May 1st, 2002

Brian and Anne

(no subject)

Okay, so, I actually did get some work done yesterday after going to my mom's house. Mom spent the whole afternoon slowly pruning the rose bush in her back yard (her back is spasming). I finished tallying errors by mode for the subsections of participants who used different display designs, and I did a substantial amount of the results re-write.

Then I went to the gym to meet Bill. I think next time he calls me close to five and invites me to drive someplace I'm going to propose going later. The gym wasn't too crowded but the traffic was terrible getting there.

When we got home Bill was worn out from two hours at the gym and I got to play house mother and feed everyone. (Bill, the fishes, the other fishes...)

I finally got the chance to see Smallville though, getting back from the gym so early. I can see why the young man playing Clark is considered to be doing a good job, but Bill and I agreed that the script and plot were weak. And I just couldn't get over how many people reacted to an oncoming swarm of bees by standing stock still and opening their mouths to scream. We saw some of Gilmore girls, too. I guess Smallville is on later than I thought. Gilmore girls is basically stupid except for the mother/daughter interaction -and the mother gets some good lines on her own, too.

"Do you remember Shirley Temple having a fit at the hospital desk in Terms of Endearment? 'Cause she took that from me, and she toned it down a little, so once again, I'm looking for my daughter?"

At mom's house I had a snack of cottage cheese and crushed pineapple. I should remember that, it's good.
I'm eating a lot of cheese lately. I don't know why. I ate all the leftover Mac and Cheese from Monday's dinner yesterday at 11 am. I did not feel good about that. That's why I got off my duff to go to mom's. I'm planning to go back there today.

I got an email from my supervisor today. He thinks I should re-write my last two chapters the way I had already planned, based on the reader's suggestions, so that's good. It always surprises me when Dan actually uses email.

Have a good day, all.
Brian and Anne

(no subject)

oh, and yesterday I also started reading and reviewing material that made the ballot for the Hugo awards. I still need to put the character names into my review of Passage, by Connie Willis, but here's my review of the short story "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" by Michael Swanwick (Asimov's 10-11/01):


Have you ever read a story and spent the whole thing wondering what the title meant? “The Dog said Bow-Wow” is fantasy masquerading as science fiction. It is set in a post-Utopian England. It seems the Utopians covered the world with computer networks and then populated them with demon intelligences that can manifest themselves in the real world given a working modem plugged into a wall jack with an autistic at the other end. Two rogues plan a swindle based on this fact and the apparently safe assumption that even though the network of demons is so dangerous that possession of a functioning modem is punishable by death, the networks of cables were so completely pervasive that everyone gave up on removing them and any room in Buckingham palace can be counted on to provide the necessary wall jack. Did we mention that a demon who has taken over its autistic interface person can then perform spontaneous combustion?


Tongue apparently firmly in cheek, the author describes other, happier scientific progressions that have lead to various genetic constructions: talking baboons, a huge virgin queen with thirty-six brains (something must take up the slack of all those possessed computers), and of course a walking talking intelligent dog named Sir Plus. The dog-form of Sir Plus (one of our two rogues) seems to be included mainly to make references to such things as “doing it doggy style” and having his man-shaped partner sleep on the floor at the foot of his bed amusing. None of the characters in this story have the depth of a bowl of Jello, and none of them develop or grow (except perhaps the queen – a hundred years old and still growing) in the course of the story. The hugely intelligent virgin queen is of course suicidally depressed and the sister of the palace Protocol Officer is (of course) highly attracted to Sir Plus because of his unique form. If you liked Austin Powers you’ll likely enjoy this story, but it’s no more than light entertainment. Oh, and don’t bother waiting for it; the dog never says bow-wow. I’ve read the whole story and still don’t understand the title. If you recognize it as an allusion or something, please let me know.

Brian and Anne

(no subject)

Have you ever noticed how effectively having to make a really fast stop in your car and having your laptop slide off the seat which a sickenning thunk can remind you that you have not made any backups of you work in nearly a week?



(not to worry, all is well. I'm off to make back-ups now)