wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
It was cool and rainy this morning when I dragged myself to McDonald's for breakfast before work, but by the time I got off at 1730 the clouds had parted and there was some really awesome sunlight streaming through to illuminate the Foxchase shopping center and all the blooming trees that seem to have agreed to pop their blossoms this weekend. Very nice. I'm still kind of ragged after an eight-hour shift, but then I was short on sleep to start with.

Good conversation with Mark last night over steak & sausages & cole slaw; we talked about music, SF, the end of BSG, and also about Blood Red Skies. This last helped me clarify a few things in my head which (to be honest) the dual influences of Traveller and Imperium had hopelessly confused for me, so I should be able to move forward on the middle chapters and get the thing done with. Time permitting, of course.

P was ill, so we didn't get together to work on the Winbox. That'll happen a week from this Saturday, after I'm back from Detour.

Condo/house prices in the area have dropped low enough that I can actually cover the price with a VA loan. Considering that moving into a $68,000 condo would actually lower my housing costs by a third, I may have to give serious thought to saving up enough cash to make that move at the end of the year when my lease at Foxchase expires. Like so many other things, this all depends on finding work after the Day Job eventually comes to an end.

For now, time to consider dinner.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Well, it's a good thing I didn't sign up for NaNoWriMo, because this way I'm only embarrassed in front of my friends and other occasional readers of this LJ. This month I've managed to write on exactly three of the last 28 days for a not terribly grand total of about 3000 words, and I don't even have the excuse of a wretched schedule to absolve me - it's just been pure laziness and distraction. Yes, there are three days left in the month, but tonight is the ATC Board meeting, I have tentative social plans for tomorrow night, and by Thursday the kitchen will need decontamination. I'll continue to peck away at the novel; who knows, one of these months I may be overcome with a fit of logorrhea and knock out several chapters in a week. It could happen.

Apparently I have ruined "This Corrosion" for P after coming to the conclusion that the animal Andrew Eldritch feels deep inside is a hamster. Maybe I should have followed that comment with "No homo" to avoid unfortunate confusion and squickage, but I was actually thinking of totems and spirits at the time.

Unusually, the last couple of nights I've had dreams that I can remember. Not that they make any sense, mind you, being the usual surreal mixtures of people and places that have only tangential connections to each other. Some people say that dreams have meanings, but I prefer to think of them as the subconscious earning its keep by cleaning out the unused memories and odd bits that have fallen out of the brain's file cabinets. Kind of like Groundskeeper Willie, except better behaved. Mostly.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Do people like this student even realize how bigoted they sound? Makes me wonder how long we'll have to wait for a new Test Act that also bars evangelicals -or people who look and sound like evangelicals- from office. Judging from the confirmation hearings for Justice Alito last year, some people evidently think there's one in effect already.

Tonight I'll probably be working on my apazine for this weekend's StippleAPA, which as usual I've done absolutely nothing with in the last six weeks since Arcana. I did a little background work for Blood Red Skies today which should make writing the battle scenes in the middle chapters a lot easier, but I'm dubious about whether I'll actually get any actual writing done.

As for the weekend, aside from the Stipple collation, a stop by the library to pick up the new David Drake novel Some Golden Harbor (one of the Lieutenant Leary series, featuring the most lethal librarian in the universe) and a programming meeting with [livejournal.com profile] thaadd sometime Sunday, I don't have any plans, because those usually require money, and that's going to be scarce for a while.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Another slow afternoon here at the Evil Banking Neighbor. It's payday, so instead of packing my lunch as I usually do I went over to the Gaviidae McDonald's again and got the McRib meal. Turns out the green stuff they have on the pork slab is pickles, not relish, but either way I don't want it on my barbequed pork. Yummy stuff...not up to the standard of Famous Dave's, much less Ted Cook's, but then it doesn't cost nearly so much, either.

The writing muse has deserted me again today. I suspect that in order to provoke her I'll have to spend some time this weekend gaming out a few of the battles that take up a significant part of the novel's second half; we'll see how that works. In the meantime, not so much as a paragraph, but it's early yet.

I also need to get some laundry done this weekend and make some time to get together with [livejournal.com profile] jamestrainor; that'll probably have to be tomorrow afternoon since I have the feeling much of Sunday is going to be eaten by the Convergence staff meeting. Saturday morning, I'm going to make a library run, if for no other reason than that they have a copy of Eric Flint's 1635: Cannon Law on hold for me. Yum.
wombat_socho: Wombat (selector)
I didn't get very much writing done yesterday or last night, which puts me considerably behind the curve for today. I just wasn't feeling up to it, frankly; got home, ate dinner, retrieved my prescription from Walgreens, and went to bed around 2100. I had a good night's sleep, at least.

This morning hasn't started well, either. I'd planned on catching breakfast at McD's on the way to the P&R, since I had a coupon for a free McMuffin, so I packed all my morning pills up in a spare prescription bottle...and left it on my desk. Then when I got to the McDonald's, I opted for coffee instead of juice, and forgot to ask for creamer and sweetener. This being civvy street, I'm not inclined to drink my coffee black, so it basically served as a handwarmer until I got to work and could adulterate it properly. Can't wait to see what further little annoyances await me today.

One of the things that's gotten in the way of the writing has been a discussion of the suicide of an Army interrogator over at [livejournal.com profile] edwarddain's LJ. I think it's pretty obvious that the article's author wants us to buy into the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy, because it would reflect badly on the Army and therefore the Administration, but the discussion has mainly revolved around trying to understand what would drive an apparently happy young woman to eat her rifle within a few months of arriving in-country. It makes me think back on all the people I knew in the various MI units I've served in, and wonder how many of the would have held up well under the strain of working in a war zone. It's different for EW/SIGINT types than it is for interrogators, of course, but linguists as a group tend to be not terribly stable people to start with, in my experience, and that's just peacetime.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Had lunch with P in the Gaviidae Common food court, which I hadn't been to in a while. Nothing new up there, but nothing's closed either. I hit the McD's for one of their chicken sandwiches, forgetting that the McRib was back in season. Mmmm, McRib. If only they didn't have that damn relish on them, they'd be pretty near perfect.

Not feeling motivated to do any writing today, but since this is looking to be another painfully slow day I'll reread what I've got and see what I can thrash out. If it turns out to be worthless or mediocre filler, I can always edit it out later, and if it turns out to be good, so much the better.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Today was a day of appalling slowness at work, and I wound up doing a fair amount of writing. Add in what I did after I got home and ate hot dogs with my ramen, and it all adds up to a little over two thousand words. Some of that was edits to existing sections, but that's okay.

I'm also making progress on cleaning out dead boxes and recyclables; got rid of three boxes this morning on my way out the door to work. At the moment, though, I'm feeling tired and sleepy. I think I'll take my medicine and retire early. Halfway through the week, huzzah.
wombat_socho: Wombat (hardcore)
I thought for a while about trying to finish Blood Red Skies as part of the whole NaNoWriMo thing, but it would be wrong since the whole point of NaNoWriMo is to crank out a 50K chunk of novel-like verbiage from scratch, and that's not exactly what I'd be doing. BRS already has a beginning, an end, and some parts floating around in the middle, plus some fairly well fleshed-out characters. Forcing it to completion through NaNoWriMo would be like entering the State Fair baking contest using Betty Crocker Cake Mix, and that would be Wrong. Even if I am just a semi-pro.

Still...the notion of forcing myself to write 1650+ words per day (slightly less, actually, since as I said there are already some chunks done) in order to at least have a very rough draft done by the end of the month is appealing. I have time on my hands for the moment, and sitting down every night for a couple of hours to pound on the keyboard might just be the discipline I need to finally wrap it up and get it in a condition to show people and see what they think. I just can't do it within the NaNoWriMo setup.

So tomorrow night it'll be time to kick the tires and light the fires. I have people to kill, planets to ruin, and ships to destroy, with only a month to do it in. I can do this. ^_^

UPDATE/EDIT: It turns out that over the last couple of years that I've been picking away at this I've cranked out a little over 23,000 words, not including the stuff that actually belongs in the sequel, Sad Wings of Victory. (Is it pretentious of me to have a sequel for my unfinished novel already?) So I could be lazy and just do the remaining 27,000 words, or go whole hog and wind up with something closer to 75,000 words, which I think would be a better, fuller more flavorful novel anyway. We'll see what happens.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Having utterly failed over the last month to assemble the aforementioned shelves, tonight I'm going to swing by Menard's, grab a hammer and a screwdriver (because I have no idea where mine are among all these boxes) and get at least one of these Swedish monstrosities erected and stuffed.

In the meantime, it's been a pretty slow day. Most of it's been spent sitting here, listening to metal, processing the occasional billing file, and trying not to doze off. I did do lunch with a friend of mine who's temping over at Ameriprise, which mostly consisted of me trying to cheer her up since she was busily borrowing trouble over something that had gone wrong there. It wasn't clear to me that it was a fatal error or even her fault, but I guess we'll see how it turns out. In the meantime, we had the Great Steak & Potato Company's Great Steak sandwich. In retrospect, the 12" might have been overkill from the perspective of my diet, but at least I eschewed the french fries, which are so so tasty but so so bad for the diet, even before we bring the ketchup into it.

On a totally unrelated topic, the average daily output for NaNoWriMo is 1667 words. I'm trying to crank out some verbiage for Blood Red Skies on that schedule, and am about halfway through today's daily requirement. I suspect a lot of what I crank out over the next thrity days won't be suitable for the book without a lot of filing and banging on the side, but we'll see.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Bookshelves assembled: 0
Work done on novel: Consolidated various stray chunks into the main text, page count now at 65. Some background work also done. (good, needs to continue)
Time wasted on FARK.com: About 2 hours (bad)
Time spent apahacking: 0
WW points blown on dinner: Way, way too many (v.v. bad)
Restaurant review follows )
Almost all the baseball news is bad. )
Currently reading: Kyoko Mori's Polite Lies. Kinda depressing, and I may lay it aside until I need it as a reference.
This weekend I'm hosting a Stipple collation at the Penn-Lake Library, starting at 2 PM. APAhackers wanted! ^_^
Nothing else on the agenda; maybe I'll finally get the damn bookshelves assembled and stuffed.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
I was running late this morning and decided to go ahead and drive in. Unfortunately, traffic was really screwed up on 35W, so instead of sitting in traffic I elected to make a move - got off at Diamond Lake, followed Second Avenue down to the parkway and then headed north on Park. Until I hit more construction on Lake Street, I was doing okay, but I stupidly backtracked to 4th before getting back on Park at 28th, and so I was 20 minutes late. Boss was a little cranky on account of not feeling well (and in fact she left at 11 AM) but she accepted a short lunch as penance for tardiness.

Not that there's a whole lot going on today anyway. Once I finished the monthly memo that tells people when to have their stuff in to us, that was pretty much it for the work of the day. I've fielded a few research requests, taken a few phone calls, and spent the rest of the day surfing the net or working on the background for Blood Red Skies. Fortunately a lot of that looks as if I'm actually doing work-related stuff, since the ship design templates are all on Excel spreadsheets.
Which brings us around to the post title again. )
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
I didn't get any grocery shopping done last night, mainly because I waited until almost 8 PM to go out and start doing what I needed to do. At least I got the laundry done and got [livejournal.com profile] phoenixalpha to get most of her stuff out of the Sportage's trunk, huzzah. Today will be consumed in doing spreadsheets for management and taking care of GL rejects, which should keep me tolerably busy.

Meanwhile, a few parsecs away... )
I don't have any big plans for the weekend. I'm getting together with [livejournal.com profile] jamestrainor on Saturday and of course there's the board & staff meetings on Sunday, but that's about it. I'm open to suggestions.
wombat_socho: Wombat (wombat)
Today has dragged on for several geological eras already, mainly because I slept in until 4 PM on Sunday and thoroughly screwed up my sleep schedule. This led to an involuntary all-nighter, during which the only thing I really accomplished was watching all but the last three episodes of Angelic Layer. At this point, I can say with total conviction: Shuko , YOU SUCK.

Before giving up and watching anime, I did skim through some of the background material I've put together for Blood Red Skies as well as the new GURPS Traveller sourcebook, Interstellar Wars, which covers the same period as the old GDW boardgame Imperium.
Building a war zone one system at a time )
Well...tonight is not going to be the night I get started on that project anyway, since I need to get the bookshelves set up and some boxes unpacked so I can find where my copy of Trillion Credit Squadron went to, since that's an essential part of the plan. It strikes me that trying to assemble bookshelves in my present sleep-deprived state is a BAD idea, so I'll have at it tomorrow.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
One of the reasons I like baseball is that since it's event-driven and not time-driven, you can't run out the clock as you can in football, basketball, and (IIRC) hockey. This is by way of saying that I've finally finished setting up all 92 of the accursed mortgage companies, and now have little to do for the next 90 minutes except some desultory filing and maybe some surreptitious background work on Blood Red Skies. Got some of that done last night, mapping out a subsector on the fringes of the action, and after I was done mangling the planetary stats from their original values to what they "should be" 3400 years earlier, I found that ten years' tax revenue from one thinly settled subsector wasn't even enough to pay for a low-tech system defense fighter. Heh.

Back in the real world, two of the comics/graphic novels I won at auction on eBay (before I realized just how screwed up my finances were) arrived in the mail yesterday: issue #4 of Mamoru Oshii's Hellhounds: Panzer Cops, which is a sequel to the anime Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade , and David Brin's The Life Eaters, which is an expanded and illustrated version of his Hugo-nominated short story "Thor Meets Captain America".

People familiar with Brin's non-fiction work, and especially his criticisms of the Star Wars movies, know that one of the things that gets up his nose is the kind of blind hero-worship and obedience to hierarchies for obedience sake that permeates Lucas' last three SW movies. That annoyance gets a nice airing here; the Nazis get themselves into very serious trouble for the kind of occult folderol that drives the plot of the original Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and with that I may have already spoiled the story for you. Anyhow, the book includes the original story and goes on to tell the rest of the story, which is a pretty good one. The art by Scott Hampton is very evocative, suitably terrifying and awe-inspiring as the story demands. It doesn't live up to the hype by some dork at DC who called it the biggest thing since The Watchmen but it's a tolerably good tale with some good illustrations. It is a bit of a polemic for Brin's anti-hero attitude, but unlike the regrettable Watch On The Rhine Brin doesn't ram his opinion up your snout quite so hard. (He saves that for his essays. This one on The Matrix contains some brutal thrashing of Joseph Campbell.) Would I have paid full price for this? Hell, no. But at a third of the list price, it was very much worth it. Maybe if we're lucky it'll be re-released in pocket paperback format.


Jul. 23rd, 2005 03:36 pm
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Having put it off for months, I've finally put up a page for Blood Red Skies on my otherwise undistinguished personal page. Laugh at my crude HTML skills. Read the hideously outdated book and music pages! Roll your eyes over the sad lack of updating. Yeah, well, I've been busy. Thphhttt.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
The cherry atop Friday's shit sundae was supplied by some cop trolling the Ft. Snelling Park & Ride lot, who ticketed me for not having current registration on the Sportage. Bastard. It turns out that the tags I bought while in the throes of antibiotic-induced fever last Saturday were for the old Sportage, so I had to fork out another $99 plus fees for the 2005 tabs. Fortunately, I'll be able to get out of the ticket, but it's still going to take time to go over to Government Center and hang around so I can get the matter straightened out. Now all I have to do is find the unused 2004 tabs I bought last week and mail them in to MnDOT for a refund.

So I came home last night, sorted through all the bills, ate a couple of turkey sandwiches, and went moodily to my room, where I hacked on various ship designs for Blood Red Skies and read through a couple dozen issues of the Traveller Mailing List Digest. Found some useful stuff in there, which may wind up being used in a campaign someday, if I ever get the time to run one again.

Today I'm going to take it easy and see if my foot will heal up a little faster. A little eBay, a little ship designing, a lot of Escaflowne, and then to bed at a normal hour since Scott has an 8 AM orientation meeting for his new job at the Sprawl.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Managed to get to class only five minutes late this morning, and got out during the break to pick up the other textbook I needed for the Middle School class. It went the full three hours but not much of it stuck in my head; it was mostly about "asset building", which I guess is the new buzzword replacing "character education" which is Bad because it has religious overtones. Whatever, yo. The other part of the class dealt with advising, which in the Elk River district has become institutionalized and seems to serve part of the purpose that smaller class sizes normally would. Advising groups include about 10-18 students and at least one staff member (not necessarily a teacher) and are all about the aforementioned asset building. They seem to be doing some good, at least according to the woman who was subbing for Steve Schroeder today.

I spent a lot of time twiddling Blood Red Skies so that all three copies (thumb drive, laptop and workbox) are synched up with each other, since I got the point the sub was making pretty early on. Speaking of Blood Red Skies, I think I'm going to have to build a page at my website so that the two or three people who are actually interested in the project have something to look at that explains WTF is going on.

I'm thinking that this satiric essay from Iowahawk speaks to this business of assets and values education, as does "The Treason of the Clerks", Jerry Pournelle's essay on how the public school system has really failed us. It doesn't have much to do with the Three Rs. [Hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] joel_rosenberg for the Iowahawk piece.]

I need to go get some new laundry bags and baskets, charge up the laundry card, and get the washers and dryers going. I'm all out of clean black t-shirts, and the sun is starting to shine in my eyes while I'm trying to type. :(
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Amazing what a little discipline will accomplish. This week's weigh-in saw a loss of almost eight pounds, but then I've been pretty good this week. Haven't been sticking strictly to the program, but I have been mindful of what I'm eating and have avoided any gluttonous binges.
Maybe I ought to try it more often...the goal of getting below 400 by New Year's Eve no longer seems impossible, though it'll still be difficult.

Didn't get much done yesterday with the exception of a shopping run to Sam's Club, where Melody and I loaded up on meat and other staples. It's a little odd shopping there. In a lot of ways it reminds me of shopping at the Commissary with my father when I was a little kid - very large packages of food at absurdly low prices, but not a lot of variety, with the added strangeness of all the hardware and small business/department store-type stuff for sale. Maybe more like a Commissary/Base Exchange combination, come to think of it. Anyhow, besides that and the work of schlepping it back to the apartment (thank God, Scott helped lug it upstairs and broke up the meat packs into smaller freezer bags) I didn't do much yesterday. Returned Azumanga Daioh and Blackadder to Kale, who then kindly loaned me the full sets of Gasaraki and Tenchi Universe. I may not bother doing any rentals this coming week as a result.

Blood Red Skies is progressing; I'm up to 50 pages, even if a dozen of those are just chapter headings with a paragraph of plot summary or a change summary. I also have some material I need to slot into various chapters, and some more ideas that need to be developed into parts of chapters.

So things are moving forward here and there.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Not to be confused with "School Girls and Mobile Suits", the seminar about anime going on at MCAD this weekend.

Blathering about writing follows...
Read more... )
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Reflecting on how I've written most of the fanfic I've done for Space:Above and Beyond and Revolutionary Girl Utena, it occurs to me that what I've done - more obviously in some cases than others - is write what some people call songfics. You hear a song, and you get a vision in your head that's sort of like a music video. The characters are probably not singing the song (that would be too cheesy for words) but the music sets the tone for the scene and puts you in the mood.

I heard some Breaking Benjamin on the way home last night. Scott is a big fan of theirs and when he slotted in their second album, "So Cold" started playing and the rush of emotion was almost too much. I wanted to pull over and start scribbling in the Palm Pilot for fear that I'd lose the moment, lose that scene forever. No worries. I found the band site this afternoon, pulled up the lyrics and WHAM. It's wired in now.


wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)

February 2017



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