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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I'm sorry about not writing sooner, but May is that sort of month.  As I mentioned in my previous post, May 5th was the 8th anniversary of my brother's death.  May 15th marked the seventh anniversary of my Mom's death.  I'm not broken in the same way, but I'm still not the person I was before those events and every year requires me to go back and consider myself and what I've done with my life.

As usual, what I see is not good.

But, it is what it is, and repeating the same post over and over isn't going to change it.  I am fixing myself, but slowly, probably too slowly.

- Jim

Monday, May 05, 2014

Hello there.

So, it's May 5th, 2014.  May is that month.  Eight years ago, it was the month of hell that tore all semblance of organization and future from my life.  It's probably silly, but it was the month I broke.  Waitaminute - before I go on, I know how corny that sounds.  Other people live through much worse than I did and they move on.  Other people have broken much worse in their lives than I did as well.  I agree.  In the grand scheme of things, the events of that month weren't all that much and taken individually they should have led to no more than me being sad for a few weeks or months.

But, I'm not other people.  Those events didn't happen individually.  I broke and I never moved on.  I'm not blaming anyone or begging for anything.  It was never about a single person or event but rather that everything happened all at the same time until I cracked.

I've moved on a bit, sort of.  Instead of moving along on the road of life, I took a detour and ended up on a dead-end street.  I'm here, but little more than that.

This post was never meant to be about me, only about background, yet here I am.  Sorry about that.  Today isn't the anniversary of the Month of Hell, today marks eight years after my brother passed away.  I miss you Mike.  RIP.

- Jim

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Just wanted to say Happy Easter!

Things are going well.  I've had to take some time to resolve issues stemming from the past week, but things are progressing and are nearly back to normal, or at least normal enough.

God is Good.

- Jim

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I was wrong.  I'm not going anywhere, at least for the moment. 

I love my friends.  I'm serious. Life is good.

- Jim

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I suffered an enormous setback earlier in the week.  I'm still not entirely sure whether it was a hardware or software failure, but my computer died for a while.  I've brought her back from the dead, but I'm still in the process of picking up the pieces.  The cure was far better than the disease, but they were both nearly as dramatic.  Not much of importance was lost, but restoring the system to its former flow will take some time.

Time that I don't have.  No, I don't mean it like that.  I'm not dying - that I know of anyway.  But, there are other events coming that will stop everything cold.  It doesn't look like there was any way to avoid it and if there was, I missed the opportunity.

I'll probably miss it, so Happy early Easter to everyone.

- Jim

Monday, April 07, 2014

I'd have written a week ago, but I ended up catching some cold or flu bug that was going around and never got around to it.  I'm not seriously sick or anything, but it was seriously getting in the way of doing anything remotely productive.  Hell, at some points, I couldn't even watch television without spacing out and forgetting half of it.

Ah well.  I'm getting better.  Whatever it was, I'm beating it slowly.

The new season of Game of Thrones started.  Amazingly, I watched the episode almost as it was broadcast.  I paused it a few times while playing it to deal with being sick, and I had to rewind it a couple times to check stuff, but that's usually how I watch shows regardless.  Except for watching them right away, I mean.  I love my DVR almost too much.

Of course, I will need to watch it again, later, to keep up with the series.  I dislike waiting a whole week for an episode to come out because details get lost over time and Game of Thrones is a really big series. 

Hmm... I didn't mean to make this whole post about Game of Thrones, but I just did.  Maybe the next post will be about me. 

We'll see,

- Jim

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A letter to Baranto Llama

The internet is a crazy source of information, much of it illegitimate and almost all of it involves porn of some kind.  Still, there are crazy nuggets of truth out there for those who are willing to look for it.

No, I'm not suggesting that the missing Malaysian Airlines was abducted by UFOs.  The people who believe that are weirder than most.  Yeah, it's a big universe and yeah, I suppose it's theoretically possible that an advanced civilization travelled hundreds (or thousands, or millions) of light-years to steal our airline peanuts and watch our inflight movies, but until there is a shred of proof besides zero, I'm going to have to choose not to believe it.  Seriously, do these people suspect alien involvement every time they lose their keys and can't find them after fifteen minutes?

Oh yeah, Baranto Llama.  I know it's not his name. 

Recently in the news, there's been another person who complained about the state of foreign affairs while mangling the name of a world leader - namely the President of the United States.  While it's okay if you don't know the President of Uganda (assuming you don't live there), you're probably going to want to know his name if you're complaining about the state of affairs there.

By the way, the President of Uganda is Yoweri Museveni.

Besides, in the era of internet, you should be able to find an accurate spelling of what you're looking for.  Don't give me that autocorrect crap - yeah, autocorrect is moronic at times, but proofreading before you hit send is always a good idea anyway. 

- Jim

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Yeah, I know.  I haven't written in a long while.  I've been busy and there's been less results from it.  I have less and less time to spend on new and exciting projects as all the older ones require upkeep.  It's crazy how things work.

At the moment, I'm working my way through the Game of Thrones series again after I got Season 3 on blu-ray.  I've got just over a month before the new series starts, which means I'll have to try to stay away from the internet to avoid all the spoilers that I managed to miss so far.

In the meantime, I'm writing less and working less on other things.  It's the way things are.  Oh yeah - I got the Firefly series on blu-ray last week.  It was a good change of pace from things I was working on at the time. 

As I've said before, I try and keep my Twitter account generally up to date.  You'll find recent highlights over on the right side of the screen.  =======================>

- Jim

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nope, I'm not dead.  Sorry to disappoint you.  I've been busy with reading, writing, reading, family stuff, and reading.  Nothing major to report - just some library books, really, to cross off the never-ending list of stuff I want to do.  I have high hopes about the writing thing, but I'm still in the process of polishing and I'm not going to rush it until I make sure it's the best I could do.

Yeah, I know the real world doesn't operate like that.  I can't either, but since I have some extra time, I want to make sure that I take the time I can.  I can't say that none of it is procrastination or that I couldn't rush it just a bit more, but I will say that much of it is necessary.

There comes a point where good enough is good enough, but I'm not there yet.

High hopes,


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year!

- Jim