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Saturday, February 20, 2010


So, I've decided it's high time I told you all a wee bit about this wonderful nation that is my blog, and so here are some nice factoids for you:

The Blog of Ben

Ethnicities Represented: Scottish, English, Welsh, German, French, French-Canadian, and Native American (…maybe)
Government: Whimsical Autocratic Dictatorial Regime with Heavy Theocratic Influences
Military: A burly Scotsman named Angus.
Chief Exports: Ramblings, Awesome
Chief Imports: Comments, Sweet Justice
Official Blog Flag:

Official Blog Seal: Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi)
Official Blog Motto: “We Will Post Again! Eventually.”
Official Blog Bird: The Phoenix
Official Blog Mammal: Pine Marten (Martes americana)
Official Blog Flower: Alyssum
Official Blog Food: Jo-brains
Official Blog Languages: English, Ye Olde Ben Speech

And there you have it. I know all you Wikipedia junkies have just been slavering at the mouth for these pure shining nuggets to incorporate into the Wikipedia page for my blog that I just know you've been slaving over for years. You're welcome. Anyways, I hope the rest of you enjoy your stay. Make sure to tip your waiters and waitresses or they may eat you.
Don't feed the Sven.

For those of you who think that flag looks familiar, props. Cookie for the first person to correctly identify where the original flag comes from (mine is modified).
Um…I may or may not have misunderstood what “Official Seal” means.
If you don’t understand the Jo-brains reference, then you weren’t meant to know.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Adventures in Spontaneity

This should be exciting. I have no idea what I'm going to write about in this post, but I was going back over some of my earlier posts from long ago and saw a huge number of "When are you going to post next? You haven't posted in forever!" comments from back when my blog was shuddering to a halt. As such, I felt obligated to produce a post in response to all those comments, even though that's completely ridiculous. Anyways. I know when I proceeded with this restart of the blog (once more into the breach dear friends!) I said that I didn't really care if anybody read it, but the more I post the more I kind of miss the old blogging community. It was fun to see what other people wrote and get their comments. Most of those people hung a little better than I did around the time I finished up highschool and went of to college, but they've pretty much all dropped out by now. While it would be cool if they started blogging again, I'm not about to try and bring anybody else's blog back to life. I may be the champion of restarts, but I'm not *that* good. Still, I should try and see what life there remains in the blogotubesphere place. Who knows? Maybe I can start a campaign to save the blogs. Well, at least save the blogs of the people I know. Not everybody. I mean, there are still plenty of bloggers. Wait, didn't I just say this wasn't what I was about to do? Oh, whatever. I'll do what I'll do, regardless of what I have to say about it. Well, if I ever intend to do something so grand I'll certainly need some shining virtual armor of some kind. Can't lead any sort of glorious movement otherwise, I say. I'm just old fashioned like that.

Another thing I noticed while perusing my archives was how I used to regularly incorporate scripture into my blog for a period. While I'm not sure how often I'll be doing that now, I would like to bring that aspect of my blog back, so hopefully we'll see some of that in the future. As for what else we may see rear it's ugly head on these slightly-less-than-hallowed pages, who knows? That's the exciting part q;

...I apologize for the smiley. It will probably happen again. You will probably just have to deal with it. I probably don't mind this and may, in fact, not be sorry after all q;

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Trendy Grit

So, from all appearances the current growing trend in Hollywood is giving movies and movie franchises extreme makeovers. That's right. I'm talking about the gritty reboot. The idea is to revitalize waning series of movies by completely rejecting everything that has already happened and starting over with a darker, harder, grittier film. The first major (i.e. made buttloads of money) example of this strategy came with Batman Begins. So far, most gritty reboots have tended to be within the comicbook movie genre (if you can call it that) although I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing it happen with other franchises. After all, they've already done basically the same thing with Star Trek. As such, I feel that I should offer my input on a few movie series I think deserve a gritty reboot:

The Princess Bride: Okay, so technically this would be a gritty remake not a gritty reboot, but whatever. Close enough. I'm thinking post-apocalyptic. That would certainly go a long way towards explaining the ROUSes (and the giant dude...and the guy with six fingers...and the eels...) I also suggest casting Denzel Washington as Inigo Montoya. While I understand it's a little bit of a stretch and he's already done a post-apocalyptic movie, it's also awesome.

Star Wars: If anybody needs a gritty reboot, it's Star Wars. I'm not suggesting a reboot of the original trilogy. That would be like saying someone should paint over the Mona Lisa and do it again, but better, with fewer eyebrows and a more enigmatic smile. No, what needs a gritty makeover is the disowned episodes I-III. If Anakin wasn't emo (and badly acted), Obi-wan was more hardcore, the enemies less laughable/lame/chinese, and Jar-Jar was either non-existent or he was more Cajun than Jamaican and if he hadn't gotten kicked out for being horrendously clumsy but rather because he had a tendency to get in fights and knife people whenever he was drunk (which was always), then you might end up with 3 movies worthy of being part of the Star Wars legacy. Oh, and some character and plot development might be nice too. Huge epic battles are great and all, but not much use when nobody knows what the hell is going on.

Care Bears: Come on. How would that not be awesome?

Well, that's all I can come up with for the moment, although don't be terribly surprised if you see more in the future. Feel free to comment with some suggestions of your own. In the meantime, I'm going to go off and continue planning the gritty reboot of this blog.


Monday, February 08, 2010

On Homelessness

So, having spent an incredible one night in a homeless shelter and a whole week (well, maybe half) of couch surfing, I feel that I am a credible source to speak on the topic of homelessness. Think of me as a sort of…homelessness guru. A hobo sensei… Anywho, I just thought I might impart a bit of my massive stockpile of accumulated homeless man wisdom.

Things I’ve learned from being homeless:

-You can actually end up feeling a lot more secure about walking around sketchy places at sketchy times, because now you’re that sketchy homeless guy. I walked clear across downtown Durham at 7 in the morning and the only thing I felt was cold. Granted there was really almost nobody else around, but still. It was rather liberating to know that if anyone did try to threaten me for my money I could reply, “What money do you expect to get from a guy who just came from a homeless shelter?”

-Universities are great resources for the homeless. Free internet? Check. Free bathrooms? Shyeah. Possibility of free food? More spotty, but if it happens to be the start or end of a new semester, chances are actually rather high you can find some somewhere. Free place to sleep? Slightly problematic, but I have been in the library after it closed without actually realizing it. It’s not exactly like they do a floor-by-floor sweep of the stacks or anything. There are many overlooked crannies that the clever homeless individual can spot and curl up for the night in. The real trick is waking up early enough so no one finds you there the next day. Libraries can work pretty well too, at least in terms of free internet and bathrooms.

-It is important to carefully acquire a good “potentially homeless” look. If it’s too obvious that you’re homeless, you may attract attention you don’t want to but if you show up at the homeless shelter decked out in a brand new North Face jacket, designer jeans, and sweet kicks they might not let you in. Also, you are much more likely to lose possessions at those aforementioned sketchy places and sketchy times. Acquiring this somewhat ambiguous appearance is easier, in my opinion, in the colder months where a well-worn jacket and knit cap or hoodie can work wonders. For guys, a beard can help so long as you make sure it doesn’t reach shaggy old-man-of-the-mountain proportions. A little bit of scruff is good, either via stubble or a slightly scruffy beard. Just don’t go too far.

-Couches are wonderful places to sleep.

-Air mattresses can be even better than couches (or beds).

-Free food is the best food. When you have to buy food, ramen is cheaper than dirt and if you’re smart and lucky you can get good deals on canned meats or frozen veggies to supplement. This does require someplace to cook your food, so you need a way to at least boil water. If you have to, there are dollar menus, but try not to have to.

-Your shoes are important. You’re going to get a lot of use out of them in lots of different weather, so they better not suck.

-Rain sucks.

-Jeans are not adequate for trudging about when it’s below freezing. Wear something under them, like long underwear or flannel pajama pants. It’s hard to walk when you can’t feel your legs. And painful. It’s also very painful.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Lament for Strong Bad

Oh Strong Bad, great poet, keen satirist, profound sage, and preeminent typist with boxing gloves far have you fallen? Where are the masses who once adored and clamored for you when you missed a week's longed-for update?
Seriously though, what's up, man? It's been, what, 2 months since your site last updated? Even longer since the last SBemail. You've missed Christmas *and* the New Year. I understand your glory days are most likely over, but at least put up a fight on your way out man! Sure, you tried the "HRemail" thing to try and reignite some interest, but putting so much time between updates kinda puts a damper on things. I remember a time when you could be talking to your friends and say "Hey, did you see that Strong Bad where..." and they'd be all like "Oh yeah, and the Cheat was all like..." but'll be lucky if you get a response of "Man, it's been forever since I kept up with those. I'm seriously far behind." Except they're probably only about 3 emails and a toon behind, even though they stopped watching two and a half years ago. Now, I understand that even the greatest of internet giants can only last so long before the spotlight moves on to something newer and edgier and apparently more hilarious. I understand how fickle the masses can be, but still. To sort of trickle away into obscurity, with fewer toons and more sales in your store? Hawking your wares to any and all who cast a glance your way? Heck, this last Trogday you didn't even bother with a new toon. You just linked a few old toons and games and posted a big sale on Troggy-related merchandise. That's just sad, my friend. And so I post this open letter of protest (which you will never read, in part because you're fictional) to challenge you to raise your luchador-esque head once more and declare that if you are to go out then you will not fade away into the night, but will go out with one final massive bang of an explosion that has one of those blast-wavy Saturn rings that have become so popular lately! Or at least start updating more regularly.