Monthly Archives: October 2012
I love Halloween. I love the autumn, and I love spooky stuff, and I love dressing up, so this is pretty much my favorite holiday.
I’m going to a dinner party tonight, so this should help contribute to the meal!
Should be delicious!
(The video released by the talented singer behind this arrangement is here, with a download link if you want an mp3. I used this one instead so my blog wouldn’t be filled with spoilers to Pan’s Labyrinth.) Read the rest of this entry
November is coming up, and that means National Novel Writing Month. Well, I’m thinking about it.
The thing is, pounding thoughts and ideas into words is such a long, difficult process for me that I’m pretty sure writing 2,000 words per day would amount to a full time job at least. Some of you may recall that in the first few months of this blog I was unable to make a quota of 1,000 words per week,
But then what would I really have to lose? I mean, at worst I just don’t make it. So far every little goal I’ve set in this blog has failed, even though the primary goal of improving my ability to write seems to be succeeding. What’s one more tiny failure?
Well, nothing, really. But I’m getting sick of tiny failures. I’ve had an awful lot of them this year, and they add up to more than their sum.
On the other hand, it’s not like I have a lot of self-respect to lose in this department. And I have too much time on my hands, I haven’t been busy enough to get anything done.
So I’m thinking about it. I’ll have to make up my mind tomorrow, or it’ll be made for me. But I want to sleep on it.
For the most part, Tumblr is just another thing that automatically posts links to my blog. I don’t really get Tumblr, I guess. But this morning during my usual blog-reading I followed a link to Trish Causey’s Tumblr and fell down a rabbit hole of beautiful pictures.
Some of those pictures have naked people, and some are explicitly sexual. Now you’re been warned and can’t blame me if you click on that link and get fired or have to answer awkward questions or break into a thousand tiny porcelain pieces from the shock of seeing an erect penis or something.
Somewhere, as I delved deep into that archive of neat pics, I saw things that made me think of magic.
The sound was indistinct and seemed far away, the best interpretation she could think of was many children singing. She walked through the nursery, smiling down at the sleeping infant in the crib, and opened the window a crack.
The chilly October breeze made her shiver a little, but she couldn’t make out any new details about the sound. A flash of movement in the corner of her eye caught her attention but by the time she looked it was gone. She found herself staring at the gibbous moon, with an impression that she’d seen something fly in front of its face.
I’ve mentioned webcomics before, which run the gamut from high art to crap. The other day I rediscovered one of the best. Not just one of the best webcomics, but one of the best stories I’ve ever read.
Created by the astonishingly talented Ursula Vernon, Digger tells the story of a lost wombat, Digger-of-Unnecessarily-Convoluted-Tunnels, and the strange people she meets and adventures they have. It’s set in a fascinating world with several rich cultures, and contains such interesting things as Pratchett-style footnotes, vampire squash, disturbingly cute trolls, and more! Read the rest of this entry
Spotted on this Mother Jones tumblr post is this fascinating graphic of all the world’s aircraft carriers, to scale.
There is some dispute on the definition of “aircraft carrier” used here, if you think a ship that can only handle vertical-take-off-and-landing craft such as helicopters and Harriers doesn’t count, then at least eleven of these ships, including the entire the right-hand column, are excluded and the U.S. only has the eleven biggest carriers out of the world’s twenty-one or so.
It’s one of those striking perspective things. Every time I see some comparison between the military of the United States and the entire rest of the world it amazes me. I wonder how accurate this is.
I fell down the stairs last night. I’ve been falling down stairs my whole life, and I’m pretty good at it by now, so the only actual injury was the toes of my left foot. I wasn’t able to get them pointed up so I could stop myself against the wall at the bottom with the sole of my foot, and jammed the toes straight into the wall with my whole body weight sliding behind them.
If you’re curious, that really hurts a lot. Read the rest of this entry
It’s the 15th again, and the means search terms. This one is going to be pretty short, because almost all of them were slight variations on stuff I see every month. In fact I almost just skipped it this month entirely, but there were just enough interesting ones that I’ll do it. This particular monthly exercise may not last much longer, though.
As usual, search terms are bold while my commentary is italic. Read the rest of this entry
Here’s a quote that’ll stick in your head:
“Listen here, bitch, we are Greek Christian fascists! 90% of Greeks are Christian fascists, understand? As a fascist, i have the right to tell you to get out of here.”
I touched on this a while back when I mentioned the Presidential Debates, and I want to expand on it a little now, partly because I’m angry and need to vent, and partly because maybe if we talk about this enough we can shame ourselves into doing better.
We’re doing it wrong. The way we go about elections, and making these decisions, is deeply flawed by a persistent lack of substance. You probably already know what I mean, there’s all this useless noise, repeating meaningless talking points and blithely stating the obvious and distorting and outright lying and generally just making a big production show out of wasting time. I guess it gets people talking, at least. But it should be better, and really we have no excuse for not making it better.
I’ve been trying, really I have. But I just can’t seem to keep the blogging coming. There are many reasons for this, other things to do, difficulty deciding what to write about, general frustration with the knowledge that as soon as I start to write about one thing I’m far less likely to ever write about the others. Yes, I do realize that this is even worse, because that way at least I’d write about one of them, but somehow that doesn’t seem to help.
I started this year jumping into the Post A Day challenge with glee. I abandoned the idea of actually writing a post every day before I even started, telling myself that as long as I had 366 posts by year’s end I’d call it a win. I did very well for a third of the year, but by this point it’s pretty clear I’m not going to make that goal. And that’s okay, we don’t always succeed in our goals. Sometimes trying is more important than succeeding, and I think this is one of them.
A while back, I bought a cheap Android tablet computer. (There’s a lot of story behind the device itself, but I’m not going to talk about that now.) One of the first things I did with it was install Amazon Kindle for Android and start downloading free books. At any given moment Amazon will have a lot of Kindle editions for free, and I grabbed a lot of books based purely on the cover art, or because the title interested me. Most of them I’ve been pretty lukewarm about so far.
This one I’m really pleased with. There’s no way I would have paid money to try it blind like this. Before I started writing this review I checked Amazon to see what the price is now, and found a sequel! The sequel is already purchased and downloaded and as soon as I publish this I’ll be running off to read it. Read the rest of this entry
I saw the strangest headline on Reuters’ Twitter this morning: “U.S. Coast Guard missions in doubt as aging ships wear out”. I thought it had to be wrong, the U.S. is famous for spending more on the military than any other ten nations combined. But I clicked the link and there it is, the Coast Guard is having trouble maintaining its fleet.
Take a look at this table, a screenshot from this Wikipedia page. It shows the 15 countries that spend the most on their military.
As you can see, the U.S. is way out in front, spending about five times as much as the number two country, China. Because I’m so helpful, I added up the other 14 numbers there and got 719.9. Out of the top 15 countries, nearly half of it is the United States alone. That table also tells us that the U.S. alone accounts for 41% of the total military spending in the world.
And we can’t keep our Coast Guard afloat well enough to perform the missions expected of it.
Mitt Romney’s taken a lot of flak lately for saying he’d cut public funding to PBS, which is about 0.012% of the budget and provides a genuinely useful service to everyone. Meanwhile we have this ridiculously huge military budget that still can’t get the job done. If you really want to cut out wasteful spending, Mittens, I think you’re looking in the wrong direction.
Continuing to try to get all the blogging I’ve been thinking of the last few days out of my head, here’s one from Miss Ion America…. no sorry, that’s Mission America, which doesn’t sound nearly as interesting to me. I’m just going to blatantly copy this screencap from Joe. My. God., where I found this.
I’d like to take this moment to recant my heterosexuality before the jack-booted queens come for me.
I find a sad fascination in people who will, with a straight face, accuse their victim of doing to them exactly what they’re doing. “This is blatant discrimination and amounts to child endangerment.” Who, exactly, is being discriminated against, and how?
“Ex-gay” programs are abusive. This is obvious to anyone who’s made the slightest effort to understand them. Subjecting children to abuse is known by the common term child abuse. Who’s being endangered?
The AIDS dodge is real rich. Most people with HIV are straight women, so by their logic we should be putting all our little girls into Pavlovian training programs to make them think they’re gay, right? Sure it’s horrific abuse and leaves lasting emotional scars, which outlive pretending to be someone you’re not, but it’s for their own good, right?
In my review of her book, Be Ours Forever, (available in paperback or ebook format!) I ribbed R.C. Murphy for her characters’ use of “male” as a noun. She answered that it’s not degrading or demeaning the way it would be with real people, since her characters aren’t actually human. You can’t dehumanize what isn’t human, after all. So likewise, it’s not degrading, demeaning, or dehumanizing to refer to “homosexual males”, because as everyone knows homosexuals aren’t really human.
Once again, I’m just amazed at how important some people think it is to treat gay people like shit. They fight tooth and nail against anything that even hints at treating homosexuals as actual people. They encourage bullying, and psychological torture, and sometimes outright murder because they don’t approve of someone else’s love. Fucking hell, live your own life. Mind your own business.
In a world so filled with human misery, why the fuck would you work so hard to make more of it?
I never got the hang of the WordPress reader.
Shortly after I made this blog I tried to have a weekly thing where I’d recommend a blog for people to read. Riffing on Twitter’s “Follow Friday”, I called it “Subscribe Sunday”. Naturally, soon after I started that I had trouble filling the slot with new blogs, and then the powers that be at WordPress changed the “subscribe” button to “follow”, to my great annoyance, and I abandoned the project. I was having enough trouble just writing any posts at all.
But I do pick up more blogs as time passes, most of them I’ve set up to email me daily or weekly, so I can keep up with them. I still manage to only skim most of those, of course. And there are more languishing in my reader, only checked when it occurs to me that I haven’t seen anything from that blog in a while, or more often when someone else links to it.
To say nothing of the many excellent blogs that, for whatever reason, aren’t on WordPress.
Anyway, yesterday one of the posts those emails caught my attention, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to link to Trish Causey’s Aroused Woman blog and ponder this post a bit. Read the rest of this entry
Reading this post on The Pervocracy really got me thinking. The Pervocracy is generally not safe for work, but this post shouldn’t get you in any more trouble than you should be for reading blogs instead of, you know, working. Click over and read it, it’ll open in a new tab and you can come right back.
All done? Really resonates, doesn’t it.
“Fear cuts deeper than swords”, is an axiom in George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. There’s nothing like fear to get you to do something stupid. Decisions made while I was afraid have ruined my credit, cost me my car, far too much money, caused me to throw away good things and cling to bad, paralyzed me at the moment of action and spurred me into motion when stillness was called for.
It amazes me how we can make the same mistakes over and over.
For most of this year I’ve been living in a sort of low-grade Worst Thing In The World fear, only for me it’s reversed because the unknown, though scary, is far less terrifying to me than the status quo. I’m trying to make big changes and I really don’t know what I’m doing, but easily the scariest thought for me is that changes won’t happen and things will continue as they are.
Seems like that should make it easier, but of course it doesn’t work like that. I guess it’s always easier to make things worse than better, and thinking about that makes it easy to start second-guessing everything.
Today I reached the point where I had to screw up my courage to send a text message asking a friend to wish me luck. That probably means I’m approaching some second-guessing event horizon, past which no action is possible. A scary thought… but fear cuts deeper than swords.
This post feels awfully self-indulgent to me now that I look at it. But I’m going to publish it anyway, because I’ve had someone say they liked my more personal posts more than the ones where I’m just yelling at an asshole, and because I want to share that Pervocracy post as widely as possible, and because it’s my blog and I can write a whole post whining vaguely if I feel like it.