Friday, June 28, 2013

F-U Verizon

 
A few months ago, my wife got me a new phone and put me on her contract with T-Mobile.  I had no problem with Verizon, and liked that I could always find a signal with them, but it made financial sense.  The problem was, I was still under contract for a few months (until June 24th, to be exact).

The first week of June I called to ask what the early termination fee would be if I moved my number over.  After four years of being a loyal customer, I just assumed my carrier would be gracious and wave a few days’ penalty.

“That will be $150,” Verizon told me.  I decided to wait the few weeks.

When the 24th came, I called T-Mobile and asked them to move my number over.  I gave them my name, address, social security number (why do they need that?), shoe size, astrological symbol, and the phone number I wanted moved.  It was only when they asked for my Verizon account number that I had a problem.

Who knows their account number for anything?  Why do we even need numbers for accounts anymore?

First I checked the Verizon app that comes preinstalled on my phone.  I couldn’t find the number on it.  I looked for a paper bill.  I couldn’t find one.  I tried to log in to Verizon’s website.  I couldn’t remember my password.  Finally, I reset my password and got the account number.  For the half hour I was doing this, the T-Mobile operator was yelling encouraging things at me.  Well, I think they were encouraging things.  He was yelling them in Hindi.
"You don't know your account number?  How dumb are you?"
Anyway, the guy tells me it will take one to three days to change the number over.  Two days later, I get a call: I had the wrong account number.  It seems the number Verizon gives you on the website isn’t really your account number.

I look up the number for Verizon technical support and call them.  After a moment I notice the Verizon app on my phone has popped up, cancelling my call.  I try again and the same thing happens.  Whenever you try to call Verizon, the preinstalled app stops you.  I try to uninstall the app.  It won’t let me.  Finally, I roll it back to a previous version, effectively crippling it, and call the number.

Turns out the number they list for Technical Support isn’t Technical Support, it’s for “porting,” whatever that means.  I finally figure out how to get to a real person and, after she gives me my account number (1375FUKUCUSTMR), she says “We’re sorry to lose your business.”

And then it hits me.  Why do they have two account numbers, one fake that’s easy to get to and another real one that’s hard to find?  Why do they install an app that specifically stops you from talking to a person?  Why do they post a bogus Technical Support number?

It’s all to stop you from changing to another carrier.

At that point I nearly burned my house down.  I probably would have but, and I’m not making this up, my son ran off and hid the matches.

A few hours later I was besieged by calls from a mystery number in the 303 area code.  When I finally broke down and answered, I found it was a robocall from Verizon.  They wanted to know about my “service experience.”  I eventually hung up on it because, and again I’m not making this up, the quality of the call was so poor, I couldn’t hear the questions.

I expect to get a bill soon for the three days of extra time on Verizon.  Any suggestions what I should do with it?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Death of Traditional Marriage

Dear Conservative Women,

I know how hard things must be for you right now.  You can’t be assured of someday marrying a polite, well-groomed, well-dressed man who enjoys romantic comedies and redecorating the house.  Those guys are all going to marry other men (in disturbingly tasteful ceremonies).

In the good old days, heterosexual women held the trump card.

 

But over the years, gays were allowed to adopt and people became more tolerant.

 

Now, it’s not much of a card at all.

 

Your dating pool has shrunk to heterosexual guys.  You’ll have to marry a man who scratches himself in public, drinks too much, watches sports, fails to clean, forgets your anniversary, and (of course) ogles every single woman he meets.

There is one more avenue open to you.  No, you can’t revoke the laws.  No, you can’t change our culture back to homophobia.  You can, however, still find the perfect person to marry and live happily ever after.

You just have to marry a woman.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Separated At Birth?

While I'm on the subject of heroes, anyone notice that Eddie Munster is related to Tony Stark?


Well, they have the same stylist, anyway.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Heroic Endorsements


I took this picture over the weekend at a shopping mall in Palo Alto, California.  If you can’t tell from the reflections in the window, it’s an ad for a male wrinkle-cream.  Who did they get to endorse the product?  Captain America.

On the one hand, it makes sense.  Men look up to Captain America and, you have to admit, he looks awfully good for a World War II veteran.


Can you tell the real veteran from the fake one?
On the other hand, he’s a comic book character.  It kinda reminds me of the movie “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” where the advertising executive gets Jesus to sell televisions for an electronics store.

The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized how useful it could be to have comic book characters sell products.  Some examples:

 
 
 
 
Okay, you got to admit, that's kinda cool.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bones


Way back in the early nineties…

Before the advent of the world wide web…

Back when we had to start our computers with hand cranks…

I spent a lot of time reading Star Trek bulletin boards, where people would post about things like: who could win in a fight, Kirk or Picard (Kirk, duh) or if photon torpedoes could turn (depends on the episode).  One day, someone posted that DeForest Kelley, who played Leonard “Bones” McCoy (the doctor) had died.  There was an outpouring of remorse and prayers for the family… until a few hours later when someone pointed out he was still very much alive.

Years later, when Kelley actually died, I made really sure it was true before passing the message on to friends and family.

“This time,” I wrote, “it’s not an internet hoax.  It seems it’s the real McCoy.”

Friday, June 21, 2013

Name That Fear!

Yes, it's time once again for that game show: Name That Fear!  As always, we'll highlight quotes from various fear mongers about technological innovations, and your job is to figure out what they're trying to scare you about.

Ready?  All right!  Name that fear:

A) "Any scientist who tells you they know xxx [is] safe and not to worry about it, is either ignorant of the history of science or is deliberately lying. Nobody knows what the long-term effect will be."


B) "The xxx cartel, at the highest level, is not out to help people, it is out to harm them, to weaken them.  To kill them."


C) "No matter what the industry tells you, … it is impossible to design any xxx so it will never [cause harm]."
 
Got your answers?  Okay, here's what they're trying to scare you about:
 
A) GMOs.
“Any scientist who tells you they know that GMOs are safe and not to worry about it, is either ignorant of the history of science or is deliberately lying. Nobody knows what the long-term effect will be.” – Geneticist, David Suzuki, giving the 2008 Commonwealth Lecture in London
B) Vaccines
 
"At the highest levels of the medical cartel, vaccines are a top priority because they cause a weakening of the immune system. I know that may be hard to accept, but it's true. The medical cartel, at the highest level, is not out to help people, it is out to harm them, to weaken them.  To kill them." – Dr. Mark Randall in 2001 (Randall is the pseudonym of a "vaccine researcher who worked for many years in the labs of major pharmaceutical houses and the US government's National Institutes of Health.")
 
C) Fracking

"No matter what the industry tells you, their own data ... proves conclusively to any reasonable scientist or engineer that it is impossible to design any well so it will never leak." –  Cornell Engineering Professor Anthony Ingraffea,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dirty Joke

 
Once there was a woman who could never throw anything away.  She wasn’t a collector, she just hated the thought of getting rid of something she might need some day.

Finally, after her husband bugged her enough, she decided to organize her things and throw some of it away.  However, she couldn’t figure out how to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.  She asked her husband for advice.

“Take everything you haven’t used in a year and put it in the trash,” he suggested.

So she put his penis in the garbage can.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Search Terms 2013

As always, when the rigors of running a daily humor site gets me down, I look up what search terms people use to end up here.  I get a lot of people who aren't getting what they're looking for, so I'm addressing their requests today.

Below are actual search terms.

funny code of conduct

How about: Always dance with fishes.  Always sing with bears.  Hey, it’s no dumber than “love thy enemy.”  Have you ever tried loving your enemy?  They kick and bite a lot and then call the police.

what to write on hands when skydiving

There’s only one acceptable thing: PULL CORD.

Actionmoviesex

YouvecometotherightsitebutIthinkyourspacebarisbroken.

blowing up mind

Okay.

bullies think they are

Having been bullied through most of grade school, I’d like to end that sentence with “safe until years later when I track them down and ruin their lives.”

centurion for kids


cm punk татуировки

How dare you use that language on my site!  No, seriously, don't use that language.  I can't speak Russian.

funny things to write in a calendar

For women: “DUE DATE”
For men: “VISIT MISTRESS”

funny yeses or nos for my evite

For Yes: “Bringing alcohol.”
For No: “Sending money instead.”

shrek is hate shrek is death

Yeah, that’s pretty much right.  Everything from DreamWorks is crap.  Also, I'd like to point out that Google just recapitalized the name Dreamworks for me.  How's that for creepy?

Monday, June 17, 2013

What Bird?

A friend (Hi Elly!) recently commented that she hadn't seen me post about dead birds in a while.  The truth is, while I am still recording every instance I come across (and I've got hundreds) of birds being killed in television, books, movies and games, I just don't see how I can make a dead bird joke funny.

I'll try again to see the humor in the situation.

Ever seen this bird feeder?


I don't really see why it's funny.  Cats kill millions of birds in the US every day.  It's an environmental and humanitarian disaster-

No.  Stop.  Try to think funny.  Try to think of it as a bird killing a cat.


Ha!  Okay, okay.  Maybe I can see the humor.  I just need to switch it around.  Let me try again.


So, dead bird in front of cat looks ghoulish and evil to me.  It's even worse than the last one because it's a real bird and cat.  So, what if I try it with a real dead cat?


You've got to admit, that's pretty funny!  Okay, so next time when I see this:


Or this:



I'll think this:


Or this:

Yeah, I get the humor now.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Meme Breaker: NeVer Lie


I'm short on time, as I'm always short on time on Fridays.  My work and social calendar get totally packed at the end of the week.  (Sorry, Barack, I'm going to have to cancel lunch!)  So, I'm cranking up the Meme Breaker.  Here's a dopey one I came across:


Put it in the machine to see what the result of a "lie-free relationship" would be.


Ah, yes, perfect relationship harmony.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blog Tour

When you self-publish, you have to do your own marketing.  For the modern writer, that means going to a lot of book review blogs and asking them to write about your book. 

You can also go on something called a “blog tour.”  A blog tour is a lot like a book tour, without travelling the country, signing books, or meeting people.  Instead, you answer questions, and they post it their blog.

I recently received an email from a review site saying they don’t know if they’ll review my book, but they wanted me to answer the following questions for a blog tour.  Here are the questions just as I received them, with my responses.

On the Writer's Craft, Storytelling, and the Editorial Process:
Do you think every story has essentially been told before and that today's writers must juxtapose old ideas and stories in new ways rather than worry about originality? If no, what recent speculative fiction story did you find refreshingly original?
Nothing new has been written in a long time.  Also, nothing new has been invented in a long time.  Someone should really shut down the patent office.  It’s a waste of money.

What do you think of plot twists? Are they invariably hokey, or can good writers pull them off well? Do you think too many stories use twists as a crutch? Can a story with no twists hold your interest? Do you ever try to “surprise” your readers without going all M. Night Shyamalan on them?
My novel is pretty much all twists because twists are awesome.  There really isn’t much point in reading a book without a twist.  That’s why Oliver Twist is the best book ever written.  And I never go M. Night Shyamalan on my readers.  I can’t spell or pronounce his last name.  I also can’t stand his last thirty movies.
 
What do you think is the purpose of Science Fiction? Fantasy? Horror?
You’d have to ask them.  Well, I wouldn’t ask Horror.  She’s a bit creepy.

Now that touchscreens and space vessels are becoming things of science fact, what makes Science Fiction unique?
Science fiction ends where touch screens and space vessels end.  When those things become a reality, there won’t be SF anymore.  I’d LOVE to have a touch screen someday.  I’d tape it to my children so they’d have to follow my commands.
 
What's your main goal when putting the finishing polish on a story? Maximizing entertainment value? Raising thought-provoking questions? Other?
Getting the freaking thing done.  I want it out of my life as soon as possible.

Do you find it difficult to write in an age of infinite distractions? How do you keep your focus on a story during the writing process?
Sorry, I missed that question.  Someone posted a political rant on my Facebook page and I have to take him down a peg.  By the way Infinite Distractions is the name of my next novel.  You’re going to have to pay me royalties every time you send these questions out.

On Your Stories:
If there's one core, potentially life-changing (or mind-expanding) idea you really want to drive home for readers with your story. What is it?
That they should give me money to write books.

What inspires you?
Power, fame, money, beautiful women.  You know, the intangibles.

To what degree do your stories reflect your reality?
Not at all.  If they did reflect my reality, they’d be about disturbingly handsome men staring at computers all day and drinking diet soft drinks.

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
I can honestly say I would not be a writer today without my childhood.  I learned to read and write in my childhood.  I also learned how to talk, walk, do math problems, and tie my shoes.  I’m still not very good at those last four.

How do you research your novels?
I read The Weekly World News.

How many characters have you done away with over the course of your career? Who had the best death?
I’m a science fiction writer.  I can bring people back from the dead whenever I want.  So, none of them are really dead.  They’re still up in my head.  Whispering to me.  Telling me to kill again…

Ever kill a character and then regretted it?
No.  Killed some people in real life and regretted it, though.

Why are the names of the characters in your novels important?
They’re really not.  If names were all that important, my children would be named “Next President of the Country” and “Disgustingly Rich Guy.”  I hate naming characters.  Why can’t they all be “Drunk #2” or “Brave Protagonist Who Bites It in Chapter 16?”

Why are the titles of your novels important?
Because nobody would buy my books if they were called Please, Please Buy It or My Student Loans Are Killing Me.

Who do you think of when you think of your readers? Are you telling your story to them, to yourself, or to something or someone else?
I imagine muttering the stories into their ears at night when they’re sleeping and nobody knows I’m there.  Then I imagine taping them to the bed and plugging their noses with yellow and green Dots.

How much of your own life do you put into your book?
About 69.32% give or take the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Life, Hypothetical, and Other Stuff:
You believe that information should be free. Does that include fiction, why, and to what extent?
I believe other people’s information should be free.  Mine should come at a severe penalty.  I just charged the woman at the Nike Store $10 for my shoe size.  She did it, and I only had to pay $20 more than the shoes’ list price!

What is the most important lack in your life?
I have a whole group of grunts, underlings, and mercenaries who carry out my nefarious bidding.  Oh, I thought you said lackeys.  Never mind.

What's the most blatant lie you've ever told?
“Sure, I’m happy to answer your questions if you’ll review my book.”

Have you ever been in trouble with the police?
Yeah, Police and I go way back.  Once Police and I got drunk and went cow tipping.  We got caught and totally yelled at by our dads.  Good times.

What are books for?
Er, aren’t you a book review blog?  Shouldn’t you have figured this out, yet?

What's your favorite joke?
The Republican Party.

Who is the one author you would never want to meet? Why?
I hear the author of Mein Kampf was a bit of a dick.

On Being a Writer:
Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory?
Yes.  Every day.  I also dream of working at McDonald’s and getting yelled at by morons because I screw up the orders.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
I find it helpful to already be nuts.  If you don’t take three antipsychotic medications every day, you’re probably better off sticking to your desk job.

While writing, do you take drugs, smoke marijuana or drink alcohol to beef up your creative imagination?
Yes.  In addition to my antipsychotics, I take a handful of psychotics.  I like to balance things out.

How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
Usually I track down whoever wrote it and kill him or her.

Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?
Tennis elbow.  Falling debris.  Gunshot wounds.  Chemical burns.  Infected bites from poisonous snakes.

What is the hardest lesson you've learned about indie, small press, or self publishing?
Everyone is doing it.

What's the one question that you always want people to ask you about writing that they never do? What's your answer?
Q: How can I give you more money?
A: Just hand me your wallet for a moment.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Morgan Freeman Never Cries


When I was a kid, I went to see a terrible movie called Superman III.  In it, Superman is exposed to a synthetic form of Kryptonite and turns into an evil version of himself.  We all know that kids are terrible judges of movies (Phantom Menace, anyone?), but even I knew this film was bad.  One of the problems was Christopher Reeve’s performance.  He just can't act.  At one point, I heard my father (hi Dad!) discussing the movie with a teenager.

“I thought he was great.  Christopher Reeves really seemed angry,” the teen said.

“If you can’t play angry,” my father said, “you shouldn’t be an actor.”

Which brings us to Morgan Freeman.  Everyone loves Morgan Freeman.  He's wise and avuncular (before you go look it up, avuncular means “like a good-natured uncle”).  He’s got that voice.

You know what else?  He can’t act.  You ever seen Morgan Freeman out-of-control angry?  You ever see him cry like a baby?  You won’t.  He doesn’t.  All Morgan Freeman does is play Morgan Freeman.

Don’t believe me?  Here’s a list of his most famous roles.

Movie
Role
Character Personality
Driving Miss Daisy
Hoke Colburn
Wise, avuncular
Shawshank Redemption
Ellis Redding
Wise, avuncular
Unforgiven
Ned Logan
Wise, avuncular
Glory
Major Rawlins
Wise, avuncular
Bonfire of the Vanities
Judge White
Wise, avuncular
Deep Impact
President Beck
Wise, avuncular
Sum of All Fears
William Cabot
Wise, avuncular
Bruce Almighty
God
Wise, avuncular
The Dark Knight Trilogy
Lucius Fox
Wise, avuncular
Se7en
Detective William Somerset
Wise, avuncular
Robin Hood
Azeem
Wise, avuncular
Wanted
Sloan
Wise, avuncular
Oblivion
Beech
Wise, avuncular

I mean, even in movies where he’s a bad guy, he’s a wise, avuncular bad guy!

So, I’m putting it out there: Morgan Freeman can’t act.  I’m also putting this out there: I’ll still go see any movie with him in it.

‘Cuz, you know, he’s still Morgan Freeman.

Titty sprinkles.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Free IQ Test


When I was in college, a teacher told me about an experiment a group once did.  They went to a bookstore and put cards in the middle of all the best sellers.  Written on the cards was a note that said if the reader called a number, the researchers would send them $20.  Nobody ever called the number.

While I was writing Pinhole I decided to see if anyone actually read my book, so I put in a secret: an intelligence test.  See for yourself.  Download and read the book (http://www.amazon.com/Pinhole-ebook/dp/B00BVFLY6W/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top/). 

It’s important you do not read the appendix or reread the book (you can do that later).  See, part of the point of my book is telling a complicated set of stories with many characters.  The appendix helps you sort out which characters were which, and it skews the results of the test.  The point is to see how much of the story you can follow without it.

Finished reading?  Okay, question one:

How would you rate the book on a scale of one to five stars (five being the best rating)?

There’s only one question.  Check the chart below to see your IQ level:

* * * * *  Genius (150 IQ or higher).  You’re also more attractive and empathic than the general population.  Good candidate for President of the United States or whatever other career your mother said you’d be good at.

* * * *  Above-average (120 IQ).  You’re smart, but you could work harder at being smart.  Try reading the book again; it tends to make people smarter.  Career options include: CEO of a small corporation and television personality.

* * *  Average (100 IQ).  There’s nothing to be ashamed about; you’re just average.  It’s like being medium or moderate.  Suggested careers: middle-management, truck driver.

* *  Moron (75-80 IQ).  It’s impressive you were able to read the book in the first place, so you got that going for you.  I’m assuming you dig ditches or work for McDonalds.  Perhaps you do both at the same time.

* Dead (50 IQ or below).  You’re a Republican congressman, aren’t you?

 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dog Control

We’ve had a lot of break-ins in our neighborhood, lately.  The thieves check to see if you’re home by knocking on the door and pretending to be solicitors.  If you answer, they leave.  If not, they walk around your house looking for an open door.  If they find one, they steal what they can and leave.

I don’t know much about robbery (I don’t subscribe to cable), but it seems most burglars try to avoid breaking in when people are home.  When my wife was growing up, their home was broken in to several times while they were away.  Then they bought a dog that barked when people came to their house, and they were never robbed again.

I was thinking about this and it led me to thinking about gun control.  Wayne LaPierre and the NRA insist guns are necessary for home defense, but unless you’re holding it, a gun is just something more a burglar can steal and sell to another criminal.

I then remembered this quote from Republican Nate Bell during the Boston bombing scare:

I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?


At the time, I merely shrugged off the absurdity of this statement.  After all, the cops the Tsarnev’s killed were fully armed, but I realized, with one minor change, Bell’s statement is totally true:

I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had a really big dog?


The Tsarnevs had no problem exchanging fire with armed police, but imagine if there was a giant dog charging at them?  And, since they didn't go breaking into people's homes, who wouldn't like a big, warm dog to comfort them?

It turns out, most gun-related quotes make sense if you replace “guns” with “dogs.”

The only thing that stops a bad man with a gun is a good man with a dog. – Wayne LaPierre

I don’t care if I fall as long as someone picks up my dog. – Che Guevara

There are hundreds of millions of dogs in this country, and not one of them will have an accident today. –Ted Nugent.

When you carry a dog, you mean to harm somebody. – Bill Cosby

To be safe we don’t need more guns, we just need more dogs.  Think about it.  Not only do dogs protect your home while you’re away, they also promote health by forcing you to walk them, and they provide affection.

Now go tell that to the head of the NDA (National Dog Association).

Friday, June 7, 2013

How to Make Money Self-Publishing

You may not have heard, but I self-published this novel called Pinhole a few months back.  (I know, shocking, right?)  The reason you don’t know about it) is because of the words “self-publish.”  See, self-publishing works different from traditional publishing.

Traditional publishing:
  1. Write novel.
  2. Send to publisher.
  3. Wait six to eight months.
  4. Repeat step 2 six times.
  5. Get screwed over on contract.
  6. Publisher pays someone to make a cover.
  7. Publisher pays someone to edit for errors.
  8. Publisher does marketing blitz.
  9. Sell tons of books.
  10. Make lots of money, minus marketing costs, cover artist costs, and editor costs.
  11. End up with a quarter.
Self-publishing:
  1. Write novel.
  2. Pay someone to make a cover.
  3. Pay someone to check for errors.
  4. Upload to Amazon.
  5. Do own marketing.
  6. Sell three books.
  7. Amazon takes 2/3rds profit.
  8. End up with a quarter.
See, there’s really only one difference: when you self-publish, you have to market your book yourself.  How do you do that?  I’m glad you asked:
  1. Go to the Indie Reviewers List.
  2. Email everyone on the list and ask him or her to review your book.
  3. Wait six to eight months.
I noticed something funny about sites that write reviews.  If you go to their “review policy” page, they always say “Reviews are free!”  So, I had this idea.  Why would you post a review on a free site?  Free means nothing, right?  Here’s my proposal:
  1. Submit your novel to me.
  2. I’ll read it and write a review on my blog.
  3. You pay me $1500.
Hey, I have to make back the money on the editor and cover designer SOMEhow!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Data's Emotion Chip


 A few weeks ago, I was at the movies when an ad came up for Star Trek: The Next Generation.  They’re going to show the two-part “The Best of Both Worlds” on movie screens.  Now, I was a huge Trek geek (before Babylon 5 came along), but I hated, hated, hated those episodes.

Why? Here’s a quick synopsis of episode one:

Picard gets turned into a Borg.  Riker becomes captain.  His first new officer is a woman named Shelby who hates him.  All of Starfleet is destroyed.  Just as the Borg are about to destroy Earth, they unleash a Borg-killing superweapon.

Sounds pretty good, right?  I was biting my nails all summer waiting for part two:

The weapon doesn’t do anything.  They kidnap Picard and turn him back into a human.  With his help, they blow up the Borg ship.  Shelby leaves, insisting she’ll have Starfleet back in a year. The end.

I know Star Trek likes to hit the reset button every episode, but it was a big disappointment (again, watch Babylon 5).  Here’s what I wanted to happen:

The new season features a crippled Enterprise on the run from the omnipresent Borg threat.  Patrick Steward is a new, recurring villain.  Riker is constantly at odds with Shelby who undercuts his authority at every turn.  They rescue Picard at the end of the season and vanquish the Borg, but the Klingons and Romulans are moving in on Starfleet, which is a third of its original strength.

Yeah, it’s been decades since those shows aired, and I still want to rewrite them.  Speaking of which, there is one element of the show I want to rewrite more than any other: Data and his emotion chip.

Now, if you’re still reading, I’m assuming you’re a Trek fan or my wife.  For the Trek fans, I’ve written for a Star Trek game where Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart read lines I wrote, so I have some street cred.  For my wife, no I haven’t done the laundry yet.

Anyway, here’s the background:

Data is an emotionless robot who constantly strives to have feelings.  His older twin robot, Lore, has emotions that caused him to go insane and kill.  Data was built without emotions as an attempt to solve the problem with Lore.

Eventually, Data meets his creator, who has spent years creating an emotion chip for him.  Then suddenly, Lore steals it.  In a later episode, the chip gets broken and, in a terribly anticlimactic moment, he gets emotions.

Here’s what I wanted to happen:
Notice how small it is?
In the episode where the emotion chip appears, Data’s creator says the only difference between Data and Lore is “a few lines of code.”  That’s the key right there.  How can emotions, which are so complex, be only a few lines?  It only makes sense if the code just says “Ignore the emotion programming.”  See, programmers don’t always delete old code, they just mark it so the computer skips it.  In short, Data always had suppressed emotions and the chip would just un-suppress them.

See, in several episodes, Data acts emotionally:  He nearly executes a vicious murderer and lies about it.  He expresses remorse at the death of a colleague and lover.  Heck, the desire to have emotions is emotional in itself!

Here’s how I was hoping the Data/chip thing would play out:

After the chip is destroyed, we have a few episodes where Data acts increasingly emotional.  Everyone thinks he’s malfunctioning (his ability to rewrite his own programming to “evolve” is well-established).  He discovers the original emotion programming is re-emerging.  Afraid he’s going to turn evil like Lore, he seeks out his brother for help.

Of course, Lore being evil and all, he attacks Data and escapes.  Data spends several episodes hiding his emerging personality from his crew and tracking his brother down.  He hopes to stop Lore and kill himself before he turns evil.  In a climactic moment, he catches Lore and defeats him.  As Data is taking him apart, Lore gives him an explanation.  Data’s emotions have already completely surfaced.  His hiding his condition from his friends and his dedication to finding Lore shows he has feelings, and he’s obviously not evil.

Now that would have been a good show.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fake Dumb GOP Quotes

Yesterday, Saxby Chambliss said:

"The young folks that are coming into each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22-23. Gee whiz -- the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur.”

I, for one, am worried for the GOP.  They’re a constant source of amusement for me, but they’ve been burning moronic quotes like fossil fuels! It takes hours to carefully hone an idiotic statement, and they’re going to run out.

To help my friends from the red side of the spectrum, I’ve crafted a few dumb quotes.  Feel free to use them at will.  To make things interesting, I’ve included one real quote form an actual Republican.  Can you tell which one?
  1. Capital punishment is our way of demonstrating the sanctity of life.
  2. If Lincoln were alive today, he'd be turning over in his grave.
  3. Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?
  4. All they are concerned about is to see that their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big overgrown Negroes.
  5. For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three nonfatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable, and we're going to do something about it.
  6. The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But I didn't live in this century.
  7. I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.
Can you guess which is real?  Ha!  It was a trick.  They’re all real:
  1. Orrin Hatch
  2. Gerald Ford
  3. Rick Santorum
  4. Dwight Eisenhower
  5. George W. Bush
  6. Dan Quayle
  7. Arnold Schwarzenegger