post by: greg
James Joyce laughing at you.
If you have never tried to read James Joyce's "masterpiece" then let me drop a little prose on you.

"The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes: and their upturnpikepointandplace is at the knock out in the park where oranges have been laid to rust upon the green since devlinsfirst loved livvy."


What's up with that?

I actually brought this book up a few years ago with my English Professor at the University of Washington.  I said “I have a goal to read Finnegan’s Wake.”  and she answered…"Gawd!  Why?".  She sounded incredulous but in reality she was very wise.

Why would anyone waste their time on this book?

You could be reading Dickens or Asimov or Austen or, heck, Scalzi.  Don't read this book.

Which brings me back to the question of whether it is a joke or not? 

When a person of literary bent wants to reeaaallly lay claim to being a great reader of literature how does he distinguish himself from all the other literary pretenders.  Shakespeare?  No, anyone can read the bard.  Dickens?  No.  Well really I could throw out any other name here and you'll get no separation from your other literature-philes.

How do you do it?

You read and praise Finnegan's Wake.  You SAY you understood it.  You CLAIM to "get it".  You TOUT Joyce's genius.

And all the while it was the ultimate troll.  A book of drivel, meant to hoist the pretentious readers on their own petard.

The most epic troll ever conceived.

And for THAT I can concede his genius.

Permalink | Comments (0) March 2, 2015 at 5:33 AM
categories: Books -- tags: |

post by: greg

Permalink | Comments (0) February 26, 2015 at 9:13 AM
categories: Technology -- tags: | | | |

post by: greg

Ten best Handheld Weapons of Science Fiction or Fantasy

If you go out on the internet today and look for lists of the best weapons in Science Fiction and Fantasy you come across the same=old same-old.  Blah blah blah lightsaber.  I get the feeling that the people making up the list are young and not well read.  So here is my list, which draws on a much wider set of possible sources and I think really pulls together a GREAT list of the Best of the Best. 

Without further ado, on to the list!

Honory mention: Vogon Poetry - Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

For although it is not actually a weapon, nor is it handheld, it does induce pain and vomiting and in some rare cases death.  Listen at your own peril.


10. Crysknife - Dune

crysknife A knife made from the TOOTH OF A GIANT WORM!  How wicked is that.   Only a Freman warrior may possess one for they are given as a right of passage from youth to adult.

Did I mention it is made from the tooth of a GIANT WORM!

Sorta short.



9. Proton Pack - Ghostbusters

protonpackThe Proton Pack is one of the small perks of a Ghostbusters job.  Long hours, low pay, drafty old headquarters, contemptuous secretary and a burgeoning Armageddon.  So when you get to fire up your sweet beauty of forked lighting that is your proton pack, well that's a good day.

Stops any nasty Ghost right in its slime.

You have to wear an unlicensed nuclear reactor on your back.



8. Tron Disc

tron_large_02They can act as a frisbee like weapon, a shield, you can dip them in pure energy to get a hit, you can use them as a way to communicate with your user...I mean what more can a program ask for. And when Tron throws his disc and it splits the head of Master Control's servant, that was cool.

Money Line: [Tron] - "I'm also BETTER than you!" throw disc, kill Sark, easy.


Only available in the virtual realm.  Because all these other weapons are available in the _REAL_ world.  Right?



7. Spetsdod - The Man Who Never Missed

Man WhoNot the deadliest, not the easiest, but just plain cool. A little dart gun you wear on the back of your hand that's activated by pointing your index finger. BTW it's also from one of the best pure Sci Fi Novels of all time.

...and Emile Khadaji is just dang cool.

Small and quick and acts like pointing your finger.

Short range and if you are not Emile Khadaji and trained in the ways of the 97 steps you will not be able to use it against fully armored troops.  He is … so he can.




6. Anduril - Lord of the Rings

Anduril2_pngFlame of the west.

Aragorn's sword.  The blade that was broken, now re-forged.  It was a key piece of a couple key scenes missing in the movie that were in the book that I dearly loved.  First Aragorn declares himself to Eomer on the plain of Rohan by drawing Anduril and holding it aloft, great scene and sorely missing from the movie.  And two - after the battle of Pelinor fields he unsheathed it and vowed to never sheath it again until the end of the war.

Come on the sword of the King of Gondor.

Used and repaired, make sure to check the car-fax before purchasing.




5. Lightsaber - Star Wars

star-wars-lightsaber-chopsticks-darth-vader-3004940-0-1369153863000The Lightsaber is considered by many to be the ultimate hand-held weapon ever in Science Fiction or Fantasy.  It is closely tied to the Jedi or Sith and has been described as an elegant weapon from a more civilized age.  I would argue that besides its bright color its performance depends on the skill of the wielder.  If you are NOT a Jedi then you are likely to injure or kill yourself with one.

Very cool.

The Swiss army knife of weapons a true multi-purpose tool.  With the pre-requisite of many years of training you can use it as a defense weapon against blasters, a tool to cut your way into rooms or the bellies of All Terrain vehicles, and fight Sith Lords in epic duels.

Said training is very much required to not kill yourself with one.  Many years in fact, unless you are named Luke, then just a few short weeks will do.



4. Diskos - The Night Land

th3FZAT8BGIf you haven't read it, go and read it: "The Night Land", better yet go read "The Night Land - A Story Retold" which is the same story but with re-written prose that makes it much more readable (although I found the original, even with its weird prose to be a compelling read).

The Diskos is a semi-sentient life bonded weapon that has a spinning Disk on the end of it.  It can extend up to 20 feet or more, it cuts through flesh, it is imbued with electric-holy-magical-goodness that does extra damage to the evil beasts out in the dark.   Wicked weapon.

Can be shrunk and lengthened from 4 feet or so to 20 feet or so.  Double damage to evil creatures with a double-plus bonus on critical hit.  Linked to its owner from birth.

If you are using it, you are either outside the Last Redoubt in the dark and alone and likely to die or you are inside the Last Redoubt at the end of times and the monsters are inside with you and you are likely to die.



3. Stormbringer - Elric of Melnibone

stormbringer-rpgWicked evil weapon.  The evilist weapon in the history of Fantasy.  It basically kills ALL of Elric's closest friends through the book series and ends up killing Elric also (spoiler sorry).  And by kill I mean horribly sucking the soul of the victim out to harness their life-force.

Super cool.  Gives the user strength and power.

Evil, sentient and homicidal.  It will end up eating the soul of all your friends and family.




2. Cohe wand - Leige Killer

imagesThe Cohe wand is used by the Paratwa, a race of super humans. It is kinda like an energy lasso. And the Paratwa can use it to DEADLY affect.  I am in fact re-reading this book right now - so far its a really REALLY good read.

Wicked tool paired with Übermensch assassins - the Paratwa - who were instrumental in the destruction of Earth.  Terrifying.

Wicked tool paired with Übermensch assassins - the Paratwa - who were instrumental in the destruction of Earth.  Terrifying.




1. A Good Blaster by Your Side - Everywhere (Star Wars)

list_2_66_20101210_081130_514"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." - H. Solo.

It's awfully hard to argue with Mr. Solo on this one. Although I don't want one of the ones that's used by the Stormtroopers, I think the sights are off because they can't hit a damn thing.

The cool guys always have them: Han, Mal, Deckard

You can get one anywhere.  Easy to use.  Low slung on the hip they look really REALLY cool!

When you're up against a Jedi (or a Sith, or Paratwa or Predator etc.) they're pretty much worthless.

Permalink | Comments (0) February 25, 2015 at 4:43 AM
categories: SciFi -- tags: |

post by: greg

Mike-Rowe-2243I don’t mean Hero – we have many of those in our Firemen and Soldiers et. al.

I don’t mean Business leaders – we have many Gates et. al.

I don’t mean great thinkers – we have many of those too.

Nor stars whether on the screen or the field.

I mean AMERICAN as in someone that GETS America.  I think he sees clearly some of the problems that are affecting society and some of the obvious potential solutions.

Read his latest post on Facebook regarding the comments by Howard Dean on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's lack of a college degree.  Mike Rowe nails this one as far as I am concerned.  Just eviscerates Dean's comment and tells a great story to boot.

Brilliant and spot on.  We have become a society that values its Mandarin Credentialism over Competence.  To gain a spot in our Senate it is almost required that you attend Harvard or Yale.  Why?  What a stupid system.

But in a world where an unqualified junior Senator with 18 months of Federal Office experience can be elected President - well it's credentials, credentials, credentials all the way down....

Permalink | Comments (0) February 24, 2015 at 4:52 AM
categories: America -- tags: |

post by: greg

Permalink | Comments (0) February 23, 2015 at 5:09 AM
categories: Sport -- tags: |

post by: greg

Permalink | Comments (0) February 23, 2015 at 4:02 AM
categories: Human -- tags:

post by: greg

This is not the first time that Niagara has "Frozen". Take a look back through time: 1900,1903, 1951 etc. It's happened a lot.

A Look Back at a Frozen Niagara Falls: Photos.

Very Cool!

Permalink | Comments (0) February 20, 2015 at 2:54 PM
categories: Weather -- tags: | |

post by: greg

The basic premise is that Google has become the entrenched dinosaur and Microsoft is becoming the innovative challenger.  Pretty interesting.

Permalink | Comments (0) February 19, 2015 at 4:40 PM
categories: Internet -- tags: |

post by: greg

I have created the greatest widget for BlogEngine.Net in the history of blogenginenessity.

Behold the RSS Reader Plus!

Kneel before Zod and despair … not the best reference but I don’t care.

What does it do?

  • You can add an RSS feed
  • You can specify the number of posts you want to see
  • You can add more than one feed
  • …um…cake.

One of the coolest things about it from my perspective is that it can handle ANY type of XML format of ANY type of news feed.  I solved this by stealing borrowing an XSL transform that a smart person built out specifically for this purpose.  It loads the RSS, loads the Transform, applies it against the RSS and voila pretty HTML.  It’s really cool.

Download it here: zip

Great XSLT borrowed from here:

Permalink | Comments (0) February 19, 2015 at 12:32 PM
categories: Technology -- tags:

post by: greg

The Sounders have not made any huge roster additions in the off-season but still there are some significant developments in the starting 11.

Most dramatically is the expected move of Brad Evans from Midfield to Center Fullback.  This move re-jiggers the team some and immediately makes the defense stronger (In My Humble Opinion).  It strengthens the center and gives Sigi three quality players to work with in the center: Brad, Chad Marshall and Zach Scott.  This is a good move and I approve.

Secondly Ozzie is injured and has undergone surgery just this month.  I don’t think he’ll be starting for the Sounders on opening day.  This sucks.  Michael Azira or Andy Rose will need to really step up their game to fill the gap left with his absence.

Here is the updated Chart from (original here).


Permalink | Comments (0) February 13, 2015 at 10:12 AM
categories: Sport -- tags: |



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