Friday, December 30, 2005

What I Didn't Do With My Christmas Vacation

But someone else did:

Travel to Iraq.

How fucking cool is that?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

There Goes The Last DJ

One of the last decent radio stations, Seattle's The End, recently ditched their two good morning show hosts, DJ Noname and Jennifer White, in favor of the syndicated show of Adam Carolla - co-creator of such American cultural wonders as "The Man Show" (tits on trampolines) and "Crank Yankers" (for 13-year-olds who don't remember the Jerkey Boys).

The End, although not perfect, was one of the last stations where DJs could put a CD in the CD player and play it - they weren't slaves to a digital music feed, or even replaced althogether by a digital feed like Jack FM.

I certainly wish DJ Noname and Jennifer White the best; they made my commutes much more tolerable. Thanks guys. And while I can understand the financial aspects of this decision, I certainly don't like it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Strike Out

Everybody gets one, I suppose. So I burned my Christmas karma this year.

I figured Liz would like something handmade - something "special." So I thought, hey, she needs a good stepstool in the kitchen, and I could probably make one without screwing it up too bad. So I bought the bits, got the plans, and went to work.

When said stool was done, I painted Shakespeare's 116th Sonnet on top - her favorite poem.

It went over like a lead balloon.

I guess, after ten years and no real strike-outs before, one of them is OK. But only one.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

We celebrated last night, opening presents and sitting around having fun. The Christmas Tree never made it back up after being dismantled to avoid Destruction by Kitten, which kind of irked me. I considered going to midnight mass last night at the Cathedral here, which I've never been to, but opted out. Some of the wind went out of my holiday sails last night. Cookies have been eaten, and cheer was drunk, and passive voice was used. It was a holiday alright.

It's Christmas morning. Right now, in houses all around me, kids are opening presents. The Xbox Live network is about to get a big bandwidth hit. My wife and roommate are still asleep, and the best thing I can think to do with myself is make myself some eggs, watch a movie, and come in here and work on my novel. I suspect two of those three will get done.

Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or have a good Festivus. All that stuff.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Torpedo in the Water!

I think I found a perfect fit for the zombie story - a groovy little horror mag that might take a chance on a story like this. Submission was sent; let's keep our fingers crossed out there in Puppetshowland!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Writer Resource

I located an excellent resource for formatting a short story when submitting to a magazine or journal.

A Headline Twofer

Examine for a moment this image captured from

Two misleading headlines. "Saddam Hussein: We were beaten by the Americans" sounds like he's admitting defeat in the Iraq war (he's claiming he was beaten in custody), and "Crash investigators find crack in seaplane's wing" sounds like the crashed seaplane off the coast of Miami was running drugs (it was a crack in the metal structure).

Maybe my language is just off today. Who knows.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blame Canada!

You know things have gotten bad when Tucker Carlson sounds like the goddamned South Park movie.

'Twas the War on Christmas

Hat tip: Mom, for a great poem lampooning those who think there's a war on Christmas.

US Constitution 1, Creationists 0

A federal court has ruled that teaching intelligent design violates the seperation clause. They also had some very interesting things to say about the "theory":

    We have concluded that it is not [science], and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents... To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions...
Keep mythology where it belongs: in mythology class. Keep science where it belongs: in science class.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Gary Trudeau 1, Creationists 0

Doonesbury takes on "intelligent" design. Nicely done.

Movies: I <3 Huckabees and Syriana

I got I <3 Huckabees from the Netflix queue, and gave it a spin. I have to say it was almost unwatchable, but something about it made me stick around because I felt compelled to see the end. I'm kind of glad I did, but I still feel a little shortchanged.

The movie basically centers around one guy and a whole lot of others thinking and considering one basic existential concept: that all things are in some way connected. In the end, he kind of realizes this because he's been railroaded into discerning meaning by two "existential detectives," who set him up on this little chase to begin with.

On one level, I have to applaud a film that calls itself existential and then buries its meaning - or rather offeres no concrete conclusions immediately. But when the action in the film itself almost contradicts that, where the main character is almost quite literally dragged kicking and screaming Fight Club-style to his moment of existential awareness, I have to wonder if the filmmakers themselves really believe what they're saying, or if they're doing it to be cool (or because they know they'll be able to sell a lot of tickets to philosophy undergrads).

At any rate, I liked Syriana a lot better. If I were forced to summarize this movie into two words, those two words would be not easy. It's not terribly easy to follow, and it offers no easy answers or analysis of what's going on, either. It's almost a fake documentary (there's a lot of handheld camerawork), and it takes a very cold and distant look at the facts. It's neither anti-oil or pro-oil (hell, it's not really pro or anti anything), and ultimately this is what makes it a successful movie. The plotline involving the poor Arab oilworker was the least developed and least successful, but added an interesting subtext to the rest of the film in the way it showed the "trickle-down" effect of the other actions.

I didn't have that "holy shit!" moment coming out of the theater like I did when I saw The Aviator last year, but I'll almost certainly pick this one up on DVD later for another run-through or three.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Take A Bow, Republicans

Alright, I should start this post by indicating I am not trying to be overly pessimistic. Nor am I really trying to be overly optimistic. I'm examining the facts, as I see them, and offering a commentary.

Conservatives are applauding the recent elections in Iraq, and why shouldn't they? Even if the American public was misled (we were) about the reasons for going to war, we have removed a dictator and given Iraqis the shining freedom of democracy, right? And frankly, when their voter turnout numbers are highers than the US's in a presidential election, it shows they really care.

But has anyone stopped to look at who's winning the elections?

This guy has. And the big winner is - at least, by early indications - a religious Shiite party with close ties to Iran. And they are interested in expanding those ties.

That's right, Iran! Land of Holocaust denial, of religious persecution, and the country that really did have ties with al-Qaeda!

Sounds like a country I'd want to increase my relations with!

The most poignant comment I've seen about this situation was on Daily Kos:

    We've expended hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives to give Iran what they most coveted -- a friendly Iraqi government.
Way to go, Republicans. Time to break out the champagne. Mission accomplished (again, again... again.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Can't Anybody Tell Me The True Meaning of Christmas?

Liz and I dressed up and went to her holiday party last night.

The two highlights of the evening:

Getting to play the "I lived in Spanish Harlem" card on a (non-native) New Yorker.

And the two of us (Liz and I) belting out Garth Brook's "Friends in Low Places" as we held hands and drove home across the 520 bridge. Just a couple of Okies in love.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Movie: King Kong

Peter Jackson was allowed to make one twelve-hour movie, and for some reason he thinks he can get away without an editor.

It's hard to suspend disbelief when you're so uncomfortable from sitting for three hours that you have to keep wiggling around.

But I will say this. What's better than a giant ape and a t-rex fighting?

How about a giant ape and two t-rexes?

OK, so what's better than a giant ape and two t-rexes fighting?

A giant ape and three t-rexes!

On wires!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Evil Defeated!

I love seeing graphics like this:

Especially on my work computer.

A 133t Too Far

My good buddy Brook sent me a movie of 133t Warz this morning - p\/\/n3d!!!!

Religious Movie

Or is that a nonreligious movie? A fellow Alliterate sent me a video called Kissing Hank's Ass, a not-so-subtle dig at the illogical parts of a certain global religion. It'll take some time to download and needs Quicktime.

It's self-righteous, but not any more self-righteous than those it lampoons.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The LJ Connection

Thanks to The Monkey King, my brand-new RSS feed has been turned into an even brander-new LiveJournal Syndication. So if you're an LJ user, you can add "piratelog" to your friends list, or however that works.

Also, tonight's Alliterates was a welcome respite after a day of meetings. Scott had a nice piece set in the Delta Green universe, which has kind of got me thinking about my own DG piece that I've been kicking around in my head for a while. I don't think it's quite at the point where it's ready to peer out into the world, but it's getting closer.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Confusing Power of Geek

Today I decided to try to fix the lock to our master bedroom door, which I figured would necessitate removing the plate from in front of the latch and jiggling it.

A half-hour later, as I'm driving into Home Depot to buy a new door handle because the old one has broken beyond my meager abilities to repair it, I'm again reminded of the First Law of Home Improvement: no matter how much time you allocate, you will inevitably spend four times that amount of time.

And then, as I'm leaving (keep in mind, I'm in an old t-shirt, jeans that haven't been washed in three days, and driving the pickup, oh and wearing my slippers) the cartboy is examining my bumper sticker, which reads

    Why vote for the lesser evil?
And he asks me which party it's for. I suppress my natural sense of sarcastic humor and tell him it's a joke.

Elder gods are above parties anyway, I rationalize. But you know what I wanted to say.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The War On Christmas Makes It To Paris

I'm not really sure what to make of this person and his, um, interesting holiday display.

A little humor about a subject that could use some.

What's the Frequency, Baby?

Apparently I've been broadcasting an RSS feed all along, and never knew it. So for those of you "in the know" and who think the nonsense I write here is worth knowing at the moment I publish it, subscribe here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Theory of Incompetent Design

A Seed article on the theory of Incompetent Design. Via Daily Kos.

    Wise cites serious flaws in the systems of the human body as evidence that design in the universe exhibits not an obvious source of, but a sore lack of, intelligence.
Folks interested in the Christofascist boggarting of American education will want to check it out.

Osama's Homobortion Pot and Commie Jizzporium

Last night's Daily Show ran an incredible segment attacking (retaliating, actually) Bill O'Reilly for referring to the Daily Show as the liberals crusading against attacking Christmas (what O'Lielly has referred to as the "War on Christmas.") The clip of that segment is here. Hat tip to the Something Awful forums.

The War on Christmas is the new Misisng White Girl - just more bullshit that no one fucking cares about. Except this time, it's politicized, Christofascist bullshit.

Two things stand out here:

The blazingly anti-Semitic undercurrent to the whole War on Christmas thing. They might as well trot out The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and be done with it.

Second, the "Secular Central, I mean Comedy Central" remark smacks of the governor of Alabama during the Birmingham Bus Boycotts referring to a civil rights leader on television as "Martin Luther Coon, excuse me Martin Luther King." Just as insideous, racist, and narrow-minded.

My only question is how can people be so fucking stupid as to empower these moron fucks?

It Was 25 Years Ago Today...

John Lennon's death is one of those things I kind of have a vague memory of, but it could be something I've completely made up in my head. More just an impression of sadness from my mother and me not understanding what was going on. Bear in mind, I was two at the time.

The Beatles were, for me, one of the cornerstones of my movement into adulthood. I'd heard the Beatles during my childhood, watched Yellow Submarine and Help, and could even sing along with the songs. But when I was thirteen or so, shortly after my family got its first CD player, I sat down with my dad and listened to a Beatles album all the way through, and something just clicked in my head. That album was Sgt. Pepper - not even my dad's favorite (that's Abbey Road), but for the first time I heard music as something more than words set to a beat with instruments playing in the background; I heard it as all the wonderful and terrifying things music can be. I expanded from there, of course, but even now I'll still listen to Sgt. Pepper from time to time, and Abbey Road, and the "White Album."

Today though I think make a nice playlist that's John's and John's alone. Just my way of saying "thanks."

Forbes List: 15 Richest Characters

I'm a little dismayed that the Forbes list of the 15 richest fictional characters does not include Tony Stark, but am quite happy that they decided to include both Willy Wonka and Scrooge McDuck (of Duckburg, USA).

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hey! I Know This Guy!

Sup yall? I'm a driving asshole! You may have heard of me, or better yet heard me driving through your neighborhood at 3:32 AM, blasting my rap / hip hop / R&B music as loud as physics can possibly allow before causing the universe to collapse upon itself.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Quote-versation of the Day

An actual conversation at work today.

    Me: That way, we can tell them it's flying off the shelves!

    Coworker 1: Wow, that's quite corporate of you.

    Me: Just because I'm a Maoist doesn't mean I can't play this game, and play it well.

    Coworker 2: The game of cubes!

    Me: The only game worth playing.

I'll Be In My Trailer

My take on the X3 movie trailer:



    LOL GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE = p\/\/n3d!!!!!

    Magneto RULEZ.
Heck yeah! Color me stoked!

New Discoveries About Old Wrecks

Newly-discovered evidence seems to indicate that the Titanic broke into three pieces rather than two - and the seperation of the bottom of the ship's hull is what caused the bow and stern to break apart.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Work-y Post

I realize my blog isn't nearly as much about my job in the gaming industry as many other folks out in the gaming blogosphere, and my comments are usually tertiary at best, but this warrents discussion.

The big news in our circle is that Wizards of the Coast (the other Really Big gaming company) laid off 15 folks last week, including some who had been there for quite a while. The estimates I've heard place that around 10% or maybe a little more of their total overall workforce; of course, the tally does not include any contract workers who won't be coming back either, so it's hard to tell how deep the layoffs really are - but even if it's 20%, it's not too deep (having seen a much higher percentage at my company in 2003).

There isn't really much to say that hasn't already been said; a former WotC who joined WizKids this summer seemed to think something like this would happen, and the rumors only got louder from there. Last month, it was treated as a matter of when, not if. Incidentally, this was one of the major influences in my not pursuing a career down in Renton.

And then there was our holiday party last night. I'm not sure why, but it was - compared the other WizKids holiday party I attended - kinda lame. The food was good (if exceptionally buttery), the people were great, but the whole evening just seemed off. But dancing in my white-guy-shuffle manner is always a good time.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

One of Those Cross-Blog Things

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, please post a comment with a completely made up and fictional memory of you and me. It can be anything you want — good or bad — but it has to be fake.

When you’re finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people don't actually remember about you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Quote of the Day

In accordance with our principles of free enterprise and healthy competition, I'm going to ask you two to fight to the death for it.

- Monty Python

Whatever Happened To "Mission Accomplished?"

From a news story on

    President Bush insisted he would not withdraw U.S. forces "without having achieved victory."
Whatever happened to the big banner on the aircraft carrier that said "Mission Accomplished?" Another Bush lie? Looks like.

Vets Running For Office - Guess Which Party?

In this breakdown of Iraq veterans running for Congress, note how many of them are running in the party that sent them to war, and how many are running in the party that wants to end the war.

Support our troops! Vote Democrat anything but Republican!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Day In The Life

For some reason, I keep running into the Beatles today. Beatles references, Beatles tunes, whatever. My iPod randomly played four Beatles songs in a row during my workout, my iTunes randomly played three of them in a row, a co-worker made a Beatles song reference, and the Tullys down the street was playing a Beatles tune when I grabbed some afternoon bean.

Goo goo ga joob, I suppose.

A Stupid Smartly

In case you need such a reference, here is an Encyclopedia of Stupid. Via the SA forums.

Movie: Sideways

We watched Sideways a couple of nights ago, kind of on a whim (hey, we've got this DVD and haven't watched it yet.) It was good. Very similar to About Schmidt in that it focuses on normal people who encounter other normal people who all have normal problems and do normal things. Also like that movie, it's kind of a road trip film, a convention that has sadly lay fallow recently.

I have to admit though that it's stuck with me. Even more than Walk the Line, I find myself thinking about Sideways in my off-time, going over the characters, the story, and so on. I'm liking it more almost in spite of myself.

It's worth checking out, even if it sounds a little pretentious. That's half the fun.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Take A Risk

Via Bobby, something too cool not to blog: Risk, with Google Maps. Amazing and fun.

Turkey Travel

Liz and I flew back to Tulsa for Turkey Day again this year. Tickets were pretty expensive, so we ended up redeeming frequent flyer miles and going First Class because that was the only thing that was left. In First Class, they bring you lots of wine and you get to spend most of the trip in a stupor, enjoying your large seats and lots of legroom. Too bad work won't spring for that all the time.

We saw both families and a couple of friends, but overall the trip was way too short. I brought several copies of WizKids' new game Tsuro, which was a major hit on both sides of the family. Still, we only had one full day with both sides, and thanks to a nice bout of insomnia, I had to cut out a couple hours early from my family otherwise I might have fallen asleep on their couch.

I had a day off yesterday, caught Walk the Line with Crabby, Liz, and Seth (great movie!), and otherwise got ready to go back to the grind today. I've gone through all my work emails in preperation for it, so at least I'm walking into a relatively short to-do list.

Up In The Sky!

The SETI@Home project has released a new, upgraded version of their software - a perfect time to hop on board if you haven't already. Search for aliens from the comfort of your living room!

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Sigh. Stuff like this certainly isn't helping to make the case for a monorail as a mass transit device here, but for cryin' out loud we need something.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday Report

Liz and I did the Black Friday thing this year, because we're masochists who enjoy subjecting ourselves to that which we hate the most: throngs of mindless consumers all lining up to fork over money to gigantic corporations for things they don't need. But if we're one of those people, then...


Anyway, there were a lot more people out this year than have been out the last two years, but the overall store selection seemed worse. Liz got some new duds, and I ended up with my yearly Black Friday acquisition (new wallet). We entertained the notion of going to Best Buy to try to get a digital camera, but made it as far as the front door before the massive lines scared us off.

While we were walking back to our car, a hick in a big pickup with a bed full of discounted E-Machines computers asked us if we were looking for one. I realized after I told him no thanks, but I'd love a cup of coffee that he was a scalper. A scalper scalping E-Machines computers.

Tickle Me E-Machines?

The best part was coming back and looking on the Internet for deals. Turns out you can get the same prices - or better - online for a lot of the Black Friday stuff at Best Buy and many other websites.

I think next year, I'll sleep in and shop online. And not have to face the scalpers.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Logging On

When I logged back into Urban Dead as my zombie, this little nugget appeared on the log:

    Apple Venus said "I don't have good attack skills. Someone pl. kill the Z and dump the body outside! Barricade needs strengthening again." (11-20 21:19 GMT)

A Question of Politics

Is it just me, or does Bush look and sound a lot like Beavis?

"Heh, heh, you forgot Poland! Heh, heh, anyone want some lumber? Come on, I've got some big old wood for ya, heh heh. Yeah. Heh. Wood. Heh. Heh. Yeah. Lots of hard wood. Heh. Heh. Terr'rists! Heh heh. Fire!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's the End of the Classics As We Know Them

Perhaps those more studied than myself can explain why we're now offering the classics as text-messags on cellphones. Or more appropriately, I ask, LOL OMG WTF???

Weekend Not In Vegas

I started off the weekend with a friendly game of poker at Captain Chott's pad. I went in badly but shaped up by the end of the night, ending about seven bucks over my buy-ins. Enough to buy my buddies lunch next week.

Yesterday I hit the gym early and then came back for a little online poker (play money, mom) and then to see Angela and John. We all ate at a really good "mediterranian/american" place, which had the best tabuleh I've eaten since my family's recipe. The cook came out to ask me what I thought of it, and I told her what I just wrote. We talked about Lebanon for a few minutes (she'd asked if I'd been, and I had to say I hadn't, so maybe I should go and get some street cred for that part of my family).

Today, I started off with a little more online poker (play money, mom). Both touraments I ended up winning, probably because I was the only person treating the play money like it's real money. Play money tournaments seem pretty cool because there's usually only three or four players who are playing seriously, and the rest are usually out in the first ten minutes, which is plenty of time to observe betting patterns and so forth. Now, I just hope that I'm learning good habits rather than bad ones.

Today, the gym, some Civ 4, and the finale of Rome tonight.

Oh, yeah: don't watch Cellular. It sucks.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Reading Too Much Into It Part Three

So what's specifically bad about the Galactic Empire? Aside from the editorializing in the opening crawl, which refers to it only as "evil," what we know about the machinations of the Galactic Empire is very little.

Towards the beginning of Episode 4, Grand Moff Tarkin informs his underlings that the Imperial Senate has been abolished, and the last traces of the old Republic have been swept away. So what little representation member-planets had under the Republic is gone. But as Ep. 1-3 demonstrate, that representation was little more than appeasement in the first place, as the Senate had no real authority to do anything. We can assume that little has changed in the Empire, except for the fact that Emperor Palpatine has his own army - but it is difficult to envision Palpatine using the Stormtroopers in a way that would contradict his own designs. Therefore, if something the Empire did exploited one of its member-planets, and the issue was raised in the Senate, it's highly unlikely Palpatine would have acted against his own interests.

But the Empire operated for ninteen years with the Senate, suggesting the shift of power to Palpatine and Palpatine alone was a very gradual process, in much the same way that dictators throughout history have assumed power gradually rather than all at once.

The Empire's true crime, however, comes from the nearly arbitrary destruction of Alderaan with the newly-launched Death Star. It is difficult, if not impossible, to argue the moral imperative of killing billions of people instantaneously simply to demonstrate the power of the Death Star, and therefore force other planets to live in perpetual fear that the same thing could happen to them - a powerful motivator!

So clearly the Empire is bad. But is it worse than the Repubulic? That's open to debate. Frankly, the answer is no. Although the Republic lacked the ability to destroy entire planets, it could be arguably worse by prolonging the suffering of their inhabitants through negelect and outright exploitation. From Gungans without representation to allowing corporate interests to directly enslave entire planets, the Republic is just as culpable as the Empire in the suffering of its people.

Next: The New Republic and Power of the People

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Religion and Liberalism

This weekend over on Daily Kos, a diary went up about What It's Like To Be An Atheist. As with many discussions of religion within the context of the modern Left, it skewed very much towards how religious people (on the right) will often marginalize atheists or agnostics, and how this person felt that the religious people were really just the nutty ones for believing in such nonsense.

Today, someone posted this diary: Ten Things Religious People Want Atheists To Know. This quite possibly rates as one of the best things I've ever read on Daily Kos. It's well-reasoned, and offers a very compelling defense not simply of religious beliefs, but on another level why the Left is incredibly remiss in discounting the value of religion and religious beliefs to the vast majority of Americans (and the world).

Note that I myself am not "religious," and my worldview is that of a Theravada Buddhist, although I do not attend a Buddhist religious institution nor do I actively practice many of the necessary precepts of that faith.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Koan For You

Let's say you like ancient coinage (like me). Then, let's say you like George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series (like me). Then, let's say someone goes off and makes a bunch of replica coins from the series.

Am I the target audience?

Not Two Thousand

Not two thousand words, but a thousand. And they completed the chapter that (thusfar) has been giving me the most trouble. Grand total of solid words is just shy of 13,000, with probably another 13,000 in fragments and other bits I'll use later.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Self-Induced Long Weekend

I took today off work, and I've been using it wisely. I got a big backup of yardwork out of the way (raking, mowing, pulling plants, etc.) and cleaned up the kitchen. Then, I drove down to the gym for a while, and was able to go at a nice steady pace rather than feel rushed and pressured like I do when I go over lunch. That's kind of what this weekend was like: coasting and taking time to relax without feeling rushed or pressured.

Saturday I did some work around the house, bummed over to Seattle long enough to pick up my comics, and then came back to the house to do more work and install Civ 4. Yesterday was kind of more of the same - Liz and I have been taking turns reading A Feast For Crows, so she read while I worked on some stuff for the office (yeah, even on a relaxing weekend off I do a little work). My only regret is that I didn't get any writing done, but since it's only 2:20, I can probably worm some in before I take off for the evening (Alliterates meeting tonight).

I can probably get a good two thousand words in before I go.

Tulsa is the Seat of Taoism and Islam

They went and released Civilization IV. God help me.

Reading Too Much Into It Part Two

So the old Galactic Republic wasn't a perfect representative government. That's acceptable as long as it actually kept order, right?

The fact is, the old Galactic Republic wasn't all that much of a government at all. A decent comparison might be made with the first, rather impotent, confederate government instituted in the United States before we adopted our current constitution. The Galactic Republic had no real effective central government, allowed special interests to quite literally rule entire planets, and relied in a completely ineffectual religious order to "keep peace and justice."

The beginning of Episode 1 explains that taxation of trade on Naboo is in dispute. The Trade Federation, a privately-controlled conglomerate that holds a near-monopoly on legitimate interstellar trade in the Republic, has invaded the planet of Naboo with its own private army and taken the elected leader of that planet hostage. Rather than defending a member state with its own government force, the Republic itself does absolutely nothing - in fact, the Trade Federation (which holds a seat on the Senate - akin to Wal-Mart or Time-Warner being given seats in the House of Representatives) actively works in the government to mire the process in politics. Even if the government had been able to intervene, as happens after the no-confidence vote that preceeds Palpatine's rise to Chancelorship, the Republic has no standing army and therefore no way to enforce its edicts. Even if it were to call for economic sanctions against the Trade Federation, for example, the Federation could choke the lifeblood of a dozen planets merely be halting access, as they have done to Naboo.

The best the Republic has to offer are the Jedi Knights, "guardians of peace and order." A whopping two are dispatched to Naboo (Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi) to ascertain what is occuring, and to take action if necessary. The Jedi manage to escape with the Queen, but the planet itself and its millions of inhabitants are still held in the thrall of the Trade Federation - a situation remedied not by Republic (or even offical Jedi) intervention, but by an uprising among the native Gungans, who don't even have representation in the Senate.

The Republic is not only a military failure, its lumbering bureacracy and lack of a standing military creating a situation where the wealthy can easily exploit the weak without fear of retribution, but its intelligence network is a joke. The easiest example is the Jedi order unable to recognize a Sith lord so closeby - for years, Palpatine confers with the members of the Jedi council, including Mace "Badmotherfucker" Windu and the almighty Yoda, but neither of these Jedi recognize him for what he is (and, when a member of their own order learns the truth and reveals it to Windu, his first reaction is suspicion of his own religious brother, rather than the power-hungry bureaucrat who has shown every intention of keeping his supreme executive power).

To make matters worse, someone has ordered an entire army of clones fifteen years before they appear in Episode two - an intelligence failure so complete it makes one wonder whether Yoda and the rest of the council are not knowing accomplices to Palpatine's plans. Not to mention that Kamino, the planet upon which the clones have been incubating and training, has been purged from the Jedi records - a fact that doesn't worry Master Yoda as much as allow him to make a joke to the "younglings" at the expense of a concerned Obi-Wan Kenobi!

Even on the street level, the Jedi cannot deal with petty crime. In Episode 2, on the capital planet of the entire Galactic Republic, Obi-Wan is offered a drug called a "deathstick" while he is dressed as a Jedi. His response is not to go to the local authorities (if there are any), but to use his Jedi powers to force the drug dealer to go home and "rethink [his] life." Assume for a moment that Jedi power supercedes local authority, and assume that Obi-Wan's method of dealing with the situation is the correct means of judicial process in the Republic - the fact that a drug dealer was brazen enough to offer a person who had the authority to be judge, jury, and jailor an illegal (and, by the sound of it, dangerous) substance means that the drug dealer certainly didn't take the Jedi very seriously. It also leads one to wonder how many other Jedi were customers!

What the evidence from the first three movies shows is a Republic modeled on a very loose, non-interventionist style of capitalism. There is zero government input (and if the government wanted input, it is doubtful it could enforce it) into economic and social affairs - almost a Libertarian dream come true. Unfortunately, this has created a situation where the natural expensions of a weak central government have grown - the Trade Federation has grown out of control and wields its own private army, invading entire planets and oppressing the inhabitants, for example. While I'm passing no judgement on such a system of government, it's very clear that the thousands of years of peace and (for some) prosperity have created a situation where one person with enough drive and ambition could easily take control - the lack of government has almost created a power vacuum that Palpatine was only too happy to fill. The question really isn't how Palpatine could have risen to power, but rather why someone didn't do so earlier.

Next: The Empire - Better or Worse?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bah, Humbug

Here's something I don't like: when coworkers send their seven-year-old kids around the office with order forms selling stuff I don't want or need as fundraisers (or worse, just passing the sheet around for their kids without making their kids do the work of actually trying to sell the stuff on their own). It's not that I don't like schools or kids, but telling a doe-eyed moppet why I don't want to buy a Christmas wreath for the second time today really made me realize how rude this practice can be.

Strange Dreams

Last night, my zombie dream took a strange turn: no zombies. Everything else was the same though - trapped in a building, lots of people who don't realize the danger, me running around telling everyone they need to get out, etc.

Except instead of hordes of zombies, it was the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. Go figure.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

When The Churchbell Chimed It Rang 29 Times

30 years ago today, the Edmund Fitzgerald broke apart and sank.

I Heart Shotgun Zombie

I had an incredible morning on Urban Dead today. My survivor got involved in a huge fight in the mall where he's been camping - infected three times, and killed three zombies (headshots for 130 XP each!) Check out his current XP:


Reading Too Much Into It Part One

Having all six Star Wars films on home video allows me to watch them (or pieces of them) whenever I wish. And as some of my friends can attest, I've been giving them a lot of though lately, not just as the greatest postmodern art film(s) of all time, but examining the world Lucas created as a whole.

My line of questioning began with "what makes the Galactic Empire so bad?"

Which I tossed around (and I'll get into later), but I arrived at a better question:

"What made the Republic so good?" In other words, why the rebellion against the Empire in an attempt to restore the Republic? What did the old system have going for it that was so great?

The simple answer is "well, democracy stupid!" But of course it's far more complex than that. First, let's look at what we know of the Republic itself.

Ruled from the capital city of Coruscant - which covers an entire planet - the Republic spreads across most of the entire galaxy. Each planet sends a Senator to Coruscant to participate in the Galactic Senate - one representative for each planet, regardless of each planet's racial composition or population (see Ep. 1, Ep. 2). It is not clear whether the Senators are elected or appointed, although there certainly appears to be no galaxy-wide standards for either election or selection. Using Naboo from Episode 1 as an example, Senator Palpatine's position as Senator is never clearly explained.

Further, Senators act only as representatives to the Galactic Senate, and wield little power on their own planets. Again using Naboo from Ep. 1 as an example, Queen Padme Amidala is the head of her planet's state - but all is not well on Naboo. The Gungans, another sentient race who share the planet with their human counterparts, have little contact with the world above their oceans. Their relationship with the Queen is icy at best (Ep. 1), and only outcasts like Jar Jar go above the water, even though it's clear that Gungans do not need to be immersed in water to survive. This fraction of sentient species implies two things: that if there are elections for either Senator or Queen, then the Gungans very likely do not participate in them; and there seems to be no great rush on the part of either the Senate or the Queen of Naboo to include the "other half" of the sentient creatures of their world in policymaking decisions.

The Gungans do have a leader of their own, Boss Nass, and appear to be allowed to rule themselves with some degree of autonomy. But as the end of Episode 1 illustrates, the involvement of the humans on the planet in Galactic affairs does affect the Gungan population when the droid army begins slaughtering them as well. It is this knowledge that finally incites Boss Nass to act against the invading Trade Federation in a battle where many of his species die - but at the end of the film, although Amidala proclaims thanks and friendship, there seems to be no move to grant the Gungans the same rights and status as the other humans. Jar Jars inclusion into the Senator's party as a "Gungan representative" in Ep. 2 seems to take some steps to correct this, but it is still unclear what rights the Gungans have, if any, in their Galactic represenation, even at the end of Ep. 3.

Extrapolating from Naboo, it is reasonable to assume that many other planets across the galaxy have similar racial compositions, and similar situations where some sentient beings do not share the same rights as others. Thus, the first problem with the Republic: it is not a true representative government. By allowing its member planets to disallow certain races or species from policymaking decisions, even when those policymaking decisions would affect those races or species, the Republic is, at best, a form of oligarchy, if not outright racist.

Next Time: It's an Impotent Governing Body Anyway

Back In The Swing

I'm three-for-three doing the gym this week, and don't plan to slow down today. I'm even hoping for a seven-fer, although I may give myself a day off on Sunday (I am, however, helping a co-worker move, so based on how that goes it could be like a day at the gym).

And I gotta say, I feel pretty damn good about it!

A Matter of Size

Ever wondered what a scale graphic of our Solar System would look like?

There ya go.

Via the SA forums.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Simple Pleasures In Life

And this is why I love Troma movies: gore, zombie chickens, lesbians, and overt political humor.

The Day After Election Day

I was remiss in not talking about our local elections until now, but I think anyone local reads Jeff's blog anyway, and I doubt I could match his coverage (and his recommendations and thoughts were pretty close to mine).

Looks like things turned out pretty well. The law that would have repealed fuel tax and made it impossible to expand the bridges across Lake Washington went down in flames. We voted for stricter audits of governments, against two laws that would have limited malpractice settlements against insurance companies, Democrat Ron Sims handily defeated Republican challenger David Irons, and we voted to ban cigarette smoking all over the state.

That last one is a bit of an exageration, and it was the one thing that happened that I don't like one little bit. Let me explain.

I don't smoke, I enjoy a nice pipe or cigar every now and again, but cigarettes ain't my thing. I don't like being around them that much, and I don't really like going to places that allow smoking.

That being said, Seattle is probably one of the most anti-smoking cities as it is. There aren't a lot of people here who smoke to begin with (not like, say, New York or London), and even without laws most restaurants don't even have a smoking section. Hell, most bars don't have a smoking section.

Which doesn't really bother me, because as I said, smoking isn't my thing.

But this measure seems like overcompensating to the point of absurdity. Not only does it ban smoking in all public buildings, but it bans smoking 25 feet from the entrance or ventilation of any public building. There are some areas in downtown where smokers will basically have to stand in the streets if they want to smoke - for blocks on end.

I look at it this way. I may not smoke, but I'm smart enough to make a choice as to whether I want to hang out in a place that allows smoking. And in Seattle, I have that choice, because unlike other places (Oklahoma), there's already a shitton of bars and restaurants that are smoke-free anyway.

In the grand scheme of things it's not that big a deal, but it does make me a little sad that Beth's will never be the same.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Last Con of the Year

This last weekend was Wizard World Texas in beautiful Dallas, the last convention of the year. This means I don't have to travel for work until next March. Yeah!

This con was notable because I met and talked with one of my favorite comic creators of all time, James O'Barr, who did The Crow - a very important part of the formative years of my life. I went to the Dickies 500 NASCAR event to help promote our new game, which was pretty much what you would expect 150,000 Texans in once place to be like. Neither of the drivers from Washington won, so meh. I did get a nice suntan all over my face though, and the people-watching was fun.

I also managed to make out with quite a few trade paperbacks. I finished Loeb and Turner's run on Superman/Batman, where they reintroduce Supergirl, and Loeb and Sale's Daredevil: Yellow. Can you tell I'm kind of into Jeph Loeb? Yeah. His writing is amazing. I got Superman For All Seasons for my birthday too, so I'll have even more Loeb goodness to write about soon.

That's really all I've got. I made it back to the gym today - hopped on the bikes rather than the eliptical so I can start to vary my cardio workout a bit. Texas was like a four-day gluttony binge, so I'm being very good about what I eat and how much I exercise.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Finding Old Friends

It's always cool when you reconnect with an old friend. Maggie, who worked with me back at Drury's writing center, has a blog and is living in South Korea. How cool is that?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Winter is Coming

Daylight Savings Time last weekend accelerated the Northwest winter into overdrive. It's now dark at about 5 PM, and we've still got a month and a half to go before it peaks and starts to get better. I've been steeling myself for this all year, but that doesn't make it any more or less crappy now that it's here.

So I'm abiding. After being awesome about the gym last week, I was completely lax this week. So I'm hoping to get a chance to work out a couple of times this weekend, and then get back into it full swing next week. The novel is coming in trickles, and I have a feeling I'm one good damburst away from twenty thousand words or so.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Debate Goes On

So is Star Wars a tribute to old sci-fi serials based on deeply-grounded myths, or is it the greatest postmodern art film ever?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween Moons

It turns out that Pluto, Kuiper belt object/planet, has two more moons than previously thought.

And The Obligatory Weekend Post

Yesterday was the Big Party. That meant up at 7 AM to hit the gym and then clean until 4. I managed to watch Woody Allen's Manhattan while cleaning the den, which I thought had its moments but was pretty much Annie Hall redux, but not quite as good. The Party itself went fine - lots of people showed up, and it wound down at a reasonable hour so I could haul my tired self into bed with little wear and tear.

Today, I got up and cleaned up and then spent the day lazing around. I burned through Katamari Damaci today (my roommates had played it, but I never did, except on multiplayer). Great game. I also finished watching Troy (overdirected and overwritten), and King Arthur (so much potential wasted because of glaring story problems - like moving from one scene with snow to another scene with summer leaves on trees. Huh?) So I'll get three new Netflix movies soon.

I keep forgetting to mention this: I finished my audiobook at the gym, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. A very interesting alternate history book, where Charles Lindburgh (who was a famous anti-Semite) defeated Roosevelt in 1940 and made an alliance with Germany, which included beginning to enact a final solution against America's Jews. The story is mainly told through the eyes of a young boy and the toll the situation takes on his family. Recommended. Now, I'm listening to Freakonomics after recommendations from both Seth and Bob.

Indictment Central

Although I haven't written much about it, I've been following Fitzgerald's investigation of the Bush administration and the subsequent indictments and fallout from it. People at work can attest that every hour or so, I'll boot up and ask out loud, "I wonder if there are any indictments yet?" Well, they came last Friday, and might continue to come (I'm not even going to pretend to know what this means yet - I feel like I'm watching history in action).

But tonight, I read a post on Daily Kos that very much summarizes what I think about this whole thing. Money quote:

    Throughout the entire pundit brigade -- blogosphere included -- everyone is trying to decide whether or not the Fitzgerald indictments are a "victory" for their side or the other side. It's not, OK? It's just not. There is nothing good or victorious about this situation, for either side. Nothing. Nothing. (Emphasis theirs).
That's pretty much how I see an ugly situation that's likely to get uglier. It's pretty much how I felt about Clinton's impeachment proceedings and the Whitewater investigation that led to it. And frankly, if anything, I'm sick of the new professional political celebrities. Seriously, we've created a new class of celebrity: call 'em pundits, or whatever, but the Al Frankens and the Ann Coulters really strike me as nothing better than faces hamming it up for the camera, who know what to say at the right time for maximum manipulation.

Feh. Feh and meh.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Sounds of Harry Potter

As some music fans may know, members of the bands Pulp and Radiohead got together to perform as The Wyrd Sisters in the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. What fans might not know is that these fine folks (Jarvis Cocker, and Johnny and Phil) cut an entire album as The Wyrd Sisters, even though only three of their songs will appear in the movie.

Potterfans (and musicfans) might want to engage themselves in this strange, fictional meeting of music, literature, and creativity. How, you ask? Perhaps by locating an MP3 blog that contains the three songs appearing in the film. Enjoy.

The Existential Diet

I think I know why so many people try to lose weight - through diet, excercise, or hopefully a combination of the two - and fail. I realized this today, after lunch, as I stood in my company's kitchen, staring at the myriad of free snack foods in which I could indulge. Hostess Fruit Pies. Oberto Beef Sticks (AKA "Snouts"). Pop of every variety. Peanuts. Goldfish crackers. And so on. All of it free, as a courtesy my company provides to its employees.

It's about making a constant choice. The term "lifestyle change" is thrown about, but what is that lifestyle change really?

It's breaking habit. Do you need to eat right now? Will food make you feel better? Sure, you feel crummy, but should you really skip your workout and eat pizza instead?

For me, twenty-some years of habit is a damn hard thing to break. It truly is a constant choice, one where I have to say - quite literally, in some instances - that I'm committed to making myself healthy.

I don't think many people can repeatedly make that choice in a successful manner. I suspect there's a lot of people who may make that choice initially, but when forced to make it over and over - often under stressful or otherwise difficult circumstances - will instead make the decision to go with habit.

Tale Complete

Thanks to the input of the West Coast Alliterates (is that like the West Coast Avengers?), my zombie tale is at a point where I feel it's complete and ready to be shopped around to pubs. I've started putting feelers out on this front already. If you know of any places looking for a gross but unconventional (and darkly funny, I suppose) zombie tale, the comment button is for you!

Warp Speed!

George Takei, AKA Sulu on Star Trek, recently came out of the closet. Good for him - I couldn't imagine living for 68 years with a secret like that.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Markin' Time

There's a lot going on in the world. Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination from the Supreme Court. The White Sox (that's right, the damn White Sox!) swept the World Series. And any time now, we might learn just who in our country's leadership has been doing what kinds of nasty illegal things.

We've been getting ready for our party.

Saturday is our big Halloween shindig, which is doubling as a big housewarming shindig since we never really had one. Some people might also think it's related to my birthday in some way, but those people would be wrong. We're expecting quite a few people, and we've been cleaning and picking up like mofos to try to get ready for it.

My job has been largely centered around the cedar tree in our front yard. It's a huge Northwestern tree, and one of the reasons we bought this place. Apparently cedar trees drop a whole bunch of their branches right before winter. As Liz described it yesterday, the tree's been turning our yard orange - as good a description as any. Twice now I've raked the branches, and twice now I've shoveled (yes, shoveled) them into the yard waste bin - which is full. A bin the size of a large garbage can full of cedar branches. Good times.

But getting ready is forcing us to deal with things we mgiht not have normally dealt with, like the last two boxes of books that didn't really fit anywhere, all my old HeroClix pieces which have now been consolidated into one large box, and so on.

I can't wait for Saturday, because it means I won't have to clean anymore. At least until the party ends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Chauvanist Male Post

Just when I begin to truly doubt the existence of the Almighty, news like this drops in my lap.

So to speak.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Good Evening

I count any evening where I have to explain to my wife who Streaky is, and more importantly why Streaky is so damn cool, as a good evening.

The Calm Before The Storm

No indictments yet, but it's really only a matter of time. For some reason, this came up on my iTunes at work and it's worth repeating:

    Maybe you've cheated
    Maybe you've lied
    Maybe you have lost your mind
    Maybe you're only thinking 'bout yourself

    Too late to run. Too late to cry now
    The time has come for us to say good-bye now
    Mr. President have pity on the working man.
The next few days are going to be very, very interesting.

One Year Dumber

This has been an interesting year. It's the first year that I've held the same job, with the same title, for the entire 365 days, consecutively, since ever. I bought a house. I fixed the house. I went to Hawaii on my first real vacation with my wife. I made a vow that I would enjoy the time I have in my youth rather than let it pass by, and I still feel like it's passing by too quickly and being wasted sometimes.

I'm 55-60 lbs lighter than I was a year ago, depending on what time of day I take the measurement.

I've written approximately 100,000 fiction words and game-related words since last year.

Am I happier? Maybe. I admit, it's kind of hard to quantify that. I do feel like age is creeping up in a more desperate way, and my #1 resolution, as the case might be, is really to try to appreciate what I have more. Friends, loved ones, just the me of being me. Of course, I type that from my desk at work, where I've been for ten hours today and will probably be for another two, but it's really what I want to work on. It's the nagging job that I have to do, that's ruining my playtime because I know I need to finish it later and I can't get it out of my head. In a manner of speaking.

Expert Textperts

It's now official: Pittsburgh is unprepared for a zombie attack!

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Mythos is Upon Us!

Via Wendi, the Mythos has descended on the Pacific Northwest!


Apparently, in the midst of all its troubles, the White House has nothing better to do than go after The Onion for that paper's use of the presidential seal.

My favorite comment:

    The Onion was amused. "I'm surprised the president deems it wise to spend taxpayer money for his lawyer to write letters to The Onion," Scott Dikkers, editor in chief, wrote to Mr. Dixton. He suggested the money be used instead for tax breaks for satirists.

Quad Movies

This weekend I watched a lot of movies. And, I escaped to Whidbey Island for two days with Chad, Crabby, Brook, Wendi, and Liz for a little R&R. Which included watching movies at Brook's parents theater, and learning how the projector works (pretty cool!)

March of the Penguins: Snorefest of anthropomorphizing animals. Furries and people who coo when they see something cute will like it.

Flightplan: A better-than-expected half-snorefest.

I, Robot: Again, better than expected. Enjoyable. I never read the book.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: The high point of my weekend. A smart rom-com of sorts that makes you think. With Kate Winslet.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Tighter Than Airport Security On 9/11/01

When my company was purchased by a publically traded company, we had to undergo a lot of changes, mostly for the sake of accounting purposes. There's a name for all this new crap, which occured because of the Enron clusterfuck, but I really can't be bothered to remember it. I just know it's why I have to put a tick mark down every time I use a company tissue to wipe my nose.

One of the things these new standards have changed is security - specifically, computer security. I have about four passwords I use in varying combinations on whatever it is I'm doing - I'll sub out numbers for letters, combine them in various ways, but four is about the upper limit of my memory when it comes to inane words I have to type over and over just to get into something I want to do.

Well, part of the new security policies are that our passwords can never be the same twice. So this has left me in a bit of a pinch: I cycled through all my old passwords, and now I can't use them. To make matters worse, our passwords must contain three of the four following things: a lower-case letter, an upper-case letter, a number, or a symbol. So even if I were to choose something easy to remember, it still wouldn't be in an easy-to-remember format.

Which leads me to the only workable solution for these high-security requirements.

I have to write the damn password on a post-it note on my monitor just so I remember what it is.

Sometimes, I really wonder if the people in charge of this train know what the fuck they're doing.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's So Bad!

For any geek in the late '80s, The Wizard was just about the awesomest 2-hour commercial for Nintendo products you could have paid money to go see. And this clip reminds me why it was such an awesomely awesome scam.

Via the SA forums.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Halloween Scary

Since it's the season to be freaky, here's a piece of art - I guess - that let's you manipulate a doll and the various things in her room. I warn you, it's kind of disturbing. And requires QuickTime.

The Band Thing, Again

I wanted to give it another shot now that I'm in a different mood.

Choose one band or artist and answer the questions ONLY IN SONG TITLES by that band...

Artist/Band: Ramones
Are You Male or Female? Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy
Describe Yourself: Loudmouth
How Do People See You? Commando
How Do You Feel About Yourself? I Wanna Be Sedated
Describe What You Want To Be: I Wanna Be Well
Describe Where You Want To Be: 53rd and 3rd
Describe How You Live: Gimmie Shock Treatment
Describe How You Love: She's The One
Words of Wisdom: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow


The Republicans once again show how they are the party of morality and family values: their former majority leader will soon be the subject of a mug shot and fingerprinting.

It must really suck to be a Republican these days.

Insomnia's A Bitch

Last night I went to sleep around 10 because I felt absolutely exhausted, and yesterday was particularly awful at work. Not awful because of the environment, but awful because I actually forgot to do a very important task. Luckily, I caught it early enough that it was fixable, but I was (and am) extremely upset with myself for allowing something like that to happen.

So I go to sleep at 10. And I get up at 12. And 2. And 4. And 5. And 6. And here I am.

Needless to say, I hate not being able to sleep.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


For those who like to wear their obsessions on their sleeves - or at least, their fronts - a zombie t-shirt.

Don't forget, Land of the Dead today on DVD!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Week Ender

I blinked and I missed it.

Saturday I spent the entire day at the WizKids Games Day, AKA the HeroClix Armor Wars Pre-Release event. I had a great time - because of the new rules, employees can play in events, but cannot win. I made it to the top sixteen, so it was a nice reminder of how much I love the game I help make/market (and, that I actually used to be pretty good at it once upon a time).

Yesterday, I went to the gym at O-Dark-Thirty, came back, watched an awful-wonderful horror movie, and then spent the majority of the rest of the day with Bob (Crabby's cat) at the emergency vet. Bob's eye got scratched in a tussle with one of the other cats, and she made it much worse by rubbing it, so she's on a regimen of eyedrops and antibiotics, and she's got one of those kitty lampshade things around her head.

That made Liz and I late for a poker game last night, but we still managed to have a lot of fun and we both ended up just a little bit ahead for the night. There were some people there who aren't part of our normal circle, and it was cool to expand a little, and there were some people there who are, so it was good to see them. A nice balance.

Considering how hellish last week was - something I'd rather not talk about, but thanks for asking - I'm hoping this week is much gentler.

On a side note, I'm reading Batman's Dark Victory graphic novel by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, the same folk who did The Long Halloween. I think it's some of the best Batman stuff I've ever read. Speaking of, the movie comes out on Tuesday on DVD!

Saturday, October 15, 2005


My entire office is in a baby shower and I'm killing time waiting for Liz to finish up so I can come get her.

And I come across this, a art gallery of photographs taken on an island off the coast of Japan. The island used to house a town of 5000 people, but it is now completely abandoned.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Late-Game Zombie Walk!

There's a zombie walk in Seattle tomorrow! I wish I'd known sooner; I kind of made some plans but I might be able to break them.

A Modest, Um, Proposal

So anti-video-game-violence activist Jack Thompson has crafted a modest proposal about making a violent video game about a father of a kid murdered by another kid who played violent video games going on a rampage and killing video game executives.

As funny as his stunt is, the ironic part is that if he'd turned that in to a high school teacher, he'd probably be expelled for threatening people and sent to Homeland Security for investigation.

Via Seth.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Lighter Fare

Via Roger:

Choose one band or artist and answer the questions ONLY IN SONG TITLES by that band...

Artist/Band: The Beatles
Are You Male or Female? I Am The Walrus
Describe Yourself: Paperback Writer
How Do People See You? The Fool On The Hill
How Do You Feel About Yourself? The Long And Winding Road
Describe What You Want To Be: Getting Better
Describe Where You Want To Be: Back In The USSR (not really, it's just funny)
Describe How You Live: Fixing A Hole
Describe How You Love: Helter Skelter
Words of Wisdom: Think For Yourself (Let It Be was too easy)

And One Last Politikal Post For The Day

Dear Bush Supporters,

I see you standing on the bridge over I-405 between exits 20 and 18 many mornings. There are anywhere from four to ten of you, and you've got some pretty snappy looking signs that say "We Support Our Troops and President Bush," or simply, "We Support Our Troops." I applaud your right to express your point of view, and for taking full advantage of the freedoms of speech our forefathers bequeathed to us. I have taken part in the same freedom various mornings, either with my middle finger or, if traffic is slow enough, by voicing my opinion loudly using my hands as a megaphone.

But I want to point something out to you. You and everyone else with the "We Support Our Troops" bumper stickers.

President Bush is not a troop. He never was a troop. He pretended to be a troop once, but was AWOL from the National Guard for weeks at a time while he was developing a strong addiction to alcohol and that white dust from Colombia. But frankly, that's the closest Bush has come to being a troop.

Troops stand out in the desert getting shot at. They overthrew the Taliban, probably the closest thing the 21st Century has seen to a religio-fascist government thusfar. The entire world applauded them for that, because let's face it, no one liked the Taliban. Troops overthrew Saddam Hussien, too: an action that, despite its motivations, rid the world of a tinpot dictator likely responsible for genocide.

Troops are my friends from high school and college. They are kids who didn't have scholarships or who didn't necessarily fit into higher education, so they signed up for a hitch in the Army, the Marines, or another branch of our Armed Forces. When they did so, they trusted that the Commander in Chief - not himself a troop - would only use their training responsibly. They expected a certain degree of empathy for them, and both of those things have been violated.

There is a former troop who works in my office, and he is appalled at not only the administration that has misled and taken advantage of the troops, he'll actively correct anyone who dares to lump Bush in the same category as our troops.

Therefore, my fellow citizens of the Northwest, I ask that you keep in mind that when you're asking me to support our troops, I'm 100% behind you. Like I said, I know some of those guys.

But keep this in mind:

President Bush is not a troop.

Bush's Conservative Ways, By The Numbers

Via conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan, a little article and chart comparing the "conservative" (bullshit) Bush administration to other administrations, as far as change in Real Discretionary Spending.

They're shitting in our kitchens right now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Politikal Post

The big news these days is that President Bush named Harriet Miers as the next nominee to the Supreme Court (or SCOTUS to those of us awesome people in the know). The left is sitting there going, "but she's not qualified." And for once, so is the right.

The reaction is actually pretty startling. Even Ann Coulter, for fuck's sake, is up in arms. I've seen conservative blogs referring to him as "Du(m)bya" and more than once the meme has been "I'm through with this President." Pat Buchanan said he's successfully undone everything Republicans have worked for since Nixon was in office.

This hinges around the blatant cronyism of nominating someone to SCOTUS who, although passed a bar once upon a time, doesn't really practice law and hasn't even served jury duty. And following Hurricane "Brownie, You're Doing A Heck Of A Job" Katrina, where it was pretty obvious what nominating an old buddy whose claim to organizational fame was judging horse compeititions got you.

So the right doesn't want Miers confirmed. The left is pretty divided, actually: although she isn't qualified, it could be a fuck of a lot worse.

Here's my take (isn't that why you read this shit anyway?): confirm her. Confirm her, and dose her up with health drugs so she lives a long, long, long time. She will serve as a constant reminder of the bullshit the right has inflicted on this country and the world with this President. In twenty years, we might be tempted to forget and elect some other pompous asshole who steals Christmas wreaths and likes to feel good about himself by bossing others around, whose friends in oil and the religious wingnut movements will dictate every step of his policy. And then we'll look at Miers and say, "HOLY FUCK THAT'SRIGHT WE CAN'T FUCKING DO THAT LET'S ELECT A REAL PRESIDENT INSTEAD!"

It's not that I want to say "I told you so, dipshits, what did you expect?" It's not that I feel mildly vindicated. It's that people with that short of an attention span, and that easily misled, who think two men holding hands in Omaha is a more important election concern that our economy, our foreign and domestic policies, and our dignity as Americans, need constant reminders not to fuck up again.

Seriously, when a dog takes a shit in your kitchen, you take the dog, put its face in the shit, and tell it "NO."

The right has shit in our collective kitchen.

Confirming Miers as a lasting testament to rightwing idiocy is a nice, big NO.

Tuesday Afternoon

Last night's Alliterates meeting was great - we had a full house, and they reviewed the first horror story I've written and shared with them. I was particularly proud of this little tale, and they gave me some excellent feedback about how to make it better. I'm pretty serious about getting this one in shape to submit it to an anthology or magazine, so I'm hoping I get some time this weekend to work on it.

I've also come to the conclusion that a light, portable laptop would greatly help my productivity, especially as I travel. Maybe I'll see if work can replace this stupid old machine with a newer one, seeing as how I go to 10 conventions a year for them.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Weekend Update

Both days this weekend I woke up early and hit the gym. I'm a little frustrated about the whole weight thing, because I stopped the low-carb routine (and my liver thanks me for it), but even with exercise I've increased a bit, rather than the other direction. I know what I'm going to have to start doing - counting calories and eating much, much less - but that has always failed for me in the past. A good boot camp routine would work, if only I didn't have to sign up for a two year hitch afterwards.

Sunday Liz and I went into Seattle for a movie: The Princess Bride at the Central Cinema. This place, as advertised, sounds like something I would have opened: sofa seating, waitstaff to bring you food, no under-21s after a certain time so cellphones and teenagers aren't interfering with your movie. In execution, however, the sofas were more like restaurant booth benches and the movie itself was just a DVD blown up to enormous proportions. So close, and yet so far.

I'm worried this is becoming a trend for showing older films: rather than track down a print of the movie (not that this theater looked equipped to show a print of this movie), just show the DVD and blow it up really big. It's disappointing: there was a theater in Bloomington when I lived there that showed Hitchcock films, old sci-fi, and tons of other classics every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I spent a lot of my formative 15-16 year-old weekends there, with my family, with dates, with friends (sometimes at the same time). When I think of going to a theater to watch a classic, that's what I think of, not some messy DVD print that God never intended to be blown up more than 60" across (and 60" is pushing it).

But spending time with Liz was worth it. We both love The Princess Bride and spent a good part of the movie silently quoting lines to each other.

Before the movie, we ate at a really good and really inexpensive Ethiopian restaurant. Here's a way to get me to tip you 40%: bring me a lunch for two that's amazingly tasty for $10.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Search for More BRAINS...

What happens when a meth lab explodes in the South, and a guy can't decide between his girl and karate? The South Will Rise Again, a zombie-hick-karate movie, um, thing. Thanks to Seth for informing me of what I'll be wasting my money on.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

With Great Reading Comes.. ?

Mark Evanier explores the origins of the famous comic book phrase "with great power comes great responsibility." Interesting reading.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Reminded of Michael Moore

Today, a co-worker was complaining about having to clean up another co-worker's mess in our kitchen, and it reminded me of something I haven't thought about in a while.

In 2000, I interned at Michael Moore's United Broadcasting while they worked on The Awful Truth (yes, that Michael Moore). During my time there, I had to deal with a lot of shitty jobs (like fetching Michael Moore his McDonald's.) One of those jobs was cleaning up a shitmess made by one of the producers.

In film, producers are kind of the unseen prima donnas. The directors and the "talent" are the seen prima donnas - you do things for them because they are the big names that are going to make you money. The producers are the people who make things happen, and they usually do it without credit. But they make the entire thing go 'round.

They also boss around the production assistants, and the interns. And "boss around" is the only appropriate way I can think of to describe what they do.

So one of these producers had some bad luck with some microwave popcorn. She apparently nuked it for 20 minutes instead of 2 minutes, leaving a horrible smell throughout the floor of the building and fusing most of the popcorn to the microwave. That was inconvenient, because us poor slobs who brought our microwave lunches because we were living in New York on our own dime couldn't nuke our food.

And I'm assigned to clean the microwave.

A bucket of bleach and a half-hour of scrubbing later, the microwave is passably clean, although it seems to have taken on a permanent light-yellow hue from the butter molecules permanently merging with the plastic molecules. And I've completely bleached my shorts and the shirt I'm wearing.

As I mentioned previously in this tale, I'm staying in New York on my own dime without receiving a paycheck of any kind. So I think it's perfectly reasonable, having just ruined one of the two pairs of shorts I brought and one of the five shirts I brought, that I ask the company to replace them, as they were damaged in the line of my duty of cleaning up after slobby rich prima donnas. Not that I'm bitter, that's just what the film industry is about.

They told me, and I quote: "well, bleached clothes are fashionable, so no."

Notice I'm not working in the film industry at the moment.

A Rare Work-Related Post

One of our HeroClix fans has created a page of custom bystander tokens, including Lindsay Lohan, Jay & Silent Bob, and more. Is it wrong that I think the Lohan tokens are kind of - well - sexy?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bigger, Longer, and Undead

For those who just can't get enough zombie action, Fangoria and Universal present a one-time only screening of the Land of the Dead Director's Cut on October 17th, the day before the DVD releases.

I suspect, much like the Blues Brothers screening I attended before, that it will simply be a copy of the DVD blown up to bigscreen proportions.

I'm trying to figure out if that makes it any less awesomely awesome.

Movie: Serenity (Redux)

I saw Serenity at one of the preview screenings, so I didn't feel a terribly compelling need to catch it on its opening weekend. Plus, I wanted to avoid all the really hardcore Joss fans who have a way of really getting under my skin. I like the series as much as the next fanboy, but some folks really tend to take it to extremes.

I posted my original thoughts about the movie the first time. A recap: pretty good, not "wow."

Anyway, we went today as an office.

What a difference some editing, sound, and tightening up can make.


A much better movie this time around. I highly recommend it - it really nailed the "family" theme of the show, and the editing allowed it to flow at a much better pace than the rough cut. And, they went back to space being soundless, and that was one of my major pet peeves.

Claps and applause. Great work. Now go see it so the show can go back on the air!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Marketing 101

Brandon, this one's for you. A movie trailer for a popular film, re-edited to make it seem like a completely different movie.

You can sell anything to anyone if you package it right - and often, we do!

Gamer Charity

The Beyond the Storm RPG and storybook is now available as a PDF download for a nominal fee (really a donation). Beyond the Storm is a Hurricane Katrina (and now, I assume, Rita) relief project by people from all over the gaming industry - artists, writers, editors, and so forth. We donated our time to skills to create short stories, little roleplaying games, adventures, and so forth, all centered around New Orleans. If you're a gamer and you would find such content interesting, please make a donation for the download (a print version will be available, too).

Since the quickstart version of my Crescent City roleplaying rules is in there, you'll also get something by me!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The State of the Left and the SCOTUS

I just learned the acronym SCOTUS. It sounds kind of dirty, like something that sweats too much when it's hot outside and you have to do yardwork. Which, is kind of what it is, I suppose - for those of you not in the know as me, SCOTUS means Supreme Court of the United States.

I mention this because last week a new Chief Justice was approved by the Senate. I don't really know what to make of Roberts, but somehow I doubt he's the assholic ideologue a lot of my leftie pals are making him out to be. He actually seems like a fairly centrist conservative. As long as he doesn't do anything extraordinarily stupid, like overturn Roe v. Wade, things should be OK. The freedom of speech/freedom of religion stuff flipflops around, and frankly it doesn't really matter all that much (taking "Under God" out of the Pledge, or leaving it in, seems like a pretty asinine and inconsequential thing to worry about - and that goes to knuckleheads on both sides of the issue).

A lot of the left started moaning and wailing and gnashing their teeth, but I just kind of shrugged: there isn't really any evidence either way to know what Roberts is going to be like. The crew on Daily Kos seemed to be the loudest voice of opposition, loud enough that Senator Obama wrote them a response. Obama specifically rebutes some of the criticism levelled against himself and other Dems for not doing more to stop Roberts' nomination (fillibuster, etc.)

But more importantly, he hits on something that has become a growing concern to me. I used to wonder why it was the Left can't mount any sort of organized resistance to the well-oiled Republican political machine (and that's what it is, you might as well refer to Rovian politicks as Tammany Hall). When I went to the O17 protests, I was amazed not at the united front the Left presented (they didn't), but at the vast amount of pet causes all fighting to be the loudest (and in their eyes, the most important) voice at the gathering.

Obama hits on that, and he strikes a hell of a blow. The response on the Kos boards is exactly what you might expect: outright denial and the same scattered, pet politicking. That kind of stuff simply doesn't play to the American public. Wring your hands about the easily misled people if you will, but guess what folks: you ain't getting anywhere by alienating them. That's what the left fails to understand. Hell, I fail to understand it myself most of the time, and anyone who's read this page for any length of time knows how I wring my hands and say "how the fuck can you be that fucking STUPID????"

Which really does no one any good.

I'm not perfect, and I doubt Obama is, but reading his response certainly gives me hope that the right kind of people are out there, and more importantly, they get it. That allows assholes like me to be assholes, because in the end, if you form your opinion based on the ramblings of a guy who works PR for a game company, then you deserve what you get.

The Next Time I Conduct A Job Interview

After a particularly fun and extended poker game last night, I've come to the conclusion that if you really want to know someone, play cards for money with them for a few hours.

The ups and downs of poker - making difficult decisions, bluffing when necessary, dealing with losing and winning, making small talk, body language, and so on - can really tell you a lot about people, even people you think you know.

The next time I have to do a job interview, I'd like to get all of my candidates together in a room and play poker with them for three or four hours.

Probably not kosher, but I imagine it would give me a pretty good idea of who I'd want on my team.

Broken Template

Blogger has gone and fucked up my blog template, seemingly without my help. Hopefully I can fix the damn thing (again) when I have a few seconds to devote to what I shouldn't have to fix.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Plague Monkey

Apologies for the not-much-content lately; first Hawaii, and now this. I'm coming down with some kind of illness; my sinuses feel like a swamp and my throat is raw. Icky-poo.

Graphic Novel: Faces

Expect more of these in the coming days (really, I'm just working through a backlog of stuff I've been reading, but haven't had the time to post about). I've been using Wizard's Top 100 Graphic Novels as a reading list for a while. The first one on the list (#100, not #1) is a Batman book called Faces, a great Two-Face story. It's short, like three issues long, but it's a fairly concise story with Batman as detective and Two-Face trying to create a utopia for freaks - and killing plastic surgeons, models, and other people who traffick in beauty along the way.

For a small book, it's a great, concise story that focuses more on theme than action. Again, another recommendation for comic fans.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Graphic Novel: The Armor Wars

I've been getting a bunch of graphic novels lately to get caught up on comic stories - and I grabbed a copy of the out-of-print The Armor Wars Iron Man story on the cheap. Iron Man isn't really one of my favorites - lately the book has kind of sucked - but this story was damned good, along the lines of The Power of Iton Man (where Shell Head overcomes his alcoholism). It's a tale of trying to put the genie back in the bottle once it has spread. In this instance, he tracks down everyone who uses technology he developed (and someone stole from him) so that the technology isn't used for evil. But in so doing, Iron Man kills some of his targets, alienates his friends, and becomes an enemy of the government.

So there's the genie theme, but there's another interesting undercurrent that has become more relevant in the past few years - that of ownership rights for technologies. As digital tech, MP3s, DVDs, and the piracy thereof, spreads worldwide, who really owns an idea anymore?

Not a bad read for a comic fan.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Freed Market

The test I posted earlier was interesting in a general sense, but upon further reflection I don't think it was a very accurate representation of my position. I trace this to the kinds of questions it asked regarding current issues of market regulation - environmental standards as applying to businesses, or is it wrong that customer service jobs are being outsourced to India - for example. I joked earlier about myself not coming off as Maoist as I thought I was. In reality, I was more surprised the test rated me so close to socialism, rather than on the capitalist scale.

I'll be the first to admit that I've mellowed a little since my heady college days, writing screeds for the Drury Mirror and working for Michael Moore. Not that I regret any of that, but I don't know that I'd so blindly follow the kinds of ideologies I once did. Working for a small business has taught me a lot about the business world, but it has also taught me a lot about how a company can be responsible and make a nice profit as well.

It seems that the test really tried to pidgeonhole me into an extreme that I don't necessarily represent. Yes, I support environmental regulations on business - for the same reason I support child labor laws. They are both forms of business regulation, but I doubt Tom Coburn would call me a commie pinko for saying that businesses should be prevented from employing small children - or prevented from forming monopolies, or hiring strikebreakers to intimidate unions, or descriminating based on sex, race, creed, or sexual orientation. Well, OK, maybe that last one.

But still - had the survey asked me whether I supported regulating child labor, would it have scored me the same as if I supported putting pollution restrictions on factories? I have to wonder.

At any rate, I'm not as pink as some think. I'm just a progressive Liberal Democrat.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Who Will Fight KAOS and Dr. Klaw?

Now that Don Adams has passed away, it seems the job is open.

Goodspeed, Agent 86.

Political Spectrum Me!

Thanks to Roger for this lil' test.

You are a

Social Liberal
(63% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(33% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating

If I had taken this test before my bout of social work and before my experiences with the business world, I have a feeling I would have been much, much farther in that liberal/socialist zone.

I'm a little disappointed I'm not as Maoist as I'd like to think I am.

Movie: Corpse Bride

I really like Tim Burton. With a few exceptions - Sleepy Hollow, for example - his films always have a great mix of classic story, creepy otherworldlyness, and good fun. I mention Sleepy Hollow because I'm an enormous fan of the source material, and although the movie was good for what it was, they should have changed the name.

A Nightmare Before Christmas I can usually take or leave. But Corpse Bride is going to become my new Halloween tradition methinks.

The movie is a musical (of sorts), and the same stop-motion animation as Nightmare - well, fused with some damn amazing CGI. The plot is pretty thin, and the real star of the show is the animation and imagination that brings everything together. There's a nice moment where the dead people, who are full of life and seem to appreciate everything, are contrasted with the living, who are dull as doornails and concerned with things that don't really matter.

There's enough awesome inside jokes (check out the name on the grand piano towards the beginning of the movie) and awesome monster bits to earn this film the awesomely awesome award. And, you can take the kids to see it!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

From a Sick Mind

I wish I could write 6700 words in 12 hours every day.

This is the first horror story I've written in quite a while. I love this genre. I like the idea of scaring other people with the strange shit in my head. It's like poking a blister - something that hurts a little, but you certainly enjoy the feeling as the pressure drains on your wound.

I'm lucky I'm not still in school. I have a feeling this one would be the subject of yet another parent-teacher conference - and yes, I had more than a couple of those based on the various things I wrote.

I would like to point out though, for the record, that I turned out relatively normal - even if I do have to occasionally poke this blister and drain some things.

From the Mailbag

Context: a long time ago, I ran, basically a pre-blog-blog full of my pictures, occasional humorous stories/articles, and a showcase for the PnP adaptation of Interplay's Fallout game I did back in college (my first real RPG writing, incidentally).

Today, I got an email from a guy who not only still plays that Fallout game (and has all the other stuff myself, and others, wrote for it), but his entire gaming group still plays with the system as well.

How cool is that?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

(Brief) Hawai'i Recap

So Liz and I spent last week on the Big Island of Hawai'i. I'll spare you guys the details, but it was a great trip. We saw four of the state's seven national parks, including the volcano. Each day was up at whenever, go down to breakfast, snorkel (which Liz loved), goof off, snorkel, lay out, maybe drive somewhere to see something. I've got some good pictures I'll post in the near-future. Right now, I'm trying to get back into the swing of life here at home, and get used to the idea that shorts and a t-shirt aren't going to cut it in our current Seattle weather.

I mowed the lawn and started doing work around the house.

I still will continue to exercise my right not to look at my work email until Monday.

Props to the Zombie Props

For all your zombie costume needs at amazing prices, check out The Nightmare Factory.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Busy, No Busy

I admit that the last post I made was a little deceptive, although entirely true: I really was that busy last week, because I was getting ready to go out of town for a week: to Hawai'i, and the first real vacation my wife and I have ever taken together.

I'm back, tanner, relaxed, recharged, and content. I could check my work email today, but I won't. I refuse to even look at it until Monday morning. I do, however, have an outline for a short story I plan to pound out today.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hardest Workin' Man In, Uh, Something

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I've been working exceptionally long hours and most of my free time has been divided into a fiction-writing project for an upcoming WizKids game and my work for the Beyond the Storm project. I volunteered my PR skills as well as a quickstart for Crescent City, so I crafted their press release and have been working with my media contacts to ensure coverage - something I can't do during business hours, so it gobbles up an inordinate amount of my free time.

I also started dabbling with Rome Total War again, with an interesting mod called Rome Total Realism. The mod removes all the fantasy units from the game, restructures the map a little (and adds a bunch of stuff - you can conquer Hibernia, for example), and makes for a much more historically accurate game. I tried it once and thought "meh," but the Rome TV show on HBO has rekindled my interest in the time period and so I'm back to it.

The funny thing is, with so little free time, I've had to become seriously selective about my hobbies. I can't watch movies, write, play video games, and do a half-dozen other things that sound fun all at once. I think I've been making some good choices - for example, after last weeks Alliterates meeting I pounded out a few thousand words on my novel - but juggling everything I want to do seems to be getting more and more difficult. Like, for example, making my long blog entry at 9 AM on a Saturday - after having been up completing my writing project for the past two hours.

On the work side, I got to extend offers of employment to two interns this week (at least one of whom read this blog!) One of the things that came out of my review was the extension of my managerial responsibilies, so the intern program is now 100% my baby. I'm confident and excited at the same time - and I learned a lot from the first round (sorry if I screwed up too much, Brandon!) - so I think it's going to be an extremely positive experience. It's also quite different being on the other side of a job interview, and I picked up a lot of things I don't think I would have normally picked up upon otherwise.

Liz wants me to run and get her breakfast. Who am I to refuse? 'Till next time.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Cats Down, Toads Up

Clearly cars do not run on cats, but can they run on toads?

Funny Ha Ha, Or?

Q: What is George W. Bush's position on Roe v Wade?

A: He doesn't care how people get out of New Orleans!

Thanks for the chuckle, Seth.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Happy Day!

I just read that the original Aeon Flux animated series will be released in its entirety on DVD this November! Woohoo! Via The Digital Bits.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Great Statue Challenge

For Roger: IDENTIFY!

On Writing

Last nights Alliterates was me and Jeff Grubb, which was actually a pretty cool deal. We talked about this and that, and he gave me some really good help with the novel. I was at a point where I knew where the beginning was, I knew where the end was, but everything in between seemed pretty unclear. After last night, the details started to sprout everywhere - it was like walking through a garden and watching plants grow around you. The entire ride home I made mental notes, and when I got home my ever-understanding wife let me have some computer time so I could get them down.

The best part is, I'm excited about the project again, and I'm back at the stage where writing seems fun.