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The Raven


2004
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

01/02/04

2004, I see. Mercy how the clock turns into a propeller when working among the masses. Even the Christmas season seemed to spin its magic much more quickly. Perhaps things will calm a bit before long.

Tying the loose ends of content is taking its toll on my patience. It seems no matter how much I sift through and streamline, there is a multitude of fragmented pages and detritus still awaiting repair. The site theme may be completed within the next few weeks, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Hopefully, any changes and additions will flow much more smoothly in the future. Since settling on a design scheme, roughly 70% has been converted thus far, and it's looking pretty. I have considered changing the domain in order to more closely follow the content title, but after some research and discussion, I feel it is unnecessary.

I have received comment concerning my extensive use of monotone colors and even a lack of color levels in some areas. While I realize that the mood in here has darkened over the last few months, I feel it is a nice look. Dark, to be sure, but not entirely 'down' if you know what I mean. The coloration is not here to convey any particular mood or feeling anymore. It is merely the type of design which I prefer to work with. Too many sites floating about the web are bright and striking, and that which you see here is representative of a more gothic, and possibly a 'make-you-think' type of atmosphere. The deep gray text also serves to shift the focus away from the body of work and toward graphic content which, you may or may not have noticed, is not ad-driven. All of the images have been produced by yours truly, and will remain as such. The self-sustaining ideas I had brought up in past years are no longer an option, and as a result, everything placed here will be of my creation. Interesting, to say the least, of all of the comments and concerns I have received, there has thus far been no question (or possibly no notice) of the 120x600 vertical ad to the left of this text. This message has resided there for almost twelve months now, yet no one pays attention to it. Perhaps I will add more contrast soon and visitors may take notice. We'll see.

Seeing as my Laserdisc player has left me on the side of the road once again, the time for rampant ranting is at hand. Here comes my opinion...

"George Lucas said: 'Film is a nineteenth-century invention, and we need to move beyond that, and into the future of cinema'. I don't agree. Are we going to abandon the printed word as well? Will we stop producing newsprint and move into electronic-only publishing? These may seem like unrealistic questions, but I ask them in desperation, as they need to be as such. Read on.

After watching Star Wars: Episode II in a theatre utilizing digital projection, I can honestly say I was very impressed. Naturally, being the first film to be shot entirely digitally, some people expected glitches. I did not. I knew that it would work out well for the opening of this movie. In fact, though I sit here as a film purist, I specifically purchased tickets for the digital version on opening day. This was out of curiosity, mostly. I simply wanted to see it for myself, and knowing of Lucas' success in pioneering projects of the past I had little doubt. It was amazing to see a digital projector fire that content across such a large auditorium and onto an enormous screen. It is true that during several moments, if you were conscious of the details, some pixelation was present on the screen, but in my opinion, this was to be expected. One drawback to this method of projection is the fact that the screen has been designed to display an optical negative rather than a liquid crystal image. Still, it was brighter than a 35mm film image, even through a standard 'flat' lens. Good movie, good picture. Unfortunately, it was not all good.

The sad truth of it is the fact that the film industry is rooted in tradition. Deeply rooted, to be sure. This pains me to no end, and the devaluing of film has peaked with the advent of the DVD. I'm getting ahead of myself, though. Let's go back a few years and start with something much earlier, even before the home VCR, as well. Let us begin with the Laserdisc, and then rant on through VHS to the real devil of the day: the DVD movie.

First demonstrated in 1972, and introduced into the market in 1978, the laserdisc has been around as long as VHS (and six years longer than the CD), and immediately provided an enormous increase in picture and sound quality thus far unsurpassed in the home. Coupled with the additional information available in a widescreen presentation, this quickly became the choice for videophiles the world over. Cost limits, however, kept the format from truly becoming mainstream. I believe a discussion of one of the main advantages of this format, letterboxing, should come first.

The original aspect ratio (spoken clearly, the image width-to-height relationship) of films from the beginning of the century to the early 1950s was approx 4:3, or roughly 1.33:1. When television came along in the 1940s it modeled its ratio after this number. When television started becoming popular, the film industry responded by introducing wider and wider pictures to the audience through various means, including wider film gauges such as 70mm, utilization of multiple projectors (as with Cinerama), and most commonly today, anamorphic projection, which uses a special lens to squeeze a wider image onto 35mm film. Aspect ratios for movies in the 50's and early 60's ranged from 1.33:1 all the way out to 2.80:1 for Cinerama. By the mid to late '60s, most of the thunder of widescreen was over and many in the industry went back to shooting movies on flat 35mm film (non-anamorphic) and matting the upper and lower portions of the image to give about a 1.85:1 image. When these films were transferred to another format to be shown on TV, one of three things had to happen: lose part of the image to cropping, letterbox the image so it would fit inside the more square shape of the television screen, or squeeze the image horizontally by not using the anamorphic lens during playback. (I'm sure we've all seen the late-night broadcast of an old movie on the television that has been bastardized into an extra-tall and skinny version of the original.) For many folks at home, the picture shape is not terribly important. I can understand this. Not everyone is a huge fan of movies, and seeing the show at home on television is just fine. For those of us that are a bit more interested in the industry, the format in which the story is displayed is as important as the show itself.

Also, because of the fact that most films would eventually end up on television, some directors went as far as to favor the 'sweet-spot' while filming, in order to keep the main action toward the center of the screen so that the cropping would not take too much away from the original. To me, this is wrong. When we watch a film, the intention is to see it through the eyes of the person under whom the story and look was put to media in the first place. One of the best and most important reasons to see the film in the theatre is the panoramic picture. It provides the viewing audience with an all-encompassing experience which can be capable of transporting us far beyond the confines of the auditorium, and into places only imagined. If we continue to blur the line between theatre and home theatre, the former will eventually disappear. I believe all too many of us have lost sight of that. Now, I realize that box office receipts are very strong even now, but when one stands in line at the theatre, and the discussion is on how soon the film will be produced for the home, this proves that the emphasis is not on the first-run, but on the ownership aspect of the movie. We are, in essence, lowering the value of the theatre experience and its symbolism in our society.
(There are situations in which the result of the home theatre can rival that of the larger auditorium. Some higher-end home systems are capable of surpassing the impressive sight and sound of the movie theatre. Front-projection of a line-quadrupled DVD or CAV laserdisc with proper speaker placement and sound processing can be mind blowing, to say the least. This comes at a price, naturally, and can exceed $100,000 for a typical eight-seat home-based movie house. Not for the average consumer, I think.)
Unfortunately for the industry, though most of the fans of the laserdisc format relished in the availability of seeing the film in its original intended shape -- the 'director's vision', if you will -- the price was too high for most home video fans. The typical price tag on a movie was $40, with some extended versions and other 'special' editions commanding costs as high as $200. And these movies were on shelves next to VHS tapes costing $19 and less. Coupled with the fact that this outstanding format also drove many early home theatres into larger and more complex audio systems to support the resolution of the disc, money became an enormous limiting factor.

With VHS enabling recording and rental of many titles, the lesser picture and sound quality seemed to lose importance. This actually helped the film industry, as it kept the line between the home and public auditorium wide. After the advancement of S-VHS recording (better known as Super-VHS), the home VCR quickly became the format of choice. Lower costs for pre-recorded titles and playback/recording equipment, and more titles showing up available with letterboxing, the home video industry was driven well into the black for good.

Still, there was no comparison to the theatre experience, much to the chagrin of many fans, who wanted to own the title.

After initial development of the first DVD for home use, people began to see features seldom available on a VHS tape. Interactive menus, multitudes of special features, and a lower cost than laserdisc began to pull consumers away from VHS and into a higher-definition format that seemed sure to be a hit. Depending upon the desired picture quality, the laserdisc was limited to an hour, or even as little as a half-hour per pre-recorded side. A DVD, however, being capable of a single compressed layer of two-hours, and the dual-layer disc boasting more than three hours on a single side, represented the beginning of the end for the LD format, forever. DVD media now packed with tons of features, as many as four different sound system choices, and slightly more screen resolution than LD (tons more than VHS), has flooded the ever-growing home video market, and is now available in every corner drug store. Costs per title are still dropping, some as low as $5 for older, less sought-after movies. And in some cases, the DVD is being produced as the film is shot (even some while in pre-production!), and has become as much the focal point as the title's release. Hasta la vista, laserdisc.

DVD recording too? Of course! And now VHS can barely hang on. (I realize everything evolves and progresses, but vast traditions within our society need not be abandoned in the process.) I'm certain that within the next few years, blank media for VCRs and eventually the hardware itself will disappear. The market will likely be similar to the underground LD market, which is flourishing, but devoid of any substantial support or influx of new titles.

Now, for a very small cash outlay, the movie fanatic can have the clearest picture and sound at a low cost. Just like the theatre? Hardly. But DVD movies and single-box home theatre systems continue to fly off the shelves. It is this that is helping film and the entire movie-going experience to lose its value in our time. The title goes from the hands of the Artists to the shelves at Wal-Mart all too quickly. I believe this is accompanied by a distinct drop in appreciation, as well. It's just too cheap.

As much respect I have for Lucas and his extensive work for the film industry, shifting movie production entirely to digital video recording and projection will bring an entire way of life to a tragic end.

Even now, as I sit here in front of an LD player that stopped working properly, and with 129 discs for sale on eBay, I will forever be in favor of movie titles not being available to the viewing public once the theatrical run comes to an end. This had been tradition for decades, and should remain. Filmgoers would dress for the occasion, and even purchase advance tickets for reserved seats. Theatres were lavish, ornately designed houses with thousands of seats and screens that stretched wide for an unparalleled experience that became unforgettable. 'Trailers' were just that -- previews and shorts that were presented after the main feature. And the disappearing organ that greeted patrons as they entered the auditorium added to the dramatic evening. Just don't miss the film in the theatre, because you may never see it again. A tad extreme you say? I don't think so. You see, this century-old art that is so painstakingly and beautifully produced for our benefit, and the advancement of art as a whole in our society, should never lose its value.

And what a value it is."




01/05/04

"The plane of existence within which we spin our thoughts is shifting ever so slightly, shifting beyond conscious control, beyond prominent minds, and through the multiverse of the physical. This inevitable and unannounced movement of mass has propelled our author (and quite possibly a few others) into a place of seemingly unending toil. Through the bright, remaining shards of crystal, the light of possibility allows the future path to be seen for an instant. This future, though not entirely certain, maintains an almost vaporous quality, which can force the Shield into proving its worth and importance in our time, to be the shelter of the unknown, and the torch's flame into the unbounded tunnels through which our souls must pass. Falling...flying...floating, without the benefit of the mind's bearing."




01/10/04

I.

"Howling winds forcing her into the blackness. Futile attempts to gain her bearing, hopeless grasps toward unknown handholds, fits of despair tying compound knots in her midsection...and her mind conjuring frightening images of the pools that awaited. Through all, the frozen air stiffened her numbing fingers, leaving precious little dexterity, and in even shorter supply... hope of ever finding reality. What began as a simple attempt to gain a prize and expand her own future had transformed this whisper of a woman into something much simplified, a person reduced to the very definition of self-preservation. The common, everyday tasks and concerns of life were gone and so far removed, that just the thought of anything outside this puzzle of survival no longer existed.

Scratching at the wall, her flailing hands could not grasp enough to slow the drift of her body. After minutes of the strong winds it seemed she would never find the end of this terrible path, nor would the overpowering strength of the gusts allow her to gain any sort of footing in the mud. Such was the disorientation of rolling and tumbling along that even with the torch burning bright and strong there were no clear visions of the terrain, above or below herself.

Torch burning? In such wind? She could not find the clarity to reason that out at all. Perhaps it was just wishful thinking driving her subconscious in such a direction.

Perhaps not.

As the air continued its unrelenting push against her tiny frame, she found the strength to put it together: something or someone was intent upon keeping her aware of the view. For whatever reason, it was important to this situation that the surroundings be known, or at least seen. And such a place was never imagined in all her years alive -- dripping, black walls supporting jagged stones jutting in every direction, slimy reeds and dead roots of unseen and forgotten trees protruding from the surface upon which she was moving. Shades of black and brown taking over her sense of vision. Disjointed images of dead figures in the gray, the din of mud and dark water everywhere, a lack of adequate light to see what was and what is to come. These thoughts were closing in on her state of confusion and driving it perilously close to madness. Still no ending to this tunnel, still no respite from the punishing ground beneath the now tattered clothing that was proving ineffective in her protection. How much longer can this wind carry her? Will there be anything left of her if it does come to an end? The mere thought of still and quiet to catch her breath and gain a sense of this place had no longer crossed her mind, when...

...everything stopped. As suddenly as it began, she was now lying still in this tunnel of confusion. Torch burning bright, she could barely make out the form of the flame. Slowly, as her eyesight became clearer, she could see there was to be no simple explanation for this situation. It was a frightening sight, to say the least.




1/20/04

In nearly two years of operation, I have received almost no commentary whatsoever on -- nor any email or snail-mail submissions to -- the Family Pictures section of this site. As a result, it has been removed. Disk space is precious when on a budget and the least hit pages just cannot stay. In addition, the content here does not merely pop onto the web. It is written, edited and the markup is gone over painstakingly in order to remain functional and fluid. It may return in the future in a more compact version.

II.

"Contorting her thin neck into positions causing steady pain, there was finally opportunity to see what she had feared. Not only the blackness apparent, she also took note of the fact that the wind may not have been entirely at fault for this thrust along the tunnel -- it seemed to be dropping in elevation as she was pushed. She strained to see further down, and realized it was in fact quite a steep downward slope. Water dribbling along in the direction of her own axis supported this finding, and prompted her to attempt to work her way into a sitting position for further investigation. All the while she was struggling to calculate just how long this had lasted, and at what point it had began. What seemed to be an eternity may well have been nothing more than a few minutes. A dizzying condition, to say the least.

The torch was a comfort, and performed its task well after being raised from the floor and stuck into the mud like a lamppost. Having sat up and propped herself against the slimy wall, she was able to gain some clarity. The first order of business had to be inventory of the items she carried before the plunge.

A trip back to the real world: With a personality that took pride in being prepared for the rigors of everyday life, there were a few tools that had accompanied her in the past on most occasions outside her home and on journeys abroad.  Some trips geared toward business had been taxing to say the least, especially in unknown locales and during times of unrest. She had always kept a notepad and pencil at her side, and over time a standard kit evolved that would become her most important traveling companion. This helped her to feel more at ease when in the field. At times, it seemed she could tackle any situation no matter how arduous -- and some had been just that, in the extreme. But now, in this strange and dismaying predicament, her kit would prove to be her only friend. Disconcerting, yet true.

The simple, yet effective kit contained tools such as a small utility knife, tweezers, a multi-screwdriver and a tiny sewing kit. There were also various writing instruments and a tablet. The latter would surely prove useful for such an analytical person, detail-oriented in the extreme. The thought of noting the time and a short description of her surroundings had crossed her mind fairly quickly, and may be of assistance later in this toil. She wrestled the compact leather pouch from its home on her belt, and it appeared no worse for the trip. She found the tunnel cold and damp, and as such it was not easy to draw. Still, a few sketches and notes were worked out.

No sooner had she stowed the diary-to-be, when the torch decided to run dark, plunging all into blackness."




2/07/04

III.

"Her hands shaking from the cold, her body beginning to give under the strain and discomfort, the darkness served only to fill her with apprehension and fear. All of this she had felt in great amounts, but now it was somehow different -- as if the tunnel could create its own devils capable of plummeting her further toward the depths of insanity. Water flowing and the remnants of high winds added to the frightening atmosphere, and the sum served to keep her from clarity of mind for a few moments. Of all the journeys in her life, this had solidified its position as the most mind-bending and seemingly impossible to work through.

She could feel the tunnel beginning to tilt, as if it wasn't at enough of an angle to cause difficulty, and it continued to tilt until she found herself sliding in the direction in which the wind had previously forced her. Within seconds there was no longer enough to hold on to, and she began sliding once again. Freezing water and mud flowed alongside and cradled her body as it slid along the floor. As the tunnel's tilt became closer to vertical, her speed increased and she began to tumble uncontrollably -- even bouncing and throwing her sense of direction off and creating overwhelming confusion. Soon it was too much, and she began to curl into a fetal position to ride it out. It was just too much for her to keep up with or even understand, and the fright was forcing a retreat of such proportions as she had never felt. It had to end, this is true, but when? Would this be her end? Or the hideous, twisted beginning to something beyond her imagination?

The tunnel showed no mercy, tossing her not only along the floor (floor?) but also from side to side into the muddy walls. It was an incomprehensible situation -- this slimy mix of mud and water and shit she had been sliding through for so long, and then a respite, and then sliding again. Sliding, tumbling, rolling -- though confusion and sludge.




2/11/04

It is unbelievable. How did I never come across this before? It has been there for years, and in plain sight for one and all to select from the masses of crap that stock the shelves of every media outlet -- sitting idle among the spewed entrails which flies out of the music store every single day. I should have been able to somehow sense its graceful presence nearby, but for whatever reason, it had been waiting for the proper moment, waiting until I had been completely primed and sufficiently satiated by what I then believed was all there could be available. Now that I have my hands on it, however, things have changed...

The hauntingly beautiful melodies, the technical perfection of the arrangement and performance, the unparalleled tragedy of the entire composition -- all combine to create the most memorable and touching piece of music I have ever had the good fortune to come across on this cynical spinning globe. What an addition to my life. Just the thought of it waiting there to be lovingly appreciated and properly respected, and the joy of knowing it is available to me to listen to day and night, is overwhelming.

Normally, I would include the lyrics of such a masterpiece here for everyone's enjoyment. Unfortunately, most of the composition is very dark and brooding, and much of the very wording is a bit sharp and piercing to the eye, so I must refrain. Instead, I have another selection more suited for everyday readers.

"A few simple progressions of night and fear, and we arrive at the doorstep of deadly dreams -- overwhelming visions of rapture and delight singed with flame and pain. My continuing desire to be inside the mind of Dani, to see and experience the place of birth of his black poetry, has propelled me at lightspeed to display, for your pleasure, a selection from a symphony of genius. It actually reveals, at long last, the origin of my too-often-questioned web alias. There can be no equal to the transcendent beauty of these writings. I can only envy.

Let us raise our goblets of wine and give tribute to his brilliance.

Enjoy. I know you will."

bathori


Bathory Aria

I. Benighted Like Usher

Snuffed tapers sighed
As Death left impressing
His crest of cold tears on the Countess

Benighted like ill-fated Usher
The House of Bathory shrouded
'Neath grief's dark facade

If only I could have wept
In mourning by Her side
I would have clasped Her so tight
Like storm-beached Aphrodite
Drowned on Kytherean tides

And Kissed Her
For from Her alone
My lips would have known
Enigmas of shadowy vistas

Where pleasures took flesh
And pain, remorseless
Came freezing the breath
Of raucous life hushed unto whispers

Benighted.

Inhaling the pale waning moonlight that crept
Through the crypt of Her Lord who so lucidly slept

Benighted.

Exhaling the wail of black widowhood's toll
Waxing eternal night entered Her soul

II. A Murder of Ravens in Fugue

Now haranguing grey skies
With revenge upon life
Gnathic and Sapphic
Needs begged gendercide

Delusions of Grandier denounced the revolt
Of descrying cursed glass, disenchanted in vaults
Encircled by glyphs midst Her sin-sistered cult

With hangman's abandon She plied spiritworlds
To Archangels in bondage
From light to night hurled
Cast down to the earth where torment would unfurl.......

But soon,
Her tarot proved
Hybrid rumours spread like tumours
Would accrue
And blight Her stars
To better bitter truths
Of cold bloodbaths

As bodies rose
In rigid droves
To haunt Her from their
Shallow burials imposed
When wolves exhumed
Their carthen wombs
Where heavy frosts had laboured long
To bare their wounds

To the depths of Her soul they pursued
Wielding their poison they flew
Like a murder of ravens in fugue

And knowing their raptures
Would shatter Her dreams
She clawed blackened books for damnation's reprieve
Baneful cawed canons on amassed enemies

So Hallow's Eve
As She received
Like Bellona to the ball
Those enemies
Fell-sisters heaved
Her torturies
Cross stained flagstones
To Her carriage reined to flee

But She knew She must brave the night through
Though fear crept a deathshead o'er the moon
Like a murder of ravens in Fugue

For each masked, jewelled gaze held dread purpose
Horror froze painted eyes to cold stares
And even Her dance
In the vast mirrors cast
Looked the ill of Her future
If fate feasted there....

III. Eyes That Witnessed Madness

In an age crucified by the nails of faith
When rank scarecrows of christ blighted lands
An aloof Countess born an obsidian wraith
Dared the abyss knowing well She was damned
Her life whispered grief like a funeral march
Twisted and yearning, obsessed an entranced
With those succumbing to cruelty
Crushed 'neath the gait of Her dance
A whirlwind of fire that swept through the briers
Of sweet rose Her thickets of black thorn had grasped...

She demanded the Heavens and forever to glean
The elixir of Youth from the pure
Whilst Her lesbian fantasies
Reamed to extremes
O'er decades unleashed
Came for blood's silken cure

But Her reign ended swiftly
For Dark Gods dreamt too deep
To heed Her pleas

When Her gaolers were assailed
With condemnations from a priest
Who'd stammered rites
In the dead of night
For maidens staining winding sheets

And She postured proud
When Her crimes were trowelled
And jezebelled to peasant lips
Though She smelt the fires
That licked limbs higher
To the tortured c**** of accomplices

So ends this twisted fable's worth
And though spared the pyre's bite
By dint of nobled bloodlined birth
Her sins (crimes) garnered Her no respite

Forever severed from the thrill of coming night
Where slow Death alone could grant Her flight

"The Spirits have all but fled judgment
I rot, alone, insane,
Where the forest whispers puce laments for me
From amidst the pine and wreathed wolfsbane
Beyond these walls, wherein condemned
To the gloom of an austere tomb
I pace with feral madness sent
Through the pale beams of a guiltless moon
Who, bereft of necrologies, thus
Commands creation over the earth
Whilst I resign my lips to death
A slow cold kiss that chides rebirth
Though one last wish is bequeathed by fate
My beauty shalt wilt, unseen
Save for twin black eyes that shalt come to take
My soul to peace or Hell for company

My soul to Hell for company





04/01/04

"So, here we are.

Or, more appropriately, here we are again. This system of the seemingly endless progression of events takes its toll, as well as leaving what it has owed. Unfortunately, I believe it is now in arrears in the extreme. There can be no 'check in the mail' and the tab is running excessively high. To bring tomorrow and transpose it with today or yesterday, would serve as a solution within itself. This terrible oversimplification cannot solve the conundrum of the present, and will not allow the truism of time to become any less of a hindrance to a polytheistic murderer.

'...it's so enormously frightening when our tail reaches Superheat'

Somehow, I fail to understand how the above statements can be of assistance to our author's toilsome existence within the www. Two years ago, at the hopeful outset of this grand complication of thought, I believed in a flourishing future of fame and fortune (or fortune and glory, as it were), and the stark, shimmering reality within which this entry into that which cannot be seen now spends its repose, has become timeworn to put it mildly. At their peak, my ramblings were followed only by a handful, and now merely by the blackened cloak of endless boredom and severe stagnation. From the lush, white mountains of glory and promise, we have now plummeted to the foggy, dreary trenches of despair (on the web, anyway).




04/06/04

"And again. How many more days? Who is to know. A distinct loss of direction, a well-placed assistant, two moons and the dawn arriveth. How? Again, who is to know? So much time burned away, so many episodes of study and subsequent confusion. Learned minds might propose a simple solution of pushing forward into the unknown, and the possibility of perfection. Unfortunately, I doubt it exists.

pentagram3


A killer of time. A killer of... time. Somehow, this maniacal figure that transcends us and the space within which we spin our tales has the unfathomable capability to twist reason beyond rational thought, and even beyond comprehension by the mind. It is at this moment that those of us sharing in the epic lineage of brightness and wealthy constitution shall press themselves into shapes unknown, and begin to forge the future that must be. For all time we can endure and place ourselves, rightfully, above and beyond the detritus which we currently grade aside. Let us hear the call of the night, and recognize the demigod of our future.

The detritus has destroyed, weakened and wasted the bounty which has so beautifully been created by those beyond. The infestation must end. To quote the pen of someone within understanding of our dire situation:

'It's sad that, in our blindness we gather thorns for flowers'

For something so horrific as time, it is amazing that there are endless illusions and writings and humorous tales of that killer being known as a friend. With no more sense than the single-celled, the detritus continues to plod along utilizing pedantic foolery in order to entertain. The value of such is nil. In fact, the wheels should grind along through with nary a second glance or thought. The fatal truth is not for the timid, and as a result, the timid will remain in the darkest of places, unknowing and unending. Total darkness, to be sure.

Is anyone listening? I doubt such. I also doubt the collective minds of the flotsam can purport to comprehend. Just listen to this: further yourselves in the manner you know, for the end will be unforgiving, and to concern over it will create discomfort from the core of all. A brief glance upward, and all is gone."




05-10-04

A bit of color for awhile. Nice, don't you think? The rest of the site is currently being revamped to flow with the index you now see. This will take some time, but should prove lovely in the end. The story of Chrystal will continue within the month. Stay tuned for some content.

rose





06-02-04

More changes to the index now. The Trailer Design link has returned, and the quote rotated once more. The title is tentative, and we'll see if it becomes an appropriate representative of the content.




06-12-04

So...here we are yet a third time. A fanfare for the common webmaster. Heh. I have to admit that we just can't seem to get the ball rolling. A glass of the substitute-foggy-blue doesn't seem to crutch like the way of old. The days of wine and dead roses are long behind us, and this is very, very good. A lack of writing flow traded for happiness and prosperity anytime. What a deal.

The lack of discernable content and reason here is a result of redirected attention on my part. I can see that when 2003 reached the eyes, it was ugly, convoluted and extremely dismal. As a result, the flow was good (as it always is when littered with slime) but the message was anything but. Now that the mood of light has returned, the mood for scripting and creation seems to be absent. The bleach box of 2004 is fresh and clean and ready for habitation by our author.


monaco night


After due consideration for the comfort of others, the darker theme will go the way of the dodo. This is going to take a tractor load of time, and considering we are in the middle of camping season this means my weekends are dedicated to the best people on earth and then the sun, in that order. This will not change until possibly a slight dry spell after Thanksgiving weekend when we must subsequently sleep off the season. We'll see how the winter nap goes.

At this point in time, I feel I must give a nod to Vegas for reasons explained previously in excruciating detail. Sin City has been a place of freedom, escape, and unbelievable comfort and isolation. The ever-present therapeutic atmosphere that flows freely and beautifully from the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard cannot be demeaned nor will it be spoken of without respect. I can say, with complete honesty, that town so lovingly placed in the desert is a haven for those of us who seek to juxtapose real life with a delicious fabrication. And I mean delicious. The surreal combination of cuisine, alcohol and personality of staff is unparalleled anywhere else in society. Sift in a helping of atmosphere and the resulting mix becomes paradise at 110 degrees. Such an unbelievable ambiance they create. It has been several months, but I can still feel the powerful draw of Vegas and its embrace that I so loved. The pyramid of security and anonymity, the saviour of the sphinx, the unending cycle of courtesy and kindness and fluidity of service; these aspects of the south Strip have enabled me to realize the quality and importance of Sin City and its place in life.





06-16-04

Flying projectiles, confusing data, and the lovely smell of hydrogen sulfide can only mean one thing: A continuance of the days of past. Very nice. Far too much time for thought was, in recent times, a complex maze of perplexing half-truths and flotsam of the mind. Now, however, it has been redirected into the Skyy of lights. Ahhh...the niceties of the passage of time.

The next several weeks will doubtless prove to support the unrelenting truth of light we have so studiously carried like a cross of life. The past weeks have disappeared into the mists of the prophetic forests of the spinning hands of the clock, and they continue to build within memory to create a fantastic tapestry of joy. Convoluted? Just wait.

oceanographic museum


Wouldn't it be nice to be floating in that lovely picture? I think so as well.

Mercy, but Monaco is beautiful.




07-13-04

A service note before the update that is so long overdue. For the past couple of years, or at least since purchasing this PC on which I now write, I have been seeking Worldcraft 1.6a - the full retail version of this software. It is an older editing program for Quake and Quake II. The company which initially produced Worldcraft, ACD Systems, has long since been acquired by Valve Software and all subsequent info and support has gone the way of the Dodo.

worldcraft logo


Many versions of this program were produced from 1996 to around the middle of 1998, and it then went through a restructuring phase and came out the other side as an editor for Half Life. It is now into version 3.4 Beta and has lost its original Quake roots (the game is over 8 years old, after all). The latest version to function as a Quake editor was 1.6a and was sold retail for only a very short time. So much time has passed since then, in fact, that the full version seems to have vanished, and the differences between the shareware and registered software are significant.

I am currently building an older PC, utilizing Windows 95 and DOS 6.2 for the benefit of only 3 programs. Two of these are Worldcraft and GLQuake. I realize that times in the gaming industry have changed in the extreme, but the fact of the matter is the original Open GL upgrade from Quake 1.08 is fantastic, and to couple that with the flexibility of Worldcraft (not to mention that at this moment I have in excess of twenty extensive maps that I have built within the WC shareware) creates a wonderfully immersive gaming environment. It would seem there is no limit within that universe.

So, if anyone comes across this note and knows where I can get my paws on WC 1.6a, please let me know. I would be grateful...and willing to pay.

On with the update...

mozilla logo


The index is going to stay colorful, but the remainder of the site content is not going to change. There is simply too much workmanship in it to just toss the theme and layout to the wind. As the newer content from the index makes its way into the archive, however, it will retain its theme in order to more fluidly transfer from here to there.

The Escort section is new, and will gradually expand as I gain more images and fill in the blanks about all of the work that has recently been done. The Squishy section is also improving, as much work has been completed and advanced since the last writing of that big baby. The weekends continue to be occupied out of town, and work is steady so changes will be slow.




07-27-04

A bit of an opinion and analysis of 'Solaris', a film released in the US in the fall of 2002. These passages were written by other users, but are very poignant nonetheless. Enjoy.

Subconsciously humans have come to the following conclusion (whether you consciously believe it or not is irrelevant to its truth): we will continue to exist after our death in some sort of reality. Given that truth. The human soul wants to know one thing and only one thing about the next reality. Will we have a SOUL MATE when we get there? What's the point of transcending to the next plane of existence if when we get there we are alone? In my opinion I would not want to exist without a soul mate...

Does the movie answer this question? All it says is someone will be waiting for you. If that person is really your soul mate, or a false mate is undetermined. The fact that there might not be a soul mate waiting for me scares the hell out of me, and it should scare the hell out of you! Let's all pray there is one, now and often because all the writing on the wall suggests were going to find out soon.

[edit]
I have thought about it some more and come up with following addition.
If we are exploring these themes in our collective unconscious and they are translated into the waking world via movies, etc., then the following could be the answer to the question of whether or not we have a soul mate.

Hitchhikers say the magic number is 42.
21 grams indicates that is the weight of a soul.

One might infer that this implies our individual souls are half of the equation. That it takes 2 souls (i.e. soul mates ) to come to the correct answer. Thus the greatest question ever posed has been answered. The glass is half FULL.


I watched Solaris fully aware that it was a love story. I thought it was an amazing film - both profound and moving - but the one thing that stopped the film from being one of my all time favorites was the moment Chris (Clooney) sent away Rheya (McElhone). This character is in misery, mourning the love of his life, yet he wakes to find her and, terrified, sends her away to what is in theory her death. It's a contradiction so great to the content from the rest of the film that I found it impossible to accept. A man loses his soul mate and is left broken forever, then he wakes to find her holding him. A little spooky, but he would quickly overcome this shock and embrace her, it's such a shame.
This film still touched me deeply, especially the ending and the moment Chris first sees her on the train. The acting, direction and music in that scene came together to make it one of the most amazing moments in film i've ever seen, and for that I'm truly grateful that I was able to experience this film.





08-23-04

Still no decent title image, and so the www.knibbet.com sits up there waiting to be replaced. One of these lovely days the inspiration will find its way into my head and another image will appear shortly thereafter. Until then, however, it remains.

On a positive note, I finally found the registered version of Worldcraft and construction of the 1997 gaming machine has begun. It is a Pentium II motherboard running at 266MHz, with no less than three (!) video cards to handle the 2D and 3D operations. This is unheard of in today's computing world, but in '97 it was pretty trick. The PC will be connected (through a KVM switch) to the mouse, keyboard and monitor which this Compaq is currently using, and I am fabricating a mounting system out of aluminum so as to minimize the space the new computer will occupy. Since I intend to utilize a remote power supply and ducted cooling, I will post pictures as the build progresses since it may be difficult to describe. There will be no conventional 'case', but more of a stacked set of drives under an aluminum plate on which the motherboard and associated cards rest. Might prove very pretty.

There is a new section growing out of the pictures of the AVGR at which I work. This section will be a photo tour and detailed description of the operation of the light gas gun and associated equipment. Some people are very interested in the work at that facility, and so I will attempt to provide some insight into the range.

There have also been changes in the archive that is made available for the viewing public. Several months of updates between 7/03 and 11/03 have been removed as they no longer reflect the direction of this content.




09/11/04

In remembrance...

eagle





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