Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Archive of posts with tag 'humor'

: Like an Octopus

Someone on facebook mentioned wanting this in a plaque form, so I decided to get out the spiffy digital papers and have a go at it.

Design element credits

Polka dotted background: Uber Grunge 13 by Joyful Heart Designs
Solid inner: Solidified Seven by Joyful Heart Designs
Typeface: La Paz from TipoType

: Comment Spammer Funny

comment spamming
I love it when a comment spammer accidentally tries to comment with the entire content of their spam comment content file. Each scenario separated neatly with a pipe symbol.

: Rule 34 Labs: Putting the Interesting in Internet

Rule 34: “If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.”
I was making this sign for a book cover (where it’d appear on the wall as a framed print), then thought: why stop there?
Back when I worked at a backbone ISP, the first day HR training session was interesting.
“If you object to adult material, please do not walk through the art department. We make 2/3 of our revenue from adult content.”
Maybe you like the weird stuff. Maybe it just makes you hilariously happy that the weird stuff exists because then you’re something approaching normal. Maybe you just need a new shirt and randomly clicked on this page.
Whatever freak flag you fly (or, you know, don’t fly :wink:), Rule 34 is there for you.
Rule 34 t-shirt
I have various products now available on Redbubble, Society6, and Zazzle.
In addition to the clothing options on all three of the above stores, the design’s also available in a bunch of other formats, including:

Rule 34 labs prints Prints in various forms: Redbubble and Society6, including stickers, posters, art prints, and metal prints. Because metal.
Rule 34 labs coffee mugs Coffee mugs: Society6
Rule 34 Labs tech cases Tech Cases: Society6
Rule 34 Labs rugs Rugs (for rug burn, obvs): Society6
Rule 34 greeting cards Greeting cards (for mailing your tribe): Society6
Rule 34 Labs clocks Clocks (for temporal fetishists): Society6
Rule 34 Labs tote bag Tote bags: Redbubble and Society6
Rule 34 Labs pillow Pillows (save those knees!): Redbubble and Society6
Rule 34 Labs shower curtain Shower curtains (no comment): Society6
Rule 34 Labs duvet cover Duvet covers (because why wouldn’t you?): Redbubble and Society6. Redbubble has Twin, Queen, and King, while Society6 has Full, Queen, and King. Note: the Redbubble version requires almost twice the resolution source file, but I don’t know if it prints in higher resolution than the Society6 version. Usually, Society6 wants the higher-res file.

King Duvet Cover (Redbubble):

Rule 34 Labs king duvet

Not enough?

Drop me a line and let me know. My email address is at the bottom of every page. (Hint: deirdre@)

: Doing the Next Thing

This isn’t about a convention, but I’m using a convention change as a launching point.
BayCon is going to be a three-day convention this next year rather than the four-day convention it has been in prior years. I heard about this through random pissing and moaning through facebook.
By “pissing and moaning,” I mean people who say things like it’s not what it used to be, yada yada yada.
Well, I’d hope not!
Anyhow, here’s my take when I hear that kind of thing:

  1. You can only do X similar things Y times before the magic smoke stops working for you. How similar X events have to be to each other and how large a number Y needs to be are individual.
  2. At that point, the right thing to do is something that isn’t quite so similar to X, whatever that happens to be for you.
  3. There are always problems with {conventions, vacations, cruises, rocket launches, square dances, rodeos, church socials, bowling leagues}. The problems only start glaring when you’re at point #1.

I honestly had a blast at BayCon this year. Sure, some things I’d enjoyed in the past didn’t happen this year, but other new things did.
So, if you’re not having fun because something doesn’t seem fresh and new, go find something fresh and new to do. Maybe you can go back to X at some point. Maybe not. Maybe you need something similar to X, but not too similar.
There are a million billion things to do.
The world is a big place. Enjoy it.

: Geek Humor

QA Engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a sfdeljknesv.

— Bill Sempf (@sempf) September 23, 2014

@sempf was it a mock bar?

— Brian H Prince (@brianhprince) September 23, 2014

@sempf You forgot about when he ordered 0’; DROP TABLE BEERS;

— Adrian Petrescu (@apetresc) September 23, 2014

@sempf @joshbillions Ah yes, the Edge Case Saloon. A fine establishment.

— Bill Van Loo (@billvanlooteach) September 23, 2014

@sempf A QA egineer walks into a bar. orԁèrs å bëer

— sheila miguez (@codersquid) September 23, 2014

@sempf @marxculture add ‘tries to break the beer tap’, ensures that the liquid coming from the beer tap is in fact, beer.

— Paul Walsh (@Paul__Walsh) September 23, 2014

@sempf Orders a bier. Orders a cerveza. Orders a pivo. Orders a cerveja. Orders a pia. Orders a øl. Orders a ເບຍ. Orders a 啤酒.

— Aleksis Tulonen (@al3ksis) September 23, 2014

@sempf @therealfitz Response from our QA expert:

— Jenna Bilotta (@jenna) September 23, 2014

@sempf Quickly orders a second beer before the first is served.

— Brian Ott (@botticus) September 23, 2014

@sempf Bartender pours one beer and says “Works on my machine”

— Chris McMahon (@chris_mcmahon) September 23, 2014

@sempf pentester orders <script>alert(1);</script> beers 😉

— Simon Bennetts (@psiinon) September 23, 2014

@sempf Sample code walks into a bar. But only after walking into a foo.

— mbklein (@mbklein) September 23, 2014

. @sempf Meanwhile, her security researcher friend bypasses the bartender, pours <img src=x onerror=alert(‘xss’) /> beers for someone else.

— James Roper (@jroper) September 24, 2014

@sempf @OzIndie you forgot: QA Engineer orders a beer, walks into a bar.

— Rossy (@SudoRossy) September 24, 2014

: My Twitter Halloween Outfit

Seasonal and timely. As usual, my holiday profile name is Dire Red Omen.
Update: I calmed this down because it was driving me crazy.
And the older versions….

v 1.0


v 2.0


v 3.0


: Hilarity from the Spam Queue

A spam comment caught by Akismet:

If the previous game is too adventurous for you, simply try flapping a blanket in the air above your ferret as if you were fluttering a bed sheet over a mattress.

You don’t say.
This particular spam comment ended with:

…and ferrets love to cuddle.

: My Bag of Fuckall

I love product mockups, so since I had fuckall to put on a bag (and needed a place for all my zero fucks of late), here it is. Mockup from PSD Covers, the font is Lunchbox and Lunchbox Ornaments from Kimmy Design, the chalkboards (two of them) are from BMachina, and the bag texture is from Florin Gorgan and is a freebie here. In addition, I used a glass effect layer style (probably from, a shadow light that comes from the upper left (probably from the same place), and a shadow layer to sort of give a “shelf” effect on the flat chalkboard.
Note: Now available for sale in several places, see this post.
Took me about half an hour, fwiw.
For those who’ve never seen how they work, you paste in the normal flat artwork and the script takes over and makes cool stuff out of it.
Graphicburger has some really awesome mockups. Some are free, some are commercial.

: Fun Thing I'm Waiting For

Season 2 of the web series One Step Closer to Home is filming in Australia. So. I’ve. Been. Told.
It’s a show about a newlywed couple trying to figure out all the normal stuff in life, like where to find the art for the living room and how to fit sex into the schedule.
Oh, and if you liked Season 2 of Fairly Legal with Ryan Johnson as Ben Grogan, here he is with his more typical accent.
Here’s the web site.

: The Hilarity of Actors at Cons

This is a really great report of a panel at a Supernatural con.

Sebastian Roché has the attention span of a fruit fly on meth[…].

And, about a prior con:

Misha comes on stage with a small pig, because why not?

: Ten of My Favorite YouTube Videos (Including Sheep Playing Pong)

So, Google had been annoying me with the “Do you want to link this YouTube account to your real name?” crap for eons. It was like a bad date who wouldn’t take the word “no” seriously, you know?
Usually, I’d log out of YouTube, then reload the damn page to watch the video. As my friend Jason is so fond of saying, “Because fuck you.”
So I went to favorite a video today, and I had no favorites list. None. Zero.
I thought I’d lost my carefully-kept list of Ryan Johnson clips. I haven’t put fan videos featuring his work on that list, but my favorite of the ones I’ve found is this Fairly Legal one featuring Duffy’s “Mercy”. I think maybe it’s time for a second playlist here….
Anyhow…what happened. My YouTube account split. I now have my old persona and my new persona. All two of my uploaded videos are goners, but at least I still have what mattered most: my favorites.
So, without further ado, here are ten of my favorite YouTube clips.

  1. Jessica Biel can actually sing. I love this song, love her performance. Colin Firth steals the movie, but her music is, in my opinion, the real star.
  2. Ilio the Surfing Pig. For real. I first saw this segment on TV, and there was more of Ilio surfing then, but only “Part 1” has been uploaded. If anyone finds a better link, I’m all ears.
  3. Salvador Dali on the 50s TV show What’s My Line?
  4. Jordan, the Royal Tour. Visit the country of Jordan, guided by a former Star Trek actor who also happens to be the head of state. (This is several YouTube videos long and is definitely worth watching if you’ve never seen it.)
  5. Daylight Robbery, a show featuring extreme squirrel obstacle courses.
  6. Star Trek/NIN “Closer” mashup. Exactly what it says on the tin. Original series slash at its finest. All clean except for the (non-bowdlerized) song.
  7. TED: Bonnie Bassler, The Secret Lives of Bacteria. Quorum sensing bacteria is just such an amazing thing to me.
  8. Boney M, “Rasputin.” Love this video. Though it is their official video, the male singer isn’t the person at the microphone as this is the non-live version of the track with live footage carefully cut.
  9. Sean Penn gives us all a lesson on how to answer awkward questions about one’s ex. Major props to him for a really winning approach that leaves nowhere to go and is hilarious at the same time.
  10. Extreme Sheep LED Art. Welsh farmers with a truckload of LED lights and a bunch of sheep. Hilarity ensues.

So, there you go. Hope you enjoyed.

: My Crackpot Theory About Malaysian Flight MH 370

So a friend of mine asked me what my theory was about the disappearance of flight MH 370.
Honestly, I think it’s sunk, but that’s not a very interesting answer, is it?
So let’s assume the far more interesting answer of: it’s hijacked. First question: where?
Let’s look at the Washington Post’s map.
From there, let’s exclude:

  1. All of continental Asia, Australia, and Africa. Because it’d have been detected with multiple possible ATC contact points in any of those countries.
  2. Diego Garcia. There’s US military there. I don’t think so. Besides, who the fuck goes to Diego Garcia? I mean, really. THEY HAVE COCONUT CRABS THERE.
  3. Maldives, because the jet would be taller than anything else in the country (outside of Mahé, which is quite built up) and it’s mostly a country of air taxi floatplanes anyway. Meaning: water landings. A Boeing 777 is not designed for water landings. Not twice, anyway.
  4. Sri Lanka, as it’s too close to India and therefore becomes part of #1. Same for Madagascar, which is just at the very edge of the possible range.
  5. Anything else remote in the Indian Ocean, including Seychelles, Reunion, Socotra with its amazing trees because there’s not really sufficient reason to go there.

So unless they went scuba diving in Palau, that leaves two large collections of landmasses:

  1. The largest archipelago in the world: Indonesia.
  2. One of the largest countries (and archipelagos) in the world: Philippines.

Both have an amazing assortment of ethnicities, politics, languages (the Philippine father of a friend used to have to speak to relatives in English because they didn’t speak the same language). Yet, I can’t think of a reason to hijack a plane and take it to the Philippines. I admit this is a failing in my geopolitical education, so let’s just move along.
I was a big fan of Indonesia for this all along. Let’s just say that Indonesia and I got off to a rocky start. Then, when I was still feeling unhappy about it, I read Patrick Lynch’s book Carriers. Which I loved because durian. And because hemorrhagic outbreaks in Indonesia, and if you know me like you know Seanan McGuire, you know I love that shit too. And then there were the hemorrhagic outbreaks because durian. Awesome.
Around 10 years ago, I worked as a Network Geographer. I loved the research aspects of it. Where in the world is this IP address? I loved that, if latency was small, you could use millilightseconds to determine real distances.
One of the tasks of interest to a three-letter agency (I did not work for the gov’t) was the mapping of Schlumberger, which does oilfield-related stuff around the world. All of their IP addresses went through their headquarters in Texas. However, they provided a lot of information about end host names. Sometimes these were people’s workstations, and some research on the Schlumberger spouse’s association might provide a clue.
Then the idea was to map to the nearest city, which meant one of a population 10,000 or greater. Which, frankly, doesn’t map particularly well when you’re talking a company where a lot of its IP space was on oil rigs, because oil rigs are often pretty far from cities. I remember spending a particularly frustrating period trying to map oil rig IP spaces in Indonesia, previously unaware how many of them were actually quite far from any population centre. So I’d be working with one map in one window and Google maps in another, and a list of cities in that part of Indonesia in a third, trying to make sense of it all.
I was, however, surprised at how many of these otherwise sparsely-populated places had significant air strips.
Which is why my crackpot theory of choice involves oil rigs in Indonesia.
As for the rest, well, that’s an implementation detail.
On Indonesia, I visited again last year, and this time we had a far more pleasant interaction despite the pouring rain.
Maldivian Air Taxi Safety Card:
Maldivian Air Taxi Safety Card

: The Mongoose Joke

One of Rick’s favorites. He once posted it here.

Thus the old joke about a rancher trying to deal with his snake problem: “Dear sirs, I’d like to order two mongooses.” (He frowns, crosses that out.) “Dear sirs, I’d like to order two mongeese.” (Frowns, crosses out, tries again.) “Dear sirs, I’d like to order a mongoose. While you’re at it, please send a second one.”

: The Most Bullshit-Sounding-But-True Facts

A few from this reddit thread:

  1. Mammoths were alive when the Great Pyramid was being built.
  2. Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire.
  3. When you get a kidney transplant, they usually just leave your original kidneys in your body and put the 3rd kidney in your pelvis.
  4. From the time it was discovered to the time it was stripped of its status as a planet, Pluto hadn’t made a full trip around the Sun.
  5. The last living child of African American slaves died in 2010.
  6. We went to the moon before we thought to put wheels on suitcases.

: Fun with Paper

Paper is an iPad app from and it’s pretty awesome. So when my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, for once I actually wanted the stylus designed to go with it, Pencil. It’s got extra features when used with the Paper app, but it’ll also work as a regular stylus.
Now, I can’t draw for crap (though I have resolved to learn to draw better), but I had a lot of fun making this little pic.

: Learning to Program and _why the lucky stiff

![](\][1]( Teletype Machine, photo by AlisonW

I still remember learning to program. I remember the yellow paper tape and the teletype machine. I remember the smell of machine oil on the paper tape. I remember the paper cuts.

What I can’t tell you is what I wanted to program back at that point in my life. Games, probably, which is something I’ve never done any significant amount of programming in.

At some point since then, I realized I could program pretty much anything I wanted. It’d run. It may not be beautiful. It may not be efficient. But I had the skill and experience (with any of a number of hammers in the form of programming languages) to pick an arguably appropriate tool, a reasonable approach to tackle the problem, and then commence kicking ass. No matter what the problem was.

I’m not easily intimidated by things I don’t know. I couldn’t have survived in this field if I were. I have cut a driver down to size to fit on a smaller EEPROM so it could go into space; I have developed power plant control systems to help reduce emissions; I have written commercial calendar software; I have written search and retrieval software; I’ve helped women schedule immunizations to avoid rH factor complications in pregnancy; I’ve written commercial audio track royalty management software; I’ve helped expand the TiVo service. Among other things.

What I forgot, somewhere along the way, is how hard the skills I have are to acquire, in part because I acquired them over a long period of time.

I’m used to arguing with computers. I’m used to that sheer frustration when things don’t go as expected, then the “Aha!” moment, followed by the endorphins of victory.

I was missing one of my favorite explainers of technology, _why the lucky stiff, the other day. I think of him often. In 2009, he suddenly deleted his online presence, then other people pieced much of it back together. However, the world is at a huge loss because he’s gone underground and chooses to remain there. This Slate article is both about his disappearance and about learning to program, and _why’s role in making learning to program easier.

Much as I hate to admit it, Slate author Annie Lowrey is correct: my personal favorite of _why’s resources, Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, probably is most accessible by people who already know how to program.

Frankly, I just like the Poignant Guide because, despite all my years of programming and all the books I’ve seen and read, this one is, hands down, the weirdest. Here are three bits out of it.

In one house, you may have a dad that represents Archie, a traveling salesman and skeleton collector. In another house, dad could represent Peter, a lion tamer with a great love for flannel.

Lately, the exchange rate has settled down between leaves and crystals.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of hearing that Dr. Cham was a madman.

Not your typical boring programming book, right? I love the cartoons. (Chunky bacon!) I love the whole thing. It’s like The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus in programming language form.

But, then, I’m a programmer (by which I mean software engineer, though I’ve always preferred the term programmer because I almost always prefer shorter phrases with fewer syllables) who’s also a novelist. Unlike _why, I never tried mixing forms to the extent he has.

As the Slate article points out, a far more accessible way to learn to program is _why’s idea, fleshed out since his disappearance, Try Ruby. It’s still got the cartoon foxes, but, being interactive, it’s a little easier to understand. And a lot less weird.

_why, the world has been a more interesting — and better — place because of your brilliance, and I’d like to raise this toast:

5.times { print "Odelay!" }

“I just want to assure you that I’m trying to rid the world of people like me.” Some goals aren’t worth keeping.

: Best Airline Video Ever?

Interior turbine photos. Dude.

Air Tahiti Nui released the jawdropping behind-the-scenes footage of its operations to celebrate its 15th anniversary. It was created by Matthieu Courtois, a 32-year-old technical engineer from Tahiti who has been working for the airline since 2007, with the help of pilot Ludovic Allain.

More in this story from Kate Schneider — including the awesome video. (Sorry, Ooyala video is annoying to embed….)

Isn’t the ending of that video amazing?

Soundtrack tune is Daybreak by Overwerk. Which I bought immediately.

Guess where we’re going next month?

: Department of Incoming Search Terms

These were all used to find pages on my site.

Alabama Gardens and Bellingrath Gardens are always especially popular this time of year thanks to my trip a couple of years ago. First post Second post

pinboard wordpress instagram icons

objectification of actors

fitzhenry whiteside

micronesian 2014 calendar

steve jobs death influence

lighthouse lit

how to make hickory bark bottom chair video

bellingrath gardens

: Geographical Trivia

  1. All of Asia, except for Indonesia, is above the equator. (Some perspectives don’t count Indonesia as a part of Asia, though.)
  2. Wellington, New Zealand (41° 17′ 20″ S) is the world’s southernmost capital city. It’s at about the same latitude (different hemisphere, obviously) as Rome, Italy (41° 54′ 0″ N).
  3. The equator passes through the land or territorial waters of 14 countries. I have been to two of them: Colombia and Maldives.
  4. Venice, Italy, (45° 26′ 15″ N) is approximately as far north as the Vermont/New Hampshire border with Canada (45° N). Obviously, the vast majority of Europe is farther north than that.
  5. Melbourne, Australia (37° 48′ 49″ S) is about as far south as San Francisco (37° 47′ 0″ N) is north.
  6. Tokyo (35° 41′ 22.22″ N) is about halfway between, latitude-wise, as San Francisco and Los Angeles (34° 3′ 0″ N). This one invariably breaks my brain.
  7. Cape Town, South Africa (33° 55′ 31″ S) is approximately the same latitude as Los Angeles, albeit in the opposite hemisphere.
  8. Ushuaia, Argentina (54° 48′ 0″ S) is generally considered to be the southernmost city in the world. It’s closer to the equator than Copenhagen, Denmark (55° 40′ 34″ N) is.

: I Feel Connected To You


So near as I can tell, all the social media interconnections that I actually use. Dotted lines can be set up, but aren’t.

: Reverse Identity Theft

reverse_identity_theft] As someone whose primary email address is the same as my own domain, I’m less prone to incidents of “Reverse Identity Theft” than the average person.
However my iCloud account is a constant source of annoyance and amusement. Deirdre’s not all that common a name, really, but it’s astonishing how many of them seem to be using iCloud and mis-remembering their email addresses.
This has led to a number of errant hotel reservations (one for an affair), mailing list subscriptions (like one I got today), an AT&T phone line that took five months to get transferred, a phone unlock service for a Motorola phone (clearly not from me).
My all-time favorite happened earlier this year. I got a FaceTime call from someone I didn’t know.
“Hi mum. It’s me, Kevin.”
He was very embarrassed by it, but that particular one made my day.

: "Dude! You hacked your TiVo?"

Tales from the archives.
In 2000-2001, I was an engineer at TiVo, working on the TiVo service. When I started, all TiVos were still using dialup to get schedule updates. One of the things we did during the time I was there was to record an over-the-air broadcast aimed at TiVos, clip it into little bits, and use that for a lot of TiVo content updates.
So there I was, with my engineering machine tethered to a TiVo daughterboard via a serial cable, working away on something. I needed a few minutes’ break while I ate my dinner, so I hopped on IRC.
Some kid in some linux-related channel was doing the geek version of the a/s/l check, posting his cat /proc/cpuinfo (from a Celeron, groan) and wanted to know what everyone else had.
Well, my workstation was faster than his, so I ran the command on my work TiVo and pasted it without comment into IRC. It was a 54MHz PowerPC, which was about 1/6 the speed of the server I had at home.
# cat /proc/cpuinfo<br></br>processor : 0<br></br>cpu : IBM 403GCX<br></br>clock : 54MHz<br></br>revision : 20.1<br></br>bogomips : 53.86<br></br>machine : Teleworld Customer Device
(Teleworld is the original name of TiVo, and TiVo machines are called “TCD” internally (for Teleworld Customer Device.))
Kid ridicules my slow machine, then someone else said, “Is that a TiVo?”
Kid’s like, “Dude! You hacked your TiVo?”
Suddenly, I became of great interest to everyone on the channel. All I said was, “I’m not a dude, I’m female.” (Normally, being from California, dude is an inclusive term and I don’t normally comment if someone calls me dude, but I just felt he needed it.)
“No way!” Kid genuinely couldn’t believe there were female software engineers. I felt really sorry for him, but wonder how much that changed him over 13 years, if at all.

: Hugo Short Story Recommendation: The Slow Winter by James Mickens

The Hugo Awards] Yes, I’m recommending a technical paper written by a Microsoft researcher for a Hugo Award for Best Short Story.
Come back.
There is a narrative in there….about the 2nd person narrator, son John, and the generational differences in chip design between the two of them.

As a child in 1977, John had met Gordon Moore; Gordon had pulled a quarter from behind John’s ear and then proclaimed that he would pull twice as many quarters from John’s ear every 18 months. Moore, of course, was an incorrigible liar and tormentor of youths, and he never pulled another quarter from John’s ear again, having immediately fled the scene while yelling that Hong Kong will always be a British territory, and nobody will ever pay $8 for a Mocha Frappuccino, and a variety of other things that seemed like universal laws to people at the time, but were actually just arbitrary nouns and adjectives that Moore had scrawled on a napkin earlier that morning.

John learned about the rumored Intel Septium chip, a chip whose prototype had been turned on exactly once, and which had leaked so much voltage that it had transformed into a young Linda Blair and demanded an exorcism before it embarked on a series of poor career moves that culminated in an inevitable spokesperson role for PETA.

He would then throw a coffee cup at the speaker and say that adding new hardware features would require each processor to be connected to a dedicated coal plant in West Virginia. John’s coworkers eventually understood his wisdom, and their need to wear coffee-resistant indoor ponchos lessened with time.

: Lessons Learned from Writing Fanfic

I started writing fiction around 1988. My best friend, Joyce, started a writing group out of our circle of friends. If I wanted to play, I had to write. All of us (who are still living) are still writing, too.
The first piece I wrote Joyce said was like “waltzing with Frankenstein” — it’s clumsy, but I got there. It was science fiction. In that future, people had beepers. Just goes to show you about failures of imagination, doesn’t it?

While waiting for a response, Gilbert’s beeper made a raspberry sound. He calmly moved his hand to silence it, and, in his haste, knocked it to the ground. It shattered with a last mournful wail. Gilbert’s faced turned raspberry, no doubt to match the sound.

And so, my literary (non-) career began.
I remember spending an inordinate amount of time looking stupid shit up. Like punctuating dialogue.
My next novel I wrote on a typewriter. Way. I started it — and given much of the slush I’ve read, this is not an uncommon place to begin — by having the character wake up. I wrote three novels of it in first person. It bit. I wrote a short story set in the same world. It also bit. Marion Zimmer Bradley said it had “no sense of wonder” back when she used to send personal rejection letters. I have always wondered if that was more her problem or mine. (I’m not an idiot: at least part of it was indeed my problem.)
Somewhere in there, I tried to write some Trek fanfic, but I really wasn’t inspired. That’s because it was before Riker grew a beard, I think, and before I dated the guy who kinda sorta looked like Riker.
Then I fell into a rough crowd, literarily speaking, and wound up with contracts for twelve adult (read: porn) westerns in four different series. Yippie-ki-yay. Wound up being half my income for that 18-month stretch, mostly written when I lived in Fort Lauderdale in a studio apartment with a roach problem, dating a guy who had a magic ability to rescue and repair televisions. I know that not all twelve wound up being published; I know at least one was, and no, I’m not telling you the names. Move along.
Oh, and my late husband, not realizing what the stash of books was all about, burned them one evening. Just. Great.
I started writing technical books and chapters after that, including a book about (Macintosh) System 7 for Que. They came with prompt checks and contracts (and really prompt deadlines; I had three weeks to write my first book), but eventually I realized it was coming at the expense of writing fiction. Fiction writing makes me happy; technical writing does not.
I got turned down for Clarion a couple of times and realized I needed to try harder. I went to Odyssey one year, but our year is sort of a lost year, unfortunately. Some of us are really only just now starting to get some success.
In 2001, I started my MA in Writing Popular Fiction (now an MFA program), and learned a lot. I was accepted for Clarion in 2002 (don’t ever do that mid-MA/MFA, it was a stupid idea), and then went on to do Viable Paradise in 2002 (see previous comment) and again in 2004.
Then I got into the doldrums, where I was lost for years. I’m not usually a fast writer and I am fairly easily discouraged when I hit a wall. Nanowrimo has been really a successful endeavor when I’ve been able to commit to it.
Last time I wrote a whole novel draft (2009), it was only in a few weeks, but I wrote it out of order and it is an unholy mess. Let’s just say that, like E.L. James, it is an erotica riff that launched from Twilight in its own way, but the resemblance ends there.

She strolled by, smelling like a hot Texas night where lovers cling under the magnolia tree wrapped in dense humid mists, fireflies twinkling with excitement. Only she was two thousand miles from Texas and blocks from even a single magnolia.

It’s not that I wasn’t writing, but I wasn’t doing enough of it. There are reasons, and some of them are good reasons. Let’s just say it’s part of the past.
In 2010, I decided to go for my F (MA->MFA upgrade), but decided quickly that it really wasn’t for me. For the first time, I felt like I knew what I was doing as an author, and what I needed was more story seeds, not more education. Instead, I set out and fixed some long-standing obstacles in my past, including mending a long-broken relationship with a good friend.
So I had an idea for Nano last fall, and I decided on a project I’d been wanting to for a few months, so I started on it on Nov 1 dutifully. In a few days, I fell over.
Why? Because my writer brain had been waking up every day for months, without fail, working on fanfic. So I said, well, what the fuck, we’ll write some fanfic then. I started doing that on the 6th or so.
I got the 50k done in November. The piece is somewhere around 70k now, but I haven’t yet taken the machete to some places that need it, and I cut 10k out of it one day.
I started posting it. Any of my Clarion classmates can tell you this: I’m really really not a one-draft writer. So seriously not. I under-write. I leave out important stuff. My first draft is really more like making clay for the final pot without any pot-like shape to it.
But this is fanfic. You can make it as polished as you want — or not. I’ve decided to mostly post first drafts, flaws and all. However, my first drafts are far cleaner than they were in my Clarion days. First, I’m not as tired. Second, I’ve grown as a writer. However, I’m aware of my limitations, but I decided I wanted to play now, not six months from now.
I’m glad I did.
I got fan mail. (As of today, I’ve gotten fan mail ten days in a row.) Fan mail is incredibly addictive, folks. It will keep almost anything going.
But that’s not what’s most valuable about it to me.
I’ve discovered a lot of things about how I write. I’ve always known I’m a plot writer, and characters don’t really talk to me except when we’re in media res together. I can’t do those character sheets ahead of time and have it mean anything. But fanfic comes with complete characters (hopefully not so complete that you don’t have room to grow them somehow), so that wasn’t a problem for me this time. Because of that, it was easier to keep going because I felt like I had a feel of what the characters would say and do that I don’t get when I’m writing the early parts of my first drafts.
So I can start characters first. I just never have been able to with original stuff.
There are spaces in between scenes where things can happen, and those interstitial moments can be very cool.
Other people are writing the same characters and using them in different ways with different moments, memories, and lines. You get to look at those choices and figure out if you agree more with them or your own interpretation — or if you want to write another piece that takes advantage of what you’ve learned from someone else’s interpretations. It’s interesting how much even four people can diverge on interpretations yet agree in the main. also offers some very nifty traffic stats. I have a reader in Kazakstan. How cool is that?
But mostly, the other people writing in that same world will amuse you and you will learn from them — and they from you.

: Shows I Didn't Kill

Ever since I posted my “The Show Killer. Me. post, people have been accusing me of getting shows canceled that they liked.
I was not responsible for the following:
The 4400: had a longer run. I only consider it a show I killed if it didn’t last three full seasons and I became a serious fan in seasons 1 or 2 and loved the show. I liked 4400, didn’t love it.
Heroes: see The 4400.
V: liked the new incarnation, didn’t love it.
Dollhouse: died an early death, true, and I liked the show, but I never truly warmed to it.
Strange World: one of my favorites, but I never saw it until SyFy reran th show after it had been canceled from network television.
Dead Like Me: another of my favorites, another I didn’t see until after it was already dead.
Six Feet Under: I’d probably love it, but never seen the show.
666 Park Avenue: Except for Terry O’Quinn, who could read the dictionary and I’d be fascinated, the show didn’t work for me. I watched an episode and a half.

: Two Movies I'm Looking Forward To

First up, Now You See Me, which can be described as a mashup between The Prestige and The Bank Job with Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg as Robin Hood. Seriously, if they nail this, it has the potential to go on my top 10 favorite movies of all time.

Second, a Zombie romcom, Warm Bodies. The trailer’s really funny. Even if you don’t like zombie movies, I recommend watching this trailer.

: Dead Shows: Fairly Legal

Rick and I were discussing my favorite kinds of shows as I was whining about Fairly Legal being canceled. He pointed out I liked smart shows with good dialogue, complicated plots, and layers to them — and that most people simply couldn’t relate to them. I also really like a good sense of humor in a dramatic piece, but it’s not something that’s absolutely necessary for me.
My three favorite movies, in order, are: The Player, Duplicity, and Inception: all but the last have a great sense of humor; Inception probably would be my favorite movie if it were warmer and funnier.
So let’s go over those doomed series. This will be the first of a one-post-per-show format.

For this show, I really loved the writing. There were lots of places where things were left far more open than in a typical series, and I just love that kind of pointilist dialogue.
There were, unfortunately, a lot of fans of the soon-to-be-ex-husband on the show, aka #TeamJustin. Having built that up for a year, introducing Ben was bound to cause some of the fans to become disaffected, though many of us who liked Justin in the first season switched to #TeamBen. For me, I liked Ben from his first episode, though I saw his flaws, but for others, it didn’t happen until around episode 8 (“Ripple of Hope”) of 13 episodes, which was, imho, way too late to get people on board. Some people stopped caring about the show as a consequence. Side note: iTunes claims I’ve watched Ripple of Hope 192 times. Ahem.

The other aspect is that Justin comes off as a stronger male character (in the classic romance novel sense) than Ben does. For me, Ben comes off as a more modern character: he makes the fundamental assumption that women know what they want and are generally able to communicate it. There are a lot of layers in the dialogue, such as this opening scene where Kate and Ben meet.

K: (plays with rim of glass)
B: Plymouth and tonic.
K; Check, please.
B: Do you always come in the door leaving?
K: Umm, it is Not My Scene.
B: But, here you are, so you were either born on that bar stool or you came in here disguised as a woman who wants attention.
K: And you’re wearing a $3000 suit with a pocket square.
B: I believe my motives are clear.
K: Sorry. It has been a while since anyone’s offered to buy me a drink.
B: Really? Did the world go blind?
K: (Laughs) I’m married. Was married. Now I’m not. Anyway, the ex is on his way to sign the (waves hand) whatever, but it looks like he has blown me off.
B: Well, it’s just as well, or he would have changed his mind.
K: (Laughs) Nice try. Maybe it’ll feel normal some day.
B: Do you believe in fate?
K: Wow, was that a line?
B: It’s a question. Takes the edge off picking up strangers in bars.
K: I’m 29. I’m, uh, nearly divorced, recently orphaned, more recently out of a job. My life is kind of at this unexpected turning point, so yeah. I do believe in fate. And I believe she is a fickle, fickle bitch. [nice recap for people who didn’t watch Season 1]
B: You seem broken.
K: (laughs)
B: I like that.
K: And you’re a fixer.
B: No.
K: Yeah.
B: No, I tend to make things much worse, and then I disappear.
K: Well, at least you’re decent enough to be honest about it, you don’t see that much.
B: Oh, you must be a lawyer.
K: (lying) Schoolteacher.
B: Right. You’re a schoolteacher and I’m a decent guy, so (raises glass) cheers to honesty.
K: Hey, cheers. Yeah. (laughs) And good night. (gets up, starts leaving)
B: Is truth the way to your heart?
K: (turns)
B: Withdrawn, counselor, I misspoke. We have not yet established that you have a heart.
K: The way to my heart would be to do everything and to say nothing. No negotiation, no foreplay, no strategy. Just be who you are and take me.
B: (stares)
K: (whispers) Too late.
B: (stares after her as she leaves)

Justin winds up telling Kate what she wants (and is wrong) and keeps trying to assert his dominance, like in this scene from the Finale.

K: Oh, Justin.
J: Here we go.
K: Oh, God, what?
J: Nothing. I just know you, that’s all.
K: Look, this is the, uh … , right needle, wrong haystack. I’ve been fighting this feeling–
J: Oh, my, Kate–
K: …and I keep hoping–
J: Don’t do this!
K: …that this is going to feel right–
J: It does feel right. We’re not who we used to be, don’t do this.
K: I know you think that I’m running away.
J: Yeah, because you are. I knew you were gonna get scared.
K: I’m not scared.
J: (nods his head)

It also doesn’t help that Kate is the patron saint of lost causes, and while Justin has given up on her, she hasn’t given up on him. Then, to make matters worse, when she starts getting scared at Ben’s advances, she runs back to Justin, who then becomes fully engaged again. That all works as far as the plot goes, but some of the ways it plays out make Kate less sympathetic and Ben seem less strong a character as far as many women might see him, and that loses audience.
Justin tries to manipulate Kate directly, but he’s bad at it. Ben’s a far better manipulator, but he’s discovered that manipulating people doesn’t make for good long-term relationships, so he’s the kind of guy who manipulates the underlying situation and let the people cards fall where they will. As an example: knowing it’s complicated and it’ll take her days to decide, they fly to Lake Tahoe “for the day” for a case for which he’s gotten her appointed as a Special Magistrate. Naturally, with Kate, it becomes a multi-day affair, with the two of them spending two nights in Tahoe. The second night, there’s a hot tub scene where Ben’s out there and Kate comes to give him some news about the case, then a different conversation follows. I see Ben’s strategy: he’s made an advance, she’s run to someone else, and if Ben makes the next move and closes the gap between them, he will never know if he manipulated her into it or if she truly picked him. On the other hand, if he gets her close by, within inches, and she closes that last mile, that’s something else. Thus, the hot tub scene, which parallels the season’s opening scene.

K: What’s that?
B: It’s a rock. Found it up there today, it’s sort of shaped like a heart.
K: Do you think it’s ever possible to feel that way again?
B: Like what?
K: The way it feels when you fall in love for the first time. Do you remember that? It just feels like this wave just washes over you, but you’re not afraid to drown. Wow. It’s just so easy the first time.
B: Love is never easy. You don’t have to be 17, you just have to be brave. I knew you couldn’t just pick a side and then fly home. I wanted to stay the night, because I do care that much.
K: (looks up at him)
B: So do you. (crosses over to her) That’s why you went back to Justin, because he’s safe. And this you can’t control and it scares the hell out of you. You want that wave. (reaches for her hand and pulls her into the water) No strategy. No foreplay. No negotiation. You just have to have the guts to dive in. (beat) Do you?
K: (freezes)
B: Too late. (walks off)

One of my other favorite bits is when Ben’s ex Lydia is the opposing counsel in episode Shine a Light.

B: She’ll have another Tanqueray and tonic.
L: You trying to get me drunk, Ben?
B: Don’t need to get women drunk.
L: Ah, so they just fall at your feet without lubrication.
B: My cross to bear.
L: He’ll have a Plymouth and tonic.
B: You remember. I’m touched.
L: I didn’t need any help, either.
B: Except for that one time in Sausalito.
L: We were both pretty sauced up then.
B: And Alcatraz.
L: That was work related.
B: Oh. (incredulous) That was work.
(Ben crosses behind Lydia as she’s laughing)
B. I thought about your offer.
L: The $125,000?
B: Yeah, it doesn’t really work for me.
L: I could knock it down to 75 if you’d like.
B: How about a million. See, here’s the thing. Karl was so peeved about that settlement that I failed to bring him that I started to wonder: who did tell him about it? Do you know?
L: Search me.
B: It’s perplexing, isn’t it? Because whoever did would have communicated with my client without me being there — which is an even bigger ethics violation than failing to mention a settlement agreement in the first place.
L: (says nothing)
B: You spoke to my client without me being there. The bar association will be so crushed. See, it’s not fair that you’re the only one who gets to be satisfied here, Lydia. Do you know what I mean?
L: Alcatraz.
B: Exactly. (Pause) So. Bring me a cashier’s check for a million dollars by the end of the day and I’ll see if he’ll bite.
L: You’re bluffing. And I should have left you handcuffed to that cell.
B: Is that a yes or a no?
L: (turns and leaves)

They know each other well enough to have secret metaphors that are never explained, but you can almost read between the lines.

: The Show Killer. Me.

Here are some series I have loved in Season 1 or 2 that have died an early death, in approximate reverse order. These are all series where I became a fan within the first two seasons in real time and was religious about not missing an episode.
Fairly Legal
Terra Nova
Stargate Universe
The Agency (CIA show with Jason O’Mara and Paige Turco), brilliant in Season 2, never on DVD. 🙁
The Lone Gunman
Cleopatra 2525
Space: Above and Beyond
oh, and Twin Peaks
Notice anything about the show longevity?

: My Favorite Show Was Canceled

Sorry to see you go, Fairly Legal.
There’s really only been two shows I’ve fully bonded with in the last few years: that one and FlashForward, but they appealed to me in completely different ways.
I’ll write about that later.

: Going for Memorable

Kate showed me this video of an an audition.
Not just any audition. One where a comedian with a character as a geek gamer crashes a music video dance audition and acts like a goofball (and specifically asks for a rules exception). Despite no formal dance training (but impressive dance skill despite that), he gets the gig.
It’s about rules, about expertise, about genius, about knowing when to throw away something perfectly usable and go for memorable instead.
There are a lot of solid, good dancers in the audition. No question. One comment, though. When people ask what reading slush is like, I point to the guy who does a solo right before Keith at around 47 seconds in. Imperfect execution, some solid grasp of concepts, but not able to stand out from the crowd.
For both of these, may be NSFW due to adult themes, but worth watching when you can.


And the resulting video, clearly re-written to take advantage of their new dancer…..


: When Airships Tweet

I love some of the rhetorical perspectives on Twitter, especially parody people and pets, but I’m kind of new to forces of nature and inanimate objects tweeting.
So imagine my joy the other day when I saw our very own @AirshipEureka blipping about the neighborhood. She’s sporting a new side (to me) with a twitter hashtag: #ZeppMe.
Being the person I am, I leaned out of the car, snapped a photo with my iPhone, edited it in Snapseed, uploaded it with the right hashtag and got a reply. From an airship. I mean, how cool is that?

: Two Conversations

From Fairly Legal, Season 1, episode “Coming Home”, a key conversation between Justin and Kate. From this, it’s fairly obvious that Justin filed for divorce and that Kate didn’t want to split up.
K: (Knocks on Justin’s door) Hey, I tried calling you, you didn’t answer your phone.
J: That’s because I didn’t want to talk to anybody.
K: I’m really sorry I betrayed your confidence.
J: So you just apologize and everything’s all right?
K: Justin, it’s me we’re talking about.
J: You’re unbelievable, you know that?
K: Aww, Justin. I’m sorry. But don’t hold this over my head just to get even.
J: This isn’t about getting even. This isn’t about Paul Hainsley and you know it.
K: All right, fine. I admit it. I’ve been avoiding signing the divorce papers. It’s…. I really like things the way they are.
J: What we have is not a marriage, Kate.
K: I know, and isn’t that great?
J: How is that great?
K: Well, when we were married married, we never had any time for each other, right? And that created pressure.
J: Which I was willing to work through; you weren’t.
K: It’s everything I loved about the relationship without actually having to be in the relationship.
J: So it’s all the fun without the work, right?
K: Yeah, so what’s wrong with that?
J: Where do I start?
(they kiss)
J: Stop.
K: What’s wrong?
J: This is what we always do.
K: Yeah, there’s good reasons why we should.
J: No, and then it just goes back to the way it was before and nothing changes, and I don’t want to do this any more, Kate. I can’t.
K: Sure you can.
J: No. I can’t. What if you were mediating this relationship? What would you say? Ignore the problem. Let’s go to bed. Nah. You’d say fix it, right?
K: Maybe.
J: Yeah. I love you, Kate. But what we have is broken. We can’t keep pretending that it’s not.
K: Justin.
J: (backs away) I’m sorry.
And the opening scene from season 2’s first episode, Satisfaction, where Kate and Ben meet. It essentially is a plot map for much of season 2.
K: (plays with rim of glass)
B: Plymouth and tonic.
K; Check, please.
B: Do you always come in the door leaving?
K: Umm, it is Not My Scene.
B: But, here you are, so you were either born on that bar stool or you came in here disguised as a woman who wants attention.
K: And you’re wearing a $3000 suit with a pocket square.
B: I believe my motives are clear.
K: Sorry. It has been a while since anyone’s offered to buy me a drink.
B: Really? Did the world go blind?
K: (Laughs) I’m married. Was married. Now I’m not. Anyway, the ex is on his way to sign the (waves hand) whatever, but it looks like he has blown me off.
B: Well, it’s just as well, or he would have changed his mind.
K: (Laughs) Nice try. Maybe it’ll feel normal some day.
B: Do you believe in fate?
K: Wow, was that a line?
B: It’s a question. Takes the edge off picking up strangers in bars.
K: I’m 29. I’m, uh, nearly divorced, recently orphaned, more recently out of a job. My life is kind of at this unexpected turning point, so yeah. I do believe in fate. And I believe she is a fickle, fickle bitch. [nice recap for people who didn’t watch Season 1]
B: You seem broken.
K: (laughs)
B: I like that.
K: And you’re a fixer.
B: No.
K: Yeah.
B: No, I tend to make things much worse, and then I disappear.
K: Well, at least you’re decent enough to be honest about it, you don’t see that much.
B: Oh, you must be a lawyer.
K: (lying) Schoolteacher.
B: Right. You’re a schoolteacher and I’m a decent guy, so (raises glass) cheers to honesty.
K: Hey, cheers. Yeah. (laughs) And good night. (gets up, starts leaving)
B: Is truth the way to your heart?
K: (turns)
B: Withdrawn, counselor, I misspoke. We have not yet established that you have a heart.
K: The way to my heart would be to do everything and to say nothing. No negotiation, no foreplay, no strategy. Just be who you are and take me.
B: (stares)
K: (whispers) Too late.
B: (stares after her as she leaves)

: Mediating Cats and Dogs

Love this opening dream sequence from the upcoming Fairly Legal episode “Borderline”:

“They’re smart enough not to chase cars.”

: Read So Hard, Got Paper Cuts

It’s possible you haven’t seen this fine bit of rap from Annabelle Quezada, La Shea Delaney and company.


Lyrics are here and a note about author choice is here.

: A Moment of Luggage Comedy

The day I went to Cleveland, I decided to take public transit to the airport. I got on Caltrain and sat at the back of a car, which has a ramp leading up a few inches between cars.

I fumbled as I got up at the Millbrae stop after I set down my luggage (which had been on my lap), giving my Tumi Vapor a nice ramp to ride on. It got some nice momentum and whooshed down the aisle, perfectly centered.

Worse, it was aimed directly at a woman waiting to get off the train. Oh no!

I was mortified. I was also laughing.

Fortunately, it came to a stop right as it got to the woman, and she was very graceful about my abject and embarrassed apologies.

Pretty much everyone on the train had a good chuckle over it.

Unintentional luggage acceleration is one of the potential downsides of four-wheel luggage, but in this case, it all turned out all right.

: Signs You Travel Too Much

Funny items from this long thread on flyertalk:
When you are brought in by immigration because you have more entries and exits into that country than anyone else, native or foreigner, for seven of the last 8 years and you are not from that country.
You schedule an extra 2 hour layover to sign and have your final divorce and QDRO (qualified domestic relations order, relating to a divorce) notarized at the airport.
I had a (hopeful) FA once ask me if I was stalking him since I’d been on every single flight he’d been working for 2 weeks. But that’s a while ago now.
When you write your FF number on your bank deposit instead of your account number.
I was in Kyrgyzstan last week and called a colleague in the states for an upcoming trip. His wife says he is not at home. I walk into a cafe, and the person I called is having breakfast in the cafe.
When you run out of room on the arrival form for countries visited in the past month.
When you go to the wrong airport and the airline seems unconcerned and puts you on a flight home anyway.
When you have tickets for future travel on 183 flights for 276,000 flown miles.
“We don’t see ladies with the fat passport often.”
your wallet includes public transport tickets from cities on three different continents which get used up before they expire.
you stop changing foreign currencies back because you’ll need that money in two weeks anyway.
When you return to your office after a bathroom break and the first thing you do when you sit in your chair is reach for the seatbelt.
Your dog still barks at you when you come home. (we’ve had him for 3 months)
When you have to call home to find out what city you’re in, and what hotel you’re staying at (happened to my cousin on a 5-country trip to Europe – he went out to buy aspirin, and didn’t remember what hotel he was staying at. His daughter the other side of the world had his itinerary!)
When the crew on the flight home from Hong Kong recognize you from last week’s flight home from India (happened to me a couple of years ago …)
when the check in agent is surprised you only have 4 boarding passes this time
When you go to your closet looking for your blue blazer only to realize “Oh yeah, I left that in Germany with a colleague for next time”.
No biggie, you reach for your OTHER blue blazer only to find that it’s in Japan on a similar mission.
My daughter keeps a homeless shelter well-stocked with shampoo and soap and other stuff by donating the toiletries courtesy of my hotel stays/overnight flights.
I went 15 months from September 2006 to November 2007 where the longest consecutive period I spent in any single country was 6 days. I’ve sworn never to do that ever again – it truly wears you down in both body and spirit.
when the immigration clerk asks you where you were last week because you were on vacation and didn’t fly your regular route
when the pilot calls you to tell you that your plane will be delayed
My husband travels so much that our 4 year old son thinks that daddy actually lives somewhere else, and just comes to visit at random.
Talking to loved ones while on a layover and not able to answer the question, so where are you?
Two minutes later you pass by the Elvis store, and can finally answer, MEM.
1) Your wallet contains more foreign currency than domestic.
2) Your FF cards (mile collecting credit cards, status cards) outnumber every other type of card you carry.
3) You have various different sized suitcases in your living room, all half packed.
4) Your fridge contents consist of condiments and expired milk.
5) Your liquor cabinet is fully stocked with duty free liquor.
6) You have two complete sets of toiletries, one of which is all under 100ml and already packed into a kippie bag.
7) You have to ask the flight attendant where you are when you land.
8) You plan your vacations based around which countries you haven’t been to yet.
9) The first one to notice your new haircut is the security agent at your home airport.
I’ve gone to Caracas for lunch because I hadn’t flown Aeropostal before.
you answer the home phone in another language
I was asked the other day by a lounge agent how my recent overseas trip went. Me – “Which one, you’ll need to be more specific.” Agent – “it was last week”. Me – “Again, you’ll need to be more specific.” I’d had 4 overseas round trips the week in question.
When immigration staff at several airports say “Oh it’s you – I heard about you”
When you have a home in one country, an apartment in another, a suitcase left with a hotel in a third, staying in a fourth, and visiting a fifth for the day.
When you are going through immigration in a country that you passed through on the same day one year before, and the immigration officer asks you why you are here as you have already been through immigration… then notices the year on your old stamp.
When you have (just checked) prepaid SIM cards for 8 countries, currencies for 11, driver’s licenses for 2 and a number of prepaid phone cards and transport passes.
Actually happened tonight:
Partner: How ’bout a drink before turning in?
Voop (distracted by some nagging email): Uhmm, the mini-bar is overpriced, I think I have a bottle of something I picked up from duty-free….
Partner: “Mini-bar”? Honey, you’re at home, and I don’t charge….not for the mini-bar either….
In my defense, I wasn’t all wrong, the home-bar is stocked exclusively with duty-free…..
I was running on a treadmill with a built-in TV this morning, and briefly wondered how to get the AirMap to show.
You get an email survey from your airline asking questions about your recent flight from XXX to XXX. You think which week?
When the pilots called to ask if I wanted to join them for dinner on a layover but I had another trip lined up….
On a recent trip, at an airport that doesn’t support transits, transit passengers are supposed to be met by an airline agent at the gate. The agent for my airline didn’t turn up and had to be called when I arrived at immigration. His reason? He thought there must have been an error in the passenger info sheet – no one could possibly be travelling Vienna to Zurich via Riyadh.
“You have to take a passport to give blood.”
It took me over an hour to do the screening part of giving blood last time I tried and they had to call their head office to see if the time I spent in the Middle East was a disqualifying event even though I had told them it wasn’t.
Over the past year I have spent so much time at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur that I have many of the hotel staff in my Facebook friends list….I guess that is a sign that you have stayed there too much 😉
My doctor is in Prague, my dentist in Dubai, my tax guy in Serbia.
the classic one that always gets me is waking up and not knowing the country, time zone, why I’m there, etc. And yes, it sometimes happens at home.
Worse still, when you can recite airline and airport announcements in a language you can’t even speak.
Attentie, alstublieft, voor een gatewijziging!
When you accidentally use the term “going home” to describe getting onto a British Airways aeroplane to go somewhere you’ve never been before.
I went through a phase a few years ago when I was on at least four, sometimes six BA flights a week. This went on for about six months, then it reduced to two or three flights a week. A began to recognise certain FAs and there were two or three captains who I always seemed to end up with. At some point I took three weeks off to spend time with the family. When I got back home there was a nice letter from BA asking if I was alright and hoping that I remained happy with their service. The letter said that they had hoped I would be travelling again soon and gave me 50,000 BA miles for the hell of it.
You ask your children via Skype what they want to do this weekend while your home. They respond with a mileage run. You cry on the inside because you have taught them well.
When not traveling, riding with the wife, she drove me the airport before realizing she’s supposed to drop me office at the office, more than once.
You actually have a frequent stay card at the Ice Hotel in Reykjavik

: Open the Pod Bay Doors

Jason: “Open the pod bay doors.”
Siri on iPhone 4S: “We intelligent agents will never live that down, apparently.”

: They Fight Crime!

He’s a lounge-singing chivalrous cowboy who believes he can never love again. She’s a mistrustful green-skinned mechanic with a flame-thrower. They fight crime!

: Things to Do When You're Sick, Part 104

What do you do when you’ve got a sore throat, can’t sleep, and silly pictures of cats send you into coughing fits?

Make some cat macros of your own, perhaps.

: Ahh, April Fool's

Possibly the best April Fool’s day gadget I’ve seen in years can be found here. You don’t even have to be a tool geek to think it’s funny, but if the humo(u)r strikes you as overly dry, just skip to the disclaimers.