Sunday, April 02, 2017

Still Not Dead Yet. Sorry.

Nope, I'm still not dead yet.

I've been away from here for a while.  I haven't been totally gone - you can see my Twitter feed to the right of this page.  I just haven't posted here.  To tell you the truth - I've been behind on everything.  Last year, I was sick several times, bad enough to be put in the hospital.  In that time, and the recovery time afterward, I've fallen behind on everything.

I also didn't want to comment on the election.  Yeah, like everyone else I have an opinion.  While I think I may have had something to say, I couldn't have gotten a word in edgewise.  The screamers from both sides weren't letting any reasonable opinion through the gates.  Of course, balanced against everything else in my life, it just wasn't that important.

I'm not back yet.  I'm catching up, but there are literally piles of stuff around here - projects I started and never finished, news articles I haven't read, books I haven't seen, movies I haven't watched, papers I haven't filed.  I just figured it'd been long enough without posting that I should probably say something.

The Twitter feed does give some indication of stuff I do from time to time, but I mostly reserve it for movies and television shows I watch.  Rarely, I mention books and magazines.  I don't post about much else.  If you're stalking me, it's a good place to start, but you'll have to work harder than that.  Of course, if you're stalking me, you need more of a life than even I do.

The book(s) are being worked on.  Work essentially stopped when I started getting sick and either never started again, or had been just restarted when I got sick again.  I'm a weird sort of OCD completist, and taking a break that long usually means starting from the beginning, one way or another.

I hope to have something better to write about soon.  High hopes.

- Jim

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

I'm going to go off on a weird tangent, but it's late, I've taken pain meds and allergy pills and here goes.

I'm watching Game of Thrones and I just started watching Season five. I know people age, but it does seem to me that everyone looks different. No, not everyone, but a lot of them. Shrug. I'm oblivious at times to how people change. Sometimes I look up from whatever I've been working on and wonder how I got to be forty years old.

The first time I watched this season, I thought Melisandre was played by someone else. She looked just different enough to be different.  I've thought that about a few people this season.  Maybe it's that Game of Thrones got more money.  Maybe it's that everyone is dressing differently.  Maybe it's the tone of the show.  


I do this in real life too.  I rarely recognize people I haven't seen in a while.  Suddenly they've gotten older, or old, and they look totally different.  Family reunions are crazy for me - everyone remembers me, and I have no clue who they are.  Did I go to the wrong reunion?  Maybe I'm on the Truman Show and they changed actors (or actresses) in-between seasons. 

Yeah, yeah, I know this is my first post in a while.  I haven't written here because there hasn't been much to say and then, when there was, there was no excuse for not writing earlier.  No, I'm not dead.  I've been sick, got better, got sick, got better, got sick, got better, and the whole time I've been in pain.  That about sums up my life since I wrote last.  Add in allergies and you cover all of my health issues that I know of.

Family drama, personal drama, life trauma, and so on.  Never a dull moment for me, but there is plenty of down time.  I used to think I was a strong person, capable of handling what life gave me.  The month of Hell, followed a year later by my Mother's death changed all that.  It doesn't take much for me to melt down for months at a time.  

And so, nothing has happened.  No writing, or significant amounts anyway, no drawing, singing, poetry, acting, dancing, jumping, or skipping.  And I can't whistle and never really learned how to swim.

I don't promise to write a lot now, but since the seal is broken, maybe I'll write more.  I promise nothing.  Sorry.  Life is what it is.  And what it is not.

- Jim

Friday, May 08, 2015

May I just add... WOOOOO!

It's almost my Sixteenth anniversary too!

- Jim

Monday, April 20, 2015

So, I'm leaving more and more of the social media behind.  I'm not really gone, I'm just far away.  It's like a postcard sent to a remote island.  Yeah, it'll get there eventually, probably.  It'll just take a long time.  Unfortunately, I have too many things I'm into and not enough time to do them all.  Something had to give and I put too much into these social media things and not enough came out of it.

That sounds terrible, but it's true enough. 

Anyway, I'm not wholly gone.  There are ways to reach me for the determined.  If you need to do so, you'll figure it out.

- Jim

Thursday, February 05, 2015

So, here's a guy on ebay, his handle is happyjackarnold.  I bought a video card from him that he said was new.  Here's what his listing showed: 

And here's the rest:

When I got the card in the mail, there was no packaging, original or otherwise and the card was bent and hardly new.  The only thing protecting it was a packing envelope that you can get for free from the post office.  Needless to say, I complained and while he responded at first, he stopped communicating.  I had ebay step in and I got a refund.  I returned the card.

He's selling it again, though not new, and he names me by name.  So, I'm naming him by name:  Arnold Toney.  This is what the guy looks like:

Take my advice and stay away from him.

- Jim

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Hope everyone has a great holiday!

- Jim

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Saturday, August 09, 2014

I seem to fall further and further behind every day.  I have several new ideas for projects, but no time to work on them.  So, I'm going to attempt a crash course to try and get all the current stuff under control.  To some extent, my nature doesn't allow me to catch up - the more I do, the more I attempt to do because I want to know everything, learn everything, and do many things.  If days were a thousand hours long, they wouldn't be long enough.

There is light at the end of this tunnel.  I may be working on things the hardest way and the longest way possible, but there is a bit of method to my madness.  I hope. 

- Jim

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ah Beloit....

Post by Jamal Lawson.

- Jim

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Game of Thrones Review (Some Spoilers)

If you've ever read my blog before, you know I'm a fan of Game of Thrones.  I bought the season DVDs, I watched all the episodes, I bought the books.  Now, I'm going to complain about them.

Most of this post will be about the HBO show rather than the books.  But, I'll get to the books, don't worry.

I started the Game of Thrones series a bit late.  I did see the first season before the second season came out, but I wanted to wait until the entire series was out before I watched it.  Also, like everything else, I was always behind the curve.  I have too many interests and I spent far too much time on them to get anything done in a timely manner.

The first season was better than I expected.  The story was big, there were lots of characters, there was plenty of backstory, and the world was big and fresh.  It's what convinced me to buy the books and it convinced me to buy the season DVD set with my limited funds.  Main characters died, and it showed that not all characters were safe.  From a table-top RPG perspective, it showed that sometimes nearly random events can have catastrophic results.  I'm sure these deaths had different causes, but the effects were the same.

I read the first book, but realized that I was going to have to slow down if I didn't want to wait for the end of the series.  George R.R. Martin writes at his own pace, but I hate waiting.  I know he used to write episodes for television shows, and still does on occasion, and that's what the first book felt like - it felt like it was deliberately leaving plot holes open in order to fill them in during later episodes... er, I mean books.  I know it does take a while for a writer to get comfortable with a particular voice, but this was clunkier than I'd come to expect.

I'm not perfect either, so I was willing to give Mr. Martin a chance.

The show, after the first season, got bigger, but the world didn't seem to add much depth.  This is a difficult concept, but I've noticed that the world doesn't seem much bigger than the story.  I'll give an example because I didn't really phrase it right - you ever notice that after the show introduced the Rains of Castamere, it was the only song the characters in the show ever knew?  Then they introduced another song - The Bear and the Maiden fair, and still, those were the only two damn songs that anyone ever talked about.

Y'ever notice that after a character was mentioned as having been born in a part of King's Landing called 'Fleabottom' that everyone mentioned it as a place in King's Landing?  They never mentioned Guilder's Row or Iron Hill or Stone Chimneys (I made those up), but Fleabottom was mentioned several times.  Yes, it makes the world seem a bit more detailed when you bring up disparate stories like that, but it never seems to make it bigger than the story itself.

Maybe that's the problem here - there are a lot of characters and a lot of stories here and there just isn't time to show those extra background touches.  In the meantime, it seems like an episode of Star Trek, where everything happens on the bridge of the ship because they never had time to make a real set for the science labs or anywhere else.

While we're on the subject, what are the chances that every single combat encounter Arya has involves someone she hates from a previous experience?  Every.  Single.  One.

Again, I realize that it's hard to make a series like this with so many main characters with so little screen time.  I don't know how to fix it.  I would imagine that the episodic feel to the show would become even more episodic if they somehow doubled the amount of episodes in a season or the length of episodes themselves.  As the seasons get more complex, I can only imagine that it would get worse, regardless.

Finally, there's the sense of being robbed.  I know that exciting dramatic scenes cost money.  That's the point.  Waiting nearly a year to watch the dramatic fight at the Fist of the First Men was so worth it when they skipped over the fight and just played the sounds of some swords clanging and a couple guys shouting.  Wasn't that supposed to be the cliffhanger at the end of Season 2?

Maybe it's just me, but at this point, it seems like the characters are wandering around, marking time, until they can get to the last season when they can resolve the plotlines.  In the meantime, things happen, but they're less plot-driven than they are emotion-tugging.

Ah well, had to complain.

- Jim