Friday, December 28, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Things I got for Christmas this year:
- Not one, but two sonic screwdrivers! My friends, who are the best friends ever, got me the full-sized one, with the pen (featuring regular and invisible ink cartridges) and a UV light (for reading the invisible ink). It is an utterly awesome toy; it's very detailed and makes an authentic-sounding "bzzzz!" noise. I've been carrying it around in my pocket for the last two days, randomly pointing it at things. It has made me deeply, geektastically happy. And then my mother got me the little one with the LED flashlight! Which is less cool as a toy, being smaller and lacking the "bzzzz!", but is cooler as an actual tool, which I will carry around in my bag and use at every possible light-requiring opportunity. Dude! Two sonic screwdrivers! Best. Christmas. Ever!
- A wire cat pin, or clip-on thing, which is really cute.
- A small toy space shuttle, which makes me way happier than it has any right to. Here I am, 36 years old, and getting all excited about playing with my Christmas toys. Heh. I think I freaked the cats out with this one, because it was tied up with ribbon, which they all wanted to gather around and play with, but they ran off in a panic when I whipped it out and started making blast-off noises.
- Little snowman ornament with my name on it.
- Battlestar Galactica: Razor on DVD.
- Two books: Ursula Le Guin's Tales from Earthsea and I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon.
- $25 in Australian money, to take on my trip in April.
- A belt-mounted carrying case for my digital camera, which will also be handy for the trip.
- A $25 gift certificate to Amazon, and another to Borders.
- A whole host of edible goodies, including cookies, chocolate, candy, tea, and some Russian cookie/pretzely things that I have no idea what they are, but they're good.
So, anyway, yes. Awesome Christmas haul. Made me feel like a little kid again. Also made me gain several pounds, but I'm not complaining! Hugs to all you lovely, generous people, most especially the ones who really, really did not have to get me anything, but did anyway. One day, I will think of a really cool way to repay you in kind.
I'd mention the stuff I bought for other people here, too, but most of them probably haven't opened it yet. So I'll just say that, even for me, it was a really geeky Christmas, on the giving as well as the receiving end. And that I hope the results are pleasing.
Monday, December 24, 2007
As I write this, it's about 15 minutes from actually being Christmas, and as soon as it is, I am going to open my prezzies. I can justify this with the fact that my sleeping patterns are so bizarre this week that it's hard for me to tell whether I should consider this day or night, today or tomorrow. (I'm trying to switch from a night shift schedule to a day shift one by rotating forward. With any luck, I'll make it to late Christmas afternoon before succumbing to sleep again.)
I am actually in a surprising amount of holiday spirit this year. I went to a solstice party on Friday, in which we celebrated the season New Mexico style, by eating green chile stew and setting fire to tumbleweeds. Saturday, I hung out with friends, and there were presents and goodies and camaraderie. Today I made myself a holiday meal of a Cornish game hen and indulged in my personal Christmas tradition of watching Blackadder's Christmas Carol (my favorite holiday movie ever). There may even be more socializing on Christmas Day, although the whole going to sleep in the afternoon thing makes that a bit problematical.
I'm even wearing a sweatshirt with reindeer and a Christmas tree on it. That's how non-humbuggy I'm being! Ho, ho, ho!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Tonight, I happened to look up at the full moon, noticed that there was a bright object very nearly touching it, where no star should possibly be visible, and realized with a sudden jolt that it was Mars. I'm not sure why, but there is something incredibly, unbelievably cool about being able to look in a straight line past the moon and see Mars right behind it, 55 million miles farther away. It gives me a strong sense, I guess, that these things in the sky are real objects, actual bodies in physical space, rather than simply abstract lights, and that the place where I'm standing is a body hanging in space, too.
Awesome. Absolutely awesome. And made all the more awesome by the fact that right now Mars is as close to us as it ever gets, and thus as bright as it ever gets in our sky.
If the moon is up where you are, go outside and look!
Geeks are Everywhere: I think I may be included in several places on this chart.
"The Hopes and Fears of All the Years": A Christmas-themed Doctor Who short story, written by Paul Cornell, who, among other things, penned last season's two-parter "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood."
Snowball is a Rockin' to the Back Street Boys Cockatoo!: All right, I don't usually post links to YouTube videos of animals being amusing, especially not ones of animals being amusing to the tune of the Backstreet Boys. But this bird just completely cracks me up. Also, the person who posted it is trying to attract attention for a bird rescue operation, so it's, like, a socially responsible goofy animal video.
So Say We All: Battlestar Galactica Propaganda Posters: Nifty WWII-style propaganda posters for sale. Remember, anyone can be a Cylon!
The Civil War in Four Minutes: The course of the American Civil War, condensed into four minutes on an animated map. Weirdly compelling to watch.
Friday, December 21, 2007
While I am traditionally something of a humbug, I am attempting to get into the holiday spirit. I baked cookies! I haven't baked cookies in years! I feel ridiculously proud of myself. Even if I did burn some of them a bit.
And never mind Christmas, I'm perfectly happy to celebrate the idea of the sun coming back. Night person I may be, but I'm getting tired of dark and cold already. Which is kind of sad, considering how short the winters are here.
|I received 71 credits on |
The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz
How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?
|Guess the Sci-Fi Movie Sounds hereCanon powershot|
It told me I was a major sci-fi geek and asked me if I speak Klingon. All I have to say to that is: tlhIngan Hol vljatlhIaHbe'.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
With that off the schedule, the only show on USA I'm still watching is Psych. And that's my light-weight, watch-when-my-brain-is-tired-and-I-want-a-laugh show, which isn't exactly something that's all that hard to come by.
Also getting the axe from USA is The Dead Zone, which I haven't been watching, but which I know at least one of my six loyal readers liked. My sympathies.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Go to Wikipedia and hit the Random Article link. This is the title of your book. Now, hit random again, until you get three names. The first is the pen name you published your book under; the second is the name of your protagonist, and the third is the name of the villain.
Hit Random again ten times to get chapter titles (you can go for more if you want, but ten is at least a good minimum). If you'd like, hit it once or twice more to get previous books your protagonist has appeared in. Or a newspaper to list your favorable reviews. :D
Then, write the synopsis/blurb of your book, using the character names and the chapter titles for inspiration.
Coming soon to a bookstore near you:
Jean-Andoche Junot by Madison Dearborn
an epic adventure featuring KK and Ivars
Chapter 1: A Blues for Shindig
Chapter 2: Savage Land Mutates
Chapter 3: Willoughby Spit
Chapter 4: Patriots' Day
Chapter 5: Unit Oketz
Chapter 6: Veterans of the First World War who died in 1999
Chapter 7: Leslie Glass
Chapter 8: Entering the Arena
Chapter 9: Continental Divide (film)
Chapter 10: Vraneštica
Chapter 11: Gladiator (Melvin Potter)
Chapter 12: Gendarmerie Nationale
For four years, the near-future super-soldier known only as KK has traveled the Earth, waging a never-ending battle to bring order to a world torn by the bloodiest and most savage wars that mankind has ever known. For four years, KK has followed hints and rumors of a shadowy figure manipulating history from behind the scenes, a man possessed of unimaginable, almost supernatural power. A man whose very name has haunted him: Ivars. Now, in this explosive new adventure, KK comes face-to-face with Ivars at last, but when the ultimate conquerer and the ultimate defender clash, the consequences aren't merely global... they're personal.
(Previous volumes in this series include: Laetiporus, Harur and Sikasso.)
Well, somehow I just couldn't look at those results and not see a testosterone-soaked military adventure story of the "visit exotic places, meet interesting people, and kill them" type. Except I am largely unfamiliar with that particular genre, so I had to make it at least sort of SF-ish. I'm pretty sure I'd need a complete brain transplant to actually write that thing, under any name, but doing the blurb was ridiculously fun.
The title, by the way, is the name of a French army officer who served under Napoleon. I figure super-solider KK has doubtless made a study of his career, some aspect of which serves as a running motif illustrating the novel's main theme. Er, such as it is. I'm figuring it probably has something to do with the head wound he suffered in Italy, which Wikipedia tells me may have "reduced the quality of his judgment and made him rash and temperamental." Possibly our hero can relate.
Monday, December 17, 2007
In 3m 25s
Click here to Play
Yay, me! I would have finished faster, though, if I could only remember how the hell to spell "Massachusetts."
I also did the state capitals quiz, but, alas, I only got 31 of them. There was a very brief period a very long time ago when I could name all the state capitals, so I know that information is in my neurons somewhere. I think I made such a poor showing of it this time for three reasons:
1) I managed to completely blank on the capital of Pennsylvania, despite having been born in Pennsylvania. This fact dismayed and distressed me so much that it was hard to concentrate on anything else. Stupid brain.
2) I was certain I knew how to spell the capital of North Dakota, but I was wrong. And no matter how many times I tried to spell it that way, I was still wrong.
3) I appear to have somehow forgotten the entire existence of Alaska and Hawaii. I'm blaming the Pennsylvania thing.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
10 Strange Star Wars Magazine Covers: I'm pretty sure I actually had a copy of that issue of Dynamite.
How clean is the electricity I use?: If you live in the USA, enter your zip code, and the EPA will tell you where your electricity comes from and what kind of emissions it's producing.
Sciencedebate 2008: A grassroots initiative calling for a presidential debate on the subject of science and technology. That's one debate I would definitely watch.
Top Ten Astronomy Pictures of 2007: Pretty, pretty space pictures, brought to you courtesy of the Bad Astronomer.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Your Score: The Cat
You scored 58% domestic, 15% gregarious, 21% trickster, and 85% intellect!
Domestic, Solitary, Serious, Intelectual: you are the Cat!
Cat represents a balance of strength in both physical and spiritual, psychic and sensual powers, merging these two worlds into one. Curious, intelligent, and physically adept, cat people tend to live in a world all their own.
This test categorized you based on four different axes of personality, which were then associated with a different animal. The four axes, as well as all possible results are explained below.
Wild/Domestic: This first axis categorizes you based on how much you are drawn to the outdoors, versus how much you are drawn to civilized situations. Domesticity has many shapes and forms, and varies from the joy of dolphins leaping next to a ship to the steadfast loyalty of a family dog.
Gregarious/Solitary: This axis measures how solitary you are. If you scored high, it means that you enjoy the company of other people, while a low score indicates that you prefer a more solitary lifestyle.
Trickster/Serious: This axis measures how well you line up with conventional trickster archetypes. People who fall into this archetype have a sense of humor and an excitable, highly chaotic streak. Scoring low doesn't mean that you don't have a sense of humor; it just means that you probably don't think dynamite is very funny.
Intellectual/Emotional: This last axis determines whether you are more emotional -- acting based on feelings and instinct, or rational and intelectual -- acting more on thought than on your gut feelings.
|Link: The Animal Archetype Test written by crumpetsfortea on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Friday, December 14, 2007
Well, hey. I do complain about the overzealousness of said immune system -- it would be great if you could stop attacking the pollen and cat dander now, buddy, really -- but I think I've got to give it kudos for this one.
Am still going to take it easy today, although I do have to go to the post office to mail some Christmas gifts, and I think I might walk up there, since I feel like I could really use the fresh air. But I think I should be fine to work my scheduled hours this weekend, anyway. Um... yay?
[*] I'd advise against watching Spider-Man 3 when you're feeling sick. It's not very distracting, and it seems to drag on forever. Although maybe it's like that normally. I dunno.
[**] I did get some. It was comfortingly juicylicious.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Current clothes: Gray t-shirt with a big circular VLBA logo thingy in the middle, surrounded by the flags of all the states where our antennas are located. Long-sleeve blue denim shirt over that, unbuttoned. Blue jeans. Black belt. White socks. Black sneakers.
Current mood: A lot better after having finally had a full day off work yesterday. Ye gods, but I needed that.
Current music: Random playlists on the iPod again, most recently. I don't remember what all it was playing... I recall some Creedence Clearwater and some Bob Marley, and probably some Rush. Actually, I think the last song was something by Coldplay.
Current annoyance: I just got back from the dentist (again), having had a couple of fillings replaced. It wasn't all that bad, actually. When they started drilling, I felt a little bit of pain, so I complained, and they gave me more novocaine. After that, I felt nothing. It was probably the most discomfort-free dental procedure I've ever had, not counting the times I had the nitrous oxide and was actively blissing out. I think I ought to complain more often. The downside, though, is that now the side of my mouth is completely numb. I'm hungry, dammit, and I'm afraid to eat, lest I accidentally chew my own cheek off without noticing.
Current thing: Feline dieting techniques. I've added a daily workout regimen, in the form of a vigorous ten-minute game of Chase the Toy on the String, to Vir's weight loss program.
Current desktop picture: The Elephant's Trunk Nebula.
Current book: William Sleator's House of Stairs. This book disturbed and frightened the crap out of my when I was a kid. A few years ago, I picked up a set of three Sleater books, but while I read the other two, I was so afraid of this one that I kept putting off reading it. Although I'm not sure, honestly, whether I was more afraid that it would frighten me again or disappoint me by not frightening me again. Anyway, I've finally gotten around to facing it. It hasn't disturbed my equilibrium yet, but I'm still only about 30 pages in.
Current song in head: For some reason, I kept hearing bits of "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel inside my head when I was in the dentist's chair. It was strangely soothing. Now it appears to have been replaced by "The Dance" by Fleetwood Mac.
Current DVD in player: Disc 2 of season 3 of Samurai Jack.
Current refreshment: Nothing. And I'm hungry!
Current worry: I've got a bunch of Christmas stuff I'm still waiting on. I've had everything sent to my house instead of direct to the recipients, figuring I could wrap it, consolidate it, and re-mail it. I'm beginning to worry, however, that for some of it I did not leave nearly enough time for this. Oops. There's also still one thing I haven't even ordered yet, because the person I need to see about it wasn't around last week.
Current thought: I'm hungry, my face feels funny, and I think perhaps I'm starting to get the tiniest of headaches. But I still feel better than I did last weekend at work.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Go to the Wikipedia home page and click random article. That is your band's name.
Click random article again; that is your album name.
Click random article repeatedly to name each track on your album.
Band name: Ring Latency
Album title: Cormac Breslin
01) John Gill (Theologian)
02) When in Rome DVD
03) Yellow Cake
04) The Very Best of Kiss
05) Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band
06) Milk River (Madge) Airport
07) Old Museum Building, Brisbane
10) Lehi High School
11) Shaw Centrepoint
12) Haplogroup I1a (Y-DNA)
13) Montevideo District
14) List of Mountains and Hills of Japan by Height
15) Alexandria Troas
16) Carl Friedrich von Ledebour
Friday, December 07, 2007
Note to anyone who's asked me to do something recently: It'll happen eventually. Promise. After all, next week doesn't look too bu-- Oh, crap.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
The other two, by the way, stood at the bottom, looked up at her, looked at each other with the most perfect possible WTF? face a feline is capable of, then decided to pretend that they could get up there just fine if they wanted to, but they just really didn't care enough.
I love cats.
The thing is, I've always kept the cats fed largely by the expedience of leaving some dry Cat Chow out for them all the time. A regular feeding time is impossible with my schedule, and the the other two cats have never had a problem with overeating. Indeed, I worry about Happiness undereating. She's such a skinny little thing, and she'll always immediately stop and runs off if either of the other kitties comes into the room while she's eating.
I don't know how the heck I'm going to put Lard-Ass on a diet without starving out the other two, but I don't think it's going to be fun for any of us.
Anybody have any useful advice?
What really got me, though, was the realization that it's actually easier to hand-code complicated outlines with letters and numbers in HTML and have it come out looking exactly the way I think it should than it is to do it in Word. Mostly because Word keeps trying to "help" by anticipating what I want to do, much like a three-year-old hopefully thrusting all the wrong tools at you while you're trying to fix the dishwasher.
*shakes head sadly* Ah, Microsoft, how comprehensively thou suckest.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I ignored posts that contained nothing but stupid internet quiz results, and got the following:
Had a good New Year's Eve.
I'm trying to convince myself that the fact that I'm having trouble finding some of the BBC Eighth Doctor books, now that I'm within a dozen or so books of finishing the series, does not, in fact, actually constitute an emergency.
Some while ago, I remember talking to Fred Coppersmith about LibraryThing, which is an online book-cataloging tool that lets you organize your library, compare it with other people's, get recommendations based on it, and all sorts of other stuff.
Oh great, the clocks I had to set ahead by hand weeks ago have now just spontaneously set themselves another hour forward.
I feel like I ought to apologize for the recent utterly content-free nature of this blog, not that I imagine anybody ever comes here looking for Deep Thoughts and Meaningful Insights.
My cactus is blooming!
Independence Day may be just around the corner, but come July 6th, the British will be back!
Here's a deeply silly and pointless, but unaccountably entertaining meme:
My life would probably be much easier right now if I'd just stop stressing about all the things I'm supposed to be doing and started actually, y'know, doing them.
Thanks to spending nearly every waking hour last weekend at work (and thus missing what was apparently a really good Halloween party, dammit), I found myself with only sixteen random hours to put in over the subsequent seven days.
Oh, man, it's December now?!
Hmm. That's probably not a bad summary of my year, actually.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
I've only got a few episodes left, but now I'm sort of afraid of them.
Fortunately, I think it's finally over for now. Hooray! *does a happy dance on the supernova's cooling stellar corpse*
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
To be honest, I was hoping for the grand prize -- a speck of Martian meteorite -- or even the autographed Star Trek poster. But I'm sure I will be able to happily waste many otherwise potentially productive hours with my new Space Station Sim game. (Or at least, I will if it'll run on my pokey old computer. Man, I think every day "new computer" is moving a little higher up on my list of things that I want out of life.)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
John Edward Ambushed: Speaking of people who don't have psychic powers, here's a couple of Australian comedians making fun of John Edward.
Atheists and Anger: Moving from parapsychology to religion, this long blog post, I think, says a few worthwhile things even if, being the wishy-washy "can't we all just get along?" moderate that I am, anger makes me mildly uncomfortable. But if we're being angry, personally I'm angrier about Giordano Bruno than I am about Galileo. Still.
Things We Can Agree On: Similar subject matter, but a very different tone. This guy clearly understands both perspectives well, he's very funny, and he's right. I want to print copies of this and hand them out on street corners.
Dr Who fan shares his house with 225 Daleks: Watch out for this guy, because that's more than enough for a galactic takeover bid.
Robots infiltrate roach society: Speaking of galactic takeovers... Can the Cylons be far behind?
The Nerd Handbook: Practical advice for dealing with your nerdy SO. Really, this only covers a particular subset of nerds, but for that subset, it's pretty accurate.
Friday, November 23, 2007
I'll observe a moment of silence for her... And a moment of gratitude for helping to bring the world such a great and iconic TV series. I very nearly included Doctor Who in yesterday's list of things I appreciate in life.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I've never been too sure about the word "thanksgiving" -- it comes with connotations of belief in a capital-P Providence that I don't personally subscribe to -- but I think it's an excellent thing for people of all worldviews to take a moment now and then to appreciate all of the good things in life, and perhaps to nurture a little humility at the thought that none of those things are automatically guaranteed to us.
I'm wearing a sweatshirt right now that says, "Books. Cats. Life is sweet." The usual stuff about health and friends and family aside, I think that pretty much covers my own top Things To Be Appreciative Of.
Other random things I'm feeling highly appreciative of at the moment:
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
And apparently things are getting ugly enough that we might not ever get to see the end of Battlestar Galactica, either. It's enough to make a fangirl cry.
Monday, November 19, 2007
I notice that they only seem to include things less than a mile away as "walking distance." Pansies.
1. I talk to myself. A lot. I try not to do it too conspicuously in public, but when I'm on my own, I can deliver entire 20-minute lectures to myself, complete with hand gestures. I also sometimes talk to the cats, especially when I'm planning out my day. "OK, kitties, I'm going to take a shower now, and then I'm going to go out to the post office..." Like it's more psychologically acceptable to talk to animals who can't understand me than it is to talk to myself, at least if the subject matter concerns said animals the way my comings and goings (and thus my availability for cat dish-filling duties) does. Also, once in a while I'll read out loud to the cats. I was reading bits of Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos to Vir Catto yesterday, but he seemed sadly uninterested in Hawking's ideas about black holes.
2. I use my car maybe once a month, usually when I have to buy cat litter or drive up to Albuquerque for some reason. Otherwise, I walk everywhere. I live in a small town -- few places I want to get to are more than 15 minutes away -- so this is eminently doable. Walking is the ultimate win-win situation for me. It's good for the world at large, what with not burning up pesky fossil fuels and all. It's good for my body, being the only real exercise I get. And it's good for my mind, as I find it helps to clear my head, lift my mood, and concentrate my thoughts. I do all my best creative thinking when I'm walking. And, if it's light out and I don't have any particular creative thinking I need to do, I can read while I walk. For some reason, people seem to find this strange. I suspect this is mainly because they haven't tried it; it's easier than it looks, honestly. But anyway, yeah, in conclusion, I love to walk. Sometimes -- OK, kind of often -- I'll walk a two-mile round trip at 2 AM to drop a letter in the mailbox at the post office that I could easily have mailed from home, just to give myself an excuse to get out and walk.
3. I don't eat invertebrates. Shellfish are basically just giant underwater bugs -- ick! And mollusks are squishy, slimy things. Also, while I'm ruling out whole classes of lifeforms, I'll add in an entire kingdom and say the same thing about fungus, with the added point that that stuff grows in shit. You may keep your lobsters, scallops and mushrooms for yourself. Thank you.
4. I cannot think properly with the TV or the radio on. The sound moves into the part of my brain that I use to think with and interferes with the words I use to think in, and I do not have the ability to tune it out. The effect is lessened if it's soft instrumental music that's not to my taste but also not actively annoying, or if it's something really dull and quiet playing on the TV, like a golf tournament. It's heightened if it's something I find interesting (even if only in the train-wreck sort of way that you get with a lot of TV programs) or something with strong lyrics. But if I really need to concentrate on something, especially something that involves writing, I really need either silence or white noise. Music is for occupying my brain while I do mindless physical tasks, and I only watch stuff on TV that I actually care about enough to devote my full attention to.
5. I have a book-buying addiction. I had to impose a quota limiting the number of books I buy to less than the number I read, otherwise I would have found myself buried under an avalanche of books. Not that that might not still happen.
6. My idea of getting dressed up is wearing khakis instead of jeans, a sweater vest over my t-shirt, and boots instead of sneakers. If an event requires getting dressier than that, you're going to have a hard time talking me into going.
7. I spend eight hours a day at work in front of a computer. Sometimes twelve. So, what's the very first thing I do when I get home? Sit down in front of the computer. Hey, important e-mail might have come in during that 15 minutes it took me to walk home!
Um, wow. That all makes me sound more eccentric than I thought I was.
|You Are 48% Open Minded|
You aren't exactly open minded, but you have been known to occasionally change your mind.
You're tolerant enough to get along with others who are very different...
But you may be quietly judgmental of things or people you think are wrong.
You take your own values pretty seriously, and it would take a lot to change them.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
You know, I'm not sure there's anything more to be said on the subject after that, really. But the Colbert Report writers have produced this, er, rebuttal:
Good luck fightin' The Man, guys!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
20,000 pounds of sodium being dumped into a lake: It makes a very satisfying boom.
Outtake from the Doctor Who episode "Human Nature": If you've seen the episode, you'll remember that the Doctor leaves a video with a list of instructions for Martha. We only get to see the beginning and the end of it on the show, because Martha fast-forwards through the middle. But David Tennant had to keep talking so that she'd have something to fast-forward through. The resulting video clip proves that David Tennant is a) adorably amusing when he's babbling and b) really quite a heck of an actor.
The Writers Strike: Why We Fight: A video presentation explaining the reasons behind the current Hollywood writers' strike. I'm not exactly happy about the strike -- my shows! my precious shows! -- but the stuff they're asking for sounds extremely reasonable to me, and I happen to be a big fan of the people who actually put in the creative talent being the ones to get the money, so I wish them much luck. And not just because I'm going to be annoyed if I only get half a season of Lost next year.
Genesis, the computer program: Amusing, and as believable as any other creation story.
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe: I think I may have linked to this at some point in the past, but they're currently pushing to hit 30,000 weekly listeners by the end of the year, so I figured I'd give 'em a plug. This is a podcast which examines a wide array of topics from a standpoint of scientific skepticism, featuring some very entertaining and intelligent people. I listen to it regularly.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Current mood: Eh, not bad.
Current music: I think it's mostly been random playlists again lately, nothing terribly memorable. Mostly today I was listening to Escape Pod, which delivers cool science fiction stories directly into my ears.
Current annoyance: Since I updated Firefox, it's started doing this thing where when I spell-check a word, the spell-check suggestions do not disappear from the right-click menu, but hang around forever, piling up on one another, presenting me with a huge and useless menu of pointless words and rendering it difficult to find whatever menu item (or, indeed, spelling suggestion) I'm actually looking for. This is now annoying me beyond all reason or sanity. And apparently it's only happening on my computer. Firefox on the work machines seems fine, even though it's had exactly the same upgrade. Why have you done this to me, Mozilla? Why?
Current thing: Last week, it was sleeping ridiculous hours and not working at all. That was nice. I haven't figured out what it is this week, though.
Current desktop picture: Still the same First Doctor wallpaper as last month.
Current book: Just finished The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman. Next up: Timeless by Stephen Cole. Yes, it's yet another Doctor Who novel. I've been going through these Eighth Doctor novels at a rate of about one a month, and apparently the point where I start thinking "Hmm, it's about time to read another of those Who novels" is about the same as the point where I start thinking "Hmm, it's about time to do that currently meme."
Current song in head: "Old Country Doctor (The Ballad of Bones)" by Warp Eleven. Which has been flitting into my head every time I've picked up the aforementioned John Hodgman book. Because, you see, it's a song about Dr. McCoy, and it's got this great line: "I have been asked to do many a thing outside the area of my expertise." Because, see, Bones is always complaining that he's a doctor, not a bricklayer or a moonshuttle conductor or something, and, yes, the inside of my brain is an interesting place, why do you ask?
Current DVD in player: Disc one of Stargate SG-1 season 5. By the way, for those who were worried -- as I'm sure you all were, desperately -- I did manage to get hold of the episodes on disc two that Netflix couldn't get to me. So we can all rest easily knowing the latest science fiction-related crisis in my life has been averted. By the way, while I'm talking about Stargate... I have decided, at this point in my viewing, that what I really want to see is a Stargate: Cool Old Guys spinoff, featuring Jacob Carter/Selmak, Master Bra'tac, and General Hammond.
Current refreshment: I just had some frozen lasagna for lunch (well, not while it was frozen, obviously) and am now enjoying a mug of tea and some salad.
Current worry: Eh, there are things I could worry about, but why bother?
Current thought: Dammit, Jim!
Monday, November 05, 2007
Of course, the rapid march of technology doesn't just mean that science fiction novels might be dating themselves more quickly than ever. It seems pretty clear to me that it presents some challenges to modern storytellers, too. I think that cell phone reception suddenly going out for no good reason is already something of a movie cliche, and disrupting cell phone signals now appears to be a common ability (or intrinsic talent) for supernatural entities.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
And now we're off of Daylight Savings Time, finally. This is also something that sucks for us poor night-shift people. Where everybody else gets to sleep an extra hour in order to keep themselves on the same clock schedule, I have to stay up an extra hour. And then the sun's coming up while I'm trying to get to sleep, and by the time I'm finished my morning coffee, it's set and left me in the dark. I've been known to rant and rail against the whole concept of Daylight Savings, but, really, the truth is that I don't understand why we don't simply go onto it and stay there.
(And, of course, by Murphy's Law, I always do seem to be on night shifts when we switch off DST and mornings when we switch back.)
*waves goodbye to the internet for the night*
Friday, November 02, 2007
But I have not been idle! Well, OK, not entirely idle. Thanks to the time freed up by my hookey-playing ways, I now have accomplished the seemingly impossible: I have cleaned and organized my shed! Yeah, yeah, that may not sound like much to you, but that's only because you've never seen the inside of my shed. It formerly consisted almost entirely of a random, precarious jumble of cardboard boxes left over from when I moved in. More than that, it provided an excellent illustration of the "nature is trying to eat my house" principle. It's extremely easy to see how that structure could end up completely filled with dirt after a few decades because, man, it was already well on its way.
I'm pleased to report, by the way, that I didn't get bit by any poisonous spiders (as far as I've noticed), and that I only cut myself while slicing up boxes once. This should, I believe, bring my injury-per-household project ratio down a tad. Go, me!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
You are Mr. Freeze
|You are cold and you think everyone else should be also, literally.|
Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz
Well, at least I actually got one more hour of sleep today than I initially thought I did.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I wish I had the faintest clue what that was about.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Lolthulhu: Lovecraft and lolcats, together at last, and frighteningly funny.
Pirates vs. Ninjas: A careful examination of one of the definitive questions of our time. In powerpoint.
The Church of Google: This has pretty much convinced me of Google's status as a divinity.
Free Rice: Addictive vocabulary game that donates rice to the hungry for every word you get right. I made level 49 at one point.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I expected to find this book highly enjoyable and interesting, as when I was younger I frequently indulged in guilty but satisfying fantasies of being the last person on Earth, thus enabling me to finally get some real peace and quiet. (Think of Burgess Meredith's character in that old Twilight Zone episode. Indeed, the possibility of breaking my glasses was the only truly frightening part of that scenario for me.) Even now, I still rather like walking down deserted streets at night and imagining what it would be like if they really were deserted, trying to picture what things might look like a year or a century later.
Unfortunately, though, although it's perfectly good and readable, the book's main effect so far has been to forcibly remind me of the disturbing fact that nature is trying to eat my house.
I think life was more enjoyable before I became a homeowner.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Your Score: Rose
You scored 25% strength, 44% intelligence, 73% friendliness, and 21% escapology!
So you're in love with The Doctor. Who wouldn't be, with a gorgeous mug like his? But how much do you actually help him out? Not a whole lot. You're not the one who figures things out, and you're certainly not winning any awards for kick-assery. Even your solutions seem to cause more problems - remember the whole "swallowing the time vortex" thing? Yeah, that worked out well. Smooth.
Still, your pleasant enough to be around, and exactly what the Doctor needs to start getting over his emo side. It helps that you know how to dance.
|Link: The Doctor Who Companion Test written by lobotomy42 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Also, there were Imperial Stormtroopers (although not during the encores). And I now have a "white & nerdy" t-shirt, which should serve to give people around me fair warning.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Bad thing today: I knew I was going to have to cut myself a bit short on sleep to make the show, but I expected to at least get some sleep. Hello, insomnia, my old friend. Why do you always pick the least convenient times to drop by? I blame work, as things last night were annoying and complicated, and left me rather keyed up at the end of the shift. Fortunately, I'm not driving, but my friends might just have to carry me out to the car when it's over.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
See? Even with massive bouts of procrastination, I do finish things.
Your Score: The Empiricist
You scored 100 Materialism and 30 Phenomenology!
There are those who say that the truths of the universe can all be spun from a person's own head, but you know that knowledge is founded in sensory experience. You are the Empiricist.
The Empiricists presented the first true challenge to Rationalist dominance in Europe. Though they never achieved the sort of contorted reasoning found in Descartes, the Empiricists started a major shift in Western philosophy and the eggheads have never looked back. You live life by trial and error and don't believe anything is true without good reason. However, you leave more room for the internal world of personal experience than some, because after all, how can you truly know you aren't splotches of paint?
Thinkers you may agree with: John Locke, David Hume, George Berkely, Richard Dawkins
Thinkers that may challenge you: Immanuel Kant, St. Thomas Aquinas, Carl Jung
|Link: The Metaphysician Test written by Jaylhomme on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Current mood: Lazy and procrastinatory. Last night's zombie-comedy-and-Indian-food expedition notwithstanding, this has felt very much like the kind of weekend for lying around watching DVDs and maybe doing random very small tasks around the house, rather than working on any of the more ambitious projects I ought to be doing.
Current music: The Who, The Ultimate Collection, disc one. I read an article a few years ago where some teenager who'd barely heard of any band formed before about 1990 was sent to various classic rock concerts and asked to report his opinions. He seemed fairly lukewarm towards most of 'em, as I recall, but he thought the Who rocked. I regard this as objective proof that the music of the Who is of timeless, ageless awesomeness. As if any such proof were actually needed.
Current annoyance: The fact that aforementioned unproductive mood has persisted for over a week now.
Current thing: Doing damn little, as per above.
Current desktop picture: A black-and-white Doctor Who wallpaper I found somewhere on the internet. It features the First Doctor standing in a wood looking, well, very First Doctor-ish, with Barbara and Ian (and the TARDIS) looking on.
Current book: The Last Resort by Paul Leonard. Yes, it's yet another Doctor Who novel. I do read books without the words "Doctor Who" on the front, honest. But I'm trying to get through these Eighth Doctor novels sometime before we end up on Doctor Eleven. I'm only a few chapters into this one. So far it's kind of confusing, but interestingly imaginative.
Current song in head: "Don't Let Him Go" by REO Speedwagon. Oh, the embarrassment.
Current DVD in player: Disc 1 of Crusade. I've actually seen five episodes of that now, though; I was told to watch them in a different order from the one on the discs. Sadly, the best things I can say about it so far are that it has one appealing character, and that sometimes it comes very close to being good. In the other DVD player is disc 2 of season 2 of Farscape. (Hi, Dad!) And in the VCR is a tape with a couple of episodes of Cosmos. I stumbled across the boxed set somewhere for $14, new. Even for a semi-obsolete format, you can't beat that with a stick. And, man, call me a sap -- a nerdy sap, even -- but I still find that show incredibly stirring. Dr. Sagan isn't exactly telling me anything I haven't already known for most of my life, but I still keep sitting up, leaning forward and going, "That is so cool!" Cosmos, to be honest, is probably responsible for me being where I am right now, as reading the companion book in the 7th grade was highly inspirational for making me want to study space science in the first place. I actually find myself vaguely tempted to pick up a copy for my nephew, as all kids ought to have the opportunity to let Carl Sagan inspire them to grow up and study science. And, Carl's wardrobe choices aside, the show is, all things considered, remarkably un-dated.
Current refreshment: Mint-flavored tea.
Current worry: I'm feeling too lazy to be worried by anything right this very second.
Current thought: "Don't let him go. Don't let him go!" Aargh. *bashes brain* Play some Who instead, damn it!
Apparently horror comedy is a bit of a theme right now, because a couple of weeks ago they were showing Black Sheep, which is both gorier and goofier than Fido, but which has, among other things, zombie were-sheep. I imagine you probably know whether that's the sort of thing that holds an appeal for you or not, but, if it does, this movie definitely delivers. That one's out on DVD this Tuesday, actually. (Hey, the fact that we get weirdo movies in Albuquerque at all is impressive. Nobody expects us to get them quickly.)
Friday, October 05, 2007
I will also point you back to my earlier post about deleted scenes for this episode. If you're watching on Sci-Fi, I strongly recommend checking them out.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Wish the rest of me felt nearly as much improved, though. My muscles are all sore from yesterday's yardwork activities, my allergies are acting up, my bunions hurt, and my sleep patterns are severely messed up from switching off of night shifts after a couple of months on them. Also, I appear to have become whiny.
In happier news, though, I've obtained the current episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures, the new Doctor Who spinoff for kids, from the UK, and, oh, my, but Sarah Jane rocks. The show is excellent kids' TV, intelligent and fun. Watching it makes me feel like a happy seven-year-old again, which is pretty much exactly what I needed this week.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
1. Put Your itunes, windows media player etc on Shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS
If someone says "is this okay?" you say,
"Dreamcatcher" (Secret Garden)
And then they look at me really funny.
How would you describe yourself?
"I Know Now" (James Galway)
I know, but I'm not going to tell you!
What do you like in a guy/girl?
"Journey of the Sorcerer," aka The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy theme song.
Yes, I like someone who can appreciate Hitch-hiker's. In fact, this may actually be my biggest criterion for liking someone.
How do you feel today?
"Forty Lashes" (Winton Marsalis)
It's not that bad!
What is your life's purpose?
"Being Boring" (The Pet Shop Boys)
*snerk* 'Nuff said.
What is your motto?
"Fragile" (Stringmansassy, covering Sting)
Don't hurt me! I'm fragile!
What do your friends think of you?
"The Last Resort" (The Eagles)
Is that bad? That sounds like it might be bad.
What do you think of your parents?
"Two Faces" (Bruce Springsteen)
Well, there's two of them, and they both have a face...
What do you think about very often?
"Cavity Search" (Weird Al Yankovic)
It's about going to the dentist! Honestly.
What is 2 + 2?
Always a difficult-to-refute answer to anything.
What do you think of your best friend?
"A Day in the Life" (The Beatles)
I have no idea what to make of this one.
What do you think of the person you like?
"The Wild Wild Sea" (Sting)
Or this one, to be honest.
What is your life story?
"Movin' Right Along" (Kermit the Frog & Fozzie Bear)
So, my life story is The Muppet Movie? Cool!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
"Crossroads" (Gordon Lightfoot)
Unfortunately, there aren't many job openings in that field.
What do you think of when you see the person you like?
"Civilized Man" (Joe Cocker)
I do prefer civilized men.
What will you dance to at your wedding?
"I Started a Joke" (James Galway)
A few minutes later, I will sue for divorce. Ha-ha!
What will they play at your funeral?
"Stop Talking About Comic Books or I'll Kill You" (Ookla the Mok)
Bwah! If it's attended by my friends, this is entirely likely.
What is your hobby/interest?
"Suzanne" (Peter Gabriel, covering Leonard Cohen)
I don't know any Suzannes, but I supposed listening to Leonard Cohen covers is something of an interest of mine.
What is your biggest fear?
"She's Got a Way" (Billy Joel)
I fear her ways!
What is your biggest secret?
"Southern Rain" (The Cowboy Junkies)
It's so secret even I don't know what the hell it means.
What do you think of your friends?
"Vulture Culture" (The Alan Parsons Project)
But I mean it in love. Really, guys.
What will you post this as?
"Gimme Three Steps" (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Following Lynyrd's example, I will post this and quickly depart.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Anyway, this is in the way of a public service announcement, to let you know that if you watch, have watched, or will watch the season finale ("Last of the Time Lords") on television outside the UK, what you're getting is a rather heavily edited version, as it ran long on the BBC and was then chopped down a full seven minutes for the international release. Fortunately, you can see at least some of the bits you're missing on YouTube. Thus:
This should come right after the scene with Martha at the beginning. In fact, if you're watching a recording of the episode, I recommend hitting "pause" and watching the clip right then. Because this bit of sheer and utter insanity should not be missed. It, um, certainly sets a mood...
This, on the other hand, is an extended version of, erm, a scene near (or possibly at) the climax. And the bit that was cut out of it is a rather terrible thing to have cut, for a couple of reasons. Note: DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE SEEN THE EPISODE. I mean it.
Several other small things were cut, and all of 'em are a damned shame to have lost, especially when I consider that there are other parts of the episode that I honestly think could have benefited from a good trim. But I don't think any of them were nearly as signficant.
If anybody wants a copy of the full version (as an .avi file or on VHS), let me know.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although I'd prefer if Canadians who want to discuss the episode in general hold off and comment on the regular thread for that next week, people may want to talk about the cut scenes here, so I will warn right up-front that the comments to this post are not a spoiler-free zone. Unspoiled Americans, you really want to stay unspoiled, so beware! Wait until you've seen the episode, and then you can come back here. (If you're looking to request a copy of the uncut version, you can contact me by e-mail.)
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Work Requested: Failure - LA - Rain gauge not recording rain.Insert your own joke about bugs in the equipment here. (Fun trivia fact: I think the original "bug" that lent its name to the whole phenomenon was, in fact, a moth.)
Corrected Action: Removed spider and spider webs from rain gauge.
I called the bank's customer service number, navigated their labyrinthine phone menu system, and, after giving my account number (twice), social security number, name, date of birth, street address, blood type and shoe size, I was finally permitted to discuss my problem with a human being. (OK, I made up the last two. But, honestly, I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd asked.) Said human being listened to my tale of woe, pulled up my records, went, "Gosh, yes, that's clearly a mistake!" and cheerfully informed me that it was no problem, they could get the double-deduction and the overdraft fees removed for me right away, you betcha! "Hooray!" I thought. "Good bank!" And then she said she'd have to transfer me to the "check department," so they could deal with it.
So, OK, I get the "check department" -- which turns out to be the check fraud department -- and give them my name, rank, serial number, six-thousand-digit account number, etc., etc. all over again, and once again launch into the Tale of Woe. Another person pulls up my records and, while I am in the process of explaining about the overdrafts, interrupts to inform me that I have the wrong department. My mortgage company submits their checks electronically, so I need the department that deals with electronic transactions.
So, I am transferred again, and again give six pages worth of identifying info, all the while thinking, Jesus Christ, how many departments does this bank have, and are none of them capable of communicating?! I recite the Tale a third time, whereupon I am informed that, why, no, the bank cannot and will not help me, as the mistake was made on the mortgage company's end, and is their responsibility, overdrafts and all. Indeed, as far as they are concerned, the overdrafts are perfectly legitimate, because my account was negative, end of story. All of which was explained to me politely enough, but I'm afraid I got pretty snippy at this point, leading the person I was talking to to explain how those first-tier phone-answering people like to tell you things even when they don't know what they're talking about. Which just made me snippier. I feel kind of bad about it now. I imagine the electronic-department person is as annoyed about this kind of thing as I am, and it wasn't her fault person #1 was a lying idiot. But from a customer-service standpoint, that kind of shit is just plain unacceptable. Telling me that the problem is on the other party's end and that they're responsible for refunding my money is reasonable (and, in this case, perfectly true). Promising me it'll all get cleared up right away, making me play phone tag for fifteen minutes and then telling me I'm S.O.L. as far as you're concerned? Bullshit. I'm still annoyed about it, and even more annoyed that I took it out on somebody who was only trying to do her job.
Fortunately, when I called the mortgage company, I immediately got somebody who seemed to both know what he was talking about and to have the authority to do something about it. He instantly agreed that it was all their fault, was friendly and sympathetic, and assured me that they'd credit me for the whole thing ASAP, overdrafts and all, and that if I faxed them a copy of my bank statement (or even the online records, since I hadn't gotten a paper statement for the month yet), they'd have it taken care of in a couple of days, maximum. (This as opposed to my bank who told me that I'd have to sign an affidavit saying the debit was wrongly applied, warned me that if I didn't mail it back promptly it would be ignored, and then told me it would take them ten days to do anything about it once they got it.)
To attempt to balance out my bad-customer karma or something, I gave that guy praise and a high customer-survey rating. I just really hope he doesn't fall down on the follow-through. In the meantime, I've transferred some money over from my savings account to make sure nothing that clears in the next couple of days sends me into the negative again. Man, I'm just really glad this happened now, when I've got an actual financial cushion, and not back in my starving-college-student days. Because, in that case, I actually would have starved. (Erm, not that I had a mortgage then, of course.)
Oh, and the craptacular icing on the craptastic cake? Today I get a whole slew of overdraft notices in the mail. Thanks, bank. It's real helpful to be informed of that after I've been bouncing stuff for over a week. *rolls eyes*
Sunday, September 23, 2007
|You Are 65% Tortured Genius|
You are smart. Brilliant in fact. And while it's a blessing, it's also a curse.
Your head is filled with everything - grand ideas, insufferable worries, and a good deal of angst.
Find YOUR Dream Home!
Sweet! With a setup like that, I would easily be the most popular person in my social circle! And I already know how to operate a radio telescope, even.
I'm not sure why my Time Lord's Manor is more Trekkish than Whovian, but, hey, that's OK. Although it would be even better if it were bigger on the inside than the outside. And traveled through time and space.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Guys! One check number = one check = one deduction! A six-year-old child could figure this out!
Sigh. Wish I'd caught this before, y'know, 2 AM on a Friday night. But come Monday, they will feel my wrath. Oh, yes, they will. And they'd damned well better refund those overdraft fees.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
As someone who has purchased or rated books by Jon Stewart, you might like to know that Kierkegaard and His German Contemporaries: Philosophy (Kierkegaard Research: Sources Reception and Resources) will be released on September 30, 2007. You can pre-order yours by following the link below.Somehow, I really doubt that's the same Jon Stewart. But, y'know, if I'm ever looking for a $125 book on Kierkegaard, now I'll know where to go.
Kierkegaard and His German Contemporaries: Philosophy (Kierkegaard Research: Sources Reception and Resources)
If you don't trust me with your stuff, why on Earth should I trust you with mine? Also, the statement "you have to leave your backpack here" is both rudely phrased and demonstrably false. I do not have to do anything, including shop at your crappy store.
No love (and no money),
1) What book have you most recently finished reading?
I just finished Reckless Engineering by Nick Waters. It's um, a Doctor Who novel. Not that I'm obsessed or anything. It was okay. Not great, but okay.
2) What would I most likely find in your refrigerator on any given day?
Coffee. 2% milk (for use in the coffee). I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. Fruit. Possibly some cheese. Well-past-their-sell-by-date eggs. Assorted condiments, most of them left there ages ago by visiting relatives who failed to share my complete lack of interest in condiments. Maybe some orange juice, if I'm lucky.
Gender is an incidental issue; basically, I'm a bachelor. And the fridge, sadly, reflects this.
3) Let us assume a fully grown, completely healthy Clydesdale horse has his hooves shackled to the ground while his head is held in place with a thick rope. He is conscious and standing upright, but completely immobile. And let us assume that-for some reason- every political prisoner on earth (as cited by Amnesty International) will be released from captivity if you can kick this horse to death in less than twenty minutes. You are allowed to wear steel toed boots. WOULD YOU ATTEMPT TO DO THIS?
Probably not, although whether the failure would be due to a lack of faith in my physical strength or my extreme tender-hearted squeamishness is an open question. I can't even help feeling slightly upset about killing cockroaches.
4) You meet your soul mate. However, there is a catch: every three years, someone will break both of your soulmate's collarbones with a Cresent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: you must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear-for the rest of your life- sound as if it's being performed by the band Alice In Chains. When you hear Credence Clearwater Revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it's being played by Alice In Chains. If you see Radiohead live, every one of their tunes will sound like it's being covered by Alice In Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Layne Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way to you). WOULD YOU SWALLOW THE PILL?
Bah. That would really suck. But I suppose, being the altruistic, non-horse-killing soul that I am, I would feel honor-bound to put another human being's physical welfare over my own aural enjoyment. And at least I'm getting a non-broken soulmate out of the deal. Not that I actually wanted a soulmate or anything, but if I'm gonna have one, one with functional collarbones would probably be preferable. Also, man, they're gonna owe me, aren't they? That could pay off. Not that I'm basing my decision on such selfish concerns, of course. Not at all.
5) A visitor from the future gives you one free use of a functional holodeck, which he has programmed to be able to simulate *any* sci-fi 'universe' from literature, TV or films. You can choose the location in both space and time, but this holodeck has two peculiar bugs: 1) you have to pick a precise length of time you will be in the simulation before starting (which you cannot change once you are inside and the program is running); and 2) the Mortality Safeguards are, well, not *entirely* reliable. WOULD YOU STILL USE THE HOLODECK, AND IF SO, WHEN AND WHERE (IN WHICH CONTINUITY) WOULD YOU GO?
Aargh. OK, maybe I am obsessive. Because, yeah, how could I resist? And I would go with Doctor Who, not simply because I am obsessive, but because the mortality rate among Doctor Who companions -- the role I assume I would be playing -- is actually very low. Not non-zero, but low. It'd be a hell of a lot safer than, say, Farscape. Hell, I'd feel reasonably safe giving it a few weeks. You know, assuming I had vacation time and someone was feeding my cats, or whatever. Because that would be the single coolest vacation ever. Possibly I would hang around with the Eighth Doctor. (Pre-Time War, obviously. Well pre-Time War. I have no desire to be exterminated by holo-Daleks, although, really, it would be a very me way to die.) And I will steadfastly maintain that my reason for picking number Eight is entirely because he was a cool Doctor who got very little screentime and would thus be interesting to see more of, and not at all because he is incredibly hot. Ahem.
OK. That was... sort of interesting. Anybody want me to ask them questions, now? Because, as I recall, that's how this meme is supposed to work.