Friday, September 02, 2011


that humans are not as smart as we think we are. So-called 'lower' species are outwitting and training us at every turn. Take dogs for example. Not only do they remind us if we haven't fed them on time or wake us up if we haven't taken them out when they think we should have. Now they have started deciding when we need to take breaks from our video games. When a two year old dog puts her nose on the power button of the 360 because you didn't pet her when she wanted then it's proof that they have finally passed us on the evolutionary scale. They know how to control our electronics addictions better than we do. We are completely controlled by our 4 legged furry masters. I, for one, welcome our new Purina-eating overlords.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Why I'll never use VisionBank in Topeka

Some of you know that I work at a local cigar shop part time. It helps pay the bills and I get to smoke at work. It doesn't really get any better than that. Every now and then however the store employees have to deal with someone who seems to think the world revolves around them. Tonight was once such night.

Gary Yager works for a place called VisionBank. It's also a local business. The issue this evening stemmed from Mr. Yager's idea that he is somehow special and that rules and hours of business don't apply to him. The store I work at closes at 8:30 PM on weeknights. This is nothing new. It's been 8:30 for years. Mr. Yager comes to the door almost 10 minutes after closing, after the register has been closed out and the credit card batches tallied. When I explain to him that we're closed and the deposits have been completed and that there is no way to do a transaction at this point he makes it clear, in very graphic language just what he thinks of that idea. One quote is, "You tell the owner that I'm never buying a fucking cigar here again if you don't let me in right now. This is fucking bullshit." Sounds like a well-adjusted, community-minded guy, doesn't it? And when I ask for his name he hands me his business card then proceeds to hit me with the door while continuing his tirade.

Needless to say I notified the owner of the situation as soon as I was able to get the front door locked again. But Mr. Yager's actions speak to an issue that is about as offensive as it's possible to be. The idea that he's better than someone else and can browbeat them to do what he wants. Like because he's well-off and works for a bank that somehow he's entitled to treat a guy who works two jobs to make ends meet like a punching bag. Whats even more annoying is the fact that this guy works for a bank. What would Mr. Yager do if one of his tellers let someone in after hours to do one last transaction? Promote them? doubtful. Make them employee of the month? Not bloody likely. What he'd do is fire them immediately. Yet somehow he's supposed to be treated differently than the peasants such as myself. Here's a clue for the Mr. Yagers of the world: You are not special. You are not entitled to be treated any differently than anyone else. You are not better than me just as I am not better than you. If you act like an ass to someone who is simply doing their job then don't be surprised when you're treated the same way.

Oh, and Mr. Yager, if you somehow come across this and think about getting an attorney involved keep in mind that the store has HD security cameras so your actions and your words were caught in all their technicolor glory. I'd love to see you explain to a judge or jury how me not opening the store up after hours justified the verbal and physical abuse you decided was needed. Also, I will be passing this little episode on to everyone I deal with while advising them that perhaps a bank that employs someone as prone to violent outbursts as you appear to be might not be the best place to keep their accounts. While I doubt it'll drastically effect your bottom line quickly, keep in mind the number of people that come through the cigar store and how many of them are quite wealthy and don't like bullies any more than I do.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter everyone. Today's discussion deals with an idea that's been gaining a bit more traction in certain learned circles as of late. There are many people out there who put forth the theory that the big JC was, in fact, the first vampire. They point to the very obvious vampiric overtones in the "This is my blood. Drink this in remembrance of me" as proof that Christ was establishing himself as the patriarch of a new vampire species. This idea has been used in various stories. Most successfully, IMHO, in The Shadow Saga by Christopher Golden. However, while this is a compelling idea, there is an alternate theory that I think is an even more interesting interpretation.

Simply put, Jesus is a zombie. I know that zombies are traditionally mindless, ravening beasts intent only upon devouring every bit of flesh they can get their dessicated hands on. There are examples throughout the various media used to document them that show examples of them retaining their mental faculties. Even some of the early data put together by Romero show some of the zombies remembering how to use phones, doors, or even track down hidden entrances. It's not unreasonable that the first zombie, before generations of viral mutation, would retain full use of their memories and knowledge.

There are a few other indicators of this in Christ's own actions and words. There's the obvious comment where he tells his disciples to eat of his body. A more telling reference involves an incident after his resurrection. As Christ is appearing before the disciple Thomas, Jesus tells Thomas to feel his wounds. If Christ had been a vampire those wounds would have been healed. Simply put, vampires heal, zombies don't. And there's another, very telling, piece of evidence against Christ being a vampire. Jesus appeared in sunlight both before and after his return to the living. And let's not forget the raising of Lazarus. In the biblical tale Lazarus stumbles out of his crypt and he never says a word. A lack of coordination and speech is a fairly common indicator when it comes to newly created zombies.

In the end I think it's obvious that all indications of JC being vampire are red herrings put into the bible to distract people away from the blasphemous truth that every zombie horde that's tormented humanity through the ages is rooted in He who is purported to be the Lord and Savior of the human race. So be thankful this Easter. Enjoy your Easter baskets and candy and eggs dyed all sorts of interesting colors. Just remember to ask yourself What Would Zombie Jesus do? I think it's safe to say he's not interested in our hearts. He's come for our brains.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And no for something completely different....

Those who know me know that I'm a reader. I read more books than Michael Moore eats donuts. I'm always reading. It's gotten better, or worse depending on your point of view, since I got an ebook reader. With the ability to carry entire libraries around with me I almost never stop reading. In my search for new authors to get into I recently discovered a guy by the name of Andy Remic. I got sucked into his Clockwork Vampire series and then started his Combat K series that I picked up one of at the local bookstore. While looking for more of his work in ebook, of which there only appear to be two so far, I happened upon another author who got me completely hooked. to the point that I managed to read everything of his that I could find in the space of two weeks. This includes a couple of short story collections, a stand alone novel titled A Dance of Cloaks, and a five book series that goes by the moniker of The Half-Orcs.

His David Dalglish. His David Dalglish. Almost feels like a scene from Fight Club there.

Anyway, for anyone that's looking for a solid series that's about the characters and not just the latest wanna-be Tolkien then check this guy out. I'm going to warn you up front that this is not Shannara. This is not Middle-Earth. This is definitely not Harry freakin Potter. A good portion of The Half-Orcs is dark and brutal. It was bad enough that after a particularly rough scene I had to put the book down and walk away for a few minutes. That's how angry I was at what had just happened. But, and this shows the power of the work and the characters, I came back. I not only came back to finish that second book in the series, but over the next three days I finished the rest of the series because I HAD to find out where these characters where going and what was going to happen to them and their lives. The only comparable situations for me in recent history both happened in the movie Serenity where Joss Whedon, blessed be his name but cursed be his name, killed off two of my favorite characters in Shepherd Book and Wash. From a logical standpoint I understand that pain and loss have to be part of any character in order for them to be someone we can relate to and feel for. That doesn't mean I have to like seeing them go through it.

Another very, very cool thing about this author is his response to fans. I finished the second book, The Cost of Betrayal, this past Sunday. I emailed him shortly after I completed it and started off by letting him know how displeased I was with how his characters were being treated. I then thanked him for writing the books, let him know that I loved the characters and that I was looking forward to what was going to happen next. Within fifteen minutes I had a response....and not a generic form letter response either. If he gives permission I'll post his responses in their entirety later. Yes, I said responses. This author actually carried on an email conversation with some random joe who contacted him out of the blue. How many published authors would take the time to respond to one email, let alone several? That alone pretty much guaranteed him a fan for life as far as I'm concerned.

Here's to a long career writing fantastic stories filled with amazing characters and all the triumphs.....and tragedy they encounter in their journeys.

UPDATE: Below are the emails from the author. And I just finished his sequel to Dance of Cloaks called A Dance of Blades. Great read. So go pick it up and keep this guy writing. I have spoken, that settles it.


But...but...but I -like- Joss Whedon :-)

And your email doesn't sound angry in the slightest. It sounds invested, which is beyond flattering, trust me. Let's see...I underestimated Kayla's popularity (you're far from the first to be pissed about her dying). Kinda wish I'd kept her around now. As for Aullienna, that sucked writing it. Beyond miserable. But her death echoes throughout the entire series. It never goes away. I needed that final separation, a death that was no one's fault and everyone's fault. I've had readers stop the series at her death, and at times, I can't blame them.

The next book for you, Death of Promises, is probably the weakest of all of them. And when you finish book four, I might have to hide from you. But I promise, promise, that the series has a wonderful, happy, satisfying ending. Just in case you start wondering if I've lost my mind as you continue the series, and thinks continue to look bleaker and bleaker. *grin*

Thanks so much for the email, and more so for the compliments!

David Dalglish


Feel free to become a fan at or swing by my website at

--- On Sun, 2/6/11, Mindwyrm <> wrote:

From: Mindwyrm

Subject: Half orcs

To: ""

Date: Sunday, February 6, 2011, 11:55 AM

Okay, I just finished the second book in the series. I've got the

entire series and am looking forward to the rest of the story. I've

also read A Land of Ash and A Dance of Cloaks. I have two things to

say regarding your stories.

First, thank you for doing stories where the characters come to life

and matter to the readers. It's rare for me to find a set of

characters that I actually care about and want to see find some

semblance of happiness. Even Qurrah. That being said, can u stop

acting like Joss Whedon and killing people off? I read A Dance of

Cloaks first and was so pissed off when Kayla was killed. And then

when Aullienna was killed I had to put the book down for a few minutes

and come back later. In all honesty I understand why characters have

to go through that kind of pain. So I don't expect you to change and

really don't want you to alter your writing. It's just frustrating to

grow to love these people on the page and then see them broken like


All in all, keep up the good work. I know my email reads as if I'm

angry and don't enjoy your stories. Nothing could be further from the

truth. It's because I'm enjoying your stories so much that I got so

emotionally involved. That's the kind of writer I look for. Thats the

kind of author that will see me buying their books and trying to

convert other readers as well. I look forward to many years of your


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All your Biz are belong to us

For those of you living in the exceedingly misnamed Golden City that is the capital of Kansas there's a new assault on the ideal of private property. It's called the smoking ban.

Basically the smoking ban is exactly as it sounds. The city council, nine people, decided that business owners aren't smart enough to make their own decisions as to what activities their customers can engage in. They decided that, in the interest of "public health", smoking cannot be allowed except in certain types of businesses.

The many letters to the editor regarding this all seem to be harping on the idea of smokers rights versus non-smokers rights. I hate to break it to those people but this is NOT about smokers or non-smokers. It's about whether or not owners of private property or businesses have the right to control their own property or business.

There is currently a petition to get the ordinance up for a public vote but I have a problem with that as well. We, as voters, have no right to tell a property owner what legal activities their customers can engage in. Last I checked, as long as you're over 18, smoking is a legal activity. It's the owners choice as to whether or not they'll allow smokers the freedom to light up or not. I don't have the right to walk into a restaurant and demand a smoking section so what makes non-smokers think they have the right to demand a non-smoking section?

Simply put we are becoming more of a nanny state ever day. This is being couched in terms that remove it further and further away from the actual issue. Down this road lies states like California where you can be tickets for smoking in your backyard if a neighbor complains about the smoke.

Bottom line, we all have the ability to choose what businesses we deem worthy of our business. If there's a restaurant that doesn't allow smoking it's my choice to frequent that establishment or not. The same goes for non-smokers. If you don't like the smoke then stop going. If the business falls off enough the owner will change their policies in order to stay in business.

What will you non-smokers do when your favorite bars or restaurants start losing business and eventually close because those 'evil' smokers have stopped spending their money at those same bars and restaurants? Will you demand the city council pass an ordinance that those same bars and restaurants stay in business? After all, it's about your rights and not the business owners.

Here's my message to all the non-smokers that are zealous about defending the ban: go fuck yourselves. I will not allow you, or some half-assed body of lying, two-faced SOB's, to dictate what I can do on my property.


end of line

Saturday, January 03, 2009

If you could go to Loch Ness tomorrow and prove or disprove conclusively the existence of the monster, would you? Should you? When all the questions are answered, when all the superstitions are stilled, when science has unraveled all the mysteries, what will we do? Would you want to live in such a time? Would we be able to live then?

This is the opening series from a George R. R. Martin story. Now I have issues with Martin and his apparent inability to finish the Song of Fire and Ice series.(hint, hint George. Some of your fans are growing impatient and frustrated.) That aside, it made me think about the idea of wonder. The idea of curiosity. Science, in and of itself, is wonderful and, more often than not, creates more questions than it answers. I do not see this as a bad thing. I see the unknown and wonder as positive things. Without the awe that drives us to question, "What if?" or "I wonder...." we wouldn't have a tenth of the scientific discovery we've had today. Where did we lose this ability to question, to dream.

If you look at modern education we are spoon-fed from cradle to grave exactly what the 'experts' want us to know. When was the last time a teacher actively encouraged a student to think for themselves? I had one teacher in high school that genuinely encouraged this kind of independent thought. Most didn't, or couldn't, be bothered to take the time to deal with logical analysis. If it wasn't in the book they weren't interested. This is the kind of educational system we've created for the children of this country. We're creating drones. It's no wonder that so many technical and scientific jobs are leaving the country. Today's children come out of high school ill-equipped to make it through college and even more poorly equipped to do any job that involves anything more complicated than pushing a button or inserting tab A into slot B.

And now our government once again wants to show the public that they are "doing something" to fix the 'crisis' we're in right now. The reason that they're going to get away with it is because the few people that actually take the time to stop and think about what's happening and ask the right questions are a tiny minority. Most people hear the politicians hot air on TV and think they're going to get money for free. They don't pay attention to the fantastic job public education is doing now. They are incapable of thinking this through to realize that no money is free. TANSTAAFL people. If you don't know what that stands for shame on you. Now go look it up.

We have to get back to being a skeptical society. We have to question the experts and the authorities. We have to be able to look at the world around us and see when the reality doesn't match the garbage they're trying to force feed us. If we can't get back to that kind of independent, rational thought then we are doomed to failure. We'll be no different than the brainwashed hordes were in the USSR or are now in North Korea. It's not too late.....not yet anyway. I can easily envision a point within the next decade where this downhill slide is irreversible but we're not there yet.

On a completely personal note, a friend of mine passed away here recently. He was a Marine aviator in Vietnam. He was an attorney and, eventually, a judge here in Kansas. He was the epitome of a good man. Even after losing most of his leg to cancer I never once heard this man complain about anything or say an unkind word about anyone, even when he was well within his rights to do so. The Marines guarding the Pearly Gates have added another to their order. You will be missed my friend. You are missed.

Captain Max Opperman
Semper Fidelis

Nom per Deus mi amici

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election soundtrack

R.E.M's It's the End of the World As We Know It

Appropriate don't you think?

End of line.

UPDATE: For the throngs of people, all two of you, who have pointed out that the song above contains the line "and I feel fine." here's why I feel fine.

First, most of a bottle of Dalmore Cigar Malt tends to ensure that I feel no pain.

Second, and more important, the election wasn't the blowout that most people thought it would be. The electoral vote went his way in dramatic fashion but he's winning the popular vote by about 5%. Sounds like a lot until you factor in what went into his win. Six hundred million dollars only buys five percent? And lets not forget the complicity of the media in hiding everything that could make Obama look bad while crucifying his foes. Don't believe me? Go look for stories on Joe the plumber or Sarah Palin's tanning bed and see what you find. Then go look for stories about Obama or Biden and their history's. Any mention of Biden's daughter and her arrests? Nope. Any stories on the shady dealings Obama had with Rezko? Not outside Fox News.

So basically you have the perfect storm for democrats. An unpopular president. A financial crisis(caused by democrats, extended by democrats, and, when republicans tried to stop it, guaranteed by democrats). An ungodly ability to raise money, even questionable money. Massive turnout in previously apathetic demographics. And, to top it all off, a media that turns a blind eye to anything that might raise eyebrows on the democratic side, including the flat-out lies by people like Obama, Biden, Pelosi, and Reid regarding the Wall St. meltdown. Put that all together and Obama only won by 5%??? How the hell, with all that in his corner, did he only win the popular vote by 5%? Democrats will never see this kind of opportunity again. especially after the people begin to see just how little a democrat controlled government gives a damn about them or their needs. Welcome to the United Socialist States of America. Check your civil liberties at the door.