30 April 2007

Fear of Girls

OK... now I often refer to myself as a geek. But this brings geek to a whole new level. I would say a Level 15 geek. At that level you get a bonus on every check against reality roll and a +10% resistance towards personal hygiene.

Fear of Girls

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26 April 2007

Marvel Ultimate Alliance Character Packs

I truly am the world’s oldest 12 year-old. This morning I got up bright and early to download the new Xbox 360 content for Marvel Ultimate Alliance. The content download includes 8 new characters to choose from. Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Hulk, Hawkeye, Venom, Magneto, Sabertooth and Doctor Doom are now at your fingertips to battle the forces of comic book geek evil.

The downloads come in three flavors. You can download the new heroes or villains separately for 500 MS Points each, or get all both sets together for 800 points. Do yourself a favor and get the combination pack. Remember, a true geek wants to have the full collection of anything.

I’ve taken a nerdly pleasure this morning by smacking Doombots with Doctor Doom and tendriling unsuspecting AIM Agents with Venom. Nightcrawler is even done well. His level one attack is a teleporting leg sweep; this seems to take out those annoying bad guys with shields. The Hulk will even satisfy those hard core Marvel fan boys and girls out there. Foot stomps, cyclone punches, and flying leaps are included in his arsenal of powers. Of the lot, Hawkeye is the token lame character. His multi-shot arrows and hyper speed boosts leave one wishing they had included a true backwater mutant like Dazzler.

Along with the extra character one gets some new achievements to shoot for. Most of these have to do with unlocking all the extra costumes of a specific character. That’s great unless your buddies talked you into entering the cheat code to unlock all the costumes. Even starting a new game will still enable this cheat.

So do yourself a favor Poindexter, go home from work tonight and download the character packs. Call up your buddies and get your geek on while pummeling the forces of evil into a fine paste.

22 April 2007

Happy Earth Day

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Video Testimony of What Magic Random Stuff Can Do in Your Life

Here's a video testimony of what being in the Random Stuff "Inner Circle" can do for you, and your business.

16 April 2007

The Ghost of Misconceptions Past

My horoscope today read:”Today you will be beset by those that would like to take a piece of your immortal soul. So get ahead of the 8-ball and do some confessing before you end up with a demon sucking your essence through a vestigial third nipple.” Thanks Ms. Cleo. In the attitude of not wishing to hack off the spirit world, I thought I would confess some of the misconceptions I’ve had throughout my life. I’ll contact my spiritual guide in the morning for what I have to do to atone for said foibles.

  • For years, I thought the title of the Alan Parson’s Project song was “Gay People Playing in the Middle of the Night” The lyrics make much more sense that way.
  • When I was a child, I thought there was some point that the world turned from black and white into color. How else could one explain one day of syndicated Gilligan’s Island in color and the next day it was in B&W? Some great cosmic event must have introduced the full spectrum of colors into the universe sometime around 1965.
  • It wasn’t until the 1988 Grammy Awards that I realized Tracy Chapman was a woman.
  • I would have sworn that there, as of today, would be video of a Sesame Street Mumenschantz performance on You Tube. I guess the toilet paper roll, clay faced freaks are lost to the world forever.
  • My grandmother use to refer to a common Idaho potato as, what sounded like, an “arsh potato”. I never had any idea what variety of potato that could be. I was 14 when I realized that she was intoning an Ashland City version of “Irish potato”.
  • I thought it would be a good idea to ask a Ouija Board what the winning Powerball numbers would be on a given week. Should you try this, you will be sorely disappointed. The planchette kept pointing to “Good-Bye” and I had a bad case of gas for the next few days. I’m not sure if the events are connected, but I had to sacrifice an entire bottle of Gas-X to banish the evil spirits. (Related note, when looking up Ouija Board on Wiki to make sure I spelled planchette correctly, I found that the first person to patent the Ouija was a Charles Kennard. Freaky, huh?)
  • Nothing good has ever, ever, ever come of someone saying at 2:10 am, “Hey let’s do shots of Jagermeister before last call.” The last time I did that I woke up next to a Taco Bell bag. Literally, a paper sack from Taco Bell; not an older lady that works for Taco Bell. I’m not sure how the bag got there, and for obvious reasons I don’t want to know.
  • And finally, it might seem to be a good idea when one runs of toilet paper in a weekend get-away cabin to use a towel. Then to cover up the crime, hide said towel under the sink. You will get busted by that friend of yours that does a very thorough final check for toiletries before you leave the cabin every time… Sorry to the unnamed chum that found that one.

Whew! I feel better now. I think I see my jackalope spirit guide in the clouds beckoning me to bed. I’m sure to dream of other adventures and light my path so I can avoid similar mistakes in the future.

14 April 2007

Go Speed Racer, GO!

When I was a child there were a few times that I honestly thought my parents would physically harm me. The most memorable time was when I talked Dad into turning off a football game so I could watch Speed Racer. I’m sure Dad just wanted me to quit whining, but he dutifully watched it with me. After the episode was over, I was sitting on the edge of the 70’s style nauga-plush couch wondering who Racer X was and why he had it in for Speed. Dad had a totally different viewing experience. He thought the cartoon was so ludicrous that it almost resulted in violence to his number one son.

Well Dad, I’ve come to redeem myself. Yahoo just reported that Christina Ricci has agreed to play Trixie in the upcoming Speed Racer live action movie. If that wasn’t enough for you Dad, the guys that did the Matrix are writing and directing it. John Goodman is slated in the role of “Pops” and Susan Sarandon will play “Wife of Pops”. There’s no indication at this point who will be taking the role of Chim-Chim. (Dear Wachowski Brothers, if you’re reading this; I would be very interested in the primate’s part…)

If this doesn’t sound like it’s shaping up to be man movie, I’m not sure what is. So Dad, can we PLEASE, give Speed Racer another chance? And this time, please don’t wear your thick leather belt to the theater.

13 April 2007

Government Subsidies for Lawn Care

Spring. The funk of March has been cleared away and the taxman should be sowing grass in my front yard. The tax man you say? One would have thought it to be someone from Chemlawn or Roy’s Seed and Laxative Farm that would be planting grass and caring for your yard. The two afore mentioned companies are too rich for my blood, so I’ve decided to beg the help of any Local, State, Federal, or International organization to come to my aid.

It’s quite simple. I have a need that I cannot satisfy due to discrimination. Not the heinous Don Imus style discrimination, more like the Elaine from Seinfeld ban from ordering Chinese take out type of discrimination. I have come to find out that I must have been black balled by the lawn care community in Nashville. No one in the Nashville area seems to be willing or able to provide me with the quality lawn care that is surely a Constitutional Right that ever American has.

In those last three weeks we have been on the hunt for someone to service our lawn. The company we’ve been turning to for the last few years to maintain Fort Donelson’s grandeur must have fired us. There is a distinct feeling one has after a mediocre date, the rejection dread that your phone calls and emails will never be returned. I have gotten this vibe from our one time beloved lawn crew this season.

The result has been grass that is slightly out of control. Our neighbors have begun to shun us. Jim Fowler from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom has placed a call to Laura about filming a segment in our front yard. Dogs and cats have started to live together in sin under the maple tree. Something has to be done.

One might ask why I don’t get off my duff and do it myself? The answer is that I’m an adult and I don’t want to. I work 50 plus hours a week and have no desire to play NASCAR with a lawn mower for an extra hour a week. This brings me to why the government should step in. My experience is demonstrates that there is a shortage of lawn care providers in the Metro Nashville area. I’m sure this inequity is a violation of the Interstate Commerce Clause, and thus is the purview of the government.

The Federal Government provides subsides to Wal-Mart, soybeans farmers, and research on how cow farts contribute to global warming. As a matter of fact, these subsidies could be used to entice lawn service professionals to use electric lawn mowers. That would create a carbon credit and my yard could be the test site. Further subsides should be given for pressing inmates, juvenile delinquents, and Zamfir; “Master of the Pan Flute” fans into governmental lawn care. The result is obvious, a happier populace with fewer gangs of teenager blasting Zamfir music in parking lots across the nation.

Friends, neighbors (well not the ones that are hacked because my lawn looks like crap, but the other neighbors), countrymen; lend me your lawns. Call your representatives to implement this plan with haste. Not only could you never have to cut a blade of grass again, but think what you would be doing to stop Global Warming. Think of the plant folks, and the children. And by the way, if you know of someone that cuts grass, let me know; will you...

12 April 2007

Good Bye Blue Wednesday, or How I Came to Mark the Passing of Kurt Vonnegut

Tonight, I had planned on writing a ramble about the lack of governmental subsidized lawn care. When opening up my home page, I was confronted with some sad news. Seventeen minutes before I opened my home page, AP reported that Kurt Vonnegut had died. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the life and works of Vonnegut, the AP article can be found here.

I was first introduced to Vonnegut in high school. Around the 10th grade we were required to read Harrison Bergeron in English class. I thought it strange, even then, that a public school would require students to read something so politically incorrect. I’m convinced that the Metro Nashville School Board was duped into buying a text book with this short story in it. Some publishing house agent must have given away a few golf trips to Florida to sneak it in the curriculum.

Being an inquisitive youth, I ask my English teacher about Vonnegut. After getting the basic bio and literature lesson, she suggested that I would probably like Cat's Cradle . During lunch that day, I went to the school library to check out a copy. I was astounded to find that our library did not carry a single copy of Vonnegut’s works. Our librarian told me that there was some “inappropriate material for young readers” in his books and they were not included in her collection. The conundrum of having an author as required reading for a course and not carrying his works in the school library would have appealed to Vonnegut’s sense of the absurd.

Luckily, a used bookstore owners whose primary trade in selling the soft core porn of Harlequin Romances has fewer scruples. I snapped up a copy of Breakfast of Champions and Welcome to the Monkey House for less than a buck that very afternoon. After reading the novel and the collection of short stories, something opened in my mind. The beautifully bizarre Vonnegut universe of heartache, synchronicity, bad science fiction writers, mental defects, how aliens perceive double entendres, social commentary, and the human sphincter somehow fit into an angst riddled teenager’s world. I don’t think I’ve been the same since.

For those of you who have read Vonnegut and my blog can attest to that. In Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction,, Vonnegut stated that there are eight rules for writing that have always helped me write anything.

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things -- reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Thanks Kurt. You whispered cosmic truths to me at just the right age. Your works came to me before I was too addled by what “normal” people taught me to infect my entire life. You’ll be missed. So it goes. Maybe Government subsidized lawn service doesn’t sound so off the mark after all….