Supreme Commander EagleRock here, Chief Barracks Officer of the Elite Guard Barracks. That's right, soldiers! Get out on that Portal! Pick up your Blam Rifles and get to the front lines! Protect the Portal with all you got! Newgrounds needs YOU! Hooah!

Peter Marks @EagleRock

Age 40, Male

System Administrator

William Paterson University

Fair Lawn, NJ

Joined on 1/23/03

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EagleRock's News

Posted by EagleRock - June 19th, 2010

Well, it took me a few weeks of work and tweaking, but I have finally replaced the old EGB Forums with ones I am hosting myself! For those who are not aware yet, here's the link:


Feel free to sign up, and one of the Executive Members will activate you. It might not be a bad idea to give one of us a heads-up that you're signing up (posting in the forum or a PM on Newgrounds will do just fine). That way we can verify you, activate you, and give you permissions!

This is something I wanted to do for the Barracks for a long time. Originally, our forums were hosted by ForumCityUSA, which was a good hosting site that used phpBB2 as their forum of choice. Since I am well-versed in using phpBB, I was able to make good forums quite quickly. Then, their free forum server died and never bothered to fix it. Yeah.

At the time, I was inactive, so Slash made an effort to replace them with Invision Power Boards. However, Slash is a self-proclaimed newbie to forum moderating, and Invision is certainly no better. They were hacked multiple times, naturally. So, fixing what I initially started, I redid the forums from scratch. WIth access to the front and back ends of the forums, I have full control over security, and that's what I built the forums in mind with.

So, feel free to sign up and enjoy them! My gift to the EGB!

P.S. - I have copied over the majority of the important posts from the old forum already, but if you feel like I missed something, let me know.


Posted by EagleRock - January 1st, 2010

Well, here I am, still on Newgrounds after how many years. In a bit of irony, I am actually more active than Slash in the EGB as of late, so I have resumed control over the Barracks, where Slash has decided to take a slightly more passive role, and has taken over his original officer position as Recruitment Officer. He's still around though, lurking about.

The Barracks Under Fire story is complete, and I've taken to writing the sequel! I've had a lull in my writing as of late, but I plan on picking it back up when things slow down around here. I've been busy with renovations, fixing people's computers and other stuff, but I still am working on the story slowly but surely (for those of you that care to follow it, anyway).

Well, time to enjoy the New Year as best as I can! I'm sick right now, but it's not keeping me down!

Posted by EagleRock - September 13th, 2009

Yeah, so I finally got my ass back down to Newgrounds...after being inactive for the longest time. Now that I've finally bought my house, moved in, did the renovations, settled in, shook off addictive MMORPGs, blah blah blah, I've got the time to spare for Newgrounds yet again. As most people know or care about me (read: very little) know, my daily haunt on the forums is the Elite Guard Barracks. I'm pleased to see Slash has taken quite good care of it since I left, and for the first time in a long time, my return didn't leave me feeling like I had a lot of work to catch up on. Big thanks to Slash for making my life easy!

Anyway, for those of you that care about the Barracks Under Fire story I was writing, oh, two years ago, it's now being completed. I'm posting chapters in the EGB forums now, not in the thread itself. Anyone who was interested or originally a part of it might want to grab a look.

Other than that, same old, same old!

Posted by EagleRock - April 1st, 2009


Posted by EagleRock - June 8th, 2008

Hey everyone,

For those of you that frequent the Barracks, you know I'm pretty much always on NG. Whether I'm passively on it doing the occasional B/P on the Portal, or posting on the BBS, I'm around. However, I was not around yesterday. I was not sad, either. You see, Six Flags makes you happy. I mean, the Asian guy that yells "SIX FLAG" on those commercials said so. Therefore, I had to go.

This trip was quite premeditated, considering my wife practically planned it a year ago (she was all gung-ho coming home from the last trip). So my wife, her brother, his roommate, and I went off to Six Flags Great Adventure and boy did we have a blast!

Great Adventure, I'm glad to say, is a friggin' awesome theme park, as it has one too many great roller coasters. While it'll never hold a candle to the atmosphere that Walt Disney World provides, it will ram WDW in the ass in the "awesome thrill ride" category. I'll give a rundown of the rides later, as well as my personal take.

I was hoping for a small turnout at the park, considering last year, at Fright Fest, the lines were HORRIFIC. I mean, we got on 4 or 5 rides total, taking HOURS on line. The "Flash Pass" we got wasn't the greatest, either. The lines were about 2-5 hours long per ride (!), so the Flash Pass was only so efficient. Needless to say, we didn't have the greatest of times at Fright Fest.

This year, however, was nothing more than a slam-dunk. First off, it was cloudy as hell in the morning and looked like it would rain. This deterred people from coming in. Second off, the kiddies in school couldn't come, because it was a Friday. There was very few people in the park (considering), so we got TONS of rides in. We got to ride some rides twice, or even three times! Here's the rundown of the rides we did, as well as my take on the ride:

Nitro: Rode 3x, Score: 10/10
Nitro has to be one of the best coasters ever made. It consistently scores top marks from different coaster enthusiast groups, and has gotten the "Golden Ticket" award for being one of the top 10 steel coasters in the world since its debut in 2001. Nitro is ridiculously fast (80mph), super high (230ft), and lasts over TWO MINUTES long! No inversions, but you don't miss 'em.

This is my second favorite coaster in the park now, specifically due to its ridiculous amount of air time and super high g-forces in the double-helix curve towards the end. The g-forces are so high on this thing it causes my wife to black out momentarily during the double-helix. However, she still goes on. That's how awesome it is.

The Great American Scream Machine: Score: 8/10
This ride is special to me, in that it used to be my favorite coaster. I am a patriotic guy, so your average "American" crap will make me happy. However, I enjoy this coaster time and time again, simply because it is a looping coaster, and it is a good one at that. This ride is almost 20 years old, and it shows its age. There are signs along the wait line that show pics of the other coasters at Six Flags parks across the country. Years ago, they were color photos with text on them. Now, they're just big blurs of nothingness. Sad, but funny.

The coaster has gotten a "refresh" lately, as it has been made to ride much smoother than it used to. They must have renovated the coaster or something, as there is definite improvement. I give this coaster top marks simply because it holds true to being a great coaster after so long, and it has ridiculously short lines. Also, loop #3 on this coaster has a ridiculous amount of g-forces. Caused both my wife's brother and his roommate to black out for a second or two.

Superman: Ultimate Flight: Score: 7/10
Another great coaster, just by the nature of how you are "sitting." It is a flying coaster, so you board the ride like any inverted roller coaster (hanging feet, track above you, pull-down restraint). Then the raise your ass in the air and you're in flying position. Rather, you're retardedly sitting in a chair that's facing down with your body in a rubbery sling, while your feet are in an awkward position. if you picture yourself looking cool sticking your hands out in front of you, you don't. Instead, you look like Superman's retarded cousin.

However, don't let this detract from the good points of the coaster. The first drop is nice and powerful, while the second puts you in a rather tight pretzel roll. You go from flying forward to pointing down, banking down until you are upside down, then you keep curving as you fly back up in the air and eventually right yourself and start banking to the next adventure. The rest of the ride, while fun, isn't nearly as fun as that pretzel loop, but it still deserves a good score.

Skull Mountain: Score: 5/10
This ride, granted, is more of a kiddie-coaster than anything else. The height restriction is only 44", so a lot of kids can ride it. It isn't particularly scary or anything, but the theming is nice. When you enter the queue for the ride, it's going into the mountain itself, and starts to get sort-of eerie. This ride, laughably, had NO wait. I mean, none. We decided to go in the back of the coaster (no line), and went on the ride. The back is quite rough compared to the middle or front, despite its slow speed and minimal drops. Therefore, it's worth the few minutes it takes to get on it, if that. When we got back to the station, there was nobody waiting for our coaster spots, so we could've gone on again right away, but we declined.

Batman: The Ride: Score: 9/10
Now this is a real coaster. First off, since Batman rules, this ride gets a boost. The Batman logo appears no less than 20,000 times on the ride, as it is EVERYWHERE. It is so funny to see it sometimes, as it reminds me of the classic Batman series where there was a "Bat" everything, including a friggin' BAT LADDER. Anyway, back to the coaster...

Even though it's older, and not too high (only 110ft...it gets completely eclipsed by Nitro which is right next to it), but it has no less than 7 inversions, and a crazy amount of lateral g's. This coaster whips you around so much you can barely keep track of which way is up. It has gotten rougher over the years, too, which is actually a boost. This thing knocks your brains out every time, and really packs a huge punch for such a small coaster. This ride is my wife's favorite, and what can I say? She has good taste. :-)

The Dark Knight Coaster: Score: 2/10
I was pretty harsh with my score, but I think it's about just. There are three reasons it deserves such a low score: the ride is just a boring standard-issue "wild mouse" coaster inside a building, Six Flags advertised and pushed this coaster way too hard for its own good, and it was intended to be a heavily-themed coaster, which Six Flags just isn't good at. I mean, you go to Six Flags for the rides, not the "atmosphere." While the queue line was nicely themed, the inside of the ride looked horrible. It looked about as sophisticated as a backyard haunted house that your friend did for Halloween. While I give the coaster credit in that it is a classic style coaster and that it has to compete with heavy-hitters like Nitro, El Toro, and Kingda Ka, it still sucks for the three reasons I said. I'm just happy I used the Flash Pass to get on it and didn't actually stand in line for it.

Medusa: Score: 8/10
Medusa is a great roller-coaster, as it is loop-city, and a fun ride. Medusa is "floorless," which means it's basically an inverted coaster, except the track is below you. Basically, your feet dangle free, but your head is clear to see where you are going. This ride is not punishing nor difficult to handle, as it is relatively tame, yet quite thrilling. You certainly won't be bored riding this thing, and it was a top coaster when it came out. Nowadays, it has faded a bit to take a second-runner spot compared to Great Adventure's greater attractions.

Rolling Thunder: Score: 7/10
Rolling Thunder is a classic wooden coaster that has been around since 1979. Since it's almost 40 years old, the coaster is quite bumpy, difficult to ride, and punishing on your back, head, and, well, the rest of you. It's only for those that really really really like classic coasters, like me. Also, the back of the coaster is a guaranteed headache-inducer. However, the fact that it uses the older-style restraint (only one lockable position), so airtime is good considering its rather meager drops and top speed. Another great part of Rolling Thunder is that it is a "racing" roller coaster, meaning there are two tracks next to each other, where the coasters will race each other to the finish line. Unfortunately, since no one rides the damn thing anymore, we never get a chance to "race" on it.

El Toro: Rode 2x, once in front, Score: 10/10
This coaster is a winner, through and through. Currently my favorite, as it is a wooden coaster, but has huge heights and drops that dwarf many steel coasters. The drops are also sickly sharp (76 degrees!) and the air time is just plain phenomenal. There is not ONE PART of this coaster that is slow. Seriously. To add insult to injury, the traditional end part of the coaster (where camel-humps will give you a bit of extra fun) is ridiculously pummeling, thanks to the huge banked-turns, lack of any form of brakes, and just plain silly speeds at the end. I was quite happy to get on this ride twice, and going in the front is just plain NUTS. Of course, if you can get on the back too, I recommend it, as you feel air time the WHOLE WAY DOWN the drops. Ah, El Toro...how do I love thee...

Kingda Ka: Rode 2x, once in front: Score: 10/10
I save the most note-worthy coaster for last. Kingda Ka is the tallest and fastest coaster on Earth. You get to go 128mph and go as high as 456 feet. Crazy. And let me tell you, the coaster does not do it lightly, either. You get to that 128mph in, oh, 3.5 seconds. You don't even get time to think about how fast you are going, since by the time your mind catches up with the fact that you're going that fast, you're already slowing down, going straight up that huge-ass hill. The coaster is amazing, and definitely the most intimidating in the park. My wife rode it last year, but ended up coming off the ride crying and sobbing in my arms. And no, I don't blame her. It's scary, especially front-row, since your face is basically getting ripped off by the wind. Jen's brother lost a contact-lens riding front, and I almost did the same.

Despite this awesomeness, though, this coaster will never be a favorite in my eyes, for one reason: TOO FUCKING SHORT. One launch and one hill takes about 15 seconds. Then you're already slowing down and going back to the station. Lame. Now, what they need to do is make a normal steel coaster like Nitro, and simply have it launch like Kingda Ka. THAT would be insane. Really insane. But one can hope.

Well, that's all the rides. There are others I didn't go on, but there's nothing special to note (like Runaway Mine Train...ooh...). The park was quite enjoyable, as there were minimal assholes in the park too...except for one group. Some '08 graduation class was there, and they were just complete assholes. They liked cutting in front of people and yelling out obscenities while on rides...ugh. Morons.

Despite that, though, the day was great, and I had one of the best Six Flags visits ever. To punctuate how much fun it was, I'll leave you off with a funny pic, and an explanation:

Towards the end of the day, Jen's brother, his roommate, and I decided that since we were going on rides more than once, we might as well have some fun with it. We decided to try to make the best faces when the camera took our picture on the ride. We were doing rather good, too. Jen's brother looked like he was throwing up on El Toro, while I looked like I was bored. Even the guy in the camera booth said, "you must have practiced that one," since we were very convincing with our expressions.

The best expressions, however, came at the end of the night, when we rode Kingda Ka for our last ride. We decided to wait it out and go for the front row, for the extra-awesome effect. Since Kingda Ka only seats two in the front, we split up: Jen's brother went first, while I went with his roommate second. Jen's brother's attempt failed, since he got scared shitless on the front. That was also when he lost his contact lens. His roommate and I, though, had a plan. Since everyone was getting all scared on Kingda Ka (especially on the front), we had to make this count. We decided to be as convincing as possible and look like we were sleeping. Since the ride is so friggin fast and so hard to even stand still, it wouldn't be easy. They take the first picture right when you're almost done accelerating. You're going, oh, 120mph, and oh, accelerating at the speed of at least 30mph/s. Basically, you're hitting 5 g's in your face.

Yet, we managed to pull it off! It made the first 2-3 seconds of the ride a bit less enjoyable, as I wasn't seeing the acceleration, but hey, I opened my eyes right away afterwards and enjoyed the rest of the ride. Of course, Kingda Ka has a second camera shot at the end, as you're slowing down from the end of the ride. It's hidden behind the small hill that you go on, so it catches many people off guard. Not me.

So this pic is the best fruit of our labors that night in playing around with the roller-coaster cameras. The pic quality isn't the greatest, since I had to take them as fast as possible with my iPhone while it was on the display. The one on the left was the one taken at launch, while the second was afterwards slowing down.

If you enjoy these photos as much as I did making them...you really need to get to Six Flags. :-)

<3 Six Flags

Posted by EagleRock - June 5th, 2008

Hey everyone!

To those of you that know me (e.g. basically the Barracks), you know I've taken up quite a huge project on my personal Linux server, in that I want to get a full-fledged virtual network going that will host all of my home-server needs. This includes forums for the Barracks, a website, and all this crap. Basically said, I have a LOT of work ahead of me.

For those of you that care (e.g. me), here's the future layout of all of my servers, their purposes, and what's running or going to be running on them:

OS: Debian "Testing" v. 5.0 "Lenny"
Purpose: VMware Host and alternate desktop
Main Apps: VMware v.1.0.5, FreeNX (remote desktop)

OS: Debian "Testing" v. 5.0 "Lenny"
Purpose: Outward facing server, VPN Server, Apache Web Server, FTP Server, phpBB Forums Server
Main Apps: OpenVPN, Apache 2.0, phpBB, pureFTP

OS: Debian "Testing" v. 5.0 "Lenny"
Purpose: Inward facing server, SMB (Samba) Server, mySQL server, Fileserver for network filesharing
Main Apps: SMB, mySQL

OS: Debian "Testing" v. 5.0 "Lenny"
Purpose: Backup server for Linux VMs, Linux host, and network desktop PCs
Main Apps: Mondo (tentative), cron scripts for VMs and boot parittions

OS: openSUSE v. 11.0
Purpose: Testing/Playground server for openSUSE 11 and KDE4
Main Apps: FreeNX (remote desktop)

OS: CentOS v. 5.3
Purpose: Testing/Playground server for RedHat Linux Certifications
Main Apps: Whatever the certs need...

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
Purpose: Testing/Playground to get acclimated to the new crappy Windows OS
Main Apps: Hopefully not much

As you can see, I have a LOT of work ahead of me... As you can also see, I have a favorite Linux Distro... :-) I know no one will really care about this, but it was a good brain dump for me, plus I imagine some funny comments will spawn out of this...

Posted by EagleRock - May 8th, 2008

This was a triumph...
I'm making a note here...


Yeah, that's enough of that. Want more, go ahead and play Portal.

Anyway, I'm back for now, or at least I hope. Most people that know me well (enough to visit this after no updates for half a year) know that my lack of Newgrounds activity is comprised of the following:

- Too much work
- Too many games to play
- Working on computers at home
- Lastly, jaded opinion of the Portal as of late

As of late, as in, post Clock Day 2007. Ugh. Since then, the Portal has gotten worse (no big news) to the point where I found it next to useless to even try to B/P or just protect the Portal. However, good ol' Yuengling-chuggin' Wade has decided to step in. At least now we have Wade trying to do what I was trying to do myself for a long time.

Point being, maybe the Portal won't suck horribly much longer. Perhaps the shit we worked for in the Barracks might come to fruition. Either way, I'll try to stick around a bit longer. I owe it to myself for trying long enough to change things around here that if Wade manages to make the change for good, I'd kick myself for not being around. Also, I owe it to the Barracks members to be around and, I dunno, take charge for a change.

Anyway, I'm here. Got something to say, post it up peoples!

Posted by EagleRock - September 19th, 2007

Well, I posted about it before, when I was going nuts, but it looks like I got lucky last Friday and got my iPhone! I could NOT be happier with it, as it is my first iPod (and real mp3 player at that...the Samsung SYNC just does NOT count), so I am VERY pleased right now.

But, rather than go on a 10 paragraph long binge about my iPhone, I'll just leave it at "it's good" and not brag/overtalk/make out with it/go orgasmic/etc. and just move on.

I'm also happy that some of my Barracks members are starting to take initiative in spreading the word about fairness on the Portal, as it's quite vital for us to do so if we are going to make a dent in this place.

I've spoken my schpiel many times about this, so I won't bother to do so in this post either. In fact, I'll probably reserve that for a front page post that I'll whip up later on. But, in the meantime, I have to commend you all for doing something, especially HeavenDuff, craigalan, and our Recruitment Officer SlashFirestorm. Keep up the good work, guys!

Well, that's about all I had to say. Hopefully I'll get some comments so I can start up a dialogue here or something...

And I'll leave you off with a gratuitous picture of my new iPhone, complete with Newgrounds logo on display:

FINALLY...the iPhone.

Posted by EagleRock - September 12th, 2007

So, yeah, let's say "damn you" to Apple for making me want to part with my money so badly...

I know that many people have apprehension towards the iPhone, but there are few devices out there today that can truly rival the iPhone in the "wow" factor. Not that I'm one that has to have the "coolest and hippest" devices, but let's face it...we all need a phone. Everyone I know (even my mother) carries around a cell phone with them wherever they go. In this day in age, especially where I live, you're dead without a phone. Hell, let's think about how many cell phones are around the Tri-State area ALONE...

Sheesh. Now, let's take another perspective about this: how many people actually love their phones? It's not uncommon to have a conversation change to cell phones. Everyone whips out their phones and displays them, comparing them as if they were comparing the size of their penises (except for women...I have a feeling the size of their labias aren't exactly exciting conversation, nor a point of pride). Anyway, people like to talk about their phones, good and bad.

However, how many people actually like them? Every time I talk to someone about their phone, they whip it out, and they show it off. Every time I will ask them, "So, you really like your phone, eh?" They almost unequivocally say, "Oh, no, it sucks." They'll have plenty of pluses to state about the phone, but ultimately it boils down to general discontent with their phone. Sure, people get new phones, and they'll love it for a few weeks, but after all is said and done, they are just "meh" with their phone and don't give two shits. It just fades back into obscurity and becomes another necessary device, not something they love to have around. Sure, this isn't true with everyone, but it's rare to find someone that truly loves the phone.

There are plenty of things the iPhone is NOT. The iPhone is NOT a spec-lover's dream. The absence of a removable battery, lack of HSDPA (3G data speeds), lockdown to AT&T networks, and the lack of a physical keyboard are all detriments to the iPhone and are breaking points for many. I've seen plenty of people complain that there are phones that do more than the iPhone for less of a price. Sure there are. But that is NOT what the iPhone is. Co-workers have compared Verizon's XW6700 Smartphone complete with Windows Mobile 5.0 is a much better phone than the iPhone, as the screen is comparable, the data network is much faster, and the keyboard is awesome. Of course, the phone is about an inch thick and is heavy as hell. Co-workers with this phone have also complained about how thick the phone is, how large the antenna is, and how Windows Mobile sucks a lot. Of course this phone is the exact same price as the iPhone SUBSIDIZED. See? I don't care how much you think you love your phone, you'll find something to hate about it with a passion.

Enter the iPhone. The thing the iPhone does differently is that it does not concentrate on processor speed, data transfer capabilities, or general bragging rights that can be compiled in a spreadsheet. Instead, the phone is a plain pleasure to use up and down, no matter what. People that have criticized this phone up and down (like me) were doing so because of the specs, but once they got ahold of it (like me), they wanted one. Why? The phone is just amazing, and it has that "wow" factor that no mobile device has had before. Even the RAZR doesn't compare, as its only amazing feature was its thinness. Hell, it was copied by many not long after (such as the sync, the crazer, etc.) The iPhone, meanwhile, is not only a fun telephone, but a great iPod, a phenominal web browser, and just a beautiful little piece of eye candy to boot.

So yes, I love the iPhone, and I love it because of one simple thing: NO phone can do EVERYTHING right. There are too many opinions, too many needs, and too many people to please. One person may like one phone, but 10 will hate it. This is why we don't have one phone on the market. Every phone is easy to dislike, despite what it does right. The thing that sets the iPhone apart, however, is that it is the opposite. Simply said, it is a phone that is easy to like, despite what it does wrong.

So yeah...here I am, pining for a phone I can't readily afford...that is, until my wife brought up the greatest idea in the planet: ask for it for Christmas. Now, I've had my eyes set out for a new espresso machine (so I can make espresso that's actually good), but I could ask for the iPhone instead...and receive it in DECEMBER. Thanks to the parents, however, they said they'd buy it for me! Wow! Amazing! I could get it now! BUT...here it is, a $600 phone that is just way too much money to ask for. Hell, I would feel wrong just asking for it. So, I'm screwed.

Then our buddy Jobs decides to cut the price by a cool $200! Not a bad price now, as $400 is better, but still too much to ask for. Also, I was kind of hoping my workplace would get me a phone for e-mail. However, something ELSE happens...my friend decides to apply for a job at Apple! Now we're talking about a 15% price discount, bringing the phone to $340! Looks better than $600 for sure.

I also decide to say "fuck it" and get the phone anyway, as dealing with Microsoft Exchange on this thing is a fucking fright. I'd much rather have my gmail account on there anyway, and I wouldn't mind carrying around a Blackberry for work. So now I am within asking distance for two people to give me as a present, and all is well.

Problem is, my friend is not getting a callback for the job, and I'm stuck here waiting to find out when I can get the phone. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday roll by as he doesn't hear anything. I finally decide, with my parents' consent (well, they're the ones buying the thing) that I'll get the phone for $400 anyway if my friend doesn't get the job. Hell, I can even try to go for the academic discount, as I still have my student ID...

So here I am, possibly only a few hours away from actually getting the iPhone, and my friend calls. Apparently he got a callback from the guy, and he's going to go in on Friday to find out where he's going to get deployed. Great. NOW, I can't get the phone today, and I don't even know when I'll be able to get it. It could be 7 months from now for all I know at this rate. As you can tell, I am not one of the patient nature. Especially when it comes to new toys.

So, I'll be able to know on Friday when I am getting the iPhone. If my friend won't be able to get me the phone for over a few weeks, hell, I'll just get it on Friday. If it's sooner, then I have to wait until he can get me the discount. EITHER WAY, I have to wait. Blah. And to think that if he didn't get the job, I'd be at the Apple Store RIGHT NOW in Garden State Plaza checking out my brand new iPhone. GRR.

Oh well. Until then, I guess I have to pretend like I have one:

OMG iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone

Posted by EagleRock - August 28th, 2007

...It's true.

Let's consider this. I went to my mother's today, as I do often on Tuesdays to see her. I usually help her out with the house a bit too, throwing out old stuff and the sort, but that never bothered me, as she never asks me for much. Often times I get off easy.

Anyway, I go over there tonight, and try to surprise her by saying I'd set up my old laptop for her so she can replace her current one (which is hella-old and slow as hell). So, I lug this 8 pound thing (not including peripherals) along with my macbook (another 6 pounds with peripherals) to her house and set up to install.

Of course, dumb me, I forget to bring the proper XP install CD. I brought the wrong one which didn't work and is useless. Damn.

Now I'm read to lug 18 pounds of computer back out to my car when I leave. But NO. I can't leave my mother's house empty! Hell no! I have to take some little things she got at the dollar store and the book store for me! I say "sure," as how much weight can some dollar store stuff and a book or two be?

Yeah, right. I forgot she was Italian.

Here's the list of shit she bought me:
- Propel water bottles...TEN of them. These things are huge, too, and are like a pound each. Add 10 pounds.
- 5 heavy-ass hardcover books...add another five pounds.
- Some snacks to take home...about another 4-5 pounds...

Ugh, so now I'm set to lug about 40 pounds of shit back, give or take.

Then she gives me the Chivas Regal 12-year bottle of scotch she found in the basement.

Not that it's amazingly heavy, but it's another pound of two, and it's glass, so I have to be careful. I'd say no, but hell, it's scotch. An $80 bottle of scotch to boot. Who would say no?

So we go get pizza. Nothing serious, right? Wrong. First I have to argue with her that I should be allowed to pay my share. After losing the argument, we get a whole pie. She eats two slices, and I'm expected to eat the other six ("Eat, eat, eat! Don't waste it...it's good food!") So I'm here now, after eating 6 slices, feeling ready to explode.

So we come back and I help her throw out some stuff. But as I'm leaving, here I am, laden with two laptop bags (all pulling on the left side of my neck), and like 5 bags of shit, including at least 3-4 gallons of water and a heavy-ass bottle of scotch. Lugging it to my car was hard enough...try opening the trunk with no hands.

Then I get home and get to re-position myself to lug this shit back. Naturally, all my neighbors were out enjoying the evening, looking at me fumbling around like a fucking moron, bringing in almost 50 pounds of crap from my mother's house.

Surprisingly, I didn't have a heart attack lugging this shit in, and I go "phew!" All good! Right? WRONG.

Try finding a place for all this shit now without getting your wife to yell at you "God Dammit, why did you mother have to give us all this stuff that we don't have room for???"

There you go. Stress, overeating, and lugging 50 pounds of shit to and from my car, all of it bearing on my neck or my fingers.

Ugh. I swear, mothers really CAN be hazardous to your health. Gotta love 'em, though!