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.