Decided to play around in Champions Online again, since it’s been a very long time since I did so. They added vehicles. Or at least hover craft. And some fighter jets.
This is the Hawkwing Stealth Fighter. It has three weapon slots, one defensive slot and a support slot. The craft acts as a device in the devices bar on your character. When you activate it, the craft becomes your character, complete with it’s own set of skills, powers and more. The Stealth fighter has stealth capability, booster rockets, a regenerative beam to help team mates, and has wing turrets and a missile launching underneath.
There’s also the Hawkwing Heavy Fighter, which looks like a little snub nose, has two weapon slots and two defensive slots.
The only thing I don’t like about them is the in game movement. They don’t pitch and yaw as well as I’d like.
Well, my issue with it goes more than that. Movement is the least of my complaints about the new vehicle selection. You’d tend to think that someone with the name Rocket Fox would have a pretty kick ass fighter jet. Unfortunately, the jets are pretty much all about speed and very lacking in punch or defense. You have to work on those, I suppose. Before I mentioned the Stealth Wing has five mod slots, three for weapons and one for defense and one for support. It seems when you travel through the world, complete missions and tackle huge bosses, you get lots of possible mods. In the form of lock boxes. Which you need to use real world money in order to buy keys from the in game C-Store so that you can open them.
The deal is, you pay XX amount of dollars (or whatever currency is native to your country) and get XXXX amount of Zen, the in game currency used to buy items through the C-Store. A lot of online games have this. Probably the best example is Guild Wars 2 selling costume skins and dye packs. But that’s just aesthetics. I don’t have a problem with that. Champions Online has things in their store that affect the game world. Sure there’s different power sets, travel powers, costume pieces, bases, and mini figures, but those are all aesthetic aspects that have no bearing on how well you do. The powers, for example, aren’t any better than the ones you get already. The travel powers, same thing. Many are just doctored up to look like different versions of things that already exist as travel power selections.
Vehicles, catalysts to make mods better, keys to open lock boxes. Those are also available in the C-Store, all of which you can buy in order to make your character, or your vehicle stronger. That’s more of a pay to win scenario which I’m against in games.
It ain’t cheap to get those keys. 1100 Zen there abouts to get ten keys. And that’s about 30 bucks in the real world. Those lock boxes are frequent drops as well. Currently Rocket Fox has 32 of those things in her inventory, and I did buy 20 keys just to see what was in those boxes. Each box has something different. XP boosters, Resource boosters (which is the currency in game to buy from vendors, not use at the C-Store), and level 1 defense or support mods. About 75 each. So you can craft them and get several level 2 versions of the same mods.
Sadly, this is the only thing that’s been added to the game in a while. No actual content in game, just more costumes and vehicles that you have to buy through the C-Store. No new missions, no new areas (such as Hudson City, which had been talked about before). This is rather disappointing, considering that City of Heroes is going off line in less than a week. There may be several CoX players who will venture over to Champions Online. Which means Cryptic better get their butts in gear.
Cryptic has been pretty weak in a lot of areas when making their games. They have terrible customer service, they’ve ignored Champions Online in favour of delivering new material and content for Star Trek Online and working toward releasing Neverwinter Online. It isn’t that difficult to level from 1 to 40 in Champions, but after that there really isn’t anything to do. Sure, there’s alerts, but those get old fast, as each alert is recycled with new villains. After a while, you tend to see those over and over again as well. There is something that could help, and that’s by implementing something popular in Star Trek Online into Champions Online. That’s the Foundry, which is user developed content played in game.
Sadly, I’m not sure that is being pushed forward, as Cryptic seems to just chuck small things at Champions and focus all their efforts on Star Trek Online and Neverwinter Online.
Here, you get a video instead of a blog post. This is all about my adventures in writing for this year’s NaNoWriMo, and a short (maybe five seconds) glimpse at my facial hair. I’d love to participate in Movember, but I’m lazy and would have had to shave it all off to begin with. Also… snow! And Rain! Snowy-rain. Which translates into ice. Yeah, that happened overnight.
I guess I missed the warning on tumblr last night, I was too busy doing other things. Watching TV, playing some Guild Wars 2, reading and having supper. But, I guess there was a warning that announced tumblr would be down for maintenance for a considerable amount of time. That being Saturday morning. However, I was still a little taken aback this morning when I went to my tumblr dashboard and it came up with it’s usual sorry message.
It really does look like a blank and barren waste land to be perfectly honest. So, I realized that part of my morning coffee would not include reading about what some of the people I follow are doing or reporting on. Off to cbc.ca for my morning news fix, followed by TSN.ca for sports and Environment Canada for weather.
As the day has gone on, however, I’ve sort of chuckled to myself, knowing that there is a large group of people who basically live for tumblr. I mean, really LIVE for tumblr. To an extent, I do in a way. There’s some really humourous things I see there, but there’s also a lot of rage inducing things that I see. And it’s not things that anyone I follow post personally, it’s stuff they report on. Like what some things I read from GreenState, or STFU Sexists, or STFU Conservatives. The tumblr’s themselves aren’t rage inducing (unless you believe in a fantasy called misandry, or that Obama is a Communist Muslim, and then I feel sorry for you, ’cause that’s like a fantasy that doesn’t exist), but some of the things they post reporting on stupid things that have been said during this election cycle in the States. Massive attacks on women and women’s health, for example. Or, the stupidity in believing that lowering taxes for the top 1% will trickle down to the middle class and poor (news flash that’s not a news flash: it won’t, it’s been proven it doesn’t work). There’s also DCwomenkicking ass whom I enjoy reading each day, taking in her comic suggestions. Or even reading from Gail Simone, Neil Gaiman or Greg Rukka’s posts. Can’t forget a couple of writers with Lucy Woodhull, author of Ragnar and Juliette, or Michale Kindt who writes some really awesome articles, or Ray Onativia and some of his writings or even the madcap photos he shares. And it even includes people who really enjoy things about stuff. There’s just too many to describe here.
What I expect the sound of tumblr coming down for a day and a half was like this sudden gasp of surprise, followed quickly by this horrified wail of terror, followed by gentle sobbing and finally a large group attempting to come to terms with the fact that tumblr was down. Just as they come to grips with it and try to move on, however, tumblr will be back like a force. And then the cry will be “I don’t know what we did without you”. The answer to that is easy; you lived. So, until Saturday morning, enjoy the respite from tumblr’s embrace, go out and grab life or do things away from the computer. And remember, when Saturday morning comes around, that’s the time you can say…
I’ve been searching for this forever. I used to have this album by the Northern Pikes, a band from Saskatoon whom I followed in my late teens and early twenties. Their first commercial album was Big Blue Sky, and the first single was Teenland. I liked the song, and still do, even if it is a little dated.
There were three more albums that came out by the Pikes before their final album which was a live offering. It was really cool, had all their hits that they did at a show in Le Spectrum in Montreal and another at The Music Hall in Toronto in 1993. Like any live album it had some pretty good live versions of their original material.
Including this version of Teenland, where they just break out into Ghost Riders in the Sky, right in the middle of it. It was awesome (only wish I got to witness it live). So, when I did up 31 Days of Ghosts back in 2009, I really wanted to add this to the Wild Hunt topic I posted. Alas, I couldn’t find it. Fortunately, almost three years to the day since I posted it, I find the video.
Here it is.
Before I actually get around to posting up Rocket Fox Chapter Nine (I will, I promise) I’ve had a few things on my mind lately.
Video games and cultural representation
I often hear the cry of how people can’t relate if there’s a person of a different colour on screen than the same old white dude (and yes, it’s almost always a white dude) in a video game. Often, if there is a black/brown/red/yellow person on the screen, they aren’t made as a playable character, and they often have huge stereotypes. Insulting stereotypes as a matter of fact. I don’t include MMOs into this, because in an MMO, you have a costume creator, and you can make your character look however you want. I’m talking single player games, for the most part. But I guess there is that cultural aspect in video games that we don’t get to see different cultures and explore those realms. For instance, any video game I pick up is most likely to take place in the United States. As a Canadian, there is a very rare number of games that have a Canadian city that I know of off hand. Deus Ex Human Revolution does have a futuristic version of Montreal in it, and Champions Online does have a Canadian zone, but that zone happens to be “The Great White North” (in it’s own a stereotype) and even the “native tribes” have been replaced with Sasquatches. And the lone “Native American” in the Champions Online Canadian Zone happens to have a real white name. It goes further than that, mind you, to other cultures. For instance, we see a lot of representation from Asia, but bottom line those nations and culture include only China and Japan. Maybe Korea. There’s quite a few other nations in Asia and include Bangladesh, the Philippines, Vietnam, India and to an extent Pakistan. Go further west, and you find lots of games represented in Europe, from fantasy right up to a plethora of World War II games. But how many are in Africa that doesn’t star a white archaeologist from the United States or a white archaeologist adventurer from England? Not many. By my count, one. Guild Wars: Nightfall was the only game that I know of that created an African style setting in their own world. Even the NPCs were all people of colour. I’d really like to see more of that, but sadly, I’m in the minority on that mark. Maybe that’ll happen more in the future where we get to see video games taking place in a setting with the main hero/heroine being a person from that setting not just a white guy there to save the day.
Na Na Na Na Na Na – COMICS!
There’s been a lot of talk lately (some good, some bad) about the actions and reactions of some of the writers of DC Comics titles. One of whom was Scott Lobdell. I’m not gonna repeat it here, but he said a few rather unflattering things, especially about Native Americans, relating to the back story of Roy Harper/Speedy who is one of the characters in the book Red Hood and the Outlaws. Now, I read RHatO when it first came out, and I found it to be a complete pile of trash. The book didn’t appeal to me, the characters were all one dimensional, Jason Todd’s a douchebag, Starfire has none of the appeal from the old Teen Titans (sort of like they wiped her backstory and replaced it with something that was incredibly misogynistic) and Roy Harper is a dick. Red Hood and the Outlaws is a complete waste of time, but it seems to sell and sell well because the lowest common denominator in readership keeps picking it up. That book, along with Hawkman, Green Arrow and a couple of other titles were reasons why I was very close to just giving DC Comics a big “fuck you” and move on. However, I realized that a personal boycott of DC would be detrimental to other, better books. Don’t get me wrong, me on my own wouldn’t crush DC and make them see the error of their ways, but if there were enough then books like Batwoman, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman, Animal Man and Demon Knights would all suffer as well. Those books are good books. So my suggestion, keep buying those books. They have really good stories (except for Wonder Woman supposedly now dating Superman -giving you the side eye, DC) with writers who really are good at their craft. The others, not so much. And don’t just wait for collected editions in trade paper back. Buy the single issues, give them to friends and then buy the collections. I did that recently with my Mike Grell and Chuck Dixon Green Arrow books as well as the Kevin Smith run. Same with Spider-Girl from the M2 line and Vampi. All those books are now being enjoyed by someone else, and I have a nifty trade sitting on my bookshelf. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is boycotts don’t always work, because the good stuff has a tendency to suffer more than the crap. Buy the stuff you like, avoid the stuff you hate, and pass on the stuff you like to others.
The leaves, they are a fallin’
With apologies to Bob Dylan for ripping off his song Times They Are A-Changin’, we are officially now into autumn. I, however, have no intention of letting go of summer without a fight. Autumn is wonderful and colourful, but it’s also a stark reminder of just what’s coming; winter. Around here, winter is a harsh mistress. Only the hardiest of people can survive this province with summers that scorch and winters that freeze. Granted, autumn does mean that Halloween is not far away, and I shall hold onto that hope with bated breath. I enjoy Halloween, because it’s filled with mystery and stories. I shouldn’t complain too much about autumn, it is after all, when my writing bug gets bigger and bigger and happens to be the most productive for me, right on up into winter. Which hopefully means that the end of book one of Rocket Fox and most of book two of Rocket Fox should be completed this autumn and winter. Which may mean that sometime in the next year, both book one and book two will be ready for publication.
That’s it, that’s all, ’til next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
Not posting the results of chapter outlines today, but I have added another five, bringing the total up to 20. I figure that there will be 22 maybe 23 chapters in total.
This is a pretty awesome feeling, and I’ve gotten some of the text down for the initial draft as well, but I know I’ll need to expand on that. This book, which was originally published in the Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider as just a part of the adventures of Shani and Pania, totals only 11,000 words. I figure with the outline I’ve made I can make that into something closer to 110,000 words.
Fun fact: the entire book of Black Mask & Pale Rider is only 105,000 words long.
This is going to be a long, hard road. I’ve got to put a lot of work into it. But if I can do it (no, when I get it done), it’ll be more than worth it.
- Black Mask & Pale Rider – Ten Chapter Outline (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Black Mask & Pale Rider – Five More Chapters of Outline (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
Dog days of summer
Not really, but it’s kind of this lazy, laid back feeling of “meh” where one just doesn’t feel like doing anything right now. Usually dog days refers to the listless lazy days of summer, and we are right in on that. At work, we’re about two and a half weeks away from a shut down of our office for two weeks, which is alright. This allows everyone to plan their holidays accordingly. Me, I plan on parking it in a lawn chair somewhere. Either on the beach at Elbow, or in the park her in Outlook, or maybe along the riverfront in Saskatoon. Heck, I may even just park it on my balcony.
Be careful using short forms and abbreviations
One should always be careful to ensure that the proper short forms are used when writing them out. Even the slip up of a url country code (as an example, .ca being for Canada) can send you some place you weren’t expecting. Granted, some of those can end up being quite amusing. Such as one of the short forms, or abbreviations for cubit meter. It looks very different when read as cu. m.
I don’t wanna get down on what happened last night in Aurora, Colorado. And I don’t want to dwell on it. Suffice it to say that 12 people are dead after some idiot decided it would be a good idea to pull a gun in the middle of a crowded theatre whilst watching the Dark Knight Rises and open fire. Thanks to his (or her, I really don’t honestly know) incredible lunacy, 12 people are dead. I don’t even give two twits what race, religion, gender, political leaning he is, because he (or she) killed 12 people. I’m not even gonna make mention of the bastard’s name, because he’s not important. He killed 12 people, and as far as I’m concerned, those 12 were far more important than some twat with a gun.
This morning at work we got into a bit of a discussion about how the news media treats stories like this, and I was going to write something about it. But thanks to wilwheaton‘s tumblr, I don’t have to because Charlie Brooker did such a better job of it. Watch more below.
Let’s hope that this isn’t given 24/7 news feeds for the next month, because I really don’t need to be kept reminded of during the summer.
I saw something and had to stop and read it. It was a quote from Marvel Studios’ co-president Louis D’Esposito.
“[Black Panther] has a lot of the same characteristics of a Captain America: great character, good values, but it’s a little more difficult, maybe, creating [a world like Wakanda]. It’s always easier basing it here. For instance, ‘Iron Man 3’ is rooted right here in Los Angeles and New York. When you bring in other worlds, you’re always faced with those difficulties.”
The blogger I read this from went on to say some interesting stuff. Originally from blackfolksmakingcomics:
thinks creating a fictional African kingdom like Wakanda is more difficult than, say, a fictionalized version of Afghanistan, the alien realm of Asgard, or the alien worlds that’s going to be in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film?
How exactly is creating a fictional kingdom on Earth harder than creating a fictional kingdom of deity-like beings or of alien creatures?
I’m not sure I’m buying that. I mean, it’s not that difficult.
“I want to recreate something created in comics in live-action.” Boom! It’s done. People do it all the time. It’s not rocket science. It’s movies. You can create anything your imagination allows you to. It’s not hard at all.
You can create beings who transform into giant monsters smashing up buildings. You can create robotic suits capable of traveling from Los Angeles to Afghanistan in mere minutes. You can destroy an entire metropolitan city with alien creatures with relative ease. You can create alien realms and dimensions. You can create a floating carrier base with more machines than humanly possible. But to create an African kingdom with real world physics? That’s impossible to you guys?
It’s not that hard. I mean, filmmakers have made fictionalized African worlds since the beginning of film. We have the talent and the technology to make it look and feel real. That’s not a problem, so I don’t know why Marvel Studio’s co-head would think that’s a problem.
The problem that they refuse to acknowledge is this:
Marvel Studios fears that a Black Panther movie will be classified as “a Black film.”
That’s … that’s it.
Considering Marvel likes to do origin stories to introduce a character, the fact that his entire origin story takes place in the African kingdom of Wakanda may be a hard sell in Marvel’s eyes. And to do that, you’re going to need a majority Black cast. There’s a belief in Hollywood that you can’t put more than three Black actors in a film in leading roles because the general perception is that it’d be seen as a Black film,
Todd McFarlane stated that the producers of Spawn turned Terry Fitzgerald (Wanda Blake’s new husband) into a White man and developed a White woman named Jessica Priest to be the killer of Al Simmons instead of Chapel (a Black man) largely because the studio didn’t want too many Black leads in the film. The first Blade move has Wesley Snipes, N’Bushe Wright, and Sanaa Lathan, while the other films only had Snipes in the titular role. Steel (ugh) had Shaquille O’Neal in the title role, Richard Roundtree as his uncle Joe and Irma P. Hall as his grandmother.
Remember M.A.N.T.I.S? Great television movie about a paraplegic doctor and brilliant scientist named Miles Hawkins (the last name, had the series continued, wasn’t a coincidence and he would have been in a crossover with a Milestone character who also shares that family name) who created an exoskeleton (the costume design was created by Hardware co-creator Denys Cowan) that not only restored his ability to walk, but gave him enhanced abilities.
Carl Lumbly, who later played Martian Manhunter in various DC animated productions, played Dr. Hawkins. Gina Torres, who’s known by many as Zoe Washburne from the Firefly/Serenity series and the voice of Vixen on Justice League Unlimited and Wonder Woman in the DC Universe Online MMORPG, played Dr. Amy Ellis. Bobby Hosea played reporter Yuri Barnes while Wendy Raquel Robinson (you may know her as Principal Regina “Piggy” Grier from The Steve Harvey Show sitcom and Tasha Mack on The Game) and Christopher M. Brown played a pair of African students who interred for Dr. Hawkins.
When the film became a series, only Lumbly remained. Everybody else was gone, replaced by different actors, all White. Much of the African elements removed from the series. And it was canceled with the lead character getting squashed by an invisible dinosaur. Critics noticed the changes made from the well-received pilot and the rather lackluster series, mostly savaging the lack of diversity the series had.
That said, it’s kind of telling that nearly 20 years after M.A.N.T.I.S. premiered, Hollywood still fears creating a serious action-adventure property with a predominately minority cast and the perceptions of it being a “Black film.” There’s no such thing as a “Black film.” There are comedies, dramas, thrillers, and adventure stories with a mostly minority cast, but they’re just comedies, dramas, thrillers, and adventure stories.
The whole thing about Marvel not wanting to make a Black Panther film because they can’t recreate the kingdom of Wakanda seems farfetched and weird to be believed. Guess that’s just Hollywood being strange and woefully ignorant again.
And I had to add in my own two cents, because I think it is an injustice when a good story doesn’t get made, just because it happens to be about black people. It’s sad that when something like this comes up the biggest concern is “will white people like it”. We aren’t in a post racial society that embraces equality when we try to consider how “white people” will view something if it has black lead roles or characters.
Anyway, here’s my take posted originally from timholtorf.tumblr.com:
Really? There’s a fear that a black lead cast would be seen as a “black film”? As though “black film” in it’s represented scare quotes would be seen the same as “Muslim”. That its something scary and different and people wouldn’t know how to treat it. Which is complete bullshit. Sure it’s a black film, but it’s still a film. It just has black people in it. People who eat, breathe, live, die, fuck and all other sorts of things (well, perhaps not fuck, unless it’s a porn).
I really don’t think it should be something feared, because that’s how it looks to me how Hollywood is approaching it. How long did Red Tails take to get made? Several years, and I thought it was awesome when I saw it. Does it have black people in it? Sure, but it’s also got fighter craft and air battles and explosions and other cool things. And it talks about history, a very real history that happened that should never be forgotten.
As for creating a fictional African nation, I agree with the above. How freakin’ hard would that be? There are several nations in the African Continent that you can choose from for research and history. And please, oh please, don’t decide to make the government of Wakanda corrupt and needing to be saved. Because that plays into a Western centric stereotype, that everyone outside of North America and Europe (outside of the old Soviet bits) is corrupt and evil. Saying it’s easier to make a film about a character in the States is basically saying you’re too lazy to create something new and different. Also, it’s really fucking bigoted.
(Or, Domming 101 as Guided by D/s Wonder Woman, E.L. James)
- Your slave is stupid and cannot think for themselves. Be sure to control every menial aspect of their lives from what they eat for a snack to what kind of socks they wear. Doing this will really show your slave who’s boss!
- Slaves really get randy when you bite their toes— it’s their best kept secret. Exploit this fact. Really, just go to town. Bite those fuckers clean off if you want.
- Don’t be afraid to break your own rules. Remember, your slave is stupid and won’t know the difference! It’s also a good way to keep them on their toes. If they can’t trust your word, they’ll never know what’s coming next.
- On that same line of thought, make sure your words and your actions always contradict one another. Then, you’ve got an excuse to punish your slave when they don’t utilize their psychic powers to guess what you really meant.
- Don’t be afraid to touch them down there.
- It’s important when outlining your asinine and overly involved contract that you’re sure to include a no-no list instead of discussing your limits like adults. Include fisting on your no-no list. Also recognize that anybody who is partial to any of he actions you listed is an insane and disgusting degenerate.
- If your slave is a virgin, chastise them at length. How dare they!
- Dominant feelings are monstrous things, best shoved down until you can allow them to flourish in an unhealthy sham of a relationship.
- If your slave is emotionally damaged or opposed to something you wish to do, either ignore them completely or coerce them into compliance. I can’t stress enough that your slave is stupid. They don’t know what they want.
- Pat yourself on the back if you’ve managed to follow the above guidelines. You’re a real Master now, Mr. Grey!
This is obviously a riff on the (terrible) book, 50 Shades of Grey. I had to comment on it.
Books, in this case fiction, are still something that can be used not only as a way to entertain, but to educate. When the author puts forth his own fantasy of what a BDSM – D/s relationship is, then he’s just playing out his own fantasy, not what the actual culture is about. In some case, D/s relationships don’t even involve sex, and that’s a glaring misconception regarding the entire culture to think that it is 100% about sex.
50 Shades of Grey got the BDSM – D/s aspects wrong on so many levels. Where was the adult discussion of limits that the woman wanted? Where was the determined safe words? BDSM – D/s isn’t about control and dominating another person, because that’s just rape. BDSM – D/s is more than control. It’s actions within the comforts of both participants. The Dom has to make sure that the sub is completely comfortable with what is happening. Over time, each person will understand what the other likes and does not like, and if the Dom does something that the sub does not like, the sub gives the safe word and the Dom stops. That is what a good D/s relationship is about.
As for the book itself (which is a festering pile of shit), this doesn’t help how D/s are viewed in mainstream society. Instead, it continues to reflect a misconception, and a very dangerous one at that. That submissive individuals can be treated like dirt without care or concern. It’s another case of a work of fiction being incredibly dangerous in continuing to spread stereotypes and misconceptions about another culture.
- Fifty Shades of Grey is bad for bondage (guardian.co.uk)
- Fifty Shades of Grey critics slam bondage stereotypes (cbc.ca)
Wherein I’m too lazy to do a blog post, but have just enough energy to do a video.
Here’s those links!
Sorry for the background noise, my mic was beside my computer and picked up a lot of fan noise.
I take no credit for this image, only finding it rather fitting.
Aside from the flash back to 80s pop music (there was a plethora of tunes to choose from on this subject), the topic today involves gender tropes and stereotypes.
The media is huge in its attempt to solidify the gender stereotypes, the ones that state women should be demure, caring, fragile, pretty and basically stay in the kitchen. And it’s just as firm in its attempt to make sure that boys understand that they have to be strong, independent, adventurous and the bread winners of the family. There is no better example of this brain washing, or better way to start than at the preschool and elementary school ages. And Scholastic Books, publishers of books and distributors of many that I enjoyed as a child, has taken the steps to make sure this stereotype continues.
They’ve published a book called How To Survive Anything, with the twist that there is a book for boys and a book for girls. The boys book is rather humourous as it teaches how to survive some basic things like falling from a great height to what to do if you get a broken bone. Then it turns the corner to teach how to survive shark attacks, bear attacks, snake bites and other things of that nature (see what I did there?).
The girls only book is quite different. Nowhere in its pages will you find a how to in surviving a car crash, but you’ll find out how to survive a BFF cat fight. Or a fashion disaster. How about what to do if you’re suddenly famous? The book covers that too.
So, I guess the author firmly believes that when a girl finds herself in a situation against, oh, I don’t know, against a shark then the shark obviously looks at her and says…
“Sorry, you’re a girl. My bad. Not my natural food source. I’m gonna go over here now.”
Which is complete crap because sharks don’t do that (nor do snakes or lions or bears or anything else in nature that CAN KILL YOU).
But it goes a lot further than that as it’s a stigma to firmly entrench, to keep girls from being adventurous (or at least, telling girls just exactly what their adventures could be, like shopping!). Girls can grow up to be:
- Fighter pilots
- Police officers
- Trauma surgeons
- Large animal veterinarians
- Fire fighters
- Rock climbers
- Backwoods backpackers
- Sky divers
- Race car drivers
- Rally car drivers
- Auto mechanics
- Newspaper editors
- War zone television reporters
- Astronauts (or even cosmonauts)
- Submarine commanders
And yes, they could even be pretty. Girls can do anything. Books shouldn’t just do things like this and try and separate things into gender specifics. Because, heaven forbid that boys should need to know how to avoid a fashion disaster.
- Girl, 15, Has Close Encounter With Shark Off Catalina Coast (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
A long day at work yesterday and an early day at work today, makes for a very tired Tim.
There has been a definite lack of postings today. Even reblogs or likes.
So, I will make up for it with funny pictures.
I come up against this saying many times at work when I deal with our older subscribers and customers. For a time, I used to just shrug my shoulders and think “yeah, I can see that”.
That saying is “I’m just an old man of (insert age here), I don’t know that fancy technology”. That excuse, and I suspect excuse would be better than a saying, but that excuse is absolute garbage. For me, that excuse became garbage when my father, my 70 year old father (saying how old he is out loud kinda scares me) bought a Fujitsu digital camera (better than mine, by the way) and a netbook, and then a three in one printer. And then they got a Hi-Def digital TV. I don’t even have a Hi-Def digital TV yet!
But saying “Oh, I’m just an old man” is crap! I know people ten, fifteen, even twenty years older than me who are well versed in several computer languages. Who have different electronic devices. Who even play MMO’s, for crying out loud!
There are some that might say “but Arthur Black, who happens to be one of your favourite humourists, he says he’s too old”. No no no. I must correct you there. Arthur Black has never once said he was too old for such devices. He’s actually written about such devices and their affects on the world (and him). He doesn’t use them because he’s too old. He doesn’t use them because he’s a luddite. There’s a difference.
We know the definition of “too old”. Here’s the definition of luddite. First, from Wikipedia:
The Luddites were a social movement of 19th-century English textile artisans who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life. The movement was named after General Ned Ludd or King Ludd, a mythical figure who, like Robin Hood, was reputed to live in Sherwood Forest.
/ˈlʌdaɪt/ [luhd-ahyt] – noun
a member of any of various bands of workers in England (1811–16) organized to destroy manufacturing machinery, under the belief that its use diminished employment.
1805-15; after Ned Ludd, 18th-century Leicestershire worker who originated the idea
That would be a much more acceptable thing to say than just “I’m just an old (person)”. I just will not accept that. Unless you are infirm, or feeble, there is no excuse to learn some new piece of technology.
That is, of course, you happen to be a luddite.
The sun is risen, though it’s still a cloudy and grey morning. There’s spring in the air, that’s for certain. It rained a little over the weekend, which gave the air that old, familiar smell.
I sit eating breakfast, pleased with the fact my left shoulder isn’t at that dull, throbbing pain that it was earlier. The truly sad reality about it, is that I can’t even claim to some sporting injury or wild ruckus that went into my shoulder’s dull, pain filled throb. The only reason it does so, is because I’m old. Or at least getting older. The tendons are inflamed, that’s all. So, I picked up some medication, and hope for the best. At least I don’t need surgery.
I know that today is going to be busy. A paper to produce. One section that has to go up by the end of today. The regular section to go up tomorrow. And on top of that, funeral cards that have to be printed off. And more designed. I’m looking forward to the end of the day, when I can come home and not worry about what all that has to be done today. Just evening writing and possibly television or a cup of coffee on the balcony as I enjoy the evening.
Titled such because there is a lotta stuff I wanted to talk about today, a veritable potpourri of things, and just so little time to do it. It takes less time to hit “like” and “reblog” than it does to actually sit down and write several posts (or even one).
First, I really would like to thank everyone who sent me support and such when I posted this up a couple of days ago. My faith had sort of hit rock bottom and it was nice to hear from encouraging people, especially early-onset-of-night (who posts some great op-eds and awesome poetry) and filmsfoodandfandom who gave some good advice. I appreciate every bit of it, and I appreciate everything from everyone who either sent me messages or always continue to follow me.
Last week, I felt like crap! As it turned out, I had the flu, when I thought I was having a stroke. I went to the doctor today and it turns out I have inflamed tendons in my rotator cuff of my left shoulder. The short translation of that is, I’m fucking old! Seriously, I’m 41, this shit happens when you get to a certain age. The joints don’t move as well as they used to. So, I now have exercises that I need to perform, along with taking an anti-inflammatory, in order to decrease the inflammation in my tendons on my left shoulder.
Naturally, I had to go to the pharmacy to get some, which as luck should have it is also located in the food store. Local Co-ops are great!
Milk! Bread! Those turkey strips things for $7.99! Toothpaste! Toilet paper! The anti-inflammatory! Coffee! I got what I needed and a little bit more including a purchase from the small book aisle of the store.
Yeah, more reading for me.
Of course, leaving the store, that voice in my head that warns me of danger said “I think you forgot something, dude!” Yeah, that’s fine, you’ll remind me when I get home. Also, you, Sir Voice, would suck when warning me of an oncoming big rig. By the time you warned me, I’d be dead and the truck would be half a mile away. Seriously, you suck.
As luck would have it, when I arrived home and finished unpacking groceries…
One last thing, I know I didn’t post up a new Rocket Fox episode yesterday, and there won’t be one today, I just haven’t had the time the past couple of days, but I can assure you, dear readers, that the adventure will pick up again on Friday!
I guess you could say that I’m not a really exciting person. I don’t go rock climbing (because I’m afraid of heights), I don’t often go swimming, I hate crowds, couldn’t be bothered with going to a vacation spot (because of the aforementioned crowds), I’d rather spend a quite time with a close friend (or by myself, because books can be friends), and I don’t get excited about rock concerts or sporting events (like I used to when I was younger, also, see aforementioned crowds).
So, when I say that I did something this weekend that kind of excited me, You might think I am odd.
Out of all the things I did this past weekend (which really wasn’t much, but then again it’s the weekend and I begrudge no one who does nothing at all except lots of me time during a day or two off), the best things I did were to go shopping for new pants.
I bought four pairs.
And a belt.
Which I didn’t really need, because the pants I ended up buying fit quite nicely. I’m not big, I will admit. Which has at times been something of contention with me. I’m really skinny. And rather tall. So trying to find pants is difficult at best. At one time, my size was a 30 waist and 34 inch leg. Now that’s changed to a 32 waist and 34 inch leg (I’m not getting bigger, I’m just getting wider, which considering the first time I went for measurements my waist clocked in at 28). I’ve always found it hard to get the right fitting jeans for myself, so whenever I see a pair of pants with my measurements, I scoop them up (if I happen to have money within budget)
It’s rather boring, to be honest, to talk about buying pants. And quite an interesting take when I step outside myself and look at the things I get excited over. Two years ago, I got excited over a new vacuum cleaner. Last year, a new microwave. Six years ago, it was my couch and chair.
Twenty years ago, it would have been a new car. Or a kickin’ stereo system. Or the stop sign that I stole from the four way stop at the top of the hill in Flin Flon, Manitoba (because, it’s daring, and made a good wall hanging, and in a pinch, also makes for a good coffee table, granted, I now own a coffee table which I bought with the couch and chair).
I guess the little things really do excite me. Even buying new books (though, the day I finish off one of my rooms in my apartment as a library, I am gonna blog for weeks about that). That’s why four pairs of pants at $19.99 each really did excite me. New clothes and I’m not spending a fortune on them. Some might consider that boring, but not me. Nope! I got new clothes, I am happy.
From the article:
Earlier this week, astronomers announced that they had discovered more than 50 new extra-solar planets, and 16 of these alien worlds have been classified as so-called super-Earths. One of the super-Earths, dubbed HD 85512b, has excited astronomers the world over because it sits at the edge of its parent star’s habitable zone, suggesting favorable conditions that could support life.
But why is this planet’s particular position so important for life? And if there is life on HD 85512b , how might astronomers go about confirming its existence?
From the article:
A potentially habitable alien planet — one that scientists say is the best candidate yet to harbor water, and possibly even life, on its surface — has been found around a nearby star.
The planet is located in the habitable zone of its host star, which is a narrow circumstellar region where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface.
“It’s the Holy Grail of exoplanet research to find a planet around a star orbiting at the right distance so it’s not too close where it would lose all its water and boil away, and not too far where it would all freeze,” Steven Vogt, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told SPACE.com. “It’s right smack in the habitable zone — there’s no question or discussion about it. It’s not on the edge, it’s right in there.”
Click the links to read more. Hope there’s more study, and maybe, maybe in the future we can find out if we are or are not alone in this universe.
Bolivia’s government is about to approve a mega-highway that could enable foreign companies to pillage the world’s most important forest. But, Bolivians are fighting back and today we have a massive opportunity to help them win – top Bolivian ministers have agreed to a meeting with Avaaz in New York.
Huge economic interests are pushing Morales to approve the final permits for a highway through the Amazon. But a massive protest in Bolivia and an outcry from Avaaz members across Latin America are ramping up the pressure to stop the highway — in response, Bolivia’s Foreign and Interior Ministers have just agreed to take time out from meeting world leaders to personally receive our petition week! Let’s supercharge our call before the meeting.
Over 90,000 Latin Americans have joined this campaign the last few days. Now let’s show Morales and his government that the world wants them to stand up for the Amazon bystopping this destructive highway. Click to sign the urgent petition, then forward this message to everyone:
Isiboro Sécure National Park is the crown jewel of the Bolivian Amazon, famous for its huge trees and astonishing wildlife. It is a doubly protected area — as a National Park and an indigenous reserve, known as TIPNIS in Spanish. Bolivian and international law say indigenous leaders must be consulted if the government wishes to take their land, but the government has ignored their vocal opposition and failed to study a single alternative road route.
Evo Morales has pushed through construction approval, arguing that the road will bring prosperity, but the main winners would be massive oil, mining and farming businesses. Illegal logging, plantations and oil drilling are already choking the park — which may lose 64% of its forest cover in the next 20 years if the road is built. Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous President, has often stood strong for the environment and indigenous people, including championing the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth. By standing with Bolivians fighting the road, we can help Morales face down pressures for destructive development.
Pressure is reaching boiling point, with a mass march on La Paz, and former members of Morales’s cabinet speaking against the project. Let’s add our voices to this chorus for Amazon protection and respect for indigenous communities – sign this urgent petition to stop the illegal highway and find safer alternatives:
Indigenous peoples’ organizations have often shown amazing strength in warding off foreign companies and ensuring their rights are not sacrificed on the altar of economic development. President Evo Morales, often one of the world’s most visionary leaders, has said “humankind is capable of saving the earth if we recover the principles of solidarity, complementarity and harmony with nature.” He needs our support to stand strong for these precious principles.
Luis, Laura, Emma, Ricken, David, Diego, Shibayan, Alex and the rest of the Avaaz team
Indigenous Bolivians march against Amazon road (BBC):
Bolivia’s Eco-President: How Green is Evo Morales? (Time)
Evading indigenous consultation in Bolivia (Al Jazeera):
Morales, his moral maze and a road into Amazon wilderness (The Independent):
Evo instigates law granting rights to Mother Earth (Environment News Service):
Article citing study of deforestation projections (in Spanish):
Indigenous and Presidents Clash in Ecuador and Bolivia (Huffington Post):
- Indigenous Bolivians March Against Highway (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- Venezuela’s Chávez and Evo Morales Land in Cuba Following Meeting in Caracas (redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com)
- Indigenous activists gain momentum in Bolivia (edmortimer.wordpress.com)
Here is a large number of things that I need to get down. All of them completely random. All of it completely rambling.
Have you ever noticed that the people who most hope for a zombie apocalypse are more than likely the least likely to survive a zombie apocalypse?
It’s not thought of as proper to wear shorts to work. Well I don’t think it’s comfortable to sit in my own sweat when it’s 33 degrees Celsius outside and the air conditioner doesn’t work. My comfort while I work outweighs your appropriateness.
Individuals who happen to call out people for being lazy have a tendency of being more lazy than the people they are calling out.
Never call out someone for longing for something they can never have again. Saying “that’s silly” is quite ridiculous. Most likely you’re longing for something equally or more silly than they are.
People make the comparison between Harry Potter and Twilight all the time. There is only one comparison needed. They were both printed on paper, start comparing the paper and you’ll find there is no difference. The stories, on the other hand, are completely different.
On the same note of Harry Potter and Twilight; compare the reactions in certain circles to the two series. Harry Potter has been called devil worship and instruction to witchcraft, when at it’s core it is a story about friendship, love, overcoming massive obstacles and the triumph of good over evil. Twilight is telling young girls that they aren’t any good unless they have a boyfriend who plays mind games with them, is extremely white, and is kind of a stalker. It is held up as good reading for young adults. This is a reflection on our society, when we hold up something that treats women poorly over something that values friendship.
When you find a job or career that you truly like, getting up in the morning will be easy. Waking at 5:00 in the morning, especially if you work day time hours, will take no effort. On a personal note, this does not include the morning anchor position of certain radio stations.
We’re never truly aware how dependent we are on something until it’s gone. Thus, why I don’t own a cellphone.
Yes, I don’t own a cellphone, and really don’t need one. However, I have been in situations where I’ve thought “now would be a great time to have a cellphone.”
I have come to a point in my life where watching movies is difficult. It’s not that they’re hard to watch, as in a sort of labour, though that’s not far off, but it’s more that most movies now are complete and utter crap.
The book is always better, although there are a few movies that are extremely close.
My joints will ache, my vision will grow more and more blurry. Then I meet someone who is a paraplegic or who is considered legally blind. I resist the urge to compare, because really, my mobility and vision is far better than that person’s is. Yet, each of us has this compelling urge to “compare injuries” in a way to make themselves feel better about having a sore knee while talking to a person who has lost their legs.
Chances are the person who has no legs is happier than you are.
We do an awful lot of sitting. Sit at a computer at work, sit at a computer at home, sit and watch television. Then we log onto flickr or tumblr and click “like” on all the lovely scenic pictures of people doing things outside.
I’m writing this on WordPress, but I’ll eventually post it on tumblr, because I know that I have followers there who are not nameless, faceless entities.
It’s easier to write 1,000 words that ramble on and on than it is to write 1,000 words that connect into a coherent story that flow eloquently.
Ask yourself next time you find yourself writing a large number of incoherent thoughts; are you doing this just to get this stuff down, or are you doing this just to see how many views it will get?
The war between the book and the Kindle can be summed up like this. When a fly is buzzing about my head, the book becomes a tool for the moment that extinguishes the fly. After, I go back to reading the book. Replace book with Kindle, then once the fly is extinguished, go buy a new Kindle.
Why do we have to associate war with most everything in life? War on drugs, Battle of the Sexes, and so on. War on drugs conjures up images of Hollywood cop shows, while battle of the sexes conjures up something much more pornographic. And there in lies the problem with the battle of the sexes.
Remember, all of this is completely random.
What some people call philosophy, others call lunacy. Mostly because the latter doesn’t take the time to consider what the former has just said, due to the fact that the latter has been raised with certain social parameters enforced upon them. Really, the latter isn’t calling the former a lunatic because the former is indeed a lunatic, it’s because the latter is afraid that everything they’ve known is wrong.
I remember that time in the Bible when Christ said “let the poor pull themselves up by their boot straps” and then gave a bunch of money to large corporations. Good times.
I know there’s someone out there who’s going to say “you should do this on a weekly basis”. It would hardly be random anymore, would it?
You’ve been counting this word count, haven’t you?
I use the tumblr dash board so much that I’ve forgotten what background I use.
A sentence can either be translated as angry or happy, but never moreso does it become angry by use of the word “fuck” somewhere in the middle of it as an adjective.
Before I owned a car, I thought it would be wonderful to go on a drive every now and then. Now I hate driving.
Someone, somewhere is laughing at that last sentence.
Someone, somewhere, just looked over their shoulder after reading that last part.
Nothing says desperation more than the sentence “we’ve run out of coffee”. Every desperate moment should be treated as though we’ve just run out of coffee.
And now the word count sits at 1,067.