From the Dredge. Yes, it really did take me 19 years to figure out how to make the fireplace work right.
From 2011: We have a fire in the fireplace that is neither pouring smoke back into the room, nor confined in a tiny cast iron chimney. Kind of cool. It has been a long time coming.
From the dredge. Six years later... It took about a year after I posted this to improve my game to the point where I no longer enjoyed playing, it was just work, and not very lucrative work at that. I stopped playing on line, and play a sort of deliberately mediocre game in face to face poker for the sake of camaradarie, and I still enjoy that.
From 2010: After five months and more than 2200 hands of Texas Hold'em, I have parlayed 1000 chips into 1.1 million. I begin to suspect that I might be halfway good, and man need to try investing a little bit of real money into the experiment.
Dredged from 2013: A word of thanks: Sometime this summer, my friend Robin Lea posted on FaceBook, apropos of nothing, "Why do we seem to live in the only reality without airships?" As a direct result of that post, last night I got up in front of a roomful of about 50 strangers here at TeslaCon and gave a lecture on The Physics of Airships. It went over much better than I had expected, and was in fact a great deal of fun.
Thanks, Robin, for starting that particular avalanche. I owe you.
Dredged from 2012: Geekery: A while ago Dementia found a pattern for a Mobius scarf, and after she had made it, I looked it over and said, It's nice, but not really a Mobius strip; it twists twice, and has two edges, and two faces. There followed a discussion of Mobius strips and Klein bottles, and how one might possibly knit a continuous strip with a single edge (conclusion: WAY too much work). She did some research, and investigated possibilities, and this evening she tossed a freshly completed circular scarf. I stretched it out on the floor: One edge, one surface. Mission completed.
Dredged from 2015: The first Hawker Hurricane flew for the first time eighty years ago today.
According to Sir Thomas Sopwith's obituary, he built the first 500 Hurricanes on spec, because the government was dragging its heels, and Sopwith knew the war was inevitable. When the air war came to England, the RAF had 700 modern fighters: 200 Spitfires, and Sopwith's 500 Hurricanes.
There are a lot of reasons to be romantic about the Hurricane, but that is the main one: They stand as proof that one man, in the right place at the right time, can change the history of the world.
I spent a fair amount of time walking around downtown Waukegan yesterday. Saw a LOT of political signs. Did not see the names "Trump" or "Clinton" ONCE. Read into that what you will; I have no clue.
We have chosen the greater evil.
We have validated the world's opinion of us as arrogant, loud, stupid, and rude.
May Fate and History be kind to us.
From the Dredge. Ah, those were the days...
From 2012: I kind of hate volunteering for straight time overtime when I have other plans. Someday I am going to catch my conscience napping and beat it to death with a tire iron...
Every time someone buys premium vodka, in any quantity, P.T. Barnum's ghost giggles.
We went out at about 7:15, drove to the lake, walked out to the light tower at the end of the Government Pier. Saw about a dozen people along the way. This moon over the endless water was pretty cool.
Signed on to Twitter for the first time in months. (I was bribed.) Why does this site exist? It's as if someone took all of the worst features of the Facebook interface, and then expended significant effort to make them even worse.
Dementia has been listening to a series of podcasts from a site called StoryWork. Today, the episode she listened to (which is a few years old) contained a discussion of the old dichotomy on the distinction between Fantasy and Science Fiction, and came up with the following statement, which, to my mind, after playing with the question for a VERY long time, pretty much ends the question.
"This is the key difference: Fantasy changes the rules of reality in order to engage you emotionally, and Science Fiction changes the rules of reality in order to engage you intellectually."
--Alastair Stephens, StoryWonk
Life in my household:
Hyena: There is a place for lyrical prose. I am increasingly suspicious that it is on a bonfire.
Did a small home repair this afternoon using a Yankee egg-beater style hand drill that is older than I am. Kind of cool.
Unrelated, except chronologically: My lower back went south this afternoon. I was recently thinking I hadn't had any back trouble in a few years. I should know better than to do that...
Life in my household: Haphazardly trying to remember the civilian identities of Marvel characters, the following line came up: "Natasha Romanov is a redhead who dresses in black, and Wanda Maximov is a brunette who dresses in red."
It was funny at the time. We're tired.
From the Dredge. Shared mostly so that I can archive it, because it intrigues me, and I SHOULD have it archived, somewhere.
From 2015: Sanity optional interlude: I believe in reincarnation; it strikes me as the least philosophically unpleasant of the available options. It also gives me an explanation for some of the odd things that go on in my head. The case in point: Three stripe vertical flags have always bothered me for some reason, tricolors in particular. And apparently, I have this reaction strongest of all to the French Tricolor. I see that flag, and SOMETHING, in the depths of my cranial sewer, says, "Enemy." I do not have this reaction to ANY other flag.
I absolutely do not harbor any ill will toward France, or the French people, and I am every bit as horrified by recent events as I am capable of being horrified by any human behavior (but I am still me, and that implies certain things, remember). My heart truly goes out to the people of Paris, and of France, at this time.
But there is still a mad little voice inside of me that REALLY hates those Tricolors...
From Hyena's Dictionary:
Poetry: 1) A literary form in which structure is used to convey meaning or assist memory. 2) A word game in which the practitioner is challenged to convey meaning while adhering to a strict and often non-sensical structure.
Dredged from 2013: In the end, there is only one hard and fast rule of story telling: Know what you want to accomplish, and do that. If you fail meet your design parameters, it doesn't matter what rules you followed or how closely you followed them; if you do meet your goals, it does not matter one whit which rules you broke.
Just watched "Mockingbird Lane", the pilot for a 2012 re-launch of "The Munsters" that didn't get picked up. It's a shame; it was a lot of fun, though MUCH darker than the original series.