Breaking Bad Arcs (updated with spoilers)

Walt has to die.

I’ve been discussing with my peers about the outcome of the final 3 episodes of Breaking Bad. One thing that I have really enjoyed about this show so far is that the writers do a really good job of writing their character arcs well; characters aren’t shown doing things without it having some kind of meaning or significance for their character development (exception: comic relief moments with Huell & Cubie, or Badger and Skinny Pete).

Each character has certain wants, needs, desires, fears; these are all introduced throughout the series. The writers have been pretty reliable so far in fulfilling those for each major character. The writers also have been more and more consistent with how they depict morality and judgement in the Breaking Bad universe. Here are some predictions for the fates of the major characters on the show:

spoiler alert: numerous spoilers about episodes up to and including Season 5, Episode 13.

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Geico Paul Revere Rant

If you ever watch videos online, you have probably seen this commercial:

Geico “Happier than Paul Revere”

This commercial pisses me off every time I see it. I like most of these Geico “folksy” commercials; I think they are cute and playful.

But this one is just ridiculous.

For starters, Paul Revere says “They’re coming. Yeah, the British.” In actuality, since the colonials were still technically all British citizens themselves, he would have (and did) said “The Regulars are coming [out]“.

Secondly, when they begin doing charades, he indicates “4″ with his hand, and the group says “4 words”.

Then one of the players guesses “Hot Stew Saturday”. Hot(1) Stew(2) Saturday(3). WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE GUESS SOMETHING WITH THREE WORDS WHEN HE JUST SAID THERE ARE FOUR?

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Sure “Hot Stew Saturday” is a clever and random-sounding phrase that’s silly and sounds a little like it’s appropriate for the period that this is meant to take place in, but surely you could have either (a) had him say “three words” or (b) had her say something that actually had four words in it. It’s not like you were candidly filming an actual historical event… or that you didn’t have editors afterwards…

The New Year (Triskaidekaphobia Edition)

Here is last year’s New Year’s Resolution (2012) post.

This past year, 2012, has been full of changes. As noted in last year’s post (link above), my Year Card for that year was Death, indicating new beginnings, changes, etc. It was certainly fitting.

I had three goals for last year, and I failed at all but the most important one (getting Melissa and the kids moved out here); I call that a resounding victory.

7974d3c437c711e2979222000a1f9bc6_7For this coming year, I think my resolution will be a little simpler and more focused than in past years, and it is somewhat related to my birthday post I did a few months ago, about the “7 year lifetime” thing:

  1. I want to focus more on developing my artistic skills.

There are many avenues that I can take towards this end, that I can (and already have) fit into my existing life. It also feels like many things are coming together that are providing impetus for this particular goal.

Still no passport yet. I am hoping this doesn’t become a running gag.

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Tompkins County Write-In Candidates

In the Fall 2012 elections, our district’s State Senatorial contest featured only a single unchallenged Republican candidate, Thomas O’Mara. Given Tompkins County’s progressive bent (our Mayor recently has started lobbying for legalization of marijuana), it seemed to be just downright wrong to be represented by the GOP.

Some friends and I, gathered for coffee and games, were discussing this; three days before the election. Our friend Mallory Roberts was there. I forget who suggested it, but the idea of voting him as a write-in candidate for that seat became a topic of discussion. He had business cards; on the reverse, he wrote something like “Vote me for State Seante, I am not evil.” We left them all over the coffee house and I think he left some at other locations nearby as well.

His campaign, as it were, was underway. (I have a few thoughts on this, if anyone else is interested in running as a write-in candidate, but I’ll save them till the end, at the bottom)

On election night, my friends and I were checking the local election progress. The state senatorial race was being updated, but only listed votes for registered candidates (O’Mara), “Write-ins” and total votes cast. There were actually a substantial number of write-in votes cast — I want to say about 10-15% by the end of the night. We were all very curious about how many Mallory got.

After the election, I realized that I could find this out, with a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request. It was surprisingly easy, Tompkins County actually has a really convenient form for filing these requests. I was able to send my request, and get my response, electronically.

FOIL requests can be submitted for any public records. I was told mine would be filled by the Board of Elections, and would take approximately 3 weeks; I don’t know how long other requests would take. My request was free, but other requests may cost money, particularly if they require many hours of labor.

Below the jump are the details of my request along with the complete results of the write-in candidates for Tompkins County district NY State Senator.

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Awesome Vegetarian Fauxen Soup

With the first real snowfall yesterday, the season of winter is effectively upon us. I really enjoy eating soup when it’s cold, but this can be somewhat challenging as a vegetarian, since even “vegetable” soups are often made with either chicken or beef stocks.

Fortunately, making your own soup is actually pretty easy to do and doesn’t take very long. You can store it in your refrigerator to have soup for a few days, even.

Here’s how I make it!

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