Jasper's sister, Karma, and her kittens
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The names have been changed. The punctuation has been altered, but it remains clear. Conversations via AIM do more for Dadaism then for proper grammar.
FatFriar: I have taken the stance that all games since 1993 suck...
To friends in faraway places, I miss you. To people that want to be offended, we are just being silly. Sometimes you need a slice of silly when life gets serious. We love hicks, americans, and even Texans no matter how many bad politicans they throw at us.
"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."
Lately I've been really glad that I am not in school anymore. The few crazies like the Columbine kids have given school boards a reason to adopt zero-tolerance policies. Zero-tolerance is convenient way for school officials to substitute policy for common sense. Zero-tolerance disengages law from reason and brings the time worn logic of "because I said so" into the schools. In this case, the offender is often arrested or expelled rather then sent to their room without supper. Zero-tolerance has managed to make the issue bigger then it would be. Zero-tolerance strips any possible learning from an action and only enforces the idea to follow vague policies for fear of punishment. Zero-tolerance establishes things once considered free realms of expression as potential signals or incitement for violation of policy and that the potential itself is a violation.
How about a few recent examples? With many gathered from the OpinionJournal.
Schools in Palm Beach County, Fla. are banning backpacks as Principal Derrick Manning told the Palm Beach Post. "There's too many safety risks like guns and knives that could be hidden in there, not to mention other distractions like cell phones and pagers."
Pleasant Hill Elementary School in Wheaton, Ill., a town with more then their share of religious conservative yahoos, has suspended a 9 year old boy for bringing a toy gun to school. The Daily Herald reported that the school received a tip from a parent of the boy's friend that overheard (nosey old...) that he was bringing the toy to school.
Arizona Republic reported that the Avondale's Agua Fria High School yearbook was edited by the Principal Doug Wilson. All initials were taken out as potential gang signs. All references to religion or sex were taken out such as: "God bless everyone." and "I love you Mark." and "Life is hard. Death is forever."
Aspiring 9 year old artist, Raleigh "Trey" Walker III, was suspended from Lenwil Elementary School for drawing a picture of a soldier. Principal Edwin Davis found the picture "upsetting."
St. Petersburg Times reports that an 11 year old that drew pictures of weapons was taken from Oldsmar Elementary School in handcuffs. Principal David Schmitt said "All I can tell you is it was a threat . . . against students," he said. "Nobody in particular, but students in general." And then "We just need to get it through kids' heads that there are certain things you don't say and there are certain things you don't draw."
The Grand Rapids Press reports that a 1st grade student is being considered for expulsion after accidently elbowing a teacher. When asked to clean up at the end of the the day the boy walked away and the teacher put her hand on the boy's shoulder. He jerked his shoulder away, and in doing so his elbow struck the teacher. The mother said, "I can even understand a suspension if there was some sort of contact. But expel him? He was just pulling away from her. He's a normal 7-year-old." Board President Lori Sutter couldn't recall if they have expelled someone so young before (or have been more stupid).
You leave school to go out into the world as adults and 'free citizens' and yet it is against the law to smoke, grow, or sell something that grows naturally. Not only that, but ignoring common sense and maintaining a law that was passed through deceit and racism the Supreme Court decided that even the sick can not use it?
The irony of it all is staggering. Tabacco companies have taken aim outside of the United States and are feeding a growing population 1.1 billion smokers. We know it's bad, but we don't ban cigarettes. We know Alcohol makes people violent and stupid. The latter could only ever be claimed of pot smokers, but if it was against the law to be dumb then our President would be in the clink instead of a good friend of mine for trying to buy pot. Prohibition is not the answer. Ralph Nader said it best when asked if cigarettes should be illegal.
No. You never prohibit an addiction because what you do is you drive it underground and a huge black market occurs. What you do with an addiction is expose the addicters to massive information, protect them from deceptive advertising, protect the young from being sold such as tobacco products. Keep the research up to make whatever tobacco is consumed less lethal in terms of nicotine and other levels and increasingly make it socially stigmatized so that people often will stop smoking or won't smoke, not because it's bad for their health, but because it's no longer the thing to do. When I was in college, non-smokers were on the defensive. The smokers would blow smoke derisively in non-smokers' faces. You'd never see that today.- Amusing spin-doctoring of the day: [NPR] A Microsoft employee accidently let out a link to a pre-release version of WinXP. After a flurry of downloads it was shut down. A spokesperson said it was actually a good thing because it shows how many people are interested in WinXP.
"No language can express the power and beauty and heroism and majesty of a mother's love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over the wastes of worldly fortune sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star in heaven."
- Edwin Hubbell Chaplin (1814-80)
Motherhood has been the object of a lot of praise for a long time. Lincoln, John Q. Adams, and many others attribute everything that they were to their mothers. And why not? Mothers gave everything to their children. Mrs. Reeves in The Chase gave up her house to try and save her son. The theme of sacrifice for the sons and daughters was replayed in many stories. Eventually that perfect image started to crack with movies like Mommie Dearest. Now you are lucky to have a good mother. You are even more lucky to also have a good father. If you have both and they are still together, your name must be Adam Webber.
"Intolerable...is the abuse whereby mothers of families, because of the insufficiency of the father's salary, are forced to engage in gainful occupations outside the domestic walls to the neglect of their own proper cares and duties, particularly the education of their children."
- Pope Pius XI (1857-1939)
Since we learn everything from the movies we can agree that it is a shame both parents have to work in most families. We are enlightened by the comedic teachings of Mr. Mom, but it doesn't help when there are so many single parent families out there.
As the typical roles people play become less clear it becomes more confusing for the average person to act in a given situation. This is only magnified if you have anything near a celebrity status. It's even worse that they are put in the position of role models. If the parent isn't willing, TV, movies, etc. will certainly offer things to imitate.
"He who imitates evil always goes beyond the example that is set; he who imitates what is good always falls short."
- Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540)
Motherhood is not about imitation, it's about nurturing children to grow into adults. Mother's Day is not about profit, it's about sentiment. So forget the cards that show more love to Hallmark then just giving her a hug or a call.
- Seattle is an interesting town to walk around in. Yesterday I took one of my longer walks. Leaving my apartment on 7th and James I headed up to Broadway and grabbed some coffee. I made my over to the Space Needle and then to the Pacific Science Center IMAX theater nearby. Cirque du Soleil's Journey of Man is playing. I've been waiting for a while to see it and will probably this weekend. I continued passed and headed toward the water. I then went all the way back to James street and then the long hard trek up to 7th. Whew.
There used to be a Save-Rite on Madison and 8th. It is going to become Madison Avalon (supermarket, office suites, apartments). On the sign someone added "Fuck Gentrification."
The closing of the Save-Rite forces me to go shop elsewhere and one of the places is Uwajimaya. This is significant because it is where I feed my addiction to Wasabi Roasted Green Peas. Lucky for me I had a good guide, but it helps to know a thing or two before you try purchasing some of the more exotic foodstuffs.
So with all this walking I've managed to get myself in somewhat better shape. I was at 220 when I got here and now I'm at 195. Since I'm 6'1" that still puts me slightly overweight according to the BMI. More walking? Ankle weights? Bah.
Still it's nice to know that even if I jaywalk, I am not as likely to get stopped as William Poindexter...I mean Woody Harrelson. Thank God for small favors and Mom.
"It is extremely important to make a good first impression. Which is why most people in the world "put on a good face" when they first meet someone.
Which is, of course, a universal form of lying."
-Harlan Ellison, from his introduction to Edgeworks. Which is titled "Good Morning, Folks; I am not Kathie Lee Gifford."I didn't like some of my best friends when we first encountered. One critiqued my work in an email and while being absolutely correct I still felt a bit miffed. Perhaps it was because he was right and you know how annoying that is. Another was a friend of my brother and liked to annoy me whenever he could. He was quite good at it and probably learned from my brother who knows better then anyone on the planet how to push my buttons. This came to a stop when he did something that I can't seem to recall. I grabbed him, put him in a headlock, and told him that I was not going to put up with it anymore. We've been good friends ever since.
"He was a surly, cynical, lecherous grouch; a hairy sensualist who cared for nothing save filling his belly and fondling his genitals. He farted with malice, belched without shame, shit where he pleased, and offended everyone.
No wonder he stole my heart!
-John Marc DeMatties, from a comic book I will eternally be in awe of; MoonshadowMost of the sites that I check regularly are on the home page. My original idea was to post sites that I thought were link worthy and everything else grew from that. The sites that are not listed can be attributed to laziness or just being coy. It's that "necessary self-censoring" Tom talked about recently. Every time I sit down to write I want to spill out truth with impunity and march all the closet-dwelling skeletons. Internet as confessional, redemption only limited by bandwidth, tithe via paypal.
The thing is that my closet doesn't really have many interesting inhabitants. There are a lot of visitors and while they are interesting I don't feel like letting them loose unless properly disguised. While not as horrid as Kerrey's, they are good stories. There are good stories everywhere if you know where to look and even a poor story can come alive with the right storyteller.
So I was visited my usual sites and saw that I actually got linked. He didn't actually use my permalink so the first thing anyone is going to see is a picture of Karma and her kittens. I feel compelled to now tell the story of Karma.
But first I want to address something that I, in my carelessness rather then asinineness, forget about in the four or five seconds spent in choosing the colors (or colours for those coming from LMG) here. It's colorblindness. Either my site is friendly to the tint challenged, their email software is equally non-colorblind friendly, or they think the less of my site that can be seen, the better. So web designers, remember that for the colorblind; Contrast is King.
Karma meowed her way into my life years ago. I really don't remember the exact year and some might blame all the drinking, drugs, and debauchery to my inability to to know of things beyond two years, but the ugly truth is that it's from working in the IT industry. It was November in the cold suburbs of Chicago. A group of us were on the way to a friend's apartment heard the sound of kittens. Eventually we found them. They were in the half-cylinder like hole made for the basement window of the apartment building. Newly born, alone, cold, hungry, abandoned, and there was no turning back.
A friend took in Karma's sister, Jasper, and we both entered the world of cat-rearing. I will spare you the details of sleepless nights and biological functions. One difference in how these cats were raised is that I let Karma roam outside and Jasper was raised as a house cat. When I moved out of my parent's house Karma lost her outdoor privileges because of my ill founded fear of something happening to her. It was something that troubled her more and more and she did many things to show it. Looking back it all seems pretty clear to me, but I didn't know much about cat behavior then.
Chicago summers are like Chicago winters, hard. It was summer in Chicago. I was taking Karma to the vet in a car with no AC. She was in a bad way. In the cat carrier it had to be even hotter. I decided to get her some water and opened the carrier. She jumped out the window. She ran into Panfish park and I never saw her again.
I called and called for her, but I knew. She was free.
When my friend became pregnant they gave me Jasper to care for. She looks a lot like her sister and sometimes I even call her Karma by mistake. She doesn't demand to go outside, but does want attention and rubberbands to play with. Even my imagination can't come up with reasons to fear giving her rubberbands, but I now understand that fear is not an good excuse. That once someone, even a cat, gets used to freedom you can't expect them to give it up easily. I entertain thoughts that Karma is happy chasing mice and exploring the wilds of a public park. Sometimes when it's cold I have less cheerful thoughts, sometimes, but especially in November.
"It is, in a word, facetious and insulting to those of us who have battled to carve ourselves out a life under the near continuous snotty glare of those who would continually tell us that our lives are 'corrupt', 'substandard' or 'immoral'. It's like telling someone in a concentration camp that if they'd only STOP being Jewish..."
-Tom's take on the Family Research Council's recent claims.Christian conservatives are letting faith cloud reason again. Not only is the lifestyle choice argument flawed, but the push for macho recklessness doesn't address the fact there are masculine gays as well.
Blackadder 2 episode #201 was on tonight. Blackadder falls in love with his manservant. It's something that bothers him since he thinks she's a he. So he visits the doctor that prescribes this cure for his undesirable desires:
...a course of leeches.
Oh, just pop a couple down my cod-piece before I go to bed.
No, no, no, no. Don't be ridiculous. This isn't the dark ages. Just pop four in your mouth in the morning and let them dissolve slowly. In a couple of weeks you'll be beating your servant with a stick just like the rest of us.
You're just an old quack aren't you?
I'd rather be a quack then a ducky. Good day.
I need to continue to 'choose' to be straight because I already belong to a group of men that face discrimination because of a lack of hair on the head. Actually it's not that bad, but then, I'm not a New York politician.
"Rubin admits there's just two members of his organization so far -- he and a New York City bartender named Mark Lampert -- but insists he's not kidding around."I can't help it though. It is funny and now I got the Rush song, "I Think I'm going Bald" in my head.
"As soon as I started to get bald, my wife says, 'that's it,"' he said. "She left me, found somebody with hair."I know some people can be really shallow, but if someone leaves a marriage for that, then you really didn't have something special to begin with. I can picture him heading out to the bar after she left him and telling his tale of woe to Mark. Mark does his job and listens as he pours. HAIRPAC is born several drinks later. Rubin would have been spared if a Flash-like character from that very same Blackadder episode grabbed his girl before the ceremony started. Flash has a big ego.
"Still worshipping God? Last thing I heard he started worshipping me."On sighting Blackadder's fiancé he grabs her. They embrace, kiss, and then he exclaims,
"She's got a tongue like an electric eel and she likes the taste of a man's tonsils"
"It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do."
-Jerome K. JeromeThis entry is sponsored by the letter X
"X" is the 24th letter of the English alphabet and sounds like. In Spanish it sounds like. In Sign it looks like.
"X" is the Greek letter chi
"X" is the Roman numeral 10.
"X" is the name of the African man-beast, Jacqueline Roumeguere researched in 1978
"X" is/was a motion picture rating.
"X" is what you are.
"X" is what you typed.
"X" is for Xerxes devoured by mice.
"X" marks the spot.
"X" is a representation of an unknown.
I was taking a relaxing stroll along the Seattle shoreline and this cruiseship, Infinity, was at one of the piers. On the side of the uppermost structure was a massive "X." Before algebra, zoology, and the internet the letter "X" was rarely seen alone outside of pirate treasure maps. The letter that has the least amount of words in the dictionary or entries in the phonebook is appearing in public more often then reality game show contestents.
The proliferation of its use strips the excuse for using it as something sexy or exotic. It's passé. What seems more likely is what folks were thinking in 1908 when a bill was proposed to abolish the British Patent Office since "everything has already been invented." The automobile industry hasn't been too lucky with new names. Take Ford; Explorer, Excursion, Expedition, we must Escape! We could reuse old names, but it gets confusing quick. How many different things come to your mind from the word "Saturn?" Is David Cronenberg eXistenZ showing us the scary future of alternating caps?
"All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again."
- GoetheLance is not doing his part in defeating the myth that having a weblog and writing about yourself, your opinions, and whatever else happens to be your life eventually results in becomed bored of the whole thing so that you announce that you're gay and stop blogging. Does this mean Tom will eventually get tired and declare he's turning straight? Probably shortly after Hugh Hefner decides to stop having fun and listen to relationship expert, Dave Sim.
Dave is on the fast track to crank fame with Sucks latest article. Go for that brass ring Dave!
"Only a man who lives not in time but in the present is happy."
-Ludwig WittgensteinIt would appear that to wallow in nostalgia results in tracking sorrow wherever you go. Sometimes it's fun to go back 2 the roots. I used to have a massive collection of Amiga demos. Alas..wow, now I am sad. I shall not be sad for long. It looks like almost all my favorites are here. In case you don't want to get your precious computer tainted with the likes of an Amiga emulator you can watch DivX movies of a bunch of them here. The legendary Global Trash/Silents demo is coming soon. Too bad he couldn't get Hardwired/Crionics&Silents to work. All these demos were made in the starving artist vein. Though some of the graphics may come off looking dated, there is a lot of great artwork and best of all is the wealth of music. Almost all of it produced by tools like Protracker. I did some diggin and found that I had managed to stuff my mod collection on a zip disk before I sold all my Amiga stuff. Almost 500 Amiga music mods. I will be opening a page for them as soon as my PHP knowledge rises above the useless level. So before I unlease my "It's a MOD, MOD World!" page here are a couple of tunes and the tools you might need.
HYPNAUTI is from Zyx of Extensors. Techno.
DEELITE is from Amazing tunes 2 and created by anchoret.sea. A version of Groove is in the Heart.
As I try and teach myself PHP, I am writing a story. I hope to have the have the first chapter up soon. It seems like being in a writer's group is a good thing. If my writing is good enough, would you send me money without having me beg for it? The IT industry being what it is, a guy has to have options other than worthless stock options.
"We're all family. We all have value."
-Christopher Reeve on what 'family values' means.The value is going up according to the house. They have included the fetus into the equation. We can take their concern for crimes against pregnant women at face value or take these words.
"No one's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session."
-Mark TwainScientists now tell us that females use deception to get men to stick around. This conclusion was reached by observing avian behavior. There are theories about the nature of this research.
"The scientist came to this conclusion because every time after sex his wife would crap on his windshield."
-Conan O'BrianWhat's up with the anti-female trend of late? Dubya's influence is snowballing a conservative movement across the country which hopefully will be met by a proper backlash. One of the most amazing development's of late is the latest issue of Cerebus that included over 20 pages of misogynistic (as opposed to misandristic) raving.
I can at least point to the spectacle of youth for a lot of the complete crap I have uttered in this journal. David should know what he's doing. It's amazing to me. It also makes me look at the whole issue of separating the art from the artist again. David could very well be blinded by his male light as much as Philip K Dick was afflicted with pink-light visions. I can excuse quite a bit if the person is just mentally messed up rather then a true believer or scam artist.
Charlatans abound in this day and age. If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, is Valiant Thor a transvestite? I thought they were from Transylvania. There is also Hubbard and his legions of critics.
The difference is a little more then Dick's Total Recall being better then Hubbards's Battlefield Earth. There is the stigma of credibility. I've spouted off my interest in the strange only to have it be revealed as hoax or being too paranoid. One just has to take care when writing.
There is so much good advice on writing.
"Writing should be done in the privacy of your own dank, personal hell."3D GameForce is looking for writers, but...
Creative Writers - Your duties will be to write at least 1-3 editorials or articles each week about any given topic on gaming, hardware, technology, etc. You must also be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines when necessary. Each person replying for this job must write two articles before they are even accepted for this position. If you're the creative type, we want you!Is it worth writing for one of the numerous game sites for no pay? Is it better to continue writing for my own site?
At this time none of these jobs pay but it's a fun filled exciting job with the chance to get closer to the industry you are so serious about, while also getting the online experience you need to possibly make it your full time career. Also note that you'll have to do a trail period to see if you can do the job before becoming part of the staff. So, if you've been thinking about doing this for some time and were to scared to try, here's your shot! Send in your specifics and please allow up to 24 Hours for a reply back.
I am trying to learn a few new things programming wise while trying to figure which of the 36 plots my next story is going to use. Speaking of new things, it's time I got a new look.
``It's time for the world to wear my look."
-Jennifer LopezI could follow in the footsteps of Trey following in the footsteps of Jennifer. We must all get the Lopez look!
This kind of thinking can only be a result of too much TV. Since I don't really watch much TV, I didn't feel bad turning it on last night during turn off TV week. The BS quality of commercials have always amazed me. KFC is running an add about their chicken having extra crunch and extra flavor. It's as if they bowed under market pressure and turned up the flavor dial. Right after this was a trailer for Driven filled with quick cuts. I see: shot of formula one car crash that leads to shot of an attractive female that leads to shot of racer car driver holding an exploding bottle of champagne near his crotch.
This leads me to the wonderful show, Blind Date. There is no better way to learn about the modern day art of courting between a man and a women while being followed by a camera crew. It is possible this show was inspired by the horrible movie 20 dates, but it does make me wonder if hiring a cameraman to to cover your date might influence certain exhibitionist activities. That is any exhibitionist activities not already satisfied by dressing like Jennifer Lopez.
The episode I watched last night featured the date of Supreme and Rokita (sp?) suggesting that the producers really enjoy their work too much. Yes, those are their real names. Being named Supreme at birth is not like getting the nickname 'Tiny' later in life. Supreme feels his best trait is his confidence. Combine that with his extensive use of the phrase "you know" and one can already suspect where this date might be heading. Rotika is quite confident herself and it seems we are in for the Clash of the Egos.
When you are in ego war with someone named Supreme you have to know that no matter what you do he will still call himself Supreme. If you are named Rakito then you are doomed. She was quite convinced Supreme wasn't "all that" no matter how much Supreme attempted to communicate his magnanimous ability to overlook people's revulsion to his arrogant nature, you know?
Speaking of egos, the Webby awards are trying to get attention again. No matter what your opinion I am pleased that the Peter Pan site made the weird category. Not quite as weird as the SCTV episode that had John Candy as Divine playing Peter Pan. The Queen of weird has to be in the 2001/02/12 uncut Blind Date Footage.
I finally got the laser vision correction, but now people notice my prominent nose.
I finally can do a Diana Ross pose, but now people notice my teeth's crooked direction.
Braces straightened my smile, but now people notice my bald spot.
I bought some hair that looks really hot, but now people notice my clothing lacks style.
My cloths are now chic, but now people notice the pounds I put on.
I workout until all the fat is gone, I get attention to spare with dates every week.
But there's something not right, though they ogle and stare.
I don't think they care, though we're out every night.
Too much attention I placed, in the things that disguise.
For something once held in my eyes, Something never clearly faced.
Random thought of the Day: GoldFinger. Goldeneye. The man with the Golden Gun. What is it with James Bond movies and GOLD? Since we already know about the 'shaken not stirred' thing.
"On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away."
-Tom Lehrer, lecturing in "The Nature of Math", 4/4/90As April 16th fades from memory and we all turn towards better things I can't help but think about the synonymous nature of inevitability that death and taxes share.
Death brings to mind the news that a friend of mined shared with me a while ago about the sad passing of a mutual friend, Sean. He had originally introduced me to Sean. They had known each other as kids. I have always been of the foolishly trusting persuasion and so allowed Sean to get me involved with Excel. This is even after I already had a similar experience with Prime America. I have never been fond of sales so it was just a matter of time. Luckily, I didn't spend too much time with it and eventually I lost contact with Sean. My friend didn't really have much contact with him either and a couple of years past. I didn't even hear from him till my friend told me of his death. The details were sparse, but he basically self-destructed.
A number of years ago I heard of the death of a former co-worker. It's always strange hearing about someone's death that you haven't seen in a long time. The imagination trys to come up with an image. I remember hearing that she had died in a car accident. For some reason my mind took the fact that she used to get parking tickets all the time downtown and formed this image of glove box stuff with tickets exploding and causing her crash. I felt guilty for that fleeting indulgence of imagination.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."
--VoltaireIn a summer that came about six years ago I was pitching balls to my brother and managed to catch one just above my right eye. It fractured my skull and knocked me on my back into the green grass of the park near my parent's house.
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity."
-Albert EinsteinIt felt like a train had decided to park on my head. I couldn't help thinking that it's next stop might take me 6 feet under. My mind decided to pull up the contents of an article I had read a week earlier. In this article was the comforting statistic that some 46 people die a year from their heads meeting up with a high velocity baseball. Hmm, is that now 47? I remember how it claimed people were calling for softer baseballs. Others said it would rob the game of the 'crack' of the bat. I was having trouble distinguishing from the bat's and my head's crack.
My Dad drove me to the hospital. At the hospital I waited. My Dad filled out some paperwork and we waited. I was lead into the X-ray room and posed for some head shots. More waiting and then we were given a pain pill perscription and an appointment to see a Doctor the next day. Eventually I got some relief when the drugs worked their way through my system.
At the Doctor's office he preceded to check me out. The skin was never cut and you probably wouldn't have noticed it except for the fact that it looked like I had a dent in my forehead. Apparently, the bone stopped less then an inch from penetrating the membrane that separates my nasal cavity and my brain. If this would have happened, there was the lethal possibility of sneezing my brains out through my nose. In Doctor school they teach you to poke your patient and ask "Does this hurt?" I wasn't really sure what he was up to since it hurt without him touching it at all, but his finger touched my injury and I dropped like a puppet cut from it's strings. Lucky for me I was sitting down and I just slumped into my Mother's lap.
A couple of days later I was being wheeled into surgery. My anesthesiologist pumped something my IV and said, "Your going to feel sleepy." I watched it flow it my arm, turned to look at him, and sleep came to me like the flick of a light switch. Anesthesiologists have a talent for understatement that rivals the British.
"There's a disturbance in Piccadilly Circus involving some sort of mad dog."
- John Woodvine as Doctor Hirsh in An American Werewolf in LondonThe Doctor managed to do and amazing job and most people never seem notice the scar even though it's 6cm long. I have two titanium plates in my head. I have never had any problems at airports like in Who's Harry Crumb.
This was far from a significant religious experience. It was pretty scary and imbued my actions with a certain urgency for a time. After a while the daily routine slowly drained away the intensity of the feeling that life was so special. I have to wonder now if the impact of that baseball would have plucked a divine vision rather then a newspaper article from my mind through some slight alteration of trajectory. This difference perhaps manifesting itself in a strangely similar way. The Temple of Pong would be my religion instead of a game portal. But wait!
While trying to set up our website, I came across this note from you on a metafilter site:
"I've been thinking about starting a religion for a while based on my love of games. The Temple of Pong."
That, to me, sounds phenomenal! I just went into business, here in Portland, Oregon, with a retail store called "Temple of Pong." I had the same idea: to create a business based on my love of video games. I recently became a reverend with the ULC church and have been actively trying to obtain goverment funds to assist in the operation of my business.
I would love to send you out our bruchure so that we may bring you into our flock of 'Pixeltarians.' Let us know what you think!
Rev. ******* and ************
Temple of Pong Ministries
I sent them a reply that I was quite interested in learning more. I have not heard from them since. I sent out my email on March 26. Was it a joke? The Temple of Pong used to be an Amiga BBS (go to the bottom) run by a guy named Tod. I was running Inferno at the time. I went by the name of HaVoK. Yup the typical 0-1 warez site. Elite before there was elite speak. It was a good way to sift through all the crap that was released and find out what was worth buying. Inferno also managed to have a fairly active message base. A small constellation of Chicago and suburban BBS's created a community that saw it's ups and downs. There were bastions of the hacker ethos like Ripco, the phreakers, and all the pirates. There were clashes of ego and various geek idealogies. There was also a bit of the soap opera dramas. Here are two ads for Black Fire, which was a short incarnation of Inferno while I was with the demo group, The Black Monks. I lost almost everything due to a HD crash and I sold all my Amiga stuff.
It almost feels like a different world. It was a brief precursor to the internet. The wild west of being online. I wonder what happened to a lot of the people I used to know. There are a few that I still know and whom I consider good friends. We were young and reckless. We had fun.
I can't say that I believe in God, gods, or even the economy. I can say that I cherish all things mysterious. Matter has found a way to come together to experience itself. Reason and Emotion walk side by side. To hold one over the other is ruin. Imperfect balance over stagnation.
Don't fret over the inevitable.
"If I were creating a world, I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers. Eight O'clock. Day one. (Zap!) Sorry."
-David Warner playing the Evil Genius in Time Bandits (hear it)
There is nothing like the feeling of nostalgia for the days when you could look at a picture as legitimate proof of something. The good ole days when a picture was as honest as a Boy Scout are scattered like so many pixels. One company almost single-handedly changed pictures forever. They shattered the once sacred truth of the camera. That company was Adobe and the means of their destruction was Photoshop. Today Photoshop has become an adjective in much the same way as Xerox.
During my first Siggraph I met Robert Swirsky-Warner who was working for adobe at the time and is still in the About list somewhere after the Queens of some floor or another. When I learned of this I told him in my traditional deadpan, "Yeah, I use Photoshop, but just for fixing up pictures." and I realized that dry humor doesn't alway work in first impression situations.
But people use Photoshop to not only fix photos, because that gets boring real quick. No. What people do with Photoshop is remake the world. In digital form, nothing is sacred or impossible.
Yes, this is OLD news. Yes, even Hollywood has joined into the fun by putting Tom Hanks back in the 60's which was only a natural result after we all saw the Fonz dancing to Ween if memory serves. Virtually there are no longer any degrees of separation. We are all on equal footing in the digital canvas. The only caveat of this palette is the pernicious menace of litigation over intellectual property.
Should everything surrender at the pixelation alter?
Sites like Something Awful and FARK regularly take their Photoshop skills to task for the high task of ridicule and questionable humor. It's playground humor online.
There is such a saturation of imagery that I can't tell the difference between Cingular's logo and Flexcar. But I don't have the Photoshop skills to really compete. I should focus on something where I have some ability.
Did you know that April is poetry month? Do you care? If you are like most americans, that would be a "No." I'll admit that I have been rather lazy in my recent attempts at poetry.
"How lazy are you?"
I'm soooo lazy that I could only manage to come up with this short piece after being inspired by the latest innovation in American engineering.
Lazy Boy I'm a lazy boy Infused with armchair captain joy I sit in my overstuffed scotch guard-protected number 12 inspected throne With such easy payments it was no financial feat To rally the funding for this modern day seat It swivels, it rocks, it extends splendidly half-cocked, and it's a singular pleasure to own When at my tether Ease in Corinthian leather I sit in my heated massage giving icebox equipped fundament station The luxuries abound except for one that it lacks There is still no known way to replenish the snacks Some laziness lost, but at no high cost with the realization your rump lost all sensation
Thanks to the folks at The Daily Bleed we are reminded that today is that day that Lord Byron passed away from fever while helping the Greeks fight for their freedom from the Turks.
What is the end of fame? 'Tis but to fill A certain portion of uncertain paper: Some liken it to climbing up a hill, Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapor; For this men write, speak, preach, & heroes kill, And bards burn what they call their "midnight taper," To have, when the original is dust, A name, a wretched picture, & worse bust. ---from Don Juan, Canto 1, stanza 217
(More of his works can be found here)
If the geek genius created the world, what would he create by eight? Wayne see's it one way and others are not quite sure he is right. There are signs that at least the geeks are getting their fair share. Could it be that the internet makes people more perverted? He who has not had to scramble to close pop up window after pop up window may cast the first optical mouse. Are all those long hours a good excuse to entertain strip clubs? He who has not stuffed a g-string may cast the first wad of singles.
The internet allows us all to come (no dirty minds here, but it does give streaming technology a rather nice subtext) together.
Before this degenerates any further I would like to point out that a certain sword has been sheathed. I would like to give thanks to the efforts of a good friend of mine. Very soon there are going to be some new features to this site as soon as I do my part of the work. I will link his site as soon as he gives the OK, but he has a lot more responsibilities then I. The weather is improving and so are my spirits. I also have a story that is currently reaching critical mass inside my head and I got to pop this sucker. And finally, after almost 2 years I decided to put a freaking counter on the main page.
"In fact, perhaps the major distinction between the current horror at the Chinese having a look at one of our spy planes and past indifference to them having our super computers and other technology would appear to be that they neither paid an American corporation nor the Democratic National Committee for viewing rights."
- Sam Smith of TPRBush's tightrope walk between apology and regret on the spy plane collision clouds the whole matter of winners and losers. The clear loser is the family of the Chinese pilot. The hotshot stereotype for fighter pilots is engaged by just as many American pilots. Now that China can study and duplicate our spy plane we can look forward to the possibility of the situation reversing itself. In this case we will have pictures of our pilots flipping the bird before going into a flat spin and ending with a fatal seat ejection.
We can rest assured that this will in no way affect our little arms deal with Taiwan. We will make sure that we always fall back to those human rights issues that we claim China snubs so much. We will have to ignore the many times we fail to observe those rights ourselves.
When compared to the Tiananmen massacre of 70,000 the 82 victims of the Waco mess seems paltry. Here it seems that the most hideous atrocities are sparked by racism. It is something that manifests itself in every corner of the US. Even those that have sworn an oath to protect life have fallen to perform cruel acts clearly illustrated by the Tuskeegee syphilis study.
No country can claim a moral advantage. We all have checkered pasts. They cling to us like the old men that want to live in them. Young people always want to look to the future because it is theirs and it may not be clear, but it's preferred to looking to the past. The past as seen in carnival mirrors. Distortions are taken as great truths and great truths taken as niggling details. One grows weary trying to guess the truth.
There was an experiment where a person wore glasses that distorted his viewpoint terribly. After a week his mind adjusted and compensated for the glasses. He was able to function normally. When the glasses were removed he adjusted back to normal after a few hours. In time we can be made to see anything as normal.
Spiral in it aired an interview of Dr. Nick Begich. He was an author and activist that brought some critical light on the HAARP project. In the past tense because he died in a plane crash over Alaska.
Those that cover conspiracy issues end up looking crazy or dead. In Nick's case, he was trying to win us a better and more free world. Because it's not just in our country where freedom and privacy are slowing being eroded.
As clever as those that propose to enslave others are and as advanced as technology's ability to automate this process is there is a certain element of decay in all things. It usurps the usurpers. It oppresses the oppressors. Time may win all wars, but life is in the fighting. How long can you stay on the sidelines and water your lawn while the neighborhood in burning down?
The Herd. There is a show on the Discovery channel (which is about all I care to watch anymore after getting sick of Survivor) called the Human Zoo. An experiment was performed where a person was sent with group of people to fill out a form. The person in charge had left the room with the impression of returning shortly. Soon smoke begins to pour from under a door. Everyone ignores it. The person follows the group and ignores it. Time after time. Person after person. The herd mentality prevails. One person almost goes out the exit, but is drawn back due to the seemingly irresistible power of group think. I see it all the time. Watch traffic, watch people on the street, just watch. We are not so different from Lemmings as we would like to think.
Oh, call me the pretentious hypocrite that I am. I'm quite the non-active-activist. The most I've done against the New World Order is play as a Terrorist in CounterStrike. What does it matter who is in control when I am doing what I want? It matters as long as I can do what I want. Selfish. Spoiled. Confused. We don't want a revolution. We just want to party. We want to eat hamburgers, drive big cars on black asphalt, and shop till we drop. We want to supersize, accessorize, and sanitize. We want the world and we want it now!
"The peak of tolerance is most readily achieved by those who are not burdened with convictions."
- Alexander Chase 1966Of the many strange things that came out of the Oscars, the after Oscars Politically Correct was the most interesting. I like the show even though the host is an ass. One of the guests was Harry from Ain't it Cool news. Bill's dislike of critics and internet were going to surface at some point and when they did, well...
Bill: [Requiem for a Dream] was a film that only critics could love. And by the way, you know what bothers me about critics, there's no criteria for critics. How do they get the job? At a newspaper?Bill's like the kid brat shown that he is wrong and resorts to popularity punches. At this point Harry should have countered with "Why don't you put up an internet movie review site and see who gets the most hits," but he's on Bill's turf and Bill likes to fight dirty.
[ Laughter ]
Harry: There's no criteria for talk show hosts either.
[ Audience ohs ]
Bill: Oh, that's not true.
Harry: And the thing --
Bill: Because I could do your job, you couldn't do mine.
[ Audience Ohs ]
Harry: I got my own show coming up.
Bill: You've got your own show? Try it against mine, see how the ratings go.
Bill: I heard a story about you that you were gonna review "The Grinch" unfavorably, then Ron Howard flew you down. You get on the set. You meet the people. They're nice to you. And suddenly, "The Grinch" is a good movie.Poor Harry is too much the meek geek type to fight back with Bill's venom and I give him a lot of credit for remaining very calm and cool while this ass is trying to discredit him with rumor of something that has been covered already. Harry takes gifts and others bits that studios offer him. I would not refuse these things either. Harry will still finger a bad movie, but he likes to enjoy the treats.
Harry: They cast me in the movie "Monkey Bone." I played a part in it. And then I called the movie the worst movie of the year even though I was in it. They had paid me to be in the film. They had flown me out.
Bill: I never heard of "Monkey Bone."
Harry: And I bombed the movie like hell.
Bill: I never heard of that one.
Lynn: Do you go get invited to those screenings?
Harry: I get invited to some screenings and sometimes I get --
Bill: But what about "The Grinch"? Didn't they basically lobby you the way they lobbied George Bush?
Harry: They brought me in to see the movie.
Bill: What's that?
Harry: They brought me in to see the movie. I took a look at the film. I liked it at that stage. By the time it got to the end product, I didn't really care for it.
Bill: That's all they did? They just brought you in to see the movie?
Bill: Not the story I heard.
Harry: They brought me in to the see the movie. I flew out the very next day.
Bill: Okay. You know, I'm not going to challenge you on that, although I've read differently. But a lot of these critics --
Harry: You ought to read the Internet. I tell the whole story.
Bill likes to spring things like this on his non-hollywood guests. It makes for good TV and Bill knows the best thing about his show are his guests.
The 2nd part of his show brought in a new set of guests that included Clive Barker. They started talking about chick flicks, Lisa Ann sat on Clive's lap which he may or may not have enjoyed since he is gay, and Sean Young had the best response to this.
"I'm thinking of your butt and his penis. That's what I'm thinking about."So they sprinkle on all the little ins and outs of movies made for female and male audiences and why Titanic was so big because with satisfied both parties. Then there is the Erin Brockovich angle on how the macho aggressive nature of the character made it popular to men while appealing to whatever frustrations the female viewers had. That scenes where Erin attacks other women in the office were cut, because if she came off as hating women it wouldn't work. Citing how female rivalry can backlash against the more attractive females and that in males this is more like competition that doesn't foster hatred. OK, typical stuff that's been bandied about for a while proving nothing, but watching Sean and Lisa act nuts was fun.
Meanwhile back on the internet, Darren adds more fuel to the David Sim misogyny melee by pointing out the interesting conversation going on here. At page 3 Colleen Doran joins in.
Frankly, I think he is most venomous on the subject of women like Vijaya and Maria because they are very beautiful, they are smart, they are the life time helpmeets Dave could never get for himself. They both supported their husbands financially, helping them to get their books off the ground, disproving every one of good old Dave's theories about married partnerships. Vijaya had a lucrative job in Silicon Valley for God's sake, it was her dough that supported BONE and she took a big risk giving up her job to work for Jeff. Every man should be so unlucky as to have a wife like Vijaya. Maybe if Dave had, he'd be a different man today, (but the guy is clinical, so I tend to doubt it.)Then on page 5 she gives her theory on Dave.
Fans and casual acquaintances who think they know Dave from a few convention encounters are kidding themselves. Dave is two people: I've seen them both. While he has never written anything negative about me in his book, he has so viciously attacked many other people from Jeff Smith to Terry Moore, that I can no longer have anything to do with him. It would be immoral to stand by such a person and it would be immoral not to call him out on it. He makes the issue public when he writes about it in his book. He no longer has any expectation of privacy, either morally or legally. No one who writes about his sex life in public has any expectation of privacy anyway, I mean really.
Dave violated Jeff's privacy when he wrote about Jeff and his wife in the book. Dave is a hypocrite to demand his privacy now.
What is the essence of Dave Sim? What is at his core?The tragic irony of David's crusade against irrational emotion is how his intense hatred clouds his reason. Hatred fueled by this fear of history placing him on the shelf of mediocrity. Public appeal is a fickle thing. I don't wonder much about why I don't get tons of hits after all the strange musings I've posted. Popularity cuts both ways. In some way am I doing the same by calling Bill an ass? Am I just jealous because at times I try and don the coat of comedy?
This man wants to be history, not a footnote in history. He wants to be big. He wants to be important. He is terrified that Cerebus, his life's work, the primary focus of his waking hours for decades, will be marginalized, dismissed, stuck on the back shelf. Dave's immortality is Cerebus and he is terrified he will not live forever. He is apalled that others, whom he perceives to be less worthy, will. That includes people like Picasso and Hemingway.
Poetry.com just sent me a letter that the poem I submitted to be published in their Poetry's Elite: The Best Poets of 2000 has been selected to appear on a recording they are making, The Sound of Poetry. Apparently I was one of 33 poets chosen. Just as long as I return the proof no later then three weeks from the above date of Feb 14, 2001...
I didn't give them my new address so it sat at my parent's house until my Mother sent out a package of mail to me. My bad. It's a shame I missed out on this chance to have my poetry read in this format, but I wasn't going to be paid for it. The poem is one of my better ones since it was inspired by a cynical emotional reaction. This very reaction being the lack of excitement of being courted by this company that ends up awarding poems that I don't like. It's no issue #186, but poetry is more of a hobby for me then anything else.
The issue for me has become one of inspiration. Events of late have inspired me to one degree or another, but there is that nagging cloud of depression that seems to persist akin to the Seattle weather. It slowly drains away my resolve and plants seeds of procrastination. I have to be careful to not buy any Russian vodka with talking bottlecaps lest I drink more. I need to break from this abeyance of not accepting a balance of emotion and reason. So often I am pulled on all fronts by my own sense of freedom. I long for the discipline to chart my creative urges. When you are young you are subject to countless new ideas but lack the wisdom to choose which ones are worth pursuing.
"The real drawback to marriage is that it makes one unselfish. And Unselfish people are colourless. They lack individuality. Still, there are certain temperments that marriage makes more complex. They retain their egotism, and add to it many other egos. They are forced to have more then one life. The become more highly organized, and to be highly organized is, I should fancy, the object of man's existence. Besides, every experience is of value, and , whatever one may say against marriage, it is certainly an experience.
- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian GrayI feel like I have been gathering pieces to the puzzle of my life and have found some missing. Perhaps they depict a future wife. I don't know what to think of marriage. I have seen it in both good and bad light. There's always the Christian light, but no matter what light there is I have a slight problem with the game of love.
"I believe in telling all, and I don't believe in playing games, and that's one of my problems. I think that sex is a game - and I have a great trouble flirting and playing the game."
- Camille Paglia in Vamps and tramps, p243Could this have anything to do with what Areilla Lehrer thinks women want in video games?
"I think women like dealing with actual content, realistic information. I think they're less interested in the Dungeons & Dragons kind of role-playing."The history of women in video games shows that women have changed from being the object to save (endless save the Princess/girlfriend games) to the object to continually gawk at (Tomb raider, Drakkan, Oni.) I'm still wondering how the woman in Karateka was kidnapped. If you ran instead of walked up to her at the end of the game, she would kill you with a single boot to the head.
One of my favorite things on the web were the Connections columns of James Burke on Scientific American's site. His last column went up recently and I can't help but feel a little sad at his departure. In some small way I would like to try and carry on the tradition by linking this Godman comic as a nice Connections style wrap-up of the quote that started this entry.