Andy Laub

Andy Laub is a designer & developer in the Twin Cities.

Published Jul 02

Pepsi Blue »

i had the opportunity to try pepsi blue today. my initial reaction was, “thank god i didn’t actually spend money on this crap. this made me sad, because since sunday, when i saw the full-page newspaper ad picturing the giant blue bottle, i was kind of looking forward to trying it. i think i have bad luck with sodas this way. i was really expecting it to be good and it completely let me down. i have to say the same for vanilla coke. there, again, was i expecting this really great hybrid of (duh) coke and vanilla, but there just wasn’t enough of a difference between that and regular coke to make me feel like i got my money’s worth. sure, i got 40 ounces of beverage for a dollar, but that’s not the point. the point is, it wasn’t very good. there’s also mountain dew amp, an energy drink that i tried one time, because the can looked cool, and it was free. i wanted so much for it to be good because i was so impressed with the packaging. i was less than impressed with the taste, however. i have found, though, that cherry, despite my hatred for the real-life fruit and any food cherry-flavored, is an ideal additive to soda. cherry coke, cherry pepsi, and most recently, mountain dew code red, are all winners in my book, despite that stupid crap about code red being “as real as the streets.” i guess soda follows that all-important life lesson about high expectations leading to failure, or something like that. what i mean is, when you expect something to be good and it isn’t, there’s disappointment, but when you don’t expect it to be good, you’re pleasantly surprised when it is.

The Futility of It All »

i’ve really been noticing lately the complete lack of logic that a lot of people possess. abe credits it to my impatience, but i think there is some validity to the whole issue. we’ll begin with my day after work yesterday, as that’s when i was really starting to notice this trend. we went to pay my cell phone bill. yes, the parking lot for the building is not as good as it could be, but do people really have to stop in the middle of it and completely block the driveway? abe says that it’s because he was in a pickup so it was required, but i still credit it to lack of courtesy. that word will come up again, so be prepared. once we manage to get inside, i find that they have (as usual) a bunch of people waiting for help. this is not a small local operation by any means. it covers quite a bit of wisconsin and minnesota, and is quite popular with a lot of people in the area (hence the long line). you would think that, with the amount of money they make off people who’re suckered into cell phones in the first place, they can actually have one or two more people working. apparently, they figure we don’t have a choice (which is true, unfortunately), so they can do whatever they want. so i waited for awhile, trying to figure out why they wouldn’t have one person who just handles billing so people there to actually give them money could do it. it seems like everytime i’ve gone there with an actual interest in buying something or a legitimate question, i have to wait behind someone who needs everything explained to them, either in person or over the phone. so anyway, after finally getting out of there, i decided that maybe it’d be fun to put gas in my car. since this is not usually a very time-consuming activity, i was kind of almost looking forward to taking care of it. however, all the pumps were taken. i waited behind one person who’d finished putting gas in her car, hoping that she’d move it before she went inside to pay, since, obviously, that would be the nice thing to do. apparently she didn’t think so. i think the concept of courtesy was completely foreign to her, or maybe she just thought i was admiring her car. so i move, because a man comes out of the building and gets in his car. i think i spent a couple minutes behind him, thinking maybe he was actually done and ready to leave and not taking a nap or something. that was not true, so i moved behind another car, which actually left. of course, when i got to the pump, it happened to be the only one on which the “pay at the pump” function was out of order. so i ended up using the original pump i was waiting at, because that stupid lady finally came out and was actually able to start her car and leave the gas station (amazingly) without hitting anything. although it would’ve been entertaining if she had. this whole rant continues when i go to work, because the people i have to talk to are most likely some of the least “with it” of them all. seriously, if you don’t know what your zip code is, you probably shouldn’t be allowed to dial a phone. i don’t even understand how you managed to find the phone to dial it, or that you were even able to dial the correct number. and if you’re reading this, take this to heart because there are more people like me out there, and chances are they get just as irritated as i do when they have to put up with you all day.

Tornadoes Are Scary »

last night, we had a tornado warning that lasted until about 11:00. i didn’t much like it, not only because i had to (gasp!) turn off my computer, but because i just get so paranoid about stuff like that. what if our apartment building got hit. what if we lost all our stuff? what would i do. the problem with anything like this is, once i know that the people i care about are safe, i get extremely material. i was worried about losing everything on the computer, and loosing all my cd’s that i love so dearly. and the dreamcast. i felt worried about that, then felt guilty for worrying about loosing what some people will never even have. but the paranoia itself is nothing new. i’ve always felt that way. i hate to drive across bridges with my car windows open, for fear something will fly out (oh no! i’ve lost my pen!). i am wary of boats for the same reason. i don’t honestly think i could ever handle myself on a cruise. and if i do lose something, i just can’t stop thinking about it. one time i was at a park with my parents and i was playing with a matchbox car (the “Mister Rodgers car,” I called it, for some reason) and it fell into one of those retaining walls that are made with the concrete blocks… you know, they have the holes in the top that line up with one another all the way to the bottom. anyway, i dropped the car down the hole, and i was so upset. i thought about it for months on end, getting a little sick to my stomach each time. more than recently, i left my keys on our coffee table before going out with abe and some people, and forgot they were there. halfway through the evening i realized that i didn’t have my keys and was worried sick i had left them someplace. so i don’t know, i just hate losing stuff. really hate it. and tornadoes, and fires, and floods and everything of that nature, those are the worst, because you lose everything. even after i went to bed, i had a dream that the tornado did hit our building, but not our apartment, just the one across the hall from us. the roof was ripped off and everything, and all i could think about was how glad i was that all our stuff was safe. it was pretty pathetic, really, but i think a lot of people are like that, and that makes me feel a little better.

Cellular Phone or Lucky Charm? »

scientists have discovered that the influence for the strangly shaped navigation buttons on the Nokia 3360 cellular phone is, in fact, a horseshoe. at the time of the phone’s inception, it is believed that the designers had been intaking mass quantities of Lucky Charms brand breakfast cereal. this groundbreaking disovery was made yesterday morning, and a striking coincidence, considering the phone’s owner. it is also speculated that Nokia neglected to produce a solid green faceplate of any kind, with the reasoning that the phone would just be “too lucky.” while there is a “green kaleidescope” theme available, they are safe in the assumption that no one will buy it simply because it’s not very attractive. in other news, it is official that absolutely nobody is interested in the Star Wars-themed faceplates for the 3300-series, nor are they amused by the “u make it u” tagline that also accompanies the phones.

Undershirts & Me »

i wake up this morning and put on a t-shirt. then i sit here, typing the previous article and eating my outmeal, then it’s almost time for work. for some reason, i take off the t-shirt and put on a white shirt first. i don’t know why i do, and i don’t know why i just don’t want to wear one shirt anymore. it certainly would make sense, considering the bombardment of humidity that we’re currently recieving, but no, i have to put on an undershirt before i can really start the day. i know i never had to do this in high school, and i just started in my freshman year of college. i think i like the added heaviness of an extra shirt. i also think that i like being able to coordinate my shirt colors, and for some odd reason i think that looks better. it’s a good thing i draw the line at two shirts, otherwise i’d be in trouble. yessiree.

»

so, i’m making oatmeal (the instant kind) (seriously!) this morning. on the box it says, “put in microwave in uncovered bowl.” i think perhaps it should add, “if you want to clean your microwave afterwards, because it’s gonna spit crap all over.” after cleaning it up and managing to get some on the floor and cleaning that up, it’s sitting in front of me, uneaten… i think it’s too hot. the toast is fine, but honestly, i’m pretty sure i’ve had toast for breakfast every day for the past month or two. i’m also currently mastering the art of “typing with food on your desk,” meaning the left arm is normally placed, but the right arm is up in the air, above the oatmeal, getting very warm. it’s fun. in other (very) notable news, i finally got a chance to have a good long conversation with Rascal yesterday, and let me just say that he is a swell guy. i’d bake him a cake but it wouldn’t be very good, so i drew him a picture instead. That’s really about all, and you can see more about the picture on his site, so i recommend you go there. after you’re done here. i have to eat my oatmeal.

this is funny, but only if your status bar is in view on the bottom of your browser. otherwise you’ll probably find it pretty stupid.

»

well, it’s happened. we’ve decided to no longer enlist the services of the dreaded Verizon. it all started back when we switched from DSL (using Verizon’s phone line, of course) to cable. we’ve been considering completely abandoning landlines altogether. and since abe’s decided he needs a new phone since he got a new plan, and i needed a phone for school (i’ll be commuting) we decided to try not having any standard phones. it should be rather interesting. on a sad note, the Siemens phones will be out of commission, a fact i regret because i do so love them. while the 3360 that i ended up with was not my first choice (i am in love with the 3390, a phone not available anywhere in this area) i think it will prove to be good over time, not to mention that i got a pretty great deal on it at Best Buy.

so this is good.

screw the Dreamcast. I think this may be the greatest game ever made.

»

hi! how was your fourth? mine was decent. we visited abe’s brother’s new house-under-construction, and we cleaned some of the plants off of his beach (the house is on a lake, of course). after burning ourselves thoroughly, we cooked out in his yard and then went to see fireworks. for some reason, i’m just not a big fan of fireworks. also, take into account that i was tired and had to work the next morning, so i slept in the car instead of watching. not much else is happening. dogs are barking again. dogs are great, but these dogs are annoying. i also seem to have gone on a bit of a buying spree lately for the Dreamcast. within the last two weeks, not only did i buy Shenmue, but 3 vmu’s, 2 controllers, and Space Channel 5, Jet Grind Radio, and Chu Chu Rocket (the latter being my favorite). all were really good prices. anyway, that’s about it for now.

»

well, we’ve returned from the big C of O. i enjoyed it muchly. i could list all the stuff we did, but i think i will most likely just list the stuff i enjoyed. firstly, i got to see my sister Nina, finally, and the beautiful house that she shares with her husband Dave. he’s a carpenter, so they’ve really done a lot of work on it, and it’s coming along very nicely. while abe and i were with them, after going to dinner at Johnny Corino’s (a place remarkably similar in exterior appearance to the Olive Garden, but much more casual) we visited a little suburb on the edge of Longmont called Prospect. it was quite the amazing place, and probably one of the most impressive things i’ve ever seen. imagine a suburb where the houses are actually different. every color you could imagine was found there, with unthinkable combinations like orange and yellow. and the most surprising thing was that it all worked beautifully. i could definitely see myself living there someday, despite the fact that the single-family homes start in the low $300′s. Anyway, aside from going to prospect (twice–briefly on Tuesday with my sister, abe, and dave, and for a longer visit Friday with abe and his parents), we also drove out to Vail, and meandered about in Vail Village. it was pretty nice, since the majority of roads are closed to cars, and left for buses, bikes, or pedestrians. it reminded me of Europe, particularly Austria, if i remember right. we also visited Breckenridge, another nice little town, even though i have to admit to being burnt out at that point. the highlight of that city was seeing one of my very favorite bikes, the Trek Y 5-0. it was for sale, and quite a deal. unfortunately, i missed out on the job that i applied for, otherwise i would own yet another bike. last Monday was abe’s brother’s birthday, so we went to St. Mary’s glacier and hiked about (it is one of his favorite things to do). on the way up, we came across a guy with two dogs, both of which had wolf in them. we howled with one, which was pretty great. she had incredible copper-colored eyes. of course, we also spent a day checking out Denva. i wasn’t really in the mood so i called it quits after 1/2 day, and spent the rest of the time playing Shenmue, which i bought for 12.99 along with a red VMU for the Dreamcast. ah yes, the drive. under some circumstances, the 14-hour trip might have been punishing. however, given the fact that we took a brand new Saab 9-3, and had a power inverter so we could play the Dreamcast in the car, it was more like a reward. i think that that was my favorite road trip ever. well, i think i’ll stop going on about Colorado, since you’ve probably read all you wanted, but i’ll leave you with this: where are we going to get enough squirrels to make a kite? (10 points if you can tell me where i got that).