Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Damn Straight They Knew About It

I don't think for a second that this wasn't on purpose: there's nothing like a little flipping the bird to "voluntary avoidance" programs to show your true beliefs on the environment.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Random Notes From Teacher

Written on an assignment sheet that Aidan (grade 4) got back today: Aidan, most people's homes are not infested with rats.

Of course, we have no idea what he actually wrote, although we do see he got 13 out of 16. We do sometimes wonder what his teacher thinks of his home life, though.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Off to Seattle for Norwescon, an event that is looking less and less appealing as the moments go by. Nothing to do with the con itself, mind, but nothing to talk about here right now. But who knows; maybe something good will come out of the weekend, and of course I'll be seeing some friends I haven't seen for some time, and that's a Good Thing.

Back on Monday.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Via Mr. Shunn, a birthdate meme. Go to Wikipedia and look up your birthdate (without the year). List three event, two births, and one death that happened on that day.


- 1912 - Opening day at Fenway Park (mentioned because I'm a Red Sox fan)
- 1972 - Apollo 16 lands on the Moon
- 1979 - President Jimmy Carter is attacked by a swamp rabbit


- 570 - Muhammed
- 1964 - Andy Serkis (Gollum)


- 1996 - Christopher Robin Milne, son of author A.A. Milne


Have I ever mentioned the disdain I hold for chiropractors? Years ago my ex-wife took her daughter to one. The man put several sugar cubes on Zoe's stomach to determine that she had a bad sugar allergy; something to do with the energy reaction. Ever since then, I'll utilize the services of more sensible branches of medicine, thank you.

This comes up to show why I'm not surprised about this whole time travel thing.

Advertising Smarts

One of our local real estate folks uses a picture in her newspaper ads that can be best described as "startled stick in a power suit." I wonder if she thinks the drawing is cute; I certainly see in perusing her site that the uncomfortable smile and freakish eyes are probably de rigeur for photos.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Dealing With the Week

So I've got this big head cold right now, all sorts of cotton candy floating around inside my head, only it's yellow and green, not pink. Yum. Aidan's had the same thing, although his chest has been giving him trouble as well. In fact, yesterday we were on our way home when he had an asthma attack (only the second in a year or more). We were on the road without his puffer, and I promptly turned on the four-way flashers and drove like a wild man, in and out of traffic and at somewhat illegal speeds. Of course, some of this was prompted by Aidan's initial complaint about his throat, at which point I worried that he was instead having an anaphylactic reaction. In the end all was good, though, and surprisingly no RCMP came walking up the driveway at any point last night.

Jo's out of town still, in Tucson from Tuesday to Sunday. In the past month or two she's also been to North Bay, Nanaimo, Vancouver, and with the boys to Peace River. I go to Seattle for a con next week, and then the day after I'm back she's gone to Vancouver. I have a vague memory of what she looks like, but I'm sure the dog will recognize her smell when she comes back.

Things to look at: a wonderful story about a sneaky golden retriever; Potluck Cafe, which hires, among others, street people, feeds some 3000 free meals and 600 subsidized meals per month, and runs on an actual business model; Alien Life, a blog that rounds up all the eponymous news (and gave a shout out to one of my stories a week or so ago); and Jefitoblog, where I find out about all sorts of new (and old) music, download to sample tracks, and read intelligent criticism.

Friday Random Ten - All Clogged Up Edition

Entertain - Sleater-Kinney
Handle With Care - The Traveling Wilburys
Listen to the Music - The Doobie Brothers
One Way Gal - The Notting Hillbillies
Condi, Condi - Steve Earle
Homeward Bound - Simon & Garfunkel
Something So Strong - Crowded House
Hash Pipe - Weezer
Welcome to the Jungle - Guns N' Roses
Over Yonder (Jonathon's Song) - Steve Earle

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Crabby About Awards

Lou Antonelli is a relatively new author with whom I am unfamiliar. This isn't news; I don't have time to read everything that's out right now, and even if someone crosses my path at some point, well, I have more friends writing than I have time to read.

Anyhow, Lou has written a post on his blog that, among other things, takes some unwarranted shots at Rich Horton. Go read what he's written and then come back here to read my response. I initially started writing some of this as a comment on his blog, but figured it made more sense to keep it here. Like I said, I don't know the guy, and it doesn't make any sense to accidentally start a minor flame war.

Even with misunderstanding (or worse, mispresenting) what Rich actually said, I don't understand why Lou thinks him a "jackass" and a "moron" and claim he has "affectations." I know he hasn't been publishing for terribly long, but that shouldn't be an excuse for such thin skin when it comes to reviewers. Especially when Rich didn't even review Lou's story in the first place.

It's always a shame when stories we strongly admire don't get the recognition we feel they deserve (although I firmly agree with Ray Feist that the Nebula is nothing but a glorified bowling trophy. I'm also on record that the Hugo is more akin to a car salesman's award. And don't get me started on Canada's Aurora). Would I turn one down if the voters decided I had written something that matched their tastes? No, I wouldn't. But my shorts remain knot-free in the meantime. As far as being ignored instead of poorly reviewed, well, we put a lot of our selves into our own stories, and for them to fall into the void can be frustrating and depressing.

This year, Peter Watts and I were lucky enough to get our story "Mayfly" onto the Locus Recommended Reading List. Now, "Mayfly" was not the only story I had published last year. As a matter of fact, Rich had earlier reviewed my collection and had given it quite favourable notice. However, when time came for the year-end roundup, the collection was not mentioned in any column, nor was it on the list. Neither was "Summer's Humans," the original story therein.

Disappointing, yes. Worth calling Rich names? I don't think so. First, and to me more important, I'm no longer interested in burning bridges. If I strongly disagree with someone, so strongly that I'm pretty sure I would have no interest in having a beer with that person, I may gripe privately to my wife, but otherwise I keep my yap shut. If they say or do something truly offensive, that's another story, and of course I won't hesitate to speak up, but there are limits to what I'll say and how I'll say it. Second, why would I ever want to offend someone who has pretty much established himself as one of the two or three most important short fiction reviewers in the industry? What good could this ever do? I really doubt that Rich would ever use a personaly antipathy rising out of something like this to strike back, but if it were me, I'd think seriously about steering clear of someone like that lest something I write gets misconstrued.

Honestly, there are more important things to worry about. And hell, the guy made a sale to Asimov's, a market I have yet to crack. That would have been enough to make me happy right there.

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