books { shit lit that is only fit for throwing in a pit

Five of the shittiest books I've forced myself to finish because I started them:

(in no particular order)

*The Lost Fleet: Courageous by Jack Campell; derivative of about every other type of desperate fleet action book in this genre.
*World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden; bland, shallow, not terribly well written in my opinion.
*Zodiac: The Eco-Thriller by Neal Stephenson; I think the mistake I made with this book was I read his other works first, Cryptonomicon, Snow Crash, and the first book of the Quicksilver trilogy before attempting this one. I didn't like it at all.
*About half the Star Wars paperback novels ever written by various authors and I'm being generous.
*Moby Dick by Herman Mellville; I've read the first chapter about a dozen times and that is all the farther I can get. Maybe I'm being to harsh on this as its a classic. Or maybe it suffers from what Mark Twain said about classics "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read." And I read War and Peace, cover to cover.

musings { June 11

Wow. For the first time since June 11, 2002 I missed the date.

June 11 2002 was the day I was diagnosed with AML m4 inv16 with EOS. A date that has changed my life forever.

But I forgot it this year.



musings {Is it possible to convert from Christianity to poetry?

I grasp at some writings like a toddler with a blanket, clutching worn-thin and stained volumes with greasy hands and hiding my face in them for comfort. To my surprise, two that I read today speak to one's role as witness and historian: a topic on my mind lately, and one I'll post on again later.

I Go Back to May 1937

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks with the
wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips black in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go to them and say Stop,
don't do it- she's the wrong woman,
he's the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty blank face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome blind face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don't do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips like chips of flint as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.
-from The Gold Cell, by Sharon Olds

The Gift of Tongues

Everything I steal, I give away.
Once, in pines almost as tall as these,
same crescent moon sliding gently by,
I sat curled on my knees, smoking with a friend,
sipping tea, swapping coyote tales and lies.

He said something to me
about words, that each is a name,
and that every name is God's. I who have
no god sat in the vast emptiness silent
as I could be. A way that can be named
is not the way.
Each word reflects
the Spirit which can't be named. Each word
a gift, its value in exact proportion
to the spirit in which it is given.
Thus spoken, these words I give

by way of Lao Tzu's old Chinese, stolen
by a humble thief twenty-five centuries later.
The Word is the only evidence of the real:
in the Hopi tongue, there is no whale;
and, in American English, no Fourth World.
-From Destination Zero by Sam Hamill

awesomeness { Ex Guitar Hero, Air Guitar!

My efforts at real musical talent (learning bass guitar) pale in relation to my natural ability to match colors like a trained chimp on a plastic faux-axe. Perhaps I should plumb the depths of my soul and see if I have the 'airness' required to truly rock out with my...um...nevermind, with an imaginary instrument. My song would probably be 'Rock You Like Hurricane' by the Scorpions. No, that is my special love ballad for Nerdwife only. I think my backup would be 'Killing in the Name of' by Rage Against the Machine. I can do angry-angst fueled alterno-politico-rock. Guerilla memes in the membrane.

musings { Nerd love is helping your loved one face the World...

...of Warcraft.

Over the last few weeks I helped Erewhon (aka Nerdwife) craft a now rare warlock cloth pattern. The Robe of the Void.


in memoriam { George Carlin

George Carlin, one of my favorite subversive comics, has died.


musings { Ah the pitter-patter of tiny little feet...

Running up and down the sidewalk yelling 'I'm gonna fuck you in the eye hole!'

Neighbor across the street has his two little (~4 year old) grandkids visiting again for the summer. I think they may have been watching movies with the big kids (college age/high school).

Made my morning.

casual_friday { More of the Tings that I like

Ting Tings, 'Shut up and let me go'


hobbies { What I'm reading/what I'm playing

Just realized I haven't done a list like this in a while.

What I'm reading

  • World of Warcraft: War of the Ancients Trilogy

  • Wormwood graphic novel series

  • Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien

What I'm playing

  • World of Warcraft

  • Dungeon Keeper 2
  • (great old game)
  • Thief series

  • Dawn of War: Soulstorm

What I'm watching

  • Nothing much in particular at the moment, just finished watching Ghost in the Shell 2nd Gig again

musings { whats next?

Ok I'm done with Rochester. I've deluded myself for four years that I like my job and I like this town. I don't. Time for something new, but what? Between our kindness and generosity being repaid 10 fold with vitriol, jealousy, contempt and malciciousness to the inability to find a good, free trade, cup of joe from a locally owned shop. This town has lost its luster and has started to blow.

Sure its not been all bad. I have met new friends, made some contacts that I'll carry with me. I've learned how to find and make your own fun. I've tasted what its like to not have to drive to work. I bought a new bike that I love. But the overall experience has been a negative one. The first year wasn't so bad, but its been a steady decline. The politics of this area, the MN nice racism and bigotry, the if you don't have a family you don't have nothing mentality have started to grate me and my emotional balance raw. This place is not utopia, its a suburban hell that glosses over and covers up its problems well (Stepford?). The people, while overall generally nice have perfected MN nice. I have to watch my back or feel like I have to now. Something I never felt in the 12 years I lived in the Cities. At work people over inflate their position and their power and jealously, and viciously guard what little they, even if it means destroying you and yours for even a little gain. This place is a like an adolescent. It doesn't know what the real world is like and its been sheltered for too long.

Its felt like Rochester has never wanted me or Nerdwife and now the feeling is mutual.

I miss the nerdpod. I miss my favorite coffeehouse. I miss actual liberals. I miss diversity of arts and culture. I miss good theater. I miss my nerdstore.

Sorry, just had to rant a little bit.


musings { lawnmowers

I've had the luxury of being able to work from home recently about once a week or once every two weeks. Its been nice. My home office is setup to work quietly and peacefully, with a nice view of the outside, my favorite coffee and the fresh breeze. Well it was quiet until summer started. Every nice day, which is when its not raining, all you can hear are lawn mowers. Gas powered lawn mowers. From 8am until 7pm or dark. Someone within three blocks of here is constantly running a lawn mower.

Today as I was watching some mirrors re-sync while trying to untangle a god-awful mess regarding some errant boot disks I watched the neighbor cut her grass. She had an old, smelly, smoke belching lawn mower. It made me wonder how much energy we've expended cutting grass? A plant which if not used for ground covering would be actively annihilated as a weed.

We've had one of those push style reel mowers. Mechanical mowers that only require you as the power source. We've had it for years, since we got married I think. Yeah its harder work. Yeah the grass does not have that even pureed look. But its quiet. People can have conversations next door. Its not silent, there is a metallic click. But I don't have to change the oil or worry about flinging a rock into a neighbors car (which has happened to us when we lived in the Cities).

I do wonder though. I bet its a lot of gasoline thats been used.

What a waste. Why do we as a society pamper our yards so much?


privacy { Gov't spying on the World...of Warcraft (and other MMOs)

This is actually a pretty good and balanced piece (I have to agree with WoWInsider for once).

This suggested legislation bothers me, as much, if not more so than the illegal phone tapping. I don't want the government watching me at home. I don't want them watching me at play. This is a fishing expedition. I hope Blizzard, like other companies stand up and refuse the gov't from doing this to us. Its the same as warrantless wiretapping. They already data mine my personal financial records. They data mine my phone habits.

politics { Obama's speech in St. Paul

Yeah, I know a little late.


casual_friday { Sesame Street was a big part of my youth

(I like the Spin Doctors, I like Sesame Street. Two great things that taste great together...even with Elmo...the Jar-Jar of Sesame Street)



politics { I go and it is done

Obama has "cinched" the DNC nomination.

He announced it in St. Paul.

I'm still pulling for a Bill Richardson V.P. I'd prefer Richardson as V.P. over Clinton or Edwards.

Personally I think the race went on too long. It did have the positive effect of keeping McCain off the front page (although perhaps we should let him on the front page to show his nut job side).

I bowed out of everything since February. Obama or Clinton, I could live with either. Though I did lean more towards Obama. Clinton, while I've not agreed with her on topics such as video game censorship, I did think her universal health care plan had merit.

Why did I lean Obama? Everyone has come down on his lack of experience in Washington or as a leader. I don't necessarily view that as a bad thing. If he's smart and savvy, which he has proven to be, he will surround himself with smart people. Much like Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter did in their terms. AndI hope he'll listen to them and make an informed decision.

I'm not saying Clinton (Hilliary) wouldn't, but she did have the baggage of a long history with Washington, even in times that were not so great. Its something that didn't sit well with me. Hopefully Obama will leverage people with such experience, while working to change how Washington is run. Hopefully is a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President, we can shake loose some of the gridlock that has prevented necessary and positive change from happening.

We saw what a neo-con GOP President, with six years of unfettered control of a neo-con GOP Congress was like. Its a nightmare I hope we can wake up from and change. I'd like to see focus again more on the individual than the business or corporation. I'd like to see some of the civil rights abuses brought to an end. I'd like to see torturing stop and black sites closed. I'd like to see an end to our wars. Who accomplishes this is doesn't matter to me. I know it won't be McCain. I doubt it will be anyone the GOP fields. I /hope/ the Democrats grow a spine and start doing what is needed instead of waffling. I'd like to see the electorate become better informed and more active. I'd like to see people in general question more and criticize constructively.

chemistry { EU Chemistry video

musings { Different planet, still beautiful

Sunset. On Mars.