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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] sir_cat, [personal profile] oxymoron67, AND [personal profile] klingonguy!!!



So... High-speed, low-budget post...

I slept in all of fifteen minutes this morning, since Rocky wanted food and insulin, Yoda wanted food, and Brigid and Brandon needed to go out and go potty. Oh well. Though, I've been napping on and off all day...

That's not to say I haven't been at least somewhat productive. I've gotten a start on laundry. I cleaned my bathroom. I've watered the plants. I've gotten other odds and ends done. I'm mid-way though taking care of the cat boxes and trash, but, I'm slowly whacking back my to-do list for the weekend. My goal is to have next to nothing to worry about for Monday. And the less I have to worry about for tomorrow, the better.

Not much else. Rocky is happy it's the weekend and has been following me around most of the time. He, Yoda, and I watched the series finale for Star Trek: The Next Generation, "All Good Things..." Now, I have finally seen all of the TNG episodes. Yes, there were a few that I never saw because I had set the VCR to tape them, only to have a hockey game or somesuch pre-empt them. Actually, that's why I stopped watching Voyager in the seventh season... It was never on when it was supposed to be, so, setting the VCR was useless. I'll eventually get Voyager (and DS9 and the enhanced Original Series [I have the regular Original Series on DVD]) on DVD.

To top it off, the last year of TNG was my senior year of high school, so, I was also a bit busy with graduating and getting ready for college. In fact, the original air date of "All Good Things..." was my high school graduation night. And I just never...watched the beginning of the episode. But now, I have seen the TNG run in its entirety. That last episode was like some sort of warped Christmas Carol as well. I mean, it starts and ends with Picard demanding to know the date. And he's visited by the past, the present, and the future.

Thing is, and thanks to all the wonderful Trek authors, I had a hard time watching "All Good Things..." as an end to TNG. Leaving aside the movies, the fact is that the books have done a more than adequate job in continuing the TNG story/saga. (Not to mention, DS9 and Voyager, too.)

Not much else. So, back to work, I suppose...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] dungeonwriter, [profile] brainlesswonder, AND [profile] hmpinky!!



So, weird dream last night where some teenagers stole my car for a chop shop, and the local teen heroes were total douchebags about it. But my car was saved from the chop shop and returned to me by the A Team, because they had a soft spot for cars from the 1980s.

Rocky is behind me, snoring. Every time I fart, I figure I'm giving him a Dutch Toaster Oven.

So, with regards to JJ Abrams and Star Trek and Star Wars... I understand I'm in the minority in Not Liking Abrams, much less the stuff he did with Star Trek. An alternate timeline, I can handle. I can even accept some changes in Trek technology, or even "Treknology," as it were, but total disregard of physics (building a starship on a planetary surface, besides being rather unsafe, is too difficult for 22nd-23rd technology; transporters with no range limit; red matter; Spock, who was all about preserving original timelines as far back as "The City on the Edge of Forever" deciding to alter/interfere with his own past, alternate timeline or no...) It's just...too much. I think good storytelling was sacrificed for the eye candy that makes the masses happy. And I think Star Wars now has the same problem looming ahead. Or, actually, more of the same problem; I think this is what tripped Lucas up with the prequels. I think this is what tripped up Ron Moore in the last half of BSG. I think this is what tripped up Abrams with Lost.

Maybe I read too much. I've read too much of James Luceno, David Mack, Dayton Ward, Peter David, Keith DeCandido, Michael Stackpole, Allan Allston, Steve Perry, Michael Reaves, Timothy Zahn, and others... Others who have taken some of the crappy things from movies and turned them into halfway arcs in novel form. They tell a story and shock people with the quality of the story itself, the ability to transport us to another time and space, and make us forget about believability, rather than using Michael Bay-esque explosions and M. Shyamalan-esque twists. We have the frugal deaths warned against in Scalzi's Redshirts.

Unfortunately, this is what the masses want. Because no one has the time or patience to sit down and read a book. Even if they can do so on their phone.

Interestingly, some of the above can be said of the late 90s debacle known as Batman and Robin. Maybe Joel Schumacker was simply before his time...

If people like the new Trek and such, hey, glad you enjoyed it. But when you start saying it's the best thing ever or better than what came before? I'll need to beat you with my empty wrapping paper tube lightsaber. I will then throw bound pieces of paper at you as I throw the Vanguard series at you, or James Luceno's Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, or even Steve Perry and Michael Reeve's Death Star. No, no, these things are books. You might want to look into them...

Hi, my name is David, and I'm a tie-in bibliophile. As well as regular bibliophile. And comicphile (really glad Gail Simone is sticking around for Batgirl, and I hope they keep Geoff Johns for Green Lantern).

I guess, having read enough, I have a different standard by which I judge a story to be good or not. I mean, it's all subjective anyway. I guess I just get tired of people looking at me funny and saying, "You don't like the new Star Trek? What is wrong with you?"

Then again, these people can understand the problems I had with I, Robot and why I've no interest in seeing World War Z. Sorry, folks, but Susan Calvin was an older, asexual scientist, not a young cute thing that would wet her panties at the sight of Wil Smith. Furthermore, the movie had nothing to do with the novel, aside from Robots based on Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, and in fact was originally under a different title until the producer, at the last moment, trying to capitalize on Asimov's name, changed the title at the last minute. Likewise, World War Z is not a single narrative. You want to film it? Make it a miniseries. Kind of like Tom Hanks and HBO with the From the Earth to the Moon series.

Of course, this is all just my $0.02, which is worth less than even that. Your mileage may vary. Just...stop treating me like a freak when I say, "Actually, I don't like Abrams' Trek and don't plan to spend money I don't have on World War Z and so on.

Meh.

Comics )
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Ugh.

Woke up with a nasty headache and sinus congestion. I blame the weather, the impending heat wave, and everyone cutting their grass over the past few days. Including myself. And tonight, I've had some esophagitis issues and resultant anxiety. I am Not Happy. To round all this out, I had some anxiety this morning, since I had nightmares all last night and woke up several times. So, I didn't sleep well. Despite that, I couldn't seem to sleep for more than an hour at a time during the day. So, in addition to the anxiety, I have a decidedly disconnected feeling today.

Rocky pretty much stayed with me all day, whether I was napping or downstairs watching TV. He, Yoda, Bonnie, and I finished watching Terminator 2: Judgment Day and started watching season two, volume one of the original Transformers. You know, the introduction of Spike's girlfriend, Carlie, has Carlie as a rather strong female character. She's not only a grad student at MIT, but she also manages to hang out with the Autobots and even plants a bomb on Decepticon HQ. And her grasp of particle physics allows her to sabotage Wheeljack's stolen invention - the Immobilizer (which sounds like a knee brace used right after surgery to me). She's just shy of a Mary Sue character, which makes her a welcome addition instead of annoying.

I still say T2 is an awesome movie and not only my favorite Terminator movie, but also one of my all-time favorites. Sadly, it's depressing on how, in the same way no one listens to Sarah Connor, our defense department doesn't listen to many people about programming machines to do our killing for us. Terminators, Cylons... We're screwed because human hubris makes those people think they'll stay in control. Then again, because we can't value other human lives, we're pretty much boned in any event.

To be clear: I'm not against artificial intelligence. In fact, done right, AI can be more human than human intelligence. And when you program a machine to not kill, but rather to protect life, as Asimov does, then we get Data, KITT, and Emergency Medical Holograms. It's creating machines that can learn to kill that bothers me. It's bad enough that we kill, but, and apologies if this seems a bit cavalier, but, have we gotten so lazy that we need machines to kill for us? If that's the case, then maybe we deserve what we've got coming to us.

But then, I lose faith in humanity a little bit every day...

Books read so far in 2012... )

Comics )
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Well, I was a bit ill this morning. I woke up with a particularly nasty headache, the result of the drastic change in weather around here. I managed to take some ibuprofen, then ate something so as to not anger the esophagus monster, then went back to bed. Anyway, I haven't gotten too much done today, but I did try out my new hair clippers and gave myself a hair cut! It came out not too bad. The only thing I'm not entirely happy with was how I did around my ears, but that was with my regular razor. Yes, the kit I got has ear tapering blade-combs, but, I needed a little more. I also had to use a regular razor for my neck. But for the bulk of my head? Yup, it turned out okay! Took a little longer than I thought it would, but that's because I was a bit timid at first. I mean, I knew already that I was going to use the 2 blade for the sides and the three for the top, but still... Once I got over my fear of, "Oh gods I'm gonna screw this up and look like an idiot and have to go to a barber to have my head shorn correctly and people are going to laugh..." I was good.

The Onion has America pegged with respect to the fallout from yesterday's tragedy in Colorado.

Real quick, with regards to the whole thing about how many people are killed by guns and safety and such... You know, I have one and am licensed and so on. I try to be safe with it. Yet so many people are killed by them every day. Sometimes, they're nuts, under the influence, or just plain angry, and they then use it to kill someone, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. People obtain them legally and illegally. They use them with and without a license. I personally think it should be much harder to get one, or get a license for one, considering all the accidents and lost lives that could have been prevented if we had tougher laws. Yes, people, I'm talking about my car.

People break laws all the time. Hell, we elect people who break laws all the time. We revere sports heroes who break laws all the time.

More importantly, the guy, Holmes, was nuts. Sadly, people think that means he must have been stupid. This reminds me of a tale Papa Cardillo once told me. A guy driving along hits a nail and gets a flat just outside the insane asylum. In the process of changing the tire, he manages to trip and drop all the lug nuts from the wheel down the storm sewer. Stymied, he just stares, wondering how he's going to attach the spare tire without any lug nuts, when he hears a voice calling him from the asylum. He looks up and sees one of the inmates looking down, watching him.
"Little bit of trouble there, huh?" the inmate asks.
Scared, the guy says, "Uh, yeah."
"Take a lug nut off the other three tires, and you'll have three lug nuts for the spare tire. That should work to get you to a service station."
Amazed, the motorist says, "That's a really good idea! Thanks."
"Of course it's a good idea," the inmate says. "I'm crazy, not stupid."

This, I think, is one of several major flaws made by so-called profilers and, indeed, the public in general. They underestimate the intelligence of the perpetrator.

But I've been seeing more and more cases of police profilers saying, in press conferences, that Holmes was a special case in that he had no online presence, didn't live in his mom's basement, and didn't engage in other behaviors of antisocial geeky outcasts. You know, it's a bit upsetting to me that what these profilers describe as being the type to just up and snap...describe me. I live with my mother, don't have a girlfriend, don't really have many friends, and kind of keep to myself. Oh, and I'm weird and actively non-conformist. The only thing not quite fitting their profiles is that I have a stable job. I've worked at the UD library for almost 13 years, with more than five and a half of those as a full-time employee. And I'm president of the Library Staff Association. I ballroom dance, but have been on hiatus for about two years now. Oh, and I'm not much of a gamer, and suck at gaming when I do game.

The only other thing I have that separates me from the psychos is...pets. A soft spot for cats down on their luck. Still missing and mourning TomTom. Playing with Rocky and Minerva, watching DVDs and cartoons with Yoda. Alas, it still falls into "weird and non-conforming, especially with what society says for guys not liking cats" and other crap.

However, despite how weird I am, how deranged my sense of humor is, I know I'm not going to go ballistic. Because I have this whole compassion thing. As much as I loathe elements of society and have lost faith in humanity, I haven't gotten to the point where I feel like decreeing that society is too sick to survive (Ghostbusters reference). I still smile at little kids, make sure old people don't trip and fall, and share my Boston Market chicken with the cats. The only caveat is that if you hurt me an mine, I swear by my pretty little bonnet, I will end you. I almost typed that that would be the case of most people, but, sadly, looking at the state of the world, I feel that such protectiveness is becoming more of an exception than the rule. Of course, "me an mine" includes the furkids since, well, they're my kids. Thankfully, I know several of you on here are of like mind on this issue.

Of the fans they interviewed on the way to see The Dark Knight Rises yesterday, there was one I happened to catch, and it happened to be a guy with some sense. The reporter incredulously asked him why he wasn't scared or uneasy to be going to a late night show. The guy replied that if he worried about dying all the time, he'd never leave the house and live. I think the only reason that aired is because the news agency in question was hoping to show how "out of touch with reality" us nerds are. Oh well.

I also have to say that over the last few days, starting even before the tragedy happened, and perhaps slightly influenced by reading William Gibson's "Blue Ant" books, I've been more aware of certain undercurrents of shows for what is supposed to be "normal." I've seen more of how advertising tries to target people. I've seen how the news has become more and more biased and become a tool in encouraging conformity. Although, this is more for mainstream media (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC). When we get to Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, and Cartoon Network/adult_swim, it's not nearly so bad. Unfortunately, those are all "nerd" channels, so...yeah.

Wow...this entry has turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be...

Anyway, because I'd prefer to end on a positive note...




Comics )
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Thus far, it's been a week of hell...

First, my job is being eliminated and, though they're giving me another job, it's still a major change. Then yesterday, I had a bit of a medical emergency. Granted, not life-threatening, but just incredible amounts of pain. I woke up around 5AM with pain in my left lower back. At first, it felt like a muscle cramp, but then it ramped up and when I stood up to stretch, I started seeing stars. And then the pain got worse to where I was debating vomiting, crying, or passing out. Tried lying back down, which was only marginally better. Then another wave hit and I somehow managed to stumble into Mom's room and wake her up to take me to the ER. Got back into my room and managed to put on socks, pajama bottoms, a shirt, and slippers, then was overcome with pain and nausea. Crawled to the top of the steps with my wallet and cell phone. When I got there and didn't hear any movement from Mom's room, I used the cell phone to call her and wake her up. Then I proceeded to swing my feet around so I could crawl down the steps feet-first. Meanwhile, TomTom stayed with me, licking my head. Rocky beat the crap out of Mom's door. Then when I started to go downstairs, he smacked my head several times, probably thinking I was about to fall down the stairs, but when he saw what I was doing, he backed off, then ran downstairs, thinking he would catch me if I fell instead of flattening him, 30-pound cat or no. Got downstairs and waited about another 10 minutes for Mom. In all fairness, sher had a doctor appointment later in the morning, and she needed to make sure she had everything for that so she could go there right from the ER, if necessary. She left the house first to start the car, and I decided I didn't care if it was cold or not, and I stumbled out to the car. Fortunately, the hospital is less than five miles away, and it wasn't quite rush hour. The pain escalated to where I ended up taking off my seat belt and putting the seat all the way down so I could lie where the pain was only slightly more bearable. Got there, and there was only one person ahead of me, and they processed me pretty quickly. It didn't take too long from when they brought me back to a bed/gurney to when a nurse came in and started an IV, followed by a doc who first checked for any hernias then ordered dilaudid. Five minutes later, I started to feel like I didn't have a broadsword impaled in my lower back.

So, I apologized for being a little wuss and was told, "Don't worry about it; it's just classic kidney stone symptoms." I looked down and realized the ER/Hospital gown really did have moons and stars on it, and it wasn't just the ones in my head. Though at this point, my memory is a little fuzzy, as the dilaudid was putting me in a very good mood, bring a whole new concept of "being stoned." Mom had to leave for her appointment, and I told her I'd call if there was a problem or when I was done. Note: Mom also had an appointment for a nerve block in the afternoon. Yeah, I picked a real good day to throw a stone...

Anyway, they took me for a CAT scan and politely smiled when I mentioned that TomTom and Rocky had already given me one, explained who TomTom and Rocky are, but that I was all for nuclear imaging. After I got back from the electron portrait, the pain was starting to return. So, they hit me with more dilaudid, took a urine sample and a blood sample, and I think I took a nap.

A little while later, the ER doc woke me up and told me the results of the CAT scan. I had/have(?) a 3mm stone, likely calcium oxylate, at the bottom of my left ureter, poised to pass into my bladder, after which, it wouldn't be a problem anymore. The lab results showed nothing else unusual, save for a slight elevation in white blood cell count, so, they were sending me home with a script for Vicodin and an antibiotic. My brain almost gave the comment that I wouldn't be like Steve Austin anymore, but then another part of my brain slapped the first part and said, "Anti-biotic, not anti-bionic, you moron!" So instead, I just nodded and smiled and called Mom. She was otherwise occupied in her own medical adventures, but told me she'd called Eileen (friend of the family), and she could come bring me home, and she would call her and let her know that they were kicking me loose.

So, got my stuff, waited for my ride, and when Eileen was taking me home, I came to the realization that I didn not have a house key on me. Wallet and cell phone, yes, but no key. So, I called my car-less sister, discovered she was indeed home, and went there to borrow her house key, then came home. Between the dilaudid and the fatigue factor, I took a cautious nap. I wanted to get my scripts filled, but I wasn't yet up for driving, but I was a little scared to sleep in case I woke up in pain again and didn't have anything for it. I ended up sleeping anyway from sheer exhaustion.

Woke up later after Mom was home from her adventures, had some dinner, and felt of enough sound mind to go get my scripts filled. Managed to get there before the pharmacy closed, and the pharmacist and tech were both very, very kind in filling the meds right before closing.

Anyway, I took today off work to continue to convalesce. I think I've probably passed the stone, and may have passed it before I left the ER. In any event, I have meds to help if I'm wrong. But with a slight infection and being on an antibiotic, I rescheduled my blood donation appointment from tomorrow to next month.

Next week, I finish the old job and start the new job while trying to ignore Valentine's Day and remembering that Wednesday makes it 9 years since Dad died.

Thanks to all who have posted well-wishes on FB.

Next up: another grievous example of someone who wishes they could be a cool nerd and failing miserably...



Just...stay with your conformist, unimaginative, nerd-bashing little clique of common denominators until you're truly interested in learning how to distinguish between Imperial hardware and Cybertronian life-forms. Or even between a real and photoshopped picture...

Comics! )Posted at LiveJournal and Dreamwidth
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Thanks to [profile] daytonward for the reminder...

Today's the day to get your DeLorean fueled up (both gas and plutonium, assuming you don't have a Mr. Fusion) and witness an unentered date in history. Or just remember what happened 56 years ago and maybe avoid standing on wet porcelain.

Here's to you, Dr. Emmett Brown!!!



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So, it's been a busy weekend, with a few more busy weekends coming up. This weekend was a slight water change on the fish tank and using my fish tank brush to tackle some of the algae. Specifically, the algae on the glass. Depending on how finances go over the next few weeks, I may go to the fish store and get some better algae eaters and maybe a few other fishies for variety.

Next weekend is vacuuming and washing the car, and the following weekend is opening the pool. Maybe. Depending on finances and subsequent procurement of necessary chemicals. Oh, and procurement of necessary 2 X 4 material to replace the steps leading to the upper pool deck.

I stopped at Pep Boys yesterday and got yet another window control switch for Cammie, as well as a funnel I hope is the right size for adding oil. While I was there, I checked prices on some other things, such as sand paper and body paint and rust inhibitor and such for my project of repairing or, more accurately, patching the hole on the passenger side and arresting the progress of rust over the rest of Cammie's body. Fortunately, that stuff isn't too expensive. I just need to root around the garage a bit and see what kind of drill tools I have with regards to the sand paper and whatnot. I also saw that they carry speaker wire, and another car project this summer is to replace the speaker wires. The stereo is good, the speakers are good, but the wires are falling apart. I figure it shouldn't be too hard to replace the wires... Just disconnect from the back of the stereo, tape new wire to the old wire, then go to the speaker and disconnect the wire and use the old wire to fish the new wire through the car.

But, hey, my fish tank looks more like a fish tank instead of a weird project by an unsocialized eccentric who has a fetish for algae...

Moving along, I've spent about 3 hours this weekend just reading articles from Cracked.com. I loved this one about hacking, though, the first page is screwy. Like the layout template isn't linked.

Though the one I found hysterical and at the same time tragic is the one on how Hollywood doesn't get technology. Hysterical, because I'm enough of a geek to at least know what GUI means. Tragic, because embedded within the article and especially pointed out in the last section is a big explanation why I can't get a decent date and why most people aren't worth my time. I tend to cringe whenever a pop show on ABC, NBC, or CBS attempts (and it's usually a piss-poor attempt at that) to explore some sort of sub-culture, be it nerds, trekkies, gamers, kinksters, steampunk, cat aficionados, hypochondriacs, and so on, as they usually show some sort of extreme case with someone who is maladjusted to begin with, and then thus profiles the maladjusted person as belonging to a group of maladjusted people. The lesson being given is that if you don't conform, you're not an individual, but rather a social reject capable of snapping at any moment.

Case in point: after Columbine, Goth kids were harassed, monitored, and given unwarranted counseling to make them normal, because the media portrayed Harris and Kleiborn as Goth kids who were bullied once too often. Other Goth kids (and as a caveat: I'm using Goth primarily because of the dark coloring, black trench coats and such that were "warning signs" of the time; many nerds and geeks suffered the same post-Columbine treatment as the Goths) were interviewed by reporters and psychologists looking for signs that these kids were traumatized ticking time bombs, and when the kids answered with, "Yeah, the jocks and cheerleaders harass us, but, we just plain don't care," well, that was unacceptable. The more these kids seemed normal, involved with community service, had plans for the future, and seemed better able to deal with stress, the more shit was made up to make these kids conform to what conformists expected to see. In short, the kids were fine, but the media, be it journalists or Hollywood, decided they couldn't handle that and both went the route of fiction.

Hence, why I don't watch much TV, and even less mainstream TV.

But that last bit, where Hollywood is obviously clueless about modern gaming (levels?)... And asking one guy (because everyone else is obviously well-adjusted and thus doesn't play video games) if he can play the game, and having him respond, "I live with my mother and have a Captain Kirk uniform in my closet" is just...insulting.

Hell, I live with my mother and I have a Captain Picard uniform in my... Oh dear...

In all seriousness, though, those of you who have been here for any length of time know that though I live with my mother, I'm not in the basement, and I also do a shit-ton around here because my mother is partially handicapped thanks to fibromyalgia and degenerative arthritis. In short, I'm here not because I'm maladjusted but because I have a sense of familial responsibility and responsibility in general. Granted, Mom's not an invalid, but it would be very difficult for her to be here by herself, and since I can use the extra space (compared to an apartment or townhouse), not to mention the pool, the driveway, and not having to worry about whether I can take the cats and birds with me, or which cats, and so on.

I hold down a decent job. I write in my spare time. And yes, it's science fiction stuff. And when I look at all the writers I am e-friends with, be they science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, or anything else, they are all well-adjusted people. Sometimes a little harder on themselves than they need to be. But most have families and kids. A good many have a day job as well to pay the bills. They're aware of what's going on outside of their house and around the world, and aren't afraid to comment on it. They're involved in their communities. In fact, they tend to do more to make the world a better place than most other people. (Maybe it's because we have better role models, and that in turn has made the aforementioned people role models as well...)

Thank you, Cracked.com, for pointing this shit out to help me better understand myself, the world around me, why I should value my geeky and nerdy sides, and why my cats are better than most people. Thanks to all of you writerly and creative types for being beacons of hope and making this world just a little more tolerable, if not out and out better, for the simple fact that you have the courage to be yourselves and speak out.

Conformity can kiss my hairy Italian ass!

Meanwhile, as I have been composing this entry, I've had the laptop running so it can download updates from the past week. TomTom at first seemed interested in what I was doing on the main computer, and I told him I was busy. He then decided if he couldn't use the main computer, he'd settle for the laptop, and then started petting the laptop's keyboard...

Anyway, to round out what has already turned out to be a too long, too ranty, and mayhaps too other-worldly entry, here are comics! )
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