12.31.2008

machinima { Amazing work

The Craft of War: BLIND


The Craft of War: BLIND from percula on Vimeo.

Awesome video (and its about rogues). The guy who created this worked professionally as an animator and was recently laid off from his job.

12.30.2008

musings { Where have we been?

I know the blog has been pretty idle for the last few months. 2008 has been a year I'm ready to put behind me. Its been an escalating painful year, one bad thing after another, none of which were caused by anything we could have prevented. Its been a year of experience. Its been a year of declining health and an increasing withdrawn outlook and attitude to the world. We've broken off contact with most people we know, we have gone low-key because this year every time we stepped out and tried to do something or be ourselves we were smacked down.

Those people, all of them, who decided that we were enemies suddenly and out of the blue and went above and beyond in an attempt to destroy us, people whom we trusted and thought of as friends, will never be forgotten, nor can I ever forgive them. All of them.

This year, much like 2002 when I underwent my ordeal with cancer, was also a year when we found out who our true friends were, and for that I am grateful. These people are cherished and loved by us.

Our love for each other has been renewed and strengthened. We've been through a lot in the nearly a decade of marriage. We will survive.

2008 was going to be a year of dreams and hopes. We had a lot planned, but it became a year of nightmares. Stolen dreams. Crushed hopes.

I will not allow my spark of hope and optimism go out however, for I've been there and that is the deepest darkness. 2009 will be better, for there is only one place to go, up.

12.18.2008

music { Clouds

some music about clouds:









11.20.2008

game { "I've been the Prince of Darkness since 1979!"



(of course Ozzy would be a warlock, although I thought for sure he'd be a death knight)

11.17.2008

politics { Prop 8

Saw this on KnightofNothing and this should be spread around.


11.11.2008

politics { Is Azeroth a blue state or a red state?

I know its a little late, but the servers have been down all day and I was jonesing for some WoW.

music { Lykke Li...recent discovery of mine

"Little Bit"


"I'm Good, I'm Gone"

11.05.2008

musings { A new day...

President-elect Obama.

A new chapter in our world has started. Lets try and work together to heal the country and reconcile our difference. A lot of hard work remains.

We've stepped forward, but the path is still long and difficult (Prop 8 passed in CA, so there was a small step back too last night).

Obama had a powerful acceptance speech:




McCain had an equally powerful and gracious concession (I would say it was the best moment of his campaign, not because he lost, but because of what he said):





and some U2:

11.04.2008

music { "And I awoke, faintly bouncing round the room..."

Phish, 'Boucing Round the Room'



Nouvelle Vague, 'Blue Monday'



and just because, some Bauhaus

election { Election erection or...

Get thee to the votery!

Serious. I don't care which side you choose. Vote damn it!

11.03.2008

election { endorsements

Vote tomorrow Nov 04!

My endorsements (does not reflect on other CubeZoo contributors)

President/VP: Barack Obama/Joe Biden

US Senator MN: Al Franken (this was nearly no endorsement)

US Representative MN-1: Tim Walz

MN State Rep 30A: Tina Liebling

Constitutional Amendment - Clean Water, Wildlife, Cultural Heritage and Natural Areas: YES

Associate Justice 3 MN Supreme Court: Paul H. Anderson

Associate Justice 4 MN Supreme Court: Lorie Skjerven Gildea

MN Court of Appeals Judge 16: Terri J. Stoneburner

3rd District Court Judge 1: Lawrence E Agerter

politics { End of the World?

Its odd. In talking to some acquaintances and friends who are of the conservative leaning...far leaning (but not religious leaning), I've noticed a theme. They're all convinced tomorrow will be the end of the world and there will be rioting in the streets. To quote one:

"If Obama wins, the racists will be up in a fit. If Obama loses, Detroit will burn."

A couple of them have even stocked up on ammo, as if riotous looters will be coming to their suburban homes.

Hmmm. I don't think so. In discussing this they said we as Americans riot over sports teams, and why wouldn't we riot over this election. Well, no one rioted when Bush 'stole' the election in 2000. Why would anyone riot now? Sadly more people care more deeply over sports games than they do over our government. So I feel rioting over an election is not likely to happen.

Is this really how conservatives think? That a democrat President and Congress is the end of the world? Is this what 8 years of the GOP hate-machine has created, a belief in conservatives that liberals are evil?

Maybe they are right, I hope to whatever powers there may be it is the end of /their/ world. Their world is a scary, hateful, fear-mongering, greedy place of corruption, ignorance, jingoism and constant terror.

I hope that world burns.

10.31.2008

samhain { Boys and ghouls of every age...

THIS IS HALLOWEEN!


(Marilyn Manson cover)

ala World of Warcraft...(in game Halloween is Hallow's End...my favorite in-game time of year)



and a perennial favorite, The Simpson's 'The Raven':

10.28.2008

food { global food security

This Ministry of Agriculture film from Japan has many, many elements that can apply to America. We face many of the same issues as other nations do and it would not hurt us to look at what others are doing to help fix our problems.

10.10.2008

10.03.2008

musings { OUCH! My MIND!


Was looking for this video (Kim Wilde, 'Kids in America', delicious 80s)...found this one...


THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

No amount of drinking can make me unsee that...

casual_friday { theramins weren't just for 1950's sci-fi

Clara Rockmore - 'Le Cygne (The Swan) from Le Carnaval des Animaux (The Carnival of the Animals)' by Camille Saint-Saëns

10.02.2008

music { "I ain't happy...feeling glad..."

'Clint Eastwood' by the Gorillaz

9.30.2008

musings { I took the red pill.

We'll see what happens.

I can't remember from 'Alice in Wonderland' which of the eat me or drink me did what, but rabbit holes to alternate realities are interesting.

In other news.

I picked up my fall/winter reading selection:

'Titanicus' by Dan Abnett (awesome god-machine battle titans! chapters are numbered in binary)
'Gotrek & Felix' Omnibuses 1 and 2 by William King (roughly 1200 pages right there)
'Space Wolf' Omnibus by William King (another 800 pages, but I've read 1/3 of it already)
'How to Write' by Stephen King; based off this blog entry
'Order 66' by Karen Traviss (Star Wars Republic Commando series, 'Hard Contact' was ok but a little weak, 'Triple Zero' was a lot better, and 'True Colors' was good, but not as good as 'Triple Zero')
'Paul' by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson (set between Dune and Dune Messiah, but the son is not as good as the father)
'Napoleon's Privates' by Tony Perrottet, birthday gift, almost done, juicy.
'Black Sheep' by Ben Peek, now that Nerdwife is done, I gave her '26 Lies 1 Truth' along with 'Fell' by Ben Templesmith to read.

I'm planning to get farther along than previous since I need to break the habit of reading before sleep. As it either means I read a page before zonking out or I'm up all night when I need to rest.

musings { Hilarity of the day...

Obama is the anti-christ.

Ranks up there with the email chain letter my grandma-in-law received warning people to not go see the 'Golden Compass' because in the movie they 'kill God'.

Sad, yet funny at the same time.

9.29.2008

words { 1st Presidential Debate word cloud



hmmm...not any one thing of much import...

9.26.2008

history { hey, you're still alive!

Twenty-five years ago today, a Soviet soldier named Stanislav Petrov disobeyed his standing orders.

Consequently, you didn't die horrifically in a nuclear holocaust.

9.24.2008

music { let n=1: n, n+1, n+2, n+3...

'1234' by Feist



and the Seasame Street version:

9.23.2008

musings/politics/horror { The Surge worked in Iraq?

No, ethnic-cleansing worked...

UCLA study here at Think Progress
.

I tried to post my take on this but found I couldn't find the right words.

I heard an interview with McCain the other day, he's touting the Bush line that violence is down because of the surge of troops (which he was always for), instead a much simpler, yet more horrifying answer seems to be emerging.

musings { Quiet day at work...

...or so I thought. Five hours into the work day, which I thought was quiet and peaceful, I realize I've not checked my work email yet...

Then I wish I hadn't.

reality { "This is your Nation on White Privilege" by Tim Wise

Required reading.

Yes this article is positive towards Obama, but its not about Obama. The current political campaign is merely the most well-known examples that could be used to illustrate the issues. Its a good way to put things in contrast.

Still some people won't get it.

reviews { Warhammer: Age of Reckoning - RvR, guilds, feelings of the new

My warrior priest of Sigmar is now almost rank 10, which in WoW terms means almost level 15, as there are only 40 ranks at this time in WAR. He's pretty decently geared, I've quested in each area doing PQs until I could afford the elite Influence gear and I am at max Renown for the good RvR gear (which is equally good in PvE). I spent the weekend mostly grouped with people and I must say WAR makes it easy to group. Default group size is 6 and you can have a private party, or an open party. Open parties are kinda a nice idea. When you enter a zone, a small pop-up appears listing all the open groups (either parties or warbands) that you can join. Its a nicely streamlined LFG system.

Destruction on our server, like on most, had been dominating the RvR objectives in almost any zone. Each zone has 1 or more RvR objectives. These are like towns, keeps, gun emplacements, bridges, etc. that are capture and hold points. Once you control enough of them, and your side has done a lot of quests as well as won the majority of the RvR instanced objectives (the Nordland one is like a smaller version of Arathi Basin) your side gets boons and buffs. And they are nice ones, like +15% renown, influence, XP, or +5% sell value of items/-5% cost of vendor items, +healing, etc. Like I've said before RvR feels like a natural part of the game, and they do a pretty good attempt to try and give you a shot at it. If you are under rank 8 for example in Nordland and you enter an RvR area, it bolsters you to an effective rank of 8. It still won't help you if you don't know how to play, or you go more than 1v1, and the bolstered rank, while giving you a stats boost, doesn't give you the spells or abilities you would have at that rank. So you're still at a disadvantage.

The imbalance of Order vs Destruction on most servers is similar to the WoW imbalance of Alliance vs Horde. Order is often outnumbered, by a lot. Much like on most WoW servers, Horde is outnumbers, by a lot. But all that really means is that more greenskins for us to kill. Order can be a force to reckon with if they come together.

This leads to another observation I had, this is specifically in regards to the Empire vs Chaos starting area. Each realm (dwarves, empire, elves, chaos, dark elves, greenskins) have their own unique classes. Empire starts with Witch-hunters (melee dps), Warrior Priests of Sigmar ("healer"), and Bright Wizard (ranged dps). Chaos starts with Chosen (tank), Zealot (healer), Magus (ranged dps). This has made RvR difficult as tanks can absorb a lot of damage, and deal a pretty decent amount. The Empire has relied on Warrior Priests to kind of fulfill the role of tanks, and they can sort of pull it off, but they wear medium robes, whereas Chosen wear plate. I sort of understand why EA did this, as it encourages cross-realm interaction as the Dwarves and Elves(?!?) have the tank classes (Ironbreakers and Swordmasters). But finding a dwarf or elf when you need one can be hard.

On Saturday I joined into a massive 20 person warband. We started in the Nordland warcamp and retook all three RvR objectives, then pushed north into Norsica and took the RvR objective there. Then we switched to the dwarven lands to Ekrund and Bloodmountain and took the objectivees there. We had really good fights against the greenskins, each side not shying from a fight and the greenskins massing to counter us. Each side setup ambushes, feints, and denied objectives like the cave shortcut between the Dwarven emplacement and the Ork war camp. It was brutal. We only had one ironbreaker, but we had a good mix of healers and ranged dps. Dwarven engineers can setup turrets, and they can make holding an objective a lot easier.

I maxed out my Renown in about 2 hours of moderate to hardcore RvR, and now I need to level more before I can get more ranks.

A group of us in the RvR warband decided to form a guild, the 'Fists of Order' and I was made an officer (dodging being guild leader by a narrow margin, I didn't want to be a GL if I'm not 100% sure I'm sticking with WAR). but this gave me insight to the guild management of WAR and I must say it puts WoW to shame. Rank management is streamlined and the interface easy to use. Guilds are like other players, they each get their own rank and renown and influence, which is gained via the actions of the members. At Guild Rank 2, you get a built in calendar as well as access to the Guild Tavern, where you can display war trophies, your battle standard, and hang out. You can also have multiple co-Leaders and, perhaps the best part, they have a tab where you can create and view inter-guild alliances, something you can't do in WoW.

Other in game items and tools I played around with were the Bank and the Auction House. The bank is pretty straight forward, its a bank, static bag space. The Auction House is pretty much what you'd expect, only that it has the equivalent of the 'Auctioneer' WoW mod built-in. People were selling marginal items for insane amounts of gold (i.e. 20g, remember we're all starting out, I'm 'rich' at 1.5g right now). There are also gold sellers, which you can report and they get put in a 'Book of Grudges' and dealt with by the CSR group.

The capitol city of Altdorf is big and amazing, parts of it are only open once you achieve certain city and faction ranks (like the instanced scenarios). It is dirty and crowded like a medieval city, it has slums and noble quarters, there is plague and sometimes danger down alleys. It hide dark secrets. In short its not necessarily a 'safe' place, even though you get flagged at such. At rank 40, each side can assault the other capitol cities and lay siege to them, breaking through the earthworks and outer defensive provinces to lay waste to the cities. I look forward to this.

Since I'm rank 9 now, I'm moving on to Norsica. I've picked up the breadcrumb quests leading me out of Nordland. I've unlocked almost all of the WAR story for Nordland via PQs and normal quests. There are still a few that remain (like finding all those damn suspicious characters for Tristian Lott).

My closing thought is that I'm finding WAR refreshing, despite its flaws (it has many and still needs some more polish), because of the newness. There is no Thottbott, WoWwiki or similar resource (though people are working quickly to establish them). Almost everyone is on the same playing field, helping each other try to figure out game mechanics, quests, and how to defeat scenarios. There's a lot of room to explore and discover things.

9.19.2008

reviews { Warhammer: Age of Reckoning - initial thoughts

I picked up the WAR collector's edition last night. I picked it up because it was only $20 more than the base game and had some in game extras as well as two, hundred+ page, beautifully bound books. One a graphic novel providing a prequel to the game and the other artwork and developer sketches.

I installed it and had 204MB of patches to install (not unexpected).


I had been a little hesitant at first pick this up after hearing they eliminated roughly half the careers and classes in the game. But enough remains (Warrior Priests, Witchhunters) remained to make me want to give it a 30 day try.

My initial reactions is that its good...but, not WoW. Of course you can't really compare the two. WoW is an established, matured, behemoth. WAR still has bits of after-birth on it.

Graphics: very good, I'm running fairly smoothly maxed out. The art style is more realistic and less cartoony. It works well for the genre, however the models look and your toon feels a bit robotic. It bends awkwardly and seems, well a little wrong. I'm going to give this a bit more time. Its not as bad as Deus Ex II.

Sound: rich, supports EAX, but still needs work. Stereo-positioning of the sounds are off, especially if pan your camera around. Sometimes the ambient sound cuts out. Other times it still sounds like your walking on stone when you're in a field, just minor stuff like that.

Lag: very good. I chose Middenheim as my server, its a medium order/medium destruction population server. There were occasional lag spikes, but nothing too bad.

UI: here's where it both is different and the same as WoW. From a UI perspective, it looks and feels like WoW, bars, toon and party icons, minimap...all in the same default position. Even some of the default hot-keys are the same. This isn't bad, it makes adjusting to the game easier. Quests are easy to pick up, and the areas where you need to quest are highlighted on your world map, if you've uncovered that portion of the map. You can actually accumulate goals in quests without having the quest. When I picked up the first quest to kill five Chaos Marauders, I had already killed one before getting the quest and it gave me credit. The public quest system is great and encourages group play. I was wandering through an area and suddenly it said 'Entering Public Quest: Foo'. Was good fun and I maxed my reputation for the area and gain two levels just doing my first Public Quest.

Careers/Classes: Here's where it gets a bit awkward, tho I suspect its only because I'm not used to how WAR works, and forgive me for equating some of this to WoW-speak, since its really the only way I know to relate some of these comparisons. At rank (aka level) 11 you start being able to develop a Class Mastery, think of this as talents in WoW. At the start you have Core Skills. You also have a couple of other Masteries you get via RvR (aka PvP) of both the instanced and world variety. You flow into these naturally as PvP and PvE dove-tail into each other seamlessly. I was wandering around and suddenly I became flagged for RvR (I play on a core ruleset server) and found myself in the middle of a pitched battle for world PvP objectives. It felt natural. They also level the playing field a little. If you are a under-ranked for an area, it gives you a temporary stat bolster to a comparable level for the RvR area. I was rank 4 and entered the world RvR area in Nordland and it bumped me to an effective rank of 8. You get the stat bump, but its still balanced in that you don't have the skills and abilities you would get at your effective rank yet. You can also get Professions, similar to WoW. You get one crafting and one gathering. I ended up, rather by accident with scavenging (gathering items off corpses) and apothecary (like WoW Alchemy) but since I either didn't read or couldn't find info on the professions, I haven't figured out their synergies yet or which one goes best with which Career. So far I've only really used Scavenging and that was has been just for money.

Gameplay: Some minor annoyances. You can't swim like in WoW. You can swim, but you only skim the surface, and you can't fight while swimming. Without the ability to dive, you remain vulnerable to surface attack. All your standard movement is there and most of the world is interactive with right-clicking. Like I stated before the models feel robotic, but at least the world feels big. The clock isn't on a 24 hour cycle, but rather an accelerated day/night where it felt like it changed every 30minutes. The right-click loot interface needs a bit of work as its clumsy and can lag. The Tome system was kinda nifty. Its a quest log, story log, achievement log, title log all rolled up in one. From here you can check on quests, review achievements and select your titles as well as customize your armor look (I assume, I haven't unlocked an armor set yet). You also start with a flight point to the capitol city right off the bat.

What stood out the most for me was a bit of a negative. With a limited selection of careers, and the fact everyone has limited customizations to their toons, everyone looks the same unless you are right up close. All the warrior priests, save for the female toons, are bald headed robe wearers. All the witchunters have a rapier and pistol and purple shirt. Since dwarves and Elves start in different locations, that's all I saw in the human starting area.

But the world feels big, looks pretty good, and the Public Quest system was a pleasant surprise (we had to fight off waves of cultists, warriors and then fight a Chaos Giant). I like my Warrior Priest of Sigmar, though I was a little dismayed its classified as 'healer', but you can actually kill stuff fairly easy as a healer. In fact for a Warrior Priest, if you're not up front smacking things with your hammer, you'll run out of juice to heal people and you need to watch healing threat, coming from a melee dps background, I had problems initially gauging that.

I made a Witchhunter (melee dps), a Shadow Warrior (ranged dps), a Swordmaster (tank/dps), and Ironbreaker (tank) to try over the next month or so. I'll have to find another server to try out destruction as you can only be a member of one faction on a given server.

All in all, its been a nice break from WoW. It won't replace WoW for me, but it will help with the little bit of burnout I've been feeling (mostly tired of Outlands).

9.17.2008

gaming { Upcoming

Thursday Warhammer: Age of Reckoning goes live to us casuals. I plan on checking it out. Not that I'm tired of WoW (though I am tired of Outlands), but I've been a big fan of Warhammer/Warhammer 40k for a while.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday is the Gamer's Reunion in Rochester. Nerd convention. Join/avoid as you see fit.

Tangentially, the Farmer's Market is winding down. So go get some good eats while you can.

9.16.2008

In memoriam{ David Foster Wallace

I would not attempt an appropriate elegy myself, but rather refer you to the best I've noticed:
http://nplusonemag.com/dfw-1962-2008

9.15.2008

economics { ItEot(f)WaWKI part deux

Just really an excuse for a 10k Maniacs video that relates to the current yet-to-be-called-a-crisis crisis and really world in general.



This video was made in the early 90s by the way. Seems not much changes over time.

economics { Its the end of the (financial) world as we know it...

...and I feel fine.


(original article)

Brits give a good, no bullshit overview. Dow Jones is taking a beating, and a lot of it is not undeserved.

More good stuff with no bullshit can be read here.

You look back on what the banks did and its hard to feel sorry for them. They were greedy and overreaching and gaming the system and themselves. Only thing that keeps me from laughing out loud is the fact they're gonna take a lot of us with them in one way or another.

But hey when the world burns, all you can do I guess is dance.

9.12.2008

politics { Conservatives/Liberals/Reactionaries

I recommend reading the Mississipifarian's post this morning.

This is perhaps one of the best conservative/liberal vs reactionary comparisons I've seen in a long while.

Modern Conservatives are not truly conservatives I'll agree. They are spoon fed reactionaries that like to make mountains out of mole-hills and detract from actual discussion of real issues. Preferring instead to focus on 'hot-button' topics that are purely emotional. They love to parrot Fox News talking points. Wave flags, boast about 'small town values' like they are all from small towns. They like to spread falsehoods. When confronted with facts, they cry intellectualism and elitism. Seriously I had a co-worker once like this. He would give me and another liberal co-worker articles to read. We'd read them, we'd do a little outside of the story research, you know some fact-checking, then we'd come back to discuss the article with him. Hell we'd even print off multiple-independent sources (being careful to find as many neutral sources as we could) debunking the claims in whatever article he gave us and he would cry liberal bias and intellectual elitism.

I've heard this said from various places and I think its apt. You want an 'intellectual' as your doctor right? Why not for your President?

casual_friday { Lipstick, mavericks, pigs, pitbulls, "hockey moms" oh my!

And now for something completely different...

Nouvelle Vague 'Dance with me'

9.08.2008

politics { "small town values", the GOP has I guess like a trademark or something on them



(disclaimer: I grew up in a 'small town', went to school in a 'small town', worked in a 'small town'.)

9.05.2008

music { Zoë Keating

This is a post from a story on Boing Boing, but I finally got a chance to listen to the podcast and I've got to say, wicked!

Zoë Keating - Quantum Cellist [MP3]

Update:

Here's a YouTube video of her performing the same first piece as was on the podcast:

personal{ identity

It's time for a change, I think. I learned something really important about myself this year: passion for my work- my science- left me intensely vulnerable. Everyone I trusted knew how best to destroy me. And many of them have neatly taken advantage of this, and continue to do so.

I can't risk this scale of devastation again. Distance has shown me that I do know how to breathe when I'm not holding a pipetter; that things outside a microscope can be huge and beautiful; that I can think without gedakenexperiment, with some practice. Maybe I will eventually know who I am outside the lab. The scientific enterprise will roll on without me; with the scale of corruption I observed this spring, perhaps it's better that I no longer muddy those waters with techniques, work and actual data. No real facts are in danger of discovery in many labs at my former institution.

Scum-sucking pissant motherfucking assholes are pretty much a constant anywhere you go. But I can- I must- make their job more difficult. So here it is: I don't know what I'm going to do now. I just know what I won't.

RNC { freedom and its discontents

I wanted to wait until the end of the RNC in order to address a few things. The scope of this post will be the hosting of the convention here in the Twin Cities and the actions and responses of ordinary residents, political protestors, and the law enforcement groups providing security.

The GOP's convention serves many purposes, beyond just the several day media commercial for their party and its agenda. The delegates have to ratify the choice for Presidential candidate, pass a platform, as well as do any internal party business. This is the same with the Democratic convention in Denver. The import of thousands of delegates and party officials into our cities has been seen as a boon, financial and reputationaly. Planning for this has been long.

I did not protest the convention. Aside from riding up in an elevator with NBC White House journo David Gregory at the Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis, I didn't see any media. I did see some delegates, including party goers at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis, and what appeared to be a gay Republican (Log Cabin) couple attending the convention. I also spotted what looked suspiciously like five or so very high rent ah 'ladies of the evening'.

What I did see a lot of was cops. Everywhere. I have never seen so much police presence in the Twin Cities outside of when the 35W bridge collapsed.

I've been following the protests with some interest. I don't see a lot of point in protesting the convention iteself. It may be a convenient location to bring attention to the spectacular failures of the Republican party and its agendas for the last decade, but the convention itself is an important component of democracy. Despite my aversion to a protest show, I understand that the right to assemble peaceably and protest is the very essence of democracy, and probably the most important government protection given by the First Amendment. If you cannot criticize your government and its dealings then all the other rights of free speech don't mean much. The genuis of this country's bill of rights included the right to rip your government a new asshole verbally when it deserves it. The Alien and Sedition Acts were rightfully torn up to a large extent. Criticism of government functioning is the major precept of improvement.

What I have seen over the past week has been repugnant.

The St. Paul Police Department (headed by John Harrington), Ramsey County Sheriff's Office (headed by Bob Fletcher), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, and FBI and the U.S. Secret Service have apparently conspired to treat protestors and even citizens of Minneapolis and St. Paul out walking around as criminals. The mass arrests, excessive force, use of tasers, pepper spray and chemical mace, tear gas grenades, smoke bombs, rubber bullets, riot clubs, intimidation and threats, as well as the preemptive arrest of protest groups and the 36 hour holds in order to get potential legal and nonviolent protestors off the streets and incapable then of excersizing their rights, the arrest of journalists, lawyers, and innocent bystanders, all in the name of law and order, have represented nothing less than a subversion of democracy.

A subversion of democracy.

I'd like to stop just short of calling this treasonous to the founding principles of this nation. These tactics, well documented from this and past conventions and protests, have lead me to the conclusion that this is an intentional outcome. That law enforcement treats the constitutional rights to protest, speak, march peaceably, criticize, and expect more from our government as inconvenient at best and outright criminal or terroristic at worst. That the right to walk down your own streets unmolested and unarrested is only a luxury you get some of the time. This appeared to be nothing other than a war against liberals, against anyone who took time out of their schedules to speak their mind and expect government to be better, a war against protest itself.

Instead our law enforcement took the route of paramilitarized jack booted thugs and of naked fascism.

I believe that the delegates have a right to meet here, party, enjoy our cities, and be safe. But I believe just as strongly that our citizens have a right to have their constitutional rights to assemble and protest peaceably, and not just in 'free speech zone' (are you kidding!?) cages a mile away from where anyone could see or hear them are equally important. I don't advocated violence or destruction of property, but neither do I advocate mass arrests of hundreds of people, many of whom were not protesting, and were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm especially concerned by the arrest of legal observers, independent journalists, and those documenting the conduct of both the police and the protestors.

I'm also of the opinion that there is a significant chance that at least some of the property damage done (thus providing the 'excuse' under which this complete overreaction of force) was the work of Agent Provocateurs (not exactly unheard of), enlisted moles of the police departments themselves. Certainly there were a very small number of the ten thousand or better protestors who were of little productive agenda and were enganged in behaviour that should not be tollerated. When they engage in property damage or genuine rioting, then law enforcement has every right and duty to stop it. But there is no way you will convince me that the hundreds of people swept up in arrests were doing harm or a danger to public order.

Honestly, preventing a fascist police state is worth a few broken windows. Your cure is worse than the disease.

The riot police, decked in bulletproof vests, gas masks, and riot clubs were aching for a fight. You could just see it. This is not a responsible or ethical way to run public order, and it no way to respect the people in your communities. The sheer magnitude of police presence and their spoling for confrontation all but incited the mess we got.

If there is any justice, it is my hope that the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union will be revving their engines for a legal confrontation with these officials and officers. I desire that some of your officers lose their jobs over this at least (prison for a few of these thug cops would be a nice bonus and hopeful deterrent to this kind of crap in the future). I'm not optimistic about this, though, as lawsuits from the last electoral cycle are still awaiting trial. I think your departments took this into account and decided that prior restraint and
preemption were fine tactics because it would be all over by the time you let people out and then years before anyone with the guts and money would take you on in court.

"When peaceful revolution becomes impossible, violent revolution becomes inevitable." - Oliver Tambo

Police Sweeps At RNC - a Decade Long Pattern

Asking the Right Questions

The UpTake

casual_friday { only stupid people are breeding

Harvey Danger - Flagpole Sitta

politics { criminal charges against the Bush Administration?

Had a helluva a time find any mention of this in American media, but it is in the Guardian UK (found via this Mississipifarian post). I first heard about this in the Sept 4 Democracy NOW! broadcast.

"Obama might pursue criminal charges against Bush administration"

highlights:


· Biden says criminal violations will be pursued
· Democrats have issued subpoenas to Bush aides
· 3 staffers have been held in contempt of Congress



"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued – not out of vengeance, not out of retribution, out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."


However it might be a tease...


"What is true is the United States Congress is trying to preserve records on questions that relate to whether or not the law has been violated by anyone," Biden said, adding: "But, you know, there's been an awful lot of unsavoury stuff that's gone on. And the mere fact … that it occurred in a previous administration doesn't mean [a subsequent] Justice Department, if, in fact, there's evidence, shouldn't pursue them. "But I have no evidence of any of that. No one's talking about pursuing President Bush criminally."


Video of it here.

9.04.2008

reminder { 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.

(emphasis mine)
U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1
http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am1

A reminder to the police of St. Paul and the RNC.

reviews { round-up, what I've been reading/watching/playing, Sept 08 edition

Summer's over. It went by with a whimper. Summer usually makes me restless and want to do things like read more books, see more movies, and such. So here's a quick run down of what I've watched/read/played this summer and a short review.

TV
We've not had full network or cable TV since 2004. Not much worth watching but thanks to the Internet I've kept up on a few shows:


  • South Park - this summer the guys doing South Park put all their seasons and all their episodes online, for free. Its awesome. I caught up the on the last few seasons I've missed. Overall they're still funny, but they are starting to show their age. They've been around only a few years less than the Simpsons, who haven't aged well at all.
  • Battlestar Galactica - Sci-fi has started putting the BSG full episodes on line to view. Still good. This season (the last one by the way) is better than last season.
  • Grey's Anatomy - Nerdwife got me hooked. Beautiful people, everyone sleeping with everyone. Predictable plots. Don't go to Seattle Grace Hospital, everyone gets tumors there.

Movies - DVD

  • 300 - what the fuck was I thinking? Why did I torture myself with this again?
  • Cloverfield - still like it.
  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie - 1960s French comedy, funny, bizarre, oui.
  • Red Road - drama about a Scotish police officer and her past. Recommended.
  • The Terror of Mechagodzilla - what can I say? I'm a sucker for old Godzilla movies. Lay back and enjoy.
  • Mulholland Drive - David Lynch, nuff said.
  • There Will Be Blood - Creepy but good.
  • Starcrash - spectacularly bad. I recommend it to anyone who loves watching cheesy sci-fi from the late 70s.
  • Alone in the Dark - I can see why people now don't like Uwe Boll.

Movies - Theater

  • Kung-Fu Panada - liked it, a lot.
  • Wall-E - beautiful but sad.
  • Dark Knight - kind of a flat plot. However Heath Ledger is the best Joker, ever. Worth seeing for his performances alone.
  • Wanted - meh.
  • Star Wars - Clone Wars - great animation...but the cartoon shorts by Gennedy Tartakovsky were better.
  • Tropic Thunder - was funny, could have been funnier.
  • Iron Man - liked it, but not ga-ga over it.

Books

  • 26 Lies, 1 Truth by Ben Peek - Quick and easy read. Was interesting. Had to keep reminding myself this book is fiction.
  • Wormwood by Ben Templesmith - graphic novel. I enjoy the characters, the art, the plot, the genre.
  • Aliens Omnibus by various - collection of Aliens comics.
  • Predator Omnibus by various - same as Aliens, but starring the Predator.
  • Star Wars, Rogue Squadron Omnibus by various - majority of the story is done by Michael Stackpole, an author I enjoy from his Battletech works. I like the Omnibus, its like 30 comics in one and gives a complete story arc.
  • the complete set of Patrick O'Brian - I'm up to the third book, H.M.S. Surprise
  • Bass Guitar for Dummies - yep, get my learnin on. Its actually a pretty good book. I'm learning the basics and starting to make noise. I'm supplementing this with some how-to videos I found on YouTube.

Music

  • various, my current playlist has a lot of Feist, Death Cab for Cutie, The Ting Tings, Postal Service, Lily Allen

Podcasts

  • Outlandish
  • SModCast
  • WoWcast
  • Evil Genius Chronicles
  • TWiT
  • Security Now
  • Off the Hook
  • This American Life

Games

  • World of Warcraft - this has become my TV time, our raid group is up to Black Temple
  • Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas - popping caps/getting paid
  • Dawn of War: Soulstorm - Sisters of Battle yo!
  • Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos/The Frozen Throne - its still a great game
  • Starcraft - getting ready for Starcraft 2
  • X3: The Reunion - my poor mercantile empire with super awesome HQ and warships was left neglected since 2006, my employees wanted to be paid. Plus I had a few more empty sectors to turn into vital trade hubs.

music { elaboration

About a decade and a half ago, a fantastic (not to mention Hugo award winning) episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called The Inner Light aired. It featured a touching story and a lovely folkish melody [OGG Vorbis] played on a pennywhistle.

This week I learned that a full orchestral suite [MP3 or OGG Vorbis] based on this melody was written and recorded for Trek's 30th anniversary. The composer is longtime Trek composer Jay Chattaway

BTW, the prop whistle that Picard 'played' in this and one other episode was eventually auctioned at Christies for $48000

9.03.2008

music { now for something a little lighter

Been liking the Feist album 'The Remainder' a lot.



I dig the lyrics.


I feel it all I feel it all
I feel it all I feel it all
The wings are wide the wings are wide
Wild card inside wild card inside

Oh I'll be the one who'll break my heart
I'll be the one to hold the gun

I know more than I knew before
I know more than I knew before
I didn't rest I didn't stop
Did we fight or did we talk

Oh I'll be the one who'll break my heart
I'll be the one to hold the gun

I love you more
I love you more
I don't know what I knew before
But now I know I'm wanna win the war

No one likes to take a test
Sometimes you know more is less
Put your weight against the door
Kick drum on the basement floor
Stranded in a fog of words
Loved him like a winter bird
On my head the water pours
Gulf stream through the open door
Fly away
Fly away to what you want to make

I feel it all, I feel it all
I feel it all I feel it all
The wings are wide, the wings are wide
Wild card inside, wild card inside

Oh
I'll be the one who'll break my heart x3
I'll end it though you started it

The truth lies
The truth lied
And lies divide
Lies divide

politics { in other under-reported news...


Riot police protect MoA from Starbuck's employees and their friends.

from the article:

A mass of Minneapolis police and transit police, present since the beginning, enter the rail station along with the workers and supporters, and proceed to follow them to the train. Inside the train cars, the Wobblies sing the old labor anthem “Solidarity Forever,” hand out union literature, and speak with interested passengers of the union’s struggle.

One stop before the Mall of America, at Bloomington Central, the train is greeted by officers from the Bloomington Police and the Minnesota Department of Criminal Apprehension, armed with guns, tasers, and videocameras. After a liaison explains the nature of the visit—no pickets, no signs, no protest, just a group of workers accompanying a fellow worker to work—the train is allowed to pass.

Fast forward to the Mall of America station:

“Get back on the train! Anyone exiting the train will be arrested for trespassing.”


Yay fascism!

I like now if you're a union member, protester, by-stander, journalist, gawker, organizer, etc. you're automatically assumed to be a terrorist and an anarchist who wants to do nothing more but light things on fire and cause mayhem.

You gotta watch them peace and union types. They could have a sit-in break out at any moment, or a work stoppage...get your own fucking latte!

politics { Palin, poor choice



I think the Republicans want the issue of her daughter's pregnancy to remain. Like Carville stated, it makes the other issues opaque. And truthfully, examine her politics, examine her experience. She's not qualified (much like Dan Quayle wasn't qualified) to be Vice President. The ugly truth is that she was chosen because of her looks and that her political views would appease certain elements of the Republican base (i.e. the evangelicals) that don't like John McCain. I agree with Carville again, if they wanted a strong and experienced candidate (in my opinion woman or not) they should have chosen Olympia Snowe. Palin was a bad choice, all around, and not because she was a woman. The only way they could have picked a worse candidate would have been to choose Michelle Bachman. They chose her because she's a mommy, she's pretty, she will appeal to the NASCAR dads and can be related to by the suburban soccer moms, because she's anti-gay, anti-sex-ed, anti-contraceptive, pro-gun, pro-life, religious, doesn't believe in global warming, and has been a loyal foot-solider in the GOP. She's a GOP drone who will follow orders well. Much like probably any male candidate they would have chosen. They chose her to appear progressive (as in they chose a woman candidate), help shore up the base. The fact a lot of negatives are coming out (not just her daughter's pregancy, but the fact she ran Ted Steven's 527 and is therefore part of that corruption). The GOP, is going to use the baby to distract from the issues of corruption.

wordle { cubezoo posts from August

Guess we know what's been on my mind.

Wordle is pretty cool.

musings { scars

Scars, marks of previous pain and injury. Some can be seen. Some cannot. Some fade with time, while others remain visible indefinitely.

I have many scars.

9.02.2008

politics { RNC 2008 Convention in St. Paul

Started off with a little bit of a bang. A lot of protester vs police scuffles. Raids, arrests, and confrontations.

Most noteable Amy Goodman and her staff from Democracy Now.

*UPDATE, 9/3/2008* Another blogger provides another angle to the large arrest/clash between protesters and police.

8.29.2008

politics { The bullshit of protest democrats

This has been gnawing at me for a while now. I know posting this I will anger some. Some who are close and dear friends.

Here's my memo to you. In short, eat shit. A big heaping bowl of it you fucking hypocrites.

Ok that's a bit harsh. Accurate, but harsh and ultimately counter-productive because by this point you are angry at me. Good. Feel that anger? That's how you make me feel.

This is directed at you, you 'democrats' and left leaning independents who bashed Nader's supporters in 2000, but are now supporting GOP candidates as a 'protest' because Hillary didn't receive the nomination (in a fair contest) or some other real or imagined slight.

This is not an endorsement of Obama. Its merely an instruction for you to wake up and realize the hypocrisy of your position.

There is a big difference between those of us who supported Nader and the Green Party in 2000 and you who are backing the GOP candidates in protest this year.

Here's why. Regardless of how 'good' your GOP candidate is, they are still members of a party whose ideology is one of division, failed politics, financial pillage, bigotry, evangelism, and societal ruin. Those of 'us' who tried to send a message in 2000 by supporting Nader did so because of the green politics and inclusive ideology of the Green Party.

Support of McCain, Coleman, Davis, etc. in protest isn't a protest against the DNC, DFL, or other Democratic Party alignments, its an endorsement of the GOP ideology. A foothold that will allow them to further push their agenda. Your candidates aren't saints. They're still members of the GOP, which means they toe the party line. The same party that had shown us what ruin they could have in six years of total power, and 2 years of partial power.

Every candidate whether Dem or GOP walks the party line. Don't delude yourself that your candidate is different. The shadow players of the GOP are still in control and are still manipulating things from behind the scenes, they have just publicly 'retired' from sight.

But I would like to hear your reasoning for supporting the GOP ideology. I've been hearing a lot of whining about Clinton not getting the nomination, and other such infantile posturing. But I've heard very little publicly about why you support the ideology of the GOP.

One of the few beauties of this country is that we are (sort of) free to express our own opinions and feelings. More power to you. But you're still a hypocrite.

*UPDATE* KoN has put in the comments a link to a great article I think should be read.

8.20.2008

WAR! { Now our undies are in a funky-bunch...

We refuse to use the RickRoll option which would be a violation of the Geneva Convention as modified in 2006 to include inner and outer Blogistan and outlying regions, as we are a blog of peace and morals. However the latest salvo from across the border in Evilbobbyistan of pure Funky Bunchosity cannot go unanswered.

So we fight on. We retaliate with some dance moves of our own...AUF DEUTSCH BITTE!



Our loyal forces shall push farther into Evilbobbyistan and secure his ports and Cock Block his oil pipeline.

The memes must flow!

WAR! { This Shit Just Got Real...


Evilbobby, tyrant dictator of EvilBobbistan has chosen not to just roll over and take it.

Its on!

While his strike was devastating to our Western Front, we the determine people of CubeZoolvania are not beaten.

We fight not for ourselves, but for all the free peoples of the Internets.

We enjoy the retaliation, it touches our tra-la-la...ooooh...our ding-ding-dong...

WAR! { In AD 2008 blog war was beginning...

EvilBobby, we set up you the bomb!



You will not survive. Make your time. Ha...Ha...Ha...

Here at CubeZoo we believe in a first strike policy of utter annihilation using the most devastating of WMD developed...DISCO, and not American Disco either, some of the most potent, devastating European DISCO!

Live in fear KnightofNothing, NorthernMisfit, and GeekGoddess or you too may feel the funky sting of our Disco arsenal!

scifi { Ex Astra, Scientia!



And yes, I've seen 99% of the movies/TV Shows/Books/Graphic Novels referenced, even 'Starcrash' (a spectacularly bad movie I highly recommend for the connoisseur). I regret that I've only seen a few 'Farscapes' and 'Space 1999' (though I had Space 1999 toys).

(the original video by Sarah Brightman & Hot Gossip)

8.14.2008

musings { A little homesick

I miss the warm weather pretty much every day. This summer, I can count on one hand the number of good hot days we've had. I know those high temps and humidity don't do much for you northern natives, but this post is not about you. This is my favorite time of year at home, when even before sunup it is muggy and still and so, so warm... and every breath is hot and easy, and you wear less clothing than is generally advisable, and no one uses a phone because everyone is out on the porch in the shade. Somehow the sun is brighter and hotter there than it ever is here.

One thing to commend this state, though, are the summer storms. From blandly sunny to dark and sharply windy in a few minutes; one little whiff of nitrogen is all the warning you get before a thunderous downpour.

I'm off to get a sweater. It's raining and cool, and it's wrong to turn the heat on in August.

8.12.2008

politics { Cold War Mk II?


Are we doomed to keep repeating the Cold War and the mistakes made, the posturing, the waste of resources? It feels, much like it has since 2000, that we're regressing back in time rapidly. Its felt like there are forces trying to drag the world back to the 1950s. I can't shake the feeling that in a few years the Iron Curtain will be back, and we'll have a new Warsaw Pact vs NATO, US vs USSR global stand-off.

Evil Bobby has some interesting thoughts on the subject.

(titles are mine)

Germany Cock Blocks NATO for Russian Oil

Ukraine hears something knocking next door

8.07.2008

casual_friday { a day early...gonna be busy tomorrow...

So for your enjoyment some French Pop:



mmm...Shakespeare...

8.05.2008

musings { WTF?

When I logged in to do this post the blogger post management pages was invaded by pictures of babies.

Well I was just gonna post a link (and I know EvilBobby, NorthernMisfit, GG Rhapsody, Zophorian, YoungStranger, and KnightofNothing will enjoy this link):

http://www.dipity.com/user/tatercakes/timeline/Internet_Memes/embed_tl?fs=1

Timeline of Internet memes. It contains most of them. Interesting look at the global internet culture. Some of these will make you stupider for having viewed them, others however and great artistic achievements, while many are interesting looks at pop-culture in other places than where you may live.

Really, even with the high cheese factor, this is to me a great example of how we can connect and laugh...or point and laugh...as a global people.

7.31.2008

joy { Happy Birthday Nerdwife

Happiness to you on this day of arbitrary time measurement on completing another solar cycle of existence. To you I give the gift of music and my love.





and because I can't resist...

7.30.2008

musings/work { And here I go again on my own...

Well not really. I've just been kicking the idea of going free-lance, Sys Admin for hire, in the back of my mind for about 5 years now. Trying to figure out what I'd need to do. I know I'd need contacts, some way to market myself, and a good stable of initial customers. As well as a way to do contracts, make sure I get paid and such. I did my own company thing twice. Both times I couldn't make a go of it because I needed to keep my own job to cover costs, so I know I was doing something wrong.

I think I'm at a phase, much like my father had, when in his 30s he decided he wanted to become a farmer, where I want to be my own boss. Choose my own work. I have skills, I'm creative and experienced in my given profession, I think people may have a need for my talent, and I'm tired of working for 'The Man'. Ideally I'd like to have a number of clients, each of whom I'd spend 2-6 billable hours per week on. Small to mid sized for-profits, non-profits, academic places would be ideal. Some place where they only need 1-2 Sys Admins, and I could control aspects of the environment, build the systems how I see fit, shape the environments to what I think are a good meld of customer needs with best practices. Can do Linux (various flavors), Solaris, AIX, HP-UX. Well versed in security policies, architecture, backup/recovery/business continuity, networking, and heterogeneous integration. I have weaknesses, sendmail and printing sub-systems are still not my forte (but I'm a fast learner). Ideally I'd like to be able to work 3-5 days/week and a bit more free time, and only be on call if I choose or get reimbursed well for it. I'm not adverse to travel, just don't want to spend a lot of time away from home, nor can I really afford to pay my expenses upfront and get reimbursed at this point.

So this is really still in the dream stage. I'm asking for a lot and I'm not sure as a UNIX admin this fantasy could become a reality. Plus health insurance in America is expensive when you pay your own way, and with my previous 'condition', I'm uninsureable (per the insurance companies own policies) for at least 10 years, maybe longer, and then I get to pay 2x-4x times more what other people pay. Because I was unlucky enough to have cancer once...and survived.

7.29.2008

tech/work { spoofing hostids in solaris 10 native zones

So at work we have an application suite that uses a licensing tool that is bound to specific hostids. This can pose a problem as in Solaris 10, the non-global zones inherit the hostid of the global (or source) zone, meaning you could only have one copy of this software running at a time, not cool if you want to leverage zones.

With the new Solaris 8 and 9 branded zones, you can embed a string in the XML config file like this:


add attr
set name=hostid
set type=string
set value=80001234
end


and it will reassign the hostid. This was put in place so you could pick up and move Solaris 8/9 install and move them to within a zone. Good idea, useful feature...only it doesn't work for native Solaris 10 zones. I didn't read the docs fully and was dismayed as I thought this was part of Solaris 10 Update 4. It isn't. I then went on a two day search for a solution. The first day was pursuing official SUN channels. This only resulted in a response that a RFE (request for enhancement) has been made and it will appear in an update of Solaris 10 in the future. Not good for my more immediate needs.

Day two was spent with the swiss army knife for sys admins, google. I really only spent two hours researching it but in that time I found a few things. One is that this is not a new need, people have been looking to do this since 2005 when Solaris 10 was released. Secondly there are some easy ways to do it and some less than ideal ways to do it. Eventually what helped me solved my problem was this post here (http://tinyurl.com/6fa63z). I tried the compile your own newhostid.so library and it worked, but I had problems with other shared libraries not working, mostly because of the LD_PRELOAD flag needs to have all your system libraries for proper functioning. That page also had a link to someone who put together a dtrace script that let you spoof host ids on the fly. He has a dtrace script called zhostid with the source found here (http://tinyurl.com/62wjq5). This was exactly what I was looking for as it let me add more zones to the list as I built more, could be start/stopped at anytime with seemingly minimal impact on the system. And it works fine in a clustered environment, which is where these zones are running. You just need to put this script into a start script for boot time in both nodes (or as many as you have). Now this is the part I don't like. I generally don't like using nohup for scripts, but for now it was the only way I can get this script to start and background and keep running. I'm researching putting this into SMF if I can.

For now I made a

/etc/init.d/zhostid

start script that just basically called this script and backgrounded via nohup. I then linked the script old school into rc3.d until (if I can) put it into SMF.


cd /etc/rc3.d ; ln -s /etc/init.d/zhostid S99zhostid


Some caveats.

First off this script isn't supported. Its meant for demonstration purposes and the author states this clearly in his comments in the script, and its released under GPL, so make sure to credit it properly if you make changes. SUN generally doesn't support host id spoofing, I guess with the exception of in branded zones, but they also at this time do not provide functionality to easily do this.

Secondly, you are modifying the running system and modifying a system call. Dangers are inherent with procedures like this. But I feel in this instance it is fairly safe and non-destructive. You just need to be aware this could cause some oddities if you're ever troubleshooting.

But it works. And seems to work well for the needs I had.

7.28.2008

musings/self { Guess I cannot disagree with this assessment...

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test...

Outcast Genius


For The Record:



A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.



You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius.



Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don't care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject).



Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius.



Congratulations!


THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Take The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test at HelloQuizzy

musings { WoW as a Terrorist training ground?

Wired, the pinnacle of journalism has posted an article about WoW being used to analyze people's behavior to study terrorism.

My take on this article.

1) They're trying to get play by cashing in on the 'World of Warcraft' popularity.

2) They found retards to contribute to the article. Seriously. I agree WoW is a good place to study social interactions, its an MMO. It has an in-house, partially player driven economy (not a total free economy) so it has its value for studying economics. It would be a good place to observe people for psychological study, as here you have a place where people's identities are hidden behind avatars, and there becomes a certain freedom for ass-hattery. But terrorism? No, griefers aren't terrorists, they're ass-hats.

This article is a stretch. I think even the author realized this as the link at the end between Blizzard and DHS feels weak and half-hearted.

gaming { Alliance! I'm in ur Citiez getting mah questz on


That's right. Pernox, a Horde, has picked up a quest in your own City of Darnassus. Your defenses are weak. Your guards are asleep. I got me +1000 AD rep and 17gold beyatches!

Your own Dawnwatcher Shaedlass is in such dire need of help he'll talk to anyone.


P.S. Evilbobby loves gnomes!

P.S.S. FOR THE HORDE!

7.25.2008

wow { Pernox, a history in pictures

lvl 1 - strange new world
pernox-lvl1
lvl 10 - lost in this new world
pernox-lvl10
lvl 20 - trick or treat...give me your money!
pernox-lvl20
lvl 30 - my helmet looks stupid
pernox-lvl30
lvl 40 - riding in style
pernox-lvl40a
lvl 50 - public transportation
pernox-lvl50
lvl 60 - fiery vengeance
pernox-lvl60
lvl 70 - I am become death
Pernox is watching

casual_friday { all about bling and stuff


M.I.A., "Paper Planes"

7.22.2008

food { the farmers market: good, quality eats dirt cheap

Nerdwife and I have been going to farmer's markets for years. We started about a year after we were married. The St. Paul Farmer's Market is one of the best I've experienced. It features only produce and meats from farms within 75 miles of the City. It was huge and had an amazing selection. Homemade breads, meats, honey, and a large selection of vegetables. Everyone there were owner/operators which is a fancy way of saying they were from family farms or co-ops. $20 could buy you two canvas bags full of fresh, minimally handled, beautiful, tasty food. It was great for people on budgets to get produce as $20 in the grocery store could probably buy you as much, but the quality would not be as good.

The market always has a certain energy to it as well. Musicians come and play. Artists sell their wares (the St Paul Farmer's Market is in the heart of Lower Town, where the artistic collectives were located).

We were excited when we moved to Rochester and heard they had a farmer's market. We were sad though, the first year there were only a handful of vendors. But that has changed. Every year it keeps getting bigger. Its now coming on par with the St Paul one, just on a smaller scale. Musicians are there now. A great florist provides a weekly source of beautiful things for our house. I always buy the radishes because I'm a sucker for radishes.

We use the farmers market to supplement our CSA share. I'm in heaven when the tomatoes are in season.

I recommend Farmer's Markets if you area has them. Especially if you are on a budget, it may prove to be a great, local source of high quality produce that won't break your wallet. Its also a great way to meet the people who grow your food. Hear good music. Be outside.

Check it out:

ROCHESTER DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET
SATURDAY MAY 3RD THROUGH SATURDAY OCTOBER 25TH
4TH ST SE & 4TH AVE SE, ROCHESTER, MN
7:30 AM UNTIL NOON
http://rochesterdowntownfarmersmarket.org/


St Paul Farmer's Market
http://www.stpaulfarmersmarket.com/

7.18.2008

casual_friday { When there is trap setup for you...


'through the roof 'n' underground' by Gogol Bordello

7.14.2008

reviews { movie: Wall-e

There's not a whole lot of plot to discuss here: if you're interested in this movie you already know what happens and can guess how it ends. It's a movie with simple messages, ostensibly for children. That said, it's also the most crushingly depressing cartoon with themes of overconsumption/pollution/rule by megacorporations and the futility of individual existence that I have ever seen. *Spoiler alert* The requisite happy ending doesn't actually leave you cheerful, it's just there to forestall a wave of suicides. If you're one of those abnormally cheerful people whose beaming countenance makes me scowl before you can open your mouth, please see this movie before approaching me. Since none of you who ordinarily read the blog match this description, my only other recommendation is: the animation is well done and the message is blunt enough to reach most; bring your Wally-world-addicted kin, but keep them away from sharp objects afterwards.

7.12.2008

family { Creative Talent

My two cousins and their friends won a movie contest!

My cousins are the lead star (pony tailed steven seagal look alike)and the mohawked sniper in this film:



They won a playstation 3. Contest entries and review is here.

The judges verdict:


"Overall entertainment in video-50%"

So this is the deciding factor I guess. Both are highly entertaining and arguably better moviemaking than Seagal's Submerged or Ticker. I'm very proud of these guys. It was a toss-up, but I decided to go with Killing Time. There are so many funny little jokes but not at the expense of seeming almost like a real action movie. Lots of good guns, a mohawked sniper, and most of all a monster truck. Maybe they faked me out, but I get the impression these crazy fuckers actually crushed an old pickup truck for this contest. That is not somebody you want on the streets, that is somebody you want indoors playing Playstation 3. So with all due respect to the excellent Impossible To Kill, I gave first prize to Killing Time.


Congratulations guys! I grew up with these guys and yes that was a real truck smashed.

P.S. I'm still available to play a zombie in your 'Bad Taste' homage.

7.11.2008

videos { Schlacht mein Affe

Rammstein, two of my favorites, 'Du Hast' and 'Engel'


musings { server maintenance

System Administration is a profession filled with long pauses. Computers really aren't fast. At least not as fast as human thought. Sure things move at the speed of near light (electrons on circuits), but CPUs still are not as fast as the speed of thought. They just seem that way because they have the benefit of living in a closed system world of relatively small size. The job itself swings from oh shit moments of pure terror (system down! code brown!) to moments of boredom (meetings, paperwork, inventory). System maintenance is a bit of a mix. You have minutes of intense activity and worry (i.e. hope this survives the reboot test) and looooong stretches of boredom (hundreds of patches being applied one at a time).

During these long stretches of waiting; but you can't walk away type of waiting you have to sit and watch. The mind wanders. I found myself listening to my 'Gallifrey Public Radio' playlist. Its a playlist of non-DRM mp3s from either CDs I've ripped at home,or acquired via legal methods (i.e. artists websites offering free downloads). Its a hodge-podge of genres and sounds. In me sounds, like smells evoke strong memories. Time, places, feelings, like a wayback machine. So I've been flopping around time and space for the last three hours while this system patches.

Its better than cable.

I also joined twitter. Not sure if I'll continue using it. I get where its coming from, and the demographic its meant to server, but I'm not sure I like it. Twitter seems like a service for those people who feel the need to talk...constantly. When I'm doing it feels stupid as my life isn't that interesting. Reading others and I feel like a perverted voyeur. But its 'hip' and 'it' so I'll give this twit shit a try.

My first twit was 'taking a mental twit' because that is what it feels like when you tweet. Like you're sitting on the edge of the cesspool that is the Internet and excreting the mental equivalent of a bowel movement.

Much like blogging actually, but for the attention deficit.