Archive for August, 2005

One more from the Con

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

I’ve got one more pic from Gen Con for you. Check this out:

She made this entirely herself — note that a) those are real feathers, and b) she can unfurl those things.

A quick note about the photography as well: You’ll notice that this picture was taken from very low down. I got down on one knee and bent down almost until my head hit the ground, so the camera was about level with her mid-calf. I think it came out really well. Shooting from that low makes the subject look bigger and more imposing, which in the case of this costume worked nicely.

Note: When I first posted this the images weren’t working. What’s amusing is that without the context of the image, the text following it sounds… dirty somehow. 🙂

Update: There are several more pics back a few posts.

The Big Dog of Blogging

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

I’ve been reading Cerberus’ blog ever since I discovered it, and though it has been linked in my sidebar for quite a while now, I thought I’d go ahead and draw some much-deserved attention to it by pointing out some of the best recent posts. I’ve deliberately picked disparate posts that show some if his breadth of topic — he writes about a lot of different stuff, and is usually a good read. Nobody is perfect of course, the man has his lackluster days, but when he’s good he’s golden.

From Cerberus:
Can They Astonish Their Enemies? — ruminations on the nascent Iraqi Constitution

Competitors — Woof. Quack. An uncharacteristically cute story coming from this blog, but as nicely done as any other. Accompanied by a highly amusing picture.

Crap Sells — On journalists and other whores. Bonus: “Jacking with People: a Cop’s Story” (Cerberus is a real cop in an unspecified “Some City” USA)

Was It Necessary? — regarding the nuking of Japan in WWII

and from a little further back…. (Cerb, you really need a Search function!)

And Then, That Cop, He Shot Me for no Good Reason!


That Was Stupid. Here’s Your Bill.

That is all. The man is a good writer.

But what if he’s *already* an asshole?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Steven Vincent’s wife rips Juan Cole a new asshole.

Just… Damn. I loved every word of it (and shed a tear or two towards the end… you’ll know where I’m talking about).

Go read.

Convention Pics

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

Hi all! This is a quick late-night post live from Gen Con in Indianapolis — a gaming convention that I’ve been attending for years. I used to go every single year, but this is the first time in about three years that I’ve made it out. (I’ve been missing it because, for example, I was busy getting married about this time last year!)

Anyway, I’ll post more details later when I’m more awake and alert, but I thought I’d go ahead and throw a few pictures your way. Note that despite what these pics show, this is primarily a game convention, not costumes whatnot. It just that pictures of people sitting at tables playing games tend to be really really boring….


Actually, this is just a random building near my hotel, but I thought it was neat.

Hey! It’s the guy from Barney Miller! (Oh, and Firefly)

You will notice if you look closely that at the end of this man’s golf club is a little tiny Arnold Palmer swinging at a little tiny golf ball. (I’ll post a little better picture of this a bit later.) Yes, this is an “official” Arnold Palmer product.

This attractive young lady appears to have used a bit too much self-tanning lotion.

Gandalf the Grey enjoys a smoke just outside the convention center.

The KODT live reading takes a turn for the weird. Or is that statement redundant?

That’s all for now. More details about the Con later….

Update: One more pic. It’s a good’un.

So tell us what you *really* think!

Monday, August 15th, 2005

Note: In my rush for time a few days ago, I failed to actually hit the “Publish” button on this one. So it langushed as a mere draft over the weekend. Here it is a bit late. Just pretend you actually read this mid-last-week, ‘kay? ‘Kay.

Jeff is acting unusually demure today.

(Oh, and it’s nice to see that his Tourette’s medication has finally kicked in.)

I have a general sense that judgementalism is making a comeback in American society. It’s about damned time, too.

Whence blogging

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

I blog for many reasons, and on many topics. Sometimes something funny strikes me, and I want to share. Sometimes I just plain have something to get off my chest.

But at the core of it, I don’t think that either of those (or any number of the “piddling” reasons) would keep me coming back.

There’s a lot I want to say here, but I’m very pressed for time (and won’t be back to the ol’ blog machine for several days). In short, however, I believe that the combined “tiny voices” of blogs are changing the world. They are breaking the back of a media stronghold that has strangled genuine discussion for years — and that’s only one small part of it.

The Internet, and specifically blogging, is probably the single most important invention since the printing press. No I do not think that is an exaggeration. We are already changing the world. (Steven Den Beste wrote a great essay on this concept a while back.)

Someone out there just made a scoffing sound… muttered something about “ego”. Don’t think I’m trying to take single-handed credit for this change. There are many others, far greater than me (and not coincidentally with much larger audiences) who came before me, and many more yet to come. Sometimes I feel like a snowflake in a blizzard, but I know I have a certain readership (though I don’t know who they are for the most part).

Time is short — perhaps I’ll get back to this another time. In the meantime, I strongly urge you to go read “Fight Evil. Speak Up” — Kevin’s latest over at The Smallest Minority. He finds the words for a lot of what I am trying to say.

See you in a few days.

So… Cold…

Friday, August 5th, 2005

Do you ever have one of those days where the whole Universe seems to be just… “off” somehow?

It’s been a pretty normal day so far — in fact, I would say a pretty good day barring a mediocre start — but suddenly my head is spinning, my ears are ringing, and my butt is sore from all those monkeys that just flew out of it. Yeech. This is a universal sucker punch the likes of which I have never seen before.

Not only do I agree, wholeheartedly, with the political opinion of Joan Collins, but none other than she of the gem-encrusted throne, Jennifer “J-Lo” Lopez, has spouted off with a remarkably astute (for Hollywood) and fairly brave (for modern day) bit of opinion, with which I also entirely agree.

I need an asprin. And a nap. (and one of those inflatable doughnut pillows.)

P.S. — At least I’m not Kate.

“Foot Targeted. FIRE!”

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005

It is by turns amusing and depressing when advertisers Just Don’t Get It.

My dad is in his 60s, and for the last several years has had the opportunity to entertain his ever-growing cadre of grandchildren. In the last couple of years he has taken the oldest few on weekend trips to a certain resort that has an indoor waterpark. Along the way he gave the resort his email address.

Now he gets ads in his email box for this resort… five or six times a week. He is booked to go again soon, and the other day got an email with a special offer on exactly the room he booked — including a $100 discount — but when he booked on the phone, there were no discounts because “those rooms are brand new” and popular. They have his reservation, but keep hitting him with emails asking him to “Come Back!”

Okay, first off, it would not be difficult to set something up so that if somebody is already booked, or, say, has been there in the past couple months, they are taken temporarily off the email list. As it is, he’s getting kind of sick of these ads, and will probably ask them to remove him from their list soon. Hey you at the resort — your overly incessant advertising is alienating your customers.

Second — you definitely should refrain from sending someone special offers that you’re not going to give them. Again with the alienating customers thing.

I donate blood on a semi-regular basis. I don’t as often as I used to because the blood donation company used to call and remind me to donate, but now they have been forbidden from calling me at all. Why? Because their call system was so bass-ackwards that I would get two or three calls a day, on successive days, from different people at different offices asking me to donate. Even after I was scheduled, I would get calls asking me to come in, on top of the calls reminding me of my appointment. Add the fact that my wife is also on the list, you can make that five or six calls* in a day. Enough!

Now when Lifesource calls, I simply say “We’ve told you many times before; take us off your call list,” and hang up. I’ll give again when I remember. In the meantime, they’re continuously in the middle of a blood shortage and can’t figure out why donations are dropping. Here’s a clue.

I would like it if the blood place gave me a call — one call — every two months to remind me to donate. If they could manage that they would probably get five donations from me each year, instead of one or two. I’m sure my dad wouldn’t mind getting an email or two from the resort with valid special offers, every once in a while. Companies that think they’re going to hound their customers into submission should think twice before trying it — they’re probably pushing away more than they realize.

* Not common, I admit, but I believe it actually reached that number one time, right about the time I pulled the plug.