Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's a countdown, not a final one, though.

It's official. In 3 months, I will... Officially, be in a land down unda. And for 3 months I'll be traveling in a fried combie, on a hippie trail head full of zombie. There, I'll meet a strange (but pretty) lady. I may be nervous, but she'll take me in and give me breakfast. And I'll say...

You know the rest.

Will I be saving babies from dingoes? Will I be going beyond thunderdome? Will I be putting shrimps on BarBees? I know for a fact that I'll be going to an Outback Steakhouse. If only for the Bloomin' Onion.

Oh, and I'll be with the woman I love, but that's neither here nor there...

Aussie Fries!!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Can you tell me how to get...

Imagine this. 1966. You're at a dinner party, someone comes up to you and a few others, and asks you to find ways to, "master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them". Two years of research and funding, you develop the Children's Television Workshop. A year later, after settling upon a name they like the least, Sesame Street airs on November 10th, 1969.

Author Malcolm Gladwell has said,
"Sesame Street was built around a single, breakthrough insight: that if you can hold the attention of children, you can educate them."
Believe it or not, boys and girls. There was a time, and there were people in this time, whose primary focus was the betterment of our children.

Sesame Street was a blur for me as a kid, but I do recall key moments. Not necessarily of the show, but moments that impacted me. The death of Mr. Hooper was one. As a kid, I understood the difference between reality and fantasy. So it didn't make sense that they would kill off someone on Sesame Street. But when I learned (don't ask me how) that the actor Will Lee actually died, and that they killed of the character of Mr. Hooper as well in the show to teach kids about death. I got my first lesson of art imitating life.

And that was one of the brilliant aspects about Sesame Street. There willingness to push the envelope, not just in learning, but teaching. Teaching kids about death, about siblings and how being the older one you're more responsible, learning about interesting jobs (there's a part of me that still wants to drive a bus!!!), and learning about the world around us. Not many shows can claim the impact that Sesame Street has had/has, and not any can claim they have done so with Muppets.

Besides The Muppet Show, of course.

Forty years later, what can be said? The show is going on strong. This year they'll be focusing on nature, and Cookie Monster has gotten over the whole "he doesn't eat cookies, anymore" controversy. And I couldn't be more ecstatic that I can still show my children a place on television where learning hasn't been dumbed down to colossally retarded levels, and that the show can be brought to them by the letters F and U.

So, may we still have sunny days, may we continue to keep sweepin' the clouds away. May kids continue to be wowed, wondered, and welcomed on the way to where the air is sweet.

Please folks, tell them and others how to get to Sesame Street.

No google mapping it! Lazy bastards.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

133 Days, and counting...

There are days people have in their lives, that seem like the slate has gone clean. That their life is ready to restart no matter where they are in their current situation.

I've felt like that on few occasions. In 1997, I switched my major in college from Fine Arts, to Films. It felt like I began a new avenue in my life, and even though I invested time and effort in my previous endeavor, I knew that that choice was the right one for me.

Years later, I look back on that decision and see how right I was.

Two and a half years ago, I fell in love with a woman. She quickly became my world and every day since has been my love.

We had every advantage that two people in love have and neglect. I made my damnedest effort to never take for granted what we have. We're blessed with all this, and are half a world apart.

That is until 12 days ago. When the love of my life, was in my arms. And two and a half years of being apart disappeared, and a new day started.

Going into how amazing everything has been would seem like the standard fanfare for any couple.

Yes, everything was awesome, yes we gave each other long-loving looks. We went places, we did things, and above all we were together.

But not one thing felt new. I felt like I've been doing this with my girl since the day I met her. And I realized, it's true.

I'm on the phone/comp/vid with her like 5-8 hours a day. I talk to her throughout the entire day, wherever she goes, I hear about it, and I feel like I'm there. Wherever I go, likewise.

I have loved my girl, more and more, each and every day. And 12 days ago, I continued to love her more and more.

Only now, it feels like the sun shines on something new. It's not our love, cause our love is the same; stronger, if anything, but the same passion. The thing that's new seems to be something that I felt on the last day she was here.

We were in tears. The both of us throughout the day. If I looked at her a certain way, she would tear up. If I looked at the side of the bed she was laying on, I would tear up.

Almost 3 years of loving this woman, and the thing that I'm finding joy and sadness in is how much I miss her.

I now miss doing things with her. The mundane, the special event, the just sitting around.

I miss my girl, with all my heart. And I'm filled with such joy that I could miss someone so much.

My new day has begun. And it starts with me not wanting to ever be apart from my girl ever again.

In 133 days, her and I get that much closer to making it a fact.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Did You Do Today?

...Oh, nothing much. Just discovered the FIRST rocky planet outside our solar system!

Wish you could say that, no? Likewise.

But it is confirmed. Scientists have confirmed today the first "Earthlike" planet outside our solar system.

I use the term "Earthlike" loosely. It is to say that it has a similar composition as Earth, but its environment is pretty much what would've happened if Sauron would've gotten his ring back. Very Mordorish what with the proximity to the star it encircles. A year there is less than a day here.

But it's only one side that gets the devil's ass crack treatment. The planet itself doesn't revolve on its axis. So one side is always facing the star. Making it a molten landscape on the day side, and Hoth fucking cold on the other, with a chance of ice on the night side.

What makes this planet so puzzling to astronomers is that they never expected to find a rocky planet so close to a star.

They discovered CoRoT-7b (named after the satellite that discovered it which; believe it or not, was sent up to discover rocky planets) last year, but it took them this long to determine the make and model of the planet which is about 5 times Earth's mass and under twice as large in circumference.

At least 42 scientists at 17 institutions on three different continents worked on the project.

Which has lend credence to the joke, how many scientists in how many places does it take to determine the composition of a newly found planet?

Granted it's not a really funny joke. But what do you want from them?

Back off, man! They're scientists.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"And In The End, The Love You Take, Is Equal To The Love...

...You Make."

This is the last lyric, on the last album The Beatles recorded ("Let It Be" was the last album released, but it was recorded earlier).

It is also the last song you get to play on The Beatles Rock Band game. For those of you not in the know, Rock Band has released a Beatles version of their rhythm based video games.

You would think with the saturation of Guitar Hero iterations and two Rock Band games that this would just be another installment to add to a gamer's library.

You would be stupid.

I typically don't blog about video games, if you glance to your right in this blog, you'll notice that I do enjoy video games, and I'm quite fond of a few of them (Fallout 3 is one of the best games I've ever played). But I rarely, if ever, blog about them.

That's why I am exceptionally excited about talking about The Beatles Rock Band.

Now saying that I'm a Beatles fan is saying that I own their music, appreciate the band for their influence in everything, and groove to them whenever a song of theirs happens to come on.

But this game has made me a much greater fan of The Beatles themselves. A fan of Ringo's drums, of Harrison's guitar, and Lennon and McCartney's singing and songwriting.

The story of the game takes on a linear progression as you play as the Fab Four throughout their stellar career. From their start in England.

The Ed Sullivan Show.

Their studio sessions.

And even their rooftop performance at 3 Savile Row.

Just playing as the Fab 4 in these environments would be awesome on its own. The songs that were made for each venue plays as a music video, taken from the actual performances. You're not the 5th Beatle. You're Paul, or George, or John, or Ringo (by the way, Ringo is probably the hardest to play in the game, his drums are awesome).

But what about the studio sessions? Would it not be boring just seeing 4 guys sitting around playing great music? It might be. It's why they opted to take each of their songs and you, for an amazing ride for the senses.

Here Comes The Sun? It sure as hell does.
I've played rhythm games before, and I found myself messing up on The Beatles version, not because the songs were difficult to play. But because I was so caught up in what I was watching that I took my eyes off the track. I could just sit and watch someone play the songs to see the cinematic awesomeness that went into the game. Check out the awesome videos for yourself.

The Beatles Rock Band is a game that truly takes you on that magical mystery tour. Along the way, you grow with The Beatles in song and experience. You're almost left saddened by the fact that a band as impactful as The Beatles will more than likely never grace us again within our lifetime.

And as depressing as that might seem. A faint horn will sound, an electric guitar will strum in the distance, a band will come into harmony, and you'll remember. You can come and join Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band any time you wish.

The Beatles flashed bright and strong for a decade. To this day, their star hasn't lost any of its luster. I was lucky enough to take notice of them early on as a kid. With the release of this game, I've come to find a new appreciation for the music that these lads from Liverpool graced us with.

I hope that the game will introduce a new generation to incredibly well made music. In fact, I was playing last night, and I heard my cousin today singing a line from "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds".

It's a start, no?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Don't Want To Be An American Idiot. At Least, Not One More.

"In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards."
- Mark Twain.
I thank my parents for few things in my life. But the most important one I attribute completely to them is my education. My folks made education a priority in my life. So much so, that they worked themselves hard so that they would keep me in good schools while I was growing up.

It may have thrown them off when I chose to write fiction and draw comic book heroes as a kid as opposed to studying to be a doctor. But as I got older, I believe they noticed something that they thought I missed out on. They noticed that their son was intelligent.

Now, it may come off as conceited, but in all honesty, I value my education, and I'm completely humbled by all that I have still to learn.

Even in high school, I enjoyed my intelligence, it made me a bit of a smart ass, but regardless, I was fond of learning. And what I didn't know, I went to learn it on my own.

So when I hear that President Obama wanted to give a speech to the kids of America about education, my reaction was, "Rock on! Kids are stupid today, and I missed out on hearing Reagan, Bush, and Clinton's speech back in high school."

But my joy lasted about two mouse clicks. And I begin to read that there is opposition to Obama's speech to children.

*At this time, the author of this blog would like to convey that at that moment, he would've liked to have opened his window, take out his megaphone, set it to moron mode, so that morons are the only ones who can hear it, and in a hearty and clear voice, exclaims, "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?"*

Now, I'm not one for politicians, and as much as I am a fan of Obama, he is a politician, and as Plato once said,

"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."
So I started to read Obama's speech, to see if those who oppose this speech have any leg to stand on. You remember Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump? You remember when he got his legs blown off? And for like half the movie he had no legs, but at the end he gets "magic legs"?

Yeah, they don't even have those "magic legs" to stand on.

The speech, for those not in the know, is an incredibly well written, articulate, and poignant speech on the responsibility students have to their own education.

Anyone else who thinks otherwise has checked their brain at the door to life.

And as appalled as I was, I was letting it slide. I was chocking it up to yet another thing the assholes who occupy this country have against a democratic president.

But I started to realize something. Obama has been doing the same thing. He's been giving, and trying, and working with the opposition to come to a plane of understanding so that both parties can push forward. A lot of folks attribute him to Lincoln for his stance.

And as this thinking mulled over in my mind, the next day, the president gives a speech on health care reform to Congress. Things were going fine, then the Republican politician for South Carolina, Joe Wilson acts like a complete and utter asshole.

Joe Wilson seems to have a penchant for putting his foot so far down his mouth that he uses his ass as a leg warmer.

In 2002, when discussing weapons of mass destruction, Bob Filner pointed out that the US provided Iraq with biological and chemical weapons technology in the 1980s, Wilson falsely claimed that it was "made up" and commented to Filner "This hatred of America by some people is just outrageous. And you need to get over that." Wilson apologized for his remarks in statements to the press.

In 2003, Essie Mae Washington-Williams revealed that she was the illegitimate daughter of Wilson's former employer, the late Senator Strom Thurmond. Good Ol' Wilson was among those who publicly doubted her claim. Wilson said even if her story was true, she should not have revealed it because "it's a smear" on Thurmond's image and was a way to "diminish" Thurmond's legacy. After Thurmond's family acknowledged the truth of Washington-Williams' revelation, Wilson apologized but said that he still thought that she should not have revealed that Thurmond was her father.

Fast forward to yesterday. During Obama's speech, Wilson bellows out, "You lie." He of course apologizes the next day, not of his own accord, but because his party asked him to.

Now presidents are no strangers, to booing or hissing or even the occasional shoe (though that guy kinda deserved it). But an out and out "You lie." Inexcusable, especially from someone who sits in Congress.

Obama has accepted his apology, being the bigger man.

I, for one, am tired of him having to constantly be the bigger man. And I'm also tired of making excuses for those who are against Obama.

These people don't hate on him cause of his views. They hate on him cause he's Black.

There, I said it. And I can give a rat's ass who wants to give me their two cents on why that may not be the case.

Ignorant sons of bitches look at the color of his skin and no further. They call him a socialist, Un-American, and even a terrorist (really?).

But you know what they're really saying?

Nigger! Nigger! Nigger!

"Oh, no." You might say. "That's such a terrible word, they're not saying that."

You're right, it's a terrible word. So they're changing the meanings of other words. Words that don't mean "nigger" in the definition, but they're sure as hell implying it.

It's sickening. I tried to overlook that fact. I assumed since we got a Black guy as president, that it means we as a country have finally gone color blind, at least a little.

I fooled myself with the ideal that we could grow. That we could see what a man with intelligence would do if he was the leader of this country.

Even those that have made the comparison of Obama to Lincoln can't say that it's not a bit racist. Making the comparison to a guy who freed the slaves because he's Black? Come on.

I like to think that it was Lincoln's partisan policies that people like to make the comparison. But I know I'm lying to myself. At least about the majority.

Well, if the comparison is going to be made. May I say, President Obama, it's time to stop reaching over the table to shake their hand. In the words of Lincoln.

"If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
The gloves need to come off. You are the President of The United States. You have shown the world, now show your people.

(And by your people I mean the American people, not... You know...)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

September 3rd, 1976

The Viking 2 mission was part of the Viking program to Mars, and consisted of an orbiter and a lander essentially identical to that of the Viking 1 mission. The Viking 2 lander operated on the surface for 1,281 Mars days and was turned off on 11 April1980 when its batteries failed. The orbiter worked until 25 July 1978, returning almost 16,000 images in 706 orbits around Mars.

The craft was launched on September 9, 1975. Following launch using a Titan/Centaur launch vehicle and a 333 day cruise to Mars, the Viking 2 Orbiter began returning global images of Mars prior to orbit insertion. The orbiter was inserted into a 1500 x 33,000 km, 24.6 h Mars orbit on August 7, 1976 and trimmed to a 27.3 h site certification orbit with a periapsis of 1499 km and an inclination of 55.2 degrees on 9 August. Imaging of candidate sites was begun and the landing site was selected based on these pictures and the images returned by the Viking 1 Orbiter. The lander separated from the orbiter on September 3, 1976 at 22:37:50 UT and landed at Utopia Planitia.

The lander and its aeroshell separated from the orbiter on 3 September 19:39:59 UT. At the time of separation, the lander was orbiting at about 4 km/s. After separation, rockets fired to begin lander deorbit. After a few hours, at about 300 km attitude, the lander was reoriented for entry. The aeroshell with its ablative heat shield slowed the craft as it plunged through the atmosphere.

The Viking 2 Lander touched down about 200 km west of the crater Mie in Utopia Planitia at 48.269° N 225.990° W at an altitude of 4.23 km relative to a reference ellipsoid with an equatorial radius of 3397.2 km and a flattening of 0.0105 (47.967°N, 225.737° W planetographic) at 22:58:20 UT (9:49:05 a.m. local Mars time).

And it took this picture.

This rocky panoramic scene is the second picture of the Martian surface that was taken by Viking Lander 2 shortly after touchdown on September 3 at 3:58 PM PDT (Earth received time). The site is on a northern plain of Mars, at about 48 N. Lat., 226 W. Long., known as Utopia Planitia.

The Viking 2 lander operated on the surface for 1281 sols and was turned off on April 11, 1980 when its batteries failed.

Also, on September 3rd @ 8:14am, I was born.

To share a day with something that has captivated me my entire life is truly an honor and humbling.

Mark Twain believed that his life was tied to Halley's Comet. He said,

It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: "Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together."

Mr. Clemens, to take a page out of your book, and take it the one step further that I am sure you wish you could've gone were it not for being born too soon in history.

I was born the day this picture was taken. The universe and all of its wonders have since inspired me my whole life in everything I do. It only stands to reason (if it only stands as reason to me) that I will make the journey to Mars, and I will come to rest on Utopia Planitia.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A galaxy far, far away

Space, it's huge. That is an understatement. If you were to take a pebble from a beach once every hundred years, until that beach is empty. That would give you some kind of idea of the vastness of all the stars that fill the sky.

The Hubble is the most sophisticated telescope man has ever built. With it we have seen such beautiful images that we otherwise could have never seen from Earth. So in 2004, some astronomers found it a bit odd that for eleven days they were going to point the Hubble to a patch of space that had nothing in it. Completely black. Or so we thought. The video below is what became of that image we took.

You feel small? Did you question your existence? Did you see the last galaxy? The object that is 10,000 galaxies away, the furthest thing that we have ever seen, that is traveling faster than the speed of light?

That existed thirteen billion years ago? That's right, that galaxy is no longer there, at least not in that position of space, it was there thirteen billion years ago. It took the light from that part of the universe thirteen billion years to reach Earth. Light, that we assumed wasn't there when we looked at that part of space.

How wrong we are about so many, many things. We fumble, we stumble, we confuse, and destroy.

But sometimes, just sometimes. We get things awesomely right.

Here's to humanity. May its successes outweigh its misfortunes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jeff, the Food Dude SF visits The Sandwich Place

A local SF blogger has taken it upon himself to go out and taste the great cuisine of our fair city. Oh, and he's brought a camera along for fun.

Well apparently he stumbled across my grandmother's deli, The Sandwich Place.

Much love to Jeff for putting out a great video, and check out the rest of this guy's voyage into local culinary delights over at his site. Food Dude SF

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20th 1969... 40 years later.

When the Eagle landed on the moon, I was speechless -- overwhelmed, like most of the world. Couldn't say a word. I think all I said was, "Wow! Jeez!" Not exactly immortal. Well, I was nothing if not human.

- Walter Cronkite R.I.P.

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

Forty years ago today, those words were uttered. Not here on Earth. But by a man named Neil Armstrong, about 238,857 miles away on The Moon.

Little that we do as a species can culminate in the positive column for the advancement of our species. Most everything we do if at all good is usually done as either an afterthought or as a result of a consequence that needed to be rectified.

Some say that the moon landing was a selfish act of a government trying to distract a nation from it's problems. Well, I say they're cynics and, hey look! There's a puppy you can go kick.

Us, and I do mean the human race, breaking through the pull of Earth's gravity to reach our closest celestial neighbor was at the very least an astronomical feat.

It shows what we can do if we truly come together and make a valiant effort.

As a species we can be such a destructive force when we don't put our best foot forward and utilize the albeit rare quality of humanity that we so proudly claim to have. But it's on those rarest occasions when we dust off our humanity and shine brighter than the stars we strive to reach, it's those times that keep my faith in us resolute.

Forty years later, we are on our way back to The Moon. A new mission, a renewed hope.

Before we asked the question "Can we?"

Today, thanks to our dreams and ambitions, we can answer truthfully, "Of course we should."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Back! And I have brought you nothing but this post.

For the last 5 months (give or take), I haven't had the opportunity to write, due to my grandfather being out of commission. I have had to wake up at 4:30am every day. Which cut into my writing time which is the evenings until around 4am. I rarely get a chance to write during the day due to errands and whatnot, so night was all I had. That was, of course up until 5 months ago.

Now the kicker was, that I couldn't for the life of me change my sleeping schedule, which again, is around 4am, and I tried everything short of drugs to go to sleep earlier, the best I could do was 3. So on the average, for 6 days out of the week, I got an hour's worth of sleep at night. The turn around was that I was able to come back home around 8am, and from there I slept in to about 11am if I was lucky. That precious 3 hours was all I had to keep me going through the day, that and large amounts of caffeine (which I'm currently detoxing myself from).

Needless to say, I felt like the walking dead. My brain was fried, and the little I did write drained and sickened me.

That is up until last week. When I finally got my groove back. Man, how I missed sleep, but more to the point, how I missed having my nights back for my creative juices to flow. And man are they flowing.

So stay tuned folks, the man is back, and he is full of piss and vinegar. They say it's a medical condition and I'm taking pills for it.

But I also plan to write my ass off. So stick around for that as opposed to my other juices that flow.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And now, a bedtime story...

“The Major and Connie’s big day”


Americo Alvarenga

Connie always thinks there are two birds. He assumes that there must be more than one bird chirping away at the morning sun. As he opens one eye, he believes that this time he’s going to see two birds outside the window, that there can be no way in this great, wide world that one animal, as small as that bird, could possibly make that amount of noise. He opens his second eye. Connie is wrong.

Connie leans up on his front paws and stretches his hind legs. He shakes his body from head to tail, tossing off the night’s lingering sleep. The sound of his dog tags rustles up the only other living thing in the small cabin. He smacks his lips as a heavy, calloused hand lands on his head.

“Morning Connie,” says the Major. “Today’s a big day.” Connie acknowledges the Major’s sentiments as he does every morning with a nod of his head.

The Major is a small, elderly man. No one would assume that this is the man that is echoed in all the pictures around the cabin. Pictures of a tall man in uniform. Some have him holding rifles; others have him pointing away toward distant wherevers. And then there are others, very few, but definitely in places of notice, where it’s a beautiful woman that he grasps.

Connie has never seen any of these images. Connie is a dog and can’t see in two dimensions. The Major has described each one to Connie in depth throughout the years, so Connie could point out each image and describe to you in as much detail and with as much emotion as the Major could, with only the shape of the image to go by. Connie is a self-proclaimed “part wild dog”. He believes that at least one of his ancestors was a wolf. He teases the Major each day about him running off into the wild. A game they both enjoy three meals a day. This breakfast is no different.

The Major takes their breakfast to the porch. They’d eat their bacon, eggs, and toast in the kitchen, there’s plenty of room. But with the view of the lake, the sun rising in the East, and the dew simmering off the trees and cabins in the distance, why would you eat inside? The Major sets Connie’s food on the floor next to him as the Major pulls a folded wooden TV tray in front of him. As Connie licks his lips from the grease too soon gone from his plate, and the Major lights his pipe, they look out into the distance as Connie asks the Major, the question.

“Would you miss me, Major?
If I left this morn’?
Would you miss me Major?
Will you be so torn?
I could run out into the misty woods,
Follow the trail and be at play,
Take it till I think it should,
This feels like it could be the day.”

The Major smiles and replies.

“I’d miss you Connie,
I’d miss you true,
You can’t leave Connie,
There’s still much to do.
‘Sides there’s nothing really worth while,
Beyond those pesky trees,
And why tire yourself with all those miles?
You’re better off with me.”

Connie smiles and says, “Maybe later then, Major. Later will be my day.”

The day rolls along, and the next thing you know, it’s lunch time. The Major works his tongs across the outside grill as the smoke rises off the sausages he’s cooking up. Stuffed between a couple of sourdough rolls and plated, The Major and Connie sit down to lunch. They watch as the lake host’s traffic to rowboats, paddle boats, canoes, and the such. The Major waits tentatively to the pending question.

“Would you miss me, Major?
If I left you soon?
Would you miss me, Major?
If I took off this noon?
I could swim out to a boat,
I could meet a new friend.
They would no doubt, on me, dote.
They’d carry my means to my end.”

The Major puffs on his pipe.

“I’d miss you Connie,
Don’t go over there.
Why leave me Connie?
I’m sure they don’t care.
Sure they’d pet you and feed you,
You’re a dog, a cute one at that,
But at the end of the day, they’d leave you.
And that my good friend, would be that.”

Connie smiles as he sees the smoke from the Major’s pipe circle in the air, “Maybe later then, Major. Later will be my day.”

The sun begins to set, as it does every day. The stars begin to poke through the veil of the evening sky. In the distance, the lights of cabins begin to turn on sporadically. At first one, then another, at one point four turned on at the same time. Connie can still taste the smoked fish that the Major seared to perfection earlier in the evening. On cue, Connie begs, but not in the way dogs normally do.

“Would you miss me, Major?
If I stole into the night?
Would you miss me, Major?
Would you put up a fight?
The lights call to me,
And not just those of man,
The stars in heaven whisper to me,
Come visit faraway lands.”

Connie sees the smoke of the Major’s pipe, and waits for his witty reply. But Connie, to his surprise, gets a bit of ash on his nose. He shakes it off, and looks up to the Major. He notices something different in the Major’s eyes. They’re looking off into the distant, but not off into the horizon. The Major seems to have traveled off in his gaze to some place that Connie has at some time or another described to the Major with such detail and emotion that it seems the Major has beat Connie to him. Connie moves up along side of the Major, putting his head on his lap. The Major’s hand, still calloused, but now cold, on Connie’s brow. Connie stares off, trying to see where the Major may have gone off too. He smiles.

“Tomorrow then, Major. Tomorrow will be my day.”

The End

Sunday, June 07, 2009

My nephew, Julian.

You know what's great about being an uncle?  It's getting to be one to another kid.  I've got two nephews.  My brother could go his whole life giving me the coolest gadgets or doodads for my birthday/Christmas/Uncle's Day (there should be one), but nothing would ever compare to making me an uncle.

It's all the fun of being with a kid who's related to you but none of the responsibilities.

I hope to return the favor some day soon.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Comic geekdom, per the usual...

It's Comic draft time over at Kevin Smith's message board, and of course, instead of working, I write up a story for my draft picks.  Enjoy...

Shot Thru.pdf

Monday, May 04, 2009

Twitter, and why it's my girlfriend's fault.

So I just joined twitter.  Something I was never gonna do.  I didn't see the need for those to know about everything I do every minute.  I had a blog, that I update (on the odd occasion, granted), and I figure if folks wanna know what I'm doing, then they can just call me.

But my girl changed that.  See, she usually posts on the regular on a message board that we both frequent.

But as of late, she hasn't.  Mainly because when she's at work it's easier for her to twitter on her phone than it is for her to post on that board.  Today, I checked out her twitter, and realized how much I miss seeing her posts.

So I joined.  I'm *shrugs* twittering.  I may find this enjoyable.  I may not.  But I do it, cause I love my girl.

So you wanna follow my tweets?  They're probably game/movie/look pretty tree related.

If that's your thing, I feel for you.  And enjoy.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Out damn spot.

We all know Jupiter.

More importantly, we all know that beautiful red spot.  It's an ancient storm about the size of three Earths that's been swirling about for the last three hundred years.

Winds go up to 400 miles per hour, and scientists have no idea what sustains it, what caused it, or why it's even red (cause there are times it isn't).

Well, between 1996 and 2006, the Giant Red Spot has lost 15 percent of its diameter.

It is expected that the it will become circular by around 2040.

Jupiter's atmosphere is an amazing tapestry of bands and circles and swirls that consistently moves, you never see the same Jupiter twice.

It's a shame to think that at one point this defining feature of Jupiter's will be gone, and that our study of it may never be clear.

In the meantime, we are witness to a great many wonders on our world, and luckily, we get to witness this on another world as well.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Everyone should carry a purple crayon.

As a kid, I remember reading the classics.  The fairy tales, tales of adventure, the usual.  Oddly enough, I skipped a lot of "kids" books, I was always looking for the older material.

In doing so, I missed some books, some books that should never have been missed.  God bless my girl and her child-like heart.  She bought "Harold and the Purple Crayon" for her niece.  I read it today, and I was blown away.

It's a straightforward concept, a four-year-old boy who has the ability to create his own little world with his purple crayon.  And create he does.

What's great about the story is that at no time does the character ever betray himself.  He's a four-year-old, and sure enough, he acts like one.  You feel part of Harold's world as he creates it.  You want to go where he goes, and you want it to be over when he does.

The genius of Crockett Johnson's book is in its simplicity.  He conveys so much, all with just a purple crayon.  And it's in that minimalistic setting that the story grows leaps and bounds, just like a four-year-old would if you gave him a crayon and the world as his canvas.

If you never read the book, do your childhood a favor, and go read it.  Then go read it to a kid.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Jim Lee stole my Sharpie... And that's the rest of that story.

Well, technically he didn't steal it, but I let him use it and continue to use it when I walked away.

This weekend was WonderCon, and I usually go all three days, but this time I only went on Friday.  And it was a great freaking day.  Got a chance to chop it up with Jim Lee, Brian Azzarello, and Mike Mignola for a bit.  Also got some great insight on hand drawn effects VS 3D effects (fyi hand drawn effects rules over 3D software any day).

On a down note, Paul Harvey passed away this past week.  Paul Harvey was an ABC radio broadcaster for as long as I could remember.  He had these segments on his broadcast called "The Rest of the Story."

They were factual stories on any number of subjects, but always ending with a twist ending.  I recall specifically one where the U.S. government was planning on releasing a 3 dollar bill, and on face of the bill, Santa Claus.

My dad used to love listening to Paul Harvey, and the one story my dad told me he heard was one that has stuck with me since I was a kid.

It was about a classroom in a very reputable university, the room was packed, because apparently the teacher who was going to teach the writing class was very famous.

The teacher comes into the room, and the room goes silent.  He steps to the podium and says, "How many of you in here want to be writers?"

The whole class rose their hands.  He looks around and says to them,

"Then what the hell are you doing in here?"  The teacher leaves the classroom.

My dad couldn't recall who it was.

Still, a great story nonetheless, and at the end of the day, what more could you ask for?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

R.I.P. Celestia Valverde

Well my great aunt died this morning.

I've been taking her to dialysis three days a week for about 5 years. She was a mean old broad, been an evil person all her life. As a little girl she used to hide food from her younger sisters. She disowned her only son, and she constantly accused us of robbing her.

And as mean of a bitch as she was, she was still family, and we looked out for her, cause that's what families do. And now she's no longer in pain. At the very least she's got peace, finally, in her life.

Last thing she said to me was when I offered to buy her some food (she wouldn't pay for her own food) yesterday, to which she replied, "Fine, but don't buy me anything disgusting."

lol R.I.P. you mean ol' broad. I'll miss ya.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have A Dream...

"America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked, 'insufficient funds'." - Martin Luther King

On January 20th, 2009, at 12pm EST.  America makes good on a small portion of that check.

I haven't posted since last month, so many things have happened in my sweet 'country 'tis of thee.'

And I have thought long and hard about what I've wanted to say about our President-elect, life (they found methane on Mars, that's possible life people!), work (writing a new script), and my love (Hi Ruth).

Truth is, as  a writer, I can convey to you all how I feel about all these things (oh yeah, they fucking killed Batman!  Assholes!).

But I just can't seem to find a place to start.  I'm living this world, this monumental moment, and I didn't want to spoil it with convoluted words.

Do you feel it?  Do you feel the new world?  Say what you will, America sets the standard.  And for the last 40 years, we have been substandard.  Sure we're innovative (I think we built a rocket that destroys everything and in it's wake it actually drills a pipeline and staffs it with friends of Dick Cheney), but our innovation comes with a high price.  One that's been too high for too long.

The world we live in is at a brink, we have no time left.  We either make it as a species or we go down the tubes.

But this Tuesday, this day of inauguration for Barack Obama.  It truly feels like a step in the right direction.

I have always been wary of politicians.  I still am in fact.  And a politician that gives me hope is ironically scarier to me than the typical run of the mill.

Because a man who carries the torch of hope is a man I will follow, and I am not one to do the following.  But a man worthy enough to unite this country, to stand for righteousness and the common good of the people.   I will be proud and honored to serve at the pleasure of that President.

And I feel in my heart that President Barack Obama is that Commander in Chief.

Martin Luther King Jr.  We take one real step closer to our dream.