Sunday, August 26, 2012

Farewell, Neil. We Need More Of You.

I was very saddened to hear of the death of Neil Armstrong yesterday. It keeps making me think of this xkcd cartoon, which broke my heart when I first saw it, and is breaking it a little more right now.

Monday, August 20, 2012

In Which I Discover That Amazon Marketing Knows What It's Doing

I signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime about a week ago. I'd been wondering for ages whether it might just possibly be worth it financially, given the number of times I've talked myself into adding just one more thing to my order to get the free shipping, but $79 seemed pretty steep, especially considering that I'm usually not in a great hurry to get stuff. But I was placing a good-sized order that would have been nice to get quickly, and I found myself thinking, well, hey, free trial, why not? Yeah, well, I'll tell you why not. Being able to order anything you want instantly and have it delivered your doorstep two days later for free is insanely addictive. I'm wondering if I should cancel it at the end of the trial period just for my own safety.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Never Need To Play Scrabble Again.

Was I bragging about scoring a 92-point word in Scrabble a while back? Bah! That is nothing! Check this out: a 158-point word. Pics or it didn't happen? Gladly! I have even scrolled back to the relevant score and highlighted it in red, because that is just how gosh-darned proud I am. Especially since this was a timed game, and I had only 25 seconds per turn.

(I feel I should apologize for "gook," which sounds horribly racist, but the Scrabble dictionary insists it also means "goo." And it was worth 18 points.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Currently, In August

Current clothes: Farscape t-shirt. Khaki shorts. Black socks.

Current mood: A little brain-tired, maybe even a little headachy. I think I've been spending too much time lately sitting in front of the computer having e-mail conversations on emotionally and politically touchy subjects. It's a good thing to do, especially when it gets you out of the kind of echo chamber so many of us spend our time in these days, but it's kind of draining.

Current music: Just more random-shuffle stuff recently. I think I remember some novelty songs and some Billy Joel and something Celtic.

Current annoyance: My own imperfections, and those of the rest of the world. Stupid real life.

Current thing: Sucking down episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist as fast as Netflix can possibly get them to me, and then pouting when they run out. I don't know what it is lately. When it comes to TV and DVDs, I seem to be falling like crazy for the most improbable stuff.

Current desktop picture: Still the Grand Canyon in moonlight. I really ought to change that soon.

Current book: White Queen by Gwyneth Jones. Which I really need to get back to. I confess, I'm having trouble motivating myself to finish it.

Current song in head: Um, it's in Japanese. And, since I don't speak Japanese, it's not so much the actual song, but a tune with vague. Japanese-like sounds attached to it.

Current DVD in player: There is no Fullmetal Alchemist in my DVD player, because as soon as I finish one of those discs it goes right back in the mail so they can OMG send more right now please! Currently in the other player, though, is disc 3 of season 2 of The Twilight Zone. The episode quality at this point is a little uneven, but at its best, holy crap, it does not get more classic than classic TZ.

Current refreshment: A nice cup of tea.

Current worry: I am attempting to banish worry! Or at least to put it in its place. Honestly, I've just been having way too much free-floating stress and anxiety lately, to the point where it was beginning to -- ha! -- worry me. And the other day, I found a piece of advice online for dealing with this sort of thing: have a designated time to worry, say ten minutes a day, and maybe use it to write your worries down. I'd actually seen that advice before and it seemed rather stupid to me, but holy cow, as soon as I thought maybe I'd try it, the difference was immediate. See, some stupid, stupid part of my brain appears to be convinced that if I don't worry about my health, about the problems of people I care about, about world affairs, about my social relationships, and about whether I'm being as good a person as I want to be, well, that means that I'm not giving these important topics their due. And so I am forced to indulge them, over and over. But apparently if I reassure that part of my brain that its concerns will be given due consideration at the appointed time, hey, it figures can wait, and I can quit stewing and get on with my life. It's like magic! I really, really hope this keeps working.

Current thought: Of course, that means I have to actually follow through with Designated Worry Time. I think my brain is a little too clever to be taken in by false promises. Sigh. Well, maybe I'll go get it over with now. Off to fret!

Monday, August 06, 2012

More Awesomeness From Mars

Ten minutes after I finished answering the comments on the last post, I saw this. Yes, that's a picture of Curiosity parachuting down towards the Martian surface, as taken from orbit. Wow.

Forget The Olympics. This Is Exciting!

Congratulations to the Curiosity Mars rover, and to all who worked on her! I watched the landing live on NASA TV (along with about 200,000 other people), and it looks like it went absolutely flawlessly. The jubilation in the control room was utterly infectious.

Appropriately, Cracked just posted a pretty cool piece on 5 reasons you should be excited about Mars today, which I couldn't not link to.

And, in case you haven't seen it yet, here's JPL's "7 minutes of terror" video describing Curiosity's crazyawesome landing procedure. It's impossible not to marvel at the fact that we can actually make something like this work. Go, human technology! Go, humans!

Thursday, August 02, 2012