The Net is Back

I've got the Internet in my house again, so start checking here more often for posts, now that I can write them in my underwear.

Did Ang Li catch the bad end of the Green Destiny?

Seriously, what happened to Ang Li? The man is obviously crazier than a cross-eyed man trying to feed a stick to a possum.

He gave us Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and then he must have had head trauma because everything just went down the crapper since then.

I mean, he screwed up The Hulk. That had to be the easier movie to make cool, but he couldn’t do it.

Now he’s giving up Brokeback Mountian, the movie so gay, it’s called Brokeback Mountain.

My theory is that he originally had the idea for one huge epic moving but had to split it into three because of budget constraints. We can only assume this movie was about some deadly flying redneck who turned gay when he got mad.

Geek on.

Really, I used to be in a band

I was in a band when I was younger. I quit because I couldn't stand sharing a mic with someone else.

Geek on.

The fact I don't eat or sleep may be a factor

I’m feeling kinda of sick. I know what happen. I was playing goalie for the Statesman Intramural Indoor Soccer team and I was clapping really because we almost did something really cool (when a bunch of journalists get together and try to do something physical, we don’t do cool things, but sometimes we get close).

I guess I was clapping so hard that I ripped a chuck of goalie glove off and it flew into my mouth.

I think I got the avian bird flu or something.

By the way, am I the only person who's realized that the name "avian bird flu" is totally redundent? "Avian" means bird remember.

Oh well.

Geek on.

Shinney's holiday tip#1

Drink some eggnogg before you leave to start your day. You'll be burping the holiday spirit all day long!

Sometimes, I fart in the computer lab

So, I'm up to left nut in homework and stuff at work and have obviously not taken this blog very seriously. Here's a couple of updates.

At work:
Only five papes left (that's how we say it, it looks really stupid when I write it) in the semester. We had a meeting today that assigned all the stories for a year. We're looking forward to next semester in which we will include our continual attempt to devl deeper into the lifestyle issues that really matter to students, like obesity, single motherhood and nude modeling.

I also write the preemptive critic every Friday, which is a lot of fun. It's like being a real journalist, without anywork.

Personal life:
As much as I hate to admit it, my wife can totally kick my left and right buttcheek at Doctor Mario. I've come to grips with it by reminding/convincing myself that Doctor Mario isn't a real video game. It helps with the pain.

I actually mentioned this in one of my (obviously) prodominatly male CS class and apparently this is a common occurance in various geeky relationships. My hope is that if I keep letting her beat the everlovin' snickers out of me as Dr. M., sooner or later she'll join me in a game of Heroes of Might and Magic.

Of course, once she beats me at that, our marrage will be in jepordy.

I finally found out what all the "Firefly" buzz is about. It's about the coolest show I've seen in a long time. Over the break I was able to catch an episode and a half. I instant fell in love. For those of you who haven't seen in yet, I understand, it took my a while too, but it's time to repent. Go watch it now. My goal for Winter Break has switch from program my own hexbased turn-based strategy game to rent and watch the whole series.

Random stuff I'm not making up:
My little brother wants my help training to be in the Ultimate Fighting Challenge.

Some girl just asked me if a decade was ten years.

My Mormon problem article has almost 4000 reads now.

I'm too busy to poop somedays.

[Beat] Everything I ever need to know I learn from Mario

I’m scared to be a dad. It’s not the responsibility I’m afraid of. I kept me Siamese fighting fish alive for months and it didn’t cry when I didn’t feed it so I think I can handle a kid just fine.

What I’m worried about is that I won’t be able to raise the kid up to be the well-adjusted adult he or she should be.

Everyone knows that a child’s early years are crucial to their growth and development. This is why I’m worried about my kids. They will never have the same educational opportunities that I had, because they may not exist at that point.

That’s because everything I learned as a kid that made me that man I am today, I learned from the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System.

I’m sure there are some Philistines out there who have outlandish ideas about the NES only being for entertainment. Well let me but such heresy to rest by showing you what video games have taught me.

I have personal worth. If a dopey little kid with pointy ears and a floppy hat can save the world from evil with nothing but a wooden sword than I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. (Zelda

There’s a way to solve any problem that comes your way. If one doesn’t work, try another. If the ice spell doesn’t get the job done, trying something with a little lightning. (Final Fantasy)

Always look both ways before you cross the street. (Frogger)

Women are all being held hostage by a giant, evil dragon of some kind. If you’re lucky, it’s a literal dragon hat can be dealt with by simply dropping him into lava. In all likelihood though, it’ll be some meta-physical dragon like being uncomfortable with herself in a swimsuit or fears of not fully reaching her own potential. Good luck with those man, they don’t make fireballs to kill that crap. (Mario)

This one does have to do with self-defense, the weakness of every fat person, hitting them in the stomach. (Punch Out)

No matter what your parents tell you about how it helps you grow as a person or how it’s good exercise, being a paperboy, just isn’t fun. (Paperboy, the stupidest concept for a game, ever)

It's always a good idea to devote your entire life martial arts and to have your best friend to do the same. That way if by some off chance an evil gang come and punches you girlfriend in the stomach (not she’s fat, they’re just jerks) and carry her off over their shoulders, you can do something about it. (Double Dragon)

Ninja can beat guys with guns. (Ninja Gaiden)

Just because something is pointless and doesn’t make much sense, doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. Doesn’t anyone remember those little spiky guys that would crawl around in the first Metroid? What were those things? What kind of supior alien race employs little spiky things to crawl on there walls? I don’t know. But it keeps me up some nights. (Metroid)

Use want you’re offered in life. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you a stone, make soup. If life sends you a stupid gun that shoots leaves, use it to destroy some other evil robot. (Megaman 2)

Sometimes you really have to get to the heart of the problem. Sometimes this isn’t pretty. Sometimes this requires shooting the face right off your problem, climbing inside and shooting the problem’s heart with your machine gun. It’s times like these it’s helpful to have 30 lives. (Contra)

Patience is key. You may be tempting to drop a crooked piece down your carefully crafted one square wide chasm to get a couple easy points. Hang tight though, the long skinny piece is just around the corner. (Tetris)

So you can see, everything I really need to know, I learned from Nintendo.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is a junior in computer science and is currently trying to use skills his learned from playing computer games to get out of taking his midterms next month. Comments can be sent to

Secrets of Marraige

So I'm learning all kinds of things about real life since I've gotten married.

For example, I've learned why it is generally the man's job to take the garbage out. It's not because the garbage is gross, or because it's too heavy.

It's just that taking out the garbage is the only job around the house simple enough that my wife will trust me to do it.

Geek on.

Big Brawl with the Bogeyman

I have never really got over my fear of the bogeyman. It’s one of the many things from my childhood that I just cannot let go of, like my love of action figures, refusal to eat broccoli and this reoccurring dream where the people from Seseme Street try to feed me to Snuffalufagus.

The thing about the bogeyman is that despite the fact that he has terrified me and prevented me from sleeping for the last twenty years, I still have no clear idea as to what he looks like.

The day that I moved out away from home was a highlight in my life, not only because it meant I could escape my mother’s iron grip and spend all day eating cheetos in my underwear. It also meant that if the bogeyman were to finally get around to crawling out from under my bed to kill me, there would be a 50 percent chance he’d get my roommate first. This was a big improvement in my mind.

As a 7-year-old, I would always have my parents protect me from the bogeyman, because certain death and the hands of a drooling monster didn’t seem to faze them.

I also assumed that by the time I was married I would be brave enough to protect my young bride from anything that may be hiding in our closet. I also figured I’d have matured to the point where I’d be able to resist giggling to myself when I hear the word “titillate.”

I was wrong on both counts.

So here I am, a married “responsible” adult, I can do anything I want and I still spend my nights staring at the ceiling worrying about what could possibly be going bump in the night.

I’ve decided this needs to stop. When I become a father, if my offspring come to me with fears and complaints about monsters under the bed, I’d want to be able to do more than just dress them up in some football pads, hand them a wiffle bat and wish them luck.

For all these reasons and more, I’ve decided to take the fight to my enemy. I refuse to live in fear anymore. I’m officially calling the boogeyman out.

I’m not sure how this is going to work. The boogeyman definite has the advantage on me. He’s been around for years, spying on me. If he’s as smart as he claims to be, he’ll probably start watching tape of some of my previous battles looking for weaknesses.

Fortunately, I’ve been preparing for this battle for a long time. I’ve got plans. I’ve got a training regiment. I’ve got booby traps set up in my room. I think I’m ready.

Ideally, the boogeyman will be a man and face me in honorable, one-on-one combat. Actually ideally we’d just settle the whole thing via a game of high-stakes Dungeons and Dragons but we all know he’s too big of a chicken to do that. That’s right boogeyman, I’m calling you a chicken.

Unfortunately, I know that I’m dealing with an underhanded monster that generally picks victims based on the presence of footie pajamas.

From what I’ve been able to gather, the boogeyman attacks when people are least expecting it. I didn’t burn my eyebrows off in Boy Scouts for nothing. I be prepared. This is why I’m ready to face him at anytime of the night.

You think I’m kidding? Just ask my wife, I sleep with nunchucks under my pillow.

Now I’m sure some of you out there are laughing at me, saying that such a battle is unnecessary seeing as how there hasn’t been a verified boogeyman-related attack since at least the Carter administration. To you I say, if you were attacked by the bogeyman, would you tell anyone?

That’s not the point though, after I’m through with him, there won’t be anymore little boys getting abducted because he didn’t stay under his blanket for a very long time.

That’s why I’m doing this, for the children.

Because they deserve to be able to stay up late, so that they too, may geek on.

Steve Shinney is a junior in computer science and is currently training for a fight with Count Chocula and his big rematch with the chucabra.

This beat first apearred in the Utah Statesman. Used with permission


Sorry, no beat posted this week. I'll put one up tomorrow.

Things have been just falling around my ears.

Not that anyone reads this thing anyway. I need to up my pimpage.

Lessons learned

I've learned an important lesson recently. I've learned that some people take everything very seriously, even if you are normally associtated with fart jokes and Captian Planent references.

For those of you who just randomly reading this blog, another editor at my paper and I recently ran a very
controversial column.

Well most people now worship us as folk heros, a few people, however, want our heads on spits. Natuarlly these are the people who missed the joke. People who get the joke, thought it was funny and want to bare our children.

Anyway, you can't live your life a fraid of upsetting the unstable. In humor, if you can get half the room on your side you're a winner. If the respose we've gotten is any indication, we have 99 percent in our corner.

If you haven't read it yet, here's the link, let me know what you think.

[Beat] Mastering Science before hitting puberty

People often complain that I take to long in my columns to get to the point. As far as I’m concerned you people are lucky I even have a point. No paper I’ve ever written for a grade has had one.

Anyways, without any further ado, the point:

Just like Donatello, I’m a scientist. I have been ever since I preformed my first experiment on what would happen if you light your little sister’s Barbie on fire. From which I developed my first real scientific equation: H2O * Sd <= G(t), which states (obviously) that the amount she cries combined with the smoke damage you cause are directly related to the amount of time you’ll spend grounded.

This was than followed by the discovery of other scientific principals such as gravity pulls objects of smaller mass toward those with bigger, that food that’s only been on the ground for 10 seconds in still safe to eat and just because you head will fit through something doesn’t necessarily mean that it can come back out.

Despite my illustrious career in the sciences there are some things I’ve never understood. How scratch-and-sniff stickers work and my little brother’s irrational fear of weasels are two of them. Also high up on the list is pretty much anything that a grownup ever said to me when I was a child.

From “Don’t hold you’re face like that, it’ll stick,” to “root beer is not for breakfast,” everything my authority figures would say to me didn’t make a lick of sense.

The one that would really dry my Play-Doh out was “Don’t play too much video games, they’re a waste of time and will rot your brain.” Personally I don’t think anyone who can’t figure out how to get Link the wooden sword could accuse me of having a rotten brain.

With the exception of watching Drew Barrymore movies and coloring maps of various countries I’d never heard of in seventh grade geography, I don’t think anything I’ve done in my life has been a complete waste of time. What may appear to be the useless actions of a kid with any over active imagination was in truth a secret training regimen for the day when my skills would be needed.

What would the rest of the class do if a dragon came? Throw a football at it really hard? Play piano at it? No, all they would do is hide and cry until I was able to slay the beast with my yellow Wiffle bat.

I would spend the time that wasn’t dedicated to the pursuit a sword of dragon slaying to further my scientific prowess. You’d think my attempts to build a time machine on my skateboard would make me popular with the other kids but rather it just let to them doing their own experiments on how far up my underwear could go.

That’s another thing I haven’t been able to understand scientifically, why people claim kids are innocent and pure. From what I remember they were all mean and punched hard.

In grade school I used to get beat up for pretending to be He-Man by some kid pretending to Mike Tyson. Am I the one who sees the hypocrisy in that?

Sorry, this is a very personal topic for me. Just thinking about it brings a tear to my eye and the taste of 2000 Flushes to my mouth.

Well it looks like this column, let the semester, is coming to an end. Thanks for reading, I’ve enjoyed our time together and hope you will join my for next year’s Geek Beats. Until then, geek on.

Geek out.

This was the last Geek Beat publish in the Spring Semester of this year. Published in the Utah Statesman.

Don't ask what prompted this

Who designs girls' T-shirts? I would like to have a word with them.

They always put the words where you get in trouble for reading them.

Geek on.

Childhood is gross when you think about it

Who came up with bobbing for apples? Looking back I feel really stupid about how good I was at this drowning hazard.

Basically you stick your head - with your mouth open mind you - into a mixture of10% apple juice, 35% and 55% percent backwash.

Yeah, that's gross.

Geek on.

[Beat] Dinner, dancing and zombies: the perfect honeymoon

I got permission to post my beats here as well as in the paper. This one was pretty well recieved. Most people liked the mental image of Magic the Gathering geeks trying to play DDR.

The unofficial title of this column is “What I did over my summer vacation,” because that’s all I’m going to talk about. I’m sure some of you are saying, “I don’t wanna hear about what you did.” Well, to you I say, “Hey, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘Steve’.”

I got married over the summer. This just goes to show that just because your high school class votes you to be the last to do something doesn’t mean it’ll happen that way.

We went to Las Vegas for our honeymoon. It was great, Vegas is my kind of town. It’s really shinny and has lots of buttons. Plus I can ride a roller coaster, watch a circus and pretend to be a pirate, all on the same street.

I don’t gamble in Vegas, at least not with my money. I gamble with my life every time I eat at on one of Vegas’s world-famous buffets.

It’s not the food at these places that worries me, it’s the all you eat part. I can eat a lot, a lot more that I probably should. I think the workers at the buffet should be able to cut me off, similar to how bartenders can tell an alcoholic when he’s had too much. By my seventh plate of baked “salmon” and “prime” rib covered with “chicken” chow mein, someone needs to tell me to stop. I’m no longer in control.

I, like the rest of the world, don’t go to Vegas to eat. I go to Vegas to put coins in to big shinny machines. The difference is that the one arm from my bandit is a joystick.

I love arcades. Always have, and I probably always will. There’s just something about a musty room full of hormone-driven teenagers swearing at inanimate objects that makes me feel at home.

Not all is well in beep-town, however. The arcade is no longer the bastion of geekiness that it once was.

The arcade scene has changed a lot since I was a kid. I’ve been around arcades since a yellow circle passed as a hero and the scariest looking villain was a centipede.

These days there are games filled with zombies so scary that I refuse to play for the simple reason that I don’t want to wet myself in public. Especially since the public consist of ten year olds who can slay countless of these zombies.

These zombie blood fests with names like “House of the Dead,” “CarnEVIL” and “Picnic of Doom” aren’t the games with which I have the real problem. The pox that has wasted our nations gamming dens is none other than Dance Dance Revolution.

For those of you who think Wedge Antilles is a golf club, Dance Dance Revolution (or DDR) is a video game where players actually dance along to Japanese pop music (or J-pop) by stamping along to commands flashed on the screen. It’s been at the forefront of the new trend in arcade to have primarily dancing games (or crap).

I’ve never liked dancing games because they go against nature. If God had wanted geeks to dance, he would have given us Magic: The Gathering.

Up until my honeymoon I had never tried a dancing game. I was much too manly for that. But then my wife asked me to join her in playing one and I found out just how manly I wasn’t.

I honestly expected to like it once I gave it a try. I was wrong. After about thirty of stomping to the beat, I worked up a sweat and it dawned on me “This isn’t a video game, it’s exorcise!”

I wasn’t able to feel ripped off, as my two left feet reared their ugly head and I feel, causes he casino staff to use the gauze in the arcade first aid kit for the first time ever.

And that’s what I did on my summer vacation.

Geek on.

This beat first appeared in the Utah Statesman, in August 2005. Used with permission

I'm not even going to talk about what would happen if we ran out of Mountain Dew

I was walking the other day, considering the many disasters that have effect the world recently and about what would happen if our luck would run out and something would happen here. I hope we would be able to bind together like some places have when called upon to face adversity.

As I walked past the cemetary I realized that sure, Logan may be able to with stand a blizzard, which is granted the most likely natural disaster in this part of the world, but there are many that we would not stand a chance against. For example, our cementary only has a small chainlink fence with unshuttable gates. There is no way that would be sufficent in the case of a zombie uprising.

Geek on.


For some reason, I can spell orange the fruit right everytime, but I can't spell the color to save my life.

Geek on.

Time to face the change

Ever since I've gotten married I've been asked several times what the biggest change in my life has been. At first I really didn't know what to say. Actually Ithough I did know but I didn't want my wife to get made at me. After some thinking though I've came across the true, biggest change in my life.

I can't fart in bed anymore.

Geek on.

Will work for swag

Starting today this is not the only blog awesome enough to contain my geeky words. I'll now be posting on a regular basis for Digital Strips. Digital Strips is a really, high quality web comic pod cast hosted by The Mighty Zampzon and Daku the Rouge. They've gotten so busy setting up interviews and putting the show together that they longer have time to stay abreast on web comic news.

This is where I will come in. I'll be doing this for them. I'm still not very sure exactly how it's all going to fit together. For what I understand, as I come across web comic related news, I'll be sticking it up on thier site.

This is cool becuase I love web comics and now I have more of a reason to read them. I can also write more, which is always helpful and fun. They said they could also pimp anything of my own which will be nice. I have tried to start a web comic of my own but to no avail as of yet. I have talked to the cartoonist at the paper and we might be putting something together, but that's a ways off I'm sure.

That's all I have for now.

Geek on.

At least I can articulate

I think it's time that I come clean. I don't have kung-fu action grip. I'm not even sure what that means. I just know that I really want it.

Lock it or Lose it?

I was making my way out of the computer lab last night and as I was about to walk down the stair when I noticed a piece of paper stuck in the door of the Linux lab. For some reason I decided to take a look at it.

I took the paper out and read it. It was a notice from Campus Security alerting the computer science department that the door had been left open. This didn't seem that weird, the door was unlocked and it was midnight and that is Campus Security job.

What struck me as weird was the severity of the note. Scrawled acrossed the top were the words "Lock it or Lose it." It went on to say that if the CS department didn't be more responsible, they would lose the privaledge.

It was like a parent threatening to take away their kids puppy if they don't feed it.

My question is, what priveledge? The priveledge of having a door? How are they going to take that away? Remove the door? That'll improve security.

I don't see why they're even that worried. The Linux lab is not very well known. I only found out about it when I took a class in Linux. The computers in the lab don't even boot up into Windows so it's not like the average thief could even use them. They'd just steal it and bring it back later.

Anyway, it nice to know that they care.

Geek on.

My issue with keys

I have a problem with my keys.

I never know when to get them out. I'll be walking toward a door that I need to unlock and I just don't know the proper time to pull my keys out of pocket. Sometimes I pull them out too early, then I'm just walking down the hall with keys in my hand. Too late, I'm standing there digging in my pockets just wasted time.

Obviously with keys this is a fairly trivial issue, however, it spreads to every aspect of my life. Going to the bathroom, however, it's more of a potiential problem.

Geek on.

Everything tastes like chicken, except chicken flavored Ramen

I've eaten more than enough Ramen noodles in my life. Enough to make me feel lucky I'm still alive in fact.

I noticed something distrubing about Ramen though. You have you basic flavors: chicken that's supposed to taste like chicken, shrimp that's suposed to taste like shrimp, beef that's supposed to taste like cow, and then you have Oriental. Is is supposed to taste like Chinese people?

I'd be a little concerned about the research that would have to go into to such a flavor but then I thought about how the beef powder tastes, so I'm not worried.

Geek on.
I'm against bad sex and swearing in movies. By bad I mean anything that distracts from the actually story or is otherwise unnessicary.

While such decisions are based on my religious beliefs, they do not stand on them alone. I also think the most important part of anyform of entertainment is to tell the story and any that takes away from that is bad.

For example, if the number of purple monkeys distracted from the story, I'd complain about the purple monkeys.

People often retort with stuff like "Sex is part of life. Get theF--- over it."

That's stupid. First off, sex is a part of my life, but it's never advanced the plot.

Second, people taking big stinky craps are part of life. We don't put those in movies do we? No because it offends some, and even those it doesn't offend, it doesn't help them or add anything to their movie experience.

Twins scare me

I'm not a man who admits fear easily. Atleast not anymore. I used to admit fear much more often than I'd like to remember to the whole world, or atleast any one who would look at the front of my pants.

I am still afraid of the Bogeyman, but I'll go into that at a later date.

Twins however scare me to death. It's just not natural for there to be two of the same person. with the exception of the occansional episode Star Trek. Doubes are never a good thing.

Besides, have you ever hung around twins, it's like walking in a house of mirrors.

Geek on.
I went to Vegas for my honeymoon. It was great. Vegas however is a weird town. It's built around the concept of taking your money. However people go there with the goal of getting rich.

To me, that's like needed help with fertility and seeing a guy who kicks you in the nuts.

Geek on.

The Last Day

So this is my last day single. It just doesn't seem real to me. It's a day I never thought would happen. I've always known my wedding day would happen, but my last day of being single, never crossed my mind.

It's weird, but it should be okay.

Geek on, I guess. I'm sure gonna try.
So I'm thinking of starting a new online auction site. It's be a specialty one. We'd only sell things that are green.

We'd call it Greenbay.
Are you mad at me yet?

Geek on.

I miss Sally

Not really anything for me to say today. I never get to make the posts I want to. Not that it matters. As far as I can tell the only people to ever read this blog are some guy from Egypt and a computer program that wants to sell me spinning rods.

That does remind me how bad I am at fishing. I ever started a column about it. That was back when I was living the dream of trying to be a real writer. Huh, so much for that huh?

Actually I did get to do some real writing today. I'm doing a story for the Statesman and I wanted to get it started before I get married and go honeymooning. I did feel pretty good walking around talking to some of the more important people on campus. Than the security guard wouldn't let me into the office and I was reminded how unimportant I am and how much he sucks.

I may start pimping this site a bit. Trying to get some readers. I think I may start right now. Or later.

Anyways, I've rambled enough just so I can say I update my blog. I'm going to go for a walk of something.

Geek on.

I killed Bambie's Dad

Actually I didn't kill him. I don't even think I wounded him. He'll be a bit sore tomorrow but that's about it. Last I saw him, he wasn't even limping. It was really quite depressing. I fingured hitting him with my car would have done more than that.

My car is a bit banged up. My door won't open, which super sucks, and my mirror is smashed. Fortunately my fiance (I know I spelled it wrong but I don't care) and I were fine which isn't a garruntee (see previous aside) when you hit a deer going 60.

I keep trying to focus on the positive and for the most part I do. I'm thrilled that we walked away unharmed. I realize what a blessing this and am grateful for it.

I'd be lying though, if I didn't say I was a little miffed that I'm going to spend the last week of being single without a car because some deer had to prove to his friends that his antlers were bigger than their's.

Anyway, geek on.

Starting to be a Superhero

In my constant efforts to be a superhero, yesterday I battled the nasty villain of litter.

I was driving down the road and I saw a can fall from another car. The drive by little really bugs me because the prepatrater can just drive away like nothing happened. I wasn't going to take I. I snatched up the can and chanced after them running and yelling rebuking all the way.

They finally stopped, it was a young couple, and started yelling back. The girl was furious. She was getting all up in my face yelling back. Something about ruining her wedding day.

Some people are just jerks.

Geek on.

Scott Johnson Interview

I just got done with an interveiw with Scott Johnson, the creator of Extra Life.

It was really cool to get to talk with an actual webcomic artist and hear straight from him what he thought about the genre as a whole. Plus Scott was super cool and just really fun to talk to.

The interview was for a story we'll be running for our first issue of Deversions which is the entertainment section of the Utah Statesman. So stay tuned for that...or I'll kill you, you know, with a toaster or something.

Geek on.

A Bit of a Beat

This is a Geek Beat that I never got the way I wanted. I still like the idea so I'll probably rewrite it. Don't forget to check out the Classic Beats sections for the best of the published columns from last school year.

My original plan today was to write a helpful and useful column about what people can do with their tax returns. It was going to include all kinds of great deals on geeky gadgets, high quality investing tips and how to create cold fusion with a fudgecicle.

Unfortunately it seems I've blown all my tax return on buying forty raw pounds of ninja turtle action figures and Mountain Dew.

So what's a geek to do if he just blew all his cash on bean bag chair full of pudding? Head to the last bastion of free nerd entertainment that's what. I'm talking about the computer labs

I love the computer labs here on campus. They're my geeky paradise. Nothing but wall to wall, T1 goodness.

They're the prefect place to go when you're in college and you're so strapped for cash that's you're watching entire movies in front of the the book store and sometimes you just go into the QuickStop so you can smell the hotdogs and wish.

Computer labs have replaced the library as the place to study on today's modern campuses. No longer to people have to risk nasty paper cuts and actual human contact to get homework done.

All you have to do at the lab is slide yourself into a chair that well worn in all the right places, fire up a few crucial programs, put on your head phones and your just moments away from what scientists refer to as, "the Zone".

You need to be careful though, while you may feel like your in your own little world, your not. You're still in a public access lab and we can still hear you including your singing along to your favorite song and all those embarrassing noises you make.

My first online confession

After burning my infinitith batch of spegetti while messing around on my computer, I may have to admit that I'm not so good a multi-tasking. This is hard for me to say since, as a geek, multitasking is a huge part of my life and has been ever since that fateful day in 6th grade when I discovered I could pee in the shower.

I'll keep working on it though. Send me some tips or something.

And don't forget to geek on.

I almost drank green milk

I just realized another reason every one should watch Chinese movies and TV shows. They make American shows way more suspenseful. In American entertainment we take for granted that the main character will survive. Not so in Chinese. They'll kill anyone. If you fill your mind with enough bad guys winning in the end, it makes evertything you watch more dramatic.

Geek on.

Coke Question

Why would anyone want to buy the world a Coke?

It's too jittery as it is.

Geek on.

More thoughts on Star Wars

A common large concern that a lot of die-hard fans have against Episode 3 is the cheesy dialouge that takes place between Anakin and Padme. I thought it was lame and bad when I watched the movie. They laid the shmultz on each over pretty thick. As usually when people talk in movies, I couldn't wait for the next explosion.

Lately, as I've been preparing for my up coming wedding, I've found myself spending a lot of time with my girlfriend. During these times I've noticed our conversations are super lame.

This leads me to believe that this people complaining about the dialouge are tradtional Star Wars geeks who have never had a girlfriend and don't understand that even if you're the chosen one of the Jedi Order, once you're in love, you're a moron.

Star Wars III is awesome. Just deal with in.

And then geek on.

Retiring from hero work

Much to everyone who knows me great relief, I'll no longer wear tights in my spare time.

The chaffing was unbarable.

I've canceled my subscription to City of Heroes, the hugely popular superhero based MMORPG. It was the first such game I'd ever really played and I really enjoyed it, I'm just too busy to justify the cost.

I was impressed by the game though and would recomended it to any one who wished they had a secret identity. Go there and act out the fantasies you thought you had to leave on the monkey bars in grade school.

Geek on.

Why the Dark Side would have easier recruitment sessions

I've been thinking about Star Wars a lot recently. This isn't all that unusual considering I often think about Star Wars quite often. It's one of those worlds that I retreat to when I'd rather not be where I am at the time. As a child I learned that the real world sucks but in my imagination I can live in worlds that better meet my requirements for magic systems and orc populations. Star Wars is on of the many worlds in which hide the the mundaneness that is my life.

So anyway, as I was saying, I was thinking about Star Wars and I realized the true appeal of the Dark Side. It not about power, or money or not having to follow a bunch of stupid rules or any of that, its not even about being able to love. It's about the names.

Think about it. The Dark Side has way better titles. If you fight on the side of truth and right, you start out as a youngling, a youngling. In a universe full of bad names, that's gotta be the worse one. After that you become a padawan. Not as stupid as a youngling, but still hard to spell and not something people understand very well. Finally, after all this work, you get promoted to the rank of Knight and out of the ranks that suck. After a life of battles and training, you finally become a Jedi Master and can get some decent name cards printed up.

On the Dark Side however, as soon as you sign up, you're a Lord. No questions asked. That's a lot sweeter than a Knight or even a Master. Chicks dig titles of power, and what has more power than Lord? Nothing that's what. Follow is up with a cool name like Vader or Maul and there's nothing you can't do with the title of Lord.

“Hey Jimmy, wanna be a Jedi with me? If we train for twenty years we could even be Knights.”

“No thanks, I'm already a Lord.”


“The Dark Side.”


Yeah, I'm sure that's a pretty common conversation in the Star Wars universe.

Geek on.

Two points

Point One: My roommate was send this song a couple of days ago and I've been totally geeking out to ever since. I'll warn you that this is high level geekdom. It's about sort of about complex math but, atleast in my mind, more about how when you get higher in math you just learn more complex ways to describe simple concepts. Its called A Simple Finite Set (of Order Two) by the Klein Four Group. Enjoy it and take a look at their site, they have other good songs but this is the best.

Point Two: Don't argue in the elevator. This should be obvious but some people don't get it. Today at work I was forced into the awkwardest situation I've been in recently. I was waiting for the elevator and I heard a couple arguing around the corner getting closer. I figured as soon as they got close enough to see me, they stop. They didn't, they just kept fighting, even after we were all on the elevator together. I had to get off on an eariler floor, just for the sake of my sanity.

That's it, I'm out.

Geek on.

Fantastic Four was well...not bad.

Well, I'm feeling better. Still coughing like a banshee, but that's okay.

Um, I really have no desire to write a full review of the Fantastic Four. I'll just say that I liked it. It wasn't the best superhero movie ever, but it didn't blow any goats.

I was really looking forward to seeing the movie until I saw Batman Begins. Ever since I saw that masterpiece 0f cinema, I was worried that there couldn't possibly be another good comic movie this summer.

The more I waited though, I started to think about it I relized there was a hope. This hope was that they would go for an entirely different purpose. This is exactly what happened. Batman rocks because it reminds us that comic books are a great way to tell indepth and intense story as well as developing better characters than other artforms. Fantastic Four reminds us that reading comics is fun.

That's the word I'd use describe the movie, fun. It's a fun movie. It has a lot of obvious jokes and some more that I wished I'd thought of myself. It's not about deep emotional heroes who use their gifts to make amends to the world, it's about a man who uses his powers to get paper when he's stranded on the toilet.

Go see it. You'll have fun.

Geek on. (I remembered it this time)

Reaction to Roger Ebert's Fantastic Four Review

OK, so Roger Ebert, of Ebert and Roper, just really pissed me off. Not only did he hate the Fantastic Four but his gave the lamest reasons ever for feeling so.

First of he called the four second tier superheroes. They were the first superhero team. They are reserved in their world. While the rest of the heroes need to hide behind masks and secret identities, the FF face the world uncovered. They are celebrities and national heroes.

So if this wasn't enough to prove Ebert didn't know what he was talking about he than proceeded to blow me away with his unknowledge (I know it's not a word) of comic books by comparing the Four to other heroes we've already seen.

He compared The Human Torch to the Flash, who hasn't even had a movie recently. Because, you know, fire and going really fast are so close.

The Thing was likened unto Swamp Thing. This one I will give to Ebert, they are both bald, strong and have Thing in their name. That's something, I'll concede that, it's a stupid something, but something nonetheless.

He had the balls to claim Mr. Fantastic was a knock off of the Incredibles. I will stand aside and let all those who know what I'm talking about speak on this issue.

Finally, and most absurd, he said that The Invisible Woman (or girl as she was refered to in the movie) was just like Storm. Storm. Let me say this again, Storm. Storm has the power to control weather. The Invisible Woman can turn, surprisingly enough, invisible and shoot force fields. While I've never understood how those too powers are related, if Mr. Ebert can see how the coincide with weather, he most have had some freaky high pressure fronts where he grew up.

Bare in mind here I'm not saying that Mr. Ebert or anyone has to be an expert in comic books to be a movie critic. But be honest. Don't try to come across like you know a lot about a topic that some one as feeble in knowledge as myself can rant about so easily. Just say you didn't like it. If you have to admit you didn't get it, that's fine too, you're entitled to you opinions and can not like a movie for what ever reason you want.

I for one, really enjoyed the movie as did the twelve or so other people that went with it. I'll give a full review better when I'm no longer suffering from this killer cough that has descended upon me.

Chinese Medicine

I'm sick. Not super sick but sick enough that I'm pretty miserable. I can't imagine why, I only spend my days up to my elbows in medical waste.

Anyways, my wonderful Chinese girlfriend came over to take care of me. She used tradional Chinese medicine which means soup. She pumped so much soup into me I can't stop peeing. I'm pretty sure the whole base of Chinese medicine revolves around the concept of peeing the germs out.

It worked last time I was sick so I'm not going to knock it.

Now I need to pee than I'm going to bed.

Thoughts on Swearing, part 1

Living in Utah as I do, you hear a lot of substitutes for common swears. A large percentage of people here, including myself, are taught that swearing that is bad or at least lame.

Most people still feel the need to use other words to fill in the void left in our life by not swearing. Basic fillers are used by the wide majority of people here and everybody knows them. Thanks to Napoleon Dynamite, you probably know them too.

As for me, I try to go beyond the norm and create new swears. My current one is “Crackers in my hat!” I got it from a friend who came up with it one day when he spilt crackers into his hat.

A common swear replacement that non creative folk use way too much in my opinion. Freakin' A.

Freakin' A. Let's think about this for a second. I've known some amazing swearers in my time, people who could, and would, string so many swears together that it becomes a language of their own. Never once have I heard one of these people use the combination that “freakin' A” stands for. When they, the swearers enter into a situation that would cause a non-swearer to say “Freakin' A” they too say “Freakin' A.”

Weird huh?

So this is how the saga ends, with thunderous applause

warning: this post contains spoilers and probably a hundred spelling/gramatical errors. Also it's not very funny. Humor will some day come to this blog I promise.

Well, it's over. The Star Wars series is over. Balance has been restored to the force. Only two Jedi and two Sith remain. The Empire has formed and the Rebellion can't be far behind. Anakin is evil. Dooku is dead. Luke and Leia are alive.

More importantly, the saga is complete. The whole story has been told. The loose ends are all tied. I am satisfied.

*****Skip below if you only want a review******

I'm a huge Star Wars fan. I may not know the movies backwards and forwards but I enjoy the heck out of them every time I watch them. I love the story and the character, the exotic locals and intense battle scenes. I love how the original three show the battle between good and evil on an epic, galaxy wide scale. I love how the new three tell the same story on the equally epic scale of a single human scale.

I wasn't born a Star Wars fan. My parents weren't huge fans and I really didn't know anything about it until I was in the later part of grade school. My best friend, Ryan Loveland, was one of those kids born to watch Star Wars. He would tell me about the movies and did so with such an enthusiasm that I couldn't help but want to learn more.

We'd watch Star Wars together a few times, he'd tell me a few of those random facts that only Star Wars fans seem to know or care about. When we got older the trilogy was released again in theaters. We weren't again to see Empire, but enjoyed the A New Hope and Jedi.

My junior year in high school a buzz was starting. The prequels were coming. I was there opening night. Not with Ryan this time, but with Jessica, my first girlfriend. She was as big a fan as I was. It was her idea to watch it that night, no matter how late we would have to stay up. By the time school got out that night the line had already wrapped around the theater. Fortunately she had some friends near the front who were able to get us tickets for the 12:01 a.m. showing.

I still remember that night. Pocatello's geekiest were out in full force. There were people of all ages dressed as characters new and old. Little kids dress as Obi-wan and Darth Maul would duel for our entertainment. People brought TV's to watch the old movies and play new Star Wars based games. Occasionally people driving be would yell something about how geeky we were. We never cared. Those that were with us were more than those that were against us. For the first time in my life I realized just how many fans there were. I haven't felt alone in my fandom since.

I even wrote a song about waiting in line that night.*

When Episode Two came out I was in Australia. I was fortunate enough not to be exposed to very much marketing for it. Had I been I would probably have been very distracted.

In anticipation of the third one, I've been trying to get my girlfriend, Sally, to appreciated the story. She's from China and had never seen them before. I still don't think she understand how one movie could have effected this country as much as Star Wars has. Of course, I'm not sure any of us understand that either.

Despite (and probably partially because of) my promptings, Sally didn't really like the first two. Looking back I think I did her a disservice by showing Menace first. She never appreciated the characters. She really didn't want to go with us today, but I'd already bought her a ticket so she reluctantly agreed to come.

*****Begin spoiler-filled review*****

I loved it. It wasn't perfect, but it was a heck of a lot closer than I honestly expected it to be. From the intense rescue of Palpatine from General Greivious to the final seen where Owen adopts Luke and looks of into those same two setting suns, it was great.

My biggest problem with the movie was not with the movie itself but rather with the fact that I had to sit in the second row. The movie movies way too fast across the giant screen for a some one that close to follow. Why do theaters even put those rows in? Nobody sits in them if they can help it.

On the whole the movie was much better. The dialog was crisper and more realistic. The acting was much better (except for Ewan McGregor who was always good, except for the fact Jess had a huge crush on him after Menace). The battles were on a larger, more epic scale but still left plenty of time for the one on one light saber battles that made the movie.

A couple point in the movie really stood out to me.

First, the relationships Anakin had with others, namely Amadala and Obi-wan. The Clone Wars did much to mature and develop our young friend. He no longer come across as whining or spoiled, but rather as a real person. You actually feel for him for the first part of the movie, you know, before he starts slicing up little kids.

The battle between Obi-wan and Grievious. In the other movies, people always talk about how powerful a Jedi Obi-wan is. Never the less, you really didn't get that impression from the first two episodes. When he fights the general, though, he is a really tough mother. Grievious is literally a killing machine but Obi-wan does more than hold his own, but aggressively chases down and destroys him.

To me this battle shows a comparison between the old and the new. The Jedi uses a sword and rides a large lizard after a cybernetic creature that rides a slick giant wheel type speeder thing. Even though in the end, Obi-wan has to use a blaster to kill Grievious, it seems to me that there's no school like the old school.

This theme is carried one to Obi-wan's battle with Anakin. Even though Anakin has a slight advantage through out the fight, his pride ends up being his down fall. Obi-wan seizes the high ground and is able to use his greater wisdom and tatics to slice his former padawan.

John Williams did amazing music. I never notice the music in movies but this was just amazing.

There were a boat load of wookies. I would have like more, but I would always like more wookies.

There were a few things I would like to have seen differently. Mace Windu fights much like any other Jedi rather than the master of the Dark Side approaching style of vapaad that his is in the books.

In the final scene Obi-wan and Anakin should have had differently colored light sabers.

The much promised explanation of why some Jedi disappear when they die but others all Sith don't was missing.

Beyond this extremely minor things, it was a great movie. I couldn't have hoped for it to be better. I'm completely satisfied with how the epic ended. I feel like a part a my life has ended, similarly to how I felt when I graduated or came home from my mission.

My props and great appreciation go out to Mr. Lucas for giving us these great movies. For making me believe in the Force.

Now stop reading this and go see the movie.

Geek on

A New Hope

I'm about to go to bed after spending around 2 hours watching extra features from the Star Wars DVD. I've got tickets for the noon showing of the movie tomorrow. I'm not sure I'm ready for this, I don't want to go to sleep because I don't want to wake up. I don't wake up because that would mean the suspense will come to an end. So will the Saga.

I'm not going to write too much. A thousand better, or at least less sleep depreived, writers have probably already said all that can be said about this. Many of them have probably seen the movie. I won't pretend to be able to add anything.

Our generation is sometimes referred to as the "Star Wars" generation. We've watched these movies a thousand times, and yet we keep watching. Not only watching though, we keep reliving these movies. Yelling out the lines with the characters. Cheering the heroes and even the villians. We know how it all ends. We wouldn't have it end any other way.

Tomorrow will be different. I won't know all the lines. I won't know what happens. Tomorrow I'll watch a Star Wars movie for the first time for the last time.

Tomorrow I hope to put up my feelings of the film as well as memories of how Star Wars has affected my life.

Until then: May the Force be with you and geek on.

A blog is born

I used to say I'd never have a blog. I also used to say by the time I was 18 I'd be a professional pit-fighter in a moon base. I guess I'm stupid.

Anyway, I set this blog up on accident trying to see what it was like but it went all the way through. So I might as well use it.

This blog will serve primairly as a way for my to brain storm ideas for "The Geek Beat" a weekly column I write for the paper at Utah State University. I really like writing though so I'll probably prattle on about all kinds of stuff and only me, my girlfriend and my few tech savy friends will every read them. My family will probably try to read if I tell them about it, but they're bad with computers and will probaly end up buying some Albanian man's pants on E-bay.

So yep, that's about it for now. I haven't showered yet and by darn people should shower by 7 p.m.

Geek on.