Thursday, December 28, 2006 software

Over the long Christmas weekend I decided I needed to load up my new hard drive with some software. First I bought Day of Defeat for ten bucks. It's a multiplayer only World War II shoot 'em up game and I suck royally at it. It's fun though. I am having a hard time adapting to the mouse and keyboard control of a PC first person shooter after playing Halo on the Xbox for so many years.

Next up was Anapod. My Ipod is really starting to fill up and I have spent a lot of time and money downloading and uploading music to the device. I was starting to worry about what would happen if I lost or broke my Ipod (which would in itself to be a terrible tragedy). It literally took me months to upload all my CD collection to the Ipod and during that time and since then I have been adding Itunes purchases, newly bought CD's and other finds. Anapod is supposed to replace Itunes as the piece of software you use to interact with the Ipod. So far I have had trouble using the Anapod to update the Ipod but the backup software that comes with it worked like a charm. Not only do I have my Ipod backed up but I now have every song I own on a hard drive and I can access this music to make mix CD's.

So after arranging it so I have easy access to all 10,000 of my songs I figured the only piece of sofware I was lacking was Nero. I needed Nero so I could manipulate audio files and burn them to CD's. I had no idea how powerful Nero was. I can acually chop songs up and insert audio files into songs. I'm as happy as a clam.

What I am getting at is I am making a cool mix CD with some fun soundbites and I want to know who wants one. So who, G. wants one? Email me with your address and I'll hook you up or leave a feedback message and I will also hook you up.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

How did this happen?

The other day I finished up "Terrorist" by Updike and then started up the new Orson Scott Card book called "Empire." I am shocked and saddened that I can honestly say this may be the worse book by him I have ever opened. Are you familiar with the old rule of writing known as "Show, don't tell?" I don't remember a time outside of a writing workshop where I have seen this rule violated so consistently. The dialog is clunky and little more than telling inside of quotes and the two action scenes I was able to get through were as unexciting as action scenes can be.

I read a review on another blog about this book and the reviewer claimed that Card had a right wing agenda to push with this book but I was unable to get far enough to tell for sure. The hero of the book did view left wing professors as evil so maybe the reviewer has a point. You read that right: evil left wing professors are polluting the minds of our nation's youth in the world Card created here. But, that is a opinion of a character. It would be wrong to base an opinion of an author on the thoughts of a character. That has been done with Heinlein too much so I don't want to do it here.

Maybe the problem is that Card is venturing into the real world with this book. He's created some great fantasy and science fiction universes in his time and the real world may have been too much for him. They say that creating a science fiction world is an involved process but the advantage there is that everything that takes place you get to completely make up. Maybe he was handcuffed by that. I don't know. What I do know is that if he does have a right wing agenda and it s trying to push it with this book then, thankfully, it's too badly written for most people to read so his message will die on the vine.


I just read an interview with Card and it appears the novel is tied in with a video game. I did not know that. I guess that can explain why the novel is not very good. The story idea is not his and he was given the basic premise of the game and then allowed to create a story around it. Doesn't make the book any better but it does explain why it is so poor.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Survey Monkey

For this project I am working on at work I had to create an Survey Monkey account. If you want to have a little fun try out my silly little survey so I can see how the results are gathered. Thanks.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Still not convinced

Still don't think the president blows ass? Just remember, this photo essay was made possible by men who didn't have the balls to put themselves in harm's way.
This is not funny

"...oft marketed under the name "Hang Ten," managed to hang 12." OK, maybe a little funny.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Lists, lists, lists

If you enjoy end of the year best of lists then check out this website which posts a list of lists of many different categories.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I was just taking a gander at my archives and I have been doing this for over four years now. I believe I during this time I haven't gone more than three or four days without posting. You'd think by now I would have more than five readers. I guess you take what you can get.

Last night was the real last night of our move. I had called the county and arranged to have some furniture picked up and today was the pick up day so last night you had to get that damn couch with the hide-a-bed out near the dumpster. It wasn't too bad once we were able to get that bad boy outside. I thought the couch would be a lot heavier than it was. Maybe because I am getting fatter I am used to carrying around a lot of weight so the couch seemed lighter than it did when we moved it in.

When I called the county last week I was unable to get anyone on the phone who could tell me where to put the couch so it could be hauled away. I didn't know if I should put it out near the road, leave it outside the old apartment or leave it by the dumpster. I was leaning towards leaving it by the dumspter and that turned out to be where it needed to go. Dang, if I had to call various numbers over a five day period to get an answer. First the employee on the county's 311 line told me to talk to the manager of the property. I did that and the manager had no idea where I should deposit the unwanted furniture. He recommended I call Allied Waste, the waste management company that dumps our dumpsters. I did and the Allied operator said they didn't do that kind of pickup. She claimed the city did it. So, I call the county 311 line back and that operator gives me a different number for Allied Waste. I call that number figuring that maybe it's a different department and they can help me. Nope, that person tells me the same thing: the city does that type of pickup. I call the county back and get another operator and she can't tell me anything. I wait a few hours and and call back and get another county 311 operator and I lay it out for her politely. I tell her all the steps I've gone through and end my polite spew by suggesting that there has got to be someone somewhere that can tell me where to put this goddamn couch. She says simply, "Put it by the dumpster." I was shocked. I told her that she was the first person that could give me a straight answer and that she was the bomb. She seemed underwhelmed by my praise and just wished me a pleasant day. Each time, before you talk to an operator, you hear a message warning you that calls are recorded to ensure quality. I hope someone reviews that woman's call with me that day because she is the shit and deserves some praise from her supervisor.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

God bless this great land

"Federal officials declined to disclose the location of the facility or the number of actual detainees.
In Cache County, minorities make up 12 percent - Latinos are 8 percent - of the population of 98,000 people.
Women were crying as they were handcuffed with plastic ties and put on the buses. Some weren't allowed to get their belongings from their lockers. Maria, who declined to use her last name, argued with an agent because she was getting the coat for her 34-year-old niece, Blanca, who was arrested.
''She [the agent] told me, 'Do you think it's going to be cold in Mexico?' '' Maria said, holding back tears. ''I've never seen people get treated como animales.''"

Those with the dough make the calls

Looks like we won't be leaving Iraq anytime soon since Cheney's superiors have told him we need to stay put.
The effortless prose of a genius

You know, up until a few days ago I had never delved into a novel by John Updike. Isn't that terrible? I spent too many years reading science fiction, I think. I have read some of his poetry and reviews but never a novel. The novel I am reading is his new one called "Terrorist."

Updike hardly needs my endorsement to get this writing thing to work for him but I am always amazed when I open a book written by someone with his skill. Like Vidal and Steinbeck his prose seems effortless. It's not great literature because he is trying to write great literature, it's not self-consciously complicated or overly descriptive. It's great literature because it is his writing, nothing more. He's just so talented and dedicated that he can't help but write something great. I am in awe as I read it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Essential Reading

Curious to know the whole story of how we got into the mess in Iraq? There is a great essay/review by Mark Danner available here. It's an amazing read and very revealing.

It really is almost impossible to put into words how shocking this while Iraq thing is. It was bungled from day one. How did Bush get such a free pass on this?
Holocaust conference

I was listening to NPR as I was ironing my work clothes this morning and I heard a story about that ridiculous "conference" they are holding in Iran in order to discuss the validity of the Holocaust during World War II. I think we can all agree that any conference that treats David Duke as a guest is pretty much horse shit.

I think it's obvious that this conference is being held merely to elevate Iran's status as a leader in the middle east. They are both thumbing their noses at us and threatening Israel at the same time. Nothing gets you points in the middle east like putting those two acts together. And we also have our grand president solidifying Iran's position of leadership with his childish stance of not talking to them unless they do what he tells them to. What an ass.

Calling our ass of a president an ass is not why I started this post. What really struck me during the NPR piece was the language a spokesman for the conference used while attempting to justify the horseshit gathering. His position was that both sides of the Holocaust argument needed to be heard. Essentially, even if Holocaust deniers are batshit crazy this is a free world and their opinions deserve equal time. This is the same tactic used by the radical right in this country that has allowed creationism to stand equally with science and created an atmosphere where an incompetent president could take us to war. Once again radical Islam and radical Christianity walk hand in hand. Both sides accuse the other of trying to take over the world when they are both trying to take over the world. God help us if they ever align with each other.

I've been watching a good amount of football this year. As I have said many times on this blog, I am not a huge sports fan. I ain't one of those guys that follows sports all that closely. I think that should be obvious if you see that my main fantasy football team went 3-10 this year but I'll watch me some football.

I have noticed one aspect of football in the last few years that has really been bugging me. The league is calling defensive penalties way too closely. Defensive backs don't know from what play to the next what they will be allowed to do when they are striding down the field with receivers and defensive linemen are being penalized for holding...offensive linemen. I know offense is exciting but they need to rein the referees in before the NFL turns into the NBA. I know it's not the fault of the on field officials, they are just following the league's instructions.

Also in the last year or two I've watched me some college football and I'm really starting to enjoy the game. The Ohio State-Michigan clash was a doozy. Football doesn't get a whole lot better than that an any level. One think I have noticed is that in college pass interference is a ten yard penalty with an automatic first down. I think the NFL should adopt a rule similar to that. Giving the offense 40 yards on a judgement call is just unfair. Maybe the NFL could limit that penalty to 20 yards or half the distance to the goal line. It would really even the game out and give defenses a chance to really play.

My two cents.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Evidence

What's the best way to tell a series is all about raking in as much cash as possible? Easy, they do a prequel to the series. Just like Jesus would have.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll

It's been a busy week or so. Last weekend I had a three day weekend and spent most of it moving stuff from one apartment in my complex to another. Why, you may ask, would you move from one apartment to another in the same complex? Because rent is cheap, it's a cool part of town and I had been in the other apartment for ten years. It needed work. My old apartment had been described once by some guy as a post apocalyptic dorm room. I think that should give you some idea of what the place looked and smelled like.

I threw away so much stuff during the move. Chris came by on Saturday and carried the kitchen over piece by piece and he found a pink 12 inch...television in one of the cupboards. I don't remember who that tv belonged to or how long it had been there but I dragged it out to the dumpster and set it on its way.

The closet in my room was full of stuff I didn't need. It really is amazing how much detritus you can accumulate in less than forty years. I kept important items like photographs but I ditched a lot of useless garbage. I mean, did I really need that box of 5000 worthless baseball cards? Sure a lot of them were cards I collected during my childhood but they really were worthless beat up common cards. Anything of any value I had pulled out and stored in binders. Those I kept. The beat up common cards went in the shitcan which is where they should have gone years ago.

It's not without a little sadness that I leave this apartment for another. This may be hard to believe but I lived in that apartment longer than I have ever lived anywhere else. The house I consider my boyhood home I only occupied from about fifth to twelth grade. I easily beat that time by a few years in that apartment. It was the first apartment I ever got my own and it really got to be 'home' after a while.

The new place is shaping up. I need to buy a nice DVD rack and eventually we'll need a new couch. We had two at the other place and only brought one over. The couch with the hide-a-bed got left behind. We are going to junk that one this Thursday along with that old Hammond organ.

Speaking of the old Hammond organ, if anyone knows anyone that wants an old Hammond organ that doesn't work let me know. If they can get to my old apartment before this Thursday it's all theirs. All that is wrong with it is that it needs a new power cord. I'm sick of looking at it and it's going to be trash as of Thursday, July 14th unless you, or someone else, wishes to take it. There, the offer has been made.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Get this guy!

I thought the Michael Richards was blown slightly out of proportion but I do dearly hope that this incident is greeted with as much, if not more, unnecessary hysteria. Please let this ruin Andy Dick's career. If I never have to see his smarmy mug onstage at a celebrity roast again I can live happily ever after.
The nation's librarian

What Laura reads to the kiddies.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The view from the extreme right

Hey, if we banned all western journalists from Iraq then there would be less violence. Yeah, and it would be easier for Bush to rule if this was a dictatorship. You just got to love how Bush's failure in Iraq is now the fault of the "liberal media." These guys are just the best.

Sunday, December 03, 2006