Sunday, June 28, 2009

Black Cat

Time for a real obit, one that doesn't involve America's favorite carnival freak. An obit which unfortunately involves another Sandmich family pet.

First a the beginning. When we moved up to Cleveland back in 2009 I half thought in the back of my mind that one day I'd find a good enough job or retire enough debt to be able to move back down. Along with the family I'd be able to take all the pets back to their original home as well. Silly, I know; but I'm a rather silly person.

Well the job I had turned into probably what could be one of the greatest private sector jobs that an IT person could get and our house, though it has faults, is probably one of the best bangs for the buck within twenty miles of downtown Cleveland. However my thoughts of "everyone" going 'home' formally dissipated this past Friday with the passing of our cat Sable, the last of the (many) original Cincinnati pets.

Although he had a few chronic health issues, he lived about as long as his buddy Tiger and like Tiger he had some idiosyncrasies that set him apart from the regular puss cat herd. For example he liked to race Mrs. Sandmich to the bathroom at night, probably on the off chance that he would get to play in the sink water or with one of the leaking spigots. He also preferred to get foot based 'belly rubbins' to getting pats on the head. I also get occasionally disturbed since like all black cats he could fade in and out in the shadows by opening and closing his eyes.

We have other cats at the moment, but for the most part they're...cats; barely distinguishable from any other cat you might meet. The best equivalent I can come up with (and this applies to our newer dogs as well) was the feeling I had when watching the first season or so of Star Trek Next Generation, that the cast was just an inferior knock off of the earlier, superior one.

Sadly our original 'cast' of pets is now, no more.

Sable on the left, Tiger on the right


That 'cap and trade' bill passed by the House is one of the worst peices of legislation passed by Congress. I want to put this subtly but if you believe, as our elites apparently do, that it is possible to reduce our greenhouse emmisions to 20% of the 2005 output, then you are an idiot.

Obama's justification for the bill is that otherworldly Kensian B.S. of government spending boosting the economy, neverminding the fact that the money being used had to be stolen from the private sector economy to begin with. His excuses carry about the same intellectual reasoning as paying vandals to go around the city and break all the windows, since doing so will provide a boon in glassworker jobs.

On a related note, for anyone who hasn't caught that Planet Green channel, it's Aljazeera for rich white people.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Liquor Up!

While at my niece's baptism, we were debating good whiskey (and bourbon specifically) when my brother-in-law brought out the 'good stuff', Knob Creek. Made by Jim Beam and aged around 9 years, this is one smooth liquor, and with a good deal more alcohol than your average whiskey.

It's kind'a on the expensive side, probably due to the length of time it's aged (Maker's Mark*, my personal favorite, ages five to six years if I recall correctly), but I still thought it might be nice to have a bottle.

Guess not though since Mrs. Sandmich points out that they've run out of the stuff and won't be able to make more until October! No run on the banks in our current economy, but on a run on the liquor; I knew I should have invested in a still instead of a 401K.

UPDATE: Strike that; the higher end Jim Beam Bourbon that I was thinking of was Booker's, not Knob Creek (which is...not my thing). See comments for details.

*Fun fact: Maker's and Jim Beam are owned by the same multi-national conglomerate.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dereliction of Duty

From here:
A controversial and sweeping prison reform bill that would allow thousands of inmates each year to be released early cleared a sharply divided Ohio Senate panel on Wednesday with unusual bipartisan support.
The ONE thing those idiots are supposed to do, the ONE HUGE reason why people tolerate government at all is not workers comp, free cheese, or harassing employers about checks that didn't clear ten years ago, no it's none of that crap at all, it is a government's ability to maintain order.

However, what's the first thing loser legislators around the country do when it's time to save a buck? Unleash felons of all stripes upon those little people who are unfortunate enough to not live behind a gate like themselves. To the gallows with all of them I say.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Babies a Plenty!

Congrats to my brother and sister-in-law on the birth of their son Ethan!

I guess my posts are kinda redundant since it'll be all over Facebook before too long. I've never been into the whole 'fake community' scene so I've shied away from the service and with a large investment by a Russian Internet firm I've lost what little interest I had in putting something up on their server.

Why would the Russians invest in Facebook? 'Because in Soviet Union, Internet searches you!'

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Video Games as Art

It's beyond debate that artists create art for video games, but to what extent does the total video game package count as art? It's a debate that may never end as a video game doesn't have much in common with 'closed loop' style art like movies, where the art of the package is all that is brought to the table. In contrast video games have more in common with something along the lines of a house.

If someone sees a Frank Loyd Wright house with custom furniture and handmade wood working they would say "ART!", but if people saw a cookie cutter suburban house decked out with the cheapest fixtures that China can produce "ART!" would not spring to mind, ever. In between the two extremes are a variety of contructs that may be art in some ways, but not in others. Carrying this analogy even further, both a house and a video game can suffer from 'too much art'. A house can be too 'Frank Gehry' and leak all the time and game can be all 'art' and no 'game' with the same amount of interaction as a DVD remote.

What brought this to the top of my mind was Steve Sailer's post on how unappreciated video game art is in the same vein as his interest in unappreciated golf course design art. Now how much golf course design is just exterior design writ large is open to debate, but I think that it's also fair to think that golf course design would have an influence on exterior design of any scale.

However, wouldn't a better gauge of art be it's influences outside of it's medium? This is something that golf courses can't really do (though the case may be made for exterior design in general). With video games on the other hand I have seen it's influences primarily in movies. There's the probable influence the game God of War had on the movie 300, the slicked over, non-stop action of the latest Star Trek film which almost felt like I could play along with, and James Cameron's upcoming Avatar, which, like the last Riddick film, was made along with the video game (a movie/game which itself seems to borrow from yet a different game).

But when will video games be appreciated as art? I tend to think that this is a generational thing and that in fifty years or so the answer to the question will be so obvious that it won't even brought up.