Thursday, April 26, 2018

Kinda Irked

Like most Americans, I have a NetFlix account and watch the occasional movie or binge an entire season of a show because I have no life. And like most everyone else, I sometimes get messages from NetFlix informing me of a new show I might be interested in. I will usually glance at the recommendation and then delete it, but the latest one they sent me gave me pause.

It was for Baby Boss 3.

Now, my NetFlix history looks like I’m a disturbed thirteen-year-old, with a variety of cartoons, horror movies, the odd action/kung-fu flick, and documentaries on everything from politics and economics to medical shows to ‘things found glued to animals.’

I have wide-ranging interests.

So, when Baby Boss 3 crossed my feed, I was kinda irked. I may watch more cartoons than any three average pre-schoolers put together, but I watch the good stuff, dammit.

NOTE: I have not actually watched any of the Baby Boss oeuvre, so I cannot actually pass any sort of judgement on their content. However, I am fairly certain that even if they’re masterpieces of subtle wit and comedy, I’m not really interested.

So now, I feel like I have to somehow ‘fix’ my NetFlix history so it better reflects who I want them to think I am, rather than who I might actually be. This means a lot of Oscar-nominated movies, high-brow foreign stuff, and shows that end with everyone dead to show man’s inhumanity to man.

Yet, in thinking about this, what do I really care? After all, I’m (arguably) an adult and what I watch is my business. I like cartoons and animation. This is, after all, why I have NetFlix in the first place. So I can watch the things that I want when I want and while wearing or not wearing pants as I see fit.

Am I afraid of what some NetFlix computer thinks of me? No.

Am I afraid of what information the government has on me? KInda, yes. It’s complicated.

Am I afraid that I’ll bring a date back to my apartment (HA!), they’ll see my NetFlix recommendations, and think less of me?

Yes, absolutely.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Problem of Evil

Have you, like me, ever wondered how evil empires work? Not just the ‘bad guys’ so to speak, but the really evil empires that tend to kill their own people?

Think about it. You’re at work, doing your thing, and there’s a sudden crash. You look over and see Steve from Accounting looking sheepish, a broken mug at his feet and coffee soaking into the carpet. Your boss, whom I’ll call Lord Fleshripper, stomps over and shouts “you’ve failed me for the last time!” then draws a gun and shoots Steve in the face.

Lord Fleshripper then turns to Nancy, as Bob and Chuck from maintenance drag Steve’s body away and says. “Congratulations on your promotion,” while holstering his gun.

Quick question: would you want to work there?

I will assume you said ‘no.’

NOTE: if you said yes, drop me a message. I will be needing flunkies for my evil empire. Currently, it’s me, a 10# bag of rice, and a recently deceased spider.

How do these organizations even work? I mean, take a look at the Empire in Star Wars. Vader keeps strangling Admirals and there can’t be that many of them. Even an otherwise excellent officer will screw up occasionally, so Vader is not only strangling incompetent officers, he’s killing off the good ones as well. And what about the Lieutenants and Captains and the like? If your career goal is to be an Admiral, then you have a non-zero risk of getting Force Choked. I can’t imagine anyone but a psychopath thinking ‘yeah, I’ll risk getting executed if it means I get to wear the big Jolly Rancher chest piece.’

And that’s not even the worst example. In the Mirror Universe in Star Trek, anybody who can kill the Captain of a ship gets the be the Captain. This seems like a recipe for disaster as the qualities needed to successfully murder your Captain are not necessarily the same ones needed for . . . oh, you know . . . actually commanding a ship.

Now, I’m not an expert on the Mirror Universe, but it would also seem to be easiest to murder your Captain when he’s distracted, such as in the middle of a space battle, which would be poor timing at best. Especially since everyone else would have the same idea. Enemies would just need to shoot once, wait for the half of the crew to murder the other half, then just blow the ship up or take it, as you need a minimum number of people to y’know, actually fight back.

Now, I realize the whole ‘murder your subordinates’ is simple shorthand for showing how evil a society is, but it doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny. If you really want to show how evil a society is, just have puppies everywhere and then have the bad guys occasionally kick them for no reason. That would certainly make me set phasers to kill.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Glaring of Cats

And it's live!

My second novel, The Glaring of Cats, is now available on Amazon!

Glaring takes place in the same universe as Art the Wanderer and focuses on the city of Locklarn. A young woman from Whu named Miao has commandeered a pirate ship to take her to the city. Meanwhile a new gang boss appears, while the guards of River Station, who patrol the Alley, try to make sense of the latest round of violence and chaos.

Click HERE to be taken directly to the book on Amazon.

If you like my blogs, I'm willing to bet you'll enjoy the novels, so check 'em out if you have a moment.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Tyranny of Mornings

There is this prevailing sentiment in society that getting up early is somehow a ‘virtue’ and that morning people are ‘go-getters’ and that if you, for example, don’t like to get up before noon, you’re somehow ‘lazy.’

I call ‘bs.’

My dad was a morning person and took an almost vicious delight in getting us kids out of bed early on the weekends. Hot sauce was once used and I have a distinct memory of my dad waking me up when I was very small (like 5 or 6) and asking me where my squirt gun was. I told him and went back to sleep, only to awaken ten minutes later to a scream. My dad had filled the squirt gun with ice water and used that to wake my brothers up. I was too young for manual labor, so I was spared.

Anyway, my point has always been that regardless of when you wake up, you still put in the same day as anyone else, it’s just darker. My dad used to get up at 6am, but he also went to bed at like 9:30. I like to go to bed at around 2am and get up . . . at some point when the sun is out. Let’s call it lunch-ish.

The problem is that getting up early is so ingrained in our culture as a good thing that even I fall victim to it. I had an appointment the other day in the early morning and prepped for it by getting up early for a few days before hand. Then, at one point, I thought to myself. “Wow, I’m getting so much done before lunchtime. I should get up early every day!”

I then got up, drove to the grocery store, purchased a fresh fish, drove home, and then slapped myself with it for saying that. In hindsight, that was a bad idea for two reasons: one, I wasn’t wearing pants; and two, fresh fish are expensive.

Now, sure, some people need to get up early for work. Farmers, bakers . . . the people who do other things . . . with stuff . . . in the morning.

I don’t know, I don’t get up early.

One would think that perhaps, in the era of computers and working from home and Amazon, it wouldn’t really matter when one got up in the morning. You can pretty much do anything at night you can do during the day, except maybe get a natural tan or see flowers blooming or go to the beach or . .

Okay, I kinda see the point.

However, this still doesn’t invalidate my core thesis: bears shouldn’t wear pants as- . . . wrong thesis. Ahem. Getting up early does not make one more productive or virtuous. 

Besides, if everyone got up early, there would be no one to keep the vampires at bay.