Monday, September 4, 2017

Photobucket Screws Over Its Users

Yeah, I'm sure this is old news by now but a month or so ago Photobucket decided that they would end their free third party image hosting and charge $400 a year for it.  Needless to say, a LOT of people and their websites were affected by this.  For me, it was just the loss of two web counters, fortunately.  For a whole lot more, the loss was their entire site(s).

So here I am looking for third party hosting sites for my two meager little counters, and you'll never guess where I finally landed.  First, I tried Imgur, and that just didn't feel right.  I looked into it and it seemed wrong.  Then I tried a dubious little site called VGY.ME.  Interesting, very simple, yet the url it gave me for my first image didn't work in the Boingdragon counter hosting site.  By the way, that's what I use for counters.  Boingdragon has been around for years, is very easy to use, and is free although they like a small donation.  So after trying the url from the other site and having it not show up in Boingdragon, I thought "Hmmm... let me try Blogger."  So I pasted the url of one of the pictures from one of my posts here, and what do you know, it works!  So now I have to try to actually create and replace my two counters.  One I use right here.  The other is on my art and framing website.  Now to upload my images and see if I can get this thing done and over with.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Flying Car/Driving Plane

There is certainly a percentage of our society who can
handle evolution on this scale, but not nearly enough.
It sure will be interesting, though.
          There must be something very comforting about going crazy. I imagine that there are far too few of us who haven't spent an exhausting amount of time keeping a straight face when the world just seems to want so very desperately for us to lose it.

           After all, life begins as a comedy of errors. When we crawl, we don't know why, we just do it. As if lying on one's back staring at the ceiling wasn't good enough. Then we walk, and through countless faceplants into the living room rug (or hardwood floor) we continue until we can make it through a day without the vertical suddenly becoming horizontal. These juxtapositions in life are inevitable, we've been taught that since the beginning. Which is what brings me to this offering from our friends at Terrafugia. In what's sure to change the way we look at technological innovation, they've completely scrapped the concept of making a "flying car". Instead, they're concentrating on developing a plane that can drive. 

           There's nothing wrong with this, after all, moving forward is what we do. I'm just concerned that we as a species will not embrace this and other concepts like it with the proper attitude, in the right frame of mind. This is where going crazy comes in. It's not about the people who design such contraptions, or the poor not-quite-earthbound geeks who will strap themselves in, grin like Cheshire cats and fling themselves skyward. It's about all those who will hear a loud noise in the back yard, rushing out to find half of one of these things tangled in their kids' swingset and the lower branches of that oak tree your Granddad planted, and the other half dangling from the power lines in the next neighborhood over.  Various limbs and visceral remnants assorted and strewn.  A small number of these novelties scattered about the planet is inconsequential, but we all know that isn't going to last much longer. It's at this point when going crazy is going to come in very handy, and those of us who are able to get a jump on it are going to be the ones who will handle it best. I think I'm going to go lay on my back and stare at the ceiling for a while.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Mike Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul

Season three is getting really great, isn't it?  I love the story arc of Mike, Hector and Gus.  Can't wait for every week's episode!  When I watched Breaking Bad, I was able to binge watch it.  Having to watch once a week is killing me!  Wondering how Vince is going to handle the fact that Kim and Chuck aren't in BB.  Well, just have to wait I guess.  More soon, I have a lot to sort through.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Negan Is Ruining The Walking Dead

Maybe it's just the producers sticking with the basic plot in the graphic novels, but Negan is likely to be the downfall of this series.  The people calling the shots have demonstrated a shocking lack of intuition as to how the audience will respond to their choices that it's really surprising.  First, after an entire season (6) anticipating the arrival of Negan, basically turning the whole season into one big cliffhanger, they imposed yet another huge cliffhanger upon the viewers by leaving his choice of victim(s) unresolved.  This really killed a large part of my interest in the show, and I guess my opinion of myself as fairly average demographically speaking proved to be true in the reactions I've seen in the time since then.

The show has been nothing but one big snore since season 7 began, and with the mid season break coming up, it's looking like the show could be headed for its demise sooner than a lot of us expected.  My own reasons for believing this are probably the same as a lot of people, considering that I'm in complete agreement with most of the criticism I'm seeing these days. 

When I first met Negan in the graphic novels, I thought "Okay, this villain just isn't believable."  I didn't really think much at that point about how this would translate into the tv show... maybe it was a defense mechanism, my subconscious wouldn't let me go there.  Now that it's actually out there, on the screen, it's really hitting me how unbelievable this character is.  Forget the major gaffe with the season 6 cliffhanger, the man just doesn't work.  I realize that in order to watch a show like this, the viewer must accept certain things which strain credulity, but this goes way beyond what's acceptable.  At least for me.  Yeah, we accept the concept of the re-animated dead.  I get that this, compared to a charismatic, murderous megalomaniac, should be the tougher sell, but it's not.  The tough sell is where the hell did Negan come from in the first place?  For the life of me, I can't come up with any scenario which explains where Negan came from and what he did in the pre-apocalypse world.  This guy could not possibly have held any sane position in the real world.  The only places a person with his qualities could have been are prison or a mental institution.  I suppose he could have already been a cult leader before the world went to hell, but come on, how likely is that?  Plus, the murderous quality couldn't have just developed overnight, or even in a year or two.  There's also nothing in what they've shown us that makes me believe that someone, somewhere along the way, wouldn't have taken him out by now.  He's a psychopath with a bat.  There's no CSI, no forensics, one of his own people could take him out at any time.  In my opinion there's no way this guy just created this persona as an adaptive response to an apocalypse situation, and no way he's ruled his people for this long without being taken out.  Believing in the dead walking is easy compared to believing Negan could even exist.  Even more frightening, if the producers make the poor decision to stick to the graphic novels, they're seriously going to lose nearly their entire audience.

Season 7 has been completely boring due to the fragmentation of the whole composition of the show.  It's all over the place with no discernible point, no element that ties it all together except, of course, for Negan himself.  They're spreading the show way too thin and it's only resulting in apathy and disinterest.  In seasons 4, 5, and 6, we spent so much time going down every stinking back road in existence and NEVER stop anywhere it would actually make sense to hole up for a while, until they met the Alexandrians.  I've been tired of the "dumbass" approach they've been taking for three years now.  The theme that the dead take a back seat to surviving humans is wearing so thin that it's like someone's "lucky underwear" which is held together by a few threads and would blow away like dandelion spores in a stiff enough wind.  The show has become nothing more than a soap opera with an occasional run-in with the dead just for color.  And seriously, they really need to stop having dozens of walkers just showing up in absolutely every section of woods they pass through.  The population density just doesn't cover it.  After two or three years, the walkers would either be so spread out that it would be totally rare to run into one, or they would gather into herds which would be equally rare. 

I really think it's time to give the audience some REALITY for a change.  I know this wouldn't last long term, but I think the viewers need a break from the soap opera and relentless barrage of villains making life difficult.  In season 2, I had my doubts about the wisdom they were exhibiting by not looking for a smart, safe, easily defensible location.  I went on Google Earth, found the quarry they were at in season 1, and in only about a minute I found the perfect location about thirty miles north-northeast.  It's called Lake Sidney Lanier, it has a large island in the middle served by one road.  This would be perfect, just blow the main bridge in and pass out the fishing gear.  Plus, all they'd need to do is use boats to reach the marina, then use trucks to go scavenging.  The island sports a large resort which would house everyone comfortably, and two golf courses which would make beautiful farmland.  I think that though this may seem laid back and even a little boring, I really believe they need to give the viewers something that actually makes sense before they lose all of us.  Spend some time at the lake, then maybe they have a problem where they have to leave.  Maybe then they could use their heads again and head for the Florida Keys.  Another beautiful and easily cleared out and defensible place to put down roots for a while.  Get creative from there, but I think that people watching really want things to make sense.  This involves two things:  First, get rid of Negan asap, and get these poor fools on a lake full of fish, or the ocean.  A completely unlimited source of food.  Give the whole "humanity is the big problem" thing a season off.  The viewers need a break.  Any more endless back roads and the series is done.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Set of ten NCIS portraits

Three so far, another three next weekend.