02 August, 2008

Defending Pacman

Living in Tennessee these past 2 1/2 years, I've become quite a big Titans fan. I've enjoyed seeing a team that was lousy when I got there become good enough in 2 short years to make the playoffs at the end of last season. The only aspect of the team I did not like was cornerback/kick-returner/malcontent Adam "Pacman" Jones. Although he is a talented, exciting player his off field fiascoes far outweighed any benefits he brought to the team (at least in my mind). I am not one of those fans who believe in win at all costs. I like to see things done the right way and with players that you are not ashamed to cheer for. Granted, it is becoming increasingly rare in this day and time, but it is still possible. Anyways, Pacman is the guy who got suspended for the year by the NFL last season for running afoul of the law a number of times, mostly for being in strip clubs and behaving badly. It didn't bother me that he got suspended even though he was never actually charged or convicted of anything. He was clearly a nuisance to society and got what he deserved. At least that's what I thought at the time. However, in the last couple of weeks I've seen little blurbs at the bottom of the screen during SportsCenter referring to players who have been convicted of crimes (in some cases doing time) not receiving any fines or further punishment from the NFL. What the hell? Where is the justice in that? A man who has never even been in court for his behavior gets suspended for the year while others who get convicted don't have anything happen to them? Yes, I realize jail time is a punishment but you try and get arrested and see if you're still employed with the same company. Furthermore, Ahmad Bradshaw, a running back for the New York Giants won't even have to serve his six months in jail until after the season is over. You go ahead and go get yourself arrested and convicted then see if you can get them to delay your time served six months or so and still have your same job when you get back. Go ahead, let me know how it works out for you. I never thought I would defend Pacman Jones but I really believe now he got a bum deal from the NFL.

27 July, 2008

Chaos Theory

Well, I finally got to see The Dark Knight last night. I'm really still absorbing a lot of it so I'm not sure how I truly feel about it. I liked it well enough and there are some genuinely jaw dropping moments but I'm not convinced it lives up to all the incredible hype. Really though, how could any movie? The theme of the movie seems to center around chaos as a tangible force. It's the reason the Joker thrives in Gotham, it's what inspires him. He sows discord throughout the city by appealing to man's basest natures, namely greed and the need to survive no matter the cost. Unfortunately, the Joker consistently uses the same ploy to sow chaos which to me seems to be a much too organized way of creating chaos in the first place. I think the only thing that truly annoyed me about the movie was the damn music. Every time (and I mean every damn time) something major was about to happen you would hear this one freaking note that would get louder and louder until the "shock" came. I was kind of disappointed that Christopher Nolan would resort to using this hack method of creating tension. The story and the surprises were good enough that the music was unnecessary. After awhile it actually took away from the scene. Leave that crap for stupid slasher films, man.
Heath Ledger was as good as advertised. This is the best Joker ever put on film, no contest. Anyone giving me Jack Nicholson needs to go back and watch that original Batman film again (I did recently and was disappointed I ever thought that movie was good). Aaron Eckhart did very well as Harvey Dent also. Nobody else in the cast really stood out. In fact I thought that Christian Bale did a terrible job as Batman this time out (though he was quite good as Bruce Wayne). The deep voice he affected when in costume seemed a little cartoonish. The batsuit itself did not look very intimidating either. I also did not like the way Batman finally tracked down the Joker. I know he's always relied on gadgets to fight crime but the method he uses here seems pretty far fetched even for a "comic book" movie and especially for a Batman film directed by Nolan. I think in the final analysis I enjoyed Batman Begins much more. And as far as a Nolan/Bale collaboration goes, I enjoyed The Prestige even more (that film gets better with every viewing, believe me). I guess I have to say that I really did like Dark Knight but there were some minor things that kept it from being a great film in my eyes. Make no mistake though, it's still a very good film. Just don't believe the hype.

29 June, 2008

Youth Is Wasted

"Youth is wasted on the young". I've always hated that expression. Unfortunately though, as I get older the more I realize the truth of it. That's not to say that young people don't know how to enjoy life. To be sure, there are many that take every opportunity presented to them. I've had friends that have taken road trips, traveled to other countries, had adventures I always regretted not having. Naturally, life is full of regrets regardless of who you are. Life is filled with moments not savored properly, of doors never opened. In times of reflection I've often regretted not being bolder with my choices, with not savoring that certain kiss even longer (note to wife:yes, there were girls before you) or with not going away to college. I've regretted not ever have gone to Europe or Japan or even on a cruise. Yes, some of those things I can still do but when you have kids it's a little harder. When everyday life is always there, spontaneity is taken away. Scheduling an adventure is just not as good as being able to leave it open ended. There have been relationships I've regretted not pursuing, friendships I wish I would not have let go of. There are regrets with my children, even though none of them are yet teenagers. I'm afraid I've not been as good a parent as I could have been. In fact, I know I have not. So yes, youth is wasted on the young. It's not as insulting as it sounds. It's just one of those facts of life that makes bitter memories just a bit more so.

28 June, 2008

Summer in New Orleans

I've remembered what my least favorite thing about New Orleans is...summer. This is kind of a problem because it is almost always summer in New Orleans. The heat is ridiculous and the humidity makes it even more so. If you are not from the southeastern or southwestern part of the U.S. do not tell me that you know what it is like to deal with humidity. You don't. I've been and lived in lots of places north of say, Tennessee, in the summer. Yeah, it can get hot but it is still nothing like what we endure in the Deep South. I can't speak for other parts of the world having never been anywhere other than Canada (for a day) and the Caribbean (for a week). Another problem with the summers here is the endless amount of rain. Seriously, it rains here every day and usually it is a torrential rainfall. I know, people in Seattle are thinking "suck it up, whiner". But if you live in Seattle you have it a lot better than we in New Orleans do anyways. This summer weather makes me even happier that I have started my new job. It's indoors and it's air-conditioned. Plus it's not too strenuous (always a plus in my book). I know this sounds like unnecessary complaining and maybe it is. I'm just sick of the rain and the heat and the humidity already and it's only June. Oh well.

21 June, 2008

Better Late Than Never

This is the first chance I've gotten to offer congratulations to the Boston Celtics for winning the NBA Championship last week. It is very rare that a team I pick to win it all before the season starts actually goes on to do so. I was very glad to see Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and P.J. Brown (a New Orleans area native) finally win a championship after so many years. I was also happy for Ray Allen (who always has seemed like a class act), Doc Rivers (who I loved watching as a player) and for Glen "Big Baby" Davis (an LSU guy in his rookie year). What made it even better is that it came at the expense of Kobe Bryant. I just can't stress how much I don't like this guy. Yes, I realize all athletes are prima donnas to one extent or another. And he certainly isn't the first to push publicly for a trade. What made that worse though was that he demanded a trade from a team he created. He's the one that pushed for Shaquille O'Neal to be traded to the Miami Heat (where he promptly won a championship). He helped push Phil Jackson out the door even thought Jackson later returned. What's even more annoying about the guy are the comparisons to Michael Jordan. Of course, Bryant has no control over what others say about him but it's ridiculous to compare Kobe to Michael. Is Bryant one of the top players in the league right now? Of course he is. Is he so far above everyone else? Of course not. To insinuate that is so is ludicrous. LeBron James is at least Kobe's equal if not superior. Kobe has benefited from playing in a major market his entire career and with perhaps the greatest center ever in O'Neal. Let's be realistic. If Kobe played in Memphis or Portland or Charlotte people would say he's a good player but nothing special. What does he do that any other franchise player does not? Nothing. Okay, this has become an anti-Kobe rant when it was meant to be a celebration of the Celtics. Sorry, I just can't help it. Kobe really rubs me the wrong way and even worse are the supposedly knowledgeable people who perpetuate the hype. Anyways, congratulations Boston. Hopefully, the Red Sox will continue the Boston party this fall. Too bad the Patriots blew it on their end.

Pardon the Interruption

The cat's way out of the bag on this one but it drives me insane every time I see it. If you watch t.v. for even only five minutes, regardless of what station, you've noticed the ridiculous amount of pop-ups that appear on the screen every couple of minutes. Most of them are for shows that you're going to see a commercial for in about six minutes but that doesn't seem to matter to the powers that be. The most egregious example I've seen is on TBS. Not only do their ads take up half the screen, they've now taken to pausing their shows to advertise the Bill Engvall Show. I've never seen the show. Maybe it's a great show. But I'll never watch it just because they've pissed me off so much by freezing the show I'm watching so Bill can do his little spiel. I really want to throw my remote through the t.v. sometimes. I realize it's way too late to do anything about this problem. It's only going to get worse. I just had to get this off my chest. It's a good thing I love to read. Luckily they haven't found a way to put pop-up ads in my books yet.

14 June, 2008

Checking In

Haven't much to say this time around. I started my new job this past Monday. I can't really say if I like it or not yet because all we are doing is sitting in orientation classes for the first two weeks. It doesn't seem like it will be a bad job as most of the machinery is fully automated. There is some physical labor involved depending on the department I end up in but certainly nothing worse than some of the jobs I've had. It pays well and the benefits are good so I think any aggravations will be outweighed by my paychecks. On other fronts, my wife and I still have not had any luck selling our house in Tennessee. We are both starting to get worried because there is no way we can afford rent and mortgage. We have family we can stay with here but obviously with a baby on the way that is not an ideal solution. So we shall see. Not much else today. Life is kind of on hold right now with waiting for the baby to arrive and trying to get fully relocated back in Louisiana.

08 June, 2008

Red Ring of Death

Well, my day is starting great. My oldest son was attempting to play a game on the 360 when he told me it kept freezing and the screen was going red. When I went to investigate and turned it off and then on again we got the dreaded "red ring of death". If you're not a gamer you have no idea what I'm talking about. If you are, then you are probably cringing with me. For those that don't know, the red ring basically means your unit is fucked. Now, I heard that Microsoft was replacing units that get the red ring but I'm not sure if they still are or if it matters when the manufacture date of your unit was. We purchased the extended warranty from the store when we bought it so hopefully we can get something done. With a baby on the way and us relocating to Louisiana the chances of me buying a new one anytime within the next year are virtually non-existent. Anyways, that's how my day has started. The good thing is that I start my new job tomorrow. It is the same one my wife and I were hoping I would get so we are both very excited. It's not like we will suddenly be living in the lap of luxury but once we sell our house in Tennessee we will be doing alright at least. I guess you really do have to take the good with the bad sometimes. That's a ridiculous statement, but true nonetheless.

01 June, 2008

David Stern Gets His Wish

Let me say first that I generally do not believe in conspiracy theories. I especially think it is absurd to believe that sports can be manipulated to fit into a pre-ordained outcome. Having said that, it sure is remarkable that the NBA actually ended up with the Finals match-up it most desperately desired, Celtics vs. Lakers. Of course the Celtics were the cream of the crop in the East. Their only serious competition this year came from the Pistons and the Celtics just flat out wanted it more than the Pistons did. However, by no stretch of the imagination were the Lakers head and shoulders above the rest of the Western Conference. Yes, they were the number one seed but that was only by a game and only because the Hornets faltered the final week of the regular season. They were decidedly superior to both the Nuggets and Jazz in the playoffs but then drew likely the easiest match-up they could have in the conference finals when they got the Spurs. Yes, I know the Spurs were the defending champs and no, this is not bitterness because they ousted my Hornets. The Spurs were lucky to survive New Orleans. Yes, lucky. Just compare their shooting percentages from the New Orleans series to the Lakers series (and the Hornets played excellent defense against them). So the Lakers got the older, less athletic team which had no legitimate answer for Kobe, Gasol, or Odom as opposed to the one that did. Now, did the NBA influence the outcome of the Spurs/Hornets series? I wouldn't say that but they sure got lucky. Now they get the Finals match up that will likely give them their highest ratings since Jordan retired the second time. The ratings in Boston and L.A. alone will probably be higher that last year's bore fest that was Spurs/Cavaliers. So David Stern is jubilant and Kobe gets the spotlight (which is all he really cares about). But my hope is that Kevin Garnett (a more complete player and classier guy than Kobe could ever be) gets his first championship. I won't give a prediction as far as how long the series will last but I will take the Celtics all the way.

Lost in Transition

This is the first chance I've had to comment on the Lost finale which aired this past Thursday. I have said before that I think this has been the best season thus far and the finale did nothing to disabuse me of that notion. I remember having a conversation with a friend sometime during the second season in which I insisted that the show would start to suck if they ever had contact with the outside world or, worse, actually got off the island. Well, it doesn't happen often but I was wrong. I believe this season has been so good exactly because they got off the island. The fast forwards have shown that there is so much at work here that may or may not have to do anything with the island at all. The writers of this show do an excellent job of changing our conceptions of the characters and showing that choices are never "right or wrong" or "good or evil". It all just depends on perspective. I am very interested to see where the writers lead the characters. We have already seen many of them change dramatically through the use of the flash forwards employed throughout this season. If you used to watch this show and gave up because of season 3 (admittedly weak except for the jaw dropping finale) I would strongly urge you to catch up before fall. This show is strong again and it would be a shame to miss the ride.

27 May, 2008

Keeping Up With the Joneses

My wife and I went to see the new Indiana Jones film Saturday night. The best I can say is that at least it is an Indy movie. Other than that, I was pretty disappointed. It wasn't a problem that Harrison Ford is so much older now because I thought they did a good job with that, as far as not making him do anything too outrageous. Shia Lebouf was really good as the young greaser kid who has a close connection to someone from Indy's past (if you keep up with fan sites you already know who I am referring to). Cate Blanchett wasn't horrible as the villain but she never seemed as dangerous as Indy villains past. My biggest complaint was the story itself. Of course this is make believe, as all the Indy movies are but the plot of this just seemed completely out of tune with the entire Indy mythology. I can't say much without giving away a lot but suffice it to say that by the end of the movie I wasn't sure if they wanted Harrison to play Indy or Han Solo here. The special effects didn't bother me as much as they did my wife although one of the fight scenes really stretched the limits of believability. I think Lucas has come to rely too much on visual effects. The best things about both the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies was that they fired your imagination. His recent movies go to too many pains to leave nothing to the imagination and that is really too bad in my opinion. So, in summary, if you like Indy I recommend you go see the movie but keep your expectations low.

24 May, 2008

More To Read

Greetings. Time for more book recommendations (you know you love it).
Scar Night by Alan Campbell. Another book that got serious play all over the fan sites recently. I almost didn't get it at all but then the sequel came out and that sounded really good so I decided to give this one a try. I'm extremely glad I did. This book is much better than a first novel has a right to be. There are some basic fantasy plots set in a very unusual world. The heart of the book has to do with secrets that the church has hidden for centuries from the citizens of Deepgate, a city suspended above a huge abyss by chains. I won't say here what the secret is because that would ruin it. The story moves at a pretty good clip. It is graphic in some places with a good amount of deadpan humor interspersed. Definitely a good read and I'm looking forward to the sequel (which I've already bought) as well. A 4 out of 5.
Dusk by Tim Lebbon. I'm not really sure how I felt about this book and that's probably not a good thing. At first I was distracted by the amount of gore and profane language. It's not that I'm against these things per se, it's just that I enjoy writers who can get the point across without appealing to the lowest common denominator. The story is very short and focuses around five characters, one of whom is the vessel through which magic returns after a centuries long absence. There are some very good things in this book. The end, in particular, was one of the biggest surprises I've ever gotten at the end of a story but it's not really enough of one for me to highly recommend this book. In fact, a few days after finishing it I realized that I really don't care what happens to these characters in the next book. That's pretty telling right there. 3 out of 5.
The Engines of God by Jack McDevitt. I've had this book for almost two years and put off reading it again and again. Many of my friends have heard me insist that I really don't like reading sci-fi. After reading this and Dan Simmons though, I think maybe I do like reading sci-fi. At least, intelligent sci-fi. This book centers around interstellar archeology but before you think boring...the mysteries McDevitt presents here and their subsequent resolutions will keep you on the edge of your seat for most of the book. I wish I had only read this sooner. There's something here that keeps me from giving it a perfect score, but I can't put my finger on it. Nonetheless, a 4 out 5.

22 May, 2008

The First Step

I received some really welcome news yesterday. I went on my interview at the company I have been waiting two months to get on with. Lately it had become evident to my wife and I that without this job we probably would not be able to relocate back to Louisiana at this time, if ever. Yes, the job market here is better than before the storm but not necessarily in any field I have access to. I don't mind working jobs like the one I am at now (delivering pizzas...again). I make good money but it also fluctuates a lot. With 3 kids already and another on the way it's not really an ideal employment solution. Anyways, back to the point. I went on my interview yesterday and I got the job. I just have to wait for the drug test, background check and physical but there should be no problem with any of those. Once that goes through, I should start at the end of June, although there is a slight chance I could start two weeks earlier than that. My wife and I (and a lot of friends and family) are very happy about this news. Now we just have to find a place to live here and worry about getting our house in Tennessee sold. No problem.

20 May, 2008

The Bitter End

I tell myself that all young teams must go through a couple of years falling short before they can be champions. I tell myself that we lost to the champs, one of the best teams on the planet. I tell myself that their shooting percentage beyond the arc is the kind of fluke that you really can't do anything about. I tell myself that our shooting woes are the type of thing that happens and, unfortunately, it happened to us at the worst time. And even though all these things are true, it still hurts that the Hornets season ended, and ended bitterly, last night at the hands of the Spurs. But there is plenty to be proud of with this team. They accomplished so much, more than any other team in the organization's history. The fact remains that they are a dangerous young team whose very talented core is all under contract. They (hopefully) have learned from this year's playoff run and from this series in particular. Next year they figure to be even more deadly. This is a team on the rise, not the decline. They certainly do no appear to be a fluke. Barring injury to Paul or West, they should again be one of the top teams next year. But man, October is a long way off. I stand by my assertion that this is the most talented team New Orleans has ever had. I hope the fans continue to show up next year and that the team soon rewards us all with a championship...or two. Go Hornets!

Rise of the Machines

What the hell is with all these companies that have automated machines call you? I'll pick up the phone and hear "if you wish to speak with a representative, press 1". How's this? If I wish to speak with a representative, I will call you. I understand that there are buisness reasons why companies do this but, honestly, I didn't like any business or economics classes when I was in school. It's bad enough most of these jobs get outsourced. Now they aren't even getting humans to do this crap. Skynet ain't far off people.

12 May, 2008

...And Another One

If you read the comments on this blog you have noticed that my wife's other friend (a.k.a. "the freaky one") has checked in. I'm a bit confused as to why she would seem so clueless as to why she is considered the freaky one. I assure you, it has nothing to do with the hair color. I won't go into detail since my mother reads this blog but think hard about it and I'm sure you'll come up with the answer. On the bright side, I found your comments to be rather relevant to the spirit of this blog. Yes, I'm quite astonished. It seems you have a little geek in you after all (and yes, there is a totally inappropriate joke in there somewhere but as I stated earlier, my mother reads this blog). So welcome aboard. I didn't want you to feel like you weren't as welcome as your other partner in crime otherwise I would have never heard the end of it I'm sure.

11 May, 2008

Easily Distracted

Lately, for some reason, my attention span concerning books has been nearly non-existent. In just the past 3 weeks I have given up on four different books. Usually I will give a book 200 to 300 pages (depending on the size of the book) before I deem it not worth my time. I think some of the fault has to lie with the circumstances I find myself in right now. I am New Orleans, away from my wife, daughter and unborn child. I am still trying to find a good job and that causes stress. We still haven't sold the house in Chattanooga and that causes more stress. Now, having said that, some of these books I've given up on haven't done much to grab my attention in the first place. But since this blog is essentially a self-serving endeavor, I thought I might list the offending tomes and if anyone out there has read any of them and thinks I should give them a second chance you can make your case here. The first (and one I would most likely finish) is Lord of Snow and Shadows by Sarah Ash. This actually wasn't a terrible book at all. I found many of the themes to be very Shakespearean. The problem was that the character development seemed forced and a little rushed. Other than that, not too bad. Second was In the Eye of Heaven by David Keck. This book got a lot of pub on the Internet sites last year and, having begun it, I'm not sure why. It's not original, it's kinda hard to follow and it's very disjointed. Third comes The Jackal of Nar by John Marco. I was really disappointed in this series because I think the trilogy he wrote after this (which begins with The Eyes of God) was excellent. This book was his first and it is painfully obvious. The biggest problem I have is that the characters here do things that make absolutely no sense in any world, real or imagined. It's like he had to force his own characters to do outrageous things just to tell his story. Like I said, a real disappointment. Last up was Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon. Within 20 pages I knew I would hate this book. This is the type of book that, unfortunately, makes a large majority of people think women can't write good fantasy (and no, I do not personally believe that). I can't even explain what is wrong here. Suffice it to say, if you read as much fantasy as I do you know pretty much right away when something works and when it doesn't. Here it most definitely does not. The only book I've finished since coming to New Orleans has been To Green Angel Tower by Tad Williams. It is the concluding volume of his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series. At over 1,000 pages it is perhaps the best thing I have yet read by him. It scored a perfect 5 in my book because even at that length, it never stagnates. That's hard enough to do in a "normal" size book. So maybe the problem isn't with me after all. I mean, if I can finish a 1,000+ page book without a problem maybe those other books just sucked.

08 May, 2008

Back Up the Bandwagon

Sports commentators get paid a lot of money to prognosticate and dissect. Almost to a man, they said the Hornets would wither under the playoff lights. Not a ONE of them picked the Hornets to beat Dallas in the first round. Not only did the Hornets beat the Mavericks, I'm pretty sure they are now all our bitches with the possible exception of Brandon Bass (a former LSU standout, by the by). Once we eliminated Dallas all these experts had to say was that of course we all knew Dallas was flawed. Oh really? Then why did you think that a 56 win, 2nd seeded team would not be a match for them? To add insult to injury, all these experts went on to predict that the Hornets would not be able to handle a "real challenge" like the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. How's that working out so far? (For those who don't know we're up 2-0 in the best of seven series). Of course it's not improbable the Spurs could come back and win this series but the way things have looked so far, I wouldn't bet on it. Which brings me to another point. How strange is it that New Orleans has a sports team this good? I'm not counting LSU because they are based in Baton Rouge. And I don't want to hear about Tulane's undefeated football season a decade ago. The Zephyr's minor league championship a few years back doesn't count either because, well...it's the minor leagues. Saints? Don't get me started. Yes, there was that NFC Championship game two years ago but if you can't beat a team quarterbacked by Rex Grossman you probably aren't as good as you think. No, the Hornets are the real deal and possibly the best team New Orleans has ever seen. We are the two seed in the Western Conference in a year when pretty much everyone agreed the conference was as tough as it's ever been. We won our first division title. We have the coach of the year. We have the MVP runner-up (who, seriously, should have been the winner but hasn't been in the league long enough). This team is young, fast and athletic. We can score, we can defend. We can play pretty much any way you want. The bandwagon's starting to fill up. Jump on now.

What the Hell Have I Done?

First let me say I am more than happy that my wife and her friend have decided to grace my little blog here. But I am starting to get this sinking feeling that they are trying to usurp my power. Your comments are quite welcome here, particularly when they are on subject. However, rating various actors "hotness" is neither required nor requested. As far as I know most of my regular readers are straight males so the way a guy looks in a superhero movie does not really matter to us. Just for the record though, I thought Robert Downey Jr. actually ended up as quite a convincing Tony Stark. I didn't think he was the best casting at first either but he ended up proving me wrong (and we all know how hard it is to prove me wrong). I thought Terrence Howard, on the other hand, was terribly cast and very robotic in his part as James Rhodes (who, I hope, in the sequel will don the War Machine suit). Anyways, ladies thanks for your time and comments. Let's just make sure they stay on point and we don't devolve into Entertainment Tonight or, even worse, Access Hollywood. And to my other readers, don't be intimidated by these two. I continue to look forward to your comments. Maybe you can help me maintain control of what has apparently become a celebrity rating site...

06 May, 2008

The Result of Unrealistic Expectations

Regular readers of this blog will remember how eagerly I was anticipating the release of Iron Man, which came to theatres last Friday. I finally got to see it today and...it was alright. Part of that may be because I was looking forward to it so much. Another reason is because there really is not much Iron Man in Iron Man. Of course, as all first movies involving comic characters, it is mostly an origin story. The parts with Iron Man were really cool and the story was fine, there just wasn't enough action. The worst part was that the villain(s) in the movie were kinda lame and not really worthy of Iron Man. My final complaint was the cameo everyone spoke so much about. First of all, he was not green (which right away should tell you who it is not). Secondly, the cameo took place after all the credits had run at the end of the movie and was very short. Having said all this, I would watch the movie again and I think the next one (of course there will be a sequel) should be a lot more action packed. If you're a fan of comics and Iron Man in particular, go see this movie. If not, wait to rent it on DVD.

Because I Said So...

Ok, I don't know why it took her so damn long but one of my wife's wittier friends has finally decided to join my little corner of the blogoverse. You can see her many comments here on this site (she is the one posting under "because i said so" and no, I have no earthly idea why). Anyways, as I mentioned, she is ordinarily pretty humorous and thinks much like I do, which makes her cool. As an aside, this is generally how I refer to my wife's friends: the witty one, the freaky one and the stuffy one I don't really know that well. Back to the point. Welcome, my quasi-Canadian friend (don't ask, but I assure you it's not insulting Canadians so you can rest easy, Stizz). Hopefully, because i said so will continue to visit us and spread the gospel of the Superiority Report. I mean, how else can I save humanity from the forces of stupidity if more people aren't reading? Let's spread the word, people.

01 May, 2008

Rich People Suck

In one of the rich neighborhoods I have been delivering in there are signs that I find to be a bit offensive. They are for a website that I believe is called Pump to the River. The point of this website, as best as I can discern, is to urge politicians and city planners to pump flood waters into the Mississippi River. If you are not from New Orleans this may not sound like a problem. But it really is. They already have the spillway here open because the river was getting too high. The spillway allows overflow from the river to fill what amounts to acres of barren land, for those that don't know. During Katrina, on top of the levees breaking, the river overflowed at certain points which contributed to the general flooding. So basically these rich assholes want to pump water back into the river to keep themselves from being flooded (the bottom of their little signs read "so we stay dry"). Now, having been through Katrina and having my own property flooded, I would not wish that upon anyone. But if it is going to happen who is in better position to recover quicker than millionaires? There was a plan during the storm or thereafter (not sure when) to redirect the water into a nearby playground and golf course. Of course the rich bastards wanted nothing to do with that. Heaven forbid that their golf course get a little extra water (since water is so bad for grass). Let the people in the poor neighborhoods suffer instead. After all, they are poor because they want to be (yes, there are people stupid enough in this world to actually believe that poor people are allergic to making money). Now, as with every issue, I'm sure there are two sides to this story but for the life of me I can't side with people who would callously let other people suffer just to protect their privileged lifestyles. Maybe money does change people. Maybe it makes them stupid.

30 April, 2008

The Buzz

Last night my New Orleans Hornets (yes, there are some things in New Orleans I will lay claim to) eliminated the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Of course I am very happy but what makes it even sweeter is that absolutely none of the so-called experts picked us to win. We were inexperienced they said and Dallas was a veteran team. We would wilt under the playoff lights they surmised. Well, they underestimated Chris Paul. That kid is the absolute truth. Dallas had no answer for him whatsoever. The one game they did win was the only one he didn't dominate in and that was not particularly because of anything they did to stop him. The Hornets are one of the few things I truly missed about New Orleans (my sons, the food and the Tigers are the others) and I'm glad to be back in time for this historic playoff run. We won a record number of games this year for the franchise, we won our first division title ever, we won the first playoff series for a New Orleans NBA franchise ever. On top of that Byron Scott won Coach of the Year and Chris Paul will almost certainly finish no worse than second in the MVP voting. Of course, given my track record, I will not pick them to win it all because coming from me that is the kiss of death. Instead I will fully endorse the L.A. Lakers and their petulant star, Kobe Bryant. Break a leg, bitch. Literally. Go Hornets.

24 April, 2008

Blowing Out the Candles

Today is my 37th birthday. At least, that's what the calendar says. I don't "feel" 37 (what the hell does that mean anyways?). Physically, I feel closer to 47. Mentally, about 22. I guess maybe age really is just a number after all, especially these days. People are living longer and most of us still try to hang on to our youth for as long as we can by doing things that respectable adults shouldn't. I mean, at 37 should I still get giddy about video games, comics, and "geek" fantasy? Should I still listen to the Beastie Boys, Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine? Should I still be working jobs that a diploma-less 18 year old could? Probably not. But the point is, these days anything goes. Nobody really judges anyone else because we all do things that tradition tells us we should have given up years ago. Maybe that's the secret to staying young. To just keep thinking you are and to act like it every day.

21 April, 2008

Sunday Night Sounds

Last night my friend provided tickets for us to go see one of my all time favorite bands, Rush. I was glad to go but not really overly so. I love the band but recent albums have taken some of the shine off that love. But seats in a suite and free food and seeing my friend for the first time in almost 2 years outweighed my apathy. Am I ever glad it did. That show rocked. I know that sounds very trite but it gets the point across. My only complaint is that they played a lot of stuff off the new CD which I don't know. However, they also played a lot of their old stuff which made it all worth sitting through. I'm not really one for concerts to begin with but this one definitely helped me fall in love with Rush all over again.

15 April, 2008

The Name of the Wind

I'm not even sure how to approach this and effectively get my point across. Regular readers of this blog have gotten used to me raving about Steven Erikson and other writers that catch my attention. Keep that in mind as you read this entry and maybe you'll understand my point. I recently finished reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I've had this book on my "read eventually" list since it came out last year, but then I also have about another 20 or 30 books on that list as well. For some reason last week I got a burning desire to finally read it. As far as reading goes, it may have been the best decision of my life. I cannot do justice to the awe I felt reading this book. It may simply be the best book I have ever read. I have not felt such wonder reading a book since reading Tolkien for the first time. Don't get me wrong. This book is not at all similar to Tolkien. It is fantasy but it may be the first fantasy book I've ever read that I would recommend to a non-fantasy reader and not be concerned about them coming back and telling me it was alright "for fantasy". I'm nearly convinced that if you don't like this book then you don't like books at all. I read some reviews hailing this as an "adult" Harry Potter. That is an insult to this book. But if it gets those posers to read some real literature, I would let it slide. This book made me feel on a level nothing has in a long time. I hope the rest of this series lives up to the initial installment. I wish the second book were out now. I could continue to write words and not do justice to this book. I recommend it to absolutely anyone who likes to read. I hope this book gets the attention and reverence it deserves. I hope Rothfuss can carry through on the unspoken promise he has given the reader by delivering such a powerful novel. Finally, I hope everyone feels the same awe I felt at discovering this treasure. This is how literature should always make you feel. Needless to say, I give this book a 5 out of 5.

11 April, 2008

The Point Of This Blog....

...Is random thoughts so here are some that occurred to me on my drive from Tennessee to Louisiana the other day. I have seen almost nothing more beautiful in person than the fog clinging to the mountains in the morning. The worst traffic I've driven through is in Birmingham, Alabama. What is with those people? Is the penalty for illegally crossing a median the same as for illegally crossing the border into the U.S.? If so, I am going to cross the first median I find so that I too may obtain a free education and free health care for me and my family at the taxpayers expense. Mississippi is the only state I've been in that has one way signs on the interstate. Is that an indication of the average intelligence of their citizens? How come you never see any really good looking hitchhikers? Is there a direct correlation to being ugly and not having a vehicle? It always rains when I drive through Hattiesburg, regardless of the weather everywhere else. Every. Damn. Time. Why is it that the same people who care so much about freeing Tibet complain so much that we freed Iraq? You think that's bloody? Try taking on China. New Orleans has a distinctly indescribable smell that first hits you about 50 miles out. It's best not to think about what is making that smell. If evolution is a valid scientific theory then why is it that insects have not evolved to the point that they know to stay away from the interstate and thus avoid obliteration on my windshield? And, finally, things could be worse. I could be from West Virginia. Just kidding, John. But Puck thinks that is funny.

08 April, 2008

Time For Me To Fly

Today is my last day in Tennessee. As I was running errands yesterday in preparation for my departure tomorrow it occurred to me how much I have come to enjoy living here. There are a lot of things I will miss. The view of the mountains is the most obvious. I will also miss the milder summer weather (compared to New Orleans almost anyplace is milder) and change of seasons. I will miss McKay, the used book store they have here. Both my book and music library have doubled because of them. I like that Chattanooga is kind of centrally located to a lot of different states I never got to visit before. I have become a big fan of the Titans and will miss seeing them play every weekend (I've already buttered my wife up for NFL Direct Ticket once we are settled in Louisiana).
I have family here still so I know I can visit but it's not quite the same. I know this move is best for my family but that doesn't really make it much easier. We ended up here as a result of Hurricane Katrina and didn't entirely like it at first. But it has grown on me. Maybe more than I realized. But, we have a new baby on the way and I will get to see my boys more so that definitely outweighs the melancholy I feel at leaving Tennessee. So, that is it. My last post from Tennessee. Talk to you again from Louisiana.

07 April, 2008

A Few For the Road

I am leaving for New Orleans so I thought I would post a few more reading suggestions/ratings before I go. I know everyone has been eagerly awaiting this...
Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon. For some reason, I really wanted to like this book. That usually means I end up disappointed but not this time. This is the story of a man who has returned from a hidden universe "next to" our own. He believes he has been gone 10 years but it has only been about six months in our universe. He doesn't remember much other than that his wife and daughter are still there. He ends up going back and that is really when the story gains momentum. My only two complaints about the book are enough to keep it from getting a perfect score. First, I think the author could have gone into much more detail. This is a rich, interesting world she has created and I would like to spend more time in it. My second complaint is that the point of view changes mid-paragraph. This is a major pet peeve of mine and I know it doesn't bother everyone. Still... There will be a sequel (or two) and I look forward to them eagerly. Score: 4 out of 5.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I only picked this book up because Sanderson has been tapped to finish Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Naturally, I wanted to get a feel for the author taking over one of my favorite series ever. And, honestly, at first I was a little worried. But things pick up quickly. It reminded me a lot of The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch although the "long con" being undertaken here has much more vital repercussions than in Lynch's book. My biggest complaint here is the system of "magic" Sanderson has invented. That's not to say it is not well thought out because it certainly is. It's just that, to me, having to swallow a vial with metal shavings in it to access your powers seems kinda lame. Unfortunately, it reminded me of The Runelords by David Farland, a book I abhorred. But overall this really turned out to be an excellent book. I look forward to reading the sequel and, more importantly, the end of the Wheel of Time series. 4 out of 5.
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. For some reason, this book has seemingly been reviewed by everyone on the Internet that reads fantasy. I'm not sure why but it is what first drew me to the book. And I'm glad it did. At it's heart, this is standard fantasy fare. But it's the unconventional characters that really make this tale stand out. I would say they are reminiscent of the characters in George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series but they aren't quite that dark. But if you've read the Martin series you kind of get an idea of what I mean. The story starts really slow but by the end I really wanted to read the sequel right away (which almost never happens). I give it a 4 out of 5 also.

Wrong Again

My inability to correctly predict the outcome of sporting events continues to astound me. As you may or may not have noticed, neither of my picks to make it to the NCAA championship game made it past Saturday night. Yes, Memphis beat UCLA and Kansas finished off North Carolina after having a 28 point lead at one juncture. You may remember I also missed mightily on the Super Bowl (both on winner and scoring output). So, I could bother to pick tonight's game but that would probably jinx the poor team. Instead, I'll go with my uncle's pick (which he called the first weekend of the tournament by the way) and go with Memphis. My uncle, unlike me, has an uncanny ability to properly predict the outcome of sporting events. Over the years I have lost many bets to him but luckily, being such a nice uncle, he never collects. It is firmly established then, do not go with my picks. In that light, I wish to heartily endorse the New York Yankees to win this year's World Series. Good luck, suckers.

03 April, 2008

I Wuz Robbed

Yesterday the price of unleaded gas at the station near my house was $3.08. Today it was $3.21. In less than 24 hours that means gas went up 13 cents. What the hell!? That's insane considering nothing drastic like the entire Middle East blowing up happened last night. That is an extreme spike for no apparent reason, especially considering it is not even the weekend yet. Whatever alternate fuel source they are working on they had better hurry up. This crap is ridiculous. Some people want to blame it on Bush. They say he and his cronies have conspired to make themselves more money by creating turmoil in the Middle East. That idea is almost too stupid to acknowledge. Is he above reproach? Of course not. But an individual does not get as far in life as Bush has by being either stupid or a sociopath, which would be the only explanations as to why he would start a war solely to make himself more money. Democrats will always be harsh of a Republican president and vice versa. Do you really believe that America would be so much better off if Al Gore had won the presidency in 2000? There's no guarantee but that's not really the point. Both parties are implicit. But nothing ever changes because people are too complacent. They will complain but they will never really do anything about it. So what is the solution? I don't claim to know but America as a whole is becoming too large and corrupt for the center to hold indefinitely (see: Roman Empire, Fall of). I didn't mean this to be a political diatribe but I'm really pissed to have to pay $3.21 for gas. That is more than half of what a person making minimum wage earns in an hour. Ridiculous.

31 March, 2008

Half Right Ain't Half Bad

The Final Four is set and my pick to win it all still remains as does my runner-up so, all things considered, I didn't do too bad. North Carolina and UCLA still can meet in the championship game. I missed on Texas and real big on Georgetown. But all four number 1 seeds have never made it to the Final Four before so I'm far from the only one who missed on this. Despite history being made I still feel that this year's tournament has been lacking much drama. I believe that the fact that chalk won out (i.e. all 4 top seeds won out) proves my point. The only truly dramatic upset was Davidson beating Georgetown. Ratings for the tournament as a whole seldom fluctuate much so the mediocrity of this year's version wouldn't be reflected there. It will be interesting to see how many people tune in for this weekend's games. They'll be hyped beyond belief by ESPN and other sports outlets, you can rest assured. Unfortunately, as with many things in our society, that is how people measure importance...by how much something is talked about. In this case, don't be fooled. The final games may be great but it won't hide the fact that the overall product has been bland.

27 March, 2008

Ramble On

Well, the Superiority Report is moving on. Or, rather, it's creator is. My wife and I are expecting a baby in September (a minority report, heh heh). Anyways, this is our first together but fourth overall. Since my two boys are still living in Louisiana we have decided to move back there so that they and the baby will not be strangers. We really like it here in our corner of Tennessee but believe this is best for our family. So I will probably be headed down to New Orleans in the next couple of weeks to find a job and place to live while my wife stays behind and gets the house sold. It's certainly going to be a hectic, stressful time so my blogs may not be as frequent as I would like. On the bright side (since this blog is ostensibly dedicated to battling stupidity in all its nefarious phases) I know, as a long time resident, that New Orleans has more stupidity per capita than perhaps anywhere else in the world. That should give me more to rail about in my blogs. So I will be moving on but hopefully the Superiority Report will not suffer. At least not enough so my 5 loyal readers abandon me.

21 March, 2008

Signs of Spring

Yes, you can choose to determine how close spring (and by extension, summer) are by paying attention to the weather. I choose to do so by the sports calendar. And, according to said calendar...spring is pretty much here. March Madness has begun (rather dully thus far it must be said). NBA playoffs are near. The NFL draft is around the corner. Baseball is about to begin. Now, baseball may not be my favorite sport(it ranks about 4th or 5th) but I love Opening Day. Maybe it's the air of hope that surrounds every team. Maybe it's because it does signify a quasi-official end to winter. Whatever it is, it's addictive. So, I'll watch as much as I can. Once again, I'm ready to follow my Red Sox all the way to another championship.

17 March, 2008

The Madness

Well, it's that time of the year again. Time for March Madness. Even if you're not a sports fan or basketball in particular it is likely you know what I am referring to. It is time for the NCAA's annual college basketball tournament. As far as yearly sporting events go, this is by far my favorite (soccer's World Cup-my favorite sporting event of all-only occurs once every four years). To me, the tournament is better than the Super Bowl or World Series or NBA playoffs. The Super Bowl is just one game and if it's bad then too bad for the viewer. I really only care about the World Series if my Red Sox are in it. The NBA playoffs can be fun but they drag them out sooooo looooong (they start in April and end in June). No, for my money the Madness is by far the best. You get three weekends of high drama, last second shots, and big upsets. The first weekend is by far the best. And that is this coming weekend. Starting Thursday, actually. Four days of madness. It just doesn't get any better than that. For the record, my Final Four consists of North Carolina, UCLA, Texas and Georgetown with North Carolina winning it all. You know what that means... if you're betting and rely on me put your money on someone other than one of these teams.

Erickson's Greatness

Sorry it's been awhile. I've been very busy at work and by the time I get home I'm so wiped I really don't feel like getting on line and posting anything new. One thing I have been keeping up on though is Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Those of you who have been reading my blog regularly know how highly I think of this series. With each book my admiration grows. Last week I finished reading Midnight Tides, the fifth book in the series. I am currently reading The Bonehunters, the sixth. Both books continue to confirm Erikson's storytelling ability and world building genius. I am about a third of the way through The Bonehunters and it already puts me in mind of Memories of Ice (the third in the series and my personal favorite thus far).
So what is it about this series that has drawn in myself and so many others? At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, I believe it is because Erikson is the closest thing to Tolkien since Tolkien. How so? Before Tolkien's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy there had been fantasy but nothing on that scale with that depth. Tolkein created a world that was so rich and deep you could almost believe it existed. He created characters that you truly cared about. I have read a lot of fantasy over the years and enjoyed alot of it but, ultimately, it is all derivative of Tolkien. Until I "discovered" Erikson. He has done the same thing that Tolkien did only he did it without using Tolkien's template. There is almost nothing here that is reminiscent of Tolkien (outside of the existence of magic in both worlds although in very different aspects). My guess is that the next twenty to thirty years will see an abundance of writers seeking to re-create what Erikson has done much in the way that all the years since Tolkien have seen writers trying to emulate Tolkien.
Erikson and Tolkien also share another trait. They are unforgiving to "casual" readers. Theirs are not books that you can read and then just forget. At least, not if you intend to continue with the rest of their respective series. Everything leads somewhere and sometimes seemingly obscure events have unexpected ramifications later in the series. This is especially true concerning Erikson. There have been times I find myself lost for awhile because I have forgotten events being referred to. Ultimately, when the series is complete, I look forward to going back and reading the entire series consecutively and realizing all that I missed the first time. In the final evaluation that may be what puts Erikson in Tolkein's solitary company-the fact that you can re-read both and always discover something new.

03 March, 2008

Beautiftul Day

We have had three days of absolutely gorgeous weather here in my little part of Tennessee. While I know tomorrow is predicted to be very cold again and winter has yet to completely relinquish its grip, it still gets me a little excited. It means spring will soon be officially here. Anyone who has read this blog before likely knows autumn is my favorite time of year. But spring has become a close second since I've relocated to Tennessee. Spending most of my life in New Orleans spring never really meant anything to me. After all, there really is no spring there. It's really cold one day and then suddenly it's summer. Being here though has reminded me of the springs vaguely remembered of my childhood in Iowa. Here you can see everything coming back to life and you can see the change in people as well. The winter can really bring you down after awhile but a change in the weather can be almost miraculous. So I will enjoy the weather as much as possible until spring is officially here and celebrate the fact that winter will soon be but a distant memory. And how best to celebrate? Why, to stay inside and read of course. But, hey, the windows are open at least.

02 March, 2008

Blame it on Disney

First, a disclaimer of sorts: I like animals and have no problem with pets (except cats). Having said that, I cannot tolerate people who believe animals are on an equal level with humans. They are not. Even the stupidest human alive is vastly more intelligent than the smartest animal. Animals may have some "human-like" characteristics but that does not make them human. I feel a mixture of sorrow and revulsion for people who treat their pets like they are equal parts of the family. Worse, by far, than these mostly harmless individuals are the members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). I am all for treating animals with respect and not abusing them. That is about as far as I'm willing to go. PETA though will, and often does, go to ridiculous extremes. These people seem to care more about animals than their fellow humans. Seriously, these individuals scare me. While I certainly wouldn't put them in the same category as terrorists, I am quite comfortable classifying them as extremists.
So who is to blame for this culture that sometimes places animals above humans? Why, Disney of course. It sounds funny but I am more than half serious. Most of these people are of a generation that grew up on Disney movies. What is the one common theme of Disney movies? Yep, animals with human characteristics (they even talk). I believe over the years these people's subconscious reinforced the idea of animals as humans so that as they grew up they believed real animals were the same way. Why else would some people be so fanatical about animal rights? I mean they have car insurance for your pet now! I'm not kidding. It's Geico I think and maybe others. This is ridiculous. It's only been maybe the last thirty years or so that people have been such strong animal activists. There has to be some underlying cause for that. I choose to blame it on Disney. They can take the hit.

23 February, 2008

Sport or not?

I don't know the "official" definition of sport and I am too lazy to look it up. I have a pretty good idea of what I consider a sport to be, though. Football, baseball, soccer, basketball...all sports. Boxing, skiing, track and field...also all sports. Pretty much anything that the average person could never hope to do on any sort of real competitive level is a sport in my book. What is not a sport, in my opinion, are any activities which can also be classified as leisure activities and to which almost anyone can aspire to be reasonably competitive in with some practice. At the top of the list for me is golf. Don't get me wrong, golf takes skill but that does not make it a sport. Darts, billiards and chess all take skill but none of those are sports either. These are things that most of us, with practice, can become good or even great at. We can not all throw a 60-yard bomb into double coverage or slam dunk a ball on a 7-foot, 300 pound man intent on stopping you from doing just that. You may delude yourself into thinking this but it is not true. And don't tell me it was your parents' fault for not involving you in said sport from an early age. I love sports and I enjoy watching shows and reading magazines that cover them. What I hate is having to sit through the non-sport crap they cover, i.e. golf, NASCAR, or the damn Bassmaster fishing garbage that is presently on ESPN. Look, I'm not saying these things don't take skill. I'm just saying these people are not elite athletes and their fields are not restricted to a minority of the population. I could drive a car really fast around a track and run into stuff just as much as these professionals do. I could catch fish if I had either the patience or hours of my life to waste. And given enough practice, I could learn to hit a little white ball all over what is essentially a beautiful waste of land and then follow it so I could hit it some more. (On a side note, why don't they just close down all the golf courses and use that land to build housing for the homeless?). All these leisure activities being passed off as sport are really starting to piss me off. Why can't they get their own channel and leave the sports channels alone?

22 February, 2008

White Room and Jungle Juice

Why would anyone put wall to wall carpeting in a bathroom? Why would they compound that idiocy by making it white carpet? Why am I asking? This morning as I drove home from work my mind wandered of its own accord (as it often does) to a party I attended while still a junior in high school. It wasn't one of my better moments but it is memorable for having introduced me to a wonderful concoction commonly known as "Jungle Juice". The ingredients for this delightful drink are simple: Hawaiian Punch and vodka (plus ice) mixed in a (presumably) clean ice chest. If mixed in proper proportions it tastes almost like straight Hawaiian Punch. And therein lies the problem, at least for me on that particular night. Since I have never liked beer I opted instead to drink liberally from a seemingly harmless ice chest of punch. So liberally, in fact, that I drank half the ice chest myself. Long story short, the vodka all kicked in at once and I soon found myself seeking the sanctuary of a toilet. That is when I first discovered the designing faux pas that is white carpet in a bathroom. Without being too graphic (I have a weak stomach myself) let me just say that the carpet was largely pink after I got finished emptying all my bodily fluids (or most, I did not urinate on the carpet after all). So the poor guy who had thrown this party while his parents were out of town had no hope of hiding his illegal little shindig thanks to me, a guy he had just met that night. For the rest of the time we were in school together he desperately wanted to kick my ass. Now why would this story come to mind some 17 years later? Furthermore, why would I share such random silliness? Obviously, if you are asking yourself that question right now you have not read the description of this blog. My mind wanders, I share, your life is enriched. It's been nearly six years since I've consumed alcohol of any type but damn if that story isn't funny. Serves people right for being designer retards.

19 February, 2008

Happily Lost

Two things have kept me happily distracted in the past week and they both involve being lost. Some would argue this is appropriate since at times it seems my mind is lost and wandering. But I digress. The first is the t.v. show Lost. I have watched since episode 1 and I feel that the three episodes that have aired thus far this year are some of the best. I never really felt that they would get off the island til the last episode but obviously the "flash-forwards" show that to not be the case. I worried that if they got off the island the show would lose it's air of mystery. Seeing Jack's future and who Sayeed will be working for dispels that notion in my mind. I read an article in the past week (in my local paper I believe) crowing that this season shows that the writers never really knew where they were going and are just making up things as they go along. The writer complained that questions are never answered and more mysteries are constantly revealed. To me, this does not show the writers are lost (forgive the pun) but rather have created a complex story with so many levels that they must slowly pull back each level like the layers of an onion. I still believe this show is the best on television. The people that complain about it either haven't watched all the way through or are just to stupid to follow what's going on.
The second thing keeping my attention recently is the video game "Lost Odyssey". As you all know from my previous post I was eagerly awaiting picking up my copy last Tuesday. Due to a series of events beyond my control (and instituted by both Microsoft and Best Buy) I was not able to acquire said game until Wednesday afternoon. Let me say, it was worth the wait. The graphics are beautiful, the story deep and at points moving, and the characters are interesting. Yes, there are load times at some strange points but they are never that long and most often give you a moment to rest before a battle (or after an intense one). It has one of the most difficult first boss battles I have ever encountered (it took me about 3 hours to finally get past it). If you are a fan of video games, and RPGs in general, I highly recommend you play this game.
So there you go. If you have been trying to get in touch with me lately and haven't been able to, this is probably why. Or else I don't like you. Can't you get the hint?

13 February, 2008


Not really a legitimate post here. I just wanted to put something new out there and since I've been up since 4 freaking 30 in the morning (on my day off no less) I figured now would be a good time. I am looking forward to picking up my copy of Lost Odyssey today, though (it's a video game for them what don't know). I know most gamers think RPG's are over but I like them and this one looks really cool. So that is what I will be doing for my next couple days off. That and hopefully sleeping a little later.

07 February, 2008

Shout out

I would like to personally thank Stizz over at Elusive Twilight for adding the Superiority Report to his blogroll list. His site is pretty cool. You can check it out by clicking the link on this page.

He...is...IRON MAN!!

I don't know about anyone else but the more I see of the upcoming Iron Man movie the more excited I am. If this movie turns out to be as cool as the trailers make it look this may very well be the best "comics" movie ever made. No, I'm not being biased because Iron Man is far from my favorite comics character. I'm more of a Spider-Man or Silver Surfer guy. But this movie, thus far, looks really good. When I first heard about it I was worried that the Iron Man suit would look really lame or that the flying sequences would suck. From what I've seen so far though that doesn't seem to be the case. In a few short months (May, I believe) we will see if this movie lives up to the hype.

05 February, 2008


Last night was my first opportunity to see the new Terminator television series. I'm happy to say it will be the last time as well. Who the hell greenlighted this crap? James Cameron really should be ready to put hits out on some people. I mean T3 was bad enough but now this? The first two Terminator movies were awesome and people have gone and ruined it. There are also plans to make a 4th movie set in the future where we meet the adult John Conner (finally). I don't care, even if it is Christian Bale. T3 and this dreck they have on t.v. now have made me not care about a once great franchise.

03 February, 2008

History Denied

Anyone who knows me should have realized as soon as I endorsed the Patriots in Super Bowl 42 that they were royally screwed. Sure enough though, the Giants just pulled off what is likely the largest upset in NFL history by beating New England 17-14. It was also probably one of the dullest. Yes, the 4th quarter was very exciting but if it wasn't for the fact that the Patriots were undefeated coming in that in years to come most people would ignore this game. But, they were undefeated and the Giants were huge underdogs. Congratulations to New York and my apologies to the Patriots for endorsing you.

02 February, 2008

Recently Read

I thought it might be a good idea to list some books I've read recently and give them a completely arbitrary ranking based on my own scale (which you can find to the left of my posts if you look for it). This hopefully will work better than just recommending books randomly from time to time. So, in no particular order, here we go.
1. Ilium by Dan Simmons. If you like sci-fi and have never read anything by Simmons you are doing yourself a grave disservice. I'm not a big fan of reading sci-fi yet Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. He never disappoints. This book is also highly recommended if you are a fan of the Trojan War (specifically, The Iliad). Oh, and throw in the fact that this all happens on Mars far in the future and you have a very intriguing book. How does it all tie together? I can't tell you without ruining the story. You really have to check it out. I give it a 5 on the haonmot scale.
2. Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr. This is an older fantasy novel sorted under the heading of "Celtic fantasy". It involves reincarnation and karma and a disturbing underlying theme of incest. It shows great potential at times yet at others it seems a bit disjointed. If you don't have a burning desire to read anything else at the moment, give this a shot. Haonmot scale ranking:3
3. Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling. If you liked The Stand or are a fan of alternate history you will likely enjoy this book. The premise is intriguing and the post-apocalyptic storyline plays out in a relatively convincing manner. Imagine if all technology of the past thousand years was suddenly rendered inoperable. Nothing mechanical of any kind works. Even gunpowder is ineffective. People suddenly find themselves back in agricultural society. What happens next is fascinating and thought provoking. I give it a 4.

A Not So Super Prediction

Unless you live under a rock, you must realize tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday. In case you don't know, the two teams playing are the New England Patriots and the New York Giants( I've talked to people this week that had no idea). The Patriots, of course, are looking to complete a 19-0 season. The Giants are looking to pull off likely the greatest upset in Super Bowl history. So even if you're not a fan of either of these teams (which for the record, I'm not) it should still be one of the highest rated Super Bowls ever. So, since there probably aren't enough people out there making predictions I figured I'd put mine out there. A lot of people think it' s a good sign for the Giants that they played the Patriots so closely the last week of the regular season. I happen to think that will actually work against them. The worst thing you can do is give Patriots coach Bill Belichick time to prepare (he's had two weeks since the AFC Championship game). The second worst thing is to let him have a lot of recent game film on you. It's even worse if that film happens to be from a game against his team. So, I think the Giants are running into a buzz-saw. It will be close for 3 quarters but in the end the Patriots will make history. Let's call it 38-21.

30 January, 2008


The area I live in seems to get an inordinate amount of power outages. I'm not really sure why. It kinda pisses me off though.

29 January, 2008

They let you drive?

One of the biggest rites of passage for all teenagers is obtaining a driver's license. Yet there is no law in effect anywhere in our country that makes it a right for you to have a driver's license. In fact, it is my belief that far too many people have a license in part due to the fact that it is far too easy to obtain said license. Most people who read this post will not agree and some while get downright angry. I'm warning you now. Are you interested in cutting down on traffic, pollution and potentially fatal accidents? Let me share with you a few ideas that just might help. First, raise the minimum age for a license. You have to be 18 to vote, you should have to be 18 to drive. Second, set a maximum age for a driver's license. I think more people would have a problem with a maximum age limit than a minimum one. It's hard to say what that max age should be but unfortunately it is an inexorable fact of life that as we grow older our faculties and reaction times diminish. If you have trouble walking unassisted or tremble or just plain do things slowly, I'm sorry but you should not be behind the wheel of a car.
Perhaps the best step to take though is to have everyone--EVERYONE--re-test for their driver's license at most every 10 years. I just lost 99% of you, didn't I? I admit even I would be a little nervous about having to retest for my license. But that mostly stems from the fact that it has been 20 years since I had to. I likely don't even remember 3/4th of the information I had to remember for my test. And I'm sure many laws have changed without my knowledge. Add to that the fact that I moved to a new state and didn't have to test either. Now, I think I pretty well represent the status quo here in the good old U.S. of A. If so, that means we have a whole lot of potentially unknowledgeable drivers out there. On top of that we have many drivers with diminishing reaction times. Then finally, we have the teenagers. We've all been there. How much attention did you pay to the road as opposed to your friends or the radio when you were 16? I know there is no chance in hell that this would ever happen. Hell, the automobile and oil lobbies in Washington would never allow it, much less the average U.S. citizen. But that doesn't mean it's not a good idea anyways.

26 January, 2008

Election Year Blues

Is anyone else sick of our presidential candidates yet? I'm sure most of you are. The problem is that most of their campaigns seem to have started shortly after the last one ended. Can't we pass a law that says no one can start campaigning until January of the year in which the election is held? That's plenty of time for these blowhards to spout their political views and wage personal attacks. If I want to hear people being insulted, I'll watch American Idol, thank you very much. While on this subject let me encourage anyone out there who is uninformed about the issues or individuals in this race not to vote. Yes, you read that right, if you don't know anything about the candidate or their platforms, please do NOT vote. Of course I realize it is your right as a (legal) U.S. citizen. But honestly, to vote just because you can is irresponsible. I mean, you have the right to bear arms as well but it doesn't mean you should. Does being informed necessarily mean you will vote for the "right" person? No. And not just because there is no "right" person (that being a subjective idea). But being uniformed sure will make you more likely to vote for the wrong person. There IS such thing as a wrong person (anyone remember Ross Perot?). So please, if you don't know what the hell is going on or don't know Obama from Huckabee find something else to do on election day. Maybe you could watch American Idol...(not that I condone that either).

25 January, 2008

Still Kicking

Not that it's likely anyone has been paying attention, but...I'm back. Where have I been you may ask? If you even are checking this blog anymore. There are a number of factors I could cite. Just suffice it to say it all boils down to laziness and short attention span. So, now I am back and ready to devote myself all out to making this the best blog I can, right? Not exactly. But if you are like me and only occasionally check your e-mail or favorite websites, then this blog is officially for you. I promise to update my blogs once in awhile and try to freshen things up if you promise to check in once in awhile. So, here we go. A new year, a new start. God help us all.