Sunday, October 25, 2009

Burgers & Windows: Two great tastes that taste great together.

windows_7_whopper THE KING AND BILL GATES want you to “Have It Your Way.” As I understand it, in Japanese, “yurwā” translates to “massive grease-induced coronary.” Read on…


By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 11:37 AM on 23rd October 2009

Burger King has released a gut-busting seven-patty Whopper to mark the release of Windows 7. In what may be the most bizarre cross-promotional campaign ever, Microsoft linked up with the fast-food chain to create the 'Windows 7 Whopper.

Read more:

Testing My New Bullets Plug-in and Contest Details


Looks like they work.

Okay, so if you decide to follow my blog (which I hope you do), here’s a link to the contest details. Read and decide for yourself.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Random Quotes for the Evening (by people I know)

“If a man can learn to appreciate good art, he may live a thousand lives in one lifetime. Sometimes three or four in one night!”

--Alex Christman (2009)

“Our days are numbered when wakes are more common than showers.”

--J.M. Martin (2009)


And a personal favorite…

“You’re about to get a windshield full of Frankenstein.”

--Jamie Rockwell (2007)

Snippet #1: Project Darkbelly – A Short Story

337 A.E.

In the Year of the Ascension of the Prophet, Avin

WAR CHANGES A MAN. Especially when the enemy’s rank and file in said war is comprised mainly of reanimated dead. People whose lives consisted of nothing more than toil and trouble, rather than rest in their graves, now made up the legions of a dark lord called the Carrion King. Tens of thousands of gruesome golems[1]. One-time fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters.

Yes, war changes a man. A year of campaign. A year of black blood in a black land. It changed young Marcus Viridius Grivna both outwardly and within. To see him on that day in the year 367 of the Ascendancy of the Prophet of the Light, or A.E., one would cast their gaze upon a thin, sunken-eyed, hollow-cheeked scarecrow of his former self, braced in dented and scratched plate armor, dirty blond hair plastered to his skull, his flesh a ghostly pallor. It was a mirror image of how he felt inside; faith-tested, his nightmares no worse than his day-to-day reality.

He had arrived beneath the rocky cliffs of the fortress called Varna Sestus[2] before the cold season, when the ice floes filled the seas and made it impractical for ships to navigate the Mist Coast. He came bright-eyed, clean-shaven, with a quick step and a firm sense of right and wrong, of what was good and what was evil. The things he had seen, that which he had partaken in, bore testament to the extremes of Light, of Drear, and of those gray border realms between. Just not the outcome. Good was supposed to prevail. Evil fall away. Not so.

When the Gurtham armies came and tore down the walls of the sestus, they destroyed what remained of the Luminary Legion and their allies in the lost northern realm. Their success was attained through overwhelming numbers, and a willingness to throw themselves heedlessly at the enemy with no regard for their own deaths. A beleaguered few of the defenders made it past the disordered rearguard and escaped into the wild, into the Forsaken Lands[3].

Marcus and his company were among those who fled. That’s when his faith first wavered.

Over the next several days, haphazard attacks by more enemy warbands and swarms of slavering revenants reduced his company to a handful. That’s when his hope of ever returning home, much less winning the war, began to unravel.

He did things he’d never foreseen ever doing. He struck down his risen comrades. He hacked the limbs and heads and torsos of undead women and children. That’s when what was left of his innocence melted away forever.

Though the meaning of it all was rather rough-hewn, Marcus never lost what it was that drove him on. He cut a jagged line into the heart of Gurthkam, refusing to lose sight of what lay behind this cursed crusade; in this deep cold season, reinforcements weren’t coming anytime soon. What was once fueled by faith in the Light, now took sustenance from anything but.

Darkness. Rage. Hatred.

These were the emotions that blanketed Marcus, kept him thrusting into the belly of this dark, bleak domain. Indignation and rage ushered him onward, a frozen grimace on his face, the wire-wrapped hilt of his Iridian blade gripped hard in two gauntleted fists. The only way he knew justice would ultimately be served upon such a dire and unrelenting foe was to never relent himself.

Nay. Never.

Not one damned bit.

[1] Revenants, technically.

[2] The sestuses—or sestii—of Varna, Bara, and Daggio were a string of fastnesses, or fortresses, which once guarded Falahan’s far northern borders. Bara (The Broken Fortress) and Daggio (The Desecrated Fortress) have long since fallen into ruin. Varna Sestus was the last to remain garrisoned.

[3] The Forsaken Lands were once the northernmost regions of the nation of Falahan, but were given up for lost in drawn out wars against Gurtham armies of men and darkindim in 116 A.E., some 220 years before this story takes place.

All fiction and snippets contained herein are © 2009-2010 J.M. Martin. Do not copy or distribute. All rights reserved.


Friday, October 16, 2009

“…They Use My Bathroom”

A30524931255662881A YOU HAVE TO SCRATCH YOUR HEAD at the absurdity sometimes. I know I do.

Imagine you call a local justice of the peace to get married and he asks you, “Are you an interracial couple?” Well, you happen to be, so you answer yes. Then he proceeds to tell you he won’t marry you. His reason? It’s out of concern for any children you may have. He doesn’t want the child to suffer, you know, because the offspring of such mixed races are generally not accepted.

Obviously, Mr. Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, doesn’t pay much attention to national news. Nobel Peace prize…U.S. President…hmmm? Ring a bell? No? Perhaps Mr. Bardwell just doesn’t get out much.

Maybe this justice of the peace isn’t aware it’s post-1967, when the United States Supreme Court had a little something to say on this matter.

To top it off, I love this statement the good ol’ boy makes to the Associated Press:

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," said Bardwell. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

I sure hope they wash up before they leave. We wouldn’t want to pick up any “intellectually-inferior, sports-dominating” cooties now, would we?

Oh, hello, Mr. Bardwell, thank you for coming. I’d like you to meet Mr. Rush Limbaugh. Why don’t you two just have a seat over there? I can tell you have a lot to talk about…


Original AP article from our darling state of the downtrodden and deluged: AP News Link

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

dirty_job_pb_lg I HAVE FOUND A NEW AUTHOR to add to my list of favorite writers. Christopher Moore has been recommended to me more than once over the past few years and I finally got around to picking up one of his best-sellers, A Dirty Job: The Novel.

Charlie Asher owns a building in San Francisco from which he runs a secondhand store. He's what Moore refers to as a Beta Male; Alpha Males have all the looks and the brawn, but Beta Males are those who have been blessed (or cursed?) with a big imagination. Charlie proves time and again that he’s no slacker, at least when it comes to being imaginative. And he has plenty of opportunity, too, for, you see, Charlie has become Death. Well, technically not The Big Death (who evidently has been in absentia for several millennia), but something his friend Minty Fresh—yes, Minty Fresh is his real name—has coined as a "Death Merchant." A Death Merchant’s job is to gather souls in order to help usher the dead on to the next life.

That's all the spoiler I'm going to delve into. The rest is up to you, O Gentle Reader, to get your bunions to the bookstore of your choice, or your local library, to pick up a copy of this smart, hilarious, and action-packed book. A Dirty Job’s banter is witty. The characters are colorful. The atmosphere is brilliant (note: Moore truly immersed me into the San Francisco urban scene). The plot is absolute fun. And the villains are not only heinous but downright bad ass. I could barely put this book down, and now I'm a total nut for Christopher Moore!

My wife also read this book, and we both agree that if Hollywood isn't looking to make a movie of A Dirty Job, then a lot of agency-slash-producer-type-folks are really missing the boat! This story perfectly lends itself to film. In fact, my wife and I would not be surprised if Moore didn't have Samuel L. Jackson in mind when he created Minty Fresh, or "the fresh one," as he's sometimes referred to in the book. My wife would like to see Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State) in the role of Charlie Asher, but that would be my second choice. I think Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Star Trek) was made for this role…or maybe this role was made for Pegg? Nevertheless, I think Pegg is a hilarious and brilliant actor who would have no trouble losing his accent to play Charlie Asher.

In fact, as nerds like myself are wont to do (in addition to using words like “wont”), here’s my casting wish list for A Dirty Job: The Movie:

  • Charlie Asher: Simon Pegg (sans British accent)
  • Minty Fresh: Samuel L. Jackson
  • Lily Severo: Thora Birch
  • Ray Macy: Dylan Moran (sans Irish accent)
  • Inspector Alphonse Rivera: Andy Garcia
  • The Emperor: Robin Williams
  • Audrey: Zooey Deschanel
  • Jane Asher: Portia de Rossi

I give A Dirty Job five stars (or five skulls or perhaps five out of five glowing red secondhand thrift store items, if you will). It’s really a quick and amazing read and a definite keeper for your bookshelf.


Finally! I Figured Out How to Embed Videos