As Jesse would say….

I'm Back

 

I know, I know.  It has been way too long.

I have been a little busy over the last year and really just didn’t have a real desire to come back and write…anything…anywhere.

But after a year that has brought about a new job, a new living arrangement and the fun that is “The Beetus”, I guess it was just time to come back.

I will be starting to post frequently once again so stay tuned.

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London 2012 Opening Ceremonies: What I learned while watching without sound.

Unless you are living under a rock I am sure that you are aware that the Opening Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics were yesterday. I was at a party last night so while we had the Opening Ceremonies on the television I couldn’t hear anything that was actually going on. I am pretty sure that the show that was put on was supposed to be all about England but without volume I can’t be sure. Since my history on the UK is a bit rusty, I had to try to piece together what I was seeing. If you watched last night, am I close to what you saw?

In the beginning all of Britain was just like the Shire: full of Hobbits, everything was peaceful and everyone played cricket.

But the British Hobbits were not those peaceful little guys you remember from the books or movies.  The Men of The Shire were not treated as equals and the Hobbits never allowed them to play in their days long games of cricket.  That was until the day that one man found a mystical and gigantic bell that would solve all their problems.

The bell was rung and its powerful magic called forth Abraham Lincoln.

But Abe was not alone. This bell had the ability to clone The Great Emancipator and brought many copies…and they had a plan. They met at The Party Tree where the OG Abe relayed the story of the sufferings of all the Abes that came before him at the hands of the English Hobbits to his brethren. Abe preached that they were to break their chains and use their power to call forth the Armies of the Dark One to lay waste to The Shire.

And after their evil incantations an army of Zombies arose from the Party Tree and descended on The Shire.

The Zombies quickly overrun all of Britain and the reign of the Hobbits was ended.  Those few Hobbits that remained were forced into slavery and were made to labor in the lava flows from Mordor to start bringing in the Industrial Age of Man.

The city of Isengard (now known as London) slowly rose from the ruined shell that was once The Shire.  The rise of this new and powerful city drew the attention of Lidless Eye of Sauron from the east.

Aware that his power in the realm of Britain was on the verge of being challenged by the Zombie and their evil Wizard master, Sauron forged 5 more rings of power for his new Ringwraiths.

Armed with their new Rings of Power, the Ringwraiths descended on Isengard with their warcry of “SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS”

The Powerful Wizard of Isengard and these Ringwraiths battled for days.

The unleashing of their magic energies could be seen from miles around.

But as suddenly as the battle had begun…it was over.  There was no sign of the Evil Wizard of those hideous Ringwraiths.  The evil seemed to have left this corner of the world.  The few Hobbits that remained came out from their hiding and the grand celebration began with a chorus of happy little drummers.

The celebration came to a close with a parade of the champions from every corner of the globe.

So did I get all that right?  If my memory of my old history classes didn’t fail me…I am probably spot on.

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DC Derecho Aftermath: Quit bitching about your power

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How had most of us gone through our lives and never heard the term “derecho” before? Friday’s storm was insane. I had never seen a storm of that intensity and I will admit that I was pretty freaked out while it was going on.

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Over a million people had their power knocked out. Damage was so widespread that there are a lot of people still without power four days later. With the temperature hovering around the 100 degree mark during the duration, it really does suck for some people out there.

While it blows to not have power, I am getting pissed at these assholes all over any and all newscasts that are demanding their power be restored yesterday. It is as if every channel is going out of their way to find the frumpiest housewives in the area to loudly complain about their respective power company. It is as if they think all it takes is someone from the power company to flip a switch and everything will just turn back on.

It doesn’t work that way. These crews are busting their collectives asses to get power restored.

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It takes these crews a long time, in sweltering and dangerous conditions, to get these repairs done. For example, right down the road from my place there is a stretch of road that was really hit hard. It looks like King Kong burst through the trees and demolished a whole stretch of power lines. (It is this stretch of road where a young guy was killed when one of those trees landed on his car on Friday night.) There have been at least 3 repair crews working on this one area, nonstop, since Saturday morning. They were still there when I drove by there about an hour ago.

3 crews working on 1 block for over 3 days. Consider that more than half of the Metro area had their power knocked out. Now try to figure out the manpower it will take to completely restore power to the region. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the numbers. I am pretty sure there isn’t this fleet of cherry picker trucks and an army of technicians to man them that are just lying about waiting for a storm like this one.

I keep hearing people complaining about how unprepared the power companies were for this disaster. It isn’t like this was a hurricane where we have 3 to 5 days to prepare for the brunt of the storm. This was a hurricane force storm that developed mere hours before it raged through our neighborhoods. There was nothing they could have done to brace for this.

But as I sit here watching the news it is still nothing but people complaining about the power companies doing nothing. Even though, in Northern Virginia alone, more than 400,000 of the initial 470,000 people without power are back on the grid.

People should be treating these guys fixing their power like the residents of Colorado Springs are treating their fire fighters. Bring them drinks and snacks if they are in your neighborhood, shake their hands and say thank you.

But please, if a news crew from a local TV station is in your face, quit bitching about your “ineffective” power company.

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News of the day: In the summer it gets hot outside

I know it is hard to believe but it really does get hot outside during the summer months.  It seems like 4 or 5 times a day I see that someone posts a picture on Facebook of their car’s thermometer with numbers exceeding 100 degrees.  Guess what gang, this isn’t news to us.  We know it is fucking hot outside.  Unless you are posting this for that one friend that is on some scientific expedition in the Arctic Circle it is not news to anyone.

We all get it.

It’s hotter than a crackhead’s crackpipe out there.

Your car is not 2 miles closer to the sun than everyone else.  The only way I will give a shit about the inside of your car breaking the century mark is if it’s the middle of January and you are driving through the Yukon.  You see, that would be interesting and newsworthy.  But it isn’t when it is the last week of June and you live below the god damn Mason-Dixon line.

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Game of Thrones: Disappointment is Coming!

First, let me start off by saying that I am a fan of both the books and the HBO Series.

The books are second to none when it comes to political intrigue and “WTF moments” in a fantasy setting. And being the nerd that I am, I love a fantasy setting. Granted, each book could be two to three hundred pages shorter if Martin didn’t find it necessary to go into the minutia of what every single character is wearing or eating. I honestly could not possibly care less about every single item of clothing or what is on the buffet table and I don’t think it adds to the story in the slightest. I am pretty sure that you could shave off a year or more of the wait between books if George would just relax a bit on his descriptive diarrhea.

And the TV series is, in my opinion, one of the most perfectly cast adaptations that I have ever seen. Almost every single character is exactly how I pictured in my head while reading. Every set and scene is brilliantly shot and depicted. And just about every actor is delivering their roles flawlessly (the only characters I really have any issues with are Craster and The Hound, but I just think that is because his role has been poorly written and directed and is not the fault of the actor…so far.)

That being said, With last week’s episode, “A Man Without Honor”, we have reached the halfway point of Season 2 and I have to admit that I am disappointed in this season so far. I think that my frustration with this show is entirely based on having read the books before watching. I know that the credits say that the show is “based on” the books but did they have to go with “so loosely based on the books to almost be unrecognizable”? The Dragons get stolen? Really?

I realize that the writers have to cut and/or condense scenes and I have no problem with that, when it fits. For example, the capture of Arya, Gendry and Hotpie by the Lannisters actually works. They pretty much nailed all the key points of 3 “Arya” chapters into one scene. It does leave a bit of the “Arya is a badass” out of the story. But really, does anyone watching the show not think she is freakin’ awesome? So leaving out that bit of the story does nothing to hurt the series.

My problem lies in all the scenes and stories that they are adding to the show or just flat-out changing. This last episode alone had maybe two scenes that were actually in the books. And the whole second season has been like this. I already mentioned the part about the dragons but there are so many others:

  1. Jon Snow and Ygritte –  I can’t help but wonder if this was changed so that Jon will remain heroic and not have to “turncoat” like he does in the book.
  2. Stannis and Melisandre – Pretty much the entire character of Stannis and the “relationship” with Melisandre. There is no way Mr. Holier-than-thou Baratheon is bangin’ that red bitch (even though she is pretty damned hot).
  3. Yarra - The name change of Asha, to Yarra, cause we are just too stupid to tell the difference between Osha and Asha.
  4. Jojen and Meera - I love these two characters and not having them there to educate Bran irks me. Using Osha to embody both of these characters really left a bad taste in my mouth.
  5. Talisa Maegyr - Is this supposed to be Jeyne Westerling? They are setting up this character like it is but if so why did they change the name? I can almost understand the Asha/Yarra change but this one makes no sense. And if she is supposed to be the character of Jeyne then even establishing her on the show doesn’t make sense to me. When she shows up in the books it is a surprise to both Catelyn and the reader and has such far-reaching implications that changing her entrance into the series doesn’t make much sense. I think they should have played up on the betrothal of Robb to one of the Frey girls this season instead. Then, when Jeyne/Talisa shows up out of the blue it would be a surprise to the viewer like it was to the reader.
  6. Qarth - Pretty much every scene dealing with Dany in Qarth is fabrication by the screenwriters. The way things are going in Qarth I am wondering if significant portions of Dany’s story will go untold. Will they leave out the characters of Arstan Whitebeard and Strong Belwas? Will the trip to Astapor and acquisition of The Unsullied not be on the show? It has to be though, doesn’t it? I mean, Astapor is where “Beggar Queen” Dany becomes “Oh No you, didn’t!” Dany.
  7. Harrenhal - Like Qarth, almost every scene so far hasn’t been anywhere near the story in the book. Jaqen H’ghar’s part was rushed and felt nowhere near the badssitude that it did when I was glued to the pages. (Oh and by the way, the recasting of The Mountain is distracting. The actor from Season 1 was perfect. This new Gregor does not have that same menacing feel to his look. Just looks like some tall and skinny dude in armor.) Where is Vargo Hoat and The Bloody Mummers? Gonna be a few pretty important scenes with those guys down the line a bit, just ask The Kingslayer. While all the scenes with Arya and Tywin are great it bothers me that they just didn’t happen like that on the written page. And speaking of Arya…her mantra (Joffrey, The Hound, Gregor, Amory, The Tickler, Polliver, Chiswyck, Weese, Ilyn, Meryn Traunt, Cersei, Dunsen and Raff the Sweetling) should be prominently featured at least once or more per episode and yet I have only heard it once. It is part of what made her my favorite character and hearing those names slowly, one by one, being removed from that list is a highlight of the books for me.

The series is still really good but I sometimes wish that I had not read the books and that I was just watching this show with fresh eyes. But then I see the confused look on Deb’s face every Sunday night before I hit pause so that I can explain all the narative lost on those that watch without the knowledge gained from reading the books. I really hope people who watch the show have someone sitting there with them to fill in all those blanks.

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Lethal Weapon: From Superbadassery to Batshit Crazy

Recently, while nursing a hangover and not really wanting to move from the couch, I was channel surfing and came across Lethal Weaponjust as it was beginning.  I had not watched this classic in years.  So I dug deeper into the couch and settled in for an enjoyable two hours of one of my favorite movies of all time.  it is just one of those movies that everyone loves, Deb even came in and watched it from beginning to end with me.

One thing that really hit me while watching was how much the years have not been kind to Riggs and Mr. Joshua.
 
Both of these guys were believable as the super tough, kung-fu fighting, ex-military bad ass mofos.  Their fight scene at the end of the movie is still one of the best and realistic ever filmed.
But how did those two tough guys turn into these two guys?
It is sad what time and the loss of brain cells has done to these two.  If I was forced, back in the 80s,  to pick which of the two stars of Lethal Weapon would go on to be a whacked out nutjob I can tell you that Gibson would have lost out to Glover in a heartbeat.  And Busey is beyond crazy.  Sometimes his ramblings are so insane that I feel that he totters on the edge of genius…but then I see that blank look on his face and realize, “Nah, it is just crazy”.
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RIP MCA

M.C. for what I AM and do
the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true
so as pray and hope and the message is sent
and I AM living in the dreams that I have dreamt
because I’m down with the three the unstoppable three
me and Adam and D. were born to M.C.
and my body and soul and mind are pure
not polluted or diluted or damaged beyond cure
just lyrics from I to you recited
arrested, bailed but cuffed and indicted
enter the arena as I take center stage
the lights set low and the night has come of age
take the microphone in hand as that I am a professional
speak my knowledge to the crowd and the ed. is special
for I AM a bard but not the last one
I’m my own king and this is my castle
dwell in realms of now but vidi those of the past
seen a glimpse from ahead and I don’t think it’s gonna last
and you can bet your ass

You fought for your right to party…now go be a legend.

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