Archive for February, 2011


Alternatives to the Stock Market?

So with the previous stock market crash and the new prediction that we’ll have another one, where should a sane person invest their money? Serious answers only; gold is probably not a sane investment. Even if it was I want to hear other options.

5 Comments | Catergorized: thoughts


iPhone Camera Extras

Stuff for iPhone pics and video. Want.

Lenses. Fisheye and macro. Telephoto, please? Video and camera stabilizing system. OWLE Bubo. I can imagine the usefulness.

Fun stuff. Do want!

4 Comments | Catergorized: photos  technology


Old Man’s War Movie

Wow. It looks like they will make a movie of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. Pretty freaking cool. If you haven’t read it, I highly highly recommend it. It won’t be the same as the book, but Mr. Scalzi seems optimistic and so I’ll follow his lead.

1 Comment | Catergorized: books  movies


Like a Dream Come True

Ever since I moved to San Francisco I’ve been complaining about the drivers here. As a general rule California drivers are the worst I’ve experienced in America. If there’s a bend in the road or a hill, traffic slows to a crawl or simply stops. It if rains it crawls and is peppered by drivers who decide it’s time to swerve in and out of imaginary lanes for no reason other than they are behind the wheel of a one ton death machine. If it rains for at least a week things settle down until… It stops raining and people freak out all over again.

So the news that it just might snow here in San Francisco is like a dream come true for me. I’ve fantasized about the chaos it would bring. Those with SUVs will be the most fun to watch as they hit the gas when they should coast or brake when they should, really, just stay home bury their heads under their pillows and PRAY for a brain hemorrhage to save them from the scary world.

Hmmm… Harsh. How about this. If it really does snow in San Francisco then I will stay home and relax and watch a movie with the volume loud enough that I won’t hear the car wrecks and emergency vehicles. When I can I’ll head up to the roof and enjoy the snow because, thank goodness, no one’s invented a flying car. Yet.

Comments Off on Like a Dream Come True | Catergorized: grrr  life  thoughts


Dust of Dreams

I’ll be slow posting for a bit here. I’ve been getting the new up and running (still looking for contributors) and I just picked up the new Steven Erikson book Dust of Dreams, the second to last book of his brilliant Malazan stories. Weighing in at just under 1300 pages (paperback) it will take me a while to get through, and I know me and this series; I won’t be able to easily put it down once I start.

Meanwhile I was shocked to learn (and see!) that the steampunk genre was invented by the Czechs (Karel Zemen). Can I say avast?

Comments Off on Dust of Dreams | Catergorized: books  life



Well, I’ve officially relaunched the old site. Yes, I stunted and bought a “premium theme” but mostly because the design is very much what I wanted and The Theme Factory doesn’t mind us tinkerers modifying their themes. Speaking of which, I’m still not done tinkering and will be making various cosmetic changes over time to the site. Compare the new (link) to the old site (link); I’d like to either adapt some of the old color scheme or create something new.

BTW, if you were one of the contributors to the old and are still interested in posting, please contact me!

Along the lines of new sites, I’ll be launching a new site for Rosa and I to use in the near future, too. We figure we should get something going together. I’m not sure what that will mean for this site… And for once I’m not worried about it.

Comments Off on New | Catergorized: site


Blindsight – Peter Watts

Blindsight - Peter Watts
Blindsight – Peter Watts
I borrowed this book from my friend Redge,who highly recommended it. In a quick fashion, Blindsight is about a near future where we make first contact with some aliens that are truly alien in apparently every way except psychology. The plot deals with how we establish communication and how we deal with a truly alien existence. Existentially, however, the book is about (at least partly) the questions of sentience vs intelligence, and both of those vs evolution. Written as hard science fiction (at least that’s how it feels) it never-the-less has vampires. Yes, vampires in space! It makes no sense until you read about it in context, and even then it’s a bit confusing. Supposedly the vampires have superior mental agility because they are predators. This, of course assumes that predators are mentally superior and I doubt this is true… they just have different skills, and only in relation to the vampire’s very specific prey: humans.

Regardless, the book follows the main character, Siri Keeton. Siri is a man with half a brain. This has the side effect of making him an extremely good, dispassionate observer as he has to learn his environment as a system, and it makes him a good synthesizer of idea and concepts for others. This is his job on the mission of first contact, to observe the people involved, to observe the aliens, and to report back to Earth. For some reason the crew doesn’t necessarily like or trust him for this reason.

The book is, upon occasion, difficult to follow. Still, I loved it and appreciated the intellectual aspects more than the actual plot (Mr. Watts has a great appendix in the book and online). The book is freely available online in a couple formats. If nothing else go check out the great site Mr. Watts has put together for the book. I’m wondering what sort of rating system to use with these little min-reviews. I’d give it a 7/10, or a thumbs up.

1 Comment | Catergorized: books


Reagan’s Legacy

Even though Ronald Reagan’s birthday was two days ago he’s still pretty heavily covered in the online news I check out. What I find astonishing is that every conservative out there lauds him as practically a demi-god. Every single one of them tries to make comparisons to him and attempts to hearken back to his Presidency as if it were the most perfect Presidency ever.

It was not, and Reagan was just a man. A man with some very admirable traits, who did some good things, but who was not infallible. Remember the Iran-Contra Affair? Remember the first substantial increase in our national debt? Remember the single largest (at the time) tax increase in US history? Remember how Nancy Reagan consulted an astrologer and not the Bible to help set Reagan’s schedule? Read more here and here.

Despite all of his foibles, however, I still think kinda fondly of the old Gipper. I still tear up even thinking of his comforting words after the Shuttle Challenger disaster, and I remember clearly watching him and Gorbachev together and thinking, “OK, the world just might not end in nuclear annihilation.” He was the cusp of old-school, accountable Republicans and the new-school, proselytizing show boats we have today (there are always exceptions, but I’m generalizing).

The fact is, Reagan was just a man and not a myth. Men sometimes deserve the respect they earn, a place in history, and to have their legacy viewed realistically and in context. He doesn’t need or deserve the blind worship that conservatives and others give him. It’s sad that they would claim his legacy to start wars in the Middle East when he worked so hard for peace in this world (amongst a laundry list of things he would hate about Republicans of today).

RIP, Gipper; you gave me -at the time- great hope for the future. Cheers.

3 Comments | Catergorized: memories  political


Hollywood Income

Vanity Fair has published its list of top incomes in Hollywood for 2010. It’s always interesting to me to see these kinds of lists because I think to myself, “If I could go back in time I could probably outstrip these guys.” Of course that’s just ego talking, but seriously, some of these folks are still making millions from older projects that are still earning royalties or whatever? Millions!

Dear Readers, we’re in the wrong business. We need to get into the movies and take over. Seriously, some of these incomes aren’t even for made projects; they are for upcoming projects that may or may not even pan out.

What will it take? One film, cheaply made but well produced. It should have some gimmick that hasn’t been done to death yet. We’ll need time to take it around tons of film festivals and even if the movie sucks we can talk it up intellectually (with loads of BS) to get people to think we know what we’re doing. Then we sell it and get rich.

Easy as pie. Who wants to be a millionaire?

Comments Off on Hollywood Income | Catergorized: movies  thoughts  tv


Galaxy Quest Documentary

I love the movie Galaxy Quest, an extremely well made parody of space TV shows like Star Trek (particularly the original). Apparently Triage Entertainment (warning: irritating Flash) made a mockumentary about the movie that (might have been) shown on E! that has the characters talking about the fictitious TV series. Brilliant. Here it is in three parts: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

Does anyone know where to get a decent copy of the entire piece?

2 Comments | Catergorized: geek  movies
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