Stalin's New Army, Tom Delay, Passion, Mike's Reading and Writing

by Mike Shea on 15 March 2004

Fifty years or so after World War 2, Stalin's last army invades Western Europe!

I am an interface junky. A while back I tried a wacky controller for my PC called the Nostromo N50. I tried it for Everquest for a while but it just didn't have enough keys. They seemed to have solved this with the Nostromo N52. Here is a review of the Nostromo N52 from Toms Hardware. Although it is built for first person shooters, it may have a lot to offer Everquest players who need a ton of keyboard settings to do our regular job. My custom keyboard interface actually uses both sides of the keyboard for moving, looking, casting spells, targeting players and beasts, and all of the other commands. It works best with a Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard, my current favorite controller.

I hate Tom Delay. Not only was the asshole applauding our continued state of Terror but now he wants to force his own questionable and personal morality on us:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, told broadcasters and advertisers in Washington, D.C., that if they don't "clean up their act" the government will do it for them. "The entertainment industry - and I include the advertising industry in there - has collectively decided the bad press they suffer for producing trash is worth the (economic) benefits they enjoy for hyper-stimulating the imaginations of 7-year-olds with gratuitous sex and violence," DeLay said. "The patience of the American people is at the breaking point. If the entertainment industry cannot pull itself together and stay within some boundaries of decency, Congress will have no choice but to step in."

The government should stay out of our content. If you don't like something, don't see it. I didn't want to see a guy beat up for an hour and a half so I didn't see The Passion. I am shocked, angered, and outraged at the idiots on American Idol, MTV's Real World, and Who Wants To Marry a Millionare, so I don't watch them. If you don't like something, don't listen. If you don't want your poor unsupervised child to watch or listen, teach them not to. Your child's care is not my responsibility. Your inability to control your own lives doesn't mean I should be forced to by censoring my entertainment. Regulate your own lives, don't regulate mine.

What real damage did the showing of Janet Jackson's breast really do? How were any children who saw that really effected? What harm really came to them? Are they going to turn into Erik Harris or Ted Kaczynski? Our outrage and shock needs to be questioned a lot deeper than the incident itself. Why are we so afraid of nipples?

I doubt these will show up on the DVD, but the transcripts of Passion bloopers is quite a hoot.

Hey! I can see my house from here.

Reading and writing have become my new self-possessed passions. I want to read more and write more. Neither of them are easy for me to do. It is a lot easier to sit in front of a TV or wiggle a controller than it is to sit quietly and let a good story suck you in. No, I'm not quitting Everquest any time soon but I have a limited amount of free time - as does the rest of America - and I want to spend it wisely. Writing is something I like, although it never is easy to shut everything off and just write for a couple of hours, and reading helps one write better.

I finished reading Interview with a Vampire, Salem's Lot, Man in the Black Suit on MP3, and Best of the Realms and haven't figured out what my next read is going to be.

I have a stack of books on my counter that I'm trying to pour through. Some are probably better reads than others. I'm also going to start pouring through the Nebula award winners but fantasy is my subject of choice and I can't stand Robert Jordan's 600 page slogfests so my choices are limited. I still like the high fantasy of the Forgotten Realms books and have a couple of those on my reading pile.

My writing has shifted. I haven't updated in a while but my movie reviews never did receive a lot of traffic and there isn't much in the industry I feel like writing about. I blog but few read this site. My Tales of Loral are popular and I will continue to write there even though I feel like I'm on training wheels writing fan fiction in a well established world. I'm also writing an article a week for Mobhunter and another article for Moleskinerie when the mood strikes me which is rare now. How much more can I write about a snobby notebook?

I've started writing a couple of short stories set in a traditional D&D style fantasy world. I've written one contemporary story based on an exercise in King's On Writing called Passion. Its short and not good but I'm probably one of the few who bothered to do the exercise. Short stories are a good way for me to fire out some creativity without too much of a commitment. Its better than wiggling a controller.