Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Boldness has Genius, Power and Magic in it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

NaNoWriMo update

50,003 words. The novel isn't finished, but the NaNoWriMo challenge is. Woot!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Open Office spellcheck fail

I'm using Open Office for my word processor and spreadsheet, and it it mysteriously decided to give up spellchecking. It turns out you can't just specify "I want to use US English" as a default when you load the program; and when you discover that it's not working, you can't get anything useful from what they laughingly refer to as a "Help" file. What you have to do is search the web for "Open Office spellcheck problem", go down the list until you find the [Troubleshooting] Spell check thread, and carry out the eight steps listed.

Why the developers thought you ought to go through this search and manual fix, instead of dealing with it during set up, I couldn't guess.

But I have successfully extracted the arcane knowledge, and now my spell check works (at least until I close this document). Except  some of what is marked as misspelled, isn't, and I'm having to add words to the dictionary. I understand them not having "Lynnhaven" and "werepiranha" in their default standard dictionary, but how could they have left out "shoggoth"?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
  For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
  Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
  Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                  Praise him.

--Gerard Manley Hopkins

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Josh arrived home safe last night after spending about seven hours on what is ordinarily a three hour drive home.

It's perfect autumn day, 52°, sunny, leaves still brightly covered, the turkey about to go into the oven.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Did you know that marshmallows are a type of plant? The confection was originally made with the root of the plant.

Schlock Mercenary

From today's Schlock Mercenary:
Petey: "I know I've hit a rough patch when a violent, amorphous sociopath is my best character reference."
Tagon: "He's the only reference I'll trust. What's that say about me?"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NaNoWriMo update

Woot ! I wrote 5033 words today, and I'm ahead of my goal for month-to-date! (A tiny tiny bit ahead, but ahead nonetheless).
Of course, I have no idea what the climax of this story is going to be or how my protagonist is going to avoid becoming human sushi in the process, but shall we let that deter us? NEVAH ! We press forward blindly boldly !

Edit: In response to a comment by another NaNo-er "a fresh plot point really carried you through, huh?", I replied:  "Plot? Nah. I just had a minor character try to cross a bridge guarded by attack sheep. She sang a song, one unhyphenated syllable at a time. That was 3762 words. Another 1300 words for throwing said character to the guard sheep, and the hemoglobin-diffusing unpleasantries associated therewith. The song was of course Ninety Nine Baa Tolls Of Beer On The Wall."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sales goal

The people in my department at work have goals for revenue and for profit. What we get commission on is profit, so I don't worry too much about the revenue side of things; in fact, I've been known to say, "If they really wanted revenue, they'd pay us for it." However, all things been equal, more revenue is good. So I hit my annual goal for profit some time back in late August or early September; and today I hit my goal for revenue.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Saw a bald eagle while I was at Laskin Road a little east of Birdneck, near the Cavalier Yacht Club. He was drifting north, heading towards Broad Bay.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

25K words

Okay, I'm over 25K words. That's one day behind schedule, but still, I'm more than halfway there. And I'll be adding to the word count tonight.

Salvatore Giunta

Staff Sergeant Giunta was awarded the Medal of Honor today. He is the first living person to receive it since the Vietnam War, although there have been nine posthumous awards. The citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, on October 25, 2007. While conducting a patrol as team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, Specialist Giunta and his team were navigating through harsh terrain when they were ambushed by a well-armed and well-coordinated insurgent force. While under heavy enemy fire, Specialist Giunta immediately sprinted towards cover and engaged the enemy. Seeing that his squad leader had fallen and believing that he had been injured, Specialist Giunta exposed himself to withering enemy fire and raced towards his squad leader, helped him to cover, and administered medical aid. While administering first aid, enemy fire struck Specialist Giunta’s body armor and his secondary weapon. Without regard to the ongoing fire, Specialist Giunta engaged the enemy before prepping and throwing grenades, using the explosions for cover in order to conceal his position. Attempting to reach additional wounded fellow soldiers who were separated from the squad, Specialist Giunta and his team encountered a barrage of enemy fire that forced them to the ground. The team continued forward and upon reaching the wounded soldiers, Specialist Giunta realized that another soldier was still separated from the element. Specialist Giunta then advanced forward on his own initiative. As he crested the top of a hill, he observed two insurgents carrying away an American soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other. Upon reaching the wounded soldier, he began to provide medical aid, as his squad caught up and provided security. Specialist Giunta’s unwavering courage, selflessness, and decisive leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon’s ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American soldier from the enemy. Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, and the United States Army.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NaNoWriMo update

My total for the month just hit 22,000. That's a little behind schedule, but I should ketchup tonight. With french fries and grilled hamburger. I put a little dry mustard and honey in the hamburger, along with chopped onion, black and red pepper, and salt. Yum.

The leaves are turning here. Some years they go from green straight to brown, but this year there's some red and  yellow. In the afternoon sunlight, the marsh grass looks gold.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Government is too big

"If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have."
--Gerald Ford

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
--Aldous Huxley

NaNoWriMo update

One third of the way done, at 16,686 words in ten days.

I'm using Write or Die, which is a huge help. You can set a goal of how much you want to write in what time period, and it gives you a timer countdown and a word count. And if you stop typing for a few seconds, the screen starts turning red. No time for woolgathering, just write! This is incredibly useful, as when I'm just hammering out words instead of stopping to polish every one, I can get over 500 words in less than 20 minutes. Do that three or four times a day, and you're on pace.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NaNoWriMo update

The goal is 50,000 words in thirty days, which works out to 5000 words every three days. Today's the sixth and I'm on schedule at 10,033 words. At 250 words per page, that's 40 pages.

Incidentally, at the Write In group, the lowest total I heard was 1700, the highest was 36,000.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Post # 500

I started this blog on November 1, 2008. This is post #500. Not as high a count as I'd originally had in mind--I'd intended to post every day--but a lot higher than it would have been if I'd done nothing.

The Crimson Permanent Assurance

Arrrgh--a movie by Terry Gilliam!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Night

Good election results. Now it's time for good government results.

Diana went to the victory party for Scott Rigell, who's a member of our church and is now slated to be a Congressman. 

I stayed home and wrote fiction, over 1100 words, at a rate of around 500 words an hour.