Friday, November 29, 2013

Horror Without Victims

Our own Eric Ian Steele wrote the short story Clouds included in the "Horror Without Victims" anthology.


Eric wrote Clonehunter. And the story Clouds is a fantastic little piece of horror. Check it out.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Red, White, and Blue

So I guess Only God Forgives isn't really a big Hollywood film. But it's beautiful in a sort of archaic (meaning, what, the 90's?) way. Each frame is very deliberately composed. Long takes. Long elegant dolly moves.

But it's the color which I found so striking. There are a lot of red, white, and blue compositions. I don't know if they were deliberately going for something in particular, like Ryan Gosling being in red for the beginning of the movie and then another color later. It seems like the movie itself goes through color changes rather than the colors being related to particular characters. So we go from red to a sort of daylight-clear but using architecture to frame, then going blue. Or maybe the red is, like, representative of the mother's stifling oppression, man. The movie is formal.
And the movie is slow. I mean it's like 2001 slow. And if the slowness doesn't make you think of 2001, the Penderecki-like score will certainly do the trick.
Cliff Martinez scored the picture. He's done a number of things I've really liked, like Solaris. I love the score in Only God Forgives. He's kind of the master of these moody sorts of scores which sound massive but which you can put dialog over.
Sometimes the Foley is comically kung-fu-movie-like. Some of the scenes are super delicate in their use of sound against score. It's not like the movie is all that literal. I mean, time certainly isn't linear. And there are certainly "choruses" of unblinking extras who just observe unemotionally.
It's a pretty striking picture. But I mean seriously. Where does he get that sword?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

To Do BA Dry

Under "things I want to do" I thought, especially to appease my friend Ed McNamee, it would be nice if there were a way to meld my triumvirate blogs (blog.tyrannosaurusmouse.com blog.pandoramachine.com and blog.pleasurefortheempire.com) with the addition of puppiesandtoast.blogspot.com into one feed. I don't think there's an automatic way to do it. So it looks like it won't get done.

So. With SCUBA. I'm allergic to neoprene. There are three options in the world of wetsuits that I know of.
  • There is stuff called Sharkskin which as far as I know is simply not available in the US.
  • Then there's a UK company called Fourth Element which makes a wetsuit from Thermocline. (I feel fairly confident that I am not allergic to the Thermocline material as I have a pair of AquaLung gloves made of Thermocline and haven't had trouble with them.
  • Lastwise there is stuff called LavaCore made by Oceanic. This is the cheapest option at about $220. (I have SCUBA "socks" made by LavaCore and again I feel relatively confident that I'm not allergic to it.)
Incidentally, tests have shown that what doesn't help is to wear (say) LavaCore underneath Neoprene. Nope. Still have allergic reaction. Apparently everyone on the Internet who has a Neoprene allergy says the same thing. It just don't work.

But then here's another thing.

Although all of those above suits are neutrally buoyant, which is very groovy, they're all fairly light-weight. Scuba diving in New Jersey is almost never warm. Because when you're not diving in the North Atlantic, you're diving in quarries which are under fifty-degrees at a depth of 50' year-round.
  • So that means that realistically a dry suit is usable all the time when diving here. 
  • And many dry suits are available without neoprene.
  • Dry suits are, unfortunately, expensive (like $2000).
  • Dry suits have almost no resale value, so you can pick them up cheap off of the Craigslist.

And that's about it for what I have to think today. I'm done thingking. Tinking. Finking.



Saturday, November 23, 2013

eBay

I sold a couple things on eBay.
One thing that's cool is that between eBay and PayPal the whole selling process is relatively easy.
Firstwise is that eBay now automatically figures out what category your item should be in based on previous similar items. That makes life much easier.

In the world of selling audio stuff people like to know the serial numbers just in order to be sure things haven't been stolen. So I always include the serial numbers.
Also it's nice to tell a little story about the item. Folks like that.

Betty White. If you're bored by the rest of this post, here is Betty White.
I even spelled the name of this thing wrong. Yeah. I know. It's because I was thinking "Philosopher's Stone" instead of "Philosopher King". So sue me. It still ended up in the right category and showed up under the correct searches.

But the thing that make my life the easiest is that eBay/PayPal will print out your mailing labels. I mean, you can even buy the postage (you know, through PayPal) and it prints out everything so you can just drop it off.
I thought I had to take the packages to the window. Turns out I don't. I did. But I didn't have to.
All in all a fairly painless process. Hopefully the buyers will be happy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Knives Allowed

So, I'm unpacking a new air mattress from Amazon and I don't have a pocket knife. And my eldest brother has no pocket knife. And my father has no pocket knife.
I'm all like:
How is it that three men do not have a single pocketknife between them? Is this all because of the TSA?
The answer was "yes".

But it turns out that we can carry pocket knives again! Whoopie!
I'm a tad confused about when these new implementations go into place. But they seem pretty reasonable to me.
I just might order a whole bunch of pocketknives for everyone for Christmas. Gerber, baby. Not just Gerber for babies. Gerber knives. They're just the best. Get some for Christmas.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Woe!

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of un-bar-b-qued lips, and I live among a people of greasy ribs, and my eyes have seen the King, and tasted the food at Soul Flavors which is now closed.
Woe.
For years I found Soul Flavors in Jersey City to be the best soul food I'd ever eaten. Now, 'tis tru my cousin did introduce me to Red Rooster in Harlem and yea verily I do pronounce it as good as Soul Flavors. 
But it's in Harlem and I live in Jersey City. 
In sadness I post this bunny.
Just up the street from where Soul Flavors was is a real hole-in-the-wall Polish restaurant. Every single thing I ate there -- stuffed cabbage, stuff chicken breast (mozzarella), pierogies (of course), and sauerkraut, were delicious. And helped take the edge off my speechless sadness at the demise of Soul Flavors.