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I'm back to Dreamwidth for a while, because (INSERT GENERIC FACEBOOK GRIEVANCES HERE). So here's some bullet point catch-ups you should comment on!

- THE ORVILLE VS. STAR TREK: I've fallen HARD for Seth MacFarlane's "The Orville", but I always knew that I would. Haven't even watched the new Star Trek, much for the same reasons I don't go to High School Reunions - I have good memories, I don't want to see the terrible, dark reality of what it's become.

- MOLLY THE MIDDLE SCHOOLER: Molly is now 11 years old and going MIDDLE SCHOOL! She rides a bus every morning that requires us to get up at around 5:30 every morning (UGH). A "Mean Girl" bully on the bus started calling her a "Lesbian Orangutan", which didn't phase Molly at all because what the hell does that even MEAN, but the Bus Driver caught it and now the Bully Girl has to sit up front for a solid month. Glad to know that the bus driver has my kids back ;)

- SOLIDLY DEPRESSING SUMMER AND FALL: I've tried selling my Weird Lamps at four different shows over the last five months, and failed MISERABLY :( Everyone assures me that it's just a really slow summer for everyone, and that my sales will pick up during the holidays, but that doesn't keep me from feeling like a failure :(

- 1980'S SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS: I've gotten pretty heavy into tape trading (yes, good old VHS Tapes) to get solid chunks of Saturday Morning Cartoons complete with the original commercials, then converting them to digital. I have a pretty good, solid collection of Saturday Mornings from every year from 1977 to 1994 now that I'm pretty proud of!
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It's Summer, TOO MUCH STUFF going on in the Summertime to write an update for Dreamwidth! If I'm going to Blog, I need to sit down at an actual computer with the express intent of *blogging* - somethign which just hasn't happened much since June :/

So what's been going on?

I struck out at my last two craft shows. Like, HARD. I sold *one lamp* in Tacoma, and *ZERO LAMPS* in Everett. Everyone around me assured me that Summer shows just aren't big sellers, and just wait till the Christmas shows come in November and December, so I'm cautiously optimistic - I love making these lamps so much, and I love people's reactions to them, so I may just have to start giving them away!

I've got one more show to do, this weekend (August 19th) in Tacoma. We'll see how that goes. Then I don't have another show till OCTOBER, so yaaaaaaay!

I've spent a good amount of time making sure that Molly is well versed in the things I love. We had a Movie marathon where we watched Die Hard, Road Warrior, Terminator, Short Circuit, a few episodes of the new MST3K... I'm not pushing this on her, she ASKED to be introduced to everything that makes me so awesome :)
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This weekend the Oddmall Emporium Of The Weird returns to the Everett Community College (possibly my favorite venue that it happens at), and I'll be trying to sell my awesome lamps once again :)

As has become customary now, I make an outlandish promise on the Friday before every show; this time, If I sell out of Lamps at any time this weekend I will fill the rest of my time at the show dressed in a sparkly gold-and-black tiger-striped dress and singing Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" from memory, acapella (which, as I understand it, is Italian for "With My Hat On").
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Back in the early, untamed, WILD days of The Internet, I was very close to becoming a legal, honest-to-gosh, tax-exempt Religious Cult Leader. It's really a lot easier than you might think!

This morning I was reminded of this because Hulu now has all 5 seasons of The Brady Bunch available to stream, and so I started watching at Season 5. Why? Because there's where my Religion was born...

...The Cult of Cousin Oliver.

My Cult of Cousin Oliver was much simpler than most cults with their weird, wacked-out delusions. See, Cousin Oliver is the Alpha-Omega, the New Beginning that heralded The End. Through examining the 6 episodes he was on, we can find parables that give guidance through our daily life. From his first episode, the Brady's label him as a "Jinx" and is forever the harbinger of chaos from that point on, regardless of how the rest of The Brady's may choose to ignore it. Every line of dialogue from his mouth is like a blast from Gabriel's Horn. From Oliver we learn that nothing is permanent, nothing is sacred, and all shall end in a cataclysm of pie-fights and orange rabbits! He utters the final line of Brady dialogue in the entire series, and from that line, from that FINAL LINE, he sets himself as the one true God. Because despite all the lessons we learn from him in his short 6 episodes, despite parable after parable of good, wholesome life-advice, despite showing us the ONE TRUE WAY THROUGH A LIFE OF NEVER EVEN HAVING HIS OWN BOX IN THE CREDIT SEQUENCE GRID, with these six simple words...

...And let's reflect on that for just a moment. SIX simple words. SIX episodes of Cousin Oliver. SIX Brady Kids. SIX SIX SIX, THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST, LOU-SIF-FER, OL-LIV-VER, the fallen angel Lucifer Morningstar who became so impressed with his own beauty, intelligence, power, and position that he began to desire for himself the honor and glory that belonged to God alone and so he was cast out of Heaven just as The Brady Bunch was cast out of the ABC Friday Night Line-Up...

His final six words?

"Geez, It Was Just A Suggestion..."

Now THAT'S a religious icon I can really get behind! CAN I HAVE A HALLELUJAH!
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It all started with this quip I made last weekend while listening to The Radio -
You're in the middle of a KWAD All-Eighties Weekend! We're playing all eleven of the songs that were written in the 1980's, plus 4 that you're *pretty sure* were from the Seventies or the Nineties!",/i>

This lead to my Up-Till-3am Thought of The Night last night, a little something I like to call "Pop Cultural Era Bleed". "Eighties Music" doesn't just include any and all songs written between 12:01am on January 1st 1980 till 11:59pm on December 31st 1989, right? Plenty of 80's mix tape standards, such as "I Don't Like Mondays", "Video Killed The Radio Star", "My Sharonna"... those are from the 70's. Likewise, MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This", Poison's "Unskinny Bop" - 90's songs!

It's not the music that really got me interested in this idea, though... it's MOVIES. Unlike with music., where a particular band with a particular sound can drag their 70's sound all the way into the 2000's (I'm lookin' at YOU, AC/DC), movies follow trends and technologies to bring you bigger and better films all the time.

We all have out favorite 80's movies, right? But what was the *last* 80's movie? Not *technically* the last 80's movie, but like the last bug blockbuster film that used practical effects, 80's pacing, the musical cues... when did we switch from "Ghostbusters" to "The Matrix"?

I think it was Jurassic Park.
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(Hope that embed link works! If not, go here -

Here's the video of when my lamps were part of a feature on new Day North West, a local TV program featuring things in and around the town to do :)
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Tomorrow morning (May 18th), on local channel KING 5 Seattle at 11AM, there will be a show called "New Day NorthWest", which is one of those "Things Happening Around The Town" type of shows. On that show will be Oddmall founder David Hopp, who will be showing off some of the items that one can find at the Oddmall Emporium of The Weird this weekend in Tacoma - INCLUDING MY LAMPS!!!

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Why is it that when a Man is the villain, they come up with all sorts of crazy details for his back-story that make him a sympathetic, identifiable and even slightly righteous person? Magneto comes from a concentration camp and wants to ensure that his people are never subjected to that kind of horror again. Lex Luthor is a standard American Business Man who doesn't like the idea of a secretive all-powerful alien being praised as a God. The Joker was just a failing stand-up comedian who got tricked into committing crime and had an accident that made his mind snap. They're all sympathetic and leave the reader thinking "Wow, yeah... y'know, he has a point there".

But when a WOMAN is the villain, it's simply because "Mmmmmm Evil Feels *So Gooooooood*"? *IF* they have a motivation beyond that, they're crazy and/or they want revenge, usually for romance-fueled reasons. This makes me SO ANGRY!
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Today is my official, traditional "Birthday Weekend"! For the past 15 years running, two things have coincided with the Saturday directly before or after or on my Birthday - Free Comic Book Day, and the opening of a major comic book themed Summer Blockbuster Motion Picture - a perfect, custom made Birthday celebration for a lifelong Comics Fanboy :)

It started with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man in 2002, and hasn't let up since!

2003 - X2: XMen United
2004 - Hellboy
2005 - Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
2006 - (The year Molly was born, did not go see a movie)
2007 - Spider-Man 3
2008 - Iron Man
2009 - Star Trek
2010 - Iron Man 2
2011 - Thor
2012 - Avengers
2013 - Iron Man 3
2014 - (No movie, even though Amazing Spider-Man 2 was in theaters - still haven't seen any of those ones)
2015 - Avengers: Age Of Ultron
2016 - Captain America: Civil War

And THIS YEAR, we have Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 joining the list :)
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There is an unspoken rule of going to Thrift Stores, which is that you never, EVER go there looking for something specific. Even if it's something that they ALWAYS have there, like plates or T-Shirts or VHS copies of Forrest Gump, if you go there *specifically* for that item, that will be the one day that they don't have anything like that in any thrift store ANYWHERE. It may even lead to a drought for that product, lasting up to a MONTH!

However, for the past *two days in a row*, I have somehow BROKEN THE RULE AND GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT!

Yesterday, I needed broken lamps and a thin metal tray that was approximately 6"x8". Went to Goodwill and that was all i could find!

Today i went to Value Village looking for a very specific size of clock, and not only did i FIND that clock, but I also found another one that was even BETTER than what I came in for, AND i found the entire series of "Trancers" movies on VHS!

So very happy! So here's a picture of one of my lamps that I'm making for Oddmall in Tacoma on may 20-21, titled "Riddle me THIS, Rodin!"
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Things are... busy. In a good way, sure... but BUSY!

I have commission requests for three different lamps right now, the first of which is due TOMORROW to the customer! Just waiting for the paint to dry now so i can put the wiring in... it was SUPER DIFFICULT to make this one because the requested theme (which I always insist that the customer keep as vague as possible) is WONDER WOMAN.

Ya don't find many WONDER WOMAN toys being discarded! I had to make my own out of professional wrestler!

Then I have three weeks till ODDMALL IN TACOMA, where I have been awarded a DOUBLE-SIZE END CAP BOOTH, and, oh yeah...


Well, technically they'll be showcasing *Oddmall*, but David Hopp (the guy who runs Oddmall) is going to be on one of those local filler shows ("New Day NW" is my guess) promoting the event and he wants to take one of my lamps as a showcase of the type of weird stuff you can find there!

So THAT'S pretty awesome!

Also, we had to drive all the way out to Fall City to sign the papers - as of Monday, the house is officially OURS!

So all the other stuff I wanted to do... the resurgence of the Saturday Morning Recreation Society, the following of Disneyland stuff, the gaming events, the *everything*... it's all on hold.
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There's a lot of people that are very upset about how this Twilight Zone Tower of terror, which had fit perfectly into the "Old Hollywood" aesthetic of Disney California Adventure, is not a multi-colored futuristic eyesore. Agreed, for now... but i think it could be the best storyline revamp for DCA's ongoing storyline.

It all goes back to that one classic quote that I can never track down so I have to try and do it from memory, regarding how Disneyland is laid out like a movie of your life.

"Once you pass under the railroad tracks, you find yourself right there on Main Street USA, a familiar setting that represents our humble beginnings. Like a memory of childhood, everything seems so very simple and quaint here, but... is that a *castle* you can see in the distance? Your eyes must be playing tricks on you... You need to investigate more. As you travel down the road of life, down Main Street USA, that castle gets bigger and bigger; the trappings of your small town upbringing are less intriguing now, you're anxious to explore what's ahead of you! it's not till you're nearly at the end of the road, looking up at that big fairy tale castle, that you realize there are so many other things to explore. Somehow hidden from you till just now, you see all sorts of opportunities - Adventures to have! No details, just inviting images that beckon you to explore. Frontiers to conquer! Giant mountains looming in your future, as well as fantastical rocket ships and other far-flung futuristic stuffs! Which way will you go?"

I've always dug that storytelling angle to Main Street :) Which is why i can see it working there in DCA as well!

Our picture opens here, in the same place that Walt Disney himself experienced California for the first time. As we pass through the hustle and bustle of Buenna Vista Street, we find Walt and Mickey waiting for us at the junction. To our right lies the adventurous and scenic wonders of California. Straight ahead of us we'll find travel and the open road which connects all of America to California through Route 66. And to our left, the beckoning call of HOLLYWOOD. No matter which of these paths you take, you'll end up heading towards, as Walt Disney Did, a grand amusement park that appears at first to just like any other Carnival, but so much more!

But our journey right now is going to take us to the Left; to HOLLYWOOD (or more specifically, what I would like to see there).

As we make our way down the street, we can see changes coming quickly. The quaint charms of Elias & Co Department Store and the stately Carthay Circle of the 1930's give way to Hot Dog stands and neon theaters of the 1950's. The streets and the blue skies seem to go on forever! If you venture down the side streets you just might find out a little bit about how all that Hollywood magic happens, but that's for another time - because you hear a commotion over to your left! There! Just beyond that theater! It's some sort of huge SPACE-BUILDING! Is it another Hollywood movie being made, or something more than that? Just beyond that, you can see Super Heroes of all sorts saving the day and taking pictures in what appears to be a backstreet alley of New York! More Hollywood magic? It must be!"

We'll go ahead and drop Bugs Land (I know... I will miss the Chew-Chew train), re-do the entire land. Two mid-level attractions (Dark Rides, I'm thinking) and re-purpose the Bugs Life Theater into a SHIELD Debriefing Station (still just extended trailers for upcoming movies), mostly this land is for photo ops.
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WE'RE FINALLY BUYING OUR HOUSE!!! After 8 years of living here and at least 6 years of our Landlord saying "You know, we're willing to work out a rent-to-own type of situation with you", we're finally in it! WE OWN A HOUSE!!!


We really owe it all to our Landlord, who kicked us into gear by telling us that he intended to put the house on the market in *May*. This wasn't a suprise, really... when we moved in he had said that he wanted to sell it "within ten years".

We really love it here, and our biggest anxiety/fear/stress was that looming "within ten years" thing. Every time we looked at renting or purchasing anything other than this house, it became painfully clear just how great of a deal we were getting - A place this size, in a neighborhood like this, with this much yard and such a great location, rents for at least TWICE what we're paying per month in rent. And luckily for us, the price we agreed upon will bring our monthly total payment (plus taxes, insurance, and all that jazz) to almost the same amount!
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On Monday, I made a deal with myself - every one of the Dumpster Computers that's I've been hoarding (5 towers and 11 laptops, along with several boxes of assorted parts) need to be fixable by FRIDAY, or off to the recyclers they go!

An entire week dedicated to checking out what I have and what I can do with it, here's what I've got:

- One semi-functional Windows 10 laptop with the screen secured in place with duct tape.

- One Windows XP tower that that shuts down every time I try to take any action that would allow me to bypass the Administration restrictions... no updates, no formatting the drive, no access to the command prompt... but it technically *works*.

- One PCI video capture card from around 2001, installed in my main computer. No sound yet, and the video I capture from it looks like a 1990s Sega CD "Interactive Movie (so many pixels!)

- 14 dead SATA and IDE hard drives.

- 8 fully functional SATA hard drives, each under 20GB each.

- 28GB of RAM, spread out between just over 50 sticks of memory.

I look at this giant pile of garbage now and wonder what I ever thought I was going to do with it all. Given another MONTH of work, I could probably build myself a nice little batch of computers capable of making a pretty bitchin' Quake LAN, but WHY?

So today I'm taking a fairly huge load of stuff to the PC recycling place today, and the next time somebody is throwing away their old computer because it's broken, you know what I'm gonna say?

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Watching lots of Anime with Molly recently, we even get up TWO HOURS EARLY just so we're sure to have time for multiple episodes before School. This is because one day, when she was complaining about having to go to school, I told her that ANYTHING can be made better by consuming mass amounts of cartoons beforehand :)

I'm not sure of who is influencing whom here, but our tastes in Anime seems to have synced nicely.
  • We prefer Fantasy over Reality
  • We like plenty of comic relief, punctuated by hard dramatic punches
  • Sci Fi is okay, as long as there's plenty of Humor and Fantasy elements (see the netflix version of Voltron for example)
  • We don't like "Wacky", but we love "Weird" (consider "Uncle Grandpa" versus "Steven Universe")
  • There's a ton of "Classic" Anime that we just can't get into - Sailor Moon, Robotech, the original Voltron, etc.
  • I'm not sure where we're going to head after we're done with Avatar: Legend Of Kora, but I'm considering one last attempt at Starblazers
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Did troubleshooting on this computer for TWENTY MINUTES trying to figure out why the DVD drive wasn't reading the installation DVD. Check the disk, check the connections, check the drive, uninstall/reinstall drivers, remove the drive, put the drive back in, use an entire friggin' can of air on the silly thing making sure it's not just a buildup of crud over the years...

...over the YEARS...

Hmm. I'm trying to upgrade to Windows 7 from Windows XP. This is a *pretty old* Windows XP machine. I wonder...


031 - VHS

Mar. 27th, 2017 12:17 pm
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Rescued these VHS tapes from a one-way trip to the Recycling Bin last night - some guy finally gave up on his 64 tapes full of (mostly) Grand Prix, Indy 500 and CART Races from 1989 to 1994. Last night, he just got tired of asking his friends, weekend after weekend, "Hey, you fellers wanna come over and watch 512 hours of Races on VHS from the early 90's?" and never getting a reply :(

Yes it's mostly racing stuff, but there's also a few tapes of what appears to be random stuff. Other than racing, he aparently also enjoyed Star Trek The Next Generation, Cops, and the occasional "Edited For Television" movie. THOSE are the tapes I'm really looking forward to :)

A home-recorded video tape is a wonderful little pop-culture mix tape you made and sent to your future self without even knowing it :) Unlike The Internet which you can get distracted from and click away from and rely on the YouTube Auto Play to give you more videos like it from now until forever, a VHS tape is finite. At the very most, it's 8 hours of your life, but more likely it's like an hour or two at the most. Watching a tape that somebody else recorded feels slightly voyeuristic, like reading a Diary that you found at a used bookstore.

I don't think you can get that from a DVD or a digital download...
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This week I am going to be focusing on clearing out my "Technomancer Graveyard" of dead computers, harvesting their organs and cobbling together systems for various friends and family members from their lifeless corpses.

(This is a task made SO MUCH EASIER by having an actual, working computer, thank you very much!)

One of the first things I'm going to do is install my old PCI Video Capture Card into THIS, the *WORKING* computer, so i can digitize a bunch of VHS tapes that I have recently adopted. I can hardly wait to see how this VCC from 2006 holds up in the modern day of digital file transfer! Over ten years old in the world of computers = "An elegant weapon for a more civilized age".

Then I shall move on to The Laptops, because EVERYBODY loves a laptop and has room for one. After that, it's to The Towers, where one tower in particular has been giving me entirely too much grief - it's a huge, beefy system with a teeny-tiny power source (like 450 i think?), and I'm surprised that it lasted as long as it did in the service of it's owner. Hopefully I can find something better and get it back to it's rightful home.

And that's my week this week!
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I hate how WRONG i am about alcohol. I wish I liked it. I wish it didn't make me so paranoid that I can never accept anyone's offer to go anywhere or do anything or hang out. There have just been too many times where I've been assured that there would be no drinking and it all just turns terrible because one of these things has to happen when somebody wants to drink (because why would you do ANYTHING without drinking?):

1) SECRET DRINKING: "Don't let Brian know, but there's a bottle of _____ in the kitchen you can slip back there and have a shot, he'll never know". I KNOW, I'VE ALWAYS KNOWN, YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ME YOU'RE JUST LIEING TO ME AND I HAVE TO BE OKAY WITH IT OR ELSE I'M THE ASSHOLE!

2) PASSIVE DRINKING: "Ooh, sorry! I forgot that you're not okay with this! Do you want me to get rid of this? Because I'll totally get rid of it if you want me to". NO DAMMIT! THIS IS WHY I DIDN'T WANT TO COME! I DON'T WANT TO BE THE ONLY REASON NO ONE CAN DRINK! I DON'T WANT TO BE THE BAD GUY! PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME THE BAD GUY BY MAKING ME THE ENFORCER!

3) PERMISSION DRINKING: "Hey, I know we said there wouldn't be any drinking, but would you mind if I had just, like, *one beer*? It just sounds really good right now". OF COURSE I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN'T HAVE A BEER! I CAN'T DO THAT! THAT'S WHY I DIDN'T WANT TO COME TO THIS THING IN THE FIRST PLACE!

4) ANGER DRINKING: "I know that The Host said there's no drinking, but I'm a GROWN-UP and NOBODY tells me what I can or can't do! You don't like it, then just look away". THAT'S WHAT I TRIED TO DO BY NOT COMING HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! I'M TRYING TO NOT LOOK, I SWEAR!

5) NEGOTIATION DRINKING: "I'm going to have just, like, one or two drinks. Not enough to get *drunk*, I'm only drinking it because I like the taste. I know my limit. I'll stop WAY before I start to get tipsy". "BUZZED", "TIPSY", "LIT"... THERE ARE TONS OF WORDS FOR "DRUNK" SO YOU WON'T HAVE TO ACTUALLY SAY THE WORD "DRUNK"! IF YOU HIT A KID WITH YOUR CAR, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO CHARGE YOU WITH "BUZZED DRIVING", YOU'RE DRUNK!

Ugh... I'm out of rage. I'm out of caring. I'm out of trying. I'm drained. I've been shaking all morning while trying to defend myself, when what I have is a completely undefendable situation. I know people care about me, I know that they just want to help me and defend their own actions. I know that this, above everything else that's weird about me, is the one thing that truly makes me a terrible person.

I just need to get over it already... but i don't want to? I don't want to be the type of person who accepts "I was drunk" as a viable excuse for terrible behavior. I don't want to be the type of person who believes in an undefined scale of "Buzzed" to "Drunk" with a thousand degrees between the two that somehow rationalize poisoning yourself and becoming a danger to yourself and others.

I need a nap :(
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You don't want to go down this rabbit hole, trust me... but if you insist...

FACT: Disney's "Beast" (from the animated and live-action films "Beauty & The Beast") has a long, bushy tail that would be best compared to that of a large dog or wolf. In most pictures, it is depicted as being as long (if not longer) than his legs.

GIVEN THIS FACT, does The Beast have special pants with holes in them to accommodate his tail, or does he just flop the tail over the waistband?

I will assume that he has special pants with special holes in them to accommodate his tail. Animated scissors and The Wardrobe were able to make a tailored dress that fit Belle perfectly, so why not put a little tail-hole in every pair of pants?

But that's only Part One.

SECOND QUESTION! When The Beast poops, does he (A) Sit on a toilet, (B) Hunch over like a dog taking a dump, or (C) Stand erect and lift his tail like a cow or horse, just letting it all fly?

I'm going to assume that (A) he sits on a toilet. HOWEVER! If you've ever tried to put a pair of pants with a hole for the tail on a cat or dog like *I* have (don't you judge me), you know that you can't just pull them down a bit because it presses the tail up against the butthole and blocks it - those pants have to come COMPLETELY OFF. And then once they're done pooping, those pants have to go back on WHICH IS A HUGE PAIN!

Matter of fact, the only way to get those pants back on would be with the help of somebody.

Unfortunately, all those "Somebodys" in The Castle have been turned into *stuff*. Common household items. Candle sticks, clocks, teapots... and each thing that a person was turned into, is loosely associated with the task they performed within the castle.

We're talking about Plague-era France here, so for the Nobility to have a servant (or even MANY servants) to assist in the donning and disrobing associated with Potty Time is not unusual... but...

IF The Beast has special pants that accommodate his large, bushy tail, and IF he poops in a toilet like a regular human being, and IF he has servants that assist him with that, and IF all the servants have been turned into household items associated with their jobs...



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