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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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Riveting!

"The most exciting book I ever read!" -Tony LaRocca Sr.

I'm starting to bitterly hate the winter, cold, Mr. Cold Miser, Elsa, Al Gore, whoever is to blame for all this. I'll have to take the diesel Jetta into work on Thursday, and I fear The Deadly Fuel Gelling. One more thing to worry about.

In the original The Love Bug, some old Chinese guy says, "Hurry is waste. Waste is a cracked bowl which never know Rice." Sometimes, a little voice in my head repeats that, but changes hurry to worry. There is also often a Yoda in my head, who jabs me with a stick, and yells "Never his mind on where he was- hmm? What he was doing!" I suppose as far as voices go, those are harmless.

Anyway, I suppose I'd better put some pants on. Bye for now, keep your teeth clean.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Camera! Lights! Something!

Had a fun time this weekend, filming Case at Midnight.


The last time I was in this courtroom, I was the bailiff in The Bible Belt Slasher Pt. II, and now I'm the D.A. What can I say, I'm moving up in the world. (With Julia Grace as the prosecutor, and Heather waiting sinisterly in the background...)


With writer/actor Bradley Creanzo, and my favorite Femme Fatale, Taylor Raftree (who gets the long-sought honor of murderlating me.)

I'm sure it will take a while before this is available, so I'll keep everyone posted.  In the meantime, straighten up, and fly right, kids! ;)

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, February 20, 2015

I think I'll go for a walk outside now, the summer sun's calling my name...

It's a testicles-in-your-chest morning here at the beautiful Jamaica shit-plant. Stay frosty!

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, February 06, 2015

But Is It Art?

To park or not to park, that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to fill up the far spaces first, so that everyone coming up the driveway can easily park behind you, or to park like a complete jackass diagonally across the lot entrance, so everyone has to slalom their cars and trucks around you in the ice and snow, every goddamn morning, you stupid f#@k.

TTFN
-Tony