Monday, April 30, 2007

My Son, the Weed Pusher

Conversation between the daycare provider and Pickle Boy, the almost four year old, who has spent the last five minutes picking weeds.

Pickle Boy: Money for weed?

Daycare Provider: No, I don't want to buy your weed.

Explanation: Grandma pays him to pick weeds. Shouldn't everyone?

This probably isn't as funny as the relayed conversation sounded.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Stacie Needs...

I picked this up from another Stacy, but our needs are different.

The idea is to Google your name and "needs" to discover what the internet things you are lacking in your life. Post the top five.

  1. Stacie needs to let people know that the reason she is what she is is because of God and his help for her. (This is Stacie Orrico, who pops up all the time as a search keyword for my page. Who the heck is she?)
  2. Stacie needs her own forum!
  3. Stacie needs to be the perfect roll model.
  4. Stacie needs a new computer.
  5. Stacie needs to gain cycling confidence

When I checked the URL for any of those, it all feed back to a "Stacie Orrico" site.

Maybe I should check out who this chick is and why people are telling her what she needs.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

From the Editor's Point of View

Anna Genoese, formerly of Tor, now of Aleuromancy had this to say about editing.

You know, I don't think enough editors talk about how damn intimidating it is to edit. Forget about holding babies, whatever, etc. -- think about this: editing bestselling authors, authors whose work you've always loved, authors whose respect you want, authors whose books are so freaking good, authors you've been reading since you were a kid --

That is damn intimidating. Plus, it's rare that you even want to say to an author, "Hey, I've been reading your books since I was 12!" Plus, you know, you don't want to show any kind of chink in the editorial armor, right? You want to be a professional; there's a line between professional admiration and crazy fan behavior.

I completely understand how she feels. I enjoy reading other people's work, providing a critique, and discussing various plot points, twists, what have you. But everytime, I worry that the author will think that I'm being too harsh. Or that they won't understand what I mean. Or that I hurt their feelings. My own skin is reasonably tough, but not everyone appreciates my brand of honesty (in my writing life or in my working life.)

I was glad to find out that even the pros feel this way some days.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I have an undying love for Scrubs. On the Internet Movie Database (or you can get great information about the cast, crew, trivia, etc. I've compiled some quotes that I wish I heard, or could use, at my work place.

Elliot: Sir, my father cut me off...

Dr. Kelso: Dr. Reid, this is not Bring Your Problems to Work Day. This is just Work Day.

Dr. Cox: Let me introduce you to, A Man Who Doesn't Care.

Ted: And you know what else? I quit!

Dr. Kelso: No you don't!

Ted: Well I'm leaving early today!

Dr. Kelso: No, you're not! You're coming back to my office to do busy work!

Ted: Fine, but I'm getting a soda first!

Dr. Kelso: Whatever.

Chris Turk: Babe, you gotta understand. A guy will sleep with any woman he finds attractive, no matter how he feels about her. If Tyra Banks drove her car over my mom and then offered to have sex with me, I'd have to dial 9-1-1 in the nude because my pants would already be off!

Elliot: Well isn't that just the pickle on the giant crap sandwich that is my day.

Dr. Cox: They hate you Bob. They hate from the bottom of your hooves to the top of your pitchfork. They hate you. By God, they hate you good.

Dr. Kelso: [threateningly, to Nurse Roberts, who is chuckling] What is so funny?

Nurse Roberts: Oh just the hooves and pitchfork part. [much more threateningly] Why?

Dr. Kelso: [Frightened] Uh, no reason.

Julie Keaton: This drug is the best one on the market. The only side effects are nause, impotence and anal leakage.

Dr. Cox: And, I'm getting two out of three, just from having this conversation.

Dr. Kelso: Perry.

Dr. Cox: BeelzeBob.

Dr. Kelso: Hey, guess what has two thumbs and *still* doesn't give a crap? [Points at his face with his thumbs] Bob Kelso! I think we've met...

Ted: I feel I'd be more productive if my phone dialed out.

Carla: Christopher!

Chris Turk: Christopher? You only call me Christopher when you're mad or when we're having sex... Baby, are you mad when we're having sex?

Carla: Sometimes.

Dr. Kelso: Come here, Tom.

Ted: Actually, it's Ted. But hey, it's only been twelve years. (Wait I have heard this one!)

Fair warning, you can spend hours poking around in IMDb.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Back from Hiatus

I'm back this week, but man, does life ever slow down?

More later (I hope.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

On Hiatus

I'm super busy with the day job this week and blogging is going to be spotty, if at all. See you soon.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday Next in the Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

Summary: Thursday Next hides out in the Well of Lost Plots, while waiting for her baby to be born. While there, she forgets who's the father of the baby, thwarts another Hades and rescues BookWorld from horrors so great that any book lover will run.

Title: Thursday Next in The Well of Lost Plots

Author: Jasper Fforde

Genre: Fantasy

The Take-Away: You must read the series in order. That's all there is to it. Otherwise, you'll run the risk of spoiling certain plot elements. Just like this blog post might do for you.

I got way too wrapped up with the lives of fictional characters when their authors aren't around. Or when the story isn't published. Or why they seem so real when they only exist on paper. Jasper Fforde is fabulous at taking all of the things authors obsess over and making them seem real. Like we aren't crazy and that the characters do take over the plot.

Recommendation: Read 'em, but read them in order.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Skills Learned at my Day Job

I'm a data girl in real life, not the writer that I want to be. Yet. But I'll always be a reader. And a wanna be geek. Hence the chart above.

Double click for a larger image.

I got an "A+" in coloring when I was in kindergarten.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Terrier by Tamora Pierce

Summary: The residents of the Lower City are disappearing at an alarming rate (higher than normal, anyway.) Beka's magically abilities lead her Dogs to the culprits.

Title: Terrier

Author: Tamora Pierce

Genre: Fantasy

The Take-Away: Terrier is the first in the Beka Cooper series, but not the first title Pierce has set in Tortall. Pierce's site states that "her world is very different from that of the other Tortall books, the one of knights, palaces, and the nobility." I haven't read any of Pierce's other books, Tortall or not.

I like the mystery tjavascript:void(0) Publishhat engulfs Beka. The set-up as a flashback through journal entries before diving into Beka's actual story was a bit hoky for me, but I could pass that off as potentially intriguing to those that have read the other books. In other words, there's probably a tie-in that I didn't get.

My favorite part of the book was Beka's foil -- her neighbor and romance interest (I'm quite sorry that I'm avoiding his name. I've returned the book to the library and can't find it online.) He's as ambitious to do what's right in the underworld as Beka is to within the Provost's Guard and with her Dogs. It sounds hokey but even thiefs and ne'er do wells have a code of ethics in this series.

Recommendation: If you like a romp through a fantastic world, but not necessarily the straight path through, you'll enjoy Beka Cooper. Since Pierce's books are interconnected, I'm equally sure you'd enjoy delving into her titles if you enjoy related series. This is a grand place to start since it doesn't leave the reader feeling like you are missing something.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fair and Free Internet

I agree with Jason Kottke -- this is a great explanation of what Net Neutrality is and why it is important.

Newmark: Keep the Internet neutral, fair and free

Most Americans believe that if you play fair and work hard, you'll get ahead. But this notion is threatened by legislation passed Thursday night by the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow Internet service providers to play favorites among different Web sites.

Here's a real world example that shows how this would work. Let's say you call Joe's Pizza and the first thing you hear is a message saying you'll be connected in a minute or two, but if you want, you can be connected to Pizza Hut right away. That's not fair, right? You called Joe's and want some Joe's pizza. Well, that's how some telecommunications executives want the Internet to operate, with some Web sites easier to access than others. For them, this would be a money-making regime.

Full article.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter! Mommy and Daddy Lied to You

How was your Easter?

I'm interrupting the book review schedule for a topic of some concern. Please, bear with me.

We did the Easter baskets and egg hunt on Saturday evening. Since we weren't joining any major family gathering on Sunday, it made since for Ollie to go with his mom to her family gathering.

But we wanted to have the fun of Easter baskets and the egg hunt. My mom obliged us by admiring the fixed bed in the boys' room (the one that she had already seen) while the hubby and I stashed plastic eggs in the living room, set out the baskets and made sure everything was out of the reach of the puppies.

When everything was ready, my husband opened the front door and called out, "Thanks, Easter Bunny! See you next year!"

At which point the kids came tumbling down the steps to check out their goodies.

As much fun as it was to watch their excited little bodies race through the living room, I felt a twinge of guilt.

We lied to them. Not a white lie to make them feel better like a Mommy's kiss makes it better. Or a lie of omission when you don't tell them the real reason about why you can't go to Disney World (it's too effing expense, kid. It has nothing to do with how long of a drive it is.)

No, this is the blatant, bold face lie that is told for Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and any other depositor of free goods. I hate doing it.

I do it because of peer pressure. How crappy would it be for my kids not participate in the day after sharing with their buddies? To return to school/day care and confess that the Easter Bunny didn't bring them anything? Truly awful, I believe.

Yet, what does it do to the parent/child relationship when the child discovers that all of those presents have been purchased by Mom and Dad? What did it do to you?

I remember what it did to my eight year old brain. I remembered thinking that I couldn't trust my parents. If they were lying about that, what else did they lie about? I don't recall any specifics, but I remember questioning other "facts" my parents told me.

I might have been the oddly precocious child, to apply this truth to more than the relevant situation. Other circumstances probably affected it as well. My father had passed away that October; I don't recall whether the revelation about Santa Claus came before or after that. But I do remember that the truth undermined my trust.

To compound the matter yesterday, Ollie, the seven year old, asked, "So what did the Easter Bunny look like?" I anticipated this question and had an answer sort of ready. Well, I didn't but one came anyway.

"He's really tall, with black and white fur and wears a bowtie."


At least he'll have a really good story to share about the Easter Bunny when he goes back to school. Even if I feel guilty.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Superbowl XLI Prank

I love a good prank. is one of my favorite sites because of their small pranks and interesting anecdotes. The following prank both thrills and terrifies me.

The most ambitious prank in history.

We're always told to be afraid of terrorists broadcasting secret messages on national TV. I've always wondered: don't the terrorists have Yahoo Groups? Can't they just send out an Evite when it's time to stage an attack?

To promote the new ZUG book, PRANK THE MONKEY, we wanted to show how easy it would be to broadcast a secret terrorist message not just on national TV, but on TV's biggest event.

We hacked the Super Bowl.

During the second quarter of Super Bowl XLI, a team of elite, highly-trained pranksters quietly distributed 2,350 packets to the lower east section of Dolphin Stadium. These "Party Packs" contained a six-inch light-up necklace, along with official-looking instructions. By wearing the necklace lights during the halftime show, Super Bowl fans believed they would be spelling out the word "PRINCE."

The multi-page article goes on to explain that:

Super Bowl XLI was a Level One national security event, usually reserved for Presidential inaugurations. We had to get two full vanloads of materials through federal marshals, Homeland Security agents, police, police dogs, bomb squads, ATF personnel, robots, and a five-ton state-of-the-art X-ray crane. It took four months and a dozen people to pull off the prank that ended up fooling the world.

You really must read the whole article to understand that everyone did everything that they were supposed to...including the pranksters.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctrow

Summary: Living in Disney World isn't all it's cracked up to be when someone is trying to kill you.

Title: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Author: Cory Doctrow

Genre: Fantasy

The Take-Away: What if you could live forever without aging? What if the opponents to this plan were eliminated simply because they died and you didn't?

Cory Doctrow explores what happens when humankind is "perfect." Wuffie, or popularity, is important because that regulates your basic necessities, but work is only what you "want" to do, since you use it to increase your Wuffie. Sounds like high school, right?

And then there's the real drawback to this futuristic high school. To combat aging, a back of your memories and body can be made and uploaded into a clone whenever you want. No more illness or disease. If you get sick, just grow a new you. Changing your looks is easy too, including age lines, wrinkles, and bad joints. But what if something goes wrong with a back-up? Or you don't have the most recent one on file?

I can't say more without giving away a major plot point (and I might have said too much as it is) but it was this twist that I loved.

The other thing that I really liked was how Doctrow is managing his electronic rights. He has made an electronic copy available through A short segment is delivered to your inbox on a schedule you set-up. The next fragment is always a click a way.

Recommendation: I liked it, but it's not for everyone, I'm sure.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Chemistry Lesson

A bit different than I recall from high school, but that's been a while.

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Governmentium." Governmentium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311. These 311 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A minute amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete, when it would normally take less than a few seconds. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass".

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element which radiates just as much energy, since it has 1/2 as many peons but twice as many morons.

Of course I recall something to this nature, but remember it better in my Poli-Sci classes at college.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Bookworm Report, March 2007

Lovely that Spring is peeking her head around the corners. I'm a bit sore today from moving a friend this weekend. I didn't do as much as the men, so I pity them today.

What's on the list this time?

Bookworm Review
Year Pages Books
2001 5,047 20
2002 1,819 5
2003 562 2
2004 1,881 5
2005 3,634 11
2006 4,624 14
2007 5,511 16

For the year, I've read 38 books, or 12,456 pages, which averages to 13 books a month, or 4,152 pages per month, and an average book length of 328 pages.

I'm in a bit of a rut, now, I admit. What do you recommend I should have on my list?