Category Archives: Random

category

My Hobby Isn’t Worth a Single Life.

I was at the gym the other night and this notion popped into my head. I was on a cardio machine and the numerous TVs around the space were covering the recent shooting at a high school in CO. It was incredibly sad to watch, whether it was teens rallying around a wounded classmate, or the sad statement from the devastated parents of the shooter. How do you reconcile the grief of loosing your child, against the evil he committed against others? I can’t even begin to imagine their pain.

This was the thought as it popped into my head. I captured it on my iphone so I wouldn’t lose it.

“If someone said kindles were directly responsible for thousands of deaths a year. I’d smash it on the ground and go back to reading paper books. I wouldn’t shift blame.  I wouldn’t posture about how it was the authors that were responsible or the readers. I wouldn’t propose half measures like making kindles softer or capable of loading fewer books. I’d smash it and never look back and be thankful so many lives were spared.”

I know that’s an over simplification but in many ways it’s not. I know a lot of ‘gun collectors’ who rarely if ever hunt. Not that i think hunting is an acceptable use either, but I can respect it as an activity. And frankly collecting guns is the same as collecting anything and in my case, it’s books. My hobby isn’t worth a single life.
I know guns is a hot button topic, and honestly I’m not interested in debating it, because I’ve come to terms with the fact that there’s no negotiating on this matter. This is my opinion, everyone is welcome to theirs. By all means leave a comment, but if the discussion turns nasty, I’ll shut it down. I just wanted to share an insight I had.

Why I voted No on 66

For those who are quick to judge, it’s NOT because I’m anti education, or anti kids, or anything like that. In fact I’m very pro educated populace. I’ve seen idiocracy and if you haven’t you should. It’s one of those parody movies that hits a little close to home…

To me, Amendment 66 had a huge flaw that made it a ‘no’ vote for me. It took two things that are very separate issues and tried to shove them together. I don’t know why, I don’t know if any thought was given to it, but it took a tax increase to the tune of 950 Mil. That’s almost 1 Billion dollars, and lumped it in with reforms to the way money for schools is handled.

School reform is a big deal and long over due. I’m all for it. In my high school years I was really involved with how my school and district ran. I knew my way around the District Office, the school office etc. I saw the spending. I want our public education system to be completely gutted and started over. I think a District office should be 10 people in an office onsite at a school. I think a building with any marble in it is wrong. I think teachers should be paid like the rock stars they are. I think Bad teachers need to get the boot and tenure be done away with. Show me and the voting public a bill that does that, and I don’t think there’d be a no vote in the house.

All of that can be accomplished without more money. None of those things cost more to implement. I’d have voted a resounding yes on 66 if it had focused solely on reforming schools and education. The transparency and spending rules sounded like great starts. I have no idea why they had to be tied to a tax increase.

I’m also not opposed to spending more on education, what I am opposed to is throwing money at a borked system. To me amendment 66 would have been a home run if it focused on fixing (even in a smaller way to start) the education system. A tax increase would be easier to swallow if it came on the heels of “Look what we’ve been up to. We’ve cut spending here and here. We’ve implanted these rules that puts the money in the classroom.” etc. Instead of the standard refrain of “we just need more. Give us more money. Please, we need more. more more more.”

I really wish (maybe they did and I don’t know) there was a poll of voters who said no, asking “why?” I think the authors of the amendment had great intentions, i know it was a long time coming, but i think the execution was wrong. At least it was for me.

 

I’m Breaking up with JJ Abrams

Saw Star Trek last night. That was the last straw.

(Mild Spoiler alert, but really i think i’m the last person to see the movie, so…)

I had hoped JJ would get over the lens flare. I was wrong, dude really likes lens flare. Must be the most distracting place to work in the universe. I’ll stop bitching about my mac having a reflective screen now.

I had hoped he’d stay true to his word instead of playing carnival midway games. “It’s not Khan. It’s not. It’s John Harrison…” Only to not surprisingly at all reveal that no in fact it’s Khan. How original JJ. Khan in the second movie. Less original making a big production out of keeping it a ‘secret’. We’re lucky the ship didn’t turn out to be an island with a polar bear on it.

Knowing it was Khan (Yeah I never believed for a second it wasn’t) I was hoping it wouldn’t just be a hatchet job on the original time line Trek 2. But we got “The good of the many” and we got “KHAAAAAAAAAAAN” Makes me wonder how many “I AM your father” and “Scruffy nerf herder” we’ll get in the new Star Wars.

My biggest beef is nerdy though. Ok nerdier than the above. Is it that hard in movie making to manage a sense of scale? I know abramprise is bigger than the original time line, by a lot, but inside it’s like a damn tardis! The engine room, is a square mile (it seems from the running around that happens in it) of pipes and steam. Is the enterprise steam powered? No it’s actually powered by a strip of electricity going between two nodes… Uh. I guess we’re lucky there wasn’t water pipes in it like last time.

I’ll leave alone the enterprise underwater, and flying through the skies. I’ll leave alone communicators reaching from earth to Kronos.

But a launch bay off the side of the ship? That’s never been done or seen, yet when it’s time to leave in a confiscated ship, why use the main shuttle bay, even when the ship is parked next to the shuttle craft, when there’s some type of side launch bay, just the right size for that ship.

For a ship of peace having several dozen lateral torpedo tubes along the secondary hull was mighty convenient when it came time to launch a lot of torpedos at Kronos.

 

I went in knowing my trekkie side would be annoyed, and even armed with that expectation, was more annoyed than i thought I’d be. On the plus side, the dialogue wasn’t bad, the fight between Uhura and Spock with Kirk in the middle was classic. The action and fighting were great. For a “Summer Blockbuster” it at least was a good way to kill two hours and eat too much popcorn.

I guess I should be happy the solution wasn’t “Hit Khan in the face with a big red water balloon” I think if he makes any other Trek films (And honestly hope he doesn’t, let someone else ‘reboot’ the franchise, PLEASE) I’ll wait for them to come to Netflix.

The Present is finally here

IMG_0001

So… It arrived. It took a while, but it’s here.

And whether it was worth the wait or not, it’s here now, and it’s as awesome as I had hoped.

IMG_0003

Unboxing was quite nice, you can see that the packaging is nice and minimal.

The clock is wrapped in nice tissue paper and bubble wrap.

Once you get the clock out and drop a battery in it, it spends about 2 minutes calibrating and setting time, which is quite bad ass I have to say.

IMG_0005

Once set, it’s good to go. Put the clock on a wall and watch it go. The reason I backed The Present in the first place, was to see a visual representation of a year.

I’m definitely one of those people that finds themselves thinking “It’s already the middle of the month”, “It’s already the summer solstice?” etc.

Seeing a year fully represented in such beautiful detail, I hope, will help me keep the year in perspective as time flies past.

I wonder if Mark Millar watches movies?

I was catching up on my news feeds after traveling and came across this funny piece. Apparently Marvel Comics Consultant Mark Millar doesn’t think a Justice League Movie will work.

One reason, he argues “I actually think the big problem for them is the characters are just too out of date. The characters were created 75 years ago, even the newest major character was created 68 years ago, so they’re in a really weird time.

Captain America came out in 1941. While 75 year old characters are completely lame, out of touch, etc., it seems, 72 is the perfect age for relevance. I suppose Hawkeye might be a young character, but who the fuck likes hawkeye in the first place?

It’s as if he doesn’t bother watching movies made by DC (I can’t blame him, most suck, but still we know they’re out there. “Now the stuff I grew up with… I adored the DC stuff growing up but really, how do you do a movie about Green Lantern. His power is that he manifests green plasma from his imagination and uses them as weapons against someone? Even that in itself if you just imagine then watching a fight scene with a guy who’s like a hundred feet away making plasma manifestations fight someone – it’s not exactly raucous, getting up close and personal.

Well, we already had a GL movie, it sucked but that wasn’t a fault in the character of GL. What I really like is that a movie based on a character who makes mental projections ‘could never work’ yet X-Men with Professor X, the worlds most powerful telepath who in theory could reach into the bad guys minds and shut them down, and Jean Grey a powerful telepath and telekinetic, who could do the mind thing if she wanted or just fling people against walls. has had several movies made, with more to come. All more than a few minutes, and with plenty of raucous up close and personal fighting.

The Flash has door handles on the side of his mask and if he doesn’t wear that mask, I’ll be pissed off, you know what I mean? 

Captain America has wings on his head shaped almost identically to Flash’s door handles. Wait a minute, no in the movies those were turned into painted on decals on a helmet. Good for the goose, not the gander I guess.

He goes on to rip on Aquaman, rightfully so, sorry Author you’re pretty much a weak link, and I guess if Marvel pretends Namor doesn’t exist it’s fine. I wouldn’t want a Namor movie, but he has off and on, been an Avenger… so…. Glass houses  Mr. Millar.

Lastly “The actual logistics of each member of the Justice League is disastrous, and you put them all together and I think you get an excellent way of losing $200 million.

So

  • Batman (already hugely successful movie franchise, and having low to zero CGI requirements)
  • Superman (ok, not so great in the movies beyond the awesome Christopher Reeves, but really just Iron Man filming wise.)
  • Wonder Woman (Who’s been ignored wrongfully, but ignoring her flying powers of late wouldn’t be hard to do, compare her to Black Widow, but give her more strength)
  • Aquaman (just stay away from water and he’s basically hawkeye)
  • Flash (speed isn’t that hard to film. Probably no more than flight)

Could never work, too impractical. But,

  • Iron Man (we’ll compare him to batman as far as successful movies, and superman as far as on screen power)
  • Black Widow (not really hard to film, she has no powers or even weapons really. her stingers got used, what twice?)
  • Captain America (the first movie to me was lame, but he’s also pretty easy to film)
  • Thor (the first movie was… mmm meh, but not bad)
  • Hulk (he’s CGI. the previous movies from what I know are a bag of hurt)
  • Hawkeye (again easy to film, no powers)

work completely, why wouldn’t they? Duh.

So the two teams aren’t that dissimilar, yet somehow Millar thinks they’re completely un-filmable, unrealistic, etc.

I’ll grant you, the folks who make DC movies, botch the job more often than not. I don’t see DC giving someone like Joss Whedon the free reign he’d want. Though that said, we did end up with bat-nipples, so who knows. DC has a long road ahead to catch up to Marvel in the movies, but to dismiss the characters as silly or not filmable, makes me wonder if Millar read many comics as a kid or still does. The two companies universes are almost interchangeable as are the characters.

Ah well, i’m sure he’d get canned if he gave the competitor good marks.

Happy Election Day!

Did you vote?

If yes, good for you. If no, go do it right now. There’s no excuse for not exercising your rights as an American. Think the race is sewed up? Don’t fool yourself, as we’ve seen in the past, every vote counts.

Stop what you’re doing right now and find your polling place, there’s a lot of them, unless you live in the sticks I’m, sure there’s one near you.

Look at it this way if you don’t vote you have no right (zero, you’ll get punched in the face if you do) to complain about the outcome. You can’t cry on facebook. you can’t tweet about leaving the country or being upset so many Americans are so stupid. Non of it, you forfeit that right by not exercising the other. It’s that simple.

I don’t normally post twice about voting, but I can’t stress enough how important it is. America has made a lot of progress in the last few years, some of it hard fought, some of it painful, but all of it to make America a better place for EVERYONE. I’ve come to terms with the fact I won’t be in the 1% or the 10%, or shit, the 20% either probably. But I wouldn’t trade anything to be elsewhere.

Do we want to go back to a system where the rich get richer? Where civil liberties are pulled away from us? Where we’re told “don’t worry it’ll trickle down your way sooner or later” I don’t.

Do we want to go back to a system where two dudes or two women who love each other can’t get married? (ok technically we’re not there yet, but we’re closer than ever) Do we want to go back to a system where our military grows more and more despite not having a need to do so, while more and more working poor lose their homes?

Go vote. I’d love you to vote for progress, equality, and a nation were we’re all treated as equal no matter who we love or what we worship, but vote your conscience. Just VOTE.

Vote. It’s important.

I’ll be honest, i don’t care who you voted for. I care that voted. I posted this to facebook but wanted to post it here too. I decided to share how I voted this year.

I voted Obama (no surprise) and Democrat on the various seats and such.

I voted Yes on S. I can’t see any downside and if it makes our states hiring practices a little more modern I’m ok with that. Also I don’t oppose Vets getting more preference in hiring.

I voted YES on 64. I don’t smoke pot. I don’t care who does and much like cigarettes what you do in your house or car or not around me is your business. Plus more than anything. I want to tax the shit out of pot heads. I mean prohibition doesn’t work, taxing things does.

I voted NO on 65. I’m actually very in favor of what this initiative was trying to do, but from what I’ve read about it it’s too poorly written and doesn’t actually outline how things would be enforced, etc. I hate gray areas in legislation. I hope this can come back with a more thought out execution.

I voted YES on Question 2A. I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure about it, but from the wording on the ballot (I couldn’t find a website with pros/cons and lost my pamphlet) it sounds like it won’t cost anything, but gives wider controls on using existing monies. I’m ok with that.

I voted NO on 3A and 3B. Sorry parents and kids. I love schools I want American children to be the smartest ever but throwing more money and debt at broke models isn’t the solution. I could rant on this forever but I won’t. So i voted no.

Oh and I voted to retain all our judges. Judges are a hard one for me. I’ve never met them, they don’t campaign (often at least), and so I don’t know about them. I used this site to help.

How’d you vote? Share or don’t that’s your prerogative.