Monday, August 03, 2015


The show started off with Al dancing through the streets of Morristown, singing "Tacky." Best thing to happen to that town since I was born there. ;) 


Once your middle school idol sings in your face from a few feet away, what else is there? Thank you Joe for sharing it with me.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Finally, after thirty years!

In Morristown NJ, waiting with Joe to see The Artist Still Known as Weird Al. Hoping against hope for "Nature Trail to Hell," but I know I'll be lucky to hear any songs from the 80s at all. Young whippersnappers...

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

He's got the whole world in his hands

If:

everything we experience - including our bodies - is  actually a model created by our minds from our nervous systems,

and:

emotions (such as panic and anxiety) are felt as physical pain and discomfort,

then:

does it not logically follow that we should be able to train our minds not to incorporate these emotions into its illusion of ourselves?

Discuss.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Nude Celebrity Fakes, and Shame, Shame, Shame!

If you don't know by now, season five of Game of Thrones has ended, as has Jon Snow's watch - at least until what's her name - The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors - resurrects him next season. Good thing she showed up at The Wall at the last second. Did she do that in the book, or was she there all along? I don't remember...

But the real shame (cowbell!) was that in the penultimate scene, HBO performed a digital Celebrity Fake, and put Lena Headey's face on another woman's naked body. They then paraded the composite Nude Evil Queen Mother through the streets for about fifteen minutes. The result was just bizarre.

Who really cares, anyway? You can see her boobs in other movies, if you want. (Let's be honest. If you've seen two boobs, you've seen them all.) I'm only annoyed because Lena Headey did interviews where she went on and on about how emotionally traumatizing shooting that scene was for her - implying that she had performed it naked, and therefore should be considered such a dedicated actress. If she and HBO had come clean about it instead of trying to hide the fact (and it was obvious - someone commented that she looks like the long-necked Jedi Master from the Star Wars prequels in some shots,) there wouldn't have been an issue.

Another bizarre thing is they chose a much younger, more fit actress as her body double, when a main point in the book was that her body was stretchmarky and saggy, and her (formerly) terrified subjects were thinking "Hey, she's nothing like we imagined - she's only human after all." They should have picked someone older. (That, and I guess the High Sparrow let her shave her legs and trim her... um... naughty bits after spending a month in a medieval dungeon.)


But what really, REALLY  annoyed me was how gratuitously long that scene was. when they completely skipped over Stanis the Manis's final battle - which, to me, was more important to the overall plot. Maybe if they hadn't spent so much money digitally covering up Lena Headey's vanity, they could have shown some good old fashioned family entertainment, like decapitations and disembowelment.

Oh well, back to reality, at least until next year.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Manspreading the (Privileged) Butter

The other day, I rode the E-train home from work. As everyone in New York city knows, seats are a rare commodity on the subway, and some rude asshats take up more than their share. When you've been on your feet at the shitplant all day, and people are acting like selfish brats, temperatures can rise.

So this woman was half sitting, half leaning against the rail, taking up a seat and a half, with her purse plopped on the bench next to her. I asked her politely to move over, but she didn't. She just sat there. I asked her again, in case she hadn't heard me. She held her hand out to me, palm out, and turned her face to the window. I was so angry at her dismissive rudeness, I was seething.

In that moment, something became crystal clear to me: seething doesn’t help anyone, but sitting on a girl sure is satisfying.

I waited a moment. She leisurely stretched her calves, turned away from me, and then I sat on her.

“Excuse me,” I said, using my ass to crush her thigh. Outside of a horror movie, I have never seen anyone react so quickly to get away from another human being. There was terror, then disgust, then anger. I took out my book and turned to her. “Thank you,” I said, and then smiled like Christian Bale in American Psycho. It would have been rude otherwise.

Now, I hear you cry, "Tony, what the fuck are you doing? Ok, she was being a rude, stuck up bitch, but that's sexual assault. And now you're actually bragging about it online? I'm disgusted, you sick, misogynist bastard!"

Well, normally, you'd be right. But ha ha, the joke's on you. I didn't do that at all. I made the story up.

But everything from "In that moment" to "It would have been rude otherwise." is taken word for word from this blog post. All I did was change the genders.

Now, I have to be honest, I'm not really angry at the author for doing this. No harm done, really. Nor do I think that her kicking another man for not moving over - as she crows about later in the article - really caused him any harm.

What infuriates me is how she is being praised and lauded for behavior that if a man did, even playfully, would get him arrested and rightfully labeled a sex offender. Let's make it clear. These men, although rude assholes, did not in any way physically accost, threaten, or even verbally abuse her. This cannot, in any way shape or form, be seen as self defense. The internet-wide "you go girl," response to her actions is what I find inexcusable.

Based on the arguments I've had today, it seems I "just don't get the point." Apparently, this is because I have a penis. Mea culpa. The prevailing narrative is that the men not moving over so she could sit is not simply rude and inconsiderate behavior - which I would completely support her calling them out on. In their view, although she was the instigator, by ignoring her, they are being "aggressive," which, in their book, warrants physical or sexual assault.

And yes, White Knights - any unwanted intentional sexual contact is legally sexual assault. That includes the buttocks. If I pinched a woman's butt cheeks, how would that not be considered so? If a woman does not scootch over when she's hogging up the bench, does that give me the right to rub my junk on her? If she doesn't move her purse, am I allowed to kick her? No? Then why are so many people tying themselves in knots to justify the double standard?

But... something something something... privilege!  The guy was "Manspreading" you see, a new crime in New York City. If you don't know what it means, it's when men sit in a comfortable way due to their gender. Is it rude on a crowded train? Yes. Will most men (like most women) move over when asked? Yes. Are men being arrested for it when the train is half empty? Yes.
Dude, where's the ad of the woman laying with her legs up on the seat, or her handbags next to her? The NYPD says they will give summons to women as well, but I have yet to find any reports of it. Could it be that the MTA is constantly hemorrhaging money, raising fares, cutting service, and needs someone to blame for their over-packed trains? Could it be that men are a socially accepted scapegoat? Hmm...

OK, I'm digressing here. Where was I? Oh yes, "privilege." This word means that laws should only apply to certain people, because other people are perceived as having it better than them, in some way or other. But there are all kinds of privilege. Just because women historically get a much better deal than men in divorce court, does that mean that only women should be arrested for shoplifting? Of course not. You can't arbitrarily apply concrete laws because of a conceptual opinion. Not if "equality" is truly your goal.

I'll end with this question that I'd really like a woman to answer:

One man believes that women are equal, capable of being responsible for their actions, and thus, should be held to the same standards as men. Another believes that "Male Privilege" has made women a weakened sex, and therefore, they must be protected from the consequences of their own actions. As a result, they should be held to a lesser standard.

Which one of these men is sexist?

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, June 01, 2015

Are You Beach Body Ready?

A lot of hatred has been thrown at Protein World's ad campaign for showing a slender model in a bikini, along with the words "Are you beach body ready?" The ad has been called "fat-shaming" and has been banned in the U.K. for portraying an "unrealistic body image." There's also recent articles that claim that women prefer chubby "dad bods" over six-packs.

As someone who has battled with his weight for years, been repulsively titanic more often than not, and whose weight has fluctuated more than William Shatner's, I have to say... what complete, and utter bullshit.

Last week, I took my kids to Coney Island. As we walked along the boardwalk, we passed "Muscle Beach." My son asked me why anyone would want to work out where everyone could see.

"The same reason you see girls walking around in bikinis," I said. "They have nice bodies, and want to show them off."

He looked at me in shock. "But it's what's on the inside that matters. They shouldn't care about that."

I laughed. "Look," I said, "There's a huge difference in the world between the way people 'should' act, and the way they do. You have to deal with people they way they really are, not how you think they 'should' act, or who they claim to be."

He got that stubborn look on his face that said this went against everything school, TV, and movies had taught him. "But it's who you are inside that matters."

"Right," I said, "and being kind and honest are important. But I want you to seriously consider this: Even though some people have more inherent athletic ability than others, no guy is born with a Schwarzenegger body. It takes discipline to eat right and work out every day. It's not easy for anyone. It takes hard work to care about yourself, to make a real commitment to improve in any field, and see it through. Self respect comes after you do something to respect yourself for- not before. It goes for anything: writing, drawing, playing an instrument, coding, schoolwork, or your job. What you're seeing is the end result. If girls are attracted to them, it's because their bodies are showing them who they are on the inside: they're men with those qualities."

Discuss.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, May 31, 2015

It runs in the family

Harmonizing with my cousin Ally, while my sister Mary searches for the next song with which to rock the mike. Friends, family, and karaoke in the Village.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sokath, his eyes uncovered!

Tony's Life Pro Tips: If you're always willing to be the frog, you can't blame the scorpions.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Clouding the Issue





I like to narrate my sister Mary's facebook rants. It's a hobby.


TTFN

-Tony

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Shut up! Do what I tell you! I'm not interested!" ...Buy my book!

I'm sorry this place has become such a graveyard, I really am. I write every day, and I get up at a ridiculous time to do it. The thing is, I'm working on the next Debris of Shadows novel, so I don't get out what's in my soul here the way I used to.

I've been playing with twitter a bit more lately, because it's a smaller format. Sometimes that's more challenging, to say something interesting (I hope) in a few sentences. I know some people just use their tweets to link to their blog, which, let's face it, is cheating. Ok, I do that too, on occasion. But I do try to write something of value. Most writers' (and other celebrities') twitter feeds read something like this:

Hey, check out my book.

Hey, my new book is on sale.

Are you an intelligent, well-read person who thinks mainstream movies and books are simple crap? Then buy my book.

You read Fifty Shades of Grey, and you won't read my book? 

Seriously? You know if that guy wasn't rich, it would have been a CSI episode, right?

God, you chicks are so double standard. Just because a woman wrote that...

You know what, my book is too good for you.

That's right, you're not good enough for my book.

...I never really wanted you to read my book anyway...

BUY MY BOOK, YOU FAT, WORTHLESS, INSIGNIFICANT, ILLITERATE FAILURES!

I wonder what would happen if I tweeted that. Would it be like the IT Crowd episode where Roy takes out a personal ad that reads "No dogs," because women only love bastards? (Hence the title of this post, in case you weren't paying attention.)

Seriously, this highlights the problem with using social media to promote yourself. Yes, I am self promoting, but I try to be as noninvasive as possible. There's a difference between saying "Hey, someone wrote me a nice review!" now and then, and actually pasting links to your stuff on all of your friends' facebook walls. (I knew a guy who actually did this.) Everyone hates advertising, even covertly, even me. Especially me. There are lots of people whose blogs, comics and twitter feeds I love. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to buy their book / album / homemade porno. Praise the FSM, I'm above all that.

Anyway, buy my books. Because you're awesome. ;)

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My twitter highlights from the past few weeks.

Debating some people proves that humans evolved from primates: No matter how logical your arguments, they will still throw poop at you & run.

Starfleet regulation 6398.4: Whenever the captain talks to an attractive woman, all speakers within one meter will play violins. 

Benadryl really needs to say on their box not to use it to slip your kids a mickey? Well that's all kinds of depressing... 

Sure, you can try and make a new Supergirl series - but will it have the A&W logo in every other shot? 

Why can't anyone do a Kickstarter for something useful- like a mouthwash that enables you to drink orange juice after brushing your teeth? 

My Life is such a total lie. Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch is where the truth is at.

Follow what you love, and the restraining orders will follow.

Future historians will look back on 2015 as The Social Media Threshold: when every twitter user on the planet had followed everyone else. 

Nothing lasts forever. (Literally, it does!) 

The Vatican should market transubstantiated protein powder. They could call it "I am the Whey."

For more words of wisdom, follow @EgotisticalTL . Your brain will thank you.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Why I shouldn't be left alone

Holmes and I sat by the fireplace, smoking our esoteric pipes, when there was a knock on the door. It was our old friend, Inspector Lestarde.

It was cold for April, and there was a smell of good old fashioned British soot in the air. Lestarde strode over to Holmes, took the pipe from his mouth, toked a long drag, and handed it back.

"Someone has stolen the Queen's mechanical knickers," he said. "Her Majesty has asked personally for your discreet help."

"Mechanical knickers?" I asked, my eyes wide.

"A gift from the King of Siam on her wedding day, complete with a hydraulic corset," said Holmes. He threw the pipe into the fire. "The real question is, why didn't you come to me immediately? Why did you stop and get raspberry muffins first?"

"By Jove, Holmes," I said. "How did you deduce that?"

"Easily," the great detective said. "The inspector has crumbs on his mustache. Only a fool would appear before the Queen in such a state. Therefore, he must have gotten his muffin fix before coming here."

Lestarde rubbed his bare upper lip, his eyebrows furrowed. "But Mr Holmes," he said, "I haven't worn a mustache in over five years."

"Exactly," said Holmes. "You have sat on Her Majesty's request for all that time, knowing it would be too embarrassing for her to ever mention again." He dashed to the window, and yanked it open. "Police," he shouted, "come quickly!"

I heard the thunder of boots as a pair of bobbies dashed up the steps, and into our humble but cosy apartment. They looked about in confusion.

"Arrest this man," said Holmes, pointing at Lestrade. "He is involved in a plot to embarrass Her Majesty."

"Bloody hell," said Lestrade, as the two fine, young lads clasped him by be upper arms,  "I never thought I would be caught."

"What's more," said Holmes, whipping out a knife, "he is wearing the purloined pantaloons as we speak."

With a flourish of steel, he sliced through the inspector's suspenders, revealing a pair of pink, rubber knickers. The detective slashed deftly at the hydraulic girdle. The inspector's enormous belly flopped out, accompanied by a torrent of oil.

"Parade him through the streets," Holmes said, "and make sure no one ever tries such a stunt on our beloved Queen again."

As the two constables marched their grease-covered superior from the room, Holmes picked up his violin, and began to play. "His pot-belly was his downfall, you see," he said, as his fingers danced across its neck. "He should have been watching his weight." 

"Very true," I said, "but how did you ever know he was still wearing them?"

"Elementary, old chap," said the spry detective, his bow sawing faster and faster. "But surely you know that a watched pot never oils!"

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, May 11, 2015

Unholy Albino Spider

Heading down to work in my manhole... WAIT- WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT THING???

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Today

I just got home. Right away, my daughter wants me to watch The Count with her. These are videos that are almost four times older than she is, but she thinks I've never seen them before. Oh well, I need to enjoy the time together now. Sooner or later she'll be a teenager, and won't want anything to do with me.

I've been up since two this morning. Lately, I've taken to getting up at 3am so I could have more writing time. I had to leave for work an hour earlier (I had to take the bus today,) so I got my ass up at two. I'm determined to publish book two this year, but goddamn it, it's going to be quality.

Speaking of publishing, I met with a friend and his girlfriend to talk about self publishing. She has a few books planned, and they seem really interesting, a kind of Kill Bill meets Xena character. She said a lot of "publishers" and "agents" were scamming her, trying to get her to pay them to publish her book. I explained that there are a lot of douchebags out there. Traditional publishing only pays you, you pay nothing, and publishing on kindle is 100% free (unless you want to invest in a cover artist, proofreader, etc.) Sometimes I think I should get a publiscist, but I'm going to wait until I have this series completed. She asked if I knew about Doctor Who, since her daughter loves it. I just gave my best Tom Baker laugh... I'm happy helping good people.

I had a nice day. It was a sunny day, but it was my turn down the manhole, so it was just cool enough. As always, we're just trying to get what we can done against impossible odds. That's where the love comes in.

Anyhoo, time to hop in the shower, and wash the shitplant off of me. Wishing happiness.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Sniff

After fifteen years of more or less faithful service, the Jetta is irrevocably dead.

Thank you for all the joyful memories: From the beautiful guardian angels who kept us safe and left their footprints on the windows, to the children who threw up on the floor. From the lady who rearended us entering the Lincoln Tunnel, to the dealer mechanic who managed to break something every time he fixed another. From the Cessna sounding engine, to the cool blue and red dashboard display that looked like the cockpit of a TIE Fighter.

Rest in fahrvergnügen peace.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Life lesson: never trust out of embarrassment or convenience.

Found out yesterday someone had been feeding us a lot of bullshit. In the immortal words of Ford Prefect, "Listen, it's a tough universe. There's all sorts of people trying to do you, kill you, rip you off, everything. If you're going to survive out there, you've really got to know where your towel is."

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, May 01, 2015

Let the head crushing commence!

Heading to Manhattan to see The Kids in the Hall do a live performance. Viva la 90s!

Scrape that goat off the windshield

"Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It's American as apple pie!"
- Tom Lehrer, "National Brotherhood Week."

It seems to be a time for scapegoating. White (non-liberal) people and The Police State are to blame for the riots in Baltimore - or maybe it's all the thugs using it as an excuse to harm others. Meanwhile, in Kansas, people on welfare going to public pools and the movies are to blame for the current economic crisis, while nationwide, we would all have a higher standard of living if the 1% and all who support them would just curl up and die. Social Justice Warriors are responsible for video game publishers being in cahoots with journalists, while men everywhere are responsible for all the pain and suffering every woman goes through every single day. Me, I blame everyone everywhere for taking advantage of my innocent, good nature - especially Hillary Clinton, the Amazon ratings system, and long-haired hamsters. What a utopia this nation would be, if only it weren't for ______ - especially self-righteous bloggers who pretend they're above it all!

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You need two wings to make a chicken.

Just a reminder, through these horrible times: The whole picture is always more than they'll show you.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The new pecking order

They found my replacement! Apparently, he's an eggspert ;-)

TTFN
-Tony
 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

You just have to be the right kind...

It seems the Calgary Expo banned a group of female panelists and booth holders just for supporting Gamer Gate.  Apparently all are equal, but some are more equality than others. "Go home, gamer girl" indeed.

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, April 18, 2015

From the mouths of middle-schoolers

Mandy: Does Jesus live in the sky?
Mom: Jesus lives inside your heart.
Mandy: ...Grandma, that's kind of gross!

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Electronic Voting Made Simple

I read a recent news article about how easy the new electronic voting machines are to hack, and I just don't get it. To me the solution is very simple to design and implement.

To quote Scotty in Star Trek III, "The more they overdo the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." So here's what you do:

Make a simple voting program that is hardwired on an integrated circuit. You have a list of offices, and a list of candidates on a grid. You choose which one you want by hitting a button. Keep it as simple and obvious as possible.

Each machine at the voting place is connected by cable to one collecting computer. None of these machines or the collecting computer have wi-fi, Bluetooth, or any internet access whatsoever. This collecting computer has a bare-bones OS that can do five things. 

1- Record the results on the hard drive
2 - Burn those results to a DVD-ROM
3 - Copy those results to a backup USB stick.
4 - Print the results on paper.
5 - Reformat / fill random characters on the hard drive.

OK, now comes the human element, but there's always going to be a human element no matter what, right? The same way paper results would be transported by an official to whatever collecting agency currently collects them, the official physically transports the DVD, paperwork, and USB stick. Let's say to a county seat, once an hour.

The county seats compile and verify all the data it receives, once again on computers with bare-bones operating systems, with the paperwork. These computers do the same thing as their district counterparts, but the compiled results are transported hourly to the state capital.

At the state level, the results can be transmitted by secure internet connection to national data collectors as they come in. This data is verified over a webcam by an official, whose face must be verified by face recognition software. Sure, the line might possibly be hacked into, but while the data might possibly be found out, the results would be nearly impossible to change.

Feel free to poke holes in this, but I don't understand why something along these lines can't be implemented. Who in their right minds designs e-voting computers with wi-fi access and expects it to be secure?

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You spin me right round

For the record- 

What I dislike about Hillary Clinton is that she's power hungry, and has proven to be for The Powers that Be, but somehow insists she's a champion of the people. 

I dislike her campaign history of nastily attacking opponents, then turning around, and becoming a victim empowerment opportunist whenever it suits her.

I dislike that when she was senator things got worse and worse for union members in NYC, yet she is somehow considered a blue-collar champion.

I dislike that any meaningful talk about how badly our electoral system needs a complete overhaul is squashed by the "Get behind Hillary, because even if she's not really what you stand for, change is impossible and you wouldn't want to see an evil Republican in power, would you?" campaign that seems to be gaining traction.

Then again, if the last two elections are anything to go by, the Republicans will put forth complete wingnuts that no one in their right mind would ever vote for, and do everything possible to scare centrist fence-sitters away every single time they gain traction. The rich will get richer, the poorer will get poorer, everyone will support their ideologies no matter what, and the "we'd love to fix America but we just can't because ______" won't let us, good-cop bad-cop dance will continue.

If I had to choose one politician who seems the most to actually give a shit about people instead of just pretending, I'd pick Senator  Elizabeth Warren. But seeing the way the Democrats screwed over her campaign to lower tuition rates (by tacking on a capital gains tax they knew the Republicans would refuse to agree to,) she seems to know she'd never have a chance. Que sera sera.

TTFN
-Tony

P.S.
My views on her are, of course, my views, and have nothing to do with how I see anyone who supports her. Same with those who support the far right. My friends are friends because they're good people. Nothing else matters to me in that department.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sometimes the News

I severely dislike Hillary Clinton, but come on, is making fun of her for going unnoticed in a burrito joint really front-page worthy?
In other things that are not the news, my daughter told me last night that she wishes that The Count was big and tough with giant muscles, so that he would "have ladies all over him." So, is Sesame Street now a gateway drug to Twilight?

I spent yesterday hand-winching up a five foot by five foot by two inch slab of steel. I know pulleys and chainfalls have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, but I can't help but find it cool to see the simple physics of mechanical advantage in action.

Why can I feel so lazy when left to my own devices, but still feel like there's not enough hours in the day?

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, April 13, 2015

Back from the shadows again...

So here I am, waiting in the parking lot before another day of work. The furlough has ended, let us go in peace to love and serve the DEP. Everyone is parked out on the fringe, with only a few cars parked right in front of the trailer. I'm wondering if I missed something while I was gone, or if it's just in case of everyone making the same assumptions. At least there's no more ice and snow on the ground. 

My VW was parked under a tree for a week, and was thoroughly anointed by the love of Flushing pigeons. I'm actually, in a way, happy to be back. I work with good people, and even though I enjoyed visiting my sister very much and had a good time with friends, I can spend way too much time being lazy, if left to my own devices. At least I got a lot of writing in it, and I worked on a cell-drawn animation. I should really learn Flash, and how to interpolate between key frame shapes. I can see why no one draws animations frame by frame like that anymore.

Let the fun begin.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, April 06, 2015

If there is no Denny's...

And the Lord said "Remember when I was drunk, and you took me through the Jack in the Box drive through to get some sobering-up breakfast?"
And the people said "Lord, when did we ever try to get you back down with a cheap egg on a biscuit sandwich?"
And Jesus said "Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, you do unto me."

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, April 03, 2015

J Arthur Rank Productions

Hitting giant nipples at the Musical Instrument Museum!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Arizona!

Yes, it was in the 30s this morning in Flushing, so I'm in the desert wearing a black sweater. :D

You are traveling through another dimension...

AAAGH WILLIAM SHATNER IS ON THE WING!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The question on everyone's mind...

When will 70s fashion come around again? I'm pretty sure I could rock a stylized 'fro.

TTFN
-Tony