The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful

Cable Car Fun in San Francisco
Wow. We hit 104 degrees here on Wednesday. A little thunderbanger blows through that night, and we get not one drop of rain. We wake up to a day with a high of 78 degrees, our first break from 100-degree heat in at least a month. It felt like San Francisco out there (only west coast city I’ve been to, so that’s why I mentioned it), only it was a little bit warmer. A slight breeze, actual temperature variance in the shade. I half expected a Rice-a-Roni cable car to stop and wait for me to jump on board. Wouldn’t give my wife the front spot this time, though (see pic). That was taken before we had a digital camera. See more of my San Francisco pics here, categorized. Muir Woods, Monterey Bay, etc.

Ben and I played outside for about an hour after I got home from work. If you’re watching reruns or playing video games instead of spending time with your child, then shame on you. If you don’t have a child, then stare at a screen if you want. We’re not supposed to hit above 90 in the next 10 days, and lows in the 60’s and 50’s. Okay, enough weather geekery.

I got 27 pages into An American Tragedy, but dropped it like a brick (which it resembles at 800+ pages) when I found a borrowed copy of Ringworld. I’m getting back into sci-fi after a long hiatus. Thanks to Simon of Space and its community of commenters for rekindling my love for the genre. It’s one thing to watch it on the silver screen, but quite another to read it. The movies generally sacrifice character depth for number of explosions. Oh, wait, that’s not just in sci-fi. ;-)

Plus, I’m stoked about sci-fi again because Ben says “rocketship” as plain as you please. There’s one on a set of his pajamas, but we don’t know where he heard the word.

Probably going to see the Serenity movie this weekend. It’s based on the short-lived but excellent TV series Firefly (Serenity is a Firefly-class cargo ship). I think sticking with the original name would have made it more attractive to the uninitiated than the other. Oh well. As they say on Seinfeld – Serenity now!

Have an excellent weekend, my faithul (if few) readers.

Four Car Pileup, My Book, and SCSI

I got off work right on time today, and on my way home I saw a fire truck, an ambulance, and a police car in the opposite lanes. Four cars had managed to smash into each other. Well, the guy in the front didn’t do any smashing, so I guess only three. All the cars were in pretty bad shape. Funny thing is that the fourth car back had the most damage, as if it hit hardest. And no, I didn’t rubberneck and slow down traffic. The guy in front of me did, so of course I looked while we were going slow.

So, I’m trying to put together in my mind how four cars end up like that on a road where the traffic was not very heavy, and when it is, it’s moving very slowly. It is a very flat road, and visibility was excellent. Were three drivers paying that little attention? They had to have been looking at something else. We were between two corn fields, so I’m pretty sure they weren’t gawking at a woman when it happened.

I finished reading through my book and making notes of what to move where, what to add, and what to change to a different point of view. It’s tricky business, keeping track of a novel-length piece of work. If you can’t take time to read it in fairly large chunks so that you don’t forget any details, coherent revisions are very difficult. I might post it online in chunks. If you want to see it, then please encourage me in a comment. It will be a great motivator for me to work on this thing once and for all. I wrote it in one month about three years ago– start, middle, end, and it’s time to finish it.

Did I mention that Ben is awesome?

I went back to work at 8 p.m. to complete a couple of scheduled tasks that had to be done during downtime. They actually went off without a hitch.

(computer nerdly passage approaching)

Interesting part? I had to update the SCSI controller drivers and firmware on an IBM xSeries server running Windows 2000 Server. I think it’s a 345. After I updated the driver (always do that first), I rebooted onto the ServeRAID Manager Support CD. I was pleasantly surprised to see Tux appear on the screen, and then a Linux GUI. It required only two clicks from me to flash the SCSI firmware. After it was finished doing this critical hardware-level work, it prompted me to reboot, where the server then loaded back into Windows. Oh well, I’m sure it enjoyed the brief time it spent with the penguin.

(computer nerdly passage over. post over. goodnight to me)

Simon of Space update

The author of Simon of Space has announced that he is in negotiations with a publishing company to have the book published “for real.” As in, not paying to have it printed, but having an editor and a publishing company handle his work of art and present it to the world, then send him money.

There’s no telling how long all this might take, but it’s exciting news for him and all of us who have been following along. Not to mention those of us who also have dreamed of becoming paid published authors.

Simon of Space is over

It ended. Simon of Space, a rollicking ride around an imaginary universe, written over a fourth-month span and meted out to a loyal fan base with typos and plot holes galore (hey, he was making a lot of it up on the fly, and a story evolves), came to an end.

(begin obsolete paragraph)
The good news for those who haven’t read it? You can get your own softcover copy of it. It appears in the book almost exactly like it did online, as diary entries of a man who starts life with a clean slate. If you want to buy it, you can. It’s an on-demand printing service, so don’t expect to pay $5 for it. Besides, it will end up being worth much more than that to you.
(end obsolete paragraph)

As of this writing, you can still read it online, guided by a handy table of contents instead of having to read the posts from the bottom up.

Read it somehow, though. If you remember that it is a 366 page book written in a linear fashion with no re-writes or revisions, and just enjoy the wonderful characters and the amazing worlds they inhabit, you will not regret spending time on this. Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming (writing here as Cheeseburger Brown) is a talent you will hear from sometime in the future.