Still haven't seen the movie yet. Ran into this interview with the actress that plays Gabriel, which makes me wonder just what on earth they were thinking. "I loved the idea of a blockbuster film that talks about good and evil at a time when everyone is talking about good and evil and the "axis" thereof, and the rest of us are expected to just sort of swallow it. It felt like it had the capacity to be a radical political film." ... "Gabriel is not a baddy. He becomes insane because he starts to think that if you wrap yourself in God's clothes you can do anything you want, and it ain't true. There is something insane about a lack of doubt. Doubt, to me anyway, is what makes you human, and without doubt even the righteous lose their grip not only on reality but also on their humanity. The idea that Gabriel takes things into his own hands, decides that the way to get the most souls into heaven is to torch the place, is extremely modern." I have some of the early Hellblazer comics. Haven't read the series in quite a while. I think there are some things there that are echoed in the comic, sort of. An archangel like Gabe wouldn't be doing that, but I seem to remember Constantine saying something like "Angels scare the shit out of me." Hmm. 50 mil so far? Not great, not horrible.
Been doing a couple of useful things. However, I've also been playing Morrowind, which has got to be the largest time sink I've ever seen in a role-playing computer game. You're always trying to complete quests, and trying to figure out which ones will be the most useful for you to do. It has a tendency to crash on my laptop, but a few changes has helped a lot. So, I'm maybe 1/3 to 1/2 way through the main quest, I've done essentially nothing with the expansion packs, and I can imagine at least 2 other character types that would significantly change the story. And Oblivion, the sequel, is scheduled to appear this year. So, I've been a little lax in noting the small, teensy changes going on in the world that have nothing to do with our excursion into Iraq. Vodkapundit hasn't been, though. .... Ok. Why is my neighbor watching the tv at 1245 in the morning? And why am I up, anyway?
Went to a friend's birthday dinner last night. Small, fun gathering. Random thoughts about it: 1) It came out that an acquaintance's wife may have been cheating on him. Probably not presently. 2) The only political statement was a random anti-Bush comment. Now, after the Iraqi election. Give up the hate! 3) I still am stuck in the sit quietly, make occasional comments mode. Partially since my chiming in on my political beliefs would not have been well accepted. 4) A person was noted as having said, after spending a weekend with his daughter, that he had now spent more time with her than his father ever did with him. Which is interesting. I clearly would have liked more contact with my dad growing up, but he certainly did more than that. Raised expectations, from being a firstborn? Maybe. Spellchecker wanted to change firstborn to frostbite. :P
I saw the final show for this season's Project Runway, [they were advertising for contestants for next season] and I have to say I just don't get the fashion world. I could understand something of a trend in Kara's clothes - some open backs, generally solid colors, etc. But, if I was looking at them as ART, trying for an emotional response, didn't get much from any of them. Jay won. He looked flabbergasted. I think the deciding factor was what the male judge said; something along the lines of: When I go to one of these shows, I want to be so involved I wonder what they'll do next season. I agree, Jay had that. I would say, to me, Wendy had at least some of that. Kara didn't, to me.
Following a link from the Carnival of Recipes, Blog o'Rama has 4 questions. Questions first, my answers after.
1. Name one thing that is always in your pantry and tell why. 2. What one gadget would you most like to throw out the window? On whom would you like it to land? 3. What is the last thing you cooked in your microwave? 4. If you could go to a grocery store right now what would you buy?
1) Either canned tuna or chicken, so I can make a dinner salad or rice dish easily.2) The bread machine. No other device promises so much and is used so little. 3) Warmed up a bar-b-q pork sandwich. Yum. 4) It's been a while, so I need some staples - eggs, more Diet Mountain Dew, veggies.
Carnival of Recipes
#28 is up, over at Rocket Jones. Quite Early One Morning has a Caesar Salad that looks tasty. I may have to try this recipe for Jerk Chicken. And lots of desserty goodness.
So, how much good news coming out of the Middle East will be necessary for a strongly anti-war Democrat [like, say, Howard Dean] to admit that the Iraq war, deposing Saddam, and starting a domino effect was a good thing? I don't think Syria leaving Lebanon would do it. I don't think coming to some sort of conclusion on the Palestinian vs Israel question would do it. Might reforms in Saudi Arabia and Egypt do it? Or maybe Iran. Hat tip: Instapundit. Oh yeah, and isn't it interesting that the Washington Times article thinks the protest is entirely inspired by the Orange Revolution, while Rajan Rishyakaran thinks Iraq's elections had something to do with it.
Things going ok down here, although I might head up to the Tiny Texas Town to see my folks this weekend. Here's hoping JohnL feels better soon. So, is it a good thing or a bad thing that I'm watching more Bravo than SciFi Network?
SciFi Ranter Girl points to this list of 40 blogs that have something to do with scifi, from the Asimov's Science Fiction site. Only a few have I ever heard of before. Reading ahead. She also notes a blog writen by Ronald Moore, creator of Battlestar Galactica [current one]. More of a site where he makes announcements and answers questions, but still.
The Baby Name Wizard is here. Fun. Unfortunately, Chewbacca is not in the top 1000 names in any decade. Huh, a huge spike of Adam's in the 1980s. Dick spiked in the 30's, vanished in the 70's. Richard has fallen but still present. H/T: Dummocrats.
A Candle in the Dark
Someone recently returning from Iraq, showing his memorabilia. Including a 5.56 bullet for emergencies. Ok, suicide [in the event one is kidnapped by the enemy, and doesn't want one's death video to be a best seller]. Needs to be quick, can't be stopped by the enemy, preferably painless. Bullet: advantages Relatively sure, as long as you're using a handgun and pointing in the correct direction [I've seen a couple of failed suicide attempts where the person shot up instead of back, thus taking out some forebrain and the optic nerves [and a good chunk of face]]. disadvantages If you've got a gun and a bullet, why not take one of the bastards instead of you? Knife: advantages Somewhat sure, assuming you know your anatomy and can go through with STABBING YOURSELF IN THE HEART. disadvantages This might be somewhat difficult, likely to be at least briefly painful. If the sight of blood makes you queasy, the sight of your heart's blood gushing on the floor is likely to make for a bad couple of minutes. Poison: advantages Depends on the poison. Could be quick, sure, painless [or at least brief]. disadvantages Getting your hands on the right poison could be difficult. Likely to be uncertain. There are likely to be some possibilities I'm missing in a combat zone. Grenade? [I suspect uncertain]. The equivalent to suicide by cop? Hmm. This is not likely to get my blog out of the "weird" section. Hat tip: Beatiful Atrocities.
Carnival of Recipes
#27 is here at Inside Allan's Mind. We've been dared to make Spam Pie. Nothing else I have a burning need to make.
I told a college friend about this blog. After he looked at it, his comment was that it's a little weird. Hmm. My last 3 posts were about porn spam, dorky activities and their effect on one's sex life, and a stick figure animation in which the guy talks to various women and they kill him in various ways. Yup. Weird.
Dorkstorm: The Annihilation
The Wave Magazine has a list of the top 10 dorkiest activities known to man, and the chance they will interfere with your sex life. So, basically, I should focus my dorkiness into a hobby that will improve my sex life. Which apparently means I should take up vampirism or become a furry. I'm screwed. H/T: Transterrestial Musings.
Vodkapundit notes our new Attorney General's Brave War on ... porn. Pixy Misa comments he should go for a War on Porn Spam, and John L agrees. My question is, am I doing something wrong? I get a huge amount of spam to my hotmail account, probably 80% of which is advertising various ways to improve the functioning of my penis. The only porn spam I get is hetero, and unlikely to be interesting even if I swung that way. Am I likely to like anything that will distract the AG from pointless and possibly liberty reducing prosecutions? Oh yeah. Is there something that might possibly be more important than reducing the number of times I hit the empty junk mail folder? Hmm, Could be...
First, go read this Websnark post on PvP. Basically, the concept is Max Powers is a guy that Cole considers his arch-enemy, but he really isn't that bad, and clearly doesn't consider Cole his arch-enemy. I've got a Max Powers, or at least I had one growing up. He probably was my best friend in 7th and 8th grade, we were a debate team in 9th grade, then things fell apart. Looking back on it, I suspect the onset of puberty had something to do with it, possibly - maybe he became interested in girls and I wasn't, our interests became less aligned, and boom. Either that or [the evil version] he essentially had a choice between being friends with me or another kid, the other kid had more money/ influence/ neat shit, and I lost. The point of all of this is, since the summer after high school graduation I don't think I've seen him. I knew he had done very well for himself, had been a venture capitalist in California before [and I think after] the dot com crash. About a week ago I got a note from my high school [the joy of having gone to a private institution] inviting me to a ceremony in April celebrating him as a distinguished alumnus, which undoubtedly means he has donated a large chunk o change to the school. Or maybe I'm just cynical, since the award states it is given for "[A]chievement of exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career. " But I doubt it. So, I'm considering going to this thing, outing myself as a gay male as appropriate, and maybe getting a little perspective on life. Or I may be nuts, and it will be the most painful thing I've done in awhile. No one from school knows I'm gay, although several years ago I got a call from an old friend telling me he's gay. [and in a committed relationship, at least then]. Update: hmm. Googled the name of his investment firm and some other stuff. He has been very successful, and did well in school, graduating first in his class in 2.5 years, getting masters and MBA after. Looks like a strong influence for nanotech.
My parents are back, I'm still in the Tiny Texas Town, but probably going back tonight. Being vaguely useful now. I need a concealed handgun license.
I havn't commented on this story, partially because I was surprised to find out that apparently the grunts on the ground weren't killing MSM reporters every chance they got. Frank J's top 10 list bears this out. Vodkapundit, however, has a nice post that brings it all together, [person from Columbia Journalism Review makes some relevant points in comments, another commenter makes some points, person from CJR goes off the deep end]. Also, Ace of Spades makes a good point:
Finally, I think Eason Jordan's career died for the mainstream media's sins. The mainstream media is 1) liberal and 2) unwilling to admit this, so when someone like Eason Jordan puts lie to their claims of objectivity, that man is forced to resign in order to continue the charade of media objectivity.
I still hate dialup. I may be driving back Monday or Tuesday; my parents are coming back into town tomorrow. I don't get a newspaper at home, so reading my grandfather's was enlightening. Have there been any pro-blogs MSM articles anyone has seen?
Puttering around on the message board, there's a post on which actor would be worse than Keanu. My fav: Colin Farrel
TexasBestGrok links to a survey of SciFi guys, in the manner of his World Famous Sci Fi Babes. So, the choices are Keanu Reaves, Brad Pitt, [both instantly recognizible to me from several films], Joaquin Phoenix [my initial impression: who? my impression after googling him and going to the fansite: "his stance as a committed vegan and his support for animal rights continue to have an effect both in Hollywood and amongst his fans" AAARRGGHH], and Michael Biehn [instantly recognizible from the pic, his IMBD listing shows quite a few other movies I havn't seen, excluding The Abyss and Aliens]. Sorry, committed vegan and animal rights supporter, I don't care what you look like, you loose. I don't understand the Brad Pitt attraction, and Keanu Reaves is just too weird [although I will try to see Constantine on opening night [this Friday!]][hmm, horrible reviews on IMBD, maybe not]. So Michael Biehn gets my vote, Joaquin Phoenix gets kicked out of bed.
Saw last night's episode [I've missed one, at least]. If they wanted to improve safety while not causing a witchhunt, why not just publish the photos they have saying these people should be reported to the authorities? The fact that the robots are now mimicing humans would have to be told to some security types, but not others. There is, by the way, a TCS article on Battlestar here. I think I agree with everything said.
Reading Jan 31st Forbes while waiting for pages to load. Now, it strikes me as the People Magazine for business people - articles seem to focus on people [ie, CEOs], rather than companies or stratagies. There's usually some sort of comments on the economy, but nearly always with other articles or editorials taking the opposite position. I have to wonder if more useful information is on the net.
Carnival of Recipes
Is out. # 26. I don't have a recipe in it this time, but some look tasty. One of the things I've been doing this week is cooking for my grandfather, who has some gourmet tastes [kind of hard to do in the Tiny Texas Town, although the superWalmart about 15 miles away helps]. He had been talking about a shrimp and scallops dish a restaurant made in years past, so when I saw this recipe for Shrimp Newburg from Feisty Repartee I decided to make it. It worked pretty well, although the cheese sauce ended up being really thick [ I might have used more cheese than the recipe recommended, I just eyeballed it.] Somewhat subtle flavor, I added salt and black pepper at the table.
Have I mentioned recently that dialup is annoying? Just trying to read Instapundit takes forever. I think part of the problem is I'm using a computer old enough that the chipmunks powering it have fallen into senility. The real problem is that I'm afraid if I go back to Galveston some disaster will happen up here and I'll have to come back. Maybe I can make some headway cleaning out my parents' garage.
Truth or Dare!
Beth from My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy asked questions in response to Meme Games, so here they are: 1) Who do you think would be the ideal President (no saying yourself!) It would take someone smart, broadly read, able to work politically and compromise, yet hold firm various principles congruent with mine. It would also take someone who really didn't want the job - a political outsider who could shake up everyone inside the loop. Arnold for prez. 2) What's your pet peeve that is an instant friendship or relationship killer? In other words, name something a person can do/does that guarantees you will not like them. Someone who laughs at me or my hobbies is going to piss me off. Someone who tore up and threw away my books would really piss me off. 3) If you had to give up one of your five senses, which would you choose and why? A bit of a no brainer, I'd give up taste. It would decrease my enjoyment of life only somewhat, might help decrease my appetite which would be a good thing, and only in extremely rare cases could it endanger my life. A much tougher question would be if I had to choose between losing my sight and losing my hearing. Go blind, and suddenly day to day activities become much more difficult. Go deaf, and difficulties communicating with ordinary people skyrocket. Right now I'd prefer to go deaf, but I'm not sure I'd always choose that. Update: For #2, another relationship killer is a hardcore vegan or animal rights activist. My dad raises cattle and chickens for food, I think protests against animal experimentation have made medicines more expensive and less likely to appear on the market, I like leather...
More fun quizes:
| You scored as Heman. By the power of GraySkull. . . you're the toughest guy to ever wear a loin cloth. Rock on Heman.
I'm heading up to the Tiny Texas Town tomorrow, to make sure my grandfather and brother are all right, and to do some odd jobs. I'll only have a dialup connection at times, so posting may be spotty. I've been having/remembering a lot more dreams than usual. Why, I don't know. I hope I'm not becoming prophetic, though, since I had a dream that would seem to indicate that a friend from medical school is dead. [I don't think that's it; his family has moved since I last had contact with them 2 years ago and he's in the military] Wandered around some, decided not to watch the Super Bowl in a bar. What did I find out this weekend? A person I know may have/have had breast cancer. Mainland Center has closed [at least its inpt psych unit], and UTMB's adult beds, instead of shrinking as I had read a couple of months ago, has increased, with 6 attendings and they are trying for 2 more residents to cope. I almost wonder if I've got Asperger's, since dealing with really fucked up people seems easy and dealing with "normal" people seems hard. I don't think that's it, I think it's more a confused upbringing and maybe some slightly off personality traits. But still. It gets annoying.
From My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Everyone reading this must leave recommendations for a movie, a book, and a musical artist. Then ask exactly 3 questions, which I will answer. Supposedly.
Wow, that really sucked. Paul McCartney singing 3 Beatles tunes and Live and Let Die, a few fireworks, and a cool looking lighted stage. I think the plan this year was to be completely inoffensive to anyone at all. I enjoyed some of the Mardi Gras bands better than that.
Is there a nationwide resurgence? Galveston Mardi Gras theme was patriotism, with Texas National Guards doing some of the crowd control in camo, and with armed forces leading all the parades [including the pet parade today]. Then we have the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Sung by choirs from the various academys, and a Blue Angels flyover. There were more flags everywhere after 9/11, but this seems different, maybe more concrete and specific. Or maybe it's just because I'm in Texas. Yes, the game is on in the background. No, I don't really care. I'm probably going to head out to a bar, try to be sociable, and watch the game. Touchdown. Don't know who.
Mardi Gras, Jr.
Ok, the crowd is much younger tonight. And more music that I really don't care about. Gave the rent-a-cops some bbq and veggies, which seemed to go over well. Had a whole 2 people from UTMB show up, no one else. Included in the no-shows is the person who was excited about coming on Jan10, told me she was coming on the 24, and I learned yesterday through someone else she wasn't coming. Ok, why the fuck is the guy in the piano bar across the street singing "Ding, Dong, the witch is dead?" Bleh. I was reasonably happy yesterday, Eric Johnson was cool, and now I'm [pissed?] [upset?] [I dunno, more apathetic than anything]. Mardi Gras was poorly timed for some people this year, but still today was more trouble than it was worth.
Mardi Gras Galveston
Saw Mid-Life Crisis [note: I know one of the band members]. They had quite the turnout; someone had some fun and got some panties for various people to throw during a Jimmy Buffet cover. Overall, I think they did a good job. One original song, the rest covers. Most of the band sang at one point or another. The lead guitarist probably did the best job imitating the song, followed by the keyboardist. A little too much time between songs probably. Saw a short bit of BeauSoleil. Zydeco, sung in Creole. No thanks. [hmm, these guys are Grammy winners?] Saw Eric Johnson. Man, what a great guitarist. His stage presence is closer to a classical concert than a rock band - no jumping, the only time he was looking at the crowd was when he was singing. The bass player did some, but not enough to distract. I'm going to have to get the rest of his albums, I think. He did two acoustic songs. Seemed like a low turnout, and a much older turnout than last year.
Reports they're going to stop posting. Bummer. Not as much of a bummer as the USS Clueless going down, but still.
Carnival of Recipes is up
At The Glittering Eye we have yummies for you whether you're going to a Super Bowl Party or Mardi Gras.
Useful info on starting an Ars Magica campaign here.
And for those who don't know basic etiquette for your superbowl party, Chicks on Football has the info for you. Ie, don't come dressed like Paris Hilton. Come to think of it, that's pretty good advice any time.
Ok, so it's not ordinary Superbowl food. It can still be fun and eaten while watching the game. Chocolate Fondue Base 12 oz chocolate, either semisweet, sweet, or milk chocolate 1/2 cup half and half [I usually use whole milk instead. Also, 1/2 cup makes a somewhat runny fondue. If you've got small children running around, you might try somewhat less - you can always add more liquid.] Basically, melt the chocolate, either in the microwave [not in a metal bowl], in a double boiler, or directly on the stove [the riskiest method; if the chocolate burns, you're screwed]. Mix in the milk or cream. Taste options Now the fun part, deciding what to add to "kick it up a notch." Possibilities include: 2-3 tablespoons orange liquor, Kirsch, Brandy, or white creme de menthe; 2 tsp instant coffee; or 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Dippers Basically, either finger food or things that can be skewered. Fruit: strawberries are classic, bananas are cheap. Also good are pineapple, small orange slices, maybe grapes, apple slices, pear slices. Cakes: angel food cake, pound cake - you want something that won't leave lots of crumbs in the fondue. Various small cookies might work too. In terms of salty things, pretzels or pretzel sticks probably work best. Nuts are generally too small [maybe almonds held in hand?]; potato chips probably have too many other flavors. Good luck, let me know how it turns out.
Religion of Peace
This interview is interesting, because "Islamist Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad" isn't sugarcoating anything for Western audiences. Fun statements include "9/11 was undoubtedly an unpleasant moment for its targets or their relatives (Muslims and non-Muslim), but those committing it acted as a result of the predestined divine decree (although God does give man free will)." Also his description of what Sharia would look like in the US. Hat tip: LGF
Cool site for an upcoming movie here. Neil Gaimon involved.
More Battlestar Galactica
Dirk Benedict, the actor who played the original Starbuck, wrote a column for the May 2004 Dreamwatch [supposedly], presented here. He has some thoughts, both on the character of Starbuck in the new series and on the series itself.
There was a time – I know I was there – when men were men, women were women and sometimes a cigar was just a good smoke. But 40 years of feminism have taken their toll. The war against masculinity has been won. Everything has turned into its opposite, so that what was once flirting and smoking is now sexual harassment and criminal. And everyone is more lonely and miserable as a result. Witness the "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactica. It's bleak, miserable, despairing, angry and confused. Which is to say, it reflects, in microcosm, the complete change in the politics and mores of today's world as opposed to the world of yesterday.And yeah, maybe there's something of a point there. But, even in the original the basic plot was that the Cylons had killed off most of humanity, and was trying to get the rest. I think under those circumstances most people would be miserable and despairing. Some might get caught up in trying to ignore life by losing themselves in sex or drugs or alcohol or whatever, so I think the original Starbuck could have fit. The other point is this. The most testosterone driven careers I know of are fighter pilots and orthopaedic surgeons. Women in such fields have to be bigger and badder in ways that are respected in the fields, or they get ignored or worse. So a brawling, cigar smoking, I'm in charge in bed female fighter pilot makes sense to me. Not very PC, but who cares. Hat tip: LlamaButcher
Chia Pets Taken Hostage
Exclusive news from Ace of Spades. What kind of a fool tries to pass off a picture of a GI Joe action figure as a kidnapped soldier? Everyone knows the WWE action figures are much more realistic.