So I learned how to create animated GIFs. Not bad for a first.
Normally, this time of year I would be saying “Thank god this year is over!”
There is a bit of a change this year.
2012 was definitely a good year for me. I’ve launched a podcast which, despite a rough start, is gaining some traction. I’ve also attended my first conventions (both commercial and industry-based) and in those took the amazing opportunity to dive in with The Roundtable Podcast and do some recording for them. Doing that forced me to meet some great people that, had I not gone in with a plan, I would have never met.
I also managed to finish a story I’ve been working on for over a year. It wasn’t a huge story, but a huge step.
I also moved in with my wonderful girlfriend and, although there were a few rough times, things are great now, except for a few details.
So overall, this was a good year. I’m tempted to make some promises for next year, but I’ve never found those actually turn out. So what I will say is I’m looking forward to 2013 being a better year than 2012.
Paying a bit more attention to this blog, I decided to clear out the old Tumblr/Instagram posts that don’t continue on Squarespace. I’m going to have to set up a gallery or something for my photos, but until that happens, go to Instagram or the old Tumblr. It’s still there, really.
Also I recently began moving my podcast, Reader/Writer, to this page, too.The transition isn’t going as smooth as I wanted, so for now there’s a different page live at ReaderWriter.ca until I get this one looking the way I would like.
I’m not so used to this blogging thing anymore, and don’t want to just post boring everyday shit here, that’s what Twitter and Facebook etc. are for I think. So make sure you follow me in those places to get more granular info about what I’m up to.
Although I did head downtown to Call The Office to see the Vinyl Runners last night. They’re pretty good, especially for a newer band. Not my favorite style of music, but it’s definitely good. They have an (underused) SoundCloud page with a few tracks on it, check out the newest one.
So, I gave Tumblr the boot.
Well, not really the boot. It’s still there, it’s just my domain no longer points to it. It points here. I wanted to do a few things with my blog that Tumblr just doesn’t allow, so I pulled up stakes and moved. It’s a great micro-blogging site, but that’s the problem, the micro part.
I’m hoping to do a bit more blogging, and I may even move my podcast here, but I need to do a bit more research on how it works before I do it.
So for now I’m just going to try a few things out, see how it goes, what fits. If you like what you see, let me know. I’ll be likely to do more of it, then.
That’s all for now, I need to get back to NaNoWriMo. I’m about 10,000 words behind right now. I’ve never actually won NaNo before, though, so if I can clear my personal best of about 30k, I’ll be pleased with that.
I probably shouldn’t be getting so upset by this, I’m used to the retardedness of the interwebs. I should be callous to the inevitable stupidity that will come up in even the most intelligent of subjects on this great electronic free-for-all.
Maybe I’m expecting too much.
So I read it.
Then I went to the comments.
This is apparently NOT what you are supposed to do on the intertubes. I guess you should do the following:
- Read Headline
- Read first paragraph
- Ignore rest of article
There were so many comments that blatantly ignored the information in the short G+ post. There is way more information in the actual article, but I know that Mr. Plait is very good at summarizing and I don’t need to read the article if I read his synopsis and I have no further questions. If I still have questions after, then I’ll read the full article before even thinking of posting.
In the post it says that the planet is only 6 million km from the nearest sun and it’s “baking hot”. So you get an idea, Mercury is on average about 60 million km from our sun. Yes, I had to look it up, but I had a pretty good idea the closest planet to our sun was more than 6 million km away from it. Turns out it’s about ten times more. In fact, the difference from Mercury’s farthest point from the Sun (69M km) to is closest point (46M km) is more than twice the distance from this new planet to it’s own sun.
Just because a planet is “Earth-sized” does not mean it is “Earth-like.” In fact, I think astronomers should stop saying “Earth-sized” because people will automatically assume it’s “Earth-like.” They should be saying “Venus-sized” because, well, Venus is also about the same size as Earth.
Also, this planet is orbiting a sun-like star that is orbiting another sun-like star, and there is a red dwarf star orbiting them. Ever seen Pitch Black? Yeah, this planet has three suns, too. Except that the closest one would, my guess, fill 50-75% of the sky at it’s highest point.
“So what’s exciting about this, then?” you may ask. A few things:
- Alpha Centauri is the closest star to our own, it’s about 4 light years away.
- This planet is very small, one of the smallest we’ve found so far.
- The planet was detected by the Doppler Shift on the star. This means they detected the star moving back and forth as the planet went around it. The speed the star was moving was a half meter per second. You can walk faster than that!
So, not only have we found a planet most similar in size to the only habitable planet we’re aware of, it’s in our backyard (astronomically speaking), and was one of the hardest ones to spot yet.
Also, read the whole post before commenting. That’s what this was originally about. Then I nerded out about exoplanets.
PS Enough with the “Wasted tax dollars” comments, too. If you don’t like the space program, throw away your GPS, WiFi, digital cameras, semiconductors, and many other technologies you use daily that were invented because of programs like these.
But you won’t be able to do it on the internet, so in all likelihood I won’t read it.
(Or, why Marvel Shouldn’t Throw it all Away for Galactus)
There’s been a lot of talk in the last 24 hours that Daredevil may be sacrificed to FOX to get Galactus and The Silver Surfer back under Marvel’s wing. The excitement being that #1) Avengers 2 can be a rewrite of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline and #2) Galactus can be the Big Bad for Avengers 3. While this works perfectly fine for story escalation, I think it’s a horrible idea.
Well, ok, not the idea itself. I think that arc would be wonderful. But there’s a few other things I want to think of in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that would be effected.
Let’s start off with the characters that are included with Daredevil, because it’s not just Daredevil they lose the rights to. The characters also in the trade would be: Daredevil/Matt Murdock, Elektra (Natchios), The Kingpin/Wilson Fisk, Bullseye, Jack Murdock, Karen Page, Ben Urich, Christine Cord/Tatoo, Typhoid Mary/Marry Alice Walker, Kirigi, Stick, Stone
See, it’s no longer a movie and one hero. Also, that’s only the characters known to be included in the deal, there may be others that FOX may have which are important allies/villians.
Of course you’re asking “But what will they do with these characters?”
In a word? Television.
Although in May 2012 ABC passed on AKA Jessica Jones, which would take place within the MCU and also have Luke Cage (the leader of the New Avengers in the comic books) and Ms. Marvel (who is an Avengers staple in the comic series), there are now details that in July 2012 talks resumed with ABC about an MCU TV series. Now the big reveal (Today, in fact) is that Guillermo del Toro has been talking with Marvel and ABC about a new Hulk TV series (and I would guess that based on his contracts, Mark Ruffalo would certainly be involved).
So what? Well, Daredevil doesn’t lend himself well to a movie I don’t think, but an occasional character helping out The Hulk would be superb, and the Kingpin would make an excellent baddie to have show up in Banner’s way throughout the show.
If Marvel makes a deal with FOX, then they have 2 movies for Silver Surfer, and one for Galactus. If they take back the cast of characters in the Daredevil franchise, then they can use all of them in future projects, along with the names they got back from Blade (which includes Morbius and Dracula!) and Punisher a few years ago.
With del Toro and rumours of the Russo brothers (who are right now working on Captain America: The Winter Soldier) connected to a Hulk TV show, Marvel might want as many characters back in it’s pocket as possible.
Besides, FOX will screw up the reboot of Fantastic Four and want to toss away the rights before Avengers 3 anyway. The only FOX/Marvel movies that have been any good were the X-Men movies, and those are only ever “Good For Their Time”.
Except X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Emilie Thibeault was one of those high school friends that never leaves you.
Sure, you lose touch over the years, you move apart, maybe occasionally comment back and forth on Facebook.
However, the impression that person made on you in high school has traveled with you for 15 years. If it weren’t for that person’s encouragement and enthusiasm, you would have never been where you are at today.
Emilie was that kind of person.
When I first met her, I had just joined the fencing club at school. I had never fenced before, but wanted to try it. So I joined up. We were fast friends and traveled to many tournaments and camps together.
Where Em really made a difference in my life though, was my writing. In high school I wrote poetry, plays and short stories. She was the person I always gave them to to read. She would tell me where I went wrong, and encourage me when I did things right. She was one of the first people, who was not related to me, that told me I had a talent for writing.
She married her high school boyfriend (who was also on the fencing team) and had two children.
Sadly, on July 3rd, she died in her sleep. Only two days away from today, what would have been her 30th birthday.
Her family didn’t have time to prepare, she had been ill for a few years, and wasn’t able to work. A group of her friends has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for a funeral. Please donate to it. If you had a muse in your life that made you push on to do more, donate to Emilie’s family so that one of my muses can rest.
I’ve been spending almost 6 months trying to write a opening to my next novel that I’m actually happy with. This one finally came to me at 2am, so I wrote it on my phone and I’m very happy with it as a first draft. Much more than any previous opening I’ve attempted. Sometimes that stoke of inspiration is worth a 6 month wait.
“To be completely honest, when I first opened my eyes I was scared out of my mind. It took a moment to clear out the blackness, the fog that didn’t allow me to see things the way they were for the first few moments. I could tell I was on my belly, on something hard and dirty. I could feel a certain warmth over my whole body, deep into my core. However, my mind quickly gathered itself, and once i realized I was in the street in front of my home I began to calm down.
That was, until I realized why I didn’t recognize it in the first place.
I was looking at the buildings across the road from my home. They weren’t lit in a way I was used to seeing them. It wasn’t the red glow they sometimes took late on a clear summer evening when the sun was low in the west. It was a much more orange color, like the color of the smelting fires in my daddy’s iron shop.
That’s when the fear came back. I turned around to see massive flames rising into the sky. Like the devil himself had come to claim my home as his. Only it wasn’t just my home, but that entire side of the street was turned to brimstone.
As I got myself up, I saw that a crowd was beginning to gather in the street, their faces all that same orange from the flames. I could see they would say things, but I couldn’t hear them as the roar of the fires flooded my ears and blocked everything else out.
I began to panic when I realized my parents were probably still inside. What could I do though? I was 16 and much too thin to move momma, and certainly no way I’d be able to move daddy’s body. Daddy was so conditioned after 30 years of hard labor, the last 20 as an iron monger, that neither I, nor momma, could put our arms around him and touch our fingers together.
Then the people in the street stopped watching the fires and started watching me. I could see fear and blame in their eyes, like they were looking at the devil who set the fires. My mind still couldn’t form words, but I put my hands up in a helpless gesture. People recoiled from that movement, then I noticed my own hands.
They had almost the same orange glow as the fires, but it was different. It was like the light was coming from inside my hands. Like a bar of iron when it’s been heated in the oven. My whole body had the same glow about it, and the ground was charred in the shape of my body where I laid moments earlier.
I ran. Not because I felt I started the blaze, but because I wanted to leave before anyone suggested I did. I wanted to move before my metal body cooled and hardened. I wasn’t sure if when it did I would be frozen like a statue. Frozen solid in front of my burned down home. Stuck motionless in front of my parents funeral pyre.”
I bet you thought I meant smoking pot. I didn’t. Tobacco.
According to this report smoking tobacco can lead to an addiction to cocaine.
In a recent national survey, over 90% of adult cocaine users between the ages of 18 and 34 had smoked cigarettes before they began using cocaine.
Now there’s no studies yet that say pot works the same way. It does, however make me think. Of the people I’ve met in life, the people that only smoke pot, they don’t do many other drugs. The ones that smoke cigarettes and pot tend to do other things.
Gateway drug? Maybe it’s not the weed, it’s the smokes.
I’ve decided to start on a grand journey of self-betterment and decided I should probably chronicle said journey. I also figured I should start at what’s already gone.
2011 has actually been a pretty good year for me. I’ve completed a novel and a few short stories I’m really happy with. My goal of a writing career has been dreamed of and I’m starting (although slowly) toward it.
I started the year with a good job. Although it’s factory work, which I always thought I would absolutely hate, I actually find it enjoyable. The ability to put myself into autopilot and listen to podcasts is really a great thing. I’ve gone through many audiobooks, and learned a lot through science, writing, and tech shows, and also about other peoples experiences through other kinds of talk shows. In general, all these shows have shown me I can absolutely do what I want with my life in the current creative atmosphere called the future, and I’m going for it.
I’ve also found myself alongside an amazing girl, who’s smart and funny and driven. It may only have been about 4 months, but I know that together we’re going to go far.
I’ve also found, however, that at the end of the year I’ve been on the “What next?” train of thought. In the past I’ve always gotten to a point that is “pretty good” and let myself coast. Only problem with that is, like coasting on your bike, the only way to keep moving is if you’re going downhill. On level ground you only go so far, and trying to climb while coasting only sends you back the way you came.
I’m determined I can’t do that this time.
My first thought is “I’m 30 next year, I’m too old to start in a new direction” even though my current direction isn’t really a direction in the first place.
However it’s become obvious now to me that your 30s is when you go “I really fucked the dog too long” and you look at the clumps of fur in your hands and decide that you really shouldn’t have done that, let alone for the last 10 years, in your twenties, and it’s time to change. Things change around 30.
Maybe you haven’t fucked the dog per se, but things have changed. I’m going to take a normal person’s example of my dad. In his twenties he made tons of money as a professional SCUBA diver in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. One day, when I was five or so (so he was 32ish I think) he fell off the top of the boat he was on and fell three decks. He landed on an inflatable boat and broke his back on it. He had two young kids and a wife, he could have been dead or paralyzed. Luckily neither of those things happened, instead he left diving and went back to school. He became an electrician, got a job in a factory (the very one I work at now) and has been there for more than 20 years. He seems to enjoy the job from what I can see.
There’s also people like Keith Malley and Chemda (http://KeithandtheGirl.com), Scott Sigler (http://ScottSigler.com) and Chris Hardwick (http://nerdist.com) that all decided to take their own lives into their own hands around 30 and now are all pretty successful. They may not be household names, but they are paying the bills doing what they want.
So why the fuck shouldn’t I start now?
I’ve picked up Chris Hardwick’s book The Nerdist Way and have been working my way through it. I just finished Part 1: Mind. This part was good, although a lot of it (coping with and beating anxiety, keeping yourself positive, getting rid of fears) I’ve already tackled over the past 10-15 years. However, a quick refresher and some other methods than my own where still good for getting out on the right track.
His exercises where you create an RPG style character sheet where excellent, and one of the things I’m most exited about starting to use is his “Default Word” tactic. Picking a focus word to default to when making decisions will help me avoid the “fuck, why did I do that instead of this obvious choice” when it comes to getting stuff done.
There’s three parts to this book, Mind, Body, and Time. I’m going to skip the Body part for now. I’m not unhappy with my own body, there are certainly improvements to be made, but that’s not the important part to me. I’m moving on to Time, because that’s something I really can’t seem to manage. I can get to work on time, and I only leave when they tell me to, but in between going home and showing back up, I’m a fucking mess. Also there is a large part of this section dealing with money (Time is Money, after all) and even though I make a good wage, the last few days of each pay period always seem stretched (which is sad, I’m paid weekly.)
My goal? Starting on Jan. 1, 2012, I’m living The Nerdist Way. I’m going to take every piece of advice that book has (unless it really doesn’t apply to me) and go ahead full forward until the end of the year (or ten days before it when the world blows up, whatever comes first.) I’ll post on here, and on my Twitter about it, tagging with #wwCd.
I’m betting my life will be better and seem a bit easier by the end, or at least I’ll think back to 2011 and say “Why the fuck couldn’t I get that shit together? I’m doing way more now!”