Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Refill Eraser

So, my brother recently found some ancient box for an eraser in his room while he was cleaning. Neither of us is sure what year it comes from. The styling is certainly retro (retro in my mind. I was born in the eighties). The instructions on the side, since this eraser is meant for a mechanical pencil of a kind, are just hilarious. Definitely some tongue-in-cheek humor to be had. So, without further adieu, here are aforementioned instructions:

How to refill eraser:

  1. 1. Twist barrel to expose eraser stem.
  2. 2. Pull out remaining eraser.
  3. 3. Put tapered end of refill eraser into cup and gently twist to ensure tight fit.
  4. 4. Twist eraser back into barrel.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

WPCA - Junkie

The parody of intelligence keeps talking. I watch him blather on and on about something I'm in no way interested in. His mouth is moving, but my ears hear the Charlie Brown "wah wah wah" of "Adultspeak." Testing what little patience I have, I know that much. Doesn't help that he's talking in some badly formed accent that I just couldn't give a damn about -- telling me all sorts of things. Bits of wisdom designed to illuminated the dark recesses of my mind. Give me purpose. I have a purpose, and I don't need some jacked up idiot in a pinstripe to tell me what it is. Gimme the gun, I'll get the job done.

He laughs. His flunkies laugh. I throw up a basilica of deferent contempt, with teeth glaring in a half grimaced-smile of polite hatred. Get on with it. And then, as if the God of all gods answers my prayers and grants a miracle,-

"-so, here-," he says, and I'm paying attention now as a ginger-haired boy tosses up a case on a table and flicks the tabs so the top can flip open. He swivels it in my direction and my eyes gloss over it, drink it in. Yes, I think as my saliva glands begin to equate what's in front of me to a steak. Blabber-mouth continues his little song-and-dance- "-it is. Fine piece of military hardware. But you only get it 'cause we want-"

"-I know what you want," I say cutting him off and flashing the picture of the man on some steps with his wife and two kids. "Family job. Done deal. Just gimme the goods and it's a done deal."

He shrugs, laughs -- the flunkies laugh with him.

"What's a man to do? Okay, it's all yours. Have fun."

He knows when to take his exit. Makes it stage right, taking his bunch of groupies with him. I'm cackling in my head at this point, eying up the hardware. Biotech enhances, top grade. It's like a black mans spinning rims. Pimp your ride? Son, how about we pimp that body of yours and turn it into the kind of lethal weapon that make action movies so good?

It's a bunch of hypodermic needles -- long ones. Stab 'em in all over. Three for my spine alone. Gonna have to find somebody to do that one. Maybe I shouldn't have sent Carl away so fast. Could've gotten one of his floosie puppets to do it, before I broke his neck. Time to get down to business. This is gonna hurt.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Journal Entry 01

While I was in Afghanistan, I made the shoddy attempt to keep a journal. It lasted only so long before my mind wandered to a point where I just didn't care enough to keep one anymore. That and I find I can't organize my thoughts enough when writing on paper or my wrist gives out and I just don't want to write anymore. It's why I love a keyboard -- can write for hours. But, anyway, without further adieu, here is the first entry in my journal.

27 February 2008.

I got into Afghanistan sometime around 2300 on the 26 of February. We were pulled out of the Herc's and piled onto a long stream of buses that wheeled out onto the tarmac to pick us up. Never seen buses done up in gaudy orange or purple until now. Even though it's late, it's hot, like the summer. I can see all our kit being offloaded from the pallets onto trucks that follow us. Eventually we stop. I'm not even sure where we are at the moment. Turns out it's the 'New Canada House.'

There was the usual jug-fuck outside the New Canada House -- people scrambling for their kit as it's tossed off the pallets that were offloaded from the truck or confused or wondering where it was we're going to be sleeping. Briefings followed like they always do, attempting to illuminate the dark recesses of our minds with knowledge, but some French-Canadian is talking. His accent is horrible and I end up tuning out. Didn't matter anyway -- all I ever have to do is play 'Monkey See, Monkey Do' or 'Follow the Leader' and all turns out fine.

The filling out of paperwork follows. Hand in ID cards and passports; make sure PEN forms are up-to-date. The usual dogshit points the average soldier doesn't care about. Eventually, some time about 0200, people finally go to ground. Long few hours and I have to be up for more bullshit tomorrow...

...only my tomorrow is still today.

My sister's birthday. Called home, but she's at work. I leave a message with my mom wishing her well and that I made it over fine. Don't know when I'll get to call again.

What followed that day was the issue of essential (camelbak) and non-essential (TAC vest) kit. I don't know why I'm being issued the exact same crappy vest that I was issued in Canada except in Arid CADPAT. What a waste of money. I now have three issued vest, all of them junk and a fourth rig I bought myself because I know it works.

That night around 1900 or 2000 we do a "zeroing" rage. Shot pretty good with my back-up iron sight. Got an excellent grouping -- no complaints. Go back to the shacks to get some rack time. Sleep is important, and tomorrow is just more problems.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Forum Dueling Basics - Judging Focus

There's a lot of talk about where the focus should lie within dueling for the purpose of judging. What criteria should play into it; that is, should it be on the writing or the actual actions -- i.e.: the fighting -- of the match? While I won't dispute that the writing carries those actions forward, molds them into something useful, readable and enjoyable, I think the attacks should be the focus. After all, it is a duel, so in turn, you're judging more in turn the attack, and also the defense, of the post itself. The writing plays a part, but in its essence acts only as a mode of transportation to the attack or defense, a means of getting itself off the ground. It is therefore secondary.

The two, while combined, need to be separated. The attack/defense, built out of words, and while being as flimsy or strong as the words they're constructed from, should be considered their own identity. They are more the bread and butter of a duel than the writing itself is. Basically, I consider the attack/defense to be like a house. The words are the structure that put it together while the attack/defense is the stunning architecture. When a person sees a house, they don't rip down the walls to look at the structure; no, they grade the house on its overall appearance and other little nuances that it has. Its character, if you will. This is how it should be with attack/defense scenarios in duels. Grade the attack/defense of the post first, then look at the structure that makes it up if you felt the whole thing needs a renovation.

Now, while I'm saying that the writing plays a secondary role in dueling, I'm not saying to ignore all the different watchwords when it comes to writing in general, such as creativity, expression, flow, dynamism and the usual bludgeoning tool of grammar and spelling. You should very well pay attention to these as most people will consider your writing quality of higher precedence than that of your attacks. What I am saying is that the focus shouldn't be so hung up on the writing itself for a duel match, and more centralized about the fighting. After all, it's called a duel for a reason. Why not wake up to that reality and judge the actual fight, eh?

Just my two cents.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Knowing Your Religious Overtones

So, I went saw a moving last night. What movie? Knowing was the title of it. If you don't want massive spoilers (probably already too late due to the title of this post), then I wouldn't suggest reading onward.

Anyway, the movie opens up in 1959 to the grand opening of an elementary school. A young girl had suggested a time capsule for the class and to open it fifty years later. In a rather disturbing turn of events, the child, Lucinda, begins jotting down numbers after the class had been told to draw pictures to be placed in envelopes that would in turn be placed in the time capsule. Well, before Lucinda can even finish this long string of numbers, the paper is taken from her and placed in the time capsule. She then disappears and is later found in a closet under the gym of the school with bloody fingers after having scratched another bunch of numbers into the door. Very disturbing start to the movie, but it does set it up for what will happen later.

Fast forward fifty years and you find the main protagonist, John, as played by Nicolas Cage. He is a widower after his wife died in a fire in a hotal she was staying at in Phoenix and the father of an only son. As it so happens, John's son also attends the school that Lucinda had, and on the fiftieth anniversary of the school being opened, they open the time capsule and hand out the sealed envelopes to all the children of Calib's (John's son) class. In a very "random" turn of events, Calib obtains the letter full of numbers as done up by Lucinda. I'll fast forward a bit more, but turns out these numbers all depict the dates, number of people, latitude and longitude of a number of disasters that killed numerous people.

Crazy. Little girl predicts tons of deaths at a young age. Certainly brings up a point as argued in the movie about two theories: determinism (which states that everything was already predetermined and happens for a reason) or randomism (in which shit just happens). Well, the movie strikes out to say everything is already predetermined. In fact, there's a point later in the movie where those religious overtones come into play. Lucinda had died, tragic, I know, but in her rickety, old trailer home out in butt-fuck no-where, there is a picture of God descending to earth out of the clouds with heralds coming before him next to spinning orbs. Well, this plays into the end of the movie.

Now, there are a bunch of weird guys, kinda pale, like albinos, following Calib about. Kinda makes the movie seem suspenseful, if not a tad weird and disturbing. Now, I'm just going to jump to the end (mind you I'm omitting enough parts as is). Those strange stalkers? Yeah, they're heralds. Actually they're aliens here to save people. The world is going to end, and a number of people, all children, are chosen to be saved. ET phoned home, and he's bringing friends. Nevermind that John is the son of a paster. At this point the religious overtones start really picking up. The children are whisked away off planet in these glowing objects that resemble spear heads. The children are deposited on a world that has grass that looks like seaweed, and standing in the middle of a plain is a big, sparkling tree. Wow!

Tree of life, chosen taken away at the end of the world. Sound much like the Bible to you? It does me. Aliens as angels, taking the chosen away to a safe place that resembles an idea of what heaven could be straight down to a rendition of the tree of life. Crazy! The movie on the overall was good, I just was not expecting the kind of religious overtones that were in the movie. I can't wait to see what kind of response this movie gets, especially from the heavily religious crowd. The complaints should be real, real good.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dominion - Target

The dense foliage was penetrated by the advanced sensors of the armored exo-suit the reptilian creature wore as it slunk through the underbrush in pursuit of her target. A holographic heads up display was displayed just over the creatures irises giving graphical representations of all functions and programs running. A radar signature was pinging away in a circle with a directional location. Moving west, Southwest. The world became morphing into a Technicolor dreamscape of wire models for a moment while rendering engines showed the body of her target glowing eerily. A half kilometer distant, but five hundred meters wasn't far. The Baajin kept her feet under her as she began to sprint, branches and thick leaves slapping aways the blackened, formfitting exo-suit.

She closed the distance fast, rounding trees. She attempted silence, but knew that the speed she was moving at would mean he'd hear the thundering roar of snapped branches and detritus from her passing. He might think it local animal life. It wouldn't matter, though, because once she reached fifty meters distance from her target, still behind enough trees and brush as to be invisible to the eye, she whipped off a diskette attached to her right hip. The activation code was sent wirelessly as she flung it like a Frisbee. The anti-grav coils activated, causing the device to accelerate through the forest. At twenty-five meters from target, it activated the gravity-well effect. Combined with a field effect, things were grabbed from one direction and thrown into another. It would draw alongside her opponent, along with tons material in the form of trees and the like, burying her opponent and perforating him with splintered wood.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Winter Wans

Drip, drip, drop. The snow is melting. It cascades in small portions off a blue roof in an almost-spring. A spring that wants to be alive with the warmth of a sun hidden by layers of low overcast. The sky a turmoil of static, like the mishmash of TV white-noise. A slosh-thump is heard as more of the melting monstrosity that has long claimed the hidden vestibules of the blue metal roof collapses under its own slothful weight, slipping away and falling to the ground below. Streets beyond the transparent membrane that shields me from the bitter half-warmth of an almost-spring leads my eyes on. I see lakes draped over the road. Massive pools. A spawning ground for the dirt and filth of an accumulated winter.

Tread softly, young Brave: Winter Chocolate Bars abound in those filthy depths.

All is held by the wanning grip of winter. Thick, masses of snow, wet and vengeful, glare. Some still white, other parts marred by the dirt of rocks that had been left on the road like unwanted trash the entire season. Fog lies low, as in wait, seething, as if it waits for a time to come down the slopes of the mountain and claim the land before it. A chopper can be heard, rotors shuddering through the air. The sound brings with it memories of a place hot and dry, but the image is of cold and wet. They collide like wrestlers, mashing at each other with fists. The cold one wins as the sound fades to nothing.

The sky begins to lighten as the sun breaks through. A moment where light washes through the window. I fly a moment, a second, an instant before it is taken by the foreboding skies as a school bell tolls the end of recess across a yard, a stave of trees and a field of snow. The hope of the light ends with it and I am back where I began, wondering what I have wondered, and thinking: where to next?