Brown River Queen cover art

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Adventures in PC Migrations

I've been stuck in computer move mode for the last few days.  My faithful but aging Dell XPS entered his retirement, where he will serve as a backup machine and step back into the fray if, Cthulhu forbid, my shiny new homebuilt job has issues.

All my writing files were swapped over to the new machine first, of course.  Then photos, various programs, and of course music, which is still a work in progress.

But I've now got a sweet dual-monitor setup, which means I don't have to squint and lean any more.  And the new homebuilt rig has a quad-core processor so I can run as many things as I please, all at the same time.  I predict this will allow me to confuse subject/verb agreement 38% faster than ever before!

I have to say Windows 7 has been a pleasant surprise.  I haven't foamed at the mouth or punched the keyboard in rage a single time, which is quite different from the last time I moved a whole system from one hardware platform to another.

I've been asked why I don't work on a Mac.  Nothing against Macs, really, it's just that A) you can't get decent games for the things and B) I want to swap out my own parts and I don't even know where to buy a Mac motherboard, for instance.  Do Macs even have motherboards?  Or do they run on the captured dreams of unicorns and a single tiny gleam from Steve Jobs' eye?  Not sure, but I don't think NewEgg sells either.

So now that I'm all set up it's time to get back to work on the new Markhat novel.

Oh, one last note.  My fictional steamboat the Brown River Queen is based on a real steamboat, the American Queen.  Turns out the American Queen is being relocated to nearby Memphis, Tennessee, where after a year of renovations she will ply the muddy Mississippi as a cruise boat.  I plan to visit her, and see how close I got in describing the real thing.  Sure, the American Queen won't be stoked by ogres or be lit by magic, but otherwise they're much the same.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

SyFy Channel Makes More Wise Decisions

Remember a show called Farscape?

Anybody else love Stargate Universe?

Well, if so, you can add Eureka to the list of good shows the SyFy Channel has canceled.

I'm pretty pissed about it, too.  Sure, the science on Eureka was often, um, well.  Wrong is such a harsh word.  But I didn't mind, because the show was funny and bright and able to wink at itself.  It had engaging characters, all well-written and masterfully portrayed.  It was entertaining, and I'm not the easiest guy to entertain.

And now it's gone, because some blubbering dunderhead at SyFy decided it was too expensive to produce.

I'm sure it was expensive.  Quality usually is.  And I wouldn't be so angry about the cancellation if I had any confidence that Eureka would be replaced by something other than a lame supernatural reality show or a half-assed reboot of some obscure 80s failure.

Or, Chthulhu forbid, more wrestling.  

This just in --

(AP)  An interview with SyFy Channel executives regarding the cancellation of 'Eureka' revealed that the network is moving toward a "drunker, more violent, criminally-insane demographic" which prefers shows centered around "wrestling, improbably large reptiles, and frequent appearances by semi-nude WWF celebrities liberally covered in body oil."

"We understand that some Eureka fans are upset, but frankly we don't give a crap," claimed one executive. "Have you seen my drink?"

"Isn't sci-fi supposed to be about giant snakes anyway?" asked another, as he fumbled with his bong. "Giant snakes and that Tiffany chick, right? Super."

The show destined to replace 'Eureka' in its Monday evening time slot, 'WrestlerSnake EXTREME," is already in production and will begin airing early next year.

Monday, August 8, 2011

London Burning

All my British friends are aghast at the violence sweeping parts of London tonight.  From what I see on Twitter, mobs are setting shops and homes aflame after looting them.  They're using Blackberry phones to coordinate their attacks, and I've also seen rumors that the rioters are targeting witnesses who tweet about it with Twitter's location feature.

The mob is composed of the ever-popular generic 'youth.'  The rioters call themselves protesters, angry over a police shooting.  Everyone else calls them looters, because anger over a police shooting is hard to equate with stripping the shelves of the nearest Best Buy before charging off to find a tennis shoe store.

The British police have thus far been over-run or reduced to standing around watching the flames.  Which might beg the question 'Why don't cops have guns?' but since I'm not British I suppose that's really none of my business.

I do wish all my British fans and friends safety and peace.  I hope you all emerge from this mess unscathed, unlooted, and un-arsoned.

These are difficult times.  I fear that before it starts getting better it's going to get a lot worse, for all of us.

Stay safe out there.