gozer: I made this! (Default)
FA LA LA LA LA, people! I hope you all have been having a lovely holiday long-weekend! I spent Christmas Eve day and Christmas with my mom in Brooklyn -- saw the family, made nice with my sister, had a lovely dinner; no stress, no strife. I had planned on leaving on Sunday afternoon, taking the commuter rail from Grand Central to Hartford to meet up with ComicbookMan, who was going to drive down from Boston for the Legends of Superheros Christmas Party, then we'd go home from there.


See, there was this hella scary snowstorm that blew in from Santa's Workshop the day after Xmas, so I stayed put in Brooklyn and ComicbookMan stayed put in our apartment in the Boston area, where he'd spent Christmas, ostensibly for cat-sitting purposes, but mostly sleeping. As the Sunday storm began to subside, I went on line and purchased a bus ticket to Boston on Peter Pan for Tuesday noon. NYC gets back on its feet very quickly after a snowstorm, and this was only the sixth-worse snowstorm on record, after all! I lived in NYC for many, many years, and I could always get to classes or my job in Manhattan the day after a snowstorm. Surely the city would be mostly navigable again by Tuesday!


My mother's house is located in South Brooklyn. Tuesday dawned, but there were no buses running in Brooklyn, despite the false info the MTA website posted. Even if there were buses, there were no trains operating in Brooklyn. There were also no car services for hire. What was the problem? PROBLEM: there was no snow removal of any kind from any of the streets, even the major ones; at all, at all, at all. ZERO.

Peter Pan's buses were running by 5am Tuesday, so they basically laughed at me when I called to ask if they'd honor my Tuesday ticket on Wednesday (they are honoring Sunday's and Monday's tickets all week.) Customer service at Peter Pan -- a bus company named after a sociopathic little bastard! -- didn't care that there was no way for me to get into Manhattan to get on their bus unless I'd started walking out of Brooklyn on snow shoes at about midnight the night before.

Fortunately, I checked online and found a ticket on Bolt Bus for $1.50, on the 11:30am Wednesday bus to Boston. Seriously, a buck-fifty. Since Bolt is owned by the same company that owns Peter Pan, it's as if they reissued my ticket for a minor change-of-date fee. Except Bolt buses are way nicer, newer buses than Peter Pan's buses, and Bolt takes a much shorter route out of Manhattan, so there's a lot less nausea-inducing stop-and-go. It was force-of-habit that I checked and purchased from Peter Pan first, but no longer.

So if you plan on busing from Boston or Philadelphia or Washington DC to/from NYC, check out Bolt before you try Greyhound or Peter Pan. Oddly, the same company owns and operates all three bus companies, but Greyhound's buses are even worse than Peter Pan's. The weirdest thing is that Greyhound's tickets are usually the most expensive of the three! TERRIBLE buses. HIGHEST prices. Buh? IS THIS SOME SORT OF STRANGE SOCIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT?

I left my mom's house at 9am and got home at 6pm, and yet I consider myself lucky.
gozer: Santa Gozer! (Santa Gozer!)
Another little holiday gift for my flist!

I already adored Jonathan Coulton's "Shop Vac", but this video takes the song to a whole new level. This is why we're all so happy Mr. Coulton releases his work on a Creative Commons license, so that other creative types can use it to do stuff like this:

The word "clever" doesn't begin to describe it. That's 500 to 1,000 hours of work, and it looks effortless.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
I wrote a follow up to Ten Tiny Tales called Ten Tiny Tales Redux and posted it to the SGA_flashfic community! \BWEE!/

One more fic to go and I'll have my own little trilogy of weird SGA fic.
gozer: Santa Gozer! (Santa Gozer!)
So much love for Wil Wheaton, who is so very One of Us:

Someday, we shall give a convention and he shall invited as our Most Honored Guest, and we shall call him "Squishy" and he will be our Squishy.

Also, the cast of Dr. Who sings (for various values of "singing") "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", and the ghost of Judy Garland claps a hand over her eyes:

Through the years, they all will be together, YA GET IT?
gozer: I made this! (Default)
From [personal profile] rheasilvia, it looks like Del.icio.us will be shut down soon.


[personal profile] rheasilvia suggests Diigo.com as a pretty good substitution -- you can import your Delicious bookmarks and tags, though the process apparently takes a while. Unless someone wants to weigh in with another suggestion, sounds like a plan.

* * *

From ComicbookMan, who called me up a couple of hours ago, it looks like Stargate Universe was canceled. I know people who like it, so I will not be a jerk about it and crow, but I won't miss it. I swear we tried to get into it, but it was soooo unlikeable, and arrogant about the fact that it didn't want to be liked! If you know what I mean?


Despite rumors that made me very happy -- that SGU's demise meant money was freed up to be used for the movies instead -- it seems that both SG-1 and Atlantis films are currently very much on hold:


ARGH! And HUMBUG! I miss the guys!
gozer: I made this! (Default)
If I hear one more CNN news-mannequin self-righteously talking about those terrible, awful people parasites on society who absolutely refuse to get health insurance and decide to "roll the dice" instead, I am going to reach right through that TV screen and throttle them, or at least muss up their overly-hairsprayed and gelled hair.


Not if we want to pay our rent and eat. Health Insurance is magnificently, freakishly, awesomely expensive. Even cheap-o, crappy, low-balled health insurance is beyond our ability to pay. And the state-provided* insurance can only be had if you're living in a box on the street. Seriously, we have a friend got laid off 3 years ago and has a kid, who squeezes in some shit-pay temp work when he can find it, who is coming to the end of the long, slow, horrible process of losing his house because he hasn't paid his mortgage for quite a long time -- AND HE CANNOT GET STATE-OFFERED "HEALTH INSURANCE" BECAUSE THEY SAY HE MAKES WAY TOO MUCH MONEY!

I seriously have yet to hear one news-mannequin talk about how awful it is that people cannot afford health insurance BECAUSE IT IS SO EXPENSIVE, and how unfair it is to force people to buy it or be fined when it's so far out of reach of so many of us. And how, if there was a single-payer system, it would make life so much easier for everyone, and we'd all have health insurance like the civilized countries do.

*Massachusetts, which, courtesy of that opportunistic weasel-douche-bag from hell, Mitt Romney, has that charming government-mandated thing where you must buy health insurance or pay a fine, which should be familiar to you all at this point, as it's been expanded to the rest of the country.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
The guy who licensed the rights to the "A Christmas Story" naughty-leg-lamp sold so many that he was able to use the profits to purchase the house the movie was filmed in and renovate it, and he also had the foresight to purchase the house across the street to turn it into a museum (and gift shop, the profits from which help maintain the house and museum)!


Now I want to visit Cleveland, OH! There's an online gift shop: I particularly like the Lady Leg Lamp cookie-cutter. That is *so* in the holiday spirit! The bunny suit kind of frightens me.
gozer: Made by Nakedwesley (The Devil You Say!)
In the past few days, I've doubled the size of an SGA story I've been working on since forever, filling in with actual prose all the bits that were once mere outline! I'm up to page 20! I have so much work to do, but I can't seem to tear myself away from the computer for more than eating and sleeping.

This is very unexpected. Ill-timed, too, but I don't care. I'm glad I'm writing.

Verb tenses are making me crazy, though. I need to stop fussing over them and changing them back & forth and just write, and tidy up later. I have to go to Connecticut tomorrow, I wish I had a laptop so I could continue writing in the car.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
Yes, it's my b-day. No biggie. We celebrated it on Monday, I had leftover chocolate cake for breakfast yesterday and today! Don't judge, it had eggs and flour and milk in it, they're good for you!*

Thank you, [personal profile] lavvyan for the healthy and delicious fruit plate on my user profile page -- that was so nice of you! I'm so amused LJ offers fruit plates for gift-giving! It really is perfect for me, with my healthfood-loving ways.

We took Giaus to the vet for the first time yesterday -- first time for us, he'd been to a vet in New Jersey in November 2009, just before he was gifted to us for Christmas 2009. Our vet declared him a "good kitty" and gave him an envelope of catnip for being such a well-mannered patient. ComicbookMan and I were pretty sure Giaus was going to be insane at the vet -- he hates being picked up and fights it tooth and nail, giving us the idea that he would react badly to being held down on a table. Fortunately, he was the opposite of insane, he was perfect. He even let the vet clean his teeth a bit.

Speaking of the giving of kitties as gifts, I give you "How to Wrap a Cat for Christmas."

If only it were that easy.

*Thank you, Bill Cosby, for the "Dad is great, give us the choklit cake!" skit.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
From 1984, as a tribute to my LJ and DW names, I present the official movie vid for Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" theme. Check out the famous people (famous in 1984, some still today*) who show up to sing/yell "GHOSTBUSTERS!" randomly during the vid. One of those guys is currently the senator from Minnesota**! Another is on "Community" and has an American Express commercial.

See the underwear the vid-girl is running around in? That style of camisole with matching boxers-like panties was peculiar to the mid-80s. I owned, like, six sets of them in various colors that I purchased in a sample sale because the fashion company that created and popularized them was located in the same building as the office I worked in... which was on 42nd Street in Manhattan, directly across the avenue from the library-with-the-lions that the opening scenes were filmed in. I watched the Ghostbusters running down the front library stairs in a panic as it was filmed! Also, our building's front lobby doors were used as the bank where Ray mortgaged his house to start the business, the production assistants just slapped some letters on the building and then they shot the scene on the fly, very quickly.

*Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Melissa Gilbert, Nickolas Ashford, Jeffrey Tambor, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Peter Falk, Teri Garr, and Casey Kasem.
**Your senator is way cooler than my senators, if you're from Minnesota.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
Gakked from [personal profile] paratti:

Below, Craig Ferguson's excellent LOST COLD OPEN for his Dr. Who special episode. They couldn't do it on the air because they didn't manage to get the rights to the Dr. Who theme music in time. I believe a producer was flogged to within an inch of his life for that grievous error, though that might just have been in the Mirror, Mirror universe.

Hilarious AND adorkable, all in one! I cannot describe it any other way.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
I first (and last) saw this (poorly) animated Dr. Suess special back in 1973. They're running it RIGHT NOW on ABCF, the ABC Family channel. OMG, it's as awesome as I remember it!!!! (so many exclamation points!) THE SONGS! THE SONGS ARE SO "LOVE AMERICAN STYLE"!!!

# Allen Sherman as The Cat in the Hat (of "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda, here I am at Camp Grenada" fame)
# Hans Conried as the Narrator and the North-going Zax (Character actor of joy! He was on every show!)
# Paul Winchell as Sam-I-Am, the Grouchy Guy, and Sneetches

Paul Winchell was a god when I was a wee kid: we were all addicted to his kiddie show, The Winchell Mahoney Show*, wherein he acted as ventriloquist for various dummies that were quite similar to the Edgar Bergan characters that predated them, except way more subversive. He also spoofed kiddie puppet shows in general on an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, where he played a kiddie-show ventriloquist of a sarcastically snarky puppet snail named "Jellybean" who wanted Rob Petrie to write for his show. IT WAS SO META! The episode was called "Talk to the Snail", which anticipated "talk to the hand" about 25 years before that expression was used. PAUL WINCHELL - RENAISSANCE MAN AND POP CULTURE FORECASTER! He was a voice on about a thousand poorly-animated Saturday morning kid shows during the 60s, 70s and early 80s. Snidely Whiplash on the Penelope Pitstop show and Wacky Races, anyone?

From Wikipedia:

Winchell was interested in medicine and studied pre-med at Columbia University. He graduated from The Acupuncture Research College of Los Angeles in 1974, and became an acupuncturist. He also worked as a medical hypnotist at the Gibbs Institute in Hollywood.

He was not only a ventriloquist on a kiddie show and the voice of a thousand hackneyed cartoon characters, he was THE VERY FIRST PERSON TO PATENT AN ARTIFICIAL HEART, MAKE IT AND IMPLANT IT IN SOMEONE'S CHEST.

Yes, my kiddie icons were Jean Shepherd (genius curmudgeon) and Paul Winchell (genius snark-master). This explains so much.

So, back to the Dr. Seuss special... the Sneetches tale teaches a child not to be a racist, the Zax bit teaches a child to make nice (really, to not be an asshole) and compromise, and Green Eggs and Ham probably wants to teach a kid to try new foods before judging, but really teaches that you might as well do what a persistent salesman wants you to do, because he's going to harass you into doing what he wants eventually anyway... but the songs on this 70s show, the MUSIC THEY WROTE for this cartoon. Just so Hollywood Squares.

Jeebus, it turns out that ABC Family is doing a Dr. Seuss night of ancient animated specials! The Lorax** is on now! How The Grinch Stole Christmas is last and best (Chuck Jones did the animation for that one.)




Dec. 1st, 2010 10:19 am
gozer: I made this! (Default)
Dammit, if I'd known there was going to be an Amnesty 2010 Challenge on the [community profile] sga_flashfic community, I'd have posted Ten Tiny Tales there, first! I'd have amused myself by going through the tags and picking a different challenge that applied to each Tale. Well, I guess I can still do that part:

1: challenge: animal vegetable or mineral
2: challenge: gods and monsters
3: challenge: skeevy ancients or challenge: ancient history
4: challenge: not happening
5: challenge: must be dreaming
6: challenge: animal vegetable or mineral
7: challenge: continuing education or challenge: secret superpower
8: challenge: secret superpower
9: challenge: folklore
10: challenge: culture clash or challenge: family or challenge: backstory
Bonus: challenge: crossing or challenge: villains

Okay, that wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be!
gozer: I made this! (Default)
Edited to correct a few mistakes that were driving me crazy.

Hello, all; I hope you had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving Day (assuming you are in the USA; if you are not, I still hope you had a great day.)

The other day, [personal profile] runpunkrun posted a wonderful crossover snippet (Sherlock/SGA) on her LJ, in which Sherlock is frustrated by Sheppard's secret. In it, she has Sherlock observing, "Hates being in a position of authority. Hates not being in a position of authority." And I thought to myself, Ooh, I've heard that somewhere before, I have.

So I opened up a Word document that held a little over two pages of snippets and quotes and plot bunnies and observations and ideas for SGA stories that I've been adding to (but not writing, never writing) for some six or seven years, since SGA's pilot, and I saw that I had once made a vaguely similar observation comparing Sheppard and O'Neill.

For some reason this cheered me up considerably (great minds think alike!) and I sat down, and for the past couple of days I’ve been working on molding all the crap on those two-ish pages into a semi-coherent sort-of story. And now I find that for once, I actually like something I have written! So I present to you, the six or eight of you guys left on my flist who still love Stargate, Ten Tiny Tales from my Own Personal Stargate-verse Fanon.

Speshul tip of the hat to [personal profile] runpunkrun, whose wonderful work sparked my interest in writing again. Please keep writing. Also to [personal profile] lavvyan, whose birthday was just the other day. Happy B-day, sorry I missed it! Also to [profile] miss_porcupine, who once wrote in a story, "You join the Marines if you want to fight, you join the Navy to get away, and you join the Army if you want a job – but you join the Air Force if you want to fly." That’s from memory and I can’t find the story it’s from, but I’ll paste a link if somebody else recognizes it.

Ten Tiny Tales )

This whole thing was unbeta’d, so if you catch an error or want to offer any con-crit whatsoever, or even an idea for a better title, it would be much appreciated. I’m particularly concerned about the order of the chapters – if you see how it might flow better, drop me a line, and thanks.
gozer: tes_fic made this (Liberator)

I was away for a bit, and when I came back, somewhat less virusy and root-kitted-out than before, I found that [personal profile] beccatoria on LJ had done a wonderful thing. She had taken my suggestion, which was that she edit a Farscape vidlet to Ramona Fall's "Fever", and created not merely a vidlet, but a fully-fledged MUSIC VID OF PURE UNADULTERATED AWESOME. You can see it here (sadly, not embeddable):


In her own words:

I'm bored and out of vid ideas that I can actually work on right now (due to waiting for footage, collaboration or inspiration). Thus I declare NaViMaMo! National (well, you know, for the great state of beccatoria) Vidlet (I'm aiming for about a minute, but it may be half or twice that) Making Month. Below you will find a list of fandoms I can vid. Comment with a song choice. I will make you a vidlet.

She's done 18 since November 5th. Lest you think she's just cranking these things out, I have to tell you that so far, each one has been a jewel of visual joy. She listed the fandoms she'd work in and nobody had picked Farscape yet, so I thought about what songs would really click with the most effed-up crew of space reprobates since the crew of the Liberator and Ramona Falls' much-adored "Fever" popped into my head, specifically as a backdrop for John and Aeryn's strange, rocky, and years-long romance.

Here's the original deeply creepy music vid for the song, which I like to watch at least a couple of times a week:

Now I have a new vid to watch over and over and OVER again! Thanks again, [personal profile] beccatoria!
gozer: I made this! (Default)
On November 11 at 1:15AM, my 'puter picked up a particularly insidious computer virus/malware/trojan-fucking-horse/rootkit/A.I. scurvy*/whatever the kids are calling computer cooties these days. I wish I'd realized it right off -- I could have used Firefox's History to see where I picked it up! Unfortunately, by the time I figured it out (I noted that the computer created a "restore point" in response to the influx of software), I'd already done a (completely useless) System Restore and it was too late. The problem first presented itself as the Thinkpoint virus, but once I got rid of that, I didn't have time to cheer because Thinkpoint had brought along some friends. Lots and lots of friends.

So I've been slaving over a hot computer for a week and have certainly demonstrably killed a lot of malware in that time, but I cannot seem to get all of it. The thing that's entrenched in there now spontaneously opens tabs in both IE and Firefox to malware sites, and if I open up a search in Google or Yahoo, clicking on a URL invariably causes an automatic redirect to various malware sites -- sometimes fake "Walmart" sites with a "YOU'VE WON A PRIZE!" popup, or to one of those sites you cannot ever, ever close down as it keeps on throwing up a blocking-popup that says, "Are you sure you want to close this site down?" over and over when you try. I've figured out a clever way around that, though. I take my little victories where I can.

I've used every malware-killing software imaginable and have gotten lots of help from the kindly folks at SUPERAntiSpyware, but I'm going to draw the line at getting involved with the crazy IT people at bleepingcomputer.com. That is just too rich for my blood. Seriously, if you want to break out in a cold sweat, read some of the How-To instructions on their "Malware, Trojan Horse, Virus" forums. The prep they expect you to do *before* a tech starts telling you what to do made my hands shake.

In the past week, I've learned a lot of stuff I didn't want to know -- for instance, what Safe Mode is. If you don't know, I hope you never need to know. I learned that NOD32 is a really good antivirus software that I wish I'd had before this happened, as it would have stopped it before it started. It's bundled with a good firewall in ESET Smart Security, and I plan to purchase the bundle after I get my computer back from the shop.

I'm very lucky in that I had only just backed *everything* up a couple of days before my computer was stricken. Plus I now know how to back up my bookmarks and tabs, which I didn't know how to do before. Losing my bookmarks and gazillion open tabs really messed me up the last two times I had a computer meltdown.

Tomorrow I will take my baby to be put down... I mean, to have the (irreparably corrupted) harddrive reformatted at either Staples or a local computer repair shop, if they'll do it quicker than Staples will. I love the professionalism of the IT guys at Staples, but they put your computer on the shelf for a week or more before they get around to it, as they invariably have a long waiting list.

Wanna tell me a computer war story of your own to cheer me up? Or suggest a good antivirus software that might be even better than ESET? Please feel free, but I may not be able to read it for a while! ::weeps at thought of not having an online presence::

*I made that one up.
gozer: Made by Mary Crawford (Dalek Mice)
Set your Tivos, kittens-n-cats, because tonight on CBS after David Letterman, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson will be featuring Matt Smith! Clearly Mr. Ferguson is champing at the proverbial bit:

gozer: I made this! (Default)
So, an African-American woman is sitting in a Hampton Inn's lobby, waiting for a guest to come down so that they can take a business meeting, and she sees a guy wearing an amusing tee shirt. He's in D.C. for the Rally for Sanity or Fear. She goes over and they chat a bit, then she leaves him to sit back down to wait for her business appointment.

That is when the hotel's general manager throws her out of the lobby, saying "Ma'am, you'll have to leave the hotel," over and over whenever she tried to (feebly and politely) protest:


His last words to her: "We have to protect our other guests. Ma'am, you'll have to leave the hotel."

If you're wondering what the heck that was about, like a number of not-too-worldly (and probably white) people posting over at HuffPo, it's pretty evident that he assumed she was a prostitute. The worst part for me was that he made her feel ashamed.

Joseph Galvan, General Manager of Hampton Inn Washington DC Convention Center. Please note that Hilton owns the Hampton Inn chain if you want to send somebody a letter or call.


You can send a comment to Hampton Inn at the above URL.
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Hi Flist!

With Veterans Day coming up on Thursday and only a few weeks left until the Senate’s lame-duck session ends, the clock is running out on on repeal of the military's failed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy -- perhaps for years to come.

Now we're asking you to help Rep. Patrick Murphy finish the job. With the lame-duck session starting Monday, we need you to sign the our petition to Senators Reid, Levin, McConnell and McCain immediately.

Rep. Murphy, a former West Point professor and an Iraq war veteran, will deliver your signature -- and nearly 600,000 other signatures collected by Courage in favor of repeal -- once Congress is back in session.

If you are actively in the military, a vet or a member of a military family, please go to this page to show your support:


If not, go to this page to sign in support of our troops:


Thank you so much!
gozer: I made this! (Default)
From [personal profile] sheafrotherdon:

This is possibly the cutest thing ever: the Oxford English Dictionary is trying to get people to adopt one of the many words that's falling out of use in the English language, and promise to use it as often as possible to get it back in the cultural lexicon. I love it!


I love it too! "PICK ME, PICK ME! YES, YES, ME!" is love!

The first word it gave me was "ten-cent store", which is a problem as the reason it's fallen into disuse is that we all say "dollar store" now. So, IMO, the phrase has not so much fallen into disuse -- it has merely inflated. Perhaps as wages fall, we'll all start using "ten-cent store" again spontaneously? A depressing thought! Also, to be honest, I've only ever used the phrase "five-and-ten-cent store" or, more colloquially, "five-and-dime". There used to be a five-and-dime in every neighborhood in Brooklyn when I was a kid, and I could easily spend an afternoon shifting through the dusty bins and checking out the shelves. I used to find the most awesome crap there, thus inexpensively sating my shopping jones despite having only a pittance of an allowance. (Little did I know I was just waiting around for eBay to spontaneously come into being.) I must have missed the decade when the "five-and" prefix was dropped.

I requested another random word and got "occulcation"; much better! The site's definitions are very saucy: occulcation, the act of treading on or stomping. Use: He explained to his wife that the masseur was simply occulcating his back when she slipped and fell on top of him.

Well, forgive me, Oxford English Dictionary, I thought "she" would be a "masseuse", not a "masseur"! I do believe I have caught you out!

Here is an online dictionary's definition: occulcation, n, 1656 -1656. act of treading on or trampling. Use: Repeated occulcations of this field by soldiers have left it useless for agriculture.

If there are any tea-baggers reading this, I would like to see you walking around with a sign that says, "DON'T OCCULCATE ON ME!" at the next town meeting. It'll make you look less stupid and you're sure to get on Fox News.

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