Fall cometh

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I just had two Starbuck’s Doubleshots and I see dead people! There’s nothing better to jump start your morning than an overdose of caffeine.

I feel good, didda didda didda doo.

This week is the last week of summer vacation and most of the kids return to school next week. This means I can finally go to the zoo again. More importantly, the weather has been dipping into the 60’s at night, which means that the summer awfuls are heading towards an end. I’ll finally be able to walk along the trails again without risk of more allergic reactions to the bug bites. Plus, the new light rail to our neighborhood opens this weekend, which will make it so much easier to go downtown. This all puts me in a fine mood, a fine, fine mood.

I started my new book for O’Reilly this last week. It’s called Adding Ajax. I wanted to wait on saying anything until I bought the domain, to go with my domain. For the book colophon, I thought of suggesting to O’Reilly a baby rhino on stilts. Wouldn’t that just get attention on the book shelves?

This is going to be a fun book, but between it, finishing up the proofs on the Learning JavaScript book, the second part of the tutorial on Planet Planet, and all the work I want to do on the sites, I’m not going to be able to post as frequently as I have been. I’ve set myself up a schedule: walk in the morning, so many hours on the book, so many hours on the sites and tech, and then, weblogging. Light on posting, unless an arrangement can be made– wink wink nudge nudge.

didda didda didda duh

If I can hustle, I can take a week off in October and spend time in the Ozarks and down in Arkansas; taking photos of mills and hunting down an interesting story I accidentally stumbled on. It’s a murder mystery of all things, and I have to spend time at the Historical society in Columbia, as well as the town and county where the mystery occurred. Eventually, it will get published on MissouriGreen–which is yet another site I need to finish.

Y’all are just going to have to nag me to behave myself, stop picking on the boys, and to write and finish my sites. Or not, but if you don’t, you lose an opportunity to pester me when you know I can’t snap back.

I feeeeel good. didda ddida didda doo.

Just Shelley

Mama Africa and the poll

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

“But I thought things were hunky-dory…that we were all starting to get along?”

Her deep brown eyes softened and, taking my hand in hers, she sat me down at an upturned cable drum doing duty as a table.

“Mike, take a long, hard look at your people,” she said quietly. “You should be able to discern something from their behaviour.”

“Yeah, well,” I mumbled, “I know we’re pretty dumb, but if it wasn’t for us, you people still wouldn’t have the wheel. I mean, we’ve transplanted hearts, put a man on the moon…”

Like a musician — blacks have natural rhythm, she plugged in. “…colonised the world and killed hundreds of millions of people. All for fun and profit. And you’re still doing it. I know these things.”

She does too. A Rwandan refugee denied South African citizenship these past ten years, she’s packed in quite a bit of learning for a single person looking after sixteen orphans. I kid you not; as you know, I’m no bigot and would not resort to stereotyping. Mama Africa has this thing for children, so she looks after them.

No white kids, of course. Being a racist precludes that, I s’pose…

Mike Golby and Blacks are the Biggest Racists.

You just can’t keep a good black down, even when you try.

Just Shelley

Changing faces of Sci-Fi

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I am a huge science fiction fan; have been ever since I was a little kid. I remember how excited I was that a whole channel devoted to science fiction was going to be appearing on cable. At the time, I lived in Phoenix, and was one of those that pushed the local cable company into carrying it.

The channel has always had a mixed bag of content, good and bad. Currently listed among the good, at least in my opinion, are: Eureka, Dead Like Me, Stargate, Dr. Who, and Battlestar Galactica. The bad ranges from wrestling (of all things), to stupid ghost chasing, to movies on Saturday so awful they can’t even be counted as camp. The reasons behind such a disparity in programming is that the Sci-Fi channel is run by people who really don’t care about science fiction, and only care about ensuring the network is profitable.

Stargate was probably the channel’s most profitable show, and it celebrated it’s 200 birthday last week. Through Les I found it was canceled this week. Not surprising, as the writers had no where to go with the story line, and even the addition of Claudia Black as the wonderful “Vala” wasn’t enough to save the show. It is disappointing, because I thought the 200th episode and it’s associated documentary, were a kick and reflected some of the old humor and quirkiness of the show before it started getting too caught up in Defeating Bad Guys.

As for the spinoff of Stargate, Stargate: Atlantis, all I can say is block that dialing address.

On Tuesdays before wrestling (which, unfortunately, has ended up being the most watched show on the network), Sci-Fi added an old and a new show to the lineup: Showtime’s canceled Dead Like Me and the new Eureka (you can currently watch the premier show online at Sci-Fi).

Why a show like Dead Like Me was canceled, I don’t know, but I think it’s one of the finest shows I’ve seen. The premise is that people who die with unresolved issues become grim reapers who walk the streets, releasing souls from the bodies of the newly dead. Not a particularly interesting concept except these grim reapers have human form. They eat, drink, have jobs, emotional issues, and so on. The lead character is an 18 year old woman who goes by the name ‘George’, with an “I don’t give a damn” attitude, who is killed when she’s hit with a toilet seat from a falling Mir Space Station.

It’s both funny and thoughtful, and received several awards before being canceled. I’m assuming it didn’t make it due to to the fact it couldn’t find an audience. (A dominant, strong female cast is rather risky in the science fiction business, unless your cast is composed of sexy, blonde teens who can kill 23 vampires without breaking a nail, all before cheerleading practice. PS, I liked Buffy, but no denying she was boy candy.)

Eureka is about a federal marshal who accidentally stumbles across a town composed of geniuses who are engaged in secret research for the government. It’s ripe for innovation, and the regular cast members are compelling and interesting. I was somewhat hesitant about the show at first, primarily because it made the marshall into the town sheriff and boss over the existing deputy who happens to be a woman. However, air time is nicely divided between men and women, and the women have relatively strong positioning. Besides it has the old Max Headroom, Matt Frewer, as a very oddball pest control officer–what’s not to like?

(Well, the fact that some of the roles are borderline gender stereotypical, and what’s with the sexual tension between the lead characters? Men and women can work together without wanting to jump each others’ bones. This is getting old, and is one area where Dead Like Me and Battlestar Galactica have risen above such cheap theatrics.)

Then there is Battlestar Galactica returning this October. The show staged a rather astonishing twist in the storyline as a season ender, and I’m waiting with a great deal of interest to see how it deals with it when the show returns. This show also has a very strong female cast, as well as not being afraid to dive into the darker aspect of being human–usually demonstrated best by the non-human characters in the show.

I’m still somewhat ambivalent about the show. I admired how the show handled the subject of rape, but was less than enthralled with the coverage of forced pregnancy–which seemed to be just plopped in in order to be topical. It made no sense that a group of ships with limited resources and in immediate danger of destruction would worry overmuch about future population concerns.

Still, I like the characters on this show. They’re remarkably rich and fascinating, and I have no idea where the show is going to go. After decades of television watching, it’s not often I can’t guess a future story line.

There are hints of other shows starting this fall on Sci-Fi that could be interesting. I actually started liking Dr. Who, with its campy special effects, and I believe it is returning in addition to Battlestar and the newer series. Because of the existing and possible future shows on Sci-Fi, I’m not quite ready to pull my cable, though I have canceled everything but basic service.

My biggest concern is that quality on TV never survives. Now that the Sci-Fi channel executives realize that “Who Wants to be a Superhero”, super cheap Saturday flicks, and wrestling are sure money makers, I’m sure they’ll drop Battlestar and the other shows that interest me. If they do, I’ll most likely drop cable. After all, I can download movies and television shows from the Net, and my Dell laptop has a better viewscreen than my smallish TV. Not to mention, I can connect my laptop to my TV in order to play movies or shows.

Which does make one wonder: when will the first internet-only video series be released?

Just Shelley

Must Read

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Karl Martino pointed out the 7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making you Miserable and I want to echo Karl: go read this.

It’s raw, and it’s wonderfully annotated. There’s a lot of truth in the words: most of them humorous, most of them uncomfortable. Technology has enabled us to connect, but has it enabled us to connect well?

The social software folks will have a fit.

Just Shelley


Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

It’s that time again, and I can’t put it off much longer. I’ve managed to stretch it out seven years, but can’t go anymore. It’s gotten to the point where we’ll go out to dinner and the host sits us in the back, hidden in the shadows. Though I cringe and try to make do, there comes a point when you just have to bite the bullet and get the task over.

Yes, it’s time to buy another purse. A task I hate probably even more than going to the dentist.

I don’t like to shop. If I find a nice looking striped button front shirt that’s cool and comfortable, made of cotton that won’t shrink over much, is attractive, maintains it’s shape, and that fits my longish frame, I’ll buy four or five shirts in different colors. Same with the jeans and khakis, cords, socks, underwear. I buy all my shoes at Joe’s New Balance discount store. I have one pair of low, suede sandals for dress.

I have two pretty dresses for special occasions. I wear them so rarely, they still look good 10 and 20 years later. I don’t need any more, except some day I may invest in a long velvet skirt. For now, there’s the striking black and white print that is connected at a band around the neck, has no shoulders, a fitted waist, and a full skirt that twirls out. The second dress in an Australian designer dress, with the bright turquoise, green, violet, and pink colors in a wonderful one of a kind print, with a necktie hemline, and dropped/flapper girl waist.

I have a hand made, tailored 100% wool pleated skirt from Ireland. I have another pair of silk lined woolen pants in a discrete charcoal. These stay in their bags when not worn — no need to feed the moths.

I have a collection of close to 30 never worn t-shirts, packaged and saved for some day if I go to a conference. Some of these are probably collector items now: the ActiveX t-shirt from Microsoft, the original Mozilla t, and so on. For most, the companies folded, but the shirts lived on.

I have some lovely sweaters that are still attractive and in excellent shape, carefully put away in plastic when not in use. That’s probably why they’re still good: deep emerald green, sand pebble, lake blue.

I have all I need. Therefore, I don’t shop. It’s not that I don’t like to look good; it’s that clothes are not how I define ‘looking good’. How I feel does that.

Still, my purse is, well, worn is a kind word for it. I have one purse. It’s black. No matter what I wear, I use the one purse: one of the microfiber back saving purses from Norm Thompson. I looked at Norm Thompson for a new one, just like the old, but they’ve changed the design, and added a ‘back pack’ look to it, which I can’t stand. Searching around, I found Ameribag, which seems to have what I want.

The New Yorker looks good, and would be good for going about town. But that HB2 is a clever idea. I like the idea of a purse that can double as a camera bag, though I have three camera bags. Maybe…maybe I’ll get two purses. Yeah, two. One for summer AND one for winter. What the heck, you only live once.

Maybe I’ll even splurge on a wallet. The badge holder from the 2001 O’Reilly P2P Conference is getting a little worn.