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In no particular order:

1. Vampires Live. This free app is a silly little Vampire game, but it's fun. If you have it, join my clan: Code is 2R3MV.

2. Shakespeare. Another free app, this one has the full text of all of Shakespeare's plays and all the sonnets, plus a few other odds and ends. Nicely formatted for the screen. An English teacher's dream for those quick lookups, should you need them, and if not, it's a nice little novelty.

3. YELP. I have some issues with the YELP! app, but as free apps go, it's a fairly good one. I just wish I could expand the field of search on the map like I can with the built-in Maps application. Nice to see what's available if you need it.

4. I.TV. Another freebie. Get a free I.TV account, and you get a tv guide that can give you the listings for anywhere you happen to be, or anywhere else, for that matter (if you're travelling, say). It can link to both your Netflix queue, allowing you to add and delete items to both your DVD and Streaming queues, and it can tell your TiVo at home to record something with a touch of a button. It's nifty. It can also look up local theatre times and add movies on the Theatrical Release list to your Netflix queue.

5. Pride and Prejudice> I have two versions of this, both containing the full and unadulterated text. Does it replace books? No, and it would be nicer on a Kindle, but it's handy when I'm waiting in a long line or bored during a prep period and want a quick fix of Austen. The company does a lot of these Public Domain novels, all of them either free or very cheap.

6. Smule Ocarina: Awesome. You can either play the Ocarina (lots of music available online) or listen to others around the world.

7. Flixster. Yet another free app (can you smell a theme?), this one allows you to see what movies are coming out and watch trailers for them, read user reviews, see the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate score, and read critic reviews from various newspapers. You can also get local movie times by theater, which can link you to the other information. About the only thing you CAN'T do is order tickets. I'm sure that will come.

8. If you have a Mac, and you don't have a Mac remote but you DO have an iPhone or iTouch, you can get Remote, a nice little app that becomes your computer's remote. There are various programs that do the same thing; this one was chosen because it was (I think) free.

9. RemotePad is a nice tool for teachers; it basically turns your iPhone or iTouch into your computer's touchpad. This will allow me to walk around the room while still demo'ing how to use the website I'm referring students to, or controlling my PowerPoint show, or what-have-you. Also useful if you've hooked your mac up to your TV (as we do sometimes) to control YouTube or other programs.

10. Spellbook: A D&D program, this holds ALL the 3.0/3.5 spells (full text) in a very nice package it is easy to use. I'm updating it slowly to Pathfinder spells (most of which are the same); once I've done that (probably won't be done until after the final version of Pathfinder is released in August) I'll make the library file available to others.
johnstonmr: (Default)
These aren't just "moments I like", they are moments that make me actually giddy and thrilled, like that six year-old kid I was the first time I saw Star Wars.

In no particular order:

1. The opening crawl of any (yes, any) Star Wars movie.
2. The sight of the Millenium Falcon in flight.
3. The Battle of Helm's Deep in LoTR: The Two Towers
4. The Battle of Pellenor Fields in LoTR: Return of the King
6. Lawrence and his army riding into battle in Lawrence of Arabia
7. "I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
8. The moment Lucy Muir dies in The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
9. The last scene of Zhang Yimou's To Live
10. The fight in Moria just before Gandalf dies in LoTR: The Fellowship of the Ring
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... and probably don't care about. As usual, these are in no particular order.

Clarifications/explanations provided on request.

1. I shower twice a day: In the morning and before bed. I hate going to bed without a shower.

2. Though I like happy endings as much as the next American, I tend to prefer films and books where heartache figures prominently in the ending more. Not "sad endings", per se, but where things aren't shiny golden. A good example would be the end of The Mageborn Traitor or Ran.

3. I meditate with a candle flame. I don't do it often, but when I don't have any candles in the house at all, I'm a little antsy about it. I loathe candles I can't light if I want to (purely decorative candles).

4. When I was a teenager, the only punishment my aunt could lay on me that actually did anything was to forbid me pleasure reading. If I couldn't prove it was required school reading (which meant a note from my English teacher), I couldn't read it.

5. I think Johnny Depp's Nick of Time is a very underrated movie.

6. People who say TV ruins your brain, period, get my immediate scorn.

7. There's a lot of things I never say because, while I think there is some merit in being honest, I also think there is some merit in not pissing people off unnecessarily.

8. I plan to earn my SCUBA certification before I'm 40.

9. I loathe the work of Edmund Spenser.

10. While there are no people I dislike who think I like them, there are definitely some people who don't know how much I like them.
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1. I find new LJ communities by looking at the communities my Friendslisters are in. Rarely do I muster the energy to seek any out.
2. I was born blonde, and had bright platinum hair until I was 14, when it turned the current shade of brown.
3. Until just a few years ago, I regularly dyed it black. The only reason I don't anymore is that it's too much bother.
4. The fact that the reality of love and the literary descriptions of love don't match is something my mind continues to complain about in the quiet moments.
5. I often just sit and let my mind flow where it will. Some of my best ideas come from those moments.
6. I love the quiet of being alone.
7. Loud people piss me off even if I like them just by the volume.
8. I hate my voice; there's a burr in it that bugs the crap out of me. I often try to mitigate it, but it's useless.
9. The touch of others is actually painful to me sometimes.
10. I was bored and had to type something, so you got this crap.
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1. Too many otherwise good books are being published with crappy titles. The title is not an add-on, folks. It's a part of the story. An evocative title can sell a book. A crappy title can leave a good book on the shelves.

2. Too many Star Trek novels. Blech.

3. Author's names should never be bigger than the title, I don't care who they are. I know the Author is what sells many books -- I, who follow several authors like others follow sports stars, understand this -- but it's still ugly and stupid, IMO.

4. Too many mediocre books are flooding the market. Crap fantasy is at an all-time high, crap SF is just behind it. Now, admittedly, Sturgeon's Law says the same thing is happening in other genres, but let's face it, other than a few authors, I don't follow other genres much.

5. Too many idiots still see the genre as kid's stuff. This is galling. Recently I was accosted at work while trying to peacefully read through lunch by some woman who haughtily informed me that she used to read SF, but then grew up. Her supervisor (currently reading Return of the King) and I shared a tolerantly annoyed look and went back to reading.

6. Too many of the classics of SF publishing are now out-of-print.

7. Too many cover artists are still painting covers that have little to no relevance to the story inside.

8. Robert Jordan is still writing and being published.

9. I've yet to finish a story.

10. It still pays less than professional sports. ;)
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1. Books (Fiction)
2. Science Fiction
3. Bagel Bites
4. French Bread Pizza
5. Cats
6. Movies
7. The Ocean
8. RolePlaying Games
9. My sisters
10. Friends
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1. Kul Wahad (cull wuh-HAWD, "I am impressed", Dune)
2. Shock! (replacement for "Shit!","Damn!", etc., Spider-Man 2099)
3. Frell (replacement for that other F-word, Farscape, this also includes derivatives such as "Frelling Dren!")
4. Hez'mana ("hell", Farscape
5. Kaidth (replacement for "Crap!", from my own writing)
6. Makh'ta ("idiot", from my own writing)
7. "Shaka, when the walls fell" (failure, from ST: TNG, "Darmok")
8. "Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and ... (insert whatever here) (From The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
9. "I like Andromeda, dammit!" (And yes, it IS a good show, so get off my ass about it, o-people-who-never-watch-it-but-feel-qualified-to-comment.)
10. "I love you, Bialar Crais!" (general Fanboy praise for Lani Tupu and his character, Farscape)
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johnstonmr: (Default)
1. Living in Midtown
2. Starbase Cosgrove when it was fun
3. Regular RPG nights where I was a player
4. Justin Ellis - Artist, friend, and the only person I know who could teach me some things I wish to learn.
5. Being thin (ok, I can get this one back)
6. The carefree feeling I had between the ages of 23-25
7. Good popular music
8. My sisters thought I was cool.
9. Still being able to relate to teenagers
10. Good Vampire LARPs
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10 Things I'd Take to a Desert Island Self-Exile

(excluding survival stuff

As always, in no particular order:

1. Dragonriders of Pern - Comfort Book #1
2. My violin -- I'd finally have time to practice.
3. The Lord of the Rings
4. The entire Chung Kuo saga. (Excellent books. Read them.)
5. Twilight in the Forbidden City - a history of the Emperor Pu Yi
6. Shakespeare's Complete Works
7. A simple iron ring that my grandmother owned
8. My collection of toy spaceships (blush)
9. My box of ritual supplies.
10. Jumper, by Steven Gould
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johnstonmr: (Default)
In no particular order:

1. Lord of the Rings. Tonight. BOUNCIEBOUNCIEBOUNCIEBOUNCE!
2. Vamp LARP.
3. Moulin Rouge on DVD
4. Christmas Morning
5. The Next Big Event in my Star Wars game
6. Star Wars Episode II
7. The next Arcanum plot
8. Big battle against Cylons tomorrow
9. The next 7th Sea session
10. [CENSORED]
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johnstonmr: (Default)
A list, in no particular order, as they come off my head...

1. Wind buffeting my body
2. The smell of the ocean
3. The San Francisco skyline
4. My sisters
5. Sunlight on a leaf
6. Music (certain kinds)
7. Kittens
8. A really good RPG session
9. A good joke
10. A warm bowl of Split Pea soup on a rainy day

Now. That list came out in literally 30 seconds. And I've got lots more. Can you do it?

Write a comment telling me 10 things that make you happy. Take no more than 30 seconds to do so (don't lie -- I'll know.) Don't worry about being silly, don't worry about appeasing your friends, your family, or your lover(s). Just be honest.
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johnstonmr: (Default)
10. See my friends more, not refuse invitations so often.

9. Spend more time with my reading.

8. See my sisters more often.

7. Stop slacking off on my exercises

6. Read Brian's log more often. (It helps to keep UTD on friends, especially when I can't see him often since he insists on living 3000 miles away!)

5. Send Chris the damned books I promised him so I'll stop feeling guilty. My gods, it's been TWO YEARS.

4. Spend a little more time alone doing things I love (such as visiting my City)instead of sitting at home online. Good Solitude, as opposed to Bad Solitude. Sometimes I just like to do stuff alone.

3. See more Matinees.

2. Stop associating so much with people who piss me off every time I see them.

1. Stop being so damned nostalgic about the Past. It Was. It isn't now.
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1) "It could be worse."
2) "eh."
3) "Anyway"
4) >Any choice expletive<
5) "Anata ga no yo na doibutsu yarimasu ga shitai desu!"
6) "Shut up."
7) "Bite my shiny metal ass!"
8) "I don't care"
9) "So, on , I was..." (In the same manner as "One time? At Band Camp ..."
10) "Mike, if you buy that, I'll kill you."
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Not all of these are happy, but they're lines from books, television, and movies that always make me smile, or laugh, or bring back the memory of that phrase... they're moments of beauty I appreciate even when they've been removed from their context.

If you've not read the books, or watched the shows, there may be minor (and in one case, major) spoilers. Be warned.

In the order they came to me...

1. Now get the hell out of our galaxy! - John Sheridan, Babylon 5: "Into the Fire"

2. "No, your highness. (pause) I am a Jedi, like my father before me." - Luke Skywalker, "Return of the Jedi"

3. "... But I am still Centauri, and I am not afraid." - The Regent, Babylon 5: "The Fall of Centauri Prime"

4. It took Andry five days to die. - Skybowl, by Melanie Rawn

5. "And that day dawned when Arakkis stood at the center of the Universe, with the wheel poised to spin." - Dune, Frank Herbert

6. "You're thinking I'm the Kwisatz Haderach... put that out of your mind. I'm something completely unexpected." - Paul Atreides, Dune

7. In response to the question of whether or not he has a rather large collection of illegal Morganti daggers"Do I? I don't know. I shall have to ask my chief of security; it is rather a largecastle." - Morrollan e'Drien, in Dragon (The SiL-West game, not the book, and I was playing him at the time. Bite me! The line makes me remember the best damned LARP I ever played in, and where I met some ultra-cool people!)

8. Don't leave me alone/A cry in the night/A cry full of fear/Of Soul-killing fright/Live for my living/Or else I must die/Don't leave me alone!/A world heard that cry - A song by Menolly, in Dragonquest by Anne McCafrey

9. "... One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the Darkness bind them." - The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien

10. "You have the opportunity, here and now, to choose. To become something greater ... nobler... more difficult than you have been before. The Universe does not offer such chances often, G'kar." - Said to G'kar, Babylon 5: "Dust to Dust"

Ok, the assessor's office just answered the phone, finally. Bye!
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1. People who use words like "per se", or "apropos", but cannot spell them correctly. If you're going to say "per se" in an attempt to sound educated, don't spell it "persay."

2. People who try to excuse their poor spelling skills by calling me a "spelling nazi." Let me clear something up for you: The Nazis engaged in systematic murder of an entire people. All I'm asking you to do is learn to spell, or at least use a damned spellchecker. Typos are one thing. A constant inability to spell simple words is another thing entirely.

3. People (friends, mostly) who assume that if I'm going to do something, I'll want them along. "Give me a call if there's any kind of gathering happening" translates into Michael-speak as "Call me if you feel like it." I do many things. Sometimes I only want to hang out with some people, and you're not one of them. Get over it. Find other people to hang out with. But DON'T try to throw guilt at me. I have no guilt -- if you lack social interaction other than with me, that's your fault and problem, not mine.

4) People who ask me "Did you see that?" in the movies. No, I paid $8.50 to stare at the floor, you waste of DNA.

5) People who think they're open minded, but aren't. Sure, everyone has something they don't like... but some just HAVE to tell us all why we're stupid or something because we don't agree.

6) My neighbours.

7) Anyone who whines and whines and whines, then bitches and moans, about a particular problem, until I'm sick to death of hearing about it -- but absolutely refuses to do anything about it. I just want to shake them and say "SHUT UP and DO something about it!" So consider it done.

8) Complete strangers asking me why I'm upset. If I wanted you to know, I'd wear a sign, buddy.

9) People who point to their wrists when they ask me what time it is. I know where my watch is, asshole. Where's yours?

10) People who leave more than one message on my machine, specifically several "Just calling to see if you're home yet" messages. If I haven't returned your call, either I haven't gotten home yet or I just don't want to talk to you. Whichever of those it is, is my business, not yours.
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August 2017

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