Hanging Out Beyond The Neutral Zone

I’m a Star Trek geek from way back, so the much anticipated forthcoming movie and refurbished episodes of the Original Series have me in a Trekish mood of contemplation. That and my office is 85 frickin’ degrees and so I can’t help but zone out into Daydream land occasionally. One recent heat induced fugue got me thinking about the technology of Star Trek and I realized something that had never really occurred to me before: the humans of the Federation seem to have a distinct lack of imagination when it comes to how they use their super sophisticated technology. What follows may sound like a rant but is all meant in good fun and as a thought experiment (maybe towards a bit of space opera of my own? Who can say).

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Sounds From Up North

Picked up the new They Might Be Giants album, The Else* this week and my faith in the Johns is restored. where The Spine was a little disappointing (felt like Left over B-sides from John Henry) the Else has a fun mid 90’s alternative rock edge to it, which is surprising for They Might Be Giants. Also, not at all unappreciated. With the limp pop music of the last few years fluttering all around, sometimes you want to reach back to those high school days when there was some good music still played in public spaces.* And boy is it a sad day for Justin Timberlake when he gets his ass rocked off by They Might be Giants.

I also just got the New Pornographer’s latest, Challengers. Still absorbing it but it’s good. Mellow. Much more so than their previous stuff but more textured as well and still with the ponderous lyrics as always.

*I say public spaces rather than radio because seriously, who still listens to the radio?

Where Has The Time Gone?

I’ve been back two weeks already and barely more than two posts. Sorry.

Every spare minute in the evenings has been spent working on my novel. I’m two thirds of the way through the first draft and making great headway. If I can manage to keep up an hour or two every evening for the next six weeks or so, I’ll be done! But that means posting will be light for a while. I’m sure I’ll get a wild hare and have to rant about something before long and as usual, cat pictures will appear as scheduled.

I Hear Hemmingway Once Shot a Critic For His Tepid Review of “OLd Man And the Sea”

Some dipshit is suing PZ Myers for a bad review of his silly book.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden at Making Light beat me to the punch (and the post title I was gong to use) but has all the pertinent links and info, as usual.

If anyone can explain how a bad but fairly polite review of your book can be considered assault, let me know.

Proof That The Internets Are Truly Grand

Via Warren Ellis, via Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing, and for your Sunday morning reading pleasure, comes the amazing story of Karl Rove’s father’s solid gold cock ring:

Louie loved his piercings, they made him smile. People who are pierced will understand.So there on the floor in his library, amid teaching videos on piercings and piles of [Piercing Fans International Quarterly], I listened to one man’s account of his travels through the Los Angeles piercing community in the 70’s and 80’s — the “piercing parties” with folks getting pierced on coffee tables in private homes, nurses that helped, and a guy named Jim. I knew about Jim. I had both my nipples pierced at The Gauntlet.

Louie and I exchanged gifts over the years. He really liked those stainless ball weights and I like gold jewelry … so I have a 14 karat gold cock ring that once belonged to Louie, and he had a bunch of ball weights that belonged to me.

So who cares about one man’s journey into piercing? For me it is not about a gossipy story, though some people will take it that way. It is not about telling secrets or things left best unsaid; it is about a little piece of history. Perhaps in telling this story someone else will be able to tell a better one another day.

The “Jim” in this story is the Jim Ward who started the piercing industry. Louie is Louis Claude Rove whose adopted son’s first name is Karl. Louie died quietly in Palm Springs as his very secular, not-believing son ran President Bush’s campaign for President of the United States that energized the Christian evangelical base around the wedge issue of gay marriage…

On a tangential note, I read Warren Ellis’ new novel, Crooked little Vein on the plane ride to Sweden and it is the greatest filthiest most fun detective story I’ve ever read. Karl Rove’s Dad’s solid gold cock ring should be in the sequel.

Answering the Call of the Fjords

Sweden was fun but first, a PSA:

Kids, don’t ever fly standby to a foreign country. Hell, just don’t ever fly standby. If you really want to go somewhere, do yourself a favor, before you take the ride, buy the ticket. otherwise, expect to spend eight hours in Newark Liberty Airport, running form one gate to another trying to find a seat (or two) in the hopes that you might get where you want to go.

After twenty hours of flying, not flying, gate running and sitting and waiting, you’ll end up in a hotel, having to get a 3:30 AM wakeup call in the hopes that maybe you’ll get on a plane the next morning that is within driving distance of where you want to be. That’s no way to start or end a vacation, let alone both.

Now, a few loosely associated thoughts concerning Sweden:

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Not Really Pining for the Fjords, Just Visiting

Elvira and I are off to Sweden (yes Sweden!) on a vacation (yes, a vacation!) for the next week (a whole week!). We don’t leave until Sunday but lot’s to do; I have to squeeze all our toothpaste into a tiny tube so the TSA won’t think I’m a terrorist form the future, where magic liquid explosives are often used in lieu of toothpaste. I’ve left Rupert in charge until we get back, when I’ll have a full report (yes, a report!)

Watch this space.

The Continuing Adventures of Neville Longbottom

Sorry for the lack of posts, but we’ve been reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

It’s been our tradition, at least since Book Five, to read aloud to one another, Elvira and I alternating chapters. This time, we got the book a week late and even after a four day marathon read, we’re still coming in a little late to the discussion. Everyone’s already said almost everything there is to say , but what use is the Internet if not to say what everyone else has already? Rawling’s usual expository dialog and adverb infestation made things a little clunky at times but overall, I was pleased with the pace of the Deathly Hallows. The characters were, as usual, fun, well developed and there were just enough twists to make it really exciting. It would have been easy to do a by the numbers wrap up but instead, we got a complex tale of hard choices balanced equally by joy, resignation, defeat and triumph. all in all, a very satisfying ending to the series.

And I liked the Epilogue. Some people thought it excessive or a little too slight but come on folks, it’s Harry’s story, not Luna’s or Neville’s. As much as I’d like to know what Lee Jordan was doing nineteen years after the battle of Hogwarts, it can wait for the forthcoming compendium of all the other bits and pieces that didn’t fit into the books.

a few people have wondered if the epilogue might not be a set up for another series and all I can say is I hope so, but why just one?

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