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The Musings of an Idle Mind

Things that go 'Bump' in my head

Spaaaaaace
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gary_jordan
Lately, it seems like most of my favorite webcomics are incapable of saying, "space." They seem to share a need to say, "Spaaaaaace."

Me too. I wish I had more closet spaaaaaace.
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Software
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gary_jordan
Computers suck.

Not having my... if not favorite, at least customary... software running on a computer sucks worse. Yes, I'm whining about computers again. I'm a privileged white male, what else have I to whine about?

Let's see, I mentioned my old Dell dying. I mentioned using expedients, like Joe, my Kindle Fire. I mentioned acquiring a Chromebook laptop for interim use. I mentioned buying a new Dell.

Well, the new Dell is here, and up and running. Much of my old favorite software is up and running. Some of it has changed, not necessarily for the better. The Chromebook didn't want me to install much of anything. It's that ChromeOS thing - I've always been a Windows kind of guy (except in the earliest days, when I ran an Apple ][+ or //e), so all my legacy software needs Windows or Windows emulation.

When I went to install NoteTab Pro 6, it told me there was a newer version, so I upgraded to 7. I used 6 a lot, and 7 works much the same, so no major learning curve. But I installed Office 2010, the version I had on the old Dell, and it got really confusing because it wanted me to confirm that I wanted to upgrade to Office 360, which I didn't. So it froze Office 2010. In order to access (heh) my numerous files, I finally uninstalled 2010 and started the free trial of 360, which I will delete soon. I have installation disks for Office 1997, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 2016 will be installed.

My other drama concerns Calibre and Amazon's new format, and we needn't go there.

Microsoft Games suck. I want the games from Windows 7 back.

KRONK by Edmund Cooper
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gary_jordan
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1931108.Kronk

HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD THROUGH SEX AND SIN!


It seemed that Gabriel Crome and his elegantly hippy girl friend had the answer---a new, highly communicable disease with the property of inhibiting aggression. And oh boy! was it fun to communicate!

But Gabriel had reckoned without the finely honed irony of whatever Prankster it is who governs human affairs.

As the Raven quoth, 'KRONK'"


Kronk was recommended to me by someone in a writing group, because I mentioned liking the idea of a "sexually transmitted cure," having read (now) two such stories. Kronk was decidedly not a third. Yes, there is a sexually transmitted disease intended to cure violence. There are essentially four stages of this disease. First, promiscuity. It spreads itself as fast as it can. Second, appetite. No obesity, though, as it overlaps promiscuity and folks need those extra calories. Third is the non-violent phase. Nobody can bear to hurt another.

The fourth phase is foreshadowed by a news team being torn to tiny pieces by rabbits, when they went to investigate a story about rabbits misbehaving. I wondered if this was the inspiration for the scene in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail. Alas, the newsies had no holy hand grenades from Antioch.

I do not like my endings dystopian, without hope at the least.

I rated it 2/5

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Word of the Day
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gary_jordan
I've seen it before and ignored it. There is a crapton load of anime out there to which I've never been exposed, with its own special vocabulary. If I didn't get it in context, I let it slide. Then there was this Questionable Content webcomic, and I broke.

TSUNDERE (Courtesy of the Urban Dictionary)
Tsundere is a slang born on the Internet, and it is a word to describe the nature of female anime or game characters. Tsundere is a word combining two words, "Tsun Tsun" and "Dere Dere". Both terms describe attitudes of a person. "Tsun Tsun" is used for cold/blunt/curt attitude, while "Dere Dere" is used when a person becomes spoony in front of his/her lover.
(Definition is from the game " Tsuyokisu Cool×Sweet ")

Just one of the definitions and examples from that site.

See what I meant? I didn't know "tsun" nor "dere" so there was no chance of knowing the combination. I have Learned Something New.
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Semi-Retired Author
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gary_jordan

As a current member of various writing groups, I often end up in discussions about the craft of writing. I enjoyed the craft when I was active, and even participated in the occasional on-line critique of works in progress. A recent discussion posed a question; "Are you a plotter or a pantser?"

Plotters are those folks who write from strict or loose outlines, who generally know where the story goes from the start. It doesn't mean that outlines are never revised, but that's where they come from.

Pantsers write "by the seat of their pants." They create characters or situations or locations, and just let it happen, wherever the story takes them.

Me, I think these are two axes of a diagram, and authors tend to drift around. I have that diagram, below, that shows where I think I was back in the day. Everything I wrote probably averages out to fall where I show me.



where I fancy myself
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September is "Read a New Book Month"
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gary_jordan
There are people, I realize, who ask “Why would you read an old book?” but they are not of our tribe. Rereading a great book is one of the great pleasures in life. Reading a new book, on the other hand, is fraught with possible disappointment. It takes a brave person to read a new book.
- Jennifer Crusie, Cherry Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018

I love Jennifer Crusie (platonically, of course) because she understands... me. We are of the same tribe. We are also of similar ages and heart conditions, not that any of that matters. I really, really, really* love her books. I put her on the same pedestal with Lois McMaster Bujold and Patricia C. Wrede. As an aside, I just realized that 75% of "my favorite authors" are women.

I'll be reading a new book this month. Dunno which one, yet. It might be something I get from a Baen Books Monthly Bundle, or the Fussy Librarian, or a recommendation from an author or reader. I don't know. There are unread books in my library, also.

Just this moment, I'm in the midst of Wrede's Frontier Magic series, book 3, The Far West. See above about rereading books.

I guess when I'm done with my new book, I'll have to review it here.
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Hardware
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gary_jordan
Computers suck.

Not having a working computer sucks worse.

By which statement you are informed (since I'm posting) that I have a new computer. It's the ultra-cheap Chromebook Laptop, which is merely an interim substitution for a real computer. It was what I could afford.

It's a CHROMEbook, so yes, it runs on the Chrome Operating System and features the Google Chrome browser, which is my main browser everywhere I compute. All my Chrome shortcuts came with, so yay for that.

Once I could get on line, I went to the Dell website, where I am a member - a long time member, it uses my AOL name and password. I applied for and was instantly approved for a credit line, and in two weeks I'll have a Dell Inspiron Desktop tower to pay for, for six months. Yay. I think.

I won't get rid of the C-book. I might loan it to my daughter or a grandchild, or just sneak it in to work to do the things I can't do on a work computer, but not surfing - no access at all. Reading, writing, editing. Wait - it doesn't do any of that.

I'm sure I mentioned my Kindles. It turns out Joe (my Kindle Fire) is not just a reader, it's a watchacallit, "tablet" computer. It has a browser and everything. But it only has a 7" screen (180mm?) and that just isn't doing it for me. It got me through most of Sunday, until I got the C-book. Now I'm re-reading Patricia C. Wrede's Frontier Magic series on it.

Well, that's enough whining about hardware. Be well, everyone.

2018 Hugo Awards
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gary_jordan
The results are out!

At this point, I am hyper-pleased that Lois McMaster Bujold, my current #1 Most Favorite Author, got Yet Another Hugo for best series (World of the Five Gods). I am also hyper-amused that folks could not bear another author having more awards than Robert Anson Heinlein, my past #1 Most Favorite Author. They gave him two for retrospective year 1943, in his alter ego of Anson Macdonald.
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Well, I *Was* Doing Great...
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gary_jordan
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and I had only consumed less than 600 calories, 60 carbs, 600 mg of sodium. :)

That was when I ate the can of Pringles, bag of almonds, and 16 Russell Stover sugar free miniatures.

I'm still okay, but no longer great.
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Tuna Again
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gary_jordan
Since Fishpeople Wild Caught Albacore Tuna is a thing of the past, I went with Sam's Choice premium wild caught Ahi Tuna Steaks. There were four quarter pound fillets in the bag, otherwise seemed identical to Food Lion Wild etc. (which package has three quarter pound fillets). I served them to myself on a bed of brown rice. Oh, WTH, I name-dropped the tuna; the rice was Seeds of Change certified organic Brown Basmati Rice in the 90 second microwave pouch.

For dessert I had Russell Stover Sugar-Free Miniatures, a fistful. There. If you want to duplicate my somewhat healthy repast, I've supplied links. Just add spring water, whatever brand you like - or tap water if you live in a fortunate area.