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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Saturday, April 24, 2004
Sandbox has a home

  Go read  Sandbox  and stop whining about your life.
Click here to read  Sandbox now!

Welcome to my Sandbox.  I appreciate any of you that have gone to the site to read Dennis Hooker's free book in PDF file format, and I'm sure he does too.  This morning, I got a bright idea.  Uh-oh, you say.  Well, this one might have worked out for the best for everyone.

When you want to read Sandbox, you can now go to deviantART.  I uploaded the four parts of his book that he graciously split it into there.  As soon as I hear back from Dennis, I'll turn over the keys to some accounts I had to create in order to accomplish this.  That is, if he feels like dealing with feedback about his book.  I no sooner finished uploading one of the 'lunchtime-downloadable-parts' of the four parts of Sandbox when other deviants started adding the files and the account to their watch list and favorites list.  So, that was pretty exhilirating.

Each part is a zipped PDF file and is only between 150 and 300 KBs, so you can snag and read each one as you have the time to do it.

I hope putting Sandbox there is a good thing.  Hopefully, it will give this personally empowering information some added exposure and solve some of the other issues Dennis and I had talked about.  Now, not only can people go to the Sandbox site and download it from a fast server, but it will keep track of alot of statistics, and has a nice feedback and commenting function built right in.

Stop whining about the relationships in your life.
Go now and start reading.

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Friday, April 23, 2004
Fraggin' Friday: Q3A - The Regulator

  Make Q3maps, not war.
  Click for larger image

The Regulator is a medium-sized, visually busy map by first-time author, Jared Prince. There are two main open areas (for asymmetrical CTF) and running off of them are two and three levels of interconnected circumferential hexagonal corridors.  Each level of corridors can be accessed by either bounce pads, teleporters or ramps and all weapons, except the BFG, are available to you in them.

In the first main open area (shown above), the megahealth spawns in the fog in the ceiling above some interestingly contructed kiosks or work stations and is easily obtainable by a bounce pad.  Jared went with a damaged look for the other main open area where the medkit respawns.  There is debris and broken glass scattered around the bottom here.  The removed floor plate exposing a player health-damaging area was a nice touch.

Unfortunately, the source of all the broken glass in this ceiling displayed some HOM for me.  The use of every seemingly available animated and see-through Q3A texture was a little overwhelming and distracting at first.  But after playing this map against 4-6 bots in DM and CTF a number of times, I got used to it and found his use of colored lighting in some of the corridors was helpful for remembering which corridor to head down in order  to pick up a specific weapon, armor or power-up.

It is a very playable first-time map for FFA or CTF.  It's definitely worth a run-through for a Fraggin' Friday.

more quake map reviews

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Thursday, April 22, 2004
Happy Earth Day

PETA can kiss my mother-fucking ass!!!
Earth Day was started by a murderer
" Neighbors below Einhorn's flat had been complaining for some time that that they were detecting a terrible stench coming through the floorboards, accompanied by an occasional oozing of putrid brown matter that stained their ceiling. They tried to paint it out and sanitize the smell with disinfectants. But, the odor increased. And the oozing continued. When the building foreman investigated the problem, Einhorn refused to let the man check a closet from where the smell seemed to be coming. "

- from Counterculture Killer, by Joseph Geringer

It seems to me that the very first thing ever recycled by the founder of the increasingly annoying pseudo-holiday, Earth Day, was when Ira Einhorn stuffed his murdered girlfriend's body into the steamer trunk in his closet and allowed the remains of Holly Maddux to become a necrotic stew.

Knowing the fact that this so-called holiday was started by a psychotic, LSD-taking, misogynist murderer has made it difficult for me to get overly excited or enthusiastic about it all, but you go ahead and celebrate Earth Day any way you like.

I remember as a kid, we planted trees on Arbor Day.  Grocery store chains would hand out little pine tree saplings at the check-out counter and we would get home and excitedly plant them around the house.  I just knew that in 10, 20, or 30 years' time those little saplings would grow up to become a natural habitat for wildlife, like cute little squirrels or raccoons.  They eat the pine cones and make a home in the tree.  I'm confident you know some kid right now that most likely has some Earth Day activity at school.

It's all very wonderful, I realized as an adult, until those cute little furry animals dig through the shingles on your house and start shitting in your attic.  Aren't you glad you planted that fucking tree near the house now, Mr. Eco-friendly?  At that point in the game, I wish someone would re-manufacture and bring back plastic six pack rings for the next cute little furry animal to choke on.

But as I've try to point out in the past, most of the world's population increasingly lives  in urban areas.  The next furry little animal they are likely to see is when a cockroach crawls under their grandmother's wig on the nightstand of their tenth-floor apartment.  It's actually this apparent lack of interaction with wildlife that makes tree huggers out of most of our country's voters.  They love trees and they love animals.

I met a guy on the day I snapped those Bike Week pix who started a web site called ... but the real PETA has since either sued him out of that domain name or bought it.  His PETA site was People Eating Tasty Animals.  That's generally how I like animals, too --  with salt and maybe a side salad.  Actually, I've nearly wrecked my car avoiding some little furbag or another on the road.  I like wildlife in the wilderness, but just not in my friggin' house.

And I like trees too.  But, unlike an apartment-dwelling tree hugger who has never climbed a slippery two-story ladder, stood on a frozen roof with a running chainsaw and screamed obscenities at the evil tree that crashed into the roof and took out the electricity during a sub-zero winter during an ice-storm, I don't give flora and fauna more importance than humans.  I have been to Humane Society fund-raisers.  I was actually a member of a botanical society once, too.  I'd definitely be the first on my block to own an alternative fuel hybrid vehicle, if I could afford to buy one.  But, rabid ecologists can kiss my ass.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Crowds and Chrome

Daytona Beach Bike Week
  Click for full size image, Myisha!

So what was I doing with my time between the Coalition of the Willy-nilly and Cooler Heads Prevail blog entries, you ask?

Even though it wasn't necessarily by choice, I took that week  off from being online.  It was a little refreshing and sometimes frustrating, very much like what most men think while looking at this hot-looking woman.  Unobtainable eye-candy, right?  And no, that isn't my money in her garter belt.

But while I was web-less, not only did I have to really think hard to remember what the name of certain movie actors were on TV rather than simply going to IMDb and satisfying my curiosity, but also I spent endlessless hours perseverating with GtkRadiant and designing innumerable Quake3 map-lettes in which to compile, render, and run around and lob grenades mindlessly at the architecture.  I also scanned  in some more pix from Daytona Beach Bike Week.

So now, I have two sets in that particular /photography/street/ gallery: Beach and Crowds and Chrome.  The link above will take you to a thumbnail page.  Don't forget to hit next 24 at the bottom of that page, if you want to see the rest of the pix from that day.  I'm not entirely sure how the gallery thumbnail pages display for non-deviantART users, or visitors.  I hope you enjoy them.  If you really, really like them, buy me this  cool T-shirt and I'll send you a CD with all the original high-resolution scans of these pix.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Coalition of the Willy-nilly

  I'm friggin' back!!

Just over a year ago, the Dubya White House announced its coalition of the willing whose primary goal was "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction".  Ironically, the secondary goal was also to "liberate the Iraqi people from one of the worst tyrants and most brutal regimes on earth."  I'd just like to point out that the U.S. government publicly and financially supported Saddam Hussein for decades until he lost his mind and thought we would stand idly by when he sought to control more of our friggin' oil by invading Kuwait.

Wrong.  Believe me, no one would give a rat's ass how many Shi'ites Saddam Hussein murdered for his own political convenience over the many years if as much oil was under the desert sands of Nevada, instead of modern-day Babylon.  Think I'm wrong?  Ask the survivors of the Rwandan genocide.

But the fact remains, we are again, and still, in Iraq with our military.  Regardless of the reasons why, real or imaginary, truthful or politically spun, I agree that we will likely have to stay in Iraq and (cough) stay the course -- If for no other reason than to clean up our own mess.  Anything else would be un-American.  I mean, think about it: we have laws in our own cities that mandate you have to pick up your own dog's shit in public places, why should Iraq be any different?

Unfortunately, as it's been reported in the news, some of the coalition is not so willing anymore.  Spain's new leadership said, "No mas".  And now, Portugal is yanking its entire military presence from the area.  Heh.  All 300 of them.  Puh-lease!  In related news, it hasn't been reported that this pull-out by our some of our European partners has caused France to raise its current terrorist threat level from "Run" to "Hide".

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