Sunday, November 30, 2008

Awesome

I found this haphazardly today - and it's well worth the posting. I warn you in advance, there are these two guys will spoil the ending of 100 movies in four minutes.



Please enjoy responsibly.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nanowrimo Winner

Here it is, suckas! Strolling in a day early for the 50,000 word verification - I am a winner of the 2008 Nanowrimo Challenge.

I win access to this little .jpg as well as a certificate. I printed and framed my certificate from last year. The Choose Your Own Adventure novel is coming along nicely, and it certainly has had its challenges. I honestly didn't think I was going to make it this year, but the story pushes along nicely and works really well. Plus, there's a lot of fun writing the 'endings' every now and again.

No doubt, if I'm going to have a reader go through five or six pages just to have the protagonist die, then I'm going to reward them with something cool - like the flamethrower I was mentioning earlier. It was recommended that I have someone die at the hands of a lion at the zoo - and I think I know a way to make that work (although I don't think the zoo really fits into the story very well).

So - a good day for me. It's a bit awkward for me to post this novel up online, because part of the novelty of a CYOA is turning to pages and checking where the story goes - which is not quite the same with a .pdf document. I admit, you'll have to wait for this one to be printed out (and finished) before you get access to it.

Unless I post it up with the blog and have links to the appropriate pages. I don't know if I want to do that just yet - I mean, perhaps I'll post the first part of the book like that, but ... I'm not certain I want to do that just yet.

Now I can get back to updating the Maple Leafs Challenge, which I haven't touched in almost two weeks. The participants must be getting edgey about it. Sorry.

See y'all around.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Odontochelys - the tooth turtle half shell.

You may recall a post from a few days ago about Eileanchelys waldmani, the early turtle that paleontologists believe is the missing link between waterbound turtles and the lizards or reptiles or whatever it was that they were before they became aquatic.

My complaint was that the articles revealed NONE of the information that would highlight those awesome particularities that would lead scientists to believe that a missing link was found. All the article did was say that it was in fact found, and that people are exciting. It was missing all kinds of information.

UNTIL NOW: My younger brother has come through for me and found an article about Odontochelys semitestacea, which means "Tooth turtle half shell" (again, people should ask me to name these things) and this article clearly demonstrates what they're talking about.



So, by the breast plates and the ribs, they are able to deduce that the turtle's shell developed the underside first, and the upper side after. This is also linked to the development of the fetus. So in a turtle fetus, they've discovered (likely by tearing open hundreds of turtle fetuses) that the lower part of the shell grows first, and the upper part grows last. In many ways, suggested evolutionary changes have been observed in chicken embryos in the Discovery Channel special I outlined for you a few months ago.

Anyhow, all of that aside, it's good to see that the Beeb (BBC) has managed to outdo itself. I think working for the BBC would be awesome. Probably one of the most respected news institutions in the world.

Articles that will make you ...

Laugh: Students drop Cystic Fibrosis charity drive. Here is that same story again, this time demonstrating that the SU is ignorant. The comments in this thread are much more interesting and argumentative than the earlier post's. Case in point, "How does something like this pass 22-2? What affliction is inclusive enough for them? The Flu? Will they cut off all fund raising for Breast Cancer research as well?"

Indeed.

Cringe: Boy, 12, severs fingers during Zamboni joy-ride. Not much else to say about that. They don't explain how his fingers were actually caught in the machine, nor why the hell he was driving the Zamboni - just the facts ma'am, nothing but the facts. Duh, duh duh da ... ;)

Smile: Ten-tonne asteroid streaked across Prairie skies. Reported a few days ago, a lot of people from  a broad collection of areas in the Prairies all reported seeing bizarre streaking lights in the night sky. A UFO cover up? C'mon national news wire! You've got to get the dirt on this sort of thing. 

and scratch your head: Amateur spots astronaut's lost tool bag. "Using co-ordinates released by the United States military, the 35-year-old amateur astronomer recorded the image of a $100,000 tool bag lost by a spacewalking astronaut last week from his Brockville backyard."

Next edition: I've got another URSG segment, and I think I'll continue to refer to it by its acronym rather than 'outing' my grandpa every time he sends me a racy email. I'll also have to come up with a sufficient disclaimer so that I don't get any hate mail on this sort of thing. ALSO a Maple Leafs Challenge update. And don't think that I won't be mentioning the damned Nanowrimo some more - these last few days are going to be intense! 12,000 to go!

Mistakenly racist disease canned by council

This sounds like the most ridiculous item you've ever heard of, yet - after reading it, I realize that Windsor wouldn't be far behind if Council had the information that Carlton had.

So ... someone tells a member of the Carleton Student Council that Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that only affects white people, and mostly men (which was a lie). So, the student council decided that having an event that only benefits white males was unacceptable, and canceled their Shinerama event. I'm not kidding.

First of all, how do you trick like 30 students with their laptops open during a council meeting? Fact checking this kind of bullshit should be a cinch. Seriously, how does this sort of idiocy permeate through an entire student council. They should be embarrassed. And as this was reported on CTV, it would appear that they're going to get noticed as the idiots they are.

It's unbelievable. (maybe Windsor wouldn't do this? I'd like to think that they wouldn't. Although if they did, the newspaper would have a good time with it.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Huge Lost Spoiler

You don't have to go here to read this, but this is the Call Sheet for a day's worth of shooting on the set. It has a lot of information in it - no dialogue, but basically it recaps each of the scenes that it's shooting.

If you don't want to know what time things are happening in, what the hell is going on, or where everyone went, then dont read this. Because it will spoil everything. It appears that most of the scenes are for an episode called "The Little Prince" and that is an episode that is chiefly about the importance of Aaron.

IF you don't want to be spoiled, but would like to be teased, then you'll be excited to know that William Mapother's "Ethan Rom" will be in this episode. Neat, eh?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lee Stempniak

So the Leafs picked up Lee Stempniak, and that's just fine with me. A couple years ago, John Ferguson Jr. could have got a whole lot more for a guy like Alex Steen. His potential was incredibly high - the same for Coliacovo - and they've both underachieved and developed slowly. Frankly, Stajan is lucky that he's responded relatively well to the benchings he's received early in this season, else he'd be history too.

The next guy that was being used left and right in year's past that isn't getting even half the ice time he used to (figuratively speaking) is Alex Ponikarovski. I don't think the coach likes him either, so we might see him moved to someone who might want him. It's too bad, because Poni had some incredible hustle in years past, but for some reason is having a lot of trouble being an impact player for the Leafs right now.

But what people are arguing about now is that it's odd that this trade is being made while the Leafs are in the process of hiring a new GM. Haven't they been in the process of hiring a new GM since last season?

I'm going to say, no, it's not odd. If Coliacovo and Steen weren't going to be useful members of the Leafs nor a part of their future, it was fine that they were moved. Why have a new GM come in and take a few weeks to get tuned into the situation before making the same move way after. In a way, this was something that had to be done, and something that they spared Burke from doing. Perhaps it was a message to the players that their work wasn't acceptable, not to a new GM, but to the existing ownership that's been here all along.

NOW - the bit of this that is odd is that a new GM is possibly being delivered by the stork as we speak. A GM in a rebuilding franchise gets a free reign to redesign a team how they see fit. So, when a trade is made, it's for a player that the GM is looking to bring in to fit their design. To make a move right before a new GM comes in means that basically, there are two fewer players for the GM to move to acquire new assets. So ... maybe a little odd - but basically, if these things had to be done, why wait? There's no bad time to make a good move.

The move sounds cool - new blood always makes things interesting. Fans want a change, so keep the change coming. Plus, the Leafers were way overloaded with defensemen. There was a hunch that d were going to start getting moved over the summer when they kept signing defencemen people had never heard of, after drafting a defenceman in the first round.

Anyhow - I'm a fan - I want to see neat new stuff. New characters on the set always makes for a fresh moment. Now we have to find out if the new guy is a hero, a villain, or just a catalyst that will move the plot forward to the season finale. Right?

I'm looking forward to Lee Stempniak.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yeah, so I finished up by writing about 6,300 words today. That's a lot of sitting and writing. The flamethrower thing ... man, just gruesome. I guess it's kind of like getting what you wished for.

I had to imagine up and record how somebody would burn alive, how their skin would twist around, and the smell. And for good measure, I half-severed someone's head with a flying car door.

That's one way to end a tangent in a CYOA that you don't intend on carrying the story forward, I guess.

Now I am tired, and am going to not work on the novel for the rest of the night. Good night everyone.

Nanowrimo

I kicked out about 3,000 words so far today - and after I cook dinner, I hope to write a bunch more. I'm taking an exciting moment to use a flame thrower for the first time.

Do you know how much flame throwers are awesome in Choose Your Own Adventure books? Me neither, not yet, anyhow. I've got to kill a few characters off and end a tangent that the storyline is heading in, and a flame thrower seems like a rockin' way to accomplish that.



Not much you could do if that gets on you. Not much at all. Awesome.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Guarantee you've never seen anything like this

I stand by this: you haven't seen anything like it.


Funny Videos


You're going to need some volume to be able to listen to this. This is really something.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What is going on in my head?

Are you wondering what's going on in my head?


Well, as a matter of fact, it's this, all of the time.



If you want to be in my entourage, you'd better give a hard back massage. And wear camouflage.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writing and writing about dinosaurs

Nanowrimo
I finally reached the 30,000 word mark on the Nanowrimo last night, and it was the last thing I did before I went to bed. I'm totally going to have to rewrite that whole chapter I wrote last night, because it was just awful. Seriously. But 30,000 words is just about on pace to getting to the 50,000 mark by the end of the month. It might be a bit of a struggle, but I think I'll still be able to pull it off.

Dinosaur roundup:
If a dinosaur fell in the water, then turtles would have swum with dinosaurs. This story indicates that a turtle has been discovered that may represent the missing link between exclusively terrestrial turtles about 210 million years ago, and turtles that could swim 164 million years ago. His name would be Eileanchelys waldmani.

Oh yeah! I can tell that this is the missing link by ... his awkwardly crushed skull? I wish these articles would highlight what in fact leads scientists to believe anything particularly new about these species. Seriously, the academic papers that these reports come from must have some sort of indication. Was it the feet? Was it the shell? Was it the teeth? Damned if we'll be told.

What else is neat in Dinosaur Land today? How about the oldest dinosaur footprints ever discovered in the southern hemisphere? Well, perhaps that's not neat, but ... Archeologists Find Dinosaur Tracks in Bolivia, except archeologists don't look for prehistoric animals, right?

Well, did an archeologist find dinosaur tracks?:

Paleontologist Pablo Gallina described the day he first saw the prints.

"When I stooped down to look at the prints, the other paleontologists were 50 meters ahead and saying There's more here! And above that there were more prints covering 30 meters with 50 or 60 steps all in a line,” Gallina said.

So, the reporter managed to get it right, but the editor decided to read the whole article and then pull a word out of his ass which didn't appear anywhere inside, and use it in the headline. At least he spelled it right, which I sometimes don't do.

The news wire idea:
I'd hate to say that I'm any kind of expert on dinosaurs, because I'm not, at all. I'm a fan, and that's about it. The kind that reads what the experts say, and that's all. An expert will make the discoveries, which I do not do.

However, you can read wire stories that spell names wrong, have no idea what they're talking about, and not reveal the information that people need to know that makes the story interesting. But there are sweeping statements that the editors just miss because they don't know what they're talking about.

For example, the marine reptiles that swam in the oceans during the Mesozoic era were not dinosaurs, yet a turtle hops in the water, and suddenly "Turtles swim with dinosaurs." And no mention of what interpretation of the fossils leads paleontologists to believe this.

And the second article thinks that paleontologists are archeologists - which is like comparing astronomy to astrology. They look a bit similar when written in the English language, and that's about it.

Not long ago I was discussing a news wire idea with a friend: basically, we would crank out material on our favourite subjects and offer them in a news wire for people to pick up and put in their papers. There are thousands of local papers that might sign up for a digital service like this, and make use of the stories. So I would write dinosaur articles that actually use the right names, the right info, and make sense. Not because I'm an expert, but because I'm a fan. It would be like giving back to the dinosaur community who is upset with these errors all of the time.

My friend wanted to write cooking articles, or recipes. We'd have to find others to help contribute - perhaps someone who did articles on cryptozoology, astronomy, archeology, or whatever. Stories that had particular niches that could be interesting once in a while, we'd do that.

So, we get a few hundred papers to sign up and buy into the newswire and we'd collect the subscription fees for our hard work. It's still an idea that could work, but ... I just don't know if right now is when papers are expanding their budgets to include newswire services. They'd certainly be more interested in including more newswire content - I just think they're happy with their existing Reuters, CP and other newswire services that have international scopes.

Anyhow, that's it for an early morning from me. I hope you're all having a great day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Of Angels and Insects

Good morning,

material is a bit thin again this week. But that doesn't mean that this isn't funny:

I scored a couple goals at hockey last night, which was alright. There's this one guy who's the biggest baby I've ever heard, and he's just a pain in the ass to play with. Any time someone lifts his stick, or gives him a tug, he starts chirping like he's George Laroque. We're just playing for fun, so having someone going off like that certainly doesn't add any more fun to the evening.

Plus, he's got to be 130 pounds soaking wet - right, the smallest man on the ice. I have to think that someone is going to just lay this guy out or punch him out. He's just such a prick. It's too bad, too, because he's an outstanding skater and stickhandler. His shot is pretty good as well. It's just disgusting how he talks to people while playing pick up on the south pad at the Ice Park.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Round up of neat stuff

Zombies:

apparently there will be another sequel to 28 Days Later, and this one will be directed by Danny Boyle, who directed the first film. The rumours that it might be called "28 months later" were dispelled as nonsense. He also said that the script isn't written yet, so they aren't sure what all will come of it.

Here's a video of what looks like it's going to be a neat movie I'll never watch.






Monsters:

Monsters in baby cookie lusting form.

MLC, NaNo and weekend report

Wedding stuff: Today we're meeting with the minister that's been recommended to us, which should be interesting. The only truly unsettling part of it all, despite the noticeably large fundamental differences between his church and the one I grew up in, it's awfully difficult to be up and suitable for this sort of thing by 9:30 a.m. on a Sunday. A man's got to sleep in sometime during the week, or else all of that sleep-deprivation he suffers all week adds up on him.

If we deny ourselves and hour's sleep each night (say we only get 6 instead of 7) then we're actually denying ourselves a full night's worth of sleep each week. Anyhow, I like using the weekends to refuel, but apparently church doesn't like that idea.

MLC:
I've updated the Maple Leafs Challenge. Nothing too much has changed in terms of standings, but there have been some neat scoring events. In particular, the Leafs held Vancouver to only 15 shots last night, meaning Shelley scored a big event all to herself. Nobody saw that one coming, especially me.

Nanowrimo went well yesterday
. I think I had my greatest single-day output ever, which is awesome. I can't be certain exactly how many words it was, but it could have been 7,500 words, which is awesome. And it wasn't me reciting American Pie and quoting my favourite lines from the Yellowpages, like the Nanowrimo "pep talks" would recommend. It was good ol' hard work.

I don't suspect I'll have another positive day like that again today. That's chiefly because I'm going to church this morning, then we've got to get groceries, then I'll have to come home and do dishes, and start working on dinner for our guests this evening. I know! Where am I supposed to get my work done with all of that other stuff?

It's like life doesn't care if you're committed to Nanowrimo or not. Stupid life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New segment: my unwittingly racist step-grandfather

I've been receiving emails from my grandmother's new husband William. He's a really nice guy and a gentleman. He's learning how the Internet works these days, and often sends emails that are completely blank, saying nothing. And he'll send them by the twos. So you'll get two new emails that say nothing, both from Wild Bill.

And Bill just wants to be part of the Online community and send his step-grandsons and step-grand daughters things to their emails. Which just goes to show how thoughtful and kind he is: and I'm not being a dick, he really is a genuinely caring, nice gentleman. From England, no doubt.

But that doesn't mean that he doesn't forward emails that he probably should just keep to himself.

Featuring my new blog segment: My unwittingly racist step-grandfather
(Emails from my unwittingly racist step-grandfather do not reflect the thoughts or beliefs of myself, they are for entertainment purposes only, and should not be taken seriously in any way whatsoever. Please do not give me shit.)


Today's unwittingly racist email:
"FW: [Fwd: Fwd: Fw: Our National Anthem...this is so sick.....have read this]‏"

Please
read and forward to as many people you can think of – thank
you

WE ARE CANADIANS

Bruce Allen is on the 2010
Vancouver
Olympic Committee and new Canadians (specifically
Hindi's/Indian's) want him fired for his recent comments outlined
below:

I am sorry, but after hearing they want to sing the
National Anthem in Hindi - enough is enough.
Nowhere or at no
other time in our Nation's history, did they sing it in Italian,
Japanese, Polish,
Irish (Celtic), German, Portuguese, Greek, or
any other language because of immigration.
It was written in
English, adapted into French, and should be sung word for word

the way it was written.


The news broadcasts even gave the
Hindi version translation which was not even close to
our
National Anthem.


I am not sorry if this offends anyone,
this is MY COUNTRY - IF IT IS YOUR COUNTRY, SPEAK UP -- please pass
this along .


I am not against immigration --
just come through like everyone else. Get a sponsor; have a

place to lay your head; have a job; pay your taxes,
live by the rules AND LEARN THE LANGUAGE
as all
other immigrants have in the past -- and LONG LIVE
CANADA!'


It's
time we all get behind Bruce Allen, and scrap this Political
Correctness crap. His comments were anything but racist, but
there are far too many overly sensitive 'New Canadians'
that are trying to change everything we hold
dear.


ARE
WE PART OF THE PROBLEM ??? Think about this: If you
don't want to forward this for fear
of offending someone,
will we still be the Country of Choice and still be
CANADA
if we continue
to make the changes forced on us by
the people from other countries who have come to live in

CANADA
because it is the Country of
Choice??????



Think about
it!


IMMIGRANTS, NOT CANADIAN'S, MUST
ADAPT.


It is
Time for
CANADA to
speak up.. If you agree ? Pass this along; if you
don't agree ? Delete it and reap the ill wind because of your
complacency!

Nanowrimo

As you can see by the word counter gadget on the side there, I've been chugging away at Nanowrimo today. I've got a couple thousand words together, but I've got to almost get past 25,000 to meet the half-way mark. And if I can get there today, then I'm doing awesome. Last year I was well ahead of the pace almost the whole time - and I think I should be able to catch up, and keep a lead on it.

I've noticed some writers already have like, 60,000 words done. I have my suspicions regarding anyone who writes that much in only 15 days. Like, what else could they be up to? Or, how much of that book did they have written before the official start date?

While there are no security checks in this competition, I can't imagine your sense of success would be very high if you knew that you'd cheated. Seriously, I could post my entire Lefevre's Redemption novel, and say that I wrote that this month, too. Then I'd be way out ahead, with 100,000 words.

Then again, I could even just include all of the words that I put into the novel before the Nanowrimo began, which currently sits at around 36,913 words (way ahead of the necessary pace). But we're not going there yet.

I'm going to plug another hour into this baby, at least, and see where things stand after that. I don't know how popular the CYOA posts were - most people I've heard from thought they were too long, and didn't read them. I'll avoid trying to post anything like that on here again. I think I was almost at 16,000 words earlier today, and now I'm almost at 20,000 - so things are moving along. I hope this pace continues for a while - I'm looking forward to getting back on track.

All Apologies

Hi crew,

I'm sorry I haven't posted anything of any value in the last little bit. I just haven't been inspired with what's happening around me to post anything new, but that doesn't mean that there aren't neat things going on.

Work has been adding up, the BOD I report to is taking on weekly meetings (what BOD meets over 50 times a year? One with too much time on its hands) and a BOD with time on its hands is meddlesome. Or at least risks being meddlesome. Besides that, they're not being too intrusive, just trying to get their sense of place and an understanding of what's going on.

That's on top of the economic impact that advertising at the Paper is feeling, too. Advertising on a national level is struggling, and institutions that depend on advertising feel the pinch, which we are. There have been some decisions made to make things leaner in the next semester, which is unfortunate. I would have liked to keep all the things we're running working, but I don't think that's going to be possible anymore.

Besides that, the Stegosaurus at the zoo is taking a while to finish. I've put in a few honest hours on the image, and it's still a work in progress. But, while I was at work, I managed to scrap together a preview, which I drafted in about two minutes. It looks like this:

This Stegosaurus hasn't been 'zombied up' or anything, but the good copy will be. I've only got the tail and hind leg finished so far, with a little bit of the background ready. It's going to be a while before I get the rest of it done. I have to work from left to right, because I'm a righty, and if you draw stuff on the right side of the page first, then your hand smudges it all while you're drawing what's on the left side of the page. So I kind of have to work backwards on this one. But I hope to have it done in a little while. I'll be sure to post it up when I can .

I'm way behind on Nanowrimo right now, and will make a consolidated effort to get a few thousand words kicked out this weekend. If I can get 5,000 done, that gets me close to being where I need to be.

And I'll get a MLC up sometime today, too. I'm behind by three games with updates, and have to get that done.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hump day

Man, it's been a slow couple of days. Seriously, Monday was just work followed by a trip to the gym, after which I did a bit of work on the Stegosaurus at the zoo.

Then Tuesday wasa nother day at the office, and some new work on an In Business Magazine interview: with Ray Patel, Sr. from the Windsor Lighting Boutique on Walker. The place is pretty neat. I managed to kick out almost 2,000 words for the new CYOA, too.

But there's nothing really to show for all of it, so I'm having trouble updating the blog. I guess I could have updated the Maple Leafs Challenge, because I'm behind by two games now. I guess that will be the next thing I do.

Here's a link to the latest article I ran for In Business:


The City of Windsor has embraced an electrifying new opportunity to expand
on its historic leadership in automotive sector research and development. By
collaborating with General Motors, EnWin Utilities and the Electrical Power
Research Institute to help charge up the 2010 Chevy Volt for every day use,
Windsor is galvanizing its rightful claim as the automotive capital of
Canada.

- In Business

It's all about the Chevy Volt and what people are expecting of it. Should be neat, and expensive, but neat none the less. This thing is getting a tonne of press, too. I'm seeing billboards for it, and hearing about it on major radio networks. You can read the full article here, but warning, it's in .pdf format, and might take a while to load on your computer if you're not prepared for it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Soup: you can come have some

Hi there. I made soup today, and you're welcome to come have some. Just drop me a line, we can arrange a time for you to come over, and you can have some soup. It's pretty good - in fact, probably the best I've ever made. Turkey-based "beef barley." It's really yummy.

Also, you might notice a nifty 'gadget' on the side of my blog now, entitled Nanowrimo Tracker. Now there's a widget that's linked directly to my progress with Nanowrimo, and you can see how I'm doing, by virtue of the red bar that's creeping across that little image there.

That's what that is. I don't know what they look like if you put more than 50,000 words in.

Nanowrimo is tough this year

I don't really recall how quick I was to get off to a good start last year with Nanowrimo, but this year it's been a game of catch-up the whole way.

I've only managed to get about 8100 words out so far this month, and to stay on pace I need to almost double that number. But I'm making good progress, and the story is coming along nicely. Plus, it's a bit easier to keep up with the story and the story lines when I'm not really going forward as fast. I get to stop and come up with alternate story lines because of the 'Choosing' that people get to make.

So I have a chance to really wrap my head around what's going on before I get ahead of myself. So that's been nice in terms of pace. But to be honest, I am about 7,000 words behind, so I've got some serious work ahead of me. Nothing I can't handle, right?

I think while I'm watching the Sunday Night lineup on Fox tonight, I'll work on the Zombie Dinosaurs, too. The stegosaurus eating brains should be neat. I don't know what's big enough to eat the brains of, though. Like, maybe a rhino, a hippo or an elephant would be big enough. Just depends on what I feel like drawing tonight, right?

And here's a zombie stegosaurus that someone has apparently already designed, to my dismay. Mine won't look like this, it'll look totally awesome.


Although, let's face it, this is basically what a zombie stegosaurus has to look like. I like the colours and the comic-book feel that this image has to it, though. There's a really great Megalosaurus I might put up one of these days. But seriously, this is about my zombie dinosaurs, not this pro's.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Publicity stunt

But it's worth it.

Say I was a director or a movie producer and I wanted people to know who I was. What could I do, other than making an outstanding movie? Well, we know that great movies and popular movies are entirely different things, and directors/producers hardly get their due - unless they're producing blockbusters, in terms of public attention.

If you don't know who directed Shawshank/Green Mile, (which I don't, off the top of my head) then it's an absolute disservice to great film makers that you would know who Michael Bay is.

So making a great movie is off the table. What can you do next?

Offer $2 million to Sarah Palin to appear in a porno. You likely have never heard of Cezar Capone, just like everybody else. But you might notice him a lot more, now that he's offered $2 million to Sarah Palin to appear in a porno that he's planning to make. And just so Palin doesn't have to perform adultery, they're prepared to buy Todd (Palin) for another $100,000 to costar. He's also been offered a brand new Acrtic Cat, too.

Too funny - but, you won't forget the name, I'll bet you. Cezar Capone.

And the answer was Frank Darabont. (He also ... after I looked it up ... directed "The Mist," which my fiance and I both agreed was entirely enjoyable. So he's getting a couple thumbs up for making all of our favourite movies.)

Maple Leafs Challenge
I've made updates to the Maple Leafs Challenge which you can view at its homepage. We've been very fortunate: there's been a scoring event in every game so far this year. You'd think that sooner or later, those events are going to quit coming up. The Leafs have a tough test tonight against the Habs, so we'll see what comes of it. Perhaps they can lose by 8 goals tonight and get Leggett back on the scoreboard.

Choose Your Own Adventure
If I were to say that the CYOA was going slowly this year - I'd be right. I haven't quite had the fire I did last year to do it, but I've got a lot of work behind me on the project. I hope to get a bit more of it worked on today. I think one of the main reasons why it's not working out as well as it could: television. Too much television.

That really shouldn't be the case when we've got a very nice loft/office that is secluded and private and perfect, really, for getting work done. So perhaps I'll get some more of done today. I've almost got the first part of the book complete, meaning that all of the story arcs either end or move in the right direction before you get to part two.

There's a whole lot going on in this book, so it's exciting. I might dedicate it to Michael Crichton. He deserves it. It just won't be worthy, considering it's got nothing to do with techno-thrilling best sellers. Plus, I don't know how you'd adapt a CYOA into a movie script ;)

Y'all have a great weekend.

Braaiinnss?

I was just sitting here after hockey thinking about zombies, and ... it struck me that I'm not entirely certain that I've ever seen a zombie movie where the zombies actually eat anyone's brains.

All of that nonsense of them chasing people, calling out for brains, doesn't make a lot sense. I'm not really all that sure why they would want brains, anyhow. But, can anyone recall a scene where a zombie cracked someone's head open and ate the brain?

Or, even pulled some of the brain out through an eye socket, or did anything that resembled trying to eat a brain in any way? I don't. They're always simply attacking for the sake of ripping people apart. They'll bite at necks and arms, or tear through someone's stomach to eat their intestines, but ... simply, I just don't know where the popular call for grey matter came from.

When I draw up the stegosaurus zombie scene at the zoo, someone's brain is going to be visible, and possibly being eaten. It's been far too long that these guys are getting away with not eating brains.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Here's a great obituary for Michael Crichton that came to my attention today.

One of the items that has me wondering was what his next book was going to be like. HarperCollins, his publisher, had scheduled for his next book to be released in December, but his illness postponed its release indefinitely. 

The private illness Crichton's family kept out of the media doesn't tell us much regarding how long he was ill. We can't really be sure how much of the novel was complete before his sickness postponed his efforts. Either way, we also don't know whether or not his final work will be finished or published posthumously. 

I can't even find any clues as to what it was about, but it should be available next May. So we'll get a glimpse of it.

Wikipedia has an excellent article on Crichton, if anyone was interested in more of his thoughts. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton tribute



I'd first like to say that I truly admired this author, and he was an incredible influence on any interest I had on the sciences, artistry, and possibly even contributed to my distrust in most people regarding their positions in authority. No doubt, the people with power in his novels misused that power (in what some will call technological hubris) and jeopardize the lives of many before learning their own lessons. 

In many ways, his novels were the rare examples of true Aristotelian tragedy, where the criminal minds would finally realize the error of their ways just before they succumbed to the fruits of their labours. In 1990's Jurassic Park, our contemporary world's seminal work on cloning and the issues surrounding it to this day, park creator and financier John Hammond is eaten by a ravenous (and poisonous) pack or precompsagnathuses - a scene which was amended and delayed until the second Jurassic Park film: The Lost World.

I believe Hammond was supposed to be an evil version of Walt Disney - hellbent on rebuilding the park despite the horrific concerns surrounding reintroducing extinct animals into a contemporary world. Of course in the cinematic version of 1993, Hammond agrees to close his park in a brief moment of exposition as they flee away from a rampaging tyrannosaurus that just finished stomping the shit out of a small pack of velociraptors. 

But in the novel, he was a stubborn old man to the very end, not realizing the error of his ways until he fell down an embankment, broke his leg, and was attacked by a whole pack of chicken-sized carnivores scavenging off of his old body while he was dying. 

The important part is: he didn't realize the error of his ways until the terrible actions that he put into place were actually causing his own demise. That's Aristotelian tragedy!

I would have always wanted to meet Crichton - and never had any real plans on doing so. I didn't realize that I felt as much of a connection with him until I'd read State of Fear, in which he fights the increasingly strong group-think surrounding Global Warming. Crichton just didn't believe all of the hype and as a conscientious writers/researcher, he made a point to investigate both sides of the issue - in the end he wrote a novel that outlines both sides of the argument exceptionally well. 

It also provides a list of sources cited in a thorough bibliography - a feature that wasn't included in much of his science fiction. He felt that including all of the sources of the information he used in State of Fear was a great way to encourage people to decide for themselves instead of buying into what they're being told. 

Where he and I meet isn't on the issue of Global Warming (although I share his final concerns with the argument) but I realized that he was a skeptic at all times. He needed to be sure of the source, be sure of the data and be sure of himself before he could believe in something. Reading through a series of appendices that he included at the end of State of Fear makes that obvious. With so many voices saying so many different things, it's incredibly hard to know what to think and who to believe. 

It was also clear in those few words at the end of his novel that he had a charming sense of humour and a sense of humility you might not find in a super-star/celebrity (which he undoubtedly was). 

Few will ever rival the impact he had through his novels, film adaptations and involvement in television. His career is a legacy to the science fiction genre. No matter how outlandish a scenario appeared, albino gorillas bred to protect an ancient diamond mine, cloned dinosaurs escaping their zoological enclosures, medical nanotechnology overrunning human bodies, time traveling to the Medieval with quantum computers, subterranean spheres that link into the mind's unconscious wants/needs or simply genetic mutations, no project sounded far-fetched once he got the story rolling.

He only ever wrote one sequel, and that was to Jurassic Park. Even though he'll never get to write another ... I'm glad it was The Lost World. 

I guess it was known well enough that I like Crichton that I have already received two emails and a phone call to let me know. 

Martin Brodeur
Enough said. Please click to enlarge.

MLC
I'll update this later on tonight - and perhaps have some commentary on the Maple Leafs' game against Boston.

Again, you never know what you're going to get from the Leafs. They should lose all kinds of games, but half of the time, they beat Original 6 Teams and their Divisional Opponents, and play very well against them. So, Boston, what have you got? You SHOULD beat Toronto - we'll just have to see how they're going to respond to you. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Perhaps there's a new curse in major league sports?

As Martin Brodeur approaches the venerable top spot in all times wins and shutouts, he's creeping up on the fame of Patrick Roy and Terry Sawchuk respectively. It seemed that nothing would stop the Devil's outstanding perennial leader - until now. Now he's got a bad wing.
''This Thursday morning, Martin Brodeur will undergo surgery to repair the distal bicep in the left elbow," Devils president, CEO and general manager Lou Lamriello said in a statement. 
- says TSN.ca's staff.
Is it possible that some sort of curse is interfering with Brodeur's sprint to being the statistically dominant goal tender in history? Well, according to Brodeur, this bicep injury is absolutely absurd. 
''It's shocking,'' Brodeur said. ''You expect, 'OK [sic TSN can't spell 'Okay.' I give my writers shit for this type of thing.] my knee is going to go, or my groin, my stomach, something that I use for a goalie.' I didn't think a bicep could have been a big factor in an injury, it's such a freak accident.''

Totally random injuries to a part of his body that he doesn't even use for work suddenly requires 6 months of rehab? There's something fishy going on here. Something like Fox Mulder would be investigating, don't you think? Or perhaps the disappointingly desperate Fringe. 

Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup champion is now stuck on 544 career victories, meaning he needs just seven victories to tie Patrick Roy's record of 551 wins.  He is also five shutouts short of Terry Sawchuk's career mark for shutouts with 103 (TSN). 

So who is it? Is it the icy wink of Roy that's freezing Brodeur's chances this season? Does St. Patrick have a voodoo doll protecting his admirable career?

Or is it the ghost of Sawchuk who dominated over the league for years without a mask on or super-light weight equipment? He just had horse hair soaking up water in his pads, and a f-ing jersey to protect himself from Original Six slap shots. NHL defensemen wear considerably more gear than Terry did. 

Sawchuk died from an emaciated liver (from reported alcohol abuse) that was punch by a teammate during a fight after a game. He was still playing right up to the day when the blot clots that filled his body finally choked him out. 

Well, besides all of that - it should be interesting to see if and when Brodeur comes back, and whether or not he ever passes these marks. He's still playing like a wizard, so you'd think he'll play a few more seasons. Surely these stats are bound to fall eventually. We'll see what happens in about six months, I guess.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Good morning,
another new week ahead of us.

How about that weather?
So it's pouring like a car wash down here in Windsor today. I was looking forward to riding my bike today - but that doesn't appear to be a realistic choice. Thunder and lightning before 7 a.m. crazy.

Whenever there's thunder and lightning around here, there's sirens from emergency vehicles. People down here can't drive in the rain, and I don't know why.

CYOA:
I put about 30 pages of the Choose Your Own Adventure aside, and started back to work on it yesterday. Mostly I regrouped where the story was going to go, and how to get chapters to work with it. So - there will be a whole slew of choices, but basically, there's one path that will lead you to the next chapter.

And, it's rather dark. Still nothing too funny to report about any of this stuff.

So Nanowriomo is coming along - although it's not quite on pace to make the 50,000 mark, yet. Not quite 2,000 words done yet.

Maple Leafs Challenge:
I've updated the MLC yesterday, and there were a lot of points over the last two games, but have not yet posted about the game against Carolina yesterday. The results are all available at the site.

In other news:
It's technically a shame that this is almost extinct, but seriously, does the world need anything that looks like this?


According to this article, apparently this ugly SOB is nearing extinction in Mexico. And if you want to see a whole slew of absolutely disturbing images that will keep you from swimming in the ocean ever again, just visit this site.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lefevre's Redemption Complete!

There we go! About a day late, but ... considering it's taken over a year, I'll take it. The thing is finally done. I'm considering .pdf-ing the file and then posting it on my website just like the first part. So, probably on Monday, I'll have that up and ready to go. I'll be sure to post it, and everyone can start leaving their comments if they'd like.

You can look forward to it.

As for printing/publishing it. I want to - and I'll be looking around to see what I can do to make that happen.

Part One:
1 prologue
18 chapters
109 pages
62,476 words

Part Two:
8 chapters
69 pages
42,245 words
1 epilogue

Total novel:
1 prologue
2 parts
27 chapters
179 pages
104,725 words

1 epilogue
Ryan's smiling. He's feeling a great sense of satisfaction. There's almost a tear in his eye, but ... nah, there's no need for that sort of thing.

The ending is everything he hoped it would be. It all came together so well. A piece of art begins with an idea, but ... as it takes shape, it influences those initial ideas and becomes a being all of its own. It becomes a collaborative effort between its author and itself.

I'll write an epilogue later on today - but know that the novel is finally over.

A year's work is finally complete, and I have to admit, the journey is long, but the satisfaction is sweet.

This is the second-last Novel Updater that Lefevre's Redemption shall receive. I'm sure you won't miss it - seeing as how the updates were purely numeric and uninteresting - but soon enough, the work in its entirety will be available.

Part One:
1 prologue
18 chapters
111 pages
64,447 words

Part Two:
8 chapters
67 pages (4 more)
35,871 words (5,285 more).

Total novel:
1 prologue
2 parts
27 chapters
177 pages (4 more)
103,537 words (5,285 more)

Epilogue coming soon.

Nanowrimo begins

Now, does that mean I'm going to be writing a lot of the new book today? Probably not. Earlier I posted a flow-chart that outlines how someone might organize a Choose Your Own adventure book - and if I do anything on that book - that will be what I work on. Of course, I've already got almost 30 pages of it done, so the only text that will be eligible for the 50,000 word prize (a pat on the back) will be for words that are written above and beyond those 30 pages, and only within the month of November.

Does this mean I finished the last book? NO, it doesn't - I still haven't even named that book. I'm leaning towards Lefevre's redemption, but I'm not entirely sold on that one yet.

As for Scott, I promise, I wouldn't have revealed any plot details if they weren't awesome to read. I promise, even if you knew the final destiny of one character, you should be pleased/confused/delighted with how it plays out. I didn't drop anybody like those bastards in The Departed. Nobody is going to drop dead in rapid succession for little reason.

I finished another couple pages yesterday, and I will not rest until that novel is done today.

Halloween
My Rockin' Ronnie costume was awesome. After scoring 4 goals at hockey (I know!) we dressed up and walked around downtown Windsor for a bit. I was recognized a couple times, and most people were delighted/drunk. I saw another fellow who had the same costume idea, but I believe mine was better. His feathers were lousy, and all he had was a hat, and his glasses weren't any good.

Then I actually bumped into the living legend himself. Ron was amused that he inspired my costume. As we chatted, I demonstrated that I had many of the little knicknacks that he carries around with him. He asked me for some money and I had none on me, but my fiance found something for him. We shook hands and parted ways. He seemed most excited that I'd gone so far as to ensure that I had blond hair on the hat, too.

For monster enthusiasts, and in the spirit of Halloween, here is The Screening Room's Top 10 monster movies. It appears that they restricted themselves to originals only (no remakes made the list, however worthy) and no sequels (because Aliens could have swept the top 5 positions if they allowed that).

No. 1 - Aliens. Read more if you're interested here.

Dinosaur news:
Something that's been awfully popular lately is an 8-armed oddity that precluded terrestrial life as far as anybody knows. It looks like a starfish, but vertebrate paleontologists seem to think that it was an animal, not a fish. See for yourself.



Warning, by clicking the 'expand' button on this image,
you'll actually find that the image is much smaller
than what's posted here. Yeah, dumb, I know.