Archive for January, 2008

The Culture of Ownership

For anybody who has followed technology and patent law, this blog’s opening post provides a great read, and a promising future. I suggest you read it. Click here to do so.

And as for me, well, I went to Waco this weekend and started a D&D campaign. I played some Russian Tag, and some other board games. I also found out several of my friends I recently met down there play WoW (or did and might start up again). So I’d darn well say I had a good weekend.

Andy Nance is going into the Army come 2/12/08. Be in prayer for him. If you know him, and haven’t seen the email he sent out detailing all this, let me know and I will forward it on to you.

And just because it’s been too long since I’ve done this…here’s a picture from Icanhascheezburger.com

Holy crap.

Heath Ledger is dead.

He just got done filming the new Batman film, The Dark Knight, in which he plays the Joker opposite Christian Bale as the Bat. Apparently he was having trouble sleeping during filming, due to the fact that he was portraying the joker as an insane psychotic mass murderer, far more dark than Jack Nicholson’s original interpretation.

Wow. They say it doesn’t look like suicide, though. No word on how he died.

This is just so sudden.

I hate politics

I’m tired, already, of US politics. Completely and disgustedly tired. And we’re not even midway, or even a 1/4th of the way, through the primaries.

Every year it just gets more divisive, more slimy, and more envenomed. People dig and snipe and sneer at each other over this person’s position, or this person’s lack of political experience, or this person’s disregard/alienation over that part of their voter base. In trying to research the various candidates, this is all I find. Insults of other’s intelligence. Accusations that others are not “true conservatives” because of fiscal reasons or flip flopping with regards to their candidate. (I imagine the same is true on the liberal side, but I haven’t looked).

It’s enough to make a person want to vomit. There are very few greater illustrations of just how badly sin has affected this nation than this mess.

And the worst part of it, is that I fear this is only the beginning. Once the final 2 candidates are nominated, it’s just going to get worse. Because then those who support candidates who have lost will start sitting out and protest.

And once we actually elect someone, then we’re in even bigger trouble. We may start to unify along some semblance of ideological lines, but the rhetoric and insults we sling back and forth will be even more vitriolic.

I long for the day when Jesus comes and we can all truly agree that nothing else matters more than Him, and that nothing else really ever did.

Making your display look however you want.

Okay, this post is gear towards anyone who uses more than 1 monitor for their computer. And if you don’t, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Windows XP will not natively support having a single wallpaper stretch across both monitors, OR having a DIFFERENT wallpaper on each monitor.

Your video card drivers may allow this. My nVidia’s drivers only partially do, they’ll let you use two different backgrounds, but not a single one stretched across both, and they only allow .jpg or .bmp files. A lot of my wallpapers are in .gif or .png format.

If you would LIKE this feature, I highly recommend this app: DisplayFusion. Easy as pie to use. Find a wallpaper (or two) you like, save it to your computer somewhere, and open up this little software. Very intuitive to use, works very well.

Just be sure you put the file where you want it before you set it up. If you move it after setting it as your background, you’ll have to set it again.

I like big portable computers and I cannot lie

Macbook Air, eh?

I honestly would be scared to own one of these. Like…I’d drop it ONCE and it’d break in half.

I don’t get the obsession with thin laptops.

Now a Macbook Pro or an iPod Touch? Now we’re talkin’.

Still a bit disappointed no new 16gig model iPhone or even one with 3G. Oh well, maybe later this year.

Oh, in case you’re wondering WTF I’m talking about, Apple’s Macworld Expo was a couple of days ago. Go read CNET or your tech blog of choice to find out more.

Surely he can’t LIKE having his readers hate him, right?

I think Marvel Comics’ editor-in-chief Joe Quesada has a secret superpower.

I think he has the power to make people want to STOP reading the comics he works on.

I can’t think of another possible reason for this recent storyline in Amazing Spider-Man in which the past 20 years (in real world time) of Spider-Man’s life has been rewritten and everything we know to have happened to the web-slinger is no longer true. Including his marriage, or even relationship, with Mary Jane Watson.

I mean, I know Quesada has always hated the idea of pairing the two, he’s said as much on repeated occasions, and that the only reason Spidey and MJ ever ended up together is overwhelming fan support for the duo.

But I guess he doesn’t care so much. Because to go along with the recent “relaunch” of the Amazing Spider-Man series, they’ve undone all the character development, all the storylines, everything, that has occured over the past 20 years worth of comics. And in this end result, MJ and Spidey’s relationship is described as “frosty”.

Sort of like how I feel about Quesada’s intelligence at this point.

A little bit of in character writing based on the events of Half-Life 2: Episode 2

Attention, all members of the so-called Universal Union, or as we know you, the Combine.

I have had enough.

10 years ago, I was nothing more than a research associate at a top-secret facility, Black Mesa. I believe you know the name. I reported to work one fateful day, and my life has not been my own since.

It seemed a normal enough day. Being a simple associate, it was part of my duty to do the “grunt work”, which on that day, meant pushing a crystalline specimen into an anti-mass spectrometer, so that tests could be run on it.

Well, I’m sure you know what happened from there. Beings from another dimensional world invaded Black Mesa, forcing me to adapt, to survive. I killed more living creatures that day than I could hope to remember. My own government sent in soldiers to kill me, but I survived. I had to kill so many of them…to this day it makes me sick to think about it. I invaded the dimension, known as Xen, the “border world”, where these creatures came from, and I killed their leader. The Nihilanth, as I later learned it was called. And our mutual enemy, as I also later learned.

Despite all of this, I never really escaped from Black Mesa. Not on my own.

Because, you see, someone, and I’m beginning to think someTHING might be a more appropriate term, saved me. Pulled me out of there, into a place I still do not understand. This man offered me “employment”. I don’t know with whom, but I also did not have a real choice. It was accept his offer, or die. Well, I did what I had done this whole day. I survived.

The next thing I know, I’m seeing this man’s face again, asking me to wake up. I wake up 10 years later, and find a world I do not know.

I manage to, despite your efforts, make contact with my friends. I eventually learn what has happened since I’ve been “missing”. The portal storms ripping through Earth. You invaded us. The Seven Hour War. We surrender, you move in and begin to transform our world and our race in your own image. I doubt I need to recount this for you.

Dr. Breen, my old administrator, no doubt made you aware of my reappearance, and what sort of threat I might pose to you. So you tired to send your soldiers to kill me, while I simply tried to get away. Get to my friends. Find out more of what the hell was going on.

You failed. I made it all the way to what was Black Mesa East, home of my old colleague, Eli Vance, and you couldn’t kill me. You invaded Black Mesa East, captured Eli, but you missed me. I invaded your butcher’s house, Nova Prospekt. Surely you remember that place, yes? You tore apart human beings who resisted you, and turned them into walking horrors. Well, you used to, rather. Because thanks to myself and my dear friend, Eli’s daughter, Alyx, Nova Prospekt is now a smoldering crater. And with that little act of vandalism, the uprising against you began.

You should have realized after we took your Overwatch Nexus that you couldn’t kill me. After I brought down four of your three-legged walking death machines, the Striders. After I tore through your precious citadel. Even when your puppet, Dr. Breen, couldn’t hold me, you should have realized you could not stop me.

After we destroyed your tunneling device in the Citadel, yes you remember that, I presume? It was, after all, the event that precipitated the destruction of the blasted thing, this man, appears out of nowhere again, to take control of my life, away from the people I care about, again.

But this time, he fails.

I presume you are aware of the Vortigaunts by this point. Once slaves to the Nihilanth, now free, and fighting by our side. They know much, an understanding of the universe that I pray, when this is over, I can sit down with them and do what I, as a scientist, do best. Learn. That’s the truth, by the way. I’m just a scientist. I’m no soldier. Just a man forced to be something by circumstances. That’s what you have not been able to kill. Just an ordinary man. Think of what the rest of us can do with that. I hope it gives you pause.

The Vortigaunts save me, somehow. I don’t understand it, obviously. I don’t understand what this man or thing is that they have saved me from. But do you know what I did next?

I went back into your precious citadel and stopped it from blowing up. Well, delayed it really. Long enough to get more of the resistance out of the City. And long enough for me and Alyx to steal some precious data from you. Data you could only send back to wherever the hell it is you came from by blowing your now-doomed citadel.

You couldn’t have that, could you. You tried so hard to kill us. But at every turn, you failed. We evaded you. Killed everything you sent after us. Got out of the city before your citadel blew and irradiated the whole place. We made it all the way throughout the countryside, evading you, escaping every trap you set us in.

Your little Hunters were almost successful in killing Alyx. But our Vortigaunt friends saved her. And all you ended up doing, in the end, was making her stronger for it.

Did it hurt your pride, when we made it to the White Forest rocket base? When we used the very data we stole from you to launch a rocket into space and close the superportal you tried to open by blowing the Citadel? Did it cause you despair when your virtual battalion of Striders and Hunters couldn’t destroy the base and prevent that launch, because the Resistance, led by me, wiped every one of them out?

It must have, because your Advisors invaded us after that. And you killed Eli Vance, right in front me and his own daughter. You almost killed me, but you seem to not be very adept at that.

So now, here we are. You’re cut off, stuck here on Earth, and wherever it is you come from can’t help you for the time being. I’m here, at White Forest, comforting my closest friend, my partner, and a woman I am falling in love with, because her father was brutally killed in front of her, by you. That’d be enough for any other man to send you this message. But there’s more than that.

You see, I haven’t forgotten whoever pulled me out of Xen. The one who tried to pull me out of the Citadel, had not the Vortigaunts saved me from him. I almost thought I was free of him, until he very recently reminded me he was still there. He gave a message to Alyx to give to Eli, subconsciously of course. I was there when she did it. She didn’t even know what she was doing. But Eli, he knew.

He talked to me after it happened. He KNEW who this man was. Finally, I was going to find out what had happened to my life. Who or what this thing was.

We didn’t have time to talk about it then, we had a rocket to launch, and your superportal to close. Which, if you forgot, we succeeded in doing.

But now, I will never have that chance. The one man who could unravel the mystery of everything that happened to me, you killed. My friend, my mentor, and possibly my savior.

So now that you have heard all this, I hope you understand the gravity of what you have done.

My fellow humans call me “The One Free Man, the Opener of the Way”. But I am anything but. I might have been, if not for you.

I have had enough. Too long my life has been meddled with by this outside force. Too long you parasites have fed upon my planet and warped my people. Too long has this veil been over my eyes. It ends now.

My name is Dr. Gordon Freeman.

Before my life is ended, I will see to it that every last Combine soldier on Earth is dead. Every combine machine, destroyed. Every one of your biotechnologial monsters, dead. And most especially of all, every one of your vile Advisors will pay for Eli’s life with their own.

The time of the Combine ends now. This is your only warning.

I am coming.

//end transmission