Category Archives: Summer

Too Good To Be True

crash and burn

Foreword: This is the first post every by community contributor VenomousWonder.  This is a very interesting post, which I believe all of us can relate to.  Yes, per request of author I have made some small changes, but the content of the story and the idea is his, and I take no credit for this whatsoever.  With that said, we need more participation from the community.  If you want to be recognized, please e-mail me at versatileninja [at]  ~ Versatile

I think it is safe to say that in general, people are overly cautious when we come across something that is too good to be true.  You may have received snail mail at home saying you can make thousands of dollars by staying at home and sending out envelopes.  Or perhaps you can make good money visiting websites and leaving back feedback.  All of this comes at a price.  You have to waste your time for what could turn out in the end a sham or just not as much money as you had originally expected.  Yet, all the time we hear sob stories of people giving into these tactics under the belief they have found the “Holy Grail”, only to be left in shambles or their identity stolen.  Scary?  Yes.

So where am I going with this?

As the old saying goes, “If it sounds like it is something to good to be true, then it is.”  There is no such thing as a free lunch, remember?  Somebody had to pay for that lunch you are eating. 🙂

So yes, if something seems to good to be true, then it really is.  Either that or it has so many strings attached to where you don’t even want to be a part of it anymore. A great real life example is getting a free trip so some resort location, only to be stuck in a room for the majority of the trip answering surveys and being a monkey for the advertisers that paid for your airefare.  No one wants to be caught in this type of shady situation, and I am sure that this has happened to everyone at some point in their life or at least they know someone who got duped or their life turned upside down because of this.  If so, come on and share.  Your secrets will be safe with us!

My Story

The other day I had many opportunities opened up and it seemed like the perfect day to take risks so I took upon it.  At the time, I was in the zone.  Everything just seemed perfect in life, and everything I had going seemed like long term commitments.  It all seemed so divine that it got to the point to where I was scared!

The day started off when the sweet aroma of chocolate chip pancakes arosen me from sleep.  I had walked into the kitchen with a sense of passion with this feeling that it was just going to be a great day. My mom greeted me with a smile, and the table was all set for me to enjoy my breakfast.  I could not believe my eyes.  The pancakes were made perfectly with the right amount of syrup poured all over it.  Not too sweet, and not too dry.  Yum.

Afterwards, I then went for a walk and found $50 on the sidewalk!  Holy crap,  I never find money like this!  It was not crumped, or a crisp dollar bill.  Instead, it was folded in half, perhaps fell out of a runner’s wallet?  Well, there was no name on it, so I can’t return it to the rightful owner so I just smiled with excitement.  Just finding it on the ground I felt ashamed, but in a way its not stealing right?

The best part of it all was that I had just spent just a few dollars the day before, so I decided to go out and buy some video games with my new found treasure.  My brother gave me a ride, which was nice because usually he never showed this act of kindness. Along the way to the store, we hit a really bad bump, but we were sure it was nothing.  I bought my video game, and played it for a little bit. The game was really good, and using the new money it was as if I got the game for free even.  Later on I went on this date that I was expecting for quite a while. This girl was perfect, and it had felt as if I had known her for years.  We connected immediately, and it just all seemed too good to be true.  Soul mate in disguise perhaps?

The Downfall:

The next day it was as if hell arrived at my doorstep.  All the happieness from the previous day was instantly drained as my mom made me do two hours of chores.  Soon after, the girl who I thought was the “one” had called me and told me she found someone else.  Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I find out that my mom had dropped one of my favorite games and it got scratched to the point of being unreadable.

Oh yea, the bump we hit yesterday?  Well, it did turn out to be something because it made a dent in the tire, and now I got to pitch in for half the cost to help fix it! My brother blamed me for the tire! What the heck happened to being nice?  This just shows you that in the matter of one day everything went from great to horrible. All of the past events have taught me that most things are too good to be true, and they just seem that way because life is trying to be pedantic.

When was a time that this happened to you?

Was there ever a time where something seemed too good to be true?  Was it?  Tell us your story.

What can be learned from this?

1. Never get your hopes up.

2. Usually if something seems too great to actually be happening it probably is.

3. Only time will tell what is actual and what is fake.

Sure, sometimes we all have a good thing going, and it seems to be very excellent, but then Satan and his little Nazis come and sneak up on you with the stealth and silence of a cat. It swipes you away, and you begin to get frustrated, but there is always next time.  Let’s hear what happened to you. Did you get duped someone?  Felt as if God never listened to your wishes, or he did and then just smashed you into the ground?  We want to hear it!!!

Recipes for the soul. [and for the gut]

Stepping outside of the box, the traditional blog post you would find here, as part of life, comfort food is something almost all of us, whatever interests, culture or backgrounds we originate from. So for whatever it is you do, here’s a list of some of the best tasting stuff I’ve made for events I’ve been to in recent months. Note that I did not create any of these recipes, but only compiled those that I’ve made in the past which everyone enjoyed. For the ones people did not enjoy, please leave a comment of request.

So, why not start with dessert?

Root Beer Float cookies (with root beer glaze) – average time 15 minutes (depending on oven)

With or without the glaze, served soft and warm, these are very relaxing. You can take a couple or down 10 and you’ll still feel satisfied. Hardly filling and taste very well like a root beer float. I recommend adding way more powdered/confectioner’s sugar, enough to make the glaze gooey that dries sort of shell like. Following the recipe will make a more watery and runny glaze.

Puppy Chow (with peanut butter) – average time 20 minutes

Something about Puppy Chow, especially with peanut butter. Not quite sure what it is, but tons of people I know can’t stop eating this, even when they start to get sick. Please, do not feed to any actual animals, especially puppies and dogs.

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke dip – average time 35 minutes

This is a great appetizer for people who want something that tastes great but makes them feel like they’re eating healthy. Great for parties or small hang out sessions, LAN parties, you name it. You can set it to cook in the oven and go for a few frags against your buddies or get the house ready for a movie night. Also, a nice versatile dish for vegetarians, instead of platters of meats.

Chicken Cordon Bleu (with bacon!!) – average time 35 minutes

For something that sounds so fancy, the flexibility of this dish is invaluable. As the recipe page mentions, you can quickly prepare the ingredients in 5-10 minutes and freeze it over night and save it for later in the week. Great for kids and family dinners, and come on. What carnivore doesn’t love bacon?

God speed, and Best wishes. (and bon appetit!)


Staying “off the grid” [volume.2]

As my intentions were for the second volume of Staying “off the grid”, I would like to present to you part of the inspiration for the interest in this lifestyle: 30 Days by Morgan Spurlock, and in this episode, 2 big time “waste consumers” live in a small off the grid experimental area with other people who are accustomed to living off the grid. Whether or not you agree with the lifestyle, the show itself is very entertaining, and offers things other than how to live an off the grid lifestyle. Please watch:

This was the ONLY place I could find this video, so for the MySpace haters out there (you know who you are 😉 it’s ok.) try to grin and bare it. You don’t need a MySpace account to watch, this is a direct link to the video page. Enjoy!

30 Days – Off The Grid

God speed, and Best Wishes.


Metal Gear Solid 4//Fighting Zombies to Feel Good, Inc.

This week in lieu of several things, I’ll be delaying Staying off the Grid volume 2 until next week.

To mix things up a bit, this will be the first “multi-post” from me. This format may or may not appear again, but is definitely necessary this week.

First off, today is the LONG awaited and anticipated release of Hideo Kojima’s 21 year old masterpiece, Metal Gear Solid 4. It’s an honor having the release fall on the day I post here, so I felt only obligated to post tribute to it.

For those of you that will be playing it today, congratulations! I’ve been a huge Metal Gear fan since the late ’90s and think it’s one of the best game series out there. Kojima truly satisfies his fans, while appealing to a broader and broader audience with each game he releases. Note that the AC!D series for PSP isn’t strictly done by Kojima, he only oversaw the projects.

In retrospective, I would like to post this video which is probably the single best trailer in video game history. For those of you that aren’t fans, all you need to do is read a review on Metal Gear Solid 2 and it will all make perfect sense, although it is very enjoyable anyway:


Amazing games aside, time for some inspiration of another kind.

One of my previous blog posts got a comment yesterday asking if they could use a picture from the post for a book they’re writing about blogs. He left an e-mail address and I decided to be all crafty and grab the second part of his e-mail and try it as a website. Well, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve stumbled upon in my entire e-life. You have to check it out:

Have you ever felt like there is just no one that relates to you? Well, granted this site is still growing, I was shocked at the depth and amount of contributions in this multi-colored “dot cloud” like applet that collects everyone’s feelings, thoughts, comments, whatever little snippet they decide to type up, with an optional picture, and generic details about themselves, like age group, weather, country, state, city, and emotion. You can punch in your info and a specific date to see if you felt the way someone else did on that date.

I totally and randomly stumbled across this one, and I love it.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to Feel Good, Inc. by Gorillaz, please do so now:



I tried searching one of the biggest nationwide days for emotional feelings – 9/11 – and the results were astounding. Some people make subtle references to their pain of the attacks, while others may not have even thought about it. As light or dark as it may be, it is a fantastic website that has many goals, and I greatly encourage you to promote it so it can grow.

A much better and complete description can be found here:

And what a cool name for a site too.

[ Sources: Stealth/Action/Video Game creation virtuoso Hideo Kojima ; ]

God speed, and Best wishes. [woobwoob too]


For the Ladies.


I stumbled upon an article with a link to this site yesterday:

Mandy Moore has always seemed to be quite the sweetheart. Her goal for this site “…is aimed at helping women balance their “wellness” by sharing such stories to challenge and inspire each other to better their lives.” Having just launched it I felt it was perfect for the weekly Life post. For you lovely, loyal ladies visiting us at The Underground, this post goes out to you. Keep making the world run as well as you do.

[ Source: Mandy Moore aims to inspire life balance online @ Reuters ]

God Speed, and Best wishes.


Vitamin D deficiency linked to heart illness and cancer.


All of us at the Underground here, writers and readers are geeks, nerds, techies and so on, and probably don’t get nearly as much sunlight as we should. Lack of sunlight leads to vitamin D deficiency which can lead to various serious diseases and conditions.

Recent and strong studies by top research groups have found various facts regarding this topic, such as people living in about the top one-third of the earth don’t get as much sunlight as they should. As noted in the source article:

“Whitcomb said the study bolsters the idea that people living in Wisconsin and other northern latitude areas should be supplementing their diet with vitamin D pills from October through March.”

My own personal suggestion is get a portable handheld device, such as PSP or an MP3 player to encourage yourself to go outside. If you’re the business type take your Blackberry or PocketPC and get some work done while walking around your neighborhood at noon. I have a hacked PSP and can access my computer and all media via WiFi at a hotspot for example at the local beach.

“The researchers found that survival from various internal cancers improved with greater amounts of sun exposure.

“It’s at least a 30 percent reduction” in mortality, said senior author Richard Setlow, a biophysicist with the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y. “It depends on the cancer.”

Most of the work on the study was done in Norway.”

Of course don’t get too much sunlight, be careful on choice of sun block and check regularly for sunspots and melanoma like marks on your body. The sooner you catch them the less complications arise.

[ Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online ]

God speed and Best wishes.


A Super Soaker’s Wet Dream

Hey guys, do you remember playing with super soakers when you were young?  Wait, you don’t know what a super soaker is?  WTF!

A super soaker is basically a water gun, but it comes in all shorts and sizes.  Well, the super soakers of today suck compared with what you could get in the early 90’s.  Anyway, I found this picture and it is this guy’s collection.  (At least I think it is.)  Enjoy!