Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jimmies at the grocery

Today at Price Chopper, we were standing in the 'dietics' section, and I happend to glance over and see the Jimmies gorrila. It was very wierd.

Elsewhere in the store, I came across the toys section. I'm standing there, "okay, big deal and all", and then I notice they've got one of the new MLP 'small' brushables. First one I've ever seen in the wild. So I'm standing there looking at Applejack, but I'm trying to be kinda casual about it, not obvious that I'm looking at it, and I realize that they FORGOT her HAT.
This is not a small issue. Applejack not having her hat is like going out in Antartica without your parka. It doesn't happen. Ever. C'mon, Hasbro.

...I still feel wierd talking about that just, y'know, out like that. In public to random people and all. Oh well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Score at the Library book sale

Went down to the Library book sale today -- well, the actual sale isn't until this weekend, I was helping to set up. But that's not the point!; the point is that I scored a pocket-dictionary. Yes, an actual hardcopy pocket dictionary, and yes, it actually fits in my pocket.

That wasn't the only cool thing I spotted there, either. They also had some antique computer-programing books, including for the Commodore 64 and even the 1980s-famous VAX. I might even pick that last one up just as a curio.

I think I can come up with a hundred words a day, so I'm going to try and post daily from here on out. Call me on it if I screw up :)

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go backdate a post...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Back to the Future is a very good movie.
Dvorak is a lovely keboard layout, and a vast improvement over Qwerty.
Dasher is great fun, admittedly probably a lot better than Qwerty, and certainly much better than not being able to use a computer at all. However, I'm not to certain about Dasher in and of itself.
I will of course grant that it's both the best alphabetic interface I've ever seen (okay, it's the only real alphabetic interface I've seen), and vastly better than anything I think Icould have come up with.

In related news, except for the latter addition of some newline characters (to make my markdown work right), this post was writen entirely in Dasher, despite haveing to go back and fix some parts. Explaines the non-sequitor of an opening surprisingly well, doesn't it?

Oh, right. Dasher is a lovely little program that provides a number of alternatives to a traditional keboard. The most ~~notable~~ obvious is the one where you dynamically zoom in on the letters you want, eventually building up words and paragraphs until you have however, long a string of text you decide you want. It's not replacing my trusty Dvorak anytime soon, but it seems like a great alternative for people for whom typeing is not an option.

Typewriter Mode

I've noticed that I use the computer in pretty much exclusively two modes.

The first is "Internet Mode". This is when I have a browser up and am clicking (and, normally, reading) lots of stuff (Think facebook, reddit, fan-fiction, deviantArt...).

The other mode is "Typewriter Mode". This is when I'm at the computer and I pull up emacs (whether through a terminal emulator and some stack of ssh/tmux/emacsclient, a tty and such a stack, or a GUI emacsclient window) and write things down. This blog post, fanfiction, the occasional to-do list, whatever. In a bizarre way, I think I like Typewriter Mode more.

I really ought to go to bed now, though. I need to be up and coherent early tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


It came to my attention the other day that medium awareness is not limited to metafiction and the like. One chapter of Moby Dick starts out with "Some chapters back, ...". I'm not sure what to make of this.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I realized today that I'm kinda going about rateings all wrong. Yes, I do/will try to maintain a certain level of objectivity to them, but since these reviews are fundamentaly for me, I'm going to increase the weighting of my enjoyment factor.
(Don't get the wrong idea -- there's not a formula or a grade-sheet I'm useing. But how much I liked the book will impact my rateing more.)

I'm gonna go tweak the rateings in my orriginal review post to reflect this change, but that should be the only change. I'll bet that if you even see this, it'll be long after the change and you won't even notice.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Review: Cinder

Cinder is an interesting little mash-up. The title character is a cyborg, and I picked it up because she goes to the ball. Parallels, anyone? Took me fairly by surprise however, it's rather deeper than I expected to go. Being more involved this way means it does have the potential to go a lot further than I expected, though.

Cinder is of course a sci-fi novel. In this future, the world has picked itself up into a fairly small number of large nations following I think it was world war four. Robots and magnetic hover-cars are the norm, and humanity is dealing with a massively infectious and always-fatal virus. Meanwhile, the queen of the Lunars, an offshoot of humanity who live on the moon and have psychic powers, wants to take over, and to that end has been trying to get the emperor of China to marry her for something like decades. How long is never said exactly, but it's been a while. Cinder, who as a side effect of being a cyborg is the best mechanical engineer in the city, gets thrown into all of this when the prince brings her a robot to fix and ends up falling for her.

Maybe I'm just good, but I was able to predict chapter thirty-seven's big twist way back in chapter four. A couple of twists I wasn't expecting, such as Cinder being immune to virus and her doctor being a Lunar. I think it works out okay though, since this turns out to be the first book in a series. The others I expect to veer off in their own direction relative to what I was expecting from this one. I don't normally like reading the first book in a series before the rest of it is out, but this one works pretty darn well as a stand-alone. I'll keep an eye out for the rest (according to the coresponding front panel, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter).

Rateing: Seven and a half out of ten.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Review: Ready_Player_One

Ready_Player_One is a sci-fi/video-game novel set in the not-to-distant future. The real world has been thoroughly trashed by humanity's continued expansion, and so most people spend all their time logged into a virtual 'world' called OASIS. Then the guy who created OASIS dies, and basicly leaves control of OASIS, as well as his vast personal fortune, to whoever can solve a sequence of puzzles he created (and based off of the eighties of his childhood) as an "Easter Egg".

The book follows one of the fanboys/'professional' egghunters named Parzival. (Well, he has a real-world name, too. It's Wade. But it doesn't really come up.) Years after the first announcement of the contest, Parzival stumbles on the first part of the easter egg, and accidentally tips off everyone else looking for it, including a major megacorporation conglomerate that wants to take control of the OASIS and basicly lock it up forever. Now Parzival and a couple of other 'gunters' are in a race to solve the entire puzzle chain before them.

I greatly enjoyed the book. It knows its popculture, and weaves it together expertly. I found the review-o-blurb inside the front flap kind of disappointing, though. Combined with the cover, it gave me the impression that a fair amount of the book took place in the real world, like James Bond, Bourne, or Spy Kids. But practically the whole thing, including most of the real action, is in OASIS. It does make a few stops out into reality though, and those are good.

[SPOILERS AHEAD] My biggest gripe with the book is actually with the handling of Aech. Aech is Parzival's best friend, at least at the start of the book. In the last fourth or so of the book, they meet up in the real world for the first time, and it turns out that instead of being a guy like her avatar, Aech is actually a girl.

Now, Parzival has fallen for another of their little save-the-world treasurehunting group, Art3mis. This makes her the designated love-interest. Which is fine, don't get me wrong; but at the reveal I was hoping that Aech could challenge that, and by extension the entire Trope. Instead, she's a lesbian. It's handled fairly well I thought, considering it's mostly irelevant and how close it is to the end of the book; but the missed opertunity bugs me, perhaps more than it should. [END SPOILERS]

RATING: A high eight out of ten, would read again.