My father knew how to swear. He’d been in the Naval Air Reserve and they don’t say “swears like a sailor” for no good reason. I occasionally heard my father employ the profane arts – often when he thought we weren’t around or was caught unawares by an errant swinging hammer or broken appliance. Despite all that, in deference to my mother, dad tried not to swear in front of the kids. This lead to his using words that were less harsh in the place of stronger words, or creating new word couplings that expressed his ire while remaining friendly to children’s ears.
The one I remember most of all is “jerk turkey”. The first time I heard it was in the car, after someone had cut him or done something stupid and my father called him a “jerk shit” which earned him a scolding from mom. Later when another road incident angered him, he reached for the same insult. “Jerk” came out strong but then he faltered. There was a pause as he searched for a suitable replacement for “shit” and finally “turkey” burst out of his mouth. Being older now, I can probably guess that the mental connection came from “turkey shit”, another popular phrase I had heard people utter from time to time, and my dad simply removed “shit” from both of them and slammed those two remaining words together.
“Jerk turkey” became a staple of my father’s lexicon. Other drivers on the road were prime examples. Also, umpires who make bad calls in games dad watched on TV. Comcast is a company full of nothing but jerk turkeys, from their technicians to their customer service. The guy who delivered his newspaper, also a jerk turkey. The wait staff as well as the kitchen staff at Chili’s who never got any of his orders right, ever – jerk turkeys, the whole lot of them.
The last people I ever heard my father call jerk turkeys were the staff at the two rehab facilities he was in before his passing. In both places, due to his high blood pressure, they placed him on “no salt” diets. Dad liked salt on everything. Food wasn’t worth eating if it wasn’t salted. And so, the people who refused to give him salt – jerk turkeys.
In my life, I’ve been known to swear. Very, very rarely ever around my father, but among friends when there are no kids around, I can soil the air with foul words just as well as anyone. I think, however, in the future, I’m going to try to do it less, but there are times when you need something to call people, something to yell at the top of your lungs and get the ire out.
I really wish this were a gaming post, but it isn’t so…
Mechanics. I always hear people talk about how they know a good one, but they never seem to want to give up that name, so most of use have to drive our broken cars to the local auto shop and prepare to be ripped off.
Let me just get this out there. Every single auto mechanic I have ever been to has always been nice and is probably knowledgeable and not a complete thief, but their business model is terrible and shitty and it makes me think of them as crooks.
So, my car is busted. Doesn’t matter how, there is something not working or it is making some sort of sound. I take it to the shop. I tell them the problem I am experiencing and they agree to look at it. They give me a complimentary ride home. Later they call and say, “$800.” I say, “Fix it.” Then they call back, “While we were looking at that thing, we noticed this other thing. $300.” I say, “Fix it.” Again they call, “So we pulled out the thing to fix the thing and found that the noise we couldn’t identify from before is coming from over there. $400.” I think about it, push some numbers around in my head, “Fix it.” They call again, “Turns out that the original issue wasn’t just a little broken, it was totally broken, so it’ll be $200 more.” “Okay, fine.” “Oh, and since we are already charging you $400 in labor to dismantle the whosiwhatsis, we looked at the thingamabob and it’s broken. If you fix it now, $300, but if you fix it later we’d have to charge the $400 labor for dismantling again, so?” “Go ahead and fix it.”
I’m up to $2,000 now, on a car that is only worth about $1,500. But I’m okay with that. It beats having a monthly payment since fixes like this only come along once every couple of years. Then they call again, “We’ve got your car up on the rack and noticed that you have a bunch of other problems, all of which are going to lead to your immediate death should they not be fixed, $2,000.” Now I’m angry.
If I had been told, up front, they would charge me a couple hundred to do a complete systems check and give me a full accounting of problems and come up with a $4,000 price tag, I’d have gladly paid them the couple hundred bucks and bid them a good day, sell the car for scrap and get a new (used) car. But the nickel and dime stuff, slowly climbing from a reasonable cost to a bearable cost to a completely unreasonable cost is for shit. Why in the hell would I spent $4,000 to fix a car that isn’t worth $1,500 in full working order?
So here I am, paying $2,000 to half fix a car when I probably could have taken that $2,000 and bought myself a used car that was in better working order. Mechanics, this is bad and you should feel bad. You might have successfully gotten my money, but you have lost my business, and now I’m going to go around bad-mouthing your store, America’s Service Station in Woodstock Towne Lake. I used to like you guys, you did alright by me for a few years, and now you’ve lost my business forever. Suck it.
And to top it off, when I explained my position to the office staff there, they just shrugged and said it isn’t their place to take the value of the car into consideration when repairing it, and they also don’t do complete systems checks because, and I quote, “they are a waste of everyone’s time.”
I remember it was cold out. Not like dead of winter cold, but enough that I was wearing a long sleeve shirt. So it was either toward the end of the first semester, or it was nearing the middle of the second. I was sixteen. It got dark early, so it was definitely during the standard time and not the daylight saving time. Whenever it was, it was report card time. I got home before my parents every day, and I had been checking the mail with purpose, because I knew there was damage that needed to be controlled.
I could go into the longer, deeper story, but I won’t and I’ll just say that I was a solid C student. My parents had been trying for years to get me to do better. I simply had no desire to do more than was required to pass. However, this particular report card was different. Among the usually assortment of Cs was a lone F. For the first time ever I wasn’t passing a class. I was on top of it, keeping an eye out for the report card and then… I don’t know. My sixteen year old brain was probably thinking I could alter the grade, turn the F into a B or something, like they do in the movies and on TV.
I came home, checked the mail and went to my room. My parents came home and went about their normal end of day routine. After a little while, my father calls me downstairs. I go. “Get a shovel and meet me in the backyard,” he says.
“Great,” I think, “yard work!” I was being sarcastic, of course, but yard work usually did mean getting some extra allowance. I get the shovel and meet my father in the backyard. He’s stand in one of the “islands”, you know, where they’ve put pine straw down between trees to keep from having to mow there. There are plants around the edges, flowers mostly, but this one is fairly barren in the center.
“I want you to dig a hole,” he says. “Two feet wide by two feet long and about a foot deep.” And then he walks off, back to the house.
I’m confused, but I start digging. It’s chilly out, and I didn’t get a jacket, so I’m trying to dig quickly, keep my body moving so I can stay warm. After a while, I’m nearly finished when my father strolls back out. He barely looks at the hole I’ve dug and says, “Now I want you to fill it back in.” And he heads back to the house.
I’m more confused, but I start shoveling again, filling the dirt back into the hole. As I finish up and am patting down the last of the dirt, my father returns. It’s dark now, the yard illuminated by the lights from the house. He is a silhouette as he approaches, his breath puffing out to the side as he walks. He points a finger at me, gaining my full attention.
“If you don’t improve your grades, this is the kind of work you’ll be doing for the rest of your life.” He stands there for a moment. He shakes his finger at me, once, twice, like he’s counting out the cadence in his head, maybe there is something he wants to add. Finally he says, “Put the shovel away and come back inside.”
That night I eat my dinner in silence, and after I go to my room and do my homework. I start doing my homework most nights. At the end of the semester I’ve pulled up my grades – the F becoming a C and even one or two of the Cs turning into Bs.
There is much more to my educational history, and not all of it is good, but I will always remember that it was my father who finally figured out how to get through to a kid who didn’t think school was worth doing well at.
And I did it all for the sticker.
I’m not really telling you to commit voter fraud. Very little voter fraud is actually committed by the voters – although Republicans would have you believe that all voter fraud can be eliminated by requiring proper identification at the polls. No, most fraud, if there is any, occurs in the counting and tabulating. Boxes of mail-in votes lost or “forgotten”, counting being handled by clearly partisan people, early votes being “invalidated” and the voters not notified or not allowed to re-vote, and so on. Voters don’t really commit fraud, political parties and corporate entities do… you know, the things that don’t actually vote, and thus don’t need an ID.
Beyond the malarkey of voter ID, you should, if at all possible, vote. There is no reason not to.
Don’t like either of the major party candidates? Then consider voting 3rd party to vote “against” the major parties. Sure, those 3rd parties aren’t likely to win, but every vote they can get helps them become more established and maybe next time, in 2016, they’ll actually get invited to the debates unlike this year’s lockout. Even if you don’t agree with the 3rd parties, vote for one against the major parties since you don’t like them either. Right now, the current goal is for one of both of the biggest 3rd Parties, Libertarian and Green, to get 5% of the popular vote. At 5%, a party qualifies for public money in the next election. And if you ignore all the pitfalls of campaign finance, qualifying for public funding is a major step is being accepted as legitimate, or being actually seen by more people, of getting on more ballots, of getting media attention, of changing the way our system works (or doesn’t work). A vote for a 3rd Party isn’t a wasted vote.
No matter how you decide to cast it, vote.
It’s your right. Exercise it.
Just when you think you are safe, you realize that the shared server you have all your web stuff on gives people who also share the server a little more access than you’d like, meaning that you are really only as safe as they are.
With things like WordPress and other CMS, there are files that need to remain writeable, if not for use then for automated updates. It’s these files that are vulnerable to getting edited and slipping malware, site redirects and other problems onto your website.
Well, if you have telnet access to your account, and you should. Here are a couple commands you can use to see if you’ve been hacked and which files you need to clean to fix it. Additionally, you can change the security on these files so that they are not writeable, but you’ll have to remember that and go change them back before taking advantage of some automated updates.
First up, check your PHP files for bad stuff:
grep -lr –include=*.php –exclude-dir=logs “eval(base64_decode” .
Next, do the same thing to your HTML files:
grep -lr –include=*.ht* –exclude-dir=logs ”<script>s=” .
In both cases, you’ll get back a list of file names that have matched the patterns (i.e. contain “eval(base64_decode” or “<script>s=”). You should download those files, edit them to remove the hacked code, and upload them. It’s possible, though unlikely, that you may get hits on valid uses of these patterns. So be sure you know what you are doing.
Basically, what each of these is doing is either redirecting your visitors to somewhere else, or pulling code in to be displayed on your website. Of course, the most common files to get hit with these are index.php and index.htm/index.html. If you are infected and visit your own site in Chrome (I don’t know about other browsers) and you haven’t disabled the feature, Chrome will warn you that the page is doing something that might be malicious and ask if you want to proceed anyway. That’s a sure sign that you need to do some cleaning.
Anyway, that’s a quick way to clean your website or two problems. If you don’t modify the file permissions, you should probably run these weekly just to be safe and catch problems as quick as you can.
I don’t know who Adrian Snell is, but I may have to buy this album just to support such cool cover art.
I logged into the site this morning, to the WordPress dashboard, and saw the graph of my site stats.
For nearly an entire month, the traffic here was triple or more where it usually peaks. Of course, that was due to putting up a post every day about a horror movie with a Halloween tag on them. The biggest draws being the posts about vampires. The Nosferatu post alone doubled the traffic in a day.
On Halloween itself, the traffic dropped to half what it had been. And then yesterday was back to regular levels, where I suspect it will stay until December, when I might go on a Christmas movie reviewing spree.
However, those lofty heights of getting nearly 400 hits per day has strengthened my resolve in one way – I need to post more, and consistently. I may not succeed in daily postings, but I’m going to try very hard to keep October’s posting momentum through November.
At the very least, coming to post here every day this month will give me an opportunity to say things like – Day 1 of NaNoWriMo and I got 2,236 words. Probably my best start ever.
Anyway… post at ya later!
Yesterday I completed the 31 movies in 31 days of Final Girl‘s SHOCKtober event.
It was an interesting experiment, to watch that many movies in that short a time and write about each one. However, it is unlikely I will ever participate again.
There isn’t anything wrong with the concept itself, of doing a movie a day for the whole month, but there is a serious flaw in letting someone else pick the movies. There was a lot of terrible shit in this list, movies that I think I would have preferred never to have seen. Not all of them for the reasons I gave for the final film, Martyrs. Some were just because they were old and boring.
Plus, too many foreign films. There is nothing inherently wrong with foreign films, but reading subtitles means that you have to pay very close attention to the movie, even if it is boring. You can’t browse the Internets and return focus to the film when something exciting happens. Nope, you have to sit there staring at the screen and read the whole damn thing. I don’t mind foreign films, but I have to prepare myself for them, get other stuff done and clear the two hours of time where I can focus on just the movie. I feel like doing that roughly once a month. This selection had 13 films with subtitles. There were 15 foreign films, but the copy of Planet of the Vampires I watched was dubbed as was Tenebre (I had a subtitled copy but the subtitles wouldn’t work on my player).
If I ever attempt anything like this again, I’ll be picking the list myself.
On the other hand, being forced to write every day was good. And I plan to carry it into this month as I participate in NaNoWriMo. In fact, since I wrote this post in advance, there is a decent chance that I’m already writing. I hope so anyway.
Until next time…
That really should be the entirety of my review. But I don’t want to be so glib. It might encourage people to see this horrific piece of crap.
Basically, you should only watch this if you
like love ultra-graphic gore and sadistic torture. If you don’t like love those things, then you should avoid this movie at all costs.
So, this girl, Lucie, escapes from somewhere that she was clearly being kept and tortured. She gets away and gets put in an orphanage where she befriends Anna. Anna learns that Lucie claims to be tormented by a ghoulish monster. Flash forward fifteen years where Lucie busts in on a family eating breakfast and murders them all with a double barrel shotgun. She calls Anna, tells her she killed the people who tortured her as a child and Anna comes to help dispose of the bodies. Lucie keeps being attacked by the ghoul, but, once Anna is there, realizes it is all in her head, is just guilt over the girl she left behind when she escaped, and slits her own throat. All of this is shown in very graphic detail.
Anyway, Anna discovers a secret basement and a tortured girl, who looks a lot like the ghoul Lucie was fighting. Anna frees her and tries to help her.
It was at this point that I first turned the movie off and uttered the phrase, “Fuck you.” The tortured girl, when left alone for a few moments, is found cutting herself with a giant knife, just hacking away at her own wrist. Eventually, when I calmed down, I watched the rest of the movie.
People show up, kill the tortured girl and take Anna prisoner. The people explain that they are torturing girls to learn the secrets of the afterlife. Anna gets tortured. A lot. Time passes, the movie keeps fading in and out and she reappears each time more tortured. Eventually she’s told that she’s almost complete. Then they flay her alive. Flay. At this point Anna reaches some sort of enlightenment and experiences the afterlife. Not a near death experience – she’s in this euphoria state for over two hours. Then she tells the leader lady something, it’s whispered - we don’t get to hear it. The crazy cult people gather to hear the words of Anna, and while they wait the old lady tells another member to “keep doubting” and then shoots herself in the head. A nice title card tells us that “martyr” is Greek for “witness”.
All that torture. All that disgusting shit. All of it, and I get “keep doubting”?
Seriously, Martyrs, fuck you.
Be sure to keep an eye on Final Girl and the rest of SHOCKtober.
UPDATE: Check out other participants - Blog @ Rotten Cotton, Life Between Frames
Planet of the Vampires is an Italian science fiction horror film where two spaceships respond to a distress call on an unexplored planet. In their attempt to land, both ships become damaged. One loses its meteor deflector and the other takes engine and hull damage.
In their attempts to recover, it is discovered that some of the crews have become possessed by aliens. Those aliens want to hitch a ride off their dying planet and get to a new planet where they can thrive. Several people try to thwart the plans of the aliens, but ultimately the aliens win. However, the ship is still damaged and won’t make the long flight home. So instead, the aliens turn the ship to the nearest inhabited planet: Earth.
Dun dun DUN!!
Man oh man, the 60s!
There is just something about the way the colors look in movies from that era, especially sci-fi, fantasy and horror stuff. So vibrant! And the sets, caught halfway between realism and totally fake. With fog hiding the sound stage floor. And the fashions! Just look at these space outfits!
I want to make one of those, the male version of course, for Dragon*Con. Except, I’d need to figure out how to make it look that good while being made of a material that breathes.
Anyway, movies of this era can’t really be called “good” but they have a quality that makes them a lot of fun to watch.
Be sure to keep an eye on Final Girl and the rest of SHOCKtober.
UPDATE: Check out other participants – Blog @ Rotten Cotton, Life Between Frames, nijomu