Category Archives: Thoughts

Swamp Ass Becomes Flash Flood Ass

Yeap, that is some bullshit. This is the magical temperature where your ass starts leaking all bodily fluids.

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More or Less

That is almost true, except I don’t play solitaire. I’m usually looking up random facts. This week it’s polar bears and their sneaking penguin snatching skills. Once I sate my wondering curiosity I just dive back into the swamp and go wordgator wrastlin…

I don’t really have a hard time going deep into a story and seeing it through, the first hard lesson learned when I started writing. However, if I don’t like what I’m writing I fall out of love with it pretty quick. At that point the relationship is pretty well over. Sometimes I find my story eating dove ice cream bars in the shower, crying to itself. I have more completed stories than abandoned…. To be fair completed is being generous, some could probably use so much rework that it would be a new story when I finished. I can concentrate on those stories later… *cough*

Some people have a really hard time concentrating. They instead of slinging words investigate the clutter in their desk or the contents of their belly button. While I won’t say I don’t clean my belly button when I write, the obscure mating habits of West African pygmy goats steal my focus if my focus is up for grabs, or things of that ilk.

I’ve been listening to audio books at work again, helps pass the time in between the chaos and quiet moments as we prepare for our biggest project yet. I would recommend checking out Larry Correia and basically any of his book series. The Grimnoir Chronicles are pretty good, but right now I’m into the Monster Hunter International series and it is jolly good fun, nice little nods to many mythos. If you like your luscas and shoggoths in one package, give it a go. I’m listening to the third installment of the series, Monster Hunter International Alpha, and I’m just a little over the half way mark and I have to say it is pretty good. I’d be hard pressed to say much without giving spoilers away, so just take my recommendation and run to the store with it. I wouldn’t lie to you, I promise.

Quest: What are your distractions?

That is all for now.

Cheers.

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Google Augmented Reality Glasses

Have you seen these? This is insane! These glasses are both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

Check them out for yourself.

I wonder if his loft has a map…

The streamlining of random questions/tasks one will have instant visual aid in answering/solving will be really, really neat. However this really kicks the end of privacy argument up a few notches.

Imagine it.

“Where is John?”

….locating John…..

John’s current location is his apartment bathroom.

“John, Taco Bell and Jameson shots don’t mix.”

Which John remembers to take off his glasses and feels like he can’t go to the bathroom without the world intruding.

To put my point in more context, I have a Blackberry that I rarely use except for texting. It is almost three years old and was built for the Edge network. Maybe it is my anti-social curmudgeonly outlook on life, but I don’t want to be that connected. Having information that readily available would be nice but at the same time it might be too much.

Then again the ease in which knowledge is placed at ones eyelids has the vast potential for awesome. Hands off, borderline instantaneous information could be so amazingly useful I can barely wrap my head around the applications.

Mark my words, the next step will be implants.

 

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Some People Don’t Get Game of Thrones

New York Times wrote another piece sweepingly snubbing Game of Thrones. Last time it was called “boy-fiction” and raised an uproar from the legion of fans – most of which were of the lady variety. This time it is more informed and articulate, but ultimately misses something important. I think this oversight is generally what lies beneath the sweaty keyboard pounding when fans take to defending their interests.

After I read the article I wrote a long blog that basically amounted to “YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT I LIKE, YOU’RE A DOO-DOO HEAD!”, but when I hovered over the Publish button I recanted. I think there is something going on that is larger than what I think critics and the arbiters of taste realize; it is something as old and old itself. Perhaps I am late to the party on this, but I just realized it.

There is a shift going on in societies’ taste, genre is becoming accepted and mainstream. The old and stodgy snubbing of the fantastic is becoming dated, like a geriatric wildebeest falling behind the rest of the pack, waiting to be picked off by a hungry lion. If GoT did indeed only appeal to the small D & D audience and the fans of the books, I don’t think it would have been as successful as it is.

If we look at the top twenty highest grossing movies of all time, excluding “Titanic” and “The Passion of the Christ”, the other movies are steeped in fantasy and science fiction. If we go back in time and adjust for inflation we see less movies with strong fantastic elements dominating the top twenty. So what has changed? I can’t help but notice a trend between the super hero movies and the revamping of classic fairy tales.

I think as time progresses we will see fewer reviews of this nature; dismissing and brushing off shows/movies based on heritage of appeal and unconventional means of story telling. I understand that it is easier to dismiss something out of hand because of unfamiliarity, say that it should get with the program because this is how these things work, but everything changes and sometimes . I’m predicting in a couple of years people will look back on Game of Thrones and remark on how different and ground breaking it was, and the people raising that banner will be the same people who scoffed at it.

Despite having a lot names to follow and killing off the “main character”, there is still a sense of something. It feels big, nasty and oddly cold. This sense of wonder is what I think drives at the heart of the show, and ultimately drives the audience. We love a good underdog story, we love when good conquers all, but perhaps we want to see the more visceral side of humanity. Maybe we want to know how much hell a character went through so when they finally find heaven we can equally share in their moment. Whether or not GoT will deliver that feeling, book or show, is yet to be determined but for now the ride is entertaining. Until the conclusion of this epic story, I can’t forget that winter is coming.

 

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Being Manly

So while I have been sick my fiancée has been ridiculing me nonstop, basically saying i’m a huge baby. Apparently I whine and ask for unreasonable things. I, of course, say other wise. I think asking for cold ice water and not to have to run a million errands while i’m sick is reasonable, but thankfully there is somebody in my life to tell me I am wrong.

The first night that my flu/strep throat/sinus infection c-c-c-c-combo breaker set in I was laying in bed coughing parts of my insides out. I was talking to her about the things going on with my body and I casually mentioned that I am worried I might be getting pneumonia, mostly due to how hard it was for me to breathe and the fact that a few people in the office are out with it. That was me being a huge baby and extreme, there was no possible way I was that sick. While I think this is all in good jest, some part of my male pride was severely offended and I started to roll over the manly things that I have done in my life.

So here is part of the list.

  • helped build a house.
  • hunted an animal, cooked it at a campfire, and brought the pelt/antlers back as evidence.
  • been shot
  • broken bones fighting
  • been electrocuted
  • mastered the art of a firm handshake
  • passed kidney stones
  • put chili on my ice cream

I have done a little research about the things that entail general manliness and have come to the conclusion there are other things I can do that will implicitly enforce my masculinity and never bring it into question next time I am sick.


1) Shave my face with something only men in the remotest regions of Russia use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Imitate and uphold the holy trinity of manliness; Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Steve McQueen

3) Get a prostate exam and never complain, cry, or twitch

4) Become a lumberjack

5) Wrestle bears like Teddy Roosevelt

 


6) Be Zakk Wylde – seriously Ozzy Osborne told this guy to tone down the drinking, think about that

7) Grow a handle bar moustache

8) Toss kegs really far

9) Put more spice on my ice cream

10) Help elderly women more

 

Runner up was being able to play a sweet drum solo. I just wanted to keep it at 10 things. Wasn’t too sure about this guy, he either is insanely manly or a few sandwiches short of a picnic. He puts on a bulletproof vest then shoots himself in the chest to see how well it works.

 

 

How about you, do you have anything manly to add to the list?

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Must & Cannot

I’ve been reading Writing to Sell and I have learned a few things. The lesson that I found to be the most telling is a simple plot skeleton that revolves around two basic elements; must and cannot. The lack of one or both of these can really hinder your story.

Scott Meredith says one of the most basic mistakes every new writer makes when trying to write a salable manuscript is forgetting the basic driving force behind every story. This would be the problem that the lead character MUST deal with, something extremely urgent and pressing. This would be something in the ballpark of a bad guy taking a character’s family and holding them for ransom or internal like an alcoholic overcoming his addiction before his wife leaves with the kids. Scott says this necessary for making the reader worry about your character’s outcome, helping them invest into your book. If the MUST is mundane or easily solvable, it won’t really capture an audience and a publisher won’t buy it.

The other element is CANNOT. This is the part of the problem where it seems as if the character CANNOT solve the problem. Going along with the earlier examples; the character can’t pay the ransom because he just lost his house and all his possessions to a tornado, and the alcoholic is having problems pushing through his addiction because he just lost his job and found out his son has a terminal illness. This is where the assault on the character prevents them from accomplishing their goals, starting from minor complications and cranking it up to where it just seems like we are in a moment of darkness.

Don’t go over board though, if you create an unsolvable problem just to make some ridiculous solution, you lose the reader. If you don’t have a logical solution or don’t explore and exhaust possible alternatives to your problem, you will lose the reader. Like the man lost his house and possessions but still owns a BMW, of which he won’t sell to get his family back. You will lose the reader, so be logical about your problems and solutions.

I posted about this because after I read the five chapters on plot skeletons, I went through some of my stories and wasn’t totally surprised at what I found. The early stories I wrote definitely lack a solid must and cannot, which Mr. Meredith simply calls incidents. What I mean by early are the stories that I haven’t edited very much. The stories I have edited heavily (including my manuscript) have these elements in them which sort of amazed me. I wonder if the countless editing and revising until I felt it was rounded is what did it, or I just stumbled into it.

I’ve been writing for a while now, more or less just taking the chaos from my head and putting it words, learning empirically as I go about what works and what doesn’t. I have some stories that I am damn proud of and others that smell really, really bad. I have posted some of both, which I suppose I should be embarrassed about the stinkers but I want to learn and sometimes the best avenue is through the blog.

Now that I am making submissions to agencies and magazines I really want to see growth in my writing and do what I need to do to make my work salable. I know to write, is to write is to write, but while I’m writing I am examining the work through the eyes of a professional. There are tons of information and books out there and it is hard knowing what is valuable and what isn’t, but you don’t know unless you try.

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My Rage Comic

Got bored, decided to make a rage comic. Actually I’ve made a few now, but I will show you this one.

You can make your very own over at the Rage Comic Builder

 

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Colbert 2012

So if you haven’t heard, Stephen Colbert is running for president in South Carolina, you know his home state. He tried a few years ago and was removed by the South Carolina Democratic Party executive council. So like any good little Southerner, he won’t be told what to do. Colbert is going to take on the system, with the system.

His super-PAC, which in no way communicates with him, is running a series of ads in South Carolina by owner John Stewart that offers some very funny rifts on our already troubled and out of touch Republican candidates while actually making some valid points.

Here is one about Mitt Romney.

Basically in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 (1886), the Supreme Court recognized corporations for the purpose utilizing the Fourteenth Amendment which gives a wide definition of what citizenship is, gives Due Process to all of a state’s citizens, and Equal Protection under a state to all of its citizens.

Now, with those rights it gives some basic freedoms to Corporations to help protect themselves (like you and I have) and simplify tax laws. That is all fine and dandy.

Where the problem begins is that is also allows Corporations to make donations to political parties.

Take that and couple it with the ruling of United Citizens v. Federal Election Committee in 2010, basically saying that money equals free speech. Corporations and Unions don’t have a limit on independent spending in politics.

Ask yourself a question, what is it that politicians live and die for?

The answer is being elected.

The second a Senator gets elected, he immediately starts to figure out how he can be re-elected. He isn’t alone in this, all politicians have this gene. politicians love getting elected almost as much as anybody else in the world loves money.

So, how does this happen? Well he/she raises money to travel around and tell people how awesome he/she is. The more he/she advertises explains his/her greatness, the more likely people will vote. (generally). Traveling around, making posters, paying people to organize things, creating TV ads, making websites, and all that costs money. In fact it costs a lot of money. Where does it come from?

Say, how likely are you to donate to a politician? Well corporations donate a lot of money to politicians, they lobby them to make decisions in their favor. Politician gets money to get elected, the corporation gets backing for something they want/need. I’m oversimplifying that process a little, but that is basically how it works.

Everybody wins, except the American people, and democracy insures that we will only be governed as well as we deserve.

Lobbying itself isn’t inherently evil, the donating money to the politicians is what hurts everybody. The law process in our country starts to shift (and has in some areas) a tug of war game between big corporations where the American people are caught in the middle.

COUGH – SOPA- COUGH. Media v Tech.

So cue the current Colbert super-PAC ad. Romney said that corporations are people. Romney also used to dismantle business and sell what he could. So if corporations are people, and Romney dismantled business and sold what he could….. he is then a serial killer?

If Corporations are people, why hasn’t one ever been executed and why when a corporation is brought to court is it not judged by other corporations?

It’s a joke of course, but he raises a good point. Which is basically in a nut shell what Colbert is trying to do in the big picture. He is not actually trying to run for President of the United States, he is just trying to show the idiocy that is our current system.

It amuses me when news channels blast Colbert for missing his deadline to register for the ballot, like he didn’t know that? Him and his army of writers and political aficionados aren’t likely to look over that detail, just saying.

Now before you dismiss what he is doing as nonsense, tomfoolery, and/or mockery of our voting system, I urge you to look at a few things.

  • He explained in layman what a super-PAC is, how it works, and what is used for.
  • He is showing that as long as you have money, you have all the free speech you want.
  • He is showing just how shady and squirrely the laws have become for our elected officials.
  • He is proving how synonymous politician and entertainer have become during election time.

Elections are less and less about actual policy and law and more about entertaining the people with non-sense and things a President has no control over rather than addressing difficult issues.

Whether you agree or not with a person’s decision, is it the place of the government to tell somebody who they can and can’t marry? I guess it isn’t that surprising considering it wasn’t that long ago various groups of our nation didn’t have rights, we seem to still be stuck in some backwards mentality.

See I probably just hit a button. Now watch when a politician is being asked a question that is best left unanswered, watch how quickly they jump to a social hot button and avoid tough questions. No single party is innocent of this tactic either, oh no. In fact there are no innocent parties in politics. Everybody is guilty of something. I just happen to believe that right now the conservative side is showing just how weak it is.

No, I didn’t vote for Obama. But I will with the crowd we have now. We have Newt complaining about how Romney came into money by the very laws that Newt helped pass. We have people not voting for Romney even though he is the poster child for fiscal conservatives. We have people who think Freedom of Religion means every religion but Judeo-Christian. We have another guy who, although he is honest and sticks to his guns – I really, really do admire that, is kind of crazy. Then again maybe we need crazy?

Anyway, just because I don’t agree with the conservative doesn’t make me a liberal. In fact I’m a moderate. I believe we need balance between states and federal government and I believe Republican and Democrats have valid points on some issues and believe they are idiots on others.

This “my party or the enemy” mentality needs to go, the my way or the highway approach isn’t working. We need better discussion and open dialog. I think that Colbert/Stewart are the only ones trying to level the field, trying to bring things around from out of touch politicians stuck in their ways and expose the loop-holes in our system.

If you comment, be nice.

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Randy Savage + Dragon = Awesome, Skyrim in Real Life, and Unicorn Poop.

Do you play Skyrim? There is a mod that takes the game’s perfect ten and ever so calmly cranks it up to 11.

Somebody took the  dragon god and replaced his scaly toothy face for Randy “Macho Man” Savage’s glorious face. Just when you thought the phrase ‘Oh yea!’ couldn’t get even more deadly.

You’re welcome.

 

Also check out Skyrim in real life.

 

 

Ever wanted to eat a cookie modeled after unicorn poop? Watch this video and check out the recipe here.

 

 

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Healthcare

**BEGIN RANT**

For those who don’t know, I have sleeping problems that surround an overactive brain and narrow breathing passages which gives me extreme fatigue and general extra assholery for an attitude. In short, unless I am using a sleep machine I never get the sleep that a regular fully functioning person gets. Up until a year ago I didn’t even know I had this problem so when I found out it was the eye opener. I thought everybody was as tired as I was, I never knew any different. So it really sent me for a loop to realize something I had accepted as the norm was bad. especially when I was told that if I didn’t do something about it, by the time I’m 70ish I will have lost most of my coherent mind. Actually pretty scary to me because I view my single most defining characteristic to be my mind, whether it actually is will be an entirely different discussion. Not to be thwarted and be a debbie downer, as long as I do what I need to do I will be okay.

Now you are up to speed.

Went to my doctor and after almost a year of using the machine, I’m still not where I need to be. I need to take medicine. I’m not overly excited about being dependent on a pill to function, but I will do what I have to do in order to be better. I get the prescription and zip on over to my neighborhood Walgreens where I am then told my insurance doesn’t cover it. Then I made the horrible mistake of asking how much would it cost out-of-pocket out right. The answer will give me nightmares for years to come. It will be 5k a month to take the medicine I need to be a normal functioning person.

Ouch.

I can’t do that.

My alternatives are taking a less effective medication that has around a 10% success rate or amphetamines with a high rate of success and addiction with a large chance my insurance also won’t cover it.

I know I know, people have way worse issues than what I am going through. I shouldn’t complain, I really shouldn’t. My step dad is going through kidney dialysis and that is about 10000000000000 times worse than my ordeal. It just blows my mind how convoluted the system has become.

We have businesses treating healthcare like a piggy bank, inflating middlemen to increase profits and bogging progress down with so much bureaucratic nonsense that if the public was actually aware of the goings on of the industry there would be riots tomorrow. My doctor told me that for most HMOs, the owning business for most medical companies takes 20% of my pay before I even park my ass in the chair at the doctor’s room. Now I cannot confirm the accuracy of his statement, I don’t have access that sort of information but I think it does warrant a moment’s pause and thought.

Lets just follow the money. This is my understanding of how it works. I’m sure parts are wrong so feel free to correct me on them.

You pay an insurance company X amount of money in case something happens to you or you need some sort of medical assistance (pills, tests, whatever) and they spread the cost across you and the other group members. Believe it or not, that is socialism – but that isn’t on point. It is a business so they want you to pay as much as possible with them paying as little as possible. So insert rules to protect their money like limiting the extent of treatment or medicine you can have depending on circumstances like pre-existing conditions and if there is any chance at alternatives. But remember, at some point insurance has to do something else the government gets really upset.

You go to the doctor and charges you a price set on many factors; his expertise, years in practice, size of practice, relationship with medical companies and/or insurance companies, malpractice insurance, general overhead and labor for his staff, etc. Sometimes though, if the doctor (or hospital) realizes that you have very good insurance, they might bolster your treatments to get that little extra money out of your insurance company.

The more money that gets pulled out of the insurance company, the less for profit, which means the more you will have to pay to make up the difference from some other person’s medical needs. After all businesses exist to make money.

Some medical problems are sooooo damned expensive because the treatment is soooo damned hard to do or specialized that insurance companies say no, which kind of goes hand in hand with pre-existing conditions. This isn’t really a problem anymore with the new health care bills, the FY has just been spread out a little more.

Step in the Government. They tell everybody how to do everything. Some of the regulation helps protect you as a consumer/business, some of it hurts you as a consumer/business. Really depends on where you stand in the equation. The game of any politician is to run for office, get elected, and stay in office as long as possible. So sometimes governments threaten or pass deals that might hurt businesses, so we begin some lobbying to contribute to the campaigning of the politician. Now that politician might care somewhere deep inside about your healthcare, but ultimately they only care more about staying in office. You aren’t giving them funds for campaigning, so you don’t really get the say in how their deals go do. Remember, corporations are people, and the supreme court decided that money equals speech, so business that throw the most money at politicians have the loudest voice. I seriously doubt major corporations sit around and think about what they can do to help out the average worker, I’m betting board meetings surround the concept of maximizing profits – at least that is what experience has taught me.

But lets say that the government sneaks a beneficial bill in and it gets passed. Think about that.

The more the government tells people to do things. The more work people have to do the more money it costs,cause time = money. This works across the board but mostly for the businesses. Like telling pharmaceutical companies they cannot use bleach to kill AIDS. Although bleach kills AIDS, it also kills you in the process.

Drug companies also get to patent their work. After years and years or research and the risk of getting their pants sued off of them because a side effect includes monkeys flying out of your ass to cure depression, these companies can patent a drug for 10 to 17 years depending on when the drug hit the market. That means they can charge a price they set for the drug, and because no other company is allowed to use the formula they have no direct competition – usually….

So when you run to the store to get a drug that you need to be a normal functioning citizen, you can get slapped by the insurance company saying no go cheaper or pay the 5k out of your pocket.

The insurance can tell you no on things specifically if there is even remotely a chance that something might work, percentage of 1 is included.

**END RANT**

I am just frustrated and needed to vent. I do feel better.

BTW if you quote any of that for any sort of truth without checking the facts, I question your intelligence whether I’m right about it or not. I don’t claim to know or understand the entire system, this is just what I have been able to pick up on and read about.

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