Archive for December, 2009


Grab Bag of Observations

December 8, 2009

Stuff that I have no extended comments on. If you prefer your observations from someone younger or smarter, move along.

I’ve not found a reason to have anything to do with Facebook yet. Or Twitter. Is this post sort of like tweeting?

NCIS: Los Angeles is not nearly as good as regular NCIS. And what the heck is the deal with the Shadout Mapes?

CSI normal is way better than the other two. It’s much better now that Weddle and Thompson are on the show.

Al Gore is an idiot. Is there any reason why anyone should listen to this man? Even compared to the other climate nuts, he’s way over the top.

The problem with the climate stuff is that everyone manipulates data and opinion now…it’s all spin. There’s money to be made and control to be had, and so anyone with truth, or any kind of conclusions that might interfere with making that money and controlling others, must be supressed.

The Obama administration doesn’t care if the data supports global warming or doesn’t. It doesn’t care if the health care issue is handled in the best interest of Americans or not. It’s about control. That’s all you need to know.

This article from, of all things, Atlantic Monthly has some interesting observations. It suffers from lack of focus – the issue of infections in hospitals, I think, disrupts the focus of the article. And I don’t really agree with his recommendations. It does show that something is very wrong in health care, and we could do something about it. Still, it’s interesting.

Virgin Galactic is very cool. They are doing exactly what they said they would do, and with style. Wish I had the money ot fly with them.

You can’t make me believe British Columbia is Santa Barbara.

I spend most of my days with Windows XP. I still love my Macs. The best thing about OS X is the Quartz imaging engine; the display is simply better than any Windows machine I’ve seen. Yeah, I suppose Windows 7 will be better…sure. When Apple bought NeXT they got Steve Jobs and Display PostScript, and therefore Quartz. Smart.

I should be doing something constructive right now, like getting the lights on the Christmas tree. Especially since NCIS LA still isn’t very good.

Switching to Blu-ray was a good idea. I’ve been watching HD tv for so long now that I don’t notice the improved picture as much, but the audio separation is far better than it was with DVDs. Same Denon receiver, same Cambridge Soundworks speakers. Just a Panasonic Blu-ray player replacing the Denon DVD player, which was pretty damn good itself.

We’re still on the Sony tube TV we’ve had for five or six years. It’s the biggest tube Sony built, 42″.   It still does a good job of displaying 1080i. It’s pretty decent even compared to the new plasmas.


Something light for Friday

December 4, 2009

Who says entrepreneurship is dead?

And no, I won’t tell you where you can get it. That’s just wrong.


Derek Sivers gave away a $ 22 million company!

December 4, 2009

Derek Sivers, the founder of independent music distributor CDBaby, has a blog posting on how he gave the company away. You have to read it.

Derek was a senior guitarist in jazz band the year I came to Hinsdale Central from Ohio. That was 1985, and he had the 1980s guitarist look – big hair, red leather pants, etc. He went off to Berklee to learn to be a musician.

Apparently he’s learned to be a lot of things. He is truly an amazing guy. Read his blog posts. You’ll see!


Why no new posts of “The Righteous Stuff?”

December 3, 2009

Because I’ve been editing the final copy, that’s why. I found a few continuity errors and such that I’d like to correct along the way. If anyone out there wants to read the final draft before I send it off, let me know. (In comments here is fine.)

I’ve reached a point where I don’t know if it’s any good or not. It’s not as clever as Niven at his best, but I’m not as talky in the infodumps as Weber. My characters and dialogue are OK. In my book nobody writes better dialogue than Spider and Heinlein. Not close to them. RAH seemed to be able to just spin it out. It seems Spider must agonize over it more, since he writes much more slowly. My dialogue and characters are no worse than Bova’s, I think – and he sells books.

I think I’m reaching that point where a writer isn’t sure whether to send the thing off or burn it. I’ll send it off, but I’m in doubt mode right now. It was better when I was still writing it.

After this I think I’ll start the Michigan Enclave novel. It’s at least original. Maybe I can get it published more easily than this one that’s based on somebody else’s characters. I’m building a timeline for the Michigan book, which is a near-future world where Michigan separates from the US and nobody much cares – it was a drag on our socialist economy anyway – and it rebuilds itself as not only a much more libertarian state, but also a strong free-market economy. Eventually it helps drag the US out of its socialism…or not. I haven’t decided on that yet.


Bohemian Rhapsody

December 3, 2009

It’s a great tune, well-performed, and the original Queen video is OK especially for the time and technology. Here are two versions that show that out there on teh intertubes there are  (a) people with a great sense of humor and (b) way too much free time: