Quick hits via Twitter

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Don't mess with my wife

She looks like a softie. And, of course, she usually is. She's generous, sweet, smart, funny. The whole package. But don't get on Dina's bad side. She knows how to stand up for herself.

Case in point: Late last week, a contractor doing some work for Dina's company e-mailed an executive there, pointing a finger at Dina and blaming her for a delay, saying that she hadn't received some information she needed. She copied Dina on the e-mail.

Here's Dina's response, with the name removed to protect the not-so-innocent. You go, girl!

[Name Removed],

In the future, address me, as well as other members of the committee or support team, directly and individually if you have a need from one of us. DO NOT copy others at this company.

I am especially surprised that you would attempt to cast any blame at me in this particular situation. The fact is that you were 20 minutes late to our meeting on Tuesday. If you had arrived on time, you would already have the information that you are seeking.

I trust that you took care of any other script changes that were discussed after the time you arrived to our meeting -- I am not sending you information on those changes unless you have specific questions that your own notes did not address. I will check my notes that were taken prior to your late arrival and see if there is anything additional to share with you.


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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Take care, Galveston (and Houston, and...)

We fell a little bit in love with Galveston on our recent vacation there. It's a fun, wonderful, engaging city, and I hope that it makes it through Hurricane Rita unscathed.

While we were there, I spent a lot of time reading Isaac's Storm, the story of the hurricane that Galveston faced--with much less warning or preparation--on September 8, 1900. It was harrowing and disturbing, and I shudder at the thought of Galveston facing similar travails over the next few days. I'm grateful that the lessons of Katrina have worked toward early evacuation, and that the lessons of the hurricane of 1900 have led to much greater safety measures in the city. We wondered why, for example, the attractions at Moody Gardens were enclosed in pyramids, then learned that those structures were built to be highly resistant to winds.

My thoughts are with the residents of the Gulf area, wishing them safety and shelter, as well as homes to return to.

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Batman shows for 4-year-olds?

A friend of mine and visitor to this blog was asking about Batman cartoons that might be appropriate for a 4-year-old. My take on it is that Batman: The Animated Series, wonderful as it is, is still a little too old for that age (the same age as my son Alex). Anyone else have experience with this?

Here are a few of the things I suggested to him, although I'm not sure how age-appropriate they are, as it's been a while since I've seen any of them. Feel free to pitch in with comments!

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Pirate Pete the Hideous

And, har, mates, don't ye be forgetting to stake out your very own pirate name! Me own name, Pirate Pete the Hideous, sounded a wee bit too much like a bilge rat to me, but maybe you'll fare better than I. One of me shipmates landed a fine treasure indeed with "Mad Tom Storm," which has me wantin' to keel haul him out of envy, damn the man. Me boys pulled up "Captain Bess Flint" and "Mad Dog Bonney," so I be proud of them, too. Har! Although methinks poor Dina, me buxom beauty, would be far from pleased with her pirate name of "Butch the Wicked." What scurvy dog made this blasted thing?

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Avast, ye mateys, thar be storms ahead! Yo ho, yo ho! A pirate's life for me!

I didn't want to overlook international Talk Like a Pirate Day, so please enjoy the day and maybe a sip or two of rum. Yo ho ho!

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Not sure yet if I'm digging those Bones

Just a quick post. I caught a few minutes of Bones this afternoon (I recorded the series premiere on TiVo) and will probably at least give it to the end of the episode, though I have my doubts about returning. It seems pretty formulaic--pat characters, dialogue that tries to be clever, but doesn't quite make it (although one line referencing Mulder and Scully was pretty funny, mostly due to David Boreanaz's delivery), and improbable relationships between police and other institutions. (So the main character is supposed to be the only forensic anthropologist between D.C. and Montreal? And the FBI doesn't have its own forensic experts? And the equipment at the institute where she works is not only incredibly top-notch, but also spread out into a dramatically large area?)

I might report a bit more after finishing the episode, but my favorite part so far was the novelty of watching Boreanaz walk down a sunlit street without bursting into flame.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Character of the Week: La Cucaracha

Here's another PC of mine from the Global Guardians campaign world, La Cucaracha.

Here's an excerpt from her background: "
She was working on the fourth story of the hotel when the earthquake hit Acapulco. Many buildings withstood the damage, but the poorly constructed hotel collapsed. Inez fell nearly twenty feet as the floor beneath her crumbled, then found herself pinned against a reinforced support beam while rubble and debris fell around her. With several ribs crushed and a lung punctured, she stared around at the ruin. She saw a bed on its side; a fat man with a bathroom mirror protruding from his pale, white back; and a large suitcase burst open, colorful vacation clothing pluming out like a bouquet. She noticed the wall beside her trembling and dozens of cockroaches scuttling out through the wallpaper. Inez had never read about irony, but she understood it, and, certain that she was going to die, she found a certain wry amusement in the fact that the cockroaches she so often squashed as part of her cleaning were going to escape the building while she did not."

You can read her whole background here.

By the way, the cool art was by a fellow player in the campaign named Zen Fairborn.

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Going Mercenary, Part 2

As I mentioned earlier, I'm playing around with Google ads and Amazon ads on this site. I'm not sure of either yet. The Amazon ones seem more potentially useful to me, and I've started listing one or two items on the right bar that I think are cool and that I recommend to visitors to the site. If nothing else, if my a couple of friends remember to use the Amazon links when ordering stuff they were going to order anyway, I'll get a buck or two now and then to put toward the occasional book or DVD.

The Google ads have netted me a whopping $2.28 so far, and that's money I can't touch until it gets to some higher level, so they're not actually cash cows for me. What's bugging me about them right now is that I can't figure out how to make them more relevant. Almost all the ads have to do with blogs. That's all well and good, but it would at least be more interesting if they'd occasionally reflect the topics I'm writing about. I've got Gmail, and get similar, unobtrusive ads next to my e-mail, and when I notice them at all, they're often pretty on-target.

For example, here are the ads that popped up in a recent e-mail exchange between one of my PBeM players and me, where we mentioned the game and PBeMs in general:

Sponsored Links

PS3 Testers Wanted

Test & Keep a PlayStation 3 Free! Currently Recruiting: US Residents

Dungeons & Dragons RPG

All D&D 3.5 RPG Products 15% Off + Free Shipping!

Missed an Episode?

Download Dungeons & Dragons episodes to watch at any time!

Google picked up on the mention of role-playing games and appropriately linked to Dungeons & Dragons–related sites and even had me clicking the TVShows.org link to see how I could download Dungeons & Dragons episodes, since that show was an old favorite. (As a side note, I ended up being confused by TVShows.org and unwilling to create login information for the site until I could find out some basic information about it--what it costs, how it works, etc.) Gmail's link to PS3 testers showed that it "knew" that people interested in role-playing games were quite likely interested in video games, too.

So why can't I get similar, relevant ads on my site?


If you have any suggestions, please tell me.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Galveston: What we saw on the drive

One quick thing I can post. Both on the drive to Galveston and the drive back, we saw perhaps a dozen large trucks carrying some long, odd-shaped pieces that I couldn't identify. My best guesses were airplane parts, some type of piping, or parts of a water slide. On the way back north, we snapped a few pics, although the angle makes it difficult to see exactly what we were photographing. Anyone care to venture a guess as to what these trucks were carrying?

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Slow posting

I've had a project come up that's going to be taking a lot of my time over the next few weeks. I'll probably be posting more slowly than usual, but will try to post one or two quick things later in the week as time permits. Just a temporary slow-down.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Wishing Gilligan the best

I'm saddened to read of the death of Bob Denver, Gilligan of Gilligan's Island.

I've been having trouble posting anything that didn't seem insignificant in the light of recent headlines. In the midst of everything else going on in the world, this blog and my musings seem pretty small on the scale. Even this post, in the wake of thousands of deaths, can be seen in that light.

But Bob Denver made me laugh, and that's no small thing. Here's wishing you well, Bob.

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Character of the Week: Stuntman

Stuntman was the first character I created for the Global Guardians Universe. He has survived a campaign reboot and is a lot of fun to play. Let me know what you think.

Here's an excerpt:

Just as his gag (falling, in flames, from a tall building, yet managing to twist and bounce off a plum tree in order to land on a fireworks display, setting them off and pointing them toward the movie's villain with his dying breath) was beginning, he saw Deng wandering into the pyrotechnics display. Already on fire, already falling, Peter had to change the pattern of his fall from the safe, planned route that would launch the pyrotechnics and burn or kill his brother to a dangerous, unguarded fall that would likely kill him. As usual, he did it with panache, thinking to himself, "I hope they can still use this footage." Still, adrenaline coursed through his veins as never before. As he fell, the world seemed to slow around him. Every movement became ultra precise. Every twist of his muscles was calculated with three priorities in mind: Protect Deng. Try to stay alive. Make it look good for the cameras.

You can read the whole character here.

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New Orleans

I'm having trouble posting much of anything right now. Compared to the stories coming out of New Orleans, stories about pop culture or how my day is going seem inadequate. The anarchy and crime, on top of the destruction of the storm and the missing and dead victims, just seem overwhelming. I'm glad to hear that the National Guard has started moving in supplies. I hope things start getting better down there quickly.

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