« February 2006 | Main | April 2006 »

March 31, 2006

Who Am I To Argue?

According to the esteemed Warren Ellis, I need this book: "The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana," by reference librarian Jess Nevins. And he may be right. Just look at that cover! Dizzying.

Hmm. Maybe I can get the library to buy it.

March 28, 2006

So, It's Tuesday

My sister-in-law Joy sent me a link to a blog she set up for her pregnancy: Baby Hansen 2006. Her due date is just a couple days after Lisa. Yes, it'll soon be all baby, all the time. But don't think I'm going to baby you guys. No, I plan on babying right on baby other baby in my baby, like a baby baby baby baby. Baby baby?

* * *

I return home to discover goose shit on my driveway. Never mind the Sinister Ducks, what about the sinister geese?

It's a coverup, I tells you.

* * *

In writerly news, received my copy of the new issue of Tales of the Talisman, containing my poem "Weird Android." That's the cover there, and I'm showing it because I'm fascinated. Behold, a closeup of giant squids working in space, fiddling with asteroids. Perfect. It's a clear nod to Vonda N. McIntyre's site, Talking Squids in Outer Space: The Pinnacle of SF. And isn't that something we can all agree on?


March 27, 2006

Drool Is The New 'Alas'

Thanks to all who sent good thoughts regarding the IRS thing. I'm currently awaiting a phone call from our local office about setting up an appointment. My prediction: they'll call this morning sometime between 11 and 11:45, because that's when a) I'll be out of my office, and b) I won't have my cell phone on. I'll be doing an instruction session and it's hard to convince the kids to turn off their phones if mine goes off. Can't really recover from that.

Just learned this, as I don't play in the Night Shade forums: Gordon Van Gelder, F&SF editor, has just become a father! I look forward to seeing additional "comments" from Zoe at the bottom of future rejections.

In my own baby news, I've signed up for a class at the hospital called "Boot Camp for Dads," all about the care and feeding of little ones for new fathers. I guess the title, "How to keep the baby alive until the mother gets home" was already taken.

March 24, 2006

Cardio

If you're looking to get your heartrate up for a bit but don't want to actually, y'know, exercise, then I'd say getting a thick envelope from the IRS is guaranteed to do the trick. And your heartrate will go up even higher when you open the envelope and learn it's actually a bill for a ginormous amount of money. No, we're not being audited; they just think we made an error on our 2004 tax return.

We did not.

After reviewing last year's return and getting some advice, it's almost certainly an error on their part. Called them this morning to request an appointment to get this oddness all taken care of. Everything will be fine. Hear that, heart? Everything will be just fine.

March 21, 2006

Important Things

Had an alarming moment today when I thought I had lost my flash drive. The cord had come undone and it had dropped away. Poof, gone. The best case scenario I had in my head was that it had fallen in the grocery store parking lot, where it had been crushed under the wheel of a Ford Expedition. But I came home and actually found it under the couch, thanks to one of the cats, no doubt. But that's where they keep important things, like catnip mice, so I can't really blame them.

* * *

Got the contracts from Weird Tales yesterday. Nice to see speedy delivery there. In sadder news, I hear Fortean Times is closing up shop. Boo, hiss, etc.

* * *

According to this website's Past Life Analysis, in my past life I was a 13th century female Korean alchemist. Hmm.

March 17, 2006

Fear My Mad Twanging Skillz

28 day rejection from Fantasy Magazine.

It was a glorious day today, and I had the day off (because I must work tomorrow, boo), so I did what any redblooded American would do: I went to the archery range and shot arrows in the Great Outdoors. Had a blast. It's in a relatively remote part of the county, with a whole lot of nothing nearby, so there was no chance of, er, accidents. Okay, there were a lot of trees. And possibly some squirrels, but I'm just guessing. Clearly they were keeping out of sight of the guy with a bow.

The range actually has three sections: a regular range with targets set up at distances increasing ten meters up to seventy (which is way out there, let me tell you); a broadhead range, out in the woods with a hunting stand and a number of 3-D faux animals set up; and a trail with about fifteen targets set up along the way. You stop every so often and shoot at a target an unstated distance away (and hope you don't overshoot, 'cuz you'll never see your arrow again).

At any rate, I took some shots at the 15 and 20 meters parts of the range, then moved over to the longer distances. And, after I adjusted my sight, I'm pleased to report I could hit the gold at 40 meters and the target at 50 meters. Whee! Fear my wrath, immobile objects!

For my brother: Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog.

March 15, 2006

"What is your fascination with my forbidden closet of mystery?"

278 day personal rejection from Aeon. Really long time, but it seems likely my original "no" disappeared into the ether. Stupid ether.

* * *

Still no name for the bow. Need to shoot off a few more rounds before I decide. Hmm...

* * *

On the way home from work today, stopped off and bought a large gun cabinet, suitable for holding a couple armfulls of shotguns. In our case, it's holding three swords, a fancy wavy-bladed dagger, and my bow & arrows. Whole thing is nice and secure in the closet, where our son is unlikely to get hold of them.

And yes, I'm aware the lad is currently still a fetus, and as such is quite unlikely to poke himself with a sword or arrow in the immediate future. Just seemed like one less thing to have to think about later on.

* * *

I keep watching this video of octopus camouflage in action, and I still can't get over it. We're doomed! There's no way we'll be able to find R'lyeh until it's too late!

March 12, 2006

What's In A Name?

Jenn asked me what I'm planning on naming the bow. Short answer is, I have no idea. But it does need a name, I think. There's a long tradition of naming implements of destruction, altho it's usually swords. Or B-52 bombers. I can't find a lot of names for bows, generally. One exception is from Tolkien, Belthronding, the bow of Beleg Cuthalion. That's about it. Legolas's bow is unnamed. Same with Bard, the slayer of Smaug. Robin Hood didn't name his bow, or Orion, or Apollo, or Artemis, or anybody else, so far as I can tell. It's tragic.

So, any suggestions?

March 11, 2006

Twangtastic

Oh, I'm quite delighted. Yes, it's all here. The bow in question is a KAP Evolution II, of Korean manufacture. Archery, as it turns out, is a national sport in South Korea, and they pretty much kick everyone else's ass at the Olympics. This is not to say that this particular model is of Olympic quality; it's a good starter bow that I could upgrade later, if I want to.

Three pics for your amusement:

1) The bow, neatly packed away in the carrying case. Holds twelve arrows, a stabilizer, the riser (the center part of the bow with the grip), the limbs (the curved ends), the sight, and the clicker (tells you when you've reached full extension on your draw).

2) The quiver, along with the rest of the stuff: the bow sling, the tab (shooting hand guard), two strings, the bow stringer, string wax, and a small collection of allen wrenches.

3) Me, all rigged out! Why, I actually look like I know how to shoot that thing. There's still some question.

Things I have learned so far: when attempting to string the bow, do it in a room where you can close the door. Otherwise the cats will try and "help."

* * *

22 day say nothing rejection from Analog. Unsurprising, but still.

March 10, 2006

Pleasing News That Pleases Me

Pleasing News That Pleases Me

Came home to find a message on my answering machine. 'Twas the archery coach, telling me I'll be getting my bow tomorrow!

Yay!

Yay!

Yay!

Naturally pictures will be provided, altho' not until the afternoon. Got to get home and take them, after all, under just the proper lighting conditions. And I want to thank you all for your support during this water torture of a delay. Thus endeth the report. Continue surfing; no need to return to your lives.

March 09, 2006

How Weird

I'm pleased as all get-out to announce that Weird Tales has accepted my weird little tale, "Not of Him." My first sale of the year, and my first fiction sale to them. To which I say: whee!

March 08, 2006

An Alternative

For those of you unnerved by the babysuit, I offer this instead: when the sprout gets a little older, a way of dealing with future tantrums (ad, requires flash 8). I can see myself doing this. Assuming, of course, that Lisa isn't with me.

Presented Without Comment

Warning: The picture at the other end of this link, while Safe For Work, has current opinion classifying it as Unnerving To Say The Least. Man in babysuit.

Ok, maybe one comment: what, no hat?

Update: And a warning label, it seems. For those of you expecting something amusing, I apologize.

March 07, 2006

Crisis Averted

Thank you, Susan.
Thank you, David.
Thank you, Jed.

I'm guessing if this had happened back in the Golden Olden Days, it would've been fixed with telegrams. This was much cheaper, but it might've been amusing to have someone from Western Union to come by and read the answer to me. I always liked those little hats they wore.

March 06, 2006

I Hate That

There's not much more disheartening than returning from the post office after mailing out a story than realizing you forgot to attach postage to your SASE. Making it a SAE, really. Sigh. I'm so embarrassed.

In other moments of dumbassery, I checked my proofs only to discover I lost the SASE my editors thoughtfully provided to me. David, Susan: please check your email.

About the only saving grace at the moment is that it's Spring Break, so none of them meddlesome kids are about.

March 05, 2006

Okie Doke

According to Babywatch 2006, we now have less than one hundred days before the sprout's arrival. Less than one hundred days! In certain parlances, that makes us short-timers.

Duh duh daah!

Something I came across: the opening credits of The Simpsons, recreated by real people. Judging by the policeman's hat, I'm guessing it's from the UK or Canada. Also, for the three of you who don't read BoingBoing, the lovely Natalie Portman as gangsta rapper.

March 04, 2006

Conga Like You Mean It

Email rejection from new Brit mag Farthing, clocking in at either 292 days or 14 days, depending on if you count from the original submission that the Internet Beasties apparently waylaid and devoured, or from the resub date. Six of one, and so forth. A no is a no is a no.

In local news, we visited the hospital today as part of an expectant parents' tour, in order to minimize later frantic running around on my part. I approve. Lisa approved of their facilities and I concur. With luck we'll get to use them and not have some weak sitcom development, like getting stuck in traffic when the baby comes, and I'm forced to deliver it myself off of exit 265. That's not really the good exit, after all. I have standards.

But enough about us: in west coast news, Jenn sold her novel Jade Tiger! To which we all shout, "Whoo! Jenn! Whoo!" and then form a conga line, chanting her name until the neighbors call the police, the old spoilsports.

Whoo! Jenn! Whoo!

Reading: Crime Stories and Other Writings, by Dashiell Hammett.

March 03, 2006

Coming To A Lifestyle Near You

Got a 50 day rejection from Talebones yesterday. Boo, hiss, etc.

I swear, just this barely rates as an update. How 'bout this?

Lisa and I took the day off from work, went to breakfast, then IKEA, then back home. I assembled most of our purchases (baby furniture, unsurprisingly) while Lisa drank an orange drink for a glucose test that, I swear to God, must have been made out of pure nectar. She was practically vibrating on the way over to the doc. Drew blood, general checkup, then out. Went out to dinner, then back home. We've watched a couple episodes of Newsradio Season 3, and we may watch some more. No, it's true! You can't stop the crazy trainride that is...A Day Off!*

* - Well, maybe you could.

March 02, 2006

Hee

Gus and June can now be seen maxin' and relaxin' on stuffonmycat.com, fitting the requirements as, well, one cat on another cat. Suggestive remarks abound.

March 01, 2006

Stupid Pixies

Eye doc visit went fine; appears to be a combination of allergies (I'm getting older, hooray!) and something irritating the eye, resulting in swelling and, erm, blockage. Could have been my hand rubbing it while I was asleep. Could've been invisible pixies, jabbing it with tiny rapiers. Who can say?

Stupid pixies.

At any rate, I now have two sets of drops for my eyes. One for the allergies, the other steroid drops for the irritated eye. I asked if that would make my left eye over-muscled and prone to watching violence, but he didn't seem to think that too likely.

Incidentally, I noticed the ophthalamalperceptoscope he was using, a giant floor set model with a variety of viewers, had what looked like a power dial next to it. It went all the way up to 10, and then could be turned past that to Overload. I thought the only devices that would do that are phasers from Star Trek. Why would this be useful for an eye doctor?