Monthly Archives: October 2011

When you gotta go…

Well, I need to get some posts written and I’ve got nothing on my mind just now. So set your wayback machine for three days ago and let’s pick up the Daily Post topic from there!

Topic #289:

How do you know when it’s time to go? Like at a party or when you meet a friend for coffee?

I find that useful signals are sounds such as approaching sirens, or activity along the lines of people lighting torches and gathering farm implements. Other subtle clues that you may have overstayed your welcome include sidelong glares, phrases such as “Oh damn he’s still here!” and defenestration.

If you’re like me, (and why wouldn’t you be?) you’ll find these tips both handy and enlightening as you improve your social life by staying only as long as people are willing to put up with your shit!

Now, having used time travel to pull topics from the past, I’m off to use it to post in the future! See you in just a minute, tomorrow!

Who are you?

A strange one from the Daily Post today.

Topic #291:

What % of who and what you are is determined by genetics vs your own choices? Is it 50/50 or more or less of one?

Or should there be three numbers: your genetics, how you were raised, and your own choices (33/33/33 or 10/40/50).

Most times when someone talks about who you are, the context makes their specific meaning very clear. This is not one of those times. Honestly I’m not even sure what the question is trying to ask, it seems to be combining at least two different meanings of “who you are”. Read the rest of this entry

Worthy of notice

Dissatisfied with recent Daily Post topics, I was cruising the web for something to write about. I read this interesting post at Blag Hag, and after a short series of adventures from there I wound up looking at Jen McCreight ‘s Wikipedia entry. If you look at that page you’ll notice the article is being considered for deletion based on the notability guidelines.

This post will not discuss whether Jen McCreight is notable enough for Wikipedia. This post is asking why Wikipedia cares about notability at all. Read the rest of this entry

Look out for the petrifying gaze

Seems like it’s been a while since I did a Daily Post topic. Let’s fix that.

Topic #289:

What makes someone beautiful?

The old adage about beholders seems to fit very well. In fact, I’d say that as I change as a person, the people around me appear to change, too. I’ve more than once met someone and thought them ugly, only for them to grow beautiful as I got to know them. The reverse has also happened.

Too much going on just now. I really need to write a big long post one of these days soon.

If only I could blog in my sleep

It often seems to me that the best times for me to write, the times when I’m most productive and have the least trouble getting stuff down, is either right after I wake up, or before I go to bed, both times when I’d rather be asleep. This seems to imply to me that the truly best time for me to write would be while I’m actually sleeping. Given the strange dream of half-buildings I had last night, I look forward to technology making this possible.

Yeah, I know. Look I agreed to write a post every day, I never made any promises about those posts being worth reading. It was either this or five pages of incoherent rant about protests and politics, and frankly I’m too tired for that tonight.

The mind is a strange thing

I got a flu shot today. While I was getting it I was thinking about how I never look at a needle when I’m giving blood or getting a shot. I don’t have any special terror of needles, I don’t have any trouble with the tiny amount of pain they inflict, but somehow I just can’t watch it. It feels like if I look I’ll chicken out.

I mean, it’s not like it feels any different whether I look or not, and it’s not like I don’t still know exactly what’s going on. I can’t fool myself into thinking that this guy isn’t jamming a needle into my bicep and injecting me with half a milligram of virus corpses just by not watching, but somehow I just have to look away.

This seems especially weird because decorative piercings, which require much larger needles that hurt a lot more, I watch intently the entire time. I don’t have many of those, so maybe it was the novelty of the thing that made the difference there, but that seems wrong too. It seems like unusual situations would make me more squeamish, not less.

In summary, the mind is weird and I don’t understand it. Tune in tomorrow for more weird stuff that I don’t understand!

Just the bare minimum today.

Topic 287:

Have you ever had to fire someone? Was it easier or harder than you expected? If you never have, how do you think you’d handle it?

Nope, never. I’ve no idea how I would handle it. Hopefully with class, professionalism and tact.

Yeah, I really didn’t feel like writing today.


Patience, and the lack thereof

Just a quick Daily to get the requirement out of the way. I’m working on something, though.

Topic 286:

Who is the most patient person you know?

Honestly, I think I am. It’s the one genuine virtue I possess. I’m having trouble coming up with more to say about that, so I’ll just wax on about patience for a bit.

The funny thing about patience is that some things just cut right through it. Like a pet peeve, everyone has a few things that they just have no patience at all for. For me paperwork is a big one. I can comfortably sit for a very long time and work out every last detail of, say, a math puzzle. But ask me to fill out some forms and I’ll be growling the first time a field seems slightly ambiguous or it asks me a question with more than one answer.

On that subject it’s almost inevitable that I will be growling at that form sooner or later. I think the only forms I’ve seen that were clear and straightforward were order forms. “What do you want, how many, were do we ship it, how are you paying for it”, if only they were all so easy.

On the other hand, ask me to explain a difficult concept to someone and I can calmly re-examine things and try different approaches for pretty much as long as they seem to be honestly trying to understand. That’s led many people to mistakenly think that I’d make a good teacher, I can only assume that they’ve forgotten how much paperwork a teacher has to do.


Last night’s zombie pub crawl was pretty awesome. I met some interesting people whom I can’t remember clearly, and ran into a bunch of people I haven’t seen in ages, some literally for years. Glad I went, even if the damn makeup was annoying and sweated off pretty quickly, managing to be both irritating on my face and basically invisible just a couple hours after we started.

I’m feeling a little delicate today, so I’m going to call this my day’s post and go play videogames all afternoon.

Saturday cop-out post

I have a zombie pub crawl to attend tonight and stuff to do before it, so this will be short.

Topic 285:

Do you like surprises? Why or why not? Can you think of the best or worse surprise you’ve had in the last year?

Depends on the surprise, of course. A surprise $50 bill is great, a surprise tumor sucks. I suppose that’s really just saying I like good news more than bad.

No surprises stand out to me over the last year. Well, none I’m willing to write about here, at least.

The more I think about it, the more I’m sure I can’t write an interesting post on this topic. So I’ll talk about the zombie pub crawl quickly and then wrap this up.

Zombie pub crawl. A bunch of people in their 20s & 30s dressed up as zombies lurching mindlessly from one bar to the next. So it’s basically your average pub crawl with grosser makeup.

I’ve dug out a jacket that’s full of moth holes. The kind of thing I really should have gotten rid of long ago, but kept partly because it’s the only jacket I own that actually fits me, and partly for costume stuff like this. I’m combining that with tan pants & shirt, and a hideous red tie that I got at the dollar store, and then all I need is a little makeup and I’ll look like I wandered off the set of a 1970’s George Romero flick.

I’ve also skipped shaving today. My hair is really too long for this look but I’m not willing to cut it just for this. I’m also going to use more deodorant than usual since I expect to be too warm in those clothes and I’m not really willing to smell like the walking dead tonight. Though if I could make myself smell like fresh earth, as though I’d clawed my way out of a grave, I might do that.

Well, that’s all for today. I’ll have something else to tell you tomorrow. Huh, if I drink too much while I’m dressed as a zombie tonight I may wake up feeling like a zombie tomorrow. I’d better watch out.

What popped into my head when I saw this photo.

Photo courtesy of Luca Sartoni.

It wasn’t the sort of neighborhood a fairy usually went to alone, but Tink knew she had to get answers. Uncomfortably aware that anyone, or anything, might be hiding nearby, she put on a bold face and headed towards the meeting site. She only hoped this Deep Wing character, whoever that was, could give her the information she needed.

Walk Without Rhythm

So, here‘s what I got from the Daily Post today. It’s a fairly interesting post about rhythm in words, sentences and paragraphs. But I was intrigued by the very end, which I will repeat here:

Pay attention to which sentence configurations you find most appealing. What makes a given arrangement more appealing to you than another? Can you think of ways in which you might use different sentence lengths to accomplish different rhetorical goals?

If you’ve read, well, any of my writing, you’ll know that I like to use long, complicated sentences with lots of commas, purple prose, and sometimes digressions in the middle. Sentences that often could be acceptably split into two or more. Meanwhile, my paragraphs often have very few sentences, and sometimes could be reasonably connected to an adjacent paragraph. Read the rest of this entry

Bouncy bouncy

Topic #283:

If you found $1000 worth of superballs, and had a free afternoon, what creative use could you put them towards? Can you think of a clever way to use them or a prank you could pull on a friend or co-worker? Write about it.

You know, my first thought is just to take them all up to the roof of a skyscraper and dump them over into the city. Can you imagine watching three or four thousand balls bouncing around like mad? People would be finding them miles away for weeks! I wonder what the headlines would say? “Rain of balls causes havoc!” Read the rest of this entry

Sandwiches are beautiful

Topic #282:

Describe the perfect sandwich.  You have up to $5,000 to spend. Be creative.

Impossible. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend or how creative you get, there is no perfect sandwich. Perhaps you could meaningfully discuss the perfect Reuben sandwich, or the perfect grilled cheese, or some other very specific example of the rich variety of sandwiches human ingenuity has created, but even that would be a sort of platonic ideal: something to keep in mind as you make a sandwich and choose to follow or deviate from this ideal recipe, an ideal that becomes increasingly unrealistic, small-minded and disappointing as you expand your sandwich world. To speak of a perfect sandwich across all of sandwich-kind? The concept is meaningless.

Any quality you might list as a part of the perfect sandwich implies that sandwiches without are inferior, further from perfection. And yet a vegetarian burger built around portabello mushrooms can be every bit as tasty and satisfying as a grilled hot pastrami & swiss on rye.

The joy and beauty in sandwiches is in the infinite diversity and combinations of qualities. Each is unique, and while you occasionally find one that seems less than the rest, most are delicious.

I’m going to go raid the kitchen now.

Everything’s a pain. It’s still hot, too.

Hopefully that title got all the whining out of my system for a while.

So in naive anticipation of cold weather, I’ve returned to the manly art of crochet. I’ve decided to start off this year’s projects with another scarf, partly because of my limited skill, but mostly because I like scarves. A big part of that is probably because I can only wear them comfortably when it’s genuinely cold, and I suspect I only really like the cold weather because where I live Summer lasts for eight solid months. Read the rest of this entry

Well, that didn’t take long.

Ok, so QTM was in fact the only one I was able to install that actually works with WordPress. I suspect Drivel would if I took the time to find out which API WordPress is derived from, but now I’m annoyed and just want to go off somewhere and sulk.

Two of the programs wouldn’t install because of failed dependencies. One of them was actually an applet, just adding on to the fires of hate stoked by the latest Ubuntu release. Maybe I should just go back to KDE. Anyhow, there’s that project explored and abandoned. I’m more disappointed that I wasn’t able to try out more of the software than I am by not finding one I like, make of that what you will.

I’m going to walk a dog and let my mind wander, maybe I’ll have one more post for you today when I get back, maybe I’ll just read or show up at a friend’s house with a bad movie & pizza. We shall see.

Writing technology

Topic #281:

Does technology help you write?

One comical thing about writers and writing is they often ask each other if there is a secret tool, or software, they use that makes writing easier. Some writers swear by a particular tool, or keyboard, or special software (or WordPress plugin), while others see tools as ways to help with scheduling, or writing related tasks, but see the process of writing simply about putting their but in the chair.

Now that you’ve been writing for awhile, does technology help or not help you in the writing process? What do you wish a tool like WordPress could do to help?

That’s a silly one, writing itself is technology! Yes, I know what he means, but it always irks me a little when someone seems to assume that nothing is technology unless it needs electricity or contains a microchip. I always suspect that they’d flat out refuse to believe me if I told them that power tools existed before the invention of the steam engine. (Check out the Hierapolis sawmill!) Read the rest of this entry

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