20 December 2012

[liff] The Circles of the Apocalypse Go Round And Round …

2900.The end? It's entirely relative.

Depending on the rationale, it's happened already.

Remember, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.

Unless it isn't.

[liff] For Those Who Think The World's Ending Tomorrow …

2899.Bad news for you, bunkie.

Been and done. Got the t-shirt.

It happened about 07:35 UTC, 10 Sep 2008.

Yeah, I know! I missed it too.

If, OTOH, you still worry about the fact that the Maya left us a buggy calendar they didn't think to extend past, 4 Ajaw, 3 K'an'kin, here's a link to the webcam of Sydney, Australia, where it's already that date.

And, remember, as the great sage Charles Schulz said, Stop worrying about the world ending today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.

As long as there's an Australia, there'll always be another tomorrow.

And so it goes.

18 December 2012

[pdx_liff] Snowmageddonopocalypse 2012: This Time, it's Not 2011.

2898.The title is lame, I know, but I swore to myself that I'd never use Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo as the basis for a joke again.

Won't someone think of the children? Well, I did!

Anyway, growing up in Oregon as a kid, one verity was that, at best, you might get snow in the Willamette Valley, and certainly not a white Christmas. They cooked that sort of thing up back east as a marketing ploy to sell Rankin-Bass cartoons and holiday movies and record albums. We all knew this.

Well, now it's now, and the weather has gotten a bit more chaotic, which is the real name for 'global warming', but that's for another time. And now, the old Oregon mantra of 'no snow in December' is not something you can 100% depend upon.

At about 8:45 AM, the flakes started hitting big, wet, and heavy on the unfashionable part of Hawthorne Blvd. The weather guys said there was a chance of snow-stickage down to about 500 feet.
Our house, according to the information at Daft Logic's Google Maps Find Altitude web app,  is about 6 inches below 300 feet in elevation.

And that's why I love Meteorology. It's part science, part art, and part dance.

Only a fraction of an inch has fallen, and the snow has stopped since that picture was taken.

And so it goes.

[art] Scenes from a Studio: A Grounded Starship

2897.I've begun a gradual sifting of everything I own, not due to anything imminent or impending, but there is an ass-ton of kipple over years of adult and married life, and I might not win against it (as see the definition of kipple; 'tis entropy embodied) but I have to make some sort of a stand against it because that's what people is – an enclave of increasing order in a universe that seems moving toward disorder.

Something else that needs a stand now is this:

The USS Enterprise. In my little basement studio in a secluded corner of SEPDX, we have a starship down.

Every now and then, it gets a 'cat' scan. Usually that's delivered by Taffy, Octavius, or Dawg, but since they are cats and have developed all the technology they're going to need, they are ambivalent at best toward it.

This is one of the AMT-style kits, of which I have destroyed enough over the course of a childhood to support AMT single-handedly. I built this one about 10 years back and did, while somewhat inept, a rather creditable job of detailing it. I have since learnt that if you're really going to do this right, you'll paint your models parts before assembling them.

Lesson learned.

But I'll doubtless have to create its own stand.

11 December 2012

[Edatur's World] Well, If I Was FedEx, I'd Trust That Source!

2896.So, this was posted to the Book of Face by my favorite 'net-licious station:

Read closely the middle of the graf.

FedEx says this is their busiest time of the year according to Fed Ex.

One more time.

FedEx says this is their busiest time of year … according to FEDEX.

Well, I suppose they'd know. I mean, if I were FedEx, I wouldn't ask UPS. DHL, maybe, but never UPS.

Apologies to KGW, who I'd like to remind that I wouldn't poke fun at if I didn't love.

09 December 2012

[Edaturs World] Eggcorn Nation: Two Ducks Take To The Air, Only One Comes Down

2895.So, this was written:
An article on Nov. 25 about the artist Malcolm Morley, who has a new exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill on Long Island, misstated what kind of aerial battles he watched from the rooftops during the London blitz. He and his friends watched dogfights — not duck fights.
That the New York Times should correct such a blunder is well and good, but that they let it through at all is kind of appalling, though the sting of Headsup:the blog's find is mitigated somewhat by the humor inherent in the fact that the verbiage logically suggests that there, somewhere, in the ETO, during WWII, heretofore undocumented by history, brave Blighty and Gerry war pilots were actually having 'duck fights'.

I would have loved to see what went down there.

Down. Yageddit?

Ah, hah. Well.

As to the aforementioned blogger's ultimate paragraph, we can only give an enthusiastic Amen.

(h/t Nothstine, again).

Signs You're On The Upper Tier #1: Tastefully-dressed Stray Animals

2894.That the monkey wandering Ikea in Toronto had a shearling jacket on is just a bonus.

Need we mention that it has not one but two mock Twittahs? I guess we just did.

(h/t Nothstine)

05 December 2012

[writing] NaNoWriMo: The Two-Time Winner

2893.It is my pride and joy to say that I've won NaNoWriMo 2012, making me someone who's won every year I've entered.

I first entered in 2011.

So, you see, I sometimes do not have a handle on my own PR. Because if I really wanted to impress you, I'd have left that part out.

Anyway, in case you happen by the blog and don't know the stardard of National Novel Writing Month, which at one time I rather lampooned, it's to either complete a novel of at least 50,000 words, or complete at least 50,000 words of a novel that's going to be longer than that … one way or the other, get 50,000 words down … by November 30th. The contest starts November 1st. That means you have to averages 1,667 words per day, one way or the other.

Having done this, I am entitled to let my lit flag fly, which, this year, looks like this:

Because I did. And I can be truthful about that, because I verified the novel's word count using their handy-dandy interocitor-based word counter, which is about 200 or 300 words ahead of my live in-editor word counter.

As last year, I came with the barest sketch of an idea. It's encouraging, to me, that I can finally have ideas. I'm coming out of a time which was creatively barren to me. It's affected everything I've done artistically, and took my own job search into the grave. I don't know if I can get that resurrected, but if I do, as guys at a certain point in their lives find themselves, it will probably be in some non-standard way. But now I'm losing the thread … the point is, and it took me 2 NaNos to figure, I'm still capable of having ideas.

And that's a great gift.

There's a great and fun culture that's grown among the NaNoWriMo tribe. Some of us call us NaNos, most of us call us WriMos, and if you're lucky enough to have a schedule that allows it, you can go to these adorable meetings. pound out words with a bunch of like-affected people and maybe be a winner that way too.

My schedule precludes a bunch of that, and I lack a laptop. While the schedule has no way of changing any time soon. Am considering some FreeGeekery for that laptop, though. Just something modest running Linux and OpenOffice is all we need here.

Here, then is my trajectory during the event:

… and this impressed a few. That slanting gray line there is the relentless pursuit of the goal; 50,000 words spread out over 30 days. 1,667 words/day, as I said. Now, the first day, I figured I'd break it open and get some words on the ground, and got it just above the daily averages but then left off on it for two large distractions, one being OryCon 34 and the other being the Presidential elections (something I've been addicted to, the spectacle thereof, near enough my entire life).

While I continued to produce, I did so at a rate that seemed to suggest I had no prospect of completing before November 30th. But I plugged, aided and abetted by a The Wife™ who, I'm sure, put off things we should have done so that I could write.

Coming into the home stretch, I was still below 30K, then did that 'reaching deep down inside' thing that you sometimes have to do, and closed the over 10,000-word gap in a mere 3 days.

And the ms itself? It's pretty lame, actually. Since I come up to NaNo with nothing but an idea to start off with, it happens in a haphazard way. A nemesis for my main character didn't happen as I'd thought … he proved a spur but not a huge villain, but the arc of the story followed more or less the trajectory I'd figured for it. There was a twist, a surprise at the end that made everything as it looked but not as it seemed at first … I did take some care to make it credible at least to myself.

What I have here, as I had with last year's, is a plowing of the ground, a placing of markers and laying out of rows to grow better things out of. For me, NaNoWriMo is an endurance test, a working of the soil so I can come up with better things later, should I choose to chase this crazy thing. I think what I have are two good ideas for larger stories, or broken down could (and probably ought to) become even better shorts (Raymond Carver and Chekhov and Harlan Ellison taught me something about taking short incidents and making them into stories).

I, in short, love NaNoWriMo. I was supposed to be some sort of artist, either with words or images, and my incessant diarizing certainly keeps the literature flowing from some sort of pen. And, if the 'novels' I cranked out so far are crap, I am reminded that manure makes the best fertilizer, and I have taken all that time to plow up the ground there.

See you in 2013, NaNo.

[liff] Morsi's Latest Album

2892.Due to drop any day now, unless his nemeses drop him first.

Why? Because I've heard one too damn' many Morrisey/Morsi gags, that's why.

Apologies to Attack Records and the cover designer of this disc.

04 December 2012

[teh_funnay] Blazers over Bobcast? it Takes A Sports Write!

2891.Now, KGW, I've been ribbing you of late because I keep stumbling on these.

I love you. I love you dearly.

But, c'mon, guys. Words are your life. Either that, or the Charlotte NBA team can be downloaded into my iPod.

As of the writing of this missive, there is a story on the KGW website, Sports department, that looks as follows:

… well, without the red marks, of course.

Finding out that Steve Reed is an "AP Sports Write" was just a bonus. You don't get a twofer typically.

Updated, 2012-12-05 @ 00:28: The weak headline (it had more problems than someone calling Charlotte's team the Bobcast) has been rewritten into a properly-punchy sports headline: Blazers rally from 18 down, top Bobcats in OT. Steve Reed is still an AP Sports Write, however. Maybe he'll get the -er from the AP after he completes an interneship or something.