Daniel Cheney
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Thoughts and observations about language
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Eliza’s Notes - 00: Eliza’s Notes

People are born. People age. People grow old. People die. That is the natural order of things.

Perhaps that is why I am now here. Why I am still here. Why I did not die. I had tampered so much with the natural order that the natural order no longer applies to me. Not that I did this on purpose, no. I had experimented with so much so long ago, trying to heal my condition. Alchemy. Geomancy. Necromancy. So many dark arts that people would use to do such things on purpose, it’s entirely possible I had done it to myself on accident.

And maybe not even from that? Is it from my battle with the fallen dragon? Is it a curse from aiding the lord of the underworld? Is it a parting gift form the elder, after attaining enlightenment and leaving to spend the rest of the days left before dying to think on the world?

It was strange, at first. I lay in bed, healers attending to me, expecting to die. It was the end of my life, I could feel it. It was there. And yet, I did not die. Day in, day out. The healers couldn’t explain it, just said I was holding on still, not quite letting go. But I was not dying. Once I realized that, truly realized I was not dying, it then became a problem. I was supposed to die. I was expected to die. Not that the people wanted me dead, but they were expecting me to be dead. They moved on. I couldn’t just get up, hobble on my cane back down the street, and go back into work again. My work had been handed to others, granted to new people. This was final, this was the end.

Since it was not the end, I then had a dilemma.

Not that I wanted to die, but not that I didn’t want to die. I had lived a full life, overseeing the transition to this world. Helping the colony come to fruition. Helping the people get over their initial reactions and see the vision of what the prophet had planned when he sent us here. Help support the town leaders step into the ideals that James had laid out for their plan. Now, when I was supposed to die, I was not. Could I do more? Should I do more? Was I capable of it? Did this old woman still have some fight left in her? My magic ability hadn’t waned the way my muscles and bones had, I still was a perfectly capable healer. 

So I made my decision. I had to sneak out. I headed out under the cloak of night and magic, and left the city. Guided by a lynx far away, I dug out this home in the mountains. A lynx who is also getting quite aged, looking at its fur. After what happened the last time, I would like to have a good conversation if it were to come of age enough to hold one.

So here I will be based. It has been a few weeks since I snuck out, and from my remote monitoring spells the search parties have giving up searching the area around the city for my body. I will begin keeping notes and journals of what I observe the world doing. For now I will have to hide, while people still recognize me and there’s still so little people that I stick out, but in time I will be able to travel among the people unassumingly and interact with them. This is what I can do. I can record what happens, and I can guide them from here.

I have taken up astrology in my old age. A telescope was one of the things that was to be buried with me. With my body missing, I suppose they may bury it anyway so there’s something of me in that burial ground. But it’s not the distant stars I’ve been watching, so much as what’s closeby. Our old home, the third planet, has fully frozen. It’s entered an age of ice, and I suspect with how long and how progressively worse it’s gotten since I started watching it nobody is alive on it anymore. Nobody could have survived as long as we have been here. We are really, truly, the last ones left. And if we die out here, that’s it, there’s no more. No more Varila, no more Vor-rodeq, no more Hokeno, no more Pol-ech. And no more Raln which could call our star their home, even if there are other Raln out there in the universe.

I do not know who will read these records. I do not know where Hellen is hiding her time capsule, nor do I really wish to mix things in with her plan. Perhaps nobody will read this. Perhaps everyone will read it. Perhaps it will be destroyed with the hill collapsing, never to even be known. But I will keep this record anyway, even if only to remind myself of what’s happened. When a person ages they start to lose their memory, some much more than others. I think I’ve gotten off lucky on that account, but how much can the Raln brain truly hold? If I am to be living hundreds of years, thousands of years, how much can I really retain, and how much will I lose? Surely the mind’s capacity isn’t unlimited, so I will lose something. In addition to the record of the passing of time I will have to record my knowledge of magic and potions so that I continue to have them at my disposal as well.

Perchance, James, if you find this record someday, you will appreciate its existence so that you know what became of the people you fought so bravely to save, even though the burden of that fight should have been on all of the rest of us and not added to the list of everything you already had on your plate.

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Date: 02 Sep 2015 - 22:09
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Movie Mini-Review Roundup V: Backlog I

When I first started posting these on here, I was also posting them on the AnacondaSoftware forums, but I had been already doing it there for a while before I started here. Meaning there was a lot that wasn't posted here yet, and since the AnacondaSoftware forums are shut down currently, they're currently inaccessible. So, since I don't have time the next couple weekends to make new ones, I'll post backlog ones for this week and next week, and then fitting in more later after that until I have them all ported over here, working backwards from what I posted here for the first entry.

The following movies were from a post dated 24 September, 2010. 

roomate was the one that rented this, I really had no interest in seeing it. it was an okay film, but i didn't really like it overall.

time after time
kind of an interesting variant on HG Wells' Time Machine, which follows HG Wells himself traveling to the modern future to chase after Jack The Ripper. 

osmosis jones
not an altogether great movie, but its amusing to watch, and ended up spawning a series on Kids WB. 

this is a pretty good Dennis Quaid thriller about a series of murders likening themselves to the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

equilibrium is 1984 meets Batman meets The Matrix. and unlike 1984, this movie is actually really interesting to watch. 

Memento I'm guessing is what happens when you get exposed to too much time traveling, as it stars my favorite time traveler Guy Pearce in a mind bending sequence of reverse and forward sequences. 

this is a historical fiction piece starring Daniel Craig about the WW2 era, and can be looked at as a complement to Schindler's List. well worth the watch 

1492 I was interested in solely because its scored by Vangelis, who has been one of my favorite film composers for a long time ever since I first heard the Conquest for Paradise theme years ago (long, long before I finally saw the film its from).

judgement day 
this is kind of a lesser meteor disaster film, starring Ice T, but then again thats par for the course with Ice T. was amusing to watch, but don't expect anything near the level of Armageddon or Deep Impact

before and after 
this I started watching because I thought the description read that it was "Liam Neeson Out For Revenge Once Again", but it wasnt. it was a really boring drama, instead, and I just quit halfway through. this one certainly doesn't count in his mention of his "certain set of skills" in Taken

clash of the titans
speaking of Liam Neeson, i completely forgot my roomate rented this one too. featuring Liam Neeson in Really Shiny Armor and Giant Enemy Crabs Scorpions, this overly wasnt really that interesting of a movie. although, I hear often of people complaining about the lack of any relation to actual mythology in this movie, and I'm going to have to disagree because there was a lot of pretty accurate things actually. although I dont remember there being Protoss in Ancient Greece. 

the crow
the crow I saw after the sequel, because I didn't realize it was actually a sequel. I thought this one was a lot better than the sequel. also, we learn from this movie that being a zombie doesn't hinder one's ability to play a mean guitar

the crow city of angels
this one i saw first, on watch instantly on netflix. it was an okay film, but kind of delved into ludicrous at the ending. original was much better. 

up was a great movie. that is all

benjamin button
Benjamin Button was a really interesting movie to watch, about a guy that ages backwards. not just for his strange situation, but for the great detail they put into recreating each of the time periods they portray over the course of the film. 

the machinist
the machinist stars Skinny Christian Bale with insomnia, that has strange things happening to him after an accident at the factory he works on. was pretty good to watch, he had to put on like 60 or so pounds after this to film Batman Begins. 

couldn't find a trailer for this, its a CG movie by John Woo. it was in my netflix DVD queue left over from the last time I had my account active, and so I had completely forgotten what it was about when it arrived. was kind of meh, but had James Woods (as a good guy for a change!)

eden log
eden log is kind of hard to follow for the first part, mainly because its so damn dark (lighting wise). but it was rather interesting to listen to. 

the core
the core is a really scientifically off disaster movie, starring a really young looking Aaron Eckhart (who ends up looking like younger Scott Bakula in half the shots). way hokey movie, but funny to watch because of it.

Date: 18 Aug 2015 - 14:09
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Movie Mini-Review Roundup IV

Oh man, its been a long time since I did a round of movie mini-reviews. I thought I had done one more recently, but my last one was in 2013. So now the list has ballooned even more than I mentioned then, so much that I have over 50 films in my general list, as well as special lists I've built and am still working on. So time to work on getting these caught back up. I would say I'm going to do this with 20 films every Saturday for the next several weeks, except I'll be out of town both of the next two Saturdays so the next one won't be until after that

the hobbit
I was not a fan of the Lord of the Rings saga. That I have established. I particularly went to see The Hobbit because I wanted to see it in HFR, because I'm one who prefers higher framerates on video than the 24 FPS standard (I also run my 120hz TV in mode to prevent it from doing 3:2 pulldown on movies, which also weirds out people). on that aspect, I thought it was pretty decent, but there were some CGI sequences that weren't rendered at the right framerate and were really obviously jerky during the movie. on the general movie aspect, I enjoyed The Hobbit itself more than I enjoyed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy put together. I do intend on buying this film, but when the price on the Hobbit trilogy drops because its extremely expensive.

snow white and the huntsman
this film takes a nice dark look at the Snow White tale. Kristen Stewart play Snow White, though, and since she barely knows how to show any emotion in her acting I can only think of one time in the whole movie that I remember her smiling

brain twisters
I had this saved from IMDB as something I needed to watch, but I don't remember how I found it. this is one of the early films to cash in on the idea that video games can be really bad for you. was somewhat amusing to watch just for the old early 90s campiness of it

I don't particularly remember not enjoying this movie, but I don't actually remember much of watching it. so not very memorable, I guess

super 8
this is a nice JJ Abrams film about a bunch of kids that come across the wreckage of a spaceship and an alien. with Abram's stellar cinematography, worth a watch 

heart string marionette
not the first indie film by M dot Strange. this one's more cohesive then his first work was in some ways, but still a very strange movie. I enjoyed watching it, but I wouldn't be able to speak for anyone else. I hadn't actually heard about this one before seeing it, I just happened upon it as he had the whole film on his Youtube channel for a limited time 

conan the barbarian
aka Ronon the Barbarian, as the only other role I know Jason Momoa as is Ronon Dex in Stargate Atlantis and they're pretty similar characters as far as watching him fight goes. also has Ron Perlman as his father and he's always worth watching. I don't actually remember the end of this film, though, I know I watched it but I had to rent it twice because the first time I watched it my PS3 died in the middle of the movie and I had to get a new one and disassemble that one to remove the disc, and that's pretty much the most memory I have of the film because of how much an ordeal that was. I do remember enjoying it tho

hobo with a shotgun
so I guess this was originally a fake movie trailer made for a Quentin Tarantino film, then turned into an actual movie about a homeless man coming to an extremely corrupt city and deciding that it needs justice and order. kind of a silly over the top movie, but it was rather amusing to watch for that aspect

mission impossible: ghost protocol
while I liked MI3 enough that I bought it (used), in generally I'm not a big fan of the MI series and only decided to watch this one because of Simon Pegg's addition to the cast. which he was a good role at least. 

the hunt for red octoberso I watched this film because I was told I needed to read The Hunt For Red October, but I found Clancy's writing style to include so much minute detail that it was such an incredibly bland read that I couldn't finish it, and decided to watch the film instead. the film was quite enjoyable 

so Stolen is pretty much a weak copy of Taken, with Nicholas Cage being the father who's daughter is in trouble. and a heist plot thrown in as well to water down Taken some more

the raven
film about a serial killer who patterns their kills after the works of Edgar Allen Poe, so they call in Poe to help them figure it out. it was okay watching it, but I pretty much had forgotten pretty much all of it since then except some detail about being at a newspaper press when someone actually asked me if I'd seen the film earlier this week

wreck-it ralph
the trailer pretty much tells you everything you need to know: theyve combined together the entirety of video game history, crossing multiple companies IP's (something basically that could only be pulled off by Disney) to make this brilliant film. I haven't gotten around to buying this yet but it's definitely one I will be purchasing. just recently got confirmed it was receiving a sequel

time traveler: the girl who leapt through time
this is a live action take on the Girl who Leapt Through Time novel's concept, following its own stand-alone story unlike the animated film's rough connection to the novel, but starring the actress that voiced the protagonist in that animated film. I think I found this on Netflix at the time, whether it's there to be able to watch now though I don't know

oz the great and powerful
while the Oz works have been in public domain for a long time, there's not that many other takes on it other than the MGM The Wizard Of Oz (the only ones I can think of offhand are The Wiz, Return to Oz, and Tin Man) as compared to, say, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland or other old properties would get, which is a shame because from just the summaries I've read there's a lot of rich lore to the series and it reminds me a lot of a western version of Gensokyo from the Touhou series, which has quite a rich fanbase contributing a lot to it. and it's probably because other places are afraid to do it, because, while MGM doesn't own the Wizard of Oz property themselves, they do own all the iconography that has become synonymous with the series since the MGM film, even to the details such as the witch's skin color. nevertheless, Disney would be of course the ones able to take that challenge of restrictions on full force, and I thought it turned out splendidly. this is also a film I had planned on buying, but just haven't yet

event horizon
LIBERATE TUTAME EX INFERNIS. this horror film from the late 90s about an experimental FTL ship stars Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne I thought was an excellent take on the concept of the unknown of experimental space travel going wrong. I found this film was great, and I had purchased it after seeing it.

the oxford murders
Elijah Wood and John Hurt star in this film about a university student and his professor working to solve the clues left by a serial killer. It was an interesting film to watch, but I seem to remember it seemed to be on and off point back and forth at times 

the andromeda strain
I had seen the 2008 miniseries before and reviewed it previously, so decided I needed to watch the original after that. notable in the film is very early use of computerized visual effects, which was in its infancy in the film industry at the time. worth a watch 

chain reaction
honeslty on initial look in the list I don't even remember anything about this movie other than it was an odd combination of roles from Morgan Freeman and Keannu Reeves. refreshing the plot some more on Wikipedia I remember it was pretty underwhelming, because their descriptions of the technology described werent very good and the film mostly spent time with the people on the run from industry mongols as it was supposedly going to be a energy sector disruptor, and I recall being not very impressed by the film 

die hard 5
now I thought this was an okay film, but if you ask most people they say it's not much of a Die Hard movie. that's because, as it establishes in the opening sequence of the film, wheras in all the rest of the Die Hard's John McClane just happened to be the right man in the wrong place, but this movie's opening sequence establishes he specifically went to Russia looking for trouble (and by trouble we mean his son who is in trouble). and then through the movie he tries to deny that to himself and the audience by repeating "I was supposed to be on vacation!" over and over as the action's happening

Date: 08 Aug 2015 - 23:05
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Daniel Meets A Zombie

Well, not really. But let me tell you about the guy I've named Pizza Zombie.

So tonight, here late in the evening, I was walking to the grocery store to buy some food for breakfast in the morning. On my way there, I saw a man shuffling around with a pizza in his hand, looking up at some house. He was wobbling and shuffling along slowly, and I'm not sure if he was high or he was drunk, but my first thought was he was a pizza delivery guy who was drunk trying to find where to deliver the pizza to. He wanders down an alley as I'm getting near, so I pay him no more mind as I continue to the store.

Twenty or so minutes later I finish at the store and head back to my place, and come to an intersection. And who just happened to have crossed that intersection? Pizza Zombie, only 100 or so meters from where I last saw him twenty minutes ago. The crosswalk's red when I get there, so I have to wait. And while I do, Pizza Zombie comes up to me and asks me for help. Given the way downtown SLC is, my first reflex is figuring he wanted some change, and I tell him I don't have any change. But instead he tells me he doesn't know where to go. Given that it's also common for people to be looking for a place to stay, I say nothing then. But no, he's not looking for a place to stay. He literally doesn't know where to go. 

"Where am I?" he asks me, looking dazed. Now SLC is a grid system, and we happened to be standing at the intersection of two roads with the same number, so I tell him the two numbers. He tells me where he's trying to go, and I'm starting to direct him when I realize that he only gave me the numbers, and without the direction on each of them there were two equally likely places he could be trying to go, so I stop and ask for clarification. With that, I direct him which way he needs to go, with one of the two streets he was looking at being the next one directly east from where we were.

He offers me some of his pizza, and I decline. Then I find where he was didn't sink in, because he asks again. So I tell him again, and he asks which direction the closer road is to where he needs to go. I point it out once again, and he offers me pizza again. Declining once more, he asks me yet again where he is, and where to go. Once more I point down the road the direction to go, and he turns from me as the crosswalk light changed and lets me go on my way. 

I turn to look back at him after walking across the crosswalk, and Pizza Zombie was shuffling along the sidewalk the road again. Going down the other road from that intersection, not the direction he needed to go. And not a direction that will help him, either, because that isn't a through road.

Date: 17 Apr 2015 - 21:25
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Daniel Meets A Crazy Person

So I was leaving my apartment to go pick up a pizza. There was a man out there wandering in the parking lot, I can see him from my doorstep looking down the stairwell, and he looks up at me. For a moment I didn't move, then finally headed down to my car, as he started backing away from me.

First of all he said something to me about needing carbon copies or something, not really sure. Something about needing more than one carbon copy or something. I said "okay" to him and continued to my car, as he turned to walk out of the parking lot. But before i could get in my car, he turned back to me and started again, this time going into a long preaching tirade of a word salad, with something about centrifuges (and putting the Pearl of Great Price in a centrifuge?), something about him having pride in his work, and at one point quoting the song Message in a Bottle by Sting. He went on for a couple minutes before finally stopping, and when he was done all I could say was "okay" again. 

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I saw he had stopped and engaged with someone else from my building who had gone out to smoke, and the expression on her face matched what I felt about the guy as well. He was gone when I got back with the pizza.

Date: 09 Feb 2015 - 17:50
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