Friday, January 30, 2009

I needed a break from the mind-numbing SQL scripting I was knee deep in writing, so I did some general maintenance around here. For starters, I re-wrote my profile description. There was no particular reason for that. I was simply tired of looking at the old one. Next, I updated the "Links", removing one and adding two others that are more pertinent to my leisurely activities.

I think it would be helpful if I described these links and why I choose to list them. They are, after all, a large part of who I am.

The first link is to my animation cel gallery. I'm a fan of animation, especially that of the Japanese variety (anime). I have a rather large collection of animation cels from several of my most favorite shows. For those of you who do not remember what life was like before the year 2000, once upon a time cartoons were not made with computers. They were actually drawn by an artist, then each frame of the cartoon was put on a piece of acetate, and then hand painted. Each cel is one frame of the show. Each cel that I own is a piece of the show, was hand drawn, is one of a kind, and was placed in front of the camera when the show was made. They *are* the show, basically.

The next two links are all about Saburosan, who is my character in World of Warcraft. Sab has his own blog, and I've also provided a link to his armory page. Since WoW is the game I play the most, it seemed obvious that I should provide that information here as well. Also, many of the friends I've made in WoW have transcended being simply "gamer friends". They're an integral part of my life, and deserve more than just a place in my "gaming life".

And lastly, the link to my FictionPress page. This is where I've posted my finished writings (all 4 of them, yay me). I don't claim to be any sort of grandiose author, and I really don't give a crap if you like what I've written or not. I didn't write that stuff for you. I wrote it for me, and for my own entertainment and satisfaction. If you happen to like it as well, then that's just a bonus.

So there you have it, a few minor changes to this place. I've also changed the index of Pastatdude's to be my blog, instead of the flash site that it used to be. I didn't like the flash site anymore. The only thing I will miss is the music player, which I may attempt to code into my blog. (Wow, I found a benefit for keeping my blog hosted on my own webspace. Win!)

With the lights out, it's less dangerous.
Here we are now, entertain us.
I feel stupid, and contagious.
Here we are now, entertain us.
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So of course, since the Steelers are in the Super Bowl, there's a pool going on at work. It's one of those 100-square dealios where you pay so much for a square and after the thing is filled up they pick the numbers. I'm sure you get the idea. So I bought 4 squares, and I got:


That's actually not bad.

Here we go again...

I've been hearing about a live action movie based on Dragonball for quite some time. Years. Ever since I first got into anime back in the day. Even before the whole army of "movies-based-on-video-games" were released, and consequently destroyed their source material. Back then, my thought was, "Oh, that would be cool." Nowadays, I'm obviously more skeptical.

I've come to expect that no movie from Hollywood based on an external source material that is not a book will ever be good. And the reason for this is two-fold. One, most of the time someone is making the movie not because they loved the source material and want to do it justice, but because they want to capitalize on that source's popularity as quickly as possible and make a quick buck. And two, because the SOURCE is the best place for the material in question, which is why it was a video game, anime series, TV show, or whatever else in the first place.

But consider this: Is that really so bad? I mean, come on, what are you expecting to find? Oscar worthy performances? A story so engaging it wins the best screenplay Golden Globe? If you answered yes, then answer me this: Is that what you expected to find when you watched or played the source material? I certainly hope not, else you are a fool. We play video games for entertainment. We watch anime for entertainment. Therefore, I think if people would go to the movies based on these sources with the same mentality, the general opinion of them would be in a more positive light.

Did Doom have a good story? It wasn't bad, but that's not why I watched it. I watched it to see the monsters that I spent COUNTLESS hours blasting away on my computer brought to life. Max Payne had a HORRIBLE story. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever. But I got to see Mark Wahlberg do all the shoot dodging that I got to do in the game.

So anyway, back to Dragonball. It looks as though the story is going to be a combination of the original "Dragon Ball", and the start of "Dragonball Z". You've got Goku trying to get the Dragonballs gathered up before Piccolo does (Dragon Ball), so he can defeat the Saiyans (Dragonball Z). Fine, I can live with that story.

The movie has a few good things going for it. For starters, it's directed by James Wong. He is responsible for most of my favorite episodes of The X-Files. He helped write the story, as well, so that's very encouraging. Secondly, Chow Yun-Fat is playing Master Roshi. That's pretty huge. And lastly, James Marsters looks really, really good as Piccolo.

The movie comes out on April 8th, 2009.

Monday, January 26, 2009

As the old saying goes, "Things get worse before they get better." The question, though, is always, "How bad is it going to get?"

A lot of people I know have lost their jobs. A whole lot. And it makes me wonder how many more will lose them before things start to get better. It makes me wonder if I will join them before things get better. Today, my sister found out that her last day at work is Friday. This is a job she's had for more than 15 years. It's depressing how easily our lives can be thrown into turmoil.

So now she has the lovely task of starting all over again laid out in front of her. First, the severance package. Then, the unemployment. Then the job hunting begins, and she will discover, just like everyone else out there, just how bad things really are and just how scarce work really is. And who knows how long that's going to last?

When I think of the possibly of having to go through that myself, the only word that comes to my mind is "Bleh."
I knew I shouldn't have had those bowls of cereal right before bed. It's a rare occurence when I remember a dream, and last night was one of those rarities. For some reason, I dreamed that Barack Obama was killed and the new president was...Dick Van Dyke?


Dreaming about the president, I understand. He was just inaugurated, he's been in the news non-stop since then, I get that. But Dick Van Dyke? Where'd he come from? I haven't thought about him at all in...well ever. Haven't seen anything with him in it for at least two years. Haven't seen him in the news at all. Get out of my head, Dick!

And if right now you're trying to think up a "He's got dick on his mind!" joke, just stop. That's way too obvious.

"Now things are coming clear.
And I don't need you here.
And in this world around me, I'm glad you disappeared.
So I'll stay out all night.
Get drunk and fucking fight.
Until the morning comes, I'll forget about our life."
Three Days Grace - Gone Forever

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I recently came across a blog called "Fuck You, Penguin". All the author does is post pictures of cute animals, and comment negatively about them, most of the time to quite funny results. As I was browsing through the posts, I laughed at what I saw and enjoyed the simple comedy of it. But then I saw this post, and I was impressed.

That one is very, very clever, and I'm going to take a guess here and assume that not many people are going to know why. He's making a reference to something written by Mary Stevenson:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could only see one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord, "You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?"

The Lord replied, "The years when you have only seen one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you."

But in this case, the blogger is saying God deserted the duck. Heh.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Facts about Sex

Sexsomnia is the term US scientists use for people who perform sexual activities unconciously during sleep. The spectrum ranges from masturbation to sexual intercourse - in the event that the sexsomnia patient comes across a partner. About 80 percent of the sexsomnia cases occur with men.

The more orgasms you have, the older you get.

In Japan you can get something called Kokigami, which is the description for an origami sculpture made out of paper - usually an animal or mythical creature - that is worn over the penis.

Porno star Lisa Sparxxx has a world record in a very unusual category. In 2004 she had sex with 919 men in the space of a day.

A study of 300 pairs revealed that men who smoke have half as much sex as men who don't.

In another study, 54 percent of people say they have had sex at their work place.

A study of men from five countries revealed that the time between when the penis penetrates the vagina and ejaculation varies extremely: anything between 30 seconds and 44 minutes.

Sexual intercourse takes place about 2778 times around the world every 5 seconds.

Human sperm has more than 30 ingredients. These include fructose, ascorbic acid, cholesterol, citric acid, nitrogen, vitamin B12 and a whole lot of salt and enzymes.

The "Italian method" refers to when a woman removes a condom from a penis with her mouth.

The country where the most oral sex is performed is Austria.

Men have the biggest penises out of all primates. Chimpanzees have the largest testicles.

Women who wear 7-inch heels have a more intensive climax, according to a researcher at the University of Verona.

The biggest orgy ever in recent history took place in 1974 at a rock concert in Los Angeles, where 262 couples had sex.

Men have about nine erections during a night's sleep - regardless of what they dream.

Amercians have the most sex, at 132 times a year.

Lots more here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Like millions of other people in the United States, and all over the world, I watched the Presidential Inauguration today. I'm at work, and streamed a live feed from CNN. I was fortunate enough to load it up well before 10:00 AM, and it's a good thing I did: Other people who tried to stream it right at noon found themselves waiting in a queue because of the sheer number of people trying to watch.

I really don't have much to say about the inauguration itself. It was nice. Barack gave a good speech. Now we all just need to wait and see if he's actually going to be able to do all the things he's promised he's going to do. This is the same thing that happens with any new president. I'm not trying to play down the significance of his taking office, I'm simply being realistic. No politician is ever able to fulfill all of their promises.

Anyway, what I found unique about CNN's live stream is their little partnership with Facebook that they had going on. When you were streaming the live video, you had a little pane to the right of the screen with scrolling text. It was very similar to Twitter, if you're familiar with that "mini-blogging" service. This pane was literally scrolling constantly as people were leaving comments. Anyone could sign up and post, and have their comment scroll by for a few seconds before being replaced by the next person's comments.

While that seems neat, I couldn't help but wonder how they were filtering the comments. Because, I mean come on now, when you open up something like that to anybody, you're going to have a whole bunch of people leaving comments that are inappropriate. Did they have a computer with a database of filthy words, and any comments containing those world were nuked before they were posted on the site for millions of people to see? Or did they have a monkey sitting there deleting any that where deemed inappropriate?

The comments appeared so that the user's name appeared first and their comment followed after so it was in a format like this:

"Linda is so excited."

I would assume the user typed in "is so excited" to get their comment to appear that way, and that's what a majority of the people were doing. Of course some were a bit slow at this whole Twittering thing and didn't make their comment appear as an action. Noobs.

In any case, the Filthy-Word-Nuking-Computer or the Delete-Bad-Post-Monkey (whichever CNN decided to go with) seemed to work pretty well. For the most part. I'm sitting there watching the video and casually looking at the comments scrolling by:

"John is watching the video while working."
"Sanchez is glad he's not out in the bitter cold."
"Tyrone is masterbating."

I guess they didn't think to input misspelled filthy words into the computer. (Or the monkey was on a banana break.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I love a challenge, and life is full of challenges. This morning's challenge: Driving to work after a heavy snow, with a half-icy, half wet road. That may not seem like much of a challenge, but allow me to make it more challenging! The road crews here are actually quite good at their job most of the time, and the roads were heavily salted this morning. As a result, I was constantly needing to use the trusty windshield cleaner button. Until I ran out of fluid half-way through my drive, requiring me to basically drive blind with nothing but a thick white coating of salt in front of me. But wait! Let me make this even MORE challenging. It would actually have been quite possible for me to see through the thick layer of salt on my windshield. Except it had stopped snowing and there wasn't a single cloud in the sky anymore. Nice BRIGHT sunny day, yessiree.

Do you know how fucking hard it is to see through a salt encrusted windshield with the sun beaming down on it? It's not even remotely possible. I'm shocked I didn't drive off a bridge.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Seems like I'm having a knack for finding modern references to classic literature this week. Here we see that EA is developing a game based off of Dante's Divine Comedy, most notably Inferno. The trailer does not impress me, but I will take into consideration that its a teaser trailer and the game is probably not very far into development at this point in time.

Regardless, Inferno is one of my favorite books of all time and I'm excited about the possibility of a game that will allow me to fight my way through the nine circles of Hell. This isn't a new idea, of course (Doom, Painkiller, Dungeons and Dragons, the list goes on), but this is the first time someone is saying, "This is Dante's Inferno." rather than making up their own storyline using his premise of battling your way through Hell.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

This comic strip took me by surprise. (It's Mother Goose and Grimm, if you're wondering.)

I'm surprised by this strip because it's referencing a very classic, but very obscure and largely unknown, piece of literature: "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. It just doesn't seem like something a comic strip would choose to parody, since I am guessing a vast majority of the people who read the strip won't have a clue what it means. I notice, however, that the cartoonist spelled it "Grey", which is not how the book spelled it.

If you know the novel, color me impressed.

The plot of the book was very controversial at the time, and some people would find it controversial still today. Let's examine the main elements here:

The main theme of the story is hedonism. This is the philosophy that pleasure is of ultimate importance.
It was controversial when the novel was published in 1890 because the world was transitioning from Romanticism to Modernism. But even today, the subject would still cause debate. Anyone who follows this philosophy in full would care about nothing except themselves. This, naturally, goes against most religions and also goes against most "moral codes" that human beings have established for themselves. It's generally accepted that a selfish person is not a good person.

The other theme of the story is homosexuality. This was controversial then, and I don't even need to explain how it's still controversial today. Unless you've been living under a rock, you should be fully aware of what's been happening in the world in regards to the gay rights movement and the opinion of homosexuals in general.

The homosexual references in the novel are quite subtle, but they're there. Both Basil and Henry are infatuated with Dorian because of his beauty. And it's suggested several times throughout the story that Dorian's relationship with the men in his life goes beyond that of platonic.

The book itself is considered a classic. As such, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. I love it because Wilde chose a very controversial subject (homosexuality), and combined it with a movement that he pioneered (the Decadence transition to Modernism). He then dropped it into a Gothic horror story. It's very well done.

I hate it because it's one of many such stories where a man's homosexual tendencies leads to his destruction, thus further fueling the damaging stereotyping of homosexuals.

Friday, January 02, 2009

My attempts at writing a new story have come to an unexpected end. It started out great. Then suddenly the two main characters were having sex.

Obviously I need to handle my own frustrations before I can continue writing. LOL.


Holy smokes.  The last post I wrote for this blog was on October 18, 2017.  Through the little more than  two years since, this blog has be...