Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Globlal WARming Hoax

Stumbled across some random post stating that arctic melting is proceeding faster than scientists predicted, and saw, rather to my surprise... number of 'global warming' denier trolls spewing illogical irrelevant drivel in response. Are these people paid to spread doubt? Is it some religious conviction that drives them? Are they so enamored of their hummers and top-of-the-food-chain wasteful consumerist habits that they fear eco-friendly policies will threaten their freedom to trash the planet?

Who knows.

To use an analogy... it isn't the driving around at unsafe speeds that kills you... it's the loss of control and the collision with an unavoidable object.

The climate IS changing, and rapidly. Ice that has been carbon dated back centuries ago is melting away, this isn't some "natural cycle" or that ice would have melted off in a previous cycle and wouldn't be there to measure today.

The question isn't "are we causing this" it's "where are things going at this rate?"

As the global climate begins to spin out of control, are there big nasty immovable obstacles it's going to run into? What kind of planet are we going to have 50 years from now? How many stronger storms and record extremes can we withstand before it starts causing problems for the industries that feed the rest of us?

And the deniers? Probably conservative seniors who still believe they'll see The Rapture before they kick the bucket, so who don't care if the world burns.

If I ran the world... Deniers would be denied air conditioning in the summer. See if that gets them to change their tune.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Continental Divide



Ran into a little surprize on my way back to San Diego today... *SNOW* Whee!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Recent Citings...


My new device in SecondLife had a wonderful mention on the NPIRL blog this week...

And I was intereviewed for a very an extremely flattering French article at Territoire-Digital.com (Machine-translated English Version)

(and even if you don't care much about SecondLife, the pics on both are very nicely done and worth a peek =)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

De-B8

At last. This has been brewing for a while, and I hope this will be my last rant on Prop 8. For now.

My open letter to Prop 8 supporters (and opponents as well):

Please tell me who is the man and the woman in this line from a very popular 80's song:

    "I can't stand this indecision, married with a lack of vision.
    Everybody wants to rule the world...
    " -- Tears for Fears (1985)

Then, GOOGLE for "married it to" and try answering the same question for the thousands of pages you see "married" used in regards to concepts, technology, music, food, ideologies and more.

The term "marriage" is OBVIOUSLY not limited to humans. It is a term, like "mixing" "adding" or "combining" that has a clear and specific meaning, for which no other word is adequate.

And you ... you flagrant hypocrites ... YOU accuse US of attempting to re-define "marriage"?

When it is YOU, running around like crazy doomsday prophets, screaming "Only 1 man and 1 woman!" You act as if that one statistically dominant characteristic of marriage is MORE important then the love, the oaths of fidelity, the commitment, the joining of two together for life, and all the many other aspects of marriage.

This is like trying to define "human" as "only bipeds with opposable thumbs". Yes, the vast majority are lucky to fit that definition. Your pathetic definition does not make the unlucky "non-human". If you are going to re-define things like crazy people, you might as well believe that "Socrates is a dog" and wash your hands of logic and reason entirely.

And, speaking of definitions, have you even bothered to check a dictionary lately? Here, try http://www.merriam-webster.com, or http://dictinary.com Go on, read the ENTIRE definition. I'll wait.

So anyway...

Congratulations. You have successfully crammed your sanctimonious thumbs into the eyes of the government of the State of California, effectively blinding it so that it can no longer recognize gay marriage, even though it is clearly standing right there in plain sight.

You've even fooled many of the citizens into thinking that gay marriage requires state recognition.

I say: IT DOES NOT.

In this country, we are guaranteed Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. Despite your attempts to destroy the beliefs of nearly half the voters in California, you can NOT take away:

Our right to SAY that we are married.

Our right to BELIEVE that we are married.

Our right to LIVE as married couples.

Some day the state will recover from the McCarthist Freedom-Destroying attack that left it blinded to reality. Until then...

We may not be recognized by the state.

But we will be HEARD until we are SEEN.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Anti-8 Rally


Mr.-Flier-Destroyer failed in his mission to avert today's rally.

My camera phone is tragic... these shots don't properly convey the magnitude of the march. It stretched from the north end of Balboa Park to downtown, (2-3 miles). It was packed with chanters of "What do we want? Equal Rights! When do we want it? Right now!" and "Gay, Straight, Black, White, Marriage is a Civil Right!".

I saw less than five Yes-On-8 counter-protesters along the route. Volunteers successfully encouraged the marchers to just ignore them... (though there was this nine year old girl spoiling for a confrontation... but her parents reigned her in).


I jumped out of the parade a few times to get a good vantage point, and could see neither the head nor the tail of the procession. Of the people I could see, I would guess around 80,000, with unknown more further ahead and behind. And, yes, there were many black people marching with us.

This had none of the flamboyance of a pride parade, the mood was much more serious.


The message was clear: We believe that America is about Justice and Liberty for ALL.
.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yet more prop 8 hate.

(no this isn't my last rant as promised in the previous post, that's still brewing).

I was physically assaulted (pushed, grabbed and shoved) today by some un-Christ-like fundie freak.

I had seen him tearing down rally flier after rally flier, and got fed up with it, so I stood between him and one of the fliers. Clearly he interpreted that as an attack and responded physically.

The fliers are for the national Protest Prop 8 rally this coming Saturday. (more on that at: http://protest8sandiego.wordpress.com/)

Anyone that destroys the just freedoms and liberties of others...
deserve to have their own freedoms and liberties revoked.

Taxing their intolerant churches would be an excellent response.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Prop 8

#&$##*%$*%#$&$#.

So close, and yet.

This isn't over.... and I have one more *major* Prop 8 rant coming after this one.

I still have hope that some day this piece of ... religious bigotry will be erased. Unfortunately we have to wait for most of the selfish, petty & closed-minded to die of old age.

Way to go people. Screw "Live and let live". Forget "Thou shalt not judge." Embrace "Hate thy neighbor" and save the children from your imaginary harms.

As if same gender parents is worse than being a child of divorce. Prop 8 perpetuates the need for conservative gay Californians to LIE and let themselves be wrongly trapped in straight marriages. Marriages that often fail years later.

I strongly believe that Churches deserve to lose their tax exempt status for pushing Prop 8.

Let that be next election's Prop 8, I'll rally for it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

8 = H8

Some random thoughts on Prop 8, the "marriage = 1 man + 1 woman, only" amendment to the California Constitution.

1) It is both sad and funny that this "Conservative Christian" initiative is being pushed by groups of people that statistically have HIGHER divorce rates than the educated/liberal/left people that oppose it.

2) Prop 8, in my opinion, is a massive violation of the 1st amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

3) If marriage were only about sex, we'd call them honeymoons instead. Sex is a small part of marriage. It's about love, commitment, trust/fidelity, support, companionship/partnership, stability and growth. It is about society and government having recognition and respect for two people who have publicly declared that they have joined together, both legally and financially, with the goal of being together for life, and, if their beliefs support it, eternally.

4) Jesus warns that the kingdom of heaven does not await for people that engage in self-destructively immoderate behaviors like: pride, envy, drink, sex, greed, rage, idolatry, fraud, dishonesty, violence, cruelty, arrogance, folly, pandering, prostitution, hatred, ambition, discord, and the like.

A human is less likely to lose himself or herself in 'wicked' behavior when he is actively participating in a committed, caring and loving partnership, with a spouse that guides and relies upon him (or her). Because of this, I really do believe that Jesus may have had some essentially "pro-gay marriage" comments... but they were either omitted or edited out of the bible by people who were not ready to accept such unfashionable ideas.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"My Friends"


Time once again for "Fun with Photoshop" (click image to enlarge)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ethereal Slate


Second Life update: A recent land deal with a virtual neighbor to my north, carefully co-ordinated with my virtual land trust 'silent partner' has concluded successfully, which has slightly more than doubled the territory where my creative impulses can run wild.

An excellent write up of the acquisition event (with snapshots!) is available at the Not Possible In Real Life Blog, courtesy of the incomparable Bettina Tizzy. =)

And further details at Prokofy Neva's "Second Thoughts" blog.

This purchase is certainly a non-trivial commitment... but one I'm happy with.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Religulous



Saw it. Funny... nothing new to me though. I've long been an Apostle of Uncertainty after all.

Bill's message kinda boils down to "This world isn't big enough for both Religion and WMDs". And neither one is likely to go away peacefully. He calls to the 16% of us "nonreligious" types to step up and get involved. (Shades of "We are all Indpendent!" there.)

And just how would a "Global War on Ignorance & Superstition" play out? Badly, of course.

As far as I can tell, Atheists place a HIGHER value on human life, especially their own. If there is no afterlife or re-incarnation, this one life is all each of us get. No do-overs, no 70 virgins, no St. Peter & the Pearly Gates, just compost filled with preservatives and no noble self-sacrifice can make that inevitability seem any more pretty.

No "Army of Reason" can survive long against the legions of people willing to kill and die for old words in old books. To have a fighting chance, they would have to pick up the tools of the enemy: To believe in their purpose so fervently that they're willing to kill and die for it. Sadly, we're past the point where we can safely fight fire with fire.

As a species and a planet, we're doomed.

There will always be people that will abuse belief to get others to fight for them, and we, as a society, glorify the instigators that are on "our side" and demonize the ones on "that side". When instead we should have a zero tolerance towards those that promote any kind of violence at all. We should collectively shun them, ignore them, disassociate ourselves with them. Of course, both sides of a conflict need to do that or it doesn't work. Which is why it never will.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Prop 8

Two of the best video's I've seen against Prop 8:

The Funny One:


The Serious One, which speaks directly to those "party line" types that are most likely to vote *for* Prop 8:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debait


What a painful debate. The more I watch McCain the less I like him.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bill vs. Barney



I normally avoid anything to do with the unstable attack dog that Olbermann refers to as 'Bill Orally'.

I made an exception because I wanted to see how Barney Frank weathered the assault.

Frank may as well have been muted. O'Reilly's voice was nearly twice as loud, he yelled and shouted over everything, complete with spittle and hand chopping mannerisms that were very much like Hitler.

... No, no, I'm NOT "comparing" O'Reilly to Hitler... I'm just saying they have similar speaking styles.

Ultimately though... the above clip is a blatent piece of gay bashing thinly veiled under an economic/legislative issue.

And, as much as I'm disgusted with the waste of space that is Bill O'Reilly...

I don't see him as the problem.

The problem is that this country has a large market for his particular brand of infantile illogical egotistical hate-mongering and bullying. He wouldn't be where he is now if that weren't the case.

And that same demographic apparently gravitates towards McCain.

There can be no Liberty, Justice or Freedom in places where tyrants and bullies are glorified.

It's time for the 'average angry emasculated white males' to take their prozac and calm down.

Too long they've been clutched by the feverish fear that they've lost their exhalted position of priviledge to 'those greedy overweening minorities'.

And in their fear, they've elevated 'angry white men' like Bush, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, & Co. in the misguided belief that they're all on the same team, that while they may be intolerant bullies, at least they'll look out for their own.

Which is as foolish as blue collar working families supporting the 'Capitalist' party that consistently exploits them, instead of voting for a more 'Labor' oriented party that would be more supportive of their plight.

Anyway. What is it... 87.5% of people that are incapable of anything but 'Group Think'?

We need better "Group Leaders" and it's up to the remaining 12.5% of us to find and help them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gaff-tacular!!

(click on image to enlarge it)


I've no confidence in this senile flip-flopping gaffer. None.


Regarding Germany: "[I was at a conference with] President Putin of Germany"


Regarding Spain: (Would you meet with the President Zapatero?) "... all I can tell you is that I have a clear record of working with leaders in the hemisphere that are friends with us, and standing up to those who are not, and that's judged on the basis of the importance of our relationship with Latin America, and the entire region."


Regarding Venezuela: "... ensuring that America is secure, and not dependent on oil from people like Hugo Chavez or other parts of the Middle East."


Regarding Iran: "... it's common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al Qaeda is [being trained by Iran]. That's well known."

Referred to the "situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border."


Regarding his involvement with the Keating 5: "I was judged eventually, after three years, of using, quote, poor judgment, and I agree with that assessment."


Took credit for passing substantial deregulation legislation in 1999. Which, along with Bush taking office in 2000, ended the Dot-Com era and started the Dot-Bomb era.


Regarding the wall street meltdown: "I promise you, we will never put America in this position again. We will clean up Wall Street." (Sorry, this was your third strike as far as I'm concerned.)


Regarding (not) getting the bail-out bill passed: "I will do whatever is necessary. I just did it. In case you missed it. Heh, heh. I'm sure you didn't. I will do whatever is necessary to get this going again."


And my favorite recent gaff: "I wish interest rates were zero!" (boy, would that be great for economic growth. Not.)


To be honest, however, I wouldn't put it past the democrats to sour the bail-out deal so that McCain couldn't take credit for getting it passed, and can't fault them for not wanting to commit political suicide by passing it without bi-partisan support. I strongly suspect that the Republican's didn't intend to pass the deal regardless of Pelosi's speech.

There's an underlying gambit in play here, and I haven't sussed it out yet.

.

Monday, September 29, 2008

MCLXXVII

Curious to see what I should be expecting from Netflix this week, I took a peek and added a few new discs to the queue.

And noticed I've rated 1177 movies/shows so far. I'm averaging almost one disc a day at this rate. Geez =)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Palin Relief


More fun with photoshop, whee!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Trails


More fun with photoshop.

Off the campaign trail to destroy the paper trail.

As Letterman pointed out... shouldn't his VP candidate carry on the campaign while McCain "Takes care of business"?

If she can't... how can we expect her to fill in for McCain if he gets elected President?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Spore



Kind of stuck in a 'Dark Crystal' style with spore... and having fun with it. =)

Scroll through the above to see various critters I've made if you're interested. =)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let Lying Dogs Sleep


The Republican party has gone insane.

They condemn Liberals... but grant unchecked liberties to wall streeters.

They claim to be conservative... but squander trillions on war, earmarks and bailouts.

Our government is neither 'smaller' now, nor less costly than before.

But... American's love to watch a good train wreck, which is why I'm convinced that Obama hasn't got a chance in hell of getting elected. This Palin/McCain fiasco will win the day.

Comedians will be the only ones with guaranteed jobs... until the First Amendment follows the rest of the Bill of Rights into obscurity.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Over Time

I'm decent at remembering where I know someone from, even if I tend to be very average about remembering their name.

Today, however, I was asked "Where do I know you from" by a young man operating a cash register.

I had no clue.

He had the kind of eyes that I would not quickly forget, so I assumed I didn't know him and he must have mistaken me for someone else.

Then he remembered where he knew me from.

He lived with his dad next door to me (2000-2003ish) and must have been just starting high school. Everything about his face seemed different... except his grin.

I always get a kind of temporal vertigo when I run into an adult that I last saw as a child. I feel like I've jumped forward in time quite abruptly.

It was very cool to run into him again, and I hope his dad is doing well. The neighborhood hasn't been the same since they moved away.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Super Sporific


I've been playing Spore since it arrived this Thursday evening. Above you see my first three to reach the Space Exploration Stage, each along different tactics: Religion, War and Economic.

The game play is fun, some stages fly by to quickly, some drag a little. Chief complaint is not being able to reverse the up/down controls. The "SIM-speak" the creatures yabber in while in the Tribal Stage cracks me up every time.

The final stage, the space exploration part, seems endless and diverse, from diplomacy to colonization and terraforming, trade to conquest, improving your ship and fleet as you advance.

I've already run into creatures created by several real-world friends at various stages in the game. Sadly, many such friend created creatures went the way of extinction. They will be missed. (Mainly because they were tasty.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11/08


Never forget how the Republicans used 9/11:

... to bully the Democrats into silence for four years.

... to invade Iraq.

... to spy without oversight into the private lives of Americans.

... to suspend The Great Writ of Habeus Corpus.

... to get re-elected by claiming they alone can save us from another 9/11.

... to violate the Geneva convention and institute the practice of torture.

... etc etc etc.

9/11 gave the weak Bush administration strength it did not come by honestly. And they abused it more ways than we may ever know. Those abuses of power will most certainly go on, unpunished, if this country elects McCain/Palin.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lake of Fire

I can't describe how much I dislike the idea of Sarah Palin as Vice President.

Can we please pick leaders that take Christian End-of-Times scripture with a bit of salt, instead of working to bring about the rapture?

She is not a "Maverick". She's a loose cannon, with the words "Holy War" scribbled all over it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bad Apples?


More fun with photoshop.

I laugh everytime I hear the righties spew their fearful: "But is he ready to lead?" Obama-attack tactic, because clearly their candidate is "No Longer Ready To Lead." (if he ever was at all)

We don't need yet another blundering mouthpiece of corporate interests, rubber-stamping our country into financial ruin.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Grotto of Lost Souls

I just ran across an excellent video clip made by Dizzy Banjo of my exhibit in the "NPIRL Garden of Delights" (NPIRL is a collective of artists and fans experimenting and exploring things that are "Not Possible In Real Life")

The event is over and the exhibit only exists in storage now, so it's very nice to have some visible recording of it still around. =)   Take a peek at:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Taxes?

My mind wandered seriously far afield while perusing some of the Obama / McCain ads.

So, I went a-googling around a bit with some random questions and got rough answers:

The national debt is roughly three times the national budget. (Imagine having a credit card with 3x your annual income racked up on it!)

Fortunately, only 10% of our tax dollars go to making the minimum interest payments. (It'd be 20% to 30% of our income if we owed 3x what we made yearly!)

10% of our yearly tax dollars.

That's more than the annual budget for Education, Transporation & Vet Benefits combined.

That's around of the budget for the Military... for half a year.

And that 10% doesn't help reduce the debt... or help pay for those "must have now" expenses of years past.

Think of it this way:
* You *NEED* a spiffy new $1200 large LCD television, so you use your credit card.
* Every month you make the minimum payment of $10. ($120 each year).
* Ten years later, the TV breaks down, you need another.
* Your check your credit card statement. It says: You still owe us $1200.
* You lament in vain: But I've already paid you $1200 for the TV!
* You take your credit card to the store and... buy a new $1200 television anyway,
* 10 years later you've paid enough in interest to buy two new TVs.
... and you haven't even started paying for the ones you bought yet.

Now... see, the government wanted this spiffy new war back in 2002. Had to have it. Of course, they probably haven't even started paying off the loans for the previous war... or the war before that.

The only way for the government to rack up more debt (and still manage to pay for everything else) is to devalue the U.S. dollar. Weaker dollar means higher prices, demand for higher pay and.. of course, more tax dollars. With enough inflation, the government could keep the ratio of tax used for interest payments around 10%.

Which works fine until dollars bills become cheaper than toilet paper.

Which reminds me... San Francisco is considering christening their largest sewage works the "George W. Bush Sewage Plant". Hmm.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wanna bet?

I can't help but assume that the recent tragic shooting of democratic super delegate Bill Gwatney was perpetrated by another unstable loner who spent too much time listening to the blatherings of O'Reilly, Hannity, Savage, and Limbaugh.

Why else would he pick the person he did to lash out at?

I'm not getting the "jealous ex-lover" vibe off this situation.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The "R" Word

There's a stink over the word "retard" in the new Ben Stiller movie "Tropic Thunder".

Some angry people want the word "retard" banned, and they want the movie boycotted for using it 17 times in a way that could be viewed as derogatory towards developmentally challenged people.

If I thought that banning certain words would bring about the end of xenophobic bigotry, I'd get on board. However I think the effort is doomed to backfire. Instead of bringing people together, the protests further divide people, ruining any chance for mutual respect to ever develop. It creates conflict that drive people into their 'us' and 'them' trenches, where they will stubbornly stay with their peers, heads down and shooting blindly at "those damned outsiders".

Protesting certain words, in reality, makes them more effective tools to offend others. And when looking to give offense, people are going to grab the most effective tools at their disposal.

Besides, if using specific forbidden word results in career suicide and social exile, people will simply gravitate to other words and use them to mean the exact same dismissively hateful thing.

What needs to be banned is the attitude that "together, we can disrespect and dehumanize people that aren't like us".

And we can't do that by taking a black sharpie to the dictionary.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Shooter

In the past several months I've skipped over a number of rant-worthy issues. I can't let this one go by without comment though:

Accused shooter hated liberals, expected to be killed

Traitorous right-wing warmongers have declared a "Culture War" on U.S. soil against American citizens.

These instigators have been recruiting with the traditional Christian war-call of "We are the victims!", "THEY are Godless Unrepentant Sinners!", and "Think of the Children!" and anyone daring to express dissent becomes the enemy, treated as if they turned their back on God, Family, Marriage, Country and Decency.

This war is waged with ceaseless vilification of the "Left", the "Liberal Media", the "Gays", the "Immigrants" (legal or not), those "Equal Opportunists putting White Men out of jobs", the "Feminazis", and the "welfare loving Democrats", and any other non-party-line-carrying scapegoat. Regardless of how illogical and implausible the blame may be.

The slippery slope argument comes up again and again threatening that gay marriage will destroy existing marriages and lead to rampant beastiality, incest, pedophilia, ... (and possibly even necrophilia!).

I doubt this culture war crap has anything to do with ethics or morality. It's all about money, power, blame and political CYA. The trail isn't hard to follow:

The current "Economic Situation" (gas prices, foreclosures, weak dollar, national deficit, job losses, Iraq, Bin Laden at large, etc, etc, etc) has made some people very rich and their political accomplices very powerful. The culture war is their get-away plan, so they can sneak off quietly with their ill-gotten gains and let someone else take the fall.

They are (and/or have paid off) big media networks to furtively and irrationally shift the blame onto a bunch of scapegoats and pad with so much substanceless fluff and redherrings that viewers are overwhelmed and bamboozled by it all.

And what better demographic to take the fall than those that usually vote AGAINST the corrupt reigio/corporate/military/government combination known as the American Fascist Party. (I mean the Republicans.)

Godwin's Law states "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.") ... but I can't help myself here. I do see several parallels between the vilification of the Jews in Nazi Germany... and the vilification of Gays and "the Left" in the U.S.. It is the dissimiarities that are important here though. The right-wing movers-and-shakers have learned one lesson that Hitler missed:

"An inefficient virus kills its host. A clever virus stays with it." -- James Lovelock

Or, paraphrased for politics: "A living scapegoat can carry more blame." -- me.

Of course, not everyone got the non-violence memo. Some idiots are so steeped in the sewage spewed by the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, and Rush Limbaugh that they think shooting up a church is a great way to go out in a heroic blaze of glory. [edit: revealed today: books by O'Reilly, Savage and Sean Hannity were found in this guys house as well]

I'm quite certain that as this stupid "Culture War" continues, there will be more hate crimes and fatalities perpetrated by idiots that buy into the madness.

Gays can't retaliate with violence, we're inherently too peaceful. We haven't the majority/massive numbers for a Ghandi-esque strategy of passive resistence. Nor do we have the enduring organization for a masonic-style secret government order. (so much for that Gay Agenda).

Our weapons? Hollywood, a little extra discretionary income, and the Bush-enfeebled Judicial System. Faaantastic. :(

The only way to end this stupid culture war is to make it considerably unprofitable to those waging it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SD Comic Con 2008

Well, today was the day. Procrastination gypped me out of a 4 day pass, so today was it for me. Curiously enough, I think things worked out better this way. I got there earlier, found my favorites and kept moving.

Various memories of the day:
  • One of my favorite artists, Colleen Duran, was here for the first time in several years.
  • Phil Foglio, has a new Girl Genius book out... Woot!
  • Will Wright (of TheSims fame) gave a fantastic (albeit veryfastwithoutstoppingtobreathe) talk on the insanely anticipated new game Spore, which left even jaded folks like me salivating. He showed some of the "late game play" aspects, as well as a gallery of some of the most creative/bizarre creature submissions from folks... someone even created a "companion cube" style creature... ha! He pointed out that it took users on the internet only 18 days to create a number of species roughly equivalent to how many known species inhabit the earth...
  • Got to the City of Heroes booth in time for an in-world "special disguise power"... oh yeah, and an invite to a party Saturday night. (me? party? hrm.)
  • Saw the new up-coming "Ghostbusters" game, which was drawing a lot of attention.
  • Worn out from canvasing the exhibition floor, I sat through both Capcom's "Street Fighter IV" session (because it was in the room that would have HBO's "True Blood" panel, both of which paled in comparison to Will Wright's session).
  • Saw costumes galore, but the ones that got the biggest chuckle out of me were: A plushie "headcrab" (from "Half Life 2") and another guy in a suit&ski-mask with a paper cut-out mask strapped to his face that looked like a distinctive texan engineer from Team Fortress 2. "Hey! That Engineer's a SPY!"
Anyway... sad that I only had one day at the con, but still feeling rather satisfied.

Up next: A quick review of some utterly absurd things recently seen for sale.

Befuddlement of the day: "They" say that 666 is the number of the beast. Shouldn't that be DCLXVI instead? Or do biblical warnings use Arabic numerals, then switch to Roman numerals, and then switch back to Arabic numerals? Hrm.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Issues

Haven't had much to say lately. Things are serene and satisfactory, personally, though I'm a bit sad that George Carlin is no longer with us.

I recently heard a quip, I forget where: "If God opposes gay marriage so much... why is the mid-west being punished instead of California?" (referring to the flooding).

I'm sure there are those that will think that it was their job to stop California.

I'm still somewhat befuddled by the nay-sayers, those defense of marriage, 'one man one woman' types.

Why is it they fail to understand that Gay marriage is quite simply None of Their Business.

Whom I trust, whom I confide in, whom I sleep with, whom I love... whom I CHOOSE to build a life with (or not)... is no one's business but my own (and whomever might be directly involved.)

If that partnership resembles a lifelong loving commitment which government and religions normally refer to and treat as 'marriage' ... then it would be dishonest and deceptive to call it anything else... regardless of the personal arrangements of fleshy bits.

The possibility to produce offspring 'naturally' is not a requirement for 'marriage'... if it is, then the marriages of infertile couples should be annulled... and no woman past menopause should be allowed to marry.

"The Bible Says..." ... many other things that modern society flat out chooses to ignore as irrelevently outdated. But people still look for those loopholes that allow them to exploit other humans under their God's laws. Salome Witches... Canaanites... Heretics... Muslims... anytime grabby greedy people get ambitious they use religion to empower their faithful... and prey upon the 'outsiders'. How 'Christian'.

So... two men are seen holding hands walking down the street, and some five year old child will ask why. Not because it's unusual... but because children ask 'why?' about EVERYTHING. Does it do "violence to children" (as the pope implied about same gender parents) to see two people holding hands affectionately? No.. the fear is that the children might think that that behavior is 'acceptable' if exposed to it. God forbid.

But 'acceptability' has nothing to do with Gender Identity and Preference. (note: Being 'gay' and being 'transgendered' are NOT the same thing. I know men who wish they were women who also happen to have little to no interest in men.) People harbor 'unacceptable' longings for things they can not have, whether it's being a different gender, or the love of someone unavailable or incompatible. Attraction to another human being ranges from unwavering repulsion to lascivious obsession, with a large middle area of "just not interested either way".

Can some people choose to form a lasting 'loving' commitment with someone they are only marginally attracted to? Certainly. Can that happen if there's an unwavering revulsion? Rather unlikely.

What I must conclude from the "hide the gays from our children" types is that they want their potentially gay child to grow up in ignorance, and to 'settle' for someone they find utterly unattractive. I'm sure that'll make for a lasting marriage.

I've said it before... somewhere... "If you want to defend marriage, do something about the divorce rate first."

Obligatory trite cliche: "Blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make yours shine any brighter."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Griefers

A few non-ranty thoughts about 'Griefers'. (a slang term used to describe a player in a multiplayer video game who plays the game simply to cause grief to other players through harassment.)

Griefing, has many parallels to bullying and verbal assault. Most griefers will stay within the letter of the law, (but ignore the spirit of it), which makes it difficult for authority figures to intervene decisively. It is not uncommon for victims to feel that calling for help shows weakness.

Griefers attack people's self identity, their pride, their values. Like an angry drunk at the bar, spoiling for a fight, they'll play nice long enough to ingratiate themselves with a target, and then, bit by bit, turn nasty. Most often, they rely on small subtle comments that provoke over-reactions from their intended target.

The goal, usually, is to make the confrontation seem to be the victim's fault.

Often the victim will pick up on this tactic and fight back even harder trying to take the high ground in a battle where they've already been knocked off balance emotionally. The more the victim cares, the harder they struggle to 'win' the conflict, the more they expose tender targets for the griefer to hit... and, ultimately, the more hopeless the situation becomes for the victim.

Griefing is almost a martial art in its own right, requiring balance, focus, objectivity, practice, discipline, knowing your opponents weaknesses and exploiting them, etc, etc.

Recognize the signs of a potential griefer early. When they bait you with taunts, ignore them or laugh them off by agreeing in a jovial self-deprecating way.

Only a master of articulate wit has a chance of one-up-ing a griefer sufficiently to win a battle, but the war is still lost. The griefer, having found a worthy opponent, will return and attempt new gambits.

Engage in combat with a griefer at all, and they win. They've made you play their game, not your own. Even if you one-up them until dawn, they've hijacked your focus, your concentration, your time and effort for however long the conflict took place.

The only way to 'win' against a griefer is to recognize that their jibes and taunts for what they are, and disregard them. Unless, of course, you're spoiling for a fight yourself, in which case, enjoy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Make like a Tree

... and leave? This morning a landscaping crew came by and chainsawed down the palm trees lining my street. True, they were just poles with little poofs at the top, offering only a little shade and a little absorption of traffic noise... but now my street looks just that much more bare and sad. =(

If this is a pre-cursor for them sinking the utility lines, fine, but I'm still grumpy about it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Yayzerama!!!

Everybody's favorite Linden, Torley Linden, just submitted a new video tutorial to the official Second Life blog!

*VIDEO* Tip of the Week #28: Particle editing magic!

Which was filmed at my Particle Laboratory learning center! Woohoo! =)

Thank you Torley!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Okay fine

I'm *finally* feeling recovered from the twelve-day cold from hell, and in time for a nice warm dry allergy-tickling Santa Anna. Yay.

A few micro-rants:
* McCain's "Senior Moments" are terrifying. Please, no more morons in the White House.
* Bush gutted the executive intelligence/surveillance oversight group. More shameless CYA.
* Easter and Spring are bringing the "anti-gay-marriage" bigots out in record numbers.

I recently watched 'Southland Tales' (by the same guy that did 'Donnie Darko' of which I'm fond). I'm not sure how I feel about Southland Tales so far and will give it another shake to be fair.

It certainly embodied the distracted chaotic self-entitlement and absurdity that so much of the world seems wrapped up in. There are times when it feels like the inmates have taken over the bus... too busy fighting over the driver's seat to notice the "Bridge Out!" signs.

Anyway. If the beginning of spring is this hot... what will summer bring?

Oh... and to top it all off... someone seems to be spoofing email spam about "Replica Watches" as me. Great. Grrr....



Thursday, March 13, 2008

Colds and Spam

So, what's it like having my free time optimized for a whole week now? Honestly, with colds, fever, chills, sweats, coughing etc... no different than taking a week of sick time. But with less guilt.

Feeling somewhat better now, and catching up on email now, I'm beginning to notice that blowing the spam out of my mailbox is not unlike blowing the snot out of my nose. I use SpamAssassin, which works reasonably well, catching about 75% of the garbage. But that still leaves me about 50+ spam messages a day to wipe up with tissue.

And, of course, it's spring.. the time of year when a young spammers fancy turns to thoughts of sending offers of cheap v*1g-ra.

yay.

*HONK* sniffle snort.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More GOP hate, part 2

Sally Kern has issued a statement regarding the feedback she's gotten from her speech. (here)
And once again, I'm sending email. Not that I expect it to make any difference what-so-ever, but merely because it feels good to bark back:

To: sallykern@okhouse.gov

Beliefs do change over time.

Take USURY for example: "Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him." - Ezekial 18:13

It's one of the few things that actually caused Jesus to fly into a violent rage, knocking over tables, kicking money lenders out of the temple. It's not only that they were in the wrong place... what they were doing was deemed a sin, period.

Only centuries later was usury re-defined as "loaning money and charging excessive interest". (A change that was no doubt dearly paid for by money lenders.)

So, how many of the constituents (you know, the ones you personally represented with your hate-speech) were left homeless because of the sub-prime mortgage crisis? How many have gone bankrupt, indebted to consumer lenders because of medical expenses that their insurers refused to cover?

The 'money lenders' have completely taken over our great country and are squeezing it dry.

And yet there you are... wasting time attempting to keep suppressed and invisible the most attacked and non-retaliatory minority in American. Way to go.


You want to get biblical on something? Go attack the people that are immorally extorting Americans with unfair lending practices.

Picking on gays is for cowards. Do something important with your life and attack the REAL sinners: the money lenders, the banks, the insurance agencies, the credit card companies, ...

Or have you chosen to represent them instead, because they helped you get elected?
If so, that makes your 'moral' position utterly empty and revoltingly hypocritical.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

More GOP hate


Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2008 16:57:00 PDT
To: sallykern@okhouse.gov
Subject: The Homosexual 'agenda'

The "homosexual agenda" is simply to stop getting maimed and bullied
by closed-minded intolerant bigotted black-hearted pretend-Christians
like you.

It is your kind of hate-speech that encourages and tacitly endorses
those that attackkind-hearted patriotic homosexuals in our country.

May God forgive and heal you of your hateful heart.

( This is regarding your speech, recorded in:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFxk7glmMbo
if this was NOT you, or your words, please disregard this email. )

Friday, March 7, 2008

Ups and downs

Spring Sneezes (or a cold) have pretty much made a wreck of me today.

Which balances out the 2 week early delivery of my new laptop. =) WooooOoot!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Emancipation Day

Gone now are the familiar duties, routines and obligations.

From today forward, I am my own boss. =)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The New MBP

Woot!! http://apple.com has finally announced the rumored refresh for their MacBook Pro line of laptops, just in time too, since the one I've been using will staying behind once my employment situation changes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pro-FISA nonsense

http://www.gop.gov/ has a new video, that sends chills down my spine.

I'd rather live with the threat of terrorists than live in a police state where my own government can declare me an enemy combatant and vanish me without charges... just because I accidentally surfed to the wrong website.

FISA is anti-American. It gives the executive branch the power to spy on any politicians, of their own party or the competing party.

If you think that power hasn't been and won't be abused for political advantage you're not paying attention.

This is SUPPOSED to be a democracy... not a series of rigged elections pre-determined by unethical criminals who put their own political power-hungry goals ahead of the advancement of our nation.

Let's keep it that way... just say NO to retroactive immunity for telecoms that assisted in illegal wiretapping.

-------
P.S. Happy Birthday to George Washington and a specific someone that shares his Birthday. =)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Record Lows




Amazing, beating Truman's 22% pathetic approval rating during the worst of the Korean War... Bush is the first president to have an approval rating drop into the teens! Worse even than Nixon during the Watergate scandal! Wow!

And just why is that?

FISA - illegal wiretapping - Homeland Security/Secret Police?

Debt, Deficit, Sub-prime mortgages, oil prices, healthcare?

Global warming denial, mis-use of the scientific community, relaxed EPA regulations?

Signing statements, recess appointments, nepotism, lame SCOTUS appointees?

Blaming Iraq for 911, ignoring Bin Laden, botching the Iraq occupation, Walter Reed?

Gitmo, Waterboarding, rendition, enemy combatants?

Links to corruption, scandal, enron, Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, cronyism?

Threatening Iran, mis-use of the intelligence community, Valerie Plame?

Scape-goatism, Loyalty-first, some how mysteriously silencing the democratic voices?

Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, hanging Colin Powell out to dry

FEMA?

I went looking for a list of scandals directly associated with or aided by the Bush Administration and found a list with 313 items, most of which I recognized.

Can anyone find a list of 313 good things that have come from this presidency? I liked the "Do Not Call" list... um... what else...

How quickly we forget unforgivable scandals, especially when we are given new atrocities to be outraged with each week that goes by. If it weren't for the smallish number of "My country right or wrong" right-wing loyalists and profiteers benefiting from cronyism, Bush's approval rating would likely be sitting at zero percent.

Whoever gets elected next has a phenomenal mess to clean up.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Phobia

An openly gay 15 year old has been declared brain dead after being shot by a classmate Oxnard. The 14 year old shooter was described by another student 'as a calm, smart student who played on the basketball team. "I didn't think he was that kind of kid."'

So, did the 14 year old fear he was going to be forcefully sodomized by the effeminate older boy? Was he a brainless queer-hating jock? Neither sound too likely to me in this case.

So vile is the stigma of being labelled "queer" that some young men will go to absurd and irrational lengths to prove otherwise, whether they're straight, latently gay or 'questioning'. Perhaps, the shooter believed the victim was going to 'out' him, who knows.

'Out' is an appropriate term. It doesn't just mean "in the open", it also means "away from or not included".

'Coming out' means rejecting traditional 'normal' conformity and embracing another 'alternative' set of values, beliefs, ideals and behaviors. This event can cause an irrevocable severing of connections with some family and friends. Insults from strangers are easier to withstand than the glares of betrayal, disappointment, disgust from those nearest and dearest.

It's no wonder the suicide rate among 'questioning' teens is so high.

Nor is it any surprise that some choose to never face 'coming out' at all, and lead double lives, pretending to be happy, normal and straight. One little white lie after another turns into years of deception, and possibly, destructive infidelity.

The problem, as I see it, is our society makes such a big issue over "coming out". We need to live in a world where gender preference is no more remarkable or unusual than, say, a preference for a certain hair color, or whether mushrooms are preferred on pizza or not.

No amount of "God's Law" can justify the quantity of Gay-bashing, teen-suicide, infidelity, discrimination, and broken families that result from policies that perpetuate homophobia.

If fear of being labelled 'gay' is actually what triggered the savage event that ended Lawrence King's life, then we as a species, need to seriously re-examine what kind of values we're giving those that will follow us.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Dharma-Mifflen Initiative


Someone got lost on the way to The Office. =)
(click image for larger version)
(My apologies to the cast and networks mangled in this spoof!)

The inevitable sequel will be posted at some future date. Stay tuned...

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Particle Laboratory

I've been thinking about re-modelling my Particle Laboratory. The "floating raft" is nicer now that it has the "flying glacier" look. (Strictly seasonal, was more flying tropical island like in warmer months).

Here is the lab now in all it's cluttered glory:



and here's the slightly more structured "sci-fi very low orbit space station" style I'm thinking of moving towards:

As always, nothing ever is set in stone, it's all, (ahem) "up in the air". ;)


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dream home...

If you know me, and a certain car issue, this will seem right on target.

In a dream last night, I was out for a nice long walk, through San Diego's "Little Italy" area. As happens in my dreams it wasn't exactly right, it was mixed up with someplace else, in this case, the Hamptons in NY. In this charming, beachy urban themed neighborhood I saw a house and then gasped, "Oh my god... I bought that house a year ago! How could I have forgotten?"

Sure enough the key on my keychain fit the front door, which was unlocked anyway. Inside was clean, but barren. Light wood floors, open airy rooms, I was filled with the pride of ownership... and a nagging concern that was justified the moment I went upstairs and ran into about ten squatters lounging about on floor mattresses. They were all between 20 and 30 years old. They looked like the cast of some MTV reality tv show actually.

I woke up at that point, and am still wondering how I would have handled the situation.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fie on FISA

Keith Oberman has an absolutely delicious, logical, laudable rant about Bush's threat to veto any extention to FISA that fails to include immunity for telcoms.

Dim the lights, put aside any distractions and enjoy.

... now, if only a certain occupant of a certain White House, were watching it with us.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Sub-Prime Solution...

I've just had a weird flash of insight... I've been worried about the 'bubble' that national and consumer debt has built up for months. How can I best defend myself against the mess that will follow when that finally bursts?

Well, I still don't have any good answers to that... but I'm suddenly feeling less worried and here's why:

Banks sell their bad debts to collection agencies. Those agencies collect what they can and then write off the rest. They pretty much treat it as "high risk investments".

I'm feeling certain that somewhere along the way, someone had the brilliant idea to dress up those bad debt "High Risk Investments" as good credit... and found a way to sell them off to foreign nations and companies.

I would not be at all surprised if our own government was complicit in this considering the influence of the money lobbyists.

Q: What kind of securities did we promise China in return for the money our government has borrowed?
A: The revenue from all these sub-prime mortgages, of course.

What a perfect Enron-esque scam!
That is... until China decides to come collect on that bad debt, of course. Hmm.

p.s.: Apparently I'm not the first to think this up 60 Minutes made mention of it too.

Zen and Sniglets

How's this for Zen: Last night while I slept, I dreamed that I did NOT dream something.

(well, actually, I was dreaming that I woke up unable to remember how I had gotten home from a party I dreamed I was at earlier, and then realized, (while still dreaming) that I hadn't forgotten or blanked it out... it had never happened at all).

Very disorienting. It's like forgetting something you never knew in the first place.

Anyway. Today's post was brought to you by the words 'Scriptard' and 'mobiopath'

Scriptard, (like Blingtard) is derived from 'retard'. Which to me not only means a discernible mental deficiency, but it also means "slow". Blingtards wear so much digital-glitter that it makes computers struggle to render it all. Scriptards... are poor scripters that cut-n-paste other people's scripts together into a big lag-tastic monster, and then wonder why their virtual world is so sluggish. ;)

Mobiopath... a more 'gang' oriented form of sociopath. Someone who thinks it's okay to ignore laws, ethics, morality, common decency, etc... so long as they loyal supporters to back them up and help them lie their way out of trouble.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Whoops...

How do you blog? Do you make outlines, notes, plans... do you save and hash out a draft and when all is perfect finally hit that 'Publish' button?

Or... are you more like me, an unformed idea just insists on being let OUT! You dash some words together, think it looks good enough and so you just slap that 'Publish' button the moment you're done? And then, of course, you re-read the drivel you just typed, now that it's out there for everyone to see, and panic. You whack that 'Edit' button as fast as possible, correcting punctuation, removing duplicate words, changing entire sentences, etc.... all with manic urgency.

The (obsolete) term "posthaste" seems all too appropriate, I think.

And... thanks to Adam Marker in Second Life, for both the discussion that sparked this entry... and for pointing me at a very silly YouTube clip spoofing 'current issues' in Second Life, called: Hitler Explains SecondLife

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Team Fortress 2

I've been enjoying rounds of Team Fortress 2 enough to look into tossing together a map or two... here's a snapshot of my very first tf2 map in action (I only started playing with 'Hammer' the world editor this evening). Oooo dramatic spooky lighting. ;)

It'll get better, I promise.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Row vs. Wade

This week marked the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, and there's been a modicum of newsy things about the issue. From pro-lifers complaining that Bush and the GOP candidates only gave them lip service, no real support during the annual protest to rather amusing youtube clips of interviewers asking passionate pro-life demonstrators "If abortion is illegal, what should be the punishment for a woman that has an illegal abortion?" (Nothing quite like seeing activists who've been crusading for years stumped with a simple question. Answers ranged from "Uh, never thought about it!" to "I think they've suffered enough")

Anyway. No child should be brought into the world by a mother that does not want it.

Life without love is not worth living... and forcing someone to be born unloved should be a crime.

... and ... for the obligatory Nifty-Link-du-Jour: "The ZoomQuit II" (drag the slider on the top right left or right to zoom in/out!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Well darn.

Heath Ledger died today? =(

That rather bums me out.

Trunk Monkey! come cheer me up!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Usury Suspect

I couldn't resist. After watching "Maxed Out" and "In Debt We Trust", both of which seem to have the same very obvious message, I'm just amazed at the number of people that still let themselves be lured in by the temptation of easy money. Even when I was in my 'poor' phase, sharing a one bedroom apartment with four guys and surviving on ramen and peanut butter, I still managed to avoid depending on credit to get by.

Looking at consumer lending in America today, I get the impression that the mafia and the banks have joined together and bribed/pressured law makers to their will. It's just sick, and building a new kind of bubble that will burst in ways that will make the Enron scandal look mild.

"Never trust anyone trying to sell you free money." -- me.
(Google doesn't list the quote anywhere, so I'm gonna say it's mine!)

(and, no, I did not use "Helvetica" in the image in this post. ;)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

4th Rez Day!

Fun with photoshop, I love how the font (Viva Std) looks like thick printer's ink on my name. Harrington was used for the rest, still far and away my favorite font. =)

If it works out, I'll post a picture or two of the gondolas later on. =)
(drop by and bring friends if you like!) Make sure you use the WindLight client for SecondLife for best effect, and feel free to teleport over for a visit! =)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Failure

I've been trying to be positive & upbeat lately. Negativity doesn't help anything right?

Watching "No End in Sight" however just blew that right out the window.

Many of the facts and opinions presented I was already somewhat aware of, having read "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq".

If even half of the material covered in "No End in Sight" is accurate or only marginally exaggerated I am still overwhelmingly ashamed and embarrassed by the actions of my country.

Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Bremer, Slocombe... your decisions and actions have only weakened our country and given birth to people who will now stop at nothing to do us harm.

You are the terrorists that patriotic Americans should have been fighting to stop.

I hope some day you understand the full extent of the shame and harm you have done to this country.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Freedom from Reality

Oh come ON! Huckabee?!

Hasn't 8 years of Pro-Armageddon politics been enough? @&$(@*#(*#@$%)!!!!

On a much happier note, I was recently interviewed for a very nice entry on the NPIRL blog!
(Not Possible In Real Life).

Very nicely done!