chris_gerrib: (Default)
Like the label says, links!

A) The Advantage of Being a Little Underemployed. From the link: Before 1900 the average American worker worked more than 60 hours a week. A standard schedule was ten-hour days, six days a week. The only structural limits to working were lighting and religion. You stopped working when it was too dark to see or to go to church. Or shorter, you worked from "can" to "can't."

B) A bit late, but still good - the story of D-Day on Omaha Beach.

C) Wonder Woman: How real-life athletes united to populate the film's badass Amazon nation.

D) A more humorous take on Wonder Woman - Alamo Drafthouse Apologizes for Starting Manpocalypse With Women-Only Screening.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
have a funny...

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I hang out a lot with other writers, and in that company the fact that I've written a few books is not particularly noteworthy. But this past week, two "regular people" (a co-worker and my personal trainer's wife) both became aware of my writing habit. They both then expressed surprise, thought it was a big deal, and in one case promised to Buy My Books. (Thanks!)

In order to ease into the new year, herewith are a few links of interest:

1) Heart attack, cardiac arrest, and heart failure are often used interchangeably, but they’re distinct entities.

2) This article based on a book argues that blacks became concentrated in urban areas due to white action in the form of "sundown towns." (Blacks passing through had to be out by sundown.) Although this obviously happened, I also suspect there was a lot of assimilation. There are many Americans who claim "Indian" blood, but that was really "black" blood.

3) Max Gladstone liked Rogue One, but thought it could be better.

4) This Giant Furry Dog Playing With A Kid Will Make Your Day.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I have returned from vacation at Gulf Shores Plantation. This lovely resort property is 10 miles or so west of Gulf Shores, Alabama, heart of the Redneck Riviera. Golf was played, seafood was eaten, and some writing was accomplished. Now, I'm back in the land of ice and snow.

Two thoughts on my return. First, my favorite costume-maker has profiled my costumer on her site. Second, one would think that the picture below goes without saying.

Go Cubs!

Oct. 25th, 2016 09:27 am
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Because the blog was getting a little too serious...

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I read and/or skim a wide variety of blogs from various political points of view. This means I see large amounts of BS, mostly from right-wing sites. Whether it's the Bundy clan claiming their God-given (in their own mind) right to Occupy All The Land or Rush Limbaugh's claim that hurricane Matthew is a government conspiracy, the bullshit is thick.

I grow weary of reading said bullshit, so have a cartoon.

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Periodically, in my wanderings on the Internet, I find myself asking what planet people are on. Today brings a bumper crop of these questions.

1) Donald "The Orange Rage" Trump posted several Tweets overnight about Alicia Machado. Now, here on Planet Earth (3rd rock from the sun), an overweight 70-year-old man with three wives, the most recent of which is younger than some of his children would (at least) shut up about Machado. He might even apologize. He would not launch a 3 ayem rant about her on Twitter. Talk about not being ready for the "3 AM phone call."

2) Related to the above, the commentary on several conservative sites has been "Hillary set Trump up." This may be true, but here on Planet Earth (3rd rock from the sun) if you know something's a setup you don't fall into the trap. Actually, that's true even on Admiral Ackbar's planet.

3) Over on the site ran by Wily E. Coyote, SuperGenius (tm) (just ask him, he'll tell you how smart he is) I see a lengthy post about how Trump "avoided the minefield of defeating Hillary Clinton in the first presidential debate." Spanking is involved. That may play on some planets, but here on Planet Earth (3rd rock from the sun) it's not.

4) Also on the Coyote's site, there's a long post about how the US couldn't impose a no-fly zone in Syria but how Hillary's supporters want us to. Here on Planet Earth (3rd rock from the sun) I see no real appetite for any expansion of our (modest) role in Syria.

TGIF

Sep. 23rd, 2016 11:46 am
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
It's been a rough week.

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I changed my mind. I was going to write a rant about how conservatives need guns to defend against government tyranny but when a cop hassles a civilian the conservative is automatically defending the cop. I decided that rant didn't need to be written.

So, instead, have a funny picture.

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Thanks to a nap, a solid night of sleep and modern pharmaceuticals, I feel almost human today. Since they've been accumulating, let's have some links:

1) WaPo: Trump Camp Built Up Robust DC Policy Shop, Let It Die Of Neglect I am shocked, shocked I tell you to learn that Donald Trump would hire people and then not actually pay them.

2) I bought and enjoyed a previous anthology from these folks, so I encourage you to contribute: ZNB is at it again with 3 new anthologies with the themes of Robots, Water, and Death! Join us for another great adventure!

3) Presented without comment: The Tree That Was Arrested.

4) I'm told that my grandparents eloped and got married in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Had they been English, they would have gone to Gretna Green, Scotland.

5) Back in Ye Olde Dayes, when you went grocery shopping the clerk filled your order. When I was a kid in small town Illinois, there was still an old-style grocery store that my mother would send me to on my bike to pick up lunchmeat. You can thank Piggly Wiggy for the modern supermarket.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
There are many, many contenders for stupidest thing on the Internet. One of the main contenders for the title this week was an article entitled how to talk to a woman who's wearing headphones. Now, the obvious answer for anybody who has two brain cells to rub together is "you don't, unless there's some kind of fire, flood or other emergency."

As frequently happens when stupid gets loose on the Internet, various parties make an attempt to drop a net on it and (with varying degrees of gentleness) move the stupid to a safe place. Two such responses I found interesting.

1) From Holly Messinger, Literary Assassin - self-defense against schmucks who try to make you take your headphones off. She is Not Amused. A sample: Make him speak first. He may genuinely need information like directions or the date and year, if he's a time traveler. But if you're in a crowded place and he chose to interrupt the girl with the headphones on, odds are he's just being an entitled fuckwhistle.

2) From Ursula Vernon, humorous: We took a vote. A sample:
Someone always says it, whenever it comes up:
"I guess I'm just not allowed to talk to anyone any more!"

Well.
Yes.
It is my duty to inform you that we took a vote
all us women
and determined that you are not allowed to talk to anyone
ever again.

This vote is legally binding.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Posting will continue to be light and sporadic. I have three books being released in June, so edits have consumed my free time. That's bad for blogging but good for the finished product.

ETA: Have a funny. (Source)

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I am not a fan of April Fools. Most such jokes hit me before I'm fully caffeinated. Trust me - very few things amuse me before caffeine. Herewith, a few (I hope) non-foolish thoughts.

Rabid Puppies

The nominating phase of Hugo voting is over, so now we await the counting. Wile E. Coyote, Super-Genius At Large over on his site is crowing about victory. Of course, said "victory" (if it happens, given that the fat lady has not sang yet) requires him to celebrate both Ancillary Mercy and Seveneves. The former is the latest in a series of books that assign everybody to the female gender and the later is a book in which seven female astronauts become the sole survivors of humanity. Bottom line - if you define victory broadly enough, you can always win.

Land Ownership in the American West

Until Donald Trump's latest shoot-foot-then-put-in-mouth incident, much buzz was heard on various conservative sites to the effect of "the Federal government owns too much land in teh west." Hello, Homestead Acts, anybody? We spent a century trying to give that land away and couldn't. The simple fact is that most of the land in states like Utah and Arizona is worthless. It costs more money in terms of providing water than one can get out of the land by grazing. So, since we couldn't give the land away, even to the states, the government manages it.

ETA - because I'm feeling my oats a bit:

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Herewith, some thoughts on various subjects.

Writing

Elizabeth Bear, a prolific writer, is wise on finding your voice in writing and in life.

Doing Things

For the past decade, I was Fundraising Czar for my Rotary club. The slightly humorous title aside, that meant I was responsible for raising the $25,000 to $35,000 a year our club spent on various charitable projects. This year, I handed that title off to another person. I'm still on his committee, so I get to see how he handles things, which is very differently then I did. There really is more than one way to skin a cat.

Computer Users

As an IT professional, I get irritated when people get errors on their system which they don't read. My irritation is that, having not read the error, they then call me because their system doesn't work. The picture below explains things from the end-user's perspective.

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
A Thought

It’s always better to practice on a fake hand grenade than a live one.

(Words to live by...)

Interesting Article with a Cool Picture

The F-104 - not quite the right stuff.

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
There's a wonderful piece of dialog which I thought was in the movie Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. Wikipedia tells me the movie starred (and thus the dialog was delivered by) Gert Frobe, I could have sworn it was Curt Jurgens.

In any event, in the movie, set in 1910, Gert, in full Prussian aristocrat mode, walks into a meeting and he apologizes for being late. It seems a horse died in the middle of the street and was blocking traffic. With a straight face, Gert then says "traffic will flow so much better when it's all motorized."

I was reminded of that movie today while driving to work. It snowed here in Chicago, a light and fluffy dusting of maybe half an inch. I was amazed at how cluelessly people drove. For example:

1) Spending 4 blocks sitting in the blind spot of a bus.
2) Driving down a dry road at 15 MPH.
3) Cutting in front of two lanes of left-turn-only traffic to make a left turn. (People, if you miss your turn, go to the next light and make a U-turn!)
4) Pulling out from in a street parking spot, cutting in front of me so you could do a 180 and proceed the opposite way.

Traffic will flow so much better when it's all automated. (said with a smile.)
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Although today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is a bank holiday, I'm at work. We have various network maintenance needs that need to be done when people aren't using the network, so we're doing that today. Considering it's sub-zero outside, it's either sit inside at work or sit inside at home.

Since at the moment I'm waiting for stuff to finish rebooting (the story of an IT professional's life) here's a joke.

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Over my vacation, I consumed a fair number of books. Herewith, links to books and my reviews thereof:

1) An anthology of female-written SF which I enjoyed: The Dark Beyond the Stars. Methinks all stories are Hugo-eligible for 2016.

2) I am very much not a fan of Vox Day, but I am a fan of milSF. There Will Be War Vol X. Vox let Jerry Pournelle edit, so there's only one chapter 5.

3) I met the lovely Holly Messinger at a Kansas City con, and bought her book. The Curse of Jacob Tracy is a great read.

A sadly true piece of snark:

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