Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Corny Conundrum

Here's what I don't get. If we're expected to buy that we'll soon be experiencing a corn shortage due to ethanol (as opposed to actually running out of a non-renewable source like oil), and corn syrup is so horribly bad for us, isn't the solution obvious? Just take the corn you're now using to make corn syrup and put that towards the ethanol, and let's get corn syrup out of our foods and put healthier sugars back in. Am I missing something here?
Silly Site o' the Day

It's been over 24 hours since my most recent ComicMix column was posted, and I have yet to receive a single comment on it over there. I really thought I would, I put a lot into this one. It is a puzzlement. Speaking of which, did you know you can make your own word search puzzle? You think maybe if I did one of, say, the ComicMix contributors, then I'd get comments?

Thanks to Karen for that link. In other news, the light at the end of the Huge-Ass Project tunnel is apparently not an approaching train. I can actually see the end of Phase I, for which I've now printed out the rest of the raw data to enter, and I even got a little proactive and started printing out database info for Phase II. Plus, I'm going into the city this afternoon so I only have another couple hours here. And heck, all my finances are even updated. Now if only this problem with my left leg/hip/back/whatever were straightened out, I'd be a relatively happy camper.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Yeah yeah, the Huge-Ass Project is still swamping me at work, I'm still tired and in pain, I've cut way down on blogging both here and at ComicMix (although my next CM column will be up shortly), and this situation will continue for the foreseeable. Thanks for your patience.

The Ajax loading GIF generator is via Gerard.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

This One's For Mom

Just to let you know, I now need the following state quarters: MT, ND, SD, WA. That is all.
Silly Site o' the Day

Ever since Hanan Levin's RSS feed, for whatever reason, completely screwed up his links (meaning I have to go on his site to get the links from the post, I can't just click on them from the feed like I can with everyone else), I haven't been linking to a lot of his stuff. I know it's "just one click" but I've taken to skimming posts as is and if something doesn't immediately catch my eye (like a link with its distinctive color and underline) I'm liable to just skim right past it. So when I'm relatively caught up I can slow down a bit, and this is what I found on Hanan's site today -- a wedding ring coffin. "Give a dead marriage its proper, final resting place" the ad reads. Although why you'd want to spend $35-40 on something after spending goodness knows how much on the actual divorce is beyond me. Maybe this is a gift for couples who are still amicable after they've split up. Hey Steve, you interested in one of these?

As I say, I finally caught up with blog reading yesterday, and wanted to mention the following posts that made me smile:

• Harry Shearer interviews Al Gore.

• Grace meets an old friend.

Kevin made me giggle again:

'S all for now! Back to the job...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Not a big computer day for me once more, although I've spent much of the day in YouTube Heaven (so to speak) watching Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief, as Jonathan Miller is making the rounds of literate chat shows (Daily Show, Moyers) in support of the programme finally being aired in this country, and yet I cannot find it on any NY-area PBS stations so I decided to be proactive. Fascinating stuff, highly recommended. Also cleared our DVR of outstanding Moyers episodes, the last two Ugly Betty eps of the season, at least three Iron Chef America eps, and the first "return" of Studio 60 under NBC's just-stick-it-anywhere-and-run-it philosophy to get rid of remaining episodes. Yes, I'll be live-blogging one of them at Lance's place again. Also heard the sad news that Charles Nelson Reilly died, bummer. Do you think he would have liked the Joke Opener Generator (via Gerard)?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

I know the Star Wars 30th anniversary stuff was two days ago, but hey, you can never go wrong with the Wookieepedia. (Via PZ Myers.)
Maintenance Notes

It's been awhile since I've done any appreciable maintenence here, and that's mostly because it's been awhile since I've caught up in blog reading and seen what's out there that's needed updating. Also, most blogs on my sidebar seem pretty stable and active, and I have no desire nor time to add any more.

I do have a straight substitution, though, as CE Petro has decided to close her blog Thoughts of An Average Woman and go into a joint venture instead. She's writing as the "Archcrone" in a so-far-two-person-blog called The Crone Speaks (the other contributor being Ms. Jared from Sinister Girl). So CE is now removed from my individual News+Views Gals section and Crone Speaks has been slotted into Dynamic Duos.

I'm also trying out two group blogs via my Bloglines subs which won't yet make the sidebar (which is already too long, particularly with me not blogging a lot here lately, and keeps tumbling past the bottom of the Blogger design) but which I wanted to mention anyway: the new PZ Myers-inspired blog for the We Are All Giant Nuclear Fireball Now Party and NTodd Pritsky's new group blog Pax Americana.

Considering NTodd's new responsibility and the complete lack of activity on the Liberal Coalition mailing list for the last three months, it appears to all intents and purposes that the LC is no more (NTodd was nominal "leader" of the LC). I'm considering reassigning LC members elsewhere in the blogroll and dropping references to the coalition altogether, but for now I'm keeping things as is until some actual decision is made, or through the end of the summer, whichever comes first.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Wow, just couldn't get going today. So much for doing a "juice run" (I like shopping at the local supermarket on Broadway for juice and other heavy things because they'll schlep it all up two flights so we don't have to), I can't even move around that well without wincing in pain. Need more sleep! Or maybe I just need to watch some cool cartoons, like Joe Cartoon (via Hanan Levin)...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bandwagon Jumping

Yeah, me too.
Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

I always get a kick out of how Datsa and Amy inevitably wind up sitting or lying in the same basic position.

I'm actually surprised they're that close together...
Silly Site o' the Day

Short day at work today, although I haven't been as productive as I'd hoped. It's been one of those days when the interruptions require more concentration than the Huge-Ass Project, and it took until noon to get all the interruptions out of the way. But I'm in a great mood nonetheless, now that the weird emotional side effects from the OTC allergy pills are wearing off. Going to Stew's after I get out of here to stock up on meat and veg, then to get the car washed so it can pretty much sit in the driveway all weekend whilst I go absolutely nowhere. It'll be too hot, Rob will be working, the roads (and gas prices) are crazy, and goodness knows I have enough to read! So I'm looking forward to cocooning, not to mention three mornings in a row of glorious, glorious sleep if the cats let us. But no home-based to-do projects for me! You, on the other hand, may wish to consider Puzzle Floors, which are all the rage in someone's mind at least. Via Tom at Backup Brain.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

I think the allergy medicine's starting to play havoc with my system. On the one hand, it does stop the actual symptoms like the constant itching in my arms and the back of my hands. On the other hand, as with many manufactured meds, it brings its own set of problems -- mainly drowsiness so I only take it at night, along with possible emotional side-effects. I was a wreck most of yesterday afternoon, and my presumably-stress-induced eye twitch is back. Plus I dreamed about Woody Allen last night, and that's just wrong on most levels (even if my persona was more a Fanny Bruce type and he did Make Me A Star). Allergy season was never this bad when I was a kid. That's probably because I ate Aller-Gees, the breakfast of wimps! Cereal box generator via Gerard.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

My newest ComicMix column has been posted. This one's a bit insular, so Mom probably doesn't need to read it. It's about the latest wave of superhero-comic-related products that demean female characters and, by extension, female comic book readers -- but more than that it's about the amazing reaction to it in feminist fandom. I don't think I've witnessed this much eloquent cultural activism since my college days, and that's all the way back in the heyday of second-wave feminism! I also got in a plug for my efforts (during those same second-wave days) in bringing egalitarian thought to the Discordian movement, since today is the Goddess Eris' holy day (May being the 5th month of the year, and 23 and 5 being Her favorite numbers). And in honor of Eris Discordia, we present (via lovable atheist PZ Myers) the God Simulator!
Congratulations, You Crazy Kids!

Via Pam Spaulding, it looks like our friends Joan and Nancy -- that would be Friends of Lulu Women of Distinction award nominee (and Robin's editor) Joan Hilty and her wife (and Pen-Elayne commenter) Nancy Goldstein -- have made the big time. The New York Times, that is. A photo and everything! Aww, just... just aww. Update: Nancy wrote about the article at HuffPo.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Robin's Current Projects

It's always cool to come across Robin's name in a context that has nothing to do with his work, as with this post by the mysterious Hippokrene (who I assume is female but can't tell). But it's been awhile since I've talked about what he's up to. Part of that is because the work hasn't been officially solicited, and our rule is to stay mum until it's actually up on DC's site.

Which one of the projects now is. Robin will be inking one of the Outsiders: Five of a Kind specials, the second one to be exact, over penciller Kevin Sharpe. Doesn't go on sale until August 8 so I'll probably give y'all another heads-up around then.

Naturally, it's driving me crazy that I can't yet talk about his regular assignments, but I'm promised that one will break soon...
Silly Site o' the Day

I was able to do a lot more blog posting to ComicMix yesterday than I have for awhile, so I think I'm finally getting used to the pressure being somewhat off of me during my boss' vacation (although he does keep calling, and the Huge-Ass Project still is what it is). Plus, I read two really nifty comics over the weekend, this one and this one, both of which I highly recommend. And I finished my weekly column, which is basically my reaction to all the recent feminist discussion going on in the comics blogosphere, so I got a lot off my plate there as well. And I got my anti-hyper-capitalism rant out of the way. So I'm in a fine, giggly, superhero'y kinda mood, only temporarily squashed by my boss calling again. My superhero identity for today is:

Name: Golden Muffin
Secret Identity: Elayne Riggs
Special Power: Walk through walls
Transportation: Psionic Rollerblades
Weapon: Psionic Grenade
Costume: Stainless Steel Evening Gown
Sidekick: Black Dan
Nemesis: Harold the Mad
Tragic Flaw: Fear of commitment
Favorite Food: Cheez Whiz

Now see, I know that's wrong, my favorite food is sushi! Anyway, the Superhero Discovery Page is via Gerard.
The Charitable Mind

One of my readers asked me to plug this site where he's webmaster. I generally like non-profit NGOs and Buddhists, so why not? The "educating moral" part is a little weird to me -- I tend not to believe helping people should have any proselytizing strings attached, and that in any case morals shouldn't be taught by strangers from other countries -- but one cannot argue that the people of Cambodia are in sore need of an altruistic helping hand.

And upon hearing what a lousy time we had at the Ninth Avenue Food Fest, PJ sent along a NY Post article talking about how little of that fair's profit goes to the Hell's Kitchen organizations which it was originally set up to benefit.

I've been fascinated for some time by the contrast between capitalist workings abnd non-capitalist impulses. I do think our tendency as humans is to want to help others, and you see "the better angels of our nature" come to the fore in times of great tragedy, both collective and individual. But that basic human instinct is incompatible with capitalism, which by its very nature plays to the worst in humans (greed, envy, lust and probably the rest of the seven deadly sins while we're at it) and needs to be constantly reinforced to be effective. Against this centuries-long brainwashing, sensible ideas like running government services to help people rather than to make money are viewed as alien, traitorous, unAmerican. Even people who suspect somewhere in their lizard brains that there may be something wrong with the worship of money feel the need to fall over themselves excusing it; I remember listening to Tim McCarver this past weekend during the Yankees/Mets game that FOX broadcast, actually praising the Yanks' decision to re-sign Clemens with (and I paraphrase) "Sure, it's an obscene amount of money, but we live in a capitalist society, there's nothing wrong with that!"

That's the thing about hyper-capitalism, there's no room for nuance (not that there ever was in GWB's America). It's not money itself, but the "obscene amount" of it that everyone instinctually understands is wrong but can't quite articulate why. Just as we no longer have the solid vocabulary to express why it's wrong to run services -- from utilities to pharmaceuticals -- at a profit (a profit may be a happy outcome but should not be the point of helping people), why it's wrong that the 1% of the population which makes exponentially more money than the other 99% get away with not sharing their bounty, why it's wrong that corporations with unusually large profits not get taken to task for gaming the system along with their political buddies, why it's terribly wrong that there isn't actually a free-market level playing field at all and hasn't been for some time.

Without anyone high-level enough to articulate these suspicions and be credible and understood by others at high levels, we continue along on this profit-gilded path. As Peter Stone wrote in the musical 1776, "Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor." And as the vast majority of this country's citizens cling to that remote possibility, they allow capitalism to be their master rather than the other way around -- money as a means to an end, not the end itself.

My fear is that it will take another, greater collective tragedy before folks remember that we're really put on this earth to help each other, not to amass wealth.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Wow, what a disappointment. I'm heartbroken to report that I can no longer recommend the Ninth Avenue Food Fest to even the most naive tourist. It used to be this amazing fun walk from 57th down to around the Port Authority bus terminal that showed off all the goodies that the local Hell's Kitchen restaurants had to offer at reasonable prices. Now, it's been pretty much taken over by the same franchises that show up at just about every NYC street fair, and there are easily as many booths which don't feature food as those which do. Add to that, almost none of the food stands state their prices! But of course there's a reason they're engaging in this horrid business practice -- the few times I asked, the prices were outrageously high. I'm sorry, 4 bucks for a shishkabob when any decent pushcart will do it for around $1.50, and 3 bucks for a corn on the cob that cost $1 a few years ago? I know supermarket prices have risen a teensy bit for some groceries, but not 300%! The only things worth getting were the drinks, and there's only so much lemonade and Thai iced tea one can drink. The only unusual foods from past years were the Jamaican stuff like curried goat and oxtail, and the good ol' Cajun alligator sausage, which I'm afraid didn't sit well with me last time I tried it. My favorite tables with the shark kebobs and blood sausage and the little stuffed squab-like bird -- gone. Everything that made the Food Fest unique is all but disappeared. Might as well get something from a fake froo froo menu (via Gerard) as go back there. It didn't help my foul mood that my sciatica-affected leg was worse than ever last night. Oh well, at least I got some cool comics to read...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Off to the Food Fest in a couple hours, if my left leg holds out. Something happened to my knee on the way up the stairs yesterday when we came back from doing errands, and I woke up this morning with a lot of pain on my whole left side. But the Food Fest comes but once a year, so I'm bound and determined and hoping the rain holds off. Plus, I have comics to pick up. Robin's graciously agreed to let me drag him along and hold onto him whilst strolling the 20-block street fair, in exchange for... I dunno, I'm thinking Favor To Be Named Later. Speaking as we are of food, here's the I Hate Cilantro site. I quite like cilantro, actually, but it fit with today's theme...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Family Fotos from Mom Day(s)

As promised:

Every gathering, at least when you talk about Jewish families, includes food. Here's the table set for the lovely turkey dinner we had at Mom's last Saturday. Funny story, I brought apple kugel, an item I'd never seen before when I went shopping at the local kosher market -- and unbeknownst to me, Mom and Jay had also bought it the week before when he'd visited.

That'd be Jay. It's okay, he doesn't read this blog.

In last Wednesday's ComicMix column I talked about how Mom and Dad were always the two pillars on which my life rested. I guess this picture might symbolize how Jay and I have now become two of Mom's pillars.

On Sunday I went to my cousin Mara's house to celebrate her daughter (and my "little buddy") Faith's graduation from college.

That's Faith and her "little buddy" Kirby, who's about 9 years old and pretty friendly for an iguana (although I didn't pet her this time around).

Faith's dad Jeff is a professional photographer, so I guarantee you his photos of this gathering came out better than mine. That's his sister Bonnie in the background at right. Jeff was specializing in "brother and sister" photos that day.

But of course Jeff couldn't take a photo of himself and Bonnie, so cousin-in-law Susan did the honors.

That's my cousin Marc (who does read this blog), my cousin Jeff (Susan's husband) and my uncle Phil (Marc's dad)... you know, you really ought to have taken your scorecard out if you've any hope of following along.

Faith and her cousin Ilana (Jeff and Susan's daughter). I don't remember Faith's mom Mara ever sitting on my lap when we were kids... cousins today...

Speaking of brother-sister pictures, here's Uncle Phil and Aunt Kenie (Mara's mom). Their other sibling can be seen in the third picture above.

The woman of the hour, Faith, with her aunts Bonnie and Susan.

Just as we started with a food picture, we end with one -- the desserts.

Thanks again to Mara and Jeff and Faith for inviting me, and congratulations to Faith on her extremely nifty and top-secret new job!
Silly Site o' the Day

We've decided to put all our eggs in one basket and venture out to the Food Fest tomorrow, as the forecasts we've seen all say 60% chance of rain Saturday and only 40% Sunday and we're going to play the odds. Besides, Datsa got Robin up at 4 AM (at least it was in the litter box this time, but he's not quite burying it even though we took the lid off to give him more maneuvering room) and he stayed up with the now-awake cats until feeding time so he's -- okay, they're -- catching a morning kip now. Today we're taking it easy, resting body aches, watching the Subway Series if it's not rained out (the Help From Heaven score so far: Leah's ahead of Dad, as the Mets won last night), and perhaps I'll post a little here and on ComicMix depending on my mood. I can at least put up some of those family photos from last weekend; look for them shortly. [And in case folks were wondering, yes, I have an opinion on the whole Mary Jane Washerwoman controversy going on in the feminist cultural blogosphere, and I'm saving it all for my next ComicMix column, which I've been scribbling on and off during the last few days.] Meantime here are all the Rocky movies in five seconds (via Keith):

Back to... okay, I admit it, back to my computer games...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

Yeah, I know, I promised family photos. They're coming. At least I've emailed them to most of the relatives. Meanwhile, Datsa was reveling in the fact that Robin vacuumed the carpet today:

Work that carpet, Datsa!

Guess we'll be vacuuming again real soon now, after all that...
Silly Site o' the Day

In his ComicMix column yesterday, John Ostrander referenced me referencing him, which I thought was pretty cool in an infinite-regression kinda way, but more importantly he pointed to a computer game which I thought would make a nice Silly Site, called Boomshine. Says John, "At each level, you can click only once and this creates an explosion – a boom, a circle of light. Boomshine. Any dot hitting that circle also becomes a circle of light and so on, often in a chain reaction fashion. You have a goal pre-set for you at each level of how many dots you must change, from one at level one to fifty-five at level twelve, before you can go on to the next level or complete the game...The motion and speed of the colored dots are random and the 'explosions' where they change to circles of light appear to affect this. It’s not really predictable and, outside of when and where you place your initial explosion, you have no control on what happens next. It just happens. Like life." Indeed. Naturally, Robin informed me this morning that, whilst I was having horrible dreams about strange corporate people taking over our building and me being demoted to a dingy windowless basement office the size of a child's bedroom, he was successfully completing a Boomshine game. Thank goodness that's over now and he can go back to Desktop Tower Defense!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Joining the Chorus

I second Andrea's recommendation of Lisa's wonderful post entitled Chorus Member. Sometimes I think the tightrope between groupthink/echo chamber and community is a tricky one to walk, and I appreciate the blogs like Lisa's that come down firmly on the "community" side.

I also wanted to mention that Rachel Ededin has wrapped up her 8-part series on sexual assault and comics, which I'm nominating for a Koufax even though those awards tend to be for strictly political stuff rather than political/cultural blogs.
Silly Site o' the Day

I spoke too soon yesterday; what else is new? I now believe the sciatica "fix" was just temporary; my leg's been hurting me again for the past day or so, and that's the cue that there's still something wrong. I'm really getting tired of this after five months! And it's sort of a vicious circle -- in order to get physical therapy I need to see a doctor, which I need to do anyway for my annual checkup, which I don't want to get (because my doctor tends toward fatphobia) until I've been on the bike a few times and am in slightly better shape, which I won't be as long as I have the sciatica. Grr, argh!

Visual poetry generator (another Image Chef page) via Gerard.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Studs Terkel

The American institution and probably the most famous living Chicagoan turns 95 today, and the Chicago History Museum is celebrating. You lucky locals can get to wish him a happy birthday in person! And Roger Ebert has written a terrific tribute. I always valued Terkel's contributions to the national dialogue, the way he concentrates on the famous and the not-so-famous alike, and makes everyone's stories feel equally valued. He was must-reading in college, and still is.
Silly Site o' the Day

My weekly column is up at ComicMix. Not the happiest of essays, but I needed to get it off my chest as it were, and I tried to give it an upbeat ending of sorts. I'm certainly feeling like a weight has not only been lifted from my mind (the whole point of mourning being for the wound to eventually heal) but even from my body; as a result of a "misstep" in bed last night (I thought my foot was going on the edge of the bed but the leg slid off and the gluteal muscle cramped) that I initially thought might have worsened the sciatic nerve that's been pinched since two months before Dad died, the opposite seems to have happened. No more pinching, no more leg pain, great mobility and, if I'm not too tired after another day of the Huge-Ass Project, I'm going to try to get on the stationary bike tonight in an effort to build up stamina for walking this weekend's Food Fest. If I'm lucky I won't even need my walking stick! But, one thing at a time. It's not like I'm going for, um (*fiddling with buttons*), Australian Girl Guide Stunt Plan Sailing. Make up your own Extreme Sports Game here, via Gerard.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"When one lives a life promoting hate, it really is hard to work up any sorrow at his demise." - CE Petro

Jerry Falwell is dead. If any spiritual aspect of him remains after the demise of his body, I'm fairly sure it's in for a rude awakening.
Silly Site o' the Day

Okay, I didn't get any further in blog catch-up or ComicMix posting, but at least I finished this week's column and cooked dinner last night, so that's something. And the Huge-Ass Project forges onward, to the point where I cannot yet see the light at the end of the tunnel but I'm starting to believe the rumors that there is one. Ah, for the simple days when all I had to worry about was composing a SubGenius Brag. That generator is, of course, also care of Gerard...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Well, my "vacation" from my boss has officially begun, and I find myself caught up with many more things than I thought. My unread DC comics have shrunk to a few Vertigos and Wildstorms, and I finally placed my order for last week's non-DC titles, which I'll pick up after the Ninth Avenue Food Festival this weekend (anyone out there want to go with me?); the newer DC titles will have to wait for the arrival of the next comp box. My checkbook is balanced and credit card bill paid, and I'm halfway through my next ComicMix column. Now I just need to catch up on bloggy things! I hope to get up to speed today and post the family pictures from this past weekend when I get home tonight, but no promises on either end, I still have the Huge-Ass Project to work on even in his absence (albeit Now With Fewer Interruptions so maybe it'll go faster). Nonetheless, a toast to things moving forward once more!

Brewtopia Beer Builder courtesy of Gerard, natch.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Busy visiting family all weekend. Took lots of photos, which I'm too tired to download from the camera and upload onto the blog. Maybe tomorrow. Meantime, Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

The Name in Lights generator is care of Gerard, of course.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Should I talk about how much I miss having the energy to blog here, now that my sidebar links have scrolled way the heck off the end of the template? Or mention all the posts I've saved to write about that I'll never get a chance to, like Betsy's wonderful reminiscence of the friendly town of Greensburg, or Becky talking about how her facility at premonitions has made her a more spiritual person, or how Melissa's rejoicing at Iain receiving his green card echoes my own memories of when Robin and I were finally through with the same years-long process (by the way, happy belated birthday, Melissa!) or Amanda's trip in the Wayback Machine? Or should I just talk about how May is getting away from me like just about every other month so far this year, and how I really ought to just calm down and admit that this constantly feeling I need to catch up on things isn't all happening despite my life, but that it's become my life?

Nah, screw it, I'll just post a Silly Site instead. After all, it's a lovely May day, my brother and I are converging at Mom's house today to celebrate Mother's Day, I may be heading off to my cousin's house tomorrow to celebrate family again, and starting on Monday I'm looking at two boss-in-Europe months. It's hard not to smile. Here's a Nietzsche Family Circus randomizer found by Gerard; have fun! Off to Mom's now.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

Some good shots of Datsa actually looking into the camera for a change:

You may think that cord is just to keep the laptop charged, but it actually plugs into a secret compartment located somewhere in his hindquarters so we can light up his eyes:

Silly Site o' the Day

Today is my boss' last business day in the country, but the Huge-Ass Project will continue in his absence, albeit with fewer interruptions (I hope). I'm in such a lolbot mood. Here's another one that Gerard found.

Here's the story whence the illustration came. Alas, as serious as a heart attack.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Hooray, the LolCat Builder is operational again! Here's mine for today:

I admit I don't really have the lolcat-speak quite down yet, but I didn't have a very restful night (Rob tells me I was periodically twitching in my sleep every few minutes) and I had to leave early again when the cement mixer arrived to continue pouring concrete between our house and next door...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

My Wednesday ComicMix column has been posted. I enjoyed this one, which I wrote during the only time on Sunday I was able to summon up any energy at all (work's been really horrid, as it usually is before They go away to Europe for the spring or autumn, but now that the Huge-Ass Project has been front-burnered everything is even worse and on weekdays I can barely catch my breath, let alone time to post anything, then of course my body breaks down and I collapse on weekends), because it's about the first professional-level position I had in the comics industry, helping Vinnie Bartilucci run the programming for ComicFest '93 along with Steve. And it inspired Vinnie to write his own reminiscence, which is also up on ComicMix. So even though I'm still buried under the aforementioned Huge-Ass Project, I'm in a comic'y kinda mood today. How about the good ol' Simpsomaker (via Lauren at Feministe)? Apparently it was created by Quentin Devine but I can't see it anywhere on his animation site. I played with it but couldn't figure out how to save the result properly to display here (printing to PDF doesn't seem to work right with Flash)...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

This work week is killing me already and it's only Tuesday. I got a lot done yesterday, and nearly caught up with blog skimming, but I'm not even close to being able to post normally again, either here or on ComicMix. I miss the days of onlinesularity. That's right, I like being onlinesular. That's my choice for today's Verbotomy (via Terrance), but I can't actually submit it because I don't want to register and find myself on yet another spamlist.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Because you are thirsting for wishness to be like her. Via Arthur.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Bupkis. And a big fat zero. That's how much closer I am to getting caught up in my reading after yesterday, a "body breaking down" day after the mental exhaustion of the work week. I mean, when your eyes can no longer focus properly and you can't deal with being on a computer any more, there's just no sense in trying to read. But I'll try valiantly again today to remove this albatross from around my neck:

Oops sorry, wrong albatross. Bling necklace generator via Gerard.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Happy Cinco de Mayo, and happy Free Comic Book Day! Do check out your local comic shop for some free goodies. I know I won't be. I'd been hoping to check out Toywiz on Route 59 with my godson but it turns out he has other plans. So, bucking the trend (and besides, FCBD really ought to be for new comic book readers, not those of us who've been doing it for decades), I'm going to stay home and keep Robin company and catch up on reading and watching (only four episodes behind on Ugly Betty, two of which I need to grab online) and sleeping if I'm lucky. Maybe someday I'll have enough time to, I dunno, visit all these 404 Error page parodies.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

Via Echidne comes the He-She Ratio measurer, which calculates "the number of pages on the domain containing the word 'he,' then searching for the number containing 'she,' and then looking at the two numbers in comparison." I thought my blog would be male-pronoun heavy in the aftermath of Dad's death (as I'm sure it was female-pronoun-heavy after Leah's death), and I was right; I'm currently at a 61-39 he/she ratio. I think this algorithm would be cool to try out on other pairings, like how many times various US political blogs use the words "Republican" and "Democrat" or "Democratic" (my theory is that conservative blogs use "Democrat" more and liberal blogs use "Republican" more, as many bloggers often seem overly obsessed with "the other side").
Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

Workers have been tearing up the concrete around our house in preparation for repaving. I had to wait to get into my parking spot when I came home from work yesterday due to the dirt and rubble blocking the entire area. They'll be back today to presumably finish the job. Needless to say, the kitties have been freaked; one of the reasons we love this house so much is how quiet things are around here, particularly during the day when Robin's working. By evening they were as calm as they'd been the night before:

But as I say, the repaving continues today, so I hope they aren't too freaked out, and I'm crossing my fingers it's a bit quieter so Robin can work in relative peace.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

This "LOL Cats" thing is getting out of hand. And I love it. Via Wil Wheaton, someone's now done a "LOL" job on Trek. I like that he links to explanations of the "lol" phenom, but I found his captions a bit odd -- he uses "be" rather a lot, like a white person badly imitating what they think of as black speech patterns (or a comic book author writing Thor incorrectly).

Update: Also, via Laura, it's I Has A TARDIS.

Further Update: Via Lis, it's also Lolbrarians.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

My newest column is up at ComicMix. I've taken to writing them on Sundays. I don't know if anything else from me will be on that site today. I didn't have time to do news items yesterday, and today is looking iffy as well. Like I said in the post below, I can't control phone calls, and I've had to make about 5 international ones so far to follow up on personal stuff for my boss. Alors, my French still sucks. As Han Solo said, "No reward is worth this." Might as well print my own money for all the pleasure this brings me.

Dollar bill generator via Gerard.
Magic Numbers

I didn't get nearly as much done at work yesterday as I'd wanted. It was billing day, for which I got dispensation from doing the Massive Data-Entry Assignment from Hell, but I also wanted to organize and deposit a bunch of checks to get that out of the way before going back to the MDEAH. However, due to at least eight interruptions (half from my boss calling in), all of which were about me doing other things -- not more than 24 hours after my boss specifically assured me that would no longer be happening -- I'm starting to rethink the whole "cut down on the personal things" promise as well. After all, if they can't keep their end of this "bargain," why should I keep mine? Not that it was ever presented to me as a a deal, it was more like a pseudo-ultimatum... Oh well, I've started keeping track of how many times a day (and why) I'm interrupted, just so I have the record for myself and posterity. And at least I got some back-pay yesterday for other work I'm doing there.

Not that the money (or even the job security) makes much difference at this point, and I never thought I'd say that. When I'm constantly too exhausted to relax and enjoy myself in my off-hours from feeling like I'm falling behind on everything, numbers don't matter nearly as much. Even numbers like 09-F9-11-02-9D-74-E3-5B-D8-41-56-C5-63-56-88-C0 and I'll tell you why: That series of numbers is essentially all about passing along a cheat code eliminating copy protection from high-definition (Blu-ray) DVDs, and while Digg contributors are making a good point about the service attempting to "censor" posts about it and this being Not A Good Thing and presumably contrary to what they're about, the cheat code itself speaks to the idea of fan entitlement, "entertainment should be freely available on demand" and all that, which sets of all sorts of red flags with me.

Not that I'd probably notice red flags at this point if they were waved inches from my face. Godamighty, I'm beat. Time to get dressed and sequester myself for another eight hours (closing my office door, alas, only prevents visitor interruptions, not phone call interruptions)...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Silly Site o' the Day

White rabbits, and happy May Day! Well, I just got the definitive word yesterday that I'll need to really put my nose to the grindstone at the office -- my boss specifically warned against doing "any personal stuff" -- until this huge-ass project is done, which it needs to be for mid-July when my boss returns from his holiday. So at this point it looks like most if not all my blogging both here and on ComicMix will be done during early mornings, evenings and weekends, which means the stuff I usually do then will have to be squeezed into multitasking or eliminated or... oh, I don't know. But I do know this has put pay to my plans to look for a new job while my boss is overseas, as I won't even have time to go to the bathroom most days now, let alone leave the building for lunch, let alone go into the city for interviews. Looks like it's going to be a miserable spring-into-summer work-wise. Here, have some Spider-Man 1 and 2 in 30 seconds as re-enacted by bunnies. Don't know if we'll be seeing #3 this weekend or not -- I want to take my godson Jonny out for Free Comic Book Day but that'll depend on his parents. And of course my workload. Dang.