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from Illinois

  • Activity

    • Don't confuse your mother.

      11 years ago


      1. Too much book learnin'. So my son Spyton and I were walking out of our guitar lessons yesterday and all the sudden he starts pointing and yelling things, which I will now re-enact with the following Halo Action Figure Theater (unrelated to the Steve N Lois Saga):


      2. Ethnic diversity I e-mailed my other cool and politically active cousin Jack, whose wife is a filmmaker, who lives in New York, about where to stay for the Mackies. He responded with the following:

      Laguardia is not at all far from the American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, a lovely and diverse neighborhood of Greeks, Brazilians, Czechs, Croats, Mexicans, Egyptians, Bosnians, Bangladeshis, and de-ethnicized predominantly white people of various yuppie/hipster stripes. Queens in general is very safe (remember, New York is the safest big city in the country!) If you wanted to stay in a hotel nearby Laguardia, that would be feasible, although a cab would probably be necessary (there's a bus that goes from Laguardia to Astoria, but it's not near the Museum). (You may remember that we went for Brazilian food in Astoria).

      There's a cool restaurant/bar nearby the Museum called "Cafe Bar", which is both a cafe and a bar (I think the cafe part would make it legal to take [Spyton] there). It's a little bit overpriced but a funky nice place to hang out and get something to eat/drink. My favorite NYC Greek restaurant may still be there (I heard rumors that it went out of business), S'Agapo, just down the street - great dips (tzatziki, skordalia, etc.), and there's a really tasty Bosnian fast food place nearby as well.

      3. When will Apple come out with the iStun? SCI FI had an article in their blog about this stun gun.
      I don't know, it seems a teeny weeny bit conspicuous to me. I mean, you can't really surprise someone with a thing the size of a Buick.

      EDIT: I had a comment here that I didn't think the light could be damaging to the retina... I'm taking that back as I've tracked down the original article and discovered that when they said it was a "laser" gun they meant in fact that it was a "laser" gun, in the techinical sense. Wizbang2 below comments below correctly that laser light would not be diffuse and could be hazardous to vision, depending on the length of exposure and wavelength used. Certain wavelengths are far more destructive than others. They mention in that article that there are safe green lights that can be used... we use a green targeting beam when we do ablative laser procedures on the retina (as in diabetic eye disease) but I know there have been studies showing that repetitive exposure to the foveas of ophthalmologists to the green aiming beam can, over time, cause some permanent loss of sensitivity to light. Similarly, prolonged exposure to lasers like the ones in laser pointers can cause a diminished light response... so don't stare at a laser pointer for prolonged periods of time.

      I wouldn't tell you that, but I know at least one forum member here has done it. You know who you are. smiley8.gif

      Sorry for the sloppiness on my part. I was laughing so hard at the ridiculous gun I didn't read the blurb very carefully. My bad. I guess I'm not so money after all.

      Anyway, they should just use the slime gun.

      Uh... so there.

      Today's Vocabulary Words

    • BBC News

      11 years ago


      Here in Chicago I have a cable subscription which costs me about $70 a month which gets me about 150 channels of tv shows, of which I watch maybe three. (All of which I can download on iTunes.) But I also get BBC America, which is great, and I've often proclaimed my deep love of BBC7 Radio.

      My mother called me a few hours ago to tell me about the plane crash in New York. She said, "Quick, go turn on the TV!"

      But I know better. Instead I went to news.bbc.co.uk/ and then clicked on the news feed and I've been watching the RealPlayer feed since then, which looks like this:


      ...and since then they've covered nothing but the plane crash. They got an e-mail from some American who lived across the street and called him and interviewed him, which was fun to hear... love hearing an American accent on BBC. I'm listening as I type this... They just said the plane belonged to a Yankees pitcher who died. smiley2.gif

      I guess why I bring it up, the BBC in particular I mean, is that the British TV service has been covering the New York plane crash story, despite the fact that it was clear from almost the beginning that it wasn't terrorism related, for about two hours straight. Would CNN run a British news story for two hours straight?

      I don't know if it would.

      It's sad news about the baseball player, and the other three people that got killed. But nice to know that people care.

    • Mackies Nominations Announced

      11 years ago


      Sorry to post twice in one day, but they just announced the Mackies Nominations for 2006.

      Of course RedVsBlue got some nods (which they richly deserve!), but I am so psyched that Claudia Black's project Stolen Life got a nod - for Best Overall no less!! Woo hoo! Does that mean they will be screening it?

      The Farscape convention is the same weekend in Burbank where I know they are screening it.... but maybe we could see it in New York.

      Lauren, wanna go? Anyone else going to New York? I just checked flights from O'Hare... they are dirt cheap right now. O'Hare to LaGuardia $150 nonstop. What hotels do people stay at?

      This might be fun!!!!

      ....oh, and PS:Vote.jpg

      ...and PPS: I realize that there are many of us here who likely submitted to the Mackies who weren't nominated, including yours truly (What! They didn't like my zombie make-up joke!?) But that is no reason to feel sad. There are SO many great films made, and the important thing is that we all had the opportunity to do something creative, and beautiful, and we have the chance to share that with the entire world via the internet. This sort of thing just wasn't possible ten years ago. So put on a smile, give yourself a hug, and be happy you don't have my cat peeing on your floor. Life is GOOD!


    • In my day we had 2 sticks and a rock

      11 years ago


      1. Rock the Vote First of all, I have to mention that I've decided to let the contest run two weeks, or until 100 people put in votes. Whichever comes first. In the meantime I'll be working on the winning song... um, such as it is.



      2. Music for straining your back. Second, I thought I'd share with you my current work-out song list. Because I can.

      Truly - Delerium
      BloodGulch 120 -Tai Chi Knees
      MJolnir's Child - Tai Chi Knees (The Military Drums at the end are great for jumping jacks)
      Halo/Who Mash-up -Tai Chi Knees
      Let's Get it Started - Black Eyed Peas
      Upside Down - Barenaked Ladies
      Assh*le - Dennis Leary
      Monkey Gone to Heaven -The Pixies
      Mysterious Ways - U2
      Steady Ride - Trocadero (excellent for crunches)
      Delerious - Luka Bloom
      Brighter than Sunshine - Aqualung

      3. Gull-dern uppity college-boys and their gull-dern uppity gizmos. What is the deal where there seems to be this particular species of electronic item with which comes no docuumentation. I've noticed that there are low price range items that come with ridulously simplified documentation like, "Do not insert the electrical plug into your nose" in forty languages. Then if you buy the REALLY ridiculously high end stuff it comes with a 3 inch manual that begins with phrases like, "Take the D-amplified z-signal and adjust the c-current until the oscillatory z-signal is aligned with the d-pods of your previously corrected doohickey."

      Then there is the expensive stuff with no instructions I'm talking about.

      For example, here are two items in my music collection.
      There is the $12 Slide whistle, which had a little slip of paper in it which explained that you blow in one end, and move the other end back and forth to make the sound change. Then on the right we have the condenser microphone that I bought that came with NO documentation, and I never used it for a year because I didn't realize that condenser microphones required phantom power to work until I took a $150 class in digital recording. I just bought a matched pair of condenser mikes that came with only a sheet of paper that said, "When first connecting the NT5 to a mixing console, we suggest that you have the gain control adjusted to full attenuation." In other words, turn down your input volume. But I had to take a class to figure that out. Sigh. I mean, is this something all musicians but me are born knowing, the way that a baby gazelle knows to stand up when it is born, or the way geese know to fly south in the winter? Jerks. The microphone company... not the geese.

      Or here's another example:
      Today I bought a lucite rolling pin for modelling clay for one of my 700 projects and it actually came with a 4 step instruction listing: "Roll clay into 1/4 inch sheet. Fold clay over. Roll again into 1/4 inch sheet. Repeat until clay is malleable." However, on the right we have the $120 wireless earpiece for my new cellphone for which there is no instruction manual (although there was a 30 page book in 3 languages explaining all the things that were NOT covered under warranty.) Am I just particularly stupid? Does everyone else know instinctively how to work these things? I had a doctor appointment yesterday in Baltimore and I mentioned it to my doctor (he was wearing one) and he explained to me how to do it. It costs me $120 to see him (not covered by insurance) and I don't think he can bill me for that particular help... but still. The US Cellular guy did tell me that they had a class for people to learn how to use their phones.

      ...why can't they just have a frickin' instruction book?!?! I can understand the microphones.. it is a technical thing... they assume people know things, okay. But everyone uses a frickin' phone! Even us elderly, almost dead, one-foot-in-the-grave-one-foot-on-a-banana-peel folks like me.

      I realize that the kids these days hate paper and want everything on a little screen, but seriously.

      *hits head against wall*

      *walks to bathroom and opens first aid kit and reads directions*

      *uses band aid on forehead*

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      slide whistle

    • Rock the Vote

      11 years ago


      The time has come! The Great Lyric Contest has reached its climax. I have fourteen great entries here from eleven members here at RedVsBlue.com. Now it is up to you to choose the winners. The author with the most votes will win 500 mod points, and the two runners-up will receive 250 points each.

      As for the one I picked to write music for, you'll just have to wait... for me to write it. smiley8.gif

      Here are the rules for voting:
      1. Click on the buttons to read each entry
      2. Respond in the comments below with the THREE entries you like best. In any order. You can just list the three numbers.
      3. Please preview your vote. Votes that are edited will be disqualified.

      Here are the warnings:
      1. You can invite friends to come to vote, but you cannot ask people to vote for any particular entry. Vote campaigning or spamming may lead to disqualification. So none of these messages with "Please vote for me here". Seriously. .
      2. You may leave comments with your enthusiasm for the entries, but any negative comments (and votes) will be deleted. I can't imagine anyone will have any desire to say anything nasty in any case. These are all terrific.


      Editor's note about the "Editor's notes": For most entries, I received a short explanation about the song, or a title was given, or instructions about how the song would be sung, etc. So, I wrote a little blurb about every entry. That's all me, so don't hold my words against the author of the song. smiley8.gif
















    • Halo WHO?

      11 years ago


      Last Chance!

      First of all, I wanted to make clear that this awesome picture was set up by Spyton. He's got a terrific eye for battle and weapon formation, probably as he comes from a long line of warriors and soldiers. Seriously.

      He also just yelled from the other room, "If I die, I want to die eating cake!" That's because we are having a terrible storm right now with hail, thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening. I'm taking full responsibility for that because this morning I was well into a bowl of frosted flakes before I realized it was Yom Kippur.

      But if G-d strikes me down, I want you to all know I died happy. I have a great kid, I don't have the headaches, I have a bright prospects, and best of all, I managed to mash the Theme from Halo and the Theme from Doctor Who into one piece!

      *does the superior dance*

      Seriously, where is my membership badge from the League of Uber-Nerds? It is high time I got one. High time I say!

      Anyway, the power is inevitably going to go out soon, so...

      Here is the link to my Doctor WHO/Halo Mashup Masterpiece. Yay!

      (...and for the three of you that subscribe to my iWeb podcast, disregard the 2:02 version, that was an accident. It is the 2:06 version you want, the one with "WHO" in all capital letters. Those extra 4 seconds are just essential! Yippee!)


      PS: The lyrics contest ends officially tonight, which means it ends whenever it is tomorrow that I decide to log on or the power comes back on. There is still time!

      Stay on target! Stay on target!

      They came from behind! Ahhhhhhhh!!!! <-----name that quote

    • Don't make me come over there.

      11 years ago


      Well, Spyton finally came home from his deprogramming school camping trip so we opened up the new toys. The blue and white Spartan and then the pack o' goodies:

      Now this is what I call bristling with weapons:

      EDIT: I forgot to say I pre-ordered these at: www.DieCastExpress.com.

      So now I have a problem. Namely, I have to use this stuff in the thrilling climax of Steve N Lois Halo Action Figure Theater. I'm going to scrap the ending where they all wake up in bed with Susanne Pleshette and do a rewrite. So there will be a wee delay while we tear down the old sets.

      Also, I've been contacted by some Doctor Who fans about maybe doing some soundtracking for their project, which seems fun. Yay! Meanwhile, my music composition advisor told me to write about 8 minutes of classical music by Wednesday. Ha ha ha.

      Oh, and the vocational person is getting back to me, but I think we will initially shoot for a teaching job at one of the local colleges, since I've got a lot of experience and I really enjoy it. And I don't have to teach on a boat or rollercoaster, so I should have no problem with it.

      ... but I hear you thinking, "Linnea. We don't give a rat's *ss about your projects or career. Tell us more stories about poop!"

      Well. One hand washes the other. What goes around comes around. Do unto others. TANSTAAFL. And all that. I am still waiting on those final lyric contest entries. You basically have until the morning of October 3 to submit something.

      I finally sat down in a quiet place and carefully read through the submitted entries tonight. I'm really excited to show you what your forum colleagues have come up with.

      However, there is still room for more! I mean I realize you could be intimidated. But seriously. The main requirement is that it has to consist of at least one word. I know you can do this. And the voting is anonymous. You will never ever have to own up to writing said lyrics.... unless you want to accept your prize should you emerge victorious. So I have come up with some suggestions that perhaps will inspire you. Consider writing a song about, for instance:

      Caboose's lost toe
      The FAXes coming out of Simmons's behind
      Anything about Donut
      A love song between Church and Tex, Simmons and Sarge, Lopez and Sheila, the Red Zealot and the flag, or Donut and anyone

      or, if you are Halo minded:
      Grenades that blow up
      Players that blow up
      Vehicles that blow up
      Terrain that blows up

      ...and in keeping with my salute to weird lyrics, here is an excerpt from the song "Molly" by Ween:

      Tell me what you want and I'll give it to you
      You name the "Esu", baby, I'll name the glue
      You name the "spongy-funky", I'll go on and name it too
      Molly molly molly molly molly molly molly
      Molly molly molly molly molly molly molly
      Molly molly molly molly molly molly molly
      Molly molly molly molly molly molly molly
      Molly molly molly molly

      unless you consider the alternate translation:

      Tell me what you want and Ill give it to you
      You name it easy, baby, Ill name it oooh
      Would you name dispongent monkey, Ill go on and name it too
      Molly molly molly molly molly molly molly
      Molly molly molly molly molly molly molly
      Molly molly molly molly molly molly molly
      Molly molly molly molly molly molly molly
      Molly molly molly molly

      Seriously. Either way, that is freakin' weird. Although it is a good example of how you can turn one word into an entire song. Or, in this case, a pseudo-half chorus-thing. You know you could do better than that! So click on the purple button to start writing! Meanwhile, I'm going to be off rewriting Steve n' Lois.



    • Must stop watching trailer...

      11 years ago


      over and over and over....

      Darnit Gus! You just had to put up the link to the Halo Wars game trailer. Holy moly.

      Oh my gawd. I don't think I've gotten this excited about a trailer since the Halo 2 trailer... the one that ended with "Betcha can't stick it!" I mean, c'mon, when MC jumped on that ghost and punched the elite in the head, tell me your heart didn't leap into your throat. That was awesome.

      Before that... um... most excited by... maybe Spider-Man 2? *shrug*

      I'm such a geek.

      I am seriously all atremble. It's like a disease or something. And now I've started thinking about the Halo movie. Oh wee!!!!

      If you haven't gone to look, go look. And don't be fooled by the description of the "Lo Res" version. It is PLENTY high res enough for the internet. Gorgeous computer graphics. Amazing.

      Oh my gawd. I actually jumped when the two guys ran out and got shot (I don't think it is a spoiler that there is shooting). It is so realistic. I would have sworn those were actors. If they can put the graphics and realism of Call of Duty 2 into a Halo game... the site says Halo Wars will be an RTS, and the trailer is prerendered, but if nothing else this could be a glimpse into what Halo 3 could be like. I've played Call of Duty 2 and it really impressed me with the realism. For some reason I never put two and two together. Oh man, Halo 3 is going to be awesome. And this Halo Wars... well, we know for sure that at least the cutscenes will kick butt!!!

      I mean, look at this:
      (and that is the lo res version!)
      I may never leave my house again!

      ...do you think Massachusetts would pass a law making it legal to marry your 360? I could move back there...

      Hey! Don't judge me!


      EDIT: I forgot to mention that I also really got a charge out of the little violin homage to the Battlestar Galactica title music. Since Farscape (atonal shrieks)... or maybe even Xena (Bulgarian women's choir), scifi composers have been trying really "out there" stuff with title music. I mean, Gregorian chants in Halo, c'mon. Love it. Even when Enterprise came out (throwback rock song) I remember there was a furor about the music, and although I didn't personally care much for it, all I could think was, "You go!" Try something wacky! Enough Star Wars John Williams copy cats! It makes me laugh that there are already people copying that Galactica music style, which I think is gorgeous and poignant and just.... great.

      Okay, gotta go watch it again. Did you see those fighters? Do you think those were designed in collaboration with Bungie? That would frelling ROCK if MC could be in little twisty fast jets. Tee hee!

    • I won't take no for an answer

      11 years ago


      I hear some of you saying you can't think of any lyrics for the contest... or that you are intimidated by the prospect.

      Was John Lennon intimidated when he was told that classrooms were studying his lyrics as literature? No! He set out to write the most retarded meaningless song EVER, and wrote "I am the Walrus" while taking acid, specifically to confuse people. On the other hand, he thought he was more popular than Jesus, so obviously confidence wasn't a problem for him. But seriously, let's look at today's featured weird-*ss lyrics from said song:

      ...Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower.
      Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna.
      Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.
      I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
      I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob.
      Goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob g'goo....

      Now, I absolutely am not suggesting that you take mind altering substances to write poetry. Or that you intentionally try to confuse people. But, look at it this way. You're going to have to write something for that English class anyway. Why not write something about your love of Swords on Lockout? Or that special tingly feeling you get when you stick a Covenant plasma grenade on your best friend's MJOLNIR armor face plate? Because, you know, you can't turn that stuff in to your high school teacher.. They'd totally freak out. But I won't!

      In unrelated news, I did finally get a new phone. I also bought the Eye of Sauron to go with it. At some point I'll read the manual to figure out what that actually does.

      While Dan, the friendly US Cellular guy, was setting me up with my new pink phone, we were talking about how people walk around with those bluetooth wireless headsets talking loudly at Target being incredibly rude, and just then this really big guy, mid 40s, walks in with his cell phone open and the speakerphone on and he bellies up to the counter where I am standing and literally throws his keys onto the counter while talking in full "outdoor" voice to his friend on the phone.

      Being a mother, I am able to completely tune the guy's conversation out, and am standing there watching Dan, and suddenly I hear the rude guy bellowing into his phone (and thus to the room in general), "Hey, dude! I'm gonna have to take you off the speaker phone with THAT kinda talk. There's a classy woman standing here next to me and I don't want to pop the cherry on her virgin ears."

      *rolls eyes*

      I meet eyes with Dan and he says to ...let's just call him The Speakerphone Guy. Dan says to The Speakerphone Guy, "Would you like me to call someone to h--"

      Speakerphone guy cuts him off, "Is this where I pay my bill?"

      Dan says, "I can get someone to help you, I'm helping out this lady right now..."

      I say, "No, please. I'm not in a hurry. Feel free to help him out."

      So Dan rings up this guys account whilst Speakerphone Guy is saying, in full voice into his phone, "Dude! Hey, man! Whoa! What is with the language! Whoo-hoo! Oh boy! Tone it down there, guy! Ho ho!!!" and takes out three crisp $50 bills and again throws them at Dan, who makes change.

      Speakerphone Guy grabs his change and loud jangly keys and then says, "Hey thanks."

      And then as he leaves he pats me on the shoulder and does that cheesy pointing thing with his hands and says, "And I'll be seeing YOU later..." And then swaggers out.

      When the door closes behind him I look back at Dan and said, "That was just like a Saturday Night Live skit!"

      Seriously, all I could think of was that Dennis Leary song "A**hole". Dan and I were laughing about it for the remainder of my stay at the US Cellular store, where I also learned many things about Dan's ocular history. Which is in keeping with my general experience in life.

      LOL. Although having a cell phone and having cash in large denominations could theoretically be components in a sexy ensemble, it isn't really sufficient to make you irresistible to women. Sorry, Speakerphone Guy.

      Well, after that little dig at one of the males of the species, I figure turnabout is only fair play. Here is today's Halo Action Figure Theater.

      Episode 28: Factor XX (Un excédent des femmes")

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      Eiffel Tower
      non-biodegradable styrofoam containers
      1967 Cadillac El Dorado convertible
      Tienanmen Square
      John Cassavetes
      Sam Peckinpaw

    • I like cheese

      11 years ago


      I'm half-asleep so I will put this in Alsace-like numbered format:

      1. I've lost some of my messages, so I am missing two people: whoever it was that I was talking to about scoring the music from the Halo 3 trailer, and also about taking some of my Marvel comics off of my hands, will you please re-message me? And I will know if some of you try to trick me!

      2. I had these two pics come up as alerts in my watchlist next to each other.

      <Insert your own comment here.>

      3. RE my cat Mazha. Other than her pride, she is relatively unharmed from her whole "being on fire" thing. *holds head in hands* I still can't believe the cat was on fire. Today at dinner Spyton almost choked to death on his stew. I can't take all the brushes with disaster around here. It's a wonder any of us manage to survive every week, or that I haven't had a nervous breakdown... recently.

      4. RE my "online" status: I have my online status setting turned off because unless I specifically sign out, or shut my computer down completely, redvsblue.com will show me as being "online"... so frequently it will say I am "online" when in fact my computer is just turned on and I am listening to some audiobook while I workout or something. So I just turned that off. Today I got a message several hours later than I wish I had, but I don't know how else to set it up. I've left the online message settingon in the past and inevitably I forget to sign out and then people think I am ignoring their messages etc. So, sorry about that. I am not trying to lurk, etc.

      5. RE Lyric Contest: Thank you to those who have submitted. To the rest of you, the deadline approacheth! So far I have ten submissions (yay!) but there are so many talented folks here I know I will be hearing from more of you.

      To get you motivated, I will print some inspirational lyrics from now until the contest deadline. Inspirational in that these are lyrics that are way weird, but yet cool. The kind of lyrics that make you think, "Hey, I could have written those, surely!" Yes. And stop calling me Shirley. Today's lyric comes from a great song my ex-husband K3stut1s introduced me to. I'd forgotten about it but Nico reminded me of it in one of his journal entries. Great song, freaky weird lyrics by the PIxies. Which read as follows:

      There was a guy
      An underwater guy who controlled the sea
      Got killed by ten million pounds of sludge
      From New York and New Jersey
      This monkey's gone to heaven

      The creature in the sky
      Got sucked in a hole
      Now there's a hole in the sky
      And the ground's not cold
      And if the ground's not cold
      Everything is gonna burn
      We'll all take turns
      I'll get mine, too
      This monkey's gone to heaven

      Rock me, Joe!

      If man is 5
      Then the devil is 6
      Then god is 7
      This monkey's gone to heaven

      Now get those entries in! I'll even forgo the vocabulary list again today so you can be thinkin' bout those lyrics.

      6. Weird Al: AmandaJ3162 linked to the "White and Nerdy" Weird Al Yankovic video and I showed it to Spyton. He'd never heard of Weird Al... or Donny Osmond... This is like when my little sister asked me who the Beatles were. Ah! I'm old! Ah! You young'ns may not realize that Michael Jackson was the one to really bring the idea of synchronized dancing to the music video... that was his contribution, really with the "Beat it" video... I remember we all "Ooohed" and "aahhhed" at the synchronized dancing in that which only lasted about 5 seconds. It's laughable now... ah well. And, I mean, he ripped it off of "West Side Story"... but we didn't know. We were young and foolish and wore leg warmers and had enormous hair. So anyway, I had the treat of playing Spyton Michael Jackson's "Bad" video followed by the Weird Al "Fat" video... both of which are great, and hilarious, in their own way. If only I could find the original "Bad" video with the Michael Jackson "acting" mini-film at the beginning. Now that was serious comedy. Or a sign of the apocalypse. One of the two. Yikes.

      Well, to cleanse the palate, here is some HAFT. I think I have every possible romantic storyline activated now. Why? Because I can.

      7. Halo Action Figure Theater: The Steve N. Lois Chronicles:
      Episode 27: We'll always have Mukwonago ("J'aime le fromage")

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