Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Weighted Companion Cube

"Portal" has to be one of the more fun puzzle games I've played in a very very long time. I went back and rescued my dear friend from the Aperture Science Enrichment Center.

Now all we need is cake.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

On Freedom from Religion...

Regarding Presidential hopefully, Mitt Romney's recent speach about his Mormon faith:

I do agree with most of the points he raises... except the bits that sound like the same thinly veiled contempt some "God Fearing Christians" express towards non-believers, secular humanists, atheists, polytheists, and agnostics, etc.

I suppose that contempt is present on both sides of that fence.

When exposed to Christian doctrine, people must choose for themselves whether they believe 'The Bible' is: 'Well-Intended Fiction', or 'Written by Mankind but Inspired by Divine Grace' or 'The Infallible Word of the Almighty Creator'.

So, why is it that those those pesky secular humanists can't just leave it as "well-intended fiction" and put up with a little "Under God" once in while?

Because, to them, it must make otherwise very serious matters sound absolutely childish and absurd. Imagine for a moment, if people went around saying: "In Aslan we trust", "Paul Bunyan Bless America!", or "One nation under Gandalf".

"I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, may The Force help me."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


The SecondLife 'WindLight' client (still beta-ish), has really nifty looking water effects, ripples, sparkle... and Reflections!

Such a nice visual improvement that I've lept from my lofty sky platforms and have resumed tinkering down at sea level. The gondola seen above has been rebuilt and re-scripted and behaves as one would expect a boat like this to. It handles like a dream. You can even kick-stomp the keel to pop the nose for a quick 'bootlegger' turns!

I added a Ferro and a Forcola too. ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

ID revisited

The Texas Education Agency’s director of science curriculum was suspended for (and has since resigned over) circulating an "anti-Intelligent Design" email. (here)

The real issue seems to be over the director's displayed lack of 'neutrality' in front of non-TEA folks. My cynical nature is reading more into it than that, of course. But anyway.

Personally, I think that comparative religion SHOULD be taught in schools so that people better understand each the value systems of others, rather than the rumors and hearsay they get from their friends of the same faith. But if you're going to include that as 'science', well, may as well try combining 'reading&composition' with 'driver ed', and see how well that works out.

But no, no one can say anything about religion in public school. Must protect the ignorant minds from possible contamination. God forbid, they might get some wild ideas and actually decide to find out about cultures other than their own.

I can just imagine all the new email spam targeting worried preachers: "Are you insecure about your faith? Is your blessing not up to impressing your followers? Take Faitha1is! Guaranteed to have your flock singing Amen!"

You'd think, I dunno, maybe FAITH could help with all that insecurity.

Seriously, Science is not anti-faith. To me, the purpose of Faith is to answer the questions that science is incapable of asking, of which there are many.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The San Diego Reader!

The Second Lives of San Diegans

The issue is finally in circulation! Woot! (And no, that's not me on the cover!)

A few comments about the article:

I haven't made any videos... those were created/submitted by other people, using things I've made. :)

I started in Second Life in Jan 2004, it actually started several months prior.

The "history of virtual reality" is "from my perspective". A historian I am not.

Officially, it is "Linden Lab" not "Linden Labs", I made that error myself ages ago.

The exchange rate was really around L$268 to the US dollar, not L$168, which makes my lamps "a buck or less", not a few dollars each. :) (some are *MUCH* cheaper)

I wish I were "one of the richest" residents in SL, but no. I do have a fair bit of land that I could sell for a decent price, but I'm still far from getting my initial investment back.

And, a very nit-picky pedantic clarification, Linden Lab didn't actually "disable" Starax's scripts, they reduced how many and how quickly any object can create new objects... The scripts in Starax's wand still tried to operate, but acted like a sports car racing down a freeway suddenly paved with speed bumps. Ouch! (Some of those limits were backed out later, I'm not sure whether his wand is still affected or not.)

Clearly, it is impossible to 'sum up' Second Life into anything less than a full book , but I think, but Geoff's article definitely captures some great perspectives on the crazy world we Second Lifers like to play in! =)

(Thanks to Caern, Khamon, Whystler, and others that I spoke of indirectly in the interview. :))

Coolest website ever...

Definitely one of the niftiest ideas for a web site I've seen yet:

My only complaint is it should say "is most like" not "means",
but whatever. I've played enough to feed a large family for
a day or two at this point.

How high can you raise your "VOCAB LEVEL"? (it tops out at 50!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

FISA and such

It used to be I couldn't care less about what was going on in politics. I find that is changing as I see this country sliding off into what I feel is a despotic direction. And though my little tiny electronic voice will be lost in a sea of manymany, I still feel the need to speak up:

    Dear Senator Feinstein-

    Please reconsider your stance on FISA.

    The threat of terrorists pales in comparison to the threat of a government with the power to invade our private lives without the necessary checks and balances that have made this country great.

    PLEASE, do NOT support amnesty for telco's that release private information without court ordered warrants and subpoena.

    Thank you.

    John P. Crane,
    in San Diego.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tick tock tick tock...

Nothing like being in a really bad mood one day to give the moodswing pendulum a good push. I'm in *much* better spirits today. (not that it'll last long. ;)

Perhaps it's my giddy mood... but I had to share this... which gave me a fit of the giggles. (a bit slow at first... wait for it).

Friday, November 9, 2007

Then what?

So, the sun finally broke through this afternoon. And so did my "end of daylight savings time" fatalistic and anti-social depression. I look around at the delicate harmony of so many humans living bumper to bumper... and the dawning "Season of Excess" and I wonder if the impending inevitable doom that I feel is felt by others as well. Each year the madness grows... how much further can we, as a species, indulge ourselves before we're slapped with a big fat reality check?

The way I see it:

The price of fuel and water is certain to go up and will certainly will force businesses to raise prices or fail. Inflation is following, with it the purchasing power of the dollar is shrinking. (and it will continue until it catches up with it's value outside the U.S. too)

As buying power weakens, the jobs that depend on shoppers will suffer. Anyone employed for
Developing, Producing, Distributing, Promoting, Financing and Selling STUFF is going to have a hard time. And when they lose their jobs, their ability to shop goes away too... plunging us into a recession.

And then the banks start foreclosing on mortgages. Families thrown out to live on the streets. Crime will increase due to desperation. There won't be enough to tax to hire enough police and the great capitalistic experiment will grind to a great big chaotic bloody quagmire of poverty and starvation.

The government is already fiscally bankrupt and will be no help. Big business will continue to do well, they'll have the leverage to pick and choose among the masses for the indentured servants that will help them carry on. But the rest of the country is going to start looking a lot more like New Orleans after Katrina.

Yes, yes... I'm just being cynical, and everything will likely be just peachy. But right now all I can see in my mind's eye are great tracts of big suburban homes without power or water, and people standing in soup lines.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sunless Diego

Well, 'November' has the distinction of being San Diego's "Sunny-est Month". Other months are known for their overcast nature, like "May Gray" or "June Gloom", but November is typically bright, clear and, often, pleasantly cool.

The temps seem about the same, but it's been entirely overcast for days. Still looks like smoke y haze blowing in from the ocean. I get the impression that it's just getting shoved back and forth over us instead of blowing by. Damp, wet and likely, toxic. Great stuff.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I've been noticing a growing number of loudly disappointed American males that seem to feel as if they've been deprived of their God Given Right to be "A Real Man".

They blame everything from Ritalin to soy products... from women voters to political correctness... from equal opportunity employment to Hillary.

I certainly won't deny that there is something utterly lacking in machismo and testosterone to their whining and bleating. I wouldn't call it "girlish" though. Girls are tougher than that! ;)

To these disenfranchised, emasculated, effete, wasp-ish self-declared victims of reverse discrimination, all I can say is: "Come on guys... if you can't grow a pair for yourself, there ain't no one else who's gonna do it for you! =)"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scandal and Shame

How many more anti-gay advocates are going to be outed ?!

Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) - footsie with cops in airport bathrooms
Representative Mark Foley (R-Florida) - chasing underage boys
Representative Richard Curtis (R-Washington) - a transvestite hiring rent boys
Representative Bob Allen (R-Florida) - hungry for hot dogs in a public park's bathroom
Reverend Ted Haggard - substance abuse and paying for man sex

And oh so very many more...

These liars promote homophobia by championing anti-gay issues.

Are they trying to get themselves gay-bashed by the bigots they're helping?!

Too many kind, loving people with integrity have been harmed by intolerance already.

If it were up to me, "Thou shalt not commit hypocrisy" would be the first of the 11 commandments. These idiots need to be shamed and shunned... along with the rest of the offensive liars that refuse to live by the very laws they claim to hold dear.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Up in smoke

The winds died off, and while the fires continue to spread (more slowly) they're headed away not towards my home now. Of course, smoke from these fires has blown some 500 miles out to sea, and is now blowing back into San Diego. Rather than inhale all that secondhand smoke, I left for Vegas.

It didn't take long for the smoke to catch up though. As if Las Vegas weren't dry and smokey enough already!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fire away...

Here we go again, with smoke, ash, wind, heat and fire.

The air is parched and acrid with the scent of scorch.
Flecks of ash flit like gnats and catch the sun like dusty snowflakes.
Through a veil of pale pink and blue haze far buildings seem dark.
As I drive by old familiar trees, my mind's eye sees them kindled blaze.

Workplaces close, the freeways are sparse but slow.
Down a dry canyon stretch, I see in front of me, a driver flicking
cigarette ash from her dangling hand, not once but repeatedly,
Should I honk? Should I yell? There aught to be a law.

Will this fire be worse than last time?
Will it race up the dry grass covered hillsides near my home?
Will any firefighters be nearby to react in time if it does?
or are they all struggling to contain the conflagrations north and east?

I've packed a bag, and check the local news.
Their web server is struggling with the load.
I don't know if I'm being too paranoid... or too complacent.
Little to do but wait.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The news I peruse tends to include equal rights issues.

Lately, there has been a frequent focus on self-professed 'ex-gays', those people that were 'naughty' but thanks to the grace of god and fervent therapy they have put their 'wicked ways' behind them.

I'm not just skeptical on this issue... I'm an all out cynic.

To me it seems obvious that gender identity and preference are established *very* early in life. Some day I'm sure that science will document that BOTH nature and nurture play a role in it.

Years of maturation is not undone quickly, or, I think, ever. The mind is a cumulative thing... we can't go back and erase formative moments in our life, only try (and fail) to write over them so many times that we forget.

But, people can pretend to be what they are not, even to the point of self-delusion.

But when that dishonesty is the foundation upon which one tries to build a permanent loving relationship... what can anyone expect but that the marriage will end in spectacular failure.

I'm sure there are many god-fearing Christians that utterly fail to comprehend why some people beligerently refuse to 'pretend to be straight' or stay hidden from "polite socieity".

To them I suggest:

Don't you want to keep your children safe from The Radical Islamic Jihadists? Why don't you pretend to be devout Muslim for the rest of your life, to your spouse, your children, your friends, the people you work with... You can worship Jesus in your heart, but don't let anyone ever know. It would end the threat of terrorism, peacefully, lovingly and without bloodshed. What could be more Christian than that?

Oh. You don't want to live a lie? Well, stop pretending like it's a solution for other people.

So... Ex-gay? Yeah, right.

Lies and deception are not tools that bring about salvation. Quite the opposite, according to your dogma.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

And... He's off!

Two months and a day past the vow of chocolate abstinence.

To celebrate, I brought a bunch of Uncle Biff's California Killer Cookies in to work to share and enjoy. (I still have one next to my keyboard waiting for my previous sugar high to subside!) Biff's can't be beat, their texture, flavor and variety are absolutely top notch.

Anyway, back on the high road tomorrow. I'll ask the wagon to let me off sometime in late December. ;)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rolling rolling rolling

Yes, I'm still on the wagon - ending my second month of Chocolate Abstention. My resolve was almost shattered when I saw display of Joseph Schmidt's truffles the other day. Apparently J.S. confections has been bought out by a competitor and their online site no longer offers their Slicks or Mosaics. I'm glad they no longer exist as a temptation... but very depressed too, knowing that when I do eventually fall off the wagon they won't be there waiting for me. *sob*

Anyway. Finished BioShock which definitely got two thumbs up from me in all categories: music, voice work, graphics, playability, theme, storyline, etc. 'Normal' mode was, at times, a bit more challenging than I was expecting.

Still rebuilding stuff in SecondLife (before & after pics coming soon), and am eagerly anticipating the Havok 4 phsyics engine update, it should make some of the projects I've shelved viable.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A day for politics

I sent a short thank you e-mail to Jerry Sanders for his choosing to sign rather than veto the amicus brief that the San Diego City Council voted to join, asking that the California Supreme Court overturn the ban on gay marriage.

And, unrelatedly, out of annoyance, I finally unsubscribed from
    You attack everything, the small issues and the large.
    It's trivialized the real issues and makes you sound like crackpots.

    I'm tired of the hype, you've become as toxic as the right-wingers
    in your daily attacks and I'm sick of it.

    Where the hell is "" so I can sign on with them instead?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Quote of the day:
"The more opportunities you take advantage of,
the fewer that will come your way." -- me

No, I'm not being some fatalistic pessimist here.
It's about trust and expectation. If you turn a situation
to your benefit the moment someone lets you, they'll
be more guarded around you in the future.

Play for fun, not to win. People will be more willing
to play with you and you'll benefit more in the long run.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I Lost my Cool on Labor Day.

... because of the heatwave?

Well, partly.

Last night, an unforgivably fugly car with a 'custom' car alarm (I peeked in its window)... decided that it liked the heat less than I did.

So it honked as if a driver were in the vehicle having a panick attack...

And it honked so loudly that it badly startled me each time it started up again...

Which it did, more or less every 20 minutes ... all ... night ... long.

By dawn, the car was taped up with several angry notes by neighbors up and down the street. None of them had it parked directly below their bedroom windows, like I did.

A police officer arrived around 7:30am. (That time of day that I'm normally quite oblivious to the world, but not today.)

Overheated, sleep-deprived and out of my head with rage, I had a very strong impulse to break the car's window, release its emergency break and then push it down the hill into the nearby canyon. And I said so.

The officer informed us that there was little he could do unless the alarm sounded continuously for 45 minutes or more. I made a number of additional comments that also shouldn't in front of an officer of the law. I wasn't alone in voicing my frustration. He weathered it well, letting us vent at him like that, very diplomatic without being patronizing. And while it made me feel better to be heard by someone, anyone... I still wanted some assurance that SOME action would take place to end the disturbance.

He left without providing any.

Not long after, a large multi-car carrier arrived and loitered for several minutes. I'm not sure what transpired, but the offending car remained silent afterwards. It still had all the notes left on it. Several hours later, I presume the car owner arrived and vanished with his car of shame.

In the 14 years I've lived near downtown I've had to put up with quite a few unruly car alarms. Neighbors that would lock their large dog in the car over-night, not realizing it set off their alarm whenever the dog moved, and the like.

Nothing has ever even come close to how loud, startling, invasive or infuriating this car was.

The heat today was so much that I relented and turned on the A/C, something I often do without most years. The poor thing was laboring to keep my place cooled down to 80, but it was enough for a rather satisfying nap.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moon ...

Er, Lunar Eclipse, not Lunar Ellipse. Anyway. Crisp, beautiful, in the early stages a hard edged shadow crept across its face. At full dark, it was like an overripe peach, painted deep red and amber. If it weren't for the wet humid air, I'd think we're due for a santa anna tomorrow... I'm not used to it being this clear at night. Easily the best eclipse I've seen yet... out of several.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Phrontistery

Most definitely my favorite website of the day. I could spend hours crawling through it picking up interesting words! -->

Words and Changes: And, to follow up from the last entry, the words that were said and the changes made are these: "Replace me!" I'm moving on again, leaving the world of the full-time employeed, finally, after 3 and a quarter years. What's next? A mixed bag of things, more focus on artsy-fartsy stuff at the very least. When? Still uncertain, but hopefully sooner than later, depends on how the hunt for my successor goes! :)

Honesty check: Since the swearing off of chocolate, I've also managed to greatly reduce my nibbling of other types of refined sugar. I did nearly, crumble and grab a huge mocha chocolate chip cookies at lunch today, it sat there in it's wrapping by the register all heavy with its soft sweet sugary crunchy/gooey sinfulness. (I blame a visit to the doc earlier today left me kind of down and vulnerable to temptation.) I yearned for it through lunch... but did not yield. If I keep this up I'm lobbying for sainthood.

Monday, August 6, 2007


One of the best overviews of SecondLife history and culture (that I've seen so far) can be read *Here*.

I cheated today. Sort of. The Chicken Mole burrito is about the only thing I can still order at Elena's, the rest disagrees with me. Mole has chocolate in it. It does not, however, contribute to the obsessive cravings for chocolate that occur the day after having chocolate candy... the avoidance of which was the whole point of swearing off chocolate in the first place.

Unrelatedly, today is August 6th. Words were said which will result in changes.

More on that soon.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Too much fun... try Simpsonizing yourself at:

And yes... I'm still on the chocolate fast. Day 2 complete. Whee. Sigh.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Okay okay. Chocolate is a drug, a little one day turns into an urge for more the next day, followed by a craving, followed by an excess... Enough. Had too much yesterday. Today is August 2nd, 2007. I'm swearing chocolate off. And when the inevitable fall from grace occurs and I indulge in the evil sweetness of chocolate next, I'll blog my shame here for anyone to see. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


So... From the uber-packed Wednesday "Preview Night" to today, I'd have to say the hilights have been: Pixar's WALL-E preview was my fav (see also: for more Wall-E products!). Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian looks promising as well. Neil Gaiman's session was tops, captivating everyone with random annecdotes. I'm strongly biased towards sessions featuring writers... actors without scripts and artists in the spotlight are rarely as a writer rambling on about whatever.

I was disappointed to see so little mention of the in-the-works sequel "The Power of the Dark Crystal" and found rather less than usual in the way of independent and small press titles, and Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil) didn't seem to make it, but I did nab a copy of the next installment of "Girl Genius" by Phil Foglio, which is vivid, lively and fun.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Moral Relativism

I do not believe in absolute right or wrong, or good and evil.

Without context, there can be no meaning, comprehension or relevance.

Ideas can not stand alone. We can point with our monkey fingers at theories and grunt at the shadows and the depths our humble brains fill them with, but our minds are too small and finite to comprehend an 'absolute' anything. That elephant has more parts than our blind hands can touch.

Absolutes are irrelevant. Context gives things meaning and value. Consequence and intent determine tolerable acts from intolerable ones.

Without context... there is only nonsense.

Are single-player games doomed?

Saw a link to Are single-player games doomed? on one of my regular surfing stops, Penny Arcade.

The basic premise seems to be this: Historically people always played games together. Then computer games appeared, and became popular, but internet connectivity was scarce/non-existent. Now that the internet is nearly omnipresent, single-player games will soon become a thing of the past because only introverted social retards will play single-player games and no one is going to market to them. (Okay, so I'm paraphrasing and adding a lot of bias, deal with it.)

Anyway... I have one response to the idea that single-player games are "doomed": "So... iPods, car stereos and headphones are doomed because historically, people always listened to music together."

Duuuuh. Because they HAD to. Now, we can play games or music alone or together. Those options are not "doomed". Sheesh. What next? We've got book clubs and text messages now, so maybe "single-person reading" is doomed? (it may very well be... but blame YouTube for that. ;))

(is it just me... or is "will soon become a thing of the past" a very goofy bit of temporal semantic nonsense?)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Writing and Karma

(unrelated thoughts)

On Writing: The quantity of people writing for others seems to have increased to the point where I suspect that there are new fewer avid readers than avid writers out there. The quality of much of that writing seems to reflect that shift. (and this is no exception!)

On Karma: My favorite spin to karma is this: Those annoying people that 'expect too much from others' are punished with constant unending disappointment. They deserve no better. ;)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

On mortgages and movies...

The mortgage beast is slain! How am I going to celebrate?

A midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie, of course.
(it officially opens tomorrow).

Saw "Transformers" last night... fun, but I didn't grow up with
those memes. I am, however, anxiously looking forward to
seeing "The Golden Compass". If you haven't seen the trailer
yet... do. The companion website is pretty slick as well. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Two weeks of jury duty... finished just in time for Independence day... woot. All in all, a very interesting, informative and satisfying trial... though a bit on the "longer than necessary" side. It was a nice break from work, even though half of those days came out of my vacation time. Grr. At least, at the end of each day of jury duty I took a advantage of being downtown to watch many of the current movies... and had many of the theaters entirely to myself. Such bliss. :)

The weather is finally warm enough to keep me content, (and yet not too warm). Being the contrarian that I am, I Just finished reading "The Left Hand of Darkness"(1969) by Ursula K Le Guin... about a visitor to frozen planet populated by a very strange off-shoot of humanity. Delightful and bizarre book.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hmm. So... a year ago today, on my 39th birthday, I started a one year count-down, 52 weeks until 40. 51, 50, 49, ... 3, 2, 1, today. The point of this weekly nonsense was to remind myself that time, if ignored, will slip by quickly. That the things I WANT to do, need to be started NOW or they will never be. Sometimes I wonder if I still have enough youth, stamina, attention span and sense of purpose to see any of my crazy projects through.

So, now that the silly count-down is done, I have little to show for it. Not once through that entire year did I come up with a compelling idea or venture to embark upon that was sufficient to pry me out of the rut I'm rolling in. In one sense, it's depressing that I'm not trying for more... in another happier sense, it means I'm enjoying where I am.

Anyway, the anticipation is done with... and I'm content to continue on until things change sufficiently to strike out for something new, neither dreading nor yearning for that day.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


*gigglesnort* The cashier looked at the six pack of beer, looked at me, then asked for my id.

(me): "Uh, gee, you're too kind."

(her): "Yeah well. You know, we gotta check anyone that looks... " (glances at birthday) "... no way!"

(me): "Yup, 40 in a few weeks." *grin* =)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Tech and Glow

Ayn, a friend in SecondLife introduced me to a cool setting "renderglow" (ctrl-alt-shift-D to turn on client/server menus, under client -> debug settings, type: renderglow and select true. Very nifty effect, which I had hours of fun playing with on Sunday. (above)

Anyway, I've been quiet a few days, trying to condense my thoughts regarding the Virginia Tech incident:

Loners can pass for 'normal' while they retreat into a deep fermented madness. The resulting vintage can be tasty or toxic. To intervene and pull someone back into the web of society can be rewarding, or risky.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Focal Depth

I was looking for something else... and stumbled across this snap I took a while back of me rowing my gondola in front of my version of the Basilica di San Marco a Venezia in SecondLife and thought it worth sharing.

Nothing much to say today. The taxes are away. The weather is nice. Lunch and coffee in the garden of the Bamboo Lounge (or Cafe Boheme I suppose it is, in the daytime. "The New Diedrich's").

There is something kind of mentally blurring about drinking coffee with a German name, at a cafe with a French(ish) name in an establishment with a tropical theme, eating sushi and talking about a model of Venice in another world called SecondLife, all the while listening to music influenced by the mid-East and Africa. I feel Antartica is rather unfairly under-represented. Someone should do something about that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Forbidden Words

Those horrible career ending words, that outsiders may not use, but insiders bandy about as they like.

I think the more society becomes restricted, by law, custom and civility, the more it resorts to bizarre and senseless forms of cruelty and malice.

To utter a "forbidden word" is like flapping a red cape at El Toro.... or provoke a swarm of Americanized African Honey Bees. One should know better. One will still, in the heat of anger, or in a certain context, sometimes belt out one of the 'Forbidden Words' and get trampled or stung to death.

Fine, so it's some sort of necessary posturing by bulls and bees to guarantee that no one, but No One, messes with them or their turf. Everyone else puts up with it because, frankly, attempting to tell someone they're out of line for overreacting to a 'Forbidden Word' will provoke exactly the same reaction as using the word does. Bettter to ignore it and hope that it will go away.

Is it right? They're just words. Talk is cheap. Sometimes people use language out of frustration... sometimes they have a hateful agenda. It's not always immediately obvious, so safer just to overreact everytime a forbidden word gets used. Who cares about context or intent. Right?

Living in a diverse culture, maybe forbidden words were inevitable. I suppose people will find any reason to fight and persecute each other. Being insensitive and rude is likely a more fair reason to hound someone than skin color or religion.

If there weren't those annoying 'forbidden words' we'd likely have people at each other's throats for more serious reasons.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Letters of Transit

I've been a regular on the SecondLife forums for the two years. The link Elinor sent me ages ago is so so painfully true. It starts with "If you play an online game that you enjoy, there's one surefire way to spoil the experience: read the forums on the official site. There you will find a vast underworld of lost souls keening their misery onto your screen." (here)

No more. It feels good to help someone out from time to time, and it can be satisfying to cripple someone's lame selfish argument (of which there are far too many), but I started becoming too much of a nag. As the various official forums were closed down due to rampant abuse, the few remaining useful areas became increasingly chaotic. What with my moderately obsessive compulsive sticklerishness for rules and such... that became a problem.

One particular set of 'business' folks are campaigning for a change and tromping carelessly through one of my favorite forums there to 'raise awareness', and, frankly, that was the last straw. They win. I'm done.

So, I've said my goodbye's and unsubscribed from a few hundred threads.

I need a nicotine patch or a rubber band on my wrist to snap to keep me from going back. The urge is already there to see how or if people reacted to my walking out.

No no... be good *snap*. Walk on. *snapsnap* We'll always have Paris....

Last Nights Movie: Casablanca What a classic. :)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Red vs. Blue

So. Some arguments can't be resolved. Pro-life vs. Pro-Choice. Same Gender Marriage. Public Schools or Charter Schools.

If these issues can no longer be voted on relevantly because the majority side refuses to respect the ideology of the minority... or the minority can't live civilly within the law dictated by the majority then there is only one solution.

Draw lines. Tell people to move.

You know. Cause it works so well for India and Pakistan.


Okay. So yes, I watch a lot of movies. I have a ravenous appetite for... escape? exploration? Seeing through someone else's eyes? I'm not sure, honestly.

This film doesn't just turn its back on the "safe, sterile committee approved content" of modern movies... it soars off over the horizon into a dangerously offensive land of myth portrayed in modern times.

It offends and delights so profoundly that Terry Gilliam takes a moment to introduce and apologize... somewhat unapologetically.

I was unable to cover my eyes with my hands, despite the urge to do so, as I watched enthralled. The story unfolds, seeping open gradually almost like a jack-o-lantern left out in a warm late october rotting in the sun.

There are few, I think, that I can recommend this film to. It is a brutal and barbaric norse myth at times, exposed in the harshly bright daylight of the modern day midwest. Dark fantasy is easier to digest when more safely removed from reality than this.

It is, without a doubt in my mind, an extraordinary piece of cinema.

The film is: Terry Gilliam's Tideland (2005)

Saturday, April 7, 2007


"Enron: the smartest guys in the room" - I can sum it up in one word: "Wow"

"Hey, let's export California's power to other states and charge them more to buy it back!" What arrogant rat bastards.

The irrational conspiracy theorist in the back of my my head can't help but wonder:

    Enron started crumbling just prior to 9/11, an event which galvanized the nation behind Bush Jr. What a fantastic distraction away from the far reaching corruption that was associated with Enron, all the way up to the Bush family. How Bloody Convenient.

At one point they show a film clip of the Milgram experiments a few decades back, an experiment that almost 70% of people will, when asked by someone in a position of authority, do things that are increasingly morally objectional, up to to the point that it harms and KILLS another human being. Obviously, this a factor for many of the people aware of the corruption in Enron.

This kind of thing will happen again. And probably is right now with the Oil industry still.
Thanks to smoke and mirrors... and convenient distrations. After all, you can boil a frog in a pot of water if you increase the heat slowly enough. What's gas going to be this summer, $4 a gallon?

Friday, April 6, 2007

Phantom Mind

3AM in the morning. Yes, that's redundant. 3AM in the morning always needs that extra emphasis. Can't sleep.

Phantom Mind: That strange sensation... long after you've lost your mind, where you could swear you still feel it slipping away. Utterly preposterous of course.

Today I hate : People that accelerate in the slow lane to cut you off when you're trying to merge onto the freeway. Grr.

Last night's movie: Stranger than Fiction, which I enjoyed far more than I was expecting to.
Tonight's movie: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, which was rather endearing for a random documentary about a nutty San Fransiscian and a flock of quirky wild birds he hangs out with.
Tomorrow's movie: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

wah wah wah

Color me CRANKY. Been under the weather for days. What is this, the asian bird flu? Did I eat something toxic? I dunno. I don't care. Just freaking fed up with it. Thought I was getting over it yesterday, but nnOOOOooo. *sigh*

Maybe someone snuck some maltodextrin into my "Non-Dairy" smoothie. GRRRR.

I'm allergic to WHEY PROTEIN.... which comes from milk and exists in butter, cheese, cream, milk, ice cream, yogurt, most protein bars, many sports drinks and the AIR in Earth's northern hemisphere apparently.

When people try pass things off as "non-dairy" when they are, in fact, "less dairy" items really... well, it really CHEESES ME OFF. I''ve actually seen a "Non-dairy Cheesecake - Made with Soy! okay... Great! I'll have a piece. no... wait better be sure... So, no cheese, no milk, no butter in this at all? What? They just use 75% as much cheese and make up the difference with soy? Wow, I guess I'll just be Non-dead afterwards. You know, only 75% dead... with the remaining 25% of me hating you for being a big fat LIAR. *A*A*A*R*G*G*G*H*H*

I managed to get my mind off of my "internal arrangement" for a while... and watched "Man of the Year" (Robin Williams pretends to be a "Daily Show with Jon Stewart"-type and runs for president). Not bad and it had it's moments. Something was off about it though... probably me.

I shouldn't blog, email, forum, chat, play... I'm just way too snippy and angry right now. Not like anyone else notices much, I'm probably more rude when I'm happy and not guarding what I say as closely. *grumble*

Monday, April 2, 2007

Wandering Fools

So, okay. I didn't get to the pool for a swim. That's hardly new, I've used my pool maybe once in all the 9 or so years I've lived here? (9, already?) I did get out for a nice evening's stroll though. Nice now that it's not pitch dark out upon getting home.

I'm I only live four or five blocks away from the old house I left 10 years ago. It's changed a lot more than I have in 10 years. At least on the outside. I'll have to drag a camera along next time and post before'n'after pics. :)

I did snap a pic with my cell phone, not of the house, but of the greenery beside the footbridge to the old neighborhood. Someone went a little nuts with the "Eastery" stuff...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Lights and Focus

I'm such a scatterbrain. What was I working on?

Oh yeah, these guys:

Little will o wisps.

Some of my cavern areas in SecondLife are *DARK* and these are helpful for explorers/visitors.

Prettier than I expected too.

And so full of potential and curious future uses.
(that's me on the left, btw)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Random thought for the day: "Correlation is not proof of causation"

It really bothers me when people neglect to consider that rather simple concept. In fact, some people seem to go to great convoluted lengths of reasoning and (il)logic to dance around it complete without touching it.

"Terrorists attacked America... because we don't put to death the 'abominations' that live among us, as the old testament would have us do!"

Sigh. Whatever.

"It's stupid people that believe moronic crap like that, that re-elect a morally bankrupt administration to 'lead' this country straight into debt, disgrace and disenfranchisement."

It's all their fault!

If they don't need to prove causality... then neither do I. Right?

Okay, okay. Yes, I do. I wouldn't be able to live with myself otherwise.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Debt and Taxes

So.... I was just taking the scenic route home after having my taxes done... the back route, down quiet streets, because my head was (is) still reeling after finding out I owe a few multiples of what I expected. A nice friendly officer saw I was a little distracted and very politely pulled me over to tell me so. Ooops.

Money. It's only money.
A little more.. a little less... meh, whatever.
What I really hate... is paperwork.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Honest and True?

Some inane wordplaythought for today.

"Data" and "Facts" exist aplenty. Books can have facts... but that
doesn't make them knowledgable or intelligent.

"Information" and "Intelligence" are a bit more elusive and come
from studying how data and facts relate to each other.

"Knowledge", and "Truth" comes from seeing how information
and intelligence pertains to one's self and the world around us.
The closer to reality one's knowledge is, the more "True" it becomes.

"Truths" that pertain to things which cannot be seen, touched
measured, tested, interpreted etc... is nothing more than "Hope".
(at least I hope that's right)

"Wisdom" is the result when one's truths become themselves "true"
or aligned with reality in ways that are relevant and non-contradictory.

Too many people get wrapped up in calling flat dogma as "Truth"
and ignore the process of becoming wise. To reject intelligence,
(the steady gathering of data and information from reality) and
embrace someone else's "Hopes" despite lack of, or contradictory
evidence... is not "Wise". What it is, is "Foolish".

This flat dogma is my truth. Don't be a fool, go find your own.