August 2012

VIDEO: RSMV – Gypsy Bard (Ska Cover)

Did you know the cartoon My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic is so popular that there’s another series where 3rd party people voice over it in different voices, with different plots, dialog, characters, and songs?

And did you know the songs in that show are so popular that for each one, there are 50+ 4th party people who cover it in various styles?

And did you know that one of those 4th party covers was as a ska song?

And that that alone was popular enough to have a 5th party make a music video of it using the Runescape game (apparently used to make music videos since 2006)?

Yes… Bronyism… Turtles all the way down… You take something, add a twist, someone else adds a twist, someone else adds a twist, ad infinitum. It is the ether that all internet memes travel through.


APPLE: Apple Rejects Drone Strike App – Slashdot

when you popularize apple, you popularize a dangerous homogeneity of single worldview and technological capability. now with a potential life and death cost. but they’re brown, what do we care…


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] This post is both a movie review, and a review of a BBS I used to frequent. This is kind of a weird post.

HAIKU REVIEW: Where The Wild Things Are:
The BBS was better [*personal explanation at the bottom of the post]
than the dumb movie.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Doormat mom forces us all to sit through romp in brat’s imagination.

PEOPLE: Directed by Spike Jonze, writer of many Jackass episodes and movies, and director of Adaptation and Being John Malkovich. Starring an annoying kid, Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich), and various voices used for the creatures – Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under redhead daughter, Psycho Beach Party), James Gandolfini (The Sopranos)

QUIRKS: Based on a book. Which has like, no story. I got it around age 30 but have still never read it.

VISUALS: NOT the visual masterpiece you’d expect. I watched it in 1080p, but still.

The CGI faces were only because the puppets didn’t work right, but honestly, I’m having a hard problem imagining puppets looking as good. I saw hints of people in the characters — individual features that reminded me of actors, without me really knowing who. Kind of like the effect from the movie Beowulf. The goat really reminded me of Seth Green, too, for some reason. I’m not sure if puppets could really give the human realism to the expressions.

MORALS: 1) Hey brat: You should realize you’re a little brat. 2) Don’t have kids.

BAD STUFF: Watching a bratty kid for 2 hours. I was warned of this. I thought it was just the haters hatin’, as usual. But they were right.

Every adaptation of anything to a movie [including a previous movie] is hated on pretty badly. The haters would be much more persuasive if they only hated sometimes, instead of all of the time. Instead, I just kind of ignore it, unless a good reason or explanation is given. I didn’t listen to them, and for once, they were right and I agree with ’em. I *wanted* to like this so much more than I did. I really wanted to give it 3 stars, just for sating my curiosity on what a Where The Wild Things Are movie might look like. Even Carolyn could only barely give it 3 stars, but alas, I could not. I’m not even sure what my specific problem was with it: It was just kind of dull and pointless, even with the fantasy elements.

CONCLUSION: Disappointment. Such disappointment.

Clint: Netflix: 2/5 stars. IMDB: 5/10. Really wanted to rate it higher, but… Just couldn’t.
Carolyn: Netflix: 2.6/5 stars (lowest possible 3-star movie). IMDB: 6/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.5/10, Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was also 3.8/5 stars–how wrong).

RECOMMENDATION: I have no recommendation. This movie seems to be hard to predict whether people will like or not.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Bridge To Terabithia. But Carolyn says it was a much better movie than this one… And I think I agree with that.

MOVIE QUOTE: Judith: “Happiness isn’t always the best way to be happy.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Ian loved it. Glen didn’t like it. For once, I agree with his hatin’.


[*] I never heard of Where The Wild Things Are until I was online in the local BBS community in the late 1980s, and encountered a BBS of the same name, run by one Link The Triune. Carolyn was there the whole time, as was her sister, Jeremy Turner, and many other friends who I went on to know in person in college and afterward. It was definitely the best social BBS in Prince William County.

It was so popular that you would often have to auto-dial tons of times just to not get a busy signal. After all, it was one-at-a-time use back then. Imagine a webpage you can only go to if nobody else has it on their screen. And being restricted to connecting only to those pages in your county. [Unless you had ways around long distance fees. <sly grin>] The one good thing was that long distance rates meant you weren’t competing with everyone in the country; just those in your area code. Nonetheless, this BBS was a constant busy signal because of how good the messages and users were.

I eventually convinced everyone to adopt an offline reader so that less phone time was used per-user. Instead of being connected while you read and type all your messages, you simply connected for few minutes to upload the messages you wrote, and download new messages. Kinda analogous to POP email retrieval. This actually meant that 5 people could login in a row, download new messages, log off, and all be typing at once! Pretty soon, the BBS was getting messages at a faster rate than if someone was connected 100% of the time typing as fast as they could. It was tough to keep up!

I don’t really remember a lot of the specifics from back then; it was 20 years ago. I remember I’d have to catch up and reply to various things I wanted to reply to, so it basically meant that in every message section, I’d post about 3-10 times in a row each visit. Massively-deep quoting. Macros. QModem and then Telemate. Line noise. 16 colors of text. IBM extended ASCII characters. ANSI. So many things that just don’t come into play these days. Everything’s been normalized into this mundane interface. Facebook is like everyone having their own BBS, networked with everyone else’s BBS: But with no control, and absolute homogeny in interface. It’s a fascist dictator that gets things done efficiently. But BBSes were like cowboys in the wild west. Very good times.

I have set up a few of people’s “goodbye” messages that they wrote when the board shut down. They can be found at:
They include goodbyes from sysop Link The Triune (Jerry H), Magic Mist (Carolyn), Satan (me), Trailblazer (Dave Pi), Stiletto (John Sch), The Screaming Ogre (Mike P), Stray Toaster, Jam Jobe (Jeff N), Punkin, and Ditto.

There is also a subfolder called “ANSIs“, for some of the ANSI art that I converted to PNG files. I’ve included these in this post, but they are slightly shrunken down here.

As for the book? I never did read it. Eventually, we were gifted some stuffed animals from it, and one came with a tiny (2-inch?) version of the book. I still never bothered to read it.

Maybe now I will… Because it probably won’t be nearly as annoying as the movie.

I think this ANSI captures the twisted mindset some of us had at the time (and still do):


There was another BBS, run by a Dave Pi aka Trailblazer, named after the ALL (ex-Descendents) album, called The Paisley Underground:

It was one of the few 301 BBSes I called, since I couldn’t, technically, call 301 without incurring massive fees. [Special thanks to corporation-that-shall-not-be-named and Fenris Wolf, you know who you are.]

this ANSI has nothing to do with this

There was this user, Batman. He was a really immature kid. And considering most of us were in high school or college around then, it’s saying a lot if EVEN HIGHSCHOOLERS think you’re immature.

As a co-sysop with level 254 access, what did I do? I reduced his access from the standard level 20, to level 19. I created a message base that required level 20 access, where everyone could make fun of him. I then edited his account, to set all his colors to black on black. I then logged his keystrokes, and posted messages [in the message base he couldn’t access] showing him hitting keys and trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

This was one of the awesomest ways I ever fucked with someone in my life. Oh, he could see his login prompt. But once he logged in, it was all black on black. And this was the DOS days. It’s not like you could highlight the text and paste it into notepad to read it, like you can nowadays. I don’t even think we had cut and paste back then.

An ANSI was even created in my honor — the only time this ever happened:

Carolyn’s first words to me ever? “Are you Satan?”

Batlamer: “But…But… I’m Batman! Umm… Master of Darkness! er… I’m cool! Honest!”
Me (Satan): “Heh! I’ll change all your colors to black on black and watch the fun!”
Batlamer: “What the?”

This ANSI appears to be about someone, too, but I have no recollection of the story behind it:

Everyone was always obsesses with spam — even before emails and spam emails existed:

In general, the socializing online was much more quaint, stylized, and personable. Nowadays, the giant borg of Facebook has swallowed us all, normalizing our experiences into one common experience with no real separate personality for people. The 2012 way definitely brings more people together in a more technologically efficient way, but the 1988 way was like living as a pioneer in the wild wild west.

Those days shall never be reclaimed, and only those of us that were there will know exactly what it was like. If you haven’t called a Commodore 64 BBS running at 300bps, you haven’t had the full online experience — and never will. If you haven’t  wardialed thousands of numbers looking for hidden BBSes and strange modems, well… I’ve seen a command and control system for a sattelite that I shouldn’t have. You just don’t get to do things like this nowadays. Sigh.

I should probably write more, but I don’t know what to add. Maybe some old members of the BBS will find this post and write some memories. If you do find this, don’t forget to read the goodbye messages everyone left.


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POLICE BRUTALITY: Surveillance Video Emerges of Today’s Empire State Building Shooting

Nine people shot by police in response to murderer who already killed his target, and had only 1 bullet left in his gun.

He was already being shadowed by a civilian. The police could have sucker-tackled him with undercover officers. Instead, they fired 16 shots in a crowded area, and shot 9 people.

Instead of de-escalating a protecting the public, they escalated and caused the casualties to multiply by 10.

The entire country of Germany fires less than 100 bullets EVERY YEAR.  They actually practice restraint in the public interest; something American cops don’t seem to understand.

The police are worse than the original gunman. The public is lucky none of them were killed.

“I can’t see this as anything other than gross incompetence by the police. The NYPD in particular has a reputation for hosing down the general vicinity – nobody should ever do that, especially on a crowded sidewalk.” -my friend Stacy

Furthermore – a murder escapes the justice system with zero consequence. Death is meaningless. This man should go to prison, and instead escaped this. If you’re going to kill yourself, WHY NOT murder your enemies if the police just help you escape it all in the end? No justice here.


/yard sale sign/


Got up around 7:00AM, made it out driving by 7:28AM and went out until 1:55PM for a total of 6 hours, 27 minutes (4hr8min in car, 2hr19min out of car).

Spent $21.60 plus $18.32 gas for 78.3 miles of driving (14.4 mpg @ $3.37/G), for a total cost of $39.92.

We made 24 purchases (26 items) for a total estimated value of $285.93, leading to a profit/savings of $246.01.

So in essence, we multiplied our $39.41 investment by 7.2X.

(Also, if you think about it, the profit counts for even more when you consider that we have to earn $271 on the job, pre-tax, in order to take home the $246 in cash that we saved. How long does $246 of disposable income take to earn, vs the 6.5 hrs we spent here?)

Anyway, this works out to a *post-tax* “wage” of $38.15/hr as a couple or $19.08/hrper person.


Guest yardsaler Catherine T of The House Of Happy joined us for yardsaleing this week! She filled our car! She bought an office chair for $15 that they were trying to sell for $30, which cost $60 new. She was looking for trinkets and such to bring to Pennsic, and found several. In fact, she is quoted as saying: “Best yard sailing trip EVER! You guys are SERIOUS yard sailors.” … She got a lot of things. Unfortunately we did not document HER purchases, just our own. She did get some interesting things we never would have bought, like a small hand saw for working with bamboo, the aforementioned office chair, an inflateable sowrd for 10 cents, $3 for some camping dishes (3-4 plates, 4 bowls, 2 cups, all metal), as well as some metal trays, which she collects… She was also interested in this drafting table at the upstairs-church recurring-yardsale, but had no way to transport it.

We also stopped off at the Wheel-Of-Fortune-spinner-lady’shouse to see if she had the spinner, but nobody was home. Extra newspapers seemed to indicate she was on vacation.

20120721 - yardsale booty - booty, most - IMG_4642
20120721 - yardsale booty - booty, rest - IMG_4645


  • $5.00: massager, shiatsu, seat vibration, heat, Weightec Electronic Technology Co, LTD, CA41723-CN (EV:$24.73) – This is an amazing massager. Will be posting video of it. The 4 moving massage parts light up when the heat is turned on. It is an order of magnitude beyond the other 3-5 massagers we’ve owned. We took this to the Bethany Beach family vacation and people were lined up to use it. When we moved to the 2nd beach house, they were sad to see it go :)

  • $3.00: suitcase, wheeled, LL Bean Traveler, brown, 21x14x8″, label said: Martha Casey, Arlington VA 22201, 2 pence coin inside (EV:$69.99) – Carolyn’s — along with my aching back — has finally convinced me that smaller suitcases are better. It’s not the total number of trips that matters, but the least physical pain. As I get older I have to accept taking more trips of smaller loads rather than trying to take one huge trip with one huge load. Smaller suitcases with wheels and handles. That is the future :)

  • $3.00: fan, white, Lasko, GS-21F-J0001, 12″ (EV:$17.95) – I wonder if the fan guy who’s put his broken fan out at his yardsale for 3 weeks ago has sold his yet?

  • $2.00: alarm clock, dual alarm, Spartus, model 1148, modified by The Deafworks Co to have a switched outlet, so you can have a light (strobe light?) that goes off when the alarm goes off (EV:$9.97) – not that we have a problem waking up, but this is just NEAT. What crazy devices could we hook to our alarm clock? A strobe light! A water sprayer! Christmas lights… Or just a light in general so we don’t trip on the way to the snooze button. So many possibilities.

  • $1.00: light, hanging, with pink paper shade that we can’t figure out (EV:$19.50) – Ours is pink… and we could NOT figure it out. It’s just kinda thrown on there. Will probably fall off. Anyway, the clincher for us buying this was the long cord, with hanging assemblies. We have no hall light. I used one of our $6 hooks ($1 at yardsale) to make a good anchor on the top of our hall, and ran the long cord there. We now have a real hall light for the first time in the 70 year history of the house. Of course, there’s no switch. It’s plugged into a light-outlet-to-wall-outlet converter inside of another lamp, and we use that lamps’s switch to turn it on. APPRECIATE YOUR BUILT-IN LIGHTS, PEOPLE!

  • $1.00: fan, white, Windmere, 8″ diameter (EV:$13.00)

  • $1.00: cupcakes, chocolate (2) (EV:$1) – we were hungry!

  • $1.00: tv antenna, Philips, MANT510, VHS/UHF/Fm amplified signal (EV:$29.99) ($104.95 here!) – Ever since we stopped paying for cable in 2006, we’ve saved $600+ a year. And we still watch 1-3 hours of TV every night anyway. But no more commercials, and no more fake-news infotainment. For the longest time, we would still get over-the-air HD channels by using the cable-company-cable as a vast antenna. Sometime around 2010, they cut that off from our house. No more free antenna. Once I get around to hooking this powered antenna up, maybe we’ll actually be able to get some real channels again. I could see it being useful if there were a national emergency and our internet was cut off.

  • $0.75: mouse pad, black, with built-in wrist rest, 9×10.375″ (EV:$3.44) – For the first time in my life, I actually need a mousepad and don’t have 50 unwanted ones laying around! Such a weird position to be in!

  • $0.50: jar, glass, Triomphe, Spaghetti, 2 L, 10×4″ diameter, inter-locking lid (EV:17.99) – Jars. Is there anything they can’t do?
  • $0.50: jar, glass, cylinder, 5.75×4″ diameter, inter-locking lid ($3.49 price tag)
  • $0.50: jar, glass, cylinder, 12.875×4″ diameter, inter-locking lid (EV:hard to say, jar prices vary, and there’s nothing like this that I could easily find – I’ll say $7) – VERY VERY tall jar. Not sure what to use it for yet
  • $0.50: plug expander, 3-outlet, Leviton ($2.89 price tag) – These are great when you live in a house that doesn’t have enough outlets.

  • $0.50: solder, Dutch Boy Acid Core, Grade 1D/60, diameter (EV:$10.99) – Since I lost my thick solder, I need more, just in case. The thin solder I just bought cost like $8! No need to pay full price for this shit!

  • $0.25: chicken, rubber, lays egg when squeezed, 6.5″ including leg span (EV:$2.70) – This is the most disturbing yard sale purchase of my life. Stay tuned for the video

  • $0.25: paddles (2), yellow, pink handles, Virginia Beach Beach Ball (EV:$7) – Our ping pong table with no paddles or ping pong balls has now evolved to a ping pong table with no balls. Closer. Closer. We’ll get real paddles at some point. I liken these to changing the Atari 2600 difficulty from “B” back to “A”.

  • $0.25: container, metal tin, circular, 10×8″, popcorn-tin style, 2 gallon (EV:$5?) – So useful for storage. I recently contained my gun holsters in one of these.

  • $0.25: container, metal tin, circular, We The People patriotic pictures, 12.25×7.4″, popcorn-tin style (EV:$5?)
  • $0.25: game, Swap ($2.00 price tag) – Me & Carolyn are gonna slap the shit outta each other! 

  • $0.10: strainer, metal, scimitar/halfmoon-shaped, purple handle, lip to hold over pan (EV:$7.99) – This is the most badass-looking kitchen implement (besides butcher knives, maybe?) we’ve ever owned.  This is a strainer that is easier to handle, has a better center of gravity, better for weakling-Carolyn…. Most strainers are lid-sized, and kind of awkward. Carolyn loves this!

  • $FREE: phone cord detangler, silver, Perceptive Informatics (EV:$7.88) – very useful if you have landlines!
  • $FREE: phone cord detangler, blue, Galt (EV:$7.88)

  • $FREE: carpet scrap, 54.625″x34″ (EV:$12) – Can never have enough of these.  My attic is carpeted with scraps. We have one by our stove, for barefoot cooking comfort. These are good for working on your car. We use carpet over our sagging concrete walkway, for puddle avoidance.  They go bad. They need periodic replacing. And there’s always free replacements every summer.
  • $FREE: carpet scrap, 44.625″x39.375″ (EV:$10)

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

TOTAL ITEMS BOUGHT: 332-460 (depending on how you count multiple-item purchases: purchases vs items) 

* EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition in a way that matters. For example, I estimate books at the cover value. I also try to only count shipping if it’s the type of thing that would need to be shipped, and only if the price isn’t “fixed” (i.e. 1 cent items that cost $10 to ship would not be $10 in person). (more…)

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''Dreams... They're the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.'' --Xavier:Renegade Angel

Messed up dream where I dreamed I was laying in the bed I was laying in in real life, and poop fell out of my butt into our bed. WTF. I asked Carolyn to clean it up.

This dream had two sequences (and may have been two dreams). The other involved me at a party, all drunk and out of control.

I had a flamethrower. It wasn’t a major flamethrower… It was one that was chill enough that you could use it inside. Yea… That doesn’t really make sense.

I was hanging out in Chablis’s bedroom — so I guess the party was at her house. I was kind of drunk and without impulse control, so I was using the flamethrower a lot. I ended up scorching some of the trim around some panel on Chablis’s wall. I scorched a few things in the house.

Then someone had some bullets… I think I shot some bullets into a wall during the party.

I was just basically drunk and very much out of control, playing with toys that should not be played with by someone drunk OR by anyone inside a house party. Still beat having poop fall out of my butt, though.

“Dreams… They’re the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.”
Xavier:Renegade Angel (more…)

COMEDY: Breaking Bad Mentos Commercial

The internet is the ultimate manatee. 


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 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [OutlawVern’s review] Another vampire movie — but one that takes place a few years into the future.

PLOT SUMMARY: 95% of people are vampires, and the remaining 5% of humans are no longer enough to feed everybody. Will society collapse?

This is a new angle for vampire movies — what happens when an entire planet’s population is almost all vampire, and human blood starts to run out? A definite metaphor for environmental issues, such as peak oil, and not over-using our planet’s finite resources.

PEOPLE: Main character: Ethan Hawke (Lord Of War, Training Day, Reality Bites, Dead Poets Society, Gattaca). Bad guy: Sam Neill (Event Horizon, In The Mouth Of Madness, Jurassic Park). For some reason, I thought he Ray Wise of Twin Peaks fame.

Willem Dafoe was, very surprisingly, the weak actor of the movie. He had all the cheesy lines, like “That’s about as safe as barebackin’ a five dollar whore.”

QUIRKS: Definitely a more story-driven vampire movie than your average one, though still a lot of action. Not really a horror, or scary — they didn’t really go for the make-you-jump-in-your-seat surprises. But there was a lot of gore… Several scenes of mass flesh eating/feeding. However, it was far less than in your average vampire flick.

The future angle was interesting too. All cars come equipped with a daytime driving mode, where metal shutters close around the windows, and you drive by external camera. Car accidents can be quite deadly if you are a vampire, but during the day? NO TRAFFIC! If you’re willing to take the risk, and can pay for a daylight driving modification for your vehicle, you can pretty much cruise around at 120MPH with impunity. One of the strange benefits of world filled with vampires — no cops patrolling the roads during the day.

VISUALS: 1) The blood seemed too dark and thick to really be believable as blood.

2) There was this annoying piece of bug or lint or dust or something baked into the actual film of most of the movie, at the very bottom, on the left. You gotta wonder why their quality control doesn’t watch their movies in HD on a big screen. Then again, you’d think they’d notice something like this on the big movie screens, too. It’s a bit distracting when a camera pans horizontally, and everything on the screen except this one piece of lint fails to move. I think it’s very unprofessional for nobody along the process to notice this. At the very least, they could digitally remove it.

For the most part, however, this movie was quite adequate in providing modern visuals for a vampire flick. For example, car mirrors all have cameras built in, to project a vampire’s reflection onto the mirror — because vampires don’t reflect.

POLITICS/MORALS: Definitely VERY damning towards the pharmaceutical industry and corporations in general. A testament to how corporations would rather treat a disease, than cure it, and how those in power will do whatever they can to keep hold of their power, even if it is amoral.

BAD STUFF: See visuals, above.

CONCLUSION: Not quite a masterpiece, but definitely one of the more creative vampire movies I’ve ever seen. Really cool to see how the world would look when 95% of people are vampires.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10 (a low 8).

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.7/10, Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.7/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: Vampire-lovers, environmentalists, corporation-haters — this has more elements for more different people than your average vampire movie. Definitely worth checking out.

MOVIE QUOTE: Here is the worst quote, by far, from the movie, courtsey of Willem Dafoe:

Elvis: “Living in a world where vampires are the dominant species is about as safe as bare backing a 5 dollar whore.”

OutlawVern’s review. (more…)

VIDEO: WTF: CATS/DANCING: Ballet Zoom: “Cats”

Dafuq did I just watch?!??!?!?!


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

CARTOONS: Futurama: Realistic Futurama Aliens – Cheezburger – BETA

Someone finally untooned the Futurama aliens!


Bob “Ross” Dobbs

Leave comments for the original picture poster (scalpod) here.
Largest size (for downloading) here.

A happy little epopt.

Uploaded on: August 17, 2012 at 06:30PM

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