mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (slaine)
I have pictures of a Nebula Award nominee in cat-alien makeup and Starfleet combat gear.

Heh heh heh. Congratulations, [livejournal.com profile] time_shark!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Now that I'm digging the Daft Punk, everyone's been saying over and over that I needed to get the Alive 2007 album. Picked it up this weekend, finally listened to it with the speakers turned up on my morning commute. That's some fine commuting music, that is.

It looks like Starr won't be making it to Technicon Last; she can't get out of working that weekend. Her shifts are crazy - it's a regular thing for her to have five days off in a row, but somehow her scheduled weekend shifts always fall on convention dates. It annoys us both. She has more than enough PTO to cover it if she took off, but that requires a great deal of shift-trading, and for some reason few of her co-workers want to work extra weekend shifts. Can't imagine why.

I may have a very memorable con costume this year.

I like Twitter because it provides useful writing exercise in expressing onself succinctly. I shouldn't fret, though, if I miss a few dozen because I'm away from a 'Net connection. Most of the stuff I'll want to know shows up in LiveJournal, and LJ's much easier to keep up with. (Blogging of any kind forces me to keep in mind two good practices: try to avoid that cursed passive voice, and don't write a novel where a couple of paragraphs will get my point across better.)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (wasteland)
I'm curiously drawn to re-interpretations in modern fiction of the underpinnings of Christian theology, such as the one in the beginning of Tolkien's Silmarillion. Since I've enjoyed Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos novels, I picked up To Reign In Hell at a con or bookstore, and gave it a read.

Well, I tried to. Twice. The first couple of times, for some reason I couldn't get a sense of the characters or the premise. Last night, I took a deep breath, and tried a third time with much more focused attention, getting much farther into it. The attempt didn't work out...

Spoiler-laden discussion )

I still say the Taltos novels are pretty good, and maybe I'll pick up the next one in line, soon, as a palate cleanser. And the first sentence of this post sure is pleased with itself.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (passing)
Had a chance to sit down and think about my answers to [livejournal.com profile] gryphynkit, and so here they are:

(Rules thing first: to be interviewed, reply to my post asking me to interview you. I then reply to your post with five questions. You should post your answers and this meme on your LJ, because thinking up these questions is hard, daggonit.)

1. What is your favorite episode of anything?
I choose to parse that as "Pick something you really like, and talk about your favorite episode of it." My favorite episode of Classic Trek would have to be "The Doomsday Machine"; I loved episodes where we got to see other Starfleet vessels, making it seem less like Earth had only the one ship. There's some (very one-sided) space battle stuff, excellent lines from Kirk and Scotty in places, and that cool pounding 'space-predator' soundtrack. Absolutely grade-A stuff. The digital revision isn't bad at all, either.

2. Given the chance to meet *anyone*, real, unreal, living or not, who would your top 5 be?
1. If there's a Creator(s) of the Universe, with a form that I can perceive and understand, then I have quite a list of questions.
2. If there are friendly, advanced alien civilizations somewhere out there, than I'd like to meet a member: I have a list of questions.
3. I would like to meet a book publisher who thinks my science-fiction novel is awesome, and wants to give me a six-figure advance on the sales. (The fact that the novel doesn't yet exist in any coherent form is immaterial.)
4. I would very much like to have met Douglas Adams. We could talk about music and Mac stuff all day.
5. I want to meet the people on my Friends List that I never have in person. I generally friend people because I find them interesting, and most of the time, people turn out to be more so face-to-face.

3. What is the Question?
Who are you, and how do you plan to evolve into who you want to be?

4. What person/char/entity would you most like to be like?
Fictionally, I think I'd like to be somewhere between Buckaroo Banzai and the Doctor I mention below. Realistically, I'm pretty happy with who I am at base level, though there are a few qualities - mainly, ambition and drive - that I'd like to have more of.

5. Who is your favorite Doctor?
Oh, I've had my brief flings with Nine and Seven, but there's really no contest: the Fourth Doctor will always be tops in my book. Never afraid to take a stand, never at a loss, fiercely loyal to his companions, unafraid to take the most disastrous situations lightly. Some might say that he's less complex and ambiguous than his later incarnations, but that in itself is pretty interesting when one takes in his background and position.

Geek magic

Jan. 19th, 2009 11:55 pm
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (magical)
Harry Potter and the Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack

Hermione: Hey, I was thinking...

Ron: Not again!

Hermione: (ignoring him) None of us want to say You-Know-Who's name because he knows when you do it, right?

Harry: Yes, he's magically linked to the sound, it automatically draws his attention to you so he knows what you're saying about him. Why?

Hermione: Well, back home this summer I was reading about a website called Slashdot...

Ron: What's a 'web site'? Not more spiders, ugh!!

Harry & Hermione: (Ignoring him)

One week later...

"Daily Prophet" barker: EXTRA! EXTRA! Harry Potter gets entire wizarding world to say Voldemort's name at once! Dark Wizard found dead in lair with brain cells leaking out of his ears! Read All About It!

(inspired in part by the Luna-C performance at MarsCon of all seven books in 45 minutes, and by Starr)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (passing)
I've been sick for the last two days - sinus congestion, stabbing stomach pain, sore throat, fever... same old same old midwinter bug. Reluctantly, I took Tuesday off, which I think cut a couple days' duration off this bug; it's fading away as I sit here, leaving me with a scratchy throat and headache. I should be fine for the weekend; good thing too, as I had to do a bit of finagling to make MarsCon.

On the other hand, it means I'm woefully behind on my prep. I managed to get some studying in for the panels in which I'm involved, but my costuming took the hit, and I don't know if I'll have anything ready for the weekend. Since I'll be leaving directly from work tomorrow, I have to get packed and otherwise ready tonight. Good thing I managed some laundry.

Sometime Friday afternoon, I will have to find time to take a nap if I want to do late night stuff. This is unaviodalbe, as my internal clock these days is currently set to a 5:30am - 10:30pm waking shift, and cons don't run on that time. Considering that my Saturday panels hover around 10pm and midnight, I'll probably need to do the same that day as well.

I need to do some restructuring of my life schedule anyway. One reason for my dryness of prose output in 2008 was that I had not made much time to sit, off by myself, and actually write something - the most I've gotten done in that regard is hiding in people's offices scribbling on the Newton while monitoring their OS X Leopard installs. (Up to three hours of glorious undisturbed concentration!) It's easy to journal in 5-minute increments at work, but I have not yet mastered the art of focusing on plot and character in those tiny chunks.

On the other hand, I'm slightly pleased with my attitude towards the problem. I'm doing better these days with creating plans of attack for my roadblocks instead of just whining about them and using them for excuses. I'm decades overdue on developing this skill.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
Just had the odd experience of finding my fiction published on a web site of which I'd never before heard. It's the Decipher WARS fiction I wrote, and it has their copyright tag on it, so perhaps it's not 'my' fiction; but there's no dispute that I wrote it.

Looks like they've posted all the released WARS fiction, including both of my stories. I have my own copies, of course, but it's good to see them on the web. Hope they don't have to pull them down anytime :)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (speed+time)
My exciting New Year's: no party, no fancy dinner. I didn't feel well, so we stayed home to watch the ball drop on one of the excruciating network New Year's shows. We waited for the countdown to start... and waited... and waited... and looked at the clock to notice that it had somehow become 12:22. Yes, we fell asleep waiting for New Year's. Such a hardcore life we lead, eh?

I repeat what I said last year: if I'm planning to party or otherwise celebrate late into the evening, I'm at a point in life where an afternoon nap would be a wise preparation - especially if I'd gotten up at 5:30am that day to go to work.

Slept until almost noon on the 1st, because I'm still exhausted from last weekend. (Possibly from all of December.) Starr had to work, so after lunch I headed to Bert and Meche's, where they got a game of Munchkin Quest going. I'm glad they have it, because I want to play it again, but this time I don't have to buy a copy. It looks like an average game might well be 4-5 hours, though we had some non-gamer types at the board, which slowed things down a touch.

I'm tempted to say that my New Year's Resolution is "1280 x 1024, 32-bit color at 60hz". But in fact, the personal-improvement things I hope to accomplish this year are to keep trying to lose some spare tire, improve my education and my earning power, and do more non-journally writing. I'm especially unhappy with my writing output in 2008; I've stared at a lot of empty text files this year. That will be changing.

Happy New Year to all!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (mecha)
Four years after the OAV series concluded in Japan, I have finally found time to sit and watch through Macross Zero. For my part, I was disappointed in the show.

The CGI effects of the Valkyrie fighters made up a high point - the opening chapter demonstrates a drawn-out Fighter-to-Battloid transformation sequence that nearly made me drool. Sadly, the actual plot and characters brought me right back down. The series suffered from prequel-itis: I knew the Earth wouldn't be destroyed, because that job would fall to the Zentraedi in four years. For the same reason, I knew that Roy Focker wouldn't be killed in combat, making his dogfight duels mildly tedious.

A repeated subplot is the preservation of the ancient ways of the island people, which again felt moot with the coming holocaust; and the bad guys only received the personalities of one-dimensional psychopaths. I expect better than that in anime. One of them had the nerve to try a sympathy ploy on the audience minutes after napalming a village of non-combatant islanders. I just wanted them to hurry up and get killed in combat so we could get back to the real plot.

Oh, and late in the series, there's the standard anime "I have taken it upon myself to decide that humanity has reached a dead end so I shall cause their destruction in order to pave the way for the next rulers of the Earth" scientist. Isn't that one on TV Tropes yet? Boring. Lame. Move on.

Still, I feel more "caught up" on the Macross mythology now, so I'm ready to hit Macross Frontier next. As always, your mileage may vary.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (mecha)
I just found the Megazone 23 3-disc DVD set on Barnes and Noble. These movies influenced my imagination strongly, and I set one of the strongest pieces of fanfic I've written aboard a similar Megazone.

I got to tell you, though, this Christmas my reptilian "want" reflex is a little muted by the recent move. I can't forget that everything I might buy, or receive as a gift, is something I may have to pack up and move in a box someday. Right now, I'm not thrilled at the prospect; who knows, perhaps my distaste will fade over coming months.

On the other hand, I still do have a B&N card from my birthday... and a couple hardcovers or a DVD set don't take up all that much space... right? Right?

Yeah. I think I'll wait until after the holidays and see if I still want it then :)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (passing)
A little thing I am thankful for: My Subterranean Press hardcover omnibus of The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox arrived this week. I can exchange two softcovers in my library now for a single hardcover, and perhaps not lose it this time (I've already lost one paperback of Bridge of Birds and one of Eight Skilled Gentlemen). It's quite a shame that Hughart won't be writing any more of them, but as he says on the flyleaf, he could feel "formula" creeping up on the tales, and that would be a worse shame.

If only certain other authors had stopped while they were still ahead of their own creation. On the other hand, a check with enough zeros on the right can be a powerful incentive to any writer...

Becalmed

Sep. 30th, 2008 08:43 am
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
In a perfect world, I would have an e-book or three loaded on the Newton right now, or have an iPhone with web access. Instead, I am sitting on Rt. 664, as I have for the last hour, waiting for them to clear a major accident from the Monitor-Merrimac tunnel. The good news is that I've got a nice calming trance podcast on the iPod.

I tried first to write some notes for fiction projects, but while a thought or two leaked through, I'm generally blocked; so I am journaling on this Apple notepad instead. I need to scrawl less sloppily; the handwriting recognition on the final OS rev was pretty good, but there's only so much of my bad penmanship it can take. Lowercase 'f's keep coming out capital, for some reason. I'm adding more curve to the tops.

Car behind me just stalled out, guy asked for a jump start. No problem. Asked three times which terminals he had the jumper clamps on... after impressive display of sparks from my battery terminal, went and checked myself. Reversed them. Thank goodness that didn't kill the Hyundai.

Just remembered I could send email from my work Blackberry; updated everyone there on my status. It seems I'm not the only NASA employee trapped here. I wonder if the accident was mechanical failure, or one or more people being idiots? I've been cut off twice in the last 24 hours by rude drivers trying for a single-car position advantage; Hampton Roads drivers can be brutal. On the other hand, I certainly hope no one was seriously hurt... as the cliche goes, "been there, done that".

Whoops. We're moving. Will post this from work.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
Most weeks I wait impatiently for my Kingdom of Loathing turns to build up to a useful level. This week, I've been sitting at the max of 200 turns for days, but I don't have time to mess with it. I guess it's a sign I'm using my time well... KoL isn't exactly productive... but on the other hand, you can't be productive all the time. Makes Jack a dull boy, you know.

On that note, I am going to watch a movie this weekend. Either in the theater, or from my list of DVDs to watch or re-watch. I don't remember sitting through an entire movie since we watched "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" together.

Large Hadron Collider webcam.

One of the two 400MHz CRT iMacs that have been sitting in my office gathering dust since I left Decipher has found a good home - it's in the possession of Starr's youngest sister. She'll probably want to give it an external FireWire HD and/or a memory upgrade before long, it's only got a 10GB drive and 256MB of memory. But it'll do Word and Photoshop and play DVDs, and she seems thrilled with it, so happiness all around. I need to find some old games to pass along that don't involve serious mayhem.

Speaking of productivity, I am attempting to do something personally productive at least once a day. Either spend at least an hour on a personal project, or sit and write something with some thought in it (thus the recent outbreak of philosophising every week or so in my LJ). It doesn't come easy: I am a slacker and procrastinator. But time moves with or without me, and I'm not going to be left behind.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (speed+time)
How insane have the last two days been? Well, I feel naked without my wristwatch, and I almost never go out in public without it. Sunday, I took it off and set it down for some reason - probably related to cleaning the apartment - and I don't know where. But, since Sunday, I just plain haven't had time to look for it. I keep looking at the pale band of skin on my wrist, and wishing I could scratch the mental itch of my watch's absence, but it'll have to wait!

On the other hand, my efforts from yesterday have not escaped notice. In the morning meeting, I heard phrases like, "Michael's documentation sets a gold standard that we'd like to see our other documentation reflect."

Now, focusing on one thing for that length of time is a real strain for me. I left work yesterday rather loopy, the last couple of pages do have some interesting typos, and my brain felt like I'd just tried out for preliminary Psionic Combat training. But the results seem to have been worth it!

Ex Libris

Jun. 30th, 2008 08:27 am
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rainbow)
I think the book meme is evolving - I could swear that this is a different list than I saw earlier this week.

Bold those books you have read.
Italicize those books you intend to read.
Underline those books you love.

Post the list in your own LJ. Behind a cut for good manners. )

26 of 'em, not too bad from what I hear.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
Meme from [livejournal.com profile] lemonlye:

When you read this, quote Doctor Who in your LiveJournal.

The Doctor: I don't suppose you've completely ignored my instructions and secretly prepared any Nitro-9, have you?
Ace: What if I had?
The Doctor: And naturally, you wouldn't do anything so insanely dangerous as to carry it around with you, would you?
Ace: Of course not. I'm a good girl and do what I'm told.
The Doctor: Excellent. Blow up that vehicle.

- "Silver Nemesis"

(I resisted the urge to quote my own fanfic. Aren't I well-behaved?)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (simpson)
As I listened to The Thomas Jefferson Hour yesterday, the following thought crossed my mind:

Imagine that suddenly, you're motivated to thoroughly research a famous historical figure, and present a weekly podcast in character as that person. You have to play it straight - no parodies or sitcoms. Who do you choose?
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (daicon-girl)
The other day, I finally broke out my subtitled, un-cut copy of My Youth In Arcadia. I've owned the cut, dubbed release for a long time, to the point that I know the script pretty well, and I looked forward to seeing what had been removed from the original.

I only made it to the end of the World War II sequence, but I was still pretty surprised. While this version is clearly a slightly better translation, so far the only new material I've seen is the World War I-era prologue. Plot points that I'd assumed would be better explained in an uncut version remain murky.

Of course, this is a common condition with anime films, which have a habit of stringing together cool sequences with a minimum of narrative linkage, and letting the viewers fill in the gaps from their own imaginations. I'm not saying that it's an invalid technique - there are some American SF / Fantasy movies that would have been better had they explained less - but I was hoping for more.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
"Midnight": the most excruciatingly painful 43 minutes of Doctor Who I can remember watching.

I'll be kinder to the science flubs from now on. This episode had no science issues, no overt plot stupidity, no unreasonable characterizations, no bad acting... and yet I can assure you I'll never watch it again if I can help it.

The episode is a cheap "bottle" show, intended to save money (I'm sure) for the Library two-parter and what I suspect will be another three-part finale. One set, and few actors: a futuristic tour bus with a small group of tourists aboard. The episode may have been a bargain for the writing budget as well, because very little happens.

Spoilers ) Sorry for all the vitriol, but I've had a pretty nice weekend, and I needed to get that out of my system as quickly as possible :)
mikailborg: Chris drew this picture of my first Starfleet character for a newsletter cover, years ago. (kriet)
My old Trek fanfic character, the one in this usericon, started as Chief Navigator on the USS Heimdal, and eventually worked his way up the ranks to Captain of the USS Yeager. "Grin'elle Kriet" was half-human, half-alien, and spent most of his Starfleet career as a Chief Engineer.

Grin's dark secret? He was also an exiled quasi-Time Lord from the Doctor Who universe. (The concept worked better in the fic than it does in this paragraph.) He and I haven't spoken as author and character for many years; I wrapped up all the important bits of his story arc back in the Nineties. Grin helped me begin working out some personal issues, for which I'll always appreciate him.

Without warning, Grin'elle woke up last night, after I'd wrapped up watching "Forest of the Dead". The conversation, expanded into English sentences, went something like this:

Hey... hey, I just heard something I don't know if I believe. Are all the Time Lords dead? Is Gallifrey gone?

"What? Oh... er, yes, apparently so. They were all destroyed in a Time War with the Daleks... The Doctor was the only survivor. Except a few Daleks, and the Master. But he's dead now too, as near as we can tell."

Holy... are you kidding? I lived there for decades... I had roots there.

"You hated them. They were embarrassed by you."

Not all of them.

"You left their universe, left it for good. Heck, you've set up shop in a third one for the time being."

I know. They show Who here. Just like Trek, I make sure never to catch an episode.

"So, what do you care?"

... I'm not really sure. I'll have to get back to you on that.

... and then he was gone, and I was left wondering where the hell all that had come from.

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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
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