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June 29, 2007

Most Unfair

Why don't I live on a movie set?

June 27, 2007

Reading

Recently got hold of a couple of books aimed at kids (The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn and Hal Iggulden) or the parents of kids (Be the Coolest Dad on the Block, by Simon Rose and Steve Caplin). Both of these books are aimed at teaching lowtech but cool knowledge now forgotten in this hightech age. At least, this is the theory; the belief that all kids once knew this stuff is most likely historical revisionism, but who cares. It's cool stuff.

There is some overlap between these books, primarily in the things they show you how to do. For instance, both will tell you how to skip stones, juggle, tie knots, and make a bow and arrow. Yes, really. And there are some differences: Dangerous tells you how to make a piece of cloth fireproof, but not Coolest. Coolest covers things to do with rubber bands, but not Dangerous.

The other difference between the two can be seen in their knowledge/trivia sections. While both of them cover common questions, like why is the sky blue, most of what's in Coolest is riddles, questions, and games you can use to distract your kids, like möbius strips and knock-knock jokes. Dangerous, by contrast, describes the greatest battles in history, the rules of grammar, and the golden age of piracy. I think they intended their book to be read by either Calvin or characters from Heinlein juveniles.

Interesting stuff, and ignore the full title on Dangerous. Both books would be useful for both parents and children of either sex. There's something for everyone.

Reading: See above.

June 23, 2007

Disneyfied

Rated G: Appropriate for all ages

Hm. I am surprisingly wholesome. How'd that happen?

June 22, 2007

As Regards The Patient

All is well. After a nap in the car on the way home, he spent the rest of the day hustling about the place. And there are already some improvements: he seemed a little more sure-footed in his cruising, and his babblings seem to have more inflection than before. Plus, after his afternoon nap, when I went in to pick him up, I heard him actually say, "Oh, father, I feel ever so much better now!"*

And now to bed.

* Prove me wrong.

June 21, 2007

Tomorrow...

For those of you curious about such matters, the fridge repair was simple enough. 'Twasn't the ice demon at all, but a simple iron golem that had been overwhelmed by one too many visitors from the Quasi-Plane of Electricity. Fifteen minutes, and boom, we're back.

As for tomorrow, we must awaken at the Crack of Yawn to head out to the hospital. On the bright side, by the time most of you wake up in the morning, he'll be totally tubular. Wish us luck.

June 19, 2007

After The Cake

Ian thanks you all for your birthday wishes (at least, I think that's what the Baby Translator claimed). He feels the love.

In noncake related news, I'm happy to report that Ideomancer has decided to buy my flash piece, "How to Draw the Dark Lord in Ten Easy Steps." Whee!

In less exciting news, I must say that I'm at home, waiting for the guy from Sears to come fix our fridge, which decided to expire late Friday afternoon/evening. So far, no sign.

(Ooh, he just called. Yay!)

June 18, 2007

Before, After


And a good time was had by all.

June 15, 2007

Passive Voice Will Be Used

For those of you who haven't been keeping track, The Lad is one year old today. Three hundred sixty five days! Eight thousand seven hundred sixty hours! Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes! Thirty one million...

Well, you get the idea.

Tomorrow his actual birthday party will happen. Grandparents will attend and coo over him, cake will be provided for him to smash. Pictures will be taken and revealed. Whee!

June 13, 2007

Stroker Ace

Got my contributor's copies & payment for "In the Lobby of the Mission Palms," now appearing in the latest issue of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. Or as they have renamed themselves for this particular issue, Lady Churchill's Robot Wristlet. I'm not sure what caused this issue rename, frankly. Furthermore, my story doesn't have robots in it, so I don't think it quite fits in. It is set in the lobby of the Mission Palms Hotel in Mesa, Arizona, however. Perhaps that's the connection. All that dry air, I think robots would be quite happy there. Plus the hotel was lovely.

I also received a six day personal rejection from Shimmer. But let us not dwell upon such things, but instead look to more positive egoboosterism. Ah, here's something:

Every so often as I'm reading cover letters in the slush, someone will mention how they read a certain story in Realms of Fantasy, and it inspired them to write a story of their own. Well, today someone finally mentioned their inspiration coming from one of my slush survivor tales. So, Mr. Jon Hansen, please take a bow for "In the Lair of the Moonmen."
Whee!

As for all this talk of zombies and the apocalypse, I can only say 'pshaw.' You read that right. Pshaw. Nothing to fear here, out in the suburbs. It's a well-known fact that in today's suburban sprawl, you can only get around by driving. Zombies can't drive, and there's no public transportation to speak of. Furthermore, since nobody rings our doorbell unless they're trying to sell us magazines, band candy, newspaper subscriptions, or meat, we never bother to answer anyway. Why would we treat zombies any differently?

June 11, 2007

The Power Of Birthday Compels You!

Today be my sweetie's birthday; wish her a happy one already. And then make with the presents.

June 09, 2007

Little Beggarman

3 day rejection from GUD.

Hey, hey, and away we go.

June 08, 2007

WereToddler

It's Friday. And about time, sez I.

* * *

I almost didn't mention this, because it's a fairly trivial event, but Ian got bitten on the arm yesterday at school. Three times, by the same kid. We don't know who Bitey McBiterson is (that is, school policy is not to tell), and I can understand why. Some parents would hold a grudge, and that's not particularly useful when dealing with one-year-olds.

And why did Bitey bite? Because Ian was snaking food off his or her plate, making it still not justifiable, but not unprovoked either. Ah, the lawless ways of babies.

No pictures of the wounds to show. Bitey didn't break the skin, and all that's left now are little tiny bruises, albeit with a dental look about them. Ian hasn't bitten anyone yet, but I expect that'll change once he gets more teeth. It's an arms race, you see.

June 06, 2007

Someone Tell Linus

All my available work has been submitted. Soon I will once more taste the sweet hot lash of rejection. How I've missed it.

* * *

For those of you wondering about such things, the home space of a beloved childhood icon has been found. Yes, thanks to GoogleMaps, it's now been determined that The Great Pumpkin can be found in Denver, Colorado, just off US Highway 287. No word on the shimmering pink thing across the street. Think it's a portal to the Easter Bunny's home dimension?

June 05, 2007

Kazakhstan: Not So Many Mutants, Actually

Hey kids! After a five minute stay this morning at daycare, followed by a trip to the doctor, guess what new disease Ian's been diagnosed with?

a) Hansen's disease (leprosy).
b) The Blue Staggers.
c) Hand foot and mouth disease.
d) Bigby's Grasping Hands.
e) SARS.
f) Roseola.
g) Chicken pox.
h) Eagle pox.
i) Phoenix pox.
j) An ear infection, of course, just like you're always going on and on about.
k) Puberty.

Answer to be revealed, well, later below*.

* * *

In other unusual book news, I recently got a book in the mail: Kazakhstan's Nuclear Disarmament: A Global Model for a Safer World.

I can tell you're all going, "¿Qué?" And who can blame you?

It was mailed direct from the embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan (exhibit A: the envelope) and it came with a lovely letter signed by Kanat B. Saudabayev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan, explaining that they've mailed me their free book about how Kazakhstan "chose to drop out of the nuclear club, instead becoming a model of disarmament and nonproliferation."

I'm pretty sure got this because of Ye Olde Day Job. I don't really think they're mailing a copy to every household in the US. For one thing, there'd certainly be a lot more of them for sale used on Amazon.

As for why exactly they're doing this, reading between the lines suggests this is an attempt to try to overcome Kazakhstan's freshly minted negative image from Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. It's definitely a longterm plan, trying to plant books in libraries, but I'm guessing they think Borat won't be fading into film obscurity that quickly. They might do better to produce a movie called Sacha Cohen: Lying McLiarson.

Hm. I should check Variety.

* * *

On the writing front, I did make decisons on where to send my wayward manuscripts. Now to actually attach the files to various emails and fill out various submission forms.

Reading: The Odyssey, by Homer.


*And the correct answer is f) roseola. He also has a case of Bigby's Smacking Hands, but only when you hold him close enough for him to try and grab your nose.

June 04, 2007

It's You And Me In The Summertime

So, I have it on good authority that of every household involved in the get-together last week, one or more people ended up catching some plague variation. It seems pretty clear to me: although babies are adorable, they spend much of their copious free time assembling various germs and viruses to test on us. And until they grow out of this habit, it's a wonder to me that anyone accepts our dinner invitations.

* * *

My friend Cheryl got me a gift a week or so ago, and I've been sadly remiss in mentioning it. It's a copy of The Tennyson Birthday Book, a small tome of decided obscurity but with an extremely cool cover. There's not much info on it, other than it was published several decades ago. There's one library that has a record of it: the Mita Media Center, at Keio University in Japan. They think it was published in London around 1901. My copy has an inscription in it, putting it at Christmas of '42.

It's a datebook of sorts, with each day having a few lines of Tennyson's verse. Perhaps this is supposed to tell you something about your nature. Here, we'll check my birthday (December 10th):

I loved the weight I had to bear,
because it needed the help of Love.
As the father of a 27 pound boy, this seems appropriate.

As a sidenote of something that's been on my mind: I've been sadly lax in submitting stuff these last few, er, months. Heck, I haven't even written anything substantial in even longer. I'll admit, I've been distracted, but c'mon. It's not very writerly. So I plan on getting my various manuscripts ready to go today, and send them out the door tomorrow. It's something, at least. As for the writing, well...what's Tennyson say for today?

So many worlds, so much to do,
So little done, such things to be.
It's like he's reading my mind from all the way back in the 19th century. Freaky.

Reading: Bittersweet Creek and Other Stories, by Christopher Rowe.