Zaboem's Diaryland Diary


Changes Coming

For 2006, I'm making a slow transition to a new e-mail address and newer blog. I may be also reached at

Also, I have just make my first blog entry at Yahoo 360. The first entry is a review of the 2005 remake of King Kong. It includes links to Faye Ray pictures, and those are not easy to find. The new URL is [a href="">here.

1:23 a.m., 2005-12-31, 1 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 12

Mister Emile,

I sorry to tell you this, but I ain't your true love no more. I spent last night with Jacque, the first piper. After I received your twelve pipers, Jacque decided to start a band. I decided to open a restraunt and gentlemen club on the bayou. The floozies dancing can make twenty dollar for a table dance, and the lords can dance for the other type of gentlemen. If they is too many lords standing around, they also work as the waiters and valet parking the boats. Since the maids don't have no more cows, I trained them to set my crab traps, boil my crawdads, watch my troatline, and run my shrimping business. They be mighty business. We probably gross a million dollar next year.

Joyeaux Noel et Bonne Annee!

1:01 a.m., 2005-12-26, 0 comments.


Internet Strangeness! Third Week of December

Best Blog Joke Yet

While searching for a new blog service, I was looking at Yahoo 360. It seems to have almost everything I want, and it is free. On the other hand, I could try Yahoo 180 for half the price...

MIT Study: Do Tinfoil Hats Really Work?

I could write my own witty comments here, but this article's headline and first paragraph say it best.

"Engineers at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology have published results showing that tinfoil helmets, prized in many circles for an assumed capacity to resist mind control rays from aliens and governments, may actually amplify the controlling signals."

is the article, and here is the research.

RIAA Bans Unauthorized Sharing of Songs Orally

This is for my brother who loves RIAA jokes.

Best Virtual Paper Doll

I'm not certain if I already posted this link or not. Back in the good old ninties, a type of computer game evolved from dressing characters in various clothes (or undressing them more often) which used a specific type of data called a KISS file. This link is to a flash game which uses the same concept but isn't an actual kiss file, so no kiss software is needed to use it. It's also the best paper doll game I've seen. The character is from a semi-popular series of flash cartoons called Ms. Dynamite, but the doll game is much more fun than the cartoons.

Diseased Neckties

Someone has actually done a study on the number and relative danger from the germs that doctors carry one their neckties. The results are disturbing. Dr. Zorba Paster reported this on National Public Radio during his November 11th, 2005, show. This link connects to a page with a streaming .ram link so one can listen to the entire show. Unfortunately, there is no way to browse to the exact conversation about the neckties.

Dance Videos

I have fixed the link below for the music video featuring the dancers. It's in the post entitled Internet Strangeness: Second Week of December. Nonetheless, here is the link again. It's called "Robot Dance," and you should watch definately the entire clip. These guys are incredible.

Another dance video on the same sight is deceptively simple. Some people collect coins or photographs when the travel. This guy dances in different places he visits. It reminds me of how I explored the Second Life game by travelling the world and photographing my avatar sitting on different monuments. This "Guy Dancing" video may sound overly simplistic, but it makes for a surprisingly beautiful clip. This may be my favorite music video.

2:27 a.m., 2005-12-21, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 11

Say Emile,

Where you be? Cherio and pip pip and such, you eleven pipers done arrived today from the House of Blues.

Everybody else is tre bein. All twenty-three birds is dead, trampled to death by the crowd. Phideaux done made him a nest in the tree. Them lords is leaping on the ladies. They already run through the floozies and are working on the maids. Them pipers is getting they turn with the floozies now, but there is one too many pipers. I beginning to suspect his intentions towards the cows, me.

I don't care no more. We cooked stuffed goose with beef jambalaya, finished off the whiskey, and we're having a fais-do-do.

Them pipers had to charter they own boat. The old mail man done jump off the Moss Bluff Bridge yesterday, screaming you name. If you happen to get a mysterious looking and ticking package in the mail, don't open it.

Kay sera, sera,


5:43 p.m., 2005-12-14, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 10


You got to be out of you mind. If the mailman don't kill you, I will. Today he deliver ten half naked floozies from Bourbon Street. They say they be "ladies dancing," but they don't act like ladies in front of them limey sailing boys.

The maids is still here too. They almost left after one of them got bit by a water moccasin over by my out house. I wish they did.

Poor old Phideaux had to move off the roof when the geese after him. Now he live the live oak tree with an owl. If them darn birds push that dog any farther, he going to be the first dog on the moon. Either that or he going to move in with the gator.

Feeding everybody ain't easy none. I had to butcher two cows to feed toute le monde and get enough toilet paper. The Sears catalog wasn't good enough for them hoity toity lords.

Talk to you tomorrow.

11:00 p.m., 2005-12-12, 0 comments.


Avengers Poll Results

If you are like me, dear reader, you have long wondered how a super-hero team chosen by committee would look. Well researchers at Zaboem's Blog have been working tirelessly for weeks on this issue. Now, the polls collected from various discussion boards across the internet are closed, and these we have results. Here is the new Avengers team as chosen by you (if you bothered to vote). ...and, brother, does it look like a team chosen by committee.

Leader: Captain America

Cap edged out his old rival Hawkeye for the victory. Since Cap was heavily favored to win in this category, the only surprise is that he didn't win more decisively. Vegas odd-makers are yawning.

Money Bags: Iron Man

Tony Stark wins this category with a commanding lead. In fact, this was the only strong victory in the entire poll. Stark Industries is ready to throw its full resources behind Captain America by again refusing to share any substantive technology with Iron Man's teammates. Yes, I went there. Tony is a greedy cuss.

Technology Expert: Forge

Amazingly, people who voted for Iron Man as a financial sponsor did not turn out and vote him in as the resident technology guru. Forge, the one time X-Force leader, is instead recruited just to snub Iron Man. At least Forge isn't as miserly with his hardware as Iron Man. You could cut the tension with a plasma knife. In fact, you could cut anything with a plasma knife.

Magic Expert: Tie Vote

This vote was split evenly, so both characters will be invited to join the New Avengers. First is the mystical master and third most overused character in Marvel, the omnipresent Doctor Stephen Strange. Second, although I can't it myself, with the exact same number of votes is Hannibal King from the Nightstalkers and third Blade movie. The half-vampire. The half-vampire is a surprisingly popular character and determined to make himself useful just as soon as the sun goes down.

Psychic Character: Three-Way Tie Vote!

If the contests weren't already close enough, the Avenger's reoccurring hole in the team is still not being filled. I'm not bringing in three characters to do the same job, so forget it. In case you were wondering, the winners were as follows. First, comes the X-Men's ethnically confused fem fatale and psychic ninja assassin, Psylocke. Second is her teammate and favorite heroine of red hair lovers everywhere, Phoenix (as Jean Grey). Third, much to my own disappointment, is Sentinel.

Resident Mutant: Five-way Tie Vote!

Not no, but hell no -- We are not recruiting five X-Men into the Avengers team. The winners were Phoenix, Shadow Cat, Beast, Psylocke, and Wolverine.

Team Jester: the Amazing Spider-Man

Web-head does it again. Despite his definitive status as a lone wolf, I will give Spidey credit where it is due. He was the only character in this category to score more than one vote.

Old School Avengers: Two-Way Tie Vote!

Rounding out the cast, here are the Avengers from previous incarnations of the old team returning to show the new recruits how it is done. First is the spunky and ever-scantily clad Tigra, formerly of the West Coast Avengers. Second is the demi-god powerhouse and all-around village idiot, Hercules. He's got iron in his thighs!

Miscellaneous: Emma Peel

Yeah, Emma Peel won. Despite the fact that I stated clearly, specifically, and repeatedly that she was not eligible, the British Spy still won this category. Dianna Rig, forgive us.

Final Role call: Captain America, Iron Man, Forge, Doctor Strange, Hannibal King, Spider-Man, Tigra, Hercules, Emma Peel. Nine Avengers -- that actually makes for a nicely rounded team with brains, muscle, cross-over reader appeal, and fan appeal. At the least, this team makes more sense than the rooster of the actual New Avengers. We'll call this crew, the Neo-Avengers.

6:37 p.m., 2005-12-12, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 9

Hey Emile,

What you trying to do? Boudreaux had to make three trips on his mailboat to deliver these jumping twits you call lords-a-leaping across the bayou. As soon as they got here they wated a tea break and crumpets. I don't know what that means, so I says, "Well la di da. YOu get Chicory coffee or nothing." Mon Dieux, Emile, what I'm gonna feed these bozos? They too snooty for fried nutria, and da cows ate up my turnip green.

My dog Phibeaux has move to the roof. The geese done chased him away from every other place. It was either there or in a gator's mouth. Even on the roof, the geese sometime fly up there to give him a talk to.

The cows keep making theyself a problem. After they ate all the grass and my turnip green, I tried to teach them beast to eat the Spanish moss. Even that don't last. I had to send them milking maids out to gather swamp cabbage and cat tails. That seemed to do the trick, but the cows still stripped my new satsuma tree bare. I wonder if a cow make good catfish bait.

You better send more gold rings,


9:06 a.m., 2005-12-11, 0 comments.


Internet Strangeness! Second Week of December

Internet Videos

Last week, I posted a link which doens't seem to function. Here is another try. This page will play the streaming video of an impressive display of home X-Mas lights. House Lights

While I'm at it, here are links to other interesting videos from the same site. The latest trend in home-made music videos is to use animation from popular multi-player computer games. Here is one such video created for one of my favorite songs from the off broadway smash play, Q Street.

Some people have the moves, and some people don't. These guys do. Make certain to watch the entire clip.

Cornstarch is fun. Be careful or you might learn something.

Currently there are a glut of anime music videos that use animation from the series Full Metal Alchemist. Most of them aren't very good. This is probably the best that I've seen. There is good lip syncing, and the music is appropriate to the tone of the show. The voice is a little deep for someone a character as small as Edward, but it's good enough.

4:48 p.m., 2005-12-08, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 8

Okay Buster,

I think I prefered them birds. What am I goning to do with eight milking maids? Poor Boudreaux had to borrow the Cameron Ferry to carry these maids and they cows across the bayou. One of them cows got spooked by a gator and near tipped over the boat.

I don't like them shiftless maids, me. I told them to get to work gutting fish and sweeping my shack. They say it wasn't in their contract. They just milk the cows and nothing else doing. They probably think they too good to skin all them nutria I caught last night.

Them cows, they be grazing around in front of the shack right now. The gators are coming from miles around. My old wire fence is the only thing keeping them apart. The birds done run poor Phibeaux out from underneath his porch. The whole place smell like a bag of manure, I guarantee.

Send me some dirty rice or nothing,


4:20 p.m., 2005-12-08, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 7

Hey Emile,

I going to ring your fool neck the next time I see you. These seven bird have got to be the biggest, fattest cranes what ever come to the bayou. The mail man said they was swan, but they look to me like they was just waddling not swimming. By gumbo, they make a lot of noise! Poor old Phindeaux wouldn't come out from under the porch all day, he so scared.

Old Boudreaux, the mail man, him ain't happy with you neither. Him get hot. The bird droppings is stinking up his mailboat for sure. Now he afraid somebody going to slip on that stuff and sew him.

I set them fat cranes free out in the bayou. They was swimming around just fine for a time. Then, a stupid duck hunter from Mississippi done blasted them out the water.

It ain't funny no more. Stop bringing so many darn birds my way, merci.

I write you tomorrow,


9:54 a.m., 2005-12-03, 0 comments.


Internet Strangeness! First Week of December

Music Videos

I have come to appreciate a good anime music video. These are amatuer creations made by creatively editing together songs with unrelated animation. Usually this is done with Japanese animation as the characters and visuals are often more expressive. I appreciate a good anime music video because I have seen an overwhelming proportion of bad AMV. To avoid making a video which is an excercise in tediousness, one needs to find the rare perfect combination of song and visuals. There are several examples such as the guy who combined Weird Al Yankovic's "Trigger Happy" with animation from the series Trigun. Here is an example of a very creative pairing of sound and visuals.

On the same site, I also found this live action music video. Last month, my brother posted links for a duet of teenaged chinese lipsinkers called the Back Dorm Boys. If you liked the Back Dorm Boys, then you will love these two girls.

1:27 p.m., 2005-12-02, 0 comments.


Mid-Life Crisis! First Week of December

Money, please

From time to time, Western Kentucky University sends me a letter asking me to send more money. Since I haven't made much money since leaving the college, I thus far have resisted the temptation. In fact, this may be the least tempting offer ever. Today, I received a letter which signifies a new approach by the WKU allumni association and a new tactic. WKU now encourages me to tell them how to spend my money on them.

Here are a select few of my choices as follows:

Cheerleader or dance team uniform: $200

An outdoor sculpture: $50,000

Campus bench: $1000

A library book: $100

Trash receptacle: $500

...and my personal favorite item,

One brick for a new or renovated campus building: $100

I have to question the wisdom of this marketing strategy. Weren't allumni more willing to give money to the school before they learned that the school was spending five hundred dollars on a trash can? I can see a pervert like me paying buying a cheerleading outfit, but even then I would expect to get a letter and photos from the child I'm sponcering in the uniform. Beyond that choice, there is really nothing here I can describe as a bargin. Furthermore, I remember this school having an extensive art department. What is the logic in passing over hundreds of students and a mob of faculty to hire an outsider fifty gees for a statue? Then there is the matter of the magic, one hundred dollar brick. I hadn't realized inflation was so out of control in Kentucky. That's one hundred clams, one hundred bucks, or one hundred little green men. It must be better than those three magic beans for which I traded my cow. Perhaps this brick is made from crushed dragon bone and the spittle of Roman gods baked in the heart of the sun. I will only pay that much money for a brick if I get to personally throw it at our school mascot, Big Red. If WKU can meet that condition, then I will be a happy customer.

12:44 p.m., 2005-12-02, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 6

Dear Emile,

Couchon! Back to the birds, you old gator! When I opened the door today, I seen six white ducks on my porch. They so big that I don't know where to keep them, by gumbo. Mrs. Fontenox down the road was complaining about they noise.

My egg sucking hound is scared to death of them six ducks. He try to eat they eggs and they pecked the heck out of his snout. Poor Phideaux just ain't hisself after experience like that.
I guess them birds do have some use to them. They are darn good at eating cockroach around the house, by gumbo. I may stuff one of them goose with oyster dressing to serve on Christmas Day.



12:33 p.m., 2005-12-02, 0 comments.


Avenger Poll

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my review of Marvel Comic's New Avengers on my blog. At that time, I suggested a poll to determine a better team rooster. I have now gathered enough suggested members from various discussion boards, so here are the choices listed in alphabetic order. I haven't found any one service that is good for posting polls to the general public, so I'll be posting the poll in four separate places. After a week, I will add together all of the responces and announce the results.

By the way, some of you posters are nuts.

1: If you fire all of the New Avengers and hire an entirely new team, which of these people would you choose as your team commander?
Captain America
Doc Samson
Doctor Strange
Iron Man (Tony Stark version)
Optimus Prime

2: Who will be the team's finacial sponcer?
Doc Samson
Iron Man
Nick Fury

3: Who will be your team's technology expert?
Doctor Octopus
War Machine

4: Who is the magic expert?
Adam Warlock
Brother Voodoo
Doctor Druid
Doctor Strange
Hannibal King
Vicki Montessi

5: Who do you choose to be the team's resident psychic?
Pheonix (Jean Grey version)
White Queen

6: Who is the team's representative mutant?
Shadow Cat (Kitty Pride)
Strong Guy
White Queen

7: The team needs an old schooler. Which previous avenger do you choose to appeal to fans of the older teams?
Captain America
Luke Cage

8: Who will be the jester?
Blazing Skull
Howard the Duck
Strong Guy
Pip the Troll

9: Some of the applicants don't fit into any of the above catagories. If you have room left for one more team member, which of the following will it be?
Beta Ray Bill
Iron Man

Voting will end on the second Thursday of December.

11:31 p.m., 2005-12-01, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 5

Dear Emile,

You finally sent something useful. It sure beats them squacking bird. I like them gold rings, me. I guess you just sent me one for each finger. I hocked them at the pawn shop in Sulphur and got enough moenty to fix the shaft on my shrimp boat. Then I buy a round for the boys at the Raising Cain Lounge.
Merci Beaucoup!

Your sweatheart,

5:50 p.m., 2005-11-30, 0 comments.


Internet Strangeness! Fourth Week of November

Greatest X-Mas House Lights to date!

11:04 p.m., 2005-11-28, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 4

Dear Emile,

Mon Dieux! I told you no more of them birds. These four -- what you call them -- calling bird was so noisy. You could hear them all the way in Lafeyette. I used they necks in my crab traps and feed the rest to the gators.


10:37 p.m., 2005-11-28, 0 comments.


Webcomics: Fourth Week of November

Full Frontal Nerdity

My previous review of FFN may have been premature. Aaron Williams just knocked out three great strips in a row.

8:20 a.m., 2005-11-26, 1 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 3

Dear Emile,

Why don't you send me some crawfish? I tired of eating them darned bird. I gave two of them French chicken to Mrs. Fontenot over at Grand Chenier and fed one to my dog, Phideaux. Mrs. Fontenot needed some sparring partners for her fighting rooster. I didn't you was a such a bird lover.

Your feather-covered sweatheart,


8:13 a.m., 2005-11-26, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 2

Dear Emile,
Your letter said you sent two turtle doves, but I done got was two scrawny pigeon. Anyway, I mixed them with a boudin and made some gumbo out of them.

Still your sweetheart even though you be a cheapskate,

12:23 p.m., 2005-11-25, 0 comments.


Cajun Days of Christmas: Day 1

Dear Emile,

Thanks for the bird in the pear tree. I done fixed it last night with dirty rice and crawfish. It was delicious. I don't think the pear tree will grow in the swamp none, so I's swapped it for a satsuma.

Your Sweetheart,

11:55 a.m., 2005-11-24, 0 comments.


Comment Up!

The comments function on this page is finally working. The first comment was placed by me under the Halloween Costumes post below. Who will create the second?

11:43 a.m., 2005-11-24, 0 comments.


2005 X-Mas Surprise Packages

Monday, I received a package in the mail from Palladium Books. I had ordered two sets of the 2005 X-Mas Surprise Package from the popular game company. The first package was for myself, but the second package was designated to be sent to a random soldier serving overseas. What I got astounded me.

In the X-Mas surprise package labeled for me, I found the following items:

One invoice

One white plastic bag with a Palladium design and the hand written message, “For Scott G”

One medium sized tee-shirt, white material with the “Palladium Books Presents: 10 Years of Role-Playing Excellence!” design.

Two Rifts: Promise of Power video game for N-Gage luggage tags

One Rifts: Promise of Power tri-fold flyer signed by Kevin Siembieda, the company president
One catalog of Pallium Books, Winter 2005

One Rifter Magazine #32 with inside signatures by Kevin Siembieda, Wayne Smith, Alex Marciniszyn, Julius Rosenstein, and what appears to be the signature of Maryann Siembieda

One Compendium of Contemporary Weapons (what I wanted the most) with inside signatures by Kevin, Alex Marciniszyn, Maryann, and Julius Rosenstein. The last signature is slightly strange because according to the credits, Julius didn't have anything to do with this book.

One Beyond the Supernatural, Second Edition with inside signatures by Kevin, Alex Marciniszyn who signed as “Alex Mammy,” Wayne Smith, Julius Rosenstein, Apollo Okamura, and Maryann. Above his signature, Kevin wrote “Best Regard.”

One After the Bomb Second Edition with inside signatures by Kevin, Erick Wujcik who signed as “ERICK WUJCIK OCT 05,” Wayne Smith, Alex Mammy (again), Julius Rosenstein, and Maryann. The is also a short note over Kevin's signature which reads “Be an animal” and looks like Kevin's handwriting. There is also some scribbling above Erick's signature which may be runes.

Retail Value of my X-mas Surprise
Package: $91.75

Weight: 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms)

In the X-Mas Surprise Package labeled for the soldier, I found the following items:

Two catalogs of Palladium Books, Winter 2005

One "Palladium Books Twenty Years of Adventure" Poster signed by Kevin

One "Rifts Coalition Wars" Poster signed by Kevin

One Rifter Magazine #28 with inside signatures by Kevin, Wayne, Alex, Julius, Apollo, and Maryann

One Rifter Magazine #29 with inside signatures by Kevin, Wayne, Alex, Julius, Apollo, and Maryann

One Splicers with inside signatures by Kevin, Carmen Bellaire, Alex, Wayne, Julius, Apollo, Maryann, and one other siganture I can't make out. Kevin wrote, “Get Spliced,” and Carmen wrote “Go Kick Some Bots!!!”

One Nightbane with inside signatures by Kevin, Alex, Julius, Wayne, and Maryann
One Between the Shadows with inside signatures by Kevin, Alex, Julius, Wayne, and Maryann

One Palladium Fantasy, Second Edition with inside signatures by Alex, Julius, Wayne, and Maryann

One Rifts: MercTown with inside signatures by Kevin, Alex, Wayne, and Julius

One Rifts Game Master Guide with inside signatures by Kevin, Alex, Wayne, Julius, Maryann, and Jeff Hansen who has a very readable signature but no clue what he does. Kevin wrote above his signature, “Game on!”

One Rifts Ultimate Edition – hard cover! -- with inside signatures by Kevin, Alex, Wayne, Julius, Carmen Bellaire, Apollo, Maryann, and Kathy someone. Kevin wrote above his signature, “Explore the Megaverse.”

One note in Kevin's handwriting which reads, “For the Soldier. Slightly damaged Books let us load him up!” As a personal aside, I don't see any damage at all on most of the these books. A couple of the books have a wrinkled corner.

Retail Value of the soldier's X-mas Surprise Package: $249.55

Weight: 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms)

4:10 a.m., 2005-11-23, 0 comments.


Internet Strangeness! Second Week of November

I have a lot of entries piling up in the TEMP subdirectory of my bookmarks. Now I will share them now. There is no time like the present, I suppose.

Games! Perfect Dark and Stubbs

Perfect Dark was one of the best games to be released for consoles in the 1990's. Now there is finally a sequal to be released soon. But Joanna Dark is a blond! What's up with that?

Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse is a game that is going straight to the top of my gotta-try-it list. This game reminds me very, very much of the recently releashed title, _Destroy All Humans_. In both games, you play the roll of a monster in the 1950's and set out to cause a lot of destruction and laughs. Stubbs is a zombie who can throw his own internal organs like grenades, control enemies by attatching his severed hand to their skulls, create subordinate zombies from his victims, and eat many, many brains. In Destroy All Humans, the alien character had psychic abilities that had to be recharged by stealing the thoughts from earthlings. Trust me, those earthlings weren't using their thoughts anyway. The aliens also collected human brain stems for their DNA which is used as currency to buy upgrades. Our man Stubbs seems to need brains which he eats directly and thus serves both purposes. Both games take place in a variant sci-fi version of the 1950's that is a cross between the Beaver's neighborhood and the Jetsons. I recommend watching the "Cinema Trailer" followed by the clip entitled "My Boyfriend's Back."

Strange Photos

Is this a chupacabra skull or an impressive fake?

Star Wars Wallpapers

In order to promote the release of Star Wars Battlefront II for the X-Box, some gamers have created promotional posters. I particularly liked this Red Darth Vader motif. I thought this poster was just too funny.

Bad Web Design
I hate this website.

The Annual Weasel Awards
Scott Adams has released the results of the his annual contest to pick the biggest and greatest weasels of the year. I didn't like these results at all. Many of the winners shouldn't have even been elligible. "The White House" is not an organiziation. "Oil Companies" is not a company. "USA (includes Iraq)" as the weasliest country doesn't make any sense to me. If Iraq is part of the USA, then the USA itself is still part of the UK.

11:11 p.m., 2005-11-10, 0 comments.


Anime! Second Week of November

I'm watching: I, My, Me! Stawberry Eggs

There is a lot of anime out there right now which is created for specific target audiences. This series seems to be created for transvestites.

I just finished watching the first disc of this four disc series. Well, that was strange. It wasn't strange in an art deco or surrealist way like _Big O_ or _Furi Kuri_. In fact, I have trouble describing it. It's like a Neil Simon play if Neil Simon wrote a play about normal people who happen to be transvestites. The previews made this series look hilarious which is why I added it to my netflix queue, but after seeing the first four episodes, I realize that the series takes itself slightly more seriously than the screwball comedy as it is marketed.

Here is the plot in a proverbial nutshell. Hibiki Amawa is an idealistic who aspires to becoming a gym teacher. He applies to the private junior high school across from his new apartment building but learns that the principle is a man-hating sexist who blatantly tells him that no man will ever be up to the job. Just to prove her wrong, Hibiki follows the advice of his land lady and reapplies for the position as a woman. The four episodes on this disc are "Desperate First Lipstick," "Forbidden Narrow Eyeliner," "Selfish Blush Magic," and "Delicate Tear Concealer." Strawberry Eggs is no Greek drama nor a Saturday Night Live sketch but reaches some comfortable place in between. One critic described it as a cross be _Mrs. Doubtfire_ and _Dead Poet's Society_. I'd agree with that.

There is a lot of opportunity here for crude humor and fan service, but it is mostly potential that is unfulfilled and thankfully so. Hibiki seems to be a young man who never has a dirty thought in his head unlike his peeping neighbors. The students are funny and interesting but they don't receive nearly enough development. This series may have been based upon a manga which did the students more justice. The best character by far is the land lady, Bachan. This is a very short elderly lady who is an expert in everything. ...yes, everything. In the first episode alone, Bachan cooks, gives Hibiki his gender-bending make over, designs and builds him an electronic voice masking device, and demonstrates her revolver marksmanship on the tenants who are tardy on their rent payments. Bachan doesn't have much screen time after the first episode, but she steals every scene in which she appears. In contrast, there is the student who receives the most attention. She has got to be the most uninteresting character I have ever encountered in anime.

Make certain to stick around for the bonus features. This disc has the single strangest bonus feature I have ever seen on a DVD.

10:35 p.m., 2005-11-10, 0 comments.


Fantasy West Wing Politics

Last night, I watched the live episode of The West Wing in which Alan Alda's character faced Jimmy Smit's character in a presidential debate. I have never seen an episode of The West Wing before, but I enjoyed watching this one. The actors greatly impressed me with their abilities to move through long pieces of dialog on live television like Shakespeareans. I also liked how the two characters expressed their parties own views with considerable more clarity than any true modern politician could. I, however, found the entire debate to high unrealistic for that same reason.

The reason that these two characters spoke with clarity and conviction is because they are idealists. Idealists don't become presidential candidates. No major party in this nation would ever invest so much capital in a candidate who could not be easily controlled. Above and beyond my own conspiracy theory, the simple reality is that the methods of quickly modern politics crush idealism. That is why many of the best presidents of the twentieth century like Theodore Roosevelt and Truman were elected as vice presidents and fell into their roles as commander-in-chief.

I also found much of the conduct of these two characters unrealistic. They afforded each other far too much respect. Real candidates are deeply ingrained with partisan propaganda that they pass along to the public. This was evident in the fictitious debate when they allowed each other to make excellent arguments that went unchallenged. In particular, Jimmy Smit's line in which he described Abraham Lincoln as a liberal would not have gone unchallenged in a real debate. It's not as if this statement can hold up to scrutiny. Lincoln was an abolitionist and doesn't fit well into the contemporary mold of a liberal nor does he resemble a contemporary conservative much. When either conservatives or liberals claim nineteenth century historical figures as their own, they face the same logical sticking points as when they try to push Hitler off on each other.

Excuse me while I diverse on a slight tangent. I would like to go into a little more detail about Lincoln and Hitler. Neither of these historic figures fit on the narrow-minded one dimensional model of politics which is accepted as the modern standard. Lincoln was an abolitionist and Hitler was a facist. Look at the policies of a fascist. Fascists repress free speech and strongly oppose the rights of private citizens to own their own weaponry (both liberal traits). Fascists also over-empower their own military and police forces while limiting or destroying the rights of accused criminals (both conservative traits). Fascists do fit on the two dimensional political model that is used by Libertarians, but even then it is still an awkward fit.

Another point of contention that would have been raised during the debate was Smit's asertion that Medicare is the most cost efficient government program. His statement of a 2% administrative cost for the program can only be true if one starts counting after the federal government hands the money to the Medicare administrators. If one starts tracking the level of administrative costs from the point at which taxes are paid, the level of inefficiency quickly explodes. The ugly truth is that roughly seventy percent of every tax dollar collected in the unites states never reaches its intended program. Alda's character kept silent on this matter.

There is a poll held on in which viewers were allowed to vote for either candidate on the question of who won the debate. It is a close call, but in my opinion -- I wouldn't vote either one. Unfortunately, this was not an option on the website. I found Alda's blind faith in the free market to act without any regulation to be downright creepy. For example, I see no problem in government instituted drug price controls like those used in Canada when drug companies can very well afford it. Alda's character is strongly opposed to exactly this type of government intervention and said it when the debate turned to Canada and health care. Smit's character has far too much blind faith in government programs as the default answer to every problem and no way to pay for it all. I also found Smit's lack of an energy policy to be disturbing even when compared to Alda's oversimplified policy of more oil drilling. I suppose that I will never find a candidate who I am willing to support so long as the ridiculous two party system maintains its stranglehold on American politics.

8:21 a.m., 2005-11-07, 0 comments.


Best Halloween Costumes

Did you see a costume you particularly liked last weekend? I didn't see any which impressed me, but they must be out there somewhere.

Actually, this thread was created to test the new Comments feature on this blog. I'll link to interesting costume pictures in the comments section.

1:55 a.m., 2005-11-06, 1 comments.


Comic Books! First Week of November

Currently, there is only one comic book I collect regularly, Knights of the Dinner Table. Since KoDT has become as much a gaming magazine as a comic book, I won't focus on it much here. Instead, I will look at three other titles I have picked up recently.

Poison Elves: Dominion

Poison Elves is a long running mismass of different comic book series set in a the Amrahly'nn which was created by Drew Hayes. In short, Poison Elves is a gritty fantasy story about elves who dress like goths. Drew is an incredible storyteller and good artist whose work always appeared a little unpolished but stylish and unique. The original series followed the adventures of rogue elf, Lusiphur, who worked at different times as a thief, mercenary, assassin, or general bad luck magnet. Lus was a vibrant personality, an evil hero with no redeeming traits and an undead jester living in his subconcious. Drew's stories had moments that left me in slack jawed surprise at least once per issue, and the great part is that all of the story twists and plot elements were character driven. From time to time, I have picked up current copies of PE to see how my old friend, Lus, is doing these days. I feel sorry for anyone who tries to pick up a random issue and try to make sense of it all. I write that not because the stories are particilarly complex but because of the tremendous character development that takes place.

In recent years, other writers and artists have been building in the sandbox that Drew built. The most recent series was Poison Elves: Ventures which were new stories focused on the minor characters of the PE setting. For anyone who didn't read the classic Mulehide Press comics by Drew, these newer stories probably didn't make a lick of sense. Just minutes ago, I finished reading the first issue of Dominion. PE: Dominion is a prequel story which deals with the past of Lusifer's best buddy, the idealist Jace. Here, Jace is a young soldier who is assigned to an elite commando unit of elves that answer only to the top levels of elven government. Here we also see younger versions of other Drew Hayes characters like the warduke. Even Lusiphur would later find it strange how Jace served loyally under the warduke for years but later was unfazed by Lusiphur's confession that he had killed the warduke. This story fills in a lot of gaps like that.

Dominion is written by Keith Davidsen who did a great job here. He managed not only to tell a powerful story in thirty-two pages with slight dialogue but also to capture much of the fun of Drew's writing style. The illustrator is Scott Lewis whose work honestly could use some improvement. His battle scenes are too stiff, and several of his characters look so similar that they are difficult to tell apart. I will be back for Issue #2.

Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles

Other than the fact that the title is too long, there isn't much wrong with this story. Whereas Dominion has a strong story and slightly weak artwork, the reverse is true with Prelude. That's pretty much standard for Wildstorm books. What is suprising here is that old favorites of mine, Jason and John Waltrip, are back to writing for Robotech. These brothers together took turns both writing and drawing the majority of robotech comic books for years under the Eternity, Academy, and finally Anartic Press emblems. They probably put out three to four hundred issues over a span of ten years. Now they are writing the new book for Jim Lee's company but adding no artwork. Go figure. Yes, you go and figure -- right now.

Prelude is supposed to fill in story gaps between the old Robotech television series and the upcoming movie, "Shadow Chronicles." If Shadow Chronicles doesn't actually get made or released, it will be the fourth stillborn Robotech animation project since the conclussion of the original series back in the early eighties. Although this new book erases the events of the classic Waltrip stories, it does recreate many of the same events and themes in a more accelerated format. The first issue is about Colonel Edward's betrayl of the Robotech Expeditionary Fleet at Tirol. What is impressive here is the artwork. All of the characters got visually designed -- yes, everyone. The Sentinel species in particular needed the work. The Kabbaran aliens, large hulking bear-like humanoids with goggles and mushroom shaped horns on their heads, used to look like something out of super mario brothers game. Now they look more like concept art from a Werewolf game. This is a big improvement. Ironically, the mecha designs haven't been changed in the slightest. I suppose the mecha didn't need the work. The coloring is what really grabs the reader. The colors are complex yet vibrant and probably the best coloring job I've ever seen in a comic book since Alex Ross' hand painted masterpiece, Kingdom Come. I will probably be back for Issue #2.

The New Avengers

No, this has nothing to do with the television series by that name of 1976.

This series was recommended to me, and I gave it a try for three issues. I don't like it. It's too bad as the creative team seems to be quite talented, but their efforts are misplaced on this silly series. The new Avengers team is composed of Iron Man (Tony Stark is in the armor), Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage the Hero for Hire, Spider-Woman, and a mysterious new hero called Sentry. The book concept is that these heroes were drawn together by a prison break in which dozens of supervillians escaped. They took on the title of the Avengers and resolved to work together until the escapees are recaptured. The three issues I read only barely touched on this storyline and instead focused on the mystery of the ... character. The story was interesting and fun to read, but ultimately it just didn't make sense. Furthermore, it all but ignored the most interesting and important characters on the team. The character who gets the most lines in this story arc is the White Queen from X-Men, but she isn't even on this team. This is a deeply flawed book both in concept and execution. Even the team membership doesn't make much sense. I can't tell who is the team leader, but it seems to be Iron Man. Doesn't Cap feel any resentment after commanding the Avengers for decades and suddenly taking orders from someone else? How does Tony justify leading a team of Avengers after he has been so greedy with his technology for so many years? How is it that Spider-Man who frequently complains about Punisher's ultra-violent methods is comfortable working on the same team with Wolverine who is at least as violent as Frank Castle? How do either of them have time to join another team when they each star in several other books already? How does Captain America who serves for only the noblest of causes feel about working with a mercenary like Cage? The book never discusses these issues. By Issue #10, you would think that this would come up. Also, why is Spider-Woman there? Her power level and experience are way below the team average to the point of making her useless. She serves no apparent role on the team nor in the book other than supplying the estrogen component for the standard super-hero team formula. It's too bad as I really love the artist's depiction of Spider-Woman. Lastly, the New Avengers have set up shop in Manhattan, the most overly protected neighborhood in comic book history. Even Professor X asked Iron Man why he didn't set up the team in another city to spread the wealth, but that question was never adequately answered.

So here is my challenge. The team roster of the New Avengers needs a complete overhaul. Fire the bunch of them and start over. Here are the rules. The team must compose of at least five and no more than ten characters for adqueate story time to go to each character. One character must be a leader at least in the context of making combat decisions. The leader must be experienced and trusted by the other team members. One character must be the money-bags. The money bags supports the team financially. At least one character should be female -- it is probably a company policy at Marvel. One character should come from the X-Men family of books to pull in a cross-over audience. At least one character should be from the among the classic Avengers characters for the old school fans. One character should be high-tech and another should be magical in origin. One character should be the team jester. If you can work in a psychic also, then bonus points go to you. Lastly, all characters must be Marvel comic book characters, so Transforers and Hercules would count but Batman and Hellboy would not.

Here is how I would do it. I would start with Namor, the Submariner. He fills the rolls of team leader, money-bags, and Avengers classic character. The prince of Atlantis is rolling in it. His own book's motto at one time was "If you can't beat them, buy them out." He's also arrogant enough that he believes he can build a better Avenger team, and no one would question his experience since he appeared as a pulp hero way, way back in 1939.

For a physic, I would pick White Queen as the creative team seems to like her better than their own team members anyway. Emma Frost is an X-Man, a psychic which helps in team diversity, and she's a chick. Emma is even sassy enough to match Namor well.

For hi-tech help, I would enlist the aid of Forge. Yes, he's another X-Men character but an underused X-Man. His former roles as a US weapons developer and head of the X-Factor project would bring a large level of trust to the Avengers as well as governmental contacts and favors. Also, Forge isn't a greedy with his technology as Tony Stark.

The jester? I would bring in Howard the Duck. Why? Why not? He's a classic marvel character, and with Forge's help he can upgrade his arsenal to Avenger norm standards easily. Give him a blaster and a cigar that generates force field smoke -- Howard will be happy with that.

Need an alternate jester? Okay, maybe Howard the Duck won't fly. Then let's use Strong Guy as a back up. As written by Peter David, this X-Factor character was hilarious. Furthmore, he a proverbial big guy. Artists like having a big guy on the team for asthetic purposes. The fact that he can absorb and redirect any amount of kenetic energy puts him in league with whatever power level the story requires. Lastly, Guido takes orders well which is a trait Namor would no doubt exploit.

Then comes the tough hole to fill, magic. We need more mojo. This is tricky because typically most magic characters worth a darn in Marvel are villians. Whenever a magic expert is needed, Dr. Strange usually shows up which makes him third most overused character in Marvel after Spider-Man and Wolverine. In the past, Avengers have recruited Dr. Druid and the Scarlet Witch to fill this gap. Wanda fits better in the X-Men books and no ever liked Dr. Druid much. Maybe Sleepwalker would fit the bill.

I also like Vicki Montessi in this slot. Lacking a cool super-hero name, she is a viable character. When Ghost Rider's popularity was producing a lot of crummy spin off books in the early nineties, the best of the bunch was probably the book that received the least attention, Darkhold Redeemers. The book was about a book of powerful evil spells which Dracula was always wanting. Vicki was the latest generation of a family of vampire hunters who shared a special bond with the Darkhold and whenever a page from the book turned up somewhere, Vicki would have a prophetic dream which would lead the team to it. I'll give this selection some more thought.

When I get enough names together, I will start a survey.

5:15 p.m., 2005-11-04, 0 comments.





Games! Fifth Week of October

I am currently playing in three play-by-e-mail games. _Star Wars: Hard Luck_ is set onboard a smuggling ship. _Star Wars: Inheritors of the Force_ is set in an abandonned Jedi training facility following the death of the emporer. _Rifts: Longbow_ is set in a mercenary company which works out of Lazlo. Here are my characters in each game.

Radio the Curious Verpine Mechanic
Lief the Scruffy Looking Narf Herder
Joyride the teenaged Rifts City Rat

This isn't as time consuming as it may seem. I probably spend less than ten minutes per day writing new posts for each game. When these games get moving, they will take even less of my time. Nonetheless, I am holding myself to these three games for now so that I don't overcommit and leave several games disrupted if I lose internet access again. If anyone else is interested in joining, all three of these games are still accepting new players.

Here are some other pbems that look like fun.

Return to Sleep Hollow
Star Gate: Final Stand and Beyond Atlantis
Star Trek: Azeri Exploration Fleet

11:56 a.m., 2005-10-26, 0 comments.





Computer News! Fifth Week of October

Just in time for All Hallows Eve, I have a new PC repair scary story.
Aurora is a particularly nasty piece of malware. None of the popular anti-spyware programs are equipped to handle it at the moment. Don't do anything stupid until your anti-spyware company creates a solution in a week or two. You know what I mean. That last piece of spyware you got -- you know how you got it. Don't do that.

2:30 a.m., 2005-10-26, 0 comments.





Mid-Life Crisis! Fourth Week of October

There isn't much for me to report this time. The big boss, Chuck, has decreed that the four companies he runs are once again separate businesses (the fourth such change in two years). That means I am authorized to work up to but not including forty hours per week for each business. I shouldn't complain because the jobs are easy work at the moment, and I may need the money. My checking account is below the level I like to keep it, but that is partially because I sank a large payment into my dinky little money market fund so that I can reach the minimum investment sooner. In related news, my car is on the fritz again so I think I may need to buy a new starter for it next week. This doesn't effect me very much as I tend to walk to work anyway, and I have no life outside of work and this blog.

The arrival of Hurricane Wilma on the Florida coast has been pushed back by another day to Tuesday. It may or may not interfere with turnout of our tradiational big Halloween crowd in Saint Augustine. It really doens't make as much difference to me because I don't get permission to leave when a storm approaches. What happened last year was that whenever I asked, the bosses kept saying, "Well, let's wait and see what happens." So I waited and waited. About the time that an eye passed overhead, Chuck called me from his vacation cabin in the Smokey Mountains. He finally decided that the museum was going to close for the day. All hyperbole aside, by this time I received the call, it was *way* to late to evacuate and the tourists had been gone for almost twenty-four hours.

I never did figure out why my solar oven doesn't work. I'll post more on that later.

Currently Reading: A Land Remembered

I, Cyborg

Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics

Currently Playing:Full Metal Alchemist: Curse of the Crimson Elixer for the PS2

Just Finished Playing: Parasite Eve, an excellent Squaresoft game from the nineties based on a Japanese sci-fi novel of the same name. This is only the eighth(I count) video game I have ever completed. It takes me a long time to finish a game. Now I have beaten Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2, Mario 64, Starfox 64, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy X, and Parasite Eve. I'm proud of myself.

Currently Watching in anime: Jubie-Chan the Ninja Girl: Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch Volume 2

1:24 p.m., 2005-10-22, 0 comments.





Webcomics! Fourth Week of October

Jack Thompson

Okay, the Jack Thompson thing has just gotten weird. Since the Florida-based celebrity lawyer began crusading against violence in video games, he has become a favored target for lampooning by various webcomic creators like Scott and Gabe and Tycho. Rather than simply expressing dissatisfaction, Thompson prefers to escalate by actually filing lawsuits against companies which create violent games. At some point recently, Thompson claimed that he would pay $10,000 to charity if a game were created which involves the gamer controlling an angry father who hunts, kills, and urinates upon game company executes. Thomspon later refused to pay the money claiming that his suggestion was parody in the spirit of Thomas Swift's "A Modest Proposal" and thus not binding. Thomspon insisted that the gamers community had missed the wit of his own modest proposal. Here is a seemingly good summary of the full story.

I think Thomspon has this backwards. Thomas Swift's "A Modest Proposal" was an essay in which Swift, author of _Gulliver's Travels_, suggested that the overpopulation problem in Ireland be relieved by roasting Irish babies and feeding them to British aristocrats. What Thompson probably didn't realize is that Swift's modest proposal was even less well received in its own time than Thompson's modest proposal. Those who didn't get Swift's joke thought him to be a butcher and those who did get the joke simply thought it crude and unfunny. This was probably the downfall of Swift's career.

Full Frontal Nerdity

I was a little disappointed in this comic. Aaron William's best known creation is _Nodwick_, a regular strip in D&D magazines about a torch bearer who follows a typical adventuring troupe and makes sarcastic remarks behind their backs. In _Full Frontal Nerdity_, Aaron works a little closer to home. The series is about three friends sitting around playing various games while a fourth guy plays through a webcam. This is probably my favorite strip. It's a good concept (albeit a little derivative), and Aaron Williams treats the characters with good natured humor that neithers scorns the subject matter nor idolizes it. The strips are usually episodic, but sometimes, Williams hits upon a good thread and runs with it like this series of three strips. Too bad I don't like it. It just doesn't have the humorous punch of very similar series like Dork Tower and Knights of the Dinner Table.

I may come back to _Full Frontal Nerdity_ from time to time but not regularly.

Lulu Eightball

This is a particularly well received comic strip which currently runs in a newspaper in Baltimore. _Lulu Eightball_ has been steadily bringing in readers from outside of Baltimore who don't usually read webcomics. I don't like it. The artwork is simplistic and uncolored which are normally good things in webcomics, but in this case it looks like the artist spent no more than ten minutes on each once-weekly strip. The humor is inconsistent. There are no storylines nor reoccurring characters. Some of the strips are racy by the standards of a newspaper comic yet they don't go far enough to justify keeping the comic solely web based. It's not bad, but it won't be a link in my Firefox Bookmarks list.

Knights in Hell

I was going to save this review for next week, but I decided to end this week's reviews on a high note. Knights in Hell in funny. A now discontinued webcomic, it had a fair number of strips before ending its run and it completed its single major story arc. The artwork is -- well, the characters stick figures. No, they really are stick figures. Check out the first page. Troa won't be winning any awards for his artwork, but somehow he makes it work in this series. Troa seems completely comfortable with stick figures, and thus he seems to be having fun with them. Furthremore, Troa uses exactly the type of sarcastic humor mized with dramatic irony that is becoming more popular among webcomic creators. For example, I think this is my favorite strip. I've read all of the way through KiH, and it took me about an hour. I highly recommend this comic for it sharp wit and bleeding-stick figure ultra-violence.

10:12 a.m., 2005-10-22, 0 comments.








Internet Strangeness! Fourth Week of October

Libertarian's Nightmare

It may be a nightmare, but this short animationed video is also pretty darn funny.

Something Awful

The funniest thing I have read on the web in quite some time is Something Awful. This is a review sight for hentei games which feature all sorts of perversion. The reviewer, Zack Parsons, rates his games on a scale of negative one to negative one hundred. His most favorable rating thus far is a negative twenty-two. The subject matter is downright profane, and Parsons' vocabulary is appropriate. I haven't read all of Parsons' reviews yet, but a typical review is of the game Viper Paradice [sic]. Parsons describes this game as " of those insane blends of Hentai with other genres, in this case the board game Candyland and lysergic acid."

My favorite review, thus far, is for the game Let's Meow Meow. I don't think I can quote any of Parsons' review on this page. You'll need to go there yourself.

Something Else Awful

This entry is for my brother. He'll get a kick out of this link. It seems that the sarcastic gluttons at Something Awful tend to get threatened with bogus legal action -- a lot. Rich Kyanka fields these bone-chilling e-mails. As Rich described his lot in life, "I thought I had seen it all. In my nearly eight years of using the Internet, I've been threatened by lawsuits from webmasters, psychotic game developers, heavy metal bands, adult men who wear diapers, and even more psychotic game developers. I had never, in my entire life, thought I would eventually receive a lawsuit from THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR." It seems that the Ultimate Warrior of pro-wrestling fame and childhood hero to many in my generation is now an internet pundint -- who refers to himself as the Warrior with a capitalized "W." Having read a couple of his posts, it seems that he is actually a straight shooter who can structure a compelling argument. Nonetheless, the Ultimate Warroom, according to a newspaper report, made somewhat of a fool of himself during a speech at the University of Oklahoma. I don't actually trust the college newspaper to get a story right when it clearly was expressing one side of the events from that night, but I wouldn't put the blame on the shoulders of Parsons either for relaying the information from that article and drawing the logical conclussion from it, that the Ultimate Wardrobe is a bigoted racist. The Director of Communications for the Warrior, instead of lashing out against the newspaper for shotty reporting, took out some frustration by attempting to bully the guys at Something Awful. Hilarity ensued for several days. I would at this point, quote my favorite line, but I don't want to give it away too soon.

Things Special Swartz is not allowed to do on a submarine

Just because my friend Don was interested in it, here is the list of 159 Things Skippy the Bubblehead Cannot Do. Actually, it should be the list of 159 Things Which May Not Be Done by Skippy the Bubblehead, but this is Skippy afterall. My favorite item on this list was "#110: Telling little old lady tour groups that the nuclear missiles have the capability to be ‘set for stun.'" While I am at it, here is the full collection of Skippy lists including a link to the original list that detailed the antics of Specialist Skippy Swartz in the US Army.

Adventures of the USS Inflict

The same author of the Skippy the Bubblehead list has created a Star Trek parody starring posable stick figures. I've read through the first chapter so far. The strange part is that this screwball parody makes more sense structurally than most actual Star Trek series. The navigator is a Medusan (from the original series), the yoeman is a Horta (also from TOS), and the transporter chief carries a big sword on her hip. Furthermore, the excessively spacious internal apartment complex has been gutted in this Galaxy-class frame to make room for extra storage space. This is almost exactly what I would do with a starfleet ship if I found myself in charge. I would have upgraded the transporters, but otherwise this is pretty much my ship.

Underworld: Evolution

Unfortunately, the sequal was made. The most notable point of interest concerning the first movie was White Wolf Publishing's lawsuit against it. The creators of the big 1990's roleplaying books _Vampire: The Masquerade_ and _Werewolf: The Apocolypse_ slapped a lawsuit against Sony Pictures (I think it was Sony) charging an amazing one hundred-plus copyright violations. No one took White Wolf's lawsuit seriously. Penny Arcade even ran a strip about White Wolf executives claiming that they invented vampires. Having read a few of the White Wolf books and seen the first movie, I can say that there is no doubt in my mind the movie was plaguerized. Danny McBride II and Len Wiseman are thieves. _Underworld_ even used specific terminology from White Wolf books like "abomination" being the term for a character afflicted with both vampirism and lycantropy. Aparently, the law suit didn't go anywhere because the second movie in the series is being released.

Anyone who missed the original _Underworld_, didn't miss much. It was a exceedingly lackluster film in which deathdealers dressed in black (which is the vampire gang color) hunted lycans dressed in black (which is the werewolf gang color) across dark movie sets of gray. The cineamatrography was abysmal and not in a good way. The action was uninspired. The male characters were so similar to each other in appearance, speech, and movement that I couldn't tell them apart. Kate Beckinsale, a normally outstanding young actress, gave the same one-dimensional wooden performance as everyone else. Her skin tight pleather outfit stolen from the set of _The Matrix_ movies was the saving grace of this film. Now Kate is back. I write "Kate" although her character's name according to Yahoo Movies is "Selene," but I don't really remember the first movie that well. The pleather suit is also back.

9:39 a.m., 2005-10-21, 1 comments.





Quotes! Fourth Week of October

“Do not try to do much with your own hands; better the Arabs do it tolerably than you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are there to help them, not win it for them.”
--T.E. Lawrence a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia

"A 'No' uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or, what is worse, to avoid trouble."
--Mahatma Gandhi

"Pain don't hurt."
--Patrick Swayze

12:09 a.m., 2005-10-21, 0 comments.






This is my old blog. If you would like to know anything about me, my personal data is all still over there.

Also, I began a community web journal for ghost tour guides in my home town.

4:12 p.m., 2005-10-20, 0 comments.



I have finally began work on my web comic. The first actual strip isn't up yet, but I did post some character sketches. Perfecting the look of the third main character is still holding up my progress.

4:09 p.m., 2005-10-20, 0 comments.



This is a test.

4:02 p.m., 2005-10-20, 0 comments.


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