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Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo - ONLINE?

Posted 14 October 2003, 1.18 am by firebrand

i'm never getting any work done ever again.

Capcom Online Presents . . . "Addictive game where cute characters yell at each other in Japanese!"

Nice guys and the back of the line.

Posted 12 October 2003, 9.15 pm by Assassin13

Okay, so this may seem a little insensitive, this may seem a little rude. You know what? I don’t care anymore!!!! Listed below are the confessions of the nice guy. Yeah girls, you know who I am talking about, the one who you have shit on for no apparent reason. The one you have used to make yourself feel better and then tossed aside. Guys you know who I am talking about too. He’s the friend who always jumps on the bomb, the wingman who will bail out at the drop of a hat for you; the one who takes blame for anything you can’t take responsibility for yourself.

You know what ladies and gentlemen, we are sick of this shit! We are sick of being your scapegoats and gophers. We are tired of being walked over and asking for more. I call to you my Brothers!! Rise up and stop taking the flak you are taking. We are human beings as well. I may be speaking out of anger and vengeance but this has been a long time coming. Tonight I had my eyes opened for me. A girl I have been ‘courting’ (For lack of a better word) just went home with a sleaze ball. The same sleaze ball, mind you, who has torn her heart out on more that one occasion and put it in a blender. The same guy who is a womanizer, a sexist, a pervert and a cheat. She looked me in the face and lied to me about ‘going home’ when I caught them in my hallway making out. She then proceeds to say ‘yeah I know, just slap me in the face now’. What the hell do I do??? I am not going to slap her, that’s just the way I am. If I hit a woman without just cause I would beat the fuck out of myself. Anyways, enough about me being shit on syndrome.

For all you women out there, remember this: We are the nice guys, we are the one’s who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. We are the ones who will let you cry on our shoulders and sit idly by as you get hurt time and time again. We are the one who truly care for you. We are not looking to get married (Well not yet anyways). We are the ones who would love to have a great time and be honest and sincere. We are not looking for permanence; we are not looking for a life partner. We are looking to enjoy ourselves as much as you do. Open your eyes and decide, would you rather be treated as a piece of meat for the brief time that a relationship occurs or would you rather be put on a pedestal, treated like gold, be longed after like a goddess, and respected more than an angel. And guys, Remember that if you shit on someone long enough they are eventually going to tell you to fuck off and die and then you will be left with no one to cover your ass.

I haven’t posted on the FP for a very, very long time but I feel that this will be the first of many posts in a chain of events that have pushed my life into a new era. It may be dull to some but just remember that there is some truth to my insanity and I hope you will see something and take heed.

Delusions of a proud mind

Posted 10 October 2003, 10.39 am by Assassin13

So I may not be the best story teller in the world and I may not be able to make up ‘fiction’ when I have 36 oz. of alcohol in my system. But what I can tell you is the way I feel, the experiences of my life.

Hi, for those of you who only know me as Assassin13, my name is Jordan. I am 20 years old and retaking my first year of post-secondary school. Yes retaking. Why? You ask. Well its simple, think of an 18 year old who has lived his entire life through rose-colored glasses. Think of this same child being set free in a world of his own that is over 3000 km away from any authority that would expect responsibility. In a nut shell, all I did was drink, play computer games, and ignore school for my entire first year. This is my first public confession of it but I will tell you now that at the end of that first year I had failed 5 of 9 classes. I really didn’t care. I was failing for myself and loving every minute of it. Ask Roach if you want confirmation.

Come 4 months later the shit hit the fan. I was trapped in Ontario and was not going to school. Soon I resorted to the white pages, looking for any job that I could get. I fell upon a ‘promotional advertising’ agency. Yes, being as weak minded as I was, I became sucked in. Door to Door Sales is what it reverted to. I tried and tried and tried but to no avail. I just could not handle ‘high-pressure’ sales. So after three months of failure I ventured home. I took the long, arduous and painful road of accepting my failures and accepting the fact that I would be ridiculed by my family for over 8 months.

Enter March 12, 2003. My 20th Birthday. I didn’t know what to expect and all I wanted to do was have some fun. What I got was a quarter-life crises that extended well beyond a month. Keeping the sappy details apart, I finally decided that if I did not go back to school in the fall of 2003 then I would never go back.

Aug. 20th, 2003. I leave my home and go to write a college placement exam as my last chance to go back to post secondary. How do I do? Well I pass with flying colors. 3 marks above the 93rd Percentile and one mark at the 85th Percentile. Yeah so my grammar and sentence structure sucks, as you can tell. Sue me!

I am now back. Back where I belong. I am taking business and kicking ass in everyway possible. My GPA is now at a 3.82 out of 4.0 and you ain't seen nothing yet. I am here for good. I am here to learn how to dominate. I don’t know where my final field of specialization will be but it will send me into a position of dominance. It may be egotistical to say but it will happen. I have finally discovered who I want to become and now it is only a matter of time before I become that person.

Third shift in the neon graveyard.

Posted 10 October 2003, 3.49 am by VanGogh

You learn things working in a gas station. Hell, you learn things working most anywhere I suppose, but the things that you learn while working in a gas station are different. For instance, a customer walks up to the counter and plops down a lighter, a miniature rose in a corked glass tube, and a box of Chore Boy copper scouring pads. An innocent purchase? Chances are, he isn’t looking to light up a cigarette, charm his sweetie with the rose, and then go tackle some stubborn stuck-on grease in the kitchen. No, the experienced gas station eye knows that as soon as Mr. Customer gets outside, he’s ditching the rose and the corks and keeping the newly purchased glass pipe. Then he’s going to stuff a piece of the wire mesh Chore Boy in, drop in a rock of crack, and get busy with his lighter. That’s the sort of knowledge you just can’t pickup working other places.

Third shift is the devil’s playground. When the sun goes down, all you have to see by is the glow of the neon lights, and often times they flicker just when you need them at their brightest. The ghouls come out to feed, and someone has to be there to charge them their toll. For two and a half years, that someone was me. From 10 p.m. to 6a.m., I was the man you saw for all those middle-of-the-night cravings and emergency goods. A single guy behind a counter of the town’s only 24 hour gas station and mini-mart. No bullet-proof shields. No guns under the counter. Just me, the ghouls, and a whole lot of time for things to get weird in the neon graveyard.

They call third shift the graveyard shift. Most will tell you that’s because it’s so dead. I’d tell you it’s because that’s when the ghouls come out to play. The ghouls I speak of are what you probably think of as customers. And during the day, they probably are. But on the graveyard shift, customers don’t exist. The closest thing you get is a friendly ghoul, and sometimes they are the most dangerous. The night does weird things to people. They become more primal, more susceptible to their base instincts. A guy who would never raise his voice in the light may very well be the one who tries to bash your skull in with a six-pack of beer that you won’t sell him at 3 a.m. Because of that, it’s better to think of everyone who comes in the door as ghouls. They can be friendly, sometimes downright charming. But there always exists that possibility of foul humor, and that’s what you have to be on the lookout for.

I once heard war described as hours upon hours of mind-numbing boredom punctuated with occasional moments of pure terror. I guess that’s as good a description as any of what working the graveyard shift at a gas station is like. You reside in an oasis of neon light, waiting for something or someone to stumble out of the darkness and break up the monotony of the hours slowly passing. That kind of boredom inspires either sleep or madness. I’m an insomniac, so I chose madness. The kind of madness that fades with the light, and whose chief symptom is devilish creativity.

Some of my stunts became things of local legend. If you reach back in your minds a bit, you’ll recall the near hysteria of impending doom that was Y2K. The apocalyptic visions of every computer in the land eating itself and crashing at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve. In retrospect, the whole things seems silly, a paper dragon that had no bite. But at the time, the fear was very real. Visions of everything and everyone being plunged headfirst back into the middle ages were not only common, they were the lead story on the 6 o’clock news. And when the dreaded night came, who do you suppose was asked to stand a solitary post behind the counter?

I remember that the night was crazy. Normally when I came on at 10, and the place was a tomb. But not this evening. Everyone who wasn’t already at a party seemed to be in our store. They were buying up the bread, the water, the non-perishable food. It was chaos. Many were no doubt in a blind rush to get their last minute supplies back to the renovated Cuban Missile Crisis bomb shelters that their fathers and grandfathers had built. I took one look around and decided that if I were to survive, it was going to take something special. Before relieving the second shift crew, I grabbed one of those handy baskets that we kept by the door and started walking the aisle. First into the basket was a bag of 50 brown paper lunch bags. Then every pack of AA batteries that we had on the rack. I followed that with all the mini-flashlights from our shelves, and then two heaping handfuls of individually wrapped condoms. With my basket full of booty, I headed back behind the counter and began making up my impromptu special of the night.

I enlisted the help of one of the girls who was willing to cover my register for a few minutes, and headed to the back. I opened up the bag of lunch bags, and quickly unfolded 30 or so of them. Into each open bag I dropped one pack of AA batteries, two condoms and a mini-flashlight. When I had them all filled, I set the leftovers aside and took out a black marker. In thick letters on the front of each bag I wrote ‘Y2K Survival Kit’. Then I grabbed a blank counter sign and wrote the same thing on it, and underneath I wrote $10.00. I had done some quick math. If you bought all of the items together, they’d cost you $7.00 . I folded the tops of the bags closed and carried them out to the counter. I setup three or four of them beside my register along with the counter sign and went to work ringing people out.

The first customer I got was a panicky looking older guy with tufts of white hair standing up in all directions, furiously fighting gravity. He was sweating. Beads of moisture stuck to his thin mustache and he kept licking at it in a way that reminded me of a cat fishing for milk stuck on its whiskers. He was buying three gallons of milk, two gallons of water, and a can of cream of mushroom soup. He spied the sign and his eyes came into sharp focus for the first time. He opened up a bag, looked in, and then just stared at me dumbfounded.

Then he began laughing…

He bought two.

An hour later, all of the kits I had made up were gone. I’d sold them all. The next morning I was written up for creating a special offer without prior approval. Never mind that my offer actually grossed the store an extra $100 or so on stuff that was already marked up at ridiculously high percentages. I would have been pissed off, but I knew they’d never fire me. After all, I was king of the graveyard grind. And I had one indispensable quality that they couldn’t do without: I always showed up for work. And as long as I kept doing that, nothing short of blind robbery was going to get me in any real trouble. In my two and a half years there, I managed to get written up 13 times. According to the company manual, you’re automatically fired after your third. Once I realized this, I really turned my creativity loose upon the ghouls.

There’s something to be said for basic kindness. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. They call it the golden rule, and I happen to think it makes for a fine life philosophy. Unfortunately, some of my ghouls didn’t agree. When it’s 4 a.m., and you’re tired, cranky, and lost, do NOT take out your problems on the guy behind the counter. Yelling at him with language that would make a sailor blush is not advisable, especially when you follow it up with a request for directions back to the Interstate. I say this because if the guy behind the counter is me, as it so often was, then I’m liable to send you on your way with a set of directions that will land you at least fifty miles out of your way, and as far from the Interstate as humanly possible.

Often times I’d start them out down the road in the wrong direction, but with accurate directions. If I said they’d pass a blinking yellow light 8 miles after the turn, then they would. But at some point, I’d stop giving them actual details, and just start making things up. You might feel this is rude. I’d agree with you, but also remind you that at a measly $8.50 an hour, my tolerance for assholes was relatively low, and usually already used up by the time they walked in the door. And of all the times I did it, I never had any of them come back to bitch me out on the subject. Part of that probably had something to do with the fact that I had them so lost that they couldn’t have found their way back to me if they tried. But I like to think that part of the reason was also shame in their behavior, and the consequences it delivered upon them. Or maybe they just thought they heard me wrong. Ghouls can be silly that way.

But for all of the tedium, and the amusements that I conjured up to deal with it, there was a price to be paid. And that price was absolute fear. Working at a gas station is a dangerous job. The entire establishment is a large neon target just begging to be robbed. And working third shift, alone, without any sort of security aside from a phone, can be downright nerve wracking. In that business, it isn’t a question of if you’ll have the shit scared out of you, but simply when.

One night I was reading a paper behind the counter when I heard the door open. I finished reading the sentence I was on, and then put the paper down. When I looked up, I was greeted with the site of an obviously strung out guy in his 40’s, wearing a stained rugby sweater and no pants. While I tried to process this, he walked up and calmly ordered a pack of Virginia Slims, a traditionally female cigarette. Leary of turning my back on him, but also not wanting to piss him off, I managed to reach behind me and blindly grab a pack without taking my eyes off of him. I rung them up, and he paid using a greasy fiver that he had tucked in his shoe. He told me to keep the change, lit up one using a counter display lighter, and walked back out into the night. I never saw him again.
On another occasion, I was outside sweeping the islands. This is a menial task that I abhorred, but it was a good change of pace from the confines of the store. While working beside Pump #3, I bent down to grab a discarded coke can. A squeal of tires followed by the unmistakable sound of metal dragging on the road brought me upright. Just as I stood up, a tire flew past and slammed into the stainless steel side of the pump hard enough to leave a two foot dent. When I looked back around, I found an older model sedan sitting at an angle on our entrance ramp from the road. The front driver side tire had come off, and the car was resting on the hub. A police investigation later concluded that the drivers neighbor had removed all of the lug nuts on that tire as revenge for the guy stealing his parking spot. He had driven almost 3 miles like that, and the tire had only come off as he turned to enter the lot. They also figured out that at the velocity the tire was moving when it hit the pump, it would have almost certainly have killed me instantly. Both the driver and I were spared death by mere chance.

Third shift in a gas station is a different world. You meet both the best and the worst that humanity has to offer. I’ve had my life threatened over a cup of coffee, and I’ve had complete strangers give me $50 tips for being a kind face on a lonely night.. I’ve stared into the long hours of the predawn and seen life at its worst, and at its best. But no matter what I’ve seen or experienced, one fact holds constantly true. There’s nothing quite like third shift in the neon graveyard.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Posted 7 October 2003, 2.42 pm by Green Mamba

I’m 31. That makes me old enough to be regarded as a mature adult by the general population, but young enough to remember what it was like to be young and virtually indestructible. I was about 17 when I made a solemn oath to always remember who I was back then and if nothing else in life, I try my utmost to always keep my word (If I say I’ll do it I’ll (eventually) do it). Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder who the fuck is that. I’m growing older every day, but I’m proud to say that I never grew up. Sure, I’m a little more responsible than I was back then, but not so much so that I have become my father. He was and still is the embodiment of responsibility, building a solid career and living your life towards retirement. Me, I’m more the here and now sort of person, living in the moment for the moment, although I have inherited some of his traits (but not enough to make us peas in a pod). Anyway, that being that not being the point of this post, brings me to the difference between here and now.

Two weeks ago Carte Blanche had a feature on the low conviction rate in South Africa. Some of the stats included in the report mentioned that over 21000 people are murdered in SA every year as opposed to the UK’s approximately 800. To add fuel to the fire, SA’s police force is only about 18000 strong. Car hi-jacking is common, where every red robot and every stop sign becomes a yield sign after 8 pm at night. Barbed wire, electric gates and private security companies are the order of the day, so much so that some Police Stations actually hire private security for protection.

It never used to be like this. 15 years ago when I promised myself that I would strive to remain child-like until the day I die, I could walk through the streets of our suburb in the middle of the night without any fear except maybe for a policeman pulling over and asking us what we’re up to. Every weekend we’d get up before the crack of dawn, walk 3 km to the nearest highway and hitchhike to the beach. We’d leave our bags on the pier, go surfing and as expected it’d still be there when we got back. By late afternoon we’d start hitchhiking back home again, have supper and relax for a few hours before we hit the streets again. We didn’t have a care in the world, but most importantly we didn’t have any major fears either. Now I ask you (yes YOU, because we’re all part of the problem. The world didn’t turn to shit all on its own), what do I tell my children and they theirs when they have to look at the world through bars on the windows, designed to keep them safe from a world outside.

I break the Masturbation World Record!!

Posted 1 October 2003, 5.09 pm by Craig

Visit Site.

Face Value, part 1/2

Posted 1 October 2003, 7.49 am by clank-o-tron

My name is Clive Metrano. You may recognize my surname as the latter portion of Smith, Anderton and Metrano and indeed, I was once the younger partner in this illustrious firm. For those of you who don't run in the business circles, the firm to which I belonged is one of the most recommended, non-retained civil representation firms on the eastern seaboard. Sadly, it is far more likely that you recognize my name from the latest headlines in the press - the ones that hail me as a murderer. I write this journal with the hope that I can inform the world of the true events of "the Kline murder" as the press has dubbed it. Let me begin by saying that I am innocent - Robert Kline did not perish at my hands nor by my devices. The press would have you believe that I eviscerated a man with my bare hands and a pocketknife!

The first elements of this event that I can place began on the second of May. That was the day I was first introduced to Robert Kline. Kline was an amiable enough man, portly and jolly. Had I known what the fates had deigned for our two fortunes I would have washed my hands of the situation wholly, but sadly foresight is not as infallible as hindsight. Kline was a new employee of Barton Pharmeceuticals - a client we had many dealings with. Being a non-retained firm we, from time to time, find ourselves facing a company we have represented in the past, and they fear our presence on the opposition as much as they favor our representation. The advantage of this is that a company understands that business is business - we offer our services to the highest bidder, and carry no grudges or alliances between cases. Our most recent dealings with Barton Pharmeceuticals had them arguing their case against ours - or rather that of Anderton Medical (a coincidence of names, I assure you). Anderton Medical had recently dismissed their Assistant Director of Technology, one Albert Grayson. Grayson was offered an identical position with Barton Pharmeceuticals almost immediately after his dismissal from Anderton Medical, and was suspected by them of sharing confidential financial information with his new employers. Based on our research and expertise, Anderton Medical won the case and Grayson was summarily dismissed from Barton Pharmeceuticals and was, through virtue of the case's public nature, effectively blackballed for future employment in the medical industry.

Robert Kline was Grayson's replacement at Barton Pharmeceuticals. He approached us now with the company of his constituants and employers to ask for our assistance with some patent conflicts. They requested that I manage the case, after seeing my work used against them in the case I recalled above. Smith and Anderton were equally impressed with my ability to find details that had eluded all other researchers on both sides of Anderton v. Barton and said they would allow me full control over the case. I was quite excited, as this was the first case where my senior partners bore no weight upon their shoulders. Lately, I had grown bored of having half involvement in simple but high profile cases so I was making an effort to learn elements of criminal defense with the secret hope that I may one day begin my own firm without having to worry about jealous competition from my associates. Much to my chagrin, my current situation has made it quite apparent that my desires will never come to fruition. In the midst of my excitement, something struck me as curious - it was clear that Kline had initated the request for my management, for I recall that the meeting brought no words from anyone at Barton aside from him. Why was Kline insistent upon my services? The legal matter at hand was not of such complexity that it needed the investigative skills I had been recently praised for - was Kline simply extending gratitude for creating the opening at Barton Pharmeceuticals he currently enjoyed? Throughout the run of the events leading up to my incarceration, I would formulate various theories regarding that matter, but those revelation are better revealed as I reached them.

It was at this point that Kline extended an invitation to a business luncheon to discuss the particulars of the case. The restaurant of Kline's choice was "Etienne's Bistro" a well-known establishment, coming highly recommended by various members of both the state and local government, several clients and almost every wealthy family in the Boston area. Despite it also being frequented by the other partners in my firm I had never dined there, for their foremost dishes were all differing preparations of mushrooms (of which I am not fond). I ordered a small steak - not topped with sauteed mushrooms, much to the dismay of the wait-staff - and Kline ordered a dish I later found out to be some kind of mushroom mixture. I did not understand the language he used to order the dish, and a cursory glance at the menu did not reveal an item corresponding to that name. During the wait for the meal, we spoke of the case specifics. I shan't bore you with needless details, but suffice it to say that the schematics for a certain piece of technology were most certainly stolen from Barton before they could be filed with the patent office. Upon arrival of our meals, we mutually agreed to hold the business talk and become more familiar with each other. Kline spoke endlessly and amiably, allowing me to ponder the questions I politely declined to ask. I watched Kline glup down his unpleasant dish, chewing briefly and mechanically, as though he was unaccustomed to polite company. I pondered the nationality of the dish he ordered; the owner, Etienne, was a French immigrant yet the word used to order the dish sounded far more gutteral while still posessing some of the vowel use commonly associated with the Franc language. I tried to recall the exact word he used and repeat it in my mind, but as I tried I felt a terrible headache assailing me. My brow ached as it sometimes does when one concentrates too intently or tries for too long to remember something long forgotten. Abruptly, something about my current surroundings made me feel suddenly terrified and quite ill. I excused myself to the restroom where splashed some cold water onto my face and tried to shake the inexplicable feeling in my chest. The only experience I could compare the sensation to is an incident in my childhood.

If memory serves, I was around the age of eight or nine at the time in question. My father, or I should say, my adoptive father, was a great criminal defense attorney and I idolised him, as many boys do their fathers. Ever since I knew my father's profession I sought to follow in his footsteps so that one day I may be as great as he was. Fortunately, the merciful Lord took my father from this mortal coil long before he could bear witness to my piteous state today. As I was saying, I was quite young and very interested in the business that so often kept my father locked in his study. My father's study was an enigmatic place, and (save for once) I had never set foot in it prior to his death. On most days, my father would emerge from his study looking puzzled and determined - though he never failed to smile when I caught his gaze. He would immediately turn and lock the door behind him with an oddly-shaped key, but one day he was in a great haste and did not notice that the latch had not properly set. I waited until I was sure he had gotten into his motorcar and left the house and I stealthily crept into the study. I carefully and silently sealed the portal behind me and slowly turned around to face the interior of the largest mystery in my small world. The study was enormous - it appeared to be larger than the available space in the house would allow it to be. Curiously, while my father was a very organized person with the rest of his affairs and the house, the contents of the study were in a shambles. Each of the walls were lined with thick, musty books on various subjects - mysteries of the native religions, christian ecclesiastical myths, studies on demon posession and reports of encounters with "blasphemous creatures" - obviously research for various clients with insanity pleas. I clambered up onto the chair at his desk and glanced over the items on his desk. Amidst the clutter strewn about the desk, there was a one foot by two foot rectangular section of the desk where the blotter beneath was depressed - presumably where a large tome routinely rested. Glancing about the room, I did not see a book that was large enough to leave those impressions over that size of an area. I did, however, happen to spy a large filing cabinet closed and locked in the same fashion as the door to the study - hastily and incomplete. It took both hands and my full body-weight to open the ponderous drawer for inside was a large, leatherbound book. Upon setting my gaze upon the tome, I immediately wanted to know what wealth of knowledge was contained within it. I had just glanced momentarily at a randomly chosen page when I heard the door behind me begin to open, whereupon I spun on my heel and tried to shut the drawer before the door opened. Before the drawer had even begun to slide, I caught my father's gaze. He said nothing, but glared at me disapprovingly as he stood next to the doorway and held the door open. I hung my head and left the room, and neither of us spoke of it again. After his death many years later, I entered the room to collect his personal effects and found everything essentially as I had left it so many years ago. I perused his collection of books and added many of them to my collection, including the large leatherbound one that had captured my interest as a child. Of that particular book I shall speak more later.

Eventually, my uneasienss subsided and I returned to the table where Kline and I had dined only to find him absent. In his place was payment for the meal as well as his apologies for leaving during my absence. Feeling hungry once again, I had the kitchen warm my meal, and I ate the remaining portion while trying to keep the events of the past few minutes out of my mind. Over the course of several days I was able to draw a nigh-irrefutable correlation between the schematics and it's origin at Barton Pharmeceuticals - many sub-components had shorthand names derived from the names of the lead designer's family. Questioning the purported designer from the rival that claimed to have designed it could easily expose him as the fraud he is. I presented this to Kline at his sparsely-decorated office, and he was quite pleased by the simplicity of the solution and requested that I gather further information on the matter to further steel the case against possible assault. As I began to take my leave, he also requested to be kept informed of my progress. I halted uncomfortably when he asked this, not that it was singularly unusual, but the manner in which he asked it was. I again recalled that I had not spoken nor seen Kline's constituants since our first meeting, and even then they only spoke their names and answered questions in simple, disjointed sentences. Even when directly addressed they used great brevity with their answers, and any vital information left out was supplied by Kline. I asked if I should report my findings to his superiors as well, and Kline insisted that the matter was entirely his, and his superiors were far too busy with other matters to be bothered.

I debated with myself at some length over this course of events. I suppose it is my nature as an advocate to find the truth - the police need only rely on "gut instincts" and circumstancial evidence to arrest a suspect, while the lawyer must find and interpret the facts of the events. I wondered perhaps if Kline was attempting to misrepresent the evidence I had gathered, or if he was trying to claim my discoveries as his own. At the time, I dismissed my suspiscions as common paranoia - but later I would come to wish that I had heeded my own warning! Regardless of my inaction, my own thoughts intrigued me. Eager to find the truth, I began to spend researching deeper into the case; the function of the product in question, the products' research timeine and the staff of both companies at the time - particularly the backgrounds of Albert Grayson and Robert Kline. The information I found was truly unusual, to say the least - and more unusual was the methods I undertook in obtaining the information.

Grayson and Kline seemed to be no more aware of each other than any other two people who had chosen similar careers in the same town. Indeed, when questioned regarding their knowledge of each other, both professed to have heard of their colleague, but had no formal knowledge of them. However, there were a curious number of similarities in their lives. Both were born in Boston, in the same year and month. Both were educated for their careers at The Popil Institute of Medicine in Rhode Island and graduated in the same year, and both had secured prosperous jobs in prestigious companies mere days after receiving their degrees. Upon first glance, this does not seem aberrant - after all, Boston is a large city and for every parallel drawn between two people there may be a thousand perpendiculars. Consider, however, a knit wool sweater: when viewed from afar, you see the pattern intended by the seamstress. Move closer, and you see the pattern of stitches that comprise the sweater. Examine the sweater beneath a microscope, and you see that the threads themselves are hundreds upon hundreds of twisted strands, no bigger than a hair's breadth. Patterns - like mysteries - are often more complex than they appear... and as one uncovers more one realizes that the pattern is much more complex than suspected.

Unfamiliar with the university jointly attended by Grayson and Kline, I sought to know more about it. Why had it never been mentioned in the medical journals I had perused in so many medical offices, when clearly it's graduates are held in such high esteem that they attain lucrative jobs immediately after graduation? Why would someone born in Boston desire to attend a pestigious out of state medical school, with Harvard so nearby? I utilized some of my contacts from the firm to try and gain insight regarding The Popil Institute from companies that had hired it's graduates, however each person I spoke to told me that the decision to hire the recent graduate was not theirs - either they were not working for the company at the time, or the decision was handed down through the channels of management. Using the information found in the employee files (which were acquired through no small feat of personality), I acquired a small amount of contact information for the educational facility in question - merely the phone number was given in each instance, for the purpose of attendance and graduation verification.

I returned home excitedly and attempted to telephone this enigmatic institute under the pretences that I was a prospective student and eager to take a tour of the facilities. My charade was cut quite short and I was informed that an appointment was required - and the one man capable of granting me an appointment was on vacation and would not return for quite some time (never, I suspected). I thanked the woman, and after hanging up my telephone I made haste to the 72nd police precinct to enlist the assistance of a long-time associate of mine, Detective Eric Reid. After waiting in the foyer for a few minutes I was admitted entry into Detective Reid's office.

Reid was a quiet man. He smelled vaguely of apricots, of which he often had one on his desk for a mid-day snack. His regularly-starched shirt was always buttoned up to the top button, even on hot summer days when his constituents were seen tugging uncomfortably at their ties. Paperwork was piled upon his desk in what would appear to be a haphazard manner, but when pressed to recover a document from his office it never failed to be within arm's reach of wherever Reid happened to be standing. I entered his office, we exchanged pleasantries and he motioned for me to take a seat. We spoke at length about various subjects, and I gained his aid in retrieving an address from the phone number given to me for Popil Insitute of Medicine in Rhode Island. He estimated that he would have a result in a week.

Needless to say, the follwing week was long with anticipation. Additionally, we were to begin trial on the coming Friday, so my efforts and time were divided - I could not forget my obligation to my client, nor could I dismiss the curiosity of the facts I had unearthed during the course of my investigaion. Fortunately, Reid's research was quite expedious, and came the day prior to the beginning of the trial. The trial went quite swiftly, as I had accumulated a great deal of favorable evidence for Barton Pharmeceuticals. That night, with the proceedings behind me, I eagerly studied my maps and plotted a course to the supposed address of the mythic Popil Institute of Medicine. The arrival of a weekend was fortuitous with my plans, as my expidition would be unnoticed and unquestioned by my clients as well as my senior partners at the firm.

As my motorcar rumbled across the border into Rhode Island, a thought struck me: this was no longer within the requirements of my job. I had thoroughly researched and won the case. Barton Pharmeceuticals successfully established ownership of the device. The backgrounds of Grayson and Kline were no longer my professional concern, yet I still progressed undaunted towards my destination. I did not know then and I still cannot say what my impetus was, only that it was preternatually strong. Some unknown force was driving me to discover these facts, as though the universe itself was crying for their unearthing. I continued to ponder this quandry until my vehicle seemed to come to a stop of it's own volition. Noting the building's address and comparing it to Reid's scratchy writing, I surmised that I had arrived at The Popil Institute of Medicine.

I Don't know...

Posted 29 September 2003, 4.23 am by Noctornus

Where Am I? It's a question most of us ask at some point or another. Usually when we first wake up. Sometimes from a dream. Sometimes from a drug or alcohol induced slumber. Occasionally after having the shit kicked out of us. But enough of that. I mean Where Am I Now? Where in my life am I? Some people believe that Death is the only thing that keeps life interesting. They have a point. If it weren't for the imminent nature of death, we would all take our time living our lives, lounging around, and enjoying ourselves. But some sort of ingrained sense of urgency begs us to make something of ourselves. Something telling us that death is at the doorstep, and we'd better fucking hurry up and be good citizens, and buy lots of useless shit and be happy, and then finally die one day, alone, in bed, with a load of shit in our pants, with a wee little smile upon our face. Fuck that. Death isn't what makes life interesting. Life is what makes life interesting. I'm talking about taking the road less traveled. I may not be a model citizen, but I work for my money, I pay my taxes, buy fast food, and bask in the light from that guant fucking billboard that was paid for with the money of stupid shits like me.

I don't mean to sound un-appreciative. I do enjoy being a consumer whore. I like my stuff. But lately I've been wondering why in the hell I even bother. Why did I buy a house? Why do I keep buying stuff? Why do i insist that I have to live in a place that I hold no feelings for? Why don't I just pick up and start a new life? I've done it before. I picked up, left the nest, and made a life all my own. Now I'm back where I started. Living a life that brings no fulfilment, that has no future. A life that's totally boring, mind-numbing, and average. Why should I keep living a life that at it's most basic level just pisses me off. I don't know. I think it may be because I'm a big pussy. It's almost funny to think, but as much as I hate the way that things are shaping up right now, I'm too much of a pussy to do any different. I'm too afraid of myself, of having my own life. On some level I just want to be an average Joe Nobody. Then again, on some lever, I also want to be your average everyday Jeffery Dahmer. Maybe it's just because I'm conflicted with respect to my life, and my place in the world. I don't know.

Maybe I should stop searching for answers late in the night, and embrace consumerism completely, sell my soul out to the multi-nations and let them ream me in the ass. Let them 'Service the Account' as I shell out $15 for CD's that cost pennies to make, and $40 for T-Shirts that are printed by some little kid in China. Maybe I should just shun it all, and become a total hippie, smoking pot all day, and shunning everything that 'The Man' has created. Maybe I should just blow my fucking brains out. or maybe, just maybe, I should go out there, live my life, Become a corporate tycoon, and help the Corporations fuck everybody. Yeah, now there's an idea. But wait, I have scruples and morals. Ahh well. Fuck that Idea.

I think I should probably sleep on it, and if I still have that will to kill come morning, I may just work my way into politics. No better way to kill people than to order them into the abyss with a wave of the pen and the hollow promise that they'll save the world from the threat of 'Weapons of Mass Destruction,' or maybe even 'Terrorism.' Give me a fucking Break.

Fuck it all. Why do I bother? Really, why do I continue to live my life, day in, and day out, with only the promise of a nice pine box and a hole in the ground once I've given all that I can give. Why must we all live our lives in the endless pursuit of happiness when the happiness we seek is to die with the most stuff? Why the hell should any of us give a damn when we all know that at the end of our lives, the only people who are going to remember us are our loved ones? Whoopety shit. They'll be too busy blubbering to realize that we, as individuals hold an endless capacity to make NO impact on the world at large. Shouldn't we focus on making the world a place that anybody can live in happiness, instead of turning the entire world into one giant Strip Mall?

I don't know. I'll probably wake up in the morning, go to work, and continue to me a good little consumer. I don't know any better.

I'll leave you with the words of Mark Renton. 5 Points to the first person to identify where this is from...

[renton]Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers.

Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends.

Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life.

But why would I want to do a thing like that?

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I truly believe that Vancouver has one of the most beautiful cityscapes. This photo was taken late in the afternoon. The way the sun was hitting the water almost brought me to tears. I think that someone should make this into a postcard that promotes our beautiful city.


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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness


80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!


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