Mama and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary today. Thank you to all that emailed or called to congratulate us earlier today–we appreciate it. If you are interested, you can check out our wedding pictures which are still online.

“Above the trophy case hangs an elvish sword of great antiquity.”
— Zork I: The Great Underground Empire, Infocom, 1980

Anyone that has ever played a computer role-playing adventure game knows that magic items are what the games are all about. I remember how pissed I used to get when the thief in Zork would enter the room and steal my stuff. Well, we’ve come a long way from the single-player, text-based Infocom games that I used to play. Now there are Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs).

Well, South Korean police authorities are starting to pursue online crime, which is typically the theft of magical items and other virtual goods. You see, the players of these MMORPGs are sometimes punked by virtual gangs for their land and possessions, while others are conned into giving their items to strangers willfully.

Why is this a “real” crime? Well, it seems that fanboys without lives have started building up characters and magical items and selling them on Ebay–giving them real-world value. Sadly, there are individuals willing to spend hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars to play an elite character or have the most powerful magical items in these virtual worlds.

Gimme a break! It’s hard enough to fight crime in the real world, where there are physical consequences to say, getting your ass kicked and someone taking your wallet. Does virtual crime really need justice? Maybe, but not by real police!

School has kept me extremely busy this last week. I feel like I’ve been playing catch up at work, and school, since I got back from vacation. However, I wouldn’t trade it for anything–it was awesome. Nothing going on but work and school for me, and the world is particularly uninteresting at the moment as far as news go. I’m sure as the recall election nears, there will be something blogworthy to post.

The only interesting news is that the new Fall television schedule is on full swing. That means a lot of new shows premiering and the return of some favorites of mine (see previous blog). So far, the only new show I like this season, of the ones I’ve seen, is Miss Match. Check it out–it’s not bad.

A national article was published today on Star Trek’s problems and proposed changes on making the show better. Fan disappointment with the Trek franchise has reached critical mass (see previous blog) and a lot of people are pissed. Some people are saying that the changes made in this third season of Enterprise are too little too late. I disagree, I think the first couple of shows in this season have been outstanding (see previous blog) and everything seems to be heading in the right direction. Alas, Trek is *not* better than Farscape, but at least they are making new shows.

Governor Gray Davis attempted to redeem himself today by signing a new tough spam-busting bill into law. The new law allows civil damages against spammers amounting to $1,000 per e-mail and $1 million per incident. Kick ass! We’re not fucking around here! Unfortunately, the law won’t take effect until January 1st of next year.

View from the Canopy, Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort

Mama and I have returned from one week in paradise–it was awesome. Pictured above is the view from the Hilton’s canopy seats overlooking the ocean, where we spent all day on Friday. As you can see, it was pretty hard to come back.

Surprisingly, when we arrived last night we found temperatures in the seventies and it was in the nineties today. That’s crazy weather for San Francisco! It’s like we took the sun from Hawaii and brought it here! Check out the rest of the pictures.

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Unknown Diver, Hawaii

Mama and I will be taking off to Hawaii tomorrow morning for a full week of scuba diving, kayaking, and golf. I will not be posting any new nuggets until we return from this much needed vacation. Look for actual pictures of our trip to be posted here!

Sadly, actor John Ritter passed away last night at the young age of 54. Ritter is survived by his wife, Amy Yasbeck, and their daughter Stella, and three children — Carly, Tyler and Jason — from his first marriage to Nancy Morgan.

I really enjoyed watching Three’s Company when I was a kid. John Ritter was at the top of his game and Suzanne Somers didn’t need any plastic surgery–those were the days. I thought the girls on the show were hot and the premise of the show was funny. A guy living with two girls pretends he’s gay so the landlord will let him stay. Oh, and did I mention the girls were hot? But, Ritter’s physical comedy as Jack Tripper is what really made the show–he will be missed!

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
–Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), The Godfather III, 1990 (Movie Clip)

Now that the frivolous defamation case brought against me by Mark A. Popp is over (see previous blog entry), you would think that would be the end of it, but no. Time Out New York Magazine just ran a story about the iMind Parody Site and SLAPP lawsuits on the Internet. Email me if you’d like to check out the story!

Also, just to prove that when it rains it pours, I’ve just been subpoenaed to appear as a witness in an ongoing investor lawsuit brought against the iMind founders, Mark A. Popp and Daniel Schwenter, by Doug Hannah, an iMind ex-employee and investor. The iMind saga just refuses to come to an end!

One day before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Al Jazeera has aired a purported tape of Bin Laden and one of his top aides. It is not known when the tape was made, but Al Jazeera speculated that it was probably made in April or May of this year. Damn, this guy puts out more videos than Missy Elliott.

Well, it seems that Star Trek: Enterprise producers listened to the fans and decided to make an amazing season opener to try and quell the detractors of the show. I can say that tonight’s episode is a step in the right direction.

Right off the bat, there are a bunch of new aliens introduced as part of a strange Xindi War Council. There’s a cockroach looking guy, a bunch of strange humanoids, and even an aquatic species that look like eels. We later find out that the Xindi consist of five different species. It looks like the Delphic Expanse is going to prove to be a pretty interesting place indeed.

Trip is trippin’ because of the death of his sister and having nightmares, so the doctor and T’pol conspire to give him what appears to be a Vulcan sensual massage. In the process, T’Pol and Trip take their tops off and T’pol even shows the side of her boob. T’Pol claimed it wasn’t sexual, but damn! Look for a relationship to start between these two sometime soon–you heard it here first.

The story included a Star Wars-like plot element and the threat of a weapon capable of destroying an entire planet, uh, can we say Death Star. The new tensions and plot elements have the makings of a very promising season. Looks like the producers have managed to convince me to tune in next week!

4 Stars

On paper, a film devoted solely to the journeys of migratory birds doesn’t sound all that interesting. However, in execution, this film is a cinematic masterpiece with awe-inspiring cinematography. Filmed over three years, the film follows bird migrations in seven continents in all types of conditions, from deserts to snow-capped mountains to lush green countrysides.

The first thing that strikes you about this film is its amazing cinematography. Birds were filmed using a variety of light aircraft and remote controlled planes and helicopters giving the perspective and feeling of actual flight. It feels like you are migrating with them–it is truly astounding. The shots obtained in this film have no equal and will probably be forever known as the best bird footage ever captured on film. It sets the standard by which all other bird documentaries will be judged.

Additionally, the soundtrack captures the emotion of flying through the air with these birds in their amazing journeys and the narration is informative but unobstrusive. This is not only the best bird documentary, but it is the best animal documentary I have ever seen. It is just short of a five-star rating because it is still a movie about birds–but it’s the best movie about birds ever.

There were no blog entries this weekend since we are very busy planning our trip to the Big Island of Hawaii next week. This is a good a time as any to announce that I won’t be posting any entries from there since we’ll be too busy scuba diving and playing golf. Kick ass!

According to the Naval Historical Center, a moth was found trapped between points at Relay # 70, Panel F, of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University on September 9, 1945 by Lt. Grace Hopper. The operators affixed the moth to the computer log, with the entry: “First actual case of bug being found”. They put out the word that they had “debugged” the machine, thus introducing the term “debugging a computer program”. Cool!

A man wearing a speedo swimsuit and a short t-shirt was arrested at Taco Bell for, well, revealing a little too much burrito! I never thought that anyone could ever be arrested at Taco Bell for a dress code violation, but there it is.

Okay, it’s not an Aston Martin, but Gibbs Technologies has just introduced an amphibious car capable of 100MPH speeds on land and 30MPH speeds on water. The convertible car turns into a boat in seconds and does not have doors to avoid leaks. Passengers have to get in and out of the car Dukes-of-Hazard-style. This thing kicks ass, but with a price of $235,000, I doubt anyone I know will be getting one any time soon. Check it out!

With so much drama in the LBC,
It’s kinda hard being Snoop D-O-Double-G…
–Snoop Dogg, Gin and Juice, 1994

I guess it’s hard being Arnold Schwarzenegger too! Arnold was “straight egged” at the Long Beach State campus today. He apparently decided to skip the first debate in Walnut Creek in favor of a speech at the university–bad move. Check out the picture in the article: the redheaded dude is like, “Dude, you just got rocked!” This doesn’t really come as a surprise, since the LBC is not filled with repubs, that’s for sure. Maybe he’s lucky he got out of there with a mere egging.

The bad news, an asteroid is heading towards Earth, the good news, it won’t be close to us until March, 2014. Even better news is that there is a 1 in 909,000 chance that it will actually hit our planet–here’s hoping that we don’t beat those odds. Jeez, and I thought that the release of Deep Impact and Armageddon in the same summer was the worst asteroid disaster I would see in my lifetime!

Update: (9/2/2003) After more observations and lots of math, JPL says the asteroid has a 1 in 2.2 million chance of striking the Earth in the next century, which is far below the “background risk” of a catastrophic collision in any given year. False alarm.

Bomb Collar Device

You just can’t make this stuff up! A pizza man was blown up after a bizarre bank robbery yesterday near Erie, Pennsylvania. The bomb was “locked” onto the man by a complex collar (pictured) that used four separate locking devices. Authorities are still trying to figure out if 46-year-old, Brian Wells, was a victim or a willing participant in the robbery. The FBI has released photos of the bomb device in hopes that someone may have seen it.

Well, I don’t work for the FBI and I am not a forensic analyst, but I can tell you that if he was a willing participant he wouldn’t have been scared shitless and asking “Why is nobody trying to come get this thing off me?” Also, what’s up with the delivery to a strange remote location and his co-worker ending up dead in his home!? This whole thing is scarier than any crime movie in recent history, and the scariest part is that this is real. Read this other story–it’s crazy!