Friday, March 28, 2008

Hanging at the club K Street


I love beer and friends.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hired!


I'm hired!

I hope I don't get fired.

In 40 years, I'll be retired

But for now I'm simply hired

I got a job today!

I'm selling Chevrolets

I'm bringing home good pay

I just got hired...

My sincere apologies to the geniuses of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

* * * * * *

Actually I'm not selling anything (thankfully), just doing the writing and editing thing like I normally do. I start April 7.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary

I turned 34 today. As I try not to dwell on spending my birthday in an office cubicle editing proposals to government agencies, I have learned a number of things in the past year.

For starters, it is possible to have a job you don't particularly like but love the people you work with. That old adage about not realizing what you're missing until it's gone is dead on balls accurate. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my co-workers from my previous job. Normally, within a month, I'm ready to go on to my next adventure when it comes to a new job. It's been that long since I left my old job and I still think about them every single day. I talk to one of the managers on a near-daily basis but there are a couple of guys in particular I really should e-mail and let them know I miss them.

I'm now a parent of two kids, one of them biologically related, the other not. Something I wish my family would realize is that the Cora is just as much my daughter as Miriya. While my family has always been great to Cora, I'm really getting sick of comments like "How does it feel to finally be a father?" It's as if Cora never existed and that pisses me off to no end. She's an awesome kid and doesn't deserve crap like that.

Not too long ago, I couldn't drink coffee without some sort of sweetener in it and usually a good amount. Depending on my mood, I'll drink it with some cream or just black. Obviously my tastes are evolving, but I never imagined them to catch up to my disposition (hardy har har). In all seriousness, the biggest thing I've noticed this past year is that I am indeed changing. This sort of thing was not exactly on the top of my consciousness in previous years. I like to think I'm changing for the better but I'm afraid only time can answer that.

Lastly, my pal Dana sent an early birthday gift this week. Upon opening the package, it was very clear that my sense of humor hasn't changed very much. Behold!



Does this guy know me or what?

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Tibet Crisis

I have no idea idea if I have any readers in China, but I'm sure I won't for long. My friend Allyn has written a must-read entry about the madness in Tibet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wacky Turn of Events Wednesday

Well, that didn't last long. What's "that," you ask? "That" would be my new job. For reasons I am not allowed to divulge, I was told yesterday that my last day will be April 4 unless I find a new position before then. And no, I didn't do anything in the realm of bad behavior to warrant this, in case you were wondering.

So again I search. Say it with me everybody - Grr. Argh.

The silver lining is that I have a freelance assignment that will last through Saturday. This will certainly help cushion the financial blow in case I don't find something immediately. On that front, I've fielded a few calls and I've fired (pardon the pun) my resume off to a number of potential employers. We'll see how things turn out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tightly Wound Monday

I stayed home today because I was sick. Everything, it seemed, was hurting - my arms, head, legs, back, you name it. After sleeping for a good, long while, I realized the root cause of my ailing - stress. Combine stress with a lack of decent sleep and you get a guy who is more than a little worse for wear. I should be ready to go back to the grindstone tomorrow.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

First Outing


Out and about and so non-plussed.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Testes Testes 1 2 3

I'm checking if I can just e-mail an entry into the blog using Utterz.

Miriya came home yesterday with a reasonably clean bill of health. She needs to have her bilirubin levels (an overabundance of which will cause jaundice) checked Saturday. She'll meet her pediatrician (who just happens to be our family doctor) next week.

I know this next item will require me to turn in my Man Card but so be it. I couldn't help but get a little misty-eyed when Miriya stirred at the sound of my voice last night. *sniff*

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Burrito Baby Time!


Nice and snuggly warm.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

From the WTF Department...

I'm assuming some kind of mental illness was involved; otherwise, how does one explain sitting on a toilet for two years?

Sleeping Beauty


Say hello to Miriya Allegra Baisch! She joined us early on Sunday morning, weighing in at 8lbs, 1 oz.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Since I was off from work this morning, I decided to have a coffee and watch this film about obtaining the new world record score for Donkey Kong. Despite its somewhat silly premise, it's a well-crafted film but it was a tad disturbing to watch. While it appears some of the details are skewed for the sake of drama, the fact remains that the established gaming community were pretty much dicks to Steve Wiebe (pronounced Wee-bee) because he dared try to intrude on their turf.

Unfortunately, the "controversy" surrounding this film seems to be all about nitpickery of the details (this thread in particular, but beware as this path lies asshattery in the extreme). While I understand that details are important, the fact remains that this group of nerds pretty much despised anyone outside of their clique. For all the whining that geeks and nerds do about not being accepted (I do plenty of that myself), you would think these, of all people, would be more accepting of someone into their ranks. But no, their desire to cling to their bragging rights begat their deplorable treatment of Mr. Wiebe despite his proving he could compete against the best.

This sort of nerd-on-nerd bullying really pisses me off (if that weren't already evident). I see it all over the Internet on a litany of message boards as geeks engage in pissing matches to be king of the mountain. I see it at sci-fi conventions where arrogant jerks in Stormtrooper armor thumb their noses at those in Starfleet uniforms. Now I've seen it in the context of video game competition. And it all sucks.

I highly recommend The King of Kong even though the film made me a bit angry. One of the better underdog stories to come out in quite a while.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Farewell Gary

Lots of tributes to Gary Gygax over the past several days. I'm not sure I can add much to what's already been said. I found this tribute strip through the comedic genius of Foldedsoup:


My first exposure to Dungeons & Dragons was during my junior year of high school. I found the Advanced D&D Player's Guide (2nd edition rules) on clearance at the local Toys R Us and decided to give it a read. For the next couple of years, I would buy the occasional game book and played with a small group of friends from school. After high school, I'd often find myself looking at the D&D computer games during my college days (my dad eventually caved and bought me a copy of Hillsfar despite his no games rule). While my immersion into this world was fairly brief (compared to most of the gamers I know), I truly appreciate what Gygax accomplished.

Cold and Dangerous


Ever catch Ice Road Truckers on the Discovery Channel? I haven't a clue why this is so fascinating but I can't stop watching.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Everything"s Fine Here... How Are You?

Life is pretty crazy at the moment. The hospital situation has passed for now. I'll get back to blogging before long.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Pork Chop Sandwiches!

Not much to report today except that the G.I. Joe Index has been updated with issues #8 and 9. The plan is to have a new issue up every night this week.

EDIT: Talk about a plan not coming together. Ended up spending a good chunk of the night in the hospital. Grr. Argh.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

V: The Second Generation


For starters, the concept of V was something I've always loved. As a kid, I liked the alien invasion sci-fi stuff. A nine-year old whose existence hinged on the Star Wars movies, sci-fi on TV is pretty much a no-brainer. However, as I got older I noticed the things about V that flew right over my head as a kid -- the allegory of the rise of fascism and its attendant side-effects.

Kenneth Johnson, the creator of V, walked out of V: The Final Battle before production began. He had hoped to keep doing a series of movies with the same sort of thoughtfulness his original cautionary tale conveyed. However, NBC had been pressuring for a television series after the gangbuster ratings of the original miniseries. Johnson reluctantly agreed to a second miniseries, but NBC demanded more action and less of the allegory. So Johnson walked, taking with him most of his ideas on how he envisioned a sequel.

Johnson's sequel was originally to be a screenplay for filming in recent years, but production was stymied for a variety of reasons. Knowing full well just how much fans had been clamoring for the project, Johnson turned it into a novel. Although my life hasn't allowed me to dive into this book as much as I would have liked, I was able to recently finish it. My verdict? It's okay.

It's 20 years later and the Earth has been under the heel of the Visitors all that time. The events of both V: The Final Battle and V: The Series have been ignored (for better or for worse). V: The Second Generation paints a very bleak picture of Earth's future. About half of the planet's oceans have been taken by the Visitors, extending coastlines and royally screwing up the weather. Much of the adult human population has been conscripted into the Teammates -- the human forces of the Visitors. It doesn't look like humanity has a shot in hell of getting their planet back.

The book also introduces a number of new characters -- the second generation, if you will. Unfortunately the development of these characters takes place at the detriment of the ones we already know, almost as if we're supposed to accept the familiar characters as a given. Another unfortunate aspect of this, coupled with ignoring the subsequent productions, is that we are given nearly no clue as to what happened to several of the key characters from the original miniseries. Kenneth Johnson did such a great job in the original miniseries getting us to care about the characters that not knowing what happened to most of them was almost a betrayal (I apologize for slipping into fanboy hyperbole there).

Like the miniseries that spawned it, the novel also moves in a bunch of different directions. While this sort of thing works in screenplays, it's a bit jarring in a novel. Maybe I'm approaching the old-as-dirt demographic but I found it almost akin to MTV-style, jump-cut editing but in prose. This admittedly is a minor quibble.

Without spoiling things, the story itself doesn't totally deliver. The story builds up to a climax that relies on too many pieces being in place to stop a ticking clock that seems to be there for the sake of heightening emotion. It's not terrible, and I certainly wasn't expecting a retread of the miniseries, but I had truly hoped for something that would have built on the sole fact that 20 years under the Visitors would have made life incredibly difficult. How would that have changed society? Johnson touches on this stuff briefly but seems to feel that mentioning it is enough and that exploration of it would get in the way.

I really wanted to like this novel. For years, I had been curious as to what Kenneth Johnson had in mind as to a follow-up. While the story is moderately entertaining, it unfortunately pales when compared to the original miniseries. I'm sure Mr. Johnson put a lot of effort into this, but I didn't like it. Kenny, I'm sorry. I will continue to sing your praises from the highest mountains for creating V, in addition to your fine work on The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk, and Alien Nation. I truly wish this novel were better than it is, but it's not.

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