Friday, September 28, 2007

Dresden Codak gets the love.

Back in the day I used to be a huge webcomic fan. I had all of Bite Me saved on my Zip Discs, as well as Demonology 101. Fallen was another favorite. There was another one about the fair folk but I've forgotten the name... Oh, Sinfest was another long time fav. After a few of them sort of trailed off into nothingness, or the author/artist quit I sort of quit reading them. I still hit Sinfest every few months, but...

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure how I wandered across this wonderful little webcomic called Dresden Codak a few months ago, but I did. And it's brilliant. I love the art, and the ideas. You should check it out.

Especially Summer Dream Job. That comic is one of my absolute favorite pages of comic art, in the whole world.

Another brilliant page of Dresden Codak is Naked and Riding a Dinosaur. So far no one has come to my door trying to sell me anticipation and conjecture in a box, but oh well...

This one has brilliant college humor.

Somehow this reminds me of a lot of interactions I've had with others. Which is probably bad. However, it is part of a serial story line so you should probably just read all of them. ^_^

Monday, September 24, 2007

Rome Rome Rome your boat

I'm down to the last three pages of hand-written-needs-to-be-typed stuff. Go me.

New Wordcount: 85,364

I'm hungry. I'm gonna go eat and come back and pound out those three written pages and hopefully get to the next part, and the next new character, who I really, really wish I could fine a picture of. Hrrrr.

Done. New wordcount: 86,132. Have to go to class.

Heh. I tried out the AutoSummary from Word of my novel. It's pretty dang funny.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Modern Times

There are times I really, really loath living in the here and now. Sure we have antibiotics and sliced bread, but as far as I can tell some days we live in a cultureless black hole, peopled by idiots and ostriches with their heads in the sand.

Had a bad moment a few months ago when I referred to Shakespeare as "The Bard". Blank faces abounded. "Who's that?". I thought maybe they were kidding, but there really are people out there that claim they've never heard of him called that.

Bad moment today when I was trying to explain why one of my classmates is cutely intellectual and yet still a punk: he has an Atlas Shrugged tattoo on his arm. "A what?". You know, the book by Ayn Rand? "Who?". The books are massive, the covers are striking, and I was under the impression they were iconic. Not, you know, Romeo and Juliet type iconic, but we all know the "Marriage of Figaro" thanks to Looney Toons. And before you think I've read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, I haven't. I've only read Anthem.

The whole Captain America/Joe Quesada/Myspace fiasco. It's just preposterous, and maybe I'm too much a student of history, but I think it's an insult to the past to kill a character that has been beloved for as long as Captain America has. He's not outdated, he's the embodiment of an era's ideals, ideals that don't age. For god's sake, he's a million people's favorite character, and even if you want to only look at it in a business way, you don't just cut off your profits because he "doesn't watch American Idol" or "have a myspace". I don't watch American Idol, and I don't really like myspace because it seems like it's full of hookers who want to be friends with me; does that mean I deserve to die? Maybe Captain America isn't now, but that's his charm. He's not hard like the rest of us, and he gives us something to believe in.

And then, tonight, just when I needed that little ray of light of reason and intelligence, I find this. It's not a question. IT'S NOT A QUESTION. DON'T EVEN ACT LIKE IT'S A QUESTION, OR THAT YOU BLANKED ON THE ANSWER. THE EARTH IS ONLY FLAT IF YOU'RE A WEIRDO WHO THINKS SATELLITE PHOTOS ARE CLEVER TRICKERY. WHYYYYYYYY??????!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Keystrokes Closer

Only got to spend about 20-25 minutes in the Lab today, but I had a good pace. New wordcount is 82,766.

Another hour in the lab after I finished my America to 1890 essay, and we have 83,980 words. Yay!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Formal Appology to the Hope Diamond

Dear Hope Diamond,

I'm very sorry for the things I said about you putting a curse on the Postal Service. My Torchwood novel finally arrived, after a whole month, whose delay was what made me suspect you in the first place for foul play. The bad blood between you and I was caused by an email I got from the company that sold me the book in August, telling me when the book shipped and when I could expect it. As this day came and went I grew more and more certain you had a hand in holding up my package, especially when I emailed the company about my book. They promised me another date, which came and went, and then a third upon which it arrive. Twenty-five days after shipping, I tell you.

Or rather, I was told.

The truth of the matter was revealed to me by the package the book arrived in.

Alas, it was shipped four days ago.

So, I hope you can understand and forgive my harsh words, and let bygones be bygones. I hear Washington is a very nice place. I hope you enjoy it there.

Lots of love,


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rec-ing Ball: Day One

Copypasta'd from 9/8/07:

Hey Guys,

The idea for this came last weekend, when I was chatting with one of the customers who regularly shops in the comics store I work at, Dr. No's. He comes in pretty much every week and we have a very similar taste in movies; maybe it's more like we both think the same ones are great. We chat every weekend, almost, about what movie we saw recently, how good it was, what was great about it, what's another great movie...

And for once we got on the subject of books. The "Dark is Rising" movie is coming out soon, and it was one of my favorite book series as a kid, next to Narnia, and I keep telling the guy I'll bring him my copy of the book to read, at which point I wound up telling him a few more great books, and he tells me he's off to the Library for them.

Not ten minutes later he's back in the store asking me where I come up with this stuff to recommend (or rec, since I'm such a fandom geek online).

Mostly I just pick it up along the way, like for The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (which I told him he has to read, if he wants to know what real horror writing is). I worked at the library the book came out and we had about thirty copies (or more) between 17 libraries, and the holds on the book were in the hundreds on each copy. That's like waving a flag for either controversy or greatness, and they had a sale on the book at Sam's Club so I picked it up.

The book scares me so bad I can't finish it. And it's so Hitchcock about it, where nothing happens to the characters but you're about to start screaming if something makes a noise in the room because the tension is amped up so high. Plus it's got vampires, a favorite of mine, and it's sort of secret society-ish, with a lot of history.

My advice: Don't read it late at night.

Or anther book that seemed to fall into my lap: The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst. It has a brilliant title, and originally one of the worst covers I've ever seen. I mean, ugly and nondescript. The cover you see now, if you follow that link is pretty, and awesome, and moody; just like the book deserves. It's even poignant, and if you read the book damned if it doesn't wrench at your heart every time you see it. It came across the counter at the library often enough that I recalled it, and kept wondering what it was about.

Finally I checked it out, and it's one of those read-it-in-one-sitting books. I don't usually read stuff that's not about magic and vampires and guns, ect, and this book is so slice of life... Basically, the main character comes home to find his wife is dead and the only witness is the family dog, and it turns out the husband is a linguistics professor at a college. Every other chapter is about how he met his wife and how they fell in love, and the other chapters are about him coping with his grief over her loss and trying to teach the family dog to tell him what happened.

It sounds goofy every time I say that, but it's not. He's not expecting the dog to speak, so much as maybe point at cards, or type a simple keyboard, like some animals have been taught to do (wasn't there a horse that did that? and a dog that had a barking code? I seem to recall it from Ripley's or a show on animal oddities), and it's so sad and sweet, and you can tell how much he's struggling with loosing his wife...

Anyway, read it, you'll cry. I did.

So, I rec'ed him those two, just like I'm recing them to you. Which is where I got the idea for this blog.

Rec-ing Ball: Dark Angel

Copypasta'd from 9/8/07:

I just finished watching the first episode of Dark Angel, and while it's not the best show I've ever seen it's certainly not the worst. Of course, I'm only one Ep in, so that opinion might change. I'll probably come up with a rating system eventually...

Hrm, so, pros...

She's a chick who can (apparently) kick ass. I like that in a show. I used to watch Buffy, I love La Femme Nikita (in any incarnation). I like the post-apocalyptic thing going on, but time will tell on how believable it is and how much they really invest into the world they've created. Also, there's action, and guns; things I like very much. And there was even a part with spy-speak and black-ops suits. Jessica Alba is pretty, and Michael Weatherly is eye candy. And she's got a mouth on her. I love mouthy characters and the insults and mouthy-ness are pretty good so far. Her friend at work is snort-worthy funny, and I like the odd array of superpowers she's wound up with.


Like I said before, I like the "universe" this is set in, but I'm not sure how much they believe in it. They better believe in it, or this is going to be goofy and unlikeable. Imagine if Buffy hadn't been as "believed" in as it was. I want it to come across as real to the characters, basically. We'll see how this is in a few more eps. And while Jessica Alba is pretty, she's got a seriously pouty face. (I'm not watching Buffy at the moment but every time I looked at her she reminded me of Angel in season 1 or 2 with his "woe is me, I'm a vampire" face). She looks like she could sulk for her country, if that was an Olympic sport. There were a few parts where I cringed at her makeup, which looked downright whore-ish (but she was playing a whore right then, so...) and during the same scene she wore what I'm going to forever think of as the Worst Dress In The Whole Entire World. I know I've seen worse, but oh my god was this bad.

But really, it was a good hour or two, and I had a good cup of coffee watching it, and it only cost me five dollars for the season, so I'm not complaining. And from what I saw on the Internet (namely imdb's reviews) I was sure the show was going to be nightmareishly bad. It's not. And the reviewer on there was right; a lot of the show seems to be coped from somewhere else, but that's fine if it's done well.

As for ep 1, I'll rec it.

Rec-ing Ball: Acursedly Delicious Coffee

Copypasta'd from 9/8/07:

It was so good now I can't sleep. And when I say good I mean strong Irish Cream flavor.

I know a lot of people don't like coffee, that it tastes like dirt, that it's an "acquired taste" and generally that means things taste bad.

To me, it's like the Holy Grail of drinks. It's hot, it keeps your hands warm, it makes you completely unable to sleep, and when you add just the right amount of sugar and milk (or whipping cream) it becomes an unholy food source that can jack you up high enough to bounce off walls. Thankfully I don't add that much sugar any more...

Tonight's sleeplessness is deliciously brought to you by Millstone Coffee Company. The flavors are always great, and by great I mean slightly hedonistic. I'm a big fan of chicory coffee which is by another brand, but when it's a red letter night (I'm a freak, I love coffee at night) or I want some seriously special coffee I get the Irish Cream flavor or maybe the Chocolate Velvet. French Vanilla isn't bad either.

And I think almost all the flavors come in Decaf and Regular, so you can choose if you want to stay up til almost four in the morning blogging or go to bed at a regular time.

The Hope Diamond's Revenge

Apparently the Hope Diamond can read my blog from inside the Smithsonian. Still no package. And it's only shipping from New Jersey, not Mars!

And then I went on Amazon and saw this. It made me cry a little.

All Hallows Email


I love Halloween. Probably it's the going about in public in a costume, or the getting free candy, or the whole the harvest is done so now we can safely huddle in our houses as the sun shows up less and less...

I know we read about it, but that after the harvest time must have been so...Life threatening to ancient people. They've really only got their own stores to depend upon against the possibly endless night that's coming up, during which all number of Fair Folk and goblins could just show up at their farm... For them, there might have been a good chance the Winter Solstice would never happen and they'd be stuck that way forever, no crops next year.

Really, Halloween must have been invented by the candy companies. It's too lighthearted and not as do or die as the old days.

Anyway, last night I had this spur of the moment costume idea. I have no idea what I'll do with the costume when it's done, other that wear it, since I haven't really got any Halloween plans other than with whatever Trish is doing. But the pursuit of the costume is going well... Lots of little parts to find and all that.

Oh, and I wanted to post this before we all forget, and say thanks! Clockwise it's Chris Appel with the Dinosaur, Cliff Biggers with the Peering Monster, Me with the Chicken (Quail), and Charles Rutledge with Conan. I did the dialog. ^_^

Monday, September 10, 2007


1:28pm: Wordcount 79,525

Wrote another five or ten pages longhand to add to the stack I'm still typing. This has been one of those semesters of college that eats up so much time it becomes college or write, pick one. I hate it. At the moment Nano is looking undoable. *cries*

Ever since yesterday I've been fighting off an introspective mood; last night I had homework to help drown it out, but this morning's mathclass and a low grade headache brought it back. It felt like my brain was operating at a slower speed than usual, picking up all the dumb things in class to think about, making me feel sluggish and stupid. I mean, whoever thought to call it "Standard Deviation"? It's an oxymoron. If it's standard, why does it deviate? A whole hour and fifteen minutes of that and I escaped class; four flights of stairs later I recalled I left my water bottle under my chair. I didn't go back for it.

2:23pm: Wordcount 80,468

I swear, there were days last November where I'd do five and six thousand words in one sitting. Right now that feels like a far away, fantastical dream.

3:14pm: Wordcount 81,172

Got to the fight inside the house with the bow and arrow that I asked Charles about before. I'm writing a little more than whats on the paper, but it's for the best. Rounding some edges, I suppose. Have to head to class, perhaps more before work though.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Seeing double

I opened a second blog called Rec-ing Ball. Just to review things and have a running commentary on how good or bad some things are. Check it out if you like.

Edit 9/11/07: Nix that.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Finally got the PS/2 cable for my Alphasmart to transfer the text to my computer, only when I got home nothing happened. So I called their tech support to find that yes, the PS/2 cable will work for the Pro, but only if I'm running Windows 98.

Apparently if I want to run it on a XP then I need to either partition one of my drives and run 98 on it, then run the Pro through that, and somehow transfer the text to the XP partition, or I need to get a USB to ADB connector cable thing. (the Alphasmart rep offered to sell me such a cable for about $70 which is twice what the internet is quoting me for something similar)


At the moment I'm not sure which one is the simpler choice; partition or purchase.

Saturday, September 1, 2007