Monday, December 29, 2014

My brother and I

My brother and I are not very close... height.
He is well over six feet tall.
I am considerably less so, being around 5 and a half feet. appearance.
Women have thrown themselves at my brother to get him to notice them.
No one is ever going to call me attractive. No one that sees us would ever even think we are related. Yes, we look that different (which is good since there really does not need for there to be more than one of me). body type.
He is quite muscular (not like a body builder but muscular enough). not. geography.
We live over 500 miles apart. It is not that long of a flight but it might as well be a million miles. careers.
He has done well with an engineering degree and business.
I am still trying to figure out what I am doing. communication.
We talk briefly perhaps three or four times a year. We have little in common and things to talk about. family status.
He is married with 2 children.
I am not married (with that seeming an impossibility for me) and am not going to have children. pet choices.
He prefers dogs.
I choose cats.

We have never been close and I have never wanted any of the things he has
(In case any of you are thinking that I am jealous of my brother, I am not. He has his life and I have mine and I don't want his life or what he has. I would, however, like to be a little taller.). It is a shame in some ways since one day our parents will both have passed on and we will not really be in communication after that.

No one would ever suspect we are brothers, even if we stood next to each other, unless they were told so. We had a class together once and even the teacher, who had access to our school records, had no idea until our parents told her so. She announced it to the class and the class responded with "Wwwhhhaattt???"

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Conversations with my 1 year old cats

Cat: It is dinner time. You have to feed me since it is part of the social contract.

Me: Wait. You know what a social contract is but when I tell you to get off the table, you act like you don't know understand I am saying.

Cat: Tonight, at 1 A.M., your measuring tape dies.

 Me: What?

 Cat: I didn't say anything.

Cat: By the way, I maxxed out your credit card last night.

 Me: What?
Me: Okay, cats, I don't know which one of you drew the chalk outline around me while I slept last night but that is not funny!

Me: Cat, what do you want for Christmas?

 Cat: I want to be a Sith Lord.

 Me: You already are.

 Cat: What's that?

 Me: I didn't say anything.
Cat: Give me a potato chip.

 Me: I am not giving you a chip.

 Cat: You will rue this day, hooman, rue this day.
Cats: What's up? Whatzz up? Sup? Wat up?

 Me: Okay, that's enough.

 Cats: Hooman?

 Me: Yes?

 Cats: WASSUP!
I thought it was very sweet that my cat gave me a hug.

Until I found my wallet was missing.
Cat: What is the chemical composition of salt?

 Me: Sodium Chloride. NaCL.

 Cat: Okay, thank you.

 Me: Wait, what?
I hate coming into a room to hear my female cats singing "He had it coming" from the musical Chicago.

Mainly cause I am the only he they know.
I regret putting my cats on my friends and family plan. I also regret giving them their own phones.

They keep texting me at 3 A. M. with their selfies from the living room.
Me: Okay, cats, which of you used the printer to make fliers reading "Human for sale. Low offers welcomed."
Cat: Gimme a cat treat.

 Me: Not now, later.

 Cat: Gimme a cat treat now or I show your mother what you have been looking at on the web!

Craig Ferguson exits

There is a month left until Craig Ferguson completes his 10 year run as the host of "The Late Late Show." I, for one, am going to miss him. While I have not watched every episode and while I have not watched half of all the episodes, I have watched many and was amused by his deconstructionist approach to the talk show. One particular downside to his departure is that I will never be a guest on his talk show (my bucket list will be incomplete).

I rarely watch talk shows as it just seems like they are softball questions for the guest or only to promote their newest thing. Which is okay since that is the purpose of most talk shows. Not this show. He rarely discusses what the individual is there to promote. He takes a different approach where the guests never know where he is going to lead them.

Here are some things he did differently that made his show like no other talk show on TV.

Gay robot skeleton sidekick

A not a real horse.

"It's a great day for America."

Interaction with the audience by bringing some on stage.

Positioning his desk so it is not between him and his guest.

Trinkets on his desk.

Self healing fireplace.

The monologue was rarely prepared material.

He brought on people who are not seen in many other places such as scientists and stars who aren't seen much anymore like Don Rickles and Carl Reiner.

He tells guest how fantastic they look (no matter what they are wearing).

Ripping up the blue notecards.

"Fancy an awkward pause?"

The time he realized his mocking people may actually be hurtful to the people since he doesn't know what struggles they are going through (This was revealed in a monologue concerning Kevin Costner).

I think my favorite moment from this show is the Christmas episode with Kristen Bell and Wolfgang Puck (years ago). They were cooking duck and her reaction when they tried to get her to do something with the dead duck still makes me laugh.

For all these reasons and many more I am going to miss seeing him.

Blacklist villains you will not see

There is a show on NBC called The Blacklist which has a new villain appearing weekly with a number and a title (they discover the bad guys real name later). I watch this show. I enjoy this show. But not everyone can be villainous enough to be a number on the Blacklist (which the FBI hunts down every week).

Here are some villains that did not make the cut:

The Sad Sack.

The Hamster Whisperer.

The Balloon Animal Man.

The Human Yardstick.

The Partially Tattooed Man.

The Uneven Earlobes Woman.

The Can't Find My Keys Man.

The Glass Half Full Woman.

The Bad Sunburn.

The Chews With Mouth Open.

The Shusher.

The Living on a Pension Retiree.

The Awkward Pause.

The Kiss and Tell.

The Finger Licker.

The Cotton Candy Machine Repairperson.

Friday, November 14, 2014

animal rights

One thing that confuses (actually more like disgusts) me about people is how little rights animals have in this world. Like if an animal bites a person, the animal is put down. But if a human bites an animal, it is considered odd but the human is not put down.

An animal that kills a human is executed. A human kills an animal, a fine at the most. A human kills another human-10 years in jail (possibly more, possibly less).

Why do animal lives have so little value?

Some people say humans are superior since they use humans can think and use logic.

Being able to use logic is no reason to consider humans superior. Reason, logic, or whatever else people want to say makes us superior also makes us the race that continually kills other parts of our race over religion or politics or love or imaginary borders. We are the ones who destroy entire species just because. We are the species that build nuclear reactors that have destroyed large parts of the world. We are the ones who have made bombs that can destroy every living thing on Earth. Just because we can.

No, not superior.

Others might say it is because animals don't have souls.

How do you know animals don't have souls? How do we know people do?

Some say people have souls because they know right from wrong. Well, many people do the wrong things all the time. Does that mean they are soulless? If so, then they don't have souls so are some people superior to others?

The whole right and wrong thing is so arbitrary that it cannot actually be defined. It changes from culture to culture, society to society. People are not born knowing right from wrong. They are taught it. To say right and wrong is to imply certain values on animals that they do not need or care about. Animals have their own codes. Look at how animals play or defend each other. They have their own set of standards.

Perhaps people have souls since they act differently, have different personalities which souls allow for. This is a flawed argument since, if you have had pets, you know they behave differently, have their own little quirks which make them unique. Yes, they have some shared behaviors just like people have some shared behaviors.

Animals should have the same, if not more, rights that people do.

Animals are not the ones stripping the world of natural resources.

Animals are not the ones growing at an exponential rate and taking up natural resources at an alarming rate.

Animals are the ones who are in danger of going extinct due to the population growth of humans.

Animals are the ones who are kept in zoos to be stared at, who are taken from their natural environment, and are believed to be kept safe from the dangers humans pose n these artificial, and much smaller, locations.

Animals are not the ones who create fighting arenas where animals are pitted against each other.

We need to look at how we treat animals and realize that cruelty (in any form) sets us below other species. Some animals become vicious because we make them vicious. We put animals to sleep because there are too many of them. There are too many humans. When do some of them start getting put to sleep?

How come no one ever states that we need to help control the human population by having people spayed or neutered?

Animals have as much right to live peacefully on this world as humans. Some people would disagree with this because they are "smarter" than animals.

Trust me, we are not. More destructive but not smarter.

Friday, November 7, 2014

not every man...

"Not every man is like that."

This is how some men respond to the stories women tell of harassment from men.

The statement is true. Not every man is like that.

The problem is, which the statement also makes abundantly clear, is that there ARE men who are like that.

The stories are legion, about how women have to deal with men making unwanted advances towards them whether in an office, on the street, in an elevator, or any number of other places.

Guys also say women should not judge all men based on this since "not all men are like that."

But how can women tell who is and who is not like that?

It is not really clear until the guy opens his mouth and makes some kind of statement.

It would be easier if there were signs. Like scarlet letters. Right on the guy's forehead for the whole world to see. Of course, some guys are so offensive, they would run out of forehead space for all the signs they need.

I have never felt the urge to call out to a women I saw walking down the street, never had the need to whistle at her, never desired to grab some stranger and hold onto her.

Here are more things that not all men are like:








I don't see any men following those adjectives with the phrase "not all men are like that."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

hateful gamers

Gaming used to be fun. I could go and get a good RPG (role playing game) and spend hours enjoying it. I could discuss with others about the ins and outs of the games and generally have a good time with it. Those days are behind me now. Now when I look at a game I have to wonder about the community behind it and worry about those who are being punished by members of a group called Gamersgate.

Gamersgate, if you don't know, supposedly started over the issue of ethics in gaming journalism. Okay, ethics in anything is a good topic and should be addressed. Unfortunately, the original argument is flawed and irrelevant to anything. It began with an ex-boyfriend of a game designer claiming she had sex with a game reporter for more favorable reviews.

Right, an ex-boyfriend. We all know that exes are the best sources of information (that is sarcasm if you did not get it). Both the designer and the reporter denied this and there is no proof that what the ex said is even true. But because a dudebro said it, it must be true, no matter that there is no proof.

A lot of guys did not care. They started the movement in order to claim that journalists need to have ethics. This quickly denigrated into a name calling match and accusations that women have no place in games. The odd thing is that only women were targeted. Women were threatened with rape and death. Where are the ethics of the ones making these threats? It is okay to demand ethics and appropriate behavior in others but not in themselves?

One of the major people involved in this is Anita Sarkeesian. She has done reports on how women are portrayed in video games (the tropes) and has, along with many other women, been threatened over this. Many claim that she has no right to say this. How is she not allowed to say this when others use free speech excuses to rationalize what they say (the threats)?

They can claim free speech all they want but they fail to understand that free speech has limitations and they are crossing the line. Free speech does not protect against slander, libel, and creating dangerous situations (yelling fire in a crowded room, etc). Free speech does not allow for death threats. One day there will be a female president. Do you think people will turn a blind eye when she gets death threats because she is a woman? No, that will not be ignored and neither should this.

Some members of this organization claim that it is not them but only some members of this group are doing it. That is like a Democrat or Republican (or whatever political party someone belongs to) stating that they do not agree with everything the party does or says but they stay a member of the party.

For a long time, I have said the expression "haters gonna hate" is nothing but an excuse for bad behavior and this is proof of it. What should be done about this? Obviously, these people are not going to stop harassing women, the death threats, and posting personal info about the women online. Arresting them is only going to create solidarity among the other members of the group and could make things worse. There is no way to really block access to the internet for all these people. One would hope this group would cease on its own but this seems unlikely as the threats mount and even Felicia Day, who stated that this has colored his perceptions of gamers in a negative way, has been attacked.

Women have as much right to play games and express opinions about the games as anyone else. I know that there are many women who are better at games than I am and that is fine. I am okay that the market share is increasing and more women are getting involved in games. I am okay that women write and create games. Guess what? I may not agree with everything they say or do but that does not give me the right to create a hostile environment. It does not give me the right to call her names. It does not give me the right to threaten her. It does not give me the right to post personal info about her online. Women have the right to play games. Women have the right to write and critique games just in the same way men do.

The situation has gotten to the point of unbearable. Women are having to flee their homes due to the threats. This has gone on long enough. The members of gamersgate who claim not to be a part of this need to stand up and help end it. It has created a destructive culture that is going to have a greater impact on games more than the things they are "protesting." Game companies are going to realize the dangerous element that is buying their games and this may alter the games they produce. These members of Gamergate who want change may get it but not in the way they expect.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Arrow and Flash and Gotham

I am going to discuss several aspects of the show which will have spoilers in it so if you have not watched the first episode of season 3 of Arrow or any of Flash or Gotham, you might not want to read further.

Still  here. Great.

First, Arrow. Now the last thing in the third season premiere caught me off guard. Especially after meeting Caity Lotz at Dragon Con this year. I know she could not say anything but still....
Yeah. Apparently she knows her killer. The question is why she came back to Starling City. We may never know.

I suppose it makes sense since she was not portraying Dinah Lance who is supposed to be Black Canary (at least in the comics). Ted Grant (Wildcat) will be appearing later this season which means that Dinah (played by Katie Cassidy) will be getting some training in fighting later (maybe). This goes along with the comics since Wildcat did train Dinah in sparring (but when she was very young). Now Dinah can become BC not out of wanting to help but out of anger and rage.

If the series follows the comics, Arrow and BC will eventually become a couple again (He has cheated on her which is based on the comics again).

I wonder if they are ever going to call him Green Arrow instead of just Arrow. It seems as though they are moving toward changing the name of the city to Star City (like that is going to change the nature of the town and its habit of drawing terrorist attacks).


This is not your traditional Gotham (the one from the comics).
Penguin is a sympathetic character (to a degree).
Bruce Wayne is around 12-14 when he loses his parents.
Selina saw who killed Bruce's parents.
Eddie Nigma works for the police.
Bullock is a corrupt cop.
Gordon may be the only good cop on the force.
I think they have made things too hard for Gordon as he has to battle the criminals and the police without an ally (as of yet) in the police force. Montoya may become an ally later. Now she is an antagonist (especially since she wants Gordon's fiancee as well as proving Gordon is corrupt too).

All of these things separate the series from the comic. The biggest issue for me is Bruce. Having him that old when he loses his parents is a choice but it is one that can have long term consequences. Bruce losing his parents at 5 means he had about 20 years to travel and learn the skills needed to become Batman. Starting him off at 12 means he has about 10 years to travel and learn all the skills.

To me this creates the possibility he may not become Batman. Selina may not become Catwoman. Eddie may not become Riddler. Plus, this is the least supportive Alfred I have ever seen.

If it does take 10 years for Bruce to learn the needed skills to become Batman, it ties right into the last event in the first episode of the Flash. It would be the perfect time for Bruce to become Batman, especially if the skies have turned red.


The episode had a lot of little bits that Flash fans can enjoy. The cage with Grodd's name on the outside. Vibe and Killer Frost. Reverse Flash. So on and so on. The one thing that excited me (more than anything else I have seen on any of these three shows) was the newspaper headline. Flash disappears and red skies. This comes from the DC comics series "Crisis on Infinite Earths." This series came out in the late 1980's and featured some big events. (comic book spoilers ahead).

Also, having the potential Barry/Iris relationship kind of creeps me out now. In the comics it was fine. But here, having these two get together, when they grew up together like brother and sister (and yes, I know they are not biological siblings) is creepy. Have him get with Linda Park instead (since she is out there as a reporter now).

About the red skies and "Crisis." DC had a multiverse back in the 1980's (and earlier) and decided to eliminate it by combining all the worlds into one. They did this by destroying the multiple Earths and all the surviving heroes had to work together. The skies did indeed turn red and the Flash vanished (because he died). He was not the only hero to perish. Supergirl died as well. I loved reading this series and the chance to see it on TV gets my nerd flag flying. If they can actually make this happen on the Flash (with all the heroes and events of the comic book series) and do it well, it will be the greatest event on any superhero show.

Now the paper was dated 2025 and I do not think Arrow, Gotham, and Flash are all going to last that long. With Flash, whenever they wrap up the series, they can go forward to that event and show Arrow and Batman and Flash and however other many heroes there are fighting to save the Earth. If the other series end first they could even bring back those characters for 1 final event.

Also, the line "the lightning chose you" is completely true based on the comic books (before the whole new 52 thing). After dying during "Crisis", Barry Allen eventually became the lightning bolt that turned him into the Flash. The lightning bolt did indeed choose him.