Archive for July, 2007

A New Hero

Posted in heroes on July 30, 2007 by P. Dunn

I don’t watch television news, but I found this clip of an anchor refusing to cover the Paris Hilton story online, and she’s now one of my newest heroes.

Writer’s Group

Posted in Writing on July 26, 2007 by P. Dunn

I went to a writer’s group yesterday.  I don’t go for the criticism — I’m pretty good at this point at self-revision.  But it is nice to actually see people and watch their reaction to particular pieces of writing, in person.  I also admit that I like hearing other people’s work, and do my best to offer constructive advice.  I really enjoyed hearing the poems and stories that were read in my sub-group (there were enough of us that we had to break into two groups).

Afterwards, we went out to a bar.  One of the fellows began lecturing someone else in the group about how “we’re all just energy, vibrating at certain frequencies.”  I sighed audibly.  Sometimes, I feel like I got my work cut out for me.  Heh.

New Computer

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing on July 25, 2007 by P. Dunn

I just bought a new computer. Should be arriving in a week or so. Probably more money than I ought to have spent — but then again, I can (kind of) afford it, and this one is getting a bit obsolete. Ah, who the hell am I kidding? This new computer should be able to run Oblivion, and that’s what really matters. I say “should” because, in my experience, you can never be sure — but still, it’s got a 2.4 GHz processor, 2 MB of RAM, and an NVIDIA 8800 GTS video card. If it can’t run Oblivion, well, I give up. This will be the fanciest computer I have ever owned, even though I did pass up Vista. I hope it works out well. A lot of money to throw at a toy (even if it is a toy I use for work).
My goal is to use as much free software and open source stuff as possible. Firefox for the browser, Avast! as the virus protection, and OpenOffice as my word processor. Let’s see how that works out. Must be the socialist in me, but it doesn’t seem like you should need to pay extra to surf the web, be safe doing so, and write a book. Any other suggestions of free and useful software I can use? (Oh, yeah, iTunes, too, if that counts).

The Internet

Posted in Political, Writing on July 24, 2007 by P. Dunn

I like the Internet a lot.  I use it for a lot of very, very useful stuff.  I also waste time on it, and sometimes, it depresses me.  Sometimes, indeed, it’s not what we had hoped it would be.

Kopi Luwak — Via Boingboing

Posted in Weird on July 23, 2007 by P. Dunn

Over 40% of kopi luwak isn’t actually crapped out of a civet cat. And isn’t that disappointing.

I love this. Typical Americans would be annoyed if there were civet waste in our food. (I also desperately want to try a cup of kopi luwak — I guess I’m not typical)

Little Late on This — Hindu Cleric Heckled

Posted in Political, Weird on July 23, 2007 by P. Dunn

A Hindu cleric was asked to give the introductory prayer to congress.  This is what happened.

Vacation

Posted in Uncategorized on July 14, 2007 by P. Dunn

Been on vacation for a week, trying to knock out some clogged ideas.  I think I figured out what’s wrong with the thing I’m working on, just not how, exactly, to fix it — but that’s okay.  Now I know what directions to experiment in.

But for now, I have to run to the store.

Grimoire for sale

Posted in Magical Systems, Speculation on July 5, 2007 by P. Dunn

Looks like everyone is blogging on this already, but I’d be remiss not to include it. A 400 year old handwritten grimoire is up for auction at Sotheby’s, projected to go for 12,000 pounds which comes to a hair over $24,000. Everyone is agog about a spell involving a frog and some ants — and the weird thing is I know this spell. I remember it. I don’t remember where I read it, but somewhere, in some book or another, I remember a spell involving a toad, an anthill, and looking through the bones of the toad’s head for a special bone or stone. But I’m pretty sure it was a toad, I don’t remember if it was a love spell, and the floating against the current thing I don’t recall either. Maybe there’s a whole genre of these.

Symbolically, the frog to these people would be a symbol of generation from nothing, since they didn’t really understand tadpoles. It’d also be a symbol of water giving forth life. The tongue might give them some notion of potency or constancy, and the bone flowing against the current ties it all back to water again. The ants are easy — it’s a simple way to deflesh an animal without introducing fire. It also invokes the chthonic powers.

Dude, I so want this book.

Rigorous Intuition

Posted in Language, Speculation on July 3, 2007 by P. Dunn

An interesting post on Rigorous Intuition.  I particularly like the quote from George Hanson, whom pretty clearly I need to read more of:

It is commonly assumed that there is a simple, objective correspondence between the signifier and the signified even thought they are separate entities. It is assumed that language is only a set of names for things, events, and concepts. These assumptions are incorrect, but few recognize the extent of the implications. This lies at the heart of deconstructionism, and magic.

Keyboard

Posted in Music on July 2, 2007 by P. Dunn

So I finally bought some keyboard lessons. It’s a little strange to sit in the waiting room of the music academy here and wait with all the parents. I desperately hope they don’t make small-talk.  “Are your children taking piano lessons?”  “Um.  No.”  Assumption of heteronormativity and — can’t find a Greek name for it — the idea that learning stops with adulthood?

She (the teacher) has me working on some rather simple, basic things, which is good, since it’s those basics I lack. I’m pleased that she’s already got me building chords and using both hands. We also seem to share a loathing for mindless learning.  She says that in two weeks, we’ll start playing the Blues.  Ain’t that cool.

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