Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Meeeeh. Really want to video blog.

Want to so bad. I think there are some things I could comment on better on tape. Maybe it's because I just want an excuse to buy something new and shiny.

I'm holding back on a few posts when maybe I shouldn't be because I'd rather talk about them.

-The Thor/Heimdall issue that's passe now.
-The Muslim Batman from France
-The dangerous habit of ignoring racists.

They're all related, but each one in a different way. I guess I'll have to chain myself to my lappy one day and spell it all out.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Currently Reading

Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas [Paperback]

Courtesy of Amazon.com

This Week

So, I'm going to call my old place of work because I heard that they might be hiring and I'd rather work there than where I am right now. If they aren't, I'll probably head to Texas for the next week or so.

I'm also going to send some emails to some colleges about things to see what's up with that.

Richard is still coughing, nose-blowing, and throat-clearing all around the house and probably will continue until I kill him. If that happens, you know why.

Probably going to do some dishes and some laundry today.

Whether that's laundry on my own washer or *shudder* at my dad's house depends on how well
repairing the washer works out.
It couldn't possibly go worse than last time.

Friday, December 24, 2010

One Comics Thing Right Quick

You know the run on Action Comics where Lex Luthor is the main character and he's trying to find and collect residual energy from the black rings because...power and he has a robot Lois and he goes toe-to-toe with a new supervillain every week and he even sorta died in one issue and he's always being generally awesome and I love it?

Well, he fucks the robot.

95% sure.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mental Static

Have a lot of stuff running through my head right now and I don't really feel like organizing it.

Just saw an interview with Julian Assange. Read up on the Manning guy who (allegedly, but probably) leaked the information to wikileaks. Sucks to be him.

Read a conservative article on how to know if your husband is gay (Does he groom himself? Probably. Sarcastic ever? Homo.) and a liberal article on how America is doomed--doooomed--in twenty or so years(I can't say I entirely disagree, but it's exactly as founded in extremist fear-mongering as the conservative article).

I'm so happy Christmas is here you guys because my retail-working roommate is about to stop complaining and groaning all the damned time. Well, he's about to cut back. A little.

Meanwhile, an article about China putting corrupt securities trader to death. China, I don't say this lightly, but you've out-Texased Texas. Well done.

Also, know how you can read a blog and kinda like it but not be 100%, then you get the one line that lets you know that you don't? Mike Mitchell was close, but Ragnell nailed it with a phrase I never thought I'd ever hear anyone that reads comics utter, "They squandered numerous opportunities to bring Jean Grey back to life."

Shit like this is why I keep following Mike Mitchell.

Also picked up the first of Grant Morrison's run on Batman, Father and Son. It explained a fucking lot. It's awesome. Let me just throw out the golden quote, not just for the book itself, but perhaps for the whole run: "Man-bats. Ninja man-bats. Alarming twist." It's main competition is Bruce's "...but far from impossible" in R.I.P., and I guess all of Alfred's bit at the end of R.I.P..

Got Deadpool/Thor Team-Up and X-Factor as well. X-Factor also had Thor in it. As it just to happened, I was reading Ultimates 2 today, so I got to see Ultimate Jarvis, Deadpool, and Shatterstar drool over how studly Thor is. I guess it's disconcerting for me because I've never seen comic book characters as being that attractive (largely because the men in them, like the women, are drawn to appeal to heterosexual men. That tends to make them strong and solid, not really attractive or sensual.). Still, it was amusing all three times. Jarvis was subtle-but-not, Deadpool was classically "oops gay" heterosexual about it, and Shatterstar was straight played for a two-panel gag on a page full of two-panel gags.

Tried making a Magic deck with Ashnod's Altar and Furnace Celebration. I don't know, it's an exciting combo (hello, Myr Retrievers), but I dunno, my heart's just not in it.

Working on DnD. Trying to make sure that Adventure 3 can hit all of its points and get knocked out in one session. Considering not giving out higher-level items, in lieu of letting players upgrade their specific items, like maybe giving out three levels to distribute amongst their existing equipment. Still undecided.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


So the urging of my friends to explain comics and this whole Black Heimdall thing have compelled me to test out some video blogging.

My only reference for this is Yahztee(which is basically what he does), and the only things I can recall him mentioning about it are A) his microphone, B) that he hasn't felt the touch of a woman in some time, and C) he considers himself fat(his words, not mine).

While my new lappy comes with a camera on it, I've found that I would need better audio input if I were to take it up. In all likelihood, I'll need a dedicated wireless microphone. I don't quite fancy the standard "sit in front of your computer and talk at it" style of vlogging, thinking I'd like to create an atmosphere where it seems as if I'm actually talking to other people off-screen. It's probably not original, but it's preferable.

For the second point, I don't think I'd be giving up much in the way of intimacy. If anything, the imaginary audience for my test run is the best company I've had in weeks.

Yeah, I'm not fat, but I guess I do need to work out a bit. The camera may add ten pounds, but I'm pretty sure that's what people who think they're ten pounds lighter than they really are say when they see themselves. I'm not fat, but my profile clearly isn't my strong suit (especially when shot from a low angle), so I'm going to try to rectify that with camera angles (possibly necessitating an independent camera) and going for a run.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Most of my Christmas shopping is done. Guess I need to...wrap this stuff or something.

Did some DnD Sunday. It went pretty well, but the adventure needs some polishing. The next story begins with a tavern tale from one/some of my players, which could go terribly wrong. I also need to give everyone some slightly better equipment, since my dragons, kobolds, and zombies don't come packed with treasure (not that it would matter, as they've only killed kobolds thus far).

Haven't done much with Magic because I am pretty Magic-ed out.

I am not, however, video gamed out. Double Dash is awesome enough to make me contemplate buying a TV (and a Game Cube/Wii), but only in transient fits. I also bought the Humble Indy Bundle for Child's Play this week, which really worked out. Braid and Osmos are tons of fun in that they're challenging and make me think while I'm playing them.

Osmos: It's not science; it's fun science with dodgy menus.

Cortex Command is aggressively bad, but it tells you that it's just a beta and you should cut it some slack so I don't hate it. It'll be a nice ragdoll physics Real Time Tactics game just as soon as you stop getting curb stomped and watching all of your reinforcements crash their rockets in the tutorial. Getting beaten like a clueless, drunken Bane stumbling to into an S&M scene is not informative. Well, it is informative in a "let's never do that again" kind of way, but that's a very specific kind of information.

Cortex Command: It's okay; it's still in beta.

Revenge of the Titans is a passable time-killing castle-defense game, but I kinda ruined it by considering the fact that it might actually be a cunning twist on the castle-defense genre. The general who briefs you about upcoming missions suddenly becomes despondent ("Faceless Commander, the next battle is in Stockholm. Expect waves of enemies from all sides...sometimes it feels like this bloody, pointless war will never end.") or the scientist who explains your new technological breakthroughs starts getting to familiar ("These cooling towers will increase the firing rate of our turrets...but Faceless Commander, whose cooling off your turret?" replete with little pixelated hearts.).

Sadly, I know that's not to be. The generic levels will keep getting generically harder until the time and attention needed to beat a level well exceeds what I'm willing to put in on a cookie cutter game with no emotional investment and enemies who actually look kinda like the Night Fury from "How to Train Your Dragon". I'll just say "fuck it all, I'm playing Dawn of War" and then do just that.

Revenge of the Titans: In all probability, it's what you play before you start playing Dawn of War again.

Machinarium is an adventure game that, like Yahtzee once said, requires you to rub every item on your inventory in each item in the game world before you move on to the next room. While they do parse down the whole "ton of inventory items thing," the best way to skip the indeterminable time you spend clicking everything around you, you can consult in-game hints (which you are encouraged to do only when you're really stuck, which would only change the hint-seeking habits of the most impressionable and idiotic of Catholics). The hints, however, are safely locked away behind a crappy, three-button mini-game about key that shoots lasers to kill spiders in a randomly-generated map of bricks and spiders, both of which will kill you when you touch them. Which is an interesting idea to deny the fact that if no one gets your game, then they can just beat it by completing a slightly better game. The hints don't "hint" anything. Which is glad because the first time through I naturally thought was doing all this key-navigating, spider-shooting bullshit for nothing, or rather for the chance to see some high-sounding, vaguely worded hint or an esoteric picture of a few components around me. No, the hints are just how to beat the level in words.

Machinarium pretty much plays like so; look at all the charming things that happen when you're retarded robot enters a room, decide how much of this room's arbitrary bullshit you're willing to deal with, kill some spiders, die, die, die, punch your computer, die again, finally kill all the spiders and don't get killed by bricks until you get a picture of what you're supposed to do, then try to do it, and punch your computer.

Machinarium: It's two games that will both make you want to punch your computer.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My washer is broken and I can't fix it :(

Photo 01 - Front view with other photo locations marked.

Photo 02-Shows basket pulley (far left), engagement pulley (white wheel, center), serrated arm attached to engagement wheel (barely visible on right)

Photo 03 -Serrated arm on the right. There's a spring that connects to this. I'm trying to figure out where that spring connects to.

Photo 04-Basket pulley (foreground), engagement pulley (white, center), engine pulley (center/right red behind engagement pulley).

Photo 05-Other side. Basket pulley with barely-visible engine pulley.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


All of these videos came out while I was on the boat. Go figure. Thought I'd share.
Most of these, okay all of these, were provided by Comics Alliance.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Why haven't I posted this yet?

Doesn't look like much has changed in the past few decades.

Surprised there's so much classic Batman on the YouTubes.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

This Picture is Unimaginably Inaccurate

Is this un-ironic ("achievements" is spelled wrong)? Seriously, one guy is president of The United States who admitted the Nobel Prize was premature. The other guy is a troll who thinks that so long as he pisses off a (relatively) benign government that any consequences he faces for his actions are 'fascism.'

I realize Julian Asange isn't the only guy running Wikileaks. I realize that they only get real press here in the US when they leak stuff from the US. When they leak documents from China, South America, or Africa, we don't really see it. I appreciate that we do deserve to know when our government is lying to us, and even, to some extent, when it is hiding things from us.

That said, as a citizen of the US, nothing in these cables reveals anything about my government that I needed to know. This is unofficial, speculative information given in private. I obviously haven't reviewed the cables in depth, but while there have been a few eyebrow-raisers, most of it is no surprise, and the rest is unremarkable (we're trying to get our allies to help sanction Iran? Duh.).

There's no point in releasing these cables other than to gain attention and 'be truthful.' I mean, as individuals, there are dozens of things we think all the time that are true, but we don't say them because A) They're not appropriate or helpful and B) We're entitled to our privacy. Putting something on the internet because it's the truth or because it's been kept secret isn't brave, isn't an achievement, and doesn't contribute to some greater truth.

So the US isn't perfect. So we hide things. Being the one jackass to be shouting the secrets of the world's nicest major power (save, possibly Britain) doesn't further any goals. What will people remember (if anything) about wikileaks a year from now? That they were a responsible news organization? That they kept us informed when our government wouldn't? That they kamikazed themselves over unimportant cables while their front-man was wanted for not paying a legal prostitute?

That doesn't further the search for truth. All it does is make those people who will fight for truth in the face of government opposition either align themselves with an organization with no credibility or remember that if they step out of line, they will be crushed.

Hopefully, they'll learn a lesson about professional conduct and responsible reporting. If they do, then maybe wikileaks will indeed have advanced the fight for truth...by being "that guy."

Excerpt from that thing I'll send you

"The Midnighter and Ultimate Cap make the list because they are both awesome. These guys don’t have complicated character arcs. Midnighter hurts people who (mostly) deserve it when we meet him, and he was still hurting people who (kinda) deserved it when we last saw him (I’m assuming he’s dead because they’re shuttering Wildstorm and I’m quite certain that The Midnighter was we know and love him won’t be surfacing in the DC Universe at large any time soon). Also, he has a boyfriend named Apollo and they’re pretty close. Ultimate Captain America will beat the shit out of anyone who crosses him, which, incidentally, involves crossing America. He’s a good soldier who will mostly follow orders about not breaking your jaw, unless you beat your wife. Then it’s on like Donkey Kong (no, seriously. Check out that fight. Girders. Barrels. One tiny guy versus one big guy. Ultimate Captain America versus Ultimate Giant Man is like Donkey Kong, if Mario could cut sweet backflips.). Or if you imply he should surrender. Or you try to take over his country. Hell, let’s just say that you better watch what you say around Captain America, because he’s got a list of pet peeves he feels very strongly about and you’ll probably break one if you know him long enough. If you do, curl up into a ball and protect your softest parts; your hard parts are already forfeit.

I’m willing to bet that unchecked and largely unprovoked violence are not at the top of the list of things you thought I might consider superheroic. In and of themselves, they aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, and excuse me if I go off on a tangent here about superheroics and violence. They are very closely linked. At their most basic level, superheroics are morality stories that don’t wait around for kharma or natural consequence to fuck up people who do not act correctly. Note, these aren’t necessarily evildoers. The super-protagonist of a story can punch anyone he damn well pleases for violating social norms, idealistic rules of behavior, arbitrary laws, etc.. It isn’t about good versus evil, well, it is, but only in a very subjective moral sense. Superheroic comics are on many ways based on the vicarious joy of watching someone deliver harsh and righteous retribution to those to transgress. Now, I don’t need my comics to be violent, but I need more than inconsistent paneling and inconclusive punches and grunts to make my comic fights work. Both Midnighter and Ultimate Cap tell you clearly what’s happening in a fight and what the score is. When they beat a guy; you know that he’s either in resurrection territory for causing a further threat, or if we just learned he’s that much more of a threat now.

What’s strange is that the two of these guys have similar methodologies, but it’s the execution that sets them apart. Midnighter will rip a guy’s spine out when he uppercuts him. He’ll strangle a guy so you can watch his eyes bulge. He’ll hit a guy fast enough that you don’t see the panel where he makes impact. How Midnighter’s violence is implemented and what violence he implements are creative and different. When the monsters that Midnighter kills are killed, you’re satisfied and entertained. The best part of his character is that he’s a weapon who just fucks things up, but tends to be off his kilter when killing stuff won’t fix stuff. Better, it’s something that’s exploited rarely, averting Badass Decay. The Midnighter is surprising and fun with an attitude that frames that violence to make it fun (make no mistake, the fella shit-talks, but isn’t that witty).

Ultimate Captain America, however, is all about the righteousness. Ultimate Cap will think and use tactics like The Midnighter, but he’s not just a killer. He’s got a more varied response to threats, largely coming from the fact that he’s usually the aggressor, and uses the force necessary to accomplish his mission. He’s not a killer; he’s a soldier, and the distinction is separate. Outside of a mission or some other superheroic goings-on, he’s gentle, polite and even hangs out with people his own age (that is to say, old people). Ultimate Captain America combines the two things I like most about comics: violence and character. That Ultimate Cap’s violence is occasionally believably real, misapplied violence (like when he kicks Banner after their first fight with The Hulk). He’s just angry so he hits stuff. It subverts (however unintentionally) the trend of righteous violence by just having Cap hit something because he doesn’t like it that much. Is Mark Millar that smart? I like to think he is. Seventy-five percent of the time he in a fight, Cap is someone you want to will totally root for, but the other thirty percent he is just being a jerk. He subverts righteous violence of the superhero genre by being an asshole, but he’s also just a guy who’s lost in time and trying to find his footing as a person with their own life. That these things are balanced so well in who he is makes him a fun read.

I guess it could also be a cheat, in that his general compassion and no-questions-asked action mean that he could conceivably do anything the plot requires, but I’ve never really felt (again, speaking strictly about Volumes 1 & 2 of The Ultimates), that he was ever really forced out of character to do something for the plot."

Not Starting Small

I might try to transfer some other blogs over here shortly. Might just do my new ones here instead.

The real test is whether or not I can access this thing on the boat.