Category Archives: Entertainment

WizardEarth: The Forgotten Web

Nearly twenty years ago I decided to create a collaborative writing website where many authors could team together to contribute to writing fan fiction (or whatever).

I called it WizardEarth and I built a whole database and web application to support it. Today, as I dug around The Wayback Machine looking for TomBeingTom’s old page, I happened to enter some of my old domain names and there were these images I’d manufactured, all those years ago, to start the authoring process.

To begin, I’d created four foundational stories. Each was a Harry Potter sequel. I never really got anywhere with it. But I still own the domain WizardEarth.com (empty now).


Jamie Potter and the Ghost of St. Marks
(Jamie was Harry & Jennie’s daughter. Yeah, I figured that those two would get married right after I’d read the 2nd book.)
JamiePotter

Lawrence Potter and the Eye of Mistraal.
(Larry was their son.)
LawrencePotter

Lady Josephine Potter and the Drakar Revolt of 1863.
(Josephine was Harry’s grandmother on his father’s side.)
LadyJosephinePotter

Sir Leopold Potter and the Starfire Treasure Defense.
(Leopold was Harry’s grandfather on his father’s side.)
SirLeopoldPotter


Stewie the Stoic: Time

StewieTheStoic001

[Quotes courtesy of Seneca]

 


Your Favorite: a stand-up round

Where I’m working, we have morning stand-ups: a quick meeting where 10 -/+ of us round the room explaining yesterday’s and today’s tasks. Everyone takes a monthly turn at leading. June is my month. So, first off, I built a spinner to pick who goes first:

Spinner

Then, I provided a list of topics that each person could volunteer their favorite. Each day a different topic:

Favorite…

  • Media
    • Movies
    • Books, stories, games
    • Media star or fictional character – hero, villain or
    • Fictional location – in what fictional land would you care to live or visit
    • Meme/genre: sci-fi, fantasy, time shift, horror, dystopia, CSI, medical, cops/crime
  • Food
    • A meal or food you’d eat every day for the rest of your life
    • Beverage
    • Sweet or treat: childhood or now
    • Least favorite food
    • Haven’t tried but would like to
  • Travel
    • Prior vacation spot
    • Desired vacation spot
    • Live the rest of your life
    • Would never travel to, worst placed you’ve lived
    • Where would you take the entire team?
  • Misc
    • Favorite science meme: fusion, space elevator, Moon/Mars colony, robots, AI, etc.
    • Music, do you play an instrument, can you dance, are you in a band?
    • Unknown skills (art, maker, cooking, crafts, etc.)
    • Pet, childhood memory, hobby, best/worst job
    • Bucket list: anything

So far the answers have been fun, strange and entertaining.

(Who knew that some folks don’t like shrimp, sushi, liver & onions, cilantro, bean sprouts? Odd people, these.)


Masturbating cockatiel

Enrique permanently dropped off his pet cockatiel, Perrico, a lovely male with an exceptional attitude.

I lived with Tom, my twenties’ mentor, in a house in Marin County. Enrique worked for Tom and, for the time being, so did I. Tom never married, owned a Cessna, mined California gold, hunted in Montana and lived to adventure. Life with Tom was a blast.

Meals were a crap-shoot with Tom. Often, I’d make a batch of popcorn over the gas stove — I got very good at its production, nary a kernel went unpopped. Perrico loved popcorn. The cockatiel would wait for an offering and hop down on the carpet to eat. Later, we’d find him inside the wide pot, pecking at the remains. He also loved to play.

Tom would carry him back to the far bedroom and toss him into the air. He’d fly around the house looking for me, finally landing on top of my head when I was located — often hiding to challenge him.

He’d rarely sing. No, that’s not true. He’d often sing but, only on special occasions — right after he finished masturbating on your thumb.

During the evenings, he spent little time in his cage, often just sitting around on top of us or things while we read our books. However, if you held him on your index finger, with his butt positioned over the knuckle of your thumb, he would begin the strangest dance. He’d start to rub his hidden dick on that bump. He rub and rub until, with an arched back, he’d cum. A tiny wet spot would materialize and he’d start to sing as if he were an opera star.

If you interrupted him, he’d become mighty cross and attempt to bite your hand and would squawk a raucous noise.

I left in autumn, headed back to school. In November that year, Tom opened the front door to go to work, having forgotten to cage Perrico the night before. The bird went for the bright light, flew up into the foggy morning and was never seen again.


Are games sports?

Over on Frank Solanki’s poetry blog:

May The Test Match Win

he used the word “sport” to describe games being played between rival teams.

Now, the world over conflates the word “sport” with a game played with equipment (sticks, balls, gloves, etc.) on a field or court, constrained by rules and governed by referees.

In a jocular mood I penned, as a comment, the following limerick:

The players declared this was sport.
The team owners together claimed tort!
If there are rules and a ball,
And lined fields to fall,
It’s a game, the judged cried with a snort.

In my mind, games are NOT sports.

fishingbaseball

“There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” – Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway was an avid hunter and fisherman and no doubt would include those activities as sports.

But games? Maybe if you got rid of all the rules, put nails and barbwire on the bats and balls and PAID to play in fights to the death — then I might consider those sports.

Your thoughts?

 


Alita: Battle Angel – loved it

My son and I went to see this movie — during the day — and we had the entire theater to ourselves. I went in knowing absolutely nothing about the story or the history of this film. It was a great way to see it.

We both loved it.

My son didn’t know about the concept of the Uncanny Valley so later I explained it to him. Alita’s character exposes this theme but it’s nuanced — the feeling wavers all throughout the movie. And I think that’s appropriate. The girl is NOT human. She is Other. And it shows. Yet she emits such expression, such engaging behavior that you can’t help but be attracted to her — despite her otherness.

I highly recommend this film.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/16/alita-battle-angel-review-uncanny-valley/

 

 


Complex entertainment

Consider the entertainment industry 100 years ago. Or 200. Or 2000.

Could you ever believe you might be satisfied with shadow puppets, Punch n’ Judy, traveling minstrels, oral stories in an amphitheater or around a campfire and maybe, if you’re lucky, a play or a view of the art of a city, the wealthy or a religious edifice?

Throw your 21st Century self back into antiquity and imagine how bored your mind would be after about a month of getting used to life then. Sure, your time would be taken up with ten times the survival activity you practice today. But if you were one of the leisure crowd, try and picture the limited mental stimulation you’d be exposed to.

Today that would be worth a few hours of “Oh, this looks interesting…” (Now, what’s next? Because — I’m bored to tears.)

In our era, we’ve got so much entertainment, arts, media, sociality that we have a hard time turning it off. The common mantra “unplug, disconnect, go outside and live a little” is to return to a time when humans had little to fill their intellectual minds. “Ah, no jingles, beeps and buzzes, aside from the insects. Tranquility.”

I wonder at this progression.

From the simplistic, 300 baud data input stream of the natural world to the flood of terabytes saturating our brain cells  — we adapt; humanity’s every growing capacity to embrace the complex.

In 100 years we’ve gone from, what today’s media moguls would call pathetic information and entertainment input streams to what can only be called total-sensory-overload. Yet we condition ourselves, brace for the onslaught and beg for more.

In 100 years from now, imagine the exabytes that will blanket our minds and drive our desire for more, faster, now — even higher.