The Road to Oblivion for lightbird.
G, ~1500 words, Characters: Reese, Nick, Lacroix
Summary: Nick and Reese go on a road trip to a remote town in Ontario.
Social Life for wendymypooh
PG-13, ~3500 words, Characters: Nick/Natalie, Schanke, Janette, Lacroix, Sydney
Summary: Natalie needs a place to stay. When Nick offers reluctantly, she gets a few unexpected glimpses into his social life.
Listen, a drabble by misbegotten
A Forever Knight snippet featuring Nick/Janette by sholio
Fever Dreams, a double drabble by sperrywink
a Season 1 Wallpaper by falcon_horus
And an amazing compilation of Nightcrawler monologues The CERK Archives by argentum_ls
A bit of errata on the micparts rk-47/990B kit microphone build report yesterday:
First, I didn’t mention that the board kit includes extra capacitors, to be used either for different capsules than I chose, or to tailor the response curve of the microphone. I went for flattest response, but I could’ve had more or less high-end responsiveness by choosing which included tone capacitors to use.
Second, I said that the “omni” switch setting probably wasn’t really going to be actually “omni,” but was more likely to be figure-eight or the like. This was in response to both the capsule design, grille design, and older pictures of the circuit board which appeared to indicate that. In testing, I discovered that I was mistaken – as you can see here, levels as seen in waveforms made by holding a tone generator at the four cardinal directions remain constant. But read on, after the graphs, because there’s a catch:
rk-47 set to omni, against tone generator at 30cm, front, right, rear, left positions
And here’s the same test, with the mic set to cardioid:
rk-47 set to cardioid, against tone generator at 30cm, front, right, rear, left positions
And here’s an M-Audio Nova, same conditions, for comparison:
nova, cardioid, against tone generator at 30cm, front, right, rear, left positions
The total pickup is certainly omnidirectional. But this is not a true basket head on this thing, there are support brackets on the left and right sides, and that does affect tone! High-end harmonics definitely fall off on the left and right sides.
So while it does qualify as an omnidirectional microphone in “omni” mode, I’d have to call it flawed in that mode, and use something else – like an Oktava 012 with the omnidirectional head, which is built for true omnidirectional pickup and does not exhibit this behaviour.
Alternately, I suppose it might be usable in that mode if you’re recording someone who is a tad screechy – aim the wrong side at the performer and presto, fewer high harmonics. EVERYBODY WINS XD
Shake off the week of bad customers… with even more bad customers! Find for your reading pleasure below, a roundup of the most popular stories of the last week (March 20th – March 26th 2017)!
- Sometimes, The Compliments ARE Complimentary (773 votes)
- Her Sense Of Self-Worth Needs A Serious Discount (722 votes)
- Don’t Drink And Drive Or You’ll Spill Jesus’ Blood (713 votes)
- Your Reading Ability Is Garbage (660 votes)
- Stress Comes In Bulk (717 votes)
The post Roundup: The Most Popular Stories Of The Week appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.
(I am working as a supervisor at a truck stop that has shower facilities available for travelers and truck drivers for a small fee. If truck drivers purchase a certain amount of fuel then they’re be entitled to a free shower. I am paged over to the counter where I find a man and woman, visibly upset, yelling at the cashier.)
Me: “Hi, I’m the supervisor. Is there something I can help you with?”
Male Customer: “Yeah, this idiot won’t give me a free f****** shower! This is ridiculous! I bought enough fuel so I should get a free f****** shower!”
Female Customer: “She’s so stupid! Why won’t she just give us the free shower?! We bought gas!”
Me: “I’m sure I can sort this out; can I just see your receipt for the fuel?”
(When he hands me the receipt I notice that it is for a different truck stop.)
Me: “Sir, this is for [Other Truck Stop]. Had you purchased the fuel from us, or even one of our other locations we could give you a free shower, but not from our competitors.”
(At this point the woman’s face goes slack and she starts backing up towards the door, obviously realizing the mistake.)
Male Customer: “It doesn’t f****** matter! I got fuel so you have to give me a shower! I get a free shower as long as I fuel up!”
Me: “Sir, it’s like filling up your [Burger Chain #1] card and then trying to redeem it at [Burger Chain #2]. We don’t reward people for giving business to other companies.”
Male Customer: “This is f****** bull-s***! I’m gonna tell everyone I know to not stop here anymore! It shouldn’t matter where I get fuel; you still have to give me a shower!”
(He continued in the same vein as he walked out the door, his girlfriend having left some time before.)
The post Wish You Could Give Them A Cold Shower appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.
Testing out my Amazon’s Subscribe and Save feature this morning.
(photo x-posted from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2nkHXpF)
Quality : HD
Title : Below Her Mouth
Director : April Mullen.
Release : 2017-02-10
Language : English.
Runtime : 92 min.
Genre : Drama.
Movie Below Her Mouth was released in February 10, 2017 in genre Drama. April Mullen was directed this movie and starring by Erika Linder. This movie tell story about An unexpected affair quickly escalates into a heart-stopping reality for two women whose passionate connection changes their lives forever.
Mirrored from Population: One.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) Full Movie Online Watch Free , English Subtitles Full HD, Free Movies Streaming , Free Latest Films.
Quality : HD
Title : John Wick: Chapter 2.
Director : Chad Stahelski
Release : February 08, 2017
Language : en.
Runtime : 122 min
Genre : Thriller, Action, Crime.
‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ is a movie genre Thriller, Action, Crime, was released in February 08, 2017. Chad Stahelski was directed this movie and starring by Keanu Reeves. This movie tell story about John Wick is forced out of retirement by a former associate looking to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to aid him, Wick travels to Rome and does battle against some of the world’s most dangerous killers.
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Mirrored from Population: One.
The basics: I like my AirPods. They were easy to pair, the sound is decent, and they’re secure in my ears. The case is cool and will fit nicely in my backpack. I am not an audiophile, so if you are maybe you want something better, but they’re fine for me. I’m not going to be a huge fan of pulling my phone out of my pocket to change the volume, but I think I can live with that.
The really interesting thing is how unobtrusive they are. I could possibly have one of these sitting in my ear all day; it wouldn’t cut off outside sound and it wouldn’t be annoying. If Siri was really awesome, this would be the at-hand personal assistant as described in Oath of Fealty, which would be kind of cool. Siri is not that awesome yet, however, and she’s not tuned for voice communication. Like, I should be able to say “Where is Susan?” and Siri should tell me where she is instead of making me peer at my screen. (We have Find my Friends, it’s not creepy.)
Anyhow, lightweight: that’s the cool bit about this device. They’re a wearable that fades into the background. Or maybe they’re a signpost on the way to that wearable.
Mirrored from Population: One.
Susan and I went up to OrcaCon for the weekend. It’s a local gaming convention in its second year, with an emphasis on diversity and creating a safe space for gaming. It ran Friday through Sunday, 1/13 through 1/15, at the Holiday Inn Downtown in Everett, WA. Rumor is that it had around 1,000 attendees. I am no good at judging crowd sizes but that sounds about right to me.
Check out the cool program book there! (Oooh, visual aids.) Not only was there an awesome map, but the back six pages or so were a Mutants & Masterminds quick-start. This is the most useful con program book I’ve ever seen.
If you are too busy to read through the thousand words or so that follow, my quick recommendation: this con is definitely a must if you’re in the Seattle area, and it’s worth some travel if you like really well-run regional gaming conventions.( Read the rest of this entry » )
Mirrored from Population: One.
This town is such an enigma to live in. 😂 I mean. Case in point. I had the local food banks web donation page bookmarked, so that I could you know, donate. I clicked the saved link and now it re-directs to our local 2 for 1 pizza place? XD No mention of the food bank info/ways to donate (other than at check out in the grocery, which we already do), just pizza as far as the eye can scan. XD
(photo from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2o4cfwC)
Hop over to Twitter and check out the two-day-old hashtag, #thanksfortyping. The creation of UVA mediaevalist Bruce Holsinger, #thanksfortyping aggregates screen shots of book acknowledgement excerpts in which men thank their (typically) unnamed wives (and sometimes their daughters) for typing their scholarly works. Indeed, in many of the acknowledgements, the wifely duties extend beyond typing to transcribing, editing, and more.
There are two striking feminist lessons from this growing archive. First, it is stunning just how much scholarly work by women was historically unpaid and went uncredited. Not only the careers of individual male scholars, but the smooth functioning of departments and disciplines owed much to women’s uncompensated labour. Second, it is worth remarking that any scholar who did not have a wife to serve as their voluntary r.a./co-editor/co-author — so, for instance, women scholars — was competing on a very uneven playing field indeed.
Pick a fic, ask a question.
Works on AO3 (or if you remember stuff I've written, 'the one with. . .' is fine)
1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What’s your favorite line of narration?
4: What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?
WIPs currently active: 7
Words written this week: 3,304
WIPs that got no words this week: 3 - broken dick epic, Slavefic #5, and Cap Reverse Big Bang dragon!Bucky/tribute!Steve
WIPs that did get words this week:
Born in the Blood: 1,369
Loving and Overall Really Mostly Consensual and Well-Intentioned Cannibalism: 605
Less-Sad Sequel to “Ring the Bell Backward” (Which is Semi-Officially the Saddest Story in All of Not Without You): 361
Smut Swap Pinch Hit Story In A Pairing I’ve Never Written Before: 969, somehow still exactly as halfwayish done as it was last week.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2nUcwW1
At least Bob Fosse was honest about it.
At the beginning of Bob Fosse’s show Dancin’ many years ago, an actor came out on stage and said sometthing like: “If you are looking for any plot in this show, don’t bother. This show is about dance.” And it was. Spectacular dance.
Last night, we went to go see the tour of An American in Paris (FB) at the Hollywood Pantages (FB). We went expected to see a musical. What we saw was a spectacular dance show wrapped in the trappings of a musical about love in Paris after WWII. By this I mean that your traditional musical tells the story through the music and lyrics, with a bit of connecting dialogue. An American in Paris tells its story — spectacularly — through dance, with a bit of connecting dialogue (that was written by Craig Lucas). The actual timeless music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin? The lyrics really don’t matter to the story; the mood and the music and the rhythm — oh, that rhythm — propels the dance that gives life to the story. Paris is a city of light, of beauty, of style, of art. Substance? Have another baguette, let’s sit at the corner patisserie shop, and watch the people.
But this isn’t a bad thing.
If you’ve ever seen the 1951 MGM musical, you know the purpose of the film was not to tell a significant story, but to listen to glorious Gershwin music and watch Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron dance. Why should the stage show be any different? The stage adaptation of the movie plot adds a hint more of darkness, but the characters and the songs remain the same: three buddies, two Americans (Jerry Mulligan and Adam Hochberg) and one French (Henri Baurel); one beautiful dancer (Lise Dassin); a wealthy art patron (Milo Davenport); and, well, who cares who else. The story is the scaffold on which the dance is built.
It should be no surprise, then, that the director and the choreographer of this show, Christopher Wheeldon (FB), are one and the same, and that Wheeldon is primarily a ballet artist. It should be no surprise that, reading the credits of the performers, that there is a very large emphasis on ballet skills. About the only surprise is that the program does not provide any credit to the tour medical and physical therapy team, who must be on their toes to keep these athletic dancers in tip-top shape. This is just a very physically demanding show, 8 times a week, on tour. The astounding physical skill to pull it off and not suffer stress injuries is remarkable, and the unnamed medical team who keep these professionals together behind the scenes deserves a lot of credit. [Luckily, my Google-Fu is strong, and it appears that the folks keeping these dancers together is NeuroSport (FB)]
All of the performers are strong singers and have great voices. All can emote well, and all inhabit and are having fun with their lightly drawn characters. Remember — this isn’t a deep character drama. You have socialites, dancers, artists, and performers. Not a rocket scientist in the bunch. (Well, at least on stage. At our performance, there was at least one rocket scientist in the audience.)
In the lead positions at our show were Garen Scribner (FB) and Sara Esty (FB), as Jerry Mulligan and Lise Dassin, respectively (they alternate with Ryan Steele (FB) and Sara Esty’s twin sister, Leigh-Ann Esty (FB) (who is also a great photographer), who move from the ensemble to the leads at select Sunday performances). Both were spectacular dancers — their final ballet sequence in “An American in Paris” was truly spectacular.
Supporting our leads on the male side were Etai Benson (FB) as Adam Hochberg and Nick Spangler (FB) as Henri Baurel. Benson’s role involved a fair amount of dance, especially in “Stairway to Paradise” — but his role was more as narrator and as one of the vocal leads, which he handled quite well. Spangler — who evidently won the Amazing Race in 2008 — who knew, but I follow Survivor — was also a strong singer and jazzy dancer, as demonstrated in the aforementioned “Stairway to Paradise” as well as the opening “I Got Rhythm”.
There were a few other named characters, but they all dropped back into the ensemble at points (with the exception of Gayton Scott [Madame Baurel]) and were very lightly drawn. As usual, it is hard to single out the ensemble members, but I do want to note their wonderful athleticism and fluid movement was on display throughout, and that this is one show in particular that depends on the dancing ensemble: it is their talent, in group numbers like “An American In Paris”, that make this show the spectacular dance show that it is. This splendid dancing team consisted of the aforementioned Ryan Steele (FB) and Leigh-Ann Esty (FB); as well as Karolina Blonski (FB); Brittany Bohn (FB); Stephen Brower (FB); Randy Castillo (FB); Jessica Cohen (FB); Barton Cowperthwaite (FB) [also Returning Soldier, Lise’s Ballet Partner]; Alexa De Barr (FB); Caitlin Meighan (FB) [also Returning Soldier’s Wife]; Alida Michal (FB); Don Noble (FB) [also Monsieur Baurel, Store Manager]; Alexandra Pernice (FB); David Prottas (FB); Lucas Segovia; Kyle Vaughn (FB) [also Mr. Z]; Laurie Wells (FB) [also Olga]; Dana Winkle (FB); Erica Wong (FB); and Blake Zelesnikar (FB). Swings were Jace Coronado (FB); Ashlee Dupre (FB) [Asst. Dance Captain]; Erika Hebron (FB); Christopher M. Howard (FB) [Dance Captain]; Colby Q. Lindeman (FB); Nathalie Marrable (FB); Tom Mattingly (FB); Sayiga Eugene Peabody (FB); and Danielle Santos (FB). There were far too many understudy allocations to list them all here. The one thing that comes from hunting down the links of all these actors/dancers is the immense amount of dance and ballet talent in this group. This is why these dancers are so good — they have been working hard at it.
The orchestra was under the direction of music director and conductor David Andrews Rogers (FB). The other members were Brad Gardner (FB) (Assoc. Music Director, Keys); Ray Wong (FB) (Key 1, Piano); Henry Palkes (FB) (Keys 2); Katherine Fink (FB) (Reed 1); Tansie Mayer (FB) (Reed 2); Tom Colclough (FB) (Reed 3); Sam Oatts (FB) (Trumpet 1); Anthony DiMauro/FB (Trumpet 2); Dave Grott (FB) (Trombone); Susan French (FB) (Violin 1); Adrian Walker (FB) (Violin 2); Nick Donatelle (FB) (Cello); and Paul Hannah (Drums/Percussion). These were augmented by local performers Kathleen Robertson (FB) (Violin, Concertmaster); Adriana Zoppo (FB) (Violin); Paula Fehrenbach (FB) (Cello); Steve Kujala (FB) (Flute, Piccolo); Dick Mitchell (Flute, Clarinet); John Yoakum (FB) (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet); Marissa Benedict (FB) (Trumpet 2, Flugelhorn); Andy Martin (FB) (Trombone); Wade Culbreath (Percussion); David Witham (FB) (Keyboard Sub). Other music credits: Emily Grishman (Copying / Preparation); Seymour Red Press (Music Coordinator); Brian Miller (Orchestra Contractor). Orchestrations were by Christopher Austin and Bill Elliott. Dance arrangements were by Sam Davis. Todd Ellison was the music supervisor. The Musical Score was adapted, arranged, and supervised by Rod Fisher.
Lastly, turning to the production and creative team. I’m going to combine the set and costume design of Bob Crowley and the Projection Design of 59 Productions together because they truly worked as a singular whole (hmmm, both are UK based, as is the director — odd for an AMERICAN in Paris 🙂 ). Anyway, this was another show that depended quite heavily on projections — the main scenic design elements, other than props and such, were various flats and mirrored surfaces upon which the projections were placed. These were animated and changing and extremely creative and .. well, in many ways, they were vital set elements of the overall design. This went to the costumes as well, especially as in the block-patterned American in Paris dance sequences, where the Mondrian-style color scheme of the set was repeated in the block primary color scheme of the ensemble’s costumes. This was all augmented by the lighting design of Natasha Katz (FB), which used scaffolds around the stage behind the proscenium, combined with two movers one on each side of the balcony (in other words, there wasn’t the universal array of Lekos and movers midway above the orchestra, and the follow-spot was by programming). The sound design of Jon Weston (FB) was unnoticeable, as a good sound design should be. Rounding out the production credits were: Kenneth J. Davis (FB) [Production Stage Manager]; Rick Steiger (FB) [Production Supervisor]; Troika Entertainment / Laura Dieli (FB) [Production Manager]; Telsey + Company (FB) / Rachel Hoffman C.S.A. [Casting]; Dontee Kiehn (FB) [Associate Director / Choreographer]; Sean Maurice Kelly (FB) [Associate Choreographer / Resident Manager]; Donvan Dolan (FB) [Asst. Stage Manager]; Laura C. Nelson (FB) [Asst. Stage Manager]; Lori Byars [Asst. Stage Manager]; Kathy Fabian/Propstar [Props Supervisor]; Unkledave’s Fight House (FB) [Fight Direction]. The Executive Producer was 101 Productions Ltd. The list of producers and associate producers is far too long.
An American in Paris (FB) continues at the Hollywood Pantages (FB) through April 9. Tickets are available through the Pantages Box Office online or by calling (323) 468-1770. Discount tickets may be available through Goldstar.
🎩 🎩 🎩
Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre (or music) critic; I am, however, a regular theatre and music audience member. I’ve been attending live theatre and concerts in Los Angeles since 1972; I’ve been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I’m a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted. I am not compensated by anyone for doing these writeups in any way, shape, or form. I currently subscribe at Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB), the Hollywood Pantages (FB), Actors Co-op (FB), the Chromolume Theatre (FB) in the West Adams district, and a mini-subscription at the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) (FB). Through my theatre attendance I have made friends with cast, crew, and producers, but I do strive to not let those relationships color my writing (with one exception: when writing up children’s production, I focus on the positive — one gains nothing except bad karma by raking a child over the coals). I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.
Upcoming Shows: April starts with Cats Paw at Actors Co-op (FB) and a concert with Tom Paxton and the DonJuans at McCabes Guitar Shop (FB). The next day brings the Colburn Orchestra at the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) (FB). The weekend of April 8 brings Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan at Sacred Fools Theatre (FB). Mid-April brings Doc Severinsen and his Big Band at Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) (FB) on April 13, followed by Animaniacs Live at the La Mirada Performing Arts Center (FB) over the weekend. That will be followed on the penultimate weekend of April with Sister Act at Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB). The last weekend of April has two holds: one for the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, and one for Uncanny Valley at ICT Long Beach (FB) [we’re just waiting on Goldstar]. Lastly, looking to May, the schedule shows that it starts with My Bodyguard at the Hollywood Pantages (FB) the first weekend. It continues with Martha Graham Dance and American Music at the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) (FB). The third weekend brings the last show of the Actors Co-op (FB) season, Lucky Stiff, at Actors Co-op (FB). May concludes with Hello Again at the Chromolume Theatre (FB). As for June? Three words: Hollywood Fringe Festival (FB). That, barring something spectacular cropping up, should be the first half of 2017.
As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Better-Lemons, Musicals in LA, @ This Stage, Footlights, as well as productions I see on Goldstar, LA Stage Tix, Plays411 or that are sent to me by publicists or the venues themselves. Note: Lastly, want to know how to attend lots of live stuff affordably? Take a look at my post on How to attend Live Theatre on a Budget.
P.S.: The Hollywood Pantages (FB) announced their 2017-2018 season (which was the rest of 2018, after Hamilton took over the last 5 months of 2017) on February 7th. You can find my reaction to it here. The Ahmanson Theatre (FB) announcement was at the end of February, and here’s what I thought of it.
This entry was originally posted on Observations Along The Road (on cahighways.org) as this entry by cahwyguy. Although you can comment on DW, please make comments on original post at the Wordpress blog using the link below; you can sign in with your LJ, FB, or a myriad of other accounts. There are currently comments on the Wordpress blog. PS: If you see share buttons above, note that they do not work outside of the Wordpress blog.
* Is Trumpcare already here? (Politico)
* Something new for the Minnesota Legislature: a caucus of first Minnesotans (MinnPost)
* Left out of AHCA fight, Democrats let their grass roots lead — and win (WaPo)
* Sanders, Democrats rally thousands across the country to save Obamacare (Chicago Trib, Jan 2016)
* Will Obamacare Really Explode? (Politico). Interview with Kaiser Family Foundation health care expert Larry Leavitt.
* Inside the GOP’s Health Care Debacle: Eighteen days that shook the Republican Party—and humbled a president (Politic). Nice summary of events and what went wrong.
* The Republican Waterloo (Atlantic). AHCA post-mortem by conservative David Frum, who's watched his moderate views be completely eclipsed in recent years by the far right. Very interesting perspective from the other side.
* HHS Inspector General Confirms Investigation of Trump Administration Suspension of Affordable Care Act Outreach Efforts (press release from Sen. Warren). I'm not sure what this might amount to, if anything, but it seems hopeful?
* How Republicans quietly sabotaged Obamacare long before Trump came into office (Salon)
* The GOP’s top priority is in trouble (WaPo). Explanation of some of the difficulties in making the tax cuts GOP wants and how the AHCA was supposed to smooth the way for some of them.
* President Trump's healthcare plate is full, and it won't go down easy (Modern Healthcare). Laundry list of health-related issues Trump + Congress will be dealing with this year, not just ACA.
* GOP senator acknowledges Americans’ ‘right’ to health care (MSNBC)
PDF of California's 2017 tiers. Look how high the out of pocket maximums are, or the deductibles in some cases.
Reader reminder: the US has 3 different "single-payer" systems (maybe four with the Indian health service.) VA, operating like the NHS. Medicare, for seniors, operating like traditional insurance with deductible and co-insurance. Medicaid, for poor people, operating like a magic "we take care of you" ticket -- the user experience is much like the NHS, where you go in and get treated and walk out again, no billing. (Unless you need drugs, at like $4/month.)
 My mother had Medigap, which pays what Medicare doesn't, so her treatment turned into an avalanche of bills telling us what we didn't have to pay. Sort of Medicaid/NHS + lots of paper experience.
I’m in a brand-new, very hipster hotel. I kinda love it, but I’m also very clearly not its primary demographic.
Hello, Austin! In just about 90 minutes from the typing of this sentence, you can see me at BookPeople at 3pm! There’s still time to get there! Drive! Safely!
Tomorrow: Houston, and a 7pm event at Brazos Bookstore. Come see me, please. I prefer not to be alone on tour dates.
Customer: “Has anyone ever told you that you look like an actress?”
(I get told this a bit.)
Me: “Hilary Swank?”
Customer: “No, not her. She’s in that movie.”
Customer: “The one Clint Eastwood did.”
Me: “Million Dollar Baby?”
Customer: “Yeah, that’s the one.”
Me: “Do you mean Hilary Swank?”
Customer: “Yeah, that’s her. You’re like the B version.”
The post Not Exactly Making You Feel Like A Million Dollars appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.
Yesterday, another trip to London for BFI Flare, prefaced by an art exhibition: I went to see the Sussex Modernism exhibition at Two Temple Place, it was very good and had a lovely shop but the amount of wooden panelling in the building was a bit overwhelming.
At BFI Flare, I saw Being 17 (Quand on a 17 ans) on Friday and Out of Iraq and Seventeen (Siebzehn) yesterday. Not sure what was the thing with 17 in this year's programming. I also have a ticket to see the closing film tonight, but I just ran out of time with the usual Sunday chores and the Coursera course I'm doing at the moment, so I'm missing it. Being 17 was pretty good, Out of Iraq, which I had been looking forward to seeing ever since reading about it was very good, and Seventeen pretty good too, if a bit slow.
Each week, the Sunday Post highlights a few articles good for slow consumption over a cup of coffee (or tea, if that's your pleasure). Settle in for a while; we saved you a seat. You can also look through the archives.
Olivia Nuzzi published a long and detailed profile of Kellyanne Conway this week. It’s a can’t-look-away article, somewhere between trainwreck and victory march. (Side note: Like a lot of other people, I’m pretty sure I could manage to dislike Conway in person. Her particular brand of fact-bending makes my teeth itch.)
You should read the profile, which is crazy fascinating, but then follow up with this awesomely sardonic essay by Matt Taibbi on how neatly we’ve been suckered into co-creating, with Trump, a “WWE future where government is a for-profit television program.” Ahem.
Trump leans over and pauses to soak in the love, his trademark red tie hanging like the tongue of a sled dog. Finally he turns and flashes a triumphant thumbs-up. A chant breaks out:
"U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"
Reporters stare at one another in shock. They were mute bystanders seconds ago; now they're the 1980 Soviet hockey team. One turns to a colleague and silently mouths: "U-S-A? What the f ... "
A friendship forged in the kitchen — superstar chef Mario Batali on eating and cooking with superstar writer Jim Harrison. Would love to have been at a quiet corner table to observe these giants at dinner.
We once shared a slightly overlong supper at the Michelin three-star restaurant Eleven Madison Park, in New York, where he fidgeted through most of the complex meal, announcing early on in his loud baritone to the entire dining room, “Maaaario, you know I am much more of a trattoria kind of guy,” and finally sending his chicken back to the kitchen, because the chef had somehow denied him “THE FUCKING LEGS . . . where are THE FUCKING LEGS . . . ?”
Game designer/developer Ed Fries went searching for the ultimate Easter egg: an inside joke hidden so deeply in a vintage game that even its creator had forgotten how to trigger it. Fries scoured code, jury-built an emulator, and rebuilt a classic arcade machine to find it. (via Ars Technica)
I was kind of stunned. If this was true it would certainly predate the earliest video game Easter egg that I knew of and the one that is most often cited as being the first: “Adventure” for the Atari 2600 from 1979. I did a little searching online and found that there was an even earlier Easter egg in the game “Video Whizball” which was released in 1978 for the Fairchild Channel F game console.
But there was a problem. Ron didn’t remember exactly how to bring up the Easter egg. He remembered showing it off to some buddies at a county fair when the game first came out, but that was 40 years ago!
Malware is sort of like an Easter egg — if you cracked open the pastel treat and found a rotting yolk that emptied your bank account electronically. Or, in this case, helped tilt an election and change the shape of a country.
Garrett Graff traces the hunt for Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, or “Slavik,” the malware artist who designed the “the Microsoft Office of online fraud.” Great story of a breathtaking cat-and-mouse battle between Slavik and the investigators that tracked the elusive hacker from petty online theft to potentially influencing the US presidential outcome.
[Tillman] Werner, as it happened, knew quite a bit about Evgeniy Bogachev. He knew in precise, technical detail how Bogachev had managed to loot and terrorize the world’s financial systems with impunity for years. He knew what it was like to do battle with him.
But Werner had no idea what role Bogachev might have played in the US election hack. Bogachev wasn’t like the other targets—he was a bank robber. Maybe the most prolific bank robber in the world.
The rebellion had gone far more smoothly than anyone had ever expected such a thing might go.
It was bloody, of course; it was violent, of course, and in the end there were nearly as many slaves dead as owners.
The thing was, though: there were a lot more slaves than owners, and they had been a lot more willing to die than their owners had.
Paleyah Rose, formerly Junior Lady of Rose Heights, had not been willing to die, and her personal slaves had not felt very strongly about killing her, the way some owner’s slaves had. She was incarcerated in what had been the slave quarters of Rose Heights, and she had been put to work with such tasks as the current establishment believed she might be able to handle. At the moment, that was light cleaning and light food preparation, her former Head Chef keeping the position but working under his own free will now.
( Read more... )
Beryl and Stone both had a hand on the necklace that was their ancestor (or at least distant relative; neither had bothered to look up where he stood on the family tree, in part because that would require talking to the relatives who kept the family tree, and that might lead to some awkward explanations nobody wanted to get into).
::Very good. Now. Where to start?::
“What happens when you go against the will of the family?” Stone was whispering. His door was half-open, half-closed, because he and Beryl both thought this was more than a little weird and wanted to be able to shout for help if they had to.
::And it’s a good question, even if it’s an awkward question. So. Who’s the will of the family?::
( Read more... )
Been looking at the reviews (professional and otherwise) of The Collapsing Empire and I’m happy to say that by and large they’re pretty good. There are quibbles here and there, and from time to time someone bounces off it hard, but in both of those cases that’s fine, and to be expected, since no one novel works equally well for everyone.
There has been one recurring comment about the book, however, that I’ve found interesting, which is that a fair number of people seem to think that it’s short; that is, shorter than usual for a science fiction book, or maybe a book of mine.
Is it? Not really; it clocks in at about 90,000 words, which as it happens is about right in the middle for my novels (and a standard length for science fiction novels generally). The shortest novel of mine is Redshirts, which is about 55K words long (the codas add another 20K, which brings the entire book to 75k), and the longest is The Android’s Dream, which was about 115K. The Human Division, which is a collection of stories with a novel-like arc (we usually call it a novel to avoid sounding too precious about it) is my longest book of fiction, with 135k words. Most of the books in the Old Man’s War series clock in between 90k and 100k, and Fuzzy Nation and Lock In are both around 85k, if memory serves correctly. So, again, The Collapsing Empire is right around in the middle of my book lengths.
(This estimation does not count individually-published novellas like The God Engines or The Dispatcher, or my non-fiction books.)
I’m not entirely sure what makes people think The Collapsing Empire is short, but I have a couple guesses. One is that, like most books of mine, it’s heavy on dialogue and light on description, which makes it “read” faster than other books of the same length might be. The other reason may be that science fiction books, which anecdotally have tended to be shorter than fantasy books, are beginning to creep up in word count a bit. The Expanse books always strike me as pretty hefty, for example.
While I never say never, it’s nevertheless unlikely my books are going to get much heftier than the 90K-110k word range. For one thing, all my books are contracted to be in that range. Yes, there really is a contractual length for novels, and a writer is generally supposed to come with 10% of the contracted word count on either side. So when I start organizing my novels in my brain, that’s the target I’m usually aiming for. For another thing, my heavy-on-dialogue, light-on-description general style doesn’t really lend itself to hefty tomes. I could bulk up my books a bit by adding more description of what characters look like (I’m sort of notoriously skimpy on physical description) or other such stuff, but it doesn’t really interest me to do so as a writer, unless I think doing so is relevant to the plot.
(This isn’t a backhanded diss on writers who do a lot of description, by the way — some of them do it very well, and also a lot of readers really enjoy that sort of storytelling, including me from time to time. It’s just not generally the direction my brain goes, when it comes time to write.)
My only real concern with people feeling The Collapsing Empire is short is that people then feel cheated, like they didn’t get enough story out of this particular novel. The good news for me, at least in the reviews I’ve seen, is that people don’t feel cheated, they just want more, soon. Well, provided I don’t get sucked into a jet engine or have some other tragedy befall me, there will be more, I promise. Relatively soon! And probably about 90k to 100k words long.