Not a Single Thought In My Head So Far Today

And believe me, I’ve checked.

So, uh. Yeah. What’s up with you?

87 Comments on “Not a Single Thought In My Head So Far Today”

  1. writeemup – Vermont – I love words; reading, writing, and experiencing them with my eyes and ears. This is my bookblog, where I share my adventures with the world.

    I am at work on break. I have two pieces submitted that I am waiting for rejections on and so I should really start something else to take my mind off the spiral of ‘it’s just going to get rejected.’ Ideas in my head? Zero.

    The truly sad part is I usually get more done at work if I’m working on a parallel non-work idea, so everyone’s getting screwed.

  2. Daryl Swinson – I'm a guy, mid forties, just graduated with a Masters in History from the University of Central arkansas, and, yeah, it's my fault. I want to be a writer, and not just any writer! I want to be a sci-fi/fantasy writer! This, by default, makes me odd, strange, weird...but in a good way, I think. I hope. I also want to be a lecturer at the college level somewhere. You know, the guy (or girl! I'm a reluctantly admitted feminist.) torturing the best and brightest of our least the ones willing to fork over the dough and sign up for my History course. I also got my Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems in 1999 from Arkansas Tech University. This makes me a Geek, I guess. I know that I am prone to random bouts of what I call TechnoLust. That is when you see something that just came out, or somebody else has and you want. No, not want...need! And, the sooner the better! because if you don't get it, you'll just die... Luckily, my bank knows this and regularly rejects all my drool sodden checks written to technology pushers like Best Buy or Egghead to be reapproved so I get a chance to shake the fever and rip them up. What sort of History am I interested in? Most of it, actually. But especially the military aspects, the cool stuff, with swords, shields, people sweating, bleeding, and dying for their cause/religion/nation/city/state! From the Greek Hoplite to the Roman Centurion, Byzantine Catafract horsemen and Welsh Longbowmen. Billy the Bastard, who invaded England in 1066 whenn he had a perfectly good Duchy in Normandy already. Napoleon and Wellington and those beautiful bastards they commanded. All the way up through the World wars and the Cold War and to our latest escapades about this blue marble we call Terra! I'm Also fascinated by the technology and engineering feats accomplished along the way. Roman aquaducts, water wheels, mills, bridges, fortifications, ships, all that cool stuff, too. because a war is no fun if you don't have toys! I come by this obsession/interest honestly, though...I was a soldier for 4 years and change back in the 80's for Uncle Sam, but I got better... Oh, and I read a lot. Several books a week, usually. Grad school makes you read fast, but I loved it and it never was an issue for me. So, I'll post on what books I've read lately. And things that annoy me or spark my interest. OR I think are cool. I am eclectic, so you never really know what you will find me yammering about in this magical place called syberspace!
    Daryl Swinson

    Oh, John, how the mighty have fallen! And it’s especially sad with such an easy one lobbed right over the meaty part of the plate, too. It’s Science! It’s Fiction! It’s Pop Culture! It’s just plain stupid so many got caught by this hoax! I’ve got two words for you: “Balloon Boy”.

  3. Me? Oh, I’m taking a nap. Yes, indeed. And then? I’m writing a paper comparing the Apocalypse of Adam to Genesis.

    After that? If I’m lucky? I’m going to play Uncharted.

    I’m hoping a nap will settle my brain into a homework ready condition so I can get past the paper and on to the game soon. I so hope.

  4. writeemup – Vermont – I love words; reading, writing, and experiencing them with my eyes and ears. This is my bookblog, where I share my adventures with the world.

    Balloon Boy is almost too depressing to be funny, though.

  5. Ian – Dallas, Texas – I'm a freelance writer and editor in Dallas, Texas. I focus my writing mainly on speculative fiction, but I edit just about anything. You can find my CV at

    Is this the leftover brain-zombification of a weekend spent signing one’s own name over and over and over and over?

    Because it’s totally understandable if it is.

  6. Reference Desk. So far the most penetrating questions I’ve been asked are, “Can I borrow a pen?” and “Is there a three-hole punch?”

  7. I think adding a second monitor to my laptop is really cool. But watching movies on it, while working on my main screen, is really slowing me down. I thought I’d have a lot more work done by now…

  8. I’m at work but it’s Fall Break so it’s deader than a doornail.

    So that means I’m revising works that some dude named Scalzi critiqued at Viable Paradise a couple of weeks ago.

  9. Just finished Uncharted Drake’s Fortune on normal mode last night and restarted it on hard. Unfortunately, it’s overdue at the library and I need to return it today. (See my comments on John’s library story)

    Just as well, though. My son Dan is going through Infamous the second time as the evil character and is making a marathon of it.

    Since we’re gaming, obviously higher thought processes are not engaged.

    Check that — my son is having moral problems playing as the evil character. He appears to be thinking about it, but he is also killing pedestrians.

    Maybe I’ll start thinking later today.

  10. That’s odd, I’m crazy inspired to write. I’ve got hundreds of ideas swimming around. When I get home I’m going to open the notebook and bang out something. My wife has informed me that she’d like to illustrate a comic and wants me to write it. We’ve been working on that the last week or so and now I’ve got enough that I feel I can start writing.

    I’ll see if I can distill some of this creative spark into its purest form for you, but it might be a little hard to ship.

  11. I’m eating lunch, screensucking, and conducting an argument about communism and linguistic evolution in the background!

  12. thresholdlurker – Call Forth the Dweller Divination Effective Level: 6th Skill Check: Knowledge (arcana) DC 20, 6 successes Failure: Falsehood Components: V, S, M, F, XP, Casting Time: 60 minutes Range: Personal Target: You Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No This incantation contacts the enigmatic, extradimensional being known as the Dweller on the Threshold, an entity that imparts knowledge about its specific obsession: doors and other entrances. To cast call forth the Dweller, the caster must inscribe forty-two mystic symbols around an open doorway, then begin the chants and supplications required for the incantation. If the incantation succeeds, an image of the Dweller—an inky mass of tentacles and mouths—appears on the other side of the doorway. The Dweller on the Threshold truthfully answers any questions it is asked about a particular door. For example, the Dweller can provide a magical password that unlocks a door, indicate how to disarm a trap on a door, reveal the weaknesses of a door’s guardian, or describe the room that lies beyond the door. Its answers are clear and fairly specific, if somewhat terse. The caster may well appreciate such concise answers, because one of the forty-two symbols inscribed around the doorway during the casting of the incantation fades away with each word the Dweller on the Threshold speaks—and when all the symbols are gone, the Dweller disappears. If the caster asks the Dweller on the Threshold a question that doesn’t involve doors, the Dweller responds with a cutting insult, often about something the caster thought was secret. Each word of the insult likewise makes a symbol disappear from the perimeter of the doorway. The exact nature of the Dweller on the Threshold is shrouded in mystery. Some contend that it is somehow connected to the god of secrets, although no one has ever found conclusive evidence that the Dweller on the Threshold is evil. Option If the doorway used as the focus is one that the Dweller has been asked about in the past, the caster gains a +4 bonus on the Knowledge (arcana) checks during the incantation. For example, if Boredflak uses call forth the Dweller to learn about the Gateway to Despair, then when he reaches the Gateway, he can use the Gateway as the focus and gain a +4 bonus when he uses the incantation to ask about the Arches of Certain Doom. Failure If the caster fails two consecutive Knowledge (arcana) checks, the Dweller on the Threshold gleefully lies, employing falsehoods that demonstrate its inclination toward mischief and cruelty. Material Component Forty-two mystic symbols inscribed around the perimeter of the focus doorway (requiring materials costing 500 gp). As described above, these symbols gradually disappear during the time the incantation is in effect. Focus An open doorway large enough to allow a Medium creature to pass through it. XP Component 400 XP. Backlash After speaking with the Dweller on the Threshold, the caster is exhausted. Campaign Use This incantation is an obvious solution for characters who are “stuck” by an especially impenetrable door. The exhaustion backlash makes it less likely they immediately try the door after casting the incantation, and the XP cost ensures that they won’t try to use call forth the Dweller on every door they face. If you introduce this incantation in your game, you’re giving the PCs occasional access to a powerful divination. But because it’s rather specific, it doesn’t make the characters more powerful. Typically, getting through a door lands PCs in trouble more quickly than if they were unable to pass the portal.

    I’ve been thinking about my four-or-so stories I could work on for NaNoWriMo. And going to school. NaNoWriMo is winning on percentage of brain used.

  13. Since you’ve nothing pressing on your mind, I’ve got a question for you, if you’re game.

    I like to know how to pronounce things when I read a book. However, often in SF&F, we come across names for which we lack a good frame of reference.

    To that end, how do you pronounce “Rraey”?

  14. I’m currently recovering from a weekend at a renaissance faire and the large assortments of bruises and cuts I received while doing a period martial arts challenge.

  15. must be going around. everywhere i look for interesting things blogs to read, (there certainly aren’t any interesting thoughts circulating around my head lately) it seems everybody’s come to a thought standstill.

  16. Josh Jasper — I checked out your coffee.

    “Porto Rico roasting company has good coffee at a reasonable price.”

    It was very reasonable. Then I added on the shipping charges. My wife came in the room and asked me why I was laughing so hard.

    “Honey”, I said, “the coffee sounds really good and the price is great, but my $6.00 coffee came to $14.00 a pound when shipping was added!”

    I assured my wife I wasn’t going to order it, I’d just stick with my favorite company, Great Lakes Coffee, which I can buy locally.

    Thanks for the tip, though. I’m always looking for a good coffee.

  17. Dealing Aces – In Blackjack, an Ace showing can be high or low, and you don't know which it will be until you've seen your whole hand. And that still might not save you.
    KaT Adams

    Some people say “Dance like nobody’s watching.” Screw them. I say “Dance like -everyone’s- watching, and you just don’t care.”

  18. Taking a break from VB coding and contemplating what to eat.
    Trying to ignore “The Closer” season 4 dvds that are calling my name.
    Wondering if you’ll be back to Bakka in Toronto soon so I can get my other books signed… (we met there when you in town for CDs wedding).

  19. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, who should be writing

    Not much.

    Little bit o’ snow last night. Had an easy day. Just got back from lunch w/ a new accountant. I had a Guinness. Now I will have a nap.

  20. Some days I desperately hope that direct mind augmentation arrives while I’m still around to take advantage of it. Then a little voice in my head reminds me that I hardly use the factory-installed equipment, so what would be the point?

    I think mostly I’m hoping for an improved user interface. It needs to be a whole lot easier to tweak the configuration settings.

  21. amandageddon – She is a slacker of the highest order, a geek of not so much, went back to school to become an even bigger geek and possibly get paid for it. She loves it when a plan comes together.

    Just got home after writing my first of six midterms that I write this week. I’m hoping I did passably well. Now, to study for my .Net exam tomorrow afternoon. Whee!

  22. I just came back to the office after picking up my daughter at school, who was sent home due to a “dress-code violation” in which it was decided somewhat randomly that the jeans she was wearing today were inappropriate attire. Never mind that she was wearing those same jeans last friday, and last tuesday, and pretty much twice a week since school started because they are her favorites. Apparently, someone at the junior high forgot to take their medication this morning.

    Yes, I am irritated, why do you ask?

  23. Betsy Dornbuschon @ 30:

    I’m thinking about liminality.

    Which prompted me to think about a superliminal warp drive. Which may or may not be possible.

  24. Josh @ 18:

    Should’ve thought to at least check Bevmo’s website (helps that the child is napping now), and according to it the local store has 4 in stock. I just assumed from Unibroue’s website that it was a smaller operation primarily local-to-them.

  25. I’m glad it’s not snowing today. And might not snow for the rest of the week. December weather in October is frustrating when we got April weather in June already this year.

    I have some actual work to do involving weather which might be cool.

  26. I’m in the delicate process of trying to land my biggest client since I went solo. One that might actually let me pay my bills! Go, me.

    Other than that, as to the “Rraey” — any time I come across an unpronouncable alien word in any SF, I just take a first order approximation (I read it as Ray-E) and assume that in that universe, there are all kinds of snot-nosed linguists who dwell on the fact that the unwashed masses don’t pronounce it properly. And then remember that I don’t like snot-nosed linguists, and continue on pronouncing it incorrectly for the balance of the book.

  27. I’m trying to read but I can’t concentrate. I’m worrying to much about my unruly teenage daughter that seems to be and endless supply of surprises.

  28. curatoria – I've spent my career in museums from Nottinghamshire to the London Borough of Brent and now in Kent. I'm driven by the belief that museums can open doors and give people the most special of experiences.

    Am thinking I’d better go find new lodger who’s lost on way home from work!

  29. Closed my office door for lunch and watched Friday’s SG:U on Hulu. Already saw it Friday, of course, but wanted to catch it again.

  30. Donating blood today. For the first time ever.

    I’m a wee bit nervous because my veins are notoriously hard to find. I had three small vials drawn last week, and that left an epic bruise.

  31. I’m really bloody pissed (Brit – annoyed) at the people in the “A Boy’s own Genre, or not” comments so I ain’t going back there anymore. Gonna go listen to some Muse and read some Liz Williams untill SG:U tomorrow (Because we get it 4 days after you). And then the new Dollhouse, yay!

    @31 I’ve paid $20 australian for $5 of books just so they’d send ’em here to the UK, not the first or last time I’ve paid more for shipping than the books, but this was the most excessive. Sometimes I’m a bit obsessive about books.

  32. Balloon boy is a hoax. Mythbusters pre busted this sucker.
    The vid is weak but at the end you can see how many balloons it takes to lift a four year old girl. That’s 4000 if you don’t want to bother with the vid.
    If dad built the balloon he knew it’s lift capacity and his sons weight.
    What should we expect from a family that would go on wife swap?

  33. In my head currently: Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Jim C. Hines wrote about why people don’t leave abusive relationships, and I went a bit deeper on my blog (and will probably do another post about domestic violence later, I don’t know).

    Er. Also tangentially related, reading Jim C. Hines’ The Mermaid’s Madness on Kindle and waiting for Elizabeth Bear’s By the Mountain Bound. Happier thoughts there.

  34. Hi Bored John, I finally got around to watching SG:U episode 3 on the DVR and I was wondering…. is it you that is responsible for the gratuitous shower scenes?

  35. Procrastinating. I am supposed to be doing paperwork here at home. It works to my benefit today since I just wrote a short story. I think I need to procrastinate like this more often.

    Regarding the pronunciation of “Rraey”, my brain insists that is is pronounced raeyraey. For some reason, I think the duplication of the first letter indicates a duplication of the sound that follows.

  36. Eating breakfast, and getting ready to go to work. I was going to say something else, but decided this was a (mostly) PG Blog.

    Now, where did I leave my lunchbox?

  37. Oh, also, just read the new Steve Brust (Iorich) in ARC form. It’s nothing ground-shaking, but it’s a good old fashioned Vlad has to figure out complicated plots and save the day story.

    Due out in January.

  38. By the way, I’m seriously thinking of going downtown to my favorite used book store, the John King Bookstore. Sometime this week, maybe. I’ve run out of Pogo books and I can usually pick up a few there.

    Last month I was able to pick up 100 back issues of Analog from the early 1990’s.

    Books are organized using the Library of Congress classification system. There’s almost always something neat there. My whole family refuses to go with me now since I usually spend about three hours there.

  39. Wondering if the story I’m writing is too melodramatic or filled with sentimentality. I have an easy time overdoing the emotional and can’t walk that line where emotions are tasteful and powerful, not cheesy and overblown.

  40. I just picked up my tickets for Nightranger, Styx and REO Speedwagon from the post office. Halloween’s gonna be great this year!

  41. I’m maintaining a Galactic Alliance on Spore. Which would be easier if stupid pirates weren’t raiding my home worlds every 5 minutes. It makes it very difficult to focus on terraforming.

  42. Trying to figure ways to get the Stargate PTB to give us an onscreen acknowledgement that Jack O’Neill and Samantha Carter are officially together hopefully maybe even married.

  43. Trying to figure out how to play over the changes for Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” at a tempo that’s any substantial fraction of the original recording. Well, alternating between that and cursing myself for not having worked on this 30 years ago.

  44. I’m wondering how long it’s going to be before I can move back to a coast. Doesn’t even have to be the west coast. Oceans are good for my soul.

  45. MJBUtah

    I feel your pain. I am a teacher, and I cannot tell you the number of times someone has decided it’s time to enforce a dormant policy, or even more often, the times that certain teachers decide to let certain things go because it’s not something they particulalry care about. Then, when I come along and enforce the rule the way it always should have been done, I look like the bad guy.

    Clearly I have no direct knowledge of your case, but I’m willing to bet that for some reason someone actually noticed the pants were in violation for some reason today. Maybe the shirt/jean combo, maybe she bent down to fetch something out of her locker. If it seems random, ask for clarification about the rule she was in violation of and check to see if the jeans really do violate that rule.

    If they don’t violate the rule when you check at home, very politely bring that to the attention of whoever’s in charge of such things. You shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells to protect your daughter’s rights, but if you go in saying “These meet the code damn it and I want you all to apologize to my daughter for being such giant pigs!” – well, it tends to get even experienced adminstrators defensive, which impairs judgement and makes it hard to see that you’re right.

    Of course, it might be worth it just for the catharsis :-)

  46. Wishing our contracting department had some clue as to how to do anything with a contract besides look at it and shake their heads.

  47. I think authors come up with names like Rraey by letting their cats type for them.

    Which cat was it, John?

  48. I was on the road, seeing clients, swung by PO to be greeted by a package from Subterranean Press, yeah! Boneshaker!

    Will commence reading tonight.

  49. Maia Rose – A queer FilAm SFF, hockey, food and beer loving geeky Chicago denizen who spends too much time on the internets. Good thing none of you can judge. On twitter as semirose spouting nonsense 20/7

    Trying not to seem like too much of an eager beaver to get out of here since I was allowed to leave 5 min ago but I have a student finishing up a test so I get to wait until he’s done before making the trek home and taking a blessed nap before working on grading the stack of papers I didn’t do yesterday. Come on kid, hurry up!

  50. Enjoying the use of your brain. Sorry but I need it to get through till the end of the month. I will return it to you on November 1. It will be slightly used but still in good working condition.

  51. I am busy being proud. My daughter just called to say that the university she has just graduated from has asked her to go back and teach two courses. I am still paying towards her current 2 year post-grad course. So, I am busy being proud, but also desperately hoping she will, at some point, become independently wealthy.

  52. this morning, a customer accused me of murdering her dog because we didn’t have the dog food she wanted. yeah.

  53. Spent most of the morning chopping vegetation (green, and dried) for a compost pile, and screening c. 30 gallons of useful compost from an older pile, at the local Community Gardens. Strangely (and atypically) I seem not to have had as much as one useful or interesting thought while doing this automatic-action stuff. Perhaps this could be ascribed to the fact that we’re now in the third month of October, and the tedium is getting me down.

    Maybe zipping over to Arcadia late tomorrow morning for dim sum will fix things. Especially if I also get a whole cooked duck or goose at the take-out place and make a kettle of soup from most of it.

  54. I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers
    Consultin’ with the rain.
    And my head I’d be scratchin’ while my thoughts were busy hatchin’
    If I only had a brain.

  55. Mel @82:
    I’m sure you would be/were kind to her dog. Her trade, on the other paw, you and your shop do not need.

    (Was the alleged incident deemed All Your Fault because you supplied Herself with other food for canines than that which she demanded, or because she could not be arsed to seek elsewhere?)

  56. So it’s not just me having one of those days? Good. I mean, not that JS is having a mindblank but that such Kernel Panics happen to others, too. And an agent is waiting for a rewrite.

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