BiMonSciFiCon
Thursday, March 30, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
Now that I'm quite close to moving back to the mainland (yey!), I realize that many events that I've previously missed in the past 3 years are accessible once again. Case in point: Dragon*Con 2006!!!!

Dude, any event that features Mira Furlan (a.k.a. "Crazy French Lady on Lost" and/or "Delenn", depending on your level of geekdom), a 4 day sci-fi/fantasy writing workshop AND a panel dedicated to discussing Buffy the Vampire Slayer is totally awesome.

So, if anyone wants to join me for some serious geeking out this September, let me know. We can all go in on a room together. As a bonus, I may even consider doing a group costume thing, if folks want. Anyone interested? Anyone? Bueller?
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Bang!
Wednesday, March 29, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
Apparently, I am the sniper rifle. Cool. Now I want to run home and queue up Halo 2....







What Halo Weapon Are You?




Congratulations, you're the Sniper Rifle!
Take this quiz!

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NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Tuesday, March 28, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
*Sigh*.... Arrested Development show runner quits

So much for my pipe dream of continued Bluth family goodness on Showtime next season. Congratulations FOX. You've killed another great show. Thank God you've still got "quality" programming like The War At Home on the air. Bleech.
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Glutton for punishment
Tuesday, March 28, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
Anyone who knows me well knows that I think Uwe Boll is some kind of evil genius. He's a genius (or Jedi Master), because he consistently makes TERRIBLE movies, and yet still convinces people to give him millions of dollars to make more. He also convinces fairly reputable actors to keep starring in his awful movies. And he's evil because, well...see above. Not only are they just terrible, they go far beyond that: they are masterpieces of crap, totally unredeemable, laughably produced and the most perfect examples of how NOT to make movies.

So, it's sort of sad and funny to see Kristanna Loken try to defend Uwe Boll's work. I mean, yeah, no one wants to admit that they starred in a shitty movie. And sure, it's probably poor form to bad mouth people you've worked with. But come on! Just avoid the question, pretend you didn't hear it, whatever, but certainly don't claim that he's anything other than the most hackiest hack who's ever lived.

However, I loathe Uwe Boll so much, and yet I can't stay away from him. It's almost hyponotic to watch one of his films and point out all the terrible flaws. I've watched the unwatchable "House of the Dead" like four times now. And I'm seriously considering either renting or buying the DVD, just so I can listen to the commentary and make fun of it (my rationale is that the commentary would be a good candidate for my other site, Commentary Commentary). Aieee! God help me, I almost want to rent his other stuff, just to see if it sucks as badly.
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More Foozball news
Friday, March 24, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
Keyshawn Johnson signs with the Carolina Panthers. Good for him. After being unceremoniously dumped by Dallas for Giant Jerk #1 T.O., it's good to see Johnson land somewhere else that will hopefully be good for him. Johnson certainly was a contendor for GJ#1 standing a few years ago, but he's been a fairly good citizen while at Dallas, so it's nice to see that good behavior rewarded with a nice contract. The Panthers are gunshy about misbehavior, so they must think well of him to pick him up.

This makes the already deadly Panthers a more powerful team for next year. Steve Smith singlehandedly destroyed the Bears in the playoffs. Imagine what kind of numbers he could put up now that a serious talent like Keyshawn is sharing the field. If I were opposing DBs, I'd be very concerned.

Anyway, moving on (since some of you could probably care less about football talk), last night we finally got around to watching the first two episodes of the new Doctor Who series on Sci-fi. It was pretty impressive stuff. Definitely meant for hardcore geeks only, though. The plots were more Farscape than Star Trek, which may turn some folks off. I mean, when your first two villians are a blob of living plastic and a piece of skin with a face that is wheeled around on a big rack, you're in pretty far out territory.

Is it me, or is Christopher Ecceleston strangely sexy? That's probably why he works so well as The Doctor for me. His blondie sidekick is sort of plain, but her British accent is cute at least. I'm definitely tuning in for at least 2-3 more episodes. I'm not saying it's on season pass yet, but it seems like a contender.

In other news, there was no new "The Office" on last night. Boo!
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delicious!
Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
From the MSNBC website:

Site reveals Cheney's hotel requirements

....forgets to mention "2 pints of virgin's blood in fridge" and "innocent babies for snacking".

Also, SoaP fever hits. All I can say about this movie poster? "Oh HELL yes!"
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Clack clack clack!
Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
The latest buzz in the blog world is about a law professor who banned laptops in her classroom. Far be it for me to let such an item pass without comment.

On the "con" side of banning laptops you have the students, who are up in arms. Frankly, it all sounds a little whiny to me. Check out this one blurb:
"If we continue without laptops, I'm out of here. I'm gone; I won't be able to keep up," said student Cory Winsett, who said his hand-written notes are incomplete and less organized.
Hmmm...let's see here. Sounds a little bit like, "I never learned proper shorthand or good note-taking techniques, so everyone else should kowtow to my desired method of transcription." Look, when I was in junior high school, they emphasized how to take good shorthand notes. I learned helpful abbreviations, formatting techniques, etc. And most importantly, I learned how to separate out important points on the fly. Note taking isn't about word-for-word transcription. It's about hitting the major points, to jog your memory later. The emphasis still should be on listening.

Can you see this guy in a trial? "Um, excuse me judge, but the prosecution is speaking too fast and I can't keep up with my notes. Tell him to slow down or let me use my clacky laptop." I don't think so.

If the student is so damn concerned that he's going to miss something, I'm positive that the professor would have no problem with him bringing in a tape recorder (or the digital type). Then he could concentrate on the lecture and transcribe it later in the comfort of his own room, using his damn laptop if he wants.

Frankly, I've been in classrooms with computers or laptops and it was awful. For me personally, it was just too tempting to zone out and surf the web. Plus, it was distracting, because my neighbor played Bejeweled all class long, so I had to listen to the incessant clicking of her mouse. It was like Chinese water torture after awhile. Even those students who were actually taking notes were really distracting, because I had to listen to the clacking of their keyboards.
The beauty of college is that you have a choice to be there. So if the laptop thing is SUCH a big deal, don't take the goddamn class. Transfer to a school where they let you use laptops all the time. If you have a such a severe learning disability that you absolutely must have one, I'm sure the professor can make a case-by-case determination. But most students don't need the damn thing and I think she's right to ban them.

Okay, enough for today. Off my soapbox and back to work.
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Obvious
Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
I love this headline I saw posted over at Yahoo! News:

Bush Urges Iraqis to Form Government

Iraqis: Gee, thanks. That thought hadn't occured to us AT ALL until you said something.
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Sleeplessness
Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
So I've been suffering from a lack of sleep lately, which makes doing normal things like writing coherent posts or actually accomplishing productive work nearly impossible. Still, I don't want my blog to go 2 days without a post.

Instead of my normal ramblings, I instead present 2 pretentious poems of my own crafting to you, along with a picture of myself as a South Park character:

1.

I live inside this box

this Rubik’s Cube

six sides, each with a different face to show you

I keep thinking that if I twist and turn enough

eventually everything will line up

every surface will be perfect

each colored square in its place

Is that who I am?

Can I just keep adjusting until I look

just like the picture on the package?

Could I be complete if the blue squares were

allowed

to stay mingled with the red

passion and melancholy

the flip sides of love?


When I turn under you

your hands feel rough on my sides

2.

Tie a black ribbon ‘round the old oak tree

to celebrate the death of me

and drink a toast to the measure of my worth

a mouth full of blood and sand

and shattered earth

Rage slides across the land like oil and burns

black smoke clouds the eyes

unheard above the cacophony of fear

from the lips of we monkeys chattering

past sins phoenix-like now rise

We are brothers you and I

in all the ways we find to hate

from the cradle of life

to the valley of death

We are two Cains, unable

to see beyond our fathers lies.




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This just in:Terrell Owens is still a bastard
Monday, March 20, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
....but now he's a bastard with a new team. Pundits think this is a super deal for both T.O. and the Cowboys. We'll see. Like I said before, if anyone can keep this jerk in line, it's probably Parcells and Jerry Jones (maybe being a giant jerk helps you understand how to deal with other giant jerks).

It's still raining like a bitch here in Hawaii. And by "like a bitch" I mean "9 feet in 3 weeks". No new rockslides to report, thank god. The Boy wants to buy a moped to replace the crushed car. Hmm. Not the sexiest conveyance out there, but practical nonetheless.

In other news, I finally got my special Criterion Collection DVD of the Silence of the Lambs. It features an amazing commentary by Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and a real life FBI serial killer expert. It was a really fascinating commentary track. Jodie Foster is hella smart, yo. Look for my review on Commentary Commentary soon. I'm just about done with my review of the 40 Year Old Virgin, so that'll be up today or tomorrow too.
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Bud Selig is an idiot
Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
So. Bud Selig is going to "look into" Barry Bonds's alleged steriod use. Uh huh. To what end? Selig pussyfooted around the issue for years, refusing to take action even while Sammy Sosa's and Mark McGwire's forearms and neck were swelling to suspicious sizes and they started hitting zillions of home runs. By the time Bonds got around to breaking the record, Selig STILL had not done anything to impose anti-steriod rules in baseball. So what can he do now to prosecute Barry?

Look folks, I think steriods are ridiculous, I think it's clearly cheating, I think that any athlete who uses them should be banned from their sport. I think it's bullshit that Barry gets to be in the record book ahead of Ruth and Aaron. But since we all turned a blind eye to the issue, can we really lead a push to ban Bonds from the Hall of Fame now?

There's no way that a man goes from looking like this in the prime of his life (1990, when he was 26) to looking like this when he's in his 40's without a lot of artificial improvement .

Can you really look at this Sports Illustrated photo essay and not think that clearly the man was on steriods? Forget the drug tests (which, recent evidence shows, are very uneffective), forget any open admission from Barry... the proof is in the photographic pudding. The proof is in the numbers.

Barry is a jerk, which makes it even easier to cheer for his downfall. But even if the man were a saint on every other level, he'd still be a freaking cheater. It's time to admit that and move on.

Should he go in the Hall of Fame? Maybe. His numbers were good enough before. But if Pete Rose can't go in, why should Barry? Even if Barry gets in, you have GOT to caveat the record books with an asterix explaining that he's only #1 because he used steriods. And if you do that, you're gonna have to do that for Sosa and McGwire and maybe dozens more in the future.

Baseball needs to make a firm stand now and establish a hardline policy regarding performance enhancing drugs. They need to establish rules about how users may or may not be recognized in the HoF if there's credible evidence that they cheated.

*Sigh*...this is why I never watch baseball anymore.
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Hooky
Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
There's nothing more satisfying then having a valid excuse not to go to work. I mean, what a glorious delight to be shopping, look down at your watch and realize that normally you'd be wasting away in your cube at work, praying for the end of the day. That was me yesterday. Now, technically I did do work, as I was out in the field doing inventory at one of our sites. Still, if my job consisted of more field work like that and less "sit at my desk and come up with amusing mini-games to keep from killing myself from boredom", I'd probably like it a lot more.

Part of my day was also spent at sick call, which again...technically I was at "work" at an alternate place of duty. I had a bunch of lab tests done and since I hadn't eaten that morning, I almost passed out while giving blood. I hate that feeling man. That must be what it feels like to die from bleeding out - you get really cold, your vision blurs, the room starts to fill with intense bright light and it sounds like you are underwater. Brrrr...creepy.

Anyhoo, as you can see, my posting rate is picking up. I'm hoping to post at least once a day if possible. So, check back everyday for new content! Also, visit my other site (http://commentarycommentary.blogspot.com) and check out my very first DVD review!
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NFL off-season action
Tuesday, March 14, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
A few comments on the recent activity around the NFL this week:

  1. It's good to see that that asshole T.O. has finally been released - Now to see which team is going to be stupid enough to actually sign him. Rumor has it that the Cowboys may be angling to pick him up (since they recently released Keyshawn Johnson). I certainly won't mind having another reason to hate the Cowboys. Then again, I like Drew Bledsoe, and there's the possibility that if there's any coach who might reform T.O. (or at least get him to behave like a semi-decent human being), it's probably The Tuna. We'll see. Personally, I hate big jerks, so I'm hoping T.O. fails miserably and goes on to become a cautionary tale for other athletes considering being big selfish jerks.
  2. Big shuffles happened today. To wit: Culpepper goes to the Dolphins, Brees is off to the Saints and Edgerrin James is headed to Arizona. That's some pretty significant movement right there.
  3. Culpepper should fit in well in Miami - they started looking pretty good last season, which was essentially a rebuilding year for them, and for once they have a potent weapon at the running back position. If they make some smart moves and shore up their receiving core, Culpepper could return to form next year. Is it too early to start predicting a playoff run for the Dolphins? Probably.
  4. The Saints acquiring Brees is intriguing for several reasons. Popular opinion had them drafting either Matt Leinart or Vince Young with the second pick. Now that's sort of up in the air - do they count on Brees recovering from his surgery and returning to Pro Bowl form and spend the first round draft pick filling another gap, or do they go ahead and draft Young or Leinart anyway? Both are enticing picks and would be a nice ace in the hole in case Brees doesn't work out. We all know that Brees didn't really step up his game until Phillip Rivers appeared on the scene and theatened his job. Maybe a first tier rookie will push Brees to perform. Then again, why pay big bucks (as the Chargers did) drafting a high-profile pick, only to have him sit the bench, possibly indefinitely? Sports Illustrated seems to think the Saints might trade the #2 pick to the Jets for the #4 pick, and use it to draft the best defensive end in the draft. That makes sense to me, and I can see it playing out that way. Whatever happens, good luck to Brees, who I've always liked as a player (and who single handedly saved my fantasy team a few times last year)
  5. We'll also see what happens with the Chargers next year. LaDanian Tomlinson is still one of the best running backs in the league (and was a legitimate MVP candidate, probably ending up #2 behind Alexander), so it's not like the Chargers are without any weapons. The big question is how Phillip Rivers will perform. He's had 2 years to learn the Chargers system. Then again, he's had 2 years of sitting on his ass, and you've got to think that might affect him too. Lord knows that Chargers fans won't be very patient with him - look for the boos to come quickly if he doesn't perform well in the first few games. The specter of Ryan Leaf still hangs over this franchise, so the GM is pretty much betting his job on whether or not this kid can perform.
  6. James going to the Cardinals could be big. Then again, after last year (when everyone picked the Cards to go far into the playoffs), I'm not betting anything on the Cards until I see some solid proof they have improved. Acquiring James could be the first step towards that. Then again, I said that when they got Kurt Warner, so what the hell do I know?
  7. Antwaan Randle-El to the Skins... eh. With no real offense to speak of, what's he really going to do there? Trick plays only work if you have some sort of viable offense.
All of this is making the upcoming NFL draft even more interesting than before (if that's possible). There are some serious players available in the draft this year, and combined with the free agency shuffle, the NFL playoff landscape could look a LOT different next year than this year. However, the one thing we can count on probably is that the Bills will continue to be miserable as usual.
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Lesson learned
Tuesday, March 14, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
Twice in the past two days I've made a critical mistake: I've asked a co-worker how they're doing lately. Their response? One woman launched into a 20 minute long story about how she dislocated two of her ribs, complete with gory details and a step-by-step recounting of how the therapy is going. The second man responded with a 30 minute story about how his 14 year old daughter cracked her head open while skateboarding and was now just getting out of ICU. She wasn't wearing a helmet (I had to bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is EXACTLY the sort of thing that happens when you don't enforce simple safety practices like wearing a seatbelt or always wearing protective gear like helmets).

Lessons learned:
  • Don't ask broad questions unless you've got half an hour to spare
  • Ask simple "yes/no" questions

  • ALWAYS make sure your kids wear helmets when skateboarding

  • It's better to be anti-social at work, since you won't have to listen to long stories like that if you don't want

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Rock Slide
Sunday, March 12, 2006 | Author: Mad Typist
So, The Boy and I live on the top of a big mountain. Actually, it's an extinct crater, the center of which contains the famous National Memoral Cemetary of the Pacific. The apartment was a real steal, as it is close to everything we need and it is beautiful to boot. We have a really killer view of the ocean, the Pali mountains and all of downtown Honolulu.

However, the downside of living on the side of a mountain became quite evident last week. Picture this: The Boy walks out to his car, which is parked up on the road along the mountainside (we only have 1 parking spot in the garage). He's just about to put the key in the door when he realizes that there's something different about his car this morning. Specifically, there are four giant boulders sitting on top of his now crushed hood. Apparently the recent monsoons we've been experiencing here in Hawaii caused part of the mountain to weaken, which started a mini rock slide. A rock slide that ended on top of the car. According to The Boy, the rocks were the size of computer monitors.

So, now the car is totalled beyond repair. Crazy, eh?

Stay tuned for pictures, once I get the roll developed.
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