Monthly Archives: September, 2013

Blighters On The Storm

portland-rainIt started like any typical horror story should. “Nordstrom.”

I screamed.

Our friend had driven in to the big city from our former hometown for a quick visit. It turned out to be the rainiest weekend since we moved to Portland, Oregon.

“Nordstrom.”

That word is Norwegian, I think, for “mythical beast with huge nords that consumes souls.”

And they wanted to shop at the one that lives in the heart of downtown, by Pioneer Square, where everything happens.

It was a rainy day. I figured at least there was at least a chance the city wouldn’t be nuts.

I was wrong.
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The Reverse Untrendy

No special reason for this bit of regurgitation. It was selected by the WordPress “random post” feature. I think it reads as good today as when originally written. Yes, that’s meant as an insult.

Shouts from the Abyss

I love finding new internet things. I never cease to be amazed.

The Nigerian scams that try to trick you into sending money to collect a big prize? Internet to the rescue. A new form of entertainment is born called “scambaiting” where would-be victims turn the tables on the evil motherfuckers.

Scam baiting is a form of Internet vigilantism, where the vigilante poses as a potential victim to the scammer in order to waste their time and resources, gather information that will be of use to authorities, and publicly expose the scammer. It is, in essence, a form of social engineering that may have an altruistic motive or may be motivated by malice. It is primarily used to thwart the Advance-fee fraud scam and can be done out of a sense of civic duty, as a form of amusement, or both.

Source: Wikipedia

OMG! LOLZ! Sometimes I fucking love you…

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Reblog Saturday Explorations

reblogI’m going to do things a bit differently on this episode of Reblog Saturday. Normally I try to focus on a single WordPress post in the last week and reblog it with minimal content.

This week I have more to say.

I started things like I always do: With a specific story in mind in searched WordPress for a narrative that told the story in a way that resonated with me. In this case, the story was about a stolen laptop and how the owner had programmed the thing to phone home to help catch the thief. I love feel good stories like these!

Alas, this was one of those times the internet let me down, so here’s a link to a simple news report.

KGW.com – Man using tracking software to follow thief’s every move

While conducting this search, as often happens, I got swept away down a rabbit hole to a destination that was totally new and unexpected. Sometimes an inherent randomness in search can bring great rewards. In this case, I found a video about feminism in video games. What? You had me at hello. It turned out to be one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen.

I love it when someone comes along and looks at everything we already know and draws mind-blowing conclusions. (It’s something I try to do myself from time to time.) I think this YouTube series of videos is a powerful example of this. I don’t think you necessarily have to have an interest in video games to imagine the dramatic impact of stuff like this on a society.

As usual, I’m late to the party. This has been out for six months and the series just hit 3,000,000 views. Congratulations!

In case you hadn’t heard, there was a really touching story this week about a Dairy Queen manager. I, of course, couldn’t help but notice who made it all possible, an asshole human being of almost unimaginable dimensions. I find myself thinking about her a lot.

NPR.org – Praise Pours In For Dairy Queen Manager Who Helped A Blind Man

Lastly, a story making news this week, involves the case of a Labor Day party and a vacation home earlier this year. The home happened to belong to former NFL player Brian Holloway. Approx. 300 teens broke into the home and had a “party” of legendary proportions. There was an estimated $20,000 damage, items stolen, and much alcohol consumed.

The culprits, of course, documented their own criminal activity and published it to social media. So trendy.

The victim, in an effort to hold the criminals accountable, started a website helpmesave300.com where he reposted the social media outbursts, identified those responsible, and offered to drop pressing charges in exchange to any who came forward, took responsibility for their actions, and helped with restoration of the home.

Only four of the kids stepped up.

Meanwhile, parents of the rest, angered by the victim’s actions, have threatened to sue him for outing their kids. (As if their own self-publishing didn’t do that already.) This is the topsy turvy world in which we live. These are the sort of parents who raise the type of kids who punch (and kill) volunteer soccer referees and get Easter Egg hunts canceled.

In the feel good story of the year, six of the miscreants who refused the man’s gracious offer of clemency have been arrested and more arrests are apparently on the way. Yes!

NYDailyNews.com – 6 arrested in vandalism of former NFL player’s upstate New York home, with more busts to come, cops say

Whew. Okay. I think that’s all I have to say for now.

Movie Review: Captain Phillips

tom_hanks_captain_phillipsEver since I first heard that James Cameron was down in Mexico building a full scale movie set of the Titanic I said to myself, like every other living thing did, “This movie isn’t going to end well.”

Anyone who’d ever heard about the Titanic knew that, at some point, the ship was going to sink. Or maybe not. In Hollywood “based on a true story” often means very little. Perhaps in Cameron’s movie the ship would avoid the berg, then slowly rise out of the water and fly off into outer space in search of the aliens from the movie The Abyss. Snap! He could have invented the “alternate timeline” cheat long before J.J. Abrams flared his lens all over that shit.

The movie Captain Phillips presents a similar problem. It opens with Phillips as a prisoner, surrounded by pirates wielding AK-47 machine guns all over the place, and our protagonist hogtied and covered with blood.

Has Captain Phillips already been shot? Does he live? Does he die? Is this going to be one of those flashback thingies?

Spoiler alert: He went on to write a book about the experience. The movie is based on the book. Something tells me he’s gonna pull through. So much for the dramatic tension of the opening scene.

If, like me, you’ve been breathlessly waiting for a big screen treatment of what it’s really like on one of those big container ships, you are in for a real treat.
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Hyppo and Critter: No Grok Here

Hyppo and Critter

Timberline and then some

ski-funTimberline is a ski resort located on Mt. Hood, Oregon. A timber line is a line of debarkation into an area where growth is no longer possible.

Now watch as I bring those two concepts together in a special Guru of Negativity kind of way. Today I’m going to share a true story from my period of apprenticeship that we will never speak of again.

The local news just reported that Timberline Lodge has received the first snowfall of the year. It’s not likely to stick around, so it’s a skosh early to grab my skis and take to the slopes, but it does remind me of the time…
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Guru Movie View: The Paperboy

Movie still provided by Millennium Films. Copyright MXVIIVXIIMM. All rights reserved.

Movie still provided by Millennium Films. Copyright MXVIIVXIIMM. All rights reserved.

I don’t normally review movies as this space is reserved for more critical thoughts. This is a much needed one time exception. But I refuse to call this a “review.” I’m not going to re-view this shit ever again. -Ed.

Oops. Did the preceding comment give too much away? It was merely supposed to be a fluff piece of exposition to establish foundation. Spoiler alert. My bad. You might say I didn’t like this movie much. Now I’m going to spend some time trying to convince you why. If you like being pathetic and having absolutely no shame, read on with me, won’t you?

Nothing is worse than having a Netflix full of steaming streaming content. And yet there I was on the sofa, seven remote controls balanced carefully on my belly, and pounding my skull repeatedly with a hammer.

In that vein, I enthusiastically decided to queue up The Paperboy. I wasn’t quite ready to put my hand in the garbage disposal yet. At least, I hoped, someone was going to spread that paper on the floor and some business would get done. (Poop tag earned.)

Prima facie, the movie is presented to the public ostensibly as an “entertainment.”
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