Monday, March 31, 2008

A Blog Of Notes Is Getting Progressively Awesomer



A Blog Of Notes, the newish audio blog that Tim and myself have been working on, keeps getting awesomer.

As we are nearing the end of the month, we have strung all the audio files of March 2008 together into a single, easily-played sound file (we're calling these collections of monthly sounds a "compile").

Go here to listen to the March compile that Tim has so skillfully constructed.

Yes, we are also providing a March compile with a backing drumbeat, thank you for asking!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Here Come The Birds



The birds are coming back. I saw some robins last week, and have seen a lot of cardinals flying around behind our house. I found some information regarding cardinals indicating that they are not migratory, but despite this I don't recall seeing one around here in the winter.

Anyways, I got back from shopping this afternoon, and had my handheld digital voice recorder with me. I don't really recognize birdsongs, but I know what a cardinal sounds like.

There was one high up in a tree right next to our garage. I was in a blissful enough moment to stop and record it for a bit.

If you listen closely you can hear another cardinal in the distance (perhaps answering its call?).

A Movie Quote Meme With A Doodle Happy Ending

Hi, here's a belated movie quote meme completed on behalf of Mathman.

Rules:

1. Here are quotes from 15 of my favourite movies.
2. See if you can name the films from whence they were lifted.
3. No googling or IMDBing; I'm trusting you on this.
4. I'll post the film names as they’re correctly identified.


My additional rule:
5. Person(s) with the most correct answers can supply a doodle idea for me to doodle.


The Quotes:

1. "What does Operations care about a bunch of damn books? A book in Dutch. A book out of Venezuela. Mystery stories in Arabic."
Three Days of the Condor [Matty Boy]



2. "Life mocks me even in death!"
An American Werewolf In London [Never Identified!]



3. "Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones."
Dr. Strangelove [Matty Boy]



4. "I saved Latin. What did you ever do?"
Rushmore [Cowboy The Cat]



5. "Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
The Third Man [Becca]



6. "Back home, they put me in jail for what I'm doing. Here, they give me awards. "
Casino [SamuraiFrog]


7. "I heard about Doc, and I know why he did it. Somebody took away his painting privileges."
Escape From Alcatraz [Becca]



8. "Oh, ho ho! You sly dog! You got me monologuing! I can't believe it."
The Incredibles [J.D.]



9. "You're a very attractive man, Ken. You're... smart, you've got wonderful bones, great eyes, and you dress really interestingly."
A Fish Called Wanda [Tim]



10. "Ask him, Edie, how come he's so good at killing people?"
A History Of Violence [J.D.]



11. "You are named after the dog?"
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [Cowboy The Cat]



12. "Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and I never repeat myself."
Inside Man [J.D.]



13. "What was Raymond doing with his hands?"
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) [SamuraiFrog]



14. "I think my body's getting used to these 36-hour days."
Primer [Never Identified!]



15. "Lisa, whatever female-driven, emotion-based dilemma you may be dealing with right now, you have my sympathy. But for the sake of time and sanity, let's break this down into a little male-driven fact-based logic. One simple phone call saves your dad's life. "
Red Eye [Lonie Polony]



UPDATE!

To make this a meme with an amazingly happy ending, I have decided to offer my doodling services for *anyone* that was the first to correctly answer any of the questions.

I await your doodle ideas!


DOODLE UPDATE!

For Lonie Polony: Danny Zucco in Greased Lightning (how about Zucco in front of Greased Lightning? I should have read your request a little more carefully!)




For SamuraiFrog: A walrus typing on a laptop that's starting to explode.




For Tim: Working from home.




For J.D.: John McCain channeling The Hulk breaking a baby lamb in half, with the blood dripping onto a poster for Blade Runner




For Becca: Wonder Woman dancing with Mario (from Mario Brothers)

This One's For You, BoingBoing

Well, I didn't make it into BoingBoing before my one year blogoversary, despite my desperate attempts at pandering to their specific tastes.

However, as I mentioned before, I do have one more trick up my sleeve.

Continuing a time-honored cultural tradition, I present the following:



What, you were expecting something a little more intelligent and a little less juvenile?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

One Year Blogoversary - It All Comes Down To Zombies And Shopping


It was a year ago today when I began uploading my thoughts to this blog. That first post was about a zombie apocalypse.

I am looking for help from the readers of this blog now.

We are out shopping at a supermarket when the zombie apocalypse becomes evident to us. The front of the supermarket is made up of floor to ceiling glass windows. There are two sets of automatic glass doors on either end of the front of the supermarket. There is also a service entrance in the back, which is a steel door and locked from the inside.

There are hundreds of zombies outside in the front parking lot. There are about fifteen zombie shoppers in the supermarket. There are five zombies out back. All of the store's employees are zombies.

The zombies are the slow-moving, George Romero kind. You can kill them by removing the head or destroying the brain.

Assume that all non-zombies in the supermarket arrived by motor vehicle.

Quick, we need to decide on a plan! What are we going to do? What do we need to take care of in order to survive?

I need to know what our priorities are, and we need to decide on tasks and have volunteers for each task.

Together we can get through this! I know it!

SO LET'S GO!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Google Will Not Say That

I was monkeying around with Google a bit.

One nice feature of Google is that if you accidentally mistype something you're searching for, Google tries to guess the text that you intended to type.

I'll actually use this as a feature in some cases. Say there's a scientific phenomena or some other such thing for which I can't quite remember the proper name.

I'll pop a close approximation of it into Google, and I'll usually be able to get the correct spelling of what I'm looking for after hitting "Search", often displayed to me as:

Did you mean: [correctly spelled term]

So, I thought it would be funny if I got Google to say something naughty, like Did you mean: asshole

But dammit, it appears that Google doesn't like to swear.

I did a little scientific experiment, using a more common expletive, "asshole" and compared it with a lesser-used though no less colorful word, "asswipe".

First, let's type in the words with their correct spelling.

Search for asshole:


Ooh! Over 24 million hits. That's a pretty popular swear word.


Now let's search for asswipe:


That's not a shabby search result total, but at under 400,000 that's significantly smaller than the results for asshole.


Now, let's intentionally misspell both words, in the exact same manner.

Let's search for asssdwipee


Hmm, no results, but Google thinks I might be looking for "asswipe".



Now let's search for asssdholee


No results, and Google has no suggestions for me! It doesn't matter that "asshole" brings back 60 times the results that "asswipe" does, and that I am misspelling the two words in the same exact manner. Sorry, Google cannot help you!


__________________________________________


I am of course not constructing a scientific theory backed up by hills of proofs and anecdotal evidence.

However, I challenge you to type in some text in Google where it will suggest the word "asshole" as what you were really searching for. Come to think of it, why not also try to get Google to suggest any of the seven dirty words?


UPDATE:

My brother took my challenge, and I must say I am impressed.

So Ends The BoingBoing Pandering

Here we are, on the eve of my one year blogoversary, nearing the arbitrary deadline I have set for myself to be honored on the pages of BoingBoing, like such blogging luminaries as Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein and Becca.

I have shown the world Super Mario Homemade Macaroni and Cheese.

I have given it a Steampunk bar of soap.

I have even translated a short story into the vernacular of a zoned-out seventh grader, a voice all too absent from our intellectual discourse in this baby-boomer dominated world.

Will my sort of not half-assed efforts pay off? I don't know.

I do know that if you want to see I, Splotchy BoingBoinged, you have the means within your power.

If you have seen something cool on my site, whether it was yesterday or a year ago, you can suggest it to the tastemakers of BoingBoing here. You'll be glad you did. Actually, I'll be glad you did, and isn't that really the same thing?

If I do not make it into BoingBoing before the arrival of my blogoversary, don't worry. I won't wilt like a fragile flower. Sure, there will be weeping, but it will be the strong, silent kind.

And I do have one last trick up my sleeve.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Scroogled, Translated Into The Language Of A Procrastinating Seventh Grader



BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow is also a fiction writer. He wrote a cautionary tale of Google, security and privacy titled Scroogled for Radar Online (if you don't want to be bothered to click through several pages for the complete story you can get it in one long page here).

Periodically I will see links to different language translations of this story made by diligent multilingual BoingBoing devotees.

However, I have yet to see a translation of this story done by a procrastinating seventh grader who sort of just skimmed it at the last minute. Until now, that is.


Scroogled!

Greg got off a plane. He was a brown unshaven nut and he was looking good. But then later he wasn't feeling so good when he was waiting a long time and he was sweaty.

So Google is everywhere. Their doing all security now.

Greg used to work at Google and liked it, but then he didn't want to work there anymore.

"Hi."

The officer took his card and was staring at a screen a lot. He had some food on his lip.

The officer asked him about a long time ago, and Greg said, why do you want to know about that.

Greg said what are you talking about model rockets.

Yeah, the officer said.

Greg was kind of sick to his stomach. No, it's okay.

Okay.

But then the officer was still bugging him.

There was a girl Maya who worked in a chocolate lab. She had teeth and a drooling problem. They had a couple dogs. She was explaining all about the security that Google was doing, and it was really scary.

Greg was crazy surprised. What's up with Google he asked Maya? They're supposed to be good and everything? Why are they evil cherries?

Maya said they were evil cherries and Greg should just deal.

They were quiet for a minute.

So Google is crazy mad with the spying Greg asked Maya.

You betcha Greg.

Oh, Maya isn't with Greg, she is a lesbian, but it's okay.

So then Greg started working for Google. HE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE!!!!!!

Maya killed herself because Google was crazy mad with the spying. But Greg got a couple of days off, which he probably needed.

THE END?!!

I'm Sorry

Tartan!

Abyss

Jim Carrey - Abyss

What a POTUS



I only have recently heard the term "POTUS" (an acronym for President of the United States), but now every time I hear it spoken or read it in print a certain image is conjured up for me -- one of a disinterested, slack-jawed moron that got to his unearned position through powerful connections and money rather than through hard work, dedication, and intellectual honesty.

So, here's to you, POTUS!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

National Treasure 2 Bucks

There are only a few more days left before the LaGrange Theatre mercilessly jacks its ticket prices from two dollars to three fifty. So, I thought I might as well try to squeeze one more cheap movie out of them before the next time I want to patronize their establishment, when I will have to choose to either feed my family or celebrate le cinema.

What were my choices tonight for 9-ish features at the LaGrange?

No Country For Old Men - I actually saw this in a first-run theater, and didn't feel like watching it again.

I Am Legend - I saw this one at a first-run theater too! What the hell, am I a cinematic butterfly or what?

National Treasure: Book of Secrets - Alright, I'm game!



Wow, is Nicolas Cage looking sexy or what?!! No? Okay, sorry.

So, I must confess I was actually looking forward to seeing this movie a bit. Despite my self-loathing, schmuckish self, I actually kind of enjoyed the first National Treasure movie. I mean, it was kinda silly stupid, and I wanted that Riley Poole dweebo sidekick to get hit by a meteor, but I had fun watching it.

In addition to this, a major role is played by Jon Voight, who was something like a patron saint at the Davis Theater, the cheap moviehouse in my old Chicago stomping grounds. Don't believe me? Hey, the truth is out there -- I even made a bar graph about the man.

There was actually a brand new Goofy cartoon that preceded the movie. Guess who hates Goofy? Yes, you're right! It's me! Now please don't misunderstand me -- I greatly admire a movie studio willing to devote time and resources to bring the public an original work of animation. It's definitely an artform to be cherished. But... I hate Goofy! Eff you, Goofy!

We then slide into the movie, which starts in the past, in the days following the end of the Civil War. We see an ancestor of our protagonist Ben Gates translating a page from John Wilkes Booth's diary, and blah blah blah, Lincoln is shot, Gates' ancestor realizes the person he is translating for is a member of some nefarious treasure-hunting organization (it was called Kentucky Fried Chicken, or something remarkably similar to KFC) and tries to destroy part of the diary, only to be shot by the KFC man.

Back in the present day, Ed Harris shows up with a page of the diary to interrupt Ben Gates' (Nicolas Cage) stupid lecture about Lincoln, brandishing a missing page from Booth's diary. Because the name of Gates' ancestor is written on the diary with other Lincoln assassination co-conspirators, people immediately assume that Gates was the mastermind behind the assassination. This is supposed to be the motivating factor ... y'know what? I'm done recounting the plot. It's stupid. It's a stupid, stupid plot. Do you want to know how stupid the plot is? The screenwriters that are attributed to this movie are listed in the credits as "The Wibberleys".

So, in the end after a lot of hokum and nonsense, they end up finding a golden city under Mount Rushmore. Somehow this proves that Gates' ancestor didn't help kill Lincoln. I'm sure it's all very logical when you diagram it all out.

Here's some random observations.

Ed Harris is the bad guy in this movie, but he seems to wildly vacillate from being a noble man and a dickhead. I realize there are noble dickheads out there, but his nice and dickish parts didn't seem to fit together well -- it was more like the director said, "Ed, in this scene you are Jackson Pollock on a bender!" Or, "Ed, you're in mission control talking to the guys up in the Apollo 13, and you have a styling flat-top haircut!".

Ed Harris has some henchmen that follow him around for part of the movie. One guy's sole purpose seems to be to pull people from their car so he can get in, drive and crash into things.

In this movie, we get to meet Ben Gates' mom (and the elder Gates' ex-wife). So, Gates' dad is played by Jon Voight. Who are they going to get to play the mom? Why it's none other than Helen Mirren, celebrated British actor and star of Prime Suspect, a detective series I have been frantically Netflixing! I didn't know whether to feel happy or sad for her role in this movie, so I chose to feel nothing. I FELT NOTHING.

Harvey Keitel, who had a relatively small part as an FBI-agent-who-is-also-a-Freemason in the first film, also makes a small appearance in the sequel. In the original movie he flashes a little subtle Freemason jewelry, but as he is introduced in this movie, I believe the man is wearing Freemason suspenders. I'm not kidding.

So the movie ends and I decide to sneak over to catch the last few minutes of No Country For Old Men. When I had seen it the first time, the ending kinda confused me. It seemed a bit abrupt and stupid. I did confirm, yes, the ending is a bit abrupt and stupid.

The next review I do from the LaGrange will cost me $3.50! Please donate any spare quarters to the Two Buck Schmuck fund, to allow us to continue the richly entertaining commentary you have come to expect from this hallowed blog.

Excelsior!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yes, My Daughter Is Awesome, Thanks For Asking

Here's a little tableau created by my five-year old daughter last night.

It's the Joker piloting the Scooby Mystery boat, which consists of an exercise mat and a tambourine.

Click on the pic for larger awesomeness.

Unconnected Tuesdays

Police scanner

The Roman Colosseum

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Union Station

So, I had a kind of busy weekend.

My folks bought a new car a while back and gave us their old station wagon, so we'll now be a two-car household. We don't expect to use the additional car a lot, but it's nice to have for logistical reasons.

So, we got all the paperwork taken care of on Friday. I took the Metra train to Union Station downtown in the late afternoon, for purposes of taking the Amtrak train down to Springfield, where I would pick up the car and drive it back the following day.

The way the train schedules worked out, I had about an hour and a half to putter about at Union Station while I waited for my train to Springfield to depart.

As I have mentioned before, I started out a new audio blog that consists of posts of one or a handful of musical notes, often recorded from the surrounding environment. Never to be an unprepared blogger, I had my recently-purchased digital voice recorder with me to record any interesting musical sounds. I also had my digital camera with me for the trip.

I really love the Great Hall in Union Station, and sat there for a spell during my wait. While I was there, I took a few pictures and recorded some audio of my time there.

This gives you a nice idea of the size of the room. And it's in the goddamned US of A, in case you didn't see that big flag.


I just panned the camera a bit to the right to capture this lovely view.


The roof of the Great Hall. It lets in some very filtered light, which actually makes the whole room feel a bit sad.



Panning the camera a little more to the right and we see the stone steps famously used in a sequence in Brian DePalma's Untouchables. You may remember that a baby carriage was a major component of the scene. It just so happened that the baby carriage in the photo had just been pushed (gently) down the steps.




A casualty of the cellphone era. A bank of payphones, only a couple of them operable.



Here's the audio I captured. It's about a minute and a half, and is appropriately directionless and echoey.

Jesus And The Magic Beans

Hey, kids, it's just in time for an Easter-themed dreadful reimagining!

So, pull up a chair, crack open a beer, and read all about Jesus and the Magic Beans!



Jesus had stopped counting the days of his wandering long ago. It was long enough ago that he had nearly forgotten when he had stopped counting.

As he walked down a muddy road, he saw a boy pulling a cow on a rope. The boy looked hungry and angry. The cow looked hungry and sick. The cow's eyes were glazed over and its legs were covered in sores. Jesus's heart swelled up with feeling as the boy neared him. The boy tripped forward. The cow had suddenly halted.

With a growl the boy went behind the cow and kicked it severely in its hind legs. The cow gave out a faint moan and started walking again.

"Boy," Jesus said, "Your cow looks very sick. And you look hungry. I would like to help you."

The boy glared at him. Jesus reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of beans. "These are magic beans. Please, take them and plant one in the ground. One bean will feed a family for an entire year. I will take your cow in exchange."

The boy looked at Jesus and looked at his cow. He put out his hand. Jesus placed the beans in the boy's palm. The boy dropped the cow's rope, turned and silently walked away.

Jesus picked up the rope. "Come, gentle creature." The cow followed Jesus.

__________________________


In the light of the moon, Jesus dipped strips of his robes into the lake water. A small pile of hay lay next to him. The cow slowly bent its head down and nibbled at the hay as Jesus gently cleansed its leg wounds with water.

Jesus abruptly looked up, distracted by a low, deep rumble. In the faint glow of the moon, he saw an enormous beanstalk shooting up into the sky.

"No," Jesus said.

The cow mooed sadly. "It will be alright. Sleep, gentle creature."

__________________________


The next morning, Jesus and the cow walked in the direction of the large beanstalk. They approached a humble cottage which rested right near the enormous plant.

Jesus rapped lightly on the door.

A rundown woman yanked open the door. She sneered at Jesus. "What do you want?"

The boy poked his head around her. "Mom, it's the man who gave me the beans!"

"Alright," the boy's mother said. "You can come in for a bit. But get that worthless sack of dung away from our house first. He's your problem now, not ours."

Jesus spoke softly to the cow, patted its head, then stepped inside.

"Boy, did you not plant the beans as I told you?"

"My mum threw them all out the window when I told her how I got them. But I showed her! Look what I got!"

The boy yanked on a rope, which strangely enough produced a loud honk. A beautiful white goose came into view from around the corner, a rope tightly around his neck.

"Watch this!" said the boy. He turned to the goose. "Lay!" he shouted. The goose's eyes were wild with fear. "LAY!" the boy shouted.

The goose started honking excitedly. The boy kicked the goose square in the chest. "LAY!!" he screamed. A golden egg fell out of the goose's rear end.

"Boy," Jesus asked, "where did you get this goose?" But Jesus knew where the goose had come from. He knew the goose belonged to the giant. The giant's father had been a terrible monster, and had caused much misery and suffering. But this giant, whose name was Grover, was a tame creature. He could frighten one with talk of eating and tearing and grinding, but in truth he wouldn't hurt a soul, and would much rather be tending to his cloud garden, growing his fruits and vegetables. And Jesus knew that the goose meant very much to Grover the giant.

"I got it fair and square. You got my cow. You're not getting my goose," the boy said.

"Nobody speaks to my son that way. Get out of here!" the boy's mother snarled.

__________________________


The cow gently chewed on a small pile of hay as the stars began twinkling in the sky. Jesus drank from the lake.

He looked up as he heard the faintest music. It was the beautiful strains of a harp. And what was mixed with it? It sounded like sobbing.

"Grover," Jesus spoke softly. "I am so sorry. Sleep peacefully tonight."

__________________________


The cow's health was slowly improving, but it was still quite weak. As Jesus led him to the lake he was distracted by a blur of color on the large beanstalk. It was the boy, and he looked to be carrying something gold and shiny in one of his arms.

The beanstalk shook violently. Jesus looked up and saw Grover the giant clumsily climbing down after the boy.

Jesus moved closer and saw the boy had Grover's prized golden harp. The boy reached the bottom and grabbed an axe, and started chopping at the beanstalk.

"No," Jesus said.

With the extra weight of Grover weakening the beanstalk, the boy was able to chop it apart with only a few swings. Grover fell from the beanstalk into a shallow part of the lake. With a large crack, Grover's neck snapped. He was dead.

"No," Jesus said.

__________________________


The cow's health was steadily worsening. Grover's enormous body was polluting the entire lake, from which the townspeople and many animals got their water.

The cow was so sick from drinking the water that it barely moved.

Jesus looked up at the cottage. It was much more magnificent. Two more stories had been added, and some additional buildings had been built as well. There was a large fence that encircled a good acre around the cottage, and a couple shady-looking townsfolk stood by a new wrought-iron gate.

Jesus patted the cow's head, then left to slowly walk up to the cottage. The two men walked up to meet him.

"Can we help you?" one of them asked.

"Yes, I need to speak with the boy and his mother," Jesus replied.

"Sorry, they aren't expecting visitors."

"I must see them. The water is polluted. The townspeople are getting sick."

"Go away before you get hurt." One of the men advanced on Jesus with a short knife.

Jesus walked back down the hill.

__________________________


It was Sunday morning. The cow lay down on a small makeshift bed of hay by the lake. Its breathing was shallow and pained.

The stench of Grover was horrible. It was so bad that many townspeople had moved away. The ones who had complained had been dealt with by the guards at the cottage. There now numbered over ten guards on the property.

The door to the luxurious cottage opened up and the boy and his mother stepped out. They were both dressed in the finest of clothes. Several guards accompanied them as they reached the edge of their property.

Jesus walked up to them and kneeled down. "Please, my good friends," Jesus said. "Please. Your cow is dying. The townspeople are sick. Please, can you help your brothers and sisters with fresh water? With medicine? With food?"

The guards moved toward Jesus, but the mother stopped them.

She walked over to Jesus.

"Just who do you think you are, you filthy beggar?" she asked.
"I have to watch my property every day for vagabonds like you stealing water from my well. I sleep with one eye open. I even have to watch my guards to make sure they don't pinch some of my food."

"Mom," the boy said, "we're going to be late for church."

"You think it's easy?" the mother asked. "Take care of your own. I'll take care of mine. If you come around again I'll make sure you don't walk away."

__________________________


Jesus walked down to the lakeside. Huge swarms of flies buzzed around Grover's decaying head.

The cow's eyes were wide and glazed over. Jesus rested his hand on the cow's neck. It was dead.

Jesus stood up slowly. He pulled his robes around himself and shrugged.

He walked down the muddy road, disappearing into the morning mist.

And that was the last time anyone ever saw Jesus again.

Steampunk Bar Of Soap

Who here likes Steampunk?

Well, if you like this subculture, I can happily tell you that you're not alone. The tastemakers at BoingBoing have a special place in their heart for all things steampunk.

So, dear reader, and tastemakers at BoingBoing, this post is for you.

Behold, a steampunk bar of soap -- for the turn-of-the-century adventurer who holds cleanliness as a virtue!

TO MAKE:

  1. Buy a bar of soap (preferably with no label).
  2. Push gold-colored paper fasteners into the soap.
  3. Wet, Lather, Rinse, Repeat!




Thursday, March 20, 2008

Oh no! Not YOU again!

          _                         _
         |_|          ___          |_|
         | |         /___\         | |
        _| |_      (| 'o' |)      _| |_
      _| | | | _    (_ - _)    _ | | | |_ 
     | | | | |' |    _| |_    | `| | | | |
     |          |   /     \   |          |
      \        /  / /(. .)\ \  \        /
        \    /  / /  | . |  \ \  \    /
          \  \/ /    ||_||    \ \/  /
           \__/      || ||      \__/
                     () ()
                     || ||
                    ooO Ooo

An Etiquette Question For You

Have you ever went over to a friend's house to eat and the food just ain't no good? I mean, the macaroni's soggy, the peas are mushed, and the chicken tastes like wood...

What does one do in such a situation?

Hey I Don't Just Ask, I Give, Too

First commenter with a doodle idea gets that idea doodled!


UPDATE:
For Allen L.: The Anonymous protest against Scientology.




SECOND UPDATE!

Due to popular demand, I have also completed a doodle for the second commenter with a doodle idea, Rider: Bill Clinton with his arm around Eliot Spitzer, sharing some quiet advice.

Super Mario Homemade Macaroni And Cheese



TO MAKE:

  1. In a casserole dish make some homemade macaroni and cheese (I prefer using shell noodles)
  2. Print out a picture of Mario
  3. Cut out a picture of Mario
  4. Place picture of Mario on top of cooked macaroni and cheese

Bon App├ętit!

I'm Going To Be On BoingBoing

The title of this post is not a fact -- it's a positive visualization.

There are all sorts of blogs and websites concerned with all sorts of topics.

An integral part of my blog is talking about or sharing things that I think are "cool". I never did stop using that word that I first latched onto as a child, though my peers probably stopped using it around the fifth grade.

Cool is cool, and always will be for me.

So, there is this website called BoingBoing, which bills itself as "A Directory Of Wonderful Things". Essentially, it's devoted to all things cool.

To many people in the Internet community, having your website or one of your posts linked to on BoingBoing means it is officially cool. And to extrapolate from that, hey, it means you're cool.

I'm proud to say our very own Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein was honored on the pages of BoingBoing several months ago. That should come as no surprise, as he is cool.

BoingBoing has a suggestion facility whereby one can submit a website/video/blog post/etc. for inclusion on its site. I would imagine BoingBoing is inundated with suggestions every day, hour, minute and second, but despite this, I tried to submit a couple posts of mine because I thought they were cool.

I only did this a couple times, early on in my blogging career. I told them about a cool thing I discovered about the Watchmen comic book. I told them about my slowed-down, heavy metal version of Toni Basil's Mickey. Though I still believe these posts are capital "C" COOL, no one from BoingBoing agreed with me.

I truly believe I have come up with a few things on I, Splotchy that were cool enough to be linked to on BoingBoing, but hey, no hard feelings.

However, now that I am nearing my one year blogoversary, I'm struck with my own sense of blogomortality. I need to get listed on BoingBoing, and I need to do it before March 29th!

That's why over the next nine days, I will be putting up the occasional post tailored specifically to the peculiar tastes of the tastemakers at BoingBoing. It's called pandering, baby!

And if it doesn't work, I can at least say I tried, and trying's cool, right?

Look for the "boingboing" label to distinguish the BoingBoing pandering posts from my non-BoingBoing pandering ones.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Feeble Contribution To A Blogswarm

Hi,

A blogswarm basically consists of a whole bunch of bloggers who decide to talk about a topic at the same time, in order to draw attention to the topic and discuss different aspects of it.

Today, there is a blogswarm about the 5 year anniversary of the Iraq War, which seems to have its homebase here.

Though I don't really post that much about politics, I decided at the last minute I'd make a contribution to this blogswarm.

I am basically just including a few videos to highlight some of the people that should be held personally responsible for the horrible carnival ride so many people have been thrown onto these past five years.

It's an awful ride for Iraqi civilians, whose loss of life and suffering quietly continues, largely unreported in the Western media. It's terrible for US soldiers, dying and being stretched thin, walking targets dropped in the middle of a foreign land that did not attack us. It's much easier for Americans sheltered from the news from the war (hey, I've a got a $600 check headed my way, even!), but that doesn't mean bad things aren't spinning out of control, with huge amounts of money transferred from taxpayers to enrich a few corporations, to the detriment of social programs and future generations of Americans.

Misery, death, sadness, horror, debt, torture, loss.

There are people responsible for this.

Here are three of them.

Dick Cheney on Iraq (1994)
You have probably already seen it before, but you should watch it again.



Saddam and Rumsfeld (1983)
Video, with no audio.
Keep in mind that this meeting occurred after the killings of 148 Shiites in 1982, a crime for which Saddam was sentenced to death and executed.



Bush, Smoking Gun In The Form Of A Mushroom Cloud
Whipping up the appropriate cloud of primal fear to catapult this nation into war.



Thank you, Bush Administration!
Thanks for everything.

Senso

Philip Seymour Hoffman - Senso

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Please Remember, As There Is A Good Chance I Will Forget

Eleven more days and I'll be hitting my first year anniversary of blogging, which all started out with a post on two of my favorite topics -- zombies and shopping.

Okay, I lied. I don't really like shopping at all.

Anyways, if March 29th rolls around and you think of it, poke me in the stomach and remind me it's been a freakin' year.

Thanks.

P.S. It is not appropriate to congratulate me on a blogyear of activity on this post. You're just going to have to set aside a portion of your brain to remember the date, and remind/congratulate me when it finally rolls around.

They're So Incredible

Oh my I'm in heaven.

There are cheesy soundtrack songs that form the core of my being. This is one of them.

Until today I did not know this video existed.

God Bless You, Internet!

Revenge - They're So Incredible (from the film Revenge of the Nerds)

Unconnected Tuesdays

Tomato

Bookcase

Middle Name Meme

Zoiks, another meme I have been tagged with. I better get on with it, I reckon.


The Rules:

1. Post the rules before you give your answers.

2. List one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name.

3. At the end of your blog post, tag one person (or blogger of another species) for each letter of your middle name. Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.



Bright - I'm reasonably smart. There are plenty smarter, but I do okay, I guess.



Eccentric - I'm a tad weird, and not necessarily in the oh-let's-watch-a-documentary-about-this-interesting-chap way. I have an eclectic palate, I concentrate on odd musical things, and I routinely indulge my sense of humor that many times finds no common ground with readers of my blog. So, I'm not crazy wacky nuts, but I'm a little off (I honestly think most people have their own eccentricities which they choose to keep hidden).



Negative - I can be a real pisser sometimes. This pissiness comes out in bursts, sometimes in carefully controlled form.



Juvenile - Four words: I like fart jokes.



Anxious - I'm a hypochondriac, I have the occasional panic attacks, I'm paralyzed with fear when faced with a mechanical breakdown or a simple household repair. Anxious.



Misanthropic - Not only am I negative, I am also a little misanthropic. I think people are capable of wonderful things, but there are times when confronted with something awful I think, "yeah, that's humanity for you". See Dreadful Reimaginings for my misanthropy in concentrated form. And look forward to a new bitterly funny installment of this feature, Jesus and the Magic Beans, which I'll post sometime this coming weekend.



Imagination - I'm not all rain clouds, I like rainbows too. I think the imagination is one of the greatest treasures of being alive. If you're not using yours, you're missing out. That's one reason why I often have more fun talking with kids.



Nice - I'm nice! Honest!


I'm so nice I won't tag anyone for this. However, if the ghost of Harry S. Truman wants to give it a shot, he is certainly welcome to.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Very Resilient Piece Of Python

Yeah, I know, Holy Grail has been ruined in some ways by sheer overquoting, but this was always one of my favorite bits, and it defies catchphrasing and regurgitation.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

10,500,000 Firecrackers

Bubs' Voice In The Wilderness

I hear a faint and distant kerfuffle.

Is it the light brushstrokes of a clown painting an alligator? The sickening wet crunch of an alligator eating a clown?

No, it's a meme lobbed thisaway from the long lost Bubs!


Rule 1) List three reasons for your blogging.

a) I gots ideas
b) I needs to tell them
c) It's free


Rule 2) List the rules.

I am. Just be patient.


Rule 3) Tag three others with the thread.

I tag:
Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post
Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing
Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler

Two Buck Schmuck Crisis Ending

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions regarding the recent crisis.

They gave me some perspective.

Grant Miller indicated that the cheap moviehouse in his parts actually closed down -- that's a far more heartbreaking result of cinematic hard times than having to reconsider my name, or needing to scrounge the change dish for a few more quarters.

Mr. Miller, if you get the itch for a still-reasonably priced movie, there is room enough for another schmuck at the LaGrange (although I don't know that I would call you one -- honestly, some days I wouldn't call myself one, feeling closer to being a shlemiel).

Like many of you, I have discovered the wonders of Netflix, but I encourage you to occasionally patronize your local, rundown second-run movie theater and enjoy all the majesty of Hollywood without the wallet-busting ticket prices.

As far as my ongoing feature goes, I think I'm going to stick with my Two Buck Schmuck moniker, and just say $1.50 will be a value-added tax or some such thing. Hey, it's the Internet. I can do anything!

We Own The World

Here's a pointer to a great article by Noam Chomsky.

(thanks, Mom!)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Two Buck Schmuck Crisis In Progress

Per the La Grange Theatre website (the cinematic ground zero of all my Two Buck Schmuck reviews):

Remember When...
  • The Blues Brothers were on a "Mission from God"

  • "ET Phone home" made you cry

  • You were shocked that Vader was Luke's Father
These were playing the last time La Grange Theatre raised ticket prices!

Starting April 2nd, we will be raising our ticket price to $3.50, to help in the continued renovation of our theatres.



What the hell am I going to call myself now?!!! The Three Fifty Swifty?

The Rather Complicated Logic Of Memeing and Rememeing

So we are well clear of February Is No Meme Month, which means standard meme rules apply.

Dr. Zaius has tagged me with a "Six Word Memoir" meme that Freida Bee previously tagged me with and I answered here.

In certain cases I could simply provide a link to my original completion of the meme as a comment on Zaius' post which tagged me, saying "I did it [link to my original post]here[/link]".

However, due to a confluence of events, this is not appropriate, and I must redo the meme to satisfy the informal rules set forth by meme-governing bodies.

Please allow me to explain.

I recently started my own meme, one which I am not entirely proud of, but, well, here it is.

It's a really terrible meme, where I simply do the "Name Game" song on different blogger's names, and say they in turn have to do the "Name Game" song on their own set of bloggers, etc. Zaius recently completed the Name Game meme here (he had been one of the people I tagged).

I want to compare the Name Game and the Six Word Memoir memes, but first let's break down the standard attributes of a generic meme:

Relevance - Does the meme make sense to the tagged person? For example, a movie-related meme assigned to a blogger who frequently discusses movies would have a high Relevance, while a gardening meme to the same person would have a low Relevance.

Efficiency - How much is required of the tagged blogger to satisfy the meme requirements? If the taggee can easily complete the meme with little to no effort or time, we call this a high Efficiency meme. If much work/time is required, this is a meme of low Efficiency.

Positive Effect - What will the outcome for the completion of this meme be? Will interesting facts be revealed? Will a work of art emerge? This is more subjective, but I would argue that different memes have different degrees of Positive Effect.

I use a 100 point system on each attribute. The attributes are added together to give you the total meme score (TMS). The higher the TMS, the more compelled the taggee should feel to complete a meme. So, a TMS of 300 is a *must complete*, while a TMS of 75 should elicit from a tagged blogger, "yeah, well, if I'm bored and I don't have anything better to do, I'll take a crack at it."

An important modifier: One thing we must keep in mind is that the number of times a person is tagged with a meme factors into the TMS. Simply divide the sum of the three attributes by the number of times someone has been tagged for a particular meme to get the adjusted TMS.


The Six Word Memoir
Relevance: 78
Efficiency: 77
Positive Effect: 79
TMS: 235

Relevance: The Six Word Memoir is actually pretty nice for a meme. A bloggers' business is writing, and this writing represents his or her unique worldview. Asking people to reduce their worldview to a small number of words forces the taggee to consider this worldview, and attempt to distill its essence.

Efficiency: Despite the fact that the meme prompts the blogger to think a bit, it's still a very efficient meme. Only six words are required -- no downloading/uploading of images, no required long-winded answers to complex questions.

Positive Effect: This meme also has a nice chance for Positive Effect. Perhaps as a result of this the blogger will learn something about what makes them tick. Also, readers of the blog will learn a little more about the person behind the blog.


The Name Game
Relevance: 24
Efficiency: 80
Positive Effect: 12
TMS: 116

Relevance: The Name Game meme is something every blogger dreads to get tagged with. It is essentially a forwarded chain letter that you have been asked to perpetuate. The Relevance score is slightly mitigated by the fact that Name Game itself is actually not an unpleasant song to sing, and bloggers might not have considered how their name actually sounds when "name-gamed".

Efficiency: Name Game actually edges out Six Word Memoir for Efficiency, as all the tagged blogger need do is copy and paste a block of text, and replace one name with another.

Positive Effect: There is little to no positive effect for this meme. The world will not be any better a place to know how a blogger's name will sound name-gamed.


Clearly, the Six Word Memoir is a far more interesting and important meme than the Name Game. However, remember that this is the second time I have been tagged with Six Word Memoir, which requires us to divide the TMS by two.

The final breakdown is:

Adjusted Six Word Memoir TMS: 117.5
Name Game TMS: 116

As you can see, even a twice-tagged Six Word Memoir has a higher TMS than the Name Game.

As it is now, I am slightly in meme debt to Dr. Zaius. So, I will complete his tag to satisfy this debt.

***************************

Here you go, Dr Z.

My (Second) Six Word Memoir:

Indulges In Wacky Unfounded Theories Occasionally

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Small Positive Effect Of This Awful Cold

I can pass off a little tidbit of wisdom to you as a result of my ongoing cold.

Not only is it possible to cough and fart simultaneously, it's quite delightful.

The Scrambler

Paul Reiser - The Scrambler

Why Of Course It's A New Blog



Yes, if you hadn't already guessed from the teaser, I have a new blog to announce.

It's an audio blog called A Blog Of Notes, and notes is just what it is.

Each post consists of a sound file containing a small number of notes. Sometimes they will be from a musical instrument, sometimes they will be from the surrounding environment.

Tim is a contributor to this blog as well. He has already made some awesome contributions -- from the ding-dong of the closing of a Chicago El door to the sound of his finger pinging off a metal fence.

Due to my ongoing cold/flu aggravations, I have only made one paltry contribution thus far, but hope to add more to the blog soon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Teaser

Household Repair Bookmark

Hi, Splotchy in the future.

In case you were wondering when exactly did the furnace stop working, it was Tuesday morning, March 12th, 2008.

You remember, when you and your entire family had that horrible cold. Yeah, that's when.

MizSplotchy called to have it repaired later Tuesday morning, but the technician indicated after checking around that one of the parts needed wasn't in the state of Illinois. Yes, the entire state of Illinois did not have the replacement part.

So they had the part sent overnight via UPS from Des Moines, Iowa.

Splotchy in the future, if you are considering replacing your furnace, you might want to get one that has replacement parts in the state of Illinois.

You're welcome, and I hope you are over this cold.

Best Regards,


Splotchy from the past (cough)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Table Full Of Colors

Just an HTML table full of colors.


































































































































 








           

 

 

 

 

 

 






 





 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 








 








 








 








 








 








 








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 











Unconnected Tuesdays

A fern

A gold bar

Monday, March 10, 2008

Let's Steady Things Out A Bit

Wow, did you see that last post? I am actually trying to get bloggers to do the Name Game? Holy sh*t. I would be embarrassed if I were me.

I'm chalking it up to the medication, even if it is only Robitussin.

Let's focus.

Curtis Mayfield - We Gotta Have Peace

Here's A Stupid Meme That I Hope You Will Enjoy

Let's play the Name Game! This is the stupidest meme ever, but by completing it we will save puppies' lives, so let's put down our cynical pens and start banana-ing.

*****

Rules
1. Tag one to many persons by doing the name game song on their Blogger name (their first name, if they have one).
2. Tell your tagged, name-gamed bloggers that they will have to continue the Name Game meme, or innocent puppies will be [make up something suitably awful].

*****

Hello, taggees! Please pass this meme on.

If you don't, I believe there are puppies about to be jettisoned from the International Space Station without space helmets!

The only thing preventing this terrible tragedy from being enacted is your continuation of this meme!

The taggees:

Bubs, Bubs, bo-bubs,
Banana-fana fo-fubs
Fee-fi-mo-mubs
Bubs!

Some, Some, bo-bum,
Banana-fana fo-fum
Fee-fi-mo-mum
Some!

Vikki, Vikki, bo-bikki,
Banana-fana fo-fikki
Fee-fi-mo-mikki
Vikki!

Samurai, Samurai, bo-bamurai,
Banana-fana fo-famurai
Fee-fi-mo-mamurai
Samurai!

Zaius, Zaius, bo-baius,
Banana-fana fo-faius
Fee-fi-mo-maius
Zaius!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cough! Cough! Cough!

If anyone is keeping track of bloggers completely whomped by a stupid virus, you can add me to the list.

I have been tagged by Freida Bee for a six word memoir about myself. I am supposed to be tagging five other people, but I really feel like crap, so I'm just going to do the memoir and stop there. Sorry. Here goes...

I
Tried
My
Best,
Sort
Of


Please feel free to do this, but wash your hands after you take it from me.

Yours In Ill Health,


Coughy

Friday, March 7, 2008

Max and DPK Interview, Part 4


Here is the fourth and final part of some excerpts from an interview conducted by Max The Drunken Severed Head with my adopted actor, David Patrick Kelly.

The interview was conducted in Pittsburgh on May 19th, 2007.

In this portion of the interview, Kelly shares some thoughts about Brandon Lee with Max and Max's wife Jane.


Some background:
On March 31, 1993, during the filming of The Crow, Brandon Lee was accidentally shot and killed as a result of a firearm malfunction. Lee was twenty-eight. David Patrick Kelly played the character T-Bird in the film.


DPK:
The first time I met Brandon Lee, I said to him, "You know your father was a big influence on me!"


Max:
Really? Ah!


DPK:
Brandon said, "He was on me, too!" [laughs]. And he was, Bruce was a great genius. Brandon was too.. He was.. It was just a horrible tragedy.


Jane:
It is tragic.


DPK:
Yeah.


Jane:
He had a presence, you could tell in the film, you know? He really did.


DPK:
And a passion, and RESPECT. He was such a nice kid. He was such a, he was so respectful of the process. He worked so hard. Film was such a hard thing for him to do. And I want him to be here, rather than the film, but we finished the film for him. And I think he would have been proud.

It was kind of a "Rebel Without a Cause" for the goth kids, it really was. I didn't even realize it until years later. I wouldn't even look at it for years.

(Not Really) Misheard Lyrics, Vol 4

Here's another song for which I have substituted my own superior lyrics.

The song is "The Best Is Yet To Come", and was written by Cole Porter. I'm sure many people have recorded it, but the version I'm most familiar with was recorded by Frank Sinatra.

I only sing my special version of this song when I am having a really bad day, so if you hear me doing it, you may want to steer clear.

Frank Sinatra - "The Best Is Yet To Come"
What I Sing
The best is yet to come, you dirty motherf*ckers

Actual Lyrics
The best is yet to come, and won't that be fine

One Of Lost's Mysteries Finally Solved

For me, ABC show Lost often raises questions without ever providing answers. This can get downright frustrating.

For example, what is the smoke monster? What's the deal with the four-toed statue?

One thing I have always wondered about is the erratic behavior of the John Locke character.

Thanks to freeze framing and zooming on last night's episode, his erratic behavior is no longer a mystery.

I now happily share this starting revelation with all Lost fans.



I imagine Ben Linus is especially adept at pressing this button.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Paste

Jason Statham - Paste

Max and DPK Interview, Part 3


Part 3 of some excerpts from an interview conducted by Max The Drunken Severed Head with my adopted actor, David Patrick Kelly.

The interview was conducted in Pittsburgh on May 19th, 2007.

This portion deals with DPK's early work as an actor and musician in New York City in the 1970's.

Max's wife Jane also puts in an appearance.


DPK:
Max's [Kansas City] had 150 seats with little tables that were lined up in rows. I saw everybody -- from Bruce Springsteen with his first record out, "Greetings from Asbury Park"; the Wailers, the original Wailers, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh; Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar...


Jane:
Wow, I'm jealous of that.

[Max laughs]


DPK:
It was great -- [the Wailers] had just had Burnin' out on record. Patti Smith made her first appearance there, when when it was just her and Lenny Kaye on guitar... Charles Mingus quartet...

So once in a while it'd be really packed with people. We'd have to help down the stairs. Then I did a play there, and that moved into what they called a punk -- we didn't call it punk rock -- but it was the punk rock era.

And we'd read about the band Television playing at CBGB's, and so I went there too with my band. Very good band, still got some live tapes, gonna bring them out. I had to dissolve my band, and then...


Max:
You played guitar?


DPK:
I played guitar, and played all the cabarets in rock. It was a wonderful scene, actors and songwriters in the 70's in New York, and that new music, or punk, if you wanna call it that, that THING was going on.

It was very creative. It was a wonderful time in the theater too. There were a lot more theaters then. And I did a play at Max's, and then my first New York job, big job, was Sergeant Pepper on stage.

I played Sergeant Pepper himself and sang "Get Back" and "Saved the Day" at the end of the show. It was by the people who did "Hair" and "Jesus Christ Superstar". John Lennon and Paul McCartney came to the opening. It was really fantastic.


Jane:
VERY nice...


DPK:
It was like a dream. Did you ever see that book "Rock Dreams"? By a guy named Guy Peellaert? David Bowie has an album called "Diamond Dogs".


Jane:
Uh-huh.


DPK:
The cover of that, where he's half dog and half human -- it was done by an artist called Guy Peellaert. He had a book called "Rock Dreams" where it was just fantasies, like Dylan sitting at a diner with Elvis, and stuff like that.

And so, being with John Lennon at the party was a little bit like one of those rock dreams. There he was, talking to me!! Taking me around, introducing me to people.

Because, it's a long story, I know I had gone on in place of somebody, and I know all the words, and he said [imitating Lennon] "Here's Dave, he knows all the words, I don't know all the words to my songs". [laughter]

He was being hounded by Nixon during that time, because he was in protest at the big convention that was coming up. He'd done an interview with himself, "Dr. Winston O'Boogle Interviews John Lennon". And so I told him, "John, you did a good interview with yourself". He says, "Yeah, I asked myself some very pertinent questions". [laughter]

He was a wonderful guy. It was just another horrible tragedy, you know...


Jane:
Yeah.


Max:
I was so...


DPK:
Inconsolable?


Max:
Saddened about that.


DPK:
I'd seen the Beatles. I'd seen them in Detroit, at the Olympic Stadium. Yeah, it was me, Larry Francis, and 12,000 screaming 12 year old girls. That was it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Smarter Than The Average Twelve Year Old

I was cleaning up the dishes after tonight's dinner, when the doorbell rang.

I walked over to the door and opened it. No one was there.

I opened the screen door and peeked out. A kid, probably eleven or twelve years old, was about twenty feet away from me, striding quickly away from our house with his dog.

I called after him, "Can I help you?"

He turned and shouted, "I didn't ring your doorbell," to which I replied, "Who said anything about a doorbell?"

"I don't know," he said, and walked off.

SPLOTCHY: 1
TWELVE YEAR OLD PUNK: 0

Splotchy Spoonerizes An Assortment Of Political Websites

Take this, you beeky chastards!

1. Looks and Criars
2. Kaily Dos
3. Prink Thogress
4. BOP Gloggers
5. Glue Bal
7. Rational Neview
8. The Rarpetbagger Ceport
9. Son Jwift
10. The Daily Dish (DAMN YOU ANDREW SULLIVAN! DAMN YOU TO HELL!)

Max and DPK Interview, Part 2


Part 2 of some excerpts from an interview conducted by Max The Drunken Severed Head with my adopted actor, David Patrick Kelly.

The interview was conducted in Pittsburgh on May 19th, 2007.


Max, The Drunken Severed Head:
Do you get impatient with actors who don't place emphasis on the story but more on their role?


DPK:
We're all crazy in our own way, and I judge actors that I want to work with again about how they are "in the moment", as we say.

Onstage, or in a film scene, when you're with people and you're looking in their eye, you can really tell what they're about. You can tell everything about them. And you can tell how generous they are or how selfish, A lot of that gets confused because of the roles they're playing. You cut a wide allowance for how people are offstage, because everybody has their own discipline, and their own ways, and their own philosophies.

But when you're doin' the THING, you can tell how people really are. You can tell if they're selfish, or if they're generous. You can tell what kind of an ARTIST they are, and that's how you judge. In the world everybody's crazy in their own way. So you just have to find a way to tolerate and allow people to be what they are.

Then there's certain times where you get to see what people really are. And, that's how you deal with who you keep connecting up with, and who you want to work with again. But impatience, you gotta let that go.

Martial arts taught me a lot about patience. I only started martial arts when I was 35, and it was very meaningful, because it shakes off, it goes back to looking in people's eyes. To me, martial arts, with men and women, in my karate school [smiles] you really get to see how people are.

We're animals with big brains. So we have the perfect ability, that's possible, but we're really animals. And the real nature of people when they're fighting each other comes out. And once again you see how they really are. So that it was a different way to get more TRUTH. It was kind of a goal for me.

I wanted to play Shakespearean generals, so I wanted to have martial arts. And I've been there twenty years now. So it's once again, a spiritual discipline. I call myself a Zen Taoist. Christian is what I am. Meditation is a part of it, Tai Chi, and martial arts, these things give me structure, and some way to stay fit as I get into my creaking years.

And, larger than that, it's a spiritual discipline as well. It teaches you a lot about patience, about your patience with other people. Because it's like an army experience almost. People talk about the army being "the best time of their life". They didn't want to go in, but, "Oh, my buddies," all that stuff. Because you're with people you wouldn't normally be with.

Being in a locker room, and people saying [mocking tone] "Hey! Ain't cha gonna do no more movies man?" or, "Whattsa matter witcher' career?", or something like that... They don't know anything [about me], but still you get to learn something about them. You ask about them and they say "Well, I got five kids, and three wives, and I'm strugglin', but my martial arts keeps me together." And it's true. You get to -- for an actor it's a goldmine. You're doin' this research, you've got different people that you don't get to meet, instead of hanging out with actors all the time. So that's waaay more than you wanted to know about martial arts...