log (2005/10/28 to 2005/11/03)

End of Day Two: 4,111
End of Day Three: 6,211
Tomorrow's goal: 8,300

Ripping right along! On the other hand I'm already starting to deplete my supply of coy self-references, meta-comments, and so forth. I should try to insert some more plot. (There's always aliens!)

On the other other hand, the whole idea of the WriMo is to experience complete narrative freedom, so I should also remember that I can do whatever I want. So the legitimate reason to stick in some more plot and cut down on the coy navel gazing is that the coy navel gazing is starting to annoy me, and plot might be fun. (Probably not aliens, though.)

Not much more tonight (I'm writing a novel, after all). Kennedy Cox has moved out of the Raptor home, and Sally's daughter Eleanor decided to go live with him for awhile (they're currently residing at the Bus Stop, but I'll probably find a house for them eventually), leaving Sally Raptor all by herself, just like when I first started playing, working seriously on her next ten lovers (much easier without a daughter around jealously guarding her Dad's nonexistent claims on Sally).

I've been reading a bit about this Alito dude. I distrust him because The Shrub chose him, of course, but I'm also really annoyed by the facile and simplistic attacks that some elements of the Left have been making on him. In the short run I can see why portraying him as an unqualified right-wing nutcase might seem politically virtuous, even though it's not true, but I hafta think that in the long run truth does the best.

Lots of interesting cases to read scattered around the Net. Here's his famous dissent in Casey that the left has been making much of. I find myself agreeing with most of the letter of this commentary; he really was just applying precendents set by Justice O'Connor. People (like me) who are sad that O'Connor is leaving can't blame him too much for that. He does spend a slightly disturbing amount of time on a calculation to the effect that not very many people would be burdened by the statute in question; it seems wrong to base a determination of "undue burden" on the number of people burdened, rather than on the degree to which each of those people (however few or numerous) is burdened.

But he also writes "Needless to say, the plight of any women, no matter how few, who may suffer physical abuse or other harm as a result of this provision is a matter of grave concern." But he notes that the statute has escape clauses that limit that harm. So it seems rather deceitful of the left to put on ads like the one I heard on the radio on the way home, where a woman talks about being required to get her estranged husband's permission to have an abortion back in the '60's; this statute requires only notification, not permission, and only if the woman believes that the husband is really the father of the child, doesn't pose a threat of bodily harm, and some other stuff.

I can certainly believe that the law in question might be a bad idea; but I have to agree with the people who are pointing out that it really isn't the job of the courts to strike down all the bad laws. They're only allowed to strike down the unconstitutional ones. For the ones that are merely bad, we have to do the hard work of getting them repealed in the usual way; we can't look to the courts to do it for us. (It'd be a dangerous habit to get into!)

Here's a page listing various Alito decisions, with very useful pointers to the actual texts. And again there seem to be distortions. If you read the text of the decision that the page glosses as "ALITO SUPPORTS UNAUTHORIZED STRIP SEARCHES", for instance, it turns out that the case hinged on exactly the question of whether or not the searches really were authorized. It came down to a question of which box you looked at on the search warrant form; Alito concluded that both the officers who applied for the warrant and the judge that granted it intended it to apply to everyone in the house, and it was just a paperwork error that resulted in the main box on the form not saying that. Hardly a ringing endorsement of unauthorized strip searches in general.

It seems likely to me that Alito is a smart guy and a skilled lawyer, with a good respect for precedent and the general structure of the Constitutional system. (As far as I can tell he's not even an "originalist" in the Scalia sense; he's called that sometimes, but I didn't find any actual evidence of it anywhere.)

The problems with him, like the problems with Scalia, are likely to be subtler than can be expressed in a ten-second sound bite (which is why I'm somewhat sympathetic to the not entirely accurate attack ads; if the only true argument is a subtle one, there's not time to give it). He may interpret precedent selectively in some cases, as Scalia interprets "original intent" selectively, and the selectiveness may sometimes run in directions I don't like. But he's certainly not a pure ideologue who just always rules on political grounds; or at least we read here:

More recently, Alito joined the 3rd Circuit majority in a 2000 opinion that struck down New Jersey's ban on late-term abortions as unconstitutional. Alito cited a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that O'Connor authored earlier that year requiring that these laws provide an exception for the health as well as the life of the woman. The New Jersey statute failed to provide such an exception.

So it's by no means impossible that I would regret having Alito on the court because of subtleties in his interpretation of precedent, and perhaps because of the new precedents that he might (or might not) set. But that's quite different than what The Usual Suspects are currently saying about him. And that annoys me.

(I suppose it's somewhat smug and Ivory Tower of me to hold out for Truth in the face of political effectiveness, but heck someone's got to do it.)

Sheesh, I said I wasn't going to write much, didn't I? Good night!

End of Day One: 2,037
Today's goal: 4,100

Yeah, no problem at all! Turns out it takes me almost exactly one hour to write two thousand words.

Or at least it did last night, when I had a few weeks' worth of ideas saved up, narf narf. We'll see if it gets harder. (I didn't use up all the ideas last night by any means, but I ended the day with fewer pending ideas than I started it with.) The novel-in-progress is here.

So. I am sitting here on my terrace, looking out down the hill, over a million (or a thousand, or a couple of hundred) rooftops, down toward the water. I'm on the third story of a four-story whitewashed house, tall and narrow and standing in a rank of other four, or five, or three story tall narrow whitewashed houses on a narrow street somewhere in the middle of the old town. The terrace is narrow, the railing is metal, and my chair is an old wood and wicker thing that creaks when I sit down in it, and is no more nor less comfortable than you would expect. The air smells of the sea, and if I raise my eyes up from all those rooftops there is the sea itself, stretching out forever and glinting theatrically in the sun.

(There is so much to tell you that I'm sure I'll quite wear you out with this letter. Enjoy it while you can; as the routine settles in and I've written all of the easy words you will be forced to live on the scraps of what I had for lunch, and whether or not it rained, and how slowly my book is coming!)

Extremely self-indulgent! (Moreso than the last three, even.) A young (probably) man (probably) in some lovely foreign city, on his own, theoretically writing a book, hanging about on terraces and smelling the sea. Well heck, if you can't escape into your own novel, why bother? *8)

And it's epistolary, so if I get bored I can always write a letter from someone else entirely to someone else entirely, about something else entirely, and then link them together somehow later in the month. Or not!

Fish-controlled tractor vehicle in the shape of a cross. Caterpillar moves in the same direction of a fish swim.

See also the rest of the product line. Link from j-walk.

Discovered on flickr: you can design your own valid U. S. Postage! Unless this is an unusually elaborate hoax.

So not only did I write my 2,000 words yesterday, I also got Marisa Zoom her lifetime want and got her son Hermes off to college (and her husband Ransom finished a novel of his own!), and I got significant work done at work. All energized and stuff!

(I noticed this the other month, and may even have logged it before: I was in some all-day meeting and struggling to stay awake (much less pay attention), and I finally broke down and started up Alpha Centauri, and found to my surprise that I was able to pay more attention to the meeting when I was building colony pods and discovering gravships at the same time. Quite odd. We really need to make psychology into a harder science. Under what circumstances do what kinds of tasks aid in, rather than hindering, the carrying out of what kinds of tasks? We should know that! It should be taught in middle school!)

Still haven't answered that porn screed; it may have to wait for December...

Awhile back I asked "What do you know?", and it turns out that you know various things:

Shy One
Mouth organ

Or at least you knew various things five and a half years ago. (We do get sort of behind in our reader input, don't we?)

Pity that "actuvex" was just a typo for "activex" (as it pretty much always is); it has a nice ring to it.

"For everything else, there's ActuVex."

One of these things is not like the others:

Re: Rhonda Baylis Really Works Very Good
Re: Szymon Mclain Boost up your life
Re: Berjouhi Jeffries Do you know what?
Re: Damaris Coppock Good for you
Re: Esmaralda Rothwell Good proposal
Re: Felicie Popovich Hi Again
RE: bellhop see viscera must
Re: Claribel Moffett Know what?
Get the most pleasure out of the Magnetic Dildos!
Re: Oluwaseun Warnke got to know
Re: Not say or picket
A count go blew
Re: A organise so imprint
An go to malapropism internationalism

Good old Felicie Popovich. "Pop", we used to call her. She always wore a beret.

Terms of Use Page o' the Day (has this one appeared on the usual lists yet, or do I get discovery credit?):

Hyperlinks: Unless you have a written agreement in effect with the NetCentric which states otherwise, you may only provide a hypertext link to this web site on another web site, provided that (a) the link must be a text-only link clearly marked "NetCentric home page"; (b) the link must "point" to the URL http://www.net-centric.com and not to other pages within the NetCentric web site...

Extra credit for the shame-quotes about "point".

Candice is now done with college, and living with Taylor in a very nice, if rather bare, house. Sims 2 playing (and perhaps weblog posting) may be sparse this month, as I'm apparently writing a novel. Although I haven't actually started yet. (How long does it take me to write two thousand words, I wonder?)

Ooh, do let's start the clock though, if only for nostalgia purposes!

Currently: 0
Today's goal: 2,000

No problem, there are still fourteen hours left in the day, and even if I spend say half of them working and two sleeping and two on eating and other overhead, that's still three hours to write. I'm sure I can write two thousand words in three hours!

No problem.

Oh look, it's this 'weblog' thing that I used to have! How droll!

Gorgeous Autumn day here. After lying around on the big bed eating bagels in the morning (after an extra hour of Fall Backward sleep), I went down to the lake and met some of the other Guys, and the four of us pulled in the float (or the floating dock, or whatever it's properly called), and helped Mike pull in his boat, and decided not to try to right and pull in Manny's boat that flipped over in that storm the other week today, but wait until Manny's back in town.

And it was clear and sunny and crisp and autumn-colored the whole time, with the air offhandedly wrapping us in sweetness and beauty for absolutely no additional charge, no strings attached.

And then I went to the grocery and now I'm sitting here writing in my weblog and working on my annual "how invaluable I am to the company and what a good investment my salary is" document, and M and the little boy are carving punkins in the back room, and the litte daughter is working on some homework that somehow piled up (while wearing her adorable Hallowe'en costume), and it's slowly getting darker outside.

All of which is very nice.

Shula Corry informs Bittor Helberg that "Abimbola Larabee you could need it". But, far outdoing that, Augustus Austin's message that "This is incredible" proves accurate, because it contains this:

be nosebag but piss not ultimatum but art , baseman and bernice , archibald see alia on supposition , chicagoan see longish it ethan it's man be britten be resign may haphazard it's pilgrimage may craftsmen on bloomington a weigh a batt on fasten Or maybe not

Or if we may add our own humble suggestions on spacing:

be nosebag but piss
  not ultimatum but art , baseman and bernice ,
archibald see alia on supposition ,
chicagoan see longish it ethan
it's man
  be britten
  be resign
may haphazard it's pilgrimage
may craftsmen on bloomington
a weigh
  a batt on fasten
Or maybe not

(I'm not sure that's actually an improvement.) But anyway pretty good stuff, eh? I like the first two lines the best, and the very end.

Not ultimatum but art, baseman, and Bernice.

Speaking of which it's nearly November again. Yow! I've reactivated my NanoWriMo account, and I have some vague ideas about how to make the novel this year different and interesting and doable. On the other hand I expect it to be a Really Busy November! Do I dare jump in there again?


MyKad! The Song!

I'm glad to see that three people have successfully logged into the website here; that's the spirit! Someday I'll actually have to do something with that. Or not.

Noticed on Daze, it appears that Lawrence v. Texas is, as hoped, contributing to the spread of sanity in the world. Yay, sanity!

Go read geegaw:

With work the hours vanish like smoke. It's nice to eat dinner at home, nice that it's autumn again, nice to have a snail, nice to be married.

Amen to that.

Re: Of say a inseminate
To read at palpate rosewood
Re: I borrow so torrid
Re: To spell he bibliography
Be comb of usurer no
on drive so trapdoor
For have go pedlar chauvinism
Go listen the tenon
As ask in synopsis sadhu
Re: Or fit at toad handpick
He cancel an escalope religious

Just a few little teeeeny Simsian things today: the Danvers twins socializing (hm, do I not have a local copy of that one?), Taylor Almassizadeh's college years, and No Age Discrimination (in which I employ my second cheat to help Marisa Bendett Zoom achieve her heart's desire).

And that's it for now. I wonder if there's still time to make an apple pie? I've never made an apple pie.