Blog Archive

Just read two mythosey stories. First one was pretty good. Neither had the pointless purple prose that mars most mythosey stuff. Second one is a little too quick with the motivation dumps. The main character draws conclusions from evidence yet to come, which I would have accepted from the first one since it was written after most of the events in question, but since the second one is a series of as events occured emails, is unexcusable.
They both have the rushed compulsion problem common to the genre.
First (and better of the two)

Second (lots of nice journaly stuff. Should have used several different journal systems though. 2 LJ, maybe a blogger or myspace, instead of all lj)

Today I saw heteronormativity and white guys inhabit the earth fantasy described as vanillia cupcake syndrome. Meaning boring, dull, and not worth eating.

Thing is, I don't know that that's an apt name. I'm not sure I've ever had a vanillia cupcake. I've had white and yellow cupcakes, but I don't think they had any more vanillia than a chocolate cupcake has, I think they were just yellow and white cupcakes. Boring, dull, and not worth eating. On the other hand, it seems that you should be able to make a cupcake that tastes of vanillia the way a chocholate cupcake tastes of chocholate. Then a vanillia cupcake could be a sublime experience. That's a secret covered up by some silly cultural assumptions around these parts. We use vanillia to mean plain, dull, normal, and boring. I suspect the folks that think that way have only ever had vanillia flavored things. Theobromine rush aside, real vanillia is so much better than chocolate (Well, I'm a guy. Chocolate doesn't latch on to the pleasure centers of my brain the way it does for women. I suppose that I'd be unable to convince me if it triggered the same parts of my brain that get lit up during an orgasim too.) The flavor is a more complex thing than chocolate's, it lends itself to considered enjoyment. (Quick, run to the store. I'll be here when you get back. Buy a thing of mid-quality vanillia Icecream. Breyers will do. The one with the vanillia flecks. When you get back, eat some. Don't just eat it, but taste it, pay attention to the things it does in your mouth. See?) If you can make vanillia cupcakes lie that, then the metaphor doesn't hold.

So, I use mentadent toothpaste. Usually one of the dark blue ones. This time though, "Replenishing White" was massively on sale, so I bought it. The colored toothpaste is pale green. Nastiest toothpaste I've ever had. It is in the same category (though not quite idenal with) drinking orange juice right after brushing your teeth, even to the point of having a similar lingering aftertaste. Blech.

Did anyone else out there play Call of Cthulhu at a table with the Eldritch Ducks screen?
So, scumfuck political appointee Steven Galson has lost a round to science. He is the asswipe who decided on his own to ignore the reccomendations of the FDA scientists who actually do their jobs in favor of the keep women barefoot and powerless agenda of his political masters. Well, the Democrats forced his masters' hands by tying up the nomination of another scumfuck political appointee until he reversed his decision. RU 486 will now be avaliable to woman over the age of 18 over the counter. He did manage to spike the process (and ignore the science in favor of politics) by insisting that 16 year olds shouldn't have access. (Er? So they send a friend in to buy it, or use a fake ID. Most pharmacists are decent people, they aren't going to check IDs that closely. Of course there are a fair number of asshole pharmacists out there who will use the fact that it is behind the counter to withold it from women, undermining the whole point of making it avaliable. If you can't do you job...)

Stolen (without asking questions yet) from and (I'll try to come back with a couple of questions.)

I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more no less. Ask me anything you want. Then I want you to go to your journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends (including me) to ask you anything.

I'll answer them.

No promises about the truth of the answers.

*EDIT* So I am an idiot. Not only did Istress and strain to find 18 movies to fill my 16 movie quota, I then posted my key instead of the quiz. *headdesk*

A. Pick 16 of your favorite movies.
B. Then pick one of your favorite quotes from each movie.
C. Post the quotes in your journal.
D. Have those on your friends list try to guess what the movie is without Googling, you cheating fuckers.
E. Strike out the quote once it has been correctly identified and place the guesser’s username directly after the quote (whenever I get to it, since I'm doing this while I'm uploading a huge frickin' file).

In my case I picked 16 movies that I could remember the names of. I can't think of 16 favorites. I don't watch that many movies.

yanked from and

1 "Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?"

2 "Freedom? We have it! And fame? Nah. It's an empty purse. Count it, go broke. Eat it, go hungry. Seek it, go mad!"

3 "If you're looking for a partner, then stop flying solo."

4 "Our domain is the shadow. Stray from it reluctantly. For when you do, you must strike hard and fade away . . . without a trace."

5 "An intelligent guard... didn't see that one coming."

6. "God, I miss Communism! The Red Threat? People were scared, the agency had respect, and I got laid every night."

7. "Greatness. It comes in many forms, sometimes it comes in the form of sacrifice - that's the loneliest form."

8. "There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool."

9. "Hey, c'mon. We're superheroes. What could happen?"

10. "He's right on top of us. I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using."

11. "They don't advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession."

12. "That's a pretty big risk for a Science Officer. It's, uh, not exactly out of the manual, is it?"

13. "Archaeology is the search for fact... not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall."

14. "I'll kill you with my teacup."

15. "I'd like to wish you the best in your future career, but I doubt you'll live long enough to have one."

16. "Oh, what a romantic notion. Do you honestly believe that I could've amass the wealth that I have if I worried about honor? Ooh, no, no, no, no, no, tisk, tisk, tisk. So, pretty boy, if you don't want Hugo over here to come rearrange your features for you, I suggest you just give it up."

17. "I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I'm going to take a stand. I'm going to defend it. Right or wrong, I'm going to defend it."

18. "Then, if you'll excuse me, but I'm in the middle of 15 things, all of them annoying. Thank you for coming by."

I checked my email today and when I realized that I was excited about emptying the spam folder, I realized something. I need to write more emails.

Specifically I need to write more emails to people who reply to email. (The majority of my email writing in the last year has been to two people. Neither of them reply quickly or even reliably to email.)

So, I picked up several books from the library the other day. Two and four of the Vampire Earth series (3 was out so I put a hold on it. The other person reading the series ahead of me is slow. I can read books 3 and 4 in a couple of days. If I waited for three and he or she grabbed 4, I'd have to wait 2 weeks for the last book.)

I also grabbed His Majesty's Dragon and the new Stackpole novel. I've been waiting for it, though I did forget about it until I saw it on the shelf.

Choice of the Cat was in part much better than Way of the Wolf. More tightly written, I didn't have to work as hard to suspend my annoyance with the psychic mutant space vampires this time.

His Majesty's Dragon? Well, early this year I read 1602, Identity Crisis, and Kingdom Come. In that order. This was absolutely the wrong thing to do. Kingdom Come was wonderful, one of the best books to come out of DC. Had I read it alone, or even first, it wouldn't suffer from an acute case of nicebut (as in "That was nice, but it was no Dune.") Sadly as I was reading it, I couldn't help but compare it unfavoriably to Identity Crisis and even more so to 1602.

Choice of the Cat could have fallen into the same category had I been unlucky enough to read it after His Majesty's Dragon.

About HMD... Novik and Webber appear to share the same source material. There is a scene that is essentially the same except for setting where the problem Lieutennant sees the error of his ways, shapes up and asks for forgiveness. I suspect that this is straight from Hornblower, but I can't bring the exact scene to mind at the moment. This isn't a criticism. Both Webber and Novik have their main characters do something that Hornblower didn't do, at least as far into the series as I have currently delved. They grow and change and shed the bits of their prickely persona that make them less good at their jobs. I think hornblower does too, but only after he marries his second wife and I've not gotten to the bit where he meets her.

from <lj user="guipago">

Go here: Random Quotations. Refresh the page until you find five quotations that you like, and post them to your journal.

Of course the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you--if you don't play, you can't win.
Robert Heinlein (1907 - 1988)

Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery.
Jack Paar

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 1944), "The Wisdom of the Sands"

A ship in harbor is safe--- but that is not what ships are for.
John A. Shedd

Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903), Maxims for Revolutionists

Runners Up:
There is no reciprocity. Men love women, women love children, children love hamsters.
Alice Thomas Ellis

A specification that will not fit on one page of 8.5x11 inch paper cannot be understood.
Mark Ardis

Work is not always required... there is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.
George McDonald


I just let my hotmail account lapse. 30 days without logging on apparently does it, and msn messenger via gaim apparently doesn't count.

Fortunately, back when I got my gmail account, I used mr postman and eudora (and possibly "pop goes the gmail" to transfer my hotmail to my gmail account. I haven't done so again, but most of the important stuff is there.

So, the west wing was, I think, not intended to be watched in large chunks. I started last night and watched till lateish. Didn't watch them in order, but that's mostly because I'm not really as smart as I used to think I was and I failed to notice that going from the first to the second disk brought me up a lot in episode numbers and I convinced myself that the things I hadn't seen in the intro clips had gotten cut from the series completely. Instead, I had not noticed that both sides of the DVDs were playable. The series works skipping 4 of each 8 episodes, but it works even better skipping none.

And Wow.

Bartlet has a speech early in the show where he talks about the armor provided in Rome by the words "civis Romanus" and I can't disagree with him completely even though where he wanted to go with it was wrong. But. The next part where Leo replies to him and says that as the president of the sole superpower left on the planet he can conquer the world, but if he does, Leo will "raise up an army against you, and I will win." is one of my favorite bits from the show. (There's actually several others that beat that, including when he tells his daughter exactly why her being kidnapped is a bigger fear of both the Secret Service and the Joint Chiefs than him being killed.)

I just finished reading E.E. Knight's Dragon Champion. A great deal of fun. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series while hoping he can hold it together. (Assuming that it picks up shortly after this book, which given the potential logitivity of the protagonist, is not a completely safe assumption, there's a danger that he'll spin it out of control as the scope expands. Probably not, but I've seen other good authors fall into that trap before.)

I know that this doesn't effect as many people as the decline and fall of E3, but it still sucks. Guardians of Order is closing their doors.

Mark MacKinnon was very up front about it and said that their financial problems were a combination of the down turn in the RPG market, the recent drop in the American Dollar vs the Canadian Dollar (He is in Canadia but makes most of his sales in the states so his company, which was already having problems was hit hard by the decrease in value of his product where it sells the most,) and his own lack of buisness accumen.

Mark's company made damned good games, with a system that I would frequently use when I wanted to run a new setting without spending months working up all of the mechanics.

He had made a deal with Phage Press to print a new edition of Amber Diceless, which had me all giddy.

And George R.R. Martin had a contract with them to make the A Game of Thrones RPG. A lot of material is almost ready or even printed now, and Mark is trying to make sure that it gets to the stores even though that means handing them to other companies.

To make things worse, the news was broken earlier than MacKinnon had hoped for when there was a miscommunication between him and Martin. (He was trying to get as many of his obligations fulfilled as possible before going public and Martin though that he was making an announcement about it in their conversation.)

I hope that Mark and his staff and family come through this okay. I'm going to miss his work.

So I've not been online as much as usual for the last two weeks. My little brother was home and we usually split the computer time 20/80 during the day. Add to that my uncle Mackie (he changes names occasionally, but this one has stuck for quite a while) and his boyfriend Jim stopping by after a highschool reunion and I didn't actually check any webcomics yesterday. When I got to Penny Arcade, I saw the thing about E3 cutting way back. Well duh. I thought it would take a couple of years but when they did the idiotic move of cutting back booth babes at a trade show, I figured that was the first knell of mediocratcy and decline for the event. Didn't expect it to happen quite that fast. Oh well. I was never really all that hyped about it anyway. Give me Origins, World Con, GenCon Indy, or ComicCon any day over the gated community that was E3.

E3 isn't exactly dead and it is still a gated community, but now it is much smaller and well, it is sort of like gating Gary Indiana. (Without the stench.)