THANKS FOR 2010
Find a way to make my milkshake bring all the boys to the yard
"Pencils are infinitely better than any pen. Go through your pencil holder right now and remove all the pens which do not belong there any way because naming rights! That said, the beauty of the pencil lies in its base interaction with the user. When one gets hold of a pencil, its capacity to be used must be formed by you the user. It then becomes your own. Its relative sharpness or dullness reflects your own personality. Some uptight types insist on it being perpetually sharp and long. Others are more deliberate about their pencil point, some run it down to the ground before sharpening again. As one who draws with a pencil I prefer to slowly whittle down the sharp point from use until it reaches a perfect balance of dullness to sharpness ratio which makes for the absolute best medium in which sketching and shading can be accomplished.
The length of one's pencil is another customizable feature notably absent from any decent pen (jerry rigging aside). Most prefer a decent length, while of course the 3/4 to 1/2 length being ideal. I enjoy using the pencil until the very edge of the eraser metal. I can gauge easily my usage of this particular implement and the many adventures we have been through, notes in class, doodles on the margins, sketches of trees in the park, or simple notes about grocery shopping. The pencil not only engaged in these activities of my daily life, but it accompanies me along with my journeys where ever I happen to go.
The pencil sustains scratch marks from wear and tear, indentations made by finger nails during boring lectures, and teeth marks while cramming for finals. Sometimes I draw pictures with my thumbnail, patterns or even words. All of these marks remain, although inevitably it is erased and turned into shavings as its use weighs on the graphite clay mixture within it.
The eraser is a personality unique to each individual pencil, some work wonderfully leaving clear paper behind while others do nothing but smear. This is a clear advantage of the pencil however, erasing allows one to tinker with the drawing or the written word until it comes out as desired. The pencil is forgiving and will allow you to fully express yourself. The color of the marks it makes are far more beautiful than any left by ink. Its marks may be light, heavy and dark and everything inbetween, a flexibility the pen greatly lacks in its entrapped black (or blue) and white world.
Our love for the pencil has lead us to construct special homes for them, the pencil holder. Recently invaded by assortments of pens, markers and highlighters, the pencil shares this home reluctantly comfortable in the knowledge of its true purpose. While formally shaved with a simply knife, we have seen fit to construct special machines specifically for the purpose of sharpening them. We called these "pencil sharpeners". The classic hand crank we all remember from elementary school. More recent bastard electric varieties have crept in, robbing our youth of the beautiful experience of examining the interior workings of the human powered machine. But luckily, the personal and transportable sharpener will likely always be the same razor blade based system.
The pencil is so ubiquitous that I no longer even purchase them any more. I find them on the ground on sidewalks, in buildings or left on tables. I pocket every one and bring them home to be used whenever the current friend meets its inevitable end. This always brings a sort of sentimentality to the pencil, some where on its journey it was abandoned specifically in order to meet me. Our fates were intertwined. It becomes a friend. Its hexagonal shape allows for more enjoyable fiddling than a boring circular pen could ever allow. The pen is sterile, indifferent, uniform and boring. The pencil is the durable friend, comfortable, fun, as changing as you are, and as reflective of your own person. The pencil is beautiful" - aswerfawf -www.everything2.com
The 18th Division was an infantry division in the III Corps of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). The U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam considered the 18th as undisciplined and was well known throughout the ARVN for its "cowboy" reputation. In 1975 the 18th was made famous as the only ARVN division that stood fast and refused to surrender before Saigon fell.
During the last major battle of the Vietnam War, the vastly out numbered 18th Division stood and fought at Xuan Loc, 38 miles north of Saigon. This battle is considered the epic last stand of ARVN forces, where the 18th earned the name "The Supermen". It was commanded by General Le Minh Dao, a smart, conservative and emotional commander. The 18th made a defiant apocalyptic last standagainst communist forces in Xuan Loc, a city strategically important for intersecting five main routes. The fierce fighting raged for two weeks. The 18th Division, outnumbered 7:1 by the Vietnam People's Army (VPA) forces, all but destroyed three VPA divisions before finally was overwhelmed by superior numbers. The division was forced to evacuate from the city on April 21, 1975, nine days before thefall of Saigon. Upon learning the 18th had lost "Xuan Loc" that afternoon at 3:00pm President Nguyen Van Thieu made a tearful televised speech that was broadcast around the world in which he blamed the United States for abandoning South Vietnam; he closed the speech by resigning the presidency. The 18th was finally destroyed while defending Bien Hoa Air Base.
There's also stories of airmen that fought until the end. The majority of Air Force planes stripped their planes of armaments and deserted to Thailand or American carriers, but some took off with a full payload and attacked the enemy until they were shot down.
This is a picture of two soldiers from the 18th.
I think what's more amazing about the 18th that they had that reputation for being mavericks. It goes to show you that no matter what other people think of you, if you know you're right, just do what you do. There's always an opportunity for redemption. You'll get your respect and your actions will echo in eternity.
Rest easy brothers, you're free now.
"This is mechanically separated chicken. Chickens are turned into this goop so we can create delicious chicken nuggets and juicy chicken patties. It's obscenely gross and borderline alien but it's not going to stop me from eating nuggets. They're too good.
The process works a little something like this:
Yeah, that's just disgusting. But I can't shake my roots. I'm a chicken nugget fan (and all around fast food guy) for life."
There's more: because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.