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I thought that either The Hobbit or Lincoln were going to be my favorite movie of the year, but something in my gut knew that I HAD to see Django Unchained before I fully decided.  I just walked out of a filled to capacity screening and as we all stood and CHEERED for at least 30 seconds as the credits began to roll, I knew that I had just watched not only my favorite movie of the year, but what will possibly be one of my all time favorite films!!

I don't want to spoil a second of this movie for you by telling you about it.  Here's the trailer, in case you haven't seen it.  It's all you need to know going in.  

But I will say that in my opinion, this movie tops Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds as the best movie Quentin Tarantino has written and directed.  It certainly takes the place of Jackie Brown as my favorite Quentin Tarantino film.  What?  How was Jackie Brown my favorite until Django Unchained?  I love Pam Greer and Elmore Leonard, what can I say?

I have to go eat Christmas dinner now, so, I can't say much more, but let me note that among the performances of a lifetime for a number of the actors in this movie, the one that stands above the rest is Sam Jackson, who now has topped his Jules from Pulp Fiction!

Go and enjoy!  Turkey is calling me!

Discuss

Thirty seven years ago my older brother and I were taken away from our parents due to severe neglect. We were adopted 6 years later by a foster family. We went from neglect to physical abuse. My brother was diagnosed with autism as a kid, so, when he graduated with a degree in Computer Science/Math/Physics he struggled to get a job.

I was working as a web programmer at the time, so, when my mother called to tell me that she didn't know what to do with Andre' because he had screamed for help from the neighbors in the front yard after she'd barely punched him in the face for not trimming the hedges the way she wanted, I took the opportunity to talk my mother, who had been claiming for years that she had power of attorney and could keep him at home (for his SSI checks), into getting a breather by having Andre' visit my wife and I and help me with my work.  

When he arrived by bus the first thing I told him was that even if I went to jail for it, he was never going back.  We found out that our mother didn't have power of attorney and even if she did it meant squat.  It had just been a way she could threaten to have him put in mental institution if he ever told anyone about the abuse.  Every year he celebrates the day he moved in with my wife and I as his independence day.

I still remember times I visited my brother and saw how broken his spirit was.  After I left home, for years I would be having fun and suddenly feel overwhelmed with a feeling of sorrow that my brother was stuck at my parents home suffering abuse.   I still have panic attacks about what if I hadn't thought to have him visit and he was still living there in the basement in the storage room.  Probably because we've always been so close.  When we were taken into foster care, he didn't acknowledge the presence of any people other than me.  He spoke one word.  My name.

So, after a couple years of Andre' living with me and working with me it became pretty clear that web development was not exactly exciting for him.  But he loved playing video games and making game modifications and levels for games that released tools for hobby game developers.  So, one day, I asked him if he would enjoy making games more than web sites and he said he would.  I told him that if there was a way for him to make video games that I would help him.  I figured that he'd lived through 30 years of hell and deserved to get to do a dream job for the next 35 years.

It took a while to learn to do game development, but I worked hard at it.  He was too shy to lead the way, so, I took the lead.  I found an independent game development community, like a Daily Kos for game developers, and started learning to develop games.  Meanwhile, we moved to Seattle, where most of the game studios are in the northwest, and I worked service industry jobs while continuing to learn.

I was driving a tv repair delivery truck one day and on the radio they were talking about how some Christian denomination had decided to allow gay priests and it was a big controversy and the host was asking for callers to give there opinion.  I called, because before I was a programmer, I was actually going to be a pastor and I quit in large part because I didn't believe being gay was a sin.  One of my best friends growing up was gay and christian.  So, when I was picked as a caller I said that I didn't believe that being gay was bad and that I believed that there were a lot more people like me out there who just weren't saying it out loud.  Why is this story relevant to making games?  I'll tell you starting in the next paragraph, because this one is getting long.

When I got off the air I was so nervous that if God really was against being gay that by publicly saying that I wasn't and that I didn't believe god really was that I was going to go to hell.  But I decided that I didn't care if I burned in hell.  I would rather burn in hell with my friend than have a great time in heaven with the god who is burning him.  I was so overwhelmed by the moment that when I jumped up into the back of the truck to unload a tv I missed the jump and slammed my knee into the edge of the lift.

That really hurt.  It turned out I just bruised it, but the doctor said I wasn't going back to work for a week or two, so, I went home.  It was while i was home injured for standing up for gay people that a position opened up for a programmer on a game and I jumped to apply and after impressing the hell out of them by doing the work they were looking for someone to do for a few weeks in only a day... I was hired!  My first professional game developer job!  It was for the same money I made driving a repair truck, so, I called them back and told them to find someone to replace me.  They were really excited for me, because I wasn't that great at driving repair trucks.  

I spent the next 1-2 years doing work for the company that hired me and other companies and got my name in the credits for some games.  And of course Andre' too because it wasn't long before I was able to get him working with me.  And then I was hired by my current boss to work on clinical games that use bio feedback to help kids with ADHD and Autism and people with PTSD or other stress problems.  Andre' and I have been working there for the last 5-6 years now.  

So, about 3 years ago we got the chance to design a game and we chose a jet ski racing game.  We both had too much experience with violence to make a violent game, so, we chose to stick with fun family friendly games.  We finished the game about 6 months ago for the PC/Mac.  But then we thought it was a good enough game that with some more polish it could be a main stream market video game.  And we began working on improving the PC/Mac version and developing an iOS version for iPhone and iPad.

About 2 hours ago the iOS version of the game just went live on iTunes.  I bought the first copy.  It's only $2.99, but it was the proudest $2.99 I have ever spent.  I wanted to remember forever that I bought the first copy of the first game that Andre' and I designed and I directed.  We did it.  We really did it.  I don't know if the game will sell another copy, but it's on the store and yeah I am crying a bit writing that.  Cause if you know where we started and how hard we worked to get to this moment... it's the thing of dreams.  

Andre is in his room sleeping.  He doesn't know it went live yet.  I'll tell him when he wakes up.  I'll tell Melissa too.  They knew it was coming, but it will still be quite the moment to take in that it really happened.  And Melissa, she opened her home to my brother after we'd barely been married less than a year and he's been living with us since.  She loved Andre' so much.  We're buying him a new coat for Christmas, cause the absent minded genius he is, he doesn't think about those things.  It's gonna be expensive and it means we won't get ourselves much, but he's worth it.  When he moved with us he was so skinny he was like a holocaust survivor and he was wearing the same clothes he wore in junior high 15 years earlier.  That's also why he doesn't think of buying himself a coat.  But he bought us presents already.

It was 10 years ago when I told Andre' I would help him make video games for a living.  We don't make that much, but we do get royalties after the game makes up it's cost of development.  I have no idea if that will happen.  But that's okay.  We do well enough.  We're middle class.  And we're living a dream.  A dream that took more hard work and sacrifice than I could have imagined.  But I suppose that is how you make dreams come true.

Well, I better go.  It's 9:25am and I haven't slept and I still have to run errands with Melissa tomorrow.  Also, I have to call and meet my birth sisters.  I just found out about them from one of the 3 birth cousins I now know.  Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you all about that.  I know some of my birth family now and they are pretty damn cool.  I'll tell you more later.  But the sad part is that I found out about my sisters, because one of them died yesterday.  I don't think the others know that Andre' and I have contacted their cousins.  So, I am going to call and give them a bit of a Christmas surprise.  They lost a sister, but they are getting two of their long lost brothers back.  And they are pretty cool brothers too.  They make video games for a living.  

Here's the link to the diaries I wrote about finding my birth family, since this diary is kind of an almost final chapter in that story.

I just took the first step to find my birth parents family

So um my birth parents are both dead

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Here are some screenshots of the game.  iPhones and iPads aren't as graphically powerful as a PC or Mac, but I'm still impressed with what we could push them to do.

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Thanks for the comments.  They mean a lot to me.  I mentioned the name of the game in a comment after a number of people asked for it.  The game is called tropical heat.  I was hesitant to say it at first, because I don't want anyone to think I wrote this to get people to buy the game.  That's not the reason I wrote the diary.  I write it because I wanted to share a moment of joyful triumph with this community.  You are all my dear brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins and parents.  I had to tell you about this as much as the rest of my friends and family.  

Hehe... did I write joyful triumph?  I did, didn't I.  Now that's a phrase you never think you'll use in your life.  What are the odds I'd find actual use for it during the holidays.  :)

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This is a picture of President Obama with some children from Sandy Hook and it tells everything you need to know about what kind of a person he is.  

What more is there to say?  Send this to people who doubt whether President Obama is a good person.  There is no arguing with evidence this clear.  If they still can't see it then they are simply too blinded by their hate/fear/whatever to see a plain truth.

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This morning, after a sleepless night, I was driving to get breakfast and on the radio I heard one of the teachers talking about how she heard the gun shots and was certain that she and all of the children were going to die and even though she wasn't sure if it was appropriate for her as a teacher to do this... she turned to the children and she told them how much she loved them, because she didn't want them to die without hearing those words... without knowing that they were loved.  There is evil in this world and it can be soul crushing sometimes, but there is also love.  Love like a teacher turning to children in her care and telling them all that they will not die alone and forgotten and unloved.  

When I look at the picture of the President above... that's what I see.  A President... who maybe it's inappropriate for him to take up children in his arms and on his knees, but these children have just lost their brothers and sisters to evil and they need to shown that they are not alone or forgotten... rather they are loved by an entire nation on whose behalf the President is embracing them.  It makes me feel hope and faith in humanity.  That's why I shared this picture.  It's not about the President.  It's about us and our need to see love in moments of darkness.  

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Okay, I didn't, but if I wanted to, I could have, because today both just became officially legal in Washington state!  Take THAT Oregon and California!  You aren't the coolest kids on the west coast anymore!  We already had the highest minimum wage in the country, but now we are the first state to have both gay marriage and recreational pot, so, we could legitimately change our state from the Evergreen state to The Progressive state!

On a more somber note, I would like to say to the very conservative people in Idaho... we're coming for you!!  We're right next door and our godless ways are going to spread to your state and corrupt your children!!!  

But seriously, I have lived in Washington state for almost all of my life and I just feel so goddamn proud of my home state!  I watched Lincoln a couple weeks ago and I walked out beaming with pride about how MY vote made such a difference in this last election.  The PEOPLE of my state voted for freedom and equality and we'll go down in the history books as the first state to go the full liberal.  I mean, what is this state going to do next?  Single payer health care?  Oh, right, that's in the works too.  ;)  God DAMN I love my state!!

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Mitt honestly believed that racial minorities, women and young voters are too irresponsible to show up and vote.

He honestly believed that 2008 was a fluke.

He was surprised because he has such a bigoted, racist, sexist, disdainful, dismissive view of what turned out to be 51% of the people in this country.

And he isn't alone.  MOST of the white men in the news media thought the same goddamn thing.  The anchors, the reporters, the pundits.  From Fox to MSNBC, the white men were utterly shocked not only that Obama won but how.  

That's what i LOVE so much about this election.  The balance of power shifted and these assholes didn't even see it coming.  

I've heard it said that Mitt ran a Mad Men campaign, but we live in a Modern Family country.  Damn straight.  

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I don't imagine that you are going to be around here for a while, since you don't want to have to suffer all of the ungracious gloating that we will be doing about winning and all of the merciless mocking we will be doing about you losing, but just in case you stop by for some bizarre masochistic need to punish yourself for losing or something, I just want to say... thank you for being SUCH poor losers tonight, because it REALLY helps alleviate any of the fleeting feelings of guilt for gloating about winning and mocking you for losing.

Hey, remember that moment when Rove wouldn't believe you guys lost and we won?  Man.  That one is going in ALL the books about this election.  

Remember when Obama won PA and you felt that sinking feeling that maybe you weren't going to get away with bluffing your way into the white house, and meanwhile we were all smiling cause we were just waiting for that moment to happen cause we knew it was coming?

Oh, you should have SEEN your faces when for a brief few minutes you thought Scott Brown might still win after it was called and then retracted for Elizabeth Warren... and then she won after all.  Awwwww... man... that really was just cruel.

So many memories from tonight.  Gay marriage and legalizing pot and lesbians in the Senate and Rape Republicans losing and the return of that crazy liberal fire brand in Florida (you guys HATE him).  Too many memories to keep track of tonight.

Oh, and Obama's speech.  Boy, we LOVED it and I almost feel bad for how much you were looking forward to listening to a speech by Mitt Romney.  I mean, how the hell did you get yourselves in THAT situation?  Ouch.  

Anyway, I am just writing this while I wait for Florida to be called for Obama tonight and... oh, haha... remember that moment tonight when Florida was too close to call and you started to feel that pinch of terror, but then Ohio still wasn't called and you were holding on for dear life to the hope that it would miraculously flip your way... EVEN though 3 of the southeast states were too close to call and in your heart you knew you were fucked?

Good times.

Anyway.  I need sleep, so, I gotta go, but before I go I just want to say thank you.  Thank You for making tonight's big win for our team that much sweeter.  

Oh, and tell Karl that he can always enter into the witness protection program if his big money people try to kill him for blowing a billion dollars of their money for nothing.

Discuss

I don't have video.  Its live right now on Last Word.  Nobody posted a diary to talk about it yet.  So, here's a diary to share this moment.  Its a beautiful inspiring moment.  

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I am not going to quote or link to Howard's new blog at Huff Post, in which he whines about how disappointing both Obama and Romney are to him, because of how negative this election has been instead of uplifting and happy and wonderful (the way the tiny percent of voters who don't pay attention to politics but once every 2 to 4 years wish it would be).  I wish Howard would come down from his comfortable ivory tower and spend a day on the shore in New Jersey and get his hands and feet wet and dirty and THEN whine about how an election in which the funding of FEMA is on the table shouldn't be so full of negative emotions.

What the hell does Howard expect in an election when so much is at stake for so many people?  He expects everyone to be chummy and polite and shake hands and snicker at the naive fools who actually have something to lose or gain in this election.  This isn't a game for most of us.  

But Howard doesn't care about women who may lose rights over their own body.  Or gay couples who may gain the right to marry.  Or college students who may be kicked off their parent's health insurance.  Or unemployed workers who may get a job working on infrastructure.  Howard doesn't even mention the PEOPLE who's lives will be affected by the election, because he's more concerned with how many negative ads were run.  

That's his final say before elections day.  Not that he's proud to live in a country filled with tens of millions of people who care deeply about politics, but how disappointed he is that Obama and Mitt said mean things to each other.

I appreciate what Howard has contributed over the decades.  I really do.  But if the most important thing in this election to him is the fact that Obama and Romney are blowing up his fucking skirt with promises of unicorns and lions laying with lambs, then he should just do a favor for the tens of millions of people in this country who actually feel some passion, whether they are from the left or right or in the middle, and just go back to one of his cocktail parties and shut the hell up.

Discuss

Eric Erickson wrote a blog tonight that explains why conservatives have spent the last 4 years saying no to everything that the President and Democrats have tried to do to solve the problems in this country.  

My world view is pretty simple. I think this world is destined to go to hell in a hand basket by design. I think things are supposed to go to pot.

Erick Erickson

http://www.redstate.com/...

This is why we can't fix the problems in this country.  Conservatives are not invested in solving problems, let alone making progress, because they don't believe there is any point in the long run.  They will take whatever is given to them, of course, and fight anyone who they are told is going to take it away from them.  But ask them to have some vision for the future.  They can't do it.  The future is damned.  The best they can do is dream of the good old days and convince themselves that their mission in life is to try to hold on to the past for as long as possible until the hell that is the future finally consumes them.

I grew up going to church.  But I learned about the Jesus who healed people and forgave people and inspired people to live life to the fullest.  I learned about the Jesus who believed in the potential of people to do great things.  That is the Jesus I am inspired by.  The Jesus who didn't stand around waiting for the world to go to hell in a hand basket, but who acted to help people which inspired other people to work together to make the world better.  The Jesus who asked us to have faith in HIS faith in US.  

John 14:12  I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these
I believe that things are going to get better, because I believe that the world, this beautiful wonderful responsibility that we have been gifted with, whether by design or by chance, will be what we make it.  I just wish that the conservatives like Erik, who have no faith in humanity, would just get the hell out of the way and let those of us who do get things done.  Like Vice President Joe Biden said at the VP debate:
I’ve never met two guys who’re more down on America across the board. We’re told everything’s going bad. There are 5.2 million new jobs, private-sector jobs. We need more, but 5.2 million — if they’d get out of the way, if they’d get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class, make it permanent, if they get out of the way and pass the — pass the jobs bill, if they get out of the way and let us allow 14 million people who are struggling to stay in their homes because their mortgages are upside down, but they never missed a mortgage payment, just get out of the way.

Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something. Show me a policy. Show me a policy where you take responsibility.

Reminds me of what the Bible(and Meteor Blades) says about faith and deeds.  
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“Today has not been a fun day,” a teary-eyed Mourdock told a private dinner meeting of the Hamilton County Republican Party. “Professionally, emotionally, it’s been one of the toughest days of my life quite frankly.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/...

Oh, did you have a tough day today, Richard?  Do you think it was tough like being raped?  Do you think it was tough like being pregnant for 9 months from rape?   Do you think it was tough like giving birth to a child who is half you and half the person who raped you?  

Believe it or not, I defended Richard yesterday.  I am pro choice, but I have friends and family who are pro life and they are good people.  I wanted to be gracious and give Richard the benefit of the doubt.  

What is it that the bible says about pearls and swine?  

I have no defense for him today.  There is no defense for whining about what a tough day you have had because you were getting criticized for telling rape victims that if they get pregnant from rape that it's something God intended.  There is no defense at all.  He expects women who are raped to buck up and do their duty to God and have the child of their rapist, but he can't even handle one day of criticism without whining.  Pathetic.

Discuss

I am usually pretty level emotionally (unless I get pissed at injustice or someone almost killing me in traffic), but this election has got me off balance.  I suppose that it's due to the fact I have dear loved ones who's lives are in the balance.  My mother in law living in a home paid for by medicaid which Romney promises to cut.  My brothers in the military who have been in the middle east and who could be sent into a ground war with Iran.  I am trying to stay cool, but I am worried out of my mind.  I am like the opposite of Obama.  He's cool when he's up in the polls and cool when he's down in the polls.  I was worried when he was up in the polls and I am worried now that he's down in the polls.  I just have so much at stake that I can't relax.  

I have moments when I feel great.  After the last 2 debates.  Watching Obama diagnose Mitt with Romnesia today.  But those moments fade and the pit of my stomach hurts with worry about what happens to my loved ones if Obama loses.  You know, I was fine during earlier elections, because I always believe that America is strong enough to survive bad Presidents.  But this election is different.  We are in a fragile recovery from a near Depression.  We can't fuck with things right now.  We can not only lose ground and go back into recession, but we could lose control and fall into a Depression.  All of the gains of the last 4 years can be erased and we could go back into free fall.  It's that fragile both here and around the world.

When my mother in law came to live with my wife and I after being released from the hospital after an emergency brain tumor surgery, her diabetes made her so fragile during her recovery that she almost died numerous times out of the blue.  I can't help but see this economy and the instability of the middle east in a similar way.  We are so fragile on both fronts.  We cannot fuck around with either.  The stakes aren't just about progress but about keeping the economy and the world stable.  I don't know how anyone is able to keep cool right now.

I really can't believe that the GOP are being so irresponsible and treating all of this like we're still living in the 80s and life is about making money.  They play games with the world.  I don't know how Obama doesn't just lose his shit and start pounding his fist on a podium and demand that everyone wake the fuck up before we stupid ourselves into either a world depression and/or another world war.

I guess that's why Obama's President and I am not.

Anyway, to those people here who I pissed off earlier with my depressed comments.  I apologize.  I am not trying to depress anyone.  I am just feeling the weight of the stakes of this election.  Especially with my loved one's lives at stake.  I hope you understand.  I have friends and family who care a lot about what happens in this election, but this is the place where I go to let down my guard and say that I am afraid of losing this election because of what it means.  You all know the stakes.  You don't compartmentalize politics into something you pay attention to once every other year.  I love my friends and family, but this place is like being in the military or police.  You're all my fellow activists.  You are here for the daily battles.  Which is why I guess this place is called Daily Kos.

Discuss

I listened to the interview with Tag Romney last night and I wasn't as interested in the tough guy talk about him wanting to take a swing at the President as I was in what he said about his dad and the debates.  Watch the interview starting at 1:46 until about 1:54 and you'll hear what tough guy Tag accidentally says about his dad and the debates.  

Tag immediately tries to walk back how 'terrified' his dad is to debate with Obama, but think back about every moment of the last 2 debates between Mitt and Obama and the looks on Romney's face.  Terrified is exactly the word that describes Mitt during the debates.  Even in the first debate, as bad as the President did, I was quite surprised by how damn nervous Mitt looked the entire time.  Even when he's trying to go in for the kill he is terrified looking, which is why I imagine he has exactly zero gracefulness.  

I didn't just write this diary to point out something interesting about Mitt.  I wrote it because for all his brazen lying and tough talk, Mitt is just like ever single other bully.  He's terrified.  Terrified that people will challenge him.  Terrified that people will hold him accountable.  Terrified that people will just simply tell him to go fuck himself.  On one hand he'll bully someone he thinks he can push around, but on the other hand he'll kiss everyone's ass and tell everyone what they want to hear to get what he wants from them.  And he'll do it shamelessly, because he has no self respect.  

Mitt is just a terrified little bully and all that is required to handle him is to stand up to him.  Like the President did the other night.  Mitt has a lot of money and he's good at selling bullshit, but we have the truth and the confidence that comes with it.  Mitt can only win if we let him, period.  Just ask his son Tag, who's just like his dad and would totally take a swing at the President if it wasn't for those guys with guns gosh darn it!  

Go back and look at the pictures of Mitt.  Look in his face.  In his eyes.  What do you see?  Fear.  

Discuss
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