Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

Oh, wait, who cares?
Roll Over, Plato

I found myself in one of the worse types of debates this evening: an argument over semantics. To be more specific, the definition of the term sci-fi was called into question. In retrospect, the whole thing was really quite pointless, because when one side quotes Gene Rodenberry and Isaac Asimov as definitive sources, and the other points to how Blockbuster and Borders' marketing departments choose to place their product, it becomes painfully obvious that there is no common ground whatsoever on which to construct a meaningful discussion. Therefore, I offer this, a link to a list of quotes by people I mostly have no clue about, as a source for interested parties to dive into, which, by the way, offers roughly equal amounts of ammunition for both elitist and populist. Shields up! Fire torpedoes!


"Modern science fiction is the only form of literature that consistently considers the nature of the changes that face us, the possible consequences, and the possible solutions." Isaac Asimov

"A work belongs in the genre of science fiction if its narrative world is at least somewhat different from our own, and if that difference is apparent against the background of an organized body of knowledge." Eric S. Rabkin

"Science fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together." Ray Bradbury

"Science fiction is that branch of fantasy, which, while not true to present-day knowledge, is rendered plausible by the reader's recognition of the scientific possibilities of it being possible at some future date or at some uncertain point in the past." Donald A. Wolleheim

"The future depicted in a good SF story ought to be in fact possible, or at least plausable. That means that the writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you." Frederik Pohl

"At its best, science fiction has no peer in creating another universe of experience, in showing us what we look like in the mirrorof technological society or throught the eyes of a non-human." Dick Riley

"By challenging anthropocentricism and temporal provincialism, science fiction throws open the whole of civilization and its premises to constructive criticism." Alvin Toffler

"...[Science Fiction] means what we point to when we say it." Damon Knight

My personal thoughts on the subject:

Talk to the hand, because the face ain't listening.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Anybody Got Some Fleece I Can Borrow?

Okay, first I need to do is apologize to Erin for not showing up to help her move, because I woke up at 10:15 this morning with a minor hangover. I'd go into details about the previous night, but there's little to share except that it involved this. Pretty random, huh?

Second thing I need to do is announce my new artiste site at http://music.download.com. They actually let me in! What's this world coming to? Well, here's hoping I'll get to update that page again soon.

Thirdly, I just got a call from Scott Meyer today basically affirming the decisions I've made about my involvement in YAMs worship... Someone else has stepped up to the plate to take over, and this without me telling anyone (aside from Matt) that I don't think I want to be leading when Amanda steps down. Scott was also cool with the fact that I don't feel like leading small group. Yes, yes, I'm supposed to say "I didn't feel lead to" or, "God wasn't pointing me there"... something in Christian-speak. And maybe it's true that God is leading me elsewhere. But from my end, I don't sense such a direct line to God that I can feel His hand yanking my ear in one direction or another. What I have done is prayed and asked for any guidance aside from what I have in my head, and so far, the most honest thing I can say is, I don't *feel* like it. Like that guy from Office Space. I'm not quitting. I'm just not gonna go.

And now, of course, Scott tells me that YAMs worship is covered, which really, if that's not a sign, I don't know what is. Just in case, though, I might go to Wal-mart and get a nice pink towel to lay across my balcony, and pray that if I'm completely wrong about all this, that it would turn lavender in the morning. I might. Except Wal-mart out East is a scary place to go.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Played some of my old stuff again today... this is from my old song bin, written in 2001 apparently. What was I smoking then?

Late In The Day

There is a voice from Minnesota
Made a name in the Greenwich Village coffeehouses
Sang a song to break hearts
When he wasn't certain what a broken heart is
We were walking up the hill
Late in the day the bells filled the air
You hear there's better music downtown
So you spend a couple of nights drinking coffee there

His song didn't have a chorus
Just lines needing to be said
Not unlike the words of the lord Jesus
In the bible bleeding red
It's not dark yet, he sang, but it's getting there
Getting where a man can barely see
Late in the day, beneath a lonesome tree

You learned to be in love
Might've been in Autumn though I can't be sure
Can't be certain now of many things
Can't be certain what I think of you so much for
It's been quiet here lately
So much so you hear the woodwork sigh
Oh why don't you call me baby
There's a performance in the park; let's go see it tonite

You know exactly what's right for us
It's not what I've been trying to pull
I know my feelings have their uses
But darlin', I feel for you still
We could take an evening walk, just us alone
I'd see the night town neon in your eyes
Late in the day, beneath the purple skies

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Something Cops Might Say To Friends On The Phone As They Are Fixing To Pull You Over

"Ooh! Ooh! Traffic stop!"

Thanks, Amy.
The Hills Are Alive...

The annoying popups are gone! Yay! I remembered yesterday that I actually have webspace at Comcast, my internet provider, so I've moved all my images there. The problem is I now need to go back and reedit all my old image links. I'm done with all the archives from now back to January... I may get to the rest later. I've also moved my old Tripod page there, so Opposable Thoughts is now viewable without all those annoying ads... as it was meant to be.

I started playing through some of my songs today (the depressing ones), and remembered that a while back I had meant to get myself some recording equipment to use with my PC, and that I was supposed to upload the stuff I had made with CCL last December to MP3.com. Well, I don't have the money for the gear right now, but I did swing by MP3.com, and I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on, so I created an artiste profile ('greyhoundbus', of course) at CNET Music instead. It won't get created straightaway... apparently they have to review the submission first. Bleh! Whatever. I need to share my angst with the world now!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Stretch Marks

So I have a rather annoying pop-up problem with my blog if someone decides to visit this page without a popup-blocking browser, and I thought I'd just go ahead and apologize to anyone who's had to deal with that here. I know I really need to do something about it, but at this point, I'm not sure what. There's three things I can think of to do:

a) Pay money for the Angelfire space that I place this blog on. Not a whole lot, and Angelfire promises no more ads for paying sucke... err customers.

b) Move this to another site, which I'd probably have to pay for anyway, at least for an ad-free site. Not too bad an idea, since I've stopped living on a grad student salary (now if only I can figure out why I'm so close to being broke right now).

c) Go back to Blogger hosting.

The reason I moved this blog to Angelfire was because I needed to have pictures on this site, and Angelfire stopped allowing remote viewing of images. The hacky solution I came up with was to have Blogger publish to Angelfire. But Angelfire decides to go popup-crazy on me. Now, though, I see this they've added an Upload Image File button to Blogger's create/edit posts page(along with a lot of other helpers for the HTML-impaired), which makes me go "hmmm".

Well, at the very least, I found the answers to the questions Erin threw at me today. At YAMs, she asked how to publish a link and how to show an image on her blog. Well now Blogger makes it easy, as the editor now comes with both functions, along with controls for messing with your fonts and layouts.

BTW, thanks for the duck, Erin!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Stay (Faraway, So Close!), U2

Green light, Seven Eleven
You stop in for a pack of cigarettes
You don't smoke, don't even want to
Hey now, check your change
Dressed up like a car crash
Your wheels are turning but you're upside down
You say when he hits you, you don't mind
Because when he hurts you, you feel alive
Hey babe, is that what it is

Red lights, gray morning
You stumble out of a hole in the ground
A vampire or a victim
It depends on who's around
You used to stay in to watch the adverts
You could lip synch to the talk shows

And if you look, you look through me
And when you talk, you talk at me
And when I touch you, you don't feel a thing

If I could stay...
Then the night would give you up
Stay...and the day would keep its trust
Stay...and the night would be enough

Faraway, so close
Up with the static and the radio
With satellite television
You can go anywhere
Miami, New Orleans
London, Belfast and Berlin

And if you listen I can't call
And if you jump, you just might fall
And if you shout, I'll only hear you

If I could stay...
Then the night would give you up
Stay...then the day would keep its trust
Stay...with the demons you drowned
Stay...with the spirit I found
Stay...and the night would be enough

Three o'clock in the morning
It's quiet and there's no one around
Just the bang and the clatter
As an angel runs to ground

Just the bang
And the clatter
As an angel
Hits the ground

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Dressed For Success

I went to the Knoxville Zoo today with Cherie, and had my camera with me. I think it's pretty obvious where this blog entry is going.

"There were these two penguins walking across an iceberg..."

A Red Panda. It looks nothing like a regular panda, but it's pretty cute, and energetic too, from what I saw.

I forget what species of snake this was, so I'll call it a Green Snake (insert smartass "duh"-ish response here).

"Hey, Todd, moon that bozo with the camera, willya?"
"Eh-heh, eh-heh, ok."

The elephant compound was fairly large, and looked pretty cool, with all these... rocks everywhere. It's a much better spot for the elephants than what I saw the last time I was at the zoo.

A llama takes a potty break at the petting zoo. I guess you could say I got pissed off.


This is the closest thing to a photo of Cherie that she'd let me take. That is her hand, performing the Vulcan Neck Pinch. The goat fell over right after, but in a fit of laughter. She needs to work on that technique.

A Prairie Dog Companion! Haha.

A Zebra. Quick kids, guess if it's a he or a she. It's hard, I know. Think for as long as you need to.

Friday, July 09, 2004

My good friend just called
His father, now still, sleeping,
had passed on gently

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


This past Independance Day weekend was more interesting than usual. I usually don't do anything on the fourth except hide at home and avoid all possible traffic jams (that's what I associate most holidays with, justly or no). This time I actually went out and did stuff. I went with Cherie to see a Midsummer Night's Dream on Friday, and with her again to watch the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the July 4th fireworks at World's Fair Park on Sunday. Since she already blogged about it, I'll only say that I think they used an Italian Greyhound in the play, it looked like a great dog, and I want one now more than ever.

I saw Spider-man 2 last night. It was alright. I didn't like it as much as the first. It suffered from the same problem that plagued X-Men 2 (in my mind): Too many scenes, too many threads, and just too much, in general. I'm not complaining about the length of the movie. I think it came in at about two hours, which is just fine. It's just that, at times, it felt like the movie was made for A.D.D sufferers. Peter Parker has at least five major sources of angst in this movie. IMHO, that's more than can be handled adequately within two hours. And boy, do they try. Scenes flip by at a fairly frenetic pace. How can Peter linger on any one thing when he's got these many problems to deal with? More importantly, how can he resolve all these issues without people going "Hmm, right. How convenient"?

X-Men 2 did the same thing: lots of new characters, a half-dozen plot threads, and dangerously thin treatments of all the major elements in the movie. More can be better, but only if more is handled very skillfully. That's not always the case here. Both the original X-men and Spider-man kept things fairly tight... both their sequels seemed to want to explode in all directions. Sup with that? It's fitting that this is a comic-book movie: Sam Raimi had to be Superman hold this movie's plot together. Unfortunately, he's only a very talented mortal, and parts of this movie are left either dangling on the sides or dropping away altogether.

In it's defense, Spider-man 2 did do a lot of things right. Doc Ock doesn't get enough screentime, but he's good when he's there. Spider-man 2 stays faithful to the original's tack: this story is about a girl. Glad they stuck in there, though I recall Mary-Jane having a little more backbone in the comics. There were scenes here where my sympathy for MJ started spilling into the realm of pity. Not a good thing. But I digress. I'm talking about the good things now. This movie can be pretty funny. Ha-ha funny. That's a good thing. The action is superb, which is also a good thing. It kinda grinds to a halt in the middle... *slap* ouch, sorry.

Oh well, what else can be said. I'm a little dissappointed, but it was by no means a bad movie. I'm definitely going to see number three. In the meantime, though, I guess I could always watch Shrek 2 again. Now that was a great sequel.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Well, That Explains Even More

More light has been shed on the circumstances behind my frightening and highly unstable childhood in Malaysia. (Note: 991 is Malaysia's emergency number, basically our 911)
Interrupting Ducks Pt 2

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Interrupting Ducks

Amy's put up some pretty neat pictures of her recent visit Washington D.C. I'm surprised they're no pictures of the J. Edgar Hoover building, but maybe it wasn't as pretty as the duckies. In a completely meaningless coincidence, I put up a comment on Erin's last blog entry concerning my desire to have a duck.

You gotta love ducks.