Gondolin Bound!

It's official! The years long "My own Private Gondolin" project is now officially underway. You'll be reading cryptic bits and pieces of it in the months to come no doubt. So set your decoder ring to "Mountaintop".

Robocop on a Unicorn

No false advertising here -- what you see is what you get. A Robocorn.


The Internets

A general rule of thumb for internet activities: If you don't already know the person you are conversing with over the internet, assume they look like this. For one, it's likely to be fairly accurate. For two, no one is who they say they are on the internets. It's all facade.

Happy surfing!


Mercury - The Solar System's Red Headed Stepson

Mercury, sadly, doesn't get much love out there. So here's a pretty shot (time lapse) of our innermost planet. Please note: If you're ever looking for Mercury in the sky, it only comes out either at duck or dawn, and will be low on the horizon, as in the above photo. (Click for big if you cannot see the path of the planet)


Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

Great show. The Woodstock of 1991. If you missed it, you missed everything.


(Ball O') Frustration

Sitting in a traffic jam this morning, it occurred to me that most, if not all, of my frustrations in this world can be tied to just a few factors. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I bet there's some commonalities. These factors are:
A. People. Only people and their actions (or lack thereof) frustrate me. I am mostly immune to all other sources of frustration -- such as the weather, animals (bugs, for example), plants, objects, etc.
1. Actions done out of ignorance or unawareness.
2. Actions done out of maliciousness or insincerity
a. When these actions effect someone or something else.

Littering is an easy example -- the litterer is most likely acting out of ignorance or maliciousness (there is a chance of course it's a complete accident). Their act of littering effects the local environment and anybody in it -- if for no other reason than to see a littered environment is to send the message that "no one cares". This has a deleterious effect on society. Another easy example: Talking on the phone while driving. You lose awareness of your driving, and thereby effect the drives of other people, most likely without you being aware of it. Given that vehicles are one of the most likely ways we have to die, this example shows an extreme ignorance of one's actions in the wider world.

And that's the takeaway: We all could, right now, this very moment, decide collectively that we all will be aware of our acts (and non-acts) and their implications, and strive to make our actions all for the good. With a veritable snap of fingers this world could be made a paradise.

Unlikely, of course, but possible. Hence my frustration. How about yours?


Bye Sarah!

I'm sure it's not the last we'll hear from ya! In fact, I sincerely hope you run for the Repuglican Presidential nomination in 2012. Really -- best of luck. Also, please know I support our troops!


The power of distraction

Giving it about 15 seconds of thought, there seems to be two general types of distractions: 1. Loss of focus due to environmental circumstances (the norm), and 2. Intentional acts designed to deflect attention away from one subject towards another.

Day three of Gatesgate tells me all I need to know about the latter.

Also, good doggies! This is the real police academy K-9 training folks. Only the best of the best pass.


Rapture Ready!

I bet there's a near 1 to 1 corollary between those folks who believe this "Birther" nonsense, and those folks who believe in the Rapture. I would put money on these same folks not believing in global warming, evolution, birth control, etc.

Bottom line is: Folks who believe - sincerely - in a Biblical "rapture" are already predisposed to value beliefs over facts. Thus, any crazy idea that gets in their head and takes hold becomes true, facts be damned.

To wit: Religion = Insanity



In case you were wondering what "TruckNuts" were (or I suppose in this case, CarNutz), wonder no more.



The crazies, they get crazier by the day. Here's Obama's birth certificate. Won't make any difference to the crazies.

RIP Finch

Well, apparently my truck is the vehicle of choice for suicidal birds, as another bird has been killed flying into my truck.

Attention, all birds reading this blog! I do not want to kill you, even if you are suicidal. Please find another method, or make your intents known to me beforehand. I will try and seek some kind of bird counselor for you.

Also, I know of some great bird seed locations. Leave a note if you'd like to know where.

Conspiracy nuts ahoy!

It won't make any difference, I'm sure, but Moon Landing Conspiracy nuts should take note of this photo (and the entire series, here ).

Smack dab in the center of the above picture is the Apollo 11 landing capsule. You can see it's shadow quite clearly. Very cool. But as I said, I doubt it will change any nutjob's mind. I've been learning lately (thanks to the Repuglicans) that cognitive dissonance is not a condition that prevents you from operating in the world. And for the hardcore nutjobs, there is no such thing as proof or evidence or truth. They know what they know, end of story.



Folks, this is some incredible stuff. I'm slightly flabbergasted, and I thought myself immune to all forms of flabgastery. But, here I am. This is so... outrageous? Incredible? Chilling? So many things at once. Read the entire article below, original post from the NY Times.

This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned.

But no, apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people’s Kindles and credited their accounts for the price.

This is ugly for all kinds of reasons. Amazon says that this sort of thing is “rare,” but that it can happen at all is unsettling; we’ve been taught to believe that e-books are, you know, just like books, only better. Already, we’ve learned that they’re not really like books, in that once we’re finished reading them, we can’t resell or even donate them. But now we learn that all sales may not even be final.

As one of my readers noted, it’s like Barnes & Noble sneaking into our homes in the middle of the night, taking some books that we’ve been reading off our nightstands, and leaving us a check on the coffee table.

You want to know the best part? The juicy, plump, dripping irony?

The author who was the victim of this Big Brotherish plot was none other than George Orwell. And the books were “1984” and “Animal Farm.”


I had been vaguely thinking about at least checking out a kindle, as I find the medium to be intriguing, especially the idea of instant downloads. But this, this is just beyond the pale in my mind, and ensures I will never buy a Kindle.

And that they would do this with George Orwell books? Boggling. In fact, I am thoroughly boggled and flabbergasted. Nice work, Amazon -- if you had the choice, you should have pushed back against the publisher rather than do this. No one will trust the product now with this kind of behavior.


When we were brave

Do you remember a time when America was willing to take bold risks?

Me either.

Also, a google image search for "Moon Landing" mostly returns pictures of supposed moon hoaxes. Which says a lot about the intertubes.

More in Confederate Fashions

Pretty hot, right? But would be even hotter if those were NAZI flags.

PS Southerners: You still lost.

Also, to debate amongst yourselves: At this point in time, how much would you say the Republican party is a direct descendant of the traitourous Confederacy?


WTF 80's?

Thankfully, I never partook of this fashion trend -- though there were some close moments. But really: What the hell were people thinking? Not just the hair, but the androgyny. I suppose these fashion trends have something to do with the 70's, which of course had everything to do with the 60's (which was in turn a response to the harsh conformity of the 50's -- and all history ends there). By the mid 90's, these ridiculous fashion trends started to fade away, such that today, I'm fairly confident we are living in the least embarrassing fashion era since 1955.

But still, you ought to be embarrassed, decade of the 80's. Good music though, in retrospect.


Greek Stormtroopers

British Museum, London

While this mask might have helped during hand to hand combat, man, it must have been uncomfortable, hot, and blinding.


One Definite Apocalypse

Say hello to the Andromeda Galaxy -- in many ways our Sister galaxy in the local area. The only other big galaxy near us for many hundreds of thousands of light years.

The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies both have much smaller galaxies orbiting them (see the smudge in the foreground above), and the two galaxies orbit each other.

However, they are also drawing closer together, and given that Andromeda has quite a bit more mass than the Milky Way, eventually the two galaxies will collide, and merge, with Andromeda taking the dominant role. At that time (approx 3 Billion years hence), our planet's destruction is likely. Not because the sun will be destroyed necessarily, but because of the great turmoil in the interstellar medium.

So, don't worry about the end of the sun (red giant stage in approx 5 Billion years) -- our world will be destroyed well before then!

Asteroids - The Movie!

Seriously. Universal Studios has an Asteroids movie in the works, after winning an intense bidding war for the rights. Yes, indeed, an Asteroids movie. Here's a "leak".

Now, back in the day, and many days after that day, I was something of an Asteroids wiz -- I have achieved the second highest score possible in the game (99,980; 99,990 is the highest possible score in Asteroids, as the score goes back to 0 once you hit 100K). Now, getting this score takes a lot of skill, as you have to selectively shoot targets in a very controlled manner in order to get that score and not roll over. So, bravo me!

In order to become good at Asteroids, it is necessary to play a lot of Asteroids. A lot. And so I did, and while playing, a lot, I came up with a plausible back story: The Asteroids are the nursery of the alien ships; the human based triangles have invaded this alien space, and are engaging a genocidal war against said peaceful, asteroid dwelling aliens. Having no choice but to defend themselves, they launch their lame spacecraft to try and take out the evil human triangle ships. While achieving some success against less experienced pilots, alas, they are fairly helpless against Aces. And thus, the genocide against the Asteroid Aliens continues apace....

Don't think the Hollywood version will use that plot however; but close -- they will invert the good/evil focus no doubt, such that the aliens have launched an Asteroid cloud at earth in order to destroy it, and a brave group of humans (Vin Diesel, Nic Cage, and Megan Fox) are all that stands in the way of humanity's end. Think it will have a happy ending? Sequel bait (the sequel will of course involve the adding of shields to the triangle ships)?

Finally, never forget: Hyperspace is for emergencies only.


It's OK If You Are Republican. This acronym can cover pretty much any situation these days when it comes to political issues. Scandal, cheating, affairs, lying? IOKIYAR.

Enjoy this fine picture of two "real Americans" - again, real American = White Republican.


Back in Green Masks

If you only watched CNN the last few days, you'd think nothing was happening anywhere in the world other than Michael Jackson dying, and Sarah Palin just cold "quittin'". But the situation in Iran burns on, a slow burn up till today, wherein the conjunction of a religious holiday and a previous memorial day has led for more action on the streets.

But the action on the streets of course is but the surface of the real turmoil, which seems centered on Qom, the religious capital of Iran; there, the various Ayatollah's seem deeply in conflict with the regime. And with the recent appointment of the son of the Supreme Leader as head of Basij; which just makes more apparent that this is an internal coup, where one group within Iran is seeking to take control over another -- that's the real battle going on right now.

The youth is with the Mousavi; thus, barring a massive, massive crackdown, given the demographics of Iran, the defeat of the current leadership is inevitable.

Also, masks: We've seen folks wearing masks at protests since the mid 90's; Islamic forces started wearing masks to hide their identities from the Israelis; now, everyone everywhere will be forced to wear a mask if they go out in public, since truly, the cameras are everywhere.


So long, fellas!

So, them fancy pants scientists have gone and created artificial sperm cells from stem cells, and successfully fertilized mouse eggs with them, and then presto! Little mouse babies. All without the help of a mousey stud. Linky.

Which of course leads to the obvious conclusion: The end of the male sex. Sure, there will be a longish transition period in which men are enslaved by their matronly overlordesses, for manual labor no doubt, but eventually the new Queens of the earth will tire of the troubles caused by these slaves, and do away with them. Ushering in peace on earth, natch.

So, men, I say to thee: Enjoy this time we have left as lucky recipients of a patriarchal system. It's not long for this earth!

Your Summer forecast: More Rain

I try to never complain about the weather, as every instance of weather is a miracle and a blessing -- even the worst weather. For, what are your other options?

That said, good god y'all! This is getting out of hand! It rained pretty much all of June, and most of July so far, and there is no indication anything will change. We need the rain, of course, but can't it be scheduled a little better?

Thanks in advance,



As foretold by the Ancient Scribes...

The Chosen One has entered His Temple! But seriously, how weird would it be to get a private tour of an Egyptian pyramid, come into some obscure little room, and bam! There's a picture of you carved in the wall? Weird, right? Look to Obama's lower left in the above pic for the PROPHECY REVEALED!!!


You Betchya cont.

"She's like a modern day Washington or Cincinnatus"

An actual quote from a "journalist" describing Sister Sarah's... resignation?


Mr Super Sexy Soviet 1984

Not only do we have this excellent photo of an especially stylish Soviet Citizen circa 1984, but instructions on how to replicate this fine look. I suggest this picture be sealed away in a time capsule so that future generations might obtain the knowledge of this Supreme Soviet Fashion.

Wolf 359

Raise your glass in memory of all those Redshirts that met their inevitable end that fateful day.

You Betchya!

Truly, words fail to fully describe the phenomenon that is Sarah Palin. She's crazy, no doubt, but her insanity mirrors a mindset present in America -- she has fans! Real ones, who think she's unfairly maligned by the EVIL LIBERAL MEDIA. A victim.

I think Sarah thinks resigning from the Governorship will help her Presidential run in 2012; I hope it does, because Obama will win that laughable election 69-23. However, I don't think Sarah will be the candidate, because she's insane, and not too bright either. But she is bold - so I have to assume this is the "logic" behind this otherwise insane move. Or some giant scandal. We'll see!

Rest assured, we'll have Sarah to kick around for a bit while longer. I predict a fade to obscurity by mid 2010.

Also, note the flag desecration - why do Repuglicans hate America so?