Thursday, February 28, 2013


My grades are due in this week, so my students are rushing to finish all the homework they didn’t do when they were busy failing my class.  Normally, when you’re grading papers, you try to be fair, to look carefully at all aspects of the finished work.

Here’s the “rubric” I usually grade with:

Creativity +20%
Clarity +20%
Completeness +20%
Grammar +20%
Going beyond the assignment parameters +20%

When you’re trying to grade dozens of papers turned in at the last minute, you use a different set of criteria.

Here’s how I’m grading today:

Can I understand what the hell they’re trying to say? +10%
Do I remember who the student is? +10%
Do I remember what the assignment is? +20%
Can I read the assignment within three minutes? +50%
Ohfuckitall did they at least turn the assignment in? 100%

You might find it surprising how few As I’m giving out.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Magic Paint

I’m not going to say the gallon of paint I bought by accident will give you magical powers.  That would be absurd.  We all know magic is make-believe, something we tell our children when we can’t explain why the sky is blue or how Republicans keep getting control of the House of Representatives.

So, again, just to be clear.  There is no evidence that paint will give you magical powers.

However, if any paint did grant you magical powers, it would be this one.  It’s from Kelly-Moore, the most eldritch of paint companies, and it’s from their Mountain View branch, which sits upon the hellmouth described in Buffy the Vampire slayer.  The color (Sky Watch) was the exact color described by BF Skinner when he planned his behavior modification chamber.

Or, was it the color for training pigeons to guide rockets into enemy ships?  I can never remember.
No, seriously.  He was going to use pigeons as a guidance system.
It’s also eggshell, which is kinda shiny and kinda not.  So, it’s between two worlds.
Once again, I make no claims paint will make you fly, become more attractive, or permanently physically fit.  That would be impossible.
You, after taking the paint.  If it really worked, which it totally won't.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WHAT vs Capcom?

I've never been one for fighting games.  I don't like memorizing countless combinations of controls to play.  Imagine if you did that with any other kind of game.  The player would throw the controller out the window.
Press A+B C, C, C to fire your gun!
However, fighting games have been popular since Capcom started the Street Fighter series.  They were so successful, Capcom went a little crazy trying to grab new audiences by adding popular characters.  There was Marvel vs. Capcom.

And SNK vs Capcom.
There's even something called Tenstuboachavunokio (or whatever) vs. Capcom.
I guess I can understand wanting to fight with your favorite... Er... Hentai characters (or whatever the heck they are).  However, this trend has gone far enough.

You read that right.  It's Angry Birds fighting people.  Think I'm joking?  Here's an image from the upcoming game.

I don't have a joke here.  I just think the Mayans were right about the world coming to an end.

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Re Quest

Welcome back.  I’ve recovered from writing my last novel, and will be returning to regular blogging.  If you’re still reading the novel: hurry up!  I’ll be taking it down soon.

I’d like to talk about my upcoming birthday.  Every year on my birthday, I do something crazy I’ve either always wanted to do or have always been afraid to do.

My birthday is coming around again and I’ve decided that, this year, I want to dye my hair (color TBD) and go on a quest.  You read that right; I want to be a knight in shining armor (armour, if you’re British) and kick some dragon’s butt.
Actually, I’m rather fond of dragons. Scratch that. Make it “kick some troll’s butt.”

If you aren’t familiar with quests, they’re something from mythology, movies, and video games.  The king or queen orders a hero to perform a task for the good of the country.  Hercules performed his twelve labors.  The Knights of the Round Table had the Holy Grail.  Phil Collins needed to find Billie.

The problem is we don’t have kings and queens in the United States anymore (unless you count Brangelina or the Romeros).  I don’t have anyone to go ask for a quest. 
I could probably petition my local mayor, but I think I’d probably be thrown out of City Hall.
So, I’m appealing to you all for help.  For one week in May (11-16), I’ll be driving around helping anyone who asks in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I’ll get groceries, take your kids to school, clean your bathroom, pretty much anything.

And, yes, I’ll do it all dressed as a knight in shining armor.

There are rules, of course.  They are:

1.      You must email me with the task ahead of time.  If you’re having trouble thinking something up, I played some video games and came up with the following suggestions:

·         Gather – Harvest the fruit in my garden.

·         Fetch – Go pick up something for me from a friend’s house.

·         Escort – Take my kids to school.

·         Kill – Bring my cat to the veterinarian then explain it to my kids before you take them to school.

2.      You must either describe what tools I will need (so I can bring them) or provide them yourself.
If I shouldn’t bring the sword and shield (because, for example, I could be arrested) you should probably mention that.

3.      You must offer some kind of reward.  Some suggestions from famous myths, movies, and games:

·         Hand of your eldest daughter in marriage (Myth of Hercules)

·         Hand of someone you don’t like in a box (Tomb Raider)

·         Enough money to pay off my debts (Star Wars)

·         Empty glass bottle (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time)

·         Slice of cake (Portal)

4.      The task must be legal and shouldn’t incapacitate me for the remainder of the week.
Although, incapacitating me for an hour or two is okay.

5.      Finally, you need to note when you are available during the week and if I can bring my family along.

You can post your requests in the comments section, on Facebook, or email me.  Thanks in advance!