A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dear Advertisers,

Dear Advertisers,

I do like pizza, but your pizza will not make my family love me more.

Buying your SUV is not the smartest decision that I can make.

I do not need to purchase the newest flavor of cell phone, once every three months.

I will not buy into this years newest clothing fashion, because I don't need it in order to have friends.

Purchasing jewelry for my wife is not the only way to tell her that I love her.

I indignantly retain the right to spend cash in stores, and I vociferously reject your notion that the only way to function in today's high-speed consumer driven market is with your credit card.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy my small part in our economy. I don't mind buying the things that I need or want, but I get so sick of the ridiculous lengths that advertisers go through to convince us how our life is not complete until we own one, or maybe two, of their product. Let me be the judge of what I do and do not need.

I think the Dave Ramsey kick has given a different tint to my glasses. This Christmas I'm strongly motivated to ask the family and friends that might be purchasing gifts for me, to instead donate that money to their favorite charitable organization. The food bank, the humane society, children's hospitals, all places that are much more deserving of some cash than OldNavyBestBuyWalMartFordGMC. I've been motivated to give small donations frequently this year, made easier by our grocery store, Schnucks, which has instant Food Bank donation certificates right at the register. So we give a dollar or two, every time we go grocery shopping. Krissi and I don't hurt for anything. Sure, I'd like a new computer, Krissi could do with another pair of shoes and some new clothes, there are always more movies or games that I could get.. but we have food, shelter, and a pretty comfortable life. For some reason this year, the thought of tearing the wrapping paper off of a bunch of stuff that is shiny or cool or fun, while kids are going hungry, even right here in the good ole US of A, turns my stomach just a little. I think too, that I'm feeling a little rebellious toward rampant open-mouth consumerism.

I'm just glad that I don't have kids yet. The advertising machine that targets the 0-14 demographic is frightening. [1] [2] [3]

So, in closing, Happy Thanksgiving, and be safe out there, doing your holiday shopping.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No Country for Old Men

Saw it. I give it 9 out of 10 stars. I liked it alot. Enjoyed the characters. Loved the bad guy. I enjoy the dialogue (funny, the vestigial "ue" on the end of dialogue), the sometimes seeming randomness, and the tension of this movie. It makes me want to watch Fargo and the Big Lebowski.

Stupid D&D monsters

This has made the rounds, you've probably seen it. In case you haven't, and also, for me, for when I go hunting around for his in a year to read for giggles.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Attention: Ramble

First a list, then, I ramble.

1. Work, viruses.
2. Assassins Creed
3. Internet brownout
4. Flying Spaghetti Monster
5. 30 days progress
6. No Country for Old Men
7. Iraq
8. Game thoughts

Work has been Cr-aaaaaaaaaaaazy! An important workstation got hit with a malware/virus, and has been almost a paperweight since. Our antivirus solution has been less than ideal - it alerted us to it, but didn't really fix it. Not the whole thing anyway. It hasn't blown up, we've stopped the spread, and quarantined it to that machine, but we need that machine to be working again, and I've been working on it for basically a week.

Assassins Creed rocks. Very fun. Can't wait for GTA IV. ;)

Internet Brownout

Flying Spaghetti Monster rocks. Its old news, and most everyone I know has already heard of it, but it makes me giggle a little, while at the same time, eager to discuss it with a Young Earth Creationist.

30 days goes well. I missed my rum and coke a little, one or two nights this week/last week, after long days at work. Running goes well, though its super dark out by the time I manage to run. I'm glad it is still kinda warm around here.

SO EXCITED about No Country for Old Men. I'll be seeing it this week or this weekend. Maybe it'll be a thanksgiving day activity.

Iraq stops letting wild-west cowboys run around in their country and shoot everything that moves without facing any consequences. Briefly though, as well, I cannot begin to fully empathize with the soldiers and leaders over there. What a rock and a hard place. Suicide bombers, roadside bombs, insurgency. I don't envy their difficult job a bit.

As always, my mind continues to turn over ideas about gaming and such. I've obsessed for awhile over a mafia game. I still am. Star Wars Saga Edition! Its kindof a d20/D&D 3.75, a prelude to the 4th edition. I like the changes its made, and when I pulled it out to peruse the system changes, I suddenly found myself interested in running a Star Wars game. And I'm not even a real Star Wars geek! Also - post apocalyptic d20, complete with radioactive mutants, ammo shortage, high speed road rage gunfights, dead cities and hidden vaults. Also also - I do not know why, but a D&D world crafted to mirror our world in some strange ways occurred to me. Races as an easy crutch/stereotype for cultures - humans get north and south america, dwarves get europe, halflings get africa, orcs get the orient, elves, umm.. the middle east? Split it all up into a bunch of medieval nations and states that constantly fight amongst each other, where- like in the real world, there is very little "evil", and a whole lot of opposing perspectives. I dunno why it occurred to me, but its still kicking around in my head.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Week: Redux

Okay, so I posted earlier this week about what was going on with me. Y'know, just stuff. I will now update that information.

Tuesday evening we had a virus outbreak on our network. Not severe, I would call it mild actually, but any outbreak is stuff to worry over. I was to be off on Wednesday to head to Nashville to see Regina Spektor.. planned to sleep in a little in the morning and then get on the road with Krissi and Maddie, but instead my phone started ringing at 6:45AM with various problems from work, some related to the previous evening's virus outbreak, and others not. So I worked from my kitchen table on my laptop until about 10:30, when we finally got headed in the general direction of Nashville. Still, I had to do some handholding of folks back at the office via telephone, to make sure everything was under control. Halfway to Nashville, a monsoon struck. It rained cats and dogs and other small and medium sized mammals for two solid hours as we drove. Finally made it safely, goofed around at Oprey Mills mall, and headed to the Regina venue. Got there, got into the place, got seated, sat there for 30 or 45 minutes. In front of us just so happened to be Theology&Geometry, who we'd briefly met at the Zombie Walk in Memphis earlier this year. Also in front of us were a group of bohemian/hip college-age kids who were seemingly shooting a porn video. I jest, but I haven't seen that much groping and tongue kissing since, Kids maybe... So we sat there, and finally a guy comes on stage, and begins with "I have some bad news..." and I figure "oh great, the intro guy is a jokester", but no, he tells us that during sound check, Regina collapsed, and was taken to the hospital. That she's "okay", but the doctor said she cannot perform. Then I noticed that there were like two dozen cops deployed around the place. Guess they figured the bohemian crowd might riot. People were mighty disappointed, but folks got up and left, as did we. Let me pessimistically say that I hope that Regina was not just boozed up and hung over, and that there was a genuine problem that she is now recovering from, and will be fine. They're rescheduling for Dec. 6, but Krissi has a play that evening and can't go, and Maddie isn't sure if she wants to drive to Nashville again, and frankly, I'm not positive that I want to drive to Nashville again. We'll see. So we drove back, got home around 1, I played a few minutes of Assassins Creed (which seems awesome), and went to bed. At least it didn't rain on the way back.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Release date

Dear Parties Which Shall Remain Nameless,

I have been keeping up with the "Release Date" for Assassin's Creed. It is 11/13/07. I've been super excited about this, and even pre-ordered the game from you. I checked your website on 11/12, and it said "Ship Date: 11/13/07". Concerned that I would have to wait a whole 'nother day to play the game, I called your store, and asked "Can I pick up my preordered copy of Assassin's Creed on Tuesday the 13th?", "Yes", I was told.

So it came as a surprise to me when I called the store today, wondering if the shipment had come in, and I was informed that it would not be available until tomorrow, on Wednesday.

I am deeply disappointed.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tagging mp3s

I am so spoiled to Picasa. Thank you, Google.

I spent a bunch of time organizing all of the photos on my hard drive. Tagging everything by year, people/animals/places in it, and occasion, where applicable. So now I can search for all photos containing Jeremy and Krissi in 2006, or all photos that contain Jason and John, but not Jeremy, or Christmas photos from any year. It rocks.

So.. why can't I do the same with my mp3s? I've got a ton of music, and, yes, I'm aware that I can make playlists. But I dont want to make playlists. I want to sit down and type in "industrial hard metal -metallica" and get anything that I've tagged as industrial or hard or metal, but that is not metallica, for example. Tags rule. And if iTunes can't/won't do it, I may have to take my music listening elsewhere. As I think more about it, the perfect solution would be something that I could tell it to do some autotagging, year, album name, artist name, song name, and then I could tag from there.

Oh look! An update!

Roundup as follows:

Running/exercising/eating/not boozing it up is going well. I hate running in the cold though.

Watched Unforgiven again. Man I love that movie. Easily in my list of Top 10 or so movies. What do I love about it you ask? Well I'll tell you. I love the way that it sets up the old, reformed, washed up killer. I love the way death and dying are brutal and grim affairs. No easy kills, and lots of consequences. Killing is not glamorous or glorious, and is a shameful, dirty affair. I love the kid who claims to be what he's not, wishing that he were like the hardened killers. I love how the hardened killers aren't so hardened. I love how Eastwood's character "puts on his sunglasses" (reference: "putting on one's sunglasses" is an immediately prelude to Kicking Serious Ass, thanks to Blade and The Matrix and such), after the death of his friend. And I love the grimness of his revenge. I love some of the lines from the movie, which I will now share with you:

Little Bill Daggett: Well, sir, you are a cowardly son of a bitch! You just shot an unarmed man!
Will Munny: Well, he should have armed himself if he's going to decorate his saloon with my friend.

Little Bill Daggett: You'd be William Munny out of Missouri. Killer of women and children.
Will Munny: That's right. I've killed women and children. I've killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned.

Will Munny: It's a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have.
The Schofield Kid: Yeah, well, I guess he had it coming.
Will Munny: We all got it coming, kid.

Little Bill Daggett: I don't deserve this... to die like this. I was building a house.
Will Munny: Deserve's got nothin' to do with it.
Little Bill Daggett: I'll see you in hell, William Munny.
Will Munny: Yeah.

I very much wanted to watch No Country For Old Men this weekend, and apparently it started showing on the 9th, but its not playing at a single theater in Memphis/Southaven. What gives? So I'll have to wait a weekend or two to see it, it seems.

Assassins Creed.

Regina Spektor in concert in Nashville this coming Wednesday. Woohoo!

Made yummy chicken noodle soup from scratch last night.

The werewolf game this past weekend? Sucked. Will try again next week.

Paintball scheduled for this coming weekend. WOO!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

30 Days

My body reminds me that I am not 20 anymore. If I don't make effort to exercise and stay in shape, I do not stay in shape. Its an on again, off again thing for me. I do really good for awhile, then slack off for awhile.

Starting today, I will do the following, for 30 days:

Run at least every other day.

Exercise daily - situps, chinups, pushups, 20 pound weights.

Eat sensibly.

No alcohol.

30 Days.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What's wrong with this place?

We live in a society of fear and suspicion. Is it 1984 yet?

Mention of Scientology always agitates me. Their tax exempt status, and government lobbying makes grimace with impotent fury. And now they're branching out:

Who says that politics isn't always about money? They're wrong. And stupid. National politics in the US is a game of "who is richer?" /rant. Colbert is doing a real/mock/???? campaign for president. You may disagree, but I think it would be tremendous for a guy like Colbert to be prez. Anyway, apparently it costs $35,000 to be a candidate on the GOP ticket. I'm not sure if that's just in South Carolina, or if that's a National thing. Either way: