Friday, June 30, 2006


So the past two weeks I've been learning Photoshop so that I can create original graphics for a Star Trek simulation I want to create, the USS Solomon. I've learned a lot and I think I've made some good graphics. You've seen some of them on this site already. Well, I was just looking at to see what style I should create my site. On the site is an article about various "fan films" going on worldwide. For those of you who don't know, fan films are fan created series and created for free. From the article I learned that Paramount allows the 'infringement' as long as the films are free for viewing. Who knew copyright law could ever work for the masses? I've been following a fan film for the past year, the Final Frontiers series. I've been quite impressed by the quality stories, characterizations, sets, and graphics these fans have created. I learned about many more fan fics out there. I'm going to show you them.

The Starship Farragut

The USS Hathaway

The New Voyages

The Starship Exeter - Amazingly true to the original. Their sets are incredible.

Star Trek Intrepid - Worth watching, if even for the incredible British accents.

Star Trek Hidden Frontiers - I've been watching this for over a year and each season is better than the last.

All but three of these, Hidden Frontiers, Intrepid, and the Hathaway are based on the Original Series. Eh, I prefer Next Gen or later, but I think I'll check them out anyway. The Hidden Frontiers series has been very rewarding. I suggest you try one out that catches your eye.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Flag Burning?

Tuesday the Senate rejected the constitutional ammendment to ban flag burning by one vote. The tally was one short of the two-thirds majority it would take to make the changes. It lost because three Republican senators voted against the measure, contrary to their party's choice. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and President Bush were both disappointed that the measure didn't pass. The ACLU was proud of the senators that dissented. Apparently the measure created a heated debate for two days.

I can understand that. Americans look at the flag as a symbol of what they believe in and the ideal of freedom. Most believe that flag burning is an insult that cannot be suffered. I disagree.

Yes, flag burners used to be called "stinkin' commies" on the mild side of things. And true to my blog's title (and moderate conservative viewpoint, there you go Aaron!) I will side with the flag burners in this case. Now before you stop reading my post and start writing your hate mail and replies, hear me out. Take a deep breath, step out of yourself and take a third person perspective. Then step out of your box too.

Okay, I believe Americans take themselves too seriously. And even more so, they take the American flag seriously. There is a strong link between our patriotism and our flag. It's a strong link that doesn't exist in many other first world nations. Canada for example, you can take a Canadian flag and sew it into a shirt or a backpack. *gasp!* And it's actually patriotic, you are wearing your flag! In America, the flag is reserved for poles and coffins only. It is after all, only a piece of material with a certain pattern on it. Whatever emotional value we place on it, is in our minds. I think we need to place less emphasis on the flag.

Now, this doesn't really tackle the flag burning issue. After all, making a backpack out of our flag isn't quite the same thing as protesting in the streets, burning flags, and wanting to scratch your eyes out because of tear gas. Free speech in this country is important. It has its limits and boundaries too. Free speech should not trample on other values we hold dear. Flag burning doesn't concern our other freedoms though. It is only a matter of free speech. And as inflammatory (no pun intended, okay it was intended) as it is to most Americans and as much as they hate it, it is Constitutional. This is one of those very, very, few times that I agree with ACLU. "We applaud those brave senators who stood up for the First Ammendment and rejected this damaging and needless amendment." said the director of the ACLU's Washington office.

Now to turn my big red hammer on Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He said concerning the amendment, "Old Glory lost today. At a time when our armed services are defending America's freedom in the war on terror, it's unfortunate that a minority of my colleauges blocked [the proposal]." Oh, whatever! Let's look between the lines of that quote, (break out your magnifying glasses!): "I am linking the passing of this bill to our troops in Iraq. It is crucial that our flag not be burned if our troops are to ever come home. Democracy as we know will end abruptly if we cannot keep the American flag from being burned. You stinkin' commie turncoats that didn't vote for the bill!" Okay, so that was a little provocative, but you see my point. This bill has nothing to do with our troops in Iraq or the war on terror.

President Bush said concerning the bill, "By showing respect for our flag, we show reverence for the ideals that guide our nation. We show appreciation for the men and women who have served in defence of those ideals." Well, if you take his quote word for word, he is right on! We do show respect for our men and women in the military by respecting the flag. I agree wholeheartedly. But I do not agree that the law should enforce that respect and appreciation. We should make our own choice on whether we want to reverence American ideals or not and how we want to respect them in the end.

FW: Wife/Girlfriend

Dear Tech Support:

Last year I upgraded from
Girlfriend version 7.0 to Wife version 1.0. I soon noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources. In addition, Wife 1.0 installed itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Poker Night 10.3 , Football 5.0 , Hunting and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6
I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications. I'm thinking about going back to Girlfriend 7.0 , but the uninstall doesn't work on Wife 1.0. Please help!


A Troubled User. (KEEP READING)


Dear Troubled User:

This is a very common problem that men complain about.

Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0, thinking that it is just a Utilities and Entertainment program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM.

You cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is designed to not allow this. Look in your Wife 1.0 manual under Warnings-Alimony-Child Support. I recommend that you keep Wife1.0 and work on improving the situation. I suggest installing the background application
"Yes Dear" to alleviate software augmentation.

The best course of action is to enter the command C:\APOLOGIZE because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway.

Wife 1.0 is a great program, but it tends to be very high maintenance
. Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep 3.0 , Cook It 1.5 and Do Bills 4.2.

However, be very careful how you use these programs . Improper use will cause the system to launch the program Nag Nag 9.5 Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Diamonds 5.0 !

, under any circumstances, install Secretary With Short Skirt 3.3. This application is not supported by Wife 1.0 and will cause irreversible damage to the operating system.

Best of luck,
Tech Support

Sunday, June 25, 2006


The red Mars-like planet is my favorite. The Earth-like planet is my second attempt, but using a different tutorial. And now I have a lava planet.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Ms. Nebula Contest

Okay, so we have our contestants here:

Ms. Emerald Nebula

Ms. Nebula Pastel

Ms. Fire nebula

Who wins your vote?

Another starscape...

...But in my estimation, this one is much better!

And I'd love to share the link: How to make a starfield. He also has a tutorial on how to make a planet. Once I get this down pat, I'll start working on that.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Look what I made!

Today, using a tutorial I found online, I created this starscape image. It is my first, but I know the basics now and well... I think I'll be able to improve a lot. *grin* It feels cool to learn a new skill.

"What is real?"

I was just messing around with the buttons on my Yahoo messenger. There is a "Buzz" button which lists the top searches for Yahoo in various topics like "Television Movers" and "Movie Movers". I looked at the television movers and at number four was "Tuesday Night Book Club". I had never heard of it. But I recalled seeing little fliers from Relief Society on Kate's and red brick's doors. The fliers said something about a book club or something. So the link in the Buzz interested me. Perhaps the RS was doing something with a national group. So I clicked on the link and I found out it was a television drama. The tagline is this:

"A CBS one-hour series which follows the lives of a group of real women as they deal with the day-to-day pressures of raising kids, maintaining households, satisfying their husbands, and keeping it together on a personal level."

I followed the link. And here's the pic of the cast:

And the first word that popped into my mind was: bullcrap! So much for "a group of real women". Not one of those women looks remotely real, average, or normal. Heck, they're not even standing/sitting in "real" positions! I guess they're "real" in the fact that they were all born to parents and they're not a figment of my imagination. But if CBS is trying to pass them off as "real" they need to try a lot harder. This show is just a "Desperate Housewives" knockoff. Hearing all of this may sound odd coming from me, seeing as I'm a semi-anti-feminist and I hate political correctness. But I find this ridiculous. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Trip down memory lane

So about ten minutes ago, I was googling my name. I've done it before, I was just seeing if there was anything new. Well, I came across something I had forgotten about. Back in about 1996 a friend and I created our own website. Well, my friend helped me with the web stuff but I made 98% of the content. Anyway, I just explored the site. Wow, that brought me right back to high school. I was such a sentimental goof! Well, "was" is very subjective. Anyway, back in the day I was a *very* big EFY fan. I actually made the site dedicated to EFY first and then to me second. I can't believe it but I'm going to let you explore my past. If you delve deep enough, you'll be rewarded with some pics of me at high school age. There are a lot of interesting things on this site too. LOL

Well, here's link. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Okay, so if you read my last post, I have been reading the Limewire blog. And I read a very interesting and important entry. Basically it amounts to an easy way for someone to look at your passwords for all of your saved passwords on firefox.

Go to Tools and then Options. Pick the Privacy tab. (Your menu may look a little different from mine.) Some smaller tabs will come up. Third from the left is "Passwords". Click on that. Click on "Set Master Password..." put in your password that you're going to remember. Until you have that set, anyone can go to the "View Saved Passwords" and view all the of the sites that you have told Firefox to save the passwords for. You can also look at all the sites you told it not to save for. Anyway, this protects you from an easy breach of privacy. They would just have to sit down at your computer. Well, I hope that helps out.

PS - So I did this myself today. Well, it puts up a password entry window about every time you start Firefox. Annoying! So, I guess you could take your chances, or you could erase all the sites there and not have Firefox remember your passwords, or just deal with the annoyance.

Just Spreading the Word

So I upgraded my Limewire today. I was looking to see if it was the most updated version when I discovered the Limewire blog. And I found something of interest to me. So to spread the word and do my part, here is the entry that interested me.

A Pirate’s Tale

I have a confession. Once upon a time, in a land just a little more dangerous than it is now, I was… a pirate! I did not sail the torrential seas of the internet in search of precious MB of glittering mp3 booty. No, I was content in my little cove, which was given the innocuous name i2hub. You will not find it with any site map or search bar–today it is googols of miles away, farther than any can travel, for even my haven was not safe from the long arm of the RIAA.

It all began with an email from MIT letting me know that the RIAA intended to extract my name from the ‘tute so that I could be named in a lawsuit. I started looking into previous RIAA suits to see how these things played out, and was surprised by the lack of firsthand accounts. How tragic, considering the RIAA hopes fear of lawsuits will keep people from stealing music. More information on how the process works would turn that fear of the unknown into something more concrete and, frankly, deride-able.

That’s what brings me to the LimeWire blog site. I want to share my story of being sued by the RIAA so people can learn more about how the process actually works. So here we go: an account of my foray into the RIAA lawsuit machine. After that first email, I didn’t hear anything for about two months until I received—joy of joys!—a package in the mail. While normally an occasion for any college student to celebrate, the fact that it was indeed a large envelope and came from MIT legal quickly changed by tune. And tunes turned out to be the manner at hand: the materials inside let me know that MIT would be forking over my name in 14 days, and proceeded to enumerate my rights and responsibilities hitherto and forthwith and sideways etc, etc. And just in time for Christmas.

I’ve got to hand it to MIT legal, though. In mid-January I received another fat envelope letting me know that, because there was no confirmation that I had received the last mailing, MIT had held off giving up my name so they could send another one. Which may be legitimate, but also sounds like someone’s tap dancing to buy time. If this was the case, thanks, MIT.

However, even the ‘tute couldn’t put things off forever. Some things in life are inevitable, like death, taxes, and late nights tooling; such is the RIAA’s relentless pursuit of villainous, scurvy pirates like myself. I received a letter from a Colorado based law firm letting me know that I’ve been named in a suit for copyright infringement.

At no time in the course of any of this had I been informed exactly what the RIAA had against me. I had been informed, however, that I should not delete any evidence of my crimes from my computer, even though they already had this mysterious evidence. Which was ironic, really, considering that not long ago I had sent my computer in to HP for a replacement DVD ROM and, in their infinite wisdom, the company had decided that this warranted wiping my hard drive. On top of the three major projects and loads of photographs I’d lost, the music I’d been accused of sharing now rested in that mythical paradise to which all lost data goes.

The law firm was kind enough to pass along a number to contact RIAA representatives, so I gave it a ring…and reached their “settlement negotiation hotline.” My jaw nearly dropped. Talk about an organized attack! And to add insult to injury, the area code was for Missouri, my home state. I left my name and number at the beep as instructed but decided to talk to the law firm instead…and reached their RIAA-related answering machine. The audacity boggles the mind.

I eventually got through to a real person and asked, perhaps a little peevishly, “So, what is it that you guys think you have on me, anyway?” The answer was (a whopping) 272 songs and, should the case go to trial, potentially $750 per song. Now, I know what you’re thinking: with a collection of 272 whole songs, no wonder the RIAA felt compelled to squash my threat to the sanctity of music. However, with the grace and benevolence only a huge corporate machine could display, the lady on the phone told me they’d be willing to settle for $3750.

I actually started laughing at her. “Okay,” I said, “so who do I talk to about negotiating that?” She replied that they usually wanted the amount within 15 days, but that they had a six month payment plan available. How nice. “No no,” I said, “I mean who do I talk to about negotiating the amount.” Turns out the whole ‘negotiation’ part of the hotline covered the way they rape you, not to what degree.

So the conversation was pretty much over after that. Life got in the way for a bit, but a few weeks later I called the lady back. Not to settle, mind you, but to make the most out of the situation and give the RIAA rep as much crap as possible. I’ll post about the ensuing convo soon.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Evolution of Dance

Pat on the Back

I just finished putting replies on all of my friends' blogs. *grin* I am good.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bigredhammer's Top Ten Top Ten Lists List

Okay, here you have it folks, the Big Red Hammer's Top Ten... Well, what it says in the title. These are lists that I found interesting, compelling, or just plain funny. And yes, some of them list more or less than ten items. I accept that.

10. The Top Five Signs Your Co-worker is a Ninja
In case you needed to guard against ninja attacks.

9. The Top Ten Ways to Destroy the Earth
And this one is bases in real science. It also lists what you will need to accomplish the feat.

8. The Top Ten Spanish Phrases That Don't Translate Well
I don't speak Spanish... but I wouldn't want to start with these phrases.

7. The Top Ten Secret Societies
Playing Illuminati has put me in the mood, but you never know... or do you? No you don't.

6. The Top Ten 80s Cartoons
Because the 80s have and always will be important... especially cartoons.

5. The Top Ten Scariest Movies
I love scary movies. And for those of you who don't, this will provide you with the list to stay away from.

4. The Seven Wonders of the Modern World
I think it's plain interesting. Wouldn't it be an incredible world tour to visit them all?

3. The Top Ten Richest Men of All Time
Wouldn't it pay to study up on the most powerful men?

2. The Most Popular Scientific Myths
This one is more applicable to everyday life.

1. The Top Ten Baby Names
You might find this to be an odd choice for my number one list. But hey, I've heard of so many stupid baby names... well, don't get me started. But I believe a baby's name has a lot of bearing on its life. So here's my hint: No misspellings, new names, or names that are things. You'll be good to go if you follow that.

So! Those are my lists. Feel free to add any you may have seen that caught your eye.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Three posts in one!

I just read a pleasant article on MSN (on which all articles are merely ads construed as news) about the five dream jobs for men. Their choices were: video game designer, brew master, toy creator, comic book guru, and casino host. I have to say, the first one has the most appeal for me. I don't want to know any kind of computer code or the technical stuff behind the games I play. I want to be able to build the levels, create the weapons or vehicles, and write the storyline. That is where the fun is at.

And for those naysayers that think that video games take up too much time or aren't worthy of time, I will retort: The game industry makes more money than the film industry. And if you think about it... which is more interactive and social? A movie where you sit down silently and watch one screen the whole time? Or a video game where everyone is involved in the action and working for or against a cause? I think most vide game naysayers are (dare I say it?) women. I will ask the women, why don't you like video games? or men playing video games? I have my guess. LOL It's because sometimes men almost ignore you when they're playing. It's a form of competition. Now I have more opinions on that... but I'll save that for another post.

And my third post: I just read an article in which a North Carolina panel has determined that the state should pay reparations for an organized race riot that happened in 1898. That riot did have a rippling effect against positive race relations in the state for a long time. But reparations? "Along with compensation to victims' descendants, the commission also recommended incentives for minority small businesses and help for minority home ownership. It also recommended that the history of the incident be taught in public schools." That is BULLCRAP. We could just as easily follow the same logic and say that there should be a tax on Italian businesses because Christopher Columbus changed the way Native Americans lived. Or perhaps Missourians should pay an extra tax to make reparations to Mormons for the extermination order that was put upon them. After all, that happened in 1838. It makes sense doesn't it?