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McCain Blogger Flubs His Roll

Posted by Cyn | Posted in politics, RPGs | Posted on 19-08-2008

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If you're a gamer, you've probably heard the hoorah by now. Michael Goldfarb, a blogger on McCain's official campaign site added a lame anti-gamer slur to his rinse-and-repeat "but he was a POW!" bullshit. Sam (and many others) responded to the twit (who keeps comments disabled on his blog--afraid of a little commentary, Goldfarb?). This isn't the first time McCain's people have attacked their opponents with comments about D&D, either, as some of the folks on Boing Boing have pointed out.

Goldfarb was responding to a post on the Daily Kos that called McCain on his plagiarism during a media event this weekend. The DK blogger has a nice response.

Goldfarb has supposedly apologized, but oddly enough, his "apology" isn't posted on his blog, or anywhere else on McCain's site as far as I can tell. If he isn't man enough to make the apology in the same venue in which he posted the attack, that says a lot about him and the entire McCain campaign.1


1 None of it is surprising to me, but it is still telling.

New Addiction

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery, Reading | Posted on 18-08-2008

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Whoops! What have I done to myself?

I was frus­trat­ed that there were a fair num­ber of books on my “shelves” at Good Reads that had no asso­ci­at­ed cov­er image. I col­lect­ed all but, I think, two of the cov­er images for the books I had list­ed in Now Read­ing, but couldn’t find a way to make use of them at GR. I also found a lot of incon­sis­ten­cies in the way titles were rep­re­sent­ed, and some mis­spelled author’s names.

Then I noticed a link about apply­ing to be a librar­i­an. They’re the peo­ple who can edit author and book infor­ma­tion. Cool! I applied, fig­ur­ing they’d tell me I haven’t been active long enough or some­thing, but not­ing that this is one endeav­or in which OCD is an asset.

Odd­ly enough, they approved me.

This may not be a pow­er I should have. I’ve spent a ridicu­lous amount of my awake time today nor­mal­iz­ing data their data. And enjoy­ing it.

Good Reads Migration Finished!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Geekery, Health, Reading, RPGs | Posted on 17-08-2008

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That was not pain­less at all. The import fea­ture is tetchy, at best. I had to go through the entire list of 1300+ books and fix their “book­shelf” assign­ments, and add some that just didn’t import at all. I had over 1400 books in Now Read­ing, and I haven’t quite fig­ured out why there are few­er books in Good Reads. Oh well. It’s pret­ty much done!

The dates I’d read books, my rat­ings, and my reviews did NOT trans­fer to Good Reads, which is high­ly annoying.

I was able to go through and update a bunch of books that I’ve read since NR stopped work­ing, and use the to-read cat­e­go­ry to request books from the library. As a result, there are 33 books await­ing pick­up now, and anoth­er 61 pend­ing (most­ly books that are real­ly new or not yet avail­able). That doesn’t include the inter-library loan items I request­ed.1

Sam and I had bonus gam­ing time tonight. He’s stor­ing up brown­ie points before Dragon*Con. Katie, unfor­tu­nate­ly, couldn’t sleep last night, then slept all day until about 11:30. Now she’s re-hydrat­ing and get­ting some food now. I hope she can go back to sleep. She’s def­i­nite­ly hav­ing a fibro flare. 🙁


1 I’m so tick­led that the library added a way to put in ILL requests online!

Switching to Good Reads

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery, Reading | Posted on 16-08-2008

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Well, I think I’m about done wait­ing for an update of Now Read­ing. I’m about 13 of the way through fix­ing the 158 bro­ken links on this site caused by the plu­g­in not work­ing with the lat­est ver­sions of Word­Press, and I found a plu­g­in that exports the books entered into NR to a .csv file for import to anoth­er site. Since most of my friends seem to be using Good Reads, I sup­pose that’s where I’ll go.

Writing Bug

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading, Writing | Posted on 15-08-2008

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I’m more and more tempt­ed to write some fic­tion again. It’s been years since I did that. I’m good with char­ac­ters and envi­ron­ment, but not so good with plot. I don’t like to write about neg­a­tive things, or nasty peo­ple, which is rather prob­lem­at­ic when you need to have conflict.

I know part of it is read­ing books and think­ing, “Damn, I could do bet­ter than that.” But to be real­is­tic, any­body who has fin­ished a book is doing bet­ter than I actu­al­ly have done.

One thing that’s real­ly get­ting to me is the num­ber of anti-fat state­ments that get thrown in to so many sto­ries. They have noth­ing to do with the sto­ry – they just hap­pen because of the authors’ prej­u­dice. Describ­ing a minor char­ac­ter as fat is a cheap short­cut, because most read­ers will assume the per­son is lazy, slop­py, and not ter­ri­bly intel­li­gent (or a hyper­fo­cused geek with no social skills if he is smart).

I know that start­ing out with a “mes­sage” is a crap­py way to write fic­tion, though. Mes­sages are bet­ter expressed in essays, not stories.

Still, I have this itch. Bah.

TotD: Suggested Rules for Democratic Discourse

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Thought of the Day | Posted on 14-08-2008

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Sid­ney Hook, sug­gest­ed rules for demo­c­ra­t­ic dis­course, from “The Ethics of Con­tro­ver­sy,” Sid­ney Hook on Prag­ma­tism, Democ­ra­cy and Free­dom: The Essen­tial Essays:

  • Noth­ing and no one is immune from criticism.
  • Every­one involved in a con­tro­ver­sy has an intel­lec­tu­al respon­si­bil­i­ty to inform him­self of the avail­able facts.
  • Crit­i­cism should be direct­ed first to poli­cies, and against per­sons only when they are respon­si­ble for poli­cies, and against their motives or pur­pos­es only when there is some inde­pen­dent evi­dence of their character.
  • [Just] Because cer­tain words are legal­ly per­mis­si­ble, they are not there­fore moral­ly permissible.
  • Before impugn­ing an opponent’s motives, even when they legit­i­mate­ly may be impugned, answer his arguments.
  • Do not treat an oppo­nent of a pol­i­cy as if he were there­fore a per­son­al ene­my of the coun­try or a con­cealed ene­my of democracy.
  • Since a good cause may be defend­ed by bad argu­ments, after answer­ing the bad argu­ments for another’s posi­tion present pos­i­tive evi­dence for your own.
  • Do not hes­i­tate to admit lack of knowl­edge or to sus­pend judg­ment if evi­dence is not deci­sive either way.
  • Only in pure log­ic and math­e­mat­ics, not in human affairs, can one demon­strate that some­thing is strict­ly impos­si­ble. Because some­thing is log­i­cal­ly pos­si­ble, it is not there­fore prob­a­ble. “It is not impos­si­ble” is a pref­ace to an irrel­e­vant state­ment about human affairs. The ques­tion is always one of the bal­ance of prob­a­bil­i­ties. And the evi­dence for prob­a­bil­i­ties must include more than abstract possibilities.
  • The car­di­nal sin, when we are look­ing for truth of fact or wis­dom of pol­i­cy, is refusal to dis­cuss, or action which blocks discussion.

Sleepy!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Geekery, Health, Reading | Posted on 13-08-2008

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I didn't sleep very well last night, although I managed to stay up all day yesterday (unusual lately). Unfortunately, I ended up sleeping most of the day, today, and I'm still sleepy! So I hope I can sleep well again, tonight.

I have a fever, too, so apparently pushing myself to not nap was a bad idea. Doctor's orders are still to lay down 15 minutes of every hour, which makes it difficult to get much done at a time. Oh well. It's better than a fever.

The girl got home safely, but didn't go out with her friends tonight as planned due to a threatening migraine. They didn't really see much of the meteor shower, because the skies were too cloudy, but they did have fun.

I finished reading the second of Kat Richardson's Greywalker books today, Poltergeist. Very good stuff, and a nice change from some of the too-common urban fantasy themes. The library is holding Underground for me, which I hope to pick up tomorrow.

The mail brought an O'Reilly JavaScript book to review for TCM, so I'll be working on that during my more coherent waking hours for a bit.

ThinkEx​ist​.com?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery | Posted on 12-08-2008

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Has any­one ever reg­is­tered suc­cess­ful­ly at ThinkEx­ist? I’ve tried many times, with dif­fer­ent address­es, and nev­er received even one con­fir­ma­tion mes­sage. I’ve also tried using their con­tact form many times, with no response. I final­ly tried con­tact­ing them via their domain reg­is­tra­tion address today. 

Google says I’m not the only one who has expe­ri­enced this prob­lem, but I’m not find­ing a whole bunch of com­plaints, either.

Glad I Stopped Reading!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging, Reading | Posted on 11-08-2008

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Love Bites gives a syn­op­sis of the first three all four Twi­light books. 

Edit: Katie informed me that the above actu­al­ly men­tions events in book four, which caused me to acci­den­tal­ly give her a spoil­er. Whoops!

It’s a real­ly, real­ly good thing I stopped read­ing after book two. I’m absolute­ly disgusted!

Hap­pi­ly, the book I’m read­ing to review for TCM is quite good. I’m a wee bit dis­tract­ed by the author’s Very Sil­ly Name – I don’t know if it’s a pen name or if she had cru­el par­ents. It doesn’t change the fact that the book is enjoyable.

Drama Circuits Still Overloaded

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading | Posted on 10-08-2008

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My real-life dra­ma tol­er­ance cir­cuits were total­ly burned out with mar­riage v.3. I’m cool with that. I was able to han­dle much more of it in fic­tion, though I’m not big on whiney characters.

I guess the Stephanie Mey­er back­lash is still with me, though, because after fin­ish­ing the fifth of Lau­ra Anne Gilman’s Retriev­er nov­els, Falling Free, I tried read­ing Anne Bishop’s Tan­gled Webs.

I just start­ed read­ing Bish­op ear­li­er this year, and tru­ly enjoyed the ear­li­er Realms of the Blood books. I did notice that every­body in the books is more than slight­ly high-strung, and that (as is so often the case), good com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills would have large­ly removed most the plot premises.

I mean, yeah, evil peo­ple plot, what are you going to do about it? Stick togeth­er and talk to the peo­ple you care about, dammit! Nev­er believe you’ve been betrayed with­out doing some fact-check­ing, at the very least!

But I just got a few chap­ters into Tan­gled Webs, and there they go again. I think lithi­um needs to be added into the water table of this universe.

I’m dis­ap­point­ed, because I do enjoy many things about Bishop’s writ­ing. Maybe I’ll give that one anoth­er try some­day in the future. For now, it goes back to the library.

Grey­walk­er by Kat Richard­son is next on the stack!