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Book Review: Raylan by Elmore Leonard (and also the short story Fire in the Hole)

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Raylan takes Raylan Givens back to Kentucky and puts him on more familiar ground for those that watched the TV show. In this book you have several of the plot points that go into several different episodes of the show. You get the intro of Dickie and Coover (although here they are Crowes vs being Bennett's in the TV show). You get the kidney thieves episode that plays out a little differently but still similar enough to know how it will go down. You also get the corporate woman coming down to talk to the people about taking off the top of their mountain to get at the coal, a second season plotline in the TV show. The show has the spirit of the books (and the great one liners from Raylan) and that makes them required reading for any fan of the show.  Fire in the Hole is a set up for the pilot episode of the show. It's that first episode with an alternate ending. One where Boyd is killed. He was originally going to be killed in the show too but the preview fan reaction to the a

Book Review: Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

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It's nice to see that vampires are once again evil , scary, and diabolical, rather than sparkly and every young woman's object of affection. Empire of the Vampire has brought back the beast that is the vampire. They are the vampires that have lived for hundreds of years and view every living person as food to be feasted upon.  The Premise: The last Silversaint (a vampire hunter) is telling two different sets of events from his past. The first deals with his induction into the order that made him who he is and the second is many years later after he has left this order and he is helping an old friend bring a special person back to that order, to bring an end to the night that keeps the sun hidden so the vampires can rule the land.  There are so many twists and turns and emotional surprises in this book. You come to care about the characters and then feel the emptiness when certain characters you liked are either killed or show themselves to have ulterior motives. The last 300

Netflix has Issues

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 Netflix missed their subscriber estimates in a huge way. They also caused themselves damage by cutting off Russian subscribers. All because of a little conflict we shouldn't be getting in the middle of, and a dumb ass administration that is doing just that. So... Blame Russia isn't going to cut it.  The main reason for the drop in subscribers (in my opinion) is first and foremost, the rise in subscription prices. This drop coincides with this price hike. Netflix wants to point out that the hike, is to bring the viewer more content. However... The content being brought is not really cutting it now. Netflix has issues for sure.  - The female hero show - This is what most shows are now. The female is the hero that will save the day. The male character, even if he is the lead, will need to be saved. Back when Dark Angel , Alias , and Nikita was doing this, it was breaking the mold. Now though... it's a tired and boring trope.  - First season bait - The first season takes o

Book Review: Riding the Rap by Elmore Leonard

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 If you have watched Justified , then this book is the basis for the third episode in the first season, Fixer . Names and locations have changed but for the most part, the story still holds true to the book.  The Plot: Some felons decide to try kidnapping for a change. But instead of asking someone for the ransom, they want the person they kidnapped, to pay up. But to do that, they think they have to break them down, Beirut hostage style. When Raylan's girlfriend's, friend, is kidnapped, he starts to dig around to try and find him.  These books have become a joy to read. The dialogue is everything here. It makes the book. It tells the story. It's nice to get a story in this way, instead of over description from the third person narration. These are quick reads too and good palate cleansers between the bigger books out there.  2022 Book Title Completion Count: 4

Movie Review: The Batman... er... Emo-man (HBOMax)

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I watched The Batman Emo-man on HBOMax and it is definitely... #NotMyBatman - Long and boring - I hope you love "Somethings in the Way" by Nirvana because all of the theme music is a variation on the music of that song, for 3 hours. I used to like that song but it's not worth hearing over and over and over again!!! - Worst portrayal of Bruce Wayne yet (and the Wayne family). If you grew up on the comics then this is what is called, taking a shit on the character. Even Clooney was a better Bruce Wayne!!!!! That's how bad this version is. Complete and utter emo drab. - Riddler mobilizes "home grown terrorists" via the web against corrupt political officials. It's like a  Hollywood wet dream. It's a movie about protecting the corrupt political infrastructure in some sense. Yikes!!! - Cat Woman is a racist. She has to specify the, privileged "white" men , specifically. So, I'm calling that what it is, racist and bigoted dialogue. - Gordo

The Misinformation of Misinformation

 Over the last 2 and half years (first with the 2020 election and then with Covid virus and vaccines) we have witnessed Big Pharma, Big Media, Big Tech, Public Health, and the Government spew misinformation left and right, all the while claiming that those calling them out were the ones using misinformation. It's a tired a tactic but one the surface level understanding general public take. They take it because they are too submissive and incapable of critical thinking. Where once schools taught kids how to think for themselves, now those same schools indoctrinate and tell kids how they should think. More establishment narrative junk.  Those calling the establishment out, offering up evidence to issues, and showing cause and effect, have been blocked, suspended, or deplatformed by the establishment at every turn. The "good guys" don't censor. The bad guys do the censoring so they don't have to explain anything and can continue to push the actual false narrative. Th

Social Media Spring Cleaning

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  Twitter = Nuked Medium = Blasted Substack = Gone I'm down to this blog/site, MeWe, and sites that I have set to private, with no viewable posts to the public.  Twitter is THE most toxic site on the internet and I didn't want to be apart of it anymore. I think I opened my Twitter account in 2011, or around there... Maybe earlier. It's just trash though. People rushing to offer their hot takes and fake virtue signaling in the hopes that they can go viral. There's no nuance on the site. There's no room for real conversation or debate. It's the site of people who wanted to be the quick witted insult hurlers from back in the middle school days. Even posting links from my various other writing to Twitter, did nothing for click through rates. No one clicks on links. It was completely pointless to post there any longer.  Medium did me wrong. They censored my content, that was later verified and validated to be 100% TRUE. They killed my reach on the site itself. The

My Favorite Hats from Dorfman Pacific Co.

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  I'm a big fan of  Dorfman Pacific Co . hats. I think, out of all the hats I've had, these have been my longest used and my predominant go-to for headwear. One of the reasons I love these hats so much is that they scream "personal style". They are NOT branded with some sports team or logo that reads like a billboard to whatever fandom is out there. Instead, they are a style modifier to the overall person wearing them. They don't say, "Check it out I cheer on X team!" Instead, they say, "I'm a piece to the puzzle that makes the overall person that is this individual." You can't beat that.  My favorite hat is the Dorfman Pacific Co. Outback Hat in Brown . I love the look of this hat. I also get a lot of compliments on it. It runs the line of cowboy/Indiana Jones/hiking/exploring and safari. It's not defined by one thing in particular, but looks good while a person is doing any variety of activities. Even if you just wear it out to go

A Simpler Life... Right... Sure....

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 As I get older, I tend to go for simpler. When it comes to technology, I kind of regret ever going into it, as a career. I should've gone into wood working or carpentry. As of right now, I think our current technology is overly complex and the ability for everyone to be everywhere and be turned on/in 24/7/365 is probably more harmful to society than anything else. We were supposed to have jet packs and robots, instead we have the internet and the dumb idea that everyone should be connected to it and networked together. Ugh...  Currently, I'm trying to describe something that makes sense to programming people but has no use for networking people. Technically speaking... it should be "fixed" not explained because if this shows as coming up as a success, it's quite worthless. But that's my point... If something is so overly complex, then why??? Why bother at all??? Being complex does not mean it is a challenge, it means it is probably not worth the time to figu

Book Review: Pronto by Elmore Leonard (Justified)

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 Reviewing stuff is getting tedious. They don't get views or conversations over here on the blog. I'll probably just move them back over to MeWe and call it a day. Or post a screenshot version here like this:  Maybe that's all I want to do with reviews for Movies, TV, Books, Comics... I'm reviewed out. There doesn't seem to be as much interest in people reviewing stuff via blogs these days. Sadly, it all goes down on social media. Even then... reviews are subjective to the person so if you think about it, they don't really mean much to anyone but that person. The only insight one can get into something, is to see, read, experience it for themselves.  I'm definitely not a review influencer. I'm too opinionated.  2022 Book Title Completion Count: 3

I Kind-of Hate the Internet

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Don't get me wrong, I like media aspects of it, like streaming and being able to have access to movies, TV, music, and books, for instant gratification. But the news and social media is all shit. We already know that the establishment news media all work from scripts and narratives assigned from the top down. The US news media sells lies and misinformation on a daily basis, all the while telling you that they don't. And the kicker... you believe them.  Then you have the tech sites, who get that same establishment narrative and make sure any alternative thought is not going to get through to others unless the elitist at the top have signed off on it. Queue the social media censorship. If it's not censorship then it's a bunch of hive mind followers virtue signaling whatever the dumb issue of the day/week/month is. Hey buddy, did you change your profile pic to support the plight of the carrot farmers? You need to, if you want to join the resistance. Fucking morons.  Or yo

Movie Review - Spider-Man: No Way Home

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It was good. It played on nostalgia. It was nice to see Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield get a send off. But... While I liked the banter and dialogue of the 3 Spider-Men, what really stood out for me was that Maguire and Garfield are much more based on the comics I grew up with, while the MCU Spider-Man, is not THAT version. If I had to list my favorite Spidey movies in order, it would be... 1) Spider-Man 2 2) The Amazing Spider-Man 3) Spider-Man 4) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 5) Spider-Man Homecoming 6) Spider-Man Far From Home 7) Spider-Man No Way Home 8) Spider-Man 3 Don't get me wrong, this was a good movie and kept my attention, but it wasn't really a "story" so much as fan nostalgia. They tried to add some risk to it, but it kind of fell flat. Hey, let's grieve for 3 minutes and then jokes, action, action, smiles, love, loss, and queue the credits. To be blunt, the story was VERY surface level, much like all MCU movies. The only reason for this movie to exist

Mob Games

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 I'm shocked (and I shouldn't be) by how the global mob cancels targets that the establishment narrative points them at, with ease, and no thought to what they are doing. Case in point, the vilification of the unvaccinated and now the Russian people as a whole. We went from one cancellation initiative to the next with ease.  All of these businesses that are pulling out of Russia or refusing to do business with Russia, as if every Russian was directly connected to Putin via a hive mind. I'm guessing Yuri down on the corner, who just wanted to get him some KFC, was in the room with Putin and was chanting, "Invade, invade, invade!!!" Therefore, KFC will deny Yuri a bite to eat, or maybe even a job. Makes sense, right? Not really. How did the despicable Cancel Culture , all of sudden turn into, Cancel Country , along with everyone inside that country? The virtue signaling reeks of hatred for an entire people based on their leadership. This is, after all, the face of

News, to make you Feel so Hollow

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I don't want (or need) 24/7/365 news. Humans were not created to soak up the news cycles of the modern age. And lets be honest, "news" today is bullshit. It's largely fake, pushed out unverified, and only used to get eyes on ads via clicks and views.  I always go back to the Laci Peterson case, where 90% of the news stories were bogus. There was an A&E six hour documentary on the case and by the end, you see how Scott Peterson was basically tried in the court of public opinion and also how the real murder(s) probably got away with it. Remember the news that he changed his hair color and had cash in his vehicle? The news said it was so he could escape to Mexico. The police actually told him to do this, because the media was following him around. It was there advice, but the media framed it as his "escape plan." That case needs to be reopened, but I digress... The normal MO is: News site breaks a story (normally unverified). All of the other media sites r

Planned Obsolescence: Technology Edition

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Pixel Slate coming apart. Why, oh why does every ChromeOS device I ever get have a shelf life of 3 years or less??? My current daily driver is the Pixel Slate . I got it in September 2019. So I've had it for just over 2 years. Alas... The screen is starting to separate from the backing. It could be that the battery is expanding, or something else. Either way... Less than 3 years and it's falling apart.  Electrical Tape trying to hold it together.  It still works, and I used electric tape to at least keep it together enough to stop dust from getting inside but still... It's annoying.  Surface Pro 4 Meanwhile, my Surface Pro 4 (bought in March 2017), is still working. The battery isn't what it was. The speakers are nowhere near the quality of the Pixel Slate. But it is still together.  I started looking at Chromebook replacements, like the Pixelbook GO but I'm getting hesitant because I've had several Chromebooks now, from th

Black by Pearl Jam - The song of love, loss, and longing

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       From the moment I heard this song on the Ten CD, when it was released (1991), it has always been the song with the most feeling of love, loss, and longing. It's a song that can be imprinted on the memory of life.  In a way, it fits in well with my last two posts. The deep stirring of an emotional longing and reminiscing on the past. This song, for me was a book mark in time. That book mark moved with time and then stuck at a certain point. Now it recalls a place in time that is and was. Inexorably linked to a ghost of yesterday. 

The Greatest Love Story and Scene EVER!!!

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I think this scene from Bram Stoker's Dracula wins over every other love story and scene out there. Why? The acting and feeling is all there. Dracula bites Mina, then he cuts himself, so she can drink his blood and begin the change. At this point he is all in with making her like him. Then she starts to drink, and you can see the torment in his face because the reality is clear that he will be cursing and damning the woman he loves, if she continues to drink. Then she doubles down and says, "Take me away from all this death." She loves him enough to join him, cursed forever, in immortality. Such a great scene.

Reminiscing about Ghosts from the Past

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 I was just thinking about someone that I have no way to get into contact with. All of this technology and an internet that touches everything but no real way to reach out. Would that I could, anyway... They say the past is the past but sometimes the past won't let you forget and move on. The ghost in the soul, maybe? The soul that won't, no, can't let go. Memories once like fire.  Concentrate on the now, yet the past still lingers... It doesn't go away. It doesn't fade. It doesn't dull with time. It remains locked up inside, revisited from time to time, a longing to feel, to remember, and then lock back up again. It's like in The Vampire Diaries , where vampires can turn their humanity off. It's a conscious decision to flip the switch so the feelings don't overtake oneself. The only way to move forward is to lock the ghost within.  When you do flip the switch back... When you do let it out... it is overwhelming. So it must be locked up again, quickl

Amazon's Rings of Power Marketing is Super Cringe

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 Amazon released a Super Cringe Super Fans video on YouTube for the Rings of Power series, then promptly un-listed it, because the true fans called it out for what it was as: Woke Garbage. It would appear that Amazon has decided that to sell the Rings of Power , they must go full speed ahead Woke. The "super fans" (paid actors most likely) spend most of the time talking about representation and diversity. No real mention of the lore, staying true to Tolkien's vision, or anything remotely worthy of The Lord of the Rings . The show is shaping up to be a massive slap in the face to Tolkien, his legacy, and his much loved stories. As if the Amazon show runners could write and do Tolkien, better than Tolkien already did.  The Peter Jackson film series for The Lord of the Rings wanted to honor Tolkien's vision. They kept modern day activism out of it. It has no place in this universe. Tolkien created the series to be a story and fairytale for the English, since the Englis

Notes from the Underground (2/15/22)

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Reading "It" by Stephen King...   And the Jury is still out... Over 300 pages in and now, finally, it is starting to go somewhere. You have to read through endless tangents, flipping between present and past tense writing, that has nothing to do with the actual present or past tense timelines, and tons of telling and not showing, via endless exposition. I read an interview with King, where he said to not worry about plot and write for the scene. I'm not so sure that's good advice for writers. I can tell that King isn't overly focused on the plot, but if any indie author wrote like this, they would be one starred into oblivion. King must be doing something right but I can say that I'm not a big fan of his writing. 

Book Review: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher — The Dresden Files book 7

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  The search is on for The Word of Kemmler . Essentially the ability to call on and become a God. So it's up to Harry Dresden to stop it. That means taking on several different necromancers to get to it first. And then there's Mavra, the old vampire, who will release evidence of officer Murphy taking out vampires (That makes it look like she just went into a building and massacred a bunch of people) if Dresden doesn't find it and give it to her. Oh... and then there is the prospect of dealing with the shade of the fallen angel that is now tied to Dresden. Harry has a lot on his plate here.  Lucky for him, he has Butters, the mortician. I hope Butters shows up in more books. He's like Josh Hoberman (played by Trevor Einhorn ) in The Magicians (SYFY/Netflix) TV show. This is such a great character because he can throw out all of the humorous lines. He's a muggle (non-magician to use a Harry Potter reference), so this is his introduction into this strange and deadly wo

The Ghost Ninja in the Void

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In the day job we're having these committee meetings this week. Proposals to move the company forward. I put forth an idea yesterday, it got a good bit of talk around it, and then I put it in writing to be considered as a pitch to the group and in turn to the company at the end of the week. Proposals get debated in the group, voted into group pitches, and then the top pitch is offered and pitched to the company. So today, we were going over the proposals from yesterday. Wouldn't you know it, mine was the ONLY one left out. There were 17 proposals in the group and they were grouped into similar categories. I saw the place where mine would have fit in with three others but it wasn't listed. I thought maybe the group lead thought it should go elsewhere, but by the end, it was left out of all of the groups/categories. I could have mentioned it after the discussions but it was like other things I've already experienced here (there, everywhere), where my opinion is ignored. T

VR and the Metaverse are DOA, AR still has a chance.

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The "metaverse" is going to fail just like VR. And that's twice for both. VR - in the 90's and then recently. It's niche and will never be adopted by the general public. It just won't. It's a waste of money to keep trying to make it happen. It can't even break the gaming market. Metaverse - Remember "2nd Life" in the 2000's and now both Microsoft and Meta endeavors. Yeah... It's not going to be adopted by the general public. It's another "solution" looking for a problem that does not exist. People don't want a screen an inch from their eyes for an extended amount of time. It's not only uncomfortable but it's bad for your eyes. And maybe... It's time to go outside. Going "into the machine" is so overused and cliche that Cyberpunk authors don't even use that trope anymore. When the speculative fiction writers steer clear... Maybe the corpo techies should take note? Just saying... Happy to be

TV Review: Disney's The Book of Boba Fett (Watched on D+)

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The Book of Papa Fett  So much possibility and fan expectations have now been squandered. This is NOT the Boba Fett you were looking for. This is the LIVE action version of what Disney would make a digital animated series about. You will not see the cold, cunning, and ruthless Boba Fett here. Disney has changed him into a man that will rule... "With Respect" (queue the sounds of throwing up). R.E.S.P.E.C.T.... Find out what that means to Disney.  I've watched three episodes so far and it's bad.  1) Each show is split between the present and a past flashback. However, (so far) most of the show is comprised of the past flashback. The boring tale of how Boba Fett escaped the Sarlac pit and then liberated the Tuskan Raiders from a group of "colonizers" that transported goods through the desert on a train and fired at the Tuskan Raiders so they wouldn't be hijacked. It's Dances with Tuskan Raiders (literally). Down to The Lion King-like music and dance

Book Review: The Eye of God by James Rollins (Book 9 of the Sigma Force series)

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Sigma is back. This time tracking down relics pertaining to Genghis Khan that are linked to a meteor via quantum entanglement of dark energy. That meteor just happens to be on a collision course with Earth. There's also a bunch of North Koreans out for blood and triads in the mix. It's a Sigma story.  I really enjoyed this adventure. I wasn't quite prepared for the shocking ending. Did they have to..... Ah... but that would be spoiling the story and we are not going to do that.  Sigma stories move quick and are very visual. It's like reading a movie. You have a lot of action and then some good science and history based in reality but... fictionalized and stretched just a little bit. The entire series has been pretty great so far. I'm looking forward to the next one in my rotation.  2022 Book Title Completion Count: 1