Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Linkstorm: Civil Libertarian Roundup

Civil authorities are pressing for expanded domestic use of drones. I'm sure it's perfectly innocuous.

Errol Morris points to the Umbrella Man theories surrounding the JFK assassination as proof that you can never trust your own judgement as to whether or not something you see is truly sinister. Rather than giving up your own sense of reason to a man who looks like he's wearing an old man makeup, maybe there's another way. A way where you critically analyze facts and discrepancies without regard to how "sinister" they are or how desperate you are to prove a conspiracy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Friendship is Witchcraft, Episode 03

Monday, February 27, 2012

Field Manual Kris: Yes, that is a challenge

Ever since I've returned to Texas, I've been trying to get back to equilibrium. I've been trying to find a job that supplements my savings, get back to school, and establish a rhythm with everyone I share the house with. I've had varying degrees of success: short-term part-time jobs are hard to find, the paperwork for school has been mixed up a few times, and one of the people I share a house with is a two-year-old.

In addition, my car--which has had hundreds of dollars worth of repairs done since I left my well-paying job offshore--is broken again because every mechanic I've seen is a fucking moron. As an upside/downside, there's been a pretty great guy I've been talking to and seeing lately. The biggest downside isn't that he lives in Austin, but that when my time management is about to become a large issue, he presents a very big investment in time and energy. I'm doing it--and I'm all in--but I worry that there might be something good here that will get left by the wayside if the demands of school ratchet up or if I just have another spell of flaking out. Is that a thing that a lot of people have?

Anyway, nothing funny or insightful today. I'm sorry about not being funny, but you guys should be used to the lack of depth by now. Anyway, hope your week goes well.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's the Magic: The First 20 Years

2013 marks the 20th year of the existence of Magic: The Gathering. While the celebration for Magic's 10th anniversary was pretty quiet, Magic's never been bigger, it's been a moneymaker for Hasbro lately, and we live in a world where they're making a Battleship movie.

Ignoring the larger implications of that last fact (mainly that anything is now possible, including cookie-based nuclear weapons, invisible strippers, and me dating), there are plenty of reasons to think about what kind of duo-decennal event might happen. I checked the internet for some clues, but aside from something about a MTG "initiative" that Hasbro is announcing at Toy Fair, all I turned up were masturbatory Spike fantasies about the power nine:

I) Make something powerful, also my tangentally-related Spike crusade. because everyone agrees with me.

II) Remake a little bit of old powerful stuff and dole it out randomly. (It's understood that I'll get one because my mom says I'm special.)

Luckily, I'm not the only guy to notice and ridicule this trend.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Field Manual Kris: I am gonna miss that place a little bit.

As many of you know, I recently moved to San Antonio for financial reasons as I return to school to get my degree. It means leaving Louisiana which is the best thing a person can do, even above curing cancer because Louisiana is terrible and smells bad.

Anyway, though I never properly capitalized on how idiotic daily life was there, it was fertile ground for such discussions. More than anything, reflecting on that should be impetus for me to find the ways that San Antonio is a mad, mad hellhole worthy of laughing at.

I just wanted to leave a final note to remember that certain state to the east with a real display I saw in a real grocery store down there:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Linkstorm: The Quick Melange

On the sixth, Alan Turing, who's kind of a big deal in the two worlds of computers and beating Nazis, was denied a pardon for his 1952 conviction of being a homosexual. I don't have to like it, but I can understand it; you can't redefine a pardon just because someone was wronged, especially if it doesn't do anything more than Gordon Brown's official apology.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Morning Soapbox: Pirates

Most of you who know me know I don't like piracy. The argument that companies charge too much for movies and/or won't starve if you steal from them presuppose that people are entitled to movies and that stealing is okay if you steal from someone who's rich enough.

That said, I oppose SOPA because it was too invasive, too poorly thought out, and not effective. Not that I want it to be effective; the widespread piracy that happens now is a cultural issue, not a legal one. Besides, apparently piracy isn't significantly affecting movie revenues here in the US.

Of course, like a lot of new laws, the introduction of measures like SOPA and PIPA assume that existing laws are not enough when they are. That makes RIAA's complaints about Google abusing their power even more...shittier and ridiculous.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cagewatch: Nic Cage

Nic cage

Original art for Skullcage by the incomparable Ron Spencer.

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's the Magic: The First 20 Years

This Week's Best Thing Ever
At the much talked about Pro Tour this weekend, Jeremy Neeman drafted a 45-card deck featuring a single copy of Lost in the Woods and forty four forests. Read the full article here and be amazed.

The only card to strongback an entire deck.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tumblr Thursday: Five Seasons of a Sitcom Romance

You guys know and care that I have a Tumblr, right?

Reblogged from MarchingJayBird

In TV shows featuring a protracted relationship focus-tested to bore audiences to death, the first season is how the lovable main character obsesses over their target. I call this The Stalking. 
Reblogged from Gannongoboom

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On the Brink of Yellow Journalism

The US has approved the production of its first civilian nuclear reactor in thirty years. This despite sensationalistic reports about the dangers of a Russian ballistic missile sub that caught fire in late December. I'm not surprised the Russian government lied about this for two reasons 1) It's the Russian government. 2) The danger is overstated.

If the fire had spread from the outside of the hull to the interior--a dangerous turn which could have been prevented/addressed by sinking the boat--it might have reached either the nuclear missiles or the nuclear reactor. Because the reporters involved don't know any more about nuclear power than that it's scary, they're saying Russia was on "the brink of a nuclear disaster." Having only been taught about US Navy nuclear reactors, I can't say definitively that it wasn't, but I feel more qualified than the political and cultural writer who penned it, even if his Facebook pic is a thousand times cooler than mine.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Skiltao said somethings a while back and I never got back with him. His comment got stuck  in the comments tab where I didn't notice it. Even after I did, it took a while to get around to framing a response to it. It was pretty crappy of me to miss it, then to take so long to get back.

I'm intermittently rewatching "The Pretender" with my sister, and I quite like that show. Four seasons and two TV movies, though.
Someone else was telling me about that too. It looks good and I'm tentatively putting it in my queue after the review series after There Will Be Brawl.

BUT! VHS'd commercials on my copies of Pretender pointed me to a show called "DarkSkies." Only lasted one season, and it does for Cold War UFO paranoia what There Will Be Brawl does for Nintendo.
I'll be honest, I've watched enough Cold Case that I have to suppress an urge to dragon punch any screen trying to show me a period piece television show. It's even spoiled Quantum Leap for me. time...I can come to watch it, but sadly that time is not now.

As a quick aside Cold Case is the worst television show ever created. The Gary Coleman Show had a more supportable premise, more likeable characters, and a less aggressively distasteful premise.

Friday, February 10, 2012

It's the Magic: Victory on the Front

I have over a hundred Magic decks. That's not bragging. In fact, I may have a problem. Putting that aside, for a while now, two of the many, many things I've been trying to do with Magic are creating a system that connects a series of games and track the performance of my decks over time.

The first one is part of a Battletechian urge to connect games. To create a larger narrative and to have the consequences of winning and losing resonate beyond just tallying a win/loss record.

The second one is a desire to know just which of my decks are working and which ones aren't. Keeping notes doesn't work so well because despite the numbers, decks still change, merge, split, and disband quickly enough that it's hard to keep all that information organized and current over the eons it takes me to play through them.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Childish "Don 'Troy Barnes' Glover" Gambino covers Knight Rider

This is by far the least tight thing to ever happen to me.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

There Will Be Brawl, Episode Two: The Lost

With the major players introduced in Episode 1, The Lost focuses on forwarding the plot and giving a bit more attention to the supporting cast. While it still teases a lot of the history and peripheral figures, it does--as any early episode should--a good job of putting forward slightly more questions than answers.

Least Favorite Part: Wow, Link is terrible. His acting, casting, dialog. I'm just not sold on him at all. Who I am sold on is Kirby. Despite the all-too-literal Silence of the Lambs scene, his appearance here really did work. His voice is creepy. His puppet is the right level of departure from the adorable Kirby we're familiar with, making it just as gritty (yeah, I'm getting ready to bandy that word around each time I talk TWBB) as the rest of the setting.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Linkstorm: These Events Used to be Current

A British knight actually lost his knighthood over the financial crisis. I thought that was something people just joked about.

Newt Gingrich's retinue harassed a guy who was being a bit of a dick, but who was being a dick within his rights.

SOPA is gone, but ACTA is apparently a problem now. Well, not "problem now" as much as "still a problem."

Friday, February 03, 2012

National Novel Editing Month Something

Back in November, I cranked out 50,000 words about an old Aberrant campaign. Getting those 50,000 words was my primary goal at the time, but now I realize that making those words readable is the next big challenge. My designated National Novel Editing Month (January) came and went with only a few scant pages marked for clean up. 

As I think about it, the best way for me to police myself on this tedious really enjoyable task is to commit to posting updates of edited pages. Enjoy.

Click through for slightly larger picture.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Field Manual Kris: A Certain State to the West: The Trip East

So Josh and I exchanged Minecraft worlds and eve mad ea server on his PC to we couldn't work together to make a common (badass) world. Despite his earlier bad experiences with multiplayer servers, we hatched some grandiose schemes involving his ridiculous, massive building style and my sprawling and--let's call it "rustic"-- construction proclivities.

"Rustic" is a synonym for "haphazard," right?