Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom: $3.50 Admission, Food And Beverage Not Included

I decided I'd head out to the LaGrange on this cool yet ridiculously humid night to see a movie.

What were my choices?

Forgetting Sarah Marshall - That's okay, I don't know her to begin with.

Shine A Light - A documentary on the Rolling Stones by Martin Scorsese. I have a strict rule. I only watch documentaries on the Stones where-Sorry, Marty!

21 - I think I first saw the trailer for this back in early 1992. After the forty-seventh time of seeing the trailer I got so excited about the hijinx of Kevin Spacey and his merry band of MIT pranksters, but then when I saw it thirteen more times my interest finally waned.


The Forbidden Kingdom - Let's go!

For the record, I have no idea what the hell that big scary face is supposed to represent.

Okay, first, some setup.

I don't have any bills on me, so I stuff a handful of quarters into my pocket and hop in the car. I drive into LaGrange and am surprised to see a carnival setup in the downtown area. Carnivals make me happy. I like all the pretty lights, what can I say?

I mosey up to the theater and see the price is $3.50. I think, "Did they raise the price?" I had thought the new price was $2.50 -- I knew the price had gone up, I just remembered wrong. I didn't have enough quarters with me. I feebly asked the guy in the ticket booth if I could charge the ticket (I couldn't!). I then sprinted up to an ATM, got some cash and managed to still get back in time before the film started.

Were you worried just then? That was not just dramatic license on my part. That whole series of events actually happened.

Anyways... The Forbidden Kingdom. I knew very little about this. As the credits start rolling, I see the Action Choreographer is Woo-ping Yuen. Woo-ping Yuen has choreographed a lot of Hollywood movies (Crouching Tiger, the Matrix trilogy, etc.). Even if Forbidden Kingdom turned out to be rather chokey, I had some confidence that there would be some nicely-done fight scenes.

Incidentally, Woo-ping Yuen is also an excellent director - he has directed one of my all-time favorite action movies, Wing Chun. He's got plenty of other good ones as well -- Drunken Master, Twin Warriors, etc.

So Jackie Chan and Jet Li are the big names in this movie. From what I can tell, they haven't really worked together before, so I'm assuming this was a coup to someone somewhere. I was interested in seeing how the goofiness of Chan would mesh with the more matter-of-fact style of Li. At about the middle of the film, there's a nice, extended fight scene between the two. I thought to myself, "It's all downhill from here." And I was right!

Chan and Li each play two roles in the film. Chan is an old geezer who runs a pawn shop in the present day, and also plays a drunken kung fu master in Ye Olden China. I appreciated the nod to his Drunken Master films.

Li plays a monk, as well as the Monkey King, an immortal being who lost his staff, which must be returned to him. Li had some pretty styling hair as the Monkey King, making him look like a primped-up Captain Kangaroo.



Oh, I neglected to mention the star of this movie. Hold on. Lemme look up his name. Ahhh. Michael Angarano. He plays a kung-fu movie-obsessed dweeb in the present day who finds a staff in a pawn shop, is told he needs to return the staff to its rightful owner, then falls off a building into ancient China.

When he gets to China, Chan and Li accompany him on his trip to get the staff back to the Monkey King, and improbably teach him how to fight along the way.

There's a little problem. The actor looks like a young Sean Astin (y'know, Rudy). The audience is meant to identify with him. As the group nears their destination, his character starts sporting a little ponytail.

Think about it. Sean Astin with a little ponytail. Rudy with a little ponytail. Samwise Gamgee with a ponytail. This is who I am supposed to identify with?

Fuck the Monkey King and his staff, I don't want any part of this stupid adventure.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Story Virus 1 and 2: A Brief Comparison

A comment by DGuzman inspired me to a create a simple graphical representation of the spread of the two story virii.

The first virus was far more heartier than the second one. There's a lot of possible reasons for this -- May seems to be a traditionally light blogging month, there's nice weather outside, the second time around the idea of a story virus is not a novel concept, etc.

I think I might do this again at the end of the year, assuming people's creative juices have had a chance to replenish.

It's been a lot of fun. I may have to kidnap a little pig to get friend of the blog McGone to participate if I have another go-around, though thanks to Susan there were still some nice original illustrations for the second virus.

Virus 1
XX
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXX
XXXXXXX
XXXXX
X
X
XX
XX
X


Virus 2
X
XXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXX
XXX
X
XXX
XXXX
X
X
X
XX

Remembering The Infected v2

From what I can tell, the second eruption of the story virus has been contained.

This post serves as a solemn marker for those stricken with it.

Different people have remarked about the virus as being an example of exquisite corpse, but the fact that the virus can shoot into multiple directions and threads at once makes me want to call it the exquisite exploding corpse.

Anyways, I thank everyone for being a part of this. If you don't see your contribution included, just let me know and I'll add it.

Here's to the infected of the Story Virus (v2) -- may your memory live on!

May 14, 2008
Splotchy


May 15, 2008
FranIAm
DGuzman
Freida Bee
M.Yu
Dean Wormer
Randal G
p0nk
Wyldth1ng


May 16, 2008
Jess
Bubs
Splotchy
kyuuri
WriteProcastinator
Liberality
Fairlane
DCup
Mathman
Magdalene6127
Kirby
Germaine Gregarious


May 17, 2008
Cowboy The Cat
Randal G
Freida Bee
Commander Other
Pain
Splotchy
Jess
Don Snabulus
Quin Browne
Liberality
Lonie Polony
Susan
Bug O' Death
Doc
SkylersDad


May 18, 2008
Freida Bee
littlesnoring
Dr MVM


May 19, 2008
Katie Schwartz
Christina
Bob


May 20, 2008
SamuraiFrog
The Imaginary Reviewer


May 21, 2008
Jillian
The Moody Minstrel
Sean


May 22, 2008
John
Becca
Becca (another infection in the same day!)
Herbal Amanda


May 23, 2008
Captain Incredible


May 25, 2008
The Imaginary Reviewer


May 26, 2008
BHB


May 27, 2008
Dark Neuro
Splotchy

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Full DPK Interview Up!



The Drunken Severed Head's full interview with my adopted actor has been posted!


My previously posted interview bits 'n bobs:
Excerpt 1
Excerpt 2
Excerpt 3
Excerpt 4


Thanks again to Max for conducting the original interview, giving me the opportunity to post some choice pieces of it, and allowing the rest of us to be privy to his conversation with Mr. Kelly.

Yay for the Internets!

A Field Of Textual Grain


\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\||||\\\\\\\|\\\\\\||||\||||||||||||||\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///
||||||||////||||||||||||||\\\|||||||||\\/|||||||||
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|||\/|/||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||///////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
//|||||||/////||||||||||||||||\||||///|\\\/||||///
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\\||||\\/
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///|
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
/////||||||||||||||||||||/////////////////////||||
//||||||||||||||||/||||////||||||||||||||/////||||
///////////|||||////////|///|//////////||||///////
/////////////////|||\\|||||||||||||\//////////////
/////////////////////||||||||||||||||||||///||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\||||\\\\\\\|\\\\\\||||\||||||||||||||\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///
||||||||////||||||||||||||\\\|||||||||\\/|||||||||
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|||\/|/||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||///////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
//|||||||/////||||||||||||||||\||||///|\\\/||||///
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\\||||\\/
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///|
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
/////||||||||||||||||||||/////////////////////||||
//||||||||||||||||/||||////||||||||||||||/////||||
///////////|||||////////|///|//////////||||///////
/////////////////|||\\|||||||||||||\//////////////
/////////////////////||||||||||||||||||||///||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\||||\\\\\\\|\\\\\\||||\||||||||||||||\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///
||||||||////||||||||||||||\\\|||||||||\\/|||||||||
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|||\/|/||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||///////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
//|||||||/////||||||||||||||||\||||///|\\\/||||///
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\\||||\\/
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///|
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
/////||||||||||||||||||||/////////////////////||||
//||||||||||||||||/||||////||||||||||||||/////||||
///////////|||||////////|///|//////////||||///////
/////////////////|||\\|||||||||||||\//////////////
/////////////////////||||||||||||||||||||///||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\||||\\\\\\\|\\\\\\||||\||||||||||||||\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///
||||||||////||||||||||||||\\\|||||||||\\/|||||||||
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|||\/|/||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||///////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
//|||||||/////||||||||||||||||\||||///|\\\/||||///
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\\||||\\/
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///|
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
/////||||||||||||||||||||/////////////////////||||
//||||||||||||||||/||||////||||||||||||||/////||||
///////////|||||////////|///|//////////||||///////
/////////////////|||\\|||||||||||||\//////////////
/////////////////////||||||||||||||||||||///||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\||||\\\\\\\|\\\\\\||||\||||||||||||||\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///
||||||||////||||||||||||||\\\|||||||||\\/|||||||||
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|||\/|/||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||///////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
//|||||||/////||||||||||||||||\||||///|\\\/||||///
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\\||||\\/
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///|
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
/////||||||||||||||||||||/////////////////////||||
//||||||||||||||||/||||////||||||||||||||/////||||
///////////|||||////////|///|//////////||||///////
/////////////////|||\\|||||||||||||\//////////////
/////////////////////||||||||||||||||||||///||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\||||\\\\\\\|\\\\\\||||\||||||||||||||\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///
||||||||////||||||||||||||\\\|||||||||\\/|||||||||
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|||\/|/||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||///////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
//|||||||/////||||||||||||||||\||||///|\\\/||||///
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\\||||\\/
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///|
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
/////||||||||||||||||||||/////////////////////||||
//||||||||||||||||/||||////||||||||||||||/////||||
///////////|||||////////|///|//////////||||///////
/////////////////|||\\|||||||||||||\//////////////
/////////////////////||||||||||||||||||||///||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\||||\\\\\\\|\\\\\\||||\||||||||||||||\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///
||||||||////||||||||||||||\\\|||||||||\\/|||||||||
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|||\/|/||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||///////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
//|||||||/////||||||||||||||||\||||///|\\\/||||///
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\\||||\\/
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///|
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
/////||||||||||||||||||||/////////////////////||||
//||||||||||||||||/||||////||||||||||||||/////||||
///////////|||||////////|///|//////////||||///////
/////////////////|||\\|||||||||||||\//////////////
/////////////////////||||||||||||||||||||///||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\||||\\\\\\\|\\\\\\||||\||||||||||||||\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///
||||||||////||||||||||||||\\\|||||||||\\/|||||||||
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|||\/|/||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||///////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
//|||||||/////||||||||||||||||\||||///|\\\/||||///
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\\||||\\/
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///|
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
/////||||||||||||||||||||/////////////////////||||
//||||||||||||||||/||||////||||||||||||||/////||||
///////////|||||////////|///|//////////||||///////
/////////////////|||\\|||||||||||||\//////////////
/////////////////////||||||||||||||||||||///||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\||||\\\\\\\|\\\\\\||||\||||||||||||||\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||\\||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\||||||||
||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\||\|||||||||\|
|||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||\\\\\\\|||||||||||\|||||||||||||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||\\|||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\\\\|||\\||||||||||\||||/||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|
\\\\||||\\\\\\\\\|||||\\\\\\\||||||||||||||||||\\\
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///
||||||||////||||||||||||||\\\|||||||||\\/|||||||||
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|||\/|/||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||///////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||\\/
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
//|||||||/////||||||||||||||||\||||///|\\\/||||///
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||///
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
/////////////||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\\||||\\/
|||\\\\\||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||\////////|\\\/||||///|
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\///
/////////////////||||||||||||||||||||||||\\///////
|||||||||||||||||||||\\/////////|||||||||||||\\\\\
||||||||||||||||||||||||\\/||\|||||||||||||||||||\
|||||||||||||||||\////////////////////////////////
\\\\\\||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\|||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
|||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\|||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||\\/////////||\\////////////|||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
/////||||||||||||||||||||/////////////////////||||
//||||||||||||||||/||||////||||||||||||||/////||||
///////////|||||////////|///|//////////||||///////
/////////////////|||\\|||||||||||||\//////////////
/////////////////////||||||||||||||||||||///||||||

Is There Hope For The Future?

This song has been rattling around in my head this morning.

The Byrds - The Bells of Rhymney

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Revisiting The Location On Spaulding Avenue

I had the day off today, so spent a little time at one of the locations I liked on a previous location scouting session. I had seen it at night, but hadn't yet seen it in the daytime on a weekday.

It was largely deserted, except for some cars parked down at Mike's Anodizing at the northern end of the block.

I dunno. It could work, but my search might not be over yet. It's not that bad for a deserted industrial area, which is what I'm looking for.

What do ya think?








iSplotchy Campaign Materials For Immediate Release

Online supporters of the iSplotchy, please be advised of a change in direction for marketing the candidate.

These materials were forwarded to campaign headquarters by Citizens for iSplotchy.

Please find the following attached:

Magazine Ad


Mailer (Concentrate on the "embittered" American demographic)


New Logo (slap this on anything with a flat surface)


Candidate is also planning on physically attacking several of the other presidential candidates in the near future, so rev up the spin machine to put a happy face on it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The GO AWAY Bush Hit Counter


I saw a couple people's posts on Memorial Day, and I was thinking about doing my own.

The thing was, the more I wandered around the Internets, the less solemn I got. I just got more angry with each little article I read. I watched a Keith Olbermann editorial (talking about Bush's disastrous interview with Politico).

After some more articles, I didn't want to be reflective. I was pissed, plain and simple.

So, I posted nothing.

Today, I came up with a stupid little idea, but one which made me feel better. I know a lot of people have countdown timers on their blog, marking the time before Bush leaves office.

That's fine and all, but something too passive for how I am feeling. I wanted to tell Bush to go away -- go away RIGHT NOW.

So I made a little webpage:

The GO AWAY Bush Hit Counter

It's a simple page, with a very simple idea. Each unique visit to the page increments a counter. The counter represents the number of times Bush has been told to "GO AWAY".

A person can have any number of reasons to visit the page. Perhaps it's the high cost of gasoline. Maybe it's someone still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Maybe a mother or father lost a child in Iraq, fighting in a war this president started. Maybe a mother or father lost a child when a bomb hit their village, or when a Blackwater soldier gunned them down. Maybe it's because Bush can't pronounce the word "nuclear".

Whatever the reason, you can tell Bush to GO AWAY now. It's okay. Go ahead. And you can tell him again, and again, and again, until he really does go away.

It's my gift to you.

Chop-Chop

Robert Forster - Chop-Chop

Unconnected Tuesdays

Tilde

Pony

Quadruply Infected

I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words.(Splotchy)

I looked up and down the street but didn’t see any delivery truck, or any car for that matter. No FedEx, no UPS , no creepy-looking porno'd-out conversion van with a half-assed delivery service sign taped to its side. Nothing. It's like delivery man just disappeared. I stepped back inside, re-set the deadbolts and took a closer look at the envelope.

Mentally I ran through the checklist of letter bomb warning signs. The handwriting on the envelope, smudged and cramped as it was, was laid out in a tiny, obsessively neat block lettering. It practically screamed recently-de-institutionalized loner with time on his hands. No ticking or whirring sounds, that’s good. No odd smells, no leaks or stains on the package. Check. Weight seemed evenly distributed, that’s good too. I decided to open it.

Inside I found a plane ticket to Pensacola, a business card for a lawyer in Niceville, five crisp $100 bills and a four page handwritten note. Well. This was different. I poured a cup of coffee, threw some meat to the dogs to stop em barking, and sat down to read.
(Bubs)

The handwriting of the letter was different than the envelope. It was more rushed, erratic. And it was all in Russian. I could speak a little Russian because of the company I used to keep, but couldn't read it to save my life. I knew some people that could translate for me, but I wasn't about to see them again. Or did one of them write the note? Was it Dimitri the Finger? Petrov? Ivankovich?

I looked at the lawyer's card -- "Tom Ely" -- how whitebread, how American. The address said Niceville, but the phone number's area code was New Jersey. I dialed and waited. My dogs fought over a leftover bone outside, growling.

"Hello, this is Tom Ely, I am sorry I have missed your call..."

I didn't recognize the voice. It had the barest trace of an accent. Most people wouldn't pick up on it. But I did.

The Russians. What was I in for? I hung up.

Was I just going to sit here, waiting? Or was I going to be a good little dog when some person unseen rang my bell?

The ticket was for today. I could make the flight if I left immediately. I packed a bag and caught a cab to the airport.

(Splotchy)

The pressures of today's economy. Flight cancelled. Airline out-of-business. Three months ago. Something was out of sorts, here. Why would someone send me a ticket on a defunct airline? I was starting to feel exposed, out in the open, like prey in a valley.

First order of business was to hit the head. I needed to collect myself and not draw attention. I forced myself to walk, even with the hairs on the back of my neck bristling, uncertain if, even now, someone was following. Had I walked into some kind of trap?

The men's room door opened just a little too quickly, the screws loosened from constant use. That sticky smell hit me as that horrible men's room air shot into my nose.

Something was wrong.

I felt heavy and thick, and saw the world go askew. I was off balance before it even registered that something hard had been jabbed into the back of my neck. I raised my hand against the wall to stop myself, but the back of my head exploded in pain, I saw a flash of light, and then nothing.

(SamuraiFrog)

When I came to, I was no longer in the men's room; I was in the back of a moving vehicle, a walk-through panel truck - a delivery van, perhaps. My feet were free, but my hands were bound securely behind my back. Care had been taken not to cut off my circulation, so whoever it was knew what he was doing.

"Hey!" I yelled to the two men in the cab. The passenger looked back at me, his face impassive under a Denver Broncos cap that was a size too small for his head.

"No talking." He turned forward again, saying something in a language I didn't understand to the driver.

"Where are we going?" I said, struggling to a sitting position. I tested the ropes binding my wrists, but my name not being Houdini, there was no way I was going to undo them. When I looked up, Broncos Cap was staring at me again. So was the business end of a 9mm automatic.

"I said for no talking."

I decided he might have a point, and sat back to enjoy the ride and wonder about where I was being delivered...

(Captain Incredible)

A Review of the Viral Story

Splotchy’s second viral story, started several weeks ago on the blog I, Splotchy, shows no sign of abating. The sheer length of column inches dedicated to the general phenomenon is growing, and the number of articles on the subject are too numerous to count, let alone discuss here. A few do stand out, however, and interested parties would be well advised to seek out Christopher Hitchens’ Splotchy’s Viral Story: A Game of Consequences for the Blogosphere (The Atlantic, May 2008, p 28-34). Also worth a look are John Searle’s article for the journal Mind, entitled Splotchy’s Viral Story as Evidence of Jungian Collective Unconscious (May 2008, p 3-7, with an opposing article by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett in the same issue, p 8-10), and Julie Birchill’s article for the May 18 Observer, No Vaccine Required: A Virus Worth Having. Given the multitude of writers commenting on the viral story as a whole, I thought I’d turn my attention to a particular offshoot, which I have entitled The Russian Story.

As with all versions of the story, we begin with the receipt of a mysterious package, as told by Splotchy himself. The address is smudged, and it appears to have been hand delivered. This is good; there is much scope for advancement of the story. As Christopher Wise writes in Diacritics, the basis for a well-realised viral story is open-endedness. Here, Splotchy has left a variety of readings available for the situation at hand (proof of this is to be found in the myriad of ways in which the story has been taken from these beginnings).

From here on in the story takes a variety of intriguing turns, involving a note from within the package, Russians and a trip to the airport that ends with our loner waking up, drugged, in the back of a cab. The caretakers of each avenue of the viral story – Bubs, Splotchy again, SamuraiFrog and Captain Incredible – have done a marvellous job in following on from where the previous author left off. There is cohesion, yet each voice remains intact, individual. Here lies another benefit of the viral story as an art form: The ability to write in numerous voices is much prized in today’s literary market, and what better way to achieve this than to have numerous writers? Sometimes, the best answer is the most obvious.

But all good things must come to an end, and, while the previous custodians of the story are to be applauded for their additions, they are sadly let down by the next bearer of the viral story torch. The Imaginary Reviewer, a blogger whose sole ability seems to be writing reviews of things that don’t exist, takes the baton from Captain Incredible, and, I regret to say, undoes all the good work done by his predecessors.

The Imaginary Reviewer’s section doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the story’s aesthetic. Problems begin when the unnamed main character finds himself transported to an abandoned warehouse. For someone who seems to pride himself on their imagination, The IR has picked the most obvious and trite location possible! A train station, a suburban house, even a small cafĂ© specialising in brunches would be more interesting than an abandoned warehouse! But no, The Imaginary Reviewer presumably has used up his imagination reviewing hats.

Next, The Imaginary Reviewer has his character tied to a chair – how original – and after a short wait introduces a new character, presumably the instigator of the whole affair. Things do start to improve here; it appears that the bad guy of the piece is a well-known children’s character called Desmond the Dinosaur (in actual fact a guy called Gerald in a large, fuzzy, green suit). Our hero knows nothing about Desmond, and has no idea why the TV ‘star’ has captured him. He asks about the package and the money, and it seems Desmond has no idea what our hero is talking about. Our character’s receipt of the package and his kidnapping would appear to be coincidental.

And so, with that, The Imaginary Reviewer allows the story to be carried on by someone else. I pity the poor soul who has been left with this detritus after such promising beginnings. (For his sins, Splotchy has been tagged again, but how he’ll manage to salvage anything from the Imaginary Reviewer’s mess is beyond me). I mean, the whole story has been ruined by the IR. The dinosaur character, while presumably added for levity, just looks like the writer is trying to claw back some interest from a story that he has spoiled beyond recognition. The coincidental element of the package arriving the same day a stranger plans a kidnapping is harder to swallow than a razorblade sandwich. All in all, I think the Imaginary Reviewer should be ashamed of himself for the injustice he has done to Splotchy’s story, and viral stories in general.

(The Imaginary Reviewer)

I dropped the printout. I tasted something metallic. I raised my hand to my face. My lip was bleeding, my teeth still sunk into it. I unclenched my jaw, but my whole body was still tense, my forehead damp with sweat. There was no doubt -- the virus had leapt into the metaverse.

There were other signs, too. I had a fast food menu from a Mexican restaurant that inexplicably had an expired airplane ticket to Pensacola printed on the back. I had a travel brochure for the Ukraine with a phone number for a Tom Ely in New Jersey. Even worse, the Ten Commandments statue outside the courthouse in this very town, had an eleventh commandment now -- "I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired."

Was this the intent of the virus creators? I had worked on the project for several years. I was confined to working on twists and causal links, and thus never got the big picture or its overall purpose. I still didn't know. But it seemed evil. It seemed dangerous. Was the virus going to absorb everything, every thought?

How could I stop it? How did it even work?

I emptied my bag of groceries on the counter. First, food in the freezer.

Next, I picked up the black marker and the envelope. I stared hard at them both for several minutes.

I placed the envelope on the counter and uncapped the marker. I deliberately wrote in a tight, cramped style. Before the text I had written had dried, I used the side of my hand to smudge it, rendering much of it unreadable.

I sat down, lit up a cigarette, eyes on the envelope like it was going to sprout legs and walk out. If it were that simple... I stuffed the printout into the envelope. I dropped a loaded .45 into it. I scribbled a note and popped it in as well. "I can fix this," I thought to myself. "I can fix this. I can fix this."

And with these words echoing in my head, over and over, I walked out the door, wandering the streets for several hours. Picking a house at random, I approached and dropped the package at its front door. I rang the doorbell and quickly walked away.

When I got home I headed straight for the refrigerator. I opened up the freezer and pulled out a jar of frozen applesauce.
(Splotchy)


I tag no one, but welcome continuations of this strain of the virus.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cockola

We're visiting my folks in Springfield.

When we're here MizSplotchy and I usually try to go see a movie on one of the nights, after the kids have gone to bed.

This weekend was no exception. Last night we saw the new Indiana Jones movie, which was pretty much what we expected it would be.

All the movie theaters in Springfield are owned and run by Kerasotes Theatres.

We were purchasing treats prior to the movie, and this was the image on the soda fountain facing toward the moviehouse patrons.



Note the Kerasotes "K" overlaying the Coca-Cola logo, which combined displays the very appealing name "Cockola". And of course the icing on the cake is the sign's entreaty to "Taste the Magic".

Friday, May 23, 2008

Some Good Old-Fashioned Non-Negative Space Signage



So, last night I parked my car on Irving Park Avenue for my meeting with the actors of my short film. I was a little early, and I had my camera. This restaurant was right by where I parked.

I've never eaten here, but I always have loved the look of the place, ever since I first set eyes on it years ago.

I love the name "Orange Garden". I love the font they used on the letters. I love the neon sign. It all adds up to a nighttime feast for the eyes.

Party of Five


So, I met with my four main actors last night at the lovely Lincoln Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue.

I gave them a rundown of the prepwork I done for the film thus far, answered questions they had, etc.

We did a readthrough of the script, something which I had never done before. They read their parts, and I read the screen direction and the remaining acting parts.

It was strange. I had never done a readthrough before. I think it went well, though in hindsight readthroughs are probably done better in private than at a restaurant.

I want to do a couple rehearsals in July, and I'll also need two of the actors to come in so we can decide on the makeup for their head wounds (yes! head wound makeup!).

I drove by the Spaulding location again and it was still pretty deserted, which is a good thing. I managed to snap some negative space signage along the way as well.

So, I'm going to go ahead and call the evening a success.

"Evening, you were a success!"


P.S. I have never seen Party of Five. I didn't know Matthew Fox was in it (nor do I really care)!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

That Meme Thing What's Been Traveling These Parts As Of Late

TAGGED! by Cowboy The Cat!

The rules:
Answer the questions about yourself. At the end of the post, tag 5-6 people and post their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog (something along the lines of "Hello! I found your blog inquisitive! Please check out my blog! It is about the daily happenings in the life of a park ranger! --- or something). Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer.


What was I doing 10 years ago?

Crap, I dunno. I was temping, I think. I was dating MizSplotchy. Most importantly, I was preparing for the Rapture that was coming in the year 2000.


2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)

a) I gotta do this meme, because CTC did an awesome job on my story virus and if I don't do this today I'll feel like a festering potato.

b) I'd like to wrassle with the kids a bit when I get home, or play cars, do something fun, etc.

c) Tonight I'm meeting with the four main actors of my upcoming short film, together for the first time! I'm a little nervous.

d) I'm taking my camera with me. After the actor meeting, I want to revisit the location I really liked on Spaulding and take some more pictures. I also want to see what it looks like on a weeknight (I was there before on Sunday).

e) I might snap a few photos of negative space signage as well.



3) Snacks I enjoy:

Wheat Thins

Ghirardelli Chocolate Caramel Squares

A knifeful of creamy peanut butter

Brownie bites

Pistachios


4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

a) [acts of altruism placeholder]

b) Assemble an orchestra of 250 acoustic guitars, arranged so I can spontaneously direct groupings of guitarists to play certain notes.

c) Build a kickass adult-sized combo jungle jim and funhouse, not like those crappy ones you find at state fairs

d) Do a series of self-financed feature films

e) Work on only things that are creatively/emotionally rewarding, or are integral to "a)".


5) Places I have lived:

Springfield, IL

Carbondale, IL

Chicago, IL

Brookfield, IL

What can I say? I am a denizen of the Land of Lincoln.


6) People I want to know more about:

In the spirit of CTC's Random Weblogs feature, I am going to randomly think of blog URLs and tag the people I find there.

http://picklerelish.blogspot.com/ (Last updated 03/2006)

http://ivanatinkle.blogspot.com/ (Last updated 06/2005)

http://robotsindisguise.blogspot.com/ (Last updated 08/2004)

http://crunchythings.blogspot.com/ (Last updated 03/2006)

http://throwmetheidol.blogspot.com/ (Last updated 03/2005)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Palindrome Rollcall!


Hey, it's my 1,001st post!

Please don't worry -- I'm not going to announce the number of each new post from now on.

Still, it's a numerical palindrome, and a perfect jumping off point for a palindrome rollcall.

Oh, I almost forgot.


RADAR!

One Zero Zero Zero

Hey, it's my 1,000th post on I, Splotchy!

I'll use this entrance into quadruple-digit posting to share some goodness that blogging has brought me.

For one, my brain is more alert. I used to (and to be honest, still do) suffer from Zombie Worker Syndrome, where during the week I am one of the undead going from home to work, work to lunch, lunch to work, work to home, home to bed. It's an easy rut to travel in, but it's not what I would call the apex of living. This blog has made my brain much more active. The juices flow. I can't say I don't stagger through my day from time to time, but I believe I've shed at least a portion of my zombieness.

Starting my negative space signage blog has pushed me out of the house on a self-created scavenger hunt. There have been some nice side effects of being on the hunt -- I've noticed lots of interesting architecture, and have wandered a lot of neighborhoods and cities I have never been to before.

A Blog Of Notes has made me more alert to the sound environment we all move through on a daily basis. Yesterday my train was sitting still, and I noticed a freight train next to us start moving. The wheels of the train starting making this high-pitched musical squeak. I immediately pulled my audio recorder out of my backpack and recorded the sounds. During the two minutes the train went by us, a really eerie, haunting song unfolded for me, and it was all due to the fact that I was being alert and listening.

Eerie Freight Train

Link

And of course, I am very grateful for all the people I have connected with since starting this blog. I initially met people through Bubs, and then over the course of time I somehow knew a lot more people. It was neat how it just sort of organically happened.

Along the way I have realized how connectedness is something really important to me. A lot of the things I try out, whether it be 60 Second doodles, collaborative mix tapes, or adopting actors all have a way of connecting me with other people.

So, anyways, I don't know that I'll be doing this forever, but it's been fun so far. I'll try and hold off on doing one of these posts again until I get to One Zero Zero Zero Zero.

Just Add The Quickening

Is it me, or would every movie sequel title be better if you add the words "The Quickening" at the end?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Stereolab Colonic

minijonb remarked that I had put the chorus of Warrant's "Cherry Pie" in his head, possibly for 48 hours.

Hey, I'm no supporter of cruel and unusual punishment.

Grab some Stereolab and hold on tight!

Stereolab - Wow and Flutter


Stereolab - Ping Pong


Stereolab - John Cage Bubblegum

The Cherry Pie Guy

So, MizSplotchy and I are flipping channels a month or so ago, 'cause there's nothing on the TV.

We come across a VH1 documentary series on heavy metal, Heavy: The Story Of Metal -- the chapter we saw was focusing a lot on the hair metal bands of the 80's.

We didn't know what we had lucked into. There was a rant by Warrant's lead singer Jani Lane about the misery rained down on him from writing the song "Cherry Pie", which was one of the funniest things I have seen in recent memory.

MizSplotchy was wandering the Internets today and found the Jani Lane clip from the show, so I can now present it to you in all its glory.

Jani Lane - The Cherry Pie Guy

Increasing Traffic To My Sister Blog

I would like to increase traffic to my sister blog, but how?

Perhaps what I need is a name change.

Old name: The Signage Of Negative Space

Possible new names:

1) The Boobage Of Negative Space
2) Signs Of The Apocalypse
3) M. Night Shyamalan's Negative Space Signage
4) Free Money and Signage
5) Free Ringtones and Signage
6) Halo-Lit Frolicking
7) A Signage Blog That Does Not Give You Cancer
8) Signs-a-plenty
9) Oops! Celebrity Signage
10) Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Signage!

Heatsink

Daniel Craig - Heatsink

Happy Belated Birthday, Joey

I saw this a while back and had intended on posting it on May 19th for Joey Ramone's birthday. I hope he won't mind me being a day late.

From May 19, 1998, Joey's birthday party at Coney Island High.

Jonathan Richman starts out with "Roadrunner" and ends with "Happy Birthday".

Unconnected Tuesdays

Gumball Machine

Lightning