Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nevada Day

October 31st is Nevada Day - Halloween to everyone else. I'm a third generation Nevadan on both sides - my parents met at Las Vegas High School. So, in honor of Nevada Day .. I present our state song ..

Alternate Nevada Songs

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Safety First

I'm on my way to making a full recovery - I think. So, I am preparing all the necessary equipment to pick my daughter up from school. You can never be too careful with the dreaded Elementary School Gunk Face.

Time to suit up and move out!

Elementary School Gunk Face

It's official; I have the dreaded Elementary School Gunk Face that has been going around my daughter's school. I will spare you the intricate details of the condition, other than saying it feels like I've been hit in the head several times by a rabid monkey wielding a plumber's wrench and a sack of wet flour.

I got another cup of tea and swigged down a couple more Advil. There's no point in going to the doctor and sitting in a room filled with even sicker people. What's the doctor going to do anyway? Now that I'm thinking about it, what do doctors actually do? Can't we just replace them with WebMD? - I kid.

Of course I did check my symptoms on WebMD - just in case it was some kind of exotic tropical disease. I did see the movie Contagion. It seems this particular bug is very common. Viruses are like bad apartment tenants. They come in to your head, invite all their friends for a huge party, thrash the place - knock holes in the wall, pee in the kitchen sink, stain the carpet and then leave in the middle of the night.

Well, I think it's off to bed for another hour or so. I will post another update if my condition changes, but I wouldn't worry - I think the mighty EiMB empire is secure for now.

I'm Pre-sick

I think I caught something from my daughter. I'm not sick; I'm pre-sick. You know that feeling you get right before you become sick.

Your head is kind of swimming and you feel sorta hot all over. It's not actually a bad feeling, kind of euphoric in a way - like being pre-drunk.

However, I've experienced this condition many times before, I know what's in store for me.

If I were on a road trip with my friends, this would be the time that I clapped them on the shoulder and told them goodnight. It wouldn't matter how much they begged or complained. Then I would head on over to the gift shop and purchase that fifteen dollar, one dose bottle of NyQuil. Head on up to my room - take a big swig, turn off the clock and go into a semi-coma for the next eighteen hours.

At my current age and physical condition I don't drink NyQuil or it's older cure-all, a shot of whiskey - so instead I've settled for a nice cup of tea and of couple of Advil.

I drew a nice picture of how I feel - this is me in my pajamas and my well-worn, comforting Star Wars t-shirt. I shall see you all after I am over Elementary School Gunk Face.

Copyright 2011 Cram / Kmuzu

Monday, September 26, 2011

I See You Larry

I see you Larry
It's a joke I like to pull on the next guest staying in my hotel room. I write this on the mirror right after I've taken a shower. I know the chances the next guest will be named Larry are slim, but on the off chance it is - Larry will step out of the shower and see a disturbing message waiting for him.

This was taken at the Ramada Inn in Tonopah, Nevada.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Air Hockey Rules

Instead of Foto Friday, I present this ..

About twice a month my daughter and I go to our favorite arcade, The Pinball Hall of Fame and play air hockey. If you could make any video game real, air hockey is it. This following graphic was not created by me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Saw This Book

I saw this book, Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You'll Never Meet as I was strolling through Amazon the other day. It's basically a guide on how to "harvest" the hair on your dog to make yarn for clothing you wear.

Amazon description: Learn to recycle Rover into beautiful garments and accessories as the authors teach you this wacky new spin on an old craft. Knitting with Dog Hair is the definitive guide to putting on the dog!

I don't know why but the thought of wearing a beagle sweater or a collie beret just creeps me out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy! Today is the official, "Talk Like a Pirate" day - Argh me maties. So, in honor of such a fine occasion, I present several horrible pirate jokes.

Q. How long is a pirate's plank?

Q. What does a Jewish Pirate say?
A. Ahoy Vey

Q. What's a pirate's favorite food?
A. ARRRRtichokes.

Q. Who's the pirate's favorite actress?
A. Diane Cannon.

Q. What does a pirate put on toast?
A. Jelly Roger.

Q. How much did the pirate's ear-rings cost?
A. A-buck-an-ear

And me favorite pirate joke of all time -

So this pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel in his pants. Confused, the bartender asks "Hey bud, why do you have a steering wheel in your pants?"

"I don't know" the pirate says, "but it's driving me nuts!"

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day - ya scurvy dogs ..

Official Site - Talk Like a Pirate Day

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Netflix Price Increase Causes Bigger Subscriber Loss Than Expected

In psychology it's called transferen­ce - This is where someone does something to you that makes you angry and hurt and then you go out in the backyard and kick the dog. Instead of sending out a nasty little letter stating that in effect Netflix was doubling the price, they should have stepped back and carefully constructe­d a plan that explained what the media companies were doing to them and why they needed to raise prices.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Foto Friday - Late

Another Foto Friday - It's really early Saturday, but who's counting.

I don't own the copyright nor am I the originator of any of the above photo's and art.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Artist Andreas Englund - Not So Super

I came across the superhero paintings of Artist Andreas Englund on Empty Kingdom. According to his bio Englund was born in Falun, Sweden in 1974 and currently works in Stockholm.

What I like about his work is there is a sense of loneliness and apathy. He's been doing essentially the same thing for so long he just doesn't care.

Artists Patge - Artofdala

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boss flew off the handle about his religion today

Found this on Reddit and thought it was sort of amusing.

During an emergency meeting, he sweeps in with the CFO, both of them casually late as usual. At least this time they had an excuse - they just met with the CEO, who finally stopped worrying about the PR and asked some problematic VPs to resign, which will clear a lot of red tape for us later. We try to bring both of them up to speed on the discussion. We just suffered an attack that compromised important proprietary data. Rolling out any changes to our recent implementation of the relevant systems would require delays we can't afford, so we're talking about increased defenses just to cover our butts from exploits. Rule of law won't be enough if the upstarts nipping at our heels pay some kids to hit a vulnerability.

My boss won't have any of it, though - he thinks we can contain the information. As if nobody's made copies yet! All the technical people shift about uncomfortably, and I try to make the best of it by saying we're probably fine regardless. Everything goes online ASAP and we can ruin the other guys once it's all running smoothly.

He then declares that all our infrastructure is window-dressing compared to the innate protection of his faith. We would be fine not because of all the employees and contractors running the show, but thanks to some mystical seance bullshit that he looks to for guidance and references entirely too often in private conversation. I don't even think it's an organized religion - just vague pagan nonsense with creepy voodoo overtones, like he's the last devotee of a cult from the 70s. I must've been sleep-deprived, because I don't even hesitate to call that a bunch of crap. Ass Hat choked me from across the room.

Original Link - Reddit: My Boss

Don't get it - think Star Wars

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Cried the Day my Testicles Died

 Originally this story was to be published three years ago in a magazine called Fray. The story even went through several drafts with their editors - Unfortunately the magazine has not published since 2009. I present the rough draft here for your reading pleasure. It is pure fictionalized truth.

I cried the day my testicles died.
By Kmuzu

There's a deadly karate- ninja attack called, "Monkey Steals a Peach". Here's how it works:

A ninja moves in on his enemy; he swings his arms wildly in a windmill fashion. Just as the victim raises his hands to protect the frantic attack, the ninja drops to his right knee while swinging his right arm up between the enemy's legs. The open hand grabs the exposed genitalia and in one powerful stroke rips the victim’s delicate, precious fruit from his tree.

Ouch – really painful and something that not even the great Chuck Norris would have the dark soul to attempt. But at least it’s quick.

What happened to me was much worse. The attack upon my testicles lasted five hours. It was excruciatingly painful and devastatingly humiliating. Worse, it happened on the first day of my vacation with my new girlfriend.

Like any other guy at the University of Nevada Reno, I maintained a healthy interest in the vulgar and distasteful. My friends all had their specialties. Basically there were two main categories: The first was belching. There were ABCer's, beer belchers, bullshit belches, mystery belcher and the food cannon belch. 

The second category consisted of students who delved in the dark arts of flatulence casting. There were such techniques as: Poppers, flappers, machine gunners, squealers, SBDers, Servants of the Blue Flame and a guy from Pakistan who upon command released from the confines of his colon a sinful cloud-like creature that could evacuate the most hardcore frat party.

My specialty was quite special indeed. I could take the ink tube inside a Bic pen and stick it all the way up my nose. I'd stick it so far up the whole thing disappeared. It was my thing. The one thing I mastered in life. Better yet, there was this girl named Mazzi who completely dug it, especially when she drank Mickey's Big Mouth. Better yet .. again .. she was a tennis player.

Every party she ran up to me and demanded the pen up the nose trick. I'd do it and she start laughing so hard drool spittled out of her mouth. I don't know why but I found that drool really sexy. Then at one party instead of me putting a pen up my nose we just started making out. 

That's how it is in college. It's magical. Paradoxically this was the first mature kind of relationship I had with a girl. I wasn't in a big rush. We talked about things. She got better grades in calculus and kicked my ass in tennis and I didn't even mind. She didn't care that I had two garbage sacks full of underwear in the corner of my dorm room. She would hide my car keys and wouldn't tell me where they were. We went on drives for God's sake! And the ultimate, she invited me to her home in California for the weekend.

Mazzi grew up in a sprawling ranch home near the city of Solvang in Southern California. Solvang is this crazy Dutch town, where all the houses look like something out of Hansel and Gretel. Around this town are a few industries: Oil drilling, really good barbecue ribs, vineyards (movie Sideways was filmed there), flowers and horses.

Horses were what her hippie father was into. He raised quarter horses and half dollar horses and maybe a nickel & dime horse. What do I know about stupid horses? I was playing video poker when I was fifteen. Mazzi's father was a Vietnam protester, went to Berkley, had a masters in psychology, smoked pot now and then, was divorced from his second wife and to my reckoning had to be the best girlfriend's father I could wish for.

Saturday morning we flew from Reno to Santa Barbara. Her father picked us up in an old Ford truck with the "H" stick shift on steering wheel. As we slid into the front seat, he reached across Mazzi and grabbed my arm,"You can call me Hank". We lumbered our way north and Hank talked about his horses and cursed out his second wife.

"I should of stuck it out with your mother.” he said to Mazzi. “But what the shit do you know when you're twenty three?" 

She put her head on his shoulder. "It's okay pop."

We rolled into the gravel driveway, which divided two large pastures speckled with horses. It was clear to an equestrian noob like me the horses thought the truck had come back with food. They sniffed the ground, then trotted along side the truck until it finally pulled to a grinding stop in front of the house. Hank jumped out of the truck and waved at the animals. "There are no carrots or apples for you today my fellow citizens, just a boy Mazzi found." 

The horses slowly meandered off as if they weren't interested in the first place. Mazzi and I grabbed our bags from the back and followed her father through a large red door into the house. The interior was smaller than I expected. It was dark and had a dull smell of leather oil.

"We only got the two bedrooms. So unless you want to sleep with me, you can share Mazzi's. But you don't want to sleep in my room do ya?" The hippi father asked me.

I slowly shook my head and thought.  No I don’t –  that would be the last thing I’d want to do. Mazzi had that look on her face. It was the look you give a beloved dog that farts at a dinner party.

"Shut up pop." She's said, smiling. "You think you're so funny but it's just weird." Mazzi teasingly pushed her father to which he grunted into a laugh then they both turned and went into the bedroom.

I'm got this peculiar feeling. I've known many fathers and there was always turmoil just under the surface. A strange moment of silence passed, then Mazzi threw her bag on the dusty queen size bed, stretched and announced, "I'm going to clean up a bit, then maybe we can grab some lunch?" Her father nodded. Mazzi went into the adjoining bathroom and closed the door. Hank looked at me for a long time, then asked, "What do you know about horses?"

"I know how to bet on them."

He laughed at that.

"Okay, why don't you come with me and I'll show you a thing or two about my horses."

"This isn't some kind of strange hippie thing you learned at Berkley?", I asked, but I wasn’t really joking.

Still laughing. "You would be surprised at all of the valuable 'hippie' things I learned at Berkley. So come on let's go take a look."

The stables were domed buildings lined up next to each other. The silhouettes looked like a series of upside down U's.  We entered the stable closest to the house. The curved roof was made of thick canvas that acted as a skylight. There were sixteen stables, but only two were occupied. 

Hank grabbed a saddle and walked up to a large brown and white horse. "This horse is my friend. His name is Horatio," Hank said. He opened the gate and led the horse out to the middle of the stable, then ran his hands along both of the horse's flanks. "It's easy talking to horse like this, but you got to have an understanding of the animal." 

Hank carefully lifted each leg and checked the hooves. "You see horses live and die by their nature. Like the Almighty, they're the same yesterday, today and forever." Hank put on leather gloves, grabbed the worn saddle from the stable railing and threw it on back of Horatio. Hank tightened the girth of the saddle around the horse and made sure it was tight but not too tight.

"What are you doing Hank?" I was getting a little concerned. In truth, I'm a bit afraid of horses. They're big animals with small brains and I have a policy of staying away from creatures any bigger than a guinea pig. 

"Hold this." Hank handed me the reins. Without thinking I grabbed the reins and Hank walked over to an adjacent stable. 

"Hank, I'm not really comfortable with your horse. Maybe we could go back inside and see if Mazzi is ready for lunch?" I almost pleaded.

"Don't worry about Mazzi; she's fine. This is just you and me now." Hank opened the stable and walked out a smaller gray horse. "This is Ophelia. She is beautiful; don't you think?" I nodded, while looking around for somewhere to tie off Horatio. "She's smart as well," Hank said, running his hands along her sides. "Has a mind all her own." Hank checked each hoof, then placed a saddle on Ophelia.

"Follow me citizens," Hank ordered, as he walked Ophelia out of the stable. I don't know if he was talking to me or the horse, but it hardly mattered. Horatio snorted then followed Hank out, dragging me along with him. We walked the horses a couple hundred yards into a small pasture. 

"Do you know how to mount a horse?" Hank asked. 

I blurted out, "That's what she said .."

Hank laughed, then got serious. "I take that as a no. Well, first stand on the left side of Horatio."

"I'm not riding your horse Hank." I interrupted. "How about you put them away and we go have some lunch? Hey, how about I take you both to lunch? My treat." I'm very nervous now and scared. My legs are kind of weak.

"This is not a big deal. We're just going for a short ride, then we can eat," He said impatiently. "Besides, you know Mazzi is going to want to see you ride and you don't want to try this for the first time in front of her?"

He had a point. I didn't want to look like a complete dork in front of her. "A short ride okay?" Hank nodded. "No running right?" Hank nodded. "No jumping right?" Hank nodded. "No going through trees. I've seen movies where a guy gets his head taken off by a low limb."

Hank grimaced. "Just get on the fucking horse."

Hank gave me all the instructions for mounting and I have to say I didn't do a bad job, except as I swung my right leg over I kept it straight out and for a moment looked like a French cabaret dancer.

As soon as I was on Horatio, the horse started to walk off. "Stop horse ... okay let's stop", I begged. Horatio ignored me and began walking toward the stables. Hank mounted Ophelia, then barked a short "Whoa" which immediately stopped the horse.

"Son, you need to talk in a language Horatio can understand." Hank rode up next to me. "If you want the horse to go forward, squeeze your legs. When you want to stop pull on the reins, sit deep in the saddle and command "whoa" in a deep voice." Hank gave a short demonstration on Ophelia. "Okay, I think you're ready. Horatio will follow me. You just remember not to be nervous and sit with confidence. Got it?"

"I guess?" I tried to sit as confidently as I could on Horatio. "Where are we going?"

"Where ever we need to." He answered cryptically and then made a clicking sound and Ophelia was off with Horatio following.

Hank guided Ophelia to the back pasture, then through an opening in an old stone wall, across an oily, gravel road and into a small vineyard. He turned his horse ninety degrees and slowed down until Horatio caught up. Rolling his hand over the landscape, Hank said, "This was the first property purchased by the old Firestone family back in the late sixties, but it was too small for them." He sniffed the air. "They ended up purchasing five hundred acres near the town of Los Olivos, even though the land here is better for grapes." He looked at me hard. "I guess the family desired quantity over quality. You can't have both."

As we rode for another thirty minutes along the vineyard, I began to notice a bit of chaffing along my inner thighs. It was like warm embers leading to my groin and I also noticed my ass was getting just a bit tender. 

We reached the end of the vineyard and stood before an open expanse of scrub land that extended to a fuzzy brown mesa.

I broke the silence. "Hank this was just great. I had a really great time. Let's go back and get some lunch." I tried to turn my horse but Horatio would not budge. 

"Not just yet, there's something I want to show you." He made that clicking sound again and Ophelia started forward. I sat deep in the saddle and pulled the reins. "Where Hank?" I looked all around. "I've seen plenty of dead plants before. We have loads of them in Las Vegas."

Hank laughed. "No .. no .. it's not here. Just a little bit further. This is special." Hank was off into the scrub and Horatio followed no matter how deep in the saddle I sat.

After an hour and a half of hard riding through ravines and gullies, the warm embers near my groin had ignited and were a fire deep inside testicles and it felt like a rabid monkey was hitting my ass with a plumber's wrench. 

"How much further Hank?" I cried.

"Not much more," Hand shouted back. "Just at the foot of the mesa."

About fifteen minutes later we reached a small oasis surrounded by gray brush. A lone cedar tree stood beside a small creek. Hank jumped off Ophelia and tied both horses to the tree, then he helped me fall off Horatio. As soon as my numb feet hit the ground, I fell face first into the wild grass. As I lay in a near fetal position.

Hank said, "Mazzi's mom and I planted this tree." He tapped the trunk. "We were kind of like Johnny and Jane Appleseed of Santa Barbara." Hank sat beside me. "It was free times back then. We planned to setup a commune here. I was practicing Transcendental Meditation and she was into natural remedies and medicines. It was going to be a life of peace and harmony with nature."

I turned over and grunted, "Can we go back now, please? I need a handful of aspirin."

Hank ignored me. "Then she got pregnant with Mazzi and we ran short of money. I got a job as a school counselor and she went back to nursing. She was offered a position in Los Angeles as head nurse for City of Hope and I didn't want to move. So, we broke up and she took Mazzi."

"If she took Mazzi, how did you end up taking care of her?" I asked.

"When Mazzi was seven, her mom was killed by a drunk driver and she came back to live with me.”

Hank sat staring into the creek, picking the grass and throwing it into the water. "See it is the great joke of the universe that we succeed and fail by our nature. Our heads tell us one thing and our hearts another. My head tells me that Mazzi is a woman and can make her own decisions in life. My heart tells me she is still my little girl. Which do I listen to?"

I gingerly sat up and with all the empathy I could muster said, "Hank, I frankly don't give a shit. Can we please go back?"

Hank breathed in deeply, which seemed to clear whatever dream he was stuck in. "Yes, you're right. Let's go back and get something to eat. We're all hungry."

Hank helped me back onto Horatio, untied the reins. grabbed the bridle and pulled the horse's face close to his own. "What do you say soldier? Are you ready for some nice, fresh hay?" Horatio grunted and stamped the ground. "How about some carrots and an apple would you like those?" The large horse bucked a bit and slather dripped out of his mouth. "Well, you know the way home; don't ya big boy?" Hank let go of the bridle and Horatio launched like rocket.

Horatio was a tremendous animal. He weighed close to 1,400 pounds and could run nearly thirty five miles an hour. He was bred and trained as a western horse and was used to covering five yards of rough terrain in one stride . His mind was set upon the single thought of food. 

Here is the sound as best I can describe it. "Badadum Badadum Badadum" played out in a fast Afro-Caribbean rhythm. The "Ba" part was my ass being propelled up into the air by the saddle. "da" was my body smashing back down on the horse and "dum" are my testicles, lower intestines, kidneys and liver smashed into my stomach, lungs and heart. Just repeat this over and over again as fast as you can say it and you get some idea of what this ride was like. I tried pulling on the reins and commanding, in a low voice, "whoa". It didn't work and after each consecutive ass smashing, my voice became higher and higher until it was a kind of Mickey Mouse shrill.

The only relief was standing in the stirrups so that there was so much space between my croch and the saddle that one could kick a soccer ball between my legs, but the strain was too great.
Slowly, like a ship sinking into the sea, my ass lowered back into the saddle. My brain and other vital organs pleaded with my legs to hold on, but will power alone could not withstand the up and down motion. It started with a gently tapping of the saddle on my backside, like a maid taping on the door to see if you're awake. Then the tapping increased to a firm knock, like the manager checking on the room. The knocking turned into a fervent pounding of police demanding the door be opened. Finally, the swat team just broke the door down and beat the shit out of everyone inside.

I was crying; a cry filled with pain and misery. I hated that horse.

Finally I just gabbed the horse’s neck, closed my eyes and waited to die.

I must have blacked out or maybe I’m just repressing the memory but the next thing I knew I was back in the stable. Horatio was happily eating fresh hay and Hank was putting Ophelia in her stable. I looked over and there was Mazzi with her hands on her hips. "What the fuck did you do to him Dad?"

Hank shrugged. "Nothing, we went for a bit of ride while you took a shower."

"You've been gone for five hours!"

I was laying on the back of Horatio blurting out short little cries. Mazzi walked over and put her hand on my shoulder. "Are you okay?"

I raised my head a bit and pleaded, "Kill me. Please kill me quickly." Mazzi turned on her father. "What the fuck? You knew he never ridden before."

"Oh come on," Hank said. "It's not as bad as it looks. Help me get him inside."

"Do it yourself. Thanks for ruining my vacation." Mazzi stormed off into the house. Hank scooped me off the horse and held my arm as we made our way back to the house. I imagined I looked like a chimpanzee with my knees bent, dragging my knuckles on the dirt and walking in a knee to toe type fashion.

That night I sat on the couch with my pants down. Bags of ice covered my black and blue legs and pelvis. I was given three Vicodin by the family doctor that lived down the street and sat like a zombie watching Cheers. Mazzi sat on a kitchen chair, arms folded, staring death rays at her father and Hank sat in his old leather chair, smoking his pipe with a small smile on his face.

Copyright 2008 - 2011 Cram/ Kmuzu - All rights reserved

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Old man running free

I had a conversation last evening that has me pondering how my life will end up. Will I eventually mature enough to be like that guy on the Dos Equis commercial? ..  you know - The Most Interesting Man in the World.

"I don't play World of Warcraft often, but when I do - play a small female gnome named Butter Pants."

 Or will I end up a trollish little man with wrinkled skin who smells like pickled potatoes?

I've been giving this some thought and I bet I'll be the guy running buck-naked through the streets of Las Vegas, covered only in the hair that grows in places I never wanted it to. I'll be the Anti-Lady Godiva.

My sensitive private parts covered only by the wisps of my ear hair as I run along on my cankered, old bunion feet - screeching, "Show me to the buffet."

Which brings me to my second point - is it any more unsanitary to eat at a buffet naked? It shouldn't be really, but some how it is. I mean other than being accidentally smacked by something that wiggles or waggles. Believe me the older you get the more things loosen up down under.

But other than that .. I just would not be comfortable standing next to naked people buttering up crab legs. - just saying.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

911 Remembered

911 Remembered

I don't much care for 911 ceremonies. It has nothing to do with the brave men and women who gave their lives to save or protect. I can't stand how politicians have literally knocked over police, firefighters and soldiers to stand in front of the line of mourners.

I am continually and forever grateful to the common American who serves our country and to those who gave their lives protecting us.

Friday, September 9, 2011

That Fool's Blog

Marc the Fool
Lately, I've been getting that feeling I need to be more serious. I don't know what it is? It's kind of self-conscious meets fear of failure. Usually I'm not afraid of taking risks.

But every once in while - doubt and perfectionism creep in. I start to dread the snark of others. I feel like people are watching what I'm doing - ready to judge and criticize me. I just imagine one of my old classmates saying, "Oh God, did you see the picture he posted on Facebook or I can't believe how stupid that story was."
"In fact, psychologists use the term “imaginary audience” to describe this heightened state of vigilance that is especially strong during adolescence. An imaginary audience is this belief that we have a group or followers that are watching, dissecting, and judging our every move. But the keyword here is “imagined.”
You are not the center of the universe. Nobody really cares about your every move. Nobody is watching, and if they happen to be, they are far less concerned with what you are doing and much more focused on what YOU are thinking about them. That’s the irony of this. You think you are so important that everyone cares what you do, when in fact, everyone is so preoccupied with themselves that they don’t even notice or care what you are doing. - Pick the Brain
I'm sure there's some evolutionary / survival purpose for this feeling, but it certainly gets in the way of experimenting or trying new stuff.

I hate those experts who tell you just to trudge on - fake it till you make it. That seems like a dime's worth of advice to solve a dollar's worth of problems. Usually for me, this feeling stems from something much deeper. Most times there's something more substantial that is shaking my security and making me feel more exposed and less safe. This carries over to my creativity. Makes me just want to shut down and give up.

It's dealing with these bigger issues that I have a problem with.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Pages

I recently put up two new pages -

mazel tov good citizens of the EiMB empire.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bill Kunkel is Dead

One of the great things about living my life is that I've met some of the most interesting and unique people in this world. And no one was more original than Bill Kunkel.

Kunkel was into video games before anyone I knew. He'd been doing it for like ten years when I got into the industry in the late 80's. He was part of KKW - Katz, Kunkel Worley Inc. Arnie Katz, Bill Kunkel and Joyce Worley were game designers and writers. They built this kind of magical world inside this small house in Las Vegas.

A Bill Kunkel Story - Mike Legg (Petroglyph Games), Bill Kunkel and I were at Louis Castle's(EA, Zynga) house. Louis and his wife Donna had these incredible Christmas parties. It was getting toward the end and Mike, Bill and I were just sitting on the floor talking, next to this enormous Christmas tree.

I remember that Bill wasn't paying attention to what were talking about. He kept looking up at the tree.

Finally I had to ask. "What's wrong Bill? You seem distracted."

Bill didn't answer. He just pointed to the top.

Donna had put this little animatronic angel in place of the star on the tree. It was dressed in white robes holding a small lit candled that illuminated its cherub face. The angel methodically swayed back and forth waving the candle in a slow-motion figure eight. Over and over again.

Bill said something to the affect that the little creature was freaking him out and I think Mike Legg named it, the White Angel. The whole conversation turned to speaking about the White Angel. In our minds, it no longer was a cute, little Christmas ornament. But a small, impish creature perched on top of the tree, scanning for its next victim.

We even had this movie intro voice for it - you have to say it like Tiny Tim and draw it out. -- The White Angel .. The White Angel.

It was so good it was evil.

The conversation expanded to other small, evil creatures and that's the start of the infamous LEM's - Little Evil Men.

Finally, Bill got so freaked out by the whole thing he had to leave and I don't think Christmas was ever the same for him.

Bill Kunkel died on Sunday night of an apparent heart attack. I'm shocked and stunned. I get this strange dread when people like Bill die - usually whole eras end with them.

I think the toughest thing now for Bill is to choose between video game heaven and wrestler's heaven. I think I know which one he chose.

(This was a long time ago - so my memory is a bit rough on the events and if you've been to any of the Castle parties you have a hard time remembering what happened the day after)

Wired Story - Bill Kunkel

Friday, September 2, 2011

What the Telemarketer Heard

Last night I killed my computer. I was playing a little World of Warcraft when a telemarketer called. Now I have MS, which causes this condition called "Startle Reflex". Basically, I jump out of my skin at any loud noises.

I just finished talking to a friend and placed the phone back onto the receiver when it immediately started ringing. For some reason, this startled me and my hand flung to the side knocking the phone off the hook and flinging a full can of diet Dr. Pepper off the table and onto the top of my computer.

It was a perfect shot. The can was completely upside down over the top fan, wedged between two plastic rims. About 8 oz of soda, drained into the fan. The fan sprayed the liquid all over the motherboard, until it shorted out. The liquid then poured into and out of the CPU, then across the memory and the video card and finally pooling in the power supply.

There was a shrill beep, some sparks and smoke and that was it. By the time, I got out of my chair and to the computer it was dead.

The phone was off the hook and the telemarketer heard the whole thing. This is the event from the telemarketer's perspective:

Ring - The phone is off the hook and there is a large crash.

(I've replaced all the swear words with something more PG rated)

(Another large bang)
Me:   "Fudge .. oh my God .. oh Fudge, Fudge, Fudge .. Fudge, Shucks, Fudge"
Telemarketer:  Hello .. Hello ..
(There is another large bang, as I am trying to quickly get up from my chair to the computer)
Telemarketer:  Hello - may I speak with ..
Me:  Oh my God, what have I fudgein' done. Are you alright baby?"
Telemarketer:  "Hello, is everything okay?"
Me:  "Come on baby, fudging speak to me. Please .. please .. don't fudging do this. God, shucks darn it, I think I killed you."
Telemarketer: "Sir, are you there?"
Me: "God darn it. How could I've been so stupid? I didn't mean it baby, please be okay." (another bang as I tip the computer over, diet Dr. Pepper pours out all over the floor) "Shucks, Fudge, Muther Fudger, I've stained the whole fudging carpet. Now, I've done it. The whole fudging carpet is fudging ruined. How am going to get that fudging stain out?"
Telemarketer: "Ah sir."
Me: "Fudge, this is just fudging perfect. I can't pay for this man."
(I notice the phone off the hook and remember it was the call that caused this whole thing to happen. I grab the receiver.)
Me: "Who the fudge is this?"
Telemarketer: "Is everything okay."
Me: "No, everything isn't fudging okay. She's dead and it's your fault. What's your fudging name?"


I went to Fry's Electronics this morning and replaced almost all of the components to my computer. Fortunately, the hard drives were not damaged.

Starz's Netflix Contract To Expire February 2012, Taking Over 1,000 Movies With It

This is the time period where everyone gets crazy, uber-greed­y again and thinks they can do it on their own. Some marketing guy at Starz is trying to explain a monthly revenue model for a 1,000 movies. Sony has dropped seventh graders as their security programers and gone with trained squirrels. Microsoft is trying to show movies in Excel on a Smartphone running Win7. They all think they can do it better and make more money without Netflix or Apple or RedBox.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Thursday, September 1, 2011

AT&T Justice Department Battle: Wireless Carrier Gears Up For Rare Antitrust Fight With DOJ

I was not surprised by this ruling one bit. There are really only two major competitor­s - AT&T and Verizon with two minor players - T-Mobile and Sprint. Which means there really is no competitio­n in the market as it is now.

That is not to say that I don't feel AT&T's pain. They have to expand their pipes in order to keep up with the technology and competitio­n. T-Mobile would have given AT&T the room to grow.

I think that AT&T needs to think outside the box on this one. There must be a way to obtain the needed bandwidth and infrastruc­ture without a take-over. I think they should present the government a number of different plans and say, "since you will not let us grow, what will you let us do?"
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost