Monday, May 31, 2004
Every once in a while I get a song in your head. It’s been happening to me a lot.
And last night when a few folks were over and the topic was pretty much TV, it’s easy to get TV main title theme songs stuck in your head. Right now I’m having trouble with the theme to Night Rider. I have no idea how it got in there, but there it is. Lodged next to the damn Fanta song.
Great, now I can get Airwolf stuck in there, too.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
I saw this link on 20/20 Hindsight and wanted to make sure everyone go to see it.
It’s a photo of the sunrise in Manhattan looking down one of the streets towards the east and it lines up perfectly.
See, as it’s explained at the site Astronomy Picture of the Day, Manhattan streets are not perfectly aligned to east/west and north/south, so the regular equinoxes don’t line up there. But on May 28 and July 12, they do and you can catch it coming and going (sunrise and sunset).
The photo there was taken in 2001, but stunning nonetheless.
Saturday, May 29, 2004
I got this advice second hand from the coffee guy who was on the Paramount lot for the week doing the premium coffees for LA Screenings. (As we would have to explain to our clients - we offer plain old brewed American style coffee and his European style coffees.)
He also works his little coffee stand on movie sets and other big Hollywood parties and gets to know a lot of folks.
Turns out he was talking to one of those big young, up-and-coming action stars about how too much caffeine can give you the shakes. He had a great cure for that. He’d noticed when he was in auditions and was a little amped either because he was nervous or had too much coffee, if he wiggled his toes, his hands wouldn’t shake.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
I’m afraid they’re coming here and are horribly disappointed.
You have my apolgies if you’ve been lead astray.
It has come to my attention that the Dino in the White Island Crater will not exist forever. And it’s sad, because Dino probably knew that the acrid environment would shorten his lifespan.
But cry not, beloved readers, because we can do something to keep his memory alive.
I’m looking for a few brave volunteers who would like to find a webcam in their neighborhood to put up a memorial Dino or other Flintstone’s pen topper. (thanks Koga!) If we get enough people involved, we can probably get a bulk deal on these fellows. Of course in memory of dear White Island Dino, they would wear magenta/purple armbands. (You can just draw them on with a sharpie.)
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Maybe there’s some clever evolutionist out there who can explain something to me about humans.
Why do nose hairs hurt so much when you pull them?
What is the evolutionary advantage to keeping people from yanking them out?
I can pull out hairs from my eyebrows or arm or leg (individually, I should specify, any large mass of hair at one time anywhere on your body hurts like a mofo) and it’s relatively painless - just a little pinch and it’s gone.
I pull out a nose hair and my eyes are spilling over.
What’s that all about? Was there a point in human development when people started pulling them out and those people didn’t survive as well, but the ones that had some sort of super pain-receptors in their noses survived better and passed along their genes to modern humans?
Why should the nose, that part of the nose, be so sensitive? It it to keep us from shoving things up there? To keep us from taking things out?
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Now that I’ve had a few weeks to live with it, I love the new blogger interface.
It’s more powerful - it’s a better way of working with a large blog (let’s face it, I have hundreds of entries and have had trouble doing trackbacks to my own entries because I couldn’t even search by month on the old version.)
2. Search is available in the edit area. Let’s face it, once you get more than 100 entries or more than 1 year under your belt, you need a search feature to find stuff.
3. Previous posts by title instead of just a code number.
4. Stats for your blog are available in your profile (finally, I know how many posts I’ve made), and number of words written.
5. Preview - it allows me to see my text in format, not necessarily in my stylesheet but at least I can check the links easily.
2. No post links available within the edit section. I want to be able to reference previous posts without opening another window to my blog and searching them out. It shouldn’t be that hard to have it in the edit section somewhere.
3. Stats for the blogs are not always accurate. Sometimes Spambiguity says that it only has one post, when it has over 15 so far.
4. Stats.blogger.com is still wonky. 9 times out of 10 when I try to go there, I get the white DNS error screen. Why is that?
Other things I’d like:
1. Option on the create a link within a post tool to have it automatically prompt me if I want it to open in a new window. Right now I hand code most of that. Same with photos - MT lets me upload a photo and it will offer to make a thumbnail and an autosized pop up version of the image.
Monday, May 24, 2004
There’s a webcam run by the Geological and Nuclear Sciences group in New Zealand that monitors a crater in a volcano on White Island in the Bay of Plenty (New Zealand).
Though the volcano is a tourist attraction, most visitors just view it by boat (or webcam) so it’s rather odd that a little pink dinosaur has appeared on the lower part of the frame.
The article here doesn’t say anything more specific than a pink dinosaur - but it looks like the Flintstone’s Dino to me.
It’s very slow - but you can try to catch a live glimpse of him on the volcano cam yourself.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
I joined Buzznet a while back (I had to ... I met Marc Brown at a party). And here I’ve been populating my little gallery with some yummy daily snaps. (I even updated the neon gallery there too, take a look.)
Now it’s time I share them with you directly.
So you’ll notice that there are some swell images over there on my sidebar.
If you recall, this is why I wanted a three column format ... but it was not to be. So you only get one photo a day. But just click on it and it’ll take you to my gallery at buzznet and of course everyone else whom I link to. (I also post to the blogging.la buzznet on occasion, because I’m a syndicating gal.)
Anyway, I should be posting to that pretty frequently, as I snap photos just about every day, which as you already know is more often than I post on my blog.
Friday, May 21, 2004
Oh dear, I’ve been referred to on Defamer.
And here I was, lamenting my lack of readership.
You nice Defamer readers come here expecting more about the Andy Kaufman/Rance story.
So here goes, first, a commenter on the original post spake thusly:
He has a serious point here. Rance’s blog is soooooo seeped in the verisimilitude of an person with a shallow life it’s hard to believe that Andy is that good. And further that Andy never had any interest in commenting on that part of our culture.
But I can defend that. Because as I understand Andy, he was always reinventing his performance art. And why not take it to another level on the internet? I’m old enough to remember Andy’s first appearances on Saturday Night Live. I remember his complete dedication to whatever he did - no matter what he faced, he threw himself into whatever his current role was.
As for the commenter referring to Andy never being boring or trite ... well, it’s easy to look back and say that, but in the moment, especially with Andy’s early performance pieces (the wrestling stuff) it was very easy to write the whole act off as offensive or just the wrong direction. It went to a place, for me, that was not terribly funny and made a point that I didn’t need to have made to me.
Mostly I hope that Rance is a deft parody to the point of complete surrender by his readership to his nuanced portrayal of Hollywood insipidness.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
After a vast amount of reading and comparison, I’ve decided that Andy Kaufman did, in fact, fake his death, and he is, in fact, alive.
I did not get this from his press release.
I did not get this from his website.
I’ve decided that it is time I unmasked Rance as Andy Kaufman.
For just a moment I’d like to pretend that I’m perfect. That will allow me to pick on others imperfections. (Well, maybe admitting that I’m not perfect allows me to pick on others, whatever it is, just pretend that I’ve admitted it or we’re suspending our disbelief for this exercise.)
I’m reading the NY Times. And there’s an article called When Alzheimer’s Steals the Mind, How Aggressively to Treat the Body? by Gina Kolata. I read it. There’s a little photo to the right and the caption says:
Is it me or is there an error there? Choose? Should it be chose? Or chooses? Something other than choose.
Then, later in the article:
Now, I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure we don’t want food in the lungs, and further, we don’t want to have to hire someone to confirm that we’re putting food there. So either we want to verify that food ISN’T entering the lungs or we want to verify that food is entering the STOMACH.
This article came out Tuesday.
I’m not sure how this whole correction/retraction thing works, but I’m pretty sure that the web allows you to fix these things instantly. I can see that it might have been up there for a few hours, maybe a day wrong, but for two days?
Anyway, I know that I have typos up here on my blog all the time. But let’s face it, I’m not getting paid for this. I’m not the NEW YORK TIMES! I’m just fast fiction, which implies that I type fast and don’t look back.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
File this under something you just couldn’t get away with in America.
In Japan there’s a candy that’s known as ‘Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha’
The article goes on to say:
See, I just don’t think anyone could do that here ... you would never find St. Paul Spit Soda or Jesus Boogers Gummis or Mary Menses Tea or God’s Is Great Earwax Candles.
I wonder if they taste any different than Hello Kitty Snot?
I’ve started a new blog. Not in place of this one, just another one.
I was going to ask for some help from readers. Anyone wanna join in? There’s no obligation to post often, just some. I suppose if enough people join in, the obligation is very little.
It’s called Spambiguity and it’s just a blog of the curious spam that I get on my many email addresses (11 at last count). Right now I’m obsessed with the strange text they throw into spam in order to throw off the spam catchers. I have a small program (eprompter) that allows me to view my email as text only, so I don’t have to worry about anything nasty. It’s PC only.
I can add in contributers quite easily on Blogger. So if you want to play along, just pop me an email or leave a comment here.
Monday, May 17, 2004
It’s not getting the most press, so I thought I’d do my bit.
Children are getting injured by the appearance of the 17 year cicadas.
Yes, it’s true. Hospitals have noticed a rise in injuries related to cicadas. During the winter cicada related injuries fall off precipitously, but now that spring has arrived in the east and the cicadas have emerged from their underground slumber.
The article goes on to detail other freak accidents caused by cicadas (let’s be clear, these are children that wouldn’t have put their hands under moving auto wheels or run into brick walls otherwise - they’re perfectly normal, intelligent children).
This being a 17 year event, I think we can start planning for the next cycle now. There’s little need for us to waste public health education money on vaccinations and basic medical and dental coverage for low income families. The real threat to America’s youth is cicadas.
Friday, May 14, 2004
The Man saw this on BoingBoing today.
Fast Fiction Friday - Warren Ellis of Die Puny Humans asked a bunch of writers to contribute a few words of short fiction to his blog. Just cycle through them using the next arrows at the top.
Enjoy some refreshing fiction! Now, how do I get to play along next time?
Okay, the photo safari was last night, but I’m posting it today.
Will and I took a few fab photos last night on Sunset Blvd/Hillhurst/Hollywood. We decided after seeing the Vista Theater that our focus would be neon. And lo and behond we found quite a bit. The most spectacular being the Wacko sign on Hollywood Blvd.
I was very surprised at how well my camera did (Sony DSC-V1) in these conditions. The best photos came when I was able to stabilize myself against a pole or something. Of course I shot over a hundred photos and there were only about 15 keepers.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
I’m sure some folks have already seen the article. But here’s a link to Travis’ website that has the whole article. Blogging.la has a poorly scanned (but ultra-fun) copy of the photo that went along with it. Note that the dumpster and wall they’re in front of is part of the header image for the site.
Not those kinds of characters ... The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator has just posted a new record on the road to recreating the works of Shakespeare through random keystrokes:
Pretty soon we’ll have a whole block of dialogue.
So gentle readers, you’re stuck with this. Maybe I’ll change out the colors and do a new header graphic. But there’s no additional content bar in the near future. Maybe I’ll feed the buzznet photos in.
UPDATE: I’ve signed up for Bloglines - a one stop place to read all my favorite blogs via Atom or RSS feed. It seems that this is the way blogs are going anyway, so who gives a damn about the design?
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
I signed up for classmates.com some years ago. I’m not sure why. I was never particularly close with any of my classmates at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High. But I was curious what happened to some of them (the writer in me) and so I check back. Problem is that I’m not a gold member and I refuse to fill out a profile so I really can’t find out anything out about anyone except the fact that they signed up.
Well, lately there has been an outbreak of all new spam. Or pranks, I haven’t decided.
It started with a classmate signing in under the name Penis, Enlargement. Today I logged in and someone two years after me graduated under the name Well, Hung. I don’t recall him. Nope, looked through the yearbook and there is no Well, Hung fellow.
I’m getting frustrated trying to make that other design work and I wonder if it’s the limitations of designing CSS for so many different browsers.
So, I went and got another skin with three columns (because I’m damn determined on that!) and put it here to test. Obviously I haven’t fleshed out the design quite as well as the last one. So, good folks, let me know what you see. (I know the blogger banner ad intrudes ... but it won’t on fast fiction since I’m an ad-free space.)
I’ll start populating it a little better soon, maybe I’ll work on it tonight. I’m not sure I’m keen on the colors, but the trick at the moment is finding a layout that doesn’t get all wonky on Macs and Netscape.
I’m hard at work creating a new template for Fast Fiction. You can preview it here. Obviously the content isn’t there, so it’s hard to judge. I’m still working on moving over all my links and reordering things a bit. I haven’t figured out how to use the “blogger profile” feature yet, but I can roll these things out in stages.
If you visit the test site, please let me know if it looks okay on your screen and with your browser. I don’t have that many computers to test on. I need to know if the three column thing is working. I think it comes down to the fact that the center column can’t have an image in it that’s wider than 325 pixels or else it messes up the columns beneath it (but I can always make the images popups for larger versions, which will make the page load faster anyway). But that’s only an issue for folks with small monitors (or small browser windows). I’ll have to populate a few more mock entries to see how it really works. And of course my real archives take up a lot more room.
Any of the internal links on the site obviously point back to fast fiction instead of implementing the template on my archives, so if you click on them and get back here, don’t be surprised.
I found the skin on BlogSkins.com and it was designed by Michael Kelly (NaKaithus).
I’m thinking of redoing my header graphic, too. My screen at the office is 1152x864, so there’s a lot of room on the right of the top graphic. I think if I make a very wide one with little of interest past the 800 pixel mark it would look decent, but then folks with narrow monitors would get a scroll bar on the bottom. I’m not smart enough to do something that shifts bigger and smaller like blogging.la ... I also may be changing the background color to something darker but leaving the side bar fill that steely grey. Any thoughts? Please?
UPDATE: I did change the background color to a light purple-gray. I like it, it makes the white appear a little brighter. Let me know if you hate it. (I’m a big fan of purple.) I duotoned the header image (and lengthened it a bit for wider screens) and now I’m trying to deal with the overlap issues (it appears that way on Netscape as well). Thanks to everyone for their comments. Keep checking back and let me know if I’ve fixed it.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Perhaps the obsession with writing a novel in a month has worn off. The challenge is gone. I know I can do it, I’ve done it three times.
But how about a weekend?
I got an email yesterday and lo and behold a project out of India is doing just that this weekend. It’s not limited to novels either, it could be plays or screenplays or even graphic novels. I can’t quite decided whether I’m up for it, but here it is, in case you have 58 hours free:
Is it just me, or does the new blogger homepage look like something out of AOL or something? I mean, I know the idea is to make blogging easy, because blogs are about content, not interface, right? But please, does it have to look like it was designed by Fisher Price? I feel like everything is big and rounded to keep from being called a choking hazard.
Monday, May 10, 2004
Okay, maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but Blogger changed over the weekend. I was thinking of changing my template, but this throws a huge monkey wrench in those plans, as they now have a profile. There are new templates, of course, but I’m not sure if I wanna use something that everyone else is going to have in a few days.
I’m still looking for a good three column layout - column one is linking and archives, column two is content and would be flexible width and column three is photos and additional content like a profile and maybe other longer-term content.
Oh, and it turns out this is my 133rd posting. I’ve written over 30,000 words via Blogger. Most are for this blog, but a goodly number (probably 5,000) were also for the Ojai Playwrights Conference Blog, too.
The best thing I can tell so far is that “blockquote” is now available on the toolbar. Used to be I had to hand code that and I was too lazy so I never used it. Yay!
Friday, May 07, 2004
As a spam aficionado (well, connoisseur, really), I like a good story about someone who tries to play the spammers at their own game.
The Nigerian 419 Scam is not so much spam as an elaborate shell game ... I have $38 million for you, will you give me $40,000 to help you get it?
Thursday, May 06, 2004
I was intrigued by these little fellows I’ve been seeing on my hollyhocks. They look like weevils to me. I really don’t know much about insects, but I knew enough that when I googled weevils + hollyhocks I would find my answer.
Lo and behond, what I’ve got living on my hollyhocks are called ... hollyhock weevils.
Seems that it’s breeding season for them. Or maybe they’re just horny little buggers. It was hard to not find them coupled up like this.
I love google.
I’ve really gotten into digital photography lately. And now I’ve found some places online to obsess over it.
First is DPChallenge.com. It’s a great site, with real photographers and each week they have an open challenge on a particular assignment. Photos must be taken during that week and then there is a week of voting and commenting. It’s a lot of fun and I enjoy the structure of it and community.
The other one is Worth1000.com, which is known more for their photoshop contests. But they also have photography contests and they allow any photo to be used, not just ones shot in the last week. I’m not as keen on their site. It’s not very pretty and not terribly intuitive. But there’s always a bunch of contests going on. So, one competition came up for “Nature Negatives” which requested nature photos that were inverted. Well nature photos, I’ve got thousands!
I dug through and found one that actually looked good as a negative image and uploaded it. They give you 10 “credits” to start, which are entry fees. Most entry fees are 2 or 5 credits but this one was 10, so I was taking a huge gamble. If I didn’t win one of the jackpots, I’d never be able to play again.
Before and After
Lo and behold, my photo won! Whee!
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Every once in a while someone finds me through google. Well, a couple of times a day. But it’s often searches like: Cybele or Nanowrimo novel or fast fiction blog. Things you’d expect this site to come up as a result.
Yesterday, late last night someone searched for “Lifespan of Pericles”. The result is 218 items. This site is the 36th one listed.
I’m hoping after I post this I come up as the first!
UPDATE: This morning someone did a google search for 958,399,000,000,000,000,000 and my site came up first. I’m not quite sure what they were looking for.
During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.