log (2005/11/18 to 2005/11/24)

Happy Thanksgiving! Or, given when I'm posting this, Happy Some Time After Thanksgiving!

We had the usual Thanksgiving Dinner That Couldn't Be Beat (the main hitch being that the little button that's supposed to automatically pop up when the bird is done cooking kept not popping up and not popping up even though I was pretty sure it was done, and so I got out the thermometer and stuck it here and there and since it always said at least 180°F we eventually decided that the button just wasn't doing the job and declared the bird done anyway).

I went and read all the previous log entries for previous Thanksgivings to see if there was anything recorded there that I ought to remember, and there wasn't really, so we just sort of faked it as usual and it worked out fine. (I did alter the chocolate pie recipe on the scrap of paper in the recipe box to put enormous arrows and underlines around the place that says to fully cool the crust before pouring in the filling, because I forgot that at least two years in a row, and so this year I finally didn't forget.)

Novel writing going strong!

End of Day Twenty-two: 39,259 (I did the easy goal)
End of Day Twenty-three: 41,547 (The daily 2K)
Currently: 44,182 (Woo woo!)
Tomorrow's goal: 46,000

The rest of the story sort of fell into place in the shower at the Club yesterday (was that just yesterday?), so I know pretty much what parts the rest is going to have, and how long each part will be. I'm not positive that the part I'm currently writing (the detour up the mountain) is really effective or narratively necessary, but this month one doesn't let that sort of consideration worry one. I think it's going to come out pretty good; maybe even good enough that some day I'll clean it up and make a non-trivial novella out of it or something. Or even a short story!

An want on rental motorcar
Cheslak aglow degrees
Re: To rain of democratise chatelaine
FW: did you relaly selp wtih her?
was ask to grumpy slobber
Is see an gatepost jumpy

I like that middlish one. "Did you relay kelp with her?"

And that's really about all I've got tonight. I'm Way Sleepy from the proverbial Tryptophan (Aesop's "The Snail and the Tryptophan"), and everyone's just sort of lazing around. I've been playing The Sims 2 a bit, but not to any real point, and I don't feel like posting any pictures or stories anywhere at the moment.

(The big Sims news is that Joan Danvers has graduated from college, leaving the house to her boyfriend Damion Cormier, and moved back to Rooms to Let. Damion turns out to be a lazy sloppy Romance dude, so I don't think Joan's interest in him is going to continue into adulthood. On the other hand, she and Peran are becoming very very interested in each other...)

Oooooh, sleepy. So anyway! Happy whatever (did you see the parade with all the enormous balloons and stuff? woo!), and pleasant dreams.

Watching my son at basketball practice last night (it still startles me that I have a son, that I am someone who has a son; I feel it most often when he's in motion, doing things, at basketball practice in the school gym or speeding past on his scooter on some back-street next to the bayhead in Maine, and I say to myself that boy there, that's my son); I wonder if he has any more idea what's going on than I did at that age in roughly that circumstance? He must, or he would never voluntarily have signed up for basketball; I certainly never did.

So when the coach says "now when you're playing down low and the center comes in, go to your corner", or "you see how he's going to the key, so you take it outside and look for the guard", does he actually know what that means?

Where would he have learned it? We can't have taught him, because we don't know. The other kids on his team, the ones that zip around the court making baskets while more or less upside-down in midair, they seem to pick it up from the atmosphere (or, I suspsect, from their fathers). Maybe he does too (from the atmosphere, that is; not from his father).

It's wonderful that he's decided that this is a thing that he's going to do, and he's doing it. I hope he doesn't mind that I'm clueless about it, that I don't go out to the driveway with him on weekends and show him how to tell when he's got a shot, and how to pass in one direction while looking in the other. (Because I haven't a clue.) Maybe that's an advantage for him; that this is a thing that is his and no one else in the family's, so he's himself and not any of the rest of us.

So odd, life.

End of Day Twenty: 37,115 (right on target)
End of Day Twenty-one: 38,170 (I set, and made, an easy goal)
Today's easy goal: 39,250
Today's harder goal: 40,000 (ooh!)

I looked back at the prior years, and it looks like I'm lagging behind where I was in 2001 and 2002, but I'm doing slightly better than I was in 2004. I'm also amused to see that I wrote in 2001:

All sorts of temptations occur, in fact (of course). Various sharp-eyed sexually aggressive female characters keep sending in their resumés, but we're keeping them in the in-basket for now.

And now in 2005 we have Mrs. Yolanda Melle, whose eyes are more smoky than sharp, but who is certainly sexually aggressive. Guess we forgot to watch for that temptation this year; ah, well.

More Sims stories keep appearing: here is the very short Shocking Nudity (in which Taylor is amazed to see that Candice is bathing naked), and the much longer Eleanor the Tycoon (which is mostly filling in the back-story on the way to Sally Raptor finally fulfilling her life's ambition, which hasn't quite happened yet but probably will soon). Also a brief note on the oddities of autonomous apologies in the game (where it seems to be the wronged party that generally apologizes; perhaps some deep message about human psychology there).

The usual spam engines have been sending the usual stuff, some of which is quite good; but I thought I'd note a few that are a bit different:

I'd procreate not sima irene
A begin my astringent resolution
Maddie Lathe your loan

The first one seems to be in Foreign; the second is just lovely (maybe if I generate another generation-zero Sim I'll name her Sima Irene); the third one just misses perfection (if that first word had been "I"); and the fourth is the first we've heard of Maddie Lathe in some time.

Some anti-Bayes in the body of a recent spam struck our eye:

the shearer, who will shear and not hurt me. them down with its weight, at once despoiling it of its beauty

which is I imagine a cut-up from some online text, but I couldn't find it at once. I especially like "the shearer, who will shear and not hurt me". Anyone recognize it? (Ah, wait, there it is in Aesop's "The Widow and the Sheep"; don't know why I didn't find it the first time. Not bad, but I like to imagine it embedded in something quieter and more profound.)

Waiting by the hill, I am the stream waiting for the storm that will fill me, the dry leaf waiting for the wind that will lift me, the sheep waiting for the shearer, who will shear and not hurt me. I am the end of the day, waiting for sleep, and the grateful mind waiting for the dark.

Something much better than that, of course. *8)

Last year around this time a reader wrote

In November, you should spend plenty time writing microfiction pieces. (And not worry about total word count either)

Well, I am worrying about word count at the moment. But I wonder if we could do something like NaNoWriMo for microfictions? Both "WoMiFi" and "WoMiFiWriMo" seem to be free (NaNoWriMo is stuck with "Na" for historical reasons, but no reason for us to repeat the error). What should the rules of World Microfiction Writing Month be? Not wordcount, obviously. And it doesn't take long to write comparatively uninspired microfictions. And should it be in November, so people could do both at once?

I'm thinking that the rule might be, say, to write one decent microfiction on at least twenty-five different days of the relevant month. Where "microfiction" means that if you show it to someone they say "whoa, that's really short!", and "decent" means decent (as in "not horribly bad", of course, rather than "fully clothed"). And we can use "WoMiFi" as del dot icio dot us and Flickr tags, and generally take over the world.

How does that sound?

To close with a couple of "links":

A pair of programmers who disassembled Sony's now infamous rootkit Digital Rights Management scheme, have found code that appears to have been plagiarized from VideoLAN, an open source media player distributed under the GNU General Public License. Worse, the code in question was written by "DVD" Jon Lech Johansen, author of a number of DRM-busting programs.

(I'm not sure that "worse" is entirely the right word there, but maybe that's just me.)

And from Fafblog (which I've been forgetting to read recently, so you'll have to go read it all yourself), a good piece on all this 'getting rid of haeas corpus' stuff that we've been worrying about lately.

Worry worry worry...

End of Day Fourteen: 27,422 (right on goal)
End of Day Fifteen: 30,058 (also)
End of Day Sixteen: 31,032 (slacking off)
End of Day Seventeen: 31,032 (oops)
End of Day Eighteen: 33,018 (better)
End of Day Nineteen: 35,015 (better)
Currently: 36,039 (okay)
Today's goal: 37,000

So we're by no means keeping On Track, but it's not at all inconceivable that we'll get to fifty thousand by the end of the month. We've been distracted by other things, and we've been lazy, and all like that. On the other hand the story is pretty well formed in our ("our"?) in my mind, and I think I'm going to like it when it's all done.

I saw a clip on teevee or somewhere of the guy who sings that "Tramps Like Us" song singing that "Tramps Like Us" song, and he sang "Tramps like us, baby we were born to run".

But, but!

Doesn't it go "Tramps like us, baby we was born to run"? That's how I always thought it went. Maybe I've switched universes again.

you write by exodus
let's meet hypothyroid
Re: She edwina others visigoth
Be put the sabbatarian telling

She, Edwina; others, visigoth.

Indirectly via NTK:

The Silent Day Project involves a group of individuals who are exploring the impact of their own voices on their world by voluntarily giving up all verbal communication for one day every month. With this blog, we will share our experiences, reflections, and discoveries.

And also

I want to protest the indifference, the poor design, the silent treatment, the battle shout fiasco, the shot cooldown fiasco, the massive list of unfixed bugs, our gigantic mess of a talent tree, yes I even want to protest Lacerate. I want to protest the sight of mages dismounting in our deadzone, casting frost nova and then resting a coffee cup on their "I Win" button.

Yeah, dontcha hate it when mages dismount in your deadzone and cast frost nova? Whooch!

Politics in pictures: Face America.

More politics:

Adel is innocent. The military people reached this conclusion, and they wrote it down on a memo, and then they classified the memo and Adel went from the hearing room back to his prison cell.

In case anyone still thinks that habeas corpus is in no danger, please pay more attention.

Mustn't entirely succumb to temptation and just vanish into the novel and the Sims. At least not until we've found a deity with some clue to watch the store for us while we're in there...