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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holly and jolly

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.

Merry Christmas!
-Tony

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dem bones!

Daddy / daughter / dinosaur / planetarium / corned beef & matzoh ball soup day!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars The Force Awakens Spoiler Leak!

Apparently, The Force Awakens is really about Max Rebo. He steals Sy Snootles away from Lando Calrissian while working in one of his nightclubs, and Lando blacklists him. So Max goes to the Hutts, and Lando wakes up with the bloody head of Jar-Jar in his bed.

I would pay good money to see that.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, December 14, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Where did the time go?

My son turned eighteen today. Where did the time go? So much has happened in those years. I'd like to say I've grown wiser in that lifetime, that I've changed and been the best father I could to my children. I've been good and bad, smart and stupid.

He was so tiny when he was a baby, a bit of a preemie. Now he towers over me. I used to run around with him under my arm, like he was a tiny football. Or we'd fake WWF wrestle, with him always winning. Now, he could probably put me under his arm.

Good and bad things will happen to you. You will have friends who will leave their mark on your brain forever. Wish them happiness, but always wish it for yourself as well. Find something to want, something that will make your soul grow, and follow it. Learn things that will make you believe in yourself. Find people who make you want to be the best you you can be. Treat yourself with love, and never forget your own love has value. Be realistic about the present, but when it comes to the past, treasure the good. It will make your memories happier.

Remember that if you want self respect, that you have to earn it from yourself. If you want pride, you have to do things that will make you proud. Forgive the people who hurt you - but forgive yourself as well.

Life is beautiful, and I love you always.

-TTFN
Tony


Thursday, December 03, 2015

Agnostic Speaking: Prayer is Good, or Why the NY Daily News Can Stick It Where the Sun Don't Shine

A few days after the terrorist attack in Paris, my cute, little, sainted, Catholic, Sicilian mother called me. She was upset.  "I don't want to upset you, or pry," she began. I told her she could ask or talk to me about anything.

She told me that she and my father were worried, because my family and I live in New York City, and I'm currently doing transit work, which is a prime target for terrorism. But since I'm agnostic (simplified: I don't know if a higher power exists, though it might, but in the meantime, I'm not going to pretend that I do), she was also worried about my eternal soul. "Heaven is supposed to be paradise," she said, "but how can it be paradise for me without you?"

It doesn't matter that I'm agnostic, and that to me, the idea that an all powerful and supposedly all-loving god has nothing better to worry about than which stories people have made up about him/her/it is silly - although I am angry that anyone has convinced her she needs to be so upset about such a thing. The point is, this is still one of the most loving and touching things anyone has ever said to me.

As a child, it used to drive me up a tree when my father's response to every problem I had was to pray about it. But that's because I was a child, and I was looking for help, answers, and guidance. (Which he did give, by the way.) But what if he had phrased it a different way? Is there any real difference between "Don't sweat the small stuff" or "Don't make yourself sick about what you can't change" and "Give it up to God?" I don't believe twenty Hail Marys (a priest actually gave me that many once at confession, I'm not going to tell you why) are going to magically wipe my wrongs away... but is there any difference between them and any other meditation-centering mantra? The Our Father is bad, but chanting Ommmmm is good?

Now that I'm pretending to be an adult, I can't understand the anger that's directed these days at people who say "I'll pray for you." Maybe because I don't expect those people to fix my problems in the first place. If I tell a friend or family member that I am hurting, or have ninety-nine problems (you know the rest- and by the way, he was alluding to a drug-sniffing dog, not women), and they say "I'll pray for you," I don't think, "Well what good will THAT do? Get out there and fix anti-union problems, or my transmission, or my children's health, or get Oprah to spotlight my books!" I think, "Wow, that's really kind and loving of them to care."
 
OK, lets be honest. The New York Daily News's front page today is deliberate controversial spin to keep the conversation away from the religious affiliations of the San Bernardino shooters. (NO I am NOT saying all followers of that religion, or even that that religion itself is to blame, or should be spotlighted. I am saying the media is deliberately creating controversy as a distraction, especially since they spent the past week blaming a different religion for the Planned Parenthood shootings - which, for the record, was horrible and inexcusable, so don't even try it.) I'm also not going to get drawn into the gun control debate. (For the record, I believe in the second amendment, but I also believe we need sane gun control laws. Having a gun in your home to protect yourself or for sport doesn't mean you should be legally able to carry a gun into a movie theater where I've taken my kids, You also shouldn't be able to buy military-grade hardware at gun shows, and gun ownership should be federally at least as regulated as drivers' licenses. Sometimes a slippery slope is a slippery slope, and sometimes it's an excuse.)

I suppose I don't expect politicians to solve my problems either, especially if they're just candidates. Nor, considering their lives, do I consider their offering of prayers sincere. I'm sure its 75% pandering. But hey, if that other 25% is actually praying for peace, hope, and healing, then good for them. Thanks for caring.

No, I'm not saying prayer will help on its own. But it can't hurt. I've always believed that prayers are answered by people (Which is why, if you pray for healing, you should support scientific research to help doctors learn to heal, including the theory of evolution, but I digress.) We also need to answer our own prayers, sometimes. But it's hypocritical bs to pretend that prayer and action are mutually exclusive. I've volunteered with New York Cares during long stretches of unemployment, and most of the other volunteers are overtly religious. It's the same way most of the people I know who are against abortion for religious reasons donate their time and money to help the needy. One does not automatically exclude the other.

So many cans of worms, so little time... 

To sum up. Yes, action needs to happen for things to change. Yes, all politicians are full of excrement. No, scapegoating prayer and those on the (politically) right who pray to keep the conversation politically "safe" is not the answer, and up your ass with broken glass for doing so. I say my agnostic prayers for the people I care about all the time. Maybe I need to turn in my membership card and blazer badge back in to the League of Agnostics (Insert obscure reference thumbs up here, if you get it.)

Peace, love and soul, my friends.

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Knows fifty ways to kill a man... with a fish

An extra in the indie film, "Good Day". "Because a man who doesn't wear a fish tie can never be a real man." ;-)

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chapter 3, In Which the Narrator Gets Pissed Off And Probably Pisses Off What Friends He Has Left In The Process

Dear you. No- not you - you. (And if you read this, and think, "Hey, I never meant THAT." - then don't worry, I'm not talking about you.)

Here is a Muppet News Flash: Being concerned that ISIS has infiltrated the Syrian refugees, especially when the past weekend has proven that it's highly likely, is not racist. It's being realistic.

It's not saying "All Muslims are terrorists."
It's not saying "The refugees are to blame for the attacks in Paris."
It's not saying "Round up all the Muslims and put them in internment camps."
It's not even saying America should refuse the refugees.

But it IS a valid concern. It is more than possible. And trying to shout down anyone who points it out as a racist is not going to change reality. If every single person who was concerned about ISIS infiltrating refugees was a card-carrying KKK member, it wouldn't change the reality of the situation.

Oh, and by the way, if you need to use false parallels to try and paint those with opposing views as bigots, then maybe your point is invalid. Just to correct a few false parallels:

Yes, Timothy McVeigh killed more people than the Paris attacks, and (gasp) was a white Christian. True, but no, Timothy McVeigh was not part of a global terrorist organization, which is the issue here. Try again.

Yes, some Americans were against Jewish refugees coming here back in World War II. Yes, those people were racist and wrong. No, there was no global Jewish extremist army at the time. No, there were no Jewish terrorists infiltrating the Holocaust survivors, and murdering random civilians within the countries that were taking them in. That's a pretty huge point to ignore, just because it doesn't fit your narrative.

Yes, Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian. Who gives a shit? Are you so elitist that you believe everyone who has concerns about ISIS infiltration doesn't know that they are individuals of varying qualities and accomplishments?
And by the way, Steve Jobs was a piece of shit, so I don't know why you're using him as an example anyway.

(I'm not going to get into how ridiculous it is to try bring Native Americans into this.)

To sum up:

"But I'm just against racism."
Good for you, so am I.

"I don't want people to think all Muslims are terrorists."
I don't either. I know some Muslims, and some are good, kind people. Some are dickheads. They're individuals.

"I feel horrible for the refugees."
So do I, it's monstrous, what they're going through.

"The refugees aren't to blame for what happened in Paris."
I 100% agree. But ISIS members who infiltrated them most likely had a hand in it. That's the concern.

"The refugees are not ISIS."
No, they're not. They're escaping from the terror that ISIS has caused. They should be helped. HOWEVER, there is a valid concern that infiltration by ISIS is extremely easy.

"I don't think hosting refugees in America would be a danger."
Well... I think there are some concerns, but if that's the way you feel, hey- good for you. Hopefully, you're right. You should feel fee to say that.

"Saying there is a chance of ISIS infiltrating the refugees makes you a bigoted, uncaring, unfeeling racist."
Fuck you.

-TTFN
Tony

Friday, November 13, 2015

Now is the Autumn of our... something.

It's Friday morning. The wind is blowing against the panes in the windows. I should be finishing writing a scene, but something is telling me to wait. I know it sounds like laziness, but those insights have worked for me before.

I did a cool "Mystery Room" thing in Manhattan with friends and family who lived in the city last weekend, on my birthday. Basically, it's a point-and-click "escape the room" flash game in real life, with an hour time limit. (One clue leads to another leads to another...) Good times with good people, I wish teleporters existed for the rest.

Sometimes, I wonder if I've become a cosmic resource hog.

My major accomplishment this week has been neatly destroying a large chunk of a cinder-block wall with poured cement inside. Oh, the dreams of my youth, they're all coming true...

I have dreams of crashing various vehicles, helicopters, cars, TIE fighters... this is mildly disturbing, as in previous dreams, I would careen about in race cars out of control, but never crash. Is this the crash, or is that yet to come? Let me consult some sheep entrails.

TTFN
-Tony


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Though I'm still pissed I had to download a game I bought on disk...

Fallout 4 and a day off make Tony no productivity something something.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Sometimes Shave Tovember

Waiting for the bus to the subway. I'm wearing a t-shirt in November, I love it. I have a lot of fun planned this weekend, I hope the nice weather holds out.
I'll be forty-three in a few days, my Hitchhiker's Guide year is almost over. I saw a guy this morning with a corncob vape pipe- I have to get me one of those.

The best thing about this blog is that when I write lengthy rants about things that annoy me, I realize they're just minor inconveniences, and not as huge as what I'm snowballing them into. Then I delete them. They aren't worth an entire post, and can usually be summarized in a single paragraph:

This makes me angry: The latest trend of general contractors making construction workers wear safety glasses all the time actually makes us less safe, because they distort vision, get fogged up, scratched, or dirty. Construction is dangerous, with tripping hazards everywhere. You're actually putting me at risk. I'm working in a humid tunnel at the moment. If someone drives a loader through the tunnel, and is wearing safety glasses that fog up because they'll be sent home if they don't, doesn't that put everyone who is working theres' lives at risk? Up your ass with broken glass for making my job unsafe, just for your liability, and claiming it's for my own good.

Preordering games in the digital download age without a major incentive is just plain stupid. It gives studios the license to overhype and put out crap, because they already have your money. (I'm not talking about kickstarting indie games here, I'm talking about AAA studios who have launched unplayable, bug-laden, expensive, overhyped junk, with the promise of a fix later. Preordering keeps that shitty train a-chugging.) Yeah, the Fallout series is one of my favorites, and I'm looking forward to Fallout 4, but what if it turns out to be another Batman: Arkham Knight? Just wait for the damn customer reviews and bug reports.

The TPP is going to fornicate the 99% like you wouldn't believe, and it's President Obama's baby. But please, tell me again how he's the greatest president ever, for working, middle-class Americans, and republicans are the bad guys. (Note: not advocating for the republican party, I just think all high-level politicians are out to screw us. Just don't piss in my face and tell me it's champagne. I'd really, really like to get on the Bernie hype train, but I've heard it all before...)

Sigh, I'm getting negative. You know what I'm hopeful about? Towels. Since my Hitchhiker's year is almost over, here is a poem I wrote while sitting and looking at a towel.

Fluffy (bongos)
Pink. You were purple once, but time and Tide sucked the color from your soul. (bongos)
Guzzling possessed radiator steam,
And toothpaste,
And soap,
And follicle oil. (bongos)
Microbial armies wage war, war, WAR,
Cutting, biting, licking, slurping,
Worshiping microbial Vishnu,
Many many arms, giving high fives,
Over a battlefield
That is like time
Slipping through William Shatner's nostrils,
Swinging from nose hair toupee to nose hair,
Tarzan, without his Keurig machine,
Because Jane forgot to refill it
Again.
(bongos)
Penguins!
(bongos)
Subway rail armpits,
Spit from the peaches of life.
All wiped up
Without complaint
By my towel.
(bongos)

Peace out, babies.
-Tony

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

World domination, one review at a time

Woohoo, got my first UK review for The Lies of the Sage. Any chance of Tom Baker reading this? ;-)

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, October 30, 2015

Success means different things

Debris of Shadows Book I: The Lies of the Sage is now available at the Bernards Township Library. Funny, how happy that makes me.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In the Horning my own Toot Department...

With Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, I get paid by how many pages people have read. It's easy to get discouraged that my career hasn't quite reached Stephen King level yet, but it's nice to have proof that someone couldn't put one of my books down. :D 

TTFN
-Tony



Monday, October 26, 2015

Farewell...

I've gone below, to rejoin my people.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Stay gold, Ponyboy

This made me laugh, at first. But as the parent of a pre-teen with special needs, I'm happy they've made age-appropriate literature available to her. Next up, Atlas Shrugged...

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, September 18, 2015

Town Hall Q&A

Trump: Ok, you!

Mrs. A: Mister Trump, my children were stolen and eaten by mutant, cyborg penguins. What will you do to protect us?

Trump: That's a great question. This is the EXACT reason I'm going to repeal Obamacare, and replace it with something really... really... extra cool! OK, you!

Mr. B: Every year, congress votes itself larger and larger raises. Will you stop that from happening?

Trump: That's a really, really great question. This is the EXACT reason I'm going to repeal Obamacare, and replace it with something really... really... extra... like wow! What I have planned... you'll just... you'll shit yourselves, it's so awesome. OK, you!

Miss C: My baby daughter went outside without sunblock... and was eaten by a polar bear, who thought that her brains would give it natural immunity from bursting into flames. This is the tenth time this has happened since the polar ice caps melted, and the world flooded. What will you do to stop this?

Trump: Anyone here believe in global warming? Anyone? Anyone? No?... OK, last question... You!

Polar Bear: (Digging claws into Miss C's skull) BRAAAAAAIIIIIIINNNNNS!

Trump: That's a great question. This is the kind of question I like to hear. This is the EXACT reason I'm going to repeal Obamacare, and replace it with something wonderful, like, really cool, you're really going to love it. Thank you, and good night!

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, September 05, 2015

And yea, did He damn them for their waddling, and tuxedo plumage!

Riding home on the F train from the East village, slightly inebriated on a few cider & fireball boilermakers. Does that count as a boilermaker? Who gives a shit, it's yummy.
I have a cup of matzoh ball soup from B & H, which is a vegetarian Deli. Much cheaper than Katz. When I get home, I'm going to drain it, remove all the carrots, add some chicken broth & Parmesan cheese, and watch Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, probably the Scotch Mist episode. Fuck vegetarianism.
Someday, I will retire. When I do, I will don an impeccable, expensive suit. I will make myself a fixture late Saturday nights in the subway, preferably in the East Village. There, I will preach loudly, with fire and thunder, about how Jesus saved us from the cybernetic penguin army of Satan. The world needs to know.
I love watching people. Yeah, old Scandinavian guy, ask the hot teenage girls for directions. Like they know.  I should ask the walnut-wrinkled little old lady across from me for directions, so she doesn't feel left out.
An old Chinese man has his forehead on his cane. Sad or tired? I'll leave him to his dignity. May the Schwartz be with us all
Ttfn
Tony

Monday, August 24, 2015

Let's Play Adventure!

My first "Let's Play" video, of the old Atari classic. Enjoy!



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Meet the Mets!

Mandy's first Mets game. I'm more of a Yankees fan, but hey, when you only live a few miles from a major league stadium, you just have to enjoy it.

And the little dog you rode in on, too.

After more or less twenty-five years of social media, from Prodigy to AOL to Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, and Reddit, I have to say, I'm sick of it. I'm sick of seeing how polarized everyone's ideologies have become, including my own

Everyone has become completely unable to empathize with anyone else different than them - and the people who claim to be empathic are the worst. Women who think all men own the world, and therefore have no right to ever feel pain about anything, men who think women get a pussy-pass on every little thing so they should stop their whining, minorities who think all white people are the ruling class, white people who think all minorities get a free ride, far right wingnuts who ignore the problems of the world because they think god wants it that way, leftist liberals who are indistinguishable from religious extremists, and want everyone to go around flogging themselves for the sins of their "privilege" when most of them are not privileged at all... honestly, I'm sick of it all.

Yeah, I know, the person who shouts "I don't care" the loudest is the person who cares the most. If I didn't care, I wouldn't be writing this. I'm sick of being advertised to, I'm sick of being categorized for data-mining purposes. I'm sick of everything starting out fun, and then bit by bit being chipped away at and monetized. Sick of the world becoming a trigger-free safe-space because victimization power is so easy a bandwagon to jump on. I'm your victim for writing this, you're my victims for reading this... blah blah blah.

Anyway, to anyone I've ever treated like your worries or hurts didn't matter because of my own shit was somehow more important, either in person, or on the great wide interwebs, I hereby apologize. May the Schwartz be with us all.

TTFN
-Tony

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

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

With apologies to Stephen King

Does the Clean Reader sanitizing app have an Annie Wilkes setting that changes "fuck" to "cocky-doodie"? Because that would be pretty funny.

But seriously, Inktera, go cocky-doodie yourself.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Since no one is asking...

I have an idea for a new Trek series called "Star Trek: Misfits."  The crew could consist of Gorns, salt vampires, a few of Harry Mudd's bimbo droids, the Clint Howard tranya baby, and the captain could be a Tribble.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, March 16, 2015

Next time, remember...


Day one of my furlough. Today I woke up at 5:30 am instead of Four. Made myself a bowl of barf (keto breakfast of my own recipe) and a cup of coffee. Doing my morning pages before getting back to work on Book II. I can't decide what I want to do for exercise, do I want to walk a mile, or do I want to ride the exercise bike while I play Wolfenstein - The New Order? The later sounds like more fun, but while I could ride that bike all day long, the seat hurts my delicate tuchus. Wolfenstein - The Old Blood looks extremely cool, but I'm skeptical because of all the bugs TNO had at launch. That's the sad state of gaming today - you have to wait a few months until the game you want is patched enough to make the price worth it, after everyone else had spent their hard earned cash to be beta testers and report all the problems. It's incomprehensible to me why anyone would pre-order anything digital these days.


I spent the weekend at my parents' house, playing my father at pinochle, hanging with old friends (Jodi) and my sister and her kids. My nieces and nephew made a pi pie. Trying to figure out if and when I can fly out to visit my little sister in AZ. I took my to the car wash in Bernardsville, and we listened to Jim Croce while we watched from the inside. Sometimes the little things make up happy memories.


I woke up with some insights from my dreams, but I stupidly did not write them down. Maybe I just thought they were insightful?  Anyhoo, have a good one.


TTFN
-Tony

Friday, March 13, 2015

Its Sucking My Will to Live!

I'm so happy I have a job, but all this heavy street work is murderlating my will to live.

I had a bizarre dream that my father was a Jedi, but unbeknownst to him, I was an apprenticre Sith Lord. Darth Sidious (aka The Emperor) was planning to kill him, so I had to sneak up behind him, and eviscerate him with my nice, shiny, red lightsaber. (The Emperor, not my father.) Afterward, I went out dancing with some friends from high school at a church Christmas party, and Jar Jar Binks was there. He kept annoying all of us, so we figured we'd just ignore him.

Here's your deep thought of the day: Sometimes, wiping the outside of our windshields furiously with windshield wipers doesn't do it. We need to clean the inside with some Windex, a rag, and elbow grease. That's a good metaphor for life, don't you think?

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Morning is Broken

Yay, alternate side is in effect today, so I am back in my good old fashioned diesel VW. It's not as nice as my new car, but I'm happy it's still running after being sidelined in the snow for six weeks. Just listen to the purr of that engine, like a phlegmy Cessna in heat. Ah, the happy memories...

I spent yesterday inside a manhole, wrestling with giant wires. My muscles and back are sore, I'm really getting too old for this shit. I had to rub Biofreeze into my upper tuchus this morning and pop some Advil. Oh well, at least my job keeps me active. Just think, people pay good money for this kind of workout.

Dawn is beginning to break over JFK, and I must go start my day of glamour, electricity, and feces. Ta!

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The sun is shining...

Such a beautiful day to be working outside! :D

Dem Bones McCoy

Good morning, friends and neighbors. It's a balmy 45 degrees, here at the Jamaica shit plant. Last night I dreamt that I was at my cousin's house, trying to watch a few old Tom Baker episodes. She had a huge, complicated sound system that kept tripping breakers. While we were trying to fix it, obese men ran around her house wearing wet suits. Feel free to analyze this as you wish.

I went for my final LASIK check up exam yesterday, and my vision is still 20/20 in each eye. This is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I wish I had made it sooner.

The sky beneath the morning moon is ribbed with clouds, lighting the morning like an eerie, glowing herringbone.

Give 'em hell today.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Shallow Thoughts

Good morning. I really don't know what to say today. I'm trying to think of a deep insight to give you.

Here's one: We think that the system is flawed, but really, is not. The universe is holding to a very specific program. It's when we try to change it that what we perceive as flaws, acts of God, or simply luck become apparent. But they're not really glitches, they're just the universe returning to its original programming, which may override or synchronize with our desires. 1 plus 1 will always equal 2, A will always equal A, and there are only four lights. It's like Robert Anton Wilson said: We evolved from primates, but when someone says they can't understand why someone acted a certain way, it usually turns out that the person was just exibiting primate behavior. Fascinating, Captain.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Darkness, Double Blagh!

Good morning. It's dark on my morning commute once again, because Daylight Savings Time has really screwed me over. It's seriously time that archaic idea was retired. At least it's raining, I just want all of this God forsaken snow to wash away.

I found this really cool series on Netflix called Black Mirror. It's a British show, sort of a very dark Twilight Zone. Unlike a lot of shows that are dark just for darkness's sake, the writing, pace, and cast are top notch. Would recommend.

I've been plotting out Debris of Shadows Book II for the past few months, and I finally broke narrative grounded today. Who's got the champagne bottle to break over my keyboard?

And so begins another glamorous day of trying to get by with what I have, as best I can. We all are who we are, we all have a certain set of needs that motivate and guide us. Sometimes, all we can do is be as honest with ourselves as we can. Sometimes I feel like the only real prayer is the serenity one: to change what I can, accept what I can't, and to know the difference between the two.

Peace, love, and soul.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, March 06, 2015

The sunlight, blagh!

Sitting in my car, waiting for the day to start. It's 13 degrees outside, and my car is warmer and more comfortable than the trailer. I heard Cardinal Egan keeled over right after lunch yesterday. I hope it was a good one.

The Sun is up in the sky, making my morning commute easier. Of course, that's all going to change after daylight savings time on Sunday. As always, there are people here who are clueless when it comes to parking. (For those who don't know, when I say here, I'm talking about work.) I'm very happy to have a job, & I hope I keep it, but I have to admit the dark and the filth are starting to wear me down. Now watch, I'll get laid off today. Why do we always seem to be grateful, and at the same time, unsatisfied? 

The Morning Sun is right behind a smokestack, and I'm watching plumes of white smoke become backlit clouds, swirling in silhouette as they dissolve into the sky. There is beauty in life, there is beauty in math. People touch our lives, and leave fingerprints for good, or for bad, and sometimes both. 

Obviously, I'm just talking out my ass today, and it's time to go in. Remember my friends, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can never pick your friends' noses.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Here is the new link for my appearance on The Speculative Fiction Cantina tomorrow night at six (eastern.) Hope you listen and call in! :D

TTFN
-Tony
Good morning, friends and neighbors. I've been told the Speculative Fiction Cantina link for this Friday's show will change, so I've temporarily deleted the post. I'll be sure to post the new one as soon as I get it.

So where are we? It's Thursday, the "Oh great, I have only one hour to go before quitting time, I've been working hard all day - oh crap, I just looked at the clock and it's actually TWO hours" day.

What's going on in the world... Samsung has pissed off Android users everywhere by announcing that the Galaxy S6 will not have a removable battery or a micro-SD expansion slot - the two hardware features Android users love most. The idea being that if Apple can milk it's users dry over storage and battery replacement/repair costs, why shouldn't Samsung? Guess I'm never buying that model. Stop trying to court i-Toy users (I can't do what I want with it, but ooh, it's so SLIM!), and work on keeping your base customers happy.

It's supposed to snow today, but it hasn't started yet, at least not here. I'm sure it will get in full swing once I'm at work, making getting home miserable. My glass is half full, but the fly shitting in it is throwing off the taste. At least alternate side is suspended.

Why are so many of my dreams about driving? Are they supposed to be a metaphor for my life?

Anyway, everyone have a good day. Stay safe. Give a hoot, and don't pollute.

TTFN
-Tony






Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers... which smell bad."

The world is a little sadder today, as Leonard Nimoy has left us.

It's odd, because deep down, I'm mourning a character (who died once already) and not the actor who played him. I mean, to be honest, I know very little about Mister Nimoy, except what I read in his autobiography I Am Spock. It's actually a fascinating read. I love the fact that after Star Trek, Spock became the voice of his inner monologue, and he would often have conversations with him. But Nimoy put so much of himself into the role. There were times he cursed his typecasting and tried to leave Spock behind, but it was a character loved by millions worldwide. And, with all respect to Zachary Quinto, it will forever be his own.

Not to sound like a tragic hipster, but there was no "geek culture" when I was a nerd growing up. Characters like Mister Spock were great vehicles for escape from loneliness. He was the uber-nerd, probably the smartest man in the universe, and he somehow made it cool. He was extremely self-posessed, always calm, cool, and collected, and always knew exactly what to do. Even when his betrothed turned out to be a manipulating bitch, all he kindly said to her boyfriend was "You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting." Ok, props to writer Theodore Sturgeon, but you get my point. He was a hero who did not seek or need glory, love, or popularity. He was simply himself, and when the time came, the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few... or the one.

Of course, Leonard Nimoy the man was no slouch either. In the words of George Takei, "The word extraordinary is often overused, but I think it's really appropriate for Leonard. He was an extraordinarily talented man, but he was also a very decent human being." He seemed to excel at everything he did: actor, director, writer, poet, photographer... His costars always spoke of his kindness and generosity. As William Shatner put it, "We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love."

His final tweet was on February 23: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" I have to smile that his last public statement was "Live long and prosper."

TTFN
-Tony






Friday, February 27, 2015

Lesbian Goddess Threesome to Celebrate Net Neutrality

Ah, Friday, Day of Freyja, or day of Frigg, with perhaps a touch of Venus thrown in there - depending on who you talk to. The day of lesbian goddess threesomes.

People who know me know that I'm not thrilled with President Obama and Obamacare - or more precisely, I'm not thrilled with the mainstream worship and ideology that glosses over the flaws and hypocrisy of many of his policies. But when something right gets done, I have to give the man credit. So I'm raising my tall mug of tripple-shot k-cup espresso to Net Neutrality finally being passed.

Look, I have strong libertarian leanings. But I've come to realize over the years that no one system is perfect. We need checks and balances in both our government and the corporations that run our daily lives. Some regulations are just necessary. You don't want poisonous drinking water, you don't want food that's going to cause you cancer, you don't want your landlord or boss to fornicate you if he or she chooses, you don't want you car to explode if you get in a fender bender... and you don't want the ISPs to choke and bleed your internet access dry to increase their profit margins.

I've made this comparison before, but if you've read Atlas Shrugged you'll get it: The ISPs are NOT Taggart Transcontinental, as they keep trying to paint themselves, they're Associated Steel. They did not build the internet from the ground up with their blood, sweat, and tears. Instead, they have raked in billions of government money (which came from us, the taxpayers, on top of the record profits they've received from their customers) and used all their lobbying to squash competition. This is why Comcast and Time Warner have a stranglehold on internet access in the United States, and are allowed to screw their customers regularly.

So what will change now? Nothing, except perhaps other ISPs will have a chance to compete. Why do I say that "nothing" happening is a good thing? Because the ISPs plan was to throttle down the internet access of those who used competing services. (Like Netflix, for example.) The "fast lane" access was not a plan to build a better and faster infrastructure and charge more for those who wanted to use it - it was to make the existing infrastructure more expensive, and throttle the use of those who didn't want to pay even more.

Think of it like a highway. Pretend that the ISPs own all the roads, and already charge you for their use- including the side-streets. The ISPs did not plan on building a new superhighway that would cost more to use. They planned on putting higher tolls on existing highways (which, let's be honest, ain't that great) adding tolls to highways that had no tolls before - and blasting potholes and blocking traffic in the side-streets - which you already pay to use - to make them virtually undrivable.

Is it perfect? No. I have to admit I'm a little suspicious. FCC Chairman Wheeler is a former NCTA and CITA lobbyist who has always fought against this very thing, so I always assumed President Obama's appointment of him was to keep the current oligarchy in place. His about-face now is definitely worrying. Most of all, I'm worried that this is a trade-off for TPP, (The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will seriously fuck us all over if it gets passed.) We'll have to wait and see. But credit where credit is due, and a tip of the hat to President Obama is in order- for now, anyway.

TTFN
-Tony

For your viewing pleasure, here is a rat's nest of wires, hovering in the ceiling, waiting to leap down and envelop an unsuspecting electrician's soul:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cunning and Duplicity

I had a weird dream last night, that someone I don't actually know in real life was pretending to be my best friend, but in reality, didn't want anything to do with me. He gave me a book for Christmas that was all moth-eaten and torn to shreds. I went to work, where I kept having to spit, and it all turned into huge arcs of ice.

I have to take the VW today, I pray to the FSM that it has no problems in the cold. At least it's going to be balmy and in the twenties.

Sometimes I wonder if I should pretend to be politically zealous to help my career. There are some people who have a rabid following, just because they espouse everything to confirm the bias of those with a popular ideology. In reality, I see clouds from both sides, as the song goes, I can't help it. But if I really gamed the system... Sure, I'd hate myself, but I bet you it would work.

Anyway, enough Machiavellian thoughts, time to get ready for another glamorous day at the shit plant. Peace out.

TTFN
-Tony

Here is a grimy but cool looking (and cold) pit that I'm working in at the moment. When steampunk goes scuzzy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another Pleasant Valley Hump-Day

I used to get up early, and do the "morning pages" from a book called The Artist's Way. Basically, you were supposed to bleed your soul onto the paper for three pages, not giving a shit what you wrote. I have notebooks of them, somewhere, that should probably be burned. This doesn't count because it's for public consumption. So even though I'm writing about the time I _____, or the _____ I ____ed in the conservatory with the lead pipe, you'll just have to wonder what the details are.

I'm sick of the cold. I know I've been whining about this for months, but I really don't care. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of having all my energy sapped out of me. Side note: the shit-plant smelled particularly rotting-diaper-cheez-whiz-awful yesterday. If the air smells like rancid poop in 7 degree F weather, you know it's bad.

I had an interesting dream last week: I was in a car with some guy I don't know. We were in the back seat, and someone else was driving. He started singing "El Paso," and I harmonized with him (I took the high part.) We were doing really well, but after a bit I couldn't breathe anymore. I realized an avalanche was squishing the car. Then Yoda came with his light saber and cut us out. We never got to finish the song though, because he accidentally cut through the guy I was singing with. You'd think Yoda of all people would be better at doing stuff like that.

After making movies with friends, I have my own script idea floating around in my mind now. I'm just jotting down scenes as they come to me. Don't worry, I'm working on the next Debris of Shadows novel daily, but novels are lonely work. It would be fun to do something with friends in the meantime. It's hard, because in my mind, everything is big big big, and I have to think more conservatively with something that would require actual people, locations, etc. The most important thing to me is a good story, but first I need good characters to make the story happen. After that, everything falls into place - at least they do with prose. Production values are secondary to me if there is a good story. That's why I'll take "Genesis of the Daleks" or "The War Games" over "Kill the Moon" any day. (Or if you're not a Doctor Who fan, Dark Star over The Phantom Menace.)

Anyhoo, I guess I should put some clothes on now. May the Schwartz be with you all.

TTFN
-Tony

P.S.: For absolutely no reason, here is a picture of some AWG #14 wires peeking out of wire manager, looking like a closeup of cybernetic hairplugs. Enjoy.