Cold Ground
email Derryl (replace AT with @)

Places to Go:
Derryl's Fotolog
Fictionwise (reprints of some of Derryl's fiction)
Alyx Dellamonica
Boing Boing
Charlie Stross
Jena Snyder
Making Light
Randy Reichardt

~ Friday, November 22, 2002
There is some yahoo by the name of Philip Shropshire who was making trouble at Patrick Nielsen Hayden's blog, so unfortunately Patrick has cancelled all comments. So now, over at Teresa Nielsen Hayden's blog, Shropshire has shown up again, somehow thinking that Teresa is an appendage of Patrick. Click on "Comments" for the blog entry "Housekeeping", and check out the damage Teresa has done. I was at first very confused, trying to read the stuff Shropshire had posted, but then I read Teresa's note further down; she took out all of his vowels. Is this not terribly clever?
Via Boing Boing, this story of a man who burned his privates while working on his laptop. Interestingly, his burns were worse than the time I was ironing in the nude.

And I'm sure that's a picture many of you will be fighting to rid yourselves of all day.
~ Thursday, November 21, 2002
Providence for the Latin Phrases, courtesy Walter Jon Williams. Says he:

"The quotes are actually from the book Lingua Latina Occasionibus Omnibus (Latin for All Occasions) by Henry Beard, who I believe was formerly at the National Lampoon."

And then a gives a few others:

Estne tibi forte magna feles fulva et planissima?
Do you by any chance happen to own a large, yellowish, very flat cat?

Perscriptio in manibus tabellariorum est.
The check is in the mail.

Ita erat quando hic adveni.
It was that way when I got here.

Da mihi sis bubulae frustum assae, solana tuberoso in modo Gallico fricta ac quassum lactatum coagulatum crassum.
I'll have a burger, fries, and a thick shake.

Vinum bellum iucundumque est, sed animo corporeque caret.
It's a nice little wine, but it lacks character and depth.

All-purpose translation of Latin text (for those who can't speak Latin): "Having done these things, they made the sacrifices prescribed by custom lest they be found lacking in filial piety."

Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant!
May barbarians invade your personal space!

Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
May faulty loic undermine your entire philosophy!

Utinam modo subiunctivo semper male utaris!
May you always misuse the subjunctive!

Cave ne ante ullas catapultas ambules.
If I were you, I wouldn't walk in front of any catapults.

In tempore praeterito plus quam perfecto de te mox dicent.
People will soon be referring to you in the past pluperfect tense.
Haven't we had enough of this sick bastard? I used to figure that, yeah, Michael Jackson was a bit of a loon, but that maybe it was an act. But anyone pulling crap like that with a child, they deserve to suddenly be living alone.

To say nothing of this picture, which makes my skin crawl. Deeply weird doesn't even come close to describing the guy.
Somewhere back in the mists of time, I blogged about SUVs and the rising tide against the waste they represent (and no, I have no idea how to link to it). There's all sorts of new stuff happening on that front, including several who have chosen to use the the issue as a sign of patriotism and religious conviction. I like this.
~ Wednesday, November 20, 2002
I'm getting in lots of movie-watching time because Bren just wants to sit on the couch and cuddle while he scratches himself. Today we watched Spider-Man, which is a dandy film, even if it is the fifth time I've seen it. To spice it up a bit, I ran the DVD with the popups, which are kind of lifted from VH1's famous Pop-Up Video.

Some of them were interesting, and a few were poorly edited. I speak here of missing a letter in a window about Sam Raimi's Evil Dead movies, resulting in the word "hainsaw" instead of "chainsaw." But worse, I speak of the constant misuse of the apostrophe in the word (you guessed it) "its."

Let me reiterate for Jason Hillhouse and Gary Rutkowski, the writers (alas, I am unsure of any editors to blame); "It's" has very limited use, for sentences such as "It is mine." "Its" is for everything else. In other words, "'s opening weekend" is wrong. If you're going to pretend to be professionals, then there are rules that should stick in your head, never to be shaken loose. Ever. And this goes for every writer who hopes to send stories to ON SPEC.

As a secondary note of complaint, if you get a chance to watch the movie again, check out how Peter holds his camera when he's shooting MJ and Harry on the balcony during World Unity Day. He's zooming and/or focusing with his right hand and using his left to take the pic. Problem here, of course, is that everything is reversed; you use your left hand to brace the camera, to zoom, and possibly to focus. Your right hand presses the shutter button. Now, Peter's camera gear always drove me a little nuts in the comic book, since such unprofessional gear could not help with the job he was doing. But I wrote it off as just being from a comic. And the gear in the film is also not even close to for real (hell, the picture in the link there falls a little short). But, anal whining aside, you'd think young Tobey would have known he was holding the damn camera wrong. Or the director. Or continuity. Someone.
~ Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Maureen McHugh posted this in her newsgroup over at DM Net; apparently her husband found them on a newsgroup. So here they are, unattributed, but very funny:

Handy Latin Phrases

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.
It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit!
God, look at the time! My wife will kill me!

Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?
Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.
When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults.

Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est.
The designated hitter rule has got to go.

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.
I can't hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.
I think some people in togas are plotting against me.

Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem.
In the good old days, children like you were left to perish on windswept crags.

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.
If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.
I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult.

(At a poetry reading) Nullo metro compositum est.
It doesn't rhyme.

Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema.
I don't care. If it doesn't rhyme, it isn't a poem.

Quomodo cogis comas tuas sic videri?
How do you get your hair to do that?

Feles mala! Cur cista non uteris? Stramentum novum in ea posui.
Bad kitty! Why don't you use the cat box? I put new litter in it.

Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt.
You know, the Romans invented the art of love.

(At a barbeque) Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?

Neutiquam erro.
I am not lost.

Hocine bibo aut in eum digitos insero?
Do I drink this or stick my fingers in it?

Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur.
Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.
"Obviously that person shouldn't have had that snake to begin with." Yes, that's a good quote, and certainly more accurate than the one that closes the story: "So who's responsible? The one with the bigger brain." Well, no, I suspect that when young Matthew (Unemployed? Whatever for?) finally does find a more permanent method, the autopsy will reveal this to be incorrect.
~ Monday, November 18, 2002
Well, Brennan finally has the chicken pox, and I have to get these papers done. So it'll mostly be radio silence here for a little while. But I just have to comment on corporal punishment in schools, finding myself wondering if I would make a beeline for the school and lay a whuppin' on the teacher for pulling this crap. The answer is Probably, depending on if Jo could catch up to stop me (she being the sane one).
~ Sunday, November 17, 2002
This discussion of "the uncanny valley" is an excellent look at why certain creatures elicit sympathy, while others bring about horror.
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