I was listening to some music on iTunes last night, downloading a few songs from 'Song of the Day' cards from Starbucks, and I decided to play a little game of Solitaire.
When I was younger and lived at my parents' house, I would sit in front of my computer in my windowless, basement bedroom and play Solitaire for hours and hours. Literally. I would just zone out and think about other things. It was kind of like meditation.... in a way..... ^_^
When I won a game within the first five minutes, before my second song was finished playing, I was actually a little irritated. Since when has it been so easy to win a game of Solitaire? Never, that's when! I closed the program, then brought it back up. Sure enough, again I won quickly. As I watched the little cards cascade down from their piles on top of the screen, I began to reminisce about the good old days...
In the good old days, you would sit for hours and never come close to winning. You would acquire superstitious habits relating to the game such as:
- Under the options tab, the scoring had to be set to 'Vegas' and the deck options 'draw three'. Otherwise the cards would just keep going and going and going. They were laughing at you.
- The deck you chose had no influence on the cards. You could pick whichever one you wanted (I liked the old school bats ^_^). Although sometimes you would change the deck to see if you could fool the cards into letting you win.
- If there were multiple places clear to place a king, you must always place this card as far left as you can (my grandfather and I disagreed here.... he thought you must place the kings as far right as you can. Obviously he was wrong).
- If there were multiple cards to turn over, you must start with the left-most card and work your way right.
- A long and complicated rule.... Once a card was resting in one of the four piles at the top of the screen, you could not pull it back down. Even if, for instance, you had a five of spades in its neat little pile, and just dealt is a four of hearts, and right behind the four is an ACE, the last ace you need! It was important to resist the tempation to bring the five down and place it on a six of diamonds just so you had a place to put the four so you could get to the ace. Although the program allowed you to do that, it was cheating. The Solitaire gods frowned on that, so if you did it, you would lose.
- And finally, if, just if, you did manage to win, you must allow the cards to finish cascading down the front of your computer. And keep in mind that this took a long time in the old days of brutally slow computers. If you (god forbid) clicked and halted the cascade of cards, you would never win again.
- Finally, after winning, you must not test the Solitaire god's patience. As soon as the cards finished cascading, and the dialog box popped up asking you if you want to deal again, you click no and immediately exit the game, thanking the Solitaire gods for showering you with their favor.
Ah, the good old days.... I'm sure everyone remembers Solitaire supersititions.
I read an article today that I found both amusing and sad at the same time.
The article details how an Iraqi fisherman caught a shark in a river approximately 160 miles away from the ocean. Barriers in the river usually prevents sharks from reaching the river - the fisherman (and his sons) had never seen a shark, and only recognized it from programs they had seen on television.
This was the amusing/sad part of the article:
"Locals blamed the U.S. military for the shark's presence.
Tahseen Ali, a teacher, said there was a "75 percent chance" Americans had put the shark in the water.
"This is very frightening for us. Our children always swim in the river and I believe that there are more sharks. I believe that America is behind this matter," said fisherman Hatim Karim."
Funny because "pfft, yeah, right, we put sharks in Iraq's rivers!"
Sad because "wow.... they hate us so much they're blaming everything on us."
Who knows. Maybe we did put the shark there. But one thing seems obvious to me; we're doing a lot more wrong than that in Iraq.
Bob and I are on our lunch breaks, chatting on the phone.
Bob: So, what are we having for dinner?
Me: I have no idea.
Bob: Oh come on, what do you feel like?
Me: ...... Italian Chicken Sandwiches? (As in from Burger King... food of the Gods!)
Bob: ..... Anything else?
Me: Brightening up considerably. Dominoes Pizza? (BETTER food of the Gods!)
Bob: ...... Anything else?
Me: Well, no.
Bob: Those are pretty much your two fallbacks, huh?
Me: Yeah, pretty much.
Bob: Maybe I'll just bring something home.
Me: Oh. Okay.
No Dominoes for me.....
I am at work, it's about 9:45 Friday morning. I wander out of my office, Starbucks coffee in hand. I see office manager Hugh standing in the middle of the room looking dazed. I walk up to him and sigh.
Me: Hugh, my brain just isn't working yet this morning.
Hugh: (pulls his wallet out of his pocket) Do you want more money?
Me: ............... What?
Hugh: ......... I mean.... I'll buy you more coffee if you want to go get me coffee.
Me: (laughing) Looks like my brain isn't the only one not working this morning!
A Cyanide and Happiness comic!!!!
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net
I was looking up Bitch magazine (feminist response to pop culture... great mag!) and skimming their blog when I ran across a blog entry about a Washington Post article called:
Guidelines: Treat Nearly All Women as Pre-Pregnant
By January W. PayneWashington Post Staff WriterTuesday, May 16, 2006
New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon...."
I realize that the article was published well over a year ago, but it bears mentioning anyway.
The article talks about how women should be conscious of their health, and should "take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control." Uh.... yeah... obviously it's a good idea to stop smoking and take care of yourself. But they don't tell you to do it because it's smart and good for you, they tell you to do it for your future unborn children, whether you want them or not.
"Preconception care should be delivered by any doctor a patient sees -- from her primary care physician to her gynecologist. It involves developing a "reproductive health plan" that details if and when children are planned, said Janis Biermann, a report co-author and vice president for education and health promotion at the March of Dimes.
"The recommendations say we need to be opportunistic," or deliver care and counseling when opportunities arise, said Merry-K. Moos, a professor in the University of North Carolina's maternal fetal medicine division who sat on the CDC advisory panel. "Healthier women have healthier pregnancies."
So, as a woman capable of reproducing, federal guidelines recommend that medically I be seen not as myself, but as a "pre-pregnant" baby factory. Great.
It's not that I don't understand that unhealthy, accidental pregnancies are a problem, and I agree that there should be information out there and readily available for women. But I find federal guidlines that ask that women be considered "pre-pregnant" for the time "between first menstrual period and menopause" (so what, you should be seen as "pre-pregnant when you're twelve???) absolutely, incredibly, offensive.
I will continue to drink, I will not be taking folic acid supplements, and if my doctor mentions a reproductive health plan it'll be the last time she sees me.
I am NOT pre-pregnant.
Actually, I should amend one of my statements - I will not be taking folic acid supplements because I'm pre-pregnant. I learned that folic acid is actually pretty good for you... studies have shown that taken in the proper quantities it can help reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. ^_^
This is what paying rent feels like:
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. "
Every morning when I went to public school the entire class rose, put their hands over their hearts, and repeated this pledge. Bob and I were talking about this last night. I had asked him if he believed that school sanctioned religious icons should be permitted on public school grounds, and it led us to begin discussing the obviously religiously-bent pledge of allegiance. We didn't spent too long discussing it; I mentioned that I didn't believe children should have to say the pledge, that it creates obedient brainwashed drones, that sort of thing, and Bob decided to look it up in the internet.
We learned some very interesting things about the pledge.
The pledge was originally created for an advertising campaign. Yes, every morning children recite AD COPY. In 1892 Baptist minister Francis Bellamy was approached by the owners of a children's magazine called 'Youth's Companion' who asked Bellamy to write the pledge for their advertising campain. The original pledge read: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Much better. I wouldn't mind repeating that. The pledge was first used in public schools on Columbus Day in 1892.
All was well for a while... .
In 1923 the National Flag Conference called for the words "my flag" to be changed to "the flag of the United States." The words "of America" were added a year later. The reason given for this change was so immigrants knew which flag they were pledging allegiance to.
In 1940 the Supreme Court ruled that students in public schools could be compelled to recite the pledge of allegiance, even Jehovah's Witnesses, who considered the flag slaute to be idolatry. After this ruling there was a surge of violence against Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Supreme Court reversed the decision in 1943, stating that "compulsory unification of opinion" violated the First Amendment.
it wasn't until 1945 that Congress recognized the pledge as the official national pledge.
Interestingly enough, before World War II the pledge would begin with the right hand over the heart during the phrase "I pledge allegiance". The arm was then extended toward the Flag at the phrase "to the Flag", and it remained outstretched during the rest of the pledge, with the palm facing upward, as if to lift the flag. Heil, Hitler? During WWII the custom was changed.
It wasn't until 1951 that anyone even officially suggested that reference to God be added to the pledge. The Knights of Columbus felt that the pledge was incomplete without religious reference, and in New York ('51) the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend their recitation of pledge of allegiance at the opening of each of the meetings of the 800 Fourth Degree Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus by addition of the words "under God" after the words "one nation." In the following two years, the idea spread throughout Knights of Columbus organizations nationwide. The words "under God" were from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which the Knights felt lent it authority.
The Knights tried for a long time to get the US to adopt their new wording, and finally George McPherson Docherty, a Presbyterian minister, talked to President Dwight Eisenhower and convinced him. In 1954 it was signed into law.
So we went from "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all..."
"..."I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. "
This might not seem such a bad thing, but with the words "under God" the pledge seems to imply that religion is an essential part of American life. For example, President George H. W. Bush has stated that atheists are not "citizens" or "patriots" because "[t]his is one nation under God." (American Atheist News Journal, Robert I. Sherman) ..... excuse me? Do I not have the right to freedom of religion?
I say the pledge, as it stands now, adopted officially by the United States Government, is a slap in the face to those of us who are excercising our freedom of religion to be atheists, polytheists, agnostics, and every religion that "under God" would not apply to. Thanks a lot for endorsing monotheism, America. You suck.
(Check out the Wikipedia article where we did most of our research)
Last night I had a crazy dream:
Normal evening at home, except Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spike, that is) came over to hang out with me. We talked, had a drink, and I was fully intending to fulfill my long-held fantasy of having intimate relations with Spike when he had to leave. Damnit.
Next I found myself in an Umbrella Corporation headquarters. I was in a huge room with several scientists observing an infected zombie hammerhead shark. The aquarium was one of those giant floor to ceiling wall of glass aquariums, the better to observe the zombie shark's behaviour. The shark began pounding its head against the glass, and the glass began to crack. I turned and fled from the room, telling all Umbrella Corporation employees that I came across that the headquarters was about to be flooded and the zombie shark was about to escape. I made it to the elevator and got away.
Safely (or not) back at home, I became aware that a group of people were coming to raid my home and kill me. I had a perfect hiding place, but for it to be perfect there was a series of actions I had to take, including closing a certain window in the room I was going to hide in. I completed everything but closing that window, and by the time I remembered it was too late. The villains had invaded my home and captured me. I told them that before they killed me, I had to visit my sister. Being the kindly sort of murderers they were inclined to grant my last request, and took me to see Caroline.
I told Caroline what was going on, and asked for her help. She gravely informed me that she had aromatherapy time travel. With painstaking care, she laid out four gauze pads and four tiny vials. From each vial she poured exactly four drops onto each of the four gauze pads. I sniffed each one (they all smelled really good), and....
...went about my business until I realized that I had traveled back in time! I rushed about the house completing all my hiding preparations, and this time I remembered to close the window. Success!
When I woke up at one o'clock in the morning I immediately woke Bob up to tell him my dream. He was not as interested as I had expected him to be, and kept mumbling something about me waking him up, and it being one o'clock in the morning....
Resident Evil: Extinction
** out of ****
Check it out, it's the return of the movie review! ^_^
I wish I was happier to be reviewing this film, but as far as disappointments go, this one was pretty high up on the scale. High being bad. I was so excited to see the new Resident Evil movie. Even though Resident Evil: Apocalypse was nowhere near as good as the first one, it was still more than entertaining with great action sequences (despite my issues with Milla Jovovich as an action hero) and Nemesis! I mean, the first Resident Evil movie is the movie I put in when I want to watch a movie but don't know what I want to watch. I've seen them both thousands of times. Of course I was excited about seeing Extinction!
Premise: Zombies. Lots and lots and lots of zombies. The infection spread through Raccoon City, through North America, through the whole world. Imagine that; what a surprise. Anyway, a small band of survivors led by Ali Larter as Claire Redfield carefully caravan their way through the Nevada desert, dodging some pretty sickly looking zombies. Milla Jovovich as the infamous Alice, enhanced soldier newly endowed with psionic abilities, meets up with them. Suddenly not only are they dodging zombies, they're dodging the Umbrella Corporation who is looking reclaim Project Alice, and don't care who they kill along the way.
Fairly decent premise. Looked like it could potentially be a good movie. And now here is my list of complaints. Be forwarned, there are a few spoilers in here.
1. TERRIBLE writing. The dialog, especially for Claire Redfield and Alice was just awful. This is unusual for the Resident Evil movies. Neither of the other two suffered from bad writing.
2. Ali Larter made a god-awful Claire Redfield. To be fair, Larter is not my favorite actress anyway. I didn't like her at all in Heroes. And the writing was poor, making her character completely one dimensional and uninteresting. But Larter still sucked.
3. Ermm... how about the glamor shots all the way through the movie? The women traveling caravan style without showers look way dirty from a distance, but zoom in close and you'll see that their makeup is 100% perfect, and their faces 100% clean!
4. This is a big one right here: All the people traveling in the caravan have lived through basically the end of the world. Presumably they've all seen hundreds of people bitten get sick and turn into the ravening undead. So WHY THE HELL don't ANY of them seem to notice when one idiot gets bitten and tries to hide it? "Gee, L.J. is looking pretty sick. Doesn't that seem kind of familiar?" ....... "Nah, don't be silly. He just has a cold or something."
5. Claire Redfield: Badass, hardened caravan leader one minute. The next; "I just don't know if we should go to Alaska, let's have everyone vote cause I just couldn't possibly make that decision, even though up until now I've been the hardass commander and everyone does what I say without question!"
6. Bitten soldier Carlos decides to sacrifice himself to help the others before he turns into a zombie. Walks down the line of three tearful women bidding farewell. Two of those tearful women being hard soldier types. GAG ME.
7. Bitten soldier Carlos decides to sacrifice himself to help the others before he turns into a zombie. Alice, apparently struck by the thought that she'll never see him again, gives him a huge kiss. Gee, that was nice, Alice. I bet Carlos would have liked to get some BEFORE he was dying. I mean, come on! You've been through two movies together!
8. Every single time we see a scene in one of the Umbrella Corporation underground bases, it has to do the special computer map thing from the first one and play the exact same music. The first time, it was clever. The 3,000th time, it was boring and annoying. Believe it or not, we no longer care how deep they are underground!
9. The head chairman of the Umbrella Corp wears sunglasses. Underground. Inside. All the time. Is he blind? I seriously doubt it. Just incredibly lame.
10. It has been years since the second film. Alice has been dealing with manifestations of her telekinetic powers for that whole time. She pulls a really cool stunt in the middle of the movie - like awesome cool stunt. But suddenly when she's in the middle of the battle with the end boss, all she can do is throw him across a room and suddenly she has a migraine? PFFFFT!
11. End of the movie, Umbrella Corp is having a board meeting. Board members use projections of themselves to attend. Alice projects herself into the meeting, all threatening, and tells them she's coming. "And I'm bringing some friends." It'll be, like, so awesome! We can, like, party, and, like, invite boys over....
12. AND THE THING THAT PISSED ME OFF THE MOST: Alice has been portrayed in both movies as a hardened soldier. Even in the first one, before she had regained her memories, she handled dead people and zombies like a pro, and didn't let anyone mess with her. Second movie she's even more of a hardened soldier. She's been through a ton, and now she's an enhanced super-soldier. Wow. Yep, badass. SUDDENLY in the third movie, she's super nice to everyone. Except for two scenes her fighting prowess seems to have deserted her. AND she takes shit from Claire Redfield. WHAT?!?! Alice would be like the crazy awesome bitch from hell at this point. After being on her own for the few year gap between the second and third movies you would think she would have gotten even more bad ass, not more LAME. Come ON!
And that concludes my rant.
On the other side of things, there were some awesome fight scenes. There were some very cool special effects. And hell, it's a zombie movie, so it's worth watching. And Milla Jovovich does have some moments where she's ridiculously cool. Just be prepared.