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I miss you all

Posted May 10th, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

I haven’t forgotten you, and I haven’t been lazy.  I have missed two days.  It’s a first, I know.

I did see it coming.  I even warned you that it was coming.  It wasn’t planned, however.  We ventured north, to the lands of my elders, for family reunion, mother’s day, multiple birthdays, and something called Cemetery Working.  Cemetery Working involves a pot-luck lunch… in a cemetery.  In a covered room with one and half open walls and a dirt floor… in a cemetery.  I’ve done it every year for most of my life.

We spent the night at my parents house.  I was unable to get on their wifi.  They forgot the key, and I didn’t feel like fixing the problem.  It was honestly a nice excuse to take a break from the internet.  And from writing.

I didn’t sleep well.  I’m not saying the one thing has anything to do with the other.  In statistics, we were taught to always remember that correlation does not imply causation.  I’m just saying… we were also taught not to ignore correlation.

Last night I was tired.  And the streak was broken anyway, so I made it a very early night.

I didn’t sleep well.

So hi, how are you?  I decided to write a bit tonight.  Maybe I’ll sleep.

In related news, the site is about to go live.  A few last minute things were done by yours truly this evening, and tomorrow I will cut Tron and Joe loose on the site to do some test posting.  I’ve decided to go ahead and go live with a few minor things missing, because I’m feeling a wave of inspiration and motivation and it’s time.  Delay is not an option.  Who needs a fully functioning Search tool anyway?  Just look around.

Be good to each other.

I will not be shamed

Posted May 7th, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

I was embarrassed today.

In my never ending quest to make myself and the world around me a slightly better place than it was yesterday, I feel that the only way to deal with this embarrassment is to share it with you.

I was walking down the aisle of our local HEB.  Actually, it’s one of two HEB’s near us, it’s slightly farther than the other one but it’s a little bit classier.  Wow, that sounds elitist.  I just mean that they have a better selection of products, a bit more variety, a better selection if you will.  They cater to the Riata crowd.  Which works for us, because Tara is a bit of a foodie.  I’m a foodie too, I’m just to lazy to do anything about it.  It’s a win-win scenario.  But I digress.

Tara was going to make tacos, and realized she had no ground beef.  Nor did she have regular beef which she could grind.  Which was cool, because we don’t have the grinder attachment for the KitchenAid mixer anyway.  Now, I realize that some of you out there might be vegetarians, but for us, tacos mean meat.  Tara will do the occasional fish taco.  I’m sure at some point I’ll eat a fish taco.  I’ve made a vow to eat every taco that Torchy’s offers, so I’m committed at some point.  The point is, Tacos Need Meat.

Which is how I got to the HEB.  Tacos need meat, I’m a hunter-gatherer, I was hunting and gathering 2 pounds of extra lean ground beef and what the hell let’s get some cilantro too.  Walking down the aisle, headed for the check yourself out line because I only had three items.  I walked right by an open Express Lane.  An empty open Express Lane.

At this point, I should probably interrupt the flow of the narrative to explain to you that I despise shopping in general, and grocery shopping in particular.  To make this endeavor somewhat bearable, I have taken to wearing what the kids today call an iPod and listening to music as I shop.  I’m happier, and the stupid and rude around me are in far less danger.  It does sometime give me tunnel vision.  Selah.

The girl at the register came and got me, and asked if I was ready to check out.  Yes, I heard her, I keep the volume low enough so that I can hear of someone talks to me.  I’m not a douchebag.  Are you?  That doesn’t always mean I’ll acknowledge you if you talk to me.  I can pretend I didn’t hear you.  She asked me what I was listening to.  And that’s when I got embarrassed.

I was listening to ICP.  That’s Insane Clown Posse.  I’m not proud of it, but there it is.

That’s not what actually embarrassed me.  But it is.  You see, I’m embarrassed that for a few seconds, I was embarrassed to admit what I was listening to.

I chose to listen to that music at that time.  It was not an accident.

Then again, it was ICP.  Some of you have no idea who ICP are.  I have no desire to explain it to you.  If you don’t know who they are, you would almost certainly hate it, and I would be the last person in the world to tell you you’re wrong.  I don’t like ICP.  I almost never listen to ICP… but I have two albums on my iPod because I knew that there would come a day when I would be in the mood for it.  They’re extremely ridiculous, but I’ve got a grudging respect for them.  They know their audience.  They know exactly what their audience wants, and they give it to them.  It’s not a big audience, but it’s a dedicated audience.  These people will not miss a show.  They will buy every album you release, even the crappy filler stuff.  They will buy shirts, and stickers, and they will love you.  They make stupid people happy.  And some days you just need to get a little stupid. And there’s something about a band that is working so hard to be the comic book figures that their fans want them to be.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not a juggalo, but it’s fun to pretend I am.  And now the albums will go back to being ignored and overlooked, occasionally popping in on a random shuffle.

And if someone wants to judge me for that, who the fuck are they and why should I care what they think?  Next week, I’m loading some fucking ABBA on there.  Deal with that.

What was the third item I had?  I’m not telling.  One hint, although I assure you it’s as close to no help as you can get and still technically be a hint.  Cars.

And now I must to bed, for tomorrow there is pot luck lunch in a cemetery.  And a cousin I haven’t seen in 7 or 8 years.  I’ll probably disappear at some point and write.

Be good to each other.

The Bell Curve

Posted May 6th, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

As we move through this life, we’ll experience good days, and we’ll experience bad days.  It’s inevitable.

If I learned anything in Graduate School, it’s that, given a large enough sample, almost everything we can measure in the human condition will be evenly distributed according to a very predictable pattern.  It’s called the Bell Curve, and it looks like this.

Borrowed from kumc.edu

The line straight up the middle is the mean.  That means average.  For whatever you’re measuring, 50% will be above that line, 50% will be below that line.  Look at the two lines on either side of the mean.  Those lines are 1 standard deviation from the mean.  About 68% of what you’re looking at will be within those two lines.  We can usually consider anything within 1 standard deviation to be average, or normal.  I hate the term normal though, so let’s say typical instead.

Look at the next two lines.  Those are two standard deviations from the mean.  Damn near everything falls within two standard deviations from the mean.  That’s about 96%.

And that leaves us with the last 4 percent.  We don’t even want to talk about being above or below average now.  Oh no.  Now you’re looking at freakishly outside the norm.

Hey Mick, how about an example?  You’re on.  Let’s talk male height in the USA.  The average male height is 5′10″.  Half of us are taller, half are shorter.  There’s a standard deviation of 3 inches.  So 68% of American males fall between 5′7″ and 6′1″.  96% of American men are between 5′4″ and 6′4″.  If we go up to 3 standard deviations, we find that only .015% of American men are 6′5″ or taller.

I tell you that so I can tell you this.  On a scale of suckitude, today is at least 3 standard deviations away from the mean.  Which is to say, today sucked.  Big time.

It’s not the worst day ever.  I’ve had worse days, just as I’ve seen men who were 7′ tall.  But just because you’ve seen a 7′ tall guy doesn’t make the 6′8″ guy any less tall.  you’re still going to see that guy and say “Damn, he’s tall”.

Note, I could have gone the other way and talked about freakishly small people.  It really would have been the same discussion, except for one thing.  I think really short people are awesome.  Given the choice, I’d rather hang out with a little person than a giant.  I realize that’s a rather insensitive comment, some might even call it size-ist, but it’s simply how I feel.  Little people are cool, tall people freak me out a bit.  But I digress.

SIDE NOTE:  All I can think about right now is the Dewey Cox song, Midget Man.

Today sucked.  That’s where I was going.  I’m trying very hard to maintain some perspective, which is something I have difficulty with on the best of days.  Today is not the best of days.

At this point, I could go down the list of all the things that sucked today, and you’d probably say Damn, that sucks! You’d be right.  That , however, would be less than productive, and not at all in keeping with the idea of “perspective”.  Instead, I’m going to count my blessings.

This goes against my nature.  By nature, I’m a cynical bastard.  I’m a pessimist.  I’m not a glass half full guy.  I’m not a glass half empty guy.  My glass is cracked and the other half of my liquid is going to slowly drain out onto the floor where it will stain the carpet and I’ll lose my deposit, and this is why we can’t have nice things.  Oh, and bite me.

Ooooops.  Angry Mick was starting to come out.  Everyone say hello to Angry Mick.  And then say goodbye.  He’s going back into his box.

My blessings.  First and foremost, I have a wonderful wife.  Actually, scratch that.  First and foremost, I have a wonderful friend and companion who shares my life, good and bad.  She happens to be my wife, but she was my friend and companion first.  No matter how bad today is or was, I know that I can go home tonight and she’ll be there.  That’s damn special. And she’s hot.

I’ve got a wonderful family, and I’ll get to see a good chunk of my family this weekend.  But that’s another story.  And oh what a story that will be.  There will be blogging.  Does anyone want to come with us?  We’ll be eating pot-luck lunch in a cemetery.  How many of you have ever done that?  I bet most of you have never eaten a meal in a cemetery, let alone pot luck.  I do it every year.

Every.  Year.

I’ve got another great family.  My in-laws are rather awesome in their own right.  I like them.

And I have great friends.

So my job is a bit sucky.  It’s just a job.  I have to stop taking it so hard.  I have to stop letting it affect me so much.  It’s. Just. A. Job.

And even though my job is a bit sucky, my supervisor is excellent.  Things could be worse.  How sad is it that sometimes that’s the best thing I can say to pull myself out of the dumps?  Things could be worse.  Could be worse… could be raining.a

And just like that, I feel a bit better.  A bit of counting the blessings, with a dash of pop culture goodness, makes most of the sad angry things vanish.  That’s a good thing.

To help you with your bad feelings, I offer a little Dewey Cox, recorded live in Austin Texas by the gang at Slackerwood.com.

Be good to each other.


A night with Naj

Posted May 6th, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

I spent the vast majority of my evening with Naj.

This was a good thing.  We haven’t been hanging nearly enough recently.  There are lots of reasons why we haven’t, but that doesn’t matter.  Sometimes you just have to make time.  Tonight, there was some website work that needed to be done.  It probably could have been handled over phone, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as satisfying, and it would have been far less fun.

The computer errors continue, but this time they weren’t mine.  Naj decided to add a Windows XP partition to his desktop system (he was still running Windows 2000) and the computer decided this was a good time to sufer a fatal error.  Still not sure what went wrong, as it was 8:30 and the computer store closed at 9.  He decided to buy a refurb system, so we ran down to the store, grabbed one, got it home, threw the data drive from his old machine into the new one, and got him back in business.  With Windows XP.

This was a major milestone, because you can’t load iTunes on Windows 2000.  Naj needs iTunes because he has had an iPhone for months and never registered it, backed it up, synched it, or updated the firmware.  It hasn’t been working properly the last few weeks, and he was pretty sure that was why.  We got it loaded, I showed him how iTunes works, and we got his phone backed up and updated.  Works like a dream now.  That’s good news.

CyberMonkeyDeathSquad is almost ready.  In fact, if everything goes as planned, it should go live this weekend.  There are one or two bugs to be worked out with the search functionality, and one more little page to code, and then it’s done.  Well, it’s done enough to go live.  I guess something like this is never “done”.  It really does look amazing, and Naj has busted his ass to improve on several things that the blog software does poorly.

We have almost all the content that we wanted to keep from the old site moved into the new site.  I say we, but I mean Tara.  She’s moved damn near 100% of it.  I probably wouldn’t have moved most of it.  I’d probably have been sorry for that later.  Tara saved me from the despair that would have ensued.  She’s good like that.  And now I’m going to go join her in sleepy-time world.

Be good to each other.

Frustration Station

Posted May 4th, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

I’m trying very hard not to let this day beat me.

Frustration is attacking from every side.  I’m trying to learn some new technology (Exchange Server 2010), and I’m a bit under the gun.  We have a marketing event in two weeks, and I have to give two presentations on it.  It’s a lot to learn, and so far there have been problems getting the book printed, I still don’t have a computer I can set up to work with the product, I need to switch to another book that I can’t get printed… it’s a comedy of errors.  I’d be laughing at it all, but I’m freaking out because I hate standing in front of a room full of people when I don’t really know what I’m talking about.

I’m also in no shape to deal with the stresses of this job today, because I’m going to the dentist today.  I fear the dentist.

I don’t actually fear the dentist.  He’s a nice enough fellow, he seems to be competent, and I’m pretty sure I could kick his ass if I needed to.  I fear dental work.  The level of fear that I feel is completely irrational, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.  Right now, it’s a general sense of dread and discomfort.  As the day progresses, it becomes stronger, better defined, and soon it will blossom into a full fledged terror.

I’m not a coward, you understand.  I’m going to go in spite of my terror.  I will man up, walk in, and submit to the needed procedures.  I might cry.  Not a full on cry with sounds and snot, just a few tears, spilling over my eyelid and silently rolling down my cheek.  I might break the chair.  Terror gives you super-human strength.

A former dentist was actually worried that I was going to punch him during a procedure.  I wasn’t going to do it, but then again, I wasn’t in full control of my faculties.

Those were my rambling thoughts this afternoon before I went to the dentist.  As I was sitting in the chair… the chair they had to move me to, because the first room didn’t have a hookup for the Nitrous, and I’m not letting them anywhere near me without the Nitrous… as I was sitting their, I realized one of the reasons I’m always more comfortable going to the dentist alone.  I prefer not to be seen when I’m in that state.  It’s a little embarrassing.

And yet I share it with you.  There is most likely fertile ground to explore here, but I recently subjected my teeth to all manner of indignity, and I’d just as soon lay down and read a book until I drift off to sleep.  Or I can take some more Tylenol.

Be good to each other.

This one will get Spammed.

Posted May 4th, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

I wish I had something deep and meaningful to discuss with you tonight.

Unfortunately for you, I was reading Reuters.com earlier.  Well, I wasn’t really reading Reuters, that’s a bit too “newsy” for me.  I was reading Reuters “Oddly Enough”, because the articles there are usually a bit more to my taste.  There’s some messed up stuff out there.  Tonight was no exception.

To my mother, and any members of my extended family who may stumble upon this, you might want to stop reading here.  You will not approve.

My family aren’t necessarily prudes, but they don’t always appreciate discussions of a penile nature.  And we’re about to talk about penises.  Then again, it’s really ok, because at least some of the penises are aboriginal in nature, and that’s the kind of thing you see in National Geographic magazine.  You will not, however, be seeing any penises in this article.

According to this story, published April 25, the Police Chief in Papua (that’s Papua the province of Indonesia, also known as West Papua, not to be confused with Papua New Guinea, which is right next door and a Papua of a different color) has decreed that henceforth, men who have had their penis enlarged will not be allowed to serve on the police force.

Why in the world would having a penis enlargement render you unfit for police service?  The unnatural size causes a “hindrance during training”.  That’s a quote from the original article, which was also evidently a quote from a police rep.

This frighten me, because it means that A) there is a penis enlargement method that works, and it works so well it stops you from serving on the police force and the military.  The military?  Did I forget to mention that this will also render you unfit for military service?  Sorry about that.  This (this being the penis enlargement) will render you unfit for military service.  But I digress.  It also means B) enough men are doing this, and doing it successfully, that they had to make a formal rule about it.  And C) there’s a working technique that makes your penis larger, evidently freakishly larger, and no one here seems to know about it.

Well, now I know about it.  You simply take the leaves from the “gatal-gatal” tree and wrap them around your johnson.  I can’t find much information on the “gatal-gatal” tree, but Reuters does kindlytranslate the word for me.  It means itchy.  So a Papuan man will rub something similar to poison ivy on his little Papua, which then swells from the allergic reaction.  And they call that “penis enlargement”.

Even my spam folder makes better promises than that.

Since this story is a bit old, I was able to find mentions of it on countless blogs and websites.  I like reading them, too, and finding how many of them screw the story up.  My favorite today was this one, where the writer took a filler paragraph that mentioned that Papua is not only Indonesia’s eastern-most province but it’s also home to many native Papuan’s, who occasionally wear penis gourds, and decide to merge it into the rest of the story, so that now the men are making the gourds from the “gatal-gatal” leaves.  Gourds aren’t made, they are grown.  Squash, pumpkins, zucchini… these are gourds.

LESSON:  Just because two things are in proximity to each other does not make them related.  Even if they both involve a penis.  Penis gourds and penis enlargement leaves are very different things, possibly used by different men.  Some men (let’s call them Group A) wear penis gourds for cultural reasons.  Some men (for continuity’s sake we’ll refer to them as Group B) rub leaves on their wieners to make them grow.  Group A is kinda cool.  Group B… kinda lame.

And right about now, if you’re anything like me, and you must be because you’ve hung around this long, you’re wondering what a penis gourd is anyway.  Lucky for you, I did the research.  This is a penis gourd.

The koteka, or penis gourd, is also known as a phallocrypt.  Sounds like something an anthropologist made up.  I like it.  Phallocrypt.  But I digress.  That, my friends, is a penis gourd.  It’s exactly what it looks like.  It’s a gourd that the Papauns shape as it grows.  Once it’s just as they want it, it’s plucked from the vine, and cleaned and dried.  The exact process is a mystery to me, although I recall my grandmother doing much the same thing.  Not for penis use, of course, I think she made bird houses and folk art from them.

Once the gourd is dry, it’s decorated, and a loop is added on to it.  The loop goes around the scrotum, to hold the koteka in place, covering the tallywhacker.  Many men will have multiple koteka, a smaller one for work, and a larger, more ornate one for social events.  I’m guessing the picture above is a dress koteka.

You can tell a man’s tribe by the angle of his koteka.  I wish that was a joke.  It’s true, though.  Different tribes wear the koteka differently, some angling up, some down, some to the side.

Is that a koteka in your pants, or are you just happy to see me.  I wish that was a better joke.  The koteka is not worn under pants.  It’s worn instead of pants.

I wouldn’t mind wearing one, but I want to line the inside of mine in silk.  I’m afraid the gourd might chafe.

Be good to each other.

The new quiz sensation

Posted May 2nd, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

Guess what I’m listening to right now.  It’s music, but what music?  Seriously, I want you to stop what you’re doing and think about it… What is Mick listening to right now?

Write down your guess in the following space.



Some of you are looking down here now, and that text box above you is empty.  I want you to think about it, and how it feels.  It exists for one thing, and one thing only.  It exists for you to write your guess in.  If you leave it blank, you have negated it’s very existence.  Furthermore, I actually had to go do research to get it to show up there.  That wasn’t a case of just clicking a button in the fancy text editor and a box popped up, I had to look up the HTML expressions to make that happen.

But if you insist on leaving it blank, that’s alright.  You did make a guess, right?  You at least ought to make guess.  Sure, you don’t have to, you’re in charge, I can’t make you do anything.  But you’re only cheating yourself.

For those of you that guessed, did you guess Renaissance music?  Probably not.  I wouldn’t have guessed it, and I’m the guy who did it.  But wait, how much do want to bet there’s a story here?  There is.  Let’s see if I can trace this back at least an hour.

After dinner, I came in here to write.  I decided to do a quick Facebook check, partly because I love to procrastinate, partly because I like to see what my friends are up to, and partly to see if anything might inspire me.  Arnold Wells oft times will set his Facebook status to a verse from a song he’s listening to.  Tonight was one of those times, his status was, and I quote, “Come down with fire. Lift my spirit higher. Someones screaming my name. Come and make me holy again. I’m the man on the silver mountain! I’m the man on the silver mountain!” Awesome.

At this point, I need some Rainbow.  I pull up the MP3 folder and find Man on the Silver Mountain.  And I jam.  I decide I need some more, similar but not the same.  I pull up Pandora and start a new station, based on Man on the Silver Mountain.

On a side note, the song Woodstock, by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young does NOT belong on that station, Pandora.  Bad Pandora.

I’m listening to the station for a bit, there’s a Rainbow song.  I listen a bit longer, there’s a second Rainbow song.  It’s their biggest hit, Stone Cold, from the Joe Lynn Turner era.  I don’t hate Joe Lynn Turner, but he’s no Dio.  Not by a damn shot.  But then again, who is?  And I couldn’t remember the other frontman, the one between Dio and Joe Lynn Turner, so I looked it up.  Thank you, Interwebs.  I got the info I needed, and then I kept on reading, because I’m a reader.  That’s what I do.  When I get to the “where are they now” paragraph, I wonder if they’ll mention Blackmore’s current project, Blackmore’s Night.  And they do.  Blackmore’s Night is Ritchie Blackmore and his wife, Candace Night.  They met and started dating because they shared an interest in Renaissance music.  When Blackmore left Rainbow for the final time in 1997, he and Candace formed Blackmore’s Night.  They play Renaissance Music.  And it’s Ritchie Blackmore, so they play it incredibly well.  Trust me, hang in until the final third of this song and listen to Blackmore do whatever the Renaissance version of “wail” would be.

It may or may not be your thing, but you can’t deny the awesomeness.  Blackmore’s playing is as good as ever, maybe better, and Night may be the best singer he’s ever worked with.  It’s technically not metal, but damn it, it is metal.

Think about it.  Ritchie Blackmore walked away from a successful career to play the music he really wanted to play.  And he’s successful at it.  They have released 7 studio albums with a new one on the way this year, two live albums, two live DVDs, and they tour regularly.  Lots of Renaissance fairs.  Ritchie Blackmore plays at Ren Fairs… because he wants to.  They also do “Castle Tours”, where they perform in historic settings for an audience also dressed in period garb.  Admit it, you’re just a little jealous right now.  You’re going to go work in an office tomorrow.  Ritchie Blackmore is hanging out at a Ren Fest, drinking mead surrounded by girls in corsets.

So now I’m thinking about Blackmore’s Night, and I just happen to have 8 or 9 albums of it… right-click folder, Play All.  This is why I obsessively collect music.  I never know what I might be in the mood for, and when I’m in the mood for it, I want it.  I need it.  I’ll go a bit crazy looking for it.  It’s so much easier when it’s right here.  I’m listening to a non-stop shuffle of Blackmore’s Night, and I’m loving the hell out of it.  Every once in awhile there’s a surprise, currently it’s a cover of Rainbow’s Street of Dreams, featuring a duet of Candace Night and… Joe Lynn Turner.  And everything comes full circle.

Here’s a bonus for you.  Blackmore’s Night live.  They still tour, doing shows in much smaller, more intimate venues than Blackmore’s previous bands.  I could listen to this song repeatedly for at least an hour.  Maybe several.  It’s good.

Ritchie Blackmore rocks the hell out of that outfit, too.  Speaking of obsession, I have 4 recordings of this song.  One of them is in Greek.

Be good to each other.

The Raven

Posted May 1st, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

This should really go on the CyberMonkeyDeathSquad site, but it’s not quite finished yet, I don’t want to put anything else on the old one, and I don’t feel like waiting.

Have you seen The Raven?  If you’re first thoughts are of Vincent Price and Edgar Allen Poe, that’s cool.  If you immediately thought “What about me? What About Raven?“, that’s very cool.  However, neither of those are what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the short film by Peruvian director Ricardo de Montreuil.  The one that’s all the rage on the interwebs.

Not bad.  The story is a little derivative.  The script is a bit bare.  As a short film, this is very disappointing.  It looks good, but it’s all flash with no substance.  As a trailer, it’s little better.  As a business card, it’s damned impressive.

Watching The Raven, I couldn’t help but think of District 9, or more specifically, Alive in Joburg, the short film Neill Blomkamp made that turned into District 9.   At first, I think it’s the ship that appears to be hovering over the city.  Later, the guy picking up a car and using it as a weapon.  There’s a huge difference between the two, though.  Alive in Joburg tells a story.  At the end, you understand that the aliens arrived, they seem to be stranded, and integration is proving to be problematic. It’s a stand alone piece that was later adapted to a feature length project.

The Raven teases.  Something is up, but if you didn’t read the blurb included on the Facebook and YouTube pages, you might not be clear on what’s going on.  Clearly the Police want to catch this guy.  But why?  What did he do?  Why should I care if he gets away, or if he gets caught?  What’s going on?  It’s all questions, and I’m not that interested in the answers.  It’s an advertisement for a movie that hasn’t been made, a trailer for a movie that hasn’t been written.  A movie I don’t think I’m that excited about.

Did I say something about a business card?  The short was shot on a RED, The entire project put together with budget of $5000.  The title of the film is The Raven, but it might as well be Le Résumé. It’s not about Chris Black, aka The Raven.  It’s not really a short film.  It’s Ricardo de Montreuil’s calling card to Hollywood.  Someone give this guy a good story and a better budget, let’s see what he can do.

More bridges crossed

Posted May 1st, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

I did neither movie, nor music, nor television this evening.

This evening was devoted to friends.  First, my best friend and I headed down to UT to pick up the tickets to the skybox.  Then we went for burgers… 5 Guys burgers.

There are better burgers in Austin.  This I know.  None of them are easy.  I didn’t feel like going to 6th street and waiting an hour or more for a burger.  I wanted a good burger, and I wanted it fast.  5 Guys does that, and they do better.  It’s a damn good burger.  The fries are fresh, hot, and too damn many for most people to eat.  If you like it a little spicy, the Cajun fries are the way to go.  The service is great, too.  I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with everything except tomatoes (everything, by the way, includes grilled onions and mushrooms).  A little later, I realized that everything also included ketchup.  I despise ketchup on hamburgers.  Ketchup ruins the burger for me, seriously.  I asked if they had made it yet, so I could change the order.  They had made it.

Now at this point, I am not expecting them to fix it.  It’s my mistake, not theirs.  I tell them it’s fine, and I’ll take the burger.  They made me another one anyway.  That’s service.

I’m glad they did it, too.  Damn fine burger.  Damn good fries.  And they have boxes of salted in the shell peanuts in the dining room.  Boxes of them.  They don’t care if you eat ‘em, either.  I always eat a few.  Handfuls.

And then we headed over to see Tron.  I don’t know how many of you know Tron, but if you don’t, you should.  Tron is an angry, opinionated, and generally ornery fellow.  He’s one of the smartest angry, opinionated, and generally ornery fellows you’re likely to meet.  And he’s by far the most decent angry, opinionated, and generally ornery fellow you’re likely to meet.  Tron has been writing for the website almost since the day I met him.  I’ve considered Tron a friend since the day I met him.  That doesn’t happen often.  Tron’s a hell of a guy.

I’ve been holding him back lately, because I couldn’t keep up with getting stuff online for everyone.  He’s one of the big reasons we’re making the changes.  I want to get Tron back to doing what he does best. I believe the first thing we can expect from him is at least one piece on Matt Helm.

We sat around Tron’s living room.  Tron, Nate, Tara, and myself.  Sweet Dick Rob Lambert was there for a spell, but he took off to see a movie with his lady.  We didn’t watch a movie, or TV; we didn’t even listen to music.  We talked.  We talked about movies, and music, and wrestling of course.  Tron and Nate had a 15 minute argument regarding the superiority of Nirvana as opposed to Pearl Jam.  Tron is pro-Pearl Jam, Nate is pro-Nirvana, and I decided that No Code is Pearl Jam’s  Physical Graffiti.  Pearl Jam fans dig it, everyone else thinks it’s a bit pretentious.

The point is, we talked.  We discussed.  It was intellectually stimulating.  I dig that.  There hasn’t been enough of that lately.  There should be more.

And camping.  There should be camping soon.

On a similar but separate note, I have started reading another comic.  I’m not really a comic guy.  It’s not because I look down on it, I don’t.  Not at all.  It’s just something I never got in to as a kid, and as I got older I had other interests, and you can only have so many active interests at a time.  I was always a jumper, I either go all the way in, or I stay out, and so I never really got “in”.  I was aware of them, I knew the major players, but I never really read much.  A few here and there, I picked up Alan Moore, well after he was cool, of course.  I read Sandman after I discovered Neil Gaimen’s novels.  I read a few of the Dark Horse Star Wars series when they came out.

And as a young teen, I read many of my uncle’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.  And more than a few books by R. Crumb.  I’m not a Philistine.

Part of me always wanted to get into comics, but I know me, and I knew I would go full bore balls to the wall and to be honest I can’t afford that.  What I’m doing now is very slowly introducing… no, experiencing… a few of the tried and true classics.  I recently read the entire Preacher series.  I was wondering what to do next, and I remembered that my friend Geoffrey Glass had very strongly suggested I read the Scott Pilgrim series.  Geoff has damn good taste, so I decided I should pay attention, especially since the movie is coming out soon.  I had Tara pick up the first one, and damn it, I’m hooked.  The next volumes must be purchased soon.  Probably not tomorrow though.  I am going to the comic store tomorrow, but I most likely will NOT be buying anything.  For tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day.

Free Comic Book Day is a day (obviously) on which all the comic book stores in the world… well, not all of them, just the cool ones… they all give away comic books.  For free.  Hence the name “Free Comic Book Day”.  Anyone that walks in the store on that day gets free comic books.  And I’m not talking the stuff nobody wants.  These are some good comic books.  People line up for this stuff.  But you probably know that, don’t you?

I’ve known about it for years.  But tomorrow, I’m making the trek for the first time.  I’ve never gone before because… well, it just wasn’t my thing.  I had other things.  I could tell you stories.  But I think I want to go a bit deeper into this thing.  I feel like I’m lacking in my appreciation of this thing.  I’ve been   I’m going with Tron, for he is wise in the ways of the comic book world.  I am just an apprentice.

Comic books.  Another vice.  I see this ending badly.

Be good to each other.

It’s business time

Posted April 29th, 2010 by Mick under Uncategorized (No Respond)

It’s business
It’s business time
I know what you’re trying to say
You’re trying to say it’s time for business
It’s business time, ooh

It is business time.  It’s not that business time.  It’s actual business time.

Which is unfortunate, because I have no head for business.  I need someone to manage my business.  Like a business manager.  Someone to handle the accounting type stuff, making sure records are kept and taxes are handled and deductions are available.  Business stuff.  That should happen soon.

Reading the tweets yesterday, I ran across this gem from Neil Miller (of Film School Rejects) “Movie bloggers (self included) do too much talking about what they do rather than actually doing what they do“.  Earlier today, I was re-reading an article where several successful writers were giving their top 10 tips to writers, and ran across this gem from Will Self  “Live life and write about life. Of the making of many books there is ­indeed no end, but there are more than enough books about books”.

I’ve been writing too much about writing, and not writing enough because I have been too busy writing about writing.  The universe was whispering this in my ear for several weeks.  Now it’s yelling at me.

I’m not saying it didn’t do me some good.  A little introspection can be healthy.  At this point, it’s become procrastination.  Or masturbation.

Tara and I spent some time today going over the new site, finding a few things that need tweaking, and starting the process of picking some of the material from the original website and moving it into the new one.  Most of the moving was actually done by Tara.  She’s good like that.

We’re not bringing everything.  It’s a lot of stuff, and some of it just isn’t as good as the rest of it.  This is a great chance to make the things that embarrass me “go away”.  Or at least go away as much as is possible in a world where Google is keeping a copy of every web page it’s ever crawled.

I still have some work to do, so I’ll be signing off now.  It’s that, or get into the rant I can feel coming on about a high school friend and a grudge I only recently learned I still carry.  That will have to be dealt with at some point, but not today.  I think we can safely bury it for at least a few more weeks.

Be good to each other.

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