Why DOOM is Special

(I actually wrote this post some time ago and simply forgot about it. Better late than never I suppose!)

Although I enjoy discussing topics on religion and secularism, I think it’s important every once in a while to dive into the really important topics, the things that truly matter in all of our day to day lives. Therefore, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about video games.

More specifically, I’d like to talk about DOOM.

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Flash Fiction: Random Words

So there’s this guy, Chuck Wendig, who posts a prompt every Friday for readers of his blog to write a piece of flash fiction (less than 1000 words). I’ve participated in these a couple of times, but never actually posted anything here. This week, I’m changing that. So, this week’s challenge?

Pick three words from a list of ten, and write a story around them.

I did a random roll, and to make this slightly more fun, I’ll post the three words I ended up with after the story. That way you can try to figure them out before hand. Though I’m pretty sure you’ll figure them out.

Hope you enjoy it! (more…)

Moto Madness

So I bought a motorcycle. I guess I just figured, the mid-life crisis is going to come sooner or later, so why wait?

Honestly, this is something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  I remember way back in, oh, 2001 or so going to a local Yamaha dealership and looking at the V Star bikes.  No, not looking, more like pining for them. But I was flat broke and didn’t have the time or money to pursue getting my motorcycle endorsement, so I put it off.

Fast forward several years, and gas prices are still crazy. One day, Jennifer looks at me and says, “Why don’t you just get a motorcycle? Don’t they get good gas mileage?” I blew her off at the time, but the thought kept nagging at me. What if I did get one? Eventually I had to ask if she was serious about because I really didn’t think she was, but as it turns out she truly thought it might be a good idea.

So I went for it. I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation training course, then took the test at the Texas DPS to get my Class M Endorsement. And now, here I am, with a used-but-new-to-me bike sitting in my garage. Would you like to see it? She is pretty. (more…)

EPIC!

After much deliberation, I’ve recently determined the following is, objectively, the most epic song ever written.  What is it, you ask?

 

The Soulforged, by Blind Guardian

 

 

In case you’re curious, the song itself is about a character named Raistlin Majere from the Dragonlance series of novels.  From Wikipedia:

 

Born to a mother prone to trance-like fits and a woodcutter father, Raistlin inherited his mother’s aptitude for magic. He undertook the arduous Test of Sorcery, which he passed, but in the process acquired golden skin, and was cursed with hourglass eyes which see the effects of time on all things. His health, while never robust, was ruined further, leaving him weak and subject to frequent bouts of coughing blood. Initially wearing the red robes of neutrality, as the first series progresses Raistlin’s powers increase while his mood and actions darken, and he eventually adopts the black robes of evil part-way through the War of the Lance.

Raistlin, although physically very weak, is extremely intelligent, and possesses uncommonly powerful magical abilities. While ruthless in his pursuit of power, he holds to a code of conduct which repays all debts and protects those disadvantaged through no fault of their own. His relationship with his much stronger, better-liked and good-natured twin brother Caramon is fraught with tensions as Caramon seeks to protect and shelter his weaker brother, while denying his cruelty and penchant for hurting any others while in pursuit of his goals.

 

But who cares about all that?  All that matters is that amazing drum fill at 4:00 in.  And the awesome guitar riffs throughout the song.  And a chorus that might just inspire me to finally finish this novel.  Yes, it is epic, and this is not up for discussion.

Go Texans!

This weekend has been just great.

 

 

First off, the Texans won yesterday, and Jennifer and I got to go to the game! It was pretty amazing just being at the Texans’ first playoff game, and it was even better seeing them beat Cincinnati to move on to the next round. Next week in Baltimore will be tough, but we believe!

As icing on the cake, we were all treated to an extra helping of Tebow-time in the Broncos-Steelers game today. He needed the big play in overtime, and sure enough, he delivered with a bomb down the sideline on the first play to secure the win. Look, he’s even made believers out of these guys.

 

 

Tebow’d!

Anyway, here’s hoping for another great weekend of football next weekend.  For the record, I’m calling it now:

 

Houston vs Denver for the AFC Championship

 

You heard it here first.

What a Twist!

So imagine, if you will, that the two girls in the picture below have never read A Song of Ice and Fire, and are reacting to the shocking climax of Episode 9 of Game of Thrones.  Now, imagine that the guy in the middle has read the book.

 

 

Yesssss non-bookies, we’ve been waiting for this moment for so long.  Your bitter tears are like sweet honey to our lips.  All I can say is, if you thought this was bad, you’re in for a long ride.

Sammie!

My apologies for the hiatus.  If this blog were a job, I probably would have been fired by now.  I could make a number of excuses, but would you care?  Probably not, so let’s move on.

We got a new dog!  A puppy, actually, even if she’s an older puppy at 5 months, and practically the size of a horse.

 

Our Dog Joule

Awwwwwwwwww

 

She’s a pure-bred Samoyed, or Sammie for short.  Absolutely beautiful dogs, as you can see.  Most people don’t know them by their name, but recognize the breed as a type of sled dog used in the Arctic.  They were originally bred in Siberia, so they’re made for cold weather and hard work.  She won’t be getting much of either around here, unfortunately, but we’ll find other ways to keep her cool and busy.

We named her Joule, after the standard international unit for energy or work.  Claire wanted to name her Jewel, but that was a little too girly for my tastes, so we compromised with a heterograph of her idea.  Of course, we had no idea that how appropriate Joule would be, since she seems to either be in a state of complete rest or boundless energy, with nothing in between.  Basically, a huge dog that still has the spirit of a puppy.  A dangerous combination.  Yet, we’re managing, and we all love her to bits already.  If nothing else, she’s certainly the most gentle dog I’ve ever known.  She’s playful, but at no point have I once been worried that she would come even close to biting anyone.  I’m not even sure she understands that concept.

So, expect more adventures from Joule to come, I’m sure you haven’t seen the last of her.

The Intruder

As people who know me can attest, I’m a fan of scary stories.  I don’t know why.  It seems counter intuitive that a story which can illicit the horrible emotion of fear could be entertaining, but there it is.  In fact, the crazy thing about it is that the more a story can bring about that response, the better it is.  Crazy, isn’t it?  There are plenty of theories for why this is.  Some say it’s an adrenaline rush, some say it hearkens back to our primal days when we were constantly on the run from predators, while still others link the response to some dark part of our psyche that desires the emotion of fear to keep us motivated.  I don’t know the answer.  I just know that I like scary stories.  The scarier, the better.

So when I found Ghost Goons a few years ago, I was thrilled.  Apparently, several of the members of the Something Awful forums got together and collected various original stories and put them up online.  They were fantastic.  Unfortunately, the original Ghost Goons site let its domain expire, and now has withered away into nothing.  The good news is, some fine soul kept the stories and is re-posting them on his personal blog.  So, as far as I’m concerned, this is the new Ghost Goons.

One of the most memorable stories on the site, and one that still occasionally keeps me up at night when I think about it, is the story of The Intruder.  You see, many of the entries there were written almost as encyclopedia articles, as if the things contained in them were real and were simply being discussed from a purely academic point of view.  For some reason, this adds to the effect for me.  You lose yourself reading these articles, eventually questioning where the truth ends and the story begins.  Of course, in the end, you know that it’s all made up, but the fun had during scouring their contents can’t be matched.  The Intruder is one of these articles.

Enjoy.  You can thank me tonight when you’re trying to fall asleep.

 

The Intruder is a silhouette and similar in shape to a Siamese cat. When sitting, it is about 7.5 feet tall. It has two overly large, slanted eyes, which glow a bright fluorescent green, and have no pupils. It blinks these eyes occasionally. Other than the eyes, it has no other discernable facial or body features.

Whenever you enter your home after dark, The Intruder is always watching. It sits about 10 feet away from you in plain view. It remains immobile and does not even try to conceal its presence. While outside, it can only be seen by one person at a time. If it were to be within the sight range of two people then the first person who sees The Intruder would remain being able to see it while it would remain completely invisible to others.

It emits no noises of its own. The only time it can be heard is when it is stretching its claws on a tree or your house siding. If you approach it then it will run away very quickly and violently, kicking up dirt and rocks. The sounds of the wind from The Intruder’s movements and flying debris from under The Intruder’s feet can be heard. If you were to throw an object toward it or discharge a firearm at it you would get the same effect. Once you turn back to the door to insert your key you will find that The Intruder has noiselessly returned to its previous position where it continues to watch you.

Some say that The Intruder listens to your key hit the lock. They say that The Intruder can eventually ascertain the shape of your key simply by hearing the pins of your lock moving. It is unknown how many times The Intruder must hear you unlock your door before it can determine the exact shape of your key.

You see, The Intruder wants to kill you, that is, if this creature is even capable of wanting anything. Perhaps it is better to say that it intends to kill you. However, The Intruder can only kill you inside your house, and may not force its way in. Furthermore, it cannot enter an empty house. You must already be at home in order for it to enter. If you were to run outside of your house once The Intruder enters, The Intruder will pursue you, drag you back inside, and then kill you.

If you ever hear a key hitting your door in the dead of night then it may be The Intruder trying out its key that it has made. The Intruder only tries to use its keys when it is close to perfecting them, so if you do hear it trying to unlock your door then you can be certain that it will have a proper working key within a few nights. If you enter your house through another means, for example a garage or screen door, then you may suddenly find it them inoperable from the outside, through both remote or attempted physical operation of the door. If you attempt to leave your door unlocked in order to prevent The Intruder from hearing the shape of your key, then you may be disappointed to find that the door has been locked by the time you arrive at home.

If you hear a key hit your lock it is advised that you turn off all of your lights and attempt to push on the door to try and prevent The Intruder from entering, although it likely outweighs you. Once The Intruder enters your house all light sources above that of a candle become blinding to all inhabitants other that The Intruder. If you have time to light a candle then it is suggested, as this will still allow you to see the silhouette without becoming blinded. A very small advantage that you may have is that, once inside a home, all inhabitants are able to see The Intruder simultaneously.

The Intruder will kill every human inside of the house. It will only attack pets if the animal chooses to engage The Intruder. Most animals choose not to engage The Intruder. The only time that the Intruder will make any noise of its own is during a kill strike. The Intruder will make a quick hissing sound during this strike, and will not make this noise again until it claims its next victim. The Intruder has never been known to kill anyone without hissing during the kill strike. It will usually try to completely disable its prey to the point where it cannot move before it makes the kill strike. It is thought that The Intruder prefers to disable its prey before a kill strike because the act of hissing may be the only time that it is vulnerable to damage. This is purely speculation however.

 

For more scary stories of a longer variety, hit up my links section at the top of this page and scroll down to the end.  The story of Ted the Caver is particularly chilling.