May 7, 2010

Nerd Nite 1.2 - The Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown - Final Showdown!

Somehow I missed updating this! Thanks for someone pointing this out!

It came down to Tom Baker vs. David Tennant and Baker won pretty handily.

Nerd Nite was terrific and I enjoyed it greatly. I even shaked my geek thang.

March 22, 2010

Nerd Nite 1.2 - The Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown - Round 3

Round 1 is done and Round 2 is still in voting, but here is Round 3 of the Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown. In Round 1 Sylvester McCoy prevailed over Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston trounced Colin Baker. So here are your brackets now.

Round 3
Bracket # 4
- Sylvester McCoy vs. Tom Baker
Bracket # 5 - David Tennant vs. Christopher Eccleston

Get your votes in by the time I finalize my presentation on Wednesday. So, play it safe, and send me your votes now. Just mail them to

And then come to Nerd Nite 1.2 Wednesday, March 24, 7:30 at the Teatro Zuccone to see the Final Four you picked and vote for the best Doctor of all time. Be there and be square!

March 21, 2010

Nerd Nite 1.2 - The Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown - Round 2

While I tabulate the results from Round 1, here is Round 2. Send your votes to and feel free to make your case in the comments below.

Round 2
Bracket # 3 - Patrick Troughton vs. Jon Pertwee
Bracket # 6 - William Hartnell vs. Peter Davison

Voting for this round will end sometime on Wednesday when I finalize my presentation, so don't wait around! Vote now!

There will be one more round to determine the Final Four. The Final Four will be revealed at Nerd Nite 1.2 at the Teatro Zuccone this Wednesday, March 24. The event begins at 7:30 and will feature lots of presenters on all sorts of nerdy topics. Cover is $5.

March 19, 2010

Nerd Nite 1.2 - The Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown - Round 1

Ten go in! One comes out!

For Nerd Nite 1.2 I am going to settle once and for all who the best Doctor is, at least until Matt Smith becomes the Doctor starting April 4. In the spirit of March Madness I have constructed a bracket and have seeded the Doctors based on how many stories aired in their reign.

Continue reading "Nerd Nite 1.2 - The Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown - Round 1" »

June 25, 2009

Butter that Makes You Laugh Out Loud!

This has been cracking me up for a couple years. Our local grocery tags Land O' Lakes products as LOL. I wonder if they know what amusement they are affording us.

June 3, 2009

The Chaotic Good Preacher

alignment chartAs a rule, I enjoy taxonomies, typologies, personality inventories, and the ilk. I've been Meyers Briggsed, Strong Campbelled, Corinne Wared, Gallup Strengths Findered, Enneagrammed, and the list goes on.

But, honestly, I'm not sure any of them are much better or worse than the good old D&D alignment matrix. In old school D&D you choose an alignment to describe the ethos of your character. You can, on one axis, be Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic in relationship to your adherence to authority, and on the other axis be Good, Neutral, or Evil in what, in game terms, boils down to your own sense of altruism. In D&D terms, Evil characters are always out for self enrichment and use other people to achieve their own ends.

When applied to real life the alignment grid becomes very interesting. As a pastor in a major, mainline denomination (perhaps two of them) you might predict that I'd be Lawful Good, seeking to maintain social order and promote the common good. It's the classic Paladin alignment after all. But, actually, in testing and in practice, I'm Chaotic Good, and not accidentally so.

I'm fairly suspicious of institutions, whether governmental or ecclesiastical, and not that I doubt the good intentions of the leadership, though sometimes I do. Moreso I question the overall efficacy of such institutions and their ability to really do anything of worth. The bigger the institution, the more out of touch it is. And that's not just my experience, it's my theological reasoning as well. A key biblical text for me in this regard is 1 Samuel 8 which describes what a king does to his people.

Also, I'm just suspicious of moral frameworks in general. After all the fall was caused not by eating an apple, but eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Morality is a curse in the context of Genesis 3 and one could argue that the rest of the Bible is dealing with that curse.

So, I'm a Chaotic Good Preacher. I believe that Good is best expressed in individual actions of compassion and justice and not in institutional expressions of the same. Sometimes the system works, sure, but even a blind pig finds an acorn once in awhile.

Practically this means I preach about grace and joy found in concrete expressions of individual's life and charity found in the life of the community. As a leader I try to be sure that my institution for which I'm paradoxically responsible is a permission giving body that tries to chart a course for the body, and then pretty much stays out of the way, giving resources and support, rather than micromanaging. In other words, I try never to let the rules stand in the way of a good idea.

May 11, 2009

My Son the Ubergeek

dndwiki.jpgSimon has started contributing to a D&D wiki and has created two races - Hill Giant and Underworld Elf. Not only did he master the whole wiki editing thing without any input from me but he clearly demonstrates great formatting and editing sensibilities. He has an eye for detail and game mechanics as well. Really, my geek heart is full to overflowing. Couldn't be prouder.

May 8, 2009

Star Wars? Star Trek? Who's gonna know...

Washington Post today mistaken says that "Zachary Quinto prepared to play Spock in the new 'Star Wars'." The sound you hear is bat'leths being sharpened and readied for battle.

April 5, 2009

Sci Fi Spelling Bee

scifi_spelling_bee.jpgOn April 18 I'm going to be hosting the first ever Sci Fi Spelling Bee at the Geek Prom and I need your help. I'm looking for words, terms, people and place names, and so on that are native to some science fiction franchise for use in the bee.

Please give me the following information for your entry.

Word (eg - phaser, Kashyyyk, frak)

Origin (what franchise) (eg - Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica)

Usage (eg - "Set your phaser to stun!" "Chewbacca went back to Kashyyyk." "What the frak are you talking about?")

If possible also give me some Documentation (a web link would be good) supporting your entry.

Also, these words don't have to be hard. They can be fairly simple or intermediate words. They just have to be sci fi words.

So that we don't spill the beans on all the words for the contestants, please don't put them in the comments, but send them to me at

Thanks for your help! This should be fun!

January 16, 2009

Star Wars... or whatever...

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

Thanks to Lumpy G for sending this to me.

December 23, 2008

Tetris and Phones Don't Mix

So, I asked you to help out my daughter in her science project and you did. You played Tetris. Then you played Tetris on the phone. Here are the results.

As you can see from the graph to the right, as you might expect, people, on average, do a lot worse when playing Tetris on the phone. Surprised? I didn't think so.

Now let's break it down a bit. We old folgies did worse overall than the young whipper snappers. What's with that? My generation teethed on Tetris! Do I have to carry all of you? Sheesh.

Still, an interesting note, the dropoff because of phone use was basically the same for both age groups.

But, in the battle of the sexes, women did much better overall in average score off the phone, but on the phone, men win! This was contrary to Emma's prediction which supposed that women are better at multitasking and therefore would do better on the phone than men.

Well, if you participated in the study, thanks. Emma had fun doing it.

December 21, 2008

The Dystopic 70s

THX2.jpgI just found out that Mac users, like me, can now view some Netflix films online. That option has been open to PC users for over a year now, but don't get me started on that.

So I was strolling through their catalog and, without really planning to, I started watching films and shows from the 1970s, the era of my childhood. Of particular note were THX 1138 and Logan's Run.

I remember watching both of these a long time ago, but was pretty fuzzy about the details of each. Both are about a dystopian future where computers pretty much rule everything, but beyond that they are very different futures.

Logan's Run is a future in which everyone looks like a model and runs around like they are in a groovy soda commercial. The only catch is, you have to die when you are 30, but you get to die in a pretty cool pyrotechnic show in which you get to fly around in spandex, so that's not so bad.

THX 1138 is a future in which your medicine cabinet talks to you in comforting tones, suggesting what kind of medication you might want. The police are robots who also talk in comforting tones, while looking like black and silver nightmares, and hot pursuits are budgeted in real time and they have to break off pursuit if they go over budget.

The interesting thing that both of these dystopias foresaw was a world in which the natural world, the world outside, was completely unknown and alien. In both stories the hero, who is rebelling against the dominant paradigm, is trying to get outside, much like Plato's cave hero.

Both also address religion as a root cause of the enslavement of their societies. In Logan's Run it is a permissive religion that allows any pleasure as long as they submit to termination or "rebirth" at 30. In THX 1138 it is an impersonal voice of OMM which soothes, comforts, and encourages drones to work harder, be submissive, and consume more.

Logan's world does appear, on the outside, to be a technicolor paradise, if you like endless malls and food courts of very thin people. THX's world, on the other hand, appears to be a world where everyone is miserable all the time and in desperate need of Rogaine.

Interestingly, THX 1138, which I remember as being a real snooze fest, held up better over time for me while Logan's Run seemed really dated, exploitative, and clunky. That said, I still think Jessica 6 is hot.

Anyone want to weigh in on these two films or what you remember of them?

December 4, 2008

Warcraft Economics 101

Crankshaft_Kirintor.jpgAs you may or may not know, I love me some World of Warcraft. Though it may sound boring, one of the things I really enjoy about the game is the complex economics. After my guy, Prof. Crankshaft Singlebearing, puts the hurt on some baddie, he often has loot to dispose of and I like to try to leverage every copper out of it. I enjoy making the marketplace work for me. Here are a few things I've observed about economics from playing Warcraft.

1. Knowledge = Time = Money - Yes, the old saw "time is money" holds up in Azeroth, but equally important is knowledge. Knowing where to find things saves you time and can also make you more money.

2. Lazy People Means More Money for Me - I make money off of lazy people because industrious people, for the most part, don't need my services. As a mage I make a good deal of money making portals for people to go from point A to point B. Now, they could get there for cheaper using other means, but they pay me because they don't want to take the time. Do I feel guilty about this? Not in the least.

3. Never Flood the Market - When I find that I have something that is of value I don't put it up for auction all at once. By putting it all up there, I actually depress the value of what I'm selling. Also, I risk being undercut by someone who sees my prices and decides they can sell it for a few silver less.

4. Never Be in a Hurry - People make bad financial decisions when they are in a hurry. Taking time is important on both the selling and the buying side of things in Azeroth. If you wait you get to see the fluctuation in the value of a thing and you can make a more educated decision as to what constitutes a good price for a thing.

5. It's Worth Whatever the Market Can Bear - So many times people say to me "I'm not buying that for that much! It's not worth it!" And, I have to agree. It's not worth it to them. But don't tell me that my price is wrong, because if I can sell it for that price, it is worth that much to that person at that time.

6. Novelty Breeds Greed -
A sure way to make money is to find whatever is the new thing and sell that. I remember a couple years ago when the Christmas related quests came out and people were trying to find small eggs to make cookies. The price for 5 small eggs on the auction went from being a few measly silver to well over a gold overnight. And then people flooded the market (see 3) and the price crashed. But for a few hours we who had the knowledge and the time were making a lot of money off of the lazy people.

Now, World of Warcraft is not like the real world in many different ways. In Warcraft resources are limitless. You kill a bird, and in a few minutes another one will spawn to take its place. You mine some ore, some more will pop up somewhere else.

Also, everyone has equal opportunity to make wealth. I really have no patience with people in Azeroth who beg because all you really need to make wealth is a mining pick or a fishing pole and some time. I would argue that not everyone has equal access to making wealth in the real world.

Further, cash is always coming into the game. People get cash from completing quests or booty from vanquished foes and, since there is no end to this, new wealth is always being created.

So, if you play WoW, I'm curious... what is your World of Wealthcraft?

November 16, 2008

I'm guessing Dr. Horrible had these as a kid...

Charlotte sent me a link to the coolest alphabet blocks in the universe, if you are a budding mad scientist, or even if you aren't. They are on sale on etsy by Xylocopa Design.

Continue reading "I'm guessing Dr. Horrible had these as a kid..." »

July 29, 2008

Dr. Horrible!

I don't know how long it will be available for free on Hulu, but here it is, in its entirety! You do have to endure the two or three commercials however. Enjoy!

July 15, 2008

Loving Doctor Horrible

Dr. Horrible is Joss Whedon's latest effort, a direct to internet show starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day. It's a musical about a want to be supervillain and his nemesis, Captain Hammer.

Will Doctor Horrible prove himself worthy of admittance to the Evil League of Evil? Will he be able to finish his Freeze Ray and stop time? Will he win the heart of Penny?

You can only find out, true believers, by tuning into Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog this week only!

I Couldn't Be Prouder

Simon spent this morning making a map for his roleplaying world, deriving its politics and geography from such various sources as World of Warcraft, Eragon, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and, of course, the D&D source material. You may not be able to tell from this photo, but it's done in watercolors with marker for the hand lettering. He explained it all to me in about a half hour and I won't ruin it for him by trying to explain it to you now.

Thanks to my buddy Russ for providing materials and inspiration.

I'm so proud of my geeky son. It makes me a little weepy. Really.

June 2, 2008

Wil Wheaton on Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show

I've never seen Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show before, but I'm pretty sure I'm a fan now. Thanks, Wil, for pointing it out to me.

May 28, 2008

My Geeky Bio

My bio as Geek King is up now on the Geek Prom website. Here it is...

geekroyalty08.jpgLawrence Lee, the 2008 King Geek, was born and raised in Wapakoneta, Ohio, the hometown of Neil Armstrong. He started playing D&D in 1977 when players still had to use crayon to color in the crappy plastic dice. He learned BASIC on a TRS 80 and FORTRAN using a card reader. In high school he was salutatorian of his class, medaling in the state Mathletes competition and also serving as a library assistant. In college he studied physics, mathematics and philosophy, and worked as a civil engineering lab assistant. In graduate school he ran the A/V department. His current interests include HTML, blogging, board games (especially Settlers of Catan), World of Warcraft and helping his kids learn math (which he insists is fun). He works as a Presbyterian minister, and his study is decorated with a lava lamp, an original Chris Monroe painting and Star Wars paraphernalia. As Geek King he would like to decree for all time: “Han shot first.”

All this is true.

May 20, 2008

Fashion Apocalypse

721430.jpgI had a lot of weird dreams last night, but perhaps the most entertaining was of an exodus of superheroes who fled earth for another planet to start over and then, several generations later, they found that the planet was doomed because of a microscopic fiber worn in their superhero outfits.

May 11, 2008

Speed Racer

Remember Saturday morning technicolor-and-sugar-induced moments of psychedelic hysteria which bordered on an orgiastic state of religious clarity? Speed Racer brought all that back to me.

It's clear that the Wachowski brothers grew up loving the same stuff I did. Most people won't get Speed Racer, and it's clear from the reviews that the critics don't, but I loved it. It's 1960's pop culture that has grown up, went through a period of existential angst, discovered western philosophy, eastern meditation, art, and sushi, had a few bad romances, and then woke up one day and realized that deep inside it really, really loved itself. This is a perfect film for people who want two hours of utter escapism and be transported into a world where the laws of physics are just slightly askew.

So grab some junk food, get really caffeinated, and prepare to spaz out.

May 3, 2008


chickenacronym.jpgDr. Pamela Takayoshi, Associate Professor of English at Kent State University, is claiming that IM speak is not just slang but represents a whole other language, separate from English. From the press release:

Instant messaging, or IM, is not just bad grammar or a bunch of mistakes. IM is a separate language form from formal English and has a common set of language features and standards.

While I agree that when you understand the rules of IM speak there is some standardization to it, it is still at its root IM based on English words. I think this becomes a semantical debate as to what constitutes a language. I'd accept that IM speak is a separate and unique dialect of English, but I'm not sure it qualifies as its own unique language. I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise, though.

Stick Around Through the Credits

ironman.jpgI went to see Iron Man yesterday with my buddy, Russ, and was pleasantly entertained. It was a nice rendition of one of my favorite comic book heroes. Robert Downey Jr. was a perfect Tony Stark and Gwyneth Paltrow was... sigh... so beautiful. Probably my favorite scenes in the movie were between these two actors, especially the one in which Stark needs his personal assistant, Pepper Potts, to assist him personally with a delicate, little life and death procedure.

But here's the thing you have to know. If you go to see the movie stay until the very end. There's a fun scene after the credits. I will say no more. Trust me. It's totally worth it.

April 13, 2008

Chemistry Card Game

This looks like an amazingly cool way to learn chemistry. Elementeo is a collectible card game where each card is based on an element or a compound and has an action appropriate to the element or compound. There are also alchemy cards which are like action cards.

And if that wasn't cool enough, the game was designed by a 14 year old. I tip my geek king crown to you, Anshul Samar.


King of the Geeks


Last night at Geek Prom I was honored with the coveted title of Geek Prom King. My reign will last until next year's Geek Prom.

It was a really fun evening. One of the best parts was to have people come up to me who have only known me from this blog and start to talk with me. Thanks all of you. Last night was amazing. After the coronation when people were congratulating me it was really odd. It was like being congratulated just for being myself because, as you know dear reader, I am a geek.

Thanks to Starfire for the photo above and other Geek Prom photos.

Continue reading "King of the Geeks" »

April 10, 2008

Advice for America's Next Top Model


NASA is really branching out!

April 2, 2008

Second Skin

I'm intrigued by this trailer for the documentary Second Skin, which chronicles the lives of 7 online gamers whose experiences vary greatly.

And for those who keep on telling us gamers to get Outside, well the review of that game isn't that good. Apparently while the graphics are phenomenal and it is purportedly "free of charge" playing the game involves a lot of grinding and the economy is kind of arbitrary and confusing. Further the PvP system is flawed to the point of unplayability. Also you are pretty much required to get the "job expansion pack" which involves a lot of pointless, repetitive tasks.

Thanks to Fuzzy for pointing me to the review.

March 26, 2008

In Memory of Gary


MIT students created this giant d20 (that's a 20 sided die for the uninitiated) in a common area on campus to memorialize Gary Gygax. The plaque reads:

In Memory of Gary Gygax
July 27, 1938 - March 4, 2008
who led us on so many
wonderful adventures

March 24, 2008

Into Every Generation


Hulu now has Buffy seasons 1 & 2 up and ready for viewing for free! Season 2 is a favorite of mine, what with Spike and Dru and evil Angel. And the season finale contains what I think are the funniest 15 seconds in all of Buffy.

Of course, hobbits don't wear socks...

1254284121_e25fecd721.jpgor shoes for that matter, but I'd love to have a pair of these socks made by Sue Grandfield. They would be precious to me. My preciousssssss...

March 20, 2008

Torchwood 45895

45895torchwood.jpgAllow me a bit of a geek out moment. I was watching an episode of Torchwood and in the split second when they showed the clearance code to the Torchwood computer I saw 5 digits that are seared into my memory. Yes, the code to Torchwood is the zip code I grew up in which is, therefore, also the zip code of the hometown of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Is it a coincidence that this particular postal code should be the password on a sci-fi program? Maybe... Maybe not...

March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day!

Everyone sing along!

March 13, 2008

I Even Have a Bad Feeling about This

Obiwanlars.gifFirst I was the Green Lantern, then Shepherd Book, now I'm Obi-Wan Kenobi. And frankly, I couldn't be more pleased. Master Kenobi made a huge impression on me as a youth.

Which Star Wars character are you?
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Han Solo
Luke Skywalker
Princess Leia
Qui-Gon Jinn
Mace Windu
You are civilized, calm, and
have a good sense of humor,
even when those around you don't.
You can hold your own in a fight,
but prefer it when things
don't get too exciting.
(This list displays the top 10 results out of a possible 21 characters)

March 12, 2008

Homeland Security Infiltrates World of Warcraft

gnometerror.jpgMMORPGs may just be the place to find potential terrorists, according to the Reynard project. The goal is to detect "suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world."

As an admitted WoW addict (though I'm in a 6 week withdrawal right now) I have to ask... what would count as aberrant behavior in this admittedly violent game? I'm supposing it would have to be something completely anarchical and against the intended social structure, like, for example, a pacifist!

Here's an excerpt from the proposal:

The cultural and behavioral norms of virtual worlds and gaming are generally unstudied. Therefore, Reynard will seek to identify the emerging social, behavioral and cultural norms in virtual worlds and gaming environments. The project would then apply the lessons learned to determine the feasibility of automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world.

If it shows early promise, this small seedling effort may increase its scope to a full project.

To which Charlotte, who pointed out this whole absurd thing to me, said:

Some nerd just figured out how to get Uncle Sam to pay his Verizon bill and justify his 19 hour/day WoW habit. I salute you, unnamed nerd!

I, too, salute you unnamed nerd!

Firefly, for free!

Hulu is now live and open to the public. Now you can watch all of Firefly for free on your computer. Shiny!

March 9, 2008

Anyone Out There? Wanna Trade?

080219-planets-life_big.jpgAccording to a recent article there may be a lot more habitable planets in the galaxy than we had thought. In fact, it's thought that more than half of stars like our sun are likely to have earth-like, water-bearing, temperate planets like our own blue celestial island.

If this is true, of course, it greatly expands the possible number of potential intelligent extraterrestrial species that we might encounter according to the famous Drake equation.

Further, Javiera Guedes at UC Santa Cruz suggests that, according to computer models, Alpha Centauri is prime to have one of these habitable planets in the Goldilocks zone. Alpha Centauri, as any geek knows, is one of our closest stellar neighbors and so is the most likely candidate for humankind's first interstellar jaunt.

In light of all this political scientist John Hickman's latest article in Astropolitics entitled "Problems of Interplanetary and Interstellar Trade" might be considered more than merely an academic study. An excerpt...

Economic exchange itself might be "alien" to the aliens. Members of an alien species may not experience the same intense sense of self that is exhibited in rationally self-interested economic exchange among humans. Instead, a collective identity could be dominant. Money might not exist and without it neither would complex markets or banking. If they do engage in economic exchange it might take a form akin to potlatch, the competitive gift-giving for status solely among members of the same tribe traditional among societies in Melanesia and the Pacific Northwest. Moreover an alien species might not live in separate societies and could thus have no conception of trade between different societies with different cultures.

Then again, maybe they are Ferengi.

For my fun speculation on a possible first encounter, feel free to read Signs of Intelligent Life.

March 4, 2008

Gary Gygax 1938-2008

gary-gygax.jpgGary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, passed away today at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Thank you, Gary, for all the worlds you've permitted me to travel through.

March 3, 2008

Nudity on TV?
FCC says "OK" as long as it's Alyson Hannigan

Yeah, those guidelines are perfectly clear, understandable, and acceptable to me.



February 29, 2008

I Even Have the Collar

larsonserenity.jpgand the stole, and the student debt. Yep, I'm Shepherd Book. No big surprise there, though I was kinda hoping for Wash. I'm a "big damn hero" with a Bible. Shiny.

Which Firefly character are you?
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
River (Stowaway)
Inara Serra (Companion)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Even though you are holy
you have a mysterious past.

February 27, 2008

What Happens When Things Go Right?

[Click to enlarge]

This is the Adam Hughes cover for the upcoming Firefly comic three parter - Better Days. The plot occurs before the movie and it involves a heist where, for once, everything goes right for our heroes and how they deal with success. The above picture will be used in segments for the three covers for the series.

February 26, 2008

A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.

cunninghat.jpgYou can own a piece of the Firefly legacy. Adam Baldwin, who famously portrayed Jayne Cobb, is auctioning off the hat.

Not just a replica, no, the hat.

The California Browncoats have announced that this cunning hat is going up for auction this fall (Sep 24 - Oct 4, 2008) with the proceeds going to support the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which sets up higher education scholarships for the children of fallen marines and law enforcement agents. A worthy and noble thing and thus something that Jayne would never have done, but you can still own his hat.

Continue reading "A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." »

February 23, 2008

It's a dark and scary world out there and nothing's on TV

stakethetv.jpgI Miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Megan Gogerty (playwright and self described wordsmith) wrote and recorded this nostalgic ode to her halcyon days with Buffy and posted it on her website as a free download.

I just really discovered Buffy last year and ran through the seven seasons in about nine months. I bought the series as my birthday present to myself and now I'm rewatching the series with my teenage (gasp) daughter.

Here are some great lines from the song for those too technologically challenged to click on the link or need some encouragement to do so:

A friend of mine met the guy who played Xander at a party and in real life she said he was kind of disappointing. I said, "Of course he's disappointing. This is real life and he's an actor. And in real life everyone's disappointing."

I want metaphorical mythology coupled with ontological authenticity. I really don't think that's too much to ask of a show.

I'm this close to reading fan fiction but writing this song is pathetic enough.

I feel your pain, Megan. I really do. Thanks for the laugh.

February 18, 2008

I Even Have the T-Shirt

greenlanterntshirt.jpgI took this quiz that my brother Dan sent me to find out which Superhero I am. Apparently he's "The Flash." As for me, sign me up for the Corps!

Who's your inner superhero?
Green Lantern
Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
Hot-headed. You have strong will power and a good imagination.

You are the Green Lantern!

January 28, 2008

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks


This "blog" is "great" and I "really" like it a "lot." It makes me "laugh."

January 27, 2008

World of Peacecraft


Imagine trying to play World of Warcraft without killing anything.

Charlotte sent me to this blog of a person trying to do just this. "Reinisch" is a pacifist undead priest on The Venture Co., an RP/PVP server. For those who don't know World of Warcraft this is very very difficult as most of the quests require killing something or another and there are very few ways other than killing things and quests to obtain experience.

This seemed so ludicrous and impractical I had to try it. So meet "Peacewalker," a peaceloving tauren druid who is already level 5 without killing a thing. Most of the experience has come from discovering new geographic zones, which conveys some minimal experience, and gathering or courier quests which require no killing. Come meet him on The Venture Co. server. He's in Reinisch's guild, "The Pacifist."

January 24, 2008

A Leet Speak Primer

My friend, Maria, said she couldn't really understand what was funny about some of my recent posts, so I thought I should post this primer for her and others.

Continue reading "A Leet Speak Primer" »

January 21, 2008

Stickers Are Fun!


Tomasz got these stickers and decided to go to the local Target and have some fun. Good times. Good times.

January 13, 2008

Veggietales is uber l33t!!1!


Note how many screens Veggietales opened on? Think it's coincidental? I really doubt it knowing the wry and silly humor behind Veggietales. I'm pretty sure it was a great joke for them.

January 12, 2008

Watch out for the N00B drivers!

I had no idea Maine driving was so uber. Better have leet skillz.

Continue reading "Watch out for the N00B drivers!" »

November 27, 2007

Who will watch the Watchmen?


I will. It's the comic book movie I've been waiting for. I just hope they don't let me down.

Watchmen is the comic book I always hand to people who don't think they like comic books. It's gritty, smart, relevant, and real. What I loved about Watchmen when I first read it was how seriously it took its subject matter. What if masked vigilantes and caped crusaders were real? What would the world look like? How would that affect their psyche? What kind of person would put on a cape or a mask? What if they, like us, had their own agendas, their own foibles and fetishes, their own sins and virtues?

I'm hoping that the movie is at least a fraction as good as the comic book.

[Picture from the backlot of the film as it starts production.]

November 25, 2007

What I want to find in my stocking Christmas morning!


My geeky crafty friend, Maria, sent this to me. The pattern is available for purchase on etsy.

November 17, 2007

J is for Jawa

Michael Fleming is in the midst of making a whimsical Star Wars ABC. He's gotten as far as R is for R5-D4 and he took a break for Halloween.

You can see his work so far on his site - Tweedlebop - or on his flickr site and see it as a slide show.

October 18, 2007

Sounds Complicated... and Gay

This was made by some friends of Fuzzy and, just for the record, I've never done costumes. No comment on the body paint.

October 12, 2007

Proof Positive


I've always been a math geek. I love helping my kids with their math and, in fact, lately I've been doing math for fun.

So I really appreciated this proof. I found it on

September 25, 2007

Mood Breaker

Ever try to have a serious conversation with your dying father and he decides now would be a good time for a harmonica solo?

Man, Sith Lords just have no sense of dignity.

Thanks again to for this.

September 20, 2007

Need a Job?

nasa-help-wanted.jpgWell, how about a government job? NASA is hiring 10 to 15 new astronauts. You may be required you to wear adult diapers, though.

I have to admit, since the Apollo missions when I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut. And why not? Neil Armstrong, a boy from my own hometown, was the first man on the moon. If he could do it, why not me?

So, seeing this, I'm kinda wistful that my life has taken me in such a different direction. But I can't be sad. My life is good.

Houston Chronicle article

Thanks to and Adam from for pointing this out.

August 18, 2007

GenCon Observations

I just spent a few days taking in the finest of geek culture at the foremost gaming convention in the world, GenCon, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. It was interesting to me to note some of the trends in gaming culture, some of which surprised me.

twenty.giftwenty.giftwenty.gifCritical Hits

  • Pirates were omnipresent. I'm not sure how many piratical games I saw but I counted at least 3 different Jack Sparrows wandering the halls.
  • Lasses in Corsets were a hot comodity this GenCon. But then again, when aren't they?
  • Goggles seemed to be the must have accessory for the manga wannabe crowd.
  • Germany still rocks the gaming world as far as the best original board games. Tribune was the best of these I demoed this year.


  • Firefly paraphenalia was everywhere. Clearly you can't stop the signal.
  • Stormtroopers and Jedi Knights walked the corridors as well as at least one Darth Maul, an Imperial Fighter Pilot, and an Arc Trooper. Star Wars, in spite of everything, still captures people's imagination.
  • Blizzard just gets more and more popular it seems. Warcraft and Starcraft games and related material were all the rage.
  • Tolkien is still the one writer to rule them all.

twenty.gifCritical Miss

  • Star Trek was conspicuous in its absence. The franchise seems to have waned in the imagination of gamers. I saw a couple people dressed up as klingons, but very little else. There were a smattering of games and nothing new. I saw no t-shirts with Trek references.

August 14, 2007

Yeah, Love's a lot like that

mooneye.jpgSo on the 10 hour trip between Two Harbors and Joliet today we had the requisite "what's with that?" discussions in the car. Emma started randomly singing "That's Amore"...

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore.
and I stopped her and said, "Say what?"

First of all, neither of us have ever been hit in the eye by either a naturally occuring satellite or a doughy comestible with cheese and tomato sauce.

Second of all, when we extrapolate what we know of pizza and the moon we doubt that the experience of being hit in the eye by said objects would be at all comparable. The first would be mildly inconvenient while the second would be undoubtedly fatal.

Third of all, whether pizza or moon, we can't figure out how being hit in the eye by either of them would be even roughly analogous to the state of being in love.

This whole conversation caused my daughter to sing:

When something from space hits you in the face, that's like love.
Any words of clarification would be most welcomed.

Continue reading "Yeah, Love's a lot like that" »

August 8, 2007

Virtual Playground

comeoutandplay.jpgSimon is away at camp this week and over the last two days I've received two calls asking if he can come on-line to play World of Warcraft. And I realized, no one ever knocks on our door and asks if Simon can come outside to play.

It's not that he never goes out to play, but it's always scheduled or people call. No one just shows up at the door and asks, "Can Simon come out and play?"

Is this the new norm?

All Hail the Lord of Catan!


After about 4 years of competitive play on-line I finally won the honor of being the top ranked player in Settlers of Catan on-line. This community of about 1000 players, at any given time, is very competitive and tough to crack and they have honed my skills at Catan greatly.

For those not familiar with this board game, in Settlers of Catan you start with two settlements, collect clay, ore, wheat, sheep, and lumber, and build roads, more settlements, and cities to achieve supremacy on the island of Catan.

A board game with experienced players can take an hour to an hour and a half to play. On-line a game takes about 10 to 20 minutes because the computer does all the dealing and figuring for you.

It is also a very social game, with the chat box, and I get to communicate with players from all over the world, particularly the US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands. Those seem to be the big Catan playing countries.

Continue reading "All Hail the Lord of Catan!" »

July 20, 2007

If I were you...

if-i-were-you-label.jpgA couple years ago I was giving Simon some fatherly advice which started "If I were you..."

He listened patiently and informed me that I was incorrect because, "if you were me then you would think like I do and act like I do."

Can't argue with that logic.

Similarly I realized the other day that in any conditional (if A then B) if the antecedant (A) is false then the consequent (B) may or may not be true.

Therefore, when someone begins a sentence with the patently false antecedant "If I were you" you can pretty much ignore anything they say because there is no truth value to it.

Now there's logic you can use.

July 12, 2007

Harry Potter and the Wicked Hot Summer

harry-potter-phoenix.jpgI went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with my kids this afternoon. It was a good film and a very decent adaptation of the book with several stand out performances and a jolly good fight scene to cap it off in the end.

That said something happens in the opening scene that could make my blood boil, or nearly so. The opening shot is of suburbia not too far from Number 4 Privet Lane and a voiceover of a British announcer with the weather, letting the audience know it's a hot hot summer with temperatures in the 90s and may even hit 100. Really? In Britain? 100 degrees is way past hot, it's boiling... literally. The British, as well as nearly the rest of the world, has been using Celsius for temperature readings for over 30 years. So why is this opening voiceover using Fahrenheit? It would be like Harry going into a shop and pulling dollar bills out of his pocket instead of pounds.

I expect the answer is that this is the U.S. version of the film and that people in the States are, apparently, too dumb to understand that the rest of the world uses Celsius, or at least the film industry thinks so. This kind of pandering is just infuriating to me. It perpetuates the idea that the world will conform to our point of view and simultaneously dumbs down the American audience by refusing to rock their boat.

Frankly, our boat needs rocking.

Okay, end rant.

July 8, 2007

Spam Trek

It's not often I get to indulge two geeky pleasures at once. I found this on the Monty Python Video Wall, a treasure in itself.

July 6, 2007

The Enterprise faces a new deadly enemy!

The Enterprise has survived the Borg, Cardassians, and Romulans, but will they survive the Blue Screen of Death?

June 27, 2007

Resistance Is NOT Futile

I was watching a Doctor Who episode entitled Bad Wolf tonight and I loved this exchange:

Dalek: We have your associate. You will obey or she will be exterminated.

The Doctor: No.

Dalek: Explain yourself.

The Doctor: I said "No."

Dalek: What is the meaning of this negative?

The Doctor: It means "No."

Dalek: But she will be destroyed.

The Doctor: No, because this is what I'm going to do, I'm going to rescue her. I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then I'm going to save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky.

Dalek: But you have no weapons, no defenses, no plan.

The Doctor: Yeah, and doesn't that scare you to death?

This is more than just bravado. This sums up for me the essential spirituality of Doctor Who - Resistance Is NOT Futile. In the face of false dichotomies and overwhelming odds there are always choices, and accepting the ones offered to you is often just plain stupid. Life is seldom "either or."

Further, the powers that be will always threaten to take away the things you love if you fail to obey. Don't believe them. They can't take what they can't comprehend.

June 17, 2007

Pop Culture Update

Christopher_Eccleston-Dr_Wh.jpgI got a Netflix account a few weeks ago and I've been using it to catch up on pop culture I've missed over the last few years. Presently I'm watching the first seasons of "Lost," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and the revamped "Doctor Who." I haven't really watched television in about 10 years, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

People I love keep talking about Buffy in rapturous tones and it was made by Joss Whedon of "Firefly" fame, so I needed to give that a shot. Yes, I know most people know him the other way around, but I always was contrary. Buffy is great so far. Smart writing and fun characters. I'm loving it.

"Lost" was also a show that seems to be widely loved by people, so I'm trying that out. So far it feels like "Northern Exposure" meets "The Prisoner" and I'm liking it all right. There are some very smartly written characters.

My kids and I are especially enjoying "Doctor Who" which they have never seen before in any incarnation, but it has become part of their lore about their mother and me and our college friends.

"So you guys used to stay up until midnight on Sundays to watch this?"

"Yep, on WTTW. Though it wasn't as cool as this. The effects were bad. The writing was often ludicrous. And the sets looked like they were about to fall down. We loved every minute of it. And we'd get liter pops from Brad's Bagels and sometimes a Warm 'n' Sticky."

"A 'Warm 'n' Sticky?'"

"Yep, that's a cream cheese brownie with ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream. That makes just about anything bearable."

Ah yes, those were the days.

So, that's what's on my summer pop culture watch list. What are you watching?

June 14, 2007

Sith Lord Makeover


Since the site is in Russian I'm not sure on the details of the exhibit, but the pictures speak for themselves.

June 13, 2007

Resistance is Useless, Daddy!

zogg_14.jpgMy Little Golden Book about ZOGG is a parody of an insipid children's book about God that I actually remember from my childhood.

As I remember it, it was pretty creepy then. The rewrite is even creepier.

Prepare yourself for the "powder scented Final Solution of our enemies from beyond..."

June 12, 2007

Imagining the Tenth Dimension

This video is very helpful in visualizing dimensions from 1 to 10. This is from the website which has more related material. Part Two is below.

Continue reading "Imagining the Tenth Dimension" »

May 4, 2007

And Also With You

April 4, 2007

Death Star Conspiracy - Uncomfortable Questions has come to light since the incident at Yavin 4. The Empire blames a poorly equipped and badly organized band of rebels. The uncomfortable question is: Can we believe what the official news agency tells us? Could such a small force really perpetrate an attack with such lethal force? Or is there an alternate explanation?

Uncomfortable Questions: An Analysis of the Death Star Attack delves into these issues. Is it treasonous to want to know the truth?

Thanks again to BadCat! for pointing out this to me.

Continue reading "Death Star Conspiracy - Uncomfortable Questions" »

March 14, 2007

Happy π Day


Math is everywhere.

An excerpt from π.

March 10, 2007

We call him "Steve"

I may not have a jetpack but, by golly, I have a robot.

March 1, 2007

"Without pain, honor is like a salad."

kling.jpgKlingon Proverb
(It loses a little something in the translation.)

Back in the mid-nineties I was very involved in on-line interactive fiction on newsgroups. One of these was a Star Trek based universe where we created characters, ships, worlds, and stories whole-cloth from our imaginations.

One of the things I loved about this group was their sense of humor. This fabricated proverb was offered up in a story thread by Celia Fox, a very talented writer.

I love this line because it is absurd and it points to the truth of trying to translate anything from one culture to another... something is lost in translation.

At any rate this struck me so much that I had a banner made up to put in the hospital room for Charlotte to look at when Simon was being born. In my haste I left it at home, of course, but it was oft repeated as we waited for Simon's arrival, let me tell you.


40 for 40, #21

February 6, 2007

Nobody tells this wookiee what to do!

27711443.jpgSay it isn't so, Chewie!

Chewbacca was arrested this weekend in Los Angeles for headbutting Brian Sapir, a tour guide, after Sapir tried to get him to stop harrassing Japanese tourists. The enraged wookiee was heard to exclaim, "Nobody tells this wookiee what to do!"

Superman, nearby, witnessed the whole exchange, and used his superpowers to call the Jimmy Kimmel Show so they could get footage of it.

Captain Jack Sparrow was not surprised by the wookiee's behavior. "Things like this happen around Chewbacca all the time. I saw him in a fight with a music vendor. They knocked over a baby stroller," Sparrow said.

February 3, 2007

Someone set up us the bomb!

Continue reading "Someone set up us the bomb!" »

January 9, 2007

It's not my watch you're holding, it's my heart

Green%2BDay.JPGI love the geeky cool people of Duluth, Minnesota. Debbie hand knit this wonder and a cream pie as well. She said on her blog that she was also working on a brain, a Ferrari, and the digestive system, but I didn't see photos of them. Debbie, I salute you.

November 22, 2006

My New Most Favoritest Thanksgiving Song Ever

stuffing.jpgPass the Stuffing
by Grant Baciocco & Doug Price

The turkey is done; the potatoes are mashed,
but you're not here so my holiday's thrashed.
The candied yams, well, they're ready to eat
but the marshmallows on top of them, well, they just aren't as sweet.
Since you walked out of the door
I just don't feel like giving thanks no more.

So thanks for nothing.
Please pass the stuffing.

The TV is on in the living room.
A broken heart would be my parade balloon.
And all I want to do is just sit here and cry
and watch my tears fall down into my pumpkin pie.
My cranberry sauce heart has lost its canned shape.
Dumped on thanksgiving, well, that's something I just can't take.

So thanks for nothing.
Please pass the stuffing.

Thanksgiving holiday comes every year
but you aren't ever coming back, so to you, my dear, I say:

Thanks for nothing.
Please pass the stuffing. (repeat and fade)

Continue reading "My New Most Favoritest Thanksgiving Song Ever" »

November 4, 2006


bloodelffemale2.jpgEvery so often one writes a script that you know you will want to share with your great grand children some day. Something that will stand the test of time. Something that, when you finish it, you feel as if you actually transcended your own ability as an artist and have gone to another plane, another level.

This is not one of those scripts.

My prompts for today's script were:

Who: Victoria’s Secret Salesperson
What: A Dripping Faucet
Where: A Glass House
Opening Line: “Watch out!”

and I was writing for two women.

So naturally I wrote a script about World of Warcraft.

Part of this script was inspired by a game my daughter and I do in which we take a sentence or phrase and repeat it over and over with as many different interpretations as possible.

Continue reading "Again" »

November 3, 2006

Signs of Intelligent Life

vla1_grande.jpgI'm writing for Out of the Hat again, which is a 24 hour project where the writers draw out of a hat (literally) a who, what, where, and, this time around, an opening line and have to write an approximately 10 minute script overnight. My prompts for today's script?

Who: Oprah
What: Gummi Bears
Where: Elmo’s World
Opening Line: “Oh… I see.”

Oddly, three of these prompts were placed in the hats by my daughter. What are the odds?

So, lucky you, you can read my play before it's performed tonight. I remind gentle readers that all writings on this site are under a Creative Commons License.

Continue reading "Signs of Intelligent Life" »

October 10, 2006

Happy Powers of Ten Day

Powers of Ten Day - 10/10

I've posted this before, but I thought it was worth revisiting since this is Powers of Ten Day.

September 18, 2006

It Be Talk Like a Pirate Day!

September 19 be International Talk Like a Pirate Day and here be an instructional video fer ye land lubbers who don't be knowing how ta talk like a pirate. Yarrrrr!

August 14, 2006

Powers of Ten

Videos by vMix Member:mondo

I remember seeing this short film, Powers of Ten, as a child in a science museum and it profoundly changed the way I looked at the world around me. It is such a simple premise and it speaks deeply to both my scientific and spiritual understanding of the universe. The film's website has some interesting commentary and additional resources.

August 4, 2006


whac-a-mole-home.jpgGenerals John Abizaid and Peter Pace delivered a sobbering report to the Senate on the state of affairs in Iraq. (Can we call it a quagmire yet?) They described increased sectarian violence and said that not only could we not withdraw troops, we may need to increase them and redeploy those that we have there to supress those wiley insurgents in a military strategey that Senator John McCain called "Whac-a-Mole."

In other news, the Bush administration has declared war on Space Invaders warning against marauding Asteroids and has alerted the Missile Command to prepare the Battlezone. Critics call this nothing but "a Tempest in a Tea Cup" and that the administration has finally gone Berzerk. Bush, however, claims to have special intelligence from his head Spy Hunter and the Vanguard of the Moon Patrol living high above the earth in their Star Castle.

On another note, awash in funding scandals, the Republican National Committee has decided to hire Pac-Man as their new PAC... person.

July 20, 2006

Bush Uses Bad Language and Language Badly

Yeah, yeah, we all know that Bush used the word "shit" in what he thought was a private moment with Tony Blair. But he used the word correctly and aptly, in my opinion. What offends me is his misuse of the word "irony." Consider the exchange...

Bush: What about Kofi Annan? I don't like the sequence of it. His attitude is basically cease-fire and everything else happens.

Blair: I think the thing that is really difficult is you cant stop this unless you get this international presence agreed.

Bush: She's going. I think Condi's going to go pretty soon.

Blair: Well that's all that matters. If you see, it will take some time to get out of there. But at least it gives people ...

Bush: It's a process I agree. I told her your offer too.

Blair: Well it's only or if she's gonna or if she needs the ground prepared as it were. See, if she goes out she's got to succeed as it were, where as I can just go out and talk.

Bush: See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over.

Continue reading "Bush Uses Bad Language and Language Badly" »

July 18, 2006

Space Invaders

spinrug.jpgRemember Space Invaders? Yeah, it's a little like asking, "Remember the Model A?" or "Remember 8 Tracks?" Well, apparently a lot of people are hankering for the good ol' days. Here is a smattering of artists and enthusiasts who are memorializing the classic arcade game.

spinicon.jpgCheck out this rug. Polish artist Janek Simon used projection television, an actual rug, and old world, low-res design to create this playable Space Invaders rug.

spinla.jpgspinicon.jpgInvader is a Paris-based artist who puts little (and sometimes big) pixelated mosaics of space invaders all over the world. You can track the invasion on his site.

Continue reading "Space Invaders" »

July 13, 2006

It Ain't Necessarily So

132nelson_r1_c1.jpgNot as high and mighty as we all thought, eh, Lord Nelson?

Since its unveiling in 1843 it has been reported that Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London was 185 feet from street level to the tip of his jaunty hat. Well, as the column was being restored it was found that that figure wasn't quite right. In actuality the monument was only 169 feet 5 inches, a full 15 feet shorter than had been documented for years.

Consider: Thousands of visitors every day. Millions, perhaps billions of people passing by this monument in the last 160 years. No one thought to question the fact of how tall this statue really is. And we're not talking inches here. And, on top of that, the column had been restored twice before.

My takeaway, don't take facts at face value. Question and then measure for yourself. I think I'm going to march into my bathroom right now and check if there really are 500 sheets of toilet paper in a roll.

June 29, 2006

Messianic Superman: Why the World Doesn't Need a Comicbook Savior


I watched the new Superman movie last night and thoroughly enjoyed it as a film, but less so as theology. Before I go there though let me say, go see this film. It's brilliantly conceived and directed by Bryan Singer with a good story and fantastic performances, especially by Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey.

The movie goes boldly into theological turf, and that's where it runs into trouble.

[Warning: Mild spoilers follow.]

Continue reading "Messianic Superman: Why the World Doesn't Need a Comicbook Savior" »

June 7, 2006

It ain't Pop Rocks and Life Cereal but...

It's still pretty explosive and amazing. Hats off! Check out other Diet Coke and Mentos experiments at

June 1, 2006

What time did you say?

Recently I have become more and more aware of people and organizations who seem to use Standard Time and Daylight Savings Time interchangeably. It started with an online conversation with someone who used "EST" when he clearly meant "EDT." When I corrected him, he acted like I didn't know what I was talking about. Believe me, I lived in Indiana for a long time which, until this year, had the distinction of one of three states that stayed on Standard Time all year long.

Then I started seeing other folks who should know better using the wrong time signature. I saw it first with my beloved Duluth Huskies and then with Air America Radio. Have others noticed this? Does it matter to you or am I just overly sensitive to this as a former Hoosier? Or maybe I'm just fastidiously correct in my own übergeeky way.

May 25, 2006

Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?


Thanks to BadCat! for alerting me to this.

May 18, 2006

George Lucas does a 180

hatejjb.jpgWell, next week will be the 29th anniversary of the release of the very first Star Wars movie, and George Lucas announced that he will, for the first time, release the Original Series on DVD as we saw a long time ago in a cinema far, far away. (Well, okay, about 750 miles away for me, but that's far enough.) Of course, he famously swore that he wouldn't do this.

So, here's the question:

Has George Lucas -

a) seen the light and realized that we liked the old version warts and all and it made Han Solo that much cooler that he shot Greedo first, or

b) realized that he can make a lot of money and that suckers like me will scoop this up faster than you can say, "Chewie! Hit the hyperdrive!"?