Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Issues of Death

21 July 2004

So it turns out that if you die at home and aren’t on a priority for an autopsy, it can take 2-6 months (!) to get the lab results for your cause of death.

Why does this matter? Because insurance won’t pay out until a cause of death is determined. At least, in the case of one of the people I know who died recently, this is the issue. It doesn’t even matter if it’s “heart attack or stroke,” insurance companies need to know specifics.

I can’t really blame them, but then the point becomes: should you drop dead suddenly, have some way of supporting your family in the meantime that doesn’t rely on insurance or probate, both of which can be quite slow.

Now, for my late husband, who died in a hospital (and had organ donations pending on being declared properly dead), I was able to pick up his death certificate within two weeks. Had he had insurance, it would have paid out very quickly thereafter. But, I find out, that’s not necessarily the norm.

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

Read More

Storage for those Manuscripts

21 July 2004

Yeah, sure, of course you can just store the files, but it’s never a bad idea to keep a paper copy of a book. Right?

In fact, due to various file format conversion issues plus the problems of way too many moves, my old paper copy of my very first novel (circa 1988) is the only copy I still have.

So, I’ve been looking for good (and reasonably affordable) storage for a novel. Now, I *do* recommend that you put in a copy of a CD with the electronic text on it, in whatever format you like plus one other (like RTF).

Today’s email offered sale info from The Container Store, which has some really spiff solutions. Here they are:

  1. Budget price leader: Plastic snap-top boxes in four colors. 3-1/4″ high, but probably useful depth is less, so probably good for 1 ream (125,000 words). $4.99 each.
  2. Need a deeper one? Plastic snap-top boxes in four colors. 5-1/2″ high, but probably useful depth is less, so probably good for 1-1/2 ream (180,000 words). Might also work for filing a flipping lot of short stories. $5.99 each.
  3. Personal favorite bang-for-bucks: Translucent Storage Boxes, rather a simple, translucent (white) box. Currently $5.99 each, normally $7.99.
  4. Storage boxes in white, grey, black, or natural. White and Grey are 2-3/4″ deep, natural and black are 3-3/4″ deep. Each are $6.99.
  5. Boxes in four bright colors, which I rather like. Each is 3-1/2″ high, good for about 145,000 words, and runs $6.99.
  6. For those wanting something more upscale, there’s two other options. First is the Shantung box in four colors, 3-3/4″ high, good for about 155,000 words, and run (eep!) $14.99 each. Collect the whole set? Hrm.
  7. This leather-texture box is almost twice as expensive, though, at $29.99 each, in four subtler colors, including my everlasting favorite, navy. ::sigh::
  8. Even Levenger’s Document storage isn’t that pricey.

Read More

ActionItems

20 July 2004

I haven’t really been able to use any PIM to get organized, much to my chagrin (especially since I wrote features for one).

On the Apple site, I saw a link to ActionItems, which seems pretty spiffy. It’s more complex than I need (really!), but it seems like perfect manager software. They offer a free 30-day trial.

When all was said and done, I had two conventions, six software engineering projects, and more writing projects than I care to admit to.

Yeesh, no wonder my brain was full!

Anyhow, I don’t know how it’ll work out for the long term, but I’m going to try it out for another three weeks before making any commitment to it.

While the software does export, it doesn’t export to any XML format (I’d especially be interested in OPML import/export, as that would make me able to import data from OmniOutliner without too much pain).

Read More

The Martha Stewart Thing

19 July 2004

PNH’s catchup post reminds me that I haven’t commented on Martha Stewart’s sentence. Sorry, I think she should have been fined a lot more and had more jail time. My first quip was 3 mil and three years, though, in retrospect, 3 mil and 1 year sounds more appropriate, given our tendency to just throw people in jail.

Frankly, I know of people who weren’t stockbrokers before who were slapped much harder, relatively speaking. There needed to be more of a message sent. Then again, this is a republican administration that hasn’t exactly had the highest moral ground on such issues. ::sigh::

Read More

How Am I Doing?

17 July 2004

Writing-goals-wise, that is.

Well, a few hiccups along the road.

Got one story out, not two.

Got the paper into the right hands, though it’s not fully done yet (the conference is now saying that they’re due August 1).

And I’m working on a new short story and thinking about what I need to accomplish with this novel.

Read More

Some Good Commentary on Marriage

16 July 2004

Unfortunately, the marriage “debate” has been heating up. This blog entry from John Scalzi has the most coherent comments on it. I’d already considered the argument, but not the rhetorical stance.

So it’s pretty simple: If you actually want to defend marriage, you have defend all the legal marriages, and that includes the ones with two men in them, and the ones with two women. Otherwise you’re explicitly saying that the government has the right to void any marriage of any couple, so long as two-thirds of the House, Senate and states go along. Who wants to be the first to sign up for that?

Read More

Fun Talk

15 July 2004

Tonight, I’m at BayLISA listening to a talk on covert communications, which is great fun. If you’re a BayLISA member, you can even borrow the audiotape.

Read More

Old Infocom Games

15 July 2004

Here is a place you can play ’em all online via a java applet, complete with a link to the sourceforge project.

Read More

Viable Paradise

15 July 2004

I managed to book my tickets, make my hotel reservations, and am generally excited as an eager puppy. Oh, yes, and mailed my tuition off.

I still have one item I need to work out: how to get from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard — whether I want to take a bus service (cheaper) or a limo service (more customized to my arrival/departure times). Maybe there’s someone to share with.

There’s four of us coming from California (unusual) and one from Italy. Viable Paradise is finally starting to pull more people in!

Read More