Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's So Bad

What's that? You want to mod your Nintendo Power Glove to be the ultimate mouse, and use it like we thought we could use it back in the day? Oh, alright.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Thought for the Day

Conservatives are fond of the phrase "give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for the rest of his life." So why is it that a version of that phrase keeps coming back to me when I think about our situation in Iraq? "Give a nation a government, and it'll rule itself for a day. Teach a nation how to responsibly govern itself, and it will rule itself for the rest of its life."

OK, that last bit about ruling for the rest of its life was a stretch, but it certainly seems to me that the Bush administration is doing a whole of the giving and not a lot of the teaching.


There's been videos going around the Something Awful forums with guys doing one-person re-enactments of scenes from movies and then posting it on Youtube. The best byfar is the originator of the trend, and he recently posted a re-enactment of one of the best scenes in The Princess Bride. Enjoy.

New Music: 24 Hours by The Kleptones

The Kleptones (A Night at the Hip-Hoptera, probably my current favorite mashup) have a new album: 24 Hours, which kind of follows, well, 24 hours. Download the awesomeness here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Yet More from the "Proud to be an Okie" Department

It's almost like stupidity from Oklahoma is everywhere I look these days. Now, it's Protestants pretending to be Medieval Catholics. America stumbles further down the path of stupidity at an exorcism conference in my old hometown.

As longtime readers know, I don't publish exclusively bad news about Oklahoma. When something good comes up, I post it. That has happened exactly once in the nearly three years I've been maintaining this blog.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Holy Fucking Shit

My friends will be happy to know I was not one of the attendees at last night's zombie rave in Capitol Hill, because afterwards seven people were shot this morning!

This is a fucking disgrace. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Now I'm going to go be sad away from the Internet.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Four Steps Forward, Five Steps Back

I try to be optimistic. I try to think the best of people, to imagine that while we make occasional backslides, we eventually come out ahead.

After reading this blog post, and more importantly the racist and bigoted messages from all sides in the commentary, I'm not so such anymore. The post itself isn't so bad, but the comments are.

And I can't just write it off to online posturing or a "virtual spine," either. I tend to think those terms are just excuses, and I become more and more convinced of that fact every day. It's an imperfect comparison, but posting on the Internet is like letting your Id out to play without the Superego there to keep it in check. It's the raw material and thought that's underneath, the kinds of things that will come out if all of a sudden we weren't accountable for our actions in a greater kind of civilization.

On the other hand, it's given me a lot of food for thought about a post-apocalyptic story I'm considering writing.

Snakes! Planes!

Snakes on a Plane. It's real. There's an official website. They're talking about it on NPR. And according to, they're actually listening to what fans want. Fans who are obsessed with the film, but haven't yet seen it.

The Blair Witch Project was a passable product made into a cultural phenomenon by viral marketing. Could Snakes on a Plane be the exact opposite: a shitty studio movie coughed up by studio execs looking to make a mercenary dollar, which inadvertantly turned into a cultural phenomenon through viral nonmarketing, which will now become something better than it might have originally been?

I hope so.

Until then, "we've got MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES!"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

More from the "Proud to be an Okie" Department

When your toddler wanders into a strip club looking for you, then it's probably because the toddler was playing Grand Theft Auto and learned about strip clubs there.

Right? Right?

God, it's good to no longer live in a red state.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A New (Old) Way To Write

Fellow Alliterate Wolfgang has started a new project - writing an adventure based on patronage. That's right, now fans can contribute to influence the outcome of the adventure for a small (or as large as they wish) sum. Follow the project on the Open Design Livejournal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

An In-Game Solution to Online Jerks

I kind of like the idea of punishing an online troll in a manner appropriate to the game: in this instance, crucifying someone in a Roman-based MMORPG.

Baby Conservatives

A study about personalities and political leanings. Granted, it comes from an ultraliberal Berkeley professor who likely had an agenda, so take it with a grain of salt. (From a fellow Alliterate.)

From the "Proud to be an Okie" Department

Is it odd that the only times video games make me feel even remotely violent are when idiotic legislators try to regulate them without knowing what they fuck they're doing?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Quote of the Day

Author Paul Auster, on poker:

    "This was the first time he had seriously confronted what he was doing, and the force of that awareness came very abruptly - with a surging of his pulse and a frantic pounding in his head. He was about to gamble his life on that table, and the insanity of that risk filled him with a kind of awe."
I don't know which book that's from - perhaps one of the more literary-inclined readers can point me in the right direction?

Movie: V for Vendetta

Ignoring my better judgement, I headed out to see a movie on opening weekend with Liz and Crabby. I suppose if you're going to see one movie in the theater, better make it a good one. I've been waiting for V ever since it was announced, and the final product nearly filled my every expectation.

Since the movie has a great PR push behind it, I'm not going to bother too much with summarizing the plot. It certainly sets out what it accomplishes to do: while you may not neccessarily sympathize with V the terrorist, the film explores what goes into the kinds of things that could push someone to commit such extreme acts. One man's terrorist is another man's revolutionary, and that concept is the centerpoint of the film.

It captured the spirit of the graphic novel extremely well, if not the exact letter of it. Some things were changed and updated for a more modern audience, and I suspect that a couple of changes were made (Evey not being a prostitute, for example) to make the movie more palatable to the popcorn audience. I'm not for a minute going to turn into a Faithful Adaptation Snob and cry and complain about "how could they have screwed that up!" Rather, I'm going to take comfort in the fact that by making the movie appeal to a wider audience, perhaps more people will be exposed to the film's far more important ideas - and might even start to think about them.

While I didn't leave the theater with that sought-after tingle of "damn, I want to see that again!", at least I felt satisfied.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Candidates I Wish I Could Vote For

Top of my list at the moment:

    "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You didn't place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

    -Jamie Raskin, testifying Wednesday, March 1, 2006 before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in response to a question from Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs about whether marriage discrimination against gay people is required by "God's Law."
That's Jamie Raskin, candidate for Maryland State Senate. This has been making its rounds in the lib'rul blogosphere, but I got it from this Livejournal.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Movie: Night Watch

So I'm a little late in blogging about this one. Seth and Crabby and I caught Night Watch last weekend. Night Watch is kind of a Matrix meets Underworld meets Star Wars, and it's from Russia. Those comparisons aren't really fair, because there's more going on here than just all that, but it's enough to give you a general idea for the movie.

The premise is this: there are creatures called "Others," which are basically beings of magical power that look human. Others make a choice to join either the light side or the dark side. Dark others become vampires, while light others apparently become corporate CEOs and garbagemen (no, really - they never touched on what a light "Other" was in mythological terms). A long time ago, the Others decided to stop killing each other, and instead enforce a kind of truce. They built two societies, which are basically underground police forces, to enforce it: the light side created the Night Watch, to watch the dark side, and the dark side created the Day Watch, to watch the light. When one side steps out of line, the Watch steps in to correct the balance.

There's a lot of decent special effects (I'm not going to compare them to the Matrix, because it's more than just another bullet-time ripoff), and they did some really interesting things with subtitles of all things - things that wouldn't have even been evident in the Russian version of the film. That added a nice, postmodern touch.

Another interesting concept was playing around with the idea that "good" isn't really all that good, and "bad" was kind of a relative term, too. The light side makes a lot of compromises in its fight against the dark, to the point where the lines between dark and light become pretty blurry.

However the movie was just "good," never "great" or "awesome." In a lot of ways, it reminded me of Highlander more than anything else - long-lived creatures fighting a final battle for the fate of the world, with the plot kind of a loose excuse for some interesting action. It's a little better than that, but for some reason it just never got to be as good as it could.

I'm holding out hope that the sequels (there are two planned) will make this one fit better in the greater story.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Zombies in Seattle

Seth pointed me in the direction of a local blog discussing holdouts in the case of a zombie attack. I contributed my Space Needle theory. I'm just not a big fan of the islands: while you may be better protected, you could eventually die from lack of resources.

The Business of Horror

The Times has a very interesting story about the current resurgance of horror movies, and why they are one of the only genres making money at the moment.

    What most distinguishes these two films, and a crop of others such as Saw and Wolf Creek, is their astonishing goriness and unrepentant sadism, the degree of which has not been seen on screen since the British Board of Film Classification banned so-called “video nasties” such as The Driller Killer and I Spit on Your Grave in the mid-1980s. The characters in these films use and abuse saws, drills, gouges and any other device they happen upon, inflicting literally eye-popping, bone-cutting, artery-squirting, toe-crunching violence on those to whom they have taken a dislike. The difference these days, though, is that the kind of horror films that were once sold under the counter in Soho are now mainstream cinematic fare, often distributed by divisions of the major Hollywood studios...

    "I think there is something about the American dream," says Craven, who started his working life as a literature professor, "the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will — of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can — and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that’s not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage."
Good reading for horror movie buffs.

Also, anyone up for catching Slither?

Rules Defined

Yesterday I spoke with people at New Work to define just what I can and cannot put in this blog. After I draft up a decent disclaimer, I can return you to your regular zombie-related commentary and blurbs about my life.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Groovin' It

Last week and this week have been spent getting into the groove of New Job. I'm getting there, and Liz and I are finally at a point where we're integrating the gym into our routine, too. Hopefully this will become a habit.

Aside from drinking too much coffee, playing Guitar Hero, and not working on my book, there isn't much else going on in my life at the moment. I'm aching to get in a good poker game, but it's going to have to wait at least one more weekend.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Getting Out

An interesting post on Craigslist by a Marine who's had it with the way this war is being conducted.

Cthulhu Tract

Blogging for posterity: "Who Will Be Eaten First?" - a Cthulhu Tract.

Quote of the Day

"The sun is destroying us with its entropic rage." - From the Something Awful forums.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Day Around the House

I've spent most of today working around the house, cleaning up little things and finishing some of the yard stuff leftover from yesterday. We made it out of Home Depot without spending more than $60 today - a first.

And this morning, I broke my cold streak at the Card Game. Finally, back in the saddle!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Weeds and Feeds

Once again, I carped my diem and got up nice and early to start working outside. I didn't get quite as much done as I hoped, but I completely weeded two of the front flower gardens and put down the last of the grass seed in some of the areas that still look a little bare. I'm gonna have to get one of those metal-pushy-speady things to put down the other lawn-healthy stuff that's still sitting in my garage - maybe next weekend.

My other goal was to try to track down an Xbox 360, so I can actually play what I've been marketing. So far, no dice. I want to get one from a Best Buy so I can get one of their performance service plans, but each store I talked to had none, and had no clue about when more might be in.

Dead Rising, the Capcom zombie game, comes out in May. So that's my deadline to try to find one of these beauties.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Little Natalie's All Growed Up

At least, she certainly appears so in this video from last weekend's SNL.

I think I'm in love a little!

Me These Days

New Job is interesting to say the least. One thing I've taken away from it: holy crap I need to get an Xbox 360! I believe I have been successfully marketed to by my own company.

The strangest thing was going back to WizKids on Tuesday for the DC Heroes game. It was odd walking through the building and realizing, "this is not my playground anymore. This is not my turf." It's like I've moved and I can visit my old neighborhood at any time, but I can't really go back inside the house.

New Job was slow for the first couple of days, but things really picked up yesterday. Today, I hope I can get in there and rock and roll.

Massive Zombies

Seth has clued me in to an upcoming Zombie MMO. Whether or not this project ever moves beyond the "interesting webpage" phase remains to be seen, but it's a start.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

End of the Road

Friday was my last day at WizKids. I still had a fair amount of stuff to finish, so I stayed the whole day. They threw me a going-away potluck party, which was loads of fun. I cried a little when I read their card, but I don't think anyone saw me. Walking out of the office that last time was sad, too; Liz commented in the car that working at WizKids was the most stable things since we moved up here, and that's true.

It didn't take long before I went back: I cruised back in yesterday for a great game of History of the World with Jon, Seth, and a couple of guys from Green Ronin Studios, a local RPG publisher (who makes some great stuff, including the sourcebook that fueled our long-running Pirates campaign). It was a hell of a lot of fun, and compared with some of the other board games we've played recently, it was much easier to learn and not as unnecessarily complex.

Sadly, my poker losing streak continues. Today, I am avoiding poker and playing Guitar Hero and watching movies.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Are Your Cats Saved?

An important theological point:

    My own cats accepted Jesus into their hearts before they even opened their eyes. The light of salvation has brightened their lives, but perhaps the most noticeable change has been in me. I am filled with warmth knowing their eternal souls have been saved.

    Kittens' hearts, at birth, are filled with what theologians call "original mischief." Mischief, if left to grow on its own, can sprout into evil. That's why you must fill their hearts with Jesus instead.
Full article.