Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cam and I went to the comic book store and came home with:

Marvel Zombies

Hellblazer Empathy is the Enemy



Dark Tower the Long Road Home

Vertigo First Taste

Planetary Special Edition

That ought to keep us busy for a couple of days.


Monday, March 30, 2009


I spent like two days thinking about how I was going to fix a problem in the project I'm rewriting. I got kind of depressed because I couldn't think of an elegant solution. Then I wrote one sentence, of maybe six words, and fixed the whole thing. Oi. All that angst for nothing.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

No idea

Script Frenzy starts in a couple of days and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I should be more prepared but I've been brain dead for some time. I started taking some new medication in August and I feel like it's making me dumber. It's great for migraines but not so good for sparkling repartee. Hopefully I'll settle on something before the deadline.

Meanwhile everyone but me is on antibiotics for either ear infections or strep. Even one of the pets has an ear infection. Hopefully that will also all clear up and we'll start April with a clean slate.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Congratulations Fallout Three

This article from Variety says Fallout Three has won the top honor at the Game Developers Choice Awards. This is my favorite bit from the piece:

"I was a nerd growing up in South Boston," said "Fallout 3" lead writer Emil Pagliarulo during his acceptance speech. "To all the nerds growing up in South Boston, don't play hockey. Don't join Little League. Stay in your room, read your Lloyd Alexander and play 'Dungeons and Dragons.' It all works out in the end."

I'm always happy to see someone tell people to read Lloyd Alexander.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A very special episode

I'm just wondering what would happen if Captain Picard and Captain Jack Sparrow were ever to be on the same ship. I'm guessing it would depend on whose ship it was but either way the results would be entertaining.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Super busy day

Cam got sick last night so we went off to the urgent care and got home quite late. (He had an 11:40 appt.) Then I was up until 4:30, which did not work well with my nine am start time for work.

Then I had to take Cam back to the doctor again today. End result, pills for strep throat and a new inhaler for his asthma.

Now I'm still playing catch up with tons of things still left to get done. He's asleep, thank goodness and his throat isn't quite so horrid.

We'll see if I can get even twenty percent of my chores done before I go to bed.


Monday, March 23, 2009

It certainly doesn't sound good

My county police have a Twitter feed now and they linked to this story in the New York Times. It's about a police officer who said some things online that came back to haunt him when a defense attorney dug them up. Here's a quote:

Then Mr. Lesher tracked down comments Officer Ettienne had made on the Internet about video clips of arrests. An officer should not have punched a handcuffed man, Officer Ettienne wrote. “If he wanted to tune him up some, he should have delayed cuffing him.”

He added: “If you were going to hit a cuffed suspect, at least get your money’s worth ’cause now he’s going to get disciplined for” a relatively light punch.

Words fail me.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Paul Muolo on Dateline Tonight

One of my bosses (and the first person to publish my writing) is going to be on Dateline tonight talking about the roots of the mortgage mess. More details here in his fantastic weekly column What We're Hearing.



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Zombie philosophy

Zombie Letters from e-zombie.com


D-Day Veterans

a message from @eddieizzard

http://tinyurl.com/c5ovr3 All the UK's D-Day Veterans will be returning to Normandy. Please read this link and re-post it wherever you can
This is lovely (not the part about the politicization of the event, but the newspaper helpinng to get everyone to Normandy.) God bless all the veterans.


Friday, March 20, 2009

I forgot to say

I like this image that Google made for my birthday.



Funny post about Gene Simmons

I enjoyed this piece from NME called When Rock Stars Bite - Angry Gene Simmons. It's about Gene responding to a blog post, sort of a line by line breakdown. I found it amusing.

"Sure, there's salesmanship involved in becoming a successful musical act, but that's not ninety percent of the equation."


Needless to say the all caps are Gene's responses. He hits a lot of the basics like the living in your mom's basement meme and if you haven't done what I have you have no right to talk. I'm guessing this isn't his first trip to the rodeo, as my friend says.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

And that's Numberwang

Someone in my family left to go errands and didn't notice they left something on their keyboard. When they came back they had sent more than nine thousand number nines to a friend via GoogleTalk.

I'm sure that wasn't at all annoying.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some advice for actors working with rats

Lots of people feel skittish around rats, probably because rat tails look a little freaky, all naked and maybe a little scaly looking. Rats are actually pretty awesome little guys and make excellent pets, but it can take a long time before you relax enough to get to know them.

If you're going to do a scene with a rat, or many rats, your fears may be amplified because rats tend to be used in horror or mystery films. There's nearly always a dead body or a crazy person involved. Sometimes the crazy person is a scientist and sometimes its a killer. Sometimes you're the one playing that crazy person and you may find yourself suddenly having to hold a rat. If so I have a key piece of advice for you.

Despite what you have seen in dozens of films and television shows, and despite what the handler themselves may tell you, you should never, ever, under any circumstances pick up a rat by the tail. I'm not sure why people do this, esp since the tail is the creepy part, but it's dangerous and could end up seriously damaging, or even killing the rat, and giving you a complex and a terrible guilt trip.

Every time someone grabs a rat by the tail they run the risk of something called "degloving" which is where the skin and maybe the muscles and meat of the tail come off in your hands, letting the rat fall. But the rat falling is the least of the problems. Now the rat tail is just bone, open to the air, and the rat is in agony and quite likely screaming. (Rats can scream in ultrasound which you can't hear but they also scream in frequencies we can hear quite well.)

The rat now has a true medical emergency and will probably need surgery and antibiotics, and even then he or she may not survive.

Please make sure that when you work with rats you don't carry or lift them by the tails. Tame rats love to explore and should be very willing to walk on your hands, maybe on your arms also. If you don't want them exploring their way up your arm you can cup them in your hands and maybe let their heads peak out so the camera can catch them.

If you get grief from the director or anyone else calmly explain the dangers of holding the rat by the tail. After all, everyone wants to be able to put one of those notices saying no animals were harmed in the making of this film in their credits, right?

One final word of advice, don't just Google images of degloved tails for idle curiosity. It really is as bad as I've described and I don't want you getting sick.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Swill Milk

I'm reading a book by PT Barnum about humbuggery (is that a word?) and I've just gotten to the bit about adulteration of food and beverages. It's vile. He was talking about swill milk, a description I didn't think I'd heard before so I did a little research and discovered that there wasn't enough milk to go around New York City in the mid nineteenth century so cows were kept in filthy dairies and fed on mash leftover after whiskey production. The cows were ill and their udders were ulcerated but the owners kept on milking them and selling the milk. An estimated eight thousand children died each year from drinking milk that at best was not nutritious.

Here's an article about an exhibit at the Tenement Museum that recreates the living situation of an Irish American family that has just lost a baby to malnutrition, likely as a result of the swill milk.

It's infuriating to think of all the wasted life and the grief the families went through all for greed. It's bad enough when famine strikes but for children to starve when their families were paying for what they thought was good wholesome milk is a grievous crime.


Monday, March 16, 2009

What? What? What?

A ship which shares my name came to a tragic end during the Civil War, almost one hundred years before I was born. From the website:

Attempting to run into Charleston, S.C., through Maffitt's Channel on 19 March 1865, she was spotted by the yacht America which quickly brought gunfire from USS Wissahickon, crippling Georgiana. Capt. A. B. Davidson flashed a white light in token of surrender, thus gaining time to beach his ship in 14 feet of water, three-quarters of a mile offshore and escape on the land side with all hands; this was construed as "the most consummate treachery" by the disappointed blockading crew.


Lt. Comdr. J. L. Davis, USN, commanding Wissahickon, decided to set the wreck afire lest guerrilla bands from shore try to salvage her or her cargo: she burned for several days accompanied by large explosions when lots of powder succumbed to the flames.

Is that fair I ask you? Rascals and cowards!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

In which I am racist

I just took a test over at the Project Implicit site and here are the results:

The results of your tests are outlined below:

Your data suggests a strong automatic preference for Black people over White people

Your data suggests a strong automatic preference for Barack Obama over John McCain

There you go. You can't argue with science.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Watch out for those drowsy drugs

Check out Debunk'd, a hilarious send up of prank style "reality" tv.



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fantastic resource

I'm working on the outline of a story that takes place in the Virgin Islands in the nineteenth century. Warren Ellis linked us to a scary piece about horrific medical instruments, which was amazing, and now I'm exploring the science museum that hosts the piece.

They have a nifty search tool that will let you search on various themes, like treatments and cures or surgery, or places, or people. So you can look for images of treatments and cures from Barbados and get a hit. Or you can look at everything from Ancient Egypt.

I just wish they had more images. They've got 2500, which sounds like a lot but the original collection was over a million pieces.



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Massive headache

I've got a huge headache, bad enough that I'm thinking of taking some painkillers. I don't usually do that because they have a rebound effect. I might feel better now but then later I'll get a rebound headache from taking the pills so I'll take some more, which will give me another rebound headache. I actually get significantly fewer headaches since I stopped taking medication for pain, but sometimes when it's very bad I have to take something.

When I say painkillers I'm including stuff like tylenol and ibuprofen. When I was first diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri I was taking tylenol two or three times a day and had some liver damage. Once I stopped taking it I felt much better.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

From a phishing email

This is to show appreciation for your pass efforts/commitments; I realized your hands were tied up that time.

Number one reason to say no to scam emails - because your hands are tied up.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Riker's smile makes this video

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Friday, March 06, 2009


I'm sick with some sort of fever and lassitude. Luckily I have a good book to keep me company, Runemarks by Joanne Harris. So far I'm enjoying it very much, although I suspect I'd be enjoying it more if I didn't feel like I was going to throw up.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Happy Birthday Christopher!!

The Wii Fit suggested throwing you a surprise party! Would you like a party where the only guests were balance boards? Could be interesting!

Hope you had a fantastic day.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The delivery leaves something to be desired

I got a letter from our school system today saying teen suicide and suicide attempts are up in the county and listing some danger signs we're supposed to watch out for. Some of them are a little weird, like your child "visiting online memorials for deceased youths". What if your child has a friend or schoolmate who died, then isn't visiting a memorial for them a perfectly appropriate thing to do? Might it not in fact aid the grieving process? And when you think about it, doesn't just about every high school lose a student at some point? Right off the top of my head I can think of children who died in traffic accidents, from falls, from illness, from shootings, and yes, from suicide. And that's just kids that I or my friends have known. It's a rather grim picture.

But what's really weird about this letter is the way I got it. The school sent it home with my son. It seems to me if you want to make sure a parent gets a letter that a child may not want you to see there has to be a better delivery system. They did follow up with a phone call, but again, my son answered the phone. In his case it reminded him to get the letter, but what if a student didn't want his parents to see the warning list? It's all very worrisome.


Monday, March 02, 2009

There Will be Blood

I fell asleep today while watching There Will be Blood. I've seen it before and I think it's very good but I was awfully sleepy and the music during the middle is kind of soothing. I woke up at the end, during the big violent finish, to a lot of yelling and was very confused.

The movie Jurassic Park always puts me to sleep. The part where the T-Rex comes stomping around is where I get sleepy and drop off. It's something to do with the sound patterns. MRIs also make me fall asleep and they have a similar weird thumping. Maybe I should put Jurassic Park into the VCR when I'm having trouble sleeping...


Sunday, March 01, 2009

The upside to having a diabetic cat

So Titan is old. He's decrepit. He needs to take baths in the bathtub. He doesn't stand properly because his legs have some nerve damage. He needs insulin shots twice a day, which are expensive. He sleeps under my bed and when he crawls out he looks like a zombie. He actually looks a lot like a fatter version of the cat from the movie version of Coraline. He has bad breath. He staggers when he walks sometimes. He tries to scratch his head and misses, scratching madly at the air. He likes to sleep on my Wii Fit balance board, which he thinks is a pillow. He stands next to my bed sometimes and cries because he wants to be picked up.

But at least I don't ever have to worry about him jumping up on the kitchen counter when we're cooking.