Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Most are at the very least amusing, and some had me cracking up. Except the "Trouser Witch" one (done as a Blair Witch parody, and exceptionally un-funny). My favorites are "What a waist", "They work", "Kilt Faerie", "Kilt Check", and "Good girls".
Most of the mockumercials center around women's fascination with and attraction to kilt-wearing men...which is truer than you pants-wearing pansies might think.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Every time I went to the underground garage level, it was there. Every day, same spot, same lock. For a long time, I was uncertain whether it was being ridden into work every day and parked in the same spot, or if it had just been abandoned. As the years wore on and most of the staff around here changed, I became more certain that the bike had just been abandoned. After over six years, there it was, in the same spot, with the same lock. The one constant in the ever-flowing change that is our office.
Today I went down to the underground level to walk over to the building with the cafeteria, taking the underground route to dodge the rain and cold.
The bike was gone.
I don't know why, but it made me feel strange. The one thing that's been the same since we came to this brand new sparkling campus six years ago just up and disappeared.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The 2007 Dead Pool is just about up, and Charley and Cynthia, who created a joint list, are huge favorites to win. Predicting the deaths of both Anna Nicole Smith and Tammy Faye Messner (nee Baker) put them into the lead.
Given that it's mid-December, it is time for me to give fair warning to all those who play, and any who would like to join in the game this year, that it's time to get your 2008 list going. Just send me 25 celebrity names by December 31, and you have the chance to take the coveted title of Harbinger of Death for 2008. If you are an existing player and just want your list to ride, or just want to put new names in place of those who died, just let me know.
For those who haven't played, the rules:
1. Scoring: If a celebrity on your list dies between midnight Pacific Time January 1, 2008 and 11:59pm Pacific Time December 31, 2008, you get a number of points equal to 100 minus the celebrity's age.
2. Qualification: Honestly, the definition of "celebrity" is pretty loose. Basically, I better be able to find a Wikipedia article about the person.
3. Smack-talking: Encouraged.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Ari Fleischer: Smart guy, good mouthpiece. Clearly sold his sold to Satan when he accepted the Press Secretary gig.
Scott McClellan: Such an idiot he actually believed Karl Rove and the White House when they told him they had nothing to do with the Valerie Plame leak. Or so he says in his new book.
Tony Snow: Smart guy, with morals slightly exceeded by a heroin-addicted weasel. I think he not only got the Press Secretary job, but may also have gotten a mortgage on Ari Fleischer's soul as a part of his own deal with the devil.
Dana Perino: Recently admitted that she had no idea what the Cuban Missile Crisis was when a reporter asked a question referencing it.
To my readers: if you are past, say, junior high age and don't know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was, please quit reading my blog. You clearly aren't qualified. You may, however, be just what the White House is looking for in a Press Secretary, but only if two more resign inside of the next year.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
As visual evidence, check out the 56 Geek poster. I see at least half a dozen that could be used to describe me.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Right before this happened, Hauer starred in a sci-fi action movie called Split Second, that absolutely bombed in the theaters. Why did it bomb? Well, the writing was pretty cheesy (the main character's name is Harley Stone, for god's sake), the monster was a direct rip-off of Aliens, and it was a pretty mindless action flick.
So why do I love it? Mostly for Rutger Hauer's over-the-top performance as a burned out, half crazy cop, and the interactions he has with his new by-the-book geeky partner. Yes, it's one of those movies, but in this context the loose cannon/by the book combo works well, and Hauer and Neil Duncan (who went pretty much nowhere after this) have an amusing chemistry that makes the movie watchable. Plus, Pete Postlethwaite who is good no matter what you put him in, and Kim Cattrall before she looked like a well-used leather hand bag.
It's out on DVD, but Netflix doesn't seem to have it. So if you spy it at your local video store, give it a shot.
You'll want bigger guns.
Previously on The Inexcusable:
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Friday, I won our weekly poker game. Yay!
In the process, I pissed off one of my friends/opponents by breaking poker ettiquette. Boo!
I have since apologized for my behavior, and he apologized for storming out and yelling. Yay!
Plus, I finally got a house rule named after me. Boo/Yay!
Saturday, I officiated a wedding. Yay!
The bride was pretty much insane all day and everything was late. Boo!
The actual ceremony went well and everyone said I did great. Yay!
My Xbox 360 got the Red Ring of Death. Boo!
Microsoft says it's because I plug it into a surge protector and not directly into the wall. Boo!
They're going to cover it under extended warranty because they've admitted it's a production failure. Yay!
I won't have my 360 for 3-4 weeks. Boo!
Got my old '69 VW bus from my brother-in-law's place where it was stored. Yay!
By the time we got to Fall City, it was running on 3 cylinders, having spit out a spark plug (which it has done before) and I had to have it towed the rest of the way. Boo!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
You know who else doesn't sleep very much? Schizophrenics.
I am a huge fan of Eliza Dushku. She's a very talented actress, as demonstrated here:
So, I pay attention when Joss Whedon gets a new show, and it's going to star Ms. Dushku - as has happened with the new upcoming show Dollhouse.
An interesting premise for this show, a good director, a hot star, and possibly a good writer, and Fox has signed a contract for seven episodes. So, you know, they'll probably cancel it by the second commercial break because the show is too good for them, seeing as how they've axed other excellent shows in the past for no reason - a habit that has been known to piss me off.
Monday, October 29, 2007
When a political hack Republican lapdog like Michael Chertoff says you've just done "one of the dumbest and most inappropriate things" he's ever seen, that's saying something. This idiot definitely doesn't deserve the promotion that he's not getting anyway, but he does deserve an award - perhaps "Fucktard of the Year".
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
As best I can tell, Kilt Day may have been declared by Kiltmen.com. So it's quite arbitrary. And perhaps a little redundant, since Glenlivet sponsors Wear Your Kilt to Work Day on April 15. Still, the stigma that still gets attached to kilt-wearing rears its ugly head far too often, so us kilt wearers need to stick together. One of my friends and few actual readers is a perpetrator of this anti-kilt prejudice, so I enjoy flaunting my man-skirt around him whenever I can.
I do get some crap from guys when I go about kilt-ed, but I don't much care. They just don't have the cajones to wear ones themselves. That's their loss. Kilts are quite comfortable.
Also, the majority of ladies, it has been my experience, love a man in a kilt. Part of it, I am sure, is the perceived mystery of whether or not a man wears an undergarment beneath his kilt. My answer, regardless of the questioner's gender, age (well - as long as they're over 18), or anything else, is always the same: I just say, "There's only one way to find out!"
Another thing I am well known for is taking my shirt off anytime I am indoors and am allowed to. Having an excess of insulation (read: fat), I get far too warm wearing a shirt in a room-temperature environment. And that is why I love Improv Everywhere's latest prank: to poke fun at Abercrombie & Fitch's homoerotic advertising that constantly features shirtless men (more like boys in most cases), Improv Everywhere sent 111 shirtless men in to shop for shirts at Aberzombie & Bitch (as I like to call them). A "no-shirt, no-shoes, no-service" policy makes sense in an eating establishment, but in a clothing store? Don't you want to sell shirts to the shirtless? But no, A&F kicked them out.
This reminded me of something I did last week. I had gone into a store to purchase some new underwear for myself. I was wearing a kilt when I did so.
I love irony, and practice it whenever possible.
- Mattbear out.
That's great. I think they need to be held responsible, and Dodd is trying to make sure a legal avenue is there for doing so. But what about the actual action of holding them responsible? When is someone going to do that? And the bigger question -
How about actually doing something to the Bush administration, since they're the ones that broke the law in the first place?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
A couple of years ago, an independent crew made a silent film of Call of Cthulhu that turned out excellently, though. Filming it as a period silent movie actually worked very well, and their project captured some of Lovecraft's ideas brilliantly.
Apparently this same group has been at work on a second Lovecraft movie, The Whisperer in the Darkness. This time it's a "talkie", but still in black and white. I look forward to this one.
For our new house, the missus suggested "Hallow's End", for reasons I could not fathom. Given that I could think of nothing better, we went with that. She has started a new blog for the house. Check it out.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
This why I find this post hysterically funny. (From some blogger who recently linked to Billy Ocean, Student Council Treasurer)
In gaming news, having raked in the cash from three Halo games but not wanting to do a fourth (or fifth, if you count the upcoming Halo Wars), it's official: Bungie is splitting from Microsoft. I wonder if Bungie employees will still get Microsoft's awesome healthcare benefits?
Ever-hated idiot hack pundit Ann Coulter has said that the government should take away her right to vote, something I wholeheartedly agree with. Unfortunately, her real statement was that they should take away all women's right to vote, because then, she posits, we would never have another Democrat President. Why hasn't she starved to death? Seriously, that woman just needs a hoagie, a conscience, and to get laid.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
1. Take some guitar lessons.
- I don't want to be the next Jimi Hendrix or anything...just want to be able to play a few blues and rock'n'roll tunes.
2. Weight loss plan - goal is 220 lbs. lean mass, 30-40 lbs. fat
- One of the hardest goals on here, but damn it, I'm going to do it. I intend to document my progress on this in each monthly update, so if I'm slacking all my readers (both of you) can call me on it.
3. Go to a Canucks vs. Avalanche game.
- I've been meaning to do this for a long time. This year, the Avs are at Vancouver 4 times: 11/9, 2/9, 2/27, and 4/1. Who's up for a trip to Van and when?
4. Complete at least one short film.
- Got my script. Just have to get off my lazy ass and do this thing.
5. Update my will.
- Haven't updated it since we had it done 5 years ago. Marriage changes some of the particulars, so we need to update it.
6. Start my son's college fund.
- I've been meaning to do this since he was born. Need to do this one ASAP.
7. Design and make a good Steampunk costume for myself.
- I've been thinking about making and selling Steampunk costume and prop stuff as a sideline. Could tie in to #10 below.
8. Fix my motorcycle.
- I need to ride, damn it!
9. Play in a casino poker tournament.
- Maybe I'll be the next Chris Moneymaker. Or maybe I'll get busted out on the first hand. Either way, I want to try.
10. Start a small side business.
- I think everyone should have their own business at least once in their life.
11. Go on at least one decent length road trip.
- It's about the drive, not the destination.
12. Visit either Vegas (could combine with #11!) or Amsterdam.
- Preferably with friends. Got a preference? Gimme a vote for one or the other.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I've been saying for a long time that the Patriot Act pisses all over the Bill of Rights. It's nice to be validated by someone with actual jurisprudence and power. Of course, this ruling will probably get overturned as it gets appealed up the (increasingly neo-con) chain of courts. But for now, I like the feeling of a small victory for our rights.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
This has inspired me to get back on my weight loss plan. Being this out of shape sucks.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
A husband is having intimate online discussions with a woman, frequently talking about how horrible his marriage is. The woman commiserates, as she too is in a horrible marriage.
Meanwhile, his wife is having intimate online discussions with a man, frequently talking about how horrible her marriage is. The man commiserates, as he too is in a horrible marriage.
Surprise, surprise - they were really talking to each other without knowing it. And now they're both filing for divorce on the grounds of unfaithfulness.
It is a well-known fact that (even though I am married) I generally frown on the institution of marriage. The biggest reason being that I have seen so many go so badly, either because they were ill-conceived or ill-maintained.
Ill-conceived seems to be the most common culprit. If your boyfriend is a jackass, marrying him isn't going to make him better. If your relationship is falling apart, that's NOT the time to get married. You have to start with a sound, stable relationship if you want a marriage to succeed.
Ill-maintained is the harder one to conquer. It's very easy to slip into this.
A quick aside: some years ago, at a party, a friend asked me something about her relationship (I think). I said, "I'm the last person you should ask for relationship advice." Another friend said, "You should be the best person to ask - you've been with the same woman for 11 years!" (much longer than any of the friends present had been together - and now closing in on 17!).
"Go ahead, ask me how I did that!" I said.
"Ok, how'd you do that?" my friend asked.
"I have no idea!" I exclaimed. "I've bumbled along for 11 years, and somehow it's worked out!"
This is largely true. However, over the years I've had time to analyze what I did do (without knowing what I was doing), and figured out some of what worked, and what didn't. The old saying goes that "communication is the key", but I would say that "constructive communication is the key". It's too easy to argue and complain and call it communication. You have to discuss, negotiate, reason.
I would guess that - if that couple is real - they did none of that. Whining to each other online is probably the most communication they ever did, and that isn't very constructive.
Aside from "constructive communication", some of the few tips I can give anyone in a relationship:
1. Never go to sleep angry. (This is the only good piece of relationship advice I ever got from my father). Always sort out the problem before you go to sleep for the night - even if it means staying up until 5am talking. It's ok to go to bed angry - but the discussion better follow you there, and you better not sleep until it's settled.
2. For a successful relationship, you each have to give up a part of yourselves, but you each have to keep a part of yourselves. The trick is in finding the balance. You have to spend x amount of time together, and y amount of time apart. You have to agree on and like x things, but have different opinions on y things. Figure out how to balance x and y.
3. Come to an agreement on mutual goals. Financial considerations, home (ownership, what type of home, etc.), to some extent career (is one of you willing to work hard while the other goes to school to fulfill their dream of being a gastroenterologist?), kids, anything else that you must achieve together.
4. Nothing destroys a relationship faster than jealousy. You must have trust and a lack of jealousy to succeed. If you don't have that now, figure out a way to get there.
And then there's one thing I aspire to, but haven't attained yet - when asked how he staid happily married for 50+ years, Larry Hagman said simply: "Separate bathrooms."
I dream of that. Oh lord, how I dream of that.
-Mattbear, marriage counselor, out.
Friday, August 31, 2007
That's The Man burning early. Somebody set him on fire late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Never fear, Burners, the Burning Man LLC has constructed a new one and put it in the original's place. Honestly, I'm surprised they haven't just built an extra one every year and kept it around just in case. The police arrested the premature igniter, Paul Addis, for arson.
Yes, that's his mugshot (with a little LOLCats-style text added on). Also, reports say Addis hung a pair of silver testicles on The Man back in '97. [nostalgia mode on] That was the first year I attended Burning Man, and I remember a certain someone staggering back into camp, really intoxicated, railing about this travesty and how he spent a good amount of time jumping up and trying to use various instruments to remove said testicles. [nostalgia mode off]
Apparently, some burners have been so upset by the early burning that they left. God save me from such drama queens. Others have hailed Addis' stunt as the ultimate Burning Man prank, and have raised funds to bail him out and pay for his legal defense.
And, in more depressing news, some guy committed suicide at Burning Man. Always, somebody has to be an idiot and do something to get killed or seriously injured and bum everybody out.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Inspired by a thread recently started on the Brass Goggles Steampunk Forum, I decided to head toward Seattle and go to Gasworks Park, one of my favorite places in the city. I stopped at Dick's and got a burger and shake on the way, naturally (one of the many things I love about Seattle: you can say, "I'm craving some Dick's" and still be secure in your heterosexuality). I have been feeling uncentered lately, not myself. Gasworks always reminds me of good times and a younger, crazier me. I figured it was just the thing I needed.
When I reached Gasworks, it was pretty much dark already. I started to park on the uphill side street we used to always park on, but there was a good deal of glass from broken windows that spoke of recent car break-ins. I decided to park on the main street in a well-lit area instead. The park was still open, so I could have parked in the actual lot, but I am conditioned never to do that due to the many late-night visits of the "old days" when I would have gotten a ticket for parking there after the park was closed.
As I strolled into the park, a flood of memories washed over me. It had been awhile since I had been to Gasworks. I love it there. So many good times, so many memories of lazy nights and sunrises. There were a ton of people at the park, mostly teenagers enjoying the last gasp of summer. For awhile, I feared I was the oldest in the park, until I ran across some other adults. It made me feel old anyway.
I walked past the gasworks, admiring their heavy industrial beauty, and climbed up Sundial Hill as I always have. I walked past young couples lieing in the grass making out - each time I would look away out of respect, even though I remember not caring who might see when I did that myself. One of the wonderful things about love is sometimes you can shut out the rest of the world when you're together.
Reaching the top of the hill, I strolled to the back side of it and looked down, seeing in my head the images of myself and my friends rolling down it like a bunch of little kids. People often thought we were high or something, but we were just having fun. After standing there a couple of minutes, I walked across the sundial and sat down to just stare at the city lights for awhile. I still contend it is the best possible view of the city at night.
And I was right...sitting there, I found myself moving just a bit more toward center. Things felt a little more right. I felt at peace while I was there.
Eventually, I decided it was late enough that I ought to get home. I started to walk back to my car. In front of the covered climbing toys sat a group of teenage girls. "Hey! How are you doing?" one asked as I passed.
"Good," I said. "You girls having fun tonight?"
"Yeah!" one said. "Except that these heels are killing me!" She was sitting barefoot next to a pair of red four-inch heels and wearing a short skirt. This made me feel even older.
"They'll do that to ya," I said. "Every day, I'm thankful I'm a guy. Sorry." I shrugged, they laughed. "Have a good night!" I said as I walked away.
"You too!" came the reply, with more giggling, until some other old guy walked past them - "Hey! How are you doing?" they said to him. I just smiled to myself.
Out on the street, as I walked to my truck, a Mini Cooper passed me by, reminding me that my wife was gone and I'd be sleeping alone. I don't do that well. I turn into a whiny wuss when I have to sleep alone. Oh well, I figured it was late and I'd be tired enough to sleep by the time I got home. I was right again...I conked out as soon as I laid down.
Still sucked though. I'm impatient for Friday when I get to see her.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Saturday was a tiring day of running around looking at rental houses. We found one we really like and are hoping desperately to get. I just dropped off the application this afternoon. It's a funky house on 5 acres just off the Issaquah-Hobart road. And it has a hot tub!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
So now pretty much whenever he's in the truck, he asks to listen to his playlist (yes, he uses that terminology, "my playlist"). One day last week, I was bringing him home from daycare and he's in the back rocking out to a song on his playlist (I think it was Radar Gun by the Bottlerockets). After I got out and opened his door, he jumped out and threw the horns. Both hands up above his head, throwin the horns like he was Ozzy Osbourne.
Yep, that's my kid. Couldn't deny it if I tried.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
As with most things I get into, thoughts about poker keep bleeding over into parts of life where they don't belong. So last week, I was getting on an elevator to go the 3rd floor, and pushed the button for such. Friend Taaminara was going to the 2nd floor, so I pushed the button for her. Three other guys got on the elevator, and said they needed 5 and 6. I pushed said buttons. After looking at the buttons for a second, I said, "I must be playing too much poker because all I can think is, I need a four for the straight." This got a chuckle.
I decided to send this little anecdote to the author of +EV, a webcomic I always read that revolves around a small time pro poker player and his obsession with the game. He used the idea and ran the strip today, with a credit to me in his blog. Thanks Bobby!
Of course, I'm not the only one with the poker obsession. The missus is quickly becoming quite the card shark. She too has been playing in the weekly game, and tournaments online. The site we've been playing on (Ultimate Bet) has some Aruba promo tournaments going. Last night, she came in 30th in the free event (out of about 5000), qualifying her for the semi-finals tournament on Saturday. If she places within the top 100 in that event, she gets into the monthly final with a chance to win one of 50 seats for the 2007 Aruba Classic. One can also pay to get into the final tournament, but we aren't playing with money online. So I'm rootin' for her! And, of course, playing in the free tournaments to try to get my own seat as well.
Mattbear's all-in, baby!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
ME: Besides, I've seen Ozzy 6 or 7 times, at least
He says: this was my first time
He says: rocked, still don't have all of my voice back
ME: heh, I know that feeling
ME: Ozzy was the first rock concert I ever went to
He says: really? right on
ME: I still have the tshirt, with a rip in it from the fence I was against
He says: that is awesome. Family Heirloom
ME: that was 19 years ago. I may have to go cry now
He says: You are old.
ME: no doubt about it
He says: practically ancient
ME: thanks, asshole
And in weird news:
In Washington DC, an armed robber broke up a dinner party, but then just drank some wine and asked for a hug. Hey kids, can you say "High as a kite"? I knew you could.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
So, when Wiwille posted his "Movie Review" challenge offer, I suggested he review the little-known indie film Laurel Canyon. I also said that once he posted that I would respond with my own review. I'm a little late.
Written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko, director of another great indie film High Art, Laurel Canyon centers on the relationship of a couple of young doctors (played by Kate Beckinsale and Christian Bale) who move out to L.A. for the husband's internship. The couple plans on living in what is supposed to be the vacant home of his record producer mother (played by Frances McDormand). Unfortunately, she is still in the house recording a record with a rock band. Her loose rock'n'roll lifestyle does not jive with her son's rather straightlaced outlook, but proves tempting to the sheltered wife. Add to the mix his sexy co-worker (played by Natasha McElhone) who is tempting to him, and life gets messy.
The foundation of the film is the writing. Many a story has been drawn around relationships and the stupid things that people do to screw them up. This one, however, rang true to me. It's not something everyone can relate to, but having been the conservative, uptight type (I was once, yes) I can relate to Bale's character's conflict with what he views as the irresponsible lifestyle his mother leads. Having also been somewhat sheltered, I can relate to the temptation of Beckinsale's character when she gets close to that other kind of life. Jealousy, temptation, and lack of communication are all relationship factors most of us have experienced, and they are the foundation of the well-written characterization in this story.
The acting is also top-notch. Cholodenko clearly found herself an amazing cast, and must have known how to help them do their job well. Some of the actors, like Bale and Beckinsale, were not nearly as famous then as they are now, so perhaps part of it was luck. Either way, I felt the performances were excellent.
The cinematography was so-so. Nothing fantastic. It's the story and acting that make this movie great.
The biggest criticism I can give this movie is that it delves into experiences that maybe not many viewers can relate to. But if you can look past the face of it and see the truths of relationships that it addresses, you can find something in this film to relate to. Rent it!
Previously on The Inexcusable:
Monday, July 09, 2007
It's going to be especially interesting since the union is between one nominally Christian and one nominally Wiccan, and they want to incorporate elements from both traditions. I'm going to have to consult the only Wiccan priest I know.
Friday, July 06, 2007
I can't believe I'm linking to MTV, but they do have a funny blurb on some of the crazier Presidential candidates. I've heard of ol' Sharkey (beware: web site seems designed by 13 year old goth) before, so I was unsurprised to see he is officially running. My favorite? To quote the MTV article:
"Jackson Kirk Grimes — 56, a single pagan with a GED who once portrayed Hitler on 'Star Trek,' this director of the United Fascist Union (which promotes the economic theories and political ideologies of Benito Mussolini and Saddam Hussein) and two-time presidential candidate promises to abolish paper money and create a global government if elected."
Between him and Sharkey, they're really giving pagans some good press.
I'm not quite progressive enough to vote for the vampire (or perhaps he would prefer vampyre), and not quite militant enough to vote for the fascist. But this guy might get my vote:
"Warren Roderick 'Bob, Warren G.' Ashe — 50, ran for president in 2000 and 2004, former U.S. Navy pilot and 'Earth Ground Computer Specialist' in the Army National Guard, president of the Air Force's U.S. Anti Drug Task Force (2000-2007) and president of the Marijuana Legalization Committee."
In any case, it's always nice to see that being sane isn't a prerequisite for running for President. I expect a TomKat ticket come 2012.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Anyway, expect more posts soon.
Friday, June 01, 2007
After serving eight years of a 10-25 year sentence, Dr. Jack Kevorkian has been released from prison. He has promised not to help anyone kill themselves anymore, and if he does it's a violation of his parole and he goes back to the slammer.
Assisted suicide is a hotly debated thing, although it has cooled off a bit since Kevorkian went to the big house. The whole Terry Schiavo public circus brought up some aspects of the debate again, but that was short lived (pardon the rather tasteless pun).
Me? I know I have a great fear of living as an invalid or slowly circling the drain with cancer or some other wasting disease. As such, I am pretty cool with assisted suicide, and ol' Dr. Jack.
Monday, May 21, 2007
I was pretty burnt out (pun intended) on Burning Man by then, what with 2004 being the 8th year in a row that I had attended. I did not have much fun, for various reasons, and vowed I would not be returning (and thus far, I have not). But there was one stand-out, flat out awesome experience I had while there.
Some folks had seen fit to build a dome waaaaay out on the playa to server as a planetarium that they named Bok Globule, and every night they would give presentations using a software package called Digital Universe that was created by Hayden Planetarium. (In theory, one can download it for free from their site here, but it's been giving me a "service temporarily unavailable" error since yesterday). The presentations were given by one Carter Emmart (warning: super-long YouTube video), who is "Director of Astrovisualization" for the Rose Center for Earth and Space.
Now, I had an interest in astronomy when I was a kid, but it really fell to the background as I got older. These presentations way out in the desert were awesome. I saw it one night, and it truly blew me away. It gave you a feeling for how amazingly huge and awesome the universe is. Sometimes, things like that can leave you feeling really insignificant, but this one left me feeling full of hope, with a sense of how important it is for us to care for the one Earth we've been given.
Watching the cool science and astronomy videos via Stumble got me thinking about the planetarium, and I did some Google searching and found the site of a guy named Don Davis who worked on the planetarium. I have always hoped there was some kind of recording or more permanent presentation made by these folks, so I shot Mr. Davis an e-mail to ask him if he knew of one. Mr. Davis was nice enough to respond in a very short time and let me know that unfortunately I was out of luck on that count. I thanked him anyway, and tried to let him know how much the work of their group meant to me.
I wish I could find something I could watch at home that would be as inspiring as that awesome show I saw in the desert, but I've found nothing. I've watched things like the IMAX movie Cosmic Voyage (which was kinda cool), but there isn't anything that matches up in my mind to Bok Globule. I guess my memory will have to do.
Friday, May 18, 2007
However, the house has been on the market for a week and a half, and no one has even come look at it. I know in my head that I can't expect it to sell overnight, but I do want it to hurry up. We have an "Open House" tomorrow from 1pm to 4pm, so if you know somebody who wants to buy a house a little bit in the country, direct them here.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I swear, this car is made out of testosterone. It is the most unashamedly macho car I have ever driven. Five minutes driving this bad boy around, and I felt like Vic Mackey. I wanted to drive real fast, knock down some doors, rough up some gangbangers, and take their drug money. It was cool.
The Charger mixes old school muscle car raw power with modern amenities and something of a luxury car feel. It has much better handling than I expected from a car of its size and design.
Still, even if I had the $30k or so it would take to buy one, this isn't the car I would buy. It's nice, it's cool, but it's just not $30k worth. I wouldn't turn one down if somebody just wanted to give me one, though.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Firefly starred Nathan Fillion. A few weeks ago, Fox began airing a new series starring Fillion, called Drive. After airing a whopping three episodes (four if you count that the first one was a double), Fox has already canceled Drive. And this after Fillion apparently signed some kind of "talent holding contract" with Fox. Ouch. I really like Fillion, too; he's a charismatic and interesting actor.
So yeah...fuck Fox. If they didn't have House, M.D. (which they're going to show re-runs of in place of Drive) I'd never watch their damn network.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Anyway...Wiwillie's guess was good, but incorrect. Memophage's answer was alluding to the fact that he knew exactly what I posted on Wikipedia (I edited a line about a reference to the movie used in the show "Gray's Anatomy")...obviously, there is some way to look up what another user has posted. The correct answer was "Silence of the Lambs" (my favorite movie evar).
However, I specified that the contest was a guessing game...not a "cheat and look up my specific entry" game. So Memophage will get a prize...but it will be one deserving of his cheating ways.
And for the record, punko, Gray's Anatomy is a perfectly good show. Or was. This current season is too soap-opera-ish. Needs more surgeries and blood and death.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
It's a well-known fact that I organize a yearly "Dead Pool" competition with my friends, and I had to check the Dead Pool list this morning because author Kurt Vonnegut died today. As it turned out, no one had picked him, so the standings haven't changed any. Vonnegut is always said to be one of the most important authors of the 20th century, but I've never read any of his work. Perhaps I should correct that. Just as soon as I finish painting almost all the rooms in this house, get a job, and finish muddling through the incredibly boring Catcher in the Rye. By the way, if any of you are good at interior painting and are free this weekend, please let me know. Or if you'd like to spend some time splitting fire wood.
On a completely unrelated topic: Inspired by Rawbean and her contests, I've decided to have a little guessing-game contest of my own and send a prize to the winner. You can post your answer here (I won't reveal the correct answer for a few days) or e-mail them to mattbear69-at-hotmail-dot-com. The question:
I have only ever edited one article on Wikipedia. It was about a movie. What movie was it?
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Not making this any easier is the fact that yesterday I had to move my mom in to our place. She's going to be living with us for awhile. I'm looking for a place to rent that has a mother-in-law unit with it so we can all have some measure of privacy/separation.
Anyway, I better get back to work. Mattbear out.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Lebowskifest was fun. Lots of people dressed up as characters from the movie, bowled, drank, and generally acted goofy. Launchpad, Loxie, Jen, and myself shared a lane with Greg, Willow, and Mike from Boise, Idaho. It was cool to kind of be forced to interact with these strangers. They turned out to be really nice folks and very entertaining. Launchpad and I had a lot of White Russians, which the bar staff was making literally by the bucket. Launchpad also had a pitcher of beer, and that combined with the caucasians...well, he was regretting that choice by the end of the night. And the whole next day. But I think he had fun anyway.
Speaking of the next day, Sunday was my son's sixth birthday. So that was fun, to spend Saturday night drinking and Sunday dealing with a six-year-old's birthday party. We kept it small this year, mostly family, and it went well. As always, the boy got spoiled and made out like a bandit on the presents.
Tuesday was my wife's birthday. We didn't do a whole lot other than go to lunch with her family. Tonight is a birthday party for a couple of friends, but unfortunately I don't think we're going to make it, due to lack of babysitting and such.
And tomorrow is our anniversary. I am referring to it as our 16/1 anniversary, as it marks sixteen years of us being together, and one year of being married.
Anyway...suppose I ought to get back to looking for a job. Mattbear out.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I wish I had some kind of punchline or better commentary, but I think this really speaks for itself.
Monday, February 26, 2007
The movie was "ok", and that's about the best I can say for it. It did a good job of building tension in the first two acts, but the third blows it all on a weak explanation and ending. I could have written a better ending. I'd say if you're interested in this one, wait for video. If you want to see Carrey do something other than comedic mugging and pratfalls, you're better off with "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Although I will say, if you watch "The Number 23", you're likely to come out of it counting damn near everything and adding up every series of numbers you see, looking for a 23.
As I said, I went to a late showing, so there were very few people in the theater. As I was walking out and heading toward the car, a guy holding jumper cables flagged me down. There were a grand total of three other people in the parking lot, and one of them was gone before I could even get over to the guy. I drove over and was going to try to jump-start his car, but upon opening the hood of the Mini (I was driving the wife's car for various reasons) I discovered I could not find the battery. It was nowhere to be seen. I quickly got back in the car and zoomed over to where the other couple were pulling out, and got them to stop for a minute.
They were driving a BMW. The guy said BMW makes their cars "unjumpable". I have no idea why this would be, but it certainly helped explained why I couldn't find the Mini's battery (modern Mini Coopers are made by BMW). I drove back over to the poor stranded guy and told him what the other guy said. He asked if I could drive him a couple miles to his girlfriend's place to get her car, and I said sure. He went back to his car and was talking to somebody, and I realized for the first time he was with his girlfriend - I couldn't see her before because the hood of the car was up. I asked if he wanted to bring her along too, but he said she would be fine as it would only take a few minutes. I zoomed the guy home. He thanked me as he was getting out, and said, "I don't know if I owe you anything, or...."
"Oh heck no," I said, "I just hope the rest of your night goes better." I shook his hand, and away we went our separate ways.
So yeah...I can be helpful and a nice person. Just don't tell anybody, ok? I have a reputation to keep.
- Mattbear out.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Mostly what I like is the visual aspect of Steampunk, with lots of gears and cogs and brass. There is a great deal of Steampunk art out there, including animation, comic books, novels, music, and - best of all - homemade mods and art. I found a great blog called Brass Goggles (which I've linked to on the side there) that posts about all things Steampunk. The best post, in my opinion? The guy who made his home theater the interior of Captain Nemo's Nautilus.
If you read Jules Verne when you were a kid, like I did, or if you're fascinated by Nickola Tesla and Charles Babbage, you'll like Steampunk stuff. If you're "too cool" for such nerdy stuff? Screw you. This stuff is cool.
Monday, February 19, 2007
A year ago, I quit my full-time Microsoft gig, with all its comfort and security, to pursue contract work as a Technical Writer. I wound up right back at the Evil Empire with far less job security, the same pay, and a lot more hapiness. But at Microsoft, there's a year limit on a contractor's employment. My year limit comes up this Friday, and I can't be assigned to Microsoft again for 100 days.
As much as I would like to just take 100 days to chill out, then try to get a new assignment at Microsoft, I cannot afford to. So I've been on the job hunt. So far, no bites, but a few nibbles. A number of recruiters have contacted me about possible contract jobs. We will see how it goes.
Anyway, I don't want to think about that too much right now. Here's some interesting tidbits for you:
"An Inconvenient Truth" has apparently become Paramount's number one money-maker, ever (it's buried in that article somewhere).
Kevin Smith is going to be directing the pilot of a TV show titled "Reaper". Hopefully it will be better than "Clerks 2".
A new item marketed to gamers: one company didn't want to compete in the energy drink arena, so they're making a gaurana-filled toffee bar called HeadShot to market to gamers. Great. I can wash 'em down with some Bawls (which, by the way, I recently was amused to see ring up at the grocery store as "gaurana drink" rather than the brand name).
I really dig this clock. Anyone want to buy me that for my birthday?
- Mattbear out.
Friday, February 02, 2007
News reports rolled out in the morning that there were "devices" hung from various locations around Boston that were suspected of being bombs. A highway was shut down; panic ensued. Bombs? Was al-Qaeda out to blow up Boston? No. Cartoon Network was running a viral ad campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. A couple of "artists" were hanging what amounted to battery-powered Lite Brites up with Lite Brite images of various Auqa Teen Hunger Force characters on them.
What did Boston do? Say, "whoops, our bad, we panicked"? No. They arrested the guys. Their jackass mayor called the viral campaign "outrageous" and said he would take "any and all" legal action he could against Time Warner (owners of Cartoon Network).
On any day, I would call that an overreaction. But I call it absolutely ridiculous, since this same campaign happend in New York, Seattle, and several other cities where the authorities didn't panic, didn't arrest the "artists", and generally didn't make a big deal about it.
So yeah. Boston. What a bunch of fucktards.
Monday, January 22, 2007
First up, a Louisiana woman convinced neighbors she worked for the CIA, and that for a fee she could get the CIA to scan them with satelites and then give them cures for various diseases and problems while they slept. She made nearly a million dollars from this scam. Some of these people were gullible enough to pillage their pensions and life savings to pay for this "CIA satelite scan".
Second, the ACLU apparently found time to defend a high school nerd who wanted to pose for his yearbook photo in chain mail and holding a sword. The student won. What's stupid about this, other than the obvious? "the school has allowed students to pose for more than a decade with props that show their interests...past editions of the yearbook have had pictures of other items banned by school rules, including a corn-cob pipe, liquor bottles, a beer stein, toy guns, arrows and a knife."
Does liqour count as an "interest" now for high schoolers?
And now, the Two Minutes Hate:
You know what I hate? Many people at my work feel so self-important that they just block out the rest of the world and don't pay attention to anyone but themselves. People frequently stop dead in the hallways or even doorways, blocking all traffic, to hold a conversation about such-and-such bullshit business babble or check their e-mail on the laptop they are carrying around open. And they don't even notice. I can't count the number of times I've spilled coffee on myself because some self-absorbed idiot wasn't watching where he's going.
I hate that.
Friday, January 19, 2007
"2007 in Auburn: YOU ARE INVITED: To meet-up during this enchanted evening with Fey-folk (including all half-Faeries, reincarnated Faeries, Faeries “in spirit," & mere-humans who are Faerie enthusiasts). Come meet other locals interested in the same! All Faerie collectors, believers (& followers) are welcome!
o This light-hearted, casually dressed/intellectually organized gathering is not just for those with Amy Brown and Myrea Pettit Faerie art cluttering their homes.
o We'll share an abundance of Faerie facts, Faerie folklore, Faerie names, Faerie games and all things Faerie.
o If you suffer “gentle madness” for your Faerie beliefs: JOIN US!
o Explore new ways to honor the Fey, e.g., make Faerie altars in your home & garden!
o Share a Faerie potion (seasonal drink) & swap Faerie poetry/stories!
o We will host Faerie art contests!
o Examine spooky as well as innocent Faerie personalities
o Come for socializing, laughing, sitting on a “toad-stool.”
So, basically, this is an event for people who not only believe in faeries, but some believe they might actually be faeries (or reincarnated faeries). Ah, the insane. They are my bread and butter.
I want to say that I am surprised that this exists, but I already know about otakukin, so it's pretty hard for me to doubt anymore than anything is too stupid/crazy for people to believe.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I've been neglecting the ol' blog for awhile, I know, but I had to break my silence to say:
It's official! Lebowskifest Seattle has been announced for Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10, 2007. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 26. I am so there!!!!!!