Thursday, August 31, 2006

Transformers The Movie News: Prime

This is reportedly legit and of a movie poster that will be coming out soon. I like the wya Prime looks here. Not the same as the cartoon, but good enough for me.

There are going to be 5 posters in all, all of the Autobots. Don't know if this is true or not, but time will tell as they get leaked like this one did.

However, I don't think this one is a final product. Looks like a mockup to who knows.


First Impressions: Windows Vista hands on

I've been busy this week, thus the lack of posts. Sorry. My work schedule has been wierd and thus I haven't been able to put up the type of stuff I typically do in the mornings.

Since I've moved from my PC to the Macbook, I've got this little beige computer sitting under my "computer" desk in my loft. It's just sort of sitting there, doing nothing. I thought, "you know, it's still got some juice left in it, lets play around and do the stuff to it I wouldn't have dreamed of when I was still using it everyday."

Working in IT for a state agency has some perks when it comes to Microsoft stuff. First, we get to take part in the Home Advantage program. This lets up buy Office softare at severely discounted proces (19.95) that comes with one license. So, basically, we can put it on one computer and that's it. Second, is an MSDN subsctiption. I asked one of our guys to grab the July Beta of Vista and burn it to DVD for me. I was going to put it on my currently unused PC this weekend. Or so I thought. Since I found myself home for quite a bit yesterday, so I decided to put it on early.

Now, the recommended specifications to run Vista Premium (all the Premium means is that it can use Vista's new "Aero" interface) are as follows: 1 GHz Intel-compatible processor, 1GB RAM, DirectX 9.0-Capable Graphics Processor, with 128MB graphics memory, 40GB HD with at least 15GB "free space." My old Compaq has an Athalon XP+ 1700 (running at 1.47 Ghz), 512 MB of RAM, a Radeion 128 MB 4x AGP card, and a 80 gig HD. So, looks like the only area I don't measure up in is the RAM department....hopefully that wouldn't cause a problem. And it didn't. The problem, as it turned out, was with my HD.

I don't know when it happened, but something bad went down with my HD a few months back. It was part of the reason I decided on getting a laptop sooner than I wanted to. While the PC continued to run, it didn't operate as smoothly as it should, and the HD made weird sounds. Well, during the Vista install Vista told me that my HD was going to die soon, and it wouldn't install on that drive. 2 points for Vista with this one.

My hopes and dreams crushed, I walked down the stairs from the loft dejected and depressed, when I heard a voice. "Wait, there is another," it said to me. Then I remembered, Bebe has the same PC just sitting in the spare bedroom. Yes, that's right, we had two of the same PCs in the house. She got hers on sale at Best Buy a few years ago...and I needed a new PC at the time, saw the deal, and got the same one sans Monitor and Printer. I went back up stairs, took her PC out of the room, and plugged it into my stuff.

The installation started all over again, duh, and after around 45 minutes or so, the PC started to turn off, reboot, do stuff, turn off, reboot, do stuff, lather rinse repeat. This was all part of the install process as Vista did warn me before hand that "during the installation process your computer with restart several times." 2 points for the heads up there.

Eventually it booted up for real. I set up a user account and was off and running. I was unimpressed, at first. Then I realized I hadn't put in the graphics card, and thus wasn't getting the bells and whistles. So, I turned the PC off, removed the card from my old PC, put it in Bebe's PC, and booted up. Vista knew what to do, changed my screen size to fit my widescreen monitor, and said I was able to run the Aero interface if I wanted. Why thank you, I replied.

I figured the Aero and screen stuff would be where I expected it, right clicking on the desktop and selecting Properties, and I wasn't wrong. Yay for Microsoft for being consistant here. I turned Aero on, changed my desktop and did a few other things. The interface for Properties was a bit different but i was able to find what I was looking for.

So, big deal. It's cute, I mean, windows seemingly "appear" out of nowhere and then disappear in cute ways, minimizing does this woosh thing into the taskbar, but other than that it's nothing big. I can see why Apple said MS had copied them, because it all did seem very OSX like. It was significantly more pleasant to use than XP though, I'll give them that. I wouldn't call it gorundbreaking or anything drastically better than what XP has.

The Start menu has been changed, and I had trouble finding what I was looking for. I still haven't found some things yet, but I figure a few more days and I'll get it down. The doesn't seem intuitive to use to me, but that might just be me, other people may find it's categories simplier to use.

Installing things still takes 5 steps when the same action in OSX takes two. That was a bit of a bummer. Also, as others who have written made note, the constant "Please Verify This Action" box gets annoying fast. I wanted to turn it off but couldn't since it's part of the new security stuff. Oh well, live with it I guess. I've had problems installing some drivers. So, my USB Wifi card isn't working and thus I can't get on the net. Vista has Explorer 7 and Media Player 11 installed with it, but since I can't connect I can't really take them for a true spin. I'll see what I can track down driver wise as well. Speaking of drivers, Vista doesn't like my wireless keyboard and mouse either. Nor did it like the USB 2.09 expansion card I put in. I'll have to trouble shoot all of this as well. Not to fair to knock Vista on these things though as this is still a Beta and may not have all the stuff within it that it needs to for these items to work and install themselves.

Final thoughts: All in all, I wasn't really impressed. I mean, it looks nice, and is very "chipper" but still felt like the same Windows, but maybe that's not a bad thing. A new PC user might be confused, but how many of those are left? Typical Windows users will run into the same confusion on the Start menu I did, but otherwise will figure out how to navigate the system pretty quickly. I'd say this is a worthy upgrade from XP, even if it's taken forever. However, I'm still glad I made the switch to OSX as playing with Vista hasn't made me regret that decision.


Monday, August 28, 2006

UCF Football: Pre Season Breakdown

You can smell it in the air, taste it on your lips, feel it in your bones...that's right, it's College Football season again. I've never been a big pro football guy, I feel the game has strayed too far from what makes it special. Too many flashy players, to much bling so to speak. Or, maybe it was the fact that my Detroit Lions didn't give me much of a pro team to root for most of my life. Who knows?

Anyway, I typically watched college football cheering on University of Michigan, or Michigan State, or any other Big Ten team that happened to be on. Hell, I've rooted for Notre Dame at times. But I never really had a team of my own. Then I went to UCF.

By no means a "football school," UCF has made great strides to change that in the past ten years. Quarterback Dante Culpepper is our greatest contribution to the Pros. UCF got serious on the coaching front two years ago bringing in George O'Leary, who took our team from 0-11 his first year to 8-5 last year, getting us to the C-USA Championship Game and the Honolulu Bowl (or whatever it was called, hey at least it was a bowl game).

This year the buzz on campus is high. With our brand new stadium being built to be ready for the home opener against Texas next year, people are excited. Can we do it again this year? Can we take the Conference title and get to a better bowl game? Could it be possible that we peek out heads into the top 25 once or twice (albeit at the 24th or 25th spot)? These questions will all be answered soon. We've got Villanova on the 2nd, and then it's off to Gator land on the 9th (yikes!).

Here's the breakdown of what to expect from UCF this year, care of USATODAY.COM:


Ever since Central Florida put the finishing touches on the nation's most impressive turnaround last season, UCF coach George O'Leary has been telling his players to forget all about it.

"Last year is over with. It is gone," O'Leary said after his team opened preseason practice on Aug. 5. "We have a new season and whatever happened last year is over. It is a new football team with new personalities and new chemistry."

Despite improving from 0-11 to 8-5, winning the Conference USA Eastern Division title in UCF's first season in C-USA and returning 18 offensive and defensive starters, the Golden Knights are showing every sign of buying into O'Leary's message.

"Last year was just one year," senior quarterback Steven Moffett said. "We enjoyed it, but we have a lot more to show everybody. We aren't finished yet."

The Golden Knights don't have to look very far for motivation. After all, 2004's winless finish isn't all that far away.

"Just the thought of having a bad season swirling around in our head is gonna make us continue to work hard," Moffett said. "We know what it's like to be down, and I know I don't want to go back to that."

The Golden Knights also know if they can start the season picked to finish fifth or sixth in their division and then win it, that other C-USA teams can do the same.

"We know we ain't gonna surprise anybody," fifth-year senior center Cedric Gagne-Marcoux said. "I would be worried if we didn't have a good offseason, but the offseason we had was incredible. We're bigger, we're stronger, we're just ready to get out there."


KEY EARLY-SEASON GAME: vs. USF, Sept. 16 — A Sept. 9 game against Florida is big for the UCF program, especially following last year's success, but the Golden Knights often find themselves compared, for better or worse, to USF's rapid Division I-A rise. The winner of this game climbs another notch on the Florida football ladder.

THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS WILL SUCCEED IF: They continue to win close games as they did last year; they continue to run the ball effectively, take pressure off quarterback Steven Moffett, force turnovers and win the kicking game.

THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS WILL FAIL IF: The young players who played such a decisive role last year start taking success for granted; the Golden Knights forget what it takes to win close games; the defense struggles to fill holes in the front seven.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Last year, we felt good together. Coming through spring, I think we all improved together. Now it seems like things have come together even more. The first day of practice, we were out there communicating well. We know how one another are going to play and that makes it easier out there." — UCF right tackle Josh Sitton, one of five returning starters from an offensive line that has combined for 93 career starts.


HEAD COACH: George O'Leary, third year at UCF, 8-16 with the Golden Knights

MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER: C Cedric Gagne-Marcoux — Gagne-Marcoux is the cornerstone of an offensive line that returns five starters and gives the Golden Knights a solid, physical foundation up front.

BREAKOUT STAR: FS Jason Venson — Venson did some positive things as a freshman in 2005 but an improved defense and the presence of cornerbacks Joe Burnett and Johnell Neal could allow Venson to get involved in more tackles and more big plays in the passing game.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH: WR Keith Houston — With the loss of starting receiver Brandon Marshall and the uncertainty surrounding starting Mike Walker's knee, Houston has a chance to come in and play right away this fall.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP: Offense — QB Steven Moffett, TB Kevin Smith, FB Jason Peters, WR Mike Walker, WR Rocky Ross, TE Mike Merritt, LT Patrick Brown, LG Dominic Ignelzi, C Cedric Gagne-Marcoux, RG L.J. Anderson, RT Josh Sitton

Defense — LE Emeka Okammor, LT Leger Douzable, RT Keith Shologan, RE Chris Welsh, LB Jordan Richards, LB Cory Hogue, LB Ronnell Sandy, LC Johnell Neal, SS Sha'reff Rashad, FS Jason Venson, RC Joe Burnett

ROSTER REPORT: The Golden Knights came out of spring practice with some health concerns but entered the preseason with only one major concern, middle linebacker Steven Baker (knee). With Baker out for an indefinite period, senior Ronell Sandy is once again making the move from his more natural position at outside linebacker to the middle. The Golden Knights will also be looking for immediate help from freshmen Chance Henderson and DaQuwan McNealy.

Senior Mike Walker, the team's leading returning receiver, appears to be making a positive return from surgery after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee late in the 2005 season.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Planetary News: The Big Boot

And then there were system dioramas all around the world are not out of date and incorrect.

The people who control what is and isn't a planet have spoken, and they decided that Pluto is no longer worthy of the Planet status.

First things first, I didn't even know there were people who were in charge of this.

Second, wow...that changes everything and yet nothing at the same time. There are now only eight planets, but is anyone really effected?

Third, I guess there is going to be some new subplanet type thing/classification that Pluto is going to fit into, along with some other stuff floating around out there just waiting to SLAM into Earth and end it all.

It's been an exciting day in astronomy...I mean, to astronomers, this is like winning the Super Bowl huge.


Observations: Automobile Tastes

Having grown up in the greater Detroit metro area for the first 17+ years of my life I've always been a car guy. Now, what I mean is not that I can tell you the difference between engines, or why one model year car is better than another, what I mean is that I've always had an interest in the car business and how that business effects out country, and more importantly to me, my family back in Michigan.

I've always had a preference to Chysler and their other brands (Dodge, Jeep, and the defunt Plymouth). My grandfather worked for Chrysler for most of his adult life, eventually retiring from there in the mid eighties. My whole extended family drove Chrylers...Jeeps, minivans, sedans.... Cherokee's, Grand Voyagers, Stratuses. I prefered the look of a Chrysler over a Ford or Chevy too. That's not to say the Chrysler wasn't lacking in many areas, it was. But for me, I was a Chrysler guy, and that's just the way it was going to be.

Until I discovered German cars in high school. Man, did those Germans know how to design and engineer something or what? I'd never really looked at BMWs, or in Detroit was a Buick, Lincoln, or Cadillac. Only yuppies drove cars from Germany...but boy did those yuppies have nice cars.

It was BMW really, and later Audi, that a truly fancied. Their clean lines, hard edges, smooth contours, that was what appealed to me. Mercedes never really did it for me as much as Bimmers and Audis, and even to a point VWs. I still thought there were nice though, so don't get me wrong, Mercedes are indeed very very nice cars.

It was sort of a best of both worlds feeling when Chrysler and Daimler/Mercedes "merged" to form Daimler/Chrysler. Chrysler had been hurting and needed some help, Mercedes saw a brand that could really help them take a greater share of the American, and ultimatley world, market. Things started to look up almost immediatley, as the PT Cruiser was a smash hit, and still sells well to this day.

Chrysler, while not in the clear yet, has continued to rebuild their brand and created cars that have become icons in America. The Chrysler 300c is the flagship sedan of the brand, and very well should be. It's elegance demands respect, and it truly looks like the car of royalty...albiet the royalty of Auburn Hills. The Dodge Magnum, allowing dads restricted to driving wagons have a little fun while doing it. The Dodge Charger, taking the 4 door American sedan to new heights. The, yeah...that one was sort of a miss. Anyway, they've got three strong hits, a great line of Dodge trucks and SUVs, and the whole "Hemi" thing.

Good stuff.

However, I've been troubled by the problems with GM and Ford. As much as I know Chrysler is in my blood, in a way Ford and GM are too. Afterall, they've helped fuel Detroit as long as Chrysler has. I remember what happened to Flint when the plants closed. That city is a shell of it's former self, a true lesson is putting your eggs in one basket. However, Ford's and GM's problems are different than Chrysler.

I can't think of a car that I want to drive from either of them. Sure, the Mustang is nice, but I've never really liked Vettes. Giant GM SUVs, please. Ford F-150, not a pickup guy. Buick Lesabre, gag me. Chevy Montecarlo, do people still buy these? Ford 500, not a bad start, but no one else seems to think it's good enough to buy. How do you fix a company that makes a TON of cars no one really cares for, and then has to give away at employee prices? How do you fix a company without causing thousands of people their jobs and livelyhoods? I'm glad I don't run either of those companies. The only job worse than that is running the Detroit Lions...oh wait, the Ford family has F'ed that up too. Coincidence?

There are continued rough times ahead for Ford and GM. I wish them the best...even if I have a slight grin knowing that my guys are in the best shape.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Internet News: SPAM!

I thought this was interesting...Microsoft released some "patch" that resulted in a bunch more zombies being created. As of last week or so "spam [is] making up 81 percent of all mail volume".


Funny thing is when they describe the spam: "They are mostly Rolex spam and porn spam." Hrmmm...could this be the spam they're talking about:

You can click on the image for a larger view, but that is just a snippet of what is sitting in my junk mail box for my gmail account. I just want to know who click on that stuff and actually goes to the sites? Seriously....


Internet News: BellSouth and Verizon are Jerks

Okay, so, the Fed removed the Universal Service Fund for DSL lines. This fee can vary depending on your service and subscriber, anywhere from 1.20 to 4 bucks, give or take. Well, the USF fee doesn't have to be applied to DSL you think that Verison and BellSouth DSL customers would see savings on their bills.


They're not seeing a lowered bill. Instead, both companies put some made up jack off fee on their bills for the same amount. Talk about cheap bastards. In essence, they're keeping your bill the same amount and pocketing the difference, hoping you won't notice.

Verizon even said they're going to keep charging the extra amount to offset their loses with naked DSL. Naked DSL is when you have a DSL line but don't pay for the phone companies regualr phone line as well. Typically they cahrge you like 5 or 10 bucks more a month for this. So, basically, Verizon is making REGULAR CUSTOMERS subsidize their losses.

This just goes to show you that when free market forces get to do what they want, what they will do is rip off the little guy...period. If anyone things they won't F us over without net neutrality thing again. They're just aching to charge us more for "premium" internet, and then charge internet companies for "premium" bandwidth.

You can read more about it on this article on


Computer News: SNES Emulator on the Mac

I was very pleased to find a OSX version on ZNES last night. For those who don't know, ZNES is the premier Super Nintendo computer emulator. It isn't universal binary though, so I was a bit worried it might not work on my Intel Macbook. I figured I'd give it a shot.

It downloaded fine. It booted up fine. Now was the tough part...would the ROM load. I think the grin on my face stretched from ear to ear as Sim City scrolled up my screen. It hauls ass on the Macbook too, none of the little stutters I experiance on my desktop PC. I think that has more to do with the faster chip than the OS though.

I'm looking forward to getting some Sim City on, playing a bit of Secret of Mana, and maybe going through Final Fanstasy 3 (or 6, depending on what numbering scheme you use) one more time. Should be some good days ahead.


My Life: Hard Drive on the Way

Looks like my hard drive shipped out last night. I ordered it from Monday night. After a day of processing, their tracking site said UPS had picked it ip. So, I checked the UPS site and sure enough it says "Sched. Delivery: 08/24/2006," which is a day sooner than I thought I'd get it.

I paid the extra two bucks in shipping to get two day air. Why? Well, OWC is located in California, near the same area the warehouse I order my protien from is located. I know that when using regualr UPS to ship the protien it can take like 5-7 days to get here to Atlanta. I wanted to be able to take care of all this HD stuff this weekend, so, I paid the extra couple of bucks to make sure it got here by this Friday. Looks like I'll get my wish.

I would have liked to have gotten the 7200 rpm HD, but for a 120 gig HD that was like eighty bucks more. I figure I've used 5400 for this long, would I really notice the difference? If it's a big deal I can always go back in a year or two and get a bigger faster HD. I'm sure by then they'll have 200 gig 10,000 rpm notebook HDs.

I'll take some pictures this weekend as I put the new HD into my Macbook. I'll also make note of how the movement of files went from my Macbook, to my external HD, and then back to the Macbook. I guess, worst case, if things go wrong I can just put in my old HD and I'm up and running again until I can figure out what went wrong.


My Life: I hurt my foot somehow

I hurt the heel on my left foot somehow this weekened. I really have no idea how I did it, all I know is that it just hurts. This is odd, really, since it's not like I didn't anything extravagant this weekend. I did do a lot of walking though, and most of that was in flipflops, so maybe that had something to do with it. I'm not sure though.

This is the worst kind of foot pain too (well, honestly, that's up for debate...I mean, it's possible there are other more severe foot pains that I don't know about that make this pale in comparison...actually, I'm sure there are, so take what I said with a grain of salt), the kind that you feel with every step. Each step I take, BAM, there's my heel hurting.

I think it's gotten a little better, and since I don't do any high impact stuff I really only feel it when I walk around. The bad part is that none of my work shoes really have much going for them in the cushion department. They're all flat soled, and have that hard rubber crap at the bottom of them that make the "clop clop" sound when you walk. Seriously, I sound like a horse sometimes when I wear these black ones I have. Maybe I should get some jell insoles or something, that might help. Then I could be jelling.

"Are you jellin?"

"Like a felon."

How does a felon jell? Hrmm.....


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Engrish: Watch your step series #2

Here is the second picture in the "Watch your step" series. You gotta love "drunken walking!" However, i myself prefer "Caution Tripping," it's really the only way to trip nowadays.


Observations: Day two with my Macbook

Day two with my Macbook has come and gone. I brought it into work yesterday, mainly to show my coworker John. However, just my luck, I forgot he's out for the week training at a client site. I sent him an e-mail and he said he was bummed out and asked me to bring it in on Monday. So I said I would. I should have a nice case by then anyway.

Things are going well and I'm find it easy to move my files over from my desktop PC. I picked up a firewire cable yesterday which made moving my filed SO MUCH FASTER. I wish I had firewire on my desktop, but it's kind of old, because movingfiles from it to my external backup drive used to take forever. Fortunatly, my backdrive has firewire. So, moving that stuff to the Macbook has taken just minutes instead of over an hour. Bebe, who has a firewire port on her Dell, had no idea it was that much faster either, so she'll be using it to backup her stuff as well.

I'm almost out of HD space on the Macbook. This is mainly due to my music collection. The standard HD on a Macbook is 60gig, not small but not big either. Unfortunatly, I have a decent sized music collection and I like to rip my songs at a high bit rate, so my collection is about 50% bigger than it could be. I've got about 10 gigs left to spare, which actually would be okay if not for what I plan to do in the next week or two.

You see, I'm going to get a program called Parallels that allows me to run XP virtually on the Macbook. I could use something Apple provides called Bootcamp to run XP natively, but I'd prefer to not have to shut down and reboot each time I need to use XP. Anyway, back to what I was saying, to do this seriously, I'm going to need a bigger HD that I can partition for XP to use. the 10 gig I have left wouldn't cut it for that. To get around this issue I ordered a 120gig HD notebook HD which should get here later this week.

The people on the Macworld message board gave me a cool program that allows me to make a copy of my Mac to an external HD, or secondary drive, and then simply move that copy back over when I put in a new HD. Talk about nice. While I'll have to put OSX on the new HD once installed, restoring the copy will put back all my programs, files, setting, and everything else just the way it was before the new HD was put in. I'm going to look at this a bit more this weekend when I move the stuff over.

Other than that I'm just trying to get the hang on OSX, which has been pretty easy to pick up on. Stuff that takes 5 steps in XP takes like 2 in OSX. The interface is great as well, just much more pleasant to use than XP. I look forward to putting some more RAM in it in a few more weeks. It's only for 512MB right now, which does okay, but I'd lie to max it out at 2gig. That will set me back around 150-200 bucks or so, depending on where I get it. I figure I'll put 100 bucks aside this payday, and another 100 next payday, then i'm good to go.

One last thing...which I didn't know, OSX boots up faster each time. Evidently, OSX constantly moves the files you need more when you boot up to the parts of the drive it can get to quickest, or something like that. So basically, after about 5-7 of your first boots, each time after that it will get incrementally faster for the next 15-20 boots. After that the improvements trail off until that aren't noticiable anymore. I went from booting in about 30 seconds at first (which has me freaking out) to about 13 seconds now, which is amazing.

Have a good one.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Observations: Dead Tired

Man, I am so tired. My body is just dragging and dragging and I have an hour and a half of work left. This sucks. I'd like to be more productive but I just can't be, not like this.

It's a real pain too, because I have things I need to get done. For example, I could be writing my "Master Payroll Procedure Guide" right now but instead I'm writing to my blog. Oh priorities.

On the other hand, a cup of coffee might do the trick right now. However, that would require me to get up, go somewhere, buy something, come back, and sit down again. It's significantly more convienant to just sit here and complain.

Mabye I just need to get to bed earlier on Sunday nights.


Engrish: Srippery When Wet

I mean, come on...did they even try here? "Carefully slip and fall down," seriously...I mean, cooooome oooooon.

You gotta love it.

The best part is the little picture of the guy losing his grip. All I can think of is "hope you did that carefully, and that black line below you is a mattress or somethin."


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Observations: Enter the Macbook

Well...I made the switch. Aaron probably thinks I'm a fag for this, but I'm okay with that...thats his issue, not mine.

Anyway, this thing is pretty nice and its cool to finally not be stuck up in my loft on my old desktop.

On the flip side, it's going to be a pain in the ass to migrate my files and stuff to the Macbook. My 300 gig backup drive is not readable by Mac, nor would it be readable by PC if it was formatted for Mac. So, I'll have to figure something out.

However, a lot of my software won't be too big of a problem. I'm ording Office for Mac tomorrow. I only have to pay 20 bucks for it through work due to some program we're in with Microsoft, which is nice. I put FInal Draft on the Macbook too. Actually, I'm taking a bit of a break right now from writing so I can do this entry.

I ended up getting the 2 gig Macbook. It's only got 512 megs of RAM, which is okay for now, but I plan on upgrading that soon. The harddrive is okay, at 60 gigs, but I'll probably upgrade that as well once I get a chance to get my 300 gig back up formatted correctly.

This thing is sexy, I'll tell you that. Right from when you open the box you realize you're not dealing with a PC. Now, I'm not going to get into the OSX vs Windows thing, and which one is better. Each camp has valid arguments and I'm just not going to go there. I simply wanted a change. After a decade of Windows it's over. Now, I am going to put Parallels on here and probably do a Windows and Linux install just for shits and giggles. That's a project a few weeks away though. For now there are bigger things at hand.

You know, one thing that's nice, Bebe hates Macs. HATES THEM! That means that I don't have to worry about her using mine, although I do see her eventually coming around to it. She doens't like change, and she says "Windows is jsut the way it is, people need to learn to deal with that." I know...I know, that's just the way it is.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Observations: Mornings with Robin

I've nver been a big morning person. I usually hate smiling in the morning. To me, mornings shouldn't be about bright and sunny, but about the dread of having to leave your warm comfortable bed and go to some place you'd rather not be. I mean, lets face it here kids, no one likes getting up, and I mean really getting up. If you could you know you'd lay in bed for a while...just warm and snug in your sheets, perhaps with someone else, perhaps by yourself. Unfortunatly, most of us don't have the luxury of staying in bed, so we get up.

That's the start of our day. Wake. Coffee. News. Sometimes in a different order than that, but usually with News as the second or third item (doens't make much sense to get news and then wake up). I'm not a big "happy happy morning news show" person. As a matter of fact, the more dry and emotionless my morning news the better. The last thing I want to hear or see are people being chipper on my TV screen or through my radio speakers. I want dry monotone voices that won't disturb my crankyness. And come on, none of them are fun to listen to, and are almost immune to the obnoxiousness of their own voices. Then, I found Robin.

For those who don't know, Robin is the anchor of the morning news on Headline News. Actually, it's her show...Robin & Company. I don't know who "the Company" is, nor do I care, I watch it for her. I've always sort of had a thing for news anchors (I used to think Ashley Banfield was smoking, but oddly enough only with her glasses on). Maybe it's the woman in charge thing. Maybe I just like their hair. Who knows. But man, does Robin do it for me.

She's chipper, but not in that obnoxious sort of way. I don't even know if she's any good at what she does. She's pretty and a face I don't mind seeing in the morning, and that that smile is to die for. I think the thing I dig the most is that somewhere, in this huge city we call Atlanta, she's around, looking hot. I could go down to the CNN Center and wait for her. That's how I saw Zane (a hot anchor on regular CNN, she's from South Africa and it so sexy). Actually, i don't work too far from there, so I could go for lunch...hrm...better not.

Anyway, Robin, if for some reason you read this, you've got a fan. Keep it up. Sorry to see that GIANT rock on your hand though, lucky guy.

Now, if only Sumi Das could get her own show.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Transformers The Movie News: Last set of pictures

There is a Q and A with the writers tomorrow where they say they will answer questions on the "final" list of Transformers in the movie, and how they may or may not relate to G1 characters from the show. I'm not going to even talk about that until next week.

As I said, here are the two pictures I promissed. The first is of Ironhide's something, or so it's said. Not a lot to go on. THe second is an onset shot of some guys dressed as guards and whatnot. This is from the Hoover Damn sequence in the film, but I have no idea what happens there. Also, the futuristic vehicle in the background I talked about is there. Its sort of dune buggy looking. So, who knows.



Transformers The Movie News: Clarifications, Prime CGI Verified Authentic

I don't know what TheMovieBlog is or who does it, but time and time again people keep saying that this guy is "the bomb" when it comes to calling "real" or "fake" on stuff.

So, he was able to verify that the Prime CGI pictures I posted were indeed real. You can see the story here. In addition, the fan cencept art of Prime is posted as well. He said Paramount could not confirm if that was real, and if it is, it doesn't look like they are using it for more than just scale and general proportions.

In addition, I've been able to find out more on who the tank was in my last post. His name is Devastator. Megatron, at least according to the script, will be a futuristic looking jet, unlike everythign else that has a "Earth" look to it. Megatron is said to still look like he's fresh off the boat from Cybertron. On the other hand, Starscream is an F-22 Raptor, so that's sorta cool. I still would have liked to have seen Megatron as some sort of cannon or something.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Transformers The Movie News: Pictures Gallore!

Okay, so here is the last round of pictures I was able to find. If you checked this blog at all last night then you saw this post without text. I'm not sure what happened, so I'm putting some words up again.

At any rate, I don't know who this tank is, but I suspect it might be Megatron. I know he's been a tank in some of the comic books, but I don't really know too much else about that. For physical reasons they simply couldn't make him a big ass hand gun anymore. Not to mention a realistic looking toy that looks like a hand gun couldn't be made and marketed the same way it was back in the 80s, although the original Megatron was wicked cool.

I think this tank looks pretty neato, even if it doesn't turn out to be Megatron. Although Bay has said he wants to stay as true to the Transformers series as he could, hes never said what transformers series that is. There are different generations (i.e G1, G2, G3) and comic book universes and even a Japanese version called Convoy. All of these are based on the same Transformers we all know in love, but each has it's own style and substance.

In the end I don't know how close it will be to the cartoon, how close it will be to verious comics, or whatever. It could turn out to be another Masters of the Universe, or it could turn out to be a Hellboy or Sin City. There's just no knowing until the next trailer comes out or we learn some more.

Back to the tank, it certainly looks impressive. It's also very big. You can see it in relation to the cab of the big rig pulling it. Big rigs are big, and this thing is easily three or four times that size. That means one big robot. This makes sense though, because Prime's truck is big, and we'd need the main villian and hero roughly the same size for their battles to look any good.

Now, I have no idea who "Bonecrusher" is or who's side he's on. I'm going out on a limb here and saying that he's a Decepticon, but I've got nothing to back that up right now. He just...I don't know, looks like a Decepticon. Her certainly doesn't look like any truck I've seen before. I'm not too sure what that "arm" thing is that's on the side of it. The truck certaintly looks modified with extra parts that look functional but are probably there so that when he transforms he's got a weapon, or something.

The Bonecrusher logo looks gay. Well, not gay, but sily at the least. It does have a very military look to it, as if some grunts painted it on, so maybe it wasn't by his choice. You can see the graphic on the back rear panel of the truck on the image to the right. Below is a close up of the logo itself. I don't know, maybe it's not to bad looking. I've heard that this logo shows up on more places than just on this vehicle.

"Where else?" you ask? I'll have more on that later. There is reason to believe that there are some non Autobot or Decepticon Transformers in the movie. I know, I know, that sounds dumb, but think about that for a moment. In the movie and time and time again in the series new robots were found that didn't fit the typical "Autobot" or "Decepticon" mold, so this really isn't THAT out of the ordinary.

Take the Dinobots for example. They weren't exactly Autobots at first. As a matter of fact, I think they fought with the Autobots the first time everyone met. I know Grimlock was a pretty tough cookie, he was always one of my favorites.

These non Transformer transformers might be man made creations. Wouldn't it be cool if while all the stuff is going down, the real shit is hitting the fan, out army guys are like "General, here is our line of defense, I give you the "Armybots." These four robots walk up looking all cool and stuff but are obviously man made, and thus really just glorified computers. Then, they're sent out on the battle field to take on the Autobots, because, you know, the Army ALWAYS gets it wrong in the movies and attacks the good guys first. Then, the Decepticon's show up and beat the hell out of the Armybots, showing up we have no idea what we're doing. That'd be pretty neat.

I'll have the pictures of the "futuristic" vehicles that lead me to believe something like this might be happening later. I've got to go back home and get the images off my local PC first. Also, I'll put up the image of Ironhide's shoulder/leg/back (we really don't know). It's not as dramatic as the Prime stuff, but it's still neat. In addition, there is some fan art of Optimus that shows that even with the "Bay" version of the transformers they can still look like Transformers. Much like the Bumble Bee concept art, it helped to calm me down. They even have coloring that is similar to the red, blue, and flames stuff.


Transformers The Movie News: Bumble Bee concept art, FULL BODY

Okay, we all saw the Bumble Bee stuff from a few weeks back. Unfortunatly, he was laying on his face. Well, here is his concept art. As you can see, he does indeed look like a transformer.

The only thing that bothers me is the face, but other than that it seems to match spot on with the other picture (the one of the real anamatronic robot).

I've found this on a site with a TON of stuff that I'll be posting little by little.


Transformers The Movie News: Prime's Arm and Face

Now, I will admit I've been on the fence so far with the Transformers stuff. Some of it is cool, some of it isn't...especially the Optimus Prime with flames stuff.

Well, I check and lo and behold there is Transformers news. I click on the link and see these images.

First, the arm. I like it, a lot. Bay said he's going to make the Transformers appear as though the parts they have can actually come from a car. IN other words, no size changing suer neat transformations like in the cartoons. These guys will look like vehicles. Wires, egines, exhaust, wheels, you name it and it's going to be there. This could be more apparant than the Bumble Bee robot shoot from a few weeks back. Seeing how the flames thing will look on the transformed Prime arm, I think I'll let it slide. He looks blue and red, which is good enough for me.

Now the face. This is the money shot right here. This will calm down all the hoohoo nannys that were getting in a fuss. Sure his eyes are blacked out, but the important part is that his face guard is there. No lips, no mouth, just a face guard, as it should be. I'm not saying that at some point it's going to be removed and we'll see his mouth, but at least for the time being we know that it is indeed there, and it will be used (or so it will seem).

Supposedly these shots have been "leaked" on purpose to calm everyone down that's been hating on Bay lately. He wants to show that while he is doing some of his own things with the source material, he's keeping it real.

While this give me hope, I won't be satisfied until I see Megatron. If he's going to be an M1-A1 tank, he's going to have to look bad ass, or I'm going to be pissed.


Amazing Invention?

This could be the most amazing invention ever.

Or it could suck ass.

I figure this works out well for people who a runny nose, or for someone who's breath smells like ass.


Engrish: Cat-Smack

Everyone loves little baby kittens. Everyone loves little baby kittens that are fed "Enough Nutrition." That's why I feed my little baby kittens "Cat Smack."

Once they're hooked they always keep coming back for more!


Comments back on

I've turned the comments back on. However, there is now a word verification process that is required. This should prevent some of the comment spam I've been getting.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Entertainment News: Kate and Some Guy Get Divorced

Kate Hudson and some guy she's married to (reportedly some person who once sang in a band that was moderatley sucessful at best) are getting divorced. My question...does anyone care?

Ramdom Fact: Chris Robinson (the "person who once sang in a band" I was refering to above) graduated from the same high school Bebe just started teaching at. Imagine that.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Observations: Express Yourself

I've mentioned a few times that I'm an aspiring writer. Sometimes it's a quick short story. Sometimes its a blog post. Sometimes something completely unrelated. My passion, at least at the moment, is in writing screenplays.

Sure, there are a billion people out there who write screen plays, some of those people are actually good too. Most of those people would like to write screen plays professionally, and actually make a living off of it. However, the likelihood of that happening is about as good as it is for someone to make the NFL, or NBA, or some other such professional sports league. It's not that you're bad, it's that there are other people that much better and there are only a certain amount of spots available. Catch my drift.

While my dream would be to "make it," the reality is that I won't. However, that doesn't stop me from keeping on at it. You see, I have the luxury of writing for fun, something a professional doesn't always have the chance to do. They have to write to make a living. I don't. I do other boring stuff with computers to get my money. For me, this is a hobby, a glorified one, but a hobby nonetheless.

I've always been someone who likes to express themselves. Whether that's with images, drawing, pictures, painting, talking to much, whatever, I do it because thats the type of person I am. It doesn't hurt that I actually have talent when it comes to doing some of those activities. Writing, for me, is just one of those outlets. It allows for me to create a story, a whole world, that I can control. I'm able to say the things I want to say the way I want to say them. Its something that I find few other mediums allow me to experience.

I've been "writing" of some sort for a long time. I remember competing in grade school in a short story competition. I was one of three finalists in all of the second grade. I finished second to a girl who wrote a story about a magical bird who could talk. My story, on the other hand, had to do with David and Goliath, sabotage, intrigue, excitement, action, drama, and good triumphing over evil. Her story had a bird who could talk. I had dialog between several characters. She just had narrative prose with no conversations. I was pissed. To this day I still think I came in second because I had some sort of violence in my story and she didn't. Plus, the look my teacher gave me when they announced the winner just screamed "this was fixed." Nonetheless, that was my first experience writing, I never really stopped.

Right now I'm adapting a short story I wrote into a screenplay. I'm sure eventually I'll talk more about it, if I haven't said something on a previous post, but I really think I've got something. As I import scene by scene into Final Draft i just keep saying, "I can't believe I wrote this." Whether that means anything or not, its a big step for me. This story was a leap, from immature to mature. It's a story I had to work at to find. I knew what I wanted was hidden in the depths of current events, waiting and crying to get out. I took my time, letting it simmer, milling it over in my head, doing the proper research to figure out who the characters would be, how they would react, and most importantly why they would react. Then, I started writing.

Unlike in the past I didn't jump right into the script. Instead I did this as three separate stories. At points these stories do cross, but for the most part that are independent of each other. Each story has it's own characters who have their own difficulties and reasons for doing what they do. I didn't know how to combine that all together form the outset, so I did it the way I knew how, separately.

Once complete, I merged them together. Some of the times it fit nicely, other times it caused problems. There were continuity problems, contradictions, and other such issues, but I kept at it, still working on those problems in shorty story form. It took three drafts but I finally got it right and started to import it into Final Draft last week.

So far I've got 70 pages in script form. Based on how it's transfered over from short story so far I anticipate this coming in around 120-130 pages, big for a script, but not big considering its first draft and it's a pretty complex story. Its been fun to see how things change once I put them into script form. A scene loses extra lines, I've got to point out what characters are speaking what languages, and to whom; things you just don't need to worry about when writing in another form.

It's been rewarding so far, and something that makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something. I won't rush it, actually I won't even write tonight. Instead I do it when I want to, when I feel the need to, and not simply two hours every night like I have in the past. I'll most likely get it finished this weekend and print it out Monday next week. It should be interesting to see what the overall product comes across as when someone else takes a look.

Until then, take it easy.


Movie Review: Appleseed

Seems kind of wrong to go from Hotel Rwanda to this movie, but what are you going to do. I've seen a few episodes from the Appleseed series here and there. I'm not very knowledgeable about the series, other than there was tough chick who hung out with her "lover" who had been turned into a machine when he was severely damaged, thus ending their physical relationship.

fortunately for me Appleseed The Movie was a retelling of the origination of the series. This made things much easier to understand since it introduced all of the characters and the overall situation the world is dealing with. Before going into that, I want to take some time to set a few things up.

I've always been a fan of Japanese animation. Maybe it first started with Voltron, perhaps it was Robotech, but whatever the reason I've always popped for it. Let me justify that statement, I've popped for the more mainstream stuff. As with any niche product there are weird subversions of Japanese animation I just don't get, nor do I want to get understand. This stuff is created for the Japanese culture, and with that are things that don't translate into American culture. That can sometimes be no more evident than with their animation. Some of the stuff is just plain weird. While I don't consider myself an expert, I'm pretty well versed in several major series and movies and can usually "hang" with the anime dorks when need be.

Appleseed is the story of Dunan Knute and her introduction to the post apocalyptic utopian city known as Olympus. Evidently there was this big war (which they hint was WWIII), and most of the world is just in shambles. They don't mention nukes, but one can assume to some degree those were used. The war is still being fought although there are no "winners" but due to it's length it's degraded to nothing more than small skirmished between heavily armed guerilla forces. Dunan is one of these guerilla fighters, and the best one at that, and her skills are well known and admired.

Unbeknownst to her, as well as other guerilla fighters, there has been a city constructed to act as a new utopia, or a harbringer of change, for humans on this planet. It's called Olympus and although it's location isn't pointed out explicitly (if it was I missed it) one can assume it's a refuge from the fighting and likely terraformed from a large mountain. Olympus was constructed with a giant computer named Gaia, and all the generals and whatnot that run the place have various Greek names (i.e. Uranus, Nike, Athena).

In Olympus theses "wise men" have designed this race of artificial humans called bioroids, who are sort of controlled by Gaia but yet are independent at the same time. Basically, they're genetically engineered humans that have certain thoughts/emotions prevented, such as love and hate. They are also not allowed to reproduce and they have a limited life span before they must be "recharged." If they're not recharged they will age super fast and die within a week.

Obviously, there are people who resent these bioroids and want them destroyed. That's where the conflict comes in. Dunan teams up with E.S.W.A.T., the cities special police force who has these neat mech suits they wear. The bad guys are the Olympus regular Army, which I assume are actually there to protect the city from the war outside, although they seem more interested in concentrating on what is going on inside the city instead of leaving that up to E.S.W.A.T.

This anime uses a new technique that seems to be getting more and more popular. Basically they use motion capture suits to capture the movements of actors and then populate that into a CGI program with prerendered characters and backgrounds. The character are not shaded with textures like Final Fantasy or Shrek, but are instead cell shaded so they look like regular animation. This leaves a neat looking color palate and style that seems familiar yet new at the same time. It takes a few minutes to get used to since when you first see you your head wants to assume it's regular animation but your eyes pick up on things that tell you that it isn't.

The sound track includes well known producer Paul Oakenfeld, and a Japanese group called Boom Boom Satellites. The music is techo/industrial and fits the mood of the film quite nicely.

The action sequences are great, almost on par with Final fantasy Advent Children. The mechas punch and kick with the force you want to see them use. The final sequence with these giant land walking cannons is great, with the look and feel of the machines seeming very realistic.

The art direction of the flick is very cyber punk, but with heavy industrial and neofuture elements that brings it all together. The parts that are supposed to look dark look dark, and the parts that should look light look light. The director uses this to show "good" and "bad" parts as well as "despair" and "hope." I could go into this more but I think you get what I'm saying.

I'd give this a 8 out of 10. Good story. Interesting characters. Great action. A worthwhile rent, or if you're into it purchase.


Movie Review: Hotel Rwanda

I actually saw this movie last week. It's a movie I'd been wanting to see for a while, but just never picked up at the rental store. Now that I have Netflix, that really isn't much of a problem anymore.

I sat down to start Hotel Rwanda on Wednesday evening. I figured I'd get an hour or so into the film and then call it a night before bed. I really didn't know what the film was about, other than the fact it had to do with genocide in Africa in the mid nineties.

Here's the summary for Hotel Rwanda from "Ten years ago some of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind took place in the country of Rwanda--and in an era of high-speed communication and round the clock news, the events went almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. In only three months, one million people were brutally murdered. In the face of these unspeakable actions, inspired by his love for his family, an ordinary man summons extraordinary courage to save the lives of over a thousand helpless refugees, by granting them shelter in the hotel he manages."

The story follows Paul Rusesabagina as he protects his family, and the family and friends around him, as best as he can as the genocide unfolds around him. This was a very touching story and something I couldn't help but feel very guilty about. When this was occurring I was only 14 or 15, and not plugged into the news and internet like I am today, but could I not have known this was going on? In an era of CNN, 24 hours news, and the fledgling internet, was this simply ignored or was it still just out of the reach of the information age?

Nick Nolte's character Colonel Oliver summed up the lack of aid best when he said, "You're black. You're not even a nigger. You're an African." That summed it up for me. No one helped because no one cared. It was just a bunch of primitive Africans killing each other, not my problem. That was the mentality of the age. The Europeans created the mess when they colonized, and now that they were gone they weren't going to clean anything up, they were just going to leave it as is.

The movie is presented with an amazing clarity that leaves it easily accessible to even the most ignorant to world atrocities. You don't need to know the history for each tribe to know why the hatred is there. One tribe was held back (the Hutu) by the Belgians, the other (the Tutsi) was hand selected to rule over the country. That was it. Everything else in the movie was black and white. The carnage and violence played out for the viewer in the most basic sense of human nature, unadulterated hatred and death.

The scenes to show the carnage an aftermath must have been chosen carefully from the true like experiences of Paul. Although I'm sure the visuals barely compared to what he really saw, the director must have selected the right ones to show so that the carnage was easily accessible to the viewer. There would be no sugar coating in this film, just the truth.

I found this movie amazing. It's beyond what my movie reviews can do. I'm not good at the serious stuff, and this is one serious movie. I suggest you pick it up if you haven't yet.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Observations: Who Babies Look Like When They're Born

Bebe and I have some friends who just had their first child. It happens to look just like the father at the moment (crisis avoided).

Another pair of friends of ours had their first child around a year ago. It too looked significantly like the father at birth. However, shortly thereafter it "changed" and started to look more like the mother.

During the course of a conversation on the newborn baby of our friends, Bebe mentioned that all babies look like their fathers when they are born. I thought this was a bit of a generalization, so I called her on it.

"I've never heard that before," I said.

"It's scentific fact," she said. "They say that they look like the fathers because it reinforces to the dad that it's their child and makes them bond with it. The mother has carried the child, so there is no need to reinforce the bonding there. If the baby looks like the dad, the father is more likely to want to help take care of it."

"That's a theory, you can't prove something like that," I said.

"It's fact, I read it somewhere."


"I don't know, somewhere."

"I don't remember ever reading that during sex ed in school, or learning about it on any of the nature shows I've seen about child birth and whatnot. I've seen kids that look like their moms when their born."

"It's a fact."

"Okay, if it's a fact, how do you prove it?"

"They did."


"I don't know, studies and stuff."

"Babe, there is no way to prove something like that unless they were to interview God Himself and ask, 'so, child birth...are you trying to make the baby look like any particular parent when the baby is born?' I mean, seriosuly, in common society today there is no way to study something like that effectivley because of social norms that require fathers to take care of their kids now."

"It's fact."

"Fine, whatever. I've just never heard that before."

"Well, that's your problem."

The conversation was effectively ended on that note. There was no further discussion. She was right, and I was ignorant. That's why way things are in our house.

For the record, I've looked on Google today and haven't found anything about babies looking like fathers when they're born. If you find something please let me know. While I'm not saying that Bebe is wrong, I certainly want to see some evidence of this theory.


Animal News: Contagious Dog Cancer

Yesterday I was up in the loft writing when out of no where Bebe comes up and says, "I don't want you letting Casper sniff other dogs butts anymore. Actually, I don't want you letting Casper sniffing any dogs at all anymore." For future reference, Casper, is her dog and, since we live together and will be married soon, my dog too.

Now, I had a few issues with her statement. For one, it implies that only I let Casper sniff other dogs butts. This couldn't be further from the truth. When I am taking Casper out on walks I rarely stop to let him even aknowledge other dogs, let alone the dogs in out neighborhood. In reality, its rare that I'm even the one taking him out on a walk. Second, this implies that she never lets him sniff dogs butts, which is also a fabrication of lies. She stops quite often to chat with other dog owners. Naturally, this incolves butt sniffing between the dogs and perhaps light rough housing. Finally, I couldn't for the life of me, figure out why on Earth this long held practice of dogs was now outlawed in our pets life.

Bebe has a habit of only needing to hear a perfect stranger (either in print, on television, or in real life) mention something once and she takes it as the unwavering truth. However, if I tell her something I need to back up my statement with charts, facts, figures, various scientific studies, and the like before she asks someone else the same thing, they give the same answer I did, and she takes their word for it without even asking. I had my ideas as to where she got this littel tidbit of info from. So I gingerly asked, "Babe, why would you all of the sudden not allow Casper to sniff another dogs butt?"

"I just read that dogs can contract cancer by sniffing other dogs," she said. Bingo.

"Where the hell did you read that?" I asked.

"It's on MSNBC. Vets are really worried about it. It's quite a big deal."

Naturally, I didn't believe her. Not so much because she said it, but because it sounded so asinine that it couldn't possibly be true. You don't just catch cancer, it's not contagious. Something causes cancer. Maybe she left something out, maybe there is a virus dogs can catch that can possibly cause cancer, and it's caught from sniffing butts. That had to be it.

"Are you sure they just catch cancer? It's not a virus they catch that can cause cancer?" I ask.

"No," she said adamantly. "They just catch it from sniffing each other. So, no more sniffing butts for Casper."

I should have dropped everything and immediatly asked to see the article online but I was busy, and I had other things to get done before bed. I left the conversation where it stood and decided to follow up on the next morning.

Well, here I am the next morning, and so far I haven't found anything on MSNBC. Sure, there are articles on MSNBC.COM that have to do with dogs, cats, and other animals and cancer, but nothing that can be transmitted from dog to dog by sniffing each other. I turned to Google. Not much their either. I did find something that was sort of close to what she said. The Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine has an "article" on this website that describes somethign similar.

It says, "In cats and dogs, the most common "contagious" cancer we know of that can be spread from animal to animal is caused by the feline leukemia virus (FeLV). FeLV can cause lymphoma and several kinds of leukemia in affected animals and is transmitted between cats in saliva.
The only known contagious, virally-induced neoplasm in dogs is the papilloma (wart) commonly seen in young dogs and caused by the canine papillomavirus. Multiple, small, cauliflower-like growths may occur in the mouth or on the skin after infection with this virus, usually 4-8 months after exposure. As many as 50-100 tumors may be present at one time. The dog's body mounts an antibody response to this virus, however, and the tumors usually regress spontaneously in a few months. Transmissible venereal tumor is a tumor that can be spread from dog to dog by implantation of tumor cells onto a mucous membrane (vaginal lining, penile surface, oral cavity, rectal lining, etc.), but actual tumor cells are required---no virus has been implicated in this tumor's spread, and the tumor cannot be transmitted to any other species."

Okay, the first paragraph mentions cats. I already knew about feline lukemia, but that wasn't the topic of discussion, so that couldn't have been what she "read." Nothing there.

The second paragraph mentions dogs. Although virally-induced neoplasm sounded bad, I realized it was just a form of herpes that can cause tumors on a dogs mouth. Wow, she was right...or was she. The paragraph states, "The dog's body mounts an antibody response to this virus, however, and the tumors usually regress spontaneously in a few months." So this doens't appear to big a very big deal. The dogs get rid of the tumors themselves.

Then I got to this sentence, "Transmissible venereal tumor is a tumor that can be spread from dog to dog by implantation of tumor cells onto a mucous membrane (vaginal lining, penile surface, oral cavity, rectal lining, etc.), but actual tumor cells are required---no virus has been implicated in this tumor's spread." So it IS true. Your dog can technically get caner by sniffing another dogs butt that has cancer on it, only if some of the cancer cells flake off, get into their throat, implant, and then cause their own cancer. I would be concerned about this but I think I'd notice if a dogs ass has tumors falling off it.

I'll have to ask Bebe if she can find this article on MSBNC again. The Texas A&M piece didn't make it sound like this was a big deal. Hell, the dogs get rid of some of the cancer themselves. If I can find anything else out I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Car News: Look For This Ride in the Greater LA Area

Behold, the Cock Car!

This sweet ride can been seen rolling around Santa Monica and parts of the greater Metro LA area.

It's a converted Oldsmobile of some sorts with a rooster head and tail added to it. It should have some sweet yellow gold rims, but the owner appears to not have opted for that option.

Either way, that thing would have been sweet to roll up to the prom in.


Terror News: CODE RED ALERT!

I woke up this morning to a CODE RED ALERT! Actually, it’s not, well it sort of is, sorta, but not really. The Brits, those silly wankers, foiled this big terrorist plot to, as Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said, “be mass murder on an unimaginable scale.” Sounds pretty serious to me, especially when the British say something like that. They just have this way of talking that makes everything seem more proper and serious, maybe it’s me.

Evidently the plot involves using some sort of liquid explosive on carry on luggage to detonate planes in mid air, I’m assuming over the Atlantic. DHS has put a “RED ALERT” status on all planes coming to the US from the UK, which is the first time “RED ALERT” or “CODE RED” or in the case of my image “ELMO” has ever been used. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here and say this is pretty serious.

This opens up a lot of questions. First, what sort of liquid explosives were going to be used? We’ll probably never know the answer to that. Second, what sort of containers were actually going to be used to hide the stuff? I find it hard to imagine it was in little glass nail polish bottles. Third, what was going to be used to ignite the stuff? Is it chemical reaction? Was it an electronic device? There are too many possibilities for that one.

Airports in the UK are chaos right now, as one would imagine. Airports here are a bit different. Long lines, people complaining, garbage pails filling up with water bottles, cologne, the aforementioned nail polish, eye drops, soda….any and all liquids have to be dumped. NPR said they were allowing on formula and breast milk, but only if the mother “drank it first.” That makes me wonder how they test breast milk still in the breast, interesting scenario there.

Sarcasm aside, jolly good show to the Brits in foiling this plot, they saved a lot of peoples lives. Officials seem a bit freaked still about this, which makes me wonder how close to “d-day” they actually busted this thing. I’m sure more will come out as the day progresses. Until then, if you’re planning on catching a plane today, well….sucks to be you. Be safe.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Personal/Movie News: The Hammer Comes Down

Well, if you wanted to see the Transformers footage from Access Hollywood it's too late. YouTube busted me over this. Here's the e-mail I just got:

Dear Member:

This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification claiming that this material is infringing:

Transformers on Access Hollywood:

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to avoid future strikes against your account, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube's copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If you elect to send us a counter notice, to be effective it must be a written communication provided to our designated agent that includes substantially the following (please consult your legal counsel or see 17 U.S.C. Section 512(g)(3) to confirm these requirements):

(A) A physical or electronic signature of the subscriber.

(B) Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.

(C) A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.

(D) The subscriber's name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the subscriberis address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that the subscriber will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.

Such written notice should be sent to our designated agent as follows:

DMCA Complaints
YouTube, Inc.
PO Box 2053
San Mateo, CA 94401

Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability.

YouTube, Inc.

Oh well...don't really have a say in the matter. It's is technically their footage, which I stole from someone else. I have a soft copy of the file on my computer, since I thought this might happen, so if anyone really wants to see if I could send it to you. I don't think that's against the law. It'd be the same thing if I recorded it on a VCR and gave it to you. Now if I was selling it, that's a different story. Can't do that.

Anyway, I wondererd what happened when someone posted "copyright" shit onn YouTube and now I know. And knowing is half the battle.


Movie News: Halo Director Named

I'm excited about the Halo movie. Not because I think the games are great (they're above average at best) but because the universe that was created for them has such posbilities for an amazing sci-fi thrill ride. If done right, this could be one of the biggest movies ever, EVER. Howeve,r it could also turn out to be like Resident Evil or Aliens vs. Predator, which is completely crappy.

First I heard that the same guy who wrote 28 Days Later, Alex Garland was writing the script. Okay, off to a good start. Supposedly he's a big fan of the series. Nice shot here.

Second, Microsoft/Bungie said they're keeping creative control over the film and are looking for a partner to produce it, not just selling the rights to the film. Evidently they've figured out that all video game to movie translations have sucked so far. Good for them.

Third, none other than Lord of the Rings himself Peter Jackson is on to produce. Way to go on this one. If there is one person who knows about how to make a large scale epic film it's Peter.

Fourth, and this is the new news, Neill Blomkamp is directing. Who the hell is Neill Blomkamp> is breaking the story, you can check it out here. This is his IMDB page. Not much to go on with this. He looks like an effects guy and he's only 26. Talk about your big break, sheesh, he's going to be loaded and banging models soon.

We'll see how this goes for the Microsoft/Bungie crew. I'd like to see them do some sort of thing like they did for King Kong and Superman, video diaries and stuff. I mean, we all know the characters, so there isn't much point hiding stuff. Hide story stuff, sure. Hide surprises, fiar enough. But Master Cheif, Cortana, the Flood, and the Convenant should all be shown in some shape or form just to get us salavating while the film is in preproduction and production.


Observations: Bad Bumper Sticker

Note to the jack ass that came up with this one, the "Who Lit the Fuse on Your Tampon"bumper sticker is neither cute nor funny. It also just reinforces the dumb red neck sterotype when it's plastered not once, but twice on the back of a jacked up Ford F-250 pickup.

You know why the tampon is lit? It's because a jackass like you is riding the ass of her Hondo Civic because she's only drive 72 in a 55 and not 90 like you want her to. You know why else the fuse is lit, it's because a jack ass like you is driving your behemoth of a vehicle in and out of traffic bobbing and weaving like you're driving a Ferrari.

News flash butt fuck, you're driving a truck, and unless you're hauling something (which most of you NEVER do) you should be in a car like the rest of us.


Political News: Lamont and Reed brothers?

Take a good look at this picture. Tell me if you see anything scary. Done...Anything? Nothing huh...Maybe it's me. At any rate, I think its downright disturbing how much Ned Lamont looks like he could be Ralph Reed's older brother.

Now you see it, don't you. Thought so. At first I thought they could be the same person. I wanted to get a picture that shows Reed and Lamont from the same angle and this is as close as I could get. Unfortunately, according to pictures, Ralph Reed hasn't aged since he was 25, Ned evidently has. Seriously, Ralph Reed still looks like he's 25, the guy has amazing genetics.

Anyway, I thought this was just a bit scary. I wonder if anyone else has picked up on this yet. Probably not, I'm sure they have actual "real world" issues to go on about. You know, covering the Pam Anderson Kid Rock marriage and stuff like that.


Election Coverage: Primary Night News

Could this guy be the new face of Conneticut politics? You bet your kiester mister. JoeJoe went down last night in his primary, losing to Mr. Lamont here 52 to 48 percent (not technically a large margin by any means). This is pretty big, at least I think it is, because it may possibly be a harbringer to come of what the Democratic party of the future is going to look like.

I use the word may in that last paragraph very specifically. This by no means is a guarantee that the Democrats are going to start putting together more candidates that have testicles (men and women). However, it might be nice to have a few more in office that don't blow whatever way the wind is. Fact is (well, not technically a fact, more of an opinion), JoeJoe has been a big pansy the last few years. He's become buddies with Bush and company. Unfortunately for JoeJoe, many of his constituents don't feel as warmly about Bush as he does.

This primary was about one thing (more or less), the war. JoeJoe is for the war and continues to defend it, Lamont was against the war and countess to lament it. That's what this was about. JoeJoe lost. Maybe it's because he's bland. Maybe it's because he's Jewish. Maybe it's because he has a weird smiles. Those are all maybes. The one thing for certain is that JoeJoe lost because he's for the war. That's what this boils down to.

Now he's going to run as an independent. Bad more JoeJoe. No one likes losers, especially not three time losers. You lost as a VP candidate. You lost as a Presidential candidate. Now you've lost as a Senatorial candidate. You have the losers stigma. People don't like a losers stigma. If anything, you running as an independent might have a similar effect as Nadar did running as a Green in '00. He took votes away from Gore. Maybe enough to cost him the election, maybe not. He did take votes though. That's what you're going to do, take votes. You may very well make a big enough split in the election that Lamont's Republican challenger gets 50% of the vote, and thus wins the Senate seat. You do understand that by doing this you'd A, lose again, and B, use your losingness to make someone else lose who's already beaten you once. That's not fair JoeJoe, that's selfish.

Now for Cynthia McKinney....Ah Cynthia. How I'll miss you and your craziness. While I could have went for a much more dramatic and traditional "crazy Cynthia" picture, I chose one that was much more reserved. Cynthia lost last night in her primary race. She didn't just lost, she got whooped by Hank Johnson 59 to 41. That's a Mandate right there.

The story of Cynthia is a real shame. She used to be half way decent. Then she went crazy. The rest is history. This will mark the second time she's lost this seat. First to Denise Majette. Now to Ned Lamont. Both of these people are black, but I'm going to assume that Cynthia will somehow use the race card to say that white people some how had something to do with this.

Oh well...We're done with her, I think. Cynthia had a habit of not showing up to vote in Congress. I mean, I don't have a problem that she's off gallivanting around for whatever causes she supports. That's her right. However, she does need to be in D.C. on occasion to vote for her constituents in Georgia's 4th congressional district. She's done now, finished, stick a fork in her, blammo, done.

D.C. security staffers all over the belt way are rejoicing.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I really don't have any idea what this thing is trying to tell me. I think it has to do with making an amazing phone call about a red blinking light, but I could be wrong.