

This video pretty much explains why that frustrated me to no end. (WARNING: A few dirty words)


Quirky quirks. Yeah, that makes sense.

I was going to whine about having to work while coughing and generally coming in and out of feeling like still-warm yak diarrhea, but then I remembered Crystal tagged me for a quirk meme.

So, I'm now bound by the mysteries that exist only in the blogosphere to fulfill a requirement of blogging about five quirks I have.

A quirk, according The Free Online Dictionary, a quirk, for the sake of what we're calling it, is "A peculiarity of behavior; an idiosyncrasy." I say this, because I doubt Crystal would want me to demonstrate five examples of "lengthwise groove on a molding between the convex upper part and the soffit."

By the way: 1) I'd use dictionary definitions to fill up space on term papers. I pretty much got away with it, too.

Okay, now to just list out the next four.

2) I have a very interesting example of TV changing my habits. Back when Pizza Hut first introduced Stuffed Crust Pizzas, they had commercials with celebrities saying people could now start eating their pizza crust first. (I don't remember all the commercials, but the one that sticks out in my mind is the one with Ringo Starr.) I've eaten slices of pizza backwards ever since.

3) It's always been a dream of mine to be able to crush a beer can against my forehead. I even memorized the instructions of how to do so from an issue of Maxim for awhile. No avail.

4) I habitually inject lines from "Monty Python and the Holy Grial" and "Family Guy" into conversation. Sometimes people make the connection and will join in. Most of the time they don't and stare at me. Now you must bring us another shurbbery!

5) On freeways, I like to set my car on cruise control and practice controlling the steering wheel using just my knees. Actually, I don't, that was a trap in case my aunts or mom happen to find their way to my blog again. Gotcha! Love you.

The real 5) I chronically air drum. Once in awhile, I'll even do it in public.

Now, who to tag with this--I'll go with Mike Roesch, Credo, KevCo and anybody else that wants to me. Throw up a message and let me know.

More sympathy...

A few more comments on the break-in:

Janet: In other words, this was a bad day for you...

Hope you catch the turd-head...

Trent: flamethrowers are good. i keep acid grenades under my pillow myself. that's just me though. (I had to remind him that the flamethrower isn't ficticious)

Allen: That sucks. I hope you get your revenge. In the meantime, I have a lead as to who might have burgled your things. It was none other than Red Herring. (Think "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.")

Kyle: I have a picture of Chuck Norris next to every valuable thing in my house and a fresh change of clothes. (best suggestion I've heard yet!)

"Credo" (whom I'm still waiting for to pay off the bribe for hiding his true identity): I think it was the hamsters. Vicious, conniving little rodents. I'm so proud of them... (My hamsters, mine! Stick with Aslan!)


Quick funny note...

While typing the previous post, I was listening to the song "New Disease" by Spineshank.

Just have to note the irony...

Even more ironic--The next song was "Dictatorship vs. Democracy" by Staple. More on the impending sale of Knight Ridder later.

Not so down with the sickness

So I'm progressivly starting to feel like crap. I have to drive to Oroville tomorrow morning to cover a county Board of Supervisors meeting.

Oh, did I mention if this happens to become more than annoying little coughs that produce an average of a metric ton of mucus and a slight fever, my insurance at work doesn't kick in for another couple months?


iPod, uPod, we all Pod...

Yes, that name was a blatant ripoff from this March 9, 2005 Orion article.

But, almost like a blessing from heaven, the day after my house got robbed (I'm still cussing mad about that, especially when Nick tells me I should play some Xbox. Punk.), my big-ticket Christmas gift got here.

In case you couldn't tell from the article, that gift was an iPod. To be exact, it is a black 4-gig iPod nano.

So, besides the fact that the USB/power cable that came with mine didn't work, it's great.

Fortunatly, I'm not the only person in the house with a black 4-gig iPod nano. Complete accident, I swear.

I've already got a good 800 songs in it, with room for around 200 more. I listen to it at work whenever I'm working on typing stories and not expecting phone calls.

When I was covering the Paradise-PV game this weekend, I'd put that in and listen to Skindred instead of the horrid Paradise High gym speakers tarnishing the great sounds of AC/DC.

So, if you don't have an iPod and are considering getting one, I highly recommend it.



The messages are coming in from friends concerning the break-in.

From Alli: Bob that really sucks that you're house was broken into!! Shitty deal I must say. I hope you find those assholes!!!!

From Bone: I know exactly how you feel. I remember when my house got broken into about 3 years ago. I lost more than $7,000 worth of stuff. I hope you catch those ignorant fucks.

From Cheyenne: That is really shitty man. Sorry that crap happened to you!

From Fitz: Wow, I can't believe illigitimate children are taking advantage of you like this! It is a moral outrage! The skunks should all be shaved and thrown in a petroleum jelly pit with six homosexual sumo wrestlers! Hopefully you find some fingerprints or a dropped wallet or something. Most likely not. At least remember the wisdom of tourniquet - "Where rust and moth destroy..." (Bonus points because he reminded me I need to get some Tourniquet mp3s...)

From Lindsey: Hey man, I just wanted to send some sympathy your way. Theives FUCKING SUCK!!!!! A couple of my friends over here in Eureka had their house broken into too, twice within two weeks. The second time the perpetraitors (can't spell) beat the shit out of some dude on their porch. Anyways, I just wanted to tell you that thats fucking stupid, that I hate people who steal others hard earned property, and that I'm sending good vibes to you and your roomies!!!! If ya need anything, or if I hear anything, just write me, or I'll write you.....
Anyways, sorry your year started shitty, but take some comfort in knowing that they just bought themselves some seriously shitty Karma by stealing from someone as kind and cool as you!!! And I believe very strongly in Karma, it never fails man.

So keep your head up. I'm sure the person(s) are suffering from a seriously bad bout of hemroids or herpies right now... or maybe something worse (lets hope). At least we can share in a laugh about that!!!

Alright, I gots to go, but take care man, and don't worry, things will be lookin up for you.... and down for "them"!!!

From Mason: Sorry dude. That sucks.

From Jimmy: If you ever catch those pricks, give me a call, I don't want to be left out of all of the fun.


Oh well...

Despite getting broken into today, at least I found the best blonde joke ever.

Death to thieves

To the rat bastard or rat bastards that broke into my house Tuesday afternoon:

You're damn lucky. If me or any of my roommates had caught you inside, we had the advantage of knowing where all the weapons are—knives, rifles, shotguns, flamethrower. You got lucky and found the bad lock, congratulations. Don't worry, that little weakness has already been fixed, plus a couple of other ones Adam and Chris found.

You caught us while we were blinking. Not again, though.

So you only took my Xbox, PS2, and a couple of airsoft pistols. You were pretty damn stupid to neglect taking any games (besides the one in the console). Big deal. I'm still pissed. Too bad you didn't check for my name and driver's license engraved on the bottom, huh? Even try to pawn those and you're fucked.

Maybe you were the same person(s) that clipped the "USA" Christmas lights on our house. Maybe not. But know this: my roommates and I are sick and fucking tired of this.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office once again reiterated our abilities to use the previously mentioned weaponry on you if we ever catch you in our house again.

So, for you own personal safety (especially if it's you, Cat Man), don't try it.


A history lesson...

This comes to the House of Hamsters compliments of everybody's favorite Notre Dame graduate.


They say "show me" in Missouri...

There is this really great video clip floating around conservative circles on the Internet. It is from a town hall meeting in Virginia hosted by Congressman Jim Moran (you may recall he had to step down from a House leadership post in 2003 for saying Jews were pushing for the Iraq war). Moran brought as a guest Congressman John Murtha, whose comment about an immediate redeployment of American troops is shadowed only by his comments that he would join the military today.

But the comments were from Mark Seavey, who recently returned from Afghanistan. The video is here.

Here are the interesting comments to me:

And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible.

To note, the governor of Virginia is Mark Warner, a Democrat, and is considered a contender for a 2008 presidential run. He may to invest in a globe between now and then.

Here's what is really interesting to me. For all the comments that politicians make about their support of troops (this is for both Democrats and Republicans), how many put in more actions than words? What is the record of congressmen and senators and governors and assemblymen attending and monitoring homecomings of troops? I'd be particularly interesting in the rates of troops here in my congressional district, since we have Beale Air Force Base.

I'm also saying this willing to bet money that the Republicans are at a higher rate than Democrats. Not that much higher, but higher nonetheless.

If Democrats and progressives want to efficiently turn the tide in favor of their position, wouldn't it benefit them to put more action behind what they say?

Don't we all wish...


Still can't score like Queen Amadala...

Your SAT Score of 1360 Means:

You Scored Higher Than Howard Stern

You Scored Higher Than George W. Bush

You Scored Higher Than Al Gore

You Scored Lower Than David Duchovny

You Scored Lower Than Natalie Portman

You Scored Lower Than Bill Gates

Your IQ is most likely in the 130-140 range

Equivalent ACT score: 31

Schools that Fit Your SAT Score:

Brown University

Northwestern University

Carnegie Mellon University

Cornell University

Reed College


Child of the 90's

You know you're a 90's kid if...

You've ever ended a sentence with the word "PSYCHE!"

You can sing the rap to "The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air"

You've worn skorts and felt stylish

You yearned to be part of the Baby-Sitters club

You use to love playing with your MY Little Pet Shop

You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey from "Blossom" and that "How Rude!" comes from Stephanie from "Full House"

You remember when it was actually worth getting up early
on a Saturday to watch cartoons.

You wore a ponytail on the side of your head and had fluffed bangs

You got super excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.

You wanted to change your name to "JEM" in kindergarten

You remember reading "Goosebumps"

You know the profound meaning of "Wax on, wax off"

You have pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.

You took plastic cartoon lunch boxes to school.

You remember the craze then the banning of slap bracelets and slam books.

You still get the urge to say "NOT" after (almost) every sentence...Not...

You knew that Kimberly, the pink ranger, and Tommy, the green Ranger were meant to be together.

You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"

You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates

You ever got injured on a Slip 'n' Slide

You wore socks over leggings scrunched down

" Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack, all dressed in black, black, black, with silver buttons, buttons, buttons, all down her back, back, back" SHE ASKED HER MOTHER MOTHER MOTHER FOR FIFTY CENTS CENTS CENTS TO SEE THE ELEPHANTS ELEPHANTS ELEPHANTS JUMP OVER THE FENCE THE FENCE THE FENCE"
he jumped so high high high he touched the sky sky sky and he didnt come back back back til the forth of july ly ly he jumped so low ow ow he stumbed he's toe oe oe and thats the end end end of the elephants show ow ow

You remember boom boxes vs. cd players

You knew what it meant to say "Care Bear Stare"

You remember Alf, the little brown alien from Melmac and Vicki the Robot from "MY Little Wonder"

You remember New Kids on The Block when they were cool

You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell"

You played and or collected "Pogs"

You used to pretend to be a MIGHTY MORPHIN Power Ranger and you owned a Skip It

You had at least one GigaPet or Nano and brought it everywhere

You watched the original Care Bears, My Little Pony, and Ninja Turtles

All your school supplies were "Lisa Frank" brand.(pencils.notebooks.binders.etc.)

You used to wear those stick on earings, not only on your ears, but at the corners of your eyes.

You remember a time before the WB.

You've gotten creeped out by "Are You Afraid of the Dark?"

You thought it would be so cool to be Alex Mack.

You know the Macarena by heart.. LOL

"Talk to the hand" ... enough said

You thought Brain woud finally take over the world

You'd check the local candy store to see if they had any Raven's Revenge, and then promptly leave if they didn't have it


Awww yeah...

3.925 GPA my last semester, bitches!!!!!!

I should have been taking just 12 units a pop this whole time...


Throw me a frickin' bone here...

I'm thinking that finally, in a couple of weeks, I'll have all the kinks ironed out at work.

Today was a good example. The paper has one reporter staffing the office for eight hours on weekends in case some sort of big news happens. To compensate for this (read: less overtime for the company to pay), the writer then takes a day off during the week. I'll be the reporter this weekend.

So, I needed to take eight hours off during the week, which I was planning on being Wednesday, since the four-day weekend idea died when I was called in on Monday ($16 an hour for working on a holiday! Sweet!). But my sources weren't giving me callbacks on Tuesday, so I decided to instead take off three hours early on Tuesday, then come in for just three hours on Wednesday after I got the callbacks.

Coming in on Wednesday morning, the editorial staff got together for a quick meeting. I asked my editor if he knew my work schedule to make sure it was clear I would be taking off at noon.

Editor: "Wait, you're taking your day off this week?"

Me: "Yeah, that's what I'm supposed to be doing since I work this weekend, right?"

Editor: "No, you take your day off the following week."

Me: "Oh. *long pause* Guess I'll be here eight hours today then."

So that did throw a wrench in my day, since I had been operating under the idea that I took the day off before, which I wished I would be gotten reconfirmed before I left early on Tuesday and ultimately wound up losing three hours of pay.

Silver lining, though. Staying the full day, I wound up writing 24 inches on the park district's plans for the upcoming year, 13.5 inches on the Governator declaring a state of emergency in Butte County, and getting a B-Section story on the local senior women's billiards club locked down.


I don't want the whole thing over here...

So just click here and read my last B2Z posting.

My personal favorite punch lines:

...I consider them a lot like the couple cousins I avoid talking to at all costs, or like the Christian versions of radical Muslims. (with fewer suicide bombers)...

...this is going to garner a whole lot of negative attention, and invariably drive the ratings of the series premier higher than Ricky Williams on a bye week...

...He gets to physically have a back-and-forth conversation with Jesus. While driving. How awesome would that be? Although, most of us would probably be too shocked to be able to actually say anything.

I Bet we'd all actually be driving the speed limit, too...