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Population: One

Reign of Fire

Reign of Fire was bad on so many levels. It was good on one level: exceptional effects. But the people were stupid, they had stupid plans, the biology was fairly insulting, and just oh geeze.

I’m not really the type to bitch about military deployment flaws and so on; I’m not a military history buff and I’d be a poor strategist. Same goes for my biological knowledge, actually. So when I realize I’m shifting uncomfortably in my seat due to the flaws, and when I realize that the logical holes have eaten up the fabric of story and I can’t care what happens to the characters because I don’t believe they could possibly wiggle themselves into their on-screen situation, it’s a bad sign.

The dragons were exceedingly pretty, and there were three excellent scenes involving oral tradition.

Operation TIPS Cruises Onward

So this I just don’t get. Say you’re John Ashcroft, and you come up with a plan to do such and such. You properly sponsor a bill to allow the appropriate federal department to carry out that plan (among other plans; it’s a big bill). The House takes a look at the legislation and modifies the portion of it dealing with your clever plan. They feel you should not carry out your plan.

Is it not wrong to say “Well, they didn’t understand us, we’re going to go ahead with it anyhow.”? I mean, this is the checks and balances thing, here. The legislative branch does get to say “We don’t think that’s a good idea.” It’s sort of how the entire system works.

The trend I see — and note that I’m not calling these guys evil — is an imperial Presidency; they appear to feel that they are trustworthy people who should be given the power to do what’s right for us. I firmly believe that Bush and Ashcroft are trying to do what’s right for us in their minds. I suspect they just don’t get that some people don’t trust them.

When you think of it that way, it makes more sense. Sure, some of these bills would permit horrendous abuses of power. But Bush knows he wouldn’t ever abuse the power, so what’s the worry? I think it’s crippling to assume that Bush’s goal is to abuse power; it hampers communication. He’d probably do some of the things I consider abusive, but in many cases the things that strike me as abusive might well strike him as abusive as well. Mostly he seems to want freedom to do what he wants without pesky oversight.

Doesn’t make me any happier about a lot of the legislation he’s proposed, though.

Umberto Eco always has such

Umberto Eco always has such cool things to say.

“I calculated that I had saved the reader at least 25% reading time by shortening Dumas’s language. But then I realised that it was exactly those extra words and repetition that had a fundamental strategic function – they created anticipation and tension – they delayed the final event and were fundamental for the excellent vendetta to work so effectively.”

A lovely little article on the nature of translations.

The Civil War did not

The Civil War did not end in 1865…. The Confederates went into hiding and in 1908 they used their boy Teddy Roosevelt to found the FBI – conFederate Bureau of Inquisition.

You heard it here first. I collect kooks for the purposes of generating weird NPCs for games. Possibly I need a kook category.

Quirks to fix: the bookmarklet

Quirks to fix: the bookmarklet doesn’t seem to be setting categories. It’d be nice if titleless bookmarklet entries took on the first five words of the post as the title, as per Blogger API entries. Blogger API entries need to permit TrackBack by default.

Edit: Blogger API entries now permit TrackBack by default.

Edit: the bookmarklet is working like I want it to; I think I was just confused before. Addendum: I may skip the whole Blogger API thing and write a little AppleScript to generate entries straight from BBEdit.

Unknown Boston is my feeling

Unknown Boston is my feeling that I should be doing something with all this free time; after all, I quit Asheron’s Call. It’s also my knowledge that the most successful campaign I ever ran started with an utterly complete set of character sheets for every NPC vampire in the city. I GM better when I have the setting fleshed out. It’s also my admiration for the Quail and his New York by Night. Would that I could accomplish something half as cool.

For some odd reason I’m

For some odd reason I’m not really comfortable posting long ranty things to my LiveJournal. There’s something weird going on in my head there. I think it’s because I have this constant awareness that I’m dropping an acrid pissed off political rant in the middle of a couple of dozen nice peaceful friends pages, between a perfectly harmless quiz answer and a thoughtful introspective discussion of someone’s day. “If I were a Sluggy Freelance character, I would be — holy shit, what the hell got up his ass?” That sort of thing. Also I keep finding myself self-conscious about profanity, cause I know some of my readers aren’t fond of the stuff.

Or, perhaps, I’m just a snob who derives much of his self-image from being an outsider. Personally, I vary in my opinions.

I also need a place to tuck links to various and sundry pages that don’t need to be in my bookmark list but which do need to be saved somewhere I can go find them. If Mozilla had a bookmark list and a list of folded over page corners, that’d be perfect. But it doesn’t, so I’m just going to stick them in my blog.

So one way or the other, some of the time I’m writing for other people and that fits LiveJournal pretty well. But right now, most of my impulses are directed at writing for myself. Thus, Population: One.