Monthly Archives: August 2012

Dear Private Number

Dear “Private Number”
I want to thank you for calling my cell phone this morning. I’m sorry I could not answer since I was otherwise occupied. I would return your call, but you left no message and since you’re showing up as “private number” I have no means of reaching you.
Which leave me to wonder, was your call really all that important?

Quote of the Day – August 31st, 2012

Jackie Cooper

Jackie Cooper (Photo credit: Alan Light)

Now look. The Post: “It Flies.” The News: “Look, Ma, No Wires.” The Times: “Blue Bomb Buzzes Metropolis.” The Planet. We’re sitting on top of the story of the century here! I want the name of this flying whatchamacallit to go with the Daily Planet like bacon and eggs, franks and beans, death and taxes, politics and corruption.

Perry White (played by Jackie Cooper)

Superman: The Movie

Picks of the Week – August 29, 2012

Has it been one of those weeks?  Wishing that Labor Day would just get here so you can have a three-day weekend?

At least it’s new comic day!


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Untitled Short Story

This was a stand alone story for a character I created for a forum based web story.  I had originally posted this story on one of my other blogs, which I am now looking to close down and possibly merge into this one.

I used the story as back story for a character I created in City of Heroes, though that one was a bit more on the action side than the detective side.

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Book Review – Monsters and Demons

Monsters and Demons: From Goblins and Ghouls to Fiends and Fairies A Complete Compendium of Mythological BeastsMonsters and Demons: From Goblins and Ghouls to Fiends and Fairies A Complete Compendium of Mythological Beasts by Charlotte Montague

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The title itself if a big misnomer. Considering the volumes that have been written on some of the creatures they discuss in the book, this one is by no means “complete.” That might have been something I could have gotten past if the book itself was not so chaoticly written. Some creatures, like the Golem are double covered, with paragraphs written about their cinematic appearances, only to be written again in the pop culture section. Plus the inclusion of pop culture “monsters,” like the X-Men’s Cyclops, the Hulk, and Matt Wagner’s Grendel (which is connected to the Grendel monster in name only) is out of place and unwarranted.

View all my reviews

The Casual Computer User’s Greatest Fear


Toshiba Satellite

Toshiba Satellite (Photo credit: louisvolant)


I encountered something today that made me really start to think that I need to upgrade my laptop.  It did not want to access the internet.


I am a casual computer user.  I use my laptop for games and writing mostly.  When I got it in 2007/2008 (it was Christmas time), it was probably the best laptop I could get at Best Buy.  It was a gamer’s laptop with its own graphics card.  Not one of those built-in laptop cards, but a legitimate Nvidia graphics card.  I could play Bioshock on it, which I did.  But like most, okay all, computers from 2007, it has become functionally obsolete as a gamer’s laptop.  It can still handle World of Warcraft and City of Heroes, but the last game I bought for it was Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.  I had toyed with the idea of replacing it.  Toyed really the right word for it.  In my mind, it still functioned, so there was not much need to replace it.  Besides, I have a Sony Vaio desktop that is even older than the laptop and I’m still using it… for iTunes and the occasional surfing of the internet.


Then today happened.  I could not access the internet.  From what I could tell, everything seemed to be working for networking.  But it really was not.  Even scarier when I thought it was working just the night before.  I tried all the usual attempts to revive the connection, none of which worked.  I even scoured the internet (on the archaic desktop that still was connected to the internet) to find an answer.  Most of the answers I saw I understood enough to know that I understood them enough to make things worse.


Naturally, I did what any person who knew just enough to break something further would do: I asked someone who knew more than me.  That would be my dad.  He was the reason why I grew up around computers because he has worked with them as long as I’ve been alive.  He is the reason why I know what a TRS-80 Model 1 is, and that Osborne made the first portable computer… which weighed a ton.


Together, we tried just about everything just short of physically dismantling the computer.  Yet, no internet connection.  Heck, as near as I could tell, I did not even really have a network connection.  Nearly admitting defeat, I resigned myself to trying one last thing.


I always saw system restores as the ICBM of computer resolutions.  When all else fails, you try one last-ditch effort to revive your computer my reverting it to an earlier time.  Usually, this point is the last time there was any major software changes.  In my case, that was August 17, 2012.  In my last-ditch effort, I would make the compute think that it was starting up as it did on that day in the past… or something to that effect.  I had no idea if that would even work.  For all I knew, there was something physically wrong with my computer, that the summer heat damaged the network cards, both wired and wireless.  Heck, for all I knew, there really was just one card for the two, and it was shot to Hell.


I did the restore and waited.  The laptop restarted and completed the necessary processes to make it think it was August 12, 2012.  And then it continued to the login screen.  I logged in cautiously and watched as the network icon in the tray displayed the double computer, first with the yellow triangle exclamation point.  And then, with the little globe.  The restore had worked, and my laptop was once more connected to the internet.


I am still not even sure what happened between last night when I shut down and today when I turned my laptop back on.  I am not even sure that this will not happen again.  It may, it may not.  I don’t know.  But it made me think real seriously about the possibility that I need to get a new laptop, just in case something like this happens again.


Which I hope it doesn’t.


Caught Up

5 Signs You Are A Film Geek


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  • You know the difference between “Based On,” “Inspired By,” and “Suggested By.”
  • You know by heart the URL for the webfeed of the Academy Presentation of the Technical Achievement awards
  • You cringe whenever you see more than four names under “Screenplay By,” all separated by “and.”
  • You have seen Un Chien Andalou… for fun.
  • The local art cinema not only knows you by name, but already has your favorite seat reserved for you.

Saturday Songs – August 25, 2012

For a lot of people, they know Mike Oldfield either from his performance during the opening ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics or from Tubular Bells, which was used as the theme to The Exorcist, not even realizing the vast scope of his music.  This is mostly because not too many people stray into the New Age section of their record stores where he is often categorized.

My first exposure to Mike Oldfield came when I was back in high school with the song Magic Touch.

The song itself was just the right mix of pop sound and trippy visuals (I saw the video first) to pull me into his music.  I bought the cassette, Islands, and loved not only the songs that followed the more traditional style of music, but the longer form Wind Chimes Part 1 & 2 as well.  Soon I was searching the bins for his CDs, finding a lot of what he composed inspirational, creatively, that is.  When I created sound tracks for some of my earliest writings, I used his songs to help set the mood, and still do.

Mike Oldfield’s music is available on iTunes and

Sometimes It Doesn’t Pay

English: Error Icon

English: Error Icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night I was trying out a different program for writing.  Usually I use Screenwriter, which I bought for myself because it had templates for a lot of different formats.  This time, I decided I would try this different program which was supposedly geared more towards novel writers.  It seemed okay, and got some decent reviews.

The one thing I did not check was to see if it had an automatic back-up, which Screenwriter, and most such products do.  If it did, it was not set up to run.  So, when the program glitched after a half an hour of writing last night, I discovered that none of it was saved.

I switched back to Screenwriter minutes afterward.

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