Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Use more words: own your part of clear communication

Life would be so much easier if people just took more responsibility for making their message clear.

In any conversation, there are two people.  One person is trying to convey information, and the other is supposed to be trying to receive it.  

A lot of people use a few words, and then get pissy when the other person doesn't understand.  That's a simple case of "use more words" - the speaker has a responsibility to say enough to make information transfer happen. The speaker has a responsibility to not get pissy when the recipient can't read his, or her, or FYU, mind.

The more common point of communication conflict is that the recipient isn't actually listening. This is a common joke, which isn't actually funny, that "People just stand around waiting for their turn to talk."  When someone isn't actually paying attention to what is being said, there is no communication.  People pick fights with the noise in their heads, and take it out on the people around them.

This is another common point of communication conflict.  If someone asks a question, usually that person is looking for information.  However, I know people who "ask questions" as a way of expressing their anger and frustration. They're not really looking for information, they're just pushing the blame onto their target.  For example, "Didn't it ever occur to you that was so stupid!" isn't really looking for information, it's saying "I think that was really stupid," without bothering to own the emotion itself.

To clarify, if I think you did something stupid, then that's just it - *I* own the thought that you did something stupid. The appropriate way for me to express that is to say "I think you did something stupid."  The "passive aggressive" way for me to express it is to say "Didn't it ever occur to you that was so stupid!" - I'm pushing the blame for the thought in my head onto you.  Which, when you think about it, is kind of a shitty thing to do.

So, to recap, 
  • As speaker, you have to use enough words to pass along enough information that your recipient can understand what you are trying to say;
  • As information recipient, you have to actually be paying attention and putting effort into understanding what the speaker is trying to convey. You can't just sit around waiting for your turn to talk;
  • If you ask a question, put some thought into it, to make sure you 1) get the information you are looking for, 2) aren't just being a "passive aggressive" jerk.

(Finally, go ahead, be a smartass and pretend you don't understand anything I've written.  Oh, ha ha.  I'm going to ignore obvious taunts and trolls - I just don't have the energy for games right now. If you really want clarification, just say so. Thanks.)

Kevin Spacey

I had drafted a post about what Kevin Spacey actually said.  That is, what he said, and not what people have decided he said.

Then, I realized about 97% of readers would pick fights with the noise in their own heads, and take that out on me (because people are selfish that way), while only about 3% actually read what I wrote.

In other words, 97% of people whose eyeballs saw that I had written something, would waste their time - and my energy - by shouting at me for something that was their own fault, anyway.

This post is about how much human selfishness and stupidity annoys me.

(And for the slow thinkers in the room, I'll spell this out now, before someone tries to make hay where there isn't any. Sexual assault is wrong. Sexually assaulting minors is absolutely wrong. Hell had a special place for anyone who preys on children.  This blog post isn't about sexual assault. I certainly don't forgive the act of harming a minor, and being drunk makes it worse, not better.)

Cthulu at the Bar

Yeah, I feels

Monday, October 30, 2017

Musical Monday - Toto - Africa (metal cover)

Toto - Africa (metal cover by Leo Moracchioli feat. Rabea & Hannah)

Leo Morcchioli does some fun vids, and has some fun interpretations.  The reinterpretation of "Africa" is fun.  The second half of the video is fun, too.

I really like Hannah's voice. She has her own channel, and is fun to watch.

Rabea makes the best faces, and is obviously a brilliant guitarist.

Musical Monday - Hellgate London

We girls always get the worst armor, but she does have the most badass moves in the whole vid, and looks like she has some kind of story, so there's at least that.


As I piece together, this is a fan vid.  Besides, tomorrow is Halloween, so something with demons getting their heads blown off seems appropriate :-)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fiction Friday - Death Ray Eyes - Ketut Ece Van Middlesworth

Background & Origin: She had a hard youth, being yanked from her home by social services, then running away to the Big City in her early teens, after getting fed up being bounced around foster homes.  Her superstrength emerged shortly before she ran away - feeling that sense of power gave her the idea she could survive. She managed to survive, falling in with organized crime as an enforcer and aid women in positions of control.

She has the following siblings:
  • A younger half-sister that she still keeps in touch with, but they're not particularly close. Her sister  doesn't know she is now a supervillain;
  • A younger sister that she has lost touch with.  Every once in a while, she makes noises about finding this sister, but hasn't put any real effort into it.

She has experienced the following important events:
  • She found that she has an older sister that you never knew she had;
  • She fell in love and thought about marriage;
  • She made a friend, a surrogate parent who offers advice, perhaps too much advice. They are an important figure both locally and beyond the immediate area;
  • Her relationship choices were sub-par, and she found yourself two-timing a steady partner. They found out and broke up;
  • An incapacitating accident left her laid up for several months;
  • She was involved in several casual relationships, each lasting a month or more, but none become serious

Combat Tactics:  Generally, she just punches people, because it is effective.  She has no problem using her “death ray vision” on especially dangerous foes, or even just to make a point about how powerful and badass she is.

Personality Traits: inspirational, courageous, adventurous,

Appearance:  She favors steampunk fashion, dark and comfortable. She wears her hair long and flowing.

Powers:  She has superhuman strength and endurance. She can generate an unrevealed energy as beams from her eyes that is lethal to all life forms and damaging even to non-organic material.

She carries a steel shield that she calls her “Steam Shield.”

Notes:  Model unknown.  Character by I.A. Riley, August, 2017.

The powers were all random, but I decided I wanted her to have a ranged attack, and then I just went a bit mods happy with the Death Touch.

(model unknown)

Ketut Ece Van Middlesworth - Mighty Protectors

Strength 29 (Carrying Capacity 3840 lbs., Basic HTH d6+d8)
Endurance 19 (Save 12, Heal 2.8)
Agility 16 (Save 11)
Intelligence 18 (Save 12)
Cool 18 (Save 12, Initiative d8+1)

Hit Points 26
Power 82
Physical Defense 1
Mental Defense  2
Move 21
Inventing Points 9
Wealth d6
Luck 10-
Weight x lbs.
Total Cost 100 + 65 - 15 = 150

Death Vision: Death Touch: Damage d6 Entropy, Range 7”, PR=5, Modifiers:  Range (ST/4”), Armor Piercing 3, Reduced PR (30 CP)

Heightened Attack:  Damage +4 with Death Touch (10 CP)

Heightened Endurance: EN +9, IN +6 (included above)

Heightened Strength: ST +15 (included above)

Wealth: d6 Wealth roll (2.5 CP)

Armored Costume: Adaptation: High Temperatures, Low Temperatures, Armor: Kinetic 1, Energy 2, Biochemical 1, Entropy 2, Modifiers:  Multifunction Gear (15 CP)

Steam Shield: Shield:  Physical Defense +4, Breakpoint x (7.5 CP)

TBD (-15 CP)

Combat Summary:
Initiative: d8+1 (avg 5.5)
Unarmed: Attack 14-, Damage d6+d8 OR 2d6+1 (both avg 8)
Death Vision: Attack 14-, Damage d6+4 OR d12+1 (both avg 7.5)


Document Copyright (C) 2017 by I.A. Riley. All rights reserved.  Portions Copyright others; no attempt is made to infringe upon their rights.

Mighty Protectors and the Monkey House Games logo are trademarks owned by Monkey House Games, ©2017 Monkey House Games. All rights reserved. Made in the U.S.A.

Random backstory generator - http://www.pbegames.com/lifepath/  .

Random name generator - http://www.behindthename.com/random/ .

Random personality trait generator - http://writingexercises.co.uk/random-character-traits-generator.php .

Random height/weight generator - http://tower.newcenturycomputers.net/hwcalc.html .
(see also http://www.healthchecksystems.com/heightweightchart.htm )

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

It's a Gun, Not a Condom 10: Fear is not Freedom

Daphne Sylk wrote:

This is an exact example of the curse of 'ideals'. Ideals put thinking in a box, only what's inside the box is acceptable. That eventually collides with rationality. Unfortunately, rationality is only partial at best, emotions drive the human mind and emotions create ideals.

The idea of guns as a pillar of freedom is exactly wrong.

A man carrying a weapon for 'protection' isn't free, only scared, otherwise he wouldn't feel the need for protection. Fear is not freedom.

Guns are not protection, particularly considering the number of accidents and suicides. Most trained cops miss targets more than they hit, and that from six feet or less. The average paper popping citizen is more of a menace than a source of protection.

Imagine, if you will, that all the people at the concert in Vegas had been armed. How would that have changed what the shooter did? It wouldn't, those poor people didn't even know where the shots were coming from.

That's why strict regulation is required, because people constantly do things not in their own best interest and certainly not in the best interests of society. If people were remotely rational they wouldn't get so fat, fail tests, take harmful drugs, drive too fast, smoke, gamble, but they do. You can't get most people to make a sensible trip to the dentist once a year.

Since rational self interest is an oxymoron, society has to have rules in place that penalize irrationality. In the case of America, the society is too sick to grasp that their delusional 'ideal' of freedom is
killing them.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Limp Dick is God's Will

It's not rocket science. If my tax money can be spent to help a man control his body, then it can be spent to help a woman control her body.

If my tax money can be spent to help men make babies, then my tax money can be spent to help birth and raise healthy children.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Musical Monday - Russian Rammstein - Du Riechst So Gut

This video makes me happy.  I love classical instrumental rock songs.  (For example, The Harp Twins.)

I'm torn which amuse me more - the audience reactions, or the performers themselves. It's always funny to see how people react to a heavy metal song (in this case, Rammstein) played on classical instruments.

I think the video shows a splice of multiple performances, possibly some of them with an audience.  I think the audience segments are probably also spliced from different performances.

Whatever. This video makes me happy.   :-)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Maybe he really is a bad person?

To all those people convinced the media are just making up stories about Trump. Or taking his own tweets and showing them to people. Or running video of Trump actually doing things. Showing Trump looking like a buffoon, or acting incompetent, or even just NOT BEING PRESIDENTIAL.

Does it really not occur to people that maybe Trump really is just a bad person?

I mean, does it really hurt to admit that maybe supporting him was a mistake, and that grown ups change their minds when they realize they did something stupid - like support a bad person screwimg up the most important job in the world on a daily basis?

Why can't he just be an actual bad person? Why is it so much more believable that millions of people are just being mean to him, rather than he's an actual incompetent self-absorbed jerk - like his own actions suggest every damn day?

Why is that so hard?

Measles - It's Not Just a Rash, Dumbass

So, guess what?  The measles vaccine was developed around 1954, and by 1963 - almost ten years of testing - declared safe and effective enough  licensed in the United States.  This wasn't "rushed to market to make money."  This was tested, refined and prepared in order to stop kids from dying.

(child suffering from measles)

Here is a chart showing outbreaks of the disease.

Here is a chart showing DEATHS from the disease.  Notice that Outbreaks plummets after the vaccine is introduced, and that deaths drops to nearly zero.

For the slow thinkers in the room, that means - because of vaccinations - kids stopped dying.

Now, we come back around to "Hey, I'm afraid of vaccines!" and suddenly, a disease that had been thought eliminated, explodes into the population again.

Because, you know, "Vaccines are dangerous!"

And where are kids getting sick?  Hm...

Funny how this works.  Cut back on vaccinations against measles, and get measles outbreaks.  Gosh, it's almost as if the vaccines do actually protect people from infectious diseases.  You know, like they actually work?  Imagine that.

"Vaccines are dangerous."  Yeah, unlike, say, measles....


So, no, I have zero tolerance for anti-vaxxers, who are willing to cripple and kill their own children and my children, too.  Fuck you, endangering my child.

dissenting opinions

It's not the dissenting opinions 
that depress me. 

It's the sheer passion fervently embracing blind common-sense defying vapid stupidity that makes me sick.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Violence as political theater

We have to crack down hard on violence as political theater. We've seen close up what happens when people start taking sides on that issue and making excuses for one side or the other. Assault is assault. I don't give a damn who's doing it. Just like vandalism is vandalism, arson is arson, and making deadly threats is olaga hot.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Musical Monday - The Mean(er) Kitty Video

I like cats.  I have mixed feelings on rap and hip-hop.  Lots of great music in those genres, but some of it sucks.

Anyway, this is a fun silly video. The guy who made it was obviously just goofing around.

The cat is adorable.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Darth Vader, Asshole, Part 2

As I said last week, I've always considered Darth Vader to be kind of an asshole and special snowflake bully.  But, you know, Vader does has style oozing out his helmeted ears, so no surprise some people come up with some really amazing cosplay.

Now that's style.  
I could totally game this character.
(model unknown)

You know, whatever else I think, I give her props for working hard to develop that costume.  I'm also betting (and hoping), she and her boyfriend had major monkey sex that night.  She totally earned it.
(model unknown)

Model Sithvixen
As Sithvixen points out, "Guys love boob armor."

Okay, so you're little girl is adapting an iconic major badass into a costume. I can dig that. Girls need badass role models. I still prefer Wonder Woman to Vader, but the kid rocks it, and I applaud her.
(model unknown)

Blow it. I love body paint. This is cool.
(Model unknown)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Trump and Weinstein: Sexual Assault is Still Wrong

Just so we're clear, if you find  yourself in a conversation about Harvey Weinstein and some tool is making hay that the "Democrats are Evil," because Weinstein is a sexual predator, then here are some responses:
  • So you agree that sexual assault is wrong, and therefore you agree that  GOP President Donald Trump, former Fox News Chief Roger Ailes, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are all fucking scumbags, because they have a history of sexual depredation against women.  Good, so, that means "Republicans are Evil," right?  Especially, since one of those sexual predators is the fucking President and another is a Supreme Court Justice.
  • If it's a "Yeah, but Weinstein!" scenario, the remind them that "Yeah, but..." means the speaker is normalizing and justifying the behavior.  The response to "Yeah, but.." is "So, you're saying you're okay with sexual harassment?  That's kind of shitty of you."
    There is NO "Yeah, but..." when it comes  to sexual predators.  It's only "Yes, you're right. President 'grab her by the pussy' Trump was just as wrong as Harvey Weinstein!"  

Friday, October 6, 2017

Darth Vader, Asshole

Personally, I always thought Darth Vader was kind of an asshole. Sure, he has some major badass style, but I mean, "You've disappointed me for the last time!" (Choke, choke, choke) - what kind of weaksauce idiot manager does that? That's so not going to retain quality talent. Duh.

And, seriously, how much of a special snowflake do you really have to be to bully people who disagree with you?  "I find your lack of faith disturbing," so "I'll choke you and frighten everyone in the room into seeing how big and badass scary I am, because I'm such a snowflake I need people to be afraid of me, all the time!"

Yeah, that's on par with "I took my assault rifle to Wal-Mart to buy cookies, because I'm such a special bullying chicken, I need everyone to see I'm a hardass about my cookies."

Or, maybe, as special snowflake as "I'll sue you for being mean to me! (And then I'll stiff the lawyers on the bill, I'm so hardass!)"

So, yeah. I always thought Vader was kind of an asshole.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Neck Tattoos - not such a good idea

Tell me what you think, but I've always found face and neck tattoos very distracting. As a rule, it seems to me, they are so prominent that when someone looks at you, they see mostly tattoo. The idea like your face becomes an accessory to the artwork, rather than the other way around. That's my thought, anyway.

As others have pointed out, neck/throat tattoos can be especially problematic to your future employment options. Tattoos are pretty common these days, and we have a local Target store where I tease the employees that tattoos must be a job requirement :) Some have prominent tattoos, others only the one or two, but almost all of them seem to have some.

One of the Target cashiers, a woman about 20, was telling me how she was going to cover her tattoos when she went to med school. It wasn't about her art, it is just that med school people are still pretty reserved and "old fashion" about tattoos, and she knew some students and faculty would get distracted just because she had ink.

Also, large pieces of evocative artwork - such as a skull or Jesus, for example - might make a prospective employer - even one tattoo-friendly - think twice about how customers might react to it, and might pass you over for someone less decorated.

I don't know. What do you think?

(model unknown)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Back Again For More

Me: "I'm Baaaaack!"


See also here and here.  I mean, fuck, I wish I had done those two G+ posts as blog posts.  So much love!!

Monday, October 2, 2017

NFL players kneeling in patriotic protest

This got passed to me, but the author got stripped off. It's one of those thinfs I wish I had written.


The NFL players are people expressing their Constitutional rights of free speech. Their private corporate employers can fire them, or not, since doing so is not a violation of the First Amendment. In contrast, the President of the United States speaking to squelch their First Amendment rights, and - again - using inflammatory language to do so, skirts the issue - again - of violating the Constitution, and - again - diminishes the Oval Office.

The root problem is inequality in America. The root problem is the rich and powerful exploiting the government of the people, by the people, for the people to oppress and abuse the people, rather than to serve the people.

In classic Orwellian fashion, the rich and powerful have again exploited the media machine to manipulate the people into some stupid argument about who is a "real patriot," and so we bicker and swagger about "who's a good boy" (or girl, or non-binary gender identifier), instead of being smart and recognizing the root problem: that billionaires are yanking our chains, like dogs, to get us to fight with each other, while they steal our money and our rights, and call us ungrateful slobs for not thanking them.

Meanwhile, the flag is a symbol that gets misused daily, and the National anthem is a song that most people can barely sing only when someone plays it for them. The idea that "real patriots" kow-tow to a government that most of them bitch and whine is "too invasive," and "out to get them," is insane.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Anti-Anti-Fascists? You're kind of an asshole

Mocking the Meme here. This is important, that you understand I'm mocking the meme.

It always amazes me the self-absorbed, self-important mindset required to whine about protests against people whose core belief is "Those darkies ain't human! Jews should be burned to death! They ain't people! Only us special white snowflakes are people with rights!"

"Anti-Anti-Fascists" Really? So, you're saying you support Nazis and Fascists? That's nice. You life hating asshole.


And, by the way, "free speech" is most usually legally defined as "government officials cannot stop you from expression whatever the fuck you want."

That is very different than "people who disgaree with you can also exercise their rights to tell you to shut the fuck up."

That is not the same as "censorship," or "repression," in the way people always scream it is (that is, screaming "My rights I'd free speech are repressed! Whine whine!"). On the contrary, it is often the very essence of "free market capitalism" at work.