l’estasi dell’oro! due contro cinque! also, thanksgiving or something.

so i grant you that it’s the time of the week when i sit down in my little Raiders pajamas and come up with some sort of rambling diatribe that maybe includes a joke or two. but for once, i am off on the holidays, which generally means that rather than curl up after work with a small collection of alcohol-filled bottles and compose my art here, i spent my “weekend” baking and baking and then maybe socializing with family… so i don’t really have anything here. it’s bad enough that the holidays are here and that they’re the season of the year i hate hate HATE so much; now i have to be fake-congenial on my days off as well? anyway, events did transpire that sort of filled up the days, so i guess that’s what i’ll discuss? feel free to just come back next week when i have a real update.

a sheltie that's not exactly Kip
found in the road: one of these, although not with the cool ring for jumping through

1200 11.26: having dropped off my little car to get tuned up, i’m now driving around in a pick-up truck in order to collect and destroy a series of raggedy old chairs (because everyone knows raggedy chairs must be vanquished pre-Thanksgiving); on my way to get them, i find my neighbor’s dog Kip standing in the middle of the road staring at me. generally, i run into three kinds of animals like this: horses and ponies, which i proceed to rescue while avoiding their long faces and sharp feet; opossums, which are fucking EVIL and which i allow to leave the road at their own pace; and dogs. in those cases i get out of my car and play with them in the road like the very mature adult that i am. some time later, i return Kip to his yard. note: next time i find him in the road, i’m going to keep him, dye his fur black and rename him “Lil’ Scoot.”

1900 11.26: the baking of the pies begins! generally, i make a large amount of these things for myself, family, co-workers and anyone else who made me feel appreciated this year; this year, however, local rapscallion “the Felkstar” again requests i make pumpkin pies that contain bananas. while normally i declare that no such event will occur, this year i tell him that if he brings me bananas, i will make a pumpkin-and-banana pie. i may regret this…

2130 11.26: having wrapped up the massive batch of normal pies, i begin to make a) the aforementioned pumpkin-and-banana pie and b) a pumpkin pie that contains both banana and chocolate. an offer to make a third variant that contains peanut butter is declined. i suppose it’s for the best, because if these pies suck, we’ll have wasted a lot of time and pumpkin. i also decline to make my grandmother’s suggestion of a “pumpkin pie that contains rum,” mainly because i am tired of baking pies, but it also occurs to me that i think eating such a pie would make her have an allergic reaction. why is she requesting pies that she can’t eat? weird.

2300 11.26: on the road getting late-night tacos!

2330 11.26: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

there's no arguing with delicious pies
there’s no arguing with delicious pies, although too many is never enough

also produced are the following ridiculous variant pies, which shall be known as experimental pie B6, “Truthful Promise” and experimental pie C9, “Sharp And Smooth.”

there's no arguing with delicious pies
pumpkin-banana on the left, pumpkin-banana-and-chocolate on the right

later it will turn out that my family is unable to tell that i have named my new pies after various Israeli and Lebanese military operations in the 2006 war; i suppose this is for the best because that’s probably not what you’re supposed to name pies after. but if it makes anyone feel better, my default pies are called “Undeniable Victory” after that Iranian offensive of 1982. though i use that reference all the time, it’s not just pie specific. i would probably call a pumpkin-and-peanut butter pie “Jerusalem Way”; i mean, come on, it was the first time Iran used human wave attacks in that war!

0900 11.27: the Felkstar and i break open our variant pies in order to make sure they a) cooked properly and b) won’t kill anyone when they get eaten. we survive; the Felkstar pronounces the pies “adequate.” i admit that this is not exactly a ringing endorsement, but, hey, what can you do?

0901 11.27: i realize that i am awake and functioning at fucking 9 AM on my day off and immediately go back to sleep.

1130 11.27: the Titans-Lions game comes on; i still hate the Titans from back when they were the Oilers and the Lions, well, they’re just sad. the Lions also find themselves losing 28-3 after a quarter and 35-10 at the half, which is about right; they would go on to lose 47-10, the worst Thanksgiving Day loss in their history. this game also reminds me that LenDale White is just about the fattest professional running back i have ever seen, and i fear his uniform pants are about to suffer a critical failure at any moment. also, the “bail out the Lions” sign would be even more funny if it wasn’t so accurate and sad.

1400 11.27: my pies get eaten and, shockingly, the experimental pies seem to go over with the masses fairly well, although for some reason some people seem to think that the pie laced with chocolate is flavored with coffee. really? anyway, no one dies from eating these pies. also, i try and prevent my sister from telling an inappropriate story during the meal but, sadly, i fail. let’s just say it has to do with my former roommate “Microsoft” and that she used a descriptive hand gesture. good lord.

awww, Romo crying
this is the only kind of Dallas Cowboys picture i want to see

1514 11.27: Dallas is about to face the Seahawks, who have been playing poorly this year, but because i have faith in the receding hairline and Boston accent of Matt Hasselbeck, i have a pretty good feeling about Seattle’s chances in this game.

1530-or-so 11.27: Dallas is beating Seattle 21-3 one quarter into the game (they would go on to a 34-9 victory). man… fuck Seattle. Dallas winning isn’t see as a good thing by anyone in my family; we might not all root for the same team, but we all agree that, as one salty old man once said, “any team with the audacity to call itself “America’s Team” deserves to be beaten soundly.” sadly, this doesn’t always come to pass.

shortly thereafter, we would break up our family gathering and send people back out of state and i would abscond with my remaining pie so as to eat it at my leisure while also drinking some Thanksgiving vodka. and that’s it; that’s the excellent update. i’ll have something real next week, i swear.

in which we discuss John Milius and how the opening theme from “Magnum Force” is awesome

seriously, it really is. but we’ll get to that in just one moment, for this week’s theme shall be “John Milius, and the things he has said and done that are completely awesome.” granted, it’s at this point that most people say something along the lines of “who the fuck is John Milius, and why should i care about him,” or, failing that, “man, does this website suck!” which makes me sad, not so much because of the disrespect aimed at me (eh, we’re used to it), but that aimed at Milius, who’s given us some pretty awesome things. granted, when your heroes are John Ford and Akira Kurosawa, you’re probably not going to live up to their examples, but still, maybe we could remember SOME of the things you’ve done, right? so let’s recap some of them!

a man's got to know his limitations
okay, i understand it was the 1970s and all, but really, try and tell me that the above credit sequence doesn’t look a little half-assed… even if the theme song is AWESOME

1971-1973: wrote screenplays and story for Dirty Harry and Magnum Force

myself and the Irishman watched these films today (well, okay, just the end of Dirty Harry) and while i did make some jokes about how Dirty Harry took a fiendishly clever murderer like the Zodiac Killer and turned him into lame-ass Scorpio, who’s what the Irishman called “a goober,” we also remarked that they’re still decent films, and Milius is partially responsible for that. actually, even more important: like i said, the opening theme from “Magnum Force” is awesome. really, the entire film’s opening credits are FANTASTIC: the theme is crazy-1970s-awesome; the visual of Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum is off-center and weirdly compelling, and the credits give you way too much information. do i really need to know who’s responsible for the make-up BEFORE i watch the film? no way. but the theme is excellent and i was unable to purchase it over the internet in a fit of… uh, well, a fit of “wanting to purchase it,” i guess.

so do yourself a favor and check them out, even if Scorpio’s more a weird liquor-store-owner-abuser than criminal mastermind and Harry Callahan has a WEIRD police badge (seriously, look at that thing) and Magnum Force contains a supposedly-silenced revolver (ugh) and a gratuitous Clint Eastwood versus Asian chick sex scene. these are all things you can overlook for the greater good. oh, and John Milius defends that last one by saying the scene’s in there “because Clint Eastwood received many fan letters from Asian women that contained sexual propositions.” seriously, John? well, whatever, i don’t care, i’ll still watch the film.

1972: demanded part of his payment for the screenplay for Jeremiah Johnson to be in antique firearms

i don’t know anything about this “Jeremiah Johnson” film; i’ve never seen it and the title sounds completely lame. what does the internet say about it? “a mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by Indians when he proves to be the match of their warriors in one-to-one combat on the early frontier.” oh, and “based upon a real-life trapper named John Johnston, nicknamed “Crow Killer” and “Liver Eater Johnston” for his penchant for cutting out and eating the livers of Crow Indians he had killed (several Crows had murdered his wife and he swore vengeance against the entire tribe).” wait a second… mountain man? Indian rage? the repeated and conspicuous consumption of livers? this sounds AWESOME. despite the inclusion of Robert Redford, it’s going on my Netflix queue, or rather, if i had Netflix, that’s where it would go. i guess i’ll rent it at Blockbuster?

ANYWAY, Milius wrote the screenplay for Jeremiah Johnson and the story goes that he demanded part of his fee to be in the form of antique firearms. this is awesome because it’s the kind of weirdo move i myself would pull. “sure, i’ll help you write the screenplay for Indiana Jones 5: Indy And Short Round Meet Frankenstein … but i want $100,000 and one of those rare M3 carbines. i saw one in a museum one time and it made me feel as light-headed as a young girl at a sock-hop in the 1950s.”

wow, the mental image created by that last part is just TERRIBLE.

1975: wrote the “USS Indianapolis” monologue for Jaws

one of the best monologues ever. what, you never saw Jaws? well, i can’t say i blame you, because it WAS responsible for the later creation of the sequel to end all sequels; that’s right, Jaws: the Revenge, where a killer shark travels 2000 km in under three days, ROARS somehow (seriously, watch the movie if you doubt this claim), and then explodes on contact with wood. but forget all that and enjoy this monologue:

“Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We’d just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin’ by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin’ and hollerin’ and sometimes that shark he go away… but sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn’t even seem to be livin’… ’til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin’ and your hollerin’ those sharks come in and… they rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don’t know how many sharks there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin’, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain’s mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he’d been bitten in half below the waist. At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol’ fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.”

the horror... the horror
well, let’s get serious here: who DOESN’T like the smell of napalm in the morning? or Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries? we’re talking about definitively awesome things i both cases, i think

1979: wrote the screenplay for Apocalypse Now

considering that the other excellent creative minds at work here are Francis Ford Coppola (who was notoriously almost killed by the making of this film), Michael Herr (who, as anyone who’s read Dispatches knows, is fucking insane) and Joseph Conrad (not even ALIVE, for crying out loud) … well, i give Milius a bunch of credit here as well. yeah, okay, Herr gets the credit for the scene with Roach (which is somehow LESS nuts than the real-life version of events), but Milius gets credit for the scene that discusses chopping villager’s arms off and lines like “i love the smell of napalm in the morning” and “Charlie don’t surf!” it’s true; the Vietnamese are not, on average, a surfing-loving people.

i suppose the moral of the story is that if you take John Milius and put him in a room with some paper and tell him he can base Vietnam War-era movies on people he knows and put every scene he wants to into a movie… well, you’re going to get some crazy but awesome stuff that may or may not involve a young Laurence Fishburne and/or a water buffalo being hacked to death. which, in total, will be cool. also, people should really pick up a copy of Herr’s Dispatches and check it out: there’s also some scenes from Full Metal Jacket in there, if that sweetens the deal for you.

1982: directed Conan The Barbarian

alright, it’s a given that someone was bound to make a movie about Robert E. Howard’s whimsical barbarian Conan eventually, so i suppose we’re lucky that we had this massive Austrian named Schwarzenegger to star in it; Milius has made some comments about having to “create him” if he hadn’t existed, which adds a weird new Dr. Frankenstein-like level of excellence and/or insanity to John Milius and which doesn’t make me like him any less. i can easily picture such a circumstance: “Oliver! i need to make a crazy barbarian movie! get me James Earl Jones and enough masculine parts to build the man of our dreams!” okay, it sounds a little Rocky Horror-esque there, but, you know, it will result in dudes getting slain, so relax.

ANYWAY, this movie, along with Predator, is pretty much the definitive “Arnold action movie”: they’re not as stupid as shit like “Commando,” they’re not overrated like “Terminator 2” and they’re not old-man Arnold action films. they’re basic but consistent action films where Arnold fucks up everything that moves angrily towards him (even James Earl Jones), and as far as Conan goes, i guess we can thank John Milius (and Oliver Stone) for that.

it’s also worth noting that this film stars former Oakland Raider Ben Davidson as Rexor, which just makes it that much better. that man has just about the greatest mustache of all time.

1983: credited as a “spiritual advisor” on Lone Wolf McQuade

okay, this is yet another film that i have never seen (it basically seems to involve Chuck Norris killing everyone in Texas and/or Mexico because of horse thievery and arms-dealing, as far as i can tell), but i don’t really have to, because John Milius is credited as a spiritual advisor and that means the whole mess can only be COMPLETELY EXCELLENT. what i’m curious about, though, is what he actually DID in his role as “spiritual advisor”: did some otherwise uncredited script work? helped Chuck Norris fight a bear? probably the latter. if nothing else, he at least managed to get himself credited as a “spiritual advisor” on a film, which is now sort of my goal in life. it’s sort of like being a film’s “reason for living,” i think, though if the film sucks, i guess it’s actually an indictment on your self-worth. which might suck.

all that hate keeps me warm
as the man once said, what more can i say? WOLVERINES!

1984: directed Red Dawn

so i probably don’t need to elaborate on how much i love Red Dawn; suffice to say that it’s great and it’s sort of the inspiration for my life and it’s DEFINITELY the reason why i am always spray-painting the declaration “WOLVERINES” onto things. along with “Road House,” it’s one of the Patrick Swayze films i will always, always stop and watch… and it’s written and directed by John Milius, who also, somewhat crazily, placed a caricature of himself as a drawing of Genghis Khan in said film. but that i am willing to forgive because of all the excellent violence.

now, i can get serious and debate the actual merits and flaws of this film: for example, it’s pretty dependent on backstory that’s never really explained beyond references here and there, and some of that backstory (the US suffering some tactical nuclear strikes, but Russia being able to mobilize and transport a large military force without suffering the same in response) is sometimes a little iffy, in my humble opinion. i know they say the concept is based on actual strategic thinking and US weaknesses at the time, but, hey, i’m just one man. but that being said, it’s still a film where i get to watch a bunch of random Soviet goons, be they Russian or Cuban, get mowed down by angry Midwestern teenagers with AKs. and that’s something pretty awesome.

plus, Family Guy once had a bit about a musical version of this film… which i would pay a large amount of money to actually see in person. if it was real. which it’s not. which makes me sad.

1998: the character of Walter Sobchak is based on John Milius

it’s well-known around these parts that i am fairly opposed to comedies; one of the few exceptions is 1998’s the Big Lebowski, which the Coen Brothers wrote and directed and which always makes be smile. and one of the reasons for that smile is the character of Walter Sobchak, a Vietnam veteran with a short fuse, a bunch of firearms and a strong devotion toward his adopted religion of Judaism. i had always seen Walter as a older version of a friend of mine (we’re pretty sure that’s how he’ll end up, anyway), but it also turns out that Walter is based on John Milius. or partially based on John Milius. whatever, let’s assume he’s at LEAST the inspiration for the scene with the Uzi, okay?

and that sounds both a) realistic and b) awesome. could i see John Milius demanding a man “mark it a zero” while menacing him with a 1911? yes, i could, and i am not convinced he would be wrong to do so. could i see him beating up a threatening squad of nihilists? i’m sure he’s already done this! could i see him berating Jeff Daniels for thinking he was rolling out of here naked? yes; i assume John Milius always has an Uzi concealed SOMEWHERE near him. basically, as far as i can tell, the Big Lebowski is a documentary about Milius being a cool guy.

2005-2007: produced HBO’s series Rome

HBO is the king of coming up with great shows like Deadwood that then end before they’re terrible and leave us with a weird conflict between “wishing they ran longer” and “appreciating that we didn’t have to watch them drag out sad, poorer-quality series conclusions.” and John Milius, along with Bruno Heller and William MacDonald, gave us one of these shows with Rome.

now i COULD make a case for watching it (also long as some degree of historical deviation doesn’t make you go completely out of your mind) based on the lavish sets and high-quality acting from cast members like Ciarán Hinds (best.Caesar.ever) and James Purefoy (who sort of ends up turning the later episodes into the Marc Antony Show), but frankly, everyone prefers things that are more… low-brow. so i’ll instead point out that there’s a bunch of blood and nudity throughout this show’s run, and that one of the main characters bites a man’s tongue out and then throws an axe into another guy’s chest. for which i give all the credit to John Milius, who i imagine sitting at a desk and yelling “AND THEN TITUS PULLO BITES HIS TONGUE OUT” as a resolution to every scene, ever. at least that’s how i would handle things if it was my show.

mark it a zero
yeah, you try telling me there’s no resemblance there

oh, and all that NRA-related stuff

Milius is a big supporter of the NRA and, as someone who’s a member of said organization (as well as the GOA and JPFO, but i guess that’s neither here nor there), i always vote for him to be on the board of directors. ALWAYS. because the man behind Red Dawn is the kind of man i want in charge of the things i love! but then, i also always vote for Tom Selleck to be on that same board because i fear the wrath of his mustache, so i guess i’m saying that MAYBE my criteria for voting support can get a little odd.

so there it is: John Milius is better than you or i will ever be. granted, i’m a fan of the man and so i’m easily able to come to terms with that fact, but since some of you might have a harder time with it, well, all i can say is “tough, deal with it.” after all, i hear something about how life isn’t fair, right?

Fallout 3, or “why i won’t leave my home for the next 13000 days”

yeah, for some reason, i skipped over the topic i hinted at two weeks ago last week, so we should probably rectify that now. and that topic would be… Fallout 3. now i’ve long touted the excellence of this series of RPGs (or turn-based strategy or whatever you want to label Fallout: Tactics as) and have played the hell out of them in my day (and even convinced my Irish sidekick to do the same, because he’s impressionable like that). they’re excellent and gritty games, they allow you to shoot guys in the eyes with large-caliber weapons instead of slaying them with some ridiculous Final Fantasy-style sword, and, as i have often said, they had some excellent voice acting. yeah, okay, i’ve probably run this into the ground, but here we go again: Fallout: Tactics featured R. Lee Ermey and Kurtwood Smith (best known around here for his “bitches leave” line in RoboCop) along with series stalwart Ron Pearlman, who overcame his caveman origins to become a great video game narrator. the whole series has a great “here’s what would happen to the world of the future that guys from the 1950s saw coming if it got exploded by nuclear weapons.” and since the only thing i rep harder than zombie apocalypses (yeah, hey, we’ll get to a Left 4 Dead post soon enough) is nuclear apocalypses… well, you see how i could get enthralled with this series.

however, in a moment of great sadness to nerds everywhere, some years back Black Isle Studios got killed off in the middle of developing a proper third entry in the series (operating under the title of Van Buren) that was considered 80-90% complete, though that might just have been nerd optimism. and many of us nerds feared that we’d never see another entry in the series… until 2004, when our local heroes at Bethesda Softworks announced they had the rights to make a sequel and were going to make one. what? but they were working on Oblivion and i think us cynics assumed we’d never see an actual product.

but then in 2007, we heard Ron Pearlman was involved, and teasers featuring my beloved Ink Spots appeared; you might recall the Ink Spots from… uh… well, they’re a group from the 1930s, so i guess just Fallout and that one Guinness ad where the drinker of Guinness is hallucinating about seeing Guinness everywhere to the tune of their “My Prayer.” and so, starting to think this was the real deal, i pre-ordered this game and prepared to be disappointed (because i am super-negative like that and, in fairness, there WAS that one console game that i am pretending didn’t happen). so what happened then?

wobble wobble shake it shake it

THAT awesomeness arrived. i am not ashamed to admit that i did a little dance. eh, fuck you, don’t judge me, that bobblehead is awesome. and it also came with a copy of this game called Fallout 3. and a lunchbox!

as for the game? having not beaten it yet because i spend a small amount of my time a) working or b) running around in a fictional wasteland fighting with robots for the hell of it (fuck that “plot progression” thing), i will still say it’s completely awesome. some points:

–voice acting is still excellent; beyond Pearlman, names that came in are Liam Neeson and Malcolm McDowell, both of whom we can probably agree have cool voices, even if McDowell DID have that whole “fisting” thing in Caligula that’s caused a co-worker to replicate it and FREAK US OUT all the damn time. also, you know, the no-names are quality as well. they’re just not at Ron Pearlman’s level of coolness.

–the game seems true to the originals, or at least true enough that you shouldn’t bitch about it. personally, i dig Fallout: Tactics, but apparently it was odd enough to be declared non-canon; that shouldn’t be an issue here. the soundtrack and atmosphere have that “future world based on an old vision of the future” feel, the Ink Spots returned for the game’s trailers, and all the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. and V.A.T.S. stuff is back for character-building and combat, respectively.

–as far as V.A.T.S. goes, you know, it’s definitely different because the game went from 3/4-overhead to first-person, but it still works in its current form. i’m a big enough man to take the gift of what V.A.T.S. is, even if it’s weird, because most current games would just say “fuck off” to the fans of turn-based gaming (me and, uh, i don’t know who else, but there’s got to be someone), whereas Bethesda Softworks didn’t and gave us this compromise method, which isn’t perfect, but which works.

–as a native of Maryland, as much as i enjoyed crawling around on the nuke-blasted remains of the west coast (Fallouts 1 and 2) or the midwest (Fallout: Tactics), it’s much neater in this game to crawl around in the nuke-blasted remains of the DC metro area. oh, and to play with Abraham Lincoln’s hat!

but most of all, having heard an old favorite was back in this game, i had to find out of this was the case. so what about your canine sidekick Dogmeat?

finding Dogmeat redux
i have to admit that when i finally tracked this scrappy little dog down on his trashy hiding place, i was way more excited than i should be about a computer-generated character

he’s back and he’s awesome and there’s not much that i find more awesome than adventuring with a loyal dog. i get legitimately nostalgic for the times i had an awesome dog, but since i don’t anymore, this computer-generated one is going to have to do. i mean, i COULD go play with the dog that lives next door, but that fucking thing is CRAZY. it bites at the back of my head and it’s never once helped me kill a super mutant! Dogmeat is way better.

Dogmeat killing anything that moves
i don’t give a fuck WHAT kind of “master” you are, super mutant, if you hurt my dog, i will fucking KILL YOU, and probably in a way that involves your head exploding after a critical strike

so buy Fallout 3 immediately and play it right after you get home and enjoy it, because it’s awesome. especially if you’re one of the guys i know who hasn’t been wild about all RPGs, but who really liked Bioshock; you should like Fallout 3 as well. you know what you have to do.

no, not that kind of PSP
standard house of hate news: originally, i was going to pick up another “assault weapon” around this time, what with president-elect Obama not being a huge fan of my hobby and all the gun dealers and purchasers either jacking up their prices or buying furiously in the throes of “Obama fever,” as i call it, but then this little guy came to me at a bit of a reduced price and i felt i couldn’t pass it up. i did that with a nicely-priced S&W M29 one time and i STILL feel bad about it. and recently i got this adorable little box!

no compromises

awww. and the insides are even better:

even less than no compromises

that’s right, it’s a little HK P7 (as seen used by Hans Gruber in Die Hard). that one there’s a little PSP model, which means it’s got some years on it (much like i do) and the magazine release is European-style, but it still has the squeeze-cocking and fixed barrel and all-around quality German engineering that we all love so much, even if the magazine capacity (8) might leave a little to be desired. but like i said, they love to price these things so that no man can afford them, so i’ll just be thankful for what i’ve got. okay? okay.

also, i wouldn’t expect a Left 4 Dead update next week, even though it drops shortly, because i have a lot of Fallout 3 to play. oh yeah.

the post-election response post: let’s get this over with

if i might paraphrase noted political pundit Chris Rock, my opinion as to the result of this election can be summed up with “Obama supporters too happy, McCain supporters too mad.” at this point, i may actually be apathetic enough to really have no opinion on the election. but although my body sickens and withers in the face of political discussion, it would be remiss of me to have NO update about this topic; after all, i DID make one update about the election in May. so let’s do this thing. also, just for backup, i’ll bring my robot friend along again. he seemed to enjoy himself last time.

I. CLUCK YOUR TONGUE, STROKE YOUR BEARD, TALK ABOUT “WHAT’S TO BE DONE WITH THIS OBAMA”

Obama and, uh, a unicorn
for some reason, there are a TON of images featuring Obama with unicorns on the internet; i’m not sure what’s going on with all that, but there it is

so Obama will be my next president; good for him, i suppose. actually, while i have some questions about how that’s going to work out, my REAL concerns mostly address the variety of Obama supporters out there. yes, i know none of them read what i write on the internet, so let’s just treat this as a rhetorical exercise.

so, the big question: why are you so happy? oh, i get that you’re pleased your candidate won; this isn’t a question followed with some “don’t you realize your guy sucks” discussion of policy. no, you see, i know two or three Obama supporters, and a ton of you guys seem to be having some religious experience. there’s all this talk of tears and being speechless and unable to describe the moment. so i’ll do it for you: “this candidate i really like won the presidency and i think that’s pretty cool.” see how easy that was? look, i’m not trying to be difficult here, but there’s SUCH an outpouring of emotion that i cannot make sense of it. granted, i didn’t vote for the dude, but let me make sure you’re aware of a couple of things:

–he wasn’t actually running against Bush, who would have been gone in 2008 either way;
–this ridiculous amount of emotion is really, really setting you up for the inevitable disappointment.

true, it might not seem like that now while you’re rooting in the slop of your victory, but you know all the things you love about what Obama “stands for?” he’s probably already changed his mind on them. or he’s going to. admittedly, i’m cynical, but what the fuck is he really going to do in the name of “CHANGE?” appoint different people to the Cabinet? even i could do that.

in short, what i am saying is this: if you CRIED because Obama won, there’s a problem there.

also, here’s a brain teaser that a relative and i were debating: we know a cousin of ours that’s a) a fundamentalist Christian and b) very pro-gun. he declared his intention to vote for Obama because of Colin Powell’s endorsement, but he also declared that Obama was most aligned with those two topics i mentioned. is it just us, or does that not make sense?

TTR
“I HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE MEATBAG JANKLOW ON THIS ISSUE, IN THAT YOUR DISPLAYS OF EMOTION ARE EVEN MORE DISTRESSING THAN USUAL. ALSO, OBAMA STILL REMAINS UNABLE TO MEET MINIMAL ROBOT STANDARDS FOR TRAVELING IN THE HARSH ENVIRONS OF SPACE.”

II. McCAIN IS NOT A FRIVOLOUS THING; HE HAS LITTLE, IF ANYTHING, TO DO WITH A DISOBEDIENT WHALE

McCain in better times
let’s discuss this picture for no reason: granted, i know he’s a senator and all, but he couldn’t have worn something besides a suit to go with all the body armor?

now, as you can probably imagine, on the Republican front, there’s a lot of recrimination and blame as to how this election went so wrong for said Republicans. i don’t waste a lot of time with that; i just blame Bush. i mean, okay, i used to wonder why people blamed EVERYTHING in life on Bush, but now i find it very liberating. Bush is the reason that McCain lost in 2008, the reason that Ehrlich lost in 2006, the reason that the Democrats control Congress, and, i’ll say it, the reason why little kids get leukemia. you think that’s funny, don’t you, Bush? that little kids have CANCER because of you? YOU FUCKING MONSTER!

but seriously now, i have given some angry, profane rants about some various personages as a result of this election, and while i generally keep them between those of us that represent the noble elephant and his associated political party, i’ll give you a taste:

why is it that the conservative faction of the GOP seems to think that the moderate faction of the GOP (that includes your hero, janklow) always has to bend to their demands? case in point: there was all this angst from them after Romney/Huckabee got shot down in the primaries, what with them claiming they wouldn’t turn out to vote if they weren’t appeased … and thus, we got Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential pick. THIS IS FUCKING RETARDED (and believe me, i was much more profane about this the first time around). if i have to vote for McCain/Palin and hold my nose while doing so because it’s better than the alternative, you’re telling me you couldn’t do the same and vote for McCain/Lieberman? and so on. that rant actually went on for some time; i can’t recall all the specifics of it, but it was righteously profane.

also, i could make some jokes about Palin here (i do have some harsh ones), but the funny thing is that my objections to her selection prompted my grandfather to call me sexist, which is just ridiculous, because a) not only am i almost certainly less sexist than him, as he’s a salty old dude who was born in 1879 or something and i’m an enlightened child of the modern age, but b) i have said and done a TON of things more sexist than merely not liking Sarah Palin. and yet this is what i get the label as a result of? get the fuck out of here!

TTR
“AS A ROBOT, I CANNOT TRULY FORM SYMPATHETIC EMOTIONS FOR McCAIN IN HIS TIME OF LOSS. ALSO, MY CONCERNS ABOUT McCAIN’S CALLOUS HANDLING OF MACHINERY SUCH AS JET AIRCRAFT DURING HIS YOUNGER DAYS HAVE NOT BEEN SATISFIED BY HIS LOSS.”

III. VOTING IN MARYLAND, AKA “EAST COAST CALIFORNIA”

Edgar Allan Poe, for some reason
Edgar Allan Poe: fighting against the dangers of voting in Maryland since 1849

so before the election, i made some noise about not bothering to vote; i’ve got a track record of participating in every primary and “real” election since 1998 or so, so i figured i was due for a break. unfortunately, not everyone agrees with that theory, so i said to myself, hey, let’s see if it really mattered that i voted. the results?

screen #1: president and vice-president of the United States: well, i didn’t vote for Obama, but not only did he win my state’s electoral votes easily, he won the election. so, clearly, it wasn’t necessary for me to weigh on this. also, it turns out that “the illustrious janklow” is NOT a legitimate choice for a write-in.

screen #2: representative in congress, congressional district 5: everything else on this screen was a single candidate election (guess who won) or a “continuance in office” vote, which always go through. that said, long-standing congressman Steny Hoyer was re-elected to his 15th term, despite my voting against him, making my vote unnecessary. reasons why i don’t support Hoyer? well, a) i’ve met the guy, and he struck me as a scumbag and b) his name is fucking Steny. STENY. if his parents couldn’t be bothered to give him a real name, why should i give him my vote?

screen #3: constitutional amendments about early voting and slot machines: i don’t really have a position on early voting, but it passed by a large margin, making my vote unnecessary. and as far as the slots go, i violently oppose them because of Martin O’Malley’s two-faced nature. he hated slots when Ehrlich wanted them, but now that he’s the governor, he thinks they’re a great idea. and the government can’t decide if they’ll save our budget or horse racing; still, they easily passed over my objections… making my vote unnecessary. though they DID cause me to hear a horse racing promoter on the radio compare the need for slots to the Colts leaving Baltimore, which was crazy because his position a) was such a shameless, shameless attempt to tap into an emotional event in Maryland that’s completely unrelated to slot machines and b) made it seem like the Colts were 100% in the right as to how all that went down.

screen #4: eh, boring shit: not really important. because, really, if the ONE thing my vote effects are a couple of charter amendments for my county, i still think the whole thing is a waste of my time.

TTR
“I HAVE LONG SAID THAT YOU WOULD BE BETTER SERVED STAYING HOME AND HELPING MY POLISH MY FUSION REACTOR, HUMAN. LIFE WOULD BE BETTER FOR YOU IF A COUNCIL OF ROBOT OVERLORDS WERE MAKING ALL YOUR DECISIONS ANYWAY. HOWEVER, I AGREE WITH YOUR STANCE ON SLOT MACHINES. HOW LOGICAL IS RELYING ON PROJECTIONS AS TO THEIR PROFITS IN A SUDDEN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN?”

yeah, that robot’s kind of an asshole, but it does make me feel better when we agree. still, next time, i figure i should get to skip voting without being called a “dumbass” or whatever other label is appropriate for non-voters. okay? okay.