Wednesday, November 29, 21:01 CST
Today's AWAD quote bears repeating:

In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone's letter. -Chinese proverb


Watched "Comes the Inquisitor" earlier tonight. Powerful episode, and probably my favorite, next to "Z'ha'dum" (which is pretty much my favorite hour of television, ever).

SFC has been running heavy promos for their upcoming Dune miniseries... And you know I'll be watching. You know I'd be watching even if I *knew* it was going to be a trainwreck, but the trailers are enough to give me a sliver of hope. A very, very small sliver. Not really even one you could see with the naked eye. But it's there.

(I'm assuming the SFC's section for the miniseries is at /dune/, but I can't get past their Flash detection with Opera to check, and I find that I don't even care enough to check it out with Lynx. Not exactly the first instance of 'net cluelessness they've demonstrated, I guess.)

Skimming through a 2-year old IRC log last night, I came across an argument over whether anything worthwhile would ever come of the rumored Sci-Fi Channel Dune project...

Wonder if I can finish a re-read by Sunday night?

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 29
tags: topics/tv

Monday, November 27, 15:50 CST
Finished up my brief Unbreakable review, added a bit to yesterday's update.

Now back to working on one of those ambitious ideas...

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 27

Sunday, November 26, 17:15 CST
I'm back. As ever, with the usual host of ambitious ideas that accumulate every time I'm away from a computer for a few days, which will probably go nowhere.

Thanksgiving was mostly good; we went to my grandma's house, saw relatives, ate too much, the usual. Well, not entirely the usual, but it was good anyway. Saw my cousin Rachel, who's getting married next year. And wow, is that still a strange thought.

Everything changes.

Managed to read Jo Walton's The King's Peace, and see Unbreakable. Both good, and both deserving of a full length review. Have most of the Unbreakable review written, in fact... Just need to finish it up and post.

Using the Mac at home last night, I downloaded iCab, a lightweight (1.2 meg) shareware web browser. As a rule, I don't envy Macintosh users their choice of software, but iCab is definitely one of the few exceptions. Renders pages nicely, easily customizable, and packed with cool little touches. Stuff like a built in HTML validator, image and JavaScript filtering, and graphical counterparts to Lynx features like listing all of the links on a page and making actual use of LINK tags...

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 26

Tuesday, November 21, 12:02 CST
Ahhhh, done for the week. Thanksgiving break is a goodness.

Handy tip for making life easier under Linux: Start up an xterm, set the font size to Small or lower (hold down control and right click in the window, you'll get a handy popup), resize it to a cute little box, stick it in a corner. Then whenever you feel the need to run some random command but don't need it to be interactive, you can just alt-tab or move the mouse over it instead of starting a new terminal. If you need to look at output, piping it to xless seems to work quite well, and if you *do* need to open it in another xterm, using xterm -e command & is easy enough...

I'm fairly certain there're dockapps that do the same thing, but at the moment I'm too lazy to go looking.

JMS' latest column is the kind of advice I ought to be taking.

Anyway, think I'll go home and be indolent for a while now. In case I don't write anything here for the remainder of the week, happy Thanksgiving, all!

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 21

Monday, November 20, 23:54 CST
Gurney: Wow, you're right. I could rattle off a BASIC program in no time at all right now. It's still...right there.

'Course, I did write approximately two billion cheesy little text games in BASIC, so that might have helped....

Brennen: LOL!

I'd say you topped my output by approximately half a billion.

Gurney: heh. As a local sword swallower puts it, "Evidence of a mis-spent youth."

Monday, November 20, 15:52 CST
Listening to "The Squirming Coil" and playing with a slinky.

(Phish on dmoz)

Just spent several hours rearranging Ye Olde Dorm Room. That was way too thought intensive.

Watching my roommate re-install Windows, after a week of increasing frustration with a bizarre bug that pops up a little "Setting up Personalized Settings" box as it starts and then freezes. Can't help but feel that I should've figured it out by now, but I'm pretty much clueless.

Oh yeah... Laurel won, 34-0. And watching that definitely would've been cooler than, say, taking an essay test over the French Revolution. Though actually I'd have to say my world history class is probably the one I enjoy most, at least in terms of the subject matter.

"Have you ever heard of a thing called an assassin? They're known for assassinations." - Some guy out in the hall

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 20

Friday, November 17, 1:37 CST
Well, I was going strong on the whole studying thing, 'til I succumbed to the lure of playing Dead or Alive 2, a game I've become downright addicted to, in a friend's room.

Walking back to my dorm across a silent campus, watching snow drift down from a nearly cloudless sky is an experience I would have missed, if I'd been better at resisting temptation. I think I'm ahead for the night, one way or another.

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 17

Thursday, November 16, 19:27 CST
Well, I've been sitting here all day, doing essentially nothing, beyond aimless web surfing and messing with e-mail. I didn't even read rec.arts.sf.written, which means I'm probably about 5000 articles behind. I would check, but if I did that it'd be far too easy to read a post or two or a hundred, and I probably wouldn't escape for at least two hours.

Stuff bookmarked while aimlessly browsing:

I'd really kind of like to go to Lincoln, and watch Laurel play for the (Nebraska, class C2) state football championship tomorrow. Unfortunately, I have a quiz at 9:00 and a test at 10. The game is at 11. I suppose I could have found a way around this, if I'd actually thought about it prior to this afternoon.

(Interesting to note that though the LCHS site is still an ugly mess, it's an ugly mess considerably improved over what was there when I was supposed to be working on it, a year ago. High on the list of things I'm quite grateful my name isn't attached to in any visible way.)

Now I am going to do some studying.

I keep meaning to stop procrastinating, but I always wind up putting it off a few days...

Thursday, November 16, 13:35 CST
Well, it didn't snow enough to get any class cancelled... Ah well.

Messing around with that little table cell over to the right of the page. Nothing much of any use there yet.

Thursday, November 16, 0:22 CST
Snow, I say, SNOW!

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 16

Tuesday, November 14, 19:51 CST
"If only for a little while..."

I've missed a couple of good B5 episodes, but I did catch "Acts of Sacrifice" tonight. One of my favorite season 2 eps.

Great. Not only is spamming me with increasing frequency - now they're doing it in HTML. (Let's stamp out inline-HTML E-Mails.)

I mentioned Bright Weavings, Guy G. Kay's official site, a while back... There's some nifty new stuff up there - a speech on privacy and fiction which makes some interesting points (especially when considered in the light of Kay's almost-but-not-quite-historical fantasy), and a low traffic discussion board.

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 14
tags: topics/guy-gavriel-kay

Monday, November 13, 16:07 CST
My dad dropped my keys off at the front desk... A definite relief.

Ever stop to think about the innumerable little tokens and talismans without which you'd find it almost impossible to move through society? Keys, licenses, cards, permits, stickers, badges, barcodes, tickets, certificates...

I sense the seeds of an interesting rant here, somewhere.

Ok, I said I was going to keep updating the little weblog like section over on POV, so I suppose I should go do that.

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 13

Sunday, November 12, 21:25 CST
Snow. Cold. Wind.

Might have a real winter this year.

Went home (of course) this weekend. Did very little of anything much. My Aunt Connie was here from Chicago, which is always cool.

Forgot my keys at home. Sometimes, I amaze even myself.

Watched K-State (marginally) beat Nebraska last night. As every year, in a room full of K-State alumni and native Nebraskans. Heck of a game, but there's no way I'm taking sides.

Poured a couple of candles this weekend, something I've been doing once in a while for years... It'd no doubt be a lot more exacting a craft if I knew what I was doing. Then again, how exacting can "melt wax, pour in mold" really get?

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 12

Wednesday, November 8, 21:25 CST
Just posted a review of Princess Mononoke.

Wednesday, November 8, 11:48 CST
To finish where I left off rambling about dedicated gaming systems...

I've never been a huge console gamer, though I have killed quite a few hours on machines (Nintendos and SNES's and Ataris and Gameboys and Playstations...) owned by friends. 2D platform games and beat 'em ups aside, the kind of stuff I enjoy hasn't really been done (or done well) on console systems - first person shooters and Wing Commander style space combat, for example.

These days though, with the lines between PCs and consoles blurring ever more, and a growing number of games that're worth the play time, it's getting much more tempting to buy one of the latest round of systems. Especially since the multiplayer dynamic on a console system is an entirely different thing from that you'll find in most computer games - not better, but equally worth experiencing, I think. Granted, a new computer provides more bang for the buck, and there's still no way a console system can keep up with the development of new PC stuff, but there are advantages to that - notice how much performance console developers manage to squeeze out of a static system like the Playstation, even now? I only wish PC game developers would even attempt to make that much of what they have to work with...

Er, anyway. Time to go to class again.

Wednesday, November 8, 8:46 CST
Well, Mystery, Alaska wasn't all that bad. Not great or anything, but it did have its moments. Would've been much improved if it weren't trying to cover so much ground, I think.

Woke up vaguely wondering who won the (US) presidential election, and how much I really cared... There's something gratifying about turning on the TV and finding out that no one else knows either.

Suppose I should go to class.

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 8

Tuesday, November 7, 23:11 CST
(Cool Music Plug: Goldfinger's cover of 99 Red Balloons rocks. Search your local Napster equivalent now. I figure out what album this is on, I'm buying it. Thank you, Much Music.)

Just spent a couple of hours playing Dead or Alive 2 in 4 player tag-team mode on a friend's DreamCast...

My first impression was "pretty but brainless" (very, very pretty)... After actually taking time to get used to the controls though, I think I'm hooked. It's maybe not quite as well rounded as something like Tekken 3, but it makes up for it with a control scheme and gameplay that are actually 3D, using the little analog doohickey above the direction pad on the DreamCast's controller to control movement on the ground, along with featuring walls and multilevelled combat arenas that actually have a big effect on play. And the 4 player tag team mode adds an incredible dynamic to the game that's probably the coolest multiplayer experience I've ever had on a console...

Rant to be continued after I finish watching Mystery, Alaska.

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 7

Monday, November 6, 18:54 CST
Sounds like Laurel's winning 14-6... Would've gone to the game, but it's sort of cold, windy, and snowing. Looks nice and picturesque from my window, but I'm guessing it'd suck to stand around in. Especially on top of a hill, facing directly into the wind...

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 6

Sunday, November 5, 18:31 CST
Ooh, new Simpsons.

Just spent a couple of hours getting sort of caught up on rec.arts.sf.written, came across a couple of cool links.

Jo Walton's "Relentlessly Mundane" is a good (if depressing) take on the young people transported to a fantasy world story.

If you've been reading George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, this looks very useful - summaries of all the chapters of A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, though there's not yet anything up for A Storm of Swords.

I went home this weekend, as usual... Spent yesterday outside, in the sun, moving things around and pounding on stuff. The sort of thing I think I need to spend more time doing.

Saw Charlie's Angels last night. Probably should've waited around for a quality film, but I have to admit that it was a guilty pleasure. Mileage will, of course, vary, but I'd say it's worth a rental. Or, heck, if nothing else is showing at ye olde mall multiplex, you could do far worse.

p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 5
tags: topics/reading

Wednesday, November 1, 23:21 CST
Another month just rushed past...

I spent last night standing around in a well-heated house, wearing a fuzzy hat and a heavy trench coat over a sweater.

Tonight, I sat on remarkably cold metal bleachers in a 30 mph wind wearing a light jacket over a t-shirt for several hours, watching a football game.

Story of my life.

Got a review of The Amber Spyglass written. Can't say I'm all that happy with it, but it's there - and hey, it serves its purpose well enough, I guess.

And I suppose I can always go back and revise it later... Or would that be dishonest? Probably.

Speaking of reviews and suchlike, I think I should link to Evelyn C. Leeper's page. Good stuff.


p1k3 / 2000 / 11 / 1