If The Freepers Won’t Let Me Play On their Website, I’ll Reply To Them Here!

I’m always surprised and sort of flattered when one my posts gets picked up by a right-leaning website. I came home from Fanboys and the grocery store to find trackbacks from this website, and a discussion on the topic of this post.

I had originally intended to register there, and left a fairly lengthy comment responding to some of the individual comments. However, apparently the Freepers take their “no profanity” very strictly: I off-handedly said “shit” in my post and shortly thereafter, when I tried to message the person who’d originally posted the link my blog, I learned my comment privilege had been revoked. That’s too bad, but whatever: I got a blog, I can respond here!

This is my comment, in its entirety: Continue reading

Into The Wild Green Yonder With The Planet Express Crew

Please be warned: this post contains explicit spoilers for the final Futurama, particularly as it applies to the relationship between Leela and Fry.

Of the four Futurama direct-to-DVD releases over the last fifteen months, I’ve been more disappointed than thrilled. I blame this on the first film: Bender’s Big Score, which was fantastic. It was everything great about Futurama in an hour and a half movie — I laughed, and I thrilled, and I danced, and, yes, I cried.

But The Beast With A Billion Backs, and Bender’s Game, were disappointing to me. I think this is because Bender’s Big Score felt like a movie, whereas the other two felt like three or four episodes clumsily mashed into a film. While the latter is an approach which makes sense (the movies will be broken down into episodes for airing on Comedy Central, or Cartoon Network, or wherever the show airs now). Clearly, my expectations were too high.

Fortunately, Into The Wild Green Yonder feels like a unified film. While it’s not as funny, or as touching, as Bender’s Big Score, I’m glad that if Futurama does end with this film, it ends on a high note. My only criticism is this:

A big part of the plot of Bender’s Big Score is the relationship between Fry and Leela. It’s the reason tears streak down my (now furry) cheeks when I watch it. However, at the end of the film, the reset button is pressed, and the two move their separate ways. At the end of Into the Wild Green Yonder, the two make a connection and it is implied that said connection (of the romantic type) is lasting. I just feel that this is a development that would have made absolute sense at the end of Bender’s Big Score, and here, in this film, it just seems out of place.

Also: the commentary track is funny. They always are.

Obama’s Gun Ban, And Why I Oppose It

The big news today, well, yesterday, is that AG Eric Holder plans on reinstating the Federal assault rifle ban which was signed into law during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and was not renewed during Bush’s.

I oppose this move, and allowing it to expire was one of the few things I liked about Dubya. Yes, I wish our former president had actually taken advantage of his political clout to push through some sort of Federal CCW law nationwide. (Yeah … I can’t find something nice to say about him without finding something to criticize, too!)

Despite what people might think, I am not some right-wing conservative. I didn’t vote for McCain, and I didn’t cheer Palin. I voted for Obama. I’m not some liberal nut who’s getting his politics confused, either, I’m actually pretty moderate (with admittedly liberal sympathies).

I’m not going to talk too much about the Second Amendment here — that’s the wrong conversation. And the reason it’s the wrong conversation is because there is a method to legally change the Constitution (we call them ‘Amendments’), and so it isn’t enough to say that gun ownership is a right, rather, it must be argued why gun ownership should continue to be a right. Continue reading

BSG 4×18 – “Deadlock”

As Battlestar Galactica winds down, I was hoping for an exciting episode last Friday night. Instead, this was a clunker that left me scratching my head and wondering just what was it I’d seen. As much as I disliked last week’s “No Exit“, which wasn’t much more than a ton of exposition dumped on the audience, this episode, either from poor writing or lousy editing, was just awful.

Originally, this draft was considerably longer. But, surfing the internet as I do, I came across a few things that opened my eyes about this episode. I will keep my fingers crossed that the DVD release for this season includes a “director’s cut” (yes, there is such precedent: both the 2.5 DVD set and the 3.0 set included extended cuts of episodes).

A commenter on Galactica Sitrep wrote: Continue reading

Identity Theft is “Teh Suk”

I hope it hasn’t reached that point, obviously.

Several months ago, I realized I was running out of checks. Sometimes, I don’t know why I bother with checks, but I do. So, I went onto my bank’s website, and ordered up a batch of checks. And while I waited for them to arrive, slowly but surely, I went through my existing stock. And still, my replacement checks had not arrived.

Turns out, the bank had provided my old address to the printing company, so my checks were delivered to the apartment I’d vacated several months before.

My bank was great at working with me, and put up a pretty strict “no payment” order on the checks that had gone out. There was some confusion on their end, as well: the USPS hadn’t noticed I’d moved and forwarded the checks? No one at my building had stamped “RETURN TO SENDER” on them? Obviously not.

Just when I was beginning to think I was going to get out of this with the briefest of hassles …

… I got a letter from a collection’s agency today. My bank refused to accept one of these lost checks for payment, and the company — some sort of medical supply in New Jersey — wanted their money. Sadly, they’re closed for the evening, but I plan on calling them tomorrow. I e-mailed my bank in the meantime: I want to talk to someone in their fraud department (I assume they have one, obviously) about what the bank can do to help me here. I’m also curious why I wasn’t notified about this item being presented for payment to begin with.

In any case, I’m hopeful that this matter can be dealt with quickly. But there’s a bit of fear inside me, too. I don’t think I’m going to sleep well tonight. Tomorrow, I’m going to call this medical supply company in New Jersey and hopefully get some information that my bank’s fraud department can use to go to the police with.

Mr. The Plumber

I’m not going to comment on Joe the Plumber’s Q&A session except to say that I disagree with his politics, and many of the beliefs he holds. I had the opportunity to meet him, and take a photo with him, and he was a very kind individual. He had a lot of nice things to say about DC, and even a few kind words for the President (not related to his policies).

I also have a signed promotional poster that will be going up on my cubicle wall tomorrow, much, I’m sure, to the chagrin of most of my coworkers.

UPDATE: I saw this interview being conducted by WaPo. I got to spend my night putting all those chairs and banners away. Rock star, that’s me.

Traffic

During a break in these papers I’m pushing, and these people I’m trying to call, I went to check my site meter and almost choked on my gum. This blows away the previous record for most hits in a day by, well, by about 500. So far.

UPDATE:

For those curious, the hits are coming from CNN via my trackback to the article I linked to here. Here’s what my sitemeter looked like at 10p:

an awful waste of space

This article is awesome.

There may be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, or one for every sun-type star in the galaxy, said Alan Boss, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution and author of the new book “The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets.”

He made the prediction based on the number of “super-Earths” — planets several times the mass of the Earth, but smaller than gas giants like Jupiter — discovered so far circling stars outside the solar system.

Boss said that if any of the billions of Earth-like worlds he believes exist in the Milky Way have liquid water, they are likely to be home to some type of life.

“Now that’s not saying that they’re all going to be crawling with intelligent human beings or even dinosaurs,” he said.

“But I would suspect that the great majority of them at least will have some sort of primitive life, like bacteria or some of the multicellular creatures that populated our Earth for the first 3 billion years of its existence.”

It reminds me of a line in the movie Contact, where our main-character-as-a-child asks her father, played by David Morse, if he believes there is life on other planets. He looks up at the night sky, and says “It’d be an awful waste of space if there isn’t.”

It’s A Good Thing I’m Drinking, Because Tonight? Joe The Plumber. And He’s Not Fixing My Toilet.

I’m staying late at the Office today — the company kicked up some bucks, reserved a few tables at a nearby pool hall. The alcohol will come out of our own wallets, but that’s okay: the boss-peeples sprung for food.

I’m going to need the alcohol, because when I leave the pool hall, I’m headed straight to the Bookstore: Joe the Plumber’s doing a signing, and we’re either going to be slam-pack busy, or completely deserted.

I have a question I want to ask Joe the Plumber (not that I will, gotta be professional and all): “How do you feel your life would be different if President Obama hadn’t spoken to you that day in October?”

I’m just happy for the hours. And I have a coworker at the Office who is going to have a fit of liberal proportions when he comes in Thursday morning and finds a Joe the Plumber appearance poster taped up to his cubicle.

Oh yeah – Snay’s workin’ drunk tonight. (I hope I’m not on registers…)

Walking

I made a spur of the moment decision to walk home from Best Buy after picking up the new Futurama DVD. Today was a great day for it — it was cold, but not cold enough to be uncomfortable. Forty-five minutes and two and a fourth miles later, I did not miss at all not taking the Metro instead.

Don’t Ask Me For Advice on the Metro

It’s really in your best interest if you don’t ask me for help on the Metro. It isn’t that I won’t try to help you, or that I won’t answer your question, it’s just that sometimes my desire to help runs far ahead of my actual brain function.

Yesterday afternoon, I disembarked at Farragut North on my way to the Bookstore. I took the escalator up to the exit on the east side of Connecticut (the one they close on weekends). A cute woman ahead of me used the handicapped-accessible fare gate to exit, while I chose the normal gate next to hers, swiped my SmarTrip, and was starting to walk towards the escalators when I noticed she was looking at me with a puzzled expression.

I pulled my iPod’s earphones out of my ears and she asked, “Isn’t it supposed to give me my card back?”

“If you didn’t have any money left on it,” I said, “it’ll keep the card.”

She looked puzzled, but accepted my explanation. It wasn’t until I reached the top of the escalator that I realized I’d fucked up, big time: the handicap gates don’t return the cards on the top of the gate, like the others do: rather, they spit them back out the same slot they’re inserted, so that folks in wheelchairs have an easier time retrieving them.

That lady’s fare card was probably stuck back out waiting for someone to come upon it and realize their fortune.

And it’s all my fault.

So, mystery lady at the Farragut North station who I screwed out of a fare card because of my own stupidity yesterday around 4pm or so — I do humbly apologize and beg your forgiveness.