Sunday, March 29, 2009

"And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship."

Your friend is your needs answered.

He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.

And he is your board and your fireside.

For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."

And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;

For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.

When you part from your friend, you grieve not;

For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.

For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.

If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.

For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?

Seek him always with hours to live.

For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.

For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."

- Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet, " chapter 19

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"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
-Thomas Paine

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This Machine Kills Fascists

"I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow."

-Woody Guthrie

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The SciFi channel makes an ass out of itself...Again

Hey, a name change to a word that doesn't exist, and a motto that is grammatically incomprehensible! That'll make our ratings *skyrocket!*

I am uncertain if there is anyone this quote, from Tim Brooks, is not going to offend: "The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular." I suspected in the mid- to late- nineties, given the rapid shedding of science fiction and fantasy shows, that whoever had taken over the channel had a pronounced dislike of the material's core fan base, and this reaffirms that suspicion. Plainly, they hate whatever their concept of a "geek" is, they are unable to tell quality science fiction and fantasy from schlock, and they are attempting to distance themselves from the very genre their channel is named after. In which case, why have any sci-fi shows whatsoever? Admittedly, these days it barely does- they show professional wrestling, for the gods' sakes- and the CG monster of the week films barely count as movies, much less as science fiction. The channel has already alienated 90% of its former fan base (and I count myself among them- in the early 1990's, the Scifi Channel was excellent) by showing the absolute garbage that it currently does. Really, the name change is probably necessary, seeing as most of the programming has very little to do with science fiction, but their new name is ludicrous. Something like "The Miscellaneous Programming Channel" would do very nicely, or the "It's two AM and you're drunk, why not watch us?" channel. It would certainly be more honest.


So, we invented Killer Shrews a year or so ago, which involve good vanilla ice cream, whole milk, chocolate syrup, Kaluha, and a blender, in whatever quantities appeal to you. This evening we have invented the Killer Vole, in which all is as above, save for strawberry ice cream and frozen strawberries. I recommend both highly.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

They're doing a repeat of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace late night on Adult Swim. They're also playing The Mighty Boosh on Sunday late night. You must watch it. All of you. If you are capable of staying up until 1AM, you are hereby charged with watching these shows. It's for your own good, I swear #grins#


Friday, March 27, 2009

Reason 1,000,300 why my life rules

As predicted, the Quake party ruled, marred only by a lack of Death, who we were unable to reach in time, and Gr3ywolf, who was busy. Dr. Demoniac held up his end as the only participating God of Quake, and the rest of us didn't do half-badly either. Much pizza and soda was consumed, and many insults were exchanged. All in all, it was a highly successful night. Next time, we plan to implement Mansgame for a proper DM round. It'll be nice to have my Uncle Deadly skin back...

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reason 1,000,242 why my life rules

"So, I could take the blender apart and clean it. That doesn't have any computers in it."
"You're not taking my blender apart just because you're fed up with the computer."
"You said I could, because I pointed out that it sounded awful when you used it to make the hummus."
"Oh! That's the food processor. The blender is the other thing. Blenders deal with liquid stuff and food processors deal with more solid stuff."
"Ah, because it's designed to chop, I see. So it's called a food processor. That's a terrible term. Very boring. We should think up a better one."
"Okay, like what?"
"The Smusher."


Why I'm not on Facebook, explained.

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reason 1,000,194 why my life rules

LAN parties featuring Quake deathmatching. The session tonight was good, but the one on Thursday will be awesome.

Reason 1,000,172 why my life rules

Duamuteffe: "Could you go and put the kettle on?"
Owlvark: "Sure. I'll send my minion right away."
Duamuteffe: "You have a minion?"
Owlvark: "...No. First paycheck, though."
Duamuteffe: "We're getting a minion with your first paycheck?"
Owlvark: "Yes. It'll be an imp. A tea imp. It'll make the tea, and you'll be able to level it up. Then it will be able to teleport."
Duamuteffe: "Will the levels help with the tea-making?"
Owlvark: "Yes, it will be able to make progressively more bizarre types of tea."
Duamuteffe: "Like, what, banana-hamster tea?"
Owlvark: "Yeah, stuff like that."

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Just got back from the Farm; we had a great long weekend. Tired now; will put upsome pics in the next couple of days.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Really good Pens game right now- they're mopping the floor with the Kings, 4 - 1 so far. My computer faces the other direction from the TV, so the Owlvark is telling me what's going on while I type :)

I continue to <3 Margo Howard. I really hope she'll get back to updating at least three times a week, rather than two. I just find her common sense extremely refreshing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Two-Sentence Movie Reviews

Frenzy (1972)

The hero is an asshole who appears resistant to sense, the villain is far more icky than scary, the doctor/"psychiatrist" apparently misread the definition of sociopaths, the main investigator's running gag is his love of British "cuisine, " other characters are British stereotypes, and the most memorable line is a throwaway from the first scene and more or less incomprehensible, as it is about "pulling tits." It's slow, dim, and mistakes rapid speech as wit; it may be Hitchcock, but not every hit is out of the park- this is not a keeper.

New feature- representative quotes:
"The potato business is poison. Always was."


Monday, March 16, 2009

More reasons to love the Wolfe books

"Confound it. Courtesy is one's own affair, but decency is a debt to life."

"If I offend by being curt, very well. Anyone has the privilege of offending who is willing to bear the odium."

- Nero Wolfe



"Tell me something happy."
I knew the venue all too well. The past four weeks had given it uncommon and unwelcome familiarity. I'd cut caffeine entirely for the first fortnight, gone out for walks, read until nearly dawn, but twice a week it happened regardless. There are times these days when I'm afraid to go to sleep.
"Just tell me something happy! I need to hear something happy!"
The specifics of conversation are different this time but the fear smells the same. There are no words for that depth of desperation. The world flickered and left me sitting at my machine, reading the words as an email header, but I didn't know what to type. Another flicker and I was back in the room again, looking at her, lost for words. Every time I found myself lost for words. That round wooden table, the single light above us, bleak lightless emptiness all around, the same every damned time. The fear, the pleading that I listen- of course I listened, how could I not? It's just that I don't know what to say. Twice a week, every week, and I'm still lost for words.
"Tell me something happy! Please!"
I will, I promise I will. As soon as I can think of something here in this terrible place, as soon as I can tear my eyes away from the pain in yours. I'll think of something, I swear. I won't fail you.
I'm awake in a sudden panicked rush, gasping for breath, scrabbling at the sheet for purchase. I feel as though I've been dropped from the ceiling. 'No more caffeine today, ' I think absently- the daytime jitters from what's leaking through are bad enough without any help, and from prior experience it would be half the day on average before I calmed down enough to approach something resembling relaxed. It takes so long because the dreams don't fade. They're there in my head, all six of them, clear and cold as crystal. The feelings don't fade, either, but I know that I'm not the only one who's feeling all this, which, coming as it did after a phone call on the heels of the first dream, was both a comfort and a revelation, and continues to be a grounding point in a malestrom. I'm not the only one, not even remotely. I'm not the only one with the daytime jitters, the moments of seemingly unfounded panic, the lethargy and worry, the bad divinations, the disturbing metaphysical images when I check on everyone (for me it's skeletons piled in the conduit, but others' of course vary) but I am the only with the dreams. So far. So far.

"This is intolerable, " I said. First words of the morning. He nodded and pulled me to him by way of a reply, and I snuggled close and waited for the shaking to stop.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Okay, so what was intended to be a quick visit to see Tim as he got off shift turned into "let's go to the bar with nearly everyone we know." Seriously- Nojim and Saags turned up and everything, and Tim's work friends were there, and some of Saag's friends were there, and by the end I was expecting some UK people to drop in, it was so packed with people we knew. It was a fabulous time, and some kind people bought rounds, and by 2:15 I had enough to drink that having food at McDonalds sounded like a good idea. Just as a refresher, I loathe fast food, so how I will feel about this in the morning is anyone's guess #grins#

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What I am reading

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I am a big fan of both Jane Austen *and* zombies, so really, it was a shoe-in #grins# I only just bought it today, so I haven't had much of a chance to start reading, but I will say that it has the best Regency-era zombie-themed woodcuts I've ever seen :)


I <3 Margo Howard- she's so sensible!

And people ask me why I like this one better than "On The Road"

"Those afternoons, those lazy afternoons, when I used to sit, or lie down, on Desolation Peak, sometimes on the alpine grass, hundreds of miles of snowcovered grass all around, looming Mount Hozomeen on my north, vast snowy Jack to the south, the encharmed picture of the lake below to the west and the snowy hump of Mount Baker beyond, and to the east the rilled and ridged monstrosities humping to the Cascade Ridge, and after that first time suddenly realizing "It's me that changed and done all this and come and gone and complained and hurt and joyed and yelled, not the Void!" and so that every time I thought of the void I'd be looking at Mt. Hozomeen (because chair and bed and meadowgrass faced north) until I realized "Hozomeen is the Void- at least Hozomeen is the void to my eyes"- Stark naked rock, pinnacles, and thousand feet high protruding from immense timbered shoulders, and the green pointy-fir snake of my own (Starvation) Ridge wriggling to it, to its awful vaulty blue smokebody rock, and the "clouds of hope" lazing in Canada beyond with their tittlefaces and parallel lumps and sneers and grins and lamby banks and puffs of snout and mews of crack saying "Hoi! Hoi, Earth!"- the very top tittermost peak abominables of Hozomeen made of black rock and only when storms blew I don't see them and all they do is return tooth for tooth to storm an imperturbable surl for cloudburst mist- Hozomeen that does not crack like cabin rigging in the winds, that when seen from upsidedown (when I'd do my headstand in the yard) is just a hanging bubble in the illimitable ocean of space-
Hozomeen, Hozomeen, most beautiful mountain I ever seen, like a tiger sometimes with stripes, sunwashed rills and shadow crags wriggling lines in the Bright Daylight, vertical furrows and bumps and Boo! crevasse, boom, sheer magnificent Prudential mountain, nobody's even heard of it, and it's only 8,000 feet high, but what a horror when I first saw that void the first night of my staying on Desolation Peak waking up from deep fogs of 20 hours to a starlit night suddenly loomed by Hozomeen with his two sharp points, right in my window black- the Void, every time I'd think of the Void I'd see Hozomeen and understand- Over 70 days I had to stare at it."

- Jack Kerouac, "Desolation Angels"


Saturday, March 07, 2009

I find it interesting that I can write later into the night than I once could. For a long time I had a hard and fast rule that I quite writing at 11:30, in order to avoid any unpleasant grammatical surprises in the morning when I looked back at my work. These days I can continue until about two without worrying about lack of coherency, which is a nice change, and there have even been occasional nights when I got into "the zone" for lack of a better term, worked until four or five, and still had something decent to show for it the next day. Granted, I don't write at the volume I used to, but I like to think that my output, although less in quantity, has improved considerably in quality from my earlier days. This does mean that getting anything worthwhile done takes about six times as long, however. I prefer that what I write be good as opposed to being fast, if I were forced to make the choice, but it would be nice to be able to manage a little more at this quality level. I've accepted that I can't force it onto the page, and I'm all right with that, but still, I miss being able to manage a couple of pages every day. At the very least, I'd really like to know where some of these subplots are going...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A trip out with Nojim and T$ is always an adventure. Said adventures always deviate from whatever plan we have, usually in some sort of interesting and entertaining way. Yesterday was definitely an adventure, and we're hard-pressed to identify the most hilarious part. There was the unexpected lack of gas in the tank two miles from the nearest gas station. There was the twenty minutes coasting along at a crawl on the shallowest hill imaginable. There was the guy who beeped his horn as he went around us, apparently to inform us that something was wrong with our car. (Hey, genius, what tipped you off? Was it the four-ways, the fact that we were off the road as much as it was humanly possible to be, or the six miles an hour we were going?) There was the bit when T$ was steering from the passengers' side while Nojim ran alongside the car, pushing the car via the open door. There was the look on the guy's face who came by going the other direction while Nojim was pushing the car. (That was hysterical, by the way- from the way his eyes were bugged out, you'd think he'd never seen that sort of thing before. We probably should have waved...) There was a bit where T$, the Owlvark, and I were pushing the car up a serious hill, not wanting to have wasted the momentum from going down the one before it. There was the part where we tried to look nonchalant while parked on a hill with our four-ways still on, waiting for T$ to hike back from the gas station (he volunteered, gods bless him) with a portable container to get us started again. There was the nice kid who stopped to check on us, and it took Nojim a while to persuade him that we had gas coming and were going to be fine. And there was the bit where we realized that you can't hill start on a nearly empty tank, and had to drift backwards to the bottom, despite traffic, in order to find a level spot so the car could suck some gas up and limp to the gas station. All of these stand out, but I think the best bit by far was when we pulled out of the gas station, and "Bohemian Rhapsody" started up on the radio, and we were all singing at the top of our lungs. Good times.