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.


words { 1st Presidential Debate word cloud

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


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.


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

'1234' by Feist

and the Seasame Street version:


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.


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).


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.


In memoriam{ David Foster Wallace

I would not attempt an appropriate elegy myself, but rather refer you to the best I've noticed:


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.


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'


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'.)


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]


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"


· 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.


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

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.

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.


  • 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.


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


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


  • 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


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

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.


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.