Friday, June 6, 2008

And The People Have Spoken!


Vox likes me! Vox really likes me!

Not enough to let me do any sort of customization to my page, but at least I got the color scheme to not suck to much. Please, by all means, please come see me.

Bacon!

Contest Time!

Ok, people... contest time.

Contest The First - To Vox Or Not To Vox

Lostie has made a good case for me to move to Vox. Sure, my neighborhood there will be.... her, but it might be a start. maybe I can start blog-surfing and make some friends. There are downsides... extremely limited blogospherical customization. However, I had a look at it, and it's not actually that bad! I think they made some improvements. SO.... vote here! Vox, or not? (NOTE: I fully expect no-one to vote for this, so I might win 1 to 0 with my own ballot).

Contest The Second - A Marble By Any Other Name

During my time on the intertubes, I've gone by many names... Mighty Jalapeno, Wandering Wombat, Topper, Junkyard God, Catharsicide, Nega`Sonic, Zalgon 26 McGee, Whale Biologist, Marblehead Johnson, Mr O, Ominous Dominus, and others (I know Throkky is now running all these down on Google. Good luck with that.) On Vox, I'm already Mighty Jalapeno again, and I don't know if I want to go back to that MJ, or stay as Marblehead Johnson (IE, the new MJ), or go with something else altogether. Something new. Something me. Marblehead is just a rip-off from Bill Hicks, and Mighty Jalapeno seems to exemplify the young me (Yung Me was a hack compared to Mighty Jalapeno!) SO, I guess the choices are.... MJ #1, MJ #2, or something new?

And.... VOTE!

*crickets chirping*

Philharmonosophy (QotD)


QotD: If you had to write your autobiography in 6 words,
what would you write?


"Global Extinction: The Marblehead Johnson Story"

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered.
Religion is answers that may never be questioned.


I've been informed by one of my loyal readers (which makes him fully 33% of my audience) that my blog posts are better when I don't regurgitate news onto all of you. I guess people have news sites that they rely on, and don't need me vomiting knowledge onto their computer screens (the reverse-peristalstic emphasis is mine). So, fine. Let's talk about non-news related stuff. One caveat, however: anything Jack Thompson does is free game.

For starters, I'm going to start off every post with a Question of the Day from now in (or a QotD, for those of you who are in a hurrt). I'll still have my brilliant, brilliant quotes, but they'll be slightly farther down, requiring you to use your track-mouse finger briefly (for everyone using a Mac.... PWND!! BWahahaha...) I'll probably have to invent my own QotDs, so that I'm not ripping off Lostie.

"I feel that we are all philosophers,
and that those who describe themselves as a ‘philosopher’
simply do not have a day job to go to".


Very true, man.

So what do I babble about here now? I dunno. I got most of my useless crap out a month ago (and looking back... WTF was I on?) Everyone who reads this knows everything about me (or at least know everything publicly known about me, leading them to think they know everything about me), so all I had to prattle on about was stupid stuff in the news. For instance, a lady in Toronto was fired because she hsvaed her head for cancer, to support a friend of hers who HAS cancer. Thanks to the Slashdot effect, the restaraunt is now in SERIOUS business trouble, because people stopped going there. It's perhaps MORE impactful than the business they would have lost by, say, having a bald female employee. Smooth move, douchebags.

Dammit, I backslid into the news. Curses!

Last night I made REALLLLLY GOOD crispy garlic-ginger pork from the Farmers Market pork I got a few weeks ago. Seriously, this was really awesome. It was actually crispy, which I attribute to having the frying pan on hot enough, but it was tender and juicy and delicious thanks to this pork (I've never EVER had pork chops half as good as I've had with the ones I got from the Farmers Market, and I barely added any seasoning to them!) It's a little over-salty (my bad), but a bit of rice should fix that up. To sum up: YAY PORK!

Also, I'm back on the French Press at work... Cantebury speed-drip from a Mylar baggie just isn't as good as it used to be, you know?



Hee!

Ok, movie time.



Thursday, June 5, 2008

Whatevah! I Do What I Want!


"Censorship reflects a society's
lack of confidence in itself."


Jack Thompson walks out of his own disbarment hearing, metaphorically sticking his fingers in his ears and yelling "LA LA LA LA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!" Awesome, buddy. Awesome.

Personally, I'm hope he gets disbarred. Right now, he's quite vocally retarded, but should he lose his license to practice his own brand of justice, he'll have to be vocally BIGGER, BETTER, FASTER, RETARDEDER! Just like the KKK being on Uncle Jimbo's "Save The Flag" side on South Park, Jack is doing more damage to his own cause than he could possibly know, and this is letting the "maybe games DON'T cause teh murderz!" argument gain ground.

Jack Thompson Forever! You go, girl.

So, the Vox Question of the Day will now be ripped off here. The question is: "Who was your worst teacher?" Now, some of the responses on Vox, linked from my friend Lostie's page, were pretty horrible, and Lostie's retelling of her mom's story was even worse (Communist China, 1950's.... female). By comparison, my teachers were either a collection of apathetic wage-monkeys or petty vengeful dickweeds. For instance: the math teacher who insisted I was cheating, because I was doing math in my head that he COULDN'T do. Or the English teacher who got mad at me because I got an A on the assignment she assigned to me, specifically, to be harder than all the other kids' assignments. Or the K7 teacher who got mad at me for reading books in class when I was supposed to be listening, and when he started asking me rapid-fire questions about the topic at hand, I got them all right, and he still took mny book away.

I know, I was petty, too. I was young, and I immodestly admit I was overbright for a large part of my childhood, and I was defensive about it (I got my comeuppance in college). Even so, I only had ONE teacher who said "Wow, you're right. Carry on," and it was the year and school after that where they got rid of the enrichment program for the A students. I NEED NURTURING! AND ENRICHMENT! And, uhm... more Aasimov books...

...

God, I'm lame.

Here's JACKY!!!




Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Do You Know About Judgement Day?


Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is THE BEST...


Frank Zappa. Great man. Loves ice cream.

Ok, two news-y things today. One: Barack is in the house! He's far too socially responsible to say "hizzy", and I don't think he's caught up to the cutting edge of "fibbity fibbity foo" yet. Don't tell Chef. However, he does apparently have enough promise rings from his prospective super-delegate prom-dates to clinch the nomination in November, assuming that everyone votes the way they say they will (translation: no guarantee). One amusing thing about this is the INSTANT he was said to be "the winnar", everyone on the internets (the sections I frequent) immediately changed from pro-Barack to, if not pro-Clinton, at least anti-Barack. It was like the sound of their prayers being answered was the clarion call of doom.

Yes, Barack's middle name is "Hussein". Yes, his platform seems to be about staring into the distance with a slight, hopeful uptilt to his chin. Yes, he's about as inoffensive as damp white toast (which actually offends me, but I'm just trying to make a point). However, we need a Democrat in office, so that in four years, when the Republicans have finally had enough time to think on their apocalyptic ideals, they can put someone with two eyes, a conscience, a soul and balls into office. Barack lacks the balls, and Clinton lacks the conscience.

Good night, America... and good luck.

Also, I just want to mention the laughably retarded idea that has come around again only 5 years after it was deemed the Worst Technological Innovation: The DivX Disc. No, I don't mean the codec, I mean the DVD that you play once, and then it DESTROYS ITSELF.

Yeah, that's what people want to pay for. Want to know the punchline? The DVDs will be sold for 5 bucks, so they're like rentals. However, they can STILL BE RIPPED JUST LIKE A REGULAR DVD. Basically, whats going on is retailers are giving a HUGE PRICE BREAK to DVD pirates, by letting them rip DVDs for a fraction of the cost, while simultaneously creating a product that no non-pirate consumer with half a brain would buy.

Maybe you guys deserve Hilary down there...

Ok, enough of that. Here's my son's favorite song. Seriously, ask him sometime, it will either be "Judgement Day" or the following:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This Man Is A Genius


Adults are just obsolete children,
and the hell with them.
~ Dr Theodore Seuss Geisel


The more I read about this man, the more I really, really like him. I say this because on the weekend, my son sat me down, and read the ENTIRE "Fox In Socks" to me, except for the last page of the Tweetle Beetle Battle, and I have to say that's pretty impressive, given that he's six, and was only on Level 0 books at Christmas.

You make 'em, I amuse 'em.
~ Dr Seuss, in regard to children


Right on, Ted. Right on.

In other news, I'm finally back on the good stuff: Valerian. Many of you know it as the medicinal root that was prescribed to Jack in "Fight Club" to combat his insomnia. Well, blow me down when I found out that it actually comes in pill form, that it's an addictive narcotic, that it's cheap and non-prescription, and that it actually works!

See, a lot of the time I take an IB or two before bed, in order to actually KEEP me asleep. This also does really amazing things to my dreams, taking me from some short vignettes into the realm of multi-sequence miniseries', complete with surprise characters, plot twists, and commercials. Unfortunately, with IBs, I don't get any rest, which sort of defeats the purpose (and depending on my dream, defeats the porpoise).

But I bought more Valerian, and although I'd hoped I was tired enough to sleep without it, I can't deny how much better I feel in the mornings. My dreams are epic in scope, emotionally confusing and morally ambiguous, which makes it REALLY hard to tell from real life, and even though I wake up feeling like there's lead weights attached to all my muscles, I feel a HELL of a lot better, post-shower, than I do sans medication, or with the IBs.

So thank you, Valerian the Wonderdrug!

"If you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, then go home and burn all your records, all your tapes, and all your CDs because every one of those artists who have made brilliant music and enhanced your lives? RrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrEAL fucking high on drugs. The Beatles were so fucking high, they let Ringo sing a few songs."


Amusingly enough, the drugs conversation fits remarkably well with the Dr Seuss conversation. Isn't that amusing?




Monday, June 2, 2008

Yes, We Have No Disease-Resistant Bananas


On a traffic light green means go and yellow means yield,
but on a banana it's just the opposite.
Green means hold on, yellow means go ahead,
and red means where the fuck did you get that banana at...


Well, there goes the yellow phallic neighborhood. To sum up:

The banana we eat today is not the one your grandparents ate. That one — known as the Gros Michel — was, by all accounts, bigger, tastier, and hardier than the variety we know and love, which is called the Cavendish. The unavailability of the Gros Michel is easily explained: it is virtually extinct. Introduced to our hemisphere in the late 19th century, the Gros Michel was almost immediately hit by a blight that wiped it out by 1960. The Cavendish was adopted at the last minute by the big banana companies — Chiquita and Dole — because it was resistant to that blight, a fungus known as Panama disease... But now, Panama disease is back, and the Cavendish does not appear to be safe from this new strain, which appeared two decades ago in Malaysia, spread slowly at first, but is now moving at a geometrically quicker pace. There is no cure, and nearly every banana scientist says that though Panama disease has yet to hit the banana crops of Latin America, which feed our hemisphere, the question is not if this will happen, but when. Even worse, the malady has the potential to spread to dozens of other banana varieties, including African bananas, the primary source of nutrition for millions...

Now this is serious... but I can't be the only one who giggled a little bit at the idea of being an identified 'banana scientist'.

And he wants you!

I can't believe I had that image on standby...

And on a completely unrelated topic, GOlgo 13 kicks everyone's ass.



Everyone's.

Friday, May 30, 2008

And The Lord Spake: OMGWTFXOR! N00BS!!


God's merits are so transcendent that it is not surprising his faults should be in reasonable proportion.


For reals, yo. I mean.... holy fucking ass-crackers.

Beef #1 - Sweet, Delicious Jihad

Ok, let's sum this up: Dunkin' Donuts has pulled an online advertisement featuring Rachael Ray after complaints that a fringed black-and-white scarf that the celebrity chef wore in the ad offers symbolic support for Muslim extremism and terrorism.

In the spot, Ray holds an iced coffee while standing in front of trees with pink blossoms. Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin complained that the scarf wrapped around her looked like a kaffiyeh, the traditional Arab headdress. 'The kaffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,' Malkin wrote in her syndicated column.

...

I couldn't make up something this retarded if I stayed up all night watching American Idol. She wore a black and white scarf around her neck... which looks an awful lot like an Arab headdress. Ok, fine. Then there's the awesomefuckingtastic leap from that to "murderous Palestinian jihad".

NOTE: Miss Malkin has never expressed anger that the guns and bombs used by terrorists are being shown on cable television every night of the week.

My favorite comment on the story? "Why has no-one gotten mad that such an influential chef is pushing deep-fried sugar-bread on a population that is collapsing under the weight of it's own obesity?"

Beef #2 - Tiny, Elderly Asian Woman Lives In Stranger's Closet

For a YEAR. I mean, that's awesome. He didn't even notice until he started to realize his food was vanishing, so he set up cameras to catch the culprit while he was at work. She's been living in a storage closet, only coming out to eat and bathe and watch TV when he wasn't home.

That right there is almost cool enough to make up for the Jihadonut thing.

Almost.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wade For President



Deadpool: Uhm... a little help? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
[Cable doesn't respond]
Deadpool: So... what's new?
[Cable doesn't respond]
Deadpool: Yeah, not much by me either.
[Cable doesn't respond]
Deadpool: Been thinking about starting up a super hero porn site, whaddyou think?
[Cable doesn't respond]
Deadpool: Nothin' too rude, I mean. Tasteful naked shots of Sue Richards - when she's visable, right? 'Cos otherwise, duh...
[Cable doesn't respond]
Deadpool: You know, once the larynx goes, the scintillating conversation goes with it...
[Deadpool liquefies]


I seriously cannot wait for this movie.

Photobucket

Seriously.

Cyclops: Cable is out there -- up there -- fighting the Silver Surfer.
Deadpool: The Silver Surfer.
Cyclops: Yes.
Deadpool: Cosmic-powered alien from another planet.
Cyclops: Yes.
Deadpool: Herald of Galactus, the planet-eater, stranded on Earth when he betrayed his boss.
Cyclops: Yes.
Deadpool: Well, that was the coolest expository dialogue
I have ever had!


Hee.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sequels and Remakes A-go-go!


I had no idea her philosophy was that flawed. She goes, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a kid? To have this fresh, clean slate which we could fill. A little clean spirit, innocent, and to fill it with good ideas."

Yeah, yeah, how about this? If you're so fucking altruistic, why don't you leave the little clean spirit wherever it is right now? Okay? Horrible act, childbirth. Nightmare. Bringing … I would never bring a kid to this fucking planet.


To my diseased mind, this is a lot like how sequels should be treated. What sequel is ever as good as the imagination of it's existence? Well, obviously, some can be named... some genres lend themselves fully and completely to sequels, if their roots are already serialized. Spiderman --> Spiderman 2. Evil Dead --> Evil Dead 2. Star Trek --> Star Trek 4.

For the most part, though, sequels might as well just be called "We, the studios, are going to bet you $10 that you'll like this movie less than the original," and all the moviegoers take them up on that bet, expecting to be proven wrong. I don't know who to hate more. This goes for remakes (particularly international remakes) and prequels, too.

In the coming year or two, we have Cloverfield 2, live-action Akira, Boondock Saint 2, Rambo V (you heard me), Star Trek (the prequel one with Sylar), two X-Men prequels (one with DEADPOOL! WOO!), Spiderman 4, another Routh-y Superman film (which I liked a LOT more than I thought I would), Batman: The Heath Ledger One That No-one Will Ever Forget, and my personal favorite, Hamlet II.

Is this cool, or what? I can't tell.



Friday, May 23, 2008

Pee-sychology



"I believe the cost of life is Death,
and we will all pay that in full.
Everything else should be a gift.
We paid the cover charge of life,
when we were born"

Ok, I just needed a good quote to go up there, since Wiki has NO QUOTES for psychology. That, I think, is an interesting take on psychology: the largest single repository of human-powered knowledge doesn't have anything to say about the science of the human mind.

But no, this post is about Bill Hicks' favorite psychological topic, advertising. In particular, psychological irrational pricing. I will explain... no, there is too much. I will sum up:

According to a 1997 study published in the Marketing Bulletin, approximately 60% of prices in advertising material ended in the digit 9, 30% ended in the digit 5, 7% ended in the digit 0 and the remaining seven digits combined accounted for only slightly over 3% of prices evaluated.[1] In the UK, before the withdrawal of the half penny coin in 1984, prices often ended in 99½. This is still seen today in petrol (gasoline) pricing ending in 9/10's of the local currency's smallest denomination, for example in the US the price of a gallon of gasoline almost always ending in US$0.009 (i.e. US$3.289).

You get it? All right, I'm sure everyone gets it.

What I don't get is, why does this still work? There's no psychological or economical reason for this anymore. Why is my gas $1.359 per litre? Why is my cereal $4.89? For that matter, why is the DeWalt kit I want $299.99? Does that extra penny saved by the retailer really mean that they sell 30,001 kits, instead of 30,000? Is there really one person out there who sees the $299.99 and thinks "Wow, that's a good deal! If it was a penny higher, I wouldn't buy it!"

If there is, can we find them and slap the fuck out of them?

By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing,
kill yourself.


Advertising is the only productive field of psychology left today, and it's only productive because the average IQ of the nation is being forcefully kept low just so advertising will have someone to work on. The second people start thinking rationally, the moment people start really seeing the world around them, the instant mankind thinks there might be something bigger in the world than television, advertising would cease to be relevant.

Which is why advertising will never die.


Seriously, though. If you are, do. No, really. There's no rationalisation for what you do, and you are Satan's little helpers, okay? Kill yourself. Seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No, this is not a joke, if you're going: "There's going to be a joke coming." There's no fucking joke coming. You are Satan's spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked, and you are fucking us. Kill yourself, it's the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself.

Planting seeds.

I know all the marketing people are going: "He's doing a joke." There's no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend – I don't care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking machinations.

I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too. "Oh, you know what Bill's doing? He's going for that anti-marketing dollar. That's a good market, he's very smart." Oh man. I am not doing that, you fucking evil scumbags!

"Oh, you know what Bill's doing now? He's going for the righteous indignation dollar. That's a big dollar. Lot of people are feeling that indignation, we've done research. Huge market. He's doing a good thing." God damn it, I'm not doing that, you scumbags. Quit putting a goddamn dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!

"Oh, the anger dollar. Huge. Huge in times of recession. Giant market, Bill's very bright to do that." God, I'm just caught in a fucking web.

"Oh, the trapped dollar. Big dollar, huge dollar. Good market, look at our research. We see that many people feel trapped. If we play to that and then separate them into the trapped dollar …" How do you live like that? And I bet you sleep like fucking babies at night, don't you?

"What did you do today, honey?"

"Oh, we made arsenic childhood food. Now, good night. Yeah, we just said, you know, is your baby really too loud? You know … yeah, the mums will love it, yeah." Sleep like fucking children, don't you? This is your world, isn't it?


YouTube it, motherfucker.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fallacious? Outrageous!


Thanks for coming, please stay for the end credits. If you're wondering who the best boy is, it's somebody's nephew, and, um, don't forget to validate your parking, and to all you good people in the Midwest, sorry we said fuck so much.


Go out, and rent this movie. No no, don't stop to argue, don't claim you don't have a DVD player, don't tell me you don't like violent movies. Shut the fuck up, go out, and rent this movie.

Then buy it.

Ok, we got a bunch to cover today. This might take a while to type out, I have to keep pausing to do real work as it rolls in, so if there's big pauses in the text, just sort of skip ahead and assume that it wasn't anything important.

Yeah, like that one just there.

"Work Gets Done In The Time Allotted"

Ok, this little gold-plated platitude is heard around my office every few minutes, spoken by a boss who assumes that if he keeps saying it often enough, it will somehow become true (sort of like the Bible). Unlike the Bible, this gets consistently proven wrong, but that never stops it, or even slows it down. It's got logic-proof armor-plating. It slams into the Walls of Reality, and just ploughs through. Yee-haw. It's like Disneyland.

"The Internet is a waste of time,
and that's exactly what's right about it."


William Gibson said that. The author of Neuromancer, Bladerunner, and pretty much the only decent technological prognosticator since Aasimov and Clarke. I finally think I agree with him, too. I'll sit down at my computer, and reflexively hit the ol' Mozilla icon. I'll bloink around on my Bookmark Bar buttons for a while, read Slashdot, do my Kingdom of Loathing turns, read xkcd and Garfield Minus Garfield... then I'll wonder what the hell I'm doing, shut OFF My laptop, and go do something else.

I'll do this six or seven times a day. I'll habitually sit down and try to waste time, but pretty soon my conscious mind says "And we're doing this, why?" I think I'm going through the DTs, because I actually put time into going to sites I HAVEN'T been to in a while, just to have something to do, then I'll shake my head, and go pick up clothes, or sweet the deck, or paint the cat, or something. Or sometimes, if I'm really at a loss, I'll use my computer for work.

I know!


They want to deliver vast amounts of information
over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not
something you just dump something on.

It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled,
and if they are filled, when you put your message in,
it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone
that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material,
enormous amounts of material.


But that? Still fuckin' funny. YouTube continues to entertain me, but only infrequently. I wait for people to send me the gems.

One of television’s great contributions is that it brought murder back into the home, where it belongs.

Alfred Hitchcock, 1966. Man, was he on to something. A conversation at Throkette's 2nd birthday party (obviously not with HER) made me realize that I'm definitely not the only one bored with 99% of TV. Most of my friends rely entirely on DVDs to watch television programming, especially serial shows like Dexter or House. I watch them when they air mostly because I don't have time to rent a season and sit down to watch them, but if a show isn't on at a convenient time, I don't even try to watch it (Sopranos, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, etc). SOMEDAY I'll get those on DVD, but since I have kids, it ain't anytime soon. I mean, we got Season 2 of The Muppets Tonight (OLD SCHOOL Muppets... ask your parents) and we've only seen Disc 1 of 4. The only show I've liked enough to watch ALL of via the power of the DVD is Farscape, and thats just because it's so good even good shows say "Damn, that's good."

Television is more interesting than people. If it were not, we would have people standing in the corners of our rooms. ~ Alan Coren

Hee.

Maybe I'm just getting old. Maybe I'm aware of my mortality, and I don't want to look back and admire the piles of timesink I created with my finite existence. Maybe I'm deluding myself into thinking I'm better than the mass media. Maybe the mass media is deluding itself into thinking it's good enough for me. Maybe I don't eat enough cheese. Look, that dog has a puffy tail! SHINY TRINKET!

Also, please watch the below trailer, and then go see this movie.



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Uniqueness Of Adequatulence



Dave: "Bill McNeil is ...adequate...
I'm sorry Bill."

Bill: "Sorry? Sorry, you weren't
singled out and deemed adequate?"

"...After all adequacy is the hallmark of great journalism."

"What is adequate journalism if not great journalism?"

"We'll finish this later, after I fulfill my duties
with my customary adequaucivity."

"It's one thing, of course, to know you're adequate,
but to have a fellow member of the press stand up
and say 'Yes, you sir are adequate,'
Let me tell you it is a very special feeling."

"Well, I'm off to astonish the world with more
feats of adequataqaticism."

"Very adequately sir, I'm virtually
bursting with adequatulence."


If you Google nearly any of those words, you'll only get one thing... Bill MacNeil's review. That's the sort of uniqueness that is the aspiration of everyone in the literary arts (people in the visual arts often don't get Google'd enough to matter, or referenced in popular culture).

For most of my stories, if you Google the titles, you get a lot of unrelated stuff, but there's typically tons of it. It's hard to come up with anything unique anymore.

But I did it. A story I've been working on for a few days sprang up from the title, which just sort of wandered into my head sometime last week. I've still been sorting out the plot, and the setting (I haven't even started characterisation yet, which is rare for me!) but I've been afraid to punch in the title and see how many people have used it yet.

But I did. Wanna know how many Google hits I got?

Four.

And none were in English.

Now my brain is frantically trying to develop it. It is, without a doubt, the least violent story I've got going on right now (there might not even be bleeding ANYWHERE in the book), and I finally might have an outlet for all the 'funny' stuff I try to write that never fits into my more serious stuff. Whenever I try to write 'funny', it usually comes out as a weak attempt at Discworldian snark, perhaps more akin to Hugh Laurie's books. (I feel nervous even mentioning Discworld in comparison to myself, even to say I suck next to it).

So here goes... the first new story I've been happy with in about two years.

Yay!



Monday, May 12, 2008

NOW I'm Farting Pixie Dust...


My wife was worried that I wouldn't. Well, she needn't worry, and here's why:

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Now, this might not SEEM like a big deal, but let's run down a few key, important parts.

Hugh Jackman as Logan / Wolverine - This is important, and a good thing.

Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed / Sabretooth - This is ridiculously awesome.

Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson / Deadpool - This is the single coolest thing that could happen in 2009.

Some of you may recall my review of Blade 3, which was "Holy crap, this movie was fantasically retarded, blah blah blah, holy snapping ass-cakes, except Ryan Reynolds was just awesome." And it's true... Reynolds is a great actor. He's dry, he's hilarious, he's snarky, and he never looks like he's over-reaching.

Some of you may ALSO recall my review of Phantoms, which was fairly glowing (despite what the critics say), but one part in particular should stand out: "Liev Schreiber completely makes this movie, shifting it from 'well-made horror' to 'creepy-assed awesomeness'."

Both of these guys will now be playing two of my favorite Marvel characters of all time.

For those of you who may not be 'in the know' with Deadpool, here's the short version: Weapon X project, same as Wolverine. Given Wolverine's regenerating ability. Has incredibly advanced cancer, which means tumors are constantly spreading and being healed, especially in his brain. Consequently, he is SO INSANE, he actually knows he's in a comic book, and takes advantage of that fact.

Here he is, happily reunited with his thought bubbles:


And here he is, performing Street Fighter II moves onto teenaged girls:


Fuck yeah.

Friday, May 9, 2008

We Now Return You To...



... your regularly scheduled randomosity.

How's THAT?!

Also, I'm back all up in the Kingdom of Loathing. I've got a Seal Clubber, a Turtle Tamer and a Sauceror. So far, the Seal Clubber is BY FAR the deadliest one... for now. Then again, he drank four bottles of used vampire blood (which means it's actually third-hand blood, not second-hand) and that made him strong! STRONG! Strong, and gross.

Seriously, join this game. Fight Goblins at Cobb's Knob and collect Knob Gobblers... fight Grassy Gnolls at Degrassi Knoll... and kick Wolfmen in the nards. That's right. Wolfmen's got nards.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

It's Just A Ride...



The world is like a ride at an amusement park.
And when you choose to go on it, you think that it's real,
because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride
goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and
chills, and it's very brightly coloured, and it's very loud
and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride
for a long time, and they begin to question - is this real,
or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered,
and they come back to us. They say 'Hey! Don't worry,
don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride.'

And we...kill those people. Ha ha ha.

'Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride. SHUT HIM UP!
Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account,
and my family. This just has to be real.' It's just a ride.
But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that,
you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it
doesn't matter because: it's just a ride. And we can change
it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work,
no job, no savings, and money. A choice, right now, between
fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks
on your doors, buy guns, and close yourselves off.

The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what
you can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride.
Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defence
each year, and instead we spend it feeding, clothing and
educating the poor of the world, which it would many times
over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space
together, both inner and outer, for ever, in peace.


I think I forgot something yesterday.

*looks down at yesterday's post, arches his eyebrows, and frowns ashamedly*

Yup, definitely forgot something.

See, this is what makes me think I AM bipolar. Right now, looking back a scant 24 hours, I can NOT truly recall how rough I felt yesterday. I can remember DESCRIBING how it felt, because I always take notes on that sort of thing, but it's a lot like the verbal description of REALLY good food... unless you experience it, it's just so much printed text, functional and useless.

Today? I feel good. I feel pretty good. I have to go try to explain to a complete stranger that he bought my car, and it's now his problem, which means being confrontational, and if any of my dear readers know me, they know I'm somewhere at the Newtonian opposite of confrontationalism. Then I have to go walk for an hour in a big circle with an open wound on the bottom of one foot and a gimped ankle on the other side. Then I have to go home and somehow get all my kids into bed before 8:30 so that I can uphold a promise to some friends to get some Stars turns out of the way, which means I have to be online about an hour and a half earlier than normal.

But I feel good.

Who knows, maybe I'll feel like putting my foot through someone tomorrow, and I'll feel like farting pixie-dust on Saturday.

Sleep tight.


I have been a comedian for a long time,
so forgive me while I plaster on a fake smile
and plough through this shit one more time.







Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Sine Wave Of Happines



Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow
is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
~ L. M. Montgomery


There's the 'peak' sine optimism there... tomorrow is perfect, because it has no mistakes. Sadly, that fails to take into account the sum accumulation of all the mistakes in life up UNTIL that point. It's rather like sitting in a little rowboat, facing away from a tidal wave, and looking at the placid water and thinking "Boy, it's pretty."



See, the top of the sine wave can be considered "good", and the bottom of the sine wave can be considered "bad". As is the natural order of things, everything waffles back and forth between varying amplitudes of good and bad, happy and sad, happy and angry, happy and depressed. It's rather unfair that the top of the sine wave only has "happy", while the troughs have everything else conceivable. If you're happy, you're happy, but if you're NOT happy, there's LOTS of things you could be.



Now, there's nothing in math that says the baseline HAS to be equidistant from the peaks and troughs. y=0 might very well be A/4 below peak, or A/8, which means that the bulk of the system is well below baseline. I call this the "reality dip". It's composed of sour cream, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and blind hopelessness, and it goes well with Ruffles.

Unfortunately, it seems I have no picture for that.

Now, a friend of mine has suggested that I try to figure out the pattern, and then plan happy things for the peaks, to take advantage of them, since doing happy things in a trough doesn't even cancel out. Throwing happy into a trough is like throwing coins into a pond... it's the thought that counts.

Spongebob Squarepants - The Best Day Ever just came on Winamp.

Hee.

Now, you'd think that by adding more energy to the system, the application of stress and circumstance, would change the sine, and it does. However, it decreases the baseline for periodic sections of the curve, so even the peaks don't even broach the baseline (which is now about A/16 above peak). If the amplitude doesn't increase, the frequency decreases, so the peaks get farther apart. I know I spent a couple weeks in a trough a while ago. then I peaked for about four or five days (in time to go see a movie) and then troughed again, and peaked long enough to see Ironman, get a raise, and sell my car.

But the car came back, the very next day (ha ha ha, fucking funny, I know) and it's apparently broken. The guy's pissed, and might want his money back, which means I traded a fully functional 1991 Taurus for a BROKEN Taurus, which will go back to sitting idle on my front lawn. I've gotten a buddy of mine to agree to look at it tomorrow, after I go look at it today and get some information about what's wrong (battery, starter, ignition, or my personal theory, he'S FUCKING OUT OF GAS). Coupled with the loss of the desperately needed $900, two sick kids, and who knows that the fuck else, this trough looks big enough for me to actually move all of my stuff into, and maybe start paying rent. At least it's shady during the day.





EDITED TO ADD:

See, I don't think I'm bipolar or anything. Bipolarism, also known as 'manic-depression' or 'the wandering happy-sad whackies', is characterized by alternating periods of hypomania, or elevated moods (elevated good and bad ones). I know I'm not bipolar, because my doctor said I wasn't after ten seconds of me describing my symptoms. He must be a very good doctor, to know so quickly. I'm lucky to have him.

Irregardless, bipolarism is like ADD... often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Perhaps I'm just overly reactive. Perhaps I'm too emotional for the world as it exists, or too unemotional for the world as it should exist. Perhaps the constant, unending thoughts of anger and violence are extremely common, and I'm just really bad at dealing with it (most guys I know like violent movies just as much as me, so that's actually pretty likely).

Metal ductility is a funny thing. A softer steel is better for construction, because of the stress/strain diagram.



There is very little strain for quite a large amount of stress, until it hits the first limit. Then the strain accumulates quite quickly. Strain actually decreases as the load is further increased, as the internal structure of the material fails. If I suddenly don't feel strained anymore, I'm going to seek medical help.

I was raised a very particular way. It was a sort of laissez-faire childhood, with neither post-divorce parents really regarding me as much more than someone who ate all the food and didn't do the laundry. Sometimes they'd speak to me. I remember those days. If I was hurt, I was told to walk it off. If I was upset, I was told to tough it out. If I was lonely, I was told to... well, I wasn't told anything, because I was lonely. Who the fuck was I going to tell? My mettle was tested, and my metal was tempered (man, I kick ass at puns). Instead of the soft, ductile, flexible, and ultimately useful steel that's most commonly used, I because quench-hardened steel. The stress-strain diagram is almost a perfectly vertical line, with a little 'tick' at the top, indicating where the steel does not bend, but in fact shatters in what is known as "catastrophic failure" in engineering circles. Look it up, kids... it's cool. It's why sometimes man's buildings say "No more!" and then lay down for a nap.

Still, that's just a metaphor. My brain isn't made of 350W beam-grade steel (if it was, I couldn't balance). And it certainly isn't made of 800T. For all I know, I'm still on the way up, the steel creaking but not deforming by any really measurable degree. Every steel building has steel somewhere on that first slope, enduring, maintaining.

After I wrote the above part, I went to get a bagel and a donut (someone brought them to the break room today), and I felt a little bit better. I don't know if it was from the catharsicide of typing out a bunch of random psychobabble bullshit or the promise of baked goods. I'm going to go get more baked goods and see if it happens again (though not the donuts... Tim Hortons uses some sort of frosting sugar that really REALLY hurts my teeth). Stupid Timmies.

This is probably my longest non-review blog post. I started writing this every couple of days for the past few months, then I realized that I was just whining, and I erased it. Then I'd post something happy. Then a few days later I'd post something deep and confession-y, then I'd erase it and talk about something else. Right now, I know I'm in a trough, so writing this seems perfectly reasonable. In a few hours, I might be in a post-lunch happy-plateau (which I call a hapeau) and this whole post will seem attention-getting and retarded, and maybe I'll be right. I think I'm right now. I'll think something else is right later. I'll think completely opposite things when I go to bed and when I wake up. Most of the time I go to bed happy and comforted that, when I wake up, whatever I was mad about suddenly won't matter.

That stopped happening about a month ago. Maybe I'm gaining better perspective, or maybe the things I worry about really ARE getting more important. Who knows?

I'll probably erase this this afternoon.

EDITED TO ADD EVEN FURTHER:

And here is, an hour later, and I hit the 'fear' stage. This is always the stage where I've calmed down a little bit, had a bite to eat, rinsed out some things, and have come full circle to 'thinking'. I have an overwhelming desire to erase this post, and just put something clever, like "See?" in it's place. I PARTICULARLY want to erase it before Throkky reads it, which is where most of the fear comes from. I run on fear. Fear, and unleaded Cheerios.

I did feel a little better when I went for my walk (that is to say, it felt like my insides were churning) and I tried some primal scream therapy in the privacy of my head (it's fairly soundproof in there). Then I went and bought a couple bucks worth of lunch from Shoppers Drug Mart (where some things are 50% off, and some are on sale for MORE THAN THEIR REGULAR PRICE! Math! It's what's for dinner!) Now I have my pink apple soda and my rice cakes, and I want to hit ctrl-A --> delete --> publish. I really, really do.

I'm not going to this time. Fuck YOU, Mr Brain Chemistry! Fuck YOU!

EDITED YET MORE: (I know, I know, stop it)

And the fear is gone. Throkky called, she's in town, so I have LOTS of time to erase this. I'm already rationalizing. I could do it, no-one would know, since very few people read this (and with the possible exception of Sleeping Kyle, none regularly). Even so.

I looked into it, and I'm not responsible for the car. He took it for a test drive, he pronounced it sound (and in fact talked me down because he suspected it might have problems). We both signed all the doccy-ments that say that it belongs to him now, and money has exchanged hands. The fact that I'm taking two damn days and calling in favors with mechanics is just proof that I'm a nice fucking guy.

So outside it's the rainy apocalypse. My fondest wish right now is to just go outside, and lay on the hood of my car with my iPod safely protected inside a plastic baggie, and just... enjoy the rain and the wind. Instead, I have to produce site plan drawings for a fictional development for our senile architect.

Life is sweet.

EDITED TO ADD:

There. Upbeat.

Not bipolar at all.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Well, I Think It's A Good Quote...



Architects know that some kinds of
design problems are more personal
than others. One of the cleanest,
most abstract design problems is
designing bridges. There your job
is largely a matter of spanning
a given distance with the least material.

The other end of the spectrum is
designing chairs. Chair designers
have to spend their time thinking
about your butt.

~ Paul Graham

Monday, May 5, 2008

I think a plan is just a list of things that don't happen...



Can you believe Christopher McQuarrie didn't win any awards for Way Of The Gun? That's just a fucking sick joke, to me. He won an Academy Award for The Usual Suspects, and then when he wants to do another movie with total creative control, he is told by every single studio "Hell, no." So, Benicio Del Toro convinces him to do a crime film again, because that way he'll have the most creative control it's possible to get, and he makes one of the only truly criminal crime films of the last two DECADES, and it just gets canned by critics who say it wasn't like The Usual Suspects.

NO SHIT!!

Morons...

...

Not money, 15 million dollars.
Fifteen million dollars is not money,
its a motive with a universal adaptor on it. ~ Sarno

To tell you the truth,
I don't think this is a brains type of operation. ~ Longbaugh

I think a plan is just a list of things that don't happen. ~ Parker

Longbaugh: Why is that a big deal?
Employee: Because nobody brings up sex with dead people!
Longbaugh: Course they don't, it's sick.
Employee: You brought it up....
Longbaugh: To say I never did it.
Employee: I didn't ask that....
Longbaugh: You should.


This is probably why my wife thinks that my little mental health breaks on the weekend aren't good for me.

Ok, let's see, what's in the news today?

Why my wife doesn't let me buy bacon.

Cheer up, retard!

Inappropriate!

There, you happy now?

One last great conversation.

Longbaugh: Nightstick, flashlight, bulletproof vest.
Joe Sarno: Fuckin' utility belts, right?
Longbaugh: Fuckin' sign on his head reading "Why Bother?"
Joe Sarno: Hey, they love to say shit like "ascertain".
Longbaugh: "Surveillance."
Joe Sarno: "Affirmative."
Longbaugh: "I need backup."
Joe Sarno: "Adjudicate."
Longbaugh: "Adjudicate"?
Joe Sarno: Yeah, well...


Friday, April 18, 2008

Birds Are Actually Quantum Birds! Run!

In a race, the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest, since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started, so that the slower must always hold a lead.


Or if you're observing a quantum event taking place on your own retina, your magical brainwaves make the reaction go so slow that it tells you where you are on Earth.

The wierd part is, I'm not making up the second one.

How birds use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate has puzzled researchers for decades. In recent years, a growing body of evidence has pointed to the possibility that a weak magnetic field can influence the outcome of a certain type of chemical reaction involving the recombination of pairs of ions in bird retinas. The trouble is that the ion recombination is known to happen too quickly for the Earth's weak magnetic field to have any effect. Now it looks as if the quantum Zeno effect explains all, says one researcher (abstract). This is the watched-pot-never-boils effect in which the act of observing a quantum system maintains it for longer than expected. That's extraordinary news because it means a quantum sensor is determining the macroscopic behavior of living birds.

Now this is really, really cool to me.

And also terrifying, because pigeons have a better grasp of quantum mathematics than humans.

Scary, n'est pas?



Also... giggle.



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Eating Healthy Will Fucking Kill You Dead


* "Doctors cure Nature’s mistakes
with mistakes of their own."
~ Leonid S. Sukhorukov



More specifically, scientists tracking over a hundred thousand people taking verying amounts of vitamins and minerals found that the people who took more DIED FASTER. In particular:

...

Beta-carotene was tested in 24 trials, vitamin A in 16 trials, vitamin C in 33, vitamin E in 54 and selenium in 21 trials. Researchers found that 17,880 of 136,023 study participants who took the supplements died (13.1 per cent), compared to 10,136 of 96,527 participants who did not take the supplements (10.5 per cent).

The antioxidants also appeared to offer no benefit to people with gastrointestinal, heart, neurological, eye, skin, rheumatoid, kidney and endocrine diseases, according to the authors. The authors believe that although low levels of antioxidants consumed in fruits and vegetables may be beneficial for health, they may act as "double-edged" swords, adversely affecting "key physiological processes." In the study, they link vitamin A to an increase in oxidative damage, while beta-carotene "may act as a co-carcinogen" or cancer-causing agent.

Awesome. Who feels healthy?


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

There, See? I Have A Topic

.
I've done two posts in the past week, but I always discard them by the time I'm finished writing, for assorted reasons (ironically, the reasons I do that are covered by the posts that I deleted.) Now, however, I genuinely have something to talk about.

A while ago, someone in my office was in a car accident.  She's fine now (and truth be told, she was fine THEN, but she didn't let that on).  She's been back at work for about a week.  The thing I want to talk about... why do people feel it is now their job to walk up to her and talk about car accidents they've witnessed recently? Our office manager had her cornered this morning, talking about a car accident she passed downtown.

To me, this is akin to someone getting out of the hospital after getting a tumor removed, and only having people talk to them about OTHER people with tumors, or someone getting out of a weight loss clinic and only having people talk to them about OTHER fat people.  Yes, she was in a car accident, but I think I missed the leap of logic that instantly ascribes to her the property of "wants to hear about OTHER car accidents".

It confuses me.  Arg.

As long as YouTube is teh unblock-ed, I'll try to add something here.



Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"Post More Often"

.
Be ye serious?

I've told people many times, if you want me to blog more often, then leave me some evidence that you're READING any of this crap.  Leave a comment down below, so I have something to show for my efforts other than trolling / phishing bots saying that my post was "excellent interesting", and would I please like to click these links without knowing what they are? (I wouldn't).

This blog has no theme.  It has no goal. It has no purpose.  It has no porpoise.  It has no sports equipment or marine mammals whatsoever. It's just where I post random crap when I feel like it, as long as it's not controversial or offensive or any other long adjective.  I haven't felt like it, lately.  I haven't felt like ANYTHING lately.  All I've wanted to do is just go off somewhere and be alone for a week, and sleep.  Instead I'm back to working six days a week, and I have to get a whole shitload of stuff organized for the Energy Fair, and I have to do two complete sets of transfer drawings, CAD and Photoshopped, for the Kelson guys, and they want it fairly soon, plus all the family-man crap I do at home that keeps me busy until sometime after 9:30, or what I call "The Magical Southpark Freedom Time".

If you want to hear from me, if you want me to blog some stuff, then give me things to blog about.  Drop me a comment, send me an article, do SOMETHING.  I'm tired of feeding the void.

Photobucket
.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Gowk-Hunting Day!

I hope everyone's ready to get harvesting those spaghetti trees!

Well, ok, people have been on my ass to get me to blog more, even though these same people talk to me fairly frequently, and are often more up to date on the shennannigans and goings-on in my life than I am, mostly because my wife tells them everything, but that doesn't mean that they're going to STOP anytime soon, so Throkky, Michy, Grimmy, et al, this one's for you.

...

Let's see, what's in the news today...

Oh, yeah, I've been officially child-proofed.  I'd go into detail about this, but it's much easier to just go watch the video!

Neat, huh?

So last night, it was announced at our monthly Earthsave Vegetarian Potluck that there would be no more Earthsave Vegetarian Potlucks.  Wanna know why? I'll tell you. Earthsave, the organization, contacted the people in charge of the Kamloops Earthsave potluck, and told them that they had to be vegan, or they would be no longer be affiliated with the Earthsave organization. (Vegetarian = eggs and dairy allowed.  Vegan = no fun.)  Earthsave believes that by allowing vegetarian food, we are not really sincere in helping save the planet, and we can apparently just go fornicate ourselves with an egg noodle covered in cheese sauce. However, I, and almost everyone there, looks at it like this:

When the potluck WAS vegan, they had about... ten people show up.  When it went to vegetarian, they've had from 40-60 people show up.  So... they could either have ten people show up with vegan food, while everyone else stays home to eat meat, OR they could have ten people show up with vegan food, and a further thirty to fifty people show up with vegetarian food they likely wouldn't have been having anyways, thus promoting awareness and a sense of community with a larger group.

See, the big problem with policy makers in almost ANY field is that they have NO concept of how to pick battles.

The upshot of it is, the potlucks will go on as normal, but we will no longer be allowed to call ourselves Earthsave (which is fine, since they seem to be composed of dicks).  We're thinking of calling ourselves Earthsafe, so we don't have to change the stationary too much.

Ok, that's all I got for today... I have to go design a two acre parkade now.


Also, please check out Blog Part The Second, Marble's Mass-anthropy.

It's worth it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bland Blah-Blahs, Blog Blocking, Blast!


Alliteration is.... fun.

Boredom is the root of all evil—the despairing refusal to be oneself.

Thanks, Kierkegard, now I feel bad about myself. Dillhole.

Anyways, I'm just testing out more of the advanced features of the remote blog function.  I started this e-mail an hour ago, but I got fucking run over by the seizure fairy and just spent a good chunk of my morning staring at my screen and watching myself sweat from several feet above my own body.  It's fun.  You should try it.  My stomach has now settled down, so I figure I can keep going with this.  Yippie skippy.

"Now, MJ, why are you feeling so bad," you may ask me. "You took several says off!"  Well, I took several days off and spent them in a tiny room with my entire family, on a bed that was designed with a tiny person in mind... a tiny person with perfect posture and very narrow shoulders.  Who doesn't breathe.  When I tried to use this strange man's bed for three days, it resulted in almost zero sleep, which means, that's right, Al, which means I'm tired as fuck and imagining that I'm carrying a small child through a desert which is at the same time up a flight of wooden steps, while eyes follow me.  I'm also wearing a hat in this one, which is different than the person in the hat following me.  Hey, don't ask me, my brain makes up the hallucinations.  I just try not to barf.

And we're back at work after an insane five-day hiatus the likes of which I haven't seen since Pippette was born.  It's wierd.  I feel out of place.  People seem happy to see me, though, which flies in the face of all available logic.

I also bought a new(ish) car!




Awww, yeah.

Peace!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Dig Up, Stupid!



More specifically, dig up here, stupid.

Did you go there? You did? Good.



Monday, February 25, 2008

Testing, Testing

EIN! ZEWI! DREI! VIER!

You only love me when you're down....
You only love me when you're down....
You only love me when you're down....
You only love me when you're down....

Allrighty... it seems the office security was, for a while there, so tight that it choked some functionality to death.  Let's hear it for paranoia!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Angry Letter To Apple

Dear Apple,

About two weeks ago (two Thursdays, to be exact), while getting out of my car in the afternoon at my office, I plucked my iPod Shuffle from the tape-deck converter cord and dropped it into my coat pocket, as I have done three or four times a day, every day, for several months. It is a well-practiced, well-rehearsed move. In spite of this, I missed this one time, and unbeknownst to me, my iPod fell between my shirt and coat, bounced off of my leg, or the edge of the car, and was swallowed by the snowy, muddy morass of our unplowed parking lot. I did not notice the iPod was missing for four hours, when it was NOT in my coat pocket upon getting back INTO the car.

Every day I checked the area near my desk, and the area around where I had parked that fateful day, to no avail. My iPod was nowhere to be seen, though to be fair, the snow and ice were very thick (parking lot not plowed, as I said) and I could have dropped an 80's style Sony Walkman in that snow, and never found it. I had given up all hope, and this very day, I started looking on ncix.com for a replacement, finding a Creative mp3 player that had twice the capacity, and almost half the price I had paid for your product. I left my office, feeling rather bouyant that I would soon have a replacement music player, and I could finally retire my Rocky Soundtrack tape to it's place in my basement.

But no... no, today, after the big thaw we've had over the past two days, I walked past that fateful parking spot, and there, perched on top of a chunk of brown ice, was my iPod Shuffle. I stopped, agape, turned, and picked it up. It was dirty, it was scratched, and it has little droplets of salty water dripping out of the speaker jack. I brought it home, dried it out over a heater vent, and then cleaned it with Q-tips and alcohol. The dirt revealed numerous scratches, and since it has been two weeks in a busy parking lot, this iPod has no doubt been run over many, many times.

My anger reached a peak when, upon tentatively placing the iPod headphones into the appropriate receptacle, and flicking the little button to "On", the green light appeared, signaling the product was working. I pressed "Play", and what should greet my ears, but the soothing sounds of Minerva by the Deftones. My iPod was in perfect working order.

I can contain my anger no longer. Why, despite the massive technological achievements of Man, has no product I have EVER bought been capable of withstanding this sort of abuse until now? Nothing I have ever owned, including objects with no moving parts and homogenous composition, such as a fork, would have been capable of withstanding that sort of abuse over a period of two weeks, ten to twenty vehicles parking on it, two freezes, two thaws, and thirteen days submerged in snow and ice and mud. No product I ever WILL own will survive this sort of abuse, save my trusty iPod Shuffle.

Damn you, Steve Jobs. Damn you, Apple. My expectations have forever been lifted on the wings of hope. I hope you're fucking happy.

Sincerely,

MJ The Happy Apple Owner

Monday, February 11, 2008

A $12,000,000,000 "Up Yours" From Russia, With Love


Economics is, at root, the study of incentives:
how people get what they want, or need, especially
when other people want or need the same thing.


I am referring to this article hnyah. To sum up:

Russia has agreed to write off $12bn (£6bn) of Iraqi debt built up by the regime of former leader Saddam Hussein to buy military supplies. In return, Russian companies, including oil giant Lukoil, will be given access to invest up to $4bn in Iraq. Lukoil is expected to develop oilfields including West Qurna, one of the country's largest. Russia said the deal was meant to help rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure following the US-led invasion, which it opposed.

HAH! Oh, man, I wonder who's going to come out this looking better in terms of world opinion (which matters much more than reality).

The world operates not on reality,
but on the perception of reality.


Sneakers. Sweet movie, and they had a point. America basically busts down the door and shoots everyone, and then Russia comes in and patches everyone up, peacefully, with the only thing that really changes how the world works: money. Sure, violence and force change things for the present, but money is needed to change things for the future, and it all depends where that money comes from. The nukes dropped on Japan basically gave them the incentive to become the single densest powerhouse economy on the planet, because they realized that force was not the way to respond.

America, you just keep aiming missiles at Russia and protecting yourself from Russian missiles being aimed by people who probably don't care anymore. The world has moved on from the Biggest Kid On The Block mentality, and we're all waiting for you to catch up. Come on! Look, Canada will even slow down and wait for you. Want a candy bar?

DINGER: YouTube is blocked at work now. CURSE YOU!!!! *shakes fist*

It should be noted that BlogSpot became blocked at work while I was typing, this, too, so I had to wait until I got home. They are cracking down haa-aa-aard at work (I really want to know who is spending time on "mistresstraining.com" and "dominatrixtraining.com" in my office...)

Friday, February 8, 2008

I Don't Know What We're Yelling About!


"The golden hour of invention must terminate like other hours, and when the man of genius returns to the cares, the duties, the vexations, and the amusements of life, his companions behold him as one of themselves--the creature of habits and infirmities."


For the first time in quite a long time, I was struck by the inspiration fairy this morning, stemming, as always, from music. However, the creative rivulets of thought were particularly random this morning. The Rocky soundtrack (the old one) got me thinking about the old Rambo movie (Stallone, you know) and somehow carried over to the book Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and there was some sort of record-skip to 300, and then the Rocky sad song played while I thought about 300, and out of nowhere, the first few chapters of a story leapt into my head. Pretty much everything but character names, but I have the tropes almost fully fleshed out for the five major early players, and hints as to where the plot goes.

"After being Turned Down by numerous Publishers, he had decided to write for Posterity."


And while we're on the subject of creativity, I just want you all to realize that someone thought that the subject matter of the following video was a good idea (and I'm guilty of agreeing, I used to watch this show, mostly because Thuy Trang was hawt).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

And The VHS Shall Inherit The Earth


Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
~Book of Job

Never be afraid to try something new.
Remember that amateurs built the Ark.
Professionals built the Titanic.


Sometimes it amazes me just how much Throkky knows about me. Here I go on, day by day, wondering how well she knows me, if at all, because I both know little about her and rarely speak of myself... and then she ups and gets me "Demon Knight" on VHS. See, that's love, right there.

Along movie lines, did you know that in the first Rambo movie (actually titled "First Blood"), there is only one death, and it's accidental? ONE DEATH. The character of John Rambo is created and cemented (and filmed in Hope, BC!) in a movie that has but one death. Yes, it's a violent movie, but it's a character piece more than anything, sort of like Rocky. Rocky has one fight, and no-one's even knocked out... the rest of the movie is a sobering, dramatic look at a small group of working-class Philadelphia schmucks (with a bloody beautiful soundtrack, too).

And what happens in the new Rambo? Slightly under 3 deaths per minute, if you average it out. Thats one death every 20 seconds. It would have been considerably less, per minute, if they hadn't edited out the damn plot, but the first half of that movie is very true to the Rambo character. I liked it a lot.

But watch "First Blood", and watch "Rocky", and tell me that movies need big budgets to be good anymore.

*sigh*

Thanks, Billy Zane.



And Billy Zane's best sequence ever.
(NOTE: Stop halfway if you're squeamish)



Monday, February 4, 2008

Ok, Now I'm Pissed


War does not end strife - it sows it.
War does not end hatred - it feeds it.
For those who argue war is a necessary evil, I say you are half right.
War is evil, but it is not necessary. War cannot be a necessary evil,
because non-violence is a necessary good. The two cannot co-exist.

This article in particular just blew me away.

So many things about this article caused tremendous despair. Let's try to sort these suckers out.

1.) America believes that it somehow needs to protect itself from Russia.
2.) Poland believes it needs American help to protect it from Russia.
3.) This wasn't even 'front page news' on the BBC.

I would just like to grab all of the First World leaders by their necks, shake them swiftly and violently, and scream "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING?" Does ANYONE, even in passing, believe we still live in a world where the superpowers might eventually get into a major nuke-throwing dust-up with eachother? What level of mental retardation is required for this sort of policy to get passed not by ONE country, but TWO COUNTRIES TOGETHER??

Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
~ Herman Göring, Nazi War Criminal, During His Trial

Does anyone think China is any sort of a physical threat on any field except informational and economic? Does anyone still think that Russia wants to wipe out 'The Western Way Of Life' and replace it with a big red flag and socialism? Do we, as a species, still need to place missile defense systems on foreign soil just in case some Communist heathen gets tetchy and starts pushing launch buttons? What was the purpose of the last few decades of global war and suffering if not to drive the fucking point home that there is a better way?

And there, my rage sort of petered out... until this.

The Strangulation Of Gaza

To quote my friend Belial, Is anyone else grimly amused by the irony of Israeli Jews sequestering, restricting, and starving an "unwanted population"? I do not know all of the specifics of this particular situation, but any time there is an article along these lines, or a news report, or a blog post, or ANYTHING which shows two groups, both utterly convinced of their righteousness, basically banging their fucking skulls together to see who's better, I can't help but pay for the swift, timely death of everyone involved, so the rest of humanity can go back to looking towards the future.

Peace is not the absence of anything. Real peace is the presence of something beautiful. Both peace and the thirst for it have been in the heart of every human being in every century and every civilization
~ Maharaji

They know that war is hell; but peace, peace is fucking boring.
~ Ray Elwood


And I guess that about sums it up.

...

It's hard to focus, but here's a movie.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Devil You Sparkle & Bandaids


Did you forget, Did you believe in it
Did all those things I promised come out empty in the end
In every breath, And the dreams I missed
Comes with complications, Serenity (yeah yeah)

You smiled and looked at me and said

You don't know what it's like
You don't know what it's like
I feel like nothing at all
You don't know what it's like


I forgot just how good live rock shows are, ESPECIALLY live Canadian rock shows.

I am hugely impressed with how well everything came together last night. The kids got picked up by Farm Grandma, Throkky took the bus into town, we met up at The Commodore on time. Enjoyed a nice meal, had a few drinks, picked up one friend and met up with another. Had a few more drinks while we waited for the doors to the Grotto down the street to open, and made it inside with a minimum of fuss. There was no lateness, there was no panickation... there was just speakers and booze and pure liquid awesome.

And now I'm tired, and my throat hurts from singing along / screaming along.

Awww, yeah.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sleep Is A Symptom Of Caffeine Deprivation


All men whilst they are awake are in one common world:
but each of them, when he is asleep,
is in a world of his own.

There are two types of people in this world, good and bad.
The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy
the waking hours much more.

When you say to a child 'Bedtime, it's bedtime now'
that's not what the child hears. What the child hears is
'Go and lie down in the dark. For hours.
And don't move. I'm locking the door now'


Znnrrggg?

So last night, I'm almost hitting the finish line for the damn Guide (yes, that's it's full name now... the damn Guide). Six, maybe eight, pages to go. I'm so close... and then Throkette wakes up. And not just a little bit, no, this is her "I'm going to lay here and talk to myself, and occasionally poke you and name off the body parts I poke... eyes, nose, cheek. Eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes...." I could tell it was going to be a doozie, so with screaming daughter in tow, I got the bottles for Throkky and Newbie ready, did my pre-sleep routine, got a bottle for Throkette, grabbed a pillow, and headed into Throkette's room (she won't go back to sleep unless she's holding my hand).

She downs her bottle, and lays there for a while, poking me in the face and squeezing my thumb. I manage to drift off. I wake up an hour later, because she's standing at the closed door to her room, trying frantically to get out. I ask her what's wrong, she yells "DADDY!" and jumps back into bed, snuggling up and falling asleep.

She did this four more times throughout the night, sometimes finding time to turn herself sideways and kick me in the face.

She was sleeping like an angel when I left for work this morning, and I have grinding, stabbing pains in my right arm and shoulder, which I had to sleep on in order to have my left hand free for her to hold onto while she drifted off.

I need more coffee now.



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fun With Helium


Adam: It amazes me that you still don't realize we're filming a television show.
Jamie: I'd think we would at least aspire to not be idiots?
Adam: And yet we would fail.


No, not that kind of helium... I got invited to write at Helium, which pays for articles with ad revenue. Now, not a LOT of money... my friend Rob says he's made about five bucks there in the past few months. Irregardless, it might be something to help me get back into writing, especially if I can go ten minutes without using irregardless.

It's the white, fluffy apocalypse outside today. A major section of road was closed, with traffic routing through a parking lot. There were cops directing traffic in a few spots. An Arrow truck almost ran me off the road, and my spedometer is still broken, making me think that I am travelling at 170 kph when I am actually doing about 90. All in all, it conspired to make me...

...

... ten minutes late for work.

DAMN YOU, SNOW DEMONS!

And we're back! I know you wondered why I stopped typing for about ten minutes there, but seizures wait for no blogger. This was a wierd one, too, it wasn't preceeded by the usual sense of withdrawing... it was very present, if that makes any sense (it doesn't). Ah well. I'm not hungry anymore, at least!

Movie time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Douchebag Chic


Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable
that we have to alter it every six months. ~ Oscar Wilde

Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful
with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things
which always become ugly with time. ~ Jean Cocteau

When his wife asked him to change clothes to meet
the German Ambassador: If they want to see me, here I am.
If they want to see my clothes, open my closet
and show them my suits. ~ Albert Einstein

It's the things that aren't accepted as conventionally beautiful
that I find more attractive. ~ Mark Jacobs


There's a heck of a starter, eh?

Now, this whole blog post started from an article: Bus Driver Kicks Off "Freaky" Goths. Pretty quickly, the discussion on my fora settled onto three things:

1.) The leash meant that the two goths were forcing their sexual fetish upon everyone who could see them.

2.) Being a goth is not a choice.

3.) It may or may not be a hate crime, depending how pedantic you can be.

Now, as someone who married a "freaky goth" (and then, sadly, domesticated her... sorry, sweetie!!) I am clearly on the side of "What the hell was the bus driver smoking?" I also very quickly became almost the ONLY person on that side, as everyone else proceeded to slam the goths for dressing like idiots, offending everyone's sensibilities, and engaging in sick fetish play in public.

It saddened me, because the entire forum is pretty much a shrine for geek culture, including what things geeks find sexy, how 'normal' people treat geeks, and even an entire section on how to purposefully 'wierd out' normal people, either by action or inaction. It's all right to do that as long as you wear the mantle of 'geek', but as soon as your outfit includes black leather and a collar, you become sick and irresponsible. I had to back out of the conversation simply because I was in danger of pulling a muscle with all the *facepalming* I was doing.

Amusingly, no-one else thought that belly-shirts, low-rise pants, or other naughty and overtly sexualized outfits were bad at all, despite the fact that they are worn in public and are WAY more forceful upon the eyes and sensibilities of the helpless public than, say, two people who are sitting quietly and happen to be attached to eachother by a thin metal chain.

This is the first really blatant act of hypocrisy on this forum, which I guess is pretty good, considering I've been there for eight months, but I guess goths are an easy target. "We may be geeks, and we may be wierd, but at least we're not as bad as THEM!!!" *fingerpointing ensues*

*sigh*

The best man at my wedding had green hair, for Gord's sake...

I need to go drink more coffee. Excuse me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You Can Literally Cruise.... The Vista!


The future, always so clear to me,
had become like a black highway at night.
We were in uncharted territory now,
making up history as we went along.


I will now give you a quick impression of the last thirty minutes:

Myself: Delete file
Vista: NO!!!! *crash*
Myself: Uhm... please delete file?
Vista: I FUCKING SAID NO!!! *doublecrash*
Myself: Pretty please?
Vista: Yes sir! Right away, sir!

That took thirty minutes.

In honor of MLK Day, I give you The Doctor Martin Luther King Affirmative Action Par-TAY!!!

Also... Heath Ledger died? Why is it always so disturbing when fundamentally NICE people die unexpectedly? The news reports ALL conflict on the details, so I'll give it a few days.

...

Here's a movie.



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More 'Good Idea, Bad Idea'


Taking a deep breath before jumping into a swimming pool.
Taking a deep breath after jumping into a swimming pool.

Playing the accordion at a polka festival.
Playing the accordion anywhere else.

Visiting picturesque McLean, Virginia.
Visiting picturesque McLean Stevenson.

Climbing a mountain.
Climbing a mountain lion.


Good idea: Last night, pretty much the entire Demon Hunter version 2 story, in which Xavious is a young girl, fell into place. Her family, the history, the plot, the finale, everything. Borrowing chunks from Origins, and a few loose thoughts I had floating around, it cameth together. Woo!

Bad idea: letting Alvin in my office convince me to buy the Village Hotel, and offer free beer to all strippers and engineers. (His bad idea, really, but if he loans me the money, it's OUR bad idea.)

So it seems we got a new washer delivered THAT DAY, hooked it up, and we have now done four loads of laundry. I am wearing a shirt laundered IN OUR OWN HOME! I know people think home machine laundering is a fad, but I could see this taking off, I really could.

I need to sleep.

...

COFFEE TIME!




AudioSurf visually represents a song :) Check this shit OUT!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Brand New, Never Used"


... and if it hadn't been for the water that was stick in the drain hose, I might have believed him.

So our brand new (and by brand new, I mean it was delivered to our house yesterday) washer apparently suffers from a case of the runs, and disgorged gallons of steaming hot water all over the top floor of our house last night, reaching almost from my daughter's room all the way to the kitchen. The Whirlpool 1-800 number apparently became Kentucky Voice Response, and this morning their call center was just down. At the moment, the fine people at City Furniture are checking their storerooms for some way to make it better, since they knowingly sold us defective merchandise.

And I can destroy that store with my bare hands.

...

Well, I want to...

...

My wife taught our older daughter to say "POOF! Pants are gone!" I feel marginally better.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I Got Them Shiny New-Office Blues...


You have on black robes! How wonderful! Can I touch them? Oh, all right. You needn't glare at me like that. It's just that they look so soft. Say, does this mean you're truly bad now? Can you do something evil for me, so I can watch? I know! I saw a wizard summon a demon once. Could you do that? Just a small demon? You could send him right back. No?


I tried to find a quote for the Blues, but that didn't work... but I saw something about Dungeons n Dragons, so I searched for a quote there, and ended up with Dragonlance, and, well... there you go. Tasselhoff Burrfoot, at your service.

My new phone plays what sounds like the Wheel of Fortune music whenever I get a phone call, which is sort of neat. My window (I CAN HAS WINDOW!!!) overlooks the skeezy hotel and the North Shore hookers, and so far all I've seen pass by on the other side of the street are old people, and street kids. I have to park at the gas station next door and hope they don't tow me. Still, it's better than before! There's still insecticide on everything, and my skin is melting (only slightly, only slightly) but other than that, it's great to be in my new place. The best part, though, has to be my new computer, which is just about the second- or third-best machine money can buy. It loads AutoCAD Architecture 2008 in SIX SECONDS!!! I could go get COFFEE in the time it took my last machine to load! I've got dual 500 gig hard drives, a video card that has two heat sinks, and 3.5 gigs of addressed memory, and despite the fact that it's Vista, everything works slick and smooth.

Giggity. Giggity goo.

*zzzz*

Movie time!