You talkin' to me?

There's no one else here, you MUST be... oh, wait. There's like five million other people here. Which explains why, apparently, nobody is talking to me.

Ah, well.

Whispering hoarsely into the void:

* I'm pretty sure everyone who is going to read the short story I've posted for feedback here has done so at this point. So I'm planning to take it down sometime this weekend. If there's anyone out there who would like me to leave it up a while longer, or email them a copy, let me know soon, pleez. Tenkew.

* Have I mentioned before that I seem to have picked up some kind of shit? It started last Friday; I noticed my throat was a little sore. Since then, my sore throat has gone away, but my sinuses are all stuffy and I have progressively lost more and more of my voice. I think it's peaked and I'm on the road to recovery now, and hopefully will get there in time to start work on Monday at my new assignment. (Barring a truly major downturn, I'm fine to work and have been even while sick; this thing isn't causing me any discomfort, I just haven't had much of a voice for several days.) In the meantime, I continue to gargle maniacally with salt water (it seems to help a lot) and throw down Tussin as necessary. Pray for me. Or, you know, just send money.

* The Man Most Men Call Nate gifted us all with Powerball tickets last night. I've gone through the four that I could find readily under refrigerator magnets and, alas, we did not win -- in fact, on those four tickets, we did not match a single number, except for one which matched the floating red number at the far right. Which is impressive, in some sort of truly bizarre fashion. But I appreciate the thought on the part of Natus Maximus.

* Girl Scout cookies are in the house. Yes, we picked up our large consignment of Scout-sanctioned sweets last night, and are planning to get out and deliver them to those who ordered from us last month sometime this evening. It cannot happen too soon, because if those cookies stay confined within the same walls as I for much longer than 24 hours, I will be required by God Almighty to eat every single one of them (except for the nasty sugar free ones, o'course, o'course, those I will save to feed to any barnyard swine I happen to see). After consuming every last morsel of Thin Mints, Trefoils, All Abouts, Do-Si-Dos, Samoas, Jesus-Loves-Yous, Papyan Pole Dancers, Kalikaks, Jukes, or whatever the fuck all else they're called this year, I may very well expire of massive hyperglycemic shock, but we've all gotta go sometime, and if it has to be, then a death by Girl Scout Cookie overdose is as good a death as any, and better than most.

* I'm reading a CONAN book. CONAN THE USURPER, by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp. True Conan fans sneer at the DeCamp Conan material, because it's not 'real' Conan, meaning, every single word was laboriously typed by that sad-ass unsexed dimwitted mama's boy Howard, but, frankly, I'm happier to read something deCamp had a hand in than otherwise.

Even with deCamp finishing out fragmentary Howard stuff, or giving a final polish to something Howard had only roughed out, the limitations of Howard's rudimentary talent stick out all over like stigmata. What I've always found tedious about Conan (beyond and above the fact that he's a strutting, grunting, scratching celebration of the triumph of brawn over brains) is that Howard has absolutely no shame about making up whatever the fuck he needs to make up about Conan from one story to the next as the plot requires it. In one story, Conan will be running around with some Kushite hill bandits slaughtering goddam Aquilonians with mad abandon, because he's a fucking barbarian and they're all civilized pansy-weenies and that's just how Conan rolls, by Crom. In another, he's off in the ass end of Pictland and there are all these pirates from Zingara plus the men at arms of an exiled Barachan nobleman and they're all trying to kill Conan to get this treasure and Conan should just leave them all to be slaughtered by the Picts, but then we wouldn't get a big battle scene, so Howard makes up some horseshit about how Conan's 'barbarian code of honor' won't let him abandon white men to the mercies of darker skinned races... which is the first and probably last time you'll ever hear of that particular aspect of Conan's 'barbarian code of honor', which seems to be best expressed as 'whatever will make Conan do whatever the plot requires him to do at any given point in any particular story'.

Having said all that, Howard did have some writing talent and I do respect the thought he put into his Hyborian Age setting. deCamp is, of course, one of the best writers in fantasy and science fiction, so if you're going to read Conan crap, or, at least, if I'm going to, it's best to have the Howard/deCamp combination.

* I found a blog called I Am TRex which is pretty good. The commenters there are mostly pretty cool, which is a rarity at most popular blogs, I've found.

* I rarely have the pleasure of discussing Heinlein with anyone, and when I do, I imagine I bore people out of their minds pretty fucking quickly with my blather on the subject. Case in point: Jim Henley made a passing reference to PODKAYNE OF MARS in a short post a few days back, and I would imagine I made him regret it nearly immediately. But judge for yourself. Henley is one of many bloggers whose work I read who never responds to me directly in any way, which I imagine is intended to get across some kind of message to me, but if Al Swearingen is stupidest when he tries to be funny, well, I am at my dumbest when people are subtly hinting to me that I should just fuck the fuck off.

* I know when this winter finally ends and summer rolls around again, it will be unbearable and I'll be cursing every second of it, but still, I'm fucking over winter, already. How about we just start up spring, have that until mid September, and then roll straight into autumn, and keep that going until, say, March again? That would work for me.

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