Hurricane John

Life in the land of Hurricanes

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Anchors Aweigh, my boys,.. Anchors Aweigh

So next week I'll be entirely gone on the family cruise to Alaska. Should be a lot of fun and tons of relaxing. Perfect, because when I return it will be nothing but grinding out the books to prepare for the qualifier. I plan to do a lot of reading since at least three of the days I will be confined to the boat. But then again distractions always come up. Unfortunately the book I was so excited to read has been replaced with Sophie's World. When the book arrived it was basically a hardcover book with a soft cover. Unfortunately this means it's basically as heavy and just too much for me to want to lug so I'm bringing something lighter. It should be nice to read something different. So I guess I will return next week well read into the beginnings of a philosophical mind.

I also finished the June issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Yep I read all 160 pages of it. I really enjoyed it and have considered purchasing a subscription to a magazine digest and now I know that if I ever do that will be the one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Links you'll want to click

I have been stock piling a few links that I think are pretty cool. I'm sure you'll want to click.

Now answering the greatest question on your mind, "Can you fully operate a computer completely submerged in a tank of oil?" Answers here.

To honor Disneyland's 50th anniversary, here's a bunch of crazy pointless trivia. I especially like the basketball court in the Matterhorn and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Cornell research has been working on replicating robots. They are cubed in shape and as can be seen in the videos, as long as a new piece is near by, they work to duplicate.

Ever wonder all the different objects that children ingest? Now you know.

Tell me, who doesn't like circus hamsters?

This is just how far someone will go when pushed to the limit and 'goes postal'.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hurricane outlook

So the forecast is out. 12-15 expected tropical storms, 7-9 hurricanes and at least 3-5 of those would be major hurricanes. Of course this is for the whole south east including all the countries in the Caribbean. So they do not expect as many to hit Florida, especially central Florida. But who knows? These guys aren't always the best predictors of location and path. So who knows what destruction comes my way this time? I'll let you all know when the first is spotted which will go by the name of Arlene.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dune is done

I finished Dune and it's on to the next novel. Dune was quite good and had great world-building but I think the ending was weak, or rather rushed. No resolving. It also had some dull moments but it felt almost real and historical. The imagery of the colonization of Dune was made extremely real and believable. Definitely a classic and defining for science fiction.

As you can see sitting on my bookshelf is Perdido Street Station. I hadn't heard of the author China Mieville until just a month ago but it sounds like this newer author writes stupendous stuff. The same kind of fantasy that Gaiman writes. I think the most common description of his stuff is 'horror fantasy.' His newest Iron Council is up for a Hugo and has rave reviews. I'd probably start with this one except that it's still only in hardcover. Perdido isn't his first but his second, and probably his most hailed. I recently ordered it along with another of his, The Scar so they haven't yet arrived for me to begin. In the meantime I'll probably read from F&SF and other short fiction, particularly a novella or novelette.

Micrometer madness

Recently in my experiments I've had to scan across a sample by hand. This means using a micrometer for small step sizes. I've forgotten how infuriating using a micrometer can be. It doesn't help that the one micron markings wrap around the knob and out of view. They end up being tucked underneath and the table gets in the way making it impossible to see. I then have to use a mirror which isn't to helpful because depending on your point of view determines which markings are lined up. Ugh.

Here's a few more links from people who have lots of talent and inhuman patience.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


What exactly does SF stand for? Science Fiction? Speculative Fiction? Short Fiction? Recently, to me, it stands for all three. Back in January or February the nominees for the Nebula Awards were posted. They're awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy works in primarily four categories: novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories. The difference? Typically short stories run 7,500 words or less; novelettes, 7,500-17,500; novellas, 17,500-40,000; and of course novels are greater than 40,000 words.

Fortunately the publications normally make it easy to read the nominees by making all of the short fiction available online for free. So downloaded each into Word to read on my own time. I made it a goal to read all the short stories and form an opinion for myself which one was best. As I continued to read these stories I kept stumbling upon more, reviews, suggestions, all sorts of material relating to shorter fiction based on speculative fiction. This is the mainstream that most of the best work is published. Not in longer novels but shorter works. I've enjoyed it so much I find myself reading a lot more but just quick stuff. It's nice to sit down for 10-20 minutes and finish a complete tale. I may even subscribe to one of the monthly publications in the right-hand column. So I'm enjoying all of this speculative fiction that's out there, and sure there are duds some times, but there's always a better one to pick up and push the bad one out.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Reading under trees and other reflections

Yesterday evening I went down to Winter Park to relax and rewind. First I went the Black Bean Deli to pick up a sandwich. Yummy. But I also received some bad news, Havana Cola is going out of business. Apparently it was a one-man operation and the guy had a major heart attack and there's no one to pick up the reins. Hopefully this is only temporary. The Deli was already out of Mojito but had some of the Cola left over so I picked up a couple to save for special times. They'll only have it until they run out and because of its popularity, that won't be long. Sure Coke has released their product with lime but it doesn't compare to Havana.

After the chit-chat, I grabbed my sandwich and took it down to Central Park. It was just a beautiful day with a cool breeze. Unfortunately there are a bit too many tame squirrels around. It was very difficult to eat in peace. It doesn't help that later when I left I saw some people feeding the squirrels. It was their sole purpose for being at the park. That really pisses me off. Anyway, after finishing dinner I read some on a park bench near the fountain. It was nice and quiet and just perfect. Even the bench didn't seem to be too uncomfortable but it started to get dark pretty quick so I had to stop.

The main reason I was in Winter Park last night was to catch the 9:30 show at the Enzian. It was very interesting documentary, Inside Deep Throat. I'll let you look up exactly what it's about. It does make me want to talk to people who lived during that time and what they felt about it.

When I finally arrived home I was pleasantly surprised to see the D'Backs and Giants locked up at two and the Backs threatening. Unfortunately I laid down on my bed and promptly fell asleep. I woke up about 30 minutes later to find the game over. I was happy to see that the Backs scored 1 in the eighth and Lyon came in and promptly saved it, but I was mad that I once again missed the scoring. This always happens. I'm listening, I lie down, doze off, wake up from just 15 to 30 minutes later to find that my team has scored. I guess I just need to sleep more and they'll score and win more.

That's about it for now.
Check this guy's demented taste in paintings. What's with the bizarre fetish with Lincoln and bunnies?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Books, books, books

You may notice a new little feature in the right hand column. It has a list of the currents books/publications that I'm currently reading. Recently I've found myself watching less movies and reading more (more on this a little later). It's a nice change of pace. I still watch plenty but just not as much. I've also been watching less television. I still catch my shows and watch them when I have time. I plan on using my summer to catch up on a lot of them but reading is where it's at right now. Basically the only thing I watch now is sports related. The Suns are cooking so I watch them roll through the playoffs and the Diamondbacks are playing well and here's to them staying above .500 throughout the season. The better they play the more chances I get to watch them, otherwise I just have to hope that Baseball Tonight gives them some credit and shows a highlight once in a while.

And here are a couple of stories that are particularly interesting and disgusting:

A very cool and detailed sand sculpture

Exploding toads

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