Category Archives: memeday

The Spo Meme

Today’s post comes courtesy of Spo Reflections. The author, Urspo, compiled this questionnaire to determine how Spo-ish his readers are. Let’s give it a try, shall we?

How “Spoish” are you?

[…] is jolly good fun ! (fill in the blank)
A good party game. With good company, of course.
Tea, wine, or champagne?
Since Champagne is basically wine, I can choose Wine and get Champagne included for free. So, Wine… unless we’re having Chinese food, or it’s time for breakfast and we’re out of coffee, or it’s cold outside.
How left handed are you?
Not very. I can barely manage to hold my fork Continental style. I can slice up meats just fine, but when it comes time for rice pilaf or mashed potatoes, I must revert to the fork-in-right-hand American style.
The loudest item of clothing I have […]
Without a doubt, it’s the Spider-Man Hawaiian Shirt that I received for Christmas some years ago. It looks like this:
Spider-Man Hawaiian Shirt
Yes, I’ve worn it.
The Best Friend: who is s/he?
That would most certainly be the gentleman that I took to see the Space Shuttle, and on several other adventures. It was also he who, now that I think of it, gave me that very loud Spider-Man shirt.
I’d rather eat rats in Tewkesbury than……
Anything with a gratuitous topping of cilantro.
How many of these have you done?:
1. Been to an opera
Does Space Opera count? No? Then no.
2. Read a novel by Dickens
No. Wait, I think I may have read an abridged version of A Christmas Carol back in middle school. So, yes, sort of?
3. Drank Bourbon
How do you think I made it though Thanksgiving?
4. Been to Key West
Yes, but only vicariously, through the medium of bright green pies.
5. Visited The Stratford Festival of Canada
I’ve been to a Stratocaster museum exhibit. That’s sort of similar, isn’t it?
6. Spiders give you the heebie-jeebies.
While I don’t exactly like spiders, my true heebie-jeebies come from the supposedly humourous personal injury videos showcased on Tosh.0. Blech, shiver, shiver.
7. Been to Michigan
No. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I’ve not been east of the Rockies in my adult life.
8. Rolled down a grass hill.
No, it was a dirt hill. My family was too poor to afford grass when I was a child.
9. Ate Synder Pretzels
After an investigation of their website, I can conclude that, yes, I’ve eaten those grid-shped snack products they have. Unless, of course, what I was actually eating was a Safeway Select knockoff.
10. Used the word “rubbish” in the past 30 days.
Yes, indeed. And what I said was, “I’ve seen it. It’s rubbish.”
11. Worn a bow tie
Yes, but it was a costume bow tie. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
12. Have a set of Viking horns
Yes, a cheap plastic horned helmet. And I did not wear it with the bow tie. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Questionable Answers

A while back, I invited questions in need of questionable answers. The questions were duly submitted. Now it is time for answers.

What is the one thing that scares you most? — Erik Rubright
After careful consideration, I have concluded that the thing that scares me most is… other people.

Perhaps I am nothing but just another emotionally-damaged and mistrustful geek, but I feel as though any random passer-by, at any moment, and without warning, could: express cruel and hurtful opinions; blow up and become violent; become manipulative out of ulterior motives; and worst of all, somehow entangle me in an adamantine net of problems, obligations and expectations. Better just to avoid everyone in general whenever possible, rather than risk such negative outcomes.

I’m sure this sentiment seems hopelessly weird to those with extroverted personalities. But, I never said it was rational. A majority of the 6.79 billion other people running around on Earth are, most likely, genuinely decent folks (or they at least act like it to prevent society from collapsing,) but I’m afraid that it only took a few dozen of the others to give humanity a bad reputation in my book.

The good news is that I used to handle this fear a lot worse. The bad news is that there are still days when I question the wisdom of leaving the house.

Well, that was quite a downer of an answer, wasn’t it? The mere reading of which could cause heartburn or diarrhea. Let’s just move on to a happier subject, then.

I know you read quite a bit. What is your favorite genre? And, what is your favorite book? — Greg

As one might guess, my favorite reading genre is Science Fiction. I like how the genre explores new ideas, speculates on possible futures, or provides social commentary. And if it doesn’t manage to accomplish any of those goals, it can still just provide an escapist romp.

TARDIS

As for a favorite book, The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is an all-time classic. Even before I realized that it was a lampoon of a particular time, I enjoyed Mr. Adams’ particular brand of humor. The idea that, although the Earth was an absurd place, the Galaxy was far more absurd, and the Universe more absurd than that. All without quite (in my opinion) stepping over the line into disbelief-shattering silliness.

So this concludes the answer phase of the question box. Thanks for participating, and, assuming you all haven’t been overcome with various forms of gastrointestinal distress, let’s try it again sometime.

Obligatory Thanksgiving Post

Hooray, it’s Thanksgiving! A holiday celebrating the simple sentiment of counting one’s blessings. Also, gluttony. And tomorrow, covetousness! Aren’t we a grand culture?

Social commentary aside, I’m in the midst of an epic round of cookery, so I’ve decided to crib a questionnaire from Cubby at Patently Queer. Let’s begin, shall we?

Cornucopia

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Do you travel or stay local? Family or Friends? Host or Guest?
I travel, but locally. I visit family of friends. I hosted last year, but I’m guesting this year. I choose All Of The Above. I give terrible answers, don’t I?
Parade: Love it? Leave it? Never let it go?
Leave it! I know it’s a tradition and all, but I really can’t get into it. Maybe if it were convenient to watch it in person, I’d feel differently.
Favorite Food?
My favorite foods of Thanksgiving are certainly the starches: the mashed potatoes with gravy, the candied yams, the savory stuffing, dinner rolls, cookies, etc. etc. etc.
Favorite holiday movie or do you watch football?
I don’t watch the football. I hear it, though. Oh, do I ever hear it.
If you do holiday decorations, for which holiday and when?
I used to get excited over Halloween, but I’ve since decided not to go out of my way to please trick-or-treaters. If there were going to be some sort of spooky soirée, I’d feel differently. I’d consider putting out a cornucopia or something for Thanksgiving dinner, if I were to host a large number of guests. For Christmas, I’ve got Robo-Tree. Unfortunately, I’ve just been informed that Robo-Tree’s novelty has worn off and that he’ll be replaced with extreme prejudice. I wouldn’t consider putting up any Christmas décor prior to the 12th, as the first of the twelve days of Christmas.
Bonus Question
People traditionally give thanks on Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?
I am thankful for many things, but most importantly that special guy who shares my adventures, my home, my days and my nights. Life just wouldn’t be the same without you. Thanks for being there.

You’ve Got Questions…

Recently, Erik Rubright put out a request for reader questions, and then Ian at Mind of Mine did likewise. Since I submitted questions to both of them, I think it would be only fair (and fun) to allow them (and anyone else) the opportunity to pose their own questions. So here it is, yet another ask-me box:

Now accepting: personal questions, random questions, odd questions, creepy questions, any kind of ask :)

If you don’t know the drill, just submit your questions as comments to this post, and I will submit answers* in a later post.

*: Warning: Answers may cause drowsiness. Do not use while operating heavy machinery. In a small number of cases, Answers caused nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Answers are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or disorder, except for itching curiosity. Ask your doctor if Answers are right for you.
Offer valid until this says that it isn’t.

Friday Freakshow

So, like just about everyone else who volunteered for the Thirty Day Blog Challenge, I too have run out of enthusiasm for the project. And like a few of my blog neighbors, I find myself grasping for ideas and wondering what to do next. Until I figure it out, please enjoy this edition of The Friday Five.

If you had to have a Siamese Twin, who would you want it to be and why?
Zaphod Beeblebrox. Three heads are better than one. Also, as a team, we’d be a lot more effective in drawing attention away from the real source of political power in the Galaxy.
Would you rather be connected at the top of the head, or at the waist and why?
At the waist. To a giant. Then I could randomly pop out of his clothes and say things like “Quaid! Activate the reactor!”
Make up a definition to the made up word “kituxilicious”. Use it in a sentence.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy says this about the word kituxillicious. It is used to describe a situation in which one conjoined sibling attains greater status than another, in the manner of King Kitux. The merciless King Kitux conquered three-quarters of the galaxy before his sudden death. Meanwhile, Kitux’s conjoined twin brother, Droon, served as his accountant. That is, until Kitux suspected Droon of embezzling and had him executed.
Do you think there is something ultimately good about everyone?
Only a Sith deals in absolutes! (draws lightsaber) Oh, wait, wrong continuity. (wraps towel around head)
Would you relive your high school days? Why/why not?
Only if I were the kituxillicious conjoined twin of a giant, or if I were Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Pretentious Blogging

Hark and forsooth, dear beloved Reader, and fain welcome to Your Humble Servant’s abode, wheretofore the wandering eyes of one and all shall behold literary eructations of uncommon erudition, remarkable pulchritude, and extraordinary sesquipedality.

Lest Your Humble Servant descend into alexic logorrhea, let us hereupon galeoflect to Sunday Stealing. Henceforth, let us commence.

Pretentious Blogging Meme: Part Two.

(Part One Of Which Shall Be Performed At Date Yet To Be Determined)
pre·ten·tious
1. Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.
2. Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious.
How many drafts of potential blog posts do you have right now?
I will have you know that I have no less than a dozen posts in draft state.
In what medium do you draft your posts?
Why, electronic, of course. One might agree that there are are bloggers who may well draft their posts with pencils on paper notepads, but then one might be led to wonder whether there might be other bloggers who draft their posts on vellum and parchment with quills dipped in iron gall ink.
How often do you completely scratch or delete drafts or blog post ideas?

More often than not. Most drafts reveal themselves, in the fullness of time, to be nothing other than pure and utter balderdash.
If you had to leave your blog in your will to another blogger, who would you choose?

Who wouldn’t want the honor, the distinction, the privilege of becoming The Next Electronic Replicant? Why, one would assume that because such a multitude of bloggers would beg for the position, that choosing among them through conventional means such as soliciting résumés would prove impractical. For this reason, I would will the title of The Next Electronic Replicant to the winner of a grueling twenty-two week television contest of talent, poise, pretension, fabulosity and outrageousness, with final determination to be made by audience participation.
Are there other blogs that you feel are similar to yours in content, style, or voice?

No. There are only pale reflections, faint echoes, and breezy redolences. For it was none other than I who invented this style, voice, and content. I am the artist from whom all inspiration flows. Oh, and I invented blogging. And the Internet. And the computer, and the vacuum tube, and electricity.
Has anything surprised you since you started blogging?

Indeed. I had assumed that surely I would never lack for anything to say.
What are your goals or plans for your blog going forward?

To carry onward, to entertain and connect with other bloggers.
Do you make any money from your blog? (optional) about how much a month?

Imperntinent scoundrel! Were I to gain monetarily, in how poor taste would it be to express it in preening, flaunting self satisfaction. Fortunately, this project is conducted upon a strictly for-fun basis.
What blogging system do you use?
Once upon a time, I used a Java application called Thingamablog. Sadly, it developed problems which precipitated a migration to WordPress.
How did you come up your blog name?
Ridiculous as it may seem, it was generated by computer. ERIK is the cybernetic acronym for Electronic Replicant Intended for Killing. This was first used the blog’s tagline— another title was under consideration and was fortunately rejected. Lest the public be unsettled by references to violence, the Intended for Killing was thenceforth omitted.
How many blogs do you have? What was your peak?

I admit only to this one.
Are you having as much fun as when you started?

On occasion, indeed, but oft times are they that putting thought to word seems both duty and chore.
Where do you find other bloggers like you?

Patiently perambulating comments and blogrolls and trackbacks. On occasion in participating in blogging events e.g. NaBloPoMo, Holidailies, ICLW, et cetera.
What’s your one wish when it comes to blogging?
Simply that I always continue to have as much fun as (or more than) when I started.

Lola’s Holiday Meme

Today’s post is brought to you by Sunday Stealing. When you think of stealing, think of Sunday Stealing.

1. What is your favorite holiday show/animated show?
I happen to like Scrooged… but everyone happens to like that movie, so I can’t possibly submit that as my answer. Instead, I submit The He-Man She-Ra Christmas Special. It makes up for its utter cheesiness with a moment of unbelieveably cheesy cheesiness. After Skeletor saves two children, he then with dismay asks, “This… is Christmas?” He then yechs, “Well, I don’t like feeling good. I like feeling evil, evil, evil!” All laugh.
This... is Christmas?
This... is Christmas?
2. What holiday character do you think you’re most like?
I am like a Polar Elf, thanklessly stamping out thousands of toys per hour ostensibly for the enjoyment of ungrateful children. And who gets all the praise? A fat old man in a red suit.
3. What holiday character does your spouse think you’re most like?
“I don’t know. Who comes up with this stuff?”
4. Favorite Christmas/holiday song?
Here We Come A Wassailing. You don’t hear it as often as the others. Also, it’s not about fictional characters, but a door-to-door party.
5. Most hated Christmas/holiday song?
“Deck the Halls” has basically become the Christmas Jingle and has therefore lost all appeal.
6. If you have an all holiday music radio station when do you start listening to it?
As soon as I step through the doors of the grocery store.
7. If you have an all holiday music radio station do you love it or hate it?
It’s not the station itself I dislike so much as those tired old tunes it dispenses ‘round-the-clock.
8. Have you ever wrapped yourself as a Christmas present?
No, but now that you mention it, I think I’ll go make a festive holiday suit out of wrapping paper scraps.
9. Who is Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer’s father?
Some say it was Dasher, some say it was Comet. Others say it was Santa Claus himself, and this was why Rudolf has had preferential treatment ever since that foggy Christmas Eve. I have my own theory. The father of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is none other than Reddy Kilowatt!kilothumb
10. Do you drive your neighborhood or one near you at night to look at other people’s holiday decorations?
I don’t drive myself around to look at light bulbs, much less the whole neighborhood.
11. When you see a heavily decorated house do you think, ‘oh that’s lovely’? Or do you think, ‘oh criminy, that looks like Christmas threw up all over their lawn’?
Well, it does look like Christmas threw up all over their lawn.
12. Are you counting the days to Christmas with excited anticipation or dread?
I’m not counting until Monday. Then by Tuesday it will be Wednesday. By Wednesday it will be Friday. And by Saturday, it will almost be time to shill for Valentine’s Day.

Holiday of Lust
13. When was the last time you had your photo taken with Santa? Did you sit on his lap?
It was 1981. I don’t remember if I sat in his lap, but I do remember that I asked about a change of address form.
14. Do you make a Christmas list for your spouse or significant other or do you rely on them to pick your gift(s) without a clue from you?
I don’t issue a list, but I do give plenty of clues.
15. When do you put up your tree?
Apparently, in 2009.
16. Real or fake?
It’s not fake, it’s artificial. There’s a difference.
17. When do you take your tree down?
Traditionally, the tree must be up for all twelve days of Christmas. This assumes that you put the tree up on the 24th or 25th. Most people put it up much earlier, and for that reason, I think it ought to go by New Year’s Eve.
18. Do you shop the day after Christmas sales? What do you shop for?
No, thanks. I’m already shopped-out. I think we all are.
19. Is your work/office having a holiday party this year? Will you attend?
They already have and I already did. And if you’re wondering who threw up on your lawn, it was “Christmas.”
20. Do you have your New Year’s Eve Plans set yet?
Yes, I’m going to etch my name into the moon with a giant laser beam.

Desktop Friday: Sputnik

What’s on your desktop this week? I’ve gone back to outer space. This image originally came from an article on the Sputnik satellite. I flipped it around and simplified the background.

Sputnik
beep... beep... beep...

It’s amazing to think that this was the first spacecraft. It was basically just a flying radio beacon, and was only in orbit for a few months, but it led the United States and the Soviet Union into the space race.

Borrowed Bookmeme, Part Two

Since the Borrowed Bookmeme is all about Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, I’d like us all to imagine that Majel Barrett, voice of the Computer on Star Trek, has just said, “Last time on The Electronic Replicant…” Then imagine that there were scenes of aliens making threats, scenes of Data, Beverly and Troi looking perplexed, some explosions, a clip of Worf and Riker each getting punched in the face, scenes of Jean Luc Picard grimly giving commands, many more explosions, and then the words, “And now, the conclusion.”

Hard SF or Space Opera?
Both have their merits. On one hand, I enjoy the way that Hard SF will present an idea and then explore it to its end, or at least ask what effects the idea may have on the future of humanity. On the other hand, it often lacks the space fleets and grandiose heroics which are the hallmarks of Space Opera. On the other, other hand, Space Opera overlaps with something that I call “Space Fantasy,” which is basically High Fantasy costumed in technology.
Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Each is like a box of chocolates. An anthology is like a sampler. You’ve got nutty, chewy, crunchy, plain, and what have you. You’ve also got a good chance of finding something that tastes like soap or maybe toothpaste. But the important thing is that you’ve got a variety of flavors and textures. A collection is like a box of truffles, or caramels, or bonbons, or what have you. If you happen to like that sort of candy, it’s great. On the other hand, if you get a box of soap nuggets, that’s not so great. Then again, if you already knew you didn’t like soap nuggets, why would you buy a box of them in the first place?
Hugo or Nebula?
Sure. They’re both good.
Golden Age SF or New Wave SF?
I find the Golden Age stuff fun to read.
Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
Tidy ending. There’s nothing worse than drudging through a mediocre novel only to reach a cliffhanger.
Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
I do most of my reading in the afternoon on my lunch break.
Standalone or Series?
I’ve nothing against a good series as long as it’s a good series, and as long as the author doesn’t get bored halfway through and begin to mechanically churn out content because he’s under contract for five more books.
Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
To be honest, I’ve never heard of Urban Fantasy before. It’s apparently any sort of fantasy that takes place in an urban setting that is important to the story. Something like Perdido Street Station would fit this definition. Or possibly even the manga Big O with its City of Amnesia. However, I think I prefer High Fantasy’s boundless adventure over politics and intrigue in thieves’ dens.
New or used?
There’s nothing wrong with a gently used book. In fact, older editions often have a certain charm about themselves, whether it’s from the cheesy cover art, or the dated typefaces inside. (Futura? Really?)
Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
My most favorite obscure SF book is The Ring of Charon, a story about a scientist who builds a black hole and awakens an ancient race of cybernetic aliens.
Top X favorite genre books read last year? (Where X is 5 or less)
Is it true that I’ve read less than five genre books this year? Apparently! Here they are, sorted by likelihood that I’d read them again:

  1. Magic Kingdom For Sale– Sold!
  2. Mona Lisa Overdrive
  3. Snow Crash
  4. Spook Country
  5. Perdido Street Station
Top X favorite genre books of all time? (Where X is 5 or less)
Since I see that the next question is about series, I’ll change my usual answers just a bit.

  • The Diamond Age or A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer
  • Neuromancer
  • Ringworld
  • Diaspora
  • The Complete Robot (Asimov collection)
X favorite genre series? (Where X is 5 or less)
In randomized order, they are:

  • Middle Earth (Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion)
  • Night’s Dawn (Reality Dysfunction, Neutronium Alchemist, Naked God)
  • Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Hyperion/Fall of Hyperion
  • Greatwinter
Top X favorite genre short stories? (Where X is 5 or less)
Gosh, I’ve read so many that I can’t remember them all, much less their titles. Do you mind if I save this one for another time?

Phew, that was a long one!

Borrowed Bookmeme, Part One

Borrowed, without asking, from SF Signal.

I thought I’d jump on the meme bandwagon and start one of my own, mainly centered on genre fiction books. Well, actually, only on science fiction, fantasy and horror.
You know how this works: Copy the questions and give your own answers…

Since this one’s rather long, I’ve decided to present it in two parts, this being (obviously) the first.

Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?
Science Fiction, then Fantasy, then Horror.
Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
I like the form factor of hardcover and trade paperback. It’s much easier to hold open with one hand, so that I can read while I eat.
Heinlein or Asimov?
I honestly haven’t read much Heinlein, just The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and the short story “It’s Great To Be Back.” On the other hand, I’ve read lots of Asmov. He’s got robots, after all.
Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
Brick and Mortar. There’s no substitute for picking up a potential purchase and actually looking at it, looking through it, reading a few pages or more and then deciding that this is the book for you.
Barnes & Noble or Borders?
I don’t really see that much difference between the two. In fact I’m occasionally not sure which I’m in until the cashier asks me for my customer loyalty card. I will say that I know of at least two beautiful (or at least interesting) old buildings that have been saved by Barnes & Noble moving into them, so that’s worth a few points right there.
Hitchhiker or Discworld?
I have read a couple of Discworld novels, but I have to say Hitchhiker all the way. I guess it’s that Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy question, or maybe it’s a question of silliness vs. satire.
Bookmark or Dogear?
I used to dogear, but not any more. I also used to use the flaps of the book jacket as placeholders, but that doesn’t work very well either. So now I’m a proud bookmark user.
Magazine: Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?
I used to read both at different times. But I think I preferred Asimov’s since I seem to recall that it featured a bit more of the hard SF.
Alphabetize by author, alphabetize by title, or random?
Umm… they’re not exactly random… they’re vaguely grouped by category, theme, size and series. Yes, a little bit of alphabetization would probably be a good thing. I suppose I’d do author then title, just as the book shops do.
Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
Throw away? Throw away? Oh! The very idea! Usually, if I don’t want a book anymore, I’ll first put it on paperbackswap.com. Then, if there are no takers, I’ll eventually donate it (which, I’m afraid, probably amounts to the same as throwing it away.)
Year’s Best Science Fiction series (edited by Gardner Dozois) or Years Best SF series (edited by David G. Hartwell)?
I’ve got three of the former and one of the latter. I’m not that picky.
Keep dustjacket or toss it?
Keep. It makes the book more identifiable on the shelf, and the jacket notes are handy when you’ve forgotten what the book was about.
Read with dustjacket or remove it?
Remove. It’s annoying to have the book slipping and sliding around in the jacket while you’re trying to hold onto it.
Short story or novel?
As I’ve said in the past, I do enjoy a good anthology. If a story’s not to your liking, you can either skip it (perhaps even assuring yourself that you’ll come back to it later,) or you can slog through it, taking some comfort in the fact that it will at least be short. When I discover that I’m reading a bad novel, on the other hand, I usually feel compelled to grind my way on to the end, if only to try and redeem the investment that I’ve already made in the story. You never know— it could have a really great ending that makes up for the preceding 64 chapters.
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Neither. I read Harry Potter once to see what all the hoopla was over. It was like an In-N-Out burger— indeed tasty, but not something I’d wait in line for.
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
I try to stop at chapter breaks as it’s easier to pick up again afterward, but sometimes it just can’t be helped.
“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Oh, a dark and stormy night, for sure, with a sky the color of television tuned to a dead channel. (Though I suppose nowadays that could mean a solid bright blue rather than a weirdly luminous gray.)
Buy or Borrow?
Buy, I think. I haven’t borrowed a book in a long time. The last one had to have been for a book ring, which technically is a borrow (though a complicated one.) I’ve gotten many books through trades of one sort or another— paperbackswap, book boxes, book relay, etc. Not exactly buying— more of a bartering.
Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
Currently, it’s Recommendation, then Browse, then Book Reviews. I don’t like to read reviews because I don’t want to have any preconceived notions as to what I’ll be reading. I also don’t want to be haunted by any subtle spoilers. I’ve had mixed luck with recommendations, though the LibraryThing unsuggester seems pretty well spot-on.
Lewis or Tolkien?
Ooh, tough one. I really liked Through the Looking Glass— oh, wait, that was Lewis Carroll, not C.S. Lewis. Tolkien, then.