blog, thoughts


I don’t know what it is, but today was just an exercise in laziness …more or less. I don’t think I said more than a few sentences aloud all day, aside from the usual “I hate my life.” and “Feking kill me already” which has become the wake-up ritual.

It’s my day off from green hell. Woke up early this morning in pain. Body was aching all over. Wanted to go workout at the gym, but my body just wasn’t up to it. Instead I spent the morning doing some light aquarium maintenance, checking e-mail, facebook etc etc.

By the the time noon had come around, I went out and bought a few groceries from green hell. Was planning to do some writing the local Wendy’s that has wifi, but I looked at my bank account and decided not to. Even the value menu is too expensive for me, and I have to make this change last until payday (friday). Looking at my current balance pretty much ruined the rest of the day for me.

Went home, caught up on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and did some much needed book case organizing and clean up.

In the last couple hours, I decided to do some WordPress maintenance. Some might notice the slight changes or additions I’ve made in the last couple days. The process was a lot more tedious than I figured it would be, but it’s done. Everything is finally linked together. And I did notice a spike in viewers-Altho that may just be me checking that everyone is working. lol

In any case, getdador! is building, growing, and evolving-

Slowly, but surely.



Y’know, maybe I’ll start adapting getdador! similarly to the 2000 A.D Prog-Instead of multiple different titles debuting new issues monthly, the stories are condensed to bite sized chapters weekly in a single issue. So instead of me just writing on the same subject day after day, I’ll cover it week after week with smaller posts. I realize sometimes I can ramble for days, and I know everyone has other things to do than read said ramblings.

I’ll try it.

Now I have to devise a schedule-And in fact subject matters to cover. I have the jobs series of stories, I have written on more current matters in my life. I also have a couple of novel sized stories and some short stories that I can preview. There are many possibilities.

Definitely need to learn how to manipulate WordPress better. Haven’t quite figured out how to do multiple pages/tabs and I really should (and hope it doesn’t cost anything more). I do like the infinite page scroll feature on my current piano black theme, but that is definitely suited to blog only posts, whereas I think I need to expand a bit.

I am actually sitting and typing this at a Carl’s Jr. that is located in the same lot as the Starbucks I usually write at. Was hungry. Unfortunately there is no internet connection here. And I’m far too poor to afford making my phone mifi capable. So I suppose I’ll save this now, and head over to Starbucks to upload. And then I’ll spend some time tinkering and researching WordPress as I have the next couple nights off from my green hell.


the origin of fek

… or feck, as it were.

Didn’t get a chance to make my run to Starbucks to write. Apologies. So instead here is a video featuring a word I use often enough in my writing and in real life. The show is called Father Ted and the old, excitable man is Father Jack. I knew of the show for years, but it wasn’t until Netflix had it available that I had watched the series in its entirety over one weekend. Since then, I’ve adopted the word fek/feck into my personal vernacular.

Another word I use (probably more often), is sneck: A pejorative used by the 2000 A.D. character known as Durham Red. I have almost all of the 2000 A.D. progs, the graphic novels, and novels on my Kindle featuring her. She’s a spin-off of the Strontium Dog/Johnny Alpha stories. Just excellent sci-fi all around!

One more night of work, and then two nights off. I’ll try to write something meatier soon enough.

To everyone that has bothered reading my blog, I thank you.

Now fek off. 

blog, thoughts


Well this morning started out well. Not. Just moments ago I was setting up my laptop here at a very small table in Starbucks-Didn’t realize my cup of tea was situated so close to the back end of my laptop, and when I opened it, the backside of the monitor knocked over my tea. It was venti (large) sized and all of it had spilt. (sigh)

I quickly and calmly notified the staff. Thankfully, the clerk, Alicia (as I see on her tag), a very nice lady, came over and mopped it up right away-And she actually gave me another cup of Earl Grey. That was a surprise. I figure it was my fault and I should probably leave, let alone pay for a new cup. For a mega corporation, Starbucks does have a nice spill policy. I should hope to never do that again, but as I’ve said in a past blog, I am indeed a clumsy oaf.

What else? Ahh, yes. Had my usual phone conversation with my best friend Jeff this morning. We are essentially both off on Wednesdays, so this is when we tend to catch up on each others lives. He mentioned that he ran into an old acquaintance of hours from highschool. I will not disclose his name (hell, I won’t even pretend to try to spell it). Anyway, he apparently is well off. His parents run a local law firm which he is a part of. Jeff was in fact installing a new cable system for him (Jeff is a cable guy). He has a nice home, a girlfriend, and is living quite comfortably …apparently.

However Jeff had off chance made note of a letter left on our acquaintances table. An approval letter for Zoloft, an anti-depressant-And it made Jeff wonder why? I quickly replied that “Being as successful as he is, he’s probably under a lot of pressure, and that anti-depressant is probably a way of coping with it.” I went on-”We live in a very fast paced society where information comes at us at all directions and we have to deal with it on the spot. Some of us deal with it or adapt better than others. There are people in the world still stuck in the stone age, living very simple lives compared to us in the technological and modern civilized world. These tribal societies are barely clothed, only eat what they can hunt and gather; Yet when you see them in those documentaries, they all seem very happy and content. They have each other, their small community, and that’s all the distraction they need.”

The exchanged continued for several more minutes with us discussing and comparing this to each of our present living situations (our jobs, home lives etc) and Jeff said, “Y’know, it’s just like Tex Murphy said, ‘No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse.’ –But look at us. Look at all the crap we’ve gone through. It’s like Tex Murphy, it’s like a video game. We go through increasingly difficult waves of situations that get harder and harder. We use whatever the game gives us to fight back, and it just keeps pressuring us-But we both haven’t gone over the edge and started a self-destructive smack binge.”

I replied, “Y’know, you’re right. Our lives kinda suck, but we’ve never gone overboard. Like you said, level after level, wave after wave-That is the perfect allegory. It’s like …Galaga. Life is like fekin Galaga. There’s that one bug that sucks up your ship, your life, and integrates you into the swarm. And with your new life (a new chance), you have to try and carefully, skillfully kill that bug that holds your former self captive, and free it. When that happens you re-integrate your old self with the new and have twice the firepower to combat the swarm.”

We both agreed.

Life is Galaga.”

blog, thoughts


So I know I’ve not been active for about the last week. Things have happened. Some good, some bad. I suppose I’ll start with the good.

Finally got paid from work at Dollar Tree last Friday. A small portion of that supplemented with some of the money I’d made selling an external drive and some collectible Bioshock toys on eBay, I have finally gotten around to building up a 20 gallon tank that had been sitting in my van for the better part of 3 weeks. I took advantage of a sale at Petco that featured aquarium tanks for sale at one dollar per gallon. I was very excited to get it.

I should probably back up a little bit. I’ve always had interest in aquarium fish. Some of my earliest memories as a child was helping my grandfather with his goldfish tank. He had the usual large feeder goldfish types and fancies with a generic HOB (hang on back) filter and an incandescent light with hood. Definitely beginner type stuff.

Of course, my 4-year-old enthusiasm to care for these fish was tragically comical…

I recall my grandparents taking me to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. I suppose it was modeled after the traditional Edo period Japanese stylings-Cherry blossoms, zen gardens etc. Surrounding the garden was a pond, or perhaps a moat that housed hundreds, if not thousands of live Koi fish. And I had noticed other visitors feeding the fish what seemed to be bits of crackers and pieces of bread.

In my young mind, I patterned that the Koi basically looked like giant goldfish. See where this is going?

Later that day, when we returned home, the thought process was focused on getting grandpa’s goldfish to grow as large as the Koi from the garden. And so there I went, with determination and intent, stormed into the kitchen set up a chair to the cupboard, climbed up, and grabbed a whole loaf of bread.

I then took that loaf to the living room to my grandfathers fish tank and began to stuff said loaf of bread into the tank.

After awhile, as I was sitting on my knees, excitedly watching the bread expand against the walls of the tiny tank, my grandmother caught sight of the scene. “Ronnie!” she screamed. “What are you doing? Jerry!” She peered back into the bedroom and motioned for my grandfather to come.

Grandfather quickly rushed out. “Ronnie?!” At this point I imagine most parents would start to cuss themselves out. Not my grandfather. Grandma Virgie, yes, but not grandpa Jerry. In fact, I can probably count on both of my hands of how many times I’ve heard him say the -S- word, but never the -F- word. In later years, when my grandfather was in contact with his brothers and sisters (who were all military as well) yes, I would definitely hear them all cuss up a storm-But he never would in parenting mode.

In anycase, grandfather calmly walked over to me and this ridiculous scene, and asked what I thought I was doing.

“I’m feeding the fish so they can get as big as those fish we saw at tea garden!” I replied with glee.

Mind you, the tank and its inhabitants were basically destroyed from what I did, but my grandfather didn’t yell at me. He had a very puzzled look on his face that slowly grew to amusement. He turned around and my grandparents looked at each other for a moment then they started to howl with laughter.

Of course, I not understanding the ramifications of my actions had shyly asked them. “What?”

That’s right folks. Ron Dador, newly/recently re-emigrated from the Philippines, at four years old was a destroyer of worlds.(Queue opening chorus from This Corrosion).

Of course those fish had died and my grandfather had gotten more of the same. Feeders and small fancies are generally cheap after all, and my grandmother liked those colors. Not long after we finally made our move to Santa Clara, and the fish were bucketed and successfully transferred to a long life at our Greenwood Drive home. I can’t remember exactly, but I believe those “new” fish and the tank were given away years later, before we again moved.

Again many years later, I think in my late teens, shortly after moving from Salinas, just gallivanting around Hillsdale mall, I noticed a small pet store (that no longer exists). I went in and on a whim had bought a crowntail betta, a 1 gallon bowl, a small bottle of water conditioner, and some generic betta food. Of course, I wasn’t really thinking. I should have gotten one closer to home, not 30 miles away. In any case, the pet shop owner, a little old lady, armed me with some knowledge on how to keep a Betta. And Traz (Don’t ask me how I came up with that weird name) lived a decently long life.

I believe after getting my first local job at Sanmina Corporation, I celebrated by getting a 10 gallon tank. My knowledge of fish keeping was still very basic, I had a book on keeping bettas, but knew nothing of non-anabantoids. Traz stayed in the bowl. In the new tank I put in black Mollies and red sword tails, but I didn’t have a filter. I had instead bought a powerhead-Figuring the fish basically just need oxygenation.

Well they got oxygen alright, about 250gph (gallons per hour) in a small 10 gallon tank. Stupid me. The current was so powerful it stressed the fish too much and they perished. Well, the sword tails I found out were prone to jumping out of the tank, and I also didn’t have a lid-So it wasn’t all the powerheads fault… yeh.

After I found out what I did wrong, I got an undergravel filter kit for the 10 gallon. Doing some research on the net, I found out why my new tank was cloudy, the cycling process, etc etc. And soon I bought another pair of black mollies. After the first day of their purchase, my grandparents had visited and were looking at my little tank, and laughing from recalling what I did with their fish tank as a child. Then my grandmother made the comment, “Oh, Ronnie! Are those little bugs in your tank?”

Puzzled, I took a closer look and was awestruck. One of the mollies had given birth.

Of course I had no idea what sex they were, let alone notice a pregnancy. Hell, I didn’t even know they were livebearers. And so it was, I did some research, and figured out how to raise the mollies. And I’d say that was pretty much the start of my fixation in aquarium keeping. It definitely wasn’t proper, and I still didn’t know what I was doing, but the fry survived to adulthood, and were eventually traded.

About a year or so into Mission college, I met a fellow student, who was related to a childhood classmate of mine. His name is Roy. Afterwhile, Roy and I started hanging out and found that he and his cousin (my former classmate) were hardcore fish keepers-Both having marine tanks. That’s way beyond me, even today. Roy would later major in marine biology, and scuba dives.

Anyway, Roy loaned me his 37 gallon Marineland Eclipse setup. A big step up from the 10 gallon, at least in my eyes. Big tank equals bigger fish, I thought. And so I started keeping African Cichlids.

Mind you, again, I stepped into a world of knowledge that I had yet to learn. Firstly, Traz was very much alive. And he was still the biggest fish I had. I figured, an adult Betta should be fine with other fish as big as he. He won’t bother the cichlids, and he should be much happier in such a large tank. I figure I’ll go ahead an move him in after establishing my newly acquired cichlids.

One morning before work, while it was still darker, I moved Traz into the cichlid tank. I let him swim around a little and finally turned on the lights. The cichlids (1 convict, 1 bright white, and two electric blue socolafi) took notice of Traz. They swam up to Traz, a betta, goes “shields up” in anticipation for attack, and just as quickly, the cichlids backed off. I saw that and was confident, things should be fine in the tank. So I fed them all, got ready for work, and spent a good five minutes watching Traz happily exploring the rocky, fake plant plentiful, and vast new world.

Of course this story turns for the worse. When I got home, I couldn’t immediately find Traz. After a good few minutes of searching frantically, there he was …Or rather what was left of him. The cichlids must have ganged up on him after I had left for work. What remained of Traz was his skull, fully depleted of all his glorious pigments-With the exception of a heavily faded blue on his lips. The cichlids are very thorough.

That was rather heartbreaking. Up to that point, Traz was in my care for a good 2 years. I did take good care of him. Did the water changes, fed him well. Seems never a day without some addition to his bubble nests at the top of the bowl. He was a happy little betta; Yet my efforts to make him happier had failed and led to his violent destruction. (Queue Mozart’s Lacrimosa)

I can probably go on with a plethora of odd often amusing fish keeping stories with the cichlid tank alone. Keeping that tank was actually hard work, and became quite expensive as they grew and required more food. More food, means more waste, means more upkeeping. Not to mention how destructive they are to personal vision of an aquascape. If they’re powerful enough to move and drag it, they will. It was kind of annoying, but you got used to it.

I will recall one brief amusing story.

One day, my cousins brought over their kids. The daughter, Meshelle-Anne, I call her Meany-She was looking with awe at the cichlid tank. I asked her if she wanted to go with me to the local fish store (LFS) to get my cichlids some new friends. And so she went with me. We went to the feeder tank, and I let her pick out 10 fish friends! (this place let you fish out feeders yourself)

And so I bagged them all up and let her carry the fish to the register. She told clerk with excitement that “Uncle let me pick out some new friends for his fish!” The teller asked me what fish I had, and I told her “cichlids” with a wink. She looked at the little girl and smiled then gave me a momentary look of disgust which turned into a small laugh and shrug. She figured I was playing a kind of mean joke on Meany.

On the way home, Meany was amusing herself by naming all the fish. This little joke was going so well, I thought!

When we got home, she ran up to my tank with the bag of feeders, urging me to put them in quickly. I oblige, no need to acclimate feeders after all. I pulled out the net and proceeded to drop them all in.

Of course the feeders didn’t last long. As soon as they were in, the cichlids were in hot pursuit. The golden scales flew rapidly around the tank, as one by one each feeder was swallowed hole by my gang of cichlids. The look on meany’s face was obvious and total shock! Wish I had a camera.

Seems however that the fragile childlike innocence, the empathy, the pain, and sorrow had quickly faded from Meany, and she exclaimed. “Uncle that was cool! Can we get more fish?!”

This blog is become far more lengthy than I had anticipated, but I’m having fun writing it. Hope you don’t mind the read.

Let’s fast forward to present time. Yes, I had just gotten a 20 gallon tank, and procured some money to put it together. I’m actually quite proud of what I accomplished so far. I had previously gotten two smaller pico tanks. One 2.5 gallon that still houses my current Halfmoon Betta, named Alvar (old Norse for “vigilant”), and a 3 gallon Eclipse tank that I got for six dollars at a Salvation Army (LOL!)-That housed 5 Harlequin Rasboras, a black Kuhli Loach, a Nerite Zebra Snail and a couple Amano Shrimp. Obviously it was overstocked, but I kept it well enough, and all it’s inhabitants are now safely transferred into the new 20 gallon. In additioin I’ve added another Amano, three Cherry Red Shrimp, seven Neon Tetras, and a fiddler crab.

One major thing difference from when I first started is now I’m also keeping live plants. Believe it or not the Wisteria, Alternentha, Java Moss and Onion Grass had all flourished in the pico tanks-Actually taking up much of the little space, hence my eventual move to a larger tank. Flourish Excel and decent lighting in such tiny tanks sure did the trick. I’ve actually clipped some wisteria given them away.

Yet I’m now having trouble with the plants. It seems the transfer to the new tank hasn’t gone well for the Wisteria as it’s starting to melt a bit. It’s only been about a week, and they’ll probably bounce back, but I am very concerned because my lighting is definitely inadequate. It may be enough for these low light plants, yet the tiny pico tank lights are perhaps not penetrating deeply enough into the 20 gallon tank. I should have tested the lights before I so hastily started putting this tank together. I was just too excited. So now I have to hope the plants survive until my next pay day which is in 10 days. (Sigh) At least the fish, the snail, and the invertebrates are doing well.

BUT– Will I last 10 days is the next question.

Work as a Dollar Tree stocker is becoming more frequently frustrating. I almost quit last night, or rather, this early morning. That’s one problem I have, I am not acclimating well to the graveyard shift. I just can’t seem to get enough sleep these days. In the last 48 hours, I had maybe 4 hours of sleep. Furthermore, it’s ruining my appetite. I hardly eat anything anymore. Today is my favorite day of the week, Tuesday cheap chicken day at Popeye’s, and I had to force myself to eat my usual 4 pieces. Because I’ve been so tired, I haven’t made it to the gym much, and tho I’m losing weight, it’s not good weight. I feel like my body is just imploding in on itself.

The work is another aspect that I’m frustrated with. It seems I’m just too slow. I’m supposed to keep with a certain flow and speed-I just don’t feel very motivated to go any faster. Eight dollars an hour, maybe 20-24 hours a week, very bad logistics in moving in the product, backstocking, and upstocking. It just drives me crazy. I want to read the order count, the shipping manifests on paper, not just pick up a box and look at the count, and then try to find the matching product amongst other randomly piled boxes of products that all look the same! I’ve learned that I am a visual learner, I need to recognize and interpret, then take action. Taking the time to open up each box of product to see what it is just takes up too much time and is driving me nuts. That on top of keeping the shelves organized so I can fit everything-Yeah, honestly, I’d rather have everything cataloged, to the point of when something is purchased, you know what it is, where it goes and know it will fit. This random upstocking just …sucks.

They expect it all to be done in such little time, and I know I’m not getting any faster at it. My mind is so lost in negativity because of all these factors that when I’m working, I’m an emotional wreck. And when I’m not working, I think about work and how it’s affecting me outside of it that I’m still an emotional wreck. Look, I haven’t even written anything for my blogsite here until now. I’ve just been too far gone.

I am truly not happy working there. The people are fine, but the work, well it’s just not for me. Again, the payrate and (too little) schedule are not motivating. I’m at the point that where every little annoyance is becoming a very big annoyance. I was thinking about work earlier today and associating it with killing myself. It’s that bad!

What can I do tho? Earning a little money is better than no money, right? But is it really worth my physical and mental well-being to earn that little money?

blog, thoughts

coffee and apples

I usually spend time writing for my blog here at one of the local Starbucks coffee establishments-Particularly the one located at Bayhill Shopping Center in San Bruno. It’s a larger store, located across from the YouTube and Walmart offices. And so it seems a majority of the clientele who raid this store for that quick wake-me-up are mostly well off and/or stinkin rich. I’m not one of them of course…

Nope. They all commonly order expensive frappuccinos, mochas, and lattes; While I get an Earl Grey tea on the cheap-But I splurge a little, I get two bags, and add in a drop of soy! Big spender here. It is advantageous however, as basically you only pay for the bags and cup, while the hot water is continually free. And if the server knows you as a regular, he/she might not charge the extra forty cents for the soy. Either way, I’m spending little more than two dollars, but it lasts me for as long as I stay. Also I just have no taste for coffee any longer. Once in awhile, I might get a insert odd name frappuccino, but I won’t pay for it.

The other reason I dwell here, of course, is that this Starbucks, seemingly along with all others, have free wifi net connections-Heavily congested and lower speeds, but it’s free. Please don’t come to Starbucks with torrent downloading in mind, you will be highly disappointed.

Now the reason I’m making note of this experience is that I can look in any direction around me, and I will see someone doing something on their laptop, or phone, or tablet. Every single one of these technological tools (wink) is an Apple MacBook, iPhone, or iPad. And all of which are current generation. No, no! I see someone with a newer Lenovo ultrabook! PC brother!

There’s absolutely nothing with their choice in computer or gadget. I do wonder however, how much potential in computing power is being wasted on… Let’s see, he’s on craigslist, he’s reading something, someone is on iTunes (with his overpriced Beats Audio headphones), Facebook, Candycrush, eBay, YouTube, Wikipedia… (I’m totally being a voyeur right now) — Oh there’s someone doing some spreadsheet work! Point is, are these expensive gadgets really necessary for such small tasks? Why would someone spend in excess of a thousand dollars for light web browsing and productivity? When not taking a break at Starbucks, what are these high end computers used for?

I am typing this on an almost 10 year-old laptop with an OS (Windows XP) that is now 4 generations old, Half as much RAM as I should have (512mb)-that also runs about ten times slower than current speeds, a single core processor, a very slow 4200rpm IDE HDD, 64mb video RAM, and a wireless b/g connection. And I can do everything that everyone else is doing here on their current gen notebooks. It really isn’t that much slower either.

I do understand companies from time to time limiting support for certain products in order to sell new ones. However I also think it’s wrong when support is completely dropped for the older product while it is still perfectly able to perform as it always has. Like car companies, most computer hardware and software companies do their best to stay up to date with current builds. When the product becomes finally obsolete there are often still outlets for old available parts and support files found on-line that you basically have to do a little digging for. The resurrection of this old laptop is a result of that.

So why am I not seeing more people here with older generation hardware/software when it all still basically works? Is it all really just a symbol of status to spend and brandish newer gear every year or two? Seems kind of silly if it is. Or are people just too lazy to do the upkeep of their old gear?

Of course I’m definitely in no place to tell people how to spend their money. Suppose I need some myself in order for people to pay attention to me anyway.