Archive for November, 2005

Who Writes These Headlines, Anyway?

November 29, 2005

This morning’s Yahoo! news headlines, from the front page:

Discuss among yourselves. I have work to do.



November 26, 2005

Some of you (those with too much time on your hands) may have wondered about the light bloggage around here lately.

I did not announce it ahead of time, but I decided it was high time I got off my dead rear end and wrote the book I’ve been threatening to write for years.

No, really. I am participating in National Novel Writing Month and today, just now, I hit my goal of 50,000 words, so I am officially a “winner.” Here’s the proof, screen-captured from my user profile on the NaNoWriMo website:

What do I get for doing this? Nothing much… only the satisfaction of a completed rough draft of a novel, and a nifty little certificate (which I have to download and print out myself) that says I completed the challenge.

In truth, I have written slightly over 50,000 words, and it’s definitely a rough draft… but the story is not done, so my new goal is to finish the story before the end of the month.

And it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Do the math. You only have to write an average of 1667 words a day to make 50,000 in 30 days. I’ve met some cool people (several other locals are doing it too) and two others have already “won,” with a couple of others hot on the trail.

So, if you’ve ever wanted to write a book… consider doing NaNoWriMo next year. It’s a blast! And it works!

How Stupid Do They Think I Am?

November 20, 2005

The latest phishing e-mail in my spam folder contains multiple misspellings and improper word choices. Just a few examples:

account needs ipmortant upgrade, fulfil the requirements

If this is not completed till Nov 20, 2005, we will be forced to suspend your account

We thank you for your cooperation in this manner

If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to temporary suspend your account

The alleged bank in question is Armed Forces Bank.

I am not a member of the Armed Forces, nor do I have an account at their bank, but I sincerely hope our service members are much too smart to fall for this scam. But the sad thing is… there ARE people out there stupid enough to fall for it, because if the scam weren’t making them money, the scammers wouldn’t be doing it. Sigh.

I Actually Took A Course Once…

November 16, 2005

… but never had to use it in the business world. Thank heaven. Even back in ancient times, when I had my first jobs, we were using electronic dictating equipment. Of a sort.

It 's comforting to say that 'practice makes perfect'....
You are ‘Gregg shorthand’. Originally designed to enable people to write faster, it is also very useful for writing things which one does not want other people to read, inasmuch as almost no one knows shorthand any more.

You know how important it is to do things efficiently and on time. You also value your privacy, and (unlike some people) you do not pretend to be friends with just everyone; that would be ridiculous. When you do make friends, you take them seriously, and faithfully keep what they confide in you to yourself. Unfortunately, the work which you do (which is very important, of course) sometimes keeps you away from social activities, and you are often lonely. Your problem is that Gregg shorthand has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
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(Hat tip: Ith)

How To Get Another Date

November 12, 2005

The setting: A coffee shop where artists, poets, writers and wannabes hang out.

The players: A young woman who works full time as a newspaper reporter. News is king. News rules her life.

A young man who spoke with her one evening, and has been haunting the shop ever since hoping to see her again. (Want to see something sad? Watch a young man hanging out in a coffee shop, occasionally making the rounds through the rooms, ever hopeful, but always disappointed. It’s really sad. Trust me. I felt sorry for the guy.)

The scene: Young woman and some of her writer friends appear at the coffee shop, where young man waits in anticipation. At last! She is here! Young man joins group of young woman’s friends, and conversation ensues.

“I haven’t been back because I was up until 2 a.m. covering the election Tuesday night,” young woman remarks.

“There was an election?”

Young woman picks up notebook and bashes self on forehead several times. Young woman’s group of friends groan in unison.

Way to impress your date, dude.

Stay tuned for further developments.

Quizzes Can Be Fun!

November 9, 2005

Via Ith:

You scored as William Wallace. The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior’s heart, tactician’s mind, and poet’s soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need.

William Wallace


Batman, the Dark Knight


James Bond, Agent 007




The Amazing Spider-Man


Neo, the "One"


Captain Jack Sparrow


Indiana Jones


The Terminator


El Zorro


Lara Croft


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Funny… I don’t look anything like Mel Gibson. Or Yoda, for that matter….

CrankyBeach Faw Down Go Boom :(

November 9, 2005

The idiot who owns this building has allowed a potentially unsafe condition to exist in the parking lot for as long as I can remember.

There is a private section of the lot that requires a gate key card to get into. We rent parking spaces in that lot for big money. The configuration is such that there is no real safe, unobstructed way to get out of the gated lot on foot, i.e. to get from your car to your office. Either you have to tromp through sections of landscaping surrounded by concrete curbs, or eel you way around one end or the other of the exit gate bar, having to step up onto a curb either way. (The bar extends too far across the opening to allow one to simply walk past it without having to step into the landscaping.) If we had an employee (or worse yet, if there was a tenant) in a wheelchair, they would not be able to get to their office from the staff parking lot.

It’s raining this morning, so everything is slippery. I went to make my way around the end of the gate, stepped up onto the curb, my foot slipped on a wet leaf, and I went arse-over-teakettle right into the ivy. I tweaked my back pretty good, and I’m seriously thinking about taking a half sick day and going home to take drugs and lie down.

I ought to sue the moron. This is clearly an unsafe condition. Hopefully, my tweaked back will stop hurting and I won’t have any permanent or chronic conditions from this. But even if I did, I simply don’t have time to mess around with a lawsuit.

So the moron gets off easy. How sad.

12 Days Late, Many Dollars Short

November 8, 2005

A Yahoo! news headline:

State of Emergency Declared in France

PARIS – President Jacques Chirac declared a state of emergency Tuesday, paving the way for curfews to be imposed on riot-hit cities and towns in an extraordinary measure to halt France’s worst civil unrest in decades after 12 nights of violence. Police, meanwhile, said overnight unrest Monday-Tuesday, while still widespread and destructive, was not as violent as previous nights.

Feel free to jump in and tear this apart. I have work to do.

What Doctors Really Think

November 7, 2005

A general practitioner of my casual acquaintance was talking about how when she was doing her residency, several doctors had specialty-appropriate names. Dr. Cutter was the surgeon, Dr. Goodnight was the oncologist, and so forth.

Since the doc I was talking to happens to be Dr. Foote, I asked her how on earth she escaped being a podiatrist. “And look at toe-jam all day long? Eeeeeewwww!”

So just remember, next time you go to the doctor… that poker face they have is probably masking their natural inclination to go “Eeeewwwww!”


November 2, 2005

Last quiz I took, I was Simon Tam. Now I’m the Captain. Go figure.


Which Firefly (or Serenity) Character Are You?
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