Easter

Mar. 23rd, 2008 08:50 am
troyce: (Gisbourne closeup)
And for those wondering, reports say Jesus did not see his shadow today.
troyce: (hood fight)
Texas, having a fooked Democrat party, not only had a primary today but there are also caucases today to pick about 1/3 of the delegates (don't ask me why, it just don't make sense). So Martha and I went and did the caucus thing to support Obama.

It started slow. The chairman got up and gave along boring history speech about what had happened in the past that got us to this point tonight. Then one old guy got up to give a report about why he had been detained recently. When it finally got time to discuss the business at hand, a big argument broke out between the elves and dwarves present that threatened to disrupt the entire meeting. Finally one of the strange short dudes spoke up and offered to take the ring to get rid of it. Fine with me, I have no taste for walking all over the map in the front of the book.

Actually, it was interesting. Rather than 6 people to caucus from the previous election we had like 93. Closely divided 49-44 Clinton-Obama. They got 7 delegates, we got 6 to send to the county meeting at the end of the month. The good news was finding out that all our neighbors on our street, and the one behind us, are Democrats. Except for the Republicans next door who's son is being held for murder. Rather surprising about all the democrats around us, as this county is EXTREMELY Republican.
troyce: (Default)
I was watching 60 Minutes today, and saw a fascinating story. A group called Remote Access Medical (RAM) was formed in 1985 to deliver free medical care in remote areas around the country. Tonight, they were in Knoxville, TN. Yes, 60 percent of their work is in America now because of the health care crises. People with no insurance, or without adequate insurance, are treated for free. In tonight's story, people drove hundreds of miles, slept in vehicles all night in 27 degrees for a chance to see a doctor. The founder is a 71 year old man who flies the planes, lives in an abandoned schoolhouse and uses a hose for his showers. He takes no pay, has no family or possessions, but has dedicated his life to this program. For those of you from my generation who grew up watching Marlin Perkins on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom before Disney came on afterwards, you'll remember the founder. It's Stan Brock, the British co-star discovered by Marlin Perkins while filming. He and Jim Fowler were Marlin's assistants on the show. Stan is now spending his remaining years trying to get medical care to those who can't get it, which unfortunately, is increasingly being Americans.

Their yearly budget is about a quarter of a million dollars, all from small donations by individuals. No corporate money, only donations from people like you and me, and the time donated by doctors, nurses, etc. who work without pay.

Here's the link if you want to read more or send them a donation (they take paypal):

www.ramusa.org
troyce: (Gisbourne with Mace)
Stole this from Sine. I'm not entirely happy with some of the choices in the quiz, especially the theme song one.

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

troyce: (Default)
Last year, thanks to iTunes, I discovered a group called Blackmore's Night, popular on the US and European rennie circuit. The guitarist was incredible, and then I learned he had been in the British rock band Deep Purple. His guitar playing and Candice Night's singing raise them above just being a rennie band into a really great group. My favorite song is "Home Again" which I found in this video on Youtube. My only complaint is the setting. Palm trees just don't mix with the song :) It should be an old tavern, with a roaring fire in the fireplace, and everyone with a tankard of ale, serving wenches bringing platters of cheese and bread, and off in the corner a stranger in a hooded cloak drawing on an elaborately carved long-stemmed pipe. No wait, wrong movie.

troyce: (Default)
Interesting result. Have no idea who Gravel is. I've always known I was pretty close to Dennis K. but he has no chance of being elected. Right now I'm leaning heavily towards Edwards if he can pull off an upset. I seriously worry about Obama and Hillary getting the nomination, as I don't see them being able to win a national election. None of the Republicans I would vote for. I used to like McCain, but he's totally sold out to the right wingers to get the nomination, and Ron Paul? I'm from Texas, I know what a looney he is.




95% Mike Gravel
91% Dennis Kucinich
84% John Edwards
81% Bill Richardson
78% Barack Obama
78% Chris Dodd
74% Hillary Clinton
72% Joe Biden
28% Ron Paul
28% Rudy Giuliani
23% John McCain
23% Mike Huckabee
21% Tom Tancredo
19% Mitt Romney
14% Fred Thompson
















2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Nerdom

Jan. 3rd, 2008 08:25 am
troyce: (Default)
I'm rather surprised I scored this high on math:


NerdTests.com says I'm a Kinda Dorky Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

New Title

Oct. 10th, 2007 10:01 am
troyce: (Default)
I has new title, peons:


troyce: (Gisbourne closeup)
I watched 60 minutes tonight, where Scott Pelley interviewed the unstable President of Iran.  He quoted Bush speaking about him, and I found the remarks interesting:

"PELLEY: I asked President Bush what he would say to you if he were sitting in this chair. And he told me, quote, speaking to you, that you've made terrible choices for your people. You've isolated your nation. You've taken a nation of proud and honorable people and made your country the pariah of the world. These are President Bush's words to you. What's your reply to the president? "

Funny, seems to me that Bush is talking about himself.
troyce: (Gisbourne dead)
We finally made it back from Dragoncon, no thanks to Continental Express.

Our flight leaving College Station was at 7:30 am on Friday, so I got up at, ack, 5:00 am.  The College Station airport is small, security check-in is a breeze, and has none of the hassles of large airports.  Just one problem: Colquit Airlines doing business as Continental Express.  These are the people who moved up the flight time for our flight to Madison a couple of years ago without telling us, so we arrived at the airport just as the plane was taking off.  This time, they call me at 5:45 to tell us that our flight was cancelled due to mechanical problems (i.e. the rubberband on their plane broke).  All the other connecting flights in Houston to Atlanta were full, so they said our only chance was to drive to Houston to catch our original connecting flight.

So off we go like the wind, except it’s the beginning of labor day weekend, cops are out in full force, and it’s also the time everyone up our ways starts to head into Houston for work.  So lots of traffic and slowdowns.  We arrive at the Continental Terminal to find out that even though there were still 15 minutes until the flight is scheduled, we missed boarding and couldn’t get on.

Now, the nice man at the counter was sooo helpful, putting us on standby, and telling us that where to take our luggage.  He tagged it to show we were on standby so it wouldn’t be put on the plane unless we were actually shown to be on it.  Keep this in mind.

So off we go through security check-in with no problems, and off to terminal C to wait standby for the next flight.  4 people on standby got seated but not us.  So off we go to wait standby for the next flight, in terminal B.  Ride train back to B wishing we were in Disneyworld going to the park.  Wait at terminal B, watch flight board, and no standbys left on board.  Now back on the train to go back to terminal C for the next Atlanta flight.  This time, not only no standbys allowed on, one passenger was bribed to get off so there’s enough seats.  Yes, brilliant Continental thought it would be prudent to overbook for a holiday weekend.

At this point, it’s afternoon, we’re tired, hungry, and have had enough.  We go to the Continental (dis)Service desk and managed to get confirmed seats for 7:00 am on Saturday.  They tell us to go to the baggage service office to get our luggage pulled.  We call Scott and Nancy and tell them they have unexpected houseguests for the night.  Many thanks to Scott and Nancy for keeping us sane, one of the FEW good things of the weekend.

Oh, guess what?  Baggage service office tells us that nice man (see above) lied.  Anytime bags are checked it shows “intent to travel” and so the luggage went to Atlanta.  We aren’t allowed near a plane, but our luggage probably got bumped to first class and sipped free martinis on the flight.

So off to Scott and Nancy’s with only our carryon luggage, and small emergency toilet packet courtesy of our good friends at Continental.  Is toothpaste supposed to have ground glass in it?

We at least had a nice visit with our friends.  Scott was home because of cable repairs, which mean’t no cable tv, and even worse, no internet access.  Off to Nancy’s office at Questia for Martha to send emergency messages so a dealer expecting her for a signing that afternoon wouldn’t think she had been stood up.  Then off to supper, and back to their place to borrow sundries and hit the bed early after a miserable day at the Houston airport and a 4:30 am wakeup to get ready to catch our 7:00 am flight.

Miracle of miracle, we do get on the 7:00 am flight with no problem and arrive in Atlanta.  Rush to the baggage office, and see our luggage behind the glass wall.  With the locked door.  And no one in sight.  Ultimately, we got out luggage, and finding the hotel’s instructions on getting a shuttle van useless, took a cab to the Hilton.

Our room wouldn’t be ready until 3, so we checked our luggage with the bell office, and headed to registration.  The line was around 3 slides of the block.  People later reported having to wait outside in the sun 4 hours to register.  Thankfully, Martha is a guest and qualifies for VIP registration.  Talking to one man quickly got us escorted to a small room with no line to quickly get our badges.  Then off to the hotel restaurant for food finally.  Did I forget to mention no breakfast, because there was no time earlier?  Did I forget to mention why?  Because my damn driver’s license had expired last week and the new one hadn’t arrived yet, and suddenly they noticed.  So I had to go through extra security while an illiterate TSA supervisor who couldn’t even hold a pen properly filled out a long form with painstakingly slowness, then had to have all my carry on searched, tested for explosives, and had a full body patdown.  

I hate flying.  I hate airlines, I hate TSA.

So, we eat, do a quick tour through one of 3 dealer’s rooms that’s so crowded you could barely inch your way through, and it was finally time to get into our room.

Ah, our room.  I fell in love with that room.  I had no choice, as I would not leave that room until Monday.  You see, I suddenly had this overwhelming desire to rush to the bathroom and do my best Linda Blair impersonation sans head spinning.  I’ll skip the TMI to just say it must have been a stomach virus, but I was very sick, and my stomach and chest muscles are still so sore it’s quite painful when I cough.

So yes, at a con with actors from all kinds of tv shows, including Riker and Data from Trek TNG, Uhura from real Trek, Claudia Black (pant pant), and tons of other folks you’d never expect to see at a con, I didn’t see a god damn thing.  No panels, no autographings, no art show, nothing, excpet the last dozen contestants of the masquerade thanks to the hotel tv system.  

Amount of food actually consumed and kept on sat: 0
Amount of food actuall consumed and kept on Sun: 1 bagel and the bread from a turkey sandwich
Monday saw things better, with me hazarding a croissant at breakfast and half a turkey sandwich at the airport.

Martha, at least, got to hit her panels, had a nice couple of autographings, saw some actors she was too shy to talk to, and met up with some online friends.

So, on to our uneventful trip on (not!).

We checked out and left after Martha’s last autographing, getting to the airport early, as I expected security to once again to treat me like my name was Fred Al Quaida.  They didn’t even blink at the expired ID and I said nothing.  So off to grab a bite, and sit at the terminal.  Our plane arrives, we get on board, and then after about 5 minutes the captain says “folks, bad weather in Houston, flight is delayed.  Please disembark.”  So back to the terminal and wait about 45 minutes until new word arrives that Houston really isn’t under water, and it was safe to proceed.

Then Martha gets nauseous on the plane.  Two airsick bags later, we land in Houston.  Fortunately, I’m feeling a bit better and tell her I can probably drive home, rather than having to stay in Houston again and risk infecting Scott and Nancy.  We might need their friendship again if we’re ever foolish enough to fly again.  So off in the airport shuttle to the parking lot, where we get off and see no sign of the car.  Anywhere, and yet this was the section our ticket showed we parked in.  On Friday.  Wrong ticket.  Rather than C10, I remember we might be back in B4, so I leave Martha to guard our luggage (yes, it actually made it on the same flight as us this time, though I think it was bumped up first class again as I smelled alcohol on their breath again).  I finally find the car, and drive back to pick her up, and we’re off for home.

Now fortunately, with my forethought, I brought two empty airsick bags from the plane with us for the drive home.  Martha was fortunate enough to go through both of them.  We got home about 10 pm, and off to bed.  

Today we’re both still under the weather, though I’m in better shape than she is.  Though I’ll point out smugly I was sicker back at the hotel, even though she had to be sick during travel.  I’m supposed to go to work tomorrow, but in my still weakened state, I don’t know how long I’ll last, so I may work a half day.

So in the end, the worst con weekend I’ve ever had, the worst travel experience I’ve ever had.  I continue to recommend that Continental be avoided at all costs.
troyce: (Blood)
Stole this from [personal profile] alfreda89.  It analyzed my webpage to determine my rating:




I used Gay once and fucking twice.  Oops, now it's 3 times.  Now I can understand  the R rating for fucking (oops, now it's 4 times).  But Gay?  Does it count the use in Deck the Halls?  Perhaps we're seeing some prejudice in this rating system?

And for those keeping count, I'm now up to 3 gays and 4 fuckings.  oops, make that 5 now.  I guess shit, damn, and asshole don't count.

Pirate me

Jun. 15th, 2007 12:39 pm
troyce: (Gisbourne dead)
Blame [profile] bevhale

troyce: (Gisbourne dead)
Seeing this report in the Houston Chronicle this morning, http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/4798119.html reminded me of seeing it on the Daily Show earlier this week.  Hamas is running a children's tv show attacking Israel and the US, with an UNAUTHORIZED depiction of Mickey Mouse saying things like "The Jews bombed my house, my books are destroyed in the rubble." 

Now, Hamas and groups like that are perfectly capable of standing up against the Israeli government, international pressure, etc.  But they have now attracted the attention of the most deadly and powerful force on the planet:  Disney Lawyers.  It's been well known that the first page of trademark law books always start with "Don't fuck with the Mouse."  Hamas has, and it won't be pretty.

Now, I can't divulge my source as a respected internet journalist, but my sources report that Disney is secretly  in talks to purchase mothballed B-52 bombers and French Mirage fighter planes.  Spy photos obtained through Google Earth show that the bombers are being painted with images of the ballerina Hippos from Fantasia, while the fighter planes seem to have been modified to resemble Dumbo.  Chats on Cnet's forums seem to indicate that Disney is amassing a huge army of advanced generation audio-animatronic soldiers.  There's even indications that the old submarines from the 20,000 Leagues ride at Disney World have been seen cruising off the coast of the Gaza Strip. 

And for those doubting the danger, I'd just like to remind folks of past actions by Disney Lawyers, such as the time they caught Enron using an unauthorized Little Mermaid tile pattern in the corporate rest room.
troyce: (Default)
Strangest Easter in years.  I took off Friday at lunch, deciding not to wait for the official word we'd get the afternoon off (it came at 2:00, so sue me for stealing an hour), deciding [profile] jess_ka was right, what's the use of living in a theocracy if we can't take some time off.  I rushed to Home Depot to get one of the remaining Weber Grills left, the kind I've been searching town for over two years in vain for.  A quick assembly and it's all ready, and very nifty looking I might add.

Saturday was just weird.  Highs in low 40's.  Sleet.  Yes, sleet the day before Easter in Texas.  It was the perfect day for curling up with a book, which I managed to do, despite running around getting fixings for Sunday's barbecue.  [profile] ltlj usually does a special meal for Easter, so I volunteered to christen the new grill by smoking a brisket.  We invited Megan and [personal profile] graylion over for it. 

As usual, judging the time that a smoked brisket is ready becomes a random guess for me.  The meat went on late because it took a while for the temperature to stabilize, so i thought we'd be an hour or so late.  Somehow I wound up nailing it on the head, having it ready in time for everyone's arrival.  The food was great, with Martha doing a chicken thing in fillo pastry shells, and Megan finding wonderful pre-packaged cole slaw.  A wonderful meal while watching Dresden Files and episodes of Venture Brothers.

Oh, and I doubt Jesus saw his shadow Easter morning.
troyce: (Default)
I found a great new product from Google that I think will revolutionize how we deal with information:

http://mail.google.com/mail/help/paper/more.html

I've got some on order and can't wait until it comes in.

Also, they Googles is offering free in-home wireless.  Looks quite cutting edge, just what the information pipeline needs:

http://www.google.com/tisp/
troyce: (Gisbourne closeup)
Got this off a friend's page. It looks like I'm not as much of a geek as one would expect, but then, much of the stuff I've read doesn't make top lists.

Below is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club. You're supposed to bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished, and put an asterisk* beside the ones you loved.


1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien*
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov*
3. Dune, Frank Herbert*
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin*
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley*
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien*
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein*
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer
troyce: (RH Stairs fight)
As you can probably tell from my pics, I'm a big fan of Errol Flynn's Robin Hood film, and Basil Rathbone :) I have the silent Fairbanks version on dvd, as well as the Flynn (and even have a prop sword used in both films. I have a publicity photo from the Flynn film that shows it in the background). My collection includes Bandits of Sherwood Forest with Cornel Wilde (and using outtakes and costumes from the Flynn version) as well as the complete import DVD boxed set for the old Robin of Sherwood series from Showtime in the 1980's. "Prince of Thieves," the old Richard Greene TV series from the 1950's. The main thing I'm missing is the Robin Hood miniseries from the old PBC series "Once Upon a Classic," but that one had a lame ending where Robin dies of disease in the forest.

All of this to preface my review of the first episode of the new BBC Robin Hood series. It sucks.

Now, I wanted to like this series going in. I was curious to see if they were going to do a swashbuckler approach ala Flynn, or fantasy like the Praed series. I'm not sure what they decided, and I doubt they know either. Some parts slightly echo the approach "The Knight's Tale" took, making it a modern tongue-in-cheek romp, but I think they mean it to be historical, God help them.

Let's see, first thing I notice is Robin has a buzzcut hairdo, and has all the charisma of of a Xerox copier salesman. Gisbourne is running around in a black leather duster with wide lapels and a shouldercape. I guess he lost his motorcycle. The soldiers are in cheap fake cloth chainmail that no self-respecting historical piece would use anymore (come on, you can get a whole suit of mail from Museum Replica, even riveted. NO ONE should be in cloth mail anymore), with black feathers in the peak of their helmets and chain mail covering from the eyes down in front so the look totally Moorish.

But worst of all. Robin doesn't use an English (actually Welsh) longbow. He uses a Mongol recurve bow. You can't be more damning to them than this. They got the bow so wrong the only way it could be worse is if he used a crossbow. Even though Flynn used an American flatbow, it could pass close enough for the casual fan. But a short Mongol recurve?

No one has any screen presence. Maid Marian shows the most competence with her carefully thrown hairpin. The filming of Robin doing his special shots tells me they watched Prince of Thieves at least. In fact, this first episode really makes me want to see Prince of Thieves soon. Hell, it makes me want to see the Star Trek TNG episode where they were Merry Men (except for Warf, who still protests that he's not a merry man).

Word on the net says it improves with later episodes. Hopefully that means they recast Robin, get a new costume designer (and how about some color please? Must everything be grey and dull?). And get that boy a real longbow! At this rate, I'm betting on the Sheriff and Gisbourne to win. If Richard should ever get back from the Crusades, he'll probably parden John, die in France, leaving John to reign and loose all the continental holdings of the Angevin Empire and be humiliated into signing some charter or something.

Arrow fu, sword fu, hanging fu, no breast, 1 bucket of blood. Joe Bob Scarlet says forget it.
troyce: (Gisbourne with Mace)
Ok, my sweet sigoth (signficant other, not a Cthulhu creature)LTLJ told me about an Austin cityscape look. So today, with her on the phone holding my hand and telling me every step of the way how to do this, I changed the look (you'd never guess I did computer support for a living).

In examining the new look, I wondered, why does someone living in College Station have an Austin cityscape on their live journal? Because no one in their fucking right mind would ever design a College Station (meaning Texas A&M) theme look for Live Journal.

It's not that I'm ashamed of living here, but it's not something one brags about either. Like not making a big deal of having an appendix removed, misdemeanor crime record, or having herpes (like being an Aggie. Once an Aggie, always an Aggie, just like herpes).

But seeing as this is the internet, it means we must have a top 10 list. However, I'm splitting it in two: 5 things I like about B/CS, and 5 things I hate:

Hate:

1. Texas A&M. To know it is to hate it. Aggie jokes aren't jokes, they're documentation.
2. Traffic. ugh. didn't have it when I came here, but getting worse all the time.
3. Republicans. The kind who's family tree don't branch.
4. no culture (Cultural Black Hole, as Karl Pallmayer infamously said in the Batt)
5. George Fucking Bush Presidential Library and Swine Center. Yep, built on the old swine center. What a waste of a good site.

Like:

1. Traffic (yeah, I hate the traffic, which is much worse than when I came here mumbly mumbly years ago, but compared to Austin, we're bucolic)
2. B&N, Hastings, and a surprisingly wide variety of restaurants for a place this size.
3. Bonding with others that don't fit here. You know how it is. You're in the SF section at the bookstore, or at Earth Arts, and you run into other people that don't fit here and share the same subversive beliefs and interests. We have our annual gathering of the clans at Monkeygiving every year, which includes something that should probably have a numbered item of it's own: Cathy Stahl's chocolate tort.
4. Republicans. yeah, I hate them, but being surrounded by them as made me run so far to the right I now identify with the Democratic Socialists.
5. The Arboretum. A wonderful park with lots of twisty little paths in a heavily wooded setting. Even has a romantic view of the CS Cemetary.
troyce: (Default)
While at Worldcon in Annaheim in August, I had the rare chance of seeing the Batmobile. The REAL Batmobile used by Adam West in the TV series, not the wannabe Batmobiles from the movies. Not only did I get to see it, I was able to pay to have my picture taken with it. Below are shots of me in total nerdvana reliving my childhood fantasies.

see pictures here )
troyce: (Default)
Found this quiz in another LJ entry. I'm a sucker for intellectual show-off quizzes:

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz


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Troyce

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