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"How badly were the terms when you broke away from your father?"
"Shots were fired."
Source: Sheperd and Miranda, Mass Effect 2

I have to say, ME2 has some very warm writing in it. The humor runs a pretty wide spectrum and it doesn't feel forced; instead, it adds quite well to the characters. The voice acting helps a lot, the returning VAs clearly got into character very well and enjoyed their work.
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Spoilers ahead! Commence primary ignition.... )All that being said... I liked the film, it was visually gorgeous, the starship was as awesome as I thought it would be, the mechanical designs rocked SO hard, the CGI was seamless, the motion work and body language for the Na'vi was amazing, and while the story was not deep, the conceptual choices just needed some minor -- but again significant -- changes to make it that much better. Even without those changes, however, it was a gorgeous film that I really enjoyed. =)
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A Merry Christmas, wonderful holidays, and happy new year to everyone. =)
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I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! (At least those who celebrate it!)

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A battle not worth telling....

.net down!

Oct. 15th, 2009 12:43 am
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Oh, AT&T, why must you mock me so?

Posted via


Jul. 25th, 2009 12:38 pm
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Memories of my time working for $COMPANY's retail!

That is something like how it was dealing with customers at the Staten Island store....
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Every so often, there is a scent, or a texture, or a feeling... and it combines with the right temperature, humidity, pressure, movement of the air... and maybe the right frame of mind. And in that moment when all those factors come together, a memory comes from the back of your mind that you had forgotten about, and it rushes forward with such force that for a moment it blots out where you are and even when you are.

Today, I was wandering around the Theater Arts building, looking for computers. This is a tiresome, but not awful, task, which basically involves wandering around a place until you stumble upon a computer that you know is on the network -- the inventory system sees it and says it's up, you can ping it, you can even smell it, but it's not to be found either where the asset database says it is, nor where it might possibly reasonably be, like on top of someone's desk. So you have to wander around a nearly-empty building (empty because it's the summer session, which works out well since you're not stumbling into an active class in the cadaver room or the musical therapy class) until you come upon something that you hadn't expected and there's the chance that the computer is there. (Like the nearly fully-furnished apartment that serves as one person's office, but that's for another time.)

I opened a door and beyond was the stage... and an instant later I was struck by that moment of clarity. It took me back, way back, and I remembered high school dramas that I haven't been in some fifteen years now.

Grease. The classic, and such a change from the religious plays we did in grade school. Bye Bye Birdie. I got back onto the stage after coming to loathe it in grade school, and I enjoyed the lights again. The Fantasticks. That one was my favorite. Such a beautiful, simple, and sweet story. Our Town. My gods, that was sooooo depressing; Marvin the Paranoid Android would have given up after the first act.

And then the moment ended, and I closed the door to the stage, and resumed my search, fifteen years later, for a computer that was somewhere in the building.

In September my contract ends. I have no idea what work I'll have then. The placement agency wants to find me a fulltime gig for a variety of reasons. I hope between them and I there's some sort of fulltime work to be had.
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Cut for a spoiler -- but if you see the clip, it won't be a spoiler, now will it? )

I've so got to make an icon of that last second or so....
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Okay, folks. I need to find some straight-up, no-BS, direct information here. No sugar-coated, not made gentler, not padded with 'maybe nots' or 'unlikelies;' but also not doom-n-gloom, or apocalyptic meanderings, or such. Essentially, not looking for opinions; hard facts and numbers. Not only for myself, but for all of us.

Are we going into a new Great Depression?

Basically, what is the economic outlook for the next five years? More of the same? Getting better? Getting worse? I really don't know, and I don't know whose word to trust right now. Much of what I'm hearing has been dishearteningly silent on where the economy is going, or outright doomish.

So I'm trying to get a better sense of what we're up against and what we can expect, and what little financially insignificant individuals like myself can do to brace for the theoretical storm. More to the point, if there is such a storm about to whack us all.

Thanks in advance.
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Oh... my... gods....

This... this is gonna be worth watching.
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Helen Arellanes of Los Angeles was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in September 2007 and later left her job to go on disability. She takes five medications for pain, including Lyrica and Cymbalta.

"I call it my fibromyalgia fog, because I'm so medicated I go through the day feeling like I'm not really there," Arellanes said. "But if for some reason I miss a dose of medication, I'm in so much pain."

A single mother of three, Arellanes sometimes struggles to afford all her medications. She said she is grateful that a local Pfizer sales representative occasionally gives her free samples of Lyrica "to carry me through the month."

This was in this article which discusses how drug companies might be trying to push treatments for a not-quite-real illness called fibromalygia.

On the one hand, it's good to know that a rep for even a company like Pfizer can help out the folks who are struggling. On the other hand, this sounds creepily like what a street dealer would be doing.

I'm all for letting drug companies make a profit on life-saving and quality-of-life-enabling medicine, but sometimes the companies just strike me as being far more predatory than we should be allowing in society. I dunno, maybe that's just me. What thoughts do you have?
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Some time ago, a study was made of the personalities of the leading executives of several major corporations. It was found that their personalities closely match those of sociopaths. Wether you believe in the scientific rigor of the study or not, it does raise some interesting questions. The main one I'd like to hear from folks is this:

Do you feel that sociopath-like behavior is necessarily a preferred attribute, or should be a tolerated attribute, or should be a thoroughly undesired attribute, in the persons of executives of corporations? Is that mindset or personality type desired in the person of a corporate executive, when the corporation in question is either "too big to fail" or whose actions can dramatically affect the economy of the nation and the globe?

EDIT: Let's see if this poll code works....
EDIT2: For the sake of this discussion, we will use the definition of sociopathy being a deprecated term for 'antisocial personality disorder,' which according to DSM-IV is diagnosed by "a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood." Possibly a little vague, but there are further definable symptoms (not repeated here for brevity and to avoid copyright issues. In particular, the Hare PCL-R Factor 1 schedule gives what most psychiatrists consider to be the symptoms of sociopathy.)
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Banks give America the bird.

I hope someone out there -- besides these CEOs -- are glad that the banks got this money. Because right now I could chew through beryllium steel. What an arrogant industry!

Once again, any industry that can crush our economy, and then have the gall to tell us to go screw ourselves when we ask what they're doing with our money, deserves to be regulated to within an inch of their profit margins.

More CEOs need to be cold-cocked in their company gyms, apparently. I'd really like it if someone made these institutions, you know, a little more responsible to the people they're sucking money from.
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You've probably never heard of him, you probably don't know his music, but Ronald Kenkees is a pretty good musician. Actually, I don't care if he looks a little funny or talks a little funny or whatever. This is pretty good electronica, and more than that? He's having the time of his life doing it and you can hear it in his playing. Enjoy =)

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Sometimes I wish the US Congress was more like this. I'd be getting cable just to watch C-SPAN!


Dec. 4th, 2008 06:33 pm
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And almost as an aside: I've finally found employment, as an IT consultant. I will know more soon when I meet with my (new) boss as to what pay, benefits, etc. will be.

This... is a great, great relief.
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Lately, CCP, the makers of EVE Online, have been doing an ad campaign for their new expansion (QUantum Rise) as well as trying to drum up new subscriptions.

I liked EVE when I played it, for the most part. It was interesting and different, and it had some good things about it. (You can read one of my earlier comments about EVE Online here.) But I've noticed something about their big events and what frustrates me about them: I never got a chance to see any of this in the game. The current event is this massive invasion of Gallente space by an Amaari faction, with thousands of ships jumping in and having at it.

Very cool, even if they didn't use thousands of ships in the game, but it's still something I would have loved to have taken part in. But for players, really, the only options were: Find a corp. Actually, make that option. All this stuff going on really didn't mean anything; you had to join a major corp, and frankly, the choices for doing that were 'bad' and 'worse.' Plus add in a completely explitable and laissez-faire in-game economy and, well. Yeah, nothing to recommend it for me. =)

I'm actually looking forward to Star Trek Online, to see how that will be. Though it will probably be, at best bland, and at worst either dumbed down to an incredible degree or filled with PvPers. I don't know how, but they'll find a way.
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... is there something that we should know about?

(For those who do not know the Wom, or the Horror that is Funky, check here.
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Fanfics -- wait, what? )

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