Monthly Archives: December 2016

Ask the Alien -12/31/16 – Bookshelf Q. Battler’s End of Year Stats for 2016 (A Report to the Mighty Potentate)

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Dear Mighty Potentate,

It’s been roughly two years since you have me to look after Bookshelf Q. Battler, the human author you believe possesses so much talent that he will one day write a novel so perfect that it inspires the masses to abandon reality television.

Not gonna lie, I still don’t see that side of him but hey, you’re the Mighty Potentate.

At any rate, I do believe that his blog, despite being only read by 3.5 readers, has convinced humans that reality television must be rejected.  After all, it’s not like America, the greatest of all Earth nations, has elected a reality television star as their ruler or something.  I firmly stand by that statement and also, please don’t watch any Earth television.

Bookshelf Q. Battlers End of 2016 Stats are as follows:

WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS: 2,025

TOTAL 2016 VISITORS: 16,389 (I cannot confirm nor deny that most of these were BQB’s Aunt Gertie).

TOTAL 2016 LIKES: 7,502

TOTAL 2016 VIEWS: 27,524 (Most were people who came here looking for directions on how to get away from here).

TWITTER FOLLOWERS: 8,184 (Follow BQB @bookshelfbattle)

FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS: 287 (Though BQB is considering scraping up some cash to use as a bribe to Earth Techno-Lord Zuckerberg to allow him more Facebook friends.  Like BQB on Facebook – @bookshelfqbattler)

Moreover, oh Potent One, BQB continues to seek new ways to bring traffic to his most pathetic blog.  Search engine optimization appears to be BQB’s forte as he has brought in 11,576 visitors this year alone through search engine hits (though again, most were people who came here looking for directions on how to get away from here).

Based on these stats, Mightiest of Potentates, I recommend holding back your invasion of Earth for another year in order to allow BQB to continue working on his writing career.  He’s building a platform, he continues to try, and though he has the attention span of amoeba, I believe 2017 will be the year when he publishes a novel.

As always, it has been a pleasure serving you, oh splendid Potent One, and though there have been rumors to the effect that I feel this job is far, far, far below my capabilities, I gladly accept any and all orders you have with a smile.

But seriously…please don’t vaporize me.

Your humble servent,

Alien Jones, the Esteemed Brainy One

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Should Amazon’s Alexa Be Forced to Help with a Murder Case?

“Alexa, can you under me new socks?  Alexa, can you order me more toilet paper?  Alexa…can you help solve a murder case….DUN DUN DUN.”

Yes, 3.5 readers, Amazon’s Alexa, the little voice on an Echo Dot that you can put in your home and ask to order you shit and do stuff for you has become the focus of a murder case in Arkansas, where authorities believe Alexa may have heard (i.e. recorded) incriminating evidence or may have been used to order something incriminating.

I don’t know.  On the one hand, Amazon can be a big help.  You can order things as you realize you need them and if you have Prime, they’ll come in a day or two.  Otherwise, if you are busy, you might have to suck it up and go without it until you can get to the store, and then what if you go to the store with your shopping list and you forget?  Plus, you have to drive to the store, walk around all the aisles, carry all the shit into your house…bleh.

I can see why prosecutors might want the information in order to help put a murderer away.  As a conspiracy theorist though, I wonder if there’s a slippery slope where government agents in black helicopters might start collecting info on when I order new underpants or whatever.

I don’t have an Echo Dot.  I have mixed feelings on Amazon.  The ease of ordering is good.  Sometimes it is too good and then you end up ordering crap you don’t need.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Movie Review – Assassin’s Creed (2016)

By: Special Guest Reviewer Video Game Rack Fighter

I’m just going to say it.  It’s unfair that I only get to review video game based films because nine times out of ten they suck so bad even Vinny Baggadouchio can’t cure them.

Ha.  Inside humor.

Video Game Rack Fighter here with a review of Assassin’s Creed.

While we’re on the subject of films that suck, is it me or did this whole holiday season lineup kind of blow turds?  Other than Rogue One and Passengers, Hollywood shit the bed this year.

Anyway, this video game based film didn’t suck as much as you might expect, though there was a certain amount of suckage.  Maybe 60 non-suck and 40 suck if I’m feeling generous.

Why do video game movies usually suck?  Because video games are usually written with a player in mind, not a viewer.

Case in point – in Assassin’s Creedyou, the player, are put into a machine that allows you, through advances in DNA science, to travel back in time in your mind and control the actions of your ancestor who shares the same DNA.

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In other words, as a video game player, you might relate more to controlling a 15th century assassin than you would actually being a 15th century assassin.  After all, what do you know about being a 15th century assassin?  (Then again, what do you know about controlling one?)

It’s an idea that works well in the game, but not so much in the film.  The story keeps switching between present day Cal (Michael Fassbender), a convict under the thumb of Sofia (Marion Cotillard) and Aguilar, Cal’s 15th century assassin ancestor (also played by Michael Fassbender).

Ultimately, there are two worlds and two plots, neither of which were fully explored within the movie’s timeframe.  In fact, I dare say they spent too much time on the present day stuff and not enough time on the past stuff, where the best action in the game occurs.  (The present day controlling your ancestor bit is basically just something that moves the game along).

The effects are great, the ancient fight scenes are awesome, but as video games so often do, it left me feeling “meh.”

If they ever do a sequel, and sadly given the ending it looks like they will, they’d be well-informed to know that the ancient assassin being controlled is the main attraction and the person doing the controlling is just a side show.  I came for Michael Fassbender in a murdering people in a cloak.  I got a little bit of that and a lot of Michael Fassbender being moody and grunting angrily, as he does in most of his films.

Funny, when this game came out years ago, I was excited for it as it promised to be Splinter Cell in ancient times.  If you’ve never played Splinter Cell, you play as a secret agent who doesn’t win by shooting but by stealth.  You have to sneak into a building, crawl around on the ceiling, through vents, up elevator shafts and subdue enemies without any one knowing.

Alas, the original Assassin’s Creed, wasn’t that well-developed.  Missions called for you to be sneaky but the program was a little too sensitive as you’d inevitably be discovered and have to go on a stabbing spree just to get away.

The games did get better over the years, with games taking place on pirate ships and during the American Revolutionary War.

STATUS:  Moderately shelf-worthy.  Not worth seeing in the theater.  Worth a rental.

 

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Daily Discussion with BQB – What Can We Learn From Buddhism?

If I’m understanding Buddhism correctly, and I probably am not, life and in particular, all of the material and greedy pursuits that we tend to seek are fleeting and impermanent, therefore they can never make us truly happy so we should either stop chasing them or if we do chase them we should not feel bad if we fail because had we succeeded we were eventually going to lose whatever it was that we were pursuing anyway.

The big house, the fancy car, the supermodel girlfriend with the giant fake boobs – these will all be lost sooner or later so rather than beat yourself up for not achieving them, focus on calmness of mind and spirit and meditate.

If your mind starts to dwell on mistakes you made in the past, mistakes you made that cause you to hate yourself because you feel they prevented you from getting the big house, the fancy car and the girlfriend with the big fake boobs, then close your eyes and mediate.  Focus on your breathing, focus your mind on thinking about nothing, repeat a mantra and chant it over and over again, essentially distract your mind.  You will only feel bad if you keep rehashing all of your failures in your mind.  Focus instead on meditation.

It’s basically like those shirts – “Keep calm and…”  Well, instead of “and drink beer” or whatever, it’s “Keep Calm and Meditate.”

Anyway, I’m sure there are better buddhists out there who could explain this better.  I tend to research subjects related to novels I am working on at the moment so don’t mind me, I’ll be researching something else in the next five minutes.

Also, in theory, I feel like the girlfriend with the big fake boobs would be a calming influence but only if you could have access to the big fake boobs without the ensuing problems that go with them but let’s keep it real.  She’d probably bring a lot of drama into your life, want all your money, leave you broke, cheat on you with the pool boy and so on.

Until they invent robot girlfriends with big fake boobs, meditation may be our only hope for staying calm.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Zom Fu – Chapter 17

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Few may be aware of this, but practitioners of kung fu have developed a myriad of astounding sexual moves over the years. The downward spiraling lotus blossom, the menacing cat, the playful otter, the bombastic jackal, the miraculous crow, the three-legged badger, the twitchy nosed rabbit, the luxurious ginger root twist, the drunken eel, the lazy walrus, the fastidious cobra – Junjie and Mei-Ling had worn out their repertoire and were snuggled up, sleeping soundly when the sounds of battle woke them.

They sprang out of bed and looked out the window to see their fellow disciples being chomped upon by members of the brain bite clan.

“This…this cannot be!” Junjie said.

The lovers dressed. Mei-Ling pulled a pair of nunchucks off of her wall, tossed them to Junjie, then grabbed a sword. The duo raced down the hallway, stepping over the brainless corpses the master had left behind just moments earlier.

“No, no, no, no…” Junjie repeated over and over.

Once outside, the carnage overwhelmed their senses.

Zombies and humans were locked in kung fu combat. A beast ran toward Mei-Ling, who defended herself with a slash across the monster’s chest. The undead warrior was unfazed, even when Mei-Ling hacked off his arm.

Meanwhile, Junjie was fending off a wave of zombified marauders with a barrage of non-stop nunchuck slaps. The handsome hero was astounded, as he’d seen humans get knocked out by strikes backed up by less power before.

“Step aside,” a voice commanded.

The zombies obeyed. Bohai pushed his way through the undead horde.

“Bohai?” Junjie asked as he squinted at his friend’s blank eyes.

“Hello brother,” Bohai said to Junjie, and then to Mei-Ling, “Sister.”

“Are you all right?” Junjie asked.

“Better than ever,” Bohai said as he struck a fighting stance. “And ready for my rematch.”

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Zom Fu – Chapter 16

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The Infallible Master’s slumber was interrupted when smoke poured in through the open window in his room. The old man stirred. Grunts, growls and battle cries flowed from the outside and into his ears.

The master got out of bed, changed into his robe, then took the Staff of Ages from its resting place on the wall.

“How much time do I have left, old friend?” the master asked.

The ruby flickered.

“That much, huh?” the old man asked as he opened his door. “Oh well, I suppose no matter how much time a person has left, it never feels like enough. Stand with me to the end, will you?”

The ruby flickered again.

“That’s all I ask.”

Within a few steps down the hallway of the clan’s barracks, the master found himself squaring off with two of Dragonhand’s ugliest. They attacked but the master flawlessly blocked their blows.

“You won’t be needing these,” the master said as he tiger clawed the attackers’ brains out of their heads. Yet, even with their brains detached, the skulls smashed to pieces, and their faces missing, the zombified warriors continued to lurch toward the master.

The master squeezed the brains in his hands until they popped, squirting blood, puss and goo everywhere. The undead warriors dropped to the floor instantly.

“Sleep now, unfortunate ones.”

The old man made his way to the temple only to find it ablaze. The school, the barracks, the Tower of Masters Past – it was all on fire.

“Master!” shouted a disciple named Liwei. “They’re everywhere!”

The master looked around and saw that his disciples were defending the sanctuary with all that they had.

“Their brains, my children!” the master shouted. “Tiger claw their brains!”

The old man let his tiger claws fly, ripping undead brains out left and right and smashing them as quickly as possible. Alas, he was too late to save Liwei, who was grabbed by three zombified warriors and ripped apart. He screamed as the beasts devoured his flesh.

Thok! The master jammed the edge of his staff through the eye of a big burly looking zombie, piercing its brain. The old man pulled his staff out and let the carcass drop.

The Infallible Master fought his way through the sanctuary’s grounds, defeating many zombies and helping his disciples along the way. Soon, he found himself in the courtyard, surrounded by burning trees.

The smoke cleared and a shadowy figure stepped out of it. The undead face was ugly and yet…strangely familiar.

“Longwei,” the master said.

The fiend laughed. “Longwei isn’t here anymore, old man. Dragonhand is all that remains.”

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Zom Fu – Chapter 15

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Just after midnight, Kang spotted a single glowing torch approaching the gates from his post atop the wall.

“Behold and hear me, for I am Kang the Magnificent, Guardian of the Gate of the Clan of the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw. I have vanquished scores of evildoers in my day and all are well advised to stay on the good side of my humble nature. Bask in my glory and recognize that I will not be swayed in my duty to protect the walls that keep my illustrious clan safe.”

The torch stopped moving.

“Identify yourself immediately!”

“Errgh,” was the reply.

“You will identify yourself or you will be turned away!” Kang shouted.

A few moments passed before the torch holder finally gave in. “Bohai.”

Kang squinted into the darkness, but the torch was all he could see. “Bohai? Is that you?”

“Yes,” Bohai replied.

“It doesn’t sound like you,” Kang said.

“It’s me,” Bohai said.

“No,” Kang said. “The Bohai I know would have mocked my speech by now.”

“Oh, right,” Bohai said. “You are an idiot.”

“That’s more like it,” Kang said as he yanked a lever. Gears turned and cranks cranked as the gate opened. Kang climbed down a ladder to meet the new arrival.

“I am glad you have come to your senses and returned,” Kang said. “There is too much turmoil in the world for members of our own clan to be fighting one another.”

“Indeed,” Bohai said.

It was difficult for Kang to see in the dark, but as he stepped closer, he noticed that Bohai was wearing a blood red robe. A hood covered Bohai’s face.

Kang embraced Bohai. “Welcome home, brother.”

“Errgh,” Bohai replied.

“Now then,” Kang said. “I must return to my post.”

“One more thing before you go,” Bohai said.

“Yes?” Kang asked.

Bohai threw back his hood to reveal his blank eyes. He turned his right hand into a tiger claw, smashed it through the gatekeeper’s skull, and twisted out his brain.

“Mmm,” Bohai said as he chomped the awful treat. “Yes.”

Once the brain was devoured, Bohai licked the blood from his fingers, stepped over Kang’s body and marched toward the temple.

A minute later, hundreds of burning torches approached the gate. Before long, the Clan of the Terrifyingly Unnatural Brain Bite was through the gate. Dragonhand led the way.

The fiend laughed maniacally. “Yes! Destroy everything!”

Dragonhand held out his arms and engulfed his hands in fire. “Burn it all to the ground!”

The zombified warriors spread out and set their torches against every structure they found, lighting them ablaze. Their leader shot a fireball out of his hand that pierced the the temple.

“Bring me the Staff of Ages!” Dragonhand barked at his warriors.

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In lighter news…

Captain America: Civil War is on Netflix if you bitches want to check that out.

I’m sorry I called you bitches.  I meant it in a playful manner like “Hey, what’s up, my bitches?”

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#RIPCarrieFisher

There is a great disturbance in the Force tonight, 3.5 readers, as Carrie Fisher, the actress who played Princess Leia, has died.

It is a sad evening for nerds everywhere.

 

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Zom Fu – Chapter 14

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Mei-Ling sat on the temple steps and studied the stars. In her mind, she was locating various constellations when her focus was interrupted by a visitor.

“Hello,” Junjie said as he sat down on the same step Mei-Ling was sitting on. Sadly, he placed himself six feet away.

The female warrior nodded at the handsome hero, then returned her gaze to the stars.

Junjie coughed to clear his throat. “Lovely evening.”

Mei-Ling nodded.

Scooch. Junjie began closing the gap.

“Excellent weather,” Junjie said. More scooching ensued. Mei-Ling nodded some more.

“Are you looking for a constellation?” Junjie asked. Scooch. Nod.

“Any one in particular?” Junjie asked.

Mei-Ling blushed.

“Oh,” Junjie said.  “Right.”

Minutes of silence passed until finally, Junjie was sitting right next to Mei-Ling.

“I wish I knew what was going on inside your brain,” Junjie said.

Mei-ling smiled.

“I can tell there is nary a moment when you aren’t using it,” Junjie said.

The pair sat for a while longer. Junjie tried a different tactic.

“Whoever is the best at everything, say, ‘aye.’ Aye!”

Mei-Ling’s eyes widened. She gave Junjie a playful punch in the shoulder.

“Oh well, the ‘ayes’ have it,” Junjie said. “Thank you Mei. I didn’t know you thought I was the best at everything.”

Mei-Ling rolled her eyes.

Junjie sighed. “We should vote again because I’m not the best at everything, especially when it comes to decision making.”

Mei-Ling remained quiet.

“Have you ever had to make a difficult choice?” Junjie asked.

Mei-Ling nodded.

“How did you figure it out?” Junjie asked.

Mei-Ling shrugged her shoulders.

“You don’t say,” Junjie replied, earning him another punch in the shoulder.

The pair sat quietly for awhile until Junjie mustered up all of the little confidence he had in himself in order to blurt out what he needed to say.

“Please marry me because I’d rather grow old with you than live indefinitely without you.”

Mei-Ling’s eyes widened until they looked ready to pop.

“You don’t have to say, ‘yes,’” Junjie said. “An up and down nod will do.”

The handsome hero’s plea was met by a look of total confusion on the female warrior’s face.

“Right then,” Junjie said as he stood up. “Well, considering the lifespans of past Infallible Masters, I’ll have anywhere from two hundred to fifteen-hundred years to live this embarrassment down. I’m sorry to have bothered you.”

Before he could leave, a small hand was pulling him back. Junjie turned around. Mei-Ling stood on her tip toes and pressed her lips against Junjie’s. The couple remained just like that for a while, kissing passionately in the moonlight.

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