Saturday, August 20, 2005

Just a reminder, for those of you up tonight, if you're just web surfing and plan on being up for a while, Star's End radio show is coming on very shortly. It features some very beautiful ambient and space music.

Of course, you could just use a streamripper and record it, then listen to it the next day like I do.
So, just to make it official and stuff, some of you may have noticed a young lady named Natalia making some comments on my blog. I've added a link to her blog, I Moved Your Cheese, Moron, under blogs obviously. Go over and read her stuff. I have found her writing to be very amusing and well worth the effort. Well, it's not really that much effort. It's not like she's writing in Esperanto or anything.

Anyway, what I'm saying is much respect, nuff respect and big up yaself, and all that.

So, speaking of Battlestar Galactica, and the new series, my biggest gripe (non-geeks may turn away from the blog at this point) is that in what political system is it okay for the military to essentially overthrow the civilian government when that government does something that the military disagrees with? No one is throwing out the C-word when it comes to Adama, i.e. 'coup'. And in my eyes, a military coup that overthrows a civilian government is an act of treason. Seriously, every time I hear Adama or Tigh whine about being betrayed or something, I can't help but kind of think "bullshit." The scene tonight with the press and Adama would have been a perfect place to see something like this. Coup! Adama committed a MILITARY COUP! Argh. I understand why he did it, but sheesh.

Anyway, geek rant mode off.

Oh yeah, and the whole Sack and Stick thing was kind of an in-joke between myself and my friends. Mike and I were the ones who came up with the idea. The original idea was pretty much the same, except applied randomly across the society, with the theory being that a more polite society would result from the constant threat of random beatdowns. Of course, I suppose a crazy, trigger happy society could result just as well. In essence, Sack and Stick is a joke/social thought experiment. Not to be taken seriously. Obviously. Unless you're a slackjawed troglodyte.

One final geek comment. Aquaman's a badass.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Speaking of games, Nick and Allen came over last night, and despite the fact that it was only the three of us (I guess DJ, Duley and Collin were too busy to play, and Ken and Wes and Frank are at GenCon), and despite the fact that Allen hadn't played in forever, and despite the fact that I had a pretty big headache, we played a game of Illuminati, the set that I got from Mike. Said game was quite enjoyable, and I must give kudos to Nick for winning in a master stroke of deception and subtlety. He basically sat back and let Allen and myself try to take each other out, and took advantage of my erratic strategy of no strategy, which of course hardly ever leads to a win for me, but when it does, oh boy, it's spectacular.

Also, apparently Allen had lunch with a guy, Steven, whose blog I lurk at, and apparently he lurks at my blog. So hi Steven. I wonder who else locally lurks on my blog. I know at least Shaun at work occasionally does. Hi Shaun. Shaunie shaun shaun shabba doo. Nice picture, by the way.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

So concerning the shitstorm unleashed by the artists over at avantgame, I'll only say this in summation. I don't think that I've willfully misconstrued the intent of their 'game.' Rather, I feel that the artists have not fully thought out all of the possible headaches that such a project could entail for retailers, and have not even properly thought out the ethical ramifications of treating someone else's property as if it were their own. I think the whole thing smacks of a sense of entitlement that is sickening, as if they are entitled to have the right to do this 'art' in someone else's store without their consent or knowledge, and a disregard for the possible outcomes from their 'art' for others. Which is why I think it's stupid.

But the zombie mob was cool. Stupid. But cool and funny. So I think it's possible to do decentralized 'smart mob' type art events in a public space and have it be cool.

I hate it when someone makes me sound like a conservative. But I guess it's just my inner curmudgeon coming out. Damned kids. ;) Kind of smacks of LARPing too. Which is lame. (snark)

Anyway, enough about that stuff.

I made some bread last night. I consider it a borderline failure. I wanted to make something quite dense and wheaty, so I used some 50/50 wheat/white flour, a little white flour, and some ground flax seed, and some ground oats. I let it rise quite a bit, but I don't think I kneaded the dough enough. It's quite dense and crunchy, almost too much. It's good with some olive oil and some zatar, though.

Also, George R. R. Martin is finally putting out a Feast For Crows, November 8th. BN has some one chapter excerpts for free on a display at the store. I'm not a huge fan of most fantasy, as I prefer sci-fi, mostly, but this stuff is good. Gritty. I heartily recommend it if you haven't read it.

Oh yeah, and anybody know if the lake has turned over with all this rain we've been getting. The water tastes terrible lately, here in Fayetteville.

Hope Ken and Wes and all are having fun up at GenCon. I would like to play TrueDungeon, but I can't see shelling out that kind of cash for a convention.
Sack And Stick The Ministry of Reshelving

These are the rules for Sack and Stick The Ministry of Reshelving:

1.) Get a large sack, such as a burlap laundry bag or a potato sack. Then get a small stick, certainly smaller than a baseball bat. A broom handle sawed in half should do nicely.
2.) Go to your local bookstore.
3.) Go to the fiction section, and look for 1984 by George Orwell. Bookstores are often arranged alphabetically by the author's last name. Keep all copies of 1984 under discreet surveillance.
4.) When a member of The Ministry of Reshelving goes to misplace these copies, for some sad and trite artistic statement that a junior in high school might make, take this miscreant, this vagabond in hand and escort him or her outside. Remember, we don't want to get our friends at the bookstore in trouble.
5.) Proceed to place the sack around the head of the prankster, pull it down as far as it will go, leaving them in total darkness. Then proceed to beat them about the body, randomly, with the stick, taking care to avoid the head. Care must be taken. The blows must not seriously hurt the prankster. Rather, they must be a learning experience. A rapid strike with a forceful hand, but without too much force behind the blow should be enough.
6.) When you are done delivering the artistic statement, take the sack off of the miscreant, and then stuff the cards that they would use for their 'art project' in their mouth. Hopefully, they'll have learned their lesson.

(This is obviously a parody and satiric commentary on the Ministry of Reshelving. I don't want anyone actually hurting anyone else. Except maybe with their mind rays.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Speaking as someone who works in a bookstore, this kind of bullshit really ticks me off. Basically, these complete asshats think that going into a store and rearranging the books on their shelves is either A) amusing or B) some great artistic/ironic statement about the state of our society.

I'll tell you what actually will happen. A bookseller will go to try to find 1984, and will not be able to find any copies. The customer will then walk out without the book (a book well worth reading, by the way), and that bookseller or another one will find the book later. And be rightfully pissed off.

I wish these people would think about stuff like this before trying to pull off half-assed, poorly thought out 'art projects'. I wonder if these 'artists' have ever worked in a bookstore, and had someone pissed off that you couldn't find a book, even though we should have 5 in stock.

Seriously, I hate to sound all like Bill O'Reilly or something, but get a real job already. Stop making more work for some other wageslave and calling it 'art.'

Rant mode off.

In other news, I made some incredible chicken shwarma last night. Just chicken thighs, garam masala and shwarma spices. Then onto the grill for about thirty minutes. Delectable. Highly recommend it.

I'm also starting a 'fruit and nut' diet. Every day for lunch I'm eating nothing but fruits, nuts, and maybe some granola. I seem to feel better when I eat like that. I'm hungrier, a little crankier in the middle of the afternoon, but I feel better overall.

And to counteract the diet goodness, I can heartily recommend the Starbucks Java Chip icecream. Goood.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I have this fascination with artificial mythologies. Particularly, Tolkien's work has been quite inspirational for me, of late. I'm currently reading "The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created A New Mythology", which documents how Tolkien's efforts toward fictional world creation and the artificial mythologies and languages that underpin this enormous effort all grew out of his love for and study of philology.

Some years ago, I began a world creation effort, inspired in part by an idea to craft something worth writing about. So, my basic concept was a Tolkienesque high-fantasy world meets Lovecraftian invading Gods from outside the universe. I began a D&D game basically as an effort to help me write this world. I figured, if I had several people 'inhabiting' this world (named Ereth, by the way), so to speak, then maybe I could flesh it out enough that eventually I could write some fiction set in this world.

In the end, I think I've let it become more about the game, and have let the world be a little too influenced by the typical D&D setting, but I think that with this second campaign that I've finally hit upon something worth writing about. So, I think that after this current D&D campaign is done, that I'm going to have to write the story of this world. Not the story of the player's characters. I'd leave that to them. Rather, the history of this world, in an almost encyclopedic sort of way.

The imagination is a funny thing. I've spent so much time thinking about Ereth, that it's really a real place to me. Parts of it are certainly still a mystery to me, the barest of outlines. But, overall, it's real to me. And I hope someday I can make it real to others, much like Le Guin's Earthsea is to some, or Herbert's Dune is to others.

In other news, a long time ago Mr. William Chesser and I were enamoured of Cappio, this wonderful iced cappuccino drink, which has unfortunately disappeared from the market. I am happy to report that Arizona brand Cappuccino Shake tastes just like Cappio. A delectable find indeed.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Here's a funny flash animation that someone did of Maxwell's Silver Hammer by the Beatles. Warning, it's a little violent. Funny. Cute. But violent.

Found it on Metafilter.

Oh yeah, and I added a link to ResonanceFM over under the Netradio links. It's a very very cool radio station in London that plays some incredibly freaky music. They just got done playing some Christian Marclay (the man does unholy but wonderful things with broken, sliced up records), and before that played some Kraftwerk, and are now playing some Einsterzende Neubauten. If you're feeling musically adventurous, and want to expand your horizons, give it a listen.

And I almost forgot. Jon Hassell (Collaborated with Brian Eno, and not as famous as he should be, but many more people have heard his music than they know. He wrote the theme song for the TV show 'The Practice.' ) has a new record out, Maarifa Street. Imagine something close to blissed out dub versions of Miles Davis in his electric phase, but with a whole MiddleEastern/Indian vibe thing going on, and you get the idea. (I would love to buy a trumpet. Jon Hassell really inspires me. I absolutely adore the seductive washes of sound that he coaxes out of one trumpet and a few guitar pedals.)
It's an oldy, but a goodie. I'm sure some of you have seen Bob's Quick Guide to the Apostrophe, You Idiots, but if you haven't you should check it out. I know a few of you would find it very amusing if you haven't already read it.

It actually rained today. A real, honest to goodness HARD rain. I was making lattes and just really wishing I could be outside in the wetness. I feel September coming.