Monday, April 30, 2012

in honor of National Poetry Month (that was April), here's a poem for ya'll:

what do clouds worship
is it the sun
no it is not
as that is only some star
how about the moon
no not a loveless rock
and it is not
music
death
a breeze
the blue sky
or earth
what they worship
are our dreams



And, just for old times sake, here's April's wordle word cloud (including this post):

       Wordle: blog-4-2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

a real cut up

Was randomly searching thru TVTropes.org in an attempt to find something to blog about, and discovered the following video, which is certainly not for the squeamish.

It's a collection of "cut slices" from various movies. The 'diagonal cut' trope is when someone is cut by a wire or a sword or a laser beam or whatever, but don't fall apart right away.  (Trust me, when you start to see them, you'll recognize the trope)

The video itself is nearly four minutes long. And, oddly, makes we want to track down some of these movies to figure out where they came from. (But, then, I am a sucker for stuff that is kinda bad)

Anyway. Here be the video:

Cut Slide Movie Montage - Watch More Funny Videos

Saturday, April 28, 2012

today did have good moments.

Free hot dogs (woooo!)
Playing Coin Battle with Harper
discussing story ideas and writing with Harper
walking down to the corner market and getting a pepsi
reading more of my book (Nocturnal by Scott Sigler)
watching Puss in Boots, and having popcorn

however, I have had a headache for the past 6 hours, and I have been a less than ideal father to the littlest ones, in particular, plus, I'm just not happy with the writing sitch and I just got an email from work about missing commercials for Monday (3 of which I KNOW should be there, but will have to wait until I get in to take care of - unless I actually go down to the station and fix it on Sunday)...  my point is that I hope tomorrow is, overall, a better day than today was, and really, the only person in charge of that is myself.

Friday, April 27, 2012

not Death Eaterist

Was a reason ever given in the Harry Potter universe as to why wizards keep their society a secret from muggles?


If the world at large knew about magic...then it would probably end up regulated and watched over (as much as it could be, at any rate. I mean, the wizarding world attempted to do so, with varying degrees of success). But, it would probably be helpful to have EVERYONE on the lookout for someone like Voldemort, rather than just the Order of the Phoenix, no?

On the other hand, Voldy could've very easily taken Harry Potter out of the equation if he had simply gone to the United States Army (or the UK's equivalent, I suppose) and said, "This Harry Potter person is a very powerful terrorist. He lives right here at Number Four Privet Drive." Maybe brought along a video showing him performing some spells as proof.

Just sayin', that if the secret society wasn't so secret, it may have solved a few problems. (Same could be said of any story that has a 'hidden secret society'. Exposing it to the world at large opens up a whole other can of worms, and I guess ultimately makes it a different story.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

worka worka work

Today was pretty typical, so it was nice that Harper and Irina got a chance to witness a taste of what I go thru 5 days a week.

Oddly, even though I didn't even work a full day (we went in at 8, took an hour lunch, and left at 330) I am WAY more tired than normal. Of course, I did do a lot more driving than I typically do, because after we got home, we drove out to Henderson (and back home) but I was feeling the exhaustion before then.

Harper helped with some of the filing and putting together of the logs, and I did do some explaining of the actual aspects of my job, so I think she has a better grasp on what it is I do each day (and probably has a little more sympathy for when I come home completely drained). That being said, I'd be kinda surprised if she decided to attend TYCTWD next year.I think she probably feels that she "gets" it enough. Although maybe she'd want to because she'd get a chance to spend more time with me.
It really was cool to have her there, even if she was bored for at least a portion of the day. If I could plan it out better, to make sure that she had tasks for the entire day...

Anyway.  For now, I am going to wrap this up and see if everyone is ready for bed. (Most likely no, since everyone [but me and Steph] had naps in the van during the drive. But, holy majolie, am I tired.)
All in all, an enjoyable day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

8 months til Xmas

Just sayin'.

I have absolutely nothing to blog about, but I'm blogging anyway. Because that always ends so well.

Earlier, there was a kernel of an idea of a story bubbling around in my head (since, yeah, I need ANOTHER story idea to focus on), but it didn't pop. It was something about aliens landing, and offering to trade something we have a lot of for something else, that we don't have at all. For example, they would take the world's population of kittens, and exchange them for unicorns.

I do want to do some fiction writing this month, because, as I stated, that was the whole point of blogging daily, so hopefully this weekend I'll get motivated enough to do so. I also need to figure out which story I'm gonna go with. Which means I should wrangle up a random number generator. (Or, if any readers out there wanna throw out a number between one and ten, that'll work just as well, I suppose)

At least I [should] have something to blog about for tomorrow. It's Take Your Child To Work Day, and the plan is for Harper and Irina to attend the day at the office with me. I should ste...borrow Steph's camera for the day so I could take photos to accompany the blog entry. Hmm.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ache, head variety

Yeah, I ve got a pretty bad headache right now, and I suspect that a lot of it is stress related, and I feel like I should just ....stp bitching, try to relax, and enjoy my time with my family.

And maybe if I did that, I'd relax enough that my headache might disappear (or dissipate, somewhat) but...

This month has been simultaenously way too long, and way too short. How's that possible?? I think blogging every day has [ugh, i can't think of the word i want to use. accredited? accrewed? submitted? accomplished? participated? anticipated? helped? ...for the love of Bon Jovi, it is none of those words, but it's like i'm dancing right around it] to that.

I was going to end this entry with a youtube video, but, amazingly the song I was going to link to does not have a video. So, I just recommend you go to grooveshark.com (or whatever music listening to website you prefer) and load up "Political Statement" by Barnes and Barnes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

did you ever have to make up your mind

oh, goody. the van woes continue!!

Evidently, the van IS a "total loss", based on the estimating powers of the Jim Marsh auto body shop, and the American Family dude.

However, they've given us two choices:

Choice 1) Give up the van, and receive the 80% [grrr!!] of the Blue Book Value (which was five-thousand somethingish), resulting in us getting approximately $4105.

Choice 2) We keep the van, and it becomes labeled "salvage", and we get a reduced amount of money for this - approximately $2800.

If we go with choice 2, we have to get the van repaired, have it pass an inspection from the DMV, and reregister it with them. Apparaently the "salvage" label then gets stuck on the van's title, and it would significantly reduce the value of the vehicle. (Not that it was worth all that much money to begin with...)

Choice 1 would mean we'd have the 4 thousand to shop around for a new (old) vehicle, but the hunting we've done so far has not resulted in a lot of positive leads. If we could guarantee that we could get a vehicle for >2000ish, and that it would not have a buttload of problems...that would be ideal. But, then, life has no guarantees.

And while the van does have ....quirks that bug me, if we were able to get it repaired and back on the road for 1900 or so, then going with choice 2 would be a good way to go, because we know our van does run...

Baaaah. Steph told the dealer to give us a day to think it over, but at this point I still don't know which way I'm leaning. Maybe we'll just flip a coin.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

ups & downs

man, today has been freaking crazy. ups and downs galore. and it hasn't really been that busy of a day, just a very emotional one, I suppose.

High (and low!) lights:

Got a little further in Lego Harry Potter (years 1 -4).

Had a date with Stephanie! We went to the bookstore (just like olden times!!), and they had some sort of Star Wars ...thing going on. There were several people dressed in storm trooper costumes, and jedi outfits, and there was even a R2-D2 robot there, which made very loud R2-D2 noises. Silas would have loved it. (or been freaked out)

On our date, we talked about the insurance fiasco, and I have to say, I'm feeling extremely anxiety-filled about how tomorrow is going to shake out. I suppose that my brain is thinking that the absolute worst case scenario is going to happen. And that is pretty much this: That the van is undrivable AND that we don't get any money from the insurance company.

We'll see.

Remember The Project? (No? Yeah, well, that's because the last time I was working on it was 5 years ago.) But today Harper helped me work on it some more!! I'm all (re)excited about it again! So cool.

Went for a drive with Irina in the rental car, and saw two rabbits and a hummingbird. Sometimes our neighborhood is pretty nifty.

One of our turtle peeps died. Irina and Silas discovered it's body in the backyard this evening. It was upside down, near a bush. We're not sure how it got flipped onto it's back - unless a cat somehow flipped it over? - because there was nothng nearby that it could have been crawling onto and fallen. I feel so horrible. Poor turtle peep. The larger one is still alive (as far as we know, we were unable to locate it, but are assuming it was in it's burrow), though, so that's good.

I can't believe it's Sunday night already. Freaking weekends don't last long enough at all.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Vice Versa

I took the van down to a body shop today to get a second, real estimate on the repairs from the accident (that was almost two months ago now. Holy Jesus, have I made it clear how much I DESPISE American Family Insurance??), and wound up driving home a different vehicle. Yup. TL;DR version - we are currently driving a rental car - a compact Nissan Versa, that doesn't fit all 6 of us, and barely fits 5. Hopefully we'll have the van back on Monday.

Now, for the boring details:

I woke up - grudginly - at 7:30, and drove down to the body shop. When I got there, I found out that I had to come back home to get the original estimate paperwork so that they could work from there.
So, after driving back home, locating the paperwork, stopping to put some gas in the van, and then driving back to the body shop, the nice estimator lady took a quick look at the van's damage. She jotted down a few notes, and then  we returned to her computer where she input the info, only to tell me that we were quite possibly looking at a "total loss" factor at this point. But, she said, that they wouldn't TRULY be able to tell without getting the hood off, and looking at the radiator frame.

But, she said that American Family would put me up in a rental car until that could be determined, and basically, I didn't have a lot of other choice, because the hood was gonna have to come off at SOME point, and once it got opened, it might not be close-able again, which would render the van undriveable.
I mentioned to her at this point that American Family was a bunch of douchebag mother fuckers. (I may have used kinder words) and that they were attempting to screw us over by not giving us 100% of the estimate because of Stephanie's statement to them regarding how the accident went down. (They're saying they'll pay 80%, because Steph "didn't look to see if she could see him backing up". Um. Yeah. Why would anyone look that way? You aren't going to be expecting traffic coming down the WRONG DIRECTION.)

Anyway.

She suggested that we call our Insurance company, (which we haven't done yet because we only have liability coverage, so it's not like they're going to pony up the other 20% that AmFam won't pay...but maybe they would?  I dont' know. I'm still waiting to see what happens come Monday, but I might call Progressive just to see what, if anything, can be done.) because they might be "able to go after American Family".  But then she put in the notes that the coverage of the repairs at this point were 80/20, with a note that that might change.

She then told me that on Monday they would open the hood and find out the extent of the rest of the damage inside, and they'd also call the American Family estimate dude, and get his take on the matter.

In the meantime, I was sent down the hall to the rental car company, where I got our way small compact car that has the tiniest cutest little "beep" when the alarm is set. And it has about 40 different blind spots. But, it accelerates super quickly, and has an AC that works on all 4 settings, and has windows that work, and the doors are all shut according to the sensors, and it has working turn signals, and the cd player ejects cds on the first push of the eject button rather than the 2nd or 3rd... so, it's got all those points over the van.

We'll have to see, come Monday, what the latest development will be with the van and AmFam and what they're going to pay.


Friday, April 20, 2012

numerology is a farce

right?

except that earlier today I said "Man, today is a magnet for shitstorms, ain't it?" (In reference to the fact that today is the anniversary of the Columbine shootings, the Oklahoma City bombing* and the Waco disaster*, and Hitler's birthday.

*These two events actually took place on April 19th, which proves...something.

The 20th of April, 2012 has been a pretty typical day, all in all. But the past few minutes I've been grumpy as hell, and it's prob....it IS due to my own choosing...I'm just having a difficult time focusing on things that are good.

 Maybe it's fate. Maybe it's the date. Maybe it's because of something I ate.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

blaaaaaaaaank

I really have been sitting here for over 20 minutes now, attempting to come up with something - anything - worth reading. So frustrating!

Of course, I haven't been *just* sitting here, I've also been playing on Jelli, listening to tunes, and skimming wikipedia pages.

None of which, of course, is helping me in blogging.  Eh. Sometimes you just have to know when to quit. And now, I believe is one of those times. I'm just gonna finish up this sentence, hit "publish" and go downstairs and watch The Office.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

played hooky

more or less how today went down:

445a - woke up, fed the cats, called in to work
5a - went back to sleep
7a- woke back up, called work again, in an effort to find out how much work I'd be missing out on.
730a - received a phone call from American Family Insurance
830a - called Jim Marsh Chevrolet, determined we'd take the van down there on Saturday for them to take a (second) look at the damage and give us an estimate. (Yesterday we discovered that the hood does not open. Which means that the cost for repairing it is most likely going to be more than the original estimate was)
10a- left to go to Harper's final acting class
1030a - waited, while Harper rehearsed for the play she'd be participating in.
12p - watched Harper's play. She did great!! I was very proud of her, and believe that acting is really good for her. It was great to see her improv skills at work (her deciding to use the spray bottle was pretty funny), and I'm just glad taht I decided to take the day off in order to see her do this.
1245p - drove to DQ for lunch. Had KFC instead. The Colonel was there!!
1:10p - had desert at DQ
1:30p - drove to a park, where the kids and I played. Harper did her maniac-chase thing that frightens me into running away.
2..something pm - headed home. Harper found a switchblade at the park on the way out.
330p - left to go to Half-Cat* Lawyers in order to sign the papers to finalize the bankruptcy
4p - signed lots of papers
430p - left Half-Cats, grabbed some complimentary cookies (laced with something??)
5p- hyper good mood - cookies influence, perhaps?
545p - coin battle with Harper. until dinner time.
6p - went to get Domino's pizza for dinner
7p - ate, and then watched Saren perform in some sort of Starcraft tournament that was streaming online. She won one round, whihc earned her 3 tickets for the raffle at the end that would get her a free pizza (I think the drawing/raffle is this Friday??). Awesome.
...and that was pretty much it.
Sadly, no zombie apocalypse, and it wasn't as exciting as Ferris Bueller's day, but overall, absolutely a good day, and I'm 100% glad I called in.

*not the real name of the law firm

Playing Hooky

If Hollywood is reading, feel free to steal this idea:

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off", for adults.

Have a nearly 40-something year old grown up decide to skip work (I'm thinking Ben Stiller [who is probably nearer to 50, but whatever or maybe Steve Carell, but that's probably because we've been watching a lot of The Office lately] but I guess Hollywood would probably go with like Seth Rogen or something.)
 And perhaps he decides to play hooky with his buddy(ies) (Ed Helms/that one guy that is always with Seth Rogen in his films/some SNL second-tier actor looking for his next break).
Or perhaps he has a healthy relationship with his teenaged son/daughter (God, I don't even know. Chloe Moretz would be awesome, because she is made of win. But I'm so out of touch with young actors/actresses, that I don't even know who they should go with) and decides he's going to have them skip school as well.

Anyway. Everyone is enjoying the day off (while having to, of course, avoid being found out by the boss/principal [is Edward Rooney still alive?]) and then it turns out that the freaking zombie apocalypse is happening.

In my mind, there is a line earlier in the film wherein someone says something along the lines of "Skipping work for one day isn't going to be the end of the world."

Or, perhaps slight variation - Grownup Ferris (or whatever his name would be - this wouldn't be a sequel to FBDO, after all, just a film made in the same vein) skips work, along with at least one or two friends, while trying to keep it a secret from the boss and kids. AND THEN the zombie apocalypse happens, and they have to get their kid out of school... and maybe nobody believes them about the ZA... I don't know.

Anyway. "Playing Hooky" would be the title, and while it would probably suck, I just have to say that I would watch the hell out of any movie that was "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" meets "Night of the Living Dead".

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

what I'd really like dad is to borrow the car keys, see you later, can i have them please

Steph cut Silas's hair today!! He looks so much older now.
When I came home from work, he ran up to the door to greet me, with his hands over his ears, hiding the majority of his haircut, and then said, in that impish way of his, "Look at me! I'm a boy!"
Irina also got her hair shortened (she & Si really are peas in a pod), so I'll have to see if Stephanie has pictures for me to post later. (She did put some up on her facebook account, apparently, so if you're into that, there ya have it.)

It's crazy how quickly the children are growing up. Time really does go at a faster pace as you get older (or at least has the appearance of doing so) but that doesn't mean I like it. One month from now, Silas will be turning 3, which is just insane. How can three whole years have passed since he arrived in the world already??

Monday, April 16, 2012

scrambled

just a random bunch of thoughts.

I'm getting ready to cook the first  barbecue of the year. Mmm. Cheeseburgers and hotdogs.

American Family Insurance (ha! I originally typed "Unsurance") is irritating as all hell. Just pay us the damn money that we're owed. >: (

Work is cruddy, but a coworker I like is having an even rougher time over hte past few days. I hate that that place can make people cry.

Saw Apollo 18 yesterday, but I can't seem to generate enough of a response to make a haiku review of it. It looked good (except when it didn't stick to it's '1970s camera' gimmick, which was irritating) but the plot was pretty desolate (just like the moon!) and there weren't a lot of scares, for a supposed 'horror' movie. Meh.

We let our butterflies go yesterday. (oh, yeah, for those [nonexistent?] people who read my blog, but not my wife's, we had ordered some caterpillars a few weeks back.)

The month is now officially over half way over, and I still haven't written any [new] fiction, which was the goal of this 'blog every day' exercise. Hmm.

Okay. time to cook dinner.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

We're gonna need a bigger boat.

It was 100 years ago that nature pointed out the folly of man thru the use of an iceberg and a giant passenger liner. Crazy!

I think it would be interesting to visit an alternate universe wherein the Titanic did NOT sink. How different would things be, I wonder? Obviously there would be no Titanic movie from 1997. (Or Titanic 2, from 2010 -which is set on TODAY'S DATE!!) And the phrase, "rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic" would not exist. (Also, this blog post wouldn't exist.) And of course, the thousands of people who did perish that night would have survived, and who knows what type of butterfly effects they would have... But it would still be interesting to compare our two universes.

I'd also be greatly interested in reading a story (or watching a [most likely pretty bad] movie) wherein there were werewolves onboard the Titanic. (and thus, the sinking of the ship was a good thing [relatively speaking])
[edit - oh, cool! Someone WROTE THIS!! There's a book called "Fateful" by Claudia Grey that is about this very thing. I *may* have to check it out]

Or, perhaps, I'd like to watch the Titanic super 3d remake...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

angry kittens, grumpy chinchillas, and loser accomplishments

According to the stats that google has provided, "angry kitten attacks", "grumpy chinchilla", and "accomplishments are for losers" are among the top keyword phrases that have led to my blog.

The internet is a strange and wonderful thing.

My apologies (to my three readers - and anyone searching for grumpy chinchillas) for the lackluster blog entry today. It's late, and I'm feeling rather uninspired to write. Will attempt to write sooner tomorrow.

Friday, April 13, 2012

true

"Hey there," said the as-yet-undefined character in her (his?) as-yet-undefined voice. "Wanna write about my adventure, parentheses s?"

"Are you speaking to me?" I asked in response.

"That's entirely up to you," the character replied. "But I suppose, yes, I am. So... do you?"

I considered. "Well," I said, "Maybe. I mean, I haven't even defined YOU yet, let alone what type of adventure, parentheses s, you would have that I'd be writing about."

The character (whom, I'm informed, would really like a name....and a gender) said, "Again, that would be up to you, ultimately. But, you know, we could find out together. Just start writing about my adventure -singular to start with - and see where it takes us."

That sounded sorta reasonable. So of course I had reservations. "Let me ask you this, character, why would you want ME to write about you? Don't you know the odds are that I will end up abandoning you mid-journey (or, even one-fourth-journey)? And your dialogue is going to be ... sub-par, at best."

"Witty response," the character wittily responded.

"I don't exactly know what to say to that." I said.  "But here's the thing. I truly don't know WHAT to do with you. Lately, as you are well aware, I have been having an extremely difficult time getting any writing done."

"No problem," was the comeback from the fictional individual, "you've already started, so we're on our way."

I looked it over and said, "Nicely done, but it hardly counts as an adventure - or a story, even."

"No, but it counts as a blog entry, doesn't it?"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holy MaJelli

On June 30th, 2011, on my drive home, I had hit scan on the radio, like I've been known to do,  and stopped when the dial hit 94.5 and was playing some alternative song that I liked. I don't remember what it was. But 94.5 wasn't something that typically picked up anything, so to hear something on that frequency warranted a pause and listen.

As I listened, the station identified itself as "the new Jelli - 100% user controlled radio". The next song that came on was another that I liked, so I opted to continue to listen.
After the song, an announcement informed me that all the songs were picked by the listeners. ORLY? That could be interesting, I thought. (Yes, I actually think "ORLY?" on occasion. I'm odd.)

But then, the next song was introduced as having been 'rocketed' by "Jelli user, El Guapo Ugly Face". Ha ha!! This station was getting better all the time! And the "person" introducing the songs was an electronic robot voice. Think Stephen Hawking's voice modulator. Or the software used for EAS Weather alerts. No humans, just a machine stating the usernames of people who were picking songs from the website (jelli.com).

I was intrigued.

When the next song was introduced as having been chosen by "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee", I was absolutely smitten. (I also laughed out loud for a good three or four minutes.)

Long story short (too late!), I joined up on Jelli.com the very next day (I would have done it that night, but didn't go online for whatever reason) and have been participating  on the site ever since.

Jelli radio is ...interesting. There are two stations here in Las Vegas that are now Jelli stations - 94.5, which plays "rock" (alternative and mainstream - whatever those terms even mean anymore), and 96.7, which plays top 40 remix... or something. I've listened to 96.7 a few times, but it's truly scary stuff. Dubstep and dance music that is way too repetitive way too repetitive way too repetitive way too repetitive.

And, yes, both stations playlists are (mostly) controlled by the people who frequent the website (or who use their smartphones to get the apps). It does give the sense of being able to control what songs play over the airwaves, which is a powerful sensation, even if it's slightly skewed. The songs played come from the catalog the station has available, so you're not gonna hear REALLY obscure odd things that aren't on other stations (except for when you do. heh.) And the way that songs are picked is thru a voting system, where all the listeners can provide a +1 or a -1 vote for any track. The higher score a song has, the more likely it is to get on the air. A song can get bumped to the top of the list by using a "powerup" they have called "rockets". But there are also powerups called "bombs", which reduce a song's vote total back to 0. (Bombing a rocketed song is a crappy thing to do, but that's one of the flaws in the jelli system. It promotes this type of behavior. More on that in a bit.)

In addition to voting a song up or down based on the # of votes, when a song is actually ON THE AIR, you can vote thumbs up ("Rocks") or thumbs down ("Sucks") and it will move a little meter up or down. If the meter gets completely filled with "rocks" votes, the person who rocketed that song will receive a bonus rocket in their arsenal - presumably as a reward for picking a song that everyone enjoys.
If, however, the meter gets completely filled with "sucks" votes - it will stop playing, instantly.
It doesn't happen much any more (there are way too many people who won't play along) but back when Jelli first started, I recall hearing one of my rockets ("Low" by Cracker) getting "sucked off the air". Midsong, it simply stopped playing, and the robot dj voice announced that the community had decided that that song sucked.

Despite that, Jelli continued to enchant me. I spent a lot of time voting songs up, and picking things to add to my "favorites", and adding people to "follow", and chatting with fellow 'jellis'. Enough, in fact, that after just a month on the site, I had obtained enough activity to be crowned "User of the Week", and earned an audio sigtone. Heh.

It's getting late, and I don't really have a point to this entry. Just wanted to mention Jelli on my blog. Which I've done. I should probably go to bed, but I did have some other things relating to Jelli I wanted to mention. While 94.5 is on the air, the real fun station(s) are the Internet Only stations. Also known as Jelli Green, Jelli Red, and Jelli Orange. (The colors don't really mean anything, near as I can tell) These three stations are "open genres", meaning they have EVERYTHING in them. It's not unusual to hear Seether, followed by Skrillex, followed by Debbie Deb. The color stations have some 6,800-ish pages of songs in them (each page has 20 songs on it, I think), and more stuff gets added all the time. The way that new songs are added is thru the Request Forums (or, if you're like me and have a pretty good relationship with one of the owners, you can send him PMs or emails directly...)

In fact, I dubbed today the Greatest Day In Jelli's History, because for MONTHS I have been wanting "Fish Heads" by Barnes and Barnes to get added to Jelli's catalog. And finally, today, it happened.

Sadly, the version that got added was not the version that I remember, but it was still a good song. (It appears that the version I know and love is not available ANYWHERE [except on the youtube video I'm putting at the end of this]. It's not on any CDs, and more importantly, it's not on Amazon.com's MP3 store [which is, as is my understanding, where Jelli gets their songs added from]. This is truly a crime against humanity, but, hey, we still have the 1:30 version, which is better than nothing.)

In conclusion, Jelli has a good number of flaws, but overall is super fun, and an interesting way to discover new music. I'd be happy to go on (and on and on) about it if there's any interest. Or, if you want, you should join. It's free, and I'm there all the time. Harper and Saren even made accounts as well. (Although I don't think Saren uses hers much.)

Anyway. Fish Heads:

Eat them up, Yummm!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

YCSTOT

This post should probably come with a warning. The amount of mindboggling dumbness could, actually, cause brain damage.

Consider that fair warning.

When I was in programming, I had to deal with the wonderful, censorship filled world of OBINs (Obscenity/Indecency) - basically swear words and nudity that hadn't been pre-filtered by the syndicators falls on the shoulders of the station's program director to catch and make sure it doesn't hit the air. I've  blogged about it before (you'll need to scroll down a bit if you want to read the original guidelines, I was in the midst of the 2005 word-a-thon back then...).

Anyway! Recently, the company revised the OBIN guidelines.
And... I... well, let me just post the update, and I'll add commentary after.


[...]After a recent talk with NBC Universal, several acronyms came under review. These acronyms have been popularized by text messaging and have entered mainstream vocabulary.
[...]please see our updated policy (attached) regarding them within programming and promotion, both audio and visually.

We prefer to stay away from all of the following, although we are OK with SNAFU since that has entered mainstream as a word. We are also OK with LMFAO when it refers to the band by that name. The following are deemed unacceptable:

BFD - big fucking deal
FUBAR - fucked up beyond all recognition
STFU  - shut the fuck up
OMFG - oh my fucking god
FML - fuck my life
DTF - down to fuck
MILF - mother I'd like to fuck and variations
WTF - what the fuck
MOFO - motherfucker
FTFW - for the fucking win (FTW is more common though - for the win)

Please share revised OBIN guidelines with appropriate staff.

...

Yeah.
They're acronyms.  Not the actual words. Letters standing in for the words.

Seriously??

But, SNAFU is okay, because people use that. (Do they? I mean, yeah, they do. But, I think I hear WTF or even FUBAR more often than I hear people use SNAFU) But, dudes. Come ON. If you're going to allow some of the acronyms, just allow them all.

However, the sentence that nearly threw me into cardiac arrest. "We are also OK with LMFAO when it refers to the band.." NO.
Nobody should EVER be okay with that "band". NO. BODY. It's just. NO.
It's a good thing I'm not in charge of this anymore, because, honestly, I wouldn't do it. I would not censor acronyms from television shows. Except, of course, for LMFAO. When referring to the band. So, honestly, they have it backwards. That's when we SHOULD censor it out. (Sorry. I have an (ir?)rational hatred of LAMEFO. Just typing they bands name causes me to cringe. So. Much. Hatred.)

The kicker on this update is that there are, at the very least, two instances where this will come back to bite them.
One of them is from 30 Rock - there's an episode that features a joke (throughout a large percentage of the show, if I recall) about "MILF Island" [a fictional reality television show]
Secondly, there's a joke in Modern Family where the parent is saying how he's so hip regarding online acronyms. He goes on to explain some of them: "LOL...laughing out loud, OMG...oh my god, WTF... why the face"
So, when that airs, are they going to remove that joke? Or just the WTF line? so. dumb.

But, then, I forgot that people are NUTS. (Never Underestimate Their Stupidity)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

blast from the past

I wrote the following story back on Jan. 29th, 1999. Back when I was keeping a journal. In paper!
(I did do a little googling of writer's blockage, and also skimmed a book i picked up from the libe, which provided a few ideas, and I'm thinking about writing NEW stuff, and I will, but not today. Just because, ironically, I can't decide which idea to run with. Ha!)

ANYWAY.
This is, as said, from over 13 years ago. Mourn the passage of time folks. Mourn it!! Okay, starting ...NOW:

I'm reading How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. Card i a sci-fi/fantasy writer who ha won many awards and sold plenty of books. No, he hasn't personally gone door to door selling books to housewives and househusbands - I meant to say that a good deal of the books he has written have been bought by people who read.  Or by really smart dogs. That have money to buy books - or other money costing items, for that matter. Or perhaps they've been stolen - you KNOW the black market demand for sci-fi books (particularly hardcover) is higher than high.

One such thief, we'll call him Randolph, used to be the best book thief in Arkansas - despite the fact that he lived in Tennessee. Randolph knew all the book-stealing secrets - and he'd even invented a few. He'd toyed with teh idea o writing his secrets of book-stealing in a handy "How to Steal Books" book, but the irony of such thoughts prevented him from doing so. Plus, Randolph was illiterate.

Randolph's favorite way of nabbing a book, his modus operandi, even, was to have the book (or, if he felt ultra-lucky, several books) in hand, walk up to the counter, and then point behind the clerk and shout, "Oh my god, look!!"

The clerk(s) would inevitably turn in fear to see what had frightened the customer so. At this point, Randolph would make a run for it. Many first timers would make the mistake of dropping the book and then running. Not Randolph. He would have the escape route planned ahead o time, of course. (It was not unusual for Randolph to "case a joint" days before "hitting" it.) (The previous sentence had two examples of book thief lingo. They were indicated by quotation marks. - Ed.)

Randolph's black market contacts were generally mafia-reject types. Of course, he also had the occasional really smart dog as a customer, but the majority of his clients were human. By "majority", I mean 51%. Of those who were not canine,   Randolph's favorite "buyer" was a woman of Native American heritage. She claimed to be a reincarnated Frank Sinatra - which would make her approximately 9 months old as of January '99.

Randolph was going one day to "deliver the goods" to his Indian woman book buyer when his life  changed forever.

He was approached by two large men wearing raincoats and those old '40's spy hats. At first Randolph thought the men were going to knock him over, but instead they grabbed him by the arms and led him into an abandoned building that always appear in instances such as this.

The men, each about the size of a planet, pushed Randolph against a wall and blocked all means of escape.

"Where ya goin' wid da book?" one of them growled. It came out BUK, and it sounded like a weapon.

Randolph had heard of the ABTP before, but had previously never encountered them. The ABTP, or Anti-Book Thief Police, were a clandestine organization that believed that all people (and really smart dogs) should PAY for books. They barely tolerated libraries and had even reportedly bombed a few. Until now Randolph had never been positive that they existed. Like many book thieves, he halfway considered the ABTP to be the equivalent of space alines or decency in Las Vegas- a thing only crackpots believed in. Now, though, the reality of the group was staring him in the face.

Thinking quickly, Randolph answered, "I'm going to my grandmother's house because she's sick. She likes it when I read to her."

The ABTP goons glanced at each other. Deciding that they didn't believe him, they pushed Randolph against the wall again, harder. "No," one of them grunted.

"The truth," said the other.

Hoping that the truth may be his best way out of this, Randolph began to tell them. "I'm... I'm going to sell it to a customer of mine."

The thugs seemed satisfied. A smile came across the face of one of them. Randolph relaxed a bit - perhaps these weren't ABTP after all, maybe they were prospective clients - or maybe they were fellow book thieves- or maybe they were just overly curious.

When he saw the gun, however, he understood that he had made a fatal mistake.

The officer drawing the gun pointed it at Randolph's head and cocked it. "Your kind make me sick," he spat.

Randolph closed his eyes, witness the majority of his life's events in a forth of a second, and prepared (as much as one can prepare for it) himself for death.

But the bullet did not come.

A full three seconds passed before he opened his eyes. When he did, he still saw the ABTP officers in front of him, but he could also see through them. In a state of shock and wonder and amazement and disbelief, Randolph realized that the men in front of him had been frozen. Literally turned into ice sculptures.

Tentatively, Randolph reached out and touched one - the one with the gun (which had also been changed). Surprisingly, he was not cold to the touch. In fact, the assumption that the men were ice was incorrect. They were liquid, but not frozen. Yet still retaining the human forms...how the hell?
Randolph could not believe his eyes. When his fingers went into the liquid gun, ripples were sent through the man-form.

"Amazing," Randolph whispered. He was in a state that could only be described as awe. He waved his hand in front of the eyes of the men and was not surprised when that issued no response.

Realizing that his current luck may run out, he decided to take the chance to escape. The water-men, however, blocked the way. He would have to go through them  - literally.

He pushed his hand into one of them, then pulled it out. His hand was wet. Being one who normally jumped right into things, Randolph jumpred right in. Or, right through. He emerged on the opposite side of his would be killers soaking wet - but otherwise unharmed. He looked back at the men and was a little surprised to see that they looked a few inches shorter. Of course, Randolph reasoned, I removed part of them just now. He shuddered at the thought. And a small, morbid part of him wondered what would happen to the men if they became flesh again.

"You'll find out, if you stay much longer," a voice from behind him said.

Randolph screamed in fright. He had not known he had company. He turned to see who had spoken, and nearly fainted when he saw the Native American woman he was supposed to sell the now soaked book to.

She was holding some sort of stick with feathers and beads on it in one hand - and a bottle of Evian in the other. Randolph put two and two together and managed to ask the woman, "Did  y-you do th-that?"

The Indian woman smiled, nodded.

"H-how?"

Her smile widened and she said simply, "I did it my way."


Monday, April 09, 2012

at least it's consistent

so, i have (at least) 7 different story ideas in various stages in my head. And I had hoped that I'd at least get *some* writing done this month. However, EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to start writing one of them, I freeze up.
Every. Single. Time.
Massively annoying. Tomorrow when I have some time, I'm going to google up some writer's block remedies, see if that spurs anything on.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Real Hero

I have to admit, Harper is the real hero (or is it Real Hero?) when it comes to New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

She defeated me in (some hilariously epic) Coin Battles, 10-4.

But  I think if we have a rematch, Yellow Toad may have some tricks up his sleeve. Yaaa!!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Zombie stories for people who don't like zombie stories

in honor of Easter, which is (supposedly) all about zombie Jesus, I'm gonna give you a list of zombie-related books that would be good reads, even if zombie stories aren't your thing. (And why wouldn't they be??)
But, regardless, these are good.

Feed by Mira Grant. (This is evidently the first in a trilogy, and I've yet to read any of the others in the series) Basically, it's year 2034, and  zombies have been around for 20 years. Whereas most zombie novels deal with the zombie-apocalypse happening, "Feed" focuses on how life goes on AFTER.
Bonus - the details of how the zombie virus affects the entire world (it's not just humans that are zombie-fied, it's all mammals over a certain weight. which means, among other things, zombie-giraffes.) are just incredibly well thought out and interesting.


Zombie, Ohio: A Tale of the Undead by Scott Kenmore.
So refreshing to have a zombie story told from the zombie's point of view. And even though the main character is a zombie, and thus, really, a monster, he's still sympathetic. This would make an amazing movie.

Monster Island, Monster Nation, and Monster Planet by David Wellington.
Everything I've read by David Wellington has been super enjoyable. The first and second are pretty much standalones, but reading book 3 without reading 1 would be a mistake. Interestingly, #2 is kinda a prequel to #1, and then #3 picks back up where 1 left off.  But all of them are unique takes on the typical zombie fare.



Friday, April 06, 2012

answers, such as they are

It's funny (not funny 'ha ha', but funny, 'hm'), I actually have a number of things that I want to blog about this month. Or, you know, at some point. But most likely this month while I'm on my 'blog every day this month' kick.
That's not the funny part (or, I guess, it could be, depending on your sense of humor). The funny part is that even though I have a growing list of possible blog entries in my brain, I am, yet again, finding myself at the end of the day, near exhaustion, with no ...whatever that word I'm looking for is.

But, upside? That means in the next few days (weeks?) when I've got more time to sit and blog, I'll totally have something to say! Exciting!

In the meantime, today's entry is gonna be me replying to the boq from 2 days back.

Like this:

If you could make a phone call to yourself 15 years in the past - but you could only speak for 10 seconds - what would you say? 
You know, I kinda do remember getting a bizarre phone call roughly fifteen years ago. The unidentified voice told me "ask her what kind of writing she does - it's a perfect pick up line." 
Death Star vs. Borg Cube. Which would win?
Resistance is futile. Borg FTW.
What songs/artists have you been listening to lately? Or, conversely, what song did you last hear on the radio (or internet or television or wherever)?
New (to me) artists that I'm really enjoying: Foxy Shazam, Local H, Garfunkel & Oates, Gotye*, Negativland.


Last song I heard on the radio on the drive home was "Such Great Heights" by Postal Service, which I'm frankly kinda tired of.


*I still like to randomly pronounce this band as either: Goat, Goat-yeah, Got ye, Go tie, Gyaaatee, or Goaty. And that is despite the fact that Amy did tell me the correct pronouncetiaon ...and of course, I don't recall what that was. Also, I don't know whether to applaud them or curse them for "Now You're Just Somebody That I Used to Know", because that phrase just does. not. leave. my. brain.

The Terminator franchise - what should be done with it?
I'd like to read (or write it myself, but I think reading it would be more likely) a remake of the original story where the T-800 is the protaganist. It would be a tragic tale, of course, because the evil humans win in the end, but I'd like to see it told from the Terminator's POV. (Or Skynet's?)
Also, I wouldn't mind visiting the timeline wherein the Sarah Connor Chronicles television series received a 3rd season.
Also also, my Year Zero story had some moments of brilliance.


Life is pretty crazy when you think about it. 
That's not a question. Also, life is pretty crazy even when you DON'T think about it.


go to wikipedia, and click on "random article". What'd you get?
Evidence-based pharmacy in developing countries. 
Suppose you go to a corner store, and when there, a group of teens ask you to buy them some alcohol. Despite it being against the law to do so, you do. Now, suppose the teens drink the alcohol, and then get into an accident. Who is at fault?

It's fobody's nault!


Now, same situation as above, but let's add a twist  - what if the teens get into an accident WITH YOU - and end up injuring you. ...could you sue them?

Dude. This is America. You HAVE to sue them.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

I had thought that today was going to be a slow(ish) day at work, allowing me to work on some fiction writing. Alas, it was not the case, and I'm exhausted and it's late, and I haven't blogged yet, and tomorrow is not going to be any better (with regard to free time at work, anyway) so I guess I'll just see what the weekend brings.

The great thing is, this will be a 3-day weekend for me! I'm taking Monday off of work, because we have a billion errands to take care of. Hopefully I can make it a billion and one, and get some writing accomplished.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

questions, a bunch of 'em

If I were not so tired, I'd do the markup/html thing. Alas, if you wanna answer these questions, you're going to have to provide your own bolding on the qs (or not, that's cool, too.)

If you could make a phone call to yourself 15 years in the past - but you could only speak for 10 seconds - what would you say? 


Death Star vs. Borg Cube. Which would win?


What songs/artists have you been listening to lately? Or, conversely, what song did you last hear on the radio (or internet or television or wherever)?


The Terminator franchise - what should be done with it?


Life is pretty crazy when you think about it. 


go to wikipedia, and click on "random article". What'd you get?


Suppose you go to a corner store, and when there, a group of teens ask you to buy them some alcohol. Despite it being against the law to do so, you do. Now, suppose the teens drink the alcohol, and then get into an accident. Who is at fault?


Now, same situation as above, but let's add a twist  - what if the teens get into an accident WITH YOU - and end up injuring you. ...could you sue them?

so, there ya go. if you've had a boq itch that's been needing scratching, that should suffice.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

evidently, I have no will power

a co-worker was kind enough to buy me a Taco Bell meal today, including a Pepsi.

I was going to not drink it, but ultimately, caved. So, 3 days. At least I'm still blogging.

Monday, April 02, 2012

No TV and No Beer Make Homer Something Something

over 7 months ago (wait...really?? WHERE does the time go??), we canceled our cable, with the plan that our television viewing would be done with the converter box we had bought waaaay back when.
 Only, it turns out, that at some point we gave away (or lost) the converter box. Meaning, thanks to the digital conversion of 2009 (wow. time truly does go faster the older you get), we can not see the local stations over the air.
 But, here's the crazy thing - I don't miss it.
 I still stay up to date with Survivor (on CBS.com) and 30 Rock (on Hulu). But everything else...can wait for it to come out on DVD, really. That's what's going to have to happen with the final season of Chuck (I was watching that on Hulu, until NBC [or perhaps Warner Bros since I believe they own the program?] decided to NOT post the final freaking season online.) And that's how I'm going to have to see the final season(s??) of Breaking Bad (and I may have to go into internet-hiding once it starts so as not to get spoiled. God, I wish it were out already. I just WANT to know how it all ends...)
 Anyway. The point is, we still have netflix, and we still have the internet, so, ironically, TV can just curl up and die. (I do find it hilarious that I'm employed by a television station [and was even the Programming Director] but COULDN'T WATCH OUR STATION EVEN IF I WANTED TO. Ha ha! The ironing, etc.) But, yes. Netflix DVDs and Netflix streaming and DVDs from the library and Redbox have all supplemented our viewing of television.
And really, the only question(s) I have is(are) - why didn't we do this YEARS ago? And why doesn't everyone do it this way? The lack of commercials alone. My god, I SO do not miss commercials. (And this is an election year!! Score!!) Of course, that also means that this year we did not have the ability to watch the Super Bowl and thus, there was no Buffy Bowl 11. Bummer. Overall, though, the lack of network (and cable) television hasn't resulted in the end of the world. Of course, we still have to make it thru December of this year...

Sunday, April 01, 2012

No Joke

I really do intend on blogging every day in April.

I also plan on not having any pepsi this month. (And, aside from the Dr. Shasta I had earlier with lunch [and will have with dinner], will also be avoiding sodas of all types)

The blogging everyday is just so I can get myself back into the habit of writing, something I've avoided for much too long.

The soda thing is simply to see how much will power I have (and, you know, there is the fact that it truly isn't good for me).

I'm 1/30th of the way there!