Archive for January, 2008

Man have I got a great idea. Really. I mean it’s a great idea. Well, maybe it’s actually more of a great concept then an idea.

I have an idea for a story or series of stories that quite possibly use a standard horror critter in a way that would capture a problem in today’s world perfectly. And the bonus of it (for me at least) is that I can actually say something about life in America today. The thing is, I’m having a hell of a time with it.

See, this is such a perfect fit for this type of monster that it’s almost too hard to not have it be too obvious an allusion or analogy or to seem like the concept is being slammed into the face of the reader in a ham-fisted manner. I’m sure it can be done, but right now my skill as a writer is just running the idea in circles through my head, my notebook and my Word program.

What’s really tripping me up is creating the story in such a manner as to have the reader enjoy it without having the underlying symbolism hit them until some later time after they’ve finished the story. Flipside: I don’t want it to be so buried in the story as to be unnoticeable or irrelevant.

*sigh*

It’s so much easier writing tickets and reports. You never feel like a completely useless moron.

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Spy satellite loses power, may fall to Earth

   WASHINGTON – A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could hit the Earth in late February or March, government officials said Saturday.

   The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret.

 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22857051/

We’ll all be shambling around in no time…

 

The Pain… The Pain!

Posted: January 24, 2008 in Puns & Jokes

   Having been sick for almost a week now, I’ve been really itching to share some misery. To that end, I give you the first Puns & Jokes thread. Feel free to add your worst.

                                                 The Mission

   I commanded a submarine in her Majesty’s Navy during the last World War and I had at least one secret mission. The famous spy and notorious ladies man Harry Lime, the celebrated Third Man, had developed a sudden case of astigmatism — and many of his espionage activities forbade dependence on spectacles.

   At that time only one visionary in the world was working on the development of a practical contact lens: A specialist at Sir Walter Reed Hospital in America.

   I was ordered to convey Lime in the utmost secrecy and the fetch him home again. Lime was an excellent actor, of course, but, after observing him navigate his way around the sub and interact with its crew for a few days with little or no problems, I began to suspect that there was nothing wrong with his vision. I then learned from one of my men that Lime had a girlfriend who lived not twenty miles from the hospital. So, upon docking in port, I called him into my cabin.

   After having him sit, I fixed him with my most serious gaze. “I consider my duties to Queen and Country to be of the utmost importance and do not look kindly upon trivial wastes of time. If this is indeed a legitimate mission,” I said coolly, “I have no problems with it. However, if there are certain… other agendas… at work here, I will be less then pleased with the situation.”

   “Now, I can’t prove a thing against you,” I said to the now uncomfortable spy, “but I’m ordering you to go directly from the sub, Lime, to the Reed oculist.”

   It’s 2008 and that means that the greatest toy ever made, the Lego brick, is 50 years old. And, like all good things, it’s only gotten better with age.

   What started out with sets that looked like blocky buildings in a limited color pallet has grown to be a toy that is as endlessly versatile as the imagination of the builder. The things that can be constructed these days from the once modest toy are mind blowing. Take a trip over to http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/and see what I’m talking about. Then, stop in at the Lego Factory section of the site or just do a Google image search on “Lego” to see what fans have built.

   Back yet? Ok. Beyond just the bricks themselves, Lego has moved into the virtual world as well. One of the surprise hits of the gaming year a few years back was Lego Star Wars on the PS2. This was followed by the equally successful Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and a PS3/X-Box 360 version that has the entire movie series in one game. Following on the heels of that are the forthcoming Lego Batman and Lego Indiana Jones.

   Lego bricks have also grown huge in the statistics department.

* On average, there are 62 LEGO bricks for every person on earth.

* Approximately seven LEGO sets are sold every second.

* Two million LEGO pieces per hour are manufactured in Billund, Denmark.

* There are 915 million different ways to combine six eight-stud LEGO bricks.

* A column of 40 billion stacked LEGO bricks would reach the moon.

   Not bad for a bunch of little plastic bricks. Happy Birthday Lego.

Iowa

Posted: January 3, 2008 in Politics

My, my…

    Well, this should cause more then a few hair pulling sessions amongst the political punditry. The 2008 Republican Iowa Primary is in the books and, barring a really amazing and unheard of comeback, it didn’t go to either Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney. No sir, it went to Mike Huckabee with a commanding lead of (at the time of this writing) 9%. As a matter of fact, while Romney managed to come in second, Giuliani came in 6th place.   

 

 

Mike Huckabee 39,814 34% 30
Mitt Romney 29,405 25% 7
Fred Thompson 15,521 13% 0
John McCain 15,248 13% 0
Ron Paul 11,598 10% 0
Rudy Giuliani 4,013 3% 0
Duncan Hunter 515 0% 0
96% of precincts reporting

    Fox News must be so depressed right now. Hopefully, Alan Colmes is keeping Sean Hannity away from any sharp objects and window ledges. ~8?) 

   The Democrats are having a more interesting race.  

 

 

Barack Obama 940 38% 16
John Edwards 744 30% 14
Hillary Clinton 737 29% 15
Bill Richardson 53 2% 0
Joe Biden 23 1% 0
Uncommitted 3 0%
Chris Dodd 1 0% 0
Mike Gravel 0 0% 0
Dennis Kucinich 0 0% 0
100% of precincts reporting

   Obama is the projected winner on the left side of the fence, but his lead isn’t anywhere near what he or his supporters would have liked to have seen. The big fun in this one isn’t so much that Obama won, but rather that Obama and Edwards have beat Hillary. This has to be a huge blow to the Clinton camp. Some of the momentum that she had in some quarters was her appearance of destiny. She was going to be the winner because she was going to be the winner. That has been crumbling somewhat of late to Obama’s gains, but losing to Obama and Edwards both must surely destroy that façade in the minds of many.

     There’s also a nice little comment on race here that’s been mentioned a little in the last few news blips and that I’m sure will get plenty of discussion time in the next 24 hours of news cycles. Obama, a black man, won in “corn fed, white bread” Iowa. While racism and its ill effects still exist in some small pockets of America and should not be discounted as a negative force in people’s lives, I think that this says a lot about how colorblind the nation really is. At least, one can always hope so.

 *Stats from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21229206

 

 Post updated 1/4/08 at 9:30 EST with newer graphs to show final results.

 

It’s That Time of Year Again….

Posted: January 1, 2008 in Holidays
 Well, here we go again. What resolutions can I come up with this year that I might actually not forget ten seconds after I’ve made them? There’s gotta be at least a few…

1) Gotta get back in shape. I’ve really let that slide in the last year with everything (Jenn’s problematic pregnancy, Ian’s early birth, several deaths, etc) and I have to do something about it. Beyond just feeling better in general, we’ll be putting together a new tactical team later this summer and I have to be in shape if I want to make the rather small (10 to 15 officers) cut.

2) I’ve gotta start making more time to see friends and family. Several of the last few deaths in my circle of friends and family were younger people who passed way too soon. The worst part of their passing was that I could have seen them on a number of occasions before their deaths, but “life” got in the way. Way too many excuses popped up that were rationalized with “there’s always tomorrow.” Well, there isn’t always tomorrow. I explained it a little better here (http://cid-bae89762d49536d7.spaces.live.com/) and I don’t really want to write about that experience again this soon.

3) I’ve gotta get my focus back. I’ve been kind of distracted lately and not really thinking about where I’m actually at. Not really a problem most of the time, but not the best thing for a cop to be letting happen while on the job.

4) Work on my blog and work on my writing. Both serve (sort of) the same ends and both will help me out in the long run.

5) On top of all of that, I have to spend more time with my wife and child. And it has to be more quality time then just quantity. I’ve been trying to do that this month, but I’m not sure that I’ve been giving them everything they deserve. I might never be able to actually do that, but I can at least try.

Oh, and just for the hell of it…

6) I have to get my butt down to the Carolinas and die at the bloody hands (and teeth) of a zombie.

So… What’s everyone else looking to do?