There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speaking their minds
getting so much resistance from behind

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's beginning to look like Xmas… 2013

At the day thing I'm constantly frustrated by the last minute nature and planning of current business. Some of it is just the inability to schedule work and plan for what is coming down the pike. "ZOMG, I need this RIGHT NOW! Stop everything and get this new thing done!" That kind of stuff tends to blow everything out of the water. And if I told you that happens at least twice a week, I would be lying. But only because I'm low balling the number.

What is particularly frustrating is this is an example of the industry I come from and have worked in for 20+ years…

That's right. At this moment, out in the wild universe of design, the decisions are being made for Xmas 2013 (this is very similar to publishing calendars, BTW, so when writers talk about how slow publishing is, I see it as "that's what it should take" - here I should clarify that I mean publishing schedules, you don't want to know what it takes to publish a calendar for commercial sale). Designs won't be finalized until January or February, but they're developing them right now. Next Halloween… done already. Next 4th of July… China is already producing the products to get ready for shipment before the end of next month.

So, yeah, with a major project with a deadline of tomorrow looming and we're nowhere close to finished, ask me how much time I've been able to spend on it today. The answer would be zero, zilch, nada, nyet, none. Take your pick.

When I talk about eating because of the stress, now you have a little window into what it's like.

Yes, I know, every place has their issues. There's always last minute fires to put out. And lead times have been shrinking ever since I've been working professionally. The day thing, however, has made it an art form of its own.

So, should I rush this rush job before the rush job I was behind on because of the previous three rush jobs, just because you rushed in?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In darkest wintertime

After dithering for half a year, and thinking about it everyday since Halloween, I've signed up for Confusion.

To say I'm looking forward to it is like saying a drowning man looks forward to their next breath of air. Only three more weeks of classes and I can get back to writing. Even tonight I banged out 750 words (fairly good ones) on the "NotTheRightWIP" project. I've been preparing myself to switch from the "study or work until 10pm everyday" to "work and write until 10pm everyday". Okay, well, maybe not every day (because, frankly, I'm burnt and need sleep and to get chores done), but a good deal of them. And given that 750 words was in 30 minutes as I was eating salad, I'm obviously chomping at the bit.

Linkee-poo, yesterday you were an only child

A quick, late linkee-poo. Still swamped at work. For the reboot, took our 3rd quiz today for Radiologic Principles and I scored 20 out of 20. That brings my overall class average to 94%, which is the lowest A. There's still 80 some points to be awarded in the class (finals in lecture and lab) for a total of 230 points overall. I'm not out of the woods, yet, but feeling much better about my performance.

Just in time for the end of NaNoWriMo, ten quick ways to tell if your first draft of a novel isn't worth salvaging. Remember, writing is more rewriting and editing than it is writing. Unless you're one of the blessed (which I ain't). (Grokked from Dr. Debra Doyle)

Everybody's a critic. Or, why you should always proof your work. Although, I do know how a Brid bucket would come in handy (and yeah, I'd buy one of those). (Pointed to by Dan)

The Oatmeal with the obvious difference between slow and no internet. Having suffered at 56k (which acted more like 44k) for way too long, oh yes, this. Although, given the crappy connection we have for DSL, sometimes "no internet" just means I need to reset my modem. So there's a moment of the "slow" before I get to "no." (Grokked from Xeni)

A Swedish toy reseller creates a gender-swapped catalog and people freak the fuck out. Good thing we live in an enlightened world, eh? (Grokked from Steven Gould)

North Korea is really that bad. In the West we can ignore The Hermit Kingdom when it's not shoved in our faces because they're launching a rocket or making big booms. But everyday, most of Asia must deal with their presence. And for the people of North Korea, it's a nightmare from which they can not wake.

Alligator Quotient: Eyeball high again, I see.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Linkee-poo will not look for noble saints to guide me on my way

Argentavis magnificens, the world largest bird that flew. These things have fascinated me ever since I read a NatGeo article about the "reign of birds" that happened just after the dinosaurs died out. Apparently much of Central and South America was plain land with tremendous winds which supported such a population of super birds. If you don't think they would be terrifying, just google "cassowary" and see what it can do. And it's smaller than these and doesn't even fly. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

"They feared witches as we fear child killers." A BBC article on the female witch-pricker of Scotland. Much about what the witch trials really were about. And if Christian Caddell' story doesn't inspire your own story bones, I don't think you're trying hard enough. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. Things are so much worse now that they were in our fictional 1950s of TV sitcoms. That's an interesting article that talks about how things are now compared to the fiction in our heads. Arguments void if you're only frame of reference for reality is Fox News. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Five things I want my daughters to learn about feminism. Which turn out to be good reference points for all of us. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Eric with a little more on the feminism thing. I, uh, my brain hurts. Well, not really. See, if you read that quote that Eric goes off on with the understanding that Social Conservatives aren't about much more than rolling back feminism and the sexual revolution. This is why the Right to Lifers are against all the things proven to reduce the need for abortion (like contraceptives, sex education, family planning, and women's health). The quote from Suzanne Venker makes much more sense in that context.

Another entry in the "but they looked so normal" category. This time, a "cured of being gay" evangelist who created a small cult that revolved around sex and abuse and ended up with a murder. The real problem is that this will play so well into the narrative of the people they pretended to belong to and their opinion of others.

"So we had this old Cary Grant classic Room for One More on in the background this afternoon and I just heard Robert Osborne explain that after an earlier broadcast the network had been inundated by angry viewers demanding to know why they cut the word God from the pledge of allegiance in the movie." I remember having conversations like that. History, she's a bitch and you can't fix stupid. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"Republican leaders said in proposing (Florida's voter ID) law (and reduced early voting) that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law’s main purpose: GOP victory." The problem is that those laws are still in place and the next election, PA's voter ID law will be in full force. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist. In fact, he’s barely a liberal—and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right." An economist (Bruce Bartlett) completes his journey to what the current GOP believes is the Dark Side. It's an interesting article (mentioned by Paul Krugman who acknowledges Bruce's transmogrification journey) outlining how when one joins the reality-based community, the hard right tends to throw you overboard. So one more voice saying the GOP needs reforming. However, I'm coming to the conclusion that like an addict, the GOP is addicted to their social conservatives and Fox News bubble and no amount of intervention will open their eyes. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

This is what privilege looks and sounds like. Wow. Just, wow. In what dark hole must your soul live in to equate going on food stamps with a diet program that will make you look great? That is was said on Fox isn't unbelievable, but still, you expect people to have some basic ability to relate to their fellow humans. And, yeah, the term is "psychopathic." (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Tweet of my heart: @tnielsenhayden: Why we moderate: check out #1reasonwhy and see how many intelligent women are literally afraid of public online discussions.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Linkee-poo, is written all over your face

Debra Doyle with with some quick links for gift giving to that writer in your life. I'll take one of those, and one of those. Plus you still can't go wrong with the Amazon Gift Card.

How nutmeg is not the innocent spice you may think it is. You might not think of it this way now, but in days past spices were worth genocide (if anything is ever really worth genocide, but to the mindset of the time it was). Dune doesn't seem so strange now, does it? Heck, spice is the reason Marco Polo took his journey and the Queen of Spain gave Columbus the money from her hocked jewelry. It was only after they figured out they had found a "New Land", and one without much spice, that they started sucking out the iron, silver, and gold.

"'Trying to hire high-skilled workers at rock-bottom rates,' the Boston Group study asserted, 'is not a skills gap.'… Many skilled workers have simply chosen to apply their skills elsewhere rather than work for less, and few young people choose to invest in training for jobs that pay fast-food wages. As a result, the United States may soon have a hard time competing in the global economy." I think I've said as much. Look, if you're having problems hiring people, or getting people with the right skills applying for jobs, then maybe you need to look at the rates you're paying. But then, if you pay workers more, that's less profit = lower stock price = less compensation for executives = self perpetuating cycles where executives get sky high pay rates (+200x what their factory workers get) because "you need to retain top people" and the people who actually make the profit for the company get shafted, because "you can always get more." Except the reality is different. Executives are a dime a dozen these days, but obviously factories are having a problem finding good workers. Also don't miss the paragraph with "…with the confluence of computers, increased trade and weakened unions, the social contract has collapsed, and worker-employer matches have become harder to make." That social contract used to be called the "virtuous cycle." (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"It is now impossible to defend capitalism, Texas, or cable television to me for the rest of the day. My head literally hurts right now." Or, how to throw an elegant, adult baptism. Anybody still think these people need tax breaks? (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"While the abortions took place more than a decade before DesJarlais embarked on a political career, they have opened him up to charges of hypocrisy because, as a congressman, he has been a staunch opponent of abortion. His official website says 'all life should be cherished and protected.'" Another conservative of the "the abortions I supported (and enforced) were all ethically necessary, all other abortions are abominations and should be stopped" crowd. "DesJarlais said he also regrets his sexual relationships with two patients and three co-workers while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical." Great crowd the Teat Party got elected, isn't it. Let's see, a doctor having sexual relationships with patients. I believe that's a "we'll take your license now" offense. And "DesJarlais admitted in court to prescribing painkillers to one of the women," isn't that a "now you're going to jail" event? Seriously, WTF? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Woman listening to the Lord talking drives 100mph in a 35 zone, while blowing her horn, at all 1am. Um, honey, that's ain't the Lord talking, that's the whiskey (see earlier link about Crazy Uncle Pat "hearing God" get it wrong on the election). (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Long Weekend Linkee-poo edition the II, electric boogaloo

Joss Whedon's top ten writing tips. (Grokked from ticia42)

Kelly McCullough on celebrating rejection. And on that note, two weeks ago I got another manuscript rejection. This time from an agent I hadn't submitted to, but at an agency I had submitted to a different agent there. So that means, someone thought my manuscript was good enough to pass on to someone else. It's the small victories.

Ah, the meritocracy. Yeah, I'm sure there's no sexism (or racism) anymore, no matter what the research and statistics show. It's all done on the basis on the quality of individuals and not on the perceived differences between things that just shouldn't matter (this said as a straight, white, male). (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

And while that link on prejudice and privilege (the lesser known Jane Austen novel) was mostly about sexism and writing (and I normally put the political stuff at the bottom) Jim Wright has a good post on the racism in politics. You just can make this shit up.

The popular myths of science explained (and debunked, for the most part). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

When recycling paper to make confetti, you really shouldn't use confidential documents. D'oh! (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Companies are looking at removing the Reply All function in email. What really needs to happen is a little email education. At my own day job, we don't seem to quite understand the difference between phone, email, and IM and the benefits and drawbacks of any of them. (Grokked from Dan)

A post election epiphany that could cause whiplash if you're not careful. I see the conservative grip on the delusional landscape remains firmly in their grip. Jumping from one delusion to another does not an epiphany make, just saying. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"But there’s important information in the fact that a senior reporter for a major network could dismiss climate change as essentially a special interest issue. It’s evidence, if more were needed, that 'all us climate people' got our butts kicked in the battle for the narrative in the 2012 election." The environmental movement is also learning lessons from their loss in the election. Instead of appealing to the top of the chain, they realize they need to re-convince the grassroots about the importance of their issues. (Grokked from Morgan J Locke)

Bill O'Reilly's Leave It to Beaver nightmare. Yeah, that. Or, no, we have not always been at war with East Asia. History, she's a bitch when you don't believe in facts. Go and read if you think "traditional" America is imperiled. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"The actual work of government oversight is significantly impeded by endless pandering to nonsensical conspiracies theories or people who need clinical intervention." Actually I can't think of a Congressional Committee that hasn't suffered that exact problem for the past 20 years (actually, the only noteworthy exception I can remember is Al Franken, and when a comic shames you by doing a better job, something is wrong). Investigatory hearings aren't much more than constituent newsletter fodder, "Oh, I really gave it to that so and so…" And the Congressman and Senators don't really come up with most of their own statements, instead they are fed them by their assistants. If I'm ever investigated by Congress I may come to the room with a set of jacks or pickup-sticks and play while the blowhards make their statements which seem to consume most of their time (instead of asking questions and listening to answers, and then asking more pointed questions based on those answers). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Tweet of my heart: @JSCarroll: Sometimes memory is like a bat suddenly flying into a room: Frantic, you do anything you can to get it out of there.

Double dip: @TheDailyEdge: 11 years ago the GOP persuaded the middle class to give $1T to the rich to create 8M jobs. $1 trillion later: ZERO jobs

The above link goes to a "deficit clock", oh, wait, no, that's how much money we've given to the top 5% (run by Citizens for Tax Justice). Strangely enough, I think that's a sizable chunk of the debt we've run up. Not like anyone would really admit that.

Alligator Quotient: Yeah, they were here yesterday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Long weekend Linkee-poo has one hand in its pocket, and the other is giving a peace sign

What the Pilgrims really were thankful for, Leptospirosis. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

A Calvin and Hobbs cosplay. Aw, that's so cute. They'd get a whole handful of candy. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

"Failure is necessary. But quitting is not the same as failing… Repeat after me: It’s not okay to give up." Chuck Wendig on the difference between failure and quitting.

"What I do believe is going on, aside from the neuropsychobabble…, is that as with most people, the writer’s subconscious mind is a lot smarter than the writer’s conscious mind… Good writing, writing with power, is of necessity tapping that deeper well." Jay Lake on the writing process, the Muse, and Fred.

Cracking the Copiale cipher reveals a meta-secret society intent on saving the secrets in the face of Catholic persecution.

In Kentucky, there's a bill that can send you to jail for not believing the Almighty God will protect you. Yeah, because, you know, that wouldn't impinge on anyone's personal liberties. Oh, say, how did that whole "trusting in Almighty God" help the victims of Sandy, Katrina, the wild fires, or just the drunk drivers on Kentucky's roads?

"Beware the real-life, 98-foot Fail Whale who terrorizes the skies." How can you not look to see what that means? (Grokked from

"While the Secret Service saw a spike in death threats in 2008 and again in 2012, the total number of daily threats against Obama is for the most part similar to those against his predecessor, George W. Bush, and has occasionally dipped significantly lower, according to reports from the Secret Service." Grokked from Matt Stagg)

"In fact, outside of that post-WWII era, the only time the deficit has fallen faster was when the economy relapsed in 1937, turning the Great Depression into a decade-long affair." Well, that's something you won't ever hear on BMN (Bullshit Mountain News, aka Fox News). Yep, while the conservatives ranted and railed about an exploding deficit, the reality was the opposite. Who would have guessed. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

You know, sometimes people are out to get you. That's 33 conspiracy theories that turned out to be true. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

The GOP has to stop being the party of "stupid." Several of their leading lights say so, but then, when pressed, get all wibbly wobbly to make sure they don't piss off the base. And then, the three people vying for chairmanship of the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology are all evolution denialists and climate change opponents you really don't have much of a chance of that. Wo while hopefully they'll shut down their members from speaking out of their ass when it comes to rape and women's healthcare (note: not change their stances, or educate their members on the issue, just STFU about it), that's just the tip of the Antarctica of your problem. "… it’s true that there are some Republican intellectuals and pundits who … 'seem to be' open-minded; indeed, they’re professional seemers. When it matters, they can always be counted on… If they don’t deliver when it counts, they are excommunicated; see Frum, David." (Grokked from Jay Lake)

And it's not just the GOP's elected leaders. "Take a look at the comments under any Yahoo! News article. Any article. Take a look at the comments under nearly any Wall Street Journal article on politics or the economy. Take a look at the comments on any TEA Party forum. Any forum. Look at what any conservative pundit says every single day. Any conservative pundit. Look at the statements by outspoken conservative politicians and party leaders, every single day. Go on, look." That's Jim Wright on another big problem with the GOP, the bigotry and racism inherent in its policies and positions.

Tweet of my heart: @LiberalBiasBlog: 80% of Walmart employees are on food stamps. And I can't think of anything clever to add that will make that in any way funny.

(In case you want to know more about that)

Alligator Quotient: All of them are zonked out on tryptophan, so easy day away form the office (plus, I'm ignoring checking my email).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A day of Thanksgiving

There's so much I complain about during the year, but there's so much I am thankful for. Including the opportunity to complain about things that aren't "not enough food, stomach clenching" or "rained last night while I was sleeping, now I'm soaked and cold".

But I am very thankful for all I have, which is considerable. Not just physical stuff, but also relationships. My family, my wife, but also all my friends, those I've known a long time and those I've just met. And all of you. I'm especially thankful that so many of you are still reading my little squib since it hasn't been much more than linkee-poos for over a year now.

I'm thankful that I'm still in relatively good health. The wii fit keeps pegging me in my mid 20s as a wii age. Thankful that a lot of things didn't turn out as bad as I originally thought they might.

So today, go out and hug those who are closest to you and let them know that no matter how much they miss piss you off sometimes, you're thankful they're there to do that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Linkee-poo goes over the river and through the wood

I'm still working, so it can't be too late, right? (don't look at the published time if you don't want to be depressed) On the plus side we finished all our labs for Intro to Radiographic Technology. So just write up the results and my Wednesdays will be over sooner. Yippie. So I can go into work earlier. Um, wait.

Also, besides Thanksgiving being tomorrow, it's also our 15th Anniversary. So I know what I'm thankful for. How about yous all?

Some signs you may be having an awkward Thanksgiving. (Grokked from Daniel J Hogan)

Catherine Schaff-Stump interviews Ellen Klages on her writing process. "Most of all, I love having written." No truer words have been spoken.

Handling rejection like a pro. (Grokked from Vince)

The continuation on how Norse myths have come down to us.

Old computers never die, they just reboot. The world will have a new "oldest digital computer still working" soon. (Pointed to by Dan)

Ah, the French Foreign Legion. The romance, the daring do, the unrelenting march through the mud. As is often the case, what seems to be so romantic from the outside is often pretty terrible on the inside. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"In short i don’t care to publish reviews of films that offend me." You know, those movies with strong female characters. OMG. And that, my friends, is what we refer to a neanderthal. Also, that's the problem of the free press, it's the free press of the people who own the press. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Crazy Uncle Pat admits he blew predicting the election. But, wait, didn't God speak to him. I'm pretty sure he said God spoke to him. Say, uh, Uncle Pat, that ain't God's voice. A prophet you ain't, you know what I'm saying? (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"(David) French consoles himself by asserting that Tuesday’s overwhelming rejection of religious-right values somehow constitutes, above all, a defeat for progressive evangelicals… By 'key elements of Christian orthodoxy' French apparently means the Holy Trinity… 1) opposing LGBT rights; 2) seeking to criminalize abortion; and 3) voting for Mitt Romney." They may not be going down swinging, but singing "Lalala, can't hear you" all the way.

Tweet of my heart: @pnh: Best sentence I have read on the internet all day: "I am delighted to annoy this category of status-anxious, woman-fearing moron." @scalzi

Double dip: @jay_lake: On further discussion of CT results, it appears Rumsfeld has disappeared, or at least shrunk below the scan's resolution. Two to go!

Alligator Quotient: Don't they know it's (Thanksgiving) after all?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Linkee-poo knows they'll hurt you if they think you've lied

Sign up for Writing F&SF Short Stories with Cat Rambo and get one of three extra classes free.

Philip Roth on retiring from writing. (Grokked from Mrs. Tadd)

And in case you need reminding of how unbalanced the playing field is, "Hostess Brands will ask a bankruptcy judge on Monday for approval to shut down the company and pay $1.75 million in executive bonuses." Those bonuses will go to 19 executives. You know, the company that said "we don't have enough money to pay our workers a living salary, so no more Twinkies for you." That company. The ones that can't make enough profit from brands other companies are salivating over the chance of snapping up. Like they've all been on a three day marijuana binge. The words you're looking for are "WTF?!" (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

Let's see. There's about 5000 workers in the BTGM for Hostess, so that would be $350 per person. And now you know why they're going into mediation.

When a kindergartner is asked what she would do if she ruled the world replies, she would destroy it from space. Like you do. In case anyone ever talks about putting children in charge, now you know why we don't do that. (Grokked from

You know, when astronomers worked out all the details of how to detect exo-planets that was very cool. But those methods weren't direct observations, they were observations of the perturbations of the stars those planets revolved. I still thought it was cool and never thought we'd be able to image those planets, at least not in my life time. But now we are doing it somewhat regularly. Sure, they're not much more than a glob of pixels brighter than the background, but still. Who knows, by the time I've passed on we may have color images to see if they're blue, green, orange, or purple. And maybe we'll see if they have rings (although they would need to be like Saturn's and not the rest of the gas giants (heck, we didn't know they were there until a few decades ago). (Pointed to by John)

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church decide that stepping on the American Flag during one of their protests would be a Good Thing™. One of the soldiers in attendance took exception. It's never good to cheer violence, but I see their point. Unfortunately, yeah, that's battery. My guess would be the soldier still thinks it was worth it. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"So (Paul) Ryan did his best to impersonate a budget wonk. It wasn’t a very good impersonation — in fact, he’s pretty bad at budget math." Just a reminder of who the players are as we head into the heavy spin cycle of this December. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

The Nation's article on Alexander Lamis' interview of Lee Atwater (the Karl Rove of his generation). Just in case you think all this talk about race-baiting and dog whistling this past election is new. Also, to see the context of how "abstract statements" are intentional dog whistles to the old racial hatred. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

And, yes, some people who practice the dog whistling just don't get it themselves. "Michael Brown and Linda Harvey and other white evangelicals are fine with (having congregations of mainly white people). And they’d be perfectly comfortable tapping 'minorities and women as executive leaders and thought leaders' just as long as those folks share all the exact same opinions, perspectives and priorities as those of the white evangelical establishment." Also note the pillaring Gen. Colin Powell, once the darling of the conservative movement, took after endorsing President Obama on policy matters.

More of the self-loathing evident in conservative circles. "Seventy percent of counties with the fastest-growth in food-stamp aid during the last four years voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by Bloomberg." An article written before the election. I wonder how the numbers held up? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Tweet of my heart: @jasonsanford: I invented a shock collar to zap authors anytime they write cliches or steal ideas. Unfortunately, no authors survived product testing.

Alligator Quotient: Either they're really tall, or there's a whole bunch of them stacked together.

Monday, November 19, 2012

[Insert Flight of the Bumblebee here]

Very busy Steve is very busy.

That's me this semester, without the sexist gag at the end. Or the help of Hedley Lamarr.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekend Linkee-poo started in a hot, dense state

Patrick Rothfuss fires up his Worldbuilders 2012 fundraising effort for Heifer International with fun prizes and auctions.

While we all really would like to have that magical book contract, sometimes you need to walk away. I often talk about studying comics/comedians to learn dialog. But there are other reasons than dialog and laughter to go see comics. I did another link a while back about how comics can take what is difficult and dark places and change them around. I n this case it's by being honest and sharing their own lives. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Chuck Wendig's 25 ways to unstick a stuck story.

NPR's Science Friday gets all legalistic with a creationist mockery called Real Science Friday. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people, done by a nicer bunch of people. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Google's 100,000 stars. You know, for when you want to go cruising around the galaxy and maybe make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.

"When (the researchers) mixed up cocktails of excrement and soil, they found that urine from (antibiotic) treated cows killed off normal E. coli and encouraged the spread of the resistant ones. Thus, simply contaminating a patch of soil with pee may be enough to create resistant bacteria in the wild." And on the plus side, the pharmaceutical companies really aren't researching new antibiotics. What could possibly go wrong.

When Paul Ryan says they lost because of the "urban" vote, he means "black people." Which the author of this article knows when they say, "But pointing to urban voters for the Republican failure to win… does not take into account that (the GOP) also lost big in some rural, mostly white states, like Iowa and New Hampshire." But Ryan also knows it, because "(s)ome of Mr. Ryan’s aides said that as a candidate he had hoped to spend more time in poor urban areas to explain his theories of fighting poverty, and was restrained by his schedule." Woulda, shoulda, coulda. He coulda been a contender, instead of a bum, if only his brother had looked out for him. But I'm sure they would have won if only they could have kept those pesky kids and their dog away from the polls with voter ID. Except for not only did the Romney/Ryan tick lose their "home" states, but Ryan lost his home town as well. On the other hand, he is correct that the Romney/Ryan ticket did do well in rural counties that benefit big from farm subsidies. You know, the moocher class.Just like Romney's corporate cronies. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The big Obama conspiracy chart. For shits and giggles. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Linkee-poo is in a roundabout

Some interesting tools for writers. He starts out with the more pricy ones, but there's some free apps thrown in there.

Foz Meadows deconstructs the Tony Harris asshat sexist post and followup defenses pretty well. Yeah. What she said. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Rogue planet finally observed. Although in this case, it is more like a failed star that didn't gather enough mass to ignite. But then, it's not so different from Jupiter. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The Windows 95 tip tumblr. Hahahahaha. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Nah, I'm sure your comments about, "Were'd all these black folk at the polls come from," wasn't racists at all. As someone who lives in my own rural small town, there are all types of people in town that most people never run in to. Even if they go to the post office every day. There's at least 3 distinct populations in this town of 2000. And if you've never been to the gas statin after midnight, you're missing one of them. If you haven't ridden with your local police, you're missing another. And I can tell you, several of the lifers in town don't know about them.

"According to CNN, most Republican members of the Senate committee in charge of investigating the (Benghazi) attacks were absent from the classified briefing, which was led by Obama administration officials on Wednesday." I'm sorry Sen. McCain, but if you miss the classified briefing, as did most of your GOP colleagues, you don't get to harp on the issue anymore. Seriously, this is an unforced error. If you want to pretend about how upset you are, you don't miss the classified briefing. You're a tool. Please go away.

Oh fuck off, Romney. You're 15 minutes are up. As to your quote, "The former Republican nominee said Obama followed 'a proven political strategy, which is give a bunch of money to a group and, guess what, they’ll vote for you.'" Yeah, I'm so glad all those billionaires who gave you money and funded the SuperPACs that supported you won't be getting "your vote" because you're not in office. This is the break between the mentality of the rich and the rest of us. Bobby Jindal not withstanding, more of the rank and file GOP believe Romney's position.

Yeah, the GOP just didn't get it. Seriously, after the shellacking the GOP took in the press over their War on Women and they're balking on the Violence Against Women Act?

Tweet of my heart: @dcurtisj: You want to hear about gifts to minorities? Let's talk about deep tax breaks for the richest 1% of your population.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Linkee-poo hears voices all the time

The green-eyed monster when it comes to other writers' success. Oh my. So been there. But then as a new writer (am I still new?) you need to accept that nobody's path is the same.

Elizabeth Shack shares an iPad app that tracks changes.

John Scalzi with a PSA regarding Clarkesworld Magazine.

Where were you when the Twitter wars started. First protestors use social media to organize to topple dictators. Now states use Twitter to announce airstrikes. (Pointed to by John)

This is probably the best summation of GeneralGate. This is what happens when you mix politics and sex. The result is only slightly better than politics and religion, and that's because of the prurient entertainment value. And I'm sure why they conservative media hasn't been all over the "ZOMG, she's Lebanese!" angle is because 1) she's Christian Lebanese-American and 2) she's probably a conservative. But, yeah, the rich and powerful and the wannabe rich and powerful. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Yet another reason liberals believe conservatives have gone off the deep end. Look, these are your elected officials, not Froggy McFruitcake in his compound talking about how the guberment is out to get him.

In the fallout of the election, I've talked about "lessons learned." Well, according to Fred Clark, some evangelicals are rethinking their political alliances and positions, but then some of them are thinking they just need to clap harder.

Two NPR stories on the GOP Governor's Association and the various Young Republicans as they sort out the messages of the last election (hopefully they'll have the transcripts up soon). Yep, still not getting it. Also, good luck shucking the social conservative strangle hold. McCain tried to do that in his 2000 presidential bid. You saw how far it got him.

Look, if it weren't for the social conservatives brought in by Reagan and Gingrich, I'd probably still be a Republican (although I like to think I would have had the same experiences that brought me to the conclusion that the table is fixed and needs liberal policies to right). Because I'm very much like what Jay Lake describes here. As I've said before, I am for a smaller, more efficient government. But I'm not for a "military ONLY" government. I'm for reduced taxes, but not because of the anti-American philosophies of Grover Norquist (which, frankly, conservatives if you've signed his pledge you've prima facia violated your oath of office, IMHO).

"They have so little faith in the country they profess to love that they’re willing to abandon it straightaway rather than help us fix it." Jim Wright on the Texans jangling the secession bell, again. Not to mention the Fiscal Cliff and making the hard decisions. The real problem is people are using a lot of the words they're saying as code words to mean other things. So when they talk about "making government smaller", they aren't really talking about streamlining activities, automating systems, etc. They mean, "No IRS, Departments of Education, Energy, EPA, etc."

Tweet of my heart: @jameslsutter: Coworker: "I used to wonder what it'd be like to read other people's minds. Then I got a Facebook account, and now I'm over it."

Alligator Quotient: There's this one really big mother that's bothering me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stamping my geekpass for the month

This is the Breo iPalm520 Acupressure Hand Massager with Heat Compression.

But it can't just be me who immediately thinks:
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Linkee-poo, but what can a poor boy do except to sing for a rock 'n roll band

Today was just insane (over the already insane which has become the new "normal). On the "How Fazzled Is Steve" index today, I turned in a test completely missing that there were an additional 10 true and false questions on the back page. Prof kindly let me finish the test once I realize my mistake. Mother of God, I missed a whole page of a test. WTF? Note to self, do a personal catch up post.

The Golden Ratio Typography Calculator (for websites) tool. You know, in case you need those things. (Grokked from Daniel J Hogan)

"Art is not born in a vacuum, but it's not born inside a tornado full of shirking trolls, either." An excellent Oatmeal on being creative and being on the internet. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"Pictured above is a twenty-faced die dating from somewhere between 304 and 30 B.C., a timespan also known as Egypt's Ptolemaic Period." I guess it made it's saving throw versus obscurity. Although it looks more like a die from Call of Cthulhu. "Oh, I'm sorry, you rolled an Elder Sign. Your character goes stark raving mad." (Grokked from

The next fossil fuel, frozen methane hydrate. Methane is only 20x more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. And there's a lot of it at the bottom of the ocean. Just like the coal, it was laid down when the Earth was very much warmer than it is now (and lead to the cooling of the atmosphere). What could possibly go wrong? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"The device in question doesn’t actually look much at all like a MacBook Air or an iPad. It looks like a broken chair." Best Dell ad evar! It is to laugh. (Pointed to by Dan)

Isolating organs to bath them in chemo therapy drugs. Now that's an interesting approach. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Doctors use an fMRI to "communicate" with a patient in a vegetative state. This could be very interesting, but I see a lot of problems with this. Not to mention how hideously expensive fMRI is. Not everybody's vegetative state is the same (there was a comment about how this might have saved Terri Shiavo, that person obviously never saw the autopsy report, this would have actually shown how severely damaged her brain had become). Also, fMRI hasn't been fully demonstrated to accurately show actual brain activity (google "dead fish fmri" if you want an example). So definitely should be followed up, but if it pans out, very cool. (Pointed to by John)

A wife runs over her husband, blaming him for President Obama's re-election. I'd say this was someone looking for an excuse, but seeing some of the other whackaloon reactions, maybe not. (Pointed to by John)

TPM posts their list of the six most bizarre freakout over Obama's re-election. I'm going to make pop-corn to read these from now on. Seriously, Papa John's? You're solution to "having to pay more for employee healthcare" is to cut employee hours? I think you need to go back to economics class and relearn "cash flow", because I don't think you get it. Now, I know this isn't representative of all conservatives, but seriously folks, you're losing your shit in public. It makes you look like fools. Including learning the wrong lessons from the election. Like your candidate reprising his stance on "makers and takers" (although he didn't use those terms, he used that philosophy) that he had been forced to repudiate. Good thing to know it's a well worn crutch for him. I wonder if Romney will pay his top staff another bonus, like he did in August?

Earth to Ohio Sec. of State John Husted, stop being a tool. Seriously, just how many fucking times do you have to lose in a court of law over the same election before you finally wake up? 'Cause isn't this number 3 now?

Alligator Quotient: They're all around me now. Not only coming out of the woodwork, but through the concrete as well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Signs and portents

The live blogging of the solar eclipse on facebook. This is really what the internet was invented to do. I love living in the future (some times). As of this posting we're about 1/3 the way to totality. The Panasonic Eclipse Live group is using solar panels to power their telescopes and broadcasting. Um, guys, I see a flaw in this plan. (yeah, they have batteries that were charged by the solar panels).

Linkee-poo's will think I'm a nut, turning water into wine

XKCD's up-goer five. (Grokked from Elizabeth Shack)

A series on the creation of the Viking myths. As with most of what has been passed down to us, it was propaganda.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden points out the obvious. Yes, all those "numbers guys", who use that whole, "you just wouldn't understand" razzle-dazzle to justify their obscenely high salaries are just making shit up. The only difference between them and the person playing the lottery is the scope of the money and the return on investment.

A little on the different way East and West view struggle when it comes to learning. A little personal note here, yeah, I am a genius. By the numbers. School normally comes easy to me, but that's actually been a liability for me as I never had to work hard to get a C. So now that I'm into my second degree, I'm going for an A average (although this semester might see my first B). Lots of my classmates like to say, "Oh, it's easy for you. you just listen and get an A." Well, no. This is hard work. I spent about 8 hours this past weekend studying for the test on Wednesday. And next weekend I'll probably do the same thing. But because they see me getting an A, and I tend to know answers (and even if I don't I take a stab at them) in class, they think this is easy. It ain't.

Sometimes it takes random acts of kindness or a Rolling Jubilee to change the world. Why help retire people's debt? Well, one, that's what the money for the TARP was actually supposed to do. Also, it saves property values, frees up money for other economic benefits, relieves suffering, and has multiplication effects. It's five times better than giving someone a dollar bill with the admonition not to buy alcohol with it, which is kind of a dicky move.

Denver policeman shoots and kills man wielding ninjato (yeah, I know they say "samurai sword", and the photo is really bad, but looking at the scabbard, I'm pretty sure that's not a katana). Somewhat related to Bladesman. When you bring a knife to a gunfight, the gun usually wins. Which is why the knife holder cheats. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

It appears the Supreme Court is jonesing to declare the Voters Rights Act unconstitutional. Of course this is all reading the tea leaves at the moment, but I remember when the verdict of that earlier case came down pundits saying the same thing. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Hey look, good news about the increase in CO2 in our atmosphere. Apparently in the upper layers, where satellites scrape by, CO2 acts as a cooling agent (by radiating heat from collisions into space), which contracts the upper layers which then reduces drag on low orbit satellites. "The next challenge is to understand why the observed carbon dioxide trends are bigger than expected." Oh, and here's an article on that "Antarctica sea ice expansion" you may have heard of. Yep, it's a part of the model, no it's not making up for ice lost elsewhere, and it's not consistent around Antarctica. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

A "measured" response to the Iran firing on a Predator drone. When it first came up, people were losing their shit over this. Look, let's say Iran actually shot the drone down instead of firing "warning shots" (yes, I know, the whole "Iranian pilots couldn't hit a slow moving drone" is just fun to ponder, but really, that's not how people act, they missed on purpose because that's what you do to warn someone out of your airspace). Are we going to drop a nuke on them in response? That would be a total inappropriate and out of proportion response. What will happen is if an Iranian fighter group goes outside of the 12 mile limit (as they define it), they'll get a friendly visit by our aircraft and given a demonstration of our engine power. Or some low level ammo dump will develop a technical fault and go boom. Jesus on a pogo stick, it's only been 25 years since the end of the Cold War, have we all forgotten this shit already?

Tweet of my heart: @jodiecongirl: Fun w/ Bush tax cuts hindsight: "The Heritage Foundation predicted the cuts would result in the elimination of the national debt by 2010."

Yeah, so how did that work out?

Double dip: @joe_hill: The White House has a helpful site that allows citizens to create petitions, or, as I like to think of it, toys for trolls.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Linkee-poo will stand, stand by you

Jay Lake's CEA levels are elevated. Fuck cancer.

The state of the art of typesetting circa 1977. I started in design almost a decade later and I recognize all of those. They were still in vogue back in the 80s. And when you learn type that way 1) you know it a little better than the kids do these days (a common thing with the advancement of technology) and 2) I really, really, really damn well appreciate typesetting on a Mac. If I ever have to go back to hand cutting lines of type to kern, I might have to kill myself.

I'm sure there's nothing to this graphic showing longer election poll station wait times for Democrats and minority voters specifically. No, I'm sure there's some other reason than the attempt to disenfranchise these voters.

"On Thursday… radio host Michael Graham told Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly that President Barack Obama scared voters by claiming that women would be 'forced into rape camps' under the Republican presidential nominee." WTF? Seriously, when did that happen? 'Cause I must have missed that memo or briefing. If the right ever wants to know why the left believe they have become uncoupled with reality, just examine that statement. Michael Graham, it's time to contact your doctor because the meds you're on aren't stopping the hallucinations and feelings of persecution. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

I mean, the delusions just keep coming. Like this one about how in the wake of Sandy, nobody is asking for wind generators and solar but fossil fueled generators which proves that nobody needs all that green energy stuff. Sigh. Yeah, wind generated pumping power is so totally out of the realm of reality that nobody would ever want it. I bet all those people in Holland are feeling really stupid right now. Robert Bryce at the Manhattan Institute, that you're in a "think tank" only goes to show the detriment of affirmative action for idiots. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

Memo to the Right Wing: Women know you've got their back. The snark is great. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

And it's time we start doing this. Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party and newsletter writer, you are a traitor and un-American. You deserve neither your position or the title "American" or "Patriot." Please self-deport at your earliest opportunity.

Alligator Quotient: Alligators have learned to telecommute.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekend Linkee-poo at the eleventh hour

A busy weekend at Casa Steve's again. But, I got the leaves off the roof with only one laceration and I did the last mowing of the lawn. Not to mention about 4 hours on the day job. Today will be devoted to studying and writing (if I have the free time). There's a test on Wednesday, and there's no time to study during the week.

Literary consolation prizes. I think I'm the running for a few of those. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

I mean it's not like climate change is altering where and how we'll grow crops in the future. I'm sure it's all because of the well known liberal bias of food stocks.

It appears that the attempt of the GOP to suppress the vote backfired. In a big way. But then in true GOP fashion, they project the suppression of the vote on their opposition. Seriously, it's become an appropriate liberal response to look at conservatives and say, "I know you are, but what am I." And just to respond to Karl Rove, the economy, while getting better, still is languishing. The job scene, while improving, is still in the toilet. Liberals aren't incredibly happy with all of President Obama's positions (drone attacks anyone). In this year, it should have been a cake walk for the opposition to run away with this election. In fact there's the whole discussion about the Romney Campaign being "shellshocked"and blinded by the election results. And with all of it going the GOP way, they managed to screw it up by being themselves. So, no Mr. Rove, this is all self inflicted wounds. What worked for you in the 80s no longer does. But before all us liberals start dancing, understand that the war isn't over. PA's voter ID law will be in full force next election. Many of the state legislatures are still in GOP hands. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

It's uncool no matter which political side does it. Dumping a pig's carcass wearing a Romney shirt, that's just stupid. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Look, real voter fraud. Two of them in fact. Oh, wait. Both are Republicans. Again. "From what we understand, he was trained by the Republican Party…" although the local party claims he only started attending meetings lately. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Tweet of my heart: @Stonekettle: Final tally complete, Obama won Florida. Good news for Republicans however, they did manage to carry the State of Denial in a landslide.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Linkee-poo, why waste your breathe moaning at the crowd

This really should be titled, Shit My Clients Says to Me. Some of the things our clients say to us designers. I wish I could tell you they're making it all up, or those aren't said in all seriousness, but I would be lying to you. Yeah. I've had clients say some of them to me. Including, oddly enough, the one about the passport and the one about red and Xmas. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)

What happens when a guy Reddit poster pees on a home pregnancy test, finds it says he's pregnant, and then his friend posts a cartoon about the experience on Reddit. Turns out in men we can produce the hormone that will set off the test, and it's not a happy event. It's an indication you have a rare form of testicular cancer (IIRC, it's not just that particular kind of cancer, but it's not just any cancer either). (Grokked from Xeni)

"Alas, as always, the duty of the Right is to manfully endure, to survive the defeat and stubbornly oppose the vaunting foe, and so this brutal shock, this electoral catastrophe, must be absorbed and digested." And, the rightwing total freakout parade continues unabated. "…the only success the current president is likely to have is in guiding our nation straight toward a destination that proverbially waits at the end of a road paved with good intentions." He only forgot to include the hand basket. We make some nice ones here in Ohio. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

If you'd like some more whine with that cheese, you can check out all the politic links in this link salad by Jay Lake. As the joke goes; "Peasants, wine for Caesar!" "Aw, our taxes are too high and these sandals are too tight."

Hey, looky, a real case of in person voter fraud. Wow. You'd think it would never happen, but… wait, it's another Republican. Again. Never mind, citizen. Move along. Nothing to see here.

And Speaker Boehner extends the olive branch, promising to reach a compromise to not raise taxes. Yeah, standing on the far side of the issue and trying to claim their position is the compromise. But at least the freshened the lipstick on that pig.

"Think of how low you have to be on the 'low information voter' scale to continue to tune into the Rush Limbaugh show to learn something." Rush has a memory less that 24 hours. Some goldfish are better at it than he is. On Tuesday morning Rush says "Romney will win big." On Tuesday evening he says, if he's wrong about the election, nobody should listen to him. And then Wednesday he says he never told anybody (privately) that Romney would win big. Well, either Rush lied to his audience by telling them something he didn't really believe, or he's lying now. (Grokked from Vince)

What it looks like when your worldview comes crashing down. There's a point when losing an election really hurts. All the hopes and dreams get thrown to the ground and smothered. However, listening to the Romney Campaign, it was more than that. There was the sense that the world had gone all wrong and that somehow Obama tricked enough people and stole enough votes and that explained the fluke of his presidency. There was all the rhetoric of "taking back our country" and the rest. After all, 2010 proved their worldview that the Democrats in charge of the House and Senate and a black man in the White House was an aberration, the permanent majority was real and back on the ascendency. However having Barak Obama winning what is considered a landslide in the Electoral College and winning the popular vote poured cold water on that illusion and just like so many Scooby Doo episodes we saw it was just an old man in a rubber costume. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

Patrick Nielsen Hayden has more of the right wing melt down. There's also several more links in the comments.

I wish all those talking about "Going Gault" and bemoaning the death of America/Capitalism/Freedom would just fucking self-deport already and let the adults get back to work.

And, yeah, I'm sure that whole "War on Women" thing was a leftist conspiracy. Warning, don't read if blatant racism and misogyny are triggery for you. (Grokked from Absolute Write)

There's a lot more people coming to the conclusion the Rove blowout and subsequent "checking with the numbers people" was faked." Gee, ya think? Here's another tell, in studio you don't broadcast with hand held cameras or have a portable light crew ready to go. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Jim Wright wraps it all up with a neat little bow.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Interview with the Dragon

Today saw 630 words on the incorrect WIP. They were halting and stilted and unconjoined. Two voices of dialog that sounded very similar and there was the basic "white room" problem. They sucked and will more than likely not survive the first edit. But they were 630 words of mine. Good day.

Linkee-poo's mind is clearer now, at last, all too well I can see where we all soon will be

Because it's now the second week of NaNoWriMo and a lot of people are realizing that writing is hard work, Chuck Wendig with 25 motivational thoughts.

"With (the goal of creating engines that cut fuel consumption 10-25%) in mind, a team at the Naval Research Laboratory… are developing rotating detonation engines, which should offer the higher efficiency and power output desired." Um… 1) Okay, that would be cool and 2) WTF? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Video of two guys standing on top of Tesla Coils, dancing and fighting with electricity. Oh come on, you know you wanna watch it. Why do they always pick "Techno" to go with this kind of act? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"Climate models are wrong… as in it’s consistently happening faster than predicted." Strange about that. Also, anybody else notice buried deep in the Sandy Superstorm reporting on the Full Moon Tide matching when the storm surge was supposed to hit the little factoid about how the Atlantic Ocean is producing tides that are normally 14" higher than the early 1930, and the change is accelerating? Yeah, I keep hearing Bender saying, "We're boned."

Was going to write a post about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Boehner, but Jay Lake beat me to it. Sen. McConnell has said that he'd be happy to meet President Obama in the middle and work something out. Newsflash to the Minority Leader, when you get to the middle you'll find President Obama has been there so long, he now has squatters rights to the place. Be nice and bring cake, or maybe a bottle of good beer.

Yeah, I'm so sure the Anti-Obama right isn't racists. You know, they might not be, but those are the people they're trying to win over to their side. So, same thing. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Fred Clark gives a roll call of those people who lost in the election of 2012. Do I expect those people will look at reality and adjust their positions? Only in the most cynical of ways. Like how Romney would say anything and appeal to any group just to win. My guess is they'll have the same luck he did (which was mighty in the Red States, the butt of jokes in the Blue States).

And, the Onion sums up much of the post-election soul searching I'm seeing on the right. "Sources say the screaming orb might be the only potential candidate that would tap into Republicans' deep-seated, seething fury after this election." Bwahahaha. Okay, I'm trying not to be gloating, but that's funny right there. (Grokked from someone, sorry, I lost the linkback)

"(Ted) Nugent, we’re calling your bluff. In the video below, you said you’d be dead or in jail if Obama got re-elected. Well, guess what asshole?" I have a feeling we could eliminate some of the worse actors out there by calling all the bluffs today. Paging Chuck Norris, you're on deck. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Tweet of my heart: @lnmorton: Tax reform that increases revenue is identical to raising taxes. Are Republicans just really bad at math?

Alligator Quotient: Gators got spots?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Linkee-poo, there has to be a morning after

"For much of the campaign, the story emanating from conservative commentators was one of mistrust. It was not only the polls that were untrustworthy. Those Labor Department numbers that showed a rosier economic picture in the final weeks of the election? The books were cooked by pro-Obama stooges, conservatives charged." Fortunately last night I wasn't watching any news coverage and my internet connection was hosed up. So I didn't have to deal with the full on craziness for too long. For me, I did wake up at a little after midnight and turned on NPR to hear them call it for the President. When I woke up a little after 1, I turned it back on to make sure I hadn't been dreaming only to hear the President's victory speech. So I didn't get to see Mr. Rove's freakout over "The Math" (hint to Karl, you're doing it wrong).

Now it just remains to be seen what lessons the GOP learns. I'm not laying bets, but if I were, I would place most of my money on the "we didn't believe hard enough and those bums cast illegal ballots and stole the election." In which case we get Rick Santorum as the GOP nominee in 2016 (and since I'm laying bets, Marco Rubio for VP, Jeb Bush might be a nice choice, but he won't be second fiddle and since he didn't dance this last primary, at best he'll win Iowa but fade after Super Tuesday). Yeah, that would be my "cover all loses" bet with a high degree of uncertainty (at this time). I mean, the other lesson, the one they should have been learning since 2006 and stubbornly refuse to acknowledge, would require them to actually, you know, reform the whole party but in the opposite direction the Tea Party is taking them. And that won't happen. They wouldn't be willing to accept the blood loss or even the chance the SuperPACs would turn and bite them. So I fully expect the "clap harder" solution to surface as the victor sometime around January 2 or 3, right after we avoid the fiscal cliff (which both sides know will require compromise). If it happens sooner, over the cliff we'll go.

John Scalzi is wise about the election. As he often is.

New Age whackaloons vandalize the Serpent Mound. Proof that teh crazy isn't only for the right wing. No, guys, the tin foil doesn't go in the orgonites, you need it for your hats. Also, if you haven't seen the Serpent Mound, if it's an easy drive I highly recommend it. When you view it, keep in mind that in it's hey day, it was even taller. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Something you'll be hearing about soon, Optical Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. Or, how to make your fiber optic internet connection go really, really, REALLY fast using off the shelf parts. Oh, and it reduces the electrical load needed as well. The word you're looking for is "Bwa?!" (Pointed to by Dan)

Tweet of my heart: @xeni: Way our medical system works, though: cut/burn/poison the cancer out. Hope no recurrence. Then, dear patient, figure the rest out yourself.

Breathe, breathe in the air

I forget who said it, but sometimes you don't know how long you've been holding your breath until you start to breath again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Linkee-poo twofer for Election Day

Thought I would get rid of these political links before they got too stale tomorrow. Also, I'm reserving the right to update these as the night progresses. I promise it'll only be politics and election links. Everything else is getting saved for tomorrow. There's still a lot of back reading I need to get through. Plus, you know, like real work.

You know how Fox News likes to talk about how fair and balanced they are, you know, in comparison to other networks. Well, here's how much they covered Romney compared to Obama. Also shown is CNN's and MSNBC's coverage numbers. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The Huffington Post live blog of the election. I wonder how many of the voter suppression stories will survive in the light of scrutiny? Unfortunately probably way too many. Also note, some of the "live blog" posts are old stories. (Grokked from Phiala)

I first saw this video posted by Phiala and thought, "Hmm, that's interesting. But I'll bet that first commentator was right that the calibration was off." And then Joe Hill posted an update with more of the story (including the video). And now you know why both campaigns had already lined up lawyers before election day.

Well, here's another reason why may Romney lose. The 68% of registered Republican voters who believe in demonic possession will say in the Church Lady voice, "Satan?" (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Of course, there's also this reason why Obama may lose (Ohio). "The suit alleges that the secretary of state's office used a legal loophole to install software on electronic voting systems in 39 counties across the state without having it checked by the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners, the state's technical board charged with reviewing elections software. " Seriously, John Husted, I'm about to call "malfeasance." That's a firing offense, BTW. (Pointed to by John)

Linkee-poo, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Good thing this election is almost over. Because people have been waiting to start the 2014 and 2016 election and they're tired of this on soaking up all the press coverage.

Here's hoping after tomorrow there will be less politics in the linkee-poo. (I wouldn't bet that way, but I'm hopeful.)

"What's rare is honesty. A willingness to look past all the fancy things we want to believe, peering instead at what may actually be true. And while every civilization had subjective arts, in copious supply, only one culture ever had the guts to seek objective truth through science." David Brin on Writing and Science with a lot of writing advice near the end. "Beware the dangers of ego!" Oh sure, now he tells me. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

"It's less like 'high-stakes plane jockeying' and more like 'filing a request for death' that another department, miles away, might or might not grant." Cracked on the 5 weapon myths you'll believe because you saw them in the movies.

Neil deGrasse Tyson get his geek card stamped for the next decade by 1) identifying the location of Krypton and 2) appearing in Action Comics #14. (Grokked from

Ever wonder how designers do the voodoo that they do so well? A lot of it is from years of hard work and honing a skill set that doesn't mean squat outside the design world. Or they buy books like this. Not so much for the book, you know, as access to the talking rabbit. That rabbit, design gold I'm telling you. I kid, actually being a designer you get books like this (and "Best of…" Annuals) to kickstart the brain and to see what the best in our business are doing. But seriously, get to know that rabbit, kiddos.

And interesting explanation for ghosts. Infrasound. Sure, I can see that. (Grokked from

Why is all this "dark money" a bad thing for Democracy? Because of shit like this. No, seriously, try and follow the money without rereading some of those sentences. Byzantium is scratching its collective head to untangle that money laundering mess. And, in case you don't want to read it, yes, the California’s Fair Political Practices Commission finally won their case to get the donation records behind Americans for Responsible Leadership, and Arizona 501©4 that gave money to the Small Business Action Committee PAC which is running ads in California for and against some propositions. Turns out the Arizonian Americans for Responsible Leadership was just the front to funnel money to the Californian Small Business Action Committee PAC. Or in other words, they money laundered the donations so no one would ever know who was really behind the "political speech." (Pointed to by Dan)

Proof that some people (cough rich people cough) still don't get it. So if Romney loses it's all those in the moocher class that are to blame. "'We don’t understand this "fair share,"' Wild said. 'But nearly 50 percent pay nothing. Isn’t there a fair share for people who have modest incomes?'" Um, those who don't pay income tax still mostly pay payroll and sales taxes on a higher percentage of their income and their incomes can't really be called "modest." I make a "modest" income. And trust me, I pay my share. Between the two of us, Colonel Allen Wild, you're the one mooching off the tax payer (who pays your retirement and veterans benefits? sure, you earned them, but that's the rest of ours tax dollars) and I also think you're probably in a better position to give a little more.

Want to know what it looks like to try and buy and election? Try this. Setting up a corporation in the past month and then also, as you're getting your Staples supplies sorted out, manage to become "biggest corporate contributor in the 2012 election" in a year that has seen outsized corporate contributions. That's a mighty fine feat. And I'm sure there's nothing untoward about all of it. Nothing at all.

John Scalzi answers the question, what if Romney wins? As a fellow white, heterosexual, reasonably well off dude (not as much as John), in the short run I would also benefit from a Romney Presidency. It's the long run, the world my nieces and nephews need to live in that has me worried (not to mention my own much hoped for retirement, some day).

Although, here are the (potential) 10 disasters waiting for us if Romney wins and is able to enact his policies. With a nice pie charts showing income disparity. Just for the record, I'm in that red pie. More than likely you are too. The good news is Democrats are likely to retain a majority in the Senate. Even if they don't, they still have the filibuster role… if they can all stick together (Democrats are notorious for not). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Alligator Quotient: Alligators everywhere.

How do you know

This is a part of a longer internal conversation I've been having with myself over the past year. How do I know I'm a writer?

Recently this came to a major head about a month ago (or it feels like a month, maybe it's only been two weeks). I had a very realistic dream (I dream in color, in case that makes a difference). The scene was a mashup of a local convention and my Viable Paradise class. There were lots of really cool things going on and I was getting totally psyched and energized (which is one of the reasons I go to conventions, because that happens 75% of the time). And then a group of us were in a con suite/green room space and a BNA I know, respect, and have hung out with turned to me and said, "Just stop it. You're embarrassing yourself, Steve. Admit you're not a writer and just move on."

Yeah. Woke up crying. Haven't done that in almost a decade.

Needless to say I've been depressed since then (little d). I haven't had much time to process that with everything else going on. But, hey, I'm skilled at stuffing my emotions away. That's probably why I haven't been able to lose any weight lately.

Part of this, I'm sure, has a little to do with the last time I was around this BNA. Something happened that at the time I took as a joke. However, with my own paranoid tendencies, I've been wondering if it wasn't. So for over half a year I've been debating writing an email asking them about it. But then I think I'm being too needy or self centered, and chicken out.

How do I know I'm a writer when my output has been taking that hyperbolic plunge toward "nadda"? Because right this moment I had such an intense home sick feeling for writing that it again brought tears.

God, I fuckin' miss writing. I miss sitting in a corner telling myself jokes and pounding out the words; ignoring my wife, the cats, and the rest of the world. I miss thinking where I should send my stories/manuscript next. I miss it down to lint in my toe nails and it hurts because I'm not writing (you know, other than the small solace writing the blog gives). I even miss the nice rejection letters. Can't beat that.

Writing, I just can't quit you.

So maybe I should write that letter soon.


If you haven't already done so this election, please go out and vote. Today is the deadline.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Linkee-poo early morning Mondays

Edit to the edit According to a friend, yes, this is a parody site. Edited to add this link. The Romney Megaprayer Site to win the election. Um, yeah, Bob. Except, you know, none of that shit is true. You know that, right? But, hey, if it makes you feel better. But here's the thing. Let's look at this as an experiment. If Romney wins, prayer works. If not, all you people better become atheists. But that won't happen because they'll just say, "not enough people prayed, more evidence the USA is going to hell in a handbasket" or "we didn't believe hard enough." That's what they'll tell themselves as they weep into their sacramental beers (one can only hope). Want to know what will work? Go out and vote. All of you. Yes, you too Anonymous Cassie (if you're still reading). (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz who comments, "Congratulations, Republicans. I can no longer tell what is satire and what is not") end edit

David B Coe learns the hard way that sometimes "butt in chair" time isn't as easy as it sounds. So been there. Take this weekend. Please.

Chuck Wendig with the Battle Song of the Storyteller. Oh yes. This.

Okay, want to read something about how amazing humans are? Here's a story about how tablet computers were dropped off in an Ethiopian village and within 5 months the kids there, who had probably never seen a printed language, had not only begun teaching themselves English, they also hacked the systems to access the cameras. Very cool. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Former Mayor Rudy Guiliani thinks that if government heath insurance (I think he mean Obamacare, which isn't the same thing) requires coverage for birth control, it should also cover Viagra. Only thing is most insurance companies already do. And while they may not cover it for just a doctor's prescription, most will cover it with an actual diagnosis of full erectile disfunction (check your own certificate of coverage for details). So, yeah, Giuliani is a moron. Here's your sign. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

The IRS is missing in action regarding pursuing churches that may have stepped over the separation line. And yes, it is wrong no matter which candidate they may endorse. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

So, think the left is being all hyperbolic about the intense anti-intellectualism of the right? Here's an ad in S. Dakota that sums it up. Apparently getting outside of the state, getting two post graduate degrees, speaking at international summits and attempting to address what will become known as the major problem of the century (global climate change) are all reasons why you shouldn't be elected as a state representative. Yeah. While quitting college to take care of the family farm has all those nostalgic notions and all. Apparently it also gives you the background to leave the state to represent in the federal government. Or something like that. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Saturday's link salad from the Slactivist point out for not only all the great links (that I didn't grab for this linkee-poo) but also for the great photo mashup of Mitt Romney and Dolores Umbridge.

And another Slactivist links post. This one on the prevalence of racism in the GOP and how it's struggling with the misogyny to see which will win out. I'd like to say he's wrong, and for some street level members maybe he is, but the institutional structure certainly he's dead on.

Not content with setting weekend early voting hours that would make those "church to polls" activities as hard as possible (Sunday voting didn't open until 1pm, at least 1 hour after most church "late" services are done), now John Husted is trying to change the rules about provisional ballots. Look, it's called "the law", as Sec. of State, you might want to actually learn about it. For a party that believes in "the law" they certainly have been trying to not follow it this year. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Look, real voter fraud. "While allegations of voter fraud or faulty voting machines are common during a busy election, Clark County Registrar Larry Lomax said this is the first time in his 15 years on the job that a voter has been arrested for trying to cast two ballots." Oh, wait. It's another Republican. Never mind. Move on, citizen, nothing to see here. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

And now, a political tweet with links. "@gregvaneekhout: Voter suppression should be considered treasonous." After a while, it begins to look like a pattern, you know.

Monday serendipity

This weekend I was looking forward to a little studying and a little writing. Just getting some notes down that I had scrabbled. Also catching up on some writing process reading I've been meaning to get to (have I mentioned I'm now approaching this advice like it was a college course, hmm, might have to write a post on that). I also had to work 8 hours on Saturday, but that was doable. There's no test this week (that I know of), so this was getting back to being a normal student instead of Lastminute Crambaby.

And then not one, but two clients needed rush work on Friday. One of which was a 15 minute thing (takes longer to bill than to do the work), but the other was 10 hours of layout that I asked for three weeks ago. But now it needs to be done right now.

So what did I learn this weekend? That google reader will cut off posts older than 30 days. That was the reading and note taking I wanted to do. I'm sure I can find it again, I'm just pissed.

So now I'm sitting here, waiting to register for Spring classes. If it was a normal day, I'd be on my way to school. Fortunately I no longer have an 8am class and by the time I'm finished, I can make it to the 9am classes.

I should be doing some of that writing stuff. However, when I write I lose track of time. And I can't do that today so I can get the lab times I want (and will make my life so much easier).

:: Anticipation, anticipa-a-tion is making me wait. ::

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weekend Linkee-poo whip it, whip it good

Voted this morning. You hear that spammers and robo callers, it's too damn late. Stop bugging me. You know, for all this talk about interactive television (viewing experience), there should be a setting you could make that would say, "I've voted, no need to show me political ads anymore." Although I would expect people would hit that in any case.

Jennifer Jackson offers a partial manuscript review in auction to raise money for the Sandy Relief campaign. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal) A quick primer on Jewish ghouls and ghosts. Also with some commentary on how when Western film mines cultures, they tend to get it wrong and flow those other cultures through the Western Cultural Sieve.

On writing when you don't have the time. Uh, yeah. That.

Nerdist colony. (Pointed to by John)

Vince gives us an update of the Serenity Prayer done as an Inspiration Poster.

"If all that doesn’t impress, forget the scientists ostensibly devoted to advancing knowledge and saving lives. Listen instead to corporate insurers committed to compiling statistics for profit." Again, when your money is on the line, you tend to be practical when it comes to global climate change. And in the face of Sandy, some other people are finally shaking awake. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Well, that's going to leave a mark. "Approximately 16 of the $100,000+ Fisker Karma extended-range luxury hybrids were parked in Port Newark, New Jersey last night when water from Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge apparently breached the port and submerged the vehicles… the cars then caught fire and burned to the ground." (Pointed to by Dan)

Mythbusting ain't easy. Oh brother ain't that the truth. And it's practically the business model of Fox News. That is the myth setting, not the busting part. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

I just don't have words. "Showing up at a children’s Halloween party in a bear costume and filming yourself stealing kids’ candy is probably never a good way to win a political argument, but try telling that to conservative blogger and Fox News contributor Steven Crowder." I think the word you're looking for is "psychopath."

Jay Lake laments the loss of the reality based community on the conservative end of the spectrum. Yep.

And speaking of a loss of reality, The author of a Congressional Research Service study, who found no evidence that tax cuts for high income earners lead to economic growth, is standing by his work, after the legislative branch’s nonpartisan research arm withdrew the report under pressure from Republican leaders." Bury the research if it contradicts your preconceived notions. Let's see, climate change, intelligence reports, anti-abortion, evolution, science in general, and now statistical research. The conservatives are quickly winnowing down their sources to "my cousin's best friend's aunt said…". Now, I'll agree slightly that having nonspecific language such as "tax cuts for the rich" is ambiguous and depends on value judgements (who is rich?), but "Bush tax cuts" have become an acceptable term to refer to the two series of tax cuts pushed by President GW Bush. "The study… delved into the last 65 years of U.S. tax policy — specifically how marginal rates on high incomes and capital gains taxes impact decision-making. It concluded that reducing effective taxes on the rich does not generate economic growth, but that it does correlate with rising income inequality in the short term." See, history, she's a bitch. Especially if you're conservative because it disproves much of what conservatives stand for today.

"In the final days of the campaign in Ohio, the stops have been pulled out in the scramble to eke out a win. And that means one super PAC calling on African Americans to vote against President Obama because Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves." :: facepalm :: Um, hey, Ohio TV stations, there's this law in Ohio that if the ad is not from a campaign and contains falsehoods, ("Among the claims made by the ad is that the Obamas throw lavish parties at the White House for 'socialist friends' that include flying in $100-per-pound Kobe beef from Japan; the President’s $800 billion stimulus did not produce any net jobs, and that 'this deep recession was not caused by the Bush tax cuts, Republican lax regulation, or Wall Street greed.'") you can refuse to run it. In fact, it may come up in your public comment period for license renewal.

Hey look, real election fraud. Oh wait. It's another Republican. Nothing to see here, citizen. Move along. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Tweet of my heart: @stevenbjohnson: Remember how Romney mocked Obama for gov support of Tesla? The Model S just won "automobile of the year."

Double dip: @ferretthimself: "Why am I a writer? Because I'm too dumb to stop."