Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Importance of a Good Bed

I'm an easy traveler, but if the bed sucks - if I cant sleep, then it can ruin my entire trip. I'm human. A stiff neck, or poor sleep, really makes life a lot harder. And vacations are supposed to be fun, but they can also be a lot of hard work. A decent bed (preferably a nice bed) just makes such a huge difference.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The fallacy of Justice in America

The idea that "justice is blind," is wonderful and intentional, but also wrong.  Justice has been corrupted by greed and revenge.

The "drug war" incarcerates people who would otherwise be able to be productive members of society, thus draining society.  It incarcerates people in corporate-owned and corporate-run prisons, thus shifting money from the poor (taxpayers) to the rich (corporate owners).

"Legalized rape" threatens, disenfranchises and weakens women.  The most effective way to raise an entire society and culture out of poverty and into greater self-rule is to empower women. Thus, reversing that trend,  increases social poverty and decreases social stability. 

It's Class Warfare, Bitches


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It’s a Gun, Not a Condom 6 - Mandatory Firearm Insurance

I'm not anti-gun, I'm anti-stupid.

I support mandatory firearm training, licensing, and insurance.

Unlike a car, a gun has the singular purpose to kill things. Handguns are meant to kill humans. But, let's treat them like cars, anyway, which is smarter than we do now.

I weary of "If the gummit knows I have guns, then they know which guns to take away."

So what? You've got guns! Isn't that the entire point? You have guns to stop them taking your guns, it doesn't matter a rat's ass if they know about them, or not. The entire point is that you're already planning to use your guns to stop them from taking your guns, so nothing changes.

I think the truth is that people are really afraid the cops will stop coming when there are real crimes committed.

Cop: "We got a call of a robbery in progress. Says here they've got 150 guns in that neighborhood. Fuck that. We'll send them the paperwork and they can sort it out themselves."

I mean, isn't that the entire naive premise of "more guns make a more polite society"? That everyone is so terrified of everyone else, no one will possibly ever want to pull a gun?

Remember the whole "Nobama is sending the Army into Texas to take away everyone's guns"?

Sure you do. You couldn't fucking miss how the Fox noise asshats were telling people about it.

1) didn't happen, did it;

2) It's illegal to use the Army against US territories, like Texas. Go ahead and secede you assholes, then you're a foreign nation and we've still got the world's biggest fucking Army, and all you have is a bunch of untrained vigilante wannabes;

3) Real Patriots join the Army, instead of playing Armyman at the Wal-Mart with an assault rifle to buy cookies. This means the Army is composed of Real Patriots who will refuse orders to invade a US territory. 

See the tinfoil hat people completely fail to comprehend the Army is made of people, and people have loyalties to their country, and aren't robots who automatically do whatever they are told. Tinfoil hat people think everyone is as screwed up as they are, so assume everyone will do the same stupid things they will;

4) Remember where I said everyone was talking for months about how the buildup and planning was all about taking away people's guns? Months. You think anyone would fail to notice some "secret mobilization of the Army"? Don't be a moron. Even if it was legal (which it isn't) to use the Army like that, everyone would know months or years in advance, and the entire operation would be a failure before it even got momentum to think about getting started.

This kind of tinfoil conspiracy shit like "they'll take away my guns if I register them" is stupid and irresponsible.

Those kind of stupid and irresponsible people make rational, reasonable, concerned gun owners look like idiots, and make everyone - including gun owners sane and insane - ever more afraid of gun-owners.

And that makes the gun MANUFACTURERS very, very wealthy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Jesus hates the Interweb bloodlust

So, just to harp on this again, the Interwebs Blood Beast neither forgives, nor grasps scope.

Before I launch into the rant, some context. Ever see the old "Clash of the Titans"? Awesome line in there, where Calibos shouts "I demand justice!" And his goddess mother replies "Justice, or revenge?"

Most Americans, and quite possibly most humans, confuse the two. Most people really want revenge, even when they say justice. Most people count themselves as victims of a crime they only hear about, arrogant and stupid as that is.

I've been screwed several times in my life on false charges, or mistakenly, or just inappropriately.  There is no justice when someone throws you under the bus, "because there must appear that something was done," there is no fairness when a minor infraction that only warrants a private and uncomplicated warning results in a public dressing down.  I know what it means to be shamed, screwed and treated badly for no good - no justifiable - reason at all.

Imagine the most unjust treatment you've ever had. Now magnify that by a million screaming idiots sticking their nose into your business and making your humiliation worse.

Now, you may be ready to read this rant.

I'm appalled by the number of people who make remarks like "This wouldn't be an okay remark in person, why would they think it would be okay online," in reference to a story about a woman makes a poorly-worded tweet and gets on a plane for eleven hours. By the time the plane lands, thousands, tens of thousands, or possibly millions of people are clamoring for the bloodsport of watching her face when she gets off the plane – tired, cramped, looking forward to seeing her family – and watching her face as she realizes the world hates her, that her friends, family and co-workers are being attacked and shamed, and her life is destroyed. People clamored to see the confusion and pain on the face of this woman they knew nothing about, except what they had invented in their own minds.

So, let's clarify:

1) The remarks were taken out of context, and shoved into a different context, creating the illusion that a normal person, doing a normal thing, was somehow the next incarnation of the anti-Christ, Satan, and Barney the Dinosaur rolled into one;

2) If these comments had been said in person, then someone would have said "don't be a jerk," and that would have been the end of it, so you don't get to self-righteously - and foolishly - compare apples to a shit-ton of dung dumped by a million people being selfish tits;

3) The online world doesn't forget - ever. These "one time events" lead to public humiliation, loss of employment, loss of friends, loss of family, loss of homes, and literally having to run for their lives from death threats (yes, seriously, dear God I wish I was exaggerating).

Plus, this shit will be cyclical - every few years, an entirely new generation of arrogant self-righteous warriors, and blockheaded crusader-wannabes, and chest-thumping bullies, will find the memes all over again and decide they need to have their revenge against these people who have already been pilloried and crucified several times already for making one small, inconsequential decision.

This is NOT about the people who make these dumb choices. This is about the bullies who launch some assnine crusade against some person who made a dumb choice.

Or, how about the meme with the girl who was crying while holding an iPhone and someone captioned it "She wanted the other color; this is why we can't have nice things" - I bet she was crying because she was so fucking happy someone gave her an iPhone, but no - some asshole decides to make a joke, and now the girl is crucified for a crime she didn't commit. 

Crucified, I will remind you, by a million people who have no clue who she is, why she was crying, or if she is a wonderful person - and worse, they don't actually care, because the truth is that it's all about their own pissant anger, and the target is the real victim of this ignorant mindless animal bloodsport rage.

Interweb rage and crusading isn't about the victims at all. It's about the selfish assholes who decide to be angry about something they know nothing about. They decide to be bullies and lash out. They decide to hurt other people over imagined wrongs, on trumped up charges made up from nothing.

You know, rather like Jesus was crucified for crimes he didn't commit, on charges that were trumped up out of nothing.

Funny thing, though - Jesus knew that is what he was here for, and happened to be the son of God.

How about these people who have their tweet stolen, and spend a year (or years) running from mindless rabid Interweb mobs of selfish idiots, some of whom send threats involving rape with a crowbar.

Yeah, I rather think Jesus would disapprove of the Interweb Blood Beast.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Musical Monday: Twerking Stormtroopers and other awesome Star Wars parodies

Everyone loves Star Wars. George Lucas had a great story, and managed to create an amazing world, with truly loveable characters, and did a wonderful job making that word accessible to millions (billions?) of fans around the world.

The people at Disney might think they bought Star Wars from Lucas, but the truth is they only bought the rights to generate revenue off it. Star Wars belonged to the fans by Christmas 1977. The mob had claimed it for themselves.

Here is a trio of fan vids to emphasize my point. Plus, they're just fun to watch. Obviously the people involved had tons of fun.

Stormtrooper Twerk!

It is my opinion that one reason "Everyday I'm Shuffling" took off so well, was because of that singing house video. But, maybe not. I do remember *everyone* thought it was frickin' cool when the band went and performed in front of the house! That's serious fan love, that is.  It's also a fun song, and the LMFAO guys did a great job with humorous follow-ups.

This young woman does a great job looking like Natalie Portman. She also spent a lot of time getting this put together, in what looks like multiple conventions. She did a great job getting buy-in from different cosplayers and probably set managers and property owners. That's mad fan passion. Good for her!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fictional Friday: Power Word Pointless

Why are the spells Power Word Stun and Power Word Kill Enchantment spells?

Why are Enchantment spells linked to hit points?

Does anyone even use the spells any more?  I mean, seriously, starting with 3e, and continuing into 4e and even worse with 5e, what CR20 monster has less than 100 hit points? And if your party has managed to smash it down to under 100 hit points anyway, why waste a 9th-level spell on it? And how are you supposed to know when it's under 100 hit points, anyway?

I mean the CR 21 dragon has 267 hit points, the CR 20 pit fiend has 300, the CR 15 purple worm has 167 and the frickin' CR 5 hill giant has 101.

"Hey, you know, now that the fighter has hit the stock, classless, non-advanced, henchman hill giant with the javalin, I'll pop off my 9th-level instant death spell, because now I know it won't be wasted."


And Power Word Heal is just a really tightly focused, and super-convenient, video game-inspired wish.

Has anyone ever really used the Power Word spells, or do these just keep getting dragged forward as one of those legacy things that just has to be there, or purists will bitch up a storm?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I'm an acquired taste - the Blessed Blogger

I have Views. That's why I'm online. Many of these Views would be awkward to express in real life. In real life, you have to look people in the eye, and get along with them tomorrow. They gossip to friends, family, clients, whomever.

Gossip sucks. Gossip ruins lives. It makes life awkward. In real life, people are just as stupid as they are online. The advantage to online is the illusion of anonymity. Yes, if people really tried, really hard, they could backtrace and find the meat world me. 

They'd all be horribly disappointed, as the meat world me is actually fairly reserved (the bombastic me expresses herself online). I'm also "cute," more than "pretty," but appearances are an acquired taste. In any case, I'm a lot more attractive in your imagination, so do us both a favor and leave it at that.

I've been blessed in my online friendships. You're all crazy wonderful people, and thank you for sharing this experiment with me.

Whenever my "Followers" number spikes (and it does spike - it's not a steady growth, it just jumps in fits and starts), I always feel a weird need to say "Hey, you know I'm crazy, right?"

It's like I want to warn people. Or something. I think I finally sorted out that I don't want people to be *disappointed* if I'm somehow not what they imagined. *Disappointed* people do stupid things, like seek petty revenge, or even turn to bullying in some petty need to lash out. 

Online bullying the last few years has turned bizzaro, insanely, ugly. You've heard of "SWATting," right? Apparently this is quite real, and involves calling in a fake hostage situation against the bully's victim. The cops - because it's their job to rescue people - send the fucking SWAT team to the bully victim's home.

SWAT teams carry military grade gear. That means the bully's victim, and anyone else in the house, are immediately at risk of getting killed.

All because some deranged, small-minded, little tit thought it was somehow a "funny" way to exact revenge for not having his fantasies fulfilled.

Anyway, I'm working on letting go of my need to "warn" new fans that I'm crazy, or have Views. If they don't look before they leap, then they're responsible for being exposed to my relentless efforts to get them to Use Their Damn Brains.

You are all wonderful, and I'm grateful we have connected.

Y'all know I'm crazy, right? :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Musical Monday - ELUVEITIE - The Call Of The Mountains

I love the sound of this one.

My apologies, but I think someone told me about this video, and I can't remember whom it was. If it was you, shout out, okay?  I think it was that one time I said "Hey, give me some musical suggestions!"  I flagged the video, but cannot find that post, anymore.  (Apparently I post a lot on G+.)

I really like the combination of classical accoustic instruments - like violins or wind instruments - with modern rock instruments (e.g. 2Cellos, The Harp Twins, "One Night in Bangkok").

I've also mentioned how I enjoy playing Bards in D&D (and songs about D&D).

As you can guess, this vid hits all my notes. So far, the only one to come close to "The Call of the Mountains" is "Drink!"

661 views in one day ?!?!

Five minutes and two weeks ago was my previous record of 265 views in one day!

New personal best! 661 views in one day, on Sept 12! Wow! Feelin' the love!

Of course, someone also called me a "hater," for the first time ever, which is actually kind of funny, so it was a day of "firsts."

(I can't even manage to hate Rush Limbaugh, and he represents just about everything I loathe in a human being, and he's spent my lifetime hurting America, so he'd be someone I'd "hate" for sure. I mean, seriously, deep down, I'm too reasonable and empathic to be a "hater." I guess I can be hurt by that, or just laugh. I think I'll laugh, especially since that "hater" guy got my gender wrong, which means he really isn't talking about  me, anyway, but some abstract reflection of himself. Ha.)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fictional Friday: 5e Shield Spell - don't fall for the trap!

Maybe I'm still a bit old school (3e being old, right?), but this thing with the shield spell lasting only until the start of my next turn is total crap. 

I really loathed that change in 4e, where at least by burning my daily powers and magic objects, I could drag the duration out to a massive 3 turns. Wheeee.

In 5e, it's the same crap, only now it teases me by letting me burn my limited spell slots, so instead of knowing I've got only one use, so I use it carefully and wait for the right moment, now I'm seduced into burning my precious resources thinking "Oh, this one time is surely important, and I've got plenty of spell slots." Uh-huh. And suddenly my high level spellcaster has blown 1/4 of her spell slots in only a few rounds on a not-actually-guaranteed-to-matter last-ditch defense.

Spell shield

I mean, seriously. Spell slots are the lifeblood of spellcasters, so I'd at least like that stupid shield to have a duration of "one minute (concentration)." Then I'd feel like I got some payoff, instead of a "Hey, here's hoping my three-second force field will work!"

Fairs-fair, in 5e, that +5 AC is HUGE, where a 20th-level Fighter might muster a +16 attack bonus, if really smart about tactics and manages to acquire a legendary +3 weapon. Still, burning a spell slot feels like a high price for the one-shot "saving throw against swords."

Am I overthinking this? Is the "until start of your next turn" a reasonable exchange for a 1st-level spell slot?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Self-worth today measured against the ZomPoc as a yardstick

I've thought about culture-shock and self-worth in general, but I like the ZomPoc scenario for juxtaposition and perspective. If you take a computer geek, and suddenly there are no computers, how does the geek define his existence? The carpenters, and the welders, and the bakers and the mechanics all have immediately ten times the value the geek did, and the geek is accustomed to having thought himself more valuable.

Even better, that seven figure financial market guy. Thought himself God on a high horse. Suddenly no financial markets, no computers, no spreadsheets, no golf, no yachts, no margaritas. Finance boy better hope he had some hobbies - like carpentry - or some warrior type will throw him on the front line as a meat shield.

Then again, Bruce Sterling remarks, in this excellent interview on "alien culture shock" (relevant to the ZomPoc, because turning the world upside turns everyone into a refugee):

"When people are humiliated, and they feel worthless, dishonored, and without some plausible role in society, they often become despairing, or violent."

So, maybe putting Finance-Boy on the front lines is both a useful way to channel his anger at loss of self-worth, and a bit of karmic justice for all the little people he screwed in his pursuit of money sex.

What's the Point Again?

My point really, isn't about the ZomPoc, but about self-worth. Too often we define our personal value against external measures. Do we earn "enough" money? Do we have a big "enough" car? Do other people think we have a "cool" job?

We forget to ask simple things like:

  • "Is my house clean?"
  • "Is my driving record clean?"
  • "Am I paying my bills, despite adversity?"
  • "Are my kids healthy and well-adjusted?"
  • "Am I good at my job?"

I mean blow it, if your day job is bagging groceries, then get good at it and do it well.

If you do something worthwhile, someone will be pissed off.

At the end of the day,  shit still stinks. That means we all have equal value, even if we have unequal worth and unequal opportunities. Be the best you that you can be.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

OMG! Cats!

OMG it's dirty litter! I have to pee in the corner!

OMG it's clean litter! I have to pee in the corner!

OMG I'm a cat!  I have to pee in the corner!

I love my cat. You can tell, because it's still alive.

meowing british kitte
(not a picture of my cat - just a cute picture I found on the interwebs)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Musical Monday - Word Crimes and Bad Grammar

Language is important.  Word choice and grammar are important for clear communication.

Weird Al is classic. He's been making fun of everything since the dawn of time.  Well, at least since the 70s, or something.

James at War, Sheena Melwani and HotforWords, also do a wonderful job of mocking the crappy mangling of language.  I think they recruited HotforWords, because she's attractive, she was a rising YouTube star about the time this was made, and she takes language very seriously. It's funny that a Russian woman, who studied English in college, is now teaching Americans how to stop screwing up their "own" language.

Language is important.  Word choice and grammar are important for clear communication.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fine, go have a pissing match, see if I care

One of those things with social media is watching two people, who are friends with me, but generally have no idea whom the other person is, get into some kind of hissy fit for the most pissant reasons, one (or both) usually shouting "liberal!" or "right-winger!"

I have to keep reminding myself that their pissing contest isn't my problem. I don't have to defend either, and I don't have to intervene, and my best choice is usually to stay quiet and ignore the whole thing.

Well, unless one of them crosses my personal boundaries of bad taste. I have dumped people who - during some pointless scrap with someone else - reveal deeper colors of stupidity (choose your -ism, e.g. sexism), but that's been rare.  People fascinate me, and I can get along and find common ground (at least online) with just about anyone.

Still, because I like both of the brawling idiots, it can be hard not to become emotionally engaged, and worry about fallout, and if my relationship with one, or the other, could be damaged by my silence.

But, as I said, I just try to remind myself to stay out of it, and let them block each other, and then I can just go on associating with each of them as before.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

MTV - "Ridiculousness" - the comedy of broken necks and ruptured kidneys

Humans have never outgrown their love of blood sports. We like to call ourselves civilized, and we outgrew the bloodsports for a while, and contented ourselves with boxing and football (either flavor), but then we invented Mixed Martial Arts, and now we have gungasms in media and real life.

Now, we call our blood sports "comedy" - a show like "Ridculousness"

This unholy spawn of "America's Funniest Videos," (1) where the biggest laughs were the the golf club to the nuts, and people falling off roofs and other injuries.

Now, just from one episode of "Ridiculousness," it's clear to me that now we find broken necks and ruptured kidneys hilarious.  Oh, we don't see those yet, but didn't "Time Bandits" - and later fiction like "Shadowrun" - predict the comedy (2) of seeing people maimed and killed?  Yep, they did. And now we watch people fall hard on brick corner work and slam into the ground chin first and not move, and we laugh, and laugh - while the asshole buddy with the camera just stands there filming, instead of rushing to aid his immobile friend.

Yeah, fucking hilarious, watching people hurt themselves, cripple themselves, or maybe die, doing foolish stunts, or sometimes everyday things (like riding a bicycle and slipping on grass).

We're a sick species.