Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vampire Fiction on the way

I seem to have gotten relatively more attention from doing Vampire stuff more than anything else, so I have decided to plan out a short vampire story. About 1000 to 3000 words at the most. Should be pretty fun to work out, and perhaps I might even go all out with it. If you have any suggestions, please don't hesitate to give them, and please comments are wanted as well during the process.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

HDMI Cables: A Scam?

Well, I have recently come upon buying for HDMI cabled again, and at every story I go to, they list some form of cable, either a 720p 2m cable costing $9.99, or higher end cables able to stream 1080p picture, the lowest priced being a 1m at $14.99. I want to know the difference in these cables, so I ask the BrandsMartUSA sales person. His answer? The more expensive ones are a bit newer. I take in this obvious lie (they are in similar, modern age packaging and are by the same manufacturer), deciding not to buy them knowing I have enough already at home. I simply ask the guy how I would know which ones I have at home, if there is some way to know.

"Eh," he begins. "You really cannot."

This peeved me more than enough, so I looked this up. As it turned out, Cracked had an article with a link about this, leading to another blog they have further detailing this. Number 4 here goes over it quite well. I knew the $5 ones I got a year ago were nothing different from the one DirecTV gave us, or the ones I saw while shopping. The only difference I can see is a thicker cable, with possibly more reinforcement. But, this doesn't add up to better quality. The only real factor in pricing is the actual size of the cable, let it be 2 feet, 1 foot, 2 meters, 1 meter, or 20 feet. That is the only true factor that adds to better useability.

First Chapter of Mock-Fiction Football Story

I hope you like this, please comment, this is still in draft form. Here is the mibba link.

Chapter 1


The rain gunned the field as the scoreboard shined 14-0 with the home team losing. Football is an intense sport, maniacs running around frantically to get a pig skinned ball past a special white line to score a touchdown. The field is 100 yards across, and each team tries to get to the other side to score 6 points, then can go for a kick over the yellow goal posts to get an extra point. In the game presented at the rainy field, the North Height Hawks hosted the visiting Pahokee Bucks. Hawk middle line backer Danny Fatone lead the defensive fort. During the first half, the Bucks had dominated with their ever present ogre offensive and defensive line, as well as their quickster running back. Danny analysed the offense over and again, knowing it was an I-Form. "Cluster, cluster!" he yelled, the other Hawk line backers moving in closer, anticipating a run up the middle.

Accompanying Danny in the linebacker position were Luis Farge, a tall and skinny kid, along with Saul Howe, a chunkier linebacker. The main defensive linemen were Frank Waye and Cameron Cone. Unlike the rest of the team, Cameron always does his own thing, making it harder to command the defense. Frank keeps him in check when needed, but this one preseason game, Cameron went complete Benedict on Danny's calls. "It is a pierce, a pierce!" Danny bellowed, all but Cameron making an effort to move into better position to defend the run up the middle. Cameron sat in his three point stance while everyone else positioned themselves better. 'They are going to run all over Cameron again'

As the Buck's quarterback took the snap, the ball being catapulted from the center faster than a western shotgun, the ogre offensive line dove forward. Danny had expected this, but their size was something that could not be beat. Combined with the puddles the rain had formed, every linemen got flipped over like a chef does a pancake. Cameron faired the worst, being out of position and unable to gain anything one would brag about. The line made its way toward the linebackers, attempting to pancake them as well. The running back, now having the ball, moved into a gap Cameron had formed by being out of position. The Hawk linebackers faired no better than the linemen, being pancaked in the wreckage of the bulldozing ogre line's wedge play. Danny faced down the center, who stood nearly a foot taller and have over a hundred pound advantage. 'If I take him head on, I stand no chance. But, if I attack half the man, I can win' Danny thought, taking on half of the center, spinning around. Now all that was left was to make the tackle.

Buck's running back, numbered 21, bolted toward Danny, not even attempting to make a move. Danny saw this as an easy tackle, diving forward. The running back, now faced with a close encounter, took steps back. "That is no good, I'll still get you," Danny told him, extending his arms out. The running back, still moving back, finally cut to the right, dodging both of Danny's arms, making a move that would inspire any kid to play. Danny landed in a puddle, his sorrows replaying in the reflection of the water. The running back was later brought down by the safeties 20 yards up the field.

The Hawk's coach, William Right, watched on, having a stonewall look as his defense was overtaken by the ogre line's power in the wedge. The Buck's made continuous first downs, the Hawk's defensive huddles resonating repeating sounds, "Dig line, dig. Lower backers, lower," Danny instructed. 'Here at the 5 yard line, it is best to do the ultimate defense, a 5 linemen play' he thought, moving into a position a linemen would have, head up on the center, a nose guard.

"Move out of my way Dan," Cameron yelled in frustration. "I'm making this play." Danny ignored his cries, knowing full well he was the only one with the ability to stop the running back in close range one on one. As predicted, the snapped ball went through a similar fashion, the wedge being formed into it's wrecking wall, pancaking most linemen.. Danny did his spin move to evade the center, attacking half his body as before. The running back flinched, Danny diving forward as before. The back chuckled, spinning around out of tacking range once more. Luck was not on Danny's side, landing in a puddle once more, sorrows showcasing pain of missing a perfect play once again. The runner scored a touchdown, earning six points. The kicker then made a perfect shot through the yellow posts, earning his team an extra point, the scoreboard now shinning 21-0.

"You ass Cameron!," yelled Frank, a tone of pure frustration only a mother would show to a kid who just ruined her carpet would exhibit. "How many pancakes have they done on you? I counted seven so far, and counting." Danny tried to get in between the two, but to no avail. Both are heavy sized, and had frustration built throughout the game, playing offense as well as defense. Frank knocked the smaller height Cameron down, but was stopped from jumping on top of him.

Coach Right said nothing, writing on a white board an offensive play while the two linemen disputed.

"This is enough," Danny attempted to break them up, not wanting a whale war in the end zone. "Get back to the bench and await further instruction from coach Right on offense. This stuff embarrasses us, makes us look weak." Frank listened immediately, allowing Cameron to get back up.

One offense, usually the linemen are a different set. But for the Hawks, four of the linemen play both ways, including the ever aggressive pair of Frank and Cameron, both playing guards, next to the center Hank Dalton. The tackles were played by the two defensive ends, both not having difficulty in playing both ways. Cameron and Frank however gained fatigue much faster due to their larger builds, as Danny calls them, the whale pack of the team. As much as the quarterback, Randy Reves, tried, the line could not defend him from the sack. The running back, Ronnie Boons, tried, he made little progression too.

"See that, even on offense Cameron does exactly as the other guy wants," Saul said.

"Damn guy is a bug," Luis added. "We are losing because of him alone."

"No, it is never just one person on our team. It is all of us," Danny decided to speak up. "But, it can be a player on the opposing team. The running back, I doubt any of us could get him on a man to man occasion. The only reason he is systematically beating us is due to our Safeties having fast reaction times. By the time he reaches them, it is a good eight to twelve yard gain."

"Sure ..." Luis snarled.

"I don't know," Saul interrupted. "I wouldn't doubt it."

Despite this semi-acceptance, the game continued the course it went, the Bucks using the same tactics over and over, Danny continuing to fail, watching his sorrows repeat in the dark puddles the rain had formed on the field.

The final whistle called, the scoreboard reading reflecting Danny's intuition. They had lost 35-0, scoring two more touchdowns. "Everyone, in a single file line into the locker room, now" Coach Right called. There was a scent of anger in his voice, as if he was holding back. His stonewall appearance now resembled that of an army general who had just lost a thousand men. He resembled one, his flat top short hair and veins in his face highlighting his anger. In the locker room, he had the team set in a group while he walked back and forth, his anger building visually. Then, he erupted by punching the locker, knocking it off its hinges. He yelled inaudible, Danny feeling the need to leave.

Danny snuck around to the showers, separate from the locker section of the locker room. He hated a loss, tears streaming. 'Why? Why is it that I can never do this right? First year, I sit on the bench while Zane takes the team to a district title and I watch. Then last year, he does the same and brings us to the City Finals, only to lose to Jamaica High. What am I doing wrong?'

An ominously dark fog entered the room, bringing a cold that only a blizzard cold bring. The fog seemed to cloud the yells of Coach Right. "Eh, hello?" Danny called, expecting someone to answer. Instead, he felt something, as if words were being transmitted into his head.

"I am an ancient Golem brought to you here to offer you a deal you cannot refuse." the words said. Danny looked around, seeing a large, sandy humanoid creature standing amidst the fog. The words sounded faint.

"You want to offer me a deal? What are you and how did you do this?" The cold became more intense, sending a shiver up Danny's back. It was as if a polar bear pancaked him, hovering over to let the cool seep in.

"My creator formed me by making a sand sculpture, then enchanting me to walk," it said, words being said in Danny's mind. The Golem did not speak. "I can offer you powers which will help you in life, but more certainly in achieving your goal of becoming a city champion team." The words changed tone slightly, but the facade of the creature remained a statue.

"I doubt it, this loss was all my fault. It is a good thing this was only preseason, and we still have 4 games of districts." The Golem merely stood there as a statue would. It had no reaction. More words were sent to Danny, sounding like the voice of a tortured man.

"That is why I have come here, your goal is strong, my creator wants you to accept. Just take this piece of paper and read what is on it. But ..." it transmitted, stopping as Danny took the paper. Once in his hands, the sandy Golem collapsed into a dirt pile. The paper read in Hebrew characters, 'א געשעפט איז געשען'. How am I supposed to read this ... Ah. Danny held up the piece of paper, reciting what it said perfectly, "A deal is done". 'I guess it worked, but nothing is happening ...'

The earth started to tremor, but nothing moved. A shiver ran up Danny's body, his despair escaping him. A shiver of confidence flowed the route the despair had left. He walked out into the team meeting, feeling as if whatever he said didn't matter. "Coach, I take full responsibility, this will not happen again."

"You darn right it won't captain," Right nodded, showing no anger he previously showed. "As the middle line backer, the defense is your realm. You best hope this doesn't happen again."

"Yes sir," Coach Right seemed to respond differently than how Danny had expected. 'Is this the Golem's gift at work?'


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Over the Top: Rocky with Arm Wrestling.

Today I got a great deal at FYE, nearly 9 movies for only 20 bucks. But that is besides the point, the one I viewed today was a great choice to see, Over the Top, starring Sylvester Stallone. Without giving too much away, the title should say enough. Well, there is a major plot point involving Sly's character's kid, but I won't spoil that. All I will say is that is it very touching, kid goes from hating his dad into loving him in the course of the first act of the movie. The second and third acts (if you want to separate is that way) involve Lincoln Hawk (Sylvester Stallone) training for an arm wrestling tournament in order to gain enough money to buy a trucking company.

The movie is rather cheesy in its approach, but if you like any Stallone movie, you'll love this. From a non-Stallone approach, I give this 3 starts out of 5. From a Stallone approach, it gets a good 4.5.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vampire Physics

With all the Vampire media out there, many different versions of vampires come into sight. Vampires are placed into the modern world, and things are different from standard Dracula. Most are the usual, dead bodies with a soul in them walking the earth. Small differences make some Vampires more legit than others, and all seems to have strength higher than any human and speed fast enough to catch their own football pass. Take for instance the "Twilight" phenomenon (based on Twilight series of novels). In that world, vampires not only can walk in the daylight, but what happens to them isn't a burning like in most story lines, but they simply sparkle, adding to their "romance-ability". However, this seems to be the only media I have seen that allowed day walking so easily. Even in the Canadian "My Babysitter's a Vampire" there are consequences for day walking, or at least they are implied. In the movie, the vamps wear sunglasses. In both the mediums listed above, the formation of vampires is as simple as a single bite, which injects a venom that somehow kills the host and turns them into a vampire. The only thing I cannot get is the "fledgling" stage. While this is an interesting twist, it doesn't solve the case of the blood being living, and being human blood. That concludes what I call "kiddy vampires". For these, I choose the later vampires as being more legit. They are more believable to be vampires.

Going into the more advances forms of modern vampire, the earliest I can find is shown, being from Vampire Diaries. Based on novels written during the early 90s, these predate both Twilight and the True Blood vampires (which are based before Twilight in their own book series starting in 2001). I have only knowledge of this type of vampire from testimony, but do plan on watching some, renting from my local library if possible.  These vampires cannot day walk in any way without burning, die from all forms of death, and gain new forms such as holy water (which seems to be another form of weapon in most vampire media). I do plan on learning more about this story.

True Blood however I put on a pedestal, it places vampires in the modern world best. Vampires can day walk, but this is due to a loophole which I will only say involves drinking a certain creature's blood to near death levels. They have the same quick step, but it is based on age. The older the vampire, the stronger and faster they are. So far, the oldest vampire seen is 3000 years old, and he caused a ton of trouble (check out season 3). Vampires lived in a monarchy system, with each state having a vampire monarch. This is an interesting twist to vampire law, something that is only hinted at in most media I have seen. Vampires in True Blood have few death types. These include death by sun, fire, or stake. The last one has some great twists with wooden bullets near the end.

Personally, in the modernly placed Vampires, I love the True Blood ones best, then with the "kiddy" forms, the Canadian show, "My Babysitter's a Vampire" works well. But, I am simply a blogger, take your own spin on this, and decide for yourself.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Harry Potter Movie Review: Deathly Hallows Part 2

Well, the movie was pretty good. I did feel there were somethings that were left out which hurt the movie, while some things left out which made it flow better. Personally, Percy's side story was never that strong, cutting it did nothing to the plot. However, Dumbledore's backstory being nearly cut (such as him the death of his sister for an actual reason, and Glendalwald at all) was a huge loss. The movie had strong points, such as the Hogwarts battle, but it needed some time to calm down. It was hard to keep up at times. I mean, we go from place to place, with a sense of urgency. This sense doesn't go away at all, and it starts about 40 minutes in. This movie is about 2 and a half hours long (listed as 2 hours 5 minutes, felt longer), that is a lot of urgency.

The movie was great, but please put a halt on it. I mean, if the first part was shown at the same time, it would have been much more balanced. I guess that combined with a sense of having to get to work made the urgency even worse.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DirecTV Gripes

I have only one problem with DirecTV, and it is quite an obvious one. Right now in South Florida it is a light drizzle. But so far, the only channel I can see working is TruTV, and maybe ESPN. Everything else is blank. Why do some channels work while others don't?

I mean, this problem is only bad during rain season. It is just ugh ...