Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prayers for Lance

This holiday weekend, my friend Lance O'Cull was hit head-on while driving home from seeing his family.  He is currently in serious condition at the University of Kentucky hospital.

This is Lance:
Even Lance has no idea what he was doing in this picture.
He's a bit of a joker. He goes on adventures, but he talks about them as if anyone could go hiking around foreign countries and sleep on the roof of an abandon building. He's one of the most entertaining people you'll talk to, if you can manage to keep up. He can't lie to save his life. He was really inspired by the Italian graffiti "It's better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb."

Lance is one of the people I grew pretty close with after graduating from our Masters program. He was my knight in shining armor one night when a snake got into my apartment, even though his fear of snakes was only marginally less than my own. He went through a period of serious introspection this fall and finally seems to have a plan for what he wants to do next. Or rather, what he can do, because what he wants to do is everything. His biggest struggle seems to always be that he wasn't doing enough, or that which he could do wouldn't make a big enough difference. 

This is one of those situations of horrible things happening to really good people. His whole family is incredibly sweet; they are extremely close too. At this point, I doubt that they have 5 hours of sleep among ten of them. There isn't much that anyone can do, physically do, for him or them other than pray, bring coffee and wait.

So we wait. And drink coffee. And pray.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Silver Linings Everywhere

I'm currently adrift without a paddle (an anchor? hope?) in the Code of Federal Regulations for Telecommunications (47 CFR). Sounds pretty horrible right? That's what I thought too, until I noticed the "Document Language" pull-down menu which will automatically translate any page of federal code into Esperanto (or Spanish or whatever). The best part? It is displayed side by side.

Teach yourself a language! Let the Code of Federal Regulations assist you today!

47 CFR 1.2110 - Designated entities. - Code of Federal Regulations - Title 47: Telecommunication - Subpart Q: Competitive bidding proceedings - vLex

Here is something a little frightening for the job seeker:

The "rating" is out of 100. 

Suddenly, retail never looked so good.

Only in Iowa:

Stalking the Wild Breaded Pork Tenderloin

Again, sharing the beautiful things. Many thanks to whatsnextdave.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Government has been busy today...

I love when one day is the deadline for many applications because my inbox fills with notices:

And when my inbox is full (without the help of spam), I am happy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Simon Haynes's NaNoWriMo advice

This Haynes guy is a writer who has also created some (free!) software. He has a pretty informative website.  Here is his NaNoWriMo advice. I like the idea of giving myself a carrot of some sort to work toward. Maybe something from the Wishlist? (I'm thinking the salt block, but maybe a Kindle.)

He's also posted some easy recipes. I think I want to try Tomatoes on Toast:

Tomatoes - one or two per person, depending on size. (Of the person AND the tomatoes.)
Olive oil
Salt, ground pepper
Dried or fresh basil


Sling some bread in the toaster.
Chop the tomatoes into quarters and remove the hard green bit.
Drop them into a coffee mug, add a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper and sprinkle with basil.
Microwave for a couple of minutes or so.
Using a fork, mash the cooked tomato in the cup.
Put the toast on a plate, and spoon the tomato mess all over it.

Optional ... sprinkle with grated cheese.

Day. Eight.

Our good-intentioned officer is caught in a bind. Our lady, less so:

Disco Ergo Sum

My friend pointed out that I hadn't updated my Disco Ego Sum blog recently, but the only thing that I am learning on a daily basis these days is that people really suck sometimes and anyone who wants to can make awesome mustard using the following recipe:

1 cup cider vinegar (maybe less)
1/2 cup dry mustard
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced (maybe more)
2 tablespoons prepared white horseradish, drained
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon packed light-brown sugar

I used yellow mustard powder and seeds, but will probably mix it up in the next batch. I also skipped the food processor step, but will likely grind up some seeds with a coffee tamper and a ceramic bowl.

Direcciones: In large jar, combine all ingredients and shake well. Cover and refrigerate 48 hours. In food processor, process mixture until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide among a few sterilized mason jars. Seal jars and store in cool, dark place for 2 weeks before opening. (Mustard can be eaten immediately, but flavors will not have had a chance to meld.)

Tasty with Tuna.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day seven. Roughly 2000 words behind.

This is when spelling beings to go to shit. The plot is still holding though.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 6.

Tonight I had too much coffee, but I got 1707 words written (to finish on time I should be averaging 1667 words a day).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day Five of NaNoWriMo

Hey guys! I'm famous! Well, I'm quoted in an article about NaNoWriMo in Ace Weekly (which was up earlier and is gone).

Today's writing includes a guessing game for our lead, who now has a name (can you see it?):

Updated: Ace Weekly article here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day Three

I left my computer at work, so here is a link to today's Wordle:

Wordle: day 3

This story is making my hungry today.

Also, I need a name for my female lead. Up to this point, she's only known as "she" or "the body."

Scary Swimming Drill

I've been trying to swim more recently, if only to prevent drowning the next time I'm near an ocean. One of the most difficult parts of swimming is running out of air, so I've been doing the sidekick drill to help me get the hang of timing my breathing without sinking at the same time. The next drill will be the Shark Fin Drill Drill, which also helps with balance. What I like about this instruction page is the third step:

Pause when your hand reaches the bottom of your rib cage. Now your elbow is sticking in the air at an acute angle like a shark fin. Take a moment to enjoy how scary you probably look before “zipping” back down, sliding your hand back to your hip.
Awesome. Can't wait to give it a try. Watch out though, I'll be pretty scary.

Day Two of NaNoWriMo

I feel like I'm starting to get to know a bit more about my characters. One of them really likes baked goods.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I'm taking part in my second National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and this year I hope to finish. Everyday I will post a Wordle of that day's effort. Hopefully they will all exceed the 150 word limit. Here is Day One:

Click to see all big n'stuff. 
I think it's a mystery, but I imagine it will end up a satire. Or something. It's hard not to work on this at work, but thinking about it without writing it down helps to organize my thoughts for later.