Monthly Archives: March 2009

I was feeling mentally cruddy yesterday and dispelled it by lots of relaxing EverQuest, a good bit of reading, and getting laundry done. I really should make an effort to get Obscure Music Monday posts done on the weekend, but I never do. I’ve inadvertently posted Obscure Movie entries during mouths with five Mondays.

Time to get to work on actual work. We have an early disc game tonight, and I’ll have some not-actual-work to do later.

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Cable Industry Starts to Regret Putting Free Shows Online – NYTimes.com
Interesting that the headline is different between what was sent to Deepest Sender (the headline above) and what is at the to of the article: “Some Online Shows Could Go Subscription-Only.” It was the latter version of the headline that caught my attention. I took it to mean that shows would be offered through an online subscription model. Alas, no.

He said NBC Universal was testing technology to identify Time Warner Cable subscribers online, and is also talking to Comcast, Cox and other providers about similar moves.

It seems that I would still have to be a cable subscriber. Which means I’d still be paying a bunch of money for services that I do not use and am not interested in.

Also, I guess online views aren’t iincluded in ratings:

The ratings for some programs, like “Lost” on ABC, would rise as much as 25 percent if online views were included, according to the ratings service Nielsen.

Tor.com / Science fiction and fantasy / Blog posts / Tor announces The Gathering Storm, Book Twelve of Robert Jordan’s legendary Wheel of Time® fantasy series:

Tor Books is proud to announce the November 3rd, 2009 on-sale date for The Gathering Storm, Book Twelve of The Wheel of Time and the first of three volumes that will make up A Memory of Light, the stunning conclusion to Robert Jordan’s beloved and bestselling fantasy series.

It does seem fitting that the final book of the Wheel of Time should be a trilogy.

Netflix Is the New Relationship Battleground – NYTimes.com:

“It comes down to who gets the queue,” said Michelle Newton, 37, a homemaker and mother in Leland, N.C.

A few nights ago, I put in Run, Fatboy, Run.

“This is a chick flick,” Eric stated about twenty minutes in, and while I have a soft spot for Simon Pegg and British humor, Eric is less of a fan.

“That’s cool,” I said. “Switch it off. I’ll watch it later.”
(He did and I did. In the end, I found Run, Fatboy, Run to be fairly funny and not quite the usual chick flick.)

“One of these days, I’m going to request a movie you don’t like,” he said.

“That’s going to be tough. Anything I don’t like, you *really* don’t like.”

Of course, a couple days later, I shared the Netflix password so Eric could use the Watch Instantly feature.  I’m not worried about queue tampering as much as admitting to all the junk-movies I consume.

Smell like Spider-Man as Marvel debuts cosmetics (and more) for women | SCI FI Wire

This is like creating and marketing a substantial line of scrapbooking supplies featuring beer, sports iconography, and scantily clad women to take advantage of the ‘untapped’ male scrapbooking market.  I realize there’s an adult girl-geek market for this sort of stuff, but it’s a niche market. Overall, the number of girls and women that are interested in bobble-headed superhero t-shirts is pretty small, and won’t be substantially increased by the offering of said bobble-head superhero Ts. It seems that there are things that get treated as untapped markets when they are simply small markets to begin with.
 

Personal Best – Caffeine – A Legal Performance Booster – NYTimes.com:

“Athletes do not get dehydrated from caffeine,” he added, “contrary to popular myth.”

And caffeine does increase the heart rate and blood pressure in people who are not regular uses. “But after three or four days, that potentially negative effect is gone,” Dr. Tarnopolsky said.

Alas, two hours after waking, I am already in the land of diminishing returns.

I was in a reading mood yesterday. I’m back to a rather tricky scene in Fuel Eaters and I needed to give my mind a little while to mull it. In an effort to not make that a complete excuse for not getting much done yesterday, I need to kick some ass on it today.

Reading from yesterday:
How Humor Makes You Friendlier, Sexier: Scientific American
During the last couple of days, Scientific American’s headlines have bugged me. They seem more lurid and sensational than usual. Take this one for instance. The article is mostly about laughter and humor being used in analgesic ways. The friendlier/sexier part gets a passing mention in five pages.

Kids with ADHD May Learn Better by Fidgeting – TIME
How Not to Get Misled by Health Statistics – TIME
And then there’s the only vaguely related See Also links within TIME articles. Maybe I’m just being a grouch.

Blockbuster and TiVo Join To Deliver Digital Movies – NYTimes.com
TV, films boldly go down scientific path – USATODAY.com
Hays Code – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ian McKellen: The Player – TIME
A stitch in time saves nine

Yesterday was cold (for March in AZ) and windy without the chance of rain. My least favorite weather, and I was feeling…not spiffy. I got a fair amount of work done, but would have been perfectly content to remain at my desk. I was not up for a challenging game of ultimate.

We played our second crossover game against Nate’s Mark of Zorro, an upper half Wednesday team. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would the wind help us or sink us? Would a Wednesday team with a better record lay a smack down on us, or would the Weds team playing on their off night be so short handed it would be like playing half a team? The reality was none of those things. During a couple points, the wind was a factor, but both teams generally handled it well. We’re pretty good against zone and Zorro didn’t throw it often. Zorro was missing Tom, which would have changed the dynamic somewhat, but otherwise seemed intact. We started out with a full squad, but Melanie was feeling poorly and left after a few points. In the end, the score was 12-11, Zorro winning in hard cap.

I must say, Zorro probably has the strongest group of female players I’ve come up against this season. Granted I wasn’t feeling great, but chasing them around the field was rough. I limited my efforts on offense and stuck mostly to D. Overall, my memory of the game is blurry. More so than usual.

I overslept this morning and didn’t get up until nearly 9:30.  Apparently, my body needed the rest.

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A List Apart: Articles: The Elegance of Imperfection
Nanoparticles in Sunscreen Damage Microbes: Scientific American

Academic Earth – Video lectures from the world’s top scholars
Haven’t had a chance to check this out yet, but it seems interesting.

Vital Signs – Online Calculator Gives Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – NYTimes.com
QDScore web calculator
Algorithms make simplifying complex problems seem more valid and scientific. This does not make them necessarily helpful.

Listening to:
KMFDM on MySpace Music – Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads
It’s been a while since I’ve really liked a KMFDM album. It will be a while longer.

Occasionally, I have days when nothing particularly matters. I don’t get any work done. During those kinds of days, I know I will regret getting nothing done. This doesn’t spur me into action. I don’t even spend my time doing something I shouldn’t, like playing EQ or dabbling with web pages. I do nothing. For long stretches. Sometimes, I drink during these bouts. Thursday and Friday were those kinds of days.

I could have worked Saturday and Sunday, but I didn’t. I feel less guilty for that. I would have resented it.

Today, I could spend time feeling like a heel for wasting so much of my time last week. That wouldn’t do me any good. Instead, I’ll get back to what I should be doing. And try to do *that* for as long as possible.

Recent reading:
Scene Stealer – Who Threw the DVD From the Train? – NYTimes.com
Op-Ed Contributor – Reading Test Dummies – NYTimes.com
snopes.com: M*A*S*H: Col. Henry Blake’s Death

Listened to:
NIN|JA 2009
Must say, I wouldn’t mind going to this concert.

Occasionally, I get too excited by ultimate. It happens when games are close and the play is good on both sides of the disc. Last night’s game was one of those.

We played a cross-over game on our off-night. All the Wednesday teams have pretty strong rosters, and our opponents, The Champagne Room All-Stars, were no exception. The number of handlers on their team is staggering. After listing off about three or four player that generally considered top handlers, we’d suddenly remember that they also have two more that we forgot about. That they haven’t won games is a mystery to me. (Can the rest of Wednesday teams be that stiflingly good?)

We scored first and traded points until 8-8. Before that, there were probably only a handful of turnovers. We managed a defensive point to bring it to 10-8 and then play became mildly more messy. We brought the score up to 14-10, figuring it was just a matter of putting it away when the All-Stars had a three-point run, taking us to hard cap. We won, but that last point had a close call on a turnover. It was just really good play by everyone involved.

It’s especially good to see our newer players doing some good things. Notably, Joe and Brent had some great bail-out catches, and Nicole managed to get out of a trap-zone situation by doing the thing that is usually over-looked: turning her attention back up-field.

It should be noted that the last time I was this excited by ultimate was last spring. The difference? Last spring, my excitement was limited to in-game because while the play was close, it rarely went our way. The line between giddy win and frustrating lost is very, very thin.

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After talking to Eric about a few Fuel Eaters issues, I’ve started over with rewrites. I got through the first nine chapters on the first pass, but the things that need to be changed in those chapters is piling up and will affect later chapters. This is just how things go.

Research yesterday:
Camouflage – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  Tangent:
  Dazzle camouflage – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  Safety orange – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  I had never heard of it being called Omaha orange before. I could not find a reason for this nomenclature.
Military camouflage – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia isn’t providing the information I’d like. Time to flex the research muscles.

SyFy & Spring Break Ends

All over my corner of geek-dom this morning:
Advertising – Sci Fi Channel Has a New Name – Now, It’s Syfy – NYTimes.com

“If you ask people their default perceptions of Sci Fi, they list space, aliens and the future,” he added. “That didn’t capture the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes.”

Well, I suppose this is the case if you ask someone who is utterly ignorant of the genre. The people who are watching the Sci Fi Channel already understand that sci-fi encompasses a wide range of things. There are two questions then:

1.) Will the name change entice viewers who aren’t “the fan-boys and -girls who love the genre”?
I doubt it. The channel is a niche. It has a certain viewership.

2.) Will changing the name drive off “the fan-boys and -girls who love the genre”?
As much as we will ridicule ‘SyFy’ for how dumb it is, we don’t have many options. Whatever the name, it is still going to have some good shows sprinkled in with the horrid monster movies. It will still be included in cable packages. And it’s not like we haven’t ridiculed the Sci Fi Channel before.

Still. Sci Fi Channel *is* a brand. As “generic” as the term sci-fi is (in that many things other than a TV channel can be labeled sci-fi), it’s a little like Coca-Cola changing its name because many people call any soft drink Coke and the cola connotation doesn’t reflect the wide range of products being produced by Coca-Cola Co.

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Back to non-spring break routine today. Hopefully. I woke up feeling pretty poorly due to a migraine that set in just before I went to sleep last night (and the hastily chewed Tylenol that when in on an empty stomach), but I’m feeling much better now. I’m going to spend the next two weeks making a run at NaNoEdMo. I figured doing the galley corrections on Lucinda last week probably wouldn’t count since it’s a different project from the first three hours I logged. I haven’t gotten feedback from Eric on the last set of changes I did to Fuel Eaters, but moving ahead probably isn’t a bad thing. Actually, I don’t quite remember where I left off. Hmm…

I must say, I did have a nice Thursday at the mall last week. Not only did I get a ton of work done, I had very tasty carrot cake from Paradise Bakery and a Smithwick’s at D’Arcy McGee’s. Regarding the Smithwick’s, very much like Killian’s though a little more mellow. Honestly, I can’t justify the taste with the price.