Wednesday, August 27, 2008

PAX



Thanks to thekiko for the photo.

The Penny Arcade Expo is kinda like the Mecca for gamers. Obviously without the deep religious connotations and how it fulfills a devouts Muslims life with love and joy and the uplifting of the spirit etc. More like, a place where everyone that is quite like you can gather and feel sorta normal. A cattle drive of nerd herds, if you will.

All sorts, flavours and shades of gamers will find PAX irresistable. I know what you're thinking, "There is more than one type?". Alas, like your vegetarian co-worker who you see sometimes having a Filet-O-Fish, there are so many, many degrees of us.

There are the table top gamers, the role players, the RTS dudes, the FPS maniacs, the handheld acolytes... Oh, it goes on. Sure, there is overlap. But there are only so many hours in the day, only so many ways to particpate in a hobby that brings universal denigration and sneered lips of disdain.

Now, what's Penny Arcade? Imagine if you will the most powerful gaming webcomic in the world. Granted, that's like saying 'imagine the worlds most radical needlepoint'. It's a niche of a niche market. Something that mostly appeals to geeks (webcomic) about something that only appeals to geeks (gaming). Nevertheless, it's webcomic that can shape and change multi-million dollar game's futures, can leave PR hacks quivering in their cocaine-dusted hooker-lipsticked armani suits, and can quite literally make or break a game development house.

And it's two guys.

Two guys who started small, and through wit, great drawing, and not a few references to wangs, created (what I assume is) a multi-million dollar empire.

It's the sort of maverick story that any red-blooded American hopes they'll star in. These fellows speak truth to power (albeit, you know, power spoken about how richly detailed and/or nonlinear a given game narrative is). In a world where everyone, even the gatekeepers, are in the pocket of the Rich, Powerful, and Morally Suspect, it's refreshing to think of two guys who can make their way because they speak The Truth.

At least how they see it.

Which is better than the pablum and middle of the road handjobs that most journalists in the gaming industry seem to write. They who are beholden to the great corporations for access, and therefore who's very job becomes just another way to give free advertising.

Penny Arcade are, in short, like the Daily Show, except about something far, far, FAR less important.

Well, not unimportant. Just not earth-shattering. You aren't going to turn heads at your next company picnic talking about the great untapped potential of Psychonauts or the rise of free-to-play MMOs in South East Asia. No one is going to stop talking to the National Geographic amazon rain-forest photographer doing a stint in war-torn Sudan to hear you expound on the procedurally generated content.

Gaming as a hobby is what I'd put as a solid second tier hobby. I mean, objectively. From the average man on the street, it probably fits somewhere between professional pan-handler and collecting all McDonald's Disney commemorative cups. But you know, myself, I can't put gaming any lower than watching TV. Hell, in many respects, gaming is much different from playing board games. Not, you know, Settlers of Catan, but Pictionary or Boggle.

It's a fair bit below what I would call first tier hobbbies, also known as Facebook-profile hobbies, admitted-to-at-cocktail party hobbies, resume hobbies, and meeting the in-laws hobbies. First tier include the outdoors and perspiring. There might be powerbars involved, sometimes tournaments and ladder draws.

But second tier is nothing to laugh at. Often, or loudly, anyways.

In short, I'll be going to PAX this year. My first time. I'm more than a little nervous. I mean, real people. Real nerd people who probably abhor social contact as much as I, which takes the whole ordeal past Terry Gilliam absurd and careening blithely towards Hasselfhoff/K.I.T.T. slashfic bizaare.

Assumedly there will elan, maybe some bon homie, and perhaps even more French phrases that mean 'friendship, but the really good kind that makes every X-Genner wish they were part of a small but close knit World War Two commando unit'.

Or maybe I'll see some cool games and get sloshed. You know, whatever.

Something Found In The Park Part 5

“Oh, let's give the little dears some company on their first and final performance with the Kannibal Krowes! We found they had a little pet!' Rick craned his neck over to see her hand make a flourishing movement towards a door. A burly man who smelled of onions and smoke pushed in their Fang-Monger.

It sat in its water, bobbing, its eyes cast about the crowd with the disinterest that only wild animals can muster. The crowd oohed, then went back to betting, which changed only slightly with the addition of this unknown floating... thing.

The music came on again, and like a switch, the pigeons became much more agitated. Some started flying from perch to perch, from skull to skull. Rick could smell them musty: covered over by a thick blanket of rotting ground beef.

Mary screamed. Rick whipped his head around to look at her. A trick of blood was starting down her cheek. A flurry of feathers, and then another pinprick of blood started out from her forehead. This was going to take much longer than Rick first thought. A sharp prick came from his arm. He closed his eyes tight. The flurries came quicker. Mary's whimpering started to become a scream. Rick, feeling pain from every direction and blood trickling everywhere, started to moan. The pain kept at him, new pain, old pain. shallow cuts, deeper plunges of hungry beaks.

Then something bumped the Fang Monger, Rick heard the gentle sloshing of water. The flurries stopped.

He opened his eyes. He tried to focus through the tears.

The birds had all went back to their skulls. Many with bright red flecks on their beaks and breast feathers. The Fang Monger was no longer lazing about in his water. The glass capsule had faded away, and he hovered, suspended, with his water still wrapped around him as if the glass was still there.

The water spread out in a disc. Little rivers coursed through the air, searching for something. They found a spectator, ripped him from his seat, and pulled him towards the gaping mouth of the Fang Monger, which became grossly large. Covering the inside of the mouth were thin needle teeth, and as far as Rick could see, that's all there was. The man was tossed into the mouth. His screams were soon joined by the rest of the spectators scrambling to get off the bleachers with their lives. The water tendrils shot out, now innumerable to count, grabbing spectators, and now pigeons, and throwing them into an ever widening maw. The gnashing of bone and muscle was barely heard above the frantic screams and wild-eyed cursing.

Rick almost didn't recognize Mary as she came over, off the board. “The pigeons got as much rope as they did me,” she whispered with those inscrutable eyes. Blood streaked down her face and arms, and formed little rivulets down her legs. She managed a grin. All around was chaos, but Rick knew it was now or never. He was pulled by Mary off the board and they ran for the stairs.

Not a single spectator had made it to the stairs, the Fang Monger was thorough. Rick fought the urge to look back, to make sure that Ms. Krenshaw was among the many pulled into the Fang Monger's gullet. But he knew they had to go. Get out of there before the cops came, took them away, and put them with who knew what sort of foster care.

They burst into their apartment. Wouldn't take too long to pack, thought Rick. He glanced around the kitchen, where there wasn't dirt was a dark olive green that did its best to rob you of whatever appetite you dared possess. He just started to smile at that something heavy and hard crashed over his head. He blacked out for a split second. When he looked up, there was Ms. Krenshaw, a twisted, wild look on her face. She raised the cast iron pan again. Rick searched for Mary, she had bolted. “Run Mary, don't look back!” he called after what was most likely empty rooms. It was what he would have said anyways, but it didn't make it any less surprising that she actually did it.

Ms. Krenshaw took another heavy step forward. Rick scrambled back. The oil and grit of the linoleum digging into his hands. The room faded in and out. There was little to be done. Little to hope fore now.

A loud crash.

Ms. Krenshaw toppled over, landing on the ground like so much raw ground beef. Rick winced in spite of himself. Over her stood Mary, in her hand was a fair sized chest, heavy iron with a padlock that didn't look entirely functioning.

“She didn't keep it in a mattress after all,” she waved the chest at him, “come on, lets get out of here.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Something Found In The Park Part 4

“Lord Gloom's Ever Frightening Kannibal Krowes!!” read the banner. It was bright yellow with dark red lettering. The words were plastered sloppily, almost gleefully, thought Rick. It looked like it had been made a long time ago, and had been raised many times.

It was pretty easy to focus on the banner, what with both him and Mary being tied down, and all. Rick could still smell something sharp and acrid on his mouth, on his nose. Seems they took extra steps to make sure neither of them woke up while they were bound in their sleep. He looked over at Mary, who was strapped to a long flat board set at an angle, like he was. There were streaks of dried tears down her face, and he tried not to show he saw it. She gave him a flutter of a look, then resumed to looking all around her, trying to take in the entire scene.

There was a lot to take in.

They were on the roof. The pigeons were out of their cage, perched on various paper mache skulls. The air smelled of smoke from pipes, cigarettes and things that were lit in dark alleys. Ringed around the edge of the roof were crude bleachers, with the types of people who haunt casinos daily: they had a quick and desperate look about them, forever thirsty. Circling around the entire roof, and behind the bleachers were strung cheap Chinese lanterns that looked as genuine as the pigeons looked like crows. They barely lit the scene in slow, furtive multicoloured light.

Over the various chatter and yells (taking and giving odds, cursing) came a halting voice. It lurched in fits and starts. The show was about to begin, it said, can everyone please take their seats and hold onto their tickets.

The pigeons began to growl.

Rick's body was starting to shake from cold sweat. Everything around him was something from a nightmare circus. It was like the cock fighting club he had always imagined, except this was much bigger, much stranger. The crowd became quiet.

He was almost relieved to see Ms. Krenshaw show up; she wore a stiff black dress and a fancy hat that had fed a few generations of moths. It's various bits waved in the still air like beauty queens in a parade that happened to cross a hurricane. She didn't look at them. Straight to the biggest pigeon she went, a real bruiser of a bird that Rick had heard Ms. Krenshaw call 'King'.

She cooed to King, smoothed his feathers. Then she started whispering to it. Her eyes darted every so once and a while at Rick and Mary, both of them stiff as the boards they were lashed to. Fear shone in his eyes, and Rick bit down on his tongue, trying to stifle a scream he could feel rumbling through his stomach; it bore down through his body, and he bore down on his tongue. He tasted coppery rust in his mouth. Ms. Krenshaw kept whispering to King, her eyes darting again, her whispering becoming more urgent, frantic. There was rage in that whispering, a barely bottled fire that flared now and again as she spoke to the bird.

The other birds shuffled along their perches, shook themselves, preened their feathers hungrily. Some cooed a raspy, stringent call. The crowd started murmuring, then gurgling, like something held just beneath the washing machine's water level.

The birds were skittish, as Rick knew them to be. Offput, they always were. In recent months they had just started to be comfortable around Rick and Mary. Maybe that was the entire point of their employment. To get to know the birds.

Music blared out of unseen speakers in a questionable state of repair. It was some sort of marching band music. The chatter from the crowd and even further agitation from the birds hinted that maybe this was it. This was what the show was for.

A voice cut into the music. It was Ms. Krenshaw.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Something Found In The Park Part 3

The package sat on his grubby knees. It had the suspicious air of the Tooth Fairy just as older sibling explained quite matter of factly the truth. Open it now and face disappointment? What did he have to lose? Rick considered all the thoughts criss crossing his mind, like a migration of manta rays gone mad. He looked over at Mary. She looked at the package, with an almost inscrutable expression on her face. She bit her lip.

Rick tried to remind himself to breathe, it couldn't get any worse. That was the problem with hope: it offered as more pain in disappointment than it did joy in relief.

He ripped open the package with shaking hands. Underneath a few cotton balls, a few more styro-foam popcorns, was a green piece of paper. It looked like it had been folded and refolded hundreds of times. It had the air of something stuffed and restuffed into someone's jeans as a lucky charm. On it was written:

“Look below you.”

Rick and Mary both looked at it. Mary, in a flurry of speed, snatched up the piece of paper and read it again, once under her breath, once out loud, like it was the warning label on rat poison. Rick looked at the paper, then under it.

Nothing.

The park swam. The sick feeling of being let down from such, admittedly unreasonable, hope wasn't entirely unlike running full speed into a cement wall. He couldn't breathe.

Then the ground rumbled. A great roiling burp of a rumble. Rick remained perfectly still. He was pretty sure he'd been poisoned or something from whatever was in that box.

The ground churned. For a good five seconds it churned, buckled over like a drunk being mugged in a dark side alley by a hood with too much follow through. Mary sprang to her feet. This was probably a sign it wasn't poison, thought Rick. Or, that they had BOTH been poisoned.

Yellowy and sad, the park lamps gave one last sputter, and went out.

A thin sheen of cold sweat slicked on Rick's neck. He couldn't look at Mary, worried that fear was finally showing on her ever stoic face, and light reflecting glasses.

The ground beneath the park bench thrust up, the lawn beneath them turned into a cascading fountain of dirt and dead grass. They were thrown like kittens off a hand grenade. Rick banged his shoulder then his head, a high pitch rang in his ear.

He scrambled to all fours and looked over to where the bench was. In it's place floated, hovered -- whatever it was doing, it wasn't touching the ground -- a six foot tall glass ovoid. Tall and thin. It hummed a low rumble, sounding like a car with a large engine and outrageous insurance premiums. Then the rumbling stopped, and a high whine slide through the air and was gone, just as the whine faded, a light came on inside. The capsule was filled about halfway with a clear, deep blue liquid. And sitting in that improbable sea, personal pond, was what could only be the '#34 Dark-Lighted Penumbrian Fang Monger'.

It was covered with a deep green fur, and had the shape of a pear with a head at one end and a lazy, undulating flipper at the other. Around its neck was a fringe of white fur. As if there wasn't enough oddness about it, it also had a yellowing moustache. Its eyes were gigantic, and placid, it looked at the two, then flashed the widest, most terrifying grin Rick had ever seen.

Mary only sat and stared. Rick slowly got to his feet and walked towards it. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Mary start slightly, as if she wanted to stop him, but suddenly decided the better of it.

The Fang Monger and its capsule cast a blue haze over the darkened park. The sounds from the streets seemed very far away as Rick approached it. It kept looking at him with its placid eyes and drooping yellow moustache. It seemed to be holding its breath, but its eyes looked like it was a hiding a knowing, deathly mischievous secret.

Rick kept walking towards it.

He pulled his eyes away from the Fang Monger and noticed that the floating capsule had glass handles on either side; as if it was meant to be pushed around. He motioned to Mary to grab one side. She hesitated. He grabbed a handle and looked back to her as if to say “see, nothing wrong here.”. She get up, dusted off her threadbare dress, and walk over.

They pushed the large, glowing capsule back home. No one was on the streets. They lived in the sort of neighbourhood where no one was on the streets after a certain time. Not even the hoodlums.



That night Rick heard a familiar voice in the hallway. It was Mr. Simons. It was a clean name he had, a last name that belonged to a shopkeeper that let you keep a tab, or a principal that was tough but fair. Mr. Simons, in a fit of cosmic confusion, was anything but. Rick had caught sight of him once, coming out of the apartment. He had the face of a mortician who was terrified of corpses. It was sunken and slow, and his entire body slumped along with it. He drawled all his words, taking as long as it took to say what he had to say. Between each phrase of importance sat a massive pause. Far too long to be a normal conversational pause, almost long enough to be a conversation ender.

Ms. Krenshaw, from what Rick could hear, never complained, she suffered the stop and stuttering, the galloping and limping pace of Mr. Simons conversation as if he was the most natural chatter in the world.

That night, that voice had echoed into their bedroom. There was some discussion. Haggling,by the tone and banter of it. Ms. Krenshaw had gotten shrill. By the end of it, even Mary was up. They both pretended to be asleep, though, when soft creak of the door cut the air, and a head poked in, seemed to survey the room and its occupants for a little too long, then disappeared.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Something Found In The Park Part 2

She kept pigeons on the roof. Hundreds of them. They cooed and gurgled like underwater engines, burbling delight from being given too much food and attention. This, naturally, was a bad thing for Mary and Rick; seven days a week they cleaned and brought up seeds.

What worried Rick is that they also had to bring ground beef. Pounds of it, raw, swimming in blood. They left it to the side for Ms. Krenshaw to deal with. There was never any left the next day.

They also had to clean her apartment, and the seven other apartments she was in charge of; or had squatted. They were always dirty. Great mounds of dirty dishes, questionable pools of liquid on the linoleum, and always the scurry of the small things that fed in that filth. The mystery tenants were never there, thankfully.

Ms. Krenshaw grudgingly let them go to school. Probably, Rick thought, because a truant officer would bring unwanted attention.



At school they heard whispers about Ms. Krenshaw. That she had had past wards. That she had never had children. That she always had wards. That she ate them all. That she did have children, but they ran away, were sold to Turkish slave traders, eaten. Of all the stories, they all seemed to disappear on the same day, January 13th.



“All your cares taken care of... just send..” The bold letterings still burned in Rick's mind. It was from an ad in a comic book left by one of the elusive tenants. It shouted 'fraud' and snickered 'sucker'. The fonts were bold, the colouring garish, and the claims were a few shades past hyperbole. Rick thought he was a sensible kid who would never fall for that sort of thing. But they had spent almost a year with Ms. Krenshaw.

It was already January 7th.
“How, though.” Mary gave him her usual cautious air. A tight lipped thoughtfulness that had learned not let on how much it knew. She stared at the ad.

Rick smiled. It was good of her not to blurt how stupid his idea was. “Who knows? What have we got to lose?”

“Your self-respect?”

He looked at her, both of them covered in pigeon droppings, their hair plastered with sweat. “Oh, I think we are well beyond that, don't you?”

Friday, August 22, 2008

Something Found In The Park (or 3 UPC Coupons and 50 cents Worth of Hope) Part 1

This is a pretty irregular feature I do on this blog, post fiction I've been working on. This came about mainly from reading a bit of Roald Dahl on vacation. He is one of my mostest favourite authors. He's a bit subversive, a bit dark, but in the end, entirely wholesome.

This is sort of my stab at something in his style. In a way. Inspired by, maybe. It's also inspired by a Dr. Seuss book, which I'll talk about later. This will be in a few parts, as it's on the longish side. It's quite a departure from my usual blog postings, which will resume in a week or so.

Hope you enjoy it.



“One #34 Dark-Lighted Penumbrian Fang Monger” read the small soiled box. It smelled of oatmeal, and it seemed hardly likely it had anything except mold. Rick frowned, life had more disappointment in store for him, it seemed. Not content to kick a kid when he was down, it was bringing out the tire iron and calling over friends. He prodded the box with a finger grimy from mustard and pigeon droppings.

“So that's it. I mean, nothing else?” said Mary. She blew a lick of dirty hair out of her eyes. The lights had just come on in the park and reflected off her glasses, making her look more unreadable than usual.

Rick shivered, night was just falling. In Bennings Park, the trees cast sad dry shadows and the flower beds looked like smudged paint. Some of the yellow park lamp light reached the bench where they both sat, staring at the box.

Rick ran his thumb over the writing

“Doesn't hardly seem, you know, professional.” said Rick.

“You can't expect much for 3 UPC coupons and fifty cents.” Mary bent down to inspect the hand scrawled label. It looked like someone had written it while riding a palsied bull during an earthquake.

“So you think this is just some con-man on the job trying to get some money out of little kids...”

“I never said that.”

“I quote 'Like that is going to work.'”

Mary turned her unreadable glasses to him. “Doesn't sound anything like me. I find it highly unlikely that this,” she peered closer at the label, “Fang Monger, is going to help us in any way.”

“Can't hurt.”

“Well, true.” She looked back at the box, “things couldn't get worse.”





Ms. Krenshaw scraped what was most likely an egg from the frying pan. Little sprays of old, murky oil landed onto her well-splattered bathrobe. At one point it had been the colour of teal, something given to an unfortunate flavour of salt-water taffy; it drooped off her body like a discarded clown suit on a hobo.

“You ever going to cook yourselves dinner?” She waved the egg-scraping spatula at them. It was never clear who she was talking to. “This fridge is yours, you know. You get here at the time dinner is made, you can go ahead and make yourselves anything you like.” She gave them a sharp look, “You were both late. Again.”

She reached under her bathrobe and produced a thick iron key, then locked the chains that hugged the fridge like a garrotte. She didn't need to. Both Rick and Mary had skipped out of school early, once, just once, to see that if there would be anything worth making if they did come in at the appointed time. Some bread covered evenly in green fuzz. One or two eggs that Ms. Krenshaw invariably had cooked up for herself. A few bottles of murky liquid that were probably flammable under the right conditions.






Late at night, in the attic, they'd toss back ideas what she did with the Ministry money she was supposed use to take care of them. Rick thought she ran a cock-fighting ring on the side, and used the money to shore up finances when the law got tough. He had wild theories of frightened, slightly mad poultry strapped with home made weapons: razors and re-dismantled forks, their tines shining under a swinging bare bulb. Rick could almost hear the yells for more blood, the wet cries of triumph, the soft curses from the losers.

Mary was of the opinion that Ms. Krenshaw hid the money away. Stockpiled it in some dirty mattress. Great dog-eared blocks of cash wound together tight with old rubber bands, dirty, barely legible paper, faded from being handled and re-handled (in Rick's mind, they'd be re-handled from all the bettors and bookies). It wasn't an implausible theory, argued Mary; Ms. Krenshaw did have a closed face, a squinting way to her walk and dress that made her look like an over wound clockworks piggy bank.

They both suspected Ms. Krenshaw hated children, and having wards of the state was her perfect excuse to starve and neglect kids.

Wards of the State. Rick at first found it odd that a whole government: bureaucrats, clerks, secretaries, janitors and all, would take care of children. At one point he heard that the people who cleaned the outside of parliament were government employees. Were they supposed to take care of kids too? Seemed an exercise in cruelty. Then he found out that the government had other people take care of kids, not strictly government employees. This turned out to be, in his experience, a far worse affair. Give him a parliament cleaner -- filthy hands and overalls, hands blistered from safety ropes, body tired from being suspended above a particularly inspired tower -- over Ms. Krenshaw any day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bocce News Update #3 : Madden's Bocce Report

Last bocce themed post for a while, so skip over it while you can.




Madden's Non-Football Sports Report!!!!!!!

(NOTE : John Madden is a NFL commentator widely believed to have suffered a catastrophic brain aneurysm 17 years ago. He continues to work, however. His scintillating insights and Wilde-like bon-mots are his trademark.)

Yo, John Madden here! I just came back from one of the most dynamic, exciting, dynamic matches of Bocci I've ever seen. Seriously folks, this is like football, but with an Italian angle. I'm not sure if Italians have football, but if they don't, bocci would definitely be it.

It was a great game between the upstarts, Team A (Sam and Tiern playing), and an institution in the game of bocci, the Team B (John and Mary) . These guys have going power! Three years as undefeated champions! They got gristle, they got grit! They win alot!

The uh, experts on bocci, the little Italian guys who got all the info on this game, have told me the field was pretty fast and was kinda, is this right here, right here, under the uh, period... the field was too slanted?! That's what I love about Football, no messing around with crazy fields. You got 100 yards, and every Sunday that's where you lay it all out: on the grid iron! Blood sweat, and 3.. 5... you know, all the other guys on the team, all those guys pulling with you. Football! Yeah!!!

Now, the game was going pretty well, except for the guys who lost. You lose in the game of bocci when you don't get as many points as the other guy, and the other guy makes it to 15. The field was kinda like the defensive line of the '73 Bears. It kept the other team from making points, and, con-uh-se-quensially, winning.

So, that wraps up this match. Gotta wish Team A good luck on their ROAD TO THE SUPERBOWL! YEAH!!!

Bocce News Update #2 : Casey At The.. Bocce.. something.

Posts are going to be coming pretty fast an furious, as a I have a backlog of stuffs I want to cram down the internets to you, my valued reader. Oh, let's be generous, readerS. Continuing my series of Posts I Made To My Work Bocce News Site Thing.


The outlook was pretty dismal for the Team Fourteen that day:
The emails were pretty virulent, with trashtalk in the fray.
And then when Team Sixteen started rolling points, and TF losing same,
A deathly quiet dropped upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling effort came from the team, under great duress
They clung to hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only we could win, there would be more tit for tat,
Our flamewars we'd pummel them with, like an enforcer with a bat.

But power was their enemy, and likewise was their aim,
And the former was never laggin, and the latter never came;
So upon that stricken bocce team dire fatalism stalked,
For every time they went up to play their skill would only balk.

Oh, somewhere in our UBC the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere people laugh, and somewhere children shout;
But there's no joy up in Brock Hall - Team Fourteen has struck out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bocce News Update #1 : Classic American Sports Report

So, my work's annual bocce tournament is upon us. After each match, we have to update our big ol' wiki site with a little news item on what's going aboot and what happened.

Naturally, I take liberties.




In a stunning display of athleticism, wit, and alarmingly feminine grace, TEAM A (Sam and Larry playing) squeaked out a win against the ever fashionable Team B (Jane and Mary)!

Team B charged the field with random outcries of Power Rangers and cheers for their favourite Quidditch teams, and wooed the crowd with their scarf-type-dealies (that I'm sure has a proper name but darned if I know it).

TEAM A commented that they "just brought their A-game" and that they "really gelled as a team", and "left it all out on the field".

Team B was a bit subdued during question period, noting that "they will definitely be looking at restructuring their organization in post-season", but are "really looking forward to their next challenge" and "will get their head back into the game". They are hoping to show the world they "have a lot of heart, and have something to bring to the league".

TEAM A noted that "they had some lucky bounces", and "tried their best to capitalize on the scoring opportunities." Larry was heard saying "I'm still not entirely clear on the rules" right after Sam grabbed the mic and yelled "I'M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!".

Monday, August 18, 2008

Things Heterosexual Men Are Expected To Know

  • how much horsepower their car has/its MPG city and highway.
  • how to use power-tools without flinching.
  • a solid, non-wavering opinion on the current championship sporting event.
  • a fairly detailed knowledge of the current socio-politico-geographic layout of the current country in turmoil.
  • how much they can benchpress/how much they tell others they can benchpress/when drunk.
  • a fairly manly reason why they no longer 'work out'/a very high-brow, awe-inspired reason why they still work out (e.g. 'look good naked' is not a good reason. Good reason are : 'be there for my kids', 'so I can play with them till the sun goes down', 'for my volunteer work in the Tibetan hinterlands where I must free climb twice a day with 200 pounds worth of much needed medicine and food hanging from a caribinger pierced through my testicles')
  • how to fix that thing that's making that really weird noise but wasn't before.
  • what the HELL is all that crap when they open the fuse box.
  • proper treatment of electrical burns.
  • every term the car mechanic uses when they give an estimate ("Yeah, but to do it right, we'll have to re-align the Moss de-conflabulator, double jigg the pinion vice and router out the compression anchor tube.")
  • NOT what sort of shampoo they use or why they use it.
  • more or less what's going on when they have to pull over and pop the hood.
  • from sight, whether a screw is 3/8" or a 1/4"
  • what is, and what is NOT, a 'real beer'.
  • at least one guy in the Joint.
  • five different slang terms for mammary glands.
  • if not what it actually means, then at least how to use the term 'load-bearing' in such a way as to appease wife/girlfriend/and Home Depot construction expert.
  • at least one food, of which the only real version can be found at a very specific city (e.g. "You think that's pizza? You haven't had pizza unless you've been to...").

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stuff They Really Don't Need To Advertise.

  • The Dark Knight
  • Jack Daniels
  • Any Movie That Has More Than Three Fansites PRE-Production
  • CD Releases Of Any Artist That Has Had More Than 10 Tabloid Spreads
  • That Fantastic Action Movie That Gives Guys BRAINGASMS just THINKING About the Trailer
  • That One About the Chick and blahblahblah finding herself blahblahblah BIKINIS!
  • Anything By Pixar
  • That Fact that Walmart has LOW, LOW Prices (at the cost of the planet, human dignity, and a living wage, but still, affordable Sponge Bob Squarepants briefs!)
  • Slurpees
  • Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
  • The Super Bowl
  • Beer, in general
  • any fast food burger that has a name prefaced with 'The'

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things I like every time they are included in popular entertainment

Again, metamonk's idea. He's like a goddamn Idea Factory powered by an Innovation Engine trapped within an Creativity Field existing in the Novelty Dimension.

  • corporations that are evil!
  • previous idea, but it's ultimately headed by a quirky, devil may care iconoclast that had NO idea it had lost it's way.
  • ridiculously hot chicks who actually go for the ridiculously hot guy, and not the plucky upstart who's physically HORRIFYING yet has a heart of gold and quirky outlook on life. Realism goes a long way for me.
  • drunks Scots with real salt of the earth wisdom.
  • when there are asians in a ensemble cast, but they aren't women, and they aren't married to a white guy. So, basically, Sulu.
  • unsassy black women.
  • eco-unfriendly, American made, dangerously overpowered muscle cars from the 70's.
  • Gil Gerard.
  • a steady goddamn camera when filming a fight scene.
  • a catchy hook.
  • rap reminiscent of the 80's breakdancing movement.
  • the tragically uptight antagonist finding true love.
  • the obligatory 'lock and load' scene where the heroes load up on really fricking awesome weapons. Preferably out of the back of a combat-modified Cadillac.
  • highly organized, professional, and not really THAT evil bad guys.
  • over the top sound-effects for large hand guns.
  • any of the three Old Chinese Guys they've been using since 1983.
  • action scenes set to AC/DC.
  • Will Smith's fashion sense.
  • riotously expensive cars being raced through cramped, cobbled European streets.
  • space ships.
  • grizzled veterans with drinking problems that show the hero what they need to do to win.
  • armor plating.
  • once revered actors who you can tell are doing the movie just for the paycheque.
  • creative profanity.
  • plucky upstarts who fight the system and show that hooker with a heart of gold the real meaning of Christmas.
  • lines that are totally not witty at all but end up being so because of the actor's timing or inflection.
  • comeuppance.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Internet Abbreviations that Never Gained Currency

Thanks again to metamonk for the idear.

SCHL : Shit, cops here, later
CCN : Credit Card Number?
LGFLFAIG : loose gorgeous female looking for any internet geek
WWTHMM : who wants to hear my mashup?
GSIPM : great startup idea, pm me!
NOA : Nigerian opportunity available
LOPTA : logging off, party to attend
AAMS : AFK, another modeling shoot
IHAR : I hate Ayn Rand
WATLA : what's a three letter acronym?
CWP : consoles with paw
FLFPP : furry looking for puppy play
STTNGFLFSWFTD : Star Trek : The Next Generation Fan Looking For Star Wars Fan to Debate
GTMSL : getting too much sex lately
WDD : what's D&D?
JJRYAD : Jar Jar Rules, You All Drool!
OISN : OMG It's Seeping Now
SIHAP : Sure, I Have Another Picture
SMN : Sending Money Now
ACAAE : All Consoles Are About Equal
HTRCU : Hope That Rash Clear(s/ed) Up
WYRAF : Wow, you really ARE fat
BHSA : Back hair, sexy, AMIRITE?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Scrapped Cartoon Ideas

Thanks to metamonk for the blog post idear! Props! Shout outs! Etcetera!

Roundtable With Kofi Annan and the Diplomacy Dynamite Duo

Every week watch Kofi flex his mind and his wit to outsmart despotic regimes (currently out of favour with US Foreign policy)! Every month is a new Diplomacy Dynamite Duo! This month, Kissinger and Carter! They sit at opposite ends of the political spectrum but when they get together, no socialist regime unfriendly to corporate agendas will stand in their way!


Gracies Choke-Out! Hour

An hour of hilarious choke-outs! you can do at home with your siblings, pet, or feeble uncle who can't run too fast! The world famous Brazillian Ju-Jitsu family, the Gracies, pack each hour with as many joint snapping, clavicle breaking, windpipe crushing moves you can do with just your body and a iron will to leave your enemies in a crumpled mass of pain and regret. This week sponsored by GB Bernett and Associates, Personal Injury Lawyers, serving the greater Boston area since 1994.


Crazy Sundays with APOCRYPHAL JESUS!

Why not learn the fun Jesus that old bible scholar fuddy duddies cut out? See Apocryphal Jesus turn people that anger him into small clay board pieces! Marvel at Apocryphal Jesus' way with the ladies! Apocryphal Jesus is also about family, join us every week and meet a new brother or sister!


Teletubbies Present : Famous Serial Killers

With their warm charm and wide eyed view of the world, the Teletubbies will show you and your child an exciting part of society! Want to show your child the wild side? The people who lived by their own rules, and set their own goals then achieved them? Join us for a very special episode of Teletubbies.


Anarchist Cookbook for KIDS! Mostly non-lethal fun!

From the people who brought you “Napalm With Sunny D”, the 2nd most popular youtube video for the month of January, comes this new exciting series. Join Uncle Jake as he outlines, step by step, some of the simplier ways that any aspiring anarchist can fight the system, right in their home! Kids remember to ask your parents before trying our more horribly disfiguring recipes (or don't! Way to stick to them!).


Advanced Trampolining


Deconstructionist Roundtable : Erector Sets


Kama Sutra with Dora and Diego!


Animals and You! visits : The Abattoir


How's That Made : Nikes


Backyardigans Deathmetal Episodes 2-5, 11, and 17-19


Claymation Studios Present : How your parents made you!

Hypochondriacs USA's the Little Worrier


Things That Eat You From The Inside Out