athelind: (tell it like it IS)
I wonder how much of my disinterest in the zombie trend and its associated media and phenomena stems from having substantially more contact with dead things than most modern urbanites and suburbanites?

You want a lasting visceral reaction, spend some time working with a sea lion carcass so foul and decayed that seagulls won't eat it anymore.

That'll take some of the charm out of dressing up like a rotting corpse for a flash mob.


athelind: (facepalm)
I was leafing through On Demand's listings on cable a few minutes ago. HBO has a whole bunch of episodes of a fairy tale show called "Happily Ever After" available, and I was browsing the summaries that On Demand provides, just out of curiosity.

Is it just me, or is describing Hans Christian Anderson's "Steadfast Tin Soldier" as "heartwarming" kind of ... insensitive?

If I hadn't seen the really dark humor On Demand uses in their FearNet blurbs, I wouldn't think it was deliberate. As it is, though ... man.


...WTF.

Mar. 12th, 2011 08:23 am
athelind: (cue howard)
Just a full-on repost from [livejournal.com profile] velvetpage's journal:

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] lavenderfrost at ...WTF.
Well, there goes my good mood for the day.

NYTimes, the bastion of quality reporting, reported on the gang-rape of an 11 year-old girl in Texas  that's led to charges against 18 high-school boys so far - all well and good so far, right?  Shit like this NEEDS publicity to raise awareness. 

Only problem is, they repeated - without refutation or critical commentary - the claims that the girl brought the rape on herself because of the way she was dressed.

Choice Quotes (No cut b/c everyone needs to see this - DEAL.):

“It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.  As opposed to the victim, who's gonna bounce back lickety-fucking-split, right?

Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.  TOTALLY BEGGING FOR IT.

THIS IS RAPE CULTURE, PEOPLE.

Now, what's being said and done in this community is bad enough, but the NY Times should be fucking ashamed of themselves right now.

Here's how to contact NYT: )

HOLY CRAP

Apr. 8th, 2010 01:54 pm
athelind: (green hills of earth)
I have today off, so I decided to go for a walk. My usual walking route, since moving here, has been along Coyote Creek Trail.

It's a nice, warm, sunny day, and we've been getting plenty of rain. The trail was lined with tall stands of tasseled grass on one side, and bright, colorful wildflowers on the other.

Now, Your Obedient Serpent has had allergies all his life. That's four-plus decades, folks.

Usually, though, the cause and effect are subtle, even if the symptoms are anything but. If I get the sniffles or sneezes or random patches of irritated skin, if I get the Sinus Attacks of DOOM, there's usually a delay between exposure and symptom, and there's usually some difficulty trying to pin down the trigger.

Not this time, boy!

As soon as I passed the first patch of grass, I sniffled and coughed.

By the time I realized that this was hitting now now now, I was at a point in the trail loop where turning around would have taken me just as long to get home as plugging on. By this point, I was sniffling, sneezing, coughing, my eyes were watering, and I was even having some trouble breathing.

And as soon as I got out of that chunk of the trail, I instantly cleared up. Oh, I was still a little sniffly, I still had to cough a few times, but the worst of it was gone.

Real allergies don't work like that! Cartoon allergies work like that!

I've had reactions to obvious, visible irritants, like smoke, but to the naked eye, that Allergy Hellstorm was completely invisible. Not even a bit of haze. I've never experience anything like that before—not even yesterday, walking along the exact same part of the trail.

I'd say it was like getting tear gassed, but tear gas doesn't affect me.


athelind: (Eye - VK)
Again, my prejudices are reinforced.

I now want to start a social networking site.

I'll call it "JumpOffABridge", and the tagline will be "Because All Your Friends Are Doing It."


athelind: (Eye - VK)
Again, my prejudices are reinforced.

I now want to start a social networking site.

I'll call it "JumpOffABridge", and the tagline will be "Because All Your Friends Are Doing It."


athelind: (coyote drives)

Struck at 75 mph, this coyote rode from the Utah-Nevada border all the way to Sacramento wedged behind the grill of a Honda Fit.

Despite the impact and an 8-to-10-hour drive, he suffered no broken bones or internal injuries -- proving that at least some coyotes are every bit as durable as Chuck Jones told us when we were kids.

Four days later, he escaped from a kennel,

There's a slide show at the NBC Bay Area site. It's amazing.

In a later interview, the Honda was quoted as saying, "Beep beep."




On a related note, I got the Grape back today. The shiny new headlight on the starboard side makes the old port side headlight look sorta grungy. There's a crack in the Ford medallion, but that's the only remaining evidence of that impact.

I have appointments planned for tomorrow, but the Santa Cruz Resume Jaunt will take place on Friday.


Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wingywoof for the coyote story. Thanks to Kuykendall's Auto Body & Frame for the car repairs, and thanks to [livejournal.com profile] hinoki for sending me there.
athelind: (Default)

Struck at 75 mph, this coyote rode from the Utah-Nevada border all the way to Sacramento wedged behind the grill of a Honda Fit.

Despite the impact and an 8-to-10-hour drive, he suffered no broken bones or internal injuries -- proving that at least some coyotes are every bit as durable as Chuck Jones told us when we were kids.

Four days later, he escaped from a kennel,

There's a slide show at the NBC Bay Area site. It's amazing.

In a later interview, the Honda was quoted as saying, "Beep beep."




On a related note, I got the Grape back today. The shiny new headlight on the starboard side makes the old port side headlight look sorta grungy. There's a crack in the Ford medallion, but that's the only remaining evidence of that impact.

I have appointments planned for tomorrow, but the Santa Cruz Resume Jaunt will take place on Friday.


Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wingywoof for the coyote story. Thanks to Kuykendall's Auto Body & Frame for the car repairs, and thanks to [livejournal.com profile] hinoki for sending me there.
athelind: (cronkite)
Am I missing something?

Apparently, "striving for nuclear disarmament" by rattling sabres at Iran and North Korea, "supporting international bodies" like the WTO, the World Bank, and other corporate bulwarks, and "rekindling hope" by Not Being George Dubya Bush qualifies a man for the Nobel Prize, despite what Your Obedient Serpent perceives as a continuation of all of Bush's most rephrehensible policies, at home and abroad.

Okay, not all of Bush's policies. President Obama isn't actively rude to other countries.

But, ten thousand thunders! how is it that I find myself inclined to agree with Neocon Republicans and Taliban members about this?

If Reagan was Teflon, Obama is Kevlar. His opponents are so reprehensible that I wind up aligning myself with him simply to distance myself from them. It's like he generates a Godwin Deflector Field: I'm gonna stand over here, with Barry, so none of The Stupid gets on me.

Seriously, I know there are non-North Americans reading this. What's your perspective on the President and the Peace Prize?



Update: [livejournal.com profile] rodant_kapoor has his own take on what this represents, and it does make sense, from a certain point of view.



Update: [livejournal.com profile] circuit_four has another good take.

Good stuff is popping up in the comments here, as well; thanks, gang!



Update: [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi makes some good points On Obama.

And that guy in the Oval Office had was as astonished as anyone else, it seems.



Update: Meanwhile, The Washington Post puts it all in perspective by pointing out that the Peace Prize has also, historically, been awarded for "aspirations". (Of course, those who have a medical background know that if you aspirate something, you may choke on it.)


Most of these updates are for my own future reference, but also for interested readers.
athelind: (Default)
Am I missing something?

Apparently, "striving for nuclear disarmament" by rattling sabres at Iran and North Korea, "supporting international bodies" like the WTO, the World Bank, and other corporate bulwarks, and "rekindling hope" by Not Being George Dubya Bush qualifies a man for the Nobel Prize, despite what Your Obedient Serpent perceives as a continuation of all of Bush's most rephrehensible policies, at home and abroad.

Okay, not all of Bush's policies. President Obama isn't actively rude to other countries.

But, ten thousand thunders! how is it that I find myself inclined to agree with Neocon Republicans and Taliban members about this?

If Reagan was Teflon, Obama is Kevlar. His opponents are so reprehensible that I wind up aligning myself with him simply to distance myself from them. It's like he generates a Godwin Deflector Field: I'm gonna stand over here, with Barry, so none of The Stupid gets on me.

Seriously, I know there are non-North Americans reading this. What's your perspective on the President and the Peace Prize?



Update: [livejournal.com profile] rodant_kapoor has his own take on what this represents, and it does make sense, from a certain point of view.



Update: [livejournal.com profile] circuit_four has another good take.

Good stuff is popping up in the comments here, as well; thanks, gang!



Update: [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi makes some good points On Obama.

And that guy in the Oval Office had was as astonished as anyone else, it seems.



Update: Meanwhile, The Washington Post puts it all in perspective by pointing out that the Peace Prize has also, historically, been awarded for "aspirations". (Of course, those who have a medical background know that if you aspirate something, you may choke on it.)


Most of these updates are for my own future reference, but also for interested readers.
athelind: (AAAAAA)
Desired Title.

My "Desired Title" is "Lord Chief Justice, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master of the Buckhounds, Lord High Auditor, Coroner, Archbishop of Titipu, Groom of the Back Stairs, and Lord High Everything Else", but I'll settle for "Lead Cartographer: Mars Terraforming Fleet".

I mean, what the frak? Who cares what they're called? Is someone looking for a "Hydrographic Technician" going to blow off my posted resume because I have "GIS Specilaist" listed?

One of these sites basically hijacked my resume submission to somewhere else, and then demanded that I fill in their extra blanks before I could change the (really obnoxiously obvious) password they sent me; I'm tempted to put some sarcastic title there just to blow off steam.


(They also have a "delete resume" button, which I'm tempted to hit. Am I gonna get anything but spam from http://hotresumes.com?)
Update: I hit it.
athelind: (Default)
Desired Title.

My "Desired Title" is "Lord Chief Justice, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master of the Buckhounds, Lord High Auditor, Coroner, Archbishop of Titipu, Groom of the Back Stairs, and Lord High Everything Else", but I'll settle for "Lead Cartographer: Mars Terraforming Fleet".

I mean, what the frak? Who cares what they're called? Is someone looking for a "Hydrographic Technician" going to blow off my posted resume because I have "GIS Specilaist" listed?

One of these sites basically hijacked my resume submission to somewhere else, and then demanded that I fill in their extra blanks before I could change the (really obnoxiously obvious) password they sent me; I'm tempted to put some sarcastic title there just to blow off steam.


(They also have a "delete resume" button, which I'm tempted to hit. Am I gonna get anything but spam from http://hotresumes.com?)
Update: I hit it.
athelind: (AAAAAA)

NPR: Government Eyes Crackdown on Texting And Driving



Okay, I can understand the argument that using a hands-free phone shouldn't be any more distracting than conversing with a passenger actually in the car -- I can poke several gaping holes in the logic, but I can understand it. I acknowledge the need for those "I promise not to play with the touchscreen while driving" disclaimers on the various HUDs that new cars have.

Texting while driving, though... glancing at messages is bad enough, but actually sending them when you're behind the wheel?

Why is this even an issue? Why is it common enough to be an issue? This should be something that crops up once or twice on the "News of the Weird" or, preferably, the Darwin Award sites -- something that is so flagrantly, suicidally idiotic that most people have to stifle a morbid laugh about it.

It shouldn't be something that's common enough to need a "Government Crackdown".

It's taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. Don't people listen to The Doors?

Why not read the news while you drive, or take a frakking nap? Hey, next month is NaNoWriMo -- why not write a novel?

Arrrrgh.


athelind: (Default)

NPR: Government Eyes Crackdown on Texting And Driving



Okay, I can understand the argument that using a hands-free phone shouldn't be any more distracting than conversing with a passenger actually in the car -- I can poke several gaping holes in the logic, but I can understand it. I acknowledge the need for those "I promise not to play with the touchscreen while driving" disclaimers on the various HUDs that new cars have.

Texting while driving, though... glancing at messages is bad enough, but actually sending them when you're behind the wheel?

Why is this even an issue? Why is it common enough to be an issue? This should be something that crops up once or twice on the "News of the Weird" or, preferably, the Darwin Award sites -- something that is so flagrantly, suicidally idiotic that most people have to stifle a morbid laugh about it.

It shouldn't be something that's common enough to need a "Government Crackdown".

It's taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. Don't people listen to The Doors?

Why not read the news while you drive, or take a frakking nap? Hey, next month is NaNoWriMo -- why not write a novel?

Arrrrgh.


athelind: (grognard)
The Star Wars Saga game run by [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi and [livejournal.com profile] tealfox has really hit its stride. Tonight -- well, last night, now -- was the third session, and everything just clicked. All our sub-plots are coming together, Rikki and Teal have a developed a terrific synergy, and splitting an eight-person party into two four-person groups for combat lets us accomplish twice as much in half the time.

This is not, however, why I am immortalizing this session in my LiveJournal.

No, I'm making a record of this night's game because, in thirty-one years of gaming, and I have never rolled like I did tonight.

Six natural 20s.

The run started with the first two times my character -- a medical droid whose obligate pacifism is literally hardwired -- ever made an attack roll in combat.

Then they just started popping up.

It was insane.

And worth remembering.


athelind: (Default)
The Star Wars Saga game run by [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi and [livejournal.com profile] tealfox has really hit its stride. Tonight -- well, last night, now -- was the third session, and everything just clicked. All our sub-plots are coming together, Rikki and Teal have a developed a terrific synergy, and splitting an eight-person party into two four-person groups for combat lets us accomplish twice as much in half the time.

This is not, however, why I am immortalizing this session in my LiveJournal.

No, I'm making a record of this night's game because, in thirty-one years of gaming, and I have never rolled like I did tonight.

Six natural 20s.

The run started with the first two times my character -- a medical droid whose obligate pacifism is literally hardwired -- ever made an attack roll in combat.

Then they just started popping up.

It was insane.

And worth remembering.


athelind: (eco-rant)
I announced today, to my FurryMUCK clique, that I didn't want to see any more trailers for Monster Hunter 3. The game doesn't just annoy me: it actively pisses me off, and worse, it makes me think badly not only of gamers in general but of Japanese culture, in wide, bigoted swaths.

The game is beautifully animated, and the eponymous monsters of the title are magnificently designed. Every trailer looks like a wonderful Discovery Channel nature documentary of a world that never was, full of dinosaurs and dragons and even more exotic creatures -- right up until you get to the gameplay, which involves killing things and dismembering them for their body parts to make cheesy, tawdry consumer goods kewl weapons and armor and magic items.

It's jarring.

The generation that grew up on Cute And Fuzzy Cockfighting Seizure Monsters has graduated to Heroic Head-Bashing Harp Seal Hunters. Look at these marvelous creatures! The loving detail that went into their creation! The magnificent, balletic fluidity of their motion! LET'S HIT THEM WITH CLUBS!

This is a game that comes from one of the last whaling nations on Earth. I'm sorry -- this is that "wide, bigoted swath" I mentioned -- but I can't help but see a connection.

This doesn't piss me off as a guy who pretends to be a dragon online. This pisses me off as an Environmental Scientist, and a human being raised with some semblance of decency and empathy toward the natural world.

I don't put much credence into combat games as "murder simulators", but I do think the prevalent attitude these games have that animals serve no purpose other than to exploit, enslave or slaughter provides a bad example.

I wish I could believe that this was meant ironically, or as a commentary on the exploitation of the natural world. The unambitious modeling and jerky animation of the player avatars certainly suggests that; they're raw, brutish intrusions on the elegantly savage ballet of the "monsters". A decade of Happy Cartoony Cockfighting Games For Little Children makes that hard, though.


And after all that self-righteous ranting to my homies about how terrible it is to brainwash kiddies into seeing the slaughter and exploitation of magnificent animals as something fun and exciting, I announced that I was gonna go grab a burger before work.
And then, at work, I was chatting with two of my regular customers, and one of them said, "you really need to get a PSP. Do you have any consoles at all? There's this game..."
"Funny thing, that", said I...

athelind: (Default)
I announced today, to my FurryMUCK clique, that I didn't want to see any more trailers for Monster Hunter 3. The game doesn't just annoy me: it actively pisses me off, and worse, it makes me think badly not only of gamers in general but of Japanese culture, in wide, bigoted swaths.

The game is beautifully animated, and the eponymous monsters of the title are magnificently designed. Every trailer looks like a wonderful Discovery Channel nature documentary of a world that never was, full of dinosaurs and dragons and even more exotic creatures -- right up until you get to the gameplay, which involves killing things and dismembering them for their body parts to make cheesy, tawdry consumer goods kewl weapons and armor and magic items.

It's jarring.

The generation that grew up on Cute And Fuzzy Cockfighting Seizure Monsters has graduated to Heroic Head-Bashing Harp Seal Hunters. Look at these marvelous creatures! The loving detail that went into their creation! The magnificent, balletic fluidity of their motion! LET'S HIT THEM WITH CLUBS!

This is a game that comes from one of the last whaling nations on Earth. I'm sorry -- this is that "wide, bigoted swath" I mentioned -- but I can't help but see a connection.

This doesn't piss me off as a guy who pretends to be a dragon online. This pisses me off as an Environmental Scientist, and a human being raised with some semblance of decency and empathy toward the natural world.

I don't put much credence into combat games as "murder simulators", but I do think the prevalent attitude these games have that animals serve no purpose other than to exploit, enslave or slaughter provides a bad example.

I wish I could believe that this was meant ironically, or as a commentary on the exploitation of the natural world. The unambitious modeling and jerky animation of the player avatars certainly suggests that; they're raw, brutish intrusions on the elegantly savage ballet of the "monsters". A decade of Happy Cartoony Cockfighting Games For Little Children makes that hard, though.


And after all that self-righteous ranting to my homies about how terrible it is to brainwash kiddies into seeing the slaughter and exploitation of magnificent animals as something fun and exciting, I announced that I was gonna go grab a burger before work.
And then, at work, I was chatting with two of my regular customers, and one of them said, "you really need to get a PSP. Do you have any consoles at all? There's this game..."
"Funny thing, that", said I...

athelind: (His Master's Voice)
Every now and then, I'll see a topic or a line of thought or, hell, a spelling or grammatical error that crops up repeatedly over the span of a few days -- often enough that I feel the need to make a LiveJournal comment about it.

I usually include a note that I've been seeing this [whatever] in a number of different places, and that my comments aren't aimed at anyone in particular.

Invariably, that note is ignored, and at least one person will respond most heatedly as if I were in fact addressing them specifically. It's not just a matter of getting defensive about their position; sometimes, they will come right out and say "you didn't need to take this public".

You know who you are. Don't try to deny it. Yes, I'm talking to you. You're the only one who has ever done this.

You may have noticed that I run a few "sub-columns" in this journal, usually identified by headers. The Hoard Potato talks about mass media, Understating Athelind's Argot discusses peculiar turns of phrase that I use, Film at 11 talks about the news of the day, and so on.

From here on, when I make a broad response to something that more than one person has brought up that annoys me, or that I feel needs response, I am going to use this header: You're So Vain.

Just for you.

athelind: (Default)
Every now and then, I'll see a topic or a line of thought or, hell, a spelling or grammatical error that crops up repeatedly over the span of a few days -- often enough that I feel the need to make a LiveJournal comment about it.

I usually include a note that I've been seeing this [whatever] in a number of different places, and that my comments aren't aimed at anyone in particular.

Invariably, that note is ignored, and at least one person will respond most heatedly as if I were in fact addressing them specifically. It's not just a matter of getting defensive about their position; sometimes, they will come right out and say "you didn't need to take this public".

You know who you are. Don't try to deny it. Yes, I'm talking to you. You're the only one who has ever done this.

You may have noticed that I run a few "sub-columns" in this journal, usually identified by headers. The Hoard Potato talks about mass media, Understating Athelind's Argot discusses peculiar turns of phrase that I use, Film at 11 talks about the news of the day, and so on.

From here on, when I make a broad response to something that more than one person has brought up that annoys me, or that I feel needs response, I am going to use this header: You're So Vain.

Just for you.

athelind: (green hills of earth)
...a man with two is never sure.

I have three online weather sources that I can check pretty much at a glance: ForecastFox, which hooks up to AccuWeather.com, my iGoogle homepage, which connects to Weather Underground, and the Ubuntu desktop thermometer, which just posts the National Weather Service release for its Forecast (not sure where it gets its Current Temperature data).

ForecastFox/Accuweather insists that it's gonna be 82 today. The other two are saying mid-90s.

It's 77 out there now, by their readings; our backyard thermometer reads 79.5. It's gone up 4 degrees in less than an hour, and it's still only 10 AM.

I'm thinkin' the 82 is puttin' the "liar" into "outlier".

(Oddly, ForecastFox has been stubbornly insisting that today would be 82 since around Saturday or Sunday. Usually, their predictions shift around as the day approaches and they get better data, but not this time.)

One thing that all the sources do agree on is that things are gonna drop drastically by Thursday and the weekend. iGoogle is saying 68 on Thursday, the NWS says "mid 60s", and ForecastFox says... 61. We'll see who the outlier is then. Pretty much everyone agrees that the weekend's gonna be mid-60s.


And, yes, most of the purpose of this post was for the "outliar" pun.
athelind: (Default)
...a man with two is never sure.

I have three online weather sources that I can check pretty much at a glance: ForecastFox, which hooks up to AccuWeather.com, my iGoogle homepage, which connects to Weather Underground, and the Ubuntu desktop thermometer, which just posts the National Weather Service release for its Forecast (not sure where it gets its Current Temperature data).

ForecastFox/Accuweather insists that it's gonna be 82 today. The other two are saying mid-90s.

It's 77 out there now, by their readings; our backyard thermometer reads 79.5. It's gone up 4 degrees in less than an hour, and it's still only 10 AM.

I'm thinkin' the 82 is puttin' the "liar" into "outlier".

(Oddly, ForecastFox has been stubbornly insisting that today would be 82 since around Saturday or Sunday. Usually, their predictions shift around as the day approaches and they get better data, but not this time.)

One thing that all the sources do agree on is that things are gonna drop drastically by Thursday and the weekend. iGoogle is saying 68 on Thursday, the NWS says "mid 60s", and ForecastFox says... 61. We'll see who the outlier is then. Pretty much everyone agrees that the weekend's gonna be mid-60s.


And, yes, most of the purpose of this post was for the "outliar" pun.
athelind: (facepalm)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

...seriously, who writes these things? This is the Internet -- don't most people have a plethora of names?

Or does my sample group have a peculiar bias?

Here's a variation: do you consider your LJ handle or other online noms de guerre to be "names", or just "handles"?

"Athelind" is most definitely another "name" for me. I'm well-known online as "Athelind" or "Your Obedient Serpent" -- better known by far than I am by my legal name. A number of my friends and acquaintances call me "Athe" even in face-to-face conversations.

Hell, some people I know on Second Life call me "Athelind" even when I'm logged in under yet another name.


athelind: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

...seriously, who writes these things? This is the Internet -- don't most people have a plethora of names?

Or does my sample group have a peculiar bias?

Here's a variation: do you consider your LJ handle or other online noms de guerre to be "names", or just "handles"?

"Athelind" is most definitely another "name" for me. I'm well-known online as "Athelind" or "Your Obedient Serpent" -- better known by far than I am by my legal name. A number of my friends and acquaintances call me "Athe" even in face-to-face conversations.

Hell, some people I know on Second Life call me "Athelind" even when I'm logged in under yet another name.


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