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Posted 2 February 2003, 11.23 pm by firebrand

That's right, The Parking Lot is Full

one of them patently offensive webcomics (it is now dead) but damn, some of the early ones are great.

"Postcards from Hell"
"Quiet Ambition"
and "Anubis" are my favorites.

Case Modding On A Budget

Posted 2 February 2003, 11.18 pm by Unforgiven

Because we can't all afford a case fan with 3 LEDs in it.

Fat of the Land

Posted 2 February 2003, 8.30 pm by firebrand

25% of all Americans are obese. 57% are sheerly "overweight." Fifty-seven percent.

The U.S. is slowly choking to death on its own fat. Everywhere you look, there are diet books and magazines exhorting the average American to lose weight. "You don't look like Tyra Banks," they whisper, "there must be something terribly wrong with you." Even though American royalty is still as thin and beautiful as ever, the rest of us just keep turning into blobs with legs.

The entirety of American culture is geared towards obesity. Bigger equals better, right? Who wants the Civic Hatchback of burgers when you can have a Cadillac. Besides, you're not fat.

At least, you don't realize that you're part of that 57% until your favorite store doesn't carry that shirt in your size (XL) or you have to work pretty damn hard to zip that pair of pants over your bulbous gut.

Suddenly, you're a member of a group that has more health problems than any other, except perhaps the elderly) - high blood pressure, diabetes, reproductive cancers, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, the chilling tendency to lose peanut butter sandwiches in the folds of your body. But, there's always someone telling you it's not your fault - evil McDonald's made you fat, our car-dependent nation has made you fat, or your genes have made you fat.

You'll stand in front of the mirror and poke at your squishy thighs, your rounded belly, and your underarm flab. And you won't be alone. 5.7 out of 10 people that read this article will be right there with you. Including me.

And deep inside, you know the solution. Now, you just have to fix the problem.

Singing In The Rain

Posted 2 February 2003, 6.16 pm by Villager

I love the rain. I realise how clichéd and frequently employed that sentiment is, but I really do. For a long time, I could never explain to myself why, exactly, I just knew that it made me feel good to see it or to be outside in it. Of the various weather features, rain is unique in evoking consistently positive feelings in me. I despise heat and wind (in it's various forms), and snow only looks pretty - it's a damned nuisance when it makes the paths icy and hinders traffic. Fog is dangerous and hail hurts like a bitch. Is that everything? Rain, on the other hand, is a completely different animal. Sure, it can cause the occasional flood and drowning, but I've never been affected by such things.

There's something almost romantic about peering out of your window from the safety of a warm room, and seeing an urban landscape blanketed by a silent shower, something appealing about the effect that simple water drops have on us humans. We hate getting wet, so we scurry about, protected by our waterproof clothing and our fashionable umbrellas, almost as if we are not allowed to be outside when it's raining. Rain makes people miserable. The sky is (usually) grey and nobody likes being wet when they don't have a choice in the matter. Rain, the scourge of the urban masses, you are my friend. Sure, it might not be as clean as it once was, but that doesn't detract from the inherent gratification felt when I tilt my face up to the sky and invite the tiny drops of water to dance upon my skin.

When I look out my window and it's raining, I don't see endless, modern housing and industry, I see a miniature army of clear, pure drops of water persistently assaulting the constructed landscape, slowly corroding, the most advanced constructions gradually being defeated by the simplest of enemies. Sure, we may be long gone before human construct in our time is worn down to the ground where it belongs, once more, but one cannot help but feel a profound sense of inescapable impermanence. Before long, I will die, as will you. Shortly after that, the human race will cease to be. Then in peace and at total leisure can the rain go about washing away every last trace of our stay here.


Posted 1 February 2003, 6.02 pm by Jake

There was a knock at the door. Of all the places she wanted him to be, she didn’t expect him to show up at her door at 3:30 a.m. Peering through the eyehole at the figure slumped against her door, she gasped and flung it open. There was blood running down the jamb from where he was leaning, and the doorknob was coated in shining crimson. He looked at her plaintively and fell to the ground.

When he came to, he was lying on her bed on a mass of towels. His head was pounding. He groaned, tried to open his eyes and focus, but everything was too blurry. The sun glared blindingly through the window. His ribs were hurting. Peering down, he noticed red-soaked bandages pasted to his side and chest. “Ugh.”
He squinted and tried to focus again, unsuccessfully. She came padding into the room, looked at him stirring, and said. “Hey. What the hell happened to you? I was so worried, and then you showed up here an….oh, let me close these blinds!” She dashed over to the window and pulled the rod, drawing the blinds shut. He looked at her, blinked a few times, and everything finally came into focus. She was beautiful. She had long, black hair and light skin. He wondered who she was.

“How….how in the hell did I get here?” he asked.
“I don’t know, baby. I was sleeping, heard a knock at the door, and there you were. Bleeding all over my damned front step. What happened?”
“Baby? Did you just call me ‘baby’?”He blinked.”Who are you? And what am I doing here?”
“Oh shit. You don’t remember anything at all, do you?”
“Obviously not, goddamn it. Now who are you?”
“I’m your fucking fiancee, you dumb twat. And I was worried about you all night. You took off after coming in from work, you were completely pissed off. I didn’t know what to do, so I left you to your own devices.”
She picked up a pack of cigarettes off of the table, drew one out, and tossed it to him. He caught it and glanced over at the bedside table, picking up a box of matches. He lit the cigarette, took a few puffs, and tried to concentrate. He couldn’t.
“I…do you remember where I said I was going?”
“Of course not. You never told me.”
“Fuck. Well, I…” There was another knock at the door.

She looked up for a second, and the knock came again, louder this time. “Who is it?” she yelled.
A gruff voice loudly responded.“It’s the police. We need to talk to you for a second.” She looked over at her fiancee, who had a puzzled look on his face. She sighed and said, “Honey, maybe you’d better stay back here. I’ll go talk to them.” He nodded and watched her walk out of the bedroom, quietly shutting the door behind her.

She took a quick glance through the eyehole at the man standing outside her apartment. He was a tall black man in a trenchcoat. She opened the door. “Hi, can I help you?”
“Hopefully so, ma’am. I’m Detective Denman. There was an incident last night downtown involving a man that we think you know something about. We have reason to believe that you might be harboring him. Is there any chance that he might be about?”
She licked her lips nervously, and looked the man square in the eyes. “No sir, there’s nobody here besides me. What happened? Should I be concerned?”
“Yes ma’am.” The man stared at her for a second, narrowed his eyes and said, “There was a particularly violent gunfight between the man I mentioned as well as several others. The ‘others’ in question were an influential group of businessmen who may have ties with a crime syndicate. Tell me, ma’am, have you heard of Paulo Mordino?”

She thought for a second. No shit. Paulo. Her fiancee’s business partner. “Yes sir. He’s the head of New Wave Media Corporation, isn’t he? I’ve seen quite a bit about him in the news lately.”
“Well, ma’am, he’s dead. Recently, we found out that he had some bad dealings with a crew of particularly nasty investors, and that they had plans to have him taken care of, if you get what I’m saying. The man that we mentioned earlier? The one that we assumed that you knew? He was hired to kill Mr. Mordino. And obviously he took good care of it.”
Oh my God. “Are you serious? I had no clue….”
“Yes. And we’d like to have a few words with you down at the station.” She looked over his shoulder for a second, out at the parking lot for some sort of police vehicle. Nothing in sight. Not even an unmarked car.
“Do you have any proof of identification, Detective?”
“Uh…no ma’am, it’s not necessary. We just need you for a few minutes of interrogation.”
“Are you really a cop?”
“Yes ma’am. Dare you question my authority? Besides, why would I lie about that? It’s a Federal offense to impersonate an officer of the law.” He grinned, revealing his white teeth.
She began to get nervous. “Listen. Come back with some ID or paperwork or something and then I’ll go. Until then, you’re shit out of luck.” She wheeled around to go back inside the house when the man snatched her by the hair and shoved her through the doorway. He threw her face-down to the hardwood floor and pulled out a pistol. “Now. I’m going to ask you again, bitch. Where’s your man?” She looked up at him and wiped the blood from her lip. “I said he’s not here. You didn’t catch that the first time, asshole?”
“Wrong answer.” He smacked her over the head with the butt of the gun, and she fell into unconciousness.

When she came to, she was totally disoriented and lying on the ground. She felt something heavy in her hand. Looking down at what was in the palm of her hand, she gasped. It was a gun. She turned over and tried to adjust her eyes to her surroundings. She didn’t know where she was, except for on the floor of someone’s apartment. There was a streak of blood trailing from right beside her all the way into the hallway. She blinked and lay there for a while, trying to get it together. Finally she worked her way back up on her feet, and wobbled slightly. She caught herself on the edge of the dinnertable. Her head was pounding, and a constant ringing plagued her eardrums. Staggering, she made her way following the trail of blood, gun in hand, all the way back to the bedroom. The door was slightly cracked open, and a single bloody, smeared handprint stood out against the white paint. She inhaled deeply and pushed the door open.

The walls were spattered with blood. A tall black man lay dead on the floor, several gunshot wounds to the back of the head. That’s where the trail ended. Remembering the presence of someone….of something, she looked up to the bed. Lying there, in a Christlike pose, was a dead man with a gigantic spatter of blood on the wall, surrounding his head. A single golden ring with a diamond on it glistened on his left ring finger. Looking down at her own hand, she saw the same ring. She realized what she had done. Her eyes widened, and she began to wail uncontrollably. She looked at the gun in her hand, at the blood on her sweater, and began to scream. She fell to her knees and curled up, screaming and wailing, until the police finally came.

Just staring into the abyss gets boring after a time.

Posted 31 January 2003, 4.17 am by The_Roach

I've never been more terrified in my life. Not twenty feet from where I stand writing I can see an enormous display giving information on various charitable organizations. Drug rehabilitation, educational and literacy programs, that sort of thing. It's a little odd because this is an affluent part of town, generally speaking. Even so, this shouldn't be some horror-inducing spectacle... but it is.

The display is constructed out of particle board, but has been covered in a rosewood veneer to give it more credibility. They'll need a shitload more than it's giving off in order to convince me of any good deeds being handed out, however. I know what's on the other side of this display, the side I can't see from this vantage: over fifty-five framed photographs of L. Ron Hubbard.

. . . .

Oh shit... one of them has caught my eye. They want me to take "the tour". In the spirit of journalistic enterprise and out of a downright morbid sense of curiousity (I could be a fucking Lovecraftian hero in this scenario), I'm going to accept it.

My tour guide's name is Linda. She's wearing a button-up sweater and has a gold pin that reads "Friends of Ron". I introduce myself as David, and the tour begins. We start with a brief amount of general chit-chat where she explains that she and all the people who are there with her today giving tours think that the late Mr. Hubbard was just a "super guy".

As we pass along the first row of photographs, I learn fascinating bits of information. He was able to ride a horse and was an avid reader by age three. He was not only the youngest person ever to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America, but he'd managed to do it in an astounding 75 days.

This woman is talking to me like I'm a 4 year-old, and this is Sesame Street or maybe Ron and the Big Blue House. She has astonishingly good eye contact or they've completely glazed over in the light and the glory of LRH. Either way, it's creeping me the fuck out.

. . . .

"I think at the moment this--the organization, the cult-- is in the hands of the most fanatical followers, adherents of Mr. Hubbard, who you could equate with the, the followers of Ayatollah Khomeini." - Omar Gooding, author of The Hidden Story of Scientology, 60 Minutes, December 22, 1985

. . . .

Linda and I continue on, covering this great man's deeds, including his admission into The Explorer's society and a tour of Alaska in which he not only carried Explorer Society's flag 105 into the northern frontier, but was commisioned by the United States government to map out the western coast, a deed that quite possibly saved the lives of thousands of sailors on trade ships.

Some woman with the organization is taking photographs of us talking, and this is only increasing my discomfort. I'm not generally a paranoid person but these assholes could already have a profile on me, and that just doesn't sit well at all. I grit my teeth and continue to smile and nod as Linda describes the injuries that Ron had recieved in World War II which blinded and crippled him and forced him to a hospital in Oakland, placed on inactive duty. It was there that he first put to use his theory of mind over matter not only curing himself of all ailments, but roughly one hundred other patients there, allowing him to return to active duty in 1949.

It was at this point that L. Ron Hubbard realized what incredible potential his discovery had and what a wonderous gift he would be able to bestow upon the world. Linda explains how he spent several years in California talking with various people who were experimenting with self-power in an attempt to further his concept.

"People like Jack Parsons," I say.

. . . .

John Whiteside Parsons, also known as "Jack" was a rocket engineer who had an infatuation with Aleister Crowley. In 1946, with guidance by one L. Ron Hubbard, Parsons undertook a magickal experiment known as the "Babalon working". A complex ritual, it involved unusual (for the time) sexual activity as well as more violent behavior. It also induced hallucinations in Parsons and, ultimately, destroyed his life as Hubbard ran away from the mansion in Orange County, stealing Parson's yacht, wife, and a considerable amount of money in the process. For a more in-depth account, see Sex and Rockets, The Occult world of Jack Parsons

. . . .

"Yes! People like Jack Parsons," Linda replies.

I proceed to tell her the story of Parsons and Hubbard and... wait a second... did she just blink? I don't think she's done that the entire twenty minutes we've been talking. She doesn't seem terribly pleased at the accusation that her "super guy" was a thief and a liar, but she's handling it well, even laughing about it. I'm laughing too, but it's all on the inside.

It's so satisfying, in fact, that I wonder why I hesitated to point out some of the other, more blatant mistruths that had been placed before me. Maybe next time. Now that the little joke is over, I tip my hand a bit and inform her that I actually know a considerable amount about Hubbard already, that this was more to get the point of view of the Church of Scientology.

I think I've said a dirty word.

"I feel that I should, at this time, point out that this tour is being managed by 'Friends of L. Ron Hubbard', a not for profit organization unaffiliated with the Church of Scientology," Linda says with almost robotic precision shortly before giggling to remind me (and possibly her) that she's human. And we're suddenly back on track, talking about Engrams and the publication of Hubbard's most recognizable book, Dianetics.

Now, we're nearing the end of the tour of LRH's life, covering the years that he was living here in Phoenix (1952-54 assuming anything that's been told to me can be believed, of course). During this time, he gave a series of lectures called, appropriately enough, "The Phoenix Lectures". Linda informs me that if I'm interested in reading them, they'd all been reprinted in Scientology book 80-800... and promptly shuts the fuck up. Big no-no Linda, you're not supposed to talk about the church. You're especially not supposed to talk about the content of church related literature. Tut, tut. It's a minor offense, especially considering the circumstances, and I just nod my head and tell her that I understand completely.

As my joyride through the Wonderful World of Ron comes to it's conclusion, I'm invited to take some literature home with me. I accept a couple of paperbacks, smiling all the way. At the guestbook, I sign "David Robinson" and stare for what seems to be an eternity at the comments line. Not just the blank one, but all the others on the page. Nothing but incredible praise. I'm stymied. I want to write something horrible, profane. I want to put down something that they'd look at and remember.

"I simply don't know how to respond."

. . . .

Hours later... I still don't. These people are not only completely blinded, but it's totally evident to me that it's happening... and there's nothing I can do about it. Maybe I don't want to. Maybe they deserve it. More than likely, I'm just pissed off about being too poor to buy into a faith like these people. Maybe.

The creature Sickan...

Posted 28 January 2003, 8.36 pm by Sickan

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how people look at the creature Sickan, both on the internet and in that thing called real life.

I’ve tried to make people describe me, and both on the ‘net and in real life words like funny, aggressive, control caring and tolerant, came up. Okay these words I can relate to, I mean I can certainly be funny mostly on my own behalf.

Then there is the aggressive part – well that I have to say was more as young Sickan (well younger) back then I guess I had a bit of a tendency to get angry and if pushed far enough even violent. Yeah, okay fair enough, I know that I have been a little bitchy size at one point in my life, and the people who ‘suffered’ my wrath may call me aggressive.

Control… dude!!?!! I guess the aggressive part has been replaced by control of some sort. I tend not to get angry at all anymore, or at least rarely. Again we all have our lines that are not to be crossed. The contrast and the void between the old I and just who I am now has mainly been created by a sense of control.

I don’t need to control situations that does not concern my feelings but as soon as someone is in the powerful position of actually being able to hurt me, I must definitely want to be in control. I assume most people want that. I know that I can never control these situations and if I am concerned that I’m about to be hurt I split. I walk away. I really don’t want to play a game with a person and then discover my feelings are caught in the middle.

This is of course a painful path to tread at times because I rarely dare to take any chances. This is both in my private and social life.

Caring you say. Yeah well I have been kicked many times because I have often used all my resources on other people and their problems, thereby forgetting myself. And mostly I put most other things aside if a friend is in need of my advise, help or is in any other way in agony. I have been awake most nights in times when friends are in trouble, trying to figure out ways of helping them. I simply can’t help but taking their problems on myself.

Or that is I used to take it on myself new … hmm I don’t – it’s not that I don’t love then or worry about them or anything like that, I think I just had had enough at a point, as some of you might remember. At one point you just have had it, everything fades away and the essence of you is exposed and the dagger stabs you right there and everything ends. And so it did for me and my patience.

The lesson I learned has not made me colder than I was ‘before’ it has just taught me that I can’t be there for all of them all the time – try as I might. And there is no force on earth that can make me forget myself again.

Tolerant. Yeah I guess so. Well yeah I know so. Sometimes I kick myself because I just let people do as they want and I never complain even if they are hurting me. I must admit, sadly, I have not yet crawled out of the position I have been in for many years now, that it’s better I take it all upon myself – just to make the lives of others more, what should I call it, simple; and most of all prevent them from getting hurt.
It really suck I mean I really hate that about myself, but there is really not much I can do about it at this point.

Now, I have tried to notice these things about myself and as you can see people have somewhat told me what I already know, but its nice to know that my friends and other creatures of the earth I have met actually notice who I can be or even who I am. I have also heard words like; speedmetalchick, chaotic, impossible and ignorant – oh well you can’t win all the time.

And one thing is sure; there are too many people out there who will judge you by your cover, only talk to you because you are beautiful (if so) and only spend time with you when you shut up…


Alpha and Omega: Beginning and End

Posted 27 January 2003, 6.52 pm by Shaggy

I am tired, and find myself with a severe lack of sleep. Possibly this has something to say about my attention, or even my lucidity, and yet somehow, this does not deter me from spending too much time thinking about matters other than my school (of which I really should spend more attention). I have been thinking, and this is a very dangerous activity of mine, dangerous in many respects.

In being a complex person, there often arises many issues. Of extreme concern is the growing need to be someone else, to allow someone else to take the helms of spirituality, so to speak, and merely float by, as if on a raft. Perhaps it is simply my lack of sleep that makes me yearn for such, maybe it is my inestimatable laziness, perhaps it is my simple, stubborn nature. Truth is, I do not know anything.

I tried to enter into higher learning with the hopes that I would find my holy grail. Not that the lack of such has deterred me from my goals in any manner, but as a person, not as a student, the implications are tremendous. I cannot find even traces of gold that might lead me to this grail. I cannot find the least inkling of my overall purpose. Perhaps I was meant to teach, it might be said, but if this is so, then why do I feel the need to create? It is not unimaginable to have a creative teacher, especially a professor, with many books to his belt, granted (in fact, my American Drama teacher has many books of poetry and play to his belt), but I would only be accepting the position of teacher on a strictly pragmatic stance...

We all know how pragmatic I am!

The thing that disturbs me the most is the possibility that I have no actual place, that I could be a killer, or I could save the whales, and it would be equal in the end. For, with that ultimate chaos, one need answer the question: why? Why do anything at all except crawl into the ground, and wait until death?

I do not condone murder and suicide in the least. I cannot condone these things and be a moral person simultaneously. However, when I look at the screaming face, with a surreal sky lingering behind, I cannot help but feel sympathetic. In fact, the image of that popular painting, The Scream (or The Cry, depending on how you translate) is, for me, the most significant of images. It is my turmoil, it is my life.

I open my lips, and growl as loud as I can, hoping that somehow, my creator will hear me, and hear my prayer.


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In 2018 I started painting again. This was one of a series of acrylic sketches I did to relearn techniques and revisit my skills from art college.

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80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

Yo ! Does this work ?


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