Sunday, December 30, 2007
Well, my new computer, for some reason, wouldn't run AOL. I was waiting for my friend, Anne Wells, to come over and help me fix it. Unfortunately, she passed away in the hospital last year on the operating table, and no one I know knows as much about fixing Macs as she did. So, I was left stuck, using my new computer to play games (Especially the Sims 2, which has a stranglehold on my body, mind and soul (just joking, but not by much!), but stuck using the old one for accessing anything online.
Well, this year, my mom has been sick and stuck in a wheelchair, so she hasn't been able to go out and buy me (or anyone else, for that matter) presents. So this year, I asked her for just one thing... A cable modem for my computer.
And the next thing I knew, I had it. AOL still doesn't want to run on my computer, but now I can get rid of my old computer and just have one computer on my desk. I am still looking to fix my AOL problem, but until it can be fixed, I still have the internet to access AOL and for IMs, I have AIM.
My old computer won't be going to waste, of course. My friend Jessa will be getting it soon via UPS. I keep all the padding that comes with my computers, so I still have the original box and packaging to send it in. I am also sending her my Kensington TurboMouse and two keyboards, although both are full of dust and cat hair (because, unbeknownst to me, my cat was sitting on them when she used to curl up in the box).
It's very nice, though, to be able to sit at my desk and look out the window without craning my neck to see. My cat is a little perturbed that her other favorite resting spot (my old computer) is gone, but she can deal. I have tomorrow off from work, and I am going to enjoy my non-cluttered, now full of space room. My only question is: How will I find time to read now that I can't read while I am waiting for stuff to download from the internet?
I'm sure I'll deal, too.
Friday, August 24, 2007
First up is Cute Overload. Cute Overload boasts a load of completely awesome animal pictures, from Cats, dogs and rabbits to even stranger animals like Jerboas, Sloths and Beluga Whales. Sometimes, the pictures aren't even of animals, really, but are still incredibly adorable, such as an apple cozy knitted by someone and found in a picture on the web.
And the site isn't just pictures, either! Movies galore, mostly from YouTube, also enliven the site, along with links to more cute things. If the internet had one site for "Cute", Cute Overload would be it.
Another site is icanhascheezburger.com. icanhascheezburger is a LOLcats site, and many of the pictures on Cute Overload end up here, along with a caption that makes them both ever cuter and incredibly funny, besides. I find myself constantly amazed at the many shots people take of their cats, and other animals, and the things those animals get up to! I had never seen a bunny with its tongue sticking out, but thanks to icanhascheezburger, now I can say I've seen it, on more than one bunny, besides.
The largest site for LOLCats, is, of course www.lolcats.com. Although it's larger than icanhascheezburger, it's laid out more confusingly, and the pictures are presented as thumbnails, so it's harder to see them, and you have to click on them and wait for them to load. So, honestly, it's not as much fun as icanhascheezburger.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Since this is not a first marriage for either of them, they combine their families (Rudy, a half-wolf, half-fox, is Kell's son from her first marriage, and Lindisfarne, a female hedgehog is Kevin's adopted daughter from his first marriage) into one, and then have a daughter of their own, Coney, a carnivorous rabbit.
Much humor derives from family dynamics (Ralph, Kell's wolf brother, keeps trying to kill Kevin throughout most of the first few years of the strip, with a hilarious lack of success) and Kevin's job in the computer and internet field. (He started as the SysOp of the Herbivore Forum, branched out into a business called Flea-Bay which became "Mating Call.com" and finally started his own ISP, Hare-Link).
Other webcomics I enjoy include Partially Clips, a webcomic that uses commercial clip-art, repeated three times, with different word, thought or dialogue balloons to tell a joke.
Catena Manor is an updated-weekly comic about a bunch of thinking, humanoid cats all living in the same house, located in Southern California. Despite their essentially humanoid form, they still have a great deal in common with regular cats.
Doc Rat is a webcomic from Australia, following the title character, Doctor Benjamin Rat, in his job as a clinic Doctor caring for a wide variety of patients at his practice. Also on call are his staff, and Phil, a gorilla who runs the local pharmacy, all of whom have to deal with the doctor, and his wacky patients.
Never Never is a comic about a lad named Arthur who has been chosen by the sword Excalibur as the new Pendragon, or leader of the world. Unfortunately, Arthur is still in school, and even though most adults don't realize that faeries are still around, the faeries have come together to help Arthur against the forces of the Evil Abyssians... pity most faeries have brains only slightly less flighty than birds, and the attention span of a goldfish.
Another comic from the same man who created Never Never is Suburban Jungle, a comic about a Tiger gal named Tiffany, a model who is waiting for her big break by temping. Along the way she discovers love isn't easy to come by and dodges the attentions of males that she doesn't want.
One comic I found funny from the start is Sluggy Freelance. Once you have read the ongoing adventures of Riff, Torg, Bun-Bun, Kiki, Aylee and the rest, you'll keep coming back for more! As Bun-Bun would say, "Bite me, Nerd-Boy!" ;)
The other two comics I have been reading a lot of as of late are Code Name: Hunter, about a secret British agency (on a world of animals) that keeps the recently resurgent magic from harming the citizens of Britain. The art is excellent, and the stories and characters engaging. This one is a must-read.
The last is called "Inherit the Earth". When Rif the Fox and his companion, Rhene, discover a wolf cub washed up on the beach, they take him to their home to help him recover. When he can't remember his name, they call him "Sandy", and set out to find out more about him and the strange instrument that washed up with him on the beach. While this is also a "world of animals"-type comic, the style here is more animal and less "Humans in furry suits".
Thursday, March 01, 2007
|You are Oscar Wilde|
Charming and Witty. You are incredibly popular because of your wry and satirical sense of humor. You are also incredibly talented at writing, and pushing the conventional boundaries of your society.
Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
Saturday, February 24, 2007
I am heroic couplets; most precise
And fond of order. Planned and structured. Nice.
I know, of course, just what I want; I know,
As well, what I will do to make it so.
This doesn't mean that I attempt to shun
Excitement, entertainment, pleasure, fun;
But they must keep their place, like all the rest;
They might be good, but ordered life is best.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
. : : Which Astrological Planet are You? : : . [10 Gorgeous Pics!]
"You are the leader of the system. While you are always willing to give, you don't like it when people ask for things. You like material goods and you desire a mate that puts you on a pedestal. You are not always easy to work with because you can be impatient and a bit bossy. You are also very direct, sometimes to a fault."
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
What made it so bad? That'll require a bit of explanation. The story is about a man and his niece. The niece is in her late teens/early 20's, and has finally met the man she wants to marry. The uncle is convinced that the man is bad for her... only wants her for her money, is a general cad, and so on. He tries (not very hard, IMO) to convince her of this, but she is in LOVE, and won't be convinced.
So, the uncle waits until the morning of her wedding, kidnaps her out of her house, drags her down to his boat in the harbor and sets sail to Italy while her fiancee is waiting at the altar. And then, to ensure she can't somehow get away from him and go running back to the man she loves, her uncle proceeds to rape her so that she knows she is "damaged goods" and won't force her fiancee to marry her. And this isn't the usual "seduction rape", where the heroine starts to enjoy herself because she is somewhat attracted to the man who's forcing her (although that's just as bad in my opinion). This is screaming, crying, doesn't feel anything but pain rape. You know, RAPE with all capital letters.
What really kills me about this book, is that the heroine eventually ends up falling for her uncle, and forgives him for what he did to her. Me, I wanted to cut the SOB's balls off with a rusty saw, and then some. Why did I keep reading? I wanted to see the Uncle get his comeuppance. Does he? Never, which is why the book made me so angry.
The heroine gets so depressed by this whole thing and the idea that she is now "damaged goods" that she stops eating and nearly dies. The uncle, while struggling to get her to take nourishment and forcing her to live, gets the idea that what he did was wrong. No! Really?! Ya think?! And then he treats her better and she gets attracted to him, falls in love with him (I think it was the Stockholm Syndrome, myself) and ends up marrying him. And her fiancee? Yeah, he turns out to be exactly the kind of asshat her uncle warned her he was to begin with. So, in addition to abusing the hell out of heroine, he gets the satisfaction of being right, too. Oh, it's enough to make me want to puke blood.
Worst Sci-Fi book? For this one I will have to go with an entire series, the "Hope" Series by David Feintuch. The hero starts out as a young man who has been abused, for seemingly his entire life, both mentally, emotionally and physically, by his own father. The father beat into his son's head that he is some horrible, nasty, abusive person who barely deserves to live. Nicholas Seafort constantly puts his own actions in the worst possible light. For instance, after he joins the space navy, he meets a young woman who is attracted to him. when they kiss and canoodle a little, he remembers it as him forcing himself on her, making himself out to be a sexual abuser. And when a man under his command breaks some of the navy rules and Nicholas is forced (by the navy's own regs, mind you!) to whip him before the space navy version of the quartermast, in his mind he is this horrible, abusive figure who is barely this side of Captain Bligh.
Now, I could understand if, eventually, Nicholas Seafort learns that he is actually a decent man and manages to put his father's abuse behind him. For despite his horrible self-image, he is a very heroic figure who manages to save ships, people and planets despite incredible odds. But he never manages to do so. Never. Or at least, not in the three books I read completely and in the two I looked at the end to see if he'd somehow managed to overcome it this time. Nope, didn't happen. And while there are seven books in the series, I could barely stomach the first three. The first one wasn't bad- I expected that at some point in the story Nicholas Seafort might manage to do something and overcome his own self-image. But he didn't in the first book, and that, frankly, left something of a bad taste in my mouth. I read the next two hoping against hope that the change would happen there. But it didn't.
Honestly, there is only so much self-loathing I can stomach in a character before I must stop reading. Reading the "Hope" series didn't give me any. Hope, that is. It got to the point where I was seriously saying to myself, "Must find a gun to put myself out of Nicholas' misery." So, the next two, I looked at in the bookstore, scanned the ending pages for some sign that Nicholas was pulling out of his "I'm a horrible person who doesn't deserve to live!" funk. If he'd managed it, I might actually have read the rest of the series, but sadly, Nicholas didn't learn anything, except maybe how to like himself *less*.
At that point, I just stopped reading. I couldn't read any more, and gave the rest of the series a pass. It may be great writing, but to me, they were the worst Sci-Fi books I ever read. You couldn't *pay* me to read them again.
Worst "Men's Adventure"- Hands down, "The Crime Minister" by Ian Barclay. What can you say about a book that includes the line "Her center of gravity was her twat."? Bad writing, Bad plot and a character who shoots and screws his way through the world. Reminds me of a line from a filk about the Dorsai. "We'll steal or we'll screw what we can't shoot on sight. God, it's hell to encounter a fireplug."
More to come!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
They also sell peacock feathers (cat toyz!), catnip mice, jingle balls, catnip Mats stuffed with premium organic catnip, signs (like the one that says "Meow spoken here"), magnets, and all other things catly.
The most interesting thing of all in their shop today was a 10 week old kitten, Colby. A brown mackerel tabby shorthair that was the sweetest, most well-behaved kitten I have ever encountered. Colby was in the arms of another customer when I encountered him, and the lady soon set him down so he could roam, which he did, right into the arms of the shop owner, who put him up on the counter for both of us to ooh and ah at him.
And he had no fear at all. Seeing as how I smelled of cat (having my baby boo, Cleopatra, Queen of Denial, at home). he came over to sniff at me and lick my fingers with a little sandpapery tongue. I gently picked him up and rubbed his head with my fingers, and he proceeded to knead my nose with his little brown paws. He was a darling, a sweetheart, no doubt about it. Like the internet series of cat terms says, "Kitten-a small homicidal muffin on legs; affects human sensibilities to the point of endowing the most wanton and ruthless acts of destruction with near-mythical overtones of cuteness. Not recommended for beginners. Get at least two." Do I want one? Hell, yeah, I do! More than one? Oh yeah. Will I become the crazy cat lady? In all probability. But my current cat, Cleopatra, would probably send me on a trip to the emergency room if I brought dear Colby home. And besides, there are two other people wanting to adopt him first. Oh well, not in the cards right now.
But he was so cuuuuuuuute!
So what have I been reading lately? A lot.
I read *very* quickly. How quickly is very quickly? I can read more than a book a day, depending on its length and how much time I can set aside for reading. For instance, in the last week, I have read the Forgotten Realms novel "Shadowbred" by Paul S. Kemp, the old novelization of "Mission Impossible" (the television series, not the movie) by John Tiger, "Hell to Pay: A Novel of the Nightside" by Simon R. Green, "Warrior and Witch" by Marie Brennan, "The Assassins of Isis" by P.C. Doherty, "John Constantine: Hellblazer- Warlord" by John Shirley (a novel rather than a graphic novel), "John Constantine: Hellblazer- All His Engines" by Mike Carey and Leonardo Maco, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation- Hell House"- a graphic novel, Ghost Hunt #3 and 5 by Shiho Inada and Fuyumi Ono, "Magic Study" by Maria Snyder, "In Stone's Grasp" by Christie Golden, and "Dragon's Lair" by Sharon Kay Penman. I enjoyed each and every one of them. So, if you are looking for a few good books, or even just one good book... keep them in mind.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Paul Blackthorne did a wonderful job of playing Harry, showing he can be a bit of an asshat at times (when Murph asks for Harry's first thought on the completely skinned woman she has found, he says, "My first thought is that my car is still booted."- which happened earlier and which he wanted Murph to fix for him), but inside he's a big softy.
I was also somewhat unprepared for the sight of Bob as a full human, seeing as in books, he only appears as the skull, or as the skull with lights in his eyes (when the spirit is inhabiting the skull). But I do guess this was easier for an audience not familliar with the books to see the character, and it gives Harry someone else to be with besides a special-effects enhanced skull.
I also must add that I think the opening credits were wonderful, especially Harry's Hockey-Stick wand, which I loved in the books and think is wonderful here. I do miss Harry's Blue Beetle of a car. The car he currently has looks a little too... good for him. I mean, as a wizard, Harry pretty much does a number on modern electronics, at least in the books.
I do have some unanswered questions, though, which I look forward to the series answering. For one thing, will the series reflect the happenings in the books? Second, will we see the eventual war between the Wizard's Council and the Red Court Vampires? How about the Faerie inhabiting Chicago? Will we see Harry's "Godmother" Lea (for Leannansidhe)? Where is Mister (Harry's 30 lb cat)? And speaking of Bob, again, is he really an ex-human (as the TV series seems to imply), or an air elemental, as in the books?
And I also have a suggestion for the Sci-Fi Channel. If they want to do some more "Modern Magic"-type series, another good one to look into would be Simon R. Green's "Nightside" novels. Another mysterious protagonist with a strange power, this one with the power to find just about anything, although the special effects would cost a lot more for the Nightside series.
In any case, I give this series an A.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
To start off with, an old show, Mission: Impossible, the first season. I had seen some of these episodes before (on TVLand if I remember correctly), but certainly not all of them. To start off with, the first season was very different from what most people think as "classic" Mission: Impossible. Martin Landau, who was part of the cast in seasons 2 and 3, was merely a "Special Guest Star" in the first season. There was a cast of other guest stars as well, and an episode in which it was implied that the supernatural was real! (Zubrovnik's Ghost)
The biggest difference was the leader of the IMF team. It wasn't "Mr. Phelps" during that first season, but rather "Mr. Briggs". Dan Briggs, to use his full name, played by Steven Hill (well known in recent years for playing the D.A. on the original "Law and Order"). Why did he leave? Not for any failing as an actor, but because Mr. Hill was an Orthodox Jew. Apparently, the producers of "M:I" wanted him to work on the Jewish Sabbath, and he wouldn't do that. He brings a different dynamic to the team, as do the roster of guest stars.
Some of the episodes in this season are really good and interesting, like "A Spool There Was", where Rollin and Cinnamon travel to a lakeside resort in an Eastern European country to find a missing spool of wire on which is encoded vital information. This episode is unusual in that these are the only two team members on the mission. But, as usual, it is completed successfully. Another interesting part of this episode has Cinnamon talking to a pillow as though it is Rollin, which is actually very amusing.
Another series I have purchased on DVD is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. I got all of the first three seasons on DVD.
I can see at least one thing in common about the two series: they are both rather cerebral and focus on the "How?" of things rather than "Who?" or "Why?". In M:I the focus is "How are they going to do this (whether it is bring this guy down, steal the McGuffin, or whatever)?" and with CSI, we see the crime or dead body, and the question is "How did this happen? or How did this progress to this point?" And it's linked to my earlier interest in TLC/Discovery Channel programs such as "The FBI Files" and "The New Detectives: Case Studies in Forensic Science", which I used to watch many years ago. Another thing is that they are both "team" shows. Both shows cannot be the vehicle of a single actor or actress. The shows rely on all the team members doing their parts to be successful. In this way, the Mission: Impossible movies (yearg, blech!- and I really honestly *HATE* those movies) are completely different from the series, and only have the names in common. It is a betrayal of the series concept to have them be a star vehicle for *any* star, Tom Cruise or no. And the whole idea of Jim Phelps as a traitor expressed complete contempt for the series the movie purported to emulate. It leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many fans, including myself.
The cases of CSI are very interesting, showing the work of a modern forensics lab. In real life, the Crime Lab in Las Vegas is the second busiest crime lab in the country, after the FBI Crime Lab in Quantico, Virginia. (or, it may be located in Alexandria, I'm not all that sure of the exact location.) The producers of the show make every effort to ensure that the equipment and techniques are the same ones in use at actual forensics and crime labs. In addition, they intercut the information with real terms used by cops and CSI's, such as "DFO" or "Done Fell Over", used to describe a person collapsing and dying for unknown reasons. There is also "Murder Central", which is a hotel room at the end of a corridor, next to the stairwell, so named for an easy getaway (stairwell) and 50% less chance of being heard in the killing (because the room abuts only one other room). You also get to hear terms like AFIS and CODIS (The first being for identification of Fingerprints, the second for DNA).
Other DVDs I have picked up in the past few months harken back to either my childhood, or my extended childhood. In fact, I can really say I am still in my extended childhood, as I still watch cartoons. I picked up the Animaniacs, Volumes 1 and 2, the first DVD of the series Voltron, and the series "Blackstar". I already own one DVD of "Action Man" (the CGI version) and 4 volumes of "The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers". Are there other series I want to get? Heck yeah. But many of them haven't been released yet. When they are? I am *so* there!