Archive for the 'Diversions' Category

The Conundra of Life.

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Item: I woke up around 4 a.m. because of a howling rainstorm outside my window, so I’m extra-logy on this Monday.

Item: Kick Butt Coffee is across the street from my office. Their Americano has the cure — or at least an adequate palliative — for what ails me.

Item: The weather outside is still nasty, so the trip across the street holds little appeal.
Thus does life vex me on this gray Monday morning.

(Fear not: I’m aware that my problems are small potatoes in life’s grand scheme. But the lack of caffeine is getting to me . . . )

But enough of my problems — how’s by you?

To say I have the attention span of a gnat . . .

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

. . . is an insult to gnats.

I mention this because a couple of weeks ago I tweeted that “I have the attention span of a gnat,” and now there’s a delegation of gnats marching up and down on my cubicle wall, demanding that I stop defaming them. They’re carrying tiny, tiny pickets.

Why the two-week delay? Hey, they’re gnats — they’re not exactly the world’s experts in organizing.

Which brings me back to my original point.

Because you probably need longer exposure to long-exposure photographs.

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I agree with my friend Michael Hickey — these photos are amazing:

29 Amazing Long Exposure Pictures



(Photo by Lucas Janin, used under a CC BY-NC license.)

Twitter has an outage.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Which makes this all the more amusing:


(Note that the site has some R-rated language.)

Comic-book geekery: Martian Manhunter & Vision.

Sunday, June 14th, 2009


Here’s a thesis for comic buffs to consider . . .

Martian Manhunter (DC universe) and Vision (Marvel universe) are similarly

  • Alien/strange
  • Awesome
  • Underrated

(They’re also both heavily into the red-and-green palette, but I’m not sure that’s germane.)





(Manhunter image source; Vision image source.)

Rapid-fire 1: ArmadilloCon.

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Clearing the decks of stuff I’ve been meaning to talk about . . .

ArmadilloCon, held last weekend in Austin, was fun. It was my first sci-fi convention, and I attended mainly to meet and hear from guest of honor John Scalzi. He was just as funny and self-effacing — but in a charmingly ego-centric way! — as you’d expect if you read his blog regularly. You can also check out Scalzi’s writeup of his ArmadilloCon experience.

Another key attendee was my Hoover’s colleague Patrice Sarath, who, besides being an acute business analyst, has a new book out called Gordath Wood. My wife said that Patrice’s panel was very interesting — the best one she attended. So, go, Patrice!

My kids liked the dealer room, where they looked at all sorts of books, toys, robots, etc. My daughter also particularly liked Scalzi’s reading of the hilarious first chapter of his work-in-progress, The High Castle, which John was nice enough to deliver in a PG-13 version out of deference to my kids.

About the picture above: One of the exhibitors I met was local author Christine Rose, whose new YA fantasy novel, Rowan of the Wood — co-written with her husband Ethan — comes out on October 18. Given my daughter’s love for fantasy novels of this ilk, I imagine we’ll be attending the BookPeople release party that day. Yaaay for local authors!

And while we’re at it, yay for flights of fancy in storytelling, which was, at bottom, what ArmadilloCon was all about.

My Twitter usage: an update.

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Back in December, I talked some nonsense about trying not to write 8,000 tweets (i.e. the short messages one sends via Twitter) in the coming year.

Current tweet total for yours truly: 8,194.

Two things:

1. I’ve gotten a lot more out of Twitter than I ever expected I would, and it hasn’t all been fun, games, and procrastinatory self-indulgence. Among other things, Twitter has been useful for introducing me to many influential / nifty people involved in social media, and it’s also helped my blogging considerably, both by giving me new ideas to blog about, and by giving me an excellent outlet for soliciting feedback for (and outright promotion of) my work.

2. After a debauched madcap period of super-high usage, I’ve tapered off my Twitter intensity, as shown in this month-by-month graph from TweetStats.


That is all.

Goodbye, Sudoku.

Saturday, June 21st, 2008
Objet de Carte via The Ampersand.

Speaking of things that I’m giving up, it’s time to say goodbye to Sudoku puzzles. I’ve always loved word and shape and number and logic puzzles, and for a long time I was a regular solver of New York Times crosswords.

If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you may recall that I gave up Sudokus a while back. I’m often a backslider when it comes to resolutions like that, and lately I’ve fallen back into the Sudoku trap. On the plane to and from Seattle this week, I worked the puzzles on the Sudoku page of the in-flight magazine. Or rather, I worked the “Gentle” and “Moderate” puzzles, and started in on the “Diabolical” one.

Just now, as I opened the book I’m in the middle of reading, I found that puzzle again, tucked between the pages. I started to look over Mr. Diabolical while I brewed another pot of coffee, making no real headway in 10 or 15 minutes of puzzling.

And then, thinking of what I just wrote about giving up The New Yorker, it hit me: Sudoku puzzles are a lovely way to pass the time, but I don’t have extra time that needs passing. They have nothing to do with writing, which must be the sole focus of my work these days, and I can’t really share them with anybody. So, while Sudokus are fun, and a neat thing in their own right, they’re not my way of making a contribution.

The sheet of puzzles: gone. My Sudoku bookmarks: gone.

Sayonara, Sudoku. It was nice knowing you.

Not “peaked,” but “piqued.”

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

This is a peak:


This is “pique”:


So, nothing “peaks” your interest. Believe me when I tell you that your interest was not “peaked.” It was piqued.

Now that that’s straightened up, please feel free to resume your normal activities.

(Image of Annapurna from Alpine Visions.)

Just an observation.

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

I’m still “Gone Fishin’,” like the previous post said, but I wanted to make a little note about this:

Please resume your normal activities.