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Vanity Plates February 13, 2013

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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So, a new car deserves vanity plates right? Of course it does. Here in Las Vegas they’re particularly popular for some reason. One of the…odder ones I’ve seen around town is IAMGOD. God drives a white caddy. Just so you know. Anyhoodledoodle, I’ve been trying to come up with something good. Given my current obsession with crochet stuff CROCHET would be nice but of course it’s already taken. CROCH3T is available though so that’s an option. Or I could go a different direction – a trip over to the dork side, if you will. Frank Herbert’s Dune series is one of my all time SciFi favorites. There’s a rich vein of possible plates. Holy crap! MAUDDIB is available! I would have sworn I tried it last week and it wasn’t. Hmm. USUL is also available. Or perhaps I could go with something more me-centric. MTCHMBL is available. I dunno, I read that as MITCH MOBILE but perhaps a most people won’t. How about MSTER M? If anybody has any suggestions you can try them out here NV DMV license plate tester and see if they’re available.

Oh, I tried another crochet-themed one: HAPHUKR (Happy Hooker) but…yeah, I don’t think they would have gone for that one.

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It’s What All the Cool Kids Are Doing August 21, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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The NPR scifi/fantasy book list! I saw this over at Leeann’s place. Nicole has her list up too. Dang, these gals are making me look like a total slacker. (Which I am, I just don’t like it when people point it out).

The deal is you highlight the ones you’ve read.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien (I’ve read these books backwards and forwards and know the story by heart.)
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (Great, funny stuff but I thought it kind of petered out a bit toward the end. His Dirk Gently series started out pretty strong too. Shame he died so young).
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card (Haven’t read the whole series though.)
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert  (I’ll admit, it’s a hard series to get into and Dune Messiah nearly killed it for me. It picked up in Children of Dune and God Emperor blew me away. The rest of the books were great too. It really is a fantastic series. The other Dune books written by his son and that other dude weren’t nearly as good but I read them all anyway just to find out what was supposed to happen after Chapterhouse Dune.)
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin (Dunno about this series. I liked the Showtime series.)
6. 1984, by George Orwell (Read this on recently on my phone. What a depressing book.)
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov (Great classic series from one of the Old Masters.)
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (One of the Big Three of dystopian future stories. I started it a few years ago, but haven’t finished.)
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman (I’ve read nice things about Neil, but haven’t read much of his stuff)
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell (Saw the movie, does that count?)
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson  (Have heard MUCH about this one and even looked at it in the store a couple times but didn’t pull the trigger)
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore (Well okay I didn’t read the comic book but I did see movie.  Hey, I had to look at Dr. Bluedong’s schlong for two hours don’t tell me that doesn’t count. Seriously dude, throw on a pair of shorts when other people around mkay?)
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov (I’ve read all the robot stories. Good stuff. Movie sucked.)
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein (I thought this was really good when I was younger but looking back I’m kinda meh.)
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick (I have a book of PKD’s stories including this one. I haven’t read any of them yet. The ginormous suckitude that is Blade Runner really puts me off.)
22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King (Oh Stephan King I will never forgive you for the way you ended this series.)
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke (Saw the movie, no interest in reading the book.)
25. The Stand, by Stephen King (I understand someone is interested in making this into a series of movies for the theaters. Good luck.)
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson (I’ve heard of this guy, but haven’t read anything by him.)
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury (For some reason I never got into Ray Bradbury)
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess (The other one of the Big Three. For some reason the version in the U.S. leaves out the last chapter, which kinda changes everything. WTF?  LOVED the movie. Really horrorshow.)
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein (I keep reading how great this book is but I’ve never gotten around to it.)
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey (If this is the original Dragonriders of Pern series. Haven’t read much of  1000 other books she’s written about Pern. Come on Anne, write about someplace else for a change.)
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein (I may or may not have read this one. Just don’t recall.)
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys (What a great, sad story)
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny (Easily the most often re-read series of all time for me. He also did a follow-up series which was excellent too. RZ is my top all-time favorite SF/F author and I was greatly saddened when I heard about his death. He went WAY too early.)
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings (Good, but not great. I got burned out on Eddings after a while)
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven (Pretty much anything by Niven is excellent)
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien (Unless you’re a total Tolkien nut you’ll never get through this. It’s weapons-grade density.)
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White (Started when I was a kid. Never finished.)
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan (Not really sure why this is on here. This book was widely panned when it came out IRRC)
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons (Easily one of the most original writers out there. But on the front of each of his books needs to be the warning: “You must be This Smart to get on this ride” and then have to pass a test before you’re allowed to buy the book. Sometimes he makes me think I would not quite pass that test.)
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson (I guess this guy is a real hot shot as I keep seeing his name everywhere)
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks (No interest. Zombies = snoozzzzzzzzzzes)
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett (I’ve read just about everything Pratchett has written. Hell I knew about him before he got big.)
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson (And I read the second Chronicles (not as good) and I’m currently into the LAST chronicles of TC. SD promises this will be the last. He comes up with great story lines but MAN you gotta slog through a whole lot of thick writing to get there.)
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett (Not sure why this one gets singled out of all the other Discworld books though.
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle (Classic hard SF. Really great book. Follow-up was good too.)
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist (I kinda burned out on Feist after this one)
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks (I read one other Shannara book after the first three and decided I didn’t really care about Shannara)
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard (Never got around to reading this one. Dunno why. LOVED the movies!)
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire (Mr. Maguire makes my top 4.)
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe (Didn’t care for it.)
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock (Partial credit, I finally finished reading the first three after 20+ years of trying. Two more to go. I read one of MM’s later Eternal Hero series previously and this always felt like I was on well trodden ground. Also there’s only so much of the crimson-eyed moody albino’s moodiness and bad temper before I get tired of him.)
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson (These were okay. Just struck me as a bit eco-preachy at times.)
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony (I read a bunch of them but eventually got tired of them. He’s written other, better series like the Blue Adept books. At some point I just burned out on PA and I don’t even bother looking at his section anymore.) Great Caesar’s ghost! He’s STILL pumping these things out! #33 was published last year.
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Boom, there it is.

Fantasy Stuff November 16, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Music, Science Fiction & Fantasy, World of Warcraft.
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First, if you play World of Warcraft (or have been considering it) you might be interested to know about a guild called the Army of Morons on the Hellscream server. This was set up by some of the folks over at Doubleplusundead. It’s a great guild and the everyone is really helpful.

Second, I recently bought the soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian and I’m really enjoying it. I also bought both movies on DVD and they should be delivered today. Movie night!

Thirdly, it looks like I’m going to have to start subscribing to HBO:

And yes, you DID see Sean Bean in that clip.

And finally thanks for all the gun advice!  Y’all are a great help!

Blahgroll Update September 28, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Home, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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So I’m going through the blogroll on the side there and updating stuff: adding links to sites I enjoy and deleting links to sites that no longer update (or at least haven’t done so in a year).  If I’m missing anybody that drops by here and you want to be included, just holler.  Or, if you don’t like me anymore and want to be taken off let me know too.  And also, if there’s someplace you like to visit and think I would too go ahead and drop a link in the comments.

Now, I want to highlight one of my most recent new interests:  Girl Genius Online Comic.  If you look over to the left you’ll see a snazzy new graphic that I used my l33t hakk0r w3bskilz on to make it clickyable and it will take you to the beginning of it.  It’s set in a fantasy Steampunkian version of Europe and it has absolute top notch artwork, fun & interesting characters, and a wonderfully intricate plot.  I guess their preferred term is “Gaslamp Fantasy” but whatever.  Beware though, it’s EXTREMELY addictive and since they’ve been running three strips per week for nigh on eight years there’s a HUGE amount of content.  Recently I spent a big chunk of a five-day weekend just hitting the NEXT> button like a crack-addicted monkey in a Skinner Box.  I simply could not stop reading them.  I’ve only just recently caught up to the present so now I have to impatiently wait for each MWF to roll around to get my next hit.  If you get hooked on this thing and you find entire days of your life blown away sitting in front of the computer you can blame Lemur King’s better half, Cruel Wife.  She’s the one who got LK infected and he spread it to me.  Now I’m just passing it on.  Enjoy!

Hot Vulcan Chick! February 11, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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Hot vulcan chick.

Hot.
Vulcan.
Chick.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be on the holodeck.

Pray for Me January 8, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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I have led myself into temptation.  I have brought something very dangerous into my house.  Something that has been known to Destroy Lives.  It is – well, I should back up a bit.

The thinking machine is here and I’ve set it up pretty much like I intended to.  It’s hooked to the big-assed hdtv and the home theater sound system.  I had a problem with the internet connection for the first night.  The computer could see the modem but not talk to it for some reason.  None of the diagnostic stuff worked and there were no further suggestions.  The next night I swapped out the standard modem for the wireless one I had upstairs (It has inputs for wired access too) plugged it in, installed the software and BAM I was in like Flint.  This is so very, very cool.  I have picture in picture capability so I can still watch tv while mucking around on this thing.  So I’ve been involved with setting up housekeeping, getting to know the new operating system (the Dreaded Windows Vista) and generally having fun.  Tonight though I bought my first game for a PC in years…the  notorious World of Warcraft. I even went ahead and bought the battle chest set that has the first expansion pack.  I’m trying to talk my sister in Indiana into playing too.  She is interested.  I may be dooming us both.

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!! October 11, 2008

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Home, Science & Technology, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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No, that’s not a scream of agony, or frustration or anything like that.  That’s a sigh of supreme contentment.  I do it every time a fresh, cool breeze blows through an open window or door in my house.  Fall is finally here to break Summer’s searing death-grip on our weather!  Oh, we still have some upper 80’s temps as high for next week, but all the night’s lows are into the 60’s or even 50’s.  I am so happy!

I guess a few updates are in order since it’s been a while that I last typed at you.  Ceramics – the Drop survived it’s first firing ok and it’s probably done with the glaze firing by now.  I find out how it did Tuesday night.  Currently we’re working on some platters where we are to carve some design into an underglaze prior to firing.  As usual I’m running a bit behind.

Pool League – my team continues to struggle with disappearing members.  Hell the team captain has been AWOL for the last three weeks.  I’m guessing he’s not going to be back, so I’m defacto captain now.  whoot.  My own play is pretty good – I can hang with the toughest players and still win 60% of my games.  Now if I could only up my win percentage against the less skilled opponents I’d be happier.

Big-assed screen TV / Xbox – I continue to be enthralled with how good the games look on this thing, and <i>The Force Unleashed</i> in particular.  I finished the game on the easiest setting and so I started it again on the next level up.  I’m spending WAYYYY too much time on this thing but I just can’t hardly stop.  It’s SO fun just murdering tons of dudes in so many cool ways.  Speaking of which, go and watch this guy’s review of TFU on the Wii. All of his reviews are like that and they’re all hilarious.  Even if you don’t give two figs about video games they are still a hoot to watch.

That’s it for now boys and girls.  I have to go fold laundry now.  OH!  One quick DVD movie review – Tarantino’s <i>Death Proof</i>.  Holy cow that was terrible – easily his worst ever.  Avoid.

Odds ‘n Ends September 18, 2008

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Home, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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It’s a bit of a grab bag today.

Ceramics
In tonight’s ceramics class I get to see if my mugs survived their first firing.  I’m a bit concerned about the second one because during the drying process the bottom of the handle where it attaches to the body was cracking a bit.  I patched with with some slip until the crack didn’t show anymore, but that doesn’t always work.  I guess we’ll see.  Assuming they survive I now have to think about what glazes to use.  Since we’re using medium-fire clay and glazes the real glassy stuff I like to use are off the menu.  Hmmmm.

I’m currently working on a big, multipiece thing and I’m hoping to get it all put together tonight.  I’ll get some pictures up if I do.

Politics
Hey, I got polled last night about the upcoming presidential election!  This was my first time ever too, so I polled it good and hard and made sure the guy knew exactly where I stood in respect to the candidates.  None of that squishy moderate stuff for me – all the partisan dials were pushed to 11 baby. Unfortunately they didn’t have a “When Hell Freezes Over” category for my likelyhood of voting for BO and I had to settle for “Extremely Unlikely” or somesuch. Oh well.

Movies
I finished watching Hitchcock’s Rear Window last weekend. One word reveiw: Meh. For a “suspense” movie it was actually kinda boring. Is it that we just don’t have the patience for those kinds of films anymore? I dunno. My tastes have changed though – I used to like the slasher/horror/gorefests but I couldn’t watch the last “Saw” movie and sent back “Devil’s Rejects” mostly unwatched too. I just have no desire to see that kind of stuff any more. I think my attitude change started with “Cabin Fever” a few years back.

Anyway, do y’all have any suggestions for something good? My netflix queue is getting kinda low. Oh, and can anyone explain the ending to “No Country for Old Men” to me and why that suckfest got “Best Picture”?

Games
I did pretty good at my pool league last Monday. We played the best team in the league and I held my own against them, winning more than 50% of my games. Alas my other teammates didn’t fare nearly so well so we were generally crushed overall.

It was fairly late when I got back home that night(> 11 pm) so stayed up a bit longer and went down to Gamestop to pick up my reserved copy of “The Force Unleashed” at midnight. There were probably a dozen other goobers there too who couldn’t wait to get their mitts on the game. One guy said he was going to play it all night and call in sick to work the next morning.  I didn’t play any that night, nor the next but I did play for a bit last night.  One word review:  Impressive!  Most impressive.  This game is going to be a blast. 

Whelp, that’s it for now.  I’ll type at you later.

This Is Going to Be Awesome June 28, 2008

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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Blizzard just announced today that Diablo III is coming!  Check out Battle.net for some of the awesomeness they are working on.  Be sure to hit the gameplay video and watch it.  It’s still in development and there’s no scheduled release date yet, which means that it will probably be a while (a year if we’re lucky, two if there’s problems I’d wager).

Considering how much of a timesuck Diablo II was for me over the years I played it, I probably shouldn’t welcome this new one, but this is going to be lots of fun.  Speaking of fun, if you’ve never played Diablo II I highly recommend it.  This game sold so well it’s still on the shelf even eight years after it’s original release date.  You can play it by yourself or matched up with other people over the internet, up to eight players in one party.  If you’d like to try it out and have someone help you, let me know.  Or if you already have some characters I’d like to meet up.  We can start an Ace O’Spades Moron Diablo battle group!  Drop a note in the comments if you’re interested.

Cloverfield January 19, 2008

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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So, after I did my civic duty and did the caucus thing (see my comment over at Bmac’s if you’re curious) I went to the movies to see Cloverfield.  My one word review:  Huh!  Another member in the audience had a one word review at the end too:  “Boo.”

It wasn’t what I expected, although I’m not sure what I was expecting.  Overall I really liked it and it was really very suspenseful.  Even more so than usual for me because I was having a mild anxiety attack during the whole thing too.  The anxiety thing wasn’t related to the movie though – I started feeling weird before I even got to the casino.  Anyway –  a good movie if extremely unconventional.  I think that’s what was the real surprise for me.  I wouldn’t have guessed you could get a major nationwide released movie made this way.  I hate movie spoilers, so I won’t say anything more about it.