Team Dick

Back Again!

Posted by @ 10:03 AM on Oct 20, 2016

Yes, TeamDick isn’t dead! It’s just highly neglected. Lucky for all of us the server hosting TeamDick was shuttered, forcing it to be moved and updated and tested and… well… I’m already logged in so why not throw out some quick post.

Continued on the inside…

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Recent Musical Discoveries

Posted by @ 3:25 PM on Mar 14, 2014

DJ Danny Avila does an hour-long show on Wednesdays on Electric Area called Ready To Jump. I happened to catch the tail end this past Wednesday and heard a track that really started getting into. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at the time, but it reminded me of something from my childhood. I had to find this track. Unfortunately SiriusXM doesn’t tell you the track that’s playing during the show, just the name of the show and the twitter account of the DJ running it, so I was a bit stuck. Then I found the shows are posted online on SoundCloud, YouTube, and iTunes. Lucky for me iTunes is updated as soon as the show airs, instead of a week later like the others. So I grabbed the show (#61) and, lucky for me, the mp4 from iTunes includes chapter breaks with the name of each track. A few minutes later and I’d found the song I was looking for. I give you “Nostalgibra” by Spag Heddy:

But what is that tugging from deep within my memories. Something about this song…

Gremlins! It somehow reminds me of the Gremlins theme, specifically of a point in the movie where the gremlins are singing along to the theme. Of course they don’t sound alike at all. I think it’s the higher-pitch synth tones where my mind is making the connection, along with the emotional tone of the music which feels, to me at least, as being somewhat mischievous.

Who cares. Point is, Spag Heddy makes some fine music and you should enjoy it.

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Spooky Story

Posted by @ 10:08 PM on Nov 1, 2013

It’s a little late, but humor me. I have one hell of a scary story.

Your computer is infected with a virus. But there’s no way to prove it’s infected. You just notice little things. It won’t boot off a CD anymore. Certain web sites won’t load on your computer. Yet those same web sites, those same CDs, work on other computers just fine.

But soon the rest of your computers start to experience these same symptoms. You isolate them. Pull them off the internet. Physically remove the wired and wireless network cards. Then you run some diagnostics and see, somehow, it’s still talking over some phantom network that it can’t possibly connect to. What else is there? The speakers? The microphone? And when you physically remove them … that network activity stops?!

You figure out how they’re getting infected. It’s the USB sticks you use to transfer files. Stop using the USB sticks. Flash the BIOS. Reformat the hard drives. Reinstall the OS. All OK, right? WRONG! It’s still there.

And here’s the kicker: one is a Linux box. The other is a Mac OS box. Another is a Windows box. Different operating systems. All infected. HOW?!

This horror tale is one told by a security expert. One who has the credentials and the reputation to believe he’s not making this up. This is the story of BadBIOS.

Is this all really possible? And why waste what would be the most sophisticated virus ever seen on a single individual and not sell it, or use it on extremely high-value targets like banks or governments?

Good questions.
Continued on the inside…

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Random Blog Post

Posted by @ 3:13 PM on Oct 25, 2013

I once paid a guy in Gentlemen Jack to read Twilight and write a blog post about it. He claims to have read it, he never blogged it. That fucker.

Yet another example of why Japan amuses me: hot canned ginger ale. The products they produce have such wonderful, probably unintentional, whimsy that you can’t help but smile. Now I shal attempt to recreate this with a can of ginger ale and a stove. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

The company (and most of the people) behind the Myst series of games have a kickstarter going to fund a new game called Obduction which will be similar in style to Myst, but set in a different world. And it’ll be powered by the amazing Unreal 4 engine. Shit just got real. The possibilities are endless and this fucker needs to get funded. I continue to debate with myself whether I should continue saving to buy a house or dump it all on this.

WTF Corner

Links Corner

  • Warning: these stickers really hurt when removing them from the most appropriate of appendages.
  • Tails is the second most underrated web comic out there. Read it from the beginning. In one go.
  • The sight of wrecked exotic cars makes me feel a little better inside. Because I deal with my material jealousy in very juvenile ways.
  • Don’t fucking tell anyone about this site, but it’s great for cutting through bullshit, laggy web-based media players. I just download the actual media file at a rate my service provider is happy to provide (my urethra has more bandwidth, fuck!) and watch it when I want. Over and over. Forever.
  • A great service that helps you discover new music artists based on your own tastes.
  • Combine the last two links with YouTube and FFmpeg and you can very quickly grow your iPod’s library of wonderful crap to annoy your friends with on long drives.

You’re gonna carry that weight.

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Iranian Legend

Posted by @ 9:20 AM on Jun 25, 2013

There’s an Indiegogo campaign happening right now that you should know about.

Iranian Legend: The Iron Sheik Story will be a documentary about the Iron Sheik who, for fuck’s sake, if you don’t know who he is you’re missing out. In the 1960s he was an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling for Iran. In the 1970s and 1980s he was a legendary professional wrestler. Today he has one of the craziest Twitter feeds there is.

But years of drug addiction and the wear and tear of wrestling 300+ days a year for more than a decade have taken their toll. He’s in need of surgery to fix his knees and the money from his professional career is long gone. Part of the money raised to create this documentary will go towards paying for his surgery and rehabilitation.

Check it out. Toss in a few bucks. Help Bubba out.

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Cross-section Images of Cartridges

Posted by @ 10:45 AM on Jun 24, 2013

Sabine Pearlman has a collection of photos of cross-sections of different cartridges. That’s cartridge not bullet. A bullet is the projectile — the bit that leaves the gun, while the cartridge is everything put together (bullet, gunpowder, primer, case, etc.). If you want to see more then let Google be your guide.

While we’re talking about these things, let’s quickly dispel a little 80s Hollywood myth: the teflon-coated bullet. The myth has it that coating bullets in teflon should turn a normal bullet into an armor-piercing bullet. The reality is to pierce armor a bullet needs to be made of a very hard material and move at a very high velocity. Teflon does play a role in this, but not the way it’s portrayed in movies. The harder bullets induce more wear on gun barrels. A coating of teflon helps reduce that wear. Thus many armor-piercing bullets come wrapped in a bit of teflon. In the early 80s the news media focused on the teflon, misrepresenting its role in the penetration capabilities of these bullets. A few action movies later and the myth was firmly set into movie culture.

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Maybe I Should Keep My Receipts

Posted by @ 6:52 PM on Apr 26, 2013

I recently purchased a gift card that comes with the logo of a major credit card company on the front. My hope was to purchase a game online, that can only be purchased online, and do so without having to give up my personal information. A week later and the card still isn’t working. I call the number on the card and the operator tells me that no money was ever put on the card. It had not been activated. To resolve this he provided a list of items I would need to fax (who the fuck still uses a fax?) in order to resolve the situation. First item on the list? The receipt, which I promptly threw away the day I bought the thing. Item 4 on that list? My driver’s license. Fuck me.

So I’m out 25 bucks plus the 3.95 activation fee, but when I went to a different store to buy another gift card and this time I kept the receipt. Until 30 minutes later I had successfully used it to purchase the game I was after in the first place.

Save those fucking receipts. If I still had the original receipt I wouldn’t have faxed that shit, I’d just have returned to the store I originally bought it.

And now for some funny.

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Eloquence Personified

Posted by @ 1:00 AM on Apr 20, 2013

If you’re not following The Iron Shiek already you’re missing out on the single greatest twitterer in existence today or, perhaps, ever.

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He Speaks For Us All

Posted by @ 1:35 PM on Apr 16, 2013

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X: Part One

Posted by @ 2:25 PM on Feb 26, 2012

I was wavering between writing a post about fantasy baseball or a radio show that you need to be adding to your listening rotation, when a thread on a message board I frequent forced its way into my brain. Though it would be easy to simply list and post over there, the idea is simply too fun to NOT post here. First, the concept:

 “Okay. You’ve been made editor-in-chief of MARVEL. You have been given a command by your Corporate Disney Masters: Eliminate the entire X-Universe, save twelve. Twelve Mutants to restart the entire X-Franchise. No more, no less. And the kicker? Anyone you DON’T pick will be killed and the character rights sold off so that they can never be brought back to life.”

Great idea, right? You have the power to trim 50 duodecillion mutants down to 12 and potentially save a comic book franchise that has gotten fat and unwieldy. The problems? First, the idea that any you don’t pick gets killed and the character rights sold. It’s unrealistic – if you hate Wolverine and he doesn’t make the cut, do you REALLY think Disney/Marvel would just sell him off? Of course not, so let’s remove that provision right off the bat. The second problem: Wolverine. You may hate him, but he’s not going anywhere. Fanboys, old and young, love Wolverine. It’s why he’s on every X-Men team, the Avengers, has at least two solo books, multiple monthly appearances, and (for all I know) a regular cameo in DC Comics’ titles. Wolverine makes the cut, so there. Last problem: Who are your villains? You gotta have villains, or X-Men becomes Glee with less singing and more superpowers. Which elevates Glee, but who wants that in their monthly fiX-Men?

So. We refine the original premise: One X-Men team. 12 members. No mutant who misses the cut gets to join…EVER. And you better come up with some sweet villains for your team to fight. Got it? Good. Here’s my list:

  1. Cyclops: Scott Summers IS the leader of the team. There’s no way he doesn’t make the cut.
  2. Havok: Alex Summers may be an odd choice, but I actually like him better than his brother. As a field leader and second-in-command, Alex is a no-brainer. More on this later…
  3. Phoenix: Jean Grey-Summers provides your telepathy and telekinesis. Subplots abound with her around, as both the object of Wolverine’s creepy stalker fantasies, and as Cyclops’ wife. Seriously, more on this later…
  4. Beast: Henry McCoy, fuzzy super-genius. He works for his giant brain and his ties to The Avengers.
  5. (Arch)Angel: However you like your Warren Worthington, his status as an original member, and the fact that he’s bleeping rich as bleep make him a necessary addition. SOMEBODY has to fund the marvelous toys Beast invents!!!
  6. Wolverine: Love him or hate him (and I admit, I quite like him), he makes the cut.
  7. Colossus: Peter Rasputin makes the cut thanks to a need for power, a sweet look, and my childhood need for the Fastball Special.
  8. Nightcrawler: Why Marvel decided to kill Kurt Wagner off is beyond me. Great look, and I love teleportation as a power. particularly since this team (spoiler!) won’t have a speedster.
  9. Shadowcat: Kitty Pryde’s phasing powers make her a perfect stealth pick. Her ninja training (from the Kitty Pryde & Wolverine miniseries from the 80s) allows me to pass another mutant over. For now…
  10. Sunfire: Shiro Yoshida provides us with with an elemental representative, and provides some sweet visuals and more international flavor.
  11. Polaris: Lorna Dane. Love interest for Alex Summers, and her power of magnetism provides a nice link to a certain main villain…
  12. Storm: Ororo Munroe almost didn’t make the cut, but I can’t include the rest of my childhood team and not her. And her powers admittedly kick arse…

Already, I hear the cries of fanboys everywhere. “Where’s Rogue and Gambit, or [random mutant you love]???” Not here. “What about New Mutants and X-Force???” None made it cut, sorry. “For Heaven’s sake, where’s CHARLES BLEEPING XAVIER???”

Dead.

And on that bombshell, I leave you to your teeth-gnashing, comments, and hate mail. Part Two will explain why Chuck didn’t make the cut, provide you those sweet villains I promised, and maybe even offer up some solid allies who will help our newly streamlined team in their battles.

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