More signs that you’re in full-swing parentage –

You can tell what toy you tripped on in the dark, by feel. (“Oww, that was the helicoptor”)

You can distinguish between the words “Duck,” “Dugck” and “Douck” (Duck, Dog and something we haven’t decoded yet).

You recognize two dozen different forms of . . . just about anything slightly nasty.

You attempt to use the same negotiation skills you’ve learned to use with your toddler –

   &nbsp “You can’t take the book into the bath, so what about we trade with the dino?”
   &nbsp “Bopgorm!” [1]

at work, with surprisingly good success –

   &nbsp”You can’t write that Gliptrap code in a week, but how about tackling the Wibbleveng stuff?”
   &nbsp”(inaudible)” [2].

[1] With toddlers, “Yes” is the absence of “No”
[2] With developers, ditto.

Dating Site Nightmare

Some dirtbag subscribed one of my catch-all addresses to a Jewish dating site. It’s a minor bit of spam, a drop in the bucket, but it’s still irritating. However I can do something about it.

There’s no way to actually turn the *$%(#@ account off. But at least I was able to point the required email to the ‘abuse’ address at their own site — I briefly considered some more creative alternatives, but decided not to compound a bad situation — and I edited the personality profile to be a little . . . well, you can judge for yourself:


The scary thing is, with the redirected email address I’ll have no idea if anyone actually takes the bait. Famous giant balding chain-smoking octogenarian hassidic russian horsie-lovers, there’s probably a god damned newsgroup dedicated to them, and a yearly conference that I really do not want to know about.

yet more books

Some recent fluff reading and re-reading.

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God’s Eye. Slightly dated (the computer technology in particular), but one of the most solid collaborations between Niven and Pournelle. This has a prequel (“Motelight”) that may be available on the web; it was printed in Analog after Mote was published. The sequel to Mote, The Gripping Hand, is pretty missable in my opinion.

Lucius Shepard, Eternity and Other Stories. Shepard is one of my favorite authors; the stories in this collection are really novellas, “literary” and heavy on characterization. Shepard’s first book, Green Eyes also is not to be missed (starts out slow, but wait for it…).

In anticipation of the sequel, John Varley’s Red Thunder. Essentially a Heinlein juvenile, this is a fun, rapid read, a lot more approachable (but less funny than) his The Golden Globe. Good escapist entertainment.

John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War tries really hard not to be a ripoff of Haldeman’s Forever War (and by association, Starship Troopers). He need not have bothered to file off the serial numbers, as it is quite enjoyable (if predictable) as it is. Yet another “War with the Alien Yucks” novel, with the twist that you have to be over 75 years old to volunteer for the corps. Another good, quick read.

Cryptonomicon, because I wanted to re-read some Stephenson, but couldn’t bring myself to pick up the middle book of that trilogy (should have taken notes — I do not want to go on a refresher).

I’m slogged down in Jack McDevitt’s Polaris, I’m not sure why. I didn’t much care for the prior book in the series, A Talent for War, but I liked most of his other books. Maybe it just seems drawn out, slow and kind of directionless.

Most scary thing spotted in a bookstore: A “checkerbee” checklist for Robert Jordan. Run away screaming.

Lois McMaster Bujold, Shards of Honor. I’m going to try to finish the Barrayar books (there are like ten of them now), and they’re all pretty good (Bob Jordan, take note).

WoW joke

From the WoW forums, a conversation from last year:

> Hey guys, the pope is dead.
> Did he drop anything good?

Muwahahaha. I’ll update this with the link when I have the time…

Fudda Kids

A ruling that I expect to see in my lifetime:

Finding summary: Public schools are funded partially by federal taxes. Therefore, the Government has a right to see how those tax dollars are being spent, and there is a compelling interest to ensure that education money is being spent effectively. Students must therefore be monitored for activity that is detrimental to their education, including activities outside of school. Outside activities that affect the “no child left behind” exams, that affect grades, or that are illegal must be prohibited.

Therefore, the homes of students with federally funded educations must conform to educational guidelines.

– No fewer than one television per student, with certain programs (e.g., for “Civics” courses) required viewing (e.g., write a paper about the president’s speech last night);

– Rating and cataloging of books read, websites visited, emails sent and received;

– Blacklisting of known non-conformers; “no visit” lists and so forth;

Let’s not even mention the real-time GPS movement tracking, dietary restrictions, parental monitoring program, and the continuing education program that doesn’t stop when you leave school (more “no adult left behind” exams to follow-up on the effectiveness of the education). Don’t think that private school will get you out of it, either, because you might need to sign up at a public institution someday.

Oh, it’s fun to wake up with a nightmare like this, yessirree.