Sunday, December 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo

Another annual "NaNoWriMo" ... National Novel Writing Month ... is history and, as usual, about 567,900 out of 593,420 will have failed in their mission.

To create a loosely defined 50,000-word novel within 30 days.

Most will fail for a couple of reasons:

1. They're too young to have experienced enough life to actually tell a novel-sized story. A lot of the participants are encouraged to take part because teachers generally believe that writing is good, no matter what the outcome.

2. Most of them haven't a real good idea on what constitutes a plot, a storyline, voice, the assimilation of characters to one's real life and . . . pace, point of view, a story worth telling and a reason for it to be told.

It's quite a mission and the teachers who think their students can learn this by participating are the same sort of people who believe that one can play baseball by buying a ticket to a Reds game.

NaNoWriMo has plenty of detractors as well as more than 567,000 supporters. I suppose I'm in the middle of that, leaning toward the supporter side. I also agree writing can be therapeutic even if it has no purpose. It cleanses the mind and helps organize a thought process.

But it will NEVER make you an author. Some people just can't command the language well enough to write a story. They don't pay attention to how people talk, how they react and the type of communication that occurs in life.

Life isn't like a Rocky movie. We tend to sit around a lot, wait for stop lights, wait to be next in line at the market, wait for the paint to dry.

Writers who aren't honed in the craft can't easily manage that sort of tedium. They get in a rush to finish and run out of steam about 22,000 words shy of the 50K goal. They hit the wall. The wall is real. Teachers who send their students willy-nilly into the process probably never hit that wall because they never attacked it.

I have attacked it and I've climbed it. I've also hit it like an egg being thrown from a passing car.

So what's the point? There isn't one, really.

Print publishers deride the NaNo experience as absurd rubbish. Those same publishers also work with four projects a year from people who have 10 books behind them. They're mostly too damned lazy or arrogant to admit that some other people can write.

NaNo doesn't support optimism there but it's still worth the effort.

A 50K "novel" is not a novel and nobody ever accused it of being a novel. Most of these writers do fan-fic stories that are ripoffs of the original movie or TV plot. They imbed themselves in the story and let their lives wander.

And so it should be. NaNoWriMo isn't evil. It's a good idea and it's a good excuse to write.

There really should be no better reason.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Milkomeda Galaxy

A noted scientist notes:

"The Andromeda galaxy is heading straight in our direction. The galaxies will collide, and they will merge together to form one new galaxy."

And so comes the first report that the Milky Way is toast and jam.

I can't be sure when this is scheduled to occur, though it may already be happening. Other issues at Fox News will keep the pundits from noticing. I'm sure some fag Democratic socialist commie pinko dog will be responsible.

Blame this shit on Obama.

In any case, Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, fills us in:

"We do know of other galaxies in the local universe around us that are in the process of colliding and merging," he said. "However, what makes the future merger of the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way so special is that it will happen to us."

Yeah, dude ... that would tend to make it a little more special than just the average collision of two stranger galaxies.

Future merger, eh? Does Wall Street have a fix on this? Too big to fail, I reckon.

Blame this shit on Obama.

Scientists have a way of really overstating this stuff.

"The Milky Way has had, probably, quite a lot of small, minor mergers," said Rosemary Wyse of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who was not affiliated with the new study. "But this major merger will be unprecedented."

Unprecedented, eh?

In that case, a big round of applause for Fox News. Actually, this report comes from Space.com, which is vastly more reliable than Fox.

This merger of the Milky and the Omeda ... is scheduled sometime in the next 3 billion years. I doubt Obama will be president then.

But what we DO know is that "the collision will change our night sky dramatically. If any humans are still around 3.75 billion years from now, they'll see Andromeda fill their field of view as it sidles up next to our own Milky Way. For the next few billion years after that, stargazers will be spellbound by the merger, which will trigger intense bouts of star formation."

Vote Romney if you don't want this shit to happen.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

When smut looks like facts

Time decided to show a kid sucking on his mom's boob.

Newsweek says President Obama is gay.

I'm waiting around to see if we can get Albert Pujols to butt-fuck a pig.

In the middle of all this, writers or alleged experts in the fields of science, politics, social engineering ... whatever ... all seem to think their opinions are important enough to grace the pages of the nation's leading weekly news magazines.

Which aren't news magazines at all now, just dinosaurs looking for a reason to exist.

Tits and ass won't quite work yet, since that's Playboy or Hustler, and those mags have already gone the way of giantjugs-dot-com.

So whatever it takes to sell print these days -- let's talk about breastfeeding. After all, we wouldn't want the Gestapo to come and take that right away from us, like they did during the Holocaust.

All of the world's social ills and crises are connected to the Holocaust, which trivializes the event to a sickening level, but it's important to keep the blather running just in case there are activists who ran out of things to whine about this week.

Damn, I hate when a half-bread Muslin president from some other country turns out to be a fag and doesn't tell us in advance.

I will be damned if I vote for the Nazis again.

Meanwhile, breastfeeding advocates are pissed because the 4-year-old boy at Mom's milk jug doesn't seem to be enjoying it all that much.

Kids these days ... don't know how good they have it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Facebook, a faux journal

I am incessantly amused at the nature of the social medium known as Facebook.

Most of us who use it tend to think of it as much more important than it really is. Some spend hours gleaning the Web looking for poignant little comments -- usually in the form of some kind of Photoshopped poster -- to click, send and share.

It is, after all, a concise message of what these people currently believe. It says it all. Kinda like the song, where the title is all that matters, or a line in a poem, or some cloaked comment by some famous person who had nothing else to say about it.

But that one little message says it all. Click "share" if you agree ... and send it to 23,000 other friends who also agree.

I am mostly amused at the faux moral outrage over things political, sexual, animal, mineral or racial.

You call say people are idiots for calling somebody a nigger. Ooooo ... the "n-word" can't be used to insult somebody, but it's OK to call them a idiots for using the term.

Folks, an insult is an insult. I know what the word "nigger" means. Please, don't pretend you are deathly ill or going to hell by pretending to call it the "n-word," because that's what we're supposed to say.

You are a fucking idiot if you think I don't know the difference.

And please, you dipshit moron, I don't think I need to worship people who joined the Army because they got schnookered by the recruiters.

Pay attention, you blithering dummies.

Creeps.

Redneck hillbillies.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quick, move to Denver

Back in the day (last century) when it became fashionable to promote some form of agenda in Washington, a group of experts would trot out some data and present it at a congressional hearing. The thrust was ... "by the year 2000 ...."

The thinking was, in the 1980s, that "the year 2000" was far enough in the future that speculation on life would be connected to "an estimated 5 million Americans will suffer from ...."

Once a week, "by the year 2000, we'll have (a.) no trees (b.) no fresh water or (c.) lots more people with an illness, poverty or too many kids."

Sadly for these experts, they all died without having to prove anything and, worse, 2000 came and went.

Now what's the "landmark" date for "by the year .... 2010?"

Been there, done that. Usually these milestone dates that Congress gets to ponder are in mathematical integers or 10, 15 or 25.

Now, we just skip over it and go straight to 2100. Wow, really?

Here's what's going to happen that year, the experts will tell us, knowing full well that if they are wrong, they'll just move the date up another 15 years.

AP, out of Washington:

By the year 2100 ... nearly 4 million people across the United States, from Los Angeles to much of the East Coast, live in homes more prone to flooding from rising seas fueled by global warming, according to a new method of looking at flood risk published in two scientific papers.

The cities that have the most people living within three feet of high tide — the projected sea level rise by the year 2100 made by many scientists and computer models — are in Florida, Louisiana, and New York.


The problem with this sort of research is that it's urging Congress to act in advance of something that might not happen but probably will. Exactly which fixes are to be made are unclear, other than if we don't fix it, we're screwed.
How do we know this?

Because ....

Sea level rise experts at the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration who weren't part of the studies said the results make sense and were done by experts in the field.

It's nice to know we have sea level rise experts who are pretty clear that if the water rises, people who live near it -- Florida, New York, Louisiana -- might need to move.

What made this a really exciting study was that previous studies just didn't think the Big Apple was in peril. Now, they say NYC is screwed -- in 2100, that is. Not before. I'd never have guessed Louisiana was at risk. Not in a billion years. Mississippi might be, though not until 2121.

Seems pretty easy to deal with this. The Rocky Mountains.

Go there.

Before 2100.

After that, all bets are off.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Old Mo ... fire away!

Back in my days as a sportswriter, I heard it all, ranging from the "we overcame a lot of adversity" to all the other inclusive aspects of team play, hard work and selfless dedication.

Not much has changed since the 1960s and with the addition of the know-it-alls in the ESPN studio, it's actually gotten worse. Pulling up to hoist a J or raking the glass or deviating in the paint ... all new ways of saying the same old thing. It just sounds "street smart" to have a little hip-hop in your tone.

I will watch another NCAA tournament this year with the standard references to dancing, mismatched seedings and overplaying the perimeter. The usual film clip will show 3-point shot after 3-point shot, followed by the coast-to-coast slam dunk, where the guy hangs on the rim.

Then we will cut away to the painted faces of the Duke cheerleaders, who will squeal and wave ... and the band will play the old "dun dun dun dun da da, doot doot doot -- go Big Blue!"

I am amused at how the game is played. Players tend to drive the lane, knowing there's four guys from the other team standing there. They will lose the ball, the other team will fast-break, hit the top of the key, spread and take the dish, loft the dagger and ...

On we go.

What always gets me is the need to gain momentum going into the locker room. How? You score the last basket before halftime. Hold for that last game-changing basket. (But make sure you have enough time to rebound in case you miss.)

I remember seeing a game once where the coach stood up and yelled, "One Shot!" to his minions, who complied, held the ball about a minute and launched a shot that went in. The team went into the locker room -- trailing 42-21.

But they had Old Mo on their side.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Phamlie Photos

I was going through a box of old pictures not long ago -- we are talking VERY old pictures (like the one on my profile) -- and one of the astonishing aspects of it was clear.

I don't know for sure who took the pictures.

There are lots of them of my brother and me from back when life was in black and white. There are few photos in the mix of my father or my mother or any of the people who were important to us when we were toddlers.

I mean ... almost NONE ...

I recall a recent event when somebody tried to take a picture of some children and their mother. "No," she said flat-out. "I don't want to be in the picture."

Ya know, I bet my mother said the same thing. And guess what? After all this time, she got her wish.

I wish I had a photo of my mother and father from that time.

So, let this be the lesson, Mom and Dad. Sometimes the picture isn't about YOU.

It's about somebody ELSE who might care about you. Let them take the picture. It doesn't hurt. Trust me. ...

(This is a photo of my grandparents.)