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Messages - The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Books / Re: Fan Fiction: Good or Evil
« on: March 27, 2009, 02:04:41 PM »
I haven't read this whole thread since I posted on the first page, but here's what else I have to say about fan fiction:

I had "coffee" with Kevin J. Anderson once (he drank coffee, Brandon and I snacked on M&Ms), and I asked him what had been more fulfilling for him -- writing in persistent worlds like Star Wars or Dune, or writing his original material. He half dodged the question, but I had carefully crafted it to be nonjudgemental and not an issue of talent. The half of the answer that wasn't dodging basically said that he had enjoyed doing both.

Look, if you want to write professionally, I agree with bookstore guy. Either do original stuff or write for someone so you get paid.

But some people who write, just like some musicians, just do it as a hobby and never want to be pro. I say let 'em write what they want. they're only doing it to enjoy themselves.

Site News / exciting stuff
« on: March 23, 2009, 12:53:08 PM »
looks like some people got excited last night.

Remember the rules folks: keep your language clean, and don't waste my time by reporting posts that don't break the rules.

I *will* ban trolls.

You've been warned.

Music / lip synching
« on: January 09, 2009, 02:54:02 PM »
I advocate it.

I was walking to work "singing" along with Too Much Joy on "King of Beers" and it made several people smile. It felt good.

I just wanted to share.


Video Games / Re: Pinball
« on: January 09, 2009, 02:52:25 PM »
I did some work for an adult friend of mine when I was a teenager and in return he gave me two old school pinball tables. My dad fixed them up and we played for hours in the basement. I even used the sounds on one of them for some videos I made for high school classes.

So yeah, you could say I was a fan. It wasn't until I had those tables that I started really playing tho. Now I find myself playing video game versions whenever I find them (not as good as the real thing, I know) and it's the only type of arcade game I'll still drop quarters on.

Everything Else / Re: Public School Writing Teachers
« on: January 07, 2009, 02:11:56 PM »
I'm divided. In high school i learned nothing in any of my English classes. The last thing I learned in public school English was the standard five-paragraph essay in eighth grade. While many will whine about this, it's also the single most useful thing I've ever learned about writing. It is a VERY hand, VERY clear, and VERY professional method of argumentative writing.

That said, I had a creative writing teacher in 12th grade (the course was also available to freshmen on up) who was the single most supportive and helpful mentor for writing aspirations I've ever met. She taught me a great deal about clarity, character, creativity (and other 'c' words) as well as finding inspiration. She will not be forgotten. My little brother and sister also took her class and will testify to her quality.

In addition, I also had a World Literature elective class taught by a little Jewish woman we referred to lovingly as "the hyperactive chipmunk." She opened my mind to reading analytically without being tedious or slavish... to ENJOY reading analytically and get useful information from it. While this didn't shape much of my writing style or ability, it does drive a lot of what I write about.

Books / Re: Latest Pendragon Book: "Raven Rise"
« on: January 02, 2009, 02:50:07 PM »
so I haven't read this series. But well, if you're familiar with Arthurian legend, that's kind of how it ends. (and "Pendragon" is a reference to Arthur, no idea how much of  a point the book makes of that).

In Mallory, widely viewed as the closest thing to an "authoritative" version of the story of Camelot, due to fractures within the Round Table, Arthur is at war with Lancelot (over Gwenivere). He is pulled back when he learns that his bastard son is taking over the kingdom (due to the pleadings of the ghost of Gawain). He fights Mordred and they are actually about to sign a truce when a knight is bitten by a snake, which he then chops with his sword. The flash of steel is enough to set the tensions, already on the edge, to bloody, and the two armies destroy each other. Leaving Britain open to invasion from those dirty Saxons.

Rants and Stuff / Re: Union V Confederacy
« on: December 12, 2008, 03:05:27 PM »
Heh, i did BYU. Lived for years in Utah. I don't want to go back.

I would like to note that there are a lot of similarities between farm life in the south and in the north, that's not the whole defining trait of the South. Urban life in the South is very different from Urban life in the North. Even DC, which was Union, is in many ways Southern. Certainly cities like Charlotte and Atlanta have more similarities with each other than they do New York or Boston.

And yeah, I have an Austrian friend who calls me a Yank every now and then. Ticks me off. Which is probably why he keeps doing it.

It was once said that in the world, a Yankee is someone who lives in the US.
In the US, a Yankee is someone who lives in the northeast.
In the northeast US, a Yankee is someone who lives in Connecticut.
In Connecticut, a Yankee is someone who still has an outhouse.

Rants and Stuff / Re: Union V Confederacy
« on: December 11, 2008, 05:13:04 PM »
There are those you use "Yankee" as an insult. I use it as a descriptor, myself.

Understanding why the South still has the Civil War in mind is primarily two places. a great deal of the famous battles took place south of the Mason-Dixon (Gettysburg the first and most obvious exception, and even it isn't very far from the border). We live with that reality reminding us of our history.

The second is Reconstruction. No one hurt the South more than John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln didn't want retribution or revenge for the war. He wanted to unify the nation as much after the fighting as he did during it. Because he was killed and Johnson took over the White House, Republicans running the Congress had pretty much free reign to inflict any punishment and indignity they wanted on Southern states. (Please note that Republicans in the 19th century were not the same as modern Republicans, I'm not trying to draw parallels here).  The South and her (white) citizens were oppressed by the Federal government. Yes, they were still trying to find ways to maintain blacks as, at best, a second class citizen. But the North *was* making the South a second-class region. That's not the sort of resentment a people gets over very fast. To this day there is still a prominent stereotype across the country of Southerners being lazy, inbred, and/or ignorant. So there's a lot of defensiveness that goes into distinguishing ourselves as well.

The U.S. is a huge country, geographically. There's a lot of people here as well. 300 million may make it less dense than a place like the UK, but that separation contributes to a separation, culturally of regions. In the North you see it too. New Yorkers are not like Bostonians, generally speaking. Growing up in different regions even within the same nation when it's this large leads to differences in outlook and beliefs. Naturally the people don't want to be treated the same any more than a rural farmer is interested in the same issues as a mid-city business executive.

One distinction that has been pointed out to me is that when a Southerner wants to know more about you, he begins by asking where you're from. When a Yankee wants to know the same thing, he asks what you do for a living. To me, in many instances, that's explained quite a bit.

Rants and Stuff / Re: PDA/Blackberry
« on: December 11, 2008, 03:45:33 PM »
Ah, but I found a PDA that will do what I want for $55. That's considerably cheaper than $200. I don't need lots of apps for it, or for other people to use it.

Rants and Stuff / Re: Union V Confederacy
« on: December 10, 2008, 03:47:58 PM »
When Yankees think of the South, a great deal of them immediately think of the Ku Klux Klan. I'm glad that it appears people in this thread are not of that mindset.

There is a lot of culture and heritage that the South represents. More presidents, for example, were citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia than any other state in the Union. The South contributed the separation of church and state, the model for the Bill of Rights, and the first secular universities (in the world, I believe, but certainly in the western hemisphere). And really, that's just Virginia.

As a side note, a lot of westerners and Yankees like to say that Virginia is not part of the South because of its geographic position in the mid-Atlantic seaboard. But culturally, if anything, it's the South magnified. The capital of the Confederacy was here, and there's a loyalty to Virginia that oft-times exceeds loyalty to nation. Robert E. Lee, for example, knew that in principle, the North was right. But Virginia was in the CSA, and by God, he was a Virginian. So he led Confederate armies. There's a deep, deep pride from being in Virginia that goes way back to the Colonial era. If I moved to northern Virginia today, I would not see the attachment to the Commonwealth that I feel because I grew up here for decades now. Fairfax County in particular has changed a LOT -- diverging far from Virginia proper. But since my roots predate much of that change, I still feel myself attached to the rest of it.

We've had our problems, clearly. Slavery and the resulting stain of racism probably foremost among them -- though there are complex historical factors, Reconstruction imposed by the North among them, that did a lot to encourage that.

But there is much in art and literature and lifestyle that comes from the South. The blues, a number of great writers, a relaxed state of mind, courtesy, spirituality, cuisine, family -- these are all aspect of Southern culture that those who grew up here are proud of and wouldn't trade away. The stars and bars remind a lot of us of that shared heritage.

I personally see the flag of the Confederacy in this way. It represents 260 years of culture before the Civil War even started. However, I do not fly it, because there are those who still see it as racist, and I don't want to give that impression.

Rants and Stuff / PDA/Blackberry
« on: December 06, 2008, 08:02:37 PM »
so I don't want a new phone

I don't want to browse the web or email or text message

I want a hand held device that I can put large text documents into  -- PDFs or Word files, for example. Like the LDS scriptures, like novels, etc. And I want to read these documents.
I want to take notes in said device, without using a phone-like keyboard, so I want qwerty.
Keeping a database of contacts is a bonus, but probably won't even be used
Free little games are also a bonus, but hardly necessary.
I want quick and easy connectivity with any computer, preferably by USB but since my laptop has bluetooth, that would be acceptable as well.
And I want a good screen, probably color display.

So... anyone know enough about this to give suggestions? It's ok if a the thing IS a phone or DOES is web browser enabled, i just don't want to pay a lot and I don't want to sign up for a phone plan. I'm happy with Verizon and my razr, thank you.

Who can point me in the right direction?

Music / Re: Favorite Rock Album (Poll)
« on: December 06, 2008, 07:57:00 PM »
yeah, i'm not a HUGE fan of Pearl Jam, though I like them well enough, but that song is powerful.

Music / Re: Favorite Rock Album (Poll)
« on: December 06, 2008, 06:48:29 PM »
As long as we don't say something "sucks" you're on good ground. It's one thing to not like a band like Led Zeppelin, it's a completely different thing to say they were bad players/songwriters/performers or didn't have a dramatic effect on the music scene. (Oh, and the drummer's last name was BONHAM, not Bonum)

Not liking to listen to something is 100% subjective (though you can still be wrong, such as in the case of hating on Rush or The Kinks...)

But saying someone can't play has a great deal of objectivity in it.

Anyway, when I did that article, and in this thread, I've forgotten to mention something

I bought a CD ona  whim once, though based on good information, and it has turned out to be my favorite album ever.

The Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert is a 2-disc album with Bob Dylan songs performed by John Mellancamp, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Roger McGuin, George Harrison, The Clancy Brothers, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Eddie Vedder, Lou Reed, Chrissie Hynde, and others. It is beautimous defined.

Music / Re: Favorite Rock Album (Poll)
« on: December 04, 2008, 02:41:30 AM »
Saint E, I fear you have the worst taste in music out of the 4.  =

and I fear I will have to destroy you.

Music / Re: Favorite Rock Album (Poll)
« on: December 02, 2008, 03:09:13 PM »
This was actually an article we published a long time ago:

I would have to amend my response only in that I'd say "In Rio" over "Different Stages", for the exact same reasons, only more so.

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