My friend printed my Traveller design!

My friend Marion recently bought a new kind of 3D printer. This type uses liquid resin instead of those pesky spools which I think remelt the stuff. Regardless, the spool version leaves very noticeable lines or layers, giving away how it was made. I like how the new one functions too, you just buy a bottle of the goop/liquid and off you go. Marion was generous  in printing this file I bought from Hero Forge, my favorite place to have D&D minis made of my players’ characters and key NPCs. Since Hero Forge will sell you the file to print what you design for $8, I bought my first attempt at how I see the Ithklur soldiers seen throughout the Hive Federation from Traveller. I think GDW finally had illustrations of the famous “allies” of the Hivers, I can’t remember them and what few I did see were lame and disappointing. If you’re not familiar with Traveller, the Ithklur are a reptilian-looking race who live in the Hive Federation and their main purpose is to provide troopers given that Hivers stink at physical combat…in addition to their preference to avoid it. Despite them being assigned such a role, the Ithklur don’t mind as they’re originally a warrior race when the Hivers first encountered them. You don’t need to feel sorry for them neither, billions of other Ithklur have careers outside the military, the Hivers aren’t monsters.

The iPhone photograph doesn’t do this mini proper justice. The level of detail probably doesn’t look as strong as it could be as it’s not in color (the original design). However, I would like to do some cost-benefit analysis with Marion to calculate what’s the price per trooper. So far the software model is $8 (give/take tax), 500 g (or is it ml) of resin is $20, throw in latex gloves for handling after printing (no idea), maybe some other stuff and lastly, normalize the printer’s price which will decline per mini. Then I’d have a good cost per mini estimate to see if it’s worth bothering with or more importantly, I’m not wearing out Marion’s printer.

Hoping to have more to show off in the near future! I think the printer is a great solution for shock forces. Different colors for different ranks.

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RIP Louise Fletcher

Louise had two big major roles she’ll be remembered for with the public. With Boomers, she was the evil Nurse Ratched in the film adaptation of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The villain who is supposed to be helping all these mentally-ill patients but instead, she’s more accurately their tormentor and jailer. Given that all the patients are men and Kesey’s love of mind-altering substances, I’m sure there’s a hidden message about how women like Ratched are emasculating the “poor” men. I read the novel in high school and unlike The Great Gatsby, Brave New World or To Kill a Mockingbird, I don’t recall Nest in such detail as I found much of it implausible. Trust me, the movie is a rare case of it being better than the book as Chief Broom’s mental perceptions were impossible to film.

With Mills and younger, she was Kai Winn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Originally, her character was a vedek, the Bajoran equivalent of a cardinal or bishop, the Kai is their pope. Thanks to Roddenberry’s death Louise played a recurring guest character who at times was a pain in the ass as she represented the more conservative faction of the Bajoran’s faith, especially when she claimed the Federation taught blasphemy because Keiko O’Brien explained the nearby wormhole as an astronomical event not, a divine location. I need to rewatch the whole series when I pony up for Paramount+ again, right after I finish Star Trek: Next Generation. (I ran out of gas with the Eighties show due to the show hitting a painful doldrum in its last three seasons). I do know, Louise’s character finally embracing the evil Pah Wraiths with Gul Dukat wasn’t a weird turn. Winn had many run-ins with the Federation yet was never an outright enemy, more of a cultural speed bump Captain Sisko had deal with. However, when Bajor suffered for being on the front lines of the Dominion War, I could see her turning against the Federation and losing faith in the energy beings known as the Prophets.

Thanks for everything Louise! You were an incredible actress, person, parent and advocate for the deaf.

6425

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Your Highness

Here’s a dud that didn’t age well after 11 years with James Franco being revealed as a creep adding insult to the injury my eyes endured for almost two hours. I definitely need to see Danny McBride in The Righteous Gemstones to see if he redeemed himself to prove he’s actually funny given how this turd was written by a 14-year-old DungeonMaster.

I do know the premise wasn’t meant to be original, it was the execution you’re supposed to be lured in by. Imagine the pitch meeting…it’s Lord of the Rings meets South Park! That’s about half right. You’ll find South Park‘s vulgarity, modern-day drugs references and hand gestures for jerking off. Those bits just haven’t been funny since 2000.

Rounding out McBride’s tired comedy is Franco’s scenery chewing and Deschanel’s boring, flat excuse for what she thinks is acting. No idea why Portman bothered too. I guess she needed the money after Lucas wrecked her career until Thor. The action scenes are OK with one villain doing an interesting bit with what I recall Gary Gygax calling sympathetic magic; it’s how voodoo via a fetish (the doll people stick pins into) works. The villain sticks his hand in a bucket of goop and it controls a hydra-esque monster in the arena, Portman picks up on the association and knows to chop off his fingers to weaken the heads.

Anyway, should you stumble upon this (virtual) steaming pile, skip it, resist, do whatever it takes and hunt down a better take on a sniveling loser, runner-up prince lusting for glory, wealth, women and the crown, Black Adder (the First) starring Rowan Atkinson and Brian Blessed.

Thankfully, Your Highness is no longer available on Hulu and may it not be stinking up any other major services. Black Adder 1-4, including the Christmas Special is on Hulu!

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Congratulations to Becky Hammon & the Vegas Aces!

Way to go for everyone involved! Being a resident of Austin, we like to bask in the victory since my adopted city is considered San Antonio Spurs territory but we have a fair number of Mavericks and Rockets fans. We’re sadly saddled with Lakers and Warriors due to all the transplants.

The bigger story for us Austinites involves the Las Vegas Aces’ coach, Becky Hammon. Not only did she win the championship during her first time as a head coach, had she not taken the gig with the Aces, Becky could’ve been the first woman to be a head coach in the NBA. It could still happen given how skilled and charismatic she is. Before she left for Vegas, she was an assistant coach with Greg Popovich of the Spurs. He knew Becky was awesome when he brought her on to his staff several years ago and gave her the nod to be in charge of the off-season team stuff. What makes it great is that Greg didn’t do it out of pity or all the patronizing crap. He knew Becky had the potential to be a great head coach and said, show me what you got. You may also know Greg is rather vocal in his politics against the Right and The Floridian Fondler. He must’ve been bummed to see Becky go to Vegas when the offer happened but now I bet his filled with mudita like me.

Lastly, you all recall, I was in Sin City while the Aces were trying to win the championship. The place was abuzz with excitement as the Aces had a 2-0 lead in the series too. The pisser? You couldn’t find any Aces stuff anywhere! Namely at the Lids stores all over the Strip’s various malls/casinos. I haven’t had any luck online neither. Well, if I weren’t so fat and tall, I could squeeze into a women’s large. A couple nice ladies I ran into at Excalibur who were super helpful and knowledgable fans told me my favorite player would be A’ja Wilson; during my peak days in eight grade, I was a defensive center focused on rebounds, ergo, Wilson is my avatar!

Wait wait wait! Since when did I become a fan? I’ve come around on the WNBA not by becoming a bandwagon fan via Vegas/San Antonio. No. I’m willing to admit, I was wrong to think it will fizzle out even though the league has made it past 25 years. I’ve also had some conversations with dedicated fans who convinced me to think otherwise. This then got me to ponder a third possible league, a co-ed league combining WNBA and NBA players. Say three players on the court at all times must be women from the team and then two dudes fill out the rest. Combine the fantastic guards the WNBA produces with the NBA’s forwards, you get a whole new style of game! Women are pretty tough, billions have forced another human being out of their bodies but the men will have to cut back on the pushing and shoving game they do. It will be hilarious to see LeBron still exaggerate being hit by a woman easily a foot shorter than him to draw a foul.

Again, congratulations to Becky and the crew, Vegas better throw you all a parade!

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Fall ’22 has arrived!

For Austin, it means we’ll only be somewhat, unbearably hot. Nah! I will never trade it in for Midwestern Winters and I say it’s practice for being accustomed to the world being that horrific +3-4° C higher than it used to be. Similar to the climate of Soylent Green but I hope the fashion will be less embarrassing.

What is in store this Fall? I honestly don’t know. We completed the Xmas card before we went to Vegas. Halloween costumes remain a work in progress. Only a couple concerts remain on the agenda, still recovering from the awesomeness of Roxy Music last night! Oh, fostering a new batch of kittens with their mommy would be nice but we need to keep waiting as Jennifer attains a routine and if I get the job I really want; one more interview versus at least three other competitors. I think my biggest task will be following through on cost-saving measures as I want to return to Vegas should the Packers play the Raiders next season and I might be convinced to endure San Diego Comic Con. Seeing Europe before I die would be great too.

Now I remember! Clearing out my smaller, additional storage spot. Should save me $99 a month while I liquid some contents. Not as easy as eating lunch at my desk with stuff I bought at HEB. How could I forget returning to my routine at the gym while cancelling the monthly membership at Planet Fatness. Everyone there is nice but the manager, he was a douche regarding some butt-head living in a shower stall for an hour. My employer’s gym remains superior even if they won’t be doing our personal laundry any longer; just our workout clothes, they’re not stupid and I prefer to wash my jeans, underwear and vast collection of printed shirts.

Enjoy the season. I’m neutral on the whole pumpkin spice subject so don’t try to draw me into the debate.

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Rot in Hell Ken Starr & Lowry Mays

Two more assholes who made Amerika the shit storm it is today finally died.

The former most people know, he was the guy behind the vendetta to undo Slick Willie being elected twice. Starr had a special hard-on to get Clinton for anything which is why he exceeded the instructions his special investigative role had. Then again, the Clintons are typical arrogant, egotistical and stupid Boomers so getting caught in a perjury trap was inevitable even if Willie weren’t a poon hound. One huge thing often omitted from Starr’s bio, obit and story was his motivation to remove the Clintons. They do mention he was Solicitor General under Bush the Elder, they conveniently forget that if Bush won a second term, Starr would’ve been nominated to SCOTUS to help the other shitbirds and rapists end Roe and take away more of our rights.

Starr left a trail of slime wherever he went too. He was involved with Mar-a-Lardo so he wasn’t a “principled” Republican like Liz Cheney (really, a Fascist herself). The other major crime he should’ve been prosecuted for was his time as President of Baylor University. He used his position to try and cover up 15 sexual assaults on female students, two by football players. Obviously he failed, resulting his firing in 2016. Given he was a Republican, I’m sure his initial reaction to the accusations were, “Oh, boys will be boys.”

Lowry Mays is much less known and probably preferred it that way. As a founder of Clear Channel, his horrendous media corporation contributed to the decline of democracy in the US since many radio and TV stations CC owned blasted Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing liars. Mays has a more indirect connection to the spineless and inept Clintons. During their administration, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed, allowing CC to devour America’s electronic media landscape minus the Internet as this was in its infancy. Since the 1970s, assholes like Mays were only allowed to own seven FM, seven AM and seven local TV stations and none of the three could be in the same markets. There were grandfather clauses to protect other crooks like the Tribune Corporation, the Journal Corporation, the Hearsts, etc. who already did before the law. The law applied to new acquisitions which probably rankled Mays and his partners. St. Reagan opened it up to 12 in the Eighties, leading to some changes but eliminating the Fairness Doctrine was more devastating. This allowed the lying bullshitter Rush Limbaugh and his ilk to spread mis-information under the cover of their falsehoods being entertainment.

Still, 12/12/12 wasn’t enough and with the Newtster’s Contract on America regime, all protection was destroyed. Clear Channel went on a  spending frenzy, consolidating 2000 stations into one big homogenous wasteland spewing right-wing crap and identical music playlists in every city they were and the several they owned in the same city. Over 10,000 jobs were lost so whenever you hear about Republicans or Rich Dicks being job creators, remember how Clear Channel proves this to be a myth.

Remember how I mentioned the Internet not being a concern in 1996? I’m grateful it bit Mays and his evil regime in the ass. If they had pulled off their acquisitions in the Eighties or Seventies as they would’ve preferred, the plan to tackle all the debt buying 2000 stations creates might have worked…flooding the airwaves with ads as they do today, around 15-20 minutes per hour. The public doesn’t have to endure such noise. They can control their experience through their cell phones, MP3 players and streaming services. Often without ads or in some instances, they can skip them which I frequently do. It’s small wonder anyone under 60 religiously listens to either AM or FM for music. Now it’s old, dumb people taking orders from Tucker, Hannity or Laura on how transgendered Latin American refugees are going to teach CRT to their grandkids, never mind how the selfish Boomer generation pissed away those same grandkids’ futures with SUVs.

There’s more! Clear Channel got into satellite radio with Sirius/XM but it’s another money loser. One of the main satellites will fall out of orbit and replacing it isn’t cheap and it the service doesn’t has never had enough chumps to subscribe to get the biz to break even. They did get into Podcasts and Streaming yet hide behind the moniker of “I Heart Radio” because younger and informed people know Clear Channel is evil. Again, they’re probably fumbling as the average person is sick of ads, ask the crippled, dying broadcast and cable channels who are getting punched in the throat by streamers Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu.

If Hell does exist, then these two shitbags should have cells next to Bush the Elder, St. Reagan, David Koch, Rush Limbaugh and Phyllis Schaffley. I’ll also accept “It’s My Turn” Dole and “I was in Vietnam but I’m a true coward” John McCain. The other possibility I hope for is they’re added to a human centipede the previous dead jerks should be in. The person at the head, shitting into their mouths should be someone they all would be repulsed by yet deserves to be in Hell, say Robert Mugabe or Fidel Castro. Not just for their politics, both not being White is anathema to them all.

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The Victims of Communism Museum opened this Summer

What a load of crap! I’m just grateful no tax dollars being pissed away on this right-wing masturbation hideout. However, should Herr DeSantis or the other qualified Fascists get installed, we can count on tax money going there along with mandatory visits.

You won’t get any denial from me over the millions killed by Soviet-style Communism from the USSR to present-day Cuba. But I draw the line at saying Karl Marx shares the blame for the atrocities it’s list since the 20th Century on. Saying Marx has this much responsibility equates Adam Smith for the BILLION$, not million$, killed by Kapitalism since 1492 and the BILLIONS more killed by Jesus Christ, Mohammed and Moses, the big figures in the world’s three Abrahamic religions. I would also like to throw in Plato as he’s the patron saint of dictators, corporate apologists, Fascists and other enemies of democracy. Unlike the Abrahamic characters, there’s actual proof Plato was a real person, not a fiction, myth or maybe a composite of multiple people.

I think it would also be fair to find the rare survivor of Castro’s predecessor Batista, get some statements from them. Most of the “exiled” Cubans living it up in Miami for the last 60 years have ties to the murderous dictator and you never hear about plans to make Cuba a democracy should they return to power. Overall, the awful things Batista did aren’t any different than the Castro brothers. Just like how both current American Republicans and Democrats are sniveling corporate bitches.

Should I be in the DC area again, I may visit wearing a Che wearing Che shirt from the Onion. I will also ask the assholes “volunteering” there how exactly the millions killed by the Great Leap Forward is worse than the millions murdered annually by corporations for profit. You know, letting Africa burn thanks to HIV drugs being too expensive via Western patent policies. The hundreds continuing to die from COVID-19 daily because we just can’t allow the world economy idle. The millions who will die when the Earth is un-inhabitable through fossil fuels remaining dominant while the Koch Brothers (murderers on par with Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot) sabotage efforts to shift to renewables, unless their lawyers find a way to own the sun and wind.

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1997: L.A. Confidential debuts in theaters

Somebody brought this up on Twitter which got me to thinking, did I review this movie when it came out during the days Maggi Picayune was exclusively in print? No and Yes. No, not really in much depth as other Nineties’ flicks received. Yes, but it was just a blurb on what so cool regarding it in a summary about 1997 as it was lumped in with Cop Land.

Tonight, I’m giving Confidential its due since it theaters 25 years ago. The movie has held up while I feel Cop Land became just another by-the-numbers Crime movie with DeNiro, Liotta and Keitel with the shock of Stallone not stinking it up. I want to watch Confidential again soon and/or find it on whatever streaming I have…umm, none, nevermind, not even HBO Max carries it. Well, either way, I remember Confidential accurately enough given I was a projectionist when Warner Brothers re-released the movie for Oscar® season, I owned a cheap DVD of it which I would watch in French to learn swear words and I read the novel. More about the book, down the way.

Spoilers ahead and they’re fair game by now as this movie is 25 years old and the book hit stores in 1990!

A quick synopsis, which really shouldn’t be necessary (see Spoilers).

It’s 1953. WWII is over, the Korean War is probably winding down as it’s never mentioned. Scores of people every day are moving to California, namely Los Angeles, to pursue new opportunities in the post-war boom. But there’s a nasty snake in this Eden, Mickey Cohen. He’s in charge of the Outfit’s operations: drugs, gambling, prostitution, racketeering, loan-sharking and as needed, murdering those who don’t cooperate. What’s even worse is that the LAPD and DA can’t get any charges to stick until the IRS steps in, creating a power vacuum. What does this have to do with the trailer which presented a less interesting, not very compelling movie? Keep reading.

We are then introduced to the story’s three protagonists; a James Ellroy narration device I’ve grown to love, known as the Ellroy Troika:

  1. Jack Vincennes, a cynical narcotics detective with side hustles; he’s a consultant for a TV show (fictional Dragnet); he also takes kickbacks from tabloid/rumor rag publisher Sid Hudgens when arresting Hollywood talent.
  2. Bud White, more of a thug than a cop as he has a propensity for using his fists over his brains. He has a white-knight complex for helping battered women since his own father beat his mother to death when he was a kid.
  3. Ed Exley, a legacy uniformed officer. His surname is respected within the force because his father was killed in the line of duty by a purse snatcher. He may be ambitious yet he believes in doing the morally right thing, unlike the LAPD.

Their paths all cross one fateful night on Christmas Eve 1953 at a police station. Tensions are high despite the holiday mood in America. A couple patrol officers were assaulted by some suspects with just the reductionist description of “being Mexican and male.” The two are fine though, just bruises, minor cuts and damaged egos. Acting Watch Officer Exley sent them home to recover, a fact he makes clear to a reporter and photographer hanging out for a puff piece to put in tomorrow’s paper. The drunk, on-duty cops, beg to differ; as humans get their facts wrong via telephone. They’re angry and out for blood to avenge their comrades. They get their opportunity when several beat cops bring in some men matching only the suspects’ ethnicity. Insults are exchanged. Then White’s partner, Stensland, leads a Rodney King-level beatdown on these suspects. Exley tries to stop it but he’s locked up by others wanting to join in. Remember the reporter and the photographer? Their puff piece has now transformed into a front-page scoop with the headline…Bloody Christmas and Stensland is clearly identified in the front-page photo.

It may be the early Fifties and what these dirty cops did was par for the course (even today, especially in NYC, LA and Chicago)…unless its exposed by the Media. LA’s DA and Police Chief Parker have to punish the culprits with a trial. Exley gladly testifies against the advice of his immediate superior Captain Smith; Blue Lives Matter = Cops who rat out other Cops are traitors. Exley isn’t stupid nor naive, in exchange for his testimony, he gets the Chief to promote him to Homicide and the rank of Detective Lieutenant. Vincennes is forced to cooperate since the DA needs at least two officers to corroborate and Exley provides the means to the Parker to make it happen: his TV consultancy. Vincennes agrees to do it as Parker just hands him brief suspensions from the show and a short-term transfer to to Vice but he’ll be back in Narcotics within a year. White is suspended indefinitely while Stensland is fired with his pension revoked. So many cops want to kill or disgrace Exley.

Some weeks pass. Captain Smith has White reinstated, namely to be on his special task force to keep the Mafia out of LA now that Mickey Cohen is going to prison and all of Mickey’s lieutenants keep getting whacked. Exley deals with the resentment he’s receiving from Homicide, he pretends he’s made of stone. Vincennes makes the best of “boring” Vice by trying to figure out a phone number on a business card he found during that infamous Christmas arrest.

The main story kicks off when Exley answers a call from a patrol car asking for Homicide’s assistance. He responds and joins the uniformed officers at a diner called The Nite Owl. The patrollers frequent the place for coffee and food but they quickly realized something was wrong when nobody greeted them. They then found the staff and guests’ murdered corpses in the diner’s walk-in. Appears to be a straightforward robbery gone wrong with ex-cop Stensland amongst the dead.

I fell in love with Confidential immediately and it converted me into a fan of the whole Noir genre, both film and novels. The gun battle in the last act is one of my favorite action sequences ever made too. This movie is nearly perfect in numerous elements:

  • The cast! Kevin Spacey before we knew he was a child molester. James Cromwell using his new fame from Babe! Danny DeVito in a non-comic role. Kim Basinger doing something good for a change. Lesser knowns Russell Crowe and David Strathairn got Babe-level career boosts. Guy Pearce’s path has been more critically acclaimed stuff, Momento but I loved in him Iron Man 3.
  • The details! Recapturing the fashion and styles after WWII which was before the Fifties as we know it congealed. Sadly, the racism, the sexism, the violence and all the horrors cops could do with impunity before Miranda Rights are there!
  • The story succeeds in surprising the audience in its twists and turns. A couple plot points seem obvious in how they’ll be resolved…won’t they? The three key ones involve Captain Smith and Vincennes. If you read the book, sadly, no. You have a solid idea how everything will roughly come together.
  • The mix of fact and fiction. Was there a Nite Owl slaughter just as there was an unsolved Black Dahlia murder per Ellroy’s novels? No. However, before I left to live in Austin, there was a gruesome murder at a Brown’s Chicken in the Midwest resembling it. Some characters in the movie were real people: Mickey Cohen, Police Chief Parker, Johnny Stompanato and obviously Lana Turner. The leads are fictional. And other supporting characters are fictional versions of actual people: Sid Hudgens is Robert Harrison, one of the first to publish scandal rags, literally his was named Confidential. I wouldn’t know about the rest, they were probably excised from the novel to save time.

If you’ve never seen L.A. Confidential, watch it. If you haven’t a long while, watch it again and take notice of some cool things, namely what this writer brought up. I completely agree with the author, being seriously unfaithful to Ellroy’s novel was a rare instance of it working out. I’m really bummed out even more with the death of Chadwick Boseman as an original sequel to this was scrapped by Warner Brothers. It was going to take place in 1974 with Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe returning as Exley and White respectively, Boseman as a younger cop, probably discovering some ugly truth the old two know about. I’m also guessing Exley would be the Chief or the elected representative he was in the end of White Jazz. White? Not sure, at the end of the movie, he was too injured to be a cop anymore and was on his way to live with Lynn in Arizona. The most shocking part was getting James Ellroy to help out. I’ve met him twice and he’s never been shy about how much he hates the movie version of this novel.

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Talk like a Pirate Day ’22!

Ahoy mateys! It’s one of the goofiest celebrations around and can be difficult to pull off if English isn’t your first language. I’ve learned via my friend Jeremy, the Dutch are stumped even though their ancestors contributed to this wonder, romanticized historical period during the 16th and 17th centuries. Plus the whole manner of speaking “like a pirate” was invented by English actor Robert Newton for Disney’s 1950 version of Treasure Island when he played Long John Silver.

I used to love being in Las Vegas for it too. No longer. The doofus who bought the Treasure Island casino/hotel from the inept MGM/Mirage corporation shortened the name to TI, ditched the pirate battle attraction and transformed the joint into a giant honky tonk. There’s nothing wrong with the new theme, just change the name entirely so everybody is clear on the pirate element being gone.

Here’s what I recommend you doing if wearing the clothes, talking like a pirate and/or eating the greasy, fried food at Long John Silver’s isn’t feasible. Watch the best version of Treasure Island…the one starring the Muppets and Tim Curry. Or watch Yellowbeard on Amazon Prime starring members of Mel Brooks’ crew, Monty Python, Cheech & Chong, Peter Cook, David Bowie and a guy who resembles Adam Ant because the singer bailed on the role. Or Pirates starring Walter Matthau despite it being directed by sex offender Roman Polanski. Or Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstandt. Or the Ice Pirates with Robert Urich, Mary Crosby, Ron Perlman, Anjelica Huston, John Matuszak and John Carridine; I have this on Blu-Ray somewhere. Or lastly, if you can find it, the TNT movie Pirates of the Silicon Valley with Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates and John DiMaggio as Steve Ballmer.

Catch ya’ next yerrrrrrrrrr!

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Well…I have things to work on

Much to my surprise, Jennifer reads this site. I figured she didn’t bother because we live together so she’s already aware of what’s going on in my life. Nope. In short, I hurt her feelings with yesterday’s post/story and I regret that regardless of her reading such matters (or not) since this trip to Vegas wasn’t smooth despite the things I did enjoy. Jennifer calling me a bully smarted too yet I deserved it given my skill at being cruel with words; I missed my calling in politics or comedy.

We hope to work it out since it’s the outcome I want and we have more in common than we don’t. I can’t read Jennifer’s mind, thus I cannot speculate where/how things will pan out. If I could, I wouldn’t be in such an emotional world of shit! It’s also why I’m probably buying my therapist MacBook Pros for her two kids when they get to college.

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Coming home from Vegas today/tonight

Had to say goodbye the other day to my new little friend Cee Cee, the lead cat at Tahiti Village hanging out in the landscaping. He was my favorite because he was talkative and slept by a palm tree with little cover to hide his location. I do hope he remains along with the black cat Montgomery, a couple cow cats, another brown tabby and this cute blue-eyed rag doll.

I decided to take a semi-real vacation this time by just letting Picayune rest while I tried to tune out the world and all its bullshit: the death of an inbred, the deaths of people who made the world worse, the ugly Midterm election and the GOP showing how cruel they are to suffering people. Oh there were great things too, those will be coming in the next several weeks since I did have a fantastic time again.

My immediate autopsy on Vegas ’22 is sadly mixed. The prices continue to get higher and more outrageous since the Republicans think it’s OK for corporations to launder money but not Organized Crime. Oh wait, they’re the same thing, just different ethnic groups and political allies. I did succeed in finding one Jacks or Better machine offering 9/6 and another with 9/5 but the Strip casinos are now offering 7/5, one was even 6/5, how lame! The other immediate issue was discovering how I will never take a trip if Jennifer’s mom is present. We originally planned this outing as a treat for her 65th birthday. Ergo, I gave up my timeshare usage for this, covered a larger share of the plane tickets (I insisted on the safer Southwest) and ponied up for meals/cab fare around half the time. I did see her give some cash to Jennifer at times so I guess she doesn’t have the same financial instruments we Gen Xers do. The deal breaker is how Brenda doesn’t smile and acts like someone is always pissing in her cereal bowl. We’ve had our Crossfire exchanges given her propensity to repeat the Right-Wing talking points she’s heard. Vegas is many negative things yet for me, it’s a city of joy, a place to let your freak flag fly and not give a crap until you get home. Beyond gambling, Vegas isn’t really for her. Plus if she’s going to “write me off” over a few differing opinions, then she’s a typical thin-skinned, hypocritical MAGAt who never deserved the respect of us edumacated libruls. Jennifer is planning a trip to New Orleans during its infamous Mardi Gras celebration, given how she wants to have her mother and her daughter’s deadbeat, body-odor’d laced stoner boyfriend along…I will decline unless I get one of two concessions.

Let’s move on to the positive before I board the plane in a while. We discovered a couple incredible restaurants we’ll need to revisit: the legendary Peppermill and the Hash House chain. You didn’t hear about my death via Fremont’s zip line (more later). Cheyenne was on the money with Meow Wolf’s Area 51 with its arcade (discovered that Jennifer is a Tekken 5 asskicker!), Omega Mart store/art exposition in irony-horror and just odd stuff. Numerous conversations with Uber/Taxi drivers from around the world, the coolest discovery was immediately knowing one guy was from Paul’s tribe, a genuine Chicago Sout’sider! Of course you know me, conversations struck up with people while waiting in line or something. Oh yeah, we got rides in Teslas three times. Doesn’t change my opinion of Elon Musk, he’s a prick. Lastly, the Casesar’s Palace people are trying to address my recent whining over craps. The traditional table game has just become too expensive given how I’m only middle class; even with inflation, $10 a throw is steep, gimme a $3 or $5 game. Plus, the recent pop-o-matic version is meh and as I told one cashier, they always look and feel as if they’re never cleaned, there’s a grimy, dirty residue I sense. Planet Hollywood had the new hybrid. Everybody sits a station, places their bets at it. One player gets to go up and be the shooter! Their station is mirrored up at the table for them and a human croupier remains to hand you the dice and have the camera make the outcome official. A really nice employee named Sam answered all my questions while it was my turn to the the shooter (the one time I was hot). The newer setup was already in the works before COVID, it isn’t to get more socially anxious people to play (but it helps), more for people who want to play yet don’t know the rules well and best of all, it’s CP’s effort to bring back the $5 game. One day I will really, really save up to have $200 to drop for one sessions (the feel of chips is amazing, especially when you have more green ones than you started with!), just not now. Lastly, Sam answered my biggest concern, eventually the new system will be programmed to let us place bets for employees soon. Fear not, after each game, I tipped the table when I left as per Vegas courtesy and tradition with “Thank you for the action.”

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I have very little sorrow for the Queen of England

Other than being one of the wealthiest people on welfare, her existence meant little… beyond showing how the US isn’t the only country against socio-political progress.

I will never understand why so many Americans, especially women, get all caught up in that inbred family’s affairs. The American Media is also guilty of wasting electrons on the one who married a mediocre actress; basic cable isn’t fame.

Obviously, many of you are tsk tsk‘ing me and/or saying, “Please don’t say such horrible things about the recently deceased. Elizabeth wasn’t all bad, she was just a figurehead.” HA! The old bat represented a dying empire in which the sun never set on their flag…and the blood never dried. Sadly, Amerika has taken their place along via the mythical “special relationship.” Ugh! There’s nothing special about a sickness infecting our resident WASPS and wannabes in Amerika, it’s called Anglophilia. I have nothing against the average English person, hell, I rather like them. They’re much like all nice people, they just want to get through their day and have a good time. It’s the people in power, namely the Tories propping up this disgusting family (see Epstein’s former client Andrew) who are the problem. Elizabeth was a privileged asshole who didn’t think she had to pay taxes until Parliament made it happen. She still thought it was the 19th Century.

For me, the queen was the focal point of what’s wrong with royalty and monarchs. As a descendent of people her ancestors shit on and/or murdered in their quest for empire, she deserves our collective scorn; many Irish chanted “Lizzie’s in a box” at a soccer game with my approval. She wasn’t just a mere figurehead in the Seventies as she abetted an illegal overthrow of a legitimately elected Australian Labour government at the CIA’s insistence. Don’t count on the Aussies to morn how she saved them from Socialism. You know the policy, it utilizes the government to aid the average person out instead of lining the pockets of the same old rich dickbags.

How glad I am to be heading out on vacation soon. In Las Vegas, there will be more energy and attention spent on the NFL’s opening weekend. I can avoid the repeat of 25 years ago when the queen’s ex-daughter-in-law died, forcing everyone to hear a terrible, reworked Elton John song ad nauseum. May the UK work toward becoming an actual republic but don’t hold your breath since Boorish Johnson paved the way for the horrendous second coming of Thatcher.

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Ravenloft returns!

I guess the rumors of Ravenloft’s return could be partially true. D&D’s current creative team just brought back Spelljammer which I bought several weeks ago and then there’s Eberron in 2019. Wait, it’s possible since the module which started it all hit stores 40 years ago.  The printed adventure instituted a couple changes in how D&D was played too. I think it was the first to have an isometric map of the “dungeon” areas and the villain, the immortal vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich, was someone your players became more acquainted with. Before him, vampires might have had names (Drelzna, Kas, Ctenmiir and  Belgos) but they were just another monster you kill and loot.

As for Kermit…he’s played this role before:

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Ugly ducklings should definitely apply!

I say, why not? Some people could use a good challenge, embrace a rather wild, impulsive career change! You could be one of those pests on a golf course, honking at all the jerks in the ugly pants! However, if you think becoming a swan will get you unlimited action as it did for Zeus with Queen Leda, reconsider. Today’s swan training has a lengthy one-day element about consent which is how it should be.

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So many amazing events/discoveries with people’s DNA

I stumbled upon a couple articles which blew my mind about Human DNA! First up involves these unusual pair of identical twins known as the Salyers. Or maybe they’re just odd or weird because the women always wanted to marry identical twin brothers. To me it’s just too specific and when you limit your options over such a trait, you may be closing yourself off to finding a better partner. They got their wish at the annual Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg, OH by meeting these dudes who fit the bill. They all got married and each had a son about three months apart. So these cousins are genetically siblings! It’s a thing I learned about called quaternary twin. The Salyers aren’t the first, allegedly there have been around 300 known sets in recorded History. I fear and wonder how many births were voluntary given we know how the Soviet Union did experiments involving identical twins the state’s early years.

The second story involves pseudo twins or doppelgängers. Spanish Scientists investigated what we’re all familiar with, “Hey, you look so much like so and so!” We’ve all experienced in one way or another. They hunted down 32 people via photography to find good matches while making sure the candidates had no family connections within a century. If you’ve seen the pictures, you will notice they’re not absolutely identical in every detail: you see minor differences like height, facial traits (nose, chin) and hair. People can make this out, recognition software cannot. HA! Take that Skynet and the other AI overlords! The zinger? They do share similar strands of DNA despite not being related and Nature scored a point  in the age-old argument between Nature v. Nurture; these people often have other stuff in common: education levels, smoking habits, weight, etc. Scary!

This brings back a really awesome plot point in an underrated movie I will always defend, Jupiter Ascending. It has some major flaws in its execution but I loved how Mila Kunis’ character (Jupiter) was genetically the same as the Earth’s previous and “rightful owner.”  Allegedly, these two people’s DNA being indistinguishable had a probability of one in a quadrillion. Given our understanding today is only ankle deep in the ocean of genetics, I have doubts on the validity of the Wachowski’s facts. Still, it’s a pretty cool explanation for reincarnation; what the aliens fighting over the earth called the legal term.

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