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from inside the Tube
8th-Jun-2015 01:41 pm - five down
Serge 2012
Five Hugo novel nominees down.
I am now *done* with this year's Hugos.
3rd-Jun-2015 10:21 pm - four down
Serge 2012
Four Hugo novel nominees down.
One Hugo novel nominee to go.
30th-May-2015 06:55 pm - three down
Serge 2012
Three Hugo novel nominees down.
Two Hugo novel nominees to go.
29th-May-2015 12:44 pm - a bunch of putzes
Serge 2012
This morning, one of the higher-ups that infest... I mean... that *manage* our team got around to telling me they're deploying a major change to our system in September. I diplomatically pointed out that, a few days right after that, we are obligated to participate in a department-wide exercise testing the backup environments of all teams. A few minutes ago, I attended a meeting where I brought this up again, still diplomatically, but with some slight snark in it, and pointed out that it might be imprudent to switch to our backup environment before we've fully exercised the modified system in its real-world environment. You may be asking yourself why my higher-ups would schedule a deployment so close to a backup exercise the date of which I had warned them about in early May. The answer? I was tempted to ask if they ever read my emails, even the ones marked 'important'. I wisely refrained. The upshot? I now have to ask for an exception so that we can delay our backup exercise and run it standalone. You can bet that I'll make it clear to the exception-granter that I work for a bunch of putzes.
28th-May-2015 10:24 pm - two down
Serge 2012
Two Hugo novel nominees down.
Three Hugo novel nominees to go.
27th-May-2015 10:52 pm - one down
Serge 2012
One Hugo novel nominee down.
Four Hugo novel nominees to go.
27th-May-2015 12:41 pm - one battle if not the war
Serge 2012
I don't know about you, but, disappointing as some of Marvel's tv/movie offerings have been, I do get a thrill when their logo comes up and rapidly flips thru their comic-book art. I started reading them when they were considered garbage, and you were mocked by adults and by other kids if you were caught reading and enjoying them. I don't believe misfits have won the war. Misfits remain misfits, but, DAMNED if it isn't nice that we've won one battle.
25th-May-2015 12:32 pm - a nap somewhere in there
Serge 2012
There was quite a bit of foul matter in the garage.
("TMI, Serge!")
No, not *that* kind of foulness. I'm talking about the manuscripts and page proofs that publishers used to send back to authors before everything went electronic, and Sue accumulated quite a bit in the 21 years since her first novel was published. There was enough to fill up our large recycling bin. That being said, the disposal of the matters was the climax of the four hours I spent in the garage this morning, making more room out of less room. deciding what would go to the dump, what would go to Goodwill, then rearranging the keeper stuff in the liberated floor space and shelves. I think I'll now spend the rest of the afternoon on the couch, relaxing by watching the latest episode of "Game of Thrones", then reading the Hugo's novel nominees. There will probably be a nap somewhere in there.
24th-May-2015 07:17 pm - all but the novels
Serge 2012
I've recorded my votes for all Hugo categories but the novels.
24th-May-2015 05:38 pm - this year and other years
Serge 2012
This year - and it's also happened in years that were not tainted by Pupae - I often felt that novellas could have been novelettes without harming the story, and that novelettes could have been short stories also without harming the story,
24th-May-2015 02:57 pm - Hugo voting - the beginning
Serge 2012
I've begun my Hugo voting for the novella, novelette and short-story categories. No, I haven't read all the tales in those categories. Yes, doing so means that I am conceding victory to the Rabid Pupa, but no matter which course of action we take, he will claim victory so I figured I might as well give away the victory that involves the least wasting of my life's reading time. Based on the reviews by others braver and more patient than I, it would definitely be a waste of my life.

I'll now move on to the other categories, with the novels to be last.
23rd-May-2015 07:43 am - "Far from the Madding Crowd"
Serge 2012
It's been 34 years since I first and last saw the original adaptation of "Far from the Madding Crowd", but I seem to remember that Baldwood's obsession with Bathsheba took up more of the story than this year's movie did, at the expense of Gabriel. Probably because Peter Finch was a Big Name while Alan Bates wasn't. And Julie Christie's Bathsheba was rather flighty, especially when she pulled that cruel jest on Baldwood. Or is all of that in Hardy's novel? Overall I guess I prefer the modern version.
21st-May-2015 09:04 pm - Hugo's novelettes
Serge 2012
Reading the Hugo's novelette category...

I've read my first nominee from beginning to end. The central idea was interesting, but it could have been used in a much better manner.

About 20 pages into my second nominee in the Hugo's novelette category, I started skimming. A bit after that. I thought that maybe I was the problem, but I went to see what someone else had already written about this story. It confirmed that it's not my imagination that the story is incomprehensible if I'm not already familiar with the setting. I decided to stop reading it.

Onward to the next tales.
20th-May-2015 08:39 pm - Hugo, I go
Serge 2012
Today I started reading the Hugo nominees.

The first nominee is a short story. Not bad, but sketchy and unfocused. It feels like the second draft of what needed two or three more drafts.

The second nominee is also a short story and, within the first five pages, I found myself drifting then skimming thru the whole thing.

This is not promising.

The third nominee in that category turned out to be good in spite of the resolution coming out of left field.

That leaves two nominees in that category. They were not in the voting packet, but they were originally released by the Rabid Pupa's own publishing house and like Hell if I'm going to give him any of my pennies.
17th-May-2015 04:48 pm - "Leviathan"
Serge 2012
"So, how is the great hero?"
"I've been better," Geary said. "Sometimes it seems that people start fires just because they know I'll come running to put them out."
From John Hemry(Jack Campbell's novel "Leviathan"
17th-May-2015 03:41 pm - downloading then maybe uploading
Serge 2012
I've downloaded to my laptop the contents of three of my LiveJournal picture galleries, after which I deleted the galleries. Eventually, I'll do this for all of my galleries until my LiveJournal page can go back to being the free barebone account. I'll probably upload my "steampunk and Hollywood" pic gallery elsewhere. Not sure where.
12th-May-2015 11:21 am - eventually
Serge 2012
My boss just thanked me for my planning and management of last week's exercise proving that our backup environment is functional. Mind you, she didn't put it in writing, and she said over the phone, without any witness.
11th-May-2015 11:16 am - I had been warned
Serge 2012
"Don't touch anything, OK?"
"I wouldn't touch that if I were you."

The first 30 minutes were quite good, but it all went downhill when they decided to take their helmets off once they decided that the atmosphere inside the alien ship was breathable. That scene made me think of Flexi Jerkoff landing on planet Porno then stepping outside his ship to take a deep breath and make sure there was an atmosphere. Yes, I just finished watching Ridley Scott's "Prometheus", the story of the stupidest scientific explorers ever.
11th-May-2015 06:34 am - "Age of Ultron"
Serge 2012
I saw "Age of Ultron" last night.

Damn, is it a crowded movie or is it a crowded movie. Then again, that's my problem with those 'group' stories where each character already has an existence elsewhere, but, when they all come together, they are diminished as individual characters and instead become parts of a plot. And it gets worse when the decision is made to add more parts to the mix. Also, while the Marvel Movie Continuity is an interesting project, I don't think it works for anybody who's not familiar with the other stories. Who is Nick Fury? What is SHIELD? What is Hydra? What is this alien invasion they refer to? It's one thing to have tales interconnected, but we're not told *how* they're connected. Mind you, there's little time for that when there's all that sound and fury taking up so much of that time.

At least there's Paul Bettany.

ADDENDUM... I prefer stories of group that exist for organic reasons, like the X-men, who become a family because there are people out there who want to kill them, or like the Fantastic Four, who literally are a family. I prefer tales where a character becomes greater for being in a group, not less.
8th-May-2015 11:48 am - carry on carrion
Serge 2012
It's always amusing when, no matter how thoroughly you document the system, and no matter that you tell people where on the intranet you stored things, someone still asks you if you store the documentation on the intranet. If I ever get run over by a bus, I'll die making it easier for them to carry on while also gloating that they'll still be unable to do so even after I've become carrion. :-)
6th-May-2015 10:57 am - at last
Serge 2012
Diagram diary... My boss finally passed on someone else's praise for how my job-flow diagram helped. She didn't say it in writing, but I've written that down in my list of accomplishments for 2015. Yay.
6th-May-2015 07:53 am - my BIG and SUCCESSFUL project
Serge 2012
I just did a bit of tub-thumping to my boss and to my boss's boss about the status of my BIG and SUCCESSFUL project that's important to team's good standing. Go me.
5th-May-2015 01:07 pm - the dimmed shining
Serge 2012
I won't be going to tomorrow's showing of "Big Trouble in Little China". Let's say that I had to leave my cubicle and go to the men's room to swear at my employer without the whole floor being able to hear me.

The worst part was having my boss's boss say that the project's scope was far beyond what we needed, to prove the functionality of our backup environment. Mind you, I *had* explained the scope long ago, and participants *had* signed off. After spending consecutive 20-hour days thru the weekend and beyond, I am bit unhappy after what was my chance to shine.
4th-May-2015 02:21 pm - fatigued
Serge 2012
The weekend's validation of our backup servers left me so exhausted that, if I lie on the couch to read a book, I'll fall instantly asleep, even if Jo Raquel Tejada as she was in 1966's "Fantastic Voyage" were to show up, Mind you, would I be interested in reading if Jo Raquel Tejada as she was in 1966's "Fantastic Voyage" were to show up?
2nd-May-2015 06:41 am - the best at...
Serge 2012
"I'm the best there is at what I do."

I'd be tempted to refer to myself by quoting the "Wolverine" prequel, except for one slight problem. The line is from the comic-books, where it makes sense. In the movies though, what Wolverine did was to be a punching bag for Sabertooth, Magneto (older), Mystique (older), a local cop's bullet to the head, Deathstrike, the Juggernaut, Jean Grey, Creed, Magneto (younger) and Mystique (younger). True, we both look good with our shirts off.
I heard that.
2nd-May-2015 05:47 am - I hunted the mammoth
Serge 2012
"I don't sleep. I hate those little slices of death."

So said evil Count Saknussem in 1959's "Journey to the Center of the Earth". As for myself, I have been managing the validation of our backup servers' functionality since yesterday and I had a bit less than 4 hours of sleep - partly because, in spite of my going to bed 30 minutes after midnight, my beasty boys still needed to answer Nature's Call at 4:20am. It's a good thing I can function with little sleep, a trait that served me well when I used to hunt the mammoth.
29th-Apr-2015 02:04 pm - bad habits
Serge 2012
I have bad habits that may explain why I'm not a manager or a coordinator or other words with a similar meaning. One bad habit is that I tell people not to hesitate to ask questions because I might have overlooked something crucial. Another bad habit is that I thank people when they find something crucial that I did overlook.
28th-Apr-2015 10:54 am - assumptions
Serge 2012
I think I'm finally figuring out how to get people to respond to important requests: end your latest email with saying that silence is assumed to mean there is no issue, and the hope that this is a correct assumption - oh, and include the boss in the CC: mailing list.
28th-Apr-2015 06:53 am - high at the low end
Serge 2012
I went for my yearly medical checkup yesterday at noon, and got the blood work's results in the evening, online thanks to modern technology. Cholesterol is in the borderline-high zone, but at the low end. Also, no sign of cancer. Those few marks on my tummy and on my manly chest are age spots.
26th-Apr-2015 11:13 am - "Lapidary Night"
Serge 2012
"Hawkins paid for perfection only: the unblemished beryl rose, the symmetrical ruby anemone, the pure silver tracery of veins through an emerald leaf. Or insects: moths, spiders, butterflies, so delicate that too often they shattered in the collecting."

I'm currently reading Marta Randall's book "Collected Stories" and the above is from her tale "Lapidary Nights", about a planet where, on some nights, some of life gets turned into precious stone. Recommended.
23rd-Apr-2015 09:28 am - drinking another kind of tea
Serge 2012
If you volunteer to read and later review the ARC of a story collection for your local SF club’s newsletter and, after 107 pages out of 381, you still feel that this writer is not your cup of tea in spite of all the critical acclaim of his overall oeuvre, it might be better to give the ARC back to the club and move on to something else.
22nd-Apr-2015 12:16 pm - off the stage
Serge 2012
"I wanted to see stories about how Earth people feel now that the sky literally opened up. I wanted to see stories where Coulson's attitude toward superpowered folks was shown to be really rotten, and how it made them into a threat because he kept drawing the attention of the bad guys to their existence."

So I said in response to someone's post about how disappointing "Agents of SHIELD" has been. Really, when you think about it, the only people who seem to have had their lives affected by an alien invasion are with SHIELD or with HYDRA. It's all contained inside one bubble while the rest of us are off the stage and go on as if we had not been told the hard way that We Are Not Alone. Yes, for most people, it wouldn't make a difference, and *I* would still be concerned with making my mortgage's monthly payment, but there are no real indications even in any every-day conversations.
21st-Apr-2015 11:53 am - how to be heard... John Hurd
Serge 2012
On March 19, I told the folks in charge of replacing the servers of one of our subsystems that they were planning to install the wrong version of our job scheduler's software, then I explained which version they should use and why. Guess what they wound up doing?
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