mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I dreamed of a person who was a holodeck type hard hologram where he could be touched, I do not know his name but for this let us call him Randal. He was a companion to the person in the house and he started being having an existential crisis and a technician was called in. Contrary to the usual robot or AI technician in stories this guy was reluctant to go along with Randal’s request to be reset to his factory original settings to eliminate his emotional turmoil. Instead the technician said, “I hate to do that, to erase everything you have become. Can we just try to make you feel better instead of going all the way to a reset?” Randal agreed and the tech set to working on Randal’s brain, which was something like a parlor organ with a covered/locked keyboard. It was interesting that the tech wanted to negotiate with the hologram instead of just doing what he thought right.

The thing is that I know how often dreams are made up of parts or whole of works of fiction so I am wondering if I have seen this friendly to the AIs under his care tech elsewhere.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I am absolutely delighted to not only be wrong, but to be massively wrong. Not only did Vox Day fail the get a Hugo he came in last among the Novelletes nominated and when rankings were compared “No Award” would have come in ahead of him had it come to that 1232 to 855. The SF community is not nearly as sick as I had assumed and so I will happily eat some crow this evening. Literal crow if you wish.

Warbound, the Correia Novel, did much better. It also came in last place when all the preferences were sorted, but it would have won against "No Award" 1161 to 1052 with 924 ballot not bothering to express an opinion.

This also means that the slightly lower supporting membership cost this year must be largely responsible for the jump in memberships.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
The membership for the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention is more than 10,000 in total. More than any other previous Worldcon according to File 770. Loncon has also reported that a record 3,587 valid ballots were received. For perspective that is 1,400 than the next highest total, at least 50% more than 'normal'. Given that there is a huge push by the right wing of fandom to get Larry Correia and Vox Day Hugos and the unusually high number of supporting memberships even for a European Worldcon (the last one in Glassgo had 1,087 in total where the current has 2,207 from the United States alone) I am going to predict that they have won this. If I am wrong I will eat crow on Saturday, but I cannot imagine what would have otherwise motivated so many people to vote for the Hugo this year.* The question is if the 'normal' voters for the Hugo that 2,000-ish number contains more than about 600 people who value politics over good writing.

*Seriously, is there some other voter drive going on that I am unaware of? It is not like The Hugoes are terribly famous. I do not know many SF fans under 30 who have heard of them. So, any other theories as to what might be happening?
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I would love to write about my wonderful experience at Bubonicon this past weekend, but I think I do not have the required time while still awake. As is usual for lit-fandom conventions I stayed up to 1am and woke up around 7am each day due to the force of my usual habits. As an extrovert I am absolutely happy and ready to keep going for days since I have been hosed down with social contact and compliments over four days so at this moment I feel like I could write a book or become an astronaut if I just buckled down to it. In reality I am going to go to bed no later than 21:00 mountain daylight time because I know intellectually that I need to make up my sleep deficit. I hope that I will still be ready to take on the universe tomorrow morning so that I may clean my house to geek company standards (somewhat lower than judgmental parents), go out to get a few important school books, and finally write up my experiences.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
This should not have turned into a major trauma. My father sent me a text message last night at 10:30pm local time. This is about 30 minutes after I had already turned in and gone to bed and my phone (bless it) is on silent mode while I sleep. This did mean I saw it first thing in the morning when I then proceeded to panic and go into “attempt to clean the house and avoid everyone mode” because the message was that a person was coming by to see my house today. This usually happens to me when people arrive unexpectedly or report that they will come by unexpectedly, because despite all evidence to the contrary I have this idea in my head of being a neat person.

Reading that over again I think I need to unpack that a little bit. I have been a messy person ever since I was a little tiny brat. Despite all the traumas I have inflicted upon myself from stepping on horribly painful things in the dark to losing valued items for year I cannot get myself to just find a place for everything and keep it there. My father is a quite tidy person and so was always after me about cleaning up my space when I was a child. Therefore the news that someone is coming into my space sends me into panic cleaning mode as if I am once again a small child wanting to conceal evidence of transgressions. That would be useful if panic cleaning mode actually resulted in getting much done other than making the problem worse by tackling every single pile that has built up for the last six months at once causing all the mess that was shoved into corners to suddenly be redistributed to every available horizontal surface in my futile attempt to maintain the illusion of being a neat person (and thus a success as human being).

I avoided my phone the whole day trying to avoid the problem while ineffectually cleaning and not eating (no time to eat, must clean!). None of that is sensible, but my excuse for avoiding my phone almost looks sensible when squinted at. It brought me bad news just as soon as I woke up. On the other hand if the bad news came in the middle of the night I would have been even more traumatized so I regard my phone as a sort of long suffering timid messenger working for an incompetent necromancer. Not that I would ever, ever do anything to my phone, but the poor thing is terrified of me. I ask it to tell me things and I scream. I ask it not to tell me things until later and I scream later. Imagine you had a job where you regularly had to interact with a personage who meddles in things man was not meant to know and is really bad at it. You would probably be worried about getting caught in the blast zone regardless of how much he liked you or not.

And there is yet another idea for a story I will never write. The adventures of the world's most inept dark wizard and his long suffering man(or woman) servant.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
My tomatoes are not yet producing a lot of fruit, but the occasional treat is very welcome. Yesterday I picked one and on impulse I photographed it before I ate. I do like the Juliet variety. I may have to order another packet of seeds next year as I am almost out.

mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
Massive amounts of weeding happened today near dawn and nearly every time clouds went over. I am still trying to get the *&^% bindweed under something like control. Also I had to cut about a third of the branches off my apple tree. I look out my window and am somewhat morose, but it had to happen due to fire blight. If I am lucky that will have stopped it. We will see.

The kale is getting quite large in my garden so I went out and cut off about a pound of leaves and cooked them today. It was pretty tasty and went well with fish, though the fish (being a freezer burned gift from a friend emptying a freezer) was not great. Still I was able to make the fish acceptable with lots of herbs.

Now I am having and ale and then I will weed while drunk and then read a book. Possibly The Similarion.

And I am one month from shutting down my Livejournal account at long, long last. I have finally become too annoyed by the interface there.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
I got a free ticket to Wait Wait Don't Tell me at Red Rocks. All of us NPR nerds like an older whiter bunch of rock and roll fans. Though come to think of it given the age of baby boomers I ought to revise my mental image of rock and roll fans to older people in north face wind breakers and sensible pants.

Like lit-fandom conventions I felt positively young in this crowd. Jokes were made before taping by Peter Sagal about the climb from the parking lot voiding replacement hip warranties. And then after taping he got us to hold up our phones like a rock concert. NPR famous must be the best famous.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I have a great big old metal ammo box that I found in an alley and it seems to me that I ought to store something it it. But what? Should I build a weird surprise for whoever goes through my stuff after I have died? Use it for something halfway practical? Load it with random magical looking apparatus? Croquet balls? Twenty pounds of pennies? Several thousand cherry pits? Terrible darkness? Paperback books?
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
This might be verging on "a wizard did it", but I have been toying with the idea that deviants from a really advanced civilization (verging on post-scarcity from our point of view) might go off to play great man among the primitives. As a slightly more sane reason for an alien invasion. Why invade earth? To have people look up to you as powerful and important instead of near-janitor in status. And they would mostly invade British East India Company style. Say they are here for trade and actually start inserting themselves into the economy so as to make themselves monopolists and/or monopsonists in certain sectors of the economy and then taking political power from that.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I am hella American today. Okay, I am American every day of the year (Except Canada Day because I happen to love Canada), but particularly today due to the fact that I painted my parents' house (home ownership!), ate ribs (mmm, outdoor home cooking), and now I am going to have a homebrewed ale and listen to the Musical 1776. America! (And I will not even complain about the firecrackers being set off continuously in my neighborhood... today. And I do mean continuously.)
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I got a lot of gardening stuff done today and that pleases me. There is a great satisfaction in the repeated pulling of bindweed. It is like a monster that I can take another swipe at with my shining sword though it will not face me each time it tries to get out. I have also continued to lay out cardboard in places that will not be planted this year or until later, covering them to let all the creatures of the earth time and darkness to eat weed seeds in peace until I can return with new things to grow.

I also ate Fun Jen Chinese Cabbage for the first time today out of my garden. Stir fried with onion and eaten with barramundi that I was gifted. It was so satisfying to see the leaves turn a brighter shade of green as they cooked along with the browned onion. It was a bit like a slightly spicy spinach. Good and I would eat them again.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)


Alcohol from Iceland happened today with my friends.

Reyka– The first thing we tried. It was vodka. Not great vodka nor bad vodka. Really, most vodkas are indistinguishable from one another.

Brennivín– I got the herbal content clearly, but I failed a identifying caraway, one of my favorite spices.

Birkir– Perfectly lovely. Nice birch flavor without being overwhelming. The guy who sold this to my friend R— said that he did not like it plain. Our consensus was that it was a pleasant and not too overwhelming schnapps.

Björk– A liquor that was not too sweet, but did start to make us think of maple syrup. Good, but possibly too much by itself in a large shot. Would drink again and enjoy it.

Lava Bitters– A little bit like sweet cough syrup. Good mixed, but nothing special.

A very nice gift from my friend and we had a good time talking food, science fiction, and plants.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
A dry wind like an escaping desert elemental blew hard today wilting plants and drying the paint I was applying to my parents house. Now the air is still and though it is dark it is still too hot to do real cooking. So I am going to make a salad and turn in early.

This Saturday is DASFA Alternate party and I am going to take a pie... I hope that I have not sealed my doom by choosing to bake a pie during these hot days that feel like summer. Well... windows open and hope for a visit from Boreas, the North Wind esq.

Now, having done much digging and moving of plants I am off to bed.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I had some shallot growing from a year where I had tried and (mostly) failed to grow shallots. So there they are, growing happily in the garden. I took one and replanted the rest to produce seed. It was tasty. I think it was not pure ambrosia, but very nice. I may have to try growing the French gray shallots.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)


Yesterday (the 11th) before I covered my asparagus.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I like the fruity sweetness, but the beer is also slight... sour? A bit like sourdough bread with just a little jam on it. It is clearly a well made ale, but I am not sure that it will become one of my comfort beers. If I were making this beer to my particular pallet I think I would want to keep most of the flavor and dump the sour flavor in favor of a touch of bitterness. If I were the kind of beer drinker that loves sour beers but did not want a massively soured beer this would be my thing. Nice level of suspended yeast, good flavor, nice yeasty breadiness, and quite refreshing.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
I am massively annoyed by the fact that it is going to snow tomorrow. My laziness and paranoia mean that I do not actually have anything non-cold hardy outside... except the asparagus. I suppose I will once again do the crazy thing tomorrow and build a tent to keep my asparagus in for the next two days... I must be mad. Well, I suppose the other choice is to conduct an experiment in the cold tolerance of asparagus. But even for that I need a control group. So plant tents.

Shall I take pictures?
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Mishalak's garden on may 8th, 2014

Chives in bloom

The sun came out briefly this morning. It has been a semi-sunny day. Not dark and gloomy, but not fully sunny. It makes me think of California.

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