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Quotation Mania

Quotation Mania

On the blog itself, I keep in the sidebar, in prominent position above the fold, a random quotes file. Tonight I was adding one of my favorite quotes from Canadian politician Jack Layton (rest in peace).

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

I’m always looking for new quotes to add to the sidebar. I’ve got whimsical — I’ve got one from Legend of Zelda: Windwaker in there — and I’ve got serious. But I’m always looking for more.

So what’s your favorite quotation?

I don’t feel like blogging…

I don’t feel like blogging…

First of all, it doesn’t matter what the clock says. It’s not the next day until you go to bed. (There are reasons I fail at adulting sometimes…)

Anyway, I’ve had a pretty bad case of the eff it alls lately.

I’ve got some things I want to talk about, but it takes more mental space than I’ve really got at the moment to process them. Instead, I spent the evening showing Hobbit all the photos, including Dr. Penis. Okay, it’s an ad I saw in the SF subway at the Castro Street Station when I was in grad school. It’s not horribly expensive to go to San Francisco when you’re a student at Berkeley, and I was taking photos for a school project. Besides, the ad was to raise public awareness that the SF Department of Public Health had free treatment for syphilis, so it was a PSA. It was still hilarious.

Ahem.

So, i was reading an recent article on why you should buy soundcloud plays, fake vs real and much more. You can find it here or on the popusocial website.

Anyway, I’d like to start on the Bible Project, which is something I’ve been threatening for years, and this month seems as good of a time as any. Plus, I stumbled across a book at the used bookstore that’s given me another idea about books. I’d like to talk a bit about what’s going on in this country, but I’m not quite sure I’d like to go there. Between relatives and former schoolmates who have rather opposite opinions of mine and a tendency to express this with some — what’s a nice word — choice words and because I’m job hunting and I don’t know who is going to read my blog, it seems rather unsafe.

I might do it anyway. Safe is relative.

But tonight I don’t want to blog.

Maybe tomorrow (today?) will be better.

The Voter’s Packet has arrived!

The Voter’s Packet has arrived!

And there was much rejoicing. Yay.

I’m going to chronicle my reading here on this blog, but I wanted to do a quick rundown of what is in this year’s Hugo Voter’s Package. Sasquan released the package yesterday afternoon, and I’ve been spending a bit of time putting it all on my Kindle.

It’s been an interesting year for the Hugos and I think the voter’s pack reflects that. So, category by category, here’s what’s in the packet and my thoughts on the matter.

I should note, before I get started, that the Hugo Packet is a gift from the participants to the voters to make us more informed voters, and that I am entitled to none of it. Sometimes I make comments that skirt that ground, but I do truly wish to say thank you to the publishers, authors, artists, editors, and other varied participants who make this effort to help us to be informed voters. It is appreciated.

The same goes to the folks back at Sasquan central who are administering the Hugo Awards. This has been a crazy year, and your diligence, patience, and hard work are appreciated by this voter.

With all that said…let’s get to it.


NOVEL
3 complete novels:

  • The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu
  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
  • The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson

2 extracts:

  • Skin Game, Jim Butcher
  • Ancillary Sword, Anne Leckie

My thoughts: Orbit continues the practice they did last year of including an excerpt of a novel in the package. Last year, they did it with Ancillary Justice, Neptune’s Brood, and Parasite and those novels went 1-2-3 in the voting, so it didn’t hurt them. Butcher is published by Penguin. The three whole novels are all Tor. It’s interesting that Tor (and Baen) seem to be the publishers that get that this is a goodwill thing. Ah well, I have a copy of the Butcher and I’ve read Ancillary Sword, although I would have loved to get another chance to make it fresh in my memory.


NOVELLA
All works made available.

My thoughts: It’s interesting that they put all five of John C. Wright’s nominations into one ebook, but I guess that saves time. I’m not sure if I’m up to reading all five Wright works back to back to back, so I may have to put in chasers. Luckily, swapping ebooks is not a hard process.


NOVELETTE
All works made available.

My thoughts: A minor quibble that the Flynn is only in PDF, but I can live with that. I’m getting these for free, after all, and my kindle does read them.


SHORT STORY

All works made available.

My thoughts: Wow. Baen included the whole book that one of the short stories was in. That’ll make for some fun non-Hugo reading. (I don’t really have a problem with Baen. They’re sci-fi — yeah, maybe a bit conservative and gun fetishy at times, but they’ve also got some really good authors, like Lois McMaster Bujold and Eric Flint. PS: If you haven’t been reading Eric Flint’s take on the whole Hugo kerfluffle, you really ought to check it out.


RELATED WORK:

4 complete:

  • “The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF”, Ken Burnside
  • Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth, John C. Wright
  • “Why Science is Never Settled”, Tedd Roberts
  • Wisdom from My Internet, Michael Z. Williamson

1 extract:

  • Letters from Gardner, Lou Antonelli

My thoughts: “The Hot Equations” is represented by a complete copy of Riding the Red Horse, which I believe covers entries in Related, Short Story, and Editor Short Form. It also covers the lone fiction credit for ESR in the Campbell, although that’s not stated in the notes attached to the files. “Why Science is Never Settled” is PDF only, as is the extract from Letters from Gardner. I wish there were a way to get a digital copy of Letters From Gardner because I’d like to read it in its entirety and $18.50 is a little steep for my budget at the moment. That said, I know the publisher of the book does good quality stuff (I have a copy of their version of Who Killed Science Fiction? around here.)


GRAPHIC STORY
4 works represented:

  • Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal
  • Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery
  • Saga Volume 3
  • Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick

My thoughts: The press release from Sasquan hints that the missing nominee (Zombie Nation #2) may be coming to the packet at a later date. It was also the only one that the guy who owns my comic book shop had never heard of. These two thoughts may or may not be related.


DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG/SHORT
No representation

My thoughts: This isn’t unusual. The Hugos are not the Oscars, and digital video isn’t quite there yet.


EDITOR SHORT FORM
Contributions from all active members

My thoughts: This is one of two categories affected by late withdrawals, so there is nothing from Edmund R. Schubert. (Of course, he’s put out, independently, what he would have submitted, and I need to go through that.) Day is represented by the aforementioned Riding the Red Horse and the works of John C. Wright elsewhere on the ballot. Schmidt includes the anthology he co-edited with Brozek; Brozek includes another anthology that she edited. Resnick put a list of what he’s edited together.


EDITOR LONG FORM
Editorial bibliography from Anne Sowards, editorial bibliography and sample chapters from Sheila Gilbert, and a link to editorial bibliography by Toni Weisskopf.

My thoughts: Perhaps the most interesting thing here is this note included with the file: “Vox Day has no submission.” I’m sure there’s a reason for it, but it’s hard to judge somebody in this category without a nod towards what they’ve edited. Can Day truly say that he’s been No Awarded because of evil social justice warriors when he can’t even provide an editorial bibliography? I assume that because Weisskopf’s link is to Baen Books, that she edits all the long form stuff coming out of Baen — there’s no easy link on the site to tell. And whatever happened to Jim Minz? (And I thought he was Baen too…) Maybe this is stuff that will get sorted out.


PROFESSIONAL ARTIST
Four artists have sample work in this category.

My thoughts: I glanced through the sample artwork, and by and far, all of it is good stuff. I’ll do closer diligence when I hit this category. The missing artist is Carter Reid, the artist of the missing graphic novel above, so I will have to assume that his delayed submission will cover him here.


SEMIPROZINE
All candidates have sample work.

My thoughts: Nothing to write home about here. Abyss and Apex only has a PDF copy of their semiprozine, whereas the other four included epub and mobi copies, but that, as I have noted before, is a minor quibble.


FANZINE
Three candidates have sample work.

My thoughts: This is the second Hugo category affected by a late withdrawal, and thus only has four members in it. The missing candidate is Elitist Book Reviews. (Again, guys, don’t go blaming your loss on an SJW conspiracy when you don’t get stuff into the packet.)


FANCAST
All fancasts have a sample episode.

My thoughts: I’m not big on podcasts — I read much faster than I listen. But I’m going to give all five of these a try. I need to make sure they get on my phone. All episodes are in the mp3 format — of course, that’s generally the standard on the Internet.


FAN WRITER
All writers have sample work.

My thoughts: Everybody’s present here. Freer, Sanderson, and Green have work in multiple formats, whereas Johnson and Mixon have PDF only, but again, a minor quibble.


FAN ARTIST
All artists have sample work.

My thoughts: Foster, Schoenhuth, and Aalto have a URL to see more of their work elsewhere on the web, but all artists contributed something to the package itself. I flipped through the work in the packet and found much to admire. And I really need to bug both Brad and Steve for fanzine art…


CAMPBELL (not a hugo)
Three writers have submissions in this category.

My thoughts: English, Chu, and Cordova all have something in the packet. I haven’t looked closely to see what those things are. I think Chu is a novel, and Cordova had two items — both may be novels or they may be stories. I think English is primarily a short story author at the moment, but I could be mistaken. Although there is no note, I know Raymond’s only professional sale has been his story in Riding the Red Horse, which we have elsewhere in the packet. I have no idea what’s going on with Nelson.

***

…phew. That took some time to write up.

A sunset and an update.

A sunset and an update.

Hi, my name is katster and I like sunsets.

sunset
Sunset at the grocery store 1/9/2015

And an update on the situation in my last post.

I called the Giants and talked to somebody who’s part of the group who’s doing the trophy tour. She offered, if I could go to Vacaville on Tuesday, to make sure that I get to see them. She said they were surprised and overwhelmed by the response in Sacramento and that they’re thinking about bringing them back again so that more people get the chance to see them. As it was, they were there a few hours later than they planned even after they extended the time the trophies could be seen an extra hour. (Also that they’re thrilled to have the Rivercats, the local AAA team, as their shiny new Triple A affiliate.)

Jill can’t make it on Tuesday. I might go with her to Lodi in a month, but I’m thinking of going to Vacaville. The offer seems good. I’ll call on Monday and let her know that I think I’ll be there.

So, a happy ending for me, at least, even if it wasn’t for a lot of other people. Squeaky wheels get grease, I suppose.

Cutting it a bit close…

Cutting it a bit close…

Day two of this new year. Spent it fighting a headache all day, but I did manage to complete The Wolf Among Us on my xbox one and spend a bit of time messing with the theme on this blog. So far, none of them is quite right. I’ll get it figured out.

Also, Mom is home from the hospital. This is good news. There’s an oxygen machine in her room. This is the not so good news.

Tomorrow, I’m going to do the next thing on my list of things in regards to this blog. It’ll involve the picture function.

Two Ronan

Two Ronan

image

I admit I have an odd fascination with these silly bobbleheads. (As well as Guardians of the Galaxy,  but that’s another story…)

But here’s the odd thing.  The Ronan on the right,  with the full beard, isn’t on the mystery box. The Internet isn’t clearing it up either.  What’s going on here?

A little gift

A little gift

So…with some trepidation, I decided to participate in the Reddit Secret Santa.  Yes,  I lurk on Reddit.

A box from UPS showed up yesterday.  I didn’t really have the time to properly disassemble it,  although I did open it before I remembered about Secret Santa.  And thus…a proper unveiling.

image

It’s a box.  A very secret box.

image

Packing peanuts!  Best gift ever!

image

Wait…there might be a prize in this box of packing peanuts?

image

There is!  There is something here!  Let’s lift that bad boy out!

image

Two board games!  Awesome!

image

And a very nice note from Reddit user digitalsmeg.  I think I will enjoy this.  Any Sactown locals wanna have a board game night?

image

And… hmm. Many packing peanuts.  What can I do with these?

*scurries off to think of ways to use a packing peanut.  Or, clean up my mess.*

Thank you,  digitalsmeg. It was a wonderful gift.

This is Ebony.

image

She is a big part of why,
instead of some big introductory post, you get this.

Because right now,  I am tired,  worn through,  and otherwise about to crash out with a migraine. This is partially due to a certain cat deciding that nighttime is not for sleeping.

Hopefully,  I’ll be more coherent tomorrow.

I just applied for a job.

I just applied for a job.

Because everything is made better by having some long fancy code name, this is Operation Gd Jb Mo Pa. The name comes from a shorthand advertisement that read something like ‘f u cn rd ts u cn gt gd jb mo pa.’

Took a state exam. And now I put in my first job application to join one of the many tentacles of the company that controls Sacramento — the State of California.

Here’s to hoping.

Anybody want to be a reference?

I really suck at updating my blog

I really suck at updating my blog

I start with the best of intentions and I never quite manage to succeed. I need to devote more time in my life to things like my weblog but there’s always something getting in the way.

I need to devote time to finding a new job. The one I’ve got is nice, but it’s been nearly six and a half years and I’m still part-time, and I’m getting a sense that I’m not as important to the company as I would want to be at this point. This is not a good place to be.

Not to mention there’s a lot of personal issues that keep getting in my way. Most everybody reading this knows about the bipolar. I also live with my folks and that is…well, for a diplomatic word, challenging would seem to fit the bill.

So I’m trying to inspire myself to move. But…I’m still around. Sticking my head up for a moment to breathe.

Trying to figure out what to do with myself.

It’s a rough life.

He can’t fool me…

He can’t fool me…

So I was reading XKCD’s What If again, this time on the subject of T-Rex calories. Halfway through the article, one of the illustrations caught my fancy, and I jotted off a quick email to my friend Cal, who moved from Brooklyn to Minnesota in the last year:

To: Cal
From: me
Subject: The real reason you moved to MN…

Can’t fool me…

Never leave Cal any room, because he responded with this gem:

To: me
From: Cal
Subject: RE: The real reason you moved to MN…

Stupid hipsters:

Okay, it made me laugh.

And Cal adds this video as the source of his gif fu, which just had me cracking up — but you’re probably going to need to understand a bit of code to really find it funny.

Derp to the derp

Derp to the derp

So…I ran a script on my WordPress blog to take advantage of a feature (featured image).

It seems to have decided to edit everything in my LJ blog and put it back at the top of the friends list. This was not my intention.

The photos going missing is a consequence of running the script. They’re still safe at my blog!

(For all one of you who still read my LJ — hi !)

Night of Writing Dangerously Fundraiser

Night of Writing Dangerously Fundraiser

Fundraising Link

Every year, I do National Novel Writing Month. It’s become a bit of a tradition, to the point my mother just sighs and says, “You’re doing that November thing again, aren’t you?”

And as part of the fun, I raise money to attend the Night of Writing Dangerously. I’ve got enough money to go this year, so that’s cool. But thanks to the wonderful generosity of my co-workers, I have managed to get in the top five. I’d like to reclaim the #1 spot, but that’s $185 dollars away, and I’ve only got two days left, so I doubt it will happen. But second place, at this moment, is an easily achieved $20 away.

Also, the organization as a whole is about a thousand dollars off its donation goal. Every little bit helps! If you can help, please do so. If you can’t, pass the word on! Even a ten spot helps.

Your donation goes to help kids write! Please help.

Fundraising Link

Legos

Legos

This isn’t the best picture of them, but I decorate my cube with toys, and these are my Lego figurines. (And Luigi, and the toy car my coworkers found even they were dismantling a cube.)

Ebony

Ebony

I wrote 3000 words today. Have a picture of a cat.

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