Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Care for an Apple?

I took the most accurate villain personality test

created by:
The Arch Villainess Gracie

Tell Me...

How can it possibly still only be Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Poor American Me

Now that I've found happiness with my shiny new mp3 player, I'm already thinking about the next electronic toy I want to buy. And I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that I really, really need a region-free DVD player. I mean, judging by how long it took the Blake's 7 discs to come out in the UK, I'm not going to be holding my breath waiting for them to show up in Region 1. And people outside the US keep recommending me great stuff that they're convinced I totally have to see... except, of course, it turns out not to be available in the US.

I tell ya, it's tough being a citizen of the world.

Anyway, if anybody has any recommendations on the subject, I'd love to hear 'em.
DVD Update

So, I've been watching season 3 of Angel for the past week or so. I think I'm six episodes in now, if I recall correctly. So far, I haven't been terribly impressed... I mean could they get any more heavy-handed with the Issue of the Week stuff? But I've decided I love Fred. I have this weird, overwhelming urge now to stick her in a room with Stark (from Farscape), River (from Firefly), and maybe Drusilla (from Buffy/Angel), and see if the universe would implode from the sheer concentration of craziness.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Cool Site of the Day

If you're like me, you've probably often thought to yourself: Hey, it's the 21st century! What happened to all that futuristic stuff we were supposed to have by now? Food pills, flying cars, cities under the sea? Well here's a site that addresses this question: Retro Future. Lots of nifty little articles on how the future was envisioned in the past vs. the actual current reality. Interesting and entertaining stuff.

(Link via the Presurfer.)

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Yeah, I Could See Myself As Kinda Turtle-Like

Xuan Wu ~ Turtle
You are Xuan Wu!

Mythological background: Because the turtle has a
thick, solid shell that serves as protection -
this animal is associated with stability. You
enjoy intellectual pursuits.
Also, in Feng Shui (the Chinese myths behind
choosing a house), the black turtle's solidity
is used to protect from cold northern winds.

Which Chinese Mythological Being Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Maximum Verbosity Presents: Name That Tune!

OK, now that I've got my music in a suitable format, I can actually do this meme that was floating around a while back. You've seen this one, right? You hit "random shuffle" on your music list, take the first twenty songs, post your favorite line from each of them, and challenge people to name that tune.

Well, uh, I did that, drawing randomly from my entire music collection. And the results were... interesting. I had to skip a large number of spoken-word and instrumental tracks, and one song for which the name of the tune was the only lyric. And a lot of the songs I ended up with were rather obscure. Some of them I didn't even recognize, let alone remember owning.

Anyway, I'll be deeply impressed if anybody gets even a fraction of these. (Well, without googling them, of 'course, 'cause that's cheating, and nobody likes a cheater!)

Here ya go. Good luck!

1. "Some say he was a prisoner who never was set free"

2. "This doesn't have to be the big get even"

3. "Now he's drinking down his Christmas blood-wine in the curse-ed halls of Stovokor"

4. "Roll us both down a mountain and I'm sure the fat man would win"

5. "Ah but a man never got a woman back, not by begging on his knees"

6. "Forget about the worries on your mind"

7. "I don't believe in destiny or the guiding hand of fate"

8. "And if the dead man won't depart, drive a stake into his heart"

9. "Without evil there could be no good so it must be good to be evil sometimes"

10. "It will surely light up--darkened worlds"

11. "Heat the pins and stab them in"

12. "Crossed lines I shouldn't have crossed"

13. "It was 1910 and they never had a friend"

14. "Not that we're complaining, since the fresh fruit all comes free"

15. "Slipping in and sliding out of conscious feeling"

16. "This machine will will not communicate these thoughts"

17. "You need elephant balls"

18. "With every wish there comes a curse"

19. "If you believe in the power of magic, I can change your mind"

20. "Heap big woman you gonna make a big man out of me"

Uh-huh. Yeah. I feel like I should be mildly embarrassed or something now...

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Well, after nearly a week of what seems like almost continuous effort, the great Music Transfer Project is finally completed! Yep, that's right, my entire CD collection is now handily contained in one compact little package. I feel... quite a sense of satisfaction, actually.

Here's a few statistics for your amusement (or, OK, my amusement):

Total number of tracks on the Karma: 3,728
Total space used: 13.0 GB

Top ten artists:
Jethro Tull: 106 tracks
Jimmy Buffett: 93 tracks
Gordon Lightfoot: 87 tracks
Rush: 83 tracks
Billy Joel: 82 tracks
Warren Zevon: 76 tracks
Space Ghost: 74 tracks
The Great Luke Ski: 72 tracks
They Might Be Giants: 72 tracks
Queen: 70 tracks

Wow, that utterly and completely surprises me. OK, the Jethro Tull is no surprise. I love that band. And I realized as I was copying discs that I had a heck of a lot of Jimmy Buffett albums. I don't know what the hell Gordon Lightfoot is doing at #3, though. I seem, somewhere, to have acquired four Gordon Lightfoot discs, with about 20-25 songs each. I don't know where. I don't know why. Rush and Billy Joel are no surprise, though I would have almost expected Rush to rank a little higher. Warren Zevon doesn't surprise me either, if I stop to think about it. The next two are deeply startling, but they really only make the top ten because they're comedy discs with zillions of very short little tracks. The presence of They Might Be Giants is largely due to Dial-A-Song, which also has a ton of very short tracks. The Queen is mostly due to the fact that I have about four different Greatest Hits albums for them, though they would have ranked even higher if the disc of Queen songs being played by the London Symphony Orchestra was listed under Queen instead of under the orchestra's name. I'm disappointed that Pink Floyd didn't make the cut, though.

It should also be noted that a single song is counted more than once if it appears on more than one album (which happens a lot if you've got Greatest Hits discs).

Top ten genres:
General Rock: 634
General Soundtrack: 289
Soft Rock: 243
Classic Rock: 226
Folk-Rock: 209
Progressive Rock: 188
Television Soundtrack: 168
Irish Celtic: 145
General Folk: 123
Hard Rock: 121

Mind you, those genre labels really don't mean much of anything at all. They come from some database or other, somewhere on the net, and there doesn't seem to be any consistency in how they're assigned, with one disc by a particular artist being placed in one category, while another of the exact same type of music may well be called something different. Not to mention that the subdivisions are ridiculously specific. I mean... Power Pop? Post-Punk? Bachelor Pad? Excuse me?

If I ever get really ambitious, I might go through and re-label everything with genre designations that are actually useful. But I don't know if I'll ever actually bother. It's not like I'm inclined to want to select songs by genre, anyway. I don't find genre labels all that useful even when they are assigned in some vaguely sensible way.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Yeah, That Sounds Like Me. Plain Ol' Joe.

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated. You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys. Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites. And you're dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

What Kind Of Coffee Are You? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Keep Flying

There's now a website devoted to the upcoming Firefly movie. Not a whole lot there yet, but they promise to have regular updates from the set. This makes me a happy little fan.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Search Request Thursday

Here ya go:

  • cheap nazgul t-shirt: You know, I find something weirdly appealing about the idea of a t-shirt that says "cheap nazgul."

  • "itching powder" hentai: I don't want to think about it.

  • "life is not a game" quotes -perfect "played": Actually, Life is a game, but I have played the modern version, and it's far from perfect. They, like, PC-ified it to the point of inspidity. Friends of mine who own a copy made up their own twisted events and taped them over the stupidest of the old ones, which at least makes playing it bearable.

  • leak "swamp cooler" repair: I know how to repair a leaky swamp cooler! You pay some guy fifty bucks to climb up on your roof and do stuff to it!

  • hot naked bitches from Albuquerque New Mexico: Try the animal shelter. There are bound to be some overheated female Chihuahuas there.

  • servalan sexist: Well, if Ben Steed's writing her...

  • affliction tatoos of california: That does sound like an affliction. I hear you can have those removed with lasers though.

  • "i hate being a homeowner": Hey, me too! Maybe we should start a support group.

  • little simulated people: Alas, mine have been languishing unloved on my hard disc for something like a year now. Poor neglected Sims.

  • say something romantic in portugese: Dude, I can't even spell Portuguese.

  • Freakazoid Gunter: Poor Gunter, being called names like that.

  • "personality quizzes" "werewolves": Do werewolves have personalities, other than, y'know, homicial?

  • Crack 3D FISH! 2141: I have no idea what this is about, but it certainly sounds interesting.

  • midnight twilight -is: Well, yeah, midnight isn't twilight, unless you're pretty close to one of the poles...

  • buzz lightyear catchphrases: Oh, come on! How can you possibly forget "To infinity and beyond!"?

  • conspiracy theory apollo-17 helium-3: I must admit to curiosity about what this conspiracy theory is, although I'm not entirely sure I really want to know.

  • hardcore golden cider albuquerque: Did you try Quarters? That's where everybody I know buys their booze.

  • Another Branch on the Family Tree

    Apparently my cousin's wife just had a baby. I think that makes me a first cousin once removed. Yay!

    Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Random Thought #2,041

    I like carbohydrates.

    Poor carbohydrates. You're still the base of my food pyramid.
    Oh, And Just Because I Can't Neglect to Mention This...

    Go, SpaceShipOne!
    Ten Questions

    Because I'm bored, I shall propagate a meme. Thus: questions lifted from Occasional Fish.

    1. What is your favorite word? Judging by the frequency with which I use it, it would appear to be "actually."

    2. What is your least favorite word? "Anyways." Something about that superfluous "s" at the end is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

    3. What turns you on? A sexy voice and an in-depth knowledge of Doctor Who.

    4. What turns you off? Shallowness.

    5. What is your favorite curse word? "Frell." It's geeky, versatile, fun, and surprisingly satisfying to say!

    6. What sound or noise do you love? Rain. And this is finally true again now that I'm no longer plagued by a leaky roof.

    7. What sound or noise do you hate? Ringing phones. Especially office phones for some reason.

    8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I'd like to get paid for watching TV shows on DVD and then pontificating about them at length. Apparently they actually are paying people for that sort of thing now. I so majored in the wrong field.

    9. What profession would you not like to do? Anything involving sewage.

    10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "I know, I know. I 'm sorry. But I can explain everything. Really."
    Just Call Me Dr. Daystrom.

    Today, I found myself legitimately able to use the sentence, "I am testing the Mark Five unit." You know, some days, this job really does a pretty good job of appealing to my Trekkie side...

    Monday, June 21, 2004

    So Far, So Good.

    I walked back and forth to the grocery store today with the Karma in my pocket, and it played back flawlessly. I am taking that as a hopeful sign. Meanwhile, I continue loading music onto the thing. After just about a week of effort, I'm almost through the T's in the "general rock and stuff" section, which I figure puts me close to 3/4 of the way done.

    Sunday, June 20, 2004

    Karmic Cycles

    Well, I did some looking around on various forums for Rio Karma users, and it looks like the problem I was having isn't an uncommon one... There seem to be two possibilities: either it's a software problem or a hardware problem. I downloaded the firmware upgrade; if it's a software problem, that should take care of it. If it's a hardware problem, well, I have no doubt it will happen again, and the thing is still under warranty. So we'll see. In the meantime, I'm continuing to load music into it, because I'm an incurable optimist. Oh, yeah, it shut down when the battery ran out, and once I plugged it into the AC power source it booted back up and seemed to be fine. I am hearing some tiny clicking noises from the hard drive which I'm not 100% sure I was hearing before, but I think a certain amount of noise is normal. I also discovered that I didn't have to let the battery run down; apparently there's a recessed reset button which can be accessed with a paperclip and which is designed to deal with just such emergencies.

    So, stay tuned, I guess. (Ha! Tuned! I kill me!)
    Yeah, Go Ahead and Stare.

    Your freakishness is alluring. People stop and
    wonder if it's cultivated or comes naturally.
    People also stop and stare. Some take pictures.
    Some keep their children away from you.

    Smythe Reisner Abnormality Index (aka Freak Quiz!)
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Hey, Dad!

    To my dad, if you're reading this: Happy Father's Day! Unfortunately, I'm not going to be home from work until about 11:00 PM your time... Actually, maybe I'll call you then, anyway, if that's about when you're going to be getting up for work. I'd e-mail you, but I don't seem to have your address on my work account, so you're getting a public greeting instead. If I don't get the chance to talk to you, have a good one!

    To everyone else: There's nothing to see here. Move along.
    Bad Karma

    Sigh. All is not well in the land of shiny toys.

    The new mp3 player has already locked up on me twice. The first time was after I'd been transferring files to it. It got hung up on the "transferring, please wait" screen or whatever it is and refused to respond to any commands or do anything for several minutes. This worried me a bit, but it did simply reboot itself eventually, and I had been relentlessly shoving music into it pretty much all day. I figured it might have even been the PC's fault somehow -- it was getting pretty sluggish, itself -- so I decided not to worry too much about it.

    Then, I was listening to the thing while walking in to work today, when it suddenly froze again. Finished one song, didn't start the next, didn't respond to anything... After a few minutes, it at least began responding to buttons again (most relevantly the "unlock controls" button, without which there was no way it was gonna listen to anything else), but even though it claimed to be playing, no music would emerge. I've tried turning it off, and all I'm getting is the little hourglass it usually shows you for a few seconds before shutting down. When I hold it up to my ear, I can hear the hard drive whirring and clicking. This does not seem good. And, no, I did not drop it!

    Fortunately, the machine's still under warranty. But, man, if I have to recopy all those albums, I'm going to be pissed.


    Saturday, June 19, 2004

    Sloth Is My Favorite Deadly Sin.

    Damn it, I've got a ton of stuff I really need to do today, and absolutely no energy at all. There are good reasons why I can't just flop down on the couch and spend the rest of the day watching DVDs, right? Right?

    Friday, June 18, 2004

    Yeah, That's Right. You Go and Fight. I'll Be Over Here Offering Advice.

    My sphere is Knight (Know Loyalty and Respect), and my class is Arms Master (Pragmatic and Stout).

    I am an Advisor.

    Your great sense of ethics and honor, as well as your practical knowledge of the world, makes you an excellent advisor and confidant to the people who are respectful of your ways, and to whom you will show respect in return. Liu Bei, the well-meaning King of the ancient Shu kingdom in China, was not famous for his own accomplishments, but for the excellent quality of his generals, and the brilliance of his advisor of special repute, Zhuge Liang.

    What kind of Warrior are you?

    The Sound of Music

    After three days of ripping CDs, I figure I've done about 80 albums. Which puts me most of the way through the Js. At a guesstimate, this is roughly one third of my total collection. So, hey, I'm makin' progress!

    In the course of converting my entire music library, I have found myself making a number of observations:

  • I have more Jimmy Buffett tunes than any person who lives in a land-locked state has any actual right to own.

  • Like everyone, I have albums which make me wonder what the hell I was thinking when I bought them. I've noticed, however, that random songs from albums that annoy me, when plucked out of context and played in-between other songs, tend not to really annoy me at all. This possibly goes some considerable way towards explaining what my thought processes were when I bought some of these bands, given that that's how I probably encountered their songs on the radio in the first place.

  • You can never have too much Jethro Tull. I'm entirely serious about that.

  • There are some utterly inexcusable gaps in my collection. A lot of them are due to the fact that when I first started buying CDs I was reluctant to spend money to duplicate albums I already had on tape. Given that I pretty much never play tapes any more, not even in the car, this means that some of my favorite music is languishing unlistened-to. Man, I'm not a starving college student any more. I should just replace the damned tapes.

  • There are apparently more musical genres than I was ever aware existed. Looking at the genre labels encoded on various discs is something of an education, but I truly despair of ever quite understanding the difference between "alt-folk," "folk-rock," and "contemporary folk." I may just go in fiddle with the genre labels until I've got stuff categorized in some way that's vaguely useful.

  • One thing which the Karma does which is mildly annoying is not to alphabetize things in any clueful way. Thus, The Beatles and The Eagles are filed under "T" when you look at the alphabetical list of artists. Jimmy Buffett and Joe Cocker are under "J." And so on. Actually, the latter isn't something the poor machine could be expected to do anything about; after all, how should it know that "Jimmy Buffett" is actually "Buffett, Jimmy," but "Barenaked Ladies" are not "Ladies, Barenaked?" I'd think dealing with "A"s and "The"s could have been built into it easily enough, though. Ah, well. This is something I could fix by hand with a little renaming. We'll see if I ever overcome my intrinsic laziness enough to actually do it.

  • Thursday, June 17, 2004

    Search Request Thursday

    The latest batch:

  • farscape blog: Hmm, do you think this counts?

  • pronounced nemone: Yeah, that's how my three-year-old nephew pronounces "anemone."

  • Dracula sucks avi mpg: What is that, then, slurping noises?

  • "sex game" "browser based": I dunno, it'd seem to me that any sex game that's browser based is kinda doomed to be just a little unsatisfying.

  • macton sign language: He probably knew some secret Peacekeeper hand signals or something. (Yes, this has been Obscure Farscape Reference #197. Collect 'em all!)

  • picture james herriot actual autograph: Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "James Herriot" a pseudonym, anyway?

  • 60's parties hot pics for costume: Gonna dress up as a go-go girl? Or maybe Austin Powers?

  • PATTY RAGAN NAKED NUDE: Sorry. No naked people here by that name.

  • Stargate sg-1 cast nude pics: Sorry again. I'm only collecting search requests for Farscape nude pics.

  • moped rentals in skagway alaska: I'm not sure there's anywhere to go on a moped in Skagway, Alaska.

  • farscape fanfiction sick aeryn: Yeah, I'm sick of seeing Aeryn in fanfiction, too! We need more stories about Stark.

  • enterprise t'pol robe nudity: Er, if she's wearing a robe, then... Ah, skip it.

  • i want pics of scott bakula and his family: Well, like the song says, dude, you can't always get what you want. Better luck next time.

  • avon astronaut children's book: Once upon a time, there was a space traveller by the name of Avon, and he left Earth on a very big spaceship on his way to a planet called Cygnus Alpha... Heh. Yeah, there's a good way to give your kids nightmares. (This has been Irrelevant Blake's 7 Reference #93. Collect 'em all!)

  • my dvd player won't open: I'm sorry.

  • nude car wash pics: Well, I suppose that removes any worries about getting your clothes wet.

  • John mooch hammon: John who is doing what?

  • Tara Ragan: Nobody here by that name, either.

  • Tickling Turanga Leela Images: I wonder if they wanted images of her tickling or being tickled. And, in either case, why.

  • Harry potter xander fanfiction: If Xander's transferring from Sunnydale to Hogwarts, I'm not sure I want to know about it. Though I bet he'd get along great with Ron.

  • futurama "opening words": "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Planet Express ship, Planet Express Ship..."

  • sample "scottish accent" wav: "Captin, she canna take any muir!"

  • northern exposure "when is season 2": Season 2 is immediately after season 1. Thank you and good night.

  • perverse dentist pics: Geez, as if regular dentists aren't bad enough.

  • revenging angel tattoo flash: Now I'm picturing a little cartoon D'Argo tattoo...

  • MENSTRUATE WHILE BACKPACKING: I'd rather not. It's kinda messy.

  • joyce ulysses contentless: I don't know about "contentless." "Not worth trying to pry the content out of," maybe.

  • gilligan's island and essential questions: There are essential questions posed by Gilligan's Island?

  • moon t'pol five minute: That's kind of a long time to spend mooning anybody.

  • "caffeine content" black tea verse coffee: I'm tempted to compose a verse comparing the caffeine content of the two, but my poetical inspiration is all dried up. Clearly I need more caffeine.

  • VLBA spacecraft tracking: This was a hit from someone at NASA. Oh, man, now I hope I didn't say anything derogatory about it...

  • frodo's bare chest movie Pictures pics: Pervy hobbit fancier.

  • verbosity generator: I call that "my brain."

  • ragan legacy cartoons: Yes, needless to say, I am getting a lot more hits on my last name these days. Sorry, guys. The ex-Prez spelled his wrong.

  • tickling bart simpson's feet: Well, he does have a cute laugh.

  • "On a tree fallen across the road" literary features: It's a sonnet. It has the literary features of a sonnet.

  • mental hygine emotion: You should be sure to have your brain washed regularly, whether you need it or not.

  • "humorous pictures" beer drug nudity: Ah, we're scaling the very heights of humor now.

  • emma peel bondage pics: Hey, that woman can escape from anything.

  • Mal's torture story on firefly: That would be "War Stories." Pretty much the entire episode.

  • tickling and "white socks": Is it easier to tickle somebody through white socks than colored ones, or what?

  • SHIFT WORKER SLEEP: Based on my experience, I'd say that more often than not that's SHIFT WORKER LACK OF SLEEP.

  • Wednesday, June 16, 2004

    I Think I'll Go With the "Just a Random Number" Theory.

    I am the Random Number 5

    5Some say the pentagram is mystical because 5 is mystical. It's a prime number, the sum of 2 and 3, as well as of 1 and 4. Christ had five wounds, they say, if you don't count those inflicted by the crown of thorns; and he distributed five loaves of bread to five thousand people. Most importantly, we have five fingers, toes and senses. Or it could just be a random number.

    Which Random Number Are You?

    Good Karma

    OK, first impressions on the Rio Karma mp3 player (aka "my shiny new toy"): I think I'm going to be pretty happy with it. It's attractive-looking, conveniently small, and has an easy-to-read display. The menu interface is mostly pretty intuitive. A few things confused me just a little at first, but turned out not to be that difficult to figure out. The controls are a little weird. There's a raised button which can be used for selecting menu items and toggling modes, but which is also used to control the play, pause, stop, etc. functions by pushing it back and forth. It really just isn't the way buttons are normally used, and it took me a while to figure out what the heck they were telling me to do with it. I think it's going to take a little getting used to, but I don't think there's anything actually wrong with it. We'll see how easy it is to operate when I'm carrying it around with me and using it to play back music instead of just fiddling around.

    The software's easy enough to use, and file transfer from the PC to the player via USB is extremely fast. Even so, it's going to take me ages to get all my albums ripped and transferred. I've made a good start already, but considering that I'm going through my CDs alphabetically, right now the machine knows a shitload of Alan Parsons Project tunes and not a whole lot else...

    My shiny toy came! Wow, that was quick.

    Well, so much for whatever it was I was planning on doing today...

    Monday, June 14, 2004

    I Shall Have a Shiny New Toy!

    Well, I did it. I just bought myself an mp3 player. (No, I don't have it yet. But I've ordered it, and it should be here in a week or two!) After much consideration (read: I spent a couple of hours doing research, until I started to feel really bored, not to mention overwhelmed with the desire to buy my Shiny Thing now), I ended up going with the Rio Karma. Yes, I know the iPod is a good machine. Everybody says the iPod is a good machine, and I believe them. But it's also an expensive machine, and if I can get an equally good (or even nearly as good) machine a heckuva lot cheaper, I see no reason not to do so, even if all the cool kids do have iPods. From what I saw, the Karma generally got uniformly good reviews, unlike the Nomad Zen Xtra, which prompted a lot more of a mixed response. I was originally going to go for a 40 GB machine, but, honestly, I'm probably not ever going to need quite that much space. So, the 20 GB Karma it is.

    I'll let you know how it's workin' out for me when it gets here.

    Sunday, June 13, 2004

    Getting Sirius

    Just got back from seeing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Interestingly, I think I enjoyed it more than either of the previous movies, although that may well be simply because my expectations going in were very low, and thus very easy to meet. Truth is, I've been pretty disappointed with the Harry Potter movies in general. It's easy to complain about a movie not being faithful to the book it was adapted from, but in my opinion the Potter films make exactly the opposite mistake: they try too hard to be absolutely faithful to the books, to the point of forgetting the fact that books and movies are two completely different media and require different kinds of storytelling, and as a result the pacing is completely wrong. Azkaban isn't really any different on that score, either. Rowling spends a lot of the book slowly building tension, which works great... for the book. When the same technique is transferred via crude cut'n'paste to the screen, what ends up happening is that the beginning of the movie drags quite badly, and the end, where all the interesting stuff is happening, feels rushed and a little unsatisfying. So, yeah, OK, no change there. But there was enough interesting stuff in the movie to make me feel like I hadn't wasted the $3.75 they charge at Socorro's tiny little theater. Which is more than I can say for the first one, really. If nothing else, visually it was very, very cool, in a way that was actually engaging rather than simply technically impressive. And, hey, Gary Oldman! Gary Oldman is always good.

    A few other random thoughts:

    I miss the old Dumbledore.

    Ron and Hermione are so cute. Somebody, please, stop me before I turn into some kind of Ron/Hermione 'shipper, because I really don't particularly want that.

    I was surprised an how many really nice little moments of humor there were in the movie. I don't really remember laughing much during the first two, but I actually got a number of chuckles out of this one.

    The Dementors were wonderfully, effectively creepy. I swear, the first time we saw one, the hair stood up on the back of my neck. Much to my surprise

    And there wasn't nearly enough Alan Rickman, but that's kind of a given.
    Still More Farscape Pics

    More miniseries promo pics here. Still potentially spoilery. In fact, I'm getting to the point where I'm beginning to wonder if these pictures are telling me more than I really want to know, but I just can't stop myself. And, man. If I'd made a two-page list of guest characters I thought might possibly be back, I don't think that person would have made it on anywhere...
    Pointless, But Yummy!

    Friday, June 11, 2004

    Hey, Anybody Got Any Consumer Advice?

    I was working on balancing my checkbook the other day when I suddenly realized something.

    I have money.

    OK, not Scrooge McDuck levels of money. But, y'know, in the last year or so, I've gotten the car loan, the computer loan, and the credit card paid off, finally. I'm trying to put a fair amount into the savings account (some or all of which is also going towards paying my mother back for the trailer), but even so, my bank balance is the healthiest it's been, well... ever.

    So, it occurs to me. I need to buy some toys.

    I've been giving it some thought, and I'm seriously considering blowing some portion of my current financial excess on an mp3 player. A really big mp3 player. 'Cause the more I think about it, the more I really like the idea of being able to put my entire (extensive and very bulky) CD collection in one place and carry it around with me. (I'm also very strongly, if weirdly, attracted by the idea of being able to just hit "shuffle" and have my entire collection played back to me completely at random.)

    I've been looking at the Zen Xtra (which, I swear, I'm not interested in just because it has the same name as one of the computers on Blake's 7!). The Amazon customer reviews are disturbingly mixed, but it looks like it has the features I want, it's got a big hard drive, and it's considerably cheaper than an iPod.

    So, anyway, now I'm wondering whether any of you Gentle Readers out there has any advice on the subject. Products you'd recommend, warn against, whatever? I know absolutely zip about this stuff, really.
    Why, No, I'm Not Ever Going to Shut Up About This.

    Here's the text of an amusing interview with Farscape's Ben Browder, in which he talks about such diverse topics as leather trousers, alien sex, and hot wax. Oh, and that miniseries thing, too, a little bit. No spoilers for the miniseries (despite the interviewer's best attempts to elicit some), but a few for the series itself, including the final episode.

    Here's a cool sample quote:
    "At the end of the ten weeks I thought Brian Henson would be certain that he wouldn't want to do any more Farscape, because the scale of the miniseries is so humungous. But he actually turned to me and went, 'Now we need to start thinking about the film.' Brian's next take is he'd like to see Farscape on the big screen. I completely concur with that. He's already discussed strategies for having big screen airings of Farscape the miniseries."

    Whoo! Can I get a "Hell, yeah?"

    Thursday, June 10, 2004

    Could Be Accurate.

    You didn't care for anybody else, and it was
    your downfall. Halfway through, you thought
    you could make it better on your own and split
    off from the group, but the jokes on
    you...because you're dead...because the zombie
    ate you...

    How fast would you die in a cheesy zombie flick?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Search Request Thursday

    Man, has it been a week already?

  • table of condiments that periodically go bad: Well, that's certainly a different kind of periodic table...

  • "loose change" network tape: I could buy a lot of tapes for what the networks consider loose change.

  • maximum: Somebody was really interested in uses of that word, apparently, considering how many pages of results they went through to get here.

  • muppets wav swedish cook: He's not the Swedish cook, he's the Swedish Chef! Get it right! Sheesh.

  • eyeglass grand mother fuck photo: I really don't want to know where the eyeglasses are supposed to come in.

  • nestle crunch wav: Does it sound like a "crunch?" If not, maybe you can sue them for false advertising.

  • "Myers Briggs" t-shirt slogans: "ESFPs have more fun?"

  • inclinced planes: "Inclinced?" *shakes head*

  • porn movie download frell: Ah, this is a Farscape porn movie, then? Hmm. If you find the URL for that, let me know. Could be interesting. Heh.

  • nursing ethical dilemmas empty oxygen tank: Doesn't seem like that big a dilemma to me. If the tank's empty, like, go and fill it or something.

  • fanfic Angel leviathan: No, Moya's the leviathan. Angel's a vampire. (Whoa, suddenly I'm imagining a vampire Leviathan. I need more sleep.)

  • quotes for exercise, communication, and hygeine: OK, here: "Exercise, communication, and hygiene are all good things. Especially when you spell them all properly."

  • quozl fanfiction: Is there any? Wow, talk about a niche audience.

  • episode guide buffy "dead man's party" duration minutes: I imagine it has about the same run time as every other episode of Buffy.

  • push pull scraper operators: How hard is it to operate a scraper? I'd figure "push, pull" is probably pretty much it.

  • connor trineer stud: OK, I'll admit that the guy has a certain boyish charm which, rather improbably, makes a character I feel as if I ought to dislike intensely rather likeable. I don't think I'd go so far as to call him a stud, though.

  • ophiuchus traits astrology: That constellation doesn't give rise to any astrological traits. And neither do any of the others.

  • farscape toons fakes: Hmm, I wonder if they mean "fakes" in the sense that every other person who comes here looking for "fakes" seems to mean it. Now I'm picturing a Nude Cartoon Crichton, which is actually kind of amusing.

  • live sex shows with maximum auctioning styles: The most disturbing thing about this is that I was the number one result for it on Yahoo.

  • psychological video clips gorilla kids passing around balls: Ooh, I actually know what this is referring to! It's here. You're supposed to watch the video and count how many passes the team with white t-shirts complete. Count carefully!

  • butter troll definition: Umm... A troll made of butter? A troll who likes butter? Someone who makes stupid provocative posts on the internet about butter? I don't know.

  • tortise vs. turtle: Ah, the little known Round 2, following up on the much-better-publicized the Tortoise vs. Hare match.

  • the women of farscape nude: Hey, now I've gotten search requests for all of them individually and collectively! Still haven't gotten far with the guys, though. The only male Farscape character people seem to want to see nude is Crichton. I still wanna know where all the folks are who want nude pictures of Crais. You hear me? NUDE PICTURES OF CRAIS! (There. Maybe that'll bring some in. Heh.)

  • "social skills" "research shows" gorilla: Research shows that many gorillas have better social skills than some of the people I went to junior high with.

  • "element number 10 in the periodic table": Neon. You're welcome.

  • Wednesday, June 09, 2004

    Why, Yes, I Am an Idiot.

    Note to self: When you've been having stomach troubles, the best way to test whether you're completely over them is not to go out and eat a big batch of KFC. Ugh.

    (Actually, I think I'm mostly OK. Mostly. But... ugh.)

    Yes, it's the regular monthly meme! Aren't I nice and reliable?

    Current clothes: Tan jeans. A short-sleeved sweater-shirt thing, in various shades of blue. Oh, and there's some gray in there, too, I guess. White socks. No shoes.

    Current mood: A little tired. Feeling much better than yesterday, though.

    Current music in CD player: Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3, the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack, Leonard Cohen's Songs of Love and Hate and Warren Zevon's Life'll Kill Ya.

    Current annoyance: My stomach keeps feeling vaguely like it's thinking about being upset again. It hasn't, though.

    Current thing: I dunno. Yesterday, my "thing" was mostly lying under the covers and reading. I kinda wish that was still my "thing" today.

    Current desktop picture: This nifty picture of the TARDIS floating above the Earth, from Mateen Greenway's graphics site. I might change it again soon, though. The sparklies are a little distracting.

    Current song in head: The internal radio station has been providing lots of welcome variety for the last couple of days. Right now it seems to be playing selected parts of "I've Got a Feeling" by the Beatles.

    Current book: Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille by Steven Brust.

    Current video in player: Still some Farscape episodes I was copying a while ago. I need to get back to that.

    Current DVD in player: Nothing at the moment. Most recently, a disc of Alien Nation episodes. I'm a little more than halfway through that series, now. I've been watching it very sporadically, an episode at a time. Oh, and in the DVD-ROM drive is disc one of Farscape 4.2.

    Current refreshment: Just had some orange-strawberry-banana juice.

    Current worry: I may have overcommited myself to some stuff. We'll see.

    Current thought: Need to get offline, scoop out the catbox, take a nice relaxing bath, read for a while, and sleep. In just about that order (although the reading and the bath can happen simultaneously).

    Tuesday, June 08, 2004

    A Couple of Random Links

    Because sometimes I find goofy things and want to share:

    Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names: Yes, I'm geeky and easily amused, but this kept me giggling for quite a long time. Meet interestingly-named molecules such as moronic acid, crapinon, and, my personal favorite, fucitol.

    404 Research Lab: A collection of 404 error pages. I've been browsing the geeky ones. Many of them amuse me.

    Yet Again Still More Farscape Stuff

    There's a little article in this week's TV Guide about the Farscape miniseries with some nice photos and several "tantalizing plot tidbits," which are both spoilery and very interesting if true. (And at least one of them has me going, "Uh, that's a joke, right? They're pulling our legs, right?" I mean, it wouldn't be the first time...)

    You can see scans of the article here and here. The first has better copies of the pictures, but you can't read all the text. The second has a transcript of the article.

    The current TV Guide also has an article about the upcoming Firefly movie. Ah, maybe this isn't such a bad time for visual SF, after all!
    Yet Another Quiz

    You Are A Mage
    Take the World of Darkness Quiz
    by David J Rust

    "The madness that comes with knowledge?" Ah, yeah. I experienced that in college.

    Monday, June 07, 2004

    My Day

    Went to bed around 4 AM last night (not at all unusual for me, especially when I'm coming off of night shift). Woke up around 9:00 because apparently one of the cats had stepped on the button to the clock radio, which was tuned to the Loud Annoying Static Channel. Nixed the static, rolled over and went back to sleep. Woke up at the end of a bad dream with an absolutely pounding headache. Looked at the clock, discovered it was nearly 2:30 (which meant I was supposed to be leaving for work in about an hour). Showered. Drank half a cup of coffee. Threw up half a cup of coffee. Decided I was, in fact, sick. Called in to work. Spent most of the day lying in bed reading, or, occasionally, lying on the sofa watching The Simpsons.

    A co-worker of mine had a really nasty stomach bug last week, and I was seriously afraid that's what I had. But, if so, I must have mostly fought it off, because I haven't thrown up since. Indeed, a little while ago I discovered that I was suddenly feeling ravenous and had to ditch the PJs and go out to the store to buy juice, fruit, English muffins, and similar "my tummy's fluttery but I really want to eat something" food. And I still have no urge to vomit. I am greatly relieved. Still got the tiny dregs of the headache, though.

    Stupid body. I am so just waitin' on the day when I can trade it in for a robotic model...
    Apparently I Need to Eat More Cute Animals.

    You are a Hedgehog

    You are a HedgehogYou are a hedgehog. While to most you look like the sort of cute animal that itself might get eaten to others you are a voracious predator. You need to munch your way through a few more subjects of the animal kingdom before you can truly call yourself an omnivore.

    You have eaten: cow sheep pig deer bison

    Which Cute Animals Have You Eaten?

    Sunday, June 06, 2004

    Do I Deliver the Goods, Or What?

    Still more Farscape miniseries pics! Spoiler warnings are still in effect. And, man do I want to know what Aeryn is doing with Rygel?

    Saturday, June 05, 2004

    Ah, June.

    Hey, it's snowing! Oh, no, wait. The cottonwoods are blooming. My mistake.

    Stupid cottonwoods.
    More Piccies!

    More Farscape promo pics here. Spoiler warning is still in effect.

    Friday, June 04, 2004


    Look! Promo pics for the Farscape miniseries! (Warning: may be a bit spoilery.) Yippee, there's my boy Stark, in the middle of all the action! And, holy frell, is that Sikozu?! Apparently she got a hell of a makeover...

    Wheeeeeee! *waits impatiently by the television for the thing to actually air*
    Yeah! Don't Try to Label Me, Man!

    You're a Non-box.

    What box do you get put in?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    The Check Is, Uh... Not in the Mail.

    You know what's annoying? Opening up your checkbook and discovering, right there on top, a neatly-made-out check for the utility bill. You know, the utility bill you mailed off four days ago. Apparently without the check.


    Thursday, June 03, 2004

    Search Request Thursday

    A big, goofy batch this time:

  • insane tickling: Yes, watch out for the insane tickler! He pounces on unsuspecting people at bus stops, tickles them mercilessly, and then retreats before the authorities arrive, cackling evilly. (OK, is it just me, or does that sound like the kind of villain that ought to have been on Freakazoid or The Tick?)

  • geek frog las vegas dotnet: Hmm, I know a joke about a geek and a frog, but it has nothing to do with Las Vegas or dot-anythings.

  • "who is gunter" "ding dong": I've been wondering that, myself, actually, 'cause I've gotten a lot of search request hits looking for this Gunter guy.

  • "photo manipulation" "superman" "slash": Hmm, I suspect it may be time for an updated version of "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex"... "Man of Steel, Man of Kleenex?"

  • swim invitation template: Um... I dunno, I'd probably just go with something like. "Hi! Wanna come swimming?"

  • half-water half-air pics: A glass that is half-water, half-air looks just like a glass that is half-full or one that's half-empty. As perceived by those of us who are realists.

  • cough in toddlers waht is the cause: Just a thought, but maybe (s)he's, like, sick?

  • turanga pet pet shop nz pics: I have no pics of New Zealand pet shops. However, I do find it interesting to learn that apparently Turanga Leela was named after a place in New Zealand (and, as far as I can tell, a Doctor Who companion).

  • pics of scott bakula and his mom and dad: What do I look like, the guy's family photo album?

  • current guest book of all snack bar in usa year 2004: Yeah, uh-huh. Good luck with that.

  • Freddy Kruger desktop buddy: Aww! I want Freddy to be my Desktop Buddy!

  • "eyeball extrusion" video: Eww.

  • Weird Al Albuquerque rugburns: Well, if he was suffering from rug burns during his Albuquerque concert, he hid the pain well.

  • "naked elf" in "the return of the king": There's a naked elf in Return of the King? Nuh-uh!

  • dostoevsky screensaver: Hey, even lit-snob types use computers now!

  • vincent spano nude: You know, I don't even know who Vincent Spano is, let alone have any nude pictures of him.

  • ticklish guys in Albuquerque: Well, I'm sure there are some...

  • "ray stevens" stare at my penis lyrics: Hmm, that song I'm sadly unfamiliar with.

  • bathroom pictures plungers: Do you suppose they want pictures of bathrooms in which plungers are visible, or pictures of plungers to hang in the bathroom? Either way, I don't think I particularly care to imagine why.

  • bart simpson's foot fetish: Um, I must have missed that episode.

  • How to fix a widows 98 2nd edition eddison computer: Don't look at me. I can barely fix a sandwich.

  • yoyager theme: Well, like John said in a comment, it's catcher than the Anterprise theme.

  • Little Eva's half-sister: Haven't seen her. Maybe she's with Scott Bakula's mom and dad.

  • original star trek tv pon farr music: Ah, you mean that sort of twangy Vulcan theme? That's pretty cool, but I much prefer the fight music.

  • Greek gods fanfiction: This leads me to wonder... When does something stop being fanfiction? I mean, is Clash of the Titans "Greek gods fanfiction"? How about the Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonis?"

  • rush jumped the shark roll the bones: They did not! You take that back!

  • bondage bunions: And the disturbing foot-related searches just keep on getting weirder and weirder...

  • Tiberian bat: I hear they're pretty blind. Possibly more so than regular bats, I dunno. (Wow, the Star Trek references just get more obscure by the moment.)

  • pullman BIV never clog: OK, what's a BIV? And are they normally prone to clogging?

  • "villains quotes": I'm quite fond of Khan's Moby Dick riff, myself. "He tasks me, and I shall have him!"

  • shiftworker free cartoon: Yes! Free cartoons for shiftworkers! I can get behind that!

  • blender booty: I don't know what that means, but it kind of makes me want to giggle.

  • swamp cooler surfactant: You mean, you're supposed to clean them?

  • Comics Backstabbing Dilbert: Yes, there is much nastiness and intrigue on the comics pages. I hear Cathy recently backstabbed Dilbert quite horribly. Of course, as soon as you look at the page, they all settle back into place and look quite innocent.
  • More Harry Potterage

    [i'm firenze!]

    ...and which lesser Harry Potter character are you?

    I kinda like that result. And everything in the quiz was spelled correctly, too!

    Wednesday, June 02, 2004

    Betty, the DVD-Backlog Slayer

    Well, I've now finished watching Season 5 of Buffy. (Haven't looked at all the extras on the DVDs yet, but I have watched all the episodes. And, in my typical fashion, I'm going to ramble on about it for a while. (Warning: There Be Spoilers.)

    I actually have fairly mixed feelings about the season as a whole. A lot of the individual episodes weren't all the compelling. Glory as a villain is much more annoying than scary. And it suffers (though to a slightly lesser degree) from the same syndrome as Season 7: "Ooh, there's a horrible bad guy we can't defeat so let's just sit around all season talking about how we can't defeat it and then suddenly come up with some stuff at the very last minute that we should have thought of six months ago." (Hmm, come to think of it, Season 4 had a little bit of that problem, too. I think it's a product of the idea that there has to be a single Big Bad each season, and it has to have a story arc that spans the whole season and ends on a huge climax. It makes for some serious pacing problems, more often than not.) I also occasionally get the feeling that the metaphors (e.g. the "nobody thinks of me as a real person" angst of adolescence = Dawn as key) and the ethical dilemmas (e.g. the question of whether it's ever right to sacrifice one innocent life to save an entire world) are almost a little too forced or obvious. Those metaphors and that depth are one of the things I love about Buffy, but they work best if they feel natural, rather than like the writers are reaching for them. This, of course, is hardly a problem unique to Season 5, but it feels a little more obvious here in some ways.

    On the other hand, the writers had to be doing something right in Season 5 (or at least the second half of it), because they made me cry repeatedly. OK, yeah, I'm just a weepy emotional wussy who cries far too easily at TV shows. I admit it. But when a show manages to affect me and engage my emotions strongly enough to bring actual tears to my eyes, I really do have to account it a success. So. I cried at what happened to Tara (or, more accurately, at Willow's reactions to what happened to Tara). I cried at the end, even though I had some problems with the season's resolution on a plot level, and even though I knew perfectly well that Buffy was going to be back. (Hey, I still get a little choked up at the end of The Wrath of Khan, even though I know Spock's back in the next movie, too. All right, yeah, I said I was an emotional wuss. Shut up.) And then there was "The Body."

    Man, I don't even know quite what to say about "The Body" except that it was far and away the single most painful hour of television I have ever watched. Ever. And that's a good thing, or at least a testament to the artistry that went into the episode. It achieves exactly the effect it's going for, devastatingly well, without a single mis-step. It's impressive as hell. And it hurt. I am, I admit, a big fan of angst. I love it when a book or a movie or a TV show moves me to tears and makes my heart hurt, and when that experience is over I usually emerge from it with a smile on my face, feeling a pleasant sense of catharsis. "The Body" did not leave me with a smile on my face and a sense of catharsis. Because it wasn't fiction. It was real. It wasn't death as drama or as metaphor. It was death, it was real, it was exactly what that experience is like, and it hit way, way, way too close to home. It left me emotionally wrecked for days, and I can't begin to describe what a weird and unusual thing that is for me. There's a commentary track on it that I really am very interested in, because I love hearing Joss Whedon talk about his episodes, and I'm sure he has many interesting things to say about this one. But I'm just really not sure I can bear to watch it again, not even muted. Ow.

    All right, moving on to some other random things... Watching this season was particularly interesting to me because I've watched all the episodes before it on DVD, and I caught some of Season 6 and all of Season 7 when they were on the air. Which means I've just filled it a large part of a really huge gap. So many things that confused me about the later episodes suddenly make a lot more sense. No longer am I wondering: Hey, when did Xander grow up? Wait, Buffy and Spike?! What's with that? And why the hell does Buffy suddenly have a sister? The Buffy-Spike relationship, in particular makes a lot more sense to me now. Because, yeah, OK, I could see Spike getting into that kind of an emotional place, and it all really does sort of fall out from there. I also find that, having seen all of Season 5 now, a lot of Buffy's behavior that really annoyed me in Season 7 suddenly feels a lot more understandable, even if it is still annoying.

    It's also interesting to watch the season knowing what's going to happen to the characters later. Every so often, for instance, it'd suddenly hit me that a certain character would be dead a year or two later, and I'd feel terribly melancholy. This was especially true of Tara. Man, Willow and Tara are so wonderful together, so cute and happy and loving. Watching them, I find myself overwhelmed with the sense that these people are so right for each other, that if there's any rightness in the universe at all the only thing that can possibly happen is for the two of them to grow old together. And it really bums me out knowing that that's not going to happen. Then again, I felt pretty much exactly the same way about Willow and Oz, so I suspect there's some kind of Willow Factor operating here. (Willow and Kennedy, though... Yeah, not so much.)

    Speaking of which: the one thing (besides making me cry) that Season 5 does very, very right is the development of Anya. It's fascinating and funny, and at times a little heartbreaking to watch her slowly come to terms with learning what it is to be human. She was a fairly one-note character when she first started out, and it's great to see her developing that level of complexity, without ever losing her comic edge.

    Now, Season 6 should be arriving in my mailbox very shortly. Let's hear it for still more filling in of gaps!
    I Passed My O.W.L.

    I scored 92% on the How Well Do You Know Harry Potter? quiz. I would've had a perfect score, but I missed one of the trick questions, damn it.

    Then again, now that I think about it, maybe that's not something I should feel all that proud about...

    Tuesday, June 01, 2004

    Trekkish Surrealism

    I do not have words to describe this Flash animation... thing. But it's weirdly hypnotic. Sorta. Warning: contains potentially offensive, uh... stuff. Probably best when viewed after smoking large quantities of controlled substances.