Thursday, May 31, 2007

By the Power of uh... the Internet

Before I start, I just want to publically wonder why Blogger her doesn't always play nice with my system. I just spent 15 minutes recovering from a very frustrating system freeze trying to log into my account. Ended up having to reboot. Jus' wonderin'.

I've been on the Internet (apparently style guidelines say it's OK not to capatalize that now, but I'm old school) thing here for a long time. Pre-dating the web, in fact. (That'd be Usenet-only access ... there was no web yet, so that was really all there was). In all that time my primary usage has been keeping tabs on pro wrestling. Really. This wonderful tool has allowed me to talk with the creator of my second-favorite TV show, argue with a famous SF author (OK, that was on GEnie, but it coulda been the net), and discuss English usage with someone halfway around the world. My brother has recieved advice on turtle-keeping from a well-known expert. Well, well-known amongst those who have some knowledge of turtle-keeping experts. All that potential power used to keep up on events in an industry of admittedly niche interest.

But now I've found an even more marginal use for this power. I ordered pizza.

From the place down the road.

So much for the power to span the world, I guess.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lay Down Sally

It is not unusual for the English language to be abused in song lyrics, usually to maintain a rhyme scheme ("you and I" in Bryan Adams' "Run To You") or rhythm ("E-gyp-ti-an" in The Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian"). Eric Clapton's "Lay Down Sally" doesn't seem to have a reason for its linguistic abuse. Try it: sing "lie down" instead of "lay down". Fits just as well.

The two phrases mean different things, though. Not in the cosmic "Dust in the Wind" sense of meaning. Dude. The more mundane sense of how a person who speaks English interprets the particular vocalization "lay down".

"Lay down" is a command to put down something being carried or held. I can't help but having visions of King Kong scaling up the Empire State Building, hapless Sally clutched in his fist. Eric stands on the sidewalk, musically imploring Kong to "lay down Sally" - put her down.

But the intention of the song is to invite Sally to have a lie-down, you might say. I know that. I take that intent into account. I don't really think the song is about King Kong.

What Eric meant to say trumps what he actually says. "Decoding" the lyrics is dependant on intent.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Moment of clarity

First though:

Clearing up. Can definately see the summit now. For awhile there looked like I'd need an airlift out, but looks better now.

And I'm no longer being pelted with stuff. Well, no more than usual.

Main event:

So, you may be wondering why I keep talking about mountains. Simple. Metaphor.

Sometimes it is just easier to talk about something other than what you're REALLY talking about. It can be illuminating as well - there are facets to the idea of mountain climbing that I really wasn't aware of looking at the actual situation. I'm going through a rough patch right now and will admit to being sick of talking about it in the numerous situations where speaking metaphorically is inappropriate. This blog is not such a beast.

So, mountains.

Plus, it amuses me to make references to other things. The whole idea of a mountain standing in for difficulties was suggested by an Elvis song. Not the first with the idea, but I happened to hear the song at just the right time.

On the topic of references, this post and the previous both have references related to the band Pink Floyd.

I'll take that as proof things are 'clearing up' for me.

I mean, I didn't even try really.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Still climbing

Saw the summit briefly the other day. Obscured by clouds now, though.

And this damn grizzly keeps pelting me with stuff.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wrestling is Real

In my previous post I misspelled "poruresu". If I'm going to use Romanizecd Japanese terms, I should at least get the spelling correct. Bet you didn't even notice, but still.

One of the frustrations in my life is the reaction people give me when I reveal I am a long-time pro wrestling fan. "But that is so fake!" they helpfully chime in.

Well, thanks. Even though I have a BA (double major no less) and a BS apparently I lack the mental muscle to determine when I'm watching something scripted.

And "scripted" is a preferred term. Or "worked", but that is more jargon. I wouldn't want to confuse anybody. Yes, the outcome is predetermined. Yes, the participants work out what will happen when ahead of time. Yes, dire enemies in-ring are often good friends behind the scenes.

But still I watch it. I like a good story, and even though the characters are painted with a pretty broad brush, much of the time pro wrestling tells a pretty good story. Besides, it's not fake.

But I should show, not tell.

I have a DVD laying around titled Rob Van Dam: One of a Kind. In one match, RVD climbs to the top ring rope (around 8 feet above the floor, including the ring itself), jumps across the area around the ring (around 10 feet), over the ringside barrier (about 4 feet tall), landing on his opponent who is on the other side amongst the ringside seats.

He actually made this jump. And landed on his opponent. Without seriously injuring himself or anyone else. In one move. No wires or trick camarawork.

See, not fake. Not convinced? Try it.

But he is trained for such things, I hear the protests. Yes, he is. Doesn't change the facts at all.

"But, but ... It was scripted!" Yes, it was. And?

I have to feel pity for someone who can't sit back and enjoy a good lie.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cupcakes (no figure skates)

Today is May 13, 2007. It's a holiday. Shame on you if you forgot.

It's not really a holiday associated as some are with food, but I have some chocolate stuff laying around waiting to be eaten. Might as well use the day as an excuse.

That would not be such an easy choice to make for some folks. For instance, I had an elementery school classmate who was allergic to chocolate. Couldn't eat it. If she did, things would end up badly.

This made bringing treats for the class sometimes difficult. Most kids LOVE chocolate, almost as much as they hate not getting what they want.

So when it was my birthday that year and I could bring treats for the class my mom did something special. She made chocolate cupcakes (what the other kids wanted) for the class. And a special non-chocolate cupcake. No one asked her to. She wasn't fishing for praise or looking for special acknowledgemment. Sometimes, when something is right (in this case, being inclusive of my classmate), you just do it.

I don't know if she ever realized the example she was setting for me played a major role in some of the concerns I showed later in life. Sometimes you just do what is right.

Sorry, no figure skates. I can use what I wanted to say about that in a later blog entry. I can probably catch the end of today's NASCAR race on TV if I finish here. And I have that chocolate. It's not going to eat itself, you know.

Love ya Mom.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Things to come

I had a more topical post I was going to do today, but I'm just too darn tired. I still need something to do while my medicine warms up enough to inject comfortably, thusthis little preview.

Tomorrow I have a very timely post planned on cupcakes and figure skates, so what I was going to post today will have to wait. A teaser: the post is called 'Wrestling is real'. Pro wrestling. WWE. Prororesa. And I'm being literal. No ironic metaphor intended.

You're probably wondering how someone who uses phrases like 'ironic metaphor' can say wrestling is real.

Well, 'cause it is.

But tomorrow, like I said, cupcakes and figure skates.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Climbing up the mountain

Haven't posted in a while. I'm busy climbing.

See three posts prior ('Mountains')

Saturday, May 5, 2007


It's Saturday. Trying not to dwell on my own issues today, thought I'd watch cartoons. Really how I start most Saturdays, so no big surprise there.
Just got done watching Legion of Super-heros. Part two of a story based on the Sun-eater Saga. I couldn't really decide after last week if I liked it or not. A number of characters were just sort of introduced without, in most cases, much in the way of back story (Ferro Lad being the most relevant to this post.)

*********SPOILER WARNING*************

This week, in part two, Ferro Lad sacrifices himself to save the Earth from destruction. And why should we care? Given that we just met him last week, we don't have much reason. He seemed to have personal issues, but they were never explored. It really seemed the writers of the show wanted a big emotional-type climax for this season and just picked something that worked in the original source without looking at WHY it had an emotional impact.

Granted, this is fiction and fiction is all about telling lies, but I expect something from those lies. One is to not expect me to care just because I'm told I should. Make me care. Dive me a reason.

Some are probably saying it's the medium. What should I expect from a cartoon? Have you ever watched Princess Mononoke? When the Wind Blows? Read Barefoot Gen? Read A Contract with God or anything of Will Eisner's?

I enjoy Chuck Jones style lunacy as much as the next guy (probably more). What I'm trying to say here is that the choice of medium being comics (or animation) dosn't exclude more depth than shown by the story I watched today.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Dave reads books again

'Again' because I can't remember how many times I've used that title. This is 3 or 4.

Finally read the copy of Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams I've had laying around for awhile. This passage seemed very appropreate to my current state:

Arthur had almost given up. That is to say, he was not going to give up. He was absolutely not going to give up. Not now. Not ever. But if he had been the sort of person who was going to give up, this was probably the time he would have done it.

As long as I'm mentioning Mostly Harmless, might as well give it a minireview. This book is nowhere near as funny as the original Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. It does however have some chuckles in it, which is not something I'd feel comfortable saying about the fourth book in the (misnamed) trilogy, So Long and Thanks for all the Fish. Part of what holds the book back is that the ending is a real bummer. I'm a firm believer that humorous, tounge in cheek books should have similar, or at least ironic, endings. The ending in fact feels sufficiantly out of place I can't help but believe ehat, were he not dead, Adams would have continued the story somehow and the end become a cliffhanger sort of thing leading up to a new book.
The other problem in this book is the fact that it involves parallel universes. Adams even talks about this difficulty in the book itself. Not that such things can't be used well in SF, but I wasn't really satisfied with how they were used here. I was never really certain which universe things were happening in, which is rather a big thing to be uncertain about.

If you liked HHGTTG but ...Fish didn't do much for you, I'd still say Mostly Harmless was worth a readthrough. If you haven't read HHGTTG, do so.


Tuesday, May 1, 2007


I don't wanna talk about it. What don't I want to talk about? Well, saying would be talking about it, wouldn't it?

I fully understand life is full of little bumps - hills to climb.

What I don't understand is why I get frickin' mountains.