Friday, July 29, 2005

book sale

Not much happened since my last post. I went to the charity book sale at Cavendish, 2 hours, R800 and 59 books later Elisabeth and I stumbled into the Mugg & Bean for breakfast. The food was ok but the manager was weird. He kinda acted like an uninterested friend that was bored with the conversation and suddenly just decided to start sifting through our trolley of books to see if there was anything good. We didn't even start the conversation, it went something like this:

(manager walks over slowly while looking the other way)
Manager: Is the food ok here folks
us: Yes thanks
Manager: oh, so you went to the book sale?
us: yar (thinking to ourselves: now move along you freak)
Manager: ah, ok
(manager moves as if to walk away but instead inspects out purchases)
Manager: um, ok then, enjoy your meal
us: FREAK!

Well we didn't actually say that last part, but we should have.

Later Elisabeth and I both renewed our driver's licences and we paid the licence on Elisabeth's car. Strangely though you can't do both of these things at the same place.

Funny stuff:

Read this site about what happened to an innocent convenience store clerk when a stupid teenager bought and drank vinegar. It was called "malt vinegar" and I can only assume he thought it would have the same effect as "malt liquor".

Here is another dumbass who stuck a bottle of water on a pedestal and called it art. The 'art' was called "weapon of mass destruction" and has disappeared, presumed drunk. The 'artist' comments: "It is a strong piece and I would like to get my hands on it".

Do you work with powerful yet outmoded computers? Do you often skip breakfast and arrive at work hungry? Do you have and egg? If you answered these questions yes, check this out.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Unexpected Stress

Wow last night was really hectic. I ended up going to my RP Game and finding out that DragonFire was less that two weeks away, and I hadn't organised thurteem t-shirts yet! Luckily my local art guru was almost done with the graphic and after too many cooks almost spoiling the broth (and definitely causing her undue stress) she got it finished looking really good. We then sat down to a supper of wurst and chips with chippies bbq sauce, mmm.

It was only after supper that I found out about my dire chronological misconception, it was one of the rare times when I actually began to panic. I got hold of all the members of the teem and organised orders, unfortunately we had to call the game to go to Canal Walk and pick up the shirts. While we were there I bought everybody ice-cream (to say sorry for ruining the game, and also as the promised bribe for getting them to accompany me) and played in the crappy Canal Walk arcade. The controls on the Star Wars game were fucked up, and the air hockey game scoring was screwed. I was beaten by Alex 12-9 and by Jason 11-8. After that we had 2 credits left on our card, no game costs less than 2.5 except for the drop-the-tokens-in-the-slot-and-hope-some-tokens-fall game. That game gave us 2 technical problems with the four coins we could afford. Eventually after complaining to the person in charge we won some tickets which Michelle exchanged for a Chinese pencil with pandas.

That and two uncomfortable and abrupt encounters with someone I still consider to be a good friend was my evening.

Woot, Shelagh is coming down for DragonFire.

I must organise Ben, Anton, Nick, Lauren and Sarah to come to DF this year.

I dropped the shirts and design with the printing people this morning and the good news is that they should be ready in time. But we all know how these printing people are so I will reserve my judgement.

Tonight is Dinner with my buddy Paul who is visiting from the UK and tomorrow is the charity book sale at Cavendish, I've taken the day off ;).

schpat out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Year of the Dragon

Last night I watched "A Knights Tale" again. An entertaining romp through a very fictionalised medieval europe with cool outfits and awesome music. It's a story of chivalry, love, fighting and underdogs, it has something for everybody. The best thing about the movie to me is that the characters are so believable in the setting and the acting was very cool. I had recorded it from South Africa's local free to air channel, E-tv, and I was really disappointed that they left out the final "farting" scene after the credits. Alan Tudyk rocks, "it's a lance.... Hellooo!". He looks good with red hair, I'm sure it's his natural colour and that it was dyed for firefly.

MouseWax has run a very amusing story arc on the ComiCon featuring brain eating zombies, Gabe and Tyco, and Jesus dressed as Jean Luc Picard. The arc starts here.

Man I can't wait for the charity book sale at Cavendish on Thursday. Great bargains to be had by all. I've taken the day off so that Elisabeth and I can get there early and have our pick of the cool literary shit. Last year I picked up a book from the 1890's called "the book of all flesh". I love second hand book sales.

So I noticed in my blogger profile that I was born in the year of the dragon, how cool is that? So I went out and checked what that means to me and my personality (my id and my ego for the freudians out there). Basically I'm supposed to be energetic, excitable, short-tempered, stubborn, honest, sensitive, and brave. I'm apparently also not one to make flowery speeches, I inspire confidence and trust, but I do tend to be soft-hearted which sometimes gives others an advantage over me.

Wow, that's like so totally me!

Have you ever wondered what zodiac signs claim the person to be: lazy, boring, dishonest, insensitive and craven? Which people are prone to flowery speeches, inspire doubt and mistrust, are cold-hearted and take advantage of others? Mmm, maybe the year of the politician!

Monday, July 25, 2005

OMFG Kenyans are dumb!

An MP in Kenya has called for a ban on condoms because they are made by whites, also they were painful to put on. What an idiot! You can check out the news story here.

In other news it seems that Firefly may still have a second chance. SciFi is screening the original episodes again and in their original order. Now in order to screen the original series Fox must have sold them some kind of rights, however it's still unclear as to whether or not these were full rights or simply the right to screen. These episodes are probably only being screened in an effort to promote "Serenity", but if they prove very popular SciFi may want to make some more. It's a faint hope, but hope non the less. Here's what one slashdotter had to say about the orriginal cancellation:

Whedon: We will rule over this time slot, and we will call it... "This Time Slot".
Fox: I think we should call it... your grave!"
Whedon: Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
Fox: Ha ha HA! Mine is an evil die!

And here's what another has to say about the SciFi News:

"Too bad the FOX execs were a bunch of BUN tyen-shung duh ee-DWAY-RO the first time arround. Give the show to a network that knows what it's doing and appreciate what it has got."

By all accounts the way Firefly was handled by FOX was a compleat fuck up (they didn't even have it on at the same time every week), I'm hoping SciFi will do better.

This weekend I watched Sky Captain and the world of Tomorrow, this movie sucked big festering monkey balls. I reneted the DVD and in the special features they had the orriginal short that the movie was based on. It was obviously a student/indy film that was amazinglly well doen to convey that 1930's film style with very little speach. It had good visual effects that were effectivly used to tell the story, like I said there was maybe one line of speach in the whole thing. The acting in the movie by Gwyeneth Poultry-Show and Judith "I'm a big girls blouse" Law was so amazingly riged and stilted that it was very hard for me to suspend disbelief. I've seen both these actors do very well in other movies, but obviously they require actual sets to get into character or some other nonsene. The movie did have a nice comicy feel, but I couldn't enjoy it because the characters were unbeliveable. I normally don't have a problem with setting the bar too high for me to enjoy a movie, maybe this one suffered from too much build-up.

Remember I ranted a bit about people makeing movies exclusivly for cash and not actually loving what they do, well here's a quote that supports my point.

"It's an artistic calling. It's a religion. You shouldn't be doing it as just a day job, to pay for your pool or pay for your house in Barbados. You should do it when it's special, when you'd die for the movie, when the movie is your baby." - Quentin Tarantino.

Anyway, so I've been linking to friends blogs, to kinda make a starting point for myself and others to use. If you want me to link to your blog just let me know in the comments. Even if you don'y want me to link to them, I'd still like ot read them so give me the addresses.

Also Don't forget to leave your comments and suggestions, and your SchpatDope Questions.


Friday, July 22, 2005

So, was Melville Dewey a Nazi...

Schpat Dope Q&A

D@vid asks:

Dewey (of the decimal system) also tried to revamp the English language, particularly on the pselling front (although it is Shaw who is incorrectly attributed with spelling fish as ghoti)... my question is, was he a Nazi?

Schpat Answers:

First some background info. Melville Dewey was an american who worked as a library assistant when he developed the his famous decimal system. After this he moved to Boston and cogitated on various other innovations to make peoples lives easier. Among successful ideas was the vertical office file, among unsuccessful ideas was spelling reform.

Spelling reform was a complete failure, instead making american's lives easier it ended up making them dumber. This is evidenced by the fact that they can't spell "colour" or even "organisation" (hell I don't know if I spelled them correctly because this damn spell checker is set to american).

Dewey was so embarrassed by this failure that he changed his name to "Melvil Dui" and died in relative obscurity. Most conspiracy theorists are happy to take this out of context to prove that he was in fact a Nazi and only changed his name in an effort to hide from the Mossad. GB Shaw on the other hand was a little dodgy. At the very least he was a Nazi sympathiser who wrote in the preface to his play Geneva (1945) things along the lines of "the nazi aren't really so bad" and "concentration camps might actually have been good for the Jews, they only died of overcrowding". He also called Hitler a "Messiah". The Nobel committee must have had some serious egg on their faces after giving him a Peace Prize for Literature in 1925, doh!

In short, you library geeks out there are safe to continue in your worship of Melvil Dui and his brilliant system, but "My Fair Lady" fans should have a good hard look in the mirror.

C'mon folks, now that I've answered that one send in some more questions. If you don't ask questions I will!

Jesus Saves... or does he?

A church in South Africa has been made to withdraw an advert found to be unsubstantiated by the Advertising Standards Authority. Bwaahaahaha! The ASA said that a bunch of crutches in the church's store room was not adequate proof that people had been cured of ailments that necessitated the use of crutches. Also testimonials from people who claim to have been dying of AIDS (their words) were not valid proof as they had not been confirmed by an unbiased third party. Lets face it here guys: 1: there is no cure for AIDS, 2: there probably will never be a cure , once a vaccine is developed there will be no need for a cure, 3: anybody claiming to have a cure for AIDS is probably only interested in your pocket book. I'm sure the ASA would be fine with the ads if the church stuck a little disclaimer at the bottom saying: "Not for sale to under 18s, Only effective in conjunction with a calorie controlled diet, Individual results may vary". On second thought, maybe it should read: "Individual results my vary, Only effective in conjunction with Anti-Retroviral Therapy, Not for sale to persons with IQ over 85".

As those of you who actually read the comments may have noticed I have a reader from Austin Texas. Cool. Maybe he just stumbled across the blog while googling for Scotty but he read and left a comment so that's great. It feels really great to find out that the +- 180 hits I've gotten in the last few months aren't only from my friends constantly checking to find out if I've posted a new blog or answered their SchpatDope questions. If there are any other readers who don't know me personally it would be great to hear from you, especially the aliens!

I reciprocated and read G. Allen's blog, it's well written and insightful. The problem is that I get the idea that he's going to be really pissed as some of the stuff I said in the post above (I make the assumption that he's still reading because I'm an optimist). This is a problem that DJ Coffman over at is also having and it's a real toughy. I don't mean to offend anyone, I have no problem if peoples beliefs differ from mine, I don't mind if they state those beliefs in a rational way and I don't think that they should mind if I do the same, even if our beliefs differ. So G. Allen, and anyone else out there, please continue reading and enjoying, unless you find this site totally boring and crap, then do whatever makes you happy.

As I promised I will be posting that answer to SchpatDope question about Mr D. System, maybe even today. I also want to post a counterpoint argument to some of the stuff on G.A.'s blog, not an attack, just a debate, so watch this space.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

schpat now in space

My god american's are dumb. They've recently developed a "less lethal" (their words) crowd control weapon based on microwave technology (a 95-gigahertz beam). Basically it's truck mounted and when pointed at you makes you hot. The idea is that if heat up the crowd people will leave. I think they've been testing this device in night clubs in Cape Town for years, but they claim that in tests participants were warned to remove eye glasses and metal objects to avoid causing localised hotspots. Here's the stupid bit: people are worried about what would happen if you couldn't leave the crowd, the weapon could prove very lethal. I say, fuck 'em, if you don't want to get hurt, don't do anything illegal, or at least be smart enough to stick to the edges of the crowd!

I promise I'm still going to answer the question about Dewey Dec being a Nazi, watch this space.

Now as the title suggests this blog is officially broadcasted into space on some kind of deep space transmission dish. I hope they point the dish in multiple directions to let all aliens receive my thoughts. For more information check out the link at the bottom.

On that point, I just realised today, while I was reading a Cecil Adams column, that in all likelihood I will never see interstellar travel, or even colonies on mars ala total recall. Now I don't believe that these things will never happen, just not in time for me to see them, it's like finding out that father christmass isn't real... only much worse. In an effort to increase the likelihood of my fantasies coming to pass I'd just like to say:

1 = 1
1 + 1 = 2
1 + 1 + 1 = 3
2 + 1 = 3
3 + 1 = 4
4 + 1 = 5
5 + 1 = 6
6 + 1 = 7
7 + 1 = 8
8 + 1 = 9
9 + 1 = 10
2 - 1 = 1
1 + 0 = 1
1 - 0 = 1
1 * 10 = 10
3 * 10 = 30
10 * 10 = 100
300 * 900 = 270000
30 / 10 = 3
30 / 3 = 10
e = m * c * c
DEAR ALIENS: Now that you have a primer for our maths and therefore language, please send us details of faster than light travel and other nifty things. Alternatively if you don't feel the rest of humanity deserves your gifts, just come pick _me_ up and leave the rest of the scum behind! thanks, look forward to hearing from you in about a hundred thousand years or so.

patrick stuart!

Beamed up to that Starship in the Sky

I know I haven't blogged in a while and I still have a SchpatDope question to answer, but I've been busy.

This is a post in mourning for a James "Scotty" Doohan. Scotty has joined Bones, I'm sure Spock and Denny will be along soon. It's the end of an era, I'm starting to tear up.

Go Boldly James.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


I've just had 2 zomg1!1!!! experiences. The first is that while checking my webcomics I noticed that someone left a comment about going to see Land of the Dead on Friday afternoon. It is finally finished. Drool. It'll probably be 2 years before if finally gets to South Africa, but I'm planning a costumed trip to Canal Walk when it does. Anybody gonna join me?

The second was when my boss brung in an apple pamphlet with nifty new gadgets. The best is not the new iPod Photo, which has 60GB storage, plays songs, stores, displays and edits photos, but the cable that attaches DIRECTLY to your digicam and allows you to download the pictures onto the unit. The cable is just a standard USB thing, this means that I can have a portable HDD that supports USB mass storage devices, how cool is that. The iPod costs R3999 and the cable R299, but I can dream can't I. I did wonder how they'd power the USB but then I thought most cameras need to be powered up before transferring pictures.

Also for those of you who appreciate good music here is how to play an awesome Johnny Cash tune on a Ukulele, thanks to Yirmurmah. Also on their site you can get a really bad cover of the artist (uke) and writer (vocals) doing "search and Destroy" by the Stooges. They’ve run a series of strips covering a ukulele tutorial.

I watched Van Helsing last night. Some of the CG sucked, it looked cartoonish, but most of it was really cool. It had a few plot holes, but overall I really enjoyed the movie. The problem I had was that it could have been better, and I think I've nailed down why: the film makers weren't in love with the movie (or maybe movie making), it was just a business deal or a job to them, it lacked passion. This is kinda an epiphany for me. There are some movies that were filmed with low budgets, bad actors and terrible special effects that still manage to be totally rocking, I'd even go as far as saying that as kick-ass movies go, there is a higher proportion of low budget to high budget. Think about it, if you're an investor (in the film industry "producer") you stick your cash in the flick with the lowest risk vs reward ratio. This means that you can hardly choose the ones that make you feel tingly inside. I've got nothing against making a buck, in fact this practice makes perfect business sense. Many of the really cool ideas end up plugging and loosing money for all involved, this is probably because the ideas didn't appeal to a wide enough audience. The other problem is that if someone really loves a concept and you give them a huge budget they may just go overboard, eg David Lynch with Dune. No Producer wants a movie that is really brilliant but that only 12 people on earth will go see. Instead they'd prefer a movie that vaguely resembles the ideas and concepts in Dune, that can showcase the latest special effects, star big names like orlando bloom, Bendover Arseflick or Colonic Irrigation Farrel and can be marketed like wrinkle-cream in an old folks home. These measures will place butts in seats and bring them the highest possible return on investment, and if they can't afford all that stuff well then the first thing to go is the vague reference to something called a book by this guy frank herbert.

Now don't get me wrong, this rant is about the movie industry in general and not specifically Van Helsing. Van Helsing was cool, it was interesting and novel, I enjoyed it. However the above business logic applies to everything in the entertainment industry, that's why cool tv shows like firefly and Now and Again get cancelled while eighteen wheels of justice gets 5 seasons, this makes schpat sad. People are scared to put their money into what they love. To make this point a little more personal, if you are not passionate about what you do think about doing something different, or you may find that you're filming "the phantom menace".

I don't want to leave this post on a downer so I'm just gonna remind you about the shiny at the top. MMmmmm, iPod. Drooolll Land of the Dead!

schpat out.

PS: I'm trying to popularise "brung". It's shorter, snapper and easier to spell than brought.

Monday, July 04, 2005

kung fu fest

Well not so much a fest as I watched Kill Bill I and II back to back because Elisabeth hadn't seen them yet. It totally rocked. I picked up on so many things that I hadn't noticed before and some very cute little tie-ins between the movies. One thing confused my however, the title claims that it is the 4th film by QT. Now even discounting movies thar I consider QT masterpieces like NBK and From Dusk to Dawn, I still count four previous movies: Resevouir Dogs, True Romance, Pulp Fiction and Jakie Brown. The only explanaitons I can possiblly come up with are that: 1. he wrote/concieved/made the movie before Jakie Brown, or 2. time doesn't actually run consecutively for him, that would explain Pulp Fiction. Maybe QT is actually chronologically impaired. I'm sure a bunch of you out there actually know the real answer so leave it here in my comments.

This brings me on to my next point. Obviously my friends know everything, or think they do. So far they've only raised one point for me to ponder. I'm glad to be in such good company, but incase anyone else out there has a question for me, or one of my friends is feeling super dumb, leave it in the comments section and I'll get back to you.

I leave you with this:

Ok, I typed that last bit about four hours ago and I still havn't thought of anything interesting or witty. So screw it.

Patrick Stuart!

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Schpat Dope

dystopia said...

Actually, there have been more than two captains of the starship enterprise. So, perhaps you are related to one of the others, which has led to the cnfusion. Perhaps you could enlighted us?


An interesting notion. I hadn't even thought of this, but it would account for confusion.
Let's start at the beginning, Christopher Pike. This guy thought he was Jesus for a bit and almost ended up caught in some kind of cage. Obviously he doesn't sound like the kinda guy who's genes contributed to me.

Spock. Although he was half human he is also half vulcan and simply exudes pure logic. Now because I am also quite logical, amongst other things I exude, I thought he was a likely candidate as an ancestor. But alas he only fathered one son, Zar, who ended up sterile. He did end up banging kirsty alley after that, but if I were related to her I'm sure I'd know it. So my logic can't be attributed to vulcan genes, another mystery unsolved.

Willard Decker. Decker ran the show aboard the enterprise for a while before apparently achieving a higher plane of existence in the V'ger incident. However my research has lead me to believe that he concocted this story in order to escape punishment for being a totally inadequate captain. Evidence shows that he in fact went through a time portal involving some kind of transporter malfunction and ended up somewhere in the 1930s flying a Grumman Goose under the name Jake Cutter. Apparently he ran afoul of the law and now lives under an assumed name in Glenoak California where he is a practicing minister. He has about five kids of his own, I don't think he needs me claiming to be his offspring too.

Next is John Harriman: Starfleet records have Harrmian listed as a native of Chicago, Illinois with a wife named Sophie and a son named Ferris. His hobbies include an interest in and 20th Century sports cars. Due to the lameness, probably not him.

Jonathan Archer. We have recently discovered that ol' J Archer was in fact the first captain of the Enterprise and not Chris Pike as we previously thought. Jon seems to have been an able captain but due to _another_ unfortunate transporter accident seems to be bouncing around the 20th century assuming peoples identities and generally doing good. He was last spotted as Jim Olmeyer, a homosexual living somewhere in suburbia. I don't have anything against homosexuals, I only mention it because Ziggy says that there is only a 0.02% chance that he is my father.

Having already discounted James T Kirk and Jean Luc Picard that leaves only one captain of the enterprise on who I can find nothing to canonically disprove a relationship to me, Captain Robert April, but that's a whole different story.