October 21st, 2008


Kyoshi no more

As of this past weekend, Kyoshi Paul no longer runs our dojo.

This is because he was promoted to a sixth-degree black belt, and is now Shihan Paul.


I had no clue this was happening, as Shihan kept it close to the vest. So last night, in addition to welcoming three new shodans (first-degree), one new nidan (second-degree), and two new sandans (third-degree), we also welcomed our new shihan, for which he deservedly got three separate ovations.

After class, many of us went to a local Japanese place for food, beer, and saké. The restaurant kindly stayed open well beyond closing to accommodate us.

As many people pointed out, I'm next. I'm hoping to be an advanced brown belt next month -- though that decision, as I've said, is Shihan's -- and that'll make me the seniormost color belt in the dojo.

But no pressure. *laughs*
  • Current Music
    "Take Me to the River" by Talking Heads

I never want to hear hold music again as long as I live

Today was "change the utilities" day, as I had to switch ConEd from one apartment to the other, cancel DISH Network, and cancel our Verizon phone and DSL. Three times navigating irritating infobots, three times having to go through various contortions just to get to cancelling the account, and one time getting to the stage right before they transfer me to a human only to have the call cut off and me having to do it all the fuck over again.

Still, it's done.
  • Current Music
    still "Take Me to the River"

Scribe Award poll

As with last year, I'm not sure which of my three SF novels should be submitted for the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers Scribe Awards. Each author can only submit one work per category. I plan to send CSI: NY: Four Walls in for the general fiction category, but that still leaves one of three choices for speculative fiction.

So I open it to my blogophiles. Which one would you pick?

Which speculative fiction novel should I submit for the IAMTW Scribe Awards?

Supernatural: Bone Key
Star Trek: Myriad Universes: A Gutted World
Star Trek: Klingon Empire: A Burning House

Results do not guarantee a proportional response -- to wit, I'm going to send what I damn well please. *laughs* But this poll may help inform that decision.
  • Current Music
    "The Boy in the Bubble" by Paul Simon

Tuesday's dead

After dealing with the utilities, I then moved stuff downstairs: one bookcase, and all our booze.

I should add that the sum total of our alcohol takes up two very big boxes and two medium-sized boxes, all of which were excessively heavy.


And then I went to karate and to fighting class. Why? Because I'm just that stupid!

It was actually a very good class, and I'm glad I went, but hoo hah, am I cooked.

I'm going to watch TV now..............................
  • Current Music
    tonight's Countdown
bone key

a wonderful review of Supernatural: Bone Key

laguera25 has written a review of Bone Key, including heartening praise for how I captured the spirit of Key West.

Money quote:
DeCandido imbues the Keys with a mystical exoticism and reminds stodgy sticks-in-the-mud like me that not everyone gets to live in paradise. The bar scene on Cayo Hueso smacks of hedonism and painless pleasure, and he constantly underscores the supernatural tension on the island with music and the ever-present and indestructible presence of the tourist trade. Yes, a vengeance spirit of the Calusa is sucking the life force from hapless white folks and discarding them like desiccated orange slices, and yes, a pair of demons are slicing tipsy tourists for their own ends, but beyond the insular bubble of the story, life goes on. The bars still beckon and the haunted isle hucksters keep peddling their wares. By anchoring the hyperreality of the Brothers Winchester to the mundane reality of the rest of the world, DeCandido creates a surreal, bizarre, and often sublime carnival atmosphere.

This is quite simply some of the finest praise I've ever received, and many many thanks to laguera25 for it.
  • Current Music
    tonight's Rachel Maddow Show
politics, Kerry Edwards

insert bog-obvious Jeff Foxworthy game-show joke here....

Governor Sarah Palin did a TV interview, in which a question was asked that came from a third-grader named Brandon Garcia, who wanted to know what the Vice President does? Here's Governor Palin's answer:

Aw, that's something that Piper would ask me, as a second grader, also. That's a great question, Brandon, and a Vice President has a really great job, because not only are they there to support the President agenda, they're like a team member, the teammate to that President. But also, they're in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the Senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it's a great job and I look forward to having that job.

Er, well, no. Here's what the Constitution, which you may have heard of, says about the Vice President's job relating to the Senate:
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

This is not the first time Governor Palin has been asked this question and fudged it. Here's her at the vice-presidential debate:
Of course we know what a vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful that the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.

Again, it really really really doesn't. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows the veep to grab some more authority.

Both Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow skewered the Republican Vice Presidential candidate on this rather important piece of Constitutional neepery, and more power to 'em. Sheesh.
  • Current Music
    "Portland Town" by Arlo Guthrie