John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica



 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Sunday, January 18, 2004
Morphine Dreams


You draw my fingers and I'll draw yours.

After having emergency knee surgery about six weeks ago, I was laid up in the hospital for a few days in some considerable pain.  It wasn't nearly as painful as those months of acute pancreatitis, but I had never had my leg sliced wide open and plates screwed into the bone before, either.  Right now, I can't really remember coming out of surgery.  I do remember my awesome Jamaican nurse, Norma, giving me a little HFD controller to a self-administering morphine pump.  I can understand how people get addicted to heroin now.  That little controller soon became my friend.  I think I did have Morphine Dreams.

Even with good drugs, staying in the hospital is tedious and boring.  I burned out on word games a long time ago, so I asked High Priestess to bring the sketch pad and pencil set I had just recently purchased.

Because I didn't have any medical insurance, Dr. Mitchell released me after only two days post-op -- a day early.  I had to leave my little HFD controller and sadly say buh-bye to my friend, the morphine pump.  Perhaps not wanting to be considered as a total buzz-kill, Dr. Mitchell prescribed some yummy percocet.  I dutifully followed his orders and filled that prescription.

Here are some of the sketches from the Morphine Dreams pad.  Click on the title under the thumbnail to view them (duh).  How considerate of me, eh?

 
ouchie leg doodle
ouchie leg doodle
smeagol
smeagol
bed-ridden 1
bed-ridden 1
phone booth hookers
phone booth
fish nets
fish nets
jack-in-the-box
jack-in-the-box
 bed-ridden 2
bed-ridden 2



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Saturday, January 17, 2004
Eye Candy List


Check out JfZ's eye candy links
Besides using Thunderstorms as my public ranting place and as digital psychiatric therapy, it's also become my
handy-fucking-dandy place to store some of my bookmarks, organize them on the left side panel, and highlight a handful of favorite web sites.   Sifting through hundreds of porn site bookmarks, I've collected some that I call eye candy.

The digital image above, The New Face of Science, is by canadian artist
Lillian Bohbot.  She has a nice selection of her work on her site.  I especially like two of her oils, Entanglement and Dream.  She's just one of many talented people featured on digitalsalon.com.

While I'm mostly interested in digital art at the moment, I can appreciate more traditional forms of visual art.  I've  enjoyed the work of surrealist artists, like
M.C. Escher, since I was a teenager.  Back when I was in the military, I made a point to wander around the Louvre, in Paris.  A few years ago,  I attended a showing of Van Gogh portraits at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).  And this year, I plan on visiting the Salvador Dali museum in Tampa.

Until I can walk again, I plan on wandering the web for cool eye candy.  Rather than being a problem, this has its benefits.  Now that the net has finally reached puberty, many brick-and-mortar museums and galleries have their own virtual counterparts.  I can view the works of a vastly greater number of artists without even spending a dime on travel or museum admission.  More importantly to me, though, is the fact that I can check out hundreds of new artists whose work may never see the inside of a traditional gallery or museum.

In addition to those benefits for new artists working in traditional visual art, the media I'm most interested in is actually glowing balefully in your face right here on your monitor.  I've fiddled with digital art since my mother put a light pen in my little hand during one her midnight shifts at the
Ford Motor Company product development computer center and told me to trace around my other hand on the half-million dollar monochrome green cathode ray tube. 

That was a long time ago -- decades before 
Xbox, Playstation, PC games, token video arcades, Space Invaders, or ANSI and many years before even Atari and Pong.  So, I hope you check out my eye candy list as it grows.  I hope it'll inspire you to sneak off with the kids' Crayola crayons next time you get a chance. 



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Friday, January 16, 2004
A Place of Evil - revisited


Dennis attempts to breast feed the neighbor's dog, Mikey ;) 
I thought I would post the comment from Dennis concerning A Place of Evil as an entry because blog comments can often become tucked into the page and sometimes go unnoticed.

[>ker-snip<]

Yup, I'm the "hero" in that novel. Yno's imagination out-does itself a couple of places, but most of the events really happened right around here. The ritualistic weekly suicides off the bridge by teens. The barns that burn down from circles of candles. I've had attempts at my life more than I care to think about (no I'm not paranoid - just awed that I should be so important)

It is a small community - and 100 years behind the times - but even the Amish moved back out - too evil for them. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world - yet, covens, satan worship, ritualistic murders abound. Even Johnny Carson, 20 years ago said on his tonite show, "If you want to get away with murder, go to Morgan County, Ohio - and the audience knew about the regular murders that went uninvestigated (they were outsiders such as myself).

Yet, I come back and now live in an old cottage on the river that I bought for $4000 - an outhouse and I carry the water in from down the road. From PhD to this!! Do you think getting shot at "causes" this relapse in motivations? I write - 20+ books, half of which I never even send to publishers - burned out.

I don't mind talking about it. I've always felt that I want to leave this world with a "bang", not a "whimper". I'm not the wimpering kind, eh?

Friend,

Dennis

[>ker-snip<]


That sounds like a pretty fuckin' crazy scene, Dennis.  When did most of these things take place?  It makes my little slogan, "Think of it as having a bad day in a strange place", sound pretty lame in comparison now.

Hey, let me know if it is alright to make your book "Sandbox.pdf" publicly available for others to download and read.  I'd like to send that to a few people but I wanted to make sure I had your permission first. 

You should move back down to Florida and we can share a golf cart!  Heh.  If you need some motivation, gaze into the Daytona Beach web cam or just remember what my Weather Pixie said the temperature was here today when you're walking out your front door and smack your head on a hanging frozen stalagtite of dirty ice.



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Thursday, January 15, 2004
A Place of Evil


ycmtsu

You can't make this shit up (
ycmtsu) has become one of my blog topics because of the bizarre-but-true things that I tend to write about when I happen across them on the web.  Originally, I think I heard Don Imus blurt out, "You just can't make this up", in response to someone's idiotic behavior.  Then, when a few seeminglingly inexplicable things happened to me personally, I started blurting out ycmtsu so often that I know people thought I must have Tourette's Syndrome.  I still think I'll look into making ycmtsu into a bumper sticker.

Now, meet author
William "Yno" Winebrenner.  He is the grand poobah of ycmtsu.  Yno, as he is known, is a friend of a friend.  I've heard my friend, Dennis, mention Yno several times in email since moving from the neighborhood here and back up north to A Place of Evil

Besides encouraging Yno to start writing, it seems Dennis was also the protagonist of Yno's first novel,
A Place of Evil, a horror story based upon real events.  The tagline for the book asks, "What would you do if the evil of Satan, himself, moved into your community?"  Sucks to have been Dennis back then, eh?

Yno has written
a number of books since.  From what I gather, his main theme is taking stories that have been told over the years among small-town communities -- Mayberry, U.S.A. urban legends. -- and putting them into his novels.  I plan on putting A Place of Evil on my gift wish-list this coming year.  He sells his books online at ynosbooks.com, for about $10, for those of who wish to place an order.  (couHINTgh)

Until I get a chance to read this tale, I'll have to ask Dennis about it.  That is, if he wants to talk about it.  He may not want to do that.  Sometimes it's best to put an ycmtsu event behind you and forget about it.



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Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Idaho Qaida



I found this article in the Technology section of Canada.com today.  I submitted the following write-up for the Plastic editors to review.  If the write-up gets published, I'll include the Plastic URL later.

[[update]] 
Read the article as published on Plastic.

Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, a computer student at the University of Idaho, is facing at least 15 years in prison.  U.S. authorities filed criminal charges against the Saudi student in the Boise District Court of 'providing material support to terrorism'. Among other things, this additional indictment alleges he was the webmaster for Islamway.com (english version) and he solicited donations for 'jihad in Israel, Chechnya and elsewhere'.  He also developed web sites sponsored by the Ypsilanti, MI based Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA) which even the Saudi government considers to be a radical organization and a branch of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood.  The Saudi government is nonetheless providing funding for Al-Hussayen's criminal defense.

According to the Ann Arbor news, Al-Hussayen, a doctoral candidate in a computer science program sponsored by the National Security Agency, is accused of creating Web sites and an e-mail group that disseminated messages from him and two radical clerics in Saudi Arabia that supported violent jihad, or holy war.

CNN reports that Al-Hussayen has been held in custody for almost a year. His wife and children are to be deported March 6th.  Kim Lundquist, the assistant U.S. Attorney, defended the long delay in charging Al-Hussayen by saying, "His computer contains massive amounts of information that we're still trying to assimilate.  It's taken us this long to get through the computer information".

This latest indictment is just part of interrelated FBI terrorist investigations that has led to searches and arrests across the U.S. and Canada this past year.

The search for hosting ends in Saskatoon, Canada
is the slogan for amanah.com, Islamway's cited web host on their home page (arabic-language).  Ironically, it seems the U.S. authorities think they may have found terrorists there too.



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