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Current Entertainment:
DVD
Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers, Special Extended Edition
CD-ROM
None
Music

System of a Down - System of a Down
Nine Inch Nails - Still
Tool - Opiate
Marilyn Manson - The Golden Age of Grotesque
Anthrax - We've Come For You All

Books Lying Open
A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin
The Complete Tales and Poems, Edgar Allen Poe
The Complete Far Side, 1990-1994, Gary Larson
Wolves of the Calla, Steven King

Soul-Devouring Worry
Cherry-picking nit-picking.

Life's Too Short For:
Going from one worry to the next.

Curse of the Day:
May your last meal be unexpected.

Phrase of the Moment:
Phrase: "We're so not ready"
Usage: "We're so not ready."
Synonyms: N/A
Deviations: None.
Origin: Someone said it, and it stuck.
Notes: This catch phrase is uttered by Malaya or myself at least once a day, and more often than that when we're out in public. It refers to "ready to have children" and is mostly used when we see someone with a screaming baby, whining 5 year old, surly teenager, etc. Basically offspring of any age who come into your life, live in your house, interrupt your every free moment for 18 years, and are pretty much perpetually ungrateful for their existence on earth, an existence that you are entirely responsible for.

It can also be used for other future plans that one or the other of us don't really want to deal with, such as full time work, dog ownership, getting a home loan, and more. -- November 17, 2003

Friday December 5, 2003
Quote of the Day -- QotD Archives
If you want to be liked, get a dog. The people you work with are not your friends.
--Deborah Norville
hursday was pretty uneventful. Malaya got some good news (professionally) which I'm not going to discuss here.  But to celebrate it we went to Jack in the Box for a greasy awful dinner, and also to use our "buy one get one free" coupon for a small Oreo cookie shake.  We each got a combo meal, since you can get that; sandwich, fries, and drink, for cheaper than just the sandwich and fries if you order them separately.  Funny how that works.

My spicy chicken sandwich and giant fries was good, though the keg-sized Dr. Pepper that came with it was far more sugar water than I wanted or needed.  I drank half of it and put the cup into the freezer next to the shakes, and it's there still, about 8 hours later.  It outta be good and cold by now, eh?  We had one of the shakes and it was okay, if a bit overwhelming for me, in terms of the sheer abundance of dairy in it.  Both too much milk taste, and too much milk itself.

I have been drinking milk (via cereal) pretty regularly since I moved up here some months ago, after I hadn't had real milk (I used rice milk.) more than half a dozen times a year in about a decade.  I've been okay with it, not too lactose intolerant, but since I got sorta sick last weekend and started in with the snots, I chose to avoid making that any worse with more dairy. (Like most people, my body converts the stuff just about directly to mucus.)  But I'm lazy and milk tastes pretty good with cereal, so I indulge sometimes.  I just try to cut back when I'm weak from something else, and can't fight off the toxic effects of that much liquid cow.

Anyway, we've still got one of the shakes in the freezer and we'll probably eat it tomorrow, assuming it's not all crystallized or something.  If I die like Flo Jo, be sure you carve something blaming dairy products on my tombstone.

 

In site news, the stupid donation progress chart thing on Amazon.com is annoying me.  I can't see any way to make it reset monthly, or at all, and since I don't want to show nothing about donations given, since that would make me suspicious if I were you, I've just changed it so the total goal is $500, which puts the $97 so far received into perspective.  Sort of.

The other stupidity of it is that it still shows $107 in donations, despite $10 of that being rejected at the time, and donated again later by the same guy.  As I said a couple of weeks ago, anyone could just make a dozen $50 donations, cancel every one of them as soon as they went through, and make a site's donation meter read $600 donated and turn off every other donor for the immediate forever.

Come to think of it, this might be partially why so few sites have the stupid progress bar enabled in the first place...

 

Here are a couple of news items, with more reader emails below.

 

The cops are digging deeper into Rush Limbaugh's pill popping issues, treating a celebrity like the criminal he's admitted to being, and while we've not heard any more about his drug trafficking or money laundering evasion lately, today there's some new news about his doctor shopping.

Investigators who searched Rush Limbaugh's doctors' offices said in warrants released today that the conservative radio commentator engaged in illegal drug abuse and "doctor shopping" for prescription painkillers.

The warrants show investigators were looking for Limbaugh's medical records, medical questionnaires, cash receipts, sections of the appointment book for Limbaugh, canceled checks, medical insurance forms, computerized records related to the ordering of narcotics, prescription forms and prescription records.

"Mr. Limbaugh's actions violate the letter, and spirit" of the law that relates to "doctor shopping," stated one of warrants, signed by Asim Brown, a law enforcement agent assigned to an anti-money laundering task force at the State Attorney's Office.

Rush replied in typical form on his radio show.

Limbaugh denied any wrongdoing to listeners on his radio show earlier in the day and accused prosecutors in Palm Beach County of going on a "fishing expedition."

"What these records show is that Mr. Limbaugh suffered extreme pain and had legitimate reasons for taking pain medication. Unfortunately, because of Mr. Limbaugh's prominence and well-known political opinions, he is being subjected to an invasion of privacy no citizen of this republic should endure," Limbaugh attorney Roy Black said in a statement, which Limbaugh read.

Yeah, that rabidly left-wing state government in Florida.  The one that engaged in huge vote counting irregularities and threw 20,000 black voters off the voting roles just before the 2000 election, and which cheated the vote counting to be sure Bush won.  They're really likely to be going after Limbo for his political leanings.

Of course you know if anyone else, especially a Democrat, were being investigated for this sort of thing Rush would spend 90% or his radio show calling for that person to be put away, saying how celebrities always get special treatment and get out of crimes other people can't, how they were weak and evil for using drugs, etc, etc. Oddly enough, it's different when it's him.

I almost wish I were religious, just so I could spend an hour a day praying that they actually put his formerly-fat ass in prison for some of the laws he's broken.  It would be such a glorious karma slap, for a venal man who as built a career on insulting and castigating others for their sins and failings, imagined or otherwise. Obviously the part where God/Karma struck him deaf wasn't enough to get the message across, so perhaps actual prison time will do the trick.  Not that I believe in karma any more than I believe in God.  Though I might start if Rush gets some hard time.

 

 

The German cannibal trial is ongoing, and despite the weirdness of it, I really have nothing to say about it.  The story speaks for itself.  Some guy has a fetish to eat another person, and he ran Internet ads asking for volunteers, and got quite a few of them.  He nearly did it to several other people, before rejecting them or letting them back out, but finally found a special someone who he wanted, and who wanted him as well.

They're trying him for murder, but that seems absurd, since the guy he killed came into things knowingly, wanted to be killed and eaten, and there's even video to prove it.

Meiwes filmed the killing and the video tape may be shown to the court. Defense lawyers have said the film shows Meiwes cutting off the victim's penis at the latter's request.

"It was important to him that his member be cut off and that he witness it," Meiwes said. "He screamed terribly and jumped around the table but after a while he said he was surprised it didn't hurt and was very pleased that the wound bled so strongly," he added.

"It gave him pleasure."

So then he hung him up and slowly bled him until he passed out, at which point he killed him and butchered the body.

In testimony so frank it drew gasps from the public gallery, Meiwes said he had kept his victim's skull and plastic bags of flesh in his freezer. He ate about 44 pounds of the flesh, defrosting it bit by bit.

"With every piece of flesh I ate I remembered him," Meiwes, a self-assured and well-spoken computer repair man, told the judge. "It was like taking communion."

While vore fetishism is bizarre to most of us, there are people who get off on it, both wanting to eat and be eaten, and while few of them go so far as to actually do it, some do.  This guy is just the first to be caught or tried for it, in such a ritualized fashion.

Another article talks more about dick-eating, with information you know you've been eager to hear:

After Brandes downed sleeping tablets and whisky, Meiwes cut off Brandes' penis which they planned to eat together, but found that due to its consistency, it was inedible "even when fried."

That's why they grind them up in hotdogs, junior.  Here's some more on the legal issues.

State prosecutor Marcus Koehler claimed Meiwes had always intended to kill and that he took advantage of a mental disorder in the dead man, Bernd Juergen Brandes.

If convicted, he faces life in prison. A verdict is due early next year.

Defence lawyers say Meiwes is guilty at worst of "killing on demand," which is punishable by up to five years in jail.

I suppose I should be outraged at this whole thing, but I'm not really into controlling other people's actions, so long as they're not doing anything against anyone's will.  I certainly have better things to do with my life than be killed and eaten, which is why I stay out of polar bear cages. But some people are a lot more fucked up than you or me, and so long as their fucked-ness doesn't manifest itself into anything that inconveniences me or other third parties, I'm pretty okay with letting them go their own way.  Even if it's fatal to them.  Rather libertarian of me, I suppose.

oday I'm repeating my "no better alternative" all purpose content device; email quoting and replying.

First up, here's the other email I wanted to quote and comment on, and would have in Tuesday's blog if not for that one going so long on the first three emails I commented on.

Hello

Reading your site and dii.net I have the feeling that you don't play the game any longer. I don't blame you. It is pretty hard to find the joy in it anymore.

While I risk that this mail gets filtered by your automatic or semi-automatic (unconscious but personal) spam filtering system, I have to use this subject since you're one of the few americans who could truly appreciate this playstyle.

What you need to do to get back to the game? Role playing, that simple! Get a character, develop it's personality, and play along.

I for one created a necromancer named GeorgeWBush_II on the Europe realm. He is obviously one of the new skelemancers, hiding behind his staff to do all the dirty work for him. Now all you need to do is to get the personality right. You can be uppity with your team members, say that God supports your cause (and they should hand over the drops), declare that the Waypoint has weapons of mass destruction and that you should invade it, and keep asking people wether they have oil or not. Keep dieing from the scarabs in the maggot lair? Just say "I believe the Maggots are ready for self government" and leave the place.

Trust me, the fun never ends :)

-C 

His suggestion isn't a bad one, and trust me, there are tens of millions of Americans who hate Dubya, most of them a lot more than me.  In fact I wouldn't say I exactly "hate" him.  I think he's a colossally-incompetent president who is surrounded by controlling and very misguided advisors and the country and the world would be much better off if the last three years of US actions could be erased and the next year was the last one he had to run the country, but that doesn't mean I'd floor if it he were buried to the neck near the red line and I were driving a Zamboni.

In more general terms, my lack of d2 playing time has almost nothing to do with boredom, and almost everything to do with priorities.  I would enjoy playing computer games some of the time.  I have to spend some time reading news and blogging and playing with Malaya and playing with the kitties and cooking and eating and shopping and showering and sleeping etc.  (Those items are not at all in order of preference or time consumed.)  I desperately want to spend as much time as possible working on my fiction writing, and often cut back or sacrifice time on the above list of items for that.  And while I'd enjoy playing an hour or three a day with new Hardcore ladder characters, I have other things that I'm better off spending that time doing. Hell, if I had the time I'd enjoy updating lots of the old v1.09 info pages on the D2 site, and creating new pages for new v1.10 things, writing and adding strategies, and so on.

It's almost better that I don't though, since just recently there have been exploits to rip off accounts and characters, ways to dupe massively, and that's after the previous townkill exploits, various bugged one hit deaths from monsters, and so on.  I've never been bothered so much by losing a lvl 85 HC char with great equipment when it was my fault, but when I see the economy being ruined by dupes and cheaters, or I die to bugs or cheats, I get very angry. And if I'd been playing all along and had several very high level HC chars and had been enjoying trading for the first time ever with a relatively clean ladder economy, the fact that yet another massive duping trick ruined the economy would have really depressed me.

As it is I didn't even find out about it until a day later, since I never checked my D2 site emails on Tuesday, and when I did I couldn't have cared less.

Anyway, take his suggestion if you're of a mind.  I'd be playing in more serious style as I tried to collect every new elite unique and try out every new niche-build that took advantage of weird equipment and odd synergy boosts for party play, if I were playing.  But since I don't feel that I have the time for that sort of recreation, I'm not.

I do miss computer games though, having played absolutely nothing other than quick games of blackjack, miniature golf, and Seven Seas for the last 2 or 3 months.  Perhaps over the holiday break Malaya and I will spend some time with D2 or something else.

But I doubt it, since I'm likely going to want to pour every spare moment into writing my fantasy novel, since I want to get enough done to start considering query letters to agents, and I need a very polished first chapter and a concrete outline for the rest for that.  And I'll need to be well into chapter 5 or 6 to be decided on the outline.  Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

 

 

And here's another one, just for variety.

I get tons of viruses and scams and other such crap via email, but I had to quote this one, just for the cleverness of it. I've seen cleverer tricks to get a trojan on a remote machine, but this one is pretty good.  I bet hella noobs fall for it, especially since the sender and reply to info is accurately spoofed.

Dear PayPal member,

PayPal would like to inform you about some important information regarding your PayPal account. This account, which is associated with the email address

bands@blackchampagne.com

will be expiring within five business days. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause, but this is occurring because all of our customers are required to update their account settings with their personal information.

We are taking these actions because we are implementing a new security policy on our website to insure everyone's absolute privacy. To avoid any interruption in PayPal services then you will need to run the application that we have sent with this email (see attachment) and follow the instructions. Please do not send your personal information through email, as it will not be as secure.

IMPORTANT! If you do not update your information with our secure application within the next five business days then we will be forced to deactivate your account and you will not be able to use your PayPal account any longer. It is strongly recommended that you take a few minutes out of your busy day and complete this now.

DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE VIA EMAIL! This mail is sent by an automated message system and the reply will not be received.

Thank you for using PayPal.

Obviously Pay Pal is never going to send you an application to run, and obviously I didn't sign up for it via bands@blackchampagne.com, but it's a good try, for an automated trojan that probably sends 500,000 times a day.

 

 

The last one today is a second mail from C, author of the first one about playing D2 as Dubya.  He sent it in a week ago, but it's as applicable today as it was then; perhaps more so, with the movie coming up in less than two weeks.

Just a short commentary on TTT: you say it is more borring than FotR. I just re-read the books (just meaning 2 years ago), and I found that FotR is THE best part. The rest is basically hack-and-slash, with some politics thrown in. Although TTT had some horrible things in it (the presence of the elves at the battle at Helm's Keep, the overly large role of the two hobbits with the Ents, thus making the Ents seem unwise etc.), I actually enjoyed the movie better than the book (what is VERY far from the case with FotR). I actually found the Return of the King boring, desperately wanting it to end. In the movies' case, since they missed half of TTT. the. book from the movie, they might make RotK an interesting enough movie, we'll see.

I enjoyed TTT a lot more on my DVD viewing of the extended edition, and thought it was more changed and improved than the LotR extended edition was from the theatrical film. Plus I'm a fan of action movies, and there's a lot more action in TTT than LotR.  Yet despite that I liked LotR a lot more, both the theatrical and extended edition.

I can't put my finger on exactly why, but the most obvious difference between the films is that FotR followed one plot line for the entire film, and built up steadily to a grand conclusion, by which time you were very involved in the story and the individual characters.  TTT jumped around between at least three plot lines, one of which was all action (Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli chasing Merri and Pippin and then battling in Helm's Deep) while the other two stories (Frodo and Sam wandering -- Merri and Pippin with Treebeard) were mostly walking and talking until the very end.  And I suppose that while I enjoyed all three plot lines, the switching between them kept me from enjoying any of them as much as I did the central unified story in the first movie.

I'm not saying there was any other way to do TTT, and it doesn't bother me in books (LotR or others) when there are 2 or 3 plot lines going on at once, but my first viewing of TTT left me feeling that it jumped around too much, and while I don't really think that of the extended edition, I guess the multipart story never involves me as much as LotR did.

Whether more compelling events in the stories would have pulled me in tighter is unknown, but perhaps we'll find out in RotK, since as C says, it's got bigger and better events, including a bunch of the ones that should have been in TTT if they'd made it just as the books were written.

Of course we'll have to wait until fall of 2004 to get the extended edition of RotK, and since I've liked the extended editions of the first two films a lot more than the theatrical, it'll be a year before I can really, truly say which film I like the best.

And then you know there will be some sort of super duper extended double edition of all three movies coming out in 2006, and I'll have to get that and spend an entire waking day viewing all three of the films in sequence to see how they flow together in a full 11 hour saga.

Oh well, at least I'll still have something to blog about in 5 years.

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