The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


Illegals Crossing Sign

Wow.  I've truly been away from home (California) for far too long.  I just discovered this sign for the first time recently (on it just so happens).   It really bring a lot of different thoughts to mind.  Anger, laughter, frustration, annoyance... but wow.  They really have a sign for this to warn drivers to help avoid these people now?  *shakes head*  I'm actually not clear if this is California or Arizona, but either way...

UPDATE:   Never mind.  I found references that make it clear it's in California.


BBS (and Text Adventure) Documentaries

Those of us over the age of (let's say) 24 may have possibly enjoyed the fun of the online world before the Internet become prevalent... the world of the BBS.  A super-brief history of the Bulletin Board System universe follows:

Back when MODEMS were the rage (not those things the phone company now CALL modems, the devices used to connect to DSL services), people like you and I could setup a computer at home with some software and allow others to dial into it.  They could leave messages in public forums, private emails, play games (one player at a time originally) and eventually chat with other users when some people would install more phone lines to the same computer.

Later, bigger BBS systems, with multiple phone lines, and advanced software that actually allowed these multiple users to interact with each other in games and teleconferences, started to emerge.  Some of them later connected to OTHER BBS systems for a few hours at a time, allowing users from all over the city/nation/world to chat and play games.   Then of course some of these systems started connecting to the Internet.  I ran one that was pretty successful for many years here in Volusia County called Orbiter Online, which is now a webhost for various schools and not-for-profit entities such as the Lakeside Jazz Festival here in Port Orange, Florida.

Eventually, the internet all but completely replaced these "dialup" systems (while some of them completely migrated to internet "portals").  The BBS (including the term itself) is pretty much gone now.  But the people behind came up with the idea to do a documentary on BBS history.  I purchased this DVD set and was very happy with it.  I'd highly suggest it to anyone interested in the history of home-brew dialup services and the unique history (including ASCII and ANSI art, the many communities that emerged from the BBS scene, many forms of music and other media that could only have come from those of us who grew up this originally "geeks only" world, and much more.

Now, I see that they're coming up with a new documentary on the original "RPG", the original "adventure games", the one and only TEXT ADVENTURES.  If the titles Zork, Suspended, Adventure, Dungeon, or even things like Dungeons and Dragons don't ring a bell, you may not find an interest here.  But these are the types of games that required true imagination and the ability to hit more than a couple buttons on a pad to run around a virtual environment and battle monsters.  I'm really looking forward to this new documentary.  I love a good game of Halo (I/II/III/ODST) and most recently Mass Effect (I/II), but I still occasionally pull out Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy or Suspended, or even "Begin" (a simplistic "Star Trek" based battle simulator using simple ASCII "graphics") to get a feel for "original gaming".  :-)   The name of the documentary is, amusingly enough, "Get Lamp".

MOVIE: City Island

Regina and I went to see this movie a few days ago.  It seems to be something you'd see at a film festival or something, though it had some upper-echelon stars in it (Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies and also Steven Strait).  It's a "family comedy" basically.  Not something a teenager is likely to care about.  But we found it to be entertaining and a good story in general.  I'd suggest it to those who enjoy good stories and can stand not having high tech CGI graphics anywhere in the movie.  :-)


Man Wants To Donate Organs While Alive

My father died in February of 2009. The way he died was starvation. Before anyone thinks that something dumb happened, it was planned and "normal" for someone who has multiple symptoms of Lou Gherig's Disease, a tiny spot of cancer on his lung, advanced diabetes and perhaps more. He was not able to feed himself or be fed, and as it was well known and established that he did not want machines powering an otherwise useless body, he literally starved to death. I was there at the time of death.

Now, I read that a man who has Lou Gherig's wants to donate organs (heart, lungs, etc) before they deteriorate so that they can benefit someone, instead of letting them go bad in his body. In essence, he would be committing suicide. My emotional response on this teetered back and forth. He's trying to help others. He's giving up on life because "it's over anyway". Ultimately, I happen to believe (as with other non-related topics) that people should be able to make this decision as it is "their life and body". But that little touch of "what if something improved later" or "what if a cure for his problems came later" still bugs me. My religious upbringing yells "this is wrong" of course. (sigh)

LINK: Man Wants to Donate Organs Before He Dies


MOVIE: Twilight Eclipse

Chris and I had joked about seeing this movie, because the first movie was "okay", and the second movie we suffered through (a ton of middle-aged and preteen females sighing through the entire movie, no joke).

However, I had good reason to go see it as it ended up being a "first date" with someone I've met (better discussed some other time).  As well, there were only about 3-4 other couples (all mature) in the audience and no sighing.

The movie was decent.  Considering it was not "built" for a 42 year old man by any means, I guess that's saying something.  I was able  to sit quietly (though distracted as I was being on a "first date") and enjoy the movie.  The storyline was not rocket science, nor even the most wonderous romance conceived, but it fit the series (I know nothing of the books) and the action sequences were enjoyable.. in fact, I liked that they did not go overboard with the action, in that if happened and that was it... no instant repeats, no overkill slow-mo "watch THIS gory scene" type sequences.  Just matter-of-factly action.  I liked that.

Did she kiss both wolfboy and vampguy?  Of course.  Does she apparently love both?  Of course.  Do I think she'll end up with either one (again, I know nothing about these books)?   I was always assuming she'd NOT END UP with EITHER ONE.. and my date DID happen to spout something out at the end that seems to confirm that.  It doesn't ruin anything for me.  But it does intrigue me "how" it will happen.  Hmm.

So, it was a decent movie.  I'm sure women of most ages, especially with daughters, will love it for the most part.  I definitely would not assume seeing a male sitting in an audience NOT accompanied by at least one female.  That would look... odd, probably.  :-)



July has brought about the process of "re-entering the dating world".  Two days into "looking" and ... wow.  There are people out there who want to go on dates.  Apparently I had fooled myself (as usual) into thinking I was alone in the multiverse.  Hmph.  This should be an interesting journey.  Even after linking up with two FAKE people via the online service I'm with, the many others I've already chatted with multiple times have raised my spirits, just have adult conversations with like-minded people.  How would'a thought..?


MOVIE: Toy Story 3

It's been a loooooong time since I watched a Toy Story movie, and I am not entirely sure I saw the second movie at all.  So it was with a great surprise that watching this movie, I was highly  moved and very happy to have spent the cash on a 3d flick.

It had a lot of tie-ins for me for real life.  Moving one, loved ones taking new avenues and leaving others behind... it was almost overwhelming at times.  But then again, I'm a high emotional person (much to the shock of some since I only show my emotions in very closed quarters).   I was sooo happy to have seen this movie, I may go see it again.  I'm glad I did not cry in public at some parts.  It was close.  No joke.

I'm just getting soft at 42, right?  (sigh)