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The real controversy in quarterback controversies... [25 Aug 2014|10:52am]
...so, 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 wrong...like 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 him...at 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.
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On fan entitlement; or, this is why you can't have nice things... [11 Jun 2014|10:04am]
...so, 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 affection...so 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.
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Who's faking it? Everybody!... [23 Apr 2014|10:41am]
...so, 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 process...at 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.
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10 (or so) weeks later, an update... [26 Feb 2014|07:35pm]
...so, 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 time...so 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!
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Spreadin' the love like the rain... [13 Dec 2013|05:22pm]
...so, 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!
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Firing it up again... [28 Sep 2013|06:02am]
...so, 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)...you 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...
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Making your own luck, so that the accident won't happen to you... [12 May 2013|08:12pm]
...so, 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?"

...to 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".
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Urgent Memo Leaked!... [01 Apr 2013|12:31am]

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 TheBlaze.com.
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Back in the saddle... [23 Mar 2013|07:04pm]
...so, 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!
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Obamacare strikes again!... [11 Jan 2013|01:00pm]


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.
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On the Gun Debate; or, why there isn't one... [05 Dec 2012|10:09am]
...so, there was a bit of an uproar over the weekend.

Not because an NFL player decided to kill his girlfriend and himself.

No, because a sports broadcaster deigned to talk about the role firearms might have had in the act.

And they weren't even Bob Costas' words. He cites numerous times the author of the piece he recited on air during halftime of Sunday Night Football: Another sportswriter, Jason Whitlock, formerly based in Kansas City, now (probably soon-to-be-ex) sportswriter for Fox Sports. He makes some salient points in the article.

Problem is, gun owners don't wanna hear it. I'm not just talking about gun nuts, here. No gun owner wants to hear even the possibility that perhaps easy access to firearms had a part to play in how the Jovan Belcher incident played out. They mask their total defiance as a "too soon" argument: "Can't you wait until the bodies are cold first?"

...no, we can't. Because you don't want to talk about the possibilities even when the field is neutral.

Or, I could ask: If not now, when? When will it be an "appropriate" time to talk about the role guns play in most crimes?

But I already know your answer. Never. Because, to many of these owners, restricting gun rights is always bad. Always.

...if that's so, then explain the recent actions of the NRA and its membership in a couple of recent scenarios.

Scenario 1: As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney signed an extensive assault weapons ban, angering the state gun advocacy group, the Gun Owners Action League. Meanwhile, as president, Barack Obama has set his own beliefs on such weapons aside, so much so that his first term saw the most extensive broadening of gun rights we've seen in 30 years.

The NRA not only backed Mitt Romney; they also tried to whitewash GOAL's reaction to his signing of the ban, where it said he had "Betrayed Gun Owners". Why would it do this?

Simple: Because Romney is a Republican, and Republicans are always better than Democrats on guns. Even when the reverse is actually true.

Scenario 2: S.3525, the Sportsmen's Act, was authored and introduced by Senator Jon Tester of Montana. The bill would have given huntsmen broader access to public lands and loosen EPA standards of bullets used on public lands. Previous procedural votes gave the measure broad bipartisan support. Then came the election. After which the bill was blocked on procedural grounds on a party-line vote, 50-44 (60 votes were necessary to pass.) Only one Democrat voted against it: Barbara Boxer of California. Only one Republican voted for it: outgoing Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine. And why would the Republicans be in lockstep against it?

Because of a small raise in the fee of a stamp that allows you to hunt on public lands. One which would reduce the deficit by approximately half a billion dollars a year over ten years, or $5 billion total. A drop in the deficit bucket, to be sure, but one that the supposed "fiscal conservatives" should always get behind.

But there's likely another factor. The procedural vote might have been reversed (Democrats against, Republicans for)...had the bill not been written and introduced by Jon Tester. Democrat, from Montana.

The NRA, after championing the bill, barely mentioned its defeat...and many members, naturally, blamed Democrats. Because Republicans are always better than Democrats on guns. Even when the reverse is actually true.

If you're truly serious about your gun rights, truly serious about protectiong your right to keep and bear arms...you cannot support the National Republican Association. They are not truly in it to protect your 2nd amendment rights. If they were, they'd fully support efforts by President Obama and Senator Tester to broaden gun rights, even though they happen to be Democrats. If they were, they'd call Mitt Romney out for signing a permanent assault weapons ban for Massachusetts, rather than whitewashing his involvement in it. They'd stop yelling that Obama's gonna take yer gunz, and only voting for the looniest Republican candidates we have can stop him. And instead of trying to yell at Bob Costas for deigning to discuss the role guns play in NFL players killing their girlfriends and committing suicide, the NRA would be working for truly responsible gun ownership...rather than just being yet another partisan pawn of the Republican Party.

Sure, there are responsible gun owners out there. Unfortunately, they're being drowned out by the "gun nuts" like Ted Nugent, AKA the Great Yellow Buffalo, and his ilk, who will continue to back the Republican Party even when they pull stunts like on the Sportsmen's Act. And worse, the fears of the "gun nuts" are rubbing off on them, making them paranoid, slowly turning them into "gun nuts", too. The problem is, most of society thinks these "gun nuts" are liable to snap at any time and go "2nd amendment" on innocents. That's the main reason why there's a gun control advocacy in the first place: to counter people who so casually toss out lines like "2nd amendment solutions" and "we came unarmed (this time)" at the slightest provocation. These are not the signs of a healthy mind...but, as long as they're part of the core of the National Republican Association, they're treated as normal...even patriotic. Thus, they attempt to block even treating the "gun nut" mindset as anything other than "patriotic", and tell people that the only way they can be free is to have several assault rifles and a small armory of handguns. Y'know, for protection. Or hunting. As long as those sorts of "gun nuts" exist, there will exist a backlash of groups opposed to it. And when the tipping point is reached, the one where these groups finaly turn radical and attempt to use any means necessary to make their point...you might be surprised at just how many guns those groups own.
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A little post-election fun... [07 Nov 2012|09:46pm]
...so, just a single Tweet and response to the election, and that's about it. First, Daily Kos' own Bill in Portland Maine tweets:

...to which I reply (and before you read this, know that Sheldon Adelson is a Vegas casino magnate):

Now, you can go and titter at the twitterers who can't stand that Romney lost.
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Just a bit of gushin'... [27 Oct 2012|04:00pm]
...so, since the last time I updated this thing was political, today I'll gush a little bit. It'll probably be short, though. Quite a bit of Senta Moses news has come across the desk (but not enough, never enough for me), so let's delve!

First, in actual, physical Senta stuff, she participated in yet another blast with the douchebags from DVD PodBlast. Listen to her, them, and three other ladies tear Twilight: Breaking Dawn apart here. And she didn't even hear any of the dialogue, and still tore it a new a-hole. Second, from said Blast, recorded last weekend, she revealed that she'll be on The Mentalist in an ep she shot this week...which means it'll be airing sometime in January, probably. Before that, though, and third, she can be seen on an episode of Rizzoli & Isles airing in December. And, with those two series, plus an ep of Bones and Castle under her belt, we're just a couple of episodes away from being able to have an all-day TNT marathon featuring only her episodes...at least, when she hits it really big!

...and that's all. See you whenever...hopefully with one less Romney to worry about holding the button.

EDIT: And now a week later, I see that the IMDb has her part in The Mentalist up...and it looks like it's going to beat her Rizzoli & Isles ep to air by a week or two (she shot her R&I ep in September).
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A Traitor to Yourself: An Essay... [29 Aug 2012|08:44am]
...so, here is my honest thought about the Republican Party.

No matter who you are, if you vote for anyone from the Republican Party, you are a traitor to yourself. Not even a traitor to your country (but then, your country is an extension of yourself, so...), but each and every group in America has reasons why they are worse off if they vote Republican.

If you are a woman and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because you are giving up the right to make meaningful, informed, and affordable choices about your own health. Republicans have stated time and again that a woman has no rights to control when she can get pregnant (no contraception, abstinence-only education) or to control whether they want to carry a baby to term if they do get pregnant (no abortion). In these endeavors, they have succeeded in making it harder for a woman to control her health outside of pregnancy (defunding Planned Parenthood) and easier for a man in her life to make decisions for her (paying her less than a man in the same job, forcing teenagers to have a parent's permission to get an abortion). And if she doesn't have a man in her life, then she's fucked. (Attempts to end Unemployment, Welfare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Head Start, defunding schools, believing there are differences between types of rape, thinking that only a man, a woman, and 2.3 kids are a valid "family").

If you are a black person and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because you will always be seen with suspicion from Republicans. Look at the way they treat a president who only has one black parent. Republicans want to make it harder for poor blacks to be able to climb out of poverty (no Welfare, no Medicaid, no Food Stamps, defunding schools, cratering government job programs, defunding police so that crime runs rampant). And if they do happen to climb out of poverty, blacks will still be treated with disdain (driving while black, more blacks in prison populations than the general population, attempts to "control voter fraud").

If you are a foreigner or obviously descended from foreigners and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because, like blacks, Republicans will always see you with suspicion. No matter how American you profess to be, the fact that you or your parents were born in another country makes you someone who simply wants to steal jobs from good, hardworking Americans and take that money back to the motherland you or your parents left to come here. No matter how legitimate your immigration (and there are still many more legal immigrants than illegal immigrants in this country), Republicans always see you as an illegal and act accordingly.

If you are a non-Christian and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because Republicans think you are a traitor. Especially if you're a Muslim (terrorist) or an atheist (for daring to go against the God of 'Murca and the Baby Jesus). They'll attack you by making it seem like they're the ones imperiled (But those Ten Commandments in the courthouse and no organized prayer in public schools infringes on my First Amendment rights!, I'm just protecting myself from the ragheads that flew two planes into the World Trade Centers!). Their goal is to make this nation a Christian nation, and they'll use any means necessary to do it, even if it means breaking the very tenets of their own Savior's teachings (banning Sharia Law which was already banned by the First Amendment, attempting to get creationism taught as science, trying to re-introduce faith requirements to hold public office even though it's been struck down by the Supreme Court, protesting the building of mosques and destroying mosques that have already been built, faith-based initiatives which exclude all but Christians).

If you are gay, lesbian, bi, or just not sure your identity matches up with your gender, and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because you are giving up the right to be recoginzed for being who you are. From being unable to marry the person you truly love, to being unable to adopt kids with the person you truly love, to attempts to "cure" you or "cleanse" you of your "sin", to making you a criminal (anti-sodomy laws, attempts to ban gender reassignment surgery or striking it out of healthcare initiatives), to, when all else fails, just plain killing you for being "queer"...Republicans have many ways to make sure you live a miserable life.

If you are under 30 and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because the Republican Party has done more to suppress your growth than any party ever has. They fight minimum wage laws so your first rung is lower; they attack public schools and teachers so that the majority of you can't get a good education; they make no effort to stem the inflation that makes your wage nearly meaningless; they fight the safety nets there to catch you when you lose your job; and they fight the ways you express your anger at them (SOPA, retaining marijuana laws, attempts to ban violent video games, calling SWAT teams in at the slightest hint of protest). (This is, admittedly, the group that is screwed over the most by both parties, and thus, the group most in need of a third. Voting for Barack Obama (a lifelong and staunch Democrat in the current sense of the party being center-right) or Ron Paul (a 70-something-year-old lifelong Republican who claims he's a libertarian) won't help the young ones break free of this control.)

If you are over 65 and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because Republicans have screwed you over just like they've screwed over your grandchildren. They fight to allow the businesses you worked for to break their promises of giving you a pension because it's just too expensive. They fight to turn Medicare into a voucher program that most likely wouldn't even cover the cost of your prescriptions, let alone your doctors' visits. In their suppression of your childrens' and grandchildrens' wages, they fight to make sure you can't count on their support when times get tough for you, because times are already tough for them. And, if you actually want to die, they fight against that, too, by not allowing a doctor to end your life if he thinks it would cause less harm than prolonging your life.

If you make under $250,000 a year and you vote Republican, you're a traitor to yourself because you've just voted for programs to make sure you never make $250,000 a year. Thanks to Republican help, corporations are slowly changing the face of the common worker. 25 years ago, the common worker could count on a decent wage, healthcare, a pension when they retired, and the knowledge that unless they fucked up extremely badly, they could keep their jobs for life, because there was a union fighting for them. Now, the common worker makes just over poverty wage, is not guaranteed either healthcare or retirement benefits, can be fired on the whim of their boss, and have no union to take their grievances. And, of course, they're working on stripping the ex-common worker of unemployment benefits and welfare and Medicaid, too. Also, they're masters at misdirection, getting these new common workers to be angry at teachers for making more than they do, when, in fact, teachers are making less than what the common worker made 25 years ago. If the common worker isn't making that, there are two entities he can blame for that, and neither of them is a teacher.

And if you are lucky enough not to fall into one of the above categories...if you're a male, white, longtime American, Christian, straight, 40-year-old, rich person, and you vote Republican...you're still a traitor to yourself. Because you interact with people that do fall into the above categories every day of your life. And the worse off they are, the worse off you are. Republican polices that hurt women also hurt the men in their lives, as they must share the burden of unwanted children and no access to affordable womens' healthcare. Republican policies for blacks in poverty also hurt whites in poverty, and their views on blacks as common thugs pigeonhole many of them into it, so that both black and white store owners must secure their stores to deter them. Policies against foreigners harm certain business owners, especially farmers who depend on migrant work to make a living. Policies against non-Christians hurt Christians because it only helps turn more and more people against their faith, even if they themselves don't believe any of the crap that their more radical bretheren believe. Anti-gay legislation hurts many industries: The marriage industry has fewer wedding parties to throw; foster homes remain swamped with kids that would have been in a loving home if gays were only allowed to adopt; many industries in the business of style are harmed by making gays miserable, too. Suppressing young people's wages hurts the economy even for the corporations, because they're the ones most likely to buy their products. Turning Medicare into vouchers would put a strain on the end-of-life care industry, which has enough trouble with the increasing tide of boomers that enter nursing homes every year. And keeping people out of work and out of money has devastating effects on an economy that can only function when money flows and is not held up in a bank in another country by people who will never need to access it.

So there you are. No matter what class of American you fall into, no matter how you identify yourself, no matter who you identify with...if you are an American, and you vote Republican, you are a traitor to yourself.
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Birthday meanderings, or a lot of lines about lines and links... [08 Aug 2012|07:23pm]
...so, yes, today is the birthday of Senta Moses. And to leave this space blank on that day for more than a few years seems a little wrong to me. So, yes, let's talk about her. In particular, I want to talk about some of the lines she's said while plying her craft.

Sorry to say, but most of Senta's lines aren't what you'd call "quotable": Most are funny and poignant in context, but lose pretty much all meaning when you take them out of context. I think the best show to give her good lines for quoting was actually Greek, and there are only a couple there that you can use out of context: "Ivory and cream are the same damn color!" is funny, but funnier when you realize that the line is a reaction by her character Lizzi to an impossibly demanding boss in Charisma Carpenter's Tegan. There are lines that reveal the character: Lizzi herself is a rules-stickler who's just a little quirky, so her last line of "The Great Cappie" is a nice curtain on that: "I can't remember the last time I stayed up past eleven!" Then there's the line that only guys like me will be able to parse: "Little orphans are so cute!" That one is actually an oblique reference to Senta's own days as a little orphan in a touring production of Annie in the early, early '80s.

Which brings me to my own enjoyment of some of her lines: The ones that display her character's age which become more hilarious when you take Senta's actual age into account. As you may know, Senta was born in 1973...which makes her [redacted]. (Yes, even if you know their exact date, you can't actually say a woman's age in public. Do the math). Which means she was actually out of her teenage years in the early 90s. (Now I'm looking around for an age yellow card. And not seeing one...whew!) Which, then, means that most of the time in the 90s that she was playing a teenager...she wasn't. However, the fact that she didn't quite make it to 5 feet tall and the fact that her hair is the reason why old ladies put theirs in curlers to emulate, most viewers had no problem with her in those teenage roles, as opposed to, say...Luke Perry.

Which brings me to my favorite line out of Senta, which, unfortunately, very few other people have heard because it came in a short, canned series. This would be the TNT Wall Street drama Bull, which they canned when they adopted the "We Know Drama" moniker (and then proceeded to tell us that Kindergarten Cop was drama). Anyway, Senta's role in this was as the sister in a young brother-sister prodigy team that had developed a revolutionary new search engine. (This was 2000; Google was in its infancy, and people heard Bing and thought Crosby or Chandler). She was playing a 17-year-old (at [redacted]...dammit, I can't even say her age then?!? okay, suffice it to say she was a lot older than her role); her brother, 16, was interestingly played by Fred Koehler...who was also a lot older than his role, but still has that baby face (even when he was in those Fiber One commercials). But Fred isn't the subject of the line...here it is (Warning: The next paragraph will have lots of tangents!).

It's the second episode the family was on (in the first, they reach out to their old babysitter, one of the brokers in the firm the show's based around played by Alicia Coppola, to take the search engine public; after a few doubts, and a large offer to buy them out, they decide to take it public themselves). They're starting finalization plans for the IPO (that would be thrown into flux by the events of the episode). One of the secretaries (Coincidentally played by Heather Dawn, who played the sister of the bad guy of the week that Senta's character has a crush on in her episode of Vengeance Unlimited) is praising the kids for their brains and their ability to do stuff while so young. She says "When I was your age, I was on the phone with my friends all day staring at my poster of Luke Perry."

Senta's line? "Who's Luke Perry?"

And for some reason, that still tickles my funny bone.

There are other lines that are funny when you take them out of the context of the character and put them into the context of the actors playing them. Senta did an ep of "Touched By an Angel" where she had a crush on a student teacher, who in reality was the angel Rafael, played by Alexis Cruz. (Side note, as if there weren't enough already: What is it with Senta and guys named Cruz?) Her friend (the real focus of the ep as part of a Romeo & Juliet plot played by Mercedes McNab) tells her to ask him to the upcoming dance. (...and it seems she always wants to dance with them.) She shoots that down immediately, saying "He's old enough to be my...older but insanely gorgeous husband!" Putting it in the actors' context, the kicker is that Senta's a full year older than Alexis Cruz is...and he's [redacted]. (Dammit, I can't even obliquely reference her age!)

But mostly, her lines are useless out of context...though some do stay pretty funny if you bring a bit of the context with it. For instance, a Step by Step episode she did had her fawning over Cody (she does a lot of that, doesn't she), so much so that she knit him a sweater. Dana, whose feminist study group she's a part of, says incredulously, "You knit him a sweater?" "He looked cold!" (Actually, in context, he probably was too busy melting her character's insides...)

That's all about her lines...now I'm gonna ramble just a little bit about myself gushing about her (almost to the point of restraining order, but to my amazement I probably still haven't crossed that line yet) and looking at who I'm following on Twitter, and just marveling at just how many I am following only because they worked with her somewhere. In fact, I can probably cut my Twitter feed into three distinct portions, with only a few newsfeeds falling outside of them: Magic, Poker, and people who have worked with Senta Moses at some time in the past. The latest one of those was just yesterday, when I followed Kathleen Rose Perkins (who Senta worked with on 10 Years Later), whom I followed through Sean Maher, who is actually one of the few people I can't put into those thirds (though I did follow him through Firefly/Jewel Staite...more on that later) The previous latest was Richard Speight Jr. (who Senta worked with on Running the Halls), and I found his Twitter through one of his close friends, who happens to be another person on the Senta list: Rob Benedict, who worked with her in Tequila Body Shots and the short-lived F*x series Opposite Sex. A few other connections: Community's Yvette Nicole Brown (who worked with Senta in a Big Lots commercial), Steven Weber (who played her boss in "Choose Connor"), and Amber Stevens (Greek, of course).

Hell, even some of the people I follow that I didn't follow for her, I really did. Stephen Falk of the Film Pigs is a writer for Weeds, which Senta actually had a part on in Season 1 (but that part was cut, I believe; she landed on another Jenji Kohan show, the pilot for Ronna & Beverly, but that didn't get picked up and I assumed that was just a guest role anyway). But I followed him because he was one of the Film Pigs, and I discovered them through DVD Podblast...whom I discovered because of a guest Blaster named...Senta Moses. ...ugh. I guess this one really will set the gears in motion for that restraining order.

But before I'm cut off, one final thing: A connection between Senta and the other actress I've been following for awhile. Though Nathan Fillion is on the list of people whom Senta's worked with (Castle), I didn't follow him solely because he worked with Senta. I actually followed him because he was on Firefly, which starred Jewel Staite...which makes him, by my count, one of only five actors to have worked with both Jewel and Senta. The other three, and it probably isn't complete, are Adam Baldwin (worked with Senta on DC Cab, worked with Jewel on Firefly), Christina Hendricks (Worked with Senta on an MTV pilot called Sorority, worked with Jewel on Firefly), Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond for Senta, the Hallmark TV movie Call Me Mrs. Miracle for Jewel), and Rebecca Herbst (General Hospital for Senta, Space Cases with Jewel, though that one is a bit tenuous on Jewel's end).

Hey, still not cut off! I guess that gives me a chance to end this by saing: Happy [redacted] birthday, Senta Moses!
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On Penn State and the madness of "mob justice"... [31 Jul 2012|06:03pm]
...so, I'm back.

What drew me back? Not her. In fact, the dearth of anything from her is kinda making me nervous. But that's another LJ post six months from now.

No, what drew me back is the idiocy of the people who advocate vigilante action against Penn State and its supporters, for the awful crime of deigning to support Joe Paterno in the face of overwhelming evidence that he not only knew about Jerry Sandusky's little problem, but covered for him.

...Yes, to these people, if you don't think Joe Paterno is burning in hell right now, you are a supporter of child rape. If you don't think we should dig up his corpse and have a Cadaver Synod for a new milennium, you support child rape. And if you don't think that the sanctions against Penn State weren't enough, or even if you don't just take it up the arse like a good little Penn Stater, you support child rape.

...all of a sudden, I'm seeing a link between these folks and the PZ Myers brand of "feminists" on FreeThoughtBlogs. There's a truly sad case of believer-think, because it comes from people who should know better than to use it. Most of them were driven out of the church by it. They know that the church uses it to shame fence-sitters into compliance, and to demonize whatever opposition there is,and to make merely asking the question enough to make you part of that opposition. These are the tactics of Scientologists and cults and mobs, and they have no place on a site that touts itself on its free thought.

...but it is also being used by an actual mob: the anti-Penn Staters, and it leads to dumbass comments like this:

I'm beginning to wonder if I would shed a single tear if someone "Bane'd" the entire PSU football stadium on opening day.

...and suddenly, even trying to justify why I still go to Fark is getting flimsy.

Because this sort of shit is rife over there. There are actually people over there that go as far as to say that people who had no involvement in the rape or the cover-up, and in fact probably resented the program a little, who nonetheless pipe up that the NCAA sanctions might have gone a little too far, because they hurt their business, deserve everything they get. Those pipe-uppers are not defending Jerry Sandusky (which no one has, and anyone who tries to say anyone has can be lumped in with the witch-hunters), or even Joe Paterno, but themselves. And that can't happen in Fark-land. Oh no: If you're not taking it like a little bitch in Happy Valley, you deserve everything you get. So say the Farkers that had never even heard of Jerry Sandusky until the scandal broke and have no connection whatsoever to Penn State.

However, even those Farkers no longer hold a candle to Magorn (and yes, I'm outing him) for that comment.

If there is a more efficient way to show that you don't care one whit about the victims of two different atrocities, I'd like to know it. This guy doesn't care about anything but his own twisted need for "justice". He cares less about the victims of Penn State than Jerry Sandusky did, and he cares less about the victims of Aurora than James Holmes did. Quite frankly, I'd be more scared of leaving my kids (if I had any) in the hands of Farkers like Magorn than I would leaving them in the hands of Sandusky or Holmes. Because Sandusky and Holmes are more predictable than Farkers, and that's saying a lot about the latter, a guy that booby-trapped his own apartment and shot up a bunch of people using tear gas as a cover, apparently just because he could. And yet, he's saner than the Farkers who are trying to blow up Penn State.

And why is this? Because they dare to not want to hate Joe Paterno for his actions. Funnily, many of the people who express this rage are also evangelical Christians, who believe that the world was made 6,000 years ago, that a global flood wiped out all but a boatload of organisms from the planet, and that a small book written ages ago by Middle-Eastern sheep-herders is the word of God. A God who, in said book, condoned rape, pedophilia, slavery, and murder. Yet, many said Christians still worship him, even knowing all of these things. Even worse, many still defend his actions, something that no one in the Penn State scandal is doing. They are hypocrites in the highest order, and I say unto them, now they know how atheists feel about them.

To sum this up, this is what believer-think actually leads to: Vigilante mobs who will not be satisfied until every man, woman, and child at Penn State is scrubbed off the face of the earth, because they deserve it for merely following a man. Their actions are analogous to lynch mobs, witch-hunters, and Crusaders the world over. Their believer-think is soaked up, sadly enough, by people who should know better than to fall for it, because it's justice for child-rape, and it's okay. Just like lynch mobs thought it okay because they were those evil darkies; just like witch-hunters believed it okay because "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"; just like Crusaders thought it okay because the heathens had Jerusalem. That an atrocity is okay because it's an action for another atrocity. Quite frankly, it sickens me to see that there are groups of people with this thought in the 21st century, who would not hesitate to fly a banner over a school saying "TAKE DOWN THE STATUE OR WE WILL"...y'know, for the children. Who have gone on countless boards proclaiming that Penn State got off easy by merely being crippled for four years and fined $60 million, and should've gotten the Death Penalty...y'know, for the children. Who say indefensible shit like Magorn wanting PSU to have a massacre like Aurora on a stadium level, and being cheered for it...Y'know, for the children. And who demonize all who say, hey, maybe you might want to tone it down a bit, maybe you've gone a little overboard, and maybe some of the people being punished don't deserve this by calling them pedophiles or worse...Y'know. For the children.
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Dancing...with films... [30 May 2012|12:34am]
...so, I'm rooting around the selections for the Dances with Films festival because...well, see last entry; we don't have to mention her again...and I found two other interesting films that will be playing there that pertain to some of my interests. The first one pertains to another internet movie group; the other pertains to my general geographical location.

The first film is called Fuzz Track City, a "comic neo-noir thriller fueled by an eclectic retro-rock soundtrack." And it happens to star a member of the Film Pigs; namely, Todd Robert Anderson. As the links say, the film screens June 4th at 7:15.

The second film is a baseball movie...called Gibsonburg. It is based on a true story from my own neck of the woods. In 2005, the Gibsonburg High School baseball team went a paltry 6-17 in their league schedule. The way Ohio high school baseball is set up, however, every team gets into the state tournament. How does a team take advantage of that? Why, win eight straight games and win the state championship, of course! To date, the 2005 Gibsonburg baseball team is the only high school team in any state in any sport to win a state championship with a losing record. This film, far more than the other two that I have my eye on, will likely be shown in a theater that is easily accessible to me. But first, it makes its world premiere out in LA on June 5th at 2:45 PM.

So, there you have it. If you're out there in LA next week, you've got three pretty good reason to attend this festival and catch a few indie movies!
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Comin' out of hibernation... [17 May 2012|12:58pm]
...so, hey! This is still here! Lemme update it with...stuff:

1. I, unfortunately, no longer have a job at The Vortex. And it's because my manual dexterity is not the greatest. It seems to me that factory work is probably not my forte...yet the only things people who are helping me hunt want me to do are factory jobs...

2. Meantime, I got another round of jury duty. This time, it's one day every two weeks for the whole summer...it's the Grand Jury. Thankfully for me, I'm an alternate, so I'll only be there more than 15 minutes when they need someone to fill in. My only real comment is this: If the only time you've ever been in a courtroom is for jury duty, count yourself extremely lucky.

3. Sports roundup: First, the Browns' draft. Other than the first round, I think they had a pretty solid draft. It's not gonna get 'em anywhere this season, but it has potential. As for the first round, they got suckered by the Vikings into overvaluing Trent Richardson, then they got suckered by their fans into thinking they need a new QB RIGHT DAMN NOW! And they took the oldest 1st round pick in Draft history. They got their bright, shiny new gun...and the only bullet they got for him was Travis Benjamin, who some draft sites predicted would get on his team by being a return man. ...Not in Cleveland he won't. Oh, and they're seriously thinking of tossing away their old gun. ...that gong sound you hear is the first death knell of the Holmgren era in Cleveland. And it won't be the last.

4. To the Cubs. Their current season was to be expected: New manager, new GM, best hitters gone. There have been a few pleasant surprises: The top 3 in the rotation have performed admirably (despite Ryan Dempster's inability to get a win, and one would not think Jeff Samardzija and "admirably" would be in the same sentence), Bryan LaHair has just been destroying right-handers (now, if he can only do the same to lefties), and Tony Campana has proven that the Cubs' trading Marlon Byrd was the right move. Of course, you've got to balance that with the bad. The bullpen is probably the worst in baseball right now. Kerry Wood is done. Carlos Marmol just isn't closer material (though Rafael Dolis is not the answer, either), and the only arm out of the pen worth anything is James Russell. Other bad areas: Chris Volstad should not be on a Major League roster, most of the starting lineup can't hit: Geovany Soto is about to get replaced by Steve Clevenger, Alfonso Soriano is now officially the load, and Ian Stewart ain't no Aramis Ramirez. This is definitely a rebuilding-type club, but some of the younger guys seem promising (Clevinger, Campana, and Castro the most so).

5. And speaking of Chicago, y'all know I couldn't go through my first post in 3 months without mentioning Senta Moses. 'Course, there hasn't been too much about her going on in those three months, but a couple of things happened in the last couple of days. First, "10 Years Later" has been picked up for distribution by Indican Pictures (I'm guessing for a DVD distribution, though it doesn't look like it's available for sale yet). Of interest are a few nice movie stills that I hadn't seen before. If you're a Senta fan (and why the hell are you reading this if you aren't?), you might think Indican is a bit familiar, and it is: They also distribute another film that Senta was in, the 2003 movie Scream Queen.

6. The second bit o' Senta news: Another movie she's in, "Love, Gloria," will have a showing at the Dances with Films festival on June 7. This is the same festival that "10 Years Later" won an Audience Award at last year, though the venue is different: This year it'll be at the Chinese 6 theaters at Hollywood & Highland. (Look at me talking about LA as though I've ever actually been there...thank you Google Maps!) Up until a few weeks ago, there wasn't a whole lot of info about the movie, but now we know the plot: A former child star gets kidnapped, and hijinks ensue when her manager uses the kidnapping to revive her career rather than, y'know, rescue her. Nick Scown, the director/writer/producer, has put up the trailer on his Youtube page. Which does have Senta in it, and it looks like her role is to be pitch-girl to the sleazy manager's revival plans. It also seems she'll be talking on the phone quite a bit in this one. It does, however, give her a chance to act with an adult who's shorter than she is...even if it only is over the phone. (The manager is played by Danny Woodburn, who's only a little bit behind Verne Troyer and Peter Dinklage in the "famous little person actor" department. Not to be confused with Danny Woodhead, who's only short in relation to other football players...)

7. And finally, to Castle (SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!): You've satisfied the shippers. Now let's see if you can actually write a good storyline to extricate everyone from this predicament.

'Till next time...whenever that is...
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Getting the spark back... [19 Feb 2012|02:53pm]
...so, it once again has been awhile since I've updated this thing.

But I wanted to tell you about an insane game of Magic I played today...against a bot.

I was playing Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, with the "Trinity of Elements" deck (the one on the 3rd Deck Pack expansion, with Riku of Two Reflections as the avatar), against Garruk Wildspeaker's deck. Our critters eventually got mired in a logjam anyone in Los Angeles would be proud of. On top of this, we both had lifegainers: His two Grazing Gladeharts versus my three Essence Wardens. I was keeping my side of the ground stall alive with Rakka Mar, while he kept the critters coming and coming. I actually kept whiffing on playables otherwise, only hitting land or ways to get land for about 6 or 7 turns in a row (including three straight Rampant Growths, which are not welcome in the late game). So, here I am, at 119 life (no, that's not a typo...I was at a hundred and nineteen life), him at 51, I'm realizing I'm probably going to deck out...

...and then he casts Overrun and alpha strikes, with only a summoning sick Terra Stomper and a Wall of Vines holding down the fort.

I do a quick calculation of the power coming at me...and click "Skip Blocking". I take the 80 damage and drop to 39.

So now, my turn. My board consists of three Essence Wardens, a couple of Rip-Clan Crashers, a Man-o'-War, a Farhaven Elf, a Bloodbraid Elf, a Gaea's Revenge, a Primal Forcemage, Rakka Mar, 12 Elemental Tokens, two Ronin War Clubs, and a Fires of Yavimaya. The quick tally didn't look good, but...Rakka Mar makes an Elemental. I gain 3 life, he goes from 3/1 to 10/6 after all the hay is made, and I Alpha Strike. My own quick calculations told me that I'd be one damage short of killing Garruk (after the big Elemental and Revenge were taken out of the equation)...if it weren't for the Fires of Yavimaya. 52 damage on that final strike wins me the game...and since I haven't fully unlocked the deck yet, it earns me a nice Simic Sky Swallower for my troubles. And this deck sorely needs the air beats. Meanwhile, this sure does help me try and make a swing of things in the real world cardflopping scene...just need to find a place to play...

That's it for now.

Wait, no it isn't, 'cuz there is a Senta Moses interview coming up tonight at 6 PM...with the same ring rowdies from last time over at Cloverleaf Radio. That would be right here on your BlogTalkRadio dial.
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Ready for an update? Too bad... [01 Nov 2011|01:13pm]
...so, it has been awhile since I've updated the ol' place. There hasn't been much that's changed, though thanks to my now being gainlessly employed as a temp at a big ol' dishwasher factory (hint: its name means "vortex"), I'm typing this entry on a brand new ready-made computer. No, no big box Dell for me; I had a friend build it from scratch. It's been running great so far...though I only emphasize "so far".

But enough about my favorite subject (though I talk about myself so infrequently you might think it's been replaced by something else...), there is a small bit of news on the subject of my second-favorite subject, and that would be Senta Moses. She'll be doing an interview with the smarks at Cloverleaf Radio. Though their main draw is wrestling, they do do quite a few interviews with non-wrestling personalities (like the guy who plays "Peggy" in the Discover commercials, one of the guys from Storage Wars, and even Roscoe Orman from Sesame Street). Anyway, the interview I'm interested in will be in this space right here at 6pm Eastern time, 5pm interviewer's time, 3pm interviewee's time on Friday. Be there or be put through a table!
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