When you are pro-war even the abortion doctors call you "baby-killer."


This is the end, the only end, the end

I am afraid we are at the fork in the road regarding our future role in the world.

As we saw today, we are at war with barbaric animals. They are not an army, nation or state. They are everywhere and hold allegiance to their twisted religion and utter hatred for our existence.

We must fight. You cannot win a fight if you lack the will to fight. And we are currently not willing to fight as hard as we need to. We are loitering in Europe a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union.

We are sitting on our hands regarding Iran and North Korea in addition to really dealing with Al Queda. Restraint is not what we need, we need mobilization and action.

George W Bush needs to get time on national TV, not request it politely and then get preempted by a basketball game, and tell the USA and the rest of the world the following:

1. We are withdrawing from the UN - it has failed its charter miserably. Under the UN numerous countries were invaded, people oppressed or become victims to genocide around the globe, nuclear weapons have proliferated. Effective immediately the UN no longer resides in New York City, get your stuff and get out of our country.

2. We are withdrawing our military forces from Europe and repositioning them in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other friendly nations in the Persian Gulf and Africa, the current hotspots of the globe. Europe can defend itself, or politely ask us for help when they are overrun by Muslim extremists cutting the heads off of their citizens every week.

3. Any nation we even suspect of harboring our enemies will be invaded by our military forces untl the people we seek are captured or killed. Your country will welcome us willingly or we will temporarily take over your country until we are done with it.

4. There were WMDs in Iraq, here is the evidence. Al Queda was aligned with Iraq and received material support from Saddam Hussein, here is the evidence. This is a World War fought in a new way. Instead of destroying everything hoping to kill our enemies, we will seek them out individually or en masse while leaving the indigenous populations, infrastructure, resources largely intact.

This is how the world is today, it is not a safe and welcoming place right now. We cannot give hugs to terrorists and expect them to then leave us alone. They are trying very hard to kill us and we will respond in kind if necessary.

We will not wait until a nuclear weapon goes off in any US city, or a city in any country on Earth. We have taken steps to prevent this, but our task is not complete.

With the upcoming election the citizens of the USA have a choice. To continue on this task to make the world a truly safe and better place by removing a very real threat to ours and other civilized nation's citizens, or to pretend that we are not at war and to hope that we will not be the victim of additional attacks by Al Queda or any other hostile regime, group or dictator anywhere in the world.

This is the way things really are, and we either accept it or hide our face in our hands and hope that it goes away. The choice is up to you.

I'm waiting, Mr. President.

Kingdom of Time Wasting

I accidentally got some banjo strings from the Hermit while trying to get something actually USEFUL to me. Damnit.

If you can't figure out how to play the game, well, there are tutorials out there. I found a really EXTENSIVE one (that I am not sharing!) and while it is helpful I feel it is cheating to a large degree. It has cheating in the name. If I can find it, you can too. The time people spend on this shit, geeze.

I like seeing all the corporate URLs searching for KoL tips, heh. Doesn't anyone actually work at work anymore?

BTW If you can't figure out how to get into the Dark and Sinister Cave, you need a fly swatter from the Degrassi Knoll. I keep getting meat tanks and cogs and shit from there, no fly swatter. Stupid thing.

One more level and I will form my own clan and stuff. I don't particularly feel like helping other clans become even more powerful. I want to consolidate power for myself! I'm gonna have to think of a kickin' name for it, hmm...

I did get another familiar though. I got a Ghoul that eats the corpses of enemies you kill and gives you powerups. It's rather morbid and slightly disturbing, but works better than the mosquito. Just get a Ghoul Egg and use the Spooky-Gro on it, then put it in the Familiar-Gro and take it out.

I'm gonna see if I can make another auto-plunger or maybe a meat car to sell. I kinda hit this plateau and I need to hit level 7 to form a clan or pass 30 mysticallity to get deeper into the various areas. Almost there...

AdSense, or is it AdNonSense?

I am using AdSense, and according to the terms I blindly accepted (slightly kidding) you can't disclose any financial details.

To be honest, I wouldn't anyway as it's been largely disappointing.

Perhaps my disappointment comes from the very clever Google ad serving setup. I have a variety of "ads" on my "business" web sit. Very rarely were any of the ads displayed relevant to the content on my web site, in direct contradiction to what I see on many other similarly themed websites which all have very relevant ads that would appeal to my target audience.

So a very select few advertisers somewhere was getting a lot of eyeballs on *my* web site for no proportionately additional cost paid to *me*. Now after just about two months of using AdSense the ads are starting to diversify and become slightly more relevant to the content of my website. Interesting.

Of course ads are still not as relevant as they could or should be for my very specific target audience, which may speak more to high barrier to entry for a lot of small-time software/hardware developers to purchase ad words on Google. I honestly don't know.

I do know that unless the ads become more relevant, there is no point in me providing essentially free advertising on *my* paid website and *my* (potential) customers for nothing in return - especially considering clicking on an ad most likely takes the user completely off my website to never return. Just imagine if a TV commercial changed the channel or led to a completely different program!

I'd have better luck using Amazon sponsor links.

I give up.

(Note I am not disclosing any technical/behind the scenes details on Google AdSense, anyone repeatedly visiting my web site would notice the same trends I have)


Well, fine.

Lileks doesn't like movie reviews in blogs. Well, fine.

I like them because I think it's interesting to hear other perspectives on movies. Movie-watching is a very personal experience. You get only a tiny amount of the content from a movie at any given time. And so you may miss some detail, a sound, background action, music score the first time through that someone else picked right up.

That and I like to comment on movies because I wanted to be a Kevin Smith, and probably would have if I had more ambition (or non-slacker friends aka coconspirators) or parents willing to send me to film school in Canada.

I have two movie ideas floating around inside my head, one partially committed to bytes in semi-coherent form. Trying to describe the imagery I can see in my mind's eye is the real challenge, not the mechanics of writing. If I had a collaborator that I could dictate scenes, dialog and store line elements to I'd have a finished script by now. Alas, I don't so here I sit in front of an aging G4 and an empty bank account.

So I write up mini-reviews of movies I watch in the hopes of gleaning some insight into the process to better myself and my future screenplays. That's why I do it.


House of 1,000 Corpses

I now know why it took so long to get House of 1,000 Corpses into theaters, it is a terrible movie.

About the only interesting part is the commercial at the beginning with Captain Spaulding saying "Do you like blood?" only he says "Do you like blud?" in a non-specific drawl that makes me laugh each time I hear it.

Other than that the movie is entirely derivative of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (any of em) so much so that I could have someone switch the former movie in in place of House and I would be hard pressed to notice the difference.

The gore is over the top, the violence is over the top, the acting is over the top (especially director Rob Zombie's wife, Shari Moon, playing the overly cheery "Baby" character).

There was also a lot of rather abrupt editing throughout the movie done deliberately or due simply to the lack of movie making experience of Rob Zombie, who wrote and directed the movie. The effect was more frustrating than suspenseful or thrilling, if intentional. Otherwise it was just, odd.

There really wasn't much of an ending either, which again was very much like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We saw some dungeon/cave scenes, with virtually no dialog, and we saw the last "main" character running around and finally getting outside only to be picked up by the psychos all over again while walking down a lonely, dusty road (just like Chainsaw Massacre, ugh).

Thankfully it didn't cost anything to watch this movie, otherwise I'd ask for at least a partial refund.

Yeah, well it's something

Got a callback today for an interview last week. It's going through corporate channels which means it will wind up taking slightly less than my expected lifespan to get an answer either way.

At least this particular job isn't a complete dead-ender and has the possibility to relocate to other (nearby) States in case things turn in my favor.

We shall see if I am foiled, again...


Sounds 'bout right...

Rather apropos to find this out, I think.

More more more Kingdom of Loathing tips

Okay fine. Here's some more tips since you keep coming back. That and my item description web site shut down today so there's now fewer places to get this info.

To make a "meat car":

Go to the Degrassi Knoll and collect the toolboxes. Use the toolbox to reveal its contents. To make a meat car you need the following:

You need a sprocket, a spring, an empty meat tank, tires, rims and a cog. You also need a meat stack and meat paste (duh).

Combine the meat stack and empty meat tank. You get a full meat tank.

Combine the sprocket and spring. Combine the sprocket assembly with the cog. Combine that assembly with the full meat tank. You get a meat engine.

Now for the wheels...

You need to go to the Hermitage to get the "sweet rims" if you don't have them: Go to the Town, go to the Marketplace and get a gum-on-a-string. Use it at the Sewer to (hopefully) get a useless/worthless trinket if you don't already have one.

Get a Hermit pass from the Store. Go to the Mountains and visit the Hermit. Get the rims there. NOTE: the small wooden figure can be useful for making a golem (like a robot), come back and it get it at some point too.

Combine the wheels and rims to get "dope wheels."

Combine the meat engine and dope wheels to get the meat car. You can now go to the Shore and take a vacation for 3 adventures and with min. 500 meat in your inventory.

NOTE: you can break down the meat car if you find the screwdriver (Degrassi Knoll I believe) and go to the Untinker's cottage. This gives you the meat engine to use for other things (auto-plunger).

Meat Golem:

You need a dried face, fairy gravy, wooden figure, can magicalness and I believe meat stack. You combine the dried face with the fairy gravy, that with the wooden figure, that with the meat stack, that with the can of magicalness. I think... I read this once and may have missed a step.

Place the golem at your campsite as a defense.


Bruce Almighty redux

Has anyone else noticed that in Bruce Almighty there is virtually no religious iconography or symbolism anywhere in the movie except for a few very narrowly-tailored scenes?

The two places there is any religious symbolism is the much-derided "parting of the red soup" scene which is a Christian element. And at the party for Bruce, he casually leans on a golden calf, another Christian Bible element that most people probably overlooked. The golden calf element was also played up to great satirical prowess by Kevin Smith in Dogma with "Mooby."

In a movie entirely based around a man becoming God, there is virtually no religious elements anywhere in the movie. No one has a Bible, there are no priests or nuns or even rabbis, no crucifixes or Virgin Mary iconography. They did manage to integrate Yahweh! and "You've got prayers" in place of Yahoo! and "You've got mail!" which was rather clever (for Hollywood).

Amazing. Only Hollywood could manage to make a movie about God that is completely reglion-free.

Update: There is actually a third Biblical reference. Just before the golden calf scene Bruce is pouring water into glass and it becomes wine. My bad. Of course without any theological context these scenes largely go unnoticed (even by me, as with the water-into-wine scene).