Thursday, December 31, 2009
Palindromes, sure - but I had never heard of a 'semordnilap' before, which is a word that is a completely different word when read backwards, such as:
stressed - desserts
was - saw
deliver - reviled
live - evil
I should mention that neither Webster's dictionary nor Dictionary.com have the word 'semordnilap' in them, but it does come up in numerous wiki pages. According to Wikipedia, the term was coined in 1961 by Dmitri A. Borgmann. Hm.
Semordnilap is supposed to be 'palindrome' backwards, but wouldn't that be emordnilap?
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Instead I found blog after blog (I stopped counting after twenty) about some Jesus guy. I've never met the fellow, but I hear good things.
I did find one blog worth linking to, if just because it's about David Tennant - the actual content is pretty odd.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
It's me, your Babydu?
What's the password?
Umm, the celery stalks arrive at midnight?
Sounds like a rude awakening. Celery stalks, all poking and insistent.
Especially if there was peanut butter involved.
Imagine if it was extra crunchy - Ow! And what if the person was allergic to nuts! Think of the unfortunate rash.
I'll be home in an hour. I love you, crazy person.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Well that's the usual tradition - this year we were happy to get up early and welcome her family over for a Christmas Brunch of ham and many yummy trimmings.
We all had lots of fun! There was much laughter and Wii gaming and even some outdoor play - I'm willing to bet that we're the only group of people who were out playing frisbee on Christmas.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Quickly now - scootch your mouseclicking digit over this link, click like crazy and enjoy the lush detail of Dresden Codak’s latest work.
There are just so many great little details in each panel that to categorize this a ‘web comic’ either elevates the genre to a higher form of artistry or demeans Dresden Codak.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Something that concerns me about the status of my own bandwidth - earworms.
Songs get stuck in my head constantly – and all I have to do is read a list of titles for it to happen. I was researching songs that were popular in 1993 and 1994 for a flashback scene I was writing.
When I got up the next morning, I was humming ‘Stay’ by Lisa Loeb, even though I did not reference the song in my story – my eye simply skimmed across the title the day before.
Take a good look at these two links/song lists, and let me know if any related earwoms end up attacking you over the next couple of days.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
With pets - key phrases like walk, treat, dinner, or bath stand out with meaning amid all of the random human babble with our animals.
Did we go from tossing a shoe at a howling dog (and by shoe I mean a soft, harmless slipper) to holding up a shoe and threatening to throw it, to simply saying the word 'shoo'?
The word origins seem to support my theory -
Shoo is German - Shcu
Shoe is also German - Schuh
The real problem with this is, who says "I'm going to throw this shoe if you don't shut up"? Or slings a shoe while simultaneously yelling "Shoe!"
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Purely by chance, I came across an article on something called a 'shot tower', where they make ammunition by dropping it from a height inside a tower. This totally gives my idea credibility, and therefore I rock!
I like this feeling, let's hope it lasts a good twenty minutes...
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The actual title of the podcast was 'The Delightful History of Menstrual Products'.
There was a lot I never knew about (and luckily, have no real need to) from the history of pads to menstrual cups.
The part that really provided an interesting mental image was the variety called 'Digital Tampons', which brought to mind some sort of remote control, a robot arm, and some sort of cleansing laser beam. But of course they mean 'digit' as in 'finger'.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
We love animals but aren't the sort who could be vets - I don't think we would deal well with sick little critters. So how about a pet hotel? About once a year, we put Lina the kitty up at a great local 'Pet Resort' called All About Cats and Dogs. They have a good facility and Lina always comes home in fine shape.
So I started imagining how I would design a pet resort of our own. I would have web cams in each enclosure, so the owners could log in and see stored and live footage of their little bundle of love while they are away.
And hey, how about phones built into each enclosure which would be set to 'auto answer', allowing the clients to call in and chat with the pet while watching them on the web cam? How sweet would that be? (Would the pets be soothed or frustrated by hearing their owner's voices?)
This line of thought led me to pranksters - some jerks who might log on to the site and call in with some harsh language: "Bad dog! Bad dog! VERY BAD DOG! Go lie down!!" and the poor dog is cringing and whimpering and spinning in circles, looking for somewhere to go.
As a result of this mental exercise, I realize there will need to be some sort of phone password for clients to use, good only for the duration of their pet's stay.
Last night, the apartment complex experienced a break in and one of the items stolen was a set of master keys. We have already started the process of rekeying all the apartment units. The rekeying process requires that we enter each apartment unit. Each entry door lock will be reconfigured so that the stolen master key will no longer open the lock, but your individual entry lock key will still be operative. We hope the process completed by..."
A locksmith stopped by early on Sunday to change out the tumblers, the whole process took all of five minutes and indeed our existing keys still work - but it's still unsettling.
What would keep some random con man from posting such notices, and changing out a whole series of apartment's locks, only to allow himself access any time he likes? I didn't call the office to verify this notice, and I doubt most residents did.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Who needs TWO chest freezers in a one-bedroom apartment? Only a serial killer, that's who.
He's quiet, polite, mysterious, keeps to himself - yep, all the symptoms of serial killing. If only if I knew whether or not he eats bread - that would be the clincher. I suppose I could go through his trash...
Should I call the authorities?
Friday, December 11, 2009
I foolishly canceled XM a few months ago, but have been pleasantly surprised to notice I'm spending a lot less on music from iTunes lately. (I have a number of friends who are resolute converts to the religion of 'Only Dummies Pay for Files', and they may well have let out an excited gasp a moment ago.)
But no, I haven't started stealing songs - instead, a good six years behind everyone else with a PC and an MP3 player I've really been getting into podcasts lately.
I'd listened to snippets of a few podcasts here and there over the years, and I never enjoyed them. A full tortuous minute of listening would prove that the voices, personalities, and writing style all grated.
One exception was a really fun podcast - Earth Concepts For Aliens, which for some reason stopped after only seven podcastisodes. I'd recommend downloading all seven, and then peppering the writer/producer/performer Paulius with demands for a plethora of new podcastisodes.
But I can't credit ECFA for the surge in my podcast listening, since for some reason there are only seven podcastisodes of this Emmy Award Nominated podcast.
I finally came across the trifecta that had been lacking in the 'How Stuff Works' podcasts. I started out on 'Stuff You Should Know' with Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, and have worked my way into 'Stuff Mom Never Told You' with Molly Edmunds and Cristen Conger.
(In the fantasy world that is my brain, Cristen records the audiobook version of 'Timeclock Adjustment', my novel-in-progress.)
I have only listened to SYSK and SMNTY so far, but if they're any indication of the quality, all the different podcasts on the site are worth checking out. Go! Do so!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Apparently adjusting this inert-gas pressurized pneumatic monitor from above can lead to a concussion, while adjusting from the front can lead to broken ribs and possibly a punctured lung.
It makes so much more sense to adjust from behind, where you will have no idea if the new adjustment is correct or not.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
I'll bet a real pay per minute argument line would make money. And hey, if I had such a job, I could telecommute!
Friday, December 04, 2009
This leaves only things people won't buy themselves, which tend to be really pricey.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Unfortunately for me, I have approximately 2 moles on my body. Doe!
Another Wikipedia snippet:
Moles tend to appear during childhood and gradually disappear after middle age. People with white skin have an average of 30 moles, with some having up to 400 moles.
People who have moles on their skin may have a lower incidence of certain age-related diseases. The number of moles a person has correlates with telomere length, which may be of significance in the aging process. One study found that people with over 100 moles had longer telomeres than those with under 25 moles. Shorter telomeres are thought by some to be associated with a greater risk of age-related diseases.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Why in the world would anyone believe that opposing a spire would change people’s minds for the better, or encourage positive social changes?
If an anti-Christian U.S. president took over and banned churches, would that do anything but encourage the people he’s trying to repress to fight back? I don’t see this ban will last very long - worldwide pressure will likely result in a quick retraction.
Why all the brouhaha? How did this start? According to Wikipedia:
The Swiss minaret controversy began in a small municipality in the northern part of Switzerland in 2005. The contention involved the Turkish cultural association in Wangen bei Olten, which applied for a construction permit to erect a 6-metre-high minaret on the roof of its Islamic community centre. The project faced opposition from surrounding residents, who had formed a group to prevent the tower's erection. The Turkish association claimed that the building authorities improperly and arbitrarily delayed its building application. They also believed that the members of the local opposition group were motivated by religious bias.
The Communal Building and Planning Commission rejected the association's application. The applicants appealed to the Building and Justice Department, which reverted the decision and remanded. As a consequence of that decision, local residents (who were members of the group mentioned) and the commune of Wangen brought the case before the Administrative Court of the Canton of Solothurn, but failed with their claims. On appeal the Federal Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower court. The 6-metre (20 ft)-high minaret was eventually erected in July 2009…
…The Egerkinger committee is made up of members of the Swiss People's Party and the Federal Democratic Union. The committee opines that the interests of residents, who are disturbed by specific kinds of religious land uses, are to be taken seriously. Moreover, it argues that Swiss residents should be able to block unwanted and unusual projects such as the erection of Islamic minarets. The committee alleges, inter alia, that "the construction of a minaret has no religious meaning. Neither in the Qur'an, nor in any other holy scripture of Islam is the minaret expressly mentioned at any rate.
The minaret is far more a symbol of religious-political power claim...The initiators justify their point of view by stating parts of later Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's 1997 speech, which holds: "Mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets, believers our soldiers. This holy army guards my religion." Ulrich Schluer, who is one of the Egerkinger committee’s most prominent exponents, states in this respect: "A minaret has nothing to do with religion: It just symbolises a place where Islamic law is established."
The British newspaper The Times, cited support of the minaret ban by "radical feminists" who oppose the oppression of women in Islamic societies. The Times further reported that Swiss women supported the ban, in pre-election polling, by a greater percentage than did Swiss men.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I picked up where I left off on last year's story, which I can only assume helped make the process easier. Last year was about introducing everything from setting to characters, tone and the beginnings of the plot.
When I picked up this year all I had to do was keep moving forward, and the fact that I was jumping around wildly from scene to scene at whim, depending on what mood I was in had to help make it less like work.
However, during my progress it became abundantly clear that not a lot happens in the book. It's really all about one man and his memory problems which worsen over time - this is a very internal thing and isn't a very dramatic.
Memory issues were probably done as interestingly and dramatically as is humanly possible in the film Memento - the fact that some very corrupt people were carefully manipulating the poor man to some twisted, evil results made the movie amazing.
My character is surrounded by people who care about him, and only want to help (for the most part) which makes it a lot more slow. I admit, there is a ton of exposition in the book which may well be due to the word count pressure of NaNoWriMo.
(Some would use this as an argument against NaNoWriMo, but they can fuck right off.) If I trimmed all but the most entertaining exposition, it would likely end up a third of the length and twice as good.
My favorite thing about the way the book is going is that all the characters are doing their damnedest to go about their lives as normal despite all the memory issues the main character is having. It's always odd to me in most stories when all the characters drop everything else to focus on what's happening to one person. In my book, this leads to some extraneous scenes, but I feel it makes the whole story more like something that is really happening.
This will likely produce a book that's somewhat ponderous - one of those slow reads that you probably wouldn't stick with to the finish unless you really enjoy the writer's style, or are one of those folks who simply 'have to know' the solution to the mystery. I introduce several possibilities and the characters pursue them as well as they can, being average laymen - if you think your corporation is out to get you, what can really be done unless you have proof or millions of dollars?
I'm taking today off, but I will be writing every day until the book is finished. I've been debating the number of words that can easily fit into my day - something I could accomplish in about an hour. I'm leaning towards 600-800 words for this daily progress - getting done quickly isn't a priority, but making constant progress is.
I'm going to continue to post short blurbs on the blog about my daily progress, which I recommend to my writing buddies as well!