strange_aeons: (snow)
It turns out it's incredibly hard to turn this into a comfortable-to-read webpage, so I have done the unthinkable: I have gone back on a color scheme. Further tweaking may follow, such as when I decide I hate this khaki-green color. I can feel it approaching. I still think the original is a better piece of art, but it's not suited for what I wanted to do with it (I hated the grey-cyan colors I was coming up with for the background of the text area even more than I'm eventually going to hate the current colors, orange would have been worse and a greyscale color would have been Just Wrong).

Also, I've gotten a paid account; you may see some strange things in the comments sections of my posts (and my friendspage, those of you who look at it) until I've finished adjusting the CSS.

[ profile] ibnfirnas, [ profile] aquaeri, Graydon: Thank you for the suggestions; I have much processing to do before I can say more on the subject. I have solved a couple of tangentially related problems in the WIP in the ... incredibly short week since my last post:

1. The action takes place not on Earth, or another planet per se, but on the moon of a gas giant with a ring system that pelts the moon with stuff, either constantly or seasonally. I knew there was a perpetual, stuff-throwing lightshow in the sky, so this ties things up neatly. Its inhabitants may call the moon Earth; I know that they call the planet in the sky Heaven and that it is of substantial religious significance. (If it has other moons they will be of significance also, but I haven't worked out the details.) I will be employing a lot of English in this thing, in part because I finally realized what a chore making up words is -- which is a strange thing for a conlanger to say, but you don't come here for the sense. This probably means that I'm going to spend a lot of time finding out things like what the tides are like on the moon of a gas giant, which is never going to be relevant because I expect all the action to happen well inland.

2. Wakefield is not an adopted name. Members of population D have ethnically British surnames (and don't look particularly ethnically British). Bs have probably-French names and I am vacillating between Norse and Japanese names for population C. The latter suggests (but does not mandate, see above about population D not looking British) the nearly irresistable working title A World Without Blonds. The roadsigns are printed in population D's language; they were a major power until population A changed the laws of physics, declared them heretics, crushed them, conquered what remained of their cities one by one, and repurposed their mages'-anthills.

There is another can of worms here, but, well, I'm opening it. Wakefield will be changing the laws of physics back. (Somehow.) Population D's mageocracy was founded on the denial of free will to things (the stuff that falls from the sky) that have the potential for it but, at the time that the decision to deny them free will is made, do not have it and are unlikely to develop it without someone deciding to give it to them. The official population A line is that this is slavery and evil and this is why D had to go: everything that can have free will must. I don't know whether they're right; I don't know whether it's possible for me to determine whether they're right; there's no analagous situation in the real world. If I had to point to a group of bad guys in the setting it would be population A, and they secretly violate their own rules all the time (in fact their numbers would be much smaller if they didn't, and the expansion of their empire would be much slower), but that doesn't necessarily make them wrong. I've known from the start that I was going to have to deal with this issue, but this circular thing where the person who makes a D-style mageocracy possible again is a member of D who has been working for members of A most of his life I did not expect. Because I am kind of dim; now that it's come to me it seems like, if anything, an incredibly predictable route to take.

The commodity-as-person-as-commodity themes here were the final nail in the coffin of Life on Earth, which also concerned itself with the subject in a less morally ambiguous way. I find this sad, and also worrisome.

Cut for length and very nominal spoilers for some of the work of Warren Ellis and Tim Powers. )
strange_aeons: (meh)
I have a cold. Again. I've had something like half a million colds in the last year, where previously I've gotten them at a rate of about two per year. (This is probably a stress thing. That, and having a desk inches away from a woman I have dubbed Patient Zero.) I hoped I was done a couple of months ago when I caught the same plague that was laying waste to everyone on reality television at the time, and spent a week essentially dead. No such luck. God, my head.

Time to talk about race!

Not how you're thinking. Maybe next time. )

Aside: I just saw that ad for the asthma controller that contains salmeterol and therefore 'may cause asthma-related death' again. There's a joke about the FDA and 'lethal quantities of irony' in there that I can't formulate. I blame the illness.
strange_aeons: (steamy)
I didn't realize until I went and looked at it that my last post was 4.43 years ago. (Okay, I didn't realize that until I looked at it and did some math.) For the curious, major developments during that time, not necessarily in chronological order:

New dog. New, better iteration of old relationship. New computer. New apartment in new city. New job. New apartment for real this time. Dreadlocks. Flat-panel. TiVo. Promotion. New name. New computer again. New work in progress.

The new WIP is what brings me back. I write best when I have people I can talk to about writing; I have that in spades, but I don't want to monopolize every conversation I have with them. My old stomping ground rasfc is replete with fail¹, so while I figured I was going to come back to the journal, I'm back sooner than I expected.

I have no content right now. I've have one sentence that I know I'm not going to use, and a short list of names (one of which is Music Heard through a Thick Door, which entertains me greatly). I'm still in the stage in which my understanding of what is going on is evolving too rapidly for there to be much point in putting words on the screen. It's good, though; it's snowballing. I almost know how the first scene starts. Watch this space.

There's also a new journal layout, which I urge everyone to come look at and tell me if it's broken in their browsers. It is pretty swanky.² I've tested it in Opera 9.23, Firefox 3b5 and IE 7, but not especially rigorously. It looks a little different, though essentially correct, in IE because IE still sucks and I had to do an ugly workaround. I'm not proud of myself. I'm having a problem with the link colors in the entry boxes, which is that I can't seem to pick anything that doesn't hurt the eyes. Suggestions welcome. I need to come up with a new default icon, also; this one is showing its age. For all the House and Heroes icons I've made (and ... never posted anywhere; this one and this one are the best of the lot), I have no real desire to use them. Well, maybe that second one.

¹ I should go back, but I can tell I'm not going to. I don't like starting shit and then leaving people I respect to deal with it, but I just don't have the energy. Arguing with stupid people on the internet is one of my favorite hobbies, but it's a miserable exercise when the stupid people are people I thought were all right. My time feels even more limited these days than it actually is, and not even guilt is powerful enough to make me spend it on an exercise that just makes me want to lie down and wait for my species to suck less.

I got in some good digs, though. I'm kind of awesome.

² I think it would look good on a T-shirt. I have done one T-shirt design, as a Giftmas present for a friend, which was very well-received and was in very approximately the same 'all the kids seem to be into vector shapes now, so I might as well' style. (There is a problem, which is that the blue and green hearts, while clear on every monitor I've looked at this on, have identical saturation and luminance and just look like a big irregular blob on the shirt itself when viewed from any distance.) If I accumulate enough of this stuff I might actually look into that T-shirt thing.
strange_aeons: (Default)
As I suspected would happen, work on the WIP pretty much ground to a halt the moment November ended. Averaging a thousand words a day is exhausting and I needed to recuperate. I did this by writing, on the first, a 1154-word background for an Exalted character who [ profile] lstone seems to have nicknamed Contemplating Navels.¹ Okay, not very relaxing. I also wrote a cinquenta on the third, and yesterday got back to Life with 487 words. The second of December ... I have no memory of the second. I'm not entirely convinced I haven't just got my watch set wrong, though the date of this post to [ profile] ravingtheosophy suggests I was present for that day.

I'm sort of proud of the cinquenta, which is completely inappropriate because I can only take credit for about 10% of it — not much even on a piece that's more than fifty words log. The rest of it is from something rather compelling Zeborah said on rasfc a year and a half ago in response to someone else's response to me being a smartass. Posting it here is in violation of copyright and, worse, in poor taste, but I'm not sure what else to do with it. I may have to start reading rasfc again. Anyway:

I've had this image in my mind for years, off and on: what it must be like, travelling out towards the edge of the universe. Past stars, past galaxies, past everything. And then there's only one more star ahead of you; and then you pass that, too.

There it went.

¹ I'm very excited about this game, and extremely dubious about the guy who's running it. I don't trust anyone who looks at a character with what he initially takes for a ten-die attack pool when dual-wielding swords and says 'I'm not sure this character is buff enough'. Not my character; [ profile] annwyd's. My character actually does have a ten-die attack pool, when using certain kinds of weapons, because I wasted points on things like Bureaucracy and Occult. More to the point, I'm getting tired of needing a gun, a crowbar and three burly 'acquaintences' to get answers out of him.
strange_aeons: (Default)
There was another blackout around the same time last night as the night before, so while I'd written another three hundred words or so and seemed to be on the same 'twelve hundred words in two and a half hours' roll I'd been on earlier — and that is superhuman — I only hit 1534 words yesterday. That's still damn respectable. Another 840 today, rounding out November with 6116 words.

After I posted yesterday I got to thinking about Northstar, a fairly obscure mutant who is or possibly was gay. I vaguely remembered something about him dying of AIDS and went looking for more information; I found this, which made me laugh until I couldn't see.

While I'm linking to things, The Book of Erotic Fantasy has come to my attention again. From the looks of it, this is the d20 supplement for people who liked the idea of FATAL,¹ but thought its open racism used up space in the PDF that could have been better devoted to prurience. Portions of it are all right — Vershnat, gnomish attitudes toward sex — but the world does not need the Appearance stat, the very phrase 'Perform (sexual techniques)', alignment attitudes towards sex or, dear god, that appalling game fiction.

I've gotten this link on at least three vectors now, so it's clearly already made the rounds, but it seems thematically appropriate to post it here — the Roman d20. This has set my financial feasibility plan back several weeks.

In other news, I'm watching a documentary about martial arts that's okay until it starts talking about katanas. Kids, it is not 'the greatest sword ever made'. It is not 'the most dangerous and elegant weapon ever created'. And just shut up, Tom Cruise. It's a sword. Swords are tools for reducing people to smaller, more manageable pieces. Much like wrenches, many swords are fairly specialized, and the katana is one of these. It's a light cutting weapon — very effective against people in no or light armor, but against a guy in full plate, someone with a katana is screwed.

And it's not nearly as attractive as the dao, dammit.

¹ Don't follow that link. I mean it this time.
strange_aeons: (do not feed the cephalopod)
I've written 1287 words in the last two and a half hours (as of five o'clock, when I started writing this), for a total of 50575 words, 5013 (give or take a few hundred I slipped into or cut out of earlier bits of the text) in the month of November. That meets my NaNo requirement.

Gosh, that was easy. I don't know why you NaNovelists have been so worked up about this. <ducks>

There may be more wordage tonight, but I'd like to get some other things done, such as that icon I told [ profile] lilairen I'd make for her over a week ago (which I have worked on, but I keep reconsidering and having to go back to the sketch stage, because I'm not so much an artist as I am indecisive in a sensitive, arty way), which is difficult when I'm spending all my time staring at WordPad.

For now, though, I'm going to talk about comic books. Yes, I'm using the Do Not Feed the Cephalopod icon for a reason.

Contains spoilers for Ultimate X-Men and the Authority, the latter of which I have not actually read. )
strange_aeons: (do not feed the cephalopod)
As anticipated, I wrote something on the order of 526 words on Thursday, which put me comfortably over the forty-nine mark but wasn't really up to par. Then I sat down yesterday expecting to wildly overcompensate, because I'd finally gotten to a scene I'd been waiting to write practically since I first conceived the book — sometime in January of '02, I believe — and just as I'm beginning to hit my stride, the power goes out.

I hate living in the sticks. I have a running joke with [ profile] caltan about how we haven't invented fire here and our progress is set back every time it rains, but it wasn't even raining this time; it was just windy, and a tree must have gone down. Fucking aboveground power lines.

There was nothing to do but go to bed, so I can't be certain how long it was out, but given how long it took me to get to sleep, I can say it was at least four hours. This doesn't even approach the horror of the three-day blackout¹ I had around this time last year, nor the two-(or-so)-day one earlier this year, but it is mightily fucking annoying, because I save my work at the end of every paragraph, but I hadn't gotten to the end of the paragraph.

So I come in at around 73 words yesterday.


¹ I refer people to this post more often than I refer them to any other post of mine. It's not even because it's pretty funny in places, though it is; it's for the quote at the bottom about Runar (the character, an entity distinct from me, though I happen to be using his name as a handle there) and his heart-shaped face, which has entered the parlance of people who verbally abuse me for kicks, a group I have been known to refer to in jest as my 'friends'.
strange_aeons: (Default)
I love the opportunities writing this novel affords me.

Tesla says, "I think I just got a handle on Q're, as a character."
Whitney says, "Yay?"
Tesla says, "She's the sort of person who owns a purple horse."
Babbage says, "A purple horse."
Tesla says, "Sweeney's is blue."

For some reason, [ profile] lstone (Babbage) changed the subject after that.
strange_aeons: (Default)
1048 words day before yesterday, 961 yesterday, for a total of a little under forty-nine thousand words. This is good; signs indicate that my roommate is going to expect me to participate in the cooking, which may mean very few words today, though there will be self-flagellation if I don't break the 49k mark today.

Not much of this is very funny. I'm really not on my game. Some of the wordplay is mildly amusing, though:

"There wasn't much guesswork involved," Arunir said, taking a bite of her sponge.

"I got you a straight razor. Try not to look at any naked girls and you should be fine."
Rook tried to reconcile Arunir with the word 'girl' and felt his headache coming back. Then he realized he was trying to reconcile Q're with the naked bit, and stopped, but not before blushing furiously.

Rook's competition for the affections of the bathroom glared at him from around neck-height as he hurried back to his room to dress. When he was presentable, he collected his things and wandered down to the dining room, which was several hundred thousand times the size he remembered it, and also somewhat more full of landscape.

I'm noticing that while Rook, who grew up on nutritionally perfect processed food that tastes like cardboard, thinks aboveground food smells incredible, none of it looks vaguely appetizing to him. I also have an enormous gun on the mantlepiece. I'm not sure I can even call it a gun. I have a small nuclear device on the mantlepiece.

The party had planned to tag along behind a caravan (Tough Guide to Fantasyland, p. 50) of traveling folk (p. 267), because these traveling folk (who I'm still calling '[travelling folk]' — I need to find a name for them, probably something in Portuguese) are not to be trifled with. As Sweeney describes them, 'they'll sell just about anything from the animal kingdom so long as it isn't one of their people in good standing'. They also have some of the most powerful telepaths on the planet, because that's the best way to keep the merchandise in line. Anyway, tagging along behind them is, if you know what you're doing, very safe, so of course it fell through because of the weather. As they were leaving town they stopped in the traveling folk's camp and everyone sat around on their horses trying not to look at the merchandise, while Sweeney went off to talk to someone in charge.

No one's figured out what it is yet, between everyone trying not to look at the merchandise and the relevant piece of merchandise's attempts to be small and invisible, but it looks to me like the traveling folk have an elf. In fact, I think it's one of Sweeney's two notable exes, the one he didn't accidentally knock up. I have no earthly idea what he did to get captured, but when the gun goes off, Sweeney is going to be furious.

Oh, and we've had our first stew (p. 243). Principle ingredient: rehydrated apples.
strange_aeons: (Default)
It's National Novel Writing Month. Not being the fan of suffering that [ profile] lstone makes me out to be, I am not participating, though I know at least two and a half people who are and have enjoyed, in this time when they most need my support, mocking them relentlessly.

Aside from the suffering.... )
strange_aeons: (Default)
I'm playing on a high fantasy MUSH for the first time in three or four years, and in the week I've been there I've run into an acquaintence-in-good-standing I hadn't spoken to since I escaped Pacifica (the game that made the phrase 'mongolian clusterfuck' a permanent fixture of my vocabulary) and someone I used to be romantically involved with. Used to be. I was too young and in a transitional period, and he was a total pedo. I'm actually not obsessing about this at all, but I keep saying that because I'm obsessing about the possibility that I may be. Mostly I find it funny. In a continuing 'creepy fetishist assholes who are no longer in my life' theme, I find myself talking to [ profile] lilairen about my father. I'm quoting this mostly for the watermelon line.

Whitney says, "And from the department of what the fuck, consider a case of a vegan with /scurvy/."
Tesla sneezes in astonishment.
Whitney says, "How the /fuck/ do you pull off a case of /scurvy/ living on nuts and berries?"
Tesla says, "How the hell does a vegan-- Yeah."
Tesla says, "I suppose if it ate only grains, root vegetables and nuts...."
Tesla says, "So, pretty much granola and baked potatoes. Without butter. Or, in all probability, salt."
Whitney says, "Well, a vegan couldn't eat butter."
Tesla says, "And most vegans are too sanctimonious to eat salt."
Tesla has a deep distrust of people who refuse to eat the flesh of dead creatures, you may have noticed.
Whitney is allergic to a shocking variety of plant matter. I can eat, uh, nuts and berries, though. Except peanuts, which are legumes.
Whitney is frigging allergic to *lettuce*.
Tesla says, "Have I ever told you about my father's vegetarianism?"
Whitney fears. "I don't think so."
Tesla says, "First, I should establish that my father is absolutely bugfuck crazy."
Whitney says, ". . . you mean you haven't?"
Tesla says, "Just in case."
Tesla says, "Second, I should establish that my father is a black supremacist."
Whitney says "I seem to have remembered hints about this."
Tesla says, "Now I tell you that my father was a vegetarian for racial reasons."
Whitney says ". . . he wanted to live on watermelon?"
Tesla hooowls.
Tesla says, "Best. Answer. EVER."
Whitney bows.
Tesla says, "I'm not insane enough to follow his logic, but apparently pork used to be the food of choice for poor southern black people, so eating meat of any kind was giving in to The Man."
Whitney says "Pork is the food of choice for Southerners. Brooks has informed me that it's a point of religious faith."
Tesla cackles.
Whitney says. "Well, the religious faith may be limited to the correct way to prepare pork barbecue."
Tesla says, "First you don't boil it in its mother's milk...."
Whitney, traumatised by the notion of redneck Jews.
Tesla beams.
Tesla says, "Neither humaneness nor his health entered the picture at any point, though one time he was served something with some ham in it in a restaurant, ate a bite before he realized what was wrong, and /went to the bathroom and forced himself to throw up/."
Tesla says, "And later told me that it _made_ him throw up, which seemed implausible at the time and even moreso when my mother told me her story."
Whitney says "Gotta love the healing power of ideology."
Tesla says, "So, I lived with this fanatic for fifteen years, and I distrust vegetarians and vegans because he's their strongest representative that I've encountered."
Tesla says, "And most of the other ones have been fierce but ultimately ham-fisted proselytizers."
Tesla says, "I think something about not getting enough protien prevents them from constructing an argument I can't kick out from under them in five minutes, with my mouth full. Of PORK."
Whitney snickers.

Edit: For the record, I do know how 'vegetarian' is spelled.
strange_aeons: (Default)
I have insomnia. This must come as a tremendous surprise to all three of you who are actually reading this and haven't already been told, at length, in tones of despair and frustration, because it's not as though I have the classic insomniac's personality. And even if I do, well, I have a very coffee-drinker sort of personality, but you don't see me with a mug grafted to my hand, do you?

What this means is that periodically I have to fix my sleep cycle, because I find myself becoming crepuscular. (I'm seasonal affective, so that's bad.) I've found only two ways of doing this. One involves waking up whenever I do — generally far too late in the afternoon — and staying awake until some reasonable hour of the next day, whereupon I fall into bed, sleep deeply and soundly, and wake up bright-eyed and bushy-haired the next day.

This does not work, except for the bit about my hair, which would do that anyway.

If I manage to stay awake for that long, rather than giving up and taking a ten-hour 'nap' at four in the afternoon, I will not fall asleep at a reasonable hour the next day. I will invariably fall asleep at five in the morning the day after next. So not only do I have to deal with residual psychosis from sleep deprivation, I'm discouraged, and I spend the rest of the week not knowing what day it is. Plus, six in the morning is the most boring hour of the day. If I'm tired, I'm not usually able to stay awake through it without a lot of help.

The other way is drugs.

See, my roommate is like a walking apothecarist's, and she doesn't mind me raiding the medicine cabinet occasionally because I'm much, much easier to live with when I've had enough sleep. I don't generally have anything of note in there, because I have to be held down and shouted at before it will occur to me to take medication when I'm sick or injured, so buying it when I'm not is out of the question, and I'm not on any prescriptions. I may have some epinephrine around somewhere. Anyway.

I tried the drug tactic a few months ago, with a muscle relaxant the name of which escapes me. I have a good history with muscle relaxants. I've had a couple of injuries that compelled me to use them, and they've always knocked me out. Not this time, though. No, this time I spent the entire night lying awake in bed, very relaxed but fully conscious. I finally went downstairs to the computer sometime after dawn, and discovered that I hadn't the willpower to make myself sit up properly or, you know, type. I spent most of the rest of the day on the couch. Sitting perfectly still had never been so pleasurable.

Last night I tried Promethazine, an anti-emetic known to friends who can afford brand name as the somewhat less silly Phenergan. It worked ... sort of. I'm naturally inclined to sleep not in a long block but in a lot of ten- to sixty-minute chunks interspersed with irritable wakefulness, and this is what Phenergan gave me, just a few hours earlier than it would have come on its own. I still feel sleepy, but I'm not sure if that's just because I didn't sleep very well, or if it's the drug. My roommate, when she described Phenergan's relevant side effect, used the word 'delicious'. The sleep I got was not 'delicious'. I feel cheated.

And then there is Benadryl, the perennial favorite, which clears my nasal passages and gives me eight hours of sound sleep, and which I am perpetually out of. I need to buy some fucking Benadryl. Somebody remind me on Thursday.

(Look, when I say 'tomorrow', obviously I mean sometime next week, maybe, if I feel like it.)
strange_aeons: (Default)
I've also been all about the worldbuilding neuroses lately. This is almost entirely because I've been doing a lot of worldbuilding and am neurotic. I haven't been publically neurotic about much else because I haven't been doing many other things about which I am neurotic.

My computer is pretty much working again, and....

Hold on a second. I have to share. )

Anyway, my computer is pretty much working again, thanks to Keeps, who gave me Spiderman candy. (These are not related thoughts, I'm just very amused.) I'm still waiting on some replacements, and I'm still acclimating to WinXP Pro, but at least it's less annoying than Home, and it's NT-based, which means I get to use some software I couldn't before. So I get to exercise all those artistic urges that have been hammering loudly on the inside of my head for the last couple of months, since my natural media supplies are ... uh ... they're still in the store, let's put it that way.

Up 'til now, I have not ... been known ... for my backgrounds. So when I woke up yesterday (it's still Friday) with a profound urge to paint an improbably-colored sky with clouds in, I had no fucking idea what I was doing. Actually, that's not true. I knew I was looking for photo reference. I painted the sky while I pillaged Corbis for photos of clouds. Then I went to bed, came back to it, and painted the sky again, because it wasn't working. That wasn't so bad, actually; I enjoy blending to an unseemly degree. Does that make me a sociopath?

Sketching the clouds was tricky, because did I mention I didn't know what I was doing?. Shading them was basically all blending, so I got a great, I might go so far as to say inappropriately so, deal of pleasure from it. I was going for realism, but I found myself getting a sort of storybook surrealist quality instead, and went with that. Or maybe I just can't paint clouds. I don't know. You tell me.

I started on the left and got, I think, perceptibly better towards the right — that cloud on the bottom right is my favorite, despite the tendency of the one above it to look like soft-serve ice cream. Some of the edges are way too sharp — what can I say? They looked softer at four times this resolution. Too much contrast in places, too. Ruins the mood. Don't say 'What mood?'. I'm going to scrap these and start over from the sky tomorrow, because the scale is all wrong, but I don't feel nearly as discouraged by the prospect as I probably should.

That's it for me. Bed.
strange_aeons: (Default)
I have been all about the quoting lately. Partly this is because I haven't had many post-length thoughts of sufficient clarity for me to get more than a few lines out of them without dissolving into footshuffling and metasyntactic variability. Partly this is because I hang out with the coolest people in the world.

Babbage says, "You know, talking about the bible is a lot more interesting than Calculus. :P"
Whitney says, "Speaking of, I'm terribly amused by the comment in the book I just read putting the 'do not lie with a man as you would with a woman' line in a certain context."
Tesla says, "What was the comment?"
Whitney says, "Remember that ancient Judaism was OCD. Do Not Grow Two Kinds Of Seed In The Same Field. Do Not Make Clothes From Two Kinds Of Fiber. The theory is that aquatic stuff without scales and fins were unclean and unfit for eating was because God Made Fish With Fins And Scales, and anything that didn't have fins and scales was therefore somehow weirdly gone wrong. Also that the whole cloven-hooved cud-chewers because clearly God intended that, and pigs have cloven hooves but don't chew cud so what's up with them. (And camels chew the cud, but don't have cloven hooves; also fucked up.)"
Whitney says, "Now consider that the Hebrew for woman is 'orifice-bearer' and remember that there's also a Levitical prohibition against cross-dressing. The whole lying with a man as one would with a woman therefore may well be a prohibition against violating the OCD categorisations."
Whitney says, "Things go in ONE and ONLY ONE box. ;)"

I find myself wondering what happens when you stuff a camel with a pig (and a bunch of chickens) instead of a lamb (and a bunch of chickens). I know that should just be ultra treyf, but part of me insists that they should cancel each other out.
strange_aeons: (Default)
I just recieved this email.

(Don't click there. I include the link only for completeness. Remember the nipple? When I say 'don't click', I'm not fucking around.)

Hello my name is Egrid

I live in Russia and I am looking to get out, as I have no future here.
I have no good work here, and for me, all the men here drink a lot
or do not treat women good.

I am looking for a man who works hard and is nice to be with me in all ways.
I am joining this internet club at our internet coffee house to
find a man who wants to meet a nice girl and I can be special for him.

Please sign-up, and look for my name online so that we can meet.
You can post an Ad for FREE and browse pictures of many nice Russian
Girls looking to come to America and meet a nice man, like myself.

I hope to meet you soon. Wish me luck.

Click Here

strange_aeons: (Default)
I have a Quixote complex. Generally this manifests in the form of long arguments with people who are too stupid to realize exactly how wrong they are, like Richard Brown. The argument with Brown is very nearly the archetypal windmill-tilt, in fact — ludicrous premise with no backing, long contractionless diatribes, accidental misreadings, deliberate misreadings, the ad hominem attack, scornful reaction and left-handed apology, and finally one principal just gives up on the other. Rage to taste.

I don't go looking for these confrontations. Sometimes someone shows me something (scroll down past the stuff about rugs to Lilairen's post, and then take a gander at Doghouse Reilly's stereotypemongering) so infuriatingly, willfully ignorant, so hypocritically prejudiced that I am unable to restrain myself; sometimes someone posts such a horror in a forum I already read myself, and I am unable ... you know the rest. It's like flicking a rabid wolf on the nose. These people cannot help but provoke me into vicious acts of intellectuality, and even sometimes research.

The mouthbreather linked above is a fine example of his breed. He has a preference for large breasts and broad hips in women, which is fine, but he feels the need to justify this preference by playing the evolution card, a favorite of the functionally retarded and the genocidally sociopathic. Like most of these people, he wouldn't know evolution if it devoured his offspring. Also like most of these people, he doesn't know how to debate above the kindergarten level — faced with a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't, damned-even-if-you-bow-out question, he shows me a booger to make me go away. And it works. I don't want to know that much about virtually anyone's fetishes.

The point of this post is not just to blow off some pent-up contempt, though I did need to do that, but also to voice my awe at Tars Tarkas, who writes in response to my post with the, you know, facts in it:

using big words does not an argument win

It is to slap my forehead in wonder. Holy shit. I didn't even know people still used the 'you are arguing over my head, therefore I win' ploy any more. I thought it fell out of fashion when someone pointed out that it makes no fucking sense. I can't even begin to dream of denting that sort of self-assurance. Why don't you tell me my cock is bigger than yours, too? I cede the field.

This has nothing to do with any of the preceding paragraphs:

Tesla realizes the song he has stuck in his head is not, in fact, by Apocalyptica; it's Tubular Bells. That does not explain why it's clearly been arranged for cello quartet.
Whitney says, ". . . having fun yet?"
Tesla says, "I honestly don't know."


Tesla says, "I ... just got spam ... with the subject line, 'Increase Beast size by 2 cups Guaranteed!'"
Whitney says, "That's a high-level druid ability for you."
Tesla says, "I don't know, with most beasts two cups is just pissing in the ocean."
Whitney says, "[ profile] teinedreugan says 'You have some very strange and amusing friends.'"
Tesla cackles.
strange_aeons: (Default)
I had to fight [ profile] lstone for this one, but I emerge victorious, if rather in need of a bath.

Tesla says, " can't come out to play right now."
Whitney says, "It's running really slow. I think because of the psycho transsexual Disneyphobic triad threads."
Whitney is having to load things two or three times to get them to not ping and say, 'Sorry, can't deal.'
Tesla says, "Psycho?"
Whitney says, "I think it's entirely reasonable to think that these people are a little unbalanced. And not just because they've been ranting about how the pregnancy originated from powerful woman sperm."
Tesla says, "... powerful woman sperm."
Whitney can deal with the concept of transfolk, though I really don't understand it at all well. But I do run aground on that woman sperm.
Tesla says, "You may have gathered that it's not a notion that gives me much trouble. But 'powerful woman sperm' is just bonkers."
Babbage says, "Sounds like an anime attack.... 'POWERFUL WOMAAAAAAAN SPERM!'"
Tesla laughs!
Babbage sprays Tesla with a powerful jet of suspicious fluid.
Whitney . . . Babs, you're a genius. Twisted, but genius.
Babbage blushes.
strange_aeons: (Default)
I think my muse and I are going to have to Have Words.

Before I elaborate on that, I'm going to note that I posted my last entry on Thursday, at around three fifteen AM. Thursday was 2 January. The entry is datestamped 1 January because I didn't notice until after I'd written it that my clock was set wrong. That explains footnote one, which, out of the context in this post, looks completely stupid.

Okay, back to my muse. See, I think the little son of a bitch has been looking over [ profile] teinedreugan's muse's shoulder. This is my fault, I should know better than to leave him unsupervised, but dammit, I've been working on this behavior for years and he still does it the moment I look away.

In one of the posts below I mentioned a campaign I wanted to run, and went on for a bit about portions of the setting. I didn't go into any detail about the seed of the actual story, which could work in any number of settings, and is:

There are good gods and bad gods, and a world to which they are integral. What the people in this world don't know is that it was created for a purpose by the good gods — it's a trap for the bad ones. Now that the bad gods are sufficiently entrenched, the good ones have packed up their things and left, locking the door behind themselves. All is chaos and dystopia. Now it falls to our band of intrepid adventurers to....

Well, I haven't quite worked that last bit out yet. I've been hammering on the problem on and off, and paging vaguely through the Epic-Level Handbook¹ in the hopes of finding an idea in there, because this is clearly an epic-level sort of campaign idea, but no dice. Then the other day I was talking to [ profile] lilairen (actually, more like she was addressing a group including but not limited to [ profile] lstone and me) about Semtek², the epic D&D campaign Teine is running and highly entertaining session summaries of which Darkhawk posts periodically.³ She mentioned the Epic-Level Handbook, and I thought of this as-yet-unnamed campaign, and like an ironically holy light from heaven I realized that the party needed to kill each of the bad gods and divvy their powers up among themselves, and in so doing become the world's new pantheon.

Then Darkhawk explained that the party in Semtek will be killing each of the bad gods and divvying up their powers among themselves, and in so doing will become the world's new pantheon.


The riding crop clearly isn't doing the job. I'm going to try beating my muse with a board with a nail through it.

¹ I don't like D&D and I don't know it well enough for that opinion to be much more than irrational prejudice, but this setting is very D&Dish. It's even got racial modifiers and things. I doubt I'll be using D&D for the game, assuming I ever run the game, but it never hurts to poke around for ideas.

² This name, which, like Devta, sounds like the name of a technology corporation, coupled with the somewhat logo-y recurring image of a symmetrical mountain, led me to some extremely vague and also totally inaccurate suspicions about where he was going with the campaign.

³ I apologize for this sentence. Look, I don't make the English language. I just work here.
strange_aeons: (Default)
Sometime in July, the inimitable Charlie Stross wrote an absolutely fascinating post to rasfc on the subject of what sort of bits a twentieth-century city would leave for archaeologists to find a hundred kiloyears in the future, particularly after the city had spent some quality time with the underside of a glacier. This gave me some ideas, particularly the line about 'overgrown limestone cliffs with pot-holes and grottos', but I put them aside because I know what happens when I start getting ideas.

Not very long later, I went ahead and started getting ideas anyway, because there's only so long I can go. I've been having such ideas on and off ever since and they're all over my journal; interested parties should refer to the last two pages of entries. Initially these ideas had nothing to do with Charlie Stross' post or the ideas I got therefrom, but they did eventually collide with each other.

I've been working on those critters' cultures and, more importantly to this post, languages on and off for a while, and last night I finally sat down with what I had and made some damn decisions, like what they're called (ahi) in their earliest written language (Llahi). Earlier today, I posted on the subject to [ profile] conlangs.

Then I caught up on my friends page, and saw that [ profile] ursulav had posted about The Future is Wild, a documentary series airing today¹ on Animal Planet. Its premise is 'what would happen if humanity hied itself off to space and let everything else on Earth get on with its business undisturbed?', and in fact there's a framing story to that effect.

As speculative documentaries go, this one is pretty good. Some of the names the writers have come up with for the creatures they've invented are silly, but the creatures themselves are, for the most part, not implausible. In fact, some of them are damn similar to creatures we have on Earth now, or had, at one point — the killer caracara, for example, is basically Titanis walleri — seven feet tall, flightless, predatory, South American², hands. There's a scene with some small open-ocean prey animals, some midsized open-ocean group-hunting predators, and some aerial predators that is virtually identical to that scene with the shoal of fish, the pod of dolphins and the flock of diving birds that appears in so many documentaries (most notably Blue Planet, because damn, that series is good) — this is not unreasonable, convergent evolution happens for a reason, but it's still amusingly transparent.

The message the series, or anyway its two-hour opener, appears to be trying to send is that cephalopods will 0wnxx0r j00 — they show up in some form in at least two, I think all three of the time periods the documentary 'visits', and in the last, two hundred megayears in the future, a small arboreal cephalopod develops sentience. (It also has a run-in with a predatory terrestrial cephalopod significantly larger than an African elephant, which strains my creduility, but they do sort of answer the question of how a predator that big manages to catch anything edible, since filter-feeding [as in the whale shark and the baleen whales] is out of the question, and it doesn't have effective weightlessness on its side [as does Architeuthis] and is not at all fast: nduh, tentacles.

(This is one of the surprisingly few hecklable things in the documentary. The only other one I can think of is the sabretoothed polar wolverine. Wolverines don't need sabre teeth, especially considering sabre teeth are in fact remarkably impractical and easily broken. Oh, and one big airfoil is more efficient than three in a row, dammit; you think it's coincidence that all the best flyers on Earth have only one to a side, even the hawkmoth, which hooks its fore and aft wings together?)

I've gotten off the point a bit. The point was:

Synchronicity, how I hate you.

A lot of the stuff in this documentary is very much the sort of thing I had been, in the vaguest possible sense, considering for the ahi setting. The framing story in particular — humans leave Earth, send probes some long while later, and are surprised to learn what's been going on in their absence — is suspiciously familiar. And now I have a two-horned problem: (a) I fear that any work I do on the wildlife in this setting will be influenced by this damn show, but (b) I really, really want to work on it anyway.

There's a fair bit of cat-vacuuming I can, and in fact must, do before I have to grab those horns, at least. I don't have the climatology or the geology to figure out where and when weather conditions will be right for the early cultures I envision, nor the astrology to know what the stars are going to look like and which planets will have exploded. Actually, I could go for website and book recommendations, with preference given to the former, because I'm a little strapped for cash right now and there is no library in this godforsaken town.

But at least I have my health.

¹ I should note that here 'today' means 'January first', because I've been awake since then and it's still today until I sleep.

² Actually, I think Titanis is North American, but it's a Phorusrachid, and Phorusrachids are mostly South American.
strange_aeons: (Default)
The funny, she is painful.

Babbage says, "There are buttons on this keyboard which I know not."
Babbage says, "And I seem to have a mouse wheel on my keyboard, as well."
Tesla says, "That's ... odd."
Tesla says, "It makes sense, actually, but still. Odd."
Babbage says, "It's by a button with a running man on it, which is subtitled 'Go,' and another button with a left-pointing arrow. Perhaps it's for the internet."
Babbage says, "I can just tell my keyboard, 'Bring me up my browser, bitch!' and then use the wheel to scroll through my previously-visited sites."
Tesla says, "Probably. If it's any consolation, I've got a fast-forward button on my keyboard. And one with a shopping cart on it."
Babbage says, "I've got those. And a volume control, a media button, a Messenger/SMS button, e-mail, F-lock, webcam, 'user,' iTouch... You get the idea. This keyboard is beginning to scare me with its dark power."
Babbage says, "It doesn't help that it looks like Darth Vader's keyboard!"
Tesla says, "Okay, that's just overkill."
Babbage says, "I didn't even list them all. I tell you, this is a keyboard most fearsome."
Tesla says, "On the other hand, I've got a button on my keyboard that appears to deploy the missiles."
Babbage says, "I've got the orbital lasers."
Tesla says, "Damn! You trump me again!"
Babbage says, "I told you: this keyboard is a vessel of unholy power. I could command the Death Star from here!"
Vinci the Magnificent says, "My keyboard has a button that resets the universe."
Babbage says, "Fuckin' A."
Babbage says, "Press it!"
Vinci the Magnificent says, "No, I'm on track seven of fourteen for this disc."
Tesla says, "You have no sense of adventure."
Vinci the Magnificent says, "It's taken me a whole twenty-eight minutes to get this far, I'm not starting over now."
Vinci the Magnificent says, "Sorry, seven out of seventeen."
Tesla says, "Seriously, this button has a picture of a rocket on it. I can't even begin to guess what it does."
Vinci the Magnificent says, "Gives you all the directed advertising and popups you could ever want."
Tesla says, "Ooh!"
Vinci the Magnificent says, "Don't push it all the way at once, now! Save some for later!"