Why the election went the way it did

So, I don’t normally do politics, but I have to get something off my chest as it has been burning me for quite a while.  Even before this election, which is honestly just a reflection of what the DNC has done to us.

First, I want to say that I feel betrayed by American politics, and have felt this way for quite some time.  Why?  Because of the two party system, and that the only thing that stood in the way of theocracy and science denial was the democratic party.  Thus, we had to dance to their beat or face whatever lunacy the Republicans had in store for us.  And in a large way, I think the DNC knew this. It’s why they felt so comfortable putting forth such an unlikeable candidate.

I mean, seriously, Hillary Clinton?  This is a politician who doesn’t even try to hide that she stands with big banks and corporations in a time when the American public has turned against banks and corporations.  A candidate who was against same sex marriage, and voted for the war in Iraq.  A candidate who changes her views based on whoever throws money at her.  A candidate with so many dirty little secrets and skeletons in her closet that only her most loyal followers are willing to look past.  She stood for nothing and represented nothing except for more of the same political corruption that we have long since grown tired of, and the only defense she had was that she wasn’t Trump.  The only reason to vote for her was fear of science denying theocrats.  Classic case of blackmail and extortion if I ever heard it.

Liberals expect me to be angry about a Trump presidency.  They expect me to be mad at the third party voters.  No.  I hold the liberals responsible for this.  Liberals are only bitter at the third party voters because once a third party gets in charge, they won’t be the only people to protect against Bible thumping lunatics who think the earth is 6000 years old and thinks God needs to go back in school and that gays shouldn’t marry.  I encourage third party voters since they might also protect against the tyranny that the left has become.  “Vote for us, because you fear them.”  That’s not good enough.  Clearly.

Now, she did win the popular vote.  Regardless of how you feel about the electoral college, it is the law, and whoever won the popular vote is as relevant to the presidency as what I had for breakfast.  I’ve seen some articles stating that the electoral college may vote against Trump due to the fact that she won the popular vote.  That is unlikely by a wide margin.  Trump won with 306 (if you count WI), which is 36 more than the 270 that he needed, and he won them fairly.  This isn’t like the 2000 election where Florida was just given over.  Trump actually won each individual state.  So basically, you’re asking for nearly 36 states to change their vote, against the wishes of the state they’re representing.  It’s not going to happen.

If you’re on the left and are bitter that third party voters took some votes away from you and led to a Trump presidency, then maybe you shouldn’t have put forth such a worthless candidate.  And I’m not saying Bernie Sanders would’ve won or that the primary was fixed.  I honestly don’t know if Sanders would’ve been the better choice or not.  But I know they could’ve put someone less worthless than Clinton.  The DNC got precisely what it deserved, and I would be ecstatic if the only other choice wasn’t the Republicans.  I long for the day when my choices aren’t whatever sludge the democrats churned out or hyper-religious nutjobs who want to take away people’s rights and force anti-science upon us.

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Ice Cream Horror

Another writing prompt from Reddit. This is actually an idea for a story I plan to write sometime in the future when I’m done with the Almost Night trilogy.


Childhood thrill rushed through me when I heard the familiar tune of the ice cream truck. My head turned in the direction of the sound, and I saw it driving down the street. I imagined the cold cream and chocolate hitting my tongue as I watched it approach. It had been so long since I’d ordered from the ice cream truck. In fact, this was the first time it has come down this road and I’ve lived here years.

My neighbor, Ted, brought his two kids out. They cheered as they rushed to the curb. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. They’ve never been so excited.”

I nodded. “Same here, man. Have you ever seen it pass this street?”

Ted shook his head.

“Yeah, me neither.”

“Honestly, I was beginning to wonder if they even existed anymore.”

“Your wife didn’t want any ice cream?”

Ted shook his head. “She’s lactose intolerant.”

“Oh, that’s right.” I nodded to myself as I recalled her telling me. Hot woman, I’d almost hit on her before I found out about Ted. Man, that would’ve been awkward.

As we waited, I thought about calling one of my roommates out. Nah, if they didn’t hear it, that’s their issue.

Tinted windows prevented us from seeing the driver as he slowed to a halt at our curb. We waited for several long seconds. Which started to turn to minutes. He didn’t open the side window like he was supposed to. I turned to Ted. “Dude, is he ever gonna serve us?”

As the words left my mouth, the side window slid aside slowly. I’d expected to see a man standing in the interior of a truck. Instead, it was pitch black. It wasn’t just a dark truck, it just appeared to be an abyss. As I stared curiously at the abyss, high pitched screams sounded behind me. Before I could turn to check on Ted’s kids, something cold gripped me. Laughter and screams sounded in my ears as my body felt weightless. My own screams rang in my ears as immense pain ripped through my entire body. Fear gripped me and blackness enveloped my vision.

***

Dave walked past the empty room in their house. Suddenly, it puzzled him and he made his way to the living room where Steve smoked. “Hey, why don’t we rent out this extra room?”

Steve exhaled smoke and shrugged. “Not sure. Have we ever?”

Dave shook his head. “It’s always been the three of us, and Glen is at work.”

“That’s strange.” Steve scratched his head. “I’ll put an ad in tomorrow.”

***

Susan invited me over for coffee. As we approached her house, I gulped. “Um, you’re not married, are you?”

Susan chuckled. “No, everybody asks me that, but I just live in a large house.”

As we entered, I realized the house wasn’t just large. It was barren. There were rooms with nothing in them. Photos of Susan hung on the walls like family photos. Except, she was by herself. Narcissist? She didn’t seem the type.

“How do you like your coffee?”

I watched her ass as she went into the kitchen. “Black, thanks. So you live here alone?”

“For seven years.”

“Never got lonely?”

“I don’t remember ever being lonely.” The coffee machine made its noise and she came back with two cups of coffee. She gave one to me and sipped one herself.

Suicide Squad

I saw the Suicide Squad film yesterday. I had high hopes from the trailers, though I was a little put off when I read that it was poorly received by critics. But then, so was Batman vs Superman. But then, that also wasn’t terribly good. And now I know, neither is Suicide Squad.

First, the plot. It has probably the most generic antagonist motive of all time. Since the trailer went to lengths not to spoil specifics, I’ll respect that and simply say the antagonist’s whole motive is to destroy the world…because she can. That’s it, no other motive. No revenge plot, nothing. The effects were also laughable, since the antagonist turns people into giant blackberry…things. Even with this silly effect, this could’ve been explored by the antagonist overwriting people in the city. But nope. Joker’s inclusion also felt incredibly shoehorned in and like he didn’t belong at all.

Another big issue with the movie is the terrible pacing.  Batman vs Superman had issues with this too. It’s incredibly obvious DC is playing catchup to Marvel and is trying way too hard to force an ensemble. While I do enjoy the development of the characters and the end products are nice, their journey to get there was stiff and wooden. Like the movie had to force too many characters onscreen and develop them ASAP. Like aforementioned Joker. Almost nothing is explained in the film itself and it relies on you knowing the comics.  For instance, Harley falling into chemical vats is included with almost no explanation for why or what they do. Deadshot’s fake eye is introduced, but he sees fine without it.  In fact, Deadshot only wears his mask for one scene.  From the introduction this mask got (every time I put on this mask someone dies), you’d think it’d be an amazing scene, but no, it was just another shooter scene where they take out a bunch of blackberry soldiers and then he just takes the mask back off.

Overall, the film was basically just a big dose of fan service, though surprisingly little of the sexual kind. 2/5

My thoughts on Pokemon Go

Like most nineties kids, I’ve been a Pokémon fan since generation one.  Admittedly, I lost touch with the series after a while, but I can probably recite all 151 of the original Pokémon.  When the trailer for Pokémon Go released last year, it rekindled my fond memories of Pokémon, and I was stoked.

When it came out a week ago, I downloaded it as soon as I could.  As soon as I did, I just felt underwhelmed by the lack of features and gameplay.  It felt like a hollow shell of a game. Everything that made Pokémon fun was gone.  Catching them is nothing but flicking a ball at them and hoping they stay caught with no strategy involved.  Training them is also boring since all it involves is catching duplicate Pokémon, sending those Pokémon to the professor for candy, and hitting the evolve button once you have enough candy.

Fighting, which can’t even be against friends and only done in gyms consists of tapping the screen repeatedly in hopes that the other Pokémon faints first.  No trading and no battling with friends.  Supposedly, this will be in a later update, but I’m talking about features in the present, not the future.  Worst of all, it’s a freemium game where you spend real money on game items (though, considering the franchise stems at least partially from cards that people pay money for, I guess the whole thing has come full circle).

Servers are shoddy and barely work.  Since this game can’t be played without an internet connection, that means you have to wait on its time.  Pokémon are also not distributed well, and if you live in a low populated area, no Pokémon for you.  Since the game is the equivalent to having your GPS on, you better have a really good dataplan for all those Pokewalks.

There’s no strategy in the game and there’s very little of what passes for gameplay.  Since there’s no real moves in this game, there’s no benefit to having a Pokémon except to say you have it, so Pokémon are just kind of collected with no rhyme or reason.

Everything about this game screams crappy cellphone freemium game.  The game isn’t all bad though.  The game has a heavy social aspect to it, and can be great fun if you have a group of friends to play with.  I admit, before deleting the app, I had good fun with my friends as we searched parking lots and Walmarts for Pokémon.

Many fans are starting to get defensive against any criticism, as if they themselves have just been insulted.  Maybe it’s because this is from the childhood of most present day twenty somethings, but it feels like this game gets away with a lot of crap just because it’s Pokémon.  Rarely do people say let everybody enjoy something, especially in the gaming community, which thrives on hating things for no real reason (console wars).  Look, if you genuinely like the game, then like it.  Nobody is stopping you from enjoying it.  However, there will inevitably be people who disagree with you.  Lots of people enjoy Call of Duty, yet few hesitate to shit on that series every time they release a game.  Likewise, people also defend the game by saying more features will be out later.  Don’t we hate EA for doing pretty much the exact same thing with releasing half a game to update it later?

In conclusion, look, if you enjoy the game, fine.  I know a lot of people do, and it at least is getting people to exercise more and socialize.  However, I found it to be boring as hell.  Now that my Poke-nostalgia is up, it makes me want to play a real Pokémon game.  Maybe I’ll hit up my local Gamestop.

Haven’t been updating in a while

I apologize to those of who have followed me.  I haven’t been updated this in months.  Reason being is that I recently went back to college, and juggling school and work are difficult enough.  Fitting in writing is near impossible.

Notice I said near impossible.  I have been slipping in a chapter here and there.  Almost Night 2 will be ready to go to an editor soon, and I’m also thinking of new updates for My Roommate Is An Elf.

Don’t worry, I have no intention of quitting.

Barbarian office worker

From a reddit writing prompt.

—–

 

Axes clanged together and sweat dripped from my brow. I reveled in the slight pain as I went for another blow against my rival. We matched each other blow for blow, and I let a battle cry before backing away slightly. “We must put this fight on hold!”

My rival snarled and lowered his weapon. “Why?”

I pointed to the watch on my wrist. It was the only thing I wore other than a loincloth and a necklace of teeth. “I’m late for work.”

“Very well,” he bowed. “Until next time, Stevrok.”

I raced to my hut and washed as best I could. I donned my suit and headed to the office. Not a single coworker could tell what I did in my time off.

“Hey Steve. What happened to your eye?”

“Motorcycle accident.”

“Again?” He cocked his head. “You need more lessons man.”

“I challenge you to a death duel for insulting me!”

“What?”

I coughed and sipped my water. “Uh, nothing.”

Personality of toys in Toy Story

I’m a big Pixar fan, and I grew up with Toy Story.  After rewatching the magical movies from my childhood, I have developed a theory on how and where all these toys get their personalities from.

At the end of Toy Story 3, Andy introduces all the toys to Bonnie and tells her the personalities of each.  Despite not knowing toys are alive, he gets each of their personalities spot on.  Woody is a friend who will never give up on you; this one is obvious.  Throughout all three films, he shows that he is the best friend any toy could have, and never gives up anybody.  Not even Lotso who tried to kill him.  Slinky Dog is the most loyal dog you’ll have.  Also fits since he is so loyal to Woody in all three films.  In the first, he was the one that wanted to believe Woody the most and seemed the most devastated when he thought Woody got Buzz killed.  When trying to get Woody on the moving truck and stretched to his absolute limit to the point that in real life he would be ruined forever, his only regret is that he should’ve held on longer.  Andy also describes Rex as the most fearsome dinosaur and indeed, that is what he has aspired to be since the first one despite the other toys not really being scared of him.

So, where am I going with all this?  The toys from Toy Story get their personalities from what the humans imagine them to be.  As stated above, all of Andy’s toys seem to get their personality from what he imagined them to be.  While Mr. Potato Head and Hamm are not villains like in Andy’s fantasies, they are the loners of the crowd, and interact with the other toys far less.  They are always the first to turn on Woody and trust him the least.  Why?  Because in Andy’s fantasies, they are Woody’s archnemesis.  Also note that Hamm is usually nicer to Woody than Mr. Potato Head, though not by much.  Why is this?  Because, as seen in the first film’s playtime, sometimes Hamm is treated as just a simple bank, nothing more and nothing less.  Compare that to Mr. Potato Head, who seems to always play the villain.

So, what about toys without imagined personalities?  Well, let’s go in chronological order.  First, there are Sid’s toys.  The mutants appear terrifying, but at the end it is revealed they are well meaning toys who don’t seek to harm anybody.  This fits with other theories that state that Sid is a nice kid.  He doesn’t know toys are alive, so he doesn’t know that he is traumatizing them by mutilating them.  The worst thing we witness him doing is terrorizing his sister, which still doesn’t make him the sadist normal toys see him as.  Also illegally buying fireworks while underage.  He also seems to care for his dog., which further supports him not being a bad person.  So if Sid isn’t really a sadist, then he probably imagines all the toys he creates are Frankenstein-esque creations.  Frankenstein’s monster was not inherently evil.  Since Sid’s toys don’t talk, there is little else to know about their personalities aside from them willing to come to life in front of him and scar a kid for life to save one action figure.

We also have Buzz Lightyear from the first movie who didn’t even realize he was a toy.  Unlike Woody’s Roundup, Andy actually watched Buzz’s show.  Therefore, when Andy played with Buzz Lightyear, he imagined him as the action figure from the show.  At the beginning of Toy Story 3, we see that the toys see playtime from the perspective of the child’s imagination.  So every time Andy played with Buzz and imagined him as the real Buzz, his delusions of being a real space ranger were only heightened.

This explanation also explains how Woody forgot about Woody’s Roundup.  Andy probably never saw that old show from the 50s, and so just imagined Woody as a generic sheriff.  And that’s all Woody thought he was up until Toy Story 2.

Which brings me to the characters introduced in Toy Story 2.  Jessie is explained as being played with by a girl, so that fits the theory easily.  But what about Stinky Pete?  He was never played with, and is still mint in the box when Al buys him.  And from Buzz Lightyear, we see license toys seem to go through a phase where they think themselves real.  In Woody’s Roundup, Stinky Pete was a redneck old man with bad grammar and easy to excite.  The personality we see him have in Toy Story 2 defies all of this; he has good grammar and is calm until his immortality is threatened.  However, while he was never played with, he was owned.  It is unknown if he had owners before Al, but if he did, they would be fellow collectors like Al who kept him mint in the box to keep the value.  Collectors would be teens/adults.  He wasn’t played with and put into scenarios like his television personality.  He was treated as a high value commodity.  This explains his calm demeanor; he was never owned by a child, but by mature minds.  So his mind was shaped into something more mature.  He was never in adventurous scenarios from a child’s mind, so he has a more calm outlook on life.  It is also the reason why, out of all the characters from Woody’s Roundup, he believed in going to the museum the most.  All he has ever been was a commodity.

Now, as for Bullseye.  He is pretty unique among the toys.  He actually acts like the animal he is.  Compare to Rex, Hamm, and Slinky Dog who are also animals, but talk and seem to be fully sentient.  However, we know Andy gave Hamm a personality at least a couple times as the villain.  Rex is a dinosaur, which are seen as magical beings by kids so he probably had speaking parts.  And Slinky Dog was a cybernetic dog with a forcefield, so it’s not unreasonable to think that a cybernetic/magical dog would have advanced intelligence.  Compare that to Bullseye.  Outside of Mr. Ed, when are horses treated as anything other than horses?  Almost never.  So the kid who owned Bullseye before Al probably only ever played with him as a horse, or as the Bullseye from the show, who was also an unintelligent horse.  When Bullseye is adopted by Andy?  Again, he only ever seen as a horse and accessory for either Jessie or Woody.  Perhaps after going to Bonnie, he started to develop sentience?  No way of knowing.

That doesn’t quite cover all the toys of Toy Story 2.  What about all the unused toys in Al’s Toy Barn?  They were never played with.  True, but they did have imagined personalities.  I mean, kids go by these toys every single day.  They could’ve absorbed the combined imaginations of the kids roaming past them.  I mean, I know I would play with toys when I passed through, surely other kids did.  Especially the toys that had exposed buttons with a ‘try me’ sticker on them.  And since these aren’t the kids’ toys, they imagined them exactly as advertised.  Which also explains why license toys like Buzz think they’re real.  All the toys seen at Al’s Toy Barn have the default personalities they should have.  Zerg believes he is Buzz’s nesmisi, the Barbies are fun loving girls, and the display Buzz has the Buzz personality.  We see a rock ’em sock ’em set in Al’s office who are deep rivals of each other.  Since this is in Al’s office and not on the salesfloor, one can presume that Al uses this in his spare time, presumably with a coworker.  Assuming these are typical guys having fun, some rivalry is to be expected.

We also have the toys introduced in Toy Story 3.  First off, and most damaging to this theory is Lotso.  Surely no child in the Butterfly room imagined Lotso as an evil dictator, and it is safe to assume Daisy didn’t imagine that either.  Well, wait a minute. Let’s go back to when we first meet him. He has the personality that would match closely with what he should be; a loving, hugging teddy bear. Now, this gets twisted, but throughout the film we see that he still has the friendly demeanor. Not once does he lose his cool. He even states that Sunnyside is a dream come true if you pay your dues. And we know this is at least partly true from the other toys we have seen that entered the Butterfly room; more on them in a second.

Also, while he was loved by a child, he was left at some point. Similar to Woody in the first film, toys defect from the personalities given to them by children sometimes. Surely Andy never plotted for Woody to have a revenge plot against Buzz (or maybe he did, who knows with Andy?)

While speaking on Lotso, this also brings us to Big Baby. His size in comparison to many other toys gives him considerable strength and power. However, he still has the mind of a baby, and can barely speak. It is unlikely that Daisy imagined him as anything other than a baby, and indeed at Sunnyside, he was never imagined as anything else. Just like Bullseye, he will probably never develop sentience. Contrast to the baby from Sid’s house, who was likely imagined as a cyborg and not a baby at all. He developed sentience and seemed to be the leader of Sid’s toys. Though again, since we never see Sid’s toys actually talk, it is difficult to determine their personalities.

As for the other toys in the Butterfly Room. Why are they a bunch of thugs? Well, think about what they are. We have the rock monster, a bug monster, an octopus thing, and Ken. The rock and bug monster likely came from boys who imagined them as being tough. Their tough and survivalist personalities probably saved them from the Caterpillar Room. The purple octopus is, well, he’s anybody’s guess. Ken also came with a house and several sets of clothes. Having real estate probably gained him more leverage to stay in the Butterfly Room. Also, given the way that is in denial about being a girls’ toy, it is likely he was owned by a boy with misguided parents. That’s just a guess though.

Now, there’s Bonnie’s toys. Bonnie’s toys seem to be a mishmash, and they see playtime as drama. Bonnie is the kind of girl who thinks outside the box. In Toy Story That Time Forgot, we see that Trixie has never even been treated as a dinosaur, and Buzz expresses that Bonnie’s mind is strange even for a child. Since she thinks outside the box so often, it is very likely that any toys she owns would have the personality of a drama club since they can literally be anything at any time. Compare that to Andy’s playtime, where he saw distinct personalities in his toys with Woody as the protagonist and Mr. Potato Head as the antagonist.

And now last, but not least, we have the Battlesaurs from Toy Story That Time Forgot. Since it is not one of the movies, it is understandable if you did not see it. To recap, a bunch of dinosaur toys think they’re real and try to kill the main cast. They are saved in the nick of time when their owner plays with them. This probably confirms the theory the most, since kids probably imagined the toys as real whenever they were passed in the toy store. However, this façade is completely shattered after one playtime.   And not just any playtime, a playtime with Bonnie, who thinks completely outside the box. Playtime with Mason imagining them as Battlesaurs may have further confirmed their ‘real’ status. However, Bonnie imagining them as random characters on ‘Party Planet’ made all the Battlesaurs realize how not real they were and taught them the ways of peace.

So that’s my theory on Toy Story. Any thoughts you wish to add?

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Review of Crossbones: Episode 1 by Stefan M. Nardi

Crossbones: Episode 1 was a very good read. It follows Dean and his brother Eldric. Without giving the story away, they have more than initially meets the eye. The plot has them outsmarting captors and finding their way into a city to confront a pirate lord.

The story is short and can be read in one or two sittings, leaving you wanting more. The author said the stories will be episodic and short.

Personally, I look forward to more books from the author. Asof this writing there currently are not more, and this debut book is free. I highly recommend it.

http://www.amazon.com/Crossbones-Episode-Stefan-M-Nardi-ebook/dp/B0122J434U/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447234008&sr=1-1&

Don’t understand Google Plus

So I recently tried to go on to Google+ to try and network and market my books on social media.  That thing looks like a maze!  Am I getting to old for new social media or something?  I was able to grasp twitter more or less.  Google+ just made my head spin when I looked at it.

Maybe I’ll have to check it out when it’s not one in the morning.  Maybe that might have something to do with it as well.