I’d say it was tasteless, but honestly I didn’t try it.
I’d say it was tasteless, but honestly I didn’t try it.
Bad trees, bad trees,
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
When they fall on you?
Another year, another stupid costume for Karvel Kon!
And yes, we sang the song with the actual Cops theme music.
If you’ve not heard of the Cops TV show, then this costume probably doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. On the other hand, if you have heard of the Cops TV show, it probably doesn’t help a lot.
Here’s the back of the costumes:
Although the costumes are fairly simple, there are a few interesting details for those who are interested:
The font is called Due Date. Anna cut out the letters using her Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine. In theory, she could have taken the image as a file, but it ended up being easier to just scan a printout and then have the machine cut it out of sticky vinyl. We had a little problem with the loose pieces of the C and the E coming off, so had to be a bit careful moving around–we could have applied the letters in a more permanent manner, but Anna wanted to be able to reuse the outfits later.
The bird house was a dollar at the craft store. I 3D-printed the air freshener. Then we just spray-painted them both with a metric-ton of glittery-gold spray-paint. The black chain came from the hardware store (they didn’t have gold). Anna thinks I should hang the air freshener from the mirror in my car.
I will probably be talking a lot more about patents (particularly software patents) over the next few years, but I can tell you that the system is broken.
The patent office grants incredibly vague, non-innovative software patents all the time (which is hardly surprising, given that the average patent application only gets about 19 hours of review before being granted). Companies then use these patents as bludgeons against small companies. More than 80% of patent cases last year were filed by patent trolls who don’t create anything–they just shake down companies–most of whom cave, because it is too expensive to fight.
There have been a number of court cases in the last few years that have improved the situation, but there is a big fight to try and undo this progress, both in Congress (that whole pro/con thing is a bit confusing) and in the patent office. There seems to be a genuine lack of understanding of the damage that these patents cause.
And yes, as you can see from the picture, I am also a holder of a software patent (and have another pending). This may seem a tad hypocritical, but in the current environment, they serve a defensive purpose (and only a defensive purpose). I would happily give them up in exchange for fixes to the system.
Managed to stay up for last night’s lunar eclipse (Okay, it was only until a little after 10:00pm, but I’m a wimp). we had a clear sky, and it was pretty impressive. After my first few attempts at getting a hand-held picture, I finally set up a tripod, and the pictures got a lot better–particularly since I just have a little cheapo camera.
It was not as impressive as the solar eclipse from 2017, but for this one, we didn’t have to drive anywhere, just open the back door–although it was freezing cold last night. I kept having to run back inside to defrost.
The press has been calling this the Blood Wolf Super Moon, which sounds cool–Blood because of the color–caused by light refracting through our atmosphere. Wolf because the January moon is called a wolf moon (or ice moon or snow moon or great spirit moon or Keith Moon). Super because it is the closest full-moon to perigee, so it appears a bit larger – the only time you get to use the word syzygy outside of a scrabble game!
I guess that sounds better than calling it George.
The anthology Transcendent just came out, which has one of my stories in it! The theme of the anthology (and its original title) is Dreams, Nightmares, Visions and Hallucinations.
My story is called Little Choices, and would probably be called a horror story. It is also really depressing!
The anthology is quite expense ($24.99), largely, I imagine, because it is huge — there are dozens of stories in there. The whole thing is 614 pages. I just got the e-version of it, but haven’t seen the print version yet. The e-book is only $7.99, and is presumably full of scary pixels (I intend to start reading it soon).
Sounds like the story will also be printed in the Metaphorosis end-of-year anthology as well, so there will probably be one more post about the story. Hopefully my next writing post will be about a different story!
I have a new story called Graveyard in the November, 2018 edition of Metaphorosis magazine!
Despite the title, it is, at least for me, a fairly upbeat story.
You can buy the magazine from Amazon (print or e-book) if you are so inclined, but the story will also be available for free on the magazine’s web site later this month–they release one story a week, or something like that. Mine will be towards the end of the month. I’ll do a brief post when it hits.
The really cool cover art by Saleha Chowdhury is based on my story too :-).
Frankenstein’s monster, posing with some guy in a mask:
“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”
–Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
Bulwer-Lytton was one of the most well-known novelists of the 19th century (and, honestly, even Paul Clifford stands up reasonably well), but thanks to Snoopy (and snooty English majors), he is probably best known now for this sentence, and possibly not as an example of literary excellence.
For the last 36 years, the English Department at San Jose State University has run a Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest, where thousands of people from around the world attempt to create single-sentence entries in a series of categories. This is this year’s winner:
Cassie smiled as she clenched John’s hand on the edge of an abandoned pier while the sun set gracefully over the water, and as the final rays of light disappeared into a star-filled sky she knew that there was only one thing left to do to finish off this wonderful evening, which was to throw his severed appendage into the ocean’s depths so it could never be found again—and maybe get some custard after.
–Tanya Menezes, San Jose
And this is a runner-up winner in the Crime/Detective category:
Jimmy-The-Bull lay sprawled in a puddle of his own blood, which spread out like a bright-red Rorschach test, in which Detective Williams had so far identified a butterfly, a puppy and the Eiffel tower, but was vaguely disappointed that there was nothing resembling Jimmy’s trademark bull, although the coroner had seen a giraffe, which he claimed was close enough, since it was also a ruminant.
–Arlen Feldman, Colorado Springs, CO
You may notice that the author of that last literary gem is yours truly! I’ve entered a few times over the years, but this is the first time I’ve had an entry selected!
Although the winners were announced a few months ago, I didn’t actually find out that I was a runner-up until a few days ago. Every year at Mile Hi Con, we have a panel called the Turkey Read-off, where the panelists read excerpts from exceptionally bad books (usually from the ’70s and ’80s, but not always). I generally also read a few Bulwer-Lytton entries at the panel, and found my entry when I was going through this year’s winners.
I believe this gives me the distinction of being the first person to read their own work at the Turkey Read-off!
(Quick ad for Mile HI Con – it is a Sci-Fi/Genre/Literary Convention in Denver, Colorado, that has been running for 50 years, with dozens of authors, plus numerous speakers, panels and other fun stuff. If you are in or near Denver in October, I highly recommend it).
Here are a few of my other entries that did not make the cut (almost certainly for good reasons):
The book publishers have a blog, and I have a post on that blog today, talking a bit about the story and about the writing process. I think this qualifies as my first official guest post somewhere :-).
I have some other writing news as well, but that will have to wait for another blog post (here, rather than a link to another blog, although I’m now wondering if I could create some sort of recursive blog post references. Of course, that might create a black hole that sucks in the entire Internet, so might not be worth the risk).