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.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Story

Posted on Really Short Stories. It involves the Da Vinci Code! Check it out.

Two Weeks into the Lost Experience

Well, we're into this thing pretty good now. A good link for figuring out where we are now in terms of the game/annoying puzzles/product placements/fake people/ etc:

Lost Experience: The Game So Far.

Yes, it's from Belo, that newspaper corporation. No, I don't know why a newspaper has a blog devoted to one TV show's insane game. Maybe they're in on it as well?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wacky News for You

Four years ago, Paul McCartney of the rock band "Wings" took as his second wife the prettiest wooden-legged woman in the world. However, as we all know, the pretty ones always break your heart. They are separating after 4 years of marriage. The link is to a Dallas Morning News article that doesn't explicitly mention the freaky fake leg but is still pretty funny (in a sad way, of course.) It begins:
LONDON - Former Beatle Paul McCartney and his second wife, Heather Mills McCartney, said Wednesday that they are separating after nearly four years of marriage, blaming intrusion from the media and insisting their split is amicable...
Their love just couldn't overcome the media's intrusion? Was the media seducing them? That doesn't make sense.
Mills is a former model and a vociferous animal rights campaigner who recently traveled with McCartney to eastern Canada to fight that country's seal hunt. The couple met in 1999 through Mills' charity, the Heather Mills Health Trust. She launched the trust after losing a leg in a motorcycle accident in 1993.
So losing a leg in a motorcycle accident caused her to start a charity? That doesn't make sense.

I just wanted to point out to my 30 readers that none of this makes sense, starting with her leg and ending with this separation...unless there's more to it than just "the intrusive media." Maybe they actually had differences that could not be resolved. Or maybe -- just maybe -- she just stalked him, used reverse psychology to prevent him from getting a pre-nup, and is now carrying out her plan to get millions of dollars for her spurious "slightly delaying the death of animals" charity. Never trust the pretty ones, Sir Paul.

In other, really local news: Gas prices are still at 3 bucks a gallon, so please don't forget to tip your pizza delivery drivers. There may be ramifications if you insist on stiffing us. Now, not from me -- I'm a Christian who believes in forgiveness. But we just hired a guy who just got off the boat from Iran, and boy is he surly. I'm just sayin'.

Spam Wars: This is truly the golden age of spam, as hundreds of thousands of "zombie computers" have been compromised and are being used to send unhelpful e-mails throughout the world. One firm fought back, but the Big Russian Spammers destroyed them. Check out this Washington Post article, which gives the details. Is there a spamming mob now, based in Russia? Is this where all the money paid to ends up -- in the hands of these lunatics? They can now shut down whomever they want by spamming their servers. Who's next? You? "The Children?" Vladimir Putin, be "Putin" a stop to this madness!

Obviously Doctored by Karl Rove and the Jews: Yesterday, images from the security cameras outside the Pentagon on 9/11 were released, showing a plane hitting the building. Maybe now you conspiracy freaks will believe that a plane actually did hit the Pentagon. Maybe now we can move on as a country. Maybe now you can give up your conspiracy theories about 9/11 move on to bigger and better conspiracies, like your unrelenting belief against all logic that the Da Vinci Code is real. Or maybe you can just give up conspiracy theories altogether and try to live in the real, actual, world with the rest of us.

I gotta go do some work now.

One Last Thing on NBA Officiating:

After watching the Clippers and Suns try to out-fail each other at the end of the game last night, I was struck by how much worse the officiating was in that game than in the much-maligned game 4 of Mavs-Spurs. The Spurs should consider themselves very blessed that Steve Javie and Co. didn't do their game -- it was a crapshoot. I could have sworn they were just making random foul calls by the end of the game.

Suns: Didn't I tell you? Never trust Tim Thomas. Congratulations anyway, and thank you for making Penny and Garry Marshall sad.

What am I going to write about next? Not basketball or Linux, I can tell you that. Ok, one other last thing: So I managed to rip a DVD to a SVCD MPEG on my hard drive, making the world a better place. That is all.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sports Opinions so Hot they Boil Steel

Some HSO's (hot sports opinions) I thought of while at the Mavs-Spurs game last night:

  1. Bruce Bowen is an affront to not just basketball, but all sports. No sport allows you to do what Mr. Bowen does -- constant clutching, grabbing, wrestling, obstructing, slapping, etc. -- those things are penalties in all sports this side of Ultimate Fighting. The NBA needs an extra ref in the game just to watch him. The sad part is the NBA must realize this but doesn't do anything about it for some reason. The league just lets him pretend he's a good defender as he fouls on every play. It offends me as a human.
  2. The Refs? They were pretty good in the first half. They called travelling a few times, didn't mess anything up too badly, and kept things pretty even (except for the three cheesy fouls they called on my man Josh Howard). Apparently they spent halftime sticking pencils into their eyes, though, because they could not see anything in the second half. Both teams got jobbed, especially the ones playing against Bruce "The Hitman" Bowen. After the game, San Antonio acted as though the refs had killed their collective only child. They're ridiculous, and I hope they lose just because of their whining.
  3. Speaking of whining, the best part of last night was the Mavs' fans sensitivity to the Spurs' whining toward the refs. Every time Bowen or Duncan or God forbid Ginobili's nose walked up to the officials with pleading in their voices, the fans booed. It was awesome.
  4. Mavs fans should not be booing Finley, no matter what Dirk said (in jest). If Dirk told you to jump off that obnoxiously tall building they just built by the AAC, would you do it? The man was the first player to bring the Cuban/Nellie Mavs to respectability, and was always a class act. What the heck, Dallas? Quit being Philadelphia.
  5. Tony Parker has the ugliest game in the world. He's not really a point guard (one assist last night) and he can't really shoot -- he's just a scoring weapon, a basketball gun. He throws up the ugliest shots, and they just keep going in. It's ridiculous. I've never seen anything like it. Does he practice this crap blindfolded?
  6. I've brought this up before, but the Mavs in-game experience is insane. Last night, the crowd was already totally pumped, so thankfully the announcer guy let up on the Hitler-like orders to cheer. They had two Spurs-specific songs (supported by cheesy animated jumbotron graphics) -- "The Manu Flop," a song to the tune of "The Monster Mash" about Manu Ginobili's nose and its propensity to fake getting fouled; and, "Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Spurs Fans," which is self-explanatory. I hate those "JibJab" animated graphics with the mouths that open the whole face.
  7. The game was incredible -- maybe the best game I've ever been to. Every play in the fourth quarter and overtime seemed amazing. The crowd wanted blood. It was intense and unforgettable. I'm glad I overpaid for the tickets.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Thanks For Your Eyeballs

This is Epth Nation averaged 31 visitors a day last week, making this, as VH1 would say, the "Best Week Ever." Thank you all. Clearly, I need to to more stuff about Ubuntu.

Just kidding.

Seriously, thanks. Now on to the NBA Playoffs:

Every year at this time, NBA fans are shocked all over again at the poor officiating they see in the playoffs, as if something was going to change from the previous year's debacle. Teams are routinely jobbed by officials, who constantly violate several solid and non-negotiable refereeing principles and in doing so make horrible calls. In a world where games come down to the last minute, 3 bad calls against one team over the course of the game can determine the winner, leaving the NBA open to allegations of game-rigging and foul play. The playoffs are supposed to be the NBA's showcase, but most of the time what they're showcasing is bad officiating and pissed-off fans.

This is an unacceptable situation, but the people who care about changing it -- players, fans, media, coaches -- are powerless. The only people who can change this are NBA execs and the officials themselves, and those two groups like things the way they are thank you very much. Look at what happened to Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban: After putting forth on his blog a benign suggestion to help improve officiating, he gets fined 100 grand. Why can't owners publicly suggest ways to help improve the league? Is the league embarassed by the officials? Is the league so sensitive to the issue because they know its a problem but don't want to do anything about it?

Despite its futility, I feel it necessary to suggest ways to improve NBA officiating. Since this blog and its author are in no way affiliated with the NBA, I probably won't get fined:

1) If an official makes a call, and it is proven from replays that the official could not see the play because a) he was looking somewhere else, or b) there was an obstruction between him and the play, then the official is suspended. On the second offense, he is fired. Eat that, Dick Bavetta.

2) Since officials currently are making all sorts of calls they can't see, meaning they're just guessing, clearly we need more officials out there. Increase the number from three to four, so that they won't have to violate suggestion 1).

3) Get rid of the star system. No, I mean it. Get rid of it. Officials need to see players as equal, to keep the game fair. Otherwise, the rules are meaningless drivel.

4) Enforce traveling for real. This is an easy call to make, I don't see why its constantly missed. Everybody knows the rules -- stop letting things go just because they look cool. If you enforce it, they will be forced to learn proper ways to look cool.

5) Call a foul on Bruce Bowen every time he commits one, thereby fouling him out in the first quarter of every game. Dude gets away with moider out there, and he's ugly.

6) Make flopping a foul. If the ref sees you fall to the floor when nobody touches you, he can give you a personal. We need to get rid of the confusion. This ain't soccer.

7) Refs are to be as robot-like as possible. No more giving out technicals just because a player looked at them funny. No more showboating or talking to the coaches. In fact, let's only refer to the refs by numbers, rather than names, and not allow any interaction between them and the players/coaches/Mark Cubans.

With these new rules and norms in place, we can change basketball forever. It's either this or go totally WWE and have hot chick refs, face paint, pre-game threatening interviews, soap-opera storylines, and fake backboard breakings every night. It's one or the other, David Stern. Don't try to ride the middle, or you'll end up in the prickly bushes in between either fork in the road.