The Archive

October-December 2004


What's New
Stream of Consciousness
My Personal Life

What's New

10 Years of KateStory


KateStory XV: The Tenth Anniversary is underway. The KateStory section has been correspondingly updated.

New Life.

Have also been periodically updating my favorite searches.

Election Day


Happy election day.

Get out and vote.

Let's See You Blame This One On Nader, Assholes


I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed.

New Stream: an E-Mail to Bill O'Reilly. Currently planned as the first in a series of E-Mails.

I Saved the Internet


For those of you who missed the fun, I recently saved the Internet in an infantile flamewar. It was just like old times.

New Life, and my E-Mail series continues with one for Senator McCain.

Begin End-of-Year Nostalgia, Bitches


New Life.

New Stream.

New avatar.

New favorite searches.

Party on.

Auld Lang Something


2004 Year-In-Review Stream, new Life, some updates to Favorite Searches, some new avatars under Features. Happy New Year.

Stream of Consciousness


Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich


I don't know if you've heard, but there's an election today.

I'm going to go ahead and give my thoughts on the outcome before it's even decided. Below are two versions, the "Kerry wins" version and the "Bush wins" version. Read the applicable version.

In case of more electoral shenanigans, wait until the election is decided at some later point and then read the applicable version.

Scenario 1: Kerry Wins

History has been decided this day. (Passive voice just sounds so much more poetic sometimes, doesn't it?) The rest of the world now understands that President Bush does not, and never did, represent the American public.

History books will use his presidency as a cautionary tale, an example of a how a carefully aligned series of loopholes and connections can land a dangerous losing candidate in the White House. History will indict the five Supreme Court Justices who put him in power by raising their middle fingers to Amendment 10.

The history books will tell of how Bush was asleep at the switch when the greatest intelligence failure in US history occurred. Particularly detailed history books will note that he was on vacation and received a briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the US" and did nothing about it, and will mention the PATRIOT Act which resulted in 5000 arrests and no convictions. Then the history books will tell of how Bush blew off the war in Afghanistan and went to war with Iraq on false premises.

History has been decided this day, and it will show George Walker Bush, the forty-third President of the United States, to be a usurper, an incompetent, a zealot, and a danger to his nation and the world.

Now it's your turn, President Kerry. What will the history books say about you?

Scenario 2: Bush Wins

I need a fucking drink.


E-Mail to Bill O'Reilly


From: Thad Boyd
To: Bill O'Reilly (
Subject: Youth Vote

Bill --

Last Thursday you rhetorically asked if young voters were "gonna leave the bong and stand in line for an hour".

Well, as a 22-year-old Kerry backer who's about to get his degree in computer science, and who has in fact never imbibed pot, I'd just like to ask if you had any luck pulling the vibrator out of your ass and doing the same.

Thank you.

Thad Boyd

Maybe I'll get lucky and he'll sue me and make me famous.


E-Mail to John McCain


From: Thad Boyd
To: Senator John McCain

Dear Senator McCain,

Congratulations on your recent landslide. Clearly, even in these highly polarized times, your thoughtfulness, honesty, and bipartisanship have made you the sort of man that liberals as well as conservatives respect greatly. I am not ashamed to say that I am a liberal and you are the only Republican I voted for.

I am writing to express my deep concern about President Bush's recent pick of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General, and to urge you to vote against his appointment.

Surely no one knows better than a former POW such as yourself the serious danger of Gonzales's assessment that the Geneva Conventions are obsolete. I am deeply concerned that President Bush has been elected because of "values" -- and apparently "values" now means depriving women and gays of civil rights but not protecting prisoners from torture and abuse.

This administration has blamed the atrocities at Abu Ghraib on "a few bad apples", but this brazen appointment proves that this claim is false. A vote for Gonzales is a vote for torture.

The Geneva Conventions exist to protect both sides in a war: if our military treats its prisoners humanely, it gives our enemies the incentive to do the same. If, however, our enemies see photographs of prisoners with car batteries attached to their genitals, they will show us the same merciless treatment.

Even aside from this more pragmatic argument, torture is simply morally abhorrent -- especially as we've found that many of these prisoners are not even guilty of any crime, but were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Please, Senator, show that as a soldier, a veteran, a former prisoner yourself, and simply as a decent human being, you oppose the appointment of Alberto Gonzales, and anyone else who would question the validity of the Geneva Conventions.

Not that E-Mails do a whole lot of good, but the way I figure it, if his secretary tells him he's got a few thousand constituents telling him to vote against Gonzales, he might keep it in mind.


My Finest Hour as an Undergrad: Academically and Destructively


I just finished my final exam in AI -- the final final, if you will.

By this time tomorrow, I'll be sitting a few hundred yards away from here, in the skydome, in a blue cap and gown.

I am, of course, big on nostalgia. Particularly at the end of the year. So while I've decided to stay at NAU for one more semester and take some graduate classes before I move on to wherever it is I move on to (it seems most likely at this point that I will go to UofA and party with Pacobird), I think the time is ripe for me to reminisce back to my finest hour in my undergraduate career. ...Of course, I have to go make this complicated and separate this into two finest hours.

Finest Hour #1: Finest Hour, Academically

The class is EGR286. It's part of the dreaded x86 design sequence. In this particular course, we're designing some sort of asinine sewer navigation robot. The mechanicals are building the robot, the electricals are wiring it up, and the computer scientists (that's us) are coding the software to remotely control it.

Today each group has a presentation to give on the progress of its respective robot. (The professors came up with the incredibly creative name of Sewer RRAT for the project. I can't remember what RRAT stood for.)

We come to my turn...and my slides in the PowerPoint presentation are missing.

See, my partner, the computer science guy who presented right before me, gave me a draft of his slides, which I added my slides onto and then submitted to the project editor. Unfortunately, since both the draft and final version began with the same few slides, the editor thought they were the same thing and attached the draft to the project.

So here I am, no slides.

I look at the projection. I look at the class.

"Hm...well, my slides seem to be missing." Shrug. "Sorry about that; I'll see how well I can do this from memory."

And I do the whole thing from memory. Pretty goddamn well.

Honestly I'm probably better off for this mishap -- I'm sure my presentation grade was better for staying cool under pressure. Think I got something like a 98.

Later, a professor complimented me on my performance. I responded by saying, "Yeah, I just got done performing in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I've found that, after dancing in fishnets and a corset in front of a packed house, I don't really get stage fright anymore."

Don't worry, the next story is much more entertaining and involves me breaking shit.

Finest Hour #2: Destruction of School Property

They do this thing in the Student Union on Friday nights called After Hours.

It's basically for the freshmen and any other kids who are too young to hit the bars and/or hate the fucking bars and/or don't have any parties to go to. They have comedians, hypnotists (who are all the same), mentalists (who are all the same), Casino Night, and other such ways to kill a Friday night.

On the night in question, they were doing a game show.

I was with my friends, sitting in the absolute back of the cafeteria. As far as possible from the stage. I was right below the NAU logo made out of neon lights.

As the game progressed, it became increasingly clear that I could mop the floor with anybody in the room. I was the only one there, for example, who knew Linus and Lucy's last name was van Pelt. And yet the host guy never picked me. He picked Afro Jon at one point, from right next to me.

And then there was the Simpsons trivia. I was very excited that this game included Simpsons trivia...until it became increasingly clear that, for some reason, it was all season 1 trivia. At which point, naturally, I started heckling the host.

Picture somebody shouting, from the opposite end of the cafeteria, things like "The show's been on for thirteen years! Ask a question from the last twelve!"

You might think that this is a poor way to get picked for the game. And you'd be right. The host continued not to pick me. But I kept trying.

Kids kept standing on chairs and waving their hands to get picked. I figured, no sense doing what everyone else is doing -- I'll do a twist on it.

So I picked up a chair, planning to wave it over my head...


I set the chair down and looked up.

I had broken the neon NAU logo with a chair.

The entire room turned to me and laughed.

So what the hell else could I do? I took a bow and got the fuck out of there before anybody official came and tried to make me pay for it.

The end.


2004 Year In Review


Games-toons-comics, I suppose.


To be honest, I didn't play a lot of games this year. In fact my latest favorite is Star Wars: KotOR, which of course is last year's big news.

But let's give it a shot anyway.

Metroid: Zero Mission: In an endless sea of Game Boy remakes of classic console games, this one stands alone. Less a remake and more an entirely new game, it still retains the feel of the original, but adds so much. This is the remake against which all future remakes will be judged. If you own a GBA, buy this game.

Pac-Man Vs.: The best party game I've played in ages. It's fun, it's quick, and it's easy to play -- damn-near everybody knows how to play Pac-Man, and those few who don't (and they do exist, I've found -- chicks, mostly) can learn pretty quickly. But buy some Wavebirds, because those cords get tangled.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords: I didn't get to play much of this, and what I played consisted largely of Sharkey throwing me into walls. I'd love to give it some more play but it's harder than you'd think to find three other people with GBA's and link cables.

City of Heroes: From what people tell me, this is approximately the best MMORPG ever. I wouldn't know, since the last one I played was freaking Gemstone III. The character generator's loads of fun (although, amusingly, it seems limited even with approximately billions of possible characters), the gameplay's addictive, and really the only problem is when you have to play with random teams, which, 9 times out of 10, totally sucks. (But that other time...oh man, I've had a few really great teams.) Apparently if you play as a Scrapper you never really have to worry about being forced to team. I should've kept that in mind.

Doom 3: Haven't played very far in yet, but so far it's fun, creepy, and has a great voice cast.

TMNT 2: Battle Nexus: A piece of crap. While they've fixed the major problems with the first game (no 4-player, constant annoying catch-phrases, constant Batman-style "BIFF! POW!" balloons), they've added plenty of new ones, most of which entail really shitty and ill-conceived platform elements. Such as having to bounce back-and-forth between two walls, without being able to see your character while doing it, or having to carry around the Fugitoid (or, as we now call him, Fugitard, haw!) while the other players do the fighting. And of course the classic "jump off into nothing because you can't see the platform you're supposed to be landing on". I would never buy it, but I'm going to keep playing Ben's copy until we unlock the original arcade game, dammit.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: Really more an expansion than a sequel. (See also: every Mega Man sequel.) Ultimately fun, but not nearly as impressive as the original. And I hate this "Dark World where the air hurts you" crap. I've seen the "dark world" concept done well before: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy 5 and 6, but I just don't care much for it here. But then, people tell me I should just play farther in.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Once again, this game is old news, but the new $20 price tag makes it pretty appealing. Pick up a copy if you have an Xbox or a PC; it even runs well under Cedega (though I have to quit out of KDE and run it under Fluxbox to get the pointer to line up properly). A fantastic game, with a good story, a variety of ways to play, and a hell of a voice cast. (Ed freaking Asner. Plus a Sith Lord who sounds exactly like Megatron.) It's like Arcanum with lightsabres. Tips:


Probably my favorite bit of animated goodness this year was Justice League's Starcrossed arc. We find out Hawkgirl is a spy sent to pave the way for a hostile alien force which -- no shit -- wants to demolish the Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Pathos, drama, ill-fated romance, and Batman piloting the Watchtower on a collision course with an alien base. And who could forget the following classic exchange:

Wonder Woman: How exactly do we hide when the entire planet is looking for us?
Martian Manhunter: They're looking for the Justice League. Without our costumes, (morphs into Detective John Jones) we are merely ordinary citizens.
Flash: Hooooold on a second here. What about the whole "secret identity" thing? I mean, I trust you guys, but I'm not sure I'm ready to...
Batman: Wally West, Clark Kent... (removes mask) Bruce Wayne.
Flash: ...Showoff.

Then, of course, the League went UNLIMITED and we got a lovely barrage of classic and obscure characters. We've gotten a Warren Ellis script, an Alan Moore adaptation, and Paul Dini took his final bow with the completely freaking insane This Little Piggy. All in all it's been a great year; just looking forward to the upcoming Batman Beyond crossover to make my life complete.

Ninja Turtles also continues to be quite good, what with the Usagi Yojimbo guest appearance, the alien invasion story (where we actually see the supporting cast trying to fight off the alien invasion -- that was a little uneven in Justice League, the whole "Only the seven of us can save the world! ...By the way, in our next episode you'll see a lineup of about 75 different superheroes who apparently were otherwise occupied at the time" thing), and continued adaptations of classic comic book stories. (Anybody want to tell me which issue Raphael met the blind woman in? I know I've read it, but I can't find which one it was and it's driving me nuts.)

Then there's DVD. We've got Batman: The Animated Series, Volume 1, Rocky and Bullwinkle: Season Two, Ren and Stimpy: (not actually) Uncut, and a multitude of other animated awesomeness.

And on the subject of R&S, let's take a moment for a big "fuck you" to Spike TV for completely mishandling the property, airing four eps and then cancelling it. Yeah, I know the new eps weren't as good as the series' heyday, but they had their moments; Ren pistol-whipping Mr. Horse to death ruled. And the least they could've done would've been to air the remaining 3 eps which were completed.


2004 was not a good year for comics.

Giant crossovers, 40-year-old series relaunching at #1, stupid deus ex machinas retconned into existing continuity...we're just a couple foil covers away from repeating all the mistakes the industry made in the '90's that have left it in such financial trouble today.

Avengers did a giant summer crossover complete with an Internet scorecard where you could keep track of who'd been killed off, who'd been maimed, and the three or so who were still okay by the end of the story. I quit reading after they killed Hawkeye off, but apparently it ended with the mysterious villain revealed as the Scarlet Witch, who has apparently been insane for years only for some reason nobody noticed. Thank you, Brian Michael Bendis, for successfully undoing everything Busiek did in his run and turning Avengers back into an unreadable pile of vomit. That's less money I have to spend every month.

I haven't read Spider-Man since the Clone Saga, but apparently this year they've revealed that the real reason the Green Goblin killed Gwen Stacy is that she'd just given birth to his illegitimate love children and he wanted custody. If this is not retconned back out of continuity, I do believe it stands as the worst idea in the history of comic books; even if it is, it's still probably in the top ten.

And I don't read a lot of DC, but apparently they've done their own share of disgusting and obscene retconning, with a Silver Age villain coming aboard the Watchtower and raping a minor character. Good job, guys. And you wonder how you lost the youth market.

And then of course we have Marvel suing the makers of City of Heroes because -- gasp! -- you can make characters who look like Marvel characters. Look, guys, you can generate billions of different characters in CoH; even if a thousand of them looked like Marvel heroes that would be completely insignificant.

This isn't to say that all the comics of the past year have been bad. The final issue of Avengers/JLA was fantastic, and had one of the greatest covers ever. ...Of course, it was only released in 2004 because it was delayed because the artist was sick, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

And the last few issues of X-Statix (cancelled because Editorial made a mess of the Princess Di story and the book never really recovered) were quite good. The series ended the only way it possibly could: everybody died.

Priest's Captain America and The Falcon has been excellent ever since the first arc concluded and he got a decent artist. But of course it's Priest, so it's on the verge of cancellation.

And Warren Ellis's New Iron Man looks pretty damned impressive.


Let's start with the really easy ones I can review in one word which is also in the title of the movie.

The Incredibles: Incredible.

Napoleon Dynamite: Dynamite.

Okay, moving on:

Spider-Man 2 was great. And Team America was loads of fun. Kill Bill 2 kicked ass; I'm waiting for a DVD set with both of them.

I didn't care so much for Jersey Girl (when will you people learn -- Ben Affleck can't act! -- hopefully Kevin Smith will be back to his old self with Clerks 2) or Blade 3: Blade and Van Wilder Really Want You to Buy an iPod.

Just watched the extra-long version of Return of the King. Pretty good stuff -- the fall of Saruman was vital, of course, and cutting it in the first place was probably the only serious mistake Jackson made in the whole trilogy. (I've talked to people who've said "Well I didn't read the books so I didn't know it was supposed to happen", but honest to God, have these people ever watched Popeye? Have they ever seen an episode where Bluto kicks the shit out of him, then he eats his spinach and comes back swinging, and never see Bluto again? You don't have to know the books to know Gandalf was going to fight Saruman again; the "villain beats hero/hero comes back stronger/hero beats villain" story is as old as storytelling itself.) And the Houses of Healing, Aragorn challenging Sauron in the Palantir, and the Mouth of Sauron at the Gates rank among my favorite scenes from the book and it was nice to see them. ...Would've been nice if they'd thrown in a few scenes to make Denethor a sympathetic character, though. ...It's funny, really; Jackson honestly did a better job making Boromir a sympathetic character than Tolkien did (sacrilege, I know) but then totally dropped the ball on Faramir and Denethor.

And as for me, there's been some great personal growth and healing in my life this year. It's been good for me. All in all, I think 2004 has been a net-good year for Thad and a net-bad year for the future of human civilization. (Yes, I'm talking about politics here. And that's all I'm going to say on the subject right now. Though I've got a whole rant prepared for the "Go us, we stopped Nader" folks to the tune of "Oh, congratulations! You accomplished absolutely nothing!" that I may go into at some future date.) And honestly, this is an improvement. ...That may sound selfish, but it's not: 2001-2003 were net-bad both for me and for the future of human civilization; they were at least good for one of the above this time.

This year I resolve to smile every day. And getting with two chicks at the same time would sure be nice.

Happy New Year.

My Personal Life



Games: City of Heroes. I may add a section for screen grabs; all the cool kids are doing it.

Books: A Brief History of Time: Updated & Expanded Edition. As recommended by "Weird Al" Yankovic.



Books: Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.



Games: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Got it for cheap because the sequel's out. Runs pretty well under Cedega as long as I don't run it under KDE, and hey, restarting X is quicker than rebooting. Remembering why I like Star Wars -- something easy to forget after the last two movies.

Books: Cosmic Trigger II: Down to Earth, by Robert Anton Wilson.



Books: When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin.

Created 04.10.21
Uploaded 04.10.22
Last Updated 05.10.15