Little Me

The real controversy in quarterback controversies..., reading today's Monday Morning Quarterback* by Peter King, I read something that troubles me about the Browns. (*--I linked to the third page, since that's where the relevant passage is.)

And I think: Cleveland GM Ray Farmer could have two of the top five picks in the draft next April. The Browns have Buffalo’s first-round pick from the Sammy Watkins trade. Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston (if he comes out) or Brett Hundley … plus either a bookend tackle from a reportedly rich tackle crop next year, or another defensive piece. It’s way too early to project things like this, but two picks in the top five of any draft is gold—gold, Jerry, it’s gold!—and Farmer might just have made a golden deal to help the Browns of 2015 and beyond, even as the team faces another apparently lean year now.

Then I think: Manziel versus Mariota in training camp next July. I mean, the national press is going to rent the Courtyard in Berea for a month.

...and I think: The media will then do it the next year, as well, not only cozying up to whoever is the big pick that year (Maybe Braxton Miller if he redshirts this year), but also a new coach and a new GM.

Because quarterback controversies kill every team that has them. Just ask Browns fans, who've been through four of them since they came back.

Even worse, there is solid evidence that sticking with a single quarterback is more likely to succeed than trying to pick between two quarterbacks. Four instances in recent memory (three from 2012, one from a few years earlier) come to mind when I say that.

1. The Indianapolis Colts have just come off a season in which Peyton Manning sat out due to neck surgery. The QBs that filled in for him were, shall we say, less than adequate, and they tumbled to the number 1 pick in the 2012 draft. There were plenty of rumors spreading around starting in December: Would the Colts stick with Manning, or would they draft another QB, like the cerebral kid out of Stanford, Andrew Luck?

With that first pick, they answered everybody: Andrew Luck would be their QB of the future...

...except, they decided, he'd be their QB of right now. And they released Manning to do it.

There was no QB controversy in camp; no wondering whether it would be Manning or Luck starting the first game. Instead, the Colts made a choice, and stuck with it. There was no question in their mind who their QB was, and they made sure he was ready.

And he was. The Colts had a leader, and they rode that leader to an 11-5 first season (even if he wasn't that impressive in the passing stats), then an equal second season (with far better passing stats). Manning didn't do to badly either, elevating a pretty good Broncos team to the AFC Championship his first season and the Super Bowl his second. But the key here is, the Colts made their choice, and stuck with it, and they returned to prominence after a single lousy season.

2. The San Francisco 49ers looked like they might go the way of Manning, but instead they stuck with their much malinged number 1 pick, Alex Smith, and signed him to a 3-year contract. Then, in week 9, he got a concussion, and in stepped their latest first round pick, Colin Kaepernick, who impressed Jim Harbaugh so much in 2 weeks of work that he made Kaepernick the starter. With Kaepernick under the helm, the 49ers went all the way to the Super Bowl. But now it looked like there was a controversy on Harbaugh's hands.

Instead, the 49ers decided to trade Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs, who immediately made him their starter. No competition, no controversy. The 2013 season was great for both: Smith led the Chiefs to the playoffs for the first time in 4 years, and Kaepernick led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game...where they lost to the next team on our list...but again, note that every single time Jim Harbaugh made a decision on this list, he stuck to it.

3. The Seattle Seahawks had acquired Matt Flynn from the Green Bay Packers, and had every intention of having Flynn be the starter...until their 3rd-round pick out of Wisconsin via NC State intervened. Russell Wilson turned heads against second teamers in the first preseason games, so much so that Pete Carroll gave him the start in the second. And after that, Carroll made a controversial but firm decision to make Wilson the starter for game 1. After a shaky start to the season and the Hail Mary-gate that got the NFL to agree to terms with the referees so they'd handle the games rather than replacements, Wilson steadied himself and guided the Seahawks to the postseason. Then in 2013, everyone knows the story of the total team led by Wilson on offense and a stellar secondary that won the whole ball of wax by destroying the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLIX. As for Flynn, he'd get his release and end up back with the Packers...which happen to be the last stop on our list...but not before pointing out that once again, the coach made firm decisions as to who his starting QB was...and he stuck with them.

4. The Green Bay Packers selected Aaron Rodgers, whom many believed was the best quarterback in the draft, with the 24th overall pick (this was the draft that the 49ers took Alex Smith 1st overall). Of course, the Packers already had a starting quarterback in Brett Favre, and even though the Packers were losing with him, neither Mike Sherman nor Mike McCarthy had the slightest doubts about who was starting: Brett was there until he retired. McCarthy, however, made sure that Rodgers would be ready when he needed to be (and he was when Favre went down to injury, but then he fell to injury himself).

Then, finally, Favre retired in 2008. There was no panic to find a quarterback in the draft; the Packers had groomed Rodgers to be the eventual starter, and start he did. 4,000 yards passing in his first season, and even though he struggled and there were questions on whether he could close out games, he worked through them in returning the Packers to the playoffs in 2009, and then winning the Super Bowl in 2010.

Here is a slightly different formula with the same hook: There was zero question who the starter of the Packers was in any season Rodgers was in. The only question was if Brett Favre was going to retire. No matter what, the coaches stuck with the man who was their starting quarterback. And that's something the Cleveland Browns coaching staff, GM, and owner must do if they want to right the ship. The two Browns examples (opposed to the 4 counter-examples) are in their only two winning seasons. In 2002, Tim Couch was the starting quarterback. Then came the big hit and concussion in the Ravens game. Kelly Holcomb stepped in for two games, but here was the important part...even under fan pressure (remember, they cheered Kelly Holcomb coming on while Couch was still out on the field), Butch Davis put Couch in as the starter. And for all the troubles of that season, he led them to the playoffs...then he broke his foot in the final game, Holcomb lit up the fans in the playoff loss, and we had the first of the QB controversies that the Browns still haven't recovered from. I keep saying that if Butch Davis had stuck with Tim Couch over Kelly Holcomb, both might still be in the NFL today (though this stopped being remotely true a few years ago, of course). But sticking with Couch wasn't what killed Butch Davis: it was not sticking with either quarterback fully. And that's the problem. And will be the problem this year: You'll hear the Johnny chants the minute Brian Hoyer does something you heard the Char-lie chants whenever Trent Dilfer did something wrong...and then he came on, and led to the 2nd decisive moment that gave the Browns a winning season. When Frye stunk up the joint against the Steelers week 1, the Browns traded him away and forcefully said Derek Anderson was their guy. He proceeded to put up 328 yards and 5 touchdowns in leading the Browns to a shootout win over the Bengals, thus keeping their trust in least until he got injured at the end of the season and the Bra-dy chants started.

And thus, the dichotomy: You see the teams that have quarterback controversies stay low year after year...while you see the teams without controversies rise up. It may not be for long, and from the look of it, the 49ers might not be for long, and certainly the Browns' two times weren't for long...but they rise up, as opposed to those teams that never rise up when they have quarterback competitions. Mainly because those competitions have a tendency to split a locker room, and thus it has no rudder for direction, even from the coaching staff. Meanwhile, coaches who forcefully choose who their guys are and stick with him not only install a rudder on their team, but an extra jet or two to the back of their boat, which propels them to victory. And as long as the Browns fail to do that, they'll have the equivalent of a single oar, and thus will only be able to move their ship in one big circle.
Little Me

On fan entitlement; or, this is why you can't have nice things..., I've noticed a huge problem in many of the fandoms of the things I like.

(Oh great, another one?)

Sit down, you'll probably want to hear this one: It's the profound sense of entitlement fans have.

(Oh great, let's insult the fans again!)

...and this chucklehead is doing it right now!

(Hell, just talk about that little curly-haired chick you seem to like! That'd be much better!)

...and there's the problem in a nutshell: Fans, you don't get to tell creators what they can and can't do. Well, there is one good way to tell them: stop partaking in that work. But that doesn't give the creators your full vitriol, so you write a public rant that the creator isn't "doing it right".

...sorry, that's not your decision. If you want to "do it right", you do it your way. In fan fiction or an original work. But there's a reason why most fan fiction writers never will become full media writers: They try and look at all the things that can go right, rather than all the things that go wrong. Most fiction does not exist without conflict. And characters need to make bad decisions sometimes for the conflict to arise. And sometimes those bad decisions aren't what the fans would supposedly do in that situation (even though they're analyzing it from their armchairs rather than the heat of the moment). But this is not a "mistake" that needs to be "made right"; this is part of the greater narrative of the show. The creators knew that such decisions would piss people off, but they were in-character for them. That you have something different in mind doesn't make it any less so.

(...I wish we could go back to the days when you were just a liberal communist who hated America...)

...which would be great if I ever was. And that's the problem.

Randy Milholland has written many a time about how many e-mails he gets from entitled fans saying how one character or another isn't "staying true to" a paradigm that Randy never gave them. The prominent one that I can think of (and I can't remember exactly) is one guy saying how Davan isn't a true MRA...uh, yeah, he never even was one to begin with. Most of each characters' baggage is actually stuff their fans put on them, and thinking Davan was some sort of activist for the status quo is just that: Your interpretation. It's not the creator's interpretation.

Take the Faking It finale.

(Okay! Now we can talk about that little curly-haired chick you like so much...)

No, she wasn't in the finale. But I'll tell you what was (SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!): Amy and Liam making out on her bed, both drunk, both angry at Karma. (END SPOILERS! END SPOILERS! END SPOILERS!) (DISCUSSION ON SPOILERS! DISCUSSION ON SPOILERS! DISCUSSION ON SPOILERS!) And that has pissed off a few LGBTs, because Amy was totally a lesbian, she shouldn't be sleeping with a guy, and this is offensive to the LGBT community!

...except a few things.

1. Nowhere in Faking It does Amy actually identify as a lesbian. Sure, she experimented with being a full lesbian, but she also experimented with being straight (with Oliver). She came to a sad conclusion, as did Shane, that most of the supposed LGBT community has completely overlooked and rejected: Amy is Karma-sexual. And single-target sexuality is a real phenomenon.

2. What does the "B" in LGBT stand for? I'm not sure many "B"'s in the audience were truly offended by this development.

3. Pretty much all the hate stems from the baggage on the characters that is put on them by the fans, not the writers. Karma is obvs gay for Amy, too, just confused...except that, throughout the season, there has been zero indication that Karma has been anything but straight. Sorry, folks, Karma doesn't bend that way, and trying to bend her that way will break the series (and if Carter Covington does that, a pox on his house). Liam is a full douchebag that's only trying to hurt people...except that Liam has always been honest to Karma (well, until his blowup with her and the scenes that came afterwards; I don't think he'll be forthcoming about that), and really he has always considered Amy in his chase of Karma (which, although it was done for less than noble reasons, has seemed to blossom into actual much so that he is willing to hurt her when he discovered she lied to him about actually being a lesbian). And Amy is a full lesbian, and sleeping with a man is so typical of Hollywood having to "change" a woman straight...except, again, Amy herself hasn't identified as anything yet.

And that's the hardest part for full gay women to take: That she might not be just like them. So many of them have ranted about how MTV has offended them and "That's not how lesbianism works." ...which is a phrase I hate. There is no better phrase for the status quo to control people than "That's not how it works". And even worse, the fan's sense of entitlement gives them a head to say that they're speaking for all fans or all lesbians. When in fact, they're probably not even speaking for most fans or most lesbians. The only person they can be sure they're speaking for is themselves. To which I say: "Speak for yourself." Don't assume that everyone is just as offended as you are; in fact, most people don't care about the show in the first place. And they're not helped by entitled fans or entitled LGBTs writing about how a show is the most offensive thing ever, when they either haven't watched it, or haven't considered that things are different for different people.

And trying to write off these developments as "mistakes" that "must be corrected" is an insult to the Faking It writing staff. They are not your monkeys trained to give you what you want on command. They're writing a story, and for all the bad stuff in it, it's a pretty good one. And you're rejecting it because it's not how you wanted it?

...with fans like you, who needs haters? Hell, I'd even venture to say more shows have been destroyed by the fans than the haters.

(...are you done?)


(...good! I love it when I see a new LJ from you! Can you make more, please?)

...I'll try. Just don't think that I'll always talk about what you want me to talk about.

*Yes, that was a bit of hypocritical humor, there.
Little Me

Who's faking it? Everybody!..., after Faking It officially debuted last night (and my Senta Moses fix is satiated...for one week, anyway), I think I'm ready to give a mini-review. Spoilers for episode 1 (and hints for other eps taken from interviews) are ahead here.

I think the biggest takeaway from the show, and the biggest thing people need to wrap their heads around to continue watching the show is this: The title does not just apply to the two girls who are faking being lesbians.

In this super-inflated, almost caricaturistic portrayal of a liberal high school where "the outcasts are the in crowd", pretty much everyone exudes that ultra-tolerant veneer. And yes, I say veneer, because there's a lot more unseemly things underneath most of the main characters: Most of them are using the facade of tolerance for their own purposes. Sometimes that tolerance is truly genuine, but it's still only there for a character's own, shallow ends.

Take Liam, for example. On the outside, he's an environmentally-conscious, tolerant, dreamy starving artist. But the hints from the first episode are that this facade is almost only used to get women. It's mentioned that he could get any girl in school, and indeed, has already had most of them. His veneer makes Karma crush after him like she does Ryan Seacrest (hey, Idol allusion!), but his actual thought process is wanting to "turn the lesbian straight", which is probably the single biggest bone of contention among the LGBT crowd.

Karma herself is willing to fake this because she's incredibly obsessed with popularity, to the point of already thinking up bizarre schemes to try and fit in by standing out. Like pretending to be blind (which unravels after she catches an errant frisbee). She attempts to be a social chameleon (Pun #1), and usually drags her friend Amy along with her (So in that way, she's kind of a bitch--pun #2). When the prospect of popularity from being a lesbian is dangled in front of her, she drops pretty much everything to chase it, not caring who she hurts in the least until she realizes what she's putting her friend through. And even then, her rooftop apology is almost a veneer in itself, to get Amy to agree to play along for her friend.

Then there's Shane. Who (and gay peeps aren't going to like this either) might just turn out to be the biggest bully in Hester High. He also is using Amy and Karma's lesbian antics for his own ends: He wants his lesbian friends, and he'll stop at nothing to get them. Like by outing two lesbians against their will, even as one of them adamantly denies that she is, not five minutes after he said he "won't blab--gay scout's honor". If a straight guy had done that, the LGBT community would have exploded. And this is not at all mitigated by the fact that Shane does indeed think that Amy and Karma are lesbians (and at least has Amy partly right); even if they were lesbians, forcing them out of the closet against their will would make you a giant dick pretty much anywhere else, even if it did make them popular enough to be Homecoming Queens. But, of course, he saves his biggest bullying tendencies for the one student who would be in his shoes at any other high school: Lauren. Many people might say "She brings it on herself with her bigotry", but think about that: Would that be an okay rationalization if the situations were reversed? Basically, bigotry at Hester is treated as being gay would at a conservative high school. The only real difference is that Lauren has the Alpha mentality and thus can trade barbs with Shane throughout the show...even when he heckles her during her homecoming speech.

As for Lauren herself, she doesn't even pretend to have any veneer of tolerance, being as she's used to being the queen bee in a "normal" school. Her bigotries are right on her sleeve. But even at the very end, she has a bit of a veneer to her, willing to say the "right thing" to get what she wants (the homecoming crowd): Her mike-jacking rant at the end is, basically, airing the complaints of the entire actual LBGT community. In fact, she actually says "They're mocking the gay community!" But, of course, she's not doing it for tolerance, or altruism. She's doing it for the crown. And in that, you can at least respect her, even as you hate her gay-bashing guts.

Perhaps the only student at Hester High who isn't using a veneer for her own ends (except for maybe the adults, of which we've only seen a handful) is Amy. And that's likely because she doesn't know herself well enough to have that veneer yet. She has no real ego, which means that she really doesn't care what most people think of her. But at the same time, she also doesn't have the will to stand up to her friend in a meaningful way when she hatches another hairball scheme to be popular. Sure, she does rant at Karma several times throughout the episode how she doesn't want to do the fake lesbian thing, but each time Karma is able to convince her to keep the charade going. And at the end we see why she's easily convinced, as she might just see Karma as more than a "friend"...

None of this is to say that this is either bad writing or bad acting. In fact, it might be a brilliant setup to look into the seedy underbelly of a school which celebrates diversity to the point where "normal" is the new "outcast", and how people exploit it for their own ends. I guess we'll just have to wait how the season plays out...but I think everyone's Faking It.
Little Me

10 (or so) weeks later, an update..., we interrupt this long stretch of no updates to bring you this special Senta Moses news:

10 Years Later, the 2007 movie (not to be confused with the more recent movie 10 Years), is now available on YouTube and Hulu. No, wait, it already was available for stream on those services for a small fee. The news actually is, it's now available for stream on those services for free. The film has Senta, Jake Hoffman (Dustin's son), Kathleen Rose Perkins (of Episodes fame), and Rachel Boston (from American Dreams and Witches of East End). The film is now front and center on my Youtube Senta list, which I forgot to link to last here it is!

I was going to write a long, rambling, spoilery review of the movie, but I won't spoil it for you. Suffice it to say, I loved it. The basic gist of the movie is the deconstruction of the Saved by the Bell dynamic...what happens after the 6 friends move away. The trailer was really good at hiding something until the very end. And, I got a new favorite Senta line: As she's going off on her cheating husband (not seen in this movie), she calls his new gal a "perky-titted...little...slut fuck!" Through clenched teeth. And then to top it off, we get a tried-and-true Gilligan Cut right afterwards.

But enough talking about the movie...go see it for yourself!
Little Me

Spreadin' the love like the rain..., yep, it's that time of the season I acknowledge this thing again...though this time it's mostly for gushing about Senta Moses.

First of all, I decided to go through my YouTube likes and pick out videos that feature Senta. It isn't very many right now, and it probably will get a few of them DMCA'd, I know, but it is now the second thing that pops up when you do a video search of Senta on Google or YouTube. But if you don't wanna search, it's right here. Among the better ones are the BTS feature of the "Mac Cam" from Home Alone, and a Beakman's World blooper reel that was shown in Brazil, of all places!

And second, Senta hasn't been idle at all. She's committed to the MTV show "Faking It" (which, I think, will shoot its order in January in time for its premiere in April, but don't hold me to that). And she recently did a nice photo shoot with a friend, Justine Joy. You might wanna remember that name if you want pictures taken in LA, because she makes he subjects look really good...and Senta is no exception. Here's a link to Senta's gallery on Facebook (which I think is just getting started). It's called "A Rainy Day", which Senta combats by rockin' the rain boots.

Well, with that blip done, I'm pretty much off. I don't know when I'll be back for 2014, but I may be making the resolution to write more. Stay tuned!
Little Me

Firing it up again..., I'm back again, after a short hiatus.  What's happened since then?

Well, summer has come, and summer has gone, and I still haven't found steady employment.  I got a bit hopeful with the local nonprofit and the local big box, but nothing came through.  I think I might try and make a few music videos (with my own music, of course, starting with a little bit of chiptune action) and put them up on Youtube for a tiny sliver of revenue and a few options...

Meanwhile, my mother is mostly cancer-free. the radiation etc. went well, and they can't find anything malignant.  Now, it's mostly just checkups and tests three days a week, but hopefully this means it won't be cancer that kills her.  She turned 67 at the beginning of August, and since then all I've said was "now we can negotiate." I don't know if she'll make it to 70, but that sounds like a good starting point.

In other funny little family news, my sister-in-law bought a used van...and two weeks later, its power steering went kaput.  Luckily, she had not sold her car yet, so she's okay on kid transportation...but this is a case of "let the buyer beware!"  At the very least, it did put a small dent in her full-blown fiber and knitting from home business.  She put up a post at GoFundMe to help her buy something called a drum carder for that purpose.  It hasn't gotten anything yet, but she's hopeful, and so I pass the link on here. Help her out!

And, of course, to wrap this up, there's a little news on Senta Moses, whom I find it easier to get information on since she's gotten on Twitter. A month ago she shot a pilot for MTV for a show that's right now called "Faking It", created by a former Greek writer, Carter Covington.  It stars an Idol, a Bunhead, a werewolf, a GBF, and a relative newbie.  Yes, it's set in a high school, but this time, Senta's not a student: She's the principal. Yes, that's right, a position of authority.  Let's hope this one gets picked up.

And finally, hey, whoever is apparently online stalking Senta (which I kinda, sorta, had to get confirmation that it wasn't me...but I think I'm fine, 'cuz I don't even know any of her personal addresses) might want to read this thing I wrote a couple of years ago about why you're a stalker and not just a fan, all right?

Well, that's all from me...see you the next time I remember this thing exists...
Little Me

Making your own luck, so that the accident won't happen to you..., there's a saying in the gambling world: "You make your own luck." Sure, a person could blindly play the lottery and maybe "get lucky" and hope to win $100 million one day. Or, a person could analyze probabilities, learn to read tells, and get really good at reading people and/or trends...and "get lucky" a few dozen times and get $100 million that way. Of course, his version of "getting lucky" is far different from the lottery player's version of "getting lucky", in that he set himself up so he had the greatest reward for the lowest risk.

In my limited experience, I've noticed there's another, similar saying that could be applied to the real world: "You make your own accidents." A blind man could trip and fall and have a really expensive ambulance ride. Or, a person could not wear gloves and guides when using a hand saw, ignore OSHA regulations while on the job, or leave their loaded gun out where kids can find them...and have a really expensive ambulance ride that way. Or, the smart person will know exactly what can hurt or kill him, and when, and when he doesn't, he asks about it. This person doesn't get injured nearly as much as the guy who's casually negligent...or even the blind guy who gets injured at random. He's set himself up so that he had the greatest reward for the lowest risk, while the negligent guy has done just the opposite.

...this truism is why i absolutely loathe the following arguments against taking action when something bad happens:

"Accidents happen."
"He was just crazy."
"She had it coming."

...almost all of these arguments can be followed by, "and therefore, we should do nothing."

And in that way are the building blocks to the next bad thing happening.

Last week, a 5-year-old boy "accidentally" shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with his own rifle, as bought for him by his parents. Most of the outrage from the left is at Crickett Rifles, which markets rifles for children under the "My First Rifle" banner. Of course, most of the blame probably should go to the parents for leaving the rifle in a place where the boy could get to it (even if they thought it was a "safe place")...but when you try to point that out, many people get defensive. "Who are you to condemn these parents in their time of grief?" which I say, "They made their own grief."

Later, many of these same people bust out the "accidents happen" argument, which is not an argument against gun control laws. It's not an argument against possible prosecution of these parents for negligence (although that won't happen in this case). What it is an argument for, however, is complacency. For staying silent. For doing nothing.

And I'm not even talking about laws, here, really. There is a lot that can be done between gun control legislation and a 5-year-old grabbing a gun and accidentally pulling the trigger. Something like this should motivate any parent who owns guns to make absolutely sure they are in a place where the kids can't get to them. Tragedies like Newtown should motivate anyone who knows someone who should not be near a gun to make damn sure they don't come near their guns. And criminal acts like the Boston Marathon bombing and eventual shootout should motivate anyone who thinks they know everything about the people in their lives to be more vigilant about them, to make sure that they don't get blindsided like the Tsarnaevs' acquaintances were (I would hesitate to call anyone who didn't see this coming a friend of the Tsarnaevs, even if their families don't quite believe it; I would call those who did see this coming accomplices, though.)

However, vigilance is hard. Complacency is easy. "Accidents happen." "The kid was crazy." "They were terrorists. What can you do?"

What can you do? Everything.

And if you think you can't do enough, you may want to rethink your actions. If you don't think you can keep your kids or a crazy acquaintance from your guns, don't buy them. If you don't think you're safe going down that alleyway, don't go down it. If you're not sure you can protect yourself from being injured at your current job, you need to find a new one.

Because the adage is true: You make your own luck. You make your own accidents. You make your own grief. You make your own tragedies.

But you can make your own safety net, as well. You just have to work hard to make it, and not put it off with an "accidents happen," or a "he was just crazy," or a "She shouldn't have gone that way".
Little Me

Urgent Memo Leaked!..., BREAKING NEWS!

WASHINGTON (The Blaze): President Barack Obama is scheduled to hold a press conference on Monday where he will tell the media that he plans to put the country under martial law and has ordered the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to go door-to-door and confiscate any firearms they find.  He is scheduled to do so in a sarcastic, mocking tone to indicate that the announcement is clearly an April Fool's Day joke.
However, a memo leaked to The Blaze tells us the announcement is very real.
"The memo dictates the times, places, and manner of searches that will begin immediately upon the conclusion of the press announcement," said Willard Heatherby, a member of the Heritage Foundation and contributor to The Blaze, after a thorough 5-minute scan of the 15-page memorandum.  "BATF officers are dispersing to locations like Castle Rock, Maine, Agrestic, California, and Springfield, (no state given), at this very moment, waiting for the President to give his falsely sarcastic word."
The anonymous whistleblower added his own comments: "Clearly this memo is the real deal, and is certainly not consistent with an April Fool's joke. The Secret Service will be coming to Port Charles, New York and Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, to confiscate all your legal weapons. If you are a citizen of Mayberry, North Carolina, South Park, Colorado, or Clanton, Mississippi, prepare yourselves."
A full list of cities and towns to be raided can be found at

Back in the saddle..., been a while. Here are the happening updates:

1. My computer went squish in early February, and started doing a "blue screen at and/or during startup" thing. One of my buddies (the guy who built the computer) has been trying as hard as he can not to do the drastic thing and wipe the hard drive, but that means putting every single part on the trip to get tested for errors. For me, this means a few nice service charges, plus a new memory card, since he tried to use that as a stopgap while the current one was tested...and it turned out that didn't work, either. He says the hard drive boots just fine on his own test computer; I am starting to be skeptical. Luckily for me, those service charges can be paid for with Magic: The Gathering cards, since he plays, but otherwise, if the final part (the processor) is just fine, I'm probably going to tell him to get as much off the HD as possible, then reformat. If it's gonna have to be, it's gonna have to be. For the time being, I'm splitting time between my parents' computer and their laptop. The laptop in particular is bringing back bad memories of Windows XP...

2. Meantime, my mother has been battling cancer. That meant a surgery on one leg to remove a few lymph nodes a few months ago. Turns out "a few" was more like "a dozen", and she's been battling a swollen leg for those months. She wanted to get a second opinion, but she also didn't want to shell out thousands of dollars for it (when she was using a local college's hospital which accepted Medicare), so last week she went in for a surgery to remove a few lymph nodes from her other leg. This one went better, though she's now turning into an old woman before my eyes. There really isn't too much I can do for her except hope and help, which I will continue to do.

3. In my 2nd-favorite-person news, Senta Moses has re-joined the ranks of Twitter. Unfortunately, after she quit the first time, some squatter took over the twitter handle she used the first time and started throwing up WWE retweets or something, and not actually tweeting anything. After it became apparent that this guy (and I'm betting it's a guy) has nothing to do with Senta, I promptly forgot about it. That does mean Senta had to take another twitter handle, so she took another, adding her middle initial. Which means you can find her @SentaMMoses. I trust that this is her, like the last time, because of who is following her; specifically, Dilshad Vadsaria from Greek.

4. ...I don't have a 4...or anything else really relevant at this time, so I guess I'll build up for another coupla months, and by then I'll have my own computer back again, for better or worse. See you then!

Obamacare strikes again!..., BREAKING NEWS!


Apple Cites Obamacare in Cutting Foxconn Workers' Pay

In an e-mail addressed to the over half a million employees at Foxconn facilities in China, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that worker pay in the facilities would be slashed by 40% to compensate for the expected cost increases of the Affordable Care Act.

"It is no longer economically feasible to be able to pay such high wages and still be able to make our profits under the new act," read the e-mail, written in English and Chinese Simplified. "Belts must be tightened across the board, and all of us must pay our fair share."

Cook announced that the new base wage of Foxconn workers would be 750 yuan per month, lower than even the 900 yuan per month that the workers were paid before Apple raised their wages in a response to crippling labor conditions in the plants. A spokesman for Apple addressed this issue on the condition of anonymity: "We knew we couldn't keep paying the workers the new wage and keep our profits as they were, so something had to give. We also figured that the suicides that resulted would enhance our profit margin."

Also in the e-mail, Cook announced that Foxconn had eliminated overtime, and that no employee could work more than 60 hours per week, a sharp decline from the current 72 hours per week. To compensate for this, all breaks would be eliminated; workers would be supplied with a bucket to allow them to do their business right on the line.