Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ultraviolet Light

Well, I had the distinct pleasure of having dinner with UV tonight at the Cheesecake Factory in Irvine. We didn't eat cheesecake. It didn't exactly look like a factory either, so we're 0-fer.

The restaurant is in a bajillion acre shopping center with four-billion women's clothing stores. Fortunately there's also a Barnes & Noble, which is where all writers and writer-wannabes (that's me!) gravitate to. So we had a place to meet.

You know, the list of restaurants on the directory was a little tough to go by. Twenty restaurants with names like "Dave & Buster's," or "Joe's," or "Something Inane and Nondescriptive." That's how we picked the Cheesecake Factory. Cuz she had been there. Good bet.

She warned me going in that the menu was huge. She lied. It was freakin' eNORmous. The beautiful part was that they had sections in the menu. The largest section was 10 pages long. It's title? "Specialties."

Brill. How can the bulk of your menu be "Specialties?" Especially when the entrees were all over the dang map?

Oh well, enough of that nonsense.

We had a MARvelous dinner, at least from my point of view. I talked too much and she listened politely and nodded. We actually covered many topics: family, kids, work, writing, blogs, -ers, newsgroups, wine, parties, pinenuts, romance novels, vampires, vampires in romance novels, courtrooms, juries, lawyers, drunks, and mushrooms (NOT those kind.) It's great that two people who had never met face to face before still managed to each tell a story of the last time we puked. That was nice.

If you haven't met this Paula lady, she is a class act, so sweet, gregarious, and funny. Um, just like her blog. Okay.

I was looking forward to going to Vegas, but now I'm really looking forward to going to Vegas. Now I just got to get my wife over that fear of flying.

Oh yeah, we talked about that too.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pronouncing Sentence Meme

Tagged by Mark!

Grab the nearest book. *
Open the book to page 123.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post that text (and the next three sentences) below the text following these instructions on your blog, along with the instructions

* 'nearest' means you can't rummage around for a 'cool' or 'intellectual' book. Really, whatever your hand falls on first.


To freeze a sprinter, the shutter must open and close before the image of the runner perceptibly changes position on the camera's image plane. Therefore, the faster the subject runs, the faster the shutter speed you will need to stop the action and avoid a blurred image.

A second factor affecting the final image is the camera-to-subject distance.

One elevator door was half-open on an empty shaft, from which drifted hissing wind. The door was coated to look like wood, but a dent at kneel level showed it was black metal. While he squatted, fingering the edge of the depression, something clicked: a second elevator door beside him rolled open.

"Hey, good-lookin'!" the blond driver yells, her hair flapping in the wind. "Don't go! I think I love you!" Laughing, her friends pull her hat off.

Several people put their arms around me and said keep coming back!

Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794), the revolutionary leader, was himself executed in July 1794. This destruction came not from outside the system; it was produced by the system. As in the later Russian Revolution the revolutionaries on their humanist base had only two options--anarchy or repression.


And, UV? Tag.

Conan the Barbarian

Okay, maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm an insensitive Boob (shut up, Mark!) but this struck me as overwhelmingly stupid.

For those of you too lazy to click on links (I mean, wot?) it's about Conan O'Brien's opening skit for the Emmy's in which he is in a plane which suddenly lurches, obviously about to crash. The next scene has him walking up the beach, a la the hit series Lost.

Half the world is up in arms because people in Lexington, Kentucky saw it too. "Tasteless," they say. Eh, actually, it was dang funny. I admit it's an awful coincidence, but the Emmy's were being broadcast for, what, millions of peeps? They probably recorded the skit a couple weeks ago. Everybody knows that the TV show Lost is based on the aftermath of a plane crash, right? Right?

Now, I'll admit it might have been a good idea for NBC to call the affiliate and say, "Hey, there's a skit at the beginning of the Emmy's that might trouble some of your community members, refers to a plane crash and such. You might want to block out the first four minutes or so, then cut into coverage."

Yeah, okay, I'll go with that, but to vilify O'Brien and the producers because they didn't have ESP and realize that a plane would crash a few "hours" before broadcast? Well, I don't know. Real life is real life. I feel as badly as I can about something that doesn't touch me directly. It is tragic, but is the whole world supposed to stop for every isolated tragedy? Hundreds of people died in car accidents yesterday. Is it in bad taste for action shows to broadcast a car accident in a comedy? Or a drama, for that matter?

If we took that route, we'd be so busy mourning people we didn't know that nothing would ever get done.

Take me to task for being an insensitive jerk. I'm okay with that. I just think a few people are overreacting... Or maybe it's me.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

6 Degrees of Making Up

Yeah, it's stupid title. So what? Because Paula is a bigger person than I am (talking personality here, folks... don't want to get into that kind of trouble) we have patched things up. I'm proud to have Paula as a friend. Everyone should be so lucky.

I have to apologize to Paula, too. There is one thing I misread in her post. Yes, I am forced to confess that I missed that fact that the "6 Degrees" post was a guest-post by Sylvia. It just didn't seem like Paula to take that sort of pot shot at anyone. Sylvia, however, is a loose cannon, and you just never know what to expect from her. I mean that as a compliment... sort of. But I had to truth myself out there, because that sort of thing is rather important.

So, please to go Ultrablog now. The reading is far more interesting than anything you'll find here.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

6 Degrees of WTF?

Apparently I don't get it. Apparently I have no right to be offended when I'm insulted or my religion is mischaracterized of villified unfairly. That's fine. Call me a weenie, but I know when I'm not wanted.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Book it, Dan-O

1. One book that changed your life?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis. I fell in love with reading because of this book.

2. One book you have read more than once?

Searching for Bobby Fischer, by Fred Waitzkin

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

4. One book that made you laugh?

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (whole series, really), by Douglas Adams

5. One book that made you cry?

Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls. Read when I was nine and bawled like a baby.

6. One book you wish had been written?

The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. I wish I was one-tenth that good.

7. One book you wish had never been written?

Mein Kampf

8. One book you are currently reading?

How Should We Then Live, by Francis A. Schaeffer

9. One book you've been meaning to read?

The Philosophy of History, by G. W. F. Hegel

10. Now tag 5 people:

Huh? Ummmmm, Gekko, Mark, Lily, Jeff, and Dahveed.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Never Forget a Face

Interesting story I heard on the radio this evening. There is a condition some people have called Prosopagnosia. If you have it, you can't remember a face. The face recognition in some people is so severe that they cannot pick their own child out of a group of children when they pick them up from school.

Apparently this can have several causes, brain trauma being an obvious one. A not so obvious cause has to do with babies who are born with cataracts. If the baby has a cataract in their right eye, this will not cause this sort of problem, because apparently this function is a right brain kinda thing. However, if the baby has a cataract in their left eye at birth, even if it's operated on at, say, six months old, there is development that would normally take place during those six months that is inhibited by the presence of the cataract, and the child becomes much more likely to develop Prosopagnosia.

So, can you remember a face? Well, they have a website with info and a very interesting pair of tests that are fun, but also pretty informative. Go to Faceblind.Org and go to the research section. There will be a link to the two tests. Take them and put your results in the comments section. And if you do really poorly, well, now you know where to go get help.

Happy Face Hunting.

Hmmm, that sounds gross.

Edit: For the Linkically impaired, I offer here the direct link to the Face Test. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday 13: Serpent Pick Up Lines

For my 100th post ever (Shaddap, Paula) I will follow Jen's inspiration and try to come up with 13 of these bad boys... Alright, this is the best I could do in ten minutes time. Please add your own much better ones in the comments... Please?

1. "Is that, um, you in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?"

2. "Hey baby, what's your sign?" Well?

3. "Hey, do you slough here often?"

4. "Hey, baby, you have curves in all the right places. All over the place, really. Like everywhere. Hey, not so tight... Urk!"

5. "What's a slimy girl like you doing in a nice place like this?"

6. "Hey, baby, you look so reticulated tonight."

7. "Hey, nice hood!"

8. "Hey, are those shoulder blades, I thought they were wings. Wait. You don't have any fucking shoulders. Dammit."

9. "Hey, baby, how 'bout we swallow a large rodent whole and let it digest for a week or so while we just lay there."

10. "Hey, why don't you climb out of that wet skin and... Oh, gross!"

11. "Hey, baby, rattle if you're horny."

12. "Your hollow tree stump or mine?"

13. "Hey, baby, you have a beep on your nose." /POKE/ "BEEEP! OW! Holy crap!"

Best I can do. Add yours below :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Size Matters

Well apparently my size is a problem. It seems I'm embarrassed around other guys, I can't perform in the bedroom, I don't produce enough "volume," and my girlfriend is really angry.

Oh, and I have a meeting with "Pam."

Now, of course, I didn't know this until I started going through my spambox. Apparently my, erm, unit is really small. Since I don't go around with a ruler and measure myself, let alone the fellas down at church, I was blissfully unaware that I had a major problem. I mean, it seemed the wife did okay by me, but now that I'm in the know, well, it's kind of like Adam & Eve and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil. Once you have the knowledge, innocence can never return.

And I really didn't know I couldn't perform in the bedroom. Now keep in mind that my wife is not the passive sort who would fake it just to be nice. In fact, she's a bit demanding. Well, I guess now I know why.

And what about my "volume?" I don't ever recall taking heat from the Mrs. because I couldn't "shoot like a porn star." I'm afraid the first thing that comes to mind is a pic of the Mrs. washing streaks off the headboard and cussing me out. Ooh, better take some pills for that!

But the worse part? I didn't even know I had a GIRLFRIEND! No wonder she's pissed! And how am I supposed to tell my wife? I don't even know her name, and I can't even find her to get her to calm down, let alone prove that I can perform.

You know, I never thought I'd be a cheater, especially a really forgetful one. I hope she's cute.

I feel guilty, insecure, incompetent, and insufficient, all at once.

Oh yeah, and who the hell is "Pam?"

Maybe she's my girlfriend...

I knew I should have just trashed that spam folder.


Well, I didn't realize it had been so long since I blogged. There's a little bit of a reason for that. One, I have a group of Christian friends and acquaintances, and I've been blogging some very Christian specific stuff on a separate blog for that part of my sphere. But that's only part of the answer. Answer... hahaha, I crack myself up.

The other part is that I've gotten hooked on Yahoo!'s new Q&A section. It's the worst of the worst, let me tell you. The reason it is so bad is that it caters to one of my worst qualities, and one that I know I share with most of the human population of earth. It's that base desire to be a fecking know-it-all.

It can actually be interesting in some ways, because every now and then someone asks a good question and seeing the different answers can really round out the picture for you. Unfortunately most of it comes off like a really bad version of usenet. In the religion section you have the usual set of mindless atheists who don't even understand their own humanism baiting Christians who are almost afraid of their own faith fighting about who is right. Again, you can sometimes stumble onto a good, philosophical set of answers, but since it's an answer once type of forum, you can't even get into a discussion thread to flesh it out, or to call out people on their ignorance. The gentle hearted atheists who really understand why they believe what they believe are drowned out by the insecure religious baiters, and the non-confrontational Christians who actually think things out, understand science and philosophy, and understand why they believe what they believe, and know how to carry on a respectful conversation, are drowned out by the God Hates Queers and Atheists crowd. Not all the time, but much of the time.

Another problem is that once you've answered a question, you'll find you see the same question come up over and over again, and moreso for the more popular topics. And yet you feel compelled to answer again and again, because gawldangit, them ignoramuses didn't get the chance to get in on the monumental wisdom you shared the last time some arsetard asked the same stupid question. How can you stand to deny today's readers the benefits of your fount of wisdom when you shared so generously with yesterday's.

But the worst problem? You get POINTS!! Dang it all to heck, you get POINTS! for answering questions. And if your answer is picked the best one by the asker, you get EXTRA POINTS! And if an answer isn't picked, then people vote on it, and you get POINTS! for voting for your own answer, because even if it sucks, it's your answer, and you gotta have the POINTS! And of course if the votes go your way, you get EXTRA POINTS!

Now if you get enough POINTS! then you get to go up a level! And when you go up a level you can answer more questions and get more POINTS! Gawd, it is so addicting.

And of course, the POINTS! mean nothing. It's like Whose Line is it Anyway? The POINTS! don't matter, but you've gotta have 'em. You've gotta keep answering because, well, POINTS! is POINTS!

So I guess the first stage of recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Screw that. I gotta go answer some more questions and get some more POINTS!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Quite Unexpected

This will be a short post, but something I read struck me weird and I thought I'd share it because, hey, that's just the kind of guy I am.

I was in Barnes & Noble in Ventura when I spotted a very interesting looking graphic novel by the late Wil Eisner. Entitled The Plot, it is a historical account of the creation of the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a nasty little piece of propoganda used by anti-semites around the world to justify their hatred of the Jews. Actually, I need to go back down and just buy this book, but I was only in a browsing mood this day.

So I opened it up and began reading the forward. I don't know who wrote the forward, but discussing Mr. Eisner in the first paragraph he wrote this phrase: "...Until he died unexpectedly at the age of eighty-seven..."


Who the heck dies "unexpectedly" at eighty-seven years old? When I'm 87, should I be so fortunate as to live so far past my statistical due date, I'm going to walk around expecting to drop dead any moment. That way I'll always be ready to say goodbye, or at least make sure that the last thing I say to anyone is as pleasant as I can manage. I mean, who wants their last words to be, "What's wrong with kids these days?" Or you could insert whatever crotchety old phrase you wish there.

Unexpectedly! Hey, I know some people make it past one hundred, and thirteen years is certainly a very long time, but when you're eighty-seven, there isn't anything unexpected about death.


It's about me, dummy!!!


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