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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Question & Answer

Question: Does this vest make me look fat?

Answer: No, it makes you look like a freakin’ Swedish elf.

Doodles of Doom in Retrospect

I think we had a great body of entries for the Doodles of Doom contest, but if I run one again, I’m inviting this guy to play. If you follow the links, I think that everyone would admit that he would have been in the running for the top spot.

And, now, bringing it all home: of all the people that came through and viewed those pictures, how many of them thought that those sketches represented something dangerous, threatening, or scary? The young man who was suspended from school for sketching a “laser gun” on his homework doesn’t sound any more dangerous or frightening than the people who entered this contest; his doodle no more dangerous than any other piece of paper with scribblings on it.

I leave room to consider that there were extenuating circumstances: did he write something threatening to the teacher? Has he displayed a real weapon in the classroom before? Was there something to make the faculty of the school believe that it wasn’t a drawing of a gun, but a threat to a specific individual? Obviously, the view from the news stories is going to be limited, but his mother seemed awfully credible when she said that wasn’t the case and that all he had done was draw a laser gun on his homework.

I’ve known parents who won’t let their children play with anything that approximates a gun, though, and I know the animosity some people have towards guns. I can easily imagine that animosity spilling over to an irrational response in a school and blaming that response on some zero tolerance rules related to some high profile school shooting. If the kid had actually brought in a functional weapon, I would understand the response; but I’m guessing that if he had brought in one live round, the response would have been even more over the top. And exactly how dangerous is that .45 ACP round without a weapon to shoot it from?

This kind of fear of guns isn’t based on anything rational; it’s born of emotions unfettered by thought and propped up with a tremendous amount of ignorance.

Anyway, if you think that this was fun and would like to play again, give me your suggestions and I’ll be happy to host them.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Open Call for Suggestions

Okay, folks, in my freelance work, I’ve installed blogging software for a couple companies. I’ve installed and customized MoveableType, ExpressionEngine, and Wordpress--and I’ve only done it for smaller companies whose hosts are LAMP boxes. One of my long time clients runs their site on a Windows box and just asked me about setting up a blog on their site--something I can customize with their look and feel.

Which is all well and good except for one thing: I have no experience with any blogging software (preferably inexpensive or open source) that runs in an .asp environment. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Voting for the Most Doomful of Doodles (Updated)

Okay, no more entries. Y’all have six to choose from (just scroll on down the line) and one of them (my sketchy sketch of a Colt Commander) doesn’t even count.

Vote once, please, but feel free to encourage others to vote for the one that you think is the best. Don’t forget: the winner gets a gift certificate to Amazon. I’m hoping they buy me something nice (but that’s really unlikely, isn’t it?).

Update: And just in case you like clicking on links to make new windows pop up in your browser, here are the links to each of the entries and to the original post.

Entry 1, in which we learn that stick people are people, too. It says so right in the name, in fact.
Entry 2, in which “ptew, ptew” makes us giggle. 2
Entry 3, in which no one dares guess what “Papa H Special” means.
Entry 4, for which we can’t vote.
Entry 5, in which we learn that I can’t tell the difference between a Prada purse and a broom. Which is surprising. 3
Entry 6, in which aliens invade the planet. 6

The Original Entry. Which sounds far more grand than it actually is.

Updated Again: Pimped by Jed. Nicely done (even if it does break the code of silence). Linked by our good friend, Steve, who, incidentally, likes the one with curves.

LATE NIGHT UPDATE: The winner, by popular acclaim, is Aliens--Jed’s masterwork of doom doodling brilliance. He will be properly awarded his Amazon gift certificate tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll let us know what he buys with his prize.

Maybe an art book.

Congratulations, Jed. You captured the spirit perfectly.

Doodles of Doom (Entry 6)

Alien Invasion

I think the only response to this one is, “Wow!” Talk about capturing the spirit of the juvenile doodle ethos, and you’re talking about this magnificent sketch. The aliens resisting the tank bombardment. The sound effects. The plummeting jet.

Wow.

Doodles of Doom (Entry 5)

Hubba hubba.

Girl with Gun

This doodler knows the cardinal rule of marketing: sex sells. Curvy, sensual, confident with her martini and her Prada bag (a few years ago, I would have suggested DKNY; times change), and a little ladies gun snugged up to her thigh.

As I said: hubba hubba.

Unless any other doodles come in over the next four and a half hours, this will be the final entry. I’ll post a note when the voting starts. The voting will go on through the end of the day Wednesday and I do not have a vote unless a tie breaker is necessary.

Important Entertainment News

No, this isn’t about Owen Wilson’s alleged (and, if true, wildly surprising) suicide attempt; this is about a second X Files flick.

In July, Duchovny told TV reporters that a second film was in the works and that co-star Gillian Anderson was on board as well. Duchovny played FBI special agent Fox Mulder opposite Anderson’s Dana Scully.

The X-Files’ creator, Chris Carter, and series executive producer Frank Spotnitz wrote the screenplay.
[...]
Spotnitz told SCI FI Wire last year that the sequel’s story would not rely on the show’s convoluted alien-invasion-conspiracy mythology, but rather would be more like one of the show’s stand-alone episodes.

I was ready to say that a sequel to the X-Files movie was a bad idea--that it’s time had past and that there probably wasn’t much interest in continuing down that path. That is because I was assuming that they were planning to do another in the mythology series. If, on the other hand, if it goes more along the lines of the old Night Stalker TV series, it should be loads of fun.

X-Files, at its best, was engrossing and, often, hilarious. While the franchise is pretty well off everyone’s cultural radar, it would do well to capture the spirit of episodes like “Bad Blood” with it’s he said/she said plot and Luke Wilson as a guest. The willingness to poke at the shows quirks, the great writing, and a cast with real chemistry made it one of my favorite episodes. If the new movie can capture that, then I’ll be seeing it a few times.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Doodles of Doom (Entry 4)

Little .45

For the record, this one is mine so it isn’t eligible for winning the contest. It was sketched with my little optical mouse using the free version of Art Rage. Which, if I were using a pen and tablet, it probably would have come out better.

While I think mine stacks up pretty well in the “mouse sketching skillz” category, it shows none of the sense of humor of the others. Thus bolstering the view of me as a humorless bastard.

Sucks to be me.

Doodles of Doom (Entry 3)

Papa H Special

Entry 3 is hereby known as the Papa H Special (you figure it out). It makes me giggle inappropriately (which has to be a good thing in a contest like this).

Go Ahead. Rob the Bank. (Or: Martin Lewis is an Ass.)

Hey, buddy, if you really want to do a favor, you’d go rob that bank. Look, I wouldn’t encourage you to do anything illegal, and I’ve researched it for, like, ten minutes, and you’ve got a total right to rob the bank. I’m not asking you to do anything that could get you in trouble, I just want you to, you know, rob the bank.

Ignore all those folks who say that neither the Constitution nor the UCMJ give you the authority to rob the bank. I utterly reject the use of any force or illegal action of any kind and specifically reject and condemn any calls for it. I just call on you to speak your conscience and to do your ethical, moral duty to rob that bank.

Like I said--and will keep saying no matter how often I’m shown to be wrong in my assumptions--I’m not asking you to do anything illegal. It says right here that you have the right to rob the bank. Which is nice because I’m pretty certain you want to rob the bank.

So, go ahead. You know you want to.

(Bolded sentence taken from Lewis’ response to Charles Byrd at 09:58 pm on 25 August. Idiot. And, no, it doesn’t work as satire, either.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Doodles of Doom (Entry 2)

Entry 2 of the Doodles of Doom contest so gleefully embraces the juvenile doodle ethic that I couldn’t help but grin when I opened the email.


Doodles of Doom Entry 2

While the color scheme isn’t traditional, the passionate dedication to bad drawing skills more than makes up for the departure. Beautiful.

A Little Question for Broncos Fans

It kind of hurts to say it--it feels a little treasonous, in fact--but I have a question. Whisper it quietly, but is there room on the Broncos’ roster for Rod Smith?

Rod Smith is not only the best undrafted wide receiver to ever play the game, he’s also the best wide receiver to ever play in a Broncos uniform (with the exception of the sad end to Jerry Rice’s phenomenal career). Smith is the epitome of a player who made his career on effort as much as pure talent--he worked hard, he worked smart, he took coaching well, and he earned the kind of career that will probably see him on the Broncos’ Ring of Fame and perhaps in the Hall of Fame.

But last season saw his productivity hampered by an injury and he’s still on the mend. Meanwhile, the Broncos have picked up a lot of young, talented receivers who are making their cases to start. Javon Walker, as an obvious standout, will be the number one receiver. What of Brandon Stokely, Brandon Marshall, and David Kirkus (who, admittedly, has legal problems that might derail him)? David Terrell and Quincy Morgan make credible fourth receivers, too, and Nate Jackson fills kind of a dual role as a tight end who started his career as a wide receiver. Right now, the Broncos who are struggling in preseason, have a lot of talent at wide receiver (and credible talent at running back and tight end, too).

Rod Smith, meanwhile, is still on the physically unable to perform list. One of the Broncos’ other great receivers, Ed McCaffery, looked indestructible for years--right up until age and a serious injury stopped his career. Nothing as traumatic or memorable happened to Smith on the injury front, but he has been slow in healing and he is, quite simply, getting older.

I don’t want to see Smith gone; I really would hate to see him in some other team’s uniform. But is there still room for Rod Smith on a Broncos’ roster heavy with talent at his position while he is still a question mark as we head toward the first round of roster cuts?

Doodles of Doom (Entry 1)

No, I’m not going to reveal the “artists” of the doodles until after the voting, but here is the first of the bunch. The second and third will be coming up later this evening.


Doodles of Doom Number 1

Artistically speaking, I think this one really captures the utter scariness of the gun to the terrified stick people. It’s admirably juvenile in its artistry.

Big thumbs up from the Zomby!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Doodles of Doom (A Little Contest) (Updated)

Admittedly, we’ve only heard one side of the story of the young man who was suspended for doodling a picture of a handgun on his homework; perhaps there is a history of threats or there was a threatening message with that doodle. But if his mom is to be believed, that isn’t the case; the school suspended him for a drawing and nothing more.

Are handguns so scary that even a (very) roughly drawn rendering of one is enough to send a school administration into fits of stupidity? And, honestly, if we’re going to start sending boys home for the weapons of roughly sketched destruction in the margins of their notebooks or on the back of their homework, then you might as well send the boys home now. Guns, bullets, missiles, tanks, rockets, planes, swords, daggers, and other assorted destructive bits of technology are just something that the average boy does. Only when they are attached to specific threats and other disturbing behavior should the fascination with implements of doom be deemed “scary.”

Now, who would be up for doodling for me? I’m going to do some doodles of my own and scan them in later this evening. Over the weekend, I will gather my Doodles of Doom and those of anyone who wants to play along and post them in a gallery Monday morning.

There will be a $25 Amazon gift certificate for the doodle deemed most entertaining by the teeming masses who read RSong. Which means we should get at least four or five votes evenly split between four or five entries leaving me quite confused as to what to do. What constitutes good? Well, it has to feel genuinely doodle-esque, has to have a sense of youthful enthusiasm, and has to be oriented towards something that cuts, goes boom, or otherwise offends the fearful.

Email me at zombyboy [at] resurrectiontionsong [dot] com with your entry.

Update: It is truth, indeed, that sometimes a doodle is just a doodle. Most times, in fact. Big bonus for both a-ha and War Games references in the comments.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Return of John Elway

For all y’all who have been missing John Elway’s magic touch in football will be glad to hear that he’s coming back. Of course, he’s coming back as a quarterbacks coach for Cherry Creek High School here in the Denver area--largely, it would seem, because it will give him an opportunity to more closely tutor his son, Jack, before the young lad runs off to college.

The Elway family has a legacy of father-son tutoring. John Elway’s father, Jack, taught him the game in California, where he was a coach in the 1970s and ‘80s. He was a Broncos scout until retiring a year before his death in 2001.

The younger Jack Elway hasn’t committed to a college but has taken unofficial trips to Oregon and UCLA. John Elway played in the same conference—the PAC 10—at Stanford.

Good luck to both of them (although I still can’t find it in me to cheer for Cherry Creek--my Overland loving heart just couldn’t bear it).

Read the rest.

Update: Nathan noticed, too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Homework (Updated)

I think I’ve just been insulted. Luckily, I’m a little too simple-minded to fully process the cruelty.

“The Karl Roves of the world have built a generation that just wants a couple slogans: ‘No, don’t raise my taxes, no new taxes,’” Pat Schroeder, president of the American Association of Publishers, said in a recent interview. “It’s pretty hard to write a book saying, ‘No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes’ on every page.”

Schroeder, who as a Colorado Democrat was once one of Congress’ most liberal House members, was responding to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll that found people who consider themselves liberals are more prodigious book readers than conservatives.

She said liberals tend to be policy wonks who “can’t say anything in less than paragraphs. We really want the whole picture, want to peel the onion.”

Okay stupid, jingoistic, uncritical conservatives, it’s time to take an inventory. Since there is an impression that conservatives aren’t serious about policies or anything more deep than bumper sticker thought, I’m curious to hear what you’re reading right now. Don’t lie, don’t exaggerate to impress me, and don’t make it prettier than it is. My reading habit--the books and magazines that I buy on a monthly basis--probably adds up to about the same amount that I spend on my car payment every month, but much of that is in magazines.

My monthly magazine intake:

  1. Car magazines: Automobile, Car, Car & Driver, Thoroughbred & Classic Cars, occasionally Motor Trend
  2. A few music magazines: Q, Paste, Uncut, Spin and a few others less regularly--never to include Rolling Stone, which has become less and less important to music with the passing of the years
  3. Political magazines: The Atlantic, National Review, American Spectator, The Economist, Weekly Standard, Foreign Policy, BBC Focus On Africa [which is a quarterly] and a couple others that I pick up as I see but to which I don’t subscribe
  4. Graphic design magazines: Computer Arts, Dynamics, GDUSA, and, again, catch as catch can by when I find them in the store. Some of these--the ones published in the UK are the most expensive of the bunch. Computer Arts and similar cost between $12 and $16 each copy.

Of course, that’s supplemented by my incredibly impulsive nature.

On top of that list, I usually read between three and four books per month. Right now I’m reading three (I read one “serious” one, one paperback of any kind that I can read while I shower [yeah, I know], and currently a third is piggybacking just because I liked the cover). The “serious” book is Martin Meredith’s The Fate of Africa: A History of 50 Years of Independence. The paperback is To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World from Arthur Herman. The accidental rider is Rick Atkinson’s An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943.

A week ago, the paperback was Sean Stewart’s spectacular Nobody’s Son, which I picked up when I couldn’t find my copy of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. I was a tad disappointed with the movie and wanted to revisit the book; instead I found myself revisiting Sean Stewart’s story about what happens to a sword wielding hero after “happily ever after.”

The odd thing is that while I know I read quite a bit, most people that I know and spend time with are readers. They talk about the latest books on their night stands, they enjoy outings to good bookstores, and they have insightful opinions on what they’ve read. That crosses all political boundaries.

And, anyway, Pat Schroeder might think that the right has a corner on the bumper sticker market, but I would argue that no one comes up with chants, stickers, t-shirts, and bumper stickers like the progressive left. Not that I have much in the way of happy thoughts about the time that Pat spent representing her little chunk of my beloved Colorado.

Just sayin’.

Correction or Clarification (Update)

Marty Peretz statements about Mbeki (“Mbeki the Nutcase”) are appreciated, but I’m relatively certain that he’s wrong about this bit:

But the UK and the US are also not entirely innocent. Zimbabwe is still a part of the British Commonwealth and Great Britain is represented in Harare by a High Commissioner.

I’m fairly certain that Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in a bit of a snit a few years back. 2003 maybe? Must check and see…

Anyway, it’s a small point in an otherwise funny little attack on Mbeki.

Update: And right I am.

From Wikipedia:

Zimbabwe was suspended in 2002 over concerns with the electoral and land reform policies of Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF government, before withdrawing from the organization in 2003. It had previously been suspended from the Commonwealth under the country’s former name of Rhodesia from its unilateral declaration of independence in 1965 until its internationally recognised independence as Zimbabwe in 1980.

Which report is seconded by the Beeb.

And, finally, so does the Commonwealth itself:

“It is disappointing that the Government of Zimbabwe has taken this step. All members will be saddened by it. I hope that Zimbabwe will wish to return in due course, as have other members in the past. In line with the CHOGM Statement on Zimbabwe earlier this week, members of the Commonwealth will continue to seek to engage Zimbabwe to promote national reconciliation and facilitate its return to the Commonwealth.

“Meanwhile in the light of Zimbabwe’s withdrawal, Zimbabwe becomes a non-member state and is no longer eligible to receive Commonwealth assistance or to attend Commonwealth meetings. Commonwealth organisations should treat Zimbabwe as a non-member state.”

Note to Editors

One consequence of Zimbabwe’s decision to leave the Commonwealth is that a Commonwealth country’s High Commission in Zimbabwe becomes an Embassy, with its High Commissioner now being designated an Ambassador. Equally, Zimbabwe’s High Commissions become Embassies and their High Commissioners are now designated Ambassadors.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Why Do I Keep Talking About Edwards?

Because he’s funny, damnit.

I do wonder what it is that Edwards thinks that he brings to the presidential race that is covered more effectively by one of the other candidates? Or whether he believes, at this juncture, that he really stands a chance of winning. Tom Tancredo seems to be under no illusion that he could win the presidency; he stays in because he wants to shout loudly about immigration and doesn’t believe that any of the other GOP candidates covers the issue properly. Kucinich, God bless his wacky little heart, believes that he is the only Dem candidate to actually represent the progressives with an aggressive enough agenda (and he’s probably right).

But what does Edwards bring to the table?

Heheh.

Talk About Irony

Apparently, if you search for “‘Keep Mugabe in Power’ foreign aid”, you come to RSong. Which couldn’t be more in opposition to my way of thinking.

Down with Mugabe! Hooray democracy!

For more meaningful commentary on the plight of Zimbabwe (going back some four years or so), you can read here and here (the old, lamented AfricaBlog). You can also search the old posts in ResurrectionSong’s old MT-driven site, although many of those posts will be duplicates of the AfricaBlog stuff.

For current news, be sure to stop by Sokwanele’s blog. Not only is the writing illuminating, but the writers are good people who want only the best for their country. As much as Mugabe’s apologists want to make opposition sound as if it comes from imperialist lackeys, the truth is quite different.

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