Monthly Archives: October 2015

The World of Kickstarter

I just perused Kickstarter the site where you can get people to fund your projects. I went there for the project Freewrite (used to be Hemingwrite). Yes it is ugly as sin. It operates exactly like a typewrite, there is a backspace, but no cut no paste. You set it up to your wifi and apparently syncs all of your stuff like a cloud. It is for distraction free writing. Got a 5000 words to write today? Whack it away and then sync it to your computer and into your word processor.

I could use something like that. For instance right now I am supposed to be studying and then thought of something I just had to look up on the internet. I forgot what it was by the time I got online and that was over a half hour ago!

The price is a little much $399 I think it said.

Anyway, after that I thought I would look over what other types of projects there were at Kickstarter. I had heard there were movie projects on there. And that makes sense, movies are expensive and are often financed by such means generally.

And then I saw the category Publishing. I can understand some publishing works needing funding, large research oriented books. But I saw a slew of normal fiction projects in there. Man, be careful of those!

Now I am not saying that it would be wrong to start a Kickstarter campaign because you think you have a great story to tell and would like to take six months off to get it done. I would love to do something like that. Although I wouldn’t do it until I had some miles under my belt as I think I am an unreliable investment at this time.

Some I saw there were (and probably deservedly so) left to atrophy with a day left of funding and no contributors. I wonder if, in all that time with no funding, they were able to get any of the project completed? If I were to start a Kickstarter campaign for a novel and received no funding, what would keep me from writing it? If the funding makes no difference in the completion of the project, what for the funding?

There could be things that could help the project especially if it is a self-published endeavor. A hired editor, printer, cover artist, etc, etc.

I am going to go back there because I wonder if there is a legitimate writer out there somewhere not able to get published but talented. Maybe this person is disabled or something and can’t hold down a job or whatever. Maybe this person had the bad luck of the draw and has come up against every pissed off slush reader in existence.

Probably not, most of the stuff I saw on my brief tour were pretty hokey. Like we need another zombie survival guide – boring!

I found this very entertaining Kickstarter campaign that illustrates my point about wondering why a book even needs funding. I only watched the first minute or so. A few observations. Presentation. If anyone out there ever decides to do this, don’t do anything this guy does. If you claim to have a bookshelf stacked to above your head with fantasy books, you’re on camera, show me. Who cares if you have read the Mistborn books. Give me something impressive like The Worm Ouroboros or The Once and Future King, not what is currently the cool thing. You are trying to impress me as a writer and if you are going to mention your reading make sure it is something that would impress someone who would fund a writer (hint: probably another writer). If you were trying to impress in the science fiction genre I would not be impressed that you’ve read Ancillary Justice (even though I love that book). But if you bring up the Lensmen or Past Master, you might get some interest.

Especially if you appear to have just finished high school.

Why do you need help finishing it? What is the difference between the situation where most of it was written and now? How is money going to get the book to the end?

If I were making such a presentation, I wouldn’t do it in my bedroom. No, I would do it in my office, at my desk, with my book shelves towering over me. Everything would scream writer. I’d make damn sure my gargoyle was over one of my shoulders! A little scripting goes a long way.

But the most glaring thing for me was mentioning Mistborn. Don’t mention the book that inspired you as a teenager unless you are sufficiently far removed from your teenaged years.

As an example of a different (ain’t I supposed to be studying?) presentation, I really enjoyed this one. This person did a lot more homework. He even has photos as he is relating the origin of the story idea. Sadly, it doesn’t look like it is going to reach its funding goal. But that was definitely more on the mark for anyone considering such an avenue.

 

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Original Narrative? Or Prequel Narrative?

Leaving a marker here. Don’t have time to write it now, but want to soon.


Strongest Storm EVER

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The local news (KIRO Channel 7) is labeling hurricane Patricia as the strongest storm EVER.

Yes, you heard correct – EVER. Not ever recorded (and even that I’d doubt) no, the strongest EVER.

How would they know this? How would they know there wasn’t a stronger one in 345BC or 23AD? Or 89 million years ago?

Answer.

They do not know this. Either they are sloppy (and the news is very sloppy nowadays) or there is a scare monger purpose to it. Most people have been force-fed the ooga-booga of human-caused climate change and if you call this the strongest storm ever and just leave it at that, you can nudge the mind-seeds that have been planted for you long ago.

“We gotta do something about blah, blah, blah! Cuz, big storm last year, biggest ever, for reals!”

Also, in case anyone is lazy with their concepts, “climate-change” is the biggest bullshit word there is. It is a non-concept. Climate has always been changing for billions of years. Is there such a thing as a climate-nonchange? Perhaps our modern educational system has been around long enough now that people can’t think through this little piece of mental cud.

They simply can’t predict anything. Up or down? They don’t know. But climate change, that’ll get pesky little man. Can’t escape from that blanket term! Hard to escape from a qualifier that is the root concept’s essential characteristics!


Latest Acquisition

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I just got a crappy library copy off of Amazon. And it came from the Pima County Public Library, that was my library growing up.

From the dust jacket flap of the book:

The fall of the Roman Empire was the denouement of a long and dramatic confrontation between powerful ideological forces and legendary men. R. A. Lafferty captures the true meaning of both, and examines the people, places, ideas and feelings that led to this epic struggle.

Rome’s demise was not a simple case of fierce barbarians sacking and subduing a decadent, crumbling city. The author has skillfully balanced the turmoil and illusions of a mighty, dying Empire against the vitality of the aggressive Huns, Vandals, and above all, the Goths. The result is one of the most perceptive and stimulating historical accounts ever written.

This is history told and read for sheer pleasure: exciting, splendid and complex. The Fall of Rome is a story of the men and women who made things happen, who were as awesome, poignant, and in some cases, as savage as the era itself.

Of course this will have to sit on the shelf like the others until I am done with school.

Speaking of which. They will no longer be issuing certification for ICD-9 after the end of this year. That is what I have been in school for. Luckily my school is offering some sort of deal that can allow me to get ICD-10 certification training. I haven’t got near the actual coding part yet so I haven’t really lost any ground. I will require an extension. It might be advantageous to go through the ICD-9 training with or without certification because I doubt all the years, decades I think, of ICD-9 is simply going to disappear merely because the government wagged its finger.

Photo on 10-23-15 at 3.16 AM

I also picked this up. I realize they are re-releasing his short fiction but I don’t trust that either – they’ll finish it, or will be done before 2025.


Where is Luke Skywalker Two and Medical Exams

I got three search engine hits for this site today titled “Where is Luke Skywalker?”

Seems I had my finger on some issue the other day. If you think about it, the fact that my insignificant (rebellion – couldn’t help it) site got three hits means there were a lot of geeks out there wondering the same thing I was.

And, no, I had nothing more interesting to say than this insignificant (don’t do it) observation!

So, I’ve been knee deep in medical stuff for the last eight months or so. Each time I study some pathology somewhere along the line “they” invariably recommend that people > some age should get examined for X every 1 – such years. We would spend long long lives by this method – in a doctors office because we wouldn’t be doing anything else.


Oh My God! Oh My God! Fan boy Pees Self and Faints

Final Star Wars trailer released last night. During Monday night football at work at the bar. People were saying, “Is that Han Solo?” “Yes, it’s fucking Han Solo! Where have you been?”

This trailer as well as the poster last night, showed no trace of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. This should be a sign, if the movie-makers are not total drooling retards, that Skywalker’s entrance into the movie is going to be a huge freaking payoff as millions of men my age lose their shit as their childhood hero appears on the screen.

God, I hope they do these movies well! We can all put the trauma of the prequels behind us. The original trilogy will become films 1 – 3, the new ones will be 4 – 6. We’ll probably have to live with Lucas’ messing around with the originals. I am willing to bet part of his deal with selling to Disney was they do not get the original cuts. Although if Disney does have the original cuts they could make a literal pile (very big pile) of money rereleasing them. This time I want greed to win! Go for the money, Disney! Release the original theatrical releases! Without a doubt it would be the biggest selling thing – ever. I’d buy two copies and put it on as much media as I could so no one would take it away again!

Downside. At the end of the trailer it says “Tickets now on sale.” NOW!?!? It’s two damned months away! You know no one who hasn’t already bought a ticket is seeing it on the first day. Or the second. Couple left for the third day… going, going.


Where is Luke Skywalker?

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I am sure my father wishes I had grown up by now, but I really just can’t help but get excited about a new Star Wars movie. Not even George Lucas (to say nothing of maturity (or lack thereof)) and his prequels can’t get it down too much. This is, after all the story we really care about. The one that should have come after the originals. IF! If there were further movies to be made. There did not have to be. I would have been perfectly content with the originals UNMOLESTED!

So it was with no small amount of gushing that I saw the movie poster! Although I will curb my enthusiasm. I thought the Star Trek reboots with JJ Abrams to be pretty forgettable. That was a reboot, however, this is not.

I hope they don’t screw up these movies. Luke Skywalker was my childhood hero – well, from seven through eleven or so.

But onto the subject of the post. And it is just a trivial thing. There is no Luke Skywalker that I can see on that poster. Where is he? Or is he on that poster? Is he the guy at the top? That would – could – make for one hell of a story!

Let’s hope those questions were worth asking after December 19th.

Two Months!

 

 


R.A. Lafferty Volume Three Posted on Amazon!

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I randomly go on and check Lafferty’s book status for prices and appearing rarities. But THIS was here when I just checked. Note the price of $100. Screw those guys, go through the publisher, Centipede Press. It is not available for order yet from them but it should be soon. They charge about $30 less for the book than Amazon and especially stupid B&N.

Amazon also says it ships in May, but its publisher says late December. Doesn’t really matter to me either way since I’m stuck in this school thing. I haven’t even cracked the spine of either copy of the last installment! Yeah, I’m sitting on extra copies.

I also check for Lafferty because the agency Jabberwocky got ahold of his stuff last year and are apparently sitting on it until I pass on. I suggest everyone get on their ass. Sell that material agents! I WANT THOSE BOOKS!!!!


The Martian and Ancillary Justice

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Saw The Martian tonight. Good movie! Hard science fiction fare with not too much quipping. I hate movies that are overloaded with quipping. I hadn’t read the book as I’ve been too tied up with school to read such a book, but a friend of mine said it was a pretty faithful adaptation.

Funny thing. I thought in the middle of the film what it would be like if it were a Ridley Scott film because most of his space ship crews are made up of people no one would hire for anything. It was a Ridley Scott film! Although the material was done for him this time. But that made it more believable.

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I was led to think this book was some sort of feminist claptrap, but I don’t see it. It is the first book I picked up when I decided I would get familiar with current science fiction. As far as I can tell only the former ship/soldier Breq lacks the ability to differentiate gender. And since the point of view is that character (whether in present single form, or past tense multiple body form) pronouns from her point of view are her or she. Other characters refer to other characters as him or he as the case comes.

It’s a nuance to the story, but removing it wouldn’t affect it at all. And I am kind of enjoying trying to figure out who is male or female based on what the character, Breq, relates in her narrative.

The novel, which swept all the awards last year, is not terribly original in its basic concepts (not even in the gender thing). But it is very well written. I loathe to give away plots, but suffice to say I think the strongest attribute of this book is the plot. It is a very well told tale. If it swept for anything last year, it may have deserved it for plot. However it is the only book from that year that I read so…

If it won for the gender thing, well that’s crappy for the author because I think she (I’m only 2/3 finished with the first book) wrote a very good tale regardless. Saying she deserved to win on merit, not gimmick.

Liked it so much so far I bought the third, and last, installment of the series before I finished the first.

And I’ll more than likely check out what she has coming next.

So far, modern science fiction isn’t looking too bad!

Well, novel form anyway. I’ve tried a couple of random short stories (not from Leckie) and they were pretty awful. Maybe I’ll pick up Dozois’ year’s best anthology and see what he’s picked for this year or last year.

I also picked up the new China Mieville short story collection, three moments of an explosion (it’s not capitalized on the cover either). I have to wait until after I finish the Ann Leckie series, and then Mieville’s The Scar till I get to this one.

 


I Hate Unclear Questions!!!!!

So I was taking the chapter test to The Cardiovascular System in my Pathophysiology module tonight and the following penultimate question came up:

What part of the conduction mechanism terminates in the Purkinje fibers?

The options were as follows:

  1. Sinoatrial Node (SA Node)
  2. Atrioventricular Node (AV Node)
  3. Bundle of His
  4. All of the Above

Now here is the thing. Technically the last stop before the Purkinje (pronounced purk – in – gee with accent on “in”) fibers is the Bundle of His. But, but, but, it is a single signal that starts from the SA Node to the AV Node through to the Bundle of His, bifurcating after that in the interventricular (that’s a word spell-check) septum and then terminated in the Purkinje fibers – thus causing the ventricles to contract.

The whole thing terminates in the Purkinje fibers. I chose All of the Above based on that reasoning. And it is not an incorrect answer! True, the conduction of the electrical signal does not travel the same through the whole electrical system of the heart, but it is one signal… at least the material I was assigned said so. I’m not an M.D. by any stretch of the imagination.

I don’t know if I’m just an idiot who thinks too much when not necessary or I’m so smart I am stupid. Think about it this way if the question was:

Where does the conduction of X (the Nodes and the bundle) terminate? Ask the question three times, the answer is the same, add the fact that it is the same signal, well, my answer was perfectly logical.

Consider this. Take road X that terminates at road Y, the typical T intersection. Intersection? Whatever. But road X has three different names before it terminates at road Y. [Perhaps only people living in the Seattle area will understand this as we seem to like to call a road, even if it is going in a perfectly straight line, 4 or more names within 5 miles of length. I don’t know if any other place does this or not. Tucson certainly did not.]

Road X is called, 180th, Carr Road, 43rd Street and Petrovitsky. And let’s say it terminates at road Y. And you ask me: what road terminates at road Y? And you give me 180th, Carr, 43rd, Petrovitsky and the option All of the Above. Even if 180th is the last part before Y, would you not think it logical to say, All of the Above?

Why am I bitching about this? BECAUSE I DO NOT LIKE TO GET SCORES LESS THAN 100%!!!!!! ESPECIALLY WHEN I KNOW DAMNED WELL THE MATERIAL!!!!! I know the conduction route of the heart damn it! But I have to sacrifice with a score of 96%. Shit! Balls!

I don’t mind getting 96% is I fail because I made a stupid error or I failed in my mastery of the subject matter. But not because someone constructs an unclear question! I have a couple of grades that are not 100’s. I think I even have a 92 somewhere…