Various & Sundry, 2/17/10
Bits and pieces:
* You know, I haven’t been following the Olympics at all, because I don’t much actually care, but I have to say the Norwegian Olympic Curling Team’s pants deserve a medal. For something.
* I’m also delighted to discover that (for now, and in Florida) students are still allowed to criticize their teachers online, even if teachers are understandably exasperated at the possibility of Facebook pages dedicated to how much their students hate them. Welcome to free speech, folks. That said, someone probably should give Teh Kidz a primer on libel and defamation, since my crystal ball which sees the future sees some tightly-wound teacher or administrator suing a teen (or his/her parents) on that grounds — and given that some similar suits out there include pages where teens labeled their principals as pedophiles, not entirely unreasonably so. I also see Facebook/MySpace choosing to make a lot of deletions of such pages, if they don’t already, since their terms of service don’t really have to pay attention to that pesky First Amendment.
* I’ve been asked for an update on the SFWA elections, as I am running for president of that august institution. There’s not too much to tell at this point; the deadline for announcing official candidacies has passed, and both I and Mary Robinette Kowal (who is running for VP) are running unopposed. Someone could still decide to run against me or Mary, but they’d be running as a write-in candidate, which puts them at a bit of a disadvantage (trust me, I know). Beyond this the election process continues to lack drama, which again I think every SFWAn appreciates at this point. As I understand it the election ballots will be mailed in the next couple of weeks. So that’s what’s up with that.
* Athena has yet another snow day today, which frankly amazes me. This is how bad it’s gotten:
Me: Not counting last Friday, when was the last time you were actually in school?
Athena: Maybe the first or second of February? I don’t know. I don’t keep track of these things anymore.
And I’ll note last Friday was a reduced day, not a full day. I think it’s taking a toll on the school administrators as well; Krissy listened to the phone message from Bradford’s superintendent last night about yet another delay/cancellation, and said, “he just sounds totally defeated at this point.” Well, sure. At this point, every day canceled in February gets tacked on in June. He doesn’t want to be in school in June any more than the kids do.
It has an impact here as well, since it’s difficult to get a whole lot of writing done with an 11-year-old wandering around the house, demanding to be entertained. I downloaded Plants vs. Zombies on the iPod to keep her busy, but there’s only so far that goes. “Fortunately,” in the last week most of my work has involved dealing with various contracts and negotiations (none of which I can give you any details about but which aren’t actually that exciting so you’re not missing much). So at least my creative process, so as it is, has not been unduly disrupted. But, you know, sooner or later I’ll have to write something.
* Speaking of which, I have an AMC column to get to. Later.