Monday, May 31, 2004

Zapotec Woman Woman Performs Caesarean section on self: "If my baby was going to die, then I decided I would have to die, too. But if he was going to grow up, I was going to see him grow up, and I was going to be with my child. I thought that God would save both our lives."

I guess UNESCO hasn't made it to her particular neck of the woods yet, or else there would've been a "doctor" standing right there with a suction machine. Of course one never has to worry about this sort of thing in the allegedy first-world countries, like the UK, where no one with a cleft palate is safe.
Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul

Just from reading the brief blurb on, it seems like this is exactly the sort of book which is needed. We'll see how it's reviewed in Crisis, however, before I spend my time and potential aggravation on it.

Unless of course you, gentle reader, have already read this book and can offer some praise for it.
Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik shows true clarirty of vision and the qualifications (har har) necessary to lead this country!

Michael would like to begin by emphasizing the fact that this is a states rights issue, and should not be handled by the federal(national) government at all. He would also like to point out that at least half of the people who read this will not be happy with his answer, therefore it would be politically expedient to refuse to comment on it. He is very proud of the fact that he never makes any decisions solely because they are politically expedient. Please have the courtesy of reading his answer completely before jumping to any predetermined conclusions. Michael used to be "pro-choice" based on the presumption that a woman owns her own body. Neither government agents nor he has any authority to mandate what she does or does not do with her body. More recently Michael came to the logical conclusion that the baby must eventually claim ownership of ITS own body, as well. The abortion debate exists because of a disagreement about precisely when that happens. At this point in time, because there is no scientific consensus, Michael chooses to error in favor of the baby, and now holds that abortion is a violation of the baby's right to life. HOWEVER, Michael would NOT use government force to enforce this personal opinion, as some have chosen to assume. Michael does not claim to have the definitive answer to this perplexing problem, but most voters feel a need to know what a candidate's thought process is on many different subjects. This answer is merely an attempt to satisfy that need.

This, as well as his firm "position" on "gay" "marriages" also left me laughing and recalling the Onion article from a few years back where the Libertarian Party was holding their Convention in some guy's mom's basement.

Seriously, I'm no Libertarian, but I could eat the last few back issues of the Rothbard-Rockwell Report and crap a better Libertarian party plaform than Mr. Badnarik's.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

YoHoHo! Puzzle Pirates! Something to check out when I have some free time.

And Gish, too, while I'm at it.

And since we're rounding out our cheap and independent PC game trifecta, Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, which looks like a version of "Starflight" that one can play in 20 minutes, which means it's right up my alley.
We watched a bit of the Memorial Day special on PBS: I had no idea that Charles Durning was part of the D-Day invasion at Omaha beach. Here's PBS' page on Charles Durning. It sounds like his D-Day landing, his first battle as a 17-year-old private, was just the beginning of his WWII experience:

Months later in Belgium, he was stabbed eight times by a German teenage soldier wielding a bayonet; Durning eventually bludgeoned him to death with a rock. He was released from the hospital in time to fight in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was taken prisoner. After escaping a subsequent massacre of the other prisoners, he was obliged by American forces to return to the scene and help identify bodies. Finally, a bullet in the chest a few months later ended his relentless tour of duty - and began four years of repeated hospitalizations for his physical and psychological injuries.

And now he plays the priest on Raymond. I don't think Fr. Bryce has ever included him in his Bad-@$$ tournament, but I think from now on, Charles Durning should definitely be included.
Thanks for all the great recommendations on board games, below. I remember hearing about Cheapass Games in the past (probably from former coworkers, after their return from Origins), but had never thought to check out their website. They seem to have some really great (and reasonably priced) offerings. Kill Doctor Lucky will definitely be on our list of games to get, as will the non-cheap-assed "Fluxx" (just as soon as we get an in-Fluxx of cash). I'll also check out Mille Bornes, as well.

A lot of this recent interest in board games has been brought on by my reading (1/3 of the way through at this point) Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, a (text)book which I can recommend to anyone who might be interested in designing games (board games or digital games) or just gaining a deeper appreciation for them.

On an unrelated note: do you ever get the feeling sometimes that, unrelated to your competence or confidence in any one or several individual areas of your life, when it comes right down to it, you really just don't know what you're doing?
This is totally in line with the whole ontology of "Robot Love": Robots Protest in Madison, Wisconsin. (Link via POF).

Also, from this month's KVR-VST contest entries, the best cicada song ever: You(tm) - "Brood X".

Saturday, May 29, 2004

A few months back Spike! the first network for men decided to drop a lot of their exploitive programming and started showing things I'd actually like to watch, namely episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I missed the first few weeks of their "Trek: Uncut" Fridays, where they show the two-part episodes back-to-back, but I have caught them the last three Fridays.

Last night they showed "Favor The Bold" and "Sacrifice of Angels", from near the beginning of season six (they're the episodes where Sisko and Co. retake Deep Space Nine. I think I appreciated these epiosdes even more now than when I first saw them seven years ago (and considering where I was seven years ago, that's not surprising). The acting was superb, the writing really quite witty, and the space battles were wicked awesome. Anyway, I got all nostalgic almost to the point of weepy for this show (I'm trying to remember what the penance was that the Prophets later demanded of Sisko -- I'm sure it wasn't his present state of being with them in the Celestial Temple -- there was something in-between), which has to have been the greatest show that will ever be on television, though I didn't realize it at the time. Hour-long dramas and science-fiction dramas in particular just seem to be getting worse and worse, so I doubt we'll ever see a show this good again. When one considers how bad "Andromeda" got (and how quickly it got that bad) this realization becomes particularly discouraging: Robert Hewitt Wolfe started Andromeda and ran it for the first two or three seasons and when he left Ira Steven Behr took over. Both of these guys were lead writers for DS9. If even they can't manage to turn out a great show...

Anyway, the Lord of the Rings triology has nothing on Deep Space Nine. If I had $700, first I'd pay for groceries, and then I'd pick up the seven seasons of DS9 on DVD. It sounds uber-geeky to say this, but that show was one of the constants through some very formative years of my life and is in some small way responsible for who I am today.
Lissajous Figures

Lissajous (pronounced LEE-suh-zhoo) figures were discovered by the French physicist Jules Antoine Lissajous. He would use sounds of different frequencies to vibrate a mirror. A beam of light reflected from the mirror would trace patterns which depended on the frequencies of the sounds. Lissajous' setup was similar to the apparatus which is used today to project laser light shows.

Pretty nifty illustration.
We finally saw "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" today on DVD. It was a very good movie. The accurately-rendered trebuchets were my favorite part, of course, though the giant elephant AT-ATs were also neat (I was disappointed that Merry didn't grab a rope and run really fast around their legs to trip them and make them fall down, but I will get over it). I think the whole series should have been called "Samwise is Awesome", though, and then the third movie would have been called "Samwise is Awesome: He Hit Gollum with a Rock".

Jackie, of course, liked the (spoiler alert!) ghost army the best, especially the part where they all swarm over the elephant and bring it down in the background. I thought that was pretty cool, too, even while at the same time I was looking for the Black Cauldron they all came out of. I can see why you'd want to release those guys from their curse sooner rather than later.

Anyway, we've been holding off buying or even watching the extended versions of any of the movies until a) they're all available as one box set and b) we're retired and have the time to watch them and the money to buy a 54" widescreen plasma television to watch them on.

Friday, May 28, 2004

So why hasn't Victor been 'blogging?

All three of us have been laid up with a pretty nasty cold this week, in addition to working some pretty long days. I'm using the weekend to recuperate and should be back with some great stuff next week.

Anyway, here's some details about TMBG's next album, "The Spine", (which is looking to be a lot more rock-oriented than "Mink Car") as well as their tour. We're actually seeing them three days before the album comes out, which should be cool.

Speaking of albums, if you had to keep only three four "Weird" Al CDs and chuck the rest (not that I have to do this -- this is what we in the biz call a "thought experiment") which ones would you keep? I think I'd keep his self-titled debut, "Dare to be Stupid", "UHF", and "Running with Scissors". The rest I can take or leave.

ALSO, we're looking to get back into the fine couples' activity of board games. We're looking to purchase Cranium and possibly Spy Alley, but would be interested if anyone has any other games they like (which preferably aren't of the genres "If your spouse were faced with this particular ethical choice they would probably do...?" or "Which Ivan Reitman film was the highest-grossing movie of 1984?"). Some cool board games can be found at Ravensburger (would love to pick up "The Enchanted Forest") and Mayfair Games (would love to get some folks together for "The Settlers of Catan"). Seems like all the really cool board games are from Germany.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Guilty Pleasure

I've been having some loads of fun this evening with the free SynthFont program. Basically you load in a MIDI file, your favorite SoundFonts, add any VST effects or instruments you want, and it'll render the audio for you.

Yeah, it's lame, but it kind of reminds me of my days with SIDPlayer on the Commodore-64 (yeah, I know, I should get a tracker, a copy of reFX's QuadraSID, and a MIDI file of Enya's Orinco Flow -- that was a perennial favorite among the SID crowd -- and spend the next two weeks locked up in my room).

Anyway, tons of free SoundFonts are at (or just download the awesome GM soundset from FluidFonts and give SynthFont a little while to unpack the library into its full 145MB glory) and MIDI files are all over (though the free version of Superstition here is pretty good, as is the "Boogie On Reggae Woman" MIDI file on that same page). can point you towards oodles of free reverbs, compressors, and the like (or just grab the entire free "classic" line of effects from Kjaerhus Audio).

Now, go have fun.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Friday, May 21, 2004

Judie Brown gets my vote!
From probably the site in most worst taste that I've seen in a while:

Amtrek: Northeast Corridor Improvement Project

Funny, but WRONG.

But, on the other hand, what do you expect when parents make themselves into children and abandon all authority? In a word: that's so Canada.
Slate: The Best Prince Songs You Haven't Heard

Actually, I own all of these albums (except for Crystal Ball and the Live set, because I was poor when those came out). "Rainbow Children" isn't that great. "The Gold Experience" is all right, but it's really overthetop rockcheesy. "Emancipation" on the other hand, is probably one of my favorite Prince albums, and definitely his best of the last 10 years (wait... when did "Diamonds and Pearls" come out?).

I'd pick up "Musicology" but, well, poor again.
So THAT explains it...

I was wondering why folks were downloading my "My Weblog" song (lyric | mp3). Turns out it was mentioned in a post by Anil Dash about Weblog Songs.

I can't say my song is the best song about weblogs, but it had to be one of the first (I put it together sometime in June, 2001, I believe).

Thanks for the mention, Anil! If you don't know, Anil is a pretty high profile 'blogger, being as he's VP of Business for Six Apart (makers of Moveable Type and Typepad).

Thursday, May 20, 2004

A favorite moment from Angel, season 2, which displays that show's moral intelligence (albeit not without a lack of historical understanding viz. the Inquisition, but hey -- the black legend has been around for a while) in response to the other white Victor's comment four posts below "Face it, Satan has won".

To set this up: Angel, the vampire with a soul, is riding an elevator to Hell, intent on destroying the "Senior Partners" of an evil law firm that basically runs all the evil in the world. His companion is a lawyer with the firm who has recently died as a result of Angel's actions (though, as Holland says, his contract with the firm extends "way beyond death").

The elevator HUMS along. MUZAK continues to play. Holland's musing to himself for a moment, then --

Of course... all those people you
save from the Apocalypse would
then have the next one to look
forward to...
Well, it's always something, isn't it?
Save them, don't save them. These
things tend to work themselves
out in the end. You do what you can.

You're not gonna win.

Well... no, of course we aren't. We
have no intention of doing anything
so prosaic as "winning."

Angel reacts to that, looks to the chipper Holland. Finally --

Then why?

I'm sorry, "why" what?

Why fight?

That's really a question you should
be asking yourself, isn't it? For us,
there is no fight. Which is why
"winning" doesn't enter into it. We
go on, no matter what. Our firm has
always been here in one form or
another. The Inquisition, the Khmer
Rouge -- we were here the first time
a caveman clubbed his neighbor and
watched in fascination as his brains
oozed out in the dirt. We're in the
hearts and minds of every living
human being and that, friend, is
what's making things so difficult for
you. The senior partners are evil and
powerful beyond imagination, and
you can try to fight them, but the
source of their power... that's beyond
all of us. The world doesn't work in
spite of evil, Angel. It works with us.
It works because of us.

And of course the punchline is that the elevator reaches the end of its trip to Hell, the bottom of the shaft, ding!, the doors open and: it's the same street with the same people on it that Angel just left.

(Angel quote courtesy of wwwaify kadying).

Ya! I veel zo happy vatching him zing!

Link via That Shea-venties Show.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Final Weekly Angel Post

Yes. -- Cicadas kill. Save yourself.

Are Cicadas poisonous? Yes, Cicadas have a deadly venom that is injected through a small bone like tube known as the "Cicada deadly venom tube". The venom can kill a human being instantly. In 1987, the last time the Cicadas emerged in Cincinnati, over 7 million people died from Cicada injections. Many people escaped but most perished.

They have yet to arrive here in Metro Detroit, as near as I can tell. I'm not sure how much of what was woodlands in 1987 is now I-696 or whatnot, but I know most of downtown Plymouth is as it was back then, so we could be in for a real treat.

Link via POF.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

For all the peeps in Massachusetts:

Let's pretend we're married and go all night
There ain't nothin' wrong if it feels all right now
I won't stop until the morning light
Now Let's pretend we're married and go all night

All the hippies sing.. sing.. sing hippies

-- Prince, "Let's Pretend We're Married"

Meanwhile, "Governor" Mitt Romney completes his self-made transformation into the footnote of a joke.

Loser. LOSER! Loo-hooo-hoooooo-ser!

Anyway, I'd comment more on this but our collie wants to marry one of our angelfish now -- since they really love each other, it must be a beautiful thing -- so I better go officiate at that.
More proof that globalization is bad and that protectionism and isolationism are the only true ways of preserving our unique culture and elimination posture:

Nature's Platform

See 20 pages of research on the health benefits of squatting


Still, I don't find this nearly as repugnant as I do the Toto Washlet.

Link via Meredith.

Monday, May 17, 2004

You know, I think that if I were freezing to death on the Alaskan tundra (in the wintertime, when it's cold), I wouldn't even crawl into Michael Moore's bloated carcass to save my life.

When the French give you a 20-minute roaring ovulation, you know it's time to take stock of your life. I'm ashamed for my state.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

India: Congress Party Coalition for Catholic Sonia Ghandi as PM

If this comes to pass, this could potentially be the biggest story of the millenia so far. This is huge. And nothing short of a miracle.
STEVE: Hi Slippery! Guess what! My brother Joe is coming over for show and tell!

SLIPPERY SOAP: Oh, yes. Again going on about your "brother". Everyone knows you don't have any family, Steve. That's why you have to live here with us, in your own imagination. Forever.

On an unrelated note, this song has to be one of the best kvr-vst contest entries in a while. Courtesy of You(tm) (George Fox).
I'd never heard the story of Jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams' conversion to Catholicism in 1957.

That article mentions it briefly, but I think it'd make a fancination area for deeper study. I'll see what I can find out.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Trousered Ape, another fine 'blog that I'm just now learning about because I am so far out of the loop these days.

It's like, here's the loop <----
| 100,000 miles
and then here's me <----
Fluid is a fun little game/toy, especially keeping in mind its original installation.

There is also within FLUID a kind of moral fable. Interacting with one of the organisms in the ecosystem causes an unpleasant gray "muck" to be released. This muck will slowly spread across the entire screen if the player does not discover a way to stop it. If FLUID is a game, then the goal of the game is to eliminate the muck from the screen. Yet paradoxically, the muck is only present because of the user’s own seduction to interact with the system.

Friday, May 14, 2004

A very nice account of Mark Shea's visit to Michigan, courtesy of Fr. Rob.

I wish I could've been, but ever since I sold my soul to corporate Amrerica (again) I haven't had much time for such foolishness.

Sigh.. 2,934 posts logged to date. Only 66 more to go and then it will all be finished.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Joel Comm's 'Blog was found today by me while searching for images of Plankton. I'll have to remember to come back to it.
My Mood: I am feeling today.
In-credible.... Just watched the trailer for the new Legend of Zelda game, shown for the first time at E3 this week. Blades will bleed, shields will shatter, and we will pre-order this game for sure. Incredible.

I know I said I'd do something big for the occasion, but I've been pretty busy all day.
Another big milestone for Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne.

Some cool photos at the Scaled Composites website. Here is the press release. Rutan's other big project is the plane that will fly all the way around the world (the wide part) on a single tank of gas, the Global Flyer.
Glen has some interesting Flash stuff and music.
Everyone has to have a hobby. This one isn't that bad.
Wired News: Nielsen 'People Meters' Draw Fire

Passive and impartial tool yields more precise measurements. Special interest groups don't like the new, more accurate data. QED: the new tool must somehow be "racist".

Update: Apologies to Jeff Miller, who ran the exact same photo as a caption contest last night. Whoops!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The stupid, unpardonable thing about this story is that it's listed as one of those "Oddly Enough", "News of the Weird" stories:

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian couples owe it to their country to have more children and should get on with the job, the nation's treasurer said on Tuesday.

Oh yeah, this is freakin' hilarious: on official notices that their country's birth rate is on the decline and that virtually every aspect of it's livlihood and unqiue culture is unsustainable unless something turns around and it's regarded on the same level as all of those "Woman drinks charcoal, poops diamond ring" stories.

We'll see who's laughing when the only fast food restaurant 50 years from now in Australia or continental Europe is Falafel Hut.

Weekly Angel Post

Okay.. hard to believe that this is my second-to-last of these, but here goes: if exceeding my expectations gets you an A, and significantly exceeding my expectations gets you an A+ then this episode fell somewhere between an A and an A+.

45 minutes into the show I was really hating Angel. More than I've ever hated him before (I didn't hate him when Angelus killed Jenny because she was a dope and had it coming. Giles was an idiot for liking her). Drogan was awesome and nothing can ever excuse killing him. But, anyway, ten minutes later I was rooting for the show: for the first time all season the gang had a sense of purpose. And, of course, next week someone dies. I was bummed when Anya died in the final episode of Buffy (considering it was so pointless, and not dramatically so, either) but really she hadn't had much to do the last two seasons anyway... I hope Wes gets it next week, though, because since Season 1.5, the show has been as much about him as about Angel. If he were to go out, guns blazing, it'd be a fitting end for his character. Besides, Lorne's already been decapitated, Spike has already died twice, Fred is dead, and Gunn has been to Hell, so it's only fair.

Where the show gets negative marks, however, is in the inclusion of idiot, dorkmeister Canadian werewolf chick. I won't repeat my litany of her offenses, except to say that it's no wonder she can't give Angel a moment of pure happiness. If she was just a plot point, to drop clues that Angel was still about doing the right thing, that's fine, but they should've spent more of the season working up a halfway plausable and worthy love interest for Angel. So half a grade taken off, there.

This is offset, however, as episode writer David Fury (you can tell it's a David Fury episode when Harmony and Lorne are actually in it) gets extra special bonus points for including Senator Hilary Clinton (they call her "Helen", but she's blond and running for president in 2008) as a member of the elite circle of evil who will eventually, next episode, all be killed by Angel, Inc. I also liked the inclusion of all the major demon players from this season (the ones they haven't killed).

So the grade stands: all things considered, including that this is the second to last episode and that the previous episode sucked so much and did nothing at all to set this one up, tonight's episode gets an A/A+.

Shows to go ya that Al Franken is even less funny than a colon polyp illuminated by a glowstick.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

E3 Update: Nintendo Unveils the Virtual Boy II

Okay, so the Nintendo DS is not REALLY the VB II... but in terms of the marketplace it probably will be. Although this actually looks like a really cool idea (remember all those dual screen Game/Watches from the early '80s?). It'll be more powerful than the N64 and can play all your GBA games. Both screens are backlit, the lower one is touch sensitive, and it has built-in wireless.

If Nintendo can find support for the DS and bring it to market for under $150, it could be something really remarkable. If I have the means by the time this is released (hope springs eternal until the next mortgage payment is due), we're certainly going to pick one up.
Thanks for all of your prayers! Jackie's surgery went very well and she is recovering (and probably will be for the better part of a week, so light 'blogging for me).

If you haven't already, check out Suzy.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Sunday, May 09, 2004


Okay, so this is actually my first ever "full length" (it's about 2-minutes) Flash Cartoon. In honor of Mothers' day, this is one for the kiddies: a fable, a morality tale, filler to show on Nick Jr., yadda yadda.

"Suzy, The Seasick Seahorse" Victor Lams (2004)

Let me know if this doesn't play properly for any reason. "It sucks" is not a reason.
HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY!!! to all the mommas. Mommas RULE!

I was going to invoke The Intruders' "I'll Always Love My Mama" from 1973 in this post, but since it's been played (yes, even the 12"-inch version) to death over the past two days on our Old Skool R&B station (107.5, The Rhythm) here in Detroit, I'm actually getting kind of sick of it.

But mommas still rule! Happy Mothers' day -- YOU RULE!
Sweet! The new 'Blogger Dashboard lets me know that I've made about 2,900 posts. Awesome.
Read Spontaneity 'blog! Oh, never mind; the moment has passed.

Ha ha. I crack myself up.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

JDM, the Mad Latinist, is at it again.

Boy is he ever. This may just be his toughest (and by far coolest) challenge yet. I'd guess at some of the 20 song lyrics (presented in Latin, can YOU guess which song and band they're from) but I'm afraid I'd only embarass myself in front of the children.
Last night we watched the Fairly Oddparents/Jimmy Neutron hour-long crossover episode on Nickelodeon (it's on again tonight at 7pm). Very, very funny: probably funnier than any two single episodes of either show combined. Definitely worth seeing if you're a fan of either or both shows.

And then, after that, Spike (the first network designed specifically for overaged adolescents) showed "Deep Space 9: The Way of the Warrior, Parts I & II" back-to-back (on Friday's they're showing all the two-part DS9 episodes). This was the episode which introduced Worf to the show, and it's still one of the best two-parters of any show ever. Loved the whole Klingons attack Cardassia to root out the Dominion when it's really the Klingons which have been infiltrated by the Dominion (though we don't find that out until a later episode). And then, because the Klingons have done such a number on them, the Cardassians eventually do turn to the Dominion and form an alliance with them. Plus there were some really great Garak and Quark moments, as well. But the best part is when the side panels of the docking stations on DS9 open up and those 1,000 photon torpedos are let slipped and wipe out a dozen or so Klingon attack cruisers. Awesome.

Anyway, they don't make them like that anymore.
Utter insanity has been postponed.

And speaking of the morning after, Jackie reminds me that she, in fact, graduated from MSU and so I apologize for the off-the-cuff quip about MSU students below.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Lansing State Journal: Lansing Diocese leaves Eucharist up to individuals

(You can tell it's a Lansing State Journal article because no paragraph contains more than one sentence. They do this for all the MSU students who live nearby).

The Diocese of Lansing won't withhold Communion from Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, Bishop Carl Mengeling said last week.

Instead, the diocese will leave the decision on receiving the Eucharist to individual Catholics.

Vatican Cardinal Frances Arinze, a Nigerian who heads the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said recently that priests must deny Communion to politicians who favor abortion rights.

The remark could apply to presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry and Gov. Jennifer Granholm, both Roman Catholics who support abortion-rights laws.

It looks like now is as good a time as any to unveil "C.W.T." You may recall, I threatened this over a year ago and never completed the thought. This time, it's coming. But first... must design a logo.
Mainstream, but still REALLY funny

The Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman

After you watch "Uniform" be sure to check out the sing-along (click on the playbill). Very, very funny.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Weakly Angel Post

I have to summon every ounce of will I possess to comment on this week's Angel episode. First off: overall funny and ironic. And very anti-climatic. Okay -- I have nothing against ironic and funny episodes which end on an off-note, I find these overall very enjoyable. And it took place in "Italy" (FOX Studio lot, Italy), which made for some funny fish-out-of-water humor.


Okay -- who the F@*%! is "The Immortal"? If he's some great archnemesis of Spike and Angel home come the first time we hear about him is in the THIRD-TO-FINAL-EPISODE? ARGGGGGGG!

And of course THIS IS THE THIRD TO FINAL EPISODE!!! Why are they introducing totally new "villlians" which they didn't even show and we'll probably never see? This is not the time to be pulling the postmodern card out of your buttocks, writers! Overall this episode felt like it would've been okay as filler in season 4, when the SERIES WASN'T ENDING IN THREE EPIOSDES. I thought the whole point of telling Mutant Enemy that the show wasn't being renewed was so they could wrap things up in an awesome way (cf. last week's post). So far, that ain't happening.

Okay.. but ABSOLUTE WORST OF ALL -- the preview for next week's episode, the NEXT TO FINAL EPISODE shows Angel, in bed, with... wait for it... AWFUL SUCKY CANADIAN ACTRESS BLAH BLAH BLAND WEREWOLF CHICK GIRL.


I am very disappointed. D- for this episode. Even Andrew was lame in this episode (don't expect a StrongBad t-shirt to save the episode!). Drew Goddard and Steven S. DeKnight should know better.
MSN: Larry Wachowski, co-creator (with his brother Andy) of the "Matrix" trilogy, is preparing to undergo a sex change operation.

I guess that explains the casting of Carrie Ann Moss in the Matrix trilogy.
Harvard Physics Limericks.

Ho, ho!
"Give me a sufficiently large pair of Vice-Grip(tm) pliers... and I could crush the world!"
Pipe Dreams: Better than Lobsters on your Imaginary Piano?

The Holy Whappets post a link to this site: JULIAN RHODES' IMAGINARY ORGANS, the most awesomest pipe organs that never got built.

I want one!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Pixel Art is the retro wave of 2002. Here's a pixel self-portrait of me talking to someone short who is out of the frame that I did in 10 minutes before American Idol came on.

Pixel Vic

Here's a link to a cool pixel art tutorial (not big on details, but they sure have a cool illustration).
Luke has a 'blog! Check it out!

Monday, May 03, 2004

By the way, Stevie Wonder's 54th birthday is in 10 days. And we'll definitely be doing something here to celebrate that. I think among my readers only Britain knows why Stevie Wonder and his music is so important to me....

So please, everyone, no "Hey, have you seen Stevie Wonder's new website? No? Neither has he!" jokes, PLEASE. I know at least one of you was thinking it, so just stop.

He's probably my favorite artist ever of all time.
For Dale Price:

"A rat done bit my sister Nell.
with Whitey on the moon
Her face and arms began to swell.
and Whitey's on the moon
I can't pay no doctor bill.
but Whitey's on the moon
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
while Whitey's on the moon."

-- from Gil Scott-Heron's "Whitey On The Moon".
I forgot to mention an awesome part of the Dance Dance Revolution parody episode of Malcolm, in the Middle last night: they played Frankie Smith's "Double Dutch Bus" as one of the DDR songs. That song rules. I wish every elevator in the country played that song.

Fe Fi Fo Fum
Well I'll be darn here it comes
The Double Dutch Bus is on the street
You'd better get off the curb
Move your feet

To ME! Three years ago on this date I rambled incoherently about greeting cards or something and so a legend was born. Like most legends, however, this one became a little fuzzy when I started working again, and didn't have time to do all the cool stuff I was doing before.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Amanda passed this one along, and we're very grateful to her!

Project God: XXX

Seriously, I think this guy, far from acting in an upright and proportionately moral manner, has some serious behavioral problems. The sight of pornography causes him to react in an extreme and violent fashion (i.e. he is a spaz). Furthermore, his supervisor apparantly condones this behavior ("Porn?" "Porn."), even when it results in the destruction of company property. Whatever happened to just blocking those pop-ups?

And wasn't Project God the thing in Star Trek III that caused Spock to come back to life? (I KNOW, I KNOW.. That was the Genesis Project... work with me here).

If Project God is "revolutionizing Christian film" like it says on their about page, I have a feeling this is one revolution that will not be televised.

Speaking of which, I wonder what Gil Scott-Heron has been up to lately.... He had a bit of a comeback in 1994 with his "Spirits" album, which was quite good. But since then?
I don't often like stealing links from Meredith, but I will this time:

The Cowbell Project

I've always loved the sound of a cowbell. For me it says "funky" or "party" or "funkyparty". As for me, this is probably my most cowbell-infused offering to date (even if the overall mix is a little crappy. I think I was going for an old 1973 overplayed LP lo-fi sound on this one, though).

Then, of course, there is the synthesized Roland TR-808 Cowbell, which I don't think the Cowbell Project has addressed yet. The TR-808 cowbell sounds like this and was used on countless R&B hits in the '80s and '90s (it was all over EWF's 1993 album "Millenium" -- though so was MC Hammer).

Maybe I'll email the cowbell project and ask them about this controversial topic. If you want more TR-808 .wav files, check out this page.

All new 'BlogTone! This is #23. Will tell you who it's for if they like it.

Update: John likes his 'Blogtone!.
I had a spare seven seconds this evening and set up my ATOM feed. It's at Now if anyone can tell me how I can "leverage" (I hate that word) this, that'd be cool, too.

Actually, I'm looking forward to playing around with Gush (beta 1.1).

Saturday, May 01, 2004

"There She Is!!!"

Cute Korean Flash animation set to some sort of ska music with bunnies and cats and having a positive message: if you stalk someone long enough, eventually they'll come around.

One of my favorite movies of all time, the Japanese film "Shall We Dance?", is being forced to endure a US remake -- starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. I want to vomit now.

Everyone: rent the original, PLEASE, before the US remake is released and everyone's perception of the fine original is sullied beyond all recognition by its association with a crappy US remake (how do I know it will be crappy? I mean, I hope it's not, but does the story still really work if it's placed in US culture? And then there's the whole matter of Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez... okay, going to vomit again).
My three-year 'Blogoversary is coming up in just two days... what to do to celebrate? Any suggestions?
Tonight we watched "Big Fish" on DVD. This is a movie about storytelling: specifically about how storytelling not only buys immortality for the storyteller but is also a sublime gift of transcendence to the listener (and then, of course, how one comes to appreciate this in light of the more "non-factual" aspects of storytelling (and then, of course, there are the giants and witches and giant catfish)). We both really liked this movie.