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Tales of the Adventures of Kermix
(wherein we all make it up as we go along)
Recent Entries 
14th-Oct-2008 10:15 pm - Whirlwind
Scud: So Who's The Job?
Wow, things just started moving very quickly. And as usual, I have said nothing about it here.

This weekend, several remarkable things happened, some great, some not-so-great, but all moving us forward. We hunted for a local, nearby, comparably-priced apartment with (considerably!) more space than our own, and today we found one. In two weekends from now, we will be going down to Los Angeles for a Halloween event, so we only really have the next weekend to do any big moving that requires additional people, but we are motivated and excited and We Can Do This. It's really one-half of a nice Victorian house. Pictures are not promised but may eventually surface.

Over the weekend I also stopped off in my old hometown very briefly to be a part of an informal, orchestrated-on-Facebook reunion between myself and a handful of people I went to grade school with. My dad found this strange because, as he said, he wouldn't want to be in a room with anyone he went to school with. I joyfully fall further from the tree along this axis. I got to see my grade school best friend for the first time in approximately 15 years, and several others for the first time in at least 20 or more. Pictures were taken, food was grilled, cupcakes were eaten, and it was a grand day all around.
Scud: So Who's The Job?
I have figured out how to hack politics in this country. All we need to do is figure out how many Democrats need to move from our already-very-solid-blue states into swing states, and make them step up to the plate and do it.

The problem is not that Democrats are outnumbered. The problem is that, by and large, they seem to prefer to concentrate themselves in certain areas of the country for their own reasons. But for all their blue-ness, do they not realize that a landslide in any state is wasted as long as the electoral college is in play? And yet they whine when a Republican wins. It seems like the solution is so simple.

As a citizen of any country where your vote determines who governs, it is the responsibility of the people to act in their country's best interests. It seems to me that many people here have fallen short of doing everything in their power to help their country out. You don't have to go to the ridiculous extremes of committing murder or other illegal/immoral things, and you don't have to suffer fools by campaigning to people who already know who they're going to vote for and are tired of listening to your rhetoric.

You want to make a difference? Convince the majority of your entire Democratic town to enact a mass exodus and move to a small town in Michigan.

I mean, case the joint first, sure, to see if it's to your liking, but I seriously hope you see where I'm going with this — find a nice little swing-state community that you and your family and friends can enjoy and start trickling over there. Do the math. Find out how much housing is available and how many votes it takes to turn the tide. Set up websites and communities for migration. Let everyone see that you are serious about making a real difference in this country, even if it means giving up the community you've grown into and starting fresh with another. Not doing this, or finding an even better solution than this, is laziness. Try another country if you can't step up to the plate in this one. But, no — don't, don't, don't move out of the country! Not if you really believe it needs to be different.

Be truly single-minded about organizing your party and doing whatever it takes to give them the power you want them to have. That is what you can do for your country.

Has anyone come up with this before? If so, please link me to the source and pass both of these things along.
13th-Aug-2008 08:31 am - Cool Things I Want
Scud: So Who's The Job?
Thing: Captain Hammer's T-Shirt.
Reason: Halloween is coming up, and based on where we will be on Halloween, of all the costumes I can imagine, all of them would make me far too hot and sweaty compared to this.
Attainability: Already ordered. I was waiting for them to come back in stock, and the moment they did, I was ON THE CASE. You don't want to be caught empty-handed with less than two months to go! (Although, I do need a good pair of black work gloves, too.)

Thing: Scud: The Whole Shebang!
Attainability: Just gotta pre-order one and wait until they come back in stock.
Reason: As previously stated elsewhere in this journal, I loved this series. However, I no longer have the first TPB in my possession, and I would like to own the entire series in one volume (and introduce it to eowyn797 properly).

Thing: Notebook PC.
Attainability: Moderate, but you don't ever want to just get any old notebook, do you? You have to spend time shopping around, weighing options, etc. For a while I was looking at those Eee PCs, the cheap and tiny ones, but they really don't have anything all that substantial in terms of power, speed, or screen size. They're mostly just cute, portable, and accessible; I can use any old computer. The one I want to own has to be a little more powerful.
Reason: Honestly, there's no practical need I can cite that would require me to have a notebook. It's just a cool thing, which means that other, cheaper, cool things take precedence.

Also, a Cool (Free) Thing I Have: a Firefox extension called RSS Ticker, which scrolls the headings of any number of RSS feeds across the top of Firefox. I'm using it with Craigslist and other sites' job searches right now to keep my eyes constantly looking at other options.
24th-Jul-2008 01:10 pm - The Name Of My Game
Peter Pack Rat
The uniqueness of my name is something that I took many years to finally grow into. I thought it a curse when I was a kid and a teenager, and even in my early twenties I occasionally used an alternate, more common, name at my retail job. In my 30's I've finally matured, and so has my name, to the point where it's a blessing. Currently, the biggest reason for this change of heart is Facebook.

I also took some time to come around to the idea of social networking. As I've said before, I had no personal interest in it for some time, as I didn't really see the point. Honestly, I still have some issues with it, but they are different issues now — I could complain about Facebook's unending parade of mindless time-wasting applications until I've wasted an equally pointless amount of time. But the best thing about my name now is that I don't always have to work very hard to find people, because they don't have to work very hard at all to find me. It's like being the only Tigger, but way cooler.

That said, I discovered today that the sister of my grade school best friend* is getting married on my birthday. Words to describe the squee of this news are insufficient.

*eowyn797 really likes it when a male has a best friend and calls them such.
30th-Jun-2008 02:03 pm - I'm A Cowboy And Cowboys Never Quit
Scud: So Who's The Job?
The "indie" comic book that got me into comics, Scud: The Disposable Assassin, remained unfinished for about ten years. Then Rob put his heart back together, took all the loose ends (and even some of the tight ones), and reconnected them all in a glorious four-issue finale that won me back. Forever. I couldn't be happier with the outcome of the story or of its author's struggle to complete it.

I've been taking some time this last week or so to realize — with my heart, rather than my head — how to live my own life. On Tuesday night, I went to the local bowling alley long after I should have been asleep, and I ended up in the bar singing karaoke for the first time in my life to Crowded House. (Yes, I am a child of the 80's, and damn happy to be one.) Another night, I was sleepless until the sun came up writing down a rather long list of significant changes to my website, all related to what I just now decided to call (because I love giving clever names to things) Project Boomerang.

A while back, while I wasn't looking, social networking sites became the Current Big Thing, and for a long time, I could care less*. Then I started to realize that I was living in a town where everyone I knew was leaving it, and I left the city where I knew everyone. So I started to brainstorm ways to get back in touch with people, and that became a mission to get back in touch with everyone who's ever known me — even the people that I clashed with. Facebook's been a big help in finding old classmates and some ex-co-workers, but I could really care less about any and all of the bells and whistles and cheap excuses for real communication that they offer like little snacky candy bars, to maximize the amount of time you waste looking at their branded pages. So I'm thinking there's a better way to deal with it. I may want business cards.

Over the weekend, I went back to my old stompin' grounds. As I was packing and driving out (with a new headset for my cellphone — it's almost the law!), I learned that my first bandmates were performing a short set with their newest ensemble, the Revolutionary Patriots, and so I spent the first evening of my weekend hanging out with friends I hadn't seen in years. The rest of the weekend lined up just like that. Old friends started coming out of the woodwork, and a few new friends showed up that happened to know other old friends. I even ran into my big sis without trying. This is what happens when I feel like I'm home.

I've lost, or broken, connections to a lot of people who can be a lot stronger together than they can by themselves. Like it or not, we all share the same soul, from the moment we first lay eyes on each other to the moment we close them for the last time. I'm going to start putting this soul back together, and you're going to help me, because it's all that you'll ever have or need.

* I now realize that this grammar is incorrect — it should be, "I couldn't care less". Thanks to reader Simon Ciacirelli for spotting this!
try science
Last weekend we went up the coast to several points north, notably Cambria and Hearst Castle. Very good times. They are photographically documented very well here.

Also, these artifacts from my childhood were unearthed during the adventure.

It officially became an adventure when we stopped in Morro Bay to see Morro Rock, the giant volcanic plug that's plopped down near the beach. While leaping playfully from rock to rock along the beach, I hopped onto a large rock that turned out to be less solidly placed than the others, and when it gave way it also tipped over and pinned my pant leg down. I needed eowyn797's help to get me unstuck. I also scraped my right hand very slightly on the rock while we were freeing my leg. ADVENTURE! And yes, I did say the quote in the subject line while this was happening.

Yanagi Sushi in Pismo Beach (easily visible from the freeway) is still the most awesome place we ever have lunch/dinner whenever we drive that far north. I highly recommend it for anyone passing through there. Everything we've had there the last 4 or 5 times we've gone up there has been fabulous. The Golden California Roll was the first thing to capture my heart, but seriously, just get anything. It'll probably be awesome.

My DVD burner started petering out earlier this week, and its replacement (which arrived today) just happens to be the same model as eowyn797's. Our computers are matching! Teehee.

Our router is also showing signs of decay — the connection drops when too many connections are made, but "too many connections" wasn't too many before. Our new replacement router (not yet installed), like most routers now, contains both ethernet and wireless connectors, but we don't have any wireless stuff (or any reason to switch) yet. It also happens to be supported by an open source firmware that is supposed to be impressive, so I may check that out later if/when we have a reason to go wireless.

I recently learned how to convert regular old AVI video to a format called DPG, which is basically just an MPEG-1 modification that can be played back on the Nintendo DS using homebrew software. I don't use the DS for watching video, but it's just one of those neat things I like to figure out how to do every once in a while.

I quietly started using Thunderbird (Portable) for email, since I have both my Gmail account and my work email (IMAP) configured in it. It's surprisingly handy to have both email accounts available through the same interface, on a USB drive that I can take with me, and with neither account storing mail on my device. (Edit: Incidentally, the Win32-based PortableApps, with its ability to travel between home and work, is probably the only thing keeping me from exploring the current crop of useful Linux stuff and considering it as a permanent home OS.)

My phone's data cable was giving me trouble on the home PC a long time ago, so I just forgot about it for a while, but I recently took it to work and got the data connection working there — which means, in short, that I can get camera pictures off it, and put other ringtones on it. (I have a lj pics gallery called "crappyphonepics" set aside specifically for these pictures.) In retrospect, it's probably not the driver or software that was having trouble. It sometimes takes some jiggling of the power cable to get the phone to start charging, which could mean that the phone's connecting thingy is a little messed up. It's showing its age.
ow ow ow, bonk bonk bonk, Dirk Gets Bonked
Today we were at a local Gamestop, briefly, browsing the Wii selection (for future reference; we're not getting one until we get a bigger place). There was a Wii on display, with the latest Smash Bros. offering, so I figured I'd take a moment to figure out the controls. There's a single-player "story" mode in this one, so I played it solo a bit, and a little kid was checking it out with me. After a whlie, the kid noticed that I was playing with an unfamliiar character, who happened to be Pit, who I first saw in the NES' Kid Icarus.

The kid asks who that is, and I say, "Oh, that's Pit, he's this angel dude from a game that was probably made long before you were born."

He scoffed. "Yeah, right; I'm 7 years old."

I didn't feel like getting into the history of video games, so I let him slide. As far as he knew, I was ancient.

Addendum: eowyn797 told me I should "LJ" this. The word has officially become a verb in our home.

I'm picking up some French, as part of a long-term plan, and while I don't know a great many words yet, we have a recent favorite restaurant in town called Pacific Crepes (which serves, more or less, raw awesomeness), and I was able to understand and exchange a few words with the French-speaking staff. Also, I know for a fact that at least two (and possibly three) of my co-workers speak French, so I'll be inviting them to lunch there sometime soon to immerse myself in the language.
14th-Jan-2008 04:30 pm - The Line
When I was in elementary school, there was a used book sale in the auditorium, and I picked up a book on Geometry (the regular old mathematical kind, not the "Sacred Geometry" of my tarot deck). I didn't know, back then, that I would have a Geometry class in high school, I just knew that I liked the subject matter, the ideas, the shapes, and the logic. As a result, when I took Geometry in high school, I passed it embarrassingly easily. (I'd argue, at this point, that grade-school kids should be given the opportunity to read textbooks way the hell above their grade level, but I wouldn't know where to start arguing.)

Christmas and New Year's were good. They were spent relatively quietly; we got to bed at least an hour before midnight on New Year's Eve, though I woke eowyn797 up for a few seconds at midnight, which I identified by the distant commotion outside, to wish her a happy new year.

At the end of 2004, the year that she and I met, the word for the year was Union. This year, in an effort to re-orient myself, I revisited the deck briefly, and was given a card marked "The Line", which contained the word "Extension". Without taking the word into account, I quickly understood what it meant to me, and the simplicity it represented.

In life, there is a straight line between you and anything you want. It may help to visualize that line, and follow it. It will help to develop a sense of when you are veering off of that direct path, and to re-evaluate what you're doing when you realize that you are. (My words, no one else's.)

I kind of dropped off the face of the written web because I haven't had anything to say from the top of a podium lately. I'm more interested in personal communication. Let's all get back to letters, emails, IM, and phone calls for a while, yeah?
23rd-Nov-2007 02:27 pm - D:
Scud: So Who's The Job?
A friend had an idea, wherein people would try to mimic the expression of Donald Sutherland in this scene from Invasion of the Body Snatchers:

I gave it a shot, and this was the frightening result: D:Collapse )
18th-Nov-2007 08:06 pm - Tips For Livin'
mum's the word
Learn something new about yourself as often as you can.

For example, today I discovered, with eowyn797's assistance, that I like curry.

(It was mild, but I figure I can work my way up.)
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