the stillness of an empty world.

So, this is going to be a slow week. My local friends are all either gone or no longer local. My sibilings are going to visit their dad. Mom is heading up into the icy north (somewhere on Michigan's UP. Silly mom, she's taking the long route and adding at least two hours to the trip in a desperate attempt to avoid being in the same timezone as Chicago.) So I'm staying here and watching the dogs. I already talk to the dogs. I'm just afraid that by the end of the week they'll start talking back.
On the other hand, assuming that the printer works, hopefully I'll get at least one or two things finished and mailed off. I've got one piece that just needs some revision and one that I haven't actually started writing yet. Maybe I'll get a couple things ready by the end of the week.
It is alays nice not to have to deal with my brother nagging me to use my computer when I am using it though. "Can I get on soon?" Of course, he starts asking after I've been on the computer for about 30 minutes and gets angrier and angrier while he waits, then he's on the computer all friggin day. I've started answering randomly since he asks so much. Actually, his idea of soon and mine are in different orders of time so I can honestly answer either yes or no pretty much any time.

My favorite is when he tells me that I can't be on the computer all day when that's exactly what he's going to do. He tried to argue that since it is in mom's room I can't use it as much as I want. That is true, but it isn't bound by the restrictions he's thinking of. I can't use it when mom is trying to sleep. I explained to him that I bought this computer so I could use it. It is in mom's room currently as a convienience until her computer gets fixed, but that does nothing to change why I have the computer.

I so want to get back out to the Northwest. The midwest is about my second least favorite place. (I know people who actually want to live here. They are fools.)


So, just got my next great rejection letter on the eternal search for a job so that come November I can start paying back student loans. And I saw a great deal on some tee shirts that I very much wish to have. is having a sale on their Republicans for Voldemort and their Jesus Loves Dick shirts. One of each for 30 bucks. I have so many friends who I want to give these shirts to. Most of them would even appriciate it.
Gah, at least Voldemort only wants to enslave and rule the world. The current republican candidate takes his advice from Christians of the "let's try to bring about the apoclypse" sort. Have I mentioned that republicans are scum? (If you are offended by that then you are most likely a republican and thus part of the problem.)

I have found something that is rather disturbing for my prospects as a professional writer. Every once in a while I start worrying about things. Especially things like "how am I going to pay off my loans." This only ever happens late at night. At it's worst it has meant a series of days with two and three hours of sleep before waking up and going to class. Well, in the aftermath of recieving the rejection letter yesterday guess who ended up not sleeping (by the way, the whole insomnia thing isn't exclusively about what's worrying me. For instance last night between bouts of money worries I was also thinking about this computer game I've been playing (MTG: Duel of the Plainswalkers) If there is anything more annoying than not being able to sleep because you are worried about something it is not being able to sleep because you are thinking about the electronic version of a collectable card game you played in highschool. I mean at least the first source of sleeplesness is somewhat justified. What this has to do with writing: so it was getting later and later and I was staring at the ceiling. I eventually decided that if I wasn't going to sleep, I'd do some writing. I grabbed the clipboard of paper and turned on a light and started writing (and it ended up not being a story at all, more just notes on a setting. *le sigh*) Well after about 3 minutes of that I put the notepad down and turned off the light. I was asleep shortly thereafter. I'm not sure that I like the fact that writing puts me to sleep. (At least I don't get the same response from sitting in front of a computer writing, but since we are using my computer as the internet computer and because it is in mom's room, I can'd use that when I can't sleep because mom is already asleep by the time that becomes an issue.

So after a long night, I woke up this morning at the urging of a chocolate lab at about 7am. He'd already been out once but my dogs go out twice in the morning. Well, I brought him out and stayed there because he's been slipping his chain (stupid labs have a bunch of extra skin so his neck is as big as his head) and running off recently. Usually he waits until the second time out to poop. Apparently he already pooped today because he just sat there. All he wanted to do was slip his chain and go meet interesting girl doggies. Yeah, I brought him back in. I am rather tired and now I probably won't go to sleep until tonight (I am really bad at napping. I don't nap. If I try to sleep during the day it usually becomes a real sleep time and I end up being up all night until I can reset my sleep schedule.)


So, I got another confirmation of my suspicion today. Completely unprompted, my sister (who asked if she could read it a long time ago) asked me if I had done any more work on the book I was writing. I stopped ant tried to think of work I had done on my cookbook and then realized that that wasn't what she was asking about. *sighs* there goes my dreams of using this to fuel my financial well being for the moment. I was really hopeful too since I am having a hard time writing short stories. (I just can't seem to come up with decent story ideas of the shortish variety. Well, I guess there are a couple of fragments that may work out yet.) Funny that the only short story idea that has really worked out for me (with the exception of one that I'm stuck trying to figure out how to end it so it works with the beginning) barely even has characters and the characters who are there, except for the narrator, never actually speak.

I want to do some Samuel Prior stories, but I'm stuck on both of the ones that I am working on right now. The first one I started is in the middle of his story line, and I got stuck because I knew the basic shape of his history but couldn't get key pieces to work out while still progressing with the plot, so I started the second Samuel Prior story, the earliest one I intend to write. I guess this makes way more sense to me than it does to anyone else. A little history.

I've got a SF setting I am still working on, something that runs from the day after tomorrow until the end of time (well, my timeline only runs a few thousand years from now, but still...) One of the major themes is that while History is contingent and it can hinge on the actions of individuals, just being a superior person in the right place at the right time is not always enough. Through out the setting, I plan on using the Prior family. The Priors will have become influential through the actions of their founder, and I plan on having them figure in many of the key points of human history. Of course as humanity expands to the planets of our solar system and then to the stars, the best and most daring of the Priors will, in accordance with the blessing/curse of their name, expand as well. Many of the Prior children will take advantage of the family's emphasis on physical and intellectual training and be fairly highly skilled adults.
Samuel is fairly early in the family's history. Born before humanity has headed to the stars, Samuel is one of the youngest to take part in the war against an expansionistic theocracy that began in the Belt. The gruesome death of his fiancee at the hands of the mysogenic theocracy inspires a slight career change. Instead of becomming a Naval officer in the United Nations Space Forces, he switches tracks to their intelligence branch, specifically as an assasin. He carries out a private vendetta in his role as assaasin and kills several of the most important leaders of the Army of the Prophet. At the same time he loses a lot of his humanity. After the war, he continues working for the UN's intel division, though not as an assasin. Having avenged his love's death, he now has to deal with what he has become. The earliest story will begin a decade after the war while he is still sorting through the confict that killing so many people (including innocents in several occasions where he destroyed entire spacestations to kill one person.) Though I don't want it to be the actual focus of the plot, much of the conflict in the Samuel Prior stories should be him coming to grips and overcomming the monster that he had become. This entire series of stories within this setting will be about the redemption of Samuel Prior. The first story in the series contains some scenes that have been difficult for me to write, mostly because they are a little darker than I am usually comfortable with working in, and that has been a lot of why I haven't finished it yet. (Other stories in the setting will be more lighthearted than that. In fact, the only story I am actually done with is a fairly lighthearted story about hang gliding in the launch tube of an magnetic catapult, and focuses on the thrill of flight.)


Well, last night I had something that I had expected confirmed. One of the stories I'm working on isn't really suitable for the short story field. I had really hoped to sell the entire tale as a series of short stories and then make it into a book, but I guess I'll have to go the other way. oh well.

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Your Partner midnight7
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The Giggly, Flirtatious Magic User with Big Breasts seiryu_16
The Talking Animal trailchaser
Main Archenemy howardtayler
Evil Incarnate howardtayler
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Good things maybe

So, in case you've been living in a hole for the last 30 hours, yesterday the Separate and Unequal amendment (Hatch, Frist, "frothy mix" Santorum and some other senators) failed to even get to the level of a vote. Yesterday the senate had a roll call vote for Cloture on this amendment. The vote was 48 in favor, 50 opposed with two democrats abstaining (Kerry and Edwards both refused to vote so their "no" vote on an issue of procedure wouldn't be used against them in campaign) two democrats breaking ranks and voting yes, and four republicans breaking ranks and voting No. To win a vote for cloture, an issue must gain 60 votes in the Senate. Essentially it is a way to see if there is any way in hell that they can get the 68 votes needed to pass an amendment on to the state legislatures. Of course, even though the republicans technically lost this round in their eternal campaign to make government larger and more intrusive into the lives of the citizens (wait, isn't that supposed to be a democrat thing?), they were never trying to win. This was an entirely political maneuver. They brought this act up now both to deflect attention to Rumsfeld's war crimes, and Chaney's impending indictment on fraud and bribery charges as well as to make the repression of homosexuals an issue in the upcoming Senatorial election. Essentially, they were forcing Senate Democrats from conservative regions to either vote to discriminate against a traditionally liberal segment of the country or to face a much greater challenge this year when they come up for reelection. This is of course, what they are doing instead of tackling issues of import to our actual nation. Gods, Republicans are scum. But then we knew that already.

product acquired from <lj user="belismaker">

Whoo Hoo! The seperate and unequal ammendment for homosexuals was defeated, at least for now.

5 words that describe you
1.: friendly
2.: focused (just never on the right things)
3.: smart
4.: easily amused (see 2)
5.: enthusiastic

5 websites you visit daily
5.: about 30 comics sites:,,, etc

5 CDs you couldn't live without
Most of my music is mp3s of stuff not avaliable in the states except as illegal chinese knock off disks but if I had to pick.
1.: Tori Amos' Little Earth Quakes
2.: Armitage III OST (the one with the two extra songs)
3.: the Xenogears Creid album.
4.: the Cowboy Bebop albums
5.: Escaflowne Albums (I really do own non-anime stuff, I swear.)

5 favorite books
1.: this interweb thing-a-ma-jigger
2.: The Chronicles of Amber - Zelazny
3.: Something by Heinlein. Either Stranger in a Strange Land or The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.
4.: Neverwhere - Gaiman
5.: Something conversational by Asimov. Probably "I, Asimov"

5 favorite songs
1.: Summer Days-DAI
2.: Phantom World - Armitage III soundtrack
3.: One Week - Bare Naked Ladies
4.: Finest Worksong - REM (not really a favorite probably but it is tied to a memory set I like to dredge up.)
5.: 6 verse version of This land is Your land - Woodie Guthrie

5 random facts about you
1.: I chew on pens.
2.: I graduated in 4 years with a major, 3 minors and most of a fourth.
3.: My study skills suck very much
4.: I am a proponent of the "train dogs with praise and treats" school of dog training.
5.: I was one of the only people in the Technology and the Family class who said they would accept immortality.

5 countries you would like to visit
1.: Germany
2.: Japan
3.: England
4.: New Zealand
5.: PRC - Hong kong

5 words or phrases you always use
1.: "boo"
2.: hey la
3.: abunai!!!
4.: well enough
5.: how goes it

5 articles of clothing that are your favorite
Such a girl question. I only own 8 distinct articles of clothing
1.: my white socks
2.: my outside shoes
3.: shorts
4.: button down short sleeved shirts
5.: loose legged kakhi pants

5 favorite movies
1.: Jacob the Liar
2.: X-men
3.: Shrek
4.: Riddick Chronicals
5.: Big Fish

5 things you are obsessed with
1.: Space Flight
2.: Cooking
3.: Fishies
4.: This here interweb thingy
5.: Classic gaming

5 girls names you like (even if you never want children)
1.: Amber
2.: Athena
3.: Fiona
4.: Elizabeth
5.: Michiko

5 boys name you like (even if you never want children)
Yeah, this is why when I have kids, thoug I will reserve the right to veto suggestions, I'm letting their mother decide.
1.: Stephen
2.: Erick
3.: Alex/Alexander
4.: Nicholas
5.: Michael (not for my kids though. I always thought that naming your children after yourself was stupid.)

5 hobbies you have
1.: The life sciences
2.: Reading
3.: computer games
4.: role playing
5.: world building

5 foods that are your favorite
1.: Artichokes
2.: sesame and soy sauce sauteed chicken breast
3.: big, thick skinned oranges
4.: Sesame Chicken (sweet and spicy not tofuy)
5.: BW3's wings (the mid heat levels with actual flavors)

5 favorite computer programs
1.: ArcView
2.: MS Office
3.: Master of Orion 2
4.: Mame/SNES9X/ePSXe
5.: Netscape 7

5 boardgames you like to play
1.: Colonial Civilization
2.: Stuff by Cheapass
3.: Dungeon
4.: Settlers of Catan / Shogun / Samurai / risk and other similar fairly simple strategy games.
5.: Chess / Go

spline reticulation

If you don't remember a soothing feminine voice telling you that she was reticulating splines, you probably don't have my taste in games.
I've played the windows version of that game recently. Very dissapointing. They seem to have modified the simulation to make it harder to grow the interesting sturctures in cities. Oh well.
So I finally figured out how to get getright to work with It seems that if you type in the wrong address for the referer, it doesn't work at all. Let the large old game goodness begin (in several hours. I mean afterall, the whole reason I needed to make getright work was that I'm on dialup. I did download the old TSR fantasy empires game. It is pretty good but the arcade sequences are impossibleish on a modenr computer. I wish Ihad bought it back when I was first playing MoO and MoM (Ooh, incommng nastalgia.)

So somehow, trader joes has come up three times in less than a week. I wish I had a car and money. I so much want to go get some unusual ingredients and do some experimenting in the kitchen. Of course I'd also like a much better stove/oven. Ours blows a little.

Today's Nukees is great.

Been reading Terry Pratchett's Diskworld stuff. I managed to find the first six books and am thus reading them in order! I just started book three.

I was so looking forward to verbally abusing nate online today. I mean I sat down at the computer and there he was on AOL IM. And I was about to start typing and he logged back off. Le Sigh. Oh well, he's been online a lot more than usual recently so I guess no complaints.

Oh yeah. Check out Especially awesome are the How Much is Inside part and the Pranks section. These are things I wish I had discovered in college. Kind of like wishing that I had discovered Ozy and Millie while I was still rooming with Nate. ( Millie is my hero. ) So much additional havoc.

So I was thinking of doing some fan-art for UC but there is a fairly major problem. Mom's ultra mega super scanner. Yeah It is a scsi device and I don't have a scsi card. Oh well. Maybe next time. Not that I actually posess drawing skills in any reliable form. I have many talents and skills, but representing people places and things in a visual medium is not one them. Well, actually I am a decent cartographer as long as I don't try to fancy it up and I keep things technical. This does make it a little difficult for me to design things on paper. I ran into some difficulties with that while I was last working on the concept stuff for the Sarthaki for one of the settings I'm working on creating. It would be so much easier to work out an evolutionary history for them if I could draw.


So there is this great photoshop contest over at
The theme is books that should never be made into movies.

I've read over half of the books in the entries.

I agree in most cases.

Very amusing.

Nothing on IMDB about the rumored Ringworld movie (how would you catch the sheer scope of that book? It'd be like trying to do a Rama movie but worse.)

Beat System's Twilight.

Had a cold sore. Abbrevia (an expensive cold sore medicine) worked on it. It is essentially gone now, 4 days later. And one that hadn't progressed to a cold sore was gone within a day.

Whee Fun

So today I:
Woke Up at 8am to put the dogs outside. They usually wake mom up at six, but she doesn't remember putting them out, so they did pretty good.

Took a shower.

Put on some Off and went out and watered the plants. They needed it a lot. Ten I dragged a thing of topsoil into the back yard (well, I put it on my shoulder and carried it. They only weigh like 40 lbs) and planted the broccoflour. It may be a little late for that. Oh well. I restaked the tomatoes. One of them has flowers and green tomatoes. I also replanted the blue berries. I put themin bigger holes with more of the good top soil. Hopefully this will make them grow better.

I dragged the hose around front and watered the plants there.

Mom left.

I came in.

I got on the internet. After 50 minutes my brother called from his dad's house and made snide comments about me being on the internet to the internet answering machine. He then told me to get off the internet and hung up. (He wanted to ask mom (who wasn't here) a question.)

I started a new download.

He called back 7 minutes later and yelled at me to get off the internet.

My brother needs to work on his phone skills. A while ago, I wouldn't give him the key code to make an illegal copy of a multiplayer online game I own. Instead of trying to reson with me he started calling me a moron. We were on the phone. With the fourth repeat of that little bit of wit, I hung up.

I eventually got off the internet.

I went and took a shower.

He never called.

The brothers McClure showed up.

We went and played tennis for three hours.

When we got back here there were four new messages

None of them were from lloyd David.

I'm a little worried about my little dog. Yesterday, I gave him a doggy treat (an off brand milkbone) and he didn't eat it. He loves doggy treats, even more than padfoot does. I picked it up and held it way up high and he jumped up and grabbed it. And helf it in his mouth for a while and still didn't eat it. I think he has a sore tooth. I gave him another one today when I left, but I don't know if he ate it or not. He did eat some dogfood this morning that I had started to soak in milk (I know it is bad for doggies. Well, really it just makes them gassey, but still...) He ate the still crunchy dog food. Maybe he just wasn't hungry. (unlikely)

Well, not much more yet. but there are a lot more hours of today.

Oh, I did start working on the second story in the arc of the story I just finished last night. nothing on the computer.

And I am playing System's Twilight (a mac puzzle game) I had to look up one answer for one word puzzle. It was Lintle, and I should have gotten it right (even though I didn't know what the word meant till today.) I'm on the final puzzle now. Joy.

Take care folks.

Metaphysicsnet, the nomina are made up but the phenomina are real (maybe)

Don't actually have anything to go with that yet. check back later.


So today I read The Parched Sea (The first of Troy Denning's Ruha novels) and downloaded stuff. Origionally I was just grabbing another copy of sim earth (I own the game, but I don't know where the disks or box or manual is) but then I decided to look at the-underdogs' hall of fame and I decided to grab some of those games. Most of them I just copied the webpage to grab them later, but I saw system's twilight (yet another of those games where the developer was on crack and decided to develop a game for the smaller part of the market share only) so I also had to get a Mac emulator and some other stuff (mission accomplished by the way) and now I am playing the puzzle game. We'll see how long it takes to beat it.

It has been a quiet day, with the kids at their dad's house and mom gone for most of it. I am glad that I can handle quiet days. I mean I do enjoy having people around, but it has never been a great need of mine. As much as I like being around my friends, I can wait until next time I see them. There is never that much of a hury.

All wet

Well, since I never change more than a quarter of the water in a fish tank at a time, I have allowed myself to run out of dechlor.
Which has never been a problem.
Until tonight.
My Brother.
My Tank.
with a chair
(not on pupose.)
But now I am very glad that my computer is in mom's room instead of on the floor under the table in my room.
Even though almost all of the water exited the tank, only one fish came out.
I put them in a bowl made of metal and filled with bottled (not deionized or distilled) water. Then in a kitty litter bucket. Now they are in my redundant fishtank.
And my carpet.
Is wet.
And my room is very.
very Humid.
But the faN is running
and the Air CoNdItIoNeR is conditioning
and I can deal with the cold.
and the fishies are all catfish.
cause I haven't been here to take care of them.
and only the survivors survived.
and the other hardy fish I had have a two year life span on average.
(I should buy more gambusia)
(If you want to buy me gambusia, they're avaliable from and my mailing address is:
Michael Phillips
232 Glad St.
Hanover, IN 47243)
(Not that I'm asking.)
(and I bet I can find them locally cheaper.)
(And if you want to come play in a creek.
I could see
to getting some new fishies.
of the more interesting kinds.
with my seining net.
and a bucket.
Darters mostly, but other non-chub/minnow species would be welcome as well, but I want to also avoid most catfish and the centrarchidae (bass and bluegill) since I have a little bitty catfish, and the only acceptiable cats are mad toms.

Well, good night.

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How to make a ronin_kakuhito

1 part mercy

5 parts brilliance

5 parts empathy
Combine in a tall glass half filled with crushed ice. Serve with a slice of lovability and a pinch of salt. Yum!


Personality cocktail

If you were on a battlefield right now, versus everything...
Lover or a Fighter?
Fight for good or evil?
Battle Cry
Weapon of Choice Tactical Nuclear Weapons
Appearance Leather Jacket, while riding your trusty steed
Your Battle Cry... Could use some work
Foes slain upon first strike: - 69%
What you fight Aliens
You fight.... Because you have nothing better to do
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