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Life is an endurance race.  How long can you go before it breaks you.  Life is defined by how you choose to deal with it when it repeatedly drops you off a cliff into the abyss of misery and bullshit.  There are little tiny and oh-so-infrequent sparks of light that show up from time to time in the pitch darkness, and you just have to lie to yourself that the pain is worth it for the good things.

But the truth is that responsibility is the only thing keeping me alive right now.  There is nothing good left.  Even the sparks of light are dull and dim.  There hasn't been a light at the end of the tunnel for a long long time now, and the one that I thought was there was a lie.
  • Watching: Smallville
  • Playing: Bravely Default
  • Drinking: Water
Yesterday my cat, whom I have had for the last 13 years, had to be euthanized. She's had cancer for the last year, and underwent three different surgeries to remove the tumors, but in the end, it just got too bad.

The tumors started in the mammary tissue. Just one little bump to start. We took her in and they said there were other smaller bumps too. They removed one whole side of mammary tissue and hoped that would get it, but several months later, some new bumps were back. The other side of mammary tissue was removed next, but after another month, I could feel a new bump.

We tried one more time, but after that, it was fairly clear it was a lost cause.

A couple months ago, if you rubbed her belly, it felt like her stomach was filled with marbles. X-rays showed that there were masses in her lungs too.

About a month ago, the tumors on her belly grew too large and actually burst open, so she had exposed tissue between her legs that had to be treated for infection. Her right-side back leg hurt her so badly, she stopped using it.

Honestly, I should have ended it a month ago, but I just couldn't do it before christmas.

Through it all she was always alert. Still followed me around the house - limping awfully the last week and a half - and still asking for food and pets.

Gawd, this sucks.

She was such an awesome cat, too. We called her the ninja kitty because she'd do some of the craziest shit sometimes. She was kind of annoying in the room when trying to sleep because she always wanted to sleep on my pillow next to my face, so I'd keep the bedroom door closed at night. But she DESPERATELY wanted in, so she's yowl at the door and try her darndest to open the door knob. But her paws were too fluffy, so she couldn't get any grip on the door knob, no matter how hard she tried.

So one day I wake up and she's right there on my pillow and I'm all like, wtf? How'd you get in here?

Then I found that the attached bathroom's floor vent was turned over, and the floor vent in the living room was turned up too.

She had pulled up the vent covers and crawled her way THROUGH the VENTS in the house, just to get into my bedroom and sleep with me.

And she always wanted to be in the highest possible spot. 
She'd find a way to get on top of doors and actually sit along the top of open doors, just balancing up there.

She was an awesome cat.

My Ninja Kitty by Athey

  • Watching: Smallville
  • Playing: Bravely Default
  • Drinking: Water
So I've got a tumblr.  It's all maker-stuff, not traditional drawing or 3d modeling, but I figured I'd may as well link to it for anyone interested.
  • Listening to: Happy by Ferral
  • Watching: Under the Doam
  • Playing: LoZ: Skyward Sword
  • Drinking: Water
Summer's here.  My kids are out of school and I can finally sleep in. yaaaaaaaaaay

Seeing as how I tend to work nights (I work at home, so it's difficult to get shit done while the kids are here), so I have this unhealthy tendency to go to bed around 4am, getting up each morning at 7:30 so I could get my daughter to school was... difficult.

It'd be fine if I could just go back to bed reliably at that point, but my son was in half-day Afternoon-only kindergarten, so I had to get him out to school around noon, which broke up any attempts at additional sleep even more.

So the last school year was difficult.

But next year they'll both be regular full-day school, so that should be a bit easier at least.

So, hey - I've been watching Dollhouse recently.  I never watched it when it actually came out, forever ago.  I think I had a bit of a hang-up about Eliza Dush...ku?  How the hell do you spell her name anyway?  The chick that played Faith on Buffy.  Basically I always just saw her as the chick that played Faith on Buffy, and I wasn't entirely keen on Faith's character in Buffy.

But anyway, I found it on Netflix and figured why not?  So I powered through season one, and it's actually pretty awesome.  That episode between seasons one and two was freaky - threw me for a loop.  I think I'm about 2 episodes into season 2 right now.

I also just finished Terry Pratchett's 4th Discworld book, Mort.  It's the first TP book I've ever bothered to read (Yes, shame on me).  It was cool.  I think I'll make an effort to go through another one soon, it's just difficult deciding which to go for.  So damn many books.

**GOT Spoilers**

Oh and hey - holy shit, did they seriously just kill of *** **** in Game of Thrones?  I keep seeing all of these people going on about how Melisandre was there, so you know... maybe she'll bring him back?  Gaaaah.... I hope so.  Fuck, if he actually stays dead.  Fuck the crows.  Seriously. 

I recently came across this epic fan-theory about how Jon Snow wasn't really Ned Stark's son at all, but rather the son of Ned's sister.  That she was raped by that Targaryen mad king, and so Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna (sp?) Stark, and the mother fucking mad king.

But if he's dead, obviously this isn't a theory that's going to... you know - go anywhere.  At all.  And that'd be super-lame.

**/GOT Spoilers**

I'm procrastinating right now.
I really ought to be working.

I've been sick the last couple days, but it's been a freaky kind of whatever-the-fuck-it-is.  Seriously intense chest pain when I breath.  Like sharp stabbing horror in my right lung and shoulder.  It was a solid 9 on the pain scale for about 30 minutes two days ago.  I keep oscillating back and forth between going to the ER.  I would have gone yesterday if the pain hadn't started to go down noticeably.  It's still hanging around but it's much more mild now, so I figure whatever the hell it is, it's going away on its own.

It's kind of stupid, because I have insurance.  Good insurance.  I just hate the fucking hospital.

But I know this whole 'avoiding the hospital thing' is gonna bite me in the ass one of these days.  I actually had a MRSA infection earlier this year, and it took me nearly a week to finally go to a doctor and get some antibiotics.

Not that I knew it was MRSA... if I'd know it was MRSA I would have gone to the doctor a hell of a lot sooner.

I swear I disinfected the whole damn house after coming back from the doctor's office that day.  The idea of either of my kids getting MRSA is fucking terrifying.


My son's 6th birthday party is this Saturday.  His actual birthday is next Monday, but who the hell celebrates a birthday on a monday?

Only one kid has RSVPd though.  I really hope more show up.  None turned up last year and he was so bummed.  But he was turning 5 and he's already long forgotten about it.  Sixth birthdays don't tend to stick in the memory very long either, but he saw how neat a party his sister had this year (she had like 15 kids show up - it was crazy), so I feel like he'd be aware of the contrast a lot more this year.

Gah... okay, enough procrastinating.  Off to work.
  • Listening to: Chocobo Song from FF7
  • Watching: Rewatching Buffy... again.
  • Playing: GTA 5
  • Drinking: Surge
Okay, so my brother has been trying for about a year to found his own indie VR game studio.  This has involved a significant number of trips to San Francisco and has now cemented the idea that all Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists and Investors, are ass-hats who only care about money and increasing the value of the company so they can sell it for a greater return in a couple years.

My brother's desire is much more in line with creating awesome games and not having to answer to 'money people' who exist without any creative sense, or basic human integrity.

As part of the goal of funding the studio without having to sell his soul, or a controlling interest in his company, he's spent the last two months virtually killing himself working on his entry for the Oculus Mobile VR Jam.

The top winner gets $200,000 in cash.  Two 'Gold' level winners get $100k each.  Four 'Silver' level winners get $50k each.  Ten Bronze level winners get $10k each, and so on.  So there's loads of opportunity to score some decent funding, even if he's not at the top.

Just the same, I think his game has a super legit chance of ranking very high, and we would be really appreciative if you would vote for it, even if you don't have an Gear VR to give it a test run yourself.

You can see videos of the gameplay, testimonials from some buds who helped make the game, and other nifties here:

---->  <----

Click the link at the top of that page to get to the voting page.

I modeled & rigged the characters for it.  

Danny Sex-Bang from the Game Grumps & Ninja Sex Party lent his voice and persona to one of the characters.  He is such a fucking amazing voice actor, and he's hilarious.  

His friend and our neighbor Katie designed one of the other characters based on her likeness (she's in his latest video as the girlfriend at the start of it that he runs away from for fear of a meaningful relationship).

Qu and Bit from my brother's other game-in-progress, Vanguard V, is one of the other characters to choose from, and Rix from a 'VR Music Experience' that Justin's helping his buddy Jake Kaufman (Virt) fund and make, is one of the other characters.

Lastly are characters based on Cymatic Bruce of Road to VR, and Karl Krantz, the man behind SVVR.

All the animation is motion captured, the music is from Jake Kaufman (Virt) who you may know from Shovel Knight, and the Ducktails remake soundtrack among a zillion and one other projects.

Justin and one starving programmer made the game almost entirely on their own for the last two months.  Another programmer friend helped in the beginning, but he had to bail towards the later half since he was filing for bankruptcy.  So - the prize money would be good!  Like, super-duper helpful.

So - PLEASE!  It would be so cool of you to head over to that site and spend the minute necessary to sign up for the site and place a vote.
  • Listening to: Chocobo Song from FF7
  • Watching: Rewatching Buffy... again.
  • Playing: GTA 5
  • Drinking: Surge
Mature tags on stuff isn't something that I used to give a crap about.  As a registered user, I had it set to show everything, because I didn't give a shit, and there's some awesome art that also happens to be mature.

Now, however, my daughter has taken an interest in looking at art on Deviant Art.  She likes to look over my shoulder on occasion when I randomly browse the front page, and since I'm doing the driving, it's not a huge deal, but she still sees the thumbnails.  

In any case, thanks to this, I turned on the mature filter, to avoid coming across thumbnails for anything that I'd rather my 8-year old not seeing.  

The problem is that it appears a lot of people don't use the damn mature tag on their posts.

I know that's one of the things that the report button is for, but I'm not inclined to pull that kind of shit.  Having too many deviations reported for mature content can get your account banned, and I'm not cool with that.  I'm not about to risk getting a decent artist booted off the site because they forgot a damn checkbox when submitting their stuff.

At the same time, I don't want to be one of 'those' people - the mom going onto a site and complaining about tits.  That's shit.  Really, it is.  

Thing is, I don't even really worry much about her coming across some nudity.  It's the fetish shit that I'd really like to shelter her from, at least a little bit longer.

It's kind of crap that I can't let my daughter search for My Little Pony art on this site.  Or Sonic the Hedghog.  Those are two of her favorite series and she wanted a new Sonic background for her ipad and asked if we could find something on DA.

Let my daughter search for Sonic art on DA?  HA!  No.  Sorry, but No.  Soooo much freaky fetish shit.  And it's not like I'm against people having their kinks.  That's fine.  Just put a Fucking Mature Tag on that shit.  For fucks sake.

When you post something - I don't care if it's got nudity or not.  Ask yourself 'would I want my 7-year old 'cousin / sister / friend's kid' to see this?  If the answer is 'No', then it needs a mature tag.

It's better to err on the side of caution.
  • Listening to: Chocobo Song from FF7
  • Watching: Rewatching Buffy... again.
  • Playing: GTA 5
  • Drinking: Surge
So I've been on a genealogy kick for a while now.  Like... years.  The interest probably originally came because I wanted to know more about my name - My name: Athey - is my real name, and it's also my Grandmother's maiden name.

Her side of the family, following the paternal line, has been fairly decently researched by a number of my relatives, although I have managed to go back quite a few generations further than any of them got.  I was able to trace them back pretty far because they were nobles.  In fact, one of my ancestors is mentioned by name in the Magna Carta.

For a long while I had trouble tracking my other family lines more than one or two generations prior to immigration.  So basically, I'd have the name of the ones that were born in another country and came to the US, thanks to immigration records, and occasionally I'd manage to find out who their parents were, but that was where it would stop.

I've recently managed to track a lot of them, a lot further than I ever was before, so that's been a lot of fun.

I had always assumed my Grandpa on my mom's side was just a big assortment of German ancestry on all sides, but it turns out he was only one quarter german, and the rest of a mix-match of Scottish and some Irish (Scots that moved to Ireland for a couple generations, and then came to the US).  Before I had honestly thought that the only Irish in my line at all was the Athey's from my grandma's side.

I was able to dig up a bunch of new stuff thanks to some better resources, and I just recently went back into my Grandmother's line (the Athey line) to see if I could fill in any of the gaps that were still there.  These gaps were mostly on the female side of things, as I'd tracked the primary paternal line back to the 1500's.

Things started to get really interesting when I got to John Athey (1675 - 1729) and his wife, Margaret Lewis (1692 - 1735).  I had no info on Margaret Lewis, and started following her line back.  

I was quickly surprised to find it really well documented, going back really far.  

Now, most of the family I've traced were especially hard to find anything further back than the 1600's, just because they're all basically lower-class / working class / peasants or whatever, and few people bother to document those lines very well.  The paternal Athey line was documented back as far as it is because they were nobles.

When you come across a really well documented line, it's a pretty clear sign of Upper Class status, with titles and shit.

So I trace the Lewis line back to the point of immigrations and low and behold - they're from Wales!  The first sign of any Welsh in my line, so that's pretty cool.

Welsh names are weird, and back at that point in time, there were no traditional surnames, it was just 'name ap father'sname', so 'Lewis' disappeared quickly.  Didn't make the search as hard as I worried it might because, even though I was approaching the 1400's, the line was still super-well documented, from numerous sources.

I kept going, a couple wives came in at various points who were born in England, but everyone else was from Wales.

I get to Howel ap David born 1375, and there's a note about him being 'Lord of Nannan".  Ooo neat.  A Lord.

Keep going, and going and going, and holy crap, I've never managed to trace any genealogy back this far.

Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd of Buellt aka Lord of Radnor, was born in 975 ad, and I'm still finding lots of resources.  No mysterious breaks in the line where I have to make guesses, either.  Multiple sources, all giving me basically the same names (often spelled slightly different depending on the source, because: Welsh is weird)

And next, Cadwgan Lord of Radnor's father was Elystan Glodrydd ap "Elystan the Renowned".  Still quite neat.  Let's keep going - 

Idnerth Ap Iorwerth / Cadwr Wenwyn Ap Idnerth, born 790 is Powys, Wales, Prince of Powys
Ooo!  A Prince!

Few more generations and we've got Bywyr "Llew" Bywdeg / Bywdeg ap Rhun Rhudd King of Siluria born 610 AD.
Well, fuck yeah, that's pretty awesome.

And his father is King Bywdeg Ap Rhun.  The fucking King of Wales in the mid 600's.  Damn!  I guess this is why the line is so well documented!

So how far can I take this?

Well, Casnar Casanauth Wledig ap Cadeyrn, born 440 AD was apparently Son of Cunedda Wledig, King of Gwynedd.  Cool.

Casnar's wife, Thewer perch Brydw born 480 AD however, had something even more interesting in her line.

Thewer perch Brydw's Grandfather was Vortigern, High King of Britain - Holy shit, I know that name!  I watched a fucking documentary on the guy!

Vortigern's wife, Sevira Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu is a Saint in Wales.  Oh, and her daddy was a fucking ROMAN EMPEROR.

Well, Hot Damn!  

Flavius Clemens Magnus Maximus Augustus, or as he was known to the Welsh: Macsen Wledig, born in 335 AD is my ancestor, and as utterly meaningless as that is, I think it's pretty damn neat.

A little excerpt from Wikipedia -
In 383 as commander of Britain, he usurped the throne against emperor Gratian; and through negotiation with emperor Theodosius I the following year he was made emperor in Britannia and Gaul – while Gratian's brother Valentinian II retained Italy, Pannonia, Hispania, and Africa.
In 387 Maximus' ambitions led him to invade Italy, resulting in his defeat by Theodosius I at the Battle of the Save in 388. In the view of some historians his death marked the end of direct imperial presence in Northern Gaul and Britain.

It was at this point that Vortigem managed to take the crown and make himself King, and marry Magnus' daughter in the process.
  • Listening to: Chocobo Song from FF7
  • Watching: Rewatching Buffy... again.
  • Playing: GTA 5
  • Drinking: Surge
Hey all - so I'm part of a kickstarter that just launched.  It's for a VR game called Vanguard V and you can check it out here -…

I did the character models and some other assorted art assets so far.  I know it's a long shot that many of you have a VR headset, but take a look at it anyway, even if you don't.  :)
  • Listening to: Alex Day
  • Watching: Top Gear
  • Playing: Final Fantasy Tatics
  • Drinking: Vanilla Chai

Attempting to catch up on DA

Journal Entry: Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:51 PM

I hadn't been able to actually check stuff on here for... at least one or two weeks.  Maybe three?  So anyway, I had like 3,000+ messages and I've managed to get it down to 518 as of right now.  lol... it uh... daunting.  And totally my own fault because most of it is just deviations.  I watch too many people.

I don't expect my DA attendance is going to improve much though.  I'm insanely busy lately.  Like - crazy - busy.  I've had no down time at all, and it's burning me out.  

Amazing how getting laid off has left me considerably more busy than I ever was before.

Although, I'm making more money then I did at Sony - so... yay?  Go figure.

Anyway, I'm exhausted, but I want to try and get that number below 300 before I bail on my computer for the night.

CSS Journal Coded by FleX177

  • Listening to: Alex Day
  • Watching: Top Gear
  • Playing: Final Fantasy Tatics
  • Drinking: Vanilla Chai

Fuck You Guns

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 14, 2012, 2:33 PM

Article -->…

I agree wholeheartedly with this particular article.

Not only is it time to talk about gun control, it is long, long past due, to talk about gun control.

'Guns don't kill people; people kill people' - yeah sure, but guns make it obscenely easy for people that kill people, to kill a whole fucking lot of people, in a disgustingly short amount of time and with no effort at all.

An ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.  Elementary school.


People are sick.

CSS Journal Coded by FleX177

  • Listening to: Alex Day
  • Watching: Top Gear
  • Playing: Final Fantasy Tatics
  • Drinking: Vanilla Chai

Journal Feature Game

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 14, 2012, 9:47 PM

The first 20 people comment this journal, I will put their avatar
and the three deviations I like most from their gallery on the list!
If you comment, you have to do the same in your journal, putting me in the first spot.
The idea of this is not to get a free feature, it is to spread art around for everyone!

1. :iconpiperonni: :thumb194293666: :thumb243772001: :thumb336750106:
2. :iconvenneta: Peacock by Venneta A Blue That's Almost Gray by Venneta Hawa by Venneta
3. :iconendlessillusionx:  Anime Swap Edit by Endlessillusionx Kirisame Marisa ( turntable ) by Endlessillusionx Poco ( Turntable ) by Endlessillusionx
4. :iconshikaru777: Cosplay: Sandplay Setup by shikaru777 Calm before the storm by shikaru777 AX2007: Bunny grave by shikaru777
5. :iconfirebladecatcalie: Macko's Jacket :Re-unite: by firebladecatcalie  M.E.: Re-Unite: Cover by firebladecatcalie Miles (Tails) Prower ::marker:: by firebladecatcalie
6. :iconeaglas: Combine police, Unit: 64773 Ne by Eaglas M9 Security drone by Eaglas Magicka Cosplay (group) by Eaglas
7. :iconmerage: The Merbot by merage Aeon by merage Manga Girl 3D Version by merage
8. :iconjarrettonions: Nazgul by JarrettOnions

Mature Content

Daft Ninja by JarrettOnions
White by JarrettOnions
9. :iconfallenmystic: TerryTanke Sword by FallenMystic After the rain by FallenMystic TerryTanke Sword nr. 2 by FallenMystic
10. :iconruchiip: :thumb337576110: :thumb337262373: Ruchii-p Model WIP 2 by RuchiiP
11. :icons-m-a-h: Road at Farm by S-M-A-H Nature In Syria by S-M-A-H Snow by S-M-A-H
12. :icongaryjsmith: Protara by garyjsmith Pandaren by garyjsmith Space Frawg by garyjsmith
13. :iconkristinbowles: Sivam Tasks: Week 2 by kristinbowles Fairy's Fairy by kristinbowles Sailor Saturn by kristinbowles
14. :iconjohnnydwicked: Suki Texture Final by johnnydwicked Yuki Head Model Template 01 by johnnydwicked Horsea 01 screenshot by johnnydwicked
15. :iconmonkeyboy41: Side by Monkeyboy41 Storm War by Monkeyboy41 Winter Park Mountains by Monkeyboy41
16. :iconsilverstar3: Just another day in TF paradise by Silverstar3 practice by Silverstar3 Chika Model by Silverstar3
17. :iconsiljaas: Scotland 2011 by Siljaas Birch by Siljaas Winter way by Siljaas

CSS Journal Coded by FleX177

  • Listening to: Alex Day
  • Watching: Top Gear
  • Playing: Final Fantasy Tatics
  • Drinking: Vanilla Chai

UV Unwrapping Video Tutorial for Maya

Journal Entry: Fri Nov 9, 2012, 7:57 PM

Made this today.  First time making a video tutorial, so be gentle - hah.  I honestly hadn't realized, before today, that I could full-screen capture with my imac just built in with the OS.  It's all awesome and easy and stuff.  Voice Over added with iMovie.  Sorry if its a bit rushed - I didn't exactly plan it out all that well.  heh. ^_^;;

Or view it here:

CSS Journal Coded by FleX177

  • Listening to: Alex Day
  • Watching: Top Gear
  • Playing: Final Fantasy Tatics
  • Drinking: Vanilla Chai

Asset Stores?

Journal Entry: Sat Oct 20, 2012, 8:25 PM

So I'm planning on making a selling a bunch of stuff for the Unity Asset store, but I'm wondering if anyone else has any suggestions for good places to sell 3D Models?

CSS Journal Coded by FleX177

  • Listening to: Alex Day
  • Watching: Top Gear
  • Playing: Final Fantasy Tatics
  • Drinking: Vanilla Chai
My position became redundant, apparently.  Me and a few others at the studio got laid off today.  Kind of in shock still, I think.  It's difficult to really process.  I've worked there since 2005, so it's been a very long run.  The studio head teared up when he told me that I'd gotten cut.  The directive came from above their heads to reduce the headcount.  When we hired a new lead animator last year, we actually got one who knew his way around rigging and scripting, and he liked making his own rigs, so my role as studio's rigger got reduced then.  I'd mostly been helping out the environment team, but we've got a fair number of environment guys now, so it's not all that huge a shock.

Well, it is a shock.  None of us saw this coming.  Not really.  But well - whatever.  So yeah.  There it is.

In all honesty, I've been pretty unhappy with work for a while now.  There's the whole 'holycrapmoney' thing - especially since we just bought the new house.  I'm just trying not to think about that right now.  I got a good severance package at least.

  • Listening to: Alex Day
  • Watching: Top Gear
  • Playing: Final Fantasy Tatics
  • Drinking: Vanilla Chai

This is what my town is known for

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 16, 2012, 1:52 PM


The city I live in is located in Central Oregon.  It's a very outdoorsy-type place.  Enthusiasts of outdoorsy things come here for vacations.  You can hike, go cave diving, go skiiing on Mt. Bachelor or one of three or four other ski resorts within a half hour drive, intertube down the descutes river, climb smith rock, visit a volcanic caldera, or Tumalo Falls, yadda yadda yadda.  If you're not into all that crap, then there's not honestly a lot else to do here...

but get drunk, apparently.  Bend's biggest industry is in the small-scale beer brewery industry.

I still find it funny that next to no one has any idea that there's a 1st Party Sony development studio in town.  People ask where I work and I say Sony and they just blink and look at me funny, trying to work out what that might mean.

CSS Journal Coded by FleX177

  • Listening to: Alex Day
  • Watching: Top Gear
  • Playing: Final Fantasy Tatics
  • Drinking: Vanilla Chai
So, a very very long time ago, I posted a journal or two about how my brother and I were attempting to get a new house.  That was back in May.

The house, in question, is a Shortsale (meaning that the people who bought it needed to sell it, but the market has gone to such shit since they built it in 2007 that there is no way they could sell it for as much as they still owe on it - so the banks have to take the hit.  It's not as bad as taking a total foreclosure on your credit, but its still a ding, and shortsales are a PAIN IN THE ASS to deal with).

Anyway - since it was a shortsale, and wore even, a shortsale on a house with two mortgages, owned by two different banks, we've had one hell of a long, tedious, exhausting ride, trying to get the damn thing.

But we got it!
We closed on Tuesday and have been moving in, ever since.  
I am sore, and exhausted, and i hate moving - lol... but I love the house ^_^;

We only just got our DSL hooked up today, so this is the first time I've been able to get my computer onto the nets since Monday.  I've had to rely entirely on my phone for checking email and such.  Such a backlog in my DA message box.  O_o
  • Listening to: Alex Day
  • Watching: Top Gear
  • Playing: Final Fantasy Tatics
  • Drinking: Vanilla Chai

The Hills are on Fire

Journal Entry: Sat Sep 22, 2012, 4:55 PM

I live in Central Oregon.  I'm about a 30 minute drive (at 50mph because Oregon has ridiculous speed limits) from Sisters Oregon, which is basically on fire right now.  Or at least, the forest surrounding Sisters is on fire.  I have heard that certain sections of the town were evacuated at some point, but they've gotten that part of the burn contained by now, so the threat to the town is lower.

Anyway, we, in Bend Oregon, are directly down-wind from the blaze, and have been covered in a thick layer of smoke for about two weeks now.  Air quality was deemed hazardous in Sisters, and deemed very poor here.

You know that smell when you sit around a camp fire?  Or do a wood-burning barbecue, or even just a firepit?  That burning-pine smell?  It's nice in small quantities.  Not so nice when it lasts for two solid weeks and makes the air so thick with smoke that you can't see what's more than ten blocks away from any given point.  

I haven't seen the mountains on the horizon for two weeks, and today, I couldn't even see the Pilot Butte from my house, and I live pretty damn close to the Pilot Butte (Pilot Butte is an extinct volcano inside Bend's city limits).  You can pretty much see it from anywhere in town because... it was a volcano.  It's a "small" one, but it's still a volcano.

So yeah.  I wish we'd get some rain, or at least a really strong, consistent wind, to blow this damn smoke away.  From what I heard, after they got the portion of the fire heading towards populated areas, contained, they stopped efforts to fight the rest of it, and are just going to let it burn itself out until it rains.  Who knows how long that'll take - this region is called the "High Desert" for a reason - we don't get a lot of rain here.  

Fuck, wow - Okay, so I'm typing this on my laptop out in my backyard because my kids are playing in their sandbox right now.  I'm getting little flakes of ash on my screen right now, as I type.  

ASH.  On My Screen.

We aren't even close to the actual fire, but still we get to suffer from the shitty air quality.

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Fox News even calls Paul Ryan's speech 'cow dung'

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:08 AM

-->… <--

lol - You know they reached a new level when even Fox News is calling the Republican VP's Convention speech the Gold winner of 'Most blatant lies in a single political speech', and refers to it as a pile of Cow Dung.

She rips Paul Ryan a new one, and it's actually quite an interesting read.

So yeah - I'm stunned.  I wonder if this poor sod will keep her job after her daring departure from the FoxNews party line.
On the site, the article is apparently buried deep within the bowels of but it's on the top of the trending list for the site - so - Go Internets!  haha.

Sally Kohn.  I Salute you.

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RNC Disenfranchises their own delegates

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 28, 2012, 9:14 PM

I have a reasonably diverse gathering of friends from work.  We hang out and we go to lunches together.  Several of them are registered Republicans, however both of them hesitate to admit this in mixed company, and when they do, they call themselves '80's Republicans' because they're ashamed of what their own party has become.

So the Republican National Convention is going on in Florida and it's all over reddit and the various news agencies.  The blatent disenfranchising of the Ron Paul delegates, specifically, gets it for me.  That and their official platform.
Namely the fact that the first item on the GOP platform is "Preserve and protect traditional marriage", while the first item on the Democrat platform is "Economy".

But it's the fact that the people in control of the republican party now are even cheating their own people, and not just cheating everyone else.…

Edit - This vid explains what's gone down better than I did -

So basically, during the primary elections, every person who stays in the running gets delegates that represent the percentage of the state that voted for each candidate.  Despite Romney being the declared candidate for the Republican party, Ron Paul actually won 6 states, and never dropped out of the running.

He still has over 170 delegates, and under NORMAL circumstances, the RNC would allow delegates from each state come up and state which candidate had won there, and how many delegates went to the different candidates.

This year at the very start of the RNC, a new Rule was proposed that only delegates for Romney would get any floor time, and no delegates for any other candidates would even get to speak.  They also voted for some reason I'm not yet clear on, to ignore Maine's delegates all together.  This rule was to be voted by vocal majority - basically the Yay's and the Nay's called out from the crowd.

The No's were audibly louder than the Yay's - the clip is trending on Youtube right now if you're interested in watching it.  Despite the loud 'no's' in the crowd, the new rule was passed and all Ron Paul Delegates got the shaft.

The reason that Maine was ignored was because Maine made it so that Paul got 6 states, and by the RNC's own rules, if a candidate gets 6 states, they have to be given 15 minutes to speak on the RNC stage, and they denied him that by denying his wins.

An excerpt from that article that I found rather poignant -

Yelena Vorobyov, a 30-year-old Paul delegate from Apple Valley, Minnesota, was eager to vent. Barely taking a breath, she said: "This is just evidence of the manipulation of the Republican Party. They're not even allowing us to bring signs in, but they brought in their own [pro-Romney] signs. We couldn't nominate Ron Paul. The 'no' for not passing the rules was louder than the 'aye' and they ruled in favor of the rules. They're cheating. The Republican National Committee is not transparent and does not have integrity. They stole votes. They stole delegates. They refused to send busses for our delegates. It's a totalitarian process. This is not democracy. It's a really sad day for us. I've worked for Republican candidates since I was 16. We believed the Republican Party had more integrity. Boy, did they prove us wrong."

Interesting story to go along with this came out of Nevada's delegates.
The chosen delegate from Nevada was supposed to come up and declare the 5 delegates that Romney got in that state.  Instead he took stage and declared Nevada for Ron Paul, and listed off the other 5 states he won, since they were all denied floor time.…;<- vid.

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Neil Armstrong

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 27, 2012, 11:00 AM

Why haven't I seen a flood of journals on how shit it is that this great man has passed on?
For that matter, I don't think I even saw much of a peep about Curiosity landing on Mars.

I see journals about internet drama, and stupid shit all the time, but noteworthy, meaningful events take place, and I see nothing.

Personally I find that rather sad.

I watched the stream of Curiosity landing on Mars live, the night it happened.  We have a MacMini hooked up to our 64-inch TV in the living room, so it was streaming right onto the big screen in our living room, an hour before the actual landing.

I watched all the pre-show stuff where they showed the simulations of how the thing was supposed to land with a giant jet rocket sky-crane thing, and I remember thinking 'oh holy shit, are they for real?  There is no way this is going to work!'  And 'wait, the rover is HOW big?  It's the size of an SUV?  Really?'

I remember sitting there as it got really close to the 7 minutes of terror and hoping WISHING that it would really work.

I remember watching the control room full of NASA nerds, sitting on the edge of their seats, and each welling of cheers and celebration with each tiny indication that things were going as planned, and then the EXPLOSION of excitement and hugs and jumping, when it was finally confirmed that it had landed and pictures were coming through.

And I remember thinking 'I bet this is sort of what people felt back when they got to watch the Moon landing, back in 1969.'  That real-time, excitement, hope, and awe.

And now the man that took that first step onto the moon is dead.

The first man on the moon will never get to meet the first man on Mars.

I wonder if I will even live to see the day we finally put someone on Mars.

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