Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"I Don't Care to Belong to a Club that Accepts People Like Me as Members." - Groucho Marx


Greetings one and all!

(Here's the part where I pretend hundreds of people read this blog regularly... ready?)

So glad all of you could pop in to read today's blast of hot air! I'm also glad I moved this blog to such a large server, to accommodate all of you, my adoring fans! As you can see, I've had the rows of seats in the back raised up, so that all of you could have a good view, and not have to crane your necks, and lean to one side, to see past the head of the inconsiderate person in front of you... man, why do you always seem to get stuck sitting behind the person who decides it's ok to stand on his/her seat, trying to catch a glimpse of me? Sheesh!

Well, such is the nature of the great teeming, screaming mob of fans that congregate here every day. I don't even update every day anymore! Sheesh!

Oh, well. Just remember to stop by the concession stands on your way out. All Dave-related merchandise is 20% off today.

First, take a look at this...



I don't know that I could live in a cram-packed teeming metropolis like Hong Kong... but if I could have a pad like that, I might be able to manage...

I got a lot of work done today - and fired off an invoice. I gots ta get paid! Then I can buy everyone lots of gifts. Gotta make sure all of you are happy... just email me with your shoe size (if female) or the type of RAM your computer needs (if a guy), and I'll hook you up...


I'm almost finished with that Warriors collection of short stories and novellas. It has taken tremendous self-control and discipline to keep from skipping directly to the back to read GRRM's Dunk & Egg story. I'm forcing myself to read everything up to that point. Most of the offerings are well-enough written. A couple are memorable, the rest rather forgettable. One in particular puzzled me... I think I'll write a mini-review of that piece here. It WILL contain spoilers, so if you ever plan on reading this collection, skip down to the White Ninja comic and keep going... otherwise, laugh with me at the utter bizarreness of Out of the Dark, by David Weber.

Apparently, David Weber is the preeminent author of military science fiction - a genre which I know exactly nothing about (well, except for Ender's Game... does that count?). All I needed to know was it was sci-fi, and I was ready to skip it. Sci-fi is not my thing, never has been. Not sure why. It's one of those conundrums of life; that a guy who digs fantasy so much has next to no love for it's ugly fraternal twin sister, sci-fi. In any case, I persevered past the opening pages, where it was established that an alien race of dog-like warriors, part of a galactic confederacy, was pulling out of hyperdrive on the outskirts of our very galaxy, here to investigate and subjugate the lifeforms (read: humans), who they were erroneously told were a Level 5 species. In other words, way down on the evolutionary chain.

Imagine their surprise when it was quickly established that we were actually a Level Two species, far more advanced than any of the members of the Hegemony Council were aware of. This puts the dog-like aliens in a strange situation. They'd come a looong way in cryogenic sleep to this under-explored neck of the galaxy to subjugate it, and barely got permission from the Council to do it, with a Level Five planet. They still knew they could conquer us, but if they proceeded as planned, they would have to do it knowing they'd get in big trouble when it comes out that a Level Two species was conquered. Level Two species apparently qualified for direct membership in the Galactic Empire.

Meanwhile, down on the unsuspecting earth, various human soldier-types are introduced, going about their business...

So the aliens invade, nuke a bunch of cities, and establish their dominance over us, killing about a third of the population. To their alien mindset and society, it is understood that once one side of a conflict establishes superiority, the other side automatically capitulates and surrenders. That was the plan - to kick the humans in the teeth, establish dominance, accept the human surrender, and begin the process of enslaving and training them to become useful servants.

Of course, they grossly underestimate humanity, and our "never give in, to death" nature. The aliens land and begin taking over... and we regroup and begin to kick their butts. They can't comprehend why we won't just surrender. They inflict further heavy losses on us, but we eventually whittle down their numbers, inflicting likewise great losses (percentagewise) on them. They can't call in more troops, being isolated in this part of the galaxy...

Sounds like a great story, right? And for the most part, it really is a great story. Until the last pages...

An American serviceman is stranded in Romania (long story) and is mixed with a large group of Romanian fighters and civilians. In charge of the large group is a Romanian special forces-type and his small core group of fellow super-fighters, who excel at the forest-based guerrilla warfare that is proving so successful against the alien invasion. While this Romanian guy is away investigating a nearby alien base, the aliens attack the group he is protecting, and kill most of them. Now he's pissed.

At this point, it turns into a supernatural thriller, where the alien bases all begin to be annihilated, without warning, by unseen forces that leave no survivors. The ships above earth instigate an emergency extractions of all forces, finally deciding to leave and blow earth up on the way out of the galaxy. The Romanian superguy hitches a ride on one of the transports, infiltrates the mothership, and kills all the key aliens, but not before revealing his true identity...

Wait for it... he is Count Dracula! And he is really an Alien spy that was sent to earth many centuries ago! Count Dracula and his band of vampire/Green Berets save the earth! Yay!


I went from being pleasantly surprised by the cool "humans vs aliens" story, to nearly ripping the pages out of the book and setting them on fire. Literary immolation as punishment for being so unbelievably retarded. Count Dracula? Are you kidding me? Mr. Weber, you are a wiener.

Oh, here's that White Ninja comic, so those who skipped the review can join back in...


Yes... yes, I know... White Ninja is the greatest comic of all time... I know...

OK, one more video and I'm out. If your computer/internet connection can handle it, I recommend watching the next one full-screen 1080...



Leave it to the good folks in Dubai to upstage the Bellagio in Vegas, producing an amazing water fountain/light type thingy.

Went out to dinner for Eldest Daughter's birthday last night. She is officially 20 years old now! O_O We ate at Outback... and I made good on my promise to eat a steak. I had a teriyaki-glazed 14oz rib eye. It was delightful. Steamed veggies, soup and ice water rounded out the meal. Gee, I'm so healthy! Gee!

Well, I guess that's it for tonight! I trust your week is a good one thus far. May it only get better from here!

Adios

Dave

PS By the way, both of tonight's videos came from a cool catch-all blog called Have You Seen This?

9 comments:

havah said...

Yay! I beat the crowds! :D

You know, there's something to be said for the simplicity of that apartment -- little cleaning, no increasing amounts of junk you don't really want, and cash for Christmas and birthdays (because where would you put anything else?)

I'm glad you're wealthy now, but I don't want shoes. I want a swimming pool.

You're right: that story has a lame ending. The dogs should have won so that every dog could have it's day. (Which is even more blindingly lame.)

I like the serious dog photo -- he reminds me of someone. Hmm...

The Dubai fountain is stunning. Amazing what a little imagination and a lot of engineering can accomplish!

Oooh! I love Outback. I seldom go there, but when I do I have the rack of lamb. Yummy.

logankstewart said...

I've read that many of the stories are pretty good in Warriors, but some pretty much suck. I've never read any of the "Dunk & Egg" stories, but I want to one of these days.

White Ninja < Calvin & Hobbes

And I'll be happy with any size RAM that's over a gig

Anonymous said...

I thought you weren't going to name-call anymore published authors ?:)

Drydoryssus said...

Can I trade the RAM for a Corel Draw package ?

Abbie said...

hmm, i was liking that story until the end... but i know the end always seems to be the hardest part of a book, or assigment or letter. :P Those videos were very cool, especially the Dubai fountain! amazing! i loved the music with it too :)

Abbie said...

i don't know if the comment posted...
anyhow, I said that i liked the story plot until the end, but the end always seems to be the hardest part of any assignment: a letter, book, or paper, ya know?
and the videos were awesome! the dubai fountain was amazing. I loved the music with it!

David Wagner said...

Havah: No shoes? Sacrilege! Who does the serious dog remind you of, eh? Anyone we know? :D

Logan: C&H is the greatest comic strip of all time, agreed. White Ninja is up there, as far as web comics, methinks. I tend to lean toward absurd humor, though... *eat eat*

Ann: I couldn't help myself... that story warranted a quick blast, don't you think? Oh, by the way... I thought for sure I'd figured out who you were... and I recently saw and playfully confronted the person recently, and I was wrong. So I'm back to having no clue who you are again... *sigh!*

Dry: I can only afford a Corel Draw package that is hopelessly obsolete... will that work?

Abbie: I understand endings are difficult... but Dracula? Come on! And yeah, that fountain is pretty amazing...

Joseph said...

I bet Dracula would look good in a beret.

havah said...

I love a good pair of shoes, but for the most part, shoes are over-rated. As for the serious face...hmm...not telling. :D