Friday, March 31, 2006

Credi-Bull #12

Credi-Bull - a news item that might be fact, or might be fiction.

When playing, please avoid definitive answers like "I know this is true, I saw it on the news last night."..Instead, couch your vote as a "guess" - this will help ensure that everyone gets an unbiased chance to play!

Raven-Symoné Pearman, of Disney's That's So Raven.recently signed a five million dollar deal with Disney, renewing her contract for the next three years.

However - there was a surprising new addition to the contract - a clause which now appears in all Disney agreements for women, such as the ones signed by the stars of the new show Hanna Montana.

For life - they must agree to never appear in Playboy or any other nude pictorial, online or otherwise, including a clothed shot on such a magazine's cover.

Real or Fake?
(Vote in the 'comments' section, answer to be revealed there on Monday).

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I've got a bad feeling about this

The owner of the company I work for is currently vacationing in Lybia (you might recall some issues we had with them in 1981).

Lybia is in North Africa, just west of Egypt. The owner and his wife will be there for a week, completely cut off from all communication.

They'll be staying in a sort of tent city in the desert with a large group of other tourists - guarded and escorted by the Lybian Army while they're in the area, with a trip to Egypt as a part of the deal.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad bad bad idea for a vacation?

Also, since they're incommunicado for that week, what a perfect time for me to surreptitiously deliver a ransom note to the company: "We have Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Send $50,000 each or they will be killed."

If only I already had an anonymous offshore account set up. Live and learn.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Marinate on it.

I have a Gmail category that I use for Blog Topics - like the 'Story Ideas' category that I've mentioned before. As I'm working or what have you, a blog topic will come to me, I email it to myself and it goes into the proper folder. I'm down to the last Blog Topic.

It's a tricky one.

Some ideas are only funny in your head - if you tried to actually write them, they would never do justice to the mental germ. You could distill them down and lose what made the idea great, or expand to a vast word count, making your point but ultimately losing everyone's interest.

The last remaining Blog Topic is 'Batman's Cooking Show', where The Dark Knight would very calmly and seriously make the most simple and basic meals.

Like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which he would make with careful and meticulous description, extolling the virtues of marmalade over other jellied fruit preserves. He would be utterly deadpan as he fired salvo's of marmalade onto the bread using the weapons-grade dispenser from his utility belt.

The segment on 'Why Wonder Bread is - Well, Wonderful (and How to Choose a Fresh Loaf)' would be delivered with a gravity duplicated only in scenarios where the bomb squad talks a civilian through disarming a nuclear missile over a cheap walkie-talkie.

"I'm Batman, this has been 'Cooking With Batman' and I hope you'll join us again next time..."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Go ask your Mother...

A waif-sheik 15-year-old girl walks into the living room where her Dad is toying with his electronic toys.

Girl: Dad... I need 80 bucks.

Dad: Huh? What for?

Girl: (reluctantly) Smack.

Dad: What?

Girl: Aunt Hazel? Noise? Black Tootsie Roll?

Dad: What?

Girl: Fuck, Dad! Heroin. Did you grow up in a convent?

Dad: You're doing Heroin?

Girl: You don't think I stay this thin by exercising, do you? Jeez!

Dad: Are your friends doing it?

Girl: Everybody's doing it.

Dad: Who's you're dealer?

Girl: Like you care.

Dad: I care.

Girl: Frankie at school.

Dad: Frankie? You've been giving your money to that no good Wrestling Team dropout?

Girl: (rolls eyes - I've given him more than my money...)

Dad: Look, you tell your friends to forget Frankie. (he pulls out a baggie) Here's a few grams to get you started. No charge. You tell your friends to come to me from now on - or Frankie's gonna end up in jail. He'll end up in jail if he's lucky. Got me?

Girl: Yeah... (backs away, clutching baggie)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Clue Me In

I've been in La La land for about ten years now, which is long enough to skew anyone's proper sensibilities. I've been fully assimilated into the California Collective. I need you guys to get me back into step with the real world (and I don't mean the TV show).

The UPS girl is so hot, this must be a porno movie or a dream.

50 degrees qualifies as COLD.

Mistrust of anyone without a tan.

Chatting with strangers about your plastic surgery - "Do I look fat in this nose? Be honest."

Assume they're fake, instead of wondering if they're real.

The pizza delivery girl is so hot, this must be a porno movie or a dream.

Shorts and flip-flops acceptable anywhere - from a job interview to a fancy restaurant. I had a management coworker who ridiculed a group of interviewees because they wore a suit to their job interviews.

Like, every sentence - has like, many commas, and like - ends as a question?

"Dude" is a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition.

Having your car washed twice a week. By hired help.

Midriff shirts are mandatory for men and women.

Every inch of rain = 10 fatalities (traffic, mudslide, flood, sinkhole, etc)

The sky is a bleached empty blue and looks like a 60's Star Trek projected backdrop.

Hummers, Limos, Helicopters, and Stealth Bombers are so prevalent, not only do they not turn heads, we're too cool to glance over.

The Xerox repair woman is so hot, this must be a porno movie or a dream. Don'twakeup don'twake up don'twake up...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Credi-Bull #11

Credi-Bull - a news item that might be fact, or might be fiction...

When playing, please avoid definitive answers like "I know this is true, I saw it on the news last night." Instead, couch your vote as a "guess" - this will help ensure that everyone gets an unbiased chance to play!

America's Funniest Home Videos is a program on ABC, made up of humorous and often dangerous clips sent in by viewers - first prize is 10,000 dollars. One of last year's winners was recently approached by ABC, who insisted the family return the $3000 second place prize they'd accepted.

The Rhodes family's winning clip was of their son Josh skateboarding out of a skate park and into the street, over a small barrier, knocking a barrel of water over and then falling into an open construction pit. Josh jumped right up, triumphant.

It's funny cause he's just fine! Or was he? One of the contest rules states that the person in the clip must have avoided serious injury. This is reinforced by having the finalists show up to the awards episode in person.

Later the same day, Josh died from internal bleeding on the way to the hospital - the boy who showed up in person at the finalist episode was a look-alike cousin.

Real or Fake?
(Vote in the 'comments' section, answer to be revealed there on Monday).

Thursday, March 23, 2006

You can check out any time you like

As you know, we're moving to Miami in May. We don't know how much of our stuff we're keeping, and so we're not yet sure how we'll get said stuff to The Home of Ultimate Hurricane Disasters, aka The Third Nipple of America. (Did you know the State Bird of Florida is the Mosquito?)

Also, Tsunami.

Will we have someone ship all our stuff? Schlep it all in a big truck? And then there are the two cars - will we pull a car behind the truck? Ship a car as freight? Have a friend drive one and then pay to fly them home? Ugh.

In considering all the moving stuff, I've had to look back over my time in California - I've been here since 1997. At this point, I have only one person to say goodbye to, since I've lost touch with the other friends I made in the state.

To be fair, most of them were single women, most of whom I was at some point wooing with my geeky ways, going to museums and/or gathering them all together for rousing sessions of The X-Files Role Playing Game (of my own invention, dat's right) and wowing them with my ability to write inane and entertaining storylines worthy of Chris Carter himself.

(Ladies, you have never been woo'd as I woo. John Wu style, with dice in each hand, aw yeah bitches. Just be glad I'm now spoken for! None can resist!)

All those girl pals are long lost at this point, and I told the one guy friend I have that I was leaving California in May just last night. I have to come to the conclusion that if you spend nearly 10 years in a state and have only 1 person to say goodbye to, you're definitely doing something wrong.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Proh and Khan #1

A series of 13th Century scrolls were recently unearthed from a tomb in Eastern Mongolia. They chronicle the philosophical discourses of Genghis Khan and his best buddy, Jin Proh. The following is a precise translation from the original Mongolian...

Proh: Tall or short?

Khan: What?

Proh: Would you rather be four feet tall or seven feet tall?

Khan: Well they both have their advantages. Man or Woman?

Proh: Does it matter?

Khan: Well I think a tall woman would have a harder time than a short woman.

Proh: OK, let's say you're a man.

Khan: Right. What's his job?

Proh: Does it matter?

Khan: A tall Warrior wouldn't last long in battle, since he'd stick out and everyone would gang up on him. If he was a Gardener for the Emperor, it's not so big a deal.

Proh: Let's say he's a scribe.

Khan: Scribe, right - a four foot tall learned man. He'd have trouble with girls. They like the tall guys. 'Proportions', you know.

Proh: Yeah.

Khan: And a short guy might not get promoted to Chief Scribe, if there were taller guys in his department. But tall is bad too, like if the Prime Minister was shorter than you.

Proh: Guys feel threatened by guys taller than them. Yeah.

Khan: Yeah.

Proh: Height-ism is a bitch.

Khan: Dude.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

From the dusty archives

In our preparations to move, I came across a box of old magazines. I decided to scan one of the covers - this one's from 1954 and has a long article on Mrs. Eisenhower. She was quite a free spirit for her day, I discovered.
The magazine has a long and illustrious history and is still around today.

Wry and witty! Clever and complex! Fun for girls and for boys! It never disappoints!
I'm selling this one on eBay, yow!

Monday, March 20, 2006

No sir, it does not.

If you pour yourself a cup of coffee, add the slightest bit of creamer powder and sugar, then remember that you decided to swear off caffeine - don't pour it back into the coffeepot.

Sure, you might feel guilty about wasting a cup of coffee by just pouring it down the sink - but even the tiniest amount of creamer powder makes the whole pot of coffee look 'not right'. Then someone decides to pour out the whole pot, fearing it is tainted.

This I have learned.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Good Luck!

I had one of my young cousins email me about video games. She's entered some gaming contest and wants to have a good chance to win.

I spent my normal morning blogging time responding to her email, so I thought I would use my response to her email as my post today.

(Just be glad she didn't ask about oozing sores or some such)

A few practice strategies:

Since this is a single player game vs the computer, it makes beating it easier...

While you're practicing - you don't have to start out playing to win, but instead test the environment and the AI.

Stand still, and see what the AI does. Experiment to see what the detection range of the AI is - usually your weapons won't reach farther than this range, (splash damage is often an exception) but when they do you can exploit this, hanging back just out of range and killing the enemies.

Many AI depend on line-of-sight for detection, which means if there is a hedge, low wall or chain-link fence between you, the enemy will not detect you. Use this to your advantage, and lob granades over the wall, or strafe from behind such barriers to attack.

Run around and let the enemies chase you - do they get caught up on the environment? Do they forget you're there when you turn a corner? Use this to your advantage.

Practice swapping weapons, especially to your preferred ones. If there is a function which allows you to customize the order of weapon cycling, set this up to suit your personal style and needs. Customize all buttons to your own needs.

Find an area where you will be left alone and unbothered by the enemies, and practice all your maneuvers. If you have combos, jumping, dodging, strafing and blocking moves, practice them repeatedly while you're left alone, until you can perform them rapidly and reflexively.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


We've been out of town for a few days - we scouted out the Miami area for places to live. It was a hugely frustrating experience. Literally twenty of the apartment complexes we visited turned out to be for low income families. These places didn't look like The Projects - if they were in Los Angeles, they would run like $2000 a month. These were $500 a month, it turned out.
Time after time after time we went in and spoke to the office staff, only to find out you basically have to earn minimum wage to live there. They don't tell you in the Apt Guides or on the sign out front that they are low-income housing, you only find out after you actually arrive in person and speak to someone.
We finally found three apartment complexes that would suit our needs - and far more expensive than the much nicer low-income housing. I'm all for helping people who make lower wages, but why do the complexes have to exclude people who make more? Just let me pay more. But no. So instead of living 5 minutes from Cindy's new workplace, she'll end up with a half an hour and tolls to pay. Fun.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This is my job.

Compose: Grab/drag note, preview audio plays only in columns overlapping resident notes
On the Compose screen, at the notes editing view - the user can 'Grab' and drag a note around the grid. While doing so, preview audio for the dragged note will play - this may be to provide the user a better idea of where to drop the note. However, the preview audio plays only when the dragged note occupies the same column as another note.
1. At the Compose screen,
2. Highlight the 'Open Song' hotspot and activate it.
3. Choose 'New Song' and load a blank song.
4. Highlight the track editing console and activate it.
5. Click on any track cell and choose 'Edit Notes'.
6. At the note editing grid, place at least two separate notes -
(Observe the audio which plays as the notes are placed).
7. Point the cursor over each of the notes, one at a time -
(Observe the audio which plays during mouse-over).
8. 'Grab' one of the notes and move it around the grid without releasing it.
Notice: If a dragged note (Note 'A') occupies a column containing a resident note (Note 'B'), Audio pitched for the current position of Note 'A' will play. (But only if Note 'A' is wider than Note 'B')
Frequency: 100%
Expected Result: The correct, expected functionality is not obvious in this case.
1) It's possible that preview audio is not intended to play for floating notes that have not yet been placed.
2) If preview audio should play before a note is dropped into its new position, it should always play the audio - whether it occupies the same column as existing notes or not.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Just a hint of salty sea air

We'll be out of town for a few days - we have to fly out to the East Coast and scout out the area where we'll likely be moving to in early May.
I can't tell you where. No, no hints - sorry. You've probably never heard of the place anyway.
On a completely unrelated note, here's a pic of Crocket and Tubbs. Purely for the nostalgia of it all. They'll still fresh and hip after 20 years!

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Hellish Cacophony of 'Dear God Make It Stop'

A while back I mentioned that my new job which started in January was all about a music game - and that I would post here any songs I created that were any good at all.
Well here it is Mid-March-ish and I have no songs worth posting even for their laugh factor. Sad and true. Tiny deaf children with tiny broken toy pianos make better music than I do.
Granted, I had no contact with music-making growing up, never played an instrument, or even met someone who did. There was a rumor about a kid who once met a guitar, but he lived in the next county.
But hell, I'm a halfways lucid adult - I should be able to pick up some basics and throw something together, right? RIGHT?
My Dad is an artist. He can just look at a pencil and it will dance across a piece of sketch paper as if bewitched - and when he's done, the result is without a doubt Suitable For Framing...Personally, I have a hard time drawing a stick figure. My stick figures look mutated and unhappy. "Please erase me and then burn the paper" they seem to say.
After Dad had spent over twenty years in the Army, he went back to college for another degree. In college he had to write a lot of essays, and creative writing has never been his strong suit - he taught himself English when he was 7 years old, so I can certainly understand.
If there's one thing that I am slightly decent at, it's stringing words together. So the fact that the opening sentence of an essay was a huge source of stress for Dad was bizarre to me - as odd as my complete inability to hold a drafting pencil by the correct end was to him.
The jury is still out on the whole Nature VS. Nurture thing, (seems to me to be something of both) but people definitely seem to be born with an aptitude for certain skills.
Music is definitely not one of mine. Yeah.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hey Ma, Guess Who I Saw!

As the precognitive or highly astute among you already know, we have a 90% chance of moving cross-country very very soon.
That said, there's still a lot that I never took the time for while we lived in Los Angeles. Stuff like, go to a taping of The Tonight Show. But it turns out that attending a taping of The Tonight Show is a long and arduous process and takes literally your whole day, so I never got around to it. Plus, Johnny is gone and he was my first and last late-night love.
Unlike Dooce, I never got around to dating Soap stars, but I did run into a small number of somewhat famous people. And by 'run into' I mean 'come within 20 feet of'. I would never rush up to someone and make a scene or ask for someones autograph. But it's cool to actually see these folks in person and congratulate yourself for not making a scene. I know the somewhat famous people I ran into appreciated it.
Now, this list is pretty short considering I've lived in the area since 1997 - but you have to realize that I live about 45 minutes from Los Angeles, and only go from the house to work and home again. Oh, and 93% of the time, I never look at the faces of the people around me - So I've probably shared an elevator with The Lord Jesus Christ a few times and not known it.
People I Ran Into While I Lived in Los Angeles:
Carrie Fisher (At the Los Angeles Book Fair)
Kevin Smith (At the Los Angeles Book Fair)
Nicholas Sparks (At the Los Angeles Book Fair)
Colm Meany (He was chillin in the Arrivals area of LAX).
Pamela Anderson (Filming an episode of VIP in Chinatown)
Kristine Sutherland (At the Ontario Mills Mall)
Tracy Chapman (Waiting to see Princess Mononoke in Hollywood)
Crispin Glover (At the Nuart in Santa Monica)
Johnette Napolitano (At a club in Hollywood)
John Cameron Mitchell (At a club in Hollywood)
Buddy Ebsen (He called the store where I worked)
Tito Ortiz (At my work)
Chuck Liddel (At my work)
I'm sure there are a few I've forgotten...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Anatomy of a post

Er... Mike to self - What the hell am I going to ramble about today? Damn - give it up - you got nothing little man. Stop trying to post five times a week.
Make it once a week, when you might actually have something witty to say. Pshh - Make that once a month. Or just do the Snippets of Random Chaos thing, that's the best blog you've got - because you're not writing any of it.
Yeah yeah you're such a naysayer. If I listened to you, I'd still be in bed. How about I do a thing where I turn the 'Google' logo into 'Ogle', where people go to look up naughty pics of men and women?
Damn that's brilliant...NOT... What do you think Google is for?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's All About the Lyrics

"I think it's only fair to warn you..."
" - I might have to run away with Suzanne Vega."
"Is that so?"
"Yep. Sorry about that."
"I'll try to get over it."
"Ah. So you knew all along, then?"
"Well the shrine in the garage was something of a hint, yeah."

Monday, March 06, 2006

I don't know what I'm talking about

I'm not a political animal. A large part of the reason is that I just don't care - my simple, boring lifestyle isn't being effected or limited in a noticeable way. I don't have kids or own a house, so school taxes and interest rates don't seem to apply as directly to me. This is probably not true, but that's how it feels.
Another reason I'm not all that political is that keeping up to date with all of the daily political bullshit is a pain in the ass. So many of the people involved in the process on all sides behave like idiots, that it's irksome to wade though the BS.
This weekend while running errands I passed a group of people near the mall who were waving anti-Bush signs. A few hours later I passed by again and they were still there. I respect their right and choice to speak their minds, but isn't there a more productive way to channel their energies? Bush will be in office for another 1050 days or so - waving signs isn't going to change that.
How about spending your time working to elect a really great person as President for the next term?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Credi-Bull #10

Credi-Bull - a news item that might be fact, or might be fiction.
When playing, please avoid definitive answers like "I know this is true, I saw it on the news last night." Instead, couch your vote as a "guess" - this will help ensure that everyone gets an unbiased chance to play!
During World War II, the 'HM Fort Roughs' was constructed - a floating island. The fort was towed to international waters and its pontoon base was intentionally flooded. It sank to a resting place on the sandbar.
In 1967, the fort was invaded by Paddy Roy Bates, who ejected a squatter group and claimed sovereignty on what he now called Sealand. Since then, Sealand's claims of sovereignty encompass the area of Roughs Tower and surrounding territorial waters.
In the late 70's while Bates was away, the Prime Minister of Sealand and several others staged a coup, holding Bates' son Michael captive. Bates enlisted armed assistance and retook the fort in a helicopter assault. He then held the invaders captive as prisoners of war before eventually releasing them - after insisting that at least one man pay a ransom.
Real or Fake?
(Vote in the 'comments' section, answer to be revealed Monday).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Very Easy Decision

The Pizza Hut commercials featuring Jessica Simpson and Miss Piggy got me thinking.....My testosterone-steeped mammalian brain did the same old computation it performs a thousand times per day - if you could date one of two women, which one? It doesn't take a supercomputer to calculate this one - hell, an abacus has plenty of computing power.
Miss Piggy - Muppet
Jessica Simpson - Strumpet
Miss Piggy - Diva
Jessica Simpson - Diva
Miss Piggy - Mostly Artificial Parts
Jessica Simpson - Ditto
Miss Piggy - Intimately friendly with the great Frank Oz
Jessica Simpson - The Wizard of who?
Miss Piggy - Enduring (if violent) love and commitment for Kermie across nearly 25 years
Jessica Simpson - Divorced 9 times.
In the end, you have to judge women by the men they love.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Harry Dan Christine Mac Bull and Roz!

Every time I watch Night Court, I make sure to catch the theme song, with the shots of New York City.
That girl who's breathing out cigarette smoke and laughing - she fascinates me. Who is she? Does she love Hostess Cherry Pies too? Does she still smoke? I might be able to get past the smoking thing, as long as she only does it outside. Does she live in Brooklyn? Girls from Brooklyn are sassy and I like that. Does she think about me? Probably not. I need to get myself cast in a sitcom theme song photo montage, or we'll never have the chance to meet.