Saturday, June 30, 2007

Does nobody find this disturbing

There's a company, well a fund, named after THE HOUND OF HELL that's buying up major corporations. I mean, has nobody noticed this other than me? Seriously, Cerberus Capital Management is James Bond meets the Omen creepy, like something out of a modern horror novel.

Of course, now that I've pointed this out, their demonic hit teams are on their way.


Friday, June 29, 2007

I am so smart, I am so smart. S-M-R-T. I mean, S-M-A-R-T

Me, as a Simpson?
(You can be too.)
(Note: Simpsons creator program
does not feature glasses, you need
to add them yourself. - J)


Thursday, June 28, 2007

The console wars revisited

So, I'm reading yesterday's Penny Arcade blog, and something occurred to me. Nintendo have to be the shrewdest company of the bunch, they sat out nearly two generations of consoles and now are back to being the number one company. Sure, they had consoles out, but the just sat back, let the market do what it did, and just watched the hype machines bark and snap at each other. That watching paid off in spades.

Amazing, that.

Now, the two big boys on the block have no idea what they're doing as the Wii keeps flying off the shelf. Microsoft has been playing hardball to overtake Sony, and now that they have, they don't know what to do. Sony's so used to being number one, that they got sloppy and arrogant, and are now scrambling to be number two. Neither one of them have really got what it takes to be there, and it's going to take a lot of shuffling to get them there. My money's on Sony overtaking Microsoft by a small margin, just because they're scared and hungry now, and Microsoft is starting to crack.

That said, the upcoming 6 to 8 months are going to be interesting. Will Nintendo hold on? Is Microsoft going to get over itself? Is Sony going to rebound? Hard to say, but I'm glad I'm not selling the stupid things any more, as it's a rough (make that annoying) time to be a retailer. I'm happy with my PS2 and library of games, and that's about as far into console gaming as I want to be right now.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Here's something interesting

From Kung Fu Cinema, and other sources, comes news of a new HK/US production company called Qi. The goal of Qi is to produce HK-style films, in HK, but for the English language market. They've teamed up with The Weinstein Company, and their Asian cinema label Dragon Dynasty.

The aforementioned article also goes into the challenges that the HK film industry is going through, which sounds a lot like a hyperkinetic version of what's going on in Hollywood these days. Where the new crop of actors just aren't cutting it.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Media rundown and other stuff

Eh, time for one of these, I guess.

Watching: A Fistful of Dollars, some Gundam Wing, some Fullmetal Alchemist, Highlander: the Search for Vengeance, Hellboy: Blood & Iron, Ghost Rider, Star Wars: Clone Wars, some Dead Like Me, some X-Files, and some Lone Gunmen. Also, I saw Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in the theatre.
Listening (to): Coast to Coast AM MP3s, the X-Files: Ground Zero audiobook, and random music MP3s.
Reading: Not much. Haven't had the energy.
Playing: LEGO Star Wars 2, Phantasy Star Universe, and Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter.

Summer unemployment is going to be hell. I can guarantee internet until probably September, but anything else is totally out there. Because of this, I've had to cancel all sorts of plans, including going to see Geek-Gasm, which really knocks the wind out of my sails. I was so very much looking forward to it, and now it's just probably not going to happen. I was looking forward to seeing Mary, and that's not going to happen. I was looking forward to having weekends off, and... well, that's going to happen but without an income, it's moot.

I'm too old for this crap.

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Impending doom.

Sort of takes the fun out of life, don't it?

It's amazing how much my family doesn't understand that forcing me to move back here basically ruined my life, and it saddens me that they'll seemingly never understand it. I could be gainfully employed if I lived in Toronto, as I've had a couple of offers, but only if I actually lived there. With TV hours, commuting would be impossible at this distance as I probably wouldn't have any time to sleep at all.

And they wonder why I'm so bitter.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Some days you just want to give up

Got the call today. The work contract is over as of today. No advanced warning. Just BANG! the afternoon team is turfed. I blame the agency more than the company, as they weren't particularly forthcoming with reliable information. I didn't even know it was a temp contract until I actually started work. My fault, I know, but the agency stated that it was ongoing, and only when asked directly, after the fact, did they say it was temporary for the summer. Apparently, the summer is three weeks long.

Anywho... I'm sick, tired and taking the rest of the day off.

The job search can resume Monday.

Update on Monday: Still sick, still tired, and blaming the company now. The timing reeks of a corporate culling, as you know, the vast majority of layoffs and firings occur on a Friday as there's a much lower chance of their being any sort of confrontation.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Quote of the _______

"I have never said that conservatives are generally stupid - only that stupid people are generally conservative."
- John Stuart Mill


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Dangers of Cosplay

This is Aayla Secura. A Twi'lek Jedi, generally considered 'hot', from the prequel trilogy:

This is somebody cosplaying Aayla Secura:

Note the sheer failure. Now, that's not to say that the character can't be successfully cosplayed, as this picture demonstrates:

This one even pulls it off better:

And yet another one:

So, it can be done, and done well on a budget. Smearing on blue crap, and putting funny tubes on your head does not a Twi'lek Jedi make you. Sure, the first one's costume was mostly good, except for the shoes... okay, I'm just being nice as the costume pretty much sucks, but if you're going to show off that much skin, well.... you could at least get the shade right at least, and y'know, a little matte goes a long way. You just look kind of greasy, and well, it makes you look like a fat chick (which I don't believe she is) unsuccessfully trying to look hot. I'm sure that, under that horrible grease paint, there's a very attractive woman there, but the end result is far less flattering. Horrible, even.

Also, the above applies to the various Slave Leias... well, except for the blue crap and funny tubes.

The moral of this story is that if you can pull it off, more power to you. If you can't, then people are just being nice if they compliment you because they know you'll take it personally.

(For the record, the leering and sneering Jedi just isn't pulling it off either. Sure, the robes are decent, but he just doesn't look very Jedi. He looks more like an Alan Rickman villain.)

Also, in case you're wondering, this came about as I was trying to remember what the Jedi's name was. I just finished watching Clone Wars, and it couldn't remember it. I Googled 'hot twilek jedi', then the proper name. The first cosplayer was on the first page.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wow, the Penny Arcade guys weren't lying

The PlayStation.Blog does indeed suck, as per the Penny Arcade spoof.

Well, okay, it's not so much suck, as it is more of having an obvious absence of, and I'm not sure how to word it.... non-suck. It's like an internal rah-rah corporate memo but without any real content to rah-rah around.


Well, okay, there's lots of marketing speak, but this is a blog we're talking about not a Playstation Underground e-mail ad. This is a blog, but not this. Granted, it's not as smarmy as the Microsoft one, but at least that one actually has some semblance of character.

Good thing I'm losing interest in gaming, as well, it's starting to not be interesting anymore.

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The New Batsuit

First the Joker pics, and now this. Damn. Still 13 months away.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

For the record...

The reason why I haven't posted for a while is that I've been pretty busy with work, and I'm not sure when I'll be back in the groove of mostly regular posting.

As an aside, I really don't like the redesign of the Apple Trailers site as it's way too limiting.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

#1283 in the series of things I never thought I'd ever see

The new 2-disc Special Edition of the remastered Ichi the Killer, completely uncut, on the new release rack at Walmart.

Ichi the Killer.

Ichi the Killer at Walmart.

Brain a'splode.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Helpful tip

Henry Rollins isn't cool because he has tattoos.

Henry Rollins is cool because he's Henry Rollins.

Keep this in mind before making an ass out of one's self.

(For the record, this is in response to a guy I saw tonight trying to emulate Rollins' look. It didn't work. Tats are cool, but only in the right hands, and a tat on the right hand would just look weird.)

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Covert geekdom

Here's an example of why I don't like to talk geek in public:

There is no way to talk about things like miniatures games or roleplaying games without coming off like a complete dork. To make matters worse, the people who do champion it tend to be the lunatic fringe, Matthew Lillard being the only exception (I'd say Wil Wheaton, but he played Wesley Crusher), and really do harm to those of us who just do this as a way to have fun with our friends.

I feel sorry for the guy in the video, as he really thinks that he's doing his hobby a favour, but all he does is drone on for 3 freaking minutes. While I understand what he's saying, owning the game and a couple of add-ons myself, a lot of what he says is meaningless to someone not familiar with the game. The whole concept of 'expensive units' and 'points' is just confusing to someone who hasn't played one of these miniature games. Again, I know what he's talking about, but I'm betting that the average PBS viewer would be lost.

The place where I found the video,, is cheering this TV clip but all it does is paint geeks into the same geek corner that we're always painted into. This doesn't show that us as normal people. It just shows us as the quiet weirdo in the corner, even if it is mostly accurate. The vocal geeks on a message board, are usually quiet and easily intimidated in the real world, or else they're absurdly obnoxious as they have no concept of social grace. I think that's why I've now sworn off a certain message board, hopefully once and for all. (Coincidentally, the site had a disc error today, and now it's gone teats up.)

As an aside, okay, other than Spammers, who's reading this blog?


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Work weirdness

So, I'm doing contract work for a company here in Paris called Roadware, Inc. and it's sort of a learning experience. Obviously, there's me learning the job, but I'm also learning other things related to the job.

First up, my job title is apparently Data Analyst. I suppose this is apt, as I am analysing data, but I'm basically doing QC on the automated processes. What this means is that I'm drawing lines on photos. All that said, Data Analyst sounds spiffy enough for resume fodder.

Secondly, I apparently have an extension. Where this magical extension is, I have no idea, but I have an extension. Combined with that, I have no idea how to get to the voice mail for magical extension, as the extension has an invisible phone.

Thirdly, I have corporate e-mail already. This is all sort of overwhelming for a job that I didn't have until Monday morning, and knew little of until I actually sat at one of the work stations.

That said, I do have to admit that my job is fairly interesting, if a little boring. (Yeah, I know, that doesn't really make sense.) It's a short term contract, for the summer from what I understand, but it is one that's going to look good on the resume. Or, at least, seem to.


Curious media note

Does anybody else find it amusing that the Pope's specially designed vehicle is called "The Popemobile" by nearly everybody, in and out of the media, despite it not actually being named that? It's funny how a throwaway joke from years back has become a part of the modern pop vernacular.

Who'd of thunk it?

(Does anybody remember who it was that coined the term "Popemobile"? I know it was a comic, but I can't remember which one. An SNL alum?"

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

No, seriously

Other than Geoff, who are my two new readers? I'm curious, and it will help me tailor the content of this place.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Baudrillard and me

I've been reading interviews with Jean Baudrillard, and I'm coming to one of two conclusions: 1. he really just likes to talk in stream of conciousness without a care as to whether or not he's making sense or even correct, or 2. he's being translated by Babelfish. I honestly can't tell which it is, or even if it's a combination of the two, especially when I find repeated spelling errors in the text of the interview.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

The whole writing thing

I used to be a writer.

Well, technically, I still am but I've let it lapse.

A decade ago I did a fair bit of spec writing, seemingly* unsuccessful, but I was writing on a more or less regular and professional level. Like a lot of things in my life, it was a victim of the move back to Paris. I haven't been able to write since then, and I really can't figure out why. Part of my thinks it's fear, because those were some dark days for me, but another part of me thinks it's because I just can't get into that mindset anymore, due to my surroundings. Also, my bouts with depression probably have a big part in it, as well.

Suffice it to say, when I call myself a writer, I'm not just your typical 'midnight writer', as they're called. I've been trained, I tried the professional route, and I burned out somewhere along the line.

Anywho, I just read a review, on John Rogers blog, of a book on screenwriting by Jeff Kitchen and it's got me thinking: I should be reading up on the craft again if I think I should be doing this again. Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434 got me through filmschool, and brought my marks up from a D to an A, which wasn't a small feat. Unfortunately, it's a book that I'll have to dig up again, as I lent it to friend's boyfriend who soon became her ex-boyfriend.

As the long time readers may know, all two of you, I tried to do a writer's blog that failed due to my inability to actually do anything creative with it. That was around a year ago, and I'm damned if I'm going to let this fall away like it did last year. Inevitably, it probably will, but not without a fight.

(*There's a story.)


Saturday, June 02, 2007

I really should explain the name of this place

Okay, most of you know that the title of this blog is a pun, and that it's the third iteration of my blog. At the same time, most of you don't get why I've called it thus, so here's the explanation.

Rewind to 1995, when I was living in Toronto and getting into the BBS scene. At that point, I needed to come up with a handle to use, and I picked Dyson. I chose Dyson for a number of reasons: I was watching Macross Plus, and Isamu Dyson was the lead character's name. I had been reading up on physicist Freeman Dyson, who conceptualized the Dyson Sphere. I had been recently introduced to Esther Dyson, daughter of the physicist, who is considered the authority on emerging digital technology. Finally, I was also reminded of Myles Dyson, the fictional creator of The Terminator series' Skynet computer system.

Basically, the name Dyson was around, and it made sense to take it. It became my nom de net for the better part of the next 5 years, with people even calling me it offline, and my first website was called "Dysonsphere".

When I started blogging, I was going through some serious issues involving, amongst other things, social phobia. At that point, the name 'Dyson's Fear' made sense in that context, and I've stuck with it since. Come December, I'll have been blogging under this name for half a decade, and what a half-decade it's been.

So, there you have it, that's why this place is called Dyson's Fear.


This should be the final word on the HD format war

If you really care, and want a straight answer, read this: The Digital Bits presents... The Soapbox: HD-DVD Buyers Beware (or... What Have You Done, Headgeek?!). It's The Digital Bits refuting Harry Knowles claims about HD-DVD, and that you really shouldn't listen to anything that comes out of the guys mouth. (Okay, that latter part is me trashing Knowles, but in the case of the format war, bank on it.)

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Friday, June 01, 2007

I want...

That said, this comes a close second:


Media rundown and other stuff

Heh, it's been over a month since I did one of these.

Watching: On DVD it's been Blazing Saddles, Starship Troopers, Slither, Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, The Da Vinci Code, Cutie Honey, The Tiger Blade, The Killer, Hardboiled, Bullet in the Head, and Curse of the Golden Flower. On TV it was the season finales of Smallville, Supernatural, Heroes, and Jericho (R.I.P.) plus the final episodes of Stargate SG-1.
Listening (to): Random MP3s that seem to prefer playing Ben Folds.
Reading: Back to reading The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson, and sundry websites. (Including a lot of boingboing, plus visiting Denis McGrath's and Will Dixon's blogs.)
Playing: The Getaway, Samurai Legend Musashi, Tron 2.0 and Star Wars Bounty Hunter.

So, I've been unemployed for roughly three days now, and well, I feel the stress and anxiety leaving me. That's not to say that I'm stress and anxiety free, but I'm not shaking or feeling sick anymore. Until Monday, I'm playing unemployed slacker bum, but it's game on starting then. I've got some leads, with one particularly good one, and I feel that this will only be temporary. Part of me wants to go back to the comfortable setting of Future Shop, but I really don't want to go backwards. Also, judging by the amount of coughing I've been doing during these smog days, I don't think that outdoor work is going to be a good idea. (Then again, I could just have a stress related bug.)

With all that said, I really want to do more with my life. The thought of going back to school is up there, with anthropology at Mac being the most likely path. That said, the idea of graduating past 40 is vaguely unsettling. As for work, I'd really love to work for a charity, but since I can't afford to volunteer for the foreseeable future, that's a bit of a pipe-dream. Plus, I don't think I've got much in the way of bankable skills in that department. (Mind you, if they want a literate, and mostly snarky, blogger to work for them, I'd be pleased to offer my services.)

I keep putting off my screenplay, and I really should go pick up a new notebook to devote to it. (I should also see if my old draft is still kicking around, as I need to remember who the characters were before I can redefine who they are.) Hearing about Dave's play being produced for this year's Toronto Fringe Fest is rubbing sticks under my ass to get something done. Who knows, if it's a success, I might just see if he wants to turn it into a film and having my own work to show would be beneficial to me. (I'm still a little cross at Brett and Nate for letting the horror movie die. That would've been a fun excercise, and would have looked good on a demo reel.)

As you can see, I'm not exactly at a loss for ideas, nor do I seem particularly depressed over the situation that's transpired over this past week. Truth be told, I am incredibly disappointed and borderline devastated by it, but I have to pick things up and go. As the great Criswell said:
Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.
And we all know that Criswell was always right.


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Okay, I gotta ask

Who is it that's been checking this place out via my video game listing?

I'm curious.

(In case I just freaked you out, my counter logs ISP and entry page.)

And in the weird category, has anybody ever heard of British actor named Jason Longdon?