Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
I had this idea for a remake of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air the other day. I made a note about it. Lets see how much I remember.
It's no longer a sitcom. Now it's more appropriate to HBO or Showtime. The protagonist runs with a tough crowd in west Philadelphia. He's ambitious and smart and is going for a leadership role. He's had to eliminate a few people to work his way up. For the most part he's been able to do that by getting cops to arrest or shoot people in his way or put people in situations that got them killed by rival gangs, but as he got higher up he encountered smarter and smarter people who needed more personal killing.
One day he was playin' some b-ball outside the school. No, not basket ball. "B-ball" is the slang they used for their drug dealing operation that would pass the client around to a series of people to make arrests harder. Some white kids just in from Kansas who were kicked out of their old school for excessive violence tried to make a name for themselves and it got way out of hand. CNN kind of out of hand. That's when our lead character's mom gets a hint of her baby's involvement with the thug life. She still thinks he's the victim, though. She packs him off to live with his rich auntie and uncle in Bel Air.
Once in Bel Air he starts trying to get things going again. The market seems wide open. But almost immediately he sees he's going to have problems with just being black in that area. He has to take on protective camouflage by seeming as preppy as possible. Pants pulled up, hair cut short, getting good grades, and trading the basketball for a tennis racket. Hoodies are right out.
Despite the appearances, there's already a drug market in place. At first he tries to compete with the existing network. The established network deliberately slips up to make it known there are drugs being sold in the school knowing the cops will suspect the black guy from CNN. But, his grades, the lack of evidence, the influence of his uncle, and the return of CNN to report on profiling get the cops to back down. He gets grudgingly absorbed into the existing network. But soon, another group appears. Unwilling to remain a lackey, the protagonist has started a third group with an asian math wiz as the figurehead. This way, he figures, he can put the two against each other and either take down the new group to prove himself and move up in the existing network, use the conflict to distract from himself, or take over the new group once the existing network is gone. In any case, to anyone looking in it's not the black guy in charge.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Helen Thomas passed away today. She was 92.
I'll let others talk about her accomplishments and honors. To me she was one of the very few reporters who wasn't afraid of asking hard questions. To me, her greatest honor was making George Bush Jr. fear her to the point where he wouldn't take her questions.
We need 100 more journalists just like her.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Game: BRICK[bricksmash]SMASH - a nested brickout style game. [link]
Game: ... :D - you sort of touch colored dots to move the walls to get the green dot while avoiding the red dots. [link]
And Moses said "Let my people have pensions." [link]
How is the electricity you use generated? Just feed it your zip code. [link]
We've had transparent aluminum since 1981. [link]
I knew we had it, I just didn't know how long we've had it.
Wyoming only has two escalators. One up and one down. Or did in 2008. [link]
A teacher's guide on how to talk culture to students. [link]
Feed this site ingredients and it'll feed you recipes. [link]
Cat trying to soothe a fussy baby.
Slaughterhouse tour traumatizes children. [link]
Animal armor. [link]
Iowa Supreme Court decides that women apparently have no say in whether their boss has an affair with them. [link]
Turkish millionaire gets a fish fence. [link]
Fans of retro-phrenology (smacking people on the head to make lumps pleasing to fortune tellers) may want to look into this palmistry equivalent. [link]
How to become the British Monarch.
In my case I pretty much have to start by sterilizing the whole island and then see who's left.
CostCo shopping tips. [link]
Don't set your laptop on this magnetic table. [link]
McDonalds financial planning service for employees proves that someone working two full time jobs there will still be homeless. [link]
What if we drained the oceans? [link]
Poured salt art. [link]
Cameras that can track extremely fast moving objects.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
|My grape vines didn't transplant as well as I would have liked, but they soon started coming back from the root.|
|This hibiscus came with the house. The stuff growing around it met a horrible fate and this almost joined it. I'm glad I spared it. Did you know that you can eat these?|
|Don't eat the ants.|
|My favorite picture of the hibiscus.|
|That's my orange tree grown from a found seed in the back. |
Citronella is in front of it but behind the bird bath.
Hops are growing up the cables to the right.
Yummy's basil is up front.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I didn't like this book as much as some of the others in this series. I think it may have been my fault, though. I always read on the front porch of the Baltimore house where there were lots of distractions and a metal chair. Also, it took awhile to figure out what was going on. The action kept jumping around from person to person and place to place and it took awhile for things to start coming together. Between that and the uncomfortable chair/neighborhood action I was pretty lost.
Here's the short version. God had a lab assistant when making humans. The assistant made his own creation but God dismissed it out of hand. So he planted larvae for these creatures in the Garden of Eden before it was closed and cast away so it couldn't be used as a strategic stronghold for Satan to reattack Heaven. Now, Eden is coming back and bringing the grown larvae with it. Their creator wants to bring them forth to destroy the angels and take over Heaven. But to get into Eden he needs Adam and a particular descendant of Eve to forgive each other and open the gates.
The story isn't bad, but it didn't feel well told. And Remy Chandler was almost unnecessary. I still recommend the series, but don't start with this particular book.
Monday, July 15, 2013
My Baltimore neighborhood is really sad. It's a ghetto by any definition that doesn't mention jews. I've been busy killing weeds and clearing trash. What the area needs are better businesses. There's a scary laundromat, two unsettling take out places, the biggest ghetto liquor store/grocery I've seen (alright inside, horrifying outside), an unmarked and possibly illegal hair salon, two bars, and a sizable day care if you know where to look. Of course, there are other... lets just call them entrepreneurs of an extra legal nature. Mostly alternative pharmaceuticals and persons of negotiable affections.
One plan for a cafe turned into student housing. I think the cafe would do more for the neighborhood than the student housing. Like convince students (among others) to live here. But why start a business if there's few people living there? Seems like a good way to lose money. But we need the businesses to get people to move in. And we need the people to get businesses.
One of the bars is being sold by it's owner. I can see turning it into a coffee shop or diner. But my ideas for businesses are always foiled by bureaucratic needs: taxes, codes, permits, etc. I'd need someone who knows that stuff to run the place. And I don't know how much it'd cost to keep the place open for the full year I think it'd need to give it a chance. Not that I'd want to give up my well paying job to run a struggling cafe. Maybe I can buy the place and give two years (or more) free rent to someone who wanted their own cafe.
Mind you, this is all moot since the lady who owns the place is asking a "mere" $1.5 million for the place. Even at half that she's priced herself out of even having a chat with a buyer. I'm thinking $300K is the highest she can expect.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Don't Touch Pac-Man
Barbie with human proportions. [link]
Barbie looks so screwed up because originally her clothes were made with normal fabrics which added a lot of bulk.
Audio used to scare Vietnamese enemy troops.
Church websites are 3 times more likely to give you a virus than a porn site. [link]
The guy who invented tiramisu has a couple of bakeries in Baltimore. [link]
Aerial view of the French WWI trench system. [link]
Watermelons come from Egypt. [link]
Dog heads out car windows compilation. The music is what makes it.
Spectacular Russian rocket failure.
Something for the greenhouse. [link]
It may now be possible to do a head transplant. [link]
Human powered helicopter finished.
A point about torches.
Orlando Bloom having fun with a Lord of the Rings music video as he says goodbye to the character.
Making a small lathe from an old sewing machine.
New tech for arm casts. [link]
Implanted headphones. [link]
I kept seeing the animated gif version. This is "Thunderstruck" on bagpipes.
The last Terminator trilogy that was supposed to take place during the robot war has apparently been cancelled. No surprise considering how poorly the first movie did. Instead, they're rebooting it. [link]
California has been sterilizing prisoners. [link]
Benedict Cumberbatch wanted for Frankenstein. [link]
Minibus toaster. [link]
If you think the postal service isn't tracking mail, think again. [link]
Make your own drone. [link]
A new twist to make Tic-Tac-Toe interesting. [link]
Words to get people to agree with you. [link]
Power words are the enemy.
An unpassable literacy test used by Louisiana in the 60's. [link]
How to be happier. [link]
Photon garden. [link]
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests... [link]
More about how doctors prefer to die. [link]
What people are making with 3D printers. [link]
The Death and Life of Detroit. [link]
Reads a lot like Baltimore. Only Detroit residents are trying to rebuild.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
|Dust settling in the stairwell|
|Yummy covered in dust.|
|Me covered in dust.|
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Before and after pics for the yards in my alley that I've claimed.
|Yard 1 - before|
|Yard 1 - after.|
Raspberry near fence planted in tire salvaged from yard 2.
|Yard 2 - before|
|Yard 2 - after (that's pumpkin growing along the fence)|
|Yard 3 has no before. Raspberry bush failed. Sunflower lives!|
|Yard 4 - before|
|Yard 4 - after.|
Not mowed because my cord won't reach this far. But it shows what I've been doing to yards 1, 2, and 3.
|Yard 5 - before|
|Yard 5 - after. |
Fence "mended" using a broken come-along and wiring I pulled from my house.
Thanks to the people at the incinerator for their help in cleaning the yards so I could start caring for them.
Thanks to Baltimore for showing up two months after the new dumping was reported and stringing litter down the alley. I doubt I would have put in fences if you responded in a timely manner.
Monday, July 08, 2013
I got part of basement cleaned out and set up my hammock down there. I figured the basement was cool and the hammock rocks so I should sleep well. Then I sat on it and ropes started breaking.
I got a portable AC to use in the rest of the house. The heat can be handled once the humidity comes down. The ground floor kept the cool pretty well once it cooled down.
The neighborhood got weedwhacked. The poison ivy got more trunks snipped. And I talked to the guy who cut the trunks last time. It took 4 years for it to get back where it was when he went at it.
|Poison Ivy now.|
|Poison Ivy a month ago.|
I pulled up the carpet in my bedroom and found linoleum rugs below it. Have you seen these? It's like an area rug, but made of linoleum. My midwest friends reaction was "what? Why would someone do that?", but Yummy insists that they were really popular for awhile. When everyone has wood floors and you want to liven up a room but can't afford a full rug you get a colorful linoleum rug with no installation costs.
|Future bedroom exterior wall.|
Friday, July 05, 2013
Nap Time: For when your horrible child won't shut up.
Demonstration of NeverWet hydrophobic coating.
I'd love to see video of the company paintball tournament.
Cursor chasing orca. [link]
Man sets mouse on fire. Mouse sets man's house on fire. [link]
A map of the most famous company from each state. [link]
Mississippi is no longer the worst place to be a kid. [link]
Do these new stats mean that the Voting Rights Act isn't needed or IS working? The Supreme Court thinks it's the former. [link]
This'll be hard on the price of diamonds. [link]
Get it? Diamonds? Hard!?
Proposed Ohio law to put restrictions on how men get Viagra. It's in response to a new bill restricting abortions to before women know they're pregnant. [link]