Slow Apocalypse, Texas Style

billIt’s noon in Texas, and here in the hill country the rain is coming in torrential waves.  I regret my failure to grab an umbrella this morning, despite being surrounded by devices and media crying out warnings for several days.

At least the Storm Trooper (my white Honda CRV) will finally get a proper bath.

It’s weird to be sitting through what feels like the intro setup for a post-apocalypse movie.

Minute Earth posted a great video the other day about why the weather seems to be getting weirder.  If you’re on Vessel, you can get access to it:

It discusses the feedback loop between rising ocean temperatures and the weather cycles, laying out why storms seem to be dumping more rain and snow while droughts, in a seeming contradiction, are getting worse.

On an objective level, it is really interesting to watch what science fiction has gotten wrong or right, or didn’t foresee at all about climate change.  Seriously, why aren’t there any speculative fiction stories about post-civilization coastal Texas?  …That may be a need to address soon.

And damn it, I have to get back to work now, but tonight I’m going to make some Lovecraftian art with a Texas flare.  Googling “Cthulhu in a cowboy hat” gave me nothing.

The Creepy Things I Find on Google Maps

My day job requires me to spend a lot of time wandering around Google Maps, trying to figure out whether or not a client gave us a real physical address.  It sounds weird when I try to explain that to people.  I like it, though, because I get to stare at satellite images of places all over the United States and Canada, especially remote rural areas just begging to be a horror movie set.  Sometimes I find really cool stuff! Sometimes I find questionable and creepy stuff.

This morning, wandering around a remote region of Michigan, I stumbled across the template for an elaborate corn maze.  It’s pretty impressive, with a volcano, tiny dancing people, a skull, and a lava flow.

Corn Maze 2
According to the listing on the Map, the land is part of Jacob’s Farm, which has a great website at  The photo gallery on their website has aerial shots of past mazes.

Just keep in mind that, without a Street View, the resolution available through Google Maps generally isn’t strong enough to make out old blood stains.

If you want to see the original on Google Maps, here’s a link:


The best day ever

Today has been an amazing day.  Reed and I walked through a gorgeous spring evening to our favorite neighborhood pizza place, sat outside under the oak trees, and followed up some damn good pizza with a special treat; chocolate cake to celebrate the raise I got today!  It really is amazing cake.  We go to this pizza place all the time, but only buy a slice of cake for special occasions.


On the walk back we made friends with a very nice cat who got up from its porch, making a squeaky meow the whole while, then plopped down on the sidewalk direclty in front of us and rolled about for several minutes.  We all hung out together on the sidewalk for a bit, then Reed and I continued on our way. I love making friends with funny neighborhood cats.

To recap; my employer values me, I had pizza and cake for dinner, went for a lovely evening walk with my sweetie, and made friends with a cat. I could not imagine this day getting any better.  And then I got on Twitter and heard the real news.

Toho is reviving the real Godzilla franchise! A new film in the official cannon will come out next year.  This is how I feel about it:


This is a big deal. I said last year that the only thing that could possibly redeem Legendary’s Godzilla would be a resultant revival of the real Toho franchise.  They’re pulling in amazing people, like writer/director Anno Hadeaki of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and special effects head Shinji Higuchi, a respected SFX supervisor best known for his work the Heisei Gamera series in the 1990’s.

My brain is having issues processing the true depths of this awesome.

Head to for more information.

Snails Fleeing the End Times Flood

Texas is hard at work building up to the first serious flood season we’ve had in years, and the wildlife is taking note.

weater southplains_loop 032115

During a lull in the storm this morning I wandered through my neighborhood towards a coffee shop and found myself struggling to avoid smooshing various invertebrates who were fleeing their sodden homes in the earth for more solid sanctuaries.

Big fat snails everywhere I looked.

Crawling up trees and twigs:


Congregating on rocks and tree stumps:



But staying away from the uncertainty of temporary structures:


It’s like watching a little apocalypse in action.

Godzilla Hotel Rooms Opening in Tokyo

The Gracery Hotel in Tokyo is soon to open Godzilla-themed rooms at their location sitting atop the Toho Cinema.  And they look really cool.

The Godzilla Room includes a giant claw reaching out of the wall and clutching menacingly towards the bed.


The Godzilla View Room is very literal, with an amazing view of the Godzilla statue that bursts upwards out of the Toho Cinema roof:


Here’s a street view of that statue (from Cinema Cafe):


According to Kotaku, prices will run about $334 US (39,800 yen) on weeknights and $417 US (49,800 yen) on weekends.

I really am a little blown away by this. Based on everything I have heard and read, Godzilla’s popularity has waned significantly in Japan over the last decade.  For all its flaws (its many, many flaws), if the 2014 American Godzilla film has reinvigorated the Toho franchise and its ridiculous glory, I may have to forgive Legendary Pictures. Maybe.

And of course I will be adjusting my projected budget accordingly for that trip to Japan I keep fantasizing about.

Internet Power! From the distant cosmos we long for

China’s internet censorship program has its own theme song, and it’s kind of amazing.

For a rough translation of the lyrics, check out the The Wall Street Journal article.

It’s worth reading all the lyrics. Here’s a taste:

Internet Power! The Web is where glorious dreams are
Internet Power! From the distant cosmos to the home we long for
Internet Power! Tell the world that the China Dream is lifting Greater China to prominence

First Ever Ethiopian Post-Apocalyptic Scifi Flick?

Keep an eye out for this one.

Crumbs is described by director Miguel Llansó as  “the first ever Ethiopian post-apocalyptic, surreal, sci-fi feature length film.”  It looks to have the sort of creepy element I really appreciate in post-apocalyptic stories. It’s been picked up by Indie Pix, so hopefully it will be available in the U.S. later this year.

Check out the trailer:

Still Life With Nerd

I wish Reed would stop being so addicted to Civilization: Beyond Earth so we can finally watch this week’s Agents of SHIELD tonight. I’m about to plug into an audio book about a hypothetical Dracula still hanging out in modern day Turkey and play original Zelda on mute until he’s done making disastrous peace treaties with miasma-spewing aliens or whatever.

I wish I’d had time to pick up my pull list from Austin Books; I can’t wait to read Bitch Planet. I have time to complain about all of this because I skipped out on my RPG group thanks to a bit of an anxiety attack earlier this evening, which led to a long phone call to plan Christmas with my mom. It’s a miracle that I’m not baking cookies right now.

Seriously though, dying to find out what happens to Mack. I’ve been dodging SHIELD spoilers and coworkers desperate to talk about it all day. I hope my little theory is right. I will be upset if they just kill him. Please be an Inhuman, Mack, and live!

Oh, and when I was trying to leave work today, I got caught in a conversion with a coworker who needed to share his frustrations with Doctor Who; he knows I sympathize with the Moffat-is-a-lazy-writer camp. I got to rant a bit myself, and he was appropriately horrified by my conviction that Santa Claus will bring Danny back like Jesus did Lazarus, or else he’ll magic Clara up a morally acceptable Christmas miracle baby to father the father of her great grandson who looked just like Danny. I am so done with that show.

I’m going to go drink tea out of my favorite mug now. Goodnight.