Railing at Social Media and the Fools Therein!

What's really fun is that the fool in this instance would be me.  Everybody gets a bit tired and cranky sometimes, and boredom is a factor too.  So, when I spotted a picture my buddy on Google Plus posted mocking Republicans and mentioning pigeons crapping on a chessboard, I figured I'd have a bit of fun.  So I played the "I'm a republican, why are you picking on me card" and feigned some mock indignation.  Allen fell for it.  He's a nice guy, and sure we don't agree on some thing politically, but he's a straight shooter.  I was going to let him know I was just screwing around, but then he got his rant on.

Internet/social media propoganda 101
Reality check people: -- IF I (or anyone for that matter) posts a graphic attacking: Atheists, Christians, Democrats, Republicans, Nerds, Jocks, Redheads, Long Hair's, Blondes, Jazz Freaks, Music haters... etc....... there is a 99% chance the post is EITHER simply meant as humor and/or intended as propaganda against the extreme elements of whatever group is being mentioned..... If you see such a graphic and believe that it is specifically targeting you? --- Think twice, chances are, you're wrong (unless of course you ARE a backwards ignorant trolling bigot who deserves to be called out---- but really, assuming I have you in one of my circles--- you really think I would have left you there if I actually felt that way?--- jeebus, grow up people

Now this brings up a really excellent point.  We get bombarded by information on the internet.  Ideas are flying about.  If you're going to go on a social media site, you have to have a thick enough skin to be ready to deal with what other people post. They may say things you don't agree with.  They may post something they think is funny that offends you.  The main thing is: most likely they are not posting it to particularly offend you.

Now, there's another side of this coin.  When you're posting something about a group of people, you have to remember that you're posting about a group of people.  I'll make fun of our Pop Star-in-Chief or his walking gaffe machine VP, but I'm a bit hesitant to go after Democrats as a whole.  I have friends and family members who are Democrats.  My aunt is a Democrat, and I love my aunt to pieces.  So I don't want to post anything that'll upset her if she happens to see it.  So if you're posting something about a group of folks, you need to be prepared for possible fallout if someone you know and like doesn't like what you may have insinuated about them.

So, my bit of trolling of Allen yielded some pretty cool results.  Unfortunately, someone else decided to chime in.  We'll call him "Jay", mainly because that's his name.  On Google Plus is you scroll over someone's name you can see a little pop up giving you a couple of bullet points about them like location and occupation.  Jay's bullet point said he was a "thinker" and I should have backed away right there.

Unless you're one of the shambling dead craving brains, you are a thinker.  Don't put that in you occupation unless possibly you work in one of them there think tanks, which I always been curious about.  And don't put "free thinker" in there either.  That translated directly to "kook".

But I made the mistake of poking fun at the Thinker, and that always brings out a rant.  Its never a good rant either.  You're always kind of hoping for some Dennis Miller quality rant that just rails on with insightful, poignant things and is so amazingly clever that even though they're dumping all over you, you've got to give them props for freaking amazing their rant is.  Nope.  Its always them trying to show that their intellectual shlong is bigger than yours or anybody else who happens to read it, and even if its loaded with perfectly poignant facts as to the topic at hand, its so frakking boring that you have to fight the urge to just respond "tl;dr".

So, don't ever troll a "Thinker".  Its never worth it.  Just no fun at all.  I did try to get the guy to lighten up and make it obvious that I was indeed just screwing around, but Thinkers think serious think-stuffs, and have no time on this here intarwubs for shenanigans.  So I got blocked, which is a shame, because as everyone knows: I'm a complete delight to be around.  I dunno.  He might have just been having a bad day.

So, what did we learn today?

1: Allen Marshall makes an excellent point that needs consideration.

2: Forethought before posting probably needs to happen more.

3: Being a "Thinker" can be mistaken for being a knob, so we gotta be careful of that.

Not looking good...

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is coming soon wrapping up Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.  Not particularly excited about it, because I didn't like THE DARK KNIGHT.  The movie, while well done, was really all about the Joker, and I was there to see him lose, not win.  Even the staunchest supports of that movie have started to admit that it was too long, too depressing, and batman got his cape and cowl handed to him.  However there's the notion in the air that the previous movie being the second of a planned trilogy would be made up for by Batman's ultimate triumph in the last installment of the trilogy.

The previews don't really fill me with confidence.  

What makes me even less confident is that a tie-in game is being released.  In this game you play a criminal that is looting Gotham during bane's attack on the city.  You can't play a good guy.  You can't play a policeman.

This further gives me the impression that in the Nolan films, the villains are the real stars, and Batman's just there to give them someone to fight.  Yes, Batman does have one of, if not the best rogues galleries of any superhero.  However, we've seen what happens when the villain gets the top billing in a Batman flick.  Schwarzenegger.  'Nuff said.

I'm really on the fence about even seeing it for the sake of reviewing it at this point.

Thoughts on Snow White and Huntsman

Saw it over the weekend.  Beautiful scenery.  Chris Hemsworth did his thing.  Charlize Theron was absolutely venomous.  Nice to see Nick Frost is anything.

Now, I've got a pretty good ability to suspend disbelief.  You have to when you come up a comic book nerd.





Evil queen doing evil queen spells?


But I've got to draw the line when they start referring to Kristen Stewart as the 'fairest in the land".

That's one weird looking broad.

When the women who are supposed to look unattractive look more attractive than the star, you've got problems.

Comic Reviews (6-6-12)

THIEF OF THIEVES #5 has hit the spot I've been waiting for.  Really the first four issues have been establishing the characters and the situation.  Its been a lot of exposition, but its been masterfully done and completely engaging.  We have Conrad, the master thief who walked away from the life, and now we have his son who is looking down the barrel of what looks like a long, hard prison term.  At this point we now have a hint of where this story is going to be going.  I'm quite pleased.  For a bit I thought it was going to turn into a guy breaks his kid out of prison type thing.  I should have known better.  Kirkman plotting this, and Spencer writing it, I definitely should have known better.  This is a caper book.  The problem with reviewing caper books is that there's so much going on, but everything's spoiler.  I can say this.  We find out what happened to his ex-partner/brother-in-law.  We meet some new interesting characters.  We also get an idea of how Conrad plans on getting Augustus out of jail.  Of course with a book like this, I severely doubt that everything is as it seems.  Sharp written, and beautifully illustrated.  Seriously, if you haven't been buying this book, you need to start.

MORNING GLORIES #19 also came out because its that time of the month.  You know how it is.  You spend most of the month with everything being fine and dandy.  Then there's that time of the month where you're emotional and confused and possibly bloaty and wondering "what the hell just happened, and what did I just read?"  Yep.  Its PNS.  Pondering Nick Spencer.  And that can be quite difficult when it comes to this book.  Here, we focus on Hunter.  I like Hunter. He's likable.  He means well.  He's late for important stuff.  He's sympathetic.  We get some more of Hunter's backstory, much of it involving his mother.  Now, while all of this is solid ground for us to go from, as soon as we venture off the solid ground that is Hunter, we're off into a completely topsy-turvy, whiskey tango foxtrot ball of what 's going on and why is this happening?  Zoe's trying to kill Hunter.  She's an important piece to this game that is being played, and we're still not sure exactly what this game is because we've been dumped into the middle of it from issue one.  And as confused as I am about everything that has gone on in this book, and I've read every issue and still am not 100% sure about what's going on, I CAN'T STOP READING THIS BOOK!  Its too interesting!  Spencer has instilled this notion in me that all of the insane stuff that has gone on in this book fits together somehow, and I'm only just now starting to put the corners of this thing together.

DRACULA WORLD ORDER #1 is Ian Brill's first creator owned effort.  Its a fairly solid work and I dove through the first issue painlessly.  The world building is handled expediently.  The character designs are interesting.  Alexandru, Vincent, and Mai are looking to take on a world run by Dracula.  We have Alexandru who is Dracula's son.  Vincent is the last of the vampire hunters.  Mai is a prisoner who has had her genetics messed about with by a vampiric mad scientist.  The design of Dracula is striking and quite different than what I'm used to seeing.  Very menacing.  There was a bit of an eyeroll moment in which Dracula seized power by transforming "The1%" into vampires and I had to laugh thinking whatever's left of the Occupy morons would be all over this since its kind of a metaphor for how they view things.  I don't know if Brill buys into all that, but it makes for an interesting enough story.  The artwork is very good.  I was actually a bit surprised by how good it was.  All and all, this has the makings of an interesting series, and is off to a pretty good start.  This book is in limited release, but can be downloaded at Comixology.

Being stupid and paying for it

I was driving home from karate last night and while on the 168 bypass I saw a car flipping in the median.  The headlights were spinning, and parts were flying off of it.  I quickly pulled over and ran over there to see if i could help.  The car was upside down.  Others had quickly run over to vehicle.  The guy inside was screaming and actually had people thinking there was a woman in the vehicle, with how high pitched and panicked he was.  He had been wearing a seat belt and the airbags had deployed.

One of the people who ran to his aid was the guy he had been racing.

I know this because a big fellow who was standing next to me saw the whole thing.  The two cars go next to each other.  Each honked their horns.  Then they took off.  One car lost control.  The fellow who told me this had been behind them when it happened.  I saw where he was parked and he had his kids in the car.  I couldn't help thinking about how much worse this could have been.  I thought about how many times I take my kids down that same bypass.

I felt every ounce of sympathy for the driver leave me.

Yeah, I stuck around until police and fire fighters got there.  I was ready as we saw a bit of smoke come from the engine to do whatever we had to to get the driver clear if the car started to burn, but fortunately it didn't come to that.  Police showed but fairly quickly and I waited until i got the OK from an officer before heading off for home.

I'm not wishing ill on the driver, he's had about enough ill visit him last night.  Not sure of how injured he is.  I know the vehicle is totally.  I'm just happy no one else got hurt.

SO Close

My dojo competed in the battle of the 7 Cities Tournament yesterday.  My daughter competed, and she did alright.  Got a couple of finalist medals out of it.  My other students did well.  Had a few get some trophies.  The demo team did well, and put on a good show.

I competed at the end of the day.  I was a bit tired, but I shook that off.  My family was there and that was extra incentive.  Most of all, it was my birthday, and I wanted that forms championship belt.  The last few years, a Tang Soo Do stylist named Jerry has been dominating in the forms division.  Nice guy, but that's who I was gunning for.  He wasn't there, so it was pretty much wide open.  There were still a lot of strong competitors out there, so I knew I had to bring out everything I had.

The weapons division went horribly.  I hit a slick spot on the floor and nearly fell, but managed to catch myself and continue.  But that slip cost me dearly and I was completely out of placing.  No problem, I'd just make up for in in the empty hand competition.

I did Hakutsuru for my kata and this was the first time I'd used it in competition.  Usually I did a combination of Hakucho and Shiho Kosokon.  That's scored well for me, but I knew I needed to take things up a notch.  I was one of the first three up, which usually isn't a good thing.  But that fine because I had my form ready.  Its a white crane form and I got out there, and well....

I killed it.  Just threw the gauntlet down for everyone to try to catch my score.  There were a lot of those guys who came damn close too.  Seriously strong forms out there.  It the end though I got first place and it was on to the grand championships.

My dad and stepmom had to go, but they saw me win, so everyone was happy.  On I went with the four other division winners to see who gets the belt.  I was to go third.  No problem.  The first girl was pretty strong.  The second girl was someone who I've competed against a few times, and she's very good, but she slipped in the same spot I had slipped in the weapon's division, and she managed to catch herself as well, but it cost her in the scoring.

I got out there and put everything I had into the kata and it paid off.  My scores were strong, but would they hold up against the last two guys?  They went out there and nailed there forms and I'm running the numbers in my head.  They both had me beat.

So, much to my surprise, after all the scores are calculated, i get announced as Grand Champion.  I'm floored.  They call me up, and i stepped forward like a kid who thought he might possibly be in trouble for something, but they said I won, and the look on my face had to be one of a man who was utterly perplexed. This was what I was after, and all I could think was "someone's math is off".

Here comes the tournament promoter with the belt, and the cash prize money.  I've known this guy for years.  He's honestly excited that I finally won the grand.  The missus is one her cell phone calling my dad.  She excited.  I'm sort of excited, but it all just seemed so wrong.  Then I saw one of the other competitors looking at the scores.  He, rightfully, called for it to get re-checked.  

Scores got recalculated, and then with tons of apologies, the belt and cash prize went to the guy who won the weapons division.  Now, the guy who called for the scores to get checked did not win, nor did he think he had, but he knew something was wrong.  The woman who slipped also wanted the scores rechecked because she trains with the promoter and wants to make sure everything's above board.

But again, lashings of apologies from everyone, and no belt for me.  Ah well.  At least I got to touch it.

Comic Reviews (5-30-12)

THE WALKING DEAD #98 continues the "Something to fear" storyline which will be leading us to issue 100. You know something is up when the person behind the counter is freaking out over the issue with a complete, "I can't believe that happened" look on their face.  Yes a main character gets bumped off in this issue and I honestly didn't see that one coming.  Its true what Kirkman says about this comic: "No one is safe."  The battlelines are drawn between Rick's group and this mysterious Negan.  Lately with the group taking out an entire herd of walkers its seemed like they were ready for anything.  Granted, Rick's group is still as tough as they come, but its looking like Negan's group is a serious threat.  Now we have the loss of an important member of the group, which has me seriously wondering if Rick and the others will be able to hang on to their community in the face of this threat.  There's some critics that say the series moves a bit slow, but they certainly can't complain about this issue.  Plenty of action, and all of it brutal.

ANGEL AND FAITH #10 is an absolute hoot.  The quest to get Giles back takes an amusing turn when we meet Giles' Great-Aunts.  These sisters have used every trick in the book to stay young and beautiful, but now with magic gone, the bill has come due.  Christos gage and Chris Samnee do a huge gear shift in classic Whedon fashion.  When things get really heavy like they did in the last storyline, when its time to turn around and deliver some fun.  The sisters are an absolute hoot, as is how Angel and Faith react to them.  I had some real laugh out loud moments here.  At the same time, we also move along with "Giles Quest".  This is a really well done issue.  I had a blast with it.

ROCKETEER ADVENTURES 2 #3 serves up three stories again.  David Lapham and Chris Sprouse give us a nice story with with Cliff and Betty thinking about their future and what could be.  There's a story by Kyle Baker which is better off skipped.  The last is by Matt Wagner and Eric Canete which is an interesting retelling of the Rocketeer's history.  Sprouse and Canete both really serve up for beautiful art, and this is added to by a sweet pin-up by Eric Powell.  I would have liked some more action with this issue.  The stories show a lot of love for the character, but now a lot of punches thrown and bullets flying.  Not bad, but hopefully we'll get more action next issue.

ZOMBIES VERSUS ROBOTS ANNUAL 2012 came out, and to be honest I only picked it up because Drew Moss drew one of the four stories in there.  Sam Keith did art on a story in there too, so that's a bonus.  It was interesting in that Keith and the other artists have a really quirky style, and that really made Moss's stand out with his cleaner style.  I'm not a big ZvR fan, and this issue isn't going to get me on the bandwagon, but it wasn't bad at all.  The "Summer" story was the stand out for me, but of course I'm biased there.