"Western Michigan basketball team earns NCAA Tournament bid with 98-77 win over Toledo in MAC championship game."
Today is the day when the brackets begin for March Madness, though March is half over and the tourney goes into April, also known as The Big Dance, though the game is men's college basketball.
I don't have any players in my PHYS-1070 class this semester, but I did get an email this morning from a member of the WMU Dance Team who has been selected by the university to accompany the team. That's pretty cool.
Do I foolishly believe that Western will run the table, seedings yet unseen? No. Not realistically. I do hope they make it through their first round of play -- I would be delighted to see them play in the second weekend. And there's a little voice in the back of my head who would be ecstatic in Western winning the championship. Oh come on, that would so totally destroy everybody's brackets. So much so, that the one guy who picks the whole bracket successfully would DESERVE Warren Buffet's billion dollar prize.
Anyway, the selection shows begin in less that three hours. Right now there's hope and fear, as the usual suspects hope for a high seed and a number of teams are on the worry line, hoping for a tough chance to dance with the lightning. And a few of the usual suspects will grumble about getting an NIT bid.
I love the one-and-done format. The chaos of multiple simultaneous games -- and with the women's NCAA, simultaneous tournaments -- unforgettable gutsy performances which are quickly forgotten by the next extraordinary play.
And another thing.
It's a sign of Spring. Of Easter. Of annual renewal. For many years when we were in the U.P., we joined Mrs. Dr. Phil's father-side family and invaded family friends for Easter weekend. Gene supervised the television watching of the tournament on the one CBS channel they could get. Good times. Fond memories. Wonderful people.
It won't be this year, but we've got to go back for another Easter of friends, family and basketball. (grin)
Meanwhile, we'll have the whole thundering herd of 64 teams in 32 games come Thursday and Friday. Let the play-in games and the weeding commence.
But none of this comes at the cost of sugarcoating what life is like in Saudi Arabia for women. It's clear what it's like. The headmistress is always cracking down on any perceived moral laxity in the girls ("Don't play there; the men can see you" "You should be wearing a full abaya," "these girls were caught committing a sin"), but she herself is the object of gossip when it's reported that her house was broken into by a handsome thief. Thief? Lover, more like, the girls whisper, while simultaneously wondering how anyone could have amorous designs on their headmistress.
( spoilersCollapse )
(The woman who introduces her is the headmistress)
Father Thomas H. Mooney at Sunday morning mass with the 69th, circa 1861, possibly at Fort Corcoran near Washington, DC. The regiment helped build the fort and named it after their commander, Michael Corcoran, who stands at Father Mooney’s right. Collection of Library of Congress. (click on image to enlarge it)
The ballad “The Irish Volunteer,” written and performed by Irish-American Joe English and published in 1864, tells the story of an Irish rebel’s son who fought the Confederate rebels during the American Civil War. The tune was “The Irish Jaunting Car” — the same used for 1861 Confederate song “The Bonny Blue Flag,” by Irish Confederate Harry McCarthy. (Random Walt Whitman connection: The song’s publishers, Dick & Fitzgerald, were at 18 Ann Street, Manhattan, the heart of the publishing and printing industry where Walt got his start as a journeyman printer and a journalist.)
Here, Oregon artist Stella Blue sings it for you. The Irish Volunteer [JOE ENGLISH] (the link opens a new tab/window, come on back and read this as you listen)
The ballad opens with the June 1798 Battle of Vinegar Hill, Ireland, during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. At Vinegar Hill, British and Irish forces counted roughly even, but the British literally outgunned the Irish, who were routed.
My name is Tim McDonald, I’m a native of the Isle,
I was born among old Erin’s bogs when I was but a child.
My father fought in Ninety-eight, for liberty so dear;
He fell upon old Vinegar Hill, like an Irish volunteer.
Then raise the harp of Erin, boys, the flag we all revere—
We’ll fight and fall beneath its folds, like Irish volunteers!
Chorus — Then raise the harp, etc.
Relative to the American Civil War, the casualties were slight — “only” about 500 to 1000 Irish and 100 British. Most of the Irish rebels lived to fight another day — or eventually to immigrate to the United States, where their sons (or, to be literalistic, their grandsons) would fight in the American Civil War.
When I was driven from my home by an oppressor’s hand,
I cut my sticks and greased my brogues, and came o’er to this land.
I found a home and many friends, and some that I love dear;
Be jabbers! I’ll stick to them like bricks and an Irish volunteer.
Then fill your glasses up, my boys, and drink a hearty cheer,
To the land of our adoption and the Irish volunteer!
Chorus — Then fill your glasses, etc.
The volunteer’s new “home and many friends” might have been on Vinegar Hill, this one in Brooklyn, near the Navy Ship Yard. Walt Whitman and his family (of solid English and Dutch descent with deep American roots) lived on Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill, as did many Irish immigrants driven over the water by the Potato Famine and another lost rebellion, that of 1848. The volunteer would have done well as a bricklayer there. Brooklyn was expanding exponentially, and devastating fires made brick a far better siding than wood. But when the Secession War broke out, he traded hod and spade for a rifle.
Now when the traitors in the south commenced a warlike raid,
I quickly then laid down my hod, to the devil went my spade!
To a recruiting-office then I went, that happened to be near,
And joined the good old Sixty-ninth, like an Irish volunteer.
Then fill the ranks and march away! — no traitors do we fear;
We’ll drive them all to blazes, says the Irish volunteer.
Chorus — Then fill the ranks, etc.
The 69th Infantry Regiment of New York has a line of battle stretching from the Civil War through the Afghanistan War, with lineage roots back to the American Revolution. In the Civil War era, it was riddled with tensions among those who wished to use it as a hammer for Irish independence, and scorned by American “nativists” who believed that people born outside the United States — especially those not of British heritage — could not be “true” Americans.
The 69th took the chance to show their side of the story when the Prince of Wales visited New York in 1860. The regiment, under command of Colonel Michael Corcoran, an Irish rebel in his own right, would not turn out to parade.
When the Prince of Wales came over here, and made a hubbaboo,
Oh, everybody turned out, you know, in gold and tinsel too;
But then the good old Sixty-ninth didn’t like these lords or peers—
They wouldn’t give a d–n for kings, the Irish volunteers!
We love the land of Liberty, its laws we will revere,
“But the divil take nobility!” says the Irish volunteer!
Chorus — We love the land, etc.
Defiance of British royalty did not resolve their loyalty, though. Like Whitman, many of Corcoran’s followers balked at waging a war, as they saw it, instigated by abolitionists, whom they viewed as fanatic Union-breakers. The Regiment swung in doubt: were they Irish or American? The 69th resolved the question with their valor at Bull Run and subsquent battles. Legend has it, when they pushed back their brothers, the Louisianna Irish “Tigers” at Malvern Hill, Virginia, they earned the title “Fighting Irish” from the rebel commander himself, R.E. Lee.
Now if the traitors in the South should ever cross our roads,
We’ll drive them to the divil, as Saint Patrick did the toads;
We’ll give them all short nooses that come just below the ears,
Made strong and good of Irish hemp by Irish volunteers.
Then here’s to brave McClellan, whom the army now reveres–
He’ll lead us on to victory, the Irish volunteers.
Chorus — Then here’s to brave, etc.
Unfortunately, their beloved General McClellan nullified their advance at Malvern Hill by pulling back over the James River, leaving the field, and Richmond, to the Confederates. At Antietam, too, where the Irish 69th suffered 60 percent casualties, McClellan stopped Lee’s advance, but allowed him and his army to slip away, a scenario that would replay at Gettysburg under Union General Meade.
Now fill your glasses up, my boys, a toast come drink with me,
May Erin’s Harp and the Starry Flag united ever be;
May traitors quake, and rebels shake, and tremble in their fears,
When next they meet the Yankee boys and Irish volunteers!
God bless the name of Washington! that name this land reveres;
Success to Meagher and Nugent, and their Irish volunteers!
Chorus — God bless the name, etc.
The Irish volunteer reasserts his loyalty to America, bringing together “Yankee boys and Irish volunteers” to defy “traitors,” blessing their country’s founder George Washington, and cheering the commanders of the 69th, Meagher and Nugent, both Irish-born, both officers who paid loyal service to the United States, along with their Fighting Irish.
I cannot write a poem about one specific jump-hug
At a 2 AM Mobile Station somewhere in Ohio
The jump-start of a heart stopped
If I go down, I'll take her with me
All that asphalt and oil slick, all this journey washed away
All for joy, because she loves me, because she will leap that great distance
Trusting me to catch her
I will be strong, I decide
For what was I comprised of slow thighs and heavy gold
If not for this?
Templeton, you fiend
I never dreamed a kitchen table so laden as ours
The caffeinated hours, the tea-leaves bagged, unread
(We divine our own futures)
Books open, marked for discussion
Spill of olives, scatter of crumbs, an avoirdupois of Brie
I didn't dream to dance to Irish punk
In a pit beneath some dim-lit stage in Providence
Or rage against Shakespeare misquoted
While sipping from your plastic cup of cider,
Leaving my lipstick smear, smiling
Or say to you, admiring the deepening beauty of our foreheads
"This is what our thirties look like."
You call me shutterbug, I call you lightning bee
My darling, my dame, my winter wasp
My unutterable butterfly - but goth, with fangs
Templeton, you tatterdemalion
My tattooed demon, my wicked rat, my moray eel
You make me vulgar, you slattern, you keep me busy
You fill me with the most unseemly jealousy
You prick my pride
Because of you, I yearn toward terrible heights
I take risks, I risk flight
I want to be even better than your boasts of me
I asked Caitlyn Paxson to write a poem of love-worn-in
Old hiking boot love, the perfect coffee temperature of love
Our Alphas and Omegas we record without thought
Our bonfire beginnings, the ecstasies of our grief
These are easy, poured out molten, of compulsion
But this middle bit
The crux of the plot
How to do it justice?
The familiarity, the astonishment, the millstone, the grind.
I will write you a poem of our great love
Just an average college friendship
Born in gray-carpeted corridors, on the Metro's dance floor
Ripened in the squalid bitters of Chicago
Tested by departure, seasoned by long-distance phone calls
Fermented in a barrel of inky Edward Gorey postcards
Meteoric, midnight-colored, dyed with Manic Panic
The middle age of love.
- Sat, 15:46: 'Tis the Season to be Cosy http://t.co/mYSBax8hSJ via @MarinaSofia8
- Sat, 15:47: I Am a Child* - kids in mystery fiction http://t.co/c35kjVPCYp via @mkinberg
- Sat, 19:03: Latest from the great Past Daily blog:The Police - Live in Hamburg 1980 - Past Daily Backstage Weekend http://t.co/UC3UQVs7tm
- Sun, 10:52: Dark Light, The�(1951) http://t.co/vFy3fM5UNQ </ul
(If you want more Submachine, the entire series is here.)
Gandalf checks his email. BEST PHOTO EVAR.
I believe Catzilla turned off the little Cthulhu machine this morning by walking on it. Proof (a) that the people who designed the damn thing have never lived with a cat and (b) that my cat is THE SPAWN OF THE DEVIL.
I had not known about EarlyWord until it was drawn to my attention that The Goblin Emperor got a nice shout-out on their GalleyChat summary for March 4.
There's also a very positive review from Justin Landon at Staffer's Book Review, who admits he went in prepared to hate the book and was won over anyway. I think that's the first time I've pulled that trick off.
(I know if you're reading this blog, you probably don't need to be persuaded to buy the book. Humor me.)
I finally have a day job that is both permanent and part-time (instead of working as a full-time temp, which is what I've been doing the past two and a half years). I am very happy with it; it has taught me that, oddly enough, I enjoy accounting, which is a piece of self-knowledge I wish I'd had in college. It satisfies the same part of my brain that likes Latin and calculus (and Submachine, come to think of it). And I totally get an endorphin cookie when my numbers balance.
Also, if anyone knows any good resources for DIY double-entry bookkeeping, please share! I took a Continuing Education Accounting Intro course, but the textbook, as it turned out, was not very reliable. And my employer is unlikely to be able to spring for accounting software any time soon, so it's just me and Excel.
Last night we watched the long awaited, Veronica Mars movie. For those who have no idea what the what, Veronica Mars was a three seasons long show on the old WB Network that came just after shows like Dawsons Creek, Buffy, Roswell etc and was a noir detective show with Veronica Mars as the teen private eye protagonist. I know! Right?! And yet it got cancelled after just 3 seasons.
Veronica Mars was a popular kid in Neptune, California and hung out with the rich kids until her best friend is murdered. After that, her life went to hell – her mother left, her father got fired as the local sheriff and she was kicked out of the popular crowd but not before her drink gets spiked and she is raped whilst unconscious at one of those rich kid parties she used to enjoy so much. So we enter the pilot episode. Veronica is now an outsider, loner at school and working in her dad’s private detective agency (Mars Investigations) in her spare time, determined to solve the murder of her best friend.
Veronica is smart and strong. She always has a come back. She always has a plan. And she always manages to wangle the situation to get her way. Despite – or perhaps because of – what’s happened to her, she has a very pragmatic, cynical view of the world and people. She could get depressed about all she’s lost of her old life but instead she uses what she has left (mostly her smart mouth and resourcefulness) to look out for herself. Technically she might be morally dubious but usually it’s in the scheme of helping someone out or exposing someone else’s corruption and that makes it ok, right?
Veronica Mars was a show with a strong female lead that was something other than a pair of angry trousers (Tansy’s TM). Her superpower is that she’s smart, inventive, resourceful and sure of herself. And a woman being the detective, instead of the broad? SO FREAKING COOL.
The first season was all about solving Lily Cain’s murder. And that had us worried that maybe the show would fall over in season 2. But that didn’t happen. It was still awesome. And so was season 3. And then there was the rumour that there might be a spinoff sequel where Veronica joins the FBI. I saw some little clips of her finishing up at Quantico. But then nothing. And there were rumours off an on about how there could be a movie. And this show was so awesome! Every now and then Kristen Stewart would rally the Marshmallows and encourage them to lobby Warner Bros. She would do a movie if given the chance. And then last year at first I thought it was just a hoax, but there it was – a Kickstarter to raise the funds from fans of the show to make this movie already! And within 24 hours they’d reached the first million. But alas, they were only allowing US fans to fund it! Eventually they managed to negotiate the rights with Warner to let the rest of the world play and records were broken with the amount raised and the number of backers. And they made the movie.
March 14 was delivery day and (after wayyyyyy too many backer updates) there in my inbox was the download code to download VERONICA MARS!
I didn’t want to just download that and watch it on my laptop late at night by myself. So I invited some friends over, we borrowed a projector and screen and we had a small cinema in our house to watch it!
AND IT WAS AWESOME!
And it has IRA GLASS (from This American Life) in it as well.
Anyway. It’s 10 years after high school, Veronica is a lawyer interviewing for her first job out of college in NYC and she’s happy. She comes home to help a friend out, investigate a murder and attend her high school reunion. It’s Veronica at her best! And Neptune still at its worst.
I was so worried that after everything, the movie would suck. Or that it wouldn’t be everything I was hoping it would be. Or that it would be 90 minute movie with a straight, obvious plot and then the end. But it was so much more. And I don’t mind one bit that they’ve written it with ways to launch off another series or movie. I’m a fan, I want more.
As things go, it was really interesting to see crowdfunding used to finance what should have been a Hollywood movie. And I think they did amazing with the budget that they had. It’s an interesting idea, perhaps a gamechanger, on the way movies might be funded in the future. You either need 1 person or entity to sink a huge investment into your project or nearly 95000 people with just a bit of cash each. But now, even though the movie happened, it could still be considered a flop because – 95000 fans willing to pay for the movie they wanted is still a small crowd when you consider success by the box office numbers. I’m fascinated by this and in seeing what will happen next. I’ve already preordered the first novel which apparently picks up at the end of this movie but won’t get in the way of a second one …
Previously: my crackpot theory.
When I said, “it’s sunk,” my intuition was based on the fact that military sites had detected it, then recanted their statement. That said to me that it could have been a friendly fire episode where people hadn’t gotten their stories straight. Except, we’d have detected pieces by now, I’m pretty sure.
My second thought was hijacking, assuming the military disbelieved their own systems because they weren’t detecting quite what they expected.
So here are some more relevant details that are apparently ahead of the news cycle.
This is one of those times where I wish I’d actually traveled more of the Indian Ocean. I was supposed to go to the Seychelles last year—had it booked, in fact—but my stand-up boss nixed it, though it had been booked for almost 11 months.
Several people have asked if the pilot’s home simulator was common. I knew (until his death) a former commercial pilot, and he’d told me they were common. The photos I’ve seen in the news very much like my late friend’s setup.
Here are a few tweets from a fairly well-informed person, @flyingwithfish:
Let’s assume the little islands of the Indian Ocean aren’t of interest. So no Diego Garcia, Reunion, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Lakshadweep, Christmas Island, Cocos/Keeling, Maldives, Mayotte, Rodriguez, or Zil Elwannyen Sesel. Or Socotra or Madagascar or Andaman/Nicobar islands, which are bigger.
Let’s also assume that the flight path would not have to overfly anyone else’s airspace and that, based on the latest information would mean west of Kuala Lumpur.
So that leaves:
Arabian peninsula: Yemen, Oman
Asia: Pakistan and Iran. Technically also India, but I find that highly unlikely.
If the plane had turned north from the Andamans, add Myanmar and Thailand.
But I don’t think so.
Some of what flyingwithfish has tweeted:
On the cargo (ULD = unit load device):
Iran increasingly is obtaining U.S. military equipment and technology through shipments to Malaysian middlemen that illegally circumvent trade restrictions, according to American officials and analysts.
What they wanted? Engineers and managers who knew US defense plans:
I’ve missed a lot of his tweets, but let’s summarize the above (and a couple of other things):
- The pilot was involved. It’s not known whether it was the older, more experienced one or the younger one, but the younger one was engaged with a wedding coming up.
- Cargo doors can’t be opened from inside the plane.
- There was a cargo container with unknown goods inside. This is unheard of.
- Isfahan airport is the Fish’s guess of location they’re going. If so, there’s state involvement from Iran.
- The signature of the plane could be covered by shadowing another plane, which would require state involvement also.
- There were 20 defense engineers who knew significant details of recent/future US military defense technologies on board.
- I believe the aircraft was flown, landed, off loaded of what they wanted, plane & collateral liabilities are eliminated. Gulp.
I dunno, I have at least enough plots for half a dozen spy thrillers now….
Edited to add the next three paragraphs…
Because the ocean is a damned big place, vaster than you can imagine unless you’ve sailed across it (and, because I know you people, yes, I HAVE indeed sailed this part of the world, it’s vast, and complicated and dangerous). And even when you know exactly, and I mean EXACTLY, where to look, it’s still extremely difficult to find scattered bits of airplane or, to be blunt, scattered bits of people in the water. As a navy sailor, I’ve spent days searching for lost aircraft and airmen, and even if you think you know where the bird went down, the winds and the currents can spread the debris across hundreds or even thousands of miles of ocean in fairly short order. No machine, no computer, can search this volume, you have to put human eyeballs on every inch of the search area.
Having recently spent a couple of weeks in some of the remoter ocean parts of the world, this. Three days of no satellite, something I never expected, with the realization that we were really on a very tiny ship (about 800′, which isn’t actually that small) in a very, very large place.
And now for something that made me laugh so we end on a lighter note. Senior Afghan official on whether #MH370 flew over Afghanistan: “We do not have a radar. Go and ask the Americans.”
I'm back home now, and I have just seen the most amazing movie, thanks to a recommendation from osprey_archer. It's Wadjda, a Saudi Arabian film from a female director. Wow, wow, wow, just lovely. The titular character, Wadjda, is a tomboyish girl who makes friendship bracelets in the colors of Saudi Arabia's national soccer team, as well as mix tapes with pop songs on them. She's got a young pal Abdullah, whom she wants to challenge to a bike race, but she doesn't have a bike--and girls aren't supposed to ride bikes. She keeps on getting into trouble at school, but the headmistress is heartened when Wadjda suddenly reforms and decides to enter the Koranic recitation contest--which, coincidentally, comes with prize money attached. Enough money, in fact, to buy a bike.
rachelmanija and sartorias, you guys will *love* this film, if you haven't already seen it.
- Current Music:Trust: Rescue, Mister
Over on Passive Voice, Vera stated a criticism of what I’ve posted in the past:
The $100,000 money borrowed from my now deceased friend will be paid back in full to his heirs, and was in fact retained voluntarily by me as a debt instead of having it be dismissed through the bankruptcy.
His family is fully aware of the situation, we have an agreement, and everything is above board.
The person who has posted this originally with their own spin on it, seems to have a personal interest to do me harm.
If I’m wrong, it was unintentional. However, having just re-looked at the entire case, I don’t believe I’m wrong.
Rather than listen to what Vera had to say, I looked at what the filings actually said. There is nothing I saw in those filings that says that 2/3 of her total debt, a loan from a friend, is not discharged where the other 1/3 is.
No bankruptcy court would allow that and the other creditors would have a hissy.
Here’s the essence of how bankruptcy works: you either throw everyone under the bus, or you throw no one under the bus. There are exceptions and nuances (like secured creditors), but the entire point is to be a clean slate, especially in Chapter 7.
Here’s a Challenge
I invite you to see if I missed something. I will pay $50 to anyone (except Vera) who can demonstrate, with the filings themselves, that I am wrong about the bankruptcy court having discharged Kevin J. O’Donnell, Jr.’s loans to her of $100,000 plus interest. (But you might want to first look at docket item 13.)
That money can go to you or it can go to your choice of the authors she’s named in the Indiegogo as third-party authors published by Norilana. But not to Vera.
ancient temples to dust that fell
are fallen, and no more rise
to shine their glories upon our eyes.
This entry was originally posted at http://hawkwing-lb.dreamwidth.org/597028.h
- Current Location:home
- Current Mood: awake
- Current Music:MONGOL BAND - Khuumei Song
To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the bizarre urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."
Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (Sparrow Hill Road and The Winter Long). Symbiont and Pocket Apocalypse are off the list because they're finished and in revisions with the Machete Squad. The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.
Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag, or go to my website, at www.seananmcguire.com. Please do not ask why project X is no longer on the list. I will not answer you.
( What's Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )
- Current Mood: awake
- Current Music:Adele, "Melt My Heart To Stone."
Musing to myself this morning:
Yeah, I just really don’t like cooking. I don’t know what goes on in the heads of people who do like cooking, that makes them enjoy the process. I just get bored
People like desperance probably think about writing while they’re cooking.
You know — kind of like how you think about writing while you’re driving, and because of that, you actually enjoy being in the car for an hour. Why can’t you do that while cooking?
Well, because I have to pay attention while I’m cooking. Whereas while I’m driving –
That didn’t come out right.This entry was also posted at http://swan-tower.dreamwidth.org/630481.h
Here's why - the tough sell, that is, not why I didn't tell him.
By this point, if you haven't been able to tell, I have read a lot of Oz books. And I do mean a lot. (Beyond the Tor.com posts, I also continue to review Oz books for the Baum Bugle.) They tend to fall into two different categories:
1. Happy, cheerful kids books focused on adventure and fun, with a few - very few - attempting to make sense of some of the inconsistencies in Oz along the way (Paul Dana's The Law of Oz, for instance.) Sometimes these books focus on Oz characters; sometimes these books focus on kids from our world getting to go to Oz - either temporarily or permanently. (Loosen those immigration standards, Ozma!)
2. Serious and often, frankly, depressing as hell adult takes on Oz, that Examine All of the Ramifications of This Fairyland and Insert Clever References to the Movies. Interestingly these tend to outsell the cheerful kids books, and I have thoughts on that, but more later.
What's been, for the most part, completely missing is anything between these two extremes: a fantasy adventure set in Oz written for adults.
And that's what Ryk has provided here. And since it doesn't easily fit into those categories, it was, as I feared, a tough sell - so he's turning to Kickstarter to get it into print.
Full disclosure: Ryk and I follow each other on Lj, but I'm linking here not because of that, but because I'm hoping this is the start of a new trend for Oz books.
What the respiratory therapist will also neglect to mention: The straps of the mask have a tendency to self-adjust. This is not a hidden features. This is a STUNNINGLY POOR DESIGN CHOICE.
What you will learn the hard way: Even if you get the mask to seal initially, odds are still good you will wake up in the middle of the night to discover it has slipped. At which point, odds become almost catastrophically poor that you will be able to get it to reseal without coming all the way awake, and also thrashing about a good deal. Swapping one mask for another may actually help, but that's a delicate and complex operation which you cannot turn the light on for, because your poor spouse is trying to sleep. ALso, see above re: AWAKE.
What the respiratory therapist WILL tell you when you ask for help: A water-based lubricant makes it easier to achieve a seal.
What the respiratory therapist WON'T tell you: Water-based lubricant dries out after about two hours, and there you are back to square fucking one.
What the Internet will tell you: A + D Ointment is great for getting a mask to seal!
What the respiratory therapist will tell you when you ask: Yes, it is, but it also eats your mask. OIL-BASED, LOSER.
What the respiratory therapist will also tell you: You might as well give it a try. If it works, you can decide if you want to buy masks more often.
What you already know: Your insurance will only cover a new mask every six months. Because only slackers would need one more often.
What you will learn the hard way: A + D does indeed help with achieving a seal. However, IT dries out after about 4 hours, and after that it is just as useless as anything else. Also, it leaves you feeling kind of greasy.
What will make you mad enough to chew nails and spit bullets: Saying fuck it all and turning off the machine for the rest of the night is not the answer. It only results in feeling like death on fried styrofoam in the morning.
What will make you throw in the towel for the night : The realization that, instead of getting back to sleep, you're writing this blog post in your head.
- Fri, 12:01: Despite what the article says, I sadly won't be at the Author's Fair in Madison, IN this weekend. http://t.co/bapHyb0bpz
- Fri, 12:33: We're halfway there on the Devils' Field Kickstarter and have 30 days to go! Stretch goals TBA will include Book 5: http://t.co/Z7IDmdMDcS
- Fri, 18:30: My SF story "Functionality" & my article on @chuckpalahniuk will be in the next issue of JAMAIS VU from @PMPressBooks http://t.co/C35fpLLlyJ
Okay. As much as I was annoyed by the decision to distribute the movie through Flixster, I actually sat down to watch it tonight.
It’s good. I mean, very good.
The portrayal of Neptune is the most winning part of the movie: Everything that was awful about the divide between the rich and the poor has gotten ten times worse since the series ended, the place is more corrupt than ever, and things look bleak. The characters are back, obviously, and they’re great but it’s the noir tone that makes this work. The only real let-down are a few cartoonishly nasty villains taking their three to five minutes to strut their bullshit for old times sake. That stuff doesn’t have the power it did when everyone was in high school.
But that’s easily overlooked. It’s a good movie, and I have to admit that it’s nice to see a real mystery played out in (just under) two hours. I’m not sure how well a Veronica Mars tv show would play out with a grown-up Veronica, but I’m glad I decided to back it.
If you haven’t seen the TV show, the movie would still make sense, but I wouldn’t recommend it. A great many characters breeze in and out, and it can be tough to keep track of them all. Better to watch the show first, if you haven’t seen it. The first season is great, the second season is not as great but still very good, and I haven’t rewatched the third season in a while so I’ll have to let you know. I’m making my wife and kid wait until they’ve seen the whole series before I play the movie; I recommend that for everyone.
Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here but not there.
Chi-Fi is here!
A geek convention in downtown Chicago
I don't know any more about details, but they got the Palmer House, a very elegant Chicago hotel, and free registration if you pre-register for the March 2015 Chi-Fi 1.
I think Chi-Fi 0 sounds like a cool idea.
Let’s note that it really is and here: Norilana is a sole proprietorship and therefore legally the same person as Vera Nazarian. (Last I checked, which was admittedly a few months ago.)
She did not list the authors as creditors in her bankruptcy discharged in 2012, even though she hadn’t paid royalties since (apparently) 2009.
Further, now she’s apparently preferentially wanting to pay her author creditors amounts that should have been partially discharged in bankruptcy even though this is unlawful. Does anyone have contact information for Kevin J. O’Donnell, Jr.’s heirs? They may be interested in getting the bankruptcy overturned.
You know, the guy dying of cancer that she snubbed to the tune of $109,364?
But, of course you should believe that the $19,198.36 of back royalties that she’s raising the money for herself (rather than having an independent party doing it for accountability purposes) is going to her authors.
And of course you should believe that $19,198.36 is in fact due.
Which, let’s look at.
Here are the titles from third parties that aren’t public-domain authors. I’m assuming Val Noirre is Vera’s pseudonym (because it’s not on her list of authors due royalties) and thus am excluding.
Titles that Norilana Still Publishes Where Royalties May Be Due
- 2011: Delusion’s Master by Tanith Lee (Note: Tanith Lee had an advance setaside in the creditor matrix, so any royalties due would be dependent upon it earning out) (reprint)
- 2011: A Song of Awakening by Roby James
- 2011: Phantas by Jeffry Dwight
- 2011: The Birthgrave by Tanith Lee (reprint)
- 2010: Death’s Master by Tanith Lee (reprint)
- 2010: Warrior Wisewoman 3 (anthology)
- 2009: Sounds and Furies by Tanith Lee (single-author collection)
- 2009: The Captain’s Witch by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (reprint)
- 2009: Under the Rose edited by Dave Hutchinson
- 2009: Night’s Master by Tanith Lee (reprint)
- 2009: Warrior Wisewoman 2 edited by Roby James (anthology)
- 2009: A Cold Day In Hell by Ken Rand
- 2009: Lace and Blade 2 edited by Deborah J. Ross (anthology)
- 2009: The Memory Palace by JoSelle Vanderhooft
- 2008: Warrior Wisewoman edited by Roby James (anthology)
- 2008: A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects by Catherynne M. Valente (single-author collection)
- 2008: Lace and Blade edited by Deborah J. Ross (anthology)
- 2007: Leaving Fortusa by John Grant
- 2007: The Covenant by Modean Moon
- 2007: A Little Peace and Quiet by Modean Moon
- 2007: Evermore by Modean Moon
Titles that Norilana No Longer Publishes (But Royalties May Still Be Due)
- 2011: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXVI (anthology)
- 2011: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXV (anthology)
- 2010: Clockwork Phoenix 3: New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness (anthology)
- 2009: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXIV (anthology)
- 2009: Returning My Sister’s Face: And Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice by Eugie Foster (single-author collection)
- 2009: Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness edited by Mike Allen (anthology)
- 2009: Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Journey by Leonore H. Dvorkin
- 2009: Business Secrets from the Stars by David Dvorkin (reprint)
- 2009: Mearsies Heili Bounces Back: CJ’s Second Notebook by Sherwood Smith
- 2008: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXIII (anthology)
- 2008: A Stranger to Command by Sherwood Smith
- 2008: A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith
- 2008: Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness (anthology)
- 2008: The Journey to Kailash by Mike Allen
- 2008: A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith
- 2007: Over the Sea: CJ’s First Notebook by Sherwood Smith
- 2007: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXII (anthology)
- 2007: East of the Sun and West of Fort Smith by William Sanders (single-author collection)
- 2007: J. by William Sanders (reprint)
- 2007: Senrid by Sherwood Smith
For the next part, let’s assume the following gross oversimplifications:
- An author’s royalty for a given work is equal year-to-year and book-to-book (and across authors).
- Reprints earn half the royalties of original works.
- Collections and anthologies often don’t earn out. Let’s assume these count as 15% of an original title. (This is extremely generous, though.)
- If an author or editor withdrew the work, then I’m assuming in-print and royalties due in 2010 through 2012 (or the first two years) as stuff really started blowing up in 2013.
- Royalties due per book run, on average, $1.25. Royalty rates for trade paper generally start at around 7.5% of list price, and many run around $15, so $1.125. This is a little generous for trade paper only, but there were often both hardback and trade paper editions, released at the same time.
It’s Spreadsheet Time
a.k.a. Time to check Deirdre’s arithmetic.
So, what does this mean, gross oversimplifications aside?
- Assuming Vera’s royalty number is true, the average Norilana author sold 196 copies of any given book in any given year. Reprints would be 98 copies, anthologies and collections 29.4 copies that royalties would be paid on.
- If you want to assume every book sold the same number of royalty-paying copies over time, there’s 41 titles, 4 years, that would be (19198.36/41/4/1.25), or 93.65 copies per book per year.
So That Selling Books Thing
Vera Nazarian aka Norilana Books simply has no idea how to actually sell books. If you’re a publisher and consistently, on average, selling under a couple hundred titles per year with dozens of titles to market….
You’re doing it wrong.
Especially if you publish twelve such titles in one year and then the next year, “Oops, can’t pay royalties.”
Everything about this Indiegogo campaign is intensely problematic. We don’t really know that the money is owed (except for Eugie Foster having opened the can of worms). We don’t really know how much is owed, and we only have vague ideas of to whom. It’s possible some authors have been paid (while others have not). There’s also what someone called “the Vera factor” in all this. I’ll let you figure the meaning.
Raising money to pay debt like this is also problematic. Vera already received that money. She spent it on other things (like her cable bill, which she details in one of her comments to my first post linked at the top).
All I can say at this point is: I don’t even.
The thing I love, and need to keep revisiting, with GTD is that if you’re on a flow, you stay with the flow and you don’t need GTD. GTD is there for when you fall off the horse, when you’re stuck or blocked and when you’re procrastinating. I’ve been in a slow panic for a couple of weeks with regards to, well, everything. Time management, household chores, running the press, getting my PhD up and going, a bunch of big commitments I signed up for this year. You name it, I think it’s currently out of control. And when completely overwhelmed, I tend to ignore and hide. And, you know, generally make it worse.
I’m still fascinated by how you can be in a rut for days and days and weeks (and months sometimes) and then one day you just wake up and feel differently. Suddenly tackling the big scary pile of whatever it is you’ve been avoiding feels like the only thing you want to do that day. Or getting stuck into solving some problem that seemed insurmountable every other time you vaguely thought about it feels easy. I need to remember, to remind myself, that it’s all ebbs and flows, ups and downs, and that just because I feel a particular way about something doesn’t mean I will always feel that way about it. Just because something seems hard now, doesn’t mean it won’t be easier later.
This year I’m working on putting out into the world what I want to see in the world. No matter what the world throws back. And I’m also working on stepping back from emotion. Not ignoring or denying how I feel about things but stepping back to observe them. I came upon the realisation that the meditation I’ve done in yoga of observing thoughts and feelings as leaves floating past you is the same as the idea of the seated self, that part of you that is immovable and apart from fleeting thoughts and feelings. And when you become in tune with that part of yourself, you can (sometimes) step back when you feel something, and let it pass by you. Not so that you don’t feel anger/hurt/jealousy/pettiness etc but rather that you name it and let it pass you by and then you react.
And what does that have to do with GTD? I forgot that Next Actions don’t have to be the Final Action. That you can work on things and take them to temporary done and come back later to finish them. And that sometimes that’s more progress than waiting to do it perfectly the first time. I had a dire situation in my kitchen that required a massive task of pulling everything out, culling, sorting and cleaning before organising to a better system. Not fixing it was stressing me out. Fixing it was stressing me out. We spent a whole weekend on it, two weekends ago now, and it mostly got done. But you know, not everything fit back in the cupboards. Funny that. But I really want everything to be neat and organised. It makes me happier to actually be in my kitchen and do things. And so I’ve been slowly trying to rejig it all. But I still have a bunch of things that don’t fit. And of course, I can’t move on to the next task until I deal with this one. But it finally occurred to me that since it’s all clean and whatnot, I could out everything back and then reorganise smaller parts that don’t work as they are not yet in the perfect configuration now. That whole, it can be perfect or finished but not both.
I’m slowly trying to climb back on the horse of practicing GTD – I’ve not done a weekly review fora few weeks, I’m struggling to get my email inbox back to zero and my intray empty and I don’t know what many many Next Actions are. But I’m slowly trying to climb back on and that’s more progress than sitting here pretending I don’t even see the horse.
So now she's talking about the autumn weather half a world away. 8°C. 46°F. It's cold. Layer on the jackets.
Here it peaked at 48°F in Kalamazoo -- 51°F in Grand Rapids -- and people were tossing off coats to enjoy the warm and sunshine, next to the melting snow piles. Even with my cold, I took off my coat to enjoy a minute of shirtsleeves in the sun as I stowed my walker.
Temperature is a relative thing. A comparison. But it has to be done in context. 48°F in August is a sharply colder fall day. In March, when the low was near zero just two days ago, it's warm. And of house changing units makes it even more relative.
So record lows two nights ago. Above freezing last night. Heading back down to 8°F. March is some kind of brain addled lion-lamb chimera in 2014.
As for Winter, FINALLY after most of a week, NBCsports is showing some Paralympics Games -- adaptive snowboarding right now. Men's and women's snowboard cross. The adaptive snowboards are different, you can only point it down the course. No fakeys. Yeah I neither know precisely what that term means or how to spell it. (grin) These athletes are competing their hearts out, mostly in silence by NBC.
From Boy's Life for October 1959
by Matthew Kressel.
As most writers know, finding the perfect place to write is almost as challenging as writing itself. Of course, some will say that there is no perfect place to write. That you must write everywhere and anywhere you can. Perhaps that’s true. But for anyone who has ever tried to write in a crowded coffee shop, with babies screaming, people on cell phones, and the guy in the table beside you who keeps sniffling and smells like he put on too much cologne this morning — well, I’d say that some spots are better than others.
I used to write in my living room / office nook, which for most of the day is about as dark as a cave. But since I use the same computer for my day job stuff as a web designer / programmer, I found it was best to separate the two locations. So I wrote in the kitchen, on the hard wooden chairs. That’s where I finished the final draft of “The Sounds of Old Earth,” which is now up for a Nebula Award. You would think that I’d stay put, since the location appears to have worked in my favor.
Like other people coming from Markdown, you can use Markdown syntax in Scrivener, export your project to text files, and use Markdown syntax on iOS apps (like my much-loved Byword) ’cause there is no RTF (Scrivener’s native format) on iOS, really.
But, you say, then what?
Beholdify. You can wait to convert your Markdown until the very last second by checking it in the Compile options when you generate your final output.
You’re not one of the Markdown people, I can tell.
## This is an h2 heading
## This is an h2 too (sorry, couldn’t resist)
This is a paragraph with _italics_, **bold text**, and ***italic bold text***. You can also do *italics* with single asterisks if you swing that way.</p>
And this is another paragraph.
This is an h1 heading
This is an h2 heading
This is an h2 too (sorry, couldn’t resist)
This is a paragraph with italics, bold text, and italic bold text. You can also do italics with single asterisks if you swing that way.
And this is another paragraph.
- No fussing with menu bars or character formats.
- No having to remember shortcuts for italics, bold, whatever.
Which is one reason I’ve liked Markdown all along. It gets out of your way when you’re putting the words on the page.
For the last two days, I've gone down to the beach to run intervals and attempt some footwork practice, and the extent to which I have no wind endurance, no breath, is truly disheartening.
I need to go back to mindful practice with the body. To doing things that make me feel strong, simply for the joy of feeling the freedom of physical strength. I won't have even the possibility of strength forever: I should enjoy it while I can.
This week has been mostly lost for anything other than reading. A very distracting - although not bad - thing transpired early on, and thereafter not much of use got done. Between today and yesterday, though, I have written 1800 words on a promised review and a SWM column, and if I can succeed in finishing my thesis chapter over the weekend (another couple of thousand words, perhaps) I can get the majority of what is vital for this week done.
It seems that I can write 3000 words in a week, but I can't write 400 words a day, every day. Well, if it works, it works. I can use what works.
At the end of next week, I must away to Greece again. I will get work done there, hopefully a lot of it. I will know at least one person who is in Athens, so perhaps I will not be as lonely as I was the last time I went.
I spend a lot of time these days lonely, but disinclined to communicate with humans properly. Anxious, angry, and afraid. Part of it is the thesis. Part of it personal/household circumstances. Part of it is fear over a future I can't control.
Part of it, I think, is that I still haven't made peace with last year.
Keep breathing. Keep moving. Maybe one day I will attain some sort of equilibrium again.
This entry was originally posted at http://hawkwing-lb.dreamwidth.org/596850.h
- Current Location:home
- Current Mood: awake
- Current Music:Judy Collins - Priests
I got my preliminary JordanCon schedule today! Looks to be a fabulous and fun lineup:
- “Flawed Worlds in Fantasy” – Real societies have problems, so should the ones we create. But how do we address race, sex, and class when writing? With Delilah S. Dawson, Patrick Rothfuss, Jana Oliver, Balogun Ojetade, and Eugie Foster. Sat (4/12) 10AM.
- “More Than Just Prose” – Our favorite books are more than just paragraphs strung together. From poetry to songs to hidden word play, what goes into doing it right? With Patrick Rothfuss, Eugie Foster, and Harriet McDougal. Sat (4/12) 11:30AM.
- “How to Polish” – What tools, tips, and tricks are there to taking that first draft up to a final? With Eugie Foster, Idaliz Seymour, Paul Stevens, Toni Weisskopf, Deb Dixon, and Peter Ahlstrom. Sat (4/12) 2:30PM.
- “Fairy Tale Hour” – A look at Fairy Tales in literature, TV, and film. With Jana Oliver, Eugie Foster, and Pat Rothfuss. Sun (4/13) 11:30AM.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this local literary convention is one of my very favorites. It’s amazingly well run, with awesome programming, and a great venue. This year, it’ll be on April 11 through 13. I hope to see folks there!
Veronica Mars, as a tv show and as a set of characters within a set of plot tropes and conventions, is pretty fucking great. Seriously, I enjoyed the hell out of that show and the famous Kickstarter for it has given me a chance to share it with my son. There are so many things that I really liked that bores the shit out of him (any kind of fantasy, anything I write, Buffy, stuff with spaceship battles, whatever) that it’s a real pleasure to see him latch onto something cool.
So, when the opportunity to download the movie came (which is today, because today is the movie premiere) I took it.
I’m not what you call a movie-buyer. I own a few DVDs (maybe a dozen or so, most bought at yard sales) and I watch Netflix, but I’ve never bought and downloaded a full movie before. Still, I know it’s a thing people do. iTunes, right? Or Amazon? I’ve definitely seem Amazon purchases in my affiliate link reports.
But the Veronica Mars Kickstarter did not direct me to either of those options, nor did they stick a file on a server and send me a link to go fetch it. Instead, I had to sign up for Ultraviolet and Flixster.
Apparently, Ultraviolet is a service created by the studios that lets people download films without the worry of omg piracy, and why am I being forced to turn over my name and email to some third-party service just to get the thing I already paid for?
Because I am a commodity. I’m being turned over to these two companies so they can market to me, and they can add my account to their user numbers when they go hunting for new clients.
It’s disappointing. I’d rather watch the DVD, but that’s two months away, apparently. To get the movie now I had to become someone’s marketing opportunity, and I pledged a Kickstarter for the privilege.
The endless flood of updates into my inbox was bad enough, but this tears it. Not more big media corporate Kickstarters for me.
Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here but not there.
I’m redesigning my personal business cards, so thought I’d show off the backs of the ones I used to have.
It had a few requirements:
- A lot of people at conferences have told me they like to write on the backs of business cards, so I deliberately didn’t use an obtrusive design.</p>
Because people could write on it, it had to be a simpler form of what was on the front, and with none of the writing to interfere with whatever the recipient wanted to do with the back.
The logo was on the front of the card as well, just flipped and in color.
- Copy the image later to a new Photoshop document the same size as the front.
- Edit -> Transform -> Flip Horizontal
- Image -> Adjustments -> Desaturate
- Set the layer opacity to 10%.
- Create a new layer beneath that, fill with 100% white.
I’m supposed to be working right now but I’m not, and the reason is simple. Work is hard.
While The Great Way is getting an editorial working over, I’m putting together the game supplement for it. (For those who don’t know, I promised Kickstarter backers a Fate game supplement for the setting of those books.) Currently, it’s almost 10,000 words long, and not even half way done. Turns out that explaining your world-building takes time.
What’s more, writing game stuff is giving me major decision fatigue. With fiction, putting the sentences together is comparatively easy: There are characters who want things, places for them to pursue their desires, obstacles to overcome. That talk. They look at stuff. Maybe there’s a smell. It’s pretty straightforward.
In contrast, game material is all summarizing and making careful decisions on how stuff should work. What invokable aspects suit the capital city of this empire? How best to describe this sort of magic? What’s the best way to portray non-human intelligences without doing the xenophobe thing of giving them all a single personality? What if a player wants to play one of those non-humans?
Everything is as spare as possible, while trying to be as interesting as possible, while being as balanced as possible, while not contradicting anything I put in the trilogy, much of which I made up on the fly because shit sounded cool.
What the hell was I thinking?
Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here but not there.
Waving from a distance, and hoping to be back soon . . .
[B]ut people suffering from the condition often spend years shuffling painfully between baffled specialists before getting our necks mercifully slashed open like an Opposite Day episode of Dexter.
Or you’ll visit six different psychiatrists who all fail to cure your crippling depression, because none of them ever thought to test to see if it was caused by an asshole thyroid.
Speaking as someone with a differently-assholish thyroid? This. So much this. Especially since I’ve been advised that I’m going to have to do the Opposite Day Dexter thing at some point in the fairly near future.
So, do you happen to know one thing that can show a thyroid problem? (Lack of it doesn’t mean there is one.) Thin or disappearing eyebrows, especially the outer third. I used an eyebrow pencil for this photo shoot, not that you can tell.
I heard someone say they didn’t know spoon theory recently, so here’s a link to that post also.
This work by http://www.swantower.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Poland has amazing amber.
Sadly, my photos of it are mostly not as amazing, in part because I hadn’t yet got the hang of all the tricks that help make museum shots come out better. We went through not one but two museums of the stuff, though, one in Gdansk, the other at Malbork Castle, and I did not get tired of it at all. This is a modern sculpture using just a piece of amber; in the background you can see display cases full of more objects, most of them made entirely of the stuff. Utterly stunning.This entry was also posted at http://swan-tower.dreamwidth.org/630163.h