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Taking Chance
Written by: Darksider
11:21 PM - May 28, 2010

*originally written 03/30/09 08:52 pm

I just spent the last hour and a half crying my eyes out. Oh, you must think Jamie's being Emo or something. Well, in a way, you're right. I just watched the movie Taking Chance. It's SUCH an amazing movie. I think every American should watch it and understand just what it means.

Taking Chance is the story of Marine Lt. Col. Michael Strob who volunteers for escort duty to bring the remains of PFC Chance Phelps killed in Iraq, home to his family. It's the story of his journey across the country bringing this boy home. The people he meets and the transitions between planes and cars and such. Moreover, it's the story of a man who learns about himself along the way. He struggles with himself for taking a desk job instead of going to Iraq to fight. He volunteers for escort duty to let himself get closer to this boy, and to have a purpose in his military career.

Every time they embarked and/or disembarked, he snapped a tight salute, and it brought tears to my eyes. Every time people approached him and asked him if he was the escort, the looks in their faces brought tears to my eyes. When he gave the personal effects to the family of that boy, I cried yet again.

I believe our fallen deserve the utmost respect and every honor known to mankind. This movie was touching and had depth and I'm so glad I got to see the story of PFC Chance Phelps and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strob. It is a true story, and one that has happened thousands of times over the course of our fine country's history.

These men deserve our respect and honor, and especially our tears.


Nerdy is the Norm Now - Is Nothing Sacred?
Written by: Darksider
4:29 PM - May 13, 2010

What is with societal trendy pukes taking everything dear to people and turning it into "the new black". I mean really, for years, being a Star Wars nerd was a special moniker that only true believers were privileged to wear. We'd get made fun of and laughed at, while half the crowd secretly liked it, but didn't get "into it" like us Lucasites (another J.E Original). We'd do our collecting and out message board interaction and for those of us more hard core, either online roleplaying in chats, or the biggie... real role playing with dice and characters and a game master. Now, do to fuck sticks like VH-1 writers and stupid comedians and celebrity trend nazis, our nerdisms are have all become main stream.

My dice comment brings me to my next case in point. Role playing games. Dungeons and Dragons (hereafter known as D&D) has been THE ultimate nerd festivity for generations now. This spawned things like Renaissance Faires and L.A.I.R. (Live Action Interactive Roleplaying - also known as LARP) and collectables and fantasy movies and such. Still for many years, being "into fantasy was still a nerd's world that normal people only glimpsed into from time to time. Now, since Lord of the Rings was so epic on screen, that genre too has become un-nerdy, or even worse, trendy.

We won't EVEN get into the whole comic book genre. Comic geeks have had our own happy ginormous worlds for decades, and had even been persecuted for it, but loved being in them anyway... true believers. That too, is gone.

It's not just limited to our beloved nerd world either. Heavy Metal was one of the biggest victims of the pop-crazed trendoids. The record industry milked that cash cow right into the ground. Manipulating and destroying what was possibly the biggest music genre since rock-n-roll electrified 50's teens into rebellion many years ago.

What's worse, (and one of the reasons for this rant), is now "rebel" has ultimately become so fashionable, tough guys will have to start dismembering themselves (literally removing limbs) to show that they're more manly than all the other social cronies out there. Back in the day, you were a douche-bag if you had long hair. Now, it is common place. Having an ear ring meant you were being non conformal. Now you have to put metal and plastic augmentations all over your body in the most unheard of places, just to show you're more "scene" then the rest. Which leads to the worst of the offending "in vogue" statements of individuality...

Tattoos were probably the ultimate "fuck you, world" statement a real rebel could make. You had your outlaws and bad guys going under the *gun* and your tough guy soldiers and bad-boy bikers and such. All taking the pain that normal slimes wouldn't think of. I'm not even going back into history about true tribal rituals, as opposed to the, yet again, trendy "tribal" shit that came to be. But that has all changed now. True believers dove right into the body-art world and inked themselves up with some amazing (and some not-so-good) artwork on their bodies, and were still outcasts and off beat in their world. Today, body art has exploded onto the mainstream red carpet of "red is the new black" and it is becoming so difficult to get anything original on your body, because it's sooooo cool to have ink, that everyone and their mother (literally) has already done it.

I've been thinking about cutting my hair and might just take out my only ear ring and let the hole close. I've also been thinking about gauging both ears and getting some ink, but being the free thinker that I am, would I, in fact, be furthering my own downward flush into becoming a social clone?

If everything I said here was not true, I could get another piercing or two, keep my hair long, get a star wars tattoo on my calf and a set of D20 dice (one on each knuckle), and truely embrace my inner nerd and stand out from the pack as a douch-bag outcast. Now, I have to do all of that, and more, just to fit in and be cool.

Is nothing sacred?


Godaddy Sucks
Written by: Darksider
3:27 AM - May 11, 2010

Yeah Yeah, I know. People have been saying that for years, but until I hand wrote my own PHP website, I didn't care about how shitty their service is. It didn't used to be this bad, but now that they got some bimbo flaunting their logo on her tits, their service has gone down the pooper.

My photo uploader works. The script is awesome. It uploads and renames the image, inserts the new name and path into the database and resizes the image to thumbnail size and also puts the thumb name in the db. Well, it WOULD be awesome if the GOT DAMNED server would actually process the thing. I even pre-process my images to the size I want them displayed online, so the server won't have to resize for anything but the thumb, and it still chugs and fails. When the server decides to actually process my request, it works great, as you can see from any of the images on this site. When it fails, it just makes me slowly boil till steam comes out of my ears and I want to set fire to that girl in ths godaddy shirt.

Since I paid for their hosting for another year and a half, I'll stick it out, but I will definitely be changing hosting companies. Forget the stupid racing car and the bimbo and the superbowl spots and get my got damned hosting server to work!


California Uber Alles
Written by: Darksider
12:25 AM - March 21, 2010

That's California Over All (literally above all), for those who don't know. Say what you want about it, I don't care. That's where I want to be, and in two and a half weeks, I'll be landing in sunny SoCal and spending 18 days in paradise. Don't really know what I'll be doing other than staying with my brother for half the time and Tracy the other half. Nikki has graciously offered to let me stay at her place the nights I arrive and depart, which saves me tons of driving and hours on the road. It's good to have the wonderful friends who are actually there for me in practice rather than in theory.

So the only date I have anything planned for is April 18th. I'll be in Hollywood for a free Death Angel show at The Roxy. Can't wait for that. I love Hollywood. Death Angel are absolutely amazing live. The show is gunna kick major ass.

I'll be visiting with Ken as per tradition. It's always awesome seeing Ken. He and his wife and I go out to dinner and we sit around telling stories about the good old litho (that's printing for those of you in the cheap seats), and have lots of laughs. Might even see a client while there, but probably not. We're not on friendly terms. He keeps it professional, which is cool by me. I just wish he'd give me more work. :D

Gunna be awesome seeing the kids. I haven't seen them in a couple years. Looking forward to spending time with them and Rob and Theresa. Hope I'm not a burden on them. A week is a long time to have a house guest. It'll be so awesome staying in San Diego for that long. I only get down there for 1 day a year, if I am lucky.

While I said I have nothing planned, I am ever hopeful that something great will happen for me while I'm there. Lord knows I'm due. All I want is the ability to move back and get my feet planted again. Who knows? Things seem to happen for me at strange and unsuspecting times, so one can always hope. Maybe I'll meet that hot girl who likes me and drives me to move back, just like back in 1998. :D

Anyway, regardless what's planned or not, It'll just be awesome being home for that long. These next couple weeks need to go quickly.


Shinedown
Written by: Darksider
8:00 AM - March 10, 2010

Every now and then a band comes around that just has it. Shinedown is one of those bands. Havingheard their singles n Sirius Octane for a few years now, and always liking them, I finally got to see them. Most of the time when I see a band live, I already like them, so I go and enjoy the songs I like and hear a few I don't know and life is peachy. Once in a while I go see a band and they blow me away live leaving me wanting to listen to their stuff more so than before seeing them. Dream Theater was like that. Virtuosos on the gear with dreamy mystic lyrics and a true sense of wonder. Seeing them live absolutely knocked my socks off. Opeth was another band like this. Loved them from the door, and listened to all their CDs on repeat till the laser burned holes in the discs. Saw them live (three nights in a row) and again my life was changes. Opeth has surpassed Dream Theater as my all time favorite band.

But this is about Shinedown. Like I said, I enjoyed their singles and CDs after hearing them on Sirius Octane for the past few years. Last month I was blessed with the chance to see them, and let me tell you, I was left wanting more. THeir live performance was powerful and fun and energetic. Now every time I hear their songs on Sirius, I actually remember how amazing they were live. Other concerts I've been to are great in the moment, but their energy and feeling fades over time, but not Shinedown. Their song still make me sing loud just as if I was there live again.

"just has it". There are tons of rock bands out there and some of them are better than others. Most of them are pretty good, and a few "just have it". My brother once said, about Marilyn Manson, "This guy just gets it. He totally gets what it means to be a rock star." and he was right. While Shinedown will never be Marilyn Manson or even remotely in that arena, they do get it. True rockstars with a real well produced sound and catalog, lead by smart lyrics and the attitude to go with it all.

I have only seen them the one time, but I sure hope that they come around on another leg of this tour, cause this past show was one of the best concerts I've been to in years.


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