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“Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.” - Girl Genius, by Kaja & Phil Foglio

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Perspective, it's all about perspective ...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quiz Sunday!

Lazy Sunday morning = Quiz Time!

You were born during a Waxing Crescent moon
This phase occurs right after the New Moon, when we can start to see part of the moon that's illuminated by the sun.

- what it says about you -
You like having a clear vision of the future, and are good at helping people set out plans to accomplish important goals. Once you're done with a task, you're done with it. You don't like revisiting or rehashing issues you think are settled. You're inventive and encourage people around you to be new and different instead of copying from the past.
What phase was the moon at on your birthday? Find out at

Not bad!  So I tried another one at the same site:

Take up a
Focused Hobby
You enjoy staying in your own little world for hours, doing things that other people don't always understand. The finished product can be wonderful but you have to do it on your own time, without outside pressure. When you're bent on something, no one else can distract you.
Our Potentially Ridiculous Hobby Suggestion For You:
If you think knitting is dorky, you're right! But it's also easy and productive, and the supplies can be obtained very cheaply (check thrift stores for needles).
Take up a hobby at!

Your scores:

Srsly?  Knitting?  Yep, ridiculous!  (And it's my daughter's hobby!  Can't do the same thing.  People might think we're really the same person!)

And one more, from the same website, to make the magic three.  I chose to find out what HTML color I am:

you are turquoise

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is higher than average - You know what you want, but sometimes know not to tell everyone. You value accomplishments and know you can get the job done, so don't be afraid to run out and make things happen.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.

the html color quiz


On to editing that novel ...

Monday, March 19, 2012

The 50s are So Last Century

Sometimes I am so astounded by things that happen in this country that I become inarticulate.  Sputter.  Just can’t get the indignation, disbelief, utter HOW CAN ANYONE BE THAT STUPID into words.

The 1950’s were Last Century and don’t belong in this one.  Women are a vital, intelligent, important part of the business and research being done in this country, are EQUAL to men, and deserve respect.

There’s an assault on women’s rights ongoing in this country.  There are men who think we shouldn’t have control of our own bodies, be permitted to make decisions that concern our personal health, and in general consider us no better than animals. 

There’s a bill pending in Arizona that would give employers the right to not cover contraception for women in the health plans they offer.  It doesn’t mention Viagra - bet they keep THAT coverage!  And what about vasectomies?  Not mentioned.  Only WOMEN are denied coverage.

In Virginia, David Albo supported a bill that would require women to have an invasive ultrasound (vaginal probe with a penis-shaped wand) prior to having an abortion.  His wife declined to have sex with him as a result.  (Kudo's to her!)

Over in Georgia they want to criminalize miscarriage, even of a dead fetus!

“’Prenatal murder' means the intentional removal of a fetus from a woman with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus...”

They want to make it illegal to remove an already dead fetus from a woman’s body.  She should let nature take its course, because “that’s what cows and pigs do.”   

REALLY???  Women are to be treated like CATTLE????

So not only does a live fetus outrank an adult woman, now even DEAD ones are more important?? And if she has the medical procedure done, under this potential law she could be sentenced to death by the state!  Her “choice” would be to die from infection caused by a decomposing body in her uterus or be killed by the state for getting a life-saving medical procedure.  Hell of a choice.

These are ugly, sexist, chauvinistic attitudes, which come down to:  All Hail the Mighty Sperm, which as we all know are in short supply.  If a SPERM is involved then it must be preserved at any cost.  ANY COST, even if it means an adult woman dies. 

How can these men face their wives, mothers, daughters, when at work today they put them in harms way?

The Heat Continues ...

The rain has started and the current temperature is 69°F, so it looks like that string of days above 80°F is broken.

But we had FIVE of them.  It was 82°F both Friday and Saturday.  That’s the average high around here in August.  Prior to this heat spell, there were only ten March days with highs in the 80s for Chicago, going back to 1871.  Last year this time we had temperatures in the 50s!

The National Weather Service says:   “Chicago and Rockford have now both broken high temperature records 5 days in a row. There is even the potential they could tie or break record highs for up to an unbelievable 8 days in a row depending on how warm temperatures get Monday through Wednesday. It is extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day.” 

The jet stream pattern that’s been in place for a while now, a deep, narrow bulge that heads south down the California coast then back north through the central plains (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas) and on into Canada is bringing us this warm weather.  That pattern is enhanced by the La Niña event in the Pacific, which is starting to weaken but still exerts a considerable effect. 

Predictions are for us to reach at least 80°F for the remainder of the week, so the heat will linger on for a bit.  I didn't find any predictions for when the current jet stream pattern will shift, but none of the models are truly reliable more than a week out.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's Scary Hot

Well, this heat wave is just beginning, and here are yesterday's numbers:

Chicago, Illinois hit 81°F; the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1872, and 35°F above average. This ties the record set on March 12, 1990.

Evansville, Indiana hit 82°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1871, and 25°F above average. This ties the record of 82°F set on March 10, 1990.

Traverse City, Michigan hit 81°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1897, and 42°F above average. Previous record: 77°F on March 7, 2000.

Dubuque, Iowa hit 75°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1874, and 37°F above average. This ties the 75°F reading of March 12, 1990.

Madison, Wisconsin hit 78°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1869, and was 36°F above average. Previous record: 77°F on March 8, 2000. 

(More information here , at Dr. Masters' Blog.)

Ah, Madison - a place I lived during a January in which the air temperature never went above
0°F and we had wind chills around -50°F on a regular basis.  It may be a looonnnggg time before that kind of winter happens again.

I think I'd better start collecting estimates for my new air conditioner.  If our summer temperatures get 35° above normal, I won't survive without one.

Pi Day

I was so busy yesterday I didn't remember it was Pi day!  Happy Pi + 1 Day folks!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dem Fishies Can Swim

I am now completely convinced that entertainment is lacking in my life.  I just spent mumbly mumble minutes watching the fish swim around at the top of my blog.  The cursor was out of site (oops, tyop there, but it’s funny so I’ll leave it), so the little guys just roamed around.  They bump noses (greetings?), sometimes swim together side by side, sometimes take rest breaks.  The red one does seem to go her own way and be a bit more of a loner.  Kudos to the programmer(s) who designed that little aquarium of fluffy zen-ness.

If you bring the cursor into the box the fishies will chase it ... and if you click they get food! 

What should be happening is sending out my offering for critique.  Ah, yes, can you say avoidance behavior?  Having an attack of “this is a pile of coprolites and shouldn’t be shared.”  Not good timing there. 

Okay, off to find a useful and perhaps productive activity, like fix another cup of mocha.  Or research brain damage.  Or something.

Friday, March 2, 2012

WRoE Update for February

February was good to me.  I got in 33 hours of editing and writing on Rising Tide.

As I posted earlier, I’m changing the ending.  Forty pages of 119 are history.  Well, they’re not gone gone, just in a file that’s been renamed as v1.  (In case you were wondering, or even if you weren’t, the original written during NaNo last November is v0.) 

So the first thing I did for v2 was delete those forty pages, which took the story from around 52,100 words down to about 38,000. 


But it was up to 39,343 as of this morning and I have some hand-written stuff that’s not in there yet, so a conservative estimate is a total word count of 39,500.  Just like back in November, this novel is a slow write.   

In March I’m up for critique in one of my groups.  The new writing goes to the back burner while the opening 18 pages or so get polished a bit more.  If any ideas, scenes, or lines of dialog wander by for the new part they’ll get written down, but for the next ten days my focus will be on the beginning of the story. 

Applause for my friend Dixie who proposed WRoE to encourage us not to let our WIPs languish.  It sure is working for me!