Saturday, July 27, 2013

I am now a published author.

So today I got a book in the mail.  This came as a surprise because I didn't order a book.

Then I opened it.  And all made sense.

I wrote a short story for an anthology called Shifting Hearts for which I will be (when the check arrives) be paid $30 (that'll make me a professional author) and was given a complementary copy of the book, which now sits beside me.

Mine is one of seven stories, I haven't read the others.  Probably should at some point, now that I have the book and all.

Shifting Hearts is an anthology of real world based (no magic and such) otherkin romance stories.  My contribution, beginning on page 95 is called "Looking the Real You in the Eye".

Since I was paid a fixed price financially it doesn't matter to me whether the book sells seven billion copies or zero, but I'd like it to do well.  Also, if you buy from Amazon through my site (links coming) I should theoretically make pennies.

The Kindle version is here.

The Paperback version is here.

[Added] Link to Amazon UK page for the book. [/added]

That's all the versions there are.


As part of the deal I retain copyright on my story but agree not to release anywhere else for a certain period of time.  Six months as I recall but I'd want to double check the contract before doing anything.  Point is: if you don't want to wait half a year or more to read my story, you kind of have to buy the book.


Oh, about the 11th commandment.  The 11th commandment is, of course, "Don't get caught."  This can be used for good or ill.  But the thing is, the only reason it can ever be used for good is because we live in an imperfect world.  Very imperfect.

On the way to my psychiatrist's office I pass a historical marker about the underground railroad.  These were people who lived by the 11th commandment to the betterment of many.

Closeted people live by the 11th commandment.

And we come to levels of wrongness.  Using the 11th commandment isn't bad unless used for bad things.  There's nothing wrong about the 11th commandment when looked at on that level.  But the fact that the 11th commandment ever has to be used for good things is wrong.  If what you're doing is not wrong then there should be no reason that getting caught is a problem.  And so the need for the 11th commandment points to a wrongness in our world.

And so I believe in the abolition of the 11th commandment, but not by taking aim at it directly.  Instead by improving the world to the point that it is no longer needed.  A world where, "Don't get caught," is something that's absurd to say about good things because getting caught would produce a response of, "Why were you trying to hide that?  There's nothing wrong with that."


The first rule, Rule 1 (which is so basic often times I forget it is Rule 1 and call it Rule Zero), is, "Try not to be an asshole."

Apparently the Sci-Fi Channel can't decide which theme to use with Sharknado: the shark or the nado

Sci-Fi Saturday used to be a day when you could be assured of seeing a bunch of bad Sci-Fi movies at least losely connected to one theme followed by a Sci-Fi original or actual good movie centered on that theme.

That is no longer the case.  They've moved movie day to Friday.  But Sharknado was such a sensation that the decided to do an entire day of theme movies today culminating in Sharknado, just like the old days (Though they didn't say that.)  But what theme?

They told my provider they'd be playing:
Storm War
Impact (parts one and two)

A little bit scatter-shot, space weather in there and whatnot, but clearly a -nado theme.

This is what they are playing:
Malibu Shark Attack (The one with the Sharknami)

Definitely a shark theme.  Unless they change their mind again before the day is through.

Friday, July 26, 2013

If I close my eyes will the world go away?

It is probably the case that the best posts are not written from fetal position, not because fetal position is a bad position from which to type (though it is, which is why I'm now propped against a couch) but because the reasons conducive to being in fetal position are not the ones conducive to writing a good post.

I don't even fucking know.

Yesterday was good, except for the dogs, the day before was good.  Today

And I ran out of fucking words.  Was there a sentence there and I lost it, or did I just think something would follow if I started and then nothing did?

Don't know.

The more of me that's in contact with the floor the better things seem to be.  Not better as in feels good.  That would imply feeling where there is none.  Less uncomfortable perhaps.  More natural?

And the question remains: if i close my eyes will the world go away?

Be nice if it would.

But it doesn't.  My body persists and that bird outside won't shut up and some large vehicle (a train perhaps) made a "get out of the damn way" noise.

I think the time may have come to seriously consider that perhaps I have nothing to say.  Today will pass and nothing of value will be written or done.  Tomorrow will likely be the same.  Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps forth in this petty pace from day to day.  I don't even like Shakespeare.  Yesterday things had meaning.  Today all that has passed away and I lay here on the floor.

And my monitor is the wrong fucking color.  No red.

Darkness come and take me now.  For fuck's sake I've run out of everything.  Motivation, energy, emotions, spoons, words.

The world still won't go away, even if I lie face down on the floor with eyes closed for god knows how long.

May tomorrow be better.  Not a hope, I'm out of that stuff.  Just another request I expect will go unfulfilled.

For future reference

If I make a post about a movie and you take that as an invitation to ask 67 questions about the movie the vast majority of which could be answered by casually watching it and throw in some clearly untrue statements as well... I may very well, as I just did, try to politely answer your questions and correct your mistakes but there's a good chance that by the end of it I'm going to have a very low opinion of you and wonder why you didn't simply watch the fucking movie.

Monday, July 22, 2013

More about my Birthday

Someone suggested that I make an Amazon wishlist, and as I started to do that I noted a Blu-ray/DVD/CD/VHS player that I'd really like.  So I added it to the wish list because "wish" but here's the thing: Given the price tag on it if anyone were to actually get it for me (pretty sure no one would because aforementioned price tag) the only reasonable course of action would be to sell it and use the money for school.

Which means that... I don't know.  I feel like an ass saying, "Just give me money," but anything but the cheapest things I'd probably have to sell for money anyway.  From my birthday to when university starts is one month.  One month to figure out how to get thousands of dollars when everything is in disarray, stress is high, and I'm on the wrong fucking medication.  Though hopefully that last can be fixed.  I was put on current one because it might work but also because trying it would be needed to convince the insurance company to pay for the one that does work which is, unfortunately, more expensive.  By a lot.

I don't want to sell any gifts.  That feels bad and evil and wrong.

So I'm left with this, next year I'll have a wishlist up and if anyone wants to get me something by all means get me something.  This year, this year if you want to give me a present just donate.  If you want you can attach a message saying, "I'd like you to use this to buy [whatever]," and I'll see what I can do.  But for now, if you want to get me something, just donate.

And yes, that is exactly what I said makes me feel like an ass.

Though there is another possibility.  On my birthday, August 3rd, if you can make it to southern Maine, contact me and we could meet face to face.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Primary Computer Update

When my keyboard lost the ability to produce a comma, which also lost me the left angle bracket (<) I thought I'd be forced to abandon my computer and simply move the hard drive to a new computer of the same model.  (Which I'd gotten for parts to fix my computer.)

Turns out... no.  At first I thought the thing wouldn't start.  After opening it up I discovered that the problem was more... problematic.  Instead of being plugged in the monitor cable was shoved into a place in which it did not fit warping the metal housing around the circuit board and having to be pried free in ways that almost certainly did real damage to the computer.

In hindsight I should have just cut it and left it wedged in there.  I by the time I got the cable out it was visibly fucked.  Thankfully I had a brand new cable I'd gotten when I was hoping that my original cable was what caused the red to go away.

So I installed the screen from the new computer, and the keyboard (which isn't quite perfect, the end key is in the process of being reattached.  The good news: A working computer that needs only two screws that don't belong to it and doesn't have a cracked screen and such.  The bad news: Red still doesn't work.  It's not the monitor, it's not the cable, against all the odds it's something wrong with the computer itself.  In fact I think we can narrow it down to one part of the computer.  If I plug in an external monitor cable that will work, red and all.  So it has to be the socket thingy into which the LCD cable plugs or something leading to that that is responsible for the lack of red.

Also, certain letters on the keyboard stopped working while typing this, then started working again.  So... no fucking clue.  I may need a new primary computer.  I have a new secondary computer, thank you Ana, but it doesn't do DVDs and CDs.

[Added:] Ha, ha!  Mine is a triumphant laugh.  "End" key reattached, if a bit wiggly.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Four episodes for the series I suggested (and do you think we could make this work?)

First off: the original post.  Second, the concept in short: Imagine an action movie.  Car chases, shoot outs, explosions.  Now imagine a series that wasn't telling that story, but instead the story of everyone who those things had an effect upon.  One person per episode.

That' It should be its own post. And if you can actually write the stories, you could make a cool book. Or graphic novel, or comic series or whatever. 
I know that might be devilishly difficult... 
Alternately, you could put up the story skeleton for the episodes and maybe other people could flesh them out, if you wanted to give permission for that... whether as a fun pastime or the inaugural Stealing Commas ebook or something else...
So I am making it into it's own post and I'm putting out the question, do you think we could make this thing?  Stealing Commas first (presumably only) graphic novel.  The other people would need to be involved.  Plots from start to finish are things I'm singularly bad at doing, I can't draw for shit.  Very few people know less about the way to go about making a story to fit a comic book format than I do.

It would be an undertaking.  An undertaking that would depend not just on me but also on other people.  People to help at basically every stage of the process.  So I put out the question: does it seem possible?

Anyway, onto the four plots.

From the "action movie" perspective all that happens is a foot chase turns to a car chase outside a flower shop (via the stealing of cars) and two street vendors carts are destroyed by the ensuing car chase because car chases do that.

Now plots:

We've got the two people who have their cars stolen.  At first glance their stories seem nearly identical, they're two guys who are trying to pull of the perfect date with their respective girlfriends.  When looked at in detail, it becomes apparent that the stories are completely different.

One of them is in a healthy happy relationship that just seems to be plagued by minor mishaps and slip ups and what not and is trying for the perfect date because he wants, one time, for everything to go right and his reason for wanting it to be perfect is entirely his own impetus.  His girlfriend isn't pressuring him to get it right this time or putting her foot down or any such thing such thing.

He's running late and leaves his car idling and unlocked because he thinks he's just going to run in and run out, the heroes steal it.  Now without a car, pulling off the perfect date becomes even more difficult, but that's his story.  How he manages to pull it off.  That's one episode/issue/thing.


The other is in a toxic relationship.  His girlfriend is controlling and he's trying to do everything perfectly because perfection is the constant unattainable demand.  The villain steals his car at gunpoint as he slows down to park.  He chases after the car (not very smart but people do not smart things all the time.)

Because he never made it into the flower shop he stops at the wreckage of a flower cart the the car chase destroyed, picks out his girlfriend's favorites, and then buys them from the very surprised vendor.

"How much?"

"Are you serious?"

"Yes. And in a serious hurry. I'll pay you double, triple, whatever." *beat* "Name your price."

He buys the flowers and runs off, completely oblivious to the fact that people behind him have started buying from flower cart woman at highly inflated prices, and preordering when her stock runs dry, thus giving her the capital necessary to get a new cart. Her cart isn't insured, you see.

He continues, like his counterpart, trying to pull off the perfect date, interactions/flashbacks/whatnots showing how toxic the relationship is and in the end his girlfriend blows up at him for things not being perfect which finally pushes him to admit he's in a toxic relationship and leave it.  He goes to the insurance office to make a claim on his car where he meets the owner of the other ruined street cart (Fruit Cart Woman) who is putting in a claim on her cart (unlike Flower Cart Woman hers was insured), talks to her while waiting (because the insurance office* is crowded post action movie), and asks her out on a date before they part company.

That's his story: Realizing a relationship is toxic, getting out of it, going out on a limb to start a new relationship.


The other two stories also seem similar at first glance (street vendors resurrecting their run-over businesses) but are completely different because one was insured and the other was not.

Flower Cart Woman has the idea sparked by Car Stolen At Gunpoint Guy to crowd fund the restoration of her business.  It's not exactly selling slightly run over flowers at highly inflated prices, it's more like a pledge drive.  Something like:

"I'm not asking you to overpay for a flower, I'm asking you to remember all of the times I've helped you pick out good flowers and give me some money to get back on my feet and I'll give you a flower, free of charge, in thanks."

And that is her story, rebuilding a business by convincing members of the community to pitch in so she can buy a new cart.


Finally we have Fruit Cart Woman.  The end of Car Stolen At Gunpoint Guy's story is the middle of hers, if not earlier, because her story doesn't end until her business is up and running again which requires navigating the difficult waters of post action movie insurance claims.

Compared to Flower Cart Woman's request for donation speech above she'd be saying things more like, "The policy clearly covers auto accidents, the explosions were two blocks away and have nothing to do with my claim."

Much of her difficulty would stem from the fact that she wasn't fortunate enough to get claims officer quoted in the footnote.


These four stories, really two stories each told in two radically different ways, leave the male characters the ones running through an action-movieifed city, possibly doing some parkour in an attempt to do things in a hurry while the female characters are doing less actiony things because they're business owners trying to save their businesses.  They also have only heterosexual romance, though Flower Cart Woman's sexual preferences, if any, don't play into any of the plots.

But ideally there would be more stories, many more stories.  Stories of males doing less actiony things like the Street Vendor Women of the above stories and of females doing more actiony things, and of relationships of all sorts, and whatnot.

The guiding light of the stories would be that when it comes to realism vs the desire to tell upbeat stories with happy endings realism loses every time.

A car chase led to an accident that caused the biggest traffic jam in history when you need to get to your job interview fast how do you make that story have a happy ending?  That's the implicit promise to the reader/viewer: This is the story of how an ordinary person managed to pull off a happy ending after an action movie smashed through their life like a bulldozer.

A gun fight caused parent and child (or older sibling and younger sibling) to be separated with one on the subway car and the other off after which the subway was shut down leaving child completely lost, parent/sibling in a panic, and an adventure through a city suddenly subject to gunfights car chases and explosions to reunite the two.  You know going into the story that it's going to have a happy ending, what you don't know is how or what the stops along the way will be.


* Random exchange at company between employees:
"The shareholders are NOT going to be happy." 
"Fuck the shareholders, I work for the customers."

Google Chrome is starting to damage my calm

It's not that it will close a window with a bunch of tabs without asking if maybe I didn't want to close them ALL even though it feels the need to tell me every fucking time I go full screen that I've gone full screen when basically the only reason that I ever go full screen is to take a screen shot which I can't do until the stupid notification goes the fuck away.

It's that it will close a window with a bunch of tabs for no reason.  Not me hitting a button, not something freezing up (I know this because it does ask me if I want to kill things that have become unresponsive) nothing at all.  Just one moment the window is there, then it's gone.  I can reopen it, and all tabs in it, but using the command to reopen the most recently closed tab but in all likelihood whatever important thing I was doing in said tabs will have been lost.

When I hit the wrong X and lose things because of that I can accept that.  I fucked up, I pay the consequences.  When I do nothing of the sort and lose things for no legitimate reason and without so much as an error message that pisses me off.  More than somewhat.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Now and then

I have a VCR/DVD player recorder, these devices exist, basically, to convert VHSes to DVDs.  I have a lot of VHSes.  A lot.  The wall currently opposite me is covered in shelves and every shelf is filled with VHSes.  Some may be older than I am.  (When were VHSes invented?)

Back in the old days when I wasn't the sole occupant of this house, in fact so far back that current TV was not yet purchased, recording things to VHS then copying them to DVD without the commercials was a viable way to do something.  Current TV is HD which means that it looks at DVDs made in this way and says, "The quality is crap.  Don't believe me?  I WILL SHOW YOU THAT THE QUALITY IS CRAP SUCH THAT YOU CANNOT IGNORE IT!"  This is annoying, but it's just part of life.

The problem was always keeping up with the transfer, which I never quite managed to do.  So the VHSes would pile up, in piles, which are separate from the ones on the wall opposite me.

Since I was trying to cataloge my DVDs I thought it might be good to see what is on the unlabled piles of VHSes.  They're unlabled because they were always intended to be temporary.  Record something on it, transfer it to DVD less the commercials, rewind, tape over what was previously recorded (which is how I found that one VHS contains only the second half of the movie where Cerberus defends the sword of Genghis Khan whenever it is removed from his tomb, a sword that originally belonged to Ares because Khan was totally Greek... yeah... that's it.)

And the VHS player on my VHS/DVD Player Recorder just crapped out.  I tried putting one of those cleaning tapes in it, first it just turned itself off.  Then it spat it out, more fussing, more tantrums.  It's dead.  Professionally recorded mass marketed VHSes will not play.  This isn't like when the DVD part acted up earlier.  It is, very much, dead.

And now we come to now and then.

Right now this is an expense I can swallow if I want to.  I can dip into my savings, recently replenished by surprisingly generous donations, and buy a new machine that won't crap out on me.  Not on the DVD, not on the VHS.  I can get everything in order and have that be a first step towards cleaning the seemingly untamable mess that is my house.

Maybe I can even get back to regularly watching The Daily Show and reintroduce some laughter into my life.  VHS is useful for that because the quality doesn't really matter and taping over it is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

That's now.  Now I have enough money to deal with the problem that just reared its head now.

But what about then?

What about when the ominous repeated refrain that the amount I'm paying to stay in my house isn't enough to justify staying in my house when I can barely afford to pay that much stops being something about the future and starts affecting the present tense?

What about university?  Change in medication that doesn't seem to be helpful but was necessary to be able to pay for medication (and to argue for insurance paying for the one we know works if it turns out to be all that works) aside, progress seems to be being made, this is not the time to change teams.  But my mental health doctors are both linked to the university.  If I'm not a student I don't get to see them.

So if I want to solve my problems rather than spend the rest of my life as someone who is just getting by and receiving a monthly payment for being disabled spending another year in university is the clearest way forward.  Things are working, progress is being made, another year of this and I can (I hope) be ready to start with new doctors but right now it just seems like it would fuck everything up.

And here's the difference between now and then.  My savings now are more than enough to pay to replace the VHS/DVD machine.  They're about a tenth of what I need to pay for university.  Which starts in 48 days.  That's assuming that the health insurance I have covers what I need.  If it doesn't I may have to get the university's health insurance (not necessary to see my doctors but possibly necessary for other things) in which case you can effectively double the cost of university for me.

Now I have enough money, but then, which isn't very far away, I won't.  Do I fix my current problem which could go a long way towards cleaning one of the most disordered rooms in the house as well as giving me an emotional escape hatch when things get too bad (movies and shows are great for escapism, but only if you can find and watch them) and get even further from the upcoming problem, or do I focus on the fact that while now I may have enough money to deal with the movie playing machine then I'll be screwed over for cash like you wouldn't believe?

I know just what machine to buy, too.  One that merely having it can save me a lot of frustration not just because it will deal with the current VHS problem.  My cat is sitting on a broken version of it right now, and one (not-broken) is for sale at what I think is a rather good price.

But if I buy it now will that be the mistake that screws me over then?  (In all likelihood I'll be screwed over then either way.)

This is what's on my mind today.

My Birthday

My birthday is August 3rd, you're all invited except almost none of you live near here and I don't know when, if ever, the celebration will be held.  Last year no one showed up.  Two people tried but one passed out from sleep deprivation (trying to maintain a night job and a daytime social life is difficult) and the other got irrevocably lost and had no way to contact me.

I didn't find these things out until later so on the day itself there was just a lot of distressed waiting around and no payoff.  It was all the Sad.

If previous times were any indication then jumping off a bridge may be involved.  (The correct answer to, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" is, "Why the hell did I have to wait till last?")

But more likely at most one person reading this even has a possibility of coming.

So it was suggested to me that because I have constant money problems I ask for crowd funding of my life for my birthday... even though I didn't get you anything.  (Sorry.)  And also some of you have already given me much more than I would have ever expected.  (Thank you.)  Honestly I didn't really expect anyone to use the donate button at all.

This, on the one hand, makes sense.  If I were to say, "I have vague memories of Hostile Intent and Sleeping Dogs and might like to see them again," one of two things would happen.  Either no one would get me them (more likely) or I'd get multiple copies of the same one (less likely) either of which is sub-optimal.

Hostile Intent is sort of the anti-Sneakers.  For starters it's about a way to make computer systems impregnable instead of a way to break into any computer system, then it's an action movie (with a high body count), then it's crap where Sneakers will live on forever as an example of awesome.

Sleeping Dogs is a bad movie they showed on the Sci-Fi Channel back in the day.  Far enough back that they wrote it "Sci-Fi" instead of pretending that "SyFy" would be pronounced "Sci-Fi" when it clearly says "SeeFee".  If memory serves it's the one where the master thief doesn't know a damn thing about picking locks because everything is electronic and tries to give himself a peptalk by saying that the hand cuff lock was just "a tiny little mainframe."  Like Hostile Intent it is not in any way a good movie, but I grew up on it.

The point here is not that there are bad movies I'd like copies of (Primal Force [1999, Rob Perlman] never released on home video that I know of, Octopus [I think that's the one], The Beast, Deep Rising, many others whose names I have forgotten) the point is rather that asking for anything in particular will likely get me nothing and possibly get me several copies when I'd never need more than one.  (Though recordable DVDs and CD/DVD cases do seem to run in short supply a lot.)

Thus if someone does want to get me something (probably not) the best bet probably is to just use the donate button on the top right.  Also, I theoretically get a cut of purchases from Amazon made via this blog.  At least that's what the Amazon search box is for.

Or, you know, show up and meet me in person.  You could bring cookies or cake.  Or cookie cakes.  Or orange sherbert.  The possibilities are endless.


And, I just realized that I said "on the one hand" and never got to "on the other hand".  So, on the other hand, even though it makes sense it's a naked request for money on my birthday even though I never, ever, get any of you anything for your birthday.

So, yeah... do with it what you will.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Extras (a TV series concept)

Or: The Other People, or The People You Don't Notice, or Everyone Else, or something like that.

Take an action movie, car chases, explosions, gunfights, the works.  The plot spans a given area and a given time.  Say it takes place over a few days in one city.

Each episode of the TV series follows one person in that place during that time.

So maybe at some point the good guys had to get away in a real rush and because it was a matter of life and death and whatnot they didn't think too much of stealing the car that had been left idling outside the flower shop.

So one episode would follow the person that car belongs to who is determined after a series of mishaps and mistakes that this date with zir girlfriend will be perfect, the car was left idling because person was falling behind schedule and ze was hoping to run in, grab girlfriend's favorite flowers, and run out.

Pulling off the perfect date becomes more difficult when the heroes steal zir car.  And that would be one episode.

Each episode follows a different person, very rarely would it be a person who would even qualify as a named character in the "action movie" it's designed around.  Many times someone who wouldn't even appear on screen (the explosions, shoot outs, and car chases are going to have effects upon people not near them.)

I had this idea ages ago, a conversation with lonespark is what brought it to mind today.

("Movies" tag because I don't have, or really have the need for, a "TV Series" one.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sharknado (Open Thread)

I recorded Sharknado last night but have not watched it yet.

Before it came on I was discussing with Lonespark how it seems like a sharkicane (storm surge) or a sharknami would make more sense.  A tornado doesn't flood the streets so wouldn't the sharks just be projectiles, not even as bad as shark sized hail because like most living things they're squishy rather than ice hard.

It almost seems like there were two dart boards: Sea life and disasters.

Dart 1
Dart 2
"Whirlpool Hmmm... Piranha Whirlpool doesn't have the right ring.

Dart 3
Dart 4
"Inundation.  Uhhh... 'Squid Flood'?  Try again."

Dart 5
Dart 4
"Tornado.  You know, I think we can work with this.  Shark Tornado.  Sharkornado.  Sharknado.  THAT'S IT!  Sharknado.  We've got a winner.

(Damn it, I was holding out for Octopus Thunder.)

Open thread.  Talk amoungst yourselves.  Come up with names better than Sharknado.  Or worse.  Come up with plots.  Say things entirely unrelated.  Whatever.  (Be aware that Frankenfish, Flu Bird Horror, and Two-headed Shark Attack are already taken.)

My financial situation and donations

Originally this was going to be just one part of a multiple topic post but it got big and long and megalithic.

I mentioned on another site that financially things are bad and I should probably ask for money online being largely out of other options but I feel kind of bad about it because online people already came through for me when I was unable to pay for my medication without me even asking and now I'd be asking for more.  Since I said that two people have used the donate button here to help me out.  Thank you.

In theory no matter how bad things get food is assured to me, so it's not like I'd go hungry.  Housing is another question wrapped up with family.  Which is both good and bad.  Good because it means I can afford housing, where otherwise I might not, bad because straight answers are impossible.  Despite my best efforts I haven't even been able to disentangle the various things involved in the house, vital things like heat and water get tossed in with TV, internet, electricity (which is actually vital since the heating system requires it) and probably other stuff.

So I can't say, I need this much to stay online, or I need that much to keep the heat on, or whatever because it's all tangled up in me giving money to a member of my family for the right to stay in the house rather than be kicked out in preparation for it being sold.  A member of my family who is increasingly saying ominous things about what I'm paying not really being enough to justify the whole me living here thing.

And then there's dentistry.  The root canal was solved but the solution left the tooth in a fragile state and it needs a crown to top it off to make sure that the tooth doesn't start to fall apart again.  Why they couldn't do that in the same operation as the root canal I have no idea.

The previous dentistry predated insurance and came close to wiping out my savings.  The upcoming dentistry might be greater than my savings in which case I'll have no money and be in debt to the person who is already saying I'm not paying them enough.

So, yeah...

And then there's university.  My mental health support is through the university.  The psychologist is on staff there, the psychiatrist is paid by them (and doesn't take the insurance I now have) if I can't pay for next semester I need to start over with new people.  I need to do that at some point anyway but later would seem better because we're making fucking progress, more than anyone has in the past.  If I could stay one more year (two more semesters) I think that I'd be much better equipped to face the world outside of university than if I had to stop now.

But there's this problem of I've been there so long and attempted (but not passed) more than an arbitrary number of credits and that means that, though everything else checks out, I'm not eligible for financial aid.  Since I could graduate, twice over, I have no compelling case to make for an exception meaning I'll need to somehow pay for it out of pocket, my pockets are basically empty.

(The really fucking annoying thing, if I had simply not taken the classes I failed for mental health reasons I wouldn't be above the "tried to many" number.)

Money is a problem if I want a place to stay and the heat water and electricity that implies.
Money is a problem if I want to stay online.
Money is a problem if I want to have teeth.
Money is a problem if I want to stay with the team that's managed to help me after a decade of assorted doctors and therapists failed to accomplish a damn thing.

Money, it is a problem.  And so I thank those who donated and any who choose to do so in the future.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I swear I used to care about things.

Once upon a time.  Long ago and far away.

If my output seems to have dropped, that's why.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Spelling movie titles in ancient Greek (it says S*SCT*A, do you know what it is?)

Still doing my kind of sort of inventory of DVDs and I just bumped into Electra, except that's not what the title used.  On the one hand I understand why they'd want to use Greek letters, Greek letters are eye catching for those of us used to a different alphabet and Electra is the name of an ancient Greek tragedy so why not spell it like it's ancient Greek?  It's where the name comes from after all.

Here's the problem: Do you know how you spell Electra in Ancient Greek?

Here's how:


Except the movie title is in all caps (which isn't far off since lowercase letters are a more recent invention, a merciful invention), with the first letter being slightly larger to indicate it's doubly capital (which is far off.)  So it would be:


Are you getting "Electra" out of that?  Or is it coming out more like H[static]ectpa?
(To not have to say "[static]" I'm just going to stick Arabic letters in so "Hلectpa")

The point is, maybe ancient Greek isn't the best thing for a title.

Also things to note.  A capital alpha looks just like an A, a capital epsilon looks just like an E, the first E in Electra is a long E and in ancient Greek (always have to disclaim that I know not a damn thing about modern Greek) that gets a letter all it's own: Eta.  Which looks like an H, confusing I know.  Rho looks like a P, that can be annoying.  The Kappa and Tau both look as they should to match our alphabet

Since we only have one E in our alphabet one could convert it to:


Eلektpa  Still not there.  Borrow two letters from the Latin alphabet and you can have


Five Greek letters and two Latin, and you can actually read it.  But if you want to emphasize the Greekness it sort of fails.  One could switch to lowercase:


Which gets the Greek feel back, somewhat, but all this is moot because the movie's title was actually: S not-a-letter S K T not-a-letter L

Let me repeat that, the movie is called:


Or, with my Arabic substitution scheme:


Because, yeah, that spells Electra just fine.  Even if we assume you know what the wrong alphabet symbols mean, you're left with "Slsktrl" whatever the hell that means.

So, if you're making a movie, don't title it:


Unless your goal is to look like an asshole who doesn't know what he/she/it's doing.


Seriously, this is the actual title of the movie, again, but in lowercase rather than uppercase:


There aren't even any vowels in it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cowboys and Race

Random tidbit I just picked up.  Based on what was said one can infer that 2 out of three cowboys are non-Hispanic white.  The remaining third?  Hispanic and African American.

One third of movies, books, and other stories featuring a single cowboy should have that cowboy be of color.

55.5(repeating)% of stories featuring at least two cowboys should have at least one be of color.

Better than 70 percent of stories with three cowboys should have at least one be of color.

More than 80 percent of stories with four cowboys should have at least one be of color.

Five cowboys means more than 86% chance one or more is a person of color.

We break the 90% barrier at six where there's a 91.2% chance that at least one of the cowboys is of color.

Seven is largely unremarkable in the progression.  (94.1%)

At eight the value is 96%, we can say with ninety five percent confidence that one or more of the cowboys will be of color.  96% confidence actually, but 95% is kind of a standard.  Only one in 20 stories with eight cowboys in them should have an all white cowboy cast.  Less than one in twenty actually.

Random tidbit for anyone writing or reading something with cowboys in it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Computer Update

Good news bad news.

Good news, my computer is back in on piece, all I need to do is scrounge up six 4-40 nuts and it should stay that way for a good long time.

Bad news, I had hoped the color problem was with the cable (and that came fast, fast enough it arrived on the same day as the hinges), I was wrong. Red is dead. I don't know if the problem is on the computer's end or the monitor's end but either way is more than I can afford to fix.  So red is brown, everything else has an extremely annoying tint.  It's giving me a headache.  Having this as primary computer might be a problem.

Worse news, somewhere between realizing that some parts didn't quite fit right, drilling holes through the support structure so I could replace internal screws with external screws, and whatnot the screen cracked.  So far it's just annoying, it actually just looks like hair stuck to the screen at the moment, but cracks can expand.

So, yeah.  Got my computer back, as in in working order, but not in the order I was hoping for.