Friday, October 26, 2007

They Don't Make Straitjackets Like They Used To

"One, two, one, two, and through and through the vorpal blade went snicker-snack. He left it dead, and with its head, he went galumphing back!"
- The Mad Hatter, Batman: The Animated Series

There will never be a cartoon as good as that, ever again. Now, I don't mean as FUNNY as that, since The Tick probably takes that trophy. I don't mean as VIOLENT as that, since Megas XLR clearly wins. I don't mean as INSANE, since Zim wins. I mean in every single regard, taken together... no cartoon will ever be as impressively perfect. The new Batman cartoons are pale shadows of... a shadow, ironically enough.

Sorry, random rant. I've got some things to say about Hallowe'en candy, and their relation to me birthday, but I'll get to that some other time.

I would like to share one awesomely misheard line from my son:

Son: The news is in porn.
Dad: It... what?
Son: The news is in porn.
Dad: What do you mean?
Son: It's in porn to know what happens in other countries.
Dad: OH! You mean IMPORTANT.
Son: Yeah. Watching the news is in porn.

Isn't he awesome?

Also, my friends have convinced me to get back into the world of Warhammer, so if anyone reading this is related to me... I need Plague Marines and Noise Marines, and generally anything from the Chaos Marines (but the first two in particular). Thank you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Insurmountable Challenges Can Lick My Ass

Since I left home, I’ve been hunted, beaten, locked up, shanghaied, shot at. I’ve had alien creatures in my face, up my nose, inside my brain, down my pants. This is the first time, the first place, where I’ve felt peace.

There is a moment of sadness I feel when I watch that movie (see below), and I feel the same way when I watch the episodes. It isn't the sadness resulting from seeing something truly beautiful put to visible media. It isn't the sadness you feel when a character who has become possibly more real to you than the people you see on the street every day dies. It isn't even the sadness you feel when you know the only new episodes of their lives will exist only in your head.

No, it's the sadness of knowing that you (and by you, I mean me) will never write something as touching and poignant and perfect as that. This is not made any easier by the fact that my Major Story, the story I've worked on for ten years, the story I know backwards and forwards, the story that I want everyone to read... is in so very, very many ways virtually identical to that, and even though I thought of mine first, they go theirs out first, and I will be the plagiarist.

I dwell on this a lot. I understand that all ideas for literature are recycled, and it's more about the writer's take on a subject and the way the writer creates the scenes and emotions and conflict that makes a story great. However, I'm not THAT great of a writer, and even though I will someday put pen to paper (or phalange to keyboard) and get my story out of my head, I will always have that Damocledian fear hanging above me.


Well, that was deep for a Wednesday. I'm gearing up to write pulpy crap for NaNo (isn't that just a peachy image?) It's not a story I love, and it's barely a story I like, but I need something I can't over-think, and it's almost impossible to overthink this (if I try, I keep wanting to call myself Dean Koontz). For now, though, I'm going to finish my hot chocolate, get a bottle ready for when my daughter decides I've slept enough, and then go to bed. Since my sleeping pills backfire when I'm sick, I'm on ibuprophen in the hopes that I'll just be numb enough to stay asleep.

That sums up more than I'd like it to.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Awww, Muffin...

"You're walking on gallows ground, and there's a rope around your neck and a raven-bird on each shoulder waiting for your eyes, and the gallows tree has deep roots, for it stretches from heaven to hell, and our world is only the branch from which the rope is swinging."

No-one can fully say how awesome this book is... there will always be more to say.

Anyways, I've been meaning to write scads of stuff down here, but everytime I fire up the blog-in window, I either suffer from an attack of writer's block, or a case of the whities (MS Office users know what I mean), or some small human in my house wakes up, or I have to go for lunch, or... or, at that moment, I just don't care anymore. I swear, my brain is gearing up to make sure that I am full of fail for when NaNo rolls around. Stupid encephalon.

Anyways, the story is fleshed out in my mind, and I am looking forward to working on it, particularly since I'm not even sure how to do a lot of the middle of it. I've meant to work on it in the evenings, at least a basic outline / timeline, but for the past week, if it's not sleep, it's just killing time before sleep (sort of like now. MAKE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION FINISH DOWNLOADING, DAMMIT!)

Also also, some of you may know I'm a fan of xkcd. For those of you who might not be in the know, here's some of the best comics from the history of xkcd (it updates thrice weekly): Schrodinger, Names, and A Way So Familiar. I like the third one :) Anyways, xkcd has an annual meetup in Boston every year (I was invited, and even had my ticket paid for by people on the site, but I couldn't go), since the comic is unofficially based out of MIT, since the comic is drawn by a former NASA engineer (that's right... he IS a rocket scientist). I have been trying to organize a West Coast meetup, but I can only get about ten people. Then it hit me.

I can have a meetup for more than just xkcd! I need ideas for other meetups to have... I'm thinking NaNoWriMo for the region could do a meetup there, or maybe other webcomics, or... I dunno! I need ideas! Now, the reason more people is important is thus: I want the meetup to be in Field.


Field, BC.

The town has a population of 300, and is nestled right in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. it has unbefuckinglievable views of the mountains, and is walking distance from the Burgess Shale, but the major part is population: 300. With enough people, we could outnumber the locals. We could take every single hotel room, bed and breakfast nook, and camp site. We could OWN that town.

Feel the love, dammit.

Anyways, here's a movie. Don't be like Jon... love the song.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Me, Grimlock, Not Nice Dino! Me Bash Brains!

# Stop, thief! No welcome-wagon "Hello Stranger" with that new coffee flavor for YOU! Offer expires while you wait. Operators are standing by. Don't look behind door number 2, Monty! It's time to play "End of the line, my valentine!" Ger-roni-do-ron-ron-roni-mo!!!

Ok, so I've now seen the new Transformers movie four times. Once with friends, once with my son, once legally on a legal website (with legality!), and once more with my son today as a twoonie matinee. Maybe it's because I was with him, or because I've let it percolate, but this time, I really liked it. I did.

What's WRONG with me?

However, nothing will quite match the epicosity of the first one. Ever.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's Like Fighting A Gopher On Crank

Weapons-Grade Stupidity: Tech-support slang for customer intelligence that is so low it poses a severe hazard to those who come in contact with it.

Oh, man, do I have a lot of shit to cover today...

First off, I'd like to talk about the economy, or more specifically, the American economy. Even more specifically, I'd like to talk about the people who are at the mercy of it and who have a poorer grasp of money than friggin' Rainman. There are some terrifying things in this here article, namely:

Consumers have boosted their borrowing at the fastest pace in three months, turning increasingly to their credit cards to replace home equity loans as a source of ready cash. The increase was led by an 8.1 per cent jump in revolving credit, the category that includes credit card loans. Consumer have been using their credit cards more to finance purchases now that home equity lines of credit are becoming harder to obtain.

Now, by itself, this isn't terribly frightening, right? Watch this.

Terrifying, no? Well, I may be over-reacting, but it seems to be one of the major hurdles with advancing a society is the perpetual desire of that society to be living just beyond their means, forever miring them in mediocrity.

A great industrial Nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the Nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world ~ no longer a Government of free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.

* Woodrow Wilson, 28th US President

Smart man.

NEXT on my list... ok, to sum it all up. Bill to extend medical coverage in the states to 10 million kids who can't affording, by placing a $0.42 tax on a pack of smokes. Vetoed by Bush, because "it would cost the underprivileged too much", and because it's one step closer to socialism. In the discussion thereof, I am one of the few people on the side of "maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing to extend medical coverage to 10 million kids by asking smokers to pitch in a little of their disposable income."

The conversation has become about two things: one, it's not the government's job to help poor people, and two, poor kids deserve to die if they can't afford insurance.


Yeah, you wish I was kidding, right?

Never argue with an idiot. They will only pull you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

I have to admit that is so very, very true. *sigh*

Ok, uplifting video time!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

This Hour Has Seven Days

Remember, remember the 5th of November.
The gunpowder, treason and plot.
I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

So very, very many of you are probably too young to understand the title to today's blog post. Any of you who do get it are probably to old to be on the internet anyways. However, all of you should know the quote above, and I love that Guy Fawkes picked my birthday to try to blow up the seat of corrupt power. Something poetic there.

However, the reason for the title of today's blog is... I've gone a week without pop. Pop of any kind. Sure, I've replaced it with a few hot chocolates at home, but I make the powder myself, and there's less sugar in that than in a Coke. Also, I picked the quote because I've watched V For Vendetta five times in the past week... and it just keeps getting better EVERY TIME I SEE IT!

Anarchy means “without leaders”; not “without order.”

I believe in few things as strongly as I believe in that. This movie is helping me to refine (my internal sandblasting process) my own opinions about government, governance, and the rule of mob. Sure, the movie has a few problems, but as a dramatic representation of a comic book by people better known for action movies and obtuse philosophy, you can hardly expect the celluloid Renaissance. Nevertheless, it's gotten me thinking. Oh, not enough to post here, now, yet... but ideas that will be refined further come this NaNoWriMo. I've picked my story, I've picked my dramatis personae, and I've picked the protagonist (hint: it's not who you think), and very little is as good for lengthy rambling exposition than two people trapped in a car, with one holding the other at gunpoint. Don't you think?

The management is terrible! We've had a string of embezzlers, frauds, liars and lunatics making a string of catastrophic decisions. This is plain fact. But who elected them? It was you! You who appointed these people! You who gave them the power to make your decisions for you! While I'll admit that anyone can make a mistake once, to go on making the same lethal errors century after century seems to me nothing short of deliberate. You have encouraged these malicious incompetents, who have made your working life a shambles. You have accepted without question their senseless orders. You have allowed them to fill your workspace with dangerous and unproven machines. You could have stopped them. All you had to say was "No." You have no spine. You have no pride. You are no longer an asset to the company. I will, however, be generous. You will be granted two years to show me some improvement in your work. If at the end of that time you are still unwilling to make a go of it...You're fired. That will be all. You may return to your labours. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

It's fucking poetry.