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Echoes and Mirrors » 2008 » July

Archive for July, 2008

taxes are only complicated when you start mucking with stuff

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

The state of Georgia is having a Sales Tax Holiday this weekend, starting today. It seems to be geared towards school necessities, although computer stuff is included. I can see this boosting sales a bit, but not with any sort of long-term effects.

But really, it means that I won’t be paying sales tax on a new 500GB Drive.

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Movie Review: The Mutant Chronicles (2008)

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

It’s got a title, alright. It is more than an hour long and it has Thomas Jane in it. And it’s apparently about mutants, or something, I guess from the title. How bad can it be? I took two tylenol pm’s and watched it. I don’t know if that affected the review or not.

Pretty good, amazingly enough. It has the requisite introduction/narration by a very wise sounding man (something to do with an alien machine buried in medieval times, or something to that effect. It’s evil, etc.) and then drops the viewer into what appears to be a WWI battle. Except it says 2707, and it’s not countries fighting, it’s corporations. (Queue evil multi-national corporations, in three, two, one…) Their guns are futuristic, but nothing else is. Somehow or another, they open up the cave that the machine was hidden inside of. You can guess where it goes from here. Lots of shadows and fog; it’s very disorienting. Maybe that’s the pills, though.

Thomas Jane kicks ass from the very beginning. He’s the tough old sarge! Ron Perlman is a monk, who also kicks ass! Mutant ass! I guess he made this movie when he wasn’t too busy making that load of horeshit Hellboy II. John Malkovich is in it, too, I guess. He’s very calming and cool. This all adds up to more entertainment value for me, despite (or perhaps because of ?) the thinly veiled anti-corporate, anti-war, pro-faith themes. I guess it’s pro. Fine by me as long as the zombie-mutant things are violently terminated. I think I was going to write something more intelligent sounding there. I cannot remember.

The dialogue is pretty good. It’s not distracting or overdone. It’s fluffy where it needs to be fluffy, witty during action scenes, etc. Not terrible by a long shot.

The whole look/feel of the film is kinda bizarre. I mentioned that already, but I thought about it again. It sort of reminded me of The Breed. (That, itself, was a better flick than most I’ve seen recently.) I guess it’s a steampunk thing. Or something like that.

Sure, some of it drags a bit. There was a horrible portion of Transformers that did that too. Big deal. The whole faux-Catholicism is kinda cheeky. The fighting is pretty much bloody and awesome; it has to be, because they use swords! I should mention that the whole plot seems a bit too Shadow-Run or D&D, but that’s its only real downfall. Spoiler: the black guy dies first. Sorry.

So, take a couple hours and be entertained. 4/5

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those wacky scientists at the large hardon collider are now mocking us before they doom the earth!

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

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oh me oh my

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

One of my 500GB drives was acting wonky and wasn’t working very well, so I removed it from the fstab, and unlisted the partitions in windows. There was a funky HDD light on the front of my PC then, but no worries… until today when it not only didn’t want to work, but it also didn’t want the rest of the system to do anything.

At first it seemed as if I were dealing with an overheating issue. Took the drive out and everything is hunky-dory. Bastard Maxtor drive that I don’t have the warranty information for! (It is less than a year old, IIRC.)

Damn.

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Cuil? Well, it’s not so hot right now, that’s for sure.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

I’ve been plugging some random search queries into cuil.com and comparing the results to google’s. I do like cuil’s formatting; instead of a link list, it’s a little more well organized and intuitive, but the actual search results are sometimes lacking. A search for zombie returned some rather bizarre results, honestly. A far more unique search query returned very good results, however.

I couldn’t get any relevant hits for “Hobson’s Choice zine” (or mutations thereof). Very disappointing, considering that hobsonschoicezine.com exists and has content.

I’ve only had a small cup of coffee so far this morning so maybe that’s why I can’t seem to correlate the results, but it really does seem hit or miss.

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oh hell, i think i would give it a shot if i could afford it

Monday, July 28th, 2008

3-Day Novel Writing Contest? I thought the NaNoWriMo thing was ridiculous, but now it seems a bit more tame. Registering for this carries a bloody $50 fee, as well.

So for $50 you can pay to not sleep for 72 hours, spend as much of it as you possibly can writing, only to not have any hope of editing it properly. They don’t subscribe to a hard and fast 50k word rule, though, so that makes things a bit easier. I think they mention something about 100 or so typewritten pages being adequate.

Given a notebook full of notes and an outline (both allowed), this is not an impossible challenge if you don’t mind producing a half-baked concoction of short-stories and watered down metaphor. Judging by what I produced in the five days that I bothered to participate in NaNoWriMo this last year (and never will I bother with such tomfoolery again), I could possibly be arrested for my literary transgressions if I did mail them the resulting effort.

It could actually be fairly amusing.

Even still, $50? That’s worse than magazines that make you pay to submit, even when they’re not running a contest.

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this is exactly what those damn economists have been saying would happen.

Monday, July 28th, 2008

George Bush and $490 Billion dollar deficit:

Sure the $170 Billion Stimulus Package increased the deficit drastically, but only because we Americans aren’t doing our jobs. That Stimulus Plan was supposed to boost our economy, not slow it down next year. The problem is, like a girl from the dirty-Jerse who had too much to drink on a Saturday night in the City, we blew it. Instead of spending the money on material goods that would spur the economy, we spent it on stupid things like our Visa bills. If we had spent the money on other, non-necessities like plasma TVs like we were supposed to, we would be rolling in economic bliss. Instead of taking a page from the government and incurring huge amounts of debt with no foreseeable way to break even, we foolishly squandered our Stimulus loans payments on mortgages (thanks again Fannie Mae).

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oh me oh my, i even kept to syllabic strictness!

Monday, July 28th, 2008

a frog in the rain
water dropping gently
and now it is gone

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Hobson’s Choice updates, yes, it still exists

Monday, July 28th, 2008

I actually got around to reading some submissions for Hobson’s Choice #5 tonight. There have been a few that made me think I want this, and immediately fire off an acceptance.

That being said, go ahead and submit something. Let me get lost in your dream.

So once I get my tracking spreadsheets up to date, there will be a better idea of when issue 5 will be done. I’ve also received some very stunning artwork for the cover.

I’ll be updating the site in the next week or so, so keep your eyes peeled.

All issues are for sale on the site; pick one up, they’re cheap.

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Aural Attak – The Sleepy Horses

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

The Sleepy Horses is probably one of the most enthralling alternative country (is that even a fucking genre?) groups I’ve ever heard*. I’ve seen them live two or three times at the Stillwater Taproom, here in Augusta. I purchased this live album from them the first time I saw them and am absolutely in love with it. The sound is dreamy, intricate and inspired; it puts the taste of Americana in your mouth. It is irristable and fun.

Tracklisting:

  1. One Moment More
  2. Immigrant Prayer
  3. Geography
  4. Hearts are Breaking
  5. Makes No Sense
  6. Far, Far Away (From My Heart)
  7. Floods

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[Yes, I’m going to start doing this every Sunday; I’ll be going through my more esoteric tunes and finding the real gems that you might otherwise miss out on. Drop a link the comments section if you review it; let everyone know what you think.]

*Their sound has changed dramatically from what you’ll hear on this or on Somewhere Out West, Lonesome For You; they sound more like country-fried Mars Volta, sans all the Spanish.

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