Thursday, April 22, 2010

Use The Force

Last night, I and my Guitar Hero III band played at the Kaiju Megadome. Because the Guitar Hero III people are easily impressed, we rocked the crowd. Furious, Lou dragged my band down to the depths of the imaginatively named Lou's Inferno to suffer eternal torment. Lou wasn't particularly happy with me when I arrived. "Yeah, sorry I'm late," I said, sipping on a smoothie, "But I saw this smoothie stand and they shouted that they were giving them away free to band members."

"Wait, really?" my bassist said, "How many did they have left?"

"You're supposed to come down immediately!" Lou shouted, ignoring the bassist, "I own your soul. It's in the contract!"

"Yeaaaah, about that," I said, "George Burdell isn't actually my name."

"It doesn't matter!" Lou said, "So long as it's even your alias, then you should've been bound by the contract."

"It's not my alias, though. I stole it from some guy named William Edgar Smith, who is either dead or very, very old," I said.

Lou was not pleased. He was even less pleased when I decided to collapse the Inferno, release all those imprisoned within, and annihilate him entirely using nothing but the power of rock. Unfortunately, the first song on the list, Knights of Cydonia, was one I couldn't actually play. I'd tried it out in practice a couple of times, and it just didn't work. So when the tricky part was coming up and I was just about positive I was about to fail completely, I did what anyone would've done in my situation.

I used the Force. No, really. I stopped concentrating and just let reflexes take over completely. And it worked. Twenty minutes later and Lou is nothing more than a memory.

As for what's bothering me personally, apparently my mother doesn't want to take away my computer for fear that I'll kill her. I think she may have been exaggerating her fears a whee bit for the sake of trying to make a point. But she isn't likely to try and take my computer away, so there's that.

And now to roll the dice!

The Best Actors of 2008

I 'unno. I don't keep track of this stuff.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Should Be At School Right Now

No updates on the Thirteen Society, but I might be taking on Lou later tonight. We'll have to see.

The reason I'm writing this right now is because of the personal rants section. I've got one I'd like to inflict upon the helpless internet. See, as the blog post title implies, I should be at school right now, but I'm not. The reason? I didn't wake up until 1:30 PM, and when you've missed that much of school you may as well blow off the rest. Now, this is an issue because it's hard to graduate if you don't attend.

The problem's been going on for a while, with me usually not waking up until around 11:00. The blow from this has been softened by the fact that I do not, in fact, have any classes until 3rd period, but I am supposed to be doing Biology independent study during 1st, and I do need those credits. So I've been working on a way to solve this problem for a while now. I've tried a couple of different things, like telling myself over and over again that I'd get up with my alarm the next morning (it's worked in the past, but not now), going to bed an hour or two earlier (didn't work at all), and changing the music that my alarm plays to wake me up (worked, sort of, in that my alarm can now reliably wake me up but there's nothing that can reliably keep me up).

Now, there's two parts of this problem. I can wake up reliably, but I can't stay up reliably. The only time I've managed that was when my mother had some patients from the mental hospital coming over at 9:00. These patients aren't dangerous at all, but it would be a breach of hospital policy for them to interact with their doctor's family, so that got me out of the house around 8:50. If I can find a way to replicate that time-sensitive kind of incentive every day...

Unfortunately, things just got more complicated. My mother recently got irritated with me for this, and when my mother gets irritated, logic flies straight out the window. She doesn't care about what might actually work, she only cares about what makes her feel good, and later on, when she's calmed down and some part of her has realized that her idea is over-emotional and likely to cause more harm than good, she doesn't listen because she'd too arrogant to admit that she could possibly be wrong. And also, she likes to blame the computer for everything. Everything.

So now I've solved one problem but stumbled across another. I need to find a way to prevent my mother from meddling with my business, because so long as she is, I have to put my experiments on hold so that her inevitable failure will convince her to give up (probably while blaming me for everything). This means less time with which to salvage my grades in time for graduation, especially since she's likely to continue attempting her method long after it's become clear that it isn't working. If I continue my experiments during her meddling, and they prove to be successful, then she'll think it was her that changed things, even though I've already ruled out my sleep schedule as a significant contributor to the problem, so she'll keep kicking me off the computer excessively early in the night, thinking that it's helped.

I also, of course, need to find a way to keep myself awake after my alarm gets me up. I don't have a solution for that one, but I do have a solution for my mother. Unfortunately, it's pretty drastic. See, I'm eighteen years old now. I can leave my parent's house whenever I want, and don't have to come back, ever. So, I could always just leave her house entirely, in which case there's not anything she could do about it. But this means I'll need to find some place else to stay, so, not a perfect plan.

I've got a few ideas as to how to get myself to stay up after waking up, too. For example, telling myself to wake up over and over again before going to sleep didn't work, but telling myself to stay awake might. It also occurred to me that if someone I consider to be helpful (i.e. one of my friends) instead of someone I consider to be hostile (i.e. my mother) woke me up, it'd give me incentive to wake up just because I don't want them to have wasted their time. But I don't see any of my friends walking to my house to wake me up every morning.

The perfect solution to this, of course, would be my living at a friend's house, and having them wake me up in the morning. But then I'd have to find a friend whose house I could live at. And also, I should probably wait to see if the problem with my mother will solve itself, as it does occasionally when she no longer has the emotional drive to follow through with a spectacularly bad plan.

And now to roll the dice!

The Manhattan Project

Did you know that the Doc from Back to the Future was supposed to have worked on the Manhattan Project? Evidently that's how he knew how to handle the Plutonium that the Libyan terrorists gave him.

I'm not sure how I feel about the Manhattan Project. On the one hand, the nuke has probably prevented a lot of wars. I'm almost positive the USSR and USA would have gone to blows if it weren't for mutually assured destruction. On the other hand, they're nukes. They're the first superweapons mankind has ever dreamed up. Seriously, World War II was the day the future started happening (which supports my "real life is a TV show" theory, because what better way to usher in a new era of the show than to stage a massive crossover between all the biggest characters?). Science fiction can barely keep up with our advancing technology, now.


Hi! I'm Ashen Winter (as far as you know), and this is my blog. There are three main features to it. The first revolves around the Thirteen Society. You see, as some of you may know, the Internet would not be the bastion of freedom and anarchy that it is today without the constant protection it is provided from the very forces of Hell itself by the gamers of the world (fun fact: "gamer" is actually a clever acronym, which stands for Gravity Abortion Mechanical Escutcheon Ranger).

Recently, however, a cabal of thirteen demons, inventively calling themselves the Thirteen Society, have made an attempt to take over the internet and, soon thereafter, the real world. They've already broken into several parts of cyberspace and set up shop, and someone's got to stop them. I've decided that someone should be me, mostly because I've got already got a blog and I may as well do something with it. So, that's my secret, shadow life, the life I live in Cyberspace.

Demon I is Lou, who's taken over the Guitar Hero universe. His shtick is media, using it to shape our culture in unpleasant ways. For example, men and women are legally equal, but thanks to widespread sexism in the media, the reality is very much different. Of course, shutting down Lou won't stop the things he's already set in motion, but at least it'll stop him from setting anything ELSE in motion. I've already hooked up with a bunch of Sprites (gameworld characters, for the uninitiated) and started a band, which has since then become basically the most popular thing ever. Lou is our manager, but didn't know I was plotting against him until very recently. Now that he does, he'll probably lure us into a trap at our next performance and try to claim our souls. This, of course, is all according to plan, because when he tries to claim my soul, I'll have a chance to eradicate his.

Demon II is Skorne, who's taken over the Guantlet universe. His shtick is deceit. He tricks people into handing over their freedom, usually in exchange for security, and then sets up a dictatorship. He's sent his eight armies to conquer the eight realms of the Gauntlet world, and I and my brother Noah promptly blew them all up. We also defeated Skorne's manifestation in the real world, chased him back to the Underworld and destroyed his body, and then returned to our wizard mentor Sumner's tower to celebrate, only to discover that the sorcerer originally responsible for summoning Skorne, Sumner's brother Garm, had absorbed Skorne's essence and effectively replaced him, and began attacking the tower. We beat back the first attack, and decided to take advantage of the lull in the battle to warp out. Garm hasn't made any trouble since, but he's still got a sizeable army, so we'll see how that turns out.

Feature number two. If something's bothering me, I'll write about it here. Nothing's bothering me today, so we'll skip that one.

Feature number three. Random rants! This is where I go to the Random Topic Generator at and hit the "All" button to get my topic for the Rant of the Day. And now let's roll the dice!

The Origin of Pi

We don't know where Pi came from, but our best bet would be the Ancient Egyptians, because they invented everything. They were China before China was China. And oh, what a good thing it is that the Egyptians invented Pi! Without Pi, the Egyptians could not, for example, have pressganged hundreds of thousands of their civilian population into building massive, mathematically perfect tombs for their royalty.

How awesome would it have been to be an Egyptian Pharaoh? Answer: Probably less cool than it would be to be Joe Hardluck today. See, the Pharaoh only has a heavy workload in times of crisis, like wars or famines, and in those times, there's basically not much he can do except turn to his advisors and say "Now what?" And then do what they say, unless he's got a brilliant idea of his own, but really, having brilliant ideas is a plus, not a requirement.

Meanwhile, Joe Hardluck has to take orders from his boss all day. That has to suck, right? Well, sure, but in exchange, he gets money. Money which lets him buy things like, for example, air conditioning. Television. Electric lights. Clean water.

And then there's internet access! Joe Hardluck can almost certainly spare the cash required for web access, and with that, he has access to virtually unlimited stimulation. He probably had more entertainment options than the Pharaoh did! For example, let's say that you want to play some games to pass the time. The Pharaoh has to find a competent opponent and basically has one game to choose from, some Egyptian thing whose name I forgot. Joe Hardluck can log onto Kongregate and have access to literally thousands of games absolutely free, hundreds of which are guaranteed to be at least worth a look at. Or maybe you want to listen to some music? The Pharaoh must call up his personal band, wait for them to set up, and is then restricted only to the number of songs memorized by a single set of musicians, which is probably not more than three or four dozen. Joe Hardluck can go to Pandora, which has hundreds, if not thousands, of songs, and which will automatically determine which one's he'll enjoy the best. Food? The Pharaoh's selection of foods is actually about the same as Joe's! The average food court offers the same variety as a Pharaoh's kitchen staff at much greater speed.

And all of this is assuming that Joe and the Pharaoh only want to indulge in pleasures that I, myself, care about. What about Rule 34? What if the Pharaoh is only turned on by girls trimming lion-shaped hedges while stripping off clothes made entirely from duct tape? Tough luck! Not only do none of your three wives know how to trim hedges, but you have a public image to maintain! Joe, on the other hand, can probably find someplace, somewhere on the internet that will give him those images, and the more obscure it is, the less likely they are to charge. And if Joe is still depressed because the only girls who will strip for him are either desperate attention whores with deep issues or else girls desperate or shameless in need of extra cash, he can always get himself addicted to cocaine, or a variety of other drugs. The Pharaoh, on the other hand, can only drink booze. Primitive booze, at that, with none of the advantages of modern brewing techniques and chemicals.

So unless you are, in fact, homeless, you lead a better life than the most powerful man in the world circa 3000 BC. We have absolutely no reason to complain about life. Unless you want to be buried in a quite literally monumental tomb when you die.