Thursday, June 30, 2005

Next Year, I Want a Moon Landing.

The first space shuttle launch since the Columbia disaster is scheduled for my birthday. Thanks, NASA! That's a pretty cool present.
Geekin' Out

Your Geek Profile:

Fashion Geekiness: Highest
SciFi Geekiness: Highest
Academic Geekiness: Moderate
Movie Geekiness: Moderate
Music Geekiness: Moderate
Gamer Geekiness: Low
Geekiness in Love: Low
General Geekiness: Low
Internet Geekiness: Low

Clearly, it's been far too long since I've done any gaming. And I think the "internet geekiness" questions were biased. Just because my internet geekiness is more recent than 1990...

The sci-fi geekiness is a given, though. And as for fashion geekiness... Well, I'm currently wearing an "All Hail Brak!" t-shirt, a pair of 8-dollar velcro-fastened Wal-Mart sneakers and thick wire-rim glasses, so 'nuff said.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wow. That's Surprisingly Accurate.

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

Yet Again Still More Random Links

Some more interesting stuff I'm come across lately:

Google Song: A flash-animated song about everybody's favorite search engine.

The funniest way to get out of a speeding ticket ever.

Dactyl Fractal: I don't know why this is so creepy, but damn.

The Onion 2056: The satire site goes science-fictional.

The Monster Engine: Kids' drawings of monsters and superheroes rendered into "real" art, with surprisingly cool and compelling results. (I'm extremely tempted to buy the book.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Murphy's Laws in Action

Things I have realized today:

The day you wear shorts to work will be the day they crank the A/C up to 11.

The week you're feeling irrationally bitchy and negative will be the week everybody comes to you asking for opinions. And sympathy.

And the day you decide you've got a craving for chocolate and to hell with your diet will be the day the boss didn't bring cookies. The candy machine will also be empty.

Doctor's Orders

So, when I picked up Nova at the vet's, I got a sheet of instructions about when it was OK to feed him and how long I should keep giving him antibiotics and stuff. And I've just noticed that, down at the bottom, it says:
Special instructions for NOVA:
Keep refrigerated. Shake well before use.
Oh, man. I don't think he's going to like that...

Monday, June 27, 2005


Well, Nova's back from the vet, with cleaner teeth. He's still pretty groggy, poor guy. For a while there he was staggering randomly around the house, apparently in an awful hurry to get somewhere, but unable to figure out quite where it was he wanted to get. Not that he doesn't sort of act like that normally, but there was a definite doped-up quality to it this time that isn't usually there.

And he still doesn't get any food 'til tomorrow morning, poor kitty. I'm probably going to hear about that tonight, too.

Because doubtless you're all dying to know what Nova looks like (even though I'm sure my three regular readers have already seen pictures), because Blogger now has free image hosting, and because what is the internet for if not to post pictures of your cats?, I offer you, free of charge, one Nova-kitty likeness:

OK, I didn't say it was a good picture...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

This Sort of Treatment is Insufferable! We're Going to Call the Feline Union!

My cats are hungry. And they are making sure I know this. Repeatedly. "Hey, you, human! Why ain't there no food in this bowl? Hey! This bowl! Why no food? Hey!" Etc., etc., etc. They remind me of the Sims people when they run out of money, going to the refrigerator over and over and making the same exact face every time they realize that there's nothing in it. Thus proving, I think, that Sims people and cats have about the same level of intelligence.

There is a reason why there's no food, of course. I mean, I don't randomly starve my cats for amusement. The reason is that Nova's supposed to go into the vet tomorrow morning to get his teeth cleaned. Which requires a general anesthetic. Which means he's not supposed to have any food from 3 PM today until he goes in tomorrow. And since if there's food out for Happiness Nova will eat it, she doesn't get any, either. (Well, actually, I did put her in the spare bedroom with a dish earlier, but I think she was more interested in the fact that she was trapped in the spare bedroom! than in eating, because she didn't take much.)

And now I've got to go and force-feed Nova some antibiotics. Sigh. I'd say "he'd better appreciate this," but I know he won't. He's just going to freak out and claw me when I try to put him in the cat carrier, and then be all sulky when he gets home.

Cats. It's a good thing I love 'em.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I've, Uh... Just Got Something in My Eye.

So, I have finally watched through to the end of Babylon 5. I was really interested to see the final episode at last, because every time I've heard someone mention it, they've said that it made them cry. I was really thinking I might, with a bit of an effort of will, manage to be the exception, but it was no good. I made it to minute 27 before I couldn't stop the waterworks. Actually, I wasn't too bad at that point. I got it under control pretty quickly. Then, a few minutes before the end, I shed a few more... and, right before the credits rolled, for some reason I lost it entirely.

I always have such mixed feelings when this happens (and, OK, it happens more often than you might think). On the one hand, wow, I love it when a work of fiction engages my emotions enough to affect me like that. On the other hand, I dislike feeling emotionally manipulated (and letting it happen!), and there's no doubt this episode, at least, was designed with blatant emotional manipulation firmly in mind. And I can never quite decide whether it makes me a sensitive soul who engages deeply with the narratives around me, or just a sentimental sap with way too much investment in stupid TV shows. Probably, if I'm honest, a little bit of both.

Anyway, yeah, that's it. I'm done with Babylon 5. Well, sort of. I've still got a bunch of extras to watch, and eventually I'll pick up the movies... and Crusade... and I've heard a couple of the novels are actually really worth reading... and, who knows, JMS might actually get that theatrical film one of these days. Still, it feels like I've come to the end of a long, long journey.

Oh, and, yeah, I'm pleased to report that season 5 got a lot better once they got rid of the damn telepaths. Yay!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Yes. Yes, I Do.

*looks at the current world's population*
You must have a lot of frustration then.

What pisses you off?
Created by ptocheia

Movie-ing Experiences

Peter Chattaway recently linked to this article about how movie ticket sales have gone down over the last six months, as well as this one about how many people claim they prefer watching DVDs at home, which led to some e-mail discussion, my portion of which I shall now repeat for a (very slightly) larger audience:
I do like going to the movies. There's a certain atmosphere about a theater that's inviting and fun, and a lot of movies just really do look a hell of a lot better on the big screen. When I go to the movies, it's something of an event. Get a few friends together, maybe, and make a night of it. But that's the thing. If it's an event... If I'm paying a lot of money and driving 50-80 miles (which I have to do to get to a decent theater) and getting popcorn and making a whole thing out of it, then the movie better damn well deliver. It sucks terribly to do that and end up seeing something lame. So I pretty much only go to see movies that I have a very strong personal interest in. I don't go to the theater for random entertainment. I've got lots of other options -- cheaper, more convenient options -- for that.

I do go to the crappy little local theater sometimes when I'm bored or when something's playing that I think might or might not be interesting. But that's five minutes from my house, and it costs $3.50, so it's not like it's a major investment of time and money. It also means I'm not contributing much to the box office take.

So, y'know, they can get me back into the seats more often by making better movies. And by lowering the prices. And by opening a good theater out here in the boonies. But mostly that first one. And I ain't holding my breath.
Basically, I really do see movie theaters and video rental stores as offering two different services. The rental places offer movies. The theaters offer a certain kind of experience built around a movie. And the latter is worth paying for... but only if it's going to be a good experience. Which it won't be if the movie is disappointing, no matter how comfy the stadium seats.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Today's "Seriously, This Is a Hoax, Right?" News Item

"There has been a small outbreak of 'zombism' in a small town near the border of Laos in North-Eastern Cambodia."

Zombism! Is anybody else as freaked out out by this as I am? Because I'm seriously starting to feel my real world vs. fantasy lines blurring, and I'm not likin' the feeling.

[Update, about two mintues later: Whew! Just noticed the date on that. OK, my sense of reality is settling in again... But, you know, it's interesting. There's something about life in the 21st century that makes it far too easy, somehow, to accept that freakish, impossible things do happen. I don't know if it's the 9/11 experience, and the fact that suddenly we all felt like we were living in a Tom Clancy novel, or if it's just the fact that technology is progressing so fast that it's impossible to know what's reality and what's still science fiction. Even a card-carrying skeptic like me is far from immune.]
Well, That Seemed Kind of Pointless.

OK, so, I took this weblog survey conducted by MIT. Look, I got a badge for my blog:

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I kind of doubt I did them much good, though. It seemed to me that they weren't really asking very useful questions. For instance, they keep asking what you blog about, with multiple choice answers: personal stuff, work related stuff, news and current events... Um, so, which of those does the pop-culture stuff that constitutes the majority of my own nattering fall under? I mean, geez, these are MIT people... You'd think they'd understand about geeky-blogging.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Zhaan Always Says...

Kind person
Your wise quote is: "Be kind to unkind people,
they probably need it the most" by
Ashleigh Brilliant.
You try to look beyond appearance, try to give
people second chances and are probably very
kind. Understanding is your biggest personality
trait, and those you can see through should be
grateful. If they aren't already. You detest
narrow minded people, because they can't see
what's really there. Facades is not your thing
and you strive to always be who you really are.

Or, as Stark from Farscape put it, "Do right by the wrong." I have no idea who Ashleigh Brilliant is or why I should listen to her, but far be it from me to question the wisdom of Stark from Farscape.

(Ah, OK. I've just googled Ashleigh Brilliant and discovered that she's the purveyor of many really very witty sayings presented in cartoon form. I particularly like "No man is an island, but some of us are long peninsulas." In fact, I think I may have found a new .sig quote. Or several.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Come Sail Away

As I write this, Cosmos I, Earth's first solar sailing spacecraft, is currently less than three hours from launch. That first in itself is nifty enough, but what's especially cool about this particular space mission is that it's been completely funded and implemented by private citizens, under the auspices of The Planetary Society. Check out the website; it's got a lot of interesting information.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I Feel Like I Ought to Be Giving Out a Prize

According to Site Meter, Maximum Verbosity has just had its 50,000th visitor! Which appears to be someone in Canada searching for "not pan out" poetry "day job". Heh. This amuses me quite beyond all reason.

I seem to have pulled a muscle in my back or something. Only I don't remember doing anything to it, so maybe it's due to the effect of sleeping on it wrong, in the draft from the fan I keep by my bed. Regardless, it hurts, and it seems to have gotten worse over the last couple of days rather than better. I didn't even realize how bad it was, until I got into my car today to go to the post office and realized I couldn't twist my body around to look behind me while I was trying to back out of my driveway.

There's no point to me blogging about this, really. I'm not asking for advice or anything, because I think I've done all the usual stuff that has a chance of helping muscle problems. But if I have to live with it, you, Loyal Readers, have to listen to me bitch about it.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Booking It

Because I really ought to do this sort of thing more often, here's some reviews of the books I've read so far this month:

Echo of the Big Bang by Michael D. Lemonick: A fairly short book about the WMAP satellite, which mapped the distribution of the cosmic background radiation that permeates the universe as a leftover from the Big Bang. I was a little disappointed in this, actually. I was hoping for more of a discussion of the science and the implications of the mission's results, but that stuff is mostly confined to the last chapter. Instead, we get a general history of detection and theorizing about this "echo," which is sort of interesting, but which I pretty much already knew. (You can't work where I work without hearing all about the early pioneers of radio astronomy. Repeatedly. Half the computers our office are named for these people.) Then it goes into a lot of detail about the personalities and the politics and the building of the satellite, which are less interesting, especially when it basically amounts to a lot of gossip-mongering. But when Lemonick does get around to explicating the science, he does it in a way that I think manages to get the main points across to the lay reader surprisingly well.

Dork Covenant by Jack Kovalic: A collection of "Dork Tower" comics, depicting the lives of gamer geeks. I may not have gamed much in far too long, but I can still relate. Not brilliant, but definitely amusing, if you happen to be a member of that particular subculture. Probably incomprehensible to anybody else.

Doctor Who and the Talons of Weng-Chiang by Terrance Dicks: What can you say about Dicks' Doctor Who novelizations? I think he sat down with a script and cranked 'em out in a couple of hours, which is longer than it takes to read them. But I kind of enjoy them, anyway. They're sort of the literary equivalent of candy between meals. And "Weng-Chiang" is a pretty good episode. Also, it seems fairly clear to me that the writers of the new Who series had been watching it recently...

The Shining by Stephen King: Like I said before, it's probably not King's best, but it's definitely not his worst. It's pretty effective in the creepiness department, but then, that's always been King's strong suit. Sadly, he's not nearly as good at endings. The Shining's climax is better than a lot of his books', but it still relies far too heavily on the Malevolent Force making a very elementary mistake. The POV's kind of weird. I'm not sure quite what to call it, because it isn't exactly omniscient, but it moves back and forth between characters' heads very fluidly, and, to further confuse things, one of the characters can sort of see into other people's minds, so you get their POV from his POV sometimes, so to speak. And there's a lot of use of italics and parentheses and things to indicate thoughts that are subconsciously intruding on people. King uses that sort of technique sometimes in his other books, too, but never this consistently, as far as I've noticed. Interestingly, it works much better than it seems like it ought to, though there were a few times when I was thrown out of the story by, for instance, being very deep in five-year-old Danny's point of view and suddenly stumbling across a sophisticated adult concept the boy clearly wouldn't understand even if he did see it in someone's mind, or vocabulary out of the league of most adults, let alone a five-year-old. But I suppose such occasional missteps are inevitable with this kind of technique. It's probably worth it, though, because it lets King capture his characters' psychological complexities in a way that makes them feel utterly believable, even the guy who's going crazy. Hell, especially the guy who's going crazy. Which is what makes the story really horrific and creepy, because ultimately it's not about ghosts and boogeymen, it's about what our own minds are capable of doing to us if pushed in the right -- er, the wrong -- ways.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke: This book... is not easy to describe. It's set in an alternate version of early-19th-century England, which, as far as I can tell, is very, very much like the real 19th-century England, except that its history includes a powerful magician-king who ruled northern England many centuries before and who instituted a tradition of "English magic" which has since fallen into decline... until one Mr. Norrell and his pupil Jonathan Strange make an attempt to revive it in a practical way. It's written in a faux-19th-century style that feels very authentic but reads very smoothly. It's long, and a little slow, and rambles a bit, with long expository footnotes and everything. But it features some fascinating and very believably rendered worldbuilding, an interesting plot, and a wonderfully dry and utterly deadpan sense of humor that would make all 782 pages well worth reading all by itself.
Maximum Newsosity!

Some of you may (or may not) remember me mentioning a while back that an old college buddy of mine who is now a writer for the Albuquerque Journal was doing a profile on New Mexico bloggers and asked me for an interview. Well, after many delays and postponements, the article has at last appeared in today's paper! This blog only got a tiny mention in the paper itself, alas, but you can read the article online, and if you click on "more" at the bottom to get to the "online exclusive" content, you can see a picture of me and read some disconnected blatherings of mine. (The article is password protected, but you can get to it by typing "free" for the unsername and password. Don't tell anybody I told you!)

Anyway, um, hello to anybody who might have happened to come here via the link in the Journal. I fear I've been rather less interesting than usual lately, but feel free to browse the archives if the last week's content bores you. If it helps any, I'm planning to have some book reviews up in the not-too-distant future.
Search Request Weekly

The latest batch of interesting search request that have washed hapless net-surfers onto the rocky shores of this blog:

  • douglas coupland and invent hairstyle: Wow, he writes and invents hairstyles? What a versatile guy!

  • christopher eccleston/love scenes: Ah, you just want to see him nekkid. (At least, judging by the number of search requests I get for that, it seems like a safe bet.)

  • BUYING FARSCAPE TRENCHCOAT: You can't buy one of those trenchoats, man. You have to join the Peacekeepers to get one. Or kill one and take his coat.

  • "unlimited rice pudding" speech: Man, I love that speech! You know, I've heard it speculated that "unlimited rice pudding" was actually the trigger phrase to arm the Hand of Omega, which is a thought that amuses me. (Um, six trivia points to anybody who knows what the heck I'm talking about.)

  • zero-g porn movie: I don't think most porn-film budgets are high enough for that.

  • ergonomic cartoon picture for dentist: What, you mean where on the ceiling do you hang it?

  • green tea drops/side effects: Ah, this is where a certain Loyal Reader of mine would doubtless link us to that story about a guy who goes crazy and sees demons from hell after drinking too much green tea.

  • gnome sims skins: Trying to recreate your D&D party, hmm?

  • "chocolate physics": Man, if they offered degrees in chocolate physics, I would have stuck around for my PhD!

  • realistic non nude martian teen girls: Um... realistic?!

  • "gregg shorthand" "alice in wonderland": I sincerely doubt it's been commercially translated into that particular form.

  • star trek enterprise episode terra firma rerun: I'd rather watch the Farscape episode with that name, thanks.

  • babylon 5 "delenn nude": Does that mean without the hair, too?

  • REST OF THE PHRASE HELL'S BELLS: The last time this came up, aforementioned Loyal Reader informed me that the phrase was originally "Hell's bells and buckets of blood." I have no idea what to do with that information, but consider it your trivia fact for the day.

  • insomnia drugs lunasa: Well, I'd expect one to have trouble falling asleep at a Lunasa concert.

  • daughter of apollo guilt ridden fan fiction hobbit: Is this some sort of Battlestar Galactica/Lord of the Rings crossover?

  • sims nude sensor: Because it could be very socially embarrassing if you can't sense when your sims are nude.

  • fan fiction addition boredom farscape: Why would you want to add boredom to Farscape?

  • stairway to sto-vo-kor song download: I have no idea what this is or where it can be found, but I want it!

  • +gibson+"doctor who"+poet+"fang rock": Hmm, clearly it's been too long since I've seen that episode, because I don't remember any poets or Gibsons in it.

  • las cruces david and ear cones: Don't let David from Las Cruces use an ear cone on you. Don't let anybody use an ear cone on you. They're dangerous, and they don't work.

  • Free Nude Clippings of Rebecca: You mean, like, toenail clippings? Eww.

  • You've Got Mail darth vader wav: Do not fail Vader! When he tells you you've got mail, read it!

  • humming the twilight zone music wav mp3: Can't you just do that yourself?

  • "pop culture junk mail" "connection refused": Yeah, it seems to be doing that for me, too.

  • cartoon porn with snoopy and linus: OK, I think this one wins the "most disturbing, yet strangely hilarious" award for the month.


  • backpacking hygine: Just accept the fact that you're going to stink. When you're in the woods, it's acceptable.

  • "nude picture search": Be sure you turn off the "safe search" option!

  • chiana sexy girl picture: I think any picture of chiana sort of qualifies by definition.

  • outdoor pic nudie sands: Whoa! Nude sand! Avert your eyes, children!

  • coping with opposite sex ragging: Oh, dear. I sense a bit of domestic strife.

  • gowron fanfiction: Now, there's a neglected character who deserves some attention!

  • "stevie nicks nude": Homer? Is that you? (This has been Obscure Simpsons Reference #192.)

  • 80 yearn old free porn: And now I'm hearing that in Grampa Simpson's voice. Which is kind of disturbing.

  • the lost boys novel - craig shaw gardner spoilers: Sorry, the only book by that name I'm familiar with is the one by Orson Scott Card, and I wouldn't spoil that for ya for the world.

  • buzz lightyear commander nebula nude: Going into a nebula nude is never an advisable thing. (Um, wait, is Commander Nebula a person? Oh, dear, that may have unintentionally been much dirtier than I meant it to be...)
  • Friday, June 17, 2005

    More Random Links

    OK, eventually I'll get around to blogging something more substantial, but for the moment I'm feeling really lazy. And I have links. So, here.

    TV Tropes Wiki: Pretty much every cliche you've ever seen on television.

    Five-Minute Doctor Who: Now including story "summaries" for all nine Doctors!

    Quentin Tarantino's Republic Dogs: That Socrates is one bad muthafucka.

    Susan Stepney's Science Fiction Pages: Lots of links and reviews of books, TV, and movies.

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    Time for a Few Random Interesting Links

    Peel a potato: Exactly what it says. Peel a virtual potato. Way more entertaining than it has any right to be.

    Draw a pig: The "personality test" stuff is stupid, but drawing pigs is fun.

    Darth Vader comic: Little cartoon Darthy is so cute!

    Letterbox game: Very simple, easy-to-play word game that's kept me awake through a few really long night shifts lately.

    The movie trailer for Neil Gaiman's Mirrormask: I really want to see this. It looks exactly like a Gaiman comic come to life, which is just too cool for words.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Grumble, Grumble

    I want to know why I keep waking up at 1 or 2 PM when I'm on night shift and not being able to get back to sleep. Well, OK, I know why I can't get back to sleep. The sun is shining, the rest of the world's awake, and my brain keeps telling me about all the things I could be accomplishing if I weren't lying around in bed. But if the waking-up part didn't happen, it wouldn't be an issue.

    Damn, but I need coffee...
    Doctor Who Followup

    The Dalek has been released!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    Screaming Brain!

    It looks like I'm going to get to see Bruce Campbell's new movie next month, with Bruce Campbell. (Well, assuming my friend who's picking up the tickets gets to the box office tomorrow before they're sold out.) How cool is that, huh?

    Monday, June 13, 2005

    Star Wars Followup

    A little while back, I said I'd like to see somebody show a small, as-yet-unspoiled child the Star Wars prequels followed by the original trilogy and see if the plot actually makes any sense to them. Well, somebody is trying the experiment. "Look... Obi-Wan is pretending he doesn't know R2-D2!"

    Sunday, June 12, 2005

    So Many Books, So, Uh, Many Books!

    It seems that Jen of Circadian Shift has tagged me to answer a book meme. Well, you know I can never resist a book meme, although I fear they may be beginning to get a little repetitive. But, here:

    Number of books I own...

    Let's see... I've got 1,964 listed in my database, plus approximately another 500 on the To-Read Pile. Add in a few dozen reference and textbooks, and I think we can round it off to 2,500.

    Last book bought...

    In a not atypical display of geekiness, I recently bought both Dork Covenant by John Kovalic (a collection of "Dork Tower" comics) and a Deep Space 9 novel called Hollow Men by Una McCormack. I don't read Trek novels much these days because, frankly, so many of 'em suck, but I know the author of this one slightly from the internet, and I've read some of her excellent fan fiction, which gives me high hopes for the book.

    Oh, and I also just got a bunch of old Doctor Who novelizations that somebody sent me, but I didn't buy those, so they don't count.

    Last book read...

    If that means last book finished, it's The Shining by Stephen King. Not King's best, I think, but far from his worst. It may have suffered a bit from the fact that I knew what was going to happen. Well, sort of. It was a bit different from what I remember of the movie, though there are a few scenes that I think were reproduced pretty faithfully.

    If that's the last book I did any reading in, then it's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, of which I am currently on Chapter 9. It's kind of a strange book (no pun intended), but it's written with a wonderful dry wit.

    Five books that mean a lot to me...

    I never know how to answer these kinds of questions, but "mean a lot to me" covers a lot of territory, I guess, so let's see...

  • Cosmos by Carl Sagan, which I read in the 7th grade and which sold me quite effectively on the wonders of astronomy.

  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle, which was one of my most beloved childhood books and possibly one of the reasons why I'm the huge science fiction and fantasy buff I am today. (Though, I must admit, I'm a little afraid to re-read it as an adult.)

  • The Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Ditto, except that I have re-read it as an adult, and it's still good. The Oz series as a whole was very special to me as a kid, but The Land of Oz was always my favorite for some reason.

  • Watchmen by Alan Moore, which convinced me that superhero comics are by no means necessarily kids' stuff.

  • The Poetry of Robert Frost, because it was Frost who convinced me that poetry wasn't just for pretentious literary jerks and could actually say things worth hearing in ways that prose doesn't.
  • Saturday, June 11, 2005

    I Find This Quiz Result Disturbing

    You scored as Darth Vader.

    Darth Vader


    Obi Wan Kenobi




    Anakin Skywalker


    Padme Amidala




    Clone Trooper






    General Grievous


    Mace Windu


    Emperor Palpatine


    Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
    created with
    Search Request Weekly

  • funny habits that relatives have: I'm not gonna talk about my relatives' funny habits here. Some of 'em read this blog.

  • very sexy vampire quizzes: You know, I've done, like, six zillion internet quizzes, and I don't think I've ever actually found a single one of 'em "sexy."

  • ticklish feet blogs: Given how often "ticklish," "feet" and "ticklish feet" come up on my search requests, I'd say there's an audience for those.

  • M.C. Escher relativity report: "Weather will be mild and sunny today. Look for localized gravity fluctuations in the late afternoon."

  • "silly putty" "leaky pipe": I don't think that's a very good idea...

  • mature naked ladies posing: Posing as what?

  • bridesmaid dress archives blogs: If inanimate objects and body parts are keeping blogs now, what on Earth is next?

  • livejournal html help fixedsys: I'm sorry, I have no help to offer. I know about six HTML tags, really.

  • cleavage cooler: Could be very useful for us, um, bountifully endowed females on hot summer days.

  • hypno fanfiction: Hypnotoad! Hypnotoad needs fanfiction!

  • Ben Browder playgirl: Well, I'm sure that would make a lot of fangirls very, very happy.

  • farscape props stolen: Bastards! I hope their ill-gotten goods turn into metal-eating bugs and devour their cars.

  • quote by Astronaut David Wolf from Mir "Everything's": Everything's what? Falling apart like cheap, aging Russian equipment?

  • seeting girls accident: Hmm, looks like I had some kind of spelling accident.

  • star wars porn, Twi'lek servicing: Is that what they're calling it these days? Um, those days?

  • the brownie song lyrics from reefer madness: Oh, man, I have such an urge to watch that movie now.

  • marty stouffer voiceover: Does making references to Marty Stouffer voiceovers give away my age? Or is he still alive and doing this stuff? It's been a long time since I watched nature shows...

  • yoda you've got mail wav: "Mail you have, mmm!" You know, that'd be cute the first couple of times, and then it'd rapidly get really annoying.

  • towel quotes you've got to know towel's at: I used to pack a towel in my carry-on whenever I traveled, just because I'm that big of a geek. Also because Douglas Adams was right, and sometimes they do come in handy.

  • lego space blake's 7: Here! (I've linked to that before, but it's cool enough to repeat, isn't it?)

  • all about cellular phones blogspot: Hell, I'm still figuring out how to answer mine.

  • buffy vs. tickling demon: Hmm, I remember the dancing demon...

  • mind frells: Crichton? Is that you?

  • starman and tranquilizer gun: Well, you're not likely to get the chance to vivisect the alien if you shoot him with a real gun.

  • vintage betty page sucks: Um... Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

  • "swap their heads": I wish to make it very clear that I was talking about Barbie dolls!

  • origin of klingon head bumps: I always liked the "passing god-like superbeing with a stupid sense of humor" theory, myself.

  • problems with verbosity in writing: I can think of a few authors who have those.

  • lemony snicket's box art scandal ebert: Ooh, is there a scandal? How... unfortunate.

  • swamp cooler explained: It's really ridiculously simple. Evaporating water cools air, just like evaporating sweat cools your body. Think of it as your house sweating.

  • rhyme to remember cat 5 cable: Hey diddle, diddle, the cat 5 and the fiddle?

  • sexy pics of only just guys in toilet taken by hidden cameras: Somehow, I just find myself utterly incapable of finding anything involving the word "toilet" as sexy.

  • "if you're naked": I'm not. I'm wearing pajamas.

  • jim ward "i like toast": I have no idea who Jim Ward is, but I guess a guy who likes toast can't be all bad.
  • Friday, June 10, 2005

    Completely Random and Almost Certainly Uninteresting Scraps of My Life

    The entire universe is clearly conspiring to keep me from losing any more weight. Why else would the supermarket have buy-one-get-one deals on Marie Callender's pies? Not to mention the way my boss keeps bringing in cookies and then looking all disappointed if nobody eats them. I have this theory that she wants to make us physically incapable of wandering away from our workstations.


    The people who bought my old trailer invited me to come over and see what they'd done with it. Looks like they're getting it fixed up pretty good. It felt weird to walk through it and not have to avoid any spots where you'd be likely to fall through the floor. I'm still really glad I don't live there any more, though.


    I read somewhere that recent studies show that people who think they've had enough sleep feel a lot more awake and perform better than folks who are told by the nice people at the sleep labs that, yes, they really did have a bad night, even when they've gotten the exact same amount of sleep. I am therefore trying to tell myself that I've actually had plenty of sleep today, honest. Sadly, I don't seem to be falling for it. There ought to be some kind of sleep placebo I can take. Oh, wait, I know! Coffee!

    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    You Couldn't Make This Kind of News Up.

    Apparently someone has kidnapped a Dalek:
    'Kidnappers' who stole a Dalek from a Somerset tourist attraction have sent its owners a ransom note - and the robot's amputated plunger.

    The 5ft model, believed to be an original from the cult BBC Dr Who series, was taken from Wookey Hole Caves near Wells on Monday.

    On Thursday, staff found the plunger arm and a ransom note on a doorstep.

    The note read: "We are holding the Dalek captive. We demand further instructions from the Doctor."

    The group, signing themselves Guardians of the Planet Earth, added: "For the safety of the human race we have disarmed and removed its destructive mechanism."

    If I were them, I'd watch out it doesn't plunger them to death.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    What? What? Not the Answer I Expected at All, My Dear Boy!

    You are the first Doctor! Oh, you can be a bit
    cranky, that's true. And your ego can be a bit
    of a put-off at first. However, underneath that
    sour demeanor is the heart of a true hero! Your
    compassion for your fellow beings knows no
    bounds, and you'd happily sacrifice your life
    to save another.

    Which Doctor (from Doctor Who) Are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Tuesday, June 07, 2005

    I Think I'm Getting Stupider as I Get Older, Though.

    Your IQ Is 125

    Your Logical Intelligence is Exceptional
    Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
    Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional
    Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

    Not Exactly the Last, Best Season

    I'm now six episodes into season 5 of Babylon 5 on DVD, which I think is roughly the point where I decided the first time that it had gotten boring and quit watching. I am enjoying it more this time, though. Yeah, the plot can't help but be kind of anticlimactic after the epic events of season 4, but it's got quite a lot of good character moments, especially from Londo and G'Kar, who don't get nearly enough screen time but are always marvelous when they do.

    Unfortunately, if it's got good character moments, it's got less in the way of good characters than previous seasons. Yes, I miss Ivanova a lot, and can't help but lament seeing her replaced with Lockley, who rubs me entirely the wrong way. OK, sure, it took me a while to warm to Sinclair and to Sheridan, too, but I have the feeling it's going to take longer than the show's got left for me to warm to Lockley. (By the way, was it the original pilot where Londo's voiceover talks about Babylon 5 being under "its last commander?" Heh. JMS was pretty darned good with the continuity, but, boy, did that one turn out to be off.)

    And even more annoying than Lockey is Byron, a pretentious prick who makes me want to reach for the fast-forward button every time he's on screen. (Oh, Lyta, Lyta, you can do so much better. I mean, OK, yeah, I guess he beats an abusive Vorlon, but only just.) Really, it's enough to make me want to root for Bester. At least he's unlikeable in that creepy-cool guy-you-love-to-hate kind of way.

    But, anyway. I am definitely going to make it to the end of the series this time, if only because I'm tired of hearing about the final episode and its capacity to make a grown fan cry secondhand.
    More "Homeowner's Dreams"

    Last time it was a fire. This time, I dreamed there was an earthquake. Not, I think, a bad earthquake, by the standards of places like California, but it went on and on and on. And I was just standing there, braced in a doorway like they tell you to do, listening for the sound of things crashing to the floor and thinking, most pitifully, But I don't have earthquake insurance, and there are cracks in my walls!

    I think I liked it better when I had dreams about having to take final exams for classes I'd forgotten I'd signed up for.

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    I've Been Kind of Lazy about Blogging Lately, Haven't I? Let's Do The Meme Thing Again, Then.

    Current clothes: Blue jeans. Black "So Many Books, So Little Time" t-shirt. White tube socks. Black sneakers. Black belt.

    Current mood: Not bad. A little restless.

    Current music: Lately I've been listening to my music collection on random shuffle, which I like to refer to as "Radio Betty." Let's see, the current playlist appears to be: "Basket Case" (Warren Zevon), "Lovers of Today" (The Pretenders) "Another One Bites the Dust" (Queen & Wyclef Jean), ""Heart and Soul" (Joy Division), "Pacing the Cage" (Jimmy Buffett), "A Floydian Slip" (The String Quartet Tribute to Pink Floyd), and "Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D" (Bach). "Radio Betty" is nothing if not eclectic.

    Current annoyance: There are still bugs in this house. I keep finding dead ones, so I know the insecticide is working, but I keep finding live ones, too, so clearly it's not working well enough.

    Current thing: Rediscovering the Doctor Who love!

    Current desktop picture: This picture of the Ninth Doctor.

    Current song in head: There were a couple looping around in my head when I got up today, but they seem to have gone now, and if I try to remember what they were, they'll come back.

    Current book: The Shining.

    Current video in player: Haven't had anything in there for a while.

    Current DVD in player: Most recently, disc one of Babylon 5 season 5. I'm about to go and start on disc two in a minute.

    Current refreshment: I had some water a little while ago.

    Current worry: I appear to be experiencing weird bouts of hypochondria lately.

    Current thought: I'm kind of thirsty. Clearly I didn't have enough water.

    Saturday, June 04, 2005

    Revenge of the Critics

    So, now that I've finally done my nerdly duty and seen Revenge of the Sith, I went back and looked at all the Star Wars-related stuff that people have e-mailed me over the last week or so with the helpful little spoiler warnings in the subject lines. I see much discussion over continuity problems, which apparently (and unsurprisingly) are legion, but which I find I don't really care enough about to devote much brain power to. And I also discovered a link to this witty and insightful little article utterly trashing the prequels in general and Sith in particular. A sample:
    You can't make the core of the story the absolute overpowering love of boy for girl when the two of them have all the sexual chemistry of their Burger King merchandising tie-in action figures. Lucas is truly one of the all-time worst directors of actors, and I include the teacher who put together the school production of Fiddler on the Roof I saw last week and got a more touching love scene out of a couple of 11-year-olds as the middle-aged Tevye and Golde than anything Christensen and Portman manage here. Presumably actors say yes to Lucas because they figure Star Wars will do for them what it did for Harrison Ford. Instead, Lucas turns everyone he touches into Mark Hamill.
    Now that's cruel. Sadly, it's also true. Although at least Yoda manages to turn in a really good performance.
    My Two-Line, No-Spoilers Review of Revenge of the Sith

    Well, that had some very cool moments. It's a pity so much of the stuff in between was so damned dull.

    Friday, June 03, 2005

    Random Links

    Time to dump some of the interesting links I've been collecting lately...

    Comic SWAT: Something Awful's fashion SWAT team turn their critical gaze on superhero costumes. Absolutely hysterical.

    Unintentionally sexual comic book covers: Exactly what it says.

    Kitten War: Decide which kitten is cuter! Weirdly addictive.

    And the BBC is offering free Doctor Who eBooks, like I didn't have enough stuff to read.

    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    I Really Should Be Working Instead of Posting Useless Quizzes.

    Linear A
    Linear A (Greece, 1800 B.C.E.)
    You are LINEAR A. You look like you really, really
    should make sense, but you don't. Is that a
    frog? A chair? A prehistoric astronaut? Nobody
    knows, because no one can decipher you. Deep.

    Which Indecipherable Script Are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla
    The Doctor Is In!

    I've been watching the new Doctor Who series, which I've managed to obtain from various sources even though it's not available anywhere in the US yet. (And shows no sign of being so in the near future, either, grrr. The Sci-Fi channel is losing the brownie points they got from me for treating Battlestar Galactica well by turning it down.) Anyway, I'm now caught up to the latest episodes that have been shown in the UK, and man, is my little fannish heart just incredibly happy. I love this show, and I love the new version just as much or more as I ever loved the original. It manages to hit all the familiar buttons Doctor Who always hit for me while simultaneously feeling very fresh and new and now. I wouldn't have believed they could pull that off this well, honestly.

    If and when you find yourself with access to this show, watch it. If you're an old school Who fan, watch it. If you've never even seen Doctor Who, watch it. If you think Doctor Who is too cheesy, or too confusing, or for little kids... watch it. It's good. Would I steer ya wrong?

    Wednesday, June 01, 2005

    Sex! (Ha! That Got Your Attention, Didn't It?)

    I was having an e-mail discussion with a friend a while back that really got me thinking. Said friend gets very torqued off by sexism, and was complaining rather bitterly about how women get less respect than men and less pay than men, how people tend to assume she won't understand technical stuff because she's a woman, etc. (And, um, if she happens to be reading this and recognizes herself: Hi! Thanks for making me think, and I hope I haven't misrepresented you any!)

    This sort of conversation always makes me a little uncomfortable, because I feel that what I'm expected to do -- what most people will surely think is the only reasonable thing for me to do -- is to join in with my own chorus of moans about how unfair life is to women. And yet, I find that I can't. Because I've honestly never felt that I've been treated unfairly because of my gender in any way that was at all serious or important or genuinely hurtful. Sure, I've heard sexist remarks and encountered occasional chauvinistic attitudes, but never really in a context where I couldn't just roll my eyes, shrug it off, and go on about my life. And, hell, most of the really nasty sexist remarks and attitudes I've encountered have been directed against men. I mean, I could say "Men are a bunch of disgusting pigs and should all be shot!" and I'd probably get a chorus of "Amen, sister!"s. If I were to say something equivalent about women, I'd be repudiated and reviled, and quite rightly, too. Call me anti-feminist if you want, but that don't seem right to me.

    And, OK, I've frequently encountered the attitude that no one -- and most very particularly no woman -- can be a complete human being without a spouse and kids and the whole white picket fence deal, and that anyone -- especially any woman -- who doesn't have those things is automatically to be pitied. And that makes steam come out of my ears and sets me off on rants that make my friend's small complaints look tame by comparison. But, you know, nobody has ever tried to force me to conform to that stereotype.

    I was born at a pretty amazing period for women, really, a time when society was really starting to accept the idea that women are perfectly capable of and entitled to do anything that men have traditionally done, but where the numbers of women in traditionally male-dominated fields hadn't yet come to reflect that (as, indeed, they still haven't). As a result, when, as a young woman, I expressed an interest in science and computers, the response I got from teachers and other adults wasn't, "Why should a girl be interested in that? Go study Home Ec!" but "Great! There need to be more women in those fields!" And I was, if anything, singled out for support and encouragement I wouldn't have gotten if I were a boy. I went to a small technical college, where I studied astrophysics. The male:female ratio at the time was something like 4:1 (I understand it's much closer to 1:1 now), and I was occasionally the only female in a very small class, but I never felt out of place, or as if the professors or my fellow students expected anything different from me than from anybody else. And, while I'm sure the people involved would deny it, I have a pretty strong suspicion that my gender played a role in getting me the scholarship that carried me through my last year of college and in getting me the job I currently hold. Gender balance looks good for scholarship providers and employers.

    So I honestly don't feel I can complain. It'd be all dishonest and hypocritical of me to join in with a rousing chorus of, "Yeah! We women always get the shit end of the stick!" when it's never been handed to me. Which isn't to say that women --- some women, many women, for all I know most women -- don't get the shit end of the stick. When I hear my friends talk about being made to feel inferior for being female, or like they're being held back in favor of men, or whatever, I certainly don't disbelieve them. And society hasn't remotely achieved real gender balance yet. (How many women are there in the US Congress again?) But I, personally, really can't complain. Especially when I compare the support and the opportunity and the freedom I've had to, well, most women in the entirety of human history, really.

    Maybe I've just been lucky. Or unobservant. I've traditionally been both throughout my life. But I prefer to look on it as a good sign that there's at least one female in the world who can honestly say that she doesn't think her gender's made any important difference whatsoever in how the world has treated her.