Wednesday, February 22, 2017
I started playing with Unity last night. Decades ago, I did some work in VRML with the intention of creating a virtual web-site alternative to my main page. The problem was that whatever I created wound up huge (who in their right mind would ever go to a page web-page that was 3 megs???) These days, that's the bare minimum size expected for the backdrop. The question is,what to do with it? I want the result to be interesting and creative, something different. I think a minimalist style would be best for keeping file size down. David O'Reilly proved you can do great work with it, and once said something about the limitation forcing him to be more creative.
I managed to get Burn: Cycle running on my Windows 10 PC last night using DOSBOX. I miss 90s adventure CD ROM games that had bad acting and cartoony FX over actors blue-screened and placed in CGI backgrounds. Harvester was my favorite for pushing every limit possible, but Myst 1-4, The 7th Guest, & Phantasmagoria 1&2 were pretty awesome as well. I don't know, they just seemed like they wanted to be more creative with a new medium.
Monday, February 20, 2017
What if we applied that model to our lives? Not to get too much into the simulism theory, but what if we see life as a series of logical steps we can take to reach a goal, but our path is full of imitation Gandhis – things not in the now that we need to let go of – that create a possibly derailing, false emotional distraction?
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Monday, December 19, 2016
Silly facebook memes seem to have given birth to intersting conversations. For example, does the soul exist, and if so, is it a construct of the body that begins when sperm meets egg, or is there an infinite number of souls floating around heaven, waiting to be assigned a body? If so, is it always a human body, or just any body that comes along? If we live in a multiverse, does each of the infinite mes get a soul, or do we just split one, and as I die throughout the infinite possibilities, do the rest of us absorb my souls, until "there can be only one"? If so, as there are fewer and fewer mes, does having a less spread-out soul make the surviving mes luckier, or have more life and vitality? If so, is it better to have all of your other souls along the probability axis killed off early on, and worse for all of them to live a long life? Are old, homeless people you see in the gutter just men unlucky enough to have the majority of their souls live long enough to see old age?
Since amoebas reproduce by splitting in half, are all amoebas today still technically part of the original Adam/Eve amoeba?
Was there a Jesus amoeba who died for their sins?
Sigh, I have to go to work now. This is what happens when you stay up late to force your children to watch The Sound of Music.
Have you ever noticed that the ending of The Blues Brothers is suspiciously similar to The Sound of Music - including the positioning of State Troopers and Nazis at their respective concerts?
Anyhoo, everyone have a good one.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
There was one where I was in a church which branched into a giant old office building, and at some point I released a river of acid I was trying to escape from while carrying my daughter. I managed to get some on my hand which burned down to the bone. I approached God, and woke up. Maybe that one would be useful.
There was another one with two high school classmates at a reunion who were in love with each other, but kept standing back to back refusing to talk with each other.
Anyway, another week at work before Christmas. With any luck, my car will be ready by Christmas Eve. I don't want to do too much driving back and forth, I don't want another vacation I need a vacation from afterward.
After almost two years after filming my scene, Vicious Thunder (which was, at the time, called Case at Midnight) they finally held the premiere in PA last week. A lot of fun, and a long drive back and forth in the snow, but what the hell, how many times am I going to get to see myself killed on the big screen?
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Another issue with writing is a question of how subtle or how in your face you should be, if there's a point you want to make. Even if a character is based on a real person, is making such a prejudiced character just a strawman example? Everyone is so ridiculously on edge about idiotic social issues these days, it's tempting to ignore them at all.
But then, if you're afraid of saying what you want, there's no point in writing, I suppose. It's just a question of doing it well (I hope!)
For those who don't know, I was in a big accident over Thanksgiving. There were no injuries, that's the important thing. But even though it's not my first, it drove home how instantly something stupid can happen (I'm wondering if the other driver was "distracted-driving") but more importantly, how much the people we love matter more than anything else - more than the stupid arguments that seem to have overtaken our lives these days, certainly.
Be good to each other.
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Thursday, September 08, 2016
I was raised Catholic and came out of the closet as agnostic more or less a decade ago, but I still find this all fascinating. There's been much debate on whether or not she deserves it, and I'll leave that up to you to decide. What interests me is how the church decides. Basically, if you pray to someone after they die to intervene with god on your behalf, and your prayer is answered, it's considered that this dead person actually performed a miracle.
So the first lesson is that god does not take freelance prayer submissions, you need to apply through an agent.
The second lesson is that it must be so hard to get god to help out a dying kid, getting him to is considered a "miracle."
I imagine then that heaven must be like a giant stock exchange. Prayers are answered on the open outcry method (watch the ending of Trading Places if you don't know what I mean.) Prayer brokers are all shouting, waving their respective prayers in the air, while god sits back and picks the orders he wants to take, until the bell rings. Get two orders answered, and you become a saint.
The thing is, we have no way to tell who is actually brokering which prayers. I'd like to imagine there's an old Jewish guy named Mort who's gotten the most through, but no one actually prays to him, so he gets no credit at all.
Then, there are saints who specialize. My namesake, for example, is the patron saint of lost keys, though I'm infamous for putting something down and never finding it again. This is the main reason I got LASIK, I was sick of frantically looking for my glasses when I was supposed to be running out the door.
Anyway, everyone have a nice day. May Saint Mort bless you all.
Tuesday, September 06, 2016
"Want to see Mel Brooks at Radio City Music Hall?"
Of course, the answer was yes. First, they screened Blazing Saddles (it was obviously a Blu-ray projection, I was a little disappointed that it wasn't crisper the way the original film print would have been, but I know that's just nitpicking. It was awesome seeing it on the big screen.) I realized the young woman next to me had never seen it before because of her constant gasping at the use of the n-word. Hopefully she figured out it was an anti-racist comedy. As the presenter said, this is a film that could never be made in today's rabidly PC / SJW society. I felt bad for her, because idiots kept shouting out lines just before they were spoken. Yes, the movie is 40 years old, and 99% of us have seen it before. We all know the lines, you're not impressing anyone, and this isn't Rocky Horror. Chill.
Afterward, Mel himself came out onstage, and answered questions. Of course, most of them had to do with Gene Wilder (sniff.) I was amazed at his energy and wit. I pray I'm half that sharp when I'm ninety. It was just amazing to be in the same room with someone I've always respected and admired.
While editing the next book, I've been winding down at night by playing Obduction the latest game from the creators of Myst. It's not set in the Myst universe, but with its incredibly beautiful other-worldliness, it more than lives up to expectations. There's more than a few technical bugs, and it has the same annoyances as Uru did (I basically have to imagine that I'm disabled and can't step over two foot high barriers, and that the beautiful, shining brook is made out of Mercury, and that's why I just can't wade across it) but over-all, it's an amazing adventure/puzzle game. It's nice to see the original Cyan team back in action.
Thursday, September 01, 2016
Then another day you realize most of humanity feels this way and you should really just stop whining about it.
So you decide that you're just going to stop worrying and enjoy life.
Then you feel fat, lazy, and unsatisfied with anything, and you realize that if you want to keep your job and be able to take care of those who depend on you, you have to keep proving you're useful. "Coffee's for closers only!"
Once again, you realize most of humanity has come to this realization, and you should really stop whining about it.
Then you realize you're talking about yourself in the second person, and it probably sounds dickish.
Is dickish a word?
I've realized that I get annoyed by the inner monologue of a lot of characters in books by a certain extremely famous author, because they sound extremely judgemental, and I wonder if that's how normal people are supposed to think. Is that the secret of his success, emotional superiority and manipulation?
I hung out with an up-and-coming stage/TV actor the other night, and he told me that an actor's number of twitter followers factor into whether they get a role or not. Really? That must be maddening. I mean, you can buy a thousand followers in Africa for like $20, or so I'm told, but still, to have to worry about your online persona, to never be real or honest (not saying this person is not real or honest online, just saying that I would feel like I was forced not to be.)
Oh well, time to put my pants on. Everyone have a good one.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Let's pretend the United States gives amnesty to all illegal aliens and refugees, and opens its borders.
This creates plethora of issues, among them criminal activity, over population, a refusal to integrate, and last but not least, unemployment.
New Jersey, which already has a huge unemployment problem of its own, says, "Fornicate this noise, we're leaving," and secedes from the Nation. So, if you weren't a natural born NJ citizen, you now need a visa/green card/citizenship to work and live in NJ. The flip side is, NJ natural born citizens now need these things to work elsewhere in the US. This includes me and my wife, who live in NY. Our daughter was born in NY, so if we move back, she'll have to apply for citizenship. So will our son, because he was born in SC. This situation has ramifications all over the country, especially because NJ is basically a suburb for NYC. And don't forget the elderly who moved to FL or AZ years ago to retire.
So now, NJ jobs are preserved for the New Jersians. This looks great on the surface. The only problem is, there really weren't that many jobs to begin with. Its only export is horrible reality shows about horrible people, the green flies and annoying pine needles that plague the Jersey Shore, and tourism-mainly people going to Headquarters 10 in Morristown to see if that guy who scans the movie tickets with his finger is still working there after all these years (is he?)
The other issue is that many NJ companies who did business throughout the US are now thrown into disarray. New tariffs and agreements have to be drawn up. NJ also received federal aid for many industries, especially for the perpetual roadwork on 287 that was planned to last for all eternity.
To complicate matters further, NJ is actually made up of two separate nations. The Pork Roll people voted to stay in the US, while the Taylor Ham nation was unanimously for leaving. There is now talk of the Pork Rollers seceding from NJ so they can try and rejoin the US.
Anything I missed?
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Wednesday, June 01, 2016
"How could anyone vote for ______? Only a slimy, odoriferous pile of reptile droppings would ever vote for him/her/it! If you're going to vote for ______, just unfriend me now!"
There is a difference between having your own opinion and arguing for it, and being convinced that everyone else's opinion should be the same as yours. So, in the interest of being obnoxious and lording the fact that I'm above it all, I shall explain.
Other people were born with a different nature than you.
They were raised with different nurturing than you.
Some have had different experiences than you.
Some have had successes you never will.
Some have suffered hardships and pains you never will.
All these things have formed a perspective in those people.
They then found one or more ideologies (sets of ideas and ideals) which more or less coincided with their perspectives.
These ideologies shaped their lives. They may convince themselves that their decisions are based on impartial, objective logic, but deep down, they are shaped by these ideologies. They may say "yeah, you're right, you have a point," and KNOW that you are making pure, logical sense - but still, they will always find a way to justify following their particular ideology.
To them, some decisions you may think are wrong, are right.
To them, some decisions you may think are right, are wrong.
Remember, these rules apply to you as well.
Remember, friends and family are more important than the circus playing out in Washington.
Here endeth the obnoxiousness (for now.)
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
I plan on going out like Slim Pickens did in Doctor Strangelove, but in the slim case I don't get to ride a nuke, I suppose I'd like to be cremated and dumped off the shelf of the Atlantic. That way, no one has to visit me. Chances are, when it rains, I'd visit you.
I would like, however, that if Amazing Grace is sung at my funeral, everyone sing it like Elvis. Dressing up is optional.
Live long and perspire, my friends.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Max Rebo, Sithym and Blues
Saturday, March 05, 2016
He crawled out upon the Great White Valley. It was barren and dry. And bright, so bright. The brilliance made his heart pound, deep within his armor. This was the land of the Gods. One only dared to traverse here under the sweet cover of darkness. But darkness was for hiding, and hiding was for ignorance. He was not making this suicidal journey to be willfully blind; he was here to know.
The ground was cold and unforgiving beneath his feet as he scrabbled up the ivory wall. He tasted dryness and grit, and a chill set over him.
Where had They gone?
His brothers had made the pilgrimage before him. Only one had ever returned, cracked and broken, his limbs smashed and jagged. He had warned the Wanderer, with his last, gasping breath, that the Gods were cruel. They were Titans, walking mountains, who guarded their land of plenty with a petty jealousy, bringing down crushing death on all those who dared to cross it. The Wanderer had been content to lay within his cavern, to feed upon the delicious rains that fell from above. But the rains had stopped.
It was his fault, he knew. He had tried to be good, he had tried to be true. He had followed all the rituals, said all the prayers. He had shown his loyalty and his love. But somehow, he was unworthy. Somehow, he must have failed. They had judged him undeserving of the rain, and he would learn why.
The rustling patter of tiny feet echoed across the ground, and it froze him in his tracks. Were there others here? Children - perhaps even nephews and nieces of the brothers who had never returned? He would find them. He would find, embrace them, and bring them home. The thought ignited a sense of pride within him. They would not find their uncle cowering in fear. He scurried around the corner, calling out a greeting. Then he stopped, his heart sinking.
They were not his family, merely a squad of Simples. Dwarves. They liked to travel in packs. They ran from here to there, careless of what danger they courted. He had met their types before.
"Hey, you," he said. They did not turn his way. He looked to the left and to the right, but saw no one. He moved to block their path. "Hey, I'm talking to you."
"Light," they said in unison, pointing to a spot of luminescence above. "Light, light, light, light, light."
"What happened here?" the Wanderer asked. "Where have the Gods gone? Why did they leave us?"
"Light, light, light," the Simples chanted. They rerouted their passage around him, and continued on their way. His jaw dropped in shock. How could they be here, in the home of the Gods, and yet worship something else?
"Don't you fools understand?" he shouted as they scampered off. "We're all alone now. I'm alone."
Their mantra echoed, fading in the distance. He sunk his head.
"I don't want to be alone."
He looked about him. This was no heaven. He could smell no food, only dust. He would return to his family, to the dank of his caverns. They would find a new tunnel, with new Gods to worship. They would have to fight, kill, and possibly die to overtake the supplicants already living there, but so what? It was the way things were, the way they had always been. It was life.
The dry wind brought a sound of thunder. The ground shook. In the blurry radiance, the faint echo of the Simples cadence turn to screams.
Joy and terror washed over him in waves. The rhythm of the earthquakes grew stronger, the thunder louder. He knew he should run, should scamper back to the safety of the portal. But he knew that if he did, he would hate himself until the day he died. He had come to see the Gods, and he would.
The Avatar loomed into view from above. She tilted her head back, opened her mouth, and screamed. The roar deafened him as he emptied his bowels, his refuse running down his legs. She was terrible, and beautiful, her head crowned by a flowing mane of gold. She swung out her massive leg, and colossal, inescapable darkness hammered down from the sky. As it ground his brain into mush, the last thought to cross it was one of elation. Perhaps the old Gods had deserted him, but here were new ones.
His children would have rain.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Friday, February 12, 2016
Let's cut to the chase.
I have a daughter, and I've been told that you've done many things that will make her life better. I really don't know how true that is, but if it is... well, then thank you - and I honestly mean that. But there is one trend from your political history that is rearing its ugly head in this campaign, and it's something I definitely don't want her to learn. My problem with you is, after a fashion, the same one I had with your husband. It comes down to this:
No matter what your gender, being principled is hard.
No matter what your gender, being true to your word is hard.
No matter what your gender, practicing what you preach is HARD.
I know - because I've failed to do these things time and time again. I've tried. Sometimes I've won, but many, many times, I've failed. I'm not holding you to a standard I can't live up to, I'm not pretending I'm better than you. Anyone reading this who knows me knows I'm the last person who should throw stones. So let's make this clear: I'm not saying I'm principled and you're not. That's not my point. Who knows, maybe you're a better person than I am. Could be.
The point is, when you come face to face with someone who actually HAS done these things, who has actually fought for their principles no matter how hard it was, then you respect it.
You respect them for it.
You don't play the victim.
You don't say, "Well it was easy for that person to not play the game I did. Sure, they can walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. Sure, they can not be completely full of bull-feces. Sure, they can actually live up to what they say... because they had privilege!"
Because, Mrs. Clinton, it's never easy. If it were easy for everyone of every gender, race, or class to be true to the principles they preach, history would be completely different. If that were true, then we would be living in a Star Trek The Next Generation utopia right now, instead of the whole juju-flop situation that we're in.
Let's reiterate: I'm not saying Bernie Sanders would necessarily make a better president than you. I'm not saying people should not vote for you. Everyone should be able to vote for whoever they want (whomever? I'm too lazy to look it up) and I'm sure your supporters are intelligent, well-informed people who have their reasons.
What I'm saying is that when someone (as far as we know) has a long history of being true to their principles and you haven't, then you don't try and spin it that you are somehow a victim. It's not the fault of sexism or misogyny or "privilege" that Bernie Sanders has a truer political record than you do - it's THE CHOICES YOU HAVE MADE.
It's sort of the same way I didn't want my son to learn from your husband that although everyone does things that are wrong, and mistakes shouldn't be forever held over anyone's head - when you're unquestionably caught committing a crime, especially as a leader, you don't vilify the man prosecuting you, and you don't use popularity as an excuse to escape punishment. But I digress.
So, Mrs. Clinton, you really want to be a feminist role model for my daughter? Then stop spinning the fact that Bernie has been truer to his principles as your own victimhood. You want to show her that you're the candidate that's strong enough to take responsibility for the presidency? Fine - then instead of spinning bullshit about "privilege," start by taking responsibility for you own goddamn record.
Monday, February 01, 2016
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Monday, January 25, 2016
Thursday, December 24, 2015
It's all going to be okay.
We've all had our ups and downs this year, our joys and losses, loves, hates, fears, hopes, worries, and disappointments.
Just remember every day is new. Find joy when you can. You are wanted, needed, and loved. You matter. Be happy, because you deserve happiness.
Unless you ruin Star Wars before I get to see it. Then you can burn in Hell.