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Of Wolves and Idiots

Ugh. If the government has its way, wolves are about to loose all federal protections. Article. I've been following this for a while now. It's yet another good example of why stupid people should not be allowed in positions of authority. I know a lot of people don't care, but I've always loved wolves and been sickened by their virtual eradication from this country. So, only very recently have they been able to reintroduce a small number of wolves into a tiny portion of what used to be their natural habitat, and even that was rigorously opposed. Now, all the ranchers, hunters, etc. have been moaning, bitching, and leaning on the right people, so that tiny bit of progress at beginning to bring a more natural sized wolf population back into the USA is about to go up in smoke. Wolf hunting has already been legal in several states as it is, with 1,000s being killed for sport (or what they call management, though these wolf populations are so small already there isn't actually any need to "thin their numbers"). So it's just a thinly veiled excuse for "I want to kill it!". Aren't humans great? "I don't like it! It looks dangerous, and it might mess with my stuff! Let's kill it, kill them all!" Wolves where roaming here long before us. This was and still should be, their natural habitat. There is no reason we can't coexist with wildlife. I really don't get how anyone can look at such a beautiful animal and kill it, unless they're sick in the head. I'm afraid if things don't change, wolves (along with lots of other wild animals) are only going to be found in museums and history books.

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Move Over LOLcats, Here Comes Dracula!

Oh no! Someone has unleashed a sleep deprived Barguestspirit on the unsuspecting public! Everybody lock up your image editing software!

You've seen the LOLcats, with their stupidly cute and funny antics, but here's something even better...LOLDrac!

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Oh good lord, someone stop me!

I B Speekin' Gooder Eenglish

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%
100%
Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?


The Grammar Nazi in me is proud.

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Dirty Silverware



I have a thing when it comes to food, any surfaces used to prepare food, and any dishes or utensils used to serve or eat food. Call me obsessive compulsive, but anything that will come in contact with food or drink has to be clean. I cannot abide dirty dishes or utensils. If it's going to go in my mouth, I want to inspect it. That may be a bit silly, considering how filthy mouths are, mine in particular. But still, I've had one too many incidents in the past of finding something gross on food I've been eating, or the dish/utensil I've been using to eat/drink with. I'm very thorough when doing dishes (no dishwasher). I automatically inspect dishes and silverware when pulling them out to use, even in my own home when I've been the one to wash them. I do the same in restaurants, and when eating at someone else's home (though I'm more surreptitious about it). It's an automatic habit. If something doesn't pass my inspection, I don't use it. Maybe it's a good thing food preparation areas tend to be hidden from view in restaurants. I might never eat out again if I saw too much. :P

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GI. Joe and the Detachable Penis

Went to see "GI. Joe: Retaliation" last night. I always enjoy Bruce Willis in a movie, and this was no exception. Is it the movie of the year? No. Was it an entertaining couple of hours? Yes. What I expected was what I got. An entertaining movie full of explosions, big weapons, cool fight scenes, and Bruce Willis. It was a fun movie, well worth the $1.50 admission at the discount theater.

Later on, I decided to run up to the grocery store and grab a carton of Dreyer's ice cream (mint cookie crunch-delicious) before they went off sale. While driving to the store, this song suddenly pops into my head- "Detachable Penis" by King Missle. I have no idea why this particular song would suddenly intrude into my thoughts. I mean, I haven't heard the song in years (though it was quite popular back in the 90s), nor was this song or anything like it playing on the car radio (An old Beatles song was playing, though I can't even remember what it was, I could barely hear it over "Detachable Penis" playing in my head). To the best of my knowledge, I hadn't been thinking about detachable things or penises. When I got home from the store, it was still driving me nuts, so I had to go find "Detachable Penis" and listen to it.

Where on earth did that come from? Maybe the government is testing a secret weapon? Maybe aliens where experimenting on me? Or maybe I'm just really really weird.

For reference, here's the song in question:

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Peter Cushing Can Fly!

I made my first animated gif yesterday. So here's a little taste of Peter Cushing, as Van Helsing in "Horror of Dracula", being all awesome and stuff. You go dude!
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Dracula's all "Umm...WTF? What is he do-Oh Shit!"
   The 26th and 27th of May happen to be the birthdays of two legends. I am, of course, speaking of two of film's greatest stars, not to mention the dapperest of British gentlemen; Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Unless you've spent your life living under a rock or happen to be Amish or something, you're pretty much guaranteed to have seen something they are in.

   Peter Cushing is, sadly, no longer with us. But there is no doubt he will continue to touch millions around the world. He is known as "The gentleman of horror", and that's perhaps the best way to succinctly describe him-a real gentleman. They don't make em' like this anymore folks.
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   Peter Cushing came into my life when I was 11. I remember watching the first Star Wars movie, and thinking that Darth Vader was really cool and all, but so was that skinny old guy in the military uniform.
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    I thought his part should have been bigger, he didn't get enough screen time in my opinion. This Moff Tarkin guy was so good at being evil, but there was always this "gentlemanliness" that was present as well. I recall thinking I'd like to see if that actor was in anything else. Little did I know at the time, Peter Cushing's acting career had spanned decades. A couple years later, when I was 13 or so, I saw him in an old Hammer Horror movie, along with his pal Christopher Lee, and this was the start of my love for these two brilliant men and the movies they where in.

   Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee may not have been the most popular crushes for teenage girls in the 90s, but (as usual) I didn't care what was popular. I loved tracking down VHSs of the movies they where in, and had managed to buy or rent a good many. I especially liked the old Hammer Horror films they where in, the Frankenstein and Dracula series' being my favorites. These films where already quite old when I saw them, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. By the standards then and now, these old horror movies where fairly tame, sometimes a bit cheesy, but I think that's part of their charm really. They aren't filled with the over the top, in-your-face violence & gore that is more common in horror movies from the last couple decades. Even when the movie itself isn't very good, it's still enjoyable to watch Peter Cushing and/or Christopher Lee do their stuff.

   The roles Peter Cushing is best known for, (aside from Moff Tarkin in Star Wars) would probably be Baron Frankenstein and Professor Van Helsing. No one can even come close to how he portrayed these parts. Peter Cushing was in 6 Hammer Frankenstein films, and 5 of the Hammer Dracula films. He was also in a good many more (well over 100) movies, horror and otherwise.

   Peter Cushing, where he still alive, would have turned 100 years old last Sunday. He died in 1994, at the age of 81, which is still a respectable age to reach. Christopher Lee has been quoted as saying that Peter died because he was too good for the world. I would agree with that. There will never be another Peter Cushing, he simply can't be replicated or replaced. The world lost something special that August day in 1994. Luckily, Peter Cushing can still be remembered and enjoyed through his films, words, and other little bits he left behind.

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   My introduction to Christopher Lee came when I watched him play the title role in one of Hammer's Dracula movies. Prior to this, I had never thought of vampires being handsome or sexy. But this was what Christopher Lee brought to the role of Dracula, and vampires would never be the same. This was back when vampires used to be bad-ass. (Yes, I'm lookin' at you modern day sparkly sissypires) Christopher Lee's Dracula was menacing, yet gentlemanly. He could quickly go from being courteous and polite, to animalistic and blood thirsty. Hammer tended to inject some sex into their films (often called "Sexploitation"). While the earlier books and films on vampires would hint at sex, Hammer's Dracula oozed it. The first film in Hammer's Dracula series, "The Horror of Dracula" came out in 1958, and was quite shocking and risque for the times. Lee's Dracula was lean, mean, and sensual. The women who are his "victims" don't seem to mind having him bite their necks and drink their blood. In fact, they quite clearly enjoy it. They wait for him with bosoms heaving in anticipation, exposing their necks, then closing their eyes and sighing in ecstasy when he goes in for a drink. Nor does Lee's Dracula tend to just rush in and bite like an overeager teenage boy, but engages in a bit of foreplay first, caressing and nuzzling his "victim" before taking a bite of their necks. As a 13 year old girl, I'd never had a movie give me that "special tingly feeling", but I'll admit to being very jealous of some of the women in these Dracula films. Now, as a grown women in her 30s, I still find myself tingly and jealous whenever I watch one of these movies. While Bela Lugosi is probably the most well known Dracula for many, Christopher Lee was the definitive Dracula in my opinion. The role might not have been his favorite, and he rarely got enough screen time or lines in these films, but I still think Hammer's Dracula series remains the better out of all the Dracula films out there. Not to bash Bela Lugosi or Gary Oldman, but Christopher Lee was and always will be the king of vampires.

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   Most young people now days know Sir (he was knighted, of course) Christopher Lee for his most recent popular roles as Saruman in Lord of the Rings, or Count Dooku in the newer Star Wars movies, but he's actually been in hundreds or movies, TV shows, and plays. He has a very deep, distinctive voice that is easily recognized, and has quite a singing voice. At the age of 91 now, he's also the oldest person to have recorded a heavy metal album (make that 2 heay metal albums, just released the second- http://www.myspace.com/charlemagnemusical). How fucking cool is that? Okay, I could sit here all day and type all kinds of cool factoids about Christopher Lee, but it'd take forever, so if you don't know much about Christopher Lee beyond things you've seen him in recently, go do some googling and you'll get a better idea of how awesome he is.

   So, there was my little birthday tribute to two kick-ass gentlemen. One is sadly missed, the other still going strong. If you where unfamiliar with who either of these two gents are, I hope I've encouraged you to seek out more info on them, and that they can enrich your life as much as they did mine.
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Peter Cushing, where ever you are now (most assuredly somewhere really awesome), you are missed, but Happy Birthday!
Christopher Lee, please continue to kick ass. You know those "most interesting man in the world" beer commercials? They should be talking about you. Happy Birthday!

Blowin' Vapor



Oh yeah!! Go me! Go me! Yep, I've been cigarette free for more than a year and a half, thanks to electronic cigarettes.

My journey: Smoking, it's surprising benefit, and how I discovered vapingCollapse )

The Petz Kama Sutra

This was deleted when I cleared my Livejournal, so I'm reposting it. Because I'm doitee.

For the uninitiated:
Petz is an interactive virtual pet simulation program for the PC. The first Petz programs, Dogz and Catz, where put out by P.F. Magic in 1997. Dogz 2 and Catz 2 soon followed, then 3 and 4. Another company, Ubisoft, took the Petz brand over and released Dogz 5 and Catz 5 in 2002. This was the last old-school style Petz game. Ubisoft has since put out lots more games with the "Petz" brand name on them for various different platforms, but they aren't anything like the original 5 Petz versions. These games revolve around adopting pets from many different breeds of dog or cat, each breed having it's own unique looks and personalities. The code behind all this is simple, but brilliant. Each breed has a basic set of personality traits, but individual pets themselves can have their own behaviors and quirks. I've been a Petz player ever since 1998, when I found a copy of Dogz 2 in a computer store that was going out of business in California. It's just a cute, fun, addictive little program. A large online community sprang up around petz soon after the first games came out, and it's still around today. The original Petz games offer many different ways to interact and enjoy them aside from simply playing with the petz, including "hexing" or hacking the game's files to change how things in the game look/run, the appearance of the petz themselves, and create new breeds. In Petz 3, 4, and 5, the petz can be bred, allowing for a pretty much unlimited number of possibilities. Haven't you ever wanted to see what would happen if you bred a great dane with a chihuahua? Well, now you can on your computer...but it's not always pretty.

So, anyway, this petz program I talked about has a camera function on it that allows you to take snapshots of your petz in the game. This leads to some hilarious in-game photography. For your perverted viewing pleasure, I present "The Petz Kama Sutra." Those with very delicate sensibilities, who are easily offended by sex talk should avoid.

Kinda naughty, PG-13ish stuff behind the cut.Collapse )

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Best Buy and Burgers

I've been telling myself for a while now that I should make a more concerted effort to get more exercise and work at being a little fitter. Of course, it's oh so easy to tell myself these things, but quite another matter to actually do them isn't it? Chronic illnesses and pain make things like exercise quite challenging. It is often said that exercise can improve the symptoms of a lot of illnesses and reduce pain, but in my case, physical activity tends to aggravate my pain, sometimes making it skyrocket. I can often mitigate this by increasing the dosage of my usual pain medicines, and keeping rescue doses with me in case I need them. So while increased physical activity can cause me more pain than usual, getting into better shape will improve my overall health and increase my stamina. It's a bit of a catch 22. I'm a little more sensitive to temperatures, and can end up uncomfortably hot or cold easily. Since Tucson is hot most of the year, I stay inside out of the sun and heat during the day whenever possible. The only exercise I've been getting is when I take my dog, Stitch, out for walks. Of course, I have a Nintendo Wii, but I don't have Wii fit or the balance board thing. I've always wanted to get them, but they're a bit pricey.
My mother has been wanting to exercise and get in better shape too, as she's been struggling with some menopausal weight gain. So, we've both decided to join a local gym. There is a Chuze Fitness nearby, and we've heard a lot of good things about them from people who belong. Chuze has a new member special thing, $20 a month for a premium membership. This gives you access to all equipment, classes, tanning beds, hydro massage, personal training, and guest privileges for bringing a friend. There's a $9 start up fee, and a $40 annual fee that you don't have to pay until you've been a member for 90 days. I thought that was a really good deal. I won't be using the tanning beds, but the hydro massage thing is awesome. They also have a cheaper membership, for $10 a month, but you have to pay extra for fitness classes and hydro massage if you want to use them. So, I got the premium membership (those hydro massage beds where calling to me), and my mother got the basic membership. It's a really nice, no-nonsense gym. Their motto is "Less Attitude, More Fitness". You see people of all ages, shapes, and sizes working out there, the staff are all very friendly, and there's none of that macho bullshit I've seen in other gyms. All in all, I'm happy with the place, and hopefully it will make for a healthier Barguestspirit somewhere down the road.

Anyway, my mother has been wanting an MP3 player she can take to the gym. I got a Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 as a birthday gift last year, and I'm quite happy with it, so I went with my Mom to Best Buy last night to help her pick something out. To my surprise, Best Buy's MP3 player section has really been cut down, they hardly had anything except for the ever present Ipods and a couple other brands. They don't even carry the Samsung Galaxy Players anymore. They seem to be trying to get everybody to just buy a phone instead. Neither of us want a smartphone, just something to play music on and use games and apps. I have a bit of a hatred of cell phones really, I know they can be very useful, but they're quickly taking over the planet. And don't get me started on texting, ugh.
My mom wanted something that had WiFi and apps and stuff, but the only one we could find like that was the Ipod Touch, which was quite expensive. After searching around some more, I did find something called "Trio", which is basically like a small tablet. It's slightly larger than my Samsung Galaxy Player, but it has everything my mom wanted. It's only 4 GB, but that's fine for her to start out with, and she can always buy an SD card when she wants more space. I also found an arm strap holder for my Samsung Galaxy player, and one of those Zagg Invisible Shields, which they had been out of last time. So we got our stuff, and because we where both a bit peckish by now, decided to stop for something to eat. We have a Culver's here, which opened up a while back. I guess Culver's is more of an eastern thing, but they're pretty good, especially their frozen custard. And what better way to celebrate the joining of a gym than by gorging on fast food? We both got burgers, and a large french fry to split between us. I got a root beer float, my mom got an old fashioned soda, which is really delicious, by the way. We like to eat out on the patio, which faces the street. As we where sitting there eating, some guy driving by in his car yells "Culver's Sucks!!" out the window at us. Probably a disgruntled ex-employee, because who else would go to the bother and waste of energy to announce that a fast food joint sucks to a group of dining customers? Quite silly really. I mean, wouldn't it be better to moon the manager of the place or something? Go figure, some people have no sense.