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, June 02, 2006

Two Ways to Deal with a Bad Review

When I did my last Cavalcade of Blogs, I never expected to get a reaction from the Bloggers themselves. That was pretty stupid of me. You see, I took the time to look up "Epth" in Icerocket's blog search and got this post from the author of one of the blogs I reviewed (not linked to because we don't feed trolls):

This is Epth Nation: The Worst Blog Period. End of Story,
This is Epth Nation: This blogger is on National Pedo*hile List and as seen on Dateline NBC 'To Catch a Predator'

So there you go. This is the Worst Blog Period, that you are reading. Will this stop me from ever doing another Cavalcade? If I stop now, the terrorists win.

Writing Projects on which I am Working

A short story (that will probably turn out to be a novella) about a guy who becomes a "first person shooter." It's part of the soon-to-be-acclaimed "Mongolian Tiger Monkey Nonology." That means nine books, people. I'm probably 1/4 of the way done with the first draft.

A story called "8th vs. Ocean," about a man who gets in over his head. That's all I can say right now. The story has started.

Of course, there's always the sprawling novel "As Far as You Know," formerly known as the Violent Parodies Director project. This is in hiatus, until I cut my teeth on something easier. It will be done someday, just not soon.

I'm also writing a devotion book in the sense that I know I have to write it but am just putting it off for no good reason. I haven't started it yet, sadly.

My giant post on the foibles of Linux will probably get done June 9-16 on my trip to Portland. Yes, it will be a relaxing week. I don't know how much I'll be posting or what the internet situation will be, but I'll be writing stuff, so there will either be a lot of posting then or the busiest week ever from the 17th-24th.

2006 Milwaukee Bucks Draft Hat

Notice anything strange?

We're going back to Christmas colors, baby! The red and green I grew up with is coming back, and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it!

Seriously, purple is my favorite color, but I'm totally going to enjoy the change. They unveil the new uniforms in September, and I can't wait to see them.

Fire Terry Stotts.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

If No Humans are Interested, is it Really "Human Interest"?

Last night as I watched Channel 8's uptight-looking John McCaa fly solo on the 10 o'clock news, I wondered how it had come to this: The Mona Lisa's lips were moving, and an Italian woman's voice was coming out. It seems a scientist used her hand and head size to determine her height, then used that data to come up with a voice that was "90% accurate." I then wondered if a painting of Mike Tyson in this scientist's hands would sound like, you know, Mike Tyson. I wondered if you could really get a voice pattern right 90% of the time just by looking at a picture of somebody. I wondered if you could tell a person's height just by the size of their hands and head. I wondered if this scientist was just playing a joke on all local news stations everywhere.

All my wondering was in vain, because none of these questions were answered. Was I just supposed to accept this as her voice and move on as if nothing had happened? Also, what exactly is the scientific purpose of doing something like making the Mona Lisa talk? It's not like we can go back in time and see if we're right. So (and this is a question I seem to be asking 20 times per half-hour newscast) why is this news? It must be ratings-driven, but who really wants to see this? Is it supposed to get ratings by making us mock them? I don't get it.

And it's not just what they report, but how they report it. They don't get into any depth on any story, because they don't want to bore the audience with actual reporting. They didn't care if they could answer the question of "did Mona Lisa really sound like that?" -- they just wanted to show the Mona Lisa's computer-generated mouth moving. Whether or not it's news didn't even come into the discussion, probably. If someone did a dubious study on the farting habits of babies, they would show babies farting and ask no questions. That's apparently how news works these days.

I'm now declaring a moratorium on pictures of my head and hands, so Dr. Frankenmouth can't make me say things from beyond the grave with what he's 90% sure is my voice. Oh, and the Mona Lisa? Look up "not that great buddy" in the dictionary and you'll see a (now talking) picture of it. Give me The Rock over her anyday.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Useless News: 5.31.06

May is over, so any May flowers you were going to plant will die if you try to plant them now.

Now, the news:

First of all, "Brangelina" is a horrible nickname for a couple, even one as deserving of a horrible nickname as Pitt-Jolie. Other options, anyone? "And"? Anyway, they had their freak-baby in Namibia. That's in Africa. Shiloh Nouvel Pitt-Jolie is now a Namibian citizen for life, much to the delight of the Namibian people, who up until now were totally ignored by the rest of the world. Here's a quote from this ABC News story:

Hopelonge Ipinge, the Namibian ambassador to the United States, told ABC
News that officials had been happy to help the couple by arresting and even
deporting intrusive paparazzi.
"They were just given protection in terms of
the security not for someone to intrude in their privacy," Ipinge said. "They
need to be protected."
Namibians say they have a deep cultural respect for
privacy, but many are thrilled by all the publicity.

Look for more celebs to go this route in the future -- they can defeat the paparazzi, and all they have to do is move to a third-world dirtbowl. They deported those scumbags! If only we could exile them to like France or something.

If you put your fingers in your ears and hum, maybe the noise will go away. Actually, This is Epth Nation doesn't have all the facts on this Indian AIDS thing yet, but you can bet Bono's all over it.

The Government Cabal increases its power to silence dissent: The Supreme Court voted 5-4 today to remove the protections that government employees have w/r/t outing their superiors' bad behavior. I guess the First Amendment doesn't apply to them anymore. I wonder if they signed a form to that effect when they took the job. Anyway, this makes the new "Alito-Roberts-Plus" Supreme Court 0-1, continuing the last court's almost superhuman losing streak.

Soon, the little guy will no longer be welcome in America. You know, Mexico is quite affordable, if you can get past the dirt and corruption.

As the threat of terrorism grows and grows like Katie Couric's ego, the FBI has finally given up its search for the dead bones of Jimmy Hoffa. Why waste everyone's time and money like this? Here's a telling quote from the evil Gannett News Service:

Although critics have said that the FBI wasted the public’s time and money
searching for Hoffa’s body, Milford Township Police Chief Wayne Walli said
authorities had no choice but to dig.“Certainly the information was credible. It
was necessary to pursue it,” Walli said. Had the property owner found the body,
“we would never live that down.”

So the FBI (and local law enforcement) is worried about the embarassment that some dude finding Hoffa's body would cause? They got over the embarassment of 9/11, I think they could get over this.

What France is doing is definitely working. We should be more like them. 40% unemployment for the young is a small price to pay for the ability to feel better than the U.S. Somebody should tell France this is the 21st century and the economy has changed. But that might just be me being too critical again. In fact, this whole post is really critical. I think it's time for some happy news...

The MTV Laguna Beach spinoff, The Hills, debuts tonight. It's got L.C. in it, so how bad can it be? She defeated that d-bag...what was his name? Jason? And now she's taking on the offices of Teen Vogue. It would be better, methinks, for L.C. to leave the public eye after her big victory in Laguna Beach Season 2. We want to remember her as the girl who told Jason he was a big fat jerk. She just can't top that.

Finally, I developed a pretty good Shakira impression over my 4-day weekend, but I think I lost it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

St. Louis Pictures

1) The Edward Jones Dome, which many sarcastically call the Howard Jones Dome, where no-one is to blame.

2) The Wondrous Atrium of the Terry Gilliamesqually-designed Embassy Suites. This is the fountain. Free beer was located to the right.

3) Every city should have an Arch.

4) Street-level view of New Busch Stadium. I saw signs on Hwy 44 in Missouri that said, "The Cardinals pay for our roads, we'll pay for their stadium." They turned out to be half-right, the poor baseball-hating losers.

5) View of the arch from the museum's entrance line. Looks like a Pink Floyd album cover, IMO.

Oppression without Freedom

Quotas. My wife got a ticket today, May 30th, for going 11 miles over the speed limit. She was in a group of cars going the same speed. A police officer is just picking people off at random. Why is she doing that? This never happens any other time of the month. I guess Dallas has some corruption to pay for.

Quotas. They're illegal, but yet we have to pay for them. Doesn't Dallas have a problem with lack of Police personnel? I guess not. Since we have time to tax drivers like this, all the burglaries and robberies in Dallas must be solved already, right? They probably have my two car stereos down at the station. I think I'll just go down there and pick them up.

Evil. Am I thankful to live in a country where I can post this? Yes. Would I be happier to live in a country that valued freedom, including drivers' freedom, more than ours does? Yes.

The policies of the corrupt are financed from the wallets of the unlucky.

Save the Drama for your Llama

As I said, I just took a 4-day weekend in beautiful downtown St. Louis with my family. I couldn't use the internet without paying $9.95 a day, so I guess you just found out the full extent of my cheapness (or maybe my poorness). The whole family was there and it was great despite the blazing hot weather. Some highlights:

  1. Had my first Budweiser ever (that I can remember anyway) at the free hotel happy hour. It tasted like sand. Must be the beechwood aging.
  2. Budweiser Select, however, finishes clean. We took the Anheuser-Busch tour, and got the free samples at the end. It's funny that they make you go through the hour-long tour to get to the free beer. I actually chose whatever the Bud stout/Guinness knock-off is, and it was like a cheap version of Guiness. Go figure.
  3. As you can see, I drank way too much beer. That's what you do in St. Louis.
  4. Other cities need more giant, cool-looking, symbolic, and totally wasteful structures like the Arch. Dallas, for example, could build a giant metal star that lights up, or Plano could build a giant lady with big hair and too much makeup. It would create tourism, but I guess nobody cares about that when there's money to be embezzled or spent on dangerous public transportation.
  5. The Cardinals' baseball stadium is beyond cool. It's downtown and sunken into the ground, so that when you walk by you can see right in. Why don't other cities do that?
  6. Embassy Suites Downtown has a great Continental breakfast with a huge room to eat it in; However, the walls are thin, the fixtures are easily-breakable, and the internet is the opposite of free. Also, it's virtually impossible to get there without some maze-breaking and horse-dodging skills.
  7. My "I (heart) Cheese" T-Shirt never fails to get comments.
  8. St. Louis is a pretty dirty and run-down city, but there area some really cool-looking newly-renovated areas. The streets are confusing and too narrow, but downtown is laid out very well and features a bunch of cool-looking stuff. All in all, it's a nice place to visit, and you know the rest.
  9. Underneath the arch is a museum that gives a history of "Western Expansion" from the Native Americans' point of view. I guess we should get off their land and move back to Europe. I've got dibs on Wittenberg. Oh, and we're keeping our atomic bombs, so enjoy becoming Mexicanada.
  10. Got to hear a lot of bad talk-radio during the drives there and back. I turns out that on Memorial Day we're supposed to be constantly thinking about the sacrifices it took to win and keep our freedom. We should do this specifically by listening to xenophobic country songs and grandstanding about immigration reform. Beats thinkin'.
  11. Did you know that global warming might make poison ivy slightly more itchy? Yeah, it was slow news day. I was excited on Friday when somebody shot up a Senate building, but it turned out to be a misfiring jackhammer. Still, they breathlessly covered it for at least a half-hour. News is so very bad, even on the radio.
  12. This just in: Remember when Bravo showed good artsy movies and TV Shows you couldn't find anywhere else? When did they turn into VH1 of five years ago? Top 100? Queer Eye? Kathy Griffin? What's next -- Pop-Up Movie Scenes?