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Friday, April 26, 2002

Hey all....

Just so you know, my daily antics are being recorded at Livejournal (http://demiurgent.livejournal.com) now. It's not that I like Blogger any less -- it's just that I'm tying it to the cartoon at Keenspace (http://ufbt.keenspace.com) pretty closely, and I like some of the functionality.

So what's the future for Annotations? Give me a few weeks to get through RPG writing, and I'll have an answer to that. In the meantime, for more regular updates, hit the Demiurgency.
10:53:22 AM

Thursday, April 18, 2002

If you were feeling at all good about our little War on Terror, this should change your mind in a hurry.

The thing is, I have no problem with removing the Taliban from power, as we have done. I have a huge problem with continued poking at sensitive situations that clearly don't bear on 9/11 in the name of keeping the national campaign going. War is a horrible, horrible thing, and we must be very, very humble in its use.

For those eight Canadians, I feel horrid. For the thousands of innocent Afganis, killed by the Taliban or by the United States or by anyone, I feel horrid. For the Israelis and Palestinians who die daily while we "keep hands off the Peace Process" (because God knows we couldn't continue programs the Clinton Administration started) I feel horrid.

War is a terrible thing. We can't ever forget that.
12:50:07 AM

Thursday, April 11, 2002

When the automobile became accessible to the common American, a lot of horse breeders, buggy manufacturers, and buggy whip makers went out of business. That's the nature of innovation -- it improves our quality of life, at the cost of part of the old ways of doing things. It can be a terrible cost.

How terrible? Ask the Auto Workers of America, who've had assembly line jobs steadily vanish for decades, as automation did what they could do better, faster, and more accurately. But, we were told, we had to accept this, because it improved the quality of life for the greatest number -- cars became more sophisticated and less expensive.

Well, now we're at the cusp of another huge change in the way things are, and Digital technology is at the head of it. Suddenly, distribution of creative work is inexpensive and simple. Anyone can make music or movies and get it out to the masses. Someone like me can write a journal or a cartoon and seek an audience for them, instead of trying to find a publisher. Heck, someone like me can become a publisher, as I am with Mythic Heroes. Print on Demand technology, along with the digital technology that drives it, makes that possible.

This scares the traditional distributors of content -- record producers, film studios, book publishers and more -- because suddenly they're becoming surplused. The old way of doing things is disappearing. The need for middlemen (who, in this way of doing things, make the most money) is going away.

So, they're trying to make ripping MP3's illegal, even if you own the CD. The next step is to try and restrict the distribution of other kinds of content. Because they know that this means a huge -- I mean huge -- change in the way their business is conducted. Eventually, freelance editors and compilers will begin gathering collections of music, and digital distribution and accounting systems will ensure that the majority of money made in those distributions will go to the artists, not to record companies. I can understand why they're so afraid.

But when innovation changes the world, we're not under any obligation to make sure companies can stay in business. Just ask the auto workers. I guess I don't mind that record executives are learning that lesson now.

In the meantime, anyone want to buy a horse buggy, cheap?
11:52:30 AM

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

So what's up with me? I'm glad you asked.

First off, the writage. I'm working on Sidewinder a D20 Role Playing Game supplement set in the Old West, and put out by the good, good people at Citizen Games. The deadline for my bits of it is the second of May, so it's a nice, tight block of time to be writing, and the pay's pretty good. That's the first thing.

The second thing is continued editing of Mythic Heroes, an anthology of stories on the theme of heroism through the ages and many looking glasses. Some seriously cool people have sent some seriously cool stories -- to date I've received seven manuscripts, with more promised all the time. I'm really looking forward to putting it all together.

I've recently finished up "His Patented Tastes" and "License Examination," two short stories that are off to be rejected by the usual suspects, and I have some ideas for other stories, that will have to wait until paid work gets pushed through.

And, in my copious spare time, I've started a comic strip with really bad artwork. It's called Unfettered by Talent, and it's fun, without taking too much time away from other things. Check it out if you're of a mind.
8:44:54 AM

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

I am a writer. I write. For money.

Yes, this means I've got a paying gig. On top of a second potential paying gig, two private RPG projects, two short stories in circulation, and a short fiction anthology I'm editing.

Hah! I am a writer! I write! For money!
2:14:12 PM

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

iPods are tasty, tasty things.

I watched the second season of the Amazing Race last night. That's a darn good show -- by far the best of the 'reality gameshows,' and that includes Survivor. Survivor is all about stabbing people in the back by design. It has to be. You win a million dollars by doing it. The Amazing Race is entirely about racing, doing insane things, seeing the entire world in ways no one's ever imagined before, and cooperating with a partner who will always be your partner. You can be a sportsman and a decent person to the other teams, or be a righteous bastard to them, and it's perfectly fine -- it's a race.

So. Cool.
11:17:47 AM

Monday, March 11, 2002

Mmm... GoLive 6.0....

Every so often you get an upgrade that really does make it better. This is one of them. Yes, this means the web site might actually show occasional updating, as a result. Go figure.
12:10:49 PM

Sunday, March 10, 2002

I feel like a freshman in comp class. "Yesterday was truly a study in contrasts." God, it seems weaselly even to write it.

Sadly, it's true. Yesterday was a study in contrasts. On the one hand, it was lots and lots of fun. Jon, Frob and I drove down to pick up James, another friend of ours, from Logan Airport in Boston. We left more or less on time, getting up early, and had an excellent trip down but for occasional people driving too slowly.

However, when we got there we went to the wrong terminal, remembering James's carrier as United when it was actually USAir. This involved lots of walking, up and down stairs, which ultimately pushed me into a reaction for the first time in many months. It was just like I remembered -- bloody unpleasant. Pounding heart, inability to breath, arms and legs more than happy to keep going but no oxygen getting to them, and the happiness that is feeling faint.

Ultimately we found him, and tromped back across two terminals to where we had parked. I neither fainted nor passed out.

Driving back, I decided to pull off to get a drink (I was still feeling the reaction). We pulled off the Tewksbury exit, and Van saw a "Wendy's" sign and asked to go there. So, we followed the trail.

For several miles.

Apparently, these 'food off the exit' signs don't think there's an upper limit to the range involved.

We finally found it -- next to a Cracker Barrel country store and restaurant. I'd never been to one, so I suggested we go. This was an extremely good move. The restaurant was excellent, the food was very good and just plentiful enough, and the store section was really cool. And had Mary Janes, which are excellent candies.

Following that, we drove back. I was still recovering from the reaction I'd had but kept my spirits high as we drove. Frob and I quoted Simpsons episodes all the way to Wolfeboro. I dropped them off, but demurred from going in. I really wanted to get home, take medicine, and try to shake the post-reaction feelings.

I guess I made the right choice. Somewhere around four thirty in the afternoon I dropped into a nap. Somewhere around seven in the morning I woke up from it. Which is where we are now. I feel better, I should report. I just wonder if I'm ever going to be healthy again. I just want to feel healthy.
7:12:11 AM

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Every so often, you find someone who just gets it. For example, there's Carol Lay. She's a cartoonist, noted for Story Minute.

It's one thing to be a good cartoonist, which she is. It's quite another to innately understand magic realism, and put it in a form anyone can understand. Sometimes, she breaks your heart in sixteen panels, all with a casual joke. She can make you feel for a bottle of whiskey, or a pair of puppets after they're no longer needed. She can make you laugh. And she can make you think. Read her. Buy her stuff.
3:04:58 PM

So I came home, after a day's work. Within a half hour I was asleep, until close to two in the morning.

I'm never, ever going to have a normal sleep schedule.
4:01:21 AM

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Four hours later, I feel pretty crummy. Nausea from having blood taken for testing has been the high point of the day so far.

Testing. Ever testing. Forever continuing to test. Bleh. Death would be easier.
10:14:10 AM

Six in the morning.

I hate six in the morning.
6:06:08 AM

I don't often recommend things in this space, but this deserves your attention.

Yes, you too can be an artist.
2:14:20 AM

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

My name is Eric A. Burns. The A stands for Alfred. I'm considering using "E. Alfred Burns" as my professional fiction name, and "Eric A. Burns" as my RPG writing name, for no good reason other than it's goofy and fun to consider, and it's free to think about it.

I don't bring this up as the point of my entry. Frankly, I don't think anyone cares.

However, sometime in the distant past, I posted somewhere as "Eric A. Burns." This e-mail was eventually mined by data miners who sold it to mailing lists. However, they also put my name down so I could have my Spam personalized, in an effort to trick me into reading it.

Which means that every day I get two or three letters addressed to and giving special acknowledgement to "ERICA BURNS."

I'm sure she's very happy.
9:54:14 PM

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Civilization III for Mac is good. Very good. Though the latest patch makes it better.

The Babylonian Federation fell to the seductive power of the Iroquois culture, who seduced us with their soft drinks and their low rider jeans. But now, a new culture has been formed -- one dedicated to consuming all resources, propegating cities and dominating the world through superior profit.

In other words, I'm playing the Americans now. It goes well.
12:05:33 AM

Monday, February 25, 2002

Since the Lobster Telephone link no longer works, it went away, away I tell you.

It's been a very long time. I've been a busy person, all told. I'm doing just tons of writing, particularly a couple of role playing games. My current projects are, respectively, Hourglass, a d20 time travel game I'm developing, and Grigori: Lateral Watch a Modern Angel Noir game I'm doing to scratch my In Nomine itch.

I'm coming around on the whole d20 thing. For those who don't know, the d20 system is an Open Source Game, following a variant on the GPL copyleft software license. It's not quite as comprehensive as the GPL, but it does a good job. d20 is based on the Dungeons and Dragons game, which is a remarkable thing -- it's a little bit like Microsoft filing the serial numbers off Windows and releasing the source code under the GPL, with only the Start Menu code left protected. It's kind of fun to be playing with hit points and armor classes and the whole nine yards.

Grigori, on the other hand, is an entirely new system, in part because I want to model certain interactions of vice and virtue, and in part as a portfolio piece. It's my way of showing I can write a game, stem to stern.

In other writing and publishing news, I'm gathering stories for my first small press anthology, Mythic Heroes, taken from the magazine of the same name with the blessing of the old publisher. It's going to be an anthology of adventure fiction. We'll see how it goes. It's being published under the Superfluous Press imprint, which is my personal publishing company. Superfluous Press is also looking at publishing a novel or two that I've got leads on, and might create a sub-imprint called Stories of Superguy that'll let me publish a bunch of Superguy stuff, both of my own and other folks. Not all of it, though. God help me, no.

So that's me. Oh, and I watched a lot of Olympics while I was recently sick. A lot. Giant horking amounts. I haven't seen curling since I was a child.
12:01:46 PM

Thursday, October 18, 2001

There is something just dashedly civilized about the coffee maker, you know it? Stop to think for a moment about the massive levels of invention, technological development, engineering, agriculture and culinary experimentation to get to this point. Coffee beans are grown in tropical lands, raised to a certain age and texture. They are harvested, processed and shipped to producers, who then roast them. Roast them. That roast adds a flavor and texture, and flavorings and smokes are added as well, depending on the blend. Once done, they're bagged up and sent off, eventually reaching our supermarkets. From there, I buy a bag (in this case, it was Green Mountain Coffee's "Creme Brulee" -- though the coffee doesn't taste a thing like either Creme or Brulee, it is tasty coffee) and bring it to the office. To make coffee, I pour the beans into a ten dollar grinder I got, and push the little button. The beans are swiftly turned into grounds, swirling in the machine, and the smell grows stronger. I add them to the basket of the coffee maker, along with a filter. I add the water to the machine, hit the button, and wait... wait for the best smelling part of all, when the black gold fills the pot.

Think of all that. The beans themselves. The processing. The roasting. The shipping. The grinding. And then the coffeemaker itself, designed to take a potful of water, boil it as it goes along, pour it into a basket with the ground coffee, and thanks to the filter let the oil and water alone pour through into the pot. A phenomenon of engineering, and we take it utterly for granted.

Right next to the microwave, and the radio, and the laptop computer, and the air conditioner, and the cellular phone, and the CD Player, and....

Amazing.
10:33:25 AM

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

I feel it necessary to point a couple of things out, as anthrax scares spread throughout the southland, and a potential terrorist (or kook) is arrested in Washington D.C., after spilling a jar of unknown liquid that led to 15 complaints of dry throats and nausea.

Despite my last post, I am utterly in support of pursuing justice and security for the United States. I don't think there's an American citizen alive not supporting justice for the World Trade Center and security for our home. I have concerns about some of the ways we're pursuing these goals, and I'm very, very afraid that justice will end up making way for vengence, but the core remains the same. We do have to do something.

I just want that to be the right thing. I hope and pray for that with all my heart.
2:23:19 PM

God's teeth and gums it's been a long time since last we spoke. That's not right, by crickey.

I'm very tired.

Very tired.

Maybe I've avoided writing in here because since September Eleventh, I've wanted to avoid discussing the horror of the attack, and my fears and loathing that have risen up inside me since then. It was too raw a subject. Too painful a one.

In many ways, I've had very typical reactions to the whole thing. I wore an American Flag lapel thingy, handmade here at the academy by running a color flag label and wrapping it around a toothpick. Oddly, it felt more appropriate than one of the clear "patriotic profiteering" flags available on cable television is. But then, those disgust me, so....

I went to a candlelight vigil the day after the attacks, held at Saint Cecilia's. I'm no Catholic (in fact, I'm a solid agnostic), but in all the ways that count that wasn't about religion. It was about the shared community of Americans, and beyond that of the world -- the world too civilized to respond to such a horrific loss of civilian life with anything less than abject horror. We sang patriotic songs and lit candles, and I lit a candle in my window, remembering September 11. And I watched CNN for days, and at work I downloaded video and watched it. I watched the second plane hit the tower over and over again, from many angles. Fascinating, yet horrifying. I had nightmares.

Potentially there could have been tens of thousands of casualties. In actuality, there were between five and six thousand. I've heard near misses from several friends, and have other friends who did not have near misses. What do you say?

How have I coped? Mostly through work (itself stressful these days) and in playing a silly little video game that I like very much, called Monster Rancher 3. It's let me reach a kind of equilibrium with everything through raising cute little monsters, feeding and training them, caring for them, and then hurling them into cockfighting rings to tear the throats out of their cute, cel-shaded little friends.

Well, and by taking the full plunge. It's official. I'm a liberal.

I was always kind of liberal, really, though I had my conservative views and opinions. I have a certain intense dislike of the Republican party, due to some of their legislative practices of the last few decades, coupled with a fiscal irresponsibility that puts the lie to "tax and spend Democrats" once and for all (though I've no love lost for the Democratic Party either, these days), but I always had a real sense of neo-Libertarian conservatism lurking in me, born of decades of reading Robert Heinlein. But now....

I think it came from the 'War on Terrorism.' So dubbed by our leaders, and picked up and harped on by ratings hungry news organizations, we are at war. And, quite rationally, Bush said that this war would be unlike any we have ever fought before. It would take a long time, and need to be fought on many fronts, and would be played under an entirely new set of rules.

Which is, apparently, why we've bombed Afganistan. While we've been restricting the bombing as much as possible to military targets, it's still being done not so much to truly cripple Al Qaeda as it is to send a message -- to the Taliban and to other Governments that tacitly support terrorist activity -- of the level of power the United States and NATO can bring to bear.

When the IRA bombed London underground stations, the United Kingdom didn't launch military strikes against the major source of IRA funding -- which is good, since we were it. The United States has tacitly supported terrorist activity to promote our goals for years and years now. It is very dangerous to be so smug. Very dangerous indeed.

There are calls to restrain Civil Rights. There are broad invasions of electronic privacy being put forth as potential laws, 'to fight terrorism.' There are loopholes being put into place to circumvent due process and 'loosen up' governmental abilities to search properties, real or virtual, for evidence without the intervention of a judge or any other arbiter of civil rights. And, of course, there is the backlash against Arab Americans and American Islam.

Criticism against George W. Bush has become tantamount to criticizing the war effort, in the meantime, which is patently ridiculous. I pray for Bush's well being as everyone else is, in this time of National Emergency, but he remains the same unelected, clearly unqualified, clearly unintelligent man he was before. It's just now, we desperately need him to provide clear leadership

And I realized I was growing disgusted. We have been attacked here. This shouldn't be a time to promote John Ashcroft's agenda. It definitely shouldn't be a time for racial profiling, for unreasoned hatred of the different, or of making matters worse through gross generalizations and 'feel good' expressions of military power.

I found myself reading the commentary of Michael Moore, of Tom Tomorrow, of my friend Gary, and agreeing more and more. And I found my priorities shifting as we went along. United priorities. American priorities. But not priorities of hate or violence or profiteering.

I am become Liberal. And that is not a bad thing.

Well, at least until the next election. I'm an American, which means my politics are fluid.

Back to Monster Ranching.
1:20:29 PM

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Dear God.

Dear God.

Must it come to this? Must it come to planes and human beings being made weapons of terror?

There could, potentially, be tens of thousands of casualties. Tens of thousands.

I remember when I was very young, and rode the express elevator to the top. I remember being stunned at how fast ten floors whizzed by. I remember the near-weightlessness of the rapid stop. I remember the elegence of the lobby. "Windows on the World," one of the finest restaurants in the world, and the best restraunt I have ever eaten in.

I remember bathrooms with marble and wood, and men dressed in immaculate uniforms to attend them, smiling at the boy with the wide eyes. Was I eight? Younger? I'm not sure. But I remember the main dining room, and the waiter with the accent and the greying hair, who held my broiled haddock just out of reach and teasing me until I put my hands in my lap, setting the beautiful fish down. I remember the spread of New York City all around us -- the windows seeming to lead out over infinity.

I remember it all, and remember standing between the North and South Tower, looking up at the huge buildings.

They're gone now. Windows on the World is gone. They were taken from us.

Tens of thousands of people.

Dear God.
10:22:06 PM

Saturday, September 01, 2001

Gary is soon to be married. Bill just got married. John has been married for a while, and has a child.

I'm almost positive this means we're all growing up.
12:04:09 AM

Wednesday, August 22, 2001

You haven't heard from me for a while, and that's entirely my fault, and the fault of graduate work. With a side order of life and some good old fashioned work thrown in for good measure.

Added to all of that (and it includes a juicy School Design due in October) I've also been gearing up a serious assault at short fiction writing, including all the necessary ancilliaries. If I can push, hard, I should be able to get my career on better track.

(Speaking of which, I got back some editorial requests on my latest RPG thing. They're reasonable ones, and it is a paying gig, but my question has to be how much I want to write a shoot-em-up story. I know it's role playing, but still... the depth is what made it interesting. Well, it could be a challenge.)
3:58:52 PM

Tuesday, August 07, 2001

So I'm working on my graduate work, reading a mandated passage as a part of an assignment for tomorrow's classroom work (we're in the hardcore grad stuff now), and click through a supplemental reading link.

And discover it takes me to an article on the Brewster Website, which is natural enough, as it deals with Information Technology integration into school environments, and that's Brewster on toast.

It's just... of everything I've ever had to do in my life, this is the first time I was assigned something I wrote as homework. Man, I hope I pass the test.
2:13:06 AM

Saturday, June 30, 2001

"Will say things that seem to make sense until you think about them for food."

This might -- just might -- be the key to my entire life.
2:18:49 AM

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

I am trapped in a cult, and it is called Brewster Summer Institute. We are being shown the model. The model is good. Its results are proven. The leader says they are proven, and we believe the leader. We are of good cheer, for we are superior teachers. We are Professionals. We assign the Rubrics and we follow the Rubrics. Our assessment is Authentic. Our technology is leveraged and our model is Trademarked. Join us. Join us. Join us. Join us. Join us.
2:32:48 PM

Monday, June 11, 2001

I'm just showing this to Elissa, who's one of the English Faculty at the Academy. So, I'm actually blogging as part of my job. So there.
1:34:51 PM

Monday, June 04, 2001

One Day in the Life - 6/4/2001, my current journal entry, has been put up. Please enjoy.

It focuses on this year's Brewster Academy commencement. I'd liked to have put some San Jose into it, but there just wasn't time. I'm going to try to do these things a little more often.
3:45:23 PM

So, I dropped a few pennies on Keenspot Premium, which is the first of the opt-in comics syndicates. I've predicted that online comics (and possibly journals and the like) would go to a model like this for some time now, and as I read a good number of the Keenspot comics, I figured it was only fair to sign up. It was almost serendipitous that it meant I no longer had to see banners ads on the pages.

What was serendipitous was the significant increase in load speed for the Keenspot comics I read. This is entirely because my browser doesn't connect to the comic's site, only to then have to pull down a Flycast banner from their server, which almost inevitably takes longer than all the rest. Heck, once my 'fake banner' (I got a nice beach scene) loaded into my cache, it took no time at all.

Just a nicety connected to the thing.
5:45:22 AM

Friday, May 25, 2001

While in California, my timestamps are three hours off. So, for instance, it is about 7:23 when I posted this at 10:23.
10:24:55 PM

I am writing to you from sunny, beautiful San Jose, California! So, expect a report when I get back.

In the meantime, I leave you with this image. In the back of the Men's Room of the San Jose airport, there is a biohazard disposal box for used syringe needles.

I'm neither making this up nor certain what there is to be said about it.
10:23:52 PM

Sunday, May 20, 2001

Shrek is a lot of fun, just so people know. Far more a buddy picture than an animated picture, but with some real fall down laughing moments in it to boot.
7:47:39 PM

Saturday, May 19, 2001

The new bed rocks. I slept better than I have in months. Mr. Bankert said I'd love it and I do. And, with semi-luxurious sheets on it (the least expensive sheet sets were 250 count) on top of a mattress pad and a pillow top, and the mattress itself... well, a friend of mine told me that falling asleep is the best time to feel opulant, and I find I agree with her.

Journal entry soon, where I'll talk more about sheets and about the window explosion from last night. Now there's your teaser line for you.
9:41:40 PM

Friday, May 18, 2001

Douglas Adams's official website currently has the program from his funeral on it, released at the same time of the funeral itself. That's not the creepy thing. The creepy thing is, they played Paperback Writer by the Beatles on the program on or about the same exact time I was listening to Paperback Writer in my car, thinking about my writing career, and thinking about Douglas Adams.

Why I happened to put the Beatles on the CD player I'm not sure. But still -- creepy.
2:16:38 PM

Thursday, May 17, 2001

I just realized something. I have no current drinking buddies near to me.

I was reading some Douglas Adams tribute stuff, when it hit me that I should go out with a buddy and we should drink Gin and Tonics and talk about Douglas Adams, writing, and whatever. We should do this because the Gin and Tonic is a very British drink, and because Douglas Adams claimed that every civilization in the universe comes up with a drink under that name.

And realized I had no one to go do this with.

This has never happened to me. I've never been a huge drinker, but there was always someone who, in an emergency, I could combine science fiction, literature and alcohol with. Back in Boston, this would have been Matt or Robin. More likely Matt, as Robin never drank much, but either would do it out of the sense of the appropriate and to give us something to hork Andy off with. In Ithaca, it would have been Frank (naturally). Karen would go and if I insisted she'd have drunk a Gin and Tonic, but her alcohol choices weren't very ginny. (Neither were mine -- but this is Douglas Adams here. I'd choke it down.) Or, if I were closer to Syracuse, I'd hit the pub with John, and maybe Christie and Becky. A nice little coterie of insobriety in the name of a writer.

In Modern Ithaca, some years later, I could still go with Frank (though he couldn't have much) and perhaps Becky (does she drink Gin? I don't know) or John and his wife Lisa up in Syracuse if we could find someone to sit Molly, or Karen and Rob if we could pull them over (not that Rob would bismirch himself with gin, but he'd sit and nod knowingly while drinking scotch).

In Seattle, I'd go out with Dominic and T for this, and Bill if we could talk him into it. (Bill is, of all of us, the only one who actually likes Gin, and he certainly liked the book, and he'd enjoy drinking gin and saluting science fiction, Douglas Adams, and literature, but we'd still have to talk him into it.) If that didn't work, there'd be Anne and Tamera Dutton -- Tamera would have read the book and done it out of a sense of pride. Anne would do it so she could complain about her hangover later, in a good natured way. Hell, in Maine my Dad would probably go out and raise a Gin and Tonic with me purely because I wanted to do it and he would accept the reasoning. But that doesn't count so much -- he's not a fan.

But here in Wolfeboro... no one. Jon doesn't drink. Mason doesn't drink. And the folks I know at the Academy who do drink wouldn't know Douglas Adams.

It's an odd feeling.
4:16:57 PM

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

I've got (finally) a new journal entry up, this one my comments on remembering Douglas Adams, as well as some general updates.
12:06:59 PM

Okay, that was weird.

I wrote a long post on the 10th, and it failed in transmission, so I gave up on Blogging for a while. I just dropped in now and decided to update the ol' Blog.

Whereupon my entry written on the 10th updated. So, you get two for one. Neener.
10:54:58 AM

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Something amazing just happened to me.

I need a new bed, you see. Being heavy (to be understating the case) I'm hard on such things. So, this time I researched beds that would take a heavy user, plus would have a warranty against breaking down. The champions seemed to be the Select Comfort series -- the ones you see on TV, with the air chambers and the like. These don't need to be flipped over, and they're warrantied in normal use for 20 years, which is just fine.

This is not what was amazing.

You see, they had a 3 months same as cash program, which actually would work perfectly for me and let me replace my bed (which is becoming crucial, as my current one's started giving me backaches) quickly while not consuming my cash before a trip I have coming up at the end of the month. And so I applied for it, and expected to be turned down. I've had credit problems in the past, due to my own moronic behavior.

But I wasn't. I was approved, for much more than I'd be spending. It was no problem at all. The bed will be shipped (free shipping, which is nice) in a week or so.

Which means that credit wise, I've crawled up from "nuh-uh" to "weeeeeeeeell... okay."

Huh. That's amazing. See -- clean living does make a difference.

(Now, to pay this off completely by the middle of July, to ensure no hiccups....)
4:49:28 PM

Monday, May 07, 2001

It's been a long, busy week. My friends Chris and James have been visiting from the heartland of our continent (I can't say country, as one of the two is a damnable Canadian!) and that's sucked up much of my disposable time. Trying to re-make the Apple Order at the eleventh hour because Apple's a bunch of boneheads who won't tell you when you're making changes to the product line until it's too late and you suddenly have minutes to do what should be done in weeks has been taking up the rest of my time.

(Seriously? The new I-Books with the built in CD-RWs look very sweet, but it'd have been nice to have known about them in February and March when we were actually framing this order.)

I'll try to do a journal update soon.
8:37:13 AM

Friday, April 27, 2001

I've done a good amount of work to Continuance today, including putting up HTML versions of about 15 poems, which I'm in the process of developing the design and links for. I expect to go live with Continuance within the next couple of days. I've also developed much of the In Nomine site redesign, and expect to have it ready in time to put up some new content on that side of things.
3:59:43 PM

Hey... wait.

Is it me, or does the site redesign make the whole thing look like a piece of letterhead?
12:10:20 AM

One Day in the Life - 4/26/2001 is up, just at the cusp of April 27. But technically I made it. Neener neener neener.
12:01:22 AM

Thursday, April 26, 2001

My lip is bleeding. It's been bleeding for the last hour. The hospital has helpfully suggested pressure on it with a towel. So I sit here, and bleed, and look at the dinner I've had one bite of.

This isn't fun.
5:36:55 PM

Wednesday, April 25, 2001

I just got back from a fast trip to Maine -- Dad picked up a seat belt extender for my car, which has made my life vastly better. It was a beautiful day for a drive, and on the way I saw the Brewster Tennis team. They won. Life is good.
9:53:29 PM

I agree with about 95.6% of what my friend Frobozz says. Our personalites are remarkably alike, as are our likes and dislikes. The same could be said of his White Wolf commentary. For those that don't know, White Wolf publishes Role Playing Games, including the ubiquitous Vampire: The Masquerade, and has a strong following.

I agree with most of what he said, especially about the utterly depressing "game" Wraith: The Oblivion, of which the less said the better. But I can't possibly disagree more with his review of Changling: The Dreaming. He sees it as fun and magical and full of hope and mystery, whereas I see it as the game where your character is forced to grow up and see the enthusiasm of the world wanes, either in personality or, in the case of the horrific Autumn People, in total. I loathe this game, and he loves it.

Which means I may have to have another look. But then, I like Mage more than he does, too.
12:52:13 PM

One Day in the Life - 4/25/2001 is up, making two entries in a row, which means my output is just skyrocketing baby!
12:10:50 PM

Annotations: The In Nomine collection has been tweaked, with its index page now following a variant of the default page. I'm likely going to put up a new index page and some subpages for the subsite, to better model the site as a whole.

Over the next few days, I'll try to put some of the In Nomine materials I've written that I can't sell (easily, at least) onto the page. That should make some folks happy (I'm thinking of a fellow named Moe who's been on me for a while to update that thing....)
5:16:42 AM

I fell asleep before 8 p.m., so here it is four-thirty in the morning and I'm awake, without any hope of falling back to sleep. Tomorrow is going to suck, thank you very kindly. Conan O'Brien just ended (I get the west coast feed as well as the east coast) and SCTV is about to come on, and I'm typing into my weblog.

So far, I already have positive feedback for the new site's look and feel. That's a good thing. Thanks all.

SCTV's on. It's very good. I'm going to try to go to sleep.
4:34:14 AM

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

And yet more tweaking. The problem with using Blogger as your engine is it requires a lot of work to get it looking just right, after the page has gone live.
5:09:31 PM

Just did a little more front-page tweaking. The site's beginning to look very nice. It's got a good balance of the old feel and the new. I'm expecting the journal pages to reflect this front-page within the week.
4:59:58 PM

One Day in the Life - 4/24/2001 is up in Annotations: Some Days in the Life. Frighteningly enough, it's both the first post in over four months and the first post in the journal's third year of posting. In both cases, I have to ask where all the time went.
4:21:26 PM

Welcome to the all-new Annotations Online Review. It's been a while since we've done regular, coherent updating. Still, we're still here, plugging away and trying to make this the best site it can be, all while finding the time to fritter away my life in front of bad reality television.

For those who are new to the site, or are looking for the Journal, or are looking for the In Nomine pages or what have you -- welcome! This is the personal playground of Eric Burns, a basically nice guy who has various creative interests. As an outlet for creativity, Annotations lets me express myself in my life, in my hobbies, and through creativity. In between all of that, hopefully we'll have some fun.

This front page will keep you up to date on changes to the site, additions to the sub-headings, and any little tidbits I think you'll enjoy. The Latest, the section you're reading now, will act more like a traditional weblog (can we really be said to have 'traditional weblogs' yet?) than the old "Annotations in the Raw" did, though. If I think something's neat, I'll put it up here. If I have a fast rant, I'll rant it here.

This will leave the journal for essays or real life ruminations, which seems right to me.

We're also going to put up essays and other pieces in Continuance, which will also act as an online poetry chapbook as I get the poetic side of my life back in gear. Eventually, Higher Learning will contain my course materials and impressions as I chart my course through Curtin University's Masters of Science in Educational Technology (and hopefully one day the Ph.D. itself). And naturally enough there'll be a Links page, leading you to what I like to read online....

Have fun. And as always, please enjoy a bon-bon.
2:51:38 PM

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