Month: July 2013

RACCOONS IN THE NEWS: I Can Fly!

Raccoon Tossing was the latest addition to the Red Neck Games.

I cam across this video last week, but opted to ignore it because I prefer to talk about happy things involving raccoons.  Unfortunately, my choice was in stark contrast to the rest of the internet, as two podcasts I listen to: This Week in Tech (TWiT) and The Big Planet Comics Podcast both devoted some (or even a lot) of time to discussing this matter. So here it is in a nutshell: some dude, who apparently keeps every inch of his property monitored via webcam, noticed a raccoon pestering his dog and took care of the situation by flinging the raccoon away.  Actually a reasonable response; I think raccoons are super adorable but they can be pretty harmful to your loved ones by way of disease, parasite, and other unpleasantness. Even PETA reportedly endorsed his actions, saying they respected his devotion to protecting his pet like a member of the family.

And, cruel as it may be, the image of a raccoon twirling through the air is a little funny.

A Valuable Use of Time

“Don’t Screw with a Girl and her Robot!”
Art by subaru01rins

Huh? What year is it? Oh, it’s still 2013. Sweet.

I was on kind of a binge over the past week and a half.  I had a temp job for a whopping two days, early last week.  Then when that was over I started playing Borderlands 2, which I bought for cheap during the recent Steam Summer Sale.  So from July 17th through yesterday, the 26th, I put in 41 hours to the game (according to the character profile, Steam claims 50 hours and I’m not sure where the discrepancy comes from.)  On a few of those days I know I put in 8+ hours of play time.

I don’t say this to brag or claim a title of “hardcore gamer” of any sort.  I actually look on it somewhat shamefully.  Imagine if I’d put that time and effort into looking for a job!  Would I be employed by now?  Instead, when job hunting, the most effort I put into it is browsing through Craigslist, Indeed, or USAJobs and firing off a resume along with a cover letter and answering whatever questions they ask of me.  At most I put an hour into an application (and often much less,) and I average only about three job applications a week. 

So the question is … why?  Why, when I’ve been unemployed for 18 months would I put so much of myself into a stupid game rather than trying to better myself and continue looking for a job?

I think it’s the idea of instant gratification.  At least I enjoyed playing the game.  To me, the job application process is nothing but frustration (I just gave you my resume, why do I need to relist my work experience for your stupid database?!) followed by soul crushing rejection.  Given the choice of actually having some fun versus … that … how can anyone be faulted with choosing the more frivolous of the two?

I suppose this also speaks to my complete lack of skill in applying to jobs. According to some people, looking for work should be your full-time job when you’re unemployed.  Your whole day should be spent trawling through job boards, calling HR representatives, and aggressively pursuing a job.  Obviously my technique (spray and pray) hasn’t worked so maybe I need to evolve my technique.  Once I’m done playing this game.

RACCOONS IN THE NEWS: That’s how you eat? How uncivilized!

I’ll just take … this one … here … okay?

Not too much to say about this video making the rounds just now, despite being posted late last November. It’s cute and awesome: the raccoon just nonchalantly squeezes in among some feeding cats and starts eating their food, mixing the dry food with water because that’s the way they roll (I imagine it’s as close to cooking as animals get.)  Also, the raccoon displays a remarkable amount of dexterity at the end.

Sci-Fi Cliché

I can see a crack in the moon … OF URANUS!

It’s funny how the “creative” people in Hollywood all seem to work from the same atrophied brain.  This year saw not one, but two movies about terrorists taking over the White House.  It’s also had three movies released this year that assure you that you’re watching a fantastical film by showing the mind blowing image of a moon torn asunder.  For those who don’t make it a point of watching every science fiction film as they come out, those have been Oblivion (where it was Earth’s moon), Star Trek Into Darkness (Praxis, a moon of the Klingon home world of Kronos), and The Man of Steel (one of Krypton’s moons.)

The über-geeks out there will, of course, insist that the shattered moon’s appearance in Star Trek Into Darkness can’t possibly be cliché because it is, in fact, a reference to Praxis’s explosion in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (my second favorite Star Trek movie, my favorite being The Voyage Home.) Of course, anyone with knowledge enough to recognize the reference should also be able to figure out that Praxis would have blown up far in advance of when it’s supposed to and that it’s visually completely different from how it was shown in The Undiscovered Country.  But then a fan who is so easily amused (nay, distracted, like a dog having a set of keys dangled in front of him) by the mere presence of Easter eggs would, naturally, not be smart enough to critically analyze, well, anything.

It’s not that a shattered moon is a particularly novel image.  It was used in the abysmal film adaptation of The Time Machine back in 2002 (but same über-geeks will insist there was nothing wrong with that movie because it was directed by H.G. Wells’s great-grandson.)  It would be petty to complain about the fact that presenting a shattered moon in such a way is unscientific (these are science-fiction films, after all.)  My problem is merely with the way it’s been so thoroughly driven into the ground in such a short amount of time.  I can just imagine the visual artists on each of these films patting themselves on the back over how original they thought they were being, and it makes me want to meet these people and punch them in the mouth.

Yeah, that’s an over reaction.

And for the record, of the three shattered moon movies this year, I think Oblivion was by far the best of the lot.  I know, everybody’s supposed to hate Tom Cruise these days, but dammit, his movies keep on being so very watchable