And have a Happy New Year too.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congress is finalizing a deal that would raise the fuel economy standards for most U.S. cars and trucks for the first time in more than 30 years.On the surface, this proposal seems like a great idea, it is (unfortunately) another result of the knuckleheads in Washington trying to fix something they don't understand.
But the bill also contains several significant loopholes that would allow auto companies to get around the new limits.
The centerpiece of the bill is a requirement that would raise the corporate average fuel economy standard, known as CAFE, from 27.5 miles per gallon for cars and 22.2 mpg for trucks to 35 mpg fleet-wide by 2020.
The Senate passed the mandate in June, but the House has not yet voted. Congressional aides familiar with the negotiations said House leaders are hoping to work out final language this week and vote next week.
Large "work trucks" like the Dodge Ram, the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado would be exempt from the 35 mpg standard, according to sources involved in the negotiations.
Automakers will get credits to count against their fleet-wide average for selling "flex fuel" cars that are able to use alternative fuels or gasoline. Although U.S. manufacturers have built millions of flex fuel cars, ethanol is actually used in only about 1.5 percent of them, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Most continue to run on gasoline, the group found. Ethanol is not widely available to car owners.
Despite these loopholes, backers of the bill say it brings a significant change that will benefit consumers. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, chairman of the House Select Committee on Global Warming, said in an interview that the higher standard "will be a huge victory. It won't be something, however, that will stop us in the years ahead continuing to look at ways to continue upon that further."
House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, D-Michigan, who has been a key negotiator on the compromise bill and defender of auto industry interests, is pushing for some significant changes to the Senate version.
In an interview Wednesday with a Detroit television station, Dingell said he's supportive of the new standard, but stressed "we've got to do it in a way that doesn't destroy our industry or manufacturing."
Dingell would like to include a provision that would build in job protections for U.S. autoworkers, requiring U.S. auto companies to continue to manufacture a certain percentage of their vehicles in the United States.
Dingell also wants to create separate standards for car and truck fleets.
"We have to address the Senate bill to make sure we don't combine light trucks and automobiles in a way that will destroy them," he said.
According to a recent analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit environmental group, if the 35 mpg limit was implemented, it would translate into a savings for consumers of $25 billion at the pump in 2020.
The bill will also include a requirement to increase the production of biofuels like ethanol to 36 billion gallons by 2022. According to the Department of Energy, the United States produced 4 billion gallons of biofuels in 2005.
"Our goal is over the next 10 to 15 years [to] see a revolution that results in a dramatic increase in SUVs and automobiles that can use these new fuels and the number of Americans that can use them," Markey said, "so that we can back out more millions of barrels of oil that come from OPEC every day."Congressional Republicans point out the proposal will do nothing to lower gas prices in the short term.
Now don't get me wrong; I think that cutting down on fossil fuel consumption is a great idea. It will definitely cut down on pollution and, while I don't think it's as big a crisis as Al Gore does, global warming is an issue that needs to be addressed and corrected soon.
Unfortunately, while the proposal looks good on paper, It will do virtually nothing to limit greenhouse gas output. there are a number of issues. First and foremost is the fact that the standard will not affect the millions of cars already on the road. My '98 Honda won't suddenly be putting out 35mpg when this bill passes, it's not physically possible. New cars make up a small fraction of the cars on the road today, and while the standard will begin to have an affect down the road, nothing significant will happen for years (something the article points out).
Second, the fact that the automakers can get credits for creating flex-fuel and hybrid vehicles that will lower their individual fleets. I see major exploitation of this taking place; all an automaker has to do is engineer all of its cars to run on ethanol and they've effectively gotten around the ban.
Another problem is that ethanol is not the be-all end-all savior that Washington thinks it is. First off, it takes more energy to convert corn into ethanol than ethanol actually puts out, and the energy used for the conversion usually comes from a conventionally (fossil-fuel) powered source. Second, cars that run on biofuel don't get better mileage than cars that run on gasoline; some cars even perform worse. Third, it's expensive; costing nearly as much as standard diesel fuel (which due to new diesel standards is now more expensive than regular gas). Forth, biofuel production is cutting into the growth of grain that is normally used for food. Lastly, despite the plethora of flex-fuel vehicles, ethanol is not widely available; there are just over 1400 gas stations nationwide that supply ethanol. Most of these are located in the Midwest; Illinois has 500 stations and Minnesota has 300, but most states have less than 20 and nine have no ethanol fueling stations.
Finally, raising the fuel economy limits do nothing if we as Americans do not curb our consumption of gasoline. Even with gas over $3.00 a gallon, we're still buying gas-guzzling SUVs. Doing something like imposing a gas tax, even if it's just $.10 or $.15 a gallon, will drastically cut down on consumption.
On paper, this proposal looks like a brilliant idea that is sure to cut down on pollution, but unfortunately it's yet another example of our (not-so) good-hearted politicians in Washington trying to come up with a solution when they don't even understand the problem. If Congress really wants to make a difference, it should start educating itself on the issues before tackling them.
Posted by Raptor at 9:16 PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Okay, I'm pretty sure it's been well-established that I am a huge Star Wars fan, to the point of wanting my own customized lightsaber. You probably remember the big fuss I made when I discovered Random Sabers, an outfit that would custom-make unique lightsaber hilts for its customers. Unfortunately, by the time I'd finally saved up enough money to make an order and had a design for a saber in my head, the company announced it had a massive backlog of orders and would not be taking new work orders for at least two years. Needless to say, I was crushed.
Recently, however, I happened upon a breath of fresh air, a light at the end of the dark tunnel, a glimpse of hope in the midst of my despair... okay, maybe I'm being a bit over-dramatic. The point is, within the last week I have discovered not one, but two websites that specialize in customizing lightsabers.
The first outfit, which I discovered by means of a Popular Mechanics magazine, is called Advanced-Light Weaponry. This site is run by a sculptor who specializes in high-end one-of-a-kind sci-fi props. He makes anything from simple stunt sabers to sabers that field-strip down to the "working" components to ultra-realistic sabers with LED-powered blades and working sound boards. Since every saber is ultimately designed by the customer, styles can range from generic Star Wars-style hilts to steampunk sabers to lightsabers that look almost organic. The site also offers custom-made sci-fi guns, some of which can include custom holsters as well. Probably the only downside to ALW is the steep prices; since each saber is hand-made out of high-quality materials, prices start at around $200 for a stunt saber; LED blades and sound boards jack the price up to over $500. Still, if you can afford it, the end product is well worth what you pay for. Also, since each saber is hand-made, construction can take several weeks, and that's before you factor in the long waiting list the guy has for other projects; which can tack another month or two onto the turnaround time. But again, given the amount of effort put into these sabers, they're well worth the wait.
The second site, appropriately named The Custom Saber Shop, bills itself as having "all your lightsaber building needs in one convenient spot." (Just listen to the theme song) While this site doesn't sell completed sabers, it does sell everything, and I mean everything, you need to custom-build your own lightsaber. The site has developed what it calls "The Modular Hilt System" where all of the major components (Hilt, center grips, pommel) easily screw together, making for easy upgrades and customization. In addition, the site sells all the electronic equipment necessary for adding LED or Electro-Luminescent (EL) blades and sounds to the saber, along with the tools required for some assembly aspects (drilling and tapping holes for set screws, for example). While this does make everything much cheaper than a saber custom-made by someone else, it does require a bit of electrical know-how in order to get everything working properly. Fortunately, the site does provide tutorials on hot to properly assemble all of the different electronics, as well as a Modular Starter Kit for an EL saber. Another downside is since all of the components are made of machined aluminum, this restricts the possible hilt styles to generic Star Wars-style hilts, so unless you're a skilled sculptor or you know someone who is, you won't get any steampunk or organic-looking hilts. Still, this is a great place for anyone who wants a saber on a budget.
Links to both Advanced-Light Weaponry and The Custom Saber Shop can be found in the "Links" section on the blog's sidebar. Check 'em out, especially if you want you're own custom saber (like me!)
Posted by Raptor at 4:34 PM
Friday, November 16, 2007
Straight from CNN.com:
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Lindsay Lohan was a jailbird for just 84 minutes Thursday, becoming the latest celebrity to serve less than a day for a drunken driving offense.
Lohan, 21, turned herself in to the Los Angeles County women's detention center in Lynwood at 10:30 a.m. She was searched, fingerprinted and placed in a holding cell in the inmate reception area but got to keep her street clothes, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
"She was cooperative," he said.
Lohan was released at 11:54 a.m. Her original daylong sentence was reduced because she met criteria that took into account overcrowding at the lockup and the fact that her crime was nonviolent, Whitmore said.
Did the celebrity receive special treatment?
"Absolutely not. This is what we do for most everybody in this position," Whitmore said. In fact, 30 to 50 women are granted early releases from the facility every day, he added.
An e-mailed message seeking comment from Lohan's publicist was not immediately returned.
In May, the star of "Mean Girls" and "Freaky Friday" was arrested after crashing her Mercedes-Benz into a tree in Beverly Hills. She was arrested again in July after the mother of Lohan's former personal assistant called 911 to report that her car was being chased by an SUV. The chase ended in Santa Monica, where police arrested Lohan for being behind the wheel. In both cases, Lohan was found in possession of small amounts of cocaine.
In August, she reached a plea deal on misdemeanor drunken driving and cocaine charges stemming from the arrests. The judge sentenced her to four days in jail -- the mandatory minimum for a second drunken-driving offense -- but gave her credit for 24 hours already served. She elected to complete 10 days of community service instead of 48 hours behind bars.
The total deal called for her to enter treatment, spend a day in jail and perform community service.
"It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs," Lohan said in a statement released by her publicist in August.
Lohan had until January 18 to serve the jail time.
She spent two minutes longer in lockup than Nicole Richie did in August for a similar offense.
Richie was arrested December 11, 2006, after witnesses reported seeing her black Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle headed the wrong way on a freeway in Burbank. She pleaded guilty in July to a misdemeanor DUI charge in a deal with prosecutors that helped her avoid a potential year in jail because it was a second driving-under-the-influence conviction. She served 82 minutes in custody, during which she was booked but never actually placed in a cell.Richie's co-star on TV's "The Simple Life," Paris Hilton, served 23 days at the same jail this year after she was found guilty of driving on a suspended license while on probation for an alcohol-related reckless-driving case.
I'm so pissed that I don't even know where to begin. 84 minutes. That's less than an hour and a half! Had that been pretty much anyone else, they would be in a cell, in a prison-issue uniform, for at least two days while their court-appointed lawyer who can't even find his way to the restroom tries to defend them!
This, for me, is a perfect demonstration of the absolute nonpartisan nature of our justice system. Actually, no. This is the perfect example of exactly how perverted and corrupt our so-called Justice System really is! It is absolute proof that if you are rich and famous, than you truly are above the law. This is sickening. It's obvious that the system does not work, and it will not be changed because the people who should be fixing it are the very people that benefit from its corruption!
"Liberty and Justice for all." Yeah, right.
Posted by Raptor at 11:31 AM
Monday, November 12, 2007
To all those serving in our Armed Forces, thank you for defending our country, for keeping us, and the world, free from tyranny and oppression.
To all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, to those who have given their lives in pursuit of freedom, thank you. Thank you for sacrificing your todays and tomorrows for us, people who you never knew, yet were willing to give up everything for. You are gone, but you and the sacrifice you made for us are not, nor will they ever be, forgotten.
Freedom is never free. It is paid for with the blood and innocence of our youth, and what a frightful cost that is.
Posted by Raptor at 6:18 PM
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Sorry I haven't posted in a while. College is crazy. I've been busy as heck for the last couple of weeks.
Anyway, I've got a new story brewing that I'll hopefully get posted up on the blog. It's kind of a fantasy story, only with 21st-century technology thrown in. When I find time (Thanksgiving? Hopefully sooner) I'll start posting it. Hopefully, this will evolve either into a mega-novel or (more realistically) a series, as I have three separate-yet-connected plot lines figured out.
BTW, new Mythbusters episodes are on Discovery Channel. Wednesday nights at 9:00 if you're interested.
Posted by Raptor at 9:30 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The world's fastest car vs. the worlds most advanced jet fighter in a winner-take-all drag race. Cool.
I'm not gonna tell you how it ends, so you'll just have to watch for yourself. And if you think you've already figured out the winner, the Bugatti goes from a dead stop to 60mph in less than 2.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 254mph. The Eurofighter might be faster, but it takes longer to get up to speed. Plus, the Veyron is going horizontally, while the Typhoon's going straight up...
Posted by Raptor at 8:06 PM
Friday, October 12, 2007
I don't even know where to begin with this.
Firstly, it's called the Nobel Peace Prize. Now you might call me an idiot, but will someone please explain to me what global warming has to do with furthering world peace?
Furthermore, the Nobel Peace Prize is supposed to be awarded those who have dedicated their lives to a particular cause and worked at it for decades. Al Gore has only spent four years promoting the dangers of global warming. By the way, his "crusade" started right after his political career took a nosedive. That's a little too coincidental (or convenient), don't you think?
What gets me even more is that the man is promoting bad science. Now I'm not saying that global warming isn't happening, and I'm not saying it's not a problem. But what I am saying is that Gore is making outrageous claims with little, and often times zero, evidence to back them up. Ask any scientist, any real scientist, and they'll tell you that the global warming "crisis" isn't a tenth as bad as Gore claims. The man has used false data and scare tactics to get our government to institute environmental policies. If you want an example of what happens to policies that our based on bad information, allow me to kindly direct your attention to Iraq.
Even worse, Gore is deluded enough into believing, and getting us to believe, that the United States alone can solve this so-called crisis. What he either fails to realize, or else just doesn't care about, is that the USA isn't alone in this problem. Brazil is cutting down the rainforests that absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Latin and South America still produce cars that run on leaded gasoline. China has no environmental protection laws whatsoever. Even if the environmental crisis was as bad as Gore has made it out to be, the US acting alone wouldn't solve anything. Furthermore, mankind alone is not responsible for this climate change; Greenland is a frozen glacier now, but when the Norse colonized it 1000 years ago it was warm enough to farm on.
I don't like Gore. You've probably figured that out by now. It's not because of his political ideologies, although it's true that he's far-left Democrat and I'm a moderate Republican. What I cannot stand about the man is that he is a liar and a hypocrite. Plain and simple. He claims to have invented the Internet in 1991; the Internet is an evolution from various systems developed by the military since the 1960s and entered its current form in the early 1980s. He denounces the automotive industry and says that everyone should be "carbon neutral," walking, biking, and driving hybrids everywhere, while he himself uses far more energy than the average American is chauffeured around in an armored limousine and a private jet, both of which make him far more carbon negative that the majority of Americans. Leaders should lead by example, something which Al Gore has proven himself unwilling to do. "Do as I say, not as I do," may fly with some, but not with me. If Gore ever wants my respect, he should start actually listening to the speeches he's making about the environment and live life according the rules he sets for others. Until the, to paraphrase Charleton Heston, he can have my Mustang when he pries the steering wheel from my cold, dead fingers.
The fact that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a man such as Al Gore is sickening. This so-called award wasn't about peace, it was about politics. There were candidates who were far more deserving of this award, candidates who had worked for causes that would further actual peace. Instead, bad science, political rhetoric, and scare tactics came out ahead. Alfred Nobel must be rolling in his grave at this insult to his legacy. And I can't blame him; I used to think that the Nobel Peace Prize stood for something important. Looks like I was wrong.
Posted by Raptor at 2:44 PM
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Anyone remember, my old movie review blog? If you don't, don't worry about it. It's been a very long time...
Anyway, I've updated it at long last. The lucky winner this time is, what else, Star Wars.
Since I don't think I'll be very busy this week, I plan on adding a few more reviews to the blog, specifically Red Dawn and The Adventures of Robin Hood, along with the video game Heatseeker. There might be a few more (and definitely one that no one will expect!) so check back soon to see.
Posted by Raptor at 10:12 PM
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Quasimodo's got something against me. Not sure what, exactly, or why, but Jeff says he does, so I guess I gotta believe him. Don't think this will become a habit or anything like that.
I'm kinda psyched because the paintball club (yes, we have a paintball club at my college) is going skirmishing this weekend. This'll be the first time I've gone skirmishing in about a year and a half, and the very first time I've gone outdoors. Since this'll be outside in the woods, hopefully I'll do better than I did last time. Take it from me, US Marine Corps small-arms close-quarter-combat tactics, when applied to speedball, are good for one thing and one thing only; getting your team quickly and utterly slaughtered. They do work outdoors, however, so I'm betting that I'll do a decent job this time (i.e. at least get a kill). I'll let you know how that goes.
Posted by Raptor at 9:54 PM
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I'm setting up a new blog. Yes, you think, what else is new. But this blog really is different.
I've done my best to remain apolitical on this blog. With the exception of one or two semi-heated debates on gun control, I've succeeded. But there are some things that I just can't remain silent about. Not anymore. But at the same time, I did not want to ruin the character of this blog by turning it into a political battlefield. So, and yes I'm a moron for not doing this sooner, I've decided to set up a separate blog which is dedicated to my views on both politics and current events.
The new blog is called Raptor's Reactions and can be found here.
Posted by Raptor at 10:47 PM
Fresh from the Associated Press:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit Wednesday against CBS, alleging that the network made him a "scapegoat" for a discredited story about President Bush's National Guard service.Come on, Dan! You violated Rule Number One of journalism; always double check your sources. You didn't check. That's a firing offense no matter where you are on the journalism food chain. You screwed up big time, you paid the price. End of story. Let it go.
The 75-year-old Rather, whose final months were clouded by controversy over the report, says the complaint stems from "CBS' intentional mishandling" of the aftermath of the story.
The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, also names CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves, Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone, and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward.
Rather is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.
CBS spokesman Dana McClintock said: "These complains are old news, and this lawsuit is without merit."
You know, Dan, I actually respected you for taking your dismissal from CBS with dignity. To me, at least, you seemed to understand that you had made a grave error and had only made things worse by trying to cover your mistake. You knew you were in the wrong, so you walked out with your head held high. Guess what, Dan. My respect for you just disappeared. To me, you're now just another immature slimeball who can't/won't accept responsibility for his actions and is trying to get revenge on the people who rightly terminated his employment and make a quick buck in the process.
Grow up, Mr. Rather. Face the music like a man. Whatever grudge you have with CBS, let it go. It's unbecoming. And don't give me the old "I screw up for the first time in 25 years on the job and they let me go just like that." Welcome to the real world, Danny. That's what happens out here. You make a major screw-up, you get fired. That's how life works. Always has, always will.
I'm looking forward towards watching The O'Rielly Factor tonight. I can't wait to see what Bill has to say about your suit, Dan. I'm sure it will be very entertaining.
Posted by Raptor at 7:35 PM
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Ok, this this just a random blurb from a story idea that struck me tonight (literally 45 minutes ago, probably less). Let me know what you think:
The first surprise came when the door to the cottage opened. They had been expecting a peasant girl; the two figures walked into the darkened structure were too tall and muscular to be female. No matter; they’d take the unexpected visitors prisoner regardless.
The second surprise came when they leapt out from the shadows onto their two unsuspecting victims. They expected the capture to be quick and effortless, but instead of quickly succumbing to the ambush, their preys' bodies seemingly disappeared is a blur of motion. The attackers found the tables suddenly turned against them as their “victims” began to lash out violently at them. Bones snapped and joints crunched as a flurry of fists, feet, elbows, and knees sent the attackers flying from the epicenter of the brawl. Some lay where they fell, some unconscious, a few dead, but those who retained their lives and senses dove back into the fight, more terrified of their mistress’ anger at their failure than of the sure slaughter they faced.
In the room’s far corner, the attackers’ mistress stood silently, her eyes wide in shock and horror. No, this could not be happening! She had planned for every contingency! But not this one. She had speculated that these two men might spring her trap and determined that her minions would easily defeat them. But she had reasoned that a prince and his teacher would spring her trap; the two men who were sweeping her minions aside like dust were warriors that had been training for a situation such as this for their entire lives. Master and apprentice, between them they had over fifty years of practice in this most brutal and effective martial art. Alone, they were formidable. Together, they were unstoppable.
At that moment, Gavin found his boot knives, tossed one of the blades to Phillip, and the slaughter became a bloodbath.
Posted by Raptor at 10:36 PM
Sunday, September 9, 2007
At long last, I've determined exactly what I need to make the perfect Jedi Knight costume:
- Karate Uniform ($24.95)
- Jedi Robe ($49.99)
- "Master"-style Jedi Belt ($80.00)
- Custom Lightsaber w/ belt clip ($65.00 minimum)
Only downside is that of price; this getup's gonna cost me big. Even without the boots, it's costing me $219.94. Before Shipping & Handling. And that's assuming I get a relatively cheap lightsaber. Darn.
Yes, I admit it. I am a huge nerd.
Okay, now that that randomness is out of the way...
I've got a new story that's going to get posted soon. It's tentatively titled The Eliminator, but that's probably going to change. Look for it soon.
The Eliminator is also what I'm calling my new profile pic: it's a 1969 Mercury Cougar with the top-end Eliminator performance package. And the one in the picture is one of only two Cougar Eliminators equipped with the rare Boss 429 V8 engine. Schveet, ja?
Posted by Raptor at 8:32 PM
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Well, sort of.
I haven't posted recently for a couple of reasons:
- First I was kinda (okay, really) bummed that no one read my blog and didn't feel like wasting the effort writing something no one would bother to read.
- Then I went on a camping trip in the Adirondacks for a week. Real primitive; no flush toilets (I'll never take indoor plumbing for granted again!), much less an internet connection.
- College started (again) last week and I've been busy as H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks.
Metroid Prime 3 is out already?! Wow! See, this is what happens when I let my Nintendo Power subscription lapse. I'm going to renew as soon as my credit card statement comes (I think I'm pretty close to maxing out, courtesy of all the $$$$ I had to spend on collegen books) I wonder what other game releases I've missed. I bought Heatseeker about a month ago, but still...
And I still haven't seen Bourne Ultimatum either. Man, I'm slipping. DON'T TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS!!!!!!!!!! I REALLY WANT TO SEE IT! Definitely this weekend...
So, yeah, I've got another idea for a story I'm thinking about posting on the blog. Actually, I've got a couple. And don't worry, these won't get taken down 'cause I really don't care if anyone steals them. Well, no, actually I would care, but not a whole lot. I wouldn't lose sleep over it or anything like that.
Also, check out the new poll. And actually vote this time, please.
Posted by Raptor at 9:48 PM
Monday, August 13, 2007
So, yeah, I was sitting on my sofa this afternoon, reading a book, when I hear a helicopter flying over the house. No big; planes and news choppers fly over us all the time. So then my mom, who's out on the back deck yells that I should come outside and see this. So I run outside just in time to see a CH-53E Super Stallion fly over our house. Mom goes back inside, but I think I hear another one, so being the military aviation nut that I am, I stay outside on the deck. Sure enough, about fifteen seconds later, another Super Stallion flies right over me. Cool, yes?
Okay, I know you're all thinking 'Why should I care?' Well, it's a very warm and sunny day today, our deck is made out of a composite plastic-wood material (please don't ask; I don't know) that does a swell job of retaining heat, and everything happened so fast that I ran out onto said deck with bare feet, where I stood in the hot sun for a good minute while the helicopters flew overhead. So to make a long story short, I toasted the bottoms of my feet. Ouch! Think I burned 'em, but it's not so bad now. Still kinda hurts to walk, though...
You don't care, do you?
Oh, yeah. Check out my new poll -->
Posted by Raptor at 1:56 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2007
That's what my blog's become; a complete and total failure.
My last two polls have, between them, garnered exactly one vote (not counting mine: I voted on the second poll just so it wouldn't go vote-less), the only one who leaves comments is my brother, bottom line, no one cares.
That was the sound of my blog attempting to blow its brains out with a 12-Gauge. Fortunately, nor maybe not-so-much, it's a very lousy shot, not having hands and all. But who knows, next time it might get lucky...
I leave you with this random videos, courtesy of The Muppets.
Posted by Raptor at 9:26 PM
Sunday, August 5, 2007
I decided to submit a random comment to ThinkGeek:
Darth Maul Double Bladed Lightsaber: $180
USB Laser-Guided Missile Launcher: $50
Sonic Grenades: $13 each
Maverick Dart Guns: $26 for two
Metal Desk Catapult: $35
Airsoft Submachine Gun: $20
R/C Shooting Battle Tank: $40
The look on that annoying co-worker's face when he realized he's about to get seriously pwned: Priceless
There are some things money can't buy. For total workplace domination, there's ThinkGeek.
Look for it and let me know what you think.
Posted by Raptor at 4:47 PM
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wow. One whole week and not one vote on my poll. That's disheartening.
So, with my customary stubbornness, I'm going to try again, and this time it's going to be simpler: Who's cooler, Ninjas or Pirates?
Wait, too simple. Howzabout this: Captain Kirk vs. Captain Solo?
Or I could go back to my original one, Who'd be a better Robin Hood?
But that didn't get any votes. How about; Who'd Make a Better David Pierce?
Forget it, I pulled those stories down and I doubt you'd remember the character enough to make educated votes.
You know what? It's all theoretical anyway right now: the Blogger Polls are down.
Never mind, they're up.
So, yeah, after all that, I'm stickin' with Ninjas vs. Pirates. Though once my job end next week (hallelujah!) and the David Pierce stories come back up, I think I'll put the Casting David Pierce poll up.
So yeah, that's it for now. Check out this great pic from I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?:
Kudos to nerdjedi for findin' it for me.
Posted by Raptor at 8:02 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Okay, More Than a Job and Codename: White Knight are temporarily unavailable. No, I haven't taken them down, they're just hidden for the time being. I know, I promised that I'd leave them up, but some things have come up.
Firstly, I've had another attack of the paranoia and don't want anybody stealing my idea. But I've restrained myself; like I said, they're not removed, just hidden away.
Second, and more importantly, my job is really taking a lot out of me. I know, it sounds like a lame excuse, but believe me, now I know why it's called the corporate grind. I can't go into details since I signed a confidentiality agreement when I started, but suffice to say that we have a major product release on our hands, so things are really crazy right now, and the fact that this is the biggest four weeks for vacation of the year isn't helping.
Third, I still don't have MS Office on my computer, so I can't really edit Chapters 3 and 4 without them. Hopefully this will resolve itself in a week or so.
Lastly, I've got a couple new ideas floating around in my head that I've been toying with, and that's also been taking time away from White Knight. Those I'll post, 'cause I really don't care if someone copies them.
I know I promised to keep MTaJ and White Knight up for good, and I'm very sorry for breaking that promise. Hopefully my situation will resolve itself quickly and I'll be able to work on White Knight consistently, in which case I'll put the stories back up.
Also, I've got a new poll up on the sidebar. Check it out, and be sure to vote!
Posted by Raptor at 9:48 PM
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Anyone remember my movie review blog from a while back? No? No one? Well, that's okay, I forgive you. However, your faulty memories are no longer significant, because it is back and up and running! It's called Raptor's Reviews, and you can find it over in the "Links" section on the sidebar. Currently there are only two reviews posted, but more will follow soon!
However, that pales in significance to what I'm about to tell you next:
*insert drum roll here*
CODENAME: WHITE KNIGHT IS UP AGAIN!!!!!!!!
I only have Chapters 1 and 2 up right now as I am in the process of revising Chapter 3 and completely rewriting Chapter 4. But fear not, for they shall be posted soon, on that I give you my word of honor.
Okay, enough chit-chat. Check out the new additions and PLEASE let me know what you think!
Oh, and don't forget my previous posts.
Posted by Raptor at 7:51 PM
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
- Supercharged 5.4-liter V8
- 575ft/lbs torque
- 0mph-60mph in 3.6 sec
- 1/4 mile in 11.6 sec @125 mph
- Top Speed: 210mph
- Skidpad: 0.97g
You can stop drooling on your keyboard now.
Seriously, though, you gotta admit that this is one incredible car. I'd definitely like to own one of these babies one day. Either this or a Bentley Continental GT. Or an Aston Martin DBS. Heck with it; I'll just get rich enough to buy all three!
Posted by Raptor at 6:09 PM
Monday, July 16, 2007
Still no Word, which means still no stories. Curse you, Bill Gates! CURSE YOU!!!!!!
Okay, now that that's out of my system...
nerdjedi showed me a link to this really funny website, I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?
There's really no way to describe or explain the site; you just have to check it out for yourself.
Posted by Raptor at 6:11 PM
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Good news! My computer woes are finally over! I've purchased a brand-new HP Pavilion Notebook computer. No longer am I dependent on an out-of-date hand-me-down or be forced to share a Dell that has an affinity for frying hard drives! At last, all is right with the word!
Well, almost all is right.
My computer didn't come with Office. That means I don't have MS Word, which means I can't keep writing my stories or upload what I have to Blogger. Now I have to pay $100-plus (probably more like $200) to get software that any computer should come with in the first place. I hate Microsoft.
And now, on a different note...
I was browsing around YouTube today and came across a bunch of old WWII-era Superman cartoons. These were shown in movie theaters before the feature presentation along with the newsreels. A few years back, Nickelodeon aired these during their Nicktoons Show along with Bugs Bunny and that gang. I used to go over to my grandmother's house every Saturday afternoon to watch (she had cable, we didn't) and hope against hope that they'd show a Superman cartoon.
This one is one of my favorites. It's called Billion Dollar Limited.
I do have one question, though. How is it that we have sophisticated computer animation that can do anything and everything, but this 60+ year-old cartoon looks worlds better than anything that's been made recently?
Posted by Raptor at 5:45 PM
Saturday, July 7, 2007
This is a commercial for Xbox 360 Live that was banned for reasons I cannot discern:
I know it's very "violent," but really, there's zero blood and no one really dies. What the censors found objectionable to this, even after multiple viewings, still eludes me.
I still haven't gotten a new computer, but this will change soon; Micro Center is having major sales this month.
Also, Chapters 3 and 4 of Codename: White Knight have been lost, probably for good, so when I get a new computer, I'll have to rewrite them. If anyone remembers the beginning of Chapter 3, it's most likely going to be changed.
Good news: I was able to get the computer back up and running long enough to pull some files onto a jump drive, including Codename:White Knight and the movie reviews I wrote a while back.
We're 99% sure that the computer, a Dell Dimension 3000-Series, fired its hard drive. This isn't an isolated incident: for a long time, my high school used the same type of computer in the library, and they were always having problems. It got so bad that they began upgrading to new models (again Dells) midway through my junior year, and those began having issues by the time I graduated. My advice to anyone in the market for a new computer: stay away from Dell.
Posted by Raptor at 6:19 PM
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Okay, I'm making this quick: I'm having some major computer issues at the moment and cannot access Codename: White Knight, so it will be a while before I begin posting it. Sorry for the unexpected delay.
I have got to get myself a computer! It's even trumped my airsoft MP5 for top priority!
Posted by Raptor at 4:33 PM
Friday, June 22, 2007
As I promised before, I am re-posting my David Pierce stories. I know I said that I'd bring them back before only to get rid of them again, but this time it's permanent; they're not going anywhere.
Right now, only More Than a Job is up. I'm going to be out of town for the next week and (obviously) won't have access to my computer, but I will post the first three chapters of Codename: White Knight when I return. The rest of the story will follow shortly.
You'll note that More Than a Job's subtitle says that the book is the first of a trilogy. I've got the storyline for the third book (working title right now is either The Defender or Guardian and Angel. I know, they both stink.) Unfortunately, I can't give away any aspects of the plot without ruining the entire story and giving away major spoilers for Codename: White Knight.
I gotta run now; it's very late and I gotta get up very early. Enjoy More than a Job and PLEASE R&R!!!
Posted by Raptor at 10:35 PM
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Okay, I know I've been real finicky about this, but this time its for real:
I'm brinig back More Than a Job and Codename: White Knight.
I've regretted taking MTaJ off the blog and I've got the spark for White Knight back, plus I really wanna write the third one (yes, it's a trilogy. Sorry).
Plus, I've got another idea, sort of a series-finalie of sorts for The Hitman Chronicles that I might weave into the David Pierce storyverse. Don't worry, this isn't the end of TCH, it's just a pre-emptive ending that will take place five-six years down the road. Kinda like The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, only without the Sponge and the Hoff. There will, however, be several massive hand-cannons present, so action fans won't be disappointed.
The working title for this new idea is 10mm, but this will probably be changed in the very near future. I'll keep you posted.
Okay, now it's really late and I have to go into work early tomorrow (I envy you and your summer vacation) so I'm gonna go.
Posted by Raptor at 11:00 PM
Sunday, June 10, 2007
The following are excerpts from real-life conversations (I think) between technologically-incompetent people and the folks at tech support:
Tech Support: What kind of computer do you have?
Female Customer: A white one...
Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my diskette out.
Tech Support: have you tried pushing the button?
Customer: Yes, it's really stuck.
Tech Support: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note.
Customer: No, wiat a minute... I hadn't inserted it yet... it's still on my desk... sorry...
Tech Support: Click on the 'My Computer' icon on the left of the screen.
Customer: Your left or my left?
Tech Support: Good dat. How may I help you?
Male Customer: Hello... I can't print.
Tech Support: WOuld you lick on 'Start' for me and...
Male Customer: Listen pal -- don't start getting technical on me! I'm not Bill Gates.
Customer: Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha. I can't print. Every time I try, it says 'Can't find printer'. I've even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can't find it...
Customer: I have a problem printing in red...
Tech support: Do you have a color printer?
Customer: Aaaah........................thank you.
Tech Support: What's on your monitor now, ma'am?
Customer: A teddy bear my boyfreind bought for me at the 7-11.
Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.
Tech Support: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer?
Customer: No. I can't get behind the computer.
Tech Support: Pick up the keyboard and walk 10 paces back.
Tech Support: Did the keyboard come with you?
Tech Support: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard?
Customer: Yes, there's another one here. Ah... that one does work...
Tech Support: Your passowrd is the small letter "a" as in apple, a capital letter "V" as in Victor, the number 7...
Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters?
Customer: I can't get on the Internet.
Tech Support: Are you sure you used the right password?
Customer: Yes, I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.
Tech Support: Can you tell me what the passoword was?
Customer: Five stars.
Tech Support: What anti-virus program do you use?
Tech Support: That's not an anti-virus program.
Customer: Oh, sorry, ... Internet Explorer.
Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it dissapears.
Tech Support: How may I help you?
Customer: I'm writing my first e-mail.
Tech Support: Okay, and what seems to be the problem?
Customer: Well, I have the letter 'a' in the address, but how do I get the circle around it?
A female customer called the Canon Help Desk with a problem with her printer:
Tech Support: Are you running it under Windows?
Customer: No, my desk is next to the door, but that's a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his printer is working fine.
Tech Support: Okay, Bob, let's press the 'control' and 'escape' keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now typle the letter 'P' to bring up the Program Manager.
Customer: I don't have a 'P'.
Tech Support: On your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: What do you mean?
Tech Support: 'P'... on your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT!
Posted by Raptor at 1:17 PM
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Saturday, June 2, 2007
I have an important announcement: Codename: White Knight, Ghosts of Sherwood, and my list of movie reviews have all been removed from the blog.
This was not a random, arbitrary decision: no one gave a darn about the reviews, and I've lost the creative spark for both Ghosts and White Knight. The Hitman Chronicles remain posted, but I have deleted the latest update, which was only half-completed and not yet posted anyway.
However, this major removal does not mean the end of posting stories on my blog. Should the inspiration return for any of the removed stories, I'll put them back up, but only after they are either finished or near completion. I also have several new ideas that I feel like playing around with and might eventually post. Finally, I plan on periodically making new additions to The Hitman Chronicles, and actually have a very vague idea for one right now, but it won't go up for a while.
I'm also thinking about re-posting More Than a Job, seeing as how it's already finished and right now it's just sitting around doing nothing (kinda like me before the internship). Let me know if you think that's a good idea.
Posted by Raptor at 8:17 PM
Thursday, May 31, 2007
I just realized that it's been over a month, since I've updated any of my stories. Wow. I'm really slipping.
This is not going to stand. When I'm not at work, I'm going to make a sincere effort to begin writing again. Honestly, I've been pretty bored at home for the last few weeks, and now I know why.
Anyway, here's the status of all of my works:
- More Than a Job: Complete, but not posted. May be re-posted here or on either FanFiction.Net or FictionPress.com
- Codename: White Knight: Introduction and Chapters 1-3 posted, Chapter 4 partly complete. This will likely be my primary effort
- Ghosts of Sherwood: Intro and Chapter 1 posted, Chapters 2-5 written but in need of major revisions. Part of Chapter 2 needs to be rewritten, it might be a while before it goes up.
- The Hitman Chronicles: I stopped writing in the middle of a new scene, so I've lost the spark. I can't decide whether to can it and start over or try and finish it.
- Movie Reviews: I have not seen anything good lately (need to go see Pirates or Spidey 3) but I might post a review of Red Dawn or The Adventures of Robin Hood.
- How To Be a Perfect Evil Overlord: Canned. No one cared, so no point in keeping it up. I do have it saved to my hard drive, just in case.
Okay, I think that's everything. I'm planning on getting Chapter 4 of White Knight up bu Monday, with Chapter 2 of Ghosts to follow shortly thereafter if I can get it rewritten to my liking. Hopefully, things will work out and I'll be able to get everything going again.
Posted by Raptor at 9:50 PM
Monday, May 28, 2007
To all those are serving and have served in our Armed Forces, thank you for defending our freedom.
And to all those who have given their lives for our country, thank you for sacrificing your today for our tommorrow. You are gone, but you shall never be forgotten.
Freedom is not, nor shall it ever be, free.
Johnson: Would you look at how fast they put up the names of all our guys who got killed?
The Seargent: That's a World War One memorial.
Johnson: But the names are the same.
The Seargent: They always are.
--from The Big Red One (1980)
Posted by Raptor at 11:53 AM
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Okay, first of all, I'd like to inform you that my purchasing of that airsoft Desert Eagle is definitely not going to happen. While Green Gas is now becoming more widely available thanks to the introduction of DOT-approved containers, the gas has now shot up to around $15-$20 plus hazmat shipping for an 800mL can (vs the ~$10 + normal s&h for a non-DOT 1000mL can), so even with my well-paying job, owning a gas-powered airsoft gun of any kind is no longer economically feasible for me. I think I might just stick with the VSR-10 that caught my eye a while back.
Okay... that upload didn't work quite the way I planned. Just pretend that black stuff isn't there And I know it's a crappy design, but it's the best I could do in PowerPoint. If I ever get access to a better drawing program, or when I get some design renderings from Random Sabers, I'll put them up so you get a better idea of what I really have in mind for this thing. Oh, by the way, it's gonna have a blue blade.
Lastly, I'm thinking about opening an account on either FanFiction.Net, FictionPress.Com, or maybe both. No offense to you guys, but it seems to me like no one ever reads any of my stories. Honestly, what really motivates me to continue writing them is reader feedback, of which I get precious little (which is why Ghosts of Sherwood only has one chapter). I really want my stories to be out in the open where anyone can read them, not cloistered in a small set of blogs that few know of, and even fewer care about. I'll keep you posted about this.
That's all I have for now. Ta ta! (If I ever say that again, shoot me.)
Posted by Raptor at 6:34 PM
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Forget the Aston Martin, check this thing out:
This bad boy is the Ibis Tek CobraViper. Its an armor-plated SUV with a retractable, gyroscopically-stabilized, remote-controlled .50-caliber machine gun. The truck's armor will stop a bullet fired from an AK-47 assault rifle or an M-60 machine gun, and the big M2 .50-cal mounted on the turret will take out just about anything. And if that's not enough you can mount a 12.7mm chain gun, a 20mm or 30mm autocannon, or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. Dude. James Bond has got to drive, or at least go up against, one of these bad boys.
Now, ordinarily, this is the part where I'd say that I have got to get me one of those things, but even I'm not crazy enough to believe that civilians can buy one. Although it would be kinda cool. Why sit behind a rush-hour traffic jam when you can simply blow it (and everything else in sight) sky high?
Actually, this thing kinda reminds me of one of nerdjedi's first pictures. Anyone remember The VW Beetle of Doom? Probably the only Volkswagen product (except the Touarge, which was actually designed by Porsche [their version's called the Cayenne]) I'd ever buy. Although I'm not sure the Russian ZSU-23-2 23mm autocannons can be legally imported into the US...
Posted by Raptor at 7:59 PM
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Okay, yes, I admit it: I have no life.
These are two Star Wars Music Videos I found on YouTube that use the Mortal Kombat song.
The first one uses footage from the prequels and the second one is based off of the animated Clone Wars Miniseries.
Here they are:
Also, since I've finally started my internship, blog posts, particuarly new chapters for the stories, will probably be few and far between. That's actually a definite for the new chapters.
Jeff, nerdjedi won't tell me about the marshmellow roaster incident. What'd you do?
Posted by Raptor at 9:51 PM
Sunday, May 13, 2007
This here's a video I found on YouTube. It was made (not by me) as a tribute to Star Wars. Very well done, I think.
This next one is a recut ending of Return of the Jedi. Again, I think it's very good.
Let me know what you think!
Also (and I know no one really cares, but I'm gonna tell you anyway) I'm rethinking the purchase of that Desert Eagle airsoft pistol. No, this isn't one of those I-found-another-gun-that-I-like-so-I'm-gonna-buy-it-instead moments. The Desert Eagle, like many airsoft pistols, is powered by a type of compressed gas known as Green Gas (its real name is actually a long chemical formula that no one can pronounce), and unfortunately I've learned that the DOT has recently passed several restrictions on the shipping and transportation of compressed gases, including Green Gas. As a result, Green Gas prices have shot through the roof since it now costs much, much more to ship. Because of this, buying my Desert Eagle (which is something of a gas-hog) may no longer be economically feasible.
Posted by Raptor at 2:49 PM
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
Firstly, many thanks to Jeff for letting me know where to find episodes of the new Robin Hood series. Incidentally, Jeff, you wouldn't happen to have the URL for the first episode lying around, would you? I suspect that the series will get released on DVD fairly soon, but then again, I could be wrong; BBC only released the first season of the Robin of Sherwood series they made back in the 80's on Region 1 DVD a few months ago.
Secondly, it's going to be a while before Chapter 2 of Ghosts of Sherwood gets posted. While most of the story is in need of some minor revising, a good chunk of Chapter 2, possibly the entire beginning of the chapter, will need to be completely rewritten. Basically, what I did was tried to lighten up a(nother) rather dark chapter with some comedy, but upon rereading it, I find that it really isn't appropriate and takes away from the rest of the chapter, but I have not yet figured out a way to change and have it smoothly transition into the rest of the chapter. Hopefully I will have that done soon.
Also, has anyone actually read Ghosts of Sherwood yet? If you have, please comment and let me know what you think. If you have not, well, read it already!
Lastly, I still have not recieved any word from nerdjedi regarding my challenge. I wonder, is he to afraid to respond?
Posted by Raptor at 3:49 PM
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
I am placing Codename: Whike Knight and The Hitman Chronicles on long-term hiatus. Quite frankly, I've grown tired of writing nothing but "shoot 'em ups" as my family has taken to calling them. So I'm giving them a break and veering off into a new direction with a brand new story, Ghosts of Sherwood.
I know you're probably thinking that this is just another product of my recent obsession with Robin Hood. I'm sorry to say, however, that you're sorely mistaken. Ghosts of Sherwood is/was actually the product of a dream I had several years ago. I planned most of the story out in intricate detail and began writing it, only to stop when school started up that fall. Once I started blogging, I planned to post it up eventually, but when my computer died and the work I'd done thus far were lost (or so I believed) and the copybook that I'd written all of my notes in disappeared, the project went on the shelf for good. Fortunately, I've managed to recover both the files from my computer as well as the missing copybook, so now I can resume writing the story!
The first few chapters have already been completed and Chapter 1 is actually up at this point. Look for Chapters 2-5 to follow shortly, though they are all in need of serious revision, so that's why they're not all going up at once.
On a different note, still no response from nerdjedi on my call-out. I wonder if he plans on responding, or if he's just one of those people that goes on talk shows and just dodges all of the questions?
Well, that's all for now. Be sure to check out Ghosts of Sherwood and let me know what you think!
PS. Does anyone know if there are any episodes of the new BBC Robin Hood series up on YouTube, and if so , where I can find them?
Posted by Raptor at 4:14 PM
Monday, April 30, 2007
First, I've started writing movie reviews. I wanted to review the two Robin Hood movies I saw in my last post, but due to the post's already large size, I decided to seperated them in their own blog, which can be found here. Currently, the only reviews posted are for the above-mentioned Robin Hood films, but I plan on posting more, both classic films and new releases, in the near future.
Second, I managed to recover some files from my busted computer, including my own Robin Hood story, entitled Ghosts of Sherwood. I plan on continuing itrewriting it very soon, and may even post it up on the blog.
Third, I recently discovered, to my shock and horror, that nerdjedi and I hold very different opinions on Robin Hood. While I view the outlaw as a hero, nerdjedi describes him as a criminal and a terrorist. In an effort to better understand his point of view, I ask him here and now to send to me, in writing, the facts and reasons behind his opinion which I shall then post, unedited and uncensored, here on my blog.
Fourth, yes, I realise I have become obsessed with Robin Hood. Staying up all night watching a TCM Movie Marathon on the man will do that.
Posted by Raptor at 3:49 PM
Sunday, April 29, 2007
LONG POST WARNING!!!
You'd have thought I'd have learned my lesson by now: staying up past midnight to watch TV is a bad idea. There are times, however, where I'll discard common sense and plop down on the sofa to watch something that lasts into the wee hours of the morning. (see here and here for details) Last night was one of those rare exceptions, as the Turner Classic Movie Channel was running an all-night marathon of Robin Hood movies.
I actually missed the first film, The Adventures of Robin Hood, entirely (not a problem as I have it on DVD, as well as the first half to two thirds of the second film, Sword of Sherwood Forest, but I did manage to catch the third film, The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, in its entirety. Unfortunately, Mom caught me just before the climax (she had no clue what I was doing up at 1:00 AM), so I had to tape the fourth an final film of the marathon, Rogues of Sherwood Forest.
Since I missed a good chunk of the film, I can't really give a complete review of Sword of Sherwood. From what I did see, however, I can say that it was a fairly decent film, although at times the acting was either a bit over-the-top or almost non-existent (they needed a better Friar Tuck) and the sound effects, particularly during the archery scenes, were somewhat sub-par. And Robin Hood himself was absent for most of the second half/last third of the movie. But since, as I've stated, I missed most of the movie, I can't make any comments about the plot or character development.
The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, on the other hand, was (in my opinion) a much better movie than Sword of Sherwood. The acting was much, much better, as were the fight choreography, music (which was virtually non-existent in Sword), and plotline. There were, however, two faults I found with the movie. Firstly, it focused more on Robin Hood's son, Robert of Nottingham, than it did on Robin Hood himself. The movie actually takes place about 20 years after the original tales of Robin Hood end, so most of the old characters are just that: old. While this isn't so much a fault as it is a minor annoyance on my part, it can be confusing if one were to pick up halfway through as I did on a previous occasion. Seeing "Robin Hood" battling a corrupt regent and wooing the beautiful Lady Catherine (as opposed to Prince John and Maid Marian) was quite confusing and caused me to turn the film off the first time I viewed it. The one true fault this film has is its running time, or lack thereof. At slightly less than 90 minutes long, there is little time for any major character development. For example; one minute Lady Catherine despises Robert and his rather overt efforts to woo her, the next she's head-over-heels for him. Okay, I'm exaggerating and over-simplifying here, but you get the idea. A Robin Hood movie really doesn't work unless it's an epic picture, and you just can't pull that off in less than 90 minutes.
I have not seen Rogues of Sherwood Forest yet, but I'll get back to you on it as soon as I watch it. That is assuming, of course, that I don't fall asleep first (5 hours of sleep will do that).
What this whole experience has made me realize (besides the fact that I shouldn't stay up 'til 1:00 watching movies) is that it's time for Hollywood to make another Robin Hood movie, an epic film in the spirit of Errol Flynn's The Adventures of Robin Hood. There hasn't been a decent Robin Hood anything since 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Kostner, which was (IMHO) a crummy film. Actually, the BBC did start a Robin Hood TV series last year, but since we don't have BBC America, I didn't get to see it. (curse you, Comcast! Curse you!) I can't decide who I like better to be Robin Hood: Ewan McGreggor or Orlando Bloom. Though after Lord of the Rings, putting Bloom in the role might seem a bit like typecasting him...
I just finished watching Rogues of Sherwood Forest. To read my full review on it, click on the Movie Reviews link on the sidebar. It's under the heading "Other Things." I hope to have a review of The Bandit of Sherwood Forest up soon as well. Look for other reviews of classic films and new releases (Spiderman 3 comes to mind) to follow in the future.
All of the Robin Hood media I've exposed myself to has given me a strong desire to being writing/rewriting my Ghosts of Sherwood story. And since I was able to recover the file from my computer (more on that another time) it's a strong possibility that I will do so in the future.
I just discovered that there is a new Robin Hood movie in production. It's called, Nottingham, and Russell Crowe has signed on to play the Sheriff of Nottingham. However, I must say that already I'm not to sure about this movie; from what I understand, Robin Hood will be portrayed as the villain and the Sheriff will be more benign and heroic. Don't get me wrong, if they can pull that concept off, it could be spectacularly awesome. But still, Robin Hood a bad guy? I just can't see that.
Posted by Raptor at 3:37 PM
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Somehow, the comment forum for my last post got turned into a debate over gun control. I figured my comment on Sam's blog might lead to some banter, but I didn't intend for an all-out debate. But let's put that little incident behind us.
I had a really great story that I posted a while back that I just got the urge to post, but since it was saved on my old computer, it's gone forever. I was in a depressed mood when I wrote it, so it's something of a tearjerker. I didn't recognize the similarities to the film Love Story until about a week after I wrote it.
Actually, there is one thing I have not tried to revitalize my dead computer. I'll give that a try soon and let you know how it turns out. And who knows; if my idea works, there just might be a whole lot of stories that get posted...
Posted by Raptor at 5:20 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I know it's been forever since I've updated Codename: White Knight. Chapter 4 is turning out to be very, very long, and it's been very slow going. It will be completed, I just don't know when. I will make an effort to finish it within a week. I had a great idea of what I wanted to have happen in Chapter 4, but since I stopped writing, I cannot remember what it was I wanted to write. It is slowly coming back to me, though, so don't worry.
Part of the probem is that I recently had a great idea for the ending of the third book in the trilogy, which is now (very) tenatively titled Guardian and Angel. I was originally going to have the climactic fight would be very fast-paced and very action packed and would take place inside David Pierce's house. Now, however, I'm thinking of setting it outdoors, making it a little bit slower-paced, and having be more suspenceful than action-packed (kinda like the ending of the movie Patriot Games.) Remeber how in More Than A Job I mention that Pierce was a Marine Sniper, both before and after he joined Force Recon? I've never really had a chance to play up those abilities, and this could be the perfect chance.
By the way, I'm also thinking of re-posting More Than A Job. Any objections?
Also, if anyone has any suggestions for additions to my Guide For How To Be An Evil Overlord, feel free to submit them.
Posted by Raptor at 4:02 PM
Sunday, April 22, 2007
You should be pleased to know that I have resumed work on Codename: White Knight and The Hitman Chronicles. I don't have any new chapters today, but rest assured that they will be completed and posted very soon.
Posted by Raptor at 5:09 PM
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wow. Eight days and three posts without one comment on the blog. I'm pretty sure that's a new record. Don't break it.
Okay, I know I'm repeating myself yet again, but Codename: White Knight is back and the first three chapters are up.
I was working an Chapter 4 and a new addition to The Hitman Chronicles, but after the massacre at Virginia Tech, and given the fact that Chapter 4 and the new chronicle both contain major shootouts, I have not been able to bring myself to complete them. They will be finished, I just can't say when.
Speaking of The Hitman Chronicles, I found out something interesting about the narrator's preferred weapon (Glock Model 20, 10mm Auto) while researching for White Knight. While I won't go into detail about exactly what this fact is (Okay, I'm not really going to say anything), I will tell you that it is a major contributing factor to the action in the new chronicle, and it may have a large impact on the ensuing chronicles (particularly with the narrator's choice of weaponry).
I finally got Casino Royale on DVD last night, spent all day today watching the special features disc. Maybe I'll watch the movie later tonight. Or maybe not, depends on what's on TV. Wait, what's today, Thursday? *checks* Yep, it's Thursday. Nothing worthwhile on, except maybe some talk/news shows that my parents like, so I'll see.
I just found out that Random Sabers isn't going to be accepting any new orders until June 1st. Turns out they have a huge backlog of orders that needs to be dealt with before they can even think about accepting new work. On the positive side, however, this does (temporarily) answer the question of whether I should buy an airsoft gun or a lightsaber, and it gives me a month and a half to work on a design for my own personal saber...
Anyone remember my little list on how to be an Evil Overlord nerdjedi let me post on his blog a while back? Well, I found it, spiffed it up a little, and gave it it's own page. It's now entitled How To Be A Perfect Evil Overlord: Tips and Tricks on How to Pull Off Your Evil Schemes Without a Hitch. Check it out here, and send me any suggestions for additions you might have.
Oh, and Sam, I knew what I was doing. And I never said the guy playing against him was any good, did I?
Posted by Raptor at 2:24 PM
Monday, April 16, 2007
Wow... No one's commented on my blog for a week. Where is everyone?
So, yeah, Codename: White Knight is back. I've got the first three chapters up but havent really written anything else due to a family crisis and the ensuing lack of sleep. I'll get Chapter 4 up soon, I promise.
Soup's on, gotta go.
Posted by Raptor at 12:59 PM
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
As promised, the first three chapters of Codename: White Knight are up and ready for your reading pleasure. I've checked the chapters over, and everything appears to be formatted correctly. If I did miss anything, let me know.
I'm on a pretty good roll with the story so far: Chapter 4, currently entitled Gun and Run, should be up by Friday.
Since restarting White Knight, I'm going to be putting the rest of my story ideas on hold until White Knight is complete. Hopefully that will happen before I have to go back to school. But with my internship starting soon (I hope), I can't make any guarentees.
Tchaikovsky was a genius. Who else would be smart (or crazy) enough to put real cannons in the percussion section?
Okay, now that that random thought is over...
I suddenly have a strange desire to play Scrabble. How odd.
Okay, now that that random thought is over...
I was going to start a contest, but nerdjedi's doing the exact same thing, so I'm pulling mine. Darn it! Still too slow on the draw!
Posted by Raptor at 6:10 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
It took a little longer than I anticipated, but as I promised you yesterday...
*Insert Trumpet Fanfare Here*
... Codename: White Knight has returned!!!
Currently, only the introduction is posted, but most of what I have written should be up by this time tomorrow. That is, of course, if I don't go overboard writing Chapter 4...
There is going to be one major change this time around, however. I am going to write the story into MS Word, then transfer the chapters over to Blogger once they are finished. This is primarily so I don't feel constrained to maintain a pre-determined chapter length, which is what really bugged me when writing More Than a Job and the first few chapters of White Knight. This does mean, however, that Chapters 3+ will most likely be quite long. Sorry if that's going to bother you.
Also, I'm abandoning the second new story idea mentioned in yesterdays post for the simple reason that, yep, you guessed it, someone already wrote it. Darn it, always too slow on the draw...
Posted by Raptor at 9:57 PM
Monday, April 9, 2007
Just as a heads-up, Codename: White Knight will be back up very shortly. I'm making some revisions and a major addition to Chapter 3 (which should roughly double its length). Look for the introduction to go up sometime tomorrow, with the first three chapters to follow within 24 hours. I'd get 'em up sooner, but converting from MS Word format to Blogger format takes a fair amount of time, particularly if you've got a lot of material to convert.
I've got some ideas, actually a lot of ideas, for The Hitman Chronicles. Some of them are actually crossovers with the More Than a Job/Codename: White Knight universe. One I know I'm not going to write until the third book in the trilogy is written (yes, there is a trilogy) because it would include a major spoiler. The other I might write as it serves as a teaser of sorts for White Knight and its currently-unnamed sequel. The rest I'm going to write eventually once I decide which one to write first. *sigh* Decisions, decisions.
I also have a pair of book-length stories in the works:
- The first one is a major rewrite of Legacy of the Swan (anyone remeber that one?). Don't worry, only the character names and the (very) basic plotline will remain intact, those annoying flashbacks are a thing of the past.
- The second is a modern Cinderella story that takes place after the ball. Only this time, it isn't the Prince and a fancy shoe that find Cinderella. This time the task is handled by good old-fashoned detective work.
I'm considering giving Ghosts of Sherwood another shot (Robin Hood story I started writing it on my old PC a long time ago), but since I really don't really remeber what I wrote and I have a lot on my plate right now (even more once my internship starts), that's not going to be very likely.
No Random Saber today, as I doubt anyone really likes them anyways. Plus, I don't know if I'm voilating any copyright laws by posting them on my blog. Better safe than sorry...
Posted by Raptor at 5:21 PM
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Monday, April 2, 2007
I have a couple of announcements for y'all:
First, I'm cancelling Star Wars: The Few and The Proud. Honestly, there's no way I can really make it different enough from The Merry Prankster's Enter the Strikers (see FanFiction.Net) to keep it from looking like plagiarism while simultaneously maintaining the level of realism and detail of the Marines that I had planned. So for those of you looking forward to The Few and The Proud, I offer my apologies.
Second, I'm considering bringing Codename: White Knight back to the blog. Since its removal, I've found myself lacking the neccessary motivation to complete it. (In other words, I haven't worked on it since I took it down.) Nothing is set in stone just yet, but keep your eyes open.
Third, I'm cooking up another entry for The Hitman Chronicles. I'm still working out the fine details for this entry, which is tenatively titled Those Oldies but Goodies. Unfortunately, I can't really say anything else without giving away the plot. Look for it to go up later this week.
Lastly, I've got a brand-new story in the works. It's still just a general concept floating around inside my head, not even a title to tantelize you with. I'm not really at liberty to say anything else about it at this point, but I promise to keep you updated on its status.
That's all for now, so feast your eyes on another Random Sabers custom lightsaber (they're ba-ack!")
Posted by Raptor at 5:23 PM
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Okay, this post isn't really about anything, it's just an excuse for me to watch some Swedish Chef.
The Swedish Chef has an uncle?! Who knew?
No, Piggy, not that kind of hot dog!
After this, you'll swear off Turtle Soup too!
Chef give Kobe Bryant a run for his money-and his chicken!
Food Fights Back!
That's all for now. ENJOY!
Posted by Raptor at 6:06 PM
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Yeesh. There is just no pleasing some people. I put the template back the way it was before. Happy now?
Doesn't look like I'll get to work on The Few and The Proud today, either. Some more unexpected errands have popped up and it looks like I'll be out of the house for most of the day. Sorry.
Also, I'm reconsidering my decision to remove More Than a Job and Codename: White Knight from the blog.
Posted by Raptor at 9:44 AM
Monday, March 26, 2007
As you've no doubt noticed, I changed the blog's color scheme again because some people kept complaining about how it made their eyes bleed.
*mutters obscenities under his breath*
In the words of Bill Cosby is his famous dentist routine: "Ah hobe dat yu awe sthatithfide!"
Okay, onwards and upwards!!!
I have not yet begun writing Star Wars: The Few and The Proud, but I WILL VERY SOON!!! I had planned on starting it today, but my interview for an intership (which I think went very well) and a minor crisis with a college application (someone, I'm not sure who, lost my high school transcript, messing up my application) have put that on hold. Look for the first chapter, or at least the introduction, tomorrow.
I now leave you with the immortal word of Phillip K. Dick:
Sometimes the only appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
Posted by Raptor at 6:22 PM
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Having grown bored with my blog's original color scheme, I decided to mess around with it a little bit (no duh).
Now that I'm finished, I realize that the color scheme reminds me somehow of blue jeans. I like blue jeans; I almost always wear them all of the time.
I hope that last sentence made sense to you, because having written it, I'm now kinda confused.
I'm gonna start writing Star Wars: The Few and The Proud soon. Two sort-of major changes:
- The story starts off with rising tensions between China and Taiwan, not Iran and Iraq
- The pilot the Marines get sent in to rescue is a fellow Marine rather than Air Force (the Marines have their own F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier squadrons).
That's all for now.
Wait, no it isn't. I have an interview for an internship tomorrow. Wish me luck!
UPDATE: I've played around with the coloring some more in an effort to make the new layout more eye-friendly. Let me know if this is better.
Posted by Raptor at 2:06 PM
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I must admit, the response to my last post was somewhat underwhelming.
Joepoe, if I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times; YOU NEED TO START YOUR OWN BLOG!!! *pant* *pant* *pant*
Okay, now that that's out of my system...
I'm sorry Ali, but you and Kevin (whoever he is) have lost yet another author to the Dark Side aka Fan Fiction.
The basic premise of my proposed story, tentatively titled Star Wars: The Few and The Proud, is as follows: Following an escalation of tensions between Iran and Iraq, an American F-15 Eagle fighter jet is shot down near the Iran/Iraq border by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile. A Marine Force Recon team is sent in to rescue the downed pilot, but in the midst of the operation, the Marines and the pilot are suddenly transported to the Star Wars universe. More specifically, they wind up on Naboo just before the Trade Federation invades (i.e. just before Episode I begins). I've got the story pretty much figured out until a year or so after Ep. I ends, but I plan on taking it through the end of the prequels and possible into Original Trilogy territory.
As stated in my last post, this story concept has already been tried somewhat successfully (the sequels to Enter the Stalkers dissolved into a mass-crossover that seemed to spiral out of control), I want to take my own shot at the idea. Because quite frankly, it intrigues me. A lot.
Well, dinner's up. Gotta run!
Posted by Raptor at 8:04 PM
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Okay, first off, yes, I do realise I'm posting this at 11:00 PM. Before you ask, no, I don't have anything better to do.
And now that that's all taken care of...
Firstly, I have another installment of The Hitman Chronicles in the works. I have not begun writing it yet because I still need to iron out one major detail (will he fight the cops or more cons?) but once I get that worked out it'll be up real fast.
Secondly, I have another story in the works. It's an idea I came up with a while back and actually started writing, though sadly it was lost when my hard drive conked out. However, two separate stories I discovered on FanFiction.Net, Wolves on the Border and Enter the Stalkers, both written by The Merry Prankster, reminded me of my original plot. The premise of my story is that a group of US Marines are somehow transported into the Star Wars universe right before The Phantom Menace begins. If my memory serves me correctly, I planned to take the story all through the prequels and (possibly) into the original trilogy.
Okay, I know you're asking yourselves why you should care. Simple: because I'm going to post this story on the blog.
Wait... didn't he decide not to do that anymore?
Yeah, I did. But honestly, I really don't care if anyone steals this idea because, as I previously stated, it's already been done before and I'll (hopefully) still devote most of my efforts to finishing Codename: White Knight. Plus, seeing as how Star Wars is owned by George Lucas, no one can attempt to make any money off of it. Well, not without getting sued, anyways.
Okay, now it's like 11:20 and I'm beat. I'm too tired to look for a lightsaber pic tonight. Sorry.
Hmm... so much for this being a quick post...
Posted by Raptor at 12:20 AM
Sunday, March 18, 2007
As I promised earlier, The Hitman Chronicles has been updated. This latest post is entitled Judge & Executioner. It's something of a departure from the previous two chronicles in that it focuses more on suspense than action. But (IMHO) it's still very good. Give it a read and tell me what you think.
Posted by Raptor at 5:43 PM
Friday, March 16, 2007
I have made the difficult decision to pull both More Than a Job and Codename: White Knight offline. I have come to realize posting them on the blog had a negative impact on my creativity: I deliberately shortened/cut out multiple ideas in order to keep each post at a reasonable length. Also, and this is probably just me being paranoid, I was afraid someone might steal my ideas, pass them off as their own, and then make a great deal of money off of them.
Posted by Raptor at 1:21 PM
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Posted by Raptor at 3:41 PM