Stupid Evil Bastard
Wednesday, May 29, 2002
He'll probably be grounded till he's in his late 40s.

According to the Detroit Free Press a Farmington Hills teenager who was home alone invited a couple of his buddies over to shoot pool for a while before leaving to join his parents on a small Memorial Day weekend vacation. When the teen left he allowed his two buddies to stay in the house. Big mistake. His buddies hit on the brainstorm that this would be an excellent opportunity to start a party, which they did. Word quickly spread and the party quickly grew out of control. By the time the cops showed up there had been much looting and an arson fire that did over $1 million in damages.

The 15-year-old who lives at the home isn't a target of the investigation, Dwyer said. "It's unfortunate that he made that decision, to allow friends to stay at the house, and they took it upon themselves to start this wild party," Dwyer said.

I did some pretty boneheaded things in my time as a teenager, but nothing on a scale like this. Wonder if he'll ever live that one down at family reunions.

For sale, slightly used, car from Woody Allen's movie "Sleeper".

There's still about 11 hours or so to bid on a used car at eBay that will definitely have you standing out from the crowd. The movie Sleeper is one of the few Allen movies I actually like. If you have a spare $25,000 to bid on it you can buy this car and be the envy of Woody Allen fans everywhere. Me, I'm saving my pennies for a used Land Speeder.

Quote of the moment.

"Every day I beat my previous record for most consecutive days I've managed to stay alive." - Unknown

Tuesday, May 28, 2002
The devil gets his kicks on highway 666.

Highway to hell, or just an old country road?

Two people have been killed in the past three weeks on Highway 666, a two-lane stretch of provincial pavement in northwestern Alberta.

"It's not that bad," said Coun. Wayne Drysdale of the Municipal District of Greenview, which encompasses the road. "I don't know if it's bad luck or the number, just because there have been so many accidents."

Gotta love superstitious people. My first question is: Why would Satan choose to pay special attention to a highway that he just knows people are going to associate with him because of the number? Wouldn't you think he'd work extra hard to try and prevent any obvious connection so that folks wouldn't continue to harp on and on about the significance of the number 666? I mean, if I were Satan (and I've been accused of such) I'd be working my butt off to make sure every highway in the area except 666 was just loaded with horrible accidents so that folks would begin to associate highway 666 with being the only safe way to travel. Doesn't that make more sense? What an idiot this Satan guy must be.

Possible Metal Gear Solid Online.

Now this has got me salivating like Pavlov's dog.

Hideo Kojima joined an E3-hosted roundtable and Q&A; session today, and he fielded questions from attendees regarding the recently announced Zone of the Enders 2 and Metal Gear Solid: Substance. The most interesting bit of information that the series creator revealed was that he and his team were currently researching the technology required to take the Metal Gear Solid series online.

I can't begin to imagine how they would make something like that work especially when everyone is going to want to play Solid Snake, but it would be interesting to see if they can pull it off. I'm such a game junkie.

Giant nut has everyone thinking naughty thoughts.

Seems a 45 pound nut, called coco de mer or "nut of the sea", from a palm tree that grows near Madagascar has folks once again thinking lewd thoughts.

The biggest and most salacious seed in all the world has come to the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, and no one can look at it without blushing. That's because the 45-pound whopper looks exactly like, well, there is no delicate way to put it.

Looking at the image they provide on the web site I'm still not sure exactly what part of the anatomy it's supposed to remind people of, though based on the article I'm assuming most folks think it looks like a pair of men's testicles. The larger picture, to me, looks like a plaster cast of someone's butt. Still, I find it hilarious that the conservatory gets this rare and valuable nut that they hope to grow into an exotic tree (they expect it to take over 30 years before it'll produce its own naughty nut) and the thing the article focuses on is what human sexual organ it may or may not look like.

One tired puppy.

Was up way too late last night. Working on about 4 hours of sleep or so. Spent some time redesigning the layout for Anne's blog (an excellent read you should all check out, she even says nice things about me) and then got wrapped up in playing video games in the front room. Lost track of the time and when I realized it was approaching 2 AM I knew I was in trouble. Just another example of how I can be a dumb ass at times.

Oh well, I hope to get the Anne's new layout up this evening after I get home. OK, after I get home and maybe take a nap. *Yawn!*

Monday, May 27, 2002
In remembrance.

It is difficult to put into words the appreciation I have for the men and women who volunteer to be in the military without sounding trite or insincere. I don't always agree with the uses our military is put to, nor am I known for buying into the traditional knee-jerk flag waving that passes as patriotism in this country, but I do feel grateful for the people who have answered the call, gone to war, and made the ultimate sacrifice to help defend this nation. I can't think of anything else to say other than "Thanks."

Sunday, May 26, 2002
You've got hacked!

Yep, I did get hacked. I guess I must be doing something right if someone felt the need to hack my site. It's my own fault, really. There's a particular file that comes with MovableType that you should really delete after you finish installing it, and I swear I did remove it. Really. Still, it appears I must have re-uploaded said file when I did the recent upgrade to version 2.11. Well, someone came along and ran that file and managed to gain control of my blog right as I was in the middle of a big new entry. You can imagine my surprise when I hit SAVE and it asked me to login again.

Looks like I'm not alone as several other MT using folks have reported being hacked as well. About an hour's worth of emails back and forth with Ben from MT resulted in a small set of scripts that allowed me to get rid of all the bogus accounts the person made and recreate my own account from scratch. For some reason I'm not sure of, the hacker didn't do any further damage than to lock me out of my own blog for a few hours. All the blog databases are here and intact and all I've lost was some time, some face, and that one entry.

It was a good entry too.

Friday, May 24, 2002
More fun with folding money and 9/11.

Someone has managed to figure out that if you fold a twenty dollar bill in a particular way you end up with what appears to be two images of the September 11th terrorists attacks. One side has what seems to be the Pentagon with smoke coming out of it and the other is an image of the Twin Towers with smoke coming out.

I don't know what amazes me more about this little trick: The fact that the images do remind one of what they say they do or the fact that some person out there has way too much time on his hands that they could sit around and fold a twenty dollar bill over and over again looking for disturbing images. Seriously, I wanna know who the idiot was that figured this out. You always hear about how to do it, but you never hear the nut case was that thought it up in the first place. Is he an origami master who was fiddling around and just happened to notice? Or, more likely, some conspiracy nut who has nothing better to do than molest money to try and find hidden messages? I don't know, but they should really get a new hobby.

Priest Pleads Guilty to Making Date-Rape Drug.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (Reuters) - A 31-year-old Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring with five other men to manufacture and distribute the illegal drug commonly known as the "date-rape drug."

...

At the time of Windy's arrest, prosecutors said he was apparently driven by greed after witnessing the immense profits available from the drug's sale.

I suppose there isn't really a commandment that says "Thou Shalt Not Encourage Thy Neighbor To Date Rape." With such fine, upstanding examples of how the Ten Commandments instills moral integrity in men of the clergy, it's no wonder the Christian Right wants to plaster the TCs all over every court room, but perhaps they'd be more effective by hanging them in their local churches first.

Hypocrisy is alive and well in Dallas, Texas.

Seems the Dallas police department has a routine habit of busting video porn store clerks for the promotion of vice despite the fact that the store has a legal license to sell the material. Yes, that's right. Dallas, like most big cities, has an anti-obscenity ordinance as well as an ordinance that regulates what kinds of "adult" content is legal to sell. Despite this fact the police regularly arrest not the owners of the store, but the low-paid clerks who work in the stores. Reading the article I linked to above it's clear that this whole thing is a sham so the local government can say that it's doing something about the "problem" of smut whenever an uppitty right-wing organization that likes to tell everyone how they should live their lives calls and complains. Until recently the routine was for the clerk to cop a plea, pay a $1000 fine (which the store owners usually reimbursed them for) and spend a day in jail, but lately a young lawyer has been taking on their cases and winning. Which is a good thing considering that some clerks have upwards of 50 convictions on their records by now. What a wonderful country we live in!

Scotland now a "pagan" country.

Well, if the wall of seperation is ever damaged enough here in the States to become more or less ineffective at least I know there's one country in the world that seems to share my mindset about things religious that I could move to.

Thursday, May 23, 2002
Voice of the games.

On the way home from work yesterday I was listening to NPR and they had a very interesting interview with one of the people who does voices for video games. Specifically in this case it was with Charles Martinet who does the voice of Mario, Lugi, and Wario from the various Nintendo games that feature those characters. While nothing revolutionary was talked about, it was still very interesting to listen to*.

*Note: You'll need to have some form of the Real Audio player installed to listen. Something I was loath to do myself as it tends to contain spyware, but alas NPR doesn't offer any alternative audio formats.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002
All things considered, I'd rather be at E3.

Back when the summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago was where all the latest and greatest video game developments were announced and displayed my video gaming buddies and I would come up with some pathetic excuse for a connection to the "industry" so we could go to the show and spend a three day weekend playing all manner of games that wouldn't hit the shelves for several months yet to come. Then the video game industry grew big enough to qualify for its own convention and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) was born. Naturally, they decide to hold these expos out in Los Angeles or down in Atlanta neither of which is a comfortable driving distance from Detroit, so I've yet to go to one. I want to attend one some day. A couple of my buddies have gone several times including last year when they used the company name I was attaching to the Anime related web sites I was running to rationalize their eligibility to attend. I did review the occasional video game from time to time, but none of them, technically, worked for me.

Normally I just depend on the mounds of coverage from the various online video game related web sites that always attended, but the few that have survived the collapse of online advertising revenue have started to make the move to a subscription format where most of the really good news articles you'd want to read are restricted to paying members only. I don't tend to read these news sites because they're outstanding examples of journalism as much for their ability to get news up quickly. None of them has been good enough to convince me to pay for their content yet so this year I'm not swimming in as much up-to-the-minute news. Not that I need to, life is such that there are already a half-dozen or so video games already on store shelves that I want desperately but haven't had the spare cash to afford let alone getting excited about stuff that isn't even available yet. Still, the sheer joy of bragging to someone who bought the brand new Super-Sonic-Adventure-In-Zelda-Land-Of-The-Crash-Bandicoots game that you played it for a bit some eight months previously is one I've not been able to experience in awhile. It's sometimes fun to be a bit of a snob over things that don't really matter.

Frank Turner wants us to pray more.

This particular rant won't mean much to anyone who doesn't live in the Metro Detroit area and it's really just me bitching about the same thing I usually bitch about. In other words, if you don't live in the Metro Detroit area or are just sick of hearing me bitch then you might want to skip this entry.

Tonight while watching the news on the local ABC affiliate (WXYZ Channel 7) I found myself suddenly being berated or implored (I'm not sure which) by local news personality Frank Turner to pray more often. To help out those viewers who were dumb enough to actually ask their TV sets just who the hell Frank thinks they should be praying for, he went on to provide us with a short list of all the people he thought could use an extra devotional or two on their behalf.

Seems Frank is concerned that folks just don't pray enough and thinks it's sad that the government has to have a National Day of Prayer to encourage folks to engage in this vital civic duty. I tend to agree with Frank that it's sad that our government feels the need to encourage us to pray, but for different reasons than the ones he holds.

The fact is, Frank, not everyone holds the same religious outlook as you do. Some of us, such as myself, don't buy into the idea of a god or gods that are so emotionally needy and insecure that It/They had to create an entire universe and populate it with little beings that have no real purpose beyond telling him how fucking wonderful he/she/it (the god or gods in question) is. Isn't it bad enough I have to live with a President who got the office by judicial fiat instead of the actual results of a popular election telling me every time I turn around that we all need to pray? I don't need to hear that crap coming from a local news reporter who's supposed to be presenting, of all the things, the NEWS.

Yes, yes, I see from your bio on the Channel 7 web site that you are an active member in the local chapter of Life Application Ministries, a fun bunch of people who like to think that all diseases are a result of sin and as such you can cure whatever ails you by seeing your local clergy and getting right with god instead of doing what most people do and visit your local medical doctor. I especially love their claims that you can even overcome genetic diseases that run in your family tree with nothing more than a simple prayer and a lot of faith. Not that it helped a number of people over the years who have refused proper medical treatment in lieu of prayer only to end up dieing from an easily treatable condition. I guess they must have just really pissed god off. Let's just say that this particular bit of knowledge doesn't lend much credibility to the idea of you as a spiritual leader.

Which is beside the point anyway. I turned on your newscast in order to get caught up on the news, not on your personal opinions about how often and for whom you happen to think people should be praying. I suppose it's really my fault in the end because I knew there was some reason that it's been about 4 years since I last seriously tried to watch a newscast on that particular channel. After your little bit of public proselytizing it suddenly occurred to me that I stopped watching news on that channel because I felt the level of journalistic professionalism displayed by the anchors actually made the folks at the local FOX station look like absolute news geniuses. So here's my totally unsolicited personal opinion that I hope you'll take to heart: Concentrate more on providing the news and less on trying to be a TV evangelist and perhaps I'll try watching the station again in another 4 years.

Chandra Levy's remains found in D.C. park.

The skeletal remains of missing former Washington intern Chandra Levy were found in a park in northwest Washington on Wednesday, almost 13 months after she vanished without a trace.

It goes without saying that this is not the outcome most folks were hoping for, but at least her parents know for certain what her fate was. Now if the police can just figure out the who and why they'll be able to get come closure to the whole ordeal. It's probably a major sign of my cynicism that I have a sneaking suspicion Conduit will ultimately be pinned with it.

I'm in Evil Video Game heaven!

The folks at Rockstar Games just announced the official followup to the most evil video game ever, namely Grand Theft Auto III. Called Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and now I can hardly wait for it to be released. No big details on what new innovations they're trying to work into it, but considering how good GTA III was I have high hopes that it'll be just as socially unredeeming.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002
So much for getting to bed early...

I really should avoid getting into lengthy responses to comments in my blog just before bed time. But it was the sort of thing that just screamed to be replied to.

Baby, you can drive my car.

One good thing about today was we did finally break down and get a second car so Anne has something to drive when I'm at work with the Grand Prix. Went out to the local Saturn dealer and leased her a new 2002 SL1 for 220 a month. In a bit of serendipity her car ended up being the same silver color as the GP we already have. One of these days I'm going to get a car that has some actual color. But this'll do for now. At least she has her freedom back. That's a good thing.

Creative fog settles in.

I've gotten a good number of comments on some of my posts today. I want to respond to them, but every time I stop to think about what to say I feel like I'm caught in a mental fog.

Wanted to work on Anne's blog layout too. Make her blog the main part of her website. Start fiddling, can't get graphics or layout to do what I want. Fog creeps in. Try working on a new idea for my own layout. More fog. I hate that. I have the desire to be creative, but when I try I get lost in my own mental maelstrom. Probably because I'm running on very little sleep lately. Should go to bed early tonight. That might help.

"Copy-proof" CDs cracked with 99-cent marker pen.

Talk about the pen being mightier than the copy-protection. All that time and money invested in what is believed to be a fool-proof copy protection scheme to stop folks from ripping tracks from Sony CDs and even a fool could defeat it with nothing more than a good old fashioned magic marker.

A great example of what's wrong with Americans.

This morning while watching the morning newscast they did a small financial report about how some money-related company recently completed a poll of people who have bad money spending practices. The main point of which was that the greater majority of the people polled said that once the economy returns to whatever passes for "normal" these days they'd probably go right back to being as big a dumbass about how they spend their money as they were prior to the recession.

In other words, I pointed out to my lovely wife, once their eyeballs heal up they plan to go back to shoving sharp, pointy sticks into them. And people wonder why I don't tend to fall in with whatever the popular group-think of the mainstream happens to be at the moment.

Monday, May 20, 2002
A Vatican Lawyer Says Bishops Should Not Reveal Abuse Claims.

An influential canon lawyer at the Vatican has written an article to be published today in a Vatican-approved Jesuit journal saying that Roman Catholic bishops should not turn over allegations or records of sexual abuse by priests to the civil authorities.

In the article, Father Ghirlanda also wrote that a priest who is reassigned to a new parish after being treated because of a history of sexual abuse should not have his "good reputation" ruined by having his background revealed to the new parish.

Archbishop Herranz, who is the president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, said that the American church's large financial settlements with sexual abuse victims were "unwarranted." He criticized American news media outlets as seeking to "sully the image of the church and the Catholic priesthood." Echoing other Vatican officials who have linked sexual abuse with homosexuality, Archbishop Herranz referred to pedophilia as a "concrete form of homosexuality."

Ah, nothing like a fresh hot cup of religious self-rightous arrogance with a light and frothy bit of whipped hypocrisy on top first thing in the morning. How any Catholic can stand to look themselves in the mirror after such morally suspect declarations from their leaders in Rome is beyond me.

Sunday, May 19, 2002
I need more power, Scotty!

It really sucks when your PC's power supply is on the verge of death so it just randomly shuts off your PC when you're trying to do something important. Like update your finances or add an entry to your blo...

Friday, May 17, 2002
Got that RPG itch...

I grew up playing role playing games back when all you needed were a couple of books, some paper and pencils, a bag full of lucky dice, and a bit of imagination. Like a lot of folks who played these games, I got my start on good old Dungeons and Dragons. The "advanced" version was out by the time I started playing and I spent countless hours with friends making up characters and crawling through imaginary dungeons in search of glory and loot. When I wasn't a player in someone else's campaign I was cutting my teeth as a Dungeon Master. As time went on we branched out into other games like Palladium, Champions, and Cyberpunk 2020. My first name, along with those of the people I gamed with, shows up in a "special thanks" mention in the front of one RIFTS suppliment in which our GM had designed the character sheet for. Such was the level of our geekiness with regards to playing just about any RPG we could lay our hands on. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning arguing rules and eating pizza and just generally having a great time doing nothing productive to society other than staying off of the streets and out of any serious trouble.

I miss those days. Recent discussions about those days at work with a couple of my old gaming buddies have left me feeling nostalgic. We all grew up, of course, and while many of us are still avid video gamers, our days of pen and paper RPGing are behind us. We all have jobs, families, and responisibilities that seem to get in the way of meeting regularly to play. Some of our group live in other states now which puts a damper on getting together at all. Our best hope of having the old gang get together to play an RPG now involves hoping we all manage to log into Dark Age of Camelot at the same time. Not all of us play that game much anymore and it's not really the same either. Never Winter Nights is probably the next best bet, but past experiences with trying to get everyone together to play the same game online at the same time leave me doubting it will work out much better.

So I'm thinking of dusting off my old rule books and seeing if I can interest Anne and Courtney and perhaps Veron from next door into playing a small campaign to show them what it used to be like. Maybe a little old-school Advance Dungeons and Dragons or a little 4th Edition Champions super-hero action. Mentioned it at work today and got a response from one of my old gaming buddies that he might consider making a character. I'm not counting on it as we've tried to get something going at various times in the past only to get caught up in day-to-day life and forget all about it. I'm not even holding my breath that I can get the three people I'm thinking of to play. Still, doesn't hurt to ask. I've got a couple of ideas for interesting super villians kicking around in my brain. Now where did I put my bag of lucky dice?

Thursday, May 16, 2002
Mad Cow Warning.

This is one pissed off piece of raw steak. Fair warning, VERY strong language. Don't play it around the kids.

Star Wars Episode II

Yeah, it was worth taking the day off for. Yoda kicks much ass.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Playin' hooky.

I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm taking a day off from work to go see a movie. It's all Anne's fault as she's the one who suggested it so blame her. Truth is, I've had friends who've done this sort of thing for the "big" movies for years. The last time many of them did it was when Star Wars Episode I came out. This time I'm doing it to go see Episode II. It's also supposed to be a nice day weather-wise tomorrow and the weekend is going to suck in that department so I might as well enjoy it while I can. So I'm playing hooky. I'll let you know if it was worth it.