scott_sanford: (Daria proofreads)


Really, it's just another day in Portland. Doesn't this stuff happen in all cities?

Brave

Oct. 15th, 2012 04:16 am
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After a convention committee meeting Sunday I stopped at the Bagdad on the way home and saw the movie Brave. It's a good parable about why the song is Scotland the Brave. Not Scotland the Wise, Scotland the Smart, Scotland the Reasonable, or Scotland the 'I Planned Ahead.' Brave.
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I'm not a professional historian, but the subject came up in conversation at work and I'd like to make two points.

* The Great Depression did not cause the American Civil War.
* The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor did not occur during the Eisenhower presidency.

More jems as they appear...
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...it's probably a good idea to discover the groom's name before the ceremony. It might even be a good idea to ask more than one person, just to be sure. I wasn't the only one, but fortunately neither of us embarrassed ourselves in public.
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The old Red Lion hotel on Jantzen Beach caught fire about 3AM Sunday morning, and quickly turned into a larger problem than the fire department could handle. Luckily, no nearby buildings were engulfed (I'm sure the large parking lots helped), although Interstate 5 is reported as "affected" by the huge fire right next to it. The local KGW TV station has footage here, and a fuller article.

I'm still getting irregular reports from KumoriCon, the anime convention currently being held across the river, on account of not being there myself. (See the river view in the video? The building at the right holds KumoriCon.) As several people have commented already, at least the fire burned the con hotel without any fans in it.
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Today at work I was given a piece of paper that bore the message Need's GSA label's. I read this and my head did not explode.

But I winced a bit.
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So I was looking at my Leatherman tool the other day and had what seemed to me a simple idea for an improvement. This one is a Charge TTi, but it applies to a lot of the models with outside blades, such as the popular Wave. My tool has several gadgets on the outside (so it doesn't need to be unfolded to use them), and comes with two knife blades designed for one-handed opening. The other outside options are a saw and a file, neither of which is quite as useful; held in the right hand, one of the two knives will be under the thumb - held in the left hand it presents the other tools but no blade or thumb opening feature.

Many people are left handed. Also, the blade mounting is standardized; there seems no reason why any blade could not be put in any position. (This is tricky to do yourself because you need moderately rare tools such as a pin torx driver.) Thinking it over, I couldn't see any reason why it couldn't be made with parts on hand nor any difficulty marketing a left-handed Leatherman.

So I found a spare moment and brought this up to the only person I know who's both left handed and a long term Leatherman employee. I hardly had begun my explanation when he got a knowing smile and I realized he'd heard this many times before. Apparently this gets suggested a lot, including several times a month via the website, and the company for some reason has yet to actually try marketing a mirrored tool. Harrumph.
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So I noticed that today is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, which I hope has been pointed out by many people in the media - I only knew because I read up on it, but it's the sort of thing which could pad out a news broadcast or newspaper article. And most of us are aware that Cinco de Mayo is a bigger deal in the US than in most parts of Mexico.

But the US has a neighbor to the north, too; why don't we have a Canadian holiday? This may bear pondering.
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While waiting for the bus today (in the rain) I watched some fellows try to extract a large four-wheel drive SUV which had gotten stuck in a mud puddle. Okay, it was a big puddle...but still, come on. This isn't even out in the middle of nowhere, but in a suburban part of a major city. Someone had hooked a tow strap to a little four wheel ATV, but the thing just didn't have the weight to extract a full size Dodge Ram, although it spun its wheels mightily. Eventually somebody found another excessively large SUV and extracted the first one.
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I just found out someone I knew passed away suddenly; we weren't very close, but I enjoyed seeing her and talking. We saw each other Saturday night and she was doing fine. It's hard to imagine she's not going to be around any more.
scott_sanford: (lemur)
I'm feeling pleased with myself today. After kicking around a story idea in my head, I blew all of Saturday evening scribbling down prose and filling up pages with handwriting. (It turns out I'm quite productive when deprived of the internet.) I went in to this uncertainly, as my concept seemed to require some exotic framing techniques and two narrative voices, which meant I wasn't at all sure my writing skill was up to it, but in one burst of work I'm within sight of the ending and the first draft seems...readable. Yay, me.

And an update on Sunday night: the first draft is done; one story from concept to finished first draft in under 36 hours (only about 2800 words, but a functional story). Damn, this has been a productive weekend. I rock!

Glitch

Mar. 1st, 2012 04:49 pm
scott_sanford: (Daria proofreads)
In which my ego explodes with delight – and pops like a balloon.

Like many of us, my fandom includes both mainstream and tiny niche fandoms. Another person active in one of the latter thought that it would be worthwhile to interview me about my history and activities. (“Hooray! I'm liked! I'm validated as a human being!”) So we spent an hour or so exchanging words, covering the usual fan things...and then discovered that the recording program had not, in fact, recorded anything. (“Damn piece of junk! Who programs this crap? Why didn't it say so?”) This installment of my 15 minutes of fame will have to wait.
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While googling I stumbled upon [livejournal.com profile] thessalian; I knew this name due to reading Daria fanfic...and she'd just posted some commentary about Charles Stross's blog, where I often contribute. Cool.

My original quest was to see if anyone had written anything clever linking the cartoon Daria to the Sandman character Thessaly; for no reason I can see this has yet to happen...
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Remember last week when I wrote up the story of three different groups of antisocial teenagers at Denny's?

Well...here I am at the same Denny's - where most nights are not like this, really! - and a few minutes ago a kid who'd kept his hood up while he ate grabbed his skateboard and ran out. This was not a total surprise, as you'd imagine. Alas, he had that skateboard and a gentle downhill slope in his chosen direction; he vanished into the night all too efficiently, despite the restaurant manager and I chasing after him on foot - without a lucky break, it was a lost cause. But a few minutes later two people who'd left at about the same time came back bearing some pieces of paper. It seems our friend had dropped two things: his birth certificate and a court document about his arrest for a previous misdemeanor. I suspect this is going to be a rather easy case for the police.

You hear these 'Stupid Criminal' stories all the time, but you never really expect to see one unfold in front of your face.
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Oh, you may think your government is full of crazies and drunkards but...um, you know, never mind. The point is you're not alone. (Okay, if you've been following our Republican primaries you already knew that.) But did you know the State of Arizona sold off its own capitol building?

Now, I'm not sure how it occurs to somebody to think this is a good idea. For that matter, I'm not sure who'd buy such a thing. What would you do with it? Rent it out to a new and upcoming state government? Haul it off to another state so they can have two capitol buildings? In Arizona, the answer was to lease it back to the original tenants - you know, the people who'd been there in the first place, only now the government had to pay money to occupy the building they'd constructed for themselves. Arizona now wants to buy it back, and if I'm reading the article right someone's pocketing over twenty million dollars in this little caper, and it's not the taxpayers.
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Okay, so we all know there are stupid people on the internet. But sometimes we hear about exceptional folks like this guy, who upon being caught with naughty pictures on his computer claimed, "My cat downloaded those!" So far no humans have believed him.
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Or, "Oy, did I have an evening!" Read more... )
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Found here, I really can't find anything bad to say about this. The participants are clearly well read on the source material, the scripting seems decent, and the effects are as good as can be expected from the production budget (of nothing). Some directors would have arranged the piece differently, but then some movies are made by people who have reached puberty. I'd like to see Hollywood show this much interest; we've already seen movies made with technical skill but no love for the story or the craft.
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The week before Christmas I commented that my little netbook had died. Now my uncle has gifted me with a laptop of marvelous antiquity and prodigious size, doubtless a marvel of technology to the Old Ones who built it. Supposedly one of the add-ons lets it use wifi, which I haven't confirmed yet because I'm out of practice with PCM/CIA cards, not to mention Windows 2000. But now I can read floppy disks again! The display is perfectly readable, with fewer special effects than many OSes. And frankly the keyboard feel is magnificent, better than most desktop machines today and better than any laptop I've tried in years.
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MJ, we have lived a few houses apart for several years now. I've petted you frequently, and you've rubbed up against me enough that a second cat could be knitted from the fur you've shed onto my pants. It's always nice to see you and I'm happy to stop to pet you, particularly when - as today - you sit on the porch meowing for attention.

But once the petting has started and you're purring, it is not necessary to suddenly leap up into the air as if you have never seen a human before, nor to run in blind panic into the bushes. This only confuses the humans around you.

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