Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Okay, so I gave the Twilight series some more thought, have come to my senses, and am radically editing my post. My sincere apologies for the earlier review.
Some interesting points were brought up recently, ones I’d of course noticed while reading, but for some reason completely forgot about later (I blame it on the meds I was taking when I threw my back out).
Let's start with the kissing scene with Jacob. Hello, can you say ‘sexual assault‘? And speaking of Jacob… imprinting on a child of the woman he loves? And baby, no less? That’s just wrong on so many levels. Not to mention the completely unrealistic character named Bella—a girl who didn’t want kids; who is barely out of high school herself; who spent months pining nearly to insanity for a guy who walked out on her (never mind why—it doesn’t matter, and wouldn’t to most real people, male modelesque or not); who went all but suicidal for the delusion of Edward’s voice; who got married for sex. She’s mother material? Oh please. And there’s Edward, who’s not only a stalker, but a control freak with anger issues. For the record, stalking and controlling and anger are NOT love. I can see it now, all the teen girls saying, "If I could only meet an Edward..." Yeah. If you met an Edward, hon, you'd more than likely end up dead, and I'm not talking about him being a vampire, either. That's abuse, dear. Run, don't walk, from someone like that. But the author portrays these traits as desirable. Lovely. And let’s not forget Charlie, who takes it all in stride and doesn’t even pull his gun on Edward or anything. Yeah, that’s realistic, too.
Yes, life is just peachy-keen in Forks, isn’t it? Everything works out perfectly, and of course it does—the author can do that under the guise of “fantasy.” Bella never grows as a person, never matures, always relies on others. Heck, the grand total of her life experiences are her parents divorce and a few part-time jobs. Then voila, she’s suddenly this big super vampire/super hero/super savior/super wife/Mother of the Year. Bella gets everything, and everything works out just perfectly because that’s the way real life is (not). No need to worry about the wrong message this series sent.
Of course, the above gripes are smallish potatoes, I suppose. But not when adding them to breaking all the major rules of grammar and spelling and, the most important of all, the inconsistencies and the breaking of canon rules she (Stephenie Meyer) set up for her own previous novels. She constructed a world that she did not stay true to. (One example among too many is the explanation of Esme’s roundness the result of having been turned so quickly after her pregnancy. With that in mind, it should only follow that Bella also have her post pregnancy figure. But of course she doesn’t. Bella has the perfect model’s body. Why?) Of course the editors and publishers of this series must share in the blame, and of course they do; they dropped the ball. To them, I say: guess money was more important than the work in this instance or there would have been a painstaking revision before it went to press. Way to fail your author... unless this is a marketing strategy—a little controversy adding to talk/hype/sales. Hmm. But I digress.
Unrealistic, inconsistent, and completely the wrong message to send today’s youth. Sadly, it's selling like crazy.
Friday, September 05, 2008
So you wanna be an “Easy Rider,” huh? To feel the wind in your hair, the bugs in your teeth, the throb of horsepower between your legs. To be that great Lone Wolf, Peter Fonda—a former clubber turned independent who blazes his own trail and doesn’t try to be cool because he just is. Biker, baby. Freedom. The want for the open road and the “Live to ride and ride to live" motto or, as I call it, "The Fonda Phenomenon." (By the way, no one is Peter Fonda. Most are one or more Wild Hogs, with only a few craving attention and wondering what their idols would have done.)
Or maybe you’re a car driver (cager) who, because of stereotypical beliefs, has a problem with motorcyclists and perhaps likes to mess with 'em once in a while in order to “take them down a peg or two.“ Or even worse, maybe you don’t notice them at all.
Well, here's a bit of a reality check for you both.
Do you remember the CHP's famous "Red Asphalt" video which largely shocked driving students into submission? Well, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) released an educational video called, "Thrill or Buzz Kill?" It's not quite the same as the CHP's famous, "Red Asphalt.” Instead, it's more of a testimonial video, that has various CHP officers, and accident victims, to warn people that no one is invincible.
A word of caution: it uses some gory photos and videos of actual accident scenes.
Here’s the link...
Both motorcyclists and car drivers need to be aware of each other and the danger they're in, because at the end of the day everyone just wants to get home alive.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Now that I’ve stopped laughing and can type again, I thought I’d share these with you. Enjoy!
The Biker and the Farmer
While riding one day, a lone Biker met a Farmer riding a horse with a dog and a sheep alongside.
The biker began a conversation . . . .
Biker: "Hey, cool dog you got there. Mind if I speak to him?"
Farmer: "Dogs don’t talk."
Biker: "Hey dog, how's it going?"
Dog: "Doin' alright."
Farmer: Look of shock.
Biker: "Is this your owner?" pointing at the Farmer.
Biker: "How does he treat you?"
Dog: "Really well. He walks me twice a day, feeds me great food, and takes me to the river once a week to play."
Farmer: Look of total disbelief.
Biker: "Mind if I talk to your horse?"
Farmer: "Horses don’t talk."
Biker: "Hey horse, how's it going?"
Farmer: Extreme look of shock.
Biker: "Is this your owner? " pointing at the Farmer.
Horse: "Yessiree Bob."
Biker: "How's he treating you?"
Horse: "Pretty good, and thanks for asking. He rides me regularly, brushes me down often, and keeps me in a shed to protect me."
Farmer: Total look of utter amazement.
Biker: "Mind if I talk to your sheep?"
Farmer: "The sheep is a liar."
A rookie police officer pulled a biker over for speeding and had the following exchange:
Officer: May I see your driver's license?
Biker: I don't have one. I had it suspended when I got my 5th DUI.
Officer: May I see the owner's card for this vehicle?
Biker: It's not my bike. I stole it.
Officer: The motorcycle is stolen?
Biker: That's right. But come to think of it, I think I saw the owner's card in the tool bag when I was putting my gun in there.
Officer: There's a gun in the tool bag?
Biker: Yes sir. That's where I put it after I shot and killed the dude who owns this bike and stuffed his dope in the saddle bags.
Officer: There's drugs in the saddle bags too?!?!?
Biker: Yes, sir.
Hearing this, the rookie immediately called his captain. The biker was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the biker to handle the tense situation:
Captain: Sir, can I see your license?
Biker: Sure. Here it is.
It was valid.
Captain: Who's motorcycle is this?
Biker: It's mine, officer. Here's the registration.
Captain: Could you slowly open your tool bag so I can see if there's a gun in it?
Biker: Yes, sir, but there's no gun in it.
Sure enough, there was nothing in the tool bag.
Captain: Would you mind opening your saddle bags? I was told you said there's drugs in them.
Biker: No problem.
The saddle bags were opened; no drugs.
Captain: I don't understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn't have a license, stole this motorcycle, had a gun in the tool bag, and that there were drugs in the saddle bags.
Biker: Yeah, I'll bet he told you I was speeding, too.
Why lawyers should never ask a witness a question if they aren't prepared for the answer:
In a trial, a Southern small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand -- a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"
She responded, "Why, yes I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me.
You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them
Behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains
to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?"
She again replied, "Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. Yes, I know him."
The defense attorney almost died. The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench, and in a very quiet voice, he said, "If either of you bastards asks her if she knows me, you'll be jailed for contempt."
A Man At the Pearly Gates
A man dies and goes to Heaven. At the pearly gates he meets St. Peter. St. Peter is looking over the mans folder and says to the man, "I can't let you in because your records show that you have done nothing to help your fellow man. But if you can think of one thing that you did to help, I'll let you in."
The man thinks for a minute and says, "There was this one time I was driving down this dark, deserted road one night when I came upon a bunch of bikers in the middle of the road. They had this young lady there and each biker was taking his turn with her. I got my tire iron from my trunk and walked into the middle of them, picked out the biggest, ugliest one of them and hit him in back of the head. As he lay on the ground the rest of the bikers surrounded me. I slapped my tire iron in my hand and said, 'Which one of sons-of-bitches is next?'"
St. Peter looked at the man and asked, "When did this happen?"
The man replied while looking at his watch, "About ten minutes ago."
(Caution - Strong Language)
Date: Sat Mar 27 15:36:01 2004
Yes — you, you sick fucker. On Wednesday morning I emerged from my girlfriend's building by U.N. Plaza to find that you had sawed the tops off both the sparkplugs on my motorcycle. At the time, I had no idea why anyone would do that. Other than the sparkplugs, the bike was untouched. Some kind of bizarre vandalism? A fraternity prank gone awry? I had no idea. All I knew is that I looked like a huge douchebag riding the Muni to work in a padded motorcycle jacket and helmet. Because the bike was immobilized I got a $35 street sweeping ticket that night. Thursday I had it towed to the shop ($45) where they replaced the sparkplugs and the boots ($50 including labor). They explained to me that "people" - I use the term loosely here - like you break off the tops of spark plugs and use the porcelain tubes to smoke crack. As an engineer and former MacGyver fan, in a way I think this is kind of cool. But then I remember that I just paid $100 for YOUR crackpipes, and I get angry again.
Crackhead, it was really good to have my bike back though. I rode home from the shop with a couple of spare sparkplugs and a smile on my face. I figured the next time I parked at my girlfriend's place overnight I would have to buy some crackpipes and tape them to my bike as a peace offering. Overall, I wasn't that upset. Despite having to ride the bus for three days and dropping a hundred bones at the shop, I had gained some fascinating knowledge, a new set of spark plugs, and a pretty funny anecdote about how fucked up you are, and how our paths once crossed briefly in the night.
But you couldn't just let sleeping dogs lie, could you, Crackhead? You couldn't just stay in on Friday, watch Letterman through the window of a home electronics store and then call it a night. You couldn't rest on your laurels. Two porcelain sparkplug crackpipes just wasn't enough for you, was it Crackhead? You just had to come back for more. This morning, a scant fifteen hours after I rode it out of the shop, I found my motorcycle violated once again. This time you only took the right one - maybe you were having an off night. At least this time I had a spare sparkplug and the tools to fix it - or so I thought - having ordered a 73-piece toolset from SEARS.com last week. But no, the sparkplug socket in my new toolset was for American sparkplugs. So I had to go down to the neighborhood Ace hardware. They had an 18mm socket that would fit over my sparkplug, but it was for a 1/2" drive ratchet. My toolkit only has 1/4" and 3/8" ratchets. So I had to buy a 1/2" ratchet along with the socket. Even though the clerk took pity on me and gave me the senior citizen discount (I'm 25) it still cost me $22 all told.
Now, you might say that I should have just gotten a 3/8"-to-1/2" drive adaptor instead of springing for the whole ratchet. And to that I say "Shut the hell up, Crackhead, I'm not finished. And besides, I was eventually going to buy a 1/2" ratchet anyway so it's probably not worth it to take it back now."OK, now I'm rambling. But the point is, Crackhead, that you have done me wrong. Now, I get that you love crack. That is totally understandable. I've heard it is really fun, at first, and quite addictive. What I don't understand is...
YOU ARE A CRACKHEAD. WHY DON'T YOU OWN A CRACKPIPE?!
I am an engineer. Do you ever see me shaking down bums in the Loin for a calculator and sliderule? No, you don't. Because engineering is the main thing I do, I went and bought myself a calculator. The main thing you do is crack. How do you get by without a crackpipe? The other crackheads must clown on you non-stop. I mean, the fucking saw you used to saw off my sparkplugs is probably worth five or ten bucks. Why not sell or trade it for a crackpipe? You really haven't put much thought into this, have you? Please, Crackhead, please don't tell me you sold your crackpipe to buy crack. Even a stupid crackhead such as yourself couldn't possibly be that stupid. I've decided that taping crackpipes to my motorcycle would be tantamount to appeasement.
You have crossed a line, Crackhead - specifically California Street. You have come onto my own street and you have desecrated that which I hold dear. You have stolen from me, and you have caused me to spend the last half hour writing this post instead of engineering shit, and it is conceivable, if not likely, that my boss could find out about this and fire me. I am hella pissed at you dude.
Here are my options as I see them:
1. Write a note saying that I have coated both of my sparkplugs in rat poison and tape it to my bike at night. You can thank Tim for that one, it was his idea.
2. Don't write a note, but just coat both sparkplugs in rat poison. This is probably closer to a punishment that would fit your despicable crime. I'm sure this is super illegal and SHIT, but it's not like anyone is going to miss you, Crackhead. Don't fool yourself.
3. Wait in an alley near my bike armed with my new stainless steel mirror-finish Ace Professional brand 1/2" drive socket wrench, my 18mm sparkplug socket, and my searing rage. It's pretty heavy and well balanced. I am not a large man, but I am angry.
In conclusion, Crackhead, why don't you just do both of us a favor and buy yourself a crackpipe? It will both enhance your crack smoking experience and save me a lot of time and felony assault charges. Think about it.
*** If you are not the Crackhead that took my sparkplugs, please
disregard this posting ***