Giro means 'ride', not 'tasty meat sandwich.'

Attention! Voters of America! Here are your deadlines to register to vote this year!

Go to your post office! Go to your City Hall! Go to your library! Get your forms! Fill 'em out! Send 'em in! Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote, damn you, vote!

That is all.

Friday, October 6, 2000
02:37 p.m.


Analysis

When it comes to ballot initiatives, it's often instructive to see who is shelling out the cash. I hope all of you Californians will look here when you think about what you're going to vote for or against this November. And, once again, for all of you folks who don't vote 'cause you think it doesn't matter, consider this: you still pay state income taxes, right? You still pay state sales taxes, right? Now, you may not have an immediate say in the legislature (other than harrassing your representatives, which I've taken to doing. It's kinda fun, actually), but you can help set up guidelines as to how that cash should be spent. You do it through initiatives.

If you don't vote one way or another, you have no right to complain about how your tax money is spent. You blew your right when you didn't pull the lever. You want state services, you gotta pay. If you gotta pay, you'd better pipe up.

What disturbs me more and more about initiatives is the adage, "Whoever spends the most money usually wins." This means that companies with deep pockets can essentially buy laws. This isn't like buying legislators, who I still consider a bunch of corrupt animals starving for attention and power and campaign contributions. No, this is a company buying a law. This is a company buying voters through advertising and mass mailing. These guys say, "Hey, money is just another form of free speech." Bullshit. If that's true, then these fuckers have more freedom to speak than I.

Wrong!

So, wake up Californians! Follow the money! Kick some ass! The rest of you, too!

Friday, October 6, 2000
01:26 p.m.


Everything, Everything

I don't think I've heard anything quite as joyful as the last track on Underworld's new live album. If you've never heard this band before, I highly recommend it. Pity the group has splintered; now I'll never get to be part of a mass of music like this.

Tuesday, October 3, 2000
05:12 p.m.


Matt Haughey, you kick ass.

Vote Nader

Monday, October 2, 2000
10:40 a.m.


There is nothing, nothing in the world like having Sonja Marie call your name from the stage. And there is nothing, nothing you can do but walk up to her and bow down to her regal grace and fiery beauty.

And then shake your ass. A lot.

Thursday, September 28, 2000
11:28 a.m.


GUI-aigh!

Microsoft's new Media Player sucks ass. The sliders take too long, I can't figure out how to control the track timers, and I am so goddamn sick and tired of the Stoner-Vision that I don't even have tha app showing on my desktop.

I blame Apple for this. If the people who were in charge of their Elegance In Interface design ethic were still in power, they never would have released the curvy version of QuickTime. And, since Microsoft seems to get by by copying other people's work, they decided that their little movie viewer/audio player had to also look curvy and shit. Bull. I want my row of buttons. I want my standardized interface. You mothers will burn for this, I swear.

Wednesday, September 27, 2000
01:46 p.m.


Hot Damn!

The joy doesn't come from getting your own code to work; it arrives when you figure out how the other guy's code works.

Wednesday, September 27, 2000
01:44 p.m.


The only vote you throw away is the one you don't cast.

And don't you dare tell me otherwise.

Tuesday, September 26, 2000
10:10 a.m.


Stick That In Your Pipe And Smoke It, Al...

Once again, Thomas Friedman is my hero (registration required. Sorry).

This was what I've been meaning to say. We, as a nation, need to get off oil. I'm sorry, but we're addicts. We mainline crude like nobody's business, and most of it comes from OPEC. Can you imagine how many problems we'd fix if we kicked the oil habit? And, yes, I know it would only open up new ones (God knows what would happen to our foreign policy if we were suddenly free of our dependence from the Middle East).

I want highly efficient cars. I want mass transit. I want solar and wind and geothermal power. I don't want all this drilling and tanking and processing. My God...this planet is soaking in solar radiation every day; why can't we all just tap into it?

Hey, Al! You listening? Knock off the greenwashing and get to it, pal! Show some stones and get this country on a cleaner track! Or else we'll clean it ourselves.

Tuesday, September 26, 2000
09:29 a.m.


(AP) El Segundo, CA - Adam Rakunas, famed Geek Superjock, was hospitalized this morning after attempting to bench press a Volkswagen Bug while simultaneously attempting to solve the Travelling Salesman Problem. Sources close to the victim had absolutely no idea why he attempted this feat, but said, "It would've been cool if he'd pulled it off."

Darwin Dumlao, a collegue of Rakunas, reportedly said, "God...what a dumbass. 001001100."

Rakunas, in an attempt to show that it was possible to push the mind and the body to their limits at the same time, had wired his brain to a laptop computer. He was in the middle of his third rep and had come up with a solution using genetic algorithms, when his body suddenly realized what it was doing and quit. What followed was a confusing mass of C code and burst internal organs.

"It's unlikely that Mr. Rakunas will be able to eat, walk, code, use the restroom or have sex without constant medical supervision and assistance," said Dr. Rodney Onnarocks, the attending ER physician who examined Rakunas at nearby St. Lucius of the Blessed Body Donor Hospital. "His kidneys, spleen, intestines, frontal lobes, and spinal cord are all a mess, and it's doubtful they can be replaced. Like we'd waste perfectly good organs on such a doof."

Rakunas is survived by his parents and a younger brother, who couldn't believe his brother would try something so stupid at press time.

(Note to self: now is not the time to up the weight stack.)

Monday, September 25, 2000
12:27 p.m.


At night time
The city awakes.

We are the dreams of the city.

During day, we walk about,
Shop, eat, make love;
And the city slumbers.

As we all lay down to sleep,
The city rises, rumbling deep.
Winking night lights are its eyes
As color drains from daytime skies.
White moon rises over all:
Time for bed, our mothers call.

We are the dreams of the city.

Sunday, September 24, 2000
08:08 p.m.


This...

People ask me all the time, "So, you're obviously fired up about political change and the environment and all that other lefty, tree-hugging hippy crap. If we take apart everything that we have, what do you want in its place? What, Rakunas, is it you want for the rest of the world?"

I want today.

Right now, I'm at my office. I'm 11 floors up, and I can see the whole of the city. It's gloriously clear right now, but only because it's been a bit rainy and windy. All of the guck is cleared out of the air.

I want today. I got up late, walked down to the Farmer's Market with Ken, got bread for breakfast and produce for the dinner he's going to make for his woman tonight. I stopped off at Hi De Ho and got comics. We walked home. And now I'm here to make sure I get my work done before I go up to Seattle next weekend for Rachel and Joe's wedding (note to self: get suit pressed. Again. Sheesh).

I want there to be this kind of opportunity for everyone. I want the smoggy days to be the frightening exception, not the rule. I want to be able to see the Santa Monicas and Downtown and Palos Verdes from any point in the goddamn city. I want options, people. Options in transportation, in commerce, in recreation.

But we have options, don't we? Not really. I had the option to bike here, but not really. It wouldn't have been practical today, nor would the bus have been. Those are not viable options for a late day at the office. If this city had, say, something as marvelous as Boston's T, then there sure as hell would have been an option: I could have hopped a train in Santa Monica, read the morning's comics, gotten off at El Segundo, and gone to work until late, when I would have caught the last train home. Instead, I had to drive. Yippee.

The Farmer's Market is only here twice a week, and one of those days is Wednesday. That market is always bigger than the Saturday one, which always bugs me. I can't get produce this tasty or as organic at Vons as I do at the market. I can't get the sweet walnut and raisin loaf I got this morning at Vons (though the La Brea stuff runs a distant second). I can't get peaches that make my taste buds sing Puccini at Vons. Or at any big supermarket. I know it's a matter of convenience vs quality, but I think more and more people would demand the quality if they knew better.

Or not. I don't know. I shouldn't be thinking about stuff like this today. It's too goddamn beautiful for anything other than a slice of bread with Amy's homemade strawberry jam, the latest from Ani Watson, and a glass of OJ on the front porch.

One day. We'll get this going one day.

Saturday, September 23, 2000
03:05 p.m.


Goals

1) Finish 1st draft by July 5, 2001.
2) Learn Lit.
3) Write out two full game proposals.
4) Publish book.
5) Start own game company, develop and publish both games.
6) Buy and renovate house.
7) Bike across America.

And I want all this done by the time I'm 30. Or maybe 33.

Thursday, September 21, 2000
08:53 a.m.


This Friday is apparently World Car Free Day.

I think you'll know what to do without any prompting from me.

Tuesday, September 19, 2000
05:13 p.m.


The more you write well, the better your grasp of language grows.

The more you write poorly, the better your chances of getting a sitcom on UPN.

Tuesday, September 19, 2000
03:36 p.m.


Jelly

Watch
Those legs like bowstrings,
Taught and tan,
Spinning wheels
Early evening
Carbon rig
Dirty sand

Dig
That sweet scent
Those relaxed curves
That effortless pump
Without breaking sweat
Left in her wake

Pick up
Your lagging pace
Your labored air
Your loutish grin
And fly
You'll never pass her
But ain't it worth a try?

Tuesday, September 19, 2000
02:14 p.m.


Jam

...and the fall rolls in
And the beard grows out
As the dew forms on my face.

And the planes take off
In the early morning air
As they scream out into space.

And the sun is born
As the night tucks in
And the clouds roll by
In the late morning sky
And I'll be gone 'til tomorrow
Yes, gone 'til tomorrow
If you blink
You'll miss me
Good bye.

Tuesday, September 19, 2000
02:10 p.m.


Codes and Ciphers

E2 01 20 84 00 0D 00 00 7E 04 00 00 00 00 00 66
00 B8 00 FF 01 57 01 A7 02 08 02 75 02 D3 03 1C
03 5B 03 D3 04 1D 70 70

This is what I've been looking at all morning, and I'm finally finding the pattern. When your publisher gives you the runaround, refuses to tell you how to crack into your own goddamn sound files and play them, then it's time to figure out how everything works for yourself. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, EA.

Monday, September 18, 2000
12:41 p.m.


"The fog came in on little cat feet,"
But turned into a pack of lions,
Eating up the streets
And leaving paw prints on my face.

The city stirred beneath its blanket,
Hit the snooze and rolled over:
Just five more minutes, honey,
You can have first shower.

The fog prowled up Wilshire,
Licking the storefront with damp tongues,
Staring down the sun with gray eyes.
It was marking territory.

Offshore, five, ten miles it waits,
A rolling shelf, a coastline long,
The fog hunches down, ready to leap,
Watching the sun go to sleep.

The fog swept us up like a broom,
Marking everything with damp paw prints.
It knew where we were going and where we'd been.
Our paths are marked for ambush.

"The fog came in on little cat feet,"
Flicked its tail at the rising sun.
It will come back, pale eyes watching,
Decided who will be tonight's meal.

Friday, September 15, 2000
02:33 p.m.


Every now and then, when I get to do an actual bit of programming (as opposed to the over-glorified assembly line work I've been doing for the past two months), I remember why I do this for a living: I get to design and build machines. And all without having to change my pants.

Thursday, September 14, 2000
06:35 p.m.


A Question...

Why haven't I ever been polled?

Seriously. I just read an AP article saying that, based on polls, the electoral votes are just about wrapped up. What polls? Do AP reporters call up their buddies in all fifty states and ask them who they're gonna vote for? Probably.

Polls are bullshit. That whole "calling up 1000 people and having 'em represent the views of an entire state" thing just doesn't sit well with me. Just like the whole "let's pick a candidate a year before the election" thing. Slightly unrelated, but what the hell. In my fevered mind, it's all tied together.

So, why haven't I been polled? Why don't I get random phone calls from Gallup or Time or the Cleveland Plain Dealer? Why am I only harrassed on the street by people who want me to give them money, accept Jesus as my personal savior, or go to a free movie screening? Why are the pollsters avoiding me?

My theory is that I don't look ordinary enough. I don't dress like an Average American. I have glasses. I have a beard. I don't have gunk in my hair. Maybe I'll go beat up some kid from UCLA, steal his Abercrombie & Fitch, get a haircut, shave, and walk up and down Citywalk. Dollars to donuts says I'll immediately be descended upon by pollsters, news looking for bystanders, and Jay Leno, hot to ask me trivia questions that anyone who stayed awake in American history could answer. Operators are standing by to place your wagers...

Thursday, September 14, 2000
05:49 p.m.


It's Our Problem, Joe...Not Yours

So, Adam...what do you think of Joe Lieberman?

I used to be worried about him being in Congress. I broke out in a cold sweat when I learned he was Big Al's running mate. This was a guy who wanted to legislate change in my industry. He wanted to ban games with "violent content." I don't like anyone who wants to ban anything, except for cancer, fear, hunger, and bad sex. The first human who makes that the center of his (or her) presidential campaign will get my undivided attention and rapturous support.

Now, as I've said back when ol' Joe came to the national spotlight, I agree with him that games are violent and that they should be changed, but for different reasons. I want the game industry to rise above immaturity and pandering to the lowest common denominator. I want games that will uplift and entertain, that will be engrossing and fun. I think that brutal violence is the sign of a weak and unimaginative design, and is put forth by guys who give my industry a bad rep. Maybe a bit of a generalization, but this is my column, so deal.

I think the change should come from within. I think consumer groups should be the ones telling us, "Hey...can't you guys do anything better than figuring out new ways to gib people? Can't you come up with a better game?" It should not be Congress or state legislatures or anyone who makes laws telling us what to do. Rating systems are bullshit; they merely tell consumers what they're in for. I mean, if you see a game with a Mature rating, you know what you're going to find in that game: tits and fire. Maybe even tits on fire; I wouldn't put it past those Duke Nuke 'Em dinks.

I'll say it right now: it's not my job or the job of anyone else in the entertainment industry (and that includes writers, musicians, artists, programmers, and actors) to protect "the children." It's your goddamned job, parents of America. If I didn't get to see slasher movies when I was a kid, it was because my parents wouldn't let me see 'em, not because some pimply-faced goon at the local Edwards was checking ID at the door. If you're going to have children, raise 'em on your own. Don't let the government do it for you, 'cause no one will be happy with the results, especially you.

Now, those thoughts still pop through my head as I hear about the recent FTC rulings saying that games and tv and comics go after kids in their advertisements, and I can only say, "Well, duh. Your children are the ones who buy this peurile crap, them and the boy-men of America with their sweaty Wolverine t-shirts. Gimme a break!" And I ponder the thought of a Gore White House, with Joe running around, ready to engage in a Culture War on America, and I think, "Oh...this is great. This is gonna kick ass."

A few things would happen in that scenario (and I won't even get into the one that involves Dubya riding into Washington. I will be on the first boat to Amsterdam if that happens; I intend on getting good and stoned for a month, and then I will figure out how to save America from the machinations of Dubya's campaign contributors. Or maybe I'll just stay stoned for four years. Whatever) that would be good for the game industry.

1) Joe tries to legislate a ban on all violent content in games. This will either cause:

a) The entire industry to roll over and beg for mercy, which is quite likely considering what a bunch of pansies are at the heads of game publishing and development companies. This will bring about a change in the overall content of the industry, probably taking out its guts and fangs and leaving people with nothing but Mary Kate and Ashley pablum. Or it will galvanize the innovators and rebels, who will tell the White House to take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut (and probably with that language, too) and then go about their business.

b) The industry as a whole tells the White House to do that thing with the moon and a doughnut, and still go about its business. Art triumphs over all, except commerce, which will dictate that we keep making more crappy games with tits and fire. Hoo-ah.

2) The ban goes through, and suddenly we have to make games with out graphic violence. Hence, we have a renaissance in story-telling and design, as the immature, let's gib 'em all folks are driven out of business 'cause they can't do anything better. The industry flowers, we all make great games, everyone has a good time, and we still tell Joe to fuck himself.

3) Not a goddamn thing happens, because Congress laughs itself silly at all of Joe's recommendations. The delegation from California, who would be on the street if not for studio money, makes the biggest noise of all, culminating in a wild party thrown for Congress, complete with hookers, booze, and unnatural acts with penguins. The industry is still saved, though we're probably stuck with the gib-heads still running the show.

So, bring it on, Joe...you great big pansy.

Monday, September 11, 2000
04:12 p.m.


If you don't bleed...

The ride to work this morning was freezing, even when the sun was out. The time has come to start wearing more layers. Just to cut down on the wind chill, that is. And to protect scraped knees. Nothing like starting the week off with a giant abrasion on the knee; wet sand and slick tires on a curvy path do not mix well.

Monday, September 11, 2000
04:03 p.m.


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