This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I Have Seen the Future, and its Name is Ubuntu

To answer everyone's questions: Yes, I have installed Ubuntu Linux on my laptop. Yes, it's awesome. Yes, I've been playing with it so much my marriage is being threatened. Yes, I'm writing this big thing about it as well as my experiences with Linspire and Mandrake. No, I don't know how much of it will go on this blog.

Yes, I saw the LOST episode this week, and yes, I loved it. Yes, I think the show is as good as ever. No, I'm not that bothered by the Sprite tie-in with the internet game I mentioned in my last post. Yes, I'm taking off work for the season finale. Yes, I'm excited. And yes, I noticed that in Locke's dream, Eko is limping (because he's actually Locke -- get it?). Also, I noticed that the psychic is now directly responsible for two LOSTies getting on Oceanic Flight 815. And yes, Libby will return, if only in flashbacks.

Ok, I'm tired of all your prying questions. Let's just say I also saw The Office's finale last night, and liked it, although Jim/Pam is still no Tim/Dawn.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

The LOST Experience: One Big Sprite Commercial?

It's bad enough we all have to buy the book Bad Twin to see what it has to say about the Hanso Foundation, now we have to deal with this Sprite crap, too? A link at the in-game Hanso Foundation takes you to, which is just a dharma-looking Flash movie with the word "obey" floating in the middle and intermittent clicking noises. is owned by Sprite.
Sprite's motto? Obey your thirst.
Remember lymon? That was a Sprite slogan.
Is LOST trying to use some corporate Hanso connection to a soft drink to both demonstrate Hanso's evil powers AND advertise for that soft drink?
Am I starting to get the feeling that this so-called "Lost Experience" is going to be 1 part mystery, 10 parts advertising for real-life products?

Anyway, you click some tv's on the sublymonal site and you go back to the Hanso Foundation web site with a code you can use to do some stuff. This is all very disturbing.

I only support this if they work Jooky into it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Papa John's Garbage Can Wars, Part II

In this post, about halfway down, I told the story of Man Bob Bill and his quixotic fight against having a garbage can in front of our Papa John's outlet. His claim was that it makes Papa John's "look trashy," which while literally true I suppose, is actually totally false. No-one cares. He moved the thing two doors down, in front of the local Curves. Predictably, Curves didn't like that (seeing as how it's run by the Curves Nazi and all), and last night at about 9pm two unmasked men drove up to the garbage can in question, put it on a little cart, and moved it back. It's now exactly where it was before -- the dirt circle it once made is still there, and they lined it up just right.

When the amused onlookers (read: me) asked why they were doing this, they said that Curves was tired of having it in front of their door. One can only speculate as to why. Maybe they want their Curves customers to have to walk a few more feet to throw out their garbage, therefore increasing their exercise. I don't know. But I did see the Curves Nazi there, supervising the whole thing and grinning like she had just been elected "Curve of the Year."

I can't wait for Man Bob Bill's next move. Maybe negotiations are in order? A pizza-for-garbage treaty? Or maybe...dare I say it...FARGON WAR!

Lost in all this is the fact that it's a garbage can. These people need some things to do, or some new brains that think better.

15 Minutes of TV This Morning

I was asked to do somebody else's job again this morning, watching "the cage" as a salesperson counted the laptops inside (because nobody can be trusted in there by themselves, with all that tempting shiny technology around). It took about 15 minutes, and thankfully there's a big screen TV back there with a righteous DSL package. I started out watching 80's videos, and got to view the mid-period (swiftly becoming mid-to-early-period) Madonna epic "La Isla Bonita." Not a bad tune, especially for the Skanky One. This got my mind working, and I came up with my:

Off the top of my head list of the 10 greatest Madonna songs:
10) Sorry
9)Die Another Day
8) La Isla Bonita
7) Beautiful Stranger
6) The Power of Good-Bye
5) Material Girl
4) Ray of Light
3) Causin' a Commotion
2) Vogue
1) Hung Up

Yeah, you aren't half as surprised by this list as I am. I'd do the 20 worst, but it would just be too painful.

After the 80's channel, I flipped over to G4, which is not a channel I get on my cable system at home, but I hear a lot about. If you're unfamiliar with it, let's just call it the Nerd Channel, because that pretty much covers it. Things of interest I saw in the 10 minutes I spent watching:

A hot girl saying, "I'm looking forward to ___ Con." (I forgot the name of the Con, but does it really matter? This is nerd dreamland here, not that there's one thing wrong with that. The girl is obviously smart and being paid by G4 to be that way. Rhetorical Question: Why don't more girls "nerd out?" Discuss.)

Former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, first-year American Idol contestant, second-year American Idol correspondent, and all-around talentless eye candy Kristen Holt is on G4, doing one-minute segments on Video Game cheat codes. This may be the ultimate job for her, being both high-energy and useless (anyone can get the cheat codes online if they want to). Sometimes things just work out how they should in life.

Proving my theory that in any 10 minutes of nerdy activity there is at least one reference to Bruce Campbell, I saw the man himself in the 10 minutes I was watching G4. He has gotten old. I guess it happens to everyone. He was at the Fangoria "Weekend of Horrors" (please don't ask, trying to lysol the concept from my brain) promoing his 2005 movie The Man with the Screaming Brain, which I'll have Netflix if possible. See? I'm a nerd. I guess you could probably see that without me telling you.

Finally, they showed a commercial for a late-night program they have called "Midnight Spank," which is running (among many other weird things) episodes of the very short-lived Fox show "Bansai." If you had G4, you could relive the greatness of Lady One Question. Oh that we all were that lucky.

No Handicapped Parking*

* (Footnote from the 4th comment in this post) When I was a senior in high school we had a talent show towards the end of the year, where kids who thought they had talent could get up on stage and show off. One of the groups that signed up for the show was called themselves No Handicapped Parking, made up of the people in our class who skateboarded and listened to groups like the Dead Kennedys and the Butthole Surfers. They didn't play their instruments very well, but they had a memorable and gigantic sign -- the universal symbol for handicapped (just like the one on comment verification) with a red circle around it and a diagonal line through it. It was a moment of genius that I obviously remember to this day. So, No Handicapped Parking, I salute you in this footnote. You will not be forgotten.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

FYI -- Blogger is goofy today...

But I'm going to try to post this right now, while I can. Here are the rules:

If you call my phone from an unknown number, and don't bother to leave a message, and then keep calling me without leaving messages, on the 5th ring and only the 5th ring, I will answer. I will ask you who you are and what your business is, and why you keep calling me. If I know you, then I will now know your number, and it won't be unknown. If I don't know you, I will hang up and never answer again, and if you try and call me a 6th time you will be blocked. I don't know why, but it seems like somebody out there needs to know the above info.

Also FYI -- I'm onto my third Linux -- This one's called Ubuntu. But in my head I refer to it as "DJ Mbenga." He's the third string center for the Mavericks. Anyway, it's working pretty well, not that you care. Pretty soon I'll have a Linux extravaganza written -- I don't know how much I'm going to post here, but it will be somewhere.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Bucks Post-Mortem: Sins of Terry Stotts

(above: Terry Stotts tries to pretend he's paying attention to what's going on.)

1) Not knowing who Charlie Bell was at the beginning of the year, and not realizing he was
better then Jiri Welsch for 2/3 of the year.

2) Refusing to post up Andrew Bogut, hampering the development of the second most important player on the team.

3) Posting up Jamaal Magloire more than anyone else on the team, even though he has no moves that technically "work," and isn't a real strong passer.

4) Never coming up with a set 9- or even 10-man rotation, so virtually every player was pissed off about their minutes.

5) Never established a team identity, because Stotts never figured out what the team was good at.

6) Not realizing the Mo Williams (and even Charlie Bell) is a better player than TJ Ford, especially in the 4th quarter.

7) Not getting this team to play defense (which, I might add, was the same thing the last coach was supposedly fired for).

8) Not using Bobby Simmons properly, and allowing him to become a tenative shell of his former self.

9) Not coaching TJ Ford in any evident way, judging by Ford's constantly making the same mistakes over and over again every game. A blind person watching via braille could tell he was overdribbling just by sound, for pete's sake.

10) Just putting in the same offense that his leader George Karl had 5 years ago, regardless of personnel.

11) Squandering the best and deepest frontcourt the Bucks have had since Kareem by playing a smallball offense.

12) Always smiling and giving quotes to the press that sound good but never go anywhere.

13) Not talking to the players about playing time so they understood where they stood on the team -- this goes along with not settling on a rotation.


15) Not being able to motivate his team enough to play hard in the last week of the season against Atlanta and Washington. In fact, let's just say he wasn't able to motivate his team at all.

Since Larry Harris isn't firing Stotts, I think it behooves H. Kohl to fire Bucks GM Larry Harris, don't you think? I mean, if Harris can't figure out that Stotts is a failure as a coach that's setting the franchise back two years every one year he coaches, then how much of a basketball man can he be? Is this a Herb Kohl money thing? He doesn't want to pay for a real coach? I hear Terry Porter's available, and he got the exact same record two years ago with much inferior personnel.

I'll finish with some quotes from various Bucks people at the end of the year. By themselves they tell quite a story, even taking into consideration the problematic nature of quoting people in print:

"I think that (inconsistency) had to do with youth," guard Mo Williams said. "This was our first year of really playing with each other. Any time there's something new, it's going to be inconsistent."

"The players competed and we did a lot of good things," coach Terry Stotts said. "We were a good shooting team at times. We were a good defensive team at times. We were a good rebounding team at times. We were a good running team at times. But when you look at it throughout the season or through the course of a game, we just didn't have that consistency in one area or another."

Regarding the limited success the Bucks did have against the Pistons in the playoffs, GM Larry Harris said, "The disappointment was we can play with this team. . . then why didn't we show that in times when we really could have helped ourselves?"

"We need some help in some positions, so there could be a lot of movement. We have 10 players under contract for next year and I would have no problem bringing all 10 players back. But I understand that in order to get better, and we need to get better, I may have to use some of those pieces to get there."

"Bogut had an absolute right for speaking his mind after the Bucks were eliminated Wednesday night. All of his complaints - the logjams at certain positions, the disappointments of the season, his misuse by the coaches and his eroding confidence - were 100% legitimate." (Milw. Journal-Sentinel columnist Michael Hunt)

"As for first-year coach Terry Stotts, to an extent he was saddled with the mismatched, underperforming pieces brought in by Harris. But just as Terry Porter was fired because the Bucks would not play defense, this group was nearly as sieve-like. Still, Stotts should be given another season to prove himself." (Hunt again, flirting with a good column but coming up short)

The bottom line, though, will show that they are little more than an average team. Harris promises improvement next season. "Though we finished 40-42, the goal was the playoffs," he said. "We're going to be better next year. There's not (sic) question about that."

Really? Tell that to the hand.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Peter Greenaway's "The Falls"

Very few potential blog readers have seen or even heard of Peter Greenaway's 1980 “movie” The Falls, and for good reason: It's not an easy watch. A description is all you'll need to see what I mean: It's a fake documentary that briefly covers the lives of 92 weirdly-named people who have all been affected by an unexplained VUE, or “Violent Unknown Event.” There are 19 million victims of said event, and the people covered in the film are the 92 whose surnames begin with the letters “Fall.” Yes, the 92 biographies take 3 hours to get through. So you see why it's never gotten real popular..

The film assumes the audience both knows what the VUE is and cares about these weird people who were given diseases and immortality and new languages and all sorts of other random genetic powers and detriments. It presents all this information matter-of-factly, with dispassionate documentary narrators talking over images Greenaway either filmed or found in somebody's garbage. It's not completely random, though, and if you stick with it for a few minutes, some themes start to emerge: Birds (who probably caused the VUE and left most of the victims with some sort of avian obsession), the 92 new languages that the affected people were inspired to start speaking, obsession with water, genetic immortality, and flight via plane or jumping off buildings (mostly due to the immortality). It's kind of a big joke, and at its best the movie is random and odd and funny, reminiscent of when Wes Anderson gives backstory at the beginning of his films. At it's worst, you can't believe you're watching a 3-hour documentary about people that don't exist affected by an event that never happened, and isn't even explained.

So now you know. If you think you'll be into that sort of thing, check it out. It's really well-made. It's also the inspiration for the new fun game I just created. What you do is this: Make up a name by combining a nonsense word with a word that starts in "Fall." Here are some examples:

Flobita Fallovitch
Vorb Fallboski
Tenebreesque Falloso
Cartinn Fallpike

Ok, so I guess it's not very fun after all.