I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're goin' through

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday Means Donuts

Woohoo! Mmmm, donuts! Donuts brings the Homer Simpson out of me. Personally, I like bagels and cream cheese more, and I think they're healthier for me. Well, without the cream cheese I think they're healthier.

Update: My coworkers are like piranha today. I went down to get a donut and they're all gone. All of them. Not a scrap left.

It's been quiet here of late because I've been working, and only for a paycheck, not the fun kind of work. Sigh. More notes, though. I'm writing down segments of the novel on little pieces of paper. Unfortunately for me, this isn't Whatshisname and Sabine so I'm going to have to type them in and connect the segments. I had a major panic attack the other morning tinged with resignation, which means I've beaten the gremlins for the moment and will get to typing real soon now (I should figure out how much is done and post that word count to start).

Ive also been thinking about Daddy's Little Girl and I think I know how to make it an actual story. The major critique of Crow Boy was last weekend and the most often repeated quote was, "nice mood piece, not exactly a story, yet." I think it's rescuable, and I really did gloss over things. So I need to fill it out and tell a story.

Time, time, it's all about time. I've been falling into bad habits; reading other peoples' blogs and writing comments instead of writing my own blog and stories, wasting time, non-directional thinking, etc. It's like you know you need to get in the shower in the morning 'cause you're going to be late to work, but you just sit on the toilet thinking about how you should have already had the shower and be getting dressed. Maybe it's time to visit a motorcycle shop (one of my immediate goals is to make enough from writing to buy a new bike) to get inspired.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rockin' Robin

Fabutronic and all around nice gal, littlebird blue is smokin' and sold another one. Short-shorts again. And the best part (which also makes her rockin') is that she dishes the scoop on the anthology which is still open (for a short time anyway). So, go tell her how wonderful she is and scope out the market opportunity.

If I felt I could squeeze Crow Boy down below 1000 (one of the critique suggestions) I would submit, as the boy ghost plays little boy games, but I think they want something more direct sports related. Hmm, zombie hockey, I got some stuff for that, I think.

Staying Alive

Read novel excerpt and longish short-story for writers group, also spent this Saturday at a local park (Lake Farm Park) walking around and visiting with friends. On Sunday I didn't get back from the writers group until very late. Stayed up late to finish Tobias Buckell's Ragamuffin last night (and last Thursday and Friday). Looking at critiquing the finish of the novel we're partway through and a new novel for the writers group. Another friends has his first novel he's asked for feeback on. And I didn't get the lawn mowed.

Monday morning saw the big move at work. I'm not facing into the corner, but my back is still to the open room. A confluence of electrical outlets and the number of computers on my desk conspired to push me out of that position.

Last night our air conditioning wasn't working well and I didn't get to checking the outside unit. Called my woodworking guru to see where we were on having him install the bookshelf units in the lower-level (not really a basement, and here we are talking abotu a major install with a few complications that were driving me batty). He should have been available now, but was in a car accident (everybody is fine) and wracked his back. So he's a few weeks behind. On a side note he loves his Macintosh (talked him into getting it). He spent an hour of my phone time (long distance) telling me how much he loved it.

So, I'm back to draggin' my rear around, trying to keep my eyes open. Hope you all's (a Western PA colloquialism) summer is going well.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pirate Story, Now Less Piratey

So, for general consumption I think I need to reduce the piratical nature of Robert's Thunder before I send her out again. I can't change the basic structure of the story (which is piracy and includes a "Letter of Marq"), at least wihtout a major rewrite, but there are things I added to bump up the Piratey nature of the story. These include things like repeating the word "Pirate," the name of the planet (St. Kitts), use of the title "Governor" for the executive administrator, and a few odd and sundry word usage choices that have perfectly good alternatives (in fact ones that may work better without forcing the piratical nature of the story). So a quick wash and I'll send it out again. Which then brings up the question of markets.

Also, before Sunday (writers group, yeah!) I need to read a novel segment and another short story for critique and meet friends on Saturday. So my guess is that this wash won't happen until next week. Unless the gods bless us with several extra hours of time.

Say that again?

Did everybody forget to take their crazy pills this week or what?

Tony Snow says that Congress should get stuffed about subpoenaing Whitehouse Staff because "Congress has no oversight."

The Vice President's Office has failed to comply with a Information Security Oversite Office which helps keep track of classified and declassified information (remember that the President conferred the power to declassify information to the VP's Office) because the VP's Office is arguing that they are not a part of the Executive Branch. And now they're trying to close that office.

And it only gets better. Rootin' Tootin' Putin has revived the Old Soviet Rhetoric. OMG. Well, here are the Ruskies as I knew them. Oh, how I miss the old days of the 1990s when Russia was our friend. I'm so glad our former National Security Advisor and now our current Secretary of State is a Russian Expert, 'cause just imagine how bad our relationship with Russia would be if she wasn't there.

But on the positive side, because our Director of National Security Archives wanted applause from some historians the US Government next week will release (declassify) many documents from 30+ years ago about how the CIA used to do things. You know, domestic spying, assassination, threats, all that fun stuff that, you know, to hear the proponents of the Patriot Act talk, that we never have done and wouldn't ever do 'cause we're the good guys.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Now WotF is Really Starting to Cap Me Off - Updated

Okay, so, I had a moment at work (well, about an hour's worth of plates) and I'm checking some sites I normally don't check all that often. I go to the Writers of the Future Blog to see if they've announced Second Quarter Writers. Well, the blog quickly runs out, and I hit to see all of June, and there it is. June 1st, finalists announced. I'm not one of them. Am I upset about that? Well, only a little. But what I'm really honkered off about is that it's now June 20th and I still don't have a letter from them!

I mean, if they annouced on June 1st, my guess is the decisions were made late May. Send the damn letters out. So is the blog correct, am I confused about which Qtr my submission is being considered in, or are they sitting on the reject letters? I've done the math a few times, even on my fingers, and I'm pretty sure mine was in 2nd Qtr. It would be awfully nice to know I can send it someplace else now.

Edited 06-21-07 9:00pm Well, I guess there was a reason I was checking to see if they had listed those finalists. When I arrived home, there was the letter postmarked June 19. I received an Honorable Mention (which they say means in the top 10-15% of all entries). So now I have my answers.

Well, at least they've geared back on the SPAM.

My Wife Is Full of Awesome

So, the receptionist calls up and says, "There's a hot blonde down here to see you."

Well, I'm all over that.

It was my wife who (not only IS a hot blonde) had just left her class and brought me my pillbox thinking I had left my morning doseage of Glucofage at home (I didn't, she bought me the other pill case I had with me). But she drove another 20 minutes out of her way (her commute is only 45 minutes, and is about 5 minutes in the other direction from a major intersection we both use). So, while I didnt need the pills, she's full of awesome to have brought them thinking I did need them.

Merry Solstice

Welcome summer. Kiss your significant other, dance naked (if you feel like it), and watch the lightning bugs light up the night.

Here's to an easy, bountiful season.

To Make Things Clear, well, somewhat so

I wrote before about how I feel writing mil lit. My feelings about the current war are also conflicted. Most people try to pin me down into one camp or the other without realizing that there are a hundred variables and points in between.

Things in Iraq (separate from Afghanistan) finally seem to be happening that are good. That doesn't mean that war is good, it's just that we finally have someone in charge that understands how this war needs to be fought. I don't agree with everything we're doing, and I see a thousand ways for us to lose, even if we kill all the Bad Guys( tm). I also see more danger on the horizon, because we are making some of the mistakes we did before.

To get the elephant out of the room, I have no problems (mostly) with the war in Afghanistan. In fact, I think we lost focus there far too soon, which gave an opening for the Taliban and al Qaeda to reform. We're now dropping more missiles in the Wazeristans (Pakistani Tribal Areas). While some could make a comparison to bombing Laos/Kampuchea, I'm not one of them. I don't like that we killed kids in some Madrasas (somebody dropped the ball on that one), but I like that we are no longer letting our hands be tied by a border that both states don't have control over. My personal feeling is offer Musharef (only because he has been helpful, not because I like the guy) and his closest hundred family members lifetime passes to Disney and let's bring Democracy and the rule of Western Style Law to all of Pakistan to drive al Qaeda and the Taliban into the Indian Ocean ("Somalia is that way guys, start swimming"). If India wants our help with nuclear tech, they'll seal the border that way. Iran, if they don't want us on their soil, will seal that border (Iran doesn't like the Taliban anyway). In Afghanistan we are losing the war because we've lost discipline and we've lost site of the goals. We're being hurt because of stupid mistakes and the use of mercenaries (which is why we should never use them).

Operation Arrowhead Ripper (thank the Gods we're back to mission names that don't have a marketing aspect to them) is working. It's going to get harder real soon as al Qaeda begins to realize we're driving them to a wall and intend to kill them there. As long as we've closed the nets and have the escape routes blocked, we should do exactly that. As long as we keep our heads, keep the civilian casualties to a minimum (and fairly compensate them for their loses, and treat the wounded) we should do well. Want to be captured? We have all the operational intel we need, thanks (bang).

So, I'm against the surge, not because I think it's bad, I think it's too late. We should have had these troop levels to start with. This is now costing (money and lives) too much; the effort is harder than it should have been. Our Army is exhausted. They still have enthusiasm (as to be expected, BTW), but we aren't as strong as we were five years ago. So even though I'm against the surge, I'm glad we're using them right.

I'm against the Iraq War (which was different than the War on Terror, thanks to our bungling it now is a part of it). But if we're going to do it, we needed to do it right. And we didn't. The Bush Administration labels those that wish to withdraw as "Cut and Runner" when the Bush Administration has screwed this up because they kept trying to cut and run. Rumsfeld kept rejecting plans until he found one that had the fewest troops. Bremer laid out a plan for a five-year transfer of power to the Iraqis. The Administration told him to do it within a year. The commanders played musical chairs and the administration let them. All of this lead to instability.

So we've lost five years. We lost hundreds of billions and over 3200 lives, and we're finally, really fighting this war. And we're making the same mistake. There's no plan (at least being discussed) for what comes after.

We're arming Sunni Sheiks to help us drive out al Qaeda (the Anbar strategy). Very dangerous, but necessary. So what do we have to offer them to have them lay down those arms once al Qaeda is gone? We're driving al Qaeda and other militias out into the open and killing them around Baghdad. What's the second move? We should be able to come in, stabilize the government structures, staff police forces, bring electricity, sewer and other services, all of which we have very little money left to bring. And if we don't do this, we'll be right back where we were in January in another two years.

There's a lot of talk in the news about "If this doesn't work, what's our Plan B." This is our Plan B. Well, actually it's something like Plan H or so at this point.

I've helped bury one friend's son. Several other have had their kids in the Stan and the Sand Box. One is now home and is having problems. Most are at least back in the US. I was hoping we wouldn't have to go through this. I wish we had a real leader that could have gotten this done by now. We should really dump the fighting contractors out the window. And I really hope Petraus has the after action plan in his back pocket. 'Cause if he doesn't, we're going to be attending this dance another day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Advance to the Rear!

All around neat guy Tobias Buckell has his Author Advance Survey going on. While I think he gets more authors who have published novels reading his blog than are reading mine, he has asked for assistance on getting the word out. If you're an author with a novel that's been published, even if you filled out his first survery (three-years ago), Tobias is asking for you to help out again.

tobias is a very good resource for authors, both published, neopros, and newbies. He is a veritable font on publishing information and he is willing to share. I've learned more from reading his blog, listening to his panels at cons, and talking with him in the bars over the past year and a half than I learned in ten years of random searching.

So, while I don't have an advance to enter, I'm doing my best to help him. Hopefully when he does the next update I'll be a datum on his chart. I hope and pray I will. And it'll have much to do because of his help.


Okay. So, It's been about a day and a half since I've had caffeine. Yesterday was okay. After dinner (at about 9pm, yeah, ain't it grand) I had some juice to help with a sugar headache. This afternoon though, I'm feeling the need. Tired, slow, feel like the batteries are drained. It's not like last Friday where the eyelids were closing as I focused on work. My body, though, is craving the caffeine and letting me know about it.

Well, a day and a half is something, isn't it?

Fruit of the Muse

I mentioned in a comment about how when the Muse drops her words in my head I sometimes know where they go. Then there are the majority of times that I have no idea.

Like this one.

"He was the kind of guy who would send a box of Krispy Kremes to the new Jenny Craig Outlet as a way of saying, 'Hi, welcome to the strip mall.'"

I love that. I have no friggin' idea what story it goes with or what story I could build around it. Since I've been receiving the novel, I'm going with that it's a new character, or part of an existing character (but I have no idea which one).

Such are the machinations of the muse. She works in mysterious ways sometimes. But I wouldn't give her up for the world.

Monday, June 18, 2007

My Muse Keeps Weird Hours

Okay, I know I keep strange hours, but this weekend I kept getting awakened to write down lines for the book.

More stuff for the "Handbasket In Hell" section. I have a feeling I'm going to be writing this book backwards, once I find the time to write/type it all down. It exists now as lots of pages of notes and computer files. I need to organize, type in all the notes, and fill in the blanks and write the big sweep stuff to tie everything together. That should only take a few weeks.

Right? :)

I'm it! Now you are.

Tagged by stevenagy on LJ.

"If there are one or more people on your friends list who make your world a better place just because they exist, and whom you would not have met (in real life or not) without the internet, then post this same sentence in your journal."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Back from the Un-Dead

Well, I'm no longer a young man, so it takes a bit to regenerate from the undead. When I was young I could bounce back like that (snap). Nowadays, it takes a lot more out of me.

Posts may become sporadic in the future. I try and post while I'm waiting for the computer or the platestter while at work. It's sort of like getting paid to blog. Sort of. Soon I'm going to be moved to an open corner in a very large room. So I won't be able to sneak these small tidbits out. I won't even have a cubicle.

Oh cubicle, who know how much we would miss you. Right now I have an open office. There's walls, nobody can really look over my shoulder, but it's fairly open. This will be more open. I may put a mirror over my computer so I can see who is looking over my shoulder.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Just when things were going so well

Yes, overtime is down and I was beginning to feel like a real human. And then this happened.


First, I'm feeling all right, plowing through the vinyls, chipper than a chipmonk in whatever chimpmonks like. Mine mostly bark at me.

Then I decide to check up on what's happening over at the Whatever, where we (that's the royal we, BTW) were playing with the trolls yesterday.

Now I'm a shambling undead mumbling, "brainz," in response to work orders and wondering if chipmonk brains would make a good appetizer. Sigh.

The Basics

Since I'm a newbie, I write about writing (do all writers write about writing?) from that perspective. I've been published for non-fiction and I've had some non-paying publishing of poetry and fiction (both long ago). While my newness is getting longish-in-the-tooth, I'm still new. Smell me. See? New author smell. It's just like the new car smell you can get at the car wash.

So, here are some links to a blog I just discovered through the good graces of Justine Larbalestier (who is a nice person anyway, and you should be reading her books and blog as well because she has photos of a Mary Sue t-shirt, that alone should be enough, and, because I guess I'm in to tangential parenthetical statements today, I recently found must have as much fun with people spelling her last name as I have had with mine) which cover the basics of new novel writing and publishing. All of this has been said elsewhere, but she (Diana Peterfreund) pulls it all together and says it nicely. Since I want to publish my novels (you know, after I write them), it's good to have all this collected in one place. She also looks like she has other good advice for writers.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sometimes they sneak up on you

Wow. Just noticed I've got three stories in submission. Go, me! Three stories in active submission was an unstated goal for last year. I think for next year I need to up that to four (publishable) stories. I mean, I could have 6 unplublishable stories in submission without breaking a sweat. It's getting the stories to publishable level that takes the work.

Now I need to finish up a few others, get the edits for Changelings in (and a new title, I've never really liked it), and get rolling on the novel. There's always more to do.


So you all know, I've been toying with transferring this blog to wordpress.com. In another post about Blogger weirdness, Jim comments and also recommends going to my own or to wordpress.com. I'm still considering getting my own URL and publishing it there. Blogger gets buggy from time to time. I really dislike the antispam schemes (which mostly consists of word verification, which sometimes doesn't work). And I also don't like that people who don't have a blogger account have difficulty posting comments with their name and contact info. Also, wordpress offers more comprehensive tracking.

I do like the ease of blogger. using it, getting up and running is very simple and easy. I don't feel like I have to babysit the site.

So, right now I'm 50/50 on switching. And if I switch I'm 60/40 for wordpress.com or rolling my own. One of my friends offers site hosting, and it's a good deal. Unfortunately I'm a notorious cheapskate. On the plus side, if I make everybody move, and change their links, I would rather only put you all through that once.

So, just those things in the back of my head.

Sometimes the Muse sends FedEx

So, I'm washing up the machine this morning (every Monday means pulling it apart, cleaning what can be cleaned, and reassembling), and another book joke idea comes sailing out of the blue.

So, at one point in the book our hero finds himself in Hell's Waiting Area (like Limbo, but with more bureaucrats). In searching for the love interest, he finds himself at the gateway between Hell's Waiting Area and Heaven's Waiting Area viewing an exchange of people from each that belong in the other's waiting area (lots of people dying, sometimes mistakes are made, paperwork snafus).

Okay, so the person who is facilitating the transfers at the gate is like a bored ticket counter personnel asking the standard questions, "Did you pack these bags yourself? Have these bags been out of your possession," etc.

But instead the person is asking:
"When I was in jail did you visit me?"
"When I was hungry did you feed me?"
"When I was cold did you clothe me?"

Not really looking at the person answering the questions, just ticking off their responses on a clipboard and speaking in that bored monotone that say, "I've been asking these for a millennia, don't give me a complicated answer."

That just cracks me up envisioning it.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Random Updates

Well, Mom is doing as well as can be expected. She did make a big turn around the last time I saw her. So, at least so far, things are going well that way. She can move around and do things on her own. She's not the strong woman who raised me, but then she's at an age that this is to be expected. I hope she keeps improving. She wants to train some more service-dogs and she's going to need to be stronger for that. It's kind of a catch-22, having the dog she would get more exercise, but she needs more exercise to get stronger before she can really handle a new dog.

I'm now in the second week of full strength on my medication for insulin resistance. I'm feeling some effects of it. I now get hungry, as in with pangs, at the normal times. I have ups and downs of energy (instead of full-bore on until I collapse). There has even been a sugar crash or two that I've felt. It's been a long time since that has happened.

I'm not consuming as much caffeine. Today I feel the need for caffeine and will get a cup of tea in a moment, but most days I drink my water until after 3 in the afternoon, and then since I've been such a good boy, I refill my bottle with pop. And that lasts me the rest of the day. Weekends are still a different story, but that's habit, not need. Now I need to replace that late afternoon pop with tea. I'll try that next week.

In other news, Cherie Priest is writing another book and giving much more details about the process and progress than I give with my writing. You might want to check it out.

Notice of the Weird

I've been noticing some weirdness with Blogger lately. RSS feeds are slow, I keep getting pages from the cache and have to force a reload to see what's new. Not sure what it means (except another reason to roll my own), but I wanted to let you all know (if you see this).

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Overheard (read) Words

I've been reading a lot of different material lately, including religious, philosophical, and military blogs and websites. It was on the later that I spotted a phrase that I had heard before, but never catalog and categorized. When I came across it today, I started laughing, recognizing something I had heard before, knew, and now had a reason to remember. Yeah, the weirdest things will make me laugh. When you decide to write, you start doing such things, watching how people speak, their specific words and how they put them together. The tempo and magic phrasing, the missed jokes, the banalities, all of it. Good dialog is a joy to hear and read. So here it is, a phrase that could immediately categorize the character, Semper Gumby, always felixible/bendy. Category: Marine jargon/speach, someone with a sense of humor, definately used within the community and not outside.

"Semper Gumby?" my commander queried.

"Yes, sir. It beats being Pokey," I said.

"You bet you ass."

"I was hoping my ass didn't figure into this, sir."

Fly Free Little Words

Because, the world is round, it turns me on. And probably for the same reason, I've released another of my writings. This is a very early sample of me trying to be a professional writer. This is the first time since college I tried writing something beyond expository prose or benighted poetry. So, the link is over to the right, but here it is as well. Blighter, the first chapter of In the Company of Ravens. It still needs work. I hope you can see the difference between this and "The Dead Are Busy."

Anyway, I hope you find it interesting at least.

Magic for Beginners

I finsihed Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners last night. While most of the stories are excellent, I wasn't very taken with the title story. It didn't have the same impact as others in the collection (most of which I had read elsewhere). Even those that I had read before I enjoyed reading again, "The Faery Handbang" (IMHO the most "mature" of the stories where her writing shines brightest), "The Hortlak" which is just plain weird excellence (and a new way to view zombies), and "Lull" (which is my favorite, takes the story in a story theme and just goes with it, adding in all her "story teller" voices, and just plain weirdness, excellent). Some new stories I like included "Stone Animals" (although it felt a little long), "Catskin" (a good fairy tale), and "Some Zombie Contingency Plans" (although I was disappointed in the ending). So all in all, worth the money for the ride. While there were three other stories I didn't like as much, there were no stories that I skipped. And as a writer I wish I could get even to the point of those stories I didn't mention. I recommend it, if you haven't read it already (which I am assuming most people have, I'm so behind the times). And my best recommendation, this is a book I'm going to keep and if I know I'm going to see Ms Link, I will definately shoot to have her sign it. Excellent reading, wish I could have devoured it sooner.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Zoom Zoom

Work is very hectic today, so I don't have much time for extras.

First off, LBB has another sale. That little bird just rocks. I'm glad I know her (at least through the interweebie things). She is a good example and inspiration (not that she would accept such complements, I think). You all should go wish her well.

Secondly, the begining of the month is meeting season for the Village stuff, and I haven't gotten eveyrthing done. I haven't even filled out the petition for re-election which is due August 6th. Between now and then I have to gather at least 25 signatures (but no more than 60), and get back to my county seat. So, I have to fool, I mean convince, 25 of my fellow electorates that I'm worthy of another term. I don't have any worry about that except I don't like bothering people with silly stuff.

And lastly, tonight means new episodes of Ghost Hunters. Squee! But I have a meeting that starts at 7. At least I'm the Chairman. "We have a lot to discuss tonight and I want to be done in an hour. Anybody got a problem with that?"

Damn, plates are done. Deep breath and dive back in.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Fahrenheit 451 a little less hot than it was

Ray Bradbury is changing his mind. On one of his signature works, Fahrenheit 451, Ray is now saying his book about censorship, a book that has been interpreted that way for half a century, an interpretation he endoresed and help promote, he's now pulling a big "Psych" on us all. See, Fahrenheit 451 is all about the deleterious effects of TV on culture. The same way, I'm sure, 1984 is all about the previlence of web cams.

Well, Ray is the author, he can say his books are about whatever he say's they're about. I can see his point, and sure the book can be read that way. It doesn't mean that's the way we have to read it. Funny how art is that way.

Sure, yes, he does show in Fahrenheit 451 how TV has really become an opiate through Montag's wife. But even the last time I read Fahrenheit 451, it was about censorship, one that is embraced by the masses because they have the Walls (i.e. TV) and in ear radios to entertain and advetise to them. Just as important as the walls, at least by word count, is Montag's boss Beatty's info dump on why firemen burn, and the importance of Montag's neighbor, Clarisse McClellan and her "magical" presence.

Some people are talking about it (John Scalzi, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Dave Klecha).

Why, it must be global freezing

Tonight it's supposed to get down to 43 degrees. This weekend we had the air-conditioner running and tonight I may need to fire up the heat. I guess the good news is that they're not predicting a frost. Yet.

While I don't expect the weather to conform to straight line progressions, this wild swinging is driving me and my allergies nuts.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Reeee Jected!

Well, that was quick. The Slush God strikes, and I'm out of the running early with "Running of the Deer." One the plus side, he commented on the writing, the letter was different than my previous rejections from F&SF (edited I checked some previous rejection letters, yes, I keep them all, from F&SF and it's the same wording, oh well, so either it is their form, or I'm better than I think). So, not exactly a form letter rejection. Woohoo! By my slow and steady progress, soon I will control the publishing world.

So, we look on Ralans and Duotrope, and the next lucky winner to be subjected to my submission is Strange Horizons. SH also offers online submissions, so it's already there, before the F&SF half-sheet rejection-letter has a chance to dry out from my tears, RotD is back in the game.

Fanboy time!

Okay, Justine Larbalestier was at BEA (me so jealous) where she spied the best t-shirt evar!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Random thoughts on Intelligent Stupid People

I was talking about the NASA administrator's ignornance of the Global Warming Issue, now known as Global Climate Change, and then I never posted anything about it. Suffice it to say, I've heard plenty of ignorance on this issue. And here's the biggie.

Everybody, everywhere, when they discuss Global Warming, they have a tendancy to get fixated on rising sea levels. Then we have those who say basically, well, the Dutch build dykes, so could we. Unfortunately, this missed the bigger issues of the majority of the world's population live near the coasts, and the majority of the world's poor live close to sea level. Few people have been discussing the massive migration issues that will happen as sea levels rise.

And there is a huge elephant in the room that is barely acknowledged, Global Weather Patterns will change. This is barely touched on when people talk about the large influx of fresh water shutting down the major circulatory system of the oceans, notably the Gulf Stream. This could lead to a refreezing of northern Europe, etc.

That's the least of my worries. We are already seeing plants and animals migrating and changing their habitats because of the warming. There's now discussion about how animals might "fall off the tops of mountains" as the climate they need, along the slopes of mountains, keeps moving up to higher elevations, until it won't be there anymore, or the animals and plants run out of oxygen.

But here's the real kicker. Global weather patterns will change. This means where it's dry it might be wet. And where it's wet it might become dry. Or it maybe wet and dry at the wrong times. So what does this mean?

Crops fail. Dustbowl conditions. Plants grow in ways that are harmful. We're unable to plant or harvest which leads to crop rot. We're unable to feed our source animals which grow sickly.

Or, you could get what's happening in Germany right now. Germany has an extra month of growing season, and that's expanding. It might get to the point that German Farmers have an extra growing season in a year. Sounds great, doesn't it? Until you realize that the lack of a longer winter means the wheat mold doesn't die off as hard. So while they have a longer growing season, they have poorer crop yields.

This winter, which was warm, didn't kill off all the insects as much as they did in previous years, so the specific mosquito that carries the West Nile virus will have a larger population this year. As in a multiples of the previous years.

Not many people are dicussing these issues which are impacting us right at this moment.

The notes are out

All my hand written notes (unless I've been sleep-note taking) are typed in. The story is now at 1115 words. Not all of these are good, and somethings need to move around and be changed, but a good start. I now have to do other work, so I don't think I'll be getting more typed in today.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Daddy's Little Girl

I'm typing in my pages of notes. Not the only thing I'm doing or did today, so the word count it low. I still have a few more pages to type in. Then a couple of random notes to fill out. The story is fairly well full in the notes, like a outline skeleton with muscles on it. I just need to add some organs and flesh it over. My guess is at the end, it'll be around 2500 words (one of my shortest stories yet). Word count tonight, 450. Most of them good. I think I need to do a lot of word smithing with this one. Get that prose thing going.

"A mild hysteria. It was only on the third night I realized that the crying wasn't from her room, but from the monitor. Buried in the confusion next to the nightstand, long forgotten and batteries drained away on empty air. The base station had been packed away for donation."

Friday, June 1, 2007

More Intelligent Stupid People, the New Phrenology

There's an article in the NY Times about sequencing the DNA of individuals. Some of the highlights include, (praphrased) "hey, wow, this DNA is really different compared to the human genome project," and, "well, we had to fudge the data a little (multply the DNA by growing it in baterica)," and my favorite, Dr. Watson (one of those Nobel Guys who got credited for the work done by a woman tech who had imaged the double helix structure of DNA, stuck it in a drawer, which somehow was "seen" by Watson and Crick, which lead them to think, "hey, I betcha DNA is a double helix. Quick, let's publish it!") doesn't want to have his "apolipoprotein E gene" published, because that has a link to Alzheimers. Yeah, so much for full disclosure.

So, right now it costs about $1 million to do this (compared to the cost of the Human Genome project, that's cheap). They expect with the new generation of machines to reduce that to 10%. And they also exepct to get the cost down to $10,000 soon. So everybody can have this done.

Here are some other quotes from the article.

"Dr. Venter’s (discoverer of the faster way to sequence genomes) new genome is 'a real tour de force'"

"Dr. Watson urged that more human genomes should be sequenced, including those of successful people as well as those of medical interest. "

Genome sequencing, the New Phrenology. Gattaca, here we come.

And a shout out to Dan for pointing me to the article. Also to my wife, who has a masters in Genetics from whom I've learned so much.

I read the news today, Oh boy.

It was forty years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught the world to play. They were going in and out of style, but this is guaranteed to raise a smile. So let me introduce to you, the act you've know for forty years, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I'm one year, one month, and a few days older than the record that changed the world. While I personally like Abbey Road better, Sgt. Pepper is still a good romp and nothing to sneeze at.

"I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wondering."

I have to give a shout out to my brother who is a big Beatles fan. I learned to sing by listening to the Beatles. And I've had my mind blown by the Beatles more times than I can count. And I still go.

"We were talking - about the love that's gone so cold and the people,
Who gain the world and lose their soul.
They don't know. They can't see. Are you one of them?
When you see beyond yourself then you may find,
peace of mind, is waiting there."

Yeah, I want to see Brittany Spears come up with that. That lovely Rita, meter maid.

Picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Somebody calls you and you answer quite slowly the girl with kaleidoscope eyes.