Thursday, August 26, 2010


Bleach 417-

I really liked this issue. I hope he holds true and really makes it something unique, instead of the usual long and drawn out fights like he's done in the past.

Check it out

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Prelude

So here's something I've been working on for a little while. Tell me what you think.


“Half a truth is often a great lie.”
Benjamin Franklin

April 02, 2212>>>Garden City, Seventh Province, Earth>>>1912 hours local time

“For those of you just tuning in a bomb has gone off in the Parliament building in downtown Cairo.” Dana Johnson probably had the most well known face in United Nation space, but only her mother in New Stanton, District XI that noticed the now dry lines of tears covered in makeup. “We’re still waiting on word from the military regarding who is responsible and how many people have been injured or killed. Early estimations are conflicted, some say only a few dozen while other experts believe we may have lost well over a thousand lives.”
Mrs. Kilgore, Dana Johnson’s mother in New Stanton, had cried a great deal as well. Her son-in-law Henry Johnson was in Cairo covering the proceedings at Parliament. They were about to pass a landmark law regarding genetic research. Finally researchers had been able to stop cancer, turn back Alzheimer’s, and rebuild broken spinal cords.
No one had heard from Henry since just before the bomb went off; he had called Dana when he woke up to share a bit of a dream he had had, something about rainbows and a pot of gold, and then he was off. Just like Henry. Despite her sadness Mrs. Kilgore smiled when she thought of Henry; he was always happy, a child in a man’s body if there ever were such a case.
Once the bomb blew Dana had called over and over trying to get a hold of him. There wasn’t any answer. Only silence, or a voicemail, or the incessant ringing as the phone continued to ring on the other end. But, never Henry. Before Dana had gone to air with the story she called her Mom..
Mrs. Kilgore told her everything was going to be fine. The same lie she told her when Mr. Kilgore died four years earlier, the same lie she told her when her brother went to defend the outer colonies from the rebellion. She’d used that lie a dozen times with her daughter; and every time she prayed it wouldn’t be a lie.
That for once she could tell her daughter the truth.

April 02, 2212>>>Cairo, Government District, Earth>>>1023 hours local time

“This way!” Called out a short Muslim man in a deep blue armor with the gold policeman’s badge etched into the left breast. Seeing a man limping heavily on a badly gashed leg Officer Hakeem grabbed the man’s arm and lifted him onto his shoulders to carry him out of the smoky haze in the building.
He had only been a short distance away when the explosion tore through the Parliament building with a fury of a desert sandstorm. Even as far away as he had been the shockwave threw him against his car and into the pavement. Thankfully the passing motorists had good brakes and he wasn’t killed then.
Most of the following minutes had been a blur, being one of the first police officers at the scene of the explosion he did what he could for any survivors. Picking people from the wreckage, giving resuscitation when needed, or simply directing those who could walk to the nearest exit. His helmet made it easy to cut through the dust the sleek black building had thrown to the wind, but the reporters and politicians inside were not so lucky as he. He actually had to physically carry most people he met.
So much blood. He thought. My God it’s everywhere. He would have expected blood in different areas, but not so much just splattered about. It seemed to him that a painter had simply thrown cans of red about without a thought.
He turned again to the building, breathing heavily, he couldn’t remember how many trips this would be. He’d carried more people out than he had directed and even with his powered armor providing what extra strength it could he was getting very tired, very quickly.
Moving as fast as he could up the stairs to the front doors he could see large group of people in the foyer moving out. Officer Hakeem couldn’t tell through the haze but it seemed they had found other survivors and were carrying them to the front doors as well.
Three shots rang out over the sound of the chaos and destruction and Officer Hakeem fell to the ground bleeding from two wounds in his chest and one in his leg. Confused he tried to access the button inside his helmet at the chin to call out to the other officers coming in behind him.
It was unbearably hard to move his jaw more than a few centimeters in any direction, and all his strength was searching for air. Not finding it he struggled onto his chest to crawl back down the steps into view when a heavy boot kicked him over and fired two more shots.
In the following life he would remember the armor. White like Death.

March 11, 2197>>>Research Lab 11, North Sector, Undisclosed Planet>>>0311 hours local time

“Doctor Johansen, could you take a look at this sample?” asked an elderly man; Doctor Stevens according to the nametag.
“Yeah, no problem.” Doctor Johansen had thick black hair clipped short, and dull green eyes. His mottled skin belied his years spent in laboratories on various research planets. He was barely thirty, but he had made some of the most important genetic discoveries of his generation. He leaned over and looked at the screen in front of Dr. Stevens. “What sample is this?”
“The mixture of subject A and that blue lizard we found on Arialis, species number,” he trailed off for a moment while he looked at the paperwork on the table next to him. “twelve thirty-one; ice lizard.”
“It seems to be doing rather well. No adverse reactions yet.” He smiled. “Lets move it to phase two and see what pops out shall we?”
“Yes sir.” The elder Dr. Stevens gather the file before him, and placing the sample into a jar left for lab 04.
Dr. Johansen watched him leave. Turning back to the files he had been reviewing he mumbled to himself with a sigh, “Maybe this time we’ll get something we can actually use.”

April 11, 2212>>>Cairo, Government District, Earth>>>1736 hours local time

The middle-aged reporter coughed and tried to clear his throat again. The dust settled on everything making him and the six other survivors look like ghosts in some ancient play. He hadn’t any idea how long they’d been there. Long enough for their phones and personal computers to lose all power, and the flares burn out. He was just happy there seemed to be a steady stream of air entering their pocket.
“We’re going to die down here.” A skinny Asian spoke up. His beige suit was covered in the same white dust as the others. The clean area around his mouth showed how nervous he was; he hadn’t stopped licking his lips since he woke up after the initial blast.
“No we won’t Chung.” Replied the middle-aged reporter. “We’ve been fine up until now. The building’s held up, we to have plenty of air, and I’m sure they’ve been digging since the explosion. We’re going to be okay.”
“Oh shut up Henry,” he retorted. “You’ve been saying that for who knows how many days, and we haven’t even heard them digging yet.”
A burnette from the Chicago Times asked, “And giving up is a better choice?”
“I report the news Tina,” replied the Asian man in the powdered beige suit. Throwing his arms out to the sides he turned around, and while looking to their ceiling he shouted, “Newsflash! We’re trapped underneath a four hundred stories of building, and we’re going to die.” Changing his tone to represent a news anchor he continued, “Now to Tim with Sports News. How’re those Black Devils looking this year?” Now angry he looked at Tina and then Henry. “We’re going to DIE down here.”

April 15, 2212>>>Cairo, Government District, Earth>>>2357 hours local time

Jabbing his palms into his eyes the technician rubbed against the sleep and yawned, it was a losing battle. So was the search for survivors. He looked at the clock on the cockpit wall next to him; it flashed 11:57 PM in glaring red letters. “Three minutes to two weeks.”
Shaking his head he looked at the depth radar in front of him. He was operating a ten-year old “state of the art” D.A.M. Depth Analysis Machine. It was basically a smooth edged tank equipped with ‘deep rock’ sensors. It allowed miners to see into the rock before they dug so that they wouldn’t accidentally fall into an underground cavern. It had saved hundreds of lives since it was introduced to the industry thirty years ago.
Hans Joseph was hoping it’d save at least a few more.
Da-na-na-na-na uh-uh. “Mother F—“ Joseph jumped as his phone sounded off loudly. The normally enjoyable techno beat seemed more like a funeral dirge in the impromptu graveyard. Calming his heart he picked up the phone. “This is Hans. What’s up?”
The voice on the other end was the Army Officer in charge of the excavation, Major Stevenson. “Anything Hans?”
“Nope. Not a damn thing.”
There was a sigh on the other end. Major Stevenson probably hadn’t slept more than an hour or two in the last three days. He had participated in every dig he could looking for survivors. It had wore on him more than most Joseph thought, the guy was searching for his effing daughter after all. “Well, Jim just left the office he’ll be there to relieve you in about ten minutes. How are you on fuel?”
“Running pretty low. Probably three hours left.”
“Well I’ll have the fuel truck swing out—“ A quick succession of beeps sounded on the sonar. “What was that?”
Looking down at the monitors Joseph saw what appeared to be a smallish cavern some ten meters below the top of the rubble. “A little cavern.” He sounded almost confused as he pressed a few buttons to alter his view. “I can’t tell very good. It’s fuzzy…” *****Fuzzy. What the hell does fuzzy mean?
“What do—.”
“Stop talking.” Joseph cut him off. Ignoring the angered reply he dropped his phone on the dash and yanked the operator’s manual out of the compartment at his side and flipped it open quickly. “Fuzzy, fuzzy, fuzzy…” he mumbled to himself as he searched through a diagnostics section.
The Major’s voice was quiet, coming from the phone on the dashboard, but he was shouting now, more worried than angry at this point. The rubble had been found to be unstable in many parts and he wasn’t sure the search and rescue mission hadn’t just grown by one.
He could hear little beyond the machines rumble through the phone, until he heard a shout. “Hans! Hans! What the hell happened? Are you okay?”
The line scratched for a moment as Hans picked it up and he heard the old construction manager yell. “We got people down there! We got some f—g people down here. Get the excavators rolling!”
Pointing at his terrified secretary. “Call Komatsu. Get their excavators over to Hans Joseph’s location ASAP. We’ve got people to dig up.” Too excited to see if his orders were going to be followed he ran out the office into his own vehicle and tore off down the road. “I’m coming sweetheart.”

January 23, 2231>>>Henry Johnson’s Memoirs “The Truth as it Was and Is—The Life of Henry Johnson”>>>White Halberd Publishing House>>>Garden City, Seventh Province, Earth

‘I sometimes wondered what Lazarus must have felt, when he was called out from the tomb by Jesus. He’d been dead though. Was he afraid the Jews that didn’t follow Jesus would kill him? Was he just happy to not have to lie on a rock anymore, or to breath fresh air and eat food? Did he have a wife, or just his sister?
I can’t guess what he thought, but I know what was happening in my head when that first little hole broke through. The lights of the excavators broke through nearly blinding me. At first I assumed I had just died, not been brought back to life, but then the air hit me. I know this is cliché, but I can’t think of another way to describe it. It was the sweetest, most fresh air, I had ever breathed in my life.
Lazarus probably felt the same as I did breathing that first air. Feeling clean, crisp, air rush into your lungs; and then coughing like hell because of all the dust in the air. I can’t be sure how he felt, but I think I understand a little what went through his mind
I’m pretty sure it never had anything to do with a rebellion.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Something or other for you to gobble up with your meaty claws of devouring.

So I feel like I've let the world down in some large inescapable way by not writing in this blog more often. I mean, with an opinion like mine I'm more or less required to share it with the world so that I may guide the foolish mortals that exist beneath me into the light of my studied knowledge of greatness. Therefore, I have returned unto my personal blog of blogginess +4.

Oh yeah. It's that good.

Believe me. You wanna sit up and pay attention to my words of immaculate wisdom. These words are so grand and of unimaginable power there isn't enough space in the interwebs to hold them all. They become more than the netterweb. They become more than you, or your bicycle ride, or your car, or even your little dog too. That's how cool I am. That's almost how cool I will be.

You should feel blessed to know where this page is. It's that awesome.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This terrifies me

I'm normally very happy to see Anime hitting the big screen, but this anime is so out there I don't think it will translate very well to the live action screen. Check it out and let me know: Bleach Live Action Movie.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

As I mentioned before I have been studying "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell. Basically it is a book about the most widely recognized and well-known literary theory: The Heroic Journey.

This book has been a marvelous experience for me, and as I finish it I feel like I've completed my own journey. It's a book that requires dedication, focus, and a lot of help from outside sources to understand it. It's a hard book.

But, next to the scriptures I have never read a book that has affected me like this book.

Let me impress upon you how much that statement means to me. I have read some great literature. I have read books that have brought my spirit to tears for it's beauty and power of speech. I have read books that have elevated my thoughts to new levels. I have read books that have created entire worlds of beauty and magnificence in my mind. I have read books that have made me a better man. And, this book is better than anyone of them.

Campbell's theory is basically (and I do mean very basic) that the purpose of myth is to help bring about maturity and growth. Look back to the Greeks, Egyptians, Hindus, Aztecs, etc and you will see that each of their myths were designed to teach the hearers and the readers something. They were written to create opportunities for us to grow and become better.

Campbell teaches the three major phases of the hero as follows: Departure, Initiation, and Return. The Departure is when the Hero is called to go and accomplish something great. When he is asked to leave the comfort of his home and travel far away to gain something of value for his people. The call to adventure is really the call to die as to the self.

The Initiation that follows is the set of trials through which the hero must pass, but also the most important aspects he must face. The Hero must become one with "the Goddess," a mystical female figure that represents life, and rebirth. He must avoid the temptress, who represents those same powers abused and misused for power. Then he must atone with the Father, which directly proceeds Apotheosis: The act of becoming just like the Father.

The Return is how he comes back to the society from which he has left. He not only returns, but he brings power with him. He brings "renewal in his wings." The entire purpose of the Heroic Journey is to renew the world around him. Every hero brings renewal to his world. Even heroes in video games. Take just about any video game and you can find a hero who has renewed his world in some way.

Link brings back the princess and restores order and happiness to Hyrule. Any Final Fantasy hero saves the world and brings about an era of peace and happiness unlike any other. Even games about war such as Modern Warfare show a renewed world. Even Brütal Legend, a game featuring JACK BLACK of all people as the hero. This game is about a world of rock and roll that receives a roadie savior who helps them put on concerts and fight against the wicked demon, Deviculous. Seriously?

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

I bet you're probably bored by now, but if you've made it this far, bear with me I'm condensing 391 pages of very strong, powerful prose into a single blog post, it's bound to be less powerful coming from me.

I stated before that this book has done more for me than any other save the scriptures, and I'm getting to that reason right now. This entire book has focused on people, and heroes that are so far beyond anything we mere humans can hope to ever attain. This book talks about Achilles, Buddha, Christ, and so many others that people around the world will always look to for inspiration.

"The mighty hero of extraordinary powers-able to lift Mount Govardhan on a finger, and to fill himself with the terrible glory of the universe-is each of us: not the physical self visible in the mirror, but the king within" (Campbell 365).

"Live," Nietzsche says, "as though the day were here." It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal-carries the cross of the redeemer-not in the bright moments of his tribe's great victories, but in the silence of his personal despair" (Campbell 391).

This entire semester Brother Allen, my professor, has taught us that this Journey is applicable to each and every one of us, but when I read those two quotes this morning it resonated within my very core that this knowledge is true. I found something that to me is magnificent. Something that to me, is powerful.

Something that has created within me a new soul.

And, that my dear friends, is precisely the point.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More PT for me

I thought this was pretty interesting. First time in three decades the Army has changed anything regarding Basic Training. I'm even more excited to go now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Secret World

I'm not normally a fan of MMO's. I think they waste too much time and they're honestly a little boring to me. World of Warcraft is a waste of time, I just get so bored with it.

But, when I found this little snippet on youtube and I wanted to know more about this beautifully rendered game. I'm a sucker for a pretty face.

The Secret World is already looking like a game that will not only be worth it's price, but that will provide an interesting storyline that we haven't seen in too many places. I've had an idea similar to this thing for years and it's something I'd love to be able to play.

Check out the website and take the test. Leave a comment telling me what group it said you were best suited for. Also, don't forget to take a peak at the other trailer they have out. It's pretty freaking cool too.

In case you were wondering where they said I should go:

I mentioned it to a my wife, a friend, and his wife and they all guessed I was a Dragon before I told them the outcome. I wonder if I really am that ruthless?

Power of the Panda

Anyone who has children around the age of two will understand me when I say they are obsessive. About what cup they use, what movies they watch, what blanket they must have in order to fall asleep, where they fall asleep, etc. They're developing habits that will drive parents insane for the duration of their toddler-hood.

Luckily my loving and ever-patient wife was able to get our two-year old molded to some of the best movies. Sure, she likes Elmo (I want to kill that thing), and some of the more annoying creations for her age group (like Barney. I understand that he's been designed to be cuddly, and loveable, but he's just creepy to me), but Justine has been able to get her addicted to a wider variety of movies so we don't just watch Elmo go to "Grouchland" over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

You get the point. If not, wait till you're child is addicted to something that you hate, and must have it at all costs.

Well, like I said, Toriana (my oldest daughter) has several favorites of which I approve. Movies such as the legend of Johnny 5 (Also known as Short Circuit), the epic tale of a race forced from their homeland into a old rundown apartment building (Batteries not included), a true story about friends who risk it all to save their friend from Japanese slavery (Toy Story 2), or the increasingly epic story of a Panda warrior (Kung Fu Panda). Mixed in there are movies about runaway crazy dogs (Bolt), talking, googly eyed trains (Thomas the Train), and a coming of chef story (Ratatouille).

With a mixture of movies like that I'm honestly never forced to watch the same movie too many times.

Unless I like it too.

I absolutely love Kung Fu Panda. It's such a fun story, with lines that are so quotable it's as if you're mind is constrained at any given opportunity. Words like bodacious sprinkled throughout the movie are tasty little sweet morsels of ingenuity and humor. It's a movie that I have watched close to fifteen times in the past week and a half (that's probably not half as many times as my wife has seen it, but I'm at school, ROTC, and work everyday) and I'm still not tired of it.

I laugh at the funny parts, smile when I hear it from the other room, and quote it back and forth with my wife and/or friends who have come over enough to memorize parts of it as well (I particularly like when the Ox bandit in the beginning tells him to "chew on my fist!"- As a side note, it is the funniest thing in the world to hear my daughter say it along with him).

It's a solid movie. I think it's one of my favorite movies to be honest. It follows Joseph Campbell's Heroic Journey. It uses humor and inspiration in equal portions for a fantastic mix. Kind of like a great cake. You know, one of those marble cakes with the yellow and chocolate mixed together in a swirl? Man, that sounds good.

But, either way it's a great movie, and if you haven't seen it before. Go watch it.


Come on. Get a move on it. You'll enjoy it, and if you have kids they'll probably enjoy it too.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Comsic Books

This semester I've been studying. No, I believe partaking is a better word for what I've been doing with this class. I have an American Superheroes class.

Yes, bask in the glory.

In this magnificently masterwork course we have studied literature such as Old Man and the Sea, Superman:Birthright, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Ultimate X-Men volume 1; and we have studied books like Last of the Mohicans. Note the difference in describers.

Most people can't believe that we'd have actual classes where we take comic books and read them as if they were literature. The Audacity of it all.

Yes there was a capital "A" there. It's that Audacious.

But, there are a few things I've learned as I've studied literature before and during college (an I suppose I will continue learning this fact long after I have graduated and moved into the military). One is that age does not make a book literature. Taking the ragingly racist novel The Last of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. That book was published something like a hundred and fifty years ago, and it is one of the worst pieces of literature I have ever read. I loathed handling that book for I felt as though my hands would corrode from the cheap and weak prose. Cooper covers his readers in an avalanche of poorly selected words that, more often than not, serve to confuse a reader's imagination instead of clarify and direct it.

Deep breath Gericke. Deep Breath. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Man I really hate that book. I'm contemplating burning it, but I may also give it away as a present to someone I dislike. So, if you get The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper for your birthday, Hanukkah, or Christmas then be aware that I dislike you enough that I would give you brain poison.

I like that term, brain poison.

Anyways, to get to the real purpose of this post. The unreasonable hatred of comic books and what they are capable of conveying. I've written two papers this semester and I might post them up here so you can bask in my magnificence (I'm really not this arrogant, it's just the power of the blog taking over my mind. It's like the one ring in Middle-Earth).

A comic book can create a world unlike any that a novel could create. The art creates a different feel. You can't ignore the art and read the words alone. You can't pick it up with a bias. You simply cannot come into the reading of a comic book thinking it is anything other than literature to be discovered. The key to learning from a comic book, to seeing it as a piece of literature is that you, the reader, must read it as a student of literature.

Remember the saying, "all truth can be circumscribed into one great whole?" We cannot assume that truth, and indeed knowledge, will fall into our laps without any sort of effort. If you want to find out whether a comic book, or a novel, or a movie, or anything is worth any value you absolutely must dig into its core and discover the truth behind it.

Basically, if you can't find something good in a piece of literature, it's because you're choosing not to.

Here's the two papers I wrote- You may want to brush up on your Campbellian theory (Hero of a Thousand Faces) before you read them. Then again, you may not.
Jean Grey as the Cosmic Mother
This one isn't as good as the first, a little scatter-brained Superman:Birthright vs Last of the Mohicans

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Funny junk

I've told as many people as I can about this website. If you have any inclination towards humor you should like it.

Skippy's List

It's freaking hilarious.

I got no culture.

So my obligatory first post requires that I spell out for you lay-folk a little bit more about myself and why I think my voice is important enough to be posted on the internets. For one, it's the internet, the biggest repository of mis-information and stupidity ever built into the framework of our puny human lives, and for the second, because I felt like I'd get myself a blog.

That's pretty much all there is to the reasoning behind it, but I did want to address a serious issue in all communities across the United States of America, and in truth all across the world.

Internet gaming.

Now I know what you're thinking. "We all know World of Warcaft is like crack." Yeah, for people with no real willpower, but I'm not talking about that crap. That's not internet gaming. That's not real gaming at all. It's a bunch of guys who get together on a fake world, and kill fake monsters, for fake money, to get a "real" sense of accomplishment. I put quotations because the feeling is real, though the actual achievement is far from it.

No, good sirs, the gaming to which I reference myself is the mecca that has become play-by-post. Most DM's shudder at the thought (any experienced player should at least shudder a little as well) of trying to manage a game spread out across not only the entire world at times, but spread out through the course of his day. He's forced to obsessively check their website every ten minutes just in case someone has posted.

He slaves over the game for everyone involved, and when something doesn't go perfectly right, his players selfishly whine and moan making life suck for everyone involved. If they really get going they'll actually post their complaints and start causing other people to notice the problems, thus creating a further diversion making the game worse.

This sucks. It's incredibly boring to deal with, because you forget the story altogether, time-consuming, because anyone who wishes to actually play the game must slog through the vile filth to understand and add anything pertinent, and the absolute worst part: anyone not involved has to listen to your annoying, whiny, purposeless rants.

Now, that being said, play by post can be something magical. Magnificent even.

When a play by post works properly, each player is actively contributing to the whole story in their character's unique perspective and honestly trying to create a fun, involved story it can become something wonderful. It's a chance to write and expand your writing style. This is something that every parent should want for their child, because communication in this world is key to survival. So, Dungeons and Dragons via chat rooms and forums becomes a useful tool for teaching personal development.

Take your time writing for your character. If you create a one-dimensional character, you'll get one-dimensional results, and that's boring. Think you're character through. Think about what his thoughts are, about what he believes is good and bad. How does he feel about love? Money? Power? Danger? Adventure? Think about the different aspects that make YOU a unique individual person, and put them into this person you're making, and then you can create a three-dimensional person.

Why should this be important? What do you say that no one else says? Why? What led to that? Are we so pompous to think that we are the only people in this world capable of more than one-dimension (watching our government at work I think that there are some people like that in charge) that we cannot even CONCEIVE of someone else, having similar psychological structure?

Break that mold and you will enter the mystical realm of fun that play by post can create.